05/18/2009 3:10PM

Weekend recap


They ran a filly against males in the Preakness, but Rachel Alexandra is no ordinary tomboy.  She's an Amazon, a woman among boys, and her courageous victory in Saturday's second jewel of racing's Triple Crown highlighted all of her many attributes.  We can celebrate her excellent early speed, her acceleration, her staying power, and her professionalism.  Good horses utilize one or two of those qualities to win races.  The very good to excellent runners have them all at their disposal.  Rachel Alexandra proved that she was very good to excellent in the Preakness, and her performance has racing fans craving more.
Mine That Bird may have earned more respect for his game runner-up effort than he did when upsetting the Derby.  The little gelding proved he's more than a one-hit wonder.  Hopefully, he'll retain his sharp form, and will show up with another good performance in the Belmont Stakes.  Some may criticize Mike Smith's ride, but deep closers are always at the mercy of race and pace luck.  Sometimes the trip works out as it did for Mine That Bird in the Derby.  Often, it does not.  I doubt that Calvin Borel would have had an easier time if he rode Mine That Bird in Baltimore.  Smith won't get a chance to win the Belmont should Mine That Bird start in the "Test of the Champion."  Jay Privman is reporting that Smith will honor his commitment to Madeo in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Stakes at Hollywood Park that afternoon.  If Rachel Alexandra skips the Belmont, it's certainly possible that Calvin Borel would regain the mount on his Derby winner.
Musket Man may never hold the star power that the top two finishers possess, but his courage cannot be denied.  He tried his heart out all the way to the wire, and it's a shame that his good effort is overshadowed by those of Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird.  If trainer Derek Ryan keeps managing Musket Man correctly, the solid colt will find plenty of winning spots.
I wrote the following about Big Drama in Friday's blog:

"I must admit that I'm concerned about the equipment change.  I guess trainer David Fawkes doesn't adhere to the adage that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  If Big Drama doesn't relax without his usual eyewear, Fawkes' decision to change gears before the biggest race of his life could be Buckner-esque."

Big Drama probably wouldn't have won the Preakness if he did wear blinkers, but he certainly didn't look happy without them, and Fawkes' decision to change before the race has to be scrutinized.  Fans of Big Drama pretty much tore up their tickets as soon as the Florida-based colt walked out onto the track.  It appeared that Big Drama was wearing a "stop patch" on the back of his left hind hoof, possibly as a result of being cast in his stall the morning of the race.  Then, he washed out badly around his neck during the post parade.  To top it all off, he reared up in the starting gate, unseating jockey John Velazquez, and delaying the break.  One has to wonder if Big Drama, a colt not used to racedays without blinkers, freaked out upon seeing the huge crowd at Pimlico.

The likeable Larry Jones has been above criticism from the racing media for the last year, but his decision to run Friesan Fire in the Preakness should be discussed.

"He got hit real bad leaving the gate," Jones was quoted as saying after the Derby. "He's bleeding. If you see blood on the track, it's his."

Originally, Jones was planning on skipping the Preakness with his injured Derby favorite, but he changed course, and ran the tactical Friesan Fire when the hoof responded to treatment.  Perhaps Friesan Fire's wins in New Orleans this spring were mirages, but one has to wonder if his foot was bothering him on Saturday, and his participation in the Preakness will adversely affect the rest of his season.


Here are the winning Beyer Speed Figures for last week's stakes races:

*Blackberry Preakness (Pim):  Rachel Alexandra (S. Asmussen/C. Borel) - 108
*Fall Aspen (Bel):  Light Green (T. Pletcher/J. Velazquez) - 107
*Hirsch Jacobs (Pim):  Everyday Heroes (T. Ritchey/J. Caraballo) - 106
*Jim McKay Turf Sprint (Pim):  Mr. Nightlinger (W. Calhoun/H. Theriot II) - 102
*William Donald Schaefer (Pim):  No Advantage (S. Beattie/J. Acosta) - 100

*Matt Winn (CD):  Capt. Candyman Can (I. Wilkes/J. Castellano) - 99
*Gallant Man (Hol):  Kizzy's Chaos (V. Cerin/M. Garcia) - 99
*Los Angeles (Hol):  Red Arrow - Aus (J. Sadler/J. Talamo) - 99
*Maryland Sprint (Pim):  Ravalo (D. Barr/J. Velazquez) - 98
*Lawndale (Hol):  Reba Is Tops (M. Glatt/J. Talamo) - 98
*Dixie (Pim):  Parading (C. McGaughey III/K. Desormeaux) - 97
*Mount Vernon (Bel):  I Lost My Choo (P. Serpe/J. Lezcano) - 95
*Shuvee (Bel):  Seattle Smooth (A. Dutrow/R. Dominguez) - 95
*Black-Eyed Susan (Pim):  Payton d'Oro (J. Jones/T. Thompson) - 94
*The Very One (Pim):  Smart and Fancy (A. Dutrow/R. Dominguez) - 94
*Deceit (Bel):  Yes She's a Lady (T. Pletcher/J. Velazquez) - 94
*Gallorette (Pim):  Social Queen (A. Goldberg/R. Bejarano) - 93
*Honeymoon (LaD):  Tensas Yucatan (M. Nicks/P. Valenzuela) - 92
*Express (LS):  Gold Coyote (W. Calhoun/B. Walker Jr.) - 91
*Reluctant Guest (AP):  Mizzcan'tbewrong (R. Scherer/E. Razo Jr.) - 91
*Woodlawn (Pim):  Affirmatif (T. Pletcher/J. Velazquez) - 90
*Big Bubble (Crc):  Mambo Meister (P. Gleaves/M. Cruz) - 90
*Lure (Bel):  Our Friend Harvey (T. Hills/R. Dominguez) - 90

*Hastings Park (EmD):  Clair Annette (C. Bouslaugh/J. Crispin) - 87
*La Lorgnette (WO):  Hooh Why (K. Hoffman/E. Ramsammy) - 87
*Skipat (Pim):  All Giving (F. Stites/J. Joyce) - 86
*Lord Juban (Crc):  Grand Cash (D. Vivian/M. Cruz) - 86
*John Wayne (PrM):  Maya's Storm (K. Von Hemel/I. Ocampo) - 86
*Just Smashing (Mth):  On the Menu (J. Jones/E. Castro) - 86
*Free Spirit's Joy (LaD):  Silent Pipe (S. Ducoing/F. Torres)- 86
*Allaire DuPont Distaff (Pim):  Skylighter (R. Frankel/J. Leparoux) - 86
*Girls, Incorporated of Shelbyville, Shelby County (Ind):  Taletobetold (E. Kenneally/T. Houghton) - 85
*Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness (Pim):  Heart Ashley (S. Asmussen/G. Gomez) - 84
*Hancock County (Mnr):  La Chica Rica (C. Pickett/D. Parker) - 84
*John Franks Memorial (LaD):  Nowandforevermore (K. Bourgeois/G. Melancon) - 84
*Fantasia (LaD):  Lightlightlight (S. Asmussen/F. Torres) - 83
*Shy Native (CT):  Irvs Pick (C. Grove/J. Acosta) - 82
*Marine (WO):  Awesome Rhythm (J. Ross/J. McAleney) - 81
*Hilltop (Pim):  Blind Date (H. Smith/J. Rose) - 80

*Regal Gal (Crc):  Garter Belt (S. Gold/J. Bridgmohan) - 75
*10,000 Lakes (Cby):  Sir Tricky (M. Robertson/D. Bell) - 71

*Lady Slipper (Cby):  Bella Notte (M. Robertson/D. Bell) - 69
*Mamie Eisenhower (PrM):  Irish Party (K. Von Hemel/I. Ocampo) - 67
*Speed (Lnn):  Sir Magic Man (J. Wise/J. Ranilla) - 65

*Tomboy (RD):  Slides Choice (T. Hamm/C. Camaque) - 53

Here are the lifetime past performances of the highest and lowest Beyer stakes performers of the week:

Download RachelSlides


I see there a trainer in the Susan named Juan Arias,is he the trainer who trained Canonero? 

This is a different Juan Arias.


HELP  Can anyone tell me what happened to the fickle Don't Forget Gil in the Black-Eyed Susan? I keyed her in all my bets and she left the screen midway in the race. AS usual, the DRF chart offers no clue.
Would like to se replay if anyone can direct me to one.
ray flack

From David Grening's recap of the Black-Eyed Susan:

The biggest disappointment in the Black-Eyed Susan was Don't Forget Gil, who finished last as the 3-1 third choice.
Trainer Mark Hennig said that jockey Rajiv Maragh told him Don't Forget Gil felt like she wanted to pull herself up turning down the backside.
"I see a little mucus coming out of her nose," Hennig said. "So maybe she's coming down with something. That certainly wasn't her; she always shows up."


Whats going on here???
I coulda SWORN Pyro was retired to stud!!! But I get this this morning:
(had not yet removed him)

There was never an official announcement concerning Pyro and retirement.  He's been based at Keeneland, but I'm not sure he's still with Steve Asmussen.


Dan, can you post the Beyer figure for Inkado in the 5th race at Churchill on May 17?  The track seemed very slow and he ran six furlongs in 1:10:21 which was :70 faster than a $450K purchase of Zabeel ran later on the card and faster than older horses in lower level claimer races, so there aren't very good comparisions.  Thanks.

Inkado earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure for the maiden win at Churchill Downs.


Congrats to Crazyhorsemike for finishing first in the Preakness HandiGambling contest.  He gets to select the race for Wednesday.





moveitnow More than 1 year ago
$50 exacta 2/3-4
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
cigarvacation; I am not making this personal, rather, I believe that you made that mistake. I did not write: “Bloggers- Do us all a favor and keep letting the odds dictate your wagers. I LOVE PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING!!” Thos are your words, and all that I did in my post was wonder why you have enough time to post to the bloggers here about our blunders, but offer no substance in the logic of your failed-wagering ahead of time. I am not taking this too deep, as I am here to learn, and by the looks of your bold claims (after-the-fact), perhaps you can enlighten us ahead of time. That's all.
crazyhorsemike More than 1 year ago
turfruler its ok because i didn't understand what you was talking about and 2 ray flack about 5 sec. when they anounced rachal was going 2 run looked like a cold excata with good value too me because everybody thought mine that bird was a fluke
desertrailrat More than 1 year ago
Hello all, desertrailrat here and if I may I would love to smash the warm and fuzzy New Mexico story for good (being a KY bred living in NM for 27 years I think I get first run) Mike S. loves it here so much he hasn't visited in 27 years and even though our local newscasters gush about Mike and g gomez (gogo went to high school here) every year when the t crown rolls around, I consider Mike about as New Mexican as Chantal. When you live in a small city or state you expect a little love from a native son especially when the national media makes such a big deal of the connection. Mike spent 2 hours here at sunland to ride Kelly Leak and on top of that he flew into El Paso! Sorry but if you love your home state come visit for a weekend every 10 years or so and maybe you get to have rights but I get the feeling after listening to him talk to our local sports radio DJs last week if I asked him the official state question here RED or GREEN ( color of chile you like on your food ) mikey would say ASADA cali style. Thanks Dan love ya on Blinkers off, and oh boy were Matt Carothers panties in a bunch Preak. Day. Perhaps you should share some new angles with him other than (in raspy voice) "Lone Speed". And in closing Chip Woolley is a real NM cowboy and we are all very, very proud of him. Great job all posters on here, much love to yall from sunny New Mexico.
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Stephen, I don't know what goes into the Brisnet Prime Power numbers but I'd have to guess that they are a multi-variable figure that is attempting to be some type of performance figure. If that is the case, then they should perform better than the Beyers in merely a blind picking of horses based upon the figures... The problem that I have with Beyers is that they've gotten away from the concept of final time only and are trying to create something closer to the figure maker's opinion of what the horses are capable of running... In effect, something closer to a performance figure which is a problem for me as I don't want somebody else's handicapping opinion built into what is supposed to be a speed figure....
Charismatic More than 1 year ago
All Interesting article on Larry Jones in the May 4th? issue of the New Yorker. Will try and post a link tomorrow. From this article my father no longer likes Lary Jones and in fact blames him for ruining Old Fashioned who could have been a dominat miler. Jones is portrayed as the great guy that all of us think him to be and as the quirky horsemn with the small stable so he can be hands on. One of his comments leads me to the conclusion that he knew OF could not go 9F. He says parphrasing her that for the AR Derby OF needs to suck it up and get tougher. Additionally, if FF was his best derby horse this year, why was Cindy training FF in LA ? Point being FF was the back-up or 2nd string and OF was being ruined by a "horseman" who I would expect to know better.
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
DRS; As far as I am concerned, you are wrong in this instance in that I don't care what or how people bet. I never have. Check the records. In fact, I applaud and appreciate the many great and varied ways in which folks post and explain their wagers. My point, that you failed to understand, was that the individual in question posted what I perceived as a "taunt" to the bloggers here, and I could find no substance whatsoever in regards to the poster's most recently published wager for the race in question...the Preakness. No substance was offered. Maybe you know the substance of it via another source, so if that is the case, please state it thusly. Go back and read the poster's comments if you must, but I perceived it as a taunt to the bloggers here. I find that tacky regardless of the poster's published track record.
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Isn't it obvious that Mine That Bird improved the way he did because they discovered his ideal running style?? I don't see any basis to think that the figures from Sunland are wrong... For what it's worth, when I see something that doesn't make sense to me, I start by assuming that it's me that doesn't understand and that what I'm trying to understand is correct and then I try to solve backwards to find understanding... In this case, I'd assume the Sunland figures are correct, I'd assume the Derby and Preakness figures are correct and then I'd try to understand why the substantial improvement occurred... And then, Eureka!!! The running style change!!
cigarvacation More than 1 year ago
Cayman01- In my post to pensign at 10:18 I stated what my opinion on the preakness was. I wheeled MM in the tri 2nd and 3rd with no RA at all. Just my opinion that she wins or was no where. In that post I also stated I threw the 1,4,5,10, and 12, from 2nd and 3rd in my super. The tri cost me $220 to wheel MM 2nd and 3rd. The super cost me $120 total. 13/2,6,7,8,9,11/3/all and vice versa. I wagered a total of $340 but if RA doesn't hit the board and MM runs 2nd or 3rd than my tri would have undoubtedly paid decently enough to make a profit. On the other hand if RA doesn't win but runs 2nd or 3rd I lose. My post was not on how I bet the race. Sure, I would have liked to hit the repeat button on the super but I knew the deal going in. DRS Has such a more eloquent way of describing what it was I was trying to convey. He gets it. C- You rarely find a race so cut and dry? Rarely is a strong word. If you pick your spots and have an opinion, and stay with that opinion you may find races that are more appealing to you. I never said anything was a lock! I agree there are no locks in this game. I just had a strong opinion of this race. It doesn't happen all the time but I much more enjoy betting TC, BC, graded events. etc. They just seem to be more formful races for me to wager on and have a stronger opinion.
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Here are the results-both the prime power and best last 3 beyer had one winner on saturday but 3 races the same horse was top (one of those was a winner-didn't count him) One race there were 2 horses tied for beyer-one finished ahead and the other behind the prime. Outside of those 4 races THE PRIME HORSE came out ahead of the "beyers horse" in 6 out of 8 races (and as someone who uses both when he handicaps, my gut feeling is that isn't unusual) Of course these numbers are only one of many things I use when handicapping, but I hate to say it because there are lots of things I like about DRF (LOVE the formulator) but the Beyers numbers are becoming unuseable almost to the point of being misleading.