11/05/2014 5:01PM

Some Breeders' Cup thoughts


Lost in all the hubbub of the Breeders' Cup Classic controversy was the game performance of an underappreciated warrior.

If you could get a bet down turning for home in the Dirt Mile, TAPITURE was your horse. He had bided his time behind a scorching pace, and was seemingly going two strides to every one of pacesetter, and defending champion, GOLDENCENTS. Certainly, he would wear down the exhausted chalk in the last two furlongs.

Yet Tapiture failed to close the final gap. Goldencents was simply too tough.

Digging in despite drifting out, Goldencents kept Tapiture at bay. The 3-year-old couldn't even pass the favorite during the gallop-out.

It was yet another top effort for 4-year-old Goldencents, who retires to Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky with a record of 18-7-7-0, earnings of $3,044,000, and eight triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures.

Rafael Bejarano rode a brilliant race aboard Goldencents. Realizing that Goldencents is at his best when allowed to control the tempo, Bejarano pushed his mount hard from the gate to counteract the aggressive riding tactics of John Velazquez on VICAR'S IN TROUBLE.

The two speedsters scorched the opening quarter in 22.06 and passed the half in 44.80 with Goldencents inside of his main pace rival. Vicar's in Trouble dropped back precipitously entering the final turn (it was later discovered that Vicar's In Trouble had fractured an ankle. The colt had successful surgery and is expected back in training after six months off), and Goldencents stepped six furlongs in 1:09.27 with Tapiture moving from midpack.

Goldencents began to tire from his early work. He drifted out in upper stretch, but Bejarano made sure to straighten him when it appeared Goldencents would veer off course. Once, twice, three times did Goldencents lug out. Three times did Bejarano muscle him back on stride. A lesser rider might have allowed Goldencents to interfere with Tapiture's lane, but Bejarano had total control. From the eighth pole to the wire, Goldencents' class prevailed. He completed the distance in 1:35.16 and received a 107 Beyer.

Goldencents will be remembered best as a two-time Dirt Mile winner, but let's not forget the entire excellent body of work. A debut winner over the Del Mar polytrack at two, Goldencents shipped across the country for his second lifetime race, the Grade 1 Champagne. Although no match for next-out Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby, Goldencents acquitted himself well to be second. In his final juvenile outing, he captured the rich Delta Jackpot going 1 1/16 miles.

Although Goldencents flopped in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness at three, he prepped for those races brilliantly with wins in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes and Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. He ran 10 times as a sophomore, yet still had enough in the tank to beat elders in the Dirt Mile toward the end of the year.

Goldencents had a late start to his 4-year-old campaign, but his connections had no problem throwing him into the deep end in his first race of 2014, the prestigious Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont. Goldencents ran a corker against the sharp Palace Malice before dropping the decision by a length.
Goldencents boasts a strong record, but a head-bob here and there could have enhanced his form even more. He was beaten a length or less in six races.

He prevailed at distances ranging from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, succeeded on dirt and polytrack, and his speed makes him an intriguing stallion prospect.


As for the Classic, what stunned me the most was that there was no jockey’s objection. Victorious BAYERN, breaking from post seven, drifted in significantly at the start. He banged into SHARED BELIEF directly to his inside, significantly hampered V. E. DAY and MORENO, and bothered IMPERATIVE from post two.

Would the race have gone differently if Moreno was allowed to show his good early speed?  Probably. But it’s also possible, albeit way less likely, that Bayern, a very talented horse, would have dispatched of Moreno and kept on going. Should there have been a disqualification?  That’s a question that will be debated for a very long time. In the immediate aftermath, I thought Bayern’s number should have come down. I am convinced that the entire race shape changed after the first five strides, and that affected the outcome. Can we conclusively say that's the case, however?  I'm not so sure.

Rick M. made an interesting point of having an international panel of stewards for the Breeders' Cup. It can't hurt, but one could argue that the stewards at the local track know the track best, and are most capable of enforcing the rules there.

It's a shame that the Classic had such an unsatisfying conclusion. Bayern's accomplishment, and it was a strong feat to win the Classic, was lessened by the incident. I'm not sure we learned anything from the race. We already knew that Bayern was a very dangerous horse when allowed the lead. Going into the race, the true test for him, it appeared, was if he could handle pressure and keep going. That question has yet to be answered at 1 1/4 miles.


Let's get back on track with our weekly Beyer Speed Figure countdown.

Here are the top WINNING numbers from 10/21/14 - 10/27/14:

1. SALUTOS AMIGOS - 106 - Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) - 7 Furlongs - 25Oct14-3BEL
2. I GOT IT ALL - 100 - Alw 55592NC - 7 Furlongs - 25Oct14-7KEE
3. CRACKERJACK JONES - 97 - Alw 20400N3R - 1 Mile - 23Oct14-8FL
3. CYBER SECRET - 97 - Alw 62559C - 1 Mile (Turf) - 22Oct14-7KEE
3. MONSTER MASH - 97 - Alw 77000N1X - 6 Furlongs - 24Oct14-8BEL
3. PICK OF THE LITTER - 97 - Fayette Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 25Oct14-9KEE
7. STREAMSIDE - 96 - Alw 36349NC - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 24Oct14-3GG
8. PURE TACTICS - 95 - Lure Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 26Oct14-8SA
8. RISK FACTOR - 95 - Alw 44000NC - 6 Furlongs - 22Oct14-6GPW
10. M J PLUS - 94 - Alw 8000s - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 26Oct14-5PRX
10. RIVER SEVEN - 94 - Labeeb Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 26Oct14-9WO
10. ROLLING YONA - 94 - OC18k/SAL12k - 6 Furlongs - 22Oct14-10DEL
13. OMAR - 93 - OC 20k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - 27Oct14-3TUP
14. ASSOCIATE - 92 - OC 80k/C - 7 Furlongs - 24Oct14-9BEL
14. BLINGS EXPRESS - 92 - OC10k/SAL6k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 27Oct14-9GPW
14. GOLDEN ITIZ - 92 - Clm 30000 - 1 1/8 Miles - 23Oct14-4BEL
14. OCALA JIM - 92 - Alw 77000N1X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 26Oct14-8BEL
14. SONGFORJOHNMICHAEL - 92 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/4 Miles - 24Oct14-7SA
14. SWEET LUCA - 92 - OC 50k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 25Oct14-8HAW
20. BUSTER ROSE - 91 - Alw 16000s - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 23Oct14-6IND
20. SCHOOL SPIRIT - 91 - OC 20k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 22Oct14-8DED
20. PHOTO CALL (IRE) - 91 - Alw 53200N1X - 1 Mile (Turf) - 24Oct14-7KEE
23. CERRO (IRE) - 90 - OC 32k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - 23Oct14-8LRL
23. LEXIE LOU - 90 - Autumn Miss Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 25Oct14-8SA
23. MAKER OR BREAKER - 90 - Princess of Palms Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 25Oct14-7TUP
23. STALLWALKIN' DUDE - 90 - OC25k/SAL16k - 7 Furlongs - 24Oct14-9GPW
23. YAHOO TAHOE - 90 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 1 Mile (Tapeta) - 24Oct14-7GG

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


Here are the top WINNING numbers from 10/28/14 - 11/3/14:

1. BAYERN - 113 - Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - 1Nov14-12SA
2. KARAKONTIE (JPN) - 110 - Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 1Nov14-11SA
3. GOLDENCENTS - 107 - Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) - 1 Mile - 31Oct14-7SA
4. MAIN SEQUENCE - 106 - Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 1Nov14-9SA
5. WORK ALL WEEK - 105 - Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) - 6 Furlongs - 1Nov14-10SA
6. TEXAS RED - 104 - Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - 1Nov14-8SA
7. PAZOLINI - 103 - OC 80k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - 2Nov14-8AQU
7. UNTAPABLE - 103 - Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 31Oct14-9SA
9. DAYATTHESPA - 102 - Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 1Nov14-5SA
10. PROTONICO - 101 - Discovery Handicap (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - 1Nov14-8AQU
11. GOOD LORD - 100 - Mountaineer Mile Stakes - 1 Mile - 1Nov14-7MNR
12. FILIMBI - 99 - Goldikova Stakes (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 2Nov14-9SA
12. LADY SABELIA - 99 - OC 40k/N$Y -N - 6 Furlongs - 29Oct14-9LRL
14. BOBBY'S KITTEN - 98 - Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 1Nov14-7SA
14. CHITU - 98 - Damascus Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 31Oct14-5SA
14. GOING TO MARKET - 98 - OC 25k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles - 31Oct14-8LRL
17. ISN'T HE CLEVER - 97 - Veterans Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 3Nov14-10ZIA
18. CARY STREET - 96 - Las Vegas Marathon Stakes (G2) - 1 3/4 Miles - 31Oct14-2SA
18. DOUBLEDOWN AGAIN - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 29Oct14-7AQU
18. LADY ELI - 96 - Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 31Oct14-8SA
21. JUDY THE BEAUTY - 95 - Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) - 7 Furlongs - 1Nov14-6SA
21. MONTY HAUL - 95 - Alw 16000s - 7 Furlongs - 31Oct14-7PRX
21. RICH'SLION - 95 - Alw 42000N3L - 5 Furlongs - 30Oct14-7DED
21. YAHILWA - 95 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - 29Oct14-2SA
25. REGALLY READY - 94 - Big Bear Stakes - 1 Mile - 30Oct14-8SA
25. SHARP SENSATION - 94 - Bet On Sunshine Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 1Nov14-7CD
25. YOUGOTTHATGOINFORU - 94 - OC 40k/N3X -N - 7 Furlongs - 3Nov14-8PRX

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


Dan Illman---I could hear you yelling and snapping your fingers all the way here in Clev when Idle American turned for home in the 8th Sun @ Bel,..might have rushed him up too quick? I was rooting for you!
Dan (brutus)

I attached the chart of the race at the bottom of the blog. I'd like to say I got a quick thrill at 51 to 1, but when a horse makes a premature move like that, it's rare that they win. I'm guessing that Taylor Rice just couldn't hold him as he was possibly too fresh off the layoff. I still think there's a race for IDLE AMERICAN on turf at Aqueduct. He's eligible for his first-level condition, but I wouldn't be surprised if he drops into a claimer off the poor running line. He's had his share of trouble in the past so I'd give him one more chance to break through at good odds.


Dan, do you know the name of the Baffert horse that worked with One Lucky Dane on 10/27? That horse looked like the real deal in the work.
Chris Jones

Good question as the horse was constantly referred to as an "unidentified workmate" on all of the television programs. ONE LUCKY DANE was officially clocked going a half-mile in 47.40 handily. Here are the other Bafferts that worked a half-mile that day:


According to the Welsch Clocker Report for the day, Secret Circle worked by himself while Indianapolis drilled in company. By process of elimination, I'm guessing that One Lucky Dane's mate was FAME AND POWER, a 2-year-old with a record of 3-0-1-0 and a best Beyer Speed Figure of 70. This, of course, is merely a best guess.


Not really a question unless you want, but at Belmont Saturday in the 10th, #3, Aussie Prayer had two workouts listed for Aug 6. Probably a mistake. Have you ever heard or seen a horse get two listed works for one day? Her workout pattern was interesting without that. 4-36-5-10-3-5-6-6 days between works for her first race. She finished 2nd.

It's a mistake. The NYRA website has the three-furlong workout as the correct drill.


Dan – do you have any idea what's happening with Mexikoma? He came back to run an even sort of 2nd in an allowance race at Pimlico in May, and then disappeared again. I heard that Irwin was going to split up his Fair Hills-based stable amongst several trainers across the country, but haven't heard any more about where any of the horses are going or have gone, Mexikoma included. It seemed like more than anything he needed his health and a solid stretch of races. Thanks!

He had an ankle injury over the summer and is just about ready to begin training again.


Just in case you hadn't spotted it yourself I wanted to update you on a comment you made (an update in your favour, not mine).
In putting up a case for WET SAIL in the BC Juvenile Turf you referred to his defeat at Redcar on 4th Oct by "...some decent competition". In response I accepted that the Winner was good, but I was a little dismissive of the 2nd horse, MATTMU. Seems you were right and I was wrong.
MATTMU tried Group company for the first time yesterday and won a decent standard French Group 2, albeit on pretty desperate ground. That makes his race record 8 races (4/3/1), and while you may never have need to handicap the horse, I now think he is a horse of interest, especially on Good to Soft ground or worse.
However, of more importance from an international point of view is LIMATO, the winner of that Redcar race. You suggested he might be "...the best juvenile turf sprinter in England". I think that yesterday's race endorses that view. It is not only that his race record is 4 wins from 4 races, it is the manner of his victories that is so impressive. He wins with his head in his chest, barely coming off the bridle. Roll on 2015.
Best Regards - Bernard Downes
P.S. Just to forestall any cynical comments I will say it myself. After Britain's dismal performance in the Breeders Cup, the response to identifying England's top "...juvenile turf sprinter" might legitimately be, SO WHAT, but we can hope (dream) that next year might be different.

I got the trip I hoped for with WET SAIL, but he just wasn't good enough. Not only did LIMATO and MATTMU distinguish themselves in subsequent starts, but the fifth-place finisher from Redcar, FOX TROTTER, returned to run second in the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury. I'm not sure any of them are true 2000 Guineas contenders.

Speaking of the Guineas, I'm hoping that FAYDHAN winters well for John Gosden. He was a very impressive debut winner at Haydock over the solid DUTCH CONNECTION before going to the sidelines with an injury.


Will you be providing all the Beyer speed figures for the BC races?
I assume you watched Blofeld win the Nashua?

1. BAYERN - 113
5. WORK ALL WEEK - 105
6. TEXAS RED - 104
7. UNTAPABLE - 103
10. LADY ELI - 96

I did see BLOFELD win the Nashua (93 Beyer). To be honest, he still has a long way to go before folks start thinking Kentucky Derby. Unlike many Pletcher-trained babies, he is very green. He did some good things like reel in the loose EL KABEIR (who is built like a sprinter, and probably doesn't want to go this far), but it took him a good amount of time before he figured out his final lead change.

I think he needs more racing, and I hope that Todd runs him two turns in the Remsen. Win or lose, he'll benefit from the experience.


You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

The video previews for the Breeders' Cup races will be available later this week at the following link:



It appears there were no winners of the Breeders' Cup HandiGambling contest.

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 Saturday's Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct 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!




Copy of Formblog BC Classic 11-1-14.xls75.5 KB
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