04/23/2015 11:23AM

Two more for Todd

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Todd Pletcher potentially has five sophomores locked and loaded for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

Currently lurking in the shadow of CARPE DIEM, MATERIALITY, ITSAKNOCKOUT, STANFORD and MADEFROMLUCKY are two very talented older horses. When the Triple Crown hoopla fades, the handicap division must deal with RACE DAY while the sprinting set braces for a ROCK FALL.

Race Day, profiled in the New Year's Eve edition of the blog (http://www.drf.com/blogs/gulfstream-horses-watch) as well as on the March 18 post (http://www.drf.com/blogs/race-day-moves-forward), brushed off eight rivals in the Grade 2, $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 11.

Sent away the 6 to 5 favorite under John Velazquez, Race Day went right to the front from his inside post position. He took pressure from CARVE and uncoupled stablemate GOLDEN LAD through fractions of 23.18 and 46.71.

Golden Lad dropped away following six furlongs in 1:10.51, but Race Day kept to his business. Velazquez peeked behind for competition at the three-sixteenths pole, cracked Race Day right-handed and the pair were off to the wire. They finished 3 3/4 lengths to the good of Carve, completed the nine furlongs in 1:47.93, and received a 110 Beyer Speed Figure.

Race Day has wonderful tactical speed. He can go to the lead or he can rally from stalking range. In four starts for Pletcher since being purchased for $285,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November auction, Race Day has earned Beyers of 109, 104, 106 and 110 while winning around one turn and two at distances ranging from a mile to nine furlongs.

Pletcher has mentioned the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap as a possible next goal for Race Day. If all goes according to plan, he'll have to face another Pletcher standout, PALACE MALICE, in that race.

*Like Race Day, Rock Fall has emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the fastest horses in his division. A 4-year-old son of Speightstown, Rock Fall sold for $250,000 as a yearling, but didn't make his debut until April 12, 2014.

Following two big wins in New York, Rock Fall was listed as the 2 to 1 favorite on the morning line for the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga only to be scratched and sent back to Stonestreet Farm due to injury.

He hasn't missed a beat upon returning to the races.

After a victory at Gulfstream on the Ides of March, Rock Fall was entered in a six-furlong money allowance at Keeneland last Saturday.

Although he only faced three others, and his main competition, millionaire DELAUNAY, endured a terrible trip (stumbled badly start, rushed up while four wide), Rock Fall showed the agility of a top sprinter.

He broke a half-length slow beneath Javier Castellano, who, sensing a moderate pace, angled Rock Fall sharply to the inside to press a four-ply dispute through an opening quarter of 22.95.

From there, it was all Rock Fall. He dispatched Delaunay after a half in 45.95, then sprinted home under a hand ride to score by nine lengths in 1:09.64 (final quarter in 23.69, last eighth in 12.07), a number good enough for a 109 Beyer.

Rock Fall's dam, Renda (by Medaglia d'Oro), won a pair of stakes races around two turns as a juvenile filly in 2008. His second dam, Ten Carats (by Capote), placed third in the $45,000 Egret Stakes at five furlongs on turf while the third dam, Miss Waikiki (by Miswaki), was a multiple stakes-placed sprinter.

Expect to see Rock Fall in the Grade 2 True North Stakes at six furlongs on June 5.

***

Here are the top WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 4/7/15 - 4/13/15:

1. RACE DAY - 110 - Oaklawn Handicap (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 11Apr15-7OP
2. PROTONICO - 107 - Ben Ali Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - 11Apr15-5KEE
3. ALSVID - 105 - Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) - 6 Furlongs - 9Apr15-8OP
3. AMERICAN PHAROAH - 105 - Arkansas Derby (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 11Apr15-11OP
5. CALAMONDIN - 104 - Alw 56876NC - 7 Furlongs - 11Apr15-8PRX
6. MOTOWN MEN - 103 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 Mile - 10Apr15-3SA
7. MASOCHISTIC - 102 - Kona Gold Stakes (G2) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 11Apr15-5SA
7. TRANSPARENT - 102 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 8Apr15-3KEE
9. VICTORY IS SWEET - 100 - Md Sp Wt 70k - 6 Furlongs - 12Apr15-6AQU
10. FORDUBAI - 99 - OC 50k/N$Y -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 8Apr15-3HAW
10. UNTAPABLE - 99 - Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - 10Apr15-9OP
12. BEHOLDER - 98 - Santa Lucia Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 10Apr15-6SA
12. DIVINING ROD - 98 - Lexington Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 11Apr15-10KEE
12. STALLWALKIN' DUDE - 98 - Clm 50000 - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 8Apr15-8AQU
15. JACK MILTON - 96 - Maker's 46 Mile (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) -  10Apr15-9KEE
15. PROCEED - 96 - Sunland Park Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - 12Apr15-9SUN
15. WOLF MAN ROCKET - 96 - Northern Spur Stakes -  11Apr15-10OP
18. GOLDEN RIFLE - 94 -  OC35k/SAL35k  - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 12Apr15-1GP
18. HANDSUP MONEYDOWN - 94 -  Clm c-12500N1Y - 6 Furlongs - 11Apr15-3PRX
18. LASSO - 94 - OC12k/SAL12k - 1 Mile (Turf) - OC12k/SAL12k
21. BALL DANCING - 93 - Jenny Wiley Stakes ()G1) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 11Apr15-9KEE
21. CAPTAIN GENIUS - 93 - OC 50k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - 10Apr15-5OP
21. DOC GALORE - 93 - Alw 28644N$Y - 6 Furlongs - 12Apr15-7HAW
21. HOLY BOSS - 93 - Bachelor Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 10Apr15-7OP
21. KATIE'S EYES - 93 - Giant's Causeway Stakes - 5 1/12 Furlongs (Turf) - 11Apr15-7KEE
21. NOBLE BIRD - 93 -  OC 62k/N2X -N  - 1 1/16 Miles - 8Apr15-8KEE
21. ROGER ROCKET - 93 - OC 20k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - 10Apr15-4OP
21. VIA STRATA - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles -  9Apr15-5KEE

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

*SKY COMMANDER (2nd with 98 Beyer in the Stallwalkin' Dude race) was claimed for $50,000 by trainer Gary Contessa from Greg DiPrima.

*HANDSUP MONEYDOWN was claimed for $12,500 by trainer Michael Pino from Ramon Preciado.

*COUGAR RIDGE (3rd with 93 Beyer in the Noble Bird race) was claimed for $62,500 by trainer Scooter Dickey from Doug Matthews.

***

Here are the top WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 4/14/15 - 4/20/15:

1. ROCK FALL - 109 - OC 100k/N$Y -N - 6 Furlongs - 18Apr15-6KEE
2. MIDNIGHT STORM - 105 -  OC 80k/N3X -N  - 1 Mile (Turf) - 16Apr15-6SA
2. MORENO - 105 - Charles Town Classic (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 16Apr15-6SA
4. CHIEF ISTAN - 101 - Alw 60000N2L - 6 Furlongs - 17Apr15-7KEE
5. GET HAPPY MISTER - 100 - San Simeon Stakes (G3) - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 19Apr15-7SA
6. AZTEC BRAVE (FR) - 98 - Danger's Hour Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) -  Clm 50000
6. GOOGLEADO (ARG) - 98 -  Clm 50000  - 6 Furlongs -  Clm 50000
6. GRAND ARCH - 98 - Alw 65010C - 1 Mile (Turf) - 15Apr15-6KEE
6. STREAMSIDE - 98 - Alw 34491NC - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 19Apr15-7GG
10. HOUSE OF SOLE - 97 - Md Sp Wt 29k - 6 Furlongs - 18Apr15-6HAW
10. PIQUANT - 97 -  OC 100k/C -N  - 6 Furlongs -  OC 100k/C -N
12. BLAME JIM - 95 - Alw 47480N1X - 6 Furlongs - 18Apr15-8PRX
12. HEREDITARY - 95 - Alw 58650N1X - 1 1/8 Miles - 16Apr15-4KEE
12. KHARAFA - 95 - Alw 56256N3X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 19Apr15-8KEE
12. WHISKEY TICKET - 95 - Illinois Derby (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - 18Apr15-9HAW
16. BLUEGRASS CHAT - 94 - Clm c-20000 - 1 Mile -  19Apr15-5PRX
16. LA VERDAD - 94 - Distaff Handicap (G2) - 6 Furlongs - 18Apr15-2AQU
18. ADAPTOR - 93 - Clm 25000N2L - 1 Mile - 19Apr15-2PRX
18. BOND VIGILANTE - 93 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs -  20Apr15-6PRX
18. RUSSELL ROAD - 93 - Confucius Say Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 18Apr15-6CT
21. BLACKTYPE (FR) - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 15Apr15-5AQU
21. GALIANA - 92 - Primonetta Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 18Apr15-7PIM
21. QUEEN OF THE SAND (IRE) - 92 - Santa Barbara Handicap (G3) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 18Apr15-7SA
21. TALK SHOW MAN - 91 - Henry Clark Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 18Apr15-10PIM
21. YAHILWA - 92 - Sixty Sails Handicap (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - 18Apr15-5HAW

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

*BLUEGRASS CHAT was claimed for $20,000 by trainer Michael Pino from Richard Vega.

***

Hey Dan,
I noticed that Johnny V. chose Carpe Diem over Materiality. What are your thoughts? How much does this impact your thoughts when making derby selections (Minus Post Positions)?
Thanks,
Rick M.

It won't have much impact at all. CARPE DIEM was considered Pletcher's first string after the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and he's done nothing this year to indicate that he's no longer the first string. Materiality ran a brilliant race in the Florida Derby, but Carpe Diem is the more accomplished horse. It isn't surprising that he chose Carpe Diem, but I wouldn't downgrade Materiality too much because of the decision.

***

For those of you beginning to come down with a dose of Kentucky Derby fever, I've posted the lifetime past performances of the last 22 winners. Let me know if you find any interesting patterns.

***

Annie and SR Vegas have compiled a second updated version of "The 2015 MKB Book of Kentucky Derby Prospects." I have attached it to the bottom of this blog post. Enjoy!

***

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Remember to tune in to DRF LIVE's streaming coverage. I'll be with Matt Bernier recapping, previewing, handicapping and, hopefully, winning.

Here's the schedule:

Wednesday - Friday:  12:30 - 1:30 ET

Saturday:  2:00 ET thru last graded stakes race

***

Congrats to Rodney for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling tournament.


Let's go with Saturday's Miami Mile at Gulfstream for this week's exercise.


Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.


PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.


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

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

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 if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.

HANDIGAMBLING:

-  Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

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

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE 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 recognize you .

- (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.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # 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 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!

Harpo
---------------------------------

A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
 
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)

AttachmentSize
RACE DAY.pdf652.12 KB
Rock Fall.pdf651.24 KB
DERBYWINNERS.pdf901.9 KB
2015 MKB Bio Document 3 31 15.pdf459.01 KB
GPMIAMILE.pdf181.73 KB
Copy of Formblog Jenny Wiley 4-11-15.xls74.5 KB