06/10/2015 4:08PM



The wait is over.

Last Saturday, AMERICAN PHAROAH ran a perfect 1 1/2 miles over the spacious Belmont Park main track en route to a historic Triple Crown sweep.

In becoming the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes since the legendary AFFIRMED in 1978, American Pharoah cemented immortal status and proved that he is a very, very special racehorse.

True champions have to earn their accolades and American Pharoah never got a real breather in the Belmont. Racing on the lead throughout, the big horse sliced out fractions of 24.06, 24.77, 24.58, 24.58, 24.34, and 24.32 while facing challenges from three solid runners. Very few horses in this day and age can keep up that steady tempo for 12 grueling furlongs, especially at the end of an arduous Triple Crown campaign.

MATERIALITY, the Florida Derby winner, prompted American Pharoah's pace from the outside. He was the first to crack chasing the favorite's pacesetting rhythm and eventually faltered to last, beaten 22 1/4 lengths.

Immediately after Materiality called it an afternoon, UAE Derby hero MUBTAAHIJ tried his luck. He received a similar pace-tracking, ground-saving trip as his UAE Derby victory and loomed for a brief instant on American Pharoah's wide flank. Then, in a matter of strides, Mubtaahij was dismissed.

Finally came Wood Memorial victor FROSTED, the second choice in the Belmont betting. Frosted's rider, Joel Rosario, saved ground and energy for the all-important stretch drive, but he couldn't get closer than shouting distance to American Pharoah. Frosted, exhausted and defeated in the final furlong, hopped back to his left lead, a white flag of surrender to be sure.

Meanwhile, American Pharoah didn't turn a hair. His ears waggled happily as he made the running and he drew off in the stretch like he could go around again and again. That's as much a testament to Team Baffert as it is this remarkable animal. The connections called all the right plays this Triple Crown season.

All the vanquished could do after the Belmont was praise the champion. Rosario summed up the race perfectly. "It's exciting because we have not seen this for so long and the winner really looked brilliant."

Irad Ortiz Jr., who gave Mubtaahij an excellent ride, added that "He's a monster. He's a very nice horse. He's a freak. We haven't had a Triple Crown winner in years. He's a great horse. I tried to be close to him. I kept following him and my horse ran very, very good. We had no excuses. The best horse won the race."

Champion jockey Javier Castellano, aboard sixth-place finisher MADEFROMLUCKY, agreed. "American Pharoah was much the best horse in the field."

Gary Stevens, no stranger to huge moments, had this to say after dismounting from seventh-place finisher TALE OF VERVE. "He ran a hell of a race. That's a hell of a horse. The race was over in the third jump from the gate, it was over."

John Velazquez, who tried the winner early with Materiality, concurred. "American Pharoah is a great horse, that's the only way you can describe him. My horse ran as good as he could but he was done early. The best horse won the race. He's obviously a great horse to do all the things he's done race after race, you have to take your hat off to him."

Make your own checklist. American Pharoah has it all.

Brilliant tactical speed.
The willingness to settle and heed his rider's commands.
The ability to pass another in the blink of an eye with push-button acceleration.
Willing and able to fight back when challenged.
True stamina.
Equally capable on wet and dry footing.

I might be a little late to this party, but he's a superstar, there's no doubt about it.


Here are the WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 5/26/15 - 6/1/15:

1. CATCH A FLIGHT (ARG) - 106 - Californian Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 30May15-8SA
2. MYLUTE - 103 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile - 29May15-3BEL
3. APPEALING TALE - 101 - OC 80k/C -N  - 1 Mile - 31May15-8SA
4. AMELIA'S WILD RIDE - 100 - Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 30May15-2PEN
5. GOLDEN LAD - 99 - Mountainview Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - 30May15-3PEN
6. FLUTTERBY - 98 - Sea Lily Handicap - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 30May15-4GP
7. OLIVER'S TALE - 97 - Siren Lure Stakes - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 31May15-3SA
8. ALSVID - 96 - Aristides Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs - 30May15-8CD
8. LOCKOUT - 96 - Connaught Cup (G2-C) - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - 30May15-8WO
8. SCATTER JOY - 96 - OC 30k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 31May15-3MTH
8. SPANISH QUEEN - 96 - American Oaks (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 30May15-5SA
12. DESERT DYNAMO - 95 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - 30May15-6SA
13. A.P. CINO - 94 - OC 50k/N3X - 1 1/16 Miles - 30May15-8DEL
14. ANXIOUS TIMES - 93 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - 31May15-6SA
14. CANDY SHACK - 93 - Alw 34366N2X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 26May15-4PID
14. FREESTYLER - 93 - Clm 40000(40-30) - 1 Mile - 30May15-5MTH
14. HAMMERS TERROR - 93 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 Mile (Turf) - 31May15-8CD
14. HILLBILLY ROYALTY - 93 - Prairie Mile Stakes - 1 Mile - 30May15-8PRM
14. STREET OF GOLD - 93 - Amelia Island Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 29May15-7GP
14. ULANBATOR - 93 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 28May15-3CD
21. AIN'T GOT TIME - 92 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - 30May15-7PRX
21. BOLO - 92 - Alw 65000NC - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 29May15-2SA
21, CIARAN'S PRIZE - 92 - OC 35k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - 30May15-5CBY
21. GOLDEN MOON - 92 - Alw 25000s - 6 Furlongs - 31May15-5PRX
21. VA BANQUE - 92 - OC 20k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - 31May15-8MTH

*CATCH A FLIGHT's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Here are the WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 6/2/15 - 6/8/15:

1. HONOR CODE - 112 - Metropolitan Handicap (G1) - 1 Mile - 6Jun15-9BEL
2. ROCK FALL - 110 - True North Stakes (G2) - 6 Furlongs - 5Jun15-8BEL
3. SLUMBER (GB) - 106 - Manhattan Stakes (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 6Jun15-10BEL
4. AMERICAN PHAROAH - 105 - Belmont Stakes (G1) - 1 1/2 Miles - 6Jun15-11BEL
5. COACH INGE - 102 - Brooklyn Stakes (G2) - 1 1/2 Miles - 6Jun15-6BEL
5. WEDDING TOAST - 102 - Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - 6Jun15-5BEL
7. TEPIN - 101 - Just a Game Stakes (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 6Jun15-8BEL
8. CAVORTING - 100 - Jersey Girl Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 5Jun15-3BEL
9. BRUVVER MAX - 99 - OC 30k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - 6Jun15-6PRM
9. CHANNEL MARKER - 99 - Jaipur Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - 6Jun15-4BEL
9. TRIPLE THREAT (FR) - 99 - Monmouth Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 7Jun15-11MTH
12. GIMME DA LUTE - 98 - Affirmed Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 7Jun15-3SA
12. INNOVATION ECONOMY - 98 - Belmont Gold Cup Stakes - 2 Miles (Turf) - 5Jun15-10BEL
12. SPEIGHTSTER - 98 - Alw 90000N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 5Jun15-2BEL
15. MY MISS SOPHIA - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 5Jun15-6BEL
15. MYSTERY TRAIN (ARG) - 96 - Evangeline Mile Stakes - 1 Mile - 6Jun15-8EVD
17. DAMAGE CONTROL - 95 - Alw 75000N1X - 1 Mile - 4Jun15-6BEL
17. EMBELLISH THE LACE - 95 - OC 50k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 4Jun15-8PIM
17. FRISKY WARRIOR - 95 - George W. Barker Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 5Jun15-8FL
17. MARCH - 95 - Woody Stephens Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - 6Jun15-3BEL
17. TOMMY MACHO - 95 - Alw 90000N1X - 1 1/16 Miles - 6Jun15-2BEL
17. TUCKERS POINT - 95 - OC 12k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 5Jun15-7CT
17. ZINDAYA - 95 - Intercontinental Stakes - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - 4Jun15-7BEL
24. DEPECHE CHAT - 94 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 6Jun15-12BEL
25. PATRIOTS RULE - 93 - Crystal Water Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 6Jun15-4SA
25. ROXBURY N OVERTON - 93 - Md Sp Wt 55k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 7Jun15-1PRX

*HONOR CODE's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*Triple Crown winner AMERICAN PHAROAH's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Dan, i know this may be an impossible request but I'm even willing to pay for it. I'm very interested in knowing the other times of the races when Secretariat won the Belmont. I know that he is a legend but I also remember reading that Forego set a record at 1 1/16 that same day as well. Seeing that there is such a huge gap between the fastest and next fastest time I just would like to know how much the track that day may have contributed to such an awesome performance
Ian Douglas

Check out this old newspaper clipping I found of that day's charts.


Hope this helps.


Well it looks like Andy Beyer is at it again. American Pharoah runs almost two seconds faster than Tonalist and gets a Beyer that is 5 points higher... Let's take a look at the 2014 and 2015 races to see whether the track played any different. The plain fact of the matter is that with Andy it is PERSONAL and not about the numbers and formula. He writes an article the week before the Derby where he ripped on AP, do you think that had anything to do with the BSFs??
Dan - can you put up the Beyers for these races in 2014 and 2015:
Steve T.

I've added the Beyer Speed Figures next to the races. I highly doubt the numbers reflect a malice towards any particular horse.

Belmont Stakes
2014 2:28.52 (Tonalist) – BSF 100
2015 2:26.65 (American Pharaoh) – BSF 105

GR-1 Metropolitan
2014 1:33.56 (Palace Malice) - BSF 112
2015 1:33.18 (Honor Code) - BSF 112

GR-1 Ogden Phipps
2014 1:40.55 (Close Hatches) - BSF 103
2015 1:40.21 (Wedding Toast) - BSF 102

Easy Goer Stakes
2014 1:41.12 (Kid Cruz) - BSF 98
2015 1:42.14 (Japan) - BSF 89

GR-2 Woody Stephens
2014 1:20.75 (Bayern) - BSF 108
2015 1:21.37 (March) - BSF 95

GR-2 Brooklyn
2014 2:27.13 (Norumbega) - BSF 101
2015 2:27.17 (Coach Inge) - BSF 102

GR-1 Acorn
2014 1:34.98 (Sweet Reason) - BSF 93
2015 1:35.13 (Curalina) - BSF 92


You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Remember to check out DRF LIVE's handicapping coverage.

Matt Bernier and I will be on at 12:30 ET on Thursday for some Saturday stakes previews.

On Friday at 12:30 ET, Dan Tordjman from America's Best Racing will hang out with me in the studio for some more previews.

Lonnie Goldfeder joins me in the studio live Saturday afternoon beginning at 2 ET. Please tune in if you get the chance.


Congrats to Mooch for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling tournament.

Rick M's official scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

Let's go with Saturday's Poker Stakes from Belmont.


SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

Let's remember WHY we began the HandiGambling races in the first place. The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses and why we're betting them the way we are. We are not asking for a novel but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.


Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST.  Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .

- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes.  Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

- The winner will receive a "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!




HONOR CODE.pdf652.09 KB
Copy of Formblog Belmont 6-6-15.xls76.5 KB
HGPOKER.pdf188.73 KB
Biggar W More than 1 year ago
Penguin ymous & Slewster, Thanks for the tip on getting through the whirligig, and especially for giving me the proper technical name for that miserable rotating object. It wasn't effecting my access to the all important fornblog, so I I hadn't gotten around to researching that problem. Does anyone know what causes it in the first place?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry DavidM9999 I missed out on your "travelling" post..... With modern aircraft the norm, I believe the problem is not the travelling itself, its getting used to the new surroundings in the foreign country, and I mean that in the widest sense of the words. New stables; different training arrangements; sometimes totally different weather, different racetrack routines on raceday; different configuration and different surface on some tracks; and then the daddy of them all, often a different pattern/tempo of the races themselves. All these things combine to unsettle a horse, although some horses are clearly affected more than others. Its why California to New York may be fine (i.e. less differences), but New York to England, not so straightforward. There have been numerous discussions on here about the poor record of Arc runners in subsequent Breeders Cup races, and some people have chosen to question (or do I mean ridicule) the ability of those horses. They make little or no allowance for the aforementioned. differences. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
some brief responses needed..... Rodney, Royal Ascot is my favourite week of the year. A pity I can't land a serious bet - yet. Betting some savers on Ryan Moore is keeping me afloat, but I need a biggie. Re GLENEAGLES, my love for him has been a slow burner, but you can't argue with his race record and the manner of victory. DavidM9999, Sorry about those Royal Ascot picks. Hopeless. ACAPULCO looked a really smart horse in the hands of Ryan Moore. Definitely had the right speed plus stamina combination, and when its allied to a World class jockey, you are onto a winner. Congratulations to Wesley Ward. Just reward for his bravado. Mooch, Excellent response on weights. I understand exactly what you are saying. Seems some sort of compromise is required. Whackymacky, Yes Royal Ascot is great, especially if you are young, or at least young at heart. A perfect combination of hot horses, even hotter women (sorry Blog ladies), and plenty of food and drink. I am not one for dressing up myself (most would call me a slob), but I always think that formal menswear looks better on tall men. By the way, the Queen ALWAYS arrives shortly after 2.00 pm London time. As for the racing, as I have hinted, I rather agree with you about the need for stamina. Al, Thanks for the SPIELBERG info. Fascinating stuff - well researched. It was too late to save my modest bet, but if the truth be known, I am a stubborn old so and so and I would probably have made the bet anyway, but perhaps for smaller stakes. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Harold Crenshaw More than 1 year ago
RONZ I love hyperbole as much as the next guy...but to equate the lack of voting rights for women and slavery in ANY matter is NUTS. All change is NOT GOOD. Just look at what is going on. When I was a kid I worked for a great man...who gave me enough hours at his place to put me through college. Whenever I came home for a random weekend, during semester breaks, summer time...I worked as many hours as was humanely possible....and I finished school with ZERO debt. And other than reffing Intramurals and some tutoring I didn't have to work while I was attending school, which gave me enough free time to drink, carouse and play high level lacrosse. He used to say such funny things. He was doing so well in the late 70's that he retired his wife(who used to work in the store and hated it). She would buzz in and ask my Boss for Cash....as she needed to go buy stuff......he was a prudent spender...but always gave in to his wife. Once after she took $500 out of the till to buy a new couch....he turned to me in frustration and said "Pasquale.....marry a man....and have women on the side." He was 35 years ahead of his time....when I talked to him about a year ago and mentioned that discussion...he said "I sure didn't mean it that way." New racing dates have been added to the MD calendar. Thursdays in NOV, DEC,JAN have been moved to FRI-SAT starting in July. Since the grass course(a beauty) is so underutilized this may mean a really nice grass program in the summer. No charge for entry.....late afternoon Friday racing with bands and other merriment.....all they need is for some people to show up....but since there are two casinos(and another one coming) within 25 miles...most of the money flows there. I was talking to one of my clients who was NOT affected by the Riots...but two doors down was. We were crunching some numbers and it is remarkable what State Govt's do to small independent businesses. Before the Casinos came to MD......he was MAKING three grand PROFIT/month on lottery sales/cashing(this is where the money is in Lottery)....and the other day when we looked at his numbers....he is making about $250/month......and that money is GONE. It paid the rent. He is lucky.....some of the merchants who were burned out, looted and had their places messed up.....had liquor licenses.....and now the city wants to rescind their licenses.....because ALCOHOL is evil....and destroys the communities.....BALDERDASH. Trying to change the HG is at the root of inner city problems...across the nation. Good golly that Ascot place looks nice...and has been added to my bucket list.....but the get in price is something else. A special occasion for sure. Go Get them Sir Bernard. It looks a wee bit nicer than Ocean Downs or the old Bowie Race track...where it was famously said...The Bowie Breed are the patrons.....the unemployed and the un employable.
CM Vongole More than 1 year ago
RonZ, You must be thinking of someone else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bernard - not sure if this will reach you in time, but beware of Spielberg. Despite the ground and distance apparently suiting him, he is 11-6-1-3 on LH courses (all at Tokyo), 4-0-0-1 on RH; also, he is 6-4-0-2 in Oct. & Nov. and 9-2-1-2 the rest of the year (mostly Spring). Al
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Joe – My intent was not to throw bombs at people or their HG betting structure. My 1-135 HG record does not give me much credibility. However, you mentioned you have played this way for years. That is the point. Years into this sport you obviously know a thing or two. Share it. We want to hear it. Let us know what the two horse showed you liked and why you used those specific others under. No one expects a dissertation but a paragraph or two is usually doable in today’s busy world. If one liners are all you have in you then so be it. I apologize for being unreasonable. Being a betting man I would wager you have a lot of insight. Bernard – thanks for the picks and other views. I will follow along on these today and thru the week. We are so lucky to have someone there with such keen knowledge of these races and willing to post their thoughts. Question – you mentioned the difficulty of travelling. Is it the extended time on the plane, the acclimation to new surroundings or something else that you feel is the biggest reason for underperformance. Horses ship around America into different climates generally with some success. When they go to Dubai or Japan they are knocked out a bit. I always wondered why the hangover.
Rick Marciniak More than 1 year ago
It looks like the Professor got last weeks HG Game with his $50 Ex. Scoresheet will be posted on Dan's Next Thread. Rick
Mac930My More than 1 year ago
Bernard, Royal Ascot looks like a great time....with the big field's, a big price can be found. I wonder when the Queen will show up....we bet earler here on the east coast...a warm up to Belmont...I would think the hot barns are the way to go...the speed is tough to play over there....the big stamina horse's are the way to go...I wonder how I would look with a tux and top hat at 6 foot 2 inches tall....cheers... Saw my Doctor the other day for my 6 month check up....good news is that I have dropped 20 pounds!!! Bad news is, my ribs have not healed right!!! Still sore after one year!!! Good Luck All Whackymacky Out!!!
Penguin ymous More than 1 year ago
ODDS AND ENDS, mostly odds I have been "locked out" of DRF since Saturday, but thanks to Curtis the Slewster, he has opened the door once again. My whirlygig kept whirling when I pulled up the DRF site and nothing ever happened. He suggested I hit the refresh button while it was whirlygigging and gloryoski, it worked. So, now I can fill my retirement time again, but maybe not so good for yous'e guys. Thanks Curt! Thanks to Harold Crenshaw for expounding on your reasons for not changing HG. Thanks to Jack Armstead for kind of reinforcing one of my points for changing HG. That being that people can get into bad wagering habits if they are forced to change wagers in order to win the contest because someone has taken it earlier. Jack A quit playing because "This was why I really stopped playing HG. I was breaking my own rules" which was not being able to see the horse on the track before he made his wager. To those that say HG is just fine the way it is, I say slavery used to be legal and just fine until it wasn't. Women couldn't vote until the 1920's. How'd that work out? Child labor was great for those profiting, but not so fine for the child. My time is up. I rest my case. I always found humor in the Red Green show on TV and his Possum Lodge prayer. "I'm a man. I can change. I guess,......... If I have too." Change isn't always bad as witnessed by the above examples. To C, I think, that said, I paraphrase, "I checked the Equibase and the DRf charts and their time was the same." Well, that's because they are the same chart provided by Equibase to DRF. From Equibase website: "Equibase is the official supplier of racing information to:" and DRF is one that is listed. I believe it has been more than three years at least that Equibase has been providing charts to DRF. To those that don't like the pop up ads and keep losing long posts, I say, too bad that you never heeded the advice given on this blog numerous times to eliminate these annoyances. Some people admit they can't learn from others on this blog. Okiesharp, concerning 5 dimes. If you are considering wagering on the horses on that site, then I say consider using an onshore legal site that gives back a portion to the tracks. Offshore, like 5dimes, headquartered in Costa Rica, they are a parasite on the horse racing signal and contribute nothing to purses or horseman or the track. If you want to bet the Cowboys, I could care less then. DavidM I tried adding your two partnership horses to my watch list. Huddy's Buddy didn't take, AK's Candy did. Maybe Huddy hasn't gone through the Jockey Club yet. Looking forward to following their progress also. Annie Thanks for the MKB work this year. It has added some interest for me and certainly more knowledge of the three year olds going forward. Good luck breaking up the AOS Dynasty next year. We have taken five of the last six triple crown races as you know and we are unrelenting in our pursuit of greatness and Hall of Fame certainty. Jack Armstead I agree with your philosophy of start with $100 at the track and leave with $220. Which equates to a one time payoff of $4.40. A 6/5 can't lose, lock, winner or $4.40 to show horse. That philosophy shows patience, adherence to rules, take your Best Bet of the Day and go for it. Take the most risk out of gambling possible. Do what works for you. If you are killing em dead on longshots, then whatever works for you. There is a myriad of ways to go home a winner. Chasing/gambling is not one of them. Why do we have to sign in using social media? Probably, because every time we do, DRF makes some money from these social media sites. I am assuming the social media are the ones who control most of the ads on DRF and sell that space to advertisers. And every time you click on the ad that says "Don't eat bananas", the social media site makes even more money. DRF also collects and resells your email to others who want to advertise to you. Yeah, all of my sign ups to social media have a fake name too. So, when I get email with those names, I don't have to bother. RonZ