02/09/2018 1:39PM

Withers and Holy Bull review

Here are some quick thoughts on two of last weekend's Kentucky Derby preps:
Audible got most of the press due to his 99-Beyer victory in Gulfstream's Grade 3 Holy Bull, but I was just as impressed with Avery Island's 87-Beyer win in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. Consider that Avery Island was asked to go 1 1/8 miles off a two-month layoff while probably not cranked up for his best and I can live with the slower fig. 
This colt seems to have a really good mind. In the opening stages of the race, Avery Island was hustled up with the intention of grabbing the lead and the rail. When it became evident that rank outsider Coltandmississippi was going for the front at all costs, Avery Island settled nicely behind that horse. When asked to go three furlongs from the wire, Avery Island easily took over from Coltandmississippi and kept on to his task to hold off the sharp Firenze Fire. 
I don't think we've seen the best from Avery Island and his pedigree indicates that he'll stay 1 1/4 miles (by Derby winner Street Sense, second dam a multiple graded winner between 8-11 furlongs). 
Nicole Russo and I discussed Avery Island's bloodlines in the most recent edition of the DRF Breeding Report:
Getting back to the Holy Bull, I thought that runner-up Free Drop Billy gave a very good account of himself. Last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity winner was returning from a moderate-sized layoff and that is not Dale Romans' move.

Here are his Formulator details with horses returning from a 61 to 180 day benching going a route on dirt in graded stakes company:

Now, here's the data with his 3-year-olds going second off the layoff in graded stake dirt routes. 
Free Drop Billy gave a good run on the turn before Audible turned him away. I think he'll be cranked tighter for his next start, the Fountain of Youth. 
Three more horses made my horse watch list.

Gotta Go was no match for Swale winner Strike Power, but he finished with some interest along the rail. He won the Street Sense Stakes last year going a mile at Churchill Downs and retains some promise as a middle-distance colt for trainer Ian Wilkes. 

My Miss Lilly didn't have a great scenario in the Forward Gal for 3-year-old fillies. Light on experience in only her second start, she stalked outside in a race without much pace. She had to alter course inside the drifting winner turning for home and got a good education. She's still a little light on figs, but there's some upside. 
I don't think My Favorite Gift is a future star, but she can be useful on turf for Gustavo Delgado. She couldn't parlay a soft trip to anything better than a fourth-place finish in the Sweetest Chant, but the top three are legitimate stakes runners and My Favorite Gift was trying hard in the lane. A drop in class can go a long way here.
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 2/2/18 - 2/8/18:
1. Roy H - 105 - Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 3Feb18-3SA
2. Itsinthepost - 102 - Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 3Feb18-7SA
3. Accelerate - 101 - Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - 3Feb18-8SA
4. Audible - 99 - Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 3Feb18-12GP
4. Flash Trading - 99 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - 4Feb18-8AQU
6. King Humor - 97 - Md Sp Wt 43k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 2Feb18-5GP
7. Mitole - 96 - Md Sp Wt 75k - 6 Furlongs - 3Feb18-9OP
8. Lewisfield - 95 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 3Feb18-8LRL
8. Securitiz - 95 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile - 2Feb18-7AQU
8. Warrior's Club - 95 - OC 50k/N$Y -N - 6 Furlongs - 8Feb18-8OP
8. Wilbo - 95 - King Cotton Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 3Feb18-8OP
12. Aquaphobia - 93 - Super Bowl Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 4Feb18-6SA
12. Bowie - 93 - OC 40k/N1X -N - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 3Feb18-9SA
14. Krampus - 92 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 3Feb18-9GP
15. Borsa Vento - 91 - Alw 50000s - 1 Mile - 2Feb18-6AQU
15. Shotgun Kowboy - 91 - Alw 78000C - 1 1/16 Miles - 3Feb18-3OP
17. Blue Azul - 90 - OC 35k/C -N - 1 Mile - 6Feb18-8SUN
17. Cerretalto - 90 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 3Feb18-7AQU
17. Eastern Bay - 90 - Alw 49182N1X - 6 Furlongs - 4Feb18-7LRL
20. Restoring Hope - 89 - Md Sp Wt 54k - 1 1/16 Miles - 2Feb18-6SA
20. Saxon Lord - 89 - Clm 32000(32-30) - 1 Mile (Tapeta) - 2Feb18-7GG
20. Speed Franco - 89 - Grade 3 Dania Beach Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 3Feb18-11GP
23. War Eagle's Return - 88 - Clm c-20000 - 1 Mile - 3Feb18-1AQU
23. Spring Lily - 88 - Md Sp Wt 54k - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 4Feb18-5SA
25. Avery Island - 87 - Grade 3 Withers Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - 3Feb18-8AQU
25. Special Story - 87 - Clm c-25000N2L - 1 Mile - 4Feb18-6AQU
25. Strike Power - 87 -  Grade 3 Swale Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 3Feb18-4GP
25. Sutton Impact - 87 - Alw 76500N3L - 6 Furlongs - 3Feb18-7OP
Here are Roy H's lifetime past performances:
War Eagle's Return was claimed for $20,000 by trainer Carlos Martin from John Toscano Jr.
Special Story was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Oscar Barrera III from Robertino Diodoro.
Mike Beer discussed Mitole's maiden win in this week's edition of Out of the Gate:
Congrats to Sharon SR Vegas for winning the most recent HandiGambling exercise. 
The weekly scoreboards are available for download at bottom of this blog post:
This week's race is Sunday's Sweet Life Stakes at Santa Anita. 
Here are the rules:
HANDIGAMBLING version 2017:
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. We are not asking for a novel but SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING.
1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.
2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.
3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR POST. Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST SIGN YOURSELF AT THE END (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to identify who you are.
4. (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes. Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.
5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.
6. If any of the rules listed above aren't met, the wager is subject to review which can lead to disqualification of your entry.
In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.
The winner will receive a "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"
As an example :
HG 2017
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.
HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100
Thanks Dan!


Copy of HG 2 4 18 SA 9 MDN Claiming.xls49 KB
HG 2 4 18 SA 9 MDN claiming notes.doc15.4 KB