09/12/2011 3:50PM

Top 25 lists, Random Thoughts

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ME AND MY GALS, a 2-year-old son of Hopeful (G1) winner Sky Mesa, took his debut on September 1 at Hoosier Park with a 95 Beyer Speed Figure.  Trained by Dale Romans, Me and My Gals was sent immediately to the front by jockey Terry Thompson, carved out fractions of 22.80 and 45.40 and cruised under the line 8 1/4 lengths in front after six furlongs in 1:08.80. 

While it's quite possible that Me and My Gals didn't beat much in Indiana, he did it professionally and in quick time.  Me and My Gals sold for $180,000 last September at Keeneland.  The second dam is Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Gal in a Ruckus. 

*While PRAYER FOR RELIEF received most of the week's headlines for winning the Grade 2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on September 10 with a 98 Beyer, I was more impressed with the winning performance of WILBURN in the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for 3-year-olds at Parx on September 5.  The main track at Louisiana seemed to favor speed all day long and Prayer for Relief got loose on the lead.  Wilburn, on the other hoof, raced 3-4 wide throughout before taking over for good late on the far turn.  Wilburn is a hulking son of 3-year-old champion Bernardini.  He stands 17 hands tall, was unraced at two and may be a late bloomer for trainer Steve Asmussen.  After selling for $75,000 as a yearling, Wilburn went for a sale-topping $625,000 last April at Keeneland.  He is out of Arlington-Washington Lassie (G3) winner Moonlight Sonata and is a half-brother to Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner Beethoven.  While the Pennsylvania Derby later in the month remains a possibility, it may come back a bit soon for Wilburn, who could be slightly better at middle-distance events.

*Big Beyer winners like GALLANT FIELDS (100) and CEASE (98) may have been aided by an outside, closer-friendly Saratoga surface on closing day at the Spa.  Just throwing it out there.

*GRASSY makes for a pretty good third-stringer for trainer Christophe Clement behind GIO PONTI and WINCHESTER, don't you think?

*ASK THE MOON's victory in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes on September 3 was a carbon copy of her gate-to-wire score in the Grade 1 Ruffian Handicap on July 31.  In both races, she was sent immediately to the front under Javier Castellano, carved out solid fractions and staggered home late while bobbing and weaving several paths in the stretch.  She'll hope that division leaders HAVRE DE GRACE and BLIND LUCK wind up facing the boys come Breeders' Cup time. 

*GREAT HOT is grateful that her turf experiment has been put on hold.  An impressive winner of her first two races on the main, Great Hot returned from sickness to finish a flat fifth in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap on turf before running third in the grassy Sandy Blue Handicap.  Moving back to the main track for her synthetic debut 16 days after the Sandy Blue, Great Hot rallied to take the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar on September 4 with a career-high 91 Beyer. 

***

Let's look at the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from the last two weeks of racing:

(8/29/11 - 9/4/11)

1.  HAVRE DE GRACE - 111 - Woodward Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 miles - Saratoga
2.  JACKSON BEND - 107 - Forego Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
3.  QUIET GIANT - 103 - Molly Pitcher Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Monmouth
4.  ASK THE MOON - 99 - Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Saratoga
5.  SHEDIAK (Fr.) - 98 - Windy Sands Handicap - 1 Mile (Polytrack) - Del Mar
6.  MAGOO - 97 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Del Mar
7.  DUST AND DIAMONDS - 96 - Alw 52000N1X - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
7.  FLATTER THIS - 96 - Darn That Alarm Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - Calder
7.  HE'S SPEIGHTFUL - 96 - Alw 25800N4L - 6 Furlongs - Mountaineer
7.  NOMOREWINEFOREDDIE - 96 - Minnesota Spring Championship - 6 Furlongs - Canterbury
7.  YUMMY WITH BUTTER - 96 - Cliff Hanger Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Monmouth
12. BLACK BELT - 95 - Alw 41000N1X - 1 Mile (Tapeta) - Presque Isle
12. ME AND MY GALS - 95 - Md Sp Wt 35k - 6 Furlongs - Hoosier
14. MISTER MARTI GRAS - 94 - Washington Park Handicap (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) - Arlington
14. SUNRISE SMARTY - 94 - OC 35k/N3L -N - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
16. DANCE WITH GABLE - 93 - Clm 32000(32-28) - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
16. HELIOPSIS - 93 - Alw 33700NC - 5 Furlongs - Mountaineer
16. HEXBREAKER - 93 - Alw 35148N2X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
19. ATLANTIC HURRICANE - 92 - Seaway Stakes (G3-C) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine
19. GONDORF - 92 - Clm 40000(40-37.5)N2L - 1 Mile (Turf) - Woodbine
19. KETTLE CORN - 92 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Del Mar
19. U BOAT ALLEY -92 - Alw 28100N1X - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
23. BANNED - 91 - Del Mar Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Del Mar
23. DARK THUNDER - 91 - Island Whirl Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
23. GREAT HOT (Brz) - 91 - Torrey Pines Stakes - 1 Mile (Polytrack) - Del Mar
23. NIKKI'S SANDCASTLE - 91 - Alw 38735N1X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Arlington
23. PERFECT FOOTPRINT - 91 - OC 65k/N3X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Monmouth
23. WINNING MACHINE - 91 - Alw 21200NC - 1 1/16 Miles - Emerald

Havre de Grace's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

***

(9/5/11 - 9/11/11)

1.  MENSA HEAT - 101 - Pirate's Bounty Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar*
1.  STERLING OUTLOOK - 101 - Pirate's Bounty Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar*
3.  GALLANT FIELDS - 100 - Alw 54000N1X - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
3.  TIDAL VOLUME - 100 - Temperence Hill Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Louisiana
3.  EIGHTTOFASTTOCATCH - 100 - Japan Racing Association Stakes - 1 Mile - Laurel
6.  CEASE - 99 - Alw 56000N1X - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
6.  INDIANO - 99 - Eillo Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Calder
8.  PRAYER FOR RELIEF - 98 - Super Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Louisiana
8.  WILBURN - 98 - Smarty Jones Stakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Parx
10. COMPLIANCE OFFICER - 97 - Ashley T. Cole Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
10. GOLDEN YANK - 97 - Unbridled Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Louisiana
10. MS HARD CAT - 97 - Alw 30500N2Y - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Louisiana
13. ATTA BOY ROY - 96 - Shot Of Gold Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Canterbury
13. BEN'S CAT - 96 - Turf Monster Handicap (G3) - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Parx
13. BOLD WARRIOR - 96 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Belmont
13. CANDYMAN E - 96 - OC 40k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - Parx
13. WHERE'S CAIN - 96 - OC 17k/N1X - 6 Furlongs - Louisiana
18. EMERALD BEACH - 95 - Glens Falls Stakes (G3) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga
18. NOT ABROAD - 95 - Governor's Day STakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Delaware
18. SEEKER - 95 - Md Sp Wt 52k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Saratoga
18. WISE DAN - 95 - Presque Isle Downs Mile - 1 Mile (Tapeta) - Presque Isle
22. CITY SAGE - 94 - Harvest Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Albuquerque
22. GRASSY - 94 - Bowling Green Handicap (G2) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
22. HOME SWEET ASPEN - 94 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
22. IMCO SPIRIT (Ire.) - 94 - Premier Cup Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Zia
22. TRAPEZIUM STAR - 94 - Alw 29000N1X - 1 Mile - Laurel

* - DEAD-HEAT

The lifetime past performances for the dead-heat winners of the Pirate's Bounty Stakes are available at the bottom of this blog post.

***

In keeping with the "Top 25" theme, here are the top 25 winning Beyers for juvenile performers in 2011:

1. J C'S PRIDE - 101
1. STOPSHOPPINGMARIA (f) - 101
3. OVERDRIVEN - 100
4. CREATIVE CAUSE - 100 (cushion track)
4. CURRENCY SWAP - 98
6. SECRET CIRCLE - 97 (polytrack)
7. CANIGOTOO - 96
8. ME AND MY GALS - 95
8. SEEKER - 95
8. UNION RAGS - 95
11. OVERDRIVEN - 93
12. TWELVE HUNDRED - 92 (polytrack)
12. SISTER MOON - 92 (polytrack)
14. MY MISS AURELIA (f) - 91
14. TU ENDIE WEI - 91 (polytrack)
16. DRILL - 90 (polytrack)
16. GIANT SURPRISE - 90
16. NORM'S PASSION - 90 (polytrack)
16. VOODOO DADDY - 90
20. HANSEN - 89 (polytrack)
20. MAJESTIC CITY - 89 (cushion track)
22. BAY PARK BOY - 88
22. CREATIVE CAUSE - 88 (polytrack)
22. FIRE ON ICE - 88
22. HERE COMES FRAZIER - 88 (polytrack)
22. MENLO CASTLE - 88 (polytrack)
22. SUM OF THE PARTS - 88

***

Congrats to mpm101 for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling exercise.  This week's race will be the eighth race at Belmont Park on Wednesday. 

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 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

AttachmentSize
Havre de Grace.pdf57.83 KB
Pirate's Bounty.pdf76.91 KB
HG250.pdf220.55 KB
Joe L. More than 1 year ago
Handi Picks (revised due to scratch of the 2) $5.00 exacta box 3-5-8-10-12
Joe L. More than 1 year ago
Handi picks: $5.00 exacta box 2-3-45-8-10
Ron B More than 1 year ago
HG 250 Rushing off to Dr's so speed to set up my play $100 Ex 11/7 good luck to all Ron B
Alex F More than 1 year ago
HG 250 #11 SOTUQUE is the class here. Consistent Ontario-bred has a good chance for her second here. I'll box her with #2 (and I type this begrudgingly) SONG FOR PUPCAKE. Yep. Pupcake. Out of the Gone West mare Pupcake. Anyways, she's a 20-1 with a sneaky angle way back there in the PPs. Granted her form was better back in '09, but it's not much she has to beat here. I'm expecting the best effort of the year from Pupcake in this one though. Let's see how wrong I am... $50 / WIN / 2 $25 / EX. BOX / 2, 11
gil More than 1 year ago
hg250 #11 Sotique drops and owns fast figures after wide trip in last. #1 Simsational has good speed with live bug aboard. This also third start of form cycle. #13 Ms Diller if draws in will be at home at dist. and stalking style may do damage here at nice price. $50 ex. 11/1*13 good luck all
peterjborrelli More than 1 year ago
HG250 Turf sprints and conditional claiming races are always interesting to me in that they both seem to ask a similar question of each horse - is he or she in a spot that fits well based on the horse's speed/class/form, or is our guess as good as the trainer's as to whether or not the horse will finally find conditions in which it is comfortable? So of course turf sprints are double the fun as far as that goes. 1. Simsational - positional speed best asset and will need it here. Actually prefer over statebred allowance/MSW runners in here - at least she's still lightly raced in this N2L and the price tag fits based on maiden win last time out. Not sure who she beat, but seemingly playable underneath. 3. Untamed Glory - Lisa Lewis seems to make the most of her limited entries and has a knack for spotting them well. Here is that question though - is the cutback the answer? Never sprinted before, but should find herself on the lead, or more likely, stalking it. Great win % and ROI for J/T tandem, and I think the price tag is right, based on last time she ran for this price off the bench, albeit at a longer distance. Draw a line through last, plus she's back on preferred surface, and fit n fresh I'll bet. 5. My Nan Nell - a claimer in the hands of Jacobson/Cohen combo is always dangerous. After being claimed from Motion four back, we've seen Jacobson keep her in for same tag - routed, back to sprint, intended to go back to route but 7F dirt run last time was obviously a nightmare from the start. Turf and distance are question marks, might be a poly horse, but think Cohen will have her runnin late. 7. Ausable Chasm - on the bright side, last time out, she wasn't beaten double digits for the first time since GTW maiden win on main track. She was widest of all throughout, and tracked the eventual winner for half the race before tiring out. Not horrible after 5 months on the bench. May have found the right tag price after steadily dropping, dropping, dropping...bit more zip in the last work. 9. Valuable Lady - Low percentage trainer to low percentage trainer to low percentage trainer...view as pace presence for sure, but can't see hitting the board the way she's performed fresh in the past. 10. I'm a Personal Jet has an interesting angle working here - "dropping" from conditional allowance dirt run elsewhere, back to Belmont turf. Realize Suffolk and FL allowance races are hardly imposing, but something perked her up returning to Belmont sod on June 25th, when she placed at 41-1... 11. Sotique has consistently disappointed since the turf sprint maiden special win at Spa last summer. She's burned a lot of my money and continues her decline down the class ladder to new low tag. Don't trust her back class and previous speed numbers. In for $200K less than her purchase price, probably shoulda been dropped lower, sooner, but feel she warrants play underneath. 12. Rakehellish - her last race clearly a toss out. Only concern is that the nice late run outside in lone turf sprint was too visually appealing to keep her anywhere near her 10-1 ML. It was a weird strip labeled firm in the midst of a Saratoga soaking, so I prefer to toss the race and bet against both of this 6% turf sprint trainer's entries in here. Might use a bit underneath though. 13. Ms Diller ran decent enough from wide post in last - no reason she can't duplicate that and hit the board again. Another where turf course labeled "firm" belies the wet conditions that race, but should be competitive regardless of footing. I think there is an overlap on the NYRA class ladder where statebred Alw and MSW races can sometimes fall below open conditional claimers like today's. That's why I'm downgrading 8 Persky's Heart, and 6 Queen's or Better, despite the latter's positional speed and best last-out Beyer of 72. Besides, MSW win straight to Clm N2L is odd to me. Why not a statey N1X if the horse is in good form? We have enough questions to answer in this race as it is already, I don't want one more... $5 Exacta Box 3,5 = $10 $4 Exacta Box 3,10 = $8 $2 Exacta Box 3,7 = $4 $2 Exacta Box 7,10 = $4 $2 Tri Wheel 3,5/3,5/7,10 = $8 $2 Tri Wheel 3,5/7,10/3,5 = $8 $2 Tri Wheel 7,10/3,5/3,5 = $8 $2 Tri Wheel 7,10/3,5/7,10 = $8 $1 Tri Wheel 3,5/3,5/1,7,9,10,11,12,13 = $14 $1 Tri Wheel 3,5/1,7,9,10,11,12,13/3,5 = $14 $1 Tri Wheel 1,7,9,10,11,12,13/3,5/3,5 = $14 TOTAL = $100
Virgin Queen More than 1 year ago
HG250 $100 win #4 gl VQ
kimberly Polando More than 1 year ago
HG250 $100 to win #8
JIMPEREGOY More than 1 year ago
HG 250 Some ugly critters populate this field. Eliminations from top spot for low percentage connections or poor record (fewer than 10% wins): 5-My Nan Nell is 1 for 12 in her life. 6-Queens or Better has marginal rider at 9%, but I will stick to the 10% rule. 7-Ausable Chasm has 7% trainer and appears much too slow. 8-Persky’s Heart is the trifecta of incompetence. Rider trainer and horse all under 10%. 9- Valuable Lady is 1 for 17 with 7% trainer 10-I’m a Personal Jet is 1 for 12 and can’t break 70 on the Beyer scale. 11-Sotique is another negative trifecta. 13 Ms Diller ditto above. This leaves me with 3 candidates for top spot (1-3-12). I will use the 12-Rakehellish to be under the radar from her outside post. Class drop from softer turf effort versus better in longer race could set up Luzzi as a modest + rider change from the 9% Espinoza. HG 250 Wager $50 to win #12 $25 Exactas #12 over 1 and 3
Adam Campobasso More than 1 year ago
HG 250 I believe that the 11 will make her run at the end but come up short, so I'll key her for third under some speed that I think will follow each other around the track. $5 Tri 369/1369/11=$45.00 $5 Ex 369/1369=$45.00 $ .50 Super 369/1369/11/1369 = $9 And in case I'm off , $1 Tri 2/8/11=$1 Grand Total $100