09/24/2014 4:05PM

An unorthodox prep

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Thanks to everyone that entered the FormBlog Breeders' Cup Fantasy Handicapping League.

We have 483 contestants. KYL syndicate is in the lead with 1619 fantasy earnings.

I am currently in 38th place and have some work to do.

If you haven't joined yet, there's still time to do so.
 

Head on over to https://www.fantasycapping.com/illman


The league password in DRF123.


You can find league rules here:


https://www.fantasycapping.com/faq/


This week's fantasy race is Saturday's Awesome Again Stakes from Santa Anita.


***

Can a two-turn sprint race at Charles Town be considered a valuable Breeders' Cup prep? 

In the case of PANTS ON FIRE, last weekend's seven-furlong, $100,000 Wild & Wonderful Stakes could lead to a start in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile next month at Santa Anita.

A 6-year-old millionaire trained by Kelly Breen, Pants On Fire has already won four graded races (Louisiana Derby, Pegasus Stakes, Monmouth Cup and Ack Ack Handicap). He finished seventh in last year's Dirt Mile behind Goldencents.

I must admit that I fell for Pants On Fire at Santa Anita as he looked so impressive taking his final prep, the Ack Ack at Churchill Downs, and thought he offered some value at 8 to 1 on the tote.

Pants On Fire got hot and bothered prior to the Dirt Mile and ended up chasing the pace over a track that many handicappers believe favored horses that showed speed nearest the rail.

Breen then shipped Pants On Fire overseas for the Japan Cup Dirt and the horse's behavioral issues got the better of him. He reared up in the starting gate, banged his head, ended up bleeding from the nostrils, and never got within hailing distance of the winner. It was a wasted trip.

Leading into the Wild & Wonderful, Pants On Fire didn't look like the same horse that was competitive in Grade 2 and Grade 3 races in 2013. He caught a speed-favoring track on Haskell day in the Monmouth Cup, his first start in over seven months, and couldn't reel in Valid and Bradester when an even third.

I really expected an improved performance in his second start back, the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth on August 17. Paco Lopez gave Pants On Fire a beautiful ride and the two shot up a big opening on the rail turning for home to take a clear lead. The old Pants On Fire would have closed the door on his opponents, but he couldn't turn away Balance of Power's late surge and fell a half-length shy.

It was a disappointing loss and I started to fear that Pants On Fire was getting long in the tooth. That opinion didn't change much when he then finished a neck shy to Golden Ticket, a horse that doesn't seem to want to win, in the Left Bank Stakes at Belmont.

Even his entry in the Wild N Wonderful was a bit baffling. If he was doing so well and the connections still believed in him, why was he at Charles Town instead of in a race like the Kelso at Belmont this Saturday? 

Granted, he didn't beat any stars in the Wild N Wonderful - GOOD LORD and HANDSUP MONEYDOWN won't remind anyone of Goldencents - but he sure looked good under the lights.

After bobbling a bit at the start, Pants On Fire chased the pace on the outside before Lopez maneuvered him nearer to the rail on the backstretch. Pants On Fire made a three-wide bid on the final turn under confident handling, took over swinging into the short stretch and drew away without much urging. He completed the distance in 1:23.77, good enough for a 105 Beyer Speed Figure.

The competition will obviously be much steeper at Santa Anita, but Pants On Fire will once again offer a good price, and he's entering the race in solid form with competitive numbers. There are worse longshots to consider.

***

Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 9/16/14 - 9/22/14

1. BAYERN - 110 - Pennsylvania Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 20Sep14-12PRX
2. PANTS ON FIRE - 106 - Wild and Wonderful Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 20Sep14-9CT
3. CARD - 105 - OC 125k/C - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 19Sep14-3AP
4. FAVORITE TALE - 104 - Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs - 20Sep14-10PRX
5. TRANSPARENT - 103 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 18Sep14-8BEL
6. DAWLY - 99 - Alw 25000s - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 20Sep14-6PRX
7. CONGENIAL - 97 - Clm 32000 - 1 Mile - 21Sep14-7CD 
8. CAST A DOUBT - 96 - Alw 91250N1X - 7 Furlongs - 20Sep14-7PRX
8. MIDNIGHT CELLO - 96 - OC 62k/C - 1 Mile - 18Sep14-9GP
8. MISS BEHAVIOUR - 96 - Charles Town Oaks (G3) - 7 Furlongs - 20Sep14-11CT
11. STARSHIP SULU - 95 - Clm c-16000B - 5 Furlongs - 18Sep14-6GP
12. ARTEMIS AGROTERA - 94 - Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 20Sep14-8BEL
12. UNTAPABLE - 94 - Cotillion Stakes (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - 20Sep14-11PRX
14. ISN'T HE CLEVER - 94 - Downs at Albuquerque Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - 21Sep14-9ALB
14. SEEKING THE SHERIF - 93 - Katella Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 20Sep14-8LRC
16. BUSTER ROSE - 92 - OC 40k/N2X - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 18Sep14-3IND
16. EDGE OF REALITY - 92 - Alphabet Soup Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 20Sep14-9PRX
16. FIRST BID - 92 - Alw 50000s - 1 1/16 Miles - 17Sep14-6BEL
19. BAMA BOUND - 91 - Alw 91750N1X - 7 Furlongs - 20Sep14-5PRX
19. DETERMINATO - 91 - OC25k/SAL25k - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 18Sep14-1GP 
19. HAMMERS TERROR - 91 - OC 62k/N2X - 7 FUrlongs (Turf) - 19Sep14-8WO
19. LUCY'S BOB BOY - 91 - Hcp 30000 - 1 1/16 Miles - 20Sep14-3CT
19. MONAGUSKA - 91 - Alw 100500N$Y - 6 Furlongs - Parx
19. NORTH SLOPE - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 19Sep14-8BEL
19. SOUTHERN SOLUTION - 91 - Alw 3500s - 1 1/16 Miles - 20Sep14-5EMD
19. THANK YOU MARYLOU - 91 - Dogwood Stakes (G3) - 7 Furlongs - 20Sep14-9CD
19. XMAS SKY - 91 - OC 32k/N3X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 17Sep14-7LRL
19. WARRIOROFTHEROSES - 91 - OC 40k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 19Sep14-8LRL

*The lifetime past performances for BAYERN are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*STARSHIP SULU was claimed for $16,000 by trainer David Vivian from Marcial Navarro.

***

Hi Dan,
Lemon Drop Kid has become such a prominent name in breeding...could you post his lifetime PPs when you get a chance
Thanks
Dom DiNatale

You can find his past performances at the bottom of this blog post.

***

The links to the five most recent blogs (and blog comments) are listed below:

http://www.drf.com/blogs/catching-3

http://www.drf.com/blogs/shared-belief-romps

http://www.drf.com/blogs/delivers-again

http://www.drf.com/blogs/one-watch

http://www.drf.com/blogs/palace-rules-vanderbilt

***

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

The video previews for most of this weekend's graded stakes action will be available later in the week at the following link:

http://www.drf.com/videos#stakes-previews

***

Congrats to MZ for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

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

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.

Let's go with Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup from Belmont as this week's exercise.

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
BAYERN.pdf614.34 KB
LEMON DROP KID.pdf603.77 KB
HGJCGC.pdf205.63 KB
Copy of Formblog PA Derby 9-20-14.xls75.5 KB