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Stakes horses, questions
look forward to seeing you and your crowd on Sunday.
Question I have noticed at Oaklawn that they are running races for 3Yo's and up. Isn't it awful early in the year to be throwing these horses against older foes? How would you assess the chances for a 3YO versus older horses at this time of the year? When I first saw it last weekend I figured you throw out the youngsters and just play the older horses and lost.
Actually, the three-year-olds vs. older angle may be one of the "myths" that Alan can attempt to expose if he does decide to write his book. 'C' hit it the nail on the head with his post at 1:27 am on Friday moring. I've been following this condition at Oaklawn for several years now, and the three-year-olds usually whip the older horses at this time of the season. The class levels for these races are very weak, and the older horses usually are made up of proven losers while the "youngsters" have at least some upside potential. I'd advise to keep notations of the results of these races, but would have absolutely no trouble playing a three-year-old against elders at those class levels.
does anyone know what Asbeautifulasyou's beyer for her maiden win today was? She romped by over 20 in 1:36 for a mile.
Asbeautifulasyou, an Irish-bred four-year-old filly by A.P. Indy out of Grade 2 winner Santa Catarina (by Unbridled) ,won her maiden in her third lifetime start at Laurel for trainer Todd Pletcher. She earned a career-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure.
Anyone know what Pinckney Hill's connections have planned? Looked very impressive in maiden going a mile on the turf - 1:34 and change. By A.P. Indy, has to get the owners thinking about a prep race on the synthetics.
Pinckney Hill, a three-year-old half-brother to mutliple turf stakes-winner English Colony, received a n 88 Beyer Speed Figure for his debut win at Gulfstream on Thursday. While it's certainly possible his connections could get Derby fever off this promising performance, he may remain on turf in the near future.
Have a great weekend, and let's keep our fingers crossed for our FormBloggers in Las Vegas!
One last thought on Stronach's Eclipse win, (which I despise). I sent Steve Byk an email last night stating what a farce that was to me. Here is part of his reply, "I wouldn't come down too hard on Stronach himself getting the Eclipse. It was voter distaste for IEAH which is to blame and is grossly unfair." I have to tell you all that after thinking about it, I echo those thoughts. Calvin, SRVegas, Vicstu, and all you other Derby Aficionado's here is my feeble attempt to post a top twenty. I have kept a very detailed hand written spread sheet on Derby contenders since 2001. Is alot of work as it changes often, several times in some weeks. To be short, $$$ wise it has been worth it. Since 2001 the only two Derby winners I missed was Funny Cide and Giacomo. How Afleet Alex didn't win I will never understand. This is my own ranking, as I have not looked at Derby.com or any other lists. Really a tough year to get down to twenty as I will touch on at the end of the post. #1 Old Fashioned, the Remsem winner has just been more impressive than the rest and he has won on dirt and 9F. #2 Patenta, part pedigree and his Lecomte run proved he can run on dirt. #3 Vineyard Haven, IMO the Champagne winner is maybe the most talented 3 yr. old. The Dubai route??? With all the historical Derby trends that have went by the wayside in recent years, this may be the Sheik's year? #4 Poltergeist, ALW. win at Oaklawn was as impressive as any three yr. old race I have seen this yr. OP has became a force in recent years. #5 Capt. Candyman Can, has won a stakes @ Churchill and the Candy Ride's will improve with distance. #6 Square Eddie, If he wins, or runs well in the Southwest will move up for me. Loved his guts in the BC, showed something most 2 yr. olds don't! #7 Stardom Bound, only running on the fake stuff keeps me from putting her in the top five. I think she is something special. #8 Charitable Man, has been banged up but, I love his pedigree out of Lemon Drop Kid. I also happen to think McLaughlin is due for a big performance in the Derby. #9 Pioneerof The Nile, love his pedigree, has been working lights out for Baffert BUT on phoney DIRT. I like Sonny and the Zayats but just don't understand how you don't put this one on a dirt track? Guys just study performances of Syn. only runners in the Derby---hard to bet IMO! #10 Breakwater Edison, great 10F pedigree and Nashua was impressive. #11 Dunkirk, while most of the racing media have beat up on his Mdn win, I think it was impressive. The BSF was slow but, so what. He did everything else like a seasoned 4 yr old. #12 Big Drama, only question is the distance. Recieves a A+ in all categorys from me. Most importantly, he knows how to win. And yes Vicstu if the Derby was tomorrow he would be included on every Tri/Super ticket. #13 The Pamplemouse, while pedigree might indicate miler, I feel this one may be exceptional. Was sure impressive in The San Rafael and appeared to be searching for more distance. #14 Giant Oak, great pedigree, and his 2nd in the Jockey Club was way better than first appears. #15 Friesan Fire, whats not to like? Blue blood ped. Larry Jones has been high on him forever, and his last showed some maturity. As much as I like Old Fashioned, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this one pays vindication for LJ's places the last two yrs. #16 Chocolate Candy, again any Candy Ride will love the distance and, Hollendorfer will have this one ready. #17 Majormotionpicture, Action This Day colt was VERY impressive in Mdn win. #18 Au Moon, 3rd in the Leocomte was good IMO. He got beat by two very good horses and the distance was WAY short for him. #19 Hello Broadway, I really feel this is a wise-guy horse. Not that he is chump change but, a 1/2 to Nobiz means nothing to me. Guess we will find out in the Hutcheson. #20 Indygomoutain, pedigree is just to good to toss from being a Derby hopefull. His last was rotten but, I am going to give him another chance. Well I stuck my neck out, lets see who chops at it first. Seriously, this years 3 yr. olds is an incredibly deep bunch. I am not saying there is a triple crown winner amongst them, just alot of potential talent! Here are a few others that if anyone listed in the thier top "20" I couldn't argue with, Shafted, Rockland, Imperial Council, Well Postioned, Beethoven, Haynesfield, Danger To Society, Free Country, American Dance, Silver City, (another pretty grey), Heir To The Stone, AP Cardinal, Regal Ransom, Lyin Heart, Gresham, and West Side Bernie. Even with those extras, I would guess that there will be at least five that will enter the gate on May 2nd that are not mentioned here.
Hey Slew, Just took a brief tour of the Hg 118 pp's. I agree with your thoughts on the Tagg horse. 8/1 would be an automatic play, but feel your thoughts of 4/1, maybe 5/1 will be more likely. The other horse that caught my attenion with a brief glance is the Pletcher horse #11 Hold Your Ground, 12/1ML. 2nd back, last was a stinker---the public should shy away. Hennessy is a HT sire. Also his most impressive win was at 9f on the lawn. While most out of Hennessy aren't going to excell pasy 1M, this one's 2nd back at 12F wasn't that bad. Your thoughts on this one?
Tom, It's called Federico's Bakery. Its on Colorado Blvd. 4.5 miles west of Santa Anita Park. They have other good stuff too. I think i know how i'm gonna play this HG but i'm not sure whom yet. tencentcielo
Alan, Congrats on the good showing at the NHC and on beating the host once again. I scanned through the comments and didn't see anything about why you and Steve T. liked Beltene. Care to share why either of you liked the horse? I tossed him from the start, I mean come on the horse wins a maiden claimer then a starter allowance and has the worst BSF's in the field. Am I missing something? Lenny
Mickey, Thank you for the update, I hope they can save her.
ALERT Very off topic, unless you want to see what Chalky was up to in LV during the NHC weekend. These are with Alan's approval: Presenting.... The Picture Show for THE CHALKY CHRONICLES!!! http://www.flickr.com/photos/formblog/sets/72157604522497083/show/ If not familiar with flicker: (Like I was, until Alan explained these to me): Try to maximize the screen and when you put the mouse over the picture, an overlay screen should appear. You can: 1. Turn on-off the play button in the bottom right corner to turn the show off. 2. Click Show Info to "show info" - The Picture Titles 3. Click Previous or Next to move to another picture (top center) I hope that helps, and I hope you enjoy our Formblog CEW DIVA!. SR Vegas
vicstu, You make some good points about Sinister Minister, and could've used Bellamy Road's 120 as well. Using speed figures to prove anything like this is not the way I'd go, but whatever. I think Beyer's emphasis (and what Alan and I are talking about) are the dramatic wake-ups that seemingly mediocre horses experience when transferred into a super-barn. PS: By your logic, are today's trainers better than yesterday's? I don't recall Woody Stevens or Charlie Whittingham finishing a season with a 28% win rate. Not sure what their exact numbers were, but I'm guessing the best of the old-timers hovered around 15-18% in a good year. Bill Mott, who I have no reason to think is anything but honest, had a 15% year. p_ensign, I don't know much about this particular horse... perhaps you are right that it wasn't a complete 180-degree turnaround, but I still think Beyer's point is a valid one. Just speaking in general, there are trainers out there who are something like 45% first-time off the claim... and not just over a relatively small sample of 30 or so entrants, where a short-term hot streak can inflate the percentage. These are stats that hold up over 200 such situations. That's completely insane to the point that the number isn't even believable, yet it's happening. Many have similar numbers with layoff returns. Sometimes, I can only shake my head at what Formulator spits out. Buffalo Joe, you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to call stats like that into question. To say they're suspicious is an understatement. It's naive to think that there are a handful of miracle workers that can acquire horses from perfectly competent and experienced horsemen/women and transform roughly half of them into seemingly much better horses immediately in their debuts for the new connections. Then, when those runners end up in another stable, they suddenly lose their form overnight. Sorry, but it's beyond fishy, especially considering the numerous suspensions handed down to the usual suspects. Most fans know who's who and Beyer is right for calling attention to this situation. Be honest here: when you see Lake or Asmussen send out a new claim, how do you evaluate that horse? If you're playing a P3 or P4, do you dare duck the newly acquired runner altogether, even if his prior form is lousy? Yeah, neither do I. And that's handicapping?
vicstu, Sinister Minister is not a good example at all of "juicing" or a dramatic Beyer jump. Sinister Minister had a 102 Beyer in his 2nd career start and clearly showed that when he was on his game and also had a good trip, he could perform extremely well. In fact let's see how well Baffert immediately juiced him up after the trainer switch from Becerra: With Becerra: Dec31,2005: 73 Jan20,2006: 102 With Baffert: Feb12,2006: 58 Mar11,2006: 91 Apr15,2006: (BlueGrass) 116 Not exactly an impressive start after the trainer switch to Baffert. BTW,the 116 in the Blue Grass was only a 14 point jump in best Beyer - NOT a 36 point jump like Dutrow's newest "star"!! Commentator??? He broke his maiden by 10+L with a 90 Beyer! By his 3rd start, he reached a BSF 106...by his 5th start a BSF 112. In contrast, Dutrow's newest star came in 4th in his 1st start (a CRC $50K maiden claimer) with a 43 Beyer, got an 81 Beyer in his 3rd start and a 79 Beyer in his 5th. This Ones For Phil raced 8 times last year, with 2 wins and a max Beyer of that 81. Those two horses are not even in the same ballpark in terms of horse quality!! What we are really talking about here are trainers who IMMEDIATELY make stars out of horses who never showed star potential despite multiple attempts - either by results, visually or with performance figures of your choosing. WE HAVE GOT TO AS A GROUP STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THESE GUYS!! THEY ARE CHEATERS AND THEY ARE DESTROYING THE SPORT THAT WE ALL LOVE!! Big Brown was a potential star before he ever went to Dutrow's barn - I hope that history doesn't diminish the horse's accomplishments because of the association with the trainer. Do Baffert and Zito also cheat?? They might and if they do...throw them out also!! But we've got to say enough is enough!! I wish owners like Sobhy and Justin gave none of their horses to trainers with a "rap sheet" for cheating. Just because a guy hasn't recently been proven guilty or has so-called "paid their dues" doesn't mean I still have to give them my business? Your reputation is always going to be effected by those you associated yourself with... Katie, I went from "God-awful" in 2008 to "plain old bad" in 2009!!
Van Savant Really good job-essentially break-even given the total number of races. Same period I am minus $160-no shot at catching up for a few years. Worst of all, I am getting worse, not better. But, it is fun, and free. And, of course, each contest is a new one with no memory. Keep up the good work!
Thought for the day, from the late, great Paul "Bear" Bryant: "Show class, have pride and display character. If you do winning takes care of itself".