02/07/2011 7:37PM

Top Beyers, Secretariat's First Foal, Arlington Pars


Lots to cover today.

Let's take a look at the top 25 Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races:

1.  GIANT OAK - 105 - Donn Handicap (Grade 1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
2.  REGALLY READY - 101 - Alw 68800NC - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
2.  TWIRLING CANDY - 101 - Strub Stakes (Grade 2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Santa Anita
4.  FLUKE - 100 - Thunder Road Handicap (Grade 3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
5.  SPEEDACIOUS - 99 - Premier Night Matron Stakes - 5 Furlongs - Delta Downs
6.  GLADDING - 96 - San Antonio Stakes (Grade 2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Santa Anita
6.  S. S. STONE - 96 - Alw 40500N1X - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
6.  STAR GUITAR - 96 - Premier Night Championship - 1 1/8 Miles - Delta Downs
6.  STARLITE STARBRITE - 96 - OC 62k/C-N - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
6.  TEAKS NORTH - 96 - Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (Grade 1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. YAWANNA TWIST - 95 - OC 62k/N2X-N - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
12. CHEROKEE QUEEN - 94 - Suwannee River Stakes (Grade 3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
12. DON CAVALLO - 94 - OC 80k/N3X-N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
14. CAL NATION - 93 - Md Sp Wt 38k - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
15. CAPT. BULLET BOB - 92 - Clm 10000 - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
15. GOLDEN MYSTERY - 92 - OC 62k/N2X - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
15. MY STAR RUNNER - 92 - Premier Night Sprint - 5 FUrlongs - Delta Downs
15. SU CASA G CASA - 92 - Premier Night Prince - 7 Furlongs - Delta Downs
19. ARCH TRAVELER - 90 - Md Sp Wt 38k - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
19. CHIEF LITTLE MAN - 90 - Clm 8000(8-7) - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
19. LEMON SPICE - 90 - Clm 50000 - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
19. NO STADIUM - 90 - Alw 40000s - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
19. PATIENCE DRIVE - 90 - OC 62k/N$Y-N - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
19. TIZ ARGENT - 90 - OC 40k/N1X-N - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
19. WIREDFORTWOTWENTY - 90 - Budweiser Stakes - 5 Furlongs - Sunland

- Cal Nation was the buzz three-year-old over the weekend winning his career debut by 7 3/4 lengths for Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez.  The $335,000 yearling RNA, by Distorted Humor, is a half-brother to Haskell (Grade 1) winner Bluegrass Cat, Prairie Meadows Cornhusker (Grade 2) hero Lord of the Game, and Oak Hall winner Sonoma Cat. 

- Three-year-old Arch Traveler broke his maiden in his third lifetime start for Jimmy Jerkens on Sunday at Gulfstream.  By Sky Mesa, Arch Traveler sold for $280,000 as a yearling.

- Queen'splatekitten, a private purchase since his maiden win at Woodbine last year, showcased a strong closing kick to take an entry-level allowance race on grass for Pletcher and Velazquez.  Queen'splatekitten ran the last half of the mile event in 46.22 with a final quarter in 22.84.  Queen'splatekitten received a 77 Beyer. 


Have you ever bet a real Mule LSD ?

Some of the horses I've bet on ran like mules, but I've never actually wagered on a Mule, Appaloosa, or even a Quarter Horse race.  I did enjoy the (mostly) one-sided Black Ruby - Taz rivalry a few years back, however, and have no qualms about watching mule racing. 
BSB, I believe it was you who mentioned that Secretariat was bred to some non-thoroughbred mares after he was retired.  I'm currently reading The Secretariat Factor, by Thomas Kiernan.  Published in 1979, it is the story of Secretariat's first crop of foals. 
Kiernan writes, "...Secretariat was bred to three cold-blooded test mares during December.  Thirty-six thoroughbred mares had been lined up to the syndicate's members to go to Secretariat's court once all his tests were passed..."
"...Many who were waiting, still skeptical, to see the outcome of his first season at stud had forgotten the test breedings he had had with Claiborne's three nonthoroughbred mares late in 1973.  One of the mares, the elderly Appaloosa nurse mare named Leola, who had been barren the season before, caught to one of Secretariat's first test-and-training covers early in December, when his sperm first evidenced immaturities.  Appaloosa breeders are a parochial and tight-knit lot.  Word soon got around that Secretariat had successfully covered an Appaloosa.  Enterprising breeder Jack Nankavil of Winona, Minnesota, thereupon traveled to Kentucky and made an offer to buy the mare at well over what she was worth.  Appaloosas were often bred to thoroughbreds or half thoroughbreds in order to increase their racing stamina (Appaloosa racing, like quarter-horse racing, is popular in the western states).  An Appaloosa producing a Secretariat foal, thought Nankavil, would be a tremendous boon to the breed, and to himself, if he owned her, as a breeder.
Leola's prospective foal was worth nothing to Claiborne except in terms of its souvenir value as Secretariat's first offspring.  A cost-accounting corporation such as Claiborne did not have an entry page in its books for the care and feeding of equine souvenirs, so Hancock sold the mare to Nankavil.  During the summer of 1974, Nankavil transported Leola to his backyard barn in Winona, where he worked as business manager of St. Mary's College.  A few minutes after midnight on November 15, with the anxious Nankavil and his family in attendance, Leola gave birth to her foal, a strapping 125-pound dark-chestnut colt with a broad white blaze down the middle of his face and three tiny white socks at the juncture of his pasterns and hooves. 
The birth was heralded by the press.  Nankavil soon received name suggestions by letter and telegram from all over the world, which underscored the continuing universal interest in the foal's father.  Within a week the thickly coated colt was romping around Nankovil's small snowy pasture and was the daily object of curiosity-seekers from hundreds of miles away.  Although also born with the Appaloosa's dappling on his spacious back, he seemed the spitting image of his sire, with unusually thick-muscled forearms, tremendous shoulders, an arched neck, and of course that rump.
The colt was taken even by thoroughbred experts as another good sign of what could be expected of Secretariat as a stallion once his thoroughbred foals started to drop a few months hence.  There was a widely held belief that the stallions most successful in transmitting their racing and breeding form were those who sired foals that looked like them in color, markings, and physical features.  Such stallions are called prepotent.  If Leola's colt, which Nankavil quickly named "First Secretary," was an accurated harbinger, Secretariat would be prepotent..."

Here's some more information on the unraced First Secretary:




Any chance I can get PP's on two of the great old time handicap horses, Autobiography and Loud.
Really enjoy the nostalgia.
Thanks in advance.

Autobiography's past performances are available at the bottom of the blog post.  I don't have much for Loud, but I have included them as well.


Just a question that might play into physical handicapping. It is well-known that horses perk up considerably when shipped from a warm climate to a cooler one, as GP horses usually show us each spring when moved to AQU. But is the opposite situation a factor to be considered for handicapping purposes? Can AQU horses be expected to run less effectively when shipped from their winter climate south to GP or some other location where they suddenly have to deal with temperatures is in the eighties or so? And, if this is a factor, is it possible to tell from pre-race appearances which horses are affected?
John N.

I'm not sure if there are any hard-and-true "facts" concerning the performances of horses shipping from cold to hot weather.  Horses in cold-weather states will naturally grow their winter coat during the season, and those horses might be somewhat shell-shocked if they shipped to a warm climate.  But, one would assume these horses would be clipped by their handler and would adjust fairly easily to the change. Also, most of these horses would have been shipped well in advance of their race, and would have time to acclimate to their new surroundings. I wouldn't see that as a negative.
The old standby of excessive washiness (especially white foam around the neck) would be a useful gauge to see if a cold-weather shipper is not handling the heat very well. 
Just my opinion.


Mr. Illman (or anyone else who might know),
It used to be that, for the major tracks, all races got the "A Closer Look" treatment in the Racing Form, but now I am starting to see that feature get omitted from races. Opening day at SA comes to mind (was missing for two races), as does this weekend at SA (also missing for two races; 1 and 3).
New norm? Production error?

We are not doing "A Closer Look" analyses for the two lowest-priced claiming races for each card that receives the feature.

Here is the list of tracks (and races) that receive "A Closer Look" and a Handicapper's Analysis:

2) Southern California circuit: DEL MAR – HOLLYWOOD – SANTA ANITA
7) GULFSTREAM PARK (note that we do the analysis every day, but Closer Looks stop after Florida Derby day)
10) LONE STAR PARK (last 5 races)
11) LOUISIANA DOWNS (last 6 races)
12) MONMOUTH (Pick 5 races)

Here’s a list we do Analysis ONLY for – no Closer Looks for these tracks:

1) ARLINGTON (analysis available from May 29th – thru – September 12th )


DAN, have you heard anything about SHERRIFF COGBURN?

He had an undisclosed injury and isn't likely to race until April at Oaklawn Park.  I would think that a Kentucky Derby run is very doubtful.


I'm looking for Beyer pars for Arlington Park (for claiming purposes) and don't have access to a Simulcast weekly. Any help? Thanks

I took these par numbers from the October 3, 2010 edition of "Simulcast Weekly":

3-year-olds and Up (Polytrack):

ACN (1-Y), ANC, ANS - 97
AN2L, AN1X - 85
AN2X, AN3L - 90
AN4L, AN3X-5X - 95
CLM 4,000 - 4,900 - 70
CLM 5,000 - 5,900 - 74
CLM 6,000 - 7,400 - 75
CLM 7,500 - 8,900 - 77
CLM 10,000 - 14,900 - 80
CLM 15,000 - 20,000 - 84
CLM 21,000 - 34,000 - 86
CLM 35,000 - 49,000 - 88
CN2 5,000 - 5,900 - 63
CN2 10,000 - 14,900 - 68
CN2 15,000 - 20,000 - 72
CN2 21,000 - 34,000 - 75
CN3, CN4 5,000 - 5,900 - 67
CN3, CN4 10,000 - 14,900 - 73
CN3, CN4 15,000 - 20,000 - 77
Cond CLM 4,000 - 4,900 - 64
MCL 10,000 - 14,900 - 60
MCL 15,000 - 20,000 - 68
MCL 21,000 - 34,000 - 67
MCL 35,000 - 49,000 - 75
MSW - 79

3-year-olds and Up (Turf)

AN2L, AN1X - 83
AN2X, AN3L - 87
AN4L, AN3X-5X - 91
CLM 15,000 - 20,000 - 83
CLM 21,000 - 34,000 - 85
CLM 35,000 - 49,000 - 87
CLM 50,000 - 74,000 - 89
CN2 21,000 - 34,000 - 79
MCL 35,000 - 49,000 - 74
MCL 50,000 - 74,000 - 76
MSW - 77
STK, GSTK - 97

Hope this helps.


I saw that you liked First Dude. I loved First Dude!! I thought that First Dude would get the trip that Tackleberry got. For those who had that 27.30-1 shot, nice score!!! I thought that Desormeaux rode a horrible race. My question is, do you come out and hammer him?? Do you agree with the ride that he gave him?? Do you stay away from that type of confrontation??

I think I have to be honest.  I didn't like the ride at all.  One of our posters likened it to Kent D.'s ride on Big Brown in the Belmont Stakes, and I wholeheartedly agree.  First Dude broke well and probably could have made the lead from the rail.  It seemed that Kent was so intent on getting to the outside of Tackleberry that he didn't take what was given to him.  The next thing you know, he's shuffled back on the inside with a rank horse, and is trying desperately to get to the outside.  Now, maybe First Dude is just a sucker horse, but he didn't get a fighting chance the first three-eighths of a mile over a speed-favoring surface. 


Senor Dan-
I remember being at Hialeah when Devils Bag ran. He was supposed to be a contender on the road to the roses and was favored but if I remember correctly, showed speed and faded, finishing up the track. Might you post his past performances?
blynd skwurl

Devil's Bag was the champion juvenile of 1983.  His past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. 


Hey Dan,
Thank you for your info and advice last week. Knowing that you study first timers and maidens, I was wondering if you could find out who trains and owns an unnamed and unraced 3 year old gray colt whose sire is Value Plus and dam is Happily Employed. He has already worked 3 furlongs in 35.00 hg at Gulfstream on 1/13/11. I don't normally give as much importance to a 3 f workout as I would a longer workout but I found this one rather intriguing as the colt hasn't even been named yet .
Thanks for all your hard work,

The Value Plus colt sold for $5,500 to David McKathan at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling auction.  Mr. McKathan usually looks to pinhook his horses, and it appears that he tried it with this gray.  He was taken out of the OBS Spring auction last April and was withdrawn from last June's OBS Horses of Racing Age sale.  It's possible that the horse has been privately purchased so I don't know the trainer.  Happily Employed was stakes-placed going long and is a full sister to five-time stakes-winner Cormorant's Flight.  A half-brother of Happily Employed, Reef Reef placed in the Grade 2 Hollywood Juvenile Championship.  Another half-sibling, Thunder Flash, won four stakes-races in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Happily Employed's dam, Double Suez, won the Summer Guest Stakes sprinting at Timonium at two. 


Dan, could you please (when you have time) post the pp's of Marquetry, Tight Spot and Festin? Thank you so much.

Their past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


I didn't know where else to post the question , my apologies.
You were kind enough to a piece on Davona Dale when I was looking for
her whereabouts.
I am curious if anyone has any updates on Devil May Care. Last reports I
heard she was improving healthwise and going to Florida.
I have not seen any signs nor heard of sightings .
I didn't expect she would be back so soon , but would love to hear any news on her

Devil May Care was forced to miss the Breeders' Cup after a blood test revealed an elevated liver enzyme count.  Then, she was diagnosed with a non-contagious case of hepatitis.  She was treated with antibiotics and was entered as a "Racing/Broodmare Prospect" at the Fasig-Tipton November auction (she was removed from the auction). There has not been an official announcement concerning her retirement, and it's quite possible that she may return to the races later this year.


I wonder if I could trouble you for the PPs of Octane's Thunder, who raced in western Canada in the late eighties. He wasn't a world beater, just a horse who not only made quite a few starts but had a long and useful life after racing, until he passed away peacefully last fall at the age of 26. His owner through most of his second career was a nun who not only enjoyed riding him herself, but loaned him to various young Pony Clubbers for lessons and riding camp and other Pony Club events. She gave him a great life, nursed him through a variety of ailments and she misses him greatly. She's also a racing fan, and it occurred to me that she would enjoy learning something about his career on the track. Hope you can help me out, and thanks ever so much if you can.

Octane's Thunder's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.  His second dam, Tays Talent, finished third in a division of the British Columbia Nursery Stakes as a juvenile filly of 1971.  Her third dam was a half-sister to Count Chic, a six-time stakes-winner that took the Bay Meadows Handicap in 1957, and the Longacres Derby the previous year.


My choice for this week's HandiGambling exercise is the seventh race at Santa Anita on Thursday. 


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. 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.



Autobiography.pdf70.89 KB
Loud.pdf31.13 KB
Devil's Bag.pdf61.22 KB
TightSpot.pdf131.56 KB
MarquetryFest.pdf71.81 KB
Octane's Thunder.pdf44.65 KB
HG220.pdf165.63 KB