06/14/2010 4:01PM

Zenyatta! Rachel! Rail Trip! Wow!


ZENYATTA's legion of fans needn't be ashamed if they were worried for just a second as the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap field passed the eighth pole last Sunday afternoon at Hollywood Park. 

On the lead was little ST TRINIANS, the beaten favorite in the historic Santa Anita Handicap against males.  St Trinians, the winner of the Grade 2 Santa Maria Handicap over 2009 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic heroine Life Is Sweet, got the jump on Zenyatta and was flailing away for home in her own inimitable style, her left foreleg paddling like Michael Phelps.  It turned out she truly was in deep water as Zenyatta, as she has done in every single one of her 17 lifetime starts, kept coming.  And coming.  And coming.  She rallied until she had overwhelmed St Trinians in the shadow of the wire to post a winning Beyer Speed Figure of 103.  The Reflection of Perfection remains undefeated for John Shirreffs and Mike Smith.


(Zenyatta...Perfect) (Photo Courtesy - Benoit Photo)


RACHEL ALEXANDRA, the 2009 Horse of the Year, got back on the beam with a dominating performance in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs.  Rachel Alexandra showed some agility going into the first turn, angling sharply off the rail for a clear outside path pressing pacesetter JESSICA IS BACK.  There wasn't much competition once Rachel Alexandra got rolling and her final time of 1:48.78 for the nine furlongs compared favorably with BLAME's 1:49.37 clocking in taking the Stephen Foster Handicap later in the day.  It must be noted that Rachel Alexandra beat a very suspect group over a track that seemed to favor speed.  Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to return to the racetrack on Wednesday morning.

"It was a humid, oppressive type of afternoon," said trainer Steve Asmussen about Stephen Foster day.  "We'll see if she shows any residual effect from the weather when she goes back to the track."

"She's just getting back," said winning rider Calvin Borel after the Foster.  "You have to give her a chance.  She's a filly and she did the impossible when she was a 3-year-old.  I think you'll see a great future now.  She did everything right today."


RAIL TRIP, the top male handicapper on the West Coast, dominated a bunch of overmatched rivals in winning the Grade 2 Californian at Hollywood with a 108 Beyer Speed Figure.  Rail Trip tracked the pace set by ONE TRACK MIND, took over at will turning for home, and scooted clear to score as much the best.  Rail Trip has wonderful push-button acceleration once given his cue and should be very tough to beat when he attempts to successfully defend his Hollywood Gold Cup title on July 10.

Rail Trip

(Rail Trip rolls) (Photo Courtesy - Benoit Photo)


As for Blame, the 4-year-old colt continues his winning ways.  A professional runner full of quality, Blame overcame the far outside post in the deep and contentious Foster to run down lone speedster BATTLE PLAN in the final sixteenth of a mile.  Blame has now won four straight graded stakes races, and has reached the winner's circle in five of his last six outings. 

"I was wide going through both turns," said winning rider Garrett Gomez.  "I tried to use him a little to try and get over in the first turn and as far as I could get was four wide. I didn’t want to take him back any further. My main concern was trying to come home off that pace. That’s what you’re always scared of and I think the farther the better with this horse.  He’s a true professional and a pleasure to be around."

"It set up just like everybody thought," said winning trainer Al Stall Jr.  "Battle Plan was going out there comfortably … and (Blame) got wide a little bit because of our post. But he overcame. He can knock those :12 and change (fractions) all day long and that should suit us down the road." 

"Right now, we are just thinking about the Whitney,” Stall said. “It is tough to run two races like that at Saratoga (with the Woodward on Sept. 4 being the other). You can throw the Hawthorne Gold Cup into the mix. That’s a mile and a quarter on the same day as the Jockey Club Gold Cup and we could ship up from Keeneland and back and that sets you up for November.”

Battle Plan looked home free, but tired badly after switching back to his left lead in midstretch.  It was discovered that he suffered a soft-tissue injury to his right foreleg. 


Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra were joined by LIFE AT TEN as female performers that put up huge performances.  After stumbling at the break of the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont, Life At Ten battled on the lead with race favorite UNRIVALED BELLE through fractions of 23.22, 45.55, and 1:08.40.  Despite the enervating pace, Life At Ten was strong enough to rebuff Unrivaled Belle while holding off the late charge of Grade 1 winner Funny Moon. 

"She's been a very generous filly for us," said trainer Todd Pletcher's New York-based assistant Jonathan Thomas.  "I’m very proud to have won a Grade 1 with her. She’s very deserving. The main thing with her is not so much where she is, as just staying out of her way. She looked comfortable and really happy out there, and was never under any real pressure.”

Life At Ten has now won five straight and Pletcher, Thomas, and the rest of the team deserve credit for nursing the big mare through quarter crack issues. 


How do you beat PRESIOUS PASSION?  Run like Presious Passion runs.  Monmouth Park horse for course GET SERIOUS jumped to the early lead, took on Presious Passion's speedy challenge, and still had enough stamina in the stretch to win the Grade 3 Monmouth Stakes over longshot ROMAN TIGER. 

"If Presious Passion sent, we were going to back off," said winning trainer John Forbes.  "He (Get Serious) opened up a little bit on the backside and by that time it was probably a little too late to gun Presious Passion."

The Battlefield Stakes at Monmouth on July 10 looks to be the next goal for Get Serious.


Any info will be helpful. The Very One was a millionaire who made her money on the turf across the country in the late 70's and early 80's. Before she became famous under the handling of Steve DiMauro, she was trained in Md. by a local trainer whose name I can't remember. Do you know and could you post her PP's?

According to the past performances, The Very One was trained by Monti Sims, Robert Wheeler, Jay Robbins, Michael Goswell, Loren Rettele, and Stephen DiMauro.  Here are her past performances:

Download The Very One


Dan can you post the PP for two horses that ran in the late 70 early 80 they are Danty Dotsie she ran mosty at Keystone and the other horse is named Dave's Friend.  Thanks

Here's what I have for the horses you requested:

Download 70's runners


O'Dapper one...
I wager online from time to time and I had a question about what happens when a horse is dq'd after the raceday, as was the case recently with Win Willy in the Razorback... I happen to remember being all over Spotsgone, who ran 2nd that day. Since Win Willy was now placed last, wouldn't that entitle me to my win wager on Spotsgone, who had originally run 2nd?
Jimbo Slice

I wish you could get paid for your opinion on Spotsgone but the disqualification won't apply to wagers.  The purse money will be redistributed but not the winning and losing wagers.


Thanks for the information about Majestic Hope. He has an interesting pedigree and I’ll be looking to see how he fares. Also, any information you may have about these two colts, owner, trainer, etc., is appreciated.
Al Biruni (Kingmambo-Ebaraya by Sadler’s Wells) and Voodoo Prince (Kingmambo-Ouija Board by Cape Cross).
Any additional information about Kingmambo is also appreciated. How long has he stood at Lane’s End? Thanks for your help.
Calvin L. Carter

Al Biruni is a chestnut colt foaled on February 21, 2008.  He was purchased at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling sale for $280,000 by John Ferguson and was exported to Great Britain.  Expect him to debut for Godolphin, Darley, or for one of the other Dubai outfits in England.  He has a powerful turf pedigree as the second dam was a multiple stakes-winner on grass in Ireland. 

Voodoo Prince was foaled in Great Britain on February 9, 2008.  He is owned by Lord Derby and trained by Ed Dunlop.  Voodoo Prince is the first foal from two-time European Horse of the Year Ouija Board.

Kingmambo, a son of the great Miesque, was a three-time Group 1 winner at one mile.  Kingmambo entered stud in 1994 and cracked top ten on the earnings list in 2008.  Now 20,  he has sired Japanese Horse of the Year El Condor Pasa, Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid, English and Irish 2000 Guineas winner Henrythenavigator, and European champions Divine Proportions and Russian Rhythm. 


O.K, Dan...
Don't just gloss over Drosselmeyer. What was
his Belmont Beyer?
Dan Baedeker

Drosselmeyer received a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.  It was by far the slowest Belmont Stakes Beyer since the numbers were published in 1990 (previous low was Da' Tara's 99 in 2008).


Dan,  Think you can break out the old PP's for the oldie but a goodie Poor but Honest.

Here's what I have for Poor But Honest:

Download Poor But Honest


I was sad to hear she lost her Tiznow foal.
Does anyone know what her next breeding plan is?
SR Vegas

Pepper's Pride was bred earlier this season to Distorted Humor.


Question for Dan or other PH players. In the 10th at Colonial, the PP's for #3 Despite the Odds seem to show his last race was a Maiden 100k at PIM. It also shows he WON a G3 on June 5 2009 at Belmont and has three lifetime wins.
Ned Daly

The last race was the Maryland Sprint Handicap, a $100,000 race on the Preakness undercard.



Different clockers employ different styles.  In California, the works are designated as "handily" unless the horse is under no urging whatsover.  In New York, a horse that is under heavy urging will be classified as "handily" while moderate to no urging would be noted as "breezing."


Dan, owned some horses in early 2000s, wondered if you could dig up PPs. Brocco Bob, Riot, Jab, Buffalo Bird Woman, Kinetic Bend, Spirit O War, and Mister Approval.  Thank you

Here they are:

Download Horses


A little research question for you.  Any way that you can post the pick 6 payoffs during Zenyatta's lifetime?  Obviously the Oaklawn races might be quite low due to low handle but otherwise it will be interesting since she has turned every pick 6 into a pick 5.
Thanks in advance.

Interesting question.  Here they are:

November 22, 2007:  $316,213.60
December 15, 2007:  $4,168.40
January 13, 2008:  $607,518.60
April 5, 2008:  $1,063.60 (Five of Six)
May 31, 2008:  $23,617.80
July 5, 2008:  Zenyatta's race was not included in the Pick 6
August 2, 2008:  $23,132.20
September 27, 2008:  Zenyatta's race was not included in the Pick 6
October 24, 2008:  $16,800.60
May 23, 2009:  $33,292.00
June 27, 2009:  Zenyatta's race was not included in the Pick 6
August 9, 2009:  $11,540.00
October 10, 2009:  $11,781.60
November 7, 2009:  $1,838,305.20
March 13, 2010:  $27,894.00
April 9, 2010:  Zenyatta's race was not included in the Classix
June 13, 2010:  $2,068,60


Dan Our Man
Would you be kind enough to post the latest PP's for ZENYAYTTA.
I'd like to have that historical 17 of 17 win list to frame :)
Thank you
SR Vegas

Here are her past performances:

Download Zenyatta


Congrats to Molesap for again finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  He selected the third race from Evangeline for Wednesday.  Here are the past performances:

Download HG

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.