Palace Malice Headlines Huge Saturday of Racing

By J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman")

Are you ready for a terrific day of racing?

On August 2nd, racing fans will be treated to so many top-notch races across the country that watching—let alone handicapping!—each one might be a bit of a challenge. All told, four grade I races are on schedule, including the historic Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, in which Palace Malice—the current favorite for Horse of the Year honors—is the even-money morning line favorite.

So without further ado, let’s start handicapping!

Whitney Handicap (gr. I)

The nine-furlong Whitney, long a major summer target for the best older horses on the east coast, has grown even more prestigious this year thanks to a major purse boost that has brought the value of the race to $1.5 million. As a result, a simply fantastic field of nine has been entered in the race, led by Palace Malice and Will Take Charge.

The two colts faced each other on five occasions last year, in such major races as the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Travers Stakes (gr. I), and Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). Will Take Charge emerged ahead of Palace Malice on three of those occasions, including their final two, which was enough to give him the Eclipse award as champion three-year-old of 2013. However, based on their records this year, it appears that Palace Malice may have the edge in their first meeting of 2014.

Both colts began their four-year-old seasons in strong fashion, with Will Take Charge finishing second in both the grade I Donn Handicap (run in track-record time) and the grade I Santa Anita Handicap (run in stakes-record time), while Palace Malice triumphed in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) and New Orleans Handicap (gr. II). But while Palace Malice built upon his early-season efforts by winning the Westchester Handicap (gr. III) and the prestigious Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I)—bringing his record for the year to a perfect 4-for-4—Will Take Charge seemed to regress, desperately winning the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II)—a race in which he should have romped—and then finishing a poor sixth in the Alysheba Stakes (gr. II) three weeks later. He showed signs of returning to form with a runner-up effort in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), and has trained very well since then, but does he have what it takes to edge Palace Malice on Saturday?

That’s difficult to say, but my guess is probably not. There can be no denying that Will Take Charge is a very, very talented horse. But Palace Malice seems to be in the best form of his career, and as impressive as he has been this year while competing primarily at a mile, I believe he is even better at nine furlongs. Furthermore, he has drawn very well in post position five, which should enable him to work out a terrific stalking trip just behind the leaders. I honestly believe that Palace Malice could be sitting on a career-best performance this Saturday, and will prove extremely difficult to defeat.

In a race that appears to lack much early pace, the speedy colts Moreno and Itsmyluckyday are logical contenders for the exotics. Moreno showed an affinity for Saratoga last summer, finishing second by a nose to Will Take Charge in the Travers Stakes (gr. I), and enters the Whitney off of a strong runner-up effort in the ten-furlong Suburban Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont. The cutback to nine furlongs should help his chances, and he shouldn’t have too much trouble getting to the early lead from post three. Expect him to lead this field as far as he can, which may prove to be a long way.

As for Itsmyluckyday, he enters the Whitney riding a three-race win streak, which includes a victory in the Salvator Mile (gr. III) at Monmouth over Valid, who returned to win last week’s Monmouth Cup (gr. II) with a 108 Beyer speed figure. Having drawn post four, expect to see him track Moreno through the early stages of the race, and from there, it’s just a question of whether he’s good enough to hold his own against horses of this caliber. In my opinion, he has a great shot to hit the board.

Selection: Palace Malice

Quick Picks

Test Stakes (gr. I)—Sweet Reason won both of her starts at Saratoga last year, including a hugely impressive victory in the seven-furlong Spinaway Stakes (gr. I), and received a brilliant ground-saving ride to win the one-mile Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont last time out. She enters the Test in good form and figures to be difficult to beat, but in such a large field, traffic is always a concern with a deep-closer like Sweet Reason. Therefore, I will take a chance with Sweet Whiskey, runner-up by a half-length to Sweet Reason in the Acorn despite a less-desirable trip. Others to consider are the speedy Princess Violet, runner-up to Untapable in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I); and Fiftyshadesofgold, fourth in the Acorn after setting the pace.

Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I)—Capo Bastone upset the King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I) here at Saratoga last summer, and while he has not won since then, he did finish a decent second in a one-mile allowance race at Belmont on June 28th, and in a race that lacks any stand-out stars, Capo Bastone looks to have as good a chance as any at a solid price.

West Virginia Derby (gr. II)—Vicar’s in Trouble ran a good third in the Iowa Derby (gr. III) last time out with a pace-tracking trip, but he has shown in the past that he is much better when allowed to set the pace, which I expect him to do on Saturday. With well-regarded contenders like Candy Boy and Tapiture expected to receive much of the wagering attention, Vicar’s in Trouble should offer a respectable price despite his fine credentials, and I think he has a great chance to steal this race in gate-to-wire fashion.

Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I)—More Chocolate finished second in this race last year and is really the only horse in this field with good form over the Del Mar Polytrack, making her a logical contender for the top spot on Saturday. Iotapa must be considered off of her dominant win in the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) last time out at Santa Anita, but her inconsistent form makes her difficult to trust while switching surfaces.

Who do you like this weekend?


Leave a Comment:

classic go go

Hey keelerman  you might be in trouble as I agree with your selections with the exception of Del Mar which i refuse to play given the wax off - wax on treatment of the main track and the iffy turf course ,which unless it naturally rains once again  will be watered with re-cycled salt water  ok  gl  go go

31 Jul 2014 4:47 PM

Bakken, perhaps the most talented runner in America, is a standout in the Vanderbilt.

31 Jul 2014 6:42 PM


I think that the Whitney will be Will Take Charge's breakthrough race this season and I pick him to maintain superiority over the marauding Palace Malice. Itsmyluckyday and Departing could both surprise.

Fiftyshadesofgold to shine in the Test, Falling Sky to strike in the Vanderbilt and Tapiture to land the West Virginia Derby.

31 Jul 2014 8:13 PM

The race is palace malice's to lose, just don't trust pletcher with non 2 year olds.

WTC to win, moreno/golden ticket below. All have been working lights out.

Fiftyshadesofgold easy pick in the test.

Vyjack on the cutback, average field.

Also like the 2 year old waging war in race 5.

Maybe filimbi in the other stakes race.

31 Jul 2014 9:01 PM

Oh yeah....the year of Tapit. Tapiture outclasses the feild.

31 Jul 2014 9:04 PM

“Will Take Charge seemed to regress, desperately winning the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II)—a race in which he should have romped”

A very interesting overview of WTC and his Oaklawn Handicap victory:

While his Oaklawn victory was unimpressive and he should have been disqualified, I am of the opinion he ran as well as he could, given the nature of his two previous races.

The 9F Donn Handicap was contested on a GP strip that was brutal on closers. Off his 12 weeks respite, WTC was fully extended chasing fractions that led to a NTR. If that was not difficult enough he was next shipped to the West coast to contest the Big Cap where he found Game On Dune in a very mean mode. He again was fully extended chasing brutal fractions including a 1:32 mile that led to a NSR.

Those two races had to be the most brutal any horse returning from a 12 weeks respite has ever contested and came out competitive. What is viewed as regression is merely the impact of two brutal G1 races contested thousands of mile apart. The fact that WTC won the Oaklawn Handicap is a testament to his toughness.

The field for the Oaklawn Handicap contained Revolutionary. If not for the fact that he was hindered, he would have been the winner. While WTC finished ahead of him in the Donn, it was the first time he had done so in their 3 meetings. Revolutionary finished ahead of WTC in both the Derby and Belmont. How is it conceivable that WTC should have romp in a race containing Revolutionary in a competitive mode? The Derby 3rd place finisher and LA Derby winner is not exactly chopped liver

Subsequent to the Oaklawn Handicap WTC should have been freshened. The Alysheba was a gross mistake and that let tom his Foster defeat. With 6 weeks and a couple of day since he last race he should have recover from the effect of the Donn and Bog Cap. He should be ready inflict nother defeat on PM.

31 Jul 2014 9:35 PM

classic go go;

I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes Capo Bastone in the Vanderbilt! Good luck!

31 Jul 2014 10:28 PM


I just took a look at Saturday's fifth race at Saratoga, and wow! That should be a great race! It's interesting to see the Todd Pletcher first-time starter Mariano Intheninth listed at 10-1 on the morning line. You don't see that very often!

31 Jul 2014 10:40 PM

Ranagulzion & Coldfacts;

Great thoughts! I'm really, really looking forward to seeing how the Whitney Handicap unfolds. The rivalry between Palace Malice and Will Take Charge was, for me, one of the highlights of the 2013 racing season, and I can't wait to see which one emerges victorious in their first meeting of 2014.

Since there seems to be a lot of interest in the Palace Malice/Will Take Charge battle, I've decided to hold a little poll here on Unlocking Winners. The question is simple -- which colt do you think will finish ahead of the other on Saturday? Even though Palace Malice is a heavy favorite on the morning line, I think there is actually a lot of support for Will Take Charge, and I'm curious to which colt is preferred among the readers of this blog.

So far, it looks like Classic Go Go and I have both sided with Palace Malice, while Ranagulzion, Coldfacts, and TnT have all gone with Will Take Charge. Would anyone else like to share their thoughts?

31 Jul 2014 11:03 PM

Moreno: This talented colt reminds a lot of Social Inclusion. He is a very talented horse in the wrong hands. When Moreno contested the 2013 Jim Dandy it was 21 days after his victory in the Dwyer. He was in receipt of 7lbs from eventual winner Place Malice.  He set wicked fractions including a mile in 1:34 4/5. He finished 3rd beaten by 31/4L as he lost second late to WTC. His next start was the Travers where he picked up 9lbs compared to PM’s 3lbs and WTC’s 5lbs. He was13Lbs worst off going a furlong longer and he lost by a nose. A month later he was beaten into 2nd by WTC in the PA Derby and then flopped in the BCC.

This Ghostzapper colt out of an A P Indy mare was given 51/2 weeks off after the BCC. He has made 4 starts in 2014 and has performed creditably in three.  His Met Mile debacle was without blinkers and is best forgotten.

It appears he is on top of his game right now as the only horse to head him in the stretch of the 10F Suburban was recording its 6th consecutive victory.

Judging from his performances last year against the big two, I believe the Whitney sets up perfectly for him. He appears to be the genuine leader in the field and must be a stronger horse in 2014. I do not believe he will be caught if he is allowed to set fractions similar to those recorded in the Travers. Even if he is required to go faster on the lead I believe he will still be tough.

I wish he had a more accomplished trainer. However, some horses can train themselves.  

31 Jul 2014 11:15 PM
Little Bill

I would side with Palace Malice. The break will interesting. Unless JR tries to clear those two, and he can if he wants, he could get hung out wide. It will be tough to slip in behind with the short run to the turn. I think the race could set up for a closer, but I will not be playing WTC on top.  

31 Jul 2014 11:49 PM

Keelerman re 5th at Spa hes got two 1sters in the race and the only two that have run could be in it.It might be easier for Pletchers two if he sends the one from the rail while the one you mentioned tracks.If you bet one you gotta bet the other.

01 Aug 2014 8:58 AM

Moreno will be winging it with I's My Lucky Day and Palace Malice stalking. Usually this sets it up for a closer. My Pick is Will Take Charge.

Will Take Charge


Palace Malice

It's My Lucky Day


They will make up my Tri and Super using Palace Malace in my P 4 if I'm wrong.

Bakken, Fifty Shades of Gold and Tapiture,

Assmusen has won this race four times and will win his fifth just like Baffert owns the Haskell.

01 Aug 2014 9:10 AM

Itsmyluckyday receives 5 lbs from Will Take Charge and Palace Malice. I believe he can beat them with this weight concession.

Itsmyluckyday is in fine form again. I believe he can do it if the track is dry.

If the track is wet I will not bet.

01 Aug 2014 9:15 AM
Rusty Weisner

Anyone like Departing?

01 Aug 2014 9:20 AM
Rusty Weisner

I prefer Moreno to Itsmyluckyday.  In the Suburban he held on well at 10f, possibly not his optimal distance and was only beaten by a deep closer after what looked like a fast pace.  Itsmyluckyday was at a mile race with a virtual 1-2-3 finish with two speedsters holding on -- now he's stretching out an extra furlong after what may have been the same Monmouth bias as Sunday's.  I don't relish going against the top two but I don't know which one I'd like to bet, given that I'd expect the money to gravitate pretty strongly towards Palace Malice.  Maybe I'll try to win some money with two tris:  Departing over Moreno,PM/WTC.  I don't know why Departing; hoping for the breakout race, and I like the way he was handled last year after the Preakness.  I'll watch the race on network tv and I need more than a rooting interest.  Speaking of chart notes, Lukas said WTC didn't like the surface in the Stephen Foster and the notes described him as "churning on"; don't know if that has particular meaning.

01 Aug 2014 9:39 AM


After the 2013 BCC Ghostzapper was given 5 1/2 months off and not 5 1/2 weeks.

01 Aug 2014 10:04 AM

Keelerman : Surprised to see that WTC will be 2nd favorite at 4-1 !!  Palace Malice is even money, talk about disrespect for WTC.  

I'm with you about Palace Malice in that he is a really nice horse, I wouldn't go as far as him being one of the greats even if he wins the races you mentioned in the other blog, I think to be great, you have to win multiple graded stakes in multiple years and he could turn out to be that.  However, I still believe that WTC is the top older horse this year.  I blame WTC's two loses in the jockey change and if I'm right, WTC will win the Whitney easily with Saez.  I'll use Romansch, PM, Golden Ticket for my tri and and maybe add Departing in the super…for the 3rd start back angle.

01 Aug 2014 10:07 AM

Rusty Weisner;

I also prefer Moreno over Itsmyluckyday, for the same reasons that you outlined. I also like Departing to be in contention, as I feel he has enough tactical speed to be within reach of the early leaders, as well as the finishing kick to stay on down the stretch. He should be sharper in his third start off the layoff, and it sounds like he's training nicely at Saratoga. If you like him on top, I say go for it! You should get a fair price thanks to the presence of Palace Malice and Will Take Charge.

01 Aug 2014 10:36 AM

So with Secreteriat and JayJay siding with Will Take Charge, and Little Bill taking Palace Malice, the results of our poll currently stand at 5-3 in favor of Will Take Charge. Based on this small sampling, my guess is that the price difference between Palace Malice (even money) and Will Take Charge (4-1) will be substantially smaller by the time the Whitney field enters the starting gate!

01 Aug 2014 10:42 AM
NY bred

Did you hear the loud cry from Saratoga on Wednesday morning during the Whitney post position draw?  That was D. Wayne Lukas after WTC received post one.  Normally not a bad post going 1 1/8 mile, Lukas hates it, because WTC does not like being down inside.  On the other hand PM drew perfectly in five, Johnny V is in a good rhythm again and of course Pletcher is the king of Saratoga.  Palace Malice is the best older horse in America right now and will take command in the stretch.  I am making a huge win bet and just hope to get even odds.  Good luck to all.

01 Aug 2014 10:52 AM
English Pete

Fixed odds bookies in the UK have 5/6 Palace Malice; 5/1 WTC; 7/1 Departing; 12/1 Itsmyluckyday and Moreno (20/1 bar those).

Hard to see why Palace Malice shouldn't beat WTC as per last year's Jim Dandy now they are at level weights and PM has looked an improved performer again this year. However, I am going to clutch at two straws only because WTC should NOT be 5/1 for this race and I've just now backed him at those odds each way (so 5/1 win and Evens a top-3 finish). The two straws are that Moreno will take them along so fast that WTC will get his ideal set up, and that it was around this time last year that WTC really began coming to hand so I'm hoping he'll do the same this year. Incidentally, I've just watched the Stephen Foster again and I don't think WTC ran all that badly.  

I'm also likely to take the 12/1 Moreno, also each way, as he could get a soft lead and he does seem to tough things out when challenged rather than throw in the towel.

Whatever I think of PM v WTC, the opportunity to play at 5/1 WTC with my money back if he's 2nd or 3rd had to be taken. Surely Palace Malice shouldn't be odds on?

01 Aug 2014 11:13 AM

Itsmyluckyday :

This colt must have a legitimate chance to win. His sub-par Gulfstream Park Handicap performance can be attributed to the wicked fractions he got involved in coming of a 9 months respite.

In his three subsequent starts he has been effortless in victory. He was under a hand ride in all three and wrapped up on close home. It appears that during the 9 months away from the races he has improved significantly. It should be noted that heading into the Derby he had a better record than Preakness winner Oxbow, Belmont winner PM and champion 3YO WTC.

Itsmyluckyday sire Lawyer Ron set a new track and stakes record in the 2007 renewal of the Whitney That was previously contest at Belmont Park. He has tactical speed and will be close to the pace. If it turns out that Moreno is up to his inconsistent ways, I expect Itsmyluckyday  to take command and score a handy victory.


A very interesting entrant whose trainer is adamant he is G1 caliber. He has contested six 9F races which represent > 50% of his 11 lifetime starts.  His most recent 9F effort yielded a 3rd place finish in the Foster behind Moonshine Bullin and WTC.

Despite being unplaced in the Preakness, he finished one position ahead of WTC.  The Foster was their 2nd meeting and he in turn finished 1/4L behind WTC.  It should be noted that the foster was Departing’s 2n race of a 7 3/4 months respite. He therefore should strip fitter for the Whitney.  

Departing’s true ability is relatively unknown as his connections have chosen to be selective with his placements while avoiding the top horses of his generation. Did his close finish behind WTC in the Foster signal his readiness to take on the big boys? His trainer is of this opinion and the fact that he brought Blame to mow down Quality Road after a 1st place finish in the Foster speaks volume. He has been patient with this gelding and his approach could pay dividend big time.

War Front has turned out to be an exceptional stallion. Declaration Of Was just missed winning the BCC with his 1st effort on dirt. I see no reason why Departing shouldn’t run big against the top dogs.

A live longshot.

01 Aug 2014 11:16 AM

NY bred

“Palace Malice is the best older horse in America right now”

Do mean he is the older horse with the best record? Some opinions are conceived and construed with unrestrained emotions. He is certainly not the best older horse in America.

Did he contest the following races?

Donn Handicap – 9F, G1

SantaAnita Handicap – 9F, G1

Steven Foster – 9F, G1

Oaklawn Handicap – 9F, G2

Will Take Charge contested all the above with a record of (1-3-0)

PM contested the following races:

Gulfstream Handicap - 8F, G2

New Orleans Handicap – 9F, G2

Westchester – 8F, G2

Met Mile – 8F, G1

Which of the two colts had the more challenging four races? There is a difference between resume building races and undertaken serious challenges.

01 Aug 2014 11:44 AM
Pedigree Ann

Coldfacts - FYI, the Whitney hasn't been raced at Belmont EVER that I know of. It used to be 10f, but that's another argument. You are thinking of the Woodward, which ALSO used to be 10f.

Don't know why all these older horses keep running at 9f when they are preparing for a 10f race. You don't prepare for an Olympic 10K race by only running in 5K races; you run in local 10K races, then regional ones, then, if you win, on to the Big Dance.

These aren't young horses stretching out for the first time; these are veterans who should be fully fit and ready for a major test at this time of the year.

01 Aug 2014 12:04 PM

The horse in the Whitney field that has been puzzling me the most is Romanch. Why? In 2013 when he contested the 10F Travers he was two races removed from breaking his maiden. He had the least foundation in the field.

He raced level with wonder horse Verrazano down the back stretch while tracking leader Moreno. He then quicken away from Verrazano to challenge for the lead.

With a furlong to go he was only a length or two off the leaders before finishing a fighting 5th, 5L off the winner. The colt has not lived up to expectation since despite scoring 2 victories over 9F.

He returns to the Spa off a 5th place finish as the favorite in the 10F Suburban. In his previous race off the 10 weeks respite he finished 3rd  by 11/2L behind Palace Malice in the Met Mile completed in 1:33 2/5 That effort over a less than ideal trip represented a major improvement over his previous two G1 efforts.

This colt has been very inconsistent. He certainly has the ability to win at the top level but doesn't appear to have a trainer that can get in beyond  the G3 level. Romansh broke his maiden without blinker and has worn them ever since. Despite his inconsistency and one pace routine in the final furlongs of his races they have not been removed. Amazing!

Being A 4YO and from the A P Indy sire line he should be improving rapidly at this phase of his career. His tactical speed and two encouraging efforts at the Spa in 2013 are credentials that are tailor made for an upset.

His trainer is known for landing big upsets and he has a horse that can do same.

01 Aug 2014 12:41 PM
Rusty Weisner


Much appreciated.  The Blame comparison had come to mind, but Blame was already a more dominating horse.  Departing is not a longshot per the ML, however:  6-1. I think he'll be more 8-1, though, at the expense of Moreno's price, for example.

01 Aug 2014 12:43 PM

Pedigree Ann,

You are correct I apparently confused the Whitney and the Woodward that was previously contested at Belmont.

01 Aug 2014 12:47 PM

Opinions can differ as which horse is the top horse at the moment.

This is why one should always look at expert reports when ranking horses.

Timeform is a good source.

Below is the Timeform ranking of the top older horses in America, as of July 13.

(By the way, if I wanted to say” I had the winner” in the Whitney, I can always tout half the field so I can say-I told you so.  It is a nice tactic but integrity must be maintained).

From Timeform:











01 Aug 2014 1:02 PM
NY bred

Coldfacts, WTC has definitely contested more difficult races this year than PM.  Lukas does not shy away from the big races. I give him credit for that.  But Pletcher and Dogwood Stable have mapped out a good plan for PM this year all of which pointed toward the Whitney.  PM has proven he can win anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 miles in top company.  How many horses can do that?  I was at Belmont Stakes day, and in the stretch of the Met Mile, Johnny V. looked outside and then ducked inside and let PM show his strong turn of foot.  Very impressive!  In my opinion, WTC is better at 10F.  Tomorrow, Johnny V is going to be sitting right off the speed and PM will cruise by the pacesetters when asked.  Besides facts, handicapping is based on visual impressions and feeling.  If he looks good in the paddock tomorrow, my feeling is that Palace Malice will put in a career best effort in the Whitney.  I hope more people bet on WTC, so I can get decent odds.

01 Aug 2014 1:19 PM

The bloggers report 5 starters one1st two2nds thats 60% 1st and second which is what I am looking for.The most winnable bets at the track are WPS DD and exacta and thats exactly why I look for 1st and 2nd.Pick 3s pick4s and up are a low percentage bet so you better have a defined bankroll defined bet amounts and most important a strategy that wins those bets when they pay well.Those bets pay well when no favorites or ONLY one favorite wins.I have won about 300DD or maybe more I have won bet3s but I stopped playing them because I didnt win enough to make it feasable to play them.IMO unless you have an edge and know how to manage your money ALL OF THEM ARE SUCKER BETS for casual players.GL to all.

01 Aug 2014 3:11 PM

Coldfacts :  I think you need to check your "facts", Ghostzapper did not run in the 2013 BCC.

01 Aug 2014 3:12 PM

Heres part of an article written by one of your collegues(Lenny Moon)August Horseplayer) writers although I already know this I have beem playing for more than two decades,remember this is only a part but I believe in the message that lottery bets are not the way to attract new fans and keep them playing for their lifetimes.

For example assuming an average field size of 8 horses a

Pick 4 has 4,096 combinations while the three Daily

Doubles in the sequence have just 64 each. The Daily

Double is far easier to hit, almost surely has a lower

takeout rate and you can see the will pays before placing

the bet. The same applies to Exactas when compared to

Trifectas and Superfectas.

It is also far more likely that you will find two consecutive

races in which you really like a horse or horses than four

consecutive races. Likewise it is far more likely that you can

correctly predict the first two finishers than the first three

or four.

Taking the 80/20 Challenge would mean betting $800 of

your $1,000 bankroll into low risk/low takeout wagers and

$200 into high risk/high takeout wagers.

So you still take the occasional swing for the fences but

most of the time you are just playing for contact.

01 Aug 2014 3:23 PM

English Pete;

5-1 on Will Take Charge? And you're money back if he finishes second or third? That's a terrific price!! I'd be surprised if he goes off at more than 5-2 in the U.S. pool, so to get twice that is fantastic. Good luck!

01 Aug 2014 3:34 PM

Pedigree Ann;

At least the Suburban Handicap is back to ten furlongs after a few years at nine furlongs! I was very glad to seem them return the race to its traditional distance, and even gladder to see it draw a large, competitive field this year. Now, I just wish they would revive the fourteen-furlong Saratoga Cup and try to return Cup racing to prominence in the United States!

01 Aug 2014 3:47 PM


Great thoughts! I'm really surprised that the mathematical approach to wagering strategy rarely receives the attention that it should, as those are some very sound principals that warrant careful consideration. Thanks for sharing!

01 Aug 2014 4:00 PM

Princess Violet is an early scratch from the Test Stakes, which means that Fiftyshadesofgold is now the innermost horse in the lineup. The question is, will she gun for the early lead, or try and take back off of horses and hope she doesn't get bottled up in traffic?

01 Aug 2014 4:09 PM

How does posting overviews on horses that have been selected by other contributors compromise integrity. The horses that I have submitted information and opinions on all have different strengths.

Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to request a specific selection instead of suggesting that there is the possibility of a claim being made should any of the 5 horses commented on, end up winning? Only a sinister and twisted mind would arrive at such a conclusion.

If a contributor has commented on numerous horses and not selected one as definitive choice, then said contributor has no claim to a any winner that emerges from the group.  I was of the opinion that was common knowledge. Some just cannot resist the temptation to advance sinister scenarios. The author of the submission is not surprising as hate never takes a vacation.

01 Aug 2014 4:15 PM


After the 2013 BCC the Ghostzapper colt was given 5 1/2 months off and not 5 1/2 weeks

01 Aug 2014 4:20 PM

Keelerman simple mathmatics which is an ABSOLUTE SCIENCE there isnt any opinion or question about the right answer, to borrow someones screen name mathmatics are COLDFACTS.

Complex math which is mostly non absolute has no real practical use in predicting winners of SINGLE horse races.I have read about a person who has a math background and makes his own figures and does vey well at playing pick 6s but that is an edge or a strategy that only he has kinda like when Beyer had a 50,000 year at the track he WAS THE ONLY ONE WITH THE FIGURES so he got very good odds on his high figure horses sometimes.Anyone that tells me complex statistics can be practically used in this game will lead to a question,show me how?

01 Aug 2014 5:01 PM
Little Bill

Brontexx, same question applies to you. You go to great lengths to convince everyone when all you have to do is post picks.

01 Aug 2014 6:52 PM

I am of the opinion that the winner of the Whitney will emerge from one of four horses that do not include WTC and PM. If I had to commit to one of the four it would be Romansh.  His 1 3/4L third place finish behind Palace Malice in the Met Mile, was by far his best performance in G1 Company and reflects significant improvement. He always runs well after a sub-par performance and the Suburban was just that.  

He appears to like Saratoga and if the race is contested on a wet track he has an advantage as he broke his maiden by 5L on a muddy track. His dam sire Go For Gin won the KD on muddy/sloppy track.

01 Aug 2014 10:01 PM

I’m really starting to like Last Gunfighter and I think I’ll switch GT for him.   He’ll be farther behind this time coming out of the 9 hole but I see him going with WTC and catching Romansch at the wire.  I was planning on singling WTC on top but after looking at his last 3 races, he might be sitting on a big race.  I’ll play him on top on some of my tickets.  

Coldfacts : Who are you playing to win in the Whitney ?

01 Aug 2014 10:10 PM

Little Bill Brontexx, same question applies to you. You go to great lengths to convince everyone when all you have to do is post picks.

You are correct I am Beta testing my simple method for playing the ponies on this group and from the feedback I see that I cant teach old dogs new tricks.The reason I am testing is a possible pen to paper attempt but as of now in this Beta testing and with the prevailing economic conditions it seems unfeasable.

I dont post many picks but if I do its because Im confident in the outcome and the odds on these picks wont be very high.I really dont need to compete in picking winners in contests because the races are set and one of the advantages for an experienced player is their ability to know which races they win more than others.BTW Little Bill the majority of contests have races which the creators of the contests know will have one or two outcomes that will eliminate most of the field of players,so contest play is a different animal when the races are set.The contests on this blog are mostly run in stakes races where every now and then you get a day with mostly favorites or low priced horses that win but for the most part a series of stakes races will almost always have one or two double digit winners and taking the favorites is a losing proposition since a lot of them are well hyped and go odd at less than even money.

02 Aug 2014 8:01 AM

BTW my gang of I know betta than yous there is a big difference in a less than even money favorite in a MSW and a stakes what is it the level of competition and trainer intention.

02 Aug 2014 8:08 AM

After further review Palace Malace is a lock in the Whitney!

W T C has 3 knocks against him. The Rail, Jockey change, and needs to be outside horses to run his best.

My Picks

$10 P4 8 W 2-4-5-7 W 5 W 1-4-6

Whitney TRI 5 with all with 3-6


R 7 $20 P3  Moonshine Mullen 7 with Tapiture 5 Candy Boy 9 W 2 Free World and Regally Ready 7

Good Luck to All

02 Aug 2014 9:31 AM
Rusty Weisner


Are you sure those TimeForm rankings aren't last year's?

02 Aug 2014 9:31 AM
Rusty Weisner

I'll try Departing with PM,WTC,Moreno, boxed up in tris and exactas, with a small win bet, about $30.  Good luck all.

02 Aug 2014 9:33 AM

Rusty Weisner

This is the line that introduces the N American rankings:

"Current No 1 in North America is Palace Malice, trained by Todd Pletcher, rated 131.

Last updated: to cover racing to 13/07/14  (7/13/14 in US)"

If these were last year’s rankings, Wise Dan would not be ranked 127+

The rankings are available on line.

02 Aug 2014 10:47 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Mountaineer, R5 (turf only)

I'll play the 5 Femme Fatale (30-1) to blow up the board. Exacta box with 8 Sassy Kitten.

02 Aug 2014 10:48 AM

“Pletcher and Dogwood Stable have mapped out a good plan for PM this year all of which pointed toward the Whitney.”

Cross Traffic the 2013 Whitney winner contested three of the four races as Palace Malice contested before the Whitney:

Allowance  GP, 8F – 1st

Westchester  Bel, G3, 8F – 2nd

Met Mile Bel, 8F G1, 8F – 2nd

What are the chances of being history repeated? Cross Traffic defeated 7YO Successful Dan.

“Johnny V is going to be sitting right off the speed and PM will cruise by the pacesetters when asked"

That’s assuming the pace will be fast. If the pace is moderate PM has no chance.

Good luck and may you cash a golden ticket.

02 Aug 2014 11:21 AM
Little Bill


PM is not pace dependent. He's as versatile as they come. Worst case scenario is that he get caught up with a fast pace. I think that would be more likely to get him beat. If the pace is moderate, he'll be on it, which is what I expect.

02 Aug 2014 11:44 AM


The focus will be on TWC and PM. I am planning to go for value and relegate both to minor positions. I like 4 horses from that I think can create either a minor or a major upset.

My projected minor upseter is Romansh at a ML of 10-1

My Projected Major upseter is Golden Ticket ML of 20-1

Now, I expect to be laughed at for Golden Ticket but his PP suggests he is handicapped to defeat ML favorite PM.

Revisit the GP Handicap. PM was assigned 119 and GT 118. PM defeated GT by 1L at a distance more favorable to PM. The weight difference in the Whitney is 7lbs.

GT was affixed with blinkers for his narrow loss as the favorite in the 9F Cornhusker. They were not used in his 7 previous starts. It was an interesting equipment move addition seeing that GT’s widest margin of victory is 9L achieved with blinkers. I assume they will be retained for the Whitney.

What qualifies GT to win the Whitney? Try the Breeder Cup Dirt Mile. With 126lbs and on extremely speed bias track he closed 15L from 10th position to get within 2 3/4L of loose on the lead and home boy Goldencents  who set wicked fractions of 22, 44  & 1:08. He and WTC are the only horse in the race with a Breeder Cup runner-up finish that involved closing against a speed bias.

GT won his sole start at Saratoga and that was his DH effort with Alpha in the Travers. The final time for the 2012 Travers (2:02.74) is marginal slower than the 2013 time of (2:02.68). With the blinkers retained; the assigned  weight; the expected strong pace and with the track likely to be a bit off, GT must have the best shot of the longshots and represent value for money.

He will be my win bet as a small wager can return a lot if he can get the job done.

I will no doubt be playing exotics as the field suggests the payouts will be lucrative should WTC and PM occupy minor positions

02 Aug 2014 12:09 PM

Hi Keerlerman

Any contest today ?

02 Aug 2014 12:24 PM
Little Bill

Bakken scratch very disappointing. Could not wait to throw him out. Prices plummet.

02 Aug 2014 12:28 PM


A contest sounds great! We'll do the same style as usual, with everyone picking one horse in each contest race, and the winner being whoever accumulates the highest payoffs from mythical $2 win/place wagers on their selections.

Unfortunately, I can't guarantee that I will be able to post scoring updates after each race today, but I'll do my best to post them as often as possible!

Here are the contest races:

Fasig Tipton De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga

Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga

Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga

West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer

Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga

Lure Stakes at Saratoga

Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar

I'll be posting my selections for the De La Rose and Lure Stakes in a little while. Good luck to all!

02 Aug 2014 12:36 PM
English Pete

Hi Keelerman, here are my 'more in hope than confidence picks'. Good luck, everybody.

Fasig Tipton De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga - Dayatthespa

Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga - Happy My Way

Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Fiftyshadesofgold

West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer - Tapiture

Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga - Will Take Charge

Lure Stakes at Saratoga - Big Blue Kitten

Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar - Doinghardtimeagain

02 Aug 2014 1:39 PM

R2 at saratoga, looks like a good day for the front runners.

02 Aug 2014 1:39 PM

Brontexx : This is a friendly game of blog contests, it's not a serious one where you put money to play in the contest.  I'm sure Little Bill was just curious how your angle works (or maybe he isn't.)   I don't think anyone expects you to be right with your picks all the time but it would be nice to see you post some picks just to see how it works out.

Coldfacts :   What happened to IMLD ?  and Departing ?   Are you playing 4 horses on top ?  Or are they just "evaluations" ?

Here's my play :

1 with 7, 9 with 7, 9, 8, 5, 6

1, 9 with 1, 9 with 7, 8, 5, 6

1, 9 with 1, 9, 8 with 1, 9, 8

I'm using Palace in the first leg of the P4 but I'm hoping for an upset from Bahamian Squall :

$0.50 Late P4 : ($20.00)

4, 1 with 7, 12 with 1, 9 with 4, 9, 6, 8, 7

02 Aug 2014 1:52 PM

Thanks for joining the contest, English Pete! Good luck!

02 Aug 2014 1:55 PM

My selections for the De La Rose and Lure Stakes are Dayatthespa and Villandry. Good luck to all!

02 Aug 2014 1:55 PM

Keelerman :

Fasig Tipton De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga : FILIMBI

Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga : BAHAMIAN SQUALL

Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga : SWEET REASON

West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer : VICAR'S IN TROUBLE

Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga : WTC

Lure Stakes at Saratoga : BIG BLUE KITTEN

Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar : PARRANDA

02 Aug 2014 2:02 PM
Pedigree Ann

Keelerman - from your mouth to the NYRA's ear. I mean, what was so wrong with racing in the 1970s, when there were nearly a dozen 10f G1 stakes races all over the country? Plus the 2-mile JC Gold Cup? It was good move when Saratoga added the Saratoga BC Cup at 10f, don't know why they dropped it. Logic would have said that when the Woodward was moved, it could have been restored to 10f to replace it. But then, this is the same lot that favored the prep race, the Acorn, over the Classic Fillies' Belmont, the CCA Oaks, in making up their program.

02 Aug 2014 2:06 PM
Little Bill

Sar 7) Ready Signal

Sar 8) Bahamian Squall

Sar 9) Bird Maker

Mnr 8) Divine View

Sar 10) Prayer for Relief

Sar 11) Villandry

Dmr 8) Parranda

02 Aug 2014 2:20 PM

Fasig Tipton De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga - Filimbi

Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga - Vyjack

Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Fiftyshadesofgold

West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer - Tapiture

Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga - Moreno

Lure Stakes at Saratoga - Bio Pro

Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar - Doinghardtimeagain

Started of the day with a nice win on strong coffee, now on to waging war in the other 2 year old race.

02 Aug 2014 2:22 PM

race 7 Joy

race 8 Palace

race 9 Street Story

wv derby Vicar's in Trouble

race 10 Palice Malice

race 11 Swift Warrior

CL Hrsch Doinghartimeagain

thanks keelerman

02 Aug 2014 2:52 PM
Mary Zinke

Okay, Whitney day stakes.

de La Rose: Pianist, Silsita, Baffle Me, Dayathespa.

Vanderbilt: Falling Sky, Palace Happy My Way.

Test: Sweet Whiskey, Sweet Reason, Tea Time, Street Story.

Whitney: Moreno, Palace Malice, Golden Ticket, Will Take Charge.

Clement Hirsch: Doinghardimeagain, Iotapa Parranda, Broken Sword.  Very nice field with Fiftyshades, too.  

02 Aug 2014 3:13 PM
Mary Zinke

If there is a contest, my first listed pick in each stakes, and Tapiture at WV

02 Aug 2014 3:30 PM
Little Bill

Mary Z-

I played the name game with those Sweet horses in the Acorn so I put one together today. You almost have it, no honey in your tea. Have fun and good luck.

02 Aug 2014 3:34 PM

Looks like it's going to be a terrific contest! Thanks to all for joining! Good luck!

02 Aug 2014 3:48 PM

Congratulations to TnT and JayJay on picking Filimbi to win the De La Rose Stakes! Here are the standings after the first race of our contest:

1. TnT - $10.40

1. JayJay - $10.40

3. English Pete - $3.40

3. Keelerman - $3.40

5. Little Bill - $0.00

5. ROBBIEJOE25 - $0.00

5. Mary Zinke - $0.00

02 Aug 2014 4:28 PM

Congratulations to RobbieJoe25 on selecting Palace to win the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap! Here are the standings after the second race of our contest:

1. TnT - $10.40

1. JayJay - $10.40

3. ROBBIEJOE25 - $9.40

4. English Pete - $6.60

5. Keelerman - $3.40

6. Little Bill - $0.00

6. Mary Zinke - $0.00

02 Aug 2014 4:50 PM

Congratulations to JayJay on selecting Sweet Reason to win the Test Stakes! Here are the standings after the third race of our contest:

1. JayJay - $20.50

2. TnT - $10.40

3. ROBBIEJOE25 - $9.40

4. English Pete - $6.60

5. Keelerman - $3.40

6. Little Bill - $0.00

6. Mary Zinke - $0.00

02 Aug 2014 5:23 PM

Congratulations to TnT and Mary Zinke on selecting Moreno to win the Whitney Handicap! And congratulations to English Pete, TnT, and Mary Zinke on selecting Tapiture to win the West Virginia Derby!

Here are the standings after the fifth race of our contest:

1. TnT - $49.60

2. Mary Zinke - $39.20

3. JayJay - $20.50

5. English Pete - $14.80

4. ROBBIEJOE25 - $9.40

6. Keelerman - $3.40

7. Little Bill - $0.00

02 Aug 2014 6:03 PM

Palice won but not PM Who was it that wrote on this blog about taking less than even money favorites in stakes races,thats right it was me double figures for Moreno it was his day.

02 Aug 2014 6:04 PM

JayJay I do post some picks sometimes just not very often I dont just post them to see if they win I expect them to win and easily.

02 Aug 2014 6:07 PM

excerpt from Brontexx Aug 2 801 AM

The contests on this blog are mostly run in stakes races where every now and then you get a day with mostly favorites or low priced horses that win but for the most part a series of stakes races will almost always have one or two double digit winners and taking the favorites is a losing proposition since a lot of them are well hyped and go odd at less than even money.

02 Aug 2014 6:18 PM

Brontexx Aug 2 808AM

BTW my gang of I know betta than yous there is a big difference in a less than even money favorite in a MSW and a stakes what is it the level of competition and trainer intention.

What do I mean trainer intention in stakes all the conections are in it to win it with minor exceptions in MSW a lot of the old school trainers and others that arent that good yet dont run their maidens lights out in there first race even in their first few.If you check the stats for 1st time starters very few are 20% or higher If a trainer is having a good meet and might be in contention for a top placing at a track like the Spa he might run his trainees a little harder than normal an example is Motion two maiden winners today.

02 Aug 2014 6:25 PM

Thats human nature and human emotions of persons involved in a business you cant unlock that from anywhere in fact I doubt the trainers would admit it.

02 Aug 2014 6:26 PM

Thank You Steve, Rosie for the Mountaineer double and P3.

It redeemed from the Palace Malace fiasco. Ended up hitting the P3 in race 3/4/5 at Sarataga for a net of $525. Congrats to Steve and Rosie! What a job she did snatching the win from Candy Boy and trouncing the field  with Regally Ready!

Congrats to all who had winners today,

Rusty I think you did quite well today!!!!!

02 Aug 2014 6:32 PM

BPM report from Saratoga today no M Mclauglin scratched his only entry and hardly no P Pletcher had 7 starters with only a 2nd place. Brown on the otherhand had a pretty good day 7 starters 2 1st 2 2nds and 1 3rd.Totals 14-2-3-1 thats only 5 outta 14 36% in 1st and 2nd those stakes races are tough especially at the Spa where they only run 40 days.

I wouldnt expect Mr Pletcher to have such a bad day tomorrow.

02 Aug 2014 7:00 PM

Hit a few small races here and there that made the day not as bad.  Had the Filimbi/DayAtTheSpa, Sweet Reason/Miss Behaviour and the BBK / Bio Pro exactas but on the races where the longshots won, goose eggs.  I had multiple P4 tickets with WTC and LG but never thought to put Moreno on top.  I don't know how the track was playing today, didn't look like it was playing speed but I'm not sure, there's not that many dirt races today.

WTC ran well today for 3rd, considering he went about 8 wide at the top of the stretch.  I was wrong, I thought he would win this race easily against this bunch, I didn't think PM was the main threat, I was looking at LG and Romansch as the legitimate contenders...but there was no catching Moreno today.  Moreno had a nice easy lead, was expecting IMLD to be closer but Paco decided to stalk instead.  I wonder how much IMLD would've won if he  was closer to the pace.

Silver lining ?   WTC will have an even higher ML in his next race and as long as Saez has the mount, I will bet him again.

Keelerman : Not gloating :)  but how did you think Palace Malice ran today ?  I didn't see any excuse but then again, I was focused on LG and WTC throughout the race.  Still can't believe how they set the ML for this race.

02 Aug 2014 10:05 PM
Little Bill

Congrats to contest and money winners. The bear got me today. I love Sundays.

02 Aug 2014 11:08 PM

ughhhhh........just got back from a wedding, didn't cash in on my picks. ah well at least got 5-1 on strong coffee. didn't bet past race 5.

next time, congrats winners.

Yeah did not get the 1-1 line on PM either, hoping for 5-1 on WTC come November.

03 Aug 2014 12:12 AM
Pedigree Ann

"You are correct I am Beta testing my simple method for playing the ponies on this group and from the feedback I see that I cant teach old dogs new tricks." - Brontexx

Frankly, I haven't seen much teaching. You handicap trainers rather than horses, that much I get. Seems like a joyless exercise to me, since I love the horses as individuals and in toto. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, their own personality quirks, their own likes and dislikes. Trying to understand these in relation to their racing is more fun for me. And I follow racing for the FUN of it, not to make money. If I am right about a set of horses in a field, I may make some money, but if I am not, my lost $6-10 is not going to break the bank. An entire different philosophy from yours.

As an extension on that theme, the April foal of my mare is turning out to be 'a pistol', as the farm manager reports to me. The instigator of all sorts of foal-type mischief, even though he is the youngest in the field. Since I am in No. Ireland, I haven't seen him in a while, but since his dam couldn't be bred this spring, it will make sense to hold on to him for the yearling sales next year and I get home next May. Maybe Notional will come up with a decent horse by then - not my choice, bought the mare in foal.

03 Aug 2014 5:21 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Teach:  to impart knowledge of or skill in

'nuff said, yeah ?

03 Aug 2014 7:13 AM

Good morning, everyone! Sorry for my lack of comments last night!

TnT, congratulations on winning our contest! Here are the standings after the final race:

1. TnT - $57.90

2. Mary Zinke - $39.20

3. JayJay - $28.90

4. English Pete - $23.20

5. ROBBIEJOE25 - $9.40

6. Keelerman - $3.40

7. Little Bill - $0.00

Thanks to all for playing!

03 Aug 2014 8:41 AM

Congratulations to Plod Boy Phil on a spectacular score in yesterday's fifth race at Mountaineer! Sassy Kitten (3.80-1) and Femme Fatale (21.20-1) ran 1-2, and the exacta paid $180.80 for $2!

03 Aug 2014 8:47 AM


I guess Palace Malice didn't win like an all-time great, did he? :) I'm really not sure what happened to him yesterday. He certainly didn't seem to have any excuses. Heading down the backstretch, I saw that the pace was moderate, and I kept waiting for Palace Malice to take the race to Moreno, but nothing happened.

Hopefully, he just had a bad day and will return to form next time out. Perhaps the two-month gap between the Met Mile and the Whitney was not to his benefit -- remember, Palace Malice didn't run all that well in his first start of this season, just barely holding off Golden Ticket at in the Gulfstream Park Handicap. Maybe he needs more frequent races to stay in top form, and if so, he should be considerably sharper next time out. We'll see!

In any case, it was nice to see Will Take Charge put in another good run, and he does seem to be moving in the right direction as the major fall stakes races approach. It was announced this morning that he and Moreno will likely target the Woodward Stakes, a race in which -- according to reports -- Wise Dan could potentially make his return. What a race that would be!

03 Aug 2014 9:00 AM

Pedigree Ann good for you

03 Aug 2014 9:08 AM

Pedigree Ann if is a BIG two letter word and from my posts on here whoever the real people are behind these screen names are not my market.I have learned that from here.GL

03 Aug 2014 9:10 AM

Pedigree Ann But just like all the other characters on this blog this what what I believe and I will continue to voice my opinion on here.

03 Aug 2014 9:13 AM
Rusty Weisner


Huh?  My horse (Departing) finished up the track:  I had him with PM, WTC and Moreno.  I did have a "good day" in only losing $30, though.

03 Aug 2014 10:06 AM

Racing Form Front Page: Without A scratch, Flawless Palace Malice rolls into Whitney unbeaten.

RF- David Grening: Palace Malice better than ever.

RF – Mike Watchmaker: Try using this pair under Palace Malice.

Keelerman: He will crush the Whitney field in a manner that will establish him as the clear-cut favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Keelerman:  Palace Malice strikes me as a tough-as-nails competitor that thrives on racing, and barring injury, it wouldn't surprise me to see him complete a sweep of the Whitney, Woodward, and Jockey Club Gold Cup, which would give him seven consecutive victories for the year.

Keelerman:  Actually, I believe he is on the verge of a summer/fall campaign that will propel him into the ranks of the all-time greats...

BloodHorse Blog contributor: Once in a lifetime horse.

Coldfacts: With Mr. Pletcher's horses one can never tell when their performances will suddenly go in the opposite direction. If history repeats itself as it normally does with his horses, Palace Malice will not be one of the top contenders for the BCC.

Coldfacts: I cannot recall any Pletcher trained horse that is considered an all-time great

It appears many still refuse to acknowledge the history of Todd Pletcher trained horses. Each time one comes to prominence it is place on a pedestal and litany of statements driven by unrestrained emotions are posted by knowledge folks.  

I was brutally criticized for suggesting that Princess Of Sylmar would not be a legitimate Champion 3YO filly if she did not contest the distaff. Her only victory over the Top class fillies was in the Oaks and that was by 1/2L. Folk were suggesting that she was in the runnings for HOY off victories over a group of average fillies and spent Royal Delta in her 4 races after the Oaks. She finished last in the Distaff just like Life At Ten and Quality in the BCC. She was projected to be the dominant 4Yo filly and to date she has won one race. Close Hatches who held a winning record over her as a 3YO has been the dominant 4YO filly.

Palace Malice avoided all the top G1 stake and handicap races in preference of G2 & G3 and he somehow became the top older horse in America. WTC who defeated him their last two meetings in 2013 and who had contested four G1 races was suddenly chopped liver having little or no chance of defeating the monster that Palace Malice had become in 2014.

I keep a log of the Tood Pletcher trained horses that suddenly and without explanation go MIA. The number is extensive. Do not expect the ones that have gone in the other direction to get back on track. PM is now damage goods and will be retired to one of the many farms that have been bombarding his owners for his stallion service.

03 Aug 2014 10:08 AM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

Nice of you to waltz by throwing bombs.  It's like last summer.

03 Aug 2014 10:10 AM
Rusty Weisner

Where was KY VET to tell us Palace Malice was going off?

03 Aug 2014 10:15 AM
Rusty Weisner


Taunting people for liking a fine horse like Palace Malice would go over better if you had picked some winners.  Not one of your classier efforts, and that's from someone who usually gives you a respectful hearing.

03 Aug 2014 10:17 AM
Rusty Weisner


The two month gap was almost the same as his Belmont/Jim Dandy gap.  That's not it.  He backed up, much worse a performance than coming off a long layoff to run against milers against a track he'd never run in.  By the way, equibase has a great redesign, which includes more sensible access to charts.  

03 Aug 2014 10:36 AM

Predictable me.

All my predictions bombed.

So what do I do? I mock the selections of others and say, in effect, I told you so.

03 Aug 2014 10:57 AM
Rusty Weisner


...actually he had run in a GP Alw.

03 Aug 2014 11:00 AM

Coldfacts could it have something to do with Mr Pletcher's propensity to run his 1st time starters "Lights Out" when he needs to satisfy his personal goals like to win the Saratoga training title where they only have 40 days to accomplish their training goals.

I only play MPs trainees at the Spa because at other NYRA meets he has a lot more time to train his 2yos and decide which ones are ready to win now from his brigade of 2yos from owners that like to get some of their investment back immediately if possible,one that comes to mind is Repole.

He manages his business very well but beware to back his runners all the time like Mr Jason Shandler the ex writer of this blog usually did including UM who incidently was vehemently backed by his creation KY Vet.

03 Aug 2014 11:40 AM

“Taunting people for liking a fine horse like Palace Malice would go over better if you had picked some winners”

My fellow knowledgeable contributor you have my sincere apology if my post has offended you. No offense was meant.

I have always advocated that contributors be measured in their assessment of horses and taking into consideration all the pertinent and mitigating factors. You know doubt were around when Uncle Mo was showered with accolades that made Secretariat appear average. Then there was Zenyatta, Union Rags, Verazanno and recent wonder horse California Chrome. Those are just a few but the list is endless.

The sort of stuff that contributor include in their submissions is more fantasy than facts. These wild, unrealistic and emotional driven statements only serve to indict the subscribers. How did Place Malice become the #1 horse in America of (2) G2, (1) G3 & (1) G1?  When did he become a once in a life time horse? In what way did he exhibit he could become an all-time great?

I am desperately trying to understand what I missed in my assessment of the 4YO.

As a 3YO he won an ultra-slow Belmont with only MSW victory in the win column.  He narrowly won the Jim Dandy and finished 4th in the Travers. A 2nd place finish in the JCGC and an off the board finish in the BCC ended his 3YO campaign.

As a 4YO he beats up on some light weights while avoiding tough races and he is the next great horse. It is  inconceivable that knowledgeable and experience people can assess the 4YO’s record and conclude that he is unbeatable and capable of winning 7 consecutive races under the keep and care of a trainer who charges are MIA with disturbing regularity.

Did he deserve top billing over WTC who contested 4 tough G1 races while PM was happy to feast on the lower hanging fruits?

I always appreciate measured assessments and conscious debates about the ability and long term potential of horses.  The craziness that has been on display in the last five years suggests that  some are heading back to the days when pet rocks were considers real pets.

03 Aug 2014 11:41 AM

BTW people behind the names dont forget Shanler wrote this blog before "The Locksmith" this blog became unlocking winners with the locksmith.

03 Aug 2014 11:42 AM

My list of greats since Ive been playing Cigar



and the one that brings business to the blog Zenyatta

PS I dont care if they ran on a parking lot compiling a record of 20-19-1-0 in graded stakes ran in the US is great.

03 Aug 2014 11:51 AM
Rusty Weisner


Not offended, just offering friendly advice, with a chuckle, even.  Show some modesty, at least after making lousy picks.

03 Aug 2014 11:58 AM

When Shandler conceived the cartoon KY Vet the character  took on a life of its own.All the characters(peoplebehind the names)used the cartoon as a whipping boy a punching bag etc.Vet in all his wisdom first major proclamation on this blog was that Uncle Mo would not only win the 2011 Breeders Cup classic but would crush the field.That proclamation brought all the bloggers back even the ones in hiatus.

03 Aug 2014 2:41 PM

BTW the UM proclamation was more of a sucker bet than betting the KD futures in November bragging about it for a few months and then when both his picks were hurt,the cartoon changed his theme to that he was clairvoyant and knew when horses would get hurt.I think he could have used his powers before betting the KD futures in November.

03 Aug 2014 2:45 PM


My mistake, I thought you were using Moreno and It's my luck day in exacta and Tri's   I rechecked your  email and what you said was that you preferred Moreno to It's my Lucky Day.


03 Aug 2014 2:46 PM
Mary Zinke

Brontexx, the last thing you would want to do is to attract negative attention from me. Why?  Because I have nearly zero filter and I am also a known stalker. I also will battle even if I am over-matched(rarely) until there are just teeth, blood, and bones on the floor.  First off, KY is not Jason Shandler.  And yes, I know this to be 1000%, no, one million percent true. Now, do I have to wade through whatever you type from now on?  I usually have had you on "ignore". Be a gnat, not a fly, please. Flies I swat. Gracias. And another thing is, Brontexx(irritating extra x there) is I wouldn't use a colt that had recovered from that bile duct disease with the long name, lost some of his hair while recovering, where was that, at Winstar? came back to win a graded stakes, but really only had a sprint and mile preps before doing too much too soon in the BCC of 2011, as an example of a bad prediction. What that leaves are a ton of valid excuses. Now to say the colt was not exceptional, far above his crop at age 2 is not true. That he came back at all from that, wait I will try for it, colangeloencephalitis?? (Or whatever. Something deadly) is amazing in itself.  And btw, bold predictions are what make these blog comments fun. Win some lose some. Now, Imma gonna check out how you do, if you have the guts to make any predictions. Signed, Your new stalker, Mary Z.

03 Aug 2014 3:19 PM
Mary Zinke

To Phil, Hello and congrats on your very nice score.

03 Aug 2014 3:24 PM

Keelerman :  I'll go with the layoff theory, that kind of makes more sense specially the part where he needs his races closer, he seems like a durable horse to me.  I hope they meet again in the Woodward.

As for Wise Dan, coming back from an injury, wouldn't it be better to have him run on grass than dirt ?  I'm surprise to hear they'll try dirt again with him, I hope it's just a rumor and stays that way.  As much as I'd like to see him go against dirt horses, I don't think the timing is right.  I only say this because I've seen people say that grass is kinder to horses...maybe I'm wrong as horses have been running on dirt since the first episode of My Little Pony...sorry, that's the extent of my knowledge of history of horses, my daughter taught me that.

And just an observation, I don't understand why people post on here thinking they have to prove something...all the time. Like, "I was right, you were wrong"... I see that on most people who are insecure or not as confident about their knowledge.   There are bloggers who post their knowledge and that it's, they let the readers consume it or disregard it.   And then there are those who likes to knock others with their so-called knowledge.

03 Aug 2014 3:36 PM

Mary Zinke give me your real name address and phone number and I will send you a messenger to seranade you with horseracing songs and flowers and a card with my apology for crusifying your buddie.

The singing messenger will be a KY Vet impersonator to make you more confortable,and if that dosent work I will hire Rhonda Rousie to come over and give you a whoppin.

03 Aug 2014 4:09 PM

Saratoga :  

R8 :  I like the 1 to pull an upset :  1, 10 with 1, 8, 10, 5 with 1, 10, 5

P3 :

08:  1, 10

09:  12, 2, 10

10:  9, 7

03 Aug 2014 4:47 PM

I think my 1 horse in the 8th is still running, but quickly catching up on the 2 horse in the 9th...let's see if they can beat my 7 and 9 in the last leg of the P3.

03 Aug 2014 5:31 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Thank you JKJ.

Rusty,  my pleasure as always.

Hello Mary - appreciate the note and hope all is well in the desert.

03 Aug 2014 5:42 PM
Mary Zinke

Bring it, witch.  

03 Aug 2014 7:16 PM

Well bloggers I know your anxious to get the BPM report from Saratoga so here it is Brown scratched both entries today and Mclauglin ran outta the money with his only starter but like Brontexx wrote on his BPM report on August 2 at 7PM: I wouldnt expect Mr Pletcher to have such a bad day tomorrow.

Mr Pletcher carried the load today 8starters 3 1sts 2 2nds 1 3rd so add Mclauglins starter and you get 9-3-2-1 thats 5 outta 9 1st and 2nd for a .55555555 or 56%.

I know you might miss the report tommorow but I am going to take the day off since Pletcher has no starters he got his work done today and Brown and Mclauglin only have two starters.Brown has another starter at Parx where he is knocking the cover off the ball and Pletcher would sell his soul to the diablow to have that win percentage at one on the tracks he ships to.

I will only report if both Brown and Mclauglins entrants win.GL to all

03 Aug 2014 7:20 PM

Brontexx : So you're beta testing a handicapping "report" based on trainers ?  Like purely on trainers ?

03 Aug 2014 8:57 PM

Someone tell Bontexx, that the daily reports are not needed.....there's this thing called trainer can see the percentage there!.....what a goober! I dont even know what one is........but i know one when i see one!......really? Bet pletcher and brown?.........what a genius! He's a real code breaker!........He's the little train that COULDN'T.........his high school photo was on the back of a milk carton.......his savings account was 3 sofa cushions........he played alone alot growing up.....played alot of solitaire....he once rolled snake eyes!.....he cant take his medication, because he cant figure out the child-proof cap...he followed the arrow perfectly, he twisted it while running around in a circle!  He tried to read 50 shades of grey, but couldn't.....he's color blind!.......i can go all day!

03 Aug 2014 10:09 PM


On second thought, I'm not sure if the two-month layoff really had much of an impact on Palace Malice's performance yesterday. I think it probably contributed -- I do believe he's better with more frequent racing -- but as Rusty Weisner pointed out, Palace Malice did win the Jim Dandy in impressive fashion off of a similar rest last year. I'm really at a loss to try and explain what happened to Palace Malice in the Whitney, but hopefully, he'll leave it behind him with a dominating victory in the Woodward that will establish him as an all-time great!! :)

As for Wise Dan, I'd be surprised if they brought him back in the Woodward for his first start since colic surgery, since the 8.5-furlong Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. II) on the turf at Saratoga is scheduled for the same day. But on the other hand, Charles Lopresti seemed very pleased with Wise Dan's recent workout on the main track, so maybe a start in the Woodward really is a possibility. To have him in the same race with Moreno, Itsmyluckyday, Will Take Charge, Palace Malice, and Alpha... ! What a race that would be!

03 Aug 2014 10:31 PM
Mary Zinke

Have you read fifty shades, KY?  Should I?  I bet the shock factor would be zero, giggles!

03 Aug 2014 11:02 PM

Keelerman :  Whatever it was, I sure hope he's more competitive in the Woodward (assuming he runs back there).

Coldfacts :

"  I have always advocated that contributors be measured in their assessment of horses and taking into consideration all the pertinent and mitigating factors. "

This is coming from you handicaps based on horses's initials, or handicaps horses based on the number of times the mare was bred or comparing two totally different horses in two different years as a way to assess your pick.

03 Aug 2014 11:48 PM


“This is coming from you handicaps based on horses's initials, or handicaps horses based on the number of times the mare was bred or comparing two totally different horses in two different years as a way to assess your pick.”

I have chosen to engage you on many occasions despite the fact it is blatantly obvious you have confusion issues. This evidenced d in the nonsense above.

Kindly cite a specific example of a selection have made based on a horse’s initials. If you were trying to be funny, I content you have succeeded in exemplifying silliness.  

Kindly also cite and example highlighting one of my selections based on the number of times a mare was bred. Another figment of your imagination.

“Comparing two totally different horses in two different years as a way to assess your pick"

The above is classic example of your confusion and inability to comprehend what you read.

No two horses are the same and therefore it’s an exercise in futility to compare one against another. However, comparisons can be made of their performances and the similarity of their record should it match a trend. There are no set rules in handicapping races. Historic data can give some guidance but it’s just a minor part of the process and not the main factor.

Evaluation of Horses:

Different systems are used to evaluate horses and obviously they are not all perfect. However, some conclusion are mind blowing given the total body of  work of some horses.

During the TC preps Intense Holiday won the Risen Star. Mr. Haskin dedicated a blog to the colt title ‘Rising Star’ There was a compelling story about the colt that featured periods prior to his racing career that was very touching.

I did disagreed with the conclusion that Intense Holiday was a rising star. My assessment of the colt was that he was average at best and lacked heart of a winner.

The Risen Star was his 2nd victory in 7th starts and it was achieved in his 5th attempt in a graded race. The victory was also achieved by a HD over a horse that had never ventured beyond 6F whereas he had previously contested 6 races at a either a mile or longer..  

Given these and other cold facts associate with the colt’s total body of work, how was it possible for a knowledgeable and experience writer to arrive at such a conclusion?  Obviously my disagreement did not sit well with Mr. Haskin and some of his supporters and I was black listed.

The next time out Intense Holiday was easily beaten in the LA Derby and was off the board in the Kentucky Derby.  There was nothing in the colt’s resume that suggested he was a rising star but the conclusion was reached.

Criticism given and received helps all parties to fine tune their evaluation parameters. It is not intended to offend.

I recognized that given what appears to be your permanent state of confusion, the above  is meaningless.

04 Aug 2014 8:02 AM

KY VET shut up cartoon go back inside Shandlers head because whoever is pulling your puppet strings is boring.Go back to the PPs you loser.

04 Aug 2014 8:40 AM

The new version of KY VET sucks the Shandler version was a lot better.

04 Aug 2014 8:42 AM
Rusty Weisner


A goober is a peanut.  

04 Aug 2014 10:25 AM

Coldfacts : How quickly you forget...   CC1 and CC2 ... Kentucky Derby ?  You posted you bet that because of their initials.  Before you try to spin this one, you made a bet based on their initials, that's called handicapping.

Maybe I was wrong about the number of times a mare was bred, maybe it was the number of times the sire bred... but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.  I dont' want to go back and look for it.

I knew it, I knew you'd use the "evaluation" vs. "handicapping" excuse...while that may fool other people who are remotely interested in our discussion, it doesn't fool me.  This is how it's always been with you, you post evaluations on most of the field, then provide handicapping on the others, then claim you "hit it" regardless of who wins the race.   You did this in the Preakness, you posted on just about every horse without any mention of ROC and yet you hit the exacta and trifecta multiple times.

Matching trends?  You're questioning other people's way of assessing horses when you're using matching trends of two DIFFERENT horses, because they had a similar record ?   One's a speed horse and the other is a stone cold closer, should that be one of the "mitigating" factors ??  How does a similar record produce the same effort ?  Again, you tried to drown me with more BS (how did IH become a part of this discussion at all), but the point didn't get past don't have one.  Don't give me an example of an "evaluation", tell me the difference between your "evaluation" and your "handicapping" in one paragraph.

04 Aug 2014 11:45 AM


A goober is a peanut.  As in peanut brain. Where do they keep tabs of the trainers daily percentages pea brain not in the PPs all those stats are old as well as the Equibase site.Just think of me as the second coming of Locksmith Im unlocking winners for you by tabulating the BPM report.

04 Aug 2014 11:53 AM

Brontexx :  Have you checked your market ?  I mean, I hope you're not using this blog to test your "market", you can't beta test on a bunch of bloggers who all thinks they can handicap better than the other lol.  I can't see anyone wanting to pay for a report on 3 specific trainers (BPM I assume stands for Brown, Pletcher and McLaughlin)...

It'd be nice to see your selections for the Friday card, wherever BPM are running their horses...

04 Aug 2014 12:36 PM
Pedigree Ann

My, things are heating up in here. Differences of opinion are what make horse-races, people. There is more than one way to skin a cat (not to be taken as advocating cat-skinning). Any more animal aphorisms I can use here?

I handicapped my first race on July 4, 1970 at Waterford Park; been working on it ever since, taking time out to finish college, grad school, have kids, etc.. Those of us who have been handicapping for a few decades are probably too set in our ways to be wooed over to some new-fangled system; too much time and effort invested in our own methods. You know how it is with us older folks.

04 Aug 2014 12:38 PM

JayJay There are people already doing this around the country.I think I remember that you play the jockey angle.In 2010 I made money doing this in fact I quadrupled one ADW account and doubled another but I was following 5 or 6 trainers and the part I havent talked about is that I play exactas with the chosen trainers horse.I only play exactas with that horse.In that year I covered in the WPS pools for $2 amounts while I played $1 exactas.I also have a clever way to come up with double digit exacta partners and its very logical if you go by the number of combinations.

I wont do a website once people learn it they will just cancel.Its so simple but picking winners is not rocket science the people who sell their picks try to overcomplicate their methodologies and create names for everything so that it sounds so intelligent.This pursuit of making more money than you bet is not absolute never will be absolute and is more of an art than a science.

BTW Beyer had his $50,000 year at the races when he was the ONLY one with the figures.He made a smart business move selling the Beyers to DRF before another figure maker did.Now all the writers defend the Beyers like if they were completely scientific and absolute.My approach is if it works I dont care how simple it is EXPLOIT IT.

I will only post picks when I am sure the pick will win so not too many will lose at least in theory.Every now and then I post my pick for Keelermans stake races but I have to use the PPs for that and you know that just using PPs without using personal adjustments to the figures or combining them with angles is a losing proposition.Im pretty sure those contest players that win the big one dont play all those longshots in their regular daily play,they just do it because contest play is a lot different than playing a bankroll to have more money at the end of the year than you started with.If you can pick 5-1 or over winners at better than 20% than you are either a savant or having a good run which incidently is what the handicapper of the year winners had when winning the contest.When their is a repeat winner than I will think there is less luck than I believe to be the case now.

The last post I made was Albano in his stakes race at Monmouth before he ran in the Haskell.I posted that about an hour before after I saw that uncle so and so was scratched sorry forgot his name.The last stakes pick I posted was an exacta box with Princess of Sylmar but Wolfsons horse finished 4th

,so I was wrong.

04 Aug 2014 4:54 PM

The uncle I was referring to was Uncle Sigh the pace setter for the 2014 KD,is it a wonder hes hurt KY Vet he was outmatched in the Wood and then they sent him to the front in the Derby.IMO the connections got overly ambitious or were blinded by optimism and greed.

04 Aug 2014 5:02 PM

My bad provided misinformation the last horse I picked was Anapathy I think is how you spell it who broke Mclaughlins losing streak but since he wa so cold I posted that she had a good chance to come in the money Mclaulin at the time was 0fer 12 or 13 as Long River had just lost in a Monmouth stakes race.She won by 2 or more at the Spa and it was a female horse and a stakes race IN NEWYORK which are all strenghts  that he has as a trainer.

04 Aug 2014 5:22 PM

Not to brag because everyone on this blog got this one right but I also played Wicked Strong win place in the last race and I used Tonalist in exactas because I dont play 1st and 2nd choices in exactas eventhough they come in,they dont come in as much as they should considering the odds.While in the WPS pools the post time favorite wins roughly a 3rd of the time.

04 Aug 2014 5:46 PM

mary......havent read 50 shades of grey......don johnsons daughter playing the lead role......might see the movie....

04 Aug 2014 5:51 PM

Brontexx has now figured out the global warming problem.....he is encouraging everybody to open their freezers on new years! 5-6 mins people!

04 Aug 2014 5:54 PM

On the topic of 1st and 2nd choices in exactas I dont play the favorite over the 2nd choice but sometimes you get well paid for the 2nd choice over the favorite.Secretariat picked the exacta with the Princess of Sylmar in 2nd and the early speed on the rail it was the 1-6 and it paid very well because the betters loaded up on the 6-1 and forgot about the 1-6.

04 Aug 2014 5:54 PM

The 2nd choice in 1st with the favorite in second paid a pittace with Wicked Strong besting Tonalist to me it wasnt worth the risk.

04 Aug 2014 5:57 PM


Saturday I did a $20 P 3 at Mountaineer with 3 favorites

It paid  $44 for A $1. Sometimes you make money regardless of risk. Bet $20 to make $420 is pretty good to me.

04 Aug 2014 6:54 PM
Mary Zinke

Giggles, KY, I bet she's purdy.  I'm sure you could use a visual, ha,ha. Enjoy!

04 Aug 2014 8:36 PM

So.......apparently, the to only bet brown and pletcher horses......but only the ones that he knows will win........he has superman on his speed dial, to circle  the earth forwards, to go forward in time, then come back to tell him which ones won!!!! Pretty standard really!

04 Aug 2014 11:50 PM

Secreteriat that was a good payoff for a pic 3.Since I spent 2010 playing exactas I realized how ineffective the odds were in the exacta pools and a lot of the horses of the trainers that I played were favorites or low priced.I dont like the fact that the odds arent available for horizontal exotics pre bet.

Ky Vet thanx for the compliment I will continue with the BPM report so that you dont lose ALL THE TIME.

05 Aug 2014 8:43 AM

Secreteriat did I write the exacta pools are ineffective its inefficient.

05 Aug 2014 8:45 AM

Mitigating factors? In handicapping horses?

This is what is meant by the words “mitigating factor”

“A mitigating factor, in law, is any information or evidence presented to the court regarding the defendant or the circumstances of the crime that might result in reduced charges or a lesser sentence”

This is an example of someone using words he does not understand.

So please be sure to consider this before you impose sentence on the poor horses.

Mitigate means to reduce the severity of something.

I suppose your handicapping  imposes pain on the poor horses.

05 Aug 2014 9:40 AM

With Moreno having just upset the Whitney Handicap on Saturday, I got to compiling a list of all the horses that have won U.S. grade I races this year and discovered an interesting fact: California Chrome and Wise Dan are the only male horses to have won multiple grade I races this year.

This raises an interesting question -- who is the leading contender for Horse of the Year honors at this time? Given that no older male except Wise Dan has won more than one grade I, and given that Wise Dan's wins were on turf (there always tends to be a bias against such races), I would have to think that if voting were held today, California Chrome would be Horse of the Year.

But can he maintain his edge for the remainder of the year? That's a more difficult question. Suppose for a moment that he doesn't run again this year. His record would be very similar to that of I'll Have Another -- four graded stakes victories for the season, including grade I wins in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Santa Anita Derby. Yet at the end of the season, I'll Have Another lost Horse of the Year to Wise Dan.

Assuming Wise Dan comes back in good shape -- let's just speculate and say he wins the Woodbine Mile (gr. I), Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. I), and Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) -- that would be five grade I wins for the season, and -- in my opinion -- enough of a campaign to edge California Chrome for Horse of the Year honors, assuming the latter either doesn't run again or loses the Breeders' Cup Classic.

But what about the other older males -- the ones that campaign in two-turn races on the main track? None of them have won multiple grade I races thus far this year, but there's still plenty of time for them to compile Horse of the Year-worthy seasons. All told, there are seven two-turn, main track grade I races left on the calendar -- the Pacific Classic, the Woodward, the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Awesome Again, the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, and the Clark Handicap. Keeping this in mind, there are various scenarios that could unfold. For one, Game On Dude could return to form and win the Pacific Classic and/or the Awesome Again, giving him two or three grade I wins for the season. He would then enter the Breeders' Cup Classic with a shot to be Horse of the Year. If he won, then he would likely win hands-down. If he lost, things get more interesting, depending on how well he runs and who he defeats. If he finishes second, defeating California Chrome, it might still be sufficient, but only if Wise Dan loses the Breeders' Cup Mile. If Wise Dan wins the Breeders' Cup Mile, things get much more interesting.

Furthermore, I believe that Game On Dude is the only older male based on the west coast with a shot to win Horse of the Year. Majestic Harbor, Imperative, and Clubhouse Ride are nice horses, but unlikely to string together a good enough campaign for Horse of the Year.

On the east coast, there's the question of whether Palace Malice, Will Take Charge, Moreno, Moonshine Mullin, or Lea can string together enough victories to stake a claim for Horse of the Year. As we saw in 2012 and 2013, winning the Breeders' Cup Classic plus one other grade I race will likely prove insufficient to win Horse of the Year if Wise Dan sweeps his division again. So even if Palace Malice, Moonshine Mullin, Moreno, or Lea win the Breeders' Cup Classic, they would most likely need to have won either the Woodward or the Jockey Club Gold Cup to have any shot at Horse of the Year. This may go double for Will Take Charge, who might need to sweep the Woodward, the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and the Classic to win Horse of the Year, although his runner-up efforts in the Donn Handicap, Santa Anita Handicap, and Stephen Foster Handicap could -- and should -- carry some weight as well.

And of course, there's another possibility to consider, and that is the possibility that California Chrome comes back and wins the Breeders' Cup Classic. If he achieves that feat, then the battle for Horse of the Year is all but over right there, almost regardless of what Wise Dan and the other older males might achieve throughout the fall. Really, the only way I could see California Chrome losing Horse of the Year (assuming he wins the Classic) would be if Wise Dan won the Woodward, the Shadwell Turf Mile, the Breeders' Cup Mile, and the Clark Handicap to give him six grade I victories -- and two on dirt -- for the season.

But of course, this is all just speculation, and I haven't even touched on some scenarios, such as the Shared Belief-wins-the-Pacific-Classic-and-the-Breeders'-Cup scenario, and the Game-On-Dude-and-Wise-Dan-sweep-the-fall-preps-but-both-lose-their-Breeders'-Cup-races scenario...!

If anyone has any thoughts to add or share, I'd love to hear them!

05 Aug 2014 11:40 AM

Definition - Mitigating Circumstance - (law) a circumstance that does not exonerate a person but which reduces the penalty associated with the offense.

“Will Take Charge: “He seemed to regress, desperately winning the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) a race in which he should have romped.”

WTC was guilty as assessed/charged by the moderator. While he could not been exonerated for his sub-par performance I am of the opinion that the assessment ignored the circumstances that led to his sub-par effort.

If these circumstances were considered he would not have been so harshly penalized in the moderator’s assessment.

I am no law student but I do not believe the term was  used out of context. But what does a mere dish washer knows about legal terminology? If the term was used out of context, at a minimum the intended point being made is clear.

05 Aug 2014 1:22 PM


If Moreno goes to the Classic game on Dude is Toast.

Palace Malace has not won at 1 1/4 and truing to that in California will be tough! Check Todd's record at Santa Anita; Not very good.

California Chrome will not win the Breeders Cup. Not fast enough and his connections are not familiar with what it takes to win Cross Country against top older horses. I can see Shared Belief win the Pacific Classic and outrun all other 3 yr olds in the Classic and will be considered for top 3 yr old depending on where CC finishes.

I am of the opinion that Will Take Charge is best at 1 1/4 and if he wins 2 1 1/4 races including the B C Cup he will win the H O Y

The next 3 months are going to be very interesting and I am looking forward to the 2014 Breeder's Cup races.

I think Untappable and Tapiture will also make some noise in their divisions.

Love to read what other opinions are out there.

05 Aug 2014 6:49 PM

CC will not win in a good field of older horses.The 3yos had a lot of defections this year before they even ran in the KD including Shared Belief.KY Vet you probably remember two of them the two you bet in the KD futures bet in the November of the previous year,Cairo Prince,and Honor Code.Other colts that never made it to the Triple Crown Top Billing,Hoppertunity,Constitution.The winner and runerup of the Belmont Tonalist and Commissioner didnt qualify because of points.Social Inclusion although he probably wouldnt have won the Derby he would have made the race more difficult by pressing or being on the pace.There are defections every year but this years KD wasnt that strong eventhough the best horse probably won.Rememember all the talk about how CCs Beyer figure was the colt thats figure regressed the most from their last races figures.CC won that race easily and had plenty left for the Preakness but in the Belmont the horses took the race to him and he didnt have the same confortable trip.When he faces older horses the pace especially in a 10 furlong race(classic)will be much more grueling,those older handicap horses can put it in cruise control and knock off 12 second furlongs and the older horsrs as a group can close a lot better than the majority of 3yos.CC might find a group of older horses that he could beat if for instance he runs in the Pacific classic and only the West Coast handicap horses show up but in a race such as the classic with international runners he wont win,Ill bet on it.

06 Aug 2014 12:35 AM
Pedigree Ann

Brontexx - Chrome is still recovering from the INJURY he suffered at the start of the Belmont. He won't be back racing at the earliest until late September, so speculating about what he might do in the Pacific Classic is silly. Anyway, Sherman knows better than to run a horse at 10f off a layoff without a prep.

Unlike you, I was never impressed with the Florida horses because of the nature of the Gulfstream surface. Have ANY of the hotshots - Wildcat Red, Social Inclusion, General A Rod - done anything since they shipped north? Except back up in the stretch?

06 Aug 2014 4:23 AM

Pedigree Ann I dont keep tabs on CC my statement regarding the Pacific Classic though silly to you was an example.He might be able to beat a race of older horses solely from the West Coast but not a field of older horses from the entire country and or the world.

I never wrote I was impressed by the Florida horses but what I did write was that this 3yo crop was relatively weak in regards to the Triple Crown.I hope that clears it up for you or will you find another opening in my remarks to state that you know betta than me.I look for my results when I bet I dont own any horses nor do I plan on buying any.

06 Aug 2014 7:33 AM

Was the 2014 3yo crop relatively weak in regards to the Triple Crown?

To answer the above question, one must determine the crop’s weakness in relation to which previous 3YO crops?

Some of the more talented 3YOs were either injured or had issues before the Derby i.e., Top Billing, Constitution, Honor Code, Tonalist and Shared Belief.

Regarding the TC, the final time for the Derby was disappointing.  However, the final time for the Preakness and Belmont were the fastest in the last 6 and 11 renewals respectively.

The cold facts do not support a conclusion that the 2014 3YO crop are relatively weak.

06 Aug 2014 9:26 AM

sick at home....random races im betting online.....del race 6....wp #7 Texas zip.......

06 Aug 2014 3:51 PM

saratoga race 10....#2 sole play of day at saratoga....wp..200wp

06 Aug 2014 5:11 PM

steady, checked 3 times....great ride.... not! jose lezcano!....still got 2nd!.....jockeys!!!!!!!!!!!....sar #2 2nd.......didnt lose money, but lezcano cost me 700

06 Aug 2014 5:27 PM

delmar wp #1 saterical race 2

06 Aug 2014 5:36 PM

Coldfacts thanx for your opinion on this years 3yo crop.The Belmont was the strongest race of the TC and not all the best three 3yos ran in the KD and the Preakness.Time as they say only matters when your in jail.The times recorded are all relative and No one including myself knows how these 3yos will turn out as older horses.

Now for BPM ziltch for BPM how much did I bet nada so BP suffered thru an ofer 4 day I stopped even watching the race after two of those races.

06 Aug 2014 6:08 PM
Little Bill

Whata Maroon.

06 Aug 2014 8:08 PM

California Chrome will not run in the Pacific classic.

Los Alamitos is writing a one mile race for him to prep for the Breeder's Cup. Shared belief will run in the Pacific Classic, the Awesome Again and the Breeders Cup. There is a $ million bonus for any horse that win all three. Can Shared Belief beat Game on Dude twice?? maybe  but unlikely. Time will tell. My votes for H.O.Y are Will Take Charge or Wise Dan 2014 the year of the "W"

06 Aug 2014 8:57 PM

Secreteriat If what you write will happen

Los Alamitos is writing a one mile race for him to prep for the Breeder's Cup.

CC will probably not be running in the Breeders Cup Classic.

It reminds me of Gulfstream writing the Timely Writer at 1 1/16 for Uncle Mo in 2011 and we all know why Mo ran in such an easy prep.Eventhough CC has run 10 furlongs before the pace in this years KD was pedestrian set by Uncle Sigh.If it is a good field in the Classic I wont have CC on top in vertical exotics if he decides to run in that race.

07 Aug 2014 8:54 AM

"No one including myself knows how these 3yos will turn out as older horses."

The statement is fair. It is therefore premature to conclude that the 2014 3YO crop is weak.

On the subject of time, if they have no significance, why are they recorded?

Thoroughbreds are bred for speed and endurance. To equate the times they record to times spent in  incarceration is ludicrous. It is unlikely that a prison sentence will be equivalent to the time it takes to completed any leg of the TC.

07 Aug 2014 11:06 AM


Thanks for your thoughts on Horse of the Year! I agree that Wise Dan and Will Take Charge probably have an edge. I've got my fingers crossed that Wise Dan will achieve a historic three-peat, becoming only the third horse in U.S. history to win Horse of the Year three times in a row. That would be amazing!

07 Aug 2014 3:17 PM

But of course, for Wise Dan to earn a third Horse of the Year title, he will have to retain supremacy over the rest of the talented turf milers in this country, several of which will be running on Friday and Saturday!

Here's the link to my latest blog post, analyzing the Fourstardave Handicap and the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes:

07 Aug 2014 3:19 PM

Keelerman :    The east coast bias is still in effect in my opinion.  If voting were held today, WD would be the HOTY, just like he won it last year.   Keep in mind that last year, GoD was undefeated going into the Classic and all are dirt races, WD won all his races on Turf.  If CC doesn’t win another race this year, it would be WD that wins it.

It’s too early to say how Chrome will run, or how the injury affected him.  He’s a young 3YO and it’s quite possible the injury affected the way he runs.  Hopefully, he’ll have matured during his time off and recovery and that he’ll come back more professional.   I think he’ll be a force if he continues to improve, it’s going to be a very exciting Classic with PM, WTC, SB, Moreno, GoD all pointing to the same race.  I’m already booking my flight and hotel :)

Brontexx :  I use a lot of jockey angles but please don’t get me wrong, I don’t rely on the jockey alone, that would be ridiculous.  To me, the jockey is 30% of the race, whereas the trainer is probably 5 or 10%.   They only help with the conditioning, they don’t really spend time with the horse unless it’s Chrome or Wise Dan or the trainer has very few horses.   If you asked me how much time Todd or Chad spends with their horses, I would tell you they don’t because they have so many horses in their care they have people attend to them unless it’s a high profile horse.   They just don’t have the time.   They win a lot because they already get the good horses, all they have to do is work them out.  They have some horses that will win regardless of who trains them but they happen to end up in Todd’s barn most of the time.    Do you have the percentages of BPM for stakes races compared to maiden/claiming/allowance races ?

There are other things I use in combination to make my picks.  Before I do my jockey angles, I look at the field, the type of race and maybe the track condition.  I then look at the odds and jockey to make my picks.   I only asked about the market because I don’t know if people will take to that kind of report, just saying, before you invest time and money, it’s probably wise to see if it’s worth it.  I really hope you’re not testing it on the blogs because you’re not going to get valid numbers.

07 Aug 2014 4:57 PM

senor' Coldfacts Thoroughbreds are bred for speed and endurance. To equate the times they record to times spent in  incarceration is ludicrous. It is unlikely that a prison sentence will be equivalent to the time it takes to completed any leg of the TC.

After long thought I would have to agree but while we have moved from the saying time only matters when your in jail to comparisons for completion of the TC.

If the government ever catches KY Vet he will be reading your posts from a prison cell and then time will definitely be an issue for this criminal.

07 Aug 2014 6:22 PM

Coldfacts : I replied regarding your last post to me, I provided your bet in the Kentucky Derby.   Now, can you post the difference between your evaluation and handicapping so there's no confusion.  Like I said, you post on just about every horse, might help to clarify how you actually handicap.   Otherwise, just say you bet every horse you talk about so that when you say "I got the exacta, trifecta and superfecta", no one can question it.   There's no shame in buying races if you have the money to do it.

07 Aug 2014 8:23 PM

JayJay In 2010when I played full time I kept a notebook with all the starters of the trainers I follow but I dont want to play full time now so I dont have a notebook.I can tell you that ALL TRAINERS NOMATTER who they are win at a higher percentage in the lower classes in the case of the stakes barns MSW and NX1.Their can be exceptions to this of course but I would venture to state that it is rare and might only last a few months a year etc.

08 Aug 2014 9:00 AM

JayJay what you have to figure out is MSW and NX1 and dropping in class, for the trainers you follow because that is the life blood of trainers like Brown Pletcher and Mclauglin.

A trainer like Amoss makes a lot of loot at small tracks dropping into NW2 after running the same horses in allowance races at tracks like Churchill and fairgrounds.

08 Aug 2014 9:04 AM

I meant to write NW2L

08 Aug 2014 9:04 AM

By following the trainers you will learn a lot from a different perspective than trying to abstract from the PPs in essence trying to predict the future from the race shape ETC.

08 Aug 2014 9:06 AM

JayJay .  To me, the jockey is 30% of the race, whereas the trainer is probably 5 or 10%.   They only help with the conditioning, they don’t really spend time with the horse unless it’s Chrome or Wise Dan or the trainer has very few horses.  

JayJay do you think a CEO of a printing company takes of his suit and tie and gets dirty in trying to fix a key printer when it goes down of course not.

The trainers run a busines and the results are their win percentages money won etc it dosent matter how much time Pletcher actually spends with each horse he runs an efficient business and those delegated to do their jobs do it well and he gets credit for it but it is A TEAM EFFORT and to be at the top of the trainers standing you need a good team.

08 Aug 2014 9:16 AM

Brontexx : A printer or paper isn't a living thing, a horse is.   A jockey who is in contact with the horse when it's racing has far more impact to the horse than the trainer.  A jockey who stays on the same horse has a better understanding of how the horse is than his trainer.  The only person that actually has more insight on the horse besides the two are the handlers, the people that walks, feeds and takes care of the horse.

It's not rocket science to figure out the top trainers so I'm not really sure how much more handicapping you need to do with a trainer angle.

"  those delegated to do their jobs do it well and he gets credit for it but it is A TEAM EFFORT and to be at the top of the trainers standing you need a good team. "

So if you are handicapping on one part of the "team" (the trainer), how is it any different than handicapping the jockey, or the person that actually takes care of the horse, the veterenarian, the owner...they're all part of the team.

Anyway, I'm not trying to put down your handicapping, I was just curious as to how you determine a winner.  It seems in the end you guess which race their horses will hit the board, I don't see any formula that tells you which race they will have a high percentage of hitting the board but maybe I'm missing it.

08 Aug 2014 10:03 PM

JayJay I think you should stick to your methodology of play and forget about mine.I dont need to defend mine and I wont.

09 Aug 2014 5:35 PM

Brontexx : lol, I was not trying to use your handicapping at all as I don't rely on trainers that much.  I come here to see if anyone posts a horse they like that I didn't look at and to see their comments about the horse.   I always make my own decision on who to bet, the only time I ask is when I'm totally confused on the race.  

I'm sorry if my questions made you feel you were defending your handicapping, I thought you introduced BPM to the blog as your way of unlocking winners but you didn't really explain how it all works so I was curious because at first glance, there's really not much to handicap on trainers but it peaked my curiosity when you picked 3 specific trainers who almost always have the top horses so I wanted to see what the angle was...I still am not sure what it is but like you said, you don't have to defend it or explain it.

10 Aug 2014 1:33 AM

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