01/19/2010 5:26PM

Stakes recap, Beyers, etc.


*Digger may be a rags-to-riches story in the making.  The 6-year-old gelding began 2009 by winning a $25,000 claimer for Enrique Arroyo, but seems to have undergone a transformation since being claimed by Repole Stable for $50,000 on June 17.  A distant second that afternoon at Belmont Park, Digger has gone on to win three of six starts for Repole, the last two in stakes company.  On Saturday at Laurel, Digger broke the stakes record in the Fire Plug, completing the six furlong gate-to-wire jaunt in 1:09.13.

"I had to use him a little bit to get there, but he was ready today," said winning rider Mike Luzzi.  "He warmed up like a champ. 

"He's really coming into his own right now," said winning trainer Bruce Brown.  "When he gets on the lead like he did today, he's pretty tough." 

Digger is scheduled to run in the Grade 2 General George Stakes at Laurel on February 15, and looms a strong contender in that spot.

*Like Digger, Power Surge is a veteran gelding sprinter on the rise.  He did nothing wrong in taking the John E. Jackson Jr. Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds on Saturday.  For a brief instant, it looked as if Power Surge was going to be swallowed up by Mr. Porter, but Jamie Theriot kept Power Surge to his business, and they gamely repelled the 2009 Jackson Memorial winner int he final furlong.  Power Surge should be followed in Louisiana-bred sprint races, especially over wet footing.

*Inner track afficionado Understatement made a mockery of Saturday's Evening Attire Stakes at Aqueduct, earning a whopping 115 Beyer, but did he really prove anything? 

"There wasn't that much speed in the race so we figured he would be out there," said Jonathan Thomas, assistant to winning trainer Todd Pletcher.  "He'll stay here; we'll talk to Todd to see what he wants to do next."

"I think this horse seems to obviously show that the way he wants to run is get on the lead and open up a little bit," said winning jockey David Cohen.  "He's a big, long horse, he's got a long stride to hime and he was very well-prepared."

Originally sold for $1,050,000 as a yearling, Understatement had difficulty getting through his conditions at Monmouth last summer.  Three of his four wins have come over the winterized inner track at Aqueduct, and he coasted on an easy lead in the Evening Attire.  He may be an interesting play-against next time out if there are any other speed runners entered to challenge him.

*Papa Clem, Smart Bid, and Rendezvous rode glacial fractions to a 1-2-3 finish in the Grade 2 San Fernando, part of the Strub series at Santa Anita.  They may be in for a tougher battle in the Strub if Bob Baffert unleashes Malibu runner-up Misremembered. 

*Conveyance looked like a mortal lock in the Grade 2 San Felipe as the lone speed, but the odds-on Baffert runner failed to impress, switching back to his wrong lead while gawking at the stands in midstretch.  He moved his undefeated streak to three, but expect Baffert to send him on the road for his next stakes engagement.  Perhaps he'll do better on dirt. 


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

Here are the lifetime past performances for last week's highest Beyer runner:

Download Understatement


Here are the latest Kentucky Derby Future Odds from Lucky's Las Vegas:

Download Lucky'sJan19


I'm trying to find the name and past performances of a son of 1956 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Needles. The horse was owned by the Starensier family of Boston. He was a successful two year-old looking to be nominated to the Triple Crown before he broke down and his racing career ended prematurely. I thought it might be Saneedle, but the DRF's Lifetime Past Performances tool has no racing data available to us.
David H.

It is Saneedle, a foal of 1970 that went 18-2-4-1 for $8,789 during his juvenile season.  He finished third in the slower division of the Granite State Stakes going six furlongs at Rockingham Park.  Unfortunately, he's a bit too old for my past performance generating system. 


Does anyone know if Agapito Delgadillo has moved his tack to Sunland for good? 

From Ed Golden's "Stable Notes" on the Santa Anita website:

"Agapito Delgadillo recently moved his tack to Sunland Park in New Mexico, where he will ride full time.  'I need to ride more horses to provide for my family,' the 43-year-old jockey said."


Dan, was Zensational really the first horse to win 3 grade 1 sprints in a row?
Captain Bodgit

I looked up past champion sprinters and couldn't find a horse that accomplished the feat.


hg 168
7 form speed ok
11 late speed chick
50 ex bx 7,11
i think desert keys race is a workout for down the road.
rip bobby wish you were here.
good luck

My pick for hg 169 is the
9th @ gulf a nice maiden al
with barbaro's brother in it
lentanor for 1-20-10
good luck it  looks like a good one
jerry daker

Congrats to Jerry for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  Here are the past performances for this week's race:

Download HG 169

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.