Kentucky Derby Trail: Old Fashioned Blunder


Leave a Comment:


  Great article again, and yes we all miss  "Dee Wayne"!!

  Go tell it from the mountain top that some of the onwers who keep sending their mounts to the likes of Pletcher and Asmussen to start thinking that maybe those trainers have too many ducks in their pond and that if they want a golden goose instead a name in a barn among 30 others that Lukas hasn't retired!!

I too wish him the best, but I also don't think that his stable this year is not the strongest.      

  But, I, like you, do worship 'the man'.

09 Apr 2009 9:19 AM

it looks like a very good horse named dunkirk will not make the kentucky derby because he does'nt have the graded earnings what a sad day that will be.

09 Apr 2009 9:36 AM

I agree with Zarvona. Seems like horse owners should give more of the horses to guys like Lucas, after all he has trained Kentucky Derby winners. Pletcher has yet to win a Derby despite the quanity and caliber of horses in his stable. Hopefully D. Wayne's Flying Private will do well enough in The Arkansas Derby to get enough earnings to get him a berth in the Big One May 2nd. I also miss him on Derby Day. Quite a witty character the man is. Good Luck Saturday Wayne!

09 Apr 2009 10:13 AM

Win Willy is undefeated on dirt so there is no reason to believe he won't make it 4 for 4. In the Bluegrass I expect Terrain to wake up and steal the show.

09 Apr 2009 10:39 AM
anti draynay and thong song!

I think dunkirk gets in at the last minute like denis of cork did last year and like denis the menis dunkirk will make some noise!

09 Apr 2009 10:40 AM

Well Steve, don't be surprised with Old Fashioned's trajectory for he still has a legitime chance, especially this year. Have you noticed A point to be considered this year is that there are so many gray aspirants for the Derby this year that I wouldn't be surprised at all if a gray captures this year's Kentucky Derby

09 Apr 2009 11:35 AM

I'm so glad you talked about Lukas! I do miss him. You either loved or hated him,or loved to hate him! But either way the Derby without Wayne is just not the same!

All his assistants went on to become top trainers, that says alot about the man. That being said I'm going with Flying Private,love the pedigree as Im sure Wayne does too. If you speak to him again before D day, tell him he is missed...  

09 Apr 2009 11:52 AM

STEVE: Is there a sublime tip off in here about Flying Private.  He's got genuine Derby pedigree and is improving like a "ripening cherry" at the right time.  If he makes it into the Derby field with "genius" D. Wayne Lukas as his conditioner, he could be the surprise of the party.

OF is coming with all "six guns" blazing to take out "killer" Willy but he'll also have to watch out for Flat Out up the lane.

I think that Theregoesjojo should book his ticket to the Derby in the Bluegrass and still be moving forward in readiness for the 1st saturday in May.  Again Dunkirk's connections could learn something here but let's watch and see.  

09 Apr 2009 12:12 PM

As always Steve you bring that personal element to your stories. I love it. For those of us that have never had the opportunity to hang out in the barn with the big trainers, this is the best gift you can give us. We get to learn the human side of these guys. I have an idea. I think someone could put together some sort of package deal. The kind someone would really pay for. Say, a trip to Kentucky and a couple days following you around the back side of the track. All the money earned could go straight to a favorite charity... say.. Old Friends or the TRF.... I'm not sure how it would all work but I think I'm on to something here.... A dream come true I tell you!!!!!

09 Apr 2009 12:13 PM

Thanks for your warm comments about D Wayne Lukas. I miss him, too, not seeing him in the TV limelight much any more. And he'll always be the top trainer in my book. With his quotable quips and sharp insights into horses, wouldn't he be a great commentator on TVG or HRTV?

09 Apr 2009 12:14 PM

I don't know if this is the right place to comment on this subject, but I'd love to see a Bloodhorse blog dedicated to horses that have left the track. Unlike the classic horses, who retire with fanfare and breeding plan announcements, there are so many claimers and lesser runners who develop a fan base and then leave the track with no trace of where they went or what their lives are like after racing. I believe many fans would use the sight to inquire about those horses and perhaps share some valuable information. I, for one, would really like to know that ever happened to Supah Blitz. Any chance such a blog is in the works?

09 Apr 2009 12:32 PM

D Wayne is a class act.  Every year for a long time at Preakness time, D Wayne would give interviews to the fans attending the "Breakfast at Pimlico" tour.  Not many other big name trainers did that.  One exception: Louis Roussel.  When Louis brought Risen Star to Pimlico he actually took over the tour I was a part of and ushered us all over to his barn to see this hulking monster of a horse.  Pimlico had to alter the stall he was so big.  I will never forget that tour. Getting back on thread, D Wayne is a good example of a guy who understands what good PR can do for this sport.  We need more like him.

09 Apr 2009 12:50 PM
Karen in Texas

This weekend's races will answer a lot of remaining questions. I miss Lukas during Derby week as well! Not sure about Flying Private's chances though.

09 Apr 2009 1:11 PM
The Deacon

Should be an interesting weekend for the Derby hopefuls. Old Fashioned is an interesting horse. He is flying under the radar right now. The problem here is that Old Fashioned is a nice colt but he doesn't seem to have improved moving forward. The top 3 year olds have gotten better, and passed him by including Win Willy who I think will win the Arkansas Derby. Horses like Old Fashioned, Imperial Council, and Vineyard Haven got to a point and stayed there. These other colts were later bloomers. We all know anything can happen in the Derby, history tells us that, but in truth, there are only 5 or 6 really legitimate contenders. That is not say a 50-1 shot won't win the race, but it is highly unlikely.  

09 Apr 2009 1:19 PM

I miss D. Wayne Lukas too. He gives good TV for those of us who only get that close to the races.....

09 Apr 2009 1:34 PM
Matt M.

I thought I was one of the few who got a real kick out of D Wayne off the plane. Hope he gets there! By the way...I like Baffert also...a real character! great article Steve... don't feel bad about Old F., the Derby road spins us all in many a direction. I'm clinging by the fingertips to my early pick of Freisen Fire, but absense certainly makes you start wandering around.....darn that Revenge looked good....he scares me.

09 Apr 2009 2:00 PM

Dear Karen,

The opportunities do exist for spending the morning on the backstretch.  I had the good fortune to get 5 hours during training hours at Monmouth's backstretch a couple of days before the Breeder's Cup for a donation to ReRun New Jersey.  Granted it wasn't escorted by Mr. Haskin.....I'd have paid twice as much for that...Did ya get that Steve? :) But, it was incredible nonetheless. As a bonus,I got to pet Hard Spun and Street Sense.  

Contact or Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (both have chapters in multiple states) or Old Friends and see what suggestions they have.....maybe a group donation could earn you a tour with your friends. If you have never been up close and personal with a champion thoroughbred, I promise it is a thrill of a lifetime!

09 Apr 2009 2:11 PM

Let's wait until after the Arkansas Derby before we write off Old Fashioned. That last race admittedly wasn't one of his better efforts and some of it may be attributable to Ramon's ride. I think he probably got something out of it from a conditioning angle and I expect his best effort this Saturday. We may change our opinions of this horse then.  We'll see.

09 Apr 2009 2:24 PM

The fickle Derby Dozen -- the flavor of the month, the soup du jour.  It's the first Saturday in May that counts.

My Derby trifecta -- Unbridled's grandkids . . . . 1 - 2 - 3!

09 Apr 2009 2:58 PM
Larry Zap co-host race and sports radio

i follow the national road to the derby as close as anyone and for the first time in a long time southern california racing is back...going back to the Hollywood Futurity in December, it's easy to see that Pioneerof the Nile, I Want Revenge and Chocolate Candy all are for real and must be taken seriously...quietly under the radar sits Massone, who connects to these quality colts...Massone since being stretched out to two turns has been very legit having finished very close to Revenge back in November and has run two very representative races against Choc. Candy...Massone is by Menifee, who ran a monster second to Charismatic in the 1999 run for the roses and he is out of a Damascus mare...this means Massone is bred to run all day...Massone has two very energetic mile works coming into the Bluegrass and gets Gomez...bad post and all...WATCH OUT for MASSONE

09 Apr 2009 3:35 PM
Steve Haskin

Karen2, we have a contest up running right now on our video "And They're Off." We askec a trivia question and we will select a winner from the correct answers. The winner gets to spend a Thursday morning before the Derby with Lenny Shulman and I on the backstretch, where you will meetthe Derby trainers and see the Derby horses up close. You can take pictures or video, and afterward we go to breakfast either at Wagner's or the track kitchen, where you you'll see more horsemen. We pick the winner next Wednesday. And there are consolation prizes.

09 Apr 2009 3:58 PM
Steve Haskin

I agree, Larry. I've been following him since he ran second to Majormotionpicture and then I Want Revenge.

09 Apr 2009 4:04 PM
Saratoga AJ

I chatted with Mr. Lucas a couple of times in the Saratoga Clubhouse. And he's a nice friendly guy and a straight shooter. It would be nice if he had an entry in the Derby.

Anxiuos to see who emerges this weekend as serious contenders to add to QR, FF, IWR, Dunkirk, MM, and PotN.

09 Apr 2009 5:35 PM
John C

Steve, another great column. It would be nice to have Lukas back.

However, don't be so sure that "Running on or near the lead and a questionable pedigree normally do not equate to victory in the Kentucky Derby." It's a strategy that has worked extremely well the last decade for War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones, and Big Brown, not to mention near misses like Congaree, Proud Citizen, Lion Heart, Peace Rules, Hard Spun, and Closing Argument.

09 Apr 2009 6:32 PM
Steve Haskin

John, I'm talking about really on or near the pace, like Old Fashioned does. Big Brown came from 6th, Closing Argument came from 6th, Smarty Jones came from 4th, War Emblem was bred to go 1 1/4 miles, as was Funny Cide and Hard Spun. Congaree, Proud Citizen, and Lion Heart (who ran on a speed-favoring sloppy track)were not near-misses, other than finishing second. When I said equate to a victory and you say dont be so sure, and then list six horses who finished second, I dont see how that relates to the word victory. Any horse can finish second. If Old Fashioned can come from 5th or 6th in the Derby he would certainly have a good shot, but he hasnt done that so far.

09 Apr 2009 6:45 PM
Vicki P

Love your "story" articles, they brighten my day.  I have a question: I have had Old Fashioned in my top 5 for weeks now but one thing keeps bothering me. His dosage index is 5.22, which is not what you would like to see for a horse to go the Derby distance.  How important is a horse's DI in your handicapping strategy?

09 Apr 2009 7:20 PM

For once I agree with Dray, I think Terrain will make a showing Saturday in the Bluegrass. I hope so cause I'll have him in my tri's.

09 Apr 2009 8:54 PM
Karen in Indiana

Hi Steve, I like Sky Mesa. If Join in the Dance, General Quarters and Terrain finish in that order, there could be 3 Sky Mesa's in the Derby. Has any sire had 3 or more in the same Derby?

09 Apr 2009 10:05 PM
Sid Fernando


Join in the Dance was trained by a good friend of mine last year -- Kelly Ackerman -- and Kelly asked me to try and sell him after his 2nd in the maiden you referred to. I put him to several big names, and I also put him to Jack Werk for some of his clients. It seemed preposterous at the time to offer the horse off a 2nd, but Kelly told me that the horse hadn't been cranked and still ran well and that there was a world of potential in him. Long story short, someone else bought him, they won the maiden at Saratoga, ran 4th in a stakes, got offered twice as much money as they'd paid for him, and now find themselves in the thick of things.

09 Apr 2009 10:13 PM

Before I comment on how the Derby field is shaping up for me I want to recommend everyone get a copy of the KD Magazine. Some guy named Steve ...something or other wrote a fabulous piece called The People's Horses. You will love it. I like Win Willy on Saturday but I have no idea for the Bluegrass. I really wanted to see Big Drama in the KD but looks like that won't happen. For purely sentimental reasons I want Larry Jones to win.

Removing that from the equation I just keep replaying IWRevenge in the Wood.

09 Apr 2009 10:34 PM
Matthew W

Steve I'd love to see Wayne Lukas in The Derby again--he belongs there! He has a real chance Sat---Lukas is well known for his improving three year olds! Also I thought the Turfway race was legit! Think Kent's guy, bad post and all, will take some beating in Bluegrass--I believe he's undefeated on synthetics....But the Lukas colt has already run well at Oaklawn...He's in there to win/he's my pick!I'll get the form tom and hone in some more, but those two look real good to me...Losing Pamplemousse hurt--tough to see Mr Hot Stuff not draw in...but Dunkirk needs to be in, C'MON! But gosh Steve, even without those the Derby this year looks good! And The Preakness will be choice as well with new challengers! But yes Steve! I think Wayne's got a Derby horse and he'll run big Sat....

10 Apr 2009 5:05 AM

Steve, he should be lower as he does not the pedigree for 10F. He has always been overrated. I could not understand why he was #1 when his victory in the Remsen was achieved against an over matched group. Horses that run slow fractions and win impressively should not be labeled impressive i.e., PONT, IWR, OF. The best horse produced from a Meadowlake broodmare is Henny Hughes and he did rout. Old Fashioned will be badly beaten in tomorrow so you can rest easy.

10 Apr 2009 8:19 AM

Whereas there will be no challenge to your top twelve, your rankings certainly requires rearrangement.  

I want Revenge POTN at #1 is generous. He continues to follow slow fractions for six furlongs i.e., 24, 48, 1:12 and finishes powerfully.  Which top of colts wouldn’t be able to sit in those splits a sprit away in the last two furlongs? The fractions he will face in the Derby will be 2 seconds faster than and he will have to be used to keep in touch he is another Pyro i.e., explosive against week opposition. He couldn’t beat PONT in CA, why do you think he will be him at Churchill? Should be ranked #3

POTN has won three consecutive graded stakes on a surface that should be recording faster time than dirt.  The average derby half mile split is 46 plus seconds. The half miles in the Robert Lewis, San Felipe and SA Derby were, 47.11, 48.60 & 48.65 respectively. You will note that each race the half mile was slower. The average derby six furlongs split is 1:10 plus seconds. The six furlongs splits in the Robert Lewis, San Felipe and SA Derby were, 1:12.18, 1:12.82 & 1:12.32. How can he match strides with your #3 ranked horse whose splits 4 & 6 furlongs splits for the FOY & FL Derby were 45.55, 1:09.40, 46.83 &1:10.66. His late kick will be none existent if he stays close the QR fractions. If POTN allows QR to set slow fractions he has no chance of beating him. That’s his dilemma. Should be ranked #2

Quality Road has the best speed figures going into the derby. He bigger, faster and has the best conditioner of your top three. Without getting into more details  he should be ranked  #1.

Dunkirk has only placed in a tough graded race. There are others that have won two or more graded races. How can he be ranked ahead of them? From a logic standpoint that make no sense. He has to be ridden to get to leaders and will be a tired horse a furlong out. He will turn out to be damaged goods like Stormello & Sharp Humor who ran their hearts out against Scat Daddy and Barbaro in the FL Derby. He belongs at #11

Chocolate Candy is too slow to be ranked above Friesan Fire, Desert Party, Hold Me Back and Musket Man.

He is workman like against weak opposition and never win in good company. Compare his SA Derby performance to that of Hold Me Back coming of a five months respite. HMB had a bad post and experienced traffic problems going into the first turn. He had to be taken six wide and finished much stronger than CC. Should be ranked #8

Friesan Fire should be ranked #4

Desert Party: if this horse is ranked #7 then Regal Ransom should be in your list. Regal Ransom made up six to seven lengths on Desert Party between the January 22 conditions race, the February 12 UAE Guineas and the UAE Derby. In his two losses to Desert Party, he got tied towards the end but that was not the case in the UAE Derby where he was resolute in his gallop. To erase that kind of deficit at a distance presumably more suitable to his stalemate is testament to how improved he is. He is a late foal (May 24)  and with another five weeks to the Derby he will be better colt baring injuries and he will be a hard horse to beat with the addition of the racing medication allowed in the US. Steve Regal Ransom dam sire Red Ransom is a grandson of Hail To Reason. His second dam was sired by Deputy Minister a grandson of Northern Dancer. Hail To Reason has featured in dam line for six Derby winners followed by Northern Dancer with five. In fact, the two grand sires have been involved in three of the last four ‘i.e., Big Brown, Street Sense and Giacomo.  Regal Ransom has within his pedigree two of the most successful dam line in recent Derby history. He was my only Future Pool wager.

Old Fashioned should not be ranked above Musket Man & Hold Me Back. He one dimensional and there is too much speed in the derby for him to make the board. I would save him for the Preakness.

Win Willy Ranked above Musket Man & Hold Me Back. How is this possible? Win Willy was ridden for all he was worth to pass the highly overrated and tiring Old Fashioned. He came from last in a small field that was in reverse. Musket Man has won two graded races and has much higher cruising speed. Musket Man has shown that the derby distance will not be a problem. A deep closer like Win Willy is hopeless against a stalker who can close in the stretch. Hold Me Back won not too smooth graded race of a five months lay off. He is a big lanky colt that covers ground effortlessly and does not require his rider to do overtime to get him going.

Hold Me Back ranked at #12 is amazing. His victory in the Lanes End suggested that if he takes to dirt he will be there when the top placings are being decided.  He moves like a derby winner. Kent had problem pulling him up after the Lanes End which was amazing considering the distance of the race and the fact that he was off for five months. Realistically should be ranked no lower than #5  

When I commented on your previous Derby Dozen I specified that Musket Man should have occupied the position of Imperial Council. I am happy to see that you are no convinced he belongs. This colt has lost one in six starts and has displayed good speed and stamina. How can horses like Dunkirk, Chocolate Candy, Old Fashioned and Win Willy be raked above this colt. You are encouraged again to review his Tampa bay Derby win and you will realize that his ranking is way to low. He belongs no lower than  #7

10 Apr 2009 8:20 AM

Steve as soon as I can get my video to play I will check out that contest. Now that would be fun. My computer is tempermental. I have had problems with those videos for a while now.

Turnbackthealarm: thanks for the info. I can't believe you got to actually touch Street Sense and Hard Spun. I don't know if I have ever told this story on these blogs or not but it is true and looking back quite funny. I am in "sales" and we were at a seminar with a motivational speaker. I was sitting in front and the question asked was "if there is one celebrity you would want to meet, who would that be?" Next thing I knew the micropone was placed in front of me and without a thought I said "Smarty Jones". Talk about a blank stare... from EVERYONE in the room. It was dead silent for a moment.. then laughter and the question "who is Smarty Jones????" Keep in mind I live in the North Pole and I don't think there are 5 people in the state who would know who Smarty was. I explained Smarty had won the Derby, was on his way to the Preakness and I considered him one of the finest athletes I have ever seen. Small in size and tough as nails and he had captured America's heart. Needless to say there was more laughter and he moved on to the next person. My office partner asked me later that day if I had felt "stupid" about my answer and I said absolutely not. I was completely honest and there is not one "human celebrity" I could think of that I would want to meet more than being in the presence of the scrapper Smarty Jones.

10 Apr 2009 10:44 AM
Karen in Texas

Karen2---Loved your 10:44 A.M. post and can really identify with your seminar situation! Have you read Nan Mooney's book, "My Racing Heart"? It really speaks to being true to your racing self in the midst of a world that mostly doesn't get it.

10 Apr 2009 11:39 AM
marc w

Steve I know it is getting close to Derby and you are busy --BUT--

Sometimes you see something and you want someone to know your discovery. Now that I have moved away from live racing except simulcast availability can't tell people who can do something about it.

Maybe you can---I don't get excited about racing on "B" tracks but watch racing everywhere because I like it.

There is a kid/jockey who started riding about 2 months ago --I think?---Maybe has ridden in about 150 races total. His name is Jose L. Vega--trust me I don't know him, how old, nationality, and although I have seen the Arc live, racing in Mexico City, and a great number of tracks in the US and Canada--I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO PENN NATIONAL-so this is not to help promote for any other reason than share what I think I am seeing.

Steve watch this kid---maybe talk to a top agent and get him to watch. Get him out of Penn Nat. before he gets bad habits.

I am not saying he will be another Joe Talamo or Julian Leparoux--but with the right agent he could be leading bug boy on a big stage. He is good from the gate, cool in traffic, and horses seem to run for him.

If I had your email I wouldn't blog it---I just wanted someone to know. Colin Wick --Hawley's agent and was friend of the my father's, then me---but that is past history and I moved 10 years ago to a non-horse racing state and although I have had a number of horses I have only seen them live about for 1 week a year if they run then. I am out of the game in some areas.

Steve--take a look and see if you think I am crazy.



10 Apr 2009 1:05 PM
Steve Haskin

Coldfacts, being you say they "certainly require rearrangement," who am I to argue? I wish I was as sure of everything as you. So, being my rankings are merely opinion and yours are facts and obviously make mine pale by comparison, I will try to rearrange them based on the gospel, in this case yours.

I will say that after watching all of Musket Man's races and studying him more closely, and talking to his trainer for 45 min. and finding out things about the horse I didnt know, I likely will move him up, in spite of his pedigree. I do this in the hope that it meets with your satisfaction.

10 Apr 2009 3:28 PM
Steve Haskin

The dosage index doesnt mean that much anymore, because it hasnt been updated in years. But Old Fashioned's pedigree does have some question marks.

10 Apr 2009 4:03 PM

Thanks Karen in Texas... I have not read that book but I have written it down and plan on it being my next!

Coldfacts: you remind me of Draynay only with longer posts. Posts like yours would be so much more enjoyable to read if they weren't so matter of fact and in your face. You clearly have some good information and know your stuff. Its all in the delivery.

10 Apr 2009 4:09 PM
marc W


Not that you need to be defended.

Coldfacts in the end you may even end-up seeming brilliant---that being said----

On another blog (When they are posted-I have got on the host's black list by rubbing it in and finding his comments incredulous-everytime it is the jockeys or a trip fault) I have been dead-on in each prep not just winners but exactors and tri's ---and I really bet.

You know what?--I can be wrong-even with what I think is the strongest record in print so far.

I have been on FF bandwagon since Jan. I certainly didn't pick Win Willy last time but immediately got 60-1 online after his impressive win in the Rebel. Was it fluke? I will find out? I was not on IC or Desert Party bandwagon ever and still disregard them---If DP wins the Derby I will be WRONG -but not shocked. Quality Road I thought was impressive but there certainly are holes in his card---if you think the track was playing fair????-well???

If you ever went to the races with me you would "maybe-maybe not" be impressed that without a program I can tell you 30 riders or more in different racetracks just by their riding style. Very few can do it. I watch races closely. There are things you see after watching 1000's of races that are things not in the form, in Beyer or the sheets--it isn't---ever--COLDFACTS! What an easy way to riches if it was.

I bet on what I SEE, facts are fine BUT there is much more to it.

Maybe you should take the time to see the works and how horses move over the CD surface? Watch who looks good and off? (That of course is dependent on if you know WHAT to look for.) Who misses a key work or trip to the track.

Pick you you like--and good luck to you--but don't knock others. Yes I will fire away at times but usually due to people making excuses for being wrong that don't exist---EG saying Theregoesjojo would have been second in the FL if he didn't check----please! I have heard that one a few times and how bad a rider that set a years win record, in the Hall of Fame and a 3 time KY Derby winner doesn't ride well--again please! Saying Pletcher is 0-20 something and isn't a great trainer. Those things get under my skin---not someone who truly has a opinion on who will win that doesn't match mine.

Take your Kudos after you're right---not before.

Better yet---put money in your bank acct. and smile with self-satisfaction.

If you want another to disagree with--and this is subject to change after this weekend




4-CC--with a bullet


6-WW--moves to top 3 with a win in AR---if he doesn't-- down graded

7-OF-shaky placing but I had him # 2 until the Rebel



10-Dunkirk--would move to #5 if I thought he gets in

Want a side bet? CC beats MM in the Derby all positions? Not saying he will win the Derby but my money says he hits the super ticket---I am solid on that barring on what the last few weeks present.

10 Apr 2009 4:33 PM

Karen2, going forwards I will condense my views. You will agree that it is only fair that I advise Steve why I disagree with his rankings.

10 Apr 2009 5:32 PM
marc W

Note-News Falsh-Mike Smith will ride Chocolate Candy in the Derby--I was happy with Roserio and would like to see Baze win one, but certainly Smith won't hurt his chances. He will do what is right and not get nervous.

10 Apr 2009 5:33 PM

Steve no offence was intended in my critique of your rankings. If my writing style appears to be in your face kindly accept my apology. I tend to support my opinions with certain facts that I probably overstate. I have specified in each case why I disagree with you. Let me be clear, all I am advancing are ranking opinions citing a different set of facts. My views are certainly not gospel and were never intended to influence your ranking methodology. You have far more knowledge of thoroughbred racing than I do and probably what is being exposed are my limitations. I assume your rankings are heavily weighted to performance. If my assumption is correct, I was puzzled why Dunkirk is ranked above Musket Man who has won three preps compared to his zero. I am also puzzled why West Side Bernie made the cut and Regal Ransom that soundly defeated your #7 ranked colt didn’t make it. RR was considered something special after his debut. In his second start he was the betting favorite in the G1 Norfolk that included Midshipman, Street Hero and other top CA colts. I cannot see WSB beating the high cruising RR with his running style. It is my opinion that RR is more deserving of a spot in your dozen than WSB.  You will be hearing it here for the first time, Regal Ransom will win Derby135.

10 Apr 2009 6:36 PM

Marc W, I am not sure how to respond as it is not clear to me what it is you are trying to communicate.

"Not that you need to be defended"

Your quote above suggests that I have somehow attacked Mr. Haskin. I have nothing but respect for Steve's knowledge and writing skills. The fact that I disagree with some of his rankings and exclusion does not equate to an attack. We are obviously using different evaluation parameters in arriving at each ranking. I concede Steve has far more knowledge that I do and probably I will be eating  a lot of crow when Dery135 is over.

I notice your list excludes Regal Ransom. I implore you to review the UAE Derby and will note how this colt relaxed for the first eight furlong and how resolute he was in the end. He was labeled a star after his debut and his UAE Derby victory is validation of his immense ability. He will not lose Derby 135.

10 Apr 2009 6:56 PM

I like Old Fashioned, I Want Revenge and Friesan Fire but can't decide the order yet.  Love these blogs where we all get to interact and share our opinions.   Can't understand those of you though who try to make others feel stupid or act like you know for sure who is going to win.  There is NO such thing as a sure thing in horse racing-if so, Native Dancer would be an undefeated triple crown winner!

10 Apr 2009 7:15 PM
Steve Haskin

Karen, that would be quite an accomplishment for Sky Mesa. It already is. I doubt that's been in modern times

10 Apr 2009 7:55 PM
Steve Haskin


To answer your comments, in my "opinion" finishing second to the possible Derby favorite in the grade I Florida Derby, and against a speed bias, trumps winning the grade II Tampa and Illinois Derbys against lesser competition.

West Side bernie ran second to the other Derby favorite in a grade I. Red Ransom is being talked about a possible Preakness horse, and his front-running style is not what I'm looking for in the Kentucky Derby. He also won on a speed-biased track. But I will remember where I heard it first that Red Ransom WILL win the Ky. Derby. More cold facts I guess.

10 Apr 2009 7:59 PM
DK Stables

Can't believe it, Coldfacts says it Regal Ransom is for real.  Why he has been ignored, besides Dubai, is beyond me.  If he trained naught.  Very well bred, good pedigree and indeed the best horse coming across the pond.  May not win, but top 3 in Derby, for sure.  Now his odds will plunge.

10 Apr 2009 8:09 PM


That D Wayne Lukas-Bill Finley bet in the 95' Derby most of had them both at the edge of their seats. While Thunder Gulch was ahead of the pack winning the Derby handily, Timber Country and Jumron were battling it out for 3rd. That bet went to the wire, with Timber Country getting 3rd, just 3/4th of a length ahead of Jumron in 4th. Interestingly, Jumron had finished 3rd in the Santa Anita Derby Derby, a half length ahead of Timber Country in 4th. Larry the Legend, the winner of that 4 horse stretch battle in the SA Derby, was injured and, unfortunately, had to miss the Kent Derby. It is easy to forget how popular Larry was in California at the time. Afternoon Deelite, 2nd by a nose to Larry in the SA Derby, found 10 furlongs at Churchill too far, but won his 2nd grade 1 later in the year in the Malibu (won the 94' Hollywood Futurity).

10 Apr 2009 8:26 PM

Steve, just a correction, I posted that Regal Ransom would win Derby135 not Red Ransom.

I did not look at Dunkirk's performance for that angle. I guess that’s why you are paid the big bucks.

I still think a colt that has won at four different tracks; five of six start and three preps carries more weight than a second place finish in to the possible Derby favorite.

Musket Man has won from in front and from off the pace. He clearly is more versatile than Dunkirk. Here is another angle to look at Musket Man in relation to Dunkirk. The extremely slow Stately Character finished 81/2 lengths behind Dunkirk in the FL Derby. It is without question that Musket Man is easily ten lengths better than Stately Character. Where do you think Musket Man would finish In the FL Derby base on that assessment? I looks like second to me.

10 Apr 2009 8:35 PM

steve,we luv d.wayne at oaklawn!when he wins a race he picks a kid out of the crowd to be in the winners circle picture with him.we are proud to have him and his stable run here!good luck to flying private.

10 Apr 2009 8:40 PM

Racingfan, I have stated that Regal Ransom will win the Derby. If he does no,t I will gladly eat a big plate of crow. We are all aware that the winner of the derby is confirmed only after the official sing is posted. Statement like the one I posted only indicate the confidence someone has in their evaluation of the contenders. It’s all fun do not read too much into it.

10 Apr 2009 8:48 PM

I think Lukas and Flying Private have a good shot in the Arkansas Derby. Flying Private was a $700,000 yearling purchase by Fusaichi Pegasus out of an Unbridled mare. He was bred to be good and to get a distance. His Beyers have improved steadily in his last 4 races, from 69 to 77 to 85 to 94 when 2nd in the Lane's End. I really like his tactical speed, and from what I've been hearing, he prefers the real dirt of Oaklawn to the Turfway Polytrack. He should get a good stalking trip behind Papa Clem, and be positioned close to Old Fashioned; I feel he can finish stronger than both of those colts.

I wasn't particularly impressed with Papa Clem's 7 length defeat to Friesan Fire, and have serious doubts about Old Fashioned getting a classic distance. However, I expect a much improved performance from Old Fashioned, and think he can get 9 furlongs. I wouldn't be shocked with a Old Fashioned-Flying Private stretch battle.

I don't think Win Willy is stictly a one-hit wonder. However, the pace for the Arkabsas Derby doesn't shape up to be particularly fast, compromising his late run. Flat Out appears decent, but his Beyers are about 10 lengths slower than Win Willy's Rebel, if that figure is to be believed. Captain Cherokee, Ziegfeld, and Summer Bird do not appear fast enough, and Poltergeist seems to be off-form. Danger to Society has potential, but he is spotting the field alot of class and experience. However, he has a shot to hit the bottom of the trifecta and superfecta.

Based on class, form, and speed, it appears like a 4 horse race between Flying Private, Old Fashioned, Win Willy, and Papa Clem. Flying Private and Old Fashioned have the dege with their tactical speed, and of the two, Flying Private should offer more value. Flying Private to win, Old Fashioned a close 2nd, and Win Willy and Papa Clem battling for 3rd, with one closing and the other trying to hold on. Should be interesting to see if someone jumps up with a big performance here, adding more to an already loaded Derby.

10 Apr 2009 8:49 PM

The Arkansas Derby has an interesting mix of experience and talent.  The most experience contender has made 9 starts and it’s no surprise that he is trained by Mr. Wayne Lukas. The least experienced in the field is Summer Bird with only two starts. Why is he entered in the Arkansas Derby with only a maiden victory to his credit? Probably his connections are crazy. Surely there must be easier opportunities that do not include running a maiden winner against graded stakes winners. Well, folks Giacomo won the Kentucky Derby (51-1) with only a maiden victory to his credit. His brother Tiago, won the Santa Anita Derby (29-1) with only a maiden victory secured in the steward’s room. The connections of Triple Crown winner Sir Barton choose the Kentucky Derby for the maiden colt’s 3YO debut.  Yes, it appear there are a lot of crazy people in the business.

Summer Bird is an interesting entrant from a pedigree stand point. He is inbred in his third generation to Storm Bird of Storm Cat & Summer Squall fame. He must be blessed with stamina as his sire, grandsire and great grandsire all won a leg of the Triple Crown i.e., Birdstone, Grindstone and Unbridled. His dam line is even more interesting. His first dam was sire by Preakness winner Summer Squall; his second by Derby & Preakness winner Alysheba and his third by 1970 English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky.

Some horses have already proven that they can out perform their lass than stellar pedigrees i.e., Win Willy. Others grossly under perform their high profile pedigrees. What has Summer Bird shown in his two starts to provide a basis for assessment? Well if he wins the Arkansas Derby it will be another Win Willy moment so I think it is appropriate to compare their records. Win Willy won his debut at 51/2 furlongs in 1:05. Summer Bird was beaten one length in his 6F debut in 1:11 2/5. Win Willy suffered his only loss in his second start on turf consequently that is thrown out for comparison purposes. He won his third start at 6F in 1:11 1/5. His winning time was only one fifth of second faster than the time that beat Summer Bird who went six wide on his debut. Win will next start in the 1 1/16 Rebel where he went four wide to defeated the celebrated Old Fashioned in a time of 1:44 2/5. Summer Bird second start was also at 1 1/16 mile. He went five wide for a 21/4 victory in 1:44. 3/5.

The last two races for both colts over the Oakland strip are carbon copies in term of final times recorded. However, there is a significant difference between them i.e., Summer Bird has the better pedigree. Most time pedigree means nothing in relations to ability. Summer Bird based on the preceding comparison has some ability, but is it enough for another Win Willy moment? If his unknown ability matches his known pedigree, it is certainly possible. I will be including this unknown colt in my exotic bets as he might be short on experience but he is very long on pedigree.

10 Apr 2009 9:47 PM

! 1/4 IS A LONG WAY TO 'ST LOUIS' I both ran track but NOT a MILE and pole vaulted with an ALUMINUM POLE in High Sc., bot NOT BAMBOO.  KD HORSES DO not jump and few have shown the stamina, let alone the speed to go the distance in 3 weeks. I like the color yellow and ##s 5, i, and 3. FF & CC & IWR for example are prepared now for 9F, not 10. I like the names DON and KIRK too. SO my $2 win bucks are with #20 BIG BROWN!! Who I bet has nothing to do with who I like--Only with who is a FAST CASH MACHINE IN KY ON 5-2. Why NOT try to NAIL the TRI with 1/4th of the gents--LOGIC SAYS TAKE ONLY THE GRAY's/ROAN's.

  Thats what a REAL NOVEL DERBY PLAYER CAN BE A FUNNER WITH in the greatest 2++ minutes of LOVEAPONYFORADAYYEA!!  Lotttaaa  hope to ALL          VAN

11 Apr 2009 12:08 AM
Paseana said:

"From a personal standpoint, here’s hoping Flying Private runs well enough to earn a place in the Kentucky Derby field, because I miss Wayne Lukas."

With Baffert coming with a loaded gun, in my opinion, there couldn't be anything more wonderful than Wayne Lukas being there as well!

I don't think there's been a time on the Derby and Triple Crown trail in the last 20 years that Baffert and Lukas have been needed more.  You can say what you will about these two guys, but the fact is that both of them are clean, and both of them are STARS!

Remember 2002?  Shame on you if you don't!  If Flying Private can make it to the Derby, how underlaid will the exacta be with Pioneerof The Nile & Flying Private be?  "Never again" was what I heard all over the place after 2002......could we see it happening again?

Lukas & Baffert in the Kentucky Derby......we should love it, and we certainly do need it!

11 Apr 2009 4:03 AM

Coldfacts' discussion of Summer Bird's pedigree takes me back to 1990, and the Triple Crown rivalry of Unbridled and Summer Squall. The two horses met for the 1st time before the Kentucky Derby, in the Blue Grass Stakes. Unbridled, a tall and lanky Florida bred, took a while to get going as a 2 year old, but finally started to put it all together at Calder late in 89'. After a tough luck loss in the Fountain of Youth, Unbridled romped in the Florida Derby by 4, although the time was very slow. Summer Squall had been the top 2 year old through the summer of 89', but was injured following his win the grade 1 Hopeful (also won the Saratoga Special, Bashford Manor). Summer Squall entered the Blue Grass off a sharp 2nd to the brilliant Housebuster in the 7 furlong Swale Stakes and a win in the Jim Beam (Lane's End). In the Blue Grass, Summer Squall took advantage of a small field and slow pace and won comfortably with Unbridled 3rd. In the Kentucky Derby, however, Unbridled was able to run down Summer Squall, winning by 3.5 lengths, w/ Summer Squall 6 lengths clear of Pleasant Tap (eventual 92' Eclipse Older Horse). Summer Squall turned the tables in the Preakness, outkicking Unbridled for 2+ length win.

Unfortunately, the two wouldn't meet again until the 91' Pimlico Special when Summer Squall was 2nd and Unbridled 6th to the winner, Farma Way. Summer Squall and Unbridled met 2 more times in 91'; in the Fayette, they ran 1-2, with Summer Squall winning easily, while in the Breeders Cup Classic Unbridled ran 3rd with Summer Squall far back. Summer Squall took the series 4-2, although Unbridled is generally regarded the better horse.

Has it really been almost 20 years since the Unbridled-Summer Squall Triple Crown? Is Summer Bird really Unbridled's great-grandson? Time can fly.

How ironic that Summer Bird is descended from both Unbridled and Summer Squall. I agree that Summer Bird has some potential, but he is giving away tons of experience and will be facing a huge jump up in class. Although the final time of his maiden score was just about the same as the time in the Rebel, Summer Bird's Beyer for that race was 24 points lower (about 14 lengths) than Win Willy's Beyer in the Rebel (102-78). The Beyers indicate that the Oaklawn track was much, much faster on the day of Summer Bird's maiden race than it was on Rebel day. If one gives Beyer figures any creadence, Summer Bird just appears too slow to win today. As an underneath play, however, I suppose he has a shot.

11 Apr 2009 4:57 AM


Many thanks for the information regarding the rivalry between Summer Squall and Unbridled. I am aware that Summer Bird is a long, long shot based on his speed figures. However, I have been around this game long enough to know that young horses can improve 10 lengths after a race. A number of horses win big races at big prices because their speed figures were deemed unfavorable. This colt went five & six wide respectively in his two starts. He lost a lot of lengths with those wide trips but what is important is that he kept closing. He has shown that he can at least run 1:11 plus for six. He is no sprinter and this 9F race is right up his pedigree tree.  

At many of our annual yearling sales, young horses with known pedigrees and unknown abilities command hundreds of thousands of dollars. Purchasers take big gambles buying these untried horses. Summer Squall has excellent distance pedigree and has shown ability.  My gamble will be on his unknown ability that likely to be immense if he has inherited the dominant genes of multiple classic winners comprising his pedigree.

11 Apr 2009 9:17 AM

Steve, I have a question:  Are the slow fractions in prep races with potential Derby horses because their trainers DON'T want them to run themselves out and save something for the Derby?  Can that explain why the fractions are so slow from such well bred horses?

Thanks for this blog - I learn so much.  To Karen in Texas: I bought 'My Racing Heart.'  I love racing books.  To Karen2: my pick to meet would be Curlin - WOW!! would that be a memory of a lifetime.

Thanks to all on this blog for your tips as I'm all by my lonesome in a non-racing state.

11 Apr 2009 10:04 AM

I can't believe I had missed the news somewhere along the line that Alysheba had been euthanized. Wow!!! I remember that Derby like it was yesterday. I enjoyed the Alysheba/Bet Twice rivalry. We just seemed to welcome him home and now he is gone. The racing heavens sure have a deep field. The racing must be spectacular. RIP Aly!

11 Apr 2009 10:17 AM

Mr. Fantasy posted a blazing 4 furlong workout at Belmont in 47.08 yesterday.

It was the fastest of 25 workouts at that distance, a full 1.02 seconds faster than the next best horse (about 5 lengths).

His next start is the $150,000 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on April 25th.  If all goes well, his handlers are considering the Preakness, racing's 2nd crown jewel along the Triple Crown trail.

11 Apr 2009 10:34 AM

I had Old Fashioned at the top of my list from the start and even though there has been a monsterous display of talent elsewhere that has, admittedly, planted a seed of doubt in my mind, my heart isn't ready to give up on him yet.  My stomach is in jitters just thinking about how important today is for him.  It's really wonderful though that there are so many contenders to argue over.  Fingers crossed, Old Fashioned, Boy!

11 Apr 2009 12:53 PM
Matthew W

D Wayne rises! Today at Oaklawn! Box with Old Fashioned/play Flying Private win/place.....Also will play Hold Me Back win/place at Keeneland, boxing with Go Go and Big Mac...gosh, wouldn't it be great to see D Wayne Lukas and Ron MacInally in the Kentucky Derby this year? Great maybe--unless it keeps Dinkirk out (probably will).....

11 Apr 2009 12:57 PM
For Big Red

TO GUNBOW: In your 10 Apr 2009 8:49 PM post, you wrote, "I wasn't particularly impressed with Papa Clem's 7 length defeat to Friesan Fire, and have serious doubts about Old Fashioned getting a classic distance."

Papa Clem's win in today's Arkansas Derby sure makes Friesan Fire look good. As for Old Fashioned, it's now clear he's a good horse who probably would be better off aimed at sprints and distances of no more than a mile. The colt has a very quick type of action. If his connections finally get smart, they could have the next champion sprinter in their barn.

Also, isn't it about time those connections finally pay attention to their only true Derby horse, Friesan Fire?

11 Apr 2009 8:13 PM

I don't feel that good about Old Fashion anymore.  I love that horse.  I feel that he is running too much.  He didn't need to run today.  He needs rest.  :-(  Such a beautiful horse.  He doesn't have a whole lot of time to rest before the first Saturday in May.  I have a lot of respect for Larry Jones.  I wonder who made the decision to run that horse so close to the Derby when he didn't need to run.  I just want him safe.  He is such a good horse.  

11 Apr 2009 8:22 PM

Well after today, I feel a lot different about these horses.  I think Chocolate Candy will hit the win and I think that Quality Road won't be in the Derby.  I just feel that with OF, he is being run too much.  Win Willy too.  Why run those horses this close to the Derby?  They already have a spot in the Derby.  They need their rest.  Me and my mother hen instinct.  I just feel that horses need more than 3 weeks in between races.  Really the Kentucky Derby?  My Gosh, they need their strength.  Old Fashion really is a good horse.  Twice now, second.  I don't know.  He used to be my pick.  I think he will come in the money but not the win.  Maybe 3rd or 4th.  Maybe.  

11 Apr 2009 8:29 PM

Papa Clem came through, and joins IWR, POTN, ChocCandy.  I only hope Ziegfeld is ok (oh gosh).  RIP Nick Adenhart, we love you.

11 Apr 2009 8:32 PM

Just read that Old Fashioned suffered a slab fracture in the Arkansas Derby today and is shipping to Rood and Riddle in KY for surgery tomorrow.  Non-life threateneing but could very well be career ending according to Larry Jones.  OF tried hard today.

11 Apr 2009 10:29 PM

Old Fashioned and Quality Road will cancel each other out in the Derby.

I Want Revenge and Dunkirk will be the horses to beat.

I Want Revenge.

11 Apr 2009 11:50 PM

For Big Red:

I still am not impressed by Papa Clem's 2nd in the Louisiana Derby. He was beaten 7 lengths with a 90 Beyer. However, on Jason's blog I provided a more extensive preview in which, having thought about it more, picked Papa Clem to run 3rd. So, I am not "surprised" to see him win". Please, see my other post as I was much more positive atowards Papa Clem. For me, the impressive race for Papa Clem wasn't that 2nd in the Louisiana Derby, it was the 2nd in the Bob Lewis, a half length behind Pioneer and ahead of I Want Revenge.

As for Friesan Fire, the Louisiana Derby also-rans have had mixed results. While Papa Clem came out of the race to win, Giant Oak ran moderately for 2nd in the Illinois Derby, while Terrain, Patena, and Free Country have since run out of the money. Additionally, Nowhere to Hide, a Risen Star also ran, has finished out of the money in  his last 2.

I have Friesan Fire rated 4th, behind IWR, Quality Road, and Pioneer; he definitely has a good shot to win the Derby, as I respect any horse that can win 3 straight graded stakes. The 7 weeks is the question for me.

12 Apr 2009 1:03 AM

I liked the performances of General Quarters, Hold Me Back, Papa Clem, and even Old Fashioned. However, it does appear that Old Fashioned is not going to thrive at 10 furlongs. I had the other 3 ranked in my 4th tier going into the day, and now have them in the 3rd tier.

I have I Want Revenge and Quality Road at the top tier, as I believe they are the fastest and most talented runners. However, they are far from a sure thing, and I think other horses have a solid shot as well. My 2nd tier is Pioneer of the Nile, Friesan Fire, and then Dunkirk.

My 3rd tier is bulky, and includes Papa Clem, General Quarters, Hold Me Back, Musket Man, Chocolate Candy, West Side Bernie, and Old Fashioned. I think the Dubai horses, Regal Ransom and Desert Party also belong here, but I am very skeptical of the Dubai to Kentucky route. Those 2 would have to train very well to sway me, although I do think they are quality colts.

That's 14 possible starters right there. Not only do I think this crop has some potential superstars, but this is a very deep crop as well. I really wouldn't be stunned if the any of the 3rd tier horses were to win the Derby, although it takes alot to really shock me when it comes to horse racing. In addition to the horses mentioned above, there are other, promising lightly raced horses like Mr Hot Stuff, Mr Fantasy, Just a Coincidence, Kelly Leak, and Summer Bird.

12 Apr 2009 1:20 AM

For Big Red:

Also, the reason I wasnt impressed with Papa Clem in the Louisiana Derby is not because he finished 2nd to Friesan Fire, it was because he was beaten by 7 lengths; it was the margin of the defeat I didn't like not the horse that beat him. I havent written anything negative about Friesan Fire, and have had him ranked in my top 4 since the Louisiana Derby. I have written repeatedly that I respect any horse that can win 3 straight graded stakes. Papa Clem certainly flattered Friesan Fire in the Arkansas Derby, but the other Louisiana Derby also-rans have not fared nearly as well.  But, yes, when others ask "who as he beaten", the answer for Friesan Fire is the winner of a million dollar race.

As it concerns the 7 week layoff, I'm not sure what to think. The key will be how he trains, but I would think he will be given some fairly serious morning exercises. Hopefully, Steve can help with interpretting his works.

In terms of horses being flattered by the results of other races, Pioneer of the Nile is on top. To the question, "who has he beaten?", the answer for Pioneer of the Nile is very impressive. There is I Want Revenge, Papa Clem, and Chocolate Candy; those 3 horses have combined for 5 wins and 2 seconds in their next 7 starts after having faced Pioneer of the Nile. Included among these victories are the grade 1 Wood, grade 2 $1million Arkansas Derby, grade 3 Gotham, grade 3 El Camino Real Derby, and the $100,000 California Derby, along with 2nds in the grade 2 Louisiana Derby and the grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.  Additionally, Massone, 2nd in the El Camino Real, ran a good 3rd in the grade 1 Blue Grass. If Pioneer takes to dirt, he will be a major force in the Derby.

12 Apr 2009 1:42 AM

Unfortunately, Old Fashioned is out of the Derby and his career may be over. He suffered a fracture to his knee during the Arkansas Derby. It puts a whole new light on the stretch run of the Arkansas Derby. Good luck in recovery. Sadly, he will probably not be the last Derby hopeful to fall to injury.

12 Apr 2009 2:28 AM


It looks like your intuition about Old Fashioned was spot on.

I think his experience with Eight Belles has led Larry Jones to be very conservative with Friesan Fire, something which will only be reinforced with the Old Fashioned injury.

12 Apr 2009 2:31 AM

For Big Red:

While I remain unimpressed with Papa Clem's 2nd in the La Derby, I am impressed with the horse overall. Evidently, Papa Clem was not supposed to be on the lead in the La Derby, and the connections believe he didn't care for the slop. The Arkansas Derby was his first start on a fast dirt track. In my opinion, Papa Clem's 2 best performances were his Arkansas Derby win (obviously) and his 2nd in the Bob Lewis, when ahead of I Want Revenge. Those 2 performances place him with horses like Musket Man, Chocolate Candy, General Quarters, Hold Me Back, and West Side Bernie. And while I am not impressed by how Papa Clem and the other La Derby also-rans performed in that race, I fully respect Friesan Fire, and recognize that part of the reason those other horses looked so bad is that Firesan Fire ran THAT well.  

12 Apr 2009 2:50 AM

I went to the local harness track here in the Detroit area tonight, and thought the thoroughbred audience would be amused/intrigued by some of the horses' stats, particularly in light of Old Fashioned's untimely injury.

The following stats are organized:  Horse(age)  starts-wins-places-shows

Blue Oxfords(13) 332-80-59-58

JC(13)  308-92-68-50

Kel's Comet(12)  301-57-45-31

Bold Adventure(11)  264-40-44-51

Johnny G Thats Me(9)  206-41-35-27

Talon Seelster(9)  177-47-28-15

Pacific Titan(10)  173-29-29-15

Johnny Made Her(7) 164-32-30-14

12 Apr 2009 3:06 AM
Matthew W

much more impressed with General Quarters today--that horse will get the Derby Distance! He ran like a real pro today--that's important--he's won two graded two-turn races and thats one more than Quality Road and two more than Dunkirk and he'll be double/triple their odds! Loads of contenders this year! Hold Me Back is another with a real shot--think I Want Revenge will be the only guy under 6-1....

12 Apr 2009 6:34 AM

Well I got the news this morning about Old Fashion.  :-(  

Well now he won't be running the Derby.  Old Fashion sorry big guy.  I hope you get well fast and your leg starts to heal.  Such a beautiful horse.  

12 Apr 2009 11:55 AM

I can't believe the luck of Larry Jones. OF is off the trail due to a slab fracture in his knee, sustained in the AK Derby. They said it may be carree ending. What an absolute shame, he could've gone on to become a very good horse. My condolences to Larry and the rest of the OF team, and good luck.

12 Apr 2009 12:13 PM

Like him or not, one cannot deny Wayne's presence in the idustry. Enjoyed your article, Steve.

Laura P.  (formerly Lukas)

12 Apr 2009 1:28 PM

Old Fashioned out, probably for the rest of his careeer.  Pamplemouse...possibly the same thing. Such wonderful, talented colts suffering such injuries so soon in their careers. Something has got to give.

not impressed with the race yesterday. Didn't see anything spectacular.

12 Apr 2009 2:30 PM

Better rephrase my comment. I was impressed with what I saw yesterday out of Old Fashioned. He has a big heart. I wasn't impressed with the outcome and his career ending injury. Papa Clem could be a horse that flies in under the radar and beats everyone in the derby.

12 Apr 2009 2:38 PM
Travis L

What determines when a blog is taken off and or a new one added. Just curious why the Bluegrass and Arkansas Derby was taken off so fast. Wrong picks?

13 Apr 2009 8:35 AM

So... Win Willy and Papa Clem beat Old Fashioned who was distance challenged and these two horses should be considered for the Derby why ???

13 Apr 2009 8:58 AM

Dray... because "anything can happen in the derby". I believe it was a trainer by the name of Nick Zito that made that comment or one similiar to it. If QR was the foregone conclusion we wouldn't need to run the race. We could just all show up that first Saturday in May and watch him gallop around the track. If I recall you had stated Win Willy would win the Arkansas. He didn't even show up. Old Fashioned battled to take second in a race run with fast splits and he suffered an injury. We need the competition. It just makes the derby and the winner so much more sensational.QR will face a tough field.

13 Apr 2009 10:17 AM
Marc W


OK Win Willy lost--could have gave him points had he caught the former 15K claimer as they ran about the same race-but he wasn't gaining on him. My early Derby bet is appearing to be toast--took a shot ---lost. (Funny I put this on the other blog and it didn't make the cut-since I have been somewhat high on WW-I guess the comment about having humility and saying I was wrong without using excuses killed it.)

The Blue Grass results makes ColdFacts MM comments appear better, also makes FL Derby look bad if Theregoesjojo was a top contender. It was poly so jury out.

Funny, I like Regal Ransom better than Desert Party but think they will receive a good bath for all the dirt on them after the Derby, not roses. Red Ransom as WELL AS Regal Ransom are names used in the past---there was a Canadian horse years ago named Regal Ransom-I am pretty sure. 25 year name recycling in effect.

Now on to the works--one more point-not choosing the right-wrong of either argument Tampa Derby win vs Wood 2nd value point wise. Will say this though and would love to bet on it

Kelly Leak who ran in neither will have double to triple the money of West Side Bernie at the end of the year because they are managing the horse properly. I am probably the biggest fan of going for the money and not destroying a horses spirit and will to win by getting their A--kicked running them against the nuts. As a true gambler I even play cards on occasion--I am not bad--the guys at work kicked me out of the game because I won 7 weeks in a row and the cigar club I go to-I can't seem to get in a game anymore after a few wins. Saying that, I certainly couldn't sit down with good players and win. I knew that quite a while ago but needed to re-enforce that so last year while at Prairie  Meadows after the races I sat down at a low limit table-a couple hours later and $900 up I went to a higher stakes one--they read me like a book and I walked out minus $40. Its good to know where you fit well. Kelly Leak will have a million besides his name and his owners can invest in a number of horses next year. Those chasing dreams of grandeur will have 2009 KY Derby program souvenirs with their name on it.  

13 Apr 2009 11:54 AM

Interesting post Marc W. Its always fun to see things from the gamblers side. As someone who doesn't bet, there are many angles that aren't even considered when trying to choose the winner.

13 Apr 2009 1:38 PM


    OF ran that race and came out with a fracture in his knee. To run like he did with a fracture is remarkable. I wonder how badly he would've beanten the field had he not been injured. It is a shame he got injured, and anything this horse has done should not be diminished.

13 Apr 2009 3:44 PM
Tattenham Corner

I liked GunBow's perspective on the difference between harness racing and the thoroughbreds.  Few t'breds today would ever achieve one tenth of those stats--incredible! Is polytrack making any difference or is it too early to tell?

22 Apr 2009 10:43 AM

Recent Posts



Social Media

More Blogs