03/16/2009 5:20PM

Weekend recap, Beyers, etc.


Lots to talk about so let's get cracking.  I guess we're all still trying to figure out what happened to Old Fashioned in the Rebel. You can look at it two ways:


1.  He moved too soon into the teeth of a hot pace.

2.  Maybe he didn't like the wet track.

3.  He didn't see the other horse until it was too late.

4.  Shouldn't his overall body of work count more than one losing race?


1.  You're 2-5, you have multiple lengths on the field, and you can't hold off Win Willy???

I'm not sure where I stand right now.  After the race, I was extremely disappointed.  Who wouldn't be?  He had the race won, and the Kentucky Derby favorite should put on a show against those kind of horses, right?  Instead, he was under the bat in upper stretch, and was merely going up-and-down at the furlong marker. 
Did Dominguez move too soon?  I don't know about that.  He's on the best horse on paper, the trip is a carbon copy of the Southwest, and Silver City certainly isn't going to stay.  Why not break it open, and make them get you? 
Was the pace too fast?  Probably.  Look where the other two pace horses, Silver City and Hamazing Destiny, finished.  They were in another zipcode while Old Fashioned only got beat two and change. 
But what do you think the pace will look like in the Derby?  It's almost always fast.  If Old Fashioned can't finish in the Rebel, who's to say he can do it on the first Saturday in May going 1 1/4 miles?
I guess his overall record gives him the right to receive a mulligan.  He certainly shouldn't be tossed on the junkpile off one loss.  But the aura that surrounded this colt is disappearing like a thief in the night.  The Arkansas Derby is becoming a fascinating race.  Races for redemption are almost always fascinating. 
Let's hope Bret Calhoun finally realizes that Silver City is a sprinter.  I don't want another Indygo Mountain fiasco from this barn...For most trainers, the weekend that Larry Jones had would have been an unmitigated success.  Not only did Just Jenda score in the Honeybee, but Friesan Fire's romp in the Louisiana Derby may have been the performance of the weekend.  His tactical speed makes me think of Funny Cide, and Friesan Fire is usually going to find a good spot going into the first turn.  Is he a Fair Grounds freak? It's possible, but it's also possible that the A.P. Indy colt is finally putting it all together.  He was under a hand ride from Gabriel Saez while drawing away in upper stretch, and never was in danger of losing.  Doubtlessly, the connections of Patena, Giant Oak, Flying Pegasus, and others will point to the slop as a logical excuse, but while those horses pile up the alibis, Friesan Fire keeps on winning.  He's an extremely likeable horse...So, too, is Pioneerof the Nile, and his paltry 90 Beyer Speed Figure will probably raise the ire of SoCal fans.  Pioneerof the Nile is a consummate professional, and he responded to every one of his rider's commands in the San Felipe.  There was no pace on early, and Pioneerof the Nile willingly went up to track the leader on the backstretch.  They all took their shot at him when it counted, but he always beat them back.  While he still must prove that he can run on dirt, there's no denying his quality.  Congrats to our friends at Zayat Stables, not only for this win, but also for Heart Ashley's eye-opening performance in the Grade 3 Cicada at Aqueduct...I'm probably just being an old grouch, but I was kinda put off by Calvin Borel's unnecessary showboating aboard Rachel Alexandra as the duo approached the wire at the Fair Grounds Oaks.  I'm a big Rachel Alexandra fan, but the race amounted to no more than a public workout with Borel merely a passenger.  C'mon Calvin.  You weren't beating Ruffian.  You didn't win by ten, and the race wasn't even a Grade 1.  Don't show up the connections of the other horses by jumping out of the saddle...Last week, we congratulated King Leatherbury for a wonderful job in nursing Ah Day back into the winner's circle.  This time, kudos go to Bennie Stutts Jr., who never lost the faith with Smooth Air despite niggling problems that would have sidetracked a lesser animal and trainer.  His Gulfstream Park Handicap win should have Stutts looking for bigger and better.  Bribon continues to tease.  His allowance races are huge.  As for the majority of his stakes tries.  Feh...Life Is Sweet continues to roll along for John Shirreffs.  She's not a bad "two" of the "one-two" punch with Zenyatta...Handicappers were hailing Chris Decarlo as a genius after Duke of Homberg threw down a 25.65 first quarter mile while two in front of the Palm Beach field.  After running the second quarter in 23.31, and the third in 22.66, they had to wonder what was going on.  Casey's On Call, the expected pacesetter, missed the break.  Stormalory was stopped just a bit turning for home...As for the Tampa Bay Derby, the best thing one could say about Musket Man is that he won't quit on you.  He'll try all the way to the wire.  I think I'm going to wave the white flag with Hello Broadway...Pedigree fans were cashing at Gulfstream as Jersey Town (Speightstown - Jersey Girl) won first-out for Barclay Tagg at 10-1 odds. 


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

*Hula Chief (Haw):  Lissa's Star (R. Brueggemann/I. Karlsson) - 106

*Louisiana Derby (FG):  Friesan Fire (J. Jones/G. Saez) - 104
*Cicada (Aqu):  Heart Ashley (S. Asmussen/C. Lopez) - 104
*Gulfstream Park (GP):  Smooth Air (B. Stutts Jr./P. Lopez) - 104
*New Orleans (FG):  Macho Again (D. Stewart/R. Albarado) - 103
*Santa Margarita (SA):  Life Is Sweet (J. Shirreffs/G. Gomez) - 102
*Rebel (OP):  Win Willy (M. Robertson/M. Berry) - 102
*Inside Information (GP):  Game Face (T. Pletcher/J. Velazquez) - 101

*Mervyn Muniz Jr. Memorial (FG):  Proudinsky - GER (R. Frankel/V. Espinoza) - 99
*Duncan F. Kenner (FG):  Sok Sok (S. Asmussen/S. Bridgmohan) - 99
*Fair Grounds Oaks (FG):  Rachel Alexandra (H. Wiggins/C. Borel) - 97
*Turf Dash (Tam):  Castles in the Sky (J. Ness/D. Centeno) - 96
*Kim's Chance (Aqu):  Mor Chances (R. Dutrow Jr./R. Migliore) - 96
*Bill Thomas Memorial (Sun):  Wind Water (C. Hartman/K. Tohill) - 96
*Bienville (FG):  Coy Cat (P. McGee/R. Albarado) - 92
*Moscow Burning (SA):  Dawn After Dawn (J. Sadler/J. Rosario) - 92
*Hillsborough (Tam):  Backseat Rhythm (P. Reynolds/E. Coa) - 91
*Mesa (TuP):  Shesa Private I (B. Hone/J. Barton) - 91
*Florida Oaks (Tam):  Don't Forget Gil (M. Hennig/R. Maragh) - 90
*Palm Beach (GP):  El Crespo (G. Arnold II/J. Castellano) - 90
*Conniver (Lrl):  Fancy Diamond (C. Lynch/H. Vega) - 90
*Work the Crowd (GG):  Lady Railrider (S. Specht/R. Alvarado) - 90
*Tampa Bay Derby (Tam):  Musket Man (D. Ryan/D. Centeno) - 90
*San Felipe (SA):  Pioneerof the Nile (B. Baffert/G. Gomez) - 90

*Pasadena (SA):  Gallant Son (F. Lucarelli/A. Solis) - 89
*Honeybee (OP):  Just Jenda (J. Jones/G. Saez) - 89
*Herecomesthebride (GP):  Gozzip Girl (T. Albertrani/E. Trujillo) - 88
*Tempe (TuP):  Lesson in Deceit (R. Stevens/J. Barton) - 85
*Irish O'Brien (SA):  Christiana's Heat (S. Knapp/M. Baze) - 84
*Budweiser-Tondi (Fon): The Nutz (S. Hall/D. Leeds) - 83

*Bueno (TuP):  Beautiful Holiday (D. McFarlane/E. Garcia) - 75
*Scottsdale (TuP):  Woody's Bluff (D. Sowers/R. Eikleberry) - 70

*Bachman (Fon):  Turkey Hunter (J. Thomas/A. Martinez) - 68

*Oregon Oaks (PM) - Nikki S. (B. Root/D. Hoonan-Trujillo) - 54

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

Download Lissa's Nikki  


Congrats to Burt for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  He selected race nine at Laurel for Wednesday's race.  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 process about wagering, it would be appreciated.  Here are the past performances for Wednesday's race:

Download HandiGambling 125


Back next time with questions, comments, and more.

Take care,





Dale More than 1 year ago
I seriously have little or NO idea on the Euro races, but I need to bet something to start making up some ground. My DERBY DREAMING pick is MarkyG. 2 for 2 on this track and I always liked his daddy, Not much thought there, but that is it. Dale
Annie More than 1 year ago
Danny B, One more thing, you might try to temper your screams of victory. I did notice at Canterbury after the Louisiana Derby that several people were pointing and saying, "Look at that guy. He's totally delusional. Thinks he owns the horse." :) Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
Danny B, Well no one can talk trash with you at the moment. Lol Hmmm, I wonder if you may have made more money on the horse than you would have if the genie in the Magic Kleenex Box had not seen fit to bestow the horse upon you. I'm sure you looked at him just a bit closer. Lol Glad you had good luck with him! Annie
Midwest Ed More than 1 year ago
Kempton Challenge The horseracing fan in me is not sure what to think of the Kempton Challenge. Is the fact that it is being run on an artificial surface a good thing? A turf race might attract higher quality runners, but would a European trainer risk a quality turf horse in an American dirt race? Is there any possibility that the winner will have time to ship to America for a prep race, or will they be debuting on dirt in the Derby? Is anyone worried that one of the horses in this race who has run and won at 130 pounds or more will come over here and totally destroy the American horses who have been running at under 125 pounds? Do they really run clock-wise (right-handed) across the pond? Are they running this race under the lights? What time will it be a Kempton when it is 2:50 PM in the Eastern Time zone? But most of all, is Katieattherail actually expecting What Katie Did to run in Race #1 at Kempton and then come back for the Kempton Chellenge two races later, and win no less? (I initially made the same mistake myself, be sure to scroll down to Race #3 in the PPs.) Meanwhile, the horseplayer in me says, quit all your high-brow thinking and just pick a winner, we need to make some money. Although I probably am just wasting my money because I do not know a thing about these horses or European racing, here is my 2 cents worth: I am going to take a couple of huge leaps here and assume the following – 1) assigned weights are important – if a horse raced and won at 130 pounds or more, they likely are contenders; 2) a race in 2009 is also important – horses who have not raced yet this year are not as well intended for this race as horses who have (that would mean they might be coming into the Kentucky Derby off of one race – two lifetime races total in the case of Close Alliance and Haashed – now that would just totally screw me up if it happened and they won) ; and 3) handicapping principles still apply across the pond, thus experience on the surface and at the track are important. Thus, I like: #2 Akhenaten – does not have a 130 lbs. plus race, but has a win at the distance and on an artificial surface # 8 Markyg – qualifies on all three “assumptions” and his daddy won the Kentucky Derby # 9 Mastery – he does not fit on any of the “assumptions” (hey, I am allowed at least one exception), but I cannot seem to toss him #12 Spring of Fame – has the feel of a artificial surface specialist and qualifies on all three “assumptions” I will play: $1 EX – 8, 12 / 2, 8, 9, 12 $1 EX – 9 / 2, 8, 12 Good luck to everyone today. Midwest Ed
Peter Vescovo More than 1 year ago
Dan, My bad. No .10 sf. so instead of my $.40 sf here's one for a dollar 7-8/7-8-10/3-7-8-10/1-3-7-8-10 should be $16. Keep the change.
Danny B. More than 1 year ago
I've waited awhile to try and give Tencentcielo some advice in regards to his issue. I think everyone here at Formblog has laid out sympathetic and critical analysis of his situation. I hope that he's been able to take it to heart. My simple advice between handicapping and wagering is this: Until you can look back at a losing race and say "Why should have I done xyz" instead of "Why Didn't I do xyz?", you should stick to handicapping and not be putting your money thru the windows. It takes maturity and a comfortable financial situation to move from the former to later. Tencent, you clearly have demonstrated you have the ability to analyze a race and find the likely winner. However, you've also shown that you still need to gain the maturity (as well as the financial support) to accept your losses and bad beats. Until you get to a point in life where you can feel comfortable with the second point, it's best to handicap and play with mythical money. There's no disgrace in playing with mythical money. Just take a look at the people winning the World Series of Poker who earn their experience that way. It's my hope you don't walk away from Horse Racing Tencentcielo because you clearly have a gift for analysis in this game. It's my hope you continue to work and nurture that gift until a point where you are mentally and financially strong enough to put those gifts to work. I wish you nothing but the best and from another younger handicapper (33 years old in my case, that's still young isn't it?????? Please. Somebody tell me I'm still young. Help me out) I'd be happy to chat. dan.bredahl@gmail.com if you ever want to talk my man..... or gal. Guess that never was determined for sure.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Here's Steve Haskins Derby Dozen after last weekend's races: 1. Teri's I WANT REVENGE 2. Justin's PIONEER OF THE NILE 3. Danny B's FRIESAN FIRE 4. The last Dubai Wonder left 5. Turnbackthealarm's THE PAMPLEMOUSSE 6. Molesap's OLD FASHIONED 7. Vicstu's QUALITY ROAD 8. Blue Horseshoe's DUNKIRK 9. P Ensign's IMPERIAL COUNCIL 10. Theregoesjojo 11. Annie's CHOCOLATE CANDY :) 12. Hairy's TAKE THE POINTS Annie
C. Kirin More than 1 year ago
HG 125 1A: Big beyer last, may regress to previous numbers and gets pace pressure from #7. 3: Backclass, should be just off legit pace. 7: Speed has been fading, but 7f pace should be a bit softer. Hoping to hold on for a piece. 8: Holds Beyer edge except for 74 by 1A last. Likes Laurel and distance, and has good trainer. Has the most to like of all entrants. 9: Longshot hope to clunk up for a piece. 10: Also looks like one to use underneath. BET: $5 TRI KEY 8/1-3-7-9-10 = $100
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Value. Nice word. I hate it, but what does it mean? According to Webster, it is primarily defined as; 1: a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged. Ask a handicapper, and you will have a wide array of responses for this definition. I try hard not to worry about the so-called “value” of an entrant in a race. And by that I mean to say that there is no value in a losing entrant. None. Yes, I have often said that there is little shame in watching your 38/1 horse run a close 2nd, but the fact is, value lies only in a cashed ticket. And sometimes that value is lessened in exotic wagers, and sometimes that horse you bet 5 minutes to post at 7/2 actually wins at 8/5, and you question the value? To that point I say hogwash. I have been making my own odds-line for years, and to a degree I do believe in this practice, but understand that there is always inherent value in a winner. Always. The only value in a loser is….Hmmm…let me think about that… We may argue about the price, and wish that the payoffs were better, but ultimately, it must be said that there is no value in a losing wager; yet there must be inherent value in a winning wager. The degree of value becomes academic after the payoffs are announced, but I will always entertain discussion as to whether or not a certain entrant, or combination, should (or could) have paid more, but again, that exercise is purely academic. Handicappers ultimately worry about prices. Horseplayers are more focused on cashing tickets. Where the rubber-meets-the-road ultimately lies on your individual Return On Investment (ROI). To my way of thinking, that is the only credible measure, and only in this evaluation can actual, or real value be determined. Too many handicappers have missed out on large profits because their 6/1 overlay wins for fun at 7/2, and too many handicappers encounter financial difficulties because their 8/5 lock finishes up-the-track. Finding this middle ground is critical, but it must be employed in concert with the requisite discipline. That’s all. Really nothing more, unless I missing something? Tough game, no?
bigelyse More than 1 year ago
handigambling I hate these races but since i get 100 in play money i will bet 4$ super box 1/7/8/10 4$ ex 7-10 I like the seven because the third of the layoff and his win at 7f but not enough to key him for any real money