02/19/2014 2:55PM

Sophomore Spotlight


Tamarando and Tapiture earned Derby points by virtue of their victories in the El Camino Real Derby and Southwest Stakes, respectively, but a pair of colts also opened eyes with wins at Santa Anita. Let’s take a closer look.

BAYERN (Offlee Wild – Alittlebitearly, by Thunder Gulch)
*Foal Date, State: May 3, 2011, Kentucky
*Breeder: Helen Alexander
*Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.
*Trainer: Bob Baffert
*Auction history: $320,000 Fasig-Tipton Spring Juvenile
*Last Race:  1st ‘n1x’ allowance, 1 Mile, Santa Anita, February 13, 98 Beyer
* DP = 8-3-11-0-0 (22) DI = 3.00

Bayern wowed the crowd at Santa Anita last Thursday with a fifteen-length romp in an entry-level allowance at one mile. Trained by Bob Baffert, Bayern followed up on an equally-impressive first-out victory at seven furlongs on January 4.

The Santa Anita main track favored speed on January 4 as all six of the dirt winners were within a length of the leader at the pace call. Bayern, sent off at 4-5, pressed stablemate Hold Everything through splits of 22.50 and 45.19 before disdainfully dispatching that foe on the turn. From there, it was all Bayern. He finished his last eighth in 12.27, completed the distance in 1:22.24, and received a 92 Beyer. Bayern was flattered when three of his vanquished rivals returned to graduate. One of them, Hoppertunity, earned a 92 Beyer.

Bayern missed some time after his debut due to illness, but didn’t look rusty at all last week. Again, he broke sweetly and soon set moderate splits of 24.03 and 47.77 while pressured by Brother Soldier and Tap It Rich. Entering the far turn, Bayern was gone. He threw a 24-second third quarter at his opponents and they couldn’t keep up. Bayern was ten lengths clear in midstretch and finished the mile in 1:35.77. He ran his last quarter in 24.00 flat while under a mere hand ride by Gary Stevens.

Bayern breezed two furlongs in 21.3 prior to selling for $320,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale last May. His sire, Offlee Wild, defeated eventual Kentucky Derby and Preakness hero Funny Cide in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. A six-furlong maiden winner at two, Offlee Wild also vanquished Funny Cide in the Grade 2 Massachusetts Handicap at four and in the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap at five. At stud, Offlee Wild is the sire of champion 2-year-old filly She Be Wild, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies over the Pro-Ride at Santa Anita.

Bayern hails from a powerful family. The third dam is the great broodmare Courtly Dee, who produced Grade 1 winners Althea, Ali Oop and Ketoh. She also foaled Bayern’s dam, Aquilegia, a Grade 2 winner at 10 furlongs on grass. Bayern’s unraced dam is a half-sister to stakes-winners Alchemilla and Amelia, and to Group 3 winner Bertolini.

Bayern has obvious ability and a stamina-oriented pedigree, but an objective analysis will note that Brother Soldier, Bayern’s main pace rival, broke very poorly and was hustled up to contest the pace while the talented, but temperamental, Tap It Rich was up to his old tricks by being hard to handle on the first turn.

Also, Bayern did not start last year. If he runs in the Kentucky Derby, he would try to become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the race without juvenile experience. A late foal, it’s possible that Bayern will mature later this season, and into his 4-year-old campaign, ala Mucho Macho Man (a June foal).

Plus, Bayern has yet to show that he can sit and finish off horses. Right now, his speed is his best asset and the Derby usually features a very strong pace. In any respect, even if the Derby isn’t Bayern’s ultimate destiny, he should make his presence felt in graded stakes. Expect to see him next in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 8.


GAREN (Street Cry – Quendom, by Interprete)
*Foal Date, State: April 6, 2011, Kentucky
*Breeder: Alessandro Miserocchi
*Owner: Rockingham Ranch
*Trainer: Peter Miller
*Auction history: $110,000 RNA Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling; $235,000 Barretts May Juvenile
*Last Race:  1st maiden special weight, 11/16 Miles, Santa Anita, February 17, 82 Beyer
* DP = 5-1-4-0-0 (10) DI = 4.00

Although a long way from being considered a major Derby contender, Garen has the pedigree and potential that deserves mention. A half-brother to Hall of Famer Invasor, Horse of the Year in 2006 and conqueror of such prestigious Grade 1 events as the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Dubai World Cup, Donn Handicap, Whitney Handicap, Pimlico Special, and Suburban Handicap, Garen improved drastically when allowed to stretch out around a route of ground at Santa Anita on February 17.

Garen breezed a furlong in 10 1/5 prior to selling for $235,000 at Barretts last May. Trained by Peter Miller, Garen didn’t do much in his debut at six furlongs on December 28, but he chased gate-to-wire winner Cherubim over a speed-favoring track. Cherubim showed his quality by returning to finish second in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes.

Equipped with blinkers at 5 ½ furlongs on January 18, Garen showed improved speed. He rattled off Moss Pace Figures of 98 and 92 while battling through fractions of 21.19 and 44.16. Garen won the duel – fellow pacesetter and next-out winner Pimpernel finished fifth – but understandably tired late to finish fourth.

There was no such pace warfare last Monday as Garen zipped to the early lead, opened up a clear advantage and coasted home at 1 1/16 miles to the tune of a career-best 82 Beyer.

Not only is Garen a half-brother to an all-time great, but he boasts the same sire, Street Cry, as the mighty Zenyatta and Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense.

Critics will maintain, and rightly so, that Garen’s maiden win came when unpressured through moderate fractions over a speed-favoring track. We’ll learn more next time around as he will likely travel out of town for a Kentucky Derby prep.

*Last summer, it appeared that FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD was on her way to becoming a star in the juvenile filly division. The Texas-bred won her career debut by 10 lengths at Lone Star Park on May 24 and backed up that performance with an eight-length romp in the $113,000 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs. She had a brutal trip when fourth (placed third) at odds-on in the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga on August 11 and emerged from that race with a fractured left shin and a chip in her right knee. You never know how they'll come back from serious injury, but Fiftyshadesofgold, trained by Bret Calhoun, showed little rust in her seasonal debut, the $75,000 Two Altazano Stakes at Sam Houston last Saturday. Ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Fiftyshadesofgold tracked the pace and blew by the leaders en route to a career-best 93 Beyer Speed Figure. It is likely that she'll stretch out in distance for her next start as the Kentucky Oaks is the usual long-term goal for sophomore fillies.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (2/10/14 - 2/16/14):

1. LONGHUNTER (GB) - 100 - OC25k/SAL25k - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
2. IOTAPA - 99 - Santa Maria Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
3. BAYERN - 98 - Alw 59044N1X - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
3. DEVIL'S CAVE - 98 - Sabin Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
5. APPREHENDER - 97 - King Cotton Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
5. MONGOLIAN SATURDAY - 97 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Calder
7. PEACE AND JUSTICE - 96 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
7. TWILIGHT ECLIPSE - 96 - Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
9. KOBE'S BACK - 95 - San Vicente Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Santa Anita
9. RIGHT TO VOTE - 95 - Essex Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
11. ABSOLUTELY COOL - 94 - Phoenix Gold Cup Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Turf Paradise
11. A. P. CORSAIR - 94 - Clm c-(20-16) - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Oaklawn
13. CAMPEON - 93 - Md Sp Wt 40k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
13. DON'T TELL SOPHIA - 93 - Bayakoa Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
13. FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD - 93 - Two Altazano Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Sam Houston
16. A TOAST TO YOU - 92 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
16. BROKERED - 92 - Alw 59544N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
16. INIMITABLE ROMANEE - 92 - The Very One Stakes (G3) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
19. MOONSHINE MULLIN - 91 - OC 40k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
19. TAMARANDO - 91 - El Camino Real Derby (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
21. THE ADMIRAL - 90 - Md Sp Wt 57k - 7 Furlongs - Santa Anita
21. SEEKING THE SHERIF - 90 - Alw 12500s - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
23. BROOME STREET - 89 - OC16k/SAL10k - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
23. MASS DESTRUCTION - 89 - OC 25k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Laurel
25. GEOTHERMAL - 88 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Fair Grounds
25. QUIET MAN - 88 - Wcl c-(40-35) - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
25. REECE'S WILDCAT - 88 - Alw 40000N1X - 5 Furlongs - Delta

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

*A. P. Corsair was claimed for $16,000 by trainer Chris Richard from Federico Villafranco.

*Quiet Man was claimed for $40,000 by trainer Chris Hartman from Kellyn Gorder.


Dan Illman
Do you know when (specifically) the 3-year best time chart is updated?

They are usually updated the first of the year.


To Dan
For a number of years I have been using Formulator and for a while now I have been putting in my race notes the previous race Beyers of the top three finishers in maiden races.
Last week I noticed one of the current Form numbers was different than what I had written down and I just wrote it off as a juxtaposed number on my part. Sunday though, in the San Vicente, SA fifth, I noticed the Beyer for Rprettboyfloyd had changed and this time I looked it up in my old Forms.
His inital outing was given a 78 Beyer in the Jan 26 Form and in the 2-16 Form it was changed to an 85. The Jan 26 race he was given an 82. So, he went from an ascending Beyer pattern to a descending Beyer pattern and Sunday, visually, he is on an ascending pattern. Don't know the Beyer given.
And of course, there was Alan's Bshanny race a couple of years ago. Anyhow, how common is this changing of Beyer numbers? Is it only for maidens? Are Stakes horses changed also? Somehow, I get the feeling this is "dirty pool", certainly potentially confusing, or like if a horse got in a lot of trouble and finished 4th that the Form will show him finishing 2nd because he could have if he hadn't gotten into trouble.

I don't know exactly how common it is that the numbers are changed from their original designation, but it does happen on occasion and it does happen with stakes horses. There's not any nefarious intention here. The figuremakers are doing their best to maintain accuracy. Check out this link from the horse's mouth himself:


The key passage is as follows:

"There are other situations in which we may not be able to calculate a normal figure with a normal variant; the most common of these will involve grass races. On the many days when a racetrack will card a single turf race, we won't have enough evidence about the speed of the course to make a variant. In such circumstances we'll project a figure - and pray.
When we assign these occasional arbitrary numbers, our computer system allows us to second-guess our own decisions. We can summon a report on any race which shows what figure each horse earned in his next start after that race. After reviewing a troublesome race, we may conclude that subsequent events have contradicted our original judgment. When that happens, we'll go back and change the number. Sometimes the only way to produce a trustworthy figure is through hindsight."


AZ Wildcat - That's a nice progression. Perhaps Dan can show us Magic Wiesner's PP's with BSFs leading up to the Preakness ? ?...
Jackson Jackson

Magic Weisner's past performances are available at the bottom of the blog post.


can you post the PPs for Swaps

They are available at the bottom of this blog post.


I'm really looking forward to our annual FormBlog Convention next weekend at Gulfstream Park.

Here's the info from Laura, who has been so kind to organize the event.

UPDATE on the DRF Formblog Convention!

The Convention is Feb. 28 - March 3 at GP Park. (Fri - Sun). We get a discount on rooms at Hampton Inn, across from the track. The price is $172/night (plus the dreaded $18 tax). To receive the correct rate, call the hotel directly (954-874-3006) and ask for the Gulfstream Park rate. If there's any difficulty, please email me at:


As usual, we'll be given a suite overlooking the track with our own private balcony and betting terminals, trips to the paddock, a race named for our group and photo in the winner's circle. We'll also have plenty of swag from the BC and other fun stuff.

This is always a fantastic weekend so don't miss out! Come handicap with our Fearless Leader, Sheriff Dan Who! I can supply rides to/from the airport (about 10 minutes away), if needed. Check out this page for more info:




The weekend handicapping previews should be available on the site soon.

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


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

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

This week's HandiGambling exercise will be Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes from Gulfstream


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 "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card 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!




Best of luck to all.

Swaps.pdf65.35 KB
Copy of Formblog Gulstream 2-14-14.xls70.5 KB
FountainofYouth.pdf179.36 KB