08/16/2008 12:03PM

Weekend Picks: Questions


It will probably be a long time before I find a horse I like to win as much as I did Dr. Pleasure yesterday at Saratoga. Caught the weakest field of his career and thanks to a severely overbet Discreet Treasure, got 8.20 to win. Got me back my Archipenko money.
Saw a possible turf monster unveiled in 7th at Delmar yesterday in Prince Rexy. Man, that horse is built like a tank. I don't think I have ever seen such a powerfully built horse. He had the thickest legs I have ever seen and hooves the size of sewer covers. Did everything the right way too. Watch out for this beast. I see a Breeders race in his future. Anyone know his Beyer?
Jim Tully

The Dr. Pleasure scenario is a case of one of the great "bet-against" scenarios in the game.  Big-fig, big-hype maiden graduates like Discreet Treasure are often horribly-overbet despite the fact they're facing winners for the first time while usually doing something (distance, pace setup) they've never been asked to do.  While I do prefer concentrating on maiden races for my plays, I will usually scan the 'n1x' or 'n2L' allowance races looking for these "bet-against" types.  I can't tell you how many times the public falls for the big maiden number while failing to consider the hike in pace pressure and quality of competition.  At short prices, they are terrible bets.  Usually the exception to this rule is in juvenile stakes races where most of the horses are coming out of maiden scores.  I can understand taking a shot with a price horse stepping up off the win, but favorites have a notroiously low win percentage and ROI in this situation.
Australian invader Prince Rexy earned an 89 Beyer for his impressive turf victory at Del Mar on August 10.


Has anyone heard anything about the return of Pepper's Pride?  Her last scheduled race was rained out.  The Albuquerque meet opens on Saturday with the biggest day scheduled for Sunday.  The condition book lists several stakes scheduled in addition to the Lineage, maybe she can find a spot to run. 

It looks like she'll run in the Lincoln Handicap at Ruidoso.



Do you have any idea what happened to Magnificent Honour (A.P. Indy x Better Than Honour) - yep, she is Rags to Riches unraced full sister. Don't see any babies, is she barren?
Dan, Ray and Travers,

You got to spend time at both tracks, was there anything more difficult on one track versus the other? Did you feel confident handicapping at both tracks?
If your main goal is to make money, look at the facts and forget the synthetic hysteria.
Steve T

Magnificent Honour has a yearling filly by Elusive Quality, a weanling colt by Giant's Causeway, and was bred to Ghostzapper this season.

I have to admit that when I handicapped Del Mar and Keeneland in 2007, I was completely confused by the results and, instead of blaming my poor handicapping, came to the obvious conclusion that it was the synthetic surface. 
I think Del Mar has been fair for the most part this year, and I have been very comfortable handicapping the Cushion at both Hollywood and Santa Anita.  I think the best horse wins the majority of the time regardless of the surface.


Dan, or anyone hanging around the Spa, I am really interested in Elusive Heat (Elusive Quality). This filly's dam is Xtra Heat, could be special. I have her on my watch list, but no published workouts. I think she is in K. Mclaughlin's barn?
johnny z

I think she's almost to make her debut for McLaughlin.  She does have some published workouts on her page.

Download elusive_heat.pdf


When you have a chance, can you comment on the implications, as it pertains to running style, when the turf rail is placed out various distances. Does one running style have an advantage when this happens?
Mike Romeo

I've always felt that speed horses move up as the rails move out.  Closers that have to rally wide generally are at a slight disadvantage when the rails are really out.  They have a lot of work to do especially if the turns on said turf course are tight.


Can you see if there are any works for Mama Rosa (Unusual Heat x Penpont)? When I enter her name in workout search it comes back "next".
Steve T

No published works as of yet for Mama Rosa.


Could you give me Erdiston's beyer in the claiming crown.
Stephen Taylor

Erdiston received a career-high 92 Beyer Speed Figure.


...I hate to point this out but the number 3 ranked horse in the world is skipping the Travers. Why again?

Do you or anyone else know where Clearly Foxy is being pointed? I hoped the Delmar Oaks but she isn't nominated as of yet.


Big Brown has to be knocked out from that tough race in the Haskell.  Putting him right back into the fire off that grueling effort would not be in the best interests of the horse.
Clearly Foxy suffered an ankle injury, and is out for the year.  I'll put her on the Disabled List when I  get the chance (I'm way, way behind).


i seen on 8-5-08 a horse named
kal el ran 41/2 on the turf at mountaineer in 49.06 and set a track record.interested in knowing if this a world record as well?

The World Record for 4 1/2 Furlongs is held by One Hot Wish (48.87) at Keeneland on April 12, 2007.  Kal El may have broken the North American record for 4 1/2 Furlongs on Turf.


Hey Dan,
A horse I am part owner of is debuting Sunday at Saratoga in the 5th.  Her name is R Betty Graybull.  Can you take a look at her and tell me your thoughts?  I'm thinking she would be better off running longer than 5.5f, but her workouts of lately have been phenomenal (for a NYB filly..).  Here's one of her coming out of the gate in her final breeze on Aug 10 (
All, please let me know your thoughts...she is the filly on the inside, closer to the rail.

She certainly looked good in the video.  I haven't had a chance to look at the race yet.  The minute I finish today's blog, I'll dig into the "Spa Babies" races, and will try to post a more thorough analysis later.  Good luck with her tomorrow!


Excellent handicapping and analysis over the past week.  I'm sure it will continue.

Best of luck,