07/02/2010 5:38PM

Some stakes opinions, Questions, etc.


Let's take a look at some of this weekend's stakes races:

United Nations - Monmouth - Race 10:

Even without Presious Passion in this field, there looks to be a good amount of early speed in the United Nations.  GET SERIOUS outgunned Presious Passion to the front in the Grade 3 Monmouth on June 12 and could be the speed of the speed.  California invader ACCLAMATION went gate-to-wire in his last two graded stakes starts.  STRAIGHT STORY likes to hear his feet rattle up front. 
Things should set up for a late-runner and I'll go with a stranger, CHINCHON.  Fourth in last year's Man O'War Stakes to champion-in-waiting Gio Ponti, Chinchon subsequently took a pair of Group 3 events in France.  He had a tough trip last time out in the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly as he was bottled up on the rail until late stretch.  By the time he altered course to the four path, the race was basically over.  He may be slightly more effective at 1 1/4 miles, but is worth a play with Garrett Gomez aboard.
Selections:  Chinchon, Get Serious, Winchester

American Oaks - Hollywood - Race 8:

COZI ROSIE, a daughter of Pleasantly Perfect, has rallied well in her last two races and may be the horse to beat in the Grade 1 American Oaks, but there isn't a ton of pace to set-up her kick.  Horses like CITY TO CITY are more tactical, but can this daughter of City Zip successfully navigate 10 furlongs? 
Lots of questions here so I'll take a small chance with ANDINA, an Irish-bred daughter of Singspiel that has finished behind several of the horses she'll have to deal with here. 
Andina may be up close to the expected moderate fractions and could get the jump on the late-runners under Rafael Bejarano
Selections:  Andina, Cozi Rosie, City to City

Prioress - Belmont - Race 9 (Sunday):

Only a field of five, but there appears to be a good amount of speed.  That makes BONNIE BLUE FLAG an appealing play for the red-hot trainer-jockey combination of Bob Baffert and Martin Garcia.  Bonnie Blue Flag was tremendous in winning the Cinemine Stakes at Lone Star - her first dirt attempt - on May 31.  She tracked the pace while 3-4 wide, swept to the front under minimal urging, and drew away as much the best.  She may find a nice spot behind speedsters CHAMPAGNE D'ORO and STORMANDAPRAYER, and could outfinish the in-form stalker Franny Freud. 
Selections:  Bonnie Blue Flag, Franny Freud, Champagne d'Oro

Queen's Plate - Woodbine - Race 10 (Sunday):

A wide-open race on paper so I'll go for a price with GIANT'S TOMB, a plodding son of Awesome Again who figures to appreciate this 10-furlong distance.  Giant's Tomb will make the third start of the form cycle while adding blinkers for trainer Mark Frostad.  Last time out, he raced wide off a slow pace, and still made up a bit of late ground to just miss third.  Perhaps the new eyewear will get him into the race sooner. 
Selections:  Giant's Tomb, Mobilizer, Big Red Mike

More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.

Best of luck to all.


Hi Dan could you post the pp's for Goldikova, and also do you know about another filly or mare that had beat males in grade or group 1 races more than six times, thanks.

Miesque won seven Grade/Group 1 races against males:

1986 - Prix de la Salamandre
1987 - Prix Jacques le Marois
1987 - Prix du Moulin de Lonchamp
1987 - Breeders' Cup Mile
1988 - Prix d'Ispahan
1988 - Prix Jacques le Marois
1988 - Breeders' Cup Mile

Here are Goldikova's past performances:

Download Goldikova'


Monmouth, 5/29, 8th race.  NJ bred
#4 Iron Countess and #7 Sconce, appear to be Pennsylvania bred.  The conditions don't say or NJ sired.  How are they eligible and are they also eligible for PA bred races?
Thanks for putting up with us.
Ron Zuercher

Ron Z. ..... Exactly what you surmised.....3-4 years ago NJ Breeders changed their qualification of NJ-bred (for racing eligibility)  to include those sired by a NJ stallion ....but dropped in another state. The Pa-breds by NJ stallions that you mention are true Pa.-breds, buy eligible for NJ-bred restricted racing.....it was an attempt to keep NJ stallions relevant in the wake of the Pa. casino windfall, but it didn't workout due to the weak crop of j-bred stallions....the dual eligibility clause expired with the 2010 foals. Like yourself,I always wondered why the race description didn't include that info for betters/customers who were unfamiliar with the eligibility rule.
Matt M.


Would you post the PPs for my favorite horse i've ever seen in person, Chindi?  And, this one may be tougher, but back when i was younger and just getting into horse racing, there was an old claiming war horse that ran at Remington named One Bold Scout; if you could post his too it would be great.  Thanks

Here's what I have for Chindi and One Bold Scout:

Download Mid-South performers


2. I'd love to get your opinion on whether or not the venerable Lava Man warrants consideration for the HOF. His accomplishments are tremendous; winning all of the big races in CA (Big Cap, Gold Cup, Pac Classic), turf and dirt wins, longevity and over $5M in earnings. I'm "on the fence", personally, but if I had a vote I'd have a tough time dismissing him out of hand - in spite of his lack of success outside of his home state.
I always enjoy your posts and I'm eager to get your take on the honorable Lava Man.
All the best.

Thanks for the kind words.  While some may think that ex-claimer Lava Man (47-17-8-5, $5,268,706) is a fringe player in terms of Hall of Fame consideration, you may want to compare his past performances with those of 2010 inductee Best Pal (47-18-11-4, $5,668,245).  Lava Man won seven Grade 1 races throughout his career to Best Pal's six (although Best Pal was a graded winner at ages two through seven and competed in two-thirds of the Triple Crown series) with comparable win records and earnings. 
If Best Pal is in, then Lava Man, at the very least, deserves a look. 

FormBloggers, judge for yourselves.  Here are Lava Man's past performances:

Download Lava Man


Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow. Not sure if you've started working on the AP card but as someone who thinks they know how to read a condition book I've officialy been stumped in the 5th race. The conditions are 10K claimers 3 and up nw3 lifetime or 3yos. 8-Unbridled Eltempo is a 5yo who's 5 for 21 lifetime?
Stephen Taylor

Stephen Taylor,
I do not have PP's for AP.  Did some of the wins for Unbridled Eltempo come in claimers of $5,000 or less?  If they did, these wins do not count against eligibilty.  Go back and read underneath the race conditions in the book and you will see what you may have missed.  I think the Form should have all the conditions listed.  Good luck tomorrow.
Ray Manley

Stephen, I described this condition in one of the previous blog entries, but it is puzzling why the final "exemption" clause (Races where entered for $5,000 or less not considered in eligiblity or allowances) wasn't in the header of my Formulator past performances.  I don't know whether Equibase and/or DRF are skimping on the race conditions, but that information is absolutely necessary when playing races such as these.  My advice is to go to the track's website, click on the "Horsemen" link, and download that day's condition book for the full conditions.


Dan glad to see you made the trip to A P !!  what a great track and yes I agree with blogger Stephen T,  when at AP - you must go outside for the live races.  Esp. after out long winters here.  What are your thoughts Dan? on Arlington?
gk_in wisc

It really is a jewel of a racetrack.  There is plenty of room to maneuver if you like to wander around the facility.  Plus, you can get right up close to the horses in the paddock and there doesn't seem to be a bad seat in the grandstand for handicappers that enjoy watching the races live.  It was truly a great experience at a beautiful track.


Dan, in honor of Safely Kept, recently pensioned, I'd like to request the following PPs....just to see them side by side.
Safely Kept, Ta Wee, Very Subtle, Gold Beauty, Pine Tree Lane, Xtra Heat, and Desert Stormer.
Dan, I've been thinking about With Anticipation lately for some reason (go figure), and I'd love to see his PP's.

Here's what I have for those fleet female sprinters and the old gelding:

Download Safely Kept

Download Ta Wee

Download Gold Beauty

Download Fast fillies

Download With Anticipation


Dan a freind of mine owned a good filly named Patti L could you post her pp she ran in th early 90 Thanks D-Mac

Here's what I have for Patti L.

Download Patti L


Dan.......If the Arlington Sprint, a Win and You're In race for the Breeder's Cup Turf Sprint, was taken off the turf, would the winner still qualify for the BC Turf Sprint? Just a passing thought.........
Dan.......Could I please see the pp's for a horse named Strike The Anvil who ran at different tracks in the 1970's....Thanks

From the race header in the Arlington Park program:

"...In the event this race is taken off the turf, due to unsafe racing conditions, the horse that wins the "off the turf" race will NOT receive an automatic qualifying position to enter the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in the applicable Turf Division race..."

Here is Strike the Anvil:

Download Strike the Anvil


omg dan,pajamas...say it ain't so. i always thought of u as the james bond type, i.e jumping in 2 the sack with just your boxer shorts on. well at least your in good company if i recall tbta puts her pjS on just b4 bedtime 2.

They're cute, though.  You know, the ones with the feet and the flap.  :)


So, could you please humor me w/ the PP's of Copelan & Slewpy.  Thanx, Pardner..LOL..
Curt A Vassallo

Here they are:

Download CopelanSlewpy


Question for Dan and others.  What are your thoughts on Betting Exchanges like Betfair?  I'm definitely intrigued by them and am excited that my home state has advanced the exchange wagering bill.  I'm curious how others feel about this type of wagering?

I echo Mickey's comments on the subject.  As a gambler, I'm bullish on the idea of betting exchanges.  They give the player more opportunities in that they can become the bookmaker if need be.  Think the 6-5 shot has no chance, but aren't sure which of the other contenders will upset him?  Instead of wracking your brain trying to find the right combos, simply take book on the questionable chalk. 
From a wagering standpoint, you can shop for odds instead of being disappointed when your horse goes from 10-1 to 6-1 seemingly after the race begins. 

Will this be good for the United States pari-mutuel industry?  Probably not.  Betting exchanges, like offshore betting facilities, could conceivably take away money that goes to track handle, local horsemen, breeding programs, etc.  That could affect purses at your local track and begin a negative trickle-down effect on the industry. 


What's up with Presious Passion?

From Mike Farrell's article posted on July 1:



Dan I would really love to hear your opinion on this (as other NYRA bloggers as well)

I think Monmouth has had a dramatic impact on the spring Belmont meet.  The purses there are astounding and New York, a state that already has slot-fueled competition for lower-end horses from Pennsylvania, Canada, Delaware, West Virginia, is feeling the pinch. 

The abundance of stakes races throughout the country gives trainers and owners too many options.  Don't like the weight assignment in New York?  I'll run in Jersey.  Don't like the distance in New York.  There's something else in Delaware.  The Suburban, one of the great historical races, is now basically an afterthought.  It's barely a Grade 2 and has been turned back to nine furlongs.  It wasn't too long ago that Mineshaft and Invasor won the Suburban, not to mention past winners like Skip Away, Easy Goer, Foolish Pleasure, Forego, Key to the Mint, Dr. Fager, Buckpasser, Kelso (twice), Sword Dancer, Bald Eagle, Bold Ruler, Nashua, Tom Fool, Assault, Armed, etc.  Care to guess the last three winners of the race?

Political Force, Frost Giant, Dry Martini.

Sunday's Prioress, a Grade 1 sprint, drew five three-year-old fillies.  Simply amazing.  If you have a filly that isn't exactly Grade 1 quality, why not try the Caught in the Rain Stakes at seven furlongs at Philly on Saturday?  Or the Niagara at Finger Lakes?  Or the Azalea at Calder next week?  Don't think your filly wants dirt?  The Arlington Oaks is around two turns on polytrack. 

Saratoga is around the corner.  It will be very interesting to see if the lack of quality racing at Belmont is due to horsemen waiting for the Spa, or if they've gone to Jersey and elsewhere for the summer.  I, for one, am hoping for a rebound.


When was the last time a horse ran on turf after winning the kentucky derby?

Four starts after winning the Derby, Big Brown finished first in the $500,000 Monmouth Stakes going 1 1/8 miles on grass.


Dan:  Has there been any walkovers in recent years.  Last one I can remember was Sharp Cat many years ago.  What an awesome filly.  Could you post her PP's? 

According to the 2010 American Racing Manual, the last walkover was on July 15, 2005 at Colonial Downs.  A horse named Liveinthepresent won a $25,000 'N2L' claimer at 1 1/16 miles. 

Here's Sharp Cat:

Download Sharp Cat


Dan, I really enjoy your blog, you do great work..
Any chance you can post the PPs for..
Theatrical and Paradise Creek?
More To Tell

Here they are:

Download ParadiseCreek

Download Theatrical


Enjoy the holiday weekend!