01/25/2010 6:47PM

Sprinters galore

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The 3-year-olds got all the press this past week, but some hard-hitting older sprinters put up big performances as well. 

We designated Cash Refund as a "sprinter to watch in 2010" in the December 28, 2009 edition of FormBlog and the Steve Margolis-trained gelding continued his ascension in the short-distance ranks with another nice win at the Fair Grounds on Saturday. 

Breaking from the inside post, Cash Refund was forced to run and gun from the stalls, and he was immediately pressured by the speedy Euroears.  After putting up fractions of 21.20 and 44.13, Cash Refund ran Euroears into defeat while opening up enough daylight to prevail over the closers despite finishing his last eighth in 13.32. 

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At Aqueduct, Wall Street Wonder, a very impressive allowance winner earlier in the meet, outbroke the quick Driven by Success, put that one off the bridle after three furlongs, and scooted home en route to a 109 Beyer score in the Paumonok.  Wall Street Wonder was geared down for the final sixteenth, and his connections may begin looking at graded races like the Toboggan Handicap (March 6, Aqueduct) or the General George Handicap (February 15, Laurel).

"This horse was just doing so well," said winning trainer John Terranova.  "We really thought he was on the verge of a breakout performance.  We knew the horse was up to running against these types of horses today, but he kind of blew our minds."

"He's a real nice horse," said winning rider Channing Hill.  "I think getting on the dirt has really helped him."

Multiple stakes-placed on turf earlier in his career, Wall Street Wonder improved his record to 3-2-0-0 on dirt.  Naysayers will note that favored Driven by Success may not be the same horse that placed in a pair of Grade 1 races in 2009, and that Wall Street Wonder will have a much tougher time against better competition.

WallStreeWonder 
Wall Street Wonder returns dividends in the Paumonok.
Photo:  Courtesy of NYRA, Adam Coglianese

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Out in California, Kinsale King may have benefited from the scratches of speed horses E Z Dreamer and M One Rifle, but the little gelding that could continues to prove the doubters wrong.

"We'll go straight to Dubai," said trainer Carl O'Callaghan.  "That's been my goal since I've got the horse.  I get on him every day and he just puts out.  It's hard to explain."

"He never gave up," remarked winning rider Martin Garcia.  "He just kept going."

Kinsale King 
Three in a row for Kinsale King.
Courtesy Benoit Photo
 

Breeders' Cup Sprint champion Dancing in Silks ran a flat third as the public choice.  "I just think he was spotting a lot of weight, the track's a little tiring, and he missed one work on the comeback, so he ran very respectfully," said trainer Carla Gaines.  "It looks like he just got a little tired."

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Winslow Homer (91 Beyer) and Ron the Greek (90 Beyer) moved forward on the Derby trail with graded stakes victories in the Holy Bull and Lecomte, respectively.  The latter, a grand-looking son of Full Mandate, steamrolled his opposition from well off the pace. 

"He has a big kick," said winning rider James Graham.  "He does what you tell him to do.  If you want to go he'll wait until you pull the trigger."

"For the horseplayers that like to examine the horses in the paddock, he really does look the part," said winning trainer Tom Amoss.  "He's a very, very good-looking horse.  He's a one-run horse, period.  Let's hope he always has some pace up front."

Worldly and Citrus Kid were disappointments in the Lecomte and both will be freshened.  "We're going to give him some time to regroup before we run him again," said Citrus Kid's trainer, Terranova.  "He still needs to grow up a little bit."

"'We're going to give him a break," said Worldly's assistant trainer Galen Pruitt.  "We're going to give him about a month and a half off."

Winslow Homer looked good winning the deep Holy Bull for Tony Dutrow, but before we get too immersed in Derby fever, let's remember that the race was a one-turn mile in January.

(Quotes courtesy racetrack press departments)

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Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's racing action:

Here are the lifetime past performances for last week's top Beyer earner:

Download Wall Street Wonder

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Dan, has anyone ever told you that you look like a young Dan Ackroyd?
John

It's funny you should mention it.  A racing fan approached me after a seminar at New York City OTB.  He said, "You look a lot like Dan Ackroyd in Trading Places."  I asked him if that was the movie in which Ackroyd looked like a bum.  He said, "Oh, you look like him pre-bum."

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Dan, will you please post all the tracks that will have a Grade 1 race this year, along with how many G1's the tracks in question have?
Captain Bodgit

Grade 1's by track - United States - 2010:
Aqueduct (4)
Arlington (3)
Belmont (19)
Calder (1)
Churchill Downs (16)
Del Mar (8)
Gulfstream (3)
Hollywood (12)
Keeneland (10)
Monmouth (2)
Oaklawn (2)
Pimlico (2)
Santa Anita (16)
Saratoga (15)

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How about some PPs for horses on the derby trail of year's past:  Believe It, Demon's Begone and Linkage.  Thanks Dan!
ABZ

Here's what I have for those three racers:

Download Stakes horses

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Hi Dan,
Talking about Ky Derby future odds, could you post the pps of perhaps the longest shot in the Run for Roses, the "invader" Cañonero II?, Thanks in advance!
Jose Iglesias Garcia

Here are his lifetime past performances:

Download Canonero II

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Did anyone ever offer any information on Dona Chepa?  I've heard no information in over a year and am wondering if the horse is still alive.  Even if he never won a race he still tried.  Gave me some inspiration.
Clare Noble

Dona Chepa, who made headlines by compiling a 135-0-1-2 record in Puerto Rico, is listed by the Jockey Club as in foal to Free Maximus.

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didnt forego win horse of year without leaving new york?
andre

Forego won Horse of the Year in three straight seasons (1974-1976).  He raced three times in Florida in '74 (won Donn Handicap, Gulfstream Park Handicap, Widener Handicap), twice in Florida in '75 (won Seminole Handicap, Widener Handicap), and raced once in New Jersey in 1976 (third in Haskell Handicap).

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I think the best three year old race this weekend was not the Holybull or the Lecomte, but the 2nd race at GP MSW on Saturday.  6f run in 1:08 3/5,only one fifth off track record. The winner Savemyspotimbeting won in gate to wire fashion, but breeding may suggest that distance may not be a problem down the road.  What do you think? 
Mark A Garcia

Savemyspotimbeting, a $70,000 RNA as a yearling, is trained by Danny Miller.  His sire, the late Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, Vindication, was able to successfully stretch his speed to nine furlongs in his short-lived career. 

The dam, an unraced Forty Niner filly named Scapegoat, has already foaled Tres Coronas (turf stakes winner at one mile, won at 1 1/16 miles), Brocco Bry (stakes-placed at 7 furlongs, won at one mile), and Descapate (stakes-winner at 1 1/16 miles).  Scapegoat is a half-sister to Highland Park, the winner of the 1983 Fountain of Youth at 1 1/16 miles.

The second dam, Old Goat (by Olden Times), won the Golden Rod Stakes at seven furlongs in 1975.  The third dam was multiple stakes-placed while the fourth dam was a multiple stakes-winner. 

Savemyspotimbeting was working nicely leading up to his debut and showed good speed from the gate under Elvis Trujillo.  He put away favored firster Royal Straight on the turn en route to a facile win.  He was visually impressive, but it must be noted that the Gulfstream main track seemed to favor speed horses on Saturday, and Savemyspotimbeting may have been slightly aided by the way the track was playing. 

He has some promise, but will be playing catch-up with other, more accomplished, horses on the Derby trail.  I'd like to see him do it again before I'm completely convinced, but he may be a nice one for the summer.

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Dan,
I'm a big fan of playing the races at Charlestown can you please download the lifetime PP for 2 famous war horses there.
Onion Juice who has a race named after him and Coin Collector both are WV breeds and in there day both great horses. I believe Coin Collector won 4 breeders classic races in his lifetime.
Robert Slifer

Here's what I have for those two runners:

Download WestVirginians

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Dan:
Recently, it was reported that DeShawn Parker was moving his tack to Aqueduct after Christmas, with a new agent.  What has happened to those plans and where is he riding?
turfruler

Parker last rode on January 7, 2010 at Penn National. He was involved in a spill that evening aboard King Snoop and may be taking some time off.

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HG 169
Just can't throw Lentenor out of the exacta. Drawn inside, ratable speed, breeding and good connections make him tough. As longshots I will use the 3 and 8 in exotics. They could both spring to life on the turf. Can't use Mott, he's ice cold. will use Motion, Clemente and McPeek.
$26 ex 2/4,8
$4 tri 2/1,9,10/4,8
$3 tri 2/4,8/1,9,10
$1 tri 4,8/2/1,9,10

Dan,
I love a good turf sprint. I choose the 8th at Gulfstream on Wed, the 27th.
No rain, no rain, no rain!
jim tully

Congrats to Jim Tully for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  Here are this week's past performances:

Download HG170

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.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. 

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.

Best of luck to all.