02/16/2011 5:36PM

Questions and Comments


Let's get to your questions and comments.

*Hey Dan,
Thanks for last weeks info. Is there anything you can tell me about an unraced filly named Naughty or Nice ? She appears to be well bred and is working well at Palm Meadows. Do you know who is the trainer/owner?
Thank you,
*Hi Dan,
I would like add a couple other questions if I can. What can you tell me about the unraced colt Close to My Heart ? He also appears to be well bred and is working out at Palm Meadows. Also of the training tracks in So. Florida is there a way to compare work out times . Such as, if you had work outs of equal distance and time, which track's time would appear better because it is deeper and known to be slower.
Thanks Don
P.S. How is the d/l list going ?

Naughty or Nice is a three-year-old filly by Bernardini out of Evil, by Hennessy.  She was foaled on April 17, 2008 in Kentucky and is a half-sister to Tiz Wonderful, a Grade 2 winner going two turns at two.  I believe she is a Darley homebred trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. 

I'm hoping to have the DL list up in the next week or so.

Just helping Dan out a little.
I live in FL and I'm familiar with the different tracks and surfaces. There are three thoroughbred tracks in FL. Gulfstream has the fastest speed favoring surface, Calder would be second, not as fast as GP, but I'd say about average, while Tampa is a deep, tiring track. Local runners seem to do better at Calder than shippers, but I think that's mostly due to acclimation to the heat. Palm Meadows training track is similar to Gulfstream (owned by the same company). Palm Beach Downs is a little deeper than Palm Meadows. Payson is a deep (read - sink to your ankle in the sand) tiring track.I don't know that much about the surfaces of the various training centers in Ocala.
Close to My Heart (Ghostzapper - Love n' Kiss S., by Kris S.) bay colt, b. April 9, 2007 was bred by the Jackson's of Barbaro Fame and is likely a home-bred owned by their Lael Stable. Started working indifferently at Gulfstream Park in December, then moved to Palm Meadows at the end of January and switched to turf where he's really picked it up in the mornings. His last work was a blazing :four furlong move in 47.90 over the lawn.
Pedigree wise, Close To My Heart is certainly bred for distance and at this point appears to be aiming for a career as a turf router. His sire Ghostzapper was Horse of the Year and like his sire, was off to a slow start at stud, but is starting to pick it up. He's currently #4 on the third-crop sire list of earnings and his best runner to date is Stately Victor.
Close to My Heart's dam was a late bloomer, needing five starts to win her maiden, which finally came about in the middle of her three year old season. She won the Pebbles Stakes (G-3) and placed in the England's Legend Stakes at Belmont. In all, Love n' Kiss S made 22 starts, 8 wins, 4 seconds and 2 thirds earning $ 383,150. So far, the Derby Dan bred mare has produced two foals, Close To My Heart and a yearling by Elusive Quality, which sold for $13K at the FTKOCT10 sale. Love n' Kiss S has the only blacktype (stakes wins) in two generations. Her dam Barbs Dancer (by Northern Dancer) is a half sister to the Champion Sprinter Eillo and she's a half sister to the grand-dam of the good old stakes horse Gygistar. Other notable names from this family include Top Flight (G-1) winner Fleet Flat Feet and Canadian Champion Filly Catch the Ring.
Currently Ghostzapper doesn't have much in the way of offspring out of Kris S. or Roberto line mares, however his sire Awesome Again has a few winners out of Kris S. Mares, but none with blacktype.


I love the chart caller for the NYRA circuit right now, gives much more insight into the running of the races than any other major circuit that i know.
Do you know who's doing it, and whether that kind of more subjective rendering is either encouraged, discouraged or neither?
p ensign

Danny Kay is the chart caller in New York.  I don't think a subjective rendering is either encouraged or discouraged.  Each caller has their own style.


Dan......When looking through some of your past blogs I came across an interesting one from July27, 2010. In it you listed the PP's of Man o' War, War Admiral, Seattle Slew, George Washington, El Condor Pass and Harbinger. When trying to view these PP's they wouldn't come up. Do you think there is any way you could include these PP's in a future Blog. Thanks. I always enjoy your blogs.

The past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Speaking of BSFs, I noticed Chico D'Oro's promising debut in which he was second to Albergatti, and with the latter having earned a 90, it looks even better. What figure did Chico get?
Kyri Freeman

Chico d'Oro received an 87 Beyer for his debut run against Albergatti.  The Medaglia d'Oro ridgeling sold for $25,000 as a yearling before being purchased for $65,000 last year.  His dam, Colorado Song, placed in three Grade 2 events including a 105 Beyer performance in the Princess Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on dirt at Hollywood (finishing a neck behind Excellent Meeting).


Hello Dan,
I have been playing horses for over five decades and you are one of the very few, (Steven Crist being another), to whom I actually pay attention. Really love your insight, and never play a maiden at the Spa without reading you first. How about a little help. Hopefully, you guys at DRF every now and then brainstorm ideas of how to make the Form better. Can't say as I've seen a lot of new things lately other than the price keeps going up. That's OK. I could use the free stuff elsewhere, but quite frankly, it's junk. You get what you pay for. How about including the winning Beyer for each race along with the variant the BSF people came up with. Maybe this is proprietary, but its easy enough to calculate out on our own, so I don't see what the problem would be. If it's space in the running line, get rid of the drf speed/variant that nobody uses any more. Trust me on that. I know a lot of the old timers like it, but there is no one older than me and I don't use it, so it is playing to a very small audience. I know a winning figure is provided with the Moss Pace Figures, but quite frankly, Randy missed the boat with those.
Thanks for you help.

Hi Ron,  Thanks for the kind words.  I'm sure that it is a space issue for the newspaper.  It's interesting that you propose to do away with the DRF Speed Rating/Track Variant as Customer Service received a letter the other day blistering us for not having the SR/TV numbers for the current Santa Anita meeting. 
You are able to access winning Beyer Speed Figures from the Formulator Web charts, however.  They will give you the Beyer earned for every horse in a specific race.  For example, I click on GO before clicking on CHARTS.  Then, I'll get a calendar of racing dates.  I click on February 12 and then on TAMPA BAY DOWNS.  Using either the arrow feature or by tabbing a number, I pull up the Sam F. Davis chart (Race 10).  Under OPTIONS, I scroll down to BEYER FIGURES.  Here, in order of finish, I receive the speed figures for the race:

Brethren - 83
Too Experience - 76
Watch Me Go - 74
Beamer - 74
Monzon - 70
Litigate - 65
Ribo Bobo - 64
Washington's Rules - 63
Adulare - 58
Reprized Halo - 37

Another way to access winning Beyer Speed Figures is through Simulcast Daily on drf.com.  In the "Winners' Books" section, the winning Beyer is given for each race. 

Hope this helps.


On the HG 220 Form, the race type reads "OC 62K/C ".
Shouldn't this, based on the conditions, be "OC 62K/N2X" ?

It has been amended to the correct "n2x" designation.


Why doesn't DRF note the trainer name and supply the fast/slow/average work times like the track work sheets do?
Steve T.

It's one of my pet peeves that we don't supply the trainer's name, and I've brought it up to the powers-that-be many, many times.  I would assume it's a space issue for the paper, but I don't know why we don't have an online version with the additional information.


SR VEgas just got word from drf that Buffum is running in a $250000 race on 2-10-11 at Meydan all weather track with Dittori up for the mile contest does this mean he might surface here in the states if he wins this? good luck to him and good luck all MH01 PS also Annie

Buffum finished fifth in the Group 3 UAE Guineas on February 10, 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner, Splash Point. 
Splash Point, a $300,000 yearling by Bernardini out of the multiple stakes-winning sprinter Dianehill, received a 102 Racing Post Rating for the win.  He had previously compiled a 4-1-3-0 record in England while racing over turf and polytrack.  He earned his maiden victory in a seven-furlong, all-weather event at Kempton on October 26.  Splash Point's second dam, Very Subtle, won the Breeders' Cup Sprint in 1987.  We'll see if Buffum returns in the UAE Derby at Meydan on March 26.


Dan I was wondering if you have the pp on a horse named Thirty Paces thanx
Dan G

I don't have much for Thirty Paces, but what I do have is available at the bottom of this blog post.


Dialed In is generating great excitment as a come from the clouds closer. As one of your older followers, I remember Carry Back and even Silky Sullivan as two great finishers. However I have a memory of a horse, I believe named Burning On, in the late 60's in the Washington Handicap at Arlington Park making the greatest late run I ever witnessed. I want to say that he was 40-50 lengths back on the backstretch and just flew to get up. Is it possible to dig up a chart of that race?
Are there any stats on that race? I know our memories can get clouded, but I swear he was 20+ lengths back at the top of the stretch. Anything you can dig up on the horse and/or that race will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for all your excellent work Dan.

Burning On earned $109,768 as a five-year-old of 1973, winning the Washington Park Handicap and the second division of the Bowie Handicap.  He also finished second in the Congressional Handicap at Laurel, the Laurance Armour Handicap at Arlington, the Governor's Cup Handicap at Arlington, and the City of Baltimore Handicap at Pimlico.  He ran third in the first division of the Southern Maryland Handicap at Bowie, the second division of the John B. Campbell Handicap at Bowie, the Sheridan Handicap at Arlington, and the Chesapeake Handicap at Bowie.  Burning On was listed at 113 lbs. on the DRF Free Handicap for four-year-olds and upward, 19 lbs. less than highweight Riva Ridge. 
Unfortunately, I can't find a chart for any of Burning On's races. 


I am glad you mentioned about the private purchase after his maiden because I was totally confused to see him listed under Mill when I know he started under the Ramseys. I am interested in your thoughts on the sale. Do you think it means the Ramseys no longer feel he is as good as they hoped he would be, or what? Do you know who the Mill group is , or can you direct me on how to figure it out on my own. Also where can you find out about private purchases? One last question ( I know your time is valuable) what is your opinion as to Queens future direction (Queens Plate or is that not realistic)?

I think the Ramseys were probably offered a pretty good deal and jumped at it.  It's possible that they don't think he's a true Grade 1 horse, but it's impossible to know for sure.
The Mill House group (operated in partnership by former U. S. Treasure Secretary Nicholas Brady) owns/has owned some good horses including Trappe Shot, Hour Glass, Brilliant, and America Alive. 
I simply assumed it was a private purchase after knowing that the Ramsey's owned this horse previously and then did some research online. 
There are plenty of options for Queens'platekitten's next start.  He could stay on grass, run in a synthetic prep like the Lane's End at Turfway, Blue Grass at Keeneland, and/or Lexington at Keeneland, try the dirt, or prep for the Canadian Triple Crown.  These are good options to have.


Could you explain to me the effect of weight in horse racing? So, what is the impact of assigning more weight to a horse in a handicap race? I have heard both opinions: positive or negative; so could you offer some info on both viewpoints?
*What was the Beyer figure for Shackleford?

The object of weight, especially in handicap races, is to equal the playing field among runners.  Let's say that Kelso ran against a bunch of Zippy Chippys in the FormBlog Futurity.  On paper, it wouldn't be much of a race and wouldn't be bettable, so to give the other horses a competitive chance (and some brave punters a possible incentive to bet on the other horses), we would assign Kelso much more weight in the hope of evening things out. 
Some handicappers and horsemen swear that weight makes a difference and that added weight is detrimental to the health and longevity of a top horse. 
Others shrug their shoulders and wonder whether an extra 3-4 lbs. assigned to a 1,200 lb. beast is really going to matter. 
I don't really consider weight that much in my handicapping unless the spread is extremely out of the ordinary.

You had asked a question just before Dan had to leave for awhile. You asked what Beyer SHACKLEFORD got for his last race. I believe it was an 89. The Triple Crown Nominations list shows the highest Beyer for each nominee, and I am assuming his highest Beyer was his last one. Hope that helps.


My Selection is #6 Lieve
2 really good prep races, sprint on grass then route on grass then the trainer knows where he is at with this horse and puts stamina works into him. Lieve won Grade 3 and 2nd in Grade 1 overseas at this distance on turf. Trainer stats over 21% turf routes and a hot turf jockey in Nakatani. Price will be good. It appears Elieve is ready for a big race.
Wager is $50 to win
$40 Exacta 6 over 8
$10 Tri 6/8/7

Congrats to Ron B for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  He selects the seventh race at Santa Anita for Friday, February 18 as this week's race.


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. 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.

Best of luck to all.


Man o' War.pdf65.22 KB
War Admiral.pdf66.44 KB
Seattle Slew.pdf66.94 KB
Foreign Stars.pdf75.41 KB
Thirty Paces.pdf30.63 KB
HG221.pdf160.61 KB
daniel aguirre More than 1 year ago
The winner of the bluegrass was not Brilliant Speed. it was the horse on the inside of him King Congie who was the winner,, how and the hell do the photo takers make Brilliant Speed the winner >?? i have a very intricate video system that clearly shows the winner of the Bluegrass..I stopped the race replay several time on ,at and after the finish line and it clearly shows King Congie as the winner,,If you don't believe me look and see for yourselves. There should be an investigation in this race.. it s a bunch of horse-crap.... daniel a
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
2/17/11 MKB workouts: -Palm Meadows dirt /fast Economic Summit - 4F 0:48.40 Breezing Mike A ...aka Uncle Mike :) Tiz Blessed - 4 F 0:49.00 Breezing - Dan Illman, yes you are Tiz Blessed :) Leave of Absence - 4F 0:49.40 - Tmonty , no longer Absent & working consistently. -Santa Anita dirt/good Astrology - 5F 1:03.20 Handily - Dale ..what sign are you :) Annie Thanks for mentioning the MKB owners ( including VQ- Sinai ) in the G2 San Vicente. Here is the complete list of entries: http://www1.drf.com/static/entries/20/eSA20.html#8 Good Luck to ALL! _____________________________________________________________ RTTR (Road to the Roses ) notes... As Laura has noted, Scoring races start 2/26 ....so none of our MKB horses will get points this weekend...bummer! AND Uncle Mo may be looking at a 'new' race ...That is NOT on the RTTR list of prep races. From theDRF home page: http://www.drf.com/news/pletcher-considering-new-gulfstream-race-uncle-mo-debut Just some things to think about when setting up your stable this week.. Have fun!
Annie More than 1 year ago
MKB UPDATE: Oh boy! It looks like MKB horses will take home ALL the money in the Risen Star tomorrow. Top five places for sure! BLACKSTONE'S Rogue Romance 3-1 Favorite (So much for staying under the radar.) :) ALYDARANDEASY'S Mucho Macho Man 4-1 SHERPA'S Decisive Moment 9-2 DENNIS OF MOLINE'S new horse, Pants On Fire 6-1 DEL MAR DENNIS' Machen 6-1 ROB ANDERSON'S Santiva 6-1 CHAAZZ' Justin Phillip 8-1 Good luck all!! And DYLBERT gets to see them all in person. Have fun! Annie
bobc More than 1 year ago
HG 221 #7 Patriotic Viva Was in over her head in last. Otherwise dirt form is terrific. Working well over track. #3 Sweet Sophia Has shown speed over turf. Hoping a switch to dirt is what whe wants. Best work of 55 on Feb. 6 is encouraging. Wager: $ 50 Win #7 $50 $20 Win #3 $20 $15 ex box 3/ 7 $30
don More than 1 year ago
Hey Dan, If you have time, or if Laura is available, could you give me a run down on an unraced colt named Danehill Sunset and do you have any new news on Frankel ? Thanks as always, Don
dylber More than 1 year ago
HG 221 Been spending more time on Saturday's FG card than HG exercise this week... but gotta play! Really, really like #5 Supermodel who looks like prime suspect for stretchout, add GoGo, and I'm sold. Let's play $100 WIN on #5 Supermodel... Saturday, Fair Grounds, four Graded stakes, Corned Beef sandwiches, Paddock Bar with Bloody Marys, cold beer... ahh, I LOVE THIS GAME!!!
Annie More than 1 year ago
Ten Cent, Way to encourage VAN SAVANT. And what do you mean? Have you heard something about DA RULER going on the shelf? Does he need another horse already? What? Did you buy a timeshare in a computer or something? You need to get connected! :) Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
VQ, At least you'll finally get to see a horse of yours in action. And so quickly, too. :) Good luck with SINAI on Sunday! Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, If you would be so kind, would you use your magic cut and paste skills to re-post the list of new horses for the MKB owners to Dan's new thread when he puts it up? It's liable to get buried on this thread and you know how some have trouble when they have to try to read different 20-post segments. I want to make sure everyone knows who their new horse is. :) Thank you. Annie
don More than 1 year ago
Hi Dan, I was hoping you might be able to help me, apparently I wrote down the name wrong of a unraced 3 yo colt who worked out at Gulfstream on 2/5 . He worked a bullet 4f in 46.30 hg. I wrote down his name as Promising End but it must be wrong seeing as I can't find him in any data base and I have deleted that days workouts. Thanks for your help, Don