05/29/2014 1:08PM

Stormin to a Track Record


In 2008, trainer David Jacobson compiled a record of 73-16-21-12 at Delaware Park (21% winners, $1.61 ROI). Since then, the New York-based Jacobson has only saddled six runners at Delaware (6-2-0-4).

After STORMIN MONARCHO's performance last Saturday, Jacobson may start shipping down more often.

It was a race that made you go hmmm. Stormin Monarcho had always shown flashes of ability. At two, he finished third in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity around a one-turn polytrack mile. As a 3-year-old, he became the answer to the popular trivia question "Who won the $30,000 Golden Boy Stakes at Assiniboia Downs in 2013?"

There were some nice efforts for trainer Joel Berndt, including a 90-Beyer win in an optional claiming heat on dirt at Hawthorne on December 7. In his only start for Steve DiMauro at Gulfstream this spring, he popped a 93 Beyer when second at 33-1 to Suns Out Guns Out for a $100,000 tag.

Still, after his first 18 races, that 93 Beyer represented a career-best figure. How much improvement could Stormin Monarcho, a 4-year-old gelding, have in the tank?

Apparently, there was plenty. After being purchased privately by Lawrence Roman and sent to Jacobson, Stormin Monarcho proceeded to knock off a 95 Beyer when third in an optional claimer at Aqueduct. At Delaware last week, Stormin Monarcho broke a 54-year-old track record for the two-turn mile with a 1:34.85 clocking and received a 106 Beyer.

Stormin Monarcho received a good trip, but he absolutely humbled a solid field of optional claimers. Ridden by Alex Cintron, Stormin Monarcho tracked in the second flight from the outside while three-time stakes-winners I'M STEPPIN' IT UP and MANAGED ACCOUNT sparred through fractions of 23.53 and 46.59. By the time the six-furlong time of 1:10.50 was posted, Stormin Monarcho had swept to the leaders and he drew off with impunity in the stretch.

Stormin Monarch finished off his last quarter in 24.35 and the winning margin was 11 1/4 lengths over Managed Account. Also left in his wake were HARD ACES, Grade 3-placed INDIAN JONES, three-time stakes-winner CONCEALED IDENTITY, BAKE SHOP, BARTOLOME, and Grade 3 winner BATTLE HARDENED.

Some punters will wonder if the addition of blinkers was the catalyst for the huge improvement. It's certainly possible, but Berndt attempted blinkers twice with Stormin Monarcho in 2013 (fourth as the favorite in a Hawthorne allowance, and twelfth when overmatched in the Illinois Derby) before abandoning the equipment.

It's a common refrain in New York that newly-acquired Jacobson runners must be respected. Now that the big race has been run, how do handicappers assess Stormin Monarcho for the future?  Is he a potential contender in minor stakes races, or was this a one-off aberration?

It's all about placement and price. Jacobson certainly knows how to spot his horses. While it's unlikely you'll get the 6.50-1 odds he paid at Delaware, Stormin Monarcho may offer a bit of value if hiked up in class against tougher stakes rivals. He's no Grade 1 winner, but Stormin Monarcho deserves a spot on the old watch list, for curiosity's sake if nothing else.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 5/19/14 - 5/25/19:

1. STORMIN MONARCHO - 106 - OC 65k/C -N - 1 Mile - Delaware
2. ALMOST FAMOUS - 102 - Alw 52349N3L - 1 1/16 Miles - Churchill
3. GRATZIE - 99 - Md Sp Wt 27k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Canterbury
4. BELLARMINE - 97 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Churchill
4. TIGGER TOWN - 97 - OC 35k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Northlands
4. WAR DANCER - 97 - Louisville Handicap (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Churchill
7. BIO PRO - 96 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
7. FIRE WITH FIRE - 96 - Charles Whittingham Stakes (G2) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
7. REGULUS - 96 - Clm 25000 - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
7. RIPOSTE (GB) - 96 - Sheepshead Bay Stakes (G2) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
11. AZ RIDGE - 95 - Alw 35000N$Y - 7 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Canterbury
11. BIG CAZANOVA (ARG) - 95 - Md Sp Wt 57k - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
11. SUNBEAN - 95 - Louisiana Legends Classic Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Evangeline
14. FOOTBRIDGE - 94 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
14. FULL DANCER - 94 - Alw 45920N1X - 1 1/16 Miles - Churchill
14. GENERAL IKE - 94 - Md Sp Wt 40k - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Delaware
14. KATE'S EVENT - 94 - Clm c-(50-40) - 7 Furlongs - Santa Anita
14. LA TIA - 94 - Arlington Matron Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) - Arlington
14. NIKKI'S SANDCASTLE - 94 - Hanshin Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Polytrack) - Arlington
20. CSABA - 93 - Memorial Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - Calder
20. LEGENDARY (GB) - 93 - Alw 77000N1X - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
20. WINGS OF FORTUNE - 93 - Alw 77000N1X - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
23. BANK ACCOUNT - 92 - Alw 54160N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
23. DORSEY'S DREAM - 92 - Louisiana Legends Starter Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Evangeline
23. TAYLORS DEAL - 92 - John Longden 6000 Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Hastings

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

*KATE'S EVENT was claimed for $50,000 by trainer Vann Belvoir from Jerry Hollendorfer.


Dan – Do you know when the DRF changed its speed ratings from a comparison to the track record to a comparison to the best time within the last 3 years?

I don't know the exact date, but it has to be at least 25-30 years.

*The links to the previous blogs (and blog comments) are listed below:






















You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to Alfredo for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.

Let's do a rare multi-race HandiGambling this week. We'll go with Saturday's Early Pick 4 at Penn National as per Rick M's request.


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 "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card 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!




Copy of Formblog Preakness 5-17-14.xls75 KB
PENNP4R1.pdf163.6 KB
PENNP4R2.pdf195.3 KB
PENNP4R3.pdf176.54 KB
PENNP4R4.pdf162.42 KB
Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds More than 1 year ago
Hi everyone, The Belmont Stakes chat will be held on FRIDAY at 8:30 PM EST. We'll cover all stakes on the undercard too. I sent PP's to many of you, so if you need pp's please let me know. http://www.ironmaidensthoroughbreds.com/ Laura
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
RonZ Nice read. I always love your posts. Each race is its own sure but some of the possible underlying reasons for the historical under-performance of favorites and heavy favorites in the Belmont may be in play again Saturday. Not sure but did you mean the race always begins with a “legitimate favorite”. There are many false or wrong ML favorites. Ripe ground for bettors if you disagree with the herd or ML maker. You are correct that changing the 13/50 to 16/50 gets you in the par area for winning favorites. That what if game also can fairly get you 10/50 and 20% just as easily. Here is how I personally “Value Chase”. I do handicap the race first obviously. I roughly establish the odds I think a horse should be given the race, his form and competition. For example if think Wicked Strong is live AND if I can get Wicked Strong at 6-1 or higher but I think his real win odds are 7-2. You betcha I am chasing because in the long run that edge will sustain me assuming my odds mathematics is valid. Conversely if in my opinion, I see CC as a 2-1 shot but he is bet to 2-5 I am chasing because there has to be overlays elsewhere. The 2-5 shot may win, they do sometimes but I don’t like haircuts. Again perceived value is in the eye of the beholder. My eyesight is 20/60 with Russell Westbrook sized glasses and even holding a John Conti magnifying glass so I am often sadly wrong. CC has been good to real good on his best but unlike most of America I am not just ready to crown him until 6:54.32 pm EST. I just see CC as a 2-1 shot trying to do the following: run 40.5F in three months with stops across the country while sustaining a high level, beat a large field of more rested foes, absorb another ship in, handle the BEL unique surface, outrun what I as a non-pedigree expert consider a non-12F pedigree, deal with SoCal jockey’s& trainer recent unfamiliarity with track configuration, nails in his crib, shoes falling off, and likely gang up scenarios. Arguments can be made he will handle all those but at 2-5 with many questions it sends me “chasing”. That said, I am likely not going to spend June 8th picking up aluminum cans on local highways either. KYL NY Solid analysis on BEL yesterday. Handy Stan held on at $5. Play against Ghost Hunter did win netting a minscule $1.7 for $2WPS however your alternative price play Brass Pear returned the $2.70 net on $2 WPS. Looks like Social Inclusion is in the Woody. The 7-5 seems low to me at first glance. I wonder if he floats up in that big group. I generally don’t like horses cutting back that dramatically. I suppose Hard Spun handled it in Kings Bishop but he was given time. 8F to 7F, 8.5F to 7F yes but 9.5F to 7F is rough. Very interesting race for sure. Full Circle A close friend has I Wish (6-1 ML) debuting in a MSW at DEL today. I Wish is out of Street Minstrel who was out of (Street Cry/Minstrel’s Lassie). SM was talented and quick. She was stakes bound after a couple of nice 6F wins including an OP ALW as a 3 year old when injured. She ran 21/45/57/1:10 change in that last race. We never got to see her realize her full potential. I am wishing for a safe educational run from I Wish today.
edb More than 1 year ago
G2123, will you bet an 11-1 shot for second in your betting? ROC might be your answer. Belmont day is the reason we enjoy horse racing. 13 races with wonderful odds and nonstop questions in each one. Great quality and quantity. Havana is running, pinch me, I must be dreaming. Will Soc. Inc. not foam up before his race? Palace Malice, Goldencents and Normandy Invasion all running at the same place. And , by the way, a little matter of a triple crown on the line. We all got a day we all deserved and let us all take advantage and have a profitable day. Like they say, it don't get better than this. Great luck to all.
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Vicstu, Got my attention..... 11 Tonalist to win by 11 lengths..
Penguin ymous More than 1 year ago
Dan, Question about Formulator. I am pretty sure I am using the default trainer pattern which is five year history. Belmont, June 1st, 4th race. #10 Aesthetique trained by Robert Ribaudo, won her last race 12Oct13 in a 7f turf race. The trainer stats say Ribaudo is 0/7 in turf sprints. So, is a 7f turf sprint not a turf sprint? I thought the two turn 7-1/2 turf races at GP are considered a sprint, whereas I think that should be a route. Thanks RonZ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Calvin, Western Hymn was a horse I took a long look at for the Epsom Derby. I like the breeding and the unbeaten record, and its a Jockey / Trainer combo I often use; but this horse has an ungainly high head carriage and has seemed a difficult ride.. Then again, Epsom is a difficult course, so perhaps the 2 difficulties will cancel each other out. Just about every judge of a good horse is convinced that Australia is the best 12 furlong horse in the race, but there is a lot of negativity surrounding the jockey, Joseph O'Brien. Sure he wins a lot races, but he rides some of the best bred grass horses in the World. So far, I think I have got 2 horses with a chance to beat him. Ron Z and Annie, Can I combine an answer to both of you. Ron - you offer a totally sensible approach to betting , but I don't believe one size fits all. And since when has betting ever been a "sensible" pursuit? My approach is to find my horse(s) first, and then see what price I can get. That makes me a "value discoverer", not a "value chaser". So, taking Annie's two examples, if I find 2 horses with a chance (not necessarily an even chance), I will make the 10/1 horse my main bet, and put the 7/5 horse in some combination Doubles and Trebles as a back up bet. It may be a flaw in my make up, but I don't get so much fun cheering a favourite, although I will make a massive exception for California Chrome. C'mon the Chrome, and the Ancient Ones. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annie somehow, the DRF comments page is once again picking up 'anonymous' as my moniker. The last post is by me....SR Vegas. ...although I did forget to sign off as such. I guess I'm out of practice here :) SR Vegas
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annie ..OMG ! ..where has the time gone? It has gone so fast since the MKB draw last December. Yes, I'm back for a bit and glad to be home:) I'll be gearing up for some more CA travel soon. Always nice to take a break and see everyone here.. SR Vegas PS -I hope your MKB (& Wackymackys) touted Wicked Strong comes in 2nd. I so want to see a our next TC winner THIS year :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Saturday could be a history changing weekend. So , for me it's..... Go California Chrome to be our next triple crown winner !!. with that said, I couldn't help but noticing SOOOO many MKB's that were previously Ky Derby and Triple Crown contenders that are running in The Belmont Stakes undercard this weekend. How cool is that! They keep giving and giving . Good luck to them all . Annie From our Dec 2012 draw ..the MKB 2013 season ! Saturday 6/7/14 Race #9 GR 1 Metropolitan Hndcp 1 mile 3 yo's and up #1 Palace Malice - Tmonty #2 Vyjak - pippen0707 #4 Goldencents - Alan #6 Central Banker - Anne m #7 Capo Bastone -Laura #9 Normandy Invasion - Spartan Tom Good luck ! ---------------------------------- on a frivolous note, and a semi 'consider it' an angle for a name or gut feeling ..... Belmont 6/7/14 race # 1 Bernardo ML 3-1 ..for our esteemed friend over the pond, Bernard Race # 5 # 6 Embellishing Bob ...for those who know a 5 lb Yorkie with 500 lbs of personality. RIP. This is a totally sentimental favorite. #9 Spot ...PGH, and just because I did see ' RUN SPOT RUN' one day and win. I had the PGH win and exacta at GP at the expense of No Nay Never. I'm wishing he regains that form. He has not run well since...we shall see. race #3 Brooklyn Hhandicap 4 yo+ 1 1/2 miles It is one of these longer races we see rarely , except the Belmont stakes. #3 Ever Rider to take it. The longer the better for him He did well in his last 12F race losing to Majestic Harbor in the Tokyo Cup at this distance at Santa Anita. race # 8 Just a game #9 PGH Discreet Mark has been on my HW and just can't be ignored. Like her gutsy finishes . race # 9 #1 Palace Malice, to win, unless the 'other' Pletcher horse is ready to roll. How often have we seen that before ?....hmmmm? # 7 Capo Bastone ..for an upset at big odds ? 30-1 ML...that's his 'other' horse :) Race #10 I've already mentioned #2 Hey Leroy ..one bad race in his last 10 . This gelding just wants to win off the pace. Race #11 California Chrome ...but from a pedigree guru (who I respect) these to put over and under in a small super for me to consider - top two are: Tonalist and Commanding Curve (in first and second slots), and using California Chrome, Wicked Strong, Commissioner, Medal Count and Ride on Curlin underneath. or maybe 'll reverse with California Chrome on top ? So many ways to approach this, and so little time :) SR Vegas
Penguin ymous More than 1 year ago
NON SENSE AND NUMEROLOGY First, I have a lucky number. And a shoe size. Do I play them in games of chance or at the races? Not really. Second, vicstu wrote about the number 11 and the Belmont. (I'm not picking on you, just expounding) I am 65. 6 plus 5 equals 11. California Chrome is my MKB horse. Does that make the likelihood of him winning more or less? Counting the number of kids, parents and animals in my family also equals 11! The first two numbers in my address add up to 11!! My car is an '11 !!! Or is it a '12? I forget, I am 65. The Belmont will be run on 6/7. Adds up to 13. Belmont goes off at 6:42. Adds up to 12 Secretariat ran a 2:24. Divide 24 by 2 equals 12. President Kennedy was assasinated 11/22. California Chrome has 16 letters in his name. Now I see the #2 post has won 11 times. That means it has lost 135 times! If I look long enough, and I'm not, I could pick any number and come up with stats that have no relevance to this Saturday's Belmont. vicstu also wrote: "Or maybe all of these 11's are just a giant, statistically improbable coincidence?" Actually, all of those 11's are a statistical probable certainty. There is a law in statistics called the "Law of truly large numbers" which states that with a large enough sample, any outrageous thing is likely to happen. When you take the entire world's recorded history, of course you will find some terrorist events that occurred on the 11th, of different years. The Tokyo subway terrorist sarin gas attack was March 20. Not hardly synchronous either. There is also the "Law of near enough" which many people choose to believe and are easier to convince of conspiracies and many other falsehoods. That law is basically number juggling and things that look like a coincidence by comparing apples and kumquats. To prove I know what I am talking about, I will need JJ to verify this as he can send things telepathically. JJ. Pick a number between 1 and 10. Now multiply that number by 2. Multiply that result by 5. Divide that number by the number you picked. Subtract 7. Count the number of ears and noses you have. And California Chrome will win the Belmont Saturday. RonZ Ancient Ones Stable