Mark Geringer graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1979. Following his graduation, Mark passed his Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (Uniform CPA Exam). Since then, he has primarily worked as an independent accountant serving private individuals and small businesses.
He went from being trapped in the bottom of a chute behind a bull in Colorado Sunday to his second win this season in the big-money Xtreme Bulls competition. Kanin Asay of Powell needed a day of rest and it obviously paid off. He has rocketed to #2 in professional rodeo’s world standings by winning about $8K Tuesday night in the Lovington, NM event that opened the Lea County Fair & Rodeo. Kanin’s short-go bull was the one he wanted because it had previously thrown him off quickly at a Florida rodeo. Asay has earned more than half of his 2012 cash total of $82K on the Xtreme Bulls tour and leads the field for a championship of that prestigious event:
Photo Credits: Robby Freeman & Michael Shane Smith
Asay wasn’t alone as a Team Wyoming cash collector in New Mexico. Clayton Savage of Cheyenne won the final round and a total of $4,500 in Lovington to send him up the ladder to the #8 spot in the world standings. Seth Glause who also lives in Cheyenne filled a pocket with $2,000 out of the Xtreme Bulls competition that will be broadcast nationally on GAC, Sept. 11.
Team Wyoming’s Seth Brockman held on to take second place at the Larimer County Fair & Rodeo in Loveland, CO. The Wheatland steer wrestler earned $1,700 for the 6.5 second effort you can watch in our August 7 report. Cowley’s J.R. Vezain won the bareback riding competition in Loveland to add another $2000 to his annual take bumping the young rider to the #6 spot in the world standings.
Team Wyoming cowboys had some luck, both good and bad, in their Loveland, CO appearances at the Larimer County Fair & Rodeo last night. Seth Brockman slid to the head of his steer and tossed him in 6.5 seconds which jumped the Wheatland, WY dogger to second place:
Seth B 8-7-12.mp4
Seth Glause of Cheyenne stayed centered on his bronc riding draw and the resulting 74 points has Glause in a fifth-place tie:
seth g 8-7-12.mp4
Brockman and Glause will have to wait a day to see if their Loveland work makes money. There remains one more group of contestants to compete tonight in the Budweiser Events Center. Sheridan bronc rider Chet Johnson came off early during his Monday night outing in Loveland while both Glause and travel partner Tyler Willis from Wheatland did not make the whistle riding bulls.
Kanin Asay from Powell was unable to ride in Colorado. He was scheduled out Monday night but had to scratch as a result of a scary moment at an earlier performance of the Loveland event. Asay was standing over a chute helping a fellow rider prep when the bull jumped and kicked, knocking both of Kanin’s feet out from under him. He fell behind the bull in the bucking chute.
Dusty Tuckness is fighting bulls and protecting cowboys at the rodeo and he was among those who jumped to Kanin’s aid. They are best friends. Asay was pulled to safety but sustained bruising and other inflictions on a knee and ankle. He plans to ride tonight at an Xtreme Bulls event in Lovington, New Mexico.
Tuck & Roll
Anyone who semi-regularly visits this site knows the arena heroics of Meeteetse, WY bullfighter Dusty Tuckness. They were at what our friend Gene Bryan calls a “high hum” last night in Loveland. Team Wyoming’s Seth Glause and Texan Dalton Votaw were beneficiaries of the Tuck Man’s toughness. Tuckness, with the capable help of partner Andy Burelle, ended the show in a rousing freestyle fight that induced Dusty to take flight:
It was one of those crazy weekends where nothing went right for the favorites and everything went right for the betting public. A total of 8 graded stakes races across the continent and 7 of them resulted in upsets.
The only favorite to win was Include Me Out in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap for fillies and mares at Del Mar. The Ron Ellis trained four year old filly started the year with three consecutive wins in the La Canada Stakes (G2), Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes (G1) and Marjorie L. Everett Handicap (G2). With a three lengths lead down in the stretch it looked as if she would cruise to victory again in the Vanity Handicap (G1) at BetFair Hollywood Park. She was caught by Love Theway Youare and lost by 2 1/2 lengths. She didn’t look right. It looked as if she injured herself and stopped running as hard.
Saturday afternoon in Southern California, the star filly got back on track with a hard fought neck win over hard charging Star Billing. The 1 1/16 miles distance seems to be her specialty as that is where 3 of her 4 wins have come. The final time of 1:41.96 was only 1/2 second off the track record set by the great mare Zenyatta back in 2008. She now joins I’ll Have Another as the only four-time graded stakes winner in 2012. She is at the top of her game right now. With the win, she gets the automatic bid for the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic in November.
WEST VIRGINIA DERBY
The two year old champion Hansen once again showed that he is not a long distance runner. The 1 1/8 miles distance of the $750,000 Grade 2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park was just too much. Bet down as the 3/5 favorite, the gray Tapit colt went to the lead as expected and even posted moderate fractions of 24.33 and 47.33 for the first 1/2 mile. He held a slight advantage as they turned for home, but was passed halfway down the stretch by Macho Macho, Bourbon Courage and Called to Serve. He finished 4th beaten 2 /4 lengths. Macho Macho hadn’t won a stakes race prior, Bourbon Courage hadn’t hit the board in two previous tries in graded company and Called to Serve had placed 5th in his only try in the Swaps Stales (G2) on July 4th at BetFair Hollywood Park. Not exactly stiff competition. This was the 4th career loss for the Tapit colt with all of them coming in 2012 and three of them coming at distances of 1 1/8 miles or longer. They tried the mainstream route of the Kentucky Derby and now they attempted the sidestepping with the Iowa and West Virginia Derby. Unless a future race is 1 1/16 miles or less, they shouldn’t bother. That is where he needs to be.
WHITNEY INVITATIONAL HANDICAP
It wasn’t a huge upset, but Fort Larned defeating Ron the Greek at Saratoga was an indication that the older male division is as wide open as the three year old male division. Ron the Greek had won the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) and Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) as well as finished runner-up in three other top races in 2012. He was set off as the 5/2 favorite and once again finished 2nd. A consistent performer who has been tough all year, but has had his full share of the runner-up bug. Fort Larned, coming off his win at Prairie Meadows in the Cornhusker Handicap is starting to put his stamp on the division and showed his recent performances were not a fluke. He won the Whitney by 1 1/4 lengths at odds of 7/1. I’m proud to say we hit the exacta, trifecta and superfecta on this race! Click here to view the post from last Thursday.
ALFRED G. VANDERBILT HANDICAP
The Whitney may not have been a huge upset, but this six furlongs Grade 1 stake at Saratoga produced the longest shot of the weekend for a graded stakes. Poseidon’s Warrior, a four year old Speightstown colt, hasn’t run in a graded race since last August in the Foxwoods King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) in which Uncle Mo won. He finished 6th beaten over 11 lengths. In between that race and this one, he won a couple of entry level stakes and unplaced in two to kick off this year. It wasn’t a shock to see him go to post at odds of 36/1. The second longest shot on the board. The heavy favorite was Shackleford. They both ran complete opposites to what we thought would happen. Poseidon’s Warrior got up in the last jump to defeat Justin Phillip by a neck and Shackleford was never a factor and ran last. I’ve never seen Shackleford run that poor or heartless. Did he get hurt or was this just a mere gallop to prepare him for the King’s Bishop later this month? The latter just doesn’t make sense. Nonetheless, it was strange to see a horse who always puts his full effort in every race, no matter what the distance of the race may be, run so poorly. This will be something to keep an eye on in the coming days.
The short six horse field of three year old fillies was loaded with speed and talent, but in the end, the true speed and favorite of the race hurt herself. Agave Kiss went off as the 4/5 favorite and ran like it for five furlongs. The problem is the race was six furlongs long. Jockey Ramon Dominguez had the Lion Heart filly go out in fractions of 22.14 and 44.64 for the half mile. She held a firm lead of two lengths until the top of the stretch. With less than 1/16 mile to go she tired and was passed by Emma’s Encore (5/1) and Judy the Beauty (3/1). Did she need to go out so fast? No. If Dominguez could have reeled her in and slowed the fractions just a little, this filly could have hung on for the win. Emma’s Encore was last early on and made her way passed each horse as the race progressed. She unleashed a huge rally down the stretch to win by a nose. Judy the Beauty was sitting 3rd and looked as if she would pull off the win, but Emma’s Encore was just to strong on this day. The final time was 1:09.35 and trainer Allen Jerkens gets his 1st graded stakes win of 2012. Junior Alvarado was aboard.
HONORABLE MISS HANDICAP
On Friday, it was the older fillies and mares sprinting for the $200,000 purse in this Grade 2 event. Jockey Junior Alvarado had a successful weekend as he guided C C’s Pal to a come from behind victory in a time of 1:09.88 for six furlongs. She went off at odds of 3/1. The favorite It’s Me Mom, went out to the front and posted ridiculous fractions of 21.14 and 43.78 for the first half mile. She faded quickly after that and finished 7th beaten 8 3/4 lengths. For C C’s Pal, this was her second graded win of the year. She previously won the Vagrancy Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park on June 2. For trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., this was his sixth win of 2012.
BEST PAL STAKES
It’s not often a horse wins a graded stakes race in their debut, but that is exactly what happened at Del Mar Sunday afternoon in the Grade 2 race for two year old colts and geldings. The even money favorite Scherer Magic came into the race winning his first two races. After winning his maiden debut by 7 1/4 lengths, trainer John Sadler and owner Gary Barber claimed the horse for the $50,000 tag. He came back a month later to win the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (G3) at Hollywood Park. He sat back early like he did the first two times but this time had traffic trouble on the backstretch and far turn. He couldn’t rebound and finished 5th. Stealing the show was 8/1 and first time starter Know More. The Lion Heart colt is owned by J. Paul Reddam and trained by Doug O’Neill, the same connections as Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another. He ran like a seasoned veteran. Jockey Garrett Gomez had him settled early and sent him a little wide as they turned for home. That didn’t seem to matter. Aside from lugging in half way down the stretch, this colt ran incredible and won by 1/2 length over two fillies, Heir Kitty and Miss Empire. Both trained by Peter Miller. The final time for 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:16.14. Do they have another Derby contender on their hands? Of course it is way too early to determine that, but he certainly put himself on the radar with this impressive performance.
North of the border at Woodbine, it was 23/1 longshot Alpha Bettor who came home winner in this Grade 3 race on the all weather track. He ran like the favorite instead of the 2nd longest shot on the board. Jockey Tyler Pizarro had him sitting off the pace in the 1 1/16 miles race and made the move as they straightened down the stretch. He passed the second choice City Wolf with a couple of jumps before the wire. The 9/5 favorite Pool Play finished 4th beaten 6 1/2 lengths. He never factored after sitting far back early. This was the first graded win for the four year old colt and first graded win of 2012 for both Pizarro and trainer Daniel Vella. Congratulations!
If you had bets on any of these upsets, congratulations go out to you too! Let’s hope we see more of these results in weeks to come. It’s always good to see the chalk (favorites) miss, especially if you nail the upsets.
No pussyfooting around tonight…here are my good vibe / horse-lovin’ / touchy-feely picks for
OK, so apparently going with the gut ain’t half bad. I picked at least one horse in nine of the 10 races today. Honestly, I don’t keep track of how well real handicappers are doing, so I have no idea how that non-statistic goes up against the big boys (and girls)…but, given my penchant for betting across-the-board for each of the horses I like, I’m thinkin’ it ain’t half-bad…
I’m telling you, folks, there’s something to be said for The Coward’s Bet: going across-the-board on a horse. I have no guts, whatsoever, to say that I can pick a straight trifecta, and even exactas make me nervous. But if you bet ATB on the horses that I suggested–you may have cashed a ticket or two today.
Back in the proverbial saddle, I’ve decided to surrender to the Truth: that I am not a handicapper. I’m the Anti-capper, as it were. I think that speed figures are voodoo. And we all know that I don’t believe that past performances necessarily are the indicator of future success–any more than the SATs can accurately predict a student’s potential in college.
So here we go. Here are my picks–and some reasons–for the races for
This Saturday, trainer Bill Mott brings his two-time Grade 1 winner Ron the Greek to The Spa to tackle eight others in the $750,000 Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap.
This race is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge race. If a horse is nominated for a Breeders’ Cup race and wins a challenge race, they will receive the following:
- An automatic starting position in the corresponding Breeders’ Cup race
- Both the pre-entry AND entry fees paid.
- Travel allowance of $10,000 for North American runners and $20,000 for International runners when they start in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
- An award of $10,000 to the person nominating the foal or horse
The five year old didn’t have a great start to the 2011 campaign as he went seven races without a win. This coming off the heels of a 10 month absence from racing. Everything started to come together towards the end of 2011 while stabled at Aqueduct. He won the Sunny and Mild Stakes, then came right back to win the Queens County Stakes. He was given a few weeks off from December to end of January. He returned to finish 2nd to Mucho Macho Man in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes at Gulfstream Park. In an interesting move, Mott shipped him to Santa Anita this past March to race in the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1). It was the right decision as he won against 12 others.
After his Southern California excursion, he was shipped to Oaklawn Park to run in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2). Despite the traffic troubles throughout the race, he still managed to get up for second, a couple of lengths behind Alternation. After two months off, he was entered in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs and narrowly got up to defeat Wise Dan by a head. Others in the race included Alternation, Nates Mineshaft, Nehro and Mission Impazible. It’s been quite the successful stretch for this horse considering he didn’t win from January 23, 2010 to November 17, 2011. A span of 22 months and nine races. He will be a serious late running threat once again this weekend.
Amazingly enough, there is only one other career Grade 1 winner in the field. After winning the Donn Handicap (G1) earlier this year at Gulfstream, Hymn Book has gone three races without a win. He ran 4th in the Oaklawn Handicap, 5th in the Pimlico Special Stakes (G3) at Pimlico and most recently 2nd in the Suburban Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park. The Shug McGaughey trained six year old has run well, just not well enough to take home the wins. He and Ron the Greek will need a quick setup early on to allow them to make up enough ground late.
One of the speedsters in the race will be the Rich Dutrow trained Trickmeister. After winning five straight races to kickoff his career, he’s only 1 for 3 since. He attempted graded company for the first time in the Donn Handicap. He led until the top of the stretch in the 1 1/8 miles race but faded to finish 6th. He came back to first level stakes and was victorious in the Vanlandingham Stakes at Belmont Park. Last time out in the Suburban Handicap, he led again until the top of the stretch, but was caught by Mucho Macho Man and Hymn Book. He finished 3rd beaten 3 lengths for 2nd and another 2 1/2 lengths for the win. The only way he will win this race is if no one decides to challenge him on the lead and jockey Ramon Dominguez can keep him relaxed enough. If there is one rider at Saratoga who could do it, it would be Dominguez.
The horse who will most likely contest the lead with Trickmeister is Endorsement. This five year old has only raced 10 times in his career. He broke his maiden 3rd time out at Oaklawn Park on February 20, 2010, then came back to win the Sunland Derby (G3) on March 28, 2010. Unfortunately, he did not get to race again until December 10, 2011. After missing almost 21 months, he returned to finish 2nd in an Allowance Optional Claiming $62,500 at Gulfstream Park. A month later he finished 2nd again in the same class. Third time off the layoff (which is always the best race for a horse) on February 1, 2012 he finally made it back to the winners circle. It took nearly two years to do so, but it was well worth the wait. He set the Gulfstream Park track record for 1 1/16 miles in a time of 1:42.35. He went gate to wire. The record still holds. In late April, he was shipped to Lone Star Park and won the Texas Mile Stakes (G3). His first true test since returning came in the Pimlico Special Stakes. He led much of the race until the final 1/16 mile when he was surpassed by Alternation and Nehro. He was one length behind the two and they were only a nose apart. His most recent effort came in a disappointing 7th and last place result. He sat off the lead but failed to menace. Martin Garcia has ridden him the last two races but trainer Eoin Harty elects to put Joel Rosario on this time.
The five year old Todd Pletcher trained Rule made a successful return to the track after missing nine months. It was a rough 2011 in which he had one win out of eight races and that came in the non-graded Birdstone Stakes at Saratoga. Of those eight races, he finished second just once and had three thirds. His last race of 2011 was a 7th in the Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (G2) on October 8. Despite missing 9 months, he returned to defeat a small field of five in the Monmouth Cup Stakes (G2) at Monmouth Park on July 7. If the pace is hot early on, expect jockey Joe Bravo to sit him off the pace. If the pace is not as quick as we expect, he could make a push for the lead. This is a competitive field and were still not sure what to expect with this being his second race off the layoff. He was solid in the Monmouth Cup Stakes, but it was a small field with only one true competitor.
That one competitor is the other Bill Mott trainee in this race Flat Out. By most standards, 2011 was a successful campaign. He took home wins in the Suburban Handicap (G2) and Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1) as well as runner-up performances in the Whitney Invitational Handicap (G1), Woodward Stakes (G1) and Lone Star Park Handicap (G3). He finished 5th beaten just over 3 lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Mott quickly brought him back 20 days later for the Clark Handicap (G1) and he finished 3rd. In 2012, he started with a 12th place finish in the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (G3) on turf at Gulfstream Park. The following month he returned to dirt and finished 5th in the Donn Handicap. Clearly not the same horse we saw most of 2011. It would be five months before seeing action again and that was the runner-up performance to Rule in the Monmouth Cup Stakes. After a bobbled break, he could not catch up and lost by 1 1/2 lengths. He’s been training well at Saratoga and could go off at a good price considering his lack of races and mediocre results since last year. If he can return to midseason 2011 form, he might be in the mix.
Caixa Eletronica has done it all this year. He won the six furlongs Rise Jim Stakes at Aqueduct, 1 1/8 miles $1,000,000 Charles Town Classic (G2) and the six furlongs True North Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park. The Charles Town Classic was certainly a surprise but it didn’t have an abundance of quality older males. He tried the Met Mile and was a distant 4th behind Shackleford, Caleb’s Posse and To Honor and Serve. Last out, he finished 5th in the James Marvin Stakes (G3) to kickoff the Saratoga meet. You just wonder if all the travel and back and forth between six furlongs, seven furlongs, one mile and longer distances are taking a toll on this seven year old. I believe Pletcher should keep him at 6-7 furlongs and create some consistency in his performances.
The Ian Wilkes trained Fort Larned comes in off a strong gate to wire performance in the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3). At first glance you might think its not that impressive considering its a race at Prairie Meadows, but he did defeat quality horses such as Successful Dan and Awesome Gem. This four year old colt looks to be rounding into form. If you throw out his 8th place performance in the Stephen Foster Handicap, he finished 2nd just a length behind Successful Dan in the Alysheba Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, ahead of Mucho Macho Man, and Nates Mineshaft as well as won the Skip Away Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream. He’s won 3 of 6 races in 2012 and finished on the board in five of the six. I don’t believe he wants anything to do with the speed in this race. He will sit off the pace and make a move as they turn for home. If the pace is quick early on, he could be a player in exotic bets at a decent price.
The final horse in the field is Canadian invader Hunters Bay. The longest shot on the board heads to New York to see if he can compete on the big stage. A lightly raced five year old by Ghostzapper started his career late as a three year old, then missed several months at the end of 2010 and early 2011. He has spent most of his time in Allowance Optional Claiming races at Woodbine. However in 2012, he’s put together a three race winning streak including back to back graded stakes. He won the Eclipse Stakes (G3) in near record time for 1 1/16 miles. His final time of 1:42.63 was just 1/5 off the Woodbine track record. His last race was a win in the 1 1/4 miles Dominion Day Stakes (G3) where he once again defeated Pender Harbour, winner of two legs of the Canadian triple crown last year. He has the perfect rate running style that will allow him to sit off the expected quick pace. If he is indeed getting better with each race, he just might get in underneath to hit the board. He will go off at a long price.
Consistency always merits most respect when it comes to the top races at Saratoga. Ron the Greek hasn’t been worse than 2nd since July of last year and has won two of the biggest races of 2012. He is the main threat to win. Fort Larned has won 3 of his last five races with a 2nd in the other. He rebounded quite well at Prairie Meadows after a dull performance in the Stephen Foster. I like him to be in the mix. Hymn Book should be able to make his late move from far back after an early speed duel. Look for him to come flying down the middle of the track. Flat Out certainly has class in this field and I expect him to be better second race back from layoff. I don’t think he will win this race but will hit the board.
Ron the Greek, Fort Larned, Hymn Book and Flat Out
Stay up to date with all the graded stakes this summer and their results, by clicking here.
|Will Lowe and his son Garrett at CFD|
Three-time world champion bareback rider Will Lowe of Canyon, TX added another Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) gold buckle to his collection last Sunday by staying focused on a wild ride from C5 Rodeo Company’s Make Up Face to score 91 points. Before the rodeo, Will’s son Garrett made up a little riding routine of his own that brought smiles to the faces of everyone in the vicinity. Here’s a look provided by the Wyoming Office of Tourism and CFD: