07/24/2009 3:59PM

Weekend thoughts, questions

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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?
Midwest Ed

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
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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.

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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!!
Mike Mc
Baltimore, MD


Here they are:

Download IncludeTapitToccet


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Do you know what happened to: Padua Stables' homebred Electrify, a Delaware Township gelding trained by Eddie Plesa?
popstar100


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.

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Dan
In using Formulator Webb past performances to "match up" workouts do you do this only for first time starters?
Guy

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.

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Dan,
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
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:

Download Hoistpuny

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Dan,
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.
Mathieu

I went back to January 1, 2005, and found these specific stats that you may find interesting:

Lisa Lewis:

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

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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.
Captain Bodgit

Here they are:

Download Dubai millennium

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Congrats to Mike for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  He gets to select the next race. 

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Have a great weekend.

Dan