I Know I'm Hot...Or Not?

 Hey there! I know it's been two weeks, and I apologize for that, but I have been fighting several illnesses and have been out of the office a bit. I am back and that means I need to challenge you all in order to make up for lost time. So, I have a few blog ideas that should be fun.

There are a lot of rating web sites out there to find out if you are "Hot or Not" or "Do You Like?" and other measures. So let's take a moment and see how you all view my picks for the Derby...so far.


I am going to revisit my picks and discuss where they were as 2YOs and see where they stand now. Then I'll follow up with some of the lovely "dozen" mentioned by Steve Haskin.

Let's start with the three first crop 2YO sires that had me captured last year. Via our own Maiden Watch blog I fell in love with Medaglia d'Oro and Congaree. I already liked Smarty Jones. His runners developed a bit late, yet one was a Breeders' Cup contender. Be Smart, Alma d'Oro, Precious Beans, Smarty Marty, and a slew of others were in my sights. The Breeders' Cup held great promise for Medaglia d'Oro and Smarty Jones. Too bad Oconee (Congaree), and Shoe Strap (Birdstone) are not on my Derby radar, but I still follow them.

As for those on the radar, lets see where they are moving. First, we have the Candy Rides. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mr. Candy Ride at Hill 'n' Dale. I really had no expectations at all, and was greatly surprised. I said to myself "Ah ha, no wonder Capt. Candyman Can and Chocolate Candy were successful." I think Candy Ride has a bright future. Here is a great blog by Jason Shandler on Chocolate Candy.

Some others I like and hope you will learn more on include:
Giant Oak, Hello Broadway, and Imperial Council

Giant Oak
A Giant's Causeway that I think is going to do very well this year. Despite his Risen Star Stakes (gr.III) fifth place finish flattening out, he will come back and beat Friesan Fire in the future. I am hoping Giant Oak will make it to the Derby.

Hello Broadway
Reliable. This horse is reliable and with a 2nd place finish in the Hutchenson Stakes (gr.II). More or less I have always liked the horse but not enough to follow him. However, my coworker Sabe convinced me to give Hello Broadway more of a chance, and Hello Broadway is now is growing on me.

Imperial Council
Okay, granted this horse is not named after the Imperial Council of Star Wars...but you all know how much of a Empire Maker fan I am.

Where are Terrain, Atomic Rain, Beethoven, and Notonthesamepage?

Well I was enthusiastic about Terrain, but now he has not raced so far this year. So I am thinking he is off of the Derby trail. His last race was the Dec. 5th Delta Jackpot when he finished fifth.

Atomic Rain is still on my list, even if he finished seventh in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. II). There is still time to peak, and I am banking on him peaking near the Derby. I don't see him winning the Derby, but can bet on him being in the money. With mentioning Atomic Rain, I must point out that this weeks edition of The Blood-Horse, February 25th, has a feature on Atomic Rain's owners. It is a great story and Esther did a wonderful job on it. Make sure you grab this weeks magazine and read more on Atomic Rain and company!

I can live with Beethoven's fourth place in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II). I feel similar to how I view Atomic Rain, except I like Beethoven more and think he will bring music to my ears in the Derby.

A speed horse who finished first in the Spectacular Bid Stakes has a race coming up. Owned by the Ramseys, I want to see Notonthesamepage hit the board in Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), which also will feature Beethoven.

Newcomers on my radar...Rachel Alexandera

I knew of Rachel's success in 2008, because she is a Medaglia d'Oro...but I did not have her on my watch. I think she will race in the Kentucky Oaks against Stardom Bound and maybe Be Smart. Hear me now, I believe if there is a horse that can beat Stardom Bound, Rachel is by far talented enough, if not more talented. After winning the Martha Washington Stakes, I expect big things from Ms. Rachel. Handicappers have to love the life time 7-4-2-0 record.


So apparently there are a decent amount of people that are enjoying the new TV series Jockeys. Here is a very recent interview with Chantal.

You can watch full episodes on the Animal Planet website now.


Side Notes:

Arrrrr has won his first race this year!
February 22, 2009 at PHILADELPHIA PARK in Race 6.
He is now 4-1-1-0 with $15,234 for 2009

Pireatesonthelake barely finished second to Hellvelyn in an incredibly fast race at Gulfstream Park today. It was a GREAT race.


Horse name    Atomic Rain
Notes               Derby Potential
Activity type     Workout
Activity date     02-26-2009
Track                Palm Meadows
Surface            Dirt
Distance          3 Furlongs
Workout type   Handily
Workout time   0:35.80
Track condition    Fast

Horse name    Terrain
Notes               Derby Potential
Activity type      Workout
Activity date     02-25-2009
Track                Fair Grounds
Surface            Dirt
Distance           5 Furlongs
Workout type    Breezing
Workout time    1:00.40
Track condition    Fast

Horse name    Capt. Candyman Can
Notes               Derby Potential
Activity type     Workout
Activity date     02-25-2009
Track               Palm Meadows
Surface            Dirt
Distance          4 Furlongs
Workout type    Breezing
Workout time    0:50.00
Track condition    Fast

Big Bad Leroybrown
Date: February 26, 2009
Distance: Four Furlongs
Time: 48:20 Handily
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: All Weather Track
Rank: 15/48

Frank the Barber
Date: February 24, 2009
Distance: Three Furlongs
Time: 34:80 Handily
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: All Weather Track
Rank: 1/7

Obi Wan Kenobi
Date: February 23, 2009
Distance: Four Furlongs
Time: 49:20 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: Dirt
Rank: 10/27


Leave a Comment:


Set Giant Oak free...he's NOT that good.How many chances are people going to give him?...I'm looking for Beethoven to pounce on ALL that speed lined up for the FOY.

26 Feb 2009 5:07 PM

lol slew, I like that...your comment was great!

26 Feb 2009 5:15 PM
Driftin Sage

Old Fashioned looking good to me, however, I seem to end up rooting for the newcomers who all of a sudden pop up out of (it seems) no where...like the ones who are just now getting it together...not much racing as a 2 yr old on their weak legs which are now getting stronger.  Mr Fantasy and Dunkirk are both ringing my bell.  And off the subject a little...read recently about maybe a win and your in race...guaranteed a spot in the Derby.  This will bump #20 in earnings out, won't it?  And...upset the connections of horse #20...Is this for real?

26 Feb 2009 5:29 PM

Really like Quality Roads chances in the FOY. I see Theregoesjojo, Capt. Candyman Can and Beethoven as main threats. Mark S the Cooler is my long shot sleeper in the Sham. Looking at Smart Bid, Take the Points and The Pamplemousse as top contenders. We shall see!

26 Feb 2009 6:50 PM
Abbie Knowles

I am glad you are better now. I am too big a fan of The Giant, (Giant's Causeway) to give up on Giant Oak just yet.  

Beethoven is a great favorite too and believe he will prove a force to be reckoned with this year. Hope Slew em all is right in his prediction!!!!  

Still hoping Terrain gets back on track in time for the Derby and there is still time but ideally he would be ready to race by now.

Chocolate Candy is smashing and i love his attitude.  He is another I have high hopes for.

Pleased Arrrrr won, I like hearing the commentators calling him home!  One in particular is hilarious!

Hope Obi wan Kenobi does well as he is named after one of my favorite Star Wars characters. Has he raced yet?

To digress and when don't i?  You will be pleased to know that Devotee who finished last in the UAE 1000 Guineas, due to a heart problem, has made a full recovery!  Not only that, she showed the utmost courage and tenacity to win the UAE Oaks at Nad Al Sheba yesterday for Godolphin!  She got cheered home very enthusiastically!  An amazing performance after being so unwell a mere 20 days ago which says a lot for both her and Godolphin.

Incidentally in 41 rides Frankie Dettori has had 15 winners, 8 seconds, 4 thirds and 2 fourths.  An incredible 29 win or placed horses from 41 rides at The Carnival!  Well done Frankie!!!!

I now have some inexpensive speakers so will try and persuade Data to let me watch Jockeys on the link you kindly gave.  Thanks!

Have watched and thoroughly enjoyed the video on my beloved Cigar at the Kentucky Horse Park!

Will work my way through all the others and the stallion ones in time!

Arazi was a great favouirite so am following Congaree. Also Pleasantly Perfect and Medaglio D'Oro and most of all, all of Seattle Slew's dynasty of which there are many!

Is Hellvelyn the ex English grey colt?  If so I really like him!

J J the Jet Plane flew home at Nad Al Sheba today.  He is gorgeous!  His name is fun too!

God Bless

Best Wishes


26 Feb 2009 7:27 PM
m palmer

Here is one for you list:

He is running in the Sham on Saturday. His sire is the only back to back winner of the Breeders Cup Classic. His dam was sired by a son of the Northern Dancer and his fourth dam was sired by Triple Crown winner War Admiral. Ignore at your peril.

26 Feb 2009 9:03 PM

So sorry to hear you were sick there buddy. Glad to hear you're back in the saddle Adam,and keep the blogs coming okay?

26 Feb 2009 9:13 PM

Giant Oak will get Better as he gets older. He Is a GOOD one.

26 Feb 2009 9:21 PM

Don't know if Notonthesamepage can handle the Derby distance, but still, gotta love a speedster! I also happen to be a fan of the Ramsey's, so I tend to support their horses whenever I can. I'm hoping for a big win in the FOY from my boy!

26 Feb 2009 9:58 PM

FOY-Look out of Capt. Candyman Can & a new face-Theregoesjojo.

26 Feb 2009 10:22 PM
MR Rocker

Finally somebody else realizes that Beethoven is going to be there at the end of the Fountain of Youth.. Its his second start off a layoff he cuts back in distance  draws a better post their horse doesn't want be near the lead like he was forced to be in his last race, he wants to close and he has a ton of speed to set it up for him. All the stories i'm reading about the Fountain of Youth and no one is talking about him.. Borel is going to let them all go and pick them up late.. So everybody can bet on Notonthesamepage and capt Candyman I'll take the value with Beethoven. Just a reminder to everybody  he is 2 for 2 at Churchill...

26 Feb 2009 11:21 PM
m palmer

The great old Chinese philosopher Confucius said there is no one blinder than he who refuses to see.  The fountain of Youth contains a horse whose record does not appear impressive at first glance. However, careful analysis does reveal that he has the most foundation of the likely starter and if he takes to the surface, he will win at a big price. Jack Spratt is a May foal and the possibly the youngest in the race. In fact, the unbeaten Taqarub senior’s him by three months. In spite of his late foaling date, he was put through a series of races that baffles the mind. He has made six starts to date, with the first five in three months. On average he started every nineteen days at distances of a mile and longer. If five starts every nineteen days is considered bad for a late foal, then add four different tracks and two different surfaces.  His worst finish came in his third start where he was 7th of 12, beaten 41/2 lengths. It was in the Glll Bourbon Stakes when he was still a maiden and was running against winners. He was beaten by Bittel Road subsequent short price starter in the BC Juvenile Turf. He broke his maiden in his fifth start and ended his 2YO season with a record of (5 starts, 1-1-2-0). The rest he got between his last 2YO start and his 3YO debut was 49 day. It was the longest he had enjoyed since the start of his career. His 3YO debut was in the 100K Dania Beach where he drew post 13 and swung 4 wide in the final turn and got up for an upset victory at 14-1. His final time of 1:35 2/5 had bettered his previous best at the distance of a mile by a full 2 seconds. All but one of JS starts have been of turf. He was a close 2nd in his synthetic debut.

In the FOY he will be taking on two new challenges i.e., a new surface and a new track. His ML is 20-1 and I have no doubt his odds will be longer. On the subject of the new surface, the performances of three horses suggest that JS will have no problem with the transition. This Ones for Phil’s start preceding his victory in the Sunshine Million Dash was on turf. Capt Candyman Can winner of the Hutchison and Beethoven 4th place finisher in the Holy Bull previously raced on turf and synthetic. I cannot imagine the final time for the FOY being more than 1:36 plus. In fact, the celebrated Dunkirk completed a race with a mile split of 1:37 and he is now the derby winner designate.  If Jack Sprat can adds another second to his 1:35 2/5 clocking for the Dania Beach he has the potential winning time. The pace of the FOY is expected to be fast and I expect JS to be there for the melt down. His unbeaten sire Candy Ride and WR holder for a mile (1:31 flat), was faster than the sires of all the other horses in FOY so there is speed in his world class pedigree. His dam sire is son of the uneaten Personal Ensign. He has a high-class pedigree, lot of foundation and his last race shows that he is much improved.

In evaluating horse we should not be blinded by emotions and shackled by traditional evaluation policies.

27 Feb 2009 6:54 AM

m palmer:

so,you're saying we should handicap/pick horses according to their pedigree?...ridiculous!

Again I say...you're analyzing is way overboard.We'll see where JS ends up after the FOY.

There's an old Mexican Proverb that goes:  "you're reaching for something that's not there".

27 Feb 2009 11:56 AM

I say again horses don't know how their bred, they can't read! I can't count how many times I've personally seen a well bred horse run up the racetrack and a ill bred horse go to running and kick ***. If they've got the fire and desire ain't nothing going to hold them back.

27 Feb 2009 10:45 PM
m palmer

Slew.em.All, it is apparent you did not read my entire posting. I highlighted Jack Spratt’s body of work over his short racing career. You have chosen to focus on the portion of my posting that referenced his sire and dam sire. I only highlighted his sire because of the speed that Candy Ride displayed in recording 1:31 flat for a mile and 1:59 flat for 10 furlongs. There is speed in the Jack Spratt’s pedigree so he has the potential to be reasonably close to the pace to capitalize on any pace meltdown. His dam sire being a son of Personal Ensign was mentioned because she was such a fighter and hopefully he has inherited some of her fighting spirit.

What I am highlighting is the fact that this late foal was put through a brutal set of initial races and was only out of the frame once. He has shown toughness and he is and unknown quantity on dirt. He has covered more miles then ever horse in the race and has the foundation advantage. The one, two finisher in the Holy Bull went off at odds of 14-1 and 30-1 respectively. The one two finishers in the Sam Davis went off at odds of 14-1 and 33-1 respectively. Races are not won until the official sign is posted. There are not determined based on past performances. Some horses win at big prices because the things I have highlighted have no significance to conventional handicappers. Has he ever run on dirt? No! How will he perform on dirt? No one knows. His father won on both surfaces. His dam line is not overwhelmingly turf. He could well be better on dirt. He did clock 1:35 2/5 in the Dania Beach. If he capable of running 1:36 plus in the FOY, he has a good shot.

To blatantly dismiss a horse that won its last race in a good time; that has the most foundation of the field; that is unknown on the surface, constitutes refusing to see the potential for an upset. Nobody knows who will eventually win the FOY. I could easily accuse you of being overboard with your analysis as the race is yet to be run. Giacomo entered and won the derby with only a maiden victory to his credit. The following year, his younger brother Tiago entered and won the Santa Anita Derby with only a maiden victory secured in the steward’s room. They were 50-1 and 29-1 respectively. Needless to say I wager on both. JS has been on the board in six of seven starts. He is totally honest and that all we can ask for.

28 Feb 2009 12:23 AM

Wow, after watching the FOY, I have to say even though Beethoven finished third, his race was the most impressive...last at the turn he came up and grabbed second. Then I don't need to add anything about the Sham...I think that race speaks for its self. Everyone needs to add The P-man

02 Mar 2009 8:39 AM

m palmer:

Then why do you reference their bloodlines,i.e..(Candy Ride WR holder at a mile)for JS and (2 time BCC winner Tiznow) for Tiz True,as if it is really that important in predicting the winner of a particular race.Or the date of their birth for that matter..Like someone else said: Horses cant read,they just run to the best of their abilities.You can use pedigrees in handicapping to an extent,but it's not the end all be all.

PS...see what happened in the FOY and Sham Stakes!  I'll stick with my Trip/Class handicapping angle.

02 Mar 2009 10:17 AM

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