Haskin's Derby Report: Thank You, George Costanza

Do you remember the episode of “Seinfeld” where George Costanza decided to do everything the opposite of what he normally would do even if it defied all logic, etiquette, and political correctness?

Well, it worked for him, so we felt, with the utterly confusing state of this year’s Kentucky Derby, this was the perfect time to test that approach. When logic and analysis gets you nowhere, be a contrarian and try to defy logic an analysis.

So, we did just that and guess what? We liked the results.

In addition to this odd method of handicapping the Derby, we will revisit our exotics box based on our March 9 rankings of the top 15 horses we felt most looked like a Derby winner.

And finally, we’ll break all this down and attempt to come up with a winner and a few savers, as futile as it may seem.

OK, Costanza, take it away:

Here is our exacta, trifecta, or superfecta box.

Midnight Interlude – Because no horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without having started at 2.

Archarcharch – No one wins from post 1, the least desirable post. The last horse to do it was Ferdinand 25 years ago.

Nehro – Most of the clockers felt he had one of the least impressive, or maybe even THE least impressive, final Derby work.

Soldat – No horse has ever won the Derby from post 17.

Animal Kingdom – No horse has ever won the Derby who had never run on dirt.

So, there you have the George Costanza five-horse box. We actually like this group a lot and give every one of them a good chance to win, especially considering all have been looking great physically. If you have the funds you can throw in Master of Hounds, who also qualifies by never having run on dirt.
OK, now for our more serious bet. For our March 9 column flashback, before any of the major preps had been run, here are the horses we felt had the look of a Derby winner, based on the attributes it takes to win the Derby and what they had shown in 2011. Unfortunately, Toby’s Corner (#13) is out and he would have made this a much stronger group. But we still have six of our top seven in the Derby, and this our serious exotics box.

They are: #1--Dialed In, #2--Mucho Macho Man, #3--Soldat, #4--Santiva, #5--Stay Thirsty, #7--Archarcharch.

Again, this is a pretty solid group and some or all of these would make an enticing exotics box.

Now for the nitty gritty. Not having seen most of the works, I can’t name my top work or even base my selection on works, From an observational standpoint, we can only go by gallops and overall physical condition.

The top group consists of Pants On Fire, Animal Kingdom, Shackleford, Archarcharch, Brilliant Speed, Soldat, and Stay Thirsty. We also like the way Mucho Macho Man is coming around physically and he had an excellent gallop this morning. You can do with list this as you wish. We just mention it as a point of interest.

Current observations: One horse in particular who has started to blossom physically and mentally in the past few days is Nehro, and despite his so-called unappealing breeze, he looks like he could be sitting on a big race.

 Another horse who looked fantastic this morning is Brilliant Speed, as he has the last couple of mornings. He looks extremely focused and coiled, and has the look of a true stayer. If he can run to his looks watch out for him at a huge price.

Now let’s sort through all this and see what we have. We’ve already gone over the exotics plays.

Narrowing it down to one pick, we have been a fan of Archarcharch all year ever since he won the six-furlong Sugar Bowl Stakes in 1:10 2.5. He possesses the most explosive turn of foot on the far turn, he has a strong pedigree, and he’s been training super. Despite his drawing the dreaded rail, we have to stick with him and just hope he can overcome it. No horse’s coat looks better than his and if Court can get him back to midpack and avoid serious trouble he could still wind up getting a good trip. But he is in a precarious spot and needs a lot of luck and help from the Derby gods.

Because of the uncertainty of Archarcharch’s post, we’re also going to focus on Nehro because of the way he’s been looking and acting. It just depends on his odds.

Four horses we definitely are going to save with at a huge price are Brilliant Speed, based mostly on how good he's looked on the track, Master of Hounds because of the unknown factor, his big effort at 1 3/16 miles against a top-quality field, and getting Garrett Gomez, Shackleford because of his powerful works and gallops and the amount of time he’s been training at Churchill, and Animal Kingdom, who also has looked super in his gallops and his last work. This morning he galloped in blinkers for the first time, which is an interesting touch. He wears them in his races and works and trainer Graham Motion wanted to do a little experimenting with them this morning. Like Shackleford, he is improving at the right time and still has more room for improvement. The big question with him is how he’ll handle the dirt in a 20-horse field.

We’re not sure how the public will be playing horses like Nehro, Pants On Fire, Midnight Interlude, and Soldat. Check their odds throughout the day and see if any of them appear to be overlays, especially Nehro and Pants on Fire.

So, to recap the sure bets, it’s Archarcharch to win (and Nehro if he's a decent price), with longshot savers on Brilliant Speed, Master of Hounds, Shackleford, and Animal Kingdom. We might add Pants on Fire if his odds are high enough, but we're getting into too many horses.

In the exotics, there is the flashback box of Dialed In, Mucho Macho Man, Soldat, Santiva, Stay Thirsty, and Archarcharcharch.

The George Costanza box was mostly in fun, but you know what? It’s a pretty good group and looks strong enough to bet.

Finally, in case of a sloppy track, we have a different scenario. Here in our opinion are the best bets in the slop – Pants On Fire, Soldat, Shackleford, Brilliant Speed, Nehro, Stay Thirsty, and Twice the Appeal. There are going to be some awfully big prices among this group. And you have the grass/synthetic horses Animal Kingdom and Master of Hounds to consider.

Of these, you won't find a better pedigree for the slop than Shackleford. He is inbred to Dr. Fager and In Reality, and has Aspidistra three times. His broodmare sire is Unbridled. Other major slop influences in his pedigree are Pleasant Colony/His Majesty, Speak John, and Buckpasser. This also is the family of slop influence Gone West. He also has the right running style for a sealed sloppy track.

 

53 Comments

Leave a Comment:

JorgeG

Good Horsemanship????? They knew he wasn't going to run BEFORE the pp's were drawn, you do not enter a horse that isn't 100%. They knew he wasn't 100% for at least two weeks weeks and they sure knew it on Wednesday. And what is really sad, the horrible part of this, is that people lost out on a chance to run their horse in the race. For example the owners of Sway Away may never get another chance to fulfill this dream because of the selfishness of Mo's connections.

That´s the real Repole, and the real Pletcher.

This has nothing to do with MO, he is a real star.

06 May 2011 1:48 PM
GJU

Steve! I loved your number one pick, per Georgie Costanza! I'm playing Midnight Interlude straight and in exactas. Seinfeld is one of my favorite tv shows and the character of George Costanza, the biggest idiot on TV, played by the fabulous Jason Alexander, makes me laugh and shake my head all at the same time. Thanks for "doing the opposite" with your Derby picks this year. Hey, it's as good a way as any! Good luck with your "serious" picks, too! Thanks for an entertaining column.

06 May 2011 2:30 PM
Windy City

Steve,

add a category: anti-distinctive name for KD winner to "Costanza's theory" and we have a winner - Pants on Fire :-)

Personally, I go with Soldat, Arch3* and Shackleford. If the sky opens up again tonight, we may need to add Michael Phelps into the mix ;-)

06 May 2011 2:39 PM
El Kabong

Steve,

This calls for the Seinfeld  Derby Dozen of Names.

1. Uncle Leo

2. Bosco

3. Mulva

4. The Vault

5. HelloooNeman    

6. Mansiere

7. The Maestro

8. High Five

9. Lord of the Manner

10. Master of My Domain

11. I'm Out!

and last but not least...................................

12. SERENITY NOW!    

06 May 2011 2:43 PM
Criminal Type

Thanks for that weird logic Steve, I guess it will work as well as anything else this year. I am taking, Midnight Interlude, Mucho Macho Man, ArchArchArch, Brilliant Speed, Soldat and Dialed In.

I gotta say, even though I am not a fan of Uncle MO, I felt really bad for Mike Repole. Such bitter disappointment. I know it had to be a hard pill to swallow. You could practically feel the sadness radiating off those two guys. I give Todd Pletcher a lot of credit for doing what needed to be done. Even though the vets said they coudn't find anything wrong. If the horse is not right, running him could have catastrophic results. Kudos to them for being safe, not sorry.

Thanks again Steve> One question, Do you think we will see The Factor in the King's Bishop, I mean it seems like a logical fit for him does it not?

06 May 2011 2:45 PM
predict

Thanks Steve, that helps narrow it down. Could you give us one horse that you believe will definitely not be in the first 4 to finish.

06 May 2011 3:29 PM
Stones

In times of confusion, I follow my heart.  Archarcharch!  (Although my gut says Nehro)

06 May 2011 3:33 PM
fritzrobertson

The 1 hole has led to some nightmare trips but Archarcharch has been running in big fields and seems to be a horse who is not getting in trouble. There is usually a reason for that beyond luck.  His last two races are both strong, and the surface at Oaklawn compares with Churchill well, or at least has in the past.

Nehro has been charging with a huge move the last two outs.  His last workout is probably of no concern whatsoever given how he has run, and since it appears he definitely wants to go longer.  No one else fits the "mile and a quarter will help this horse" bill better.

The rest are more difficult, but I don't think Master of Hounds was brought over just for the hell of it.  Finally, Midnight Interlude is not very seasoned but those two breezing works at Churchill caught my eye.  If they were the typical Baffert bullets at Santa Anita, doen handily, I wouldn't think much of them.  He also has a stalking running style that should fit this "loaded with front running speed" large field very well.  I expect to see a bunch of front runners going very slowly the last 1/8.

All things considered, those are my picks.  I agree with a lot of what is said in Haskins' analysis but I'm reaching slightly different conclusions.  However, in a race with 19 or 20 3 year olds going a mile and a quarter for the first time, anything can happen, and we all might just as well ask George Costanza for advice.

06 May 2011 4:00 PM
allatime

Good analysis.  Wide Open.  Playing Animal Kingdom,  Mucho Macho Man and ArchArchArch.  Hopefully we get an exciting race.

06 May 2011 4:30 PM
KY VET

HOW CAN YOU PEOPLE GIVE ME OVER 4-1 ON DIALED IN? WITH NO MO?  STICKOUT!!!!! I LOVE THIS GAME!!! BET WITH BOTH HANDS!!!  EAAAASSSSSYYYYY!   WIDE OPEN DERBY? LOL

06 May 2011 5:31 PM
KY VET

STEVE!!!!! BET ON TALENT!!! WEAK GROUP....DIALED IN RAN LIKE A FREAK IN 2ND START!!!! THE LAST 2 WERE GOOD PREPS!!! TIME TO FIRE BIG!!!!!    PRO

06 May 2011 5:39 PM
Steve Haskin

I added a little more in the slop section, because it looks like we're going to get rain in the afternoon. What else is new? By the way, Calvin Borel is second choice t 8-1.

06 May 2011 5:44 PM
Lilu12323

Rain in the afternoon? Then it'll be Nehro who'll be wearing the roses, provided a clean trip and a little racing luck for his closing run.

06 May 2011 6:21 PM
Zen's Auntie

El Kabong -

you forgot

NOSOUPFORYOU

Babalouie out -

AAA MMM DI

06 May 2011 6:38 PM
Slew

After watching Rosie's ride on St John's River, she can out-Borel even Calvin.  I'm sticking with Pants On Fire.  That girl takes no prisoners.  What a ride!  What a jockey!

Arkansas form is not holding at Churchill, but Sunland and Fair Grounds form is.  

06 May 2011 7:01 PM
Bspec1

Shackleford All the way!!!

06 May 2011 7:08 PM
Kevin

I'm absolutely amazed at the odds.  I knew Borel would bring money to Twice the Appeal, but 8-1?  Had a great Oaks day, but does anyone else think some of those photo's were off? Was on the wrong end of the nose twice.  If Shackelford can relax behind Comma to the Top, then I think he'll win.  

06 May 2011 7:17 PM
7 1/2 Furlongs

Mr. Haskin -

Thank you for the four months of Kentucky Derby preview commentary.

This year was extremely tough, and all pedigree and racing analysis, appearing in Derby Dozen, has been helpful.

I would like to add one comment of my own, concerning the current field size of the Kentucky Derby.  I have read some comments from a few contributors to your column, who have complained about the 20-horse field being too large.

I disagree.  The larger the field size, the more betting opportunities for value wagering.

In Europe, the field size for some races exceeds 20.  In general, large fields require more analysis

and tests the racing fan's knowledge and expertise.  It also helps to be flexible and adaptable to changing situations, which are common at the race track.  I like the Derby system of 20 horses just the way it is.

As mentioned in earlier columns, I

backed Santiva and Nehro in Future Wager Pools 1 and 3.  I also like the way Animal Kingdom is coming up to the race and will back him at acceptable odds.

Thanks for the Derby Dozen.

06 May 2011 7:40 PM
The Deacon

Great list,  you pretty much picked every one. Since Mo is out, I will go with Stay Thirsty but I am not that solid on him, just a longshot pick. Most wide open Derby I have ever seen. On paper, Dialed In is the best hlorse, but the real best horses on paper aren't running. Survival of the fittest, Soldat 2nd, Midnight Interlude 3rd............

06 May 2011 8:20 PM
jaybird

Too bad about Uncle Mo. Hope he recovers and does well in his life. However, considering the past history of injured and scx Derby favorites,and TB's in general, he will probably join the ranks of unproven youngsters who have "retired" to stud. ( by unproven, I mean horses who have no,or very little, racing past his 2 year old campaign). There will be the talk about how "he's too valueable to take a risk on him hurting himself permenantley".  Very understandable sentiment, however colts who are so delicate and subject to serious career ending injuries/ illnesses, should be gelded and not be allowed to add to an already perhaps shaky gene pool.  

06 May 2011 8:28 PM
IrishEuroSpy

Master Of Hounds is major player if taking to the dirt. I understand that Aiden O'Brien has been at Churchill Downs for the past couple of days. The big annual meet at Chester (uk) is on here this week and Ryan Moore has already ridden 3 winners for Mr. O'Brien. Here is the significant bit; one of the winners was St Nicholas Abbey, won by 9 lenghts in a group 3. This  horse is the former group one winner, at 2 years,who lost his form as a 3 year old, much to the regret of AP O'Brien. There is no way on God's earth he would have missed attending unless he has set his sights on achievhing something much greater this week, to win the Kentucky Derby perhaps?.

Master Of Hounds has the form and breeding in a year where the US competitors are arguably much of a muchness. Fair enough he might not take to the dirt, or to an off track,but otherwise I expect, Coolmore expects.

I'm  more a fan of breeding, rather than pace and tactics analysis. I have gone through the field and here is my shortlist:

Master Of Hounds, over priced here at fixed odds of 14/1. Solid 1,2,3. claims.

Arch Arch Arch and Shackleford (S'ford my sloppy, off track, pick),both my next best.

I couldn't fully rule out the following to surprise either,

Stay Thirsty,Santiva, Comma To The Top, Derby Kitten, Twinspires, Watch Me Go.

Good Luck!

06 May 2011 9:32 PM
Paula Higgins

OMGosh Steve you are hilarious! You too El Kabong. Love this. I am going with Dialed In, Mucho Macho Man and Soldat in no particular order. Should be a great day. I am very worried about Uncle Mo. They did the right thing and I sincerely hope they get this figured out soon for his sake. Sorry for Mike Repole too, a very nice guy.

06 May 2011 9:35 PM
Forbidden Apple

1-DIALED IN 2-Brilliant Speed 3-ArchArchArch 4-Soldat 5-Shackleford

Steve,

I still believe that Dialed In will win the 2011 Ky Derby. Brilliant Speed is a must use on a fast or sloppy track. The prices on Nehro and Twice The Appeal are extremely low for a couple of average colts.

07 May 2011 1:04 AM
The Deacon

The Kentucky Derby is supposed to give horse racing a shot in the arm. It has been said that it is the greatest 2 minutes in sports. Not the case anymore, horse racing is no longer the sport of kings. Even though fabulous writers like Mr. haskin has done his part to keep it alive, we just don't have any stars. The Wood Memorial is fast becoming the disaster prep for the Derby. The past 3 years has been a nightmare. I Want Revenge, Eskendereya, and now Toby's Corner and Uncle Mo.

The folks who operate this once great hallowed sport better figure it out soon or we are all going our sport. It won't long before there will be no prime networks picking up the Derby telecast.

With respect to all of the owners and trainers, this 3 year old crop leaves much to be desired. I do think Uncle Mo is the one exception, and now he isn't sound.

Sad day for me, not the race it once was........

07 May 2011 3:09 AM
Scott C

wow, the costanza approach produced 5 of the 7 derby horses on my oaks/derby double ticket, the other two being dialed in and mucho macho man. Amazing. Oh and Jorge, just like Pletcher said in the press conference, Uncle Mo deserved to be entered without a doubt, there was still a very good chance of him running in their minds. I feel bad for sway away and his connections too.

07 May 2011 3:33 AM
El Kabong

zen's auntie,

How could I have forgot that. I stand corrected. I left off attaboylloyd (braun) too.

Enjoy the race. I'm like a kid on christmas morning. It's 4:50 a.m. out west and I'm up and wagging my tail like a dog waiting for his walk.

07 May 2011 7:52 AM
nickie

let's hope we're all chewin on egg salad sandwiches Steve[or was that salmon?]...thanks Steve, you and Lenny for trying to clear up this connundrum of a race1

07 May 2011 8:31 AM
HorsesForCourses

Today is Derby Day! Root for our jockey, Joel Rosario, the best jockey in the world, aboard Brilliant Speed. He did it in the Bluegrass, now the Derby! Watch him race from a completely different perspective--straight from the saddle! winby5.com/rosario.html

07 May 2011 9:50 AM
steve from st louis

After all that has gone on in Egypt this spring, I think Nehro, owned by the Egyptian Sayat, is the circumstantial bet. After spending millions on his thoroughbred operation, he has finished second with Pioneerof The Nile and had the solid Derby favorite last year, Eskendereya, scratch late. And even better,  Draynay hasn't put the curse on him. Sometimes you have to toss out the Racing Form and go with the aligning stars.

07 May 2011 10:55 AM
Dawn in MN

I always play some heart bets.  Money aside, every one of the derby horses has reason to win, the Thoroughbred heart, and will to win.  I truly believe that it is anyone's race.  I will play the horses like votes to root for the ones that catch my fancy...

on ArchArchArch -I love his looks, and his moves make him appear to be a colt that has the heart and mind to win, even from the one.

on PantsOnFire -if speed holds this is one of those horses that will run on and the jockey will decide his fate, I believe he has the heart and the speed.  Loved Rosie's ride in the Oaks.

Dialed In, everyone loves a closer and this colt has more versatility than he gets credit for.  He has the heart of a closer and I expect him to do well.

on Shackleford and Dialed In, I believe the heart is figurative and literal with these two, what a beauty of a stretch run between Shackleford and Dialed in the Florida derby.  Would love to see a repeat.

Safe journeys to all and to all a good Derby.  

Condolences to Uncle Mo, and connections, he sure looked a sad sight standing in his stall during the Oaks coverage.  I hope for a full recovery and return to the flash of brilliance we saw in the Breeders Cup.

07 May 2011 11:02 AM
Dawn in MN

From The Soul of A Horse Life:  Lessons from the Herd by Joe Camp.

Camp writes that the following quote was found in a New York Times editorial following the euthanasia of Barbaro.

"You would have to look a long, long time to find a dishonest or cruel horse.  And the odds are that if you did find one, it was made cruel or dishonest by the company it kept with humans.  It is no exaggeration to say that nearly every horse is pure of heart."

07 May 2011 11:07 AM
Giddyup

I love your approach Steve. The Derby trail this year has been so crazy, why not have a little fun with it. If we are going with the "Costanza" theory then I think there can only be one logical pick. George being "master of his domain" would undoubtedly be investing in Master of Hounds.

07 May 2011 11:07 AM
jbluesbeatle

I like Master of Hounds, who last ran 1 3/16 miles in Europe, finishing 2nd, so distance may not be an issue. I also like Midnight Interlude, Archarcharch, and Nehro, who screams longer distances. He comes off the pace and has just missed while rallying, so he needs longer distances.

If anyone caught the news about the tragic death of Devil May Care, the news was sobering. She had a mystery illness, just like Uncle Mo, elevated enzymes, etc.  She turned out to have Lymphosarcoma. When Pletcher mentioned that MO has a similar issue-ie elevated enzymes, mystery illness, I am suspicious, given the parallels to Devil May Care. I am concerned that he had not really been himself this year, so who knows when he got sick. Devil May care was in poor form in the DErby last year. so I bet she was sick, then. My grandfather had Lymphosarcoma when I was little, so hearing of Devil May Care was sobering. If Mo has a mystery illness, and was truly very sick in the Wood, then his 3rd place finish makes him all the more the champion. I think Reple and Pletcher balanced the health of the horse with his popularity, but scratching probably saved his life. Compare that to Barbaro, who was not acting right in the starting gate, and ended up injured. He should have been scratched since he clearly did not want any part of The Preakness. He probably had a hairline fracture, twisted an ankle in the gate, and reacted to the pain by breaking through the starting gate.  Mo's handlers did the right thing. Health is more important than fame or money.

07 May 2011 11:15 AM
Linda in Texas

Pants On Fire, Dialed In, Shackleford, Watch Me Go, Mucho Macho Man. No particular order, just sayin'. And if betting i would add Comma to The Top at 43 to 1 in the mix.

The view from the top watching Rosie come out of the gate yesterday on St. John's River was nothing short of perfection. She had to go outside at the end or she would have won. Only lost by a 'short neck.' :)

And good for the 2 grays, Zazu (3rd) and Joyful Victory (4th).

And in The Alysheba, my old pal First Dude. A win is a win. Good for you and his connections.

As for the doppler radar map over Louisville today, shows the rain will be passing over Louisville and clear out by 3:15 PM. I hope that stands. And good luck to everyone. Hope you make a mint!

That was corny, sorry, just seemed to be the thing to say.

Where is Dr. Drunkinbum??? What is he betting i wonder.

07 May 2011 11:57 AM
Dee

The weather has really thrown some big questions into my list.. but I am going to go with trifecta boxes on the following based on who I've liked, how theyve looked this week and chances in the slop:

ArchArchArch

Shackleford

Pants On Fire

Dialed In

Animal Kingdom

MuchoMachoMan

Might kick myself for not using Soldat but something tells me to stick with the above list. I'll have a few exactas with the longer prices on the board, and pants on fire has me newly intrigued. Hopefully some big prices for my win bet on Animal Kingdom, ArchArchArch, and Shackleford.

07 May 2011 12:36 PM
Sue MacGray

@el kabong - you're killin' me over here!! :):)

Steve - great idea. As a longtime Seinfeld (and horse racing) fan, I can totally understand your logic(?).

My sister-in-law and I spent 2 hrs yesterday making paltry bets ($2-5) on POF, Nehru, MMM, DI, and then some longshot bets to win on MI, BSpeed, and Animal Kingdom. I usually can pick winners, but my knowledge of the actual betting part is slim to none - although this past year I've been trying to learn a little more. We just do it for fun anyway. Really enjoyed your column. We're heading off to a Derby party here in Ohio at the Toledo Museum of Art in a couple of hours.

Good lucky everybody!!

07 May 2011 1:35 PM
El Kabong

Ok,

For the record, I am sticking with SOLDAT. He has the running style, foundation, speed, and works leading up. I like MMM, Arch, Nehro to play under and will toss them in third with some shots, brilliant s, stay thirsty, twinspired animal K, and santiva for a tri. Flip soldat with group two for the backup tri and get a cocktail. Man what a tough year but I hope it pays. Oh yes, the costanza special, 2,16, with 12,17, with2,4,7,16,19. I would be remiss if I didn't place one of those.

Steve, once again, my thanks to you for having all us on board for the ride to the roses. Your articles are truly the most insightful and enjoyable available anywhere. Good luck today. Whatever happens, I'm looking forward to hearing your take on the results.

07 May 2011 2:50 PM
KY VET

I HATE THIS DERBY!!!! MY MO SCRATCHED! TOBY SCRATCHED!!! I WAS GONNA BET DIALED IN, THEN MY GUYS IN BACKSTETCH SAID HE LOOKED BAD! SO IM OFF THE SHIP!! HE LUGS IN TOO MUCH.......IM BETTING 3 HORSES!! MMM, HOH, MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE....NOT SURE WHO YET.....HATE THIS RACE.....BUT IM KING OF THE DERBY!!!

07 May 2011 4:13 PM
Dee

So close on so many big payouts, had 3 out of 4 but didnt have Nehro anywhere, and nice efforts by all of them. At least I had the winner across the board and MMM. Too bad Dialed In didn't have that big kick today. Great race, except AAA- what terrible luck but hopefully he will make a speedy recovery.

07 May 2011 8:47 PM
Linda in Texas

Well Steve, pat yourself on the back. You mentioned in your first group, Animal Kingdom, Shackleford and Mucho Macho Man and a few others and then later you mentioned Nero.

I am going back to read all the posts over to see who had Animal Kingdom. Shackleford was a trooper leading the pack for as long as he did. Of course,my choice of Pants on Fire, Dialed In, and Watch me Go didn't!

But i did mention Shackleford and Mucho Macho Man so i didn't do badly psychologically. Nero and Animal Kingdom were not on my radar screen. You just never know but i am happy for the winner.

At least my weather forecast was right! The rain cleared out by 3:15 pm.

07 May 2011 9:10 PM
KY VET

I TOLD MY FRIEND, WHO LIKED ARCH ARCH ARCH...THAT HE WOULD LIKELY RUN BAD....WATCHING ALL OF HIS RACES, YOU SAW HIM NOT CHANGE LEADS IN THE STRETCH...THEN HE STARTED TO CHANGE LEADS,INDICATING HE WAS FEELING BETTER....THIS IS A GREAT HANDICAPPING TOOL...ARCH THEN RAN 3 GREAT IMPROVING RACES....NOW, USUALLY A HORSE HAS PROBLEMS FOR A REASON...CONFORMATION/STRIDE  ETC.   THE 3 GREAT IMPROVING RACES PUT ALOT OF STRESS ON A HORSE...WHATEVER WAS BOTHERING THE HORSE, IS LIKELY TO RETURN.....THREE GREAT RACES PLUS THE FACT THE HORSE BOBBLED RIGHT AT 1/8 POLE= TROUBLE.......I POSTED THIS BAD STEP..AND ASKED PEOPLE IF THIS BOTHERED THEM...IF THEY SAW IT....THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF HOW HORSES CAN RUN WITH AN INJURY....IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY...ALOT OF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS....YOU MIGHT ASK HOW CAN I KNOW HE IS HURTING, AND NOT THE TRAINER...BECAUSE YOU CANT TELL ALOT OF THE TIME...HORSES CAN'T TALK....LOOK HOW ARCH RAN THE WHOLE RACE!  YOU SAW HE WAS HURT ALREADY AT THE START....BUT HE STILL RAN THE WHOLE RACE....HORSES ARE CRAZY HUH?.....I POSTED SAME CONCERNS ABOUT DIALED IN....LUGGING ...SHOWING BAD SIGNS..IT IS REASON HE WAS TRAINED SO LIGHTLY...PLAIN AND SIMPLE....I LOVED THE HORSE/ DIDNT LIKE THE BAD SIGNS..THEN MY BACKSTRETCH GUYS TOLD ME HE WAS NOT LOOKING GOOD....I BET 2 HORSES...3RD AND 5TH.....LOOK FOR THESE BAD SIGNS...TOBYS CORNER WASNT CHANGING LEADS, THEN DID....LOOK WHAT THAT DID FOR HIM.....LOOK AT THE GOTHAM..STAY THIRSTY...HE WON BUT CHANGED LEADS, THE BACK TO WRONG LEAD LATER IN STRETCH....ONE OF THE WORST SIGNS....I WONDER WHY HE ALL OF A SUDDEN CANT RUN?....LEARN THIS...IT MAY HELP YOU!

07 May 2011 9:47 PM
tcc

Steve:

The Apollo curse is still in place.

07 May 2011 10:53 PM
MikeM

KY VET - YOU REALLY HAVE THIS GAME ALL FIGURED OUT.

08 May 2011 7:49 AM
Slew

Wow!  I had 9 favorites and 4 possibles.  AK was one of my possibles.  Rosie had POF sitting pretty the entire race, but he really tired in the last 2f.  She simply had no horse left.  I feel terrible for Archx3 and all of his connections.  That stumble out of the gate may have been the reason for the saddle slipping, but I have to wonder just when the fracture came. I love that horse.  And the biggest, youngest colt, MMM proved he belonged there, as did Nehro.  Shackleford looked as though he was going gate to wire, and he looked great doing it.  MOH surprised me by doing well on dirt also, coming in 5th. Midnight Interlude was terribly disappointing, and CTTT never should have been there.  

Happy Mothers' Day to all.

08 May 2011 8:51 AM
hank

Hey whata great article mr haskins, now i go into withdrawls no derby dozen to read, your articles r the best. I am very dissapointed in the handling of Uncle mo, that was selfish as hell on Repoles side if horse was not right on Wed what made them think he would be right on sat, then course there would not of been the need for this outlandish press conference, and the feel sorry for me because i can't race my horse, then people who owned the 21 st horse could of gone into race, and experienced the thrill or running in derby sick of hearing all year Zito and his horse pletcher and his, neither were around at the end. Glad for Mr Motion very classy guy. like i said thank you for all the expertise, and your witt and humor

09 May 2011 5:55 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Costanza's Mother- "He's a bum, he still lives at home. Where do you get your information from !!! My son hits the exacta. Ridiculous !!"

George-"Yeah, did you hear Kramer, I hit the exacta. It was really quite simple actually."

Kramer-"So you're buying lunch at the coffee shop. Great. Let's go."

George- "Not so fast Kramer. I didn't really win very much. It was nothing really and I've got an important interview today. I'll be seeing you Kramer."

09 May 2011 11:00 AM
KY VET

MIKE...I NEVER SAID I KNEW EVERYTHING....BUT, YES I THINK I KNOW THE GAME WELL ENOUGH TO MAKE A LIVING OFF IT...I LIKE MY BET ON MMM...AND YES...I POSTED ARCH ARCH ARCH TOOK BAD STEP AT EIGHTH POLE IN ARK DERBY....THATS WHERE HE WAS HURT.....HE HAD HISTORY OF NOT CHANGING LEADS, UNTILL LAST 3 RACES.....TRAINERS CAN'T TELL ALOT OF TIMES...THAT HORSE HAS A PROBLEM...HORSES THAT BOBBLE IN THE STRETCH, DO SO FOR A REASON....HOW ABOUT COMMA TO THE TOP? SEE HIM CHANGE LEADS LATE, AND DRIFT OUT BADLY IN SA DERBY?.....I'M JUST POINTING OUT, THESE ARE BAD SIGNS TO LOOK FOR.....

09 May 2011 4:07 PM
JayJay

KY VET : You're right, you're the king of the derby (when analyzing the previous years)....now let's see you pick some winners before the race is actually done.  You're starting to sound like the other guy.

Steve H : I missed this blog prior to the Derby.  I don't know if I had played Animal Kingdom based on this but I probably would.  Sometimes when things aren't going my way, I do bet against my picks lol.

09 May 2011 7:42 PM
Slew

KYVET: Please stop shouting.  Archarcharch stumbled badly coming out of the gate.  It looked as though his ankle turned right then.  I really don't know how he got through the rest of the race.

His workouts at Churchill were amazing as he covered the slop like a gazelle...so please stop the doom and gloom and recriminations.  Most reviewers felt he had the best work outs before the Derby, and looked great doing it.  A lot were switching their picks to favor Archx3.  So what you have to say is ill-conceived and unfounded.

10 May 2011 7:11 AM
KY VET

JAYJAY...I BET 100W60P MMM.....I LIKED MY BET...I WAS IMPRESSED....SOMETIMES YOU LOSE...ITS FINE...SLEW!  I TOTALLY DISAGREE...IM TRYING TO TEACH PEOPLE THIS....YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND...HORSES CAN RUN HURT..UNDERSTAND THIS! HE DIDN'T ROLL HIS ANKLE...IT IS A FRACTURE...DID HE RUN THE WHOLE RACE WITH IT? YES!!! THAT'S MY POINT.. HORSES BREAK THEIR LEGS,EVERY RACE....THOUSANDS OF MICRO FRACTURES HAPPEN...THEY HEAL..DO YOU THINK FRACTURE JUST HAPPENS? OR IT IS A SERIES OF STRESS(FAST RUNNING) ? AND YES I THINK HE WASNT RIGHT...WHY DO YOU THINK I POSTED IT AFTER ARK DERBY? HE HAS HISTORY OF NO LEAD CHANGE/ THEN CHANGED LEADS 3 STR. RACES..DID YOU SEE THE BOBBLE AT 1/8TH POLE?  WHY DO HORSES BOBBLE? IS THAT NORMAL?  NO! THEY SHOULD HAVE SEEN THAT AND BEEN CAUTIOUS!! HOW ABOUT THE OTHER HORSE THAT GOT HURT? SEE HIM DRIFT OUT BADLY IN HIS LAST RACE?(COMMA TOP)..THIS IS SOMETHING YOU MIGHT WANT TO LEARN....THE THING IS, EVEN A BAD ANKLE DOESNT MEAN A HORSE CANT WIN! HORSES CAN RUN HURTING....YOU JUST SAW IT!!

10 May 2011 4:23 PM
Slew

KY vet:  You're not teaching anyone anything.  You make suppositions that have no basis.  You already called yourself "the greatest handicapper in the world".  Dr. Bramledge already confirmed that Archx3 fractured his leg when he stumbled coming out of the gate; he was running on pure adrenaline.  Or don't you take the time to read the informative articles in Bloodhorse?

We saw what Go For Wand did after her fracture.  She got up and ran with that broken leg flapping around.  It was horrendous.  But YOU were accusing the connections of Archx3 of running a lame horse....and if you're as knowledgeable as you claim, you have no excuses. And if you were actually a veterinarian, you would also know you've already violated your oath. So I have to assume you're some other kind of vet.

As far as handicapping goes...Lazmanick is much better by miles....and doesn't your keyboard have a lower case?

11 May 2011 1:21 PM
KY VET

Did you see arch3 bobble at 1/8th pole in ark derby? yes or no?   Was is a lucky guess by me? that something was wrong w him? watch the video...

13 May 2011 7:25 PM
KY VET

You assume trainers know everything....they dont.....you cant tell , alot of times a horse has a problem.....thats the point im making! remember fresian fire? he tanked in derby...the looked him over...ran again...he tanked again...then finally found the reason.....

13 May 2011 7:28 PM

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