05/27/2015 12:11PM

Red Vine blooming on dirt


RED VINE certainly hasn't eclipsed his stablemate, TONALIST, just yet, but the 5-year-old bay continues to move forward in his "second career" as a dirt performer.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Red Vine made it 3 for 3 on the main track with a workmanlike victory in last Saturday's $75,000 Majestic Light Stakes traveling 1 Mile and 70 Yards at Monmouth.

Ridden by Joe Bravo, who earlier on the card became the 31st rider in history to win 5,000 career races, favored Red Vine took a light bump coming out of the gate in the field of five. Arguably, Bravo won the race going into the first turn as he eased Red Vine back from in between rivals and settled into a comfortable spot tracking the pace along the rail.

Up front, the hard-knocking Grade 2 winner VALID set legitimate fractions of 23.17 and 46.22. After six furlongs in 1:10.08, Bravo eased Red Vine off the inside and set sail after the pacesetter. Red Vine showed good agility on the turn, collared Valid turning for home and drew off to a comfortable two-length victory. Red Vine completed the distance in 1:40.51 and received a career-best 106 Beyer Speed Figure.

"I had a beautiful trip," Bravo told track publicity after the Majestic Light. "Christophe (trainer Clement) told me this morning to just guide the horse into a good position and he will do the rest. All I had to do was be a passenger and the horse answered the call when I asked. He keeps on improving with each start.”

Bred by Alastar Thoroughbred Co., Red Vine was foaled in Kentucky on March 13, 2010. By the undefeated multiple Grade/Group 1 winner Candy Ride (123 Beyer when hammering Medaglia d'Oro in the Pacific Classic on dirt at Del Mar in 2003), Red Vine sold for $200,000 as a yearling, and was a $290,000 RNA the following spring at Fasig-Tipton.

Considering the pedigree, it isn't a surprise that the connections raced Red Vine exclusively on turf at the beginning of his career. The dam, Murky Creek (by Storm Creek), won twice on grass and is a half-sister to millionaire Fort Prado, a multiple Grade 3 winner routing on the lawn. The second dam, Fort Pond (by Fortunate Prospect), was a stakes-winner on turf and dirt at five furlongs.

While Red Vine was no slouch on turf - he received a 99 Beyer Speed Figure when second in an 'n2x' optional claimer at Belmont last spring - he was more of a nibbler that was having trouble getting through his conditions. When an optional claiming event at Aqueduct was washed off the grass on December 4, Clement allowed Red Vine to compete on dirt and the horse showed a new killer instinct. He handled that field without much fuss, and then beat the solid KID CRUZ in Red Vine's seasonal debut at the Big A on April Fool's Day.

Considering Red Vine's recent string of successful efforts, it's hard to imagine him even looking at the turf for the near future. A race like the Grade 3 Salvator Mile Stakes at Monmouth on July 5 is one possibility for his next assignment.


Here are the top WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 5/19 - 5/25:

1. RED VINE - 106 - Majestic Light Stakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 23May15-11MTH
2. LEDOLOL - 105 - OC 62k/C - 7 Furlongs - 21May15-7GP
3. ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR - 102 - Charles Whittingham Stakes (G2) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 24May15-3SA
4. BOBCAT JIM - 100 - Ed Skinner Memorial Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 23May15-8PRM
5. MAJESTIC CITY - 99 - Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 25May15-9LS
6. BIRDLOVER (GB) - 98 - Mizdirection Stakes - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 22May15-7SA
6. DISTINCTIV PASSION - 98 - Los Angeles Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs - 25May15-3SA
6. G. G. RYDER - 98 - All American Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Tapeta) - 25May15-8GG
6. LUBASH - 98 - Kingston Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 25May15-8BEL
6. RELOAD - 98 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 22May15-8BEL
11. ROOM FOR ME - 97 - OC 100k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - 24May15-3BEL
11. STACKED DECK - 97 - OC 80k/C -N - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 22May15-7WO
13. DONITA'S RULER - 95 - My Juliet Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 23May15-8PRX
13. EMPIRE DREAMS - 95 - Commentator Stakes - 1 Mile - 25May15-3BEL
13. KENZADARGENT (FR) - 95 - Miss Liberty Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 25May15-10MTH
16. AMMAROO - 94 - OC 30k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - 21May15-8PRM
16. SKY TREASURE - 94 - Nassau Stakes (G2-C) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 23May15-8WO
18. DYNAMIC STRIKE - 93 - OC 32k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 23May15-9PIM
18. EL SEVENTYSEVEN - 93 - Honor the Hero Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 25May15-7CBY
18. HARD NOT TO LIKE - 93 - Gamely Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 25May15-8SA
21. ATOMIC RULE - 92 - Clm 40000(40-35) - 1 1/16 Miles (Tapeta) - 22May15-6GG
21. IRON FIST - 92 - Md Sp Wt 57k - 1 Mile - 25May15-5SA
21. MORNING CALM - 92 - Raymond Earl Stakes - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 25May15-6GP
21. POINT PIPER - 92 - Alw 22000N3L - 1 Mile - 25May15-8LS
25. BAGG O'DAY - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 22May15-7CD
25. BARREL OF LOVE - 91 - OC c-40k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 20May15-8BEL
25. CANDY WALTZ - 91 - DnKMemrial30k - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 23May15-6IND
25. HAZARDS OF LOVE - 91 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 1/8 Miles - 24May15-8CD
25. HEY PRETTY BOY - 91 - Clm c-5000B - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 25May15-4AP
25. SEA SHADOW - 91 - Winter Melody Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 20May15-8DEL
25. THE TRUTH OR ELSE - 91 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 22May15-7BEL

*RED VINE's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*BARREL OF LOVE was claimed for $40,000 by trainer Diane Balsamo from Chad Brown.

*HEY PRETTY BOY was claimed for $5,000 by trainer John Haran from Larry Rivelli.


I sent a file to Dan to post that shows the track layout of Gulfstream and Churchill side-by-side (from the Breeders Cup website). It is pretty apparent how much tighter CD is than GP when you look at them next to each other. Which makes sense because GP is a 9F track with an 898' stretch (90' width) and Churchill is a one mile track with a 1234.5' stretch (80' width).
Steve T

That file is available at the bottom of this blog post.


You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Remember to check out DRF LIVE's handicapping coverage. Matt Bernier and I will be handicapping Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 12:30 ET. We'll be on Saturday at 2pm. You can catch it at live.drf.com.


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

Rick M's official scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

Let's go with Saturday's Californian from Santa Anita for this week's exercise.


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!




RED VINE.pdf721.98 KB
Track Layout.JPG77.25 KB
Copy of Formblog Santa Anita Turf 5-23-15.xls75.5 KB
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A few seconds thus pardon my gripe to NYRA and DRF...will then post some thoughts on racing this weekend as the excitement is building. I have no issue with the maximum cap of 90k people on Belmont Stakes Day as I have been to the Belmont Stakes a few times and it is not a fun experience when the facilities are not working, long lines to make bets with tellers who are slow and having to stand 20 rows deep on the grandstand to watch nothing if you don't wait an hour before the race to secure a good spot. It will be interesting to see if Belmont will actually meet the 90k threshold because (a) tickets won't be sold at Belmont and (b) they have forced people to purchase via ticketmaster. Yes, they say its 15 dollars a ticket, hiding the fact that ticketmaster adds an extra 4.50 for service charge. That is a slap in the face to the fans. Unfortunately NYRA does not allow fans to the infield area because that will easily boost attendance, handle, albeit the trade off is a lot of drunken patrons. American Pharaoh, if he wins the Triple Crown will help bring awareness BUT will not do the one thing that is needed, new gamblers. Not only will American Pharaoh run at most 3 times before he calls it a career ; don't forget there is still no off track betting facility in NYC and even if some child is fascinated about racing...whereas in the past you could go with a parent to OTB and have them bet, its doubtful parents will go to the track or even open up an account and allow their child to bet. Also, for your mobile nyrarewards system that was recently launched. Please fix it...Belmont Race 1 went off today at 12:50 pm (usually at 1:20pm) and when I logged in at 12:30, not knowing it was an early post, the site indicates 99MTP. I will be glad to bet via mobile but please thoroughly test and deploy the needed fix before you go to production. As for DRF...its not hard but why can't the technicians fix the DRF website. A lot of people use mobile device, whether their phone, iPads, etc and yet the website is impossible to view on those devices. A few months back, it would resize but not anymore as what you see on your desktop is what you see on your mobile. Also, fix the issue with people logging in with their yahoo or gmail account. It's not that difficult ; this is the tech age....get with it already.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bolo has been beating the same horses (on turf) that Papacoolpapacool was, in a fairly similar way, to similar margins. Even allowing for how people overuse the language, calling Bolo a "potential superstar in the 3 YO turf division", as TVG did the other day, is quite over the top ("superstar" is someone else's word, not mine, but if I hear "3YO turf superstar", Manila, who won the Turf Classic & BC Turf at 3, might come to mind …… that is a big mountain for anyone to climb, let alone one who has yet to beat stakes company of his own age). At this point with Bolo – for the next race – it will be a not only of question of distance but whether he can make fully 2 steps up in competition. His win Friday was workmanlike, good, but I wasn't overly enamored with him coming home – what he did then will not cut it next month. The assumption when one carries on galloping like that is that he would have more to give if "wound up" and hard-ridden, but it is not always the case. Papacoolpapacool I don't think got exactly the trip he'd have wanted, but nonetheless did not do much to impress. He looked, as Mike said, one of a bunch of decent ones. At the third viewing, I finally felt like I got a satisfactory physical read on Eh Cumpari, and it confirmed the impression I got from his last couple trips (and the one on Saturday). He is just a bit tall, quite leggy, and his quarters are more triangular than rounded. He is a galloper and lacks kick, and his build suggests that this is not going to change. How far he will ultimately want to go, we'll see. I suspect it will matter little, since a pure gallopers' race isn't going to come until you go past 12F, that is unlikely for him, and we lack enough of those races here anyway. The way Saturday's race was run could not have suited him worse, with the bone slow pace followed by a dash the last 3/8ths, and frankly, the company was a bit much, at least at the top end. When you look back at the Palm Beach, he sat well off an honest pace, started his run into the far turn, went very wide to no detriment, and just kept galloping. So, the thought here is that he needs pace to run at, to sit off of it and make a long, steady run at it, and is not well-suited physically to a tight track. That is a narrow set of circumstances. But at least when they come around, he may be a good price. If he stays healthy, he should be around a while. It looked to me like Divisidero always had the measure of Takeover Target, although he had to be driven on a bit late to get there. Considering the way the race was run, he was again very impressive. Physically he is of modest scope, well balanced, excellent hind quarters (acceleration), and showed good poise. The suspicion after the late kick he showed in his prep race was that Takeover Target was probably second best. The hope was that he wasn't, but as it turned out, he was. Last year Adelaide and Gailo Chop came over for the Belmont Derby; hopefully we get a couple of similarly good ones this year. I see this gem this morning from Marcus Hersh on DRF Live: "Apparently, in some corners of the North American racing world, there is a murmuring clamor for stayers’ races, and Belmont has heard that call, offering up the inaugural running of the Gold Cup around three turns at two miles on turf." …… Me being forwardly placed in this bizarre pack of people "clamoring" for a proper proportion of stayers' races (ya know, like everywhere else in the world does ….. those of us who don't hold 8.5 & 9F on dirt, endlessly, quite so dear in our hearts) must be the reason that I remember that they did run this race for the first time LAST YEAR. Good grief. Nooooooo! Al Kazeem picked an injury to his foreleg in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, will miss the Prince of Wales's and Eclipse, probably out until the Fall at best. Prof Molesap – Hopefully someone else will have something as well, but I will post something tomorrow on it – don't have notes with me right now. Al
Harold Crenshaw More than 1 year ago
My two cents about Frosted.....I see him as a HUGE bet against in the Belmont for anything better than 4th....In fact I will make the Bold Statement HE AIN"T WINNING....and HE AIN"T finishing 2nd. I love race shape and running style....and what that translates too in different distance or distance changes. A classic MONEY burner is in a 6 furlong dead closer stretching out to a route. I almost automatically throw them out. Conversely one of my main tenets is a 6 furlong one turn to a two turner.....IF they just run at a constant speed. Break 5th and stay 5th....not losing lengths in the stretch has been a FRUITFUL enterprise for me......for YEARS. Frosted closed semi-strongly in the Derby at 10 furlongs....it won't translate to 12....and HE WILL BE BET HARD......a good bet against. Lots of chatter about ribs showing on AP....not sure I saw it the same way. He LOOKS almost more muscle bound than before. He's got muscles out the wazoo and huge in the rear..... On Thursday....I am mulling over the race. Keen Ice....the Mid East horse and Materially are threats....not buying on Tale of the Verve or Made From Lucky or Frammento(but I am reluctant to throw this one out). As Chick Lang used to say....'all they are going to get, is hot and dirty".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It might be egg on the face time for me but I really can't see how anyone (DRF expert or hot Formblogger) can pick any horse to finish in front of AMERICAN PHAROAH. Sure, lots of reasons not to bet the favourite, or reasons to chase a possible bigger payout by betting something else, but there is not one race replay I have watched that suggests there will be a better horse over the Belmont 12 furlongs. I thought long and hard about that point in the Kentucky Derby where the commentator gets excited by the fact AP was coming "under a ride". Too right he did, but just look at how well AP responded to the jockey's urgings. Did FROSTED really close in the last 100 yards? Did TALE OF VERVE close any better at Pimlico? And what precise form line, or aspect of pedigree, entitles MATERIALITY to win? Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Steven Thygersen More than 1 year ago
The million dollar question - how big is Gulfstreams turf track. It is one mile, it was 7f before the 2005 renovation.: The current dirt course is one and one-eighth miles in circumference, with a one-mile backstretch chute. The turf course is one mile in circumference; depending on the race day, the portable rail can be moved to the inside or outside of the course, thereby changing the circumference. The track can seat 16,627 people. The track originally had a one mile dirt oval and a 7 furlong turf oval prior to the 2005 renovation.
Steven Thygersen More than 1 year ago
Ron, I am up in Flagstaff on vacation so I don't have access to any of my spreadsheets. I will take a look when I get back. Steve
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DavidM9999, With some serious racing at the weekend, both sides of the Pond, I wonder whether it is timely to ask a serious non racing question? You are a man of well thought out words, can you possibly explain to me what the attraction is in eating a pretzel? I have no particular wish to attack an American tradition, but the pretzels I have sampled had more in common with the wood shavings on the floor of a carpenters shop, than with something tasty coming from the food cupboard or fridge. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Mike For Turf 1. Kitten’s Joy. 2. War Front. 3. Street Boss. Honorable Mention – Scat Daddy who seems to be on rise. All Time Favorite Turf Sprinters – 1. City Zip. 2 Stormy Atlantic. 3.Speightstown. Upwardly mobile – Majesticperfection. Money Makers for me – 1. Northern Afleet. 2. Street Boss. 3. Broken Vow. Honorable mention tie – Great Notion in MD and E Dubai. Generally underappreciated on tote but live on lawn especially at “B” venues. God bless the late Polish Numbers too. The top two lists above were supposed to be “best” route sires listed as that was the question. The KJ, WF and SB listed were supposed to be best turf in America. Definitely not intended to be the best wagering sires for turf. My Money Maker list was more of the value kind including Great Notion, E Dubai, Northern Afleet and Broken Vow are more of under the radar types. Street Boss is mainstream now also … 2-3 years late for many bettors. Some of these just seem to run for me. The All Time favorites was intended to be horses that once were under the radar but mainstream now. Speightstown and Stormy Atlantic are well known. However, Stormy was not early on with low sire fee too. I was on him immediately and it paid. Not much anymore. Loved your listing of others though. I agree on most of them by the way. Almost used Wildcat Heir but have seen a lot of those bet hard now. Majesticperfection is 20+% turf so a strong “start”. I realize you don’t rely on %’s but just use that to show they are winning at elevated rates 2x the norm. I thought they may run based on what I saw at the KEE sales. Whether they pay like a Kathanos is another matter but we are on same basic wave length. Two distinctly different dynamics best and best betting. We will disagree on Scat Daddy but I will monitor. They do run for me. Thanks again for sharing your list!
Suheil Mardini More than 1 year ago
PNR You missed my winning wager in the contest as it was not listed. I had a $60 winning exacta, not enough to win but it is somethinh Thanks
CalvinLCarter More than 1 year ago
American Pharoah Heads Belmont Field In Bid To Sweep Triple Crown: http://bit.ly/1FVNdDk AK47, Any order is acceptable because identifying the top five horses is most crucial for exotic wagering. However, the objective is to pick the exact order of finish. Dallas and I believe that we eventually will be able to achieve that or be extremely close. Bernard, Now that the Epsom Derby field is set, here are the top five Data Mining One selections: 1. Giovanni Canaletto (6-1) 2. Storm the Stars (25-1) 3. Kilimanjaro (20-1) 4. Hans Holbein (16-1) 5. Golden Horn (6-4)