03/18/2015 2:27PM

Race Day moves forward


RACE DAY (profiled here on the New Year's Eve edition of FormBlog - http://www.drf.com/blogs/gulfstream-horses-watch) continued his ascent in the handicap division with a solid triumph in last Saturday's Grade 3 Razorback Handicap going 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Race Day was a bit eager while tracking MIDNIGHT HAWK's pace from the two path under John Velazquez. Entering the far turn, it appeared that Race Day would inhale Midnight Hawk en route to a big score, but the pacesetter dug his heels in along the inside.

Race Day had to fight in the stretch and came out late under a left-handed whip. The gray Tapit colt had just enough to deny Midnight Hawk's resurgent bid. Race Day completed the distance over the sealed, "Good" racetrack in 1:44.88, and received a 106 Beyer Speed Figure.

As for the Razorback also-rans, UNTAPABLE and CARVE might not have cared for the wet conditions. The former, making his first start of the season after completing his 3-year-old campaign with a runner-up effort behind Goldencents in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, especially deserves another chance. RIDE ON CURLIN desperately needs a cutback in distance.

It was the third consecutive triple-digit Beyer for Race Day since he was purchaed by Matthew Schera for $285,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November auction.

After annihilating a field that included next-out Sunshine Millions Classic winner Sr. Quisqueyano in an 'n2x' optional claimer at Gulfstream on December 21 (video available at the above link), Race Day then placed third in the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes on February 7.

In the Hooper, Race Day was sandwiched at the start and forced to check hard during the opening furlong. He was definitely in behind the eight ball over a track that seemed to favor horses on or near the pace. Race Day came with a three-wide bid on the turn, but couldn't reel in VALID and GRANDE SHORES, two horses that were vying for the lead throughout.

Pletcher mentioned the Grade 2, $1.5 million Charles Town Classic on April 18 as a possible next destination for Race Day. I'm not sure as to his eventual ceiling, but Race Day seems like a nice fit at the Grade 2 level at middle distances.


Here are the top WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 3/10/15 - 3/16/15:

1. SOUPER LUCKY - 110 - OC 40k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 12Mar15-4LRL
2. RACE DAY - 106 - Razorback Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 14Mar15-8OP
3. CURIOUS CAL - 101 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 13Mar15-8AQU
4. AMERICAN PHAROAH - 100 - Rebel Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 14Mar15-10OP
4. MAGICAL MOMENT - 100 - Clm 30000(30-25)B - 6 Furlongs - 15Mar15-9FG
6. POWER ALERT (AUS) - 99 - Silks Run Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 14Mar15-11GP
7. WARREN'S VENEDA - 98 - Santa Margarita (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 14Mar15-8SA
8. FOR GREATER GLORY - 97 - OC 50k/N2Y -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 12Mar15-8OP
8. GOLD MEDAL DANCER - 97 - Azeri Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 14Mar15-7OP
8. ROCK FALL - 97 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 15Mar15-11GP
11. DEMANDER - 96 -OC 25k/N1X -N - 7 Furlongs - 15Mar15-8GP
11. MONTY HAUL - 96 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 Mile - 14Mar15-5GP
13. JACK'S IN THE DECK - 95 - OC 40k/C -N - 15Mar15-8LRL
13. ROMAN THREAT - 95 - OC10k/SAL5k - 7 Furlongs - 12Mar15-7DED
15. TAYLOR S - 94 - Any Limit Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 14Mar15-4GP
16. GHOST HUNTER - 93 - OC 32k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 40 Yards - 11Mar15-7TAM
16. PAGANOL - 93 - Alw 66500N1X - 1 1/16 Miles - 15Mar15-8OP
18. BIG GUY IAN - 92 - OC 32k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - 14Mar15-6LRL
18. LIVING THE LIFE (IRE) - 92 - Camilla Urso Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 14Mar15-7GG
18. MARINO'S WILD CAT - 92 - Alw 40062NC - 1 Mile (Tapeta) - 15Mar15-2GG
21. FOREST CHATTER - 91 - OC 40k/N1X -N - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 14Mar15-7SA
21. SWEET SWAP - 91 - OC 80k/C -N - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 13Mar15-7SA
21. TALCO (FR) - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 12Mar15-7SA
24. COLE'S MAGIC VOW - 90 - OC 30k/N4L - 5 Furlongs - 14Mar15-9DED
24. DAZZLING OKIE - 90 - Alw 8000s - 1 1/8 Miles - 15Mar15-2OP
24. ESCROW KID - 90 - Clm 20000(20-18) - 1 Mile - 13Mar15-2LRL
24. EXQUISITE LADY - 90 - OC 50k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - 13Mar15-6HAW
24. HOOP OF COLOUR - 90 - Santa Ana Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 15Mar15-7SA
24. LAYTHATPISTOLDOWN - 90 - Clm 17500(17.5-15) - 1 1/16 Miles - 14Mar15-8FG
24. MY JEALOUS - 90 - Clm 16000(16-14) - 1 Mile - 12Mar15-4SA

*The lifetime past performances for SOUPER LUCKY are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Dan can you give OP trainer Kenny Smith's win percentages over the last five years? Seemed to me he was cold for quite a while then got a rebirth of sorts. Now has the Cobalt issue to address.

Here are Kenny Smith's win percentages since 2010:

2010: 36 for 307 (11%)
2011: 32 for 304 (10%)
2012:  32 for 295 (10%)
2013: 50 for 288 (17%)
2014: 28 for 297 (9%)
2015: 7 for 66 (10%)


For those of you beginning to come down with a dose of Kentucky Derby fever, I've posted the lifetime past performances of the last 22 winners. Let me know if you find any interesting patterns.


Annie and SR Vegas have compiled an updated version of "The 2015 MKB Book of Kentucky Derby Prospects." I have attached it to the bottom of this blog post. Enjoy!


You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Remember to tune in to DRF LIVE's streaming coverage Wednesday thru Saturday beginning at 12:30 pm.  I'll be with Matt Bernier recapping, previewing, handicapping and, hopefully, winning.


Congrats to Rodney for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling tournament.

Let's go with Saturday's Spiral Stakes from Turfway for this week's HandiGambling event.

Rick M's scoresheet is 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.


-  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!




Souper Lucky.pdf722.41 KB
Copy of Formblog Gulfstream 3-14-15.xls73.5 KB
2015 MKB Bio Document 2 10 15.pdf394.86 KB
HGTP.pdf171.66 KB
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
DavidM, I hope you had your Tripski ATB! VS, Great story!!!! That may beat my crazy story about meeting someone connected to the CEO of Churchill and how Mom and I ended up in his private set of boxes and in the Turf Club for the BC in 2000. All because the lady next to me on the plane asked me if I could teach her how to read the Daily Racing Form. I believe FuPeg was unplaced in the Classic that day when Tiznow won. I don't think I knew before it that you and Mrs. VS had attended a Derby, that's exciting too. I'm sitting here listening to the news that the Germanwing's plane's co-pilot may have deliberately crashed the plane. Being that I flew out of Barcelona just a day before makes it especially creepy and really really sad. May God help all those poor lost souls and their families.
Sinatra Jeter More than 1 year ago
Annie: Thanks for the link of 2 days ago. Busy working and was unable to keep up. TurfRuler
Alan Levitt More than 1 year ago
HG FUTURES WAGER I assume MKB owners get first dibs on their babies in the Derby preps. If the Florida Derby happens to get chosen for HG this weekend, I place a Futures wager on: $100 Win #7 Materiality Good luck this weekend! Alan
sillysusan sillysusan More than 1 year ago
Annie, Good Luck in the contest! BTW, I feel sure Upstart will do you proud! You don't need a win, here. Better not, imo. Better odds for the Derby.:) knm
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
David M, Congratulations on picking TRIPSKI in GP 2nd!!! Hope you reconsidered and put him with the favorite. :) Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MKB UPDATE: The Louisiana Derby will be loaded with MKBs! MIKE O'S International Star TMONTY'S Keen Ice WILSON PRINCE'S War Story EDDIE BUSTER LEWIS' Mr. Z PAUL G/BIGGAR W'S Stanford BROTHER TOM'S St. Joe Bay Good luck to all of you!!! Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
David M, LOL! Apparently, me too. When I played the first Canterbury contest, I wasn't aware that the play was for win, place, show. Well, I checked out this Sat.'s contest, and the UAE Derby is not part of the sequence, only the Florida and Louisiana Derbys. :) Well, its still important which one of the MKBs will win the UAE Derby for obvious reasons. :) Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Speaking of Dubai, I see CALIFORNIA CHROME drew the outside post 9 in the Dubai World Cup, just like my UPSTART drew the outside post 9 in the Florida Derby. Is it good for CHROME, but bad for UPSTART? Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good to see some discussion on the Dubai races, but with the Canterbury tourney looming, the important race is the UAE Derby. Will the winner be TURF RULER'S Maftool, with Godolphin wanting so badly to win a Kentucky Derby and needing the points in the UAE Derby? Or will it be WHACKYMACKY'S Mubtaahij, with Mike de Kock chomping on the bit to have a Kentucky Derby horse? Thoughts, gentlemen? :) Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sherri Craft, Congratulations for winning the HG!!! We "Blue Thongs" always like to see one of "ours" win. :) Annie