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By Dan Illman
"He is scintillating. He is sparking. He is spine-tingling," raved the track announcer as Sprinter Sacre jaunted through the stretch in the Queen Mother Champion Chase on March 13.
Let's take a step back from the Derby trail and recognize a horse on an amazing streak.
SPRINTER SACRE, a 7-year-old French-bred gelding, hasn't lost a race since March 15, 2011. He's prevailed in 10 consecutive steeplechase events in England and Ireland at distances ranging from 16-20 furlongs, but what is truly amazing is the ease in which he dominates his opponents.
Don't believe me?
Take a peek at his 19-length victory (190 Racing Post Rating) in the Grade 1 Queen Mother Champion
Considering the high-risk nature of jump racing, Sprinter Sacre's feats are even more noteworthy. Not only does trainer Nicky Henderson have to keep the gelding in sharp form, but he must hold his breath every instance that Sprinter Sacre leaps over a fence.
Sprinter Sacre closed out the jumping season with three Grade 1 victories in 41 days and will, hopefully, return next year to continue his exploits.
*GAME ON DUDE, arguably the best handicap horse in the country, continued his string of sharp performances with a game victory in the three-turn, nine furlong Charles Town Classic.
But, let's also acknowledge the job done by trainer Craig Lewis with runner-up CLUBHOUSE RIDE. Lewis, perhaps best-known for leading LARRY THE LEGEND to victory in the 1995 Santa Anita Derby, has transformed Clubhouse Ride from a decent 'n2x' optional claimer to one of the faster older runners in the land. Perhaps the addition of blinkers has aided Clubhouse Ride's ascension (record of 7-1-5-0 with blinkers). Although he's only won once with the hood, he's earned 105 Beyers in three straight races while chasing Game On Dude in vain. The 5-year-old has earned $453,000 from four races this year and it would be nice if he gets his name on a trophy in the near future.
*Good to see PAYNTER continue his comeback from life-threatening ailments. Last year's Haskell winner worked a half-mile in 48.80 at Betfair Hollywood Park on Wednesday morning.
*MUCHO MACHO MAN, the runner-up in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, breezed four furlongs in 48.40 at Fair Hill on Wednesday morning. The popular campaigner missed time since his most recent race with a virus.
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (4/15/13 - 4/21/13):
1. DANCE TO BRISTOL - 106 - Sugar Maple Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Charles Town
1. GAME ON DUDE - 106 - Charles Town Classic (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Charles Town
3. EIGHTTOFASTTOCATCH - 105 - Henry Clark Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Pimlico
4. DELEGATION - 104 - Alw 75347NC - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine
5. BIG BUSINESS - 101 - OC 62k/N2X - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
5. HARDENED WILDCAT - 101 - OC 75k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - Aqueduct
5. WORK ALL WORK - 101 - Alw 30000N$Y - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
8. CHIPS ALL IN - 100 - San Simeon Stakes (G3) - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
9. BARTOLOME - 98 - OC 16k/N1X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Calder
9. DISPOSABLEPLEASURE - 98 - Sixty Sails Handicap (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Hawthorne
9. SUCCESSFUL DAN - 98 - Ben Ali Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) - Keeneland
12. INTERACTION (Arg.) - 97 - San Juan Capistrano Handicap (G2) - 1 3/4 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
13. READTHEBYLINE - 96 - OC50k/SAL50k - 1 Mile - Aqueduct
14. EASTER GIFT - 95 - Alw 55500C - 1 Mile - Parx
15. ANCIL - 93 - Alw 61930N2X - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Keeneland
15. DEPARTING - 93 - Illinois Derby (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Hawthorne
15. SUMMER FRONT - 93 - Miami Mile Handicap (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Calder
18. BROAD RULE - 92 - OC 50k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - Pimlico
18. FREE WORLD - 92 - Robert Hilton Memorial Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Charles Town
18. KINGS OVER - 92 - Alw 32000s - 1 1/16 Miles - Calder
18, QUICK MONEY - 92 - Hcp 15000s - 6 Furlongs - Aqueduct
18. SWEET CASSIOPEIA - 92 - Giant's Causeway Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Keeneland
23. AWESOME FLOWER - 91 - Alw 53697N1X - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
23. FEARSOME - 91 - Charles Town Dash - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
23. FLYING POSSE - 91 - OC c-25k/N2X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
23. KING HENRY - 91 - Alw 8000s - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Parx
23. LUCY'S BOB BOY - 91 - Confucious Say Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Charles Town
23. SOUTHPAW SLAMMER - 91 - Clm c-50000N2L - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
*The lifetime past performances for DANCE TO BRISTOL and GAME ON DUDE are available at the bottom of this blog post.
*SOUTHPAW SLAMMER was claimed for $50,000 by trainer Joe Woodard from Chad Brown.
*FLYING POSSE was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Joe Woodard from Hugh McMahon.
Congrats to TURF RULER for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.
PENN NATIONAL RICK'S WEEKLY SCORESHEET IS AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
Let's go with Saturday's Derby Trial from Churchill Downs as this week's race.
PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan."
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.
Please post your plays and analysis to the blog.
PLEASE GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.
Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers (instead of the horse's name) for easier scoring.
In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. One entry per person please.
I reserve the right to approve or deny any entries.
I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but 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. I'm 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.
***FROM SCOREKEEPER PENN NATIONAL RICK***
I read some entries on here and there are some people who put their heart out on their picks(such as DavidM9999) and give you great analysis on who they like and why and then there are others who elect not to give any reasoning behind their entries. The rule I will implement EFFECTIVE 3/1/13 will be... any entry without ANY analysis will be ignored. We are not asking you to put out a novel, but again a sentence or two. Also, I will put communication out when Dan puts out new blogs.
My intent is not to be jerk on this, but what's fair is fair. I'm not taking away from this week or past winners regarding all of this, but we do need to make the change.
If you have any questions/concerns...please send an email to FORMBLOG@DRF.COM and it will get forwarded to me.
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 LATE THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).
Best of luck to all.
You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman
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Thursday; What to do, what to do.. First, the bridge jumper play against has made me so money back... Why doesn't it feel like Derby fever around here... Twin Spires won't send me a First Class round trip ticket to the Oaks / Derby weekend. They are having a big party for their high rollers!!! I will be sending them a letter. Bet some big $$ with them. I can go to the party and get 2 tickets, but will need to pay my way to get there. So I have it down to 6 runners. More to follow. Whackymacky Out!!!!
HG325, The Derby...... #12........Itsmyluckyday #16........Orb #5...........Normandy Invasion #3...........Revolutionary #1...........Black OnyX #14.........VerraZano I've said this a million times......ITSMYLUCKYDAY is the Fastest horse in this race. Period. He gets the jump on all the closers. If you like Orb, you have to love this guy. End of my discussion. In the HG I'll just Sticker IMLD to get my money back. In real life, I'll be betting him across the board. W/much more than the $100 here. So, in the spirit of the Derby & the HG, I'll try & take the track home w/ me....... $27 Exacta Box......12 & 16................................=$54............ $5 Trifecta Key.....12-16/12-16/5-3-1-14.......=$40............ $6 Win....................12........................................=$6.............. TotaliZZation........................................................=$100.00............. Curtis V Slewster....................... ۩ .........................
IMLD, Orb, NI.........These 3 are getting boxed. IMLD & Orb are getting bet 1-2. IMLD is getting Stickered. Odds went up & the post is even better. Ooh Baby, Baby...Smokey.. If IMLD runs 1-2, the track is mine sayeth the Lord. I'll use IMLD on top also w/about 5 underneath...15/20-1........Like I said, Ooh Baby, Baby......There'll be a Slooster on the Looster.......IMLD has got to hit the board, except for a few longies on the cheap, for a fishcake saver......TTYL.............Fla. Derby is the key. If one likes Orb, you have to LOVE the BuZZaw, thee other Slewster, Value perZonified.......The one that will be on the Looster....... Oh!! BTW: This Slewster loves the Mud/Slop/Wet...etc. Curtis V Slooooooooooooooster..................
Ancestral Herd Influence Could Determine Outcome Of Kentucky Derby 139; Revolutionary Tops Competitors List; Mylute, Orb, Lines Of Battle Looking Good: http://bit.ly/11Y3ync
TBTA Dang ...look, an English Channel on the turf at 1M "Channel Lady" ML 12-1 at CD on Derby day Race #8.. yes, it's Pletcher ( I know, I know) ...but it's not Lukas on the dirt ! Oh wait, dang ...you have no ADW !!! Call me :) SR Vegas
MKB Entries I know the BIG Show will be the KY Derby ...but we do have a MKB on the under card. Saturday 5/4 /13 Churchill Downs race #5 1 1/16M 75K AOC Code West - Meathead01/IMT Good luck ! SR Vegas
Whackymacky ...I read the same about Flashy Gray , bummer. One less PGH to use in my wagers :) SR Vegas
Corrected HG picks Oaks/Woodford/Derby p3 $2 2,4,8 w 8,9 w 11,14 $50win 11 $10 EXBOX 11/14 $3 EXBOX 11/16 Sorry about that Rick, Stephen L Taylor
Why am I feeling it with Lines of Battle? I know that no horse has come over from Dubai and won, but after watching the replay it looked like this horse was actually playing with the competition at the end of the Dubai race. He went 1 3/16 (longer than anyone else in the race) and is going to be close enough to the pace to (hopefully) stay out of the trouble that can happen with a 20 horse field. Verrazano has done nothing wrong and it appears this year there won't be any short prices so whoever is right will get paid. Meanwhile in the Oaks, Baffert's Midnight Lucky just appears to be the most talented, but you can't leave out Dreaming of Julia and all Pletcher's Unlimited Budget has done is go undefeated. In the Woodford, it's Point of Entry and Wise Dan (nuff said) So here we go with HG bets HGDERBY PICKS Oaks/Woodford/Derby Pick Three $2 2,4,8 w 8,9 w 11,14 $50 Win 11 $10Exbox 11/14 $3 exbox 12/16 (I was on Orb as my 3rd horse but for some reason I think the horses who race close to the pace will stay this year and I'm not forcasting much closing) Stephen L Taylor
Sherri, FYI. I did miss your wager from a few weeks ago. I made the adjustment on the scoring. Sincere apologies for missing that entry. PNR
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