Kentucky Derby Trail: Derby ProMo

It is now 2011 and that means we have officially embarked on the Kentucky Derby trail. Here in the East it’s been difficult to see even the slightest hint of rose blossoms buried beneath 20-30 inches of snow drifts. But, heck, they’ve already run the first Derby prep (the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct), and Florida and California will soon follow suit, so you know the trail has begun, regardless of whether you tread upon it in snow boots or sandals.

This year will be a bit different from other years, because the magical name “Kentucky Derby,” that normally stands on its own, has had to share top billing with that glorious, yet cursed phrase, “Triple Crown.” Instead of each step on the Derby Trail being examined with a magnifying glass, it is apparent that many racing fans are already looking ahead with a telescope, beyond the Derby and beyond the Preakness.

The reason for this broad outlook and bold optimism is this year’s hit show “The Horse From U.N.C.L.E.” Whether you refer to him as super hero or super steed, it looks as if Uncle Mo will have to carry around a burden unlike anything seen since Arazi nearly two decades ago. Arazi, however, was cloistered away in the forests of Chantilly and remained phantom-like until his much-awaited arrival in Louisville. Uncle Mo will have his every move analyzed and scrutinized by those either trying to lift him to the gates of the pantheon or drag him back down to earth.

His Facebook page already has a series of photos of him and his adoring owner Mike Repole sharing some tender moments together down at Palm Meadows.

As we discovered with another red-hot 2-year-old, War Pass, you never know how a young horse will make the transition from 2 to 3, so that first start back, likely in the Tampa Bay Derby, will be an important one.

He’s scheduled to have only two starts prior to the Derby, as is his main threat To Honor and Serve, a trend that has been prominent for several years now in this new conservative era of training. It’s worked for several Derby winners recently, but how will having such little foundation affect a horse’s chances of remaining in top form throughout the Triple Crown? It’s still too early to tell.

As everyone knows, it’s a long road to Kentucky, and there are always promising colts emerging by the week. So, let’s see just how this crop of 3-year-olds is shaping up. It is too early to start ranking them, so we will just begin by rating them (1-10) based mainly on the three “Ps” -- performance, potential, and pedigree.

The first ranking will be the initial “Derby Dozen” the first week in February. This is more of an early scorecard, with the horses listed in alphabetical order. Yes, there will be some that perhaps should be on here that aren’t, but you’re always going to miss some.

ALTERNATION -- A late add, but what a sleeper. By Distorted Humor, out of a Seattle Slew mare, he closed like the proverbial freight train to finish third in his debut at Remington and then made an explosive move from six lengths back to win by seven going a mile and 70 yards, also at Remington. He's training at Oaklawn for Donnie Von Hemel and his next start will tell a lot. Rating: 6.

ARCHARCHARCH – The main thing to like about him is the fact that he won the six-furlong Sugar Bowl Stakes impressively in good time while still a maiden, despite having a distance-oriented pedigree (by Arch, out of a Woodman mare with second dam by Nureyev). His biggest obstacle could be his name. Rating: 5.

ASTROLOGY – Big, handsome colt by A.P. Indy, out of a Quiet American mare, trained by Steve Asmussen. Inbreeding to Round Table gives him additional stamina. Impressive winning the Iroquois (gr. III), then beaten fair and square in the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at 7-10. Still has to show he’s fast enough. Rating: 7.

AWESOME PATRIOT – Bob Baffert has a talented stayer in this son of Awesome Again, out of an unraced full-sister to Tiznow. After a solid third in the Hollywood Prevue (gr. III), he came back to gamely defeat a tough opponent in Riveting Reason in a one-mile allowance race at Santa Anita, coming home his final quarter in :24 3/5. Rating: 7.

BEAMER -- This son of Vindication, trained by Carl Nafzger, easily broke his maiden by 5 1/2 lengths at Tampa Bay going a mile and 40 yards in his second start. Solid enough female family; like the obscure Quack in his fourth generation. Rating: 4.5.

BIONDETTI – Who knows when we’ll see this Godolphin colt next, but his fourth in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) following a victory in the group I Gran Criterium suggests he’s a colt with a good deal of promise. He’s by Bernardini and his dam is by Lyphard, out of the top-class Proud Delta, one of those hard-knocking Danada Farm runners. He is a handsome colt and looks to have all the right tools. Preparation is the big question mark. Rating: 6.

BLACK N BEAUTY – The son of Devil His Due is showing tremendous improvement with every start. After a decent fourth first time out, he was beaten a half-length by the highly touted Brethren in 1:08 4/5 at Belmont before breaking his maiden by 2 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs going 6 1/2 furlongs. Trained by Dale Romans and owned by Zayat Stables, he was bought at the Keeneland yearling sales for a paltry $2,500. Rating: 6.

BOYS AT TOSCONOVA – The talent certainly is there, but that Officer – Valid Appeal cross does not exactly shout stamina. He does have two other doses of In Reality from that stallion’s stamina influences – Relaunch and the mare Hat Brim, a half-sister to Francie’s Hat, who was placed second in the Kentucky Derby on the disqualification of Dancer’s Image. All that In Reality (a strong inbreeding influence) should help him in the long run. We know he’s brilliant -- he ran a strong second to Uncle Mo in the BC Juvenile, despite not having run since winning the Hopeful. Also have to respect Rick Dutrow, who has been downright giddy raving about this horse. Rating: 7.5.

BRETHREN – This half-brother to last year’s Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver could be any kind following two victories in his first two career starts, the last one going a mile in allowance company at Churchill Downs. He also broke his maiden at Belmont in a sharp 1:08 4/5, beating Black N Beauty, who came back to break his maiden impressively. He seems to have everything going for him, including an off-the pace style of running. Rating: 7

BUFFUM – If you can forgive his poor effort in the Remsen after a horrendous trip into the first turn, then he could be a sleeper. Son of Bernardini won a good mile maiden race at Belmont and deserves another chance. Waiting to see him on the work tab. Rating: 5

CASPER'S TOUCH -- Son of Touch Gold has a ton of stamina top and bottom, and you had to love his one-mile maiden score at Churchill Downs in his first start since finishing third in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot. He returned to the races five months later at Churchill and rated nicely off the pace, then drew off in the final furlong to win by 2 1/4 lengths for Kenny McPeek. He may be one to watch. Rating: 6.

CLUBHOUSE RIDE – This hard-knocking colt has started 10 times already and has been right there in almost all of them, including third-place finishes in the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) and Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) and a victory in the Barretts Juvenile Stakes. But he’s only won two races. By Candy Ride, out of a Seeking the Gold mare, his second dam is by Caerleon, so there is plenty of stamina. Rating: 5.

COIL – Son of Point Given, out of a Theatrical mare who is out of an Avatar mare, has a ton of stamina top and bottom, but he currently is sidelined after having a knee chip removed, leaving doubts about him being ready for the Triple Crown. His 3 1/2-length score in a maiden race at Hollywood Park was impressive. Rating: 4.5.

COMMA TO THE TOP – There are some stamina questions regarding this son of Bwana Charlie, but they’re not serious enough to prevent him from going on to bigger and better things if he carries his current form over to the dirt. Riding a five-race winning streak, with three impressive stakes scores to his credit, including the grade I CashCall Futurity, he looks ready to vault trainer Peter Miller into the spotlight. Rating: 7

– It’s hard not to root for trainer Angel Penna Jr., who is not exactly a familiar face on the Derby trail, but is one of the sport’s good guys. He looks to have a runner in this son of Harlan’s Holiday following his 3 1/4-length score in a Calder maiden race going a mile and 70 yards. Stamina should not be a concern. Rating: 5

CROSSBOW -- After his impressive maiden victory at Aqueduct Jan. 2, this Darley-owned son of Bernardini could be a race away from either putting Kiaran McLaughlin on the Derby trail or heading off to Dubai. Female family ios more geared for speed and he hasn't been over six furlongs yet, so we'll see. Rating: 4.5.

DECISIVE MOMENT – Tough and consistent son of With Distinction came off a third in the In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Series to finish a good second in the Delta Jackpot. Hasn’t been worse than fourth in five starts. Rating: 4

DIALED IN – At this point he looks to be Nick Zito’s top Derby hopeful following a come-from-the-clouds victory at Churchill Downs in his career debut going 6 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs. The son of Mineshaft should have enough distance breeding to keep stretching out. Rating: 5

EL GRAYLING – Hard to know what to make of this colt. He has the pedigree to run all day (by El Prado, out of a Dynaformer mare), but was just so-so in his first five starts, all on grass. Then when Mike Maker tried him on dirt in a mile allowance race at Churchill, he finished a good second to the highly promising Brethren, beaten 1 3/4 lengths, at 33-1. He may have been a dirt horse crying out for the dirt. Rating: 5.

ELITE ALEX – Son of Afleet Alex hasn’t run since sharp maiden score at Delaware Park going five furlongs, but is back working at Oaklawn Park for Tim Ritchey. He has a very strong female family, so stretching out should not be a problem. First race back will tell a lot. Rating: 5.

FREE POURIN – Baffert-Pegram team could have a nice colt in this son of Roman Ruler, who scored a game maiden victory at Hollywood after a dismal performance in his career debut. Still has a ways to go. Rating: 4.

GOURMET DINNER – Not crazy about his pedigree to stretch out to 10 furlongs, but he’s got a lot of ability, he’s consistent, and he has the right running style. He was impressive winning the Delta Jackpot by daylight and ran a good race to be fourth in the CashCall Futurity in his debut over a synthetic track. Steve Standridge has himself a real money maker who has already qualified for the Derby. Rating: 6.

HERP – Son of Arch has won two in a row, including an impressive allowance score going six furlongs at Fair Grounds. Trainer Bret Calhoun is on a roll following a pair of Breeders’ Cup victories. He should have no trouble stretching out to two turns. Rating: 5.

JAYCITO – Bob Baffert has taken over his training following his bizarre antics in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, in which he wound up a well-beaten seventh after swerving badly. But he was impressive winning the Norfolk Stakes for Mike Mitchell and he has the breeding. Baffert has had to work on a lot of issues with him, and we’ll have to see how he comes back. Rating: 6.

J. B.’s THUNDER – He looked good winning on the turf at Saratoga and on Polytrack at Keeneland, capturing the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, but he ran poorly in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, stopping badly after tracking the pace. So, who knows what to make of this son of Thunder Gulch? His next start, likely at Fair Grounds will tell us more. Rating: 6 (if the BC was a fluke) 3 (if that’s as good as he is on dirt).

J P’s GUSTO – Bounced back from a well-beaten sixth in the BC Juvenile to finish a fast-closing second in the CashCall Futurity. With victories in the Del Mar Futurity, Best Pal, and Hollywood Juvenile Championship, and a second in the Norfolk Stakes, this son of Successful Appeal is a dream horse for any trainer. The big question is how far he wants to go, as he has a ton of speed top and bottom. Top trainer in Dave Hofmans. Rating: 7.

JUSTIN PHILLIP -- Love his female family, out of a crypotoclearance mare; second dam is a stakes winner by Avatar. Broke his maiden impressively at Belmont in September before finishing third twice in allowance company at Churchill Downs. Sent to Fair Grounds, he relished the slop and two turns, winning an allowance race by 3 1/4 lengths. May be finding his best stride. Rating: 6. 

LAUBURU – This half-brother to champion Ashado has won his only start by a nose going seven furlongs at Aqueduct after overcoming a bad start. A $925,000 yearling purchase, he still in unproven, but has potential. Rating: 5.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE – This well-bred son of Harlan’s Holiday, trained by Rick Violette, looked good breaking his maiden at Aqueduct, rattling off six furlongs in a sharp 1:09 2/5. He’s already had a number of good works down at Palm Meadows and should come out running in his 3-year-old debut. Rating: 6

MACHEN -- It looks like Neil Howard has himself a real runner in this son of Distorted Humor, who did everything the right way in breaking his maiden first out by 5 1/2 lengths at Fair Grounds, the six furlongs in a solid 1:10 2/5. More Than Ready questionable as a broodmare sire, but inbreeding to Hail to Reason and Naskra gives him plenty of class and stamina. Rating: 5.

MAJOR GAIN – This son of More Than Ready has a good deal of speed top and bottom, but his tail-female family is strong and should carry him an extra furlong or two. He won the Arlington Futurity, finished a troubled fifth in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, and was a close third in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in his dirt debut. He looks like a solid horse for Wayne Catalano. Rating: 6.

MANICERO – Who knows how good this son of Mass Media is after three straight wins, including a romp in the Jack Price Juvenile at Calder and the Inaugural Stakes at Tampa. After four starts it’s time to stretch him out to two turns to see just what’s there. He has a ton of stamina in his female family, and his sire is a son of Touch Gold. Rating: 5.

MONZON --  This son of Thunder Gulch is two-for-two on the dirt, including an impressive late-closing victory in the Count Fleet Stakes. In his only other dirt start, he broke his maiden by 12 1/2 lengths at Laurel, so it's obvious dirt is his preferred surface, although he has run some bang-up races on grass. Tail-female family is solid French breeding, so distance should be no problem. Rating: 6.

MOUNTAIN TOWN – Definitely the 2-year-old claim of the year last year, as the Nick Zito-trained, Marylou Whitney-owned son of Cape Town was snatched out of his debut victory for $75,000 by Rick Dutrow and the Paul Pompa team. He came right back to finish a strong second to champion Uncle Mo in the Champagne Stakes and a troubled third in the Remsen Stakes behind To Honor and Serve, arguably the second-best 2-year-old in the country. Tail-female family is all Whitney blood. Rating: 7.

MUCHO MACHO MAN – He could be one the best stories of the year following good seconds behind To Honor and Serve in the Nashua and Remsen Stakes, making up two lengths in the final furlong in the latter. What makes him so interesting is that he’s already run five times and he won’t actually turn 3 until four days after the Belmont Stakes. Rating: 7.

PREMIER PEGASUS – This undefeated son of Fusaichi Pegasus, who has two sprint stakes scores under his belt, missed the CashCall Futurity and hasn’t been seen on the work tab since mid-November, so there are question marks regarding his current status. He obviously has ability and a ton of speed. Rating: 5.

RIVETING REASON – Another son of Fusaichi Pegasus, he’s already made eight starts, including thirds in the Del Mar Futurity and Norfolk Stakes. His fifth-place finish in the CashCall Futurity wasn’t that bad an effort. He then finished a close second to Awesome Patriot in a one-mile allowance, which definitely flattered the winner. Both he and Premier Pegasus are owned and trained by Myung Cho. Rating: 5

ROCKING OUT – Son of Include turned in an explosive stretch run to win his career debut at Aqueduct for Rick Dutrow, coming from 4 1/2 lengths back at the eighth pole to win by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:10 3/5. Let’s see if he shows up on the work tab soon, as he is playing catch up. Rating: 5.

ROGUE ROMANCE – Trained by the always-dangerous Kenny McPeek, this son of Smarty Jones won the Bourbon Stakes on turf before finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after losing a lot of ground on the first turn. His pedigree is all over the place, with Smarty Jones, Afleet, and Manila his prominent influences, so figure on him running well on any kind of surface. Rating: 7.

RUSTLER HUSTLER – Love this colt’s pedigree, especially his broodmare sire Cozzene, maternal great-grandsire Danzig Connection, and great-granddam Our Relation, a daughter of Ribot and the classy Aunt Edith II. He handles both dirt and grass, winning a pair of stakes on grass. He tired to finish sixth in the CashCall Futurity in his synthetic surface debut. If you’re willing to throw out that race he could be a fascinating Derby prospect. Here’s the Dutrow-Pompa connection again. Rating: 6.

SANTIVA – He finishes second and third in his first two starts for McPeek – gone. He then finishes a fast-closing second in the Breeders’ Futurity for Todd Pletcher – gone. In his last start, he wins the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes for Eddie Kenneally, who we understand still trains him. The son of Giant’s Causeway has had quite a barn-hopping journey so far, but the bottom line is, he can flat out run. Even with Safely Kept’s dam, Safely home, as his maternal granddam, he still has plenty of staying power. Main question is whether he’s fast enough (see Tapizar). Rating: 7.

SHACKLEFORD – Son of Forestry rebounded from a ninth-place finish in his career debut to win a seven-furlong maiden race at Churchill Downs, coming again in the final furlong. Out of an Unbridled mare, he should have enough stamina in his female family to stretch out, but still is an unknown quantity. Rating: 4

SHADOW WARRIOR – The son of A.P. Indy has a sensational pedigree top and bottom with plenty of stamina on both sides, and you have to love both his starts, flying home out of nowhere to finish a close fourth in his debut and then drawing off to break his maiden by three lengths going a mile at Churchill Downs. Trained by Rusty Arnold, this colt has a lot going for him. Rating: 6.

SHERRIFF COGBURN – Have no idea if he’s still around or has any shot of getting on the Derby trail, as he hasn’t started since his 9 1/4-length romp in the Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile, his second runaway score in as many starts. Nowhere to be found on the work tab yet, so he’s pretty iffy at best. Rating: 4.

SINAI – Baffert-trained son of Rockport Harbor won his career debut by two lengths going 6 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood. If stays sound he could be heard from; strong female family. Rating: 4.

SMASH – Baffert again, with another well-bred, untested colt. The son of Smart Strike broke his maiden first out by 2 1/2 lengths in :57 4/5 back in July. He’ll need to get back on the work tab soon and start making up for lost ground. Rating: 4.

SOLDAT – Top-class grass horse who ran a bang-up second in the BC Juvenile Turf, he has enough dirt influences to believe Kiaran McLaughlin will at least give him a try on the dirt. He has the talent, he’s ultra-consistent, and you never know. Rating: 5

SOVEREIGN DEFAULT – It doesn’t take a genius to know by the name he’s owned by the Wall Street glossary Klaravich Stables. The son of Northern Afleet broke his maiden by two lengths in 1:03 3/5 for 5 1/2 furlongs at Belmont in July and hasn’t been out since, but has been working steadily at Palm Meadows. Rating: 4.

STAY THIRSTY – Still believe this is a serious horse, despite his dipsy doodle move in the stretch in the BC Juvenile. Have to believe he was short for that race, not having run since the Hopeful. Absolutely love his pedigree, by Bernardini, out of a powerful King Ranch family that produced Belmont runner-up Andromeda’s Hero. He ran huge to finish second in the Hopeful, will run all day, and should be a major force once he gets over that greenness and the distances stretch out. Can’t help but like this colt. Rating: 7.5.

SWAY AWAY – This promising son of Afleet Alex, out of a Seattle Slew mare, broke his maiden easily first-time out at Pleasanton before finishing a strong second to J P’s Gusto in the Best Pal Stakes. He hasn’t been out since, but is back working. Rating: 5.

SWEET DUCKY – If you think highly of Curlinello, you have to love this horse after his two victories over the Pletcher-trained colt. Trained by the sharp Kelly Breen, he ran an OK fourth in the Delta Jackpot, but no one is going to hold that against him on that small track. The son of Pulpit has a decent enough pedigree and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Rating: 6.

TAPIZAR – Son of Tapit looked fairly ordinary in his first three starts, but then blew the doors off a maiden field at Churchill Downs, winning by 10 1/2 lengths in 1:44 for the 1 1/16 miles, which was more than a full second faster than they ran the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes the same day. The pedigree is there; we just don’t know yet what we’re dealing with. Rating: 7

THE FACTOR – Bill O’Reilly’s favorite horse stunned everyone with his spectacular maiden victory at Santa Anita, in which he won by 8 1/4 lengths in an unheard of 1:06 4/5 for six furlongs. Blazing track or not, that is incredible time for a maiden 2-year-old. The question is, was it too fast? He does get stamina from broodmare sire Miswaki, but with sire War Front and female family stallions Icecapade and Bold Forbes, there is quite a lot of speed. It is, however, speed that can stretch out, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Rating: 6.5

THIRTYFIRSTSTREET -- The leading Cal-bred 3-year-old, he's ready to step up into open company after victory in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes. Solid pedigree, and if you're a fan of the Rasmussen Factor (RF), he is inbred top and bottom to Rough Shod through her daughters Moccasin and Thong. Rating: 5.

TIZ BLESSED – This son of Tiznow broke his maiden by a nose at Saratoga first time out in a gutsy effort, then was fourth in the Garden State Stakes to Sweet Ducky before taking to the Polytrack, winning Woodbine’s Display Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths. Can’t wait to see what he does back on dirt. Rating: 5.

TO HONOR AND SERVE – Everything is there – pedigree (by Bernardini, out of a strong Darby Dan female family), talent (won his last three starts, including the Remsen and Nashua Stakes), looks, and he’s trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who finally got off the classic schneid last year with Drosselmeyer. He’ll likely keep away from Uncle Mo and should pave his own trail to Louisville. Rating: 8.

UNCLE MO – Nothing much to add to what’s already been written about him. He has the potential to be ones of the ones, and although his BC Juvenile romp was an amazing performance, displaying push-button acceleration, you can’t overlook his going a half in :45 4/5 and three-quarters in 1:10 2/5 in the Champagne and still coming home his last quarter in :24 flat. Only special horses can do that. Throw in his career debut, a 14 1/4-length procession in 1:09 1/5 at Saratoga and you have one of the most impressive 2-year-old campaigns ever. And his pedigree, although not loaded with stamina, should be strong enough if he maintains the same talent level at 3. Rating: 9.

UNCLE SAM – He may be the other Uncle right now, but with his pedigree and his strong 2 3/4-length maiden victory going a mile at Santa Anita, the son of Tapit, out of a Pleasant Colony mare, could move up the ranks quickly for Baffert, who is high on the colt. Rating: 6.5.

WILLCOX INN -- Son of Harlan's Holiday, out of a Gone West mare, ran huge thirds in the Breeders' Futurity and BC Juvenile Turf after breaking his maiden at Arlington Park. Only question now is how he'll take to the dirt. He's never even worked on it and hasn't been on any work tab since the Breeders' Cup.Rating: 5

WINE POLICE -- Don't know how far this son Speightstown wants to go, but he does have some decent stamina in his tail-female family. He was impressive breaking his maiden by 7 3/4 lengths at Saratoga back in July, then tired a bit in the stretch when finishing third in the Hopeful Stakes. He hasn't been out since, but recently had his first work back at Fair Grounds. Rating: 5.

ZAYDA -- This could be live El Camino Real Derby horse after his monster move winning a mile maiden race at Golden Gate. By Bluegrass Cat, you have to love his female family, with broodmare sire Unbridled, great-grandsire Pleasant Colony, and great-great-grandsire Stage Door Johnny. We're talking big-time class and stamina: Rating: 5.


Leave a Comment:

Brian Zipse

Comprehensive list, Steve, thank you!  Cool Blue Red Hot is one that has really caught my eye, any idea where he might run next?

05 Jan 2011 11:11 AM

I love The Factor...he's got "the look"...

I've liked Jaycito for a while, too.

05 Jan 2011 11:34 AM

Pluck macho man out of mountain town on May 7th.!

05 Jan 2011 11:50 AM
Tiznow Tim

It's great to see Archarcharch's name pop up on someone else's list. I think he could be a dark horse that could spoil the Mo party. There is absolutely nothing to not love about Mo right now. Everything he has done so far has looked special. Another "dark horse" that isn't under the radar as much to some as Archarcharch is Brethren. I thought his 4-5 wide off the pace run last out was very impressive. I think he could be a real threat for the TC series.

I'm really anxious to see Dialed In again..I thought his performace was eye popping last out.

Pluck's BC peformance was indeed one of the most sensational of the year. Stumbling from the gate and then having to avoid the fallen Rough Sailing and still have that late kick..WOW. I would love it if he could translate that performance to dirt, and what a beautiful horse too.

I could go on and on about several on this list...that's the beauty of Derby fever...anxiously awaiting to see how this crop will progress and I love trying to pick an early Derby winner.

05 Jan 2011 12:00 PM


Very nice list! I enjoyed it immensely.

Regarding Pluck, I don't believe that he is on the Kentucky Derby trail at this time. I read that his spring goal is the 2,000 Guineas in England. Of course, these plans may have changed, this is just what I read.

Shadow Warrior intrigues me. He could be something special. He is entered to run in a one-mile allowance race on January 7th at Gulfstream Park. El Grayling, Black N Beauty, and seven others will be running against him. I will be watching for sure!


05 Jan 2011 12:06 PM
Karen in Texas

Thanks for your early ratings list! So many things happen on the road to the first Saturday in May that it is difficult to know which horses will make it to Louisville, much less which will actually make it to the starting gate. I'm happy to see that you included Rogue Romance with a rating of "7". His Bourbon Stakes victory was very impressive and I, too, think he should be versatile with regard to surface and probably distance. I can't find a source that shows where his next start will be---do you have any information on that? Thanks again for the list!

05 Jan 2011 12:49 PM
Steve Haskin

Keelerman, you're right. I remembered that and took him off the list. Thank you.

05 Jan 2011 12:51 PM
Steve Haskin

I took out that line about Mucho Macho Man. It was a typo, I wrote a "1" instead of a "2", so dont be alarmed. But he is a very late foal.

05 Jan 2011 12:55 PM

Steve, I think this comment about Mucho Macho Man must be a typo "he debuted on July 17 he was only 13 months old."  23 months, maybe?

Thanks for the list :)

05 Jan 2011 12:56 PM

Nice summary, Mr. Haskin. There are many impressive resumes in there. I just miss the days when these young colts would get a half dozen races under their belts at 2 and then 3 or 4 preps at 3. How can anyone know who's who when they have had only two or maybe three starts to date? I can see why the "all others" is always favored in the first future pool. Having said that, it sure looks like a strong class this year. I look forward to your Triple Crown mania updates with great anticipation.

05 Jan 2011 1:01 PM

Steve any word on the high priced Wilburn?

05 Jan 2011 1:16 PM
Fran Loszynski

First of all Steve it is going to be wicked hard to get "Archarachararach" out at the bidding window-maybe Big "A" would work. Elite Alex, of course, a great choice and would add Alexandra Rylee. Sway Away has Alex and my old favorite Seattle Slew in the lineage, watched Elite Alex's video race, "Kick in speed" of Dad, that's all we need to know Afleet Alex fans!!!

One note Steve, thank Bloodhorse for the Farewell of 2010, what great photos, and boy can you see the stamina of some of those racehorses in those shoulders. That's what will win the Triple Crown this year.  Get on your Nautilus work-out equipment Elite Alex, we're going to town.

05 Jan 2011 1:26 PM
Mindy C.

Tiz Blessed ''all the way''

I feel he is special ...  !!!!

05 Jan 2011 1:38 PM
Sunny Farm

ASTROLOGY, He'd be a strong choice for my betting interests as well as for a future sire.

Good bloodlines and a very good trainer too, I think he'll go the distance , have stamina & remain sound.The ROUNDTABLE / In-breeding pedigree gets a hardy foal !

Thanks for writing this informative story .

05 Jan 2011 1:42 PM

Ahhhh ... sweet relief, reading a Haskin column about the Triple Crown Trail.  Lots of interesting colts to follow this spring.  I read the same about Pluck, and confess I am a bit disappointed, I loved his BC race, and love the name, as silly a reason as it is to like a horse.  Like many others, I am anxious to see what Uncle Mo does in his two preps.  I am also interested in what spring brings for the $2500 yearling (BNB).

05 Jan 2011 1:56 PM
Frankie Carl

Watch for Backdown...Should have run in Dec....Missed a couple of workouts...Will be starting at Gulfstream soon....

05 Jan 2011 2:03 PM
Steve Haskin

I have taken Curlinello off the list. The farm confirmed that he most likely will be retired after suffering an injury.

05 Jan 2011 2:10 PM


 It's good to finally be on the Derby Trail again.  We can thank Zenyatta for saving us from a disappointing triple crown year last year and for giving us a legend to enjoy while she made her entry into the history books.  She brought us along for a wonderful ride that makes her worthy to be named among the great ones.  Her coming up just short of 20 is the biggest disappointment of the decade alongside Smarty's Belmont to me, but I agree with those who put that loss in the same category as Man O'War and Native Dancer's losses.  Indeed, she made 2010 a memorable year for racing fans.  But there's just something about hoping that this might be the year.....

05 Jan 2011 2:15 PM

Very nice job analyzing where everything stands.  Great job.  As for me, I think Mucho Macho Man will blossom big-time and may even be the next triple crown winner. His age will catch up to him soon and he should peek at the perfect time.

05 Jan 2011 2:26 PM

While Uncle Mo is a very nice horse, I have serious doubts about him winning at more than 1 1/8 miles.  I don't like that he will only have 5 or 6 races before the derby.  I can see him winning the Derby, and maybe even the Preakness.  But unless every horse in the Belmont falls down, he won't get the 1 1/2 miles.  Being trained by Pletcher does not bode well for him getting a distance of ground.....and by that I mean more than 1 1/16th miles with any regularity.  There are several sons of Bernardini and A.P. Indy that are knocking on the door and will love every bit of 1 1/4 miles and 1 1/2 miles.  If Uncle Mo does not win both his starts prior to the Derby in a professional manner, I will not give him a shot at the Derby.  SHould be a fun WInter/Spring Derby Trail.

05 Jan 2011 2:30 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

It appears to me that Steve is one of those straight A students that studies even during vacation !!! Good job. Have you ever thought about a career as a Derby Engineer or Derbyologist? I think every one in my top ten is on this list except Cook Inlet.

Sunny Farm

    Happy New Year !!!!

05 Jan 2011 2:50 PM

I've always been a stamina over speed 'capper in the Triple Crown.

After reading, your review of Uncle Mo, I feel his speed can't be overlooked. Excellent observation regarding his closing :24 in The Champagne.

I really don't like the new 'two preps' model and ESPECIALLY if he's only going to run 1 1/8 once.

.. If To honor and Serve runs in the FOY & FD that means he would already have three races at 1 1/8 versus Mo's one. All he would need to beat Mo in the Derby is for Mo to run the final quarter in :24 +.

I'd hate to see an ultra talented colt lose because he wasn't give enough foundation.

Due to my dislike for the lightly raced training programs. I will be rooting heavily for Comma to the Top! Ten Starts as a 2yo. If all goes well he will have three races before the Derby, according to his trainer!

We should all root for Comma to the Top.

05 Jan 2011 2:51 PM


Rush Now ran a very disappointing race last out as the favorite, did the trainer give any indication what may have gone wrong?

Can't wait to get the trail into full swing!

05 Jan 2011 2:53 PM
Bill Daly

Monzon took advantage of an honest pace where most of the horses seemed to want the lead or be close to it and came flying from way back.  This guy is improving by leaps and bounds and bears watching.

05 Jan 2011 2:53 PM

It's official Derby Fever is starting to spread!  Great read!

05 Jan 2011 3:21 PM
Derby Lock

Has anyone actually seen Dialed In in person. He has the look that reminds me of Fu Peg. If this monster can grow up (he can't get any bigger) were looking at one serious racehorse.

05 Jan 2011 3:40 PM

Keep your eyes on Manicero. If youre wondering why, take a look back at his Inaugural Stakes and see how that two year old handled being sandwiched. Hes ahead of his peers mentally

05 Jan 2011 4:03 PM
Tiznow Tim

Was going to point out that several of these will face each other at Gulfstream Friday but saw someone already did. I would love it if Pluck's connections changed their mind. I think he could be a good dirt/route horse.

Stinks to hear that about Curlinello...hope it's not the beginning of a trend as in recent years.

I'm a huge fan of Tiznow, so would love it if Tiz Blessed were to blossom and contend. I think it's just a matter of time before Tiznow produces a freak horse...hoping Morning Line will be one this year whether it's sprint/miles or stretching out. But I digress as it's Derby fever time right now.

05 Jan 2011 4:13 PM
Billy's Empire

Shadow Warrior is in goog hands with Rusty. I think he was in the top 20 in trainer standings last year, and already has a win over the CD oval. Tapizar is another who could be am impact player in the coming months. I think he is prepping in Cali on the Santa Anita Expressway, and is in good hands with Winchell, Asmussen, and Shaun.

Until MOMO does something to tarnish his name, he is a freak and the favorite at this point.

05 Jan 2011 4:16 PM

It's 32 outside, an inch of snow has come down and the Christmas decorations need to be put away.  But Steve has put out his first Derby list of 2011 and life is well.  Thanks Steve for the info.

Watching "The Factor" go to the lead in his maiden win reminded me of Holy Bull and Spend a Buck (when he got it figured out) go to the lead in their races.  It's like they looked at the rest of the field and declared "Gentlemen, I'm taking the lead" and they did it.

The Factor literally glided to the lead and demolished his field in track record time.  Hope he can stretch out.  These next few months are fun, looking for "the horse."

Looking forward to your articles Steve, I need to narrow my Derby 4 horse Ex box.

05 Jan 2011 4:33 PM
Steve Haskin

Bill Daly, thanks, I had forgotten about him until I mentioned the Count Fleet in the story, but forgot to add him to the list. He is on there now. Good catch.

05 Jan 2011 4:37 PM
Steve Haskin

Dr. D, I thought already was a Derbyologist. I must have lost my diploma.

Thanks, TrackJack, they've showed his race twice already on The O'Reilly Factor. Viewrs had to vote whether he was a pinhead or patriot, and 92% voted for him as a patriot.

05 Jan 2011 4:43 PM

All eyes on Uncle Mo! I have watched him since his maiden victory, and I am stuck on him.

05 Jan 2011 5:21 PM

Will Accafella be back to the races

05 Jan 2011 5:23 PM

Steve, unfortunately Buffum is heading for Dubai. I'm very annoyed at this development as I think this just about ruins any chance he has to be a good 3 year old.  I wonder if this means Biondetti will stay in Europe.....

You and I may be the only ones still on the Stay Thirsty bandwagon, but I think he's very talented. I said before the race that Todd made a big mistake running him in the Juvy off that layoff, not even having run 2 turns.

Keep an eye on a Shug Bernardini colt, Break up the Game, who was probably the best horse in Laubauru's race.

To Honor and Serve is my favorite - I just adore this boy.

Aside from the Bernardini's, I adore Dialed In - boy, was he impressive.

05 Jan 2011 5:40 PM

Rocking Out had his race handed to him when Crossbow and a Pletcher colt dueled through ridiculous fractions.... I suspect this horse is just a plodder. He's rarely going to have that kind of set up again.

05 Jan 2011 5:44 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I should have explained. We know that you have a Doctorate in Derbyology. No, your diploma has not been take away. That was your fourth grade teacher asking you if you wanted to puruse those degrees someday after reading your excellent report on Triple Crown Pedigrees in the Next Millennium for the assignment, "What I Did on My Summer Vacation." Another excellent, comprehensive article. Although I didn't like seeing your note that Curlinello was injured and likely to be retired. We're looking to get more top quality starters into the starting gate this year.

05 Jan 2011 5:51 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Does anyone else think that War Front is going to be a tremendous sire at all distances and surfaces despite the fact that he was a sprinter?

05 Jan 2011 5:54 PM


Great start to the Kentucky Derby trail.  Decisive Moment deserves a higher rating based on performance and potential.  This colt has good foundation, is pacey and has shown some dogged determination that should stand him in good stead for the Derby trail.

05 Jan 2011 5:55 PM
joys kitten

Will the ramsey's put queensplatekitten on dirt? His huge stride and the way he won in woodbine is scary.

05 Jan 2011 5:55 PM

I always get Derby Fever about a month before the Breeder's cup races. With still almost 5 months to go, I am looking for some "other than obvious horses" to step up. I am looking at Mucho Macho Man, To Honor and Serve, and Stay Thirsty to make great strides during the 3-year old campaign. Sorry, Just not sold on Uncle Moe, Boys of Toscanova and any West coast horses. Good Luck!!!!

05 Jan 2011 6:34 PM

I really enjoyed this article, but believe that Uncle Mo, barring a calamity, will win the Triple Crown. I noticed that no one has mentioned his 108 Beyer in the BC Juvenile, and his tremendous leap from Maiden into Graded company in two starts, which only talented horses can do. I seem to also recall that another talented 3 year old had the stamina issues bandied about. That was Secretariat, who "confirmed" those suspicions in his 3rd place finish in the Wood. We know what happened after that.

Uncle Mo's 108 was tremendous for a 2 year old, and his turn of foot, ability to rate, and sheer speed could preserve him for longer races. I have a hunch that if Mo gets better, as Pletcher believes he will, he will get Beyers in the stratosphere, ie. 120-130+. I know those numbers are high, but then Mo is special. I want to say that the others are just filling up the list to box with Mo in any given race.

I also do wonder if we might have a filly to spoil the fun? Any thoughts?

05 Jan 2011 6:44 PM

What about Wilcox Inn?

05 Jan 2011 7:00 PM
William W

Thanks Steve for the list. It's that time to start looking over the field. I agree with you about your comments about Uncle Mo. Let's hope he does make it to the Derby and I get to see him run here in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Rest in Peace 'War Pass", my hero!

05 Jan 2011 7:32 PM

On the trail again ...

I do believe Shug has his best chance at The Derby since Easy Goer with Break Up The Game. Off the charts talent.

How about the one I think might be the Best 3 yr old of either sex - the filly Dancinginherdreams for John Ward. If your not familiar with her, your missing out. Stone cold freak!

Elliott Walden though Heisman was WinStars best baby last summer and he's working at Gulfstream for return.

I have ~

1. To Honor and Serve

2. Rogue Romance

3. Uncle Mo

4. Dancinginherdream

5. Break Up The Game

Thank you Steve for your excellent work , I look forward every year to your weekly Derby articles.

05 Jan 2011 7:50 PM
Forbidden Apple

Derby fever is spreading fast and their is no cure for it. I am extremely high on Pluck and wish that his owner would consider a dirt race for this fine colt. With Victory Ride being the dam of Shadow Warrior, this colt deserves a long look on the KY Derby trail. I can not wait to see him again on friday! My preseason list:

1-Pluck 2-To Honor & Serve

3-Shadow Warrior 4-Comma To the Top

5-Jaycito  6-Bandbox

05 Jan 2011 8:45 PM
Mary Zinke

You ran out of alphabet. What about Wine Police?

05 Jan 2011 9:01 PM
Robin from Maryland

Can't believe it's time again to think Triple Crown and, will there be one.  I haven't begun to study all the particulars on each contender - yet. Just hope that most of them stay sound to get to The Big Dance.  Have watched with some interest in Uncle Mo(do not like his connections!).  Too bad a horse can't choose his own trainer.  Anyway, the blog was an interesting read, now it's time for me to get busy.

05 Jan 2011 9:12 PM

Uncle Mo is certainly impressive but for sentimental reasons I'll be hoping for Monzon.  Would love to see Sagamore Farm get that Derby win!

05 Jan 2011 9:29 PM

I love To Honor And Serve and Rouge Romance. What about the Peruvian horse though, Murjan? Maybe he'll pull another Cannero II? And call me superstitious, but none of these horses have the right names. Think Affirmed, Count Fleet, Secretariat. I can't really picture " And its Uncle Mo to sweep the Triple Crown by 12!" Only time will tell...

05 Jan 2011 9:32 PM

On another note, I just bought Bob Baffert's book Dirt Road to the Derby. I noticed it said it's by him "with Steve Haskin". So, you helped him write it then if I may ask?  I'm really enjoying it. He seems like quite a character!

05 Jan 2011 9:33 PM

Great overview of the newly turned 3 year olds Steve, thus catapoulting the Haskinites onto the Derby trail!  Very informative and insightful.  Thank you for answering Dr. D's question of where Elite Alex is.  He is wintering in Arkansas with Tim Ritchey as I had hoped and still in the mix.  What a mix, sons of Alex, sons of Bernardini, sons of Arch, a son of Smarty, son of A.P. Indy, a factor and two uncles!  I find Monzon, Rustler Hustler, and Shadow Warrior interesting at this point.  I like the Danzig connection in horses, I think it was Rustler Hustler who has it.  I agree War Front and Bernardini should be the future hot sires as well as Alex.  That "one" still hasn't grabbed me yet, too early, but it will.  If I was NYRA and Uncle Mo is this awesome, I would start marketing prep now for the Belmont, just in case.  Maybe they can do the "Meet Uncle Mo" promo thing this time.  I like his owner, Mike Repole, who apparently "gets it" like Steve and the Mosses.  He is connecting us to Uncle Mo which is great.  Thoroughbreds with websites and Facebook pages is a good thing for the industry.  Look forward to the Derby Dozen and the preps and Jan. 13 and Steve's visit to Zenyatta.

05 Jan 2011 9:47 PM
David Ingordo


Good list, but one of the most serious Derby horses out there is MACHEN. Watch his maiden win at FG on the 2nd of January. Very impressive.


05 Jan 2011 9:48 PM
John T

Thank-you for giving an in depth on the breeding of Rustler Hustler.

Especially that the great-granddam,

Our Relation was out of Aunt Edith.

I well remember her winning the 1966 King George at Ascot with Lester Piggott in the saddle.If Rustler Hustler does not make it on the Derby trail he still should have a bright future on the grass.

 I like To Honor And Serve of his 2 year old form but of course we are all looking to see how these horses carry their form into there 3 year old campaign.


  I think you will find Pluck is being pointed towards the Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh which is run a little later on in May rather than it,s English counterpart.

05 Jan 2011 10:14 PM
Bill Daly

Thanks, Steve, for the shout out on Monzon. I don't think we've seen the best of this one yet.  Thanks, also, for doing your usual great job in keeping us up-to-date and informed on all of those 3 year olds.  Like you said, the list will change often as we navigate the Triple Crown trail.  Fascinating time of year, isn't it?

05 Jan 2011 10:29 PM


According to your ratings, the superfecta will be,

1. Boys at Tosconova

2. Stay Thirst

3. To Honor and Serve

4. Uncle Mo

If they all run in the Derby, I'm putting that bet in.

05 Jan 2011 11:08 PM

Still hoping that Runflatout emerges as a three-year-old standout. Zookeeper, if you're around, it would be great to hear an update on your colt.

06 Jan 2011 12:01 AM

So glad it's finally Derby season again!  Ready to get it under way :)

06 Jan 2011 12:42 AM

Dr. D.

Yes War Front and Henny Hughes too, a sprinter who I think will well carry the Hennessy line.  Poor Hennessy, passed last year I believe.  Do we know yet what caused the death of War Pass who arrived and died?

06 Jan 2011 12:46 AM
Steve Haskin

Thanks for all the input. I have added Machen, Willcox Inn, and Wine Police, but I have to wait for Break Up the Game to break his maiden before adding him, although he does look like a good one. I'm never confident when Shug has to play catch-up like this. He's not one to push a horse to make the Derby and this colt has a lot of catching up to do. Love his pedigree, though.

06 Jan 2011 12:57 AM
Long Shot

Can we get some love for Jakesam?

06 Jan 2011 2:07 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   This is getting exciting now.  I'm looking at all of the pedigress and added a few HTW from Steve's list based on pedigrees I like. It's going to be one of the best year's ever with the new sires that appear to be outstanding. Visually the two I love so far are Uncle Mo and The Factor. He'll have to slow down a little but I believe that The Factor can get the 10f, and the same with Mo.

06 Jan 2011 2:08 AM

I think I'm Steppin' It Up will be a late bloomer for the Derby. 3rd to Uncle Mo in the Champagne G.1 and 2nd to Pluck in a MSW at Belmont on Turf.

06 Jan 2011 3:12 AM
Becca C.

You should make a list of the top three year old Filly's :D

06 Jan 2011 6:27 AM

Runflatout is working for his return at Santa Anita.

Mr Howard said he doesn't see the Derby for Machen, said he feels he will be a miler. I think he will be a grass horse being out of Ready's Gal.

Wine Police is working at the Fair Grounds for Mr Asmussen.

I understand your trepidation Steve with Break Up The Game since he missed by a nose in his maiden race.

But conversely , since Shug doesn't push his babies for their debuts, that electrifying performance was just a tease of his future brilliance.

06 Jan 2011 6:46 AM

Excellent, as always Steve. I have printed out the list, to help me keep track.

It is interesting, for me, how my heart gets "stuck" on one particular horse. So, right now, Uncle Mo has stolen it, quite nicely. Love watching his galloping leaps in the homestretch.

He obviously is running for joy!

BUT, we are a long way from the Derby, and so much can happen. I, too, am worried that he may not have the proper prep, especially for the length in the Belmont.

Imagine, to have a Triple Crown winner, after Zenyatta's year, the Secretariet movie, well, horse racing might observe a revival!

I also like To Honor and Serve (it helps being a former Coast Guards person, one of the first women in the enlisted ranks & daughter of a Navy Captain), Monson, and The Factor (did anyone see Bill's tribute to the horse on his tv show the other night?).

Lots of nice 3 yrs olds coming along. It should be lots of fun, and maybe, just maybe something legendary!

06 Jan 2011 7:05 AM

Wow!  I think I'm more confused than ever since I have not quite kept track of all of these.  I'm looking for stamina.  As much as I like Uncle Mo, The Factor and Pluck, and was highly impressed by their performances, I think, for now, I'm sticking with Bernardini and AP Indy colts.  There, the stamina is a definite.  I would like to see more starts in preps.  If a horse is too fragile to train, he simply isn't TC calibre.  Consider the 70's, and preps run every 2 or 3 weeks before the Derby.  It's a real pounding, but, then, we had real champions. 33's time for another Champion.

06 Jan 2011 8:49 AM

David Ingordo:  Thanks for the info on Machen.  Good-looking, stout colt out of a More than Ready mare.  He got shuffled back early, moved to the outside, passed the frontrunners and came home under a hand ride.  Very Impressive!  Looking to see how he handles two turns.  However the odds are against him to be ready for the Derby, having just broken his maiden, but a good looking performance.

Steve and Dr. D:  I thought a Derbyologist was a person who learned how to make a Mint Julep.  Is there a course that offers a "Derbyologist" certificate?  I need one this year, I'll be at CD all of Derby week and the Oaks and Derby. Can't wait.

06 Jan 2011 8:52 AM

Not saying he will be my Derby horse, but I love Clubhouse Ride's breeding.  There is speed there and great stamina lines.  And I love seeing Caerleon in a horses pedigree.  He has a foundation, enough dirt breeding so it shouldn't be a problem and room to improve the way you want two year olds to improve when they become three.  Like Black N Beauty just because of his sale price.  Hope he defies the odds and becomes a good one.  I wish Biondetti were here instead of Dubai.  Shug has a great prospect in Break Up The Band, but as Mr Haskin said, he doesn't push his horses, so I doubt the Derby will materialize unless he runs the table in the preps.

06 Jan 2011 9:42 AM

Great list Steve.

However, once again I am sure people will be talking about the number of prep races a horse runs in before the Ky Derby. This is an annual obsession.

I believe that horses running in America are the same as horses running in Europe.Yet we have the following.

Lammtarra wins the 12-fur Epsom Derby without a prep, in his second lifetime start. He set a new course record. Workforce wins the Epsom Derby after a single prep, in his third lifetime start . He breaks Lammtarra's course record.

In America horses have won the Kentucky Derby after two preps. No one can say that some horses would not have done better after a single prep. The Kentucky Derby is a 10-furlong race, not the Ascot Gold Cup.

Had to say my piece.

06 Jan 2011 9:54 AM

Had fun reading this list yesterday and printed it out for future reference, but now you've changed it up - lol!  I'm very relieved that you changed that info on Mucho Macho Man because having a 13 month old in the mix really scared me.  So sorry to hear that Curlinello has been injured already.  That's the problem with getting attached to these babies so early, so at this point I'm just going to be rooting for all of them to stay sound and healthy even if they don't make it to the Triple Crown trail.  

Thanks for once again getting us going, looking forward to the spring when we are facing the cold, dreary weather.  You rock!!

06 Jan 2011 10:15 AM
Steve Haskin

I could put I'm Steppin it Up on there. He's shown more than some of the others, but right now just looks like a nice horse.

Runflatout ahsnt started. I'm not sure what to do about Jakesam because he's looked good in some of his races, but his last was a starter allowance race, which is pretty much a claiming race. I'll have to see about him.

Jersey Boy, European horses get so much more work at home in simulated races than our horses do you cant compare them. Many of them will go out there with three or four workmates and go a mile and a half under race conditions. They also train up and down hill, so they're much fitter than our horses.

06 Jan 2011 10:26 AM
Steve Haskin

FYI, Black N Beauty, Shadow Warrior, and El Grayling are entered in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream tomorrow.

06 Jan 2011 10:37 AM

Derbylock.......I couldn't agree more I think Steve will be raising his rating after he sees DIALED Inns next race, this horse is a beast and after all that trouble and to still win is unbelievable.  He worked a 47 breezing 2 days ago so maybe he will be in Sundays entries.....people don't understand that the derby is a 1 1/4.  There's alot of good horses but only a handfull  that can get the distance.

06 Jan 2011 10:40 AM

Thank you Mr Haskin.  I was going to say the same thing about how horses are conditioned in Europe compared to here.  

06 Jan 2011 10:54 AM
Love 'em all

Yes, to "Amy" 1/6/11 at 7:05am.  

I saw The Factor's race three times.

Very happy to say, I saw The Factor's race on the Dec. 28th Bill O'Reilly Show (Eric Bolling filled in for the vacationing BOR that night).  WOW! TF got my "patriot" vote.  

Saw his race again when the poll results were announced by Bill on Monday night's show.  Saw the race again on the 5:00am repeat show the next day.  I like that fella! [laughing]

06 Jan 2011 11:06 AM

It's kinda silly to compare the Ascot Gold Cup winning Lammarrta having no preps and here we need at least two preps to run in the Derby.

It's a very simple answer. They only run 2-3 furlongs in a grass race while they are running every step of the way on dirt.

You need to compare apples to apples - so European grass races don't compare or equal American dirt Classics.

How often do you see a distance two turn dirt horse run to full strength right off a break?  It just doesn't happen very often.

06 Jan 2011 11:17 AM

I love these lists and reading about the Prospects; but then reality hits.  Talent and potential be darned, the only thing that will get these colts into the KD starting gate is $$$$$.  A number of them have already collected bankrolls that will get them there whether they develop into great 3-year-olds or not.  If they haven't already won, they MUST take one or more of the big Preps.  It seems a shame that 2yo winnings will always eliminate some of the best 3yo competitors.

Ranagulzion, I have a special interest in Decisive Moment and would love to see him on the TC Trail, but the With Distinction/Dehere cross doesn't look like distance to me.  Plus, his running style has so far been pressing the pace.  He has Heart, but he needs to learn to hold something in reserve.  He does have nice earnings - maybe enough - thanks to the Jackpot place $.  I wouldn't want to see him embarrassed in the KD just because he had the money to get in, tho.  The 4 is probably an appropriate rating for him at this point.

06 Jan 2011 11:43 AM
Sunny Farm

DR. Drunkinbum :

Wishing YOU a very good New year as well !

Thank-you !

My friend comes down from Canada soon, aye ? And she has said she will gladly bring the excellent Nutmeg for you. There is no law that states one cannot enjoy a toddy on ANY given day-I will let you know when the Nutmeg arrives to my farm, aye ?

06 Jan 2011 11:50 AM

Enjoyed the Pre-Derby update.  I thought I had read somewhere that Churchill Downs was not going to allow 2 & 3 year olds to run until after their ACTUAL birthday.  True, False or In My Dreams?  Thank You or Anyone who can answer this.

06 Jan 2011 12:12 PM
Zen's Auntie

Steve (& Lenny) I really enjoyed the New Year addition of "And There Off" thanks for the update, I won't hold my breath on the LAT debacle.

Forbidden Apple I see you mention my long time pet pick Bandbox how he doing these days after his not so great last race? I havent seen any works is he on layoff?

Just for kicks, I like a horse called Uncle Joe as well hes just growing up and may just be somebody too.  

How is Dancinginherdreams doing? shes in regular work where is she pointed? she put in a decent 5 at Palm Med 2 days ago how does she look people on the track? I really like her.  

are you seeing a pattern here?  I admit it, Im "Tapped".    

Of Course, we all love MO too.

My VS seems quiet lately on works but from the works I have seen I think RFO is also going to be somebody. I like the progression and He likes the new SA surface it seems.

ok, back to plowing... sigh

06 Jan 2011 1:29 PM
Sunny Farm

And Now I interrupt this Derby Blog to sincerely congratulate CLAIBORN & also Marylou Whitney for thier Eclipse Award of Merit.

I am so happy for you all -You are all SO deserving of this award !

Also to ADENA SPRINGS for thier award !

I -also-just have read that Trainer John Sherriffs has become a finalsist for Trainer of the year. When I read this wonderful news, I threw my hat into the air and was ALL kinds of happy. Good luck, John !

I think this years Ecipse Awards has got to be THE most exciting year ever !

06 Jan 2011 1:44 PM


"It's kinda silly to compare the Ascot Gold Cup winning Lammarrta having no preps and here we need at least two preps..."

That is a quote from you. What is silly is your statement that Lammtarra won the Ascot Gold Cup. He never ran in it.

Do you feel that Monarchos and Street Cry ran every step of the way in winning the Ky Derby?.

06 Jan 2011 3:16 PM
Billy's Empire

Zemonized, Just 2 year olds. Not that big of a deal b/c not too many 2 yo races in the early spring. Just trying to do right by the horse.

06 Jan 2011 3:31 PM

Remington is one thing, and Oaklawn will likely tell the tale, but ALTERNATION has the looks, pedigree, aptitude, connections and style. Steve, take a look at his two starts.

06 Jan 2011 4:35 PM


I meant Street Sense, not Street Cry

06 Jan 2011 4:56 PM
Steve Haskin

Good one, Sceptre, very very impressive, and super pedigree. I am going to add him and keep a very close eye on him. Thanks for pointing him out.

06 Jan 2011 5:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Sunny Farm

   Aye Aye Capitan.

06 Jan 2011 5:40 PM
Mike Relva


I like The Factor alot,do you think he can go long?

06 Jan 2011 5:53 PM

If I got the race for Lammarrta wrong, my mistake.

Monarchos and Street Sense both had prep races prior to their Derbies.

Neither made their first start of the year in the Derby - ala your stated example of Lammarrta winning a Euro Classic in his first start of the year.

One has nothing to do with the other - apples to apples.

06 Jan 2011 6:23 PM
Frank In GA.

Steve, Enjoyed this 3 year old review. Many exciting horses here to keep our eyes on ! Keep us updated and on the trail. Thanks !

06 Jan 2011 6:41 PM
Steve Haskin

Mike, I'm not that confident he can go 10 furlongs, especially after running that fast. Getting a "1" on the Ragozin sheets is unheard for a maiden. Never been done.

The thinking with him is they'll stretch him out and if it looks like he's more of a miler or sprinter, they'll go the Woody Stephens -- Kings Bishop route. But we'll see what happens next time out.

06 Jan 2011 6:50 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Mike Relva

  I love The Factor and I think he can go 10f but we'll see. His next race is critical. I really hope it's a route. There is no advantage in a 6f or 7f in his next race. It should be routes through The Derby if he shows he can go long. With his stride, if he is willing to slow down, he can go long. I believe he will rate. He had tons of trouble his first race and still finished good. He is not a need the lead horse. His next race will entice them to move forward to the big preps and The Derby. Force him to drop back, relax, and then zoom, blow by them in a 9f stakes race and let the comparisons to Mo begin. Or just get the lead right off the bat, relax, and set another record. Either way it doesn't matter to me.

06 Jan 2011 7:34 PM
Forbidden Apple

Tomorrow's 8th race at Gulfstream reminds me of the allowance race last year where Eskendereya stormed on the KY Derby trail by smashing Middle Of The Night and others. I will be watching Shadow Warrior closely, I believe he will sit just off the pace and pounce at the right time for the win.

Zen's Auntie,

I have not heard anything about Bandbox since the Remsen either. I thought his win in the Sleepy Hollow was impressive, even though it was a bit slow. I hope he develops over the winter into a stayer with a late punch. I am not over the moon on Uncle Mo and will continue to look for other developing talent.

06 Jan 2011 8:04 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Mike Relva

    Actually, under my "The Factor scenario" his next race would be 8.5f.

* That would be the Sham G3 for 3yo 8.5f 15 Jan at SA if he is ready. Then-

* Robert B Lewis G2 9f 12 Feb at SA. Then either travel or

* San Felipe G2 8.5f on March 12. This is not a bad time to travel and then come home for the SA Derby or stay east or south for the Wood, GP Derby or Arkansas Derby. Then after winning the major G1 prep he goes to The Kentucky Derby and wins that on May 7th, then wins The Preakness on May 21st. Now everyone and his brother and sister and uncle will definitely question whether he can win The Belmont with his pedigree. The Factor settles that question winning The Belmont in 2:26. Finally another Triple Crown or does Baffert lose another photo in the head Bob. Oh no !!!!!!!!! Bob loses another Bob !!!! Say it ain't so Joe !!! Yes, I like The Factor.

06 Jan 2011 8:35 PM
Mike Relva



06 Jan 2011 8:38 PM


“Yes, there will be some that perhaps should be on here that aren’t, but you’re always going to miss some”

Normally I would excuse you because you did cover your back with the above statement but I will not. How could you miss Thirtyfirststreet? He is far more worthy of inclusion than most on your list. He came to my attention in The CA Breeders' Champion Stakes. He closed from last but one to score a narrow victory over the very fast and talented Arresting Officer in the Breeders' Champion Stakes. The 7F distance of the Champion Stakes appeared extremely short for him as his rider had to be pushing him along the entire race.  To close from that far back in 22, 44 fractions on the SA Speedway takes a lot of class and stamina. His gallop out suggested he was only getting stronger at the post as he quickly opened up several lengths on the others.  

His pedigree has me very excited and I hope he lives up to expectation. He is inbred to siblings Thong and Moccasin who are by Nantallah/Rough Shod. It’s a long time since the derby has been won by a horse that was inbred to siblings. The 1956 derby winner Iron Ledge was inbred to sibling.

Thong was the dam of Special who is the dam of Fairy Bridge who is famously known for being the dam of the great Saddlers Weld. The brilliant Moccasin was Champion 2-year-old Filly and Co-Horse of the Year, 1965. She was also the dam of Round Table’s Champion 2YO son Apalachee

Both his sire Good Journey and dam sire Sky Classic were turf horses and have me a bit concerned. I can take confidence in the fact that the ill-fated Barbaro had a turf sire. Good Journey’s major win in amassing career earnings of $1.7M was the Atto Mile. Good Journey is a son of Nureyev who is probably best known for being dam sire of the sensational Big Brown. His dam sire Sky Classic has an amazing record in the rout races. He either won, place or showed in (5) 10F races (4) 12F race (4) 9F races. Sky Classic is a son of Northern Dancer’s greatest son the 1970 English TC winner Nijinsky. I cannot think of  broodmare sire associated with any of the top 10 3YOs who that type of rout record.The dam 2010 Belmont winner Drosselmeyer was sires by Mascow Ballet a son of Nijinsky.  Could another granddaughter of the great race horse serve up another classic winner?    You never know.

06 Jan 2011 9:27 PM

Thanks for the very comprehensive list Steve...Uncle Mo is the obvious....Santiva has a lot of Talent and is my dark horse right now, He was taken away from the other trainers because his owner wanted special treatment for him, and with Pletcher Santiva is just another bullet in the holster, his owners want him to be the focus of the stable.

06 Jan 2011 9:46 PM
Paula Higgins

Still like Uncle Mo, To Honor and Serve (thank you Amy for your service), and Dancinginherdreams. The Factor is interesting but I see shorter distances in his future. ITA with that Steve. Still way too early to see how this will shake out. They have to stay healthy, priority number one.

06 Jan 2011 10:29 PM


“Decisive Moment deserves a higher rating based on performance and potential”

The above colt would not make it to my list. Of all the Storm Cat stallions do you seriously believe With Distinction is the one to sire a serious derby contender? Adjust the quantity of what you are drinking or smoking it is adversely affecting you evaluation capacity. An A P Indy son will sire a derby winner before a son of Storm Cat. I thought you were on board with me regarding Thirtyfirststreet.

06 Jan 2011 11:10 PM


Just a correction to my post regarding Thirtyfirststreet. It was the 1957 derby winner Iron Liege that was the last winner inbred to siblings, Before him there was the 1951 winner Count Turf.

06 Jan 2011 11:29 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

I love the Triple Crown Trail.  Getting excited about it helps me not miss Zenyatta so much.  I can afford to attend a few Derby preps.  Any advice of which ones you would choose?  I always go to the Arkansas Derby.

07 Jan 2011 12:30 AM
Steve Haskin

Coldfacts, I am well aware of Thirtyfirststreet and like the horse. The reason he's not on the list is that I simply overlooked him. I'm sure you cant excuse me for that either, but I'll have to live with it.

07 Jan 2011 12:50 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  You'll probably earn your Derby BA degree by the end of that week. It takes twenty years plus to get the Derby doctorate. I think the mint julip mixer has a doctorate Derbymixology.

07 Jan 2011 1:21 AM


Yes I'm with you on Thirtyfirststreet, although i feel the need to see him run one more time before going all gung ho over his potential (need some assurance against the one-race-wonder syndrome).

Regarding Decisive Moment, he kind of reminds me of Cat Thief, in his running style.  He is pacey and fights on tenaciously to the wire.  This colt has inbreeding to Northern Dancer and Secretariat, top and bottom, plus an extra dose of the big heart gene carrier Princequillo.  That's enough to overcome Storm Cat's drag on stamina IMO.  Lets wait and see.


The holiday festivities are over and its time to get sober about The Factor's ability to stay a distance of ground.  I know that you are looking for a challenger to Uncle Mo that has a matching turn of foot but you need to do the assessment before you have a round of the martini (LOL).  You were in love with Jaycito when you were sober and just because he apparently had some scotch wisky before the BCJ and blew the turn doesn't mean that you should relegate him down your list.  Sober up and return to Jaycito now that he's with Bob Baffert.  The Factor has no shot going pass 8.5 furlongs in a truly run race.

07 Jan 2011 7:05 AM


I cannot believe you wrote this:

"Nureyev who is probably best known for being dam sire of the sensational Big Brown".

Are you talking about Nureyev, the sire of Miesque, Theatrical, a total of 135 SWs, 61 graded SWs,  23 Grade 1 winners, 9 Champions? He is an all-timer.

07 Jan 2011 7:31 AM

What about the horse that Bill Mott has named "Sockarooni" in New Orleans?

07 Jan 2011 8:41 AM
Billy's Empire

The Factor will not be a factor in the 2011 Derby. You need to look no further than 2010 KY derby, when California Speed horses went to the front and backed up badly. Conveyance, Sidney's Candy and Line of David were all on the front end and all finished out of the top 10. Bob said himself, he needed a different race for the Factor in his second race, b/c his maiden he was stuck behind horses. You think he is going to get an easy lead and just waltz to the front and control the pace?? See Lookin at Lucky. PP means a lot in the Derby.

Now, if The Factor goes to the Illinois Derby, runs a 112 Beyer on the front end to win,  and is 20-1 in the Derby, AKA WAR EMBLEM, then maybe he has a shot.

07 Jan 2011 9:04 AM

I don't know're awfully kind to egotists.  Last year Coldfacts proclaimed no AP Indy would win the KD.  Then Super Saver did.  Now, a 180 turn and a year later, it's "only an AP Indy will win."  Of course I'll always favor the Slew line, but I'm relying heavily on Bernardini.  It's a long way to May.  It should be a very interesting few months.

We've had some superior 2 year olds who seem to be bottled lightning.  Now, they're 3...and it's the longer distances that will reveal the most.  

07 Jan 2011 9:20 AM

1. Steve,

2. Thirtyfirststreet:

3. You know you are excused by all your supporters. There are so many horses to cover some will invariably be excluded. I was only taking a shot at you. No harm or offence meant.

4. The Factor:

5. I noted you highlighted the stamina influence of his dam sire Miswaki. I highlighted the same when he came to my attention prior to his maiden victory. I was taken to task for associating Miswaki with stamina. I see you have received no such challenge. What I found interesting about the dismissal of Miswaki’s stamina claim was the basis. Miswaki sired an Arc and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner. (Urban Sea/Black Tie Affair) The dam sires of these winners were credited with the stamina influence. Miswaki was deemed t be just a semen donor. His broodmares have produced two Arc winners (Sea The Stars/Dalakhani) and several black type winners and millionaires (My Typhoon/Talkin Man/Landseer).  It was deemed that these broodmares were bred to stallions with strong stamina influence. Again Miswaki was discredited as a stamina influence. The fact that he was leading broodmares sires in Great Britain & Ireland in 1999 & 2001 meant nothing to my attackers.

6. I recognize that a lot of your supporters regard The Factor as a sprinter. The photograph of him on the Pedigree Online web site does not reflect the confirmation of a sprinter. The Mr. Prospector arm of Native Dancer has been a dominant force in international racing in the last 15 years or more. Why do we continue question the capacity of a grad daughter of the great stallion to produce a horse that can carry its speed for a mile and a quarter is puzzling to me. Mr. Prospector sons Smart Strike and Carson City were both broodmare sires of derby winners. Neither have the broodmare record of Miswaki. The Mr. Prospector arm of Native Dancer has produced winners of 35 Triple Crown races. I think it is also worthwhile mentioning that it also produces the 2009 Melbourne Cup winner. The Mr. Prospector arm of Native Dancer is loaded with speed and stamina.

7. I think I can safely state that Miswaki is the only son of Mr. Prospector that has won the leading broodmare sire twice. He was produced from a Buckpasser mare and those who believe he is not a stamina influence are in a serious state of denial.

8. I would be very surprise if The Factor didn’t get a distance of ground. His energy efficient strides are a testament to his confirmation cited in the photo mentioned above. Step over Uncle Mo there is a new kid on the block.

07 Jan 2011 9:49 AM
Steve Haskin

Coldfacts, No offense taken. I was just pulling your leg. I actually added him to the list, as belated as it is.

07 Jan 2011 11:20 AM


Thanks for this great,informative listing of potential Kentucky Derby horses! I look forward to following the Derby Trail by reading all your articles and blogs about the three-year-old class. You allow me to get to know more about each horse than any other writer does. I also love the "And They're Off" videos you and Lenny do,too!

I just pray every horse gets to the Derby and other races safely and wish all their connections luck and wisdom in managing these young horses' careers. I am excited about the Triple Crown Trail, but I most love getting to familiarize myself with the horses so I can follow them wherever their talent takes them. While I am impressed with Uncle Mo,The Factor, and To Honor and Serve, I will also be following Santiva and any of Afleet Alex's and Tiznow's colts eagerly. Thanks for the info on Elite Alex and Tiz Blessed. Good luck to them all!

07 Jan 2011 11:36 AM
Billy's Empire

keep a look out for Travelin Man, he looked good in a 6f race yesterday at Gulfstream. He won by more than 7 in 109 flat after prompting the pace in 22 and 44 3/5 coming home is 24 2/5. Trained by Pletcher out of Trippi.

Also, Tapizar worked 6f at Santa Anita in 112 2/5, second fastest, as he prepares for the Jan 15th Sham. Asmussen is in Cali with him, so he may be high on this colt, or it is just too damn cold everywhere else in the Country.

07 Jan 2011 11:58 AM
Steve Haskin

Bluebird, Sockarooni hasnt broken his maiden yet. His last was encouraging, but if I start putting maidens on there the list would wind up with 200 horses.

07 Jan 2011 12:05 PM
Billy's Empire

Sockarooni is a Pual newman's recipe spaghetti sauce, and it is GOOD

07 Jan 2011 12:32 PM


I suggest if you are going to attach labels you get your facts right. I predicted that no horse from the Raise A Native sire line would win the Derby not AP Indy. I do believe you have been misled by my style of writing and for this you are forgiven. As I have posted in the past you are at liberty to pass on reading my post. I was unaware that they reflected an inflated sense of my importance, excessiveness and boasting.


The RAN sire line was represented by 9 starters in the 2010 Derby only one hit the board. I remain convinced that if Ice Box got a problem free run he would have won easily.

Super Saver victory was due to Ice Box’s misfortune. I was bold enough to predict that a sire line accounting for almost half the derby field would not win. My prediction regarding this was wrong but I take comfort in the fact that the remaining 8 horses from this line did not hit the board and one won by default.

I recommend that you desist from attaching labels to poster as it  reflect badly on your capacity to communicate disagreements and two can play the labeling game.

NB: There were other predictions that I made that were spot on.

07 Jan 2011 12:35 PM

The Factor's got the long muscles of a classic race horse...he's beautiful with a stride to die for, his DI says Classic distance, too and his sire/dam dam lines have plenty of stamina...I'm a believer.

07 Jan 2011 2:01 PM
Idee winners

This should have been a shorter list, but there seems to be an above average crop. But described it correctly "To Honor and Serve" is the full package and this colt should only develop from here. With Velasquez also riding Uncle Mo I would make a rider change on his frst start of the year. This is a "monster" horse.

07 Jan 2011 2:50 PM
Soldier Course

All of this reminds me of a line from one of my favorite movies, "Dirty Dancing":

"Win big, Mo."

Here's hoping ...

Thanks, Steve.

07 Jan 2011 3:41 PM

FYI, Black N Beauty, Shadow Warrior, and El Grayling are entered in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream tomorrow.

Steve Haskin 06 Jan 2011 10:37 AM

The race finish:

1st Black n Beauty

2nd Printing Press

3rd Shadow Warrior

4th El Grayling

07 Jan 2011 4:42 PM
Billy's Empire

black n beauty first, Shadow Warrior third beaten almost 5 legnths at GP today. El Grayling 4th. Ran the mile over 137 wire to wire.

07 Jan 2011 4:48 PM

Black N Beauty had a busy day!  Winning the 8th race at Gulfstream and the 3rd race at Santa Anita.  HA!

07 Jan 2011 5:07 PM


I have Riveting Reason high on my list but I was emphatically reminded that Uncle Mo defeated him by 16 lengths. In spite of his one win from eight starts I will not abandon this colt. He has a proven classic pedigree and that’s all I need to know. The record of the Mr. Prospectors sires line in TC races stands at 35 so no further details is warranted. His dam line via his dam sire has produced two KD winners. His dam sire Known Fact is a son of In Reality. Smile and Believe It the broodmare sires of Derby/Preakness winners Smarty Jones and Real Quiet are sons of In Reality. Four of Northern Dancer’s sons have been dam sires of KD winner. I am hoping that a third son of In Reality can serve up another Derby winner.

Kentucky Derby winners have been notoriously poor derby sired over the last 20 years. During this period a grand total of one KD winner was sired by a Derby winner (Grindstone by /Unbridled) I am hoping Fusaichi Pegasus can do lot better than Mr. Prospector’s other classic winning sons Tank ‘s Prospect/ Conquistador Cielo as a classic sire.

07 Jan 2011 5:23 PM

Black N Beauty!  Bargain horse runs another nice race.  Hope he keeps moving forward.

07 Jan 2011 6:01 PM


Super Saver is not an AP Indy line horse. Yourself and others are trying very hard to make 'AP' into a Derby winner producing influence but please don't savage the truth to do so.  Being a broodmare sire of a Derby winner is quite a different thing from being the sire or grandsire of a Derby winner.  I tell you again, AP Indy will not sire a Derby winner because his offspring carry a dominant late developing genetic trait.  No matter how much you argue the point the cold facts of history are a chilly reminder of the truth.  I watched the quietly wispered derby-hope of AP Indy, Shadow Warrior, run today and its the same old same old hype.  These colts should be geared to the summer classics (Belmont, Haskell and Travers).


It is disingeuous to keep saying that Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby on default.  You keep doing this because your prediction of Ice Box failed. His loss, whether due to a rough trip, poor ride or coming up short on ability, was coincidental to Super Saver's 2 1/2 lengths victory but not connected in anyway by some cause and effect that you are attributing.  It should also be noted that Super Saver's post Derby performances, though dismal, was excusable and still superior to Ice Box's post Derby runs, therefore what is your point if not to try and save your face.  I've got to keep you honest my Bro. Just stick with the cold facts and you'll be cool.  

07 Jan 2011 9:26 PM

Just szaw Black N Beauty's race.

I like him.

A lot.

Let's see how he progesses.

07 Jan 2011 9:37 PM


Do you think El Grayling would do better at longer distance's than the mile on the dirt?

07 Jan 2011 10:06 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I always knew that you were smart and perceptive. You too Coldfacts.

08 Jan 2011 12:42 AM

I like Black n Beauty because I love Boston Harbor...I'm always happy to see anything from his lines do well.

That yearling price tells me "dreams do come true!"

08 Jan 2011 6:19 AM


You wrote:

"please don't savage the truth ...

Being a broodmare sire of a Derby winner is quite a different thing from being the sire or grandsire of a Derby winner"

According to Webster:

A grandsire is:

"a dam's or sire's sire —used of an animal "

At least you should follow your own admonition.

08 Jan 2011 7:50 AM


I have categorized the colts in your extensive list in their respective sire lines. I then compare these sire lines to those have been successful in the last 31 Derbies (1990-2010) Listed below is the summation. The first column reflects the derbies won by the various sire lines and the second contains the class of 2011.

Raise A Native                          15       22

Buckpasser                                 3         0

Northern Dancer                         4       16

Hail To Reason                           3         4  

Ribot                                           2         0

Bold Ruler/Nasrullah                  2       15  

Others                                         2         5

The figures in the first column above show the extent of the dominance on the RAN sire line in the derby. However, based on the 2011 numbers, it appears the Northern Dancer and Bold Ruler/Nasrullah sire lines can double team the seemingly unstoppable RAN sire line this year.  The top colts for 2011 are not from the RAN sire line. The sire line of To Honor and Serve and Uncle Mo go back to Nasrullah. The #3 colt BAT falls in to the category of others a category that has only produced two derby winners in 31 years.  Interestingly no In Reality, A P Indy or In Excess related stallions has ever sired a derby winner.  The top three colts are therefore very vulnerable from a historic perspective.

It is indeed sad that there are no horses on the radar from the Buckpasser/Ribot sire line.      

08 Jan 2011 9:38 AM

Dr Drunkenbum,

Three people instead of two on a sinking ship doesn't shop the stip from shinking hic hic hic.  Anyway I'm sure Rachel knows that she can count on me to throw her a life line when The Factor's stamina limitations are exposed. You and Coldfacts are gonna have to swim ashore(LOL).  .

08 Jan 2011 9:58 AM


Do you know what impact a race such as the one that Ice Box ran can have on a young horse? It clearly destroyed the colt. Ice box is a small horse and this is probably why he was able to stop and start on five different occasions. I am in no way trying to discredit Super Saver by stating the cold facts. At least Ice Box was able to make several starts after the derby the same cannot be said about Mission Impazible. Rule got his engine blown in the FL Derby and will make his first start in nine months in the Hal Hope. I wonder why Todd didn’t send him over to Tampa Bay as he is going to be turned back today.

08 Jan 2011 10:02 AM
Zen's Auntie

Filly Update - Dancinginherdreams is pointed at the 200K Forward Gal January 30th @ GP according to John Ward her trainer. Julian Leparoux worked her last week and she put in 11 2/5 final in 5 in 1 4/5

If you saw the Pocahontas (and her Maiden 21 days earlier) you have to like this filly. She brings it very bravely and Ward says she is "most comfortable" when in an actual race. Huh... Adding she is cool and mature as a 5 year old.  Tasty...

I like this gals style and I like her best for the Oaks.

Another Filly Im glad to see come back is Amen Hallelujah She is scheduled to make her next start on Jan. 29 in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint. Dutrow and Julien reported she is doing well although we have not seen her in a race since June.  I like her too.  

For the nepotistic fan I offer that Souper Spectacular (Zenny’ s lil 4yr old bro by Giants Causeway) will run the 9th in the grade 3 Fort Lauderdale stakes at 4:23 pm Race 8 on the card.  He does not resemble his sister but is a gamey ornery little red cus who likes to duel it out. He lacked enough to win late last time but hung in for 4th in a grade 3 @ Calder -  I wish him luck.

08 Jan 2011 10:32 AM

Coldfacts and Ranagul: I wasn't attempting to attach labels, but I have seen a 180 turn around this year in cold facts predictions.  I still insist concentrating solely on the KD, and not taking into account the other 2 legs of the TC is a mistake.  And with AP Indy, he's had Bernardini and Rags To Riches.  And keep mentioning a late-developing gene.  Please explain where that comes from since both Seattle Slew and Secretariat were 2 year old champions. (I would expect a colt by RH10 to be a late bloomer due to size, but not a colt by the smaller AP Indy). As far as broodmare sires not counting, when you speak of Cigar, do you speak of Palace Music or his dam (Solar Slew), a daughter of Seattle Slew. What about Storm Cat?  etc..etc.

Coldfacts..I was simply taking a jab...meant in fun.  You have so much information, it's a pleasure to read what you have to say.  However, sometimes I think you have too much information.  I am a logical person, and I find many of your conclusions more rationalizations than logical deductions. I know you concentrate on the Kentucky Derby only, but I feel that it is the fatal flaw in your arguments.  To ignore the Preakness and Belmont aspects, where talent becomes more pronounced than the 20 horse stampede that relies so heavily on luck (as the Derby has become) is to discard too many viable candidates who, given luck, can also shine in the Derby.  I mean, just think about Point Given (RAN line) who didn't quite strut his stuff in the Derby...but was the best horse in the field, as proven by the following 2 legs.  

When I look at Derby prospects, the one thing always in my mind is, "Who can get 12f?"  I want to see another TC winner before I'm I'm always hoping for a Slew progeny, because I know they can get the distance.  

08 Jan 2011 10:53 AM
Pedigree Ann

Note that Black N Beauty is a 5/8 sibling to Roses in May. He is by the same sire - Devil His Due - out of a granddaughter of Roses in May's dam. That granddaughter is by Boston Harbor out of a SW by Vigors, which shouldn't hinder his stamina too much. The Boston Harbor cross is probably why he is coming to hand earlier than Roses in May did.

08 Jan 2011 5:08 PM

Jersey Boy,

I wouldn't split hairs with you about the broader definition of grandsire.  I'll give you that.  However my point still stands that AP Indy is not and will never become a Derby-winner-producing influence, neither as a sire or sire of sires.  I assert this view not because I don't like the AP Indy line, perish the thought,but simply because I have made careful observation over the years of his performance at stud with respect to Triple Crown races, especially the Derby.  I take into consideration that he has covered more quality broodmares than any other rival stallion except Storm Cat and produced dismal results.  That is an indisputable fact of history my friend.  The broodmare sire argument using Super Charger (Super Saver's dam) is an abberation and due mostly to Super Saver's sire Maria's Mon that already produced derby winner Monarchos and descends from Derby winner Majestic Prince (RAN bloodline).    

08 Jan 2011 5:38 PM
Big Brown's Buddy

Great list,Steve - can't wait to start looking for the standouts! But one question for ya': WHERE ARE THE FILLIES??  I noticed that Zen's Auntie included a few (THANKS for that,Zen's Auntie!), but I'd like to hear some of YOUR choices-you always have suchj great picks. With the amazing careers of Rachel Alexandra and the Super Mare Zenyatta, I would think that more people would be keeping an eye on the girls this year. So,are there any fillies out there on the verge of becoming the next ZENYATTA??  

08 Jan 2011 6:18 PM


What predictions have I made for the 2011 Derby? I have been merely giving my opinions on the top colts along with my usual historic angle.  Do believe you are jumping the gun.

09 Jan 2011 8:30 AM


Lay off A. P Indy. His record in TC races is not as bad as you think. Listed below is the # of winners of TC races sired by some of the big boys who presumably got the best mares:

Mr. Prospector:     3

Secretariat             1

Storm Cat             1

Seattle Slew          2

Affirmed               0

Deputy Minister   0

AP Indy                2

How many sons of the above top five stallions have sired winners of TC races?

Mr. Prospector:     3

Secretariat             0

Storm Cat             0

Seattle Slew          0

Affirmed               0

Deputy Minister   0

AP Indy                0

Five of Mr. Prospector’s grandsons have sired winners of TC races. No grandsons of the others cited above have done so. A P Indy is still active and still has a chance of siring derby winner.

NB: Northern Dancer never sired with winner of an American Triple Crown race.

09 Jan 2011 9:04 AM


Regarding the late development trait of APIndy offspring, you need to pay attention to their performances on the track.  My theory is based purely on observation and comparison with other bloodlines that show consistent early maturity in time for the Kentucky Derby.  This has nothing to do with the size of the stallion.  It is in the genes which show up outwardly in the performance of the offspring.  This is no different from the theory that some stallions are more prolific at throwing turf runners than dirt runners.  Its all in the genes and become accepted based upon observation over time.  I have read of several trainer acknowledging the late development tendency of the APIndys and the results are there for all to see, so I don't understand the pushback from you, Jersey Boy, Carlos in Cali and, of late, Coldfacts on this point.  

09 Jan 2011 9:45 AM


Affirmed doesn't belong on the lists of "big boys" stallions that you posted.  Alydar belongs there because he was far more successful and more highly rated at stud than Affirmed.  That adjustment will alter the picture you are trying to paint somewhat because Alydar was the sire of Alysheba and Easy Goer (winners of each leg of the Triple Crown between them).

As the man with the cold facts, perhaps you could come up with the comparitive statistics of number of mares covered by each of the big boys.  I doubt that you would want to post those facts that would defeat your position.  AP Indy will not look very good, I assure you.

09 Jan 2011 2:27 PM

Ranagulzion is correct about AP Indy's being late developing.  Many trainers have been on record saying the exact same thing.  It doesn't mean, though, that there will never be a KD winner sired by AP Indy.  But in general they are late developing.

09 Jan 2011 3:36 PM

Brethren not only beat Black N Beauty, but Brehten man-handled Justin Phillip.

Bring on the J-E-T-S!

09 Jan 2011 6:00 PM

Coldfacts.1st..Mr Prospector never won a TC race..but Unbridled won the KD, and also has a son who won the KD..2/Seattle Slew sired Swale and AP Indy, both winners of TC Races.(KD and Belmont)

AP Indy sired Bernardini and Rags To Riches, both winners of TC races.(Preakness and Belmont)  AP Indy is a Slew son...your coldfacts are skewed. And yes, though not settling on one colt (much too early for me) you have been opining "not a chance" on others.

Ranagul: There is a huge gap between an observable trait and a genetic trait, which you claim is responsible for late development.  Since genetically, AP Indy is sired by 2 2yr-old champions, it has no basis, genetically. (and the 2nd week in May is not considered late..ala Bernardini)  You claimed damsires had no bearing on a horse, only the sire.  Secretariat was sired by a Champion sprinter.  He got his distance stamina from his damsire, Princequillo.  

The reason I am pushing back so hard is because it's one thing to have an opinion.  It's a total misconception when you represent your opinions as facts, especially when the "facts" you present are baseless. So, If I seem to be argumentative, it's because you are both so pedantic in your proclamations. While I appreciate information, I really do not appreciate being told there is no other consideration, and your word is final.  Face it! At one time, the Kentucky Derby was THE most prestigious race in the country.  However, lately, with a 20 horse field, and a track not wide enough to accommodate a 20 horse field, it's become (IMO) a crap shoot.  The race goes not to the swift, but to any horse not unlucky enough to draw post positions 1 and 2, and able to withstand a bumper car rodeo.

09 Jan 2011 6:53 PM


From DRF:

Stall not pointing J.B.'s Thunder for Triple Crown.

“He’s not a Derby horse,” Stall said. “I don’t think he trains as well over dirt as he does over Poly or turf. He’s just not doing as good as I thought he was doing in Kentucky.”

09 Jan 2011 9:46 PM

Lucy Van Pelt was on to something when she said she never ate December snowflakes since it was too early. I love to talk Derby but the Road to the Roses is long and tricky... Just getting to the First Saturday in May sound is hard enough. I'm watching and like the list for when I'm really ready to give the three year olds my attention, mid February. Thanks Steve! Glad though that Santa Anita is back to dirt so I can give serious consideration to the West Coast 3YOs again.

09 Jan 2011 9:59 PM

Slew, your comment at 6:53 PM is a thing of beauty.  Kudos!

09 Jan 2011 10:18 PM

Re: "Big Brown's Buddy 08 Jan 2011 6:18 PM So,are there any fillies out there on the verge of becoming the next ZENYATTA??"

There will not be another Zenyatta in our lifetime or maybe any and all lifetimes.  She defines UNIQUE.  Oh, how I wish that I am wrong because she made my heart sing like no other.  

09 Jan 2011 10:42 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Million Dollar Major Derby Preps

*Mar 26, six weeks prior to Derby is the Louisiana Derby at FG.

*Apr 3, five weeks prior to Derby is The Florida Derby at GP.

*Apr 9, four weeks prior to Derby is The Santa Anita Derby at SA.

*Apr 16, three weeks prior to the Derby is The Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

 All are 9f (1 1/8 Mile). The Wood at AQU on Apr 9th is for 750k. The Blue Grass at Keeneland on Apr 16th is also for 750k. The Illinois Derby at Hawthorne on Apr 9th is for 500k. The Kentucky Derby is May 7th for a Two Million Dollar Purse to run an extra furlong longer than all of the major preps in a run for their lives against 19 others in the bumper car rodeo Slew mentioned. Not only can they never go to that Carnival again but they don't want to anyway. Still, it is the Greatest Show On Earth for humans and eternal bragging rights for one horse. I don't care what they do or don't accomplish in racing after that, on that day the winner of the Kentucky Derby was one brave and amazing hero.

10 Jan 2011 3:07 AM
Criminal Type

Steve, Thanks for turning me onto Black N Beauty, He was under my radar. Nice win for him Friday. I love that line..Devil His Due, Devils Bag and that old devil himself, Halo. You gotta admire a horse that us consistantly that mean, like Dynaformer, today.  Any idea where Pluck is going to start next ? I heard he was headed to Europe. I know he likes the grass, but damn I would like to see him on the trail.

Zens auntie, You know Amen Hallelujah is entered in the Keeneland sale this week, right?

10 Jan 2011 5:37 AM


“Affirmed doesn't belong on the lists of "big boys" stallions that you posted”

Triple Crown winner Affirmed is the most successful horse from one of the most successful sire line in TC history. No other horse from the RAN sire since has equaled his achievements. Are you implying that Alydar the vanquished in all three TC races is more worthy of inclusion?  Are you making an attempt at a joke?  

10 Jan 2011 6:23 AM


I appreciate the discourse.  No problem.  We can agree to disagree and watch how things play out on the track.  It is all done in good spirit. I'm not trying to impose my opinion on you but the conclusions that I draw from observation are not done willy nilly.  I've been around this game for a long time and give good reasons for my position.  

Your argument that AP Indy has no late development gene because Seattle Slew and Secretariat, both 2YO champions, are in his pedigree is very simplistic indeed.  Genetic traits play a large role in the appearance and behaviour of orgaisms but the genetic pool is wider than the dominant traits of the immediate ancestors my friend. I'm sure that you'll agree that APIndy doesn't look like either of his illustrious sire and Broodmare sire.  His genetic make up, as in all organisms, is far more complex than the traits of the immediate parents.  I'm asserting that he has demonstrated a propensity to throw 3YOs that do not mature in time to be winners of the Kentucky Derby in spite of being given a far better than average chance by covering the elite of the North American broodmare band over many years.  Repeated mention of Bernadini and Rags To Riches are like a drowning man grasping at straws or like two needles in a haystack of hyped floppers.  Show me one Derby winner and a only a couple of runners up from him or any of his sons and I'll be convinced.  

A few of his sons, Stephen Got Even (Stevie Wonderboy, Dont Get Mad, I Want Revenge); Pulpit (Corinthian, Sky Mesa, Ice Box); and Mineshaft (Cool Coal Man, Descretely Mine) appear to be the likeliest ones to throw early developers and atone for "AP" but so far they've all come up short.  Now Bernadini is the new "AP" hyped stallion.  I'll put Sweet Ducky (Pulpit) and Dialed-In (Mineshaft) on my Derby short list but I'm tossing Astrology and To Honor and Serve.  These latter two have looked precocious but I suspect that their growth cycles will go wacky in the spring forcing the connections to back off until the Summer.  I've seen this many times before (most recent examples that I can recall are Girolamo, Take Control and Oddyseus).  I'm watching and I'll be happy to be proven wrong.  Peace.

10 Jan 2011 10:59 AM
Forbidden Apple

Black n Beauty was ultra impressive of friday, he has now moved to my watch list. I was far from pleased with the stretch runnning of Shadow Warrior. The Gulfstream surface might just be incredibly speed favoring and I'll give the Warrior another chance on a different race track.


The correct spelling is conformation and don't be fooled by looks alone. Do you remember the length and overall size of Midnight Lute? He was a huge horse that did not have the look of a sprinter to me and he was blazing fast. I am not convinced The Factor will be a factor on the Triple Crown trail just yet. But who knows, he could be a freak like the Pamplemousse with brilliant speed and the ability to run long.

10 Jan 2011 11:46 AM
Matthew W

Here's another cold fact about A P Indy: I saw his maiden win, over a slow, tiring Santa Anita track (6 1/2 fur in 1:18 or even 1:19), I saw it at a bowling alley in Albany, Oregon, and myself/and friends, all to a man, proclaimed him the next years Derby Winner--and we would've been right, were it not for injury--no way would I toss an Ap Indy from consideration--take that late bloomer talk with a grain of salt--A P Indy is a son of a Derby winner who was prepared to win it himself.

10 Jan 2011 3:52 PM
7 1/2 Furlongs

For Kentucky Derby Future Bet purposes, I like Santiva. My top 4 betting factors include:

(1) fair amount of graded stakes earnings in the bank, (2) a good race over the CD dirt track, (3) distance pedigree, and (4) odds of 20-1 or higher.  System worked fine last year with Super Saver.

Will keep fingers crossed that horse stays healthy between now and early May.  Also, post position draw is critical.  Would appreciate any information on status of horse in coming weeks.  Thank you.

10 Jan 2011 4:52 PM

Dr. Drunkinbum-  Regarding War Front--sure hope that the Zenyatta connections look at him carefully when determining who Queen Z should be bred to.  

10 Jan 2011 5:21 PM

I really like Black N Beauty. Let's keep an eye on him. Being a huge fan of Point Given, I am hoping Coil will be coming back.

10 Jan 2011 7:26 PM
Mike Relva


Very good points,I agree.

10 Jan 2011 9:59 PM

Per Godolphin, Biondetti will be racing in the UK this summer, so obviously he's not being pointed to the Derby. I guess I knew that when I read that Buffum was being shipped to Dubai - he'll be their Derby hopeful

11 Jan 2011 8:40 AM
Billy's Empire

Uncle Mo was highweighted with Frankel as the best 2yo in the world last year. Can not wait til he starts racing again next month.

11 Jan 2011 11:58 AM

Rogue Romance caught my eye. The Juvenile was a little bit of a scuffle. I don't remember him but I know--at least sentimentally--a Smarty J. colt has potential. Also, isn't there something a little disconcerting about a horse named Gourmet Dinner? Where does he go after his career?

11 Jan 2011 12:32 PM

Slew, you're short changing Bold Ruler by characterizing him simply as a champion sprinter. He did finish fourth in the Derby, win the Preakness, finish third in the Belmont and win the Suburban during his career -- not to mention he was horse of the year in 1957.

11 Jan 2011 1:36 PM

Drawing the rail in the Derby, is about as brutal as it gets unless your name is Ferdinand. I believe he is the last horse to bull his way through from the rail to win the Kentucky Derby. Last year Lookin at Lucky got the rail and proceeded to get ping-ponged around the first turn and somehow still ran on strong to finish 6th. The winner Super Saver, and the placer Ice Box both came from inside posts. Perhaps the rain had something to do with it. The track had an inside speed bias that day. I wonder what would have happened if LAL got a clean trip?          

11 Jan 2011 2:28 PM

Steve, great article, really appreciate the early look of the contenders. I really love a horse that broke his maiden at keeneland but have not heard anything about him. His name is Animal Kingdom trained by catalano i think,any info would be appreciated.

11 Jan 2011 7:29 PM
Mary Zinke

It looks like comments have closed for this blog, but is there any update on Maybesomaybenot, the Sanford winner? He hasn't had a work out since October.

12 Jan 2011 11:14 AM

Steve, love your articles.  I'm shooting for Decisive Moment!!!!  Let's see what happends this Friday night!

12 Jan 2011 9:21 PM

Well, it's Jan. 13 and I am hoping Steve got a flight out and arrived safely by Zenyatta since we got blasted again in NJ on Wed. with another snowstorm.

Yep, I'm having a dreadful birthday day alright.  My car decided to die today on the way to work!  Ugh! I need Steve's article on our Zenyatta to cheer me up guys!

13 Jan 2011 7:15 PM

Thanks for the rating rundown on the derby probables Steve, this helps a lot.  Like you said, it's still much early to start declaring winners but I guess some just think Uncle Mo is a freak.  Even if he keeps his 2 yr old form as a 3 yr old, I'll still try to beat him.  I just think he'll be a really really short price wherever he runs.  I'm still very high in Jaycito, just wish Baffert starts talking about him, how he's doing, what the plans are etc.  I also like Mott's horse, I think he's a true distance horse.

Also, you touched on this topic last year and wondering if there's any discussion going on about it.  The graded earnings rule, I felt that there were some horses that never made it to the race because they didn't have enough graded earnings.  I don't remember if there was a change this year or not, I vaguely recall reading some changes but not sure if it was just opinions or if they actually changed the rules.  Anyway, what's your take on it and if you're for changing the rules, how would you set it up so that it's fair and we get the best (or most of the best) horses in the race ?

13 Jan 2011 10:35 PM

Matthew W,

AP Indy may be the son of a Derby winner that was prepared to win it himself but what has he done at stud to bolster your argument.  I should have also mentioned Declan's Moon as another AP Indy (grandson) flop in the spring after being crowned 2YO champion undefeated.  This is real cold facts my friend.

14 Jan 2011 11:27 PM

Thanks for the list Steve. I will be on the lookout.  I usually have my Derby horse picked out by now and then a Tiznow colt comes along and I fall in love.  I followed Colonel John, American Lion and against my better judgement Mr. Hot Stuff (talented, quirky but OMG BEAUTIFUL Black Beauty).  Tiz makes some beautiful babies.  Of course I was impressed with Mo in the BC just like everyone else.  I was also very impressed with Rogue Romance at Keeneland and Tapizar at Churchill.  Frankel is the one horse I would love to see the most though.  He has WOWed me more than any other horse so far.  I am sure they are going for the 2000 guineas etc with him.  Wish they would bring him over.  I am really hoping that we will get to see him in the BC Classic this year.

Happy New Year to everyone!

15 Jan 2011 12:11 AM


I repeat, Alydar as a stallion was far superior to Affirmed.  This is indisputable.  The joke is on you my friend.

15 Jan 2011 1:07 AM

Alex'sBigFan: My son's birthday was also the 13th, and he managed to sprain his ankle at he wasn't very happy either.

Tiznowbaby: I certainly did not intend to short change Bold Ruler, but Secretariat's ability to go the distance was always a question mark because of Bold Ruler.  On the other hand, Princequillo, his damsire, was an endurance champion, which is why I attribute that ability to the damsire.  On the other hand, sometimes you get a freak like Ghostzapper, considered a sprinter, but he holds the record for the 10f BC you never know.

Ranagul: the most impressive 3 year old last year IMO was Take Control.  It was an soft-tissue injury that took him out of contention. (he reminded me of Sea The Stars in his debut).  I would however, still insist that an observable trait and a genetic trait are simply not the same thing.

I'm sorry to hear Biondetti won't be in contention.  This year, so far, I am leaning toward Bernardini colts and fillies.  That could change.  Uncle Mo might indeed be a freak...but I need to see more...the same with The Factor.  

DR D:  We must part company on one thing (even though I still luv ya).  The Derby is indeed a circus...a big top attraction...but the prestige itself was lost when they added an auxiliary gate.  Of the last 3 TC winners, Slew faced the largest field at 14.  I still believe the best horse in last year's Derby was Lookin At Lucky.(maybe Ice Box)..but last year, it was the best jockey who actually won.

So...IMO..instead of earnings, use points in the preps.  Limit the fields to one gate.  Once a horse is entered in the Derby (barring injury) he should automatically be committed to all 3 legs.  I don't believe it's fair to throw in fresh horses after one horse has already won 2 legs.  But that's just me and my own little Triple Crown Utopia.  Every one has their own ideas on how to make it right...I just want to see another Triple Crown winner before my bucket gets kicked out from under me.  (ooh wait kids...don't pull that plug yet...I'm not ready...)

15 Jan 2011 9:10 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I hadn't even thought about that one. War Front and Zenyatta looks like an excellent match to me. His fees could be moving way up soon. War Front is at Claiborne with a 2011 fee of 15k listed. Sounds like a bargain.

15 Jan 2011 11:37 AM

Ranagulzion : Really ?  AP's babies will "never" win the derby ?  That's some theory you got there but I guess you're the expert on AP Indy's.

I personally wouldn't state such a comment regardless of what history says because there's one thing I know about horses in general, is that it has its way of proving humans wrong on occasion, but maybe it just likes to pick on me :)

15 Jan 2011 2:24 PM
Big Papa

Gutsy performance from Alternation and Elite Alex Saturday.

16 Jan 2011 12:20 PM

Steve, thanks for great info!

This seems to be a better year of Derby contenders than 2010 don't you think?  Wow, Tapizar's 1:40:38 in his mile and 1/16!  What a performance!  Elite Alex sure showed some guts at Oaklawn, also!  I think I'd give him an edge over Alternation after EA had such a terrible start, wouldn't you?

Can't wait to see your next version and analysis!

16 Jan 2011 5:29 PM
Big Brown's Buddy

@Maryann727 - I totally and heartily agree about there never being another Zenyatta! I was just wondering if there were any fillies out there that are about to set racing on its' collective ear again, like our Zenny did. Zenyatta is truly one of a kind in every sense,from her racing to her personality, and while I'm happy that she's happy in retirement, racing for me will never be the same.  Trevor Denman's call of the '09 BC will echo in my head forever when I think about her - "!!!"  She certainly was,adn always will be!

16 Jan 2011 6:41 PM


Won a stake  wire to wire and then repeated coming from off the pace with authority going two turns easily defeting one horse in you list -ZAYDA

16 Jan 2011 8:18 PM

 Awe yes, January and time to start thinking once again about that first Saturday in May now just off the 2 year old campaigns. Now remembering that “Big Brown” came from off the Turf in his Maiden start, it boggles me how anyone could leave “PLUCK” with that come from behind closing style off any early list. However, Steve may have covered that thought when he added that he ‘overlooked a few’.

 The movie ‘Secretariat’ brought out an interesting thought regarding training, train hard and risk injury or a let down due to tiredness, or train soft,--‘the ol’ keep the Cadillac in the barn theory,--and say only run some horse like “Dunkirk”--a ½ million dollar investment-- or ‘the man from “Uncle Mo”,--lol,--in a few major preps. The real question to me here is, ‘are we trying to win one race at a time’?, or, ‘only the Kentucky Derby’?, or, are we trying to take down the illusive TRIPLE CROWN?

 In any event,--not to be too long winded as usual--on my first post of 2011, I will just throw out an early couple of dozen that I hope make the test, that all avoid injuries, and that might possibly find a Derby Gate for ‘the greatest two minutes in sports’. And, so i can carry that 5-6 in hand to bet on Derby Day --hoping the exacta pays more than mere $175.00 ???.  --

   The perceptible early cream …

Tapizar: (Kty.); Tr. S. Asmussen; breeding; a phenom with speed; 1 1/16 1:40.83;

To Honor and Serve: (Kty.); Tr.; W. Mott;   looks like the real deal 1 1/8 1:50.03;

Pluck: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; coming off the (T); come from behind closer style;

Uncle Mo: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher ; BC Juv. winner; everyone’s early favorite;

Santiva: (Kty.); Tr. (f. K. McPeek to T. Pletcher) to E. Kennerly;

Positive Response: (Fla.); Tr. S. Asmussen;  

Comma to the Top: (Fla.); Tr. P. Miller;

Rogue Romance: (Kty.); Tr. K. McPeek;  

  … the cream that appear rising,,,,

Brethern: (Kty.); Tr.

The Factor: (Kty.); Tr. B. O’Reilly;

Soldat: (Kty.); Tr. K. McLaughlin:

Premier Pegasus: (Kty.); Tr. M.K. Cho; has speed; bred to go long;  

Awesome Patriot: (Kty.); Tr. B. Baffert:

Stay Thirsty: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher;

Black N Beauty, (Kty.); Tr. D. Ramons;

Mucho Macho Man: (Kty.);  Tr.

Blue Laser: (Kty.); Tr. M. Casse;   $320K ’08 in a Private sale;

Biondetti: (Kty.); Tr. M. Zarooni;

Caleb’s Posse: (Kty.); Tr. D.K. Von Hemel;

Thirtyfirststreet: (Cal.); Tr. D. O’Neill ;

Madman Diaries: (Fla.); Tr. W. Ward;

Rerouted: (Kty.); Tr. B. Hills;

City Tool: (Kty.); Tr. S. Asmussen;

Mountain Town: (Kty.); Tr. (f. N. Zito) to R. Dutrow; claimed for $75K;

 … And as usual, I am sure that we will eventually discover another couple of dozen for consideration in the early three year old campaign.

  Oh, how the blood runs in anticipation.

 PS. I can't wait long enough for Steve’s postings and that now ‘ol’ Dozen List’. I just wish he (or someone) would put that much effort into this year's (and any year's) fillies, as you never know, we might again someday see that odd defection from the OAKS to the DERBY run, and maybe even to the ‘triple crown trail’.

17 Jan 2011 1:43 AM


17 Jan 2011 5:54 AM

Don’t we need a Dozen Fillies List?

Awesome Feather: f. (Fla.) Tr.: S. Gold; Apr. 30th foal;

A Z Warrior: f. (Kty.) Tr. B. Baffert; Apr. 30th foal;

          [[Note: dbl. bred to Northern Dancer-Mr. Prospector]];  

Believe in A.P.: f. (Kty.) Tr. R. Dutrow; Feb. 26th foal;  

Delightful Mary: f. (Fla.) Tr. M. Casse;

          [[Note: triple bred to Northern Dancer]];

Dixie City: f. (Va.) Tr. A. Dutrow;

          [[Note: dbl. bred to Northern Dancer & Raise a Native]];

Joyful Victory: f. (Ont.) Tr.: A. Dutrow;  

More That Real: f. (Kty.) Tr.: T. Pletcher;  Apr.15th foal;

More That Real: f. (Kty.) Tr.: T. Pletcher;  Apr.15th foal;

          [[Note: dbl. bred to Northern Dancer & Bold Ruler]];  

Neversaidiwassweet: f. (Md.) Tr.: J. Hollendorfer; (3rd trainer);

          [[Note: dbl. bred to Le Fabuleux (Fr.)]];

R Heat Lightning; f. (Fla.) Tr.: T. Pletcher; Apr. 23rd foal;

Ruthenia: f. (Kty.); Tr. C. Clement; Mar. 6th foal;

Tell A Kelly: (Fla.); Tr. J. Sadler; May 6th foal;

Turbulent Descent: f. (Kty.); Tr. M. Puype;

          [[Note: dbl. bred to Secretariat-Seattle Slew-Mr. Prospector-& Buckpasser]];

Winter Memories: f. (Kty.); Tr. J. Toner; Apr. 24th foal;

Wyomia: f. (Kty.) Tr.: D. Vella;  f. Feb 10th;

          [[Note: triple bred to Northern Dancer]];

 Ok, never mind, guess it's just never gonna happen, huh?

17 Jan 2011 10:02 AM

Opps, sorry about the dbl. listing of "More than Real", but right now she may be twice as good as the rest at this stage!!! So, ummm I also have heart for and an eye on...

Kathmanblu: f. (Kty.); Tr. K. McPeek ;  Mar. foal;

17 Jan 2011 10:06 AM

 I will say this again... "Pluck",  "Pluck", "Pluck", "Pluck", "Pluck", "Pluck", "Pluck"!!!...

17 Jan 2011 10:12 AM

Zarvona: I loved Pluck's performance, and thought it was one of the gutsiest in the BC.  He is one of my favorites.

(Also like AZ Warrior)

18 Jan 2011 1:12 PM


If there is a 99.99% chance that AP Indy will not ever throw a Derby winner, I think that its Okay to approximate his chances to a NEVER.  I'm not playing God here, just rounding out the probability.  Get it?

18 Jan 2011 4:05 PM

P.S.: Make that typing error "City Cool"... ((recent 2nd by a 1/2 length in 6 1/2 fur. at 1:15.20; to "Indian Winter"--who is probably not bred to go 1 1/4, but another to consider ... and for those left out trainers above... "Brethren" is T. Pletcher and "Mucho Macho Man" is K. Ritvo...  


1:06.46; in 6 fur.  ????... Check that stop watch again please !!! Thusly, is "The Factor" just another "Zensational"?, or can he get 1 1/8 ???? Guessing that performance moves "The Factor" a bit higher on many lists! huh???

18 Jan 2011 4:31 PM


I quote you "Ranagul: the most impressive 3 year old last year IMO was Take Control.  It was an soft-tissue injury that took him out of contention. (he reminded me of Sea The Stars in his debut).  I would however, still insist that an observable trait and a genetic trait are simply not the same thing."

What you saw in Take Control is undoubtedly a case of 'love (for AP Indy) is blind.'  However you have to admit that the Triple Crown races are eye openers.

An observable trait is not NECESSARILY a genetic trait but it could very well be.  Very very strong possibility that what I've been seeing in AP offspring are genetic traits.


Welcome.  You did quite well picking out Paddy O'Prado from the turf runners last year and I see you are onto Pluck this year.  But is he racing in America or is he being taken to Europe?  I'm learning not to underestimate your foresight/insight on the Triple Crown trail although some of your early picks surprise me.  For instance, The Factor (is this your version of Sidney's Candy this year? ...didn't work out very well last year) and the ommission of Katmanblu from your Fillies list (this must be an oversight).

18 Jan 2011 5:36 PM
Slew are speaking of the difference between genetic and acquired traits.  As to horses, they are genetically linked to their sires and dams, and will not evince genetic traits that conflict with those genes.  However, through their lifetimes, depending on their capabilities, they acquire other traits based on nutrition, environment, and behavior.  Acquired traits are not genetically transferred.  It remains a scientific conundrum of nature vs nurture.  It cannot be settled on this blog.  Genetically, AP Indy's make-up includes 2 two yeat old champions.  That does not bespeak later development. However, AP Indy's food and environment, and habits will affect his progeny. And that is an acquired (i.e. observable) trait. For example..your father may be 6'2" with blond hair and blue eyes.  Genetically, you can be born with those same genes.  On the other hand, during your father's lifetime, he also worked as a carpenter and acquired the rough calloused hammer-hand of a hard working man.  This is an acquired trait that you will not genetically carry it, but you may inherent a genetic disposition to work with your hands.  That's as simply as I can explain the difference.  Can we now, give this a rest? ...........;)

You do present arguments very well, I just find many without a basis.  You must never forget one thing.  I am extremely biased because I once totally fell in love with a horse named Seattle Slew.  I'm thrilled for Zenyatta as HOY, and I am hoping for a Bernardini match-up.

19 Jan 2011 7:43 AM


“Secretariat's ability to go the distance was always a question mark because of Bold Ruler”

Are you suggesting that Bold Ruler has no stamina influence?  Well here are some Cold Facts:

1970 KD winner – Dust Commander by Bold Commander sire by Bold Ruler

1973 TCW winner – Secretariat sire by Bold Ruler

1974 KD winner – Cannonade  by Bold Bidder sire by Bold Ruler

1975 KD winner – Foolish Pleasure  by What A Pleasure sire by Bold Ruler

1976 KD winner – Bold Forbes  by Irish Castle sire by Bold Ruler

1977 TCW winner – Seattle Slew  by Bold Reasoning sire by Boldnesian a son of Bold Ruler

1979 KD winner – Spectacular Bid  by Bold Bidder sire by Bold Ruler

Bold Ruler, his sons and a grandson were responsible for 7 out of the 10 derby winners and two TC winners between 1970 and 1979. Bold Ruler’s sons Bold Hour and Jacinto were broodmare sires of derby winners Winning Colors and Gato Del Sol. Another of his sons Bold Commander was the dam sire of Belmont winner Conquistador Cielo. His grandson Bold Lad was dam sire of Preakness winner Louis Quatorze. His son Secretariat was broodmare sire of Belmont winner A,P Indy and Preakness winner Summer Squall.

I cannot imagine one that has been associated with so many winners of TC races not have any stamina influence. Do you?

19 Jan 2011 9:11 AM

Coldfacts...what you left out of your monolgue was the influence brought by the dams.  In Secretariat's case...Princequillo, the damsire had the genetic influence of stamina as an endurance champion.  

19 Jan 2011 10:34 AM

I have to add...I am well aware of the Record of Bold Ruler, and would deny none of his greatness. He won the Preakness and was HOY in '57.  However, the intense size of Secretariat's heart, is genetically attributed to Princequillo who's progeny were known to have hearts that weighed much more than the average 8.5#...often 14# or more.  Secretariat's heart weight was estimated,(differing accounts run 18 to 22) but Sham's was weighed as second only to Secretariat.  I would in no way deny that Bold Ruler was great.  However, that large heart did come from Princequillo...and that heart was the true key to his stamina, though Bold Ruler may have been the spark of his speed.

19 Jan 2011 11:00 AM


I see are ready to 'spit the bit' in our AP Indy debate, just like Jersey Boy.  You see I'm not an AP Indy and I set a very strong and sustained pace in my arguments, kinda like "MO" (LOL).  You AP Indys need to mature a little more and develop stamina to sustain the challenge.  

On a serious note, I do take your point about the distinction between genetic and acquired traits.  Lets watch how our respective theories play out and the track.  I'll be the first to come back and say I was proven wrong if an AP Indy wins the Derby.  Peace.  

19 Jan 2011 12:24 PM


Let me help you with understanding why A P Indy has not sired a Derby winner in spite of getting some the best mares to grace the track.

How many GI winning broodmares have produced Kentucky Derby winners in the last 75 years? Subject to corrections my records reflect two:-

Two Lea the dam of 1958 Derby winner Tim Tam; she was 1949 Champion Three Year Old Filly.

Princess Turia the dam of 1968 Derby winner Forward Pass; she won the 1956 Kentucky Oaks.

The dam of Swale might have won a G1 race but I will verify.

Now! The last Kentucky Oaks winner to produce a derby winner was 42 years ago. How many Oaks winner has A P Indy been bred to? I do not know but it must be a lot. Oaks winner were not producing Derby winners long before A P Indy was born. Two GI wining broodmares have produced Derby winners in the last 75 years. How many G1 winning broodmares has A P Indy been bred to? I do not know but it must be a lot. G1 winning broodmares were not producing Derby winners long before A P Indy was born.

The top five stallions that have ever served in the US were bred to many GI millionaire mares and none produced a derby winner. These are not the mares that produce champions or Derby winners.  Mares from this category are the ones bred to A P Indy in most instances. His fee is now $150,000 and it is likely that he might get some not so stellar mares and his fortunes could change.

19 Jan 2011 4:47 PM

I should have added that the heart itself is a muscle, and as such it is subject to strain or sprain.  Bold Ruler's Belmont, where he came in 3rd, was an intense physical effort, and he suffered a heart strain due to it.

19 Jan 2011 6:33 PM


Your analysis is very plausible and does explain part of AP's Derby failure but I still hold to the genetic angle as a major reason.  If you look at the pedigree his offspring that appear somewhat advanced in their development you'll see Mr Prospector and Northern Dancer giving him a lot of assistance.

19 Jan 2011 10:53 PM

Rangul: I never "spit the bit".  I just got very tired of trying to explain 5th grade biology to someone who can't grasp the concept.

As far as being any great fan of AP Indy, I am more impressed by his productivity. I remain a loyal fan of Slew AND all of his progeny. When you exclude AP Indy as a sire of a derby winner, and neglect the other legs of the Triple Crown, your facts become skewed.  And you also ignore his proficiency to be a damsire to a Derby winner...which you continue to do.  In my opinion, one of my favorites, Bernardini will sire a Derby winner.  AP Indy just happens to be his sire.

20 Jan 2011 8:43 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   You must have gone to a school for geniuses or something. We didn't have Biology in 5th Grade in our school. But great posts anyway. I think I understand them despite my lack of advanced education in Grammar School. I was in the advanced section in Math in 5th Grade though, but then when puberty arrived a few years later the math section in my brain was wiped out.

20 Jan 2011 2:36 PM

Dr D: I did have a tough time with numbers that came after 21, because I then ran out of fingers and toes, and then they even went and stopped me from taking off my shoes, so I had to concentrate on 10.  Doesn't that puberty just erase everything? ... except...  biology!

20 Jan 2011 5:48 PM

Ok here's the fable again to help us remember all these up and coming 3 year old names!

Two little boys set out on a journey one day to find the castle of their Uncle Mo and ventured onto a winding trail in the woods, the "Kentucky Derby Trail."  They were happily skipping along, as little boys do, when they were approached by a man; it was Sherriff Cogburn of the Wine Police.  "You be careful in these here parts, boys, there are some mighty strange characters on this trail," Sherriff Cogburn warned.  The boys informed him that they were the Boys at Tosconova and were on their way to visit their Uncle Mo.  All this of course, is happening somewhere in the Zenyattasphere.  "I am going to appoint my deputy, Awesome Patriot, to accompany you and to Honor and Serve you, boys.  I will give Awesome Patriot my Crossbow and arrows for protection and a cell phone so you can always be Dialed In to me."  The Sherriff continued, "Now follow this trail boys and do not Sway Away from it. When you get to ThirtyFirstStreet, take the Clubhouse Ride and go up the hill.  When you Comma To The Top of the hill, or mount Sinai, turn left and you will be in Mountain Town.  It will be nightfall by then and you can get yourselves a Gourmet Dinner at the Willcox Inn there."  The Boys at Tosconova thanked the kind Sherriff and continued on their journey with Awesome Patriot.  They walked along the Derby trail when suddenly they heard a noise coming from the bushes.  As a discheveled, furry creature with long ears poked his head out of the bushes, the Boys screamed, "Who's that?"  "Oh, that's just a chicken thief named Rustler Hustler, pay him no mind, he likes to steal chickens and Sweet Duckys, he's harmless enough." stated Awesome Patriot. They continued along with Rustler Hustler sneaking behind them, when they heard a wimpering sound coming from behind a big rock.  The peeked to see what it was and found a beautiful horse, with long black eyelashes, a long black flowing mane, and a long black flowing tail, with a beautiful black shining coat who was crying.  They asked what was wrong and the horse replied, "I am Black N Beauty and I have lost my way home.  I live at the castle of Uncle Mo."  So the Boys invited the beautiful horse to join them as they were his nephews and going there anyway.  They all soon reached Mountain Town when a storm was brewing overhead.  Soon the rain was Free Pourin with loud claps of J.B.'s Thunder.  They ran into the Willcox Inn, where music was playing and everyone was having a party and Rocking Out to a song called Rogue Romance (ooops, that's Bad Romance by Lady Gaga!).  They dined on Sweet Ducky and drank a lot of sodapop and ale so as not to Stay Thirsty back out on the Derby trail.  They left the Inn and came to a fork in the trail.  Awesome Patriot wasn't sure which way to go, "Gee, I wish I had Casper's Touch on this," he said.  He was about to Dial In to Sherriff Cogburn when they came upon a man, a very Mucho Macho Man named Jaycito, and his burrow Santiva.  "I know you," said Awesome Patriot to the man, "You are the son of El Grayling."  "Si, senor," replied Jaycito.  Jaycito pointed to the right trail and gave them instructions to get to Shackleford where Uncle Mo's castle is.  They were a few towns away from Shackleford when they saw a man on the trail up ahead.  "Oh, Cool Blue Red Hot, that is Uncle Sam!" said the Boys.

"Hi Uncle Sam, hi Uncle Sam," they cried.  Uncle Sam, as it turned out was on his way to get his brother Uncle Joe, when he was ambushed by Rustler Hustler who took his chickens.  A man was with Uncle Sam who was Shadow Warrior, Awesome Patriot's partner, who was on a Leave of Absense and happened to save Uncle Sam's chickens and wrestled Rustler Hustler.  So now the Boys at Tosconova, Awesome Patriot, Black N Beauty, Uncle Sam, Shadow Warrior, and a very reluctant Rustler Hustler, all went to pick up Uncle Joe and arrived safely at the castle of Uncle Mo, where everything Tiz Blessed and all Derby dreams do come true!

Whew!  I had to do it from memory since it got lost.

20 Jan 2011 7:39 PM


I learned in fifth grade that to explain a concept simply you need to understand it profoundly.  It is quite clear to me after 'spitting the bit' in our AP Indy pedigree debate and making a 'low blow' attempt at oneupmanship, that you need to return to the drawing board.  Your biology explanation of why AP Indy is a great sire of Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown races winners is incomprehensible and woefully lacking in supporting evidence on the track.  I wouldn't fault you however for grasping at the unproven stallion Bernadini to salvage your position.

20 Jan 2011 9:04 PM

Ranagul...with all those G1 + G2 winners, I doubt you can honestly now refer to Bernardini as "unproven".  

By 2010 Earnings  

Biondetti  $323,740  

To Honor and Serve  $264,640  

A Z Warrior  $239,600  

Stay Thirsty  $150,000  

Theyskens' Theory  $79,509  

I also doubt that even Gregor Mendel,the father of gentics, can dumb down genetics enough for you to grasp.  So I guess you've thrown in the towel on gentic vs acquired traits.

Ah least DR D understands me.

21 Jan 2011 9:41 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   That was really good !!! Write down posts ahead of time that are long in case they are lost. I think Uncle Joe will win the Derby !!!

21 Jan 2011 12:19 PM
Slew explain in AP Indy terms...his sire and damsire were precocious, and were fairly mature at age 3.  Ap Indy genetically inherited this precosity.  Now he's the big stud around the farm.  He eats a regular, measured diet of hay and oats and corn.  One day, a new guy give AP the wrong proportions of his feed.  The next day, AP has to go to the breeding shed.  Unfortunately, because of his diet change, his sperm are not as mucho macho as usual.  They're a bit deflated.  He breeds to an ok mare.  She says...hey, there's no Slew in here, and has a foal who doesn't reach full maturity until 4 (which is still normal).  He's a G3 winner, but because the oats and corn were not mixed properly, he'll never get to win a G 1.  Got it now?

This is a lot of fun.  What do you think DD? You're the doctor.

21 Jan 2011 3:08 PM


“I wouldn't fault you however for grasping at the unproven stallion Bernadini to salvage your position.”

Do you have an issue with unproven stallions?

It appears Seattle Slew was from the first crop Bold Reasoning.

It appears Street Sense & Zenyatta were from Street Cry’s first crop.

It appears Mine That Bird & Summer Bird were from Birdstone’s first crop.

Based on the above cold facts you should be careful how you used the term “Unproven”

21 Jan 2011 3:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Take two aspirin and call me in the morning after you eat your oatmeal.

21 Jan 2011 5:24 PM

Slew, Dr Drunkinbum, Coldfacts, Footlick, Jersey Boy, Carlos in Cali etc,

Little did I know that sentiments for "AP" run so deep.  Kinda reminds me of the Zenyatta mobsters on here.

Slew, I get it now.  The guys serving AP his oats on the farm are the new variable in your acquired traits equation ...hmm very profound.

Coldfacts, Bernadini is an unproven sire as far as Triple Crown aspirants are concerned and while I'm quite aware of the accomplishments of the likes of Maria's Mon and Street Cry (throwing a Derby winner in their first crop), I can't see Bernadini, a son of AP Indy doing the same.  I'll go as far as saying that if a son of Bernadini wins the Derby this year, I'll retire from these Blogs. No kidding.  

21 Jan 2011 8:29 PM

I will add one caveat to my previous post.  If a son of Bernadini wins the Derby at the expense of my #1 selection on Derby day I'll quit.

21 Jan 2011 8:35 PM

Lets make it AP Indy and his illustrious son Bernadini.  These two stallions(much maligned by me) have the chance to shut me up and rubbish all my ramblings once and for all by throwing a Kentucky Derby winner this year. Thats it folks.

21 Jan 2011 8:47 PM

Alex'sBigFan - love your story!  

"So now the Boys at Tosconova, Awesome Patriot, Black N Beauty, Uncle Sam, Shadow Warrior, and a very reluctant Rustler Hustler, all went to pick up Uncle Joe and arrived safely at the castle of Uncle Mo, where everything Tiz Blessed and all Derby dreams do come true!"...

May I add one line?

"It was a very Decisive Moment."


21 Jan 2011 9:07 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

There's a heck of a lot to like about Soldat. I think that War Front is quickly becoming a tremendous sire and will end up being legendary. McGlaughlin is an excellent trainer. Soldat is versatile and it looks like he will excel on all surfaces including dry dirt. He has proven class. I'm moving him up to number four on my list.

22 Jan 2011 12:30 PM

Alex's Big Fan - I love it!!  Your story is so much fun.  Thank you for sharing it here.

22 Jan 2011 5:59 PM

 After watching Pleasant Run's 2nd place finish at Gulfstream's 7th on Friday, Jan. 21st, I still have goose bumps over the way this horse closed. It looks like McPeek has a possible "good one". Especially comparing this race to the 9th race, won by Soldat, I would say Pleasant Run deserves to be on this early list as much as Cool blue Red Hot, anyway. Have you heard any plans concerning this one?

22 Jan 2011 7:43 PM


“Bernadini is an unproven sire as far as Triple Crown aspirants are concerned”

I think you should revisit the above statement as you have totally misunderstood the point I was making. All he stallions cited in my post were first crop sires. They were all unproven as far as Triple Crown aspirants were concerned. In spite of this status, they became sire of winners of TC races. Your adamance that Bernardini will not sire a derby winner from his first crop is puzzling. Others with lees pedigree and racing record achieved this feat. What disqualifies Bernardini? To Honor And Serve appears to be his best prospect. His Hall Of Fame trainer has stated that this colt is his best hope to win the coveted race. You do not even have him in your Derby dozen. I implore you to restore balance to your analysis. There is nothing to be derived from stubbornness.

23 Jan 2011 7:15 AM

Ranagul..I will be sad to see you go.  A sire is not proven by the Derby..he's considered proven by graded stakes winners.  Oh yes, I know you have your own little world of's just a shame that it's in conflict with the rest of the world's rankings.  By the way, Secretariat never sired a Ky Derby winner (his sons did), but it certainly didn't make him an unproven sire.  And you want to tell me you've never heard terms like..."feeling one's oats".."off his oats"..."sowing his wild oats".  Come out of your little cave, dear...there's a much bigger picture out there than your myopic vision seems to allow.  After did choose to never notice Zenyatta, and she's been in your face for 3 years, big and bold and beautiful.  

23 Jan 2011 9:15 AM

By the way, Soldat was quite impressive.  Beamer may be the youngest colt/filly in the race to the Derby..but I like him too..he just hasn't acquired the muscles he'll need yet.  Wilkinson was sharp..along with Pants on Fire.

23 Jan 2011 9:18 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Your words of wisdom, your insight, your humor, and your knowledge are much appreciated. Very interesting what you said about Beamer. He is very young and I hope they go slow with him. I did notice the lack of muscle definition. Definitely a competitor with talent but needs time and a cautious approach. Love the name. Reminds me of the bookworm on Twilight Zone. And love the trainer, who gave us the greatest post race moment in Derby history. I will never forget that one. Unbridled joy from the darling Frances Genter along with Nafzger's enthusiasm. And their hug and kiss. A priceless moment. I wonder if they named the horse "Unbridled Joy" after that moment.

23 Jan 2011 11:41 AM

Dr D...Thanks but I think I'm just having fun.  The name Beamer actually reminds me of BMW..the car without the muscle of the Porsche. (Slew) For me, I still don't have a pick for a Derby favorite.  Coldfacts does present valid information, I just don't always agree with his conclusions. Ranagul just needs a better foundation.  The most exuberant display of "unbridled joy" I've ever seen was Carl O'Callahan at Dubai with Kinsale King.  It was sooo contagious.  Oh well...back to my's getting cold.

Looking for the Packers, and no Cowboy fan will cry if the Stee.. lose to the Jets...but somehow that's really iffy yet.

23 Jan 2011 2:37 PM


Just be patient my friend.  Our little dispute will be settled on the first saturday in May. It is not impossible but so improbable that I'm willing to quit as a blogger on here if Bernadini becomes a first crop Derby winner producing sire.  If my opinion can be proven on the track to be so ridiculously baseless i'll quit.  Plain and simple.  I wouldn't say Bernadini will never throw a Derby winner because he could possibly be an exception to "my AP Indy rule" but I'm willing to gamble against him joining the illustrious band of first crop Derby winner producing sires.  Its a probability thing based upon the record of his sire line.


You'd like us to believe that you're so knowledgeable about this game.  Please do me a favour and name ONE son of Secretariat that sired a Kentucky Derby winner, just one will do, my erudite friend (LOL).  As for 'Queeen' Zenyatta, my thoughts are fairly well known/documented on these blogs.  She could have been three time HOTY with smarter racing strategy but I'll let sleeping dogs lie.  The thing I regret most about Zenyatta is how unnecessarily polarising she's been made to become, but I'll rest my case. She is retired and the 2010 HOTY (good for her but an injustice to Blame).  May she have a wonderful and successful career as a broodmare.  Hopefully the connections will avoid a mating with AP Indy so that she, being a Raise A Native line broodmare will have a reasonable shot at producing a formidable Triple Crown aspirant.  

23 Jan 2011 2:46 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I'm almost being forced to root for a son or daughter of Bernardini to win the Derby. I was a big fan of Bernardini's, and he certainly looks like a sire capable of producing a Derby winner. We're going to see newer sires siring a Derby winner, of that I have no doubt, and at any time a brand new theme of Derby winner sire patterns could emerge. Why not start this year? I've been a Steeler's fan since Big Ben went there. I followed him in college thinking he was the closest I've seen to Joe Montana in field awareness and instincts. So go Da Steelers. And I know that you are just having fun but it is true fun. Or Real Fun. I hope you are eating your oatmeal and not just pulling the wool over my eyes.

24 Jan 2011 12:13 AM

Ranagul...actually, to underscore just how important a dam sire was Secretariat's daughter,Terlingua who foaled Storm Cat, who sired Tabasco Cat, who won the Preakness and Belmont... but to you...he is unproven.  Poker was the damsire of 2 Derby winners, Slew and Silver Charm.  A P Indy was the damsire to Super Saver.  So you actually lost your bet last year.  In all your talk about proven sires, I find it odd you never mention Alydar, who sired 2 Ky Derby winners, Alysheba and Strike the Gold, or Unbridled who sired Grindstone, who sired Birdstone who was sire to MTB and SB.

Now, all you seem to want to do is measure (hmmm) instead of discuss probabilities. You are too quick to dismiss winners of other legs of the Triple Crown, and seem not to notice that most of the runners last year were mostly descendants of Mr. Prospector, Seattle Slew (via AP Indy) and Secretariat.(via Indy).  When I consider the Triple Crown, I'm always looking for the horse that can go 12f.  As much as I like Uncle Mo, unless he's a freak, (which he may be) I don't see him taking the Belmont. Which makes me lean toward horses that can get 12f...and sires that already have..thus I'm still leaning on Indy....Bernardini..

...and just maybe Vindication.

Darn those Jets!  Now the "stealers" have a chance at getting 2 rings ahead of the Cowboys.  Darn, darn, darn.  My single consolation is that they have to try and do it at Cowboy stadium.  Go Packers!

24 Jan 2011 8:49 AM

As far as your odds go Ran, I'm looking at 33 hopefuls (there are more I haven't accounted for yet)for the Derby (which includes 2 fillies).  Of the 33, 11 connect to A P Indy, 5 of those through Bernardini.

And then there's the brilliant Point Given who has a solo act with Coil.  You never know!

24 Jan 2011 9:41 AM

And here's one for coldfacts...of those (so far) 33 possibilities, 18 of them are related to Mr. Prospector.

24 Jan 2011 12:14 PM


You obviously haven't been paying attention over the years.  Every year AP has a slew of runners that promise much but fail to deliver either because they are not ready in time for the first Saturday in May or they break down under the duress of being forced by trainers trying to make the Derby.  Its the same old same old story.  It will be no different this year.  Throwing Bernadini into the equation surely spices things up because he has a few that already look very promising, but I'm confident enough to take the gamble against him being a first crop Derby winner-producing sire based uopn the failure of AP Indy and his other sons so far.

I've already dealt with the Dam sire issue but in case you forgot here we go again.  Super Saver is the product of Maria Mon, a former champion 2YO and decendant of Raise A Native via Derby winner Majestic Prince.  Maria's Mon (deceased) in a very short career at stud produced 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos from his first crop and 2010 Derby winner Super Saver.  AP Indy as  broodmare sire to Super Saver is a "tag-along" (piggy-backing on a prolific Derby winner producing line).  Interestingly, Super Saver's half brother Brethren is also sired by a Derby-winner-producing influence Distorted Humor that produced Derby winner Funny Cide from his first crop.  Here again AP is in for the "ride" but I will give him a credit if his daughter Supercharger repeats the Derby winning feat with Brethren since that would be a very rare accomplishment indeed.  How much more help does AP need?  I'll admit that there are sires like Dixieland Band, Deputy Minister and Secretariat that have proven themselves as extraordinary broodmare sires.  However that is a completely different category from a stallion's performance as a straight sire.  This point you refuse to admit because it doesn't help your beloved AP Indy to become a Derby winner producing sire. Sorry I can't help you any further on this point.  Let experience be your teacher (if you pay attention).

Regarding Alydar, I have mentioned him in other posts.  In fact Coldfacts and I had a very recent discussion in which I stated that Alydar was an elite sire and far more successful than Affirmed.  He thougt that I was being facetious.  At least you and I can agree about Alydar (LOL).    

24 Jan 2011 6:18 PM

Ranagul:  Before I get to damsires, I'll start with maturation.  Most horses are not mature until they are at least 4.  (Zenyatta, Cigar, Rock Hard Ten).

Some are quite precocious, and appear to develop early at 3. (Rachel A, Secretariat, Seattle Slew).  Some are not precocious but are forced to develop earlier than their maturity might allow.  As a result, they are injured earlier. (Eskendereya, Take Control, I Want Revenge).  AP Indy has the genetic propensity for precosity (via Slew + Secretariat), but he, himself, developed normally. Sometimes, he'll have the occasional foal who matures earlier (because he can git it) ala Bernardini and Mineshaft. But often he has a foal with normal maturity, (4yrs)  like Pulpit and Stephen Got Even.  The conclusion becomes that AP Indy's foals mature normally, but he can, and does, occasionally have a precocious foal who becomes a super star at 3. That is his early genetic influence.

As far as the unimportance of a damsire..that's simply foolish.  Most breeders can explain to you just how important the influence of the dam really is in breeding.

Sea the Stars was a Cape Cross colt whose dam Urban Sea won the Prix de l'Arc and was sired by Miswaki but carried both Mr Prospector and Buckpasser genes.  When folks talk about Cigar, it's not Palace Music they discuss.  It's his dam sire Seattle Slew that's remembered.  When people talk about Storm Cat, damsire Secretariat becomes most prominent over Storm Bird.  These damsires were never just "along for the ride".  And when you're hyping a colt like Uncle Mo, it's not his sprinting sire Indian Charlie who you base your hopes on for the Derby.  At 10f, it's the dam side of his family who carries the influence of stamina with Roberto and Northern Dancer.  They're not just along for the ride.  They're THE ride.

As far as 1978, favorite was Alydar, and in 1973, my favorite was Sham....but at least I did get it right in 1977.  I always loved my Slew. ;)

It's been fun.  Can we now move on to the other Derby contenders.  Stepping up in class, Soldat is promising, along with Wilkinson. Even Pants On Fire (what a name) has some speed.  Beamer lacks maturity, but by May we may see better. Now Tapizar is really fast, and has the breeding to carry his speed over a distance. He has enough to put him ahead of Uncle Mo; I just want to see what he does on a track that's not souped up.

25 Jan 2011 8:24 AM

And darn it, Steve, because of your latest blog, I just had to add more 3 year olds (most notably Heron Lake-love the breeding-liking the instinct).

Now I'm up to 35 with Seattle Slew influencing 17 of them.(Bernardini has 6 of those) Mr. P. stays at 18.

Every day that goes by, I continue to become more confused.  Watching them run will be the only thing that will whittle down my list. (or add to it?)

25 Jan 2011 8:49 AM


I can just imagine the Churchill track announcer if Pants On Fire comes barrelling down the home stretch in the Derby or we get an Uncle Trifecta!!!!!!  The stretch call will be pretty funny!

25 Jan 2011 6:33 PM
Tonka's Destiny

Steve, thanks for the list and the insight. I agree with Betsy, Jim, HPHP, Witty Gal, John T and Amy that To Honor and Serve is my favorite. And Yes Amy, the name has special meaning to me as well, since it has been my pleasure for the last 23 years to serve the people of this great nation, in the Army. And I too, would like to thank Amy for her service.

  I hope that Ranagulzion is wrong about his prediction and hop that To Honor and Serve can win the Triple Crown, and not just for the opportunity to get him to stop blogging.{:-) The debate between him and Slew is entertaining, to some extent. That having been said, it looks like a very exciting trail to travel this year, in my humble opinion. Thanks again, Steve, for the blog.

25 Jan 2011 7:53 PM


“Coldfacts does present valid information”

You make these wild statements that you are unable to justify. Let me set the stage for a question to follow.

My posts like most are comprised of opinions and verifiable facts/information. It is widely known that everybody has as opinion. Opinions can therefore be challenged.  Information presented in posts, assuming it is correct can be verified. If verifiable information is presented to support an opinion, why would there be any question about the validity of the information. The information is either relevant or irrelevant. Now! What might be relevant to me might just be irrelevant to you.

I would appreciate you citing an example where I have provided invalid information. I would also appreciate the basis on which you deemed the information invalid.

Your claim about Bold Ruler not being a stamina influence was put to the test with the information I presented. Instead of revising your position on this issue you provided a very soft response. How can one stallion and his sons be so fortunate to be bred to mares that have the requisite stamina influence to produce so many winners of TC races? Why are other stallions not so fortunate? It must be overwhelming clear that the common denominator is Bold Ruler. You are entitled to your opinion but not the cold facts.

“And here's one for coldfacts...of those (so far) 33 possibilities, 18 of them are related to Mr. Prospector”

If you have 33 colts from the Mr. Prospector sire line on watch, you have clearly not done your homework. There are only four that figure at this time. Monzon, Riverting Reason, Premier Pegasus, Rouge Romance. The RAN sire line appears very soft for 2011. The AP Indy line is the hot line at the moment. There is one colt from the Ribot line that closed from another zip code for second in a 9F race at Gulfstream. I am anxiously awaiting his next start. His dam was sired d by Dixieland Band who was just one Big Brown away from being a triple derby wining broodmare sire.


“I stated that Alydar was an elite sire and far more successful than Affirmed.  Coldfgacts thought that I was being facetious.”

Since you have chosen to misstate the fact, let me set the records straight. I listed a few stallions that did not sire a derby winner in spite of being bred to elite mares i.e., Secretariat, Affirmed, Storm Cat, Deputy Minister and Northern Dancer. You objected to the inclusion of Affirmed citing that Alydar was the better stallion. How does the sire of two derby winners’ merits inclusion in a list that highlights stallions that have not sired derby winners?  Alydar was irrelevant to the point being made. Affirmed like Secretariat was a TC winner and the most successful horse the Raise A Native sire line. This sire line has dominated the TC series of races and the most accomplished horse from the line has made no contribution. How could anyone object to the inclusion of Affirmed in the above list? Alydar was the better stallion. There was never any dispute regarding this.. However, to suggest that Affirmed does not belong on my list is simply crazy.

NB: How many derby winners did Dr. Fager, Buckpasser, Damascus, Citation, Round Table and Nashua sire? It’s safe to assume they got some of the top mare available during their stud careers. Could it be they also possess the late development genes?

25 Jan 2011 10:28 PM
Off the Wagon

I'm watching the Bluegrass Cats.... no one mentioned Kathmanblu in the Oaks discussion above, and I agree with Steve that Zayda is a good addition to the watch list.  This Freshman sire had an awesome year!

25 Jan 2011 11:51 PM

ABF: I sort of doubt (though anything can happen) few will top Larry Colmus and his call between 1st and 2nd place horses, My Wife Know Everything and The Wife Doesn't know.

There's always, "Uncle Sam and Uncle Mo Stay Thirsty, with their Pants On Fire, and jump into Heron Lake, as Wilkinson slices through the Coil to battle with the Shadow Warrior, while Sherriff Cogburn just squints at Casper's Ghost."

Nope...just not as funny as Colmus!

26 Jan 2011 9:13 AM

Coldfacts:  I said your information is valid...and then you argue with me that it is.  What are you arguing about when we agree?  You say that I'm unable to justify saying that your information is correct? Whaaaa?

27 Jan 2011 8:35 AM

Coldfacts: Of the 35 I have so far, 19 3 year olds trace their bloodline to Mr. Prospector:

Alternation, Archarcharch,

Astrology,Beamer,BAT,Brethren, Coil,J P’s Gusto, Jaycito,

Justin Phillip,Pants On Fire,Rogue Romance,Smash,Soldat,Tapizer,

The Factor,Wilkinson,…AZ Warrior,Awesome Feather

It's a cold fact!.......;)

27 Jan 2011 8:46 AM

By the way Coldfacts, it is you and Gunbow that have forced me to research these horses.  Thank you.

I find I have no adequate discussion unless I do my home work.  In the Derby hopefuls, I've created a chart for myself that includes "Back Class" this case, Mr. P....Slew...Sec..

.Roberto..Sib Exp..Northern Dancer, Affirmed..etc...which is how I come up with so many Mr. P's.

27 Jan 2011 9:06 AM


You are becoming a spin doctor.  Your post dated Jan 9, 2011 9:04am is there for all to see that I didn't misread your comments.

Buckpasser was one of the greatest broodmare sire ever.  I haven't studied the posible reasons why he or some of the other notable sires failed to throw Derby winners, but I have studied AP Indy and made my conclusion.  Be my guest and prove me wrong if you can.

27 Jan 2011 9:45 PM


Yes the "wife" exacta thing was very funny.  What are the chances of horses with names like that happening again!  I think that was down here by me in the Meadowlands in NJ?

27 Jan 2011 10:58 PM

Wow....what a great list. This will help me for sure in the Road To The Roses online fantasy game! Thanks for the very early heads-up! I like Manicero out of Mass Media and the Smarty baby Rogue Romance! Good luck to everyone!

29 Jan 2011 2:48 PM

ABF: Monmouth.  But I think at least one of "wives" is in Fla now...and Colmus is at Gulfstream.  Should be a hoot!

01 Feb 2011 10:44 AM

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