10/23/2013 1:30PM

Various Thoughts

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RIVER SEVEN (see below for lifetime past performances) looked very good winning the one-mile Labeeb Stakes last week, but his career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure may best be taken with a grain of salt. 

The Woodbine turf course was absolutely drenched by rain and River Seven, a 3-year-old with a prior Beyer top of 94 from 10 starts, apparently relished the going.  River Seven is a good horse that was visually impressive.  The number seems a bit out of whack, however. It's tough to make a figure when a horse wins by a country mile in 1:38.81 over boggy turf.

*He's not Rapid Redux just yet, but reformed claimer RIBO BOBO now has nine straight victories thanks to a speedy score against three others in the $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint Handicap.  Ribo Bobo, taken for $6,250 in March by trainer Jason Servis, has the available starter allowance conditions to run up his win streak, but with Beyers of 95 or higher (and 2 stakes wins) in his last 5 starts, Servis may be looking for bigger fish to fry. 

*Breeders' Cup past performances are available on the homepage today and SECRET CIRCLE, winner of the 2011 Juvenile Sprint, is back on the radar following an emphatic 104-Beyer win against allowance company last week.  Secret Circle missed over a year with sesamoid and other issues, but he didn't look rusty at all for Bob Baffert.  The Sprint division has been up-and-down all year in terms of quality so there are worse longshots to consider than Secret Circle.

*Thought CLUSTER OF STARS would have been a contender in the Filly and Mare Sprint, but trainer Steve Asmussen and assistant Toby Sheets opted to go for the easy bucks in the Iroquois Stakes on New York Showcase Saturday.  Cluster of Stars won like an odds-on shot should, is undefeated after seven starts, and may race once more this year. 

"When you get on her, you don't worry about anything," winning rider Javier Castellano told NYRA publicity after the Iroquois. "You just focus and do your own thing. Toby [Sheets] did a great job. She's very competitive, very intelligent; I'm just the pilot. I like to enjoy the ride. She's very professional and did everything the right way. She's a special horse."

*My 2012 MKB horse, BLINGO, did me proud in the $100,000 I'm a Banker Stakes at Belmont last week, earning a career-best 94 Beyer Speed Figure in his return to dirt.  Did I have him, even out of sentiment, at 19-1 in the six-horse field?  I think you know the answer to that question (sigh).

*Following eight consecutive off-the-board finishes, one could be forgiven for thinking that REGALLY READY, hero of the 2011 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, was ready for the old folks home.  But, the Steve Asmussen-trained gelding turned back the hands of time with a win going a turf mile at Keeneland.  Regally Ready only earned a 92 Beyer after a perfect trip, though, and will need to do more if he is to succeed in stakes company.

*A couple of 2-year-olds to keep an eye on:

LITTLE CURLIN (Curlin - Hoh Buzzard, by Alhaarth)

Trained by Graham Motion, Little Curlin made his career debut in an about seven-furlong maiden special weight over the Keeneland polytrack on October 18.  He broke outward and raced six wide on the backstretch before being taken inward to save some ground going into the turn.  Far back turning for home, he rallied belatedly to finish fourth and galloped out with gusto.  He's a half-brother to Via Villagio, winner of the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes traveling 7 furlongs on cushion track.  Turf and additional distance may help this one to the winner's circle.

AWESOME SKY (Sky Mesa - To Dream About, by Monarchos)

One race earlier, Awesome Sky gave a nice runner-up effort in the slightly-faster division.  A full brother to G3-placed synthetic router Sky Dreamer, Awesome Sky steadied while in and among horses at the tail end of the field and made a sharp five-wide move on the turn.  He couldn't overcome the winner's tactical advantage, but kept to his task nicely in the stretch and shouldn't be a maiden for long.  Mark Casse trains for John Oxley.

*In this Friday's fourth race at Keeneland, pedigree watchers will be interested in SHE'S NOT HERE.  By Street Cry, she is out of stakes-winner Where's Bailey, a half-sister to the great Zenyatta.  A $190,000 yearling, She's Not Here is trained by Victoria Oliver.
 
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Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (10/14/13 - 10/20/13)

1. RIVER SEVEN - 105 - Labeeb Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Woodbine
2. RIBO BOBO - 104 - Maryland Million Sprint Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Laurel
2. SECRET CIRCLE - 104 - OC 75k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
4. CLUSTER OF STARS - 101 - Iroquois Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
5. KING KREESA - 100 - Mohawk Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
6. PALACE - 99 - Hudson Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
7. IMAGINING - 97 - Bowl Game Stakes - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
7. IMMORTAL EYES - 97 - Jefferson County Commission Handicap - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
7. ULTIMATE DESTINY - 97 - Bunty Lawless Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine
10. SAYAAD - 96 - OC 100k/N3X -N - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - Belmont
11. A TOAST TO YOU - 94 - California Flag Handicap - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
11. BLINGO - 94 - I'm a Banker Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Belmont
11. GALLANT SON - 94 - Alw 34717NC - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
11. GOURMET DINNER - 94 - Alw 60400C - 1 Mile - Parx
11. JAVA MAN - 94 - Clm c-(12.5-10.5) - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
11. STORMY LUCY - 94 - Miss America Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Golden Gate
17. EVOLUTION ROCKS - 93 - Alw 16000s - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Parx
17. FLORES ISLAND - 93 - Md Sp Wt 73k - 1 Mile - Belmont
17. GRAND CONTENDER - 93 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Indiana
17. SARATOGA SNACKS - 93 - Empire Classic Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - Belmont
17. TOM'S TRIBUTE - 93 - Uniformity Stakes - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
17. ULLAPOOL - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
23. REGALLY READY - 92 - Alw 61346C - 1 Mile (Turf) - Keeneland
24. BIG BANE THEORY - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
24. DISCREET MARQ - 91 - Pebbles Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Belmont
24. EIGHTTOFASTTOCATCH - 91 - Maryland Million Classic Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - Laurel
24. HEMLOCK CHANNEL - 91 - OC 62k/C -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine
24. NAJJAAR - 91 - Sycamore Stakes - 1 5/8 Miles (Polytrack) - Keeneland
24. OVERHEARD - 91 - Valley View Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
24. POINT FINISH - 91 - Hcp ---s - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Indiana

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

*JAVA MAN was claimed for $12,500 by trainer Doug O'Neill from John Sadler.

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Hi Dan could you post the past performances for Zarkava and Treve, that will be great
thank you , take care and best of luck, Marco

The past performances for ZARKAVA and TREVE are available at the bottom of this blog post.

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When you get the chance, you're definitely going to want to check out "RACEHORSE," the latest production from Jessica Pacheco, racing analyst at Arlington Park.

"It's the end of the summer, and Crown and Thistle Stables hope for a firm turf course for Sugar Kate's last race of the 2013 Arlington meet. Then catch up with all the owners in the season finale of RACEHORSE! Get an update on the whereabouts of Magna Fortuna "Taxi", party with the Rabbits, and get some ownership advice from the RACEHORSE cast."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-Z1-uGxzeA

The entire series, Episodes 1-9, can be found here:

http://www.arlingtonpark.com/newsvideosblogs/racehorse-video-series

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The weekend handicapping previews should be available on the site tomorrow evening.

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman

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Congrats to Phil D. for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling contest.

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

Phil D. selects Friday's 6th race at Belmont for this week's event.

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

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 GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.
 
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.

***FROM SCOREKEEPER PENN NATIONAL RICK***

I read some entries on here and there are some people who put their heart out on their picks(such as DavidM9999) and give you great analysis on who they like and why and then there are others who elect not to give any reasoning behind their entries. The rule I will implement EFFECTIVE 3/1/13 will be... any entry without ANY analysis will be ignored. We are not asking you to put out a novel, but again a sentence or two. Also, I will put communication out when Dan puts out new blogs.
My intent is not to be jerk on this, but what's fair is fair. I'm not taking away from this week or past winners regarding all of this, but we do need to make the change.
If you have any questions/concerns...please send an email to FORMBLOG@DRF.COM and it will get forwarded to me.
Thank You!
Rick

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 LATE THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).

Best of luck to all.

AttachmentSize
RIVERSEVEN.pdf616.13 KB
TREVE.pdf574.03 KB
ZARKAVA.pdf574.8 KB
Copy of Formblog Belmont Claiming Turf 10-18-13.xls72 KB
HGBELTURFSPRINT.pdf198.38 KB