02/28/2012 2:57PM

Top 3-year-olds, On the Worktab


EL PADRINO got into a dogfight with MARK VALESKI in the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds and showed his moxie by getting his nose down on the line. 

It was nice to see the odds-on favorite tested.  We already knew he was talented and now we have an idea that he really "wants" it badly.  I'm not sure he's a push-button type of performer and that grinding style may put him behind the eight ball if he gets stopped in traffic, but it sure looks like he wants to run all day. 

The runner-up ran a heck of a race in his first start around two turns, tracking the longshot pacesetter before digging down deep in the stretch for Rosie Napravnik and Larry Jones.  His dam was a multiple stakes-winner at nine furlongs so Mark Valeski is bred to appreciate racing around two turns.  Let's hope we see another ding-dong battle between El Padrino and Mark Valeski in the upcoming Louisiana Derby.

*It was also good to see SECRET CIRCLE rate so kindly in the opening stages of the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes.  When a horse is as fast as Secret Circle, there is always a concern that he will not relax in the early stages of longer races.  Secret Circle parked himself just off pacesetting SCATMAN, made the front in the stretch and held that stubborn foe at bay despite drifting out in the final sixteenth of a mile.  Secret Circle has passed the two-turn test, but I'm not sure if he really is a 10-furlong horse.  The same may be said for the runner-up, but his performance was quite promising and I made him this week's "Under the Radar" performer:


*What can you say about UNION RAGS' return to the races?  He cuts such an imposing figure in the paddock and post parade and has the tactical speed to place himself anywhere his rider wants.  He blew the Fountain of Youth field to bits turning for home and one has to wonder if he was even 100% cranked for Michael Matz.  DISCREET DANCER didn't look comfortable.  Perhaps he was a short horse as he missed a workout due to illness or perhaps he doesn't want to go that far.  Perhaps, he simply faced a superior adversary in the winner.


Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from the week of 2/20/12 - 2/26/12:

1.  THE FACTOR - 104 - San Carlos Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Santa Anita
2.  CROSSBOW - 102 - OC 75k/C -N - 6 Furlongs (inner track) - Aqueduct
2.  SECRET CIRCLE - 102 - Southwest Stakes (G3, Division 2) - 1 Mile - Oaklawn
2.  YAWANNA TWIST - 102 - General George Handicap (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Laurel
5.  AWESOME MARIA - 100 - Sabin Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
5.  OBSESS - 100 - OC c-25k/N1X - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
7.  MAJESTIC EXPRESS - 99 - Alw 16000s - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
8.  EL PADRINO - 98 - Risen Star Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
8.  NATES MINESHAFT - 98 - Mineshaft Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
8.  SIMMARD - 98 - Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. MIZDIRECTION - 96 - Clocker's Corner Handicap - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
11. SUMMER APPLAUSE - 96 - Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
13. ABDEL'S GHOST - 95 - Alw 10000s - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
13. COUNTRY DAY - 95 - Colonel Power Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Fair Grounds
13. MALIBU GLOW - 95 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 7 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
13. SMART BID - 95 - Fair Grounds Handicap (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Fair Grounds
13. UNION RAGS - 95 - Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
18. BELOVEDA - 94 - Alw 16000s - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
18. DONATO - 94 - Clm 25000(25-22.5) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
18. SMART SPENDING - 94 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 7 Furlongs - Santa Anita
21. ADVANCE TICKET - 93 - Alw 39760N1X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
21. AGASTACHE - 93 - OC 75k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
21. BONFIRE KNIGHT (GB) - 93 - OC 50k/N2X - 1 Mile (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
21. COSTA DE ORO - 93 - Alw 7500s - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Oaklawn
21. WHITE MERLOT - 93 - Hcp 30000 - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Tampa Bay

THE FACTOR's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

OBSESS was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Hector Palma from Bill Spawr.


Let's check the recent tab for some of our favorites:

ANTHONY'S CROSS (unraced since 2011 Santa Anita Derby, various illnesses) - 6F - 1:13.80H - Hollywood (2/25/12)

A TOAST TO YOU (maiden winner in June, knee problems) - 4F - 50.60H - Hollywood (2/28/12)

AVAROOSKIE (maiden winner in November, foot abscess) - 5F - 1:00.20H - Santa Anita (2/20/12)

AWESOME GEM (second Goodwood, hind-end issues) - 3F - 37.00H - Santa Anita (2/24/12)

BRIDGETOWN (won Troy Stakes at Saratoga) - 3F turf - 37.00B - Winding Oak (2/25/12)

BROTHER FRANCIS (third CashCall Futurity, sick) - 5F - 1:00.60H - Santa Anita (2/22/12)

CONTESTED (maiden winner in October, chipped ankle) - 4F - 48.60H - Santa Anita (2/23/12)

CURRENCY SWAP (won Hopeful, chip left front ankle) - 5F - 1:01.80B - Gulfstream (2/25/12)

DANCING IN SILKS (sore feet, out of retirement) - 5F turf (dogs) - 1:02.80H - Santa Anita (2/25/12)

DIALED IN (fourth Preakness, chip right knee) - 5F - 1:00.30B - Palm Meadows (2/23/12)

DULLAHAN (fourth Breeders' Cup Juvenile, cough) - 5F - 59.25H - Gulfstream (2/25/12)

EBLOUISSANTE (unraced half-sister to Zenyatta) - 5F - 1:03.20H - Hollywood (2/26/12)

EDEN'S MOON (maiden winner in January, sick) - 6F - 1:15.40H - Santa Anita (2/27/12)

EVER SO LUCKY (2nd Kentucky Jockey Club, bone bruise right front ankle, bruised left foot) - 5F - 1:00.65H - Gulfstream (2/21/12)

FRENCH STORM (unraced son of A.P. Indy out of half-sister to Bernardini, quarter crack, off Derby Trail) - 6F - 1:12.80H - Santa Anita (2/22/12)

FRIEND OR FOE (fourth in Whitney, damaged suspensory branch of ankle) - 4F - 50.61B - Palm Meadows (2/26/12)

GIANT RYAN (eighth Breeders' Cup Sprint, lung infection) - 5F - 1:01.80H - Calder (2/21/12)

GOLDSVILLE (fifth Joseph French Memorial in 2010, injured) - 3F - 37.00H - Hollywood (2/28/12)

HAIMISH HY (fifth Charles Whittingham, filling in ankle) - 6F - 1:15.20 - Hollywood (2/26/12)

JOHN SCOTT (dead-heat for fourth in 2009 Norfolk, non-displaced condylar fracture left hind leg) - 4F - 49.00B - Santa Anita (2/21/12)

LAERTES (maiden winner in August) - 5F - 1:02.30B - Payson (2/24/12)

LA NEZ (third Las Cienagas, non-displaced condylar fracture hind leg) - 4F - 49.20H - Santa Anita (2/26/12)

NIGHT TIDE (fifth Best Pal, bone chip knee) - 4F - 48.40B - Santa Anita (2/22/12)

ROGUE ROMANCE (third 2011 Risen Star, fractured left front foot) - 5F - 1:01.00B - Gulfstream (2/25/12)

SASSY IMAGE (sixth Ballerina, torn quarter left front foot, chip right hind ankle) - 3F - 37.02B - Palm Meadows (2/27/12)

SOLDAT (eleventh Kentucky Derby, problems with tender feet) - 4F - 49.64 - Palm Meadows (2/26/12)

SUCCESSFUL DAN (third 2010 Clark Handicap, strained suspensory) - 5F - 1:02.00B - Keeneland (2/25/12)

SURREY STAR (tenth Hollywood Derby, heat in suspensory ligaments right front leg) - 3F - 36.20H - Santa Anita (2/25/12)

TACKLEBERRY (ninth Metropolitan Mile, sickness) - 4F - 48.80B - Calder (2/25/12)

TECH FALL (fourth Dwyer) - 4F - 48.15B - Palm Meadows (2/25/12)


Who sees the persons who click on the up or down thumbs? ...Dan?

I have no idea who posts the "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" buttons.  If I had my way, they wouldn't be there, but I'm just ignoring them for now.


Are you going to be running a Road the Roses league this year?
Dan Higdon

Dan Higdon I'm reposting this from Laura ...who sets up a RTTR League for the Blue Boxers and Thongs. -------------------------------------------------------------- February 15, 2012 01:00 PM Posted by Laura
It's that time of year again.  The annual Road To The Roses Contest (a/k/a RTTR).  As I have for the last four years, I've set up the DRF BLUE BOXERS AND THONGS League.  Here's how to enter.
Go to http://www.roadtotheroses.com  and sign up.  If you've signed up in previous years, you don't need to sign up again, just enter your stable name and password.
2.  Create your stable.  Select 15 horses, 2 jockeys & 2 trainers, name and verify your stable, then pick 2 power horse.
3.  Once your stable is created, you can join a league.  On the left side of the webpage, you will see your stable name. Under your stable name you will find the titles in light gray "Power Horses "Remaining Stable"  and "Stable name Leagues" Under "Leagues" you will find a link to join or manage a league. 
4. The "Create or Join a League page will appear. Click on Join A League. Enter the following:
League Identifier: 647939968
Activation Code: 2173828917
You can create up to three stables. The first scoring week is THIS Saturday, (FOY & Risen Star).
5.  Here are the rules of the game: http://www.roadtotheroses.com/G=98/official_rules.phtml
Every week, you will pick 3 horses from your stable as power horses for the upcoming stakes races.  You can add horses during the two supplemental draft periods (March 19 & April 16). I'll post when the drafts are open, plus you'll receive a reminder email from RTTR.
Every week, I'll post the leaders in the game.  If you have any questions, please email me lross@ironmaidensthoroughbreds.com


Can you post the PP's for Jimanator made top beyers this past week and I believe was a recent claim? Also there were three horses that made the list that were claimed out of there races any way you could post them as well, always interesting to see the progression from claimer to faster horses running out there, Thanks!
Jordan Wycoff

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


Dan, I miss you on TVG. You were entertaining and always had good input and you put Matt in his place. I value your opinions and your style. What happenned with DRF and TVG. Did TVG try and shake DRF down for bigger cut? TVG acts like most racetracks thinking they are the only game in town.They have a set of balls demanding a monthly fee to bet with them when internet gambling is everywhere.You can also veiw racing on the net. What are they offering that people would want to open an account with them. The only reason I watch TVG is because my provider doesn't have HRTV. They made a bad choice in taking Oaklawn over Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay offers much more competitive races and they have grass racing.

Thanks for the kind words.  I don't really know the whole story between DRF and TVG.  I really enjoyed working with TVG, not only with Matt, but with the entire production crew.  They were truly professional and always very accommodating to me. 


Dan, Would you be able to post the PPs of Union Rags' dam, Tempo, and grand dam, Terpsichorist (if your database goes back that far)?
David A.

The past performances you requested are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Congrats to Ed Kay for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling exercise.  I haven't heard from Ed yet as to his race selection so let's go with Thursday's seventh race at Gulfstream for our next contest.


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.

Best of luck to all.

TheFactor.pdf615.89 KB
Jimanator.pdf71.3 KB
HG272.pdf189.84 KB
TempoTerpsichorist.pdf57.52 KB