08/18/2016 2:05PM

Stallwalkin' Dude back-to-back

*As many of you have noticed, the "BLOG" tab on the home page has been removed. You can find this blog every week (usually published on Wednesday and Thursday) at drf.com/blogs or by going to the "NEWS" tab and clicking on the "Blogs" link. 
Over the last few years, trainer David Jacobson has transformed several dirt sprinters into legitimate stakes threats. 
It all began in 2012 when Jacobson took Saginaw for $30,000 at Aqueduct from Rick Dutrow. Saginaw, always a solid New York-bred, became a beast for his new connections. He won four in a row off the claim and kept right on performing. Saginaw's sole loss in his first eight races for Jacobson came when entered against the previous year's Preakness winner, Shackleford, in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap. Saginaw won 14 of 18 starts for Jacobson, including 10 stakes races, before his career came to a tragic end when he fractured both sesamoid bones in his left ankle during a Saratoga optional claimer in the summer of 2013. He was later euthanized. 
On May 24, 2013, Jacobson took a chance on Strapping Groom, a son of Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Johannesburg returning from an eleven-month layoff in a $35,000 'beaten' claiming race at Belmont for trainer Carl Domino. Strapping Groom lost by a head that afternoon, but he returned 33 days later in the $100,000 Lion Cavern Stakes at Belmont. Making his first start for Jacobson, Strapping Groom popped a 104 Beyer Speed Figure in a gate-to-wire score. Strapping Groom won four more stakes for Jacobson, including the Grade 1 Forego over sloppy going at Saratoga that summer and the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap the following spring at Aqueduct. Strapping Groom broke a bone behind his right knee when he fell past the finish line after placing sixth in the $200,000 Fabulous Strike Handicap at Penn National on November 29, 2014. He was sold earlier this year to Panamanian interests as a stallion prospect.
Salutos Amigos took over as Jacobson's best sprinter in 2014. A solid Grade 2-placed type for previous trainer Eric Guillot, Salutos Amigos turned into a machine for Jacobson. He won his first three starts for his new barn, grabbed two graded stakes that year and, ultimately, became one of the more consistent sprinters in the country over the next few seasons. The mud-loving Salutos Amigos has won six graded events for Jacobson with his big triumph coming in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap on April 9. 
STALLWALKIN' DUDE's exploits haven't matched those of the above-named projects, but they've come pretty close. Claimed out of a Gulfstream turf route for $16,000 on September 20, 2014, Stallwalkin' Dude has won four stakes for Jacobson. More importantly, the 6-year-old gelded son of City Zip has banked over $700,000 over the last two-plus years with four graded placings, including a close third in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational last fall at Belmont. 
Last Friday, Stallwalkin' Dude won Saratoga's $100,000 Tale of the Cat Stakes for the second consecutive year. With his form dirty following three consecutive off-the-board finishes over muddy tracks, Stallwalkin' Dude was dismissed at 8 to 1 in the ten-horse field.
Stallwalkin' Dude bobbled after leaving his inside post position, but saved ground under veteran reinsman Joe Bravo while DADS CAPS, LEWYS VAPORIZER and BIG GUY IAN scorched through an opening quarter in 21.97 seconds. Those three paid the price turning into the stretch while Bravo expertly altered Stallwalkin' Dude into the clear turning into the straight. The duo set sail after stablemate CHIEF LION, himself a $62,500 Jacobson claim that had previous finished second in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Gulfstream, collared that one late and went on to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths. Stallwalkin' Dude polished off the six furlongs in 1:10.05 and received a 101 Beyer. 
"He's been a great horse for us and done an amazing job," Jacobson told track publicity following the 2016 Tale of the Cat. "The last two races were a little off. We tweaked him a little bit. He showed his true class. He obviously likes this track. To win the Tale of the Cat - or to win any race two times in a row at Saratoga - is an accomplishment."
When Jacobson gets one of his hard-hitting dirt sprinters good, they tend to stay good. Although Stallwalkin' Dude took advantage of a hot pace and a perfect trip to win last week, and will probably be entered against tougher competition next time out, he'll likely offer good value and can be expected to give his usual solid effort. Keep an eye on him for the time being. 
*While unlikely winners in tough spots on Saturday, both IMPERATIVE (Pacific Classic) and FAMILY TREE (Alabama) can be expected to perform well. Whether they're good enough to defeat the likes of CALIFORNIA CHROME, DORTMUND and BEHOLDER (Imperative), or SONGBIRD (Family Tree), well, that might be another story. 
*Dan, would you please post all the horses who have won multiple Breeders Cup races and the races and years they won?
To Anonymous regarding the Breeder's Cup repeat winners (and saving Dan Illman some work!)
Go to http://stats.breederscup.com/  There are tabs that will give you race recaps, every multiple starting horse, trainers, jockeys, country of origin, etc.  All on neat little tabs.  Have fun.  I did.
*Matt Bernier and I will be on for free and fun live handicapping analysis at 4:00 ET on Saturday. You can find us at live.drf.com. This week, we'll cover Saratoga, Del Mar, Woodbine and Monmouth
*You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.
*Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 8/10/16 - 8/16/16:
1. POINT PIPER - 103 - Longacres Mile Handicap (G3) - 1 Mile - 14Aug16-8EMD
2. STALLWALKIN' DUDE - 101 - Tale of the Cat Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 12Aug16-9SAR
3. DA BIG HOSS - 100 - American St. Leger (G3) - 1 11/16 Miles (Turf) - 13Aug16-6AP 
3. SCARLY CHARLY - 100 - OC c-62k/N2X - 7 Furlongs - 10Aug16-8SAR
5. HOBBITS HERO - 99 - Alw 70970N1X - 1 Mile (Turf) - 14Aug16-6DMR
6. IRISH JASPER - 97 - OC 80k/C -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 12Aug16-4SAR
6. MONDIALISTE (IRE) - 97 - Arlington Million (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 13Aug16-9AP 
6. POOL WINNER - 97 - My Frenchman Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 13Aug16-9MTH
6. WHY TWO - 97 - Green Flash Handicap - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 12Aug16-7DMR
10. BIGGER PICTURE - 96 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 12Aug16-8SAR
11. KAFISTER - 95 - OC 80k/N3X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 10Aug16-7DMR
11. SEA CALISI (FR) - 95 - Beverly D. Stakes (G1) - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - 13Aug16-8AP 
11. TURCO BRAVO (CHI) - 95 - Birdstone Stakes - 1 3/4 Miles - 10Aug16-9SAR
14. SEVE'S ROAD - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 13Aug16-5DMR
15. BEACH PATROL - 92 - Secretariat Stakes (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 13Aug16-7AP 
15. BOTTLE ROCKET - 92 - OC c-62k/N2X - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 10Aug16-1DMR
17. A M MILKY WAY - 91 - OC 30k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - 10Aug16-8PRM
17. CATAPULT - 91 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 1/8 Miles - 14Aug16-8SAR
17. CHOCTAW CHUCK - 91 - OC 62k/N3X - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 14Aug16-7PID
17. GHOST HUNTER - 91 - OC 50k/N3X - 1 Mile (Turf) - 12Aug16-8MTH
17. MY FRIEND EMMA - 91 - Jess Jackson Owners' Handicap - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 13Aug16-9SR
17. PAPA PAPA PAPA - 91 - Alw 40000s - 6 Furlongs - 10Aug16-4DMR
17. TOUCH OF DISNEY - 91 - Alw 48700N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 13Aug16-9WO 
24. MAJESTIC HEAT - 90 - Solana Beach Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 14Aug16-8DMR
24. LATE NIGHT LU - 90 - Clm 20000 - 1 1/8 Miles - 11Aug16-4SAR
24. SHADOW ROCK - 90 - Hcp 42000 - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 13Aug16-8ELP
Point Piper's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. 
Scarly Charly was claimed for $62,500 by trainer Larry Rivelli from Michael Hushion.
Bottle Rocket was taken for $62,500 by Jeff Mullins from Chris Hartman.
*Congrats to Suheil for winning the most recent HandiGambling challenge.
Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post. 
We'll try the rescheduled Fourstardave from Saratoga for this week's exercise. 
SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...
HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:
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 SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING.
1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.
2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.
3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR 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 identify who you are.
4. (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.
5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.
6. If any of the rules listed above aren't met, the wager is subject to review which can lead to disqualification of your entry.
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 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.
HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100
Thanks Dan!


POINT PIPER.pdf841.22 KB
Copy of HG 8 6 16 W V Derby.xls56 KB
HG4STARDAVE.pdf201.68 KB