's Gallant Bob Preview: Too fast for a speed duel:

When handicappers note that "there is a lot of speed in this race" what they most typically mean is that there are a lot of front-running types--that is a horse who likes to race on or near the front end.

It is folly to think that a race loaded with front runners can't be won by a front runner. It's only an issue if those dynamics make logical contenders go faster than is prudent.

The Gallant Bob Stakes on Saturday at Parx is a race that certainly has "a lot of speed" in it.

Using the race summary that is a part of's Ultimate Past Performances, we see that the Gallant Bob has five "E" types from 13 entrants, and eight sophomores with at least 5 Quirin Speed Points.

As the image below illustrates, though, this is by no means a bad thing, as six-furlong races at Parx are won by "E" types 38% of the time and E/P types 36% of the time. All of eight entrants with at least 5 Quirin Speed Points are either an "E" or "E/P" type.

So how fast can these horses go? The short answer to that is as fast as #2 Distinctiv Passion can go. Shipping from California and going turf to dirt for the Gallant Bob, Distinctiv Passion has been on the lead at the first and second call in each of his last seven races. In fact, the only time he hasn't made the lead was in his career debut--a maiden race won by eventual King's Bishop Stakes winner Capo Bastone.
Black Hornet looks to be the only horse capable of going as fast as Distinctiv Passion early, and in fact has a higher last race pace figure than Distinctiv Passion. However, neither of those horses earned their numbers on dirt last time out, and Black Hornet has never raced on a fast surface.
The only speed horse I think is capable of winning the Gallant Bob is Distinctiv Passion. He can lead them gate to wire, but no other horse is capable of doing so. If a horse tries to out run Distinctiv Passion early, he's unlikely to win that battle let alone the war, and if a speed horse takes back too much, then he's probably too far out of his element and vulnerable to a faster closer anyway.
Clearly Now is the clear alternative if looking away from the speed, but I worry about taking a shorter price on him than Distinctiv Passion when A) Distinctiv Passion is faster, and B) Clearly Now is 122-pound highweight (Distinctiv Passion carries 115).
Zeewat is the only other horse I could see using because I'd rather have a closer if trying to beat Distinctiv Passion than speed type.
Wagering strategy: WPS on #2 Distinctiv Passion at odds of 5-to-1. If we don't get that price, I might go shopping in the place and show pools because combining 13 horses with Parx's big day could mean more of an even distribution than is warranted. I'd definitely play Clearly Now to show if he had less than 15% of that pool and Zeewat with less than 10%.
I'd never play multiple horses to show or couple with across wager, so these are listed in my order of preference: Distinctiv Passion across at 5-to-1 or better, Clearly Now to show if less than 15% of the pool, or Zeewat to show if less than 10% of the pool.
The Gallant Bob kicks off a Pick 3 that ends with a pair of $1-million races: The Cotillion and the Pennsylvania Derby. Close Hatches and Sweet Lulu are all you need in the Cotillion, and I think you can beat the Travers top two in the PA Derby, so if you go deep there and catch a price this could pay OK.


Leave a Comment:


Majestic Hussar sits in the catbird seat down the backstretch and collars the leaders in the straight for the win. Hows that?

20 Sep 2013 3:18 PM

Stick with the Smarty Jones home boy. He knows every inch of the course.

Take the Street Hero filly Street Girl to make the Tri & Super sweet. Her dam sire Kris S was also the Dam sire of Breeder Cup winners Zenyatta and War Chant.

Her 9 wide move and closing rush  to get within 1 1/2L of Dance To Bristol in the Ballerina make her a worthy candidate to crack the top four.

20 Sep 2013 6:14 PM

Correction to previous post:

Stick with the Smarty Jones home boy in the Gallant Bob. He knows every inch of the course.

Take the Street Hero filly Street Girl to make the Tri & Super sweet in the Cotillion. Her dam sire Kris S was also the Dam sire of Breeder Cup winners Zenyatta and War Chant.

Her 9 wide move and closing rush  to get within 1 1/2L of Dance To Bristol in the Ballerina make her a worthy candidate to crack the top four.

20 Sep 2013 6:26 PM

fplx race 9 #3 curvycat  200w/p

20 Sep 2013 7:30 PM

fplx race 10 #11 ancient stone  200w/p

20 Sep 2013 7:35 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Contest Standings thru Day 11 derbygal - $47.60

wineman - $43.80

Mary - $25.60

Phil - $20.40

Secretariat - $13.80

The Ladies pair up again. derbygal takes over the lead with the Contest's largest mutual.

21 Sep 2013 12:53 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Saturday Day 12

R12) 2 Friends With Macy

21 Sep 2013 12:54 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Saturday Belmont

R5) 2 So Outspoken (4-1) had 'none chance' last out when wide behind the w-w winner of an Extreme Race for Speed that was driven more by the Flow than a course that did play kindly to speed that day.

21 Sep 2013 12:57 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Gallant Bob

Scratches change the race entirely,  though the two upgrades remain:

8 Majestic Hussar - 'quick to' in his last

12 Clearly Now - 'Quick to' last two

21 Sep 2013 1:06 PM
Mary Zinke

Gallant Bob.  Who ordered rain?   Clearly Now, Black Hornet, Zeewat, City Of Weston.

Cotillion: Sweet Lulu, My Happy Face, Close Hatches, Street Girl. Also like Seaneen Girl.

Pensylvania Derby: Fury, Moreno, Will Take Charge, Java's War.

Tree Of Life #3, r 11 for the Fairplex contest.

21 Sep 2013 2:22 PM
Plod Boy Phil

The Saturday Zinc

21 Sep 2013 2:29 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Mary -

I'll play a late DD: 3-2

Did it yesterday with your pick...mine was a beaten a nose in leg 1.

21 Sep 2013 2:33 PM
Mary Zinke

I don't know what the 2:29 comment is about, but I had to giggle at that.

GL with evil Fairplex today Phil.  Your contest is going well, although more should have braved the torment.

21 Sep 2013 3:44 PM

Fairplex (BSR)

R6) #7 Bertran Hill

21 Sep 2013 3:49 PM
Plod Boy Phil

then it served it's purpose

21 Sep 2013 4:03 PM
Plod Boy Phil

it will torment to the end, but it will not kill us

21 Sep 2013 4:04 PM

Parx R11 Pennsylvania Derby,

Ex. Bx. (1,1a),2,4,3,7.

21 Sep 2013 4:37 PM
Mary Zinke

Hope someone stole my Gallant Bob super, boxed.

21 Sep 2013 4:45 PM
Mary Zinke

Good job by Close Hatches and dear Sweet Lulu put up a good fight.

21 Sep 2013 5:19 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Not me Mary - big number

21 Sep 2013 5:31 PM

sat pick at the fair race 12  the 3

21 Sep 2013 7:59 PM
Mary Zinke

More evolity(evilnes). Almost switched to Avare at the last minute. Tree Of Life was being kind of a spaz mid race, unless that jerking was justified.  

21 Sep 2013 8:31 PM
Mary Zinke

I do not like this, Sam I Am.

21 Sep 2013 8:31 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Contest Standings thru Day 12

derbygal - $55.20

wineman - $43.80

Phil - 30.20

Mary - $29.20

Secretariat - $13.80

22 Sep 2013 9:14 AM
Mary Zinke

Fairplex, r6, #4 Maria Lake.

22 Sep 2013 12:22 PM

fairplex sunday   pick race 1   no 9

22 Sep 2013 12:29 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Day 13

R8) 3 Hey Yup

22 Sep 2013 5:26 PM
Mary Zinke

I just know KY stole my pick in r6 and lowered the odds.


22 Sep 2013 6:13 PM

Fairplex (BSR)

R9) #8 Ivana Come Home

22 Sep 2013 6:25 PM
Mary Zinke

Such a nice win by Blueskies in the Hinds!  Big Guy had two Fairplex stakes winners this weekend!

22 Sep 2013 8:38 PM
Pedigree Ann

Actually a pretty mundane weekend. Favorites win the Cotillion, Pa Derby; Ben's Cat wins again, giving weight and being carried out to the outside fence.

Back in the day, we would have had the 2yos in The Futurity about now, a race that once had the richest purse in the country, two or three times larger than that of the Belmont or Kentucky Derby.

How was that so, you ask? Because the first nomination fee was due the November before the mare foaled, then sustaining fees were due as foals, yearlings, and 2yos. Major breeders nominated every mare in foal, and kept up the fees until the offspring was 2. Made for an enormous purse, all from eligibility fees. At the yearling sales, being nominated to The Futurity was something that was noted on the sales page.

After The Futurity was moved to Belmont, it was run at 6.5f on the Widener course, a straight course that cut diagonally across the infield, starting beyond the training track, and finishing just before it met the main track, at the far end of the grandstand. It could accommodate the large fields that The Futurity always drew with no turn to create traffic jams.

Belmont used to have a 5f chute (off the far turn) and a 10f chute that crossed both the training track and the Widener course. The straight course came out in order to build infield turf courses, but why did they get rid of the chutes?  Starting 10f races on the turn is awkward and unfair; with all the video equipment today, the start in the distant chute could be visible to all and fairer to the runners.

Messing with chutes seems to be an NYRA thing. Saratoga used to have an 8f chute on the Clubhouse turn ala Ellis Park, while Aqueduct extended its 7f chute so it could run 8f races (was that when Jamaica closed and Aqu took its spring meet and wanted 8f races for new 3yos?)

23 Sep 2013 10:40 AM
Mary Zinke

I do enjoy reading about the history of the sport, Pedigree Ann.  I don't know enough to join in those discussions, but I read everything and was recently shown where those Belmont chutes were. I'd like to have seen a Futurity run on a straight course.

Phil, Fairplex finally "got good". First comment about it from a friend was an enormous unsmiley emoticon.  Yesterday, it was I, heart symbol, Fairplex.  Cracked me up.  

23 Sep 2013 11:31 AM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Standings thru Day 13

derbygal - $55.20

wineman - $46.60

Mary - $44.60

Phil - $30.20

Well done Mary

One week left

23 Sep 2013 1:42 PM
Mary Zinke

One week left?

23 Sep 2013 1:52 PM
Plod Boy Phil

In the meet

23 Sep 2013 2:31 PM
Mary Zinke

I'm going to congratulate derbygal now.  Good job, derbygal.

Only complaint about the contest was that everyone but Phil and I were so talkative. One could barely get a word in edge-wise.

It's okay if only I get me.  

23 Sep 2013 2:57 PM
Pedigree Ann

Thank you, Mary. I love the history of TB racing as much as I love the sport itself. It provides a context for the pedigrees I that are my primary area of research.

So when I come across Carry Back in a pedigree, I know that his sire Saggy was not a total loss as a racehorse but was the only horse who defeated Citation during his 3yo year. He did it in mud at 6f early in the year and was getting weight, but he did beat the champion. And besides Carry Back, he sired the top older mare Outer Space.

24 Sep 2013 9:34 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Congrats Derbygal on winning the 2013 Fairplex Handicapping contest.

Thanks to all that played.

24 Sep 2013 10:51 AM

More proof that all horses should be killed...........from    

Owners appeal after Conn. court classifies horses as vicious animals

8 hrs ago Mr. Ed would have a lot to say on this matter. After a horse called Scuppy bit a boy in the face, a Connecticut court concluded that horses are a naturally vicious species and therefore Scuppy's owners should have restrained the horse (who had never bitten anyone before) to prevent the injury. Now horse owners and equine enthusiasts are asking the state Supreme Court to overturn the decision. Classifying horses as vicious would make owning the animals uninsurable and jeopardize the state's profitable horse industry, say horse owners. Doug Dubitsky, a lawyer for farmers and horse businesses, told the AP that "you could not pair children and horses, the core equestrian business nationwide that it's all about." Fred Mastele, acting president of the state's horse council, said, "In our opinion, horses are not vicious animals. They are certainly not attack animals." [Source]


24 Sep 2013 11:59 AM
Mary Zinke

More proof that some people should not name horses.  Maybe the kid called the horse some horrible name, like Scuppy.  Another thing is, where do you find these news articles, KY?  One more thing is, you could have just won the contest, but that would have required human-like participation.

24 Sep 2013 12:47 PM
Mary Zinke

Thank you, Phil for hosting the Fairplex contest.  Count me in for any future contests.

24 Sep 2013 12:53 PM
Plod Boy Phil

My pleasure Mary.

24 Sep 2013 2:30 PM

i'll do the next one.....been are the timeform usa picks been doing...havent paid attn.....they seem to #4 which is now #2 running at fair number #1 getting claimed on nov.16..........

24 Sep 2013 3:52 PM
Mary Zinke

Horse #1, the old guy, is getting claimed away from you?  What ass would do that?  I guess that's the game, but to me that's sad.

24 Sep 2013 5:14 PM

i gotta put him in this race where alot of horses will get claimed....its time....he will miss his race here because of a little infection......should i lay him off? hes 4 away from record....hes too cheap.....i gotta get rid of him...shipping 2 hrs south....race will gaurantee claim.....i dont have a farm....

24 Sep 2013 8:42 PM
Mary Zinke

You should have a small farm.  Aren't you getting old?  He is. Who will be as nice to him?  

25 Sep 2013 2:35 AM
Pedigree Ann

Mary Z -

The 'horses are vicious animals' article was on the front page of the Lexington Herald-Leader yesterday or the day before. Under the fold, but still front page. When will they go for cows? And guineas pigs? They will bite, too, in the right situation.

25 Sep 2013 8:59 AM
Mary Zinke

Darn paperboy.  I didn't get my copy.

25 Sep 2013 11:43 AM
Pedigree Ann

Wolverines are vicious animals. Bears are vicious animals, in fact, they are "god-less killing machines". Horses are not vicious and that idiot judge ought to know better. One hopes he will be overturned on appeal.

26 Sep 2013 10:39 AM
Rusty Weisner

Big day Saturday.

26 Sep 2013 10:51 AM


Yes indeed ...Saturday is a huge pre-breeder's cup day.

The JCGC at Belmont is a very knotty affair but I've settled on Cross Traffic to go all the way and hold off Orb, Palace Malice and Ron The Greek. Alpha has a shot if he can stay with CT on the headlines but I doubt that he can match the latter's early speed. Flat Out hardly ever fails at Belmont Park but this one looks a bit salty for him so soon after his Woodward effort IMHO.

In the Kelso it looks like Todd Pletcher again with Graydar but the South American, Brujo de Olleros will have something to say about that.

At Santa Anita in the Awsome Again Stakes there will be no stopping Mucho Macho Man (a cinch comparible to Fort Larned in the Homecoming at Churchill Downs). Good luck.  

26 Sep 2013 4:09 PM
Pedigree Ann

Interestingly, Golden Ticket is cross-entered in both the Goodwood (Frankie's race-names are an insult to SA and the region) and the CD stakes. Could make life difficult for whichever front-runner he runs with.

27 Sep 2013 9:36 AM

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