01/27/2016 2:09PM

A track record for Mah Gellin


He's not a household name, but MAH GELLIN looked good winning an 'n2x' optional claimer in track record time at Golden Gate Fields last Sunday.

Off as the 3.40 to 1 second choice in the eight-horse field, Mah Gellin settled into a tracking position under jockey Juan Hernandez as multiple stakes-placed AALSMEER blasted out to a giant early lead through fractions of 21.73 and 44.07. Mah Gellin attacked the pacesetter turning for home and they blew right by with a minimum of fuss. Clear through the stretch, Mah Gellin scored by four lengths over NEXT SPEAKER and completed the six furlongs over the Tapeta surface in 1:08.23, a time good enough for a career-best 97 Beyer Speed Figure.  Following the top two home were stakes-winner NATIVE TREASURE, Aalsmeer, Irish Group 1-placed FOXTROT ROMEO, Grade 1-placed GLACKEN TOO, Grade 3-placed THE GOMPER and stakes-placed TIZCANO.

A 6-year-old gelding, Mah Gellin was bred by Racing Edge, Inc. and was foaled in California on May 14, 2010. His sire, Skimming, was a very underrated handicap performer for Juddmonte Farms and the late Bobby Frankel. In 2000, Skimming won consecutive starts in the Grade 3 San Diego Handicap and Grade 1 Pacific Classic by a combined 10 lengths with Beyers of 113 and 118, respectively. Among the horses he wired in the 10-furlong Pacific Classic was two-time champion Tiznow.

The following season, Skimming pulled off the San Diego - Pacific Classic double once again (Beyers of 116 and 119, respectively). That year, he also grabbled the Grade 2 California Stakes with a 111 Beyer. At stud, Skimming has sired Grade 1 winner Johnny Eves and currently stands in British Columbia.

Mah Gellin made the first 16 starts of his career for trainer Duane Offield and compiled a record of 5-5-1 with a best Beyer of 87. Transferred to trainer Blaine Wright late last spring, Mah Gellin finished third as the favorite behind Aalsmeer in a similar $62,500 optional claimer at Golden Gate. Wright added blinkers to the gelding's arsenal and Mah Gellin responded with a fourth-place finish in the $53,000 Oak Tree Sprint Stakes at Pleasanton. In his two starts preceding last week's breakout performance, Mah Gellin finished fifth and third, respectively.

This was Mah Gellin's third start following a five-plus month layoff and he seems to have found himself with the blinkers. He isn't going to win the Breeders' Cup Sprint, but is worth following in the near future in high-level claiming and listed stakes races in California.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 1/19/16 - 1/25/16:

1. CLEARLY NOW - 99 - OC 62k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - 23Jan16-9FG
2. CHARMING KITTEN - 98 - H. Allen Jerkens Stakes - 2 Miles (Turf) - 23Jan16-9GP
3. MAH GELLIN - 97 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 24Jan16-8GG
4. COASTLINE - 95 - Clocker's Corner Stakes - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 24Jan16-7SA
5. LOST BUS - 94 - Santa Monica Stakes (G2) - 94 - 23Jan16-8SA
5. MASTERFUL STRIDE - 94 - Alw 14000N2L - 6 Furlongs - 23Jan16-1TUP
7. QUICK AND SILVER - 93 - Clm 40000(40-35) - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 23Jan16-8GG
8. HAVEYOUGONEAWAY - 92 - American Beauty Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 23Jan16-8OP
8. WHISKEY BRAVO - 92 - OC 40k/N2X - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 21Jan16-8FG
10. MR. SEXY - 91 - Clm 32000(32-28) - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 23Jan16-1SA
11. ABSOLUTELY COOL - 90 - Hank Mills Sr. Handicap - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 23Jan16-7TUP
12. A M MILKY WAY - 89 - Spirit of Texas Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 23Jan16-6HOU
12. MORNING FIRE - 89 - Pasco Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 23Jan16-7TAM
12. MR PALMER - 89 - Alw ---s - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Dirt) - 22Jan16-7AQU
15. LITTLE BALTAR - 88 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 7 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 24Jan16-10GP
16. WHITE CLOVER - 87 - Wayward Lass Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 23Jan16-9TAM
17. AVANTI BELLO - 86 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - 23Jan16-7SA
17. BISTRAYA - 86 - Md Sp Wt 57k - 1 Mile - 24Jan16-6SA
17. F J UNCLE VIC - 86 - Star of Texas Stakes - 1 Mile - 23Jan16-7HOU
17. IMPERIOUS ONE (IRE) - 86 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 24Jan16-4SA
17. INHERENTLY - 86 - Wcl 5000N2Y - 6 Furlongs - 23Jan16-1TAM
17. RED GUARD - 86 - Alw 20000N1X - 1 Mile (Turf) - 20Jan16-8TAM
23. I AM JANE DOUGH - 85 - Richard King Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 23Jan16-9HOU
23. PENWITH - 85 - OC 62k/C -N - 1 Mile - 21Jan16-4GP
23. SHARED LIFE - 85 - Alw 15000N1X - 1 Mile - 24Jan16-4TUP
23. STREET CHIEF - 85 - OC 35k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 23Jan16-6OP

*CLEARLY NOW's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Favorites @ Aqueduct are winning at higher than usual percentage...
If possible, could you come up with statistics on favorites winning percentage at Aqueduct inner track meet?

Favorites are winning at a 41% clip during the current Aqueduct inner track meet. The chalks scored at a 35% rate during the recently-concluded Aqueduct main track meet. At last year's inner track meeting, the favorites won 39% of the time.


Video stakes analyses for many of the weekend's major stakes will be available later this week at http://www.drf.com/videos

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

I'll be with Mike Beer from 3-5pm ET on Saturday for live handicapping analysis at live.drf.com. Matt Bernier, Mike Watchmaker and Peter Fornatale will then take you through the NHC mandatory races live from Las Vegas.


Here's a note from SR Vegas concerning an NHC Tournament blog get-together in Las Vegas:

To Everyone:
The 2016 FORMBLOGERS CONVENTION  February 19 - 21 at Gulfstream Park is a wonderful weekend and our Laura does a fantastic job in coordinating all the activities there. Please attend if you can !

As an alternative, I’d also like you to think about The Formblog–mini–West-Coast get-together at The NHC Tournament in Las Vegas.

Dates: January  28-30

If you are coming to town, please raise your hand. I'll be putting together a casual cocktail/dinner meet and greet for our Formblog friends on Jan 27th and a post tournament brunch on  Jan 31 (for those who have later flights that day). Details TBD.

Whether you are a qualifier, friends or family coming to town to root them on, or enjoying your time in Las Vegas, let me know.

Anyone interested ? Please contact me at:



Here's a message from Laura regarding our 2016 FormBlog Convention at Gulfstream Park:

Last Chance for Hotel Reservations!! 
The Formblog/ThoroFan Convention is on February 19 - 21, less than a month away!  If you want to attend, need a room and haven't contacted Laura yet, please do so at lross@imtbreds.com.  Hotel reservations must be made no later than Wednesday, January 27, and the romance package is extra. 

As usual, our generous benefactor Mike Nyman is giving us a suite complete with temperamental betting machine.  There will be a race named for our group with photo ops in the paddock and winners circle.  Laura will pick up/drop off at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport if you don't want to rent a car.  So far, nobody has been killed or injured during the drive.  Can't decide if you want to attend?  Ask other formbloggers what a great time they had! Most are coming back for more!


There were no winners of last week's HandiGambling contest.

We'll go with Saturday's John B. Connelly Stakes from Sam Houston for this week's exercise.


Rick M's HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:

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. We are not asking for a novel but SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING .

1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.

2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.

3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR POST. Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST SIGN YOURSELF AT THE END (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to identify who you are.

4. (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes. Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

**  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

** The winner will receive a "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.

HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100

Thanks Dan!




CLEARLY NOW.pdf723.77 KB
sillysusan sillysusan More than 1 year ago
Bernard Downes, I am seriously annoyed that you haven't answered my emails. So, stay off my horse! knm
sillysusan sillysusan More than 1 year ago
Annie, What do you mean 'Greenpointcrusader will have only one more shot to get to the Derby'? They're only going to give him one more chance? ? What's with that? There's 3 months left!! OF COURSE he'll be ready! knm
Penguin ymous More than 1 year ago
TBTA said: "a lovely post parade comes across the screen". In the early nineties, Trevor Denman came to The Downs at Albuquerque to give a talk about rescuing racehorses, as our track was raising money that weekend for the cause. Anyhow, during his talk, Trevor stops and apologizes for interrupting himself, but he has been watching a post parade on a simulcast screen and states something like "#7 is the absolute winner here" on looks alone. Sure enough, the horse wins and it paid around 8-1. Paddock and post parade viewing is a must if you are at the racetrack. RonZ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KNM, I see your GREENPOINTCRUSADER will have only one more chance to get into the Derby. Most likely the Louisiana Derby on March 26th. I assume you will get him plenty fit by then. :) Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the "welcome backs". A few brief responses if I may. GBL The rational side of me fully understands your position on FROSTED and KEEN ICE, but given your name tag, I thought you might take a slightly more generous view of their prospects. More seriously, given the British starting prices of 3 of the last 4 World Cup winners (14/1, 12/1 and 20/1), perhaps it is a race where every entry has a chance, regardless of form? Annie, Re the Ancient Ones Stable, I forgot about GREENPOINTCRUSADER. Looks like a very nice horse. Ned, Thanks for the reference to that Cagnes sur Mer meeting. Yes, handicaps are the life blood of European racing. I won't attempt to re-awaken previous debates about the significance (or otherwise) of weight, suffice to say that some Trainers virtually break the rules in order to keep weight off their horses. Other Trainers race their winning horses twice in a week (under a fixed weight penalty), rather than wait (sorry) for their horses to be re-assessed by the Official Handicapper. Sinatra, I was really intrigued by your "misadventure" on a "fourteen hour bus ride". Be brave my friend, DO share your "embarrassment" - I need as many laughs as I can get right now. Yuwipi, How Arsenal failed to score, I just don't know. Some called it bad luck, but I call it pathetic shooting. Cathy, I am seriously envious of your trip to the Prix de Diane. If I remember correctly, you will enjoy your paddock watching if you get down there, or will you be sticking to the restaurant? Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, I, too, enjoyed your comments on the NHC. I see you will be on the road again. Hopefully we won't miss any MKBs sneaking into maiden or allowance races? :) Annie
Cathy More than 1 year ago
Bernard, it is great to see you back! I feel your pain. On a happy note, I will be seeing some of your favorite French fillies come June as I will be at Chantilly for the Prix de Diane. Turfruler, When Illinois couldn't come to an agreement between the horsemen and the OTB signal owners, I was shut out two years in a row around Triple Crown time. I thought I had Twinspires fooled when I opened a bank account and supplied ownership proof of a rental property I owned in Florida. All was well until one day, inexplicably, my account was closed down. Big Brother figured out that all the bets from my ISP address were originating in Illinois. That was beyond creepy. Yo Chest Rockwell, That list was priceless. The lady trainer from Florida who threatened her vet was Jane Cibelli. Like GBL and YFL, I am dying to know what your original Formblog Moniker was. DavidMany999999999's, Welcome back. I've missed your gentle wit and humor. An old favorite of mine and Vicstu's also packed his bags for South Korea this week, Musket Man, otherwise known as the place horse in Mine That Bird's Kentucky Derby. Musket Man didn't have much of a pedigree and didn't get much of a chance as he only stood for five years, moving from Florida, Louisiana and New York in just five years, but had some decent runners in his small group of runners. I had hoped better for him as he was sound, competitive at the Grade One level at distances of 7 to 10 furlongs. Seeing him the flesh at the Illinois Derby was a thrill as he was built like a middle linebacker and had lots of charisma. Formblog at the Eclipse Awards, Although we did not have a rain cancellation of the card, the monsoon made the betting a disaster, at least from my perspective. My Friday horses were all within a length or two of the lead at the half mile call, which was required that day. However, they were all up close down inside taking a ton of mud up the nose and all predictably, spit the bit in the stretch. In true TBTA form, I did have some great bets cashed that had nothing to do with my handicapping. On day one, the picks sent to me by Penguinimous and Harold Crenshaw were successful. Awesomely, the picks were for Saturday, but here is the best part, I MIXED UP THE DAYS! So, when they guys sent me the numbers, I bet them. Thank you fellas for not supplying the horses' names. My last bet of Friday afternoon was a true SR VEGAS special. Sitting in Frankies (Yes, the great Stronach named a bar after himselft) Sports Bar with no PPs, a lovely post parade comes across the screen. The one horse was named Dreamologist, she was a lovely grey by Tapit out of Dreaming of Anna, the name of my college roommate and heroine of one of my mom and I's Breeder's Cup adventures. What was not to like? So I bet her WPS. Five minutes later the horses start to load and darned if it wasn't a downhill turf race at Santa Anita. I could hear Steve T cursing my foolishness at betting the one hole on the downhill. Dreamologist ran to her good karma pulling me out of the hole for the day. On Saturday's Sunshine Millions Day, my paper handicapping skills were on fire. Then, my paddock picking skills failed me. I threw out three nice priced winners who really looked lousy in the paddock. Finally, in the "get out" race, my biggest score of the day was in the final race of Saturday afternoon, a MSW. A Todd Pletcher firster was going off at 9-1 and the horse looked spectacular in the paddock. My only disappointment was that I didn't bet more as it almost saved my day. As a special note to Dan Illman, XY Jet has a butt like a quarter horse. He didn't look that great in the paddock, but ran like his tail was on fire. Wildcat Red never stood a chance. TBTA
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
I heard sad news that Divine Park is going to Korea. Not sure whether it is North or South. Let’s hope for South as I imagine none us really want to see President Kim Jong-un riding Divine Park in an upcoming Korean military parade. I know one trainer who loved Divine Park. He did well with them. Divine Dawn, Dancinginacircle and Divine Beauty were a few. The Dawn is rising again and nearing training. Brereton Jones is selling to the Far East these days. Stakes winner Forever Darling who was purchased for a bargain $8,000 has been sold to Japanese interests. I was astounded she went that cheap at KEE but never checked her personally. I spent too much time at the bar apparently. Must be conformation issues with that microsales price but is running well for Baltas. Breaking news…. I hear I am staying in America at least for the time being. Airoforce is out of Sam Davis. Mucus invasion. Get well Airoforce! I have been battling mucus since Christmas. I am not going in the Sam Davis either. Expect a short field. Can we get a Jockey Club temporary moratorium on horses named Conquest? The human mind only has so much capacity. I really cannot keep them straight as there are about 30 in training. I say to myself remember Conquest ABC after seeing something good on the track. Then Conquest XYZ runs and I am confused which Conquest that I wanted to remember. Maybe Frank Stonrach can have a Conquest vs. Kitten only card. Full fields expected. Curveball Lilly did not come with her fastball yesterday. She “worked” 4F yesterday in 51.20. For comparison purposes on a good day and running downhill with a stiff tailwind I have been clocked in 51.40 for 4F. I was told thru a third party the FG surface was distinctively different before and after the break. I hope Lilly worked on the slower surface. Generally I see Jones alternate “asks” in the morning. She went quick last out in sub 36. So I expect the next work to be stronger assuming there is any quality present. Tip to Dave Liftin and his Horses to Watch at AQU. Keep it simple Dave. Just go to the AQU Racing Secretary’s office and get a list of Rudy Rod’s whole barn. Then list them ALL on the Horses to Watch list. Professor – what an unique condition, thanks for sharing. $10 to enter. Why bother with the $10. That is about the cost of Daily Racing Form. Not sure what kind of mare book KY Derby winner Giacomo is getting these days.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
OMG , I miss reading Formblog ! I'll be back. So many great posts while Chalky and I were chasing around NHC LV ! In the next couple days I'll be back ' on the road again '..... but until then, likely in Dan's next thread with a few comments...FORMBLOG, you all rock !! SR Vegas
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yuwipi, Well, your GET JETS is working at OP, so maybe he'll go in the Southwest on Feb. 15th. That would probably be a good place for him to start. Good luck if he does go there! Annie