04/03/2013 3:21PM

World Cup RPR's, St Nick, Fastest 3yo Fillies,

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ANIMAL KINGDOM'S brilliant effort in the Dubai World Cup highlighted a wonderful card of racing at Meydan. 

Here are the Racing Post Ratings for the winners:

GODOLPHIN MILE - SOFT FALLING RAIN - 116
DUBAI GOLD CUP - CAVALRYMAN - 114
UAE DERBY - LINES OF BATTLE - 111
AL QUOZ SPRINT - SHEA SHEA - 123
GOLDEN SHAHEEN - REYNALDOTHEWIZARD - 116
DUTY FREE - SAJJHAA - 117
SHEEMA CLASSIC - ST NICHOLAS ABBEY - 124
DUBAI WORLD CUP - ANIMAL KINGDOM - 125

Although he won't go down in history as one of the greats, ST NICHOLAS ABBEY deserves recognition for an excellent career.  A blue-collar warrior, he shows up for every dance ready for action.  A brilliant and undefeated juvenile (won the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at a mile), he missed most of his 3-year-old season to injury, but returned with a good campaign at four, winning the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom and the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs.  Last year, he successfully defended his Coronation Cup title while placing in five other Group 1 events. In Saturday's Sheema Classic, he was forwardly-placed off a moderate pace and forged to the front under Joseph O'Brien when the field reached the straight.  A very good filly, GENTILDONNA, the Japanese Filly Triple Crown and Japan Cup heroine, had her chance, but St Nicholas Abbey parried each of her stretch thrusts en route to the victory.  Look for St Nicholas Abbey to seek a three-peat in the Coronation Cup on June 1.  It won't be easy as the classy CIRRUS DES AIGLES is waiting in the wings.

*It really is a broken record, but Todd Pletcher-trained horses are simply lethal this time of year.  On Saturday alone, Pletcher compiled a record of 15-6-3-1 (40% winner, $1.95 ROI) with big victories coming from REVOLUTIONARY (Louisiana Derby), CIAO BELLA (Rampart Stakes), UNLIMITED BUDGET (Fair Grounds Oaks), GRAYDAR (New Orleans Handicap), TRAVELIN MAN (Sir Shackleton Stakes) and DREAMING OF JULIA (Gulfstream Park Oaks).  In non-graded stakes races at Gulfstream this year, Pletcher is 4-9 (44%, $2.24 ROI) while his record stands at 8-24 (33%, $1.85 ROI) in South Florida's graded events.  Over the past five years, Pletcher is 31-91 (34%, $2.03 ROI) in all graded races at Gulfstream. The numbers are even better in New Orleans.  Over the past five years, Pletcher is 12-28 (43%, $2.69 ROI) in graded races at Fair Grounds.

As for Dreaming of Julia, she obliterated her opponents to the tune of a 114 Beyer Speed Figure, the fourth-highest number recorded this season.. 

It's one of the highest numbers for a 3-year-old filly over the past 20 years:

Xtra Heat - 120 (Sweet N Sassy Stakes - 9/29/01 - Delaware)
Xtra Heat - 118 (Breeders' Cup Sprint - 10/27/01 - Belmont, finished second)
Lakeway - 117  (Hollywood Oaks, 7/10/94 - Hollywood)
Xtra Heat - 117 (Endine Stakes - 9/8/01 - Delaware)
Jade Flush - 116 ('N3X' Allowance - 8/21/94 - Saratoga)
Rachel Alexandra - 116 (Haskell Invitational - 8/2/09 - Monmouth)
Surfside - 116 (Clark Handicap - 11/24/00 - Churchill)
Banshee Breeze - 115 (Spinster Stakes - 10/17/98 - Keeneland)
Silverbulletday - 115 (Alabama Stakes - 8/21/99 - Saratoga)
Capote Belle - 114 (Prioress Stakes - 6/23/96 - Belmont)
Ridgewood Pearl - 114 (Breeders' Cup Mile - 10/28/95 - Belmont turf)
Serena's Song - 114 (Jim Beam Stakes - 4/1/95 - Turfway)
DREAMING OF JULIA - 114 (Gulfstream Park Oaks - 3/30/13 - Gulfstream)

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You can find the latest "Under the Radar" column here:

http://www.drf.com/news/kentucky-derby-under-radar-super-ninety-nine

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Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (3/18/13 - 3/24/13):

1. DREAMING OF JULIA - 114 - Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
2. LIAISON - 105 - Santana Mile - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
3. CIAO BELLA - 104 - Rampart Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
3. CIGAR STREET - 104 - Skip Away Stakes (G3) - 1 3/16 Miles - Gulfstream
5. GRAYDAR - 103 - New Orleans Handicap (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Fair Grounds
6. COACH BOB - 102 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
6. TRAVELIN MAN - 102 - Sir Shackleton Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
8. AMIRA'S PRINCE (Ire) - 100 - Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap (G2) - About 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Fair Grounds
8. PASS THE DICE - 100 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
8. RATTLESNAKE BRIDGE - 100 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
11. CHRISTIESBORNTORUN - 98 - OC 50k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Aqueduct
11. UNLIMITED BUDGET - 98 - Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
13. ORB - 97 - Florida Derby (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
13. PARABELLUM - 97 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
15. DOINGHARDTIMEAGAIN - 95 - Evening Jewel Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
15. ZA APPROVAL - 95 - Appleton Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
17. BRIMSTONE ISLAND - 94 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Laurel
17. CONCHACER - 94 - OC c-40k/N$Y - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
19. CONGENIAL - 93 - OC 16k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
19. REVOLUTIONARY - 93 - Louisiana Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Fair Grounds
19. IRISH EXCHANGE - 93 - Langhorne Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Parx
19. TIGHTEND TOUCHDOWN - 93 - OC50k/SAL50k - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Aqueduct
23. HIGH LEVEL JEFF - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
23. KEYBOARD COURAGE - 92 - Clm 10500(12.5-10.5)B - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
23. SWEET CASSIOPEIA - 92 - Alw 57928NC - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Gulfstream
23. TALE OF A CHAMPION - 92 - March Madness Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
23. WARRIOROFTHEROSES - 92 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Laurel

*DREAMING OF JULIA's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*CONCHACER was claimed for $40,000 by trainer Scott Mullins from Clay Brinson.

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Dan-
Just got done reading your "Under the Radar" column, and it reminds me of an angle I use, and would like you to comment on. I call it the "mulligan" angle. Basically it is a horse who unexplainedly runs poorly after being in good form.It usually drives the price up and my thought is that horses aren't machines, they're living and breathing, and just like Koby Bryant, Aaron Rodgers, etc. do have bad days. Your (and other bloggers-most of you know more than I do) thoughts on this angle.
Stephen Taylor

I think it's very important for horseplayers to be forgiving off one subpar performance.  Many bettors put horses on their watch list and are disappointed and jump off the bandwagon when the horse doesn't immediately pay dividends. Then, they are frustrated when the horse comes back two or three races later with a big effort at sweet odds.  Of course, we must walk a tightrope between being patient and getting "married" to a horse.  I was fooled many times, too many times, by a Giant Oak or a Sun King.  They impressed me once and I followed them to the end.  Realistically, I should have gotten off of them after they fooled me for the third or fourth time.  As for the "mulligan" angle, a watch horse could be compromised in his next outing by a poor pace scenario, another challenging trip, or a tougher group of horses.  It pays to follow them for at least one more start as a bad running line clouds the form and drives up the price.

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I was catching up on the wide World of racing on a quiet Sunday morning and I was drawn to the results from Gulfstream Park.
13 races, 7 on the Dirt (?), and not one of those 7 winners paid 3/1. 5 paid less than 2/1!
Is that normal for that particular track, or was it a freak set of results? If it was normal, how does the average man/woman make any money? Almost certainly not from betting single Win bets.
Or am I mistaken? Does that average bettor (2 kids? nice car? and a small mortgage?) turn up at the track and regularly bet $500 on a horse returning 1.5 for the Win? I know you are ALL rich over there, but that is a lot of cash for a 13 race card.
I noticed that the Turf races produced higher returns. Does anyone have any idea what the percentages are between the amounts bet on the Dirt and the Turf?
I suppose the answer is your exotic betting. Again, are there percentages for the amounts bet WPS and on the exotics?
Dan, can you help please?
Best Regards - Bernard Downes

Thankfully, it's not always that chalky on the big days.  Saturday's Gulfstream card simply played out according to form.  The average handicapper doesn't make money playing short-priced horses to win.  It's the exotic bets, the juicy prices that come from trifectas, Pick 4's and Pick 6's, that keep the bettor going.  A few big exotic payoffs can make up for a long slump. 

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

PENN NATIONAL RICK'S WEEKLY SCORESHEET IS AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

Let's go with Saturday's Santa Anita Derby for this week's exercise.

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.

***FROM SCOREKEEPER PENN NATIONAL RICK***

I read some entries on here and there are some people who put their heart out on their picks(such as DavidM9999) and give you great analysis on who they like and why and then there are others who elect not to give any reasoning behind their entries. The rule I will implement EFFECTIVE 3/1/13 will be... any entry without ANY analysis will be ignored. We are not asking you to put out a novel, but again a sentence or two. Also, I will put communication out when Dan puts out new blogs.
My intent is not to be jerk on this, but what's fair is fair. I'm not taking away from this week or past winners regarding all of this, but we do need to make the change.
If you have any questions/conce­rns...please send an email to FORMBLOG@DRF.CO­M and it will get forwarded to me.
Thank You!
Rick

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.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATE THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).

Best of luck to all.

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You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman

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Dreaming of Julia.pdf635.89 KB
Copy of Formblog Gulfstream Claiming 3-29-13.xls67 KB
HGSADerby.pdf253.36 KB