05/09/2008 3:28PM

Stakes opinions, sound sires?,


An important point regarding the stallion statistics that you've pulled is that they include 2008 2 year olds (most of which have not started) and as a result, "younger" stallions are disproportionately negatively impacted in this statistic.
Blue Horseshoe

I want to repost the list of stallions from last night with the adjustments I made early this morning/afternoon.  These are the top stallions from 2007 and 2008 as well as the top turf sires for both years.  Unraced juveniles are not counted in the study.

Name - Runners/Foals win percentage (Winners/Foals percentage)
Slew City Slew - 86% (66%)
Dynaformer- 86% (62%)
Cryptoclearance - 86% (61%)
Petionville - 85% (65%)

Sky Classic - 84% (63%)
Cherokee Run - 84% (62%)
Yes It's True - 84% (60%)
Gulch - 84% (57%)
Salt Lake - 83% (65%)
Out of Place
- 83 (64%)
Catienus - 83% (63%)
Devil His Due - 83% (60%)
Forest Wildcat- 83% (60%)
Concerto - 82% (67%)
Not For Love - 82% (62%)
More Than Ready (82%) (57%)
Songandaprayer - 82% (56%)
Lost Soldier - 82% (55%)
Stormin Fever- 82% (55%)
Exchange Rate - 82% (54%)
Put It Back - 81% (61%)
Smoke Glacken - 81% (60%)
Quiet American - 81% (59%)
Pulpit - 81% (52%)
Dixieland Band - 80% (62%)
Silver Deputy- 80% (62%)
- 80% (61%)
Distorted Humor- 80% (59%)
Mr. Greeley - 80% (58%)
Victory Gallop- 80% (57%)
Marquetry - 80% (55%)

Smart Strike - 79% (56%)
Include - 79% (54%)
Langfuhr- 79% (54%)
Freud - 79% (50%)
Kingmambo - 79% (47%)
- 78% (62%)
Lite the Fust - 78% (61%)
Louis Quatorze - 78% (58%)
Northern Afleet - 78% (58%)
City Zip  - 78% (57%)
Indian Charlie - 78% (56%)
Dixie Union - 78% (55%)
Grand Slam - 78% (54%)
Seeking the Gold - 78% (54%)
Trippi - 78% (54%)
Gone West - 78% (53%)
Pleasant Tap - 78% (53%)
Touch Gold - 78% (52%)
Theatrical - 78 (50%)
Deputy Commander - 78% (49%)
El Prado - 77% (57%)
Gilded Time- 77% (57%)
Rahy - 77% (54%)
Swiss Yodeler - 77% (54%)
Elusive Quality - 77% (52%)
Lemon Drop Kid  - 77% (43%)
Lucky Lionel- 76% (62%)
Double Honor - 76% (59%)
Successful Appeal - 76% (59%)
Arch - 76% (57%)
Skip Away - 76% (55%)
Storm Cat- 76% (55%)
A.P. Indy - 76% (54%)
Malibu Moon - 76% (54%)
Stormy Atlantic - 76% (53%)
Bernstein - 76% (52%)
Alphabet Soup - 76% (51%)
Royal Academy - 76% (51%)
Red Ransom - 76% (50%)
Stephen Got Even- 76% (50%)
Tale of the Cat - 76% (50%)
Straight Man - 76% (48%)
War Chant - 76% (48%)
Fusaichi Pegasus - 76% (43%)
Outflanker - 75% (56%)
Broken Vow - 75% (53%)
Holy Bull - 75% (52%)
El Corredor - 75% (48%)

Montbrook - 74% (53%)
Unbridled's Song- 74% (52%)
Tactical Cat- 74% (48%)
Thunder Gulch- 74% (47%)
Mizzen Mast - 74% (41%)
Yonaguska - 73% (52%)
Doneraile Court - 73% (51%)
Giant's Causeway - 73% (41%)
Aptitude - 73% (40%)
Whywhywhy - 73 (33%)
Halo's Image - 72% (54%)
Belong to Me - 72% (51%)
Honour and Glory - 72% (49%)
Siphon - 72% (47%)
Singspiel - 72% (45%)
Jump Start - 72% (44%)
Officer - 72% (42%)
Harlan's Holiday - 72% (37%)
Real Quiet - 71% (44%)
Five Star Day - 71% (43%)
Point Given - 71% (37%)
Cat Thief- 70% (51%)
Bertrando - 70% (49%)
Awesome Again - 70% (46%)
Orientate - 70% (43%)

Johannesburg - 69% (32%)
Forestry - 68% (44%)
Tiznow - 68% (40%)
Street Cry - 68% (33%)
In Excess - 67% (49%)
Benchmark- 67% (46%)
Albert the Great - 67% (45%)
Chief Seattle - 65% (46%)
Horse Chestnut - 64% (40%)
Milwaukee Brew - 64% (33%)
E Dubai - 63% (36%)
Proud Citizen - 62% (25%)

Kipling - 54% (36%)

While some may argue that this list indicates quality more than soundness, I think that soundness does play a role here.  True, these are the top sires of 2008, but we're not just talking about stakes-winning progeny.  This list ranks sires by percentage of progeny sound enough to make it to the races. 

Laura mentioned Slew City Slew as a source of soundness, and voila!  He tops the list with 86% starters and 66% winners (not counting unraced juveniles of 2008).  By the great Seattle Slew, he is free of both Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer blood, and is inbred 5 x 5x5 to Princequillo. 

Dynaformer is by Roberto, and is also free of Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer. 

Cryptoclearance is by Fappiano, a noted son of Mr. Prospector.  There is no Northern Dancer blood in his pedigree, and he is inbred 5 x 5 to Princequillo. 

Petionville is by Seeking the Gold, a son of Mr. Prospector.  There is no Northern Dancer blood in his pedigree, and he is inbred 3 x 5 to Raise a Native, 3 x4 to Buckpasser, and 5 x 5 to Nasrullah.

Again, this is a very unscientific study.  Freak injuries occur often, and they have nothing to do with pedigree, medication etc. 
I agree with Tony Kelso that the lack of Northern Dancer blood in the "top" stallions on the list is pure coincidence. 
Still, the medication issue needs to be revisited.

Alan mentioned that the number of starts per number of foals may be a better way to go, and he's probably right.  I'll give it a look this weekend, and let you know what I come up with.


Dan just wondering, why do the old PPs you post (e.g. Yankee Affair's) show up without intra-race calls?

Good question.  I wonder if the really old past performances trigger some sort of a glitch in our system.  I'll try to find out.


Best of luck to everyone this weekend.

Take care,


cayman01 More than 1 year ago
Larryk, I may have seemed a little harsh on CL Potts and I apologize for it, but I was trying to point out that the trainer had better options for the race. I understand that Abrams like Alan jerkins likes to give some of the less-than-fortunate-mount-wise jockeys some opportunities and it seems to work for him (C. Sutherland). I just felt he was wrong in this spot.I blew that one. Alan, Don't you mean CUSHION track should be the sponsor for us bloggers? Steve T, Some notes for you and all to mull over: Class Drop- watch for trainers that claim and drop horses in class off the claim. They are putting the horse where they feel they can win. Look at the trainer's 1st off claim %. If it's high and the new charge is dropping down, fire away. Speed Kills- Jeez, where do I start? My favorite angle.OK let's start first with legitimate speed and cheap speed.Legitimate speed battles on to the end. Look for horses that might not always win (which do?) but when they do give up the lead they end up losing by only a couple of lengths and finish ITM (important!). "gave way grudgingly", "stubborn" in the comment lines is a key to look for.Cheap speed will fold like a tent as soon as they are challenged. They always will end up out of the money. Next can the horse get the distance? Always a key for speed horses. Lots of 6 furlong horses cannot get 7. Same thing for longer distances.Pay close attention to the horses stats at the race distance. Now that you have your legitimate speed see what he needs to run to carry his speed to the end.Look at his running lines. Does he last in a 1 1/16 race if he has to run a 46 and change opening half? Or does he need to run around 48.THEN see what his chances are of getting away with an opening half that he's comfortable with. If it looks like he can get his desired pace he's live. Also, will the horse pass anybody if he doesn't get his desired frontrunning position? Some horses flat out will not pass anybody. Another way to identify cheap speed. Next thing to watch for is what I call "phantom speed". This is where you'll look at a horses' running lines and you'll see a wire job in the middle of the RL where he's never broken on top before. Without fail you'll see this in route races and the horse will have gotten away with opening fractions of 25.+ and 50.+. Do NOT completely disregard this. If the horse did it once it can do it again, but the chances are remote that he'll get that pace scenario. This IS an example of lone speed, but IMO not a true speed horse. Just one who took advantage of the conditions in that race.I remember a turf race at GP a few years ago. There was no obvious early speed in the race. I noticed a horse coming in off a TWO year layoff who showed one race where he had gone to the lead out of the twelve or so PP's. He was 30-1. Did I mention he was dropping in class from the allowance ranks ( but really, after two years is that relevant? Steve?)? He lead at every call setting scintillating fractions of 26(!) 51.4(!) and 1:18 (!) and paid nearly $60 in the end. I'll always remember the fractions because they were so slow. And I don't think the horse ever ran again. True lone speed usually stands out in the form. He/she is the horse with all the 1's in the early part of his/her races and the rest of the horses have nary a one. But this is not always the case.Sometimes you have to dig harder. In route races, if there are no obvious early speed horses look at the fractional times of the horses and work out the pace scenario. Look for sprinters stretching out. A horse that breaks in the middle of a sprint will likely break on top in a route with no other early speed horses. Eyes are glazing over. Gotta quit for now. Hope this helps.
dk More than 1 year ago
I'll be throiwng Giant Moon into the Preakness mix and I think he will help make some interesting payoffs for the race even if Big Brown wins at 1-5. Trainer Schosberg has had past success at Pimlico with an older handicaper, As Indicated, who laid it on the line every time he ran. Giant Moon reminds me a bit of him. I think he may get out early, get ignored and keep on fighting to the finish. Not in BB class but I think he can stack up against the others. Using with the fave & KY Bear.. I actually like the betting opportunities on the Friday card best. Are they doing any multi-race bets with all the stakes races on Friday? Pick 5 / Pick 4 ?
ken mcginnis More than 1 year ago
I see a better race on this saturaday. BROWN w TUCKER w BEHINDATTHEBAR [I really like this horse to surprise] then MACHO AGAIN .
C More than 1 year ago
The Peter Pan did not turn out to be a very good race. Golden Spikes was terrible- no run whatsoever, and Mint Lane had no answer/excuse either. The rest were never threats. Casino Drive looked good against competition that never showed up. But how good was he? Not too bad, but I didn't see any evidence he's giving Big Brown much to worry about, ASSUMING Big Brown advances to the Belmont next month. Casino Drive seems like a smallish horse with a somewhat compact stride. It doesn't seem like he's ideally suited for 1 1/2 on a physical level. He looked a little green in the stretch as well. He may still mature and could improve from this effort, but I'm not sold on him based on the Peter Pan. Desormeaux has no dilemma here. vicstu, I think you're 100% right. Tactical speed is very important in American dirt racing. Otherwise, a horse like Tomcito really needs a total pace meltdown to get up. As far as Tomcito in the Belmont, I've said before and I'll say again, "getting" the 1 1/2 distance in Peru does not equate to getting 1 1/2 on American dirt. The style of racing is totally different, even at the "marathon" (slightly sarcastic quotes) distance. As for the :35 work, this is why workout times (almost always hand-timed anyway) are fairly meaningless. As you noted, he was likely in full stride when they started timing. Besides, most horses can put in a brisk 3 or 4 furlongs when it doesn't count. Alan, I'm not sure if I stated my thoughts on pedigree handicapping very well earlier. I think it's becoming even more of a guessing game because of (a) the watered-down stakes schedule and over-abundance of black-type races; (b) early retirements, which often leave the player to guess how "good" a certain runner really was; and (c) the unwillingness of most owners/trainers to experiment with surfaces and distances once a horse has established a niche where they are consistently earning purses. All, There have been some decent races run in Europe over the last 2 weeks. Check out Zarkava in the French 1000- she displayed a few different gears to get up for the win. Also, Pascal Bary's Natagora took the English 1000. Bary always seems to be dangerous with those filly milers. He sometimes shows up (and wins) in the Breeders Cup Mile with them. This one was super-game, but time will tell how she pans out this season. Henrythenavigator and New Approach had a pretty entertaining stretch duel in the 2000 as well.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Hi all... Has anyone read the book "Horse Heaven" by Jane Smiley. It's an enjoyable, if not eccentric, look at the industry..thru the human & horses eyes. ...any way, there is a story line concerning an American horse running in the Arc....and winning. Could Curlin be a story line now a possible reality? SR Vegas
Steve V. More than 1 year ago
I had a fun Saturday @ Belmont, even though 'Tony was a little outclassed in the G3 event.(Kudos to Kiaran- Lucky Island looks like a monster w/ Lasix). I think he (Callmetony) was thrown off by having his name printed on the saddle cloth under his #- Can you blame him, it was something he had never seen before in his 51 prior starts :)(He must have been weighted down by the extra stitching.) We were sitting on the 3rd Floor @ Belmont in the middle of the United Nations. We had the Japanese on the 2 tables to the left of us (Casino Drive/entry), and the Peruvians on the right of us (Tomcito). All in all, it was a good experience, but we had some bad news about Bustin Stones. He has not gotten completely over his illness yet, and has lost valuable training time for either the Met or True North. Bruce believes it is a stomach issue, that is nothing major, but he hasn't been eating- so we are going to give him all the time he needs to recoup himself and now point for "our backyard" @ Saratoga w/ possible stops for the Vanderbilt and/or Forego. We surely will not put him back on the track until he is 200% healthy.
dk More than 1 year ago
steve t, I think the layoff angle is even more applicable when handicapping turf horses coming off of a layoff. The pace is generally kinder on the turf and the horse may only have to really run for the last portion of the race, so the fact that they are only 90-95% fit is lessened. Speaking for the East Coast horses, most of the solid turf trainers have their charges ready to roll first out as the turf opportunties are somewhat limited in the springtime. If they "give them" a race first time back they may not have another opportunity to run for 5-6 weeks. It has always been a positive angle the first few weeks at Monmouth Park and the layoff horses almost always are overlays. Give me a turfer with some back class coming off a layoff at over- laid odds and I am heading to the windows!
Alan More than 1 year ago
C, I really look forward to meeting you at BEL Father's Day. DRF apparently doesn't feel that pedigree handicapping is important anymore since they dropped Lauren Stich and essentially abandoned the topic altogether!!! It's a shame - this is the time of year that her style of handicapping/savvy is most important. We are early into the 2yo season and we have new sires in our midst - who is doing well and who isn't?? What new horses are winning maiden and/or allowance races that have the pedigree to perhaps make that class jump to be considered at a price at the next level?? This information is exactly what Lauren used to give us here on DRF...NO MORE!!! The same argument regarding Casino Drive could have been made (and was made) about Big Brown after his 2nd lifetime race (the 'infamous' off-turf allowance!) Casino Drive will likely be an underlay in the Belmont much as he was for the Peter Pan (to make a long story short, I ended up not betting the race but singled him on my P4s - I thought all the "wise guys" would play against Casino Drive and the P4's would pay well - I WAS WRONG!!) I think Casino Drive is the "Real Deal". The "horse racing fan" side of my brain wants Big Brown to win the Preakness and make the Belmont this year a special event. The "handicapping side" of my brain however has other ideas!!! johnnyz, Curlin = "Hidden turf"?? Let's read about it at DRF in an article by Lauren Stich... WAIT!!!! We can't anymore!!! Uncle Steve, Additional add-ons to your excellent article from the Towson Ark (3-4" more rain last night - the Maryland monsoons!!!) Class Drop: 1. Return to a class level that they have previously won or done well. 2. Trainer angles are important. Layoffs: 1. Horse angles (in additional to trainer angles which are the most important) - certain horses come off layoffs well. 2. I like to see a distance progression in the works. Speed Kills: Your last line (the equation) is one of the most important tools in handicapping... Hairy, I'm so sorry to hear the news on Phil Grove. Didn't his grandson have bone cancer a few years ago? Please give his whole family my best wishes and my thoughts and prayers are with them!!
Richard More than 1 year ago
Formal Gold indeed got a 112 byer first out @6f with Joe Brovo up. Formal Gold also never ran below that fig, he set,in stakes,125,124,126in succession,he,beat Skip Away a very good horse,who I liked 5 times,and by 5 lengths,yet Skippy is called a champion, which he was,but Formal Gold is not? I don't know what problem the press had with him/his connections,I just don't get it. I rember when he was boxed in half way down the strech,when a sliver, and I mean a sliver opened for just a moment,and he in one move, lunged forward and out at a 45degree angle, and the jock (Joe Brovo )had the confidence in him,to be one with the horse and ( probably as frustrated)went with him, once out it was over. You should look at the film, Monmouth Arcives, his 4th or 5th start.
hairy More than 1 year ago
Dan, has a colt/filly ever won the Belmont after only 2 starts? Even after throwing convention on its ear me thinks that finely pedigreed colt like Casino drive may be up against it in the Belmont. What say ye? On a more somber note; former Mid Atlantic jockey Phil Grove is currently undergoing chemotherapy for prostate cancer. From all of us at the "V" (including Craig R.)in Frederick, MD give you a most heartfelt get well soon! hairy.