02/08/2010 8:42PM

A Quality Colt

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Rachel Who?  Zen-Whatta?  Despite dominating the headlines for most of the past week with a possible $5 Million Apple Blossom showdown on the horizon, the two dominant females of thoroughbred racing were overshadowed mightily by Quality Road's awesome performance in Saturday's Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park. 
The bad boy of the Breeders' Cup, Quality Road balked for a moment or two before entering the Donn starting gate.  The race was over the second he left the machine.  Quality Road broke like a shot under John Velazquez, kindly yielded the lead to Past the Point, and moved past that one effortlessly with three furlongs to run.  Once Quality Road made the front, he poured it on through the stretch to win by 12 3/4 lengths.  He earned a whopping 121 Beyer Speed Figure while breaking his own nine-furlong track record set in the 2009 Florida Derby, and made observers salivate at the possibility of facing both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta down the road.
Plagued by quarter crack issues as well as his notorious gate habits, Quality Road has always hinted at superior ability when of sound mind and body.  Some critics may label him a Gulfstream "horse for course," but the son of Elusive Quality has also won at Aqueduct and Saratoga, and his versatility (he has now won between 6 1/2 furlongs and 1 1/8 miles) and tactical speed brings Horse of the Year Ghostzapper to mind.  If Quality Road stays healthy this year, Rachel and Zenyatta's tango for 2010 year-end honors may become a three-way dance.

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Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's action:

Here are the lifetime Beyer Speed Figures for last week's highest Beyer winner:

Download Quality Road

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Dan,
I was wondering what it meant to 'shock wave' a horse'?
chicago gerry

The following link may be helpful:

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=4885

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Whenever a major stakes race is approaching I find myself looking back through previous runnings to remember the history and prestige.
I know the 2003 running of the Donn was not the most memorable but would it be possible to post the PP's for that race? It might help refresh our recollection.
Thanks
Kennedy

Here are the lifetime past performances for the 2003 Donn Handicap run on February 22, 2003:

Download 2003Donn

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Forget my last post. Obviously something was lost in the translation of the PP's as it also says Mugatea was the 3-5 favorite in the BC Classic.
Jeff

Jeff I am pretty certain he was coupled with Slew of Gold that day!
Mickey


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hi dan, is it true opus a broke down in a workout at gulfstream last week?
michael bickers

Opus A suffered a fractured cannon bone in her right foreleg and had surgery to insert two screws into the bone.  A return to the races is not out of the question.

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Dan
Is there some quick way of obtaining the Beyer Speed Figure within a day or two of any given race?  I'm not talking about the major races that you summarize each Monday-which I and others greatly appreciate-but just a normal Allowance-type race.
blackstone

Is there a site that I can go and find the Beyer's for races run each wk?
And, what was Bold Chieftain's fig for the SMillClsc contested Sat. the 30th?
Thanks
CH

The winning Beyer Speed Figures for all tracks appear each week in Simulcast Daily on the drf.com homepage.

For stakes Beyers, check out this page:

http://www.drf.com/stakeresults/drfStakeResults.jsp

Bold Chieftain received a 92 for winning the Sunshine Millions Classic.

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Thanks so much Dan for the PPs for Silver Train.  I would love to hear what you think about his prospects as a freshman sire. He's frankly not one I would have thought of, but 128 reported 2yos of 2010 makes me take a second look.
And if I can impose on you for help in my quest for freshman sires, I'd appreciate PPs for Bluegrass Cat, Borrego, Fire Slam, Flower Alley, Giacomo, and Sharp Humor.
Paseana

I can understand why some breeders are flocking to Silver Train.  He has a stamina-oriented pedigree (by Old Trieste out of a Cormorant mare), but was brilliant enough to be very successful in sprints and one-turn mile events. 
Count me among the unconvinced, however.  I'm not sure if Old Trieste is going to be a "sire of sires," and there isn't a ton of blacktype in Silver Train's female family (the fifth dam was a champion as a three-year-old filly).  I get the impression that Silver Train may have been a freak, an anomaly when compared to his (mostly) blue-collar pedigree.  We'll see soon enough.

Here are the past performances for the first-crop sires that you requested:

Download FirstCropSires

Of the sires you mentioned, I'm most looking forward to Bluegrass Cat's first runners.

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Dan, where's all the Birdstone's?  After last years Triple Crown I thought there would be all kinds of his colts on the "trail".  What's the deal?  Any good ones out there?  3yo's that is.

Dan, did Belmont's Futurity used to be the biggest race of the year in America?  How long did it carry America's richest purse?  Why did it fall out of favor?
Captain Bodgit

The only Birdstone two-year-old that looked good at any point last year was Bet Your Boots, a Minnesota-bred colt that won the Northern Lights Futurity at Canterbury Park with a 55 Beyer Speed Figure.  He finished 23 lengths behind Rule in the Jean Lafitte Futurity at Delta Downs, and most recently finished third in a 'n3L' allowance at Sam Houston. 

The Futurity used to be the richest race in the United States.  I'm not sure when it was surpassed as the richest race, but the Futurity's purse was higher than that of the Kentucky Derby until 1941, and its purse was higher than that of the Belmont Stakes until 1956.

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Dan:
Since so much talk about arromanches..can you post his pp's please?..thanks.
Mickey

Here they are:

Download Arromanches

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HDG:
First, a belated to congrats to Annie for winning 171.  ON to A:
If Quality Road runs close to his best, he wins.  I will single him on top and put the old man Dry Martini in the second slot.  He is working well and has a proper spacing since his last start.  I look for him to improve.  throw in a few others in the bottom of the tri and swing for the fences:
$25 TRI PW:  4 / 5 / 3-6-8-10
Good luck to all

So, I choose the 8th race at Gulfstream on Wed:  a starter allowance with 8 entries with several trainers that are at least recognizable.
Dale

Congrats to Dale for finishing first in the Donn Handicap HandiGambling.  Here are the past performances for this week's race:

Download HG172

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.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. 

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.

Best of luck to all.