Haskin's Derby Trail: Gemologist a Chip Off the Old Block

Elliott Walden, president/CEO and racing manager of WinStar Farm, said when he looks into Gemologist’s eye, he sees the colt’s “daddy,” Tiznow, looking back at him.

If any of Gemologist’s opponents in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) look into his eye and sees Tiznow in there, they’re in big trouble. Many have looked into Tiznow’s eye in the final furlong of a race and they all wound up surrendering and heading back to the barn in defeat.

Just ask Godolphin’s Sheikh Mohammed and Simon Crisford what it felt like when their titan Sakhee looked the tiger in the eye and fell a nose short in the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Just ask Aidan O’Brien and the Coolmore brain trust what it was like when their courageous warrior, Giant’s Causeway, known in Europe as “The Iron Horse,” had the misfortune to make eye contact with Tiznow in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Just ask Bob Baffert what it was like when Tiznow stared down Captain Steve in the 2000 Goodwood Handicap (gr. II) and sent him to the showers a loser.

All these connections of horses who have felt the wrath of Tiznow are back together in this year’s Kentucky Derby, and judging from what Gemologist has already done to Godolphin’s Alpha in the Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial (gr. I) it appears as if the proverbial apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree and that all these horsemen are about to experience a nightmarish case of déjà vu.

In addition to Godolphin and Alpha, O’Brien and Coolmore are back with UAE Derby (UAE-I) winner Daddy Long Legs and Baffert is back with Arkansas Derby (gr. I) winner Bodemeister.

But they’re not the only Derby connections who have tangled with the tenacious Tiznow, who has stood at WinStar since he retired from racing in 2001. Union Rags’ sire, Dixie Union, was actually the first to eyeball the mighty Cal-bred in a stakes race, falling by a neck in the Affirmed Handicap (gr. III).

So, it is plain to see why no one is looking forward to scrapping with Tiznow’s son on May 5, especially after the way he beat Alpha in a slugfest that would have made his daddy proud, not to mention all the other similarities between father and son.

“It showed me something about Gemologist,” Walden said of the Wood finish. “I think he comes by it naturally, with his sire being Tiznow. There are also some physical traits they have in common. Gemologist has Tiznow’s size and stature. He has that long shoulder Tiznow has and he has the development through the gaskin that Tiznow has and the power that comes from behind.

“The other thing that strikes me about Gemologist in relation to Tiznow is his attitude. Tiznow is a very very intelligent horse. He’s extremely smart in the stallion barn and is a horse who has a real character and a real definition to his psyche. Gemologist is just as easy going and smart. When you look into Gemologist’s eye you see something that looks back at you. And that reminds me of his daddy.”

But most of all, he reminded Walden of Tiznow the way he fought back when challenged by Alpha, a winner of two stakes this year in his only two starts.

“It was a great thing,” Walden said. Part of it was that he wasn’t tested in his first start of the year, so he needed to be battle-tested a little bit. Honestly, I thought he was going to get beat. Alpha had all the momentum and you could see him drop down and start extending. Most of the time in that scenario, you’ll take the horse coming on, so I was a little nervous at the sixteenth pole.”

But as it turned out there was no need to worry. There a couple of other mini-dramas that could be played out in the Derby. If you see Gemologist and Creative Cause battling it out in the stretch, just remember you’re watching a son of Tiznow duking it out with a son of Giant’s Causeway. And if you see Went the Day Well going toe to toe with El Padrino, you’re watching a maternal grandson of Tiznow battling a maternal grandson of Giant’s Causeway. You gotta love it.

WinStar has been riding a magical wave the past several years, winning the Kentucky Derby with Super Saver, the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Breeders’ Cup Classic with Drosselmeyer, and the Travers and Santa Anita Derby (both gr. I) with Colonel John.

Gemologist isn’t quite in that exalted company just yet, but with a spotless record and victories in a grade I and a grade II (Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes), he’s awfully close.

“He’s going to have to make that next step to be talked about with Super Saver and Drosselmeyer,” Walden said. “But to be undefeated at this point, he’s proven himself to be special. And the most important thing is that he doesn’t need to carry his track with him. He’s run at four different racetracks and three times he stepped foot on the racetrack for the first time the day of the race. At Gulfstream, he shipped in (from Palm Meadows); at Aqueduct he shipped in; and at Turfway (in his career debut) he shipped in. And he won each time.”

Like Super Saver, Gemologist was given some down time on the farm over the winter, and that once again seems to have been an elixir, invigorating the colt, who returned as sharp as ever at Gulfstream.

“He’s really filled out since last year,” Walden said. “When you see him come into the paddock at Churchill Downs, he’s a lot of horse.”

And he’s by a lot of horse, who thrived on all-out brawls. So, to powerhouses Godolphin and Kiaran McLaughlin, Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien, and Ahmed Zayat and Bob Baffert, as well as Union Rags and the remainder of the Derby field: if you find your horse locking horns with Gemologist in the stretch on May 5, even if you seem to have all the momentum, don’t start smelling those roses just yet.


Leave a Comment:


He's done everything that was asked of him.

24 Apr 2012 6:32 PM

I've always been a big fan of Tiznow and love to watch his offspring run.   And always I enjoy your writings about him; and you didn't let me down today.

Watching the Wood Memorial had chills going up and down my spine as flashes of Tiznow vs Giant's Causeway and Sakhee whirled by.

Gemologist is (obviously) my choice for the Derby.  Can only dream of the TC.

24 Apr 2012 6:44 PM
Mike Monarchos

Great article Steve! I love Tiznow! He is a character. I haven't seen him in several years though. I need to get back up there soon. It's beautiful in bluegrass country. Those farms are something else!

It would be great to see Gemologist win the Derby. I'm sure he'll end up with a stall in the stallion barn at WinStar when his racing days are over. He'll probably end up right next to his sire Tiznow.

He can learn from two great sires, his dad and Distorted Humor. The latter gets all excited when they take him out of his stall to go to the breeding shed. He screems his head off on the walk over. It's hilarious!! Kinda like me when I watch the Victoria's Secret models runway show. LOL!

24 Apr 2012 7:03 PM
Matthew W

The good Tiznows seem to run just like their daddy, with that high cruising speed and that tenacious finish--and Gemologist is intriguing, he will rate and he will finish, he's one of the ones...

24 Apr 2012 7:18 PM
Matthew W

So well written, Steve--right down to that final line--cuz Tiznow, when he got it right (finally), developed into the racehorse he had promised to be--Tiznow, at first glance, was stunning! Like the Quarter Horse Kaweah Bar, or thoroughbred Eferescence (Secretariat's first crop), like Curlin, like Rachel Alexandra, like Zenyatta, Tiznow had the look of eternal beauty in a racehorse--when you factor how big and strong, how gifted, and the mind behind the heart's roar, never, Steve, did I ever fathom a Cal-bred becoming a stamina influence--you kiddin'? That is, before I saw Tiznow!

24 Apr 2012 7:38 PM
Linda in Texas

Absolutely charming article Steve.

Some how i could hear snorting and snickering as i read it! And an unspoken dialogue of what they would be thinking of one another before during and after the race.

The horses i am referring to!

If they only knew the tradition upon which they are built and the super horses they come from.

I am so anxious for that day in May i can hardly stand it.

You know, in my dreams there is a dead heat of all twenty!!!!

I still cannot pick one over the other as I love and respect them all, every single one of them. And i feel so lucky to be here to witness this many talented horses all racing together. Amazing times and we never saw it coming last year and look what they have all developed into.

Thank you Steve. It's always such a good and pleasurable ride you take us all on when you put your pen to paper.  

24 Apr 2012 7:39 PM
Tiz Herself

This made my day Steve, thank you , awesome as always!

Crossing fingers for Gemologist. While there is not one horse I would be against winning, Gem is the one that I followed from a juvenile last year. From a named horse in the WinStar's roster, I followed him after his two wins at Churchill and would be so happy for Tiznow - who is one of my favorite stallions to date, one of my favorite race horses.

24 Apr 2012 7:46 PM
Tiz Herself

Steve, what's your view of Trinniberg being in the race?

24 Apr 2012 7:46 PM
Steve Haskin

I have another story online you might find interesting on Leparoux and Union Rags and the Florida Derby www.bloodhorse.com/.../leparoux-and-rags-a-strong-union

24 Apr 2012 8:11 PM
Steve Haskin

You'll have to indulge my writing another Tiznow column, but I couldnt resist :)

Linda in Texas, that snorting and snickering must have been me.

TizHerself, thanks. Trinniberg is a really nice horse. I hope he still is after the Derby. Even if he had a mile race I could see it, but a lot of trainers and owners nowadays are living in their own world and cant see past their own horse. As for the race, I dont mind him being in there and giving Bodemeister and Hansen something to run at, as long as he doesnt go out there on the kamikaze mission.

24 Apr 2012 8:18 PM

I have been following Gemologist since last year and I have been saying to everyone that this is my Derby pick with my follow up being Dullahan. He sure reminded me of his daddy and it's true when watching that stretch run with Alpha that his digging in and finding another gear was very reminiscent of Tiznow. I've been waiting for a strong son of Tiznow's to head to the Derby with a very good chance of not only winning the first classic but taking the rest as well. I'll be holding my breath on Derby day and if Gemologist does what I believe he will do then I'll be holding my breath for several weeks. You go Big Gem.

24 Apr 2012 8:20 PM

God Bless Eusubio Razo Jr..& his family. He was a true crowd pleaser to the fans at Arlington on Friday and Saturday afternoons! The racing fans will miss you as our rider and our friend.

24 Apr 2012 8:27 PM
Tiz Herself

Also loved your article on Union Rags and Leparoux (then again always love your articles - best part of my day) I hope Trinniberg does survive the race and is okay after.

Think this one will set up nice for closers Dullahan, Rousing Sermon, Went the Day Well...

think Take Charge Indy is better than everyone thinks. As is El Padrino.

Hope Gem doesn't get caught up in the early speed that is expected from Bode, Hansen and Trinniberg

24 Apr 2012 8:41 PM

Wonderful!!!  Thank you, Steve!!  I haven't been commenting much since we had to start doing sign-ins - its hard to remember so many passwords all the time - lol!  But this article is so great I just had to wrack my brain and remember my sign-in so I could tell you again how much I love your writing.  It is always wonderful and hope you will forgive me for not commenting more often because I am always reading whatever you write and enjoying every line.  From your writing in the past I have fallen in love with Tiznow even though I wasn't paying attention very much back when he was in his prime racing seasons so I've been on the Gemologist bandwagon from the start, but like Linda In Texas said, I really love them all at this point and see several with really strong possibilities of Derby dreams come true.  Another reason I don't comment much is that I get too wordy.  Again.  Thank you, Steve.  You rock!!


24 Apr 2012 8:49 PM

Thanks for a great column.  Tiznow and A.P. Indy are two of my favorites, sooo it looks like a Gemologist and Take Charge Indy exacta for me.

24 Apr 2012 8:58 PM

Hi Steve,

Your story about Leparoux and Union Rags was very poignant.

I have found when one is faced with adversity, one tends to become very focused. I believe Leparoux will be a man on a mission, not only to vindicate himself but Union Rags also.

When you listen to Phyllis Wyeth talk about Union Rags, it warms your heart. I wish her and Michael Matz the very best.

Steve, your article about Tiznow and Gemologist is very interesting, and the real story is yet to be written. I will look forward to yours.

Kind Regards,


24 Apr 2012 9:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Beautiful story. Thanks for reminding me why The Gem is one of my favorites. It's easy to get lost in this Derby with so many good ones with great stories, pedigrees, and eyeballing tenaciousness to root for. Another like father like son story. How about if they are all eyeballing each other down the stretch and tearing it up in a dog fight with a photo finish of three or four of the warriors of sons of great ones of yesteryear who knew a thing or two about eyeballing an opponent into a depressing loss. The great ones do not like giving it everything they have, getting the eyeball and just seeing dust and a rear end after that, or losing by a nose and not getting their usual walk to have their picture taken with the team. Humiliation for them, but what we live for as racing fans. We want that duel to the end with the strongest warrior prevailing after giving more than he thought he had because he refused to lose. Nothing like reading a Haskin gem to spice up an exciting Derby even more. This is the best time of the year and gets even more special when Haskin gets to CD to let us know what his eyeballing thinks of the all important physicality aspect of these beautiful beasts. It is highly unlikely that the winner will come from one that physically is uninspiring to Steve Haskin in the final week. Final week !!!! How the hell did we get here so fast !!!! It seems like last week when we were anxiously awaiting Haskin's first Derby Dozen for 2012. I guess time flies when you're looking at preps and pedigrees, and giving some thought to attempting to not being totally devoured by Derby Fever, which has become a hopeless case for me. Medical science won't touch me. If I say "this year I'm waiting until the preps at least." Then the harder I try to wait the more I get involved with checking the 2yo races and pedigrees and making Derby lists as early as August, usually based on pedigree, or pedigree, tenaciousness, style and stride. Tiznow was one of the greatest and such a joy to watch. Maybe Gemologist will refuse to lose too.

24 Apr 2012 9:51 PM
Paula Higgins

Steve another great column. Gemologist is my #1 pick right now and will probably remain so. As for Trinniberg, ITA. What are they thinking running him in this? I sure wouldn't if he were mine. It just might ruin him for good. I wouldn't take the chance. The horse comes first, the Derby somewhere after that.

24 Apr 2012 10:24 PM
Steve Haskin

Thanks, everyone. Glad you enjoyed the columns. Thank you Celeste for going to all the trouble and saying those kinds words. I appreciate it.

24 Apr 2012 10:36 PM
Reesie Girl

Love the stories Steve. Dr.D is right ~ where did the time go. Watching all these prep races-rooting for our favorites-then BAM! the Derby's here. I was always told time would go by fast when I get older-never believed them.

24 Apr 2012 11:14 PM

You know, this is shaping up to be a real thriller. So much talent in the group, it's anybody's to win, and everybody's to lose. I wouldn't miss this one for anything. With this crop, I feel each leg of the triple crown will produce a different winner. 3 big races, 3 big winners. We'll see, I always hope for one horse to take the crown, but I just don't see one horse who stands out as being totally dominant, they're all good ponies this year.

25 Apr 2012 1:49 AM

Outside of Bodemeister, none of the other contenders have run particularly fast. We've seen some flashy performances, but none that are fast outside Bodemeister, who lacks the 2yo foundation to accept a short price on Derby day. As I peruse the final preps on video one of the questions I am asking myself is: which of these colts (among the 8 or 9 serious contenders) has improved from their 2yo campaigns, in both physicality and performance? I look at Daddy Nose Best as an improved sort, having switched over to the main track and really just beginning to find his best stride on this surface. Much has been made of the premature move of his new stablemate in the Sunland Derby, but that colt had everything his own way in that race over a track he loves. DNB beat him soundly, and he did it in such a way, with strides that seemed to be searching for the most ideal rythym, finding it in one moment and losing it the next, and then finding it again. It's worth noting that Steve Asmussen wasted no time getting him to CD so that he could continue thbis process of finding his best rythym. I have to believe, based upon his works, that they have found success. DNB is one of the few entrants with a 100 beyer in his final prep, and I'll be somewhat shocked if he doesn't top that in the Derby, given the room he has to grow in becoming a main track specialist and his undeniable "want to". I've already gone too long, but there are others who have also improved from 2 to 3 that are worth talking about, especially one who could literally shock the whole world.

25 Apr 2012 2:36 AM

I think it would be cool if Zenyatta was bred to Tiznow. That would be a very interesting offspring. The first ever breeding of two BC Classic winners.

Go Gemologist!

25 Apr 2012 2:45 AM

I had the same exact thoughts after watching the Wood memorial this  year.  I posted the 2000 BC Classic video from youtube and said that it was indeed deja vu watching Gemologist's run in the Wood Memorial.  Tiznow is one of my favorites and I've been waiting for some time now to see his baby go for the run for the roses.  I had two Tiznow I followed this year, Gem and Tizanexpense.  I have given up on the latter and I think we'll see more of him this year.

25 Apr 2012 3:31 AM

My favorite time is when Steve tackles the "inside story", the "backstory", the "human interest". No one does it better, Steve. Enjoyed your article on Rags and Laparoux. Thank you, and I'm looking forward to vignettes on some of the other contenders, as well.

25 Apr 2012 5:16 AM
Mike from Michigan

Since he will be taking charge in indy, I wonder who Andrew Luck will be picking in the K Derby?

25 Apr 2012 6:30 AM
Don from PA/DE

Wow Steve, wonderful, beautiful writeup, all can see why you are a award winner yourself, and great timing for "Gem" display. Without knowing all the history, I myself became an instant, and resistant I may add, "Gem" fan when he beat my selection that day in KyJC in Nov,

it was instant appreciation as a loser that I began following him, with me more intuition and now fact

and so glad the "Intelligence" factor was mentioned by his people, as I have mentioned he just seems so super smart, I am a bit surprised that his KyJC win isn't talked about as much, but I once again encourage all to look at this race, especially in the stretch putting away Ever so Lucky, my former selection in Nov. He is my selection for KD and key for any exotics I play and hope to pre race camera coveage catches him sizing up his compeition, Mr. Walder get him to CD ASAP, so we can admire this future champ! Don

25 Apr 2012 6:30 AM
Rusty Weisner

Don from PA/DE:

I was just about to mention that.  I watched the KJC for the first time yesterday and saw that stretch battle.  That's twice he's done that.  Funny how traits like that seem to be inherited.

25 Apr 2012 7:36 AM

You never disapoint in your opening line,Steve.It always draws me into the subject.

And while the gate draw remains the final question mark for much of the field,Gemologist looks to be a star in this standout crop of 3 yr. olds.He's the key to my card.

25 Apr 2012 9:12 AM

Thank you Steve for another great piece. Always enjoy your writing. Have been following 'Gem' since Winstar posted the colt on FaceBook and allowed FB fans the opportunity to name the colt. Of course being a Tiznow, made him doubly attractive to me. Still undecided who will be my top horse for this years KD but certainly have Gem as one of the strong possibilities ...like so many others on here, will wait until your observations in KY before making my final selection. Just wish Gem had one more start this year, which would make me much more comfortable with the choice, as I prefer horses to have 3 or more starts as a 3YO. From a breeding standpoint, nice to see the Man O War Sire Line make a 'comeback' and ironic that it would do so via California, which has been discussed previously. This touches on another point, which I wanted to note to another poster here, Matthew W, that he should not forget another great California bred, Swaps, who in turn sired KD winner Chateaugay, and found in the pedigrees of Private Account and Grindstone. Tiznow has done more but not the first Cal bred to add that 10F staying power to the bred.

25 Apr 2012 10:40 AM
Pedigree Ann

Matthew W. -

None of the Effervescents in the Stud Book are by Secretariat. Were you perhaps thinking of Effervescing? He was a Man o' War S. winner by the absolutely gorgeous French horse Le Fabuleux, who was also at Claiborne. Le Fabuleux was well named ('the fabulous one'), as he had size and presence to go with his racing talent.

25 Apr 2012 11:26 AM

This is truly an inspired piece, Mr. Haskin. It reminded me of another written by someone else many years ago. A man had long dreamed of visiting the great Man O War. He finally took the plunge and traveled a long distance by train and the whole way imagined what it would be like to touch that burnished coat of living silk. When the great one was presented to the man, all he could manage was total awe and then he knew. He knew he shouldn't touch him; it wouldn't be right to put his hands upon him and left without realizing his dream. However, he knew in his heart it was the right thing to do. That was his moment and here is mine.

A few years ago, I, too wanted to realize my dream. My family was visiting me in Kentucky and we made an appointment to visit Tiznow. When the stud manager brought him out, after we had viewed his Classic wins with much emotion, I could not contain myself. I slowly moved toward him and his gaze was fixed upon me. At the last moment, I remembered myself and asked permission and it was granted. I stood close to his shoulder and very lightly touched him. It was a moment in time, truly magical for me. Was it right, yes, I believe so.

To some this might seem like a load of you-know-what. Don't judge until you've been there.

Tiznow, indeed!

25 Apr 2012 12:39 PM
Steve Haskin

Opsherr, thank you for sharing both those stories. you cant put enough importance on moments like that. I'm glad you were able experience it and relive it years later.

25 Apr 2012 2:36 PM
Mister Frisky

Gemologist in my mind has the best pedigree for the Derby.Tiznow a horse that won at a 11/4 mile,and has sired a 11/4 mile winner.Mr.P on the the bottom side always a positive.

25 Apr 2012 4:00 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Magical story. Thanks. I really enjoyed the contrast of time periods and of personal choices. There's something about adventures by train in the good old days, and of meeting our heroes in any age that is special.

25 Apr 2012 4:54 PM

Steve, as a Tiznow fan, I found your write-up to be superb...doing what only you do so well....  Capturing the emotions of those around the horse.  I hope Gemologist carries that banner well, but I still feel that he has not been truly tested yet.  While he staved off Alpha's challenge in the Wood, it was a wounded Alpha he bested.  But we just might be in store for a very special Derby this year.

But Steve, you said, "he has the development through the gaskin that Tiznow has ..".  So I sat here scratching my head.  Surely a "gaskin" was not a misprint of a "Haskin".  And I'm certain horses don't have gaskets. (although horse-power does.) So I had to google horse anatomy to eventually discover that a gaskin is a thigh muscle.  That takes care of a new thing learned today, but Steve, really...I was feeling a bit lazy today, and although I should thank you for the impetus...

I remain too lazy to do it.

25 Apr 2012 6:51 PM
Tiz Herself

Opsherr, I envy you. When I saw Tiznow at WinStar in 2010, he was in a stallion mood for sure and wasn't approachable that way to touch him.

I'll never forget from that trip how it felt to be able to touch Cigar for one. The power, presence that horse had even being 20 then and the same went with Rock Hard Ten (oodles of horse power in that animal as well), Curlin, and A.P. Indy... I can only imagine how it would feel to touch a horse like Zenyatta or Rachel Alexandra. Cross my fingers, maybe will happen one day!

25 Apr 2012 6:54 PM

adding Gemologist to my list of 4. How can one not add a son of Tiznow.

25 Apr 2012 9:31 PM

Hi Steve,

Though a wonderful bit of inbreeding the Man O War line was kept alive.  Kudos to Mrs. Frances Genter for breeding In Reality.  

Many may remember her from another Derby.  A gem of a moment that's stuck in my head forever.

A wee bitty 92 year old lady who couldn't see very well, being hugged by Carl Nafzgar...as a horse came down the stretch..."he's winning! he's gonna win!".  That was her horse...Unbridled.

I was trackside for The Wood.  There has been quite a bit of talk about Gemologist loafing toward the finish.  That's not what I saw.  I saw a horse that as you said, looked the other one in the eye, and put him away.  Gem knew it and relaxed.  There was plenty left in the tank. If Alpha had kept coming there is no doubt in my mind that Gem would have kept about his business.  

I have always been a huge fan of the Hastings/Man O War line.  There is more that a bit of orneriness and fire in it.  Hardtack and In Reality were proof of that.

In my heart I hope Gem gives the line it's first Derby since War Admiral.  But Gem should keep his eye out for the late running Dullahan.  I don't buy that poly/grass bias.  Nor do I think he left his best race on the track in Lexington.

My third horse is one no one talks about much but he has made no mis-steps.  That's cauze Daddy Nose Best.

25 Apr 2012 11:06 PM
200 lb. Jockey

Gem is a tough horse, no doubt. I just can't single a winner out this year. I really think almost half of the field has a legitimate shot to win depending on how the race sets up. I'm thinking of boxing 4 for the trifecta since odds should be juicy. Gemologist, Dullahan, Union Rags, and Bodiemeister. But I could see a few horses ruining that ticket. I hope to get lucky.

I'm foregoing a trip back to the Derby this year for a trip to Royal Ascot to see Black Caviar run her first race outside of Australia. Too bad the showdown with Frankel didn't materialize. That would have been one for the ages...

Go Dullahan!

26 Apr 2012 1:19 AM
200 lb. Jockey

My Grandfather had a painting of Man O War that got passed down to my Aunt, and I have considered begging for it. It was hung above his seat at the dinner table, so when you looked at him, you were also looking at Man O War. He gave up training racehorses after the attack on Pearl Harbor and ended up being a career military man, but I always knew he missed it. Different times and men indeed.

26 Apr 2012 1:27 AM

I never get tired of looking at Man O' War, a large painting of him hangs above my fireplace. In fact, I never get tired of looking at horses. From Alydar to Zenyatta, they're all beautiful. There's something about the presence of a horse that calms the soul. We should view these horses with more compassion and respect, and we should focus more on caring for thoroughbreds who can no longer run. The sport owes them that much.

26 Apr 2012 5:12 AM
Matthew W

Pedigree Ann Effervescing! One of Wayne Lukas's first Thoroughbreds! He won Met Mile/American Hcp at Holly five days later (not sure the races/know it was two Gr1's on opposite coasts in five days), thought he was a Secretariat, he was the first horse I ever saw that had "it"....head-turning beauty....and, yes, I know about Swaps, and Morvich in early 20's...but so many Cal-breds couldn't get that tenth furlong, eventually Best Pal came along but Tiznow is the standard-bearer for 1 1/4 stamina in this country, by Cee's Tizzy out of Cee's Song, by Seattle Song....he's right up there with Man O War and Seattle Slew in beauty, and I never thought a horse like that would come outta Cali, He has the Big Red lineage, he has that unusual nick, he had that amazing heart, the power and strength, and he had the look, still does, that amazing look!

26 Apr 2012 9:06 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

200 lb. Jockey

  Is ksweatman9 your Uncle? If he is I think you're going to have a tough time getting that painting. If he isn't you might try wining and dining your sweet Aunt.


  Great post. Yes, we do owe them that. All of them deserve a great retirement.

26 Apr 2012 9:57 AM

It still seems to me that Gemologist is not quite getting a fair shake. Many more people pick Union Rags, Creative Cause, Bodemeister, I'll Have Another, Dullahan as their top picks over an undefeated horse. History is always changing, true, but of the last 4 undefeated horses to run in the Derby, only one has fallen short, Curlin, and he only had 3 races before the Derby. Will Gemo join the undefeated ranks of Smarty Jones, Barbaro and Big Brown to take the Derby? Only time will tell. But I think that many fans are selling the undefeated angle short.

26 Apr 2012 10:59 AM
Rachel NH

I didn't see "fight back" with Alpha, LOL, I saw, as he was gawking around with his ears pricked, "Oh, yeah, I'm supposed to be racing!" and then when past Alpha, back up came the ears...

You know how I love Tiznow, so I'll wait a couple of more battles before I bestow "battle sonship" on Gemologist ;-)

26 Apr 2012 11:02 AM
Don from PA/DE

Hey KenfromRI, "SHHHHHHHH" let many not select "Gem" as the force,

if and when he wins, which I believe he will, better payout, and by the way, how often do "THEY" get it right anyway...as William James once wrote' The art of being wise, is the of knowing what to overlook"...believe what you choose to believe and enjoy it

26 Apr 2012 12:03 PM

Well being from California its easy to root for the son of Tiznow.  Let's not forget it was a CA bred that won the classic two years in a row.  In my eyes he should be here in CA, but.... But how can you not root for the son of A.P. Indy trying to do what his dad wasn't able to attempt. While not as imposing as his dad he sure seems to have the heart and the staying power.  This to me is shaping to be a great First Saturday in May. And for Godolphin and Coolmore...."Not in Our House"!!!LOL. But if they prevail they deserved it.

27 Apr 2012 5:01 AM

Tiznow needs to come home to CA...Well he probably doesn't give a shit since he is being waited hand and foot and is provided all the babes he wants. Something tells me he isn't going to be glued to the TV when his offspring Gemologist runs in the Derby. Nonetheless I'm rooting for his boy. Who can do something he was never afforded the chance to do. Shit when they put the roses around him. LOL

27 Apr 2012 7:22 AM

Gemologist will win Not only win The Derby, but also becomes racing's 2nd undefeated Triple Crown Winner

27 Apr 2012 11:13 AM
Mike Monarchos

I think I'm going to use Gemologist as my key horse in most bets. I like Bodemeister alot too, but  I'm getting worried that he might go too fast early with Trinniberg and Hansen. I'll still box him

With Gem and others in some exactas, and key him on top with Gem in some tris. That will depend on the dray though, because any colt that gets #1 is screwed!

27 Apr 2012 12:48 PM
El Kabong

Great read again Steve. My brother is a big fan of Alpha and I preferred Gemologist in the Wood. We really enjoyed that stretch run and I thought Alpha was going by him too, and then we saw it. We have a term for what happened in the stretch run in the Wood. Stink Eye. Gemologist caught that son of  a Bernardini sneaking up on him, gave him some stink eye and pulled away. The last horse we said had that quality to his demeanor was Afleet Alex. Old stink eye himself.


Like your picks for the Derby. I don't play much in the Derby Futures, but I did have enough confidence in this guy and Dullahan and El Padrino to put the three of them in an exacta box  back in pool 1 that pays very well and keyed Gemologist on top of Alpha and all others, which from that pool includes some very good late bloomers like Take charge Indy, Daddy Nose Best and Bodemeister.  I hope we're right. I'm just thrilled right now that all those wagers are still alive and kicking. Knock on wood.

27 Apr 2012 3:35 PM
Dawn in MN

My interest in Thoroughbred racing has been hampered by demands on my time.  As time goes on I develop stronger and stronger mixed feelings about the Industry as it continues to fail to address the care of the horse.  I still won't miss a chance to watch those three-year-olds run.  They are the most beautiful creatures on earth.  A safe trip to all.  Thanks for the insight Mr. Haskin, your writing is always a treat.

28 Apr 2012 1:45 PM
Dawn in MN

P.S.  I just watched the Wood Memorial again.  Is it me, or did Gemologist look a little off on his off-side, right shoulder?

28 Apr 2012 2:02 PM

Thanks, Steve, for another enjoyable article, and so interesting to say the least. I can't help but be amazed that we have a horse like Gemologist this year, and he isn't even the favorite, simply amazing group of horses.

I am very interested to see how Trinniberg will affect the running of this year's Derby. We didn't have a ton of speed in others pointing to the Derby, and now we have a true burner in the group. The only thing is that Trinniberg doesn't have a route or two turns in his resume, but boy does he have a beautiful easy stride. I know very few give him any chance, but if he gets an easy lead he just might stroll right on into the winner's circle.

28 Apr 2012 2:43 PM

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