Mike Smith + Giacomo = Chocolate Candy


If one of my favorite bands of all time is The Police, then why can't one of my favorite sweets of all time win...Chocolate Candy? Truthfully I expect Pioneerof the Nile or Quality Road to win the derby.

Photo: S. Dorman
Caption: Giacomo

Many of you have negative thoughts on closers in the race with no "speed" represented in the Derby this year. I am still going to cheer for Chocolate Candy. For me, this year is truthfully going to come down to one word: Paddock. I will have to see the horses in the paddock this year to really judge who will be in good shape in a matched field of competition. How do you plan on using pace in your handicapping for the Kentucky Derby?

Scouting the competition with my favorites:

The tool I am using is our neat horse profile feature. These profiles list the horse's information, and stories related with the horse.

1   Pioneerof the Nile   $1,193,250 (last three races 3-0-0)

Being an Empire Maker is a big advantage for me in picking this horse. I love Empire Maker. The experience of Baffert and Gomez will be a great advantage in the Derby this year. Baffert is officially in the hall of fame. It is a sign that he is going to cement his legacy.

Gary Stevens said on HRTV's Pursuit of the Crown, Pioneerof the Nile had no problems working on dirt and weather didn't bother his work either. He will get the mile and quarter from what I can see.

Pedigree Profile by Alan Porter

Chocolate Candy  $370,000 (last three races 2-1-0) Trainer: Hollendorfer Jockey: Mike Smith

This horse grabbed me as a two-year-old so I am sticking with him. Meeting Chocolate Candy's dad this past winter, and knowing how well Candy Ride's 3-year-olds are doing this year, Chocolate Candy has an advantage. I think pace will appear in the race, and help with a set up in the stretch. It has been a big year for Candy Ride's offspring.

Pedigree Profile by Avalyn Hunter


Quality Road (Elusive Quality)  $600,000 (last three races 2-1-0) Trainer: James Jerkins

The "Giant Killers" revenge via son James Jerkins. Quality Road just has a spark I like.

Pedigree Profile by Alan Porter


4    Friesan Fire $570,465 (last three races 3-0-0) Trainer: Larry Jones

An A. P. Indy who is 3-0 and is trained by Larry Jones. That is enough to boast, even with a 7 week layoff.

Pedigree Profile by Avalyn Hunter

I Want Revenge  (Stephen Got Even) $774,000  (last three races: 2-0-1)  Jockey: Joe Talamo

After watching a few interviews by people who have surrounded Joe, from jockeys to trainers, they seem confident he is Derby ready. I previously counted him out due to his rookie status in the KY Derby. Now I have been put at ease and feel if he races this like any other race, he will do fine...the question is can he handle the pressure and lime light, but I think he can.

Pedigree Profile by Avalyn Hunter

6      Mr. Hot Stuff    (last three races 1-0-2) $114,000

A tiznow and full brother to a favorite Derby pick of mine last year, Colonel Jon. Yet Mr. Hot Stuff will be a price and has what it takes to finish in the money.

7        General Quarters          $595,645

8        Musket Man                 $485,000

9        Hold Me Back              $438,000

10        Dunkirk                        $150,000  (not enough graded experience for me)


We are launching an exclusive video series of Past Derby Winners. New video added daily, one of the horses featured is Giacomo. Check our video portal every day for the newest video to watch. I believe there are 8 in all. Then start watching for daily news minutes and special Derby episodes of our weekly shows!

Photo: S. Dorman
Caption: Giacomo


Radio Time:

 Check out some of us on the radio...

Tuesday, April 28:
The Francene Show. Steve Haskin will appear on WHAS 840 AM at 11:10 a.m. ET (11:10-11:30). Steve will discuss all things Derby… history, behind the scenes, great moments, etc. To listen to the live stream, visit: http://whas.com/main.html  Click on the “Listen Live” button.

Thursday, April 30:
ABC/ESPN Radio Affiliates across the country. Steve Haskin will appear on several ESPN/ABC Radio affiliates at 5:30 ET (5:30-6:05 ET approx.) Steve will preview the Kentucky Derby as part of an ABC “radio tour” (speaking to 3-4 stations across the country for 8 minutes each).
Schedule of specific stations TBD on Wed., April 29 by ABC.

Friday, May 1 – Oaks Day:
The Francene Show. Jason Shandler will appear on WHAS 840 AM at 10:35 a.m. ET (10:35-10:55). Jason will handicap the Oaks field. To listen to the live stream, visit: http://whas.com/main.html Click on the “Listen Live” button.

Saturday, May 2 – Derby Day:
WGSO Sports with Sports Director Ken Trahan. Dan Liebman will appear on WGSO 990 AM in Louisiana between 10-11 a.m. CENTRAL TIME. (9-10 ET)  To listen to the live stream, visit: http://wgso.com/home/listen-now.html


Leave a Comment:


Nice pics but he's got a head only a mother could love!

I like that your waiting to see them in the paddock. Smart move cause like I said on Jason's site it's a gong show and a few of them might not take it well.

I still like Square Eddie and I think I'll hook him up with Dunkirk if he handles the crowd okay. Haven't decided on anything else but hey I've got a week and I'm headed south to see the in-laws and will watch the Derby at the local track there.

27 Apr 2009 3:59 PM

SO glad to see that Mr. Hot Stuff is incleded in your favorites.  I'm really disappointed that Quality Road won't be running in the Derby, but it's for the best.  I'm sure we'll see big things from him in the coming months, but MHS is really getting a great jockey in Johhny V.  I think he's sitting on a very big race, and John will get the best from him.  Also more pace for closers if Join The Dance comes to the party!!  

27 Apr 2009 4:54 PM

One month ago, one week ago, and still today, I like "I Want Revenge" & "Chocolate Candy". I will be keying both on top, in the exotics, reversing in partial wheels, with savers to win.

The bottom of my exotics will be made up of the other "Slew Blood" with emphasis on "Dunkirk" & "Friesan Fire" in 2nd, 3rd, 4th spots, running for 3rd & 4th with "Hold Me Back", "Pioneer of the Nile", and the Saeed bin Suroor horses.

Best with your picks and as the Packman says, May the Horse Be with All of You.  

27 Apr 2009 6:14 PM

I know this doesn't mean anything...yet..unless CC wins the race... but I had a dream last week that CC won the derby and Candy Ride became a household name. The wierd thing is I never even gave this horse a second thought so we might be on to something. After sitting bull made that prediction a few weeks back heck....I'm convinced anything is possible. He says the winner will  have double digit odds. Is it CC he is referring to???????

27 Apr 2009 9:41 PM

FYI I wrote this post before leaving for Louisville, so I do know that QR is out and so I will put Advice on my list now as number ten.

27 Apr 2009 10:44 PM

I had Giacomo to win when he won his Derby.  Thanks for the pictures.  He is beautiful like his

dad Holy Bull.  This year I am pulling for Fresian Fire to win.

27 Apr 2009 11:05 PM

Karen2, I hope you're right! I love Candy Ride & have thought he was the best bargain going in the breeding shed and that anyone who put their faith in him as a stallion would be going on the "ride" of their life!

I'm also thrilled that my other 2 favorite young stallions are doing so well, Medaglia D'Oro and Birdstone...

28 Apr 2009 9:50 AM

kevin: I like your exotics, it sounds very similar to the betting angles I will be going for.

Wanda: I will be waiting for u to tell me what you think of each of the horses in the paddock...so after the derby let me know what you saw

Speedball: I think your wish is granted and Join In The Dance is coming.

Karen2: A coworker had a dream once, and it seriously came true about  last years triple crown. So I will just have to bet even more money on CC now =)

Bettye: I am glad you liked the photos, we have a Past Derby Video coming of him soon! I hear it is amazing.

28 Apr 2009 11:50 AM

Serious Adam? Are you going in person cause I'm watching it on the little screen. I'd be concerned with any of the lightly raced ones not handling the noise/crowds etc. If they are to punchy or washed out I'd be wary.

28 Apr 2009 4:50 PM

The Derby is between Papa Clem and Chocolate Candy.2 horses that are coming into the race with the right stuff! Also watch out for Flying Private.He could be the Giacomo of this year's Derby!

30 Apr 2009 2:48 PM

Adam I watched the Derby with the family here in Lethbridge on HD TV. Great picture anyway the only horse I saw that was shook up was Mr. Hot Stuff. Really the rest of them were pretty cool customers. What a shame Dunkirk broke so poor and Friesan Fire grabbed a quarter.

I still like Dunkirk down the road cause he showed alot maturity running on after the break and stitting mid-pack getting mud on his face.Friesan Fire had every excuse in the world to run bad on an injury and hopefully it will heal up in a month. They can be hard to heal if the hoof itself is involved. All in all a good day with family and friends. Talk to you later when I get home Monday.

03 May 2009 7:29 PM

I vote for ANYTHING with the words 'chocolate candy' in it! Excellent article!

04 Jun 2009 11:56 AM

Recent Posts

Recommended Reading

Social Media

More Blogs