Dania Beach Stakes and More

Molly Jo Rosen

December 23rd, 2013

The Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park was an interesting race to watch and looking at the results afterwards there are some interesting things to consider.

Jose Lezcano gave Mr. Speaker a ground saving trip, then got through on the rail to take the lead in mid-stretch and draw off for the victory.  Mr. Speaker earned of Beyer figure of 88 as he ran the mile on the turf in 1:36.60. But looking at the chart and some races prior of this makes us wonder if the number earned should be higher or is this number inflated.

While the final time is a good time for two year olds on the grass, I would say this is probably not an accurate time when comparing to other races.  The Equibase chart shows that the run up out of the gate for this race was 200 feet, which means that horses had a chance to build up speed and momentum before the teletimer began to clock the race.  Earlier on card in race 5, the run up was 125 feet for a non-winners of two or optional claiming race at the same distance.  The winner was Fredericksburg, who ran the mile in 1:36.12 earning a Beyer fig of 93.

We have no problem with Fredericksburg earning of Beyer fig 5 points better than Mr. Speaker and it looks like Beyer associates made adjustments because of the run up.  But this is just another example of how difficult it is to make proper speed figure calculations because of the run up.  It is strange to have two races that same distance have two different run ups.

On Thursday in race 8 the winner was Silver Freak, who ran the mile and a sixteenth  on turf in 1:39.24, a second off the track record. He earned a Beyer of 89, the highest fig he ever earned in his career. The run up for that race was 250 feet.  Could that number be a bit high, probably. With the length run up Silver Freak had the chance to build up speed and momentum as he then proceeded to wire the field with a reported very fast time. Chances are I will bet against him next time out.  The point I am making is look at the charts and check the run up times.  If a horse ran a fast time, make sure it isn't because of a lengthy run up.  Betting against a horse like that in the future could be profitable.

Many tears were shed at  Hollywood Park this weekend.  After 75 years the track ended it run with an outstanding weekend filled with great racing and many memories brought back to life.

On Saturday, Hall Of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer set a record that will never be broken when Swiss Lake Yodeler won the $200,250 Soviet Problem Stakes.  The victory gave Hollendorfer his seventh stakes win of the autumn fall meet, breaking the record previously held by Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham.  Swiss Lake Yodeler was very game in the stretch, running down pacesetting Rovenna for the victory.

On Sunday, California Chrome made his move for the lead on the far turn and drew away under a steady hand ride to win the $200,500 King Glorious Stakes.

We must also give credit to track announcer Vic Stauffer, who had the honor of calling the final race at Hollywood Park.  As the race was run, Stauffer gave a great call, including the mention of some of the immortal horses to have ever been stabled and run at Hollywood Park as the field went around the clubhouse turn and by the barn area. Then on the far turn, he mentions the lakes and flowers. In the final eighth of a mile, he reminded everyone of what was happening as he says 75 years down to twelve seconds. In the end it was a photo finish between Depreciable and Woodman's Luck. The photo showed Woodman's Luck got up in time for the victory. It was a great call and a great race that was fitting for the finale at Hollywood Park. Stauffer said it perfectly at the end of his race call. That's a Wrap.