Monthly Archives: October 2009

Blast From the Past

While I was scanning headlines tonight I came across this little item… Boboman Retired, will stand at Walmac Farm.

The eight-year-old Kingmambo horse out of Slewvera, by Seattle Slew, was bred in Kentucky by Wertheimer & Frere. A winner at two, he raced in the United States for Racing Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella and won the 2006 Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes (G1) in his stakes debut.

Boboman also ran third to Lava Man on the main track in the 2007 Santa Anita Handicap (G1). Overall, he won four of 17 starts with five third-place finishes and earnings of $444,363.

First off, he wasn’t already retired? When was the last time he raced? But moving on to the real reason I bring him up, he was a crucial sign post for me on the road to spotting and loving horses poised to make a jump in class.

Right after the Breeders’ Cup 2006 was when I had the fever, all I wanted to do was handicap. Swifty and I devised a plan where we would pick a race or two every weekend and give ourselves a fake $50 per race to wager with as “practice” (this was before we discovered ADW accounts). The 2006 Hollywood Turf Cup was one of those races (past performance).

Part of our plan was that we kept a spreadsheet with our picks and reasoning. I distinctly remember being on the phone discussing this race. One of the first things out of both of our mouths was that we didn’t get Boboman’s odds (9-1) considering this was a G1, his first stakes race and that horses like Artiste Royal, TH Approval, Cosmonaut and Meteor Storm were proven in graded company. Sure, he was coming off two wins but WTF?

My notes & wager where:

Artiste Royal closer close on TH Approval’s heels every race.

$16 WPS Artiste Royal (wow, I’ve come a long way!) and $2 on long shot Mighty Mysterious.

And Swifty’s notes & wager were:

TH Approval horse to beat but Symphony Sid & Boboman wild cards

$50 Place TH Approval (not sure what’s worse, the place bet or noting Boboman and not (fake) wagering… he’s also come a long way!)

No replay over at YouTube but he sat off a moderate pace and then came on strong to win by a length… and he did it with relative visual ease (chart – full card). Swifty and I immediately got on the phone after the race and in unison said “Boboman” in that “duuuh” tone when you overlook something that you shouldn’t have. We also went on to discuss class jumps and how our classy safe picks had bombed. For awhile “Boboman” was our shorthand for horse poised to make a jump in class.

Learning this lesson has served me well over the past few years as finding a horse poised to make a jump is one my favorite angles. Thank you Boboman, have a great retirement!

A Dashing Return in Two Parts

Captain Candyman & Vineyard Haven duke it out in the stretch of the King’s Bishop (Adam Mooshian)

This break in Breeders’ Cup content is brought to you by the De Francis Dash and Vineyard Haven!

The De Francis Dash is back this Saturday at Laurel after a brief hiatus.

The 57-day schedule is highlighted by the return of Laurel’s marquee race, the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G1), which was not carded in 2008 due to a purse account shortfall, on October 24.

Many were entered, including Fabulous Strike and Kodiak Kowboy but the recently returned Vineyard Haven is the only marquee name for this years event.

You may remember his stunning return in the King’s Bishop a couple of months ago at Saratoga where he ran huge coming off an 8 month layoff but was rightfully DQ’d for pilot error.


He’s been working great and had a nice blow out today so it’s probably safe to assume that he’ll be sharp on Saturday. But let’s not forget the second choice in the morning line odds, Fleet Valid, son of 1993 De Francis Dash winner Montbrook.

In fact, Vineyard Haven has some family ties to the DeFrancis dash as his half brother On the Vineyard is by the 1996 De Francis Dash winner Lite the Fuse. Who are the previous De Francis Dash winners? Several have turned out to be champion sprinters (from Brisnet):

Introduced in 1990, the De Francis Dash is one of the elite six-furlong sprints in the country with four of the 18 winners — Housebuster (1991), Cherokee Run (1994), Smoke Glacken (1997) and Thor’s Echo (2006) — earning Eclipse Award honors for champion sprinter.

Update: As it turns out current entrant Peace Chant also has ties to the De Francis Dash! This was brought to my attention this morning in the comments by Val of Foolish Pleasure and Fillies First (thank you!):

Don’t forget that the mare Safely Kept, who was left in the gate and came from dead last to finish third in that 1991 De Francis (and had won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 1990) is the dam of Peace Chant who drew post 6. He wasn’t bad for six furlongs in the G1 Forego last out.

Vineyard Haven won’t become this year’s champion sprinter but that doesn’t mean a strong win wouldn’t be impressive and probably a giant relief for whoever made all those Godophin purchases that are finally paying off! And perhaps this is a prep for the Cigar Mile at the Big A.

While I couldn’t dig up Thor’s Echo’s rendition, here are the rest of the champions mentioned above + Montbrook & Lite the Fuse’s (i.e., everything over at YouTube).

1997 – Smoke Glacken:


1996 – Lite the Fuse:


1994 – Cherokee Run:


1993 – Montbrook:


1991 – HousebusterWARNING: there is a breakdown in the stretch.


It should also be noted that GbG and Brooklyn Backstretch fav Saratoga Russell is entered as well. Good luck to all!

California Here They Come?

(Sarah K. Andrew)

I’m no investigative journalist (or any kind journalist for that matter) however I am a Facebook user. And on Facebook I uncovered (just happened to notice) that a Facebook friend (i.e., someone I don’t know otherwise) who works for a horse transportation charter said their phones were ringing off the hook this morning with people wanting to ship their horses to California.

And who can blame them after how well shippers did yesterday. Cowboy Cal and Gitano Hernando shipped in to California while Court Vision, Diamondrella and Negligee all shipped in to Keeneland for the win.

While it doesn’t look like there are any local preps left at Santa Anita, perhaps Cowboy Cal’s win yesterday has emboldened connections to throw caution to wind against B-list euro shippers such as Gitano Hernando.

Speaking of which, who knows what the heck is going to come over from Europe. This little passage in the Thoroughbred Times Goodwood article hints at what’s to come.

If the Goodwood is an indicator of how the Breeders’ Cup Classic will unfold in four weeks, the American contenders could be in trouble after Gitano Hernando, Group 3-placed in England, turned aside some of the strongest Classic contenders. Last year, European-based runners Raven’s Pass and Henrythenavigator finished first and second, respectively, in the Classic, and this year superstar Sea The Stars and Group 1 winners Rip Van Winkle and Mastercraftsman are among the potential European contingent for the Classic.

You can always check in here to find out more about the euros.

Since I doubled my money yesterday, primarily because of the Oak Tree races (and a whole lotta luck… parade handicapping seems to be surface agnostic!), I’m looking forward to seeing who and what turns up in California. It should be interesting… that is if you’re willing to look at it the whole affair as it’s own particular set of circumstances. If not, you’re probably going to be miserable and probably not even bet on the Breeders’ Cup… it’s your choice!

And regardless of what you think about any of this, racing got some big time mainstream sports coverage yesterday…

Can I get some love from the racing tweeps. Two Big Time races were part of college football on ESPN yestrday. That’s huge…

And I thought it was played very well – seeing Lou Holz talk about horse racing “trifectas” was an unexpected gem

Huge? Indeed.

Carelessly Overlooked Jewel

Carol Cendeno, winner of the Philly Park Female Jockey Challenge (EBarnes624)

While you can find plenty of accounts of Careless Jewel’s triumphant performance in the Cotillion at Philly Park, you’ll have to look a little harder to find anything about the other jewel at Philly Park on Saturday, the first annual Female Jockey Challenge.

In fact, the only thing I’ve found about it outside of Female on the Horse, Flickr and Live Journal was an article at by Dick Jerardi:

All 11 races on the card will be for fillies and mares. Races 1, 2, 4 and 8 will feature only female riders in a jockeys challenge. The track will donate $25,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast-cancer awareness organization.

Had I not seen this great photo set at Flickr by way of Raceday360 this morning I would have forgotten about it completely, apparently like everyone else! GbG fav Carol Cendeno won 3 of the 4 challenge races to take this year’s title.

From what I can tell jockeys Tammi Piermarini, Janice Blake-Baeza, Ashton Fitzpatrick, Jill Jellison, Jenna Joubert, Carol Cedeno , Tara Hemmings, Shannon Uske, Joanne McDaid, Jackie Davis, Anna Napravnik and Maylan Studart competed in the challenge. That’s quite a formidable group!

While it’s certainly hard to compete with 5 G1 races carded at Belmont in the height of Breeders’ Cup prep season, a little coverage would have been nice. Apologies if there was some coverage that I missed (please leave the link in the comments!), my online grazing time has been a touch diminished these days.

It looked like a lovely day, complete with autograph signing, bringing home long shots and plenty of thumbs up. As it turns out, it isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened, Hoosier Park used to do a Female Jockey Challenge, and in fact still might, unless they’ve radically changed their concept of “Ladies Day” in recent years.

From the 2007 Hoosier Female Jockey Challenge:

Here’s hoping that next year will be a little more widely covered!

In Honor of JCGCs Past

(Seattle Slew winning the 77 Derby © Bettmann/CORBIS – LI Phil)

I won’t be making it out to Belmont today for “Super Saturday” but wanted to share this gem from Jockey Club Gold Cups past. It’s Exceller’s 1978 win, but what I found compelling about it was Seattle Slew’s performance. The race is run so crazily and fast and Slew holds for a photo finish, fighting back down the whole way down the lane. Truly impressive.

Slew is Ernie Munick’s favorite horse and he posted the link at Facebook along with this first hand account and thought about jinxes:

Marlboro, Woodward, Seattle Slew – the finest autumn of my lifetime. Best supporting actor to Exceller, classy, ambitious and brave. Dad stood behind me near the rail as I screamed, all Fall, Stick, Slew! Stick! He broke thru the gate before the JCGC; the ultimate hoodoo. Yet Six Perfections made us wait, and wait, and wait; Green Girl went happy-haywire at the Gulf; Rachel tossed Calvin. Jinxes’re getting soft on us.

Best of luck today and let’s hope that rain holds out!