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Maiden America Thursday: The Hooptie Handicapper analyzes the 4th at Del Mar, responds to Wednesday comments

Post time is 6:30 pm EDT.

Maiden America 09.02.21

Hooptie Handicapper


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Yesterday's post brought a bevy of replies and arguments, including two from the editor of this publication.

In some shape or form, this is what I received and how I replied…. most of it came from Baffert haters.

Hey, not sure why you would write that? That type of stuff sets back those of us who are trying to make a difference. There’s a reason Clement and some guys are starting to speak out, they’re tired of these guys – have you ever examined blood work from horses coming from these guys? EPO is tough to detect, people are trying to nail these guys.

I then replied with, “I prefaced the entirety by stating graded stakes horses, did you catch that?”

Yes, I did.

I answered – there are jealous people, much like those who stood in judgment of Martin Shkreli and Bill Gates, who punish, without legal foundation. In those cases, Martin and Bill’s unrequited arrogance is what brought them down. If you have irrefutable evidence of these people doping horses at this level, please forward it to me. I may be naïve as I am not that intimately familiar with that end of the business. However, I am intimately familiar with businesses, and businesses do not sustain without integrity. What I have found this year, is that genetics plays an integral part.

I received several with the theme of why would a billionaire like Michael Milken risk going to jail? Why would MBS have a journalist murdered? Why would Charles Keating commit bank fraud? Why would Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby risk prison to rape women when they were rich and famous enough to just get women? Why did Barry Bonds and Arod juice? They were great without the juice. Some people cheat because too much is never enough.

Or this person….

Please know, these guys are so guilty it’s unreal. There’s a reason lifelong horsemen are winning 5% and chemists like this are winning at 28%. I realize people want FACTS, but in racing, behind the scenes, bloodwork is king, but figuring out that EPO enigma is tough.

My reply to many of these, as this was the biggest argument brought forth:

Let's suppose you have the money to buy a graded stakes racehorse as a yearling or a 2-year-old. You have spent big money.

You make the purchase, then transport it to the farm where it will sit until the trainer whom you’ve chosen, decides what to do with it. So, for now, you have a multitude of people handling this horse. From the grooms, to the hot-walkers, to the people who feed the horse, the exercise riders, the veterinarian and more that I cannot think of right now. Then, the trainer wants that horse moved to his/her facility. You now have the same compliment of individuals by title, handling your horse. Then you start your journey into serious training and serious racing, which brings a new level of interest on your horse and more handlers.

With the people you mentioned, those are the types of individuals who can connive in their own privacy, so to speak, and wreak their respective havoc. By benefit of Cosby, Weinstein, Keating, Madoff, A-Rod, etc, and the other pigs you mentioned, allowing other parties into their lair, this became their demise.

The end of that, and again, it’s time to move on.

Today, I am only going to cover one race because it is an interesting race. This race is the 4th at Del Mar and it is for two year old fillies racing five furlongs on the turf.

Breeze figures.
Breeze figures.RT

2-Brandon’smylawyer (5/2) is by an Australian sire named Astern. Astern is a sire I have been covering because his progeny have done well. Of this year’s crop of 2yos, Astern’s foals are eleven starts and three wins with eight in the money, giving him a 27% win rate and a 73% in the money rate. Paring that down to just fillies, there are nine. Of those, we have three wins and seven in the money, making his girls a 33% win prop and a 78% in the money. Of those 2yo females from Astern, that debuted on turf, one won and three came in the money or 25% and 75% respectively. This filly has had only one gate work and knocked it out in :48.2 and a recent five furlong breeze in 1:03.2. As you can see, she scored a seventy breeze fig and has an above average stride length, which can be useful in sprints and routes.

3-Fortunato Tensio (20/1) is by Kitten’s Joy. Kitten’s Joy has had eighty-nine 2yos start with six wins and twenty-five in the money, or 7%, 28%. Of those, 2yos, the fillies debuting in maiden specials are forty-three starts, two wins and eleven in the money, or 5%, 26%. Paring those debuts to a grass surface, we have twenty-four starters with one win and five in the money, or 4%, 21%. So, conclusively, Kitten’s Joy is not known to be a great sire for turf fillies making their bow. This filly has tossed in a couple of solid works – a 1:01.4 and a :35.4 from the gate. Pass

4-So Softly (5/1) and 5-Muy Chistosa (4/1) are both by Practical Joke. Practical Joke is still listed as the second best in 2021 Leading First-Crop Sires with thirty runners, two repeat winners, and $631K in earnings thus far. Pursuant to STATS Race Lens, Practical Joke has twenty-eight first time starters with ten wins and thirteen in the money, or 36%, 46% respectively. Again, breaking this down to just 2yo fillies, Practical Joke has thirteen debuted, with six wins and eight in the money or 46%, 62%. Yes, you should pay attention to Practical Joke fillies. With 2yo fillies debuting on turf, there has only been one, Pimenova, who ran fifth missing by two lengths in a brutal stretch bumping at Saratoga on August 12, and she hit an Equibase number of 63. So Softly just pounded a :47.8 from the gate in her last workout and has three, five furlong works of 1:02. Muy Chistosa has the better workouts of these two, with a :47 flat from the gate and a pair of 1:01’s at five furlongs. She is also a Group 2 breeze fig and so far, we have had one hundred and thirty-two two year olds debut from Group 2 with 22 of them winning, or seventeen percent.

6-Sterling Crest (6/1) is from No Nay Never, an Irish sire who has debuted two, 2yos and they both won in Ireland with an 84 & 82 Equibase score. This sire is one for your virtual stable. His overall record is twenty-six horses with one hundred eighty two starts. There are thirty-four wins and eighty-four in the money, or 19%, 46% which is incredible. Now, breaking this down, his debut foals have fared well with nineteen starts, four wins and ten in the money, or 21%, 53%. The disparity of the nineteen starts versus the overall twenty-six, is the database only covers the past five years. Of his debuting horses as 2yos, there are fourteen. Two have won and eight have hot the board. 14%, 57%. Of the two year old fillies, there are four that have raced. Two have won, one on dirt at Belmont and one on turf in Ireland. The three who have run in the money, the lowest Equibase score was seventy-one and the highest was eighty-four. This is a well bred filly with genealogy out of Mr. Prospector nee Raise A Native, and I will watch her racing career.

7-Fast Janie (3/1) We have collected breeze figs data on 2976 horses. Of that, 610 have been 2yos. Of the 2yos, just 7 have scored at or above 80, and only 12 have a stride length of 26+. Fast Janie has an 81 score, the best that day, and as you can tell, one of the best of the 2yos. She has a stride length of 26.94, which puts her above Secretariat at 26.40. She may or may not win today. She is worth keeping an eye on. We are in the final throes of figuring out, if you will, where long striders are best suited. It damn sure has the connections baffled as our top horse, Reinagol, has yet to run longer than 5.5f. Logic would tell you that the longer the stride, the longer they should go. We have yet to prove this. Fast Janie is by Fast Anna, who is a mere 8% with first time grass starters. Her works have been good with a 1:00.8 from the gate and a :48 flat from the gate with several 1:01’s for five furlongs. She’s a player today with Flavien Prat in the irons.

8-Tom’s Beauty (6/1) is another Astern filly, see above. She just popped a :59.2 and a :47 flat from the gate. Jessica Pyfer is sitting on a missile.

9-Sugar Sugar (2/1) made a Group 1 breeze fig, which Group 1 2yos that are second starters, we have thirty-one. Of those thirty-one, five won or 16%. Our database has one hundred and fifty-nine second time starting two year olds. Of those, twenty four have scored in a range of 70-79 Equibase score. Of those, five have won or 21%. So, essentially, if you bet this horse, based on our research, you have a 16%-21% shot at winning. Personally, I tend to be leery of horses who score high numbers in their bow at above average odds and returning. Additionally, Twirling Candy fillies are just one of ten with second starters on turf. Pass.

10-Granola Girl (5/1) and holy smoke will she get overlooked at the window. Better yet, this filly has been crushing the workouts and if she gets assigned that outside draw, watch out. Her daddy, Jack Milton, went 19/5-2-5 on turf for $854K and her grandpa, Perfect Soul, won his debut at Woodbine on turf with an 85 Equibase number.

My conclusion: if you are playing a horizontal, you may want to hit all, although I am not a fan of the favorite, Sugar Sugar. Frankly, to pick out one winner is tough. I would likely stick to my Practical Joke angle, as I have all year, especially with fillies, and go with Muy Chistosa and that wager would be very light. I do like the one Pyfer is riding as well. You can make a case for many.

*BreezeFigs Defined

Simply stated, a BreezeFig is a speed-figure that combines the time of the work (speed), stride length, angulation, segmental distances in the body and a unique “thrust” factor for each horse that breezes at a 2-year-old in training sale. A true biomechanical study of a horse in motion it works just like most other speed figures—the higher the number, the faster and classier the horse should be— regardless of breeze time and stride length alone. Based on a three-year analysis of live races at a major track we found that 76% of horses that finished first, second or third had the same characteristics detailed above. With the advent of digital video technology, DataTrack also analyzed breeze show data yielding a “Par” BreezeFig for each sale. Fewer than 10% of the horses in any sale turn out to be stakes caliber. The Pars for each sale are so close that we have developed a “National Par” BreezeFig so that horses with similar BreezeFigs can be compared from year to year. BreezeFigs are calculated separately for colts and fillies, and for each breeze distance (one eighth, a quarter mile, three-eighths, sometimes half a mile) and surface (dirt, synthetic, turf) for each sex.

There are four Groups:

G1: Horses qualifying on all Speed, Stride Length and other proprietary numbers;

G2: Horses qualifying on all but one of the above factors;

G3: Horses that qualify on one of the above factors;

G4: Horses that are non-qualifiers on any of the above factors

Class Edge High

  • OBSMAR, Ocala Breeders' in Ocala in mid-March

Class Edge Good

  • OBSAPR, Ocala Breeders' in Ocala in mid-April

  • EASMAY, Fasig-Tipton in Maryland in mid-May

Class Edge Moderate

  • OBSJUN, Ocala Breeders' in Ocala in mid-June

Class Edge High

  • OBSMAR, Ocala Breeders' in Ocala in mid-March

Class Edge Good

  • OBSAPR, Ocala Breeders' in Ocala in mid-April

  • EASMAY, Fasig-Tipton in Maryland in mid-May

Class Edge Moderate

  • OBSJUN, Ocala Breeders' in Ocala in mid-June

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