04/25/2012 11:29AM

Wise...and Very, Very Fast

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Despite a layoff of almost five months, WISE DAN was rightly considered the horse to beat in last Sunday's Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland. 

After all, the versatile son of Wiseman's Ferry stamped himself as one of the top older horses in the country last year with a victory in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on November 25.

Although he was expected to run very well, I highly doubt that anyone thought he would earn the fastest Beyer Speed Figure ever recorded on a synthetic surface. 

He did.

Wise Dan won by 10 1/2 lengths and received a whopping 117 Beyer.  A graded winner on turf, synthetic and dirt, Wise Dan is a triple-threat and he could be the horse that takes the handicap division by the throat this year.

Let's take a look at the top 25 WINNING synthetic Beyer Speed Figures of all time:

1.  WISE DAN - 117 - 2012 Ben Ali Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Keeneland
2.  COST OF FREEDOM - 115 - 2010 Miles Tyson Stakes - 5 Furlongs - Hollywood
3.  HOLLYWOOD HIT - 114 - 2010 Vigil Stakes (G3) - 7 Furlongs - Woodbine
3.  M ONE RIFLE - 114 - 2011 Cool Frenchy Stakes - 5 Furlongs - Hollywood
3.  SHREWD OPERATOR - 114 - 2011 White Oak Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Arlington
6.  SMILING TIGER - 112 - 2011 Triple Bend Handicap (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Hollywood
7.  MIDNIGHT LUTE - 112 - 2008 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
7.  ZENYATTA - 112 - 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Santa Anita
9.  RAIL TRIP - 111 - 2009 Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Hollywood
10. COST OF FREEDOM (2) - 110 - 2008 'n1x' Allowance - 6 Furlongs - Del Mar
10. COST OF FREEDOM (3) - 110 - 2008 Ancient Title Stakes (G1) - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
10. HEATSEEKER (Ire) - 110 - 2008 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Santa Anita
10. RAVEN'S PASS - 110 - 2008 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Santa Anita
10. STRADIVINSKY - 110 - 2007 Jacques Cartier Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Woodbine
10. VERNE'S BABY - 110 - 2006 Overskate Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Woodbine
10. ZENSATIONAL - 110 - 2009 Bing Crosby Handicap (G1) - 6 Furlongs - Del Mar
17. BLACK SEVENTEEN - 109 - 2007 n2x' Optional Claimer - 6 Furlongs - Hollywood
17. BOB BLACK JACK - 109 - 2008 Sunshine Millions Dash - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
17. E Z'S GENTLEMAN - 109 - 2010 Triple Bend Handicap (G1) - 7 Furlongs -
Hollywood
17. FATAL BULLET - 109 - 2009 Bold Venture Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Woodbine
17. HARD SPUN - 109 - 2007 Kentucky Cup Classic (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Turfway
17. HEATSEEKER (Ire) (2) - 109 - 2008 Californian Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Hollywood
17. SILENT NAME (Jpn) - 109 - 2007 Commonwealth Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Keeneland
24. AMAZOMBIE - 108 - 2011 Tiznow Stakes - 7 1/2 Furlongs - Hollywood
24. BOB BLACK JACK (2) - 108 - 2008 Malibu Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Santa Anita
24. FATAL BULLET (2) - 108 - 2008 Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3) - 6 Furlongs - Turfway
24. IN SUMMATION - 108 - 2008 Palos Verdes Handicap (G2) - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
24. MONTEREY JAZZ - 108 - 2008 Strub Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Santa Anita
24. PACIFIC OCEAN - 108 - 2011 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Hollywood
24. RAIL TRIP (2) - 108 - 2010 Californian Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Hollywood
24. SHANIKO - 108 - 2005 Kentucky Cup Classic (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Turfway
24. ZENYATTA (2) - 108 - 2008 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Del Mar
24. ZENYATTA (3) - 108 - 2008 Lady's Secret Stakes (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita

It's not a surprise to see the great ZENYATTA's name on this list three times, but the underrated COST OF FREEDOM must be considered one of the fastest synthetic runners of all time.  The nine-year-old gelding is still kicking on the Northern California circuit.  He finished second at Golden Gate on March 24 in a $32,000 claiming race for trainer Ed Moger Jr.

*If you like fast races, then you'll be interested to know that HOLLYWOOD HARBOR, a five-year-old gelding by Harbor the Gold, broke the world record for 5 1/2 furlongs at Emerald Downs last Sunday.  Harbor the Gold won his allowance race in a final time of 1:00.87, good for a 92 Beyer Speed Figure over a lightning-fast surface. The old record was 1:01.03 set by Rule by Force at Yavapai in 2009.

*As the top sophomore fillies in the land prepare for the prestigious Kentucky Oaks, the undefeated sprinter AGAVE KISS is still flying under the radar.  She is not only undefeated, but she has yet to be headed in any of her five lifetime starts.  The speedy New York-bred, a daughter of Lion Heart, blitzed five opponents in the $75,000 Trevose Stakes at Parx on April 17. 

*It was great to see CALIFORNIA FLAG, the winner of the 2009 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, return to his winning ways in the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita last Saturday.  The 8-year-old gelding may not be as good as he was three years ago, but he still is extremely fond of the downhill turf course at Santa Anita. 

***

Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (4/16/12 - 4/22/12):

1.  WISE DAN - 117 - Ben Ali Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) - Keeneland
2.  SHE'S ALL IN - 103 - Sixty Sails Handicap (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Hawthorne
3.  BET ON VICTOR - 101 - OC 40k/N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
4.  EZZY - 100 - Clm 10000 - 6 Furlongs - Aqueduct
5.  INNOCENT MAN - 98 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
6.  CALIFORNIA FLAG - 97 - San Simeon Handicap (G3) - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
6.  IMCO SPIRIT (Ire) - 97 - Inaugural Handicap - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Sun Ray Park
8.  EYE ON JACOB - 96 - Alw 67000N1X - 1 1/8 Miles - Aqueduct
9.  LAUGHING (Ire) - 95 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Aqueduct
9.  ROMACACA - 95 - Alw 38000C - 1 Mile (Turf) - Calder
9.  THE LUMBER GUY - 95 - Jerome Stakes (G2) - 1 Mile - Aqueduct
12. HE'S SO CHIC - 94 - Clm 50000(50-40) - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
13. ABILIO - 93 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Aqueduct
13. BARNEY REBEL (Ire) - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
13. BOURBON BAY - 93 - San Juan Capistrano Handicap (G2) - 1 3/4 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
13. FLASH MASH - 93 - Giant's Causeway Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Keeneland
13. GREAT WARRIOR (Brz) - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
13. MINE OVER MATTER - 93 - Fabersham Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
13. STAR HARBOUR - 93 - Alw 58900N2L - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
20. AGAVE KISS - 92 - Trevose Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Parx
20. BALLYCLOUGH - 92 - Alw 53480N1X - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
20. HOLLYWOOD HARBOR - 92 - Alw 21625NC - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Emerald
20. REACH A DECISION - 92 - Clm c-(40-35) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
20. ROXY GAP - 92 - Whimsical Stakes (G3-C) - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine
20. SPECIAL KID - 92 - Clm c-(20-18) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
20. SUM OF THE PARTS - 92 - Alw 54000N2L - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland

*WISE DAN'S lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of the blog post.

*REACH A DECISION was claimed for $40,000 by trainer Alfredo Marquez from John Sadler.

*SPECIAL KID was claimed for $20,000 by trainer Bill Spawr from Hector Palma.

***

NOTABLES ON THE WORKTAB (4/16/12 - 4/22/12):

*ACCLAMATION (bruised right front foot) - 8F (turf, dogs) - 1:38.20H - Santa Anita - April 19
*ALL STAR HEART (Splint right front leg) - 5F (turf, dogs) - 1:02.60H - Santa Anita - April 22
*BOYS AT TOSCONOVA (Off behind) - 6F - 1:20.87B (dogs) - Aqueduct - April 22
*BRIDGETOWN (undisclosed) - 5F - 1:00.20B - Keeneland - April 22
*CELTIC PRINCESS (splint bone foreleg) - 7F - 1:26.00H - Santa Anita - April 21
*EBLOUISSANTE (cough) - 6F - 1:16.00H - Hollywood - April 18
*EGG DROP (tibia) - 3F - 36.20 - Hollywood - April 21
*EXCESSIVE PASSION (right foreleg) - 6F - 1:13.00H - Pleasanton - April 22
*HEAD HONCHO (undisclosed) -5F - 1:03.00B - Woodbine - April 20
*JUNIPER PASS (bruised cannon bone) - 5F (turf, dogs)) - 1:02.60H - Santa Anita - April 19
*MAJOR ART (strained tendon) - 6F - 1:13.20H - Santa Anita - April 17
*OVERDRIVEN (cannon bones) - 5F - 1:00.81B - Palm Meadows - April 20
*PACIFIC OCEAN (undisclosed) - 5F - 1:02.69B - Aqueduct - April 21
*RAIL TRIP (grabbed quarter) - 5F - 1:01.00H - Hollywood - April 18
*SASSY IMAGE (torn quarter left front foot, non-displaced chip right hind ankle) - 5F - 59.80B - Churchill Downs - April 22
*SMILING TIGER ("jarred up") - 6F - 1:13.20H - Hollywood - April 18
*STARS TO SHINE (condylar fracture) - 3F - 39.00B - Keeneland - April 19
*TRICKMEISTER (cracked heels in behind) - 6F - 1:21.57B (dogs) - Aqueduct - April 22
*ZAZU (inflamed shoulder) - 6F - 1:13.40H - Hollywood - April 21

***

Matt writes:

Dan,
I know this is a lot to ask, but I was curious if you could post the PPs of the Kentucky Oaks winners since 2002.  I would greatly appreciate it and if you already have posted previously please let me know what day.

Those past performances are listed at the bottom of the blog post.

***

Dan,
Are you going to be at the KY Derby? Anyone? I'll be the guy drinking Woodford & ginger not betting on Bodemeister...
Alex

Alex, I'll be holding down the fort here in New York.  Have a great time at the Derby.

***

Congrats to Mike O for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.

Penn National Rick's results spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

Let's go with Friday's ninth at Keeneland for this week's race.

REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
 
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. 

PLEASE GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.
 
Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers (instead of the horse's name) for easier scoring.

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.

***

I'll be back next week as Mike Beer and I are heading out to Golden Gate for a handicapping seminar on Saturday morning.  If any Formbloggers are in the area, please drop by.  We'll be at the Paddock Pub at 11am and would love to meet you.

http://www.goldengatefields.com/race-info/news/ggf-host-free-handicapping-seminar-san-francisco-mile-day

Have a great weekend.

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WiseDan.pdf57.89 KB
KentuckyOakswinners.pdf107.11 KB
Copy of Formblog Contest 4-20-2012.xls29 KB
HGELK.pdf166.69 KB