04/02/2014 4:22PM

Sprinter On the Rise


Looking for a promising sophomore sprinter?  How about Embellishing Bob?
EMBELLISHING BOB (Northern Afleet - Kirsche, by Defrere)

*FOAL DATE, STATE: March 14, 2011, Kentucky
*TRAINER: Steve Margolis
*BREEDER: Martin Cherry
*OWNER: Martin L. Cherry
1st Maiden Special Weight, 6 Furlongs, Fair Grounds, March 29, 98 Beyer
*DP = 7-1-10-0-0 (18) DI = 2.60   CD = 0.83

Vicar's In Trouble earned all the accolades for his Louisiana Derby victory last Saturday at Fair Grounds, but an up-and-coming sprinter also turned some heads.

Embellishing Bob earned his maiden win in his third lifetime start, grabbing the advantage from the opening bell in a six-furlong special weight. Ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Embellishing Bob took six rivals on a merry chase by carving out fractions of 22.27 and 45.46. Although he faced token resistence from favored first-time starter Clark Kent, Embellishing Bob always had some kryptonite in his pocket. He drew away to score by four lengths in 1:09.42 and received a career-best 98 Beyer Speed Figure.

Trainer Steve Margolis doesn't have the best statistics with first-time starters (4-91, 4%, $0.86 ROI over the past three years according to DRF Formulator) so it was heartening to see Embellishing Bob perform so well in his career debut at Fair Grounds on January 31. Bet down to 3-1 against hot firster The Trunk Monkey after some bullet drills, Embellishing Bob received a good education. He broke terribly, rushed up along the inside. took dirt in his face while racing in the pocket and finished evenly along the rail. He was ten lengths clear of the fourth-place finisher and was flattered when three horses from that race returned as next-out winners.

One of those winners was Saint Finian, who took the measure of Embellishing Bob by a dirty nose in a grassy 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight on March 1. In that heat, Embellishing Bob again sat the pocket on the turn before angling four wide turning into the straight. He reeled in the three horses in front of him, but failed to contain Saint Finian's final surge. That race set Embellishing Bob up perfectly for last week's maiden romp.

Embellishing Bob is by multiple Grade 2 winner Northern Afleet, who prevailed at distances ranging from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. Northern Afleet earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in one-third of his 21 starts, including the 110 for his third-place effort in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont. Northern Afleet also won the Grade 2 San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs, the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes at 1 1/8 miles, and the Grade 3 San Diego Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. A half-brother to Grade 1 winner Tap to Music, Northern Afleet is the sire of Eclipse champions Afleet Alex (Belmont Stakes, Preakness Stakes, Hopeful Stakes) and Amazombie (Breeders' Cup Sprint, Big Crosby Stakes, Ancient Title Stakes). He has also produced North American Grade 1 winners Teaks North (United Nations Stakes, Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap) and Evening Jewel (Ashland Stakes, Del Mar Oaks).

Embellishing Bob is out of Kirsche, an unraced half-sister to multiple stakes-winning sprinter Watchfull (the dam of Grade 3 winner Watchmon), juvenile stakes-placed sprinter Rose Bay, stakes-winning sprinter Sweet Sixteen, and juvenile Grade 2-placed sprinter Hermione's Magic. The third dam, Syncopating Lady (by In Reality), was a multiple stakes-winner in late 1970s.

Embellishing Bob has potential, but he's going to have to prove it again versus tougher competition. His maiden win was dominated by frontrunners as the superfecta finishers ran 1-2-3-4 around the track. He isn't nominated to the Triple Crown so Margolis can afford to take his time. Expect to see Embellishing Bob in stakes races fairly soon, but he looks to be more of a sprinter or miler at this juncture than a true classic colt.

*Starting tomorrow, I'm going to make an attempt at blogging daily (or Monday-Friday, let's see) when time permits. We'll still keep the HG past performances (and rules) on the bottom of each blog post. Thanks for bearing with me.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (3/24/14 - 3/30/14):

1. PALACE MALICE - 114 - New Orleans Handicap (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Fair Grounds
2. FURY KAPCORI - 107 - Santana Mile Stakes - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
2. HAPPY MY WAY - 107 - Sir Shackleton Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
4. UNTAPABLE - 106 - Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
5. COUNTERCYCLICAL - 104 - OC 17k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
6. CEE 'N O - 101 - OC25k/SAL25k - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
6. FAVORITE TALE - 103 - Alw 59400N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
6. HEY LEROY - 101 - Appleton Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
6. MICROMANAGE - 103 - Skip Away Stakes (G3) - 1 3/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
10. NEWSDAD - 100 - Pan American Stakes (G2) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. CONSTITUTION - 99 - Florida Derby (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
11. LUCY'S BOB BOY - 99 - Alw 32000NC - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
11. MONTY HAUL - 99 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Parx
11. NATALIE VICTORIA - 99 - OC 75k/C -N - 1 Mile - Aqueduct
11. START JUMPING - 99 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Laurel
16. EMBELLISHING BOB - 98 - Md Sp Wt 41k - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
16. MYLUTE - 98 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Fair Grounds
16. SKYRING - 98 - Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Fair Grounds
16. VIVA MAJORCA - 98 - Md Sp Wt 44k - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
20. L. A. WEEKEND - 97 - Coyote Handicap - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Turf Paradise
20. THUNDER HARBOR - 97 - OC 20k/N1X - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Turfway
20. VICAR'S IN TROUBLE - 97 - Louisiana Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Fair Grounds
23. BOBBY V. - 96 - Clm 50000 - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
24. MOONE'S MY NAME (GB) - 95 - American Beauty Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
24. OLDE BAY - 95 - Alw 26200N2X - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
24. SECRETSATMIDNIGHT - 95 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita

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


Could you post the attached Trakus report from 3-29 when you roll the blog tomorrow (can you add back the two I sent earlier)? This one is huge, it shows the difference between his 50’ wide runs and his win where he was 6 feet less than the others. I really think that Trakus has value in determining why he performed or not. He is a hilarious horse to watch – every two weeks and he runs like his ass is on fire every time. But it was the rider change that made all the difference. You had it exactly right in your preview of the Appleton – he had to lay back, save ground and make one run. I didn’t expect a 1:32/2, but I knew he had the talent. Now watch them go right back to another rider and he will be a sinkhole. Ya gotta love horse racing, kind of like developing the theory of relativity on a dollar store calculator…
Steve T.

The Trakus screen captures for Hey Leroy are available at the bottom of this blog post.


The weekend handicapping previews should be available in the video player on the homepage soon.

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to DavidM9999 for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

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 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct for this week's HandiGambling event.


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.


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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HGWOOD $100W #2 thecerfer
AJ More than 1 year ago
Scratch kid Cruz, so need to reprise my bet. HG $16 tri box. 6/8/11 $4 super. 6/8/11/10 AJ
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Whackymacky ...nice to see you back , and I'll give an OMG!! reaction to that starter :) SR Vegas
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Dick W ...do you need anyone to haul your luggage, or be your driver while you are in Lexington for those 3 weeks ? I'm raising my hand, LOL! ...you are one lucky guy :) SR Vegas
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
Hot "N Nasty It was a tongue n cheek comment about the 20-40 no-limit game... The starter was out to lunch..it just really pushed me further away from this game...lol Just cannot imagine no communication out there...the #9 was behind the gate!!!!! Amazing!!! Dan Please, share a comment with your following. This is really something. I have seen the starter pull the trigger many times as soon as that last horse gets in. it is like he is late for lunch...the handler on the last horse is barely set, and he springs them!!!! Why??? Nasty i play the limit games. Normal run is at 4 am Saturday morning for10 hours, then the horse room. Bet, then rest up, study the form in my room, a little dinner, back to poker, same time until noon, bet the horses, leave at 7pm, home at 9pm..... Best of luck to all. Go watch the replay of today's race #1 at Oaklawn. Whackymacky out!!!
edb More than 1 year ago
HGWOOD: Lots of derby bubbles will be burst this weekend. Not a believer in Soc. Inc. yet and he has to finish in top two to qualify. Uncle Sigh only needs to finish in top four to get off the ledge he shares with Cairo Prince. Kristo, Noble Moon, Harpoon and Kid Cruz are shooting for the fences. Don't like Samaraat doesn't need any points . Reminds me of Wildcat Red. Going with $16 tri key 8/1,10,6. Horse for the course or just an unbeaten horse with lots of grit is good enough for me. Also $2 supers 11/8/1/6,10 in case I miss that bus. Thanks for headsup on Hey Leroy. I believed and made a good day better. Good luck to all. edb
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MikeA 15/1 on A P Elvis..4th in the ML SteveT thx for the info on both the 1 hole and the stuff on KEE Hot 'N' Nasty
Bruce Eckhoff More than 1 year ago
3 of the big 4 races at the big A look intriguing to me. I do 90% of my betting at So Cal tracks so I might offer some pace insight that will be of value when handicapping the Wood. They attempted to rate Kristo in his last race, he 'pulled' and obviously disliked it. Sadler probably saw that there is no 'California' type speed in this race. He has employed Martin Garcia for this outing. Garcia may be the best from the gate in California. While Martin is not the best Ca rider he is pretty good on the front end. I believe Kristo will try to establish a clear lead. In my opinion he is not good enough to go all the way with this bunch but he will compromise the likes of Social Inclusion and the others that will be in close attendance to the pace. Harpoon gets a switch to Velasquez and a vastly improved draw. He never quit in the last race. Anderson already got the $100w bet on him so not sure I will enter the competition but if he gets a decent price watch out. By the way, how often does Mott get a horse like Kid Cruz claimed off him. If this race totally falls apart he could be a player. I have always loved Sahara Sky and was happy to see him confirm his class with his races in NY last year. But he will probably be over bet in a race that does not have a ton of speed in it. Clearly Now can sit the best trip and get the jump on SS. Wish he had a more recent start but he is still my Carter pick. There is a lot of speed in the BayShore which makes Kobe's Back a legitimate favorite. This is his best trip and Corey fits him and his style perfectly. Financial Mogul looks very good as well. Case can be made for Favorite Tale and Coup de Grace. By the way, despite my negative comments about Baffert I don't know the man's heart. And I am a handicapper first. For example he is very strong route to sprint (40% in 70 tries) as he is in the first Saturday at Santa Anita with Vegas Trip. He could be underlaid which happens more than you think with a BB horse. He was off slow and ran well in his debut against The Admiral. He switches to a good gate jock. But don't take a short price.
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
HG367 @the BiG A./Wood Memorial, Let's play the Slewster......I don't like the way this race is playing out. Too many question marks. Especially from the 11, Social Inclusion. He might be the horse. I liked him 1st out. So what. 2nd out, he beat an injured Honor Code. Just like I said to put a fork in Cairo Prince. He hiccupped BiG. I'm not putting a fork in SI. But at chalk odds, you play him, not me. #3 Noble Moon should also be undefeated, & at BiG odds? I don't really care what others say anyway. It's my dime. Or Dan's.. I saw that smoke blowing remark, Okie....Sounds like Chief Sitting Bull.....Heehee.. $100 Win........#3...........=$100... TotaliZZZation...................$100.00....... Curtis V Slewster..........
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wacky I didn't see one 20-40 no-limit at Foxwoods at all last year 20-40 limit..sure..but no 20-40 no-limit it doesn't run PERIOD..1/2, 2/5, once in awhile 10/20 and few and far between 10/25 20-40 is a limit game everywhere. not sure why you keep saying that no-limit is played at 20-40 at Foxwoods Hot 'N' Nasty