12/08/2016 3:28PM

A sharp sprinter to consider

It appears that trainer Peter Miller has finally found ST. JOE BAY's niche. For most of his 19-start career, St. Joe Bay has bounced back-and-forth from turf to dirt routes with a synthetic sprint race sprinkled in for good measure (third in the Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes as a 2-year-old in 2014). 
Last Sunday at Del Mar, St. Joe Bay cut back to a dirt sprint and exploded to win his 'n2x' condition in impressive gate-to-wire fashion. Expect the shrewd Miller to keep the gelding going short on the main track for the time being. 
One can easily understand why Miller tried St. Joe Bay at longer distances. He was hardly disgraced when fourth in both the Grade 3 Sham and Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes last year, popped a 96 Beyer when third going two turns on turf on August 14 at Del Mar, and won his entry-level optional claiming condition on September 5 on dirt at a mile with a 93 speed figure. He's always been a rock-solid horse. 
The argument can be made, however, that he's always been a dirt sprinter at heart. His most recent representative race prior to last Sunday's tour de force was on January 18, 2016. St. Joe Bay was making his first start in over eight months in that spot, but was only beaten a head by SILENT BIRD, a colt that has gone on to win three more in a row including the $101,000 Damascus Stakes at Santa Anita on November 4. 
The theory is that St. Joe Bay's good speed plays better at this shorter distances. 
Last week, St. Joe Bay took no prisoners at 6 1/2 furlongs. He broke sharply from the inside post and immediately hooked up with 46 to 1 rank outsider GUY CODE. The two battled through an opening quarter of 21.86 before the longshot packed it in. St. Joe Bay didn't have time to breathe, though, as favored Jazzy Times immediately loomed on the outside. Undeterred, St. Joe Bay pushed back this challenge and sprinted home to win by 6 1/2 lengths in 1:15.27, a time good enough for a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. Jazzy Times faltered to third behind THE GOMPER, an allowance-level closer that had an ideal setup from the back. 
If St. Joe Bay recovers nicely from this effort, and Miller gets a bit ambitious, it's possible that St. Joe Bay would try the Grade 3 Midnight Lute Stakes at Santa Anita on New Year's Eve. That race is also at 6 1/2 furlongs. If St. Joe Bay bypasses that spot, Miller would likely seek a third-level condition race. 
Regarding Pegasus World Cup, I understand GP scraped the Donn Handicap in its favor. Wouldn't it be a better idea to have run Donn in late December instead of scrapping it all together?
A marquee race like Donn didn't deserve to be eliminated from the schedule. It was a fantastic race.
By having it in late December, it could've served two purposes:
1. Provide another opportunity of G1 for horses who, because of some reason couldn't compete in the BC or skipped BC Classic because of distance limitations or whatever the reason might be.
2. It could've also served as a perfect prep race for the Pegasus World Cup.
Any thoughts?
...P.S. Not that I'm under any obligation but to avoid the accusations of red boarding and lying (again), I'm sending Dan the screen capture of both bets and request him to share with the community...
As someone that likes to think of himself as a historian, I'm saddened that the Donn won't have its day in the sun. You provide good reasons why it should remain on the stakes schedule, but Gulfstream is moving forward and I understand that. If this concept catches on, we'll get a race with the Donn's usual spirit and quality while providing a gigantic purse and spectacle. 
California Chrome and Arrogate wouldn't have shipped for the old Donn Handicap (Gulfstream has the local prep, the Grade 3 Harlan's Holiday next Saturday - California Chrome will stay home to run in the Winter Challenge at Los Alamitos). They're coming for the Pegasus.
I've attched the screen capture of both bets that you discussed in the previous blog post at the bottom of today's posting.
My TV died last night.  Yes, "THE Steve T. TV"... the one that I paid for out of the winnings on a dime Superfecta bet a long time ago.  2006?  2007?  2008???  Can't remember.  I had an account with YouBet at the time. I think it was from the Native Diver Handicap one of those years... Hollywood Park... Dan... if you have the PP's for those races or the results charts, then I will remember.  That dime Superfecta paid something like $775 or $778 or a nice sum like that...
I believe you're thinking of the 2007 Native Diver at Hollywood Park. Heatseeker pulled off the 30 to 1 upset in a race that featured a gigantic pace collapse. I've attached the chart to the bottom of this blog post.
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 11/30/16 - 12/6/16:
1. SHAFT OF LIGHT - 104 - Claiming Crown Rapid Transit Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 3Dec16-4GP 
1. ST. JOE BAY - 104 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 4Dec16-8DMR
3. ANNALS OF TIME - 102 - Hollywood Derby (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 3Dec16-7DMR
4. DUVAL - 101 - OC 40k/N3X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 4Dec16-8PRX
5. MISS TEMPLE CITY - 100 - Matriarch Stakes (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 4Dec16-7DMR
5. ROYAL POSSE - 100 - Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - 3Dec16-10GP 
7. RUBY'S LOVE - 97 - Clm 10000 0 - 6 Furlongs - 6Dec16-6PRX
7. SILENT BIRD - 97 - OC 80k/C -N - 7 Furlongs - 1Dec16-7DMR
9. DEFER HEAVEN - 94 - Claiming Crown Express Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 3Dec16-6GP 
10. YOURDREAMSORMINE - 93 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - 4Dec16-9GP 
11. PAQUITA COQUETA (CHI) - 92 - OC 80k/C -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 3Dec16-5DMR
11. SECOND CITY - 92 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 Mile - 30Nov16-8AQU
11. WHITMORE - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 3Dec16-6AQU
14. ANNIE'S CANDY - 91 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 1Dec16-6DMR
14. SUPER SPENDER - 91 - Claiming Crown Canterbury - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 3Dec16-8GP 
14. VALE DORI (ARG) - 91 - Bayakoa Handicap (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 3Dec16-6DMR
17. CAMBODIA - 90 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 1Dec16-7FG 
17. ITS ALLABOUT JERRY - 90 - Portland Meadows Mile Handicap - 1 Mile - 4Dec16-7PM 
17. KEYSTONEFORVICTORY - 90 - Claiming Crown Emerald - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 3Dec16-11GP 
17. MR. NEETIE - 90 - Md c-20000 - 6 Furlongs - 5Dec16-1PRX
21. U S MARSHAL - 89 - OC 62k/C -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Tapeta) - 4Dec16-3WO 
22. BLUEGRASS BEAT - 88 - OC 40k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles - 3Dec16-8FG 
22. CAVIL - 88 - Md Sp Wt 60k - 1 Mile - 2Dec16-9AQU
22. CHEPSTOW - 88 - Claiming Crown Iron Horse Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 3Dec16-7GP 
22. INDEBTED - 88 - Clm 40000 - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 4Dec16-5AQU
22. JAMES LANE - 88 - Md Sp Wt 55k - 1 Mile - 2Dec16-5AQU
22. JESS I AM - 88 - Md Sp Wt 60k - 1 Mile - 3Dec16-2AQU
22. MODERN MEDICINE - 88 - OC 40k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - 1Dec16-8FG 
22. RAPID RHYTHM - 88 - Battle of New Orleans Stakes - About 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 3Dec16-5FG 
22. RISETOTHEOCCASION - 88 - Clm 25000 - 6 Furlongs - 1Dec16-7AQU
22. RYE - 88 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 2Dec16-7DMR
22. SPECTACULAR ME - 88 - Claiming Crown Distaff Turf Dash - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 3Dec16-3GP 
The lifetime past performances for St. Joe Bay and Shaft of Light are available at the bottom of this blog post.
Mr. Neetie was claimed for $20,000 by trainer Miguel Penaloza from Michael Dilger.
Congrats to G. Ginat for winning the most recent HandiGambling challenge.
Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post. 
Let's go with Saturday's Wait a While Stakes from Gulfstream Park as this week's exercise.
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.
6. If any of the rules listed above aren't met, the wager is subject to review which can lead to disqualification of your entry.
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!
Win On 7.png40.05 KB
Trifecta.png44.81 KB
Native Diver 2007.pdf56.96 KB
Shaft of Light, St. Joe Bay.pdf763.39 KB
Copy of HG 12 3 16 GP CC Emerald.xls54.5 KB