12/12/2012 5:23PM

Promising Babies

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Workout analysts reported that FLASHBACK was the real deal and the juvenile full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Zazu didn't disappoint first-out on December 8. 

Trained by Bob Baffert, Flashback went off the even-money favorite going seven furlongs over the Hollywood cushion track and drew away by 3 1/2 lengths with a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.  A $260,000 weanling purchase, Flashback looks destined for stakes competition sooner rather than later.

In New York, trainer Rudy Rodriguez sent out the promising juvenile VYJACK.  An Into Mischief half-brother to Grade 2-placed router Prime Cut, Vyjack overcame a sealed, sloppy track to post a 96-Beyer score in the $71,000 Traskwood Stakes at Aqueduct on December 9.  Vyjack had won his only previous start, a maiden special weight going 6 1/2 furlongs on November 10 with an 88 Beyer.  Vyjack, purchased for $100,000 in May, will likely dip his toe into deeper end with a start in the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes on January 5.  His dam is an unraced half-sister to multiple Grade 3 sprint winner Disco Rico. 

DUST AND DIAMONDS really came into her own toward the tail end of 2011 and it looks like she's on her way to a nice season at four.  The winner of the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont on September 22, Dust and Diamonds ran well when second to freakish Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll at Santa Anita.  Sold for $900,000 after that race, Dust and Diamonds was transferred from trainer Steve Asmussen to Todd Pletcher.  In her first start for Pletcher, she took the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream.  She has excellent early speed, but doesn't seem like a one-dimensional runner.

FAST BULLET doesn't race very often, but he lived up to his name last week in an optional claimer at Betfair Hollywood.  Scratched from the Vernon O. Underwood Stakes on December 2 due to unsatisfactory track conditions, Fast Bullet blitzed his opponents in this lesser spot to the tune of a 109 Beyer Speed Figure.  Baffert thought so much of Fast Bullet that he ran him in the Breeders' Cup Sprint following a layoff of almost a year.  Fast Bullet wasn't disgraced that afternoon and seems primed for an appearance in next month's Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita.

PURE FUN received an 88 Beyer Speed Figure in upsetting top juvenile filly EXECUTIVEPRIVILEGE in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet.  Pure Fun, so impressive in dominating weaker competition on dirt at Churchill Downs on November 24, handled the cushion track just fine.  She gave an eye-catching rally from the rear of the field to blow by in the stretch.  It looks as if this filly has good potential.

ACTION ANDY may never be a Breeders' Cup horse, but he's a courageous veteran in career form.  He suffered from Wobbler's Syndrome as a 2-year-old and was almost euthanized due to the affliction.  Thankfully, he recovered and has now posted 11 wins from 30 starts and career earnings of $560,430.  He won the $350,000 De Francis Memorial at Laurel on October 27 with a 102 Beyer and followed that up with a 101-Beyer win in the $58,000 Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay last week. Perhaps he'll run next in the Super Stakes at Tampa on February 23.

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Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (12/3/12 - 12/9/12):

1. FAST BULLET - 109 - OC 62k/C -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
2. GRAYDAR - 103 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
2. STAR HARBOUR - 103 - OC 75k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - Aqueduct
4. ACTION ANDY - 101 - Pelican Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Tampa Bay
5. BE BULLISH - 100 - OC 50k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Aqueduct
5. DUST AND DIAMONDS - 100 - Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
7. BRIGAND - 98 - City of Laurel Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Laurel
8. APPREHENDER - 97 - Alw 40000NC - 6 Furlongs - Remington
9. ARLO - 96 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Parx
9. MORDI'S MIRACLE - 96 - Md Sp Wt 65k - 1 Mile - Aqueduct
9. VYJACK - 96 - Traskwood Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
12. CHOSEN MIRACLE - 95 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Betfair Hollywood
12. RHETORICAL - 95 - Alw 29100N$Y - 5 Furlongs - Sunland
12. SAN PABLO - 95 - Queens County Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - Aqueduct
15. BIG BLUE KITTEN - 93 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
15. BULL DOZER - 93 - OC c-62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
15. FLASHBACK - 93 - Md Sp Wt 46k - 7 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
18. GOD OF WAR (Brz) - 92 - Clm 25000(25-22.5) - 1 1/16 Miles (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
18. KEY VISTA - 93 - Md Sp Wt 46k - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
18. LADY OF FIFTY - 92 - Bayakoa Handicap (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
18. LAST GUNFIGHTER - 92 - Raymond Earl Stakes - 1 Mile - Aqueduct
18. MY PHILLY GIRL - 92 - Md Sp Wt 46k - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
18. SILVER CLOUD - 92 - OC 100k/NC - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Tampa Bay
18. STRING KING - 92 - Louisiana Champions Day Turf Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Fair Grounds
25. APPEALING STELLA - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
25. CONCHACER - 91 - OC c-35k/N$Y - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
25. LADYZARBRIDGE - 91 - Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
25. ZAPHYRA - 95 - OC 35k/N$Y - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Hawthorne

*Fast Bullet's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*Bull Dozer was claimed for $62,500 by trainer Michael Maker from trainer Luis Ramirez.

*Conchacer was claimed for $35,000 by trainer Larry Rivelli from trainer Michele Boyce.

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Dan-
After reading through the latest in the NYRA medication saga, the comments section included a reference to overseas field size average, though without citing any specifics. Is there any way you could access the main meet field size averages for France, Italy, Great Britain, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Japan? To put it in context, I think we would need the total # of racing dates for each main meet as well. A comparison to each country's yearly foal averages would be the pièce de résistance, El Capitan.
Whatever you info you could provide would help flesh out the ongoing domestic decline compared to the international scene. I don't have the faintest idea how the actual numbers stack up and I'd say that goes for over 95% of American "punters".
Thanks
CMathieu 66

I found some links with facts and figures on foreign races.  Hope it helps a little.

http://www.ifhaonline.org/wageringDisplay.asp?section=12&CK=E&YR=2011&key=12

http://www.ifhaonline.org/wageringDisplay.asp?section=12&CK=E&YR=2011&key=14

http://www.ifhaonline.org/wageringDisplay.asp?section=11&CK=E&YR=2011&key=16

http://www.ifhaonline.org/wageringDisplay.asp?section=12&CK=E&YR=2011&key=22

http://www.ifhaonline.org/wageringDisplay.asp?section=12&CK=E&YR=2011&key=20

http://www.ifhaonline.org/wageringDisplay.asp?section=12&CK=E&YR=2011&key=23

http://japanracing.jp/_statistics/2011/s02.html

http://japanracing.jp/_statistics/2011/s03.html

http://japanracing.jp/_statistics/2011/s01.html

http://japanracing.jp/_statistics/2011/s05.html

http://www.britishhorseracing.com/resources/media/publications_and_reports/2010Stats-Section%20D%20-%20Fixtures,%20Races%20And%20Prize%20Money.pdf

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Congrats to Dan Bauer for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise. 

PENN NATIONAL RICK'S WEEKLY SCORESHEET IS AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

Dan selects Saturday's CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park.

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

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan."
 
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.
 
Please post your plays and analysis to the blog.

PLEASE GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.
 
Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers (instead of the horse's name) for easier scoring.
In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. One entry per person please.
 
I reserve the right to approve or deny any entries.
 
I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but 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. I'm 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.

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 LATE THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).

Best of luck to all.

***

The weekend preview videos, including the analysis for the CashCall Futurity, should be up on Friday afternoon.

See you next week!

Dan

AttachmentSize
Fast Bullet.pdf654.71 KB
Copy of Formblog Contest Fair Grounds Off Turf 12-7-12.xls47 KB
HGCashCall.pdf137.8 KB