06/20/2014 2:22PM

Weekend stakes opinions


Let's take a look at some interesting horses scheduled to race this weekend:

*Bed O'Roses (Belmont, Saturday):

#5 HOT STONES (8-1 ML) and #8 MERRY MEADOW (4-1 ML) are the two I'm keying on the Bed O'Roses.

The former cuts back in distance and adds blinkers after chasing the swift La Verdad in the Critical Eye Stakes for New York-breds on May 31. While Hot Stones is "stepping up" into a graded event here, the argument could be made that La Verdad is every bit as good as the fillies and mares in the Bed O'Roses, and Hot Stones made a solid bid at La Verdad late.

Merry Meadow took advantage of a four-horse field in which the favorite, Kauai Katie, failed to lift a hoof and the second-choice, FIVE STAR MOMMA, didn't show her customary early speed. Still, Merry Meadow ran well in the Vagrancy and might work out a stalking trip just off the speeds.

*Eatontown Stakes (Monmouth, Saturday):

It's usually unwise to play horses coming off year+ layoffs, but I have a feeling that #2 RUSTY SLIPPER (6-1 ML) will give a good account of herself for Graham Motion. The filly has showed off an impressive late kick on occasion and isn't catching the strongest graded race for her return. When last we saw her, she ran down a pair of next-out winners in a stakes race at Monmouth.

ORION MOON (2-1 ML) is obviously the horse to beat for Christophe Clement following good efforts against legitimate graded performers.

*Acadiana Stakes (Evangeline, Saturday):

The Acadiana kicks off a $100,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 and #3 SWEET ALICE BENBOW (8-1 ML) looked very good in winning her most recent outing. She advanced nicely along the inside on the turn, eased out into the stretch, and put the boots to the field in the final eighth. She won by eight lengths and should get some pace to attack.

*Opelousas Stakes (Evangeline, Saturday):

Two longshots worth following are I DAZZLE (8-1 ML) and TENSAS HARBOR (8-1 ML). I Dazzle was a professional winner three back at this distance and her recent form is dirtied up. Two starts ago, she was thrown to the wolves in the 12-furlong, Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland. Most recently, she tried to close over an inside, speed-favoring polytrack course at Arlington. This kind of middle-distance, blacktype turf stakes is right up her alley.

Tensas Harbor goes dirt to turf, and that angle has worked well for her in the past. She is a true one-run closer, however, and will need some pace to adequately setup her late flurry.

*Summertime Oaks (Saturday, Santa Anita):

If long layoff horses aren't your cup of tea, then you're probably not into trying maidens in graded stakes. If you are, consider #2 LIVE FOR NOW, a half-sister to Point Given by Tiznow. Trained by Eoin Harty, Live For Now, a gigantic filly, was hung out extremely wide every step of the way in her most recent effort. She seems to be slowly figuring the game out, should get a bit of speed to run at on Saturday, and isn't facing the strongest bunch.

*I'd rather have SUNBEAN than GRAND CONTENDER in the Evangeline Mile, and would use GANTRY and SUM OF THE PARTS in our HandiGambling race, the $300,000 Evangeline Turf Sprint.

More importantly, who do you like this weekend? I want to know.


You can find the weekend stakes previews at the following page. The videos for Sunday's King Edward and Saturday's All-Stakes Pick 4 from Evangeline should be posted by Friday evening.


There will also be a late Pick 4 Preview for Saturday's card at Santa Anita



You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


*The links to the previous blogs (and blog comments) are listed below:



























Congrats to hunter4fun for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.

Saturday's Evangeline Turf Sprint will be this week's HandiGambling exercise


SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

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. We are not asking for a novel but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.


-  Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST.  Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .

- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes.  Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

- The winner will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!




Copy of Formblog Vanity Stakes 6-14-14.xls73.5 KB
HGEVD.pdf183.64 KB
VanSavant More than 1 year ago
Dan; Yeah, I too was wondering where everyone went, but perhaps folks took a break from posting. I posted something Friday night to Sharon, and then on Saturday, despite the fact that I did play Santa Anita, I didn’t post my thoughts. We are all fortunate for that, trust me. I played Sunday too. Didn’t post anything, but I wasn’t altogether good on Sunday either. Oh well. I was playing Pick 5’s, 4’s and 3’s, and while my handicapping was okay, my luck wasn’t. I cooked for my neighbor’s anniversary party Saturday. 25 lbs of pork, 20 pound of chicken. It was a thing of beauty. Great party, great time. I am cooking the graduation party for my son’s swim team captain this Saturday. That will be cool. I like that young man too, so it makes it easy to do. A rare Wednesday swim meet occurs tomorrow for my daughter. We’ll see where she is at this point into the long course season. Only five weeks until Senior Zones in Cali. Waiting for the PP’s for Saturday’s Santa Anita card… they will come out tomorrow, and it will be time to get busy. Can’t wait. Later gator vs
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Horse watch lists... I have many ...including MKB's and multiple favorites, plus quite a few PGH on mine. With that said, I have been busy these last weeks, and totally missed one that has been on my list since I saw him win at a Saratoga/ Blue Thongatoga weekend back in the summer of 2010. He won at 44-1 then. He is ARCODORO, and though he has had 30 starts since then , with only two wins...I still follow this gelding. Imagine my surprise to see him at Presque Isle Downs today, and come in 2nd at 23-1 odds in a 5K claiming race. Paid 16.60/ 10.80 place /show. I know we watch many 'big stars' out there ...but there are plenty of these hard knocking 'others' that we should celebrate. ARCORDRO has a record of 52-4-10- 4 and earnings of 186K . I salute him :) BTW ...in World Cup news...WOW, Mexico y muy caliente , en fuego el dia ! SR Vegas
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Thanks Ned. I paid more attention to Travis Stone and Monmouth this weekend because there were a couple of stakes races run, The Eatontown and Little Silver. So far, I have liked what I heard. Glad to know that he is a good guy to boot. Where have all the posters gone? Is everyone on vacation?
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
Dan, Great thinking on Live For Now in the Summer Oaks at SA. Touched off some good exotics. That voice Annie and I have discussed told me to play it to PLACE. I haven't made a straight place bet in years, but followed directions. $13.00 to place. Ray
Yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Not expecting this to go through but, Catching up on the weekend stakes replays and while watching the Summer Oaks from Santa Anita I hear the announcer say "Jojo Warrior with her new blinkers." How did I miss Baffert putting blinkers on? Got the Form out and realized I didn't miss it. Not there. Where ever it originated that's a pretty big miscue. Didn't cost me anything, only went through it because it was a PH race. Still, somebody flubbed that one. Beats in horse racing can be rough, but this soccer is cruel beyond measure. Surprised I still have a TV after the late Portugal goal yesterday!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
other sports ... I've been watching Royal Ascot and the World Cup these last several days. While on the road the World Cup has been prevalent where ever we were. On the TV monitors at Cafes, restaurants, or at homes after the kids graduations .No matter ...everyone we knew were watching the group games, and rooting their favorite teams on . So, onward and upward ! ...Me, I was especially happy that Costa Rica made it through as an under dog ( my Mom's home country) So many upsets so far ..I hope the USA continues onward...Dang , that last 30 seconds today!! Now that I am back home, we keep it on TV to watch since there are so many cable channels that have it on several hours every day. Here is a fun advertisement (Kia) between Football and Futbol ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHhFGu4ZuTc It may get any 'football fan' reconsidering the 'beautiful sport' ! :) SR Vegas
Ned Daly More than 1 year ago
TBTA While I have not heard enough of Travis Stone's calls to have an opinion, I can tell you from personal experience that he is a great guy. Met him at GP years ago. I wish him the best.
Okiesharp More than 1 year ago
edb Nice trifecta, congrats. Okiesharp
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Jeanne, I don't have an opinion on the new fellow at Monmouth yet. I do really like the Woodbine caller and the one at Arlington too. They would have been nice to have there. I suppose when Tom Durkin retires on August 31st, if anyone other than John Embriale calls a NYRA track, that will be disorienting too. Honestly, not living five minutes from Monmouth has been the one huge bummer about getting married. Well, I take that back. Having to pump my own gas and pay tax on clothes isn't any fun either. :) Dan, Nice exacta in the Bed O Roses. Belmont had a lot of exciting close races today. Al, Will Take Charge needs a vacation. I said that two races ago. Perhaps he is tired, has a mental health issue or needs Saez, but whatever it is, he doesn't look right. It's a shame because he is such a nice animal with a fine pedigree.
Dick W More than 1 year ago
Form Blog PH Contest Recap Bed O' Roses: Hot Stones ($15.40) Eatontown: Medea ($13.60) Singletary: Home Run Kitten ($5.80) Summertime Oaks: Jojo Warrior ($8.40) So a couple of nice prices, a moderate price and a fish cake today. We had one form blogger get 2 correct and ten form bloggers had exactly 1 correct. Pat Gavin was the only one to get 2 correct. He was the only one to get Medea and he also got a Home Run (Kitten) giving him a nice profit of $11.40. Well done Pat ! KNM, Anderson and Spartan Tom all had Hot Stones for a good profit of $7.40. Rkccasselberry, Okiesharp and Patrick S all had Jojo Warrior for a small profit of $0.40. BSB Jaws, Pig Bodine, TurfRuler and Yuwipi all had the Kitten for a small loss of $2.20. Congrats to Pat G and to all who scored today ! Let me know if I missed anything. Dick W