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It was a wild and wooly weekend for the 3-year-old crop.
In staccato fashion, one promising runner after another put his stamp on the Kentucky Derby trail.
We've now had a few days to digest the results. The immediate excitement, and natural hyperbole that particular excitement generated, has slightly worn off. It seems a good time as any to rationally discuss the performances with the realization that the Derby is still a long ways off.
VERRAZANO (105 Beyer, 1 Mile, Gulfstream 'n1x' optional claimer):
Perhaps no horse generated as much buzz on Saturday than Verrazano, the undefeated half-brother to El Padrino that obliterated a decent bunch of allowance runners by 16 1/4 lengths.
Favored at 1-5 off a dominant debut on New Year's Day for Todd Pletcher, the $250,000 yearling puchase received a 105 Beyer Speed Figure. The final time for his one-turn mile - 1:34.80 - was over two seconds faster than the other division for 3-year-old males at that distance at Gulfstream on Saturday (won by stablemate DOHERTY).
Not only was the race very fast, but it was visually pleasing as well. Verrazano pressed a swift pace, overwhelmed his early rival on the bend and finished his last two furlongs in a solid 24.82 while under minimal urging.
Obviously, he is a very talented colt and figures to be hammered in future wagers over the next few days. But he is inexperienced, has yet to race around two turns, and each additional furlong from now until Louisville will be extremely demanding for all of the hopefuls.
I have no idea if Verrazano is the Derby winner or not, but one thing is for sure. He is going to be fun to watch over the next few months.
And he was very good on Saturday.
HONORABLE DILLON (94 Beyer, 7 Furlongs, Gulfstream, Hutcheson Stakes, Grade 2):
A lightly-raced son of Tapit, Honorable Dillon hasn't done much wrong throughout his four-race career. He made a nice impression in his debut at Saratoga last summer for trainer Eddie Kenneally, finishing ahead of three next-out winners despite breaking poorly and being shuffled back along the rail on the turn.
He then overcame a closer-friendly track to defeat two next-out winners (including the highly-regarded DELHOMME) in his second start.
After missing the remainder of the juvenile season due to some minor problems, Honorable Dillon received a good prep for the Hutcheson when a rallying second behind loose-on-the-lead SINGANOTHERSONG in an entry-level optional claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs on January 4.
In the Hutcheson, Honorable Dillon rated nicely in the early stages and attacked the front-runners while three wide on the turn. He gutted out the win, but I didn't like that he failed to switch leads in the stretch. That's a bad habit that he'll likely need to cure if he is to factor in longer-distance races.
The horse to take out of the Hutcheson could be runner-up FORTY TALES, who seemed uncomfortable racing down inside after breaking from the difficult rail post. Once switched out, Forty Tales came with a good late run to just miss. His dam was multiple stakes-placed on turf.
Honorable Dillon, a $100,000 yearling buyback that was purchased for the same amount at two, is a half-brother to Liquidity Trap, a stakes-placed miler on grass. Their dam won going seven furlongs on dirt in Argentina and was stakes-placed at one mile. Distance could be an issue going forward as he has yet to run in a route event.
TIZ THE TRUTH (94 Beyer, 1 Mile, Santa Anita, Maiden Special Weight):
"Gary Stevens might have a Derby horse," tweeted winning trainer Bob Baffert after TIZ THE TRUTH graduated in gate-to-wire fashion around two turns at Santa Anita.
Tiz the Truth certainly has pedigree appeal as he's a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Notional by two-time Breeders' Cup Classic hero Tiznow.
Tiz the Truth may not have handled the cushion track in his career debut at Betfair Hollywood on December 15, but he improved to run a game second behind the promising DEMONIC at seven furlongs on January 13.
On Saturday, Tiz the Truth got a chance to stretch his legs around two turns and he appreciated the extra distance. While he looked good striding out to win by almost eight lengths under a mere hand ride, I'm not sure we really learned anything about the colt.
He received a candy trip walking on the lead against overmatched competition and seemed to lose some focus when the race was no longer in doubt, hopping back to his left lead in the waning strides. We'll know more after his next effort, a start which will no doubt be against much tougher opposition.
FLASHBACK (92 Beyer, 1 1/16 miles, Santa Anita, Robert B. Lewis Stakes, Grade 3):
FLASHBACK has lived up to the hype thus far. A full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Zazu, Flashback graduated at even-money in his debut over the cushion track on December 8 and didn't have many problems in winning a lackluster edition of the Robert B. Lewis.
A $260,000 weanling purchase, Flashback has been carefully handled by Baffert. The silver-haired trainer aborted a scheduled workout in late December after the colt didn't have a fluid motion in his hind end, but Flashback trained swiftly leading up to the Lewis and looked the main speed on paper.
Indeed, Flashback went right to the front and took mild pressure from Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up He's Had Enough through slow fractions. Flashback had He's Had Enough off the bridle approaching the quarter pole and was never threatened in the stretch.
Although he's been aided by good setups in both starts (rallied off fast pace in debut, set slow pace in Lewis), I've been impressed with Flashback. He's versatile, well-bred and professional. At this early juncture, he seems like a major player.
FALLING SKY (92 Beyer, 1 1/16 Miles, Tampa, Sam F. Davis Stakes, Grade 3):
A $16,000 weanling that was purchased for a sale-topping $425,000 at OBS last month, Falling Sky successfully answered the two-turn question in his 3-year-old debut.
Now 3 of 4 lifetime, Falling Sky defeated a pair of next-out winners in a live optional claimer at Gulfstream on December 15. In the Davis, Falling Sky bobbled very slightly at the start, but had enough speed to clear the field on the first turn. Rated beautifully by Jose Espinoza, Falling Sky was bumped onto his right lead midway on the far turn when making contact with the rail-rallying SPEAK LOGISTICS, but had enough left to deny a green DYNAMIC SKY in the final strides.
Falling Sky did some good things in the Davis, but I'm a bit more interested in the horses he beat. Dynamic Sky has a bad habit of leaning onto other horses and that may have cost him the win. Speak Logistics may have lost all chance when contacted by the winner turning for home. MY NAME IS MICHAEL rallied belatedly in his first start on dirt.
Falling Sky is by Lion Heart out of a Sea Hero mare that was multiple stakes-placed sprinting. That dam is a half-sister to All Giving, a seven-time stakes-winning sprinter. The argument could be made that Falling Sky has already outrun his pedigree and the waters could get much deeper as the distances increase.
REVOLUTIONARY (86 Beyer, 1 1/16 Miles, Aqueduct inner dirt, Withers Stakes, Grade 3):
Although Revolutionary didn't get a big number in the Withers, he overcame a world's worth of trouble. Sent away favored for Pletcher following a "big fig" maiden victory over a wet track, Revolutionary broke a half-step slow and was forced to rate behind horses while bogged down inside. Revolutionary was moving sweetly on the far turn, but then had to wait behind the eventual runner-up, ESCAPEFROMREALITY. The chalk was still stuck behind horses at the eighth pole, but jockey Javier Castellano eventually spied a seam and he sent Revolutionary between horses to just get up at the wire.
It was an eye-catching late turn of foot from a horse that still seems as green as the Grinch. Revolutionary switched leads several times in the stretch, but still overcame everything thrown at him.
By juvenile champion War Pass out of Alabama Stakes winner Runup the Colors, Revolutionary certainly has the pedigree and athleticism to be a top horse. I'm not worried about distance, but the lead change issue bothers me a bit.
I didn't think ESCAPEFROMREALITY received a great ride, being wrangled back after making the early lead, but he ran on well and could be a useful sort down the road.
*Pletcher started 13 horses on Saturday with six wins, four seconds and a third ($2.45 ROI).
On the other hoof, Baffert went 7-3-1-2 on Saturday. On Sunday, Baffert's GAME ON DUDE gave a wonderful performance over an overmatched group in the San Antonio Stakes.
This week's "Under the Radar" column features Fair Grounds-based PROUD STRIKE
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (1/28/13 - 2/3/13):
1. GAME ON DUDE - 116 - San Antonio Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Santa Anita
2. VARSITY - 105 - Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Gulfstream
2. VERRAZANO - 105 - OC 75k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
4. ITALIAN RULES - 101 - OC c-40k/N1X - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
5. BIND - 100 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
5. SUPER NINETY NINE - 100 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
7. CLUSTER OF STARS - 99 - Correction Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
7. HIT THE ROAD LEE - 99 - Louisiana Bred Premier Night Gentlemen Starter Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Delta
9. GUILT TRIP - 98 - Strub Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Santa Anita
10. BELIEVE YOU CAN - 97 - Tiffany Lass Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
10. DONOHARM - 97 - Essex Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
12. HEAD HEART HOOF - 96 - Toboggan Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
12. SATURDAY'S CHARM - 96 - OC 35k/N3L -N - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
14. COOL STREET - 94 - OC 62k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
14. GOMBEY DANCER - 94 - Md Sp Wt 44k - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
14. HONORABLE DILLON - 94 - Hutcheson Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
14. MORDI'S MIRACLE - 94 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
14. SUGGESTIVE BOY - 94 - Arcadia Stakes (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
14. TIZ THE TRUTH - 94 - Md Sp Wt 56k - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
20. THUNDEROUS G - 93 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Laurel
21. FALLING SKY - 92 - Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Tampa
21. FLASHBACK - 92 - Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
21. HOBBS - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
24. BEAU CHOIX - 91 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
24. CAUSEITHERTZ - 91 - Alw 64210N2X - 1 Mile (TUrf) - Santa Anita
24. RULER ON ICE - 91 - OC 75k/N3X -N - 1 Mile (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
24. SONGS AND SONNETS - 91 - Alw 55000C - 1 Mile - Oaklawn
24. SU CASA G CASA - 91 - Louisiana Bred Premier Night Sprint Stakes - 5 Furlongs - Delta
*GAME ON DUDE's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.
*ITALIAN RULES was claimed for $40,000 by trainer Bill Spawr from trainer John Sadler.
Dan, Could you pull the PPs on Shecky Greene? Was the pacesetter in Secretariat's Derby. Thanks!
I'm sorry, but SHECKY GREENE is a bit too old for my system. We can get the past performances for older runners that were champions, but I don't have anything for Shecky Greene.
There you go Dan. Even horses who want to be Slewsters win. #3 Indirectly A. P. is not a Slewster. Not actually anyway. His name would leave you to believe he is. Oh! Those wanabee Slewsters.....He's out of My Charmer. Who is My Charmer ? My Charmer is none other than the Mother of SEATTLE SLEW........Hence the name:
Indirectly A. P.>>>>>>>>>
Curtis V Slewster..........
Indirectly A.P. has a clever name and boasts a fascinating pedigree. His second dam, Triple Charm, is by Great Charmer, a younger half-brother to Seattle Slew by The Minstrel.
I am sorry to raise yet again this question of time. It really doesn't mean much in Euro races. And it is laughable to try to compare times around your flat tracks and regular turns, with our dips and gradients, around very irregular turns.
It is essential this point is understood if we are ever to reach agreement in assessing horses. I am sure Dan will tell us when he has heard the argument often enough, or perhaps he has a view?.
I would have to agree that time is very difficult to assess when analyzing European races for the reasons that Bernard mentioned as well as factoring in the different types of ground (heavy, yielding, good to firm, etc.). I don't put much stock in a European shipper's final times. For me, it's about class and quality of opposition.
Dan........For my grandfather who turns 90 this month, if you could find and post the lifetime past performances of a couple of the horses he owned?
-Gibby's Choice (77). -Van Horn (82). -P J's Pretty(?) .....good luck. And yes everyone, my grandpa has had to listen to my crazy handicapping theories for 30 years. God bless him!
Jay Van Horn
The past performances that you requested are available at the bottom of this blog post.
Although the 49ers didn't win the Super Bowl, the Bay Area can take some solace in the fact that Mike Beer and I will be at Golden Gate the morning of February 16 for a discussion of the El Camino Real Derby card. More details to come...
If you'd like, you can follow me on Twitter at DRF_DanIllman.
Congrats to Michel de Botton for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.
PENN NATIONAL RICK'S WEEKLY SCORESHEET IS AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
Let's go with Friday's ninth race at Gulfstream for this week's contest.
PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
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.
Please post your plays and analysis to the blog.
PLEASE GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.
Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers (instead of the horse's name) for easier scoring.
In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. One entry per person please.
I reserve the right to approve or deny any entries.
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.
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 LATE THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).
Best of luck to all.
The weekend handicapping videos should begin appearing on the homepage around Thursday evening.
|GAME ON DUDE.pdf||69.38 KB|
|Copy of Formblog Contest Gulfstream 2-1-13.xls||43.5 KB|
|HG GP TURF 020813.pdf||193.97 KB|
Yes, Bernard, very, very rarely is there racing. I walked into a bar Preakness day last year shocked that the race was already on, Triple Crown or not. There are a few bars that do Derby parties, of course, but, let's be honest, NBC's Derby "coverage" doesn't even let one watch the undercard and most people don't understand what's going on (a la gal I heard at the Derby last year - in the men's bathroom no less - "where are the horses? I haven't seen any races yet;" we were at least half way through the card…). I can't remember, but is there a specific channel (or channels) in Britain for horse racing, or are races shown on regular television? Arlington has recently opened an OTB which is, I think, connected to a bar here in Chicago. Perhaps that's a step in the right direction, but I just don't see racing being on in many places 364 days a year. I haven't been to the Chicago establishment (though I'll be going soon because I can't bet online right now!), but I went to one in Portland, OR (the Rialto), which is a bar/OTB. They separate the two, though, and I'll give you one guess which side has the nicer TV's, bar staff, &c. Hell, you couldn't even walk between the two without going outside! Ultimately, I'm fine with racing being a niche game, but it would be nice to be able to have at least a handful of establishments that show racing beyond the Derby (other TC races, Travers day and other fall classics, and the BC - all on network TV, by the way). Only a larger fan base brings that, though. And, while I'm fine with a niche game, more fans = more money. Perhaps if we gave up our puritanical sports gambling ban there could be more integration. If every sport were a wagering sport, us racing fans wouldn't have to be relegated to that dingy spot in the corner with all those incomprehensible ATM-lookin' machines in it.
MikeA, take Tomlinson's with a grain of salt . LOL. I wouldn't take them with a whole salt lick. ;-) I don't think they consider the damside and the form is salted & peppered with horses that have several grass wins and a 220 grass Tommy to go with them ! The fact they are even in the form is the biggest joke The Dogman has ever played on the gullible IMO .:-) They are a shortcut to the poorhouse. Just some of the clutter found in the form. A complete waste of ink. Do some horses with a 400 tommy win some races ? Sure , buttZ... it ain't because they have a 400 tommy !! Strictly a gimmick IMO. Horse (A) 380 Horse (B) 370 Horse (C) *360 Horse (D) 350 Horse (E) 340 Horse (F) *330 Horse (G) 320 How in the heck is that going to be of any real help to a player ? Top last Beyer wins about 29% on fast dirt. Can anyone here tell me what rate top tommy wins at ? Probably about the same as bottom tommy would be my guess :-) buttZ... I have no idea because I don't use them and I made a quick decision that they were a useless gimmick soon after they appeared in the form. SteveT , knowing your style, I'm thinking you might know something about tommys. Can you enlighten me ? Am I being to harsh on poor old tommy without the actual facts or are my instincts concerning tommys fairly reasonable ?
Black/RonZ, We have all seen this getting worse in SoCal for a while. It is getting to be a real PIA when your horse's odds drop like a rock AFTER the gate opens. I talked to a couple of people at SA about this at the BC and they said that it was coming from the South (?) Dakota whale shops and Las Vegas. BSB is right we should be howling like a 9 year old girl whose Barbie went through the wood chipper.
So Mike, did Bold Tango pick you up a hot dog when he went into the stands? The point to this race being playable was that the even money favorite CORE INFLATION was no bargain at even money and Bold Tango went off at 40/1, Swidgen at 13/1, Kanavayen at 14/1 and D'Oro Dancer at 40/1.
Here is a good exercise for handicapping turf sprints. Take a look at the PPs for the 4th race at Gulf today and then give your estimate of what the winning time will be. Don't look at the results, this ain't about being right... Now based upon your estimation of the winning time, who are the logical contenders?
Alex, The Tetrarch is a very interesting horse. RonZ, I think I read somewhere that it is now about 40%. This is something that the players should be howling about. BS excuses about bundling at the HUB and saving bandwidth blah blah blah should not be accepted by the public without kicking up a stink. "THEY" want it this way so "THEY" can get a bet down after a horse catches a flyer. InstitutionaliZed cheating happens plain & simple. I don't want more palm trees in the parking lot . I want the window closed for everybody, before the gate opens, not excuses why that costs too much money to accomplish. If it takes 1% of every tracks handle to get it done than do it. This is one of the reasons that new players are hard to find . They are not buying these feeble excuses for why a horses odds drop as he pulls away from the field. Just one man's opinion. Anybody that thinks I'm spewing pure BS ,I have two words for you. *FIX SIX*.
Gulf 6th cont.....You know I really should write this in Word then paste it in........... Kanaveyan...........nice works after, though there is a month spacing I don't like. This horse is 15-1 in the ML......I just don't see it...those odds are way too high. Being the temp rail is at 24ft he should enjoy running outside...... So those are the 4 that interest me. I won't commit to anyone just yet, I want to see what Ronnie Railbird has to say...........But unless the odds change drastically I'm leaning to Bold tango ATB.....with some exacta's to the others.......though I would like to cut it down a bit. There is one insane exacta I want to play where D'oro Dancer is second. personal reasons........Lets see what ronnie railbird gives me..... I'll be back...Mike A
MH01 Thank you for the welcome back, sorry it took awhile. I thought I'd talk a bit about Graydar........I like him, not because I think he's the next coming, but because I see money in my future betting against him. What he's shown me is an affinity for running at Gulf. I think he's better at a mile than 1 1/8th....the time wasn't bad, but nothing to write home about.....track wasn't slow by any means, when horses run 1:21 and change going 7f's earlier in the day the track isn't slow. He ran at Belmont at at Flat mile against a nice NY Bred in Saratoga Snacks, who is 7-5-2-0.....not bad, but mostly against NY breds. Graydar didn't come close, losing second to Sir Bond....I won't say what I think of Sir Bond as a racehorse except that since that race he's managed a third in an OC claimer at SA for 40,000. Considering he ran second that day at Belmont, one race removed from breaking his maiden at the FG's after 4 tries I'd say it doesn't speak volumes about Graydar. Steve and I discussed Graydar at length this morning......what we'd like to see is for him to go to Kee. Run on poly where he should excel being an Unbridled Song, he'll be bet and hopefully win. Everyone will be talking about him, "man what a horse they'll say"...... Then come Summer we want to see him back at Belmont, hopefully in the Met Mile and we'll be sitting back looking for a horse that will tattoo his behind........One can only hope....... Gulfs card today? so so...Turf wise. I do like the 6th race, looks be a race that can be beaten.....well at least the ML favorite and second choice, Core Inflation and Visionandaprayer respectively. (-5 and 4-1 make sense on paper, at least for Core Inflation, but 4-1 for Visionandaprayer is just nuts..... You have to figure the race to be run in a minimum of 56 and change. They all seem capable of that, but there are 4 horses in there that may screw up everyones plans. I'll speak of them..... The one horse Swidgen....... After a freshening he comes back and runs a few decent races before being dropped down to a Md 12,500 at 6f's on dirt and airing by 5 in a 1:11:0. Considering he had two works before his first race back and none since you could say he was racing into trim. The 6f time for him was by far his best and the horse he beat Poised To A Tee isn;t a bad sort.....His trainer Chritos Gatis is a good conditioner. The horse is bred to run nicely on turf being out of bandini by an Afternoon Deelites mare.....he's also bred to sprint......The rise in class is an optical illusion, this isn't dirt. at 6- 1 not a bad proposition. The 6 ,Bold Tango........won first crack at Calder on an off the turfer for 40,000. won in a 1:00 flat, not a bad time considering the track. He must have been a handful after thatb race because he gets off till Oct and they gelded him. He ran in an Alw race and wasn't disgraced. Afet being close early he steadily faded back and was beaten 9 at 5.5f's.....run in 1:05:4...at Calder that's moving some. He doesn't show up again till Dec. This time at Gulf. Once again he is in with the frontrunners and again pulls a slow fade.....this company 20,000 NW2L....the time was good overall at 1;11:1. Now this horse had never shown a posted workout, that did come before his next race at Tampa. He went 4f's in 51:1 b at GNN. He runs 5 days later in a 16,000 NW2L at 6f's.....he finishes 4th beaten 4 3/4 in a race run in 1:10:0 an excellent time for the course. The best part is he's only 2 off at the 5f split which is run in 57:1....he ran that split in 57:3.....the course record for 5f's at Tampa on dirt is 56:3.....The winner Wild About Chrome is a nice horse, the third finisher came back and won....good race all around. This horse turf wise is exactly what I mean when I say Tomlensens Need to be taken with a grain of salt......he got a 210.....with a Cozzene colt over a Hail To Ruckus mare underneath,,, that is insane. Whats even worse is his distance Tomlinsen.....290...really?? a Cozenne was a very quick miler and Hail The Ruckus was a sprinter....290? No way jose..... Not only should this one like turf, he should love to sprint.......at 20-1? a very interesting colt Mr Exclusive............Now I'm on the fence about Hooched as a turf damsire, he isn't bred badly, but when combined with an Elusive Quality colt tou get a 198? Another who should be able to run some turfwise......especially considering he ran second first crack over the surface in his initial start. ...three works going into his maiden breaker at Tampa on dirt off a layoff. The second finisher came back to win, the horse who was third beaten over 5 won after his next start......while speed wise I do not think his race was as good as Bold Tango's I still like him at 12-1.... Kanaveyan.............bred for turf, beat Fast N Furious Cat and Csaba by 6 in his maiden breaker.... apparently has some issues soundness wise. I will continue..........
Let me chime in on what MikeA was saying about 3yr.olds early vs older and catching them back . I'll use a couple of Hollendorfers as examples. I'm going on memory. First Nonios. Nonios ran in early spring vs a group of fairly decent older horses at GG in a stakes . Finished 3rd I think ? Some of the other runners came back to run well in various stakes. Nonios was shipped to CD back against 3yr olds for the Derby Trial and I wanted to bet him but he went craZy pre race and was scratched.( the best laid plans....oops) Anyway , he surfaced next at Hollypark in against Liasion etc. and some other more well known horses. He won & paid $36 . The public thought Nonios was being tested for class in that race when in reality Hollendorfer already tested him for class at GG vs older. Some years earlier Hollendorfer ran Hystericalady in a GG alw as a prep for the Humana Distaff at CD. That alw was against older Males . Hard Knockers ! Millionaires & near millionaires. It was an acid test for him to see just how good she was. Going from that GG alw to that GR. I stake at CD was a serious class drop for her but was not interpreted that way by the public. She should have been about 7/5. She won for fun and paid about $18 if memory serves . By the end of that year everybody knew who Hystericalady was. When you see a young horse run well vs older you need to take notice. Hollendorfer makes these kind of moves sometimes & I'll gaurantee you that he BETS.
DIZZY, I see you will be able to watch your FORTIFY run in the UAE 2000 Guineas tomorrow, right here on DRF. He is now under the care of Mahmood al Zarooni. I understand that he is prepping for the UAE Derby, trying to get in the Kentucky Derby from that direction. Good luck!!! Annie