Feb 072019


In 1964, Timothy Leary co-authored a book about psychedelic drugs and in the following year founded the League for Spiritual Discovery, a religion that claimed LSD as a holy sacrament.

During a 1967 speech in San Francisco before 30,000 hippies. Leary stated, ‘Turn on’; to go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment, ‘Tune in’; interact harmoniously with the world around you, ‘Drop out’; self-reliance”.  The phrase, “turn on, tune in, drop out,” came to exemplify the LSD movement. 

Many consider Timothy Leary one of the most prominent figures during the counterculture of the 1960s.

The $100,000 ESR Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out Stakes

A field of Twelve Older Horses 4yo and Up will enter the Big Apple starting gate for the $100,000 Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out Stakes.  The race will be run at One Mile over the Dirt Course.

SCAT’S ROAR – it is easy to understand why this trotter1 trained 6 Year Old Light Grey Horse by Scat Daddy will be heavily backed in this weeks ESR feature, he leads the field with 10 lifetime wins, is the field’s only graded winner, has lifetime earnings 5x greater than that of his closest rival, and has posted 23 consecutives triple digit speed, topping out at 121 on two occasions;  so what’s the problem; the winner of the G1 Cosmopolitan Handicap last May has struggled in his last two outings, finishing off the board in back-to-back races for the first time in his career, his last with a 101-speed figure, the lowest speed figure he has recorded since the fourth start of his career; yes his last two outings have come at the Graded level, but his involvement was uncharacteristic and you can’t help but to suspect that this talented miler is approaching the other side wear and tear…your call

GO BULLDOGS – it’s pretty safe to say that the spinround trained 4 Year Old Bay Colt by Pioneerof The Nile struggles at the graded level, but his starts at the Listed Stakes level are quite the contrary, recording victories in his only two Listed appearances in the Silver Canuck Dirt Memorial and Exbournes Alert Dirt Memorial respectively; although the KY-bred has recorded a pair of wins at a Mile, his preference may be racing over an extended amount of ground; making his 4yo debut, there is no doubt that his class stands out at this level of racing, but he will have to  shake off a pair of glaring defeats that he suffered at the graded level in his last two appearances to factor into the decision in Saturday’s feature…chance off best

DIM DONNY – the beisbol trained 5 Year Old Brown Gelding by Blame has been battling a severe case of second-itis over his last six starts, but considering his form prior to being gelded, I suspect his connections have no complaints with those results; the one time claimer has recorded 3 wins and 7 second place finishes in 10 starts since being gelded, making him a strong candidate for representative of the Life After Gelding poster; this will be the first stakes appearance for the KY-bred who has finished first or second in 10 of 13 starts going around two turns earning him strong consideration on his present form…never better

ROCK N’ PHAROAH – making his 4yo debut is the kingab trained 4 Year Old Brown Colt by American Pharoah out of the same mare that produced the renowned SONG OF BEN; patiently handled by the 2018 ESR Trainer of the Year, the talented Ky-bred found his best stride toward the waning part of his 3yo campaign posting back to back Allowance victories before coming out on the short end of a photo in the Insky Winsky Spida Dirt Memorial to finish out his 3yo season; freshened for his return, the emerging 4yo brings a renewed energy, along with new found confidence and experience in the new year, and is poised to play a major role in the ESR feature…primed for best

CASINO COMPANION – looking for his first stakes victory in his tenth stakes appearance is the casino trained 5 Year Old Bay Horse by Union Rags; off he board in four ESR stakes appearances, connections have reason for optimism this time around as this hard knocking KY-bred is coming off perhaps his best stakes outing LTO finishing second in the Seattle Delta Dirt Route; having recorded three victories in five starts at a Mile, the casino charge finds himself in an opportunistic position to register a check-mark for the first time in the stakes win column…chance off last

CHEYENNE RAIDER – making his fifth consecutive stakes appearance is the nextbonus trained 4 Year Old Bay Colt by Oasis Dream; better known for sprinting, the late-running ENG-bred turned in one of his finer efforts two races back when he rallied for second against multiple stakes winners in the One Mile New Slew Dirt Memorial while posting a personal two-turn best 111-speed figure in that effort; as good as that start was, it is his last race that may cause hesitation at the betting window, when he failed to fire in the Zigs Educated Risk Dirt Memorial finishing 6th in his 4yo debut, perhaps falling victim to the proverbial bounce; the talent is obvious, and prior to that start he’s been racing in top form, the question is are you are willing to dismiss his last start and go all in here on Saturday…stretch threat

BUSTED BRACKET – the kody connections will be looking for their third ESR victory in four weeks with this 5 Year Old Bay Gelding by Discreetly Mine; the KY-bred has found his best stride over the last seven starts, recording four victories during that span, thus earning him his first stakes appearance; much of that success has come at distances of 9-furlongs and further, but the surging 5yo will turn back to a mile this week, a distance that he has failed to hit the board if four previous tries; this will be his first mile since his recent turn around, and he could be quite a different runner at this distance based on his current form, but stepping up in class while competing at an unproven distance directs my attention elsewhere…red hot connections

BULLSHINE – making his first start of the 2019 season is the lbailey trained 5 Year Old Light Grey Horse by Moonshine Mullin; making second stakes appearance, the first an 8th place finish in the Niner Ice Dirt Route last June, the blue collar runner who has been on the board in 13 for 16 career starts,  hopes his strong work ethic translates into his first stakes victory; quick from the gate, expect the son of the winner of the 2014 Stephen Foster Handicap to be a factor during the early going, forcing the field to stay within striking distance for the stretch run…must not falter


SHERPA JOE DOBBS – you have to pay close attention when you see an ace trained horse with sherpa in the name, it’s like a magic word for winning ESR races; this week it is a 5 Year Old Bay Horse by Bodemeister hoping to disappear from this field of ESR competitors;  at quick glance I’m thinking that this KY-bred is just a sprinter, however those two victories at a Mile force me to peel away the layers, this asking myself why this horse isn’t competing at top level Mile races, after all, his best speed figure, a 116, came at a Mile where he defeated several graded and stakes winning rivals; his Dam, WALLY’S DEHERE was a multiple graded stakes winner at a mile, so, boys and girls, brace yourself, you might be seeing the beginning of something special here…dangerous

EL JUANCHO – making his first start of the 2019 season and first appearance in almost three months is the ivanyamil trained 5 Year Old Brown Horse by Girolamo; the KY-bred competed in some of the top rated Graded Stakes during his 3yo campaign taking second honors on two occasions, but his rigorous campaign took its’ toll on the ambitious participant, as he recorded only one victory during his following 4yo season; freshened, the one-time classics hopeful looks to regain the form that guided him to two graded stakes placings as he embarks on another year of competition…may need a start

DARK CADET – lurking in the background, the cadet connections are hoping to record their first ESR win of the 2019 season; the 4 Year Old Brown Gelding by Distorted Humor was somewhat of a disappointment, failing to hit the board in all four of his starts during his 2yo season, prompting connections to geld this well-bred hopeful; while his 3yo starts were markedly better, he still struggled to break his maiden until his 5th start in the year; that maiden victory must have ignited a fire, because he followed that race up with another victory at the Allowance level while recording an eye-catching 113-speed figure; there’s no doubt this horse has come into his own, and is likely to be the horse most eligible to improve in this field, but he is still faces a tough task while partaking in a major class jump…happy with part

EUCLA DAIMLER – making his second start for his new connections is the irisharse trained 6 Year Old Bay Gelding by Pioneerof The Nile; the winner of the Six Up Monster Turf Route was purchased at auction, entered in the Samyn On The Green Turf Route where he pressed the pace throughout, gained the lead in the stretch, then gave way to a late charge after prompting a torrid early pace; versatile in routes and sprints, the KY-bred has been less adaptable over the Dirt Course; although this gelding, as evidenced by his fine record, has a competitive nature, making a dirt appearance, combined with his first start since October, is the challenge he will have to overcome in this ESR feature…could surprise

SOMEKINDKIRBY – fresh off his first stakes victory and career best 116-speed figure is the lbailey trained 5 Year Old Bay Gelding by Awesome Again; the late entry certainly changes the complexion of this race adding an element of speed that compromises the early fractions; the one time claimer has found his best stride since finding his way to his new barn, and his connections have been sharp to capitalize, winning four  of his six starts for his new owner including the New Found Cyclone Dirt Route LTO…might be this good

Handicapping the Field

The only sure thing I can say about this race is that there is nothing sure about it… SCAT’S ROAR looks like much the best on paper, but is he the same horse that won the Cosmopolitan Handicap in May, or does he even have to be? GO BULLDOGS has a fine stakes record, but what effect will those last two starts at the Graded level have on him? Can DIM DONNY and CASINO COMPANION take it up a notch?  Will CHEYENNE RAIDER be as effective going around two turns?  Will ROCK N’ PHAROAH follow in the footsteps of his three graded stakes winning siblings?  Can SHERPA JOE DOBBS cast a magic spell over this field?

Based on his last two outings, I think SCAT’S ROAR’s best races are behind him making him very vulnerable in this field.

I don’t see how those two graded starts don’t adversely affect GO BULLDOGS, and while he may rebound nicely from those starts, I’m not sure it will be enough to take top prize here.

DIM DONNY and CASINO COMPANION are both nice horses, the prior perhaps a notch below this competition while the latter is running out of chances.

It would be foolish to ignore CHEYENNE RAIDER ‘s second place finish in the One Mile New Slew Dirt Memorial, but there is just something about his last start that keeps gnawing at me.

ROCK N’ PHAROAH really has no knocks against him and is a horse who’s moving forward while his accomplished rivals appear to be losing a step.

Far be it from me to be critical about how a trainer goes about their business, my failures far exceed my accomplishments, but I can’t help but to wonder why SHERPA JOE DOBBS isn’t kicking some serious butt at a Mile.

The kody connections are red hot, but I’d like BUSTED BRACKET a lot more at 8.5 or 9-furlongs.

BULLSHINE was a late scratch.

EL JUANCHO may need a start.

DARK CADET took a long time to break his maiden, a couple of wins in Oklahoma isn’t enough to convince me he can make the jump to stakes level.

If EUCLA DAIMLER was as versatile over surfaces as he is at distances, he’d have a shot here.  The October layoff seals the deal.

SOMEKINDKIRBY has never been better and brings a quick turn of foot to the table.  He could be for real.

The Picks

SHERPA JOE DOBBS – If I’m going to criticize, I have to be willing to back it up

ROCK N’ PHAROAH – he’s moving up as others are coming down

CHEYENNE RAIDER – I don’t like that last start but he’s hard to keep off my ticket

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  7 Responses to “Twelve Older Horses Get Their Buzz On in the One Mile $100,000 ESR Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out Stakes”

  1. exacta 307…



  2. please.. try not to throw too much dirt in my horses face..

    that said.. thanks Pete for again spelling my horses name right.. great insite, as always..
    and when did a layoff become a negitive?


  3. Excellent review. Astute observations – I would indeed be happy to hit the board in here.

    My only regret is it seems wrong that ITCH does not have an entrant in this particular race.

    Maybe he’s out trippin’ with Jesus?

  4. Great review of a very tough race to handicap. Well done Mr. Trot!

  5. 10th stakes try LOL
    Call that determination or stupidity? I think the latter applies.

    Another masterpiece Pete, thanks so much.

  6. Far out, dudes! The man bangs out another gnarly review. Pete is so boss!

    Peace and Love to all my fellow ESR hippies!