09/12/2011 3:50PM

Top 25 lists, Random Thoughts

Email

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