Last week saw some good racing around HRP and there were a few noteworthy performances figure wise that are worth mentioning. We’ll take a look at those as well as go over some stakes races that were run.
First let’s take a look at the horses that kind of stood out and gave good race performances.
Double Six – trained by Kingelleinc won his eighth race in his last ten starts taking a 5f(t)OClm80/N4x race at GG on Thursday Jan 9th . He finished the race in :56.98 and earned a 93 SRF figure. After the race MB Stables purchased the 4yo G for $100.000 in a private sale. Will be anxious to see how MB moves forward with him in the upcoming months.
Gifted Man – from Spanky’s Barn won a 7f Clm$25.00 N3L race at GP on Jan 10th. Coming off a 5th place finish in the 1-1/16mi CC Iron Horse at GP on Dec 7th where he earned an impressive 98 SRF figure. He was clearly the highest rated figure horse going into the race and proved it as he easily cruised to victory in the 7f event in 1:21.83. He was sent off at $5.10-1 odds. Note: he was claimed by his current owner from a Clm$3.50 6f race on Oct 21st where he had earned a 93 SRF in an easy victory which was a sign of possible potential,. His figures previously were in the mid-upper 80’s in cheap claimers, so a sudden jump is usually a indication of a horse coming into his own.
Moving Pictures –a 3yo G from the Nakamura Stables captured his second lifetime win on Jan 10th at SA. He took a OClm40/N2x 1mi turf event by one half-length earning a 92SRF in the process. That figure was a nice jump up from his previous figures which were mainly in the mid 80’s. Could be a sign of the horse maturing, will watch his progress. He appears to have a fondness for the turf as he has two wins and a second place finish on that surface.
Duke of Wellington – captured a CLM$8.00 7f race at CT on Sat Jan 11th. The T Boy trained 5yo gelding was coming off a 3rd place finish in the CC Iron Horse at GP where he earned a 98 SRF figure. He was dropping into a CLM$8-7.50 race where that figure just jumped out at you compared to others in the race. He would take the 7f event by storming through the stretch to take the lead and was pulling away at the end earning a 96 SRF in the process. He was claimed by Alabarda Stable and may be the claim of the week. Duke of Wellington is the second horse to come out of the CC Iron Horse to win, the other mentioned above Gifted Man.
Penny’s Pearl – from Angelos Stable captured the GR3 Las Cie at SA on Saturday Jan 11th. Fresh off a win in the 1mi(t) GR3 My Charmer Hcp at GP on Dec 14th where she earned a 100 SRF, she led at every pole in that race. She shortened up for the Las Cie which was run at 5-1/2f(t) and she did not disappoint. She took the race in 1:01.56 and earned an eye opening 101 SRF for her effort. This is back to back triple digit figures in graded events. She is now a multiple graded stakes winner. A bit of caution though, she may regress just a little off those two outstanding performances, but that doesn’t mean she can’t win her next start, we shall see.
Totally Baroque – from AER Stables captured the GR2 La Canada ST at SA on Sat Jan 11th. The Gr1 KY Oaks, Gr1 Acorn runner-up and 3rd place Gr1 BC Distaff finisher in her last start came into the race earning a 98 SRF off that performance. Her 98 was top figure in the La Canada and clearly labelled her as the one to beat. However for some odd reason those who handicapped the race sent her off at 14-1 odds. For those who like to handicap and stuck with her were not disappointed as she stormed down the stretch to be clearly best in the nine horse field, she won going away. She finished the 1-1/16mi event in 1:41.54 earning a 97 SRF.
And from a couple of weeks back one horse I wanted to mention:
Bubba Kush – trained by Threshold the 7yo gelding captured a OClm40/N4x-N 1-1/16mi(t) race at PRX on Dec 30th. He came into that race off a 3rd place finish in the GR3 River City Hcp at CD on Nov 16th.In that race he earned a 100 SRF figure. His figure was clearly well above his competition in the step down in class. The nearest figure to him was Accused (Lanfranco) with a 94SRF while the rest of the field was 90 or below. Bubba Kush won easily by three pulling away at the end but visually I measured @4.5lths. He took the race on the soft going in 1:44.67. He earned a 89 SRF, that’s right only an 89. While some of this is because of the soft track the other factor is he did exactly what he had to do and won easily in the process. He was facing soft competition and was not exerted; Accused the only figure number close to him was far back and made a late run to finish second but was never a factor in the race. Bubba Kush only ran figure wise what he needed to to win the race. He is capable of much higher, he won with fuel in the tank, you could say he won in hand. Expect a much better figure when he faces tougher company. So again a lesson learned when looking at figures, you have to see and understand how the figure is attained. I suggest you go watch that race. I like the high resolution new viewer look.
As you can see, these horses had some nice race performances that rewarded their owners and trainers.
I have had some inquiries from some players who are SRF subscribers asking about the figures and how they should use them or apply them. Some have questioned them so my plan is to have a weekly highlight article to look over some winners and the figures so players may have a better understanding of how they are applied and what we look at. We’ll look at claimers and maidens as well as handicap/stakes horses and races.
As a HRP trainer (and one that is far far far from the best) , horse owner and handicapper, some of the hardest races to figure out there are the stakes/Hcp races. Whether you are sizing up your competition, or trying to evaluate your horse to see where he stands and to see if he can win. It’s tough in any race but especially in stakes and handicap races. Usually in those races 3,4, 5 or more horses have a legitimate shot at winning as they all have good figures or have races in graded or high class races or stakes so each has that potential to pull out a win. But those races are fun to handicap and figure out what horse is best under today’s circumstance. It’s the challenge we like.
Even using the SRF figures it is tough handicapping and evaluating who is the best in stakes races unless one clearly stands out. I use the figures as a tool, they are not the Holy Grail of racing there is no single figure out there in the RL that is (high Beyers figures only win at a @35% clip). But understanding the racing fundamentals and understanding of other factors like, pace and class and internal moves (race within the race), Is the race the right distance for the horse, jockey (did you get a 10% or 4%) and weights. Only then can you can get a clearer picture and based on everything then you look at the figure to see how it fits, can that high figure based on all factors win this race? Does the race setup right?
Sometimes though a horse clearly jumps out at you and his figure is clearly well above others in the race, those win a good majority of the time. This is more true in claiming races and maiden races but as I mentioned do occasionally happen in stakes races.
Some days it’s tough other days it seems simple. This past weekend was a good one for those who follow the speed figures. It actually was simple. In all we had nine stakes races at HRP, a rather quiet weekend. Of those nine races the high SRF figure in each of those races won seven races. If you would have boxed the top three SRF figures in each race you would have hit six exactas. Of course this week I didn’t participate in any HRP handicapping. Sometimes this place is just like real life.
Sat 1/11/20 Stakes
Trck Stakes Top SRF Horse SRF Top3 SRF Finish(top4) Winner Pd
AQU Say Florida Sandy #4 Pulpit 98 (4,3,2) 4,1,3,6 $9.30
GP Tropical Turf #5 Butter Ball 97 (5,10,11) 5,10,9,6 $5.10 DH 1st
GP Marshuas Rvr #3 Angel Shark 96 (3,4,2) 3,2,5,1 $23.60
SA Las Cinegas #2 Pennys Pearl 100 (2,6,8) 2,6,5,4 $10.60
SA La Canada #5 Totlly Baroque98 (5,3,8) 5,3,6,8 $30.70
TuP Glendale Hcp #8HongKngPnthr 96 (8,4,6) 4,7,8,1 ———
TuP Fitzsimmons Mi #6 MysteriousMn 97 (6,3,5) 5,3,1,6 ———
Sun 1/12/20 Stakes
Trck Stakes Top SRF Horse SRF Top3 SRF Finish(top4) Winner Pd
SA Kalookan Queen #5 Crush Szyra 94 (5,1,4) 5,2,4,6 $7.00
AQU Rego Park #8 Genghis 93 (8,6,1) 8,7,3,6 $17.30
Handicapping or evaluation tip: When comparing horses or evaluating races using the speed figures it is best to compare previous races with the distance and surface the horse is running at in today’s race or the race he is entered in. In other words if it’s a 1-1/16mi on the dirt race see what the horse has earned at a distance race (greater than a mile). A rule of thumb is to compare a race that is within 1 furlong of today’s distance and surface. That’s a simple criteria. If a horse has a very high sprint number see if he has run well at a distance before backing him. If so does his number compare to others in the race if that is the case he must be taken into account, if not eliminate him. In most cases it is best to go off the last race performance. If you have to go back you need to use your handicapping judgement and skills to evaluate.