Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 Preakness Stakes: Blind Handicapping

Blind handicapping the Preakness should give us a better understanding of how each contender matches up against the rest of the field without being biased or partial because of the name of the horse. However, since we know the horses rather well it might not help as much as we'd like, but we have all their info in one spot so I can go back in and add their names later on.

An asterisk (*) after the AWD indicates an AWD sample size of less than five. And the AWD is for dirt and All Weather Surfaces only.

The Field (in random order)

Horse A
Race Record: 7-2-3-2
DP: 7-16-19-0-0, DI: 3.42, CD: 0.71
Graded Stakes RR: 4-1-3-0, 8f (1st), 8.5f, 9f, 8f
Figs: BSFs in last 2 races - 87 (March), 93 (April)
        PFs -12, -41
TDR rating: 338
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.70f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.76f
Best BSF and PF: 93, -43

Horse B
Race Record: 4-2-1-1
DP: 13-12-12-0-1, DI: 4.43, CD: 0.95
Graded Stakes RR: 1-0-0-1, 9f
Figs: BSFs - 85 (March), 95 (April)
        PFs -46 (April)
TDR rating: 395
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.32f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.48f
Best BSF and PF: 95, -46

Horse C
Race Record: 5-2-1-1
DP: 6-5-15-0-0, DI: 2.47, CD: 0.65
Graded Stakes RR: 2-1-0-0, 9f (1st), 10f
Figs: BSFs - 97 (April), 77 (May)
        PFs -36, +10
TDR rating: 301
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.45f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 9.00f*
Best BSF and PF: 97, -36

Horse D
Race Record: 5-1-2-0
DP: 6-0-8-0-0, DI: 2.50, CD: 0.86
Graded Stakes RR: 4-0-2-0, 6.5f (2nd), 7f (2nd), 8.5f (6th), 9f (4th)
Figs: BSFs - 87 (March), 93 (April)
        PFs -20, -40
TDR rating: 285
Sires's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.98f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.97f
Best BSF and PF: 101s, -64s

Horse E
Race Record: 7-2-1-0
DP: 5-4-5-0-0, DI: 4.60, CD: 1.00
Graded Stakes RR: 2-0-1-0, 8.5f (2nd), 9f (4th)
Figs: BSFs - 83 (March), 87 (April)
        PFs -36, -22
TDR rating: 359
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.93f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.63f
Best BSF and PF: 87, -36

Horse F
Race Record: 6-2-0-2
DP: 2-0-4-0-0, DI: 2.00, CD: 0.67
Graded Stakes RR: 1-0-0-1, 9f (3rd)
Figs: BSFs - 88 (Feb.), 93 (April)
        PFs -39, -45
TDR rating: 306
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 9.00f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.83f*
Best BSF and PF: 93, -45

Horse G
Race Record: 3-2-0-0
DP: 8-7-9-0-0, DI: 4.33, CD: 0.96
Graded Stakes RR: 2-1-0-0, 7f (1st), 9f (4th)
Figs: BSFs - 102 (Feb.), 80 (April)
        PFs -48, -22
TDR rating: 305
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.80f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 6.84f
Best BSF and PF: 102s, -48s

Horse H
Race Record: 4-2-0-1
DP: 9-2-4-7-0, DI: 1.44, CD: 0.59
Graded Stakes RR: 1-0-0-1, 9f (3rd)
Figs: BSFs - 89 (Feb.), 93 (April)
        PFs -27 (April)
TDR rating: 334
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.00f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.25f
Best BSF and PF: 93, -27

Horse I
Race Record: 12-2-0-1
DP: 1-10-13-0-2, DI: 2.06, CD: 0.31
Graded Stakes RR: 3-0-0-0, 8.5f (6th), 9f (5th), 8f (5th)
Figs: BSFs - 84 (April), 80 (April)
        PFs -15, -8
TDR rating: 420
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.50f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): N/A
Best BSF and PF: 84, -23

Horse J
Race Record: 6-2-1-0
DP: 6-13-9-0-2, DI: 3.62, CD: 0.70
Graded Stakes RR: 3-0-1-0, 9f (5th), 9f (2nd), 10f
Figs: BSFs - 93 (April), 97 (May)
        PFs -54, -39
TDR rating: 298
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 6.99f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.90f
Best BSF and PF: 97, -54

Horse K
Race Record: 9-2-3-3
DP: 5-1-5-1-0, DI: 2.43, CD: 0.83
Graded Stakes RR: 6-1-2-2, 8f (2nd), 9f (2nd), 8f (4th), 8.5f (1st), 9f (3rd), 10f
Figs: BSFs - 93 (March), 99 (May)
        PFs -54, -41
TDR rating: 188* (small sample size)
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.05f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.50f*
Best BSF and PF: 99 (twice), -63

Horse L
Race Record: 5-3-1-0
DP: 9-8-13-0-0, DI: 3.62, CD: 0.87
Graded Stakes RR: 3-2-0-0, 8f (1st), 9f (1st), 10f
Figs: BSFs - 93 (April), 92 (May)
        PFs -54, -26
TDR rating: 318
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.38f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.41f
Best BSF and PF: 97, -54

Horse M
Race Record: 5-3-2-0
DP: 2-0-6-0-0, DI: 1.67, CD: 0.50
Graded Stakes RR: 2-2-0-0, 9f, 10f
Figs: BSFs - 93 (March), 103 (May)
        PFs -9, -52
TDR rating: 365* (small sample size)
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 9.00f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 9.50f*
Best BSF and PF: 103, -52

Horse N
Race Record: 8-4-0-0
DP: 5-2-9-0-0, DI: 2.56, CD: 0.75
Graded Stakes RR: 0 starts
Figs: BSFs - 83 (April), 86 (May)
        PFs -7, -39
TDR rating: 381
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 6.63f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.56f
Best BSF and PF: 86, -39


Don't look below this line if you don't want the names of each entry!


**Here are the names for each "lettered" horse**

A - #1 Astrology
B - #8 Dance City
C - #7 Midnight Interlude
D - #6 Sway Away
E - #2 Norman Asbjornson
F - #3 King Congie
G - #4 Flashpoint
H - #14 Mr. Commons
I - #12 Isn't He Perfect
J - #5 Shackleford
K - #9 Mucho Macho Man
L - #10 Dialed In
M - #11 Animal Kingdom
N - #13 Concealed Identity


  1. My top horses in order are:

    1. Mucho Macho Man
    2. Dialed In
    3. Animal Kingdom
    4. Dance City
    5. Midnight Interlude

    And then a few tied in 6th if I were to use them: King Congie, Astrology and Sway Away
    But I think SA is best at or around 8.5f, KC might strictly be a turf horse and I don't like Astrology's post and he might be at his best at less than 9f. Also, he could very well get bottled up on the rail the whole way around. Though, he does have some speed to get him out of trouble, but FP and Shack could move over on him and get in front into the 1st turn. So, I really like those top 5 and their post positions. Should be a good one though!

  2. My Blind Handicap results:

    Toss: C,D,I,L,N

    Theoretical $1 Super:

    J,K / B,J,K,M / A,B,E,G,H,M / A,B,E,G,H,M


  3. Do you want to know who the horses are??

  4. Ammend (left two out):

    add F & K to 3 & 4 slots=

    J,K / B,J,K,M / A,B,E,F,G,H,K,M / A,B,E,F,G,H,K,M


    Budget version:

    J,K / J,K / G,H,L / G,H,L =$12

  5. I'd like to know who the horses are whenever you think Lane and any others have had time to participate and post their findings.

    I did my best to not remember any data on the horses so my findings would truly be blind.

  6. That's cool. Well, at the bottom of the original post I went ahead and included the key, so the horses names are there if you want to see who they are. Your picks actually look pretty good considering it was blind!

  7. It would be cool just to play a small super like your budget ticket to see how it does. And if you hit, we might be on to something!

  8. And I didn't put where the horse finished in the 10f "Graded Stakes Race Record" because I thought it would have easily given away the name.

  9. Ammend budget version (I make alot of mistakes), delete L (toss) add K =

    J,K / J,K, / G,H,K / G,H,K

    Cost = $12

  10. Wait, that doesn't make any sense.I'm getting worse instead of better. I guess it would be J,K / J,K / G,H / G,H

    Cost = $4

  11. Well, that was interesting!

    Based on that along with my own bias, I would adjust the ticket as follows:

    J,K,L,M / J,K,L,M / J,K,L,M / A,B,G,H,J,K,L,M =$120

    What do you think of this one?

  12. That looks pretty good! Though, I'm liking Dance City a lot and I think he could hang on for 3rd. So, I would put him in the 3rd and 4th slots. But do what you think is best. I think it's going to be MMM, DI, AK and DC in the top 4, but you can't leave out Shack and really, I think MI could bounce back and possibly show up for that 4th spot. It's hard!! There's quite a few horses that I like and some that you just can't leave out cuz they'll end up buring you!

  13. DRF:

    "If the timer can be believed, Shackleford led the Derby field through an opening six furlongs in 1:13.40, the slowest such split in the Derby since 1947, when the track was officially rated slow and Jet Pilot’s winning time was 2:06 4/5 – nearly five full seconds off Animal Kingdom’s 2:02.04. Dialed In was 19th and last after that slow fraction, 18 1/2 lengths behind the leader. Half a mile later, he had passed 11 of his 18 rivals to be beaten 7 1/2 lengths, running a sizzling final half-mile in slightly less than 47 seconds. The only faster final Derby half-mile anyone can find was Secretariat’s 46 3/5 in 1973".

  14. That's funny! I just read that!

  15. Another interesting observation by the same author:

    " The race unfolded so slowly that Zenyatta could have been on the lead. Seriously.

    Six months earlier, when the Breeders’ Cup Classic was run over the same 10 furlongs at Churchill Downs, First Dude was in front after six furlongs in 1:11.01, with Quality Road, Haynesfield, and Espoir City all within a length. Zenyatta, one of history’s great stretch-runners, was last of 12 and 12 1/2 lengths behind the leader. Using the six-lengths-to-a-second yardstick, that means she ran her first six furlongs right around 1:13.20 – a little faster than Shackleford’s 1:13.40 as he led the Derby field at the quarter pole."

  16. Finally, re DI, this quote has both of the fractions busted out for the final 1/2:

    "After sleepwalking through the first six furlongs in 1:16.39, he passed 11 of his 18 opponents through the final half-mile with remarkable fourth and fifth quarters of 23.19 and 23.76. With a faster pace to run at in the Preakness, he could have a greater say in the outcome than he did in Louisville."

    Question is, will DC, FP and AST allow Shack to do it again. If they do, DI will probably get shafted. But I don't see DC allowing that to happen and I agreee with you; I think he'll probably be there at the end to get a piece.

  17. Yeah, I don't think Shack gets away with another 1/2 in :48 and change and 3/4 in 1:13 and change. It just won't happen, again! And that's the thing that I don't like about Shack. Setting those slow fractions, he should've had enough left in the tank to win the Derby or at least be a close 2nd, but he barely hung on for 4th. So, I think the, what should be, faster fractions in the Preakness will hurt him going 9.5f. He IS by a sire that is notorious for producing sprinter/miler types (Forestry's progeny have an AWD of a measly 6.99f for dirt/AWS). Though, he could stay on for 4th again, but I think it sets up for AK, DI and MMM much, much better. These 3 should've been hindered by the slow pace in the Derby, AK and DI more than MMM, and DI was, but the other 2 finished very strongly. So, this is why I think they move up even further with what should be a faster pace, and Beyer agrees, at least with AK ( He's got 1. AK 2. DC and 3. SA
    And like I said, I'm loving DC right now. This is only his 5th career start, so he should improve off of that nice 95 BSF and he has very good speed, but also gets some much needed stamina from the bottom half of his pedigree. 9.5f is probably at the very end of his limit, though. I really think it's MMM, AK, DC and DI, but I would also put a few horses in that 4th spot like Shack, Astrology, SA and MI.
    So, right now I'm thinking it might look something like this:


    In terms of pace and distance, I think it sets up the best for AK or MMM to win. The pace should set up for DI much better than the Derby did, but I'm just not sold on him for the win in this spot. DC is an up and coming horse and has good speed, but is probably at his best at less than 9f. Though, he matches up well against this group and could very well hang on for 3rd or 4th. I love SA, but not so much at 9.5f. He's probably at his best at less than 9f as well. I loved MI for the Derby, but he ran a very disappointing race and I contribute that to inexperience. He'll probably be a great horse once they switch him to turf, like his daddy, but he could very well bounce back in here and run a much better race than his poor Derby performance. I think Astrology is finally coming into his own and AP Indy colts are notoriously late bloomers (see Mineshaft and Bernardini), but he's in a tough spot here. Has never been off the board, but he faces much tougher rivals in here and the 1 post doesn't help his cause. He could finally pop, but I just don't see it happening in this one. Shack is a very tough horse, but he has had 2 very favorable races in his last 2 outings in which he was on the lead. The FL Derby was playing to front running speedy types that day and in the Derby he set some very slow fractions for the 1/2 and 3/4m and should've done better considering that point, but he only hung on for 4th. Can't toss him, but I don't think it sets up for him in here.

  18. That looks pretty good. I'll have DI in the first slot too though.

    As cited above, his last half mile in the Derby was really, really fast and this time out he may well get the fast pace setup he needs.

  19. That's the safe route. He could very well win it, but if you pressed me for a winner I would have to go with MMM. Though, the race should set up for AK and DI as well.
    DI did run really fast in the last 4f, but that's expected when you run 3/4 in 1:16 and change. He had plenty of energy!

  20. If I had to pick a straight super, I would go with MMM/AK/DI/DC
    Actually, I might play that on a $2 super just for the fun of it.
    What would your straight super be?

  21. How 'bout we just box those 4? Then we can both be right! LOL

  22. That's not a bad idea!

  23. TCI pace scenario and picks. Looks like we're in good company picks wise.

  24. Yep! Our top 7 horses are their top 7 horses:
    AK, DI, DC, MMM, MI, SA and Shack

    Looks good to me! Those are the 7 that I had in that part wheel super up top, save for Astrology. Though, I think I would add DI to the win slot, like you said, and I think I might drop Astrology now. I just think he gets bottled up on the rail the whole way around and he may not be a strong 2-turn horse either. So, my or our super would look something like this:


  25. I'm even thinking about putting DC in that 2nd spot and taking out Shack and SA in the 4th spot, which would give us 3/4/4/5. Idk.

  26. I don't know either. I feel like a kid in a candy store..........not!

    We should keep in mind though that they're offering fractional wagering on this race, starting with ten centers, so, you might look at that if you're hesitant to toss somebody because 10% or 50% of a $1 payoff is better than 100% of nothing if you ended up tossing a third or fourth place finisher.

    I might narrow my picks down on a $1 or $2 and then have a whole lot more on a fractional as a backup. Just a thought.

  27. I like your part wheel though just as it is. If I were to add anything, I would put Shack in the 3rd slot too, which would cost $72.

    If I HAD to toss somebody, it would probably be MI and/or SA.

    As it is, your part wheel would cost $48 as-is but if that's too much you could keep them all for $24 on a fifty center (then maybe add a few more!).

  28. Talk about an astute handicapper, this guy really knows how to pick 'em:

    "Save your money. Single Animal Kingdom in the Super. $.10- 11/ALL/ALL/ALL= $171.6. It'll pay at least $800.00".
    Posted by crazy horse · 14 minutes ago · Comment

  29. At DRF Mike Beer likes SA,DC,AK & Shack.

  30. ......and Dan Illman likes MI too so, that doesn't help you with any tosses does it.

  31. Iron Maidens brief ped analysis and picks (2 pages) AK,DI,MMM,Shack,AST,DC

  32. Here's mine:

    $1 SPWHL: 9,10,11 / 9,10,11 / 1,5,8,9,10,11 / 1,5,8,9,10,11 = $72

    $1 SH5: 10,11 / 10,11 / 9 / 1,5,8 / 1,5,8 = $12

  33. On second thought, change that SH5 to:

    9,10,11 / 9,10,11 / 9,10,11 / 1,5,8 / 1,5,8 = $36

  34. Yeah, a couple of hours after I made the comment about maybe tossing some horses, I was looking at the Black-eyed Susan entries and saw that they were offering 10 cent supers. So, I think I'll stick with my original super with a few additions like DC in the 2nd spot and 1 or 2 more horses in the 4th spot.
    Your super and super hi-5 looks good though! I think we have an excellent shot judging by others picks as well. Did you see Macho Man Randy Savage died yesterday? Is that an omen for MMM? Funny! I really like our top 4 horses! I think they're the best in the field for this race in terms of pace and distance.

  35. Watch this video of Jerry Bailey talking to Mike Watchmaker about the pace of the Preakness and who can win:
    There's a bunch of videos on the right hand side, but if you click on the down button twice it's right there, the first video after the stakes race videos. It's pretty much what I think of how the Preakness will be run.
    There's some pretty good videos there.
    I've always backed Sway Away in all of his races, mainly because Afleet Alex is one of my favorite horses ever! And that's one of the first horses that I brought up on this blog last early last week. So, I'm thinking about putting him in the 2nd and 3rd slots now. I don't think he can win it because I think he's probably best at less than 9f, but I wouldn't be surprised if he showed up for 2nd, 3rd or 4th. What do you think?

  36. Here's what I said on May 9th:

    "Sway Away had a good work on Derby day getting 6f in 1:11.60. I think he could be primed for a big race."

    "I think Sway Away could be a factor, too. He just moved a bit early in the Ark. Derby, but still finished 3rd. He's got a fast closing kick, though!"

    "RE: Sway Away
    Yeah, AA could end up producing better daughters, but obviously it's too early to tell right now. I think SA is a good horse and he could be coming into his own finally, cuz he had a good race in the Ark. Derby, he just moved a lil too early. His PF was a -40. He just had a good work, so we'll just have to keep an eye on him."

    So, based on my first comments about him and the other support he's getting from Beyer, Bailey and others, I think I'll put him back up there. I've always been a fan and if I were to jump off the bandwagon now and he runs a very good race, then I would be kicking myself!

  37. So, here's what my super may look like:


    50 cent super = $54

  38. Oh yeah, I forgot about MI! I'll put him in the 3rd and 4th positions as well. So, it would be 3/5/6/7

    $1 super = $192
    so 10 cent super would be $19.20
    I know you already know this, I'm just typing what I'm thinking. That doesn't look too bad!

  39. I think I'll join you on that ten center as a backup.

    I didn't have SA on the big one because it's looking to me like he might be more of a one-turner. Although he did come in fourth in the Ark Dby @ 1/18, he looked alot beter in the San Vicente @ 7f. I guess I'd draw a line through the Rebel.

    Re MI, he's a great horse but I think the TC trail might be a little too much too soon for him. I suspect the primary reason he's on the trail is becuase The Factor and Jaycito are sidelined.

    I think the Santa Anita Derby may have been watered down in terms of the field with the loss of PrePeg and Jaycito. I'm not too hot on Jaycito but I think PrePeg is dynamite and he would have blown that field away.

    Anyhow, MI did a good job in a diluted field but that was probably a weak prep. Makes it easier to toss Mr. Commons though, particularly given his post position.

  40. I just figured I've give MI another shot. I don't think he even ran in the Derby. I would draw a line threw it. Plus, he had a good work and I don't think Baffert would've brought him to the Preakness if he didn't think he had a shot of at least hitting the board. And I like the change to Garcia. I mean, Baffert/Garcia won it last year! You never know!

    "Espinoza grabbed Midnight Interlude to hold him back in the Derby, but Baffert wants the colt to be ridden aggressively."

    “He just needs to put him in the race, keep him on the bit and give him a chance to be there,” he said of Garcia. “He will keep going, but he didn’t like being taken back.” - Read more:

    But, I do like MMM, AK, DI and DC much better in this spot. I can't wait!! I think it will be an exciting race! GO AK!!!


    He doesn't like MI, but he also doesn't like Shack and thinks he is likely to regress and I agree. Looks like he likes MMM, SA, DC and Astrology. But he's been wrong before when he didn't like Nehro in the Ark. Derby and I think the KY Derby as well, but I liked him in both.
    You can make a case for and against most of these horses, anyway. I think we're looking pretty good!

  42. Re MI, there's an article on the Thoroedge site entitled "Why I Want AK To Fail" which I think is self-contradicting although I agree with the principle cited that race horses are supposed to be raced and worked like back in the 70's, not babied and kept in the stall.

    MI is a very good horse. He's also the only arrow in Bob's quiver who is not sidelined and qualified to run, so, you go with what you've got. If he's got a shot you run him. He sure won't prove anything if he stays in his stall such as in the case of Nehro.

    Anyway, we'll both have him on the ten center and see how he does.

    BTW, based upon a rough scoring system I devised this morning, which probably has more bugs in it than a flophouse mattress, MI hits the board. I'll probably place a $2 straight just to see how it does. This is based purely on scoring and makes no adjustment for post position:


  43. Yeah, I read that article. It was posted on HRN. I want him to win!!! I think he would be a great horse for the Belmont! He's bred to run all day. I just want to see a Triple Crown winner. I was born in 1980, so I haven't even been alive for a TC winner.

  44. I agree. I'll be glad to see him win too because if he goes on to win the Belmont he'll bring back some classic stamina breeding for routes as opposed to speed,speed,speed. New blood from other areas of the globe will provide a real shot in the arm to American racing. There's also Motion's training methods that will be spotlighted all the more.

    The reason this year's crop is regarded as slow is probably the result of breeders going for speed because the market prefers it.

  45. Let's do this!!!

    First off, I'd to thank both of you guys for all the help and analysis you have continued to provide. You guys are GREAT! So here's what I got for super...


    BOL FELLAS!!! Let's take home some $$$ today!

  46. I.e., they get slower as they stretch out. You know what I mean.

  47. Yeah, I know what you mean, Howy.

    Looks good, Lane! I got a feeling we might hit it today!! All we need now is a lil racing luck!!


  48. Here are some good videos to check out:

  49. Jerry Bailey says a faster pace will hurt AK although he can still win. I don't know, but of the field, there's only one I have tagged as versatile, meaning he can adjust his running style to fit the pace, and that is Animal Kingdom. Just my opinion.

  50. Current Preakness odds:

    Astrology 15-1
    NA 35-1
    KC 17-1
    FP 20-1
    Shack 12-1
    SA 14-1
    MI 13-1
    DC 11-1
    MMM 9-2
    DI 3-1
    AK 3-1
    IHP 25-1
    CI 24-1
    MC 40-1

    I love DC at 11-1 and SA at 14-1!!

  51. Baffert/Garcia just teamed up to win with Ventana!

  52. WOW! I can't believe Shack went wire-to-wire. He washed out and didn't look very good in the post parade. But, he slowed it down, again! Oh well! 2 out of 4, again! That sucks! We had our top 4 horses right there, though! Shack, AK, Astrology, DI, DC and MMM were the top 6 finishers. I think MI is a turf horse! HAHA!

  53. Ha! The Rodney Dangerfield of graded stakes races just burned us again! I thnk Shack's trying to tell us something. He keeps dropping these little hints!

    I watched the race at Turfway and laughed out loud when he crossed the wire. Win or lose I still enjoy it.

    I had 3 out of 4 on my part wheel and 2 out of 5 on the Super HI-5. I see I also had 3 out of 4 on the blind handicap which I didn't play. Interesting, in the blind handicap, I had Shack winning! DOH!!!

    Gotta hand it to him. He's a good horse who keeps exceeding expectations. For some reason he reminds me of Haynesfield.

    Oh well, on to the Belmont!

  54. I know, you almost had it! And so did Lane. 3rd time's a charm...Belmont??? If you would've had Dialed In in the 4th spot in your original 'blind handicap' picks, you would've hit it!!! Nice job!!

    Maybe we got something with this blind handicapping thing!! We'll definitely use it for the Belmont. What do you think?

    Right now, if the horses they're talking about run in the Belmont, I think I'm liking AK, Nehro, Master of Hounds and Alternation. 3 of those will be fresh horses and I think AK will be awesome at 12f!

    I have to give it to Shackleford, though! He's a pretty good horse. Ragozin thought that he would regress a bit and I did too, but he showed us! Now, watch AK win the Belmont. That would suck considering he lost by only a half length. Though, it still looks like the Belmont could be a really good race! I guess we'll just have to wait and see who's running.

  55. I think the blind handicap is definitely a worthwhile excercise. Had I used my own bias to add to rather than subtract from, I would have simply added the horses I liked to my blind handicap and won.

  56. One thing I'm kicking myself over is Romans said about the Dby that they thought he (Shack) was going to win coming down the stretch but he "just couldn't get that last 1/16". I watched the replay and Shack was just getting overtaken by AK at the 1/16. Since the Preakness was 1/16 shorter, I thought Shack really had a chance but still didn't reflect that in my wager because everybody knew he couldn't do it.

    I've had a gut feeling about this horse from the get-go. Every time I sell him short, he teaches me a lesson in respect, hence, the Rodney Dangerfield comparison.

    If he runs in the Belmont, we'll have the same questions about his distance ability re his pedigree, etc... So far, he's a better horse on the track than on paper. He may not be the best, but his strategy has gotten him fourth or better 3 out of 4 times now.

  57. With that said, I think if he runs in the Belmont, he'll finish up the track, unless of course, he implements this get out ahead and slow everything down strategy, then who knows.

  58. Yeah, I don't see Shack winning at 12f. He definitely reached his limit at 9.5f cuz AK would've beaten him had it been 1/16 of a mile longer or even shorter. Even Astrology might have passed him had it been a lil longer.
    And that sucks that MMM threw a shoe, again! But we pretty much had all of our horses right there. Maybe the 3rd time's a charm and we hit on the Belmont. We'll do the 'blind handicap' again, but this time I would like to see if we can get someone else other than me or you to put it together so that I can play it. We'll see. I think we might be on to something, though. Like you said, if we were to put our own bias together with the blind picks, we might have it down. What do you think?
    I would also like to add a few more things to it so that we get as much info as we can for the contenders. The four main things that I look at when handicapping horses in any given race are:

    1. Past Performances - how they did in their previous races including distance, pace/times, surface, type of race like grade?, stakes?, o/c?, etc. and competition
    2. Figures - BSF, PF, Ragozin #, Brisnet
    3. Pedigree - speed, stamina, chefs?, bloodlines
    4. Works - not just looking at the times, but reading comments to see how they worked, bullet works?, etc.

    So yeah, there's a few more things that we can add to the contenders' info in the 'blind handicap'. Right now it looks like the following could run in the Belmont:

    Animal Kingdom
    Mucho Macho Man
    Master Of Hounds
    Uncle Sam
    Stay Thirsty
    Prime Cut
    Awesome Patriot
    Isn’t He Perfect
    Harlan’s Hello

    As of right now, if those run, I like AK, Nehro, MoH and Alternation, but I'm sure the list will change in the next couple of weeks.

  59. What do I think? I think the blind handicap was very helpful and like I said, had I simply left my findings alone and added to rather than subtracted from/changed around I would have had a winning ticket.

    I think it just shows how our own bias can work against us even when we've picked who we think are best suited for a particular race based on objective information.

  60. Re the above 1. PP's: oc, ls, rs, msw, etc don't carry as much weight with me as gradeds when I'm capping a gr st, which are the only races I play.

    While I always note the career and present year records in my handicapping, I pay closest attention to the gradeds record because that shows me how they perform in the best company at a given distance.

    I don't know anybody who could help us with this. None of my friends know the first thing about horse racing. If you know someone who could post the data for us that would be great. If not, I'll do it so you can play this time.

  61. One other thing, needless to say, in a 1 1/2 mile race, pedigree is going to be a significant consideration. Fortunately, you've already done the leg work on half the field provided the list doesn't change.

  62. I just checked out the Bris pp's address you posted in the pre-Dby thread( That address hasn't updated since pre-Dby. Do you have an address for that with updated info?

  63. No, I don't have an updated version for all TC noms or for that matter post-Preakness bris figs, but I have the pre-Preakness ( and if you go here,, you can get horses like Santiva, Stay Thirsty, Nehro and Master of Hounds and the others. I'll have to get the new shooters like Jaycito, Uncle Sam, Alternation, Prime Cut, AP and HH. I'm sure an updated version will come out soon, though, and when it does I'll post it on here.

  64. Btw, I'm looking at the Met Mile and the Sands Point (I'm a Winter Memories fan. She's a good key on top). Are you going to play either of those races?

  65. Re Preakness, here are the final 3 1/2-furlong clockings for the Preakness performers:

    Animal Kingdom - 43.61
    Dialed In - 43.72
    Shackleford - 44.38
    Astrology - 44.40
    Mucho Macho Man - 45.00
    Dance City - 45.08
    King Congie - 45.28
    Mr. Commons - 45.42
    Isn't He Perfect - 45.45
    Sway Away - 45.48
    Concealed Identity - 45.84
    Norman Asbjornson - 46.10
    Midnight Interlude - 47.78
    Flashpoint - 48.16

  66. 2011 Preakness:

    1/4: 22.69
    1/2: 46.87
    3/4: 1:12.01
    Mile: 1:37.22
    Finish: 1:56.47

    Internal Splits:
    1/4: 22.69
    1/2: 24.18
    3/4: 25.14
    Mile: 25.21
    Finish: 19.25

  67. I haven't really looked at the Met Mile or the Sands Point, but I do like Winter Memories a lot. I saw her run when I was at the the BC last year and I had her along with the winner More Than Real in the Juvy Fillies Turf. But anyway, I also like Mystical Star in there because I like Clement on the turf and she's by Ghostzapper who is one of my all-time favs. And in the Met, I like Aikenite, Tackleberry and Soaring Empire, but that's just off the top of my head looking at the probables and not handicapping their pps. I'd have to go over the pps to make sure.

    Did you see this yet?

    Brilliant Speed, if he runs, could be an interesting horse in the Belmont. He definitely has the pedigree to excel at 12f and will be a price. Maybe not so much for the win, but for the exotics. I still like AK, Nehro, Alternation and Master of Hounds, if all of them run, but there could be a few other intriguing horses that could get in. We'll see.

  68. The G1 Gamely, the Lone Star Derby (which will be run on grass this year) and the LS Handicap are 3 more races to look at for Monday. Baffert's Uncle Sam and Coil could run in the LS Derby. And Game on Dude will be tough in the LS 'Cap.

  69. Yeah, I watched that TCI and took note that Joel likes 3 of your 4 with BS 4th in front of ALT.

    Btw, I was at the BC too and had Winter Memories keyed on top. I'm planning on going again this year. Are you going?

  70. I haven't handicapped the Met Mile yet either but I would probably throw Haynesfield and Morning Line in there somewhere if I were constructing a super.

  71. I like Morning Line too, but he's out.

  72. I would love to go to the BC again! I'm gonna try and set something up.

  73. Here's who I'm liking for the Met tomorrow after looking at the pps:

    #7 Ibboyee
    #5 Caixa Electronica
    #1 Soaring Empire
    #8 Haynesfield
    #4 Aikenite

    I also like Tizway and Tackleberry and would probably put them in the exotics, but I found some ways to dismiss them like their post positions and T'berry hasn't had a break since last year. So, that's what I came up with.

  74. Ibboyee is good. While he didn't win either, his last two are impressive, particularly the Withers. I've got him in 3 & 4 but can easily see him higher up, even winning. Here's what I've got so far:


  75. 50 cent:


  76. I'd like to cash a super on the Sands Point and parlay into the Met Mile.

  77. Yeah, I think there will be a hot pace and setting up for a stalker or closer type. And I've always liked the 3rd race off a layoff angle. Those look like some good bets though! I haven't put any bets together, but I think I might do something like this:


  78. I don't think there is a super in the Sands Point with only 7 horses. But you could play a tri and then parlay that money, WHEN you win, over to the Met. I would probably play something like this:

    Winter Memories/ALL/ALL - and hope for the longshots to come in 2nd and 3rd!

  79. You're right, no super in the Sands Point. I was looking at 6/1,2,3,5/1,2,3,5=$12 but to go 6/ALL/ALL would only be another $8, so, I think your suggestion is better. Note: It's six fillies and only seven if the race moves to the main track.

  80. The Met is really tough to handicap. I haven't decided on anything definite yet.

  81. Alternations's out.

  82. $1: 8,10/8/10/1,5,6,7,11/1,5,6,7,11 = $40

  83. Typo

    8,10/ 8,10/ 1,5,6,7,11/ 1,5,6,7,11

  84. The Met is a real brain teaser. The more I look at it the more flummoxed I get. It looks like a crap shoot to me. I think this is my final selection:

    8,10,11 / 8,10,11 / 1,5,8,10,11 / 1,5,8,10,11

  85. Correction:

    8,10,11 / 8,10,11 / 1,5,7,8,10,11 / 1,5,7,8,10,11

  86. Looks good! But you're right, anything can happen in the Met. Please tell me you did the tri WM/ALL/ALL!?!
    $2 tri paid $91.00
    I'll take that all day long!!

  87. Well, Rodman screwed that one up!
    Tizway flew home!

  88. Yes, I did play the WM/ALL/ALL. Thanks for the advice! And thanks to Winter Memories for making my trip to Turfway less expensive. I collected $45.50 on a $20.00 wager and used it in a $36 (50 cent) on the above, so I only lost $10.50 net, which is an improvement!

    I ended up tossing Aikenite but it didn't make any difference because I didn't have Rodman. Ended up with 2 out of 4, which paid the same amount had I left Aikenite in.

  89. Yeah, I liked Aikenite for 4th at best cuz he is more of a 7f and less type horse. I like Tizway, but I liked others better in this spot, so I was wrong about him, but I was right about Tackleberry. He just needs a break! He's been racing, I think, every month since like last summer. That was a tough race to handicap though. There were several that looked like they could win it.

    Next up...Belmont! Good undercard, too!

    G1 Just A Game
    G1 Belmont
    G1 Acorn
    G1 Manhatton
    G2 Woody Stephens
    G2 True North

    Nehro had a good work yesterday at CD getting 6f in 1:12 1/5. So, now that Alternation is out I'd say my top 4 Belmont contenders are AK, Nehro, MOH and MMM.

  90. I like those four too with just a couple notations.

    On two occasions now I have failed to handicap for a certain horse running on three shoes.

    Additionally, there is a Forestry colt that has burned me three times in a row (and counting?).

  91. Belmont Super

    Top 4: AK,MOH,MMM,NRO
    Could get a piece: Shack,SAN,BS
    Longshots: WIL,PC,ROI
    Early Tosses: ST,MON,IHP,HH

  92. I'm a little concerned that MMM wil have to outrun his pedigree with his dam, damsire and grand damsire all being sprinters with MMM being the only progeny of note that has succeeded at routes as far as I know. Stamina wise, 1.5 miles may be asking a bit much of him. In that light I would have a closer look at BS. What do you think?

  93. From HRN article "Fillies Dominate Top Ten Power Rankings," :

    "Shackleford plays the Rodney Dangerfield of this group, getting no respect at number 6 despite his Preakness win."

    Interesting that the author would use the same reference.

  94. It's like he's reading your comments on my blog! That's funny you say that because when I posted things on HRN leading up to the Derby, the same week something similar would be posted by Haskin and his articles on bloodhorse and I was saying to myself, I wonder if he's reading my comments!?!

    So anyway, about the Belmont. Yeah, I don't like MMM for the win or really even 2nd, but I would definitely use him in the 3rd and 4th slots. If you go back and watch the Derby again, he would've caught Nehro had it been another 1/16 of a mile. But you're right, he's not a 12f horse, though I think he's good enough and the pace will be slow enough for him to run well. I mean, if the pace was slow at 9.5f and 10f, just think of what it'll be at 12f! Because as of right now, there's NO real speed in this one! Plus, he gets Ramon Dominguez which I think will only help. And MMM is still growing and maturing as he's not officially 3-yos yet! Crazy! So, I wouldn't count him out. And if you look at his BSFs, there's a pattern. Starting with his 3-yo debut, an 88, then a 94, 93, 99, 92. It's like down, up, down, up, down...UP??? Not sayin put all your stock in that type of thing, but just something weird I noticed. Some horses are like that and he did have a legitimate excuse in the Preakness. And the new shoes he's getting are what Curlin wore. Did you read that article? And Curlin was awesome in those new synthetic, form-fitting shoes!
    As for BS, I liked him in the Derby because of his Classic-type pedigree and his late kick, so yeah, if he runs, I would put him right there in the top 5.

    So, as of today, I think the horses that I would play in the super would be the following:

    1. Nehro
    2. AK
    3. MOH
    4. MMM
    5. BS
    6. Santiva

    Probably Nehro, AK and MOH in all 4 spots and the other 3 in the 3rd and 4th slots. Maybe something like that.

  95. I'll put together the blind handicapping thing sometime next week and this time we will go with what we have after our 1st observations along with our "pre-blind" selections which we pretty much have already.

  96. I agree with your picks. One thing, like I said, there's a colt that has burned me three times. Actually, I burned myself the last time because I had him winning the Preak in the blind and then changed it, so, that's my fault.

    I earlier posted that if he runs, I see him finishing up the track. While that's certainly a possibility, I think it's equally plausible that something else could transpire.

    While there may be no "real speed" in this race, we know his strategy: grab the lead or press the leader (who will fade), then slow everything down to pedestrian fractions so he's got something left in the tank for the stretch.

    In a way, his pedigree aside, a marathon makes it even easier for him to do that again because everybody else will presumably be sitting back and reserving energy for the stretch, thereby effectively making him the "lone speed".

    I would draw a line through the FOY in which he got stuck outside, was never really in contention and came in 5th. Since then, he's much improved.

    Apparently, they're going to decide if he's in based on Saturday's upcoming work. I wouldn't be surprised to see a 6 or even 7f work. Something tells me they wouldn't ship from CD to Bel if they weren't already predisposed to running him though. They just want to see how he takes to the track.

    In a 1.5m race, pedigree is paramount but Shack's all about strategy. I think that's why he keeps fooling us.

    Anyway, I'm really leary to keep dissin' this guy (at my own expense!) and will probably use him in addition to what you've already got just to be safe.

  97. On another note, I may take a stab at two this weekend:

    Sat. 6/4 5:29 pm EDT
    CD Race 10
    Aristides G3
    6f Dirt 3+ Males

    1. Here Comes Ben
    2. Riley Tucker
    3. Capt. Candyman Can
    4. Hurricane Ike
    5. Cash Refund
    6. Good Lord
    7. Atta Boy Roy
    8. Noble's Promise

    Wide open. Hard to toss anybody in this one. I like Here Comes Ben but he seems to have peaked right before the Dirt Mile and looks like he's regressing. Here's the best I can come up with so far:

    .10 SBx: 1,2,3,7,8=$12
    .10 SBx: 1,2,3,5,7,8=$36

    Sat. 6/4 7:38 pm EDT
    HP Race 8
    Californian G2
    1 1/8 Synth 3+ Males

    1. Twirling Candy
    2. Gladding
    3. Victory Pete
    4. Aggie Engineer
    5. Spurrier
    6. Soul Candy
    7. Setsuko
    8. Honour The Deputy

    I had TC keyed on top in the Big Cap and I'm sticking with him.

    $1 S Key Wheel: 1/2,4,5,7/2,4,5,7/2,4,5,7=$24
    .10 S Key Wheel: 1/ALL/ALL=$21
    .10 S Box: 1,2,3,4,5,7=$36

  98. Correction: .10 S Key Wheel: 1/ALL/ALL/ALL=$21

  99. No ten centers in Aristides.

    $1 SPWhl: 3,8/3,8/1,2,4,5,7/1,2,4,5,7=$40

  100. Nice hit with Twirling Candy! Sorry I didn't get back to you on here earlier. My sister, her husband and my new nephew came in on Thursday, so I've been pretty busy since then.
    But anyway, I can't wait 'til this coming weekend! Some good races and obviously the Belmont! MMM had a good work yesterday with his new rider up, Dominguez, getting 5f in :59.57. Looks like the new shoes are working just fine! I think this guy is very talented and just going to get better as the year goes on. 12f is most likely a bit too far for him, but like I said, I like him for the 3rd and 4th slots. And you're right about Shack. It's very hard to toss him, but this time I really do think he finishes at best in the 4th spot. He will more than likely have the lead and set slow fractions again, but he did that at 10f and hung on for just 4th. I think 9.5f was his limit cuz AK would've gotten to him had it been 10f. Setting slow fractions in the Preakness was right up his alley cuz it was only a 9.5f race and the other horses didn't have enough time to get to him and he had just enough energy to cross the wire first, but 12f is a totally different race. The other horses will also have plenty of energy and, this time, enough distance to get to him and pass him in the lane. That's my take on it, but I could be totally wrong. Though, I've never been wrong 3 times in a row. I get at least one of them right, in terms of the TC races.
    The horses I like the best solely based on the distance of 12f are AK, MOH and BS. And then, I love my boy Nehro who's coming into this race pretty fresh and I think MMM is maturing and getting better and I like the switch to Dominguez. I was looking at the top 3 or 4 finishers of recent Belmonts and most if not all of them have the pedigree for the distance and none of them had sprinter/miler type pedigrees with their sires and/or bms.

  101. Here are the past 5 Belmonts with the top 4 finishers:

    Fly Down
    First Dude
    Game On Dude

    Summer Bird
    Mine That Bird
    Charitable Man

    Da' Tara
    Denis of Cork
    Anak Nakal
    Ready's Echo

    Rags To Riches
    Hard Spun

    Bluegrass Cat

  102. TCI has the same top seven but in different order.


    Animal Kingdom 6/16 Bel D/fst 4f @ 47.76 B 1/33

    Nehro 5/30 CD D/fst 6f @ 1:12.20 B 1/4
    6/6 Bel D/fst 4f @ 50.88 B 30/33

    Shackleford Bel D/fst 5f @ 1:00.30 B 16/34

    Santiva 5/20 CD D/fst 4f @ 49.80 B 29/54
    5/28 CD D/fst 5f @ 1:00.60 B 5/43
    6/4 CD D/fst 5f @ 1:01.00 B 6/29

    Stay Thirsty 5/22 Bel D/fst 4f @ 47.97 B 2/72
    5/29 Bel D/fst 6f @ 1:12.12 H 1/4
    6/05 Bel D/fst 5f @ 1:00.45 B 3/15

    Prime Cut 5/10 CD D/? 5f @ 1:01.20 B 4/14
    5/31 CD D/fst 5f @ 1:03.60 B 13/13
    6/6 CD D/fst 5f @ 1:01.00 B 3/20

    Awe Patriot 5/22 HP S/fst 4f @ 48.00 H 10/77
    5/29 HP S/fst 5f @ 59.80 H 2/69
    6/05 HP S/fst 6f @ 1:12.80 H 2/11

    Harlan's Hello 5/28 Bel D/fst 4f @ 49.84 B 31/52
    6/4 Bel D/fst 4f @ 51.89 B 63/69

    Brilliant Spd 5/23 Bel D/fst 5f @ 1:00.11 B 3/8
    6/01 Bel D/fst 5f @ 1:03.11 B 3/3

    Monzon 5/31 Sag Fm S/fst 6f @ 1:16.00 B 1/1

    Ruler On Ice 5/27 Mth D/fst 5f @ 1:00.00 H 1/10
    6/04 Mth D/fst 5f @ 1:01.00 B from gate 1/23

  104. Mucho Macho Man 6/5 Bel D/fst 5f @ 59.57 B 1/15


  106. PP's:

  107. Cool! I'll probably start working on the 'blind handicap' tomorrow. And I'm going to start a new post for the Belmont.

  108. 6/7 Brilliant Speed Bel D/fst 4f @ 50.55 B 19/19

  109. Monzon 6/7 Sag Fm S/fst 4f @ 48.40 B 1/4

  110. Ok. So, we can start putting our comments on the new post for the Belmont. Also, I started on the blind handicapping and will probably post it tomorrow morning. Is there anything else that you think we should put on there or do you think it's fine the way we have it?