11/25/2015 7:18PM

Stacked Deck comes up aces


Stacked Deck stamped himself a leading contender for the Sovereign Award as Canada's champion male sprinter with an impressive victory in last Sunday's Grade 2 Kennedy Road Stakes at six furlongs over Woodbine's polytrack.

Sent off the 5 to 2 second choice in the field of 11, Stacked Deck sat a wonderful trip under jockey Luis Contreras. While stakes-winner REXTON and millionaire PASO DOBLE scorched through fractions of 22.05 and 43.97, Stacked Deck sat patiently and comfortably in third. Contreras pushed the button on the turn, Stacked Deck stormed to the front and that was all she wrote.

Stacked Deck stormed home to prevail by 2 3/4 lengths over rail-skimming stakes-winner PASSION FOR ACTION. The winner completed the distance in 1:08.34 and received a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure. Stakes-winner GOODOLDHOCKEYGAME, Grade 2 winner BYE BYE BERNIE and COPPERPLATE (dead-heat for fourth), Rexton, Grade 2 winner EXCAPER, Grade 2 winner CALGARY CAT, Grade 2-placed SUMMATION TIME, multiple stakes-winner GLENVILLE GARDENS and Paso Doble completed the order of finish.

A homebred owned by Bruce Lunsford and trained by Barbara Minshall, Stacked Deck was foaled in Kentucky on May 1, 2011. He is by First Samurai, the winner of both the Grade 1 Hopeful and Grade 1 Champagne as a 2-year-old of 2005. The following spring, First Samurai captured the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. First Samurai won at distances ranging from 6 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. He is also the sire of 2015 graded winners GET HAPPY MISTER and LEA as well as Grade 1 winners Justin Phillip and Executiveprivilege.

Stacked Deck's dam, Bel Air Beauty (by Smart Strike), grabbed the Grade 2 Alcibiades Stakes at 1 1/16 miles over the Keeneland polytrack and the Grade 3 Valley View Stakes at the same distance over Keeneland's turf course. Bel Air Beauty has also foaled Valentino Beauty, the runner-up in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes at one mile on turf at Woodbine.

The second dam, Awe That (by Boundary), was stakes-placed sprinting on dirt at Calder. This is the female family of Grade 1-winning millionaire Grecian Flight.

Stacked Deck has inherited his dam's versatility. He won his maiden going 6 1/2 furlongs on polytrack in his third start as a 2-year-old, then nosed out Speightsland in his first start at three, the $101,000 Charlie Barley Stakes at a mile on turf.

This season, Stacked Deck has compiled a record of 9-4-0-2 with sprint wins on both turf and dirt including the Grade 3 Bold Venture Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs over polytrack on September 13. Stacked Deck then finished a solid third, two lengths behind next-out Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Mongolian Saturday in the off-the-turf Woodford Stakes at Keeneland. That was Stacked Deck's first start on dirt and he handled the muddy strip well. Mired in post position 13 in the Turf Sprint, Stacked Deck wasn't a factor after a wide trip.

Capable on all three surfaces, Stacked Deck looks like one to follow at distances up to a mile at Woodbine in 2016.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 11/17/15 - 11/23/15:

1. STACKED DECK - 103 - Kennedy Road Stakes (G2-C) - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 22Nov15-8WO
2. LOCHTE - 102 - Tropical Turf Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 21Nov15-6GPW
3. FABULOUS KID - 100 - OC 100k/C - 6 Furlongs - 18Nov15-8AQU
3. LEWYS VAPORIZER - 100 - Steel Valley Sprint Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 23Nov15-7MVR
5. NUBLADO BLING - 98 - Sam'S Town Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 21Nov15-9DED
6. COUGAR RIDGE - 96 - Delta Mile Stakes - 1 Mile - 21Nov15-5DED
6. LADY LARA (IRE) - 96 - My Charmer Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 21Nov15-4GPW
6. ROCKET HEAT - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 21Nov15-4DMR
6. SKY FLIGHT - 96 - Artie Schiller Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 21Nov15-8AQU
10. AWOPAHO - 94 - Alw 55777N1X - 1 1/16 Miles - 22Nov15-5CD
10. BUTTON DOWN (GB) - 94 - Cardinal Handicap (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 21Nov15-10CD
10. RUSTY SLIPPER - 94 - Red Carpet Handicap (G3) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 21Nov15-8DMR
13. AMI'S MESA - 93 - Glorious Song Stakes - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 21Nov15-8WO
13. CALL ME WALLY - 93 - OC 40k/C -N - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 20Nov15-3WO
13. HEYKITTYKITTYKITTY - 93 - Mahoning Distaff Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 23Nov15-6MVR
13. SUNDAY RULES - 93 - OC 100k/C -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 22Nov15-1DMR
17. AFRICAN FIGHTER - 92 - OC 16k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - 20Nov15-9GPW
17. BUGGIN OUT - 92 - OC 30k/C -N - 7 Furlongs - 21Nov15-10DED
17. CALI STAR - 92 - OC 62k/C -N - 1 Mile - 18Nov15-9GPW
17. EXAGGERATOR - 92 - Delta Jackpot (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 21Nov15-7DED
17. MACAGAONE - 92 - Alw 67000N1X - 1 Mile (Turf) - 21Nov15-5AQU
17. RES JUDICATA - 92 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile - 21Nov15-7AQU
23. BAGG O'DAY - 91 - Bet On Sunshine Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 21Nov15-9CD
23. JUDGE CARR - 91 - OC 25k/C - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 18Nov15-7CT
23. MAYLA - 91 - Orleans Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 21Nov15-2DED
23. NEWFOUND GOLD - 91 - Clm c-(25-22.5) - 6 Furlongs - 21Nov15-9DMR
23. REQUEST - 91 - OC 32k/N1X -N - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 18Nov15-3AQU

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

*Newfound Gold was claimed for $22,500 by trainer Wesley Ward from Javier Sierra.


Did you see it?
Maybe a miss print or my eyes are playing tricks on me...:-)
Recent HG contest - Aztec Brave (FR) # 6 on the program says he
was gelded 2-8-15. PP's show he ran & won at the Fairgrounds on
Dan, is this normal?

The "gelding date" indicates when the procedure was first reported. Aztec Brave was gelded before his February 8 start, but it wasn't reported to The Jockey Club until entries were taken for the race in question.

It pays to utilize a liberal dose of common sense when evaluating these dates as reporting rules for many states are lax. Sometimes you'll see a horse in the midst of a three-race win streak show up in the past performances as a "first time gelding." It's highly-unlikely that the date is correct in that case. It's more probable that the horse was gelded one or two starts before the reporting date. 


Video stakes analyses for many of the weekend's major stakes will be available later this week at http://www.drf.com/videos

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

I'll be with Mike Beer and Matt Bernier for live coverage of racing at Aqueduct, Del Mar, Hawthorne, Gulfstream West and Churchill beginning at 3pm ET at live.drf.com.


Here's a message from Laura regarding our 2016 FormBlog Convention at Gulfstream Park:

Make plans to attend the 2016 FORMBLOGERS CONVENTION! February 19 - 21 at Gulfstream Park. Courtesy of our generous benefactor, Mike Nyman, we once again have a private suite - temperamental wagering machine included.
Room discounts at the Hampton Inn across the street from the track are available. With the discount, the rooms run about $200/night including taxes and free breakfast buffet. (The Romance Package is extra and hotel management is very strict about that).
We always have a fun time - even when the track gets washed away! Besides the pleasure of each other's company - and that of our fearless leader, Dan Who, there will be Breeders' Cup swag, and more! Previous years, courtesy of SR Vegas, we included Derby Futures Tickets given in raffles throughout the weekend (everyone winds up with one!), and other fun stuff.
I'll have more info available in the next few weeks. I offer FREE! transportation to/from the Ft. Lauderdale airport.
If you have any questions, please contact me at: lross@imtbreds.com


Congrats to Curt V. for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling event.

Curt selected Saturday's third race at Del Mar for this week's exercise.


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 "60-Card Quarterly Formulator 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!




HGDMR3.pdf146.54 KB
Copy of Formblog Artie 11-21-15.xls17.47 KB
Okiesharp More than 1 year ago
CM Vongol I'm glad you brought up throat surgery. I've always wanted to know that tidbit too. Maybe Dan or someone can shed some light on this subject. Where can we find this information? Okiesharp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GBL, Well, thank you for the kind words! You really don't have to do that. But regardless, I hope you get a really nice one. :) Annie
God Bless Longshots More than 1 year ago
Annie- I want to acknowledge your untiring enthusiasm for your MKB program. The dedication and love you have for horses have inspired me to a different level. You just don't make the draw but keep track and follow each and every horse all year long and that's the dedication I haven't seen in any. I want to make a pledge here. Whatever horse I draw in MKB, you'll have the sole, unquestionable and undisputed discretion to pick up one race for him and I'll put $100 to Win on him. And if he win that race, the proceeds will go to MKB. That's the least I can do to Thank You and appreciate your passion about the sport. GBL
God Bless Longshots More than 1 year ago
TurfRuler Thank you for sharing interesting articles. They both make a decent case. Beside 'Mafioso' action, there have and will always be the cases where some 'smart' guy think that he can get away with whatever 'smart wall street idea'. If my memory serves well, the most recent: 1. Mark Shuman 2. IEAH Stable 3. Richard Dutrow Jr. 4. Patrick Biancone There got to be a long list of 'wise' guys i'm sure. GBL
CM Vongole More than 1 year ago
On geldings (from last thread): I recently saw a gelding that supposedly raced within a week of being gelded. This, of course, cannot be true. If you want to take a better guess of when the surgery took place, the workout merge feature in Formulator may be helpful. Look for a layoff and change in workout spacing or surface, perhaps following a series of dull races. Sometimes, a google search will turn up an article which will answer the question. Usually, though, we're dealing with older horses, often in the claiming/OC ranks who were snipped long ago, so I don't spend a lot of time trying to answer this question. Races beyond 1-2 months shouldn't normally be taken at face-value anyway. A horse's current condition may suggest a very different performance today. Trying to assess that current form is at least 50% of the puzzle. Like so many other things, there just isn't tight regulation here. Why can't the vet's report actually be reported to the public immediately? Same for equipment changes. The DRF basically only reports front wraps and blinkers (and there are several types of blinkers). You have to examine video closely to notice anything else... and what about shoe information? All of this should be a little more readily accessible. Inaccuracies in workout times/conditions is to be expected now and then... but the industry can certainly do more to inform the betting public on these other incidentals. ... and if we're going to report new geldings, how about reporting throat surgery too? That is far more likely to have a sudden impact on performance. Do you want to know whether the horse you just tossed out was having its air supply cut off in mid-stretch for the past few months? I do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, That's great news!! Hopefully we'll hear from him soon. He might even get Hip #48 if things keep going like they are. :) When the new blog thread comes up I'll be posting the revised Most Wanted list although I suppose some of them are waiting for an engraved invitation. :) Or else they all want the last horse in the box. Annie
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie I don't want to jump the MKB gun, But while catching up with Alfredo he tells me this: "As you have noticed I have not been very active at the Formblog over the last year but MKB is definitely on my list. I will be sure to stop by Dan's and check in and sign up. " If he does not show up by the time MKB closes, I'd say he is "IN" for a pony this year :) SR Vegas
Sinatra More than 1 year ago
A more recent scandal in 2005 but it is not the story I'm looking for. I'm not revealing any New York dirty laundry, just showing some "mafioso" action. "If it can happen before, it can happen again", just think that Richard Pryor is saying this line. http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/scandal-probe-racing-horse-racing-rocked-investigators-include-top-new-york-tracks-article-1.652982 TurfRuler
Sinatra More than 1 year ago
TBTA Hope this story wets your appetite, still searching for the story about the post race sample switching. http://articles.latimes.com/2003/oct/18/sports/sp-horsecol18 TurfRuler
Horse More than 1 year ago
Winter racing, thus quality is rather dull. BUT last night I watched an episode of A Crime To Remember, which was made two years ago but is a true story and ties into racing. Episode: Who Killed Mr. Woodward? The start of the episode mentioned "Mr. Woodward", "owned and trained horses", "Saratoga"...Intrigued once they mentioned it and was sure there was a "Woodward Stakes"...went to verify and indeed its one of the premier races during the Spa meet. Race is named after Mr. Woodward. (Rachel Alexandra won against the boys a few years back) This episode is about his son's murder. Adding to it, it mentions Truman Capote who wrote Breakfast at Tiffany and how he hated 'phonies'. Characters in Breakfast at Tiffany were 'phonies' thus wonder if inspiration behind characters in movie stemmed from Truman's role (although not directly involved) in Mr. Woodward's son murder Enjoy