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Weekend Beyers, 3yo sprinters
Don't look now, but the three-year-old sprint division has exploded in recent weeks. Munnings, so dominant in winning the Woody Stephens on Belmont Stakes day, put up another huge number in beating older foes in the Tom Fool at Belmont on Sunday. Zensational, a freakishly-fast runner from Bob Baffert's barn, left his elders in the dust in the Triple Bend over Hollywood's cushion track. Custom for Carlos strutted to a 6 1/4 length score in the Jersey Shore Stakes for trainer Eddie Kenneally. They join Capt. Candyman Can as legitimate prospects for the Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga. And what do we make of Kensei, a late-developing son of Mr. Greeley trained by Steve Asmussen? He won the "tweener" Dwyer Stakes around a one-turn 1 1/16 miles, and has plenty of options on the summer schedule. Will we see him return to sprint distances (second in the Derby Trial, third in the Woody Stephens), or will he stretch out for races like the Jim Dandy, Haskell, or Travers?
Munnings has become a force since learning to rate and finish, and Zensational would likely improve even more if he learns to relax coming out of the gate. He won the Triple Bend despite pulling Victor Espinoza out of the saddle leaving the stalls, and racing greenly most of the way. His early speed cannot be questioned.
Presious Passion is one of the gamest, and least appreciated, runners in North America, and his gate-to-wire tour de force in the United Nations was a neat trick by Elvis Trujillo. The splits were fast, but Presious Passion gets very, very brave when unpressured on the lead, and he held off Lauro by a diminishing two lengths at the wire of the 11-furlong event. Where were the closers? Lauro and Brass Hat, the second- and third-place finishers of the United Nations, were second and third all the way around. Spice Route picked up a few horses late after breaking poorly, but it didn't seem that anyone ran other than the extremely capable winner.
Craig Dollase seems to have Monterey Jazz back on his best game. When right, the speedy performer is capable of huge races on dirt as in the 2008 Texas Mile. He may have begun his second career as a middle-distance turf runner over the weekend as he blitzed his American Handicap foes into the ground with a daring display of speed.
Informed Decision will run on broken glass, and is in the very caring hands of Jonathan Sheppard. No offense to Indian Blessing, but she may be the best older filly sprinter in the country.
Cat Moves won the war in the Prioress at Belmont Park, but her entrymate, Light Green, opened eyes with her game runner-up effort. Light Green did some serious battling every step of the way, and understandably faltered late. If she can stretch her speed another furlong, Light Green can be a dangerous contender in the Test at the Spa.
Here are the winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's stakes races:
*Tom Fool (Bel): Munnings (T. Pletcher/J. Velazquez) - 111
*Salvator Mile (Mth): Coal Play (N. Zito/J. Bravo) - 109
*Jersey Shore (Mth): Custom for Carlos (E. Kenneally/E. Castro) - 106
*United Nations (Mth): Presious Passion (M. Hartmann/E. Trujillo) - 106
*Dwyer (Bel): Kensei (S. Asmussen/E. Prado) - 105
*Triple Bend (Hol): Zensational (B. Baffert/V. Espinoza) - 105
*American (Hol): Monterey Jazz (C. Dollase/T. Baze) - 104
*Dominion Day (WO) - Marchfield (M. Casse/P. Husbands) - 102
*Firecracker (CD): Mr. Sidney (W. Mott/K. Desormeaux) - 102
*Suburban (Bel): Dry Martini (B. Tagg/E. Prado) - 101
*Alamedan (Pln): Sierra Sunset (J. Bonde/W. Antongeorgi III) - 101
*Mr. Prospector (Mth): Go Go Shoot (B. Levine/E. Castro) - 99
*Chicago (AP): Informed Decision (J. Sheppard/J. Leparoux) - 99
*American Oaks Invitational (Hol): Gozzip Girl (T. Albertrani/K. Desormeaux) - 97
*Don Jack (Bel): Sal the Barber (C. Clement/R. Dominguez) - 97
*Lieutenant Governor's (Hst): Teide (D. Condilenios/C. Hoverson) - 97
*Prioress (Bel): Cat Moves (A. Dutrow/R. Dominguez) - 96
*Locust Grove (CD): Closeout (T. Proctor/R. Albarado) - 95
*Sweet Briar Too (WO): Simply Splendid (G. Cox/C. Sutherland) - 95
*Attaway Darbonne Memorial Starter (EvD): Classy Deelites (D. Moran Sr./C. Bourque) - 94
*Dale Baird Memorial (Mnr): Bernie Blue (M. Feliciano/R. Feliciano) - 93
*Pola Benoit Memorial (EvD): Star Guitar (A. Stall Jr./C. Bourque) - 93
*Independence Day (Mnr): Timeless Fashion (T. Drury Jr./H. Rosario Jr.) - 92
*Governor's (EmD): Atta Boy Roy (V. Lund/J. Crispin) - 91
*Spangled Jimmy (NP): Zuri Mwana (G. Amthor/S. Beauregard) - 91
*Miss Liberty (Mth): American Border (J. Servis/E. Trujillo) - 90
*Caress (Bel): Jazzy - Arg (M. Hennig/A. Garcia) - 90
*Choice (Mth): Laureate Conductor (C. Clement/J. Bravo) - 90
*J. Archie Sebastien Memorial (EvD): Superior Storm (R. Jackson/L. Quinonez) - 90
*Wadsworth Memorial (FL): Sweetnorthernsaint (S. Klesaris/J. Davila Jr.) - 90
*Western Canada (NP): Casey's On Call (R. Rycroft/P. Winters) - 89
*Pierre LeBlanc Memorial Sprint (EvD): Coach Mike (T. Richey/J. Jacinto) - 89
*King County (EmD): Elusive Horizon (D. Harwood/J. Gutierrez) - 89
*Ontario Damsel (WO): Mullins Beach (M. Pierce/E. Da Silva) - 89
*Firecracker (Mnr): Beautiful Venue (B. Beagle/R. Stokes III) - 88
*Junius Delahoussaye Memorial Sprint (EvD): Brother Bean (V. Arceneaux/B. Patin) - 87
*Wandering Cloud (Bel): Dance Gal Dance (T. Ritvo/R. Maragh) - 87
*Wolverine (Pnl): Fiery Lake (E. Griffin/J. Delgado) - 87
*Flawlessly (Hol): Strawberry Tart (J. Bonde/M. Garcia) - 87
*Dean Kutz (Cby): Fufty Too (M. Robertson/S. Stevens) - 84 (*Big Push finished 1st with 85 Beyer, but was disqualified and placed 2nd)
*Chris Loseth (Hst): El Cugat (T. Taylor/M. Gutierrez) - 83
*Blair's Cove (Cby): Joni's Justice (M. Robertson/D. Butler) - 81
*State Fair Board (Lnn): Roaring Home (J. Lambert/M. Ziegler) - 80
*Bashford Manor (CD): Backtalk (T. Amoss/M. Mena) - 79
*D. S. Shine Young Memorial Futurity (fillies) (EvD): Happyfromthegitgo (S. Asmussen/L.
Quinonez) - 79
*Connie Ann (Crc): Rate of Exchange (M. Wolfson/E. Nunez) - 79
*B. B. Sixty Rayburn Memorial (EvD): Break Up (B. Brinkman/G. Melancon) - 77
*Front Range (ArP): Get Thee Hence (T. Rushton/J. Rochabrun) - 76
*Vancouver Sun (Hst): Holy Nova (T. Taylor/M. Gutierrez) - 76
*Mervin Muniz Memorial Starter (EvD): High Toned (K. Bourgeois/D. Saenz) - 74
*Joe Joyce Memorial Independence Day (Wyo): Merle T (K. Newby/U. Dominguez) - 74
*Clarendon (WO): Who's Big Daddy (S. Fairlie/G. Olguin) - 74
*Cleveland Gold Cup (Tdn): Hurley's Way (W. Cowans/R. Prescott) - 73
*Northbound Pride (Cby): Sirrah (M. Biehler/J. Ferrer) - 73
*Supernaturel (Hst): Tierra Del Feugo (B. Heads/P. Alvarado) - 71
*Everett Nevin Alameda County (Pln): Excessive Passion (J. Bonde/O. Figueroa) - 69
*Evanston Speed (Wyo): Vibod (M. Hanson/D. Crane) - 69
*Brookmeade (Cnl): Rap Tale (B. Brown/L. Garcia) - 68
*Canada Day (AsD): Preservata (C. Willson/T. Nelson) - 67
*Niagara (FL): Sezzana (H. Bond/J. Grabowski) - 67
*Frank A. Buddy Abadie Memorial (EvD): Seven Seventythree (S. Asmussen/G. Melancon) - 66
*Isadorable (Suf): Ask Queenie (L. Lockhart/D. Panell) - 56
*D. S. Shine Young Memorial Futurity (colts) (EvD): Heavenville (S. Asmussen/F. Torres) - 55
*CTBA Derby (ArP): Dance to the Star (K. Gleason/A. Ramos) - 49
*Frank Arnason Sire (AsD): Percolating (C. Torevell/R. Singh) - 49
*North Dakota Derby (AsD): Copper Badges (B. Miller/A. Cuthbertson) - 45
*Breeders' Special Fillies (Lnn): Apple Crumble (J. Wise/J. Olesiak) - 45
Here are the lifetime past performances for the highest and lowest Beyer stakes performers of the week:
Interesting post about CR and Yonaguska. I realize your post was about males, but Earth Living is a nice Yonaguska filly (out of a Tobasco Cat mare) that finished 2nd in the UAE 2000 Guineas (8.5 furlongs or so). I do not think she has run since (injury) but if she returns it will be interesting.
After finishing second in both the UAE Guineas on February 6, and the UAE Oaks on February 26, Earth Living returned to Japan to run fourth in the listed Shoryu Stakes on May 23.
How many 1 3/8 mile races have been run on the turf since it was renovated? Not many, right?
There have only been five races at 11 furlongs on the turf at Monmouth since the track installed the new grass course. Four of those races were runnings of the United Nations. The other was the 2007 Omnibus Stakes for fillies and mares.
Haven't heard from jerrry concerning his pick for this week's HandiGambling exercise. Let's give him another day, but if we don't hear from him, we'll have cayman01, our scorekeeper, make the race selection.
Talk to you soon,
Handigambling 141: $1.00 Tri/box: 1-3-6-8-9= $60 $.30 Spr/box: 1-3-6-8-9 = $36 $4.00 to win on # 8
Race of the Day - 5th at Indiana There's a lot I like about #7 - Jack Spratt. - trainer is 28% on turf, better in routes than sprints, and 26% off similar length layoffs - jock/trainer combo winning at 30% clip - Leparoux on turf always dangerous - throw in a 5F bullet for his last work $50 WP #7
Formbloggers: I will be at Arlington Park for "Million Preview Day!" 5 stakes races this Saturday! Let's hope it doesn't rain. I plan to be ontrack around 11:30 AM so I can get a form and handicap. Feel free to call or text me at 952-334-0919 if there is any interest in meeting up! Thanks, Tony
Dan, Nice writeup on the 3 year old sprinters--and Dr. Fager as well (last thread). The 3 year old sprint division has indeed added a few stars, while the classic division loses a couple (Munnings, Musket Man), although MM is certainly pointing to this winter at TBD to run again. Munnings will be missed... Slew, I am with you (and the others such as Jim Tulley, Buff Joe, etc.) about Frankel. Hope he gets through this illness ok. I also agree about McNair. Here in Jacksonville, FL there were mixed feelings about him (and I am a Tampa Bay Bucs transplant anyhow). Everyone acknowledges he was a great competitor and he came yards short in the Super Bowl against the Rams. The girl (and a 20 year old is a girl) that he was fooling around with was from Jacksonville. He allegedly promised to leave his wife. That is the oldest line in the book, which explains why older men choose very young women (among other things). Tragic, sad, yet according to police, not that unusual in those type of love triangles. I digress. In any event, Mathieu summed up the sprinters nicely but I am not sure exactly who the best 3 year old sprinter is. "Idiot Proof'd" is a great adverb posing as a noun, too. That being said, can't help but think Big Drama is the wildcard in both the sprint and classic divisions. As I have said before, he is a miler by form, but he may be a real threat in the Haskell, especially on that track with no Musket Man coming late. BD also could loom large in the Kings Bishop should they choose that route. He is undefeated at 7 panels, and unofficially broke the track record at GP in the Swale and blew away a moderate field at Charles Town and was a tick or two off the track record there for 7 panels. His Preakness was a toss. BD also holds the stakes record time for the Delta Jackpot (a 3 turn 8.5f race). I think Munnings has been very impressive but I do not know if that one could catch BD at 7 furlongs. BD has already shown stamina well beyond that of Munnings in winning twice at routes, and has set records at 7 furlongs. The race Munnings beat This One's For Phil saw Phil get a terrible ride (he is a close up stalker, not a closer). Munnings has an explosive turn of foot, while Phil simply wears you down. One thing is for sure, Munnings is for real, and the Ellis and Baffert charges look good as well. There is always You Lucky Mann down in S. Florida...at 6f and under he is a track burner. But BD could have alot to say about either division, although I know he will never run in the Cassic in Calif. They are pointing for the dirt mile or BC Sprint. BTW, regarding Musket Man, Ryan said he could probably have him ready to prep once and run in the BC Classic if it was on dirt. Ryan said he is no fan of synthetic tracks, and will instead wait and run MM in the late fall-early winter at TBD. So, add Derek Ryan to the list of trainers he do not like artificial surfaces, and know that had the BC been run somewhere else we might see MM and a couple of others (like Rachel Alex.) running in the dirt mile or Classic.
Mike; I swear to you that I am not overly-sensitive to those who “polycrap away” as Uncle Steve calls it, but I do have to ask these questions of you. Indulge me if you will: Why is it that you use a term such as “lint” when describing the Hollywood Park surface? Is it that you don’t know what the surface is comprised of? Is it that you don’t understand the materials that comprise it? Is it that you cannot make money handicapping races on this surface? Is your question really just a not-so-cleverly disguised jab at Southern California racing, or synthetic surfaces in general? Please, elucidate me, because I have never been able to fully comprehend the thought processes of individuals that refer to a synthetic racing surface as lint, plastic, rubber, trash, etc.. You may be the perfect specimen to explain this to us all. I eagerly await your response
Self #1: Hey guys, did you see that today’s DRF Race of the Day is from Indiana Downs? Self #2: Yes, but remember, we are trying to preserve our bankroll so we can play Arlington Park this week – there is a contest on Saturday we really want to play. Self #1: Yeah, yeah, you are always such a tight wad. But listen, it’s Dan, Mike Beer, a quality turf race … and it’s at Indiana Downs. You know, we live in Indiana. How can we call ourselves true Indiana horseplayers if we pass on this one? Self #2: Preserve the bankroll. Remember that dumb bet you made us make on that money burner Humane on Sunday. Self #1: It wasn’t my fault that one horse blew the turn and forced him out wide. And anyway, Indiana Downs has $0.50 trifectas. Self #2: $0.50 trifectas! Where are the PPs? Who does long shot Dan like? Important Note: Take the thoughts posted below with a grain of salt as they are coming from a horseplayer who just had a conversation with himself and did in fact bet on Humane again on Sunday. Indiana Downs #5 (1 Mile Turf, 3 yo., Stakes – Oliver $200K) #1 GALLOPING GULCH – 1st turf and Zayat owned; not sure what to make, but he is part of an entry so it may not matter #2 SOUTHERN ANTHEM – Still suffering from bad memories from his win on Friday (he just nosed out my Mr. Mischief); if he does not scratch, I think I will have to pull all my bets and just play him across the board (especially if he stays anywhere close to 10-1) #3 MUSIC CITY – 1st turf, local horse, tempting inside speed, my guess is he tries to post a first quarter in :23 and change and hopes the others leave him loose on the lead #4 NO INFLATION – 5-5 ITM on the turf, but with only one turf win I think I have got to try to beat him for the win spot #5 HERE COMES BEN – 1st turf, 1st around two turns, and 1st against winners; but, he might be too good and too well breed for turf to let go off at a M/L of 12-1; he also seems capable of handling fast fractions upfront #6 QUITE A HANDFUL – Good breeding, but I think he has to improve off his lifetime best to earn a repeat win #1A UNION STRIKE – Do not tell Stephen Taylor about this Smart Strike colt or he will knock his odds way down; must overcome the layoff, but he competed with the favorite in his debut and I have got to believe he is going to show improvement in his 3 yo debut; has been prepped on quality works; agree with Mike that this one might be the upsetter #7 JACK SPRATT – Gets class relief, but another who must improve in order to win #8 DRIVING SNOW – In a similar spot as the #1A, his works seem to indicate to me that he needs one; my guess is the connections were hoping this field came up a little lighter so they could steal a listed stakes first back #9 TURFISTE – My guess is that from the outside he has to work too hard to match the fractions that will be set by the #3 and will not have enough left to stay in contention when they turn for home #10 GOOD SERMON – I initially overlooked this guy, but gave him a second glance when I saw Dan sneak him in late on his wrap up of the ROTD video; this guy is going to make sure the winner earns this win; still concerned about the outside post #11 APPALACHIAN TRAIL – Have been unable to find a video replay of his August 9, 2008 race at a mile on the turf; I am not sure what that means for his chances; not sure why he “lacked late response” in his last, but agree with Dan that he has a shot to blow up the exotics; he has a good effort at a mile on the turf and has experience breaking from way outside Selections: #1/#1A – Upsets the legit favorite #4 – Always shows up, but someone always beats him #5 – Too good to leave out at 12/1 Also considering #10 (in good form with Court in the irons) as a contender, and possibly #3 (as a loose leader) and #11 (worth the chance at his odds) as bombs in the exotics. Self #2 still has a tight hold on the bankroll so I have not yet figured out how much I am actually going to spend on the race. Good luck to all. Midwest Ed
C: Prior to the Tomlinson numbers being published in the DRF he published out a book, Mudders and Turfers, that contained his numbers. Then came distance numbers and all the rest. I, for one, felt his mud numbers were quite useful, and there were many days when good scores were made using them. Not as gospel, mind you (it's not like I blindly bet the highest mud number whenever it rained) but as a tool, especially where the particular horse had no mud background, such as in maiden races with many firsters. The turf numbers were not as helpful, and nowadays I don't get the turf numbers as compared to the turf distance numbers. There is often such a wide disparity between the two that they do not make sense. I still pay attention to the mud numbers but not much else.
Wow, a 200K Turf Stakes at Indiana Downs on a Tuesday evening! And preceded by the 3rd Race $70K A. J. Foyt stakes on the lawn too! Guess we know where the purse money can be found now, boys and girls. But more on this later. Some very interesting workouts this weekend. Mott had Hold Me Back on the track for a 7 Furlong drill: but it was on the Inner Turf course at Belmont, signaling a long suspected change of surfaces coming for this 3 yo in his next outing? Similarly, Jerry Hollendorfer sent out Chocolate Candy on the lawn at Hollywood for a 4 panel drill in :49&4/5ths. And also Sunday, Pletcher had Take The Points breezing five panels at Belmont in 1:01 and change Sunday, but it was back on dirt after his fade job in the Colonial Cup in first turf try. Where will we see this one next? Notably, Summer Bird has been seen walking thru his last two 5 furlong drills: he's yet to clock in under 1:04 for Tim Ice in his latest two breezes. Is the bloom off the rose here?
James Mc – You are, of course, free to think what you like. But that was not a “great” performance. It was a very unusual performance, to be sure, but beating a horse like Lauro by a relatively small and diminishing margin under advantageous conditions can never be considered great. Just so there is no misunderstanding, I admire PP as a racehorse. He's a very nice gelding, at the peak of his powers as a 6yo, and obviously very game. But let's be clear about what he did on Saturday: he beat a Grade II quality field under conditions that favored him tremendously. I can't see why so much is being made of the fractions and final time, given how hard the course was on the day. There were two 1x allowance races run, one of which was won in 1:41 2/5 (just one second above the course record) and the other in 1:33 3/5 (ditto). Then there was a $25k claimer run in 1:34 4/5. How many 11f. stakes races have been run on that course unders such hard and fast conditions? None, to my knowledge, as only four have been run over the new course by male (stakes) horses in total. PP is a horse which, like Kiri's Clown, Balto Star, Turk Passer, etc. before him, enjoys a major tactical advantage under American racing conditions when allowed to control the pace. I understand that he is unusual in that he races very freely, yet is able to still hold on in some cases, but it is still an advantage, and particularly on hard courses. It's not just that his performance isn't in any way comparable to historically great performances, it's also that he hasn't even proven himself capable of beating true Grade I performers. If you were not comparing PP to Cigar, then how, exactly, does the analogy stand? How does one create an analogy without the two being comparable? PP had never previously done anything that any serious observer would have considered “great”, so why, exactly, does this performance fall into that category? Fast time? Given the course condition and other times on the day, no. Beating good horses? No. There simply is no aspect of the performance that one could point to as being great. Tinky
If the Breeders Cup takes money away from the Classic purse, instead of getting rid of the Turf Sprint, Juvenile fillies Turf, Marathon, or Dirt Mile I'll be pissed. The BC has too many races, and now they are going to take money away from the BC races that actually belong. These races need to go. The Dirt Mile takes away from the Classic field nad the other 3 I mentioned just don't get BC worthy horses. What are they doing?