06/10/2015 4:08PM

Pha-roah-cious

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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.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/sports-rewind-secretariat-captures-triple-crown-article-1.2041865

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.

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

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.

HANDIGAMBLING:

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!

Harpo
---------------------------------

A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
 
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A SATURDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)

AttachmentSize
CATCH A FLIGHT.pdf801.81 KB
HONOR CODE.pdf652.09 KB
AMERICAN PHAROAH.pdf633.1 KB
Copy of Formblog Belmont 6-6-15.xls76.5 KB
HGPOKER.pdf188.73 KB