Haskin's Derby Report: Time for the Pick Sicks

The time finally has come to make something resembling selections. Getting past the mass state of confusion is the first step, and then trying to figure out a sloppy track is step No, 2. Just remember, there are no experts when it comes to the Kentucky Derby.

First off, I am proud to say, in my first Derby Dozen on Jan. 29. seven of the my top 12 horses have made it to the Derby, and all have a legitimate shot to win. They are: Itsmyluckyday (2), Normandy Invasion (4), Revolutionary (5), Oxbow (6), Goldencents (7), Overanalyze (11), and Palace Malice (12). My number 1, 3 and 8 horses, Violence, Shanghai Bobby, and Flashback, all dropped off the trail due to injuries.

There is no doubt Orb is the ‘now’ horse and has done everything so perfectly and has created so much buzz, he has replaced Verrazano as the Derby favorite.

Since Violence got hurt, the only two horses I have had number one are Itsmyluckyday and Revolutionary and I have seen nothing to make me change my mind. Itsmyluckydayday, in particular, has looked magnificent in his gallops and could not be doing any better. From the second he stepped off the van and immediately started grazing he has seemed right at home in his new surroundings. There is still a question about stamina, but he is doing as well as a horse can do, especially one who did not have a work over the track.

Revolutionary’s energy level has been high, his coat is shimmering, and I love the way he jogs briskly off the track every morning. He currently is my No. 1 ranked horse and I will stick with him,

WORKS -- Before we get down to the nitty gritty, let’s break all this down in categories. From a works standpoint, Orb and Revolutionary had the best works visually, with the latter extremely impressive in his gallop-out. I also loved the way Overanalyze and Palace Malice worked in company, with Overanalyze going a bit smoother of the two. Normandy Invasion, normally a stone closer, has been asked for more speed early by trainer Chad Brown, and he indicated how sharp he is when he ran off about three-eighths in his gallop Thursday. Brown decided to just jog him on Friday. No one has galloped stronger than the son of Tapit, who has been tearing around there each morning well out in the middle of the track.

The one sneaky-good work was by longshot Frac Daddy, who got the best of Java’s War when they worked in company. This work got lost among the parade of works we saw that day, but I loved the way the rider of Frac Daddy was doing everything possible to let Java’s War catch up to him, practically standing up and looking back for him, but Frac Daddy simply was too strong. And he has continued to gallop strongly. He’s 50-1 in the morning line, but his two best performances of his career have come at Churchill Downs and he is just now rounding back into form after several physical issues. He has a tough task, but based on works and gallops, he could surprise a lot of people and at least pick up a piece of it.

GALLOPS – I mentioned Normandy Invasion, Itsmyluckday, and Orb as standouts, and the last two had strong gallops on Friday. But the galloper that made the best impression Friday was Overanalyze, who glided over the surface with smooth, efficient strides, and was full of energy coming back. One horse who has gone virtually unnoticed because he comes out at 5:45 every morning is Mylute, who is the consummate professional and moves very well over the track. He is very light on his feet and changes leads on cue. Goldencents, like I’ll Have Another last year (well, not quite that strong) has been aggressive in his gallops and at times can get a bit headstrong. But all in all he’s been very relaxed.

THORO-GRAPH – It’s difficult to tell what it’s going to take to win this year’s Derby. I’m thinking anywhere from a zero to a negative 1. The only three horses to run a negative 2 or better this year have been Orb (-2) in the Florida Derby, Itsmyluckyday (-2) in the Holy Bull, and Verrazano (-2 1/4) in an allowance race three starts back. What was most impressive about Itsmyluckyday is that his negative 2 came the next race back after running a career-best negative 1 1/2. It takes a special horse to not “bounce” off a career-best figure like that, and an even more special horse to actually run faster off it. After a two-month layoff and running a “1” in the Florida Derby, while not fully cranked, he should be ready to return to a huge number.

I love the pattern of Overanalyze, who ran the fastest 2-year-old number in the field, a “1/2” in the Remsen. He came back off a layoff with a dull return in the Gotham on the Aqueduct inner track, in which he had a wide trip, but still ran a decent “3 3/4.” He then improved to a “1 1/2” in winning the Arkansas Derby easily. With that big 2-year-old number behind him, he should now move forward again and run a big number in the Derby. Normandy Invasion is another on a similar pattern who should be sitting on a career-best number.

SLOP – I dealt with this several days ago, and just quickly repeating, the longshot I would expect to improve the most on a sloppy track is Mylute, mainly due to his inbreeding to In Reality, especially through Valid Appeal, and his sire line, which traces to Fappiano and Dr. Fager. I also like the fact that Mylute is on an upward spiral and definitely is sitting on a career-best figure.

While the majority of the leading contenders should not be hampered by an off track, it is best to look for a live longshot who could improve dramatically over it. In addition to Mylute, the Irish-trained Lines of Battle has a very strong slop pedigree, especially through his tail-female line, which is all Darby Dan Farm and includes His Majesty. Also, horses with strong turf pedigrees should move up on it, and one in particular, Charming Kitten, is related to such top-class grass horses as Theatrical, Paradise Creek, and Arc de Triomphe winner Prince Royal. On his sire’s side, you will find European stars Sadler’s Wells (through El Prado, who has sired some top mudders), Roberto, and Sir Ivor, not to mention his inbreeding top and bottom to Hail to Reason. These are mega longshots, but they should improve on an off track. To what degree we obviously have no idea. But watch out for Mylute, especially.

PEDIGREE -- There are a number of horses who have excellent pedigrees for a mile and a quarter, including Orb, but assuming we're going to get an off track, it would be ideal to have a horse with speed who can stalk early and not get mud kicked in his face who can get the distance with no problem. Of all the speed and stalking horses, Oxbow fits that bill. He has the speed and the post position (2) to set the pace or get a good position early. And you know he will keep going. He's by stamina influence Awesome Again, out of Tizamazing, who is a full-sister to two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow, BC Classic runner-up Budroyale, and the dam of Paynter, who won the Haskell and was second, beaten a neck, in the Belmont Stakes. So, from a handicapping aspect, Oxbow would be the pick on pedigree.

SUMMATION – As I mentioned earlier, I have no reason whatsoever to abandon Revolutionary or Itsmyluckyday and will include both. But I am constantly looking for live overlays, which has often led to my downfall in the face of the obvious.

My two main live overlays are Overanalyze and Palace Malice. The former will be ignored because of the slow time of the Arkansas Derby, but that was only his second start of the year, the track was very deep, he was wide the entire way, his Thoro-Graph numbers point to a big effort, and he has looked great on the track. He also has enough slop influences to think an off track won’t hamper him that much. I also like the fact that he was precocious enough to win first time out at 2 at Saratoga going five furlongs, turned in a powerful stretch run to win the Futurity at six furlongs, and turned in one of the gutsiest performances of the year winning the Remsen. Whether he’s good enough against this group, who knows?

Palace Malice is intriguing because we really don’t know how good this horse is. He just hasn’t been given the opportunity to show his best. In his first stakes appearance, the Risen Star, he was the only horse in the field of 14 who did not have a two-turn race and was coming off one seven-furlong allowance sprint in almost seven months. He then had an absolutely disastrous trip in the Louisiana and had two potential winning moves stopped cold in the stretch. In order to get points for the Derby, he was wheeled right back in two weeks in the Blue Grass Stakes in his first ever start on a synthetic surface. After tracking the pace, he wound up doing the dirty work by being the first horse to go after a loose-on-the-lead Rydilluc. He put him away, and then got to goofing off, looking at tire tracks and switching back to his left lead. He still was beaten only a neck when Java’s War came flying from dead-last to nail him right on the wire.

He, too, has excellent slop breeding, and has already finished a strong second on a sloppy sealed track. The only slight concern is the addition of blinkers. Although he probably does need them, you really don’t want to start experimenting with equipment changes in the Derby. On the other hand, who knows how much it will move him up?

So, for live overlays, these are my two key horses. I also will have savers on Oxbow and Mylute at a big price. The former has been one of the unluckiest horses you’ll ever see when it comes to post positions and questionable rides. The only time he had a good post and a clean trip he won the LeComte by 11 1/2 lengths. Gary Stevens knows him now and you can bet he’ll give him a better ride than he did in the Arkansas Derby.

With mini-superfectas and trifectas, I would be looking to box longshots Overanalyze, Palace Malice, Oxbow, and Mylute with Orb in one bet, with Itsmyluckyday in another, with Normandy Invasion, and with Revolutionary for a total of four bets, just looking for some monster payoffs.

If I can afford it, I will also make a six-horse $1 trifecta box of Overanalyze, Palace Malice, Revolutionary, Itsmyluckyday, Orb, and Normandy Invasion in the trifectas. The horse I'm struggling with is Verrazano. He has been forgotten as the one-time potential superstar, as many feel distance is a question mark, but he is capable of breaking this race wide open if he puts it all together. Use him if you believe in him. I will decide what to do after I see his odds, which right now are a generous 11-1.

But all the exotics aside, If it comes up sloppy, which it looks like at the moment, I will be playing Mylute.

As for my actual overlay picks who I will focusing on at a price, they are Overanalyze and Palace Malice. both of whom I will be betting to win regardless of the track condition.

P.S. After meeting the four WWII veterans this morning, who are the guests of Rick Porter, and listening to their riveting and emotional stories of the D-Day invasion and other stories, it is going to be extremely difficult for the Derby gods not to work their magic on Normandy Invasion.

52 Comments

Leave a Comment:

oldyeller

Itsmyluckyday is sitting on a big race.  He'll get first jump on the turn as Verranzano and Falling Sky will start backing up.  I think Goldencents will go on with him and Palace Malice will be "looming boldly" but flatten out.  Those two will set sail and then here comes Orb  and we'll see if he can hold off Orb and Revolutionary.  Itsmyluckyday finds that final gear and holds off Revolutionary and orb and a fast closing Frac Daddy to finish out the superfecta.  

03 May 2013 3:20 PM
josh

I loved Orb and Itsmyluckyday since the beginning of the year, not going against them now.

Orb, Revolutionary, Itsmyluckyday, and Mylute.

Horses I like but using on them on the bottom, Goldencents, Verazzano, and Java’s war. He scares me; he might be like Ice Box, gobbling up ground on a wet track down the stretch.

I don’t like Oxbow (inside, and doesn't like the kick back), Palace Malice (Seemed wobbely in last) or Normandy Invasion (I think he's been over worked).

Golden Soul could be a nice longshot to hit the board.

Good luck to all!

03 May 2013 3:33 PM
Steve Haskin

I have added a pedigree section to the column.

03 May 2013 4:01 PM
Mister Frisky

Thanks for the picks Steve.My 1$ six horse tri box as follows.Orb,Rev,Ox,WTC,IMLD,Norm Inv.Also with Did a 144$ super.Orb,Ox,NI,Rev on top.Good luck to you and all the players out there.If Orb bombs the IRS line will be around the building.

03 May 2013 4:14 PM
greyghost

Let it rain & all will shake out fine.

03 May 2013 4:29 PM
Steve Haskin

I have tweaked the column a bit to reflect the odds, so there have been a few additions and changes. Is Vyjack really 43-1? His baggage obviously is heavier than we thought. And Verrazano, the one-time potential superstar, at 11-1?

03 May 2013 6:18 PM
The Deacon

If it rains then all bets are off.....crap shoot at best, maybe that way a Innyway.

Me and Laffit Pincay agree on the 1st three

1. Goldencents

2. Orb

3. Normandy Invasion

Wow Steve, I just can't see Revolutionary for anything. A horse that always finds trouble racing in a field of 20 horses is asking for trouble.

03 May 2013 6:22 PM
Fran Loszynski

Once again Steve there are stories at the Derby. Normandy Invasion, Mylute first woman jockey and Goldencents with a black jockey not since 1902  All are so worthy but then the Kentucky Derby is a wonderful  story in itself and Steve you write it so well. Thank You. Now I'm off to a Pre Kentucky Derby Party going as a jockey for my costume. Good Luck everyone -safe journey for all.

03 May 2013 6:59 PM
Racingfan

I am sticking with Itsmyluckyday and Goldencents.  I also still like Revolutionary, Overanalyze and Verrazano but can't bet them all.  I will however be placing a fun bet on Frac Daddy since he is the beauiful grey. Thanks for all the great articles Steve! Good luck everyone!  It's been fun!

03 May 2013 7:22 PM
Lise from Maine

Hi!

I was enjoying reading your opinion as above-mentioned, and I got lost with your reference to the "negatives."

Oh no, what does this mean?

I am betting on Normandy Invasion, Mylute, Java's War, and maybe Charming Kitten and It's my Lucky Day.

I change my mind often so I'll see who I actually bet on tomorrow when I purchase my ticket(s).

Thanks for your ideas; it was very good.

Lise from Maine

03 May 2013 7:40 PM
trackjack

Thanks for all your information, Steve.  I know it's a labor of love. I made some changes based on your observations. Good Luck with your picks.  

I've had Orb on top all along and see I reason to back off. I'll take 6-1.  Orb to win.

My final Fab Five ex box is:

Orb, Revolutionary, Normandy Invasion, Itsmyluckyday, Verrazano.

My Mud Tri box:  Orb, Revolutionary, Mylute, Palace Malice, Verrazano

Will put some backup W/P on Palace Malice.

Good Luck to all.  Enjoy the Derby!

03 May 2013 8:34 PM
Cassandra.Says

For me, in the slop, it will be heavy exactor on the two sons of the colt who won the B.C. Juvenile, wire-to-wire and going away, in the slop.

Otherwise, I'll play Revolutionary straight or just sit on my back wheel to the Oaks.

I didn't particularly like Princess of Sylmar, but I didn't like any of the others as much as their odds were telling me I should. Had a feeling the coronations were premature.

Not seeing the post parade is going to limit my flights of exuberance.

03 May 2013 8:51 PM
Alex'sBigFan

What a great article Steve with a wealth of information in it.  

Unfortunate for Black Onyx, hope he heals quickly.  That makes getting next to the rail easier for Calvin and Rev in post 3, with only one horse next to them in post 2 and no one now in post 1.  

Im sticking with:

1.  ItsMyLuckyDay

2.  Verrazano

3.  Orb or Revolutionary

If it is complete slop I guess:

1.  ItsMyLuckyDay

2.  Mylute

3.  Palace Malice or Oxbow

If Curlin could romp in all that Monmouth sea of slop then Palace Malice should be able to handle it.

Congratulations to Princess of Sylmar.  I like her name and she is pretty.  I wanted Dreaming of Julia but she was cooked from the get-go.  I really don't want to see a long shot come in the Derby.

Wishing Dr. Bramlage is ok after his spill in the golf cart.  He has to be ok the horses need him.

Have fun watching everyone and good luck to all.  May they all come home safe.  I hate to see the Derby Dozen go, thank you Steve for getting us here again this year.  But I know there will be lots more great articles to come on the rest of the triple crown trail and summer races.  Thank you Steve for all you do.

03 May 2013 9:04 PM
pedmat

All things considered the top three will be Lines Of Battle, Orb and Verrazano, not necessarily in that order. Javas War, Will Take Charge and Revolutionary could get in there depending on the way the race goes - the rest are also rans.

03 May 2013 9:51 PM
Age of Reason

Perhaps I’m the only one who’s ever done this, but too often on the first weekend in May I find myself over-thinking (can’t use the loaded word Overanalyze in this case) the Greatest Race, and end up letting the opinions of others, or simply the urge to make a “safe pick” and not look like a fool, get the better of me. Though I suppose I can brag about hitting 2 of the last 6 (Street Sense ’07, I’ll Have Another ’12), I’ve also found myself jumping ship from one horse to the other when I should’ve stayed put. In 2009 I ditched Pioneerof The Nile (2nd) the night before the race for Friesan Fire (18th, I think), and did it again the following year when Super Saver got dumped by yours truly the morning of the race in favor of Jackson Bend (13th). This probably means that I might look better if I just gave a list of the ones I’m ALMOST picking, lol. But, this year I’m not going to ignore those deep-seated logical (hopefully!) instincts in my head. Assuming the track is sloppy, which now seems likely, my pick is Oxbow; then Revolutionary, and Palace Malice. If the track is fast, however, the game changes for me. In that case my hopes are pinned on Normandy Invasion, Orb, and Oxbow respectively.

Steve, thank you very much for a wonderful, insightful, and engaging trip down the Triple Crown Trail this year. They say you live and learn, and I’ve just had ‘way too much fun learning new lessons about our wonderful sport this year. Best of luck in all your bets, and regardless of who finishes where let’s all pray they return safe, sound, and eager for many more races to come!

03 May 2013 9:56 PM
Ranagulzion

If it rains Verrazano turns the Derby into a procession. He will leave them all for dead on the far turn.

03 May 2013 10:37 PM
Cassandra.Says

I'm not a fan of Verrazano, but I respect him enough to hammer the mare who outworked him. Anyone who didn't have Authenticity, shame on you!

So, the rainclouds, the odds . . .

Bet 'em all, bet 'em all

The long and the short and the tall.

That poem in motion, from over the ocean?

Why not? Throw him in. Bet 'em all.

03 May 2013 10:49 PM
ksweatman9

I see that Goldencents is the new fav, but what are the odds that O'neill will nail the derby back to back? I like to look at the odds of everything. I can see several of these ponies possibly pulling off a win, but when Normandy Invasion drew the 5 hole, I thought about Eight Belles and karma. Maybe silly, but the thought stuck. I also think Vyjack is far too talented to be totally dismissed at 43-0 odds. I'll be throwing money his way. I like Orb and I'm glad he is no longer the favorite, because the first Saturday in May doesn't usually favor the favorite. Now about the Oaks, nice race, and*** my point is made. Good luck to all!

03 May 2013 11:08 PM
Geronimo2123

Verrazano's training partner Authenticity just set the stakes record at CD in the La Trionne with Johnny V up. This solidifies everything V has been doing up to this point. And yet he is 11-1 at this point? With Giant's Causeway as his damsire? Undefeated and never under the whip, never more than a handride?

Horseplayers sure do love to get cute, sometimes when it is staring them in their face. Forget Pletcher...this horse could be the real deal, and at a price.

04 May 2013 12:47 AM
Jon

Appreciate every ones comments here, but at the moment the forecast has stumped me specially after putting in a lot of time to hit the superfast.

But, on the win end I'll go along with Steve & Revolutionary and the main reason is going back to 1901 to "DOXA".

Good luck everyone I silently enjoyed everyone’s input here and hope many of the poster’s here make a good killing at the window tomorrow.

Thanks’ Steve for your hard work specially putting up the hard headed bunch here.

04 May 2013 12:51 AM
shuvee

1.  Revolutionary

2.   Over analyzed

3.  My Lute

4.  Verrazano

Good luck and safe journey!

04 May 2013 1:16 AM
Draynay

Java's War wins in the Mud.  Say thank you !

04 May 2013 1:40 AM
Paula Higgins

My top five are: Verrazano, Orb, Revolutionary, Goldenscents and my emotional pick is Normandy Invasion (along with Orb). But with a sloppy track, I have no clue as to which one will be o.k. with it. I want them all to have a safe trip most importantly. Great column as always Steve. Good luck everyone with your bets.

04 May 2013 2:12 AM
jimmyf74

Can Lukas have one last trick up his sleeve with his duo of Oxbow and Will Take Charge, I find the latter  very intriguing after winning the Rebel and skipping  The Arkansas  Derby  to train up to The Kentucky Derby. So we will find out if soon if the coach has a final trick up his sleeve this afternoon. Just remember  when your just about  to give up on the Hall of Fame trainer for good that's when he reminds you that his career  not over yet and it's usually  with a decent horse like Will Take Charge at big odds.

04 May 2013 5:17 AM
Derby Dew

Steve,

First off, thank you for another outstanding Derby Trail.  Your insights into the horses and connections with Derby hopes can not be found anywhere else.  Great job.

I may regret this, but I'm dropping Java's War who doesn't appear to like the CD track in a.m. workouts.  His replacement in my wagers will be Mylute, whom you made a very good case for.  Rain will be a factor, no doubt.

Wishing all the horses and riders a safe trip.  Good luck, y'all.

04 May 2013 5:59 AM
HotRocket

Rain or shine, I'm on Orb/Palace Malace/Itsmyluckyday. Reverse logic here...going to wheel Java's War & Golden Soul in 3rd in Tri's and use them in 4th on supers with my three plus Big Todd's others. Goldie is a complete toss...thanks Andy!

04 May 2013 7:45 AM
Intothebridle

Excellent analysis Steve, can't dispute any of it but as we know, the Derby gods write the final script. Don't you think the biggest factor is which horses can not only get the mile and a quarter, but also while negotiating more traffic than even the older horses encounter in the BC Classic. Don't you agree this is the most difficult race to win because of these and many other factors? At least by the Belmont, most trainers have a much better read on them and pedigree influences play such a huge part. The slop would really move up the speed so Goldencents becomes a problem for me as it really helped Lion Heart and Smarty, just to cite one example. OK, Smarty was going to dust that field anyway but I tend to skip wagering on slop unless I have a good bead on a horse or two that I already know relish it. We've been around a few horses that turned into world beaters in mud (keep in mind for future reference any Congrats offspring as I've never seen a horse happier in mud, even in training) so we could see an under the radar horse freak today. I usually have a decent feel for this race and have been well rewarded but NOTHING would surprise me this year. Then again, seems that's when races seem to come in right on form. Good luck to all, unless you're wagering against a certain three letter horse  that carries one of my favorite's blood.....Damascus!

04 May 2013 8:09 AM
Icaruskid76

I can't go against Itsmyluckyday at this point.  He had two huge speed figures and really didn't need to win the FL Derby.  Second was enough.  If he had, I am sure he would be under 4-1 now.  Same goes for Vyjack. I  will forgive the Wood and the infection, and the outside posts have been on fire in the Derby. Rudy will have him ready.  He was undefeated and put a solid effort in despite the infection.   Orb reminds me of Barbaro a lot.  You just can't leave him out.  He can stalk or come from out of it.  12-1, 43-1 and 5-1 could prove to be a nice tri!  Throwing Overanalyze, Revolutionary and Mylute (had the lead in the LA Derby in deep stretch + gets Rosie back and a 10 length win previously with her aboard) to complete the super!  

Good luck, what a great Derby season!!  

04 May 2013 8:41 AM
Stones

Steve, I too was stunned at the early wagering, mainly with Verrazano at 11-1.  I may have to re-think my wagering strategy with those juicy odds, because this horse could be a monster.

The other one that stunned me was Frac Daddy at 15-1.  Really???  Don't get me wrong, with my Pool 1 wager on him, I'd love to see him win, but just what is prompting almost 3 times as much money on him than Vyjack?  The 20 post can be overcome by a horse with his tactical speed.

I don't worry much about the rain, as Churchill does a good job with the hour they have before the race...unless its a downpour at post time, and then I'll load up on the early speed: Goldencents, Verrazano and Oxbow.

04 May 2013 8:51 AM
Old Timer

Nice column, as always, Steve. You have really covered the bases.

Verrazano at 11-1? As you had noted previously, he really gets no respect. I guess the bettors cannot get past his Daddy's sprint record. That and the Apollo curse. Still to get an undefeated horse at those odds is amazing.

I like Will Take Charge for his pedigree and his odds also look attractive. Only thing is that Wayne has not exactly brought home many winners of late. Still, the grand old trainer may have one more trick up his sleeve.

It seems like over the past decade all the rules have been tossed aside.

Smarty Jones sired by a turf sprinter. Animal Kingdom; Big Brown; Barbaro; all had certain marks against them (according to the conventional wisdom) but it didn't matter.

I'd box Rev; Palace; WTC; Orb and Golden. The great thing about the Derby is that you can box even 5 horses and if you hit, a nice profit is almost assured.

Good luck to all.

04 May 2013 8:59 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

Steve, I have enjoyed your columns and Derby Dozen very much.  Thank you for sharing your insight, experience, talent, and humor.  As for the Derby horses, I have been most impressed with Orb (like everyone else) but last night I began to see Vyjack as the forgotten horse after looking at his pp's.  He has done nothing wrong so I will include him.  Thanks again.  Have a lovely day.

04 May 2013 9:17 AM
Pedigree Ann

Last year horse-to-horse comparisons helped me find the top horses, even if I didn't bet intelligently. So I tried it again this year. The results are:

This year, the top preps were the Louisiana Derby and the Florida Derby. That gives me Revo, Orb, IMLD, and Mylute as top contenders. Not sure about the second pair at the distance, but the data says what it says. Siete de Oro's drubbing at Hawthorne downgrades Vyjak and by extension, all the Wood runners. Too bad Departing (third in the La Derby) didn't have the points to make the field (he should have, CD).

04 May 2013 9:32 AM
willie1

My picks are

Varrazano

Revolutionary

Orb

MyLute

It's my Lucky day

04 May 2013 9:40 AM
Love 'em all

Have fun and enjoy, folks!  It's a horse race!

My picks ... just 'cause I like 'em:

Palace Malice

Oxbow

Vyjack

Orb

Golden Soul

04 May 2013 10:54 AM
predict

Is the day really here? Yahooo!

Looks like Revolutionary is the early favorite, and Orb is 7-1, this will change, most likely.

I can't believe how difficult this year is, I have never found it so hard to like a few horses.

I will play:

Oxbow- WPS

Oxbow,Mylute,Frac Daddy,Palace Malice- EX BOX, Tri BOX, and SPF BOX

Longshot: Lines of Battle WPS

04 May 2013 11:42 AM
KG1

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the insight, color and photos this week.  

Java's War, there is something that really draws me to this little guy.

Orb, the colt has done nothing wrong and your comments this week just put the icing on the cake.  Besides I can't help but to pull for the Shug/Janey/Phipps trio.

Baggage and all, Vyjack.  The horse is a beast and he moves up if it's soupy.

Will Take Charge, if anyone can get a horse around Churchill on works alone...Lucas can.  He also has a bit of that In Reality/Dr Fager breeding.  Lastly...Jon Cort a journeyman who has long history at this track...how sweet it would be.

I'll also play with Itsmyluckyday and Normandy Invasion in the exotics.

May they all get around safe.

Good luck everyone.

04 May 2013 12:10 PM
newsnag

So much for scientific picks. Orb, because he's got Maryland connections and a great owner; Normandy Invasion because my father was on the beach at day one, Verrazano because I love the bridge, having sailed under it and driven over it, and Revolutionary because it's that kind of time. No science at all, just emotion.

04 May 2013 12:33 PM
El Kabong

Steve,

I can't thank you and the Bloodhorse staff enough for making this event last 4 months instead of 2 exhilarating minutes. Enjoy yourself today and thanks for providing the great forum. Good luck today, as we all know, it's better to be lucky than good on this day.

04 May 2013 3:19 PM
JoyJackson21

Thanks for all of your insignts, Steve.  You're fab!  I made my final picks this morning & I listed them online for my friends to reference.  I hope I have as much good luck in the 2013 Kentucky Derby as I did in the 2012 Kentucky Derby!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed. - LOL.

Good luck, Steve, and wishing you the best with your Kentucky Derby singled & exotic wagers.  Go get 'em, Steve!

Good luck to everyone on this website with their 2013 Kentucky Derby wagers, too.  And good luck to all of the mighty, talented horses racing in today's Kentucky Derby.  May all of the fabulous participants in the 2013 Kentucky Derby return from this race happy, healthy and sound!

04 May 2013 5:46 PM
Tiz Herself

Big Red was felt on the Derby this year. Orb, being a son of Malibu Moon, A.P. Indy whose broodmare sire was Secretariat.

Runner up Golden Soul sired by Perfect Soul, whose broodmare sire was Secretariat and Revolutionary, as A.P. Indy is his broodmare sire (Runup the Colors). Long live Big Red!

Congratulations to Shug and his connections - Orb is clearly a horse of a lifetime come rain come shine and I cannot wait to witness whether he is the one we have been waiting for to end the Triple Crown doubt. If anyone can get him there it's Shug.

And of course Mr. Prospector was felt as well through Orb as the broodmare sire of Malibu Moon and through Unbridled (sire of Lady Liberty)

Golden Soul, runner up, Mr. Prospector is the broodmare sire. And through Revolutionary as Mr. Prospector was broodmare sire to War Pass.

It looked like M Smith was trying the same race to run with Palace Malace as he had last year with Bodemeister?

04 May 2013 8:51 PM
pedmat

The Speed/Stamina index for Orb is the lowest of any in the Derby at 0.67, the next is Golden Soul at 0.69, then 0.75 for Revolutionary. They were 1-2-3 in the Kentucky Derby.

04 May 2013 9:11 PM
Jean in Chicago

congrats, Josh!  I think you're the only one who ever mentioned Golden Soul.  Hope you had a few bucks on him.  Looking him up after the race, he's got a really nice pedigree and I'm glad to see he's another home bred.

04 May 2013 9:20 PM
Age of Reason

Looks like it's finally time for serious handicappers to ditch those late-development A.P. Indy line runners--why, the best those poor nags could do was take 3 of the top 4 slots in the Derby. And don't get me started on all the fine contenders whose chances were horribly compromised by the incredibly sluggish pace, thanks to that darned, new points system! ;)

Live and learn, comrades.

04 May 2013 10:26 PM
trackjack

"Cold hearted Orb

That rules the night

Removes the colors

From our sight

Red is gray and yellow white

But we decide which is right

And which is an illusion."

    Moody Blues; 'Nights in White Satin'

Orb left no illusion as to why he was the best win pick in the 2013 Kentucky Derby.  The White Satin and Cherry Janney silks, with some mud splattered colors removed from sight, powered down the stretch and across the finish line like a well bred AP Indy line Classic bred colt should, at 5-1 to boot.  Congrats to Shug, his team, Joel, the Janney's and Phipps Stable.

Golden Soul knocked me out of my ex and tri boxes.  Congrats to anyone who hit that.  The win on Orb helped save the day.  

Now on to Baltimore.  This colt must be taken as a serious Triple Crown threat.  Hope all goes well for him and the team and that Orb stays healthy.

Anxious for your comments Steve, your thoughts on Orb's Triple Crown chances?  

04 May 2013 10:47 PM
Tiz Herself

And big weekend for A.P. Indy whose sons sired both the Oaks Winner (Majestic Warrior - Princess of Sylmar) and of course Malibu Moon - Orb for the Kentucky Derby. Congratulations to all of their connections!

05 May 2013 12:23 AM
Linda in Texas

Need to get a couple of things off my mind. One not pleasant the other one just the opposite.

Nehro - what a sad loss to lose such a young horse and wonderful horse. I had wondered where he was, had saved a couple of photos of him on Bloodhorse.com but he was in Training with Asmussen. Alive on April 30, gone on April 30. So fast they leave with the dreaded disease named Colic. So deep sadness in the Zayat household and for his fans. I guess the family kept the news quiet to not spoil everyone's Derby Fever.He was at Churchill so i hope he had some visitors. Rest in Peace Nehro. Second in the 2011 Kentucky Derby.

And to Brilliant Orb, i owe an apology for mimicking your name Orb. Shame on me, had i known your sire was Malibu Moon and everyone knows your grand sire, i wouldn't have said a word.

Cannot imagine a 1,200 to 1,500 pound horse having to put 1 hoof, never mind 4,in that slop at full speed for so long and having the strength to pull each one out and still come from behind the pack gathering speed enough to win. Now that was awesome and to me defines the word 'Stamina' about which so many speak when considering their ability to run X number of furlongs, etc.

And to the Janney and Phipps's Families who happen to comprise two of the premier racing families  in the United States for the last 100 years. Congratulations. And to Mr. McGaughey a Lexington native your interview brought tears to my eyes for the obvious deep appreciation you showed for being the trainer of the first Derby Winner for the owners, Janney and Phipps. How nice for you to win. And to Joel Rosario for your third exemplary win, and a few in between smaller ones to boot. Excellent job with Orb. Now for your next 2 encores, take him on to Maryland and then to Elmont, NY for the last leg of The Triple Crown at The Belmont where my first favorite of all time filly Ruffian will be keeping watch over the Janney's and Phipp's and especially Orb as he hopefully tries for The Triple Crown.

Thanks Steve for all of your articles, photos and tidbits from Churchill. Though my horse Itsmyluckyday did not win, i believe they all came home safely, and now the accolades go to ORB.

He won it fair and square.

05 May 2013 5:37 PM
mz

Hey, Jean/Chicago:  Golden Soul was one of my outofthepark longshot bets (not 60-1 but as close as it came in this Derby) together with Charming Kitten and Mylute (because Black Onyx was scratched).

And for a few seconds there, when it looked to me like Orb had come across Golden Soul's line, I even dreamed a bigger payoff.  

Anyways, looks like I should keep throwing everything out every year and just bet sires I like (Perfect Soul, Leroidesanimaux, etc.)

Yay! for Saddlers Wells.  

On to the Belmont.

p.s.  Great to see Wise Dan motoring along.  Looking forward to some safe, winning trips for Jackson Bend.  Go! fillies.

06 May 2013 4:12 PM
ksweatman9

First off, it was sad to hear about Nehro, real shame. I was tickled that Golden Soul finished with 17 horses behind him. That is so indicative of the sport. This is the Derby, count no horse out who has a heartbeat. Now, about that Orb, I didn't put a penny on him because in my heart I wanted him to be "THE ONE", the special one, and I didn't want to jinx him. Oh, did that work well. No cash, but overwhelming excitement and hope in my heart, better than money. Cool as a cucumber and as talented as they get, he is no doubt the only pony capable of a triple crown sweep. I agree with Lucas when he said the Preakness will be the hurdle for Orb, the Belmont, a cake walk. Ofcoarse he worded it a bit differently. I can't remember ever thinking that, but I do this year. If Orb can pull off the Preakness and stay sound, I think we can nail it, the 13th triple crown winner. Oh Lord, here we go again! Maybe Golden Soul should've won the derby so I could get some sleep during the next 5 weeks. Golden Soul, triple? Hey, this IS horse racing!

06 May 2013 4:20 PM
robinm

Congrats to Orb, Shug and the Phipps and Janney families.  Despite my great regard for Shug, Orb wasn't my first choice; that went to Verrazano as I was hoping to see a truly great one and I thought V was the only colt who could be that horse. When the track came up sloppy, I felt Verrazano would be compromised by the track conditions as big, heavy horses tend not to run well on an off track. The unexpectedly fast early fractions did the rest.  And then came Orb.  Much, much the best as the 2nd and 3rd place colts had ground-saving rail rides.  Am I surprised my second choice won?  Not at all.  Orb is wonderfully well-bred and has the best of connections.  I think the Preakness may be the toughest of the TC races for Orb as horses generally don't come from too far off the pace and win the Preakness. If he wins at Pimlico, I think Orb has as good a chance as any recent horse who has captured the first two legs, to be our next TC winner.  He has the pedigree and he has the trainer.  Maybe Orb is the great one I was hoping to find in Verrazano.

06 May 2013 7:31 PM
trackjack

Talk about the Kentucky Derby flattering the Louisiana Derby this year:

Golden Soul: 4th in LD, 2nd in KD by 2 1/2 to Orb, 1 length ahead of:

Revolutionary: 1st in LD, 3rd in KD by a head over 4th place Normandy Invasion; a head over:

Mylute: 5th in KD, 3 1/2 lengths and 2 heads behind Orb, 2nd in LD by 3 to:

Departing: dominant winner of the Illinois Derby headed to the Preakness.

06 May 2013 11:27 PM
josh

Thanks Jean! I did have a good amount of money on Golden Soul for Place/Show. But didn't have him in my Exacta or Trifecta, which I am absolutely kicking myself now because if I would have put him in those, I would have landed a sweet payout because I had Orb and Revolutionary in my Trifecta.

Onward to the Preakness! Go Orb!

07 May 2013 7:58 AM
Old Old Cat

I told my lunchtime buddies that the Preakness field would be 8 to 12 horses or maybe more this year.  Everybody had an excuse for not winning the derby:  insane pace, being checked, too much mud, etc.  They all will be wanting another shot at orb.  I beleive the results were totally skewed by the 1:09 for six which destroyed the first four, gave the next group the incentive to quicken too early, leaving the plodders room to pick up the pieces and blow by the others who were running backwards.  

Orb was legitimate for first.

Any other horse's finish was determined by where they were early, and their trip, more than any other factor.

Congratulations to the winning bettors, but if that derby had been run a hundred times, that finish would happen only ONCE.

I hope I don't sound like a sore loser, (but I am: Orb Verzano Vijack Oxbow trifecta)  

08 May 2013 1:55 PM

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