06/15/2011 4:56PM

Top Beyers, Nakatani on Turf, Royal Ascot Babies


*The classy Canford Cliffs beat three-time Breeders' Cup Mile heroine Goldikova on the square in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes on opening afternoon at Royal Ascot.

Goldikova, the defending Queen Anne champion, got a slight jump on Canford Cliffs with two furlongs remaining, but could not stave off the talented 4-year-old colt. 

*Right on the heels of those top milers is the unbeaten Frankel, who ran his streak to seven with a popular victory in the St. James's Palace Stakes.  Frankel went after his pacesetter very early, blew by that one turning into the straight, and then lasted over the closers.  While not as visually-impressive as in his prior romps, Frankel's win confirmed his class and ability.  A matchup, down the road, with Canford Cliffs and Goldikova would be one of the top races of the year.

*The Belmont Stakes card was full of surprises.  C. S. Silk, despite drifting out badly in the stretch, went gate-to-wire in the Grade 1 Just a Game for fillies and mares at a mile on the grass.  Mission Approved, unraced for almost a year, scooted to the front, slowed down the pace and kept on rolling in the Grade 1 Manhattan at 1 1/4 miles.  Speed seemed to hold well on the grass and both C. S. Silk and Mission Approved will have to do it again in order for me to get on the bandwagon.

*Trappe Shot's 112 Beyer victory in the six-furlong True North Handicap placed his name among the leading sprinters in a loaded division.  He sat a wonderful trip, tracking the leaders along the inside before shooting through an inviting opening on the turn.  He's a good horse and his connections have found Trappe Shot's niche in shorter-distance races, but the waters get deeper from here on out.

*Was very impressed with It's Tricky's win over Turbulent Descent in the historic Acorn Stakes.  The McLaughlin-trainee ran hard from start to finish, pressing solid splits before overtaking pacesetting Savvy Supreme on the turn.  She then had to work to turn away Turbulent Descent and was even stretching the margin at the wire.  Perhaps she moved way up in the slop, but It's Tricky seems like the kind of filly that would stretch out successfully in races like the Coaching Club American Oaks or Alabama. 
Turbulent Descent lost nothing in defeat and will be tough in races like the Test going seven furlongs at Saratoga.

*The Havre de Grace train keeps rolling along.  Trained by Larry Jones, Havre de Grace proved a facile winner of the Grade 3 Obeah Stakes, the local prep for the Delaware Handicap.  Havre de Grace may have to tackle her eternal rival, Blind Luck, in the Del. 'Cap, but she has come back firing at four and may be the best older runner in the country, regardless of sex.


Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (6/6/11 - 6/12/11):

1. TRAPPE SHOT - 112 - True North Handicap (G2) - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
2. GIANT RYAN - 105 - Ponche Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Calder
2. IT'S TRICKY - 105 - Acorn Stakes (G1) - 1 Mile - Belmont
4. MISSION APPROVED - 103 - Manhattan Handicap (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
5. COURAGEOUS CAT - 102 - Poker Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Belmont
5. WILD NEWS - 102 - OC 75k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
7. COLOR OF COURAGE - 101 - Alw 61600C - 7 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
7. C. S. SILK - 101 - Just A Game Stakes (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Belmont
9. ACCLAMATION - 100 - Charles Whittingham Handicap (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Hollywood
9. INDIANO - 100 - Unbridled Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Calder
9. RULER ON ICE - 100 - Belmont Stakes (G1) - 1 1/2 Miles - Belmont
9. SWEET REPENT - 100 - Emergency Nurse Stakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Calder
13. SINAI - 99 - Alw 57704N1X - 6 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
14. JOHANNESBURG SMILE - 98 - Alw 63000N1X - 1 Mile - Belmont
15. HAVRE DE GRACE - 97 - Obeah Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Delaware
15. MUSICAL ROMANCE - 97 - U Can Do It Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Calder
15. TAMARIND HALL - 97 - Alw 25000NC - 6 Furlongs - Finger Lakes
18. BIRDRUN - 96 - Brooklyn Handicap (G2) - 1 1/2 Miles - Belmont
18. COIL - 96 - Affirmed Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
18. DYNAZAPER - 96 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Belmont
18. JUSTIN PHILLIP - 96 - Woody Stephens Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
18. WALL STREET WONDER - 96 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
18. WILL'S WILDCAT - 96 - OC 75k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - Churchill Downs
24. BIRDIE BEATS PAR - 95 - Alw 58142N2X - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Churchill
24. TAZZ - 95 - OC 80k/N3X - 1 Mile (Polytrack) - Arlington
24. TEAKS NORTH - 95 - Monmouth Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Monmouth
24. ZERO RATE POLICY - 95 - Rumson Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Monmouth

The lifetime past performances for TRAPPE SHOT are available at the bottom of this blog post.


For race replays and analysis of some of the big stakes races over the past weekend, please click on the below link:



After watching Corey Nakatani torture some turf mounts at AP recently I wonder if you have stats for him on turf-like the last couple of years? Thanks.

Here are Nakatani's turf numbers over the past few years:

2011:  18-101, 17%, $2.55 ROI
2010:  20-165, 12%, $2.28 ROI
2009:  14-139, 10%, $1.55 ROI
2008:  12-141, 8%, $0.84 ROI
2007:  44-304, 14%, $1.51 ROI
2006:  71-337, 21%, $1.77 ROI
2005:  56-294, 19%, $1.92 ROI


On May 28 at Monmouth, Ever Always, a Jersey bred 5 year old mare owned by Dennis Drazen and trained by Jason Servis, made a successful return to the races at Monmouth after a 2 year layoff winning by 11 3/4 lengths running the 6F in 1:11, the same time as the stake winner at 6F later that day. Before her layoff, she earned a 102 Beyer running 6F in 1:08 4/5 winning by about 15 lengths. Can you tell me what her Beyer figure was from her May 28 comeback?

Tomspud, this Ever Always is a brilliant mare.  It's a shame that her career has had to start and stop due to layoffs.  Ever Always, a daughter of Mr. Nugget, ran her unbeaten streak to four with an 85 Beyer victory on May 28.  She's won her last three starts by a combined 36 1/4 lengths and will run in Saturday's Open Mind Handicap at Monmouth Park.


Sorry to interupt your handicapping, but I need help in betting Britain's biggest racemeeting - next week at Royal Ascot. I aim to bet Wesley Ward's 8 horses, all in 5f and 6f sprints over a STRAIGHT course. Do you have any strong views on any of Gentlemen's Code, Italo, Tiz Terrific, Gypsy Robin, Everyday Dave, Jody The Beauty, Holdin Bullets and Holiday for Kitten?
Regards - Bernie

Bernie, I hope you read my previous post where I selected against the Ward horses to win on Opening Day.  I must admit that I was wrong about his juvenile filly, Gypsy Robin, on Wednesday as I backed her and she faded to seventh after making the front in the final furlong. 

There are still a couple of chances to bet on/against Ward at Royal Ascot. 

Tomorrow's Norfolk Stakes features EVERYDAY DAVE, a perfect 2-2 for Ward.  Personally, I prefer BANNOCK, a slightly-troubled second behind PYMAN'S THEORY in the listed National Stakes at Sandown on May 26.  Bannock was shuffled back along the inside before finding a clear run too late. 
Selections:  Bannock, Pyman's Theory, Caspar Netscher

Friday's Group 3 Albany Stakes is the destination for Ward's juvenile filly JUDY THE BEAUTY, also undefeated after two outings.  She'll have to overcome TEOLANE, a gate-to-wire winner of a listed race at Naas on June 6. 
Selections:  Teolane, Sweet Chilli, Lily's Angel


Congrats to Curt V. for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  This week's race will be the eleventh race at Churchill Downs on Friday.


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

Trappe Shot.pdf615.72 KB
HG238.pdf172.36 KB
Ross B More than 1 year ago
HG 238 Ordained (#6) is the clear pace in a race otherwise loaded with sustained-runner types, though he should be able to press if another runner guns from the gate. Ordained's last four races were better than his first four, and with the June 8 bullet I'll take a chance that this late-developing three year old is rounding into form. $250k price tag suggests the horse is well meant. With the short run into the first turn perhaps he gets away with particularly slow first quarter. Certainly questions about his ability to get the distance, but pedigree suggests it should be within reach. Steals the race on the front. $100 to Win on the #6.
gerry v. More than 1 year ago
HG238 Revised $100 win #11
gerry v. More than 1 year ago
Churchill Changes Apparently the race is off the turf;scratch 10,12,13
Ron B More than 1 year ago
Turf is firm I believe race goes on turf Ron B
Ron B More than 1 year ago
Gerry I stand corrected They are all off the Turf Ron B
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Uncle Steve Nice handicapping today at Hollywood, and WELL DONE on the P6. TBTA I've been DVR'ing the Ascot races in the mornings and watching them later. AND I am enjoying them very much. If you want to check out Laura's chat room Saturday 9:00 am EST, 6:00 am PST ...(yawwnn) Some of the regulars like DanMunn, Tony Kelso will be hosting. I totally enjoyed myself with these fine gentlemen, when I visted last month. They will teach you a few things about trainers, jockeys, and how to read the rpr and ts stats. They were so helpful and answered all my questions. Cheers! it's iscati
Steve T More than 1 year ago
Here is the latest entry from www.zenyatta.com (yes she has her own website) - and it has to do with her sister... Hello, This is TOO CUTE! Yesterday at Hollywood Park, a few of the 2 year olds MY JOHN has in training breezed down the lane and galloped out nicely. To be honest, this one sure looks familiar to ME! I’d know those hind-quarters anywhere. (Although I must say, these days I am gaining a bit of weight! This comes with eating for 2 you know!) Blush, Blush! This filly in the photo is my dear relative, Eblouissante! Here she is walking back to Barn 55 after her workout. Amy breezed her. “E” ( by Bernardini) went a very nice, relaxed 3/8ths with 2 other fillies….Minds Eyes (by Macho Uno) and Silent Poetry (by After Market). They each did a very ‘professional’ job for this stage of their training. The clockers got them in 38:80. John was quite pleased with the manner in which these fillies accomplished their lessons yesterday! YIPPEE! There are so many details to be attended to at this stage of a horse’s career and development! Each of these 2 year olds has already spent time at a training center prior to coming to Barn 55…learning “the basics”. These lessons start with learning how to accept tack to responding to cues from the rider and how to successfully navigate the turns, the straight-away, and change leads. Once at Barn 55, MY JOHN starts with each horse having a basic idea of what to do….to expanding upon these skills and introducing others that are required to be a race horse. Lots of gate work is necessary. They must also learn to change gears…when to slow down, be patient, handle other horses around them while running…and of course, how to pick up speed to finish strong. As MY JOHN says, there are lots of BABY STEPS (no pun intended) to be achieved along the way to getting a horse ready for one’s first race…and hopefully the start of a long and successful career. From all reports, ALL of the babies did a great job yesterday. I’m sending each of them a HIGH HOOF! Cheers to all…..and keep up the good work! With Love, Hugs to All~ Z
Dave K. More than 1 year ago
$20 exacta box 5 8 $40.00 $2 tri 5 8/ 2 5 8/ 1 2 4 5 6 8 9 10 $48.00 $1 super 5 8/ 2 5 8/ 2 5 8/ 4 6 9 $12.00 #5 Flexiplus has run against Shackelford, Zoebear etc and Kent D. for his maiden breaker. #8 Smokin Star should improve in second turf start under Leparoux running just off the leaders. Heading out on a Canadian fishing trip to Lac Suel for a week so no horses for awhile. Cheers!
C More than 1 year ago
BSB, You are half right: I did say that the Bluegrass is attracting a lot of turf runners these days. The top-shelf dirt 3YOs are not going there anymore. But I didn't equate the actual surfaces to turf... ie, I don't think it's wise to treat the circled-T and the diamond-A as the same thing. Sorry for the confusion. I'm not sure why you're suggesting Secretariat's Derby timing was wrong. Do you have proof of that or are you raising another conspiracy theory? As for your hypothetical question... if I don't know the race conditions, how can I answer? If it's 1 mile on turf, I'm going with Goldikova. At 6f on dirt, I'm going with Big Drama. At 1 1/4, I'm going with Zenyatta or Blame. I have some questions of my own... if Zenyatta is the greatest horse to ever run, how did she possibly lose to Blame? And if Blame beat her, why can't Goldikova do the same under certain conditions? Also, by your logic, was Zenyatta "ducking" Curlin and the rest in 2008? She was on the grounds at the same time, yet ran in the Distaff, rather than the "main event".
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Ron Z LOL, PETUNIAS!! "Women just hit the ball STRAIGHT, EVERY TIME, 150 yards and call it good. Which it is" ...and that my friend, combined with a good short game is the secret to my golf game :) Wheee! ----------------------------- Uncle Steve YOU read the ZENYATTA BLOG? LOL!...and I thought it was only for us 'girls' :)
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
BSB LOL! ...I'll take the Professor, please. I'll take the looks & brains over the money. Ha-ha-ha! Nice post :) 'council gulanki
Dick W More than 1 year ago
Steve T WTG on the pick 6 yesterday. Great handicapping as usual ! Anderson I don't think Midnight Interlude is a single today. In fact I think he will be over bet and I like both the #2 War Pilot (20-1 ML) and #5 Temple's Door (5-2 ML) as well as M I. But since my record isn't so great, I would check Steve T's picks if I were you. Good luck ! Dick W