01/04/2010 5:13PM

Quality Road, 3yos, Top 10F Beyers

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Quality Road returned to the site of his greatest success with a win in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes at Gulfstream on Sunday. 

Unseen since being scratched at the gate before the Breeders' Cup Classic, Quality Road immediately assumed the lead while racing well off the rail.  Last year's Florida Derby winner faced a strong rail challenge from You and I Forever on the turn, but asserted his class in upper stretch, and wasn't really threatened to the wire.  The early fractions look slow on paper (25.15, 48.13), but handicappers should be warned that there is virtually no run-up to the timer in one-mile dirt races at Gulfstream Park.  The opening quarter in races like these often looks glacial and the second quarter time is usually much faster than the first stanza.   

Assuming he stays healthy and sound, Quality Road appears headed for the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream on February 6. 

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A three-year-old to watch may be Tahitian Warrior, who blazed six furlongs in 1:09.96 in his career debut at Gulfstream on Sunday.  A $50,000 RNA at last year's Keeneland September Yearling sale, Tahitian Warrior was a $4,500 RNA a month later at Fasig-Tipton.  He's by Maria's Mon out of a half-sister to Fantastic Fellow, a multiple Grade 3 winner on grass.  There is a lot of turf and class in this pedigree so don't be surprised if Tahitian Warrior sees stakes action very soon. 

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Bob Baffert sent out three juvenile winners during the final week of 2009.  Tiny Woods, the beaten favorite in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special, returned to winning form with a gate-to-wire score going six furlongs over the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita.  A $180,000 yearling purchase, Tiny Woods is by Roman Ruler out of a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Toccet. 

Tiny Woods received a 90 Beyer, 10 points higher than the much-hyped Take Control, a son of A.P. Indy and Azeri that was bought back for $7.7M as a yearling.  Take Control finally found an owner for $1.9M at the Keeneland April auction.  While Take Control's Beyer is nothing to sneeze at, he did have to win his debut around two turns, and had some trouble during the race.  He seems to have more upside than Tiny Woods. 

Macias won the Eddie Logan Stakes on grass for Baffert and may be better-suited to turf.

Tiny Woods 
Tiny Woods may be a promising sprinter.
(Benoit Photo)


Take Control 
Beautifully-bred Take Control ran by 'em all in his career debut.
(Benoit Photo)
 

Other three-year-old winners to watch:

Brake Lights is a $220,000 weanling by Saint Liam out of four-time Grade 2 winner Miss Golden Circle. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin,  Brake Lights finished fifth behind the promising Afleet Express in his career debut going six furlongs in the mud over the Aqueduct inner track on December 5.  On Saturday, in his first race around two turns, Brake Lights won by 9 1/2 lengths with an 87 Beyer.

What's New, a half-brother to Grade 3-placed turf sprinter Due Date out of Grade 3 sprint winner Hidden Assets, made a successful debut for the red-hot Steve Margolis barn at the Fair Grounds on Sunday.  Margolis is now 12-34 (35%) at the current meeting.  A Dixie Union colt, What's New earned a 78 Beyer.

Margolis also sent out Stay Put to his second two-turn win of the meet.  A half to Grade 3 winner Could Be, Stay Put received an 81 Beyer for his entry-level allowance win and the son of Broken Vow might be headed for the Risen Star Stakes on February 20.   

Stormy's Majesty, a New York-bred son of Stormy Atlantic, upped his record to 2-2 after an entry-level allowance win versus fellow statebreds at 1 mile and 70 yards over the Aqueduct inner track.  Stormy's Majesty is the first runner out of Raffie's Dream, a stakes-placed New York-bred at nine furlongs on the grass.  Stormy's Majesty received an 82 Beyer.

Laus Deo, a $140,000 yearling by Medaglia d'Oro, upset heavily-favored Ibboyee in Saturday's Count Fleet at Aqueduct.  Trained by Tony Dutrow, Laus Deo is out of Shebane, an Alysheba mare that placed in the Waya Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on turf. 
"I think it's pretty obvious he's still learning," said Dutrow.  "He got away on the lead without anyone contesting him and that was a big break.  He was able to set very easy fractions."
Laus Deo earned a 78 Beyer.

Fly by Phil made it three in a row by winning his turf debut in the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby at Calder over heavily-favored Lost Aptitude.  A gelded son of Act of Duty, Fly by Phil is from the female family of Afternoon Deelites, and earned a 90 Beyer for trainer Kathleen O'Connell.

Here are the lastest Kentucky Derby Futures odds from Lucky's:

Download DerbyFutures

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Here are the lifetime past performances for this week's highest Beyer earner:

Download Quality Road

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Dan,
Nice longshot pick in Sat. Minaret Stakes at Tampa:  Rate of Exchange, 12-1, beaten a neck.
After the race, I was able to find the chinks in my out of the money pick, but I was unable to upgrade your pick very much.  Any insights?
Thanks
Ron Zuercher

This is such a wonderfully frustrating game.  In a sixteenth of a mile, I went from genius to dummy.  Rate of Exchange had three on the field and looked to be home free, but Perf ran her down in the shadow of the wire. 
I didn't think I was being very clever with Rate of Exchange.  Her last two Beyer Speed Figures were faster than the last-out Beyers earned by all of her competition, she drew a good outside post and projected for a nice stalking trip, and she's trained by high-percentage conditioner Martin Wolfson.  Two starts back, she wasn't disgraced against males, and she was nipped by a sharp next-out winner in her most recent race at Calder.  I was shocked that she was 8-1 on the morning line and delighted that she went off at 12-1.  Delighted, that is, until the last few jumps.

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Dan,
Today I am looking for a few fantastic fillies...Yank's Music and Christmas Past.  Your help with these past performances is such an awesome resource, I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you! 
ABZ

Here they are:

Download YanksMusic

Download Christmas Past

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I know it's ancient history at this point, but all the recent lists of BSFs got me wondering about how the dust finally settled around Curlin's Dubai WC win.  What did the final time end up being?  And was a BSF recalculated?  I seem to remember that it was approximated in the 121-124 range originally.
Kat

Beyer Speed Figures aren't calculated for foreign races.  Curlin received a 131+ Racing Post Rating for his win in the 2008 Dubai World Cup, but comparing RPR's to Beyers is like comparing apples to oranges.  Beyers are strictly speed figures while RPR's use time as only one of many different factors.
Curlin's winning final time of the World Cup was 2:00.15.


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Dan,
I was wondering if you get me the chart for a specific maiden race from 2004. The problem is that all i know about the race is that:
a) it was at Del Mar,
b) it was an open two-year old race (not a cal-bred race)
c) The horse LITTLEBITOFZIP ran 11th (i think)
d) WHO'S ALEYNA was in the race, but did not win.
I kept the chart of this race, as it turned out to be a very productive race. I believe there were a few stakes winners and at least one multiple graded stakes winner. I misplaced the chart and would love to have another copy of it. If you can dig this up, i would really appreciate it.
tencentcielo

Here's the only time they faced off at Del Mar in 2004.  I've also included a chart from Hollywood in which they raced against each other:

Download DelMarchart

Download Hollywood

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Could  you  please  post  Ruffian's  PPs. We  are  trying  to  see  who  were  the  horses that  she  left  in  her  wake.
Thanks,
C. Warner

Here they are:

Download Ruffian

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Dan, any way we can get the top beyers ever ran at the classic distance of 1 and 1/4 miles?
Captain Bodgit


1.  Ghostzapper - 124 (Breeders' Cup Classic, 2004)
2.  Aptitude - 123 (Jockey Club Gold Cup, 2001)
2.  Best Pal - 123 (Santa Anita Handicap, 1992)
2.  Candy Ride - 123 (Pacific Classic, 2003)
5.  Gentlemen - 121 (Pacific Classic, 1997)
5.  Gentlemen (2) - 121 (Hollywood Gold Cup, 1997)
7.  Siphon - 120 (Santa Anita Handicap, 1997)
7.  Sea Cadet - 120 (Gulfstream Park Handicap, 1992)
7.  Skip Away - 120 (Breeders' Cup Classic, 1997)
7.  Lava Man - 120 (Hollywood Gold Cup, 2005)
11. Albert the Great - 119 (Suburban Handicap, 2001)
11. Free House - 119 (Santa Anita Handicap, 1999)
11. Best Pal (2) - 119 (Strub Stakes, 119)
11. Albert the Great (2) - 119 (Jockey Club Gold Cup, 2000)
11. Skimming - 119 (Pacific Classic, 2001)
11. Pleasantly Perfect - 119 (Breeders' Cup Classic, 2003)
11. Curlin - 119 (Breeders' Cup Classic, 2007)
11. General Challenge - 119 (Pacific Classic, 1999)
11. Roses in May - 119 (Breeders' Cup Classic, 2004)
20. Mt. Sassafras - 118 (Gulfstream Park Handicap, 1997)
20. Cigar - 118 (Hollywood Gold Cup, 1995)
20. Milwaukee Brew - 118 (Santa Anita Handicap, 2002)
20. Skip Away (2) - 118 (Suburban Handicap, 1997)
20. Cat Thief - 118 (Breeders' Cup Classic, 1999)
20. Silver Charm - 118 (Santa Anita Handicap, 1999)
20. Event of the Year - 118 (Santa Anita Handicap, 1999)
20. Reign Road - 118 (Strub Stakes, 1992)
20. Silvano - 118 (Arlington Million, 2001)
20. Medaglia d'Oro (Pacific Classic, 2003)
20. Skimming (2) - 118 (Pacific Classic, 2000)

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Dan,
Is the DRF still giving the PPs to the winner of the weekly HG?
Kelley_Belles

You probably didn't get my e-mail on December 21.  I added your prize to your drf account earlier this morning.  If you're having problems logging in, please e-mail me.  Enjoy!

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HG 166
#4: like pace/speed combo
#3: best longshot
#2: turnback angle
#1: King Bo Bo should still be running late...
$20 Exacta: 4-3
$10 Exacta: 3-4
$20 Exacta: 4 // 1,2
$5 Tri: 3,4 // 3,4 // 1,2
$5 Tri: 4 // 1,2 // 3
Let's light up board with winners... great year & great fun with HGers every week!
Big thanks to Dan & DRF for hosting this each week!!!
Race selection for Wednesday's HandiGambling 167:
Delta Downs
01/06/2010
Race 4
Post Time: 7:15 PM CST
1 mile Dirt
OC 30k/N3X
4YO & Up
Interesting mix in an open optional claimer/NW3x. And, you can watch for free at
www.deltadowns.com
If you ever get an opportunity, you should visit the Vinton oval.  I missed Delta Jackpot for first time in four years due to snow this season!
Happy HandiGambling All!
Best Regards, dylbert

Congrats to dylbert for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  Here are the past performances for this week's race:

Download HG167

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.