04/11/2011 6:40PM

What Happened to the Chalks?

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Racing is a wonderfully exhilarating, intellectually challenging, interactive process where fans "compete" equally with the kings and queens of the turf. 

While owners, trainers, and jockeys use wins and losses in higher-quality stakes races to determine success and failure, handicappers measure their ups-and-downs at the betting windows. 

There is no other sport like horse racing.  But, boy, it's a tough, tough game.

One week ago, Uncle Mo was the toast of the town, a sure-fire superhorse with Triple Crown aspirations.  Now, after his shocking defeat in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, he's being treated like a bum, an overrated media creation that was never as good as advertised. 

That's just not fair.

Maybe Uncle Mo isn't the "Chosen One." He wouldn't be the first juvenile champion that didn't go on at three.  War Pass was an impressive 2-year-old, but it didn't work out for him the following season.  But, to throw Uncle Mo under the bus after one bad showing is a bit irresponsible.  To forget about his accomplishments last year is insane.  Anyone that saw him run away from his competition at two knows he's a very good horse.  He just hasn't shown it yet in 2011.  Maybe he'll never win another race, but give him a break.

***

A few hours after Win Willy confirmed his affinity for the Oaklawn racing strip by outfinishing odds-on favorite Misremembered in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap, I received this blog comment:

Perhaps you and Watchmaker were just a little too high on Misrembered.  Win Willy passed him before he knew what happened
Fred Robertson

I wonder if I was high enough on Misremembered as he ran a tremendous race in the Oaklawn Handicap.  You have to remember this was only his second start in a year and he did all the running, all the dirty work, pressing hot fractions while three wide.  He made the front turning for home only to be run down by a good one-run closer.  Misremembered loses nothing in defeat and I'd love to have him straight up against Win Willy the next time they face each other.  If, and that's a huge if, he stays good and sound, we should hear a ton more from Misremembered later this year.

***

Nick Zito has a nice dilemma on his hands with Morning Line, the winner of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.  An excellent two-turn performer on the front end last year, Morning Line proved that he could be just as effective coming from off the pace sprinting.  He outfinished a promising runner named Apriority in the Carter and likely moves on to the Metropolitan Mile on Memorial Day weekend. 

***

The longshot parade continued with Caracortado being upset by lone speed Liberian Freighter in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes at Santa Anita.  For the second straight race, Caracortado was taken far back, too far back, by jockey Joe Talamo in the early portion of the race.  He had run in the stretch both times, but was left with too much to do.  Caracortado figures to be downgraded by many handicappers off his fifth-place finish in the Arcadia, but I think there's still a race or two with his name on it.

***

Bob Baffert missed the Santa Anita Derby with Jaycito, but he took home the rich pot with recent maiden winner Midnight Interlude, who stalked pacesetter Comma to the Top before overhauling the exhausted leader in late stretch.  Perhaps most baffling were the training schedules of beaten favorite Anthony's Cross and Silver Medallion, who both hadn't raced since February, and are now "on the bubble" as it pertains to graded earnings.  Jaycito, by the way, may run in the Blue Grass or Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.

***

I hadn't been impressed with Cambina leading up to the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, but I'm a member of her fan club now.  She received an excellent trip and ride saving ground off a wicked pace, but she exploded in the stretch to defeat a game Whisper Louise.  Cambina has to be considered a major contender for races like the American Oaks.

***

After watching this weekend's races, I'm reminded of some of the "Golden Rules" listed in Harvey Pack's wonderful autobiography MAY THE HORSE BE WITH YOU (available on drf.com).

"Rule No. 1:
Every time the starting gate opens, expect to be humbled."

"Rule No. 2:
Never bet on a favorite doing something he's never done before."

"Rule No. 6:
Hardly a man is now alive who paid a mortgage at 2-to-5."

"Rule No. 11:
Some days you don't want to go to work.  Watch the warm-ups.  Maybe your selections feels the same way."

"Rule No. 12:
Good handicappers envision how a race will be run.  Unfortunately, horses are animals, not machines."

"Rule No. 13:
A day without betting is like a day without sunshine."

***

Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (4/4/10 - 4/10/10)

1.  Win Willy - 107 - Oaklawn Handicap (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Oaklawn
2.  Frazil - 106 - Hcp 10000s - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Aqueduct
3.  Morning Line - 105 - Carter Handicap (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
4.  Giant Ryan - 104 - Hamlet Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Aqueduct
5.  Liberian Freighter - 101 - Arcadia Stakes (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
5.  Shakenwithanolive - 101 - Princess of Palms Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Turf Paradise
7.  Homerun Berti - 98 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
8.  Golddigger's Boy - 97 - Lyman Handicap- 7 Furlongs - Parx
8.  Separate Forest - 97 - Las Cienagas Handicap (G3) - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
8.  Sneaking Uponyou - 97 - Sprint Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Tampa Bay
11. Fabulous Strike - 96 - Alw 42560N$Y - 6 Furlongs - Penn National
12. Ben's Cat - 95 - Mister Diz Stakes - 5 Furlongs - Pimlico
12. Citrus Kid - 95 - Alw 66040C - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
12. Midnight Interlude - 95 - Santa Anita Derby (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Santa Anita
15. Cambina (Ire) - 94 - Providencia Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
15. Flightofalifetime - 94 - Md Sp Wt 57k- 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
15. Toby's Corner - 94 - Wood Memorial (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Aqueduct
18. Higher Court - 93 - Md Sp Wt 46k - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
18. It's Never to Late - 93 - Sunshine State Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
18. Joe Vann - 93 - Illinois Derby (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Hawthorne
18. Sebastian Flyte (GB) - 93 - Alw 61924N2X - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
22. Big Push - 92 - Alw 8000s - 6 Furlongs - Parx
22. D'oro Diablo - 92 - OC 62k/N2X - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine
22. Hayley's Halo - 92 - Czaria Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Sunland
22. J J's Lucky Train - 92 - Bay Shore Stakes (G3) - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
22. Let's Do It - 92 - Alw 53948N1X - 1 Mile (Turf) - Keeneland
22. Southern Style - 92 - Alw 28884NC - 5 Furlongs - Evangeline

Past performances for Win Willy are available at the bottom of this blog post.

***

Let's get to your questions and comments:

Dan-
I'm working on a little project I have going re: KD contenders. I need to validate some of my theories and was wondering if you could please post the PP's of the winners of the KD from 1995-2008. (If you could post the PP's of the entire fields for 2000-2008, that would be even better!). I can't find this info any where online - so I really appreciate it!
I promise to share my insights re: this field according to my theories for those who might be interested! :-)
Thanks so much!
Tina

I'm interested in your theories.  Please share them when you get the chance.  The past performances for the Derby winners from 1995-1999, and the entire Derby fields from 2000-2008 are listed at the bottom of this blog posting.  I know many of our posters like to take a walk down memory lane.  Enjoy!!! 

***

Dan,
I have noted Kathmanblu's lead issues in the past as well, although she did remain on her proper lead in her previous start and today. Perhaps the combination of the wide trip and Keeneland's quirky surface did her in more than a lack of professionalism. Still, it is always worth noting graded stakes winners who figure to take a lot of money, yet still run greenly or are possibly showing signs of wear and tear. Speaking of, how did you like Morning Line's antics near the wire today?
C

C is talking about Morning Line shifting back to his wrong lead after making the front approaching the finish line of the Carter.  I never think it's a good sign, especially for a horse that's likely to get bet in his next race (presumably the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont).  When I see horses do that, or fail to switch leads at all, I'm thinking of three possible reasons why:

1.  The horse is green or inexperienced.
2.  The horse is tired.
3.  The horse is nursing some sort of injury. 

Morning Line did some really good things on Saturday, rating and finishing at a distance that might actually be a little short of his best.
I noticed in his first race of the year, the Hal's Hope at Gulfstream on January 8, that Morning Line was early to make his final lead change (late on the far turn).  I marked it down to perhaps him being a "short" and tired horse in his first start since the Breeders' Cup.  This time, I think Morning Line's late lead change came about because he was exhausted (and rightfully so, as he had to work hard to pass a sharp Apriority). 
I won't say, as of this moment, that I won't bet him in the Met Mile (who knows what that field will look like?), but I was discouraged to see him flip back to his left lead late. 

***

...Also what is a day in the life of Dan at drf like, and do they have any employment opportunities for those of us who would rather do something with horse racing than our day jobs?
Best of luck to you,
Don

Don, this sounds like fun. Here's this week's schedule, as of right now.

Late Sunday nite - Early Monday morning:
*Write 800 - 1100 word "Under the Radar" piece for National Simulcast Weekly  (after Derby, the column is "Performance of the Week."

Monday:
*Produce "Performance of the Week" videos for drf.com and the drf page on FACEBOOK. 
*Create studio schedule for the week.
*UPDATE BLOG COMMENTS
*GET UPSET WHEN BLOGGERS ARE NASTY TO EACH OTHER
*Inform HG winner how he/she can collect their prize. 
*Re-read all blog comments from previous week (answer questions, past performance requests, comments).
*Create a new blog post
*UPDATE BLOG COMMENTS

Tuesday:
*Produce Race of the Day video for Wednesday
*Create and update Kentucky Derby contender pedigree profiles (for Derby page on drf.com)
*Work on the Disabled List
*UPDATE BLOG COMMENTS

Wednesday:
*Produce Race of the Day videos for Thursday and Friday
*Create the HandiGambling blog
*UPDATE BLOG COMMENTS
*Work on the Disabled List
*Get blog comments like the one below:

you need to post what the game is before the pm. some of us have to work. your post was at three pm which was when gulfstream opened for business today. i was at my local simulcast concentrating on other races. i don't use or turn on my phone so i am not distracted from the decisions i make for the bets i think have reward for my virtual stable..
yet, this gambling 202 or whatever is a fun event, and i would like to contribute, but can't...as probably lots of other people can't that like to venture into a true reality game .
so how about a warning that the gambling episode will be....and before you make your decision, we all have a clear shot as to what game this game will be.?
david krasnoff

Bottom line, the HG past performances are usually posted two days before post time.

Thursday:
*Keeneland Babies for Friday (DRF Plus)
*Handicap ten races for Friday am filming*
*Work on the Disabled List
*UPDATE BLOG COMMENTS

Friday:
*Produce Race of the Day videos for Saturday and Sunday
*Produced eight "Weekend Stakes Preview" videos
*Keeneland Babies for Saturday?
*UPDATE BLOG COMMENTS

Saturday:
*Create weekend stakes preview blog. 
*UPDATE BLOG COMMENTS

Come Saratoga time, it's seven days a week in the office, doing "Spa Babies" for DRF Plus as well as blogging, videos, etc.  I won't mention how I attempt to avoid the usual political backstabbing and BS that goes on in most offices.  Plus, there are radio, television, and live seminar opportunities that DRF requires.  Also, one gets the usual heckling, nasty e-mails (death threats after I voted for Rachel Alexandra over Zenyatta for Horse of the Year), and "you stink" posts when my picks stink.  I must mention that I am not near a racetrack during my work week.  This is all done from an office building.  Time for recreational handicapping?  Not much.

I wouldn't dissuade anyone from attempting to work in this industry, but please note that it must be a labor of love.  Contrary to popular belief, they don't back the Brinks truck to my house for doing this.  Long ago, I was told that I had to supplement my income by gambling. 
As much as I hate to say it, the game has been in decline for, at least, 20 years.  This is a breeding and racino game.  It's not about horses running in a circle anymore.  Racing columns are being deleted from daily papers throughout this country due to lack of interest.  My advice would be to purchase a book called "The Source," published by The Blood-Horse.  This gives you the names, addresses, and telephone numbers for just about anyone in the business.  Keep your mind open.  You may be interested in horse insurance or bloodstock agency work.  Unfortunately, there aren't a ton of opportunities in publishing.  I wish you the best of luck.

***

Dan,
Thanks so much for the info on Moscow Burning. Do you have the pp's for Deep Impact and Heart's Cry? Thankstff
Greg Michaels

The past performances for the two Japanese stars are available at the bottom of the blog post.

***

Dan, can I get pp's for dance floor, media plan,
What a diplomat & green again. Thanks
Marc

They are available at the bottom of this blog post.

***

Dan - do you whatever became of the filly Elusive Heat? Any chance you can provide her career pp's?
keyfig

Elusive Heat retired in 2009 after spiking a 103-degree temperature and undergoing surgery to correct an entrapped epiglottis.  She was bred to Medaglia d'Oro the following spring.  Her past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

***

Dan -
You seem to be the one of very, very few who hasn't written off Decisive Moment as a horse who "doesn't belong" in the KD. You picked him for the Risen Star, where he ran pretty well 5th and came out of it with a minor soft-tissue injury. You picked him 2nd in the Spiral, even though he'd never run on poly, and he looked good (all things considered) as 2nd against AK who'd had 3 races on poly. Nice pick! In 8 races, with a 2-2-3 record, he doesn't look too bad next to some of the favorites - $527k+ earnings and $301k graded. Yes, the good graded earnings come from 2nds. No excuses. Does that make him undeserving of a spot in the KD gate versus Stay Thirsty, THAS, Soldat, etc? He's my MKB and he gets NO respect! Now he's getting 6 wks to train at CD. Could you, for one & only, say something nice about DM? please? :-)
sherpa

I got on his bandwagon after he won the $250,000 Jean Lafitte at Delta on January 14, and was very disappointed that he tired so badly in the Louisiana Derby.  At first, I was concerned that his connections would run him back so quickly after the soft tissue injury noted after the Louisiana Derby, but he ran a heck of a race in the Spiral, battling every step of the way before folding late.  After what happened last week with the injuries and upsets, anything can happen as it pertains to the Kentucky Derby, and he deserves his shot.  I'm just not sure if Decisive Moment is fast enough, has the right running style, or has enough stamina in his pedigree to win the race.  Than again, I have never been good at handicapping the Derby, and doubt if I'll play the race this year.

***

Dan
HG for Gulfstream 4/8 race #9
Dropper # 6 Alisal appears to be the best here with his splits of 24.2-23.2-23.3 and a close of 30.2 in his last race are far ahead of all but 1 here.
#9 Top Surprize may surprise as his splits were 24.4-23.2-23.3 and a close of 30.1 and needs this class drop. He may appear better than his last race looked but I think he still would need to improve quite to beat Alisal.
All the others are in my opinion not in the race after 6f
My wager is $100 EX 6/9
Ron B

Congrats to Ron B. for finishing first in our HandiGambling exercise.  This week's race is Wednesday's eighth from Keeneland. 

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POSTING

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan." Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified. Please post your plays and analysis to the blog. In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. One entry per person please. I reserve the right to approve or deny any entries.

I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but 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. I'm 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.

Best of luck to all!

AttachmentSize
Derby winners 1995-1999.pdf87.45 KB
2000 Derby.pdf518.62 KB
2001 Derby.pdf473.44 KB
2002 Derby.pdf505.38 KB
2003 Derby.pdf427.96 KB
2004 Derby.pdf114.25 KB
2005 Derby.pdf544.44 KB
2006 Derby.pdf538.89 KB
2007 Derby.pdf116.47 KB
2008 Derby.pdf533.86 KB
Deep Cry.pdf59.18 KB
DancePlan.pdf97.07 KB
Elusive Heat.pdf573.12 KB
HG229.pdf180.15 KB
Win Willy.pdf59.7 KB
Jim C. More than 1 year ago
Dan, I am surprised that Joyful Victory had such a low Beyer for the Fantasy, and did not make your list. What was her Beyer when she romped in the Honeybee? Thanks.
Virgin Queen More than 1 year ago
" i seem to recall some poster's ( maybe vicstu or tinky) remarking big brown seem to have, i believe roberto's characteristics more so than his immediate influences." it was tinky...it was 1 of the few intelligent questions that i have ever asked some 1 on formblog. i 4 get exactlly what the question was but he was explaining 2 me about the classification of pedigrees e.g speed, miler, stamina. he was telling me the importance i believe of the immediate influences as u stated verus the more distance ones. anyway he gave a long discourse on BB and roberto. i wrote the whole thing down, about 3 paragraphs long. u have a good memory.funny 2 that u mention that. cleaning house a few months back i threw it out with everything else he told me about pedigrees and the like. my loss VQ
Jonah More than 1 year ago
Dan: I loved your videos again this week. I hope you'll tell Mike Beer that sometimes I almost clap you guys are so good. Too bad you too too sullied your Shakespearean references with peanut butter. ----- A very basic question for anyone: What exactly does it mean that a horse is "short"? No, not just a pony. Short of training? Distance? Is there an opposite? In form? Long? ----- Steve T: I'm taking an optimistic view of your use of "probably" and "often," hoping that when you have time, or when the going gets rough, you'll come here, where there's a community that cares about you, even those of us who don't know you, or know you only from your generosity as a teacher and handicapper. I actually dreamed about you the other night, probably from following your workout notes. You changed characters a couple times, and ended up as something like Bugsy Siegel giving me advice I can't remember while chewing on a cigar. Please consider stopping in San Francisco next time you're on the road. I'd love to meet your new family, and would be happy to take the kids to fly kites at the beach or jump in, or something else fun, like, um, take them to the races. Or we could just have coffee and send you back to the freeway. Mike A: It was good to see you back here. It made me smile to see the simple way you put the fight to rest. I was impressed with the frankness and humility in your admission that you lost your edge lately by overdoing it, especially given your record in the races that fit your criteria. Yet again, you've given me pause to look at my own discipline. I know you wrote that you have a lot going on and may not be here as often for a while, but please leave the door open and don't go too far. You know I'm planning to come to New York for the Belmont Stakes, and I'm really looking forward to meeting you and having hot dogs together, but I'm especially partial to how you write up a race on the blog, especially looking back and evaluating how some of the horses ran and what kind of race you'd expect them to run well in in the future. On race breakdowns alone I know you're a walk in the Hall, but I think you should get your own riding range in the back, where you and the others like TBTA who know how, can gallop into the sunset before Van Savant makes dinner. Kati Cramer and Fred Robertson: I wish everyone could make their criticisms so eloquent and balanced. He takes more dirt than that from his sidekick Mike Beer (who's also always been high on Win Willy), so I know he can take it from the public. I'm interested to hear what might come from the experienced handicappers about front-runners getting excuses, a theory which could even confer an advantage if they don't deserve one, or if a closer deserves more of one. Ned Daly: It was great to read your travelog about your trip to Santa Anita. Great writing and photos, and a fun read. You look great in your photo--maybe what Orson Welles should have looked like if he had stayed striking. You're just missing a cigar. Way to go, by the way, listening to that tout on that website you're starting to follow that got you even for the weekend. Your monthly bay swims is inspiring. How did the ritual begin? I saw you ran 4-3-2 in the Mountaineer race the other day, not bad. How do you use your selections to wager? Highest odds? exacta key/box? Blackstone: You're very generous in complimenting my handicapping. Of course you know I'm still just getting oriented, and I will try hard to earn a place as Rookie of the Year by the time the Formblog Eclipses come around. I do like using Formulator (though how I wish I could mark the page), and it's great for quickly looking at races before and after they happen, but I'm not actually handicapping many. Frankly, it takes me ages to handicap a race, and with all that, I know from watching you and the other experienced 'cappers here, how much I still have to learn. I should say that while I said to you, "Lone speed! How many times do I have to learn the same lesson!" after I chickened out on betting Liberian Freighter (after telling you and a friend I thought he was a good bet, then losing faith at the last minute, thinking Caracortado, a horse I really like, was too strong), I'm not sure Zeb is in the same category (but since he scratched, we'll never know). He reminds me more of Artful Run, who ran last in the Palm Beach, after which someone came on to say Kent Desormeaux should have taken the lead, and Mike A responded that it would have been suicide to send a sprinter (he had run 5f in his only two starts of the year) to the lead of a 1-1/16 mile race, and that he was only in the race to teach him how to rate and to get more distance. Artful Run hasn't come back, so we'll see what distance and pace he runs into next. At that time, Mike A said it was extremely rare for a trainer to stretch a pace horse that far and expect a win. What do you, or others, think? Another interesting speed question is in today's third at Keeneland, which I'm interested in for the presence of #1 Twojohnsandajack. I haven't decided how I would bet, but I'm having trouble figuring out what kind of factor #8 Marco's Fling (30-1 ML) will be. Is he just the definition of cheap speed? In his last, at a mile, he was only one-and-a-half lengths behind Lil Bit O' Fun, who came back to get fourth, beaten only a length, in the Transylvania last weekend, but Marco's Fling was able to "rush to the lead from the outside, set a slow pace to the upper stretch, then hang late while saving the place." Others, like #2 Forum, could well go with him, or even set the pace as he did last year in the G3 Summer (won by Pluck), and I don't know if Marco's Fling will hang on this time, or must yield to a presser like #4 Cozy Kitten, or a strong closer like #1 Twojohnsandajack. I know I'm on the wrong exercise, but I have so little time during the week, and got more interested in this race. In the HG I'm a little lost. I like the #2 and #10, but not with enough conviction or reasoning to play. I'll make time tonight to read others' predictions after the fact, at least. Chicago Gerry, I loved your comments about focus and handicapping. Incidentally, Tagore's Gitanjali was one of my favorite books when I was a teenager. There's an interesting article by Adam Gopnik in last week's New Yorker about how we recognize human vs. artificial intelligence. In an interview on the New Yorker site (http://www.newyorker.com/online/2011/04/04/110404on_audio_gopnik ), they surprised the author with a conversation with Cleverbot, which ends a little eerily: CB: Who is the Queen? AG: She lives in London and her name is Elizabeth. CB: How does she like it? AG: She likes it fine. CB: How can I approach her and ask her if she likes me? AG: You'll have to write to her security people, she's hard to reach. CB: I have emotions, thank you. Calvin Carter, Very interesting to see the earnings. Does compiling them help you understand trainer intentions, or is it more just to see how the race might shape up? Annie: The MKB journey just keeps getting better. And not just Mo betta. Rather, I'm not a Mo bette'. I'm just not sure he wants to run much mo'. Okay, okay, I'll stop, I give--UNCLE! No, really... Alright, the truth is, I'm a big fan of Uncle Mo, not just because I had a good pick-4 last year thanks to him, but because he was the first young horse that showed greatness that I watched racing live. I think he's a beautiful thing to behold, and I hope he returns to his best form. Also, as happy as I am that The Factor appears to have an even better shot at what is clearly an unproven distance (that is, if he runs from the field, Borel and all, this weekend, as I hope he will), I would rather see the best horses in their best form competing for the top honors. It would be great, too, to see Baffert and Pletcher in a showdown, with big hearted Zito waiting in the shadows. I know I've passed over a few posts along these lines, that I'll make time to read. In sum, I LOVE being the favorite in the Derby. GO THE FACTOR!! p ensign, Do you think having no plan with Life at Ten was rare? I've sometimes heard a trainer (Baffert, specifically) or jockey say that they're going to let the horse decide where it wants to be and how it wants to run, and just let it do it its own way. I guess that is a kind of plan, but is that maybe what they meant? Meathead01: Your post was hard to swallow; I've never experienced that kind of pain, and it breaks my heart that anyone should. On a lighter note, I'll take this chance to say thank you for posting so many races with your thoughts. Whenever I take the time to compare your notes to the PPs I feel I'm learning something. Also, you're just a stand-up guy on the blog. Van Savant: That's equally true of you. Thank you for posting so many races and thoughts. It makes a big difference to a student like me. Junie Wise, Great definition of luck. Mister Sea Bass: I trust you if you say you weren't acting like a bully, but I hope that doesn't dismiss the gist of what I wrote, or let you brush it off as just a moment of anger. Just because things are neat and clean the day after two "tough" guys go at it, doesn't mean it was worth all the broken glass and stress to everyone, including you two. I'm not looking for an acknowledgment or apology from anyone, nor am I blaming you or making any personal implications--none of that is my business. Honestly I'm just happy that you and Mike A are back to your usual friendly, generous selves. In the spirit of going back over a race to see what was missed, I would like to add just a couple more comments. I think that anger is too often glamorized by adult men who confuse it with real inner strength, especially in movies and TV shows. Lack of self-control causes real damage to relationships and people, and destroys real communication. In real space, it can lead to things like the baseball bat maniac, or a murdered son. In cyberspace the consequences aren't so dramatic, but it does poison the air for a while, and lend justification to others' rants. Alright, enough, sorry to be so pedantic. I grew up in an extremely loving and affectionate family, but one with awful, awful fighting, and at an early age became an expert in verbal wounding. I haven't totally transcended that kind of behavior myself, but it is transparent to me, and I try to keep a low tolerance for it. Okay, BSB, back to racing. I kind of remember "separation factors" from high school chemistry, but what are they in the Derby, and why isn't it the same as any other race, apart from the distance and number of starters? Virgin Queen: I'm sorry your application was denied. I was already amassing a collection of hats, including a couple kippot for divine intervention for the big races, and a helmet in case BSB caught me looking at you the wrong way. J H: Saying "you're clueless" to Dan Illman is not only a meaningless insult, but marks you as, well, clueless. Speaking of which, here's a clue on how to use the phrase sour grapes, which, in addition to being the title of an early book of poems by William Carlos Williams (see below), comes from a fable by Aesop and refers to something you claim not to want once you can't obtain it. Next time you want to make a similar point, try something fun and endearing, like, "Dan, I think you misremembered the pace of the race. Remember, excuses are like a-- holes: everyone's got one, but nobody wants to hear them." Not that I'd agree, but at least I'd listen and not think you're just another a-- hole nobody wants to hear. ----------- The Widow's Lament in Springtime SORROW is my own yard where the new grass flames as it has flamed often before but not with the cold fire that closes round me this year. Thirtyfive years I lived with my husband. The plumtree is white today with masses of flowers. Masses of flowers load the cherry branches and color some bushes yellow and some red but the grief in my heart is stronger than they for though they were my joy formerly, today I notice them and turned away forgetting. Today my son told me that in the meadows, at the edge of the heavy woods in the distance, he saw trees of white flowers. I feel that I would like to go there and fall into those flowers and sink into the marsh near them. - William Carlos Williams (from Sour Grapes, 1921)
knm More than 1 year ago
Jonah, I do think you're over-reacting to the bsb-Mike A. kerfuffle. Of course, I don't actually know either of these gentlemen, but I have been reading them both for some time. I think bsb is a shit-disturber, he loves to twist tails. One of the reasons I enjoy reading his posts. Mike A, on the other hand, is quite aware of his own worth, sticks to his own strengths and doesn't get too carried away by hyperbole, as blackseabass tends to do. I feel pretty sure that if the two of them got together at a track, they'd get along just fine - possibly with several very enjoyable arguments. And I would love to meet both of them. I find bsb very amusing (although he can go too far at times) and Mike A.'s picks and points about trainers and turf racing are (to me) valuable handicapping tools. And he can get a bit testy, too. They have kissed and made up (so to speak) so I think you should let it go as well. One other thing. That will be the last post of yours I read, Jonah, unless you shorten up!
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
Jonah very grcious of you to compliment me on my selections I feel my many years of experience may translate into my analysis of why a certain result is obtained by looking at so many races over the years and seeing the same senario played out over and over again. please keep in mind that my analysis is an educated guess of the outcome of the race in question. In answer to your question of what is a short horse I think this is in reference to a horse that cant get a particular distance of ground all the time he may get the distance some of the time depending on his competion and other times come up short in the run for the wire. also I think it can mean a horse with not enough works coming up to the race in question. others will have diferent answers also. I pray that nobody has to go thru the pain I have gone thru in my life but the reality is sometimes diferent to my wishes. keep your sunny outlook for the ponies and learn from each poster here and you will do a fine job at handicapping because each race presents a new challenge to our skills as handicappers. this is the greatest game in the world and you get so much from it. the sign over the exit at Rillito Park in tucson reads; Win Lose or Draw we hope you liked what you saw please come again. good luck MH01
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
P. Ensign In that race, my play of #4 Nina Fever was my bet of the day. I was looking to get 2-1 back on my money. I felt that equal money was going to come in on #5 Third Chance. Wth 2 minutes to post, they were pretty close in the wagering. When they loading into the gate, the pools changed with late money coming in on the #4. I never expected the #2 to close and win at 11.40-1. First time on the all weather track and was left at the gate to boot. It did help the place price though. As to wagering on the show bet, it never came into play in that race. It didn't fit the profile. It is 5-6 horses in the race with a 1/2, or 1/5 shot running. It is really simple. The pool swells to 25-45K on that horse. I see it everyday. I have all of the races on with the pools at easy access. I also scan the entries at all of the major tracks before 10am on race day. These "monsters" stick out. Mostly bigtime droppers. Good Luck. HG 229 With the scatches being posted today, what a pain it is for people to go back and revise their selection for today's HG Wager's. Poor Tcent. Isn't their a better way?? I know that it is a time issue for people, but come on... here comes another 25 posts that change the original post... Go get them today people.... Whackymacky Out!!!!
vicstu More than 1 year ago
C, Pletcher "may" have backed into the Derby win with Borel AND Super Saver. It was the horse as well. If I made it sound like it was all Borel, I need to clarify. I agree with your points about SS. You will recall you and I both liked his chances going in last year. It had little to do with who was training him. It was nothing against Pletcher--a good trainer. I just do not like the "fresh horse" theory in betting on the Derby. Once Eskendreya was out, last year's field was weak enough that I landed on SS...and I agree. It was not just Borel. It was the horse, and his pedigree, and how well he was doing, and how he obviously liked that track as a 2 year old.
Jonah More than 1 year ago
Alydarandeasy, Please accept my apology. I misread your post, and wish I could retract mine to you. I feel bad that those who missed your reply to me could be mislead by what I wrote; my only consolation is that there may have been a few who, like me, benefited from your clarification in response. Again, I'm sorry. Best wishes, Jonah
bobc More than 1 year ago
HG 229 A soft turf course changes the complexion of this race. #3 Lejadami Ran well over a yielding course. Last was a disaster but has been training well for return. #7 Joshua Reynolds Has run well in two turf races with give in the ground. Likes to circle the whole field. Will be flying at the end. Wager: $60 Win: #3 $60 $20 ex box: 3/ 7 $40
C.Warner More than 1 year ago
HG 229 : Looking at the GP invaders in a very tough race. Mr. Ryder appears to be improving each race for Clement. Casse has runner Hailstone that is one-for-one on the grass and working bullets. Shrimp Dancer has a chance to get a piece. $6 Trifecta Box : 1-2-10 $32 Exacta Box : 2/10 Total : $100
Lindsay More than 1 year ago
HG 229: Wager: $50W $50 PL on #7 Joshua Reynolds Logic (Illogic?): Should be a price, is in good form of late, went quite wide in last two races and still pulled off the wins. Also like the breeding. Seems like a late-developing type of horse who may now be coming into his own. Lindsay
MikeMc More than 1 year ago
HG Kee Race 8 Turf--I'm with the majority in that I think you have to try and beat the favorite here.10-Mr.Ryder goes for Clement who is not only on fire right now,his horses just seem to keep improving once they get going.Also like the 1-Shrimp Dancer who looks like he should be the favorite to me.The 2-Hailstone seems like a contender as he was in a dead heat for the win with a pretty good turf horse last race.Going to throw in the 3-Lejadami and 8- El Crespo to put some big odds underneath. $8 Trifecta-10/1,2,3,8/1,2,3,8=$96 $2 Exacta-8/1,10=$4