03/02/2009 3:55PM

Weekend recap, Beyers, questions, etc.


We've been fortunate enough to see some wonderful performances over the last few weeks.  Even though he isn't nominated to the race just yet, Quality Road is going to skyrocket to the top of Kentucky Derby lists after his eye-catching performance in the Fountain of Youth.  Perhaps the biggest surprise of the afternoon came at the start when the speedy Notonthesamepage showed no interest in going to the front.  Despite a pokey first quarter-mile run down the straight backstretch, Notonthesamepage ended up in midpack while This Ones for Phil cleared from his outside post to emerge as the unlikely pacesetter.  If you believe the fractional times, the leaders sped through their second-quarter in 21.72 with Quality Road perched just off This Ones for Phil's hip.  Despite the enervating middle split, Quality Road drew away from This Ones for Phil, opened up on the field, and had plenty left in holding off late-runners Theregoesjojo and Beethoven.  The Beyer came back huge, and Quality Road backed it up from a visual standpoint.  How good is he?  Let's not anoint him the Derby winner until we've seen him go two turns, but he is a very promising prospect.  Theregoesjojo is lightly-raced, and you can envision better from him in the coming weeks.  Beethoven looks like the kind of horse that would benefit from the usual frenzied pace that races like the Derby provides...In Southern California, The Pamplemousse delivered, and you have to think that Julio Canani hasn't squeezed The Grapefruit dry just yet.  True, there wasn't much in the Sham, and The Pamplemousse was the only speed, but he won in professional fashion.  An intriguing matchup of contrasting styles with Pioneerof the Nile looms on the horizon.  Mr. Hot Stuff made up some ground late, galloped out nicely, and seems on the improve...I know it was a couple of weeks ago, but I still can't get over Presious Passion's gutwrenching performance in the Mac Diarmida.  Sent on a kamikaze speed mission by Elvis Trujillo, Presious Passion set ridiculously fast fractions in the 11-furlong marathon, yet dug down gamely in the stretch to fight off any and all challengers.  If we haven't figured it out yet, he's a very good horse, and deserves more press.  


Let's take a look at the winning Beyer Speed Figures for the last two weeks of stakes action:

*Fountain of Youth (GP):  Quality Road (J. Jerkens/J. Velazquez) - 113

*Sabin (GP):  One Caroline (G. Arnold II/E. Prado) - 103
*Sham (SA):  The Pamplemousse (J. Canani/A. Solis) - 103
*Hollie Hughes (Aqu):  Mor Chances (R. Dutrow Jr./R. Migliore) - 102
*The Very One (GP):  Criticism - GB (T. Albertrani/E. Prado) - 101
*Mac Diarmida (GP):  Presious Passion (E. Trujillo/M. Hartmann) - 101
*Stymie (Aqu):  Barrier Reef (T. Albertrani/R. Dominguez) - 100
*San Luis Obsipo (SA):  Spring House (J. Canani/A. Solis) - 100

*San Carlos (SA):  Georgie Boy (K. Walsh/G. Gomez) - 99
*Crystal Water (SA):  Medzendeekron (B. Abrams/G. Gomez) - 99
*Canadian Turf (GP):  Twilight Meteor (T. Pletcher/J. Velazquez) - 98
*Davona Dale (GP):  Justwhistledixie (K. McLaughlin/A. Garcia) - 97
*Gulf Coast Classic (DeD):  Stonehouse (J. Broussard/C. Bourque) - 97
*Broadway (Aqu):  Lights Off Annie (B. Levine/R. Maragh) - 95
*Spring Fever (OP):  Palanka City (T. Gestes/E. Emigh) - 92
*Tampa Bay (Tam):  Victory Alleged (D. Manning/C. Marquez Jr.) - 92
*Feel the Beat (Aqu):  Awesome Ashley (T. Pletcher/A. Napravnik) - 91
*Bayou (FG):  Love to Tell (M. Burgess/J. Shepherd) - 91
*Baldwin (SA):  Battle of Hastings - GB (J. Mullins/T. Baze) - 90

*Rare Treat (Aqu):  Weathered (K. Grusmark/M. Luzzi) - 89
*Goddess (DeD):  Alina (S. Asmussen/G. Melancon) - 88
*Busher (Aqu):  What a Pear (J. Parker/C. Hill) - 88
*King Glorious (GG):  Charlie's Moment (W. Solis/D. Sorenson) - 87
*Wayward Lass (Tam):  Striking Tomisue (N. Zito/J. Bridgmohan) - 87
*Muir Beach (TuP):  Born With Eagles (M. Pearson/G. Corbett) - 85
*Arizona Oaks (TuP):  Carlsbad (K. Lewis/D. Vergara) - 85
*Mountain Valley (OP):  Citizen (B. Flint/J. Court) - 85
*New Mexico State University (Sun):  Daddy O. (J. Gonzalez Jr./A. Medellin) - 85
*Mardi Gras (FG):  Selva (D. Carroll/R. Albarado) _ 85
*Valentine Dancer (SA):  Bel Air Sizzle/Onebadkitty (B. Abrams/G. Gomez) (B. Koriner/A. Gryder) - 84 (DEAD-HEAT)
*Maryland Racing Media (Lrl):  Hello Poochie Pooh (J. Alecci/E. Rodriguez) - 84
*Miracle Wood (Lrl):  Rock On Justin (G. Capuano/T. Maragh) - 84
*Borderland Derby (Sun):  Scorewithcater (D. O'Neill/M. Baze) - 84
*Grasmick (Fon):  Tonight Rainbow (B. Caster/C. Kimes) - 81
*Sarah Lane's Oates (FG):  Wanna Cuddle (A. Ishaq/C. Lanerie) - 80

*Rillito Park Budweiser Mile (Ril):  Northern Blood (G. Barrow/T. Gard) - 77
*Island Fashion (Sun):  Oro Blanco (H. Dominguez/A. Medellin) - 77
*Gentilly (FG):  Milwaukee Miracle (B. Young/D. Meche) - 76
*Turf Paradise Derby (TuP):  Mayor Marv (B. Baffert/D. Flores) - 75
*Valdale (TP):  Walloon (K. Ball/H. Rosario Jr.) - 74
*John Battaglia Memorial (TP):  Proceed Bee (T. Gestes/R. Prescott) - 73
*Zip Pocket (TuP):  Radford (K. Lewis/D. Vergara) - 70

*Ogataul (Fon):  Skwhirl (B. Rising/J. Ponce) - 65
*Pete Selin Memorial (Ril):  Derby Cat (S. Davis/F. Gamez) - 62

*Invitational (PM):  Thunder Thorn (R. Harwood/T. Stillwell) - 58
*Invitational (PM):  De Cantina (C. Duby/M. Terleski) - 50

Here are the lifetime past performances of the highest and lowest Beyer stakes performers over the past two weeks:

Download QualityCantina


Need some thoughts on Gomez's ride in the 5th. Do you believe a) The horse just ran off and he didn't want to stangle him to settle or b)Bad ride, trying to create distance on the field and play "come and catch me"? For me, I think he could've tried to get the horse to relax after he got clear but instead he kept the peddle to the floor. I'm leaning toward B.

For the past 5-10 years on TC Trail, I've noticed alot of people putting alot of emphasis on "gallop outs". My question is, does it really matter? I mean how many horses have we seen on the TC Trail that have had a great gallop out and have not followed that up with a win?


You're talking about the ride on Uncle Jeep in Friday's fifth race, and I think it was a combination of a) and b).  Uncle Jeep really was pulling Garrett hard entering the backstretch, and at that point, I think the thought process went something like this:

"I'm odds-on, I'm not gonna fight him.  Let 'em catch me if they can."

Unfortunately, they did get him late.

I think the gallop-out can be an important factor in handicapping for future performance although it may be more important when spotting negative gallop-outs than the positives.  Mr. Hot Stuff showed that he was still running hard at the end of the race, and he should have received a good "cool-down" from that effort.  Considering his stamina pedigree, looks, and the positive impression made after the race, long distance races should be right up his alley.  He's lightly-raced, and it's possible he's just figuring it out.  Should we bet the house on a good gallop-out horse?  Probably not, but it's worth looking at as a piece of the puzzle.


At GP does anyone know if Reata's Vixen was claimed on thurs.?

Reata's Vixen wasn't claimed, and will remain with Joe Orseno after her win on Thursday.


So, for all you experts at breaking down a race, what did you think of The Pamplemousse?  My first impression is he is one Pretty Gray Horse.  His stride looked nice and fluid with a decent lead change. The fractions looked decent but I don't know how they compared to others at SA yesterday.  I loved that he looked relaxed on the lead, but he didn't seem challenged.

I found things I liked, and things I wasn't so crazy about.  I love that he's speedy without being rank.  He has natural speed, and doesn't have to pull to get things his own way.  I like that he's professional.  He changes leads very nicely, and knows exactly what he's doing out there.  There's no doubt he's a good horse, but I'm not sure what more we learned out there on Saturday than we knew before the race.  We've said it many times before on the blog.  Give a good horse an easy lead, and the race is history.  The Pamplemousse won this race during the second quarter-mile when he was able to relax all by his lonesome.  I'm not sure I love his action.  If you watch the head-on, he has a pronounced paddling stride with his left front, and I wonder how that'll play on dirt.  All in all, I'm a fan of the horse.  Heck, I'm a fan of any horse that can spreadeagle a field on the front end on synthetics.  As we've seen, that just ain't an easy feat with winners usually seeming to come from the balcony.


I've been suprised that there hasn't been much interest in this topic but when you guys look at the data from Gulfstream Park, what do you think of my theory that there is a problem with the placement of the 6 furlong pole or at least the timing mechanism???
Blue Horseshoe

I think you're onto something.  Let's take a look at the Hal's Hope, a race on January 3 that featured a ton of speed-types on paper.  They went the first quarter in 23 4/5, and the half in 46 2/5.
One Caroline won the Sabin on February 20 after pressing a quarter in 24 1/5, and a half in 47 1/5.  It seems in almost every example of mile dirt races I've come across, the second quarter is run faster than the first. Strange considering the first quarter is run down the straight.  I'm thinking that CM is right concerning the runup placement.  I wish I had more evidence with which to base my opinion, but I just simply have trouble believing any times at GP over the last few years.  It doesn't matter whether it it's turf or dirt, they just don't add up.  Is it possible that they went 21 and change in the second quarter of the FOY?  I guess it's possible, but I'm not sure I believe.  Unfortunately, this is going to wreak havoc on pace and speed handicappers until the FOY performers run back next.


Let's give joecem until tomorrow at 5pm to post his HandiGambling selection.  If he hasn't done it by then, I'll ask the previous winner, Molesap, to pick the race.

Take care,


david More than 1 year ago
what became of jeannie sahadi,s horse prremo,s leg injury on 3/1/09 sunday,s feature 61/2 downhill ?
Annie More than 1 year ago
Turnbackthealarm, Did you see your "dream" pick 6 lineup that I put at the end of page 2 on the previous thread? I know you've been busy so probably don't wade through everything. Lol Hope you're getting settled in. Annie
Causeways37 More than 1 year ago
Caseyjeaux, Didn't mean to call you out like that. It's been something on my mind for awhile and I guess it just hit me in some way which finally got it out of me. Kinda like an addict with a trigger. lol j/k. I really meant it general for those who put more credence into it than normal. So i'm glad you're on the right side. lol. Well Annie... Mr. Fantasy and my birthday on Saturday! I eager to look at the form and see how the race sets up and how he compares to his competition. My initial plans were to go to Santa Anita and enjoy his run along with 3 or 4 other G1 races to be run that day, although my brother from the Bay Area is bugging me to fly up to play the ponies with him @ the satellite adjacent to old Bay Meadows and party at night. I've already seen Stardom Bound run 3 times live (Oak Leaf, BC & Las Virgenes). So I guess I could miss her. But man when she turns for home the crowd goes nuts for her! And that excitement is priceless! Ahhh, don't know what to do!
Calvin Carter More than 1 year ago
Annie, Chocolate Candy, DP 20 Chef-de-Race 15 + Reines-de-Course 9 = 24.
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Vicstu, I enjoy and appreciate your contributions on this blog. That said, clearly we’ve got different perspectives, different biases, and I’d say that we utilize logic differently. Your representations of my stated opinions are not exactly accurate (which then provides a false basis for your rebuttal to my opinions) and this is a tough one for me because I really don’t want to take the time to rewrite my prior posts which I thought conveyed my opinions as well as I could. Rather than a prolonged back and forth where we are essentially repeating ourselves, I’d prefer to simply agree to disagree. If you have questions about or want to debate specific comments that I’ve made, I’d be happy to do this if you would please cut and paste my statements (with proper respect to context) and then ask me to elaborate on a point or respond with a challenge of my position. As far as the definition of a “route” in the context of horse racing, it has always been my understanding that a “route” is a race distance of one mile or more (also the definition provided in the Glossary of Horse Racing Terms on this very website). It’s possible that I’ve had a misunderstanding but I’ve never heard the difference between one turn and two turns as the determining factor for the definition. And, it certainly is a question mark for Quality Road as one turn routes play more like elongated sprints and thus sprinters tend to perform better than in two turn routes and this can certainly make a difference for horses…
Calvin Carter More than 1 year ago
slew, Nice post. Thank you.
Annie More than 1 year ago
A couple of updates on some MKB horses in case you haven't seen them: Van Savant, Danger to Society heading to either the Florida Derby 3/28 or Wood 4/4. Tencentcielo, Tell your aunt, Skydimeauntie, that they're finally looking for a race for Munnings. She may see some action yet. John N, Unfortunately, Obligingly had to be sent to the farm for some time off. Pletcher said, "He just wasn't moving right, although we haven't been able to pinpoint any specific problem." That's too bad. He was just a NK behind Quality Road in Jan. That's the hard part about being an owner. Some go on and some don't. Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
Steve T, Sorry to hear about your Dad! I hope things are going well, and that he's not giving the nurses a hard time like last time. $1,000?!?!! What, do you think I'm deranged? Oh that's right, you are. I may be delusional, but I'm not deranged. I wouldn't bet $1,000 on Secretariat. And face it, neither of our horses are Secretariat. I'm not even sure that would be legal. Our attorney general has decreed, "Thou shalt not place a wager on any horserace except at Canterbury Park." I'll have to think about it for awhile. And, of course, consult with CC. See how confident he is. You are pretty gutty, considering that your own trainer called MHS a doofus. :) Annie
Calvin Carter More than 1 year ago
Uncle Steve, I hope that your father gets well soon. Godspeed to you and your father. Annie, The top twenty list in my previous post are the thoroughbreds that have won or finished second in a Kentucky Derby Prep or Graded route race. The top twenty list is based upon the total number of Chef-de-Race stallions and Reines-de-Course mares in the pedigree of the thoroughbreds on the Triple Crown Trail. Chocolate Candy probably has enough graded earnings to make into the Kentucky Derby starting gate but the total number of Chef-de-Race stallions and Reines-de-Course mares in his pedigee was not enough to make it into the top twenty list. Here’s Chocolate Candy’s Dosage Profile: 20. Chef-de-race 15 + Reines-de-Course 0 = 24. We also have some more very big prep races ahead and some horses not yet on the trail could perhaps make into the Kentucky Derby starting gate. In addition to breeding, past performances are of utmost importance and there are several horses listed above that will not make the final top twenty list. This is my first year to do an in-depth study of the Dosage Profile and the female families. I look forward to see what the final list looks like and if it will have any practical value in picking the top finishers in the Kentucky Derby.
tinky More than 1 year ago
vicstu – First, I couldn't agree more with this part of your perspective: "...horses with very high BSFs are bet againsts the next time out, especially if that high BSF was a dramatic jump from the basline...." As to the crux of your argument, I admit that I did not appreciate what you were attempting to accomplish with that post, but I still disagree. I simply don't accept the analogy between the huge jump in TOFP's BSF in his previous race, and the drop in the FOY. In each case, of course, it is necessary to consider the variables which would likely have played a major role in the jump/drop. And as there are very logical explanations for why the number would have dropped significantly in the FOY, I don't see how you might view that result as being analogous to the previous race. In other words, you are being too broad in your pronouncement that "Jumps and Bounces are both a part of the game". Sure, that is true, but the reason that Beyer and many others raised questions about TOFP is because it was far beyond a typical jump – even those recorded by younger horses. Neither Beyer, BHS (to my knowledge) nor I ever claimed that a single race result is conclusive proof of anything. And when you say "...if you want to talk failed drug tests, fines or A RECORD OF PRODUCING BSF JUMPS IN FIRST TIME RUNNERS, to me those are far more indicative of a pattern of cheating." I agree completely. Both Dutrow and Wolfson have produced a striking number of BSF jumps in horses which they have saddled for the first time, which is precisely why the scrutiny and inferences are warranted. Much like handicapping, BSF (or Ragozin numbers, etc.) are simply one tool in the toolbox. Of course they shouldn't be used exclusively to identify cheaters, but they are useful to add context, including the identification of the sort of patterns which you yourself admit to being important. Finally, I still believe that you are interpreting Beyer's original article too narrowly. He would never make the argument that a trainer MUST be cheating solely on the basis of a SINGLE number. You don't see him plucking out an anomalous horse from a stable which rarely produced such jumps; he (correctly) focuses on those trainers who have established a clear pattern.