Thursday, June 9, 2011

2011 Belmont Stakes: The Blind Handicap

This will be our 2nd blind handicap as the first was the Preakness and it seemed to work rather well. Though, it's still in the experimental stages. So, we'll take another shot at it and see if we can hit the tri and/or super. This will help to lessen the bias that we have when looking at the contenders because the first thing we look at is their name and our minds automatically, whether you know it or not, develop preconceived notions about that particular horse. It's not a perfect concept, but it should help in determining the best horses. And together with our own biases, there should be a high probability of us having the top horses. Now, where and how to place these horses in the exotic bets is another thing.

Here are the contenders in random order:

An asterisk (*) after the AWD indicates an AWD sample size of less than five, which are the progeny of that sire or bms. The asterisk after the TDR also indicates a small sample size.

Horse A
Race Record: 8-1-3-1
DP: 12-2-30-12-0, DI: 1.07, CD: 0.25
Graded Stakes RR: 4-0-1-1, 9.5f (2nd), 8f (3rd, 6th), 10f (5th)
Figs: BSFs in last 2 races - 99 (March), 95 (May)
        PFs -48, -33
        Rag #s - 8 3/4, 7, 8 3/4
TDR rating: 341
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS only): 8.73f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.50f
Best BSF and PF: 99, -48

Horse B
Race Record: 13-2-0-1
DP: 1-10-13-0-2, DI: 2.06, CD: 0.31
Graded Stakes RR: 4-0-0-0, 8.5f (6th), 9f (5th), 8f (5th), 9.5f (9th)
Figs: BSFs - 80 (April), 87 (May)
        PFs -8, -19
        Rag #s - 12 1/2, 13, 7 3/4
TDR rating: 420
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.50f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): N/A
Best BSF and PF: 87, -23

Horse C
Race Record: 10-2-3-3
DP: 5-1-5-1-0, DI: 2.43, CD: 0.83
Graded Stakes RR: 7-1-2-2, 8f (2nd, 4th), 9f (2nd, 3rd), 8.5f (1st), 10f (3rd), 9.5f (6th)
Figs: BSFs - 99 (May), 92 (May)
        PFs -41, -34
        Rag #s - 9 3/4, 5 3/4, 6 1/2
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 D
Race Record: 7-3-1-0
DP: 6-13-9-0-2, DI: 3.62, CD: 0.70
Graded Stakes RR: 4-1-1-0, 9f (2nd, 5th), 10f (4th), 9.5f (1st)
Figs: BSFs - 97 (May), 104 (May)
        PFs -39, -64
        Rag #s - 7, 7 3/4, 7 3/4
TDR rating: 298
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.09f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.97f
Best BSF and PF: 104, -64

Horse E
Race Record: 6-1-3-0
DP: 12-8-12-0-0, DI: 4.33, CD: 1.00
Graded Stakes RR: 3-0-3-0, 9f, 9f, 10f
Figs: BSFs - 98 (May), 99 (May)
        PFs -52, -42
        Rag #s - 5, 6, 8
TDR rating: 305
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.38f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.02f
Best BSF and PF: 99, -56

Horse F
Race Record: 6-3-3-0
DP: 2-0-6-0-0, DI: 1.67, CD: 0.50
Graded Stakes RR: 3-2-1-0, 9f, 10f, 9.5f (2nd)
Figs: BSFs - 103 (May), 103 (May)
        PFs -52, -62
        Rag #s - 6 3/4, 3 1/4, 8 3/4
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, -62

Horse G
Race Record: 7-1-3-1
DP: 4-3-21-0-0, DI: 1.67, CD: 0.39
Graded Stakes RR: 5-1-2-0, 8.5f (1st, two 2nds), 9f (9th), 10f (6th)
Figs: BSFs - 82 (April), 95 (May)
        PFs -19, -33
        Rag #s - 8, 11 3/4, 6 1/4
TDR rating: 340
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.96f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.88f
Best BSF and PF: 95, -47

Horse H
Race Record: 9-2-2-2
DP: 7-3-23-0-1, DI: 1.72, CD: 0.44
Graded Stakes RR: 2-1-0-0, 9f (1st), 10f (7th)
Figs: BSFs - 93 (April), 95 (May)
        PFs -45, -33
        Rag #s - 7, 6, n/a
TDR rating: 337
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.85f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.47f
Best BSF and PF: 95, -55

Horse I
Race Record: 6-2-2-1
DP: 6-1-9-0-0, DI: 2.56, CD: 0.81
Graded Stakes RR: 1-0-0-1, 9f
Figs: BSFs - 86 (March), 83 (May)
        PFs -12, -31
        Rag #s - 10 1/4, 9 1/4, 15
TDR rating: 207*
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.25f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.30f
Best BSF and PF: 86, -31

Horse J
Race Record: 8-3-0-1
DP: 10-2-10-0-0, DI: 3.40, CD: 1.00
Graded Stakes RR: 3-0-0-0, 8.5f (two 5ths), 9f (6th)
Figs: BSFs - 72 (Feb.), 81 (May)
        PFs +10, -6
        Rag #s - Has only one figure better than an 11 (an 8)
TDR rating: 290
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.70f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.03f
Best BSF and PF: 90, -41

Horse K
Race Record: 7-2-2-2
DP: 7-1-10-4-0, DI: 1.44, CD: 0.50
Graded Stakes RR: 2-0-1-1, 8.5f (2nd), 9f
Figs: BSFs - 89 (April), 86 (May)
        PFs -46, -19
        Rag #s - 10 1/2, 8, 8
TDR rating: 269
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.20f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): N/A
Best BSF and PF: 91, -46

Horse L
Race Record: 7-2-2-0
DP: 4-6-16-0-0, DI: 2.25, CD: 0.54
Graded Stakes RR: 5-1-1-0, 7f (2nd), 8.5f (1st, 5th), 9f (7th), 10f (12th)
Figs: BSFs - 66 (April), 86 (May)
        PFs +12, -13
        Rag #s - Just a 12 1/2 and a 15 1/2 after a top of 6 3/4
TDR rating: 326*
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.38f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.85f
Best BSF and PF: 89, -49




A - Master of Hounds
B - Isn't He Perfect
C - Mucho Macho Man
D - Shackleford
E - Nehro
F - Animal Kingdom
G - Santiva
H - Brilliant Speed
I - Ruler On Ice
J - Monzon
K - Prime Cut
L - Stay Thirsty


  1. F/A,D,E/A,D,E/A,B,C,D,E,G,H

  2. Looks pretty good! I don't think 'Horse B' belongs in there with a terrible race record and graded stakes race record. The only thing that looks good is his TDR rating.

    Here's my take on it:

    Tosses: B,I,J,L

    So that leaves 8 horses (A,C,D,E,F,G,H,K).

    1st slot: F
    2nd slot: A,E,G,H
    3rd slot: C,D,K

    So, the super would look like this:


    That's a lot of horses, so if I were to put my own bias with the 'blind handicap' picks, I think my super would look something like this:


    Instead of 1/4/7/7, it's 1/4/5/7

    With the names, that would be:


    That's weird because that's VERY similar to what I had before I came up with the 'blind handicap' post, if you go back and look at my comments on the "2011 Belmont Stakes: Preview" post, I had AK singled in the first spot.

  3. Here's what I had before the blind handicap:


    I just think AK has the pedigree/stamina, the figs, the jockey and the best late kick in the field for this 12f race. I mean, if you go back and watch both TC races, he was going very well nearing the wire and galloping out, so you know he'll love the added distance. He has tons of stamina on the bottom half of his pedigree and even the top half is better than the entire field with an AWD of 9f! Obviously, anything can happen, but in the super, I think the smart money should be on him. Now, if I were playing an exacta or just a horse to win, I would obviously be looking for more value than AK's 2-1 ML odds, but playing the super, I think that's the way to go! I'm hoping for BS and Santiva at 15-1 ML odds are there in the top 4 because the other horses I have in there will be below those odds. But that's just my opinion.
    The ML odds for the horses I have are:
    AK, 2-1
    Nehro, 4-1
    Shack, 9-2
    MMM, 10-1
    MOH, 10-1
    Santiva, 15-1
    BS, 15-1
    PC, 15-1

    Another thing about Shack. If they're saying that 12f is too far for MMM, and it most likely is, then it's definitely too far for Shack and he had a tough race in the Preakness, so I don't see him staying for the entire 12f. Can he get a piece? Sure! But I don't think he does and it's hard to back him if I'm thinking like that because he won't have favorable odds and will most likely take a lot of action because of his Preakness win and be at less than his 9-2 ML odds. I think 9.5f was and is his limit and that was while running slow fractions. He also set slow fractions in the Derby and barely held on for 4th and that was at 10f! He will most likely have the lead in the Belmont setting slow fractions again, although PC could go with him and keep an honest pace. I think the opening 1/4m will be honest like both TC races were and go :24 and change and then they slow it down and go :50, maybe :49 and change depending on who goes with Shack. Maybe something similar to last year's times when First Dude set the pace.
    Last year's fractions: Time 24.150, 49.190 1:14.940, 1:40.250, 2:04.970, 2:31.570

    But I think they run it faster than 2:31. They were crawling home getting the last 2f in almost :27s. There are faster closers this year. I mean, they ran the Derby in 2:02, so even if they ran another 2f then and ran it in :27s, it would be 2:29.
    But anyway, I think it will set up very well for AK. And I'm really liking MOH, BS and Santiva!

  4. I agree with you re "B". I wanted seven in the 4 slot and it was a tossup between B and four others, particularly L. I chose B because of the TDR but after I saw who they were, there's no way I would have B in there. I'd be more inclined to delete B and insert L in the four slot.

    Also, I think C needs to start in the 2 slot rather than the 3 slot.

  5. Re Shack and MMM, if Shack is the lone speed and can get out front and slow evertything down which is his game, he'll have some left in the tank for the stretch. As for MMM, I find this interesting:

    Past 16 Winners:

    Wire to wire=1
    Off the pace=10

    I've previously regarded MMM as a presser in shorter races but he's more accurately a one speed grinder which I think is a good style for this race. The only thing that concerns me about him is all those sprinters on the bottom.

  6. Yeah, I just got an e-mail about the Super Screener and the Rule #3 - Off the pace makes the race. Interesting!

  7. I'm basing my picks and how the race sets up more on how the Derby was run at 10f and not the Preakness and the fact that Shack slowed the pace way down and still only held on for just 4th. So, 2 more furlongs is not going to help. I really like these 6: AK, MOH, Nehro, MMM, BS and Santiva!!

  8. These guys agree with me on Shack (around the 9 1/2 min. mark):

    I mean, I'll put him in the 4th slot, but I just don't see him doing any better than that at 12f. I think AK, MOH, MMM and Nehro all beat him at 12f and last the trip better. And it's not like he's going to get on the lead all by himself and set very slow fractions. They won't let him do that. PC will be up there, MMM and Nehro could be pressing him if he sets very slow fractions. I mean, Nehro was supposed to be farther back than he was in the Derby, but because they were going so slow he was right there stalking the pace. So, I don't see Shack getting away with anything on the lead. It will be slow, but it should be honest.

  9. I've typed in that BH vid you're referencing and get "not found" twice now. Which one is it; THS, TCI or something else?

  10. It's THS: The Belmont Stakes

  11. OK, I watched THS. Here's what bothers me. Both those guys plus Tom who wasn't there, they all three like AK on top.

    I've been following that show for some time and as a rule, their record of hitting is so paltry that I have come to start using them as a contra-indicator so the fact that they all like AK gives me cause to look at someone else.

    Not that there's anything wrong with being wrong. I'm wrong most of the time. I'm wrong even when I'm right such as in the case of laying down $12 on TC/ALL/ALL/ALL, winning and collecting $5.38.

    But I pay for being wrong whereas those guys GET paid for being wrong as part of their job.

    I've got alot more confidence in Mike Beer and Dan Illman on DRF and Jon & Joel on TCI when it comes to picks. Just my opinion.

  12. That's why I never really listen to anyone in terms of how I play my picks. It's just fun to see how they view it, but I never let it influence my picks. I always say go with your first instinct after you go over it cuz if you start changing stuff and it comes in the way you had it the first time, then you'll kick yourself for it. It's happened to me many times in the past! And most of the time you get it right if not really close. Just like your first 'bkind handicap' picks when you had Shack winning the Preakness and AK in the 2nd slot and Astrology in the 3rd slot. So, you had the tri, too! That should tell you enough right there to stay with your first thoughts! I like our picks cuz we both have similar picks and AK on top. I just think this race sets up perfect for him! So, just go with what you thought of after you handicapped it for the first time.

  13. You are absolutely right!

    I've learned to do my own work and my own picking before I tune in to see what any of the experts have to say. I don't look at the odds either until after I've come to a conclusion. Taking Shack out of the win spot in the Preakness because there wasn't an expert to be found on the net that liked him taught me a lesson.

    Btw, I bought my BC ticks the other day in the presale. I'm in Sec 221 on Fri and 222 on Sat. Hope you can make it. We can get together.

  14. That's weird! We were in Sec. 223 on Fri. and Sat. last november! I still have the tix and wrist bands.

  15. I went back and added the rag #s to the "Figs" of each horse. Might help some!


    I'm thinking of putting Nehro in the 1st slot now. I don't know! It's tough! I still like AK though. Mainly cuz he has plenty of stamina. I like AK, Nehro, MMM, Santiva and MOH the best, but I like BS for his value and his pedigree/stamina, but he had a terrible race at Belmont last year, although he was a baby then. And it's tough to go against Shack, but I think I'm willing to take a stand against him in this one because of the little value you'll get and the distance. Also, there's a chance of rain.

  17. Stumbled on to your blog, have enjoyed reading all the analyses and blind handicapping. Live about 10 miles from the track and it just started raining, but it's light. Guess we'll see how the track will hold up.

  18. Cool, hope it helps! Good luck today!

  19. I really do think the race will set up similar to the Derby with Shack on the lead setting slow fractions, so we will see everyone bunched up and not spread out. So in my opinion, the horses with the strongest late kicks and the pedigree/stamina to last the 12f will be there at the end. This is why I think AK wins it! And MMM looked good coming home in the Derby, Nehro will be tough and MOH, Santiva and BS will be good to use for value. That's how I see it.

  20. Brilliant Speed across the board.

  21. $1 tri box 159. 50 cent super 59/159/159,10/1459,10. #5 10 across.

  22. $1:

    10 cent:

  23. Looks good guys!! Good luck!!

    My 10 cent super:

    1,6,9/1,4,5,6,9,10/1,4,5,6,9,10,12/1,4,5,6,9,10,12 = $30

  24. Squeaked out a small profit on my Brilliant Speed across the board play. Stay thirsty my friends.

  25. Boy I sure laid an egg on that one. Maybe I should have done a mudder search this morning but I doubt it would have changed my picks.

  26. So what's next Brent, now that the TC has concluded? Breeders' Cup Trail?

  27. Yeah, that was pretty bad. ROI and ST were the 2 mudders though! But honestly, I have to say that I wouldn't have had either one in the win slot. Maybe at best, I would've had them in the 3rd and 4th slots. Plus, it's hard to like a horse like ROI, when the horse that beat him in his last, CI in the Tesio, ran poorly in the Preakness against this group. So, I don't feel that bad about our handicapping of the race. I was right about Shack though! That mud just screwed up everything! Oh well, on to the next which will be the summer classics and preps leading up to the BC!!!

  28. Yes, the mud screwed everything up plus IHP.

    Barry Irwin: "Isn't He Perfect had no business being in this race and he screwed it up for a lot of horses today. Classics are no place for amateurs."

  29. Yep, I said IHP didn't belong in this race. Johnny V is pissed at Maragh.

    Oh well, I hoping we get an awesome 2-yo this year that wows everyone and looks like a superstar and stays healthy all the way up to the TC next year! We desperately need another Afleet Alex or Smarty Jones that's not only fast and can win the shorter races, but one that can win at 10 and 12f.
    In July, we got the Bashford Manor, the Hollywood Juvy Championship and the Sanford for 2-yos. So, we'll get an early look at some possibles for the BC Juvy.

  30. Here's the 2011 BC Win and You're In Race Schedule:

    2011 BC Site:

  31. Top Beyers through 6/12/11:

  32. With best Beyers in the high 80's, the 2 yo's don't look very impressive so far in comparison to Mo, who won his MSW @ 6f with a 102, the Champagne @ 1M with a 94 and the BC Juv @ 1 1/16 with a 108. So there's plenty of room for improvement.

  33. Here's my list of good possibles for the BC Sprint 6f 3+ M:

    1) Big Drama
    2) Flashpoint
    3) Travelin Man
    4) Fort Hughes
    5) Maclean's Music
    6) M One Rifle
    7) Apriority
    8) Trappe Shot
    9) Amazombie
    10)Smiling Tiger
    11)The Factor
    12)Atta Boy Roy
    13)Cash Refund
    14)Riley Tucker

  34. Add Cost Of Freedom to that list

  35. That certainly is an interesting Win And You're In schedule with plenty of races at HP, Del and Kee on the synth and no races at CD whatsoever.

  36. Oops! Take Fort Hughes off the list. Hadn't heard he broke down and was euthanized.

  37. Yeah, there's PLENTY of time for the 2-yos to get better before the BC Juvy in November. And there could be one out there that hasn't run yet and comes out to dominate. So, you never know this early. Some don't run until Aug./Sept. and then Oct. and then their 3rd race being the BC Juvy in Nov. I just hope we get some good ones this year!!
    And the BC Win and You're In is pretty weird. The Stephen Foster this weekend should be a Win And You're In! That looks like a pretty good sprint list, though. Trappe Shot looked very tough last weekend! I liked him!
    It looks like the Euros will be tough this year with horses like superstar, Goldikova, Frankel and others. You know they both run today at Royal Ascot.



  40. You're right, plenty of time for the two year olds to show us what they've got. It looks like there's big expectations for Mr. Besilu. I hope he does well and doesn't turn out to be another Green Monkey.

  41. When do we get started on this years derby handicapping? I really enjoyed this last year, and you weren't far off.

  42. Glad to hear you liked last year's blog! I'll start a new blog soon, some time this week I'll come up with a preview of this year's top Derby contenders and then we'll go from there.