04/17/2012 2:50PM

Thermal Cat, The Apollo "Jinx"


Two 3-year-old colts received triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures last week. 

BODEMEISTER, of course, got all the press after his 108 score in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.  But, let's take a closer look at Wayne Catalano's THERMAL CAT, a debut winner going six furlongs at Hawthorne on April 11 with a 102 Beyer.  Foaled on April 16, 2009, Thermal Cat is by King's Bishop winner Tale of the Cat out of Miss Thermal Tech, a daughter of Distinctive Pro that placed in three stakes races at seven furlongs.  Thermal Cat was a $40,000 RNA as a yearling and a $57,000 RNA out of last year's OBS Spring auction.  He is a half-brother to Feeling Fancy, the winner of the $50,000 Federal Way Stakes going six furlongs at Emerald Downs.  Thermal Cat won by over eight lengths under jockey Harry Vega and stepped the six furlongs in 1:11.36.  He looks like a stakes-bound sprinter.

It wasn't a triple-digit fig, but MASTER RICK put up a 99 Beyer in winning the $98,000 Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn on the Arkansas Derby undercard.  Master Rick was winless in four starts for trainer Bret Calhoun, but is now 2-2 since being switched to Steve Asmussen's yard.  Master Rick pressed the pace throughout and turned back Grade 1 winner Drill in the final eighth of the one-mile Northern Spur.  He won by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:36.73 for the eight furlongs.  Master Rick was foaled in Florida on April 9, 2009.  He sold for $30,000 as a yearling and for $47,000 as a juvenile.  By the long-winded Master Command, Master Rick is a half-brother to stakes-placed sprinter Miss Silver Pistol. 

DOCTOR CHIT, a son of War Front, earned a 97 Beyer in winning his maiden over the Keeneland polytrack on April 14.  Trained by Todd Pletcher, Doctor Chit sold for $42,000 as a yearling before being purchased for $375,000 last year.  The bay was foaled on April 11, 2009 and was making his first start since last July.  That afternoon, in his career debut, Doctor Chit was the beaten favorite in a turf race won by subsequent graded winner State of Play.  Doctor Chit ran six furlongs in 1:09.04 in winning by 8 1/2 lengths under Javier Castellano.

It was nice to see a pair of older stakes-winners return to form.  AWESOME GEM, a nine-year-old gelding that was sidelined by hind-end problems following a runner-up performance behind GAME ON DUDE in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes on October 1, took an off-the-turf allowance race at one mile over the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate.  Awesome Gem received an 87 Beyer and will be hiked back into stakes company for his next engagement. Awesome Gem has banked $2,761,370 for West Point Thoroughbreds and trainer Craig Dollase.  Meanwhile, at Calder, HOMEBOYKRIS, the winner of the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont, won a $20,000 starter allowance race with a 97 Beyer.  Claimed for $10,000 in January by trainer Julio Cartagena, Homeboykris seems at his best in one-turn races on dirt


Here's the final "Under the Radar" column for this year.  "Performance of the Week" returns next time:



Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (4/9/12 - 4/15/12):

1.  BODEMEISTER - 108 - Arkansas Derby (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Oaklawn
2.  PLUM PRETTY - 103 - Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
3.  THERMAL CAT - 102 - Md Sp Wt 34k - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
4.  CAIXA ELETRONICA - 101 - Charles Town Classic (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Charles Town
5.  GROUPIE DOLL - 100 - Madison Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
6.  BOLD AFFAIR - 99 - Primonetta Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Pimlico
6.  DATA LINK - 99 - Maker's 46 Mile (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Keeneland
6.  MASTER RICK - 99 - Northern Spur Stakes - 1 Mile - Oaklawn
9.  DULLAHAN - 98 - Blue Grass Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) - Keeneland
9.  GOLD ELEMENT - 98 - Premiere Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Lone Star
9.  INHERIT THE GOLD - 98 - Action Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - Aqueduct
9.  SAGINAW - 98 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Aqueduct
13. ALTERNATION - 97 - Oaklawn Handicap (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Oaklawn
13. DOCTOR CHIT - 97 - Md Sp Wt 48k - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
13. HOMEBOYKRIS - 97 - Alw 20000s - 7 Furlongs - Calder
13. OCTANE - 97 - Md Sp Wt 56k - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
17. BAILOUTTHEMINISTER - 96 - Alw 39000N1X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
17. IT'S TRICKY - 96 - Distaff Handicap (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
17. LONESOME STREET - 96 - Commonwealth Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
17. MORE THAN CANDY - 96 - Alw 37440N1X - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Penn National
17. OUTTA TUNE - 96 - Count Fleet Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
17. PERFECT OFFICER - 96 - Shakertown Stakes (G3) - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Keeneland
17. QUILLIAN - 96 - OC c-25k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles - Penn National
24. OBVIOUSLY (Ire) - 95 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
25. FORTE DEI MARMI (GB) - 94 - Alw 61061C - 1 Mile (Turf) - Keeneland
25. MAMMA KIMBO - 94 - Fantasy Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
25. R KING OF THE ROAD - 94 - Alw 62000N1X - 6 Furlongs - Aqueduct
25. SWEET STARLET - 94 - OC 60k/N2X - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine
25. TABLE GAMES - 94 - OC 35k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles - Hawthorne
25. TOWN PRIZE - 94 - Woodstock Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine

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

*QUILLIAN was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Bruce Kravets from Stephanie Beattie.



*ACCLAMATION (bruised right front foot) - 8F - 1:40.20H - Santa Anita - April 12
*BRIDGETOWN (undisclosed) - 5F - 1:01.00B - Keeneland - April 15
*B SHANNY (knee chip) - 3F - 38.09B - Belmont (training) - April 13
*CELTIC PRINCESS (splint bone foreleg) - 6F - 1:13.60H - Santa Anita - April 14
*EBLOUISSANTE (cough) - 5F - 1:02.60HG - Hollywood - April 11
*EXCESSIVE PASSION (right foreleg) - 5F - 58.20H - Pleasanton - April 15
*FIFTY PROOF (filling in leg) - 3F - 36.80B - Woodbine - Apri 14
*HEAD HONCHO (undisclosed) -5F - 1:01.60B - Woodbine - April 14
*JOHN SCOTT (non-displaced condylar fracture left hind leg) - 5F - 59.80H - Santa Anita - April 15
*JUNIPER PASS (bruised cannon bone) - 5F - 1:02.40H - Santa Anita (training) - April 12
*OVERDRIVEN (cannon bones) - 5F - 1:01.55B - Palm Meadows - April 14
*PACIFIC OCEAN (undisclosed) - 4F - 51.31B - Aqueduct - April 14
*PRESIOUS PASSION (throat surgery) - 6F - 1:14.15B - Gulfstream - April 13
*RAIL TRIP (grabbed quarter) - 5F - 1:03.00H - Hollywood - April 12
*RUMOR (bled) - 4F - 48.60H - Santa Anita - April 15
*SARATOGA SNACKS (stress fracture right front pastern) - 4F - 48.51B - Belmont (training) - April 10
*SASSY IMAGE (torn quarter left front foot, non-displaced chip right hind ankle) - 5F - 59.00B - Churchill Downs - April 14
*SMILING TIGER ("jarred up") - 6F - 1:12.80H - Hollywood - April 11
*ST. JOHN'S RIVER (breathing problem) - 5F - 1:01.20B - Churchill - April 9
*SURREY STAR (suspensory ligaments right front leg) - 5F - 1:01.40H - Santa Anita - April 15
*ZAZU (inflamed shoulder) - 5F - 1:00.40H - Santa Anita - April 15


PLEASE explain to me the rationale behind Beyer speed figures? Amazaombie
gets a 105 and Solar Rocket, who goes 15 one-hundreths of a sec slower, but
has a faster final 2.5 furlongs, gets a 93? there is something truly wrong here, and
it has gotten to the point for me of almost being unreliable. thanks
Todd Saunders

In an e-mail, Mr. Beyer noted that a split variant was put in place as the track got slower for the last two races.  If the variant wasn't split, Amazombie would have received a 95, a number that seemed unlikely given the top four finishers of the Potrero Grande are capable of putting up triple-digit numbers.  Also, in the final race on the card, Ron Burgandy's figure (without the split) would have been a 47, way below his most recent race and 21 points below the class par. 

Hope this helps.


Along with the winners name for the HG each week, is it possible to see what
the wager was and the payoff. Just for informational purposes as I like to see
how the winners wager. I'm also looking to see if my winning wager of $32,840
ever gets broken. That would have been 5/13/11 Arlington 9th race.
Ron B

Thanks to everyone that volunteered to help score the HandiGambling exercises in tencentcielo's absence.  Penn National Rick provided a spreadsheet detailing last week's results.  It is available at the bottom of this blog post.


I havnt heard or seen anything of Speightscity lately whats going on with him? did I miss an injury or something that sidelined the horse and is he out of the run for the roses? would appreciate anything you might have on my MKB horse. thank you

Dan, what has become of Pletcher's Thunder Moccasin?
Chris Vignoe

Speightscity was being pointed for the Gotham, but didn't run in that race and hasn't posted a published workout since February 28.  I haven't heard about an injury, but will try to find out more for you.

As for Thunder Moccasin, he hasn't worked since the beginning of March.  He was scheduled to run in the Bay Shore at Aqueduct, but missed that race.  Again, I haven't heard any specific injury, but I'm assuming that something has gone amiss.


Mike Beer and I are heading out to Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, April 28 for a free handicapping seminar on San Francisco Mile afternoon.  If any FormBloggers are in the area, please stop by.  We'd love to meet you. 



I noticed that Arthur's Tale is out of the great grass mare Owsley. He ran
disappointingly on the dirt yesterday at Aqueduct. I was wondering if you could
post Owsley's pp's in anticipation of Arthur's potential return to the grass.

Owsley's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Hey Dan....tough beat in the Shakertown,,,If you get a chance, could you write
a line or two about your selection of Great Mills. While I don't have stats to
back me....It seems that horses on the engines in turf sprints don't tend to hang
on at KEE...but GM sure did. Did you like him becasue you thought he'd clear
the field?
...I do know that rail horses in those sprint races at Kee usually lose...but Javier rode a bang up race on Perf Officer...as a learning tool, just curious in how you broke
down the race.

Brutus, I've been a fan of Great Mills ever since he ran a very similar race in last year's Transylvania Stakes on turf at Keeneland.  I liked him that day as well and was extremely frustrated when he got beat a nose by Air Support after running his eyeballs out on the front end.  A few starts later, at Saratoga, he bobbled a bit at the start of the Quick Call Stakes and proved that he could succeed after sitting just off the lead.  In his race prior to the Shakertown, I was also impressed.  He prompted a solid pace en route to a game score.  If he ran back to that last race at Sam Houston, I thought he would be competitive in the Shakertown.  I wasn't sure he'd be on the lead as Concorde's Flight looked pretty quick on paper, but I felt confident that Great Mills, at the very least, could sit just off that horse and make the front turning for home.  He looked home free, but switched to his left lead for a couple of strides in midstretch.  I wonder if that shift in his stride cost him the momentum needed to win the bob.


I'm still waiting for the reasoning behind Scatman in the BGS. Should make for interesting reading.
Any news on how the contenders came out of their respective Prep races yet? Particularly Dullahan as the lack of any real gallop out remains a big question mark.

Oh, I just tried to get clever in a race that didn't need overthinking.  I was concerned about the pace scenario and the distance for Hansen and I thought Dullahan would get overbet (it seemed that every public handicapper loved this horse).  Scatman ran a very fast race two back at Oaklawn, owned a win over a synthetic surface and had the tactical speed to sit just off the pace.  As I mentioned in the DRF Video, it was a stab.  Ultimately, it was an unproductive stab. 

It seems as if everyone came out of their prep races okay.  Hopefully, the main contenders all make it safe and sound to the Derby.  It's shaping up as an unbelievable race.


Hi Dan -- love the blog. I have a question for you. In light of Bodemeister's romp at Oaklawn I am sure that there will be a lot of talk by a lot of unimaginative people whom are tethered to "history" and "rules" and will bring up the "Curse of Apollo" as the reason why Bodemeister won't win. Now I think it is foolish to think that if his debut had occurred a couple weeks earlier that he would a have a better shot -- but I am curious to how many horses have attempted to win the Derby without starting as 2yr olds. I mean, I think it'd be kinda like saying LBJ couldn't get elected President because he was six foot four and no president that tall had been elected since 1860.
Early Thompson

Here are the Derby starters that did not race at two (1937-present): 

1944 Comenow, 12th
1945 Bert G., 14th
1946 Hampden, 3rd
1946 Perfect Bahram, 9th
1946 Rippey, 10th
1948 Coaltown, 2nd
1951 Fanfare, 5th
1951 Golden Birch, 19th
1956 No Regrets, 7th
1958 Gone Fishin’, 8th
1959 Our Dad, 15th
1968 Gleaming Sword, 13th
1971 Fourulla, 19th
1972 Big Spruce, 7th
1972 Dr. Neale, 15th
1972 Kentuckian, 10th
1973 Forego, 4th
1973 Twice a Prince, 12th
1974 Agitate, 3rd
1974 Confederate Yankee, 12th
1975 Bold Chapeau, 8th
1975 Media, 5th
1976 On the Sly, 5th
1976 Amano, 4th
1977 Affiliate, 9th
1977 Best Person, 15th
1978 Chief of Dixieland, 9th
1979 Great Redeemer, 10th
1981 Flying Nashua, 8th
1982 Air Forbes Won, 7th
1982 Reinvested, 3rd
1982 Wavering Monarch, 12th
1984 Majestic Shore, DNF
1985 Irish Fighter, 11th
1986 Wheatly Hall, 6th
1986 Zabaleta, 12th
1990 Pendleton Ridge, 13th
1991 Corporate Report, 9th
1991 Alydavid, 14th
1992 Devil His Due, 12th
1992 Disposal, 18th
1994 Strodes Creek, 2nd
1997 Pulpit, 4th
1999 Desert Hero, 13th
1999 Valhol, 15th
2000 Wheelaway, 5th
2000 Curule, 7th
2000 Trippi, 11th
2003 Atswhatimtalknbout, 4th
2004 Song of the Sword, 11th
2005 Greeley's Galaxy, 11th
2006 Showing Up, 6th
2007 Curlin, 3rd
2009 Summer Bird, 6th
2009 Dunkirk, 11th
2011 Midnight Interlude, 16th


Congrats to bornstar75 for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  Let's go with Friday's ninth race at Keeneland for this week's race.


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 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.

Best of luck to all.

bodemeister.pdf635.33 KB
owsley.pdf52.43 KB
HGDDDARE.pdf163.36 KB