08/27/2014 3:10PM

Shared Belief romps!


Thanks to everyone that has entered the FormBlog Breeders' Cup Fantasy Handicapping League.

We have 477 contestants. KYL syndicate is in the lead with 1264 fantasy earnings.

If you haven't joined yet, there's still plenty of time to do so. 

Head on over to https://www.fantasycapping.com/illman

The league password in DRF123.

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This week's race is Saturday's Woodward from Saratoga.


No matter how you slice it, SHARED BELIEF gave the performance of the week with his romp in the Grade 1, $1,000,000 Pacific Classic at 1 1/4 miles over Del Mar's polytrack.

Shared Belief, last year's 2-year-old champion, improved his undefeated run to six with a 115-Beyer tour de force in his first start over polytrack, and his first race against older stakes horses.

Breaking from the far outside post in the field of ten, Shared Belief stalked the pace from two wide and in the three path while the venerable GAME ON DUDE and South American import MYSTERY TRAIN passed the stands in a pitched battle for the early lead. The fractions were swift - 22.49 and 45.75 - and Game On Dude spurted to a clear lead following six furlongs in 1:10.08.

For a moment, it appeared that Game On Dude had turned back the hands of time, but Shared Belief cruised up with an eye-catching three-wide bid on the final turn. In a matter of strides, he enveloped Game On Dude and UAE Derby winner TOAST OF NEW YORK on his way to the front turning for home. Mike Smith kept the gelding straight in the stretch and Shared Belief polished off his final quarter-mile in 24.73 to complete the distance in 2:00.28.

Shared Belief's splits for the Pacific Classic were 23.70, 23.24, 24.26, 24.35 and 24.73. Those are certainly solid times.

The versatile son of Candy Ride has now won races at distances ranging from 6 to 10 furlongs over Tapeta, Cushion Track, Dirt, and Polytrack. He's prevailed on the lead and from midpack.

One has to fantasize about what would have happened if Shared Belief didn't miss the Triple Crown series due to a foot bruise and quarter crack.

Then, we quickly return to reality and wonder what's next.

It's possible that trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will train Shared Belief up to the Breeders' Cup Classic without another prep race. Or, Hollendorfer may decide on a race like the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita.

Either way, he might very well have the best horse in the country.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 8/18/13 - 8/24/13

1. SHARED BELIEF - 115 - Pacific Classic (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Polytrack) - Del Mar - August 24 - Race 10
2. GOLDENCENTS - 109 - Pat O'Brien (G2) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar - August 24 - Race 9
3. YOUGOTTHATGOINFORU - 105 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Parx - August 19 - Race 8
4. WINNING CAUSE - 104 - Cliff Hanger (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Monmouth - August 24 - Race 11
5. ARTEMIS AGROTERA - 103 - Ballerina Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga - August 23 - Race 11
6. V. E. DAY - 102 - Travers Stakes (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Saratoga - August 23 - Race 12
7. DAYATTHESPA - 101 - Yaddo Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - August 24 - Race 7
8. CLOSE HATCHES - 99 - Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga - August 22 - Race 9
8. KING KREESA - 99 - West Point Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga - August 24 - Race 4
10. BIG JOHN B - 98 - Del Mar Handicap (G2) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Del Mar - August 23 - Race 8
10. FOX RULES - 98 - Alw 23200N$Y - 1 1/16 Miles - Finger Lakes - August 22 - Race 7
12. AWAY GAME - 97 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga - August 22 - Race 8
12. STRYKER PHD - 97 - Longacres Mile Handicap (G3) - 1 Mile - Emerald - August 24 - Race 7
12. TOM'S TRIBUTE - 97 - Del Mar Mile Handicap (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Del Mar - August 24 - Race 5
15. ABACO - 96 - Ballston Spa Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga - August 23 - Race 9
15. HEART TO HEART - 96 - Better Talk Now Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Saratoga - August 20 - Race 9
15. HE'S SO FINE - 96 - Alw 25000s - 1 Mile - Parx - August 18 - Race 3
18. MASOCHISTIC - 96 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar - August 23 - Race 4
18. THE BIG BEAST - 96 - King's Bishop Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga - August 23 - Race 10
20. LUCY'S BOB BOY - 95 - Frank Gall Memorial Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Charles Town - August 23 - Race 8
20. PICK OF THE LITTER - 95 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga - August 22 - Race 5
20. THREE ALARM FIRE - 95 - Md Sp Wt 98k - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga - August 23 - Race 1
20. UPSTART - 95 - Funny Cide Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Saratoga - August 24 - Race 2
24. LEIGH COURT - 94 - Seaway Stakes (G3-C) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine - August 24 - Race 8
25. DIVIDED ATTENTION - 93 - Alw 100000N1X - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga - August 23 - Race 7
25. PEASANT - 93 - Clm 12500(12.5-10.5)N1Y - 1 1/16 Miles - Parx - August 23 - Race 8

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


What has happened to Danzig, the Ark Derby winner?

He came down with a skin disease after the Derby and Pletcher said that it looked like he lost some weight. After an unsatisfactory workout leading up to the Belmont, the decision was made to pull the plug and send him to Florida for some rest and relaxation on the farm. I'd expect to see him, if all is well, at the very end of the year with an eye toward Gulfstream.

I happened to catch the Travers show with Matt Bernier this morning. Not much to say about you and your usual professional performance!
Since I have picked on Matt, just a little over the past few months, please relate to him and his bosses that I applaud a job well done. Matt explained his thinking and reasoning eloquently and concisely and his quiet exuberance, passion for handicapping and his knowledge of racing was very evident.
Good job, well done, to the both of you.
I do have a question. A lot of Formulator facts were shown on the screen and maybe half of them were positve facts of over 30%. Which type of facts would be a factor for your decision making and how does your mind juggle the others into the mix?
Another question. One of the facts shown was for Mr. Speaker and Shug, the trainer is 10/75 (13%) the last 5 years, turf to dirt. That includes all starters.
Of those 75 races, 11 were maiden races taken off the turf and only 3 were graded races where the horse finished 2nd at 22-1, 2nd at 5-1 and Mr. Speakers 7th place in the Holy Bull at 8-1. My very vague question is, where do you draw the line for relevance?

Thanks for watching. It is much appreciated. I didn't compile the Formulator facts for last week's show. They were picked out by the moderator of the @DRFFormulator Twitter handle.

Personally, when first looking for positive angles, I want to see at least 20 starts, a 20% win percentage, and a positive return on investment.

Also, I don't want a horse that is repeating the angle. For example, Todd Pletcher has positive numbers with dirt sprinters, let's say. If the horse in question has already run in a dirt sprint for Todd, I don't see how the number is very powerful. In the case of a Tony Dutrow second-time starter, I'd be way more interested.

Positive Formulator Facts will either enhance a strong opinion I have for a runner, or make me think about including one that I didn't originally like in exotic bets.

With negative facts, I need less than 5% winners over a 20-start span before I think it's a poor statistic. If it's a pretty bad number, I'd re-assess how much I want to play on a horse that I originally liked.

For middle-of-the-road stats, I don't pay much attention.

In the case of the Mr. Speaker fact, one has to be very careful in analyzing surface switches because of off the turf races and how they affect the numbers. I wouldn't have thought twice about the 10/75 stat as, for me, it was neither here nor there.


Dan or any formblogger...In the PP"S for Bayern they
have him as running a race at the 1 1/4 distance of
the Travers...but alas nothing listed for a race at that
distance...two 1 1/8th's and the Preakness distance
of 1 3/16th's...a misprint?
Joe L.

In the DRF past performances, races at 1 3/16 miles and 1 1/4 miles are lumped together in the career box.


*The links to the five most recent blogs (and blog comments) are listed below:







You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman. 

I'll be taking vacation for the next couple of weeks. I'll still update the comments when I can, but won't post until September 17.

The video previews for most of this weekend's graded stakes action will be available later in the week at the following link:



Congrats to Ron B. for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

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

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.

Let's go with the Woodward for this week's race.


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!




SharedBelief.pdf634.74 KB
Copy of Formblog Travers 8-23-14.xls75 KB