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Racing Beat: July 7

I’m going to go ahead and say something… Cozmic One kind of got ugly. Awkward yearling phase I hope, like his head just suddenly got big and clunky looking. Jess’s Dream is still very pretty. Baby Z13 is perfect and I’m 110% convinced he is going to be magical. Blind Luck's Bernardini filly is developing into a looker.

So Daisy Devine was DQ’d from her 2nd place finished in the Jenny Wiley due to a clenbuterol positive. Her trainer is taking the $500 fine in stride, and has stated his barn has installed new security cameras to stop any staff/vets from doing this nonsense. Okay really? I looked up the cost of clenbuterol and it runs $60-80 at its cheapest, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that figure is smaller than it actually is. It’s an anabolic steroid used for slimming down, building muscle, and aiding respiration in horses and I doubt anyone would just dump some in a horse without you knowing about it.

Creating my “driving to Saratoga” playlist. Song 1: “Paradise”. Perfect fit, and it would kick off my passage through the Berkshires very nicely.

Is Stop Smiling going to be good like her sister? Half-sister to Weemissfrankie won her debut in a Hollywood MSW.

Despite a fierce battle with Gulfstream for racing dates, Calder’s Summit of Speed still attracts big names and filled races with some handsome payouts.

I saw pictures of Tapitsfly this past week as a broodmare in Japan… I figured that sort of thing happened, but other than that I know nothing. She does have a younger full sister who should be racing at some point soon.

Here’s to hoping the newly-established U.S. Timeform lives up to its hype and actually provides useful handicapping tools.

The G3 Poker lost by heavy favorite Data Link (4th) was a golden opportunity to show bet against him. He’s not THAT good of a horse and there were quite a few very good horses in there. Same story for Little Mike in the United Nations (I) coming off that fuzzy Dubai layoff against good company… YES… I TELL YOU ALL OF THIS NOW…

I don’t really keep a close eye on my following numbers on any network, but I was proud to see I had more than a hundred followers than some HRN writers on Twitter. I guess I must be decent then, or at least somewhat entertaining! Nobody can possibly visit this blog because I give away oodles of winners!

Tweet o’ the Week:

Racing Beat: April 7


Wow, a ton of awesome horses were born at the tail end of March/April 1… Man o’ War, Secretariat, Drosselmeyer, Wise Dan, I’ll Have Another, Zenyatta… HANDICAPPING BIAS!

Darley acquires an interest in Animal Kingdom. Damn, next thing you know Coolmore will sprout a clue and buy one too! WAIT, THAT WAS ONLY A DREAM!

I wasn’t planning on buying a house anytime soon, nor a building, but really c’mon…

I know I’m a  bit behind the ball on boasting and it probably isn’t worth it, but while I bombed heart-picking most of the Dubai card, my random love for Planteur [IRE] wasn’t unfounded. One of the lowest Timeform ratings and the horse still got third.

The Oaks fillies are so much better than the Derby colts this year that it pains me to think none of them can enter the Derby without official points. LAME!

True story: I was yelling at my computer yesterday watching Normandy Invasion. C’MON C’MON GET SECOND GET SECOND YOU NEED AT LEAST SECOND YEEEEEEEESSSSSSS! I’ve never been so pleased for a horse to get second.

"One more jump, and I could have won the race. His gallop out was amazing." - Javier Castellano on Normandy Invasion. It’s like he read my article! YES I AGREE WITH YOU JAVI!

Orb or Verrazano for Johnny V? Is it bad I want him to pick Verrazano because if he picked Orb over the undefeated horse it would ruin Orb’s odds?

Calder’s back on! Hopefully it won’t spurt screwy results on a daily basis like Gulfstream.

I hope Code West gets an “in” for the Derby next, since he too is on the bubble. I thought he was a pretty good horse.

Blind Luck and Giant’s Causeway sitting in a tree… with Winter Memories and Street Cry [IRE]. #horselove

Realizing the other day that Funny Cide's Derby win was 10 years ago. OH MY GOD OLD.

I’m sorry but I still can’t see myself rooting for Goldencents. Never had the feels for him, he beat out Bern Identity in the Delta Jackpot (III), and his jockey’s post-San Felipe tantrum is still crisp in my memory.

Tweet o’ the Week


Hear Me Out…


I’m bored to death in film class (already know dis shtuff) and am overtired… PERFECT TIME FOR A HEAR THE GHOST APPRECIATION POST!

  • Dad is Ghostzapper, who is one fast po-nay
  • Grandpops is Awesome Again, who I love pretty obviously [clicky]. THAT MAKES HIM RELATED TO GAME ON DUDE AND AWESOME FEATHER!
  • He’s a gelding. NEVER RETIRE NEVERRRR
  • Time for Hollendorfer to win the Derby. I still kind of die thinking about Blind Luck retiring  prematurely.
  • Nobody is REALLY talking about him yet. I like unpopular things.
  • He’s like a male look-alike version of Contested (related, weirdly enough) who I picked to win a couple of races too:


  • He was a cute hunk of a baby:

  • He’s chestnut, which is the very best color
  • Nakatani owes me money after losing on Nehro.

Racing Beat: January 20


Good news for his fans: Secret Circle is back on the work tab!

I am pleased to announce that after 2 week(ish) of intermittently trying, I won 10 horseshoes on Blazing Silks’ spinny game. WHO’S YOUR DADDY? IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME.

Wilburn made news last year retiring early to take advantage of the Bernardini blood value by being his first son to stand at stud. For 2013, we’ve got at least 6 new ones by Bernardini by my count on Stallion Register, more than new sires that are by pensioned A.P. Indy (5) and deceased Dynaformer (4).

Aqueduct is thinking about changing their inner track to synthetic. While I’m sure synthetic/turf breeders would like an opportunity to get a good shot at NYRA’s gold, have we learned nothing so far about surfaces?

I wonder how good Midnight Lute's half brother Steel Guitar (by Unbridled’s Song) is going to be. He hasn’t broken his maiden yet, and was 3rd in his 3rd try last time out in a 6-furlong maiden special weight at Turfway. He gathered buzz as the heavy favorite, but was beaten 6+ lengths.

Last night my feed blew up with news alerts that Shanghai Bobby won the Eclipse for Best 2-Year-Old Male. Last I checked that wasn’t news…

An unreal accomplishment of luck, determination, and humility: Morton Fink has just one mare in his business and it is the dam of his 3-time Eclipse champion Wise Dan.

Oh my stars, my leading lady Blind Luck is a madre now :’)

My heart was a little broken to see so many races go sloppy on Saturday, which is easily one of the biggest reasons I did not place any money down on anyone. I should have though at least on Ron the Greek and Oxbow, who I naturally favored in the Lecomte (III). Ughhhhh. Important to note that despite a restricted field on an off track, Ron the Greek got an impressive 115 Beyer his first start back!

What’s up with Vinery that has caused all the stallions to go to WinStar?

Sweet baby Atigun is set to return in Oaklawn’s Razorback (III). D’aww! It’s a little short for him though at a mile and a sixteenth >.>

Unlike my Derby Top 10, I’m having some issues narrowing down just 10 I like for the Oaks.

Mark Valeski was close to that win hot off a layoff in the Louisiana Handicap. Along with Believe You Can and Smitten, a three-year-old Tapit filly I like, Larry Jones has a string of contenders again this year.

Dale Romans wins, Ramon Dominguez wins, Little Mike loses. :( Sad sigh.

Tweet o’ the Week: Not to sully the glory, but I was kind of thinking the same thing


Racing Beat: December 9


Psst… Christmas card requests are due in by this Saturday (December 15)! Lava Man will be getting one per a request on Doug O’Neill Stables’ Facebook. Send him one too if you want! (Lava Man c/o 122-A E Foothill Blvd #300, Arcadia, CA 91006)

IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME… the Delaware Handicap (I) is finally a G1 race after being a G2 for leading ladies like Blind Luck in her unforgettable stretch duel with Havre de Grace, and winners Royal Delta, Life at Ten, and Hystericalady. It really should have been upgraded before the Cotillion got its boost.

Even though I’m not into Pletcher horses, I really liked In Lingerie back around the time leading up to her win in the Bourbonette… probably because I like Empire Makers so much. She didn’t retire in the same form, but I have high hopes for her future Frankel baby. Can’t. Wait.

Ughh… that photo of Michael Phelps and Graham Motion. Graham looks like a classy Brit… Phelps… those glasses… I didn’t think it was possible to despise him more than I already do. Gold medal collection or not, don’t nobody give me a hard time about it or ask me to explain. The man just looks weird and it always looks like he’s breathing out of his mouth.

He can dirt as well as turf! Fredericksburg made his dirt start yesterday at the competitive Gulfstream Park and finished 2nd!

How the tables have turned… Henny Hughes is welcomed back into Kentucky’s bluegrass with open arms. Who’d have thought he’d sire so many stakes winners so soon?

I honestly don’t see Gary Stevens actually returning to race-riding, but it’s a cozy thought.

Remember last year’s Illinois Derby (III) winner Joe Vann? He just got adopted as an OTTB at New Vocations!

Madman Diaries… now that is a name I have not heard in a long time…

Part of me is intrigued and excited to see the CashCall (I), the other part chortles at the thought of a legitimate Derby horse emerging from this race. Why is this still a Grade 1 event?

Paynter got my vote for the Vox Populi.

I read somewhere that Buffum was purchased for $1.2 million as a yearling. Oh ow…

I’m kind of surprised that the New York Times won the Team Valor journalism award. Half of the racing-related stuff they published was demeaning smut, and don’t get me started on what I think of Joe Drape’s personality. (Which is saying a lot having read some of his work before reading what he had to say to people)

Tweet o’ the Week: No pun intended?


Always A Princess leads the fray in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (I), folding just before the wire to finish 5th behind She Be Wild, Beautician, Blind Luck, and Biofuel.

Always A Princess leads the fray in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (I), folding just before the wire to finish 5th behind She Be Wild, Beautician, Blind Luck, and Biofuel.

Weekend Stake Tip: Super Saturday Edition

In the event you didn’t sense it from my tone, I was very unsure about doing any actual things involving money this weekend despite being excited about Super Saturday. Last year, I did all sorts of predictions only to have the track turn up wet at Belmont, which led to I believe all but one race being totally off and Blind Luck getting retired prematurely. What a bad day. This year wasn’t quite that bad, but I only wagered— unsuccessfully, at that— a couple Game On Dude-on-top exactas. At least he won. Out of all the upsets that happened, I was ecstatic to see Barclay Tagg’s Jersey Town snap out of his funk, but I don’t know how good he’ll be for the Dirt Mile. To Honor and Serve definitely took a big step back for me over the weekend.

My best race was shockingly enough a sprint: the Vosburgh won by The Lumber Guy. My first choice Poseidon’s Warrior came in 3rd, third-choice Caixa Eletronica rallied to be 2nd, and second-choice Sean Avery placed 4th.

Between the off track, the bad juju, chalky finishes, and being busy at home for the weekend, it was generally a good decision to stay away from what would have become an all-day affair in front of the TV getting worked up. Off tracks more often than not produce upset winners, and no doubt Santa Anita was too-properly souped up for opening weekend. But, it was not without its purpose, providing a lot of new input that could potentially inflate some odds in time for the Breeders’ Cup:

  • Love And Pride’s odds will likely be unrealistically short— I don’t think she’s that good despite two G1s in row, and with a lot of speed in the Ladies’ Classic she won’t be left alone
  • Ron the Greek’s poor showing in the JCGC was probably due to the track. He likes 10 furlongs and at running that distance at Santa Anita with a lot of speed up front will work in his favor. His continuing lack of a fanbase is also encouraging good odds.
  • Flat Out was a shameful “miss” on my behalf over the weekend being in peak condition and on his favorite track, but he will likely regress off of it.

In regards to Santa Anita, I don’t recall having an awful time of figuring out races there, but over the next month it will demand close inspection leading up to the Breeders’ Cup. Slim Shadey [GB] wired the John Henry Turf on Sunday. Executiveprivilege also went wire-to-wire on the dirt this weekend as well as Love And Pride, and Game On Dude was just off the front end. Is the track biased and will it remain that way into November? For most people it is safe to say it was.

The masterful performance of the weekend goes to the grass: Point of Entry is one of America’s best horses despite battling on yielding grass over the weekend which would have benefited others more than himself. While I did not handicap any turf races for the weekend, out of any of his starts this year, the Joe Hirsch (I) was Point of Entry’s to lose with the predicted poor footing and pressure from in front and behind. He is now the victor of 5 races— 3 of them G1— and if Acclamation was a candidate for it last year, Point of Entry is almost certainly a shoo-in for Horse of the Year nomination should he take down the Euros in November.

Gemologist fans, relax! Todd Pletcher said the Wood Memorial (I) winning Tiznow colt displaced his soft palate during the Haskell (I)— the same breathing problem suffered by Blind Luck in last year’s Vanity (I)— forcing him to tire dead last in his comeback race despite some really nice breezing. He was also found to have a lung infection with some mucus in the mix, so he is set to be on antibiotics for one week and will have his path decided from there. (Photo by Frank Panucci)

Gemologist fans, relax! Todd Pletcher said the Wood Memorial (I) winning Tiznow colt displaced his soft palate during the Haskell (I)— the same breathing problem suffered by Blind Luck in last year’s Vanity (I)— forcing him to tire dead last in his comeback race despite some really nice breezing. He was also found to have a lung infection with some mucus in the mix, so he is set to be on antibiotics for one week and will have his path decided from there. (Photo by Frank Panucci)

Racing Beat: July 22

I’ve always wanted to go visit Chicago. If only I could make it there for the Arlington Million (I). Someday…

Pimlico made an awesome movie trailer-like tribute to I’ll Have Another over here. Watch it when you can.

Even horse racing paparazzi Adam “Moosh” had issues finding affordable headspace at Saratoga. Feels bad man!

Why the hell was Holy Candy the favorite in the Oceanside Stakes? Have you heard of Chips All In at all?

Not that I’ve been really impressed yet, but Almighty Brown is definitely my favorite two-year-old. Chestnut, blaze, and a son of Big Brown! Think he’ll be a grass-dirt freak like his dad?

The next star son of Galileo is named Mars. Easy one to remember.

Rest in peace to the legend Frank “Pancho” Martin, who otherwise probably would have had a Triple Crown winner in Sham.

The racing gods heard my bitching: Saratoga is offering free wi-fi backed by a Fastnet mobile wagering application. No more fighting off crowds! (Hopefully it works!)

If the feed’s been a little slow this past week post count-wise, it’s because I was mourning Union Rags. He’s not dead, but in a way it feels like he is. I felt the same way when Blind Luck was pulled out of contention last year.

Could Frankel beat Danedream in the Arc? Hmm…

Sorry race organizers! I do not want to run in your race to benefit tornado victims (still having issues around here?). Instead I want to spend the day nomming food and picking ponies in Saratoga. You were supposed to be held in September anyway!

Congrats to Barbaro's little brother Lentenor on a stakes win yesterday!

If it were up to Rick Porter, he’d breed his Horse of the Year Havre de Grace to Bernardini if he weren’t planning to sell her auction. No no no… pick something else… I don’t understand how people can say he is the best stallion on the market right now…

Looks like Godolphin has another live three-year-old filly this year with Questing [GB].

My first Bluegrass Cat love has been retired due to a liver inflammation. Cheers, Kathmanblu.

New name to add to the “best pony names” book: Thewifedoesntknow. And he’s cute!

Tweet o’ the Week

Poor Blind Luck, probably my favorite horse that raced last year, was the victim of Bernardini spam. (Photo from Hill ‘N Dale Farms)

Poor Blind Luck, probably my favorite horse that raced last year, was the victim of Bernardini spam. (Photo from Hill ‘N Dale Farms)

Going to the Thoroughbred races, keeping "track" of the memories. Obsessively providing a comprehensive and personal glance at the sport of kings through original photography, handicapping analysis, editorials, and much more.

Tracks visited: Calder, Saratoga, Belmont, Suffolk, Aqueduct.

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