08/05/2015 2:32PM

A stroll on the Jersey Shore

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There aren't any superlatives left to describe AMERICAN PHAROAH.

Seemingly unfazed by a demanding spring campaign that culminated with the colt becoming the first Triple Crown winner since the celestial Affirmed in 1978, American Pharoah never got out of a canter in capturing the Grade 1, $1,750,000 Haskell Invitational last Sunday at Monmouth.

Spotting four pounds to all six foes at the nine-furlong distance, American Pharoah broke sweetly under Victor Espinoza and found a comfortable spot tracking the early pace set by Grade 1 winner COMPETITIVE EDGE. The Pletcher-trained Competitive Edge rattled off fractions of 23.22 and 46.14 with American Pharoah merely gliding to his outside. Espinoza pushed the button after three-quarters in 1:09.60 and American Pharoah coasted to the lead. With Espinoza still as if spell-bound in the irons, American Pharoah galloped under the finish line 2 1/4 lengths better than a game, but overmatched KEEN ICE. He completed the distance in 1:47.95 and received a career-best 109 Beyer Speed Figure.
 


"It was pretty easy," Espinoza told track publicity following the Haskell. "For me the key was just coming out of there running. I didn’t want to get in into any bumping out of the gate. I just wanted to let him run his race. I knew that other horse would want to take the lead so I sat back just a little bit. I never like to go head and head with another horse so I sat back maybe half a length behind. He did everything by himself. It was pretty easy, pretty impressive."

So, what's next for racing's superstar?  It doesn't appear as if an outing against older horses in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar is in the cards. The historic Travers Stakes, "The Midsummer Derby," seems like a logical option if the colt retains his phenomenal form. That race would feature a matchup with 2014 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner TEXAS RED, one of the few 3-year-olds that have yet to feel American Pharoah's sting this year.
 
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Here are the WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 7/28/15 - 8/3/15

1. AMERICAN PHAROAH - 109 - Haskell Invitational (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 2Aug15-12MTH
2. GIMME DA LUTE - 107 - Real Good Deal Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 2Aug15-5DMR
2. RED RIFLE - 107 - Bowling Green Handicap (G2) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 1Aug15-9SAR
4. ROCK FALL - 106 - Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) - 6 Furlongs - 1Aug15-8SAR
5. BRADESTER - 105 - Monmouth Cup Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 2Aug15-10MTH
5. TEXAS RED - 105 - Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 1Aug15-10SAR
5. WORK ALL WEEK - 105 - Senator Robert C Byrd Memorial Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 1Aug15-6MNR
8. HOLY BOSS - 102 - Amsterdam Stakes (G2) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 1Aug15-5SAR
8. LA VERDAD - 102 - Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) - 6 Furlongs - 29Jul15-4SAR
8. OFFICER GRIFFIN - 102 - West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup - 4 1/2 Furlongs - 1Aug15-2MNR
11. HEART TO HEART - 101 - Oceanport Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 2Aug15-11MTH
11. THIEVES GUILD - 101 - Caress Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 2Aug15-3SAR
13. CRACKERJACK JONES - 99 - Alw 22153N1Y - 1 Mile - 28Jul15-8FL
14. FLORIDA WON - 98 - Seagram Cup Stakes (G3-C) - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - 2Aug15-8WO
15. BEHOLDER - 97 - Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - 1Aug15-8DMR
16. LOOKS TO SPARE - 96 - West Virginia Governor's Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 1Aug15-7
16. MATTERHORN - 96 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 1/8 Miles - 31Jul15-9SAR
16. STACKED DECK - 96 - Alw 79519NC - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 31Jul15-8WO
19. CASUAL SMILE (GB) - 95 - Matchmaker Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 2Aug15-9MTH
19. FALLING SKY - 95 - Trinniberg Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 1Aug15-8GP
19. GOT LUCKY - 95 - Lady's Secret Stakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 2Aug15-4MTH
19. MADEFROMLUCKY - 95 - West Virginia Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 1Aug15-8MNR
19. PURE SENSATION - 95 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 31Jul15-8SAR
19. STOPCHARGINGMARIA - 95 - Shuvee Handicap (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - 2Aug15-10SAR
25. ALL INCLUDED - 94 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 29Jul15-9SAR
25. BET THE POWER - 94 - Clm c-25000 - 6 Furlongs - 29Jul15-2SAR
25. GANGSTER - 94 - Md Sp Wt 83k - 1 1/8 Miles - 31Jul15-5SAR
25. HE'S ACHANCE - 94 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 1Aug15-8LRL
25. MARKET MAGIC - 94 - West Virginia Senate President's Cup - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Turf) - 1Aug15-5MNR
25. MOONLIGHT SONG - 94 - John Morrissey Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 30Jul15-4SAR
25. ROOM FOR ME - 94 - Regret Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 1Aug15-10MTH
25. RUNHAPPY - 94 - OC 40k/N$Y -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 31Jul15-7ELP
25. SATURDAY'S CHARM - 94 - Clm 32000 - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 2Aug15-9SAR
25. SMOOTH ROLLER - 94 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 1Aug15-9DMR
25. WILDCAT RED - 94 - Teddy Drone Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 2Aug15-8MTH

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

*BET THE POWER was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Michael Maker from Chris Englehart.

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You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Remember to check out DRF LIVE's VIDEO handicapping coverage at live.drf.com. Matt Bernier and I will be on at 4pm ET Wednesday and Thursday to take you through the final few races at Saratoga. Michael Hogan will fill in on Friday with Eric Wing handling co-hosting duties on Saturday.

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Congrats to Pat Gavin for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling tournament.

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

Let's go with Saturday's Whitney at Saratoga for this week's exercise.

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

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.

HANDIGAMBLING:

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 "60-Card Quarterly Formulator 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!

Harpo
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A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
 
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A SATURDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)

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AMERICAN PHAROAH.pdf633.37 KB
Copy of Formblog WV Derby 8-1-15.xls208.24 KB
HGWHITNEY.pdf179.79 KB