Haskin's Derby Trail: Ride the Wild Surf

Can a maiden winner win the Louisiana Derby (gr. II)? If you answer yes then you would naturally turn your attention to Cigar Street. After all, as the ESPN show “Numbers Never Lie” would suggest, Cigar Street’s 13 ¾-length procession, earning a 99 Beyer speed figure, is more than sufficient ammunition to land the $600,000 winner’s prize.

But what about a maiden winner who won by only 2 ½ lengths, earning an 80 Beyer speed figure? Going strictly by the numbers, Windsurfer would appear to have little or no shot. But sometimes, numbers do lie, which is why racing has a steady stream of longshot winners. Sometimes, you have to take into consideration the visual aspects of a race.

We acknowledge that Cigar Street could be special, but like Windsurfer, he has yet to face winners and no doubt is going to be a huge bet-down horse. We’re looking for potential overlays in what looks to be a wide-open race, with Mark Valeski the likely favorite off his nose defeat to El Padrino in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II).

In Windsurfer’s trouble line in the DRF past performances, it reads “wide trip.” But there is wide and there is wide. Windsurfer actually was forced six wide into the first turn, raced wide down the backstretch and around the far turn, finally was able to ease into the two-path turning for home and drew off to a comfortable victory, with the second horse finishing 6 ½ lengths ahead of the third horse.

Now, this would hardly seem to qualify him to come back and knock off 13 opponents in a grade II stakes. But he has been working brilliantly since that race, including a bullet :59 2/5 breeze, and it is just possible this is a rapidly improving colt who is ready to make this big a leap. In  his previous start, stretching out to two turns for the first time in only his second career start, he finished second to a good colt in Stealcase and finished 8 ¼ lengths ahead of the third horse.

As a son of Speightstown, out of a Malibu Moon mare, his pedigree doesn’t exactly shout out distance, but his last race certainly suggests he can go another sixteenth of a mile effectively.

Now, be aware that Windsurfer was being targeted for the Illinois Derby (gr. II) and only was re-routed to the Louisiana Derby when Discreet Dancer was taken off the Derby trail. So this was not his intended stop. Make of that what you wish. All we’re saying is that Windsurfer should be a decent price and is eligible to run a big race, if not big enough to win then big enough to be part of the exotics. This is the time of the year when 3-year-olds light on experience often turn in bust-out performances, and this colt could be one of them.

Stretch threats

As for the more experienced horses in the Louisiana Derby, under the right pace scenario Rousing Sermon and Shared Property, who gets blinkers, are more than capable of rebounding off poor efforts and making their presence felt, especially with the long Fair Grounds stretch. Both definitely are exotics plays, and a victory by either one wouldn’t come as a surprise.

Finnegan’s Wake, third in the Gotham (gr. III) at 25-1, and Z Dager, second in the Lecomte (gr. III) and third in the Risen Star look like improving colts. And who knows if Lecomte winner Mr. Bowling is capable of bouncing back from a dreadful performance in the Risen Star.

Again, this is an intriguing betting race, with a number of potential overlays if you’re looking to knock off Mark Valeski and Cigar Street or are looking for horses to include in the exactas and trifectas.


Leave a Comment:

Pedigree Ann

Cigar street is another frontrunner who got away with a 48 sec half-mile before sprinting home. I am not impressed.

If you want a price horse, try Afford. He was third in the Super Bowl H at 6f, then closed hard to win his n1x. In the Risen Star, he broke out, was bumped and was rank thereafter, not to mention having to close into a tepid pace (1:13 3/4ths!). A good break and any decent pace gives him a shot. I see they have changed jocks to Jimmy Graham; good move.

30 Mar 2012 12:10 PM

Shared Property at 10-1 is an overlay, in his last two he started from the farthest outside posts 13 and 10.He starts right next to Cigar Street and one over from Mark Valesky.He is adding blinkers and had a bullet work March 19,I expect him to break well and get good position into the 1st turn,his trainer teaches the majority of his horses to break and run on or close to the lead.He will be in a much better striking distance in this race, I dont know if he is good enough to win but dont leave him off your exotic tickets.

30 Mar 2012 6:07 PM

BTW if you get 10-1 on Shared Property I will be surprised.

30 Mar 2012 6:08 PM

Here's the trifecta: Mark Valeski, Windsurfer and Z Dager

30 Mar 2012 10:11 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

Show bet on Flashy Sunrise?

31 Mar 2012 10:58 AM

ranag.... mark v will run bad ...save your money....

31 Mar 2012 5:01 PM

First off CHIEF just want to go on record I was wrong about TCI. He ran a great race (stole the race on the front end) but it still was a great race. So now that I owed up to that one I totally agree about Shared Property he should improve with getting a better post and his last two drills were very nice! I am taking a stand against MV which I was leaning towards before seeing the results of the FL Derby today (combo of Draynay picking him as well as do not like betting a horse that is favored 2nd trip around two turns after freaking when he stretches out the first time) The two horses I will key on top of Exactas and Tri's are Shared Property and Windsurfer. Good luck at the windows everyone...

31 Mar 2012 9:01 PM

Steve, I like both your closers...Smitty[the closest to Delahoussaye you can get...see Giacomo and Zenyatta], Holllendoffer lots of options on the Left Coast, and the native son Tom Amoss would like nothing better than to put this one on his resume...not a knock on El Padrino[bounce is the obvious answer, but MV might have gotten a click or two better price...great betting heat imo

01 Apr 2012 12:26 PM

Draynay just in case it wasnt posted I am picking Soaring Stocks.

01 Apr 2012 1:16 PM

Draynay Its 2:30 eastern time,if you want to run the "The Sting"you have to wait until after the race is run.

01 Apr 2012 2:33 PM

Draynay Gantry did it again,so Im still up 2 to zero.

01 Apr 2012 2:57 PM

KY Vet e-mailed me before the Louisiana Derby and told me he was going to cover his win bet on Mark Valesky by playing the $1 exacta wheel  all-w/Valesky.Good job you have gone from CHUMP to cHAMp in less than  minutes.

01 Apr 2012 6:39 PM
Pedigree Ann

OOPS. Anybody see that one coming? I must say, it warms my heart as an official geezer to see a properly fit horse (5 races already this year, 8 last year) beat the coddled creampuffs.

And its not like Hero of Order is carthorse-bred, either. His sire, a son of Distorted Humor, won the Swale (G2) and ran second in the Florida Derby (G1); this is his second crop of 3yos. The dam is by a G2 winner at 11f on turf who was exported to Turkey before his foals ran; he has been leading sire two seasons there so far. Dam also a half-sister to a Spinaway (G1) winner and a listed SW around 2 turns. Not fashionable, but not trash either.

That said, I don't think the Derby winner is coming out of Louisiana this year.

02 Apr 2012 12:07 PM

I think it's time I went back to my old style of handicapping...

....bet on the black horses!

AP Indy, Reveron, Hero of Order...all black (really dark bays).

02 Apr 2012 12:50 PM

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