Haskin's Derby Report: Here We Go

Welcome to the 2014 Kentucky Derby. There were showers this morning and the forecast is for showers next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I just thought I’d get that out of the way so you can get an early start on your mud handicapping and begin moping over another wet track Derby. So, get it out of your system now and hope the forecast is wrong.

OK, on to more pleasant things, like the first look at Derby horses in the flesh. The first horse I observed this morning was Candy Boy, who was out when the track opening under the cover of darkness. This is a big strapping, powerful-looking colt, and judging from the way he galloped second time around of his 1 1/2-mile gallop, he has already taken to the track. He was reaching out beautifully and hitting the ground with conviction. Because of overnight showers, trainer John Sadler wanted to get the son of Candy Ride on the track while it was good and tight.

Unlike his California compatriot, California Chrome, Candy Boy will have a work over the track tomorrow, and this is the only hope several of the trainers have of beating the California comet – that he won’t have a work over the track, and just maybe he won’t take to it the way he has the quick surface at Santa Anita. Also, there is the abundance of speed that he could conceivably get caught up in or getting outrun and having dirt kicked in his face.

You can get tell a lot of the trainers are looking for reasons to go into the Derby with a ray of optimism, because they feel if California Chrome takes to the track and has a good trip, they’ll all be running for second.

Now, let’s just suppose there is a freak in the Derby field and it’s not California Chrome. That brings us to Danza, who is not being ranked highly in the experts’ polls, with many people believing the grade I Arkansas Derby was more of a fluke and that the son of Street Boss will not be able to duplicate it coming back in three weeks. But seeing the colt in the flesh for the first time and watching him gallop, the stronger the possibility that it was not a fluke and that the horse is quickly blossoming into something special.

Powerfully built and just an overall handsome individual, Danza was very strong in his gallop this morning. He was down into the bit and moving along at a good clip. Overall, this is the looker of the field, so who knows how good he is right now? He definitely is the unknown factor with the potential to be anything.

If you want to see a contrast in horses, Danza galloped by just seconds before the diminutive, unassuming looking Vicar’s in Trouble, who certainly is not going to catch your eye. Talk about the “Little Engine that Could.”

Danza’s stablemate Intense Holiday is starting to get some buzz, and it was encouraging to see him gallop correctly this morning without crossfiring…or getting his front and back leads out of sync. All efforts are being made to correct him of that problem and the latest appears to be working. So, if you take that into consideration, along with his strong Thoro-Graph numbers and Brisnet late-closing figures, there is a good chance we’ll be seeing the Intense Holiday of the Risen Star Stakes instead of the one we saw in the Louisiana Derby, in which he still received a strong enough Thoro-Graph figure despite blowing any chance of winning the race.

It was fun spending time at Billy Gowan’s barn and visiting with Ride On Curlin for an extended period of time. This is the place to hang out at the far end of the Churchill Downs backstretch. The son of Curlin is quite a character, but you have to be careful around him, as owner Daniel Dougherty’s 13-year-old daughter found out one morning before the Arkansas Derby. The instant she turned away from the colt, he nailed her on the upper arm, which prompted her to make up a sign, reading “Caution…Horse Bites…Be Careful,” which now hangs outside the horse’s stall.

The feel-good horse of the morning was Hoppertunity, who was out before the 8:30 Derby training time slot. The son of Any Given Saturday was frisky and bouncing around, and tried to unseat exercise rider Dana Barnes coming off the track. He looks great physically, and reminds one of those tough “hickory” horses you used to see years ago.

Baffert galloped his pair of Bayern and Chitu together. The latter will head straight into the Derby, while Bayern runs in Saturday’s Derby Trial Stakes. While a victory would not give him any additional points, it would give him sufficient graded earnings to jump into the 19th spot ahead of those with whom he is tied with 20 points. But right now Bob Baffert isn’t thinking past Saturday night. He’ll start thinking Derby after he sees how the colt performs.

Also out for gallops this morning were General a Rod, Wildcat Red, We Miss Artie, Harry’s Holiday, Tapiture, Vinceremos, and Medal Count. Trainer Dale Romans is extremely confident in Medal Count, feeling the colt’s last two poor efforts on dirt were a result of immaturity. He says the son of Dynaformer has made great strides and is a far more mature horse now than he was earlier in the year and definitely last year. Let’s remember, he was very impressive in his career debut on dirt when he exploded late to win by over six lengths at Ellis Park.

Billy Gowan combing Ride On Curlin's hair

No way Billy Gowan is going to win this tug-o-war with a towel

Daniel Dougherty's daughter gives people fair warning

Intense Holiday heading to the track

Danza heading to the track

Danza switches leads smoothly turning down the backstretch

Chitu (left) with Bayern

Wildcat Red gallops

Danza coming off the track

Intense Holiday gets his bath

Dale Romans is high on Medal Count


Leave a Comment:

Rusty Weisner

Steve Haskin,

From the weather reports I've seen you're being overly negative.  Warm weather will break with storms early in the week, then there'll be cooler weather, with a possible shower Saturday.  It doesn't sound like soaking weather hanging over Churchill Downs for days or even hours at a time.

Hoppertunity had a workout Wednesday at CD, 1:00:20.

25 Apr 2014 3:07 PM

So if it wasn't intense holiday cross cantering this morning, who was it? Lol.

Just a few steps going into the turn after the stretch. I assumed it was him, but heck, we have an abundance of plain bays this year and watching the gallops on my phone means I can only decipher Baffert's saddle pads.

25 Apr 2014 3:17 PM

I do not know if you consider this work Steve but Thanks for the reports..

In the days to come can you keep a eye on Chitu for me THANKS..


25 Apr 2014 3:20 PM

Like I said before I liked Danza (lost him w/3 favorites, with exacta & Tri boxed) from his 2nd place finish in the Saratoga Special, he was flying at the end, you just had to throw out the Gulfstream race.

Would like his pedigree to be a little stronger, but! Anyway, here it is:

C.C., Tapiture, We Miss Artie, & Danza - Exacta & Tri Boxes.

25 Apr 2014 3:44 PM

I have always been high on Intense Holiday Mr. Haskin and your encouraging comments about him are keeping me that way.

Thank you for these updates and the photos. The horses are simply gorgeous.

I can't wait for California Chrome to arrive at Churchill Downs. He is another one that I believe has an excellent chance to win the Derby.

25 Apr 2014 3:54 PM
steve from st louis

Steve: These pictures say 1,000 words. What good-looking horses they are. I'm rooting for Intense Holiday since I have a 70-1 future book bet on him but I'm a stubborn mule from Missouri and I'm boxing the three chef-de-race standouts, numbers that picked last year's trifecta cold. This year, the three Dr. Roman picks are standout Medal Count (36), We Miss Artie (26) and Ring Weekend (24). If you're playing the super, California Chrome (22) is next. I think Dale Romans is sitting on dynamite with this son of the late Dynaformer, who threw all kinds of horses. What a treat it would be for Romans, whose late father Jerry "owned" Churchill. He's already won the Preakness but the Derby would bring it all home for Romans, a great sentimental pick.

I visited Keeneland and Win-Star Farm over Blue Grass weekend. Just standing in the same barn as Distorted Humor, Tiznow, Bodemeister and Artie Schiller was inspiring.

25 Apr 2014 3:55 PM


Any chance that Danza may continue to improve in the Derby? On Brisnet Speed (104) and Late Pace (106) numbers - he is the stand out in this race..

25 Apr 2014 4:04 PM

I always look forward to your evaluations of the horses.

I agree with your assessment on Danza. He truly is a magnificent looking horse.

25 Apr 2014 4:06 PM

Steve, very nice write up and article on the Derby horses. It sounds like Hoppertunity, Intense Holiday and Ride on Curlin have all three really taken to the Churchill surface. We are all looking forward to your Derby picks. I plan to visit the track on Tues. 29'th. in the am to watch the workouts also. Hopefully the rain in the forcast moves out before Derby weekend.

I was a little disappointed to hear not so good of a report on Gen. A Rod, so I may have to lower him down some, and move up Intense Holiday. Good luck all.

Lets hope for a fast track.

The Louisville forcast


25 Apr 2014 4:30 PM
lunar spook

IM starting to get derby fever now , the only downer is that NBC network is covering the event , so be prepared to hear every detail about what the a-list had to eat and what style hats they are wearing  , just don't count on any coverage about the horses are race strategy cuz it wont happen , lets just pray some day a competent network will outbid NBC because they ruin it for the real horse fans !!!

25 Apr 2014 4:37 PM
Steel Dragon

As always Steve, your coverage is the best and really appreciated. But there is just no juice to this Derby whatsoever.

25 Apr 2014 4:51 PM

So has Hoppertunity picked up much flesh since the SA Derby?

25 Apr 2014 4:54 PM
Matt Buzza

Danza is a handsome boy

25 Apr 2014 4:58 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Outstanding report and photos. This is what we've been waiting for. Really special. Thanks Steve.

25 Apr 2014 5:17 PM

Steve, any observations on Wildcat Red now that you've had a chance to see him firsthand? It seems you have been a bit hesitant about him to date.

Always look forward to your reports and insight. Thanks!

25 Apr 2014 5:30 PM

Thank you so much for an up close and personal impression of the Derby horses so far.  Boy, your right Steve, Danza is a looker.  He reminds me of another big red horse from the past.  I am reading your every word and love, love, love, the photos.  Still here, just mostly quiet.

25 Apr 2014 5:39 PM

In other Derby news:

For the last decade, the Wood Memorial has not been a harbinger of success in the Kentucky Derby.

Though the Wood has produced 20 Kentucky Derby winners overall, from 2004 to 2013 the Wood produced 22 starters for the Kentucky Derby, with only three – Jazil (2006), Tale of Ekati (2008), and Normandy Invasion (2013) – managing as high as a fourth-place finish. During that span, three consecutive Wood winners – I Want Revenge (2009), Eskendereya (2010), and Toby’s Corner (2011) – didn’t make it to the starting gate due to injury. The last two Wood winners – Gemologist and Verrazano – went in the Kentucky Derby undefeated but did not exit the race that way.

In the last 36 years, only two Wood winners – Pleasant Colony (1981) and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000) – have gone on to win the Derby.

Danza and Intense Holiday two of trainer Todd Pletcher’s quartet of potential Derby starters penciled in to breeze Sunday, continue to catch the eye. The former has obviously emerged from easily his career-best effort in the Arkansas Derby in good order, and a solid work Sunday would alleviate the fears his connections and growing legion of supporters might have that he could bounce off such a huge performance returning on only three weeks’ rest for the Derby.

Ride On Curlin also continues to impress with his energy level during training hours, and his final Derby prep, scheduled for Sunday, will be highly anticipated by those seeking a potentially live longshot on Derby Day.( I don't think he will be a longshot with Bo-Rail aboard, maybe even 2'nd or 3'rd favorite).

General A Rod session piqued some interest, considering he trained in blinkers when returning to the track for the first time since a somewhat lackluster five-furlong breeze 48 hours earlier. General a Rod simply jogged a mile the wrong way alongside a pony before proceeding up into the darker mile chute, where it appeared he did several figure-eights before returning to the barn.

The addition of blinkers could be an indication Maker was not pleased with General a Rod’s apparent lack of focus in Wednesday’s work, which came, as have all his works this winter and spring, without blinkers. General a Rod, who is scheduled to breeze again early next week, has raced with blinkers on in his last four starts.

The Oaks:

Fifthshadesofgold was the first of the pair to go. She worked under the lights shortly before dawn, breezing an easy half-mile in 48.81 seconds before galloping out five-eighths in 1:02.89. Empress of Midway covered the same distance in a slower 49.72 under exercise rider Humberto Gomez but galloped out much stronger, five-eighths under slight encouragement in 1:02.81 before pulling up six furlongs in 1:15.80.

As has been the case for the last several days, the dead-heat Ashland winner Rosalind looked very sharp galloping Friday and continues to move in the right direction heading into the Oaks.

There is a chance the rain in the forcast for the Louisville, Ky. area will be moved out by Fri. and Sat., hopefully so, it seems we get been getting sloppy Derby days for several years now, and it just ruins the day.

25 Apr 2014 5:42 PM

Well Danza certainly looks the part and as you know I'm looking for a stayer not a horse who stays in front,Steve why does Pletcher run nearly all of his horses in a crisscross noseband,nearly every horse I see wears one.

25 Apr 2014 5:50 PM

Steve Haskin

So, if you take that into consideration, along with his strong Thoro-Graph numbers.

Can you post the last three Thoro-Graph numbers for top twenty?

25 Apr 2014 6:40 PM
Steve Haskin

Rabbit, it's called a drop noseband and it basically gives the rider better control of the horse.

Brontexx,I dont think Jerry Brown would be too happy if I posted figures that he sells. I try to make some observations based on the numbers, but I'm really not comfortable posting the actual numbers. They are not mine to post.

25 Apr 2014 6:44 PM

Steve, you have the best job ever!  Thanks for the report.  

25 Apr 2014 7:05 PM

lunar spook, you can mute the commentary and listen to HRRN. Steve, nice photos as usual but please, no more pessimism on the weather front. Oaks day is going to be fine and there is a 60% chance of sunshine for the Derby.

25 Apr 2014 7:51 PM

I've made my picks weeks ago. I'm sticking to the plan... - RAMMER

25 Apr 2014 8:20 PM
Paula Higgins

Well this was a very good post Steve. The pictures are phenomenal too. I am praying that the track is not really sloppy, a little rain shower shouldn't be a deal breaker. Danaza is gorgeous and looks the part for sure. Intense Holiday is also pretty good looking. I am still like California Chrome as #1. I do not see anything that indicates he can't do it if he has a good post position and he breaks well. Clearly, Ride on Curlin is a personality boy. I have heard of horses biting fingers off. Hopefully, he isn't in that category and never will be.

25 Apr 2014 8:42 PM

I agree Lunar Spook. NBC will probably give us their usual first hour or so of worthless fluff and ignore the horses and their stories. I'll have my TV muted for quite a while.

25 Apr 2014 8:55 PM

Always great once you hit the CD backside and we get to enjoy the pictures as well as observations. Barring any issues, will be there myself sunday and wednesday. This year especially, whatever is the forecast, it will change. As already had enough dry weather to cause ground cracking, think oaks and derby will be dry this year.

25 Apr 2014 9:08 PM
Uncle Smiley


As always, thanks for sharing your expertise!

Just a question.

In your seventh picture, Chitu (left) with Bayern; who is in the irons on Chitu?

Appreciate your delight for Vicar's in Trouble.  I agree this is a can do horse.

The  second question... Who is Slated to ride Vicar's in Trouble in the derby?

OK I sneaked in a second question.



25 Apr 2014 9:19 PM

If it is cool and wet it will be necessary to build a whole new ticket.  Cool wet weather will have me looking at Uncle Sigh, Samraat, ROC, Wicked Strong and Hoppertunity.

25 Apr 2014 9:45 PM
Tony Barreto

Danza looks spectacular! I think California Chrome will be going to be tough to beat at Derby. If he fails, anyone could be the winner. My Superfecta: CC, Danza, Hoppertunity, Danza. Ohhh! Three California home-based in my super!

25 Apr 2014 9:53 PM

Bring on the rain.......love a rainy derby.

25 Apr 2014 10:09 PM

Thanks Steve for the update and pics.  Very helpful as they put us right into the action on the backstretch.  Be sure and keep your camera protected when it's bath time:-)  Nothing like the backstretch during Derby week.

At this point I'm sticking with CC, Wicked Strong, Hoppertunity, Intense Holiday and either Danza or Candy Boy as my 5 horse tri box. so your comments above have been very helpful, thanks.  Looking forward to more and especially interested in your take on the brand new GVB  (Godzilla Video Board).  Have a good week.

25 Apr 2014 10:13 PM


You're the best!  These are great photos and some great thoughts from you.  Yes, this is what we have been waiting for.  Enjoy it Steve.

Danza, a beautiful chestnut.  Wow, looks like I am torn between two chestnuts, California Chrome and Danza.  Wildcat Red looks like he's got a lot of spunk.  Can't wait to see the next wave of troops come into Churchill.

Steve do we know where Danza got his name?  I know he is owned by a partnership group.  Is there any connection to actor Tony Danza?  In Danza's last race, as he won the track announcer said and "Danza's the boss"  or something to that effect.  I took that to be a reference to the old tv sitcom "Who's The Boss?"  Do we know if Tony Danza is part of the ownership group?

25 Apr 2014 10:26 PM
El Kabong


Here we go is right. This is so much fun and I'm trying to imagine myself in your shoes right now. Trying to observe, trying to have fun, trying to assemble something worthy of post. Well, the weekend is here for me and I am stoked at this report and the idea that it has just begun.

That said, I have to ask Rammer why he/she even tuned in? "I've made my picks weeks ago,"  so I just thought I'd post here to tell you, never mind Steve-O!

Here's hoping Rammer changes his or her mind to some degree. Steve's reports are really great insight. You do know what insight can do for your Derby wager of weeks ago, right? And that's why your here, I assume. Just giving you the benefit of the doubt.

Great photos as usual Steve, goodnight, and thanks a mil for this ride.

25 Apr 2014 11:05 PM

WOW what a great job you have!  Thanks for the report and pictures!  Any chance of getting one of Hoppertunity?  Thanks!!

25 Apr 2014 11:10 PM
El Kabong


Like you, I read the reports and saw the glass half full. I think both situations are possible as this time of year in Kentucky is really a day to day report. 10 day forecasts don't work here, not now anyway. Keep your fingers crossed and at least consider Steve's warning as possible. Myself, I'll wait until Thursday for a convincing Mayday….Mayday….Waters high, bow sinking, mud everywhere ! before I review the muddy mud skippers.  

25 Apr 2014 11:25 PM

By looks, Wildcat Red and Bayern are the best looking horses from this set of pics, if I can pick one to own, it would have to be Wildcat Red.  I don't care if he ever wins a race again, what a good looking colt.

Steve Haskin : Are the workouts recorded on video ?  Your comments about Candy Boy is one of the things I'm anxious to read about the horses working out.  I'll have to add Candy Boy in my list for now and will watch out for more comments like that.

26 Apr 2014 3:17 AM
English Pete

A really useful report, thank you, and great photos. Seeing these beautiful horses is a reminder of why it's so hard to win a Derby.

I took a fixed 20/1 each way Intense Holiday this morning. Still think CC will win but the 5/1 "show" part of the bet seems value. I also took some fixed 25/1 Ride on Curlin in the win market. The hope is to trade out at 9/1 or 10/1 next Saturday, leaving a free bet for the odds difference.

As I said, a really useful report and since probably none of us know what to make of Danza, your comments on him were particularly welcome. Sounds like we should be warming to him.

26 Apr 2014 3:58 AM
Sail On

Steve, your reports are sensational! Its almost like being there. I love the photos. Perhaps you could catch a fer shots of Vicar's In trouble, my favorite?

Wildcat Red looks like a very smart colt. Intense Holiday and Danza have similar conformation, no, except their heads? They should do well in the mud, should we gat mud.

26 Apr 2014 10:13 AM
Pedigree Ann

I just want to remind those oo-ing and ah-ing over the photos that handsome is as handsome does. The best racehorse is not necessarily the handsomest racehorse. The big, muscle-y ones catch the eye but aren't always the winners on the course - Northern Dancer was little, Hyperion was little, Megahertz was little....,

Some great racehorses looked quite ordinary and others had definite 'flaws' - Kelso had a ewe neck, Hoist the Flag had Tourbillon's sickle hocks, Slew was back at the knees, Native Dancer's pasterns were too upright, etc. It isn't a beauty pageant - it's a horse race.

26 Apr 2014 10:39 AM
Pedigree Ann

Weather update from Lexington - Yesterday we had thunderstorms until noon, then the clouds gradually moved out. BEAUTIFUL morning today. Except for the pollen. I don't go outside much due to the pollen.

26 Apr 2014 10:42 AM

Good Morning to you Steve!

IMPRESSIONS.....Great shots and certainly a good looking group.  Your description of Danza does not fall short.  This colt is outstandingly handsome and seems to be quite cooperative and fit to fight. The Medal Count photo here justifies the Sadler confidence - "The Count" looks relaxed, calm and serene ~ very even and focused; this is a very nice horse.  Intense Holiday appears very much stable and the control and direction he gets from his rider is going to make the difference for him.  Chitu-Bayern work based on Bayerns bolstering works and todays Chitu challenge suggest that Baffert-Bayern is what he wants to bite.

Impressions of the Derby Photo with retouches...

Thank you Steve ~ How really nice it is to read and look at these as the excitement builds through your work.....always ~ deserving Of compliment both literally and here through the eyes of the camera that tells so much!

Enjoy the Day at the Derby grounds!

26 Apr 2014 10:42 AM
Mister Frisky

No surprise that Danza looks great.Pletcher just like his mentor Lukas always wins the beauty contest regardless of odds.He is a toss in my book so hopefully he is the wise guy horse and takes serious action.Though reports have been mixed General A Rod seems to have the right pedigree to get it done,the distance won't be a problem for him and he should be 25 to 1 or better.

26 Apr 2014 10:54 AM
Saratoga AJ

Steve, according to the Weather Channel long range forecast most of the rain in Louisville will fall earlier in the week, and it will merely be cloudy next Saturday, 10% chance of showers. Let's hope that doesn't change.


26 Apr 2014 12:55 PM

Happy Saturday Steve and all. Beautiful day here in the sunny South, hope it is a beautiful day where you all are as well.

Thank you Steve for the pictures and comments. I wish you had commented on Wildcat Red, that is my only itty bitty criticism or maybe suggestion would be a better word. And would loved to have seen a picture of Hoppertunity.

Great that Intense Holiday seems to have worked out his cross firing or cross cantering issues.

Question,,,will you be reviewing the fillies for the Oaks? Would love to hear your comments about the ladies.

26 Apr 2014 2:34 PM
Paula Higgins

True enough Pedigree Ann that the best looking horse may well not be the winner. Seabiscuit comes to mind. But then again there was the gorgeous Secretariat and Man O' War and Zenyatta....... I also like the looks (in the face particularly) of Wildcat Red. As someone said below, he looks "smart."

26 Apr 2014 3:18 PM


Wonderful pictures. Can't tell you how much they are appreciated.

Love the picture of Chitu and Bayern. I am especially interested in your impression of Chitu. I love this horse's chances and it looks like he all business.

As J Lo says on American Idol, it gave me goosebumps!

26 Apr 2014 3:38 PM

Here it is a week before the derby and I am still on the bubble on my picks.  These are the four I have picked so far Ride on Curlin (I am a huge fan of Curlin so I have to root for R O C since Top Billing is gone), Wicked Strong, Wildcat Red and Vicar's In Trouble.  I am getting good vibes now about Danza.  I have never been a fan of favorites in the derby.  I like a come from behind grinder.  With this huge field anything is possible and my faves may change once I learn of the post positions.  I can always hope for the rain gods and Ride on Curlin likes the mud as much as his sire did.

26 Apr 2014 4:47 PM

Horses I'm waiting for comments are :  Samraat, Vinceremos, California Chrome and Uncle Sigh.   The latter just had a workout at Belmont Park going 1:27 for 7Fs.   I'm starting to really get interested in this horse...he wasn't part of my current ticket but he's one I'm anxious to see work out at CD.

26 Apr 2014 5:11 PM
Janet Berkeley Maxwell

Pletcher's horses all go in what is called a flash noseband adopted from the showjumping world. The higher crossed nosebands are called a figure 8. Nosebands help keep the mouth closed, give more control and keep the tongue from getting over the bit. Various versions give a different degree of control. In racehorses they also help to prevent a horse from flipping his palate. Go Ride on Curlin!

26 Apr 2014 6:50 PM

Anne, It was such a pleasure to see one of my all time favorite horses mentioned, MEGAHERTZ!  How I loved that tough little mare, wonder how she is doing now?

26 Apr 2014 8:09 PM
Pedigree Ann

Joanne - funny you should ask. This announcement was in the TBN today:

MEGAHERTZ (GB), 15, Pivotal (GB)--Heavenly Ray, by


Foal born Mar. 20, a colt by Kitten's Joy.

Will be bred back to Scat Daddy.

Owned by Mr. & Mrs. Roy Jackson

26 Apr 2014 10:05 PM
Tony Barreto

OOPS! Correction! My superfecta in the Derby: CC, Danza, Hoppertunity, Candy Boy. Long shot: Samraat!

26 Apr 2014 10:52 PM
Arch the phoneman

Thanks,Steve. You are living the life I had envisioned for myself. The pictures are truly fantastic and really brighten my day. Like one of the other bloggers asked, I would like your opinion/impression of that gigantic tv screen. By the way, do you have a professional photographer with you or are you taking these photos yourself? Either way, great job!

26 Apr 2014 11:36 PM

Love the photos, Steve.  The "Caution....Horse Bites" picture made me laugh.  Danza looks gorgeous!

Interested to hear more on Medal Count.  He looked to be skimming over the dirt nicely in the video of his workout that I saw.  I may have to go with Coldfacts on this one and make him my longshot.

27 Apr 2014 4:04 AM

Thank you for the lovely photos and insight on the Derby hopefuls. Hmmm, rain, slop perhaps, and a diminutive horse who wouldn't catch anyone's eye. Where have I heard that before? If Borel is riding that "plain jane" pony, everyone should be nervous.

27 Apr 2014 8:23 AM

Pedigree Ann, So true. "Pretty is as pretty does" goes for horses as well as people. Sea Biscuit was as much an eye sore as a horse could be, but he proved he could run, win, and become a thoroughbred legend for the ages. Folks loved the snot out of Biscuit, they looked right past those crooked legs and plain brown wrapper looks. Our culture places too much emphasis on appearances, we shouldn't. After all, this isn't a beauty contest, it's a horse race. However, Danza does look good, doesn't he?

27 Apr 2014 8:40 AM

Dry track has me boxing 6.  I will Key General A Rod with Danza, Wildcat Red, Wicked Strong, ROC and Hoppertunity. W/P General A Rod.

27 Apr 2014 9:02 AM

Johnny, I agree with you on Chitu.  I just love this horse and his pedigree.  I would like for him to stay under the radar, hopefully he will.

27 Apr 2014 11:09 AM
Sail On

Steve, the Derby lineup is changing fast. Even with a second place finish in the Derby Trial, earning him enough winnings to move ahead of Commanding Curve on the also eligible list, Bayern is off the Derby Trail, for some reason, too tired and not injured I hope, and Commanding Curve is in the Derby when Ring Weekend was withdrawn with an infection.

Also, Chitu continues to have hoof problem and threw his special shoe. Did you happen to see this? I think Chitu should not run or train further until he recovers folly. I hope the new attention og horse safety empowers the vets to pull him if the trainer fails to see the light. The best interest if the horse is in everyone's best interest.

Do you know if Bayern is well after his beating, pun intended, in the Derby Trial? Is he still aimed for the Preakness? I personally believe he needs a rest, and should focus on mile races.

Have you heard scuttlebutt about jockey assignments for the Derby? Will Rosie get disciplined?

Are many of the horses having reactions to the new Times Square sized video display at the track? Will this become another factor in the Derby?

Finally, as busy as you are, it would be wonderful if you could get some shots of Vicar's In trouble, especially one showing his size compared to another Derby contender. Steve, a picture is worth a thousand words!

27 Apr 2014 1:37 PM
Ta Wee

Pedigree Ann,

Thank you for the comments on the looks of Kelso, Native Dancer, Slew, Hoist The Flag etc. They all sure could run.

27 Apr 2014 3:21 PM

Always such gorgeous photos.  And as "MATT" said, Danza is a gorgeous horse, isn't he.  I sure hope we have a sunny Derby.  I'm SO sick of the rain and sloppy track on Derby day.  Good luck, my pick, CC!  Obviously a safe trip for all.

27 Apr 2014 7:14 PM

Draynay why are you playing A-Rod Maker said he was not pleased with his last work and he would talk to the owner the senior A-Rod.If you wanna play Maker play Harrys Holiday his owner is planning a major shindig at the track if you wear a HH hat maybe you can get free booze from the HH crew.

27 Apr 2014 7:24 PM
Old Old Cat

Steve,  everyone loves your shots.  Why not pick your 5 or 6 best and have your bloggers vote for a derby "beauty contest"?  Might be very interesting..

29 Apr 2014 5:25 PM
Greg R

Steve from St. Louis and Cold Facts together have probably convinced me to include Medal Count in my top four.  I am rooting for Cal. Chrome and Danza, because they look like the 24-carat (or carrot!) stuff to me, not like "fool's gold."  

Here's a hunch I'm throwing out there: Dance with Fate could well surprise many with how well he'll run on Ch. Downs dirt and at the ten furlongs.  His stride looked impressively strong to me in his last work.

30 Apr 2014 12:30 AM

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