01/13/2016 4:55PM

Record-setting 'Rumor


FAST FLYING RUMOR administered a beating to nine rivals in last Saturday's $100,000 Turf Dash Stakes traveling five furlongs on the turf.

In doing so, the 4-year-old gelding earned the highest Beyer Speed Figure ever awarded to a runner at Tampa Bay Downs.

Fast Flying Rumor completed the gate-to-wire blitzkrieg in 55.06 seconds after rattling off fractions of 21.03 and 43.72. The final time was good for a 108 Beyer. The previous Beyer record at Tampa was the 106 awarded to Oh So Striking for a seven-furlong dirt allowance win on April 5, 1997.

The 11 to 1 sixth choice in the Turf Dash wagering, Fast Flying Rumor immediately asserted himself as the boss. He outsprinted the fleet multiple stakes-winning mare RICHES SWEETHEART to the lead and the rail, shrugged her away turning for home and drew off with authority. Favored POWER ALERT, a Grade 3 winner making his first start since July 11, tried hard, but was no match for the winner. Stakes-winner NIGHT OFFICER, BEANTOWN SAINT, multiple stakes-winner SUCCESSFUL NATIVE, NORMANDY CROSSING, Richies Sweetheart, stakes-winners ANCIL and GALLERY, and HASHTAG GIDDY UP completed the order of finish.

Although Fast Flying Rumor was racing in good form entering the Turf Dash - he had just won his optional claiming prep over the same course and distance on December 11 - this dominating effort came out of nowhere. He received an 87 Beyer for last month's win and that figure was his co-fastest race to date after 13 starts.

Can we trust his Turf Dash number?

"In our calculations at 5 furlongs, 4 ¾ lengths (his winning margin) equals 15 points,” Andy Beyer wrote to the Tampa Bay Downs Publicity Department following Fast Flying Rumor's win. “With the winner earning a 108, runner-up Power Alert – a high-class stakes horse – gets a 93, a typical figure for him. Third-place finisher Night Officer, another length back, earned a figure of 89, after recording numbers of 89, 91 and 91 in his prior three starts.”

So, where did this race come from?

“In his last start he had run head-and-head in blazing fractions against a monster speed horse (third-place finisher Rivzinthehouse),” Beyer continued.  “(Saturday) he got loose from the field, and horses usually improve under such circumstances.”

Bred by Gilbert G. Campbell, Fast Flying Rumor was foaled in Florida on April 10, 2012. His sire, the late West Acre, was unraced, but boasted a strong Claiborne Farm family and was given an opportunity in the Florida market. He sired graded winners Ivanavinalot (dam of Songbird), Tampa Bay Derby winner Watch Me Go and Speak Easy Gal.

Fast Flying Rumor is out of the unraced mare Silver Scandal (by Silver Deputy), a half-sister to stakes-winning turf miler On My Dime, multiple European stakes-winning turfer Arch Rebel and multiple stakes-placed dirt performer Livin for Love.

Fast Flying Rumor breezed a furlong in 10 seconds flat at the OBS 2014 June Two-Year-Olds & Horses of Racing Age auction, and was listed as sold for $35,000.

He made his career debut for trainer Kathleen O'Connell and finished second in a 5 1/2-furlong, $25,000 maiden seller at Tampa Bay on January 7, 2015. Eighteen days later, he graduated in a similar spot and was claimed by trainer Gerald Bennett.

Fast Flying Rumor was useful on dirt and synthetic in his next few starts for Bennett. He finished second in the $75,000 Sophomore Stakes at seven furlongs on dirt at Tampa on April 4, and was second in the $100,000 Tom Ridge Stakes going six panels on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs the following month.

It seems that sprinting on the turf is truly Fast Flying Rumor's niche. He made his surface debut on June 14, upsetting the $56,000 Select Stakes at Monmouth in gate-to-wire fashion. After finishing off the board in his next three races and being diagnosed with a case of the thumps, Fast Flying Rumor was given some time off before his winning Turf Dash prep.

Following the Turf Dash, Bennett mentioned to track publicity that he had already received offers for Fast Flying Rumor. He deserves a shot in better-class races and will likely head out of town for his next assignment.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 1/5/16 - 1/11/16:

1. FAST FLYING RUMOR - 108 - Turf Dash Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 9Jan16-3TAM
2. HEART TO HEART - 104 - Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 9Jan16-10GP
3. CALIFORNIA CHROME - 103 - San Pasqual Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 9Jan16-8SA
3. MSHAWISH - 103 - Hal's Hope Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - 9Jan16-7GP
5. SANDIVA (IRE) - 100 - Marshua's River Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 9Jan16-4GP
6. CAT BURGLAR - 98 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - 8Jan16-3SA
7. LA VERDAD - 96 - Interborough Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 9Jan16-3AQU
8. EIGHTY THREE - 95 - Alw 67000N1X - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 9Jan16-8AQU
8. FOLLOW ME CREV - 95 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 9Jan16-7SA
10. COUNTY CORRECTIONS - 92 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 10Jan16-7FG
10. JAY GATSBY - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 9Jan16-6GP
12. ONE KING'S MAN - 91 - OC 35k/C -N - 1 Mile - 7Jan16-8FG
13. LAYTHATPISTOLDOWN - 90 - Clm c-16000 - 7 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 6Jan16-6GP
13. ROCKET TIME - 90 - OC 62k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - 8Jan16-7FG
13. TOLEDO EDDIE - 90 - OC c-20k/N1X - 1 Mile - 7Jan16-2SA
13. ZOOMING - 90 - Clm 30000(30-25)B - 1 Mile (Turf) - 8Jan16-4FG
17. AMERICAN PRIDE - 89 - OC 40k/N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 9Jan16-3SA
17. DEFER HEAVEN - 89 - Clm 6250 - 6 Furlongs - 10Jan16-6GP
17. SAYTHREEHAILMARY'S - 89 - Ladies Handicap - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Dirt) - 10Jan16-3AQU
17. SNUGGLEY BEAR - 89 - Clm 35000(35-30)B - 1 1/8 Miles - 8Jan16-2LRL
21. LUCKYSDREAM - 88 - Clm 10000 - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 5Jan16-4MVR
21. LU RAE'S LUCKY SKY - 88 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 10Jan16-8FG
21. MEAN SEASON - 88 - OC 40k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - 9Jan16-8LRL
21. REIGNING CATFISH - 88 - OC15k/SAL7k - 6 Furlongs - 8Jan16-5FG
25. AMERICAN CREED - 87 - Clm c-25000 - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 8Jan16-5AQU
25. DEEP SEA - 87 - Md Sp Wt 36k - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 7Jan16-6GP
25. FOND OF SARAH - 87 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 8Jan16-8GP
25. JULES N ROME - 87 - Alw 67000N1X - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - 7Jan16-8AQU
25. NO HIDING PLACE - 87 - Alw 18119N2L - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 7Jan16-7TP

*FAST FLYING RUMOR's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*LAYTHATPISTOLDOWN was claimed for $16,000 by trainer Jane Cibelli from Jorge Navarro.

*TOLEDO EDDIE was claimed for $20,000 by trainer Robertino Diodoro from Craig Dollase.

*AMERICAN CREED was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Michelle Nevin from Chris Englehart.


Dan, can you explain one thing to me? I've seen posted in the PP's that there are horses that can be entered into a claiming race and be excluded from being claimed. I've seen the term "WAVER". So... the next thing I did was to re-read the conditions of the race at the top of the PP's, but no mention of this "waver" term used anywhere. Can you clear this for me? Is a horse excluded from being claimed a positive or negative in handicapping? Thanks, Milton (Biovalhorse)
Milton Malla

If you are referring to races in California, they have a new rule that allows horses that have been off for 6 months or more to run back in a claiming race the first time as not eligible to be claimed. It can actually be a positive because the trainers can run them where they think they can win without worrying about them being claimed. Just the fact that they don't want the horse claimed is a bit of a vote of confidence.
This bit of info can be used in reverse too, as if a horse is eligible for the waiver but they run it to be claimed anyway, it's like they have a big "for sale" sign on them. Means they don't care if they lose them. Hope this helps.


Video stakes analyses for many of the weekend's major stakes will be available later this week at http://www.drf.com/videos

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

I'll be with Matt Bernier and Mike Beer for live coverage of selected races at Aqueduct, Gulfstream, Santa Anita, Oaklawn and Fair Grounds beginning at 3pm ET at live.drf.com.


Here's a note from SR Vegas concerning an NHC Tournament blog get-together in Las Vegas:

To Everyone:
The 2016 FORMBLOGERS CONVENTION  February 19 - 21 at Gulfstream Park is a wonderful weekend and our Laura does a fantastic job in coordinating all the activities there. Please attend if you can !

As an alternative, I’d also like you to think about The Formblog–mini–West-Coast get-together at The NHC Tournament in Las Vegas.

Dates: January  28-30

If you are coming to town, please raise your hand. I'll be putting together a casual cocktail/dinner meet and greet for our Formblog friends on Jan 27th and a post tournament brunch on  Jan 31 (for those who have later flights that day). Details TBD.

Whether you are a qualifier, friends or family coming to town to root them on, or enjoying your time in Las Vegas, let me know.

Anyone interested ? Please contact me at:



Here's a message from Laura regarding our 2016 FormBlog Convention at Gulfstream Park:

Make plans to attend the 2016 FORMBLOGERS CONVENTION! February 19 - 21 at Gulfstream Park. Courtesy of our generous benefactor, Mike Nyman, we once again have a private suite - temperamental wagering machine included.
Room discounts at the Hampton Inn across the street from the track are available. With the discount, the rooms run about $200/night including taxes and free breakfast buffet. (The Romance Package is extra and hotel management is very strict about that).
We always have a fun time - even when the track gets washed away! Besides the pleasure of each other's company - and that of our fearless leader, Dan Who, there will be Breeders' Cup swag, and more! Previous years, courtesy of SR Vegas, we included Derby Futures Tickets given in raffles throughout the weekend (everyone winds up with one!), and other fun stuff.
I'll have more info available in the next few weeks. I offer FREE! transportation to/from the Ft. Lauderdale airport.
If you have any questions, please contact me at: lross@imtbreds.com


Congrats to Kenny G for winning last week's HandiGambling contest.

We'll go with Saturday's Sunshine Millions Classic for this week's exercise.


Rick M's HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:

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 SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING .

1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.

2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.

3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR 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 identify who you are.

4. (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.

5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # 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 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.

HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100

Thanks Dan!




Copy of HG 1 09 16 Ft Lauderdale (Rick M ).xls15.86 KB