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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Dishing the Dirt - Edition #2

Travers Stakes News

It appears that Javier Castellano has made his decision on which Triple Crown race winner gives him the best shot to cross the wire first in the 159th running of the Travers Stakes. Delgado announced that Luis Saez will climb aboard Mage, which means that Javier opted for Arcangelo. Very telling indeed.

A complete overview of the history of past recent Travers winners will be posted soon. This will give you a very strong backdrop on what it takes to win the Travers. Without giving too much away too soon, Forte is not necessarily sitting in the driver's seat for this upcoming race. He may appear to be the horse to beat, but there is one other who may hold a definitive advantage above him.

Charles Appleby

The reputation of Charles Appleby's unique ability to nurture talented and well-bred two year olds continues on. The debut of yet another promising Frankel offspring, BY THE BOOK, back on June 14th at Haydock Park promises to thrill us all as we move through the year ahead.

The young Godolphin colt was exceptionally outstanding in his short debut, and he is built like a powerhouse for a distance. First generation Frankel, 2nd generation Galileo, 3rd generation Sadler's Wells, Urban Sea, Danehill, Danzig, and 4th generation Mizwaki, Northern Dancer and Forli. Incredible bloodlines with an exceptional trainer that would be the highlight if entered into the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Turf. Unbeatable.


The nominations list for both the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate have been released and glaringly missing from them both is the name Equinox. He was invited but was never anticipated to accept. With other classy high stakes races on the horizon, hopes are still high that his next battle falls well before Breeders Cup weekend.

The long-term target for Japan's reining Horse of the Year had been Santa Anita Breeders Weekend prior to his win in the Sheema, looks like plans are full steam ahead.

On a side note, Garza Blanca, the 2-year-old (bottom) half-sister to Equinox debuts this weekend at Niigata, 1600m turf race. Here she is, working on the inside:

Cody's Wish

I would be remiss if I didn't comment on a somewhat ridiculous article that I read AFTER the race concerning Cody's Wish. I won't mention publication or author, but I will correct the folly. The article revolved around the distance limitations of Cody's Wish which led to his demise in the Whitney Stakes this past weekend. This is what we are supposed to "learn".

Track bias is a hard concept, apparently.

That article is in complete contradiction to Cody's chart. To state that Cody's Wish gave us his answer on his inability to pass the distance test is simply false and jeopardizes a reader's future handicapping. No horse is expected to go undefeated in his career and one loss at a distance that he had never faced before does not automatically mean that the cause was the added 1/8th.

Consulting his chart states otherwise, along with the fact that the horse lost his footing at the start of the race. Not to mention that the bias at Saratoga has been extremely kind to front tier speed. I wouldn't even bother calling it out in the first place, but I always prefer to look towards the future here at the Club. If Bill Mott fancies a stab on the bias at Gulfstream Park in the 9f Pegasus in January, stick with the chart and not with frivolous nonsense.

Mare Profile = 8-4-0-8-9 Speed = 12 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.77 Triads = 12-12-17

No need to go on with a full-blown assessment of his chart at this time, but suffice it to say, I will if he enters the Pegasus.

The Best Pal Stakes

A heads up to all. The Best Pal Stakes will be run on August 13th at DelMar. The talented 2-million-dollar son of Good Magic, Muth, trained by Bob Baffert, will occupy a gate for the 6f contest. Sure to follow the same path to the Winner's Circle as Havnameltdown from last year.

The Jockey Club

Finally, some good news out of the Jockey Club. A new project is underway which will improve traceability of horses exiting racing. They will contact the last known connections of the horse in order to determine exact where-abouts.

"The breed registry will reach out to last known racing connections for horses foaled in 2017 or earlier who have started in the past decade and whose status is not on record. This refers to horses that are not actively racing or breeding, were not officially registered as retired from racing, were not exported, do not have a Thoroughbred Incentive Program number and have not been reported dead." - Paulick Report

Excellent news. Maybe we can find out the whereabouts and well-being of Faustin someday.

Fasig-Tipton Saratoga - Hip #165

Amr Zedan snatched the main event of Curlin and Beholder's son for 4 million dollars at the sale today. This baby had been highly touted all week leading up to the sale.

Unnamed Colt by Curlin out of Beholder to be trained by Bob Baffert:

CURLIN/BEHOLDER Mating produces:

Chefs DP = 4-4-6-0-0 (14) DI = 3.67 CD = 0.86

Mare Profile = 5-6-3-9-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.86 Triads = 14-18-17

The configurations of the new colt side greater with Curlin and opposite of Beholder. The fusion of the sire and the mare takes on all of the attributes found within the chart and creates its own scale and its own balance - far removed from simply the 1st generation.

Since Beholder is a half-sister to Into Mischief, out of the mare Leslies Lady, speed dominant tendency added to the 3.57 index should be right up Baffert's alley at Santa Anita. Prominent non-chefs push that index all the way up to 5.67. A ton of inbred speed which should see this little guy trample his competitors in his early races and along the Derby trail, especially at Santa Anita and Del Mar.

Four million dollar purchase based on first generation royalty when it comes to Graded stakes wins when they were busy on the track and not based on the average winning distances of the combined sires and mares offspring within the new chart is risky business.

Because of all of the additional extra speed, this little guy falls short of a Derby Dream, with an optimum closer to 9.4f to 9.6f. Maybe Baffert has a solution for that. Bet the farm though from his debut all the way through to the Santa Anita Derby.

Different Story - Hip #135

Another big sale of the day is a completely different story. Hammered at 1.5 million to Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, the son of Into Mischief and Rachel's Valentina has the potential to at least compete with even speed to the one above but is more conducive to the 10f+ of the Kentucky Derby.

In Memory:

Havre de Grace

Fusaichi Pegasus

Funny Cide

Maple Leaf Mel

and the 325+ who suffered catastrophic deaths on race tracks around the world so far in 2023.


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