06/05/2013 5:04PM

Ruler of the World, Cross Traffic

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He isn't the second coming of Mill Reef, but RULER OF THE WORLD continued his unbeaten march with a rock-solid performance in the Epsom Derby on June 1.

By the fantastic stallion and Epsom Derby winner Galileo, Ruler of the World was unraced last season and some thought he would be too inexperienced to prevail against the best of his crop going 12 furlongs at Epsom. Despite facing a slow pace up front, Ruler of the World steadily wore down his opposition despite drifting left in the straight. A half-brother to multiple Group 1 winner Duke of Marmalade, Ruler of the World clearly enjoys 1 1/2-mile racing and will likely attempt to capture a Derby double in Ireland. Although none have found the answer to Ruler of the World after three outings, the colt still has much to prove on the numbers.  He received an official rating of 120 for his Derby win, the lowest figure assigned to the race this century. 

The major question surrounding this year's Epsom Derby was whether the heavily-favored DAWN APPROACH would stay the distance.  Ridden by Kevin Manning, Dawn Approach was very rank in the opening portion of the race, and failed to settle behind the pedastrian crawl up front.  Dawn Approach made a brief bid into contention, but faded badly when the real racing began.  Although he failed to achieve glory on this occasion, he is a very good miler and there are plenty of juicy pots for him at middle-distances later in the year. Give up on him at your own peril.

*Although the race was contested over a week ago, I'm still amazed by the excellent performance given by Todd Pletcher's CROSS TRAFFIC in the Metropolitan Handicap. After breaking toward the inside gap, Cross Traffic was hustled up to set fractions of 22.40 and 44.88 while being prompted by longshots HANDSOME MIKE and FORT LOUDON.  Not long after disposing of those pretenders, Cross Traffic was confronted by the good 4-year-old Mark Valeski, a rival that loomed boldly at the quarter pole.  Bravely, Cross Traffic fended off Mark Valeski, but he was just pipped at the wire by Joel Rosario and SAHARA SKY.  It was the second straight race in which Cross Traffic did most of the work up front only to be denied at the wire.  If all goes well, Cross Traffic may run next in the Whitney at Saratoga.

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*STAKES HORSES ON THE WORKTAB:

June 5:
BOOK REVIEW (temperature) - Santa Anita - 4F - 47.40H
EXECUTIVEPRIVILEGE (quarter cracks) - Betfair Hollywood - 5F - 1:01.80H
JUNEBUGRED (undisclosed) - Churchill - 4F - 49.40B
MY HAPPY FACE (virus, respiratory issue) - Belmont - 5F - 1:01.60B

June 4:
FLYING BIRD (flipped palate, throat surgery) - Saratoga training - 4F - 49.95B
FURY KAPCORI (knee surgery) - Golden Gate - 4F - 49.80H

June 3:
CHAMP PEGASUS (cracked cannon bone, surgery) - Santa Anita - 6F - 1:14.40H
VALID (infected quarter right front foot) - Greentree - 4F - 49.00B
VILLANESCA (cast stall, cuts forelegs) - Greentree - 4F - 49.40B

June 2:
VERRAZANO (gashed left rear hock) - Belmont training - 4F - 47.68B

June 1:
JOHA (undisclosed) - Belmont - 4F - 50.88B
PAYNTER (pneumonia, colitis, laminitis) - Santa Anita - 6F - 1:12.80HG

Also, Zenyatta's undefeated half-sister, EBLOUISSANTE (foot bruise, illness), breezed 5F in 1:01.86 at Belmont on June 1. She is likely to make her stakes debut in the near future for trainer John Shirreffs.

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Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (5/27/13 - 6/2/13):

1. COMMA TO THE TOP - 109 - Los Angeles Handicap (G3) - 6 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
1. SAHARA SKY - 109 - Metropolitan Handicap (G1) - 1 Mile - Belmont
3. CLUBHOUSE RIDE - 106 - Californian Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Betfair Hollywood
3. MASTER RICK - 106 - Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Lone Star
5. TIGHTEND TOUCHDOWN - 105 - Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Penn National
5. UPTOWN BOY - 105 - E Dubai HBPA Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Penn National
7. TIZ MIZ SUE - 103 - Ogden Phipps Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - Belmont
8. CHIEF HAVOC - 101 - Alw 54574N1X - 1 1/8 Miles (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
8. EASTER GIFT - 101 - Mountainview Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - Penn National
8. KING KREESA - 101 - Kingston Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Belmont
11. POINTS OFFTHEBENCH - 100 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
12. MIDNIGHT LUCKY - 99 - Acorn Stakes (G1) - 1 Mile - Belmont
13. XBALANQUE - 98 - Alw 44460N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
14. LEA - 97 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - Churchill
14. SUMMER HIT - 97 - All American Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
14. TOMORROW'S TALE - 97 - OC 35k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Delaware
17. AGENT DI NOZZO - 96 - OC 125k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Churchill Downs
17. BIG BUSINESS - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Belmont
17. MARKETING MIX - 96 - Gamely Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Betfair Hollywood
17. OUR DOUBLE PLAY - 96 - Prairie Mile Stakes - 1 Mile - Prairie Meadows
17. YOU KNOW I KNOW - 96 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
22. DOYOUSEEMECOMING - 95 - Alw 59064N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
22. ET TU WALKER - 95 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - Betfair Hollywood
22. FROLIC'S REVENGE - 95 - Alw 36500C - 1 Mile - Calder
25. BEAT THE BLUES - 94 - Winning Colors Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs - Churchill
25. LOOK AT THE TIME - 94 - John Franks Memorial Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Louisiana

*The past performances for SAHARA SKY and COMMA TO THE TOP are available at the bottom of this blog post.

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Dan, will you please post the past performances of a few of those 1997 three year olds? Silver Charm, Captain Bodgit, Free House, Touch Gold, Pulpit and Concerto? Thanks a lot.
Anonymous

They are available at the bottom this blog post.

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Hello Dan, those were nice stories from the Racehorse link you gave us. Good to hear to positives of horseracing ownership and why they wanted to be in it. I liked the story of Gotta Good Feeling and the cancer survivor’s relationship with each other. Also liked the story of Lulu and Taxi. Everyone should take the time to see this, it’s all good stuff.
Hey Dan is it possible to Show the PP’S for Volponi. I’m reading a book called the Big Horse by Joe Ginniss, an interesting read about the story of P.G. Johonson.
PHILD333

Volponi's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

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Dan Illman
Is there any significance to a horse changing leads several
times or more during their stretch run?
Okiesharp

American horses are trained to race on their left lead on the turns and switch to their right lead on the straightaways.  When a horse switches leads several times in the stretch, it's possible that the horse is still very green and hasn't quite figured out what he's doing just yet.  Another explanation could be that the multiple lead changes are a sign that the horse is somewhat uncomfortable physically, and is switching back and forth in order to avoid prolonged stress on one leg. Perhaps another reason is that the horse is simply very fatigued.

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Dan
A question about Sunday's 3rd at Belmont. A turf race.
#3, Wayward Sailor, under the trainer stats: Turf(8 .00) Routes ( 14 .07)
Does this mean that the route statistic is all surfaces and not just turf?
If so, how can I change it in Formulator?
I have checked and I am pretty sure I am using the default settings.
Thanks
RonZ

In that particular case, the "route" statistic would be for all surfaces.  You can manipulate the filters in Formulator by clicking on the trainer's name, then clicking on "Modify Filters," and then changing the dropdown menu for "Surface" to turf.

Hope that helps.

***

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman

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Congrats to fijiking for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.

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

Let's go with Saturday's Belmont Stakes for this week's event.

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

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.

PLEASE GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.
 
Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers (instead of the horse's name) for easier scoring.
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.

***FROM SCOREKEEPER PENN NATIONAL RICK***

I read some entries on here and there are some people who put their heart out on their picks(such as DavidM9999) and give you great analysis on who they like and why and then there are others who elect not to give any reasoning behind their entries. The rule I will implement EFFECTIVE 3/1/13 will be... any entry without ANY analysis will be ignored. We are not asking you to put out a novel, but again a sentence or two. Also, I will put communication out when Dan puts out new blogs.
My intent is not to be jerk on this, but what's fair is fair. I'm not taking away from this week or past winners regarding all of this, but we do need to make the change.
If you have any questions/concerns...please send an email to FORMBLOG@DRF.COM and it will get forwarded to me.
Thank You!
Rick

REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATE THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).

Best of luck to all.

AttachmentSize
SAHARA COMMA.pdf74.17 KB
3yos of 1997.pdf93.66 KB
Volponi.pdf52.53 KB
Copy of Formblog Hollywood Allowance 5-31-13.xls66.5 KB
HGBelmont.pdf349.2 KB