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Weekend thoughts, questions
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. After FUNNY MOON tantalized with a facile entry-level allowance score at Belmont on May 7, I fully expected her to give a memorable performance in the Grade 1 Acorn one month later. She gave a memorable performance alright, a memorably bad one as she was beaten 24 lengths, and was never involved at any point. Just as I was ready to write her off, the good Funny Moon returned with an amazingly easy 'n2x' optional claiming win over four hopelessly overmatched rivals. She's a curious enigma, this Funny Moon, and I can't wait to see what she does this Saturday in the Coaching Club American Oaks. Do I fall for her good wet track form again? Shame on me as I shall.
There isn't much early pace signed on in the CCCA, and DEVOTEE, a filly that Funny Moon just whipped, may end up on the lead. That won't be a bad target at all for Funny Moon, and she may sit off the pace while in the clear.
LIVIN LOVIN missed time after winning the Grade 3 Tempted last year due to ankle surgery, but she ran well off the bench in the Acorn. She was buried on the inside for the first half-mile, split rivals three wide on the turn, and raced four wide at the quarter-pole. She then was bumped and forced out in the stretch by CASANOVA MOVE. It was a good performance for Livin Lovin, and she scratched out of both the Delaware Oaks and Delaware Handicap to await this spot. She should save valuable ground from her inside post as ten furlong races at Belmont start right on the clubhouse turn.
CASANOVA MOVE earned graded-placed honors in her last four races, but she's still eligible for a 'n2L' heat. She switches to the Pletcher barn, but seems best played on the bottom of exotic wagers.
CCCA Selections: Funny Moon, Livin Lovin, Casanova Move
Speaking of a "fool me" horse, my buddy ARTISTE ROYAL is back in business in the Eddie Read at Del Mar. I know, I know, I swore off him for good last time out in the American Handicap, and was rewarded when he failed to reel in MONTEREY JAZZ, but I feel his siren's song, and I can't resist picking him in the Read. Monterey Jazz seems back on his best game, but he may feel some pace heat thanks to THORN SONG. That would set things up for a closer, and I just don't trust horses like WHATSTHESCRIPT and AWESOME GEM. One more chance for Artiste Royal, who kicks like a mule when he gets pace to attack.
Eddie Read Selections: Artiste Royal, Monterey Jazz, Awesome Gem
TASTY TEMPTATION looks like the filly to beat in the Wonder Where Stakes at Woodbine as she comes off a big effort against males in the Queen's Plate. She never got near the rail that day, yet still tried all the way to the wire, and only fell short by a scant three lengths. I do wonder if she'll regress off that extremely hard effort as she changed back to her wrong lead in the late stretch of the Plate and seemed pretty tired. Now, she switches to grass and removes blinkers. This just seems like a lot for Tasty Temptation so I'll try to get a better price with the lightly-raced FOREST UPROAR. A Sam-Son Farm homebred, Forest Uproar just missed last time out at this ten-furlong distance, and seems to have some upside potential. Her good tactical speed may have her on or near the lead, and she may be the filly to catch in the stretch.
Wonder Where Selections: Forest Uproar, Tasty Temptation, Gore Bay
The Claiming Crown Jewel looks like an interesting betting race. FANCY RUNNER goes out for Scott Lake, the Crown's winningest trainer, and he gave a good performance behind the subsequent stakes-placed It Happened Again at Delaware on July 5. A hard-hitting ten-time winner, Fancy Runner is the only horse in the field with a win at nine furlongs (he has three), and may simply outstay these to the finish. REPENTING could be the main speed, and he enters this in good form after taking a 'n3x' allowance over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs. FURTHEST LAND just won an off-the-turf stakes event at Indiana Downs, goes out for high-percentage connections, and has the tactical speed to be close to the expected moderate pace. GLAMOUR GUY has only started in one claiming race in his life, a $20,000 event at Fair Grounds on February 24. Trainer Ralph Nicks got him through the race without losing him, and Glamour Guy has raced competitively against allowance and stakes competition ever since. ANTRIM COUNTY won the Iron Horse last year when going 10-15 in 2008, and wouldn't be a surprise.
Selections: Fancy Runner, Repenting, Furthest Land
SAUCEY EVENING figures to take her share of support in the Fleet Treat at Del Mar on Saturday, but I've never been much of a fan, and she's been away since March. Instead, I'll take a chance with ULTRA BLEND, a filly that won four of her first five starts in Northern California before being sidelined with injury. She hasn't won since she returned to the races, but she's kept good company, finishing fourth behind the solid fillies Witty and Carlsbad in the Grade 3 Railbird on May 10, and second behind next-out winner Strawberry Tart on June 5. She has been galloping out nicely at the end of her races, and may find this seven furlong distance satisfactory.
Selections: Ultra Blend, Unzip Me, Pretty Unusual
More importantly, who do you like this weekend? I want to know.
In terms the horses we might actually see at Arlington on Million Day, do you have any inside information about Battle of Hastings and his possible entry in the Secretariat Stakes?
From Jay Privman's article posted on drf.com on July 20:
Trainer Jeff Mullins is undecided where his star turf 3-year-old Battle of Hastings will make his next start, with races at Arlington Park or Del Mar possible.
Mullins's options include the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 8 and the $350,000 Del Mar Derby over 1 1/8 miles on turf on Sept. 6. One factor is owner Michael House's residency in California.
"Mike lives here and he may just want to leave him here," Mullins said.
Saturday at Colonial Downs in Virginia, Battle of Hastings won the fourth stakes of his career in the Virginia Derby over 1 1/4 miles on turf. Battle of Hastings has won stakes ranging in distances from about 6 1/2 furlongs on Santa Anita's hillside turf course in March, the Grade 3 Baldwin Stakes, to 1 1/4 miles.
A winner of 6 of 11 starts and $906,592, Battle of Hastings is eligible for a $5 million bonus if he wins the Secretariat and the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 7. Known as the Grand Slam of Grass, the four-race series began with the Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial on Juneo20. The Virginia Derby was the second leg.
Mullins said Battle of Hastings will spend a few days in Kentucky this week before returning to California at the start of next week.
While a bit hard to believe, it seems like Battle of Hastings will pass on the extremely difficult $5 million dollar bonus to remain at Del Mar for the Del Mar Derby.
I was hoping you could post Include's PP's for me as he is/was one of my favorites. Also, could you please post the PP's for Tapit and Toccet. Two more of my faves. Thanks a lot and keep up the great work!!
Here they are:
Do you know what happened to: Padua Stables' homebred Electrify, a Delaware Township gelding trained by Eddie Plesa?
I heard that he was injured since his last start, attempted to make a comeback to the races, and was then hurt again. It's now highly questionable whether he'll return to the track.
In using Formulator Webb past performances to "match up" workouts do you do this only for first time starters?
I find that once a horse has shown established form that said form is more important than deep workout or pedigree analysis. When there's nothing else to go on (as with first-time starters), I look to match up works.
Could you possibly look up the trainer of record for a horse named Hoist the Baba and let me know who it was? Also, could you post the lifetime PP's for a retired horse named Puny? Her first foal to race, Strike a Deal, runs on Friday night at Fairmount Park. He won as a first time starter in June. Puny was a solid performer in Illinois and I would enjoy seeing her lifetime Past Performances. Thanks. Richie
Hoist the Baba had several trainers. He made his first several starts for Richard Hazelton and Steve Hazelton, and ended up with Betty Keller. I added Hoist the Baba's lifetime past performances with those of Puny:
The Lisa Lewis breakdown is good stuff but is there a further breakdown available on the profiles of her winners for the last four years? Such as 1st time starters, layoff horses, blinkers on/off, 1st time turf, etc. I know the Form has trainer stats going back for the past 12-18 months but she has a small stable so a profitable trend may not emerge within that sample.
I went back to January 1, 2005, and found these specific stats that you may find interesting:
1st-time turf - 44 starts, 8 wins, 3 seconds, 1 third, 18% winners, $4.67 ROI
1st-time starters: 44 starts, 4 wins, 2 seconds, 5 thirds, 9% winners, $2.28 ROI
1st-time blinkers: 20 starts, 4 wins, 1 second, 4 thirds, 20% winners, $6.00 ROI
maiden claimers: 77 starts, 11 wins, 10 seconds, 13 thirds, 14% winners, $2.47 ROI
maiden special weights: 85 starts, 12 winners, 8 seconds, 6 thirds, 14%, winners, $3.80 ROI
route races: 181 starts, 27 wins, 21 seconds, 16 thirds, 14%, winners, $2.84 ROI
sprint races: 202 starts, 27 wins, 25 seconds, 25 thirds, 13% winners, $2.09 ROI
dirt to turf: 48 starts, 9 wins, 5 seconds, 2 thirds, 18% winners, $5.47 ROI
sprint to route: 47 starts, 6 wins, 7 seconds, 3 thirds, 12% winners, $2.48 ROI
turf: 166 starters, 27 winners, 18 seconds, 13 thirds, 16% winners, $3.70 ROI
Dan, willl you please post the Past Paerformences of Dubai Millinium? They showed his World Cup win on TVG recently, but I have no idea what he did before or after the World Cup. Thanks.
Here they are:
Congrats to Mike for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise. He gets to select the next race.
Have a great weekend.
Lil Chok Congrats again on your place in the 2010 NHC.. I know Alan is banking on a miracle to get here, But can you encourage & help your brother to get here, too!..It would be most fun rooting on many Blue Boxer/Blue Thongs next January. BEBC...THE BEST of luck and wishes in your August Qualifiers, and to ALL who are entering ( I've seen many talking about this) HEY, the more the merrier as far as I am concerned...LV or bust!!...I'd be Happy to coordinate any get togethers. DAN our MAN! ...have you started to ask Steve for time in LV in JAN? Hmmm? I know MANY who would jump at the chance to see you here. I'd like you here, It would be better than the experiences I had with Mike Watchmaker(over the last two years) Maybe I'LL be sending Steve C emails to get you out here! Okay, enough said for NOW... SR Vegas
Hey Dan, Very nice job on the CCA Oaks. I was on board with you, and although I was ready to abandon ship on the turn, she really came through. On the opposite end of the horse world...I was cleaning up my HTW list, and I realized Dona Chepa hasn't run in a long time. Does anyone know if she was retired? Those would be some fun lifetime PPs to see. Keep up the great work.
BA, You are going Whitney day, right? You need to call a lot earlier than that... like, right now. You don't need a tie or coat for the clubhouse anymore, although I'm not sure if they'll suddenly get a little snooty for the Whitney. Probably not. I hope not. I would not want to be wearing a coat and tie in August at "the saunaaaaaa". That would be torture. Hope you don't get the wind and rain I got last time I was in the clubhouse... papers were flying everywhere and everyone got soaked.
Handigamers, This is BA, just at work (chilly willy). I would like to thank everyone for the info about Saratoga. Cain't wait. One more question? can we reserve a club house seat a day a head and do I need a tie and coat for that? thanks
Good morning, all.... Hey Sage of Towson, I sure did have Millennia yesterday, what a nice payoff. Ms. Lisa's Mystification ran third at Solano. Dan, at least three of your Spa babies are entered this week up, starting Wed. Worth a wager! Uncle Steve, I gotta ask, what's up with all the Unusual Heats that don't seem to know how to hit the board so far at Del Mar? Good luck all, hope Alan and I can meet some of our Blog pals at Saratoga on Whitney Day. Katiecountinghercashattherail
ROTD Sporty Boy CHAAZZ
Playing a little hooky on Wednesday to check out Saratoga via AC. In the first, does anyone know why Mask and Wig (14) carries 120 instead of 123? No big deal either way, it just caught my eye.
Annie, good advice. *** New favorite horse running at Delaware today: Boobooliscious *** I'm afraid I miss a few posts, especially when it goes to page 2, so I apologize if I haven't replied when one might think it appropriate. I probably just didn't see it. Who is that says "never say your sorry - it's a sign of weakness" - I don't care for that philosophy. Maybe it's just me, but I often find myself interacting with young people that don't know the first thing about basic, simple courtesy, it's like they are making a special effort to be "hard". The self-absorption I understand, we all understand, but the total lack of kind-spiritedness and lack of good judgement I do not. I suppose older people have been saying negative things about the younger generation for eons, but I'm not sure if that isn't a fairytale. The people I knew or have known who are my age or older (roughly) were brought up in a certain way, I think, which maintained a level of civilized conduct that I find waining today. It's disheartening, that's all I'm saying. It's funny, most of the people I know who have been through very hard times, truly hard, are often kinder for it, of course I know of at least one case where the individual's heart turned to stone, but generally speaking, I think those experiences deepen the person's ability to see the world through a more empathetic lense.
DMR Contest: Had Gretzky on Friday, Ultra Blend to show on Saturday, and got blown out of the water yesterday as I chose Bold chieftain. The Calbred race on Saturday I thought was nearly inscrutable so I just chose who I thought was logical to be ITM since I was w/o any real firm opinions. I guess skipping a race is not a bad thing occasionally in contests like this. Because of this blog the only "cash" bet I made all weekend was Position A on Saturday. Thanks to Annie and others who pointed out his entry into the 9th on Saturday. And Dan the Man, nice hit on the CCA!
kevin, I think you missed the dripping sarcasm from Blue, Alan and I on the Whitney.Of course fabulous horses have won that race. We were just being cranky east coasters wanting our horses to get their due...even if WAYI is a really dumb idea.