08/12/2015 5:30PM

Shrinking Violet blossoms at Del Mar

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Lost in all of the Whitney hoopla was SHRINKING VIOLET's breakthrough performance in the $80,000 Daisycutter Handicap at five furlongs on turf at Del Mar.

Sent away the 19 to 10 second choice in the eight-horse field, Shrinking Violet settled in midpack along the inside under jockey Kent Desormeaux while AMARANTH, MARK OF A GEM, favored HOME JOURNEY and WINDY FORECAST sparred through an opening quarter in 21.89 seconds.

Shrinking Violet angled three wide on the far turn, inhaled the pacesetters turning into the stretch and ran her final eighth in 11.49 seconds (according to Trakus) en route to the 4 3/4-length triumph. The 5-year-old mare completed the distance in 56.56 and received a career-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure.

Some may state that Shrinking Violet is a true horse-for-course at Del Mar. After all, she is now 2 for 2 over the surface and both lifetime best Beyers occurred over the San Diego turf. Still, it's hard to pigeonhole a mare that's won 8 of 19 starts with victories at Kentucky Downs, Keeneland (synthetic), Gulfstream, Tampa Bay and Santa Anita.

Foaled in Kentucky on April 26, 2010, Shrinking Violet sold to owner/trainer Wesley Ward for a paltry $4,000 that November. She is by five-time Grade 1 winner Congaree (Swaps, Cigar Mile twice, Hollywood Gold Cup, Carter), a stallion that is also represented by Grade 1 winners Don't Tell Sophia, Killer Graces and Jeranimo.

Shrinking Violet's dam, Lets Get Cozzy (by Cozzene), finished third in the Grade 3 Ballston Spa Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The second dam, Sweet Lassie (by Posse), was stakes-placed on turf in France.

Following four disappointing efforts at 7 to 2 or less to kick off her career on the main track, Shrinking Violet won her turf debut, a $25,000 maiden claimer at Kentucky Downs on September 12. Even then, she seemed to have some distance limitations as she opened up a big lead turning for home only to last by a diminishing neck.

Switched to the Keeneland polytrack for her first race against winners, Shrinking Violet dominated a $30,000 claimer by nine lengths in gate-to-wire fashion. 

Ward has always given Shrinking Violet plenty of time to recover from the various physical ailments that limited her to four starts in 2013 and three races in 2014. During that time span, Shrinking Violet became a force in shorter-distance races on turf and synthetic. As a 3-year-old, she finished third in the Grade 3 Ontario Fashion Stakes over the Woodbine polytrack. Last season, she grabbed the $100,000 Lightning City Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Shrinking Violet began this year with a perfect ground-saving score in the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes going down the hill at Santa Anita on May 16. She missed time after the Monrovia and failed to parlay a similar trip to victory in her subsequent start, the $100,000 The Very One Stakes at Pimlico over Preakness weekend. That was her first race in over four months. Shrinking Violet ran an even sixth in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes against males on July 5, her final race before the Daisycutter.

Shrinking Violet is one of several excellent female turf sprinters we've seen this year along with AGELESS, LADY SHIPMAN and THIEVES GUILD. They should provide stern competition to the boys in this fall’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Pimlico.

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Here are the WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 8/4/15 - 8/10/15

1. HONOR CODE - 113 - Whitney Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 8Aug15-9SAR
2. SHRINKING VIOLET - 104 - Daisycutter Handicap - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 7Aug15-7DMR
3. BAY OF PLENTY - 102 - Alydar Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - 9Aug15-9SAR
4. STEVIE'S WONDER - 100 - Clm 25000N2L - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 8Aug15-6PRX
5. PROSPECT PARK - 99 - La Jolla Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 9Aug15-8DMR
6. ELUSIVE CONNECTION - 98 - Md Sp Wt 58k - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 9Aug15-6WO
7. ANGEL CODE - 97 - OC 30k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 9Aug15-10MTH
8. MELMICH - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - 7Aug15-8WO
8. UNBRIDLED FOREVER - 96 - Shine Again Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 5Aug15-9SAR
8. UNDER CONTROL (BRZ) - 96 - Lure Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 8Aug15-4SAR
11. BEN'S DUCHESS - 95 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 9Aug15-3DMR
11. OUTSIDE NASHVILLE - 95 - Joseph T. Grace Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 9Aug15-9SR
11. WATERSHED - 95 - Md Sp Wt 83k - 6 Furlongs - 7Aug15-4SAR
14. CALL PAT - 94 - Groupie Doll Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - 8Aug15-9ELP
14. CATALINA RED - 94 - Jackson Bend Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 8Aug15-3GP
14. CUT TO ORDER - 94 - Hcp 16000s - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 9Aug15-7MTH
14. GOLDEN RIFLE - 94 - Eight Mile East Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 8Aug15-4GP
14. MESSI (GER) - 94 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 6Aug15-6SAR
14. OH BABY OH BABY - 94 - OC 25k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - 5Aug15-8EVD
20. CAVORTING - 93 - Test Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - 8Aug15-8SAR
20. GOLDY ESPONY (FR) - 93 - Waya Stakes (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 8Aug15-10SAR
20. SHE'S NOT HERE - 93 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 6Aug15-7DMR
20. TAKAJO - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 7 Furlongs - 8Aug15-6SAR
24. ELEKTRUM (IRE) - 92 - John C. Mabee Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 8Aug15-8DMR
24. LOOKING COOL - 92 - Clm 32000 - 1 1/8 Miles - 8Aug15-1SAR
24. RECEPTA - 92 - De La Rose Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 8Aug15-7SAR
24. ZVARKHOVA (FR) - 92 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 7Aug15-5SAR

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

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You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Remember to check out DRF LIVE's free VIDEO handicapping coverage at live.drf.com. Matt Bernier and I will be on at 4pm ET Wednesday through Saturday to take you through the final few races at Saratoga, preview Del Mar, and peek at some of the nation's major stakes races.  

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

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

SR VEGAS selected Saturday's Arlington Million for this week's exercise.

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

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.

HANDIGAMBLING:

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!

Harpo
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A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
 
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 LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A SATURDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL

AttachmentSize
HONOR CODE.pdf652.34 KB
Copy of Formblog Whitney 8-8-15.xls208.42 KB
HGAPMILLION.pdf209.86 KB