Closing out the summer meets

A huge weekend of racing lies ahead, and as I go through the weekend cards, I find myself most excited about watching the two-year-old races.

I love seeing the future of the sport unfold. On Saturday, Executiveprivilege is the 4-to-5 morning line favorite in the Del Mar Debutante. She was the first two-year-old filly to catch my eye this year. She has an extremely powerful presence. Watching her races, it is obvious the other fillies can feel her too. We'll see if her dominance continues.

On Sunday at Saratoga, the Spinaway drew seven two-year-old fillies including Teen Pauline, So Many Ways, Dreaming of Julia, and Seasoned Warrior.

The colt races (the Saratoga Special is on Monday and the Del Mar Futurity on Wednesday) haven't drawn yet, but I am really excited to see who shows up in those races.

The West Coast colts I am waiting to see run again include Capo Bastone, Tree of Life, and Know More. In the East, Fortify, Palace Malice, Uncaptured, and Bern Identity are a few of my favorites.

I thought Archwarrior's debut on Thursday was excellent. Here's the video in case you missed it:


The three graded stakes for older horses at Saratoga on Saturday should be entertaining, although I am not feeling a ton of betting value.

I think the main story line of the Bernard Baruch will be how Dominus takes to the turf. The talented 4-year-old Smart Strike colt is lone speed. Data Link, one of my personal favorites, will be trying to run him down.

A lot of curiosity in the Forego will center on whether Shackleford and Jackson Bend can rebound to top form, plus the up-and-comers Pacific Ocean and Emcee.

And the Woodward features the returns of Mucho Macho Man and To Honor And Serve. If they both fire their best effort, that could be a good one.


Leave a Comment:

lunar spook

woodward stakes #3 #6 #7 exacta box

31 Aug 2012 12:48 PM

woodward stakes 3-4-6 exacta box

31 Aug 2012 2:34 PM
lunar spook

chief piccawinna , looks like we are thinking alike , i cant agree with you on trickmeister, it seems the better the competition the worse he runs , hate to pick the favorite but mucho macho man is the class of this field , i have lost every time i bet on to honor and serve but i keep thinking hes gonna break out one day , if he lets me down this time im thru with him !

31 Aug 2012 3:00 PM

I like Lunar Spook's ExBx too. However, I will probably just play 3 over 4-7.  I think we are now just getting to see the best of Mucho Macho Man.

I do find #7 Cease interesting. Cease could still have some upside and he is 3 for 3 going 9f at Sar. Good connections too.

I do respect Stay Thirsty and To Honor and Serve; however, they are both enigmatic. However, they both seem to like Saratoga and 9f, but I think if MMM can eyeball them (if he even needs too) and turn them back.  That may leave Cease to close late and pick up the exacta.

31 Aug 2012 5:02 PM

I cant argue with you on comments about Trickmeister, hes also picking up 10 pounds but maybe Dutrow has got him ready to maintain his speed on his third try at a mile and an eighth since July.One good thing he has consistency to finish in the money 7 speed figs over 100 in a row on brisnet,good chance hes the pacesetter.

31 Aug 2012 5:13 PM
Mary Zinke

I'm using the two Bernardinis, Stay Thirsty and To Honor And Serve, on top of my super. If I go with the thought that each trainer has their horse fit and ready for this race, and giving my top picks another chance after THAS failed as the favorite, and bad race even with the stumble excuse for Thirsty in the Suburban, then these two fit the distance and track, and have suitable running styles for the 9f Woodward, have back class and top pedigrees,and they have liked Saratoga, at least they did last summer.  5,6/3,5,6/1,3-6/1,3-7. I like Rule as a personal favorite, but even with Dominguez on, I don't see him getting away with a slow enough lead in order to win this. He just isn't fast enough, going by his past.  

31 Aug 2012 5:19 PM
El Kabong

Working on some late night fun. Delmar Pick 6 has a half million carryover. I think you can single Fed Biz in the feature. His works look sharp and at one point, Baffert thought this guys was better than Bode. I like the return at 1 mile. I am surprised to see Talamo and not Bejarano up on Fed Biz. I remember Bejarano's wild enthusiasm for this horse back in February. He claimed Fed Biz was his Derby Horse. Talamo has been riding very well so no big deal. IF he runs to 90% of his potential, he should be long gone at the turn for home.  My ticket right now is 216. Looking for a way to trim just a bit but don't know if I can. Anyone else playing?

31 Aug 2012 5:44 PM

Pete I don't understand your comment saying "not feeling a ton of betting value". If you bet $100.00 to win on a 2-1 horse, you get back $300.00. Whats wrong with that? Horse racing is trying to pick the winner. Not trying to beat the winner at a price.

31 Aug 2012 5:49 PM
Mary Zinke

If I can escape, I may "vote" on Shaun Washington, El K. p4 might be 4,5/9/3,5/3,6.

31 Aug 2012 6:29 PM
Pete Denk


I'll take 2-1 on Data Plan if it is offered. But 2-1 shot are not where I make my money, and unfortunately that race is not part of the late p4.

What 2-1 shot were u referring to? Some horses are excellent value at 2-1.

31 Aug 2012 6:51 PM
Pete Denk

Add Majestic Hussar to my list of top three-year-olds. Loved his debut. The Hopeful is going to be verrry interesting.

31 Aug 2012 7:08 PM
El Kabong

Mary Z,

Got it down to 144 and I'm out in the first race! Ouch. 28 to 1 shot out of no where cruised home. Hoping for 5 of 6 now. :(

31 Aug 2012 7:39 PM
El Kabong

Mary Z.


Like your 4,5 start. need 7,9 in second. single 2, and ending with 1,2,4.

31 Aug 2012 7:42 PM

After two rough weekends in a row, I hit the first 2 pick 3s and the early PIck 4 at Saratoga.  All chalk, but surprisingly made a $200 profit for the day.  

Now to tomorrow's handicapping.  

31 Aug 2012 8:02 PM
El Kabong

Mary K,

ticket was cheap, so I tossed in 6,11 into next(2nd)  leg. Needed some value to single fed biz.

good luck.

31 Aug 2012 8:40 PM

Glad to see the return of one of my favorite namesake horse ever... Prince Will I Am>

He put three of the most visually impressive races in a row I have ever seen in the Fall of 2010.

Anyone who likes great race replays should watch race 9 at Sar on 9/3/10, race 7 at Bel on 10/9/10, and then the Breeders Cup Marathon, race 5 at CD on 11/5/10.

Easy horse to follow, big chestnut with white blaze and yellow silks.

31 Aug 2012 8:47 PM

Lucky last week and had the tri in the Travers. Hoping to get a little luck tomorrow. In the Forego, Shackleford had a terrible last work. He just might hate the track. Emcee and Pacific Ocean will be out front and will go with Pacific Ocean to last. Emcee best speed numbers on an off track and tomorrow should be fast. Caixa Eletronica will be running late. Will bet 5,7 W 5,7 W 1,4... Hoping that Jackson Bend is alright after the training accident a couple of weeks ago. Good luck to all.

31 Aug 2012 8:50 PM
Mary Zinke

I didn't get to escape, El K. Child #4 has my car-no online wagering here. I'm still rooting for Shaun Washington though. I like to see the big guy in the winner's circle.

31 Aug 2012 8:57 PM


Just watched That Handicapping Show.  It looks like the graphics people might have screwed up your picks, would you kindly clarify?

Also, was Tom hitting the Woodford and/or on presciption medication???

31 Aug 2012 8:58 PM


Mucho Macho Man


To Honor and Serve

Stay Thirsty



Pacific Ocean


Caixa Eletronica

31 Aug 2012 9:04 PM
El Kabong

Mary Z,

You're doing great so far. 4 in first, 9 in second. I bow to your wisdom. Looking forward to seeing Fed Biz dazzle. He's a terrific runner. I hope he's fully recovered and ready to go.

31 Aug 2012 9:13 PM
Mary Zinke

Congrats on your pick in the 6th, El K. That was quite a duel after the time off for Fed Biz.

31 Aug 2012 9:35 PM
El Kabong

Baffert is very realistic. He said it wouldn't be easy and he was honest. Fed Biz needed that but he's much better. Look for more.

31 Aug 2012 9:37 PM
Mary Zinke

So close for your 2 El K.

31 Aug 2012 10:05 PM
El Kabong

Mary Z,


31 Aug 2012 10:19 PM

Woodward :  1,5 with 1,5,3 with 1,5,3,7.  I like the 7 days in between workouts for Stay Thirsty, with 2 one minute 5Fs.  Rule's jockey switch makes him a big contender in this race I think.  He'll be sitting off the pace and will be the first one to go after the leaders.

Hopeful : 1,4 with 1,4,2,7 with 1,4,2,7 (tri and super).  I like Fortify in this race, not sure what the morning lines are but I think Fortify will probably go off at 6-1 or 7-1.  The intriguing one is Leparoux's horse, you can't leave this guy out in these types of races.  I wanted to play Lukas' horse because normally I would think that Lukas doesn't run a horse unless he's fit and ready but lately, I'm starting to question whether he actually know his horses.

Forego : Shackleford with Hamazing Destiny, Pacific Ocean, Caixa Electonica.   I'll add Jersey Town to my superfecta.

Good luck to all playing for real money tomorrow!!

01 Sep 2012 12:21 AM

Regarding the 2YOs, I fancy Brave Dave to win the Sappling Stakes from Drum Roll on  Saturday and Fortify to cop the Hopeful Stakes over Shanghai Bobby on Monday.

In the Grade 1 Woodward its Mucho Macho Man to dominate once again, with To Honor and Serve holding second place.

The Forego could see Hamazing Destiny flying late to score ahead of Shackleford and Jersey Town.

Good Luck.

01 Sep 2012 4:45 AM

THe Woodward all the horses are picking up weight the least of which is Cease at 5 pounds.If the track is deep today this race could provide a close finish and be a battle of attrition in deep stretch and the winners would be the horse that saves enough for that last stride, and his jockey helps him by timing his move precisely.

01 Sep 2012 9:58 AM

Predicting a lot of prices thru Race 7 at Saratoga.  Wouldn't venture to play a tri or Pick 3.  

Seems more manageable after that.  

01 Sep 2012 10:11 AM
Pedigree Ann

The pseudo-Woodward hardly has a G1-type field. Rule, proven to be a G2-type; Gourmet Dinner, not even a G3 type at 4; Trickmeister, beaten off in all G1 starts; Stay Thirsty, never won against horses not of his own generation; To Honor and Serve, one-turn is his thing at 4; Cease, only stakes win of the year at a bullring. And Mucho Macho Man, who may have the most talent but hasn't yet won a G1.

The Woodward at Belmont was a real G1, especially in the days when it was 10f. This race is a faint shadow of its former self, just like the pseudo-Suburban. Cutting 10f races down to 9f doesn't help the breed or the racing program - why run two 9f races for older horses at one meet, anyway? 10f makes more sense in this position as a regional prep for the more prestigious JCGC. But 'sense' is a commodity lacking in whoever determines the NYRA racing program, or so it seems to me.

01 Sep 2012 10:46 AM

Shack scratched from Forego. Still going with Emcee on top, now Pacific Ocean in the place spot, will probably use all to round out the tri.

01 Sep 2012 11:30 AM


1 To Honor And Serve: His last was hard to figure, but the switch to John V and his pace handling abilities is a natural fit for a horse that has always needed to be either really up close to the pace or else setting it.  His key will be to be up close and yet be able to relax and not be on the early muscle.  I think he is a much better two turn horse than a one turn one and I think that he’ll be every bit as good at 9F as he is at a mile.  Has been working fabulously.

2 Mucho Macho Man:  Right now the horse to beat and is coming off a sensational effort in the Suburban.  He seems to thrive when he has his races well spaced so for that reason only I can see why they bi-passed the Whitney.  The distance is no problem, but a small field might be a concern if, especially if Trickmeister is left to himself up front and THAS is in his anticipated stalking position. This might force MMM to be closer to the pace than they would like.  He is still looking for his first G1 win and today could be the day.

3 Trickmeister:  He should be the pace setter.  Was taken back a bit in a tough Whitney, the first time they ever tried to let someone else set the pace in his career.  He ran a 1.48 4/5 on this track which shows he can handle it, but that was two years ago.  He still has to show that he is a legitimate G1 horse.  He is also coming into his third race in his form cycle which is often a horse’s top effort.  My reason for liking him for top three is mainly a small field and his running style.

4 Stay Thirsty: Only two starts this year and not remotely competitive against MMM in the Suburban.  True he won the Travers and Jim Dandy last year on this track, but that was a lifetime ago.  Trickmeister was pulling away from him in the stretch in the Vandlandingham in his first start this year and MMM crushed him in the last.  He’s going to need a lot more than a friendly racing surface to convince me.

01 Sep 2012 12:33 PM

I was talking about any 2-1 shot. Where do you make your money and how?

01 Sep 2012 12:36 PM


1 Shackleford:  Throw out his last.  He is now the best one-turn horse in N/A.

2 Jackson Bend.  If they let him relax and have his one big run and time it properly he has a chance to upset.  He is really good at 7F.

3 Hamazing Destiny.  Big charge in the end at good odds.  Should be in the money.

4 Emcee.  The one to catch when they turn for home.  I’m betting they will, but he should still hang in for top four.

01 Sep 2012 12:40 PM

Seems to be smart money working at Saratoga today; at least the first two races.  Both early winners had their odds start well below their ML before drifting back up.  

01 Sep 2012 1:49 PM
Mary Zinke

If THAS wins the Woodward will the race finally be upgraded from a listed stakes, Laz? LOL

Forego: JB, Emcee, Jersey Town.  I like Pacific Ocean, but taking the chance that he won't like a speed duel for the early lead this time.

Executive Privilege to win the Del Mar Debutante,followed by Heir Kitty, Mechaya.

Bernard Baruch: Dominus--hope he likes the turf. He's the speed here. Data Link, QPK.

I like 4 horses to start of the Del Mar p6, in r.6: 2,3,10,11. Anyone like hunch picks? The 6,Iron Joe T gets Joe Talamo this time.  

01 Sep 2012 1:55 PM
Pete Denk


The three graded races at Saratoga today have short fields (6-7-7) and I expect short priced winners. I prefer bigger fields where the money can spread a bit. Bigger fields give the public more chances to make mistakes.

I bet a lot of maiden races and NW2L. Also love turf. Prefer dirt to synth.

01 Sep 2012 1:56 PM

Guess I was right about it being wide open.  50-1 shot winning the 3d.  Wrong about smart money for that one.  

01 Sep 2012 2:04 PM

Lets check the smart money theory in race 4.  4 horse odds cut 10-1 to 4-1 at first call.    

01 Sep 2012 2:07 PM
El Kabong


8th I'm starting of with 4. Data, Queen, Dominius, and I hope I get Prince William to fire big. This looks wide open. Realistically, the ticket could die right here.

In 9th, I am going to single Jackson. He's ready to fire and when he does, he's unstoppable. Zito will be faintly heard with his classic scratchy voice screaming Jackson to the line. Get Up Jackson, get up boy, get up Jackson, He's got it.....He's got it!

In 10th I use two. Best Closer in Mucho, and the beset speed.....Trickmeister.

11th, I really like Sleepy Freud but will also use Western Tryst.

Good luck. I hope the East is nicer to me today then the West coast was last night. Getting back in the saddle though.

Good luck all.

01 Sep 2012 3:13 PM
El Kabong


I always consider the smart money to be located in the p3 p4 pools. tote variations don't count as much as money bet smartly with two or three previous winners. It makes sense that this money is more focused. I like to compare morning line odds to the P3 payouts to see if there is a horse bet out of sequence. For instance, 10-1 who is now the second favorite in the P3 pools. Then I'll check the horse out to see if I overlooked something. It can help.

01 Sep 2012 3:21 PM

in terms of quality depth

01 Sep 2012 3:34 PM

EMCEE!!! and TO HONOR AND SERVE!and my horse#1 that i own is going for 3 in a row!!! fav. horse #2 goes next week!

01 Sep 2012 3:52 PM

Forego:  Missed the Shackleford scratch.  This changes a lot for me.  My revised pickes are:

1 Isn’t He Perfect.  That Dutrow magic; Ramon sticking to him; cutting back in distance to a distance that he really feels comfortable with; and third race in his form cycle.

2 Jackson Bend.

3 Hamazing Destiny will still be charging.

4 Emcee with hang in for a part.

Bet Forego: box all four in a tri and super and $50 across the board on Isn’t He Perfect.

Bet Woodward:  Tri on THAS, MMM and Trickmeister; Super all four and $100K W/P THAS.

01 Sep 2012 4:02 PM

I think we can work on returning the unofficial G1 status to the Woodward this year Mary.  At least this field, even with only 7 starters, has much more depth than the last three Woodwards.  Just my very, very, very humble opinion of course.

01 Sep 2012 4:04 PM

Bernard Baruch

1 Data Lank

2 QP Kitten

3 Guy’s Reward

4 4 Dominus.

Bet: Box for Super and Data Link $50 WPS

01 Sep 2012 4:27 PM

Very nice win by Dominus.  His first on turf and John V. jumping off and choosing to stay with Data Link made me have my doubts.  Also, Javier Castellano possibly passing up a live Pletcher mount even though he did stay with Pletcher’s QP Kitten threw me off.  One turf race makes me a believer with this guy.

01 Sep 2012 4:50 PM
Mary Zinke

I agree, nice win by Dominus. Good time, too. I did box the exacta just because it was Dominus' first turf race. wps, too :)  

01 Sep 2012 5:02 PM

Do you think Repole made a large wager on Stay Thirsty trying to one up Reddam and his bet on IHA.We will find out shortly if ST merits the bet.

01 Sep 2012 5:38 PM

Good picks Mary.  The way I'm going you're going to have to float me a loan.

01 Sep 2012 5:38 PM

To Honor and Serve.  As I stated above, I believe that he is better around two turns than one turn and that he should be ridden patiently with a close stalking trip.  We saw that today and we also saw a rider that fits him like a glove.  When MMM drew along side it looked like game over, but THAS had much more left.  The time was good, 148.56.  A good gusty effort.  MMM might have been locked in along the inside for too long, but he still didn’t have an excuse.  It looked to me like he might have gotten a lip in front when he came up to THAS.  To his credit, he didn’t quite, THAS just wouldn’t give up.

01 Sep 2012 6:14 PM
Mary Zinke

Congrats, Laz. THAS, winner of the grade 1 Woodward. :)

01 Sep 2012 6:40 PM
Mary Zinke

Did you has 100K wp on him or is that a typo, Laz? lol

01 Sep 2012 6:42 PM
Pete Denk

Love the 10 Katie Malone in the last here at Saratoga. Has stalking speed, two good efforts on the turf in NY, and she goes first out for Canani. 4-1

01 Sep 2012 6:44 PM
Mary Zinke

Just caught the Woodward replay. Good stretch battle between MMM and THAS.  *have for my own typo back there. Poor little JB in the Forego, I don't know how much the collision can be blamed, but Emcee looked good.

01 Sep 2012 6:56 PM
Linda in Texas

Man oh Man Laz you nailed it 1  2  in your post of 01Sep2012 12:33 PM.

Hope your money was on it.

Good call.

I believe Jackson Bend bobbled coming out of the gate, need to go back and check the video. Once he did he could not catch up but he did not give up and that is what i love about Jackson Bend.  

Now that was a race: To Honor and Serve and Mucho Macho Man. Terrific.

Thanks Pete. Have a nice and safe Labor Day week end everybody.

01 Sep 2012 7:08 PM

100 W/P Mary.  I cleared 365 on the win and 75 on the place though I gave some back on the tri and super bets ($1 boxes).  I also cashed on the $50 W/P on Data Link on the place bet but subtracted my $12.50 win from the place from my $50 to win means that I still lost 38 bucks on the straight bet on the race, plus the exotic bets.  And I also lost a $50 WPS bet on the Forego plus my exotic bets.  THAS puts me ahead, but not by much.  I’m not afraid to bet big money on horses (at least for me).  I don’t make that many win bets though unless I have them backed up.  Quite often I make big show bets, $200 to show, which in this race would have netted me a $50 straight bet profit.

01 Sep 2012 7:18 PM
Mary Zinke

THAS is a very nice colt, Laz. Good call. Two weeks in a row of Bernardinis taking(or sharing a dead heat in) the feature dirt route at Saratoga. Hey, if you have the spare funds to play with, why not?  

01 Sep 2012 7:45 PM

Jockeys!!!! Yes i picked both races on here........but my horse ran 6 wide and got 2nd by a length! damn jockeys! oh well the horse fires every!

01 Sep 2012 9:38 PM

Laz : You are on fire mah man.  Nice call on THAS but here's a task for ya.  If you can decipher what KY VET has been posting, I'll give ya $5.  It's no big deal, just curious what he's talking about.  Seriously...

01 Sep 2012 11:09 PM
By a long nose

Woodshade: Pete's M.O is to analyze a big race and throw out a bunch of horses he "likes." but he'll rarely take a stand on a winner. It's called the Steve Haskin school of handicapping. You can never look too bad when you don't put yourself out there. Just look at the blog he wrote above. He didn't pick one horse.

01 Sep 2012 11:33 PM


02 Sep 2012 11:39 AM



LOOKS LIKE A TIE TO ME.............

02 Sep 2012 11:41 AM
Pete Denk

Long Nose-

I have taken plenty of stands on this blog. Last week I was all over Alpha on here and on That Handicapping Show as a prime win bet and P4 single.

Sometimes I analyze a race on here, sometimes I just want to get the conversation started and provide a place for exchange of ideas.

There were a few very nice picks on here yesterday, with a couple people hitting THAS and Emcee. Congrats to Big Bux Bill and Laz and KY Vet, and the others who picked some winners.

I also do the Saturday Locksmith analysis, which Blood-Horse sells for $5 (I have a positive ROI through 13 weeks of doing the Saturday analysis, not easy when you have to turn it in 24+ hours in advance). I can't give those picks away for free on here. That wouldn't be fair to the customers.

Believe me, I take plenty of stands in my analysis and most importantly at the window. At Saratoga yesterday I fired on Ambit (good 2nd), Sleepy Freud (out), and Katie Malone (tough 4th, very wide trip). I didn't have a great day. But I singled Executive Privilege and hit the late P4 at Del Mar (paid $160 for 50-cent increment on each $24 play, given out in my analysis) to get things headed in the right direction again.

BTW, I enjoy Haskin's writing, but I agree with you that he gives positive reviews to 80% of the field. Your comparison of his analysis with mine is waaaayyyyy off. I don't think he bets.

02 Sep 2012 11:48 AM

KY VET : Here's a rude awakening, I doubt anyone listens to yours.  This is the first time you've posted a pick that won that I can remember and just like Draynay, you picked favorites.  NOT that hard to do.  I hit the superfecta in the Forego for .50 cents, and that's without reading the form.  For someone who reads forms, you're winning pick percentage is at .000001 %

Stop with your "my horses" posts, no one believes it.  With all the money you're losing on your WP bets, I don't know how you manage to pay rent let alone own a horse.

02 Sep 2012 12:25 PM
Pete Denk

From my stable mail, today in Del Mar's 8th race (1st leg of late p4, third leg p6)

Scarlet Strike: Filly showed very impressive dynamic in 7-29 race won by Switchtothelead. Bet back. Will like more distance.

Scarlet Strike stretches to a mile today. She is a win bet candidate for me and multi-race single. Listed at 5-2 on the ML and I'd love to get her at that price.

02 Sep 2012 12:42 PM
Mary Zinke

Beside the favorites, Howe Great(invader) and Old Time Hockey, I like Power Foot in the Del Mar Derby.

02 Sep 2012 12:49 PM
Pete Denk

In the Del Mar Derby, Smart Ellis won despite some traffic issues last time and goes second off the layoff for Mandella. Big works and I liked him early in his career. Could be poised to step forward in a competitive race.

02 Sep 2012 1:20 PM
By a long nose

You were all over Alpha, the heavy favorite? Way to go out on a limb!!

02 Sep 2012 7:29 PM

$16.00 .50 Late P4 at Del Mar :

08th : 1,6,7,9

09th : 7,9

10th : 4,11

10th : 4,10

02 Sep 2012 7:52 PM
By a long nose

Nice picks JayJay

02 Sep 2012 9:33 PM
Mary Zinke

Is this going to go on every 28 days, long nose? Just askin'.

02 Sep 2012 11:08 PM

By a long nose : Yeah, it was a doozy.  So what's your deal?  Do you know anything about horses or you're just trying to vent your anger at the world via this blog? lol

Pete : Nice pick on Scarlet Strike, you got your odds.  Hopefully you made a bundle including the P3s and P4s.  I don't think you need to explain yourself to long nose, the guy is just bitter about ... well, something.  

03 Sep 2012 1:00 AM
Pedigree Ann

Still don't consider this Woodward, at this distance and this track, a G1. None of the horses going in looked like real G1 horses, and none did coming out. Fractions nothing to write home about, pretty much one-paced 23 3/4, 23 3/8, 24.9 (the breather for the front horses) 12 3/4. No shot for deep closers; 'course, that has been the way Saratoga has been all meet long - advantage front-runners.

03 Sep 2012 10:58 AM
Mary Zinke

I did see a Graded Stakes Committee comment at another website, just this morning.

03 Sep 2012 11:43 AM

Lucky to hit Saratoga's last race yesterday, Tri and Super.  Giving me money to play today.  

Pick 3 Race 1) 1,5,10,11/2,5,8/2,9

Pick 4 Race 2) 2,5,8/2,5,9/1,2,8,9/2,13

Pick 3 Race 6) 3,7,9/5,7,8,9/1,4,5

Pick 4 Race 8) 1,4,5/1,4/2,8/2,11

Pick 3 Race 9) 1,4/2,8/2,11

$20 WPS #13 (race 5)

$10 Ex box Race 9 (1,4)

Whatever is left at the end of the day goes on the #2 to show in the 11th.  

I don't play again until Breeders Cup, then Churchill and Gulfstream Meet.  

03 Sep 2012 12:30 PM

I dont think any regular blogger on here listens to any other blogger, I think they just acknowledge their picks.One of the reasons may be that the screen names could be used by the same person,I know I have read similar writing styles which made me consider the fact that we actually dont know WHO is on here.I have been playing this game of chance a long time and I definitely have my own opinion which is the way I see the others on here.

03 Sep 2012 4:17 PM

Chief, I agree.  When the money is mine to gamble, the opinion is going to be mine that I bet.  I read others opinions to try to learn different angles, but never bet based solely off someone else.  

03 Sep 2012 5:37 PM

OK Kevin take heart bloggers the members of this board are similar to CONGRESS we dont agree on much

03 Sep 2012 6:19 PM

A marathon of thoughts on the last 2 weeks of racing:

Travers- Fun race.  Like with the Belmont, the disappointment over who wasn't there was made up for with exciting action on the track.  Exciting, but not great racing.  Alpha is a nice colt, and definitely has a touch of class, but I really don't think he's ready to win a race like the BC Classic at this stage in his career; there are simply too many older horses faster than him.  Maybe if they keep him in training next year, a big if and I don't expect it, he will be one of the top choices in the big open races like the BC Classic.  

Golden Ticket picked an opportune time to run a career race.  Will he be able to reproduce it, or will he follow the trajectory of a horse like Grasshopper?  

Fast Falcon and Atigun were right there at the finish as well, indicating to me a more moderate race.  I think the 100 Beyer to be a tad generous.  Nonios in 5th was dull, yet still was beaten less than 4.

King's Bishop- Not the strongest running of the King's Bishop.  Dutrow shows with Willy Beamin that racing a horse rather than empahsizing morning training can be beneficial.  

I truly believe that thoroughbred trainers, like baseball managers, tend to emphasize things(training for trainers, "managing" for managers) that reinforce their own importance.  The way some look at it, there are a number of baseball people that could let an ace throw 8 or 9 innings most every start, but it takes a "genius" to bring in a lefty after the 6th to face 2 batters, a righty to face the 3rd batter in the 7th, then bring the set-up man for the 8th, and finally the closer for the 9th.  The same thing with training; running a horse every 2 weeks or so, without works in between, is not seen as "skilled" as bringing a horse up to a race off a 3 month break in which you, the trainer, are orchestrating the works, gallops, and jogs, fine-tuning everything yourself.

Test + Ballerina- both Turbulent Descent and Contested are top contenders for the BC Filly and Mare Sprint, and both have proven form over the Santa Anita dirt.  And both are now multiple grade 1 winners.  But neither was at her best in these particular races.

Personal Ensign- I tried to caution those that were proclaiming Royal Delta the best horse in the country after her Fleur de Lis.  Granted, Royal Delta conceded weight in the PE, but she wasn't near her best.  I find it interesting that when Royal Delta loses, many want to emphasize the weight, and rightly so, but when Zenyatta had to carry 129 lbs and concede 15+ lbs against horses comparable to Love and Pride, some saw it as inconsequential.  

In any event, even considering the weight, the best horse was It's Tricky.  In my book, the ground she lost going to her head at the start was worth more than the weight Royal Delta conceded.  It's Tricky continues to not receive the credit she is due as a 3-time grade 1 winner, but I now think she's the best older female on the continent.  

All of a sudden, with the emergence of 3 year olds Questing and Potesta, Royal Delta looks to have her hooves full in the BC Ladies Classic.

Ballston Spa- Zagora is an admirable mare, and is accumulating a tidy number of graded stakes wins.  Unfortunately, the 10 furlongs of the BC Filly + Mare Turf is probably beyond her capabilities.

03 Sep 2012 7:08 PM

One Dashing Eagle left my jaw on the ground when he won the $1 Ed Burke back in June at Los Alamitos.  He crushed the field that day, winning off by almost 2 lengths.  It was a powerhouse effort from a powerfully built colt.

However, there were two things that muted excitement about the performance.  First, 3 of the original 10 fastest qualifiers were ejected from the race when they were seized by the FBI as property in the investigation of the cartels' activity in quarter horse racing.  

Second, One Dashing Eagle's time in the Burke final was not quick from an historical standpoint.  

However, and this leads into an interesting discussion, times at Los Alamitos have been about a half second slow starting last fall.  Was it a coincidence times began to slow shortly after a number of prominent horses were disqualified from wins in major stakes for medication violations?  Was it a coincidence that times have slowed since the track's dominant trainer was basically asked to hit the road after repeated violations?  Maybe the track is deeper, or maybe we're seeing how fast horses running naturally can actually run?  Because there was about a 24 month stretch when the 400 yard track record of 19.17, set in 07', was lowered to 19.15 then 19.14 by Freaky, then taken down to 19.13, then down to 19.11, and finally to a ridiculous 19.06 by Chivalry last July.

So, One Dashing Eagle did not come to Ruidoso for the trials of the All American Futurity with a Los Al track record, or even a stakes record.  But he had crushed a $1 million race.  And in what appears to be a new era at Los Al, it was the quality of the win, and not the time, that stamped him a legit contender for a race like the All-American Futurity.  

In today's All American Futurity, One Dashing Eagle broke like a rocket, and although weaving through the stretch, pulled away for a powerful 3/4 length win.

With wins now in 2 million dollar races, One Dashing Eagle has positioned himself for a monster year.

03 Sep 2012 7:49 PM
Age of Reason

GunBow that was a great set of analyses on your first post, as usual--I can't comment on the second  because I don't know QHs at all. :) Your explanation of why trainers prefer to run off a layoff is intriguingl and original. Concerning Royal Delta ("Delter" to Trevor Denman), my take is that Royal Delta might need a blazing front-runner like Questing at the BC to set up her run. Regarding your point on Royal Delta and media bias (at least that's how I took it lol), it's very interesting to me that none of the "establishment" press  is going bonkers over the fact that Royal Delta hasn't beaten any males on dirt--remember all the hackneyed talking points of a few years back?

03 Sep 2012 11:30 PM
Mary Zinke

Noticed the weight spread in Royal Delta's races. Never complained as they seemed fair.  Interesting blog. I still expect a jockey change.

04 Sep 2012 12:35 AM

So more comments from the last 2 weeks.

Pacific Classic- OK, Dullahan loves synth, Polytrack in particular, and is better on it than turf, and considerably better on it than dirt.  Like others, I assumed Dullahan would run better in the Pacific Classic than in the Haskell.  However, I didn't expect that type of performance.  That was absolutely world-class, and earned a 111 Beyer.  Yes, Game on Dude is not best on Del Mar's Poly, but the 3rd and 4th place finishers, Richard's Kid and Rail Trip, are synth specialists themselves, yet Dully was clearly superior in the Pacific Classic.  I'm not expecting much from Dully in the BC given there will be no synth races, but I look forward to him running in the Dubai World Cup.  Dully now joins Game on Dude and Richard's Kid as 3-time grade 1 winners.

Game on Dude lost nothing in defeat.  He validated Baffert's opinion that he is simply a better horse than last year, because although Poly is not his preferred surface, he ran considerably better in this Pacific Classic than last year.  And while the type of early move Dude made in the Pac Classic is not flattered on synth, it is precisely the type of move that can win big dirt races.  If Dude can relax early as well as he did in the Pac Classic, and then make his run on cue, he will be the horse to beat in the BC Classic.

On the slightly more negative side, the Pac Classic did show again that Dude is not quite a great horse.  Very good, but not great.  What's the difference?  A great horse finds a way to hold on to leads in last year's Hollywood Gold Cup, BC Classic, and this year's Pac Classic.  The margin of defeat for Dude in those 3 races? 2 lengths.  2 lengths separating Dude from possibly winning no Eclipse awards and being 2-time HoY.

Richard's Kid did not get a good trip, but I don't think he was finishing better than 3rd anyways.  While Baffert always thought he could dirt, his dirt form from early 2009 was at the grade 3 level.  While he definitely has improved from then, I'm still skeptical about his chances against the best dirt horses.  Rail Trip ran better than I thought he would, but his synth form is far better than his dirt form, and while he has a shot in the BC Dirt Mile, I don't see him placing.  Suggestive Boy needs to get back to middle distance turf races, and Amani needs to get  back on dirt, against females.  The also-rans ran to their odds and will not be major factors for the BC.

Del Mar Mile- Obviously is running freaky good races right now.  With an ability to go out in 1:08 and change and still finish up in 23, his speed is a game changer and will radically affect a race's setup.  I still need to see him do it outside of Del Mar and face at least some moderate presssure(mainly from a mental standpoint because while his leads are uncontested, they are physically demanding paces).

Mr. Commons ran the best race of his career, and deserved to at least share the win.  Maybe it was the blinkers.  If he can run like this again he just may be a BC Mile contender after all.  Jeranimo just doesn't bring his best every race.  More like every 3 races.  It's also probable he likes Hollywood and Santa Anita more than Del Mar.

Pat O' Brien- Capital Account deserved a graded stakes victory.  He's run some very fast races under allowance conditions, and has proven capable on all types of surfaces.  6 furlongs in the BC Sprint may be a bit sharp for him, but I like mid-late closers with good acceleration, like Captial Account, in big field sprint races.  

Camp Victory did not run back to his career effort in the Triple Bend.  He's a very consistent horse, but because his dirt form is questionable, I expect to see him in the BC Turf Sprint.  However, what he would really like would be a synth sprint at 7 furlongs.  

Coil should now be on his way to the BC Dirt Mile, where he has a definite shot.

04 Sep 2012 6:33 AM

And finally:

Forego- In my opinion, Emcee stamped himself in the Forego as the main challenger to Amazombie for the BC Sprint.  Amazombie will have the home track advantage and is almost unbeatable at 6 furlongs, but Emcee reminds me a lot of Force Freeze, and that horse pushed Amazombie to the wire in last year's Sprint.

Whitney- To Honor and Serve and Mucho Macho Man dominated the Whitney because they towered over the field in terms of class and talent.  

Stay Thirsty is not in form and has never proven himself outside his age group, Rule and Trickmeister are cheap speed at the grade 1 level, and Cease is a grade 3 closer.

To Honor and Serve deserves credit for getting a grade 1 around 2 turns at 9 furlongs, but I still don't like him in a race like the BC Classic at 10 furlongs.  Yes, he's better than he was for last year's Classic, but so is Game on Dude, and that horse is proven repeatedly at 10 furlongs.  There also should be a ton of speed with the likes of Nate's Minshaft, Fort Larned, and maybe Wise Dan as well as Game on Dude and even Alternation.

And because Mucho Macho Man could not get by To Honor and Serve, I now don't like him to get the 10 furlongs of the BC Classic either.  He had no excuse for not getting by THS.  Still, no grade 1s for MMM.

Spinaway- After all the brilliant performances by 2 year old fillies at the Saratoga meet, this was a disappointing race.  A final eighth in well over 13 seconds.

Del Mar Debutante- On the surface, another disappointing race, with Executiveprivilege just getting up with a final eight in over 13.  

However, my hypothesis is that Executiveprivilege only tolerated the Del Mar Poly in her two graded stakes scores, is better on Hollywood's Cushion, and will be best on dirt.

Torrey Pines- Potesta is for real, and is a legit contender for the BC Ladies Classic.  In my opinion, she is the best 8-9 furlong female in California.  Her time today was 3-5ths faster than Fed Biz's, and he received a 103 Beyer, and was 7 lengths faster than the older male John Scott ran.  Mitchell might not run her again until the BC, which is a slight concern.

04 Sep 2012 6:35 AM
lunar spook


04 Sep 2012 8:40 AM
Mary Zinke

I'd give the Del Mar Debutante very wide trip of Executiveprivilege just one more look, Gunbow.  If you find the time. I chose that comment out of the 2 weeks' entry as the one of top priority to address.

04 Sep 2012 12:09 PM
Age of Reason

Off topic, but my sincerest thoughts and prayers are with the Zayat team right now. Although not a fan of Paynter in any particular way, I feel devastated for his connections over the swift and seemingly insurmountable manner in which his illnesses have struck. Best wishes to the horse and all who surround him...

04 Sep 2012 3:20 PM

Gun Bow,

I think that Mucho Macho Man was compromised by being pinned down on the rail for too long in the Woodward and he seemed not as sharp as in the Suburban. That was a throw out race for him. There's no doubt that he stays ten Furlongs and he's still the horse to beat in the Breeder's Cup Classic IMO. Had he been able to make his usual crippling move at the 3/8th pole THAS would've eaten his dust.

04 Sep 2012 3:53 PM
Pete Denk

Agreed RAN, Saratoga is a speed track with tight turns. Not the best surface for a big long strider like Mucho Macho Man.

But Ron The Greek is winning the BC Classic. :)

04 Sep 2012 4:05 PM

So......GUN BOW......In short, the horses that ran good, are good......and the horses that ran bad aren't good..............GOT IT!

04 Sep 2012 4:27 PM
lunar spook

PETE DENK- RON THE GEEK ? suprised he can enter anything after that spanking fort larned put on his over rated butt!

04 Sep 2012 4:31 PM

So overated is this"HE's A SYTHETIC HORSE", or he likes this or that people are just wacky....why not say "that horse runs good on sat. not sundays!  HE CAN't GO a mile and a quarter! but 1 3/16 is his ignorant are you

04 Sep 2012 4:33 PM
Rusty Weisner


That's not what he said at all.  Maybe you have a hard time reading lower-case.

04 Sep 2012 4:41 PM
lunar spook


04 Sep 2012 4:51 PM
Rusty Weisner

The moderator should consider exercising his discretion.

04 Sep 2012 4:53 PM
Rusty Weisner

I'll go back to tending my stable of unicorns now.  Good luck, everyone.

04 Sep 2012 4:59 PM
lunar spook


04 Sep 2012 5:00 PM

These excuses for Mucho Macho Man are a little much IMO, and I’m saying this as a fan of MMM.  Let’s not forget that while MMM was saving ground through the entire race, THAS was four and then three wide on the clubhouse turn and three wide narrowing down to two wide around the far turn.  And during all this time MMM was never that far behind him.  When they turned for home and MMM got clear and came at THAS, he had no excuse.  THAS dug in and refused to lose.  I think one of the differences in THAS’s favor was the switch to John V. who fits his running style perfectly.

04 Sep 2012 5:08 PM

My heart really goes out to Paynter and his connections.  It is such a sad thing when you are rooting for someone and that someone is facing what are surely insurmountable odds.  I remember so vividly, as do most I am sure, the daily ups and downs when Barbaro fought his courageous fight, how encouraged we all felt when we got those daily updates and yet deep down how hopeless many felt because even though at times the news was encourages and it raised our hopes, you still had the feeling that it was only a matter of time and that really, there was nothing we could do.  We can put a man on the moon but we can’t find a way of defeating laminitis.  This is so sad.

04 Sep 2012 6:01 PM

You might have hit it at the track but your pick on here was an exacta box of 3-6-7 and mine was an exacta box of 3-4-6 so you and I both picked the exacta.

04 Sep 2012 6:06 PM
Pete Denk


Spanking? Ha!

I hope there's plenty of Fort Larned money in the BC Classic pools.

04 Sep 2012 7:07 PM

I feel really bad for my previous comment about Paynter's initial news that he's hurt, that I thought it was just an excuse because he's been sold and being retired.  Never this, never thought it was this serious and I feel for his connections.    Really sad for the Zayat stable and Bob Baffert and his family.

KY VET : So... what you're saying is... is... is... actually I have absolutely no idea.  But here's a question for ya, how old are you ?  Seriously.

04 Sep 2012 11:26 PM

Mary Zinke:

I write as an Excutiveprivelege fan.  I saw her in person for the Landaluce and she was simply perfect, so professional.

I wasn't on track for her wins in the Sorrento or Debutante, but just watching the races themselves, I wasn't nearly as impressed.  She won both, which in my opinion speaks to her class and professionalism, and her heart.  But she just didn't seem as push-button, as brilliant.

Prior to the Del Mar meet, Baffert had experessed concern about running her over the Del Mar Poly if it played like last year.  Baffert's horses have had more success at Del Mar this year, so he basically ended up keeping them all down there.  But I still don't think Executive "thrived" on that surface.

05 Sep 2012 12:40 AM


I didn't see much of an excuse for Mucho Macho Man not to get by To Honor and Serve.

However, that still leaves the possibility he wasn't as good as he was for the Suburban.  

MMM's 3rd in the Kentucky Derby gives me some pause to totally discount his chances at 10 furlongs in the BC Classic, unlike THAS who I remain very dubious of.  However, I just like a few horses more than MMM for the Classic.

But, there's still a few months to go, and if there is further attrition, he might end up the best one standing.

05 Sep 2012 12:45 AM

Condolences to Bob Baffert.

Prayers to Paynter and his connections. It's like a black cloud hovers of this 3YO group.

05 Sep 2012 1:17 AM
Pete Denk

Executiveprivilege fans- Wait to see how she runs in the Oak Leaf before u jump off board. Horses can't accelerate on Del Mar's Polytrack the same way they can on dirt. I think she's a very powerful filly.

05 Sep 2012 8:57 AM

Gun Bow & Lazmanick,

Regarding Mucho Macho Man and To Honor and Serve I think that these colts have optimal running styles. If the race doesn't set up to suit them what you're going to get are subpar performances that doesn't necessarily reflect stamina limitations. I firmly believe that both horse can effectively stay 10 furlongs at grade one level.  In the Woodward THAS got the ideal set up while MMM didn't. Watch the ride that MMM gets next time and try not to bet against him. Peace.

05 Sep 2012 3:15 PM
lunar spook


05 Sep 2012 4:02 PM


I agree with your statement that both MMM and THAS need the right kind of trip.  That’s one of the points that I was trying to make.  John V. rode a great race, positioned THAS perfectly even though he was a little too far off the rail at times, patiently waited, and then made his move when he wanted to, not because he had to.  With the way he stalked the pace, and the patience that THAS displayed in allowing himself to relax, this is the first time that I have had confidence that he can get 10F, this in spite of the drifting in the stretch, which I consider more as a result of steady right handed whipping than fatigue.  I also firmly believe that he might be a better two turn horse than a one turn one and to this point in his career he has proven to be a pretty good one turn one.

IMO, MMM seemed to be comfortable along the inside with his only problem trying to find a way out.  When he did, he still had every chance to win this race and yet he didn’t, which could be as a result of THAS digging in and refusing to lose or possibly because MMM needs his own way and can’t win those tough head to head duals in the stretch.  I’m also not as confident that MMM will get the 10F BCC, although I’m hoping he will.  I base this in part on his ability to battle head-to-head in the stretch, which will surely happen in the BCC with Game On Dude present, and in part where I can’t see where his sire, Macho Uno, has sired a 10F winner (and he’s been a sire for quite a while now).  I also think that MMM needs his races spaced out and wonder, if after having run in the Woodward, and if he should try the JCGC at the end of the month, will the travel out west and three races in two months, and two of them at 10F, possibly be too much for him.

05 Sep 2012 5:54 PM

wild longshot byrama race 3 dm!

05 Sep 2012 6:09 PM

wild longshot byrama race 3 dm!

05 Sep 2012 6:09 PM

great pick! renees zip too bad shes unsound. she wouldve been a freak.. 9 to 1 ran great. exacta was pretty good....byrama good run

05 Sep 2012 6:16 PM


05 Sep 2012 6:58 PM

The Dude prefers dirt.  I thought he also got a "ho-hum" ride sitting off the cheap pace.  Did Sutherland have to move him up at the 1/2? afterall is is well known that Dullahan is a closer.  He really had nothing left to fight that one off.

Executiveprivilege...any horse that is 4 for 4 as a two year old whos owners plunked down $650,000 in this market, and is trained by Baffert is going to be a nice filly.  More good things to come.

05 Sep 2012 7:34 PM
Mary Zinke

I like Householder's blog :)

05 Sep 2012 10:55 PM

Very very happy with Know More's run in the Futurity.   Really excited about him but I'll try not to make predictions.  After watching his Best Pal win and the way he ran in the Futurity, nice long strides, I really think this horse will just get better and better going longer.   Not to take anything away from Rolling Fog, I'm happy for Baffert to win this race after the recent news about Paynter, kind of help takes the pain away a little bit but If the BC Juvenile was to run in  two weeks, I'm going all in with Know More.

05 Sep 2012 11:12 PM

KY VET : You're just too funny... let me guess, now you'll say you hit the exacta for $100... LOL.   How long did you spend time reading the form to handicap Capo Bastone ??  Look, I'm not putting down the form, never have.  It doesn't work for me so I don't use it, simple as that.  Looks like you should probably try something else as well lol

05 Sep 2012 11:22 PM

Baffert does it again in the Del Mar Futurity.  Unbelieveable he is up to 11 wins in the race.

Most everyone out here in California recognizes that the group of 2 year old males unveiled thus far are not exciting.  And the Del Mar Futurity reinforced this.  The 6 furlong split of 110 and 2 and 7 furlong final time of 122 and 4 do not stack up well with Comma to the Top's 108 and 3 or Reneesgotzip's 108 and 1.

In most of the runnings of the Del Mar Futurity during the last decade or so, the field would be primarily comprised of horses that eventually went on to accomplish little in their careers.  However, there were always 2 or 3 horses in those fields that went on to significant accomplishments, including champions Declan's Moon(04'), Stevie Wonderboy(05'), Midshipman(08'), and Lookin at Lucky(09').  

In 2010 the field featured JP's Gusto, Jaycito, Comma to the Top, and not much else.  Last year, there were Drill and Creative Cause.

I expect the 2012 field will continue this pattern.  It's hard to be too enthusiastic about the also-rans, given they were well beaten in a slow race, but I will give second looks to the Sadler pair(Scherrer Magic and Capo Bastone, the latter who is a real physical specimen).

Clearly, the top 2 finishers are well ahead of the others at this point in their careers.  Rolling Fog displayed more of a kick than I expected, and won as best on the day.  His breeding, by Posse out of an Unbridled's Song mare, doesn't offer confidence about two turns, but at least the mare is herself out of a Lyphard mare(and made her one and only start around two turns).  On the positive side, I expect Rolling Fog to be better on dirt.  My gut is that he'll be a miler at best.

I have more confidence that Know More will run on at 2 turns.  Lion Heart is more middle distance, but Know More is out of a Seattle Slew mare, who is in turn out of Spectacular Bid mare.  

In contrast to Rolling Fog, the question for me as it concerns Know More is whether he will dirt as well.  The way he travels and accelerates suggest more of a synthetic runner, but I certainly do not feel confident making such declarations without seeing a horse actually race over the surface in question.  My gut is that he'll either be spectacular on dirt(that acceleration even more pronounced) or he won't like it at all.  

Overall, my gut is that the Eastern 2 year olds seem much further along, and that we haven't seen the best of the generation out West in the afternoons yet.

06 Sep 2012 2:56 AM

In the supporting 3 stakes at Del Mar:

The Oak Tree Juvenile Turf didn't come up fast, and featured a final quarter apporaching 25.

It was good to see grade 1 winner Comma to the Top score a stakes win.  His trainer, Peter Miller, and the onwers were all set to do right by this horse and bypass the Kentucky Derby, even after he ran 2nd, by just a nose, in the Santa Anita Derby.  But ultimately, Derby Fever was too powerful, they entered Comma in the Derby, he ran last, and came out of the race with knee chips.

In his comeback, they've had to start and then stop on him a few times, with Comma winning allowance events before losing stakes events.  However, over the last 3 months he's been able to string together 4 solid outings, winning a very fast turf sprint up at Golden Gate, running a good 3rd in a listed turf sprint stakes behind graded runners John Johnny Jack and Obviously, before getting a chance at another grade 1 in the Bing Crosby.  

Comma ran 4th in the Crosby, but was beaten just 2, with the champion Amazombie winning the race, 2-time grade winner The Factor running 2nd, and the 3rd place finisher, Capital Account, having since won the grade 2 Pat O'Brien.

Comma validated that Bing Crosby form further, winning the Pirate's Bounty rather easily.  What I most liked was that after being outrun for the early lead, Comma settled nicely in 3rd, remaining close enough to get first run, and with grade 1 two-turn success, had plenty left to win authoritatively.

It was also great to see Comma deliver a victory of such importance to Peter Miller.  The win gave Miller a two race lead in the Del Mar trainers' standings.  And because Baffert later won the Del Mar Futurity(but then lost with a runner in the finale), Comma's Pirates Bounty ended up being the decisive race(Miller knew after Comma won that because Baffert only had 2 runners the remainder of the day, he had at least clinched a tie, which is why he and his team celebrated so much).

However, easily the most impressive performance of the day was from another Miller runner, Reneesgotzip, in the CERF Stakes.  Reneesgotzip ran fast internal fractions and then stopped the timer just 0.06 off Euroears' track record.  It was easily the fastest 6 furlongs of the current meet.  

Reneesgotzip is now 4 for 6 in her career, but those 2 losses both came in grade 1 races around two turns.  And it's not like she was embarrassed in those lossess, running 2nd each time.  Yet, in sprints she is perfect accomplishing her wins on Santa Anita's dirt, Hollywood's Cushion, and Del Mar's Poly.  

Musical Romance is a legit champion, a pro's pro, and Turbulent Descent, Switch, and Contested are classy lassies.  But Reneesgotzip absolutely fits with them in the Filly and Mare Sprint.

However, being better than those fillies and mares might not be enough for Reneesgotzip if Groupie Doll comes back as good as she was in the Madison and Humana Distaff.

06 Sep 2012 3:25 AM
Mary Zinke

Goldencents was impressive in his debut. Dibs.

06 Sep 2012 6:32 AM

Hi to the old crowd who seem to be back here blogging!  It seem like the blog is picking up steam.  I'll have to drop by more often.  Have no real opinion of this weekends races except it was nice to see Comma at the Top back and I loved Potesta's race.  MMM and THAS ran well, but they didn't knock my socks off, and I have always been a THAS fan.  Like Laz, I don't think it was the trip that got MMM beat.  He got out in plenty of time.  THAS just had more left in the


06 Sep 2012 6:48 PM

More dark clouds in the Baffert camp.  His father passed away last Monday.

06 Sep 2012 7:03 PM

OK class!  To be a professional handicapper, you must understand many things....the key, is to understand each horse is different. That there is no "BEST" horse, just the best that day.....Understand that each race does something to a horse. Sometimes a good race is good, sometimes it is bad.......Well, here comes the SUPERDERBY. And the big favorite is BLUESKIESNRAINBOWS....HE started out very dissapointing...horses run bad for a reason, something wasnt right, but the horse came around and started improving by leaps and bounds. when horses improve greatly, as blue did in the santa anita derby,it puts alot of stress on the animal....(as seen in bad race after the sa derby. 2 months off and his best race ever= the horse has peaked . The lemon has been squeezed! PUT your money on ROUSING SERMON OR BOURBON COURAGE!!!!! LETS MAKE SOME MONEY!!!

07 Sep 2012 12:04 AM
Mary Zinke

Sermon lost a shoe in the Swaps, btw. Tough beat in the 7f Real Good Deal which wasn't exactly his distance.

07 Sep 2012 12:08 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  As an unprofessional handicapper I can tell you that the BEST if that much BETTER than the rest will often be the BEST even if he's not feeling his BEST that day. Third place might be the BEST, second place even BETTER and first place The BEAST. If there isn't a lot seperating them in talent then the BEST might not be at his BEST that day but be beaten by a horse that isn't really BETTER but is the BEST that day because he is in great shape and feeling his oats while the BEST is a BUST. Now what this all boils down to is that you'd BETTER be at your BEST to be a successful BETTOR whether you are the BEST or not. So basically I agree with your basic philosophy and that is where jayjay's physicality handicapping comes into play along with his astute judging of odds and pools and the correct BET(leave out the S from BEST). The SuperDerby does not look to be one of the BETTER races that day for a BETTOR so I will pass.

07 Sep 2012 12:46 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Now you know why they fired Jason and forced him into exile. You'll find that this blog is better, without all of the riff-raff, foofoo, shenanigans, antics, and lollipop giveaways used to spike the post totals.

07 Sep 2012 1:19 AM

As a professional handicapper, I just want you all to know that the Sun doesn't always shine, sometimes it rises, and sometimes it sets.  This is what professional handicappers know, the little things that's not too obvious to a novice handicapper... but that's all I'm going to say, I don't make a living as a professional handicapper by giving away free information.  On september 8th, I know that the sun will rise and based on that, I'm picking ROUSING SERMON OR BOURBON COURAGE to win the SUPER DERBY!! LETS MAKE SOME MONEY!!!

07 Sep 2012 8:39 AM
lunar spook

JAYJAY- Must completly disagree FLY LEXIS FLY is the smart play , hope he holds at 6-1

07 Sep 2012 10:37 AM

lunar spook : lol, come on, do I really need to explain my last post ?

You're right though, I completely disagree with my "last post".  Two things may happen, it could end up to be a match race between Blues and FLF going head to head all the way from start to finish or one will be toast and either Hero, Key Donation or Bourbon Courage completes the exacta and trifecta.

07 Sep 2012 11:25 AM


What's your prediction if the day is cloudy and overcast?  As a professional handicapper you should have one.

07 Sep 2012 12:15 PM

Laz : It'll be mostly cloudy morning fading around noon, it'll be a nice warm sunny afternoon.

07 Sep 2012 12:29 PM
lunar spook


07 Sep 2012 12:36 PM

lunar spook : You think Fly Lexis Fly can outlast Blues going 1 1/8 ?  I watched his cougar race and he set some soft fractions but didn't seem like he was really extended towards the end, seems to me it was more of a workout race.  I didn't see the jockey really asking him for anything towards the end so maybe he's cranked for this race.

07 Sep 2012 5:16 PM

I’m glad to see that Dullahan might be entered in the G1 Hirsch Turf Classic at 12F at Belmont later this month (instead of possibly running in the JCGC).  At least it looks like they are serious about giving him a shot on the turf.  I’m not sure if this is a “win and you’re in” race, but if it is and if he should win it then he will have fees paid possibilities for both the BCC and the BC Turf.

Footliock.  I’m with you regarding THAS’s chances at this time in the BCC.  I still think both him and MMM need to show a little more to be serious contenders in that race, but at least it looks like he’s taken a step in the right direction.  Seeing that his connections are going to opt for the Classic instead of the Dirt Mile I would like to see him run in the JCGC or maybe trip out to Santa Anita and run in the former Goodwood Stakes (now Awesome Again.)

07 Sep 2012 5:23 PM

Dr- as much as I disagreed with Jason on many occasions, his blog was an interesting one.  This one is more civilized without a blogger or two, but an informative one.  It seems to be picking up followers after the initial lull.  I really haven't been following US racing as much as I should, so my comments will be a little uninformed.  But, with that being said, I would love to see Fly Lexis Fly do well.

07 Sep 2012 5:25 PM

Laz-I think the former Goodwood ( I don't support the name change) would be a. Rolling choice for THAS.

07 Sep 2012 5:27 PM

And I want to tell our blog host, Pete, that he is doing a great job.  Keep up the good work!

07 Sep 2012 5:37 PM

Obviously my iPad likes to change the words.  I support THAS running in the Goodwood, but I have no idea what rolling was supposed to be.

07 Sep 2012 6:31 PM

Workout race? IGNORANT!

07 Sep 2012 7:45 PM
Pete Denk

Thanks for the comments guys. Kind of a light weekend for grade stakes. I am working on a new blog now. I'll look at the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3). It'll be up shortly.

07 Sep 2012 8:12 PM


Nice to see you back! I've always enjoyed your comments and have missed your insights regarding the foreign racing action. Do you have any thoughts on tomorrow's Irish Champion Stakes? With Snow Fairy, Nathaniel, and St. Nicholas Abbey all entered, it's shaping up to be a pretty good race!


07 Sep 2012 9:20 PM
Pete Denk

JayJay- Agree on Know More. Very promising colt. He'd be my early favorite to win the BC Juvenile.

07 Sep 2012 9:31 PM

Thanks Keelerman.  It is nice to be back.  It really is a 3 horse race to me.  The distance is against St Nicholas Abbey as he seems to need every bit of 12 furlongs in top company, but Aiden is probably going to send Daddy Long Legs to set a stiff pace to try to make this a stamina test.  He did run well against Frankel, at least as well as anyone has.  Nathaniel is cutting back to a better distance for him than his last, where he got run down, albeit just barely, by Danedream.  But the ground is reportedly too firm for him.  Snow Fairy should come on from her first race, ran amazingly against So You Think last year, and will be getting weight from SNA and Nathaniel.  So, she is my pick.  Can't really see Born to Sea winning this, but he does get the weight break.  I love Famous Name but he is not this class.  But such an honest, hard knocking horse!  So, imo, Snow Fairy should win this and set her up for another Arc bid.  But, if Nathaniel or St Nicholas Abbey wins, it would not be a huge surprise.  Who do you like?

07 Sep 2012 10:21 PM

KY VET : Stop talking to yourself.  

07 Sep 2012 11:01 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  You enhance the status of this already classy blog. I'm finding that I'm reading more posts and paying closer attention to the articles than with the previous host. I had to go on strike from even visiting the previous one on numerous occasions. I think this one will continue picking up steam and be the top handicapping blog ever. I'm glad you're here.

07 Sep 2012 11:06 PM

Thanks Dr Drunkinbum.  I know what you mean about going on strike from the other blog as I fond myself lurking but commenting less frequently.  It is nice to see the group back together here.  You, as always, make the blog enjoyable with your humor and interesting with your insights!  I also feel this blog is going to be a big success.

08 Sep 2012 2:11 AM


Thanks for your reply! I too had settled on Snow Fairy, for many of the same reasons as you, but I didn't know about Nathaniel needing softer ground. That's quite interesting!

On a side note, I have heard talk that Snow Fairy might come for the Breeders' Cup. Do you think this is a real possibility, or just a rumor?


08 Sep 2012 9:58 AM

Footlick and Keelerman

Great call on Snow Fairy.  She is a super mare for sure.  Nathaniel I thought might need more ground even though he powered into the lead in the stretch and Snow Fairy then reeled him in for a convincing victory.  SNA was closing nicely too and I think that both he and Nathaniel could be ones to really consider in the Arc.

08 Sep 2012 12:53 PM

Laz- all the Euro handicappers that I read or listened to on video said that this is a better trip for Nathaniel than longer, but he needs softer ground than what he was going to get for this race.  I agree with SNA needing longer ground. The Arc trip should be his minimum trip for group 1 races.  But Snow Fairy was the class and she showed it.

08 Sep 2012 1:21 PM

Keelerman- I just can't see them paying as much money as they would have to pay to run in the BC when they have virtually no expenses to run in Japan.  But they said they are toying with the idea with a mention of the cost being a detriment.

08 Sep 2012 1:23 PM

BTW, my other consideration is that you always back Dettori in races like this when he is on a class horse.  Just another reason in favor of Snow Fairy for this race.

08 Sep 2012 1:25 PM


I too was impressed with St. Nicholas Abbey's performance, as I didn't really expect him to get that close going ten furlongs, as he is clearly superior with another quarter mile to work with. When one considers that he ran fifth in last year's Arc when in arguably lesser form, one has to think that he will be a serious win contender this time around.


08 Sep 2012 1:46 PM


I agree that money would certainly be a reason to skip the Breeders' Cup with Snow Fairy, but the Irish Champion Stakes was a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Turf, which eliminates her entry fees and gives her connections a $20,000 travel allowance should they choose to come. So I'm hopeful that this could tilt the balance in favor of a Breeders' Cup start rather than another trip to Japan. :)


08 Sep 2012 1:58 PM

Keelerman- unless they changed the rules, she still would have to pay an entry fee if her sire is not BC nominated.  This happened a couple of years ago with an E.P. Taylor winner.  A reporter said you are in, and the trainer said, I'm still not paying the entry fee.  So we will see.  Maybe they changed the rules.  But I think the win and you're in means that You cannot be bumped from the field, not that you are waived the entry fee.

08 Sep 2012 2:37 PM


I didn't realize that the Irish Champion was a “win and you're in”.  That certainly makes it all the more interesting.  Just a thought because I realize that money is tight, but in an effort to attract more European stars, at least for the BC Turf, I would like to see the BC Committee increase the purse to $5M or at the very least $4M, and possibly include another “win and you're in race” in Europe?  That would cost maybe another two Mill or so, but in an effort to enhance the BC’s reputation and help make it a more international affair it might be well worth it.  Just a thought, but one that makes sense, at least to me.

08 Sep 2012 2:55 PM

Keelerman-we may be in luck though because Dunlap said in his post race interview that he really would like to bring her for the BC.  We can keep our fingers crossed.  I wonder of they will go for the BC Turf?  Izzy Top is supposedly coming also.

08 Sep 2012 3:05 PM


They did change the rules last year so that a "Win and You're In" victor needn't pay entry fees, but you may be right that the victor's sire must be nominated to the program in order for the reward to apply. I don't know the exact details of the program well enough to say for certain.

But I am glad to hear that Snow Fairy's trainer has the Breeders' Cup in mind, and I would be thrilled if Izzy Top were to come. She's struck me as a very nice filly, and it would add a great deal of intrigue to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf if she were to run, assuming she was entered in that race rather than the Turf itself.


08 Sep 2012 4:25 PM

Footlick & Lazmanick;

I just read that Snow Fairy's final time of 2:00.92 seconds was a track record. Not bad!


08 Sep 2012 5:52 PM

YOU ARE WELCOME!!!!! Oh....they just said the big story is the non-effort of the favorite........hmmmm. I love this game!

08 Sep 2012 6:19 PM


I too have thought that the purse of the Breeders' Cup Turf deserves a bit of a boost in order to compete with other late-season turf races like the Arc, Melbourne Cup, and Japan Cup. But like you said, their money is tight, and seeing that they had to cut the purse of the Breeders' Cup Sprint in order to create the Juvenile Sprint, I can't see where the funds would come from.


08 Sep 2012 9:19 PM

Greetings CLASS.......Being a professional handicapper means, you cant bet any track anywhere....lets look at sunday fort erie race #2....6 horse field....winner will be either 1,2,3.or 5....tough race on paper...go with BLUEGRASS BEAR...How about MOUNTAINEER RACE 6 SUNDAY....BIG fav #6 MINE NOW...can't lose huh? its 5 furlongs, always gets lead! well thats true, but i will try to i must go with either 1,2,3, or 4 horse in 7 horse field...2 layoff horses,2 and 4... cant be sure about either ..thats the tough thing....the 3 might wake up, but lets go with the 1 horse LOPILATO 1st and 2nd................LEARN PEOPLE!

08 Sep 2012 10:06 PM


I think that the answer for possibly creating or freeing up more money lies within one of the fundamental arguments that many make when comparing those great Euro mares to those in N/A ones, and that is the elimination of  some of the filly races and allow and/or encourage the fillies to race against colts.  I don’t think we need a Juvenile Filly Turf stakes especially since many of the competitors have only raced once or twice on turf going into the BC.  Combine it with the colts and simply call it the Juvenile Turf.  The savings in purse money would be $1M.  I also don’t think we need a Filly only sprint especially since several of the earlier BC Sprint races were won by fillies.  There would be another $1M in purse.  Who really cares about the Marathon, an actual G2 race, not even a G1.  Frankly, I think that it’s a slap in the face to those of us who complain that many of the distance races of the past have been shortened, an example of which would be today’s Super Derby, once 10F and now 9F.  Eliminate it and save another $500K.  I realize that by eliminating certain races they might also be reducing other fees, and when they eliminate races they eliminate, to a degree, the BC cut from monies wagered, but in the end it would be well worth it if it attracted more world stars.  Just some thoughts.

08 Sep 2012 10:14 PM

keelerman....hate to break it to you,,,,,money would change nothing. they are not running for money......who told you they were?

08 Sep 2012 10:14 PM

Keelerman- yes.  Daddy Long Legs did his job.  Just too short for SNA anymore, but he finished well.  It played better into Snow Fairy's hand than Nathaniel's.  But taking all into consideration, the best horse won.  Happy for her, her connections and Frankie!  As far as time, I don't pay too much attention to it in Europe.  It is nice to get in the record books but there is so much more to European racing than time.  If time really mattered, then Danedream would be the greatest Arc winner ever.  And we know that isn't true.  But it was a great run by her.

08 Sep 2012 11:05 PM

KY VET- you can't possibly think that Euros come to the BC for the prestige of it.  They come for the money.

08 Sep 2012 11:15 PM

LOL Footlick.

08 Sep 2012 11:51 PM

They donate all their winning to rocket science.

09 Sep 2012 12:42 AM

You can think it.....

09 Sep 2012 1:51 PM

KY VET : Why do you think they come here for ?  Everytime you try and I mean TRY to look like you know anything, well... you don't. lol.  Case in point, Fort Erie race 2...  you picked 4 out of 6 horses and one was scratched...  and in the end, you still picked the loser.  Yep, you're a pro alright.  You're no better than someone who just started betting the game lol.

09 Sep 2012 5:55 PM

People....are you paying attn? To be a professional handicapper, you must be able to not only pick the horse that will run good, but a horse that will run bad....Article in drf said blueskiesnrainbow was the easy choice in super derby...i wrote my comment that he was a poor bet, it was an great race to make money...i wont even say how much i made...not wouldnt believe me......then i picked 2 random races..fe-race lost.......then mountaineer showed again that the favorite was poor bet....i gave you a sweet 5/2 winner and fav ran out of money...unreal 28 dollar exacta was unreal.....look....the point of the posts.were look for bad favs.....keep pretending, or try to learn something. Your choice!

09 Sep 2012 9:29 PM
lunar spook

Whos the worlds wealtiest person ? bill gates ? think again , its KY VET ! just ask him !

10 Sep 2012 12:03 PM

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