04/24/2009 4:01PM

Weekend thoughts, Beat the chalk, etc.


Let's play "Beat The Chalk" for a few of this weekend's major stakes races:

Melair (Hollywood - Race 6):

Beatable favorite:  BELTENE
Possible upsetter:  CHALULA ONE

Beltene looks tough on paper.  All five of her career Beyer Speed Figures are better than the last race number earned by each of her rivals.  But Beltene looked absolutely terrible in her most recent start.  In that race, the Santa Paula on March 29, she didn't change leads during the stretch drive, and simply looked dull.  Beltene also is unproven beyond six furlongs, and must navigate two turns in the Melair.
Chalula One tries two turns for the first time, but I like her recent work pattern.  She shows a couple of long, stamina-building works followed by a three-furlong "blowout" three days before the race.  Chalula One looked good winning a sprint, makes the two sprints to a route move in the third start of the form cycle with improving Beyers on display, and should offer some value.

Miami Mile (Calder - Race 9)

Beatable Favorite:  MAMBO MEISTER
Possible upsetter:  VANQUISHER

Mambo Meister has earned two triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures from his last three races, but he missed some time after his last race due to some filling in a leg.  He's won off injuries in the past, and has a good deal of class, but this is a pretty solid group, and Mambo Meister will have to be at 100% fitness if he is to score. Vanquisher was stymied by slow fractions in his last two races, but the pace should be solid with Granizo, Scientist, and Baron Von Tap in the field.  He should also be able to save valuable ground after breaking from the inside post. 

Texas Mile (Lone Star - Race 10)

Beatable Favorite:  HALO NAJIB
Possible upsetter:  JONESBORO

With Smooth Air scratched due to a bout with colic, Halo Najib, a horse riding a ten-race losing streak, looms the probable favorite.  Add in that he's never won on dirt, and is still eligible for a 'n3L' condition, and you may do well to look elsewhere. 
Jonesboro suffered from tender feet after his seasonal debut at Oaklawn, but now makes his third start back, and was hounded every step of the way in the Oaklawn Handicap by the sharp It's a Bird.  Jonesboro should be a strong pace factor in this spot.


And as several have pointed out, it is the stalker contingent that will decide this race - if they move too soon, the closers will run them all down. If they move too late, Regal Ransom could just steal the whole thing. Is there a pace scenario that makes sense for the large stalker group? I am not sure there is - does anybody see a stalker type scenario?
Steve T

I think the horses with tactical speed will do just fine in the Derby.  If there is a hot pace, they can relax 5-7 lengths off the leaders while the closers have to worry about traffic and ground loss.  If the pace is moderate, they can be sitting chilly while three off the lead, and get the jump on the late kickers.  A horse like Friesan Fire, with his Funny Cide-like tactical speed, may work out a nice trip.  He can stalk the expected average fractions, make his move on the turn, and then hope he's the best.


Also, we don't have fractional times to know how fast Regal Ransom was running in his races @ Dubai. It didn't look like he was blazing out there from watching the races on tv. I would guestimate he was going about high 47's low 48 half's out there. Who's to say he even gets the lead, unless he's absolutely sent?

According to emiratesracing.com, here are Regal Ransom's splits for his three races in Dubai:

UAE DERBY:  24.64, 48.18, 1:13.06, 1:37.39, 1:50.00
UAE 2000:   24.97, 48.13, 1:12.33, 1:38.38
FORD FLEX:  24.78, 47.56, 1:11.62, 1:24.50


Thanks for the Derby Trivia.  If I'd had to guess I would have guessed that Canonero II would have been the cheapest auction buy.  Somehow $1,500 sticks in my head.  Could you check what he had sold for? Thanks
John V.

You're absolutely right.  Sorry about that.  Canonero II sold for only $1,200 at the 1968 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.  Dust Commander ($6,500), Venetian Way ($10,500), Bold Forbes ($15,200), and Silver Charm ($16,500) round out the top five "Ugly Ducklings."


Dan - could you please provide Personal Hope's past performances?

Here they are:

Download Personal Hope


Has a Ky Oaks winner ever came back and ran in either the Preakness or Belmont and if so how did she fair? I think if it where possible Rachel could pull it off!

Rags to Riches won both the Kentucky Oaks and Belmont Stakes.
Silverbulletday won the Oaks in 1999, and finished seventh in the Belmont.


Who is being pointed towards the stakes undercard on Derby Day, specifically the turf races, such as the Woodford Reserve?

Here are some possibles for the Woodford Reserve:
Thorn Song
Cowboy Cal
Court Vision
Zambezi Sun

For the Humana Distaff:
Indian Blessing
Informed Decision
Secret Gypsy
Game Face

For the Churchill Downs Stakes:
Kodiak Kowboy
Fabulous Strike

For the Eight Belles Stakes:
Just Jenda


As a memory, one of my favorites is the 1997 Kentucky Derby. I can watch that race over and over and everytime I do, there is a moment in the race, I could swear Captain Bodgit is going to go right by Silver Charm. Of course, it never happens and that race is still one of my flagship examples when I want to show someone about the character, heart and class of a race horse.

Psst.  You guys didn't get this from me, but here are the pp's for the 1997 Derby (in order of finish).  Are there any similarities to this year's field that you can exploit in your handicapping?

Download 1997 Derby


Congrats to JP FL for finishing first in this week's HandiGambling contest.  Installment #131 will be the Kentucky Derby.  bobc and Alan came up with an idea for this contest:

Regarding HG 131
Any or all of the following is subject to Dan making any additions or deletions.
The Race of the week is the Kentucky Derby.
The total bankroll is $100.
The Addition: You can take any or all of that $100 if you so choose and make an Oaks/Derby Double.
If you make a double you must remember to deduct the amount of the double from your total $100 bankroll. You can use the rest to wager on the Derby much the same as we wager on any HG race.
If your wagers on the Oaks/Derby Double and your Kentucky Derby wagers exceed $100. you will be disqualified.
Additional Prize:  Alan has graciously offered to send the winner a copy of Dan's book.
All contestants are kindly asked to submit reasons for their selections. Remember this is the Kentucky Derby we should all have a strong opinion on the race. Let's share it with each other.
Make life easier for Cayman:
If we choose to wager on the Oaks/Derby Double on Friday and wait until Saturday to wager the rest of our bankroll, it would undoubtedly help Cayamn to determine the winner, if in making our Derby wagers we would include somewhere in our wager the fact that we did bet the Oaks/Derby Double. State the bet and the amount so that Cayman won't go crazy trying to piece together two bets made at different times.
This will also help to insure that you did not exceed the total wager limit of $100.


Back with more Monday.

Enjoy the weekend.



vicstu More than 1 year ago
Of course, my Hegelian Dialetic rant above regarding the lost or confiscated MM tape is an over-the-top effort to try and outrage a copy from "the beast". In truth, the lawyers are probably making sure there is nothing damning on the video, and if it is, removing it... So, hopefully, no one will ask what happened to any missing footage, and move along, nothing to see here. The footage will eventually be up. The talking point memos will continue to flow BEFORE the workouts, much like the talking point memos flowed before Jessica Lynch's capture and release (an event created and scripted by The Riorden Group among others). Most Americans do not know their reality and news is created for them ahead of time by huge PR and marketing groups working in tendem with the US Government, black ops etc. Remember Jessica Lynch? Written by PR firms. Ask Jessica herself, if you can find her. She is now persona non grata for telling the truth to the media. The same big money and corporate interests that control the US news also own many of the turf media that we depend on. And are buying up tracks... How downright silly of me to ask where the tape is and why was it not posted after being filmed (the workout)... The nerve of me. I want to judge for myself and do not trust any media, turf or mainstream news media.Lets just say their track record is dubious at best...no pun intended. Show me the workout video! I think I will email Slew later on or tommorow. With a big Slew Smile.
Katieattherail More than 1 year ago
Good afternoon, all.... I am still alive (!) in the HP Show Me The Money....went with Thelma Rose yesterday, she won. Congrats to the Zayats on the new foal, and I agree an Egyptian-themed name would be nice. Found this website http://www.icoproject.org/star.html that talks about the Arabic names for many of the stars in the skies, and I'd suggest: Adhara - The Maidens Kurhah - The "blaze" on the horse's face (there must be a horse constellation) or Sadalbari - the lucky star of the Excellent one! I am interested to hear what people make of MM and his "X Files" workout because he is one of my top upset picks. Good luck all! Katieattherail
Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
Repeating jockeys who won a stake, then came right back to claim another victory. This is just a small list--more are out there. Hollywood on Sat. --Bejarno paid $7.20 after he won a stake race. He did this twice. GG Gomez won the stake in second last race on Sat., at HP. He then came right back to take the finale at $26.60. At WO on Sat., Jimmy Macaleney won the feature race, then won the next at $8.50. On Sat., at Hawthorne, jockey Lindie Wade won the stake, then bounced right back, in the next race, paying $30.40. I combined with my wife on Sat., to play SUNSET HEIGHTS to win at Woodbine. The play was in last race at WO, and horse led all the way around. Payoff was $43.60 to win, margin of victory was five open lengths. Why did we play it? Right across the street where my wife taught for years is SUNSET HEIGHTS SCHOOL.A crazy reason to play, but jockey A. Stephen got the job done. It may be that SUNSET HEIGHTS was a Secret Play. I plan to check it out in the morning. Re the Secret Play, Buffalo Joe smoked out one in the last race at Tampa Bay. ( I think it was Tampa.) WELCOME BACK said goodbye to the M (asses), paying $15.00 even.
Kelley_Belle More than 1 year ago
The CDI cash registers made another big ching-ching this morning didn't they? They have their own stimulus program. Just get gamblers to bet on horses that won't start in the KD. Say it again Mr. Barnum.
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Folks; In light of a few things occuring here over the weekend, I am re-posting something I put up here last summer, I think. It's kind of funny, kind of clever, and kind of dated; but it says much about us. Granted, all of the excellent posters from the last year are absent from this missive, but it is still kind of relevant today. Here it is: SCIENTISTS HAVE DISCOVERED A NEW SOLAR SYSTEM: "Scientists have recently discovered a new solar system in our galaxy. This new solar system is in close proximity to Earth’s, and may have much in common with ours. According to scientists involved in this discovery, the third planet from this recently-discovered system has been named Planet Illman. Apparently this planet is populated by many people, all of whom appear to be highly intelligent, but rather risky, and testy at times. They seem to exhibit extreme territorial tendencies, and debate subjects ranging from “Beyer Speed Figures” to “real dirt”, to “synthetic surfaces”, and “turf”. From what scientists have gleaned thus far, it appears that the inhabitants of this planet (named for their “creator”) have a genuine collective-affinity for one another, but tend to become irritable when their “creator” is absent for extended periods of time. Their names are both common, and clever. “Alan” for example, is seemingly plain and simple, but it is really the identity of a caring, clever, and successful man. “Steve T” is bright, sharing, caring, testy, funny, and hardworking, but at times is distracted by events outside of Planet Illman. “Calvin Carter” is entertaining, articulate, and no nonsense, although he seems obsessed with Steve T’s work on a “flux capacitor”. Vicstu is passionate, hard working, well-read, experienced, and verbose. Svhill is vicstu, but a tad less emotional and a tad less verbose (vicstu-light). Gunbow is a recent discovery, and he comes replete with numbers and a historical perspective to be admired. Chicago Gerry and Al Hattab are men of chance. They come prepared for anything, and usually leave with something. Scianc22 is a breath of fresh air. Larryk is caring, thoughtful, insightful, and daring. “Mathieu”, “Kenny Mac,” “cayman01” “Ray Manley”, “Buffalo Joe” “Leo” “Johnnyz” “Tony Kelso”, “Mike S” “Steven Taylor”, “Blue Horseshoe”, “chase”, “Dale”, “Lawduck07” “aparagon4u”, “Ivan”, “RobertSD” and “Midwest Ed” are bold and adventuresome prognosticators. They have other opinions as well. James Mc. Is insightful, wise, and no-nonsense. “C” is…well…C. “PGM” is an insightful, thoughtful, and an intelligent prognosticator. “Ray Manley” is one-of-a-kind, and has a keen eye. “tinky” is, well…let’s just say that “tinky” tends to go “tinky” on us here, and then all-bets-are-off. “slewofdamascus is a comet orbiting this system. He appears from time to time (but not often enough), and when he does, he can be seen for months on-end. And then he disappears. There also appears to be many females on this planet, and they all seem to be greater-than-or-equal to the men. “Laura” “Katieattherail”, “Amanda”, “SR Vegas”, and “Annie” seems to be the most vocal. They are all highly intelligent, well-read, thoughtful, and significant contributors to this planet. From what the researchers have provided, it appears that planet Illman is a fine place. Much can be learned from the inhabitants there. Researchers’ hope that these inhabitants manage to embrace their differences and learn from each other, so that the planet cannot only survive, but flourish. In time, it is hoped, Earth can use this as a model".☺
Danny B. More than 1 year ago
I have to agree with Turn Back The Alarm that it is a bummer that Quality Road won't make the Derby. C A couple of points about Jerkens comment: 1. Give the guy a break. Here you have the leading contenders only to have it fall apart. I guarantee you that you'd be emotional about it and say something that might be a little over the top. 2. No horse has great credentials anymore. They don't race that much anymore and there are so many preps that they never have to face extremely stiff competition. Half of them run on something that acts like a dirt/turf hybrid which makes it difficult to gather how their form will transfer. Some of these horses are still eligible for allowance conditions. So to get a horse with tactical speed on dirt who won what has been THE KEY PREP race the last couple of years and most agree has the pedigree to get the distance.... Well, I'd take that horse if I was a trainer every year if I could get it. They don't grow on trees. Ask the 2008 Eclipse award winning trainer how easy it is to get a horse like that. I'm still looking for Steve's entry into this year's Derby. 3. How long has Mr. Jerkens been training and can you name me another horse in his care that was as well thought of as Quality Road was this year? He may have had one as I'm newer to the game, but that's why I'm asking. Maybe this was the best chance he's had and that's why he was trying to convey. At any level, it's disappointing because it will drive down odds on other horses people look upon favorably like IWR, POTN, and FF. My condolences to the connections of Quality Road and I hope he has a speedy recovery and gets back to make some noise at Saratoga this summer.
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Tom; I did calculate the final pace ratings for the Louisiana Derby, and yes, thar race came up slow, with below average pace ratings at the 6f and final call. I don't like that fact either, as I want to use Friesan Fire, but based on the pace rating from that race, I have little confidence. Papa Clem, however, did respond quite well in his next race, for what that's worth. The Arkansas Derby actually produced a historically-respectable pace rating this year, so we'll see. I am continuing to work on this, and promise to publish my voodoo, but probably not until Wednesday.
BigEasyBigChok More than 1 year ago
Flip Not o rain on your theory but all races were stakes races at hollywood that day so any jock who wins 2 in a row fits your theory. BigEasyBigChok
Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
To Tom--the Secret Play can be used on the pick 3 and pick 4. However, it is imperative that you try it on 2nd half of DD before you move up to other regions of play. ----------------------------- Re S. Crist monitoring and deleting some blogs over on his site, I take no offense to that. If there is swearing or fighting , he runs DRF and is entitled to do so.The last thing I want to read is two people going after each other. S. Crist has a business to run, and a few comments in bad taste could end up costing him money. (advertising?) The bloggers do not run DRF. He does. I have had some interaction with him on his site where he blogs, and I found him to be a caring, honest person. There is one area in which I cannot stand him. His skill in crafting a Pick 4 or 6 ticket.Now, that makes me mad--when I try to do the same. But, wait. It may be my fault. About 2 years ago, there was a notice he was having a book signing at Woodbine for EXOTIC BETTING. I went to WO, prepared pay for the book. When I got there, there was a line-up and two large skids of his book, which he kindly gave out for free.I still have not read it, as I want to give it 100% of my attention. Now, a book won't buy me, but he didn't have to do that. I was sitting with a guy, and he went up 3 times for a book. That's how popular it was. I was wishing after I had gone back up myself.As it is, I have not read the book, but I understand his methods of play are inside. So, I have to say that if a person (S Crist) wants to protect his name and business, no problem from where I stand. There were some complaints re incomplete info re figures/ Beyers. If he is contacted by a formal letter, perhaps this could be discussed. You could run it by DAN ILLMAN first.
tencentcielo More than 1 year ago
TBTA, while i'm glad you like that fact that people who put up their derby exotic plays early put the total, don't you find it a wee bit funny that the 2 people who did, Stephen taylor and me, are the LAST two in Alan's contest. I did. :-P BillG, Really? you think do much that i picked you horse that your okay with him running 2nd? TY! if the pattern holds, he will. As you can see in my previous derby picks: 2001: Invisible Ink :-( 2002: OTB, but my mom loved War Emblem and played it accordingly. 2003: Peace Rules 2004: Smarty Jones. I think originally i picked Wimbledon this year, but maybe its 2003 instead. 2005: Closing Argument :-( 2006: Sweetnorthernsaint, who finshed 7th i think. 2007: Hard Spun :( 2008: Denis of Cork I can find the bomb in the tri, but the winner escapes me when its not chalk. WSB, enjoy 2nd. Tom, i would have singled Mighty Rule in that 9th @ HAW, but it was only because i was rolling through that card up until that race. I liked the outside post and i was predicting a good race flow. It probable helped the horse that the tracked was sealed. That race i was stuck and i just decided, because of my limited bankroll and the fact that the last was even harder for me, to single him. I looked at the last race and decided to allocate my funds there. It is entirely probable that i could have added more horses in that leg in the pk4 to go along with mighty rule if more funds had become available. I cut my leg on the corner of the drawer. The drawer is on metal tracks, so i cut myself on the metal edge that runs underneath the outside bottom of the drawer. empire maker-star of goshen baby names: Annie took the best name with Cleopatra, but i think it needs something else like: Cleopatra's reign Cleopatra's guile CLEOPATRALEXANDER (Now that's a power couple: Alexander the Great and Cleopatra!) or maybe the filly should be named HATSHEPSUT, after the 1st large-scale succesful female Pharaoh and a couple of complete huh? names: Broadwaydreamcoat Bow Peasants or tencentcielo What makes an empire work? Power What do you need to have power? Money Where do you find a star? the sky What's the spanish word for sky? cielo So that's why that works. :-P tencentcielo