Ky. Derby Trail: A Tap Top Flop

It just goes to show you how fragile life is on the Derby trail, metaphorically, of course. One minute you’re sitting comfortably near the top of the contenders list and the next you’re in a free fall. The thud came for Tapizar when a knee chip was discovered following his meltdown in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II). He now joins Boys at Tosconova as major players whose Derby aspirations have been derailed.

As if Tapizar’s shocking defeat at 1-5 wasn’t enough, Comma to the Top, the 1-2 favorite in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) later that afternoon, hit the proverbial brick wall at the quarter pole, ending a five-racing winning streak and all but ending any hopes of his staying the mile and a quarter on the first Saturday in May.

But in Comma to the Top’s defense, he had run at least once in nine consecutive months last year, an extremely unusual feat for a 2-year-old. In the El Camino Real, he was coming off a two-month layoff and simply may have needed the race. He looked like a tired horse the way he drifted out turning for home. Remember, this is a horse with stamina question marks. No 2-year-old wins five straight races, including a grade I stakes, a grade III stakes, and a listed stakes without being a very talented horse. It is time for him to try dirt for the first time to see exactly how serious a horse this is.

As for the winners of those stakes, the jury is still out. Anthony’s Cross appears to be coming around at the right time for Eoin Harty after having his training schedule compromised by the weather, but he’s going to have to come home faster than :38 2/5 and :13 3/5 for the final eighth. The race pretty much fell into his lap when Tapizar, who he had been tracking, fell apart nearing the eighth pole. He showed a lot of courage holding off Riveting Reason, but there are questions marks with the runner-up as well. He’s only won one of his nine career starts and has come up on the short end of photos in his last two starts – one wearing blinkers and one without blinkers. We’ll know more about those two in their next start. But Anthony’s Cross certainly is eligible to keep improving.

Cal-bred Thirtyfirststreet, trying open company and two turns for the first time had his chances compromised severely by a bad start and deserves another shot after his fourth-place finish.

Silver Medallion is another who is getting better with each start and turned in a solid effort to win the El Camino Real Derby, following up his victory in the Eddie Logan Stakes on the grass. He still needs to prove himself on dirt, and he’s a small horse, so we’ll have to see how he holds up during the Derby trail grind and of course in a 20-horse Derby field. But his final eighth in :12 3/5 was good enough to consider him a legitimate stretch threat.

The only stakes in which form did hold up was the Sam F. Davis (gr. III) at Tampa where the 4-5 Brethren drew off to a four-length victory, and he was visually impressive in doing it. But he is another whose next start will tell more about him. In the Davis, none of the leading contenders were a factor and he had a perfect setup, tracking a 53-1 shot through a slow three-quarters in 1:13. The second- and third-place finishers were both 30-1, and the runner-up had broken his maiden for a $16,000 claiming tag. But Brethren did what he had to and won with relative ease, so we’ll just wait to see where he shows up next and how he handles better competition.

Don’t throw out Beamer just yet. After breaking slowly and dropping back to last, he didn’t find his best stride until it was too late, but closed well to be fourth, beaten 1 1/2 lengths for second, while coming home his final sixteenth in about :06 2/5, suggesting he could have a say in upcoming stakes with a good trip and pace scenario.

Changes in store

Expect a number of changes on the Derby Dozen next week. Other than the two big guns Uncle Mo and To Honor and Serve and a few others who either have just won, like Brethren, or haven’t started yet, like Stay Thirsty, Jaycito, and Astrology, many of the spots are up for grabs, and we have a new, exciting second wave competing this weekend, with several of those likely to make it on the Top 12.  

Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) matches proven stakes horses and Derby Dozen inhabitants Rogue Romance, Santiva, and Mucho Macho Man against each other to see who will take that all-important step forward in their 3-year-old debut and survive the cut. Decisive Moment, Pants on Fire, and Action Ready are all proven stakes horses, Justin Phillip is trying to rebound off an inexplicably bad effort in the LeComte (gr. III), and then there is Machen, who some feel may be better than all of them.

This is a huge class test for the son of Distorted Humor, who has exhibited speed, toughness, and a quick turn of foot in his two career starts. But his Beyer figure dropped from a 94 to a 78 when he stretched out to two turns, and being out of a More Than Ready mare, there has to be some stamina questions, although he runs like a horse who wants to keep going. He was 1-20 in his last start, due to a combination of weak competition and a high respect for his ability by the betting public. He has after all been a buzz horse since his maiden score, and who isn’t rooting for Neil Howard?

On Sunday we have everyone’s favorite speed freak The Factor returning from his other worldly maiden victory on Dec. 26 (see more on him farther down). The racing world will be watching closely to see what kind of fireworks he can set off this time. But he’ll be up against some fast, classy horses in stakes winners Premier Pegasus and Indian Winter, both of whom should be able to stretch out in distance with no problem.

Then on Monday, we have the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn, which will feature stakes winners J P’s Gusto and Caleb’s Posse against up-and-comers Elite Alex, Alternation, and possibly Yankee Passion. Also possible is Archarcharch, who will be looking for redemption following a poor effort in the Smarty Jones. He could show improvement if they can get him back off the pace this time.

The future is now

This week marks the first Future Wager, and the dropouts and failures mentioned above should be a stark reminder of how foolhardy it could be to shell out large sums of money this early on the Derby trail.

The first of the three wagers can result in big payoffs if you happen to get lucky and latch on to the right horse, but it also can be the most frustrating if you like an under-the-radar horse who gets lumped into the mutuel field, which has little appeal unless you’re willing to wager a lot to make a little. That is a major flaw of the Future Wager and what makes the good old fashioned future book bet a much better investment.

Each year there are a number of promising late developers who are lumped in the mutuel field, but there seems to be more of them this year, which makes it frustrating for those who want to try to cash in on those horses now. That is why the future book is the only way to go if you have a way of getting down.

Some of the up-and-comers who look to have a bright future and could become major players shortly are Casper’s Touch, Elite Alex, Alternation, Bowman’s Causeway, Nacho Business, Shackleford, Arch Traveler, Beamer, Runflatout, Albergatti, Majestic Harbor, Crossbow, Sway Away, Awesome Patriot, and Free Entry. Those horses alone beef up the mutual field.

Of all the proven stakes horses who failed to make the list, Toby’s Corner, winner of the Whirlaway Stakes, is one who has made a big impression. But you’ll have to contact someone in Vegas to get down on him.

Jaycito heading for San Felipe

Bob Baffert had toyed with the idea of running Jaycito in Sunday’s seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) after an allowance race failed to go, but he has decided to wait for the March 12 San Felipe (gr. II).

Baffert said the son of Victory Gallop is really coming around now and that his seven-furlong work in 1:25 2/5 on Tuesday was what he finally was looking for from the colt, who he now feels is training and behaving like a Derby horse. Baffert had some major issues to deal with after getting Jaycito, including straightening out his mind after he pretty much lost it in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Baffert now feels his mental antics finally are behind him.

Baffert also is happy with the way The Factor is doing leading up to the San Vicente. He has gotten the colt to relax in his works after taking him to Hollywood Park to train, where it is much quieter than at Santa Anita. Now he only hopes jockey Martin Garcia can harness some of that speed on Sunday. Baffert will also run the speedy Sinai in the San Vicente.  

64 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Rachel

I love Comma To The Top...not off his bandwagon yet.

I really like Rogue Romance, too, I rewatched his Bourbon...he moves beautifully.

Right now Jaycito, Dialed In and The Factor round out my faves...I think, LOL

16 Feb 2011 2:13 PM
Poormansracehorse

Tapit seems to be joining Unbridled's Song as a sire of talented, precocious horses that are done by spring of their 3 y.o. year. Sad.

16 Feb 2011 2:31 PM
senor mapa

There is a horse by Kitten's Joy named Queen'splatekitten in the field.  This horse was brought and turned over to Phletcher.  He has him set for the Prady O'Prado route to the KY Derby.  One more start on turf in a stake, then on to the Blue Grass where we know he can run on Poly.  Out of a Wild Again mare, so he should take to the dirt.  Just collect the win bet on the way to Derby and you should be fine.

16 Feb 2011 2:49 PM
Zenyatta John

I hope Rogue Romance runs a big race as I think he'll run all day, hopefully on dirt. But if he has to lose, Machen for Mr Howard would be an acceptable choice.

If any Mr Haskins 'posters' would like to get in my league for the Road to the Roses contest for 'bragging rights' - the Barn number is 2251417165 and activation code is 2614340348 . The pool starts 2/26 and you can register three stables. Good luck and let's see who wins!

16 Feb 2011 3:42 PM
GunBow

Steve:

I also can't remember another year when so many of the top contenders have yet to make their yearly debut.

Out in California, the connections of most of the top horses appeared to simply concede the Bob Lewis to Tapizar; perhaps they were afraid of challenging a horse of Tapizar's ability so early in the process.  But given what transpired,with Tapizar mentally self-destructing and then getting injured, I have to believe that there are many trainers and owners who now regret going the conservative route; the $150,000 in graded earning from the Bob Lewis ended being up for grabs, ultimately taken by a mid-level prospect with a 38 and change closing fraction.  

Now, there is an army of talented prospects desperately in need of graded earnings, and with only the San Vicente and San Felipe left before the Santa Anita Derby, they are either going to have to run against each other multiple races or head out of town.

16 Feb 2011 3:49 PM
TNT_Gravy

I look forward to seeing how Too Experience runs in the Tampa Bay Derby. I love a horse like him that breaks his maiden for $16,000 and progress the way he has and runs hard and keeps going. I think he might excel at 9 furlongs and more.

16 Feb 2011 3:55 PM
Carlos in Cali

Too bad for Tapizar and his connections,as Asmussen stated last week: "We're blessed to have a colt of his quality in our barn"

I have a feeling the Gotham will end up having a very good field of prospects,the distance and timing should be perfect for recent impressive maiden & allowance winners looking to hitch-a-ride on the Trail.Maybe we'll see the likes of Heron Lake,Crossbow & Runflatout(owners have had success in NY),not to mention confirmed starters like Stay Thirsty and Toby's Corner.

BTW: Maybe blinkers is what Beamer needs to perk him up at this stage.And does anyone know what the deal is with Vengeful Wildcat, I haven't heard a thing about him since finishing 2nd in last yr's Sapling.

16 Feb 2011 5:37 PM
Betsy

I hope Heron Lake isn't hurt; he's not worked in about a week.

16 Feb 2011 5:44 PM
Willcox Ted

What about Willcox Inn?  Training well since late January on the dirt at Fair Grounds after his long layoff after a 3rd in the BC Juvenile Turf.  Nice work on 2-12 going 4f:  48.2 (5th out of 74 works).

16 Feb 2011 5:46 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Comma To The Top is a really nice horse but the best thing that could happen to him is to be off of the trail. He is not a Derby horse through no fault of his own. It's in his genes. He is a winner however and finding his niche he could win some or a lot of stakes races. I consider Tapizar to be very talented and really hope he recovers well. One more race prior to the Derby is not enough for Anthony's Cross. Unless you have Uncle Mo type talent you'd better be extremely well conditioned. Silver Medallion is one I really like. He is talented on all surfaces. I am expecting him to run well on dirt also. If he doesn't do well on dirt then they still have an outstanding turf horse and a very good synthetics horse. Breathren, I have see  more. His last was a nice, smooth performance but he had nothing to beat. Beamer is still very green but I love his pedigree and trainer. He has a ways to go and needs to mature more mentally and physically. He will always give 100% though. Machen will be facing a good field this time. We'll learn more. He is another that will give 100% or more. This weekend I'm high on The Factor, Rogue Romance and Elite Alex. Tremendous trio of 3yo races this weekend, one per day, Sat, Sun, and Mon. Expect one to three WOW performances.

16 Feb 2011 5:59 PM
Randy K.

I know he didnt beat much but in his big move over the weekend Brethren labeled himself as a solid Derby contender. He just flowed past the others and coasted home. So many unknowns about this entire bunch of horses which makes this my favorite time of year!

16 Feb 2011 7:40 PM
JOE

I agree you have to give Thirtyfirststreet one more shot.    Thirtyfirststreet did run a good race for a horse that was just about laying on the ground after the gate opened.       As for the Risen Star I can not think that Julien is going to do anything else but hug the rail with Rogue Romance and open him up a little in the stretch.   Julien knows that he is supposed to win this race and he will.   I would be surprised if he even pulls out the whip at all.    This horse is Juliens ticket to the  K. Derby.

16 Feb 2011 7:40 PM
Paula Higgins

A shame about Tapizar. But here's the upside, once he has surgery he may be able to regain his form. At least there was a physical reason for his not so wonderful race and not just that he couldn't get the distance or that he was overrated.

16 Feb 2011 7:48 PM
trackjack

Zenyatta John,

Thanks for setting up your league on roadtotheroses.com.  I'll be getting in and looking forward to the chats.

OH NO MO, SAY IT AIN'T SO.

I'll be going to Tampa to visit my son and we'll be going to TBD for the Derby.  If Uncle Mo stays at Gulfstream for a one turn ungraded mile, honestly, who is going to run against him?  It'll be a walkover.  Maybe Draynay can get 1-20 on him and of course win betting only.

Some of these good 3YO who need graded earnings will head to Tampa Bay.  

Would TP now put Brethren in the TBD?

Would Nick Zito now ship Dialed In for the two turn TBD?

If Mike Repole and Todd Pletcher run Mo in a one turn ungraded mile, then go to the two turn Wood Memorial, they are leaving him a bit short,IMO.  They either have a monster on their hands or they're ducking as much competition as possible to keep Mo undefeated going into the Derby.  If this scenario plays out, we won't know much about Mo until the Wood.

It's their horse and I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.  I hope it works out but now I have some doubts.  

16 Feb 2011 8:06 PM
JOE

Steve,

I am really trying to get Ghost Is Clear on the list for the  K. Derby.   I think this horse is a big sleeper and is just now showing his ability.

16 Feb 2011 8:40 PM
John T

I think it is something we just have to get used to in North American racing .Don,t get too excited about the Kentucky Derby until March from now on.

In other important developments this week-end,Chantal Sutherland is

a very attractive women but she also is a jockey with a great pair

of hands and this week she moves her tack to Fair Grounds.She has several mounts on Saturday but I think she is probably there for the Josie Carroll trained filly in the Rachel Alexandra,Inglorious.She really caught my eye as a 2 year old and she should have a great year in Canada and perhaps elsewhere.

17 Feb 2011 12:05 AM
Fran Loszynski

Anxious for the Southwest Stakes and Elite Alex but I have to say sorry to the owners of Tapizar. An awesome horse. That's what I love about horseracing you can have a favorite but still appreciate the talent in other racehorses. We fans are very lucky this season, it is going to be a head to head competition. I think the Derby is going to be a close call and then out on the rail from way behind, the winner. And I hope its Calvin Borel and Elite Alex but fans will be holding tight at the rail for all three Triple Crown Races this year.  Get the antacids out it's knot-in-your-stomach time.

17 Feb 2011 8:04 AM
Forbidden Apple

Joe,

Rogue Romance ran much better on turf last year in my opinion. He was beaten by more than 10 lengths in the B.C. Juvenile. It is always good for a jockey to keep several mounts on the KY Derby trail and to have a back up horse. I do not believe for one second that Rogue Romance is Julien Leparoux's top mount. Did you forget about Dialed In? The Risen Star is full of contenders, your horse is certainly going to need the whip. Beware of the late kick of Machen, he just might surprise you.

Now is the time for other colts to test Uncle Mo in the Tampa Bay Derby. I am hoping to see Break Up The Game enter the race with or without Mo in the field. It's the perfect time to pick up some graded earnings. I do not see how a one turn mile is going to help a speed horse like Mo.

17 Feb 2011 10:37 AM
george j

Steve,

   Where is Tiz Blessed? Ran huge at Woodbine, great breeding and connections. Plus, I have 50 on him in Vegas @ 175-1

17 Feb 2011 11:30 AM
Pedigree Ann

I'm waiting to see Bench Points around two turns. Benchmark has no problem siring milers (viz. Brother Derek) and Bench Points' damline is much more stamina-oriented than Brother Derek's was. Sires on the damline are Free House (Big 'Cap winner, channeled his damsire Vigors), Deputy Minister and Vaguely Noble.

17 Feb 2011 12:19 PM
Tricia Smarty

I think that Brethern ran a really good race even though he had a low byer, after all it was his first start this year.  I don't think it's fair to hold it against him that his  other main rivals didn't fire (not a one of them) and he ended up beating longshots.  

17 Feb 2011 12:21 PM
merlinmerry

"She really caught my eye as a 2 year old and she should have a great year in Canada and perhaps elsewhere."

Chantal or Inglorious?

17 Feb 2011 12:29 PM
TripleCrownWinner

   All I have to say is  Mechan after Saturday all questions will be answered for the next Triple Crown

Winner

17 Feb 2011 12:35 PM
Inquiry

Dialed in isnt leaving gulfstream no matter what. Either hes going to the FOY or just training up to the florida derby..i myself hope he trains up to the florida derby, then he will be 3rd time back off the layoff in kentucky..The race uncle mo may go to is the timely writer and its only a mile which is why dialed in is waiting for something further..If i was pletcher i would duck him to haahhahaah

17 Feb 2011 1:38 PM
Lava'sstilltheMan

We will miss Chantal in SoCal.  She is always gracious with the fans and can bring a horse home at a price.  Looking forward to Runflatout's next start.  Maiden win was impressive, but I don't trust times on the Santa Anita dragstrip.  Stay Thirsty is my minor sleeper with his pedigree and connections.  He may mature whereas I question if Uncle Mo is really going to be "just" a brilliant miler.

17 Feb 2011 3:27 PM
StonesRoy

I'm looking for a nice rebound effort by MuchoMachoMan with a weight allowance in the Risen Star.  

17 Feb 2011 6:05 PM
Kristen Ohler

John T

I didn't know Chantal was moving her tack to Fair Grounds.  I also like Inglorious, by Hennessey.  I think she has a bright future.

17 Feb 2011 8:07 PM
Bumper

Not sure where he is headed and it has been a month since his maiden win, but Heron Lakes performance in his debut was visually impressive, displaying speed and tenacity in putting away the 3-5 favorite (who came back and won) and holding off a well bred Pletcher firster who sat the perfect trip.  For a Zito firster, it was quite unexpected and impressive.

17 Feb 2011 10:33 PM
John T

Come come now Merlinmerry,I don,t

think Chantal is a 2 year old so have amother guess at the answer.I

think now that we have elimentaed

Miss Sutherland we don,t have to call Sherlock Holmes in to find out

who we are talking about.

17 Feb 2011 11:16 PM
John T

Kristen Ohler

Chantal moved her tack to the Fair Grounds for Feb.19th,no doubt

she will be moving it back to Southern California again after that and on to Woodbine in April.

18 Feb 2011 12:18 AM
Stan

I would love to see Shackleford make the Derby field. I have him at 250-1 in the futures!

18 Feb 2011 12:44 AM
Slew

I like Kathmanblu and Amen Hallelujah in their respective races.  The Risen Star is full of potential.  I really like Rogue Romance for his stride, Machen for his bravado, and Pants On Fire for speed.  (and I'm hoping Justin Phillip doesn't mess up the entire race.  He has speed but is quite erratic).  The Southwestern is a bit of a puzzle.  JP's Gusto seems to be regressing, Alternation has only one race, Yankee Passion hasn't run more than 6f.  Awesome Patriot might garner favorite status simply by default.  We just have to remember that this is merely a prep for another prep, The Rebel.

And Calvin Borel won the 1st leg of the Masters Challenge at Meydan.  He was 4th in the 2nd leg, and leads all jockeys with 85 points.  And he never got near a rail...did it all on the outside in the middle of the track.  Last leg is today on grass.  What I don't understand in Euro racing is the the number on the saddle cloth bears no relation to the gate number.  In the first leg, Calvin was on #2 but left from gate 8 at 9-1 odds.  Sweet!

18 Feb 2011 8:32 AM
Slew

I should have added that Frankie Dettori in the first leg rode the favorite along the rail but came in 4th.  It was really an awesome race.  Richard Hills, the defending champion, won the 2nd leg, and has 75 points.

18 Feb 2011 8:37 AM
Adam

Steve,

Some up and comers I really liked are Rocking Out, Rescind the Trade and Cool Blue Red Hot.  Haven't seen any print on them.  How do they look to you?  

18 Feb 2011 12:03 PM
Karen in Texas

I'm watching Rogue Romance in the Risen Star. It's been a while since the BCJ, which was his first start on dirt, so not sure what to expect here.

Slew---The Southwest is puzzling to me as well, but because the horses based at Oaklawn have missed training days due to the weather. I'm hoping Elite Alex does well. Alternation has one race this year, but three total since November. He won his race at Oaklawn in January, and finished 3rd and 1st in races at Remington in November and December.

18 Feb 2011 12:06 PM
Linda in Texas

It is so obvious that many of the regulars are holding back on their comments. I think that is the prudent thing to do, but Slew, your mention of "Pants on Fire" made me smile and want to mention that I love his name. Have used that adjective before in other situations. But i can just hear the announcer calling out that name in the "heat of a battling race down the stretch." Hope so anyway. And i am a Borel fan.

Slew, you do your homework that is for sure and thanks so much for it.

18 Feb 2011 12:20 PM
Slew

My error, Ryan Moore won the 2nd leg but finished 12th in the first leg.  Olivier Peslier just won the 3rd leg on War Monger, Calvin finished 12th on the favorite.  Moore and Borel were tied in points...but Calvin Borel was just declared the winner of the Meydan Masters.

18 Feb 2011 12:25 PM
jon

Besides Tapizar and Boys, Awesome Feather was also sidelined. If Mo turns out to be Seattle Slew or Secretariat, people will not want to risk injury to their horses by running a suicide speed duel with him.

I'd like to figure out who will be Alydar to Mo, or Sham, so I am still watching the other colts for that answer. All Mo has to do is improve off his 108 Beyer in the BC Juvenile, and if he does, I am guessing 115-120 for the Tampa Bay Derby, 125 for the Wood. There will not be any horse of any age who can touch him, unless he ends up like Arazi, who was never the same after bone chip surgery.

I would be frustrated as a trainer to know that the best my colt could do is chase Mo. This is a year similar to 1989, where King Glorious was on a path to meet Easy Goer and Sunday Silence, but never did. The colts this year would be better off running parallel races to Uncle Mo, and the rest of us can watch him smash Secretariat's record in the Belmont.

18 Feb 2011 1:10 PM
Steve Haskin

Adam, rocking Out finished third in an allowance race last weekend as a big favorite. He ran OK and should improve off it. Rescind the Trade hasnt worked in 3 weeks so I would forget him for now, considering he hasnt run this year, and Cool Blue Red hot was taken off the Derby trail by his trainer several weeks ago.

18 Feb 2011 2:26 PM
Forbidden Apple

Jon,

Keep dreaming, Uncle Mo will never again be mentioned with Secretariat after the upcoming 3 triple crown races.

18 Feb 2011 3:06 PM
NoMo

Jon-

That was funny!

18 Feb 2011 4:50 PM
Slew

I really neglected to mention Santiva only because I have not yet seen him run.  In an interview, Borel said he's flying back tomorrow to ride Elite Alex on Monday, and he's excited about his horse.  

Perhaps if Uncle Mo ran 8 races as a 2 year old and won most of them, you might want to compare him to Secretariat.  But he ran 3 races, and has not yet run this year.  He's a beautiful horse, and he's fast...but he'll need more than that to go last distance needed, and stay sound on the TC trail.

18 Feb 2011 7:18 PM
Bumper

It is highly unlikely to develop a Derby horse now who hasn't won yet, but tomorrow's 6th at Gulfstream has several well bred colts and don't be surprised if someone emerges from this race further down the 3 year old classic trail.

18 Feb 2011 7:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I don't know why the title of this article makes me think of "splish splash I was takin' a bath long about a Saturday night."  Some of the most successful up and comers are going to be ones taken off of the Derby Trail. Head em up and move em out. Get along little dogie.

19 Feb 2011 1:46 AM
cuban chef de race

mr haskin i do admire you as a handicapper i do remember when you did mention charismatic as a possible derby winner because i did try to compare his sire summer squall a half to a. p .indy and storm cat then i did realize that summer squall was better breed then storm cat,i know horses belief me but i notice when somebody has talent.

19 Feb 2011 6:25 PM
cuban chef de race

rachel if you see me in person you are going to forget those claiming horses.

19 Feb 2011 7:04 PM
cuban chef de race

why don't you show my comments?now  i realize how smart i am ,okey  i hope to see you in the winners circle and believe me i know the game.

19 Feb 2011 7:12 PM
tcc

Steve,

I am really trying to get Ghost Is Clear on the list for the  K. Derby.   I think this horse is a big sleeper and is just now showing his ability.

JOE 16 Feb 2011 8:40 PM

He is listed in the entries for the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn race #9, on Monday(2-21).

19 Feb 2011 8:57 PM
Steve Haskin

tcc, they have always been very high on him. If he wins the Southwest you wont have to try to get him on the list.

20 Feb 2011 1:37 AM
JOE

Forbidden Apple,

         You were right and I am still trying to wonder what Julien was doing the entire race.   The horse was not in the race at all.

tcc and Steve,

         Lets just see how Ghost Is Clear and Corey runs this race.   After his last race I would like te see him be ridden ride out the last sixteenth of the mile whip no whip at all and see if the horse is wanting more ground.  

20 Feb 2011 8:50 AM
Slew

Well...Pants On Fire maybe needed to have them lit.  Beautiful movement from MMM, RR, and Santiva.  Machen still seemed a bit tired from his previous runs.  Most impressive runs at the FG came from Bind and Kathmanblu.  I will anxiously wait to see Bind's next run; it should prove interesting.  Didn't the Risen Star just raise Dialed In's star a bit higher?  

20 Feb 2011 10:02 AM
tcc

 Didn't the Risen Star just raise Dialed In's star a bit higher?  

Slew 20 Feb 2011 10:02 AM

It probably raised To Honor And Serve also, as MMM chased the THAS home finishing 2nd twice.

20 Feb 2011 5:45 PM
EUGENE LEVEY

Mike Repole told me at the affair AWARDS that he intends to come to TAMPA for the TAMPABAY DERBY.i TOLD HIM that i would give him my table.Now i see that he is thinking of that mile race at gulfstream the same day..On another note: i like

TO HONOR AND SERVE

20 Feb 2011 8:25 PM
John T

I could not have been more impressive with Inglorious finishing second to a 3/5 shot in

the Rachel Alexandra running on well at the finish.She should go on to have a very promising year.

20 Feb 2011 9:17 PM
Pedigree Ann

Paula,

Tapizar had a mental meltdown in the paddock, was rank and pulled his jockey through insane fractions, and got justifiably tired. All young horses have some bone chips and/or flakes in their knees at this stage and few require removal; I see this 'explanation' as a face-saving move, to preserve stallion value.

21 Feb 2011 9:01 AM
Pedigree Ann

I would like to point out that Mucho Macho Man ran an improved race, running back in 20 days after his Holy Bull 'speed and fade' debacle. That's what usually happens second off the layoff. Blinkers off and an easy pace didn't hurt, either.

I liked Santiva's race; first off the layoff, he made move to reach MMM and got tired, which he was entitled to do. Next out he should be stronger, if they don't wait too long and waste the fitness improvement of this race.

21 Feb 2011 9:08 AM
Betsy

Does anyone know if Heron Lake is ok? He's Zito's other talented 3 year old. I know he was not going to make the Derby, but he showed a lot in his debut; thing is, he hasn't worked in 2 weeks, so I'm afraid he may be hurt.

Thanks!

21 Feb 2011 12:32 PM
Betsy

THAS is ready to roll, working a bullet 4 furlongs at Payson yesterday.

Stay Thirsty is working very well for his  3 year old debut as well, furlongs in 1:00 and change, breezing.

21 Feb 2011 12:34 PM
Forbidden Apple

Was anyone else impressed with the explosive late kick by Sway Away in the San Vicente? All of you Afleet Alex fans sure have something to be excited about. And his dam is by Seattle Slew, that performance has me excited for the Santa Anita Derby!

Joe,

Rogue Romance ran okay, he should improve next time out along with Santiva and Mucho Macho Man. But Dialed In is already a fire breathing stud, he just needs to break better next time out.

21 Feb 2011 1:22 PM
Coldfacts

Steve,

“but he’s going to have to come home faster than :38 2/5 and :13 3/5 for the final eighth.”

The fractions of the Lewis were 22.84, 45.64, 1:09.22, 1:35.07 and 1:48.63. Coming home in 38 2/5 and: 13 3/5 for the final three eighths and eight are entirely reasonable considering how fast the first 6F were.  Listed below some of times for 2010 9F preps:-

FL Derby  - 23.21, 46.46, 1:10.76, 1:36.09, 1:49.19

AK Derby - 22.65, 46.26, 1:10.75, 1:36.52, 1:49.37

SA Derby - 24.00, 48.50, 1:12.33, 1:35.55, 1:48.00

B/Grass    - 23.89, 47.96, 1:12.33, 1:36.63, 1:48.69

Sham        - 23.62, 47.61, 1:12.22, 1:36.52, 1:48.72

Florida Derby was a full second slower at the 6F and Ice Box came in 38.43/13.13

SA Derby was three full seconds slower at the 6F and Sidney’s Candy came home in 35.67/11.45

Blue Grass was three full seconds slower at the 6F and Stately Victor came home in 36.36/12.06

Sham was three full seconds slower at the 6F and Alphies Bet came home in 36.50/12.20

The SA Derby, Bluegrass and Sham were contested on synthetic tracks. However, the times illustrate the point I am trying to make. The last three eights and eight for those races were run in an average of 36  & 12 seconds plus due the fact that the 6Fs were run in 1:12 plus. Compare the FL & AK Derbies run two seconds faster at the 6F point. Ice Box & Lion Of David came home in 38.43/13.13 and 38.62 & 12.85 respectively.

There have been six clocking of 1:10 plus for 6F in six derby preps contested at 9F over the last 4YRS (2007-2010) The Pamplemousse  2009 SA Derby;(37.57 & 12.77  ) Line Of David 2010 AK Derby; (38.62 & 12.85) The remaining four time were recorded in the FL Derby (2007-2010) In three of those 4yrs the average times (38.23 & 13.17) Quality Road Track record time was 37.06  & 12.44.

From the above the closing splits recorded in the 2011 Bob Lewis are consistent with those for races run with the 6F split at 10 seconds plus or less. No 9F prep in the last 4YRS was run with a 6F in 1:09 plus.

21 Feb 2011 2:18 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Forbidden Apple

  Poor City Cool who prides himself on his speed tried to keep up with The Factor and was crushed. He finished last, well beaten. They will have to repair his ego. To set those early fractions(43.41, 1:07.31) and finish up like he did says something about The Factor's ability. He wasn't fully conditioned for this race and this will move him forward. If they can't slow him down he will have distance limitations somewhere along the line however. I was a little more impressed with Sway Away live than I was with the replay. How far he can carry that closing speed is still a question mark despite his breeding. Still, I like him better than I do The Factor for The Derby at this point. It's going to take a lot of work to slow down The Factor enough for 10f. They might run out of time. The reason they may progress gradually to longer is that his stride is so efficient. The Preakness is possible also or they may give up and make him a star sprinter. His speed is phenominal. Rogue Romance live I thought less of than I did in the replay. In the replay it looked like he could progress from there. Still not sure if 10f will suit him as is the case with most of them.

21 Feb 2011 2:29 PM
John T

Forbidden Apple

  Yes I was impressed with Sway

Aways late kick and am looking forward to seeing what he can do as

the time is coming to stretch out further.March should be an interesting month as all the top contenders for the Kentucky Derby

will have at least one run before it is over.

21 Feb 2011 5:08 PM
Forbidden Apple

I hope The Factor is not this years version of Conveyance. He also reminds me of a horse Bobby Frankel trained named First Defence who was a sprinter. Maybe The Factor can learn to relax a bit and rekindle my hopes that I had for The Pamplemousse a few years back. With the new Santa Anita dirt I just don't know what to make of the fast times. Even if The Factor can not stretch out for a two turn race, he will surely be one of the best sprinters around. And with Miswaki on the dam's side I would love to see him run on the grass. What a race California would have with The Factor lining up against Sidneys Candy at 1 mile!

Sway Away just blew me away when I noticed his ears prick up and his stride lengthen, he looked like he was flying. It looked efortless with his head way up in the air he just gobbled up ground and caught The Factor rather quickly. Both of his races were very impressive and I only hope that he can stretch out and win the Santa Anita Derby. If he can stretch out, I have him right up there with Dialed In. Both horses run with their heads up high and seem to motor past the competition with push button ease.

22 Feb 2011 10:25 AM
philly

Will someone please address the catastrophic injuries at Santa Anita in the recent weeks? I am angered and shocked at the numbers.  Stakes (Tapizar, Lieve), Allowance (Magic Launch), Maidens (Super, Redemsky, Destined Journey), just to name a few. How many more "vanned off"? Even in morning works! Turf or dirt, long or short, stakes or claimers, something is desperately wrong. And when will they create a new turf course for sprints/extended sprints that does not require crossing the main track?? How many times do we see horses react by jumping or bolting??  That course is just plain INSANE.  Please, someone... do something to correct the surfaces. If i were an owner in CA, I'd move my horse to another state.

07 Mar 2011 2:14 PM

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