07/02/2008 6:12PM

Tom Fool, Dutrow, Levine, AP maidens, etc.


Per bloodhorse.com...All of Levine's horses tested at Monmouth, where he is something like 49%, came back negative. To be fair, he's not claiming for 5k and winning for 25k, but rather taking a 30-40k horse in NY and winning for 16-20k in NJ. Without going back over everything, I'd say the vast majority of those wins are favorites, many less than even money, so there aren't too many ridiculous form reversals.

Interesting stat alert.  Levine is 29-59 at the current Monmouth meeting.  Thirty-one of those starters were the betting favorite, and the barn has scored with twenty of those runners (65%, $2.41 ROI).  Forty-five of the fifty-nine starters were sent off at odds of 3-1 or less.  On the surface, it looks like a simple case of a horseman finding great spots in the condition book for his 'A' stock.


How was Rose up on the high beyer?  I thought he was suspended for a month.

The race was run last Monday, the day of the whip incident.


Dan -
I have been receiving workout notices for Point Determined & Lawyer Ron...are they making comebacks or do they have unnamed offspring posting workouts under their names????
Would be interesting to see the Lawyer make a comeback.
Supah Blitz

I'm guessing the Lawyer Ron notifications are mistakes.  The Lawyer entered stud this year at Stonewall Farms in Kentucky for a $30,000 stud fee.  He doesn't have any foals out yet.  Point Determined shows several workouts at Calder, and it's possible that the 2006 Affirmed (Grade 3) winner is making a comeback (didn't run in 2007). 


As you have noted, the developments over the past few days - the loss of Heatseeker and a lackluster Suburban - does not get the heart pumping in anticipation of future races such as the Whitney or Pacific Classic. Are there any potential understudies lurking in the shadows? Have you heard anything regarding the whereabouts of Asiatic Boy(injured?) or Godolphin's Jalil?
Gorgeous Georgie

Jalil is working at Keeneland in preparation for his North American debut.  Haven't heard much from Asiatic Boy, and I'd say he's doubtful for an American campaign.  Perhaps Divine Park and Giant Gizmo can move up the ranks of the division, and it certainly would be interesting if Zenyatta tries the boys down the road, but don't be surprised if Aidan O'Brien sends one of his interesting turf horses to the Classic over Santa Anita's cushion track.


...Dan-since we've gone to Poly it seems like 2yo racing has really improved here at AP, and there are a couple of races I'd like your input on. The 7th race on Thursday is a mile for 2yos I actually have it down to 3 horses: Awesome Richie is (tentatively) my top play. Bernstein offspring tend to love poly, and run well early on poly and at a distance. WALLSTREET GOLD looks like a horse who wants more distance-(seems like trainer was looking all over to find a longer race since he's not a regular here) and GOLDEN CHAPEL is the less regarded (according to the ML) of Pletcher's horses-kinda like Touch Gold as a win early broodmare sire over Hennessy (25% to 5% as a bm sire first out. You're the 2yo guy so any help would be appreciated.
On the 4th, there's actually a 40K mdn claimer for 2yo. What do you think of Countess Katie at a price (Sire is 11% 1sters last 2, but BM sire Flying Chevron is 2 for 4 last 2 years with firsters) and here's where the formulator helps so much-trainer is 3 for 23 past 5 years with 2yo firsters but 2 for 4 when he sends out a 2yo firster for a tag. 10/1 ML but wanted to see if you see anything else of value in the race. Thanks guys for your input
Stephen Taylor

In the fourth race on Thursday, I really like My Pal Richie (the other half of the Awesome Richie entry), a son of first-crop sire Friends Lake that sold for 100K earlier this year (worked a quarter of a mile in 21.40 at the sale) after being auctioned off for 45K as a yearling.  The dam has already foaled stakes-placed sprinter Loveyouintheworld (a three-time winner at two).  The dam (by Afleet) cost $375,000 as a yearling, is a half-sister to stakes-winner Adarling ($71,455, 2yo winner), and Grade 2-placed juvenile router Crown Collection, and is a full sister to stakes-placed sprinter Von Fleet (114K), and stakes-winning router Freedom Fleet (264K).  The second dam, Avowal (by L'enjoleur), was a stakes-winner at two, three, and four, and earned over 470K.  The June 27 workout (4f in 47.60) matches up with trainer Larry Rivelli's juvenile gelding, My Dominick James, a debut winner on June 8 with a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.  The inside post is a bit of a drawback at this one-turn mile, but I think he's pretty quick, and hopefully will be the half of the entry to go.  Also, don't underestimate Becky's Express as the son of Congaree stretches out for his second start for Michael Stidham.
On Friday, I don't have much of an opinion, but I prefer Mommie Whiz for Asmussen.  She's bred both sides for speed, and shows a string of five furlong workouts leading up to her debut.  Wink At Richie and Precious Surprise are the obvious dangers. 


Please comment on this, I played Belmont last Fri. and in the first race Unrequited trained by Dutrow ran unplaced. He ran again on Sun. at Monmouth and I'm almost positive he broke down. I hate this guy, and I don't have anything for anyone in the media who claimed during the TC what a breath of fresh air he was. He and people like him have no business in this sport. Should this kinda stuff be allowed to happen?

As of right now, it just looks like a terrible coincidence that Dutrow's horse was euthanized at Monmouth at the height of his spat with the media.  Usually, returning a horse on short notice is risky, but Dutrow has good stats with similar horses (5-29 over the last year with horses returning off a week or less rest including two wins by claimers).  Was the horse overworked?  You decide.

May 1 - Finished eighth in optional claimer/n2x at Monmouth
May 23 - Finished fifth in 'n2x' allowance at Monmouth
June 6 - worked 5 furlongs in 1:02.40 at Monmouth
June 13 - worked 3 furlongs in 37 at Monmouth
June 19 - worked 5 furlongs in 1:03.40 at Monmouth
June 25 - worked 3 furlongs in 37.40 at Monmouth
June 27 - finished fourth in 35K claimer at Belmont
June 29 - Broke down in 30K claimer at Monmouth

It's easy to second-guess, but I would doubt that Dutrow would put a dead-lame horse on the track in this situation.  Did the horse have problems?  Probably.  That's why he was in for a tag.  I'm guessing most of the horses in the race had physical issues.  If it was so obvious that the horse was hurt, then why didn't the track vet notice a problem, and scratch the horse before he entered the gate?
It's always a terrible situation when any horse breaks down, and Dutrow isn't going to win any popularity contests on this board, but, in this case at least, he's innocent until proven guilty.


Forgot that state has the jurisdiction over racing so let's replace US with NY or CA regarding the whip rules.

Here's the New York whip rules from the State Racing and Wagering Board:

(a) No whip shall weigh more than one-half pound. No whip shall be used unless it has affixed to the end a closed popper made of leather or other material approved by the stewards, not less than 1 1/4 inches in width, and not over four inches in length, and be feathered above the popper with not less than three rows of leather or other material approved by the stewards, each feather not less than one inch in length. No whip shall exceed 31 inches in length. All whips are subject to inspection and approval by the stewards.

(b) In all races where a jockey will not ride with a whip, an announcement shall be made over the public address system of such fact.

(c) Although the use of a whip is not required, any jockey who uses a whip during a race is prohibited from whipping a horse:

    (1) on the head, flanks or on any other part of its body other than the shoulders or hind quarters;

    (2) during the post parade or after the race except when necessary to control the horse;

    (3) excessively or brutally causing welts or breaks in the skin;

    (4) when the horse is clearly out of the race or has obtained its maximum placing; or

    (5) persistently even though the horse is showing no response under the whip.

(d) Correct uses of the whip are:

    (1) showing horses the whip before hitting them;

    (2) using the whip in rhythm with the horse's stride; and

    (3) using the whip as an aid to maintain a horse running straight.


Anybody else have thoughts about the ride Daytona got? (OK, it's four days later, but I'm still puzzled.
He was the fastest horse in the race. He was eager and willing to go by Storm Military. Yet he was rated hard with his neck practically bent in half.
Maybe he bounced off his recent hard races (hopefully nothing worse went wrong) and would have lost anyway, but I have to question the ride. Yeah, it's a route, but maybe the fastest horse in the race should have been allowed to go to the front. Reminds me of the identical odd ride that Dreaming of Anna got 2 back (she was the fastest, was held back and not allowed to take the lead, didn't have enough late).

I don't have a problem with either ride you mentioned.  Both horses (Daytona, Dreaming of Anna) were stuck outside the other speed in their respective races.  Storm Military broke very well, and seemed intent on the lead going into the first turn.  Taking into account that Daytona successfully sat in his previous race, the rider probably felt very confident in what was virtually the same spot.  In Dreaming of Anna's case, she drew outside the other speed, and that one seemed intent on the lead.  Although 'Anna' is much better when allowed to dictate instead of chase, her jock probably didn't want to get embroiled in a pace battle when she could comfortably sit close to the pace.


Why is Dreaming of Anna not in the Cash Call? Catalono while successful with her and others doesn't normally have G1 type horses yet he hasn't sent her out against the big guns in the division. Seems like a 750K purse would be a strong incentive. Is he going to try polytrack and push her into the BC Distaff?

Dreaming of Anna will stay home, and train up to the Beverly D. at Arlington on August 9.


What does Stardom Bound's race have to do with Cosmic Queen? It kind of sounds like we should be looking out for this Stardom Bound. There must be some sort of expectations attached to her.

Here is what Brad Free wrote in his June 30 column on the site:

"As impressive as Cosmic Queen was in her debut, trainer Chris Paasch might have one better.Jockey Mike Smith did not believe it until he worked Stardom Bound. After the workout, Smith said to Paasch, "You might be right." Stardom Bound cut her left rear leg and scratched from race 8 Wednesday. The gray Tapit filly will be live when she runs opening week at Del Mar."

Back tomorrow with some picks for the Fourth.

Take care,


His trainer, the late, Great (Hall of Famer) Laz Barrera made the 'quick-turnaround' move famous, and his victory with Cielo in the Belmont is still enough to get through at least a pint of suds with your favorite racing buds. I'll bet Dan can confirm that. Conquistidor Cielo's victory is Triple Crown lore.

Woody Stephens trained Conquistador Cielo, and he wheeled the colt right back to win the Belmont after taking the Met Mile days before.


For all you contest fans, the Breeders' Cup is launching a "Fantasy Challenge."  Here's the press release:


NEW YORK (June 24, 2008) -- The Breeders’ Cup announced today the launch of its first fantasy sports game, the Breeders’ Cup Fantasy Challenge. The Breeders’ Cup Fantasy Challenge will coincide with the Breeders’ Cup Challenge that begins on July 5. Fantasy sports participants and horseracing fans will have an opportunity to win a $10,000 grand prize. The top three winners will get a free trip to Las Vegas and make up “Team Breeders’ Cup” at the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas for the chance to play for a $1 million purse.  Fantasy sports enthusiasts can register to play by visiting:

“Many horseracing fans play fantasy sports with multiple teams in a variety of sports.  The Breeders’ Cup Challenge, which consists of 56 races from July to October is a perfect fantasy sports platform for the sport of horseracing,” said Peter Land, Chief Marketing Officer for the Breeders’ Cup.

The Breeders’ Cup Fantasy Challenge will follow the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series beginning with the first two Challenge races on July 5 at Monmouth Park with the Salvator Mile and the United Nations and conclude with the final Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, the J.P Morgan Chase Jessamine Stakes on October 9 at Keeneland racetrack.  Players choose horses that are racing in Breeders’ Cup Challenge events to win or place and accrue points in the Fantasy Challenge based on their horse’s success.

The overall points leader in the month of July will win a trip to Emerald Downs in Auburn, WA for the Longacres Mile (Aug. 17), a qualifier for the Dirt Mile at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Oct. 24-25 at Santa Anita Park.  The overall points leader for August will win an all expense paid trip to Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto a major Breeders’ Cup Challenge event (Oct.4),.

The Breeders’ Cup Fantasy Challenge will be supported with an interactive advertising campaign on sports sites and fantasy sports sites.  To learn more about the Breeders’ Cup Fantasy Challenge visit www.breederscup.com 


slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
I have no opinion on the B. Levine success rate per se, except to say that his name never scared me off a bet (like a lot of trainers), and two, I think it's sad that we have come to the point now where any great successes - any at all - are met with skepticism, if not downright derision. I understand the doubt. We've had too many Mark McGuires to call them anomolies. I doubt, however, that the truly great trainer, Jack Van Berg (who trained Alysheba, my first 'favorite' horse) can attribute his poor record over the last several years entirely to the nefarious acts of his fellow trainers. I also shudder to think that every time I see a horse or mare re-break I have to assume he or she is on drugs. When Peace Rules "re-broke" late in the Suburban to win (one of the great races I have ever seen) was that drugs? God, I hope not. I did find the statistical breakdown informative (thanks for that) regarding B. Levine, and I think it explains a great deal from a relatively objective point of view. Beyond that, I don't know. I am not defending anybody, but we need a system (desperately, I think) that will enable us to legitimize the 'official' results, because now it seems like we are questioning the results of everything. Poly-garbage has only muddied the waters more. Thanks. -slew
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
I think this is so important that it bears repeating (over and over and over). There may be equally valid truisms in our chosen field, but none more valid, or more true: "From my standpoint, then, information which is not well known, or readily accessible to most handicappers, is much more valuable than speed figures. So, for example, I consider pedigree knowledge, trip handicapping, and the ability to assess horses visually to be far more important and valuable than speed figures." - Tinky Beyer has NO idea what he's missing here on the Formblog (assuming he has an interest in ideas). It really did not surprise me that AB does not read this blog. I do a lot of kidding at AB's expense, and putting the merit of that aside, I can honestly say that I doubt there is anyone more influential in the field of handicapping, transforming and perhaps reforming the game (in the public's eye) by giving the endeavor legitimacy as an intelectual (and money-making) exercise. AB, with his wealth (think about the enormity of his product), probably has more important things to do than read this blog from which he can get nothing that will improve his wealth or status. I guess what I'm saying is that he has already scaled the mountain. He doesn't need to read a blog (no matter how profound) on how to do it. Thanks (I'm just the messenger - smile). -slew
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Hey Chase; I new that I kept this newspaper clip for a reason. I will regurgitate it shortly, but I have to say that this newspaper clipping was given to me by a dear old friend from long ago. He disappeared on me back in the late 90’s, but he was an astute handicapper. I used to play the races with him at the Santa Fe (in Las Vegas) long ago. I won big one day. Really big. He was appalled that I was playing Penn National, and winning big. He scoffed at the very notion of playing this track, and scoffed even more at my results that night! It was truly hilarious. But I digress. Eventually, my brother Baggs and I convinced him to call his dad, and come down to the casino for dinner. It was classic. But it was also sad, in that it was at this time, that I figured out that my friend couldn’t read. I could tell by the way he “worked” the menu, and how he merely repeated the order that Baggs and I had placed. By observing the scene, you could see that his father clearly knew, but understood his son’s relative mastery of his handicap. After dinner, my friend gave me this newspaper clip. It was tattered, and old. When I read your post, I teared-up, thinking about this old friend of mine, and how I haven’t seen him since tat night. But I also remembered that I saved this clip, in the inside pocket of my camel-hair sport coat (no jokes here, good people). Here is the recitation: “On March 8, 1958, before a crowd of 61,123, Silky Sullivan, ridden by Bill Shoemaker, won the Santa Anita Derby by 3 ½ lengths after trailing by 19 after five-eighths of a mile. But that was nothing. A couple of weeks earlier, in a 6 ½-furlong race allowance race at Santa Anita, Silky Sullivan trailed the eighth horse in a nine-horse field by 40 lengths early on. And he won by 1 ½ lengths. That’s why, after a big comeback, a coach will sometimes say “We pulled a Silky Sullivan”. So there you have it. That was what was contained within the newspaper clipping that my old friend gave to me that night. I don’t think about him often, but now I am. Thank you for asking Dan the question, because it reminds me of why I love this game so much. I hope that with this, I was able to contribute to your love of the game as well. That’s all for now. Good night, good people. Van Savant
Alan More than 1 year ago
***FORMBLOG CONTEST ALERT*** (Pending approval from management - aka "Longshot Dan" - but I just couldn't wait - First races are this Saturday) ***FORMBLOGGER BREEDERS' CUP DREAMING*** PRIZE: Faidley's crabcakes from Alan (other prize donations from fellow Formbloggers will also be graciously accepted...) RULES: 1. Free to enter to all Formbloggers, especially lurkers (yes...that means YOU!!) One entry per contestant please. 2. $2WP bets on one horse for designated WAYI races as well as the 14 Breeders'Cup races. a. Coupled entries count as one horse. b. Scratches get post-time favorite unless otherwise changed prior to the start of the race. 3. WP payout caps of 20/1 and 10/1 (max payout: $42WN + $22PL = $64TOT), except for "Premium Picks" and "Premium Races". (see below) 4. "You snooze...you don't lose!!" a. No race pick = no problem (NET = $0). b. Losing pick in a race = -$4. c. All Breeders' Cup races must be selected (no BC race pick = -$4). 5. "PREMIUM PICKS" 50% premium (at payout caps) for horse either owned or trained by Formbloggers - currently that includes Valente, Zayat and Mott horses. Other trainers/owners can email me (formblogger@gmail.com) to get on the "Formblogger Premium Horse List"! {EXAMPLE: "Premium pick" wins paying $38 win & $14 place -> instead of $52, you get $78 total!} 6. "PREMIUM RACES" 100% premium (at payout cap) for all Breeders' Cup races. {EXAMPLE: Longshot wins a "Premium Race" paying $70 win & $25 place -> instead of payout cap of $64, you get $128 total!} 7. "PREMIUM PICKS" will (yes...WILL) in addition add 50% to a "PREMIUM RACE" total. {EXAMPLE: Bustin Stones winning the BC Sprint} 8. All picks need to be sent to me at least 2 minutes before post-time either: a. Via Formblog (please designate as a contest pick), or b. Via email (Formblogger@gmail.com.) 6. I have set up a spreadsheet for our picks: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p0punDkqmTL5nDMm2cvAzCg Please send me your name and picks for Saturday's races (the Salvator Mile and the United Nations) ASAP. If you don't start this weekend, don't worry - you don't lose contest money for skipping races!! As noted above, I have set up a special email for the contest (Formblogger@gmail.com) and I will also accept entries on Formblog as well. "PREMIUM PICKS will hopefully make us want to root for our fellow Formblogger's family of horses!!! Once again, if you are an owner or trainer and want to be included as a "PREMIUM PICK", please email me!! I'll be away at a wedding this weekend, but will be bringing my laptop to enter all contest selections... THANKS AND GOOD LUCK!!!
alhattab More than 1 year ago
C- I believe that condition is noted as "15000B" in the pps. If you have Thurs. Form look at the 5th at Monmouth, which has been using this condition for the past 2 or 3 years I believe.
Alan More than 1 year ago
Is the key to the caption my hand position?? Sidearm baseball grips...Geldings (am I the scrub nurse in the picture holding the ...?) How about J.D.'s Beyer dartboard scam! Slew, keep your friends close, but your enemies closer... GREAT JOB BY ALL!! THANKS!! Maybe it's a bad case of man-crush, but I think we gotta give Andy Beyer a little bit of a break! Beyer Speed Figures are a victim of their own success. We tend to forget how helpful, and for most of us horseplayers indispensable, they are for our handicapping. As an attempt to objectively measure a subjective performance, these numbers will always be fraught with error - just because Beyers are at best an imperfect measure still doesn't mean that they aren't useful. I grew up prior to them being available (PB = "Pre Beyer") - it was a lot harder for me to successfully handicap the races back then... I remain a critic of DRFs advertising the Speed Figures as "Performance Figures" and wish they reported "projected" Beyer races differently (for example, used '+' or '-' next to the number.) In addition, BSF interchangeability (long a hallmark/selling point for use) no longer apply for synthetic surface races. For now, I continue to attempt to use the synthetic track Beyer inaccuracies to my advantage for shippers to other tracks - it has just become another part of my handicapping. What Beyer (and others - it is a shared achievement) have done to help horseplayers and our sport should be recognized. 50+% of what I learned in medical school has either been significantly changed or essentially proven wrong (and I graduated in 1982, less than 30 years ago) - does that make the leading scientists/doctors of that or prior ages stupid?? Beyer helped develop a tool that many of us now apply in one way or another to help judge horses for handicapping, potential ownership or breeding. It will obviously be adjusted/replaced by other measures in the future, but BSFs was one of the first that was widely printed/used... The fact that Andy also happens to be a nice guy happens to add to my admiration!! OK...done with the man crush...now onto my next Formblog contest!!
Annie More than 1 year ago
Scott and larryk, Don't feel bad. All Man cost me a pick 6 a while back. Just because I was going to make a joke about his name because he is a gelding. lol I'm still smarting over that one!! Annie
Brett More than 1 year ago
I believe the first two year old race over six furlongs was run Wednesday (7/2) at Arlington Park. It was a one-turn mile and Steve Asmussen trained Dancingontheedge won handily with James Graham aboard. Do you have a beyer number on his performance or any thoughts of his pedigree and potential Dan?
Greg More than 1 year ago
Ellis Park is closing for financial reasons per the front page. It's too bad they lost $2.7 mil last year because they were highly creative and refreshing with their 4% takeout pick-4s last summer. Very strange to just close up shop a few days before the start of the meet. It should be a huge boost for Arlington and Presque.
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
C, PJ Campo has been writing these races as open claimers for 3 year olds and condition claimers for older for awhile now. I think they usually pop up as overnight extras and then they get the field size to go... I think PJ is just being accomodating to horsemen in an attempt to get the biggest fields possible...