January 25th, 2010


Buddy's Saint Bruce Levine

Saint Liam—Tuzia, by Blushing John

Showed he can run a horse into the ground early and draw off and showed he can blast by horses on the turn and draw off. Also showed in his debut he can scrap. Not bothered by slow time in Remsen, coming back in three weeks off 101 Beyer Speed Figure and running on dead track; figured to bounce. He's been working brilliantly in Florida. Big, beautiful stride; bred to stay; dam a half-sister to Midway Road.


Lookin at Lucky Bob Baffert

Smart Strike—Private Feeling, by Belong to Me

The Machine; the consummate pro; the champ. He can beat you in many ways and knows how to win. He¹s a physical standout and may even be better with blinkers. He¹d be ranked No.1 if he had any kind of dirt form, which is sounding too familiar these days. Not a lot of stamina in female family.


Super Saver Todd Pletcher

Maria's Mon—Supercharger, by A.P. Indy

Had him ranked No 1 on an early list, but when a 2-year-old goes off to the farm for a couple of months it's wise to take a wait-and-see attitude and watch him work a few times before considering putting him back on top. Had his first 3f breeze Jan. 24, which is a step in right direction. Still like him a lot, and just need to see him rate off the pace.


Winslow Homer Tony Dutrow

Unbridled's Song—Summer Raven, by Summer Squall

Three straight wins at three different tracks in three different states. Like the way he made a couple of runs stuck in traffic and was still on cruise control nearing the quarter pole in the Holy Bull (gr. III). Split horses with authority; final quarter was a slow 26 1/5, but times and splits mean little at Gulfstream. His stride is very similar to Unbridled's Song's, but he appears to be more versatile in running style. He no doubt has tremendous potential.


Eskendereya Todd Pletcher

Giant's Causeway—Aldebaran Light, by Seattle Slew

Good bounce-back race in Gulfstream allowance, but needs to return to off-the-pace style of running. Horse he beat (Thank U Phillippe) ran well in the Holy Bull. Sensational pedigree loaded with class and stamina. He has long, powerful strides that can grind his opponents into the ground. It's hard to find any faults with him; just needs to be tested against better horses.


Interactif Todd Pletcher

Broken Vow—Broad Pennant, by Broad Brush

Yes, he's been racing on grass, but he won his career debut on dirt and then was cooked by blazing fractions in the Sanford (gr. III). Believe stretch-out improved him as much as grass. He was too close to the pace in the BC Juvenile Turf. He's a classy individual with a big kick when taken back and allowed to make one run. Pedigree is mostly all dirt; third dam is Personal Ensign. Watch out for him in April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).


William's Kitten Mike Maker

Kitten's Joy—Blush, by Menifee

Solid stretch runner, with a late-closing second in the Ky. Jockey Club (gr. II), followed by a good third in the Holy Bull, in which he was dropping back to a one-turn mile and never changed leads. He's shifty and showed his explosive acceleration on the turn winning off-the-turf Sunday Silence Stakes. His Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) was better than it looked on paper, getting parked way out in the middle of the track turning for home.


Jackson Bend Nick Zito

Hear No Evil—Sexy Stockings, by Tabasco Cat

Lost little stature in his second-place finish in Holy Bull, breaking from the outside post and racing wide all the way, but his pedigree on both sides has stamina question marks. He has the ability, but we'll have to take it one race at a time as he stretches out. Jockey Jeremy Rose needs to learn more about him, as he lost control of him briefly after turning for home. He had every chance to win, but was simply outrun in the final furlong.


Rule Todd Pletcher

Roman Ruler--Rockcide, by Personal Flag

Hard to go by his two scores at Delta Downs, but he is another WinStar colt who has a beautiful stride and a look of class about him. Ran a gutsy race in the Jackpot (gr. III) after romping in the prep, but like Super Saver, he needs to show he can rate off the pace. Dam is a half-sister to Funny Cide.


Tiz Chrome Bob Baffert

Tiznow—Woodland Shadow, by Woodman

Normally wouldn't put a horse in the Top 12 who hasn't been beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, but this colt has been extremely impressive in his two starts and is bred to stay. Like the way Baffert is working him 6- and 7-furlongs for stretch-out in Feb. 6 Robert Lewis Stakes (gr. II). He runs hard and Baffert has compared him to Silver Charm.


Ron the Greek Tom Amoss

Full Mandate—Flambe, by Fortunate Prospect

Have fallen for this type of explosive stretch runner before at Fair Grounds, and the LeComte (gr. III) was set up for him, but love his stride and the amount of ground he covers and the way he won with his ears pricked. He's turned in big stretch runs at Hoosier, Delta Downs, Remington Park, and Fair Grounds, so he obviously handles any kind of track.


American Lion Eoin Harty

Tiznow—Storm Tide, by Storm Cat

Training brilliantly for his stretch-out in the Robert Lewis. He had to work hard in the Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) after maiden romp at Keeneland, but beat a good horse in Get My Fix. He handles all kinds of synthetics, but who knows about dirt? Not an abundance of stamina in his female family; second dam, City Band, won the Golden Rod and Oak Leaf at 2.

To participate, use your cursor to drag the selections on the left (currently arranged by Haskin's ranking) to the blank placeholders on the right. Once you have completed ranking all of the horses, submit your entries and compare your results to the rest of the community. A first place ranking will earn 12 points, second place receives 11 points, and so on.


Leave a Comment:


Love Lookin at Lucky!!! Glad to have a new blog instead of RA vs. Z!!!

25 Jan 2010 2:42 PM

Hi Steve: In a somewhat related matter, is CD having it's annual Run for the roses Contest again this year?

25 Jan 2010 2:49 PM

Thank you for sharing your rankings.  I look forward every year for your Derby Dozen.  It is going to be another exciting Triple Crown Season.

25 Jan 2010 2:58 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

I look forward each year to your Derby Dozen.  I save them to compare week by week.  Thank you for the information and for the fun.  I also enjoy your webcasts with Lenny.  

25 Jan 2010 3:00 PM

Don't forget abot Lentenor.  He carries the family torch onward.

25 Jan 2010 3:01 PM

Steve , where is UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN? Please watch the Pasco Stakes ....

25 Jan 2010 3:05 PM
Criminal Type

Steve, thanks for posting your Derby Dozen. I haven't jumped on the Buddy's Saint wagon yet, nor am I too hot on Lookin at Lucky and won't be till I see him win perform well on dirt.

I did however, LOVE the performances that Winslow Homer and Ron the Greek put on this weekend. Im particularly fond of Homer, since I have loved Unbridled's Song forever. I have to admit I was kind of worried when Jackson Bend got to his flank, but relaxed when it became clear Jackson was getting no further. Ron the Greek came outta no where, extremely wide in the Lacomte to win and looked like he wanted more. I also like Tiz Chrome and Eskenderaya.

Anyway, thanks again for your top twelve. We still have a long way to go to the Derby and if the recent past has been any indication, half of these horses wont even make the gate at Churchill.

Im curious to know what you thought of Lentenor's recent race. I know it's a long shot at this point of seeing him in the Derby or any of the triple crown events..just curious what you think.

25 Jan 2010 3:06 PM

My Man,  'LOOKIN AT LUCKY' all the way Steve, I look for him to be the next triple crown, maybe Winslow Homer.

25 Jan 2010 3:13 PM
Carlos in Cali

Ron the Greek's action kind of reminds me of Ferdinand's,ears pricked and all.He seemed a bit green down the backstretch,but obviously has tons of ability.

25 Jan 2010 3:22 PM

Tiz Chrome...he loves to run..why did he have wraps on his hind legs for his last race, anyone know?

25 Jan 2010 3:28 PM
sweet tea

I agree - UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN needs to be toward the top of this list, but he isn't even on it. I guess he'll make the list after he wins the Sam Davis Stakes in mid February.

25 Jan 2010 3:47 PM

I've said it before and I'll say it again....the next Triple Crown winner will be by Tiznow.  Two top colts in the Derby Dozen - and there are a few out there in the hinterland who might just step up out of the blue!

25 Jan 2010 3:49 PM
Steve Haskin

I'm not sure about the Run for the roses contest. I'll find out.

I briefly mentioned Lentenor in the Derby trail column. Sounds like Matz is still thinking grass, but he has to try dirt at some point. I thought he was very impressive.

I did watch Uptowncharlybrown and thought he ran an excellent race, second in a row. I neglected to mention him in the column, but have since added something.

25 Jan 2010 3:52 PM

I look forward to these updates ever week Mr Haskins so much so I think its what I miss most once the Derby rolls around, the weekly column on contenders.

I have already downgraded Super Saver - with his first work only last weekend, he has no chance to be on peak Derby Day. He's off my list totally. How many 10 furlong races has Todd Pletcher EVER won with a 3 yr old colt prior to June 1st? I can't think of one.

Look out for Alfeet Express - he has the chance to be a monster. His stride reminds me of Fusaichi Pegasus who I knew would win the 2000 Derby just watching him break his maiden in December.  

Uptowncharlybrown finishes very powerfully and will be a graded stakes winner soon.  He'll be the talk of Tampa.

I don't think Lookin at Lucky will get the Derby distance and have a feeling Bullet Bob knows this as well with only two preps planed, its a built in 'short horse' excuse.

25 Jan 2010 3:54 PM
Greg J.

Mr. Haskin,

     Good Choice for a top twelve at this moment in time. I would have Winslow Homer up in the top five, He has been a favorite of mine, But, I thought he needed the Holy Bull under his belt before the Fountain of Youth, So, I was somewhat surprised he won.  I would also move Rule up a few notches as well as American Lion.

      I am also curious on your thoughts on Lentenor?  He is in my top five, Looks like it might be the Hallandale Beach next, then maybe the Florida Derby?  Thought he was extremely impressive going two turns and the 1 1/16 with ease, and his turn of foot coming home was very impressive, Even though I was expecting a Beyer between 90-95, The 87 Beyer was low(IMO)...

25 Jan 2010 3:56 PM

UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN, he is owned by a small syndicate, this would be a dream of theirs to even have a horse run in the Kentucky derby. He has the talent, stamina and turn if foot.

We all want lentenor to do well, he should be good on dirt hopefully, we will see

25 Jan 2010 4:15 PM
Grande Dame


What's the word on top two-year-old Aspire? I haven't heard a peep from him or his connections since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Is Aspire still on the Derby trail?

25 Jan 2010 4:21 PM

Nice to see Super Saver back working.  Love his pedigree.

25 Jan 2010 4:22 PM

I think Eskendereya will be a very good horse.

He may not be Giant's Causeways only Derby horse.

25 Jan 2010 4:29 PM

Steve,  Where would you put Dublin?  And what is the status of Backtalk?  I liked these two as two year olds and wonder what shape they're in now and where they will run.  Thanks,

25 Jan 2010 4:31 PM
Karen in Indiana

Thanks for your list and reasoning. I enjoyed your preliminary column a few weeks (month?) back so much that I made a spreadsheet to keep track of them this year, but have them ordered differently. So far, my favorites are Jackson Bend, William's Kitten, & Eskendereya. But after reading your article, may have to add Lookin at Lucky & Winslow Homer. Sentimental favorites would be Thiskyhasnolimit and American Lion just because I like the sires.

25 Jan 2010 4:32 PM

Steve thanks for the article.  I'm glad it wasn't just me who thought Maximus Ruler wasn't focused.  Hopefully he does better next time

25 Jan 2010 4:37 PM
Billy's Empire

Steve, the only glaring ommission I notice is Dublin, and it is understandable since he lost his last two races, but he did have an excuse. Wayne know's how to win in May, so let's just hope Dublin starts running back to his potential. Also, quick question, what month did Big Brown break his maiden? Was it Jan or Feb? A lot can happen in the next 4 months folks. Hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

I am going to bet all of the horses that race on dirt. Hopefully we can have a reverse Breeder's Cup effect this year at CD, 43 synthetic horses, zero wins!!!!!!!!!!!

25 Jan 2010 4:39 PM
Billy's Empire

TerriV- Dublin has been firing bullets on a very slow Oaklawn track, but Lukas is known for having them work a little quick in the morning. I think Dub Dub will be ready to roll next month in the Southwest.

25 Jan 2010 4:41 PM

Down with Dxie!!!

25 Jan 2010 4:51 PM

I LOVE the Derby Dozen! I get so excited for these every year!  However, I was a little disappointed with Jackson Bend's ranking.  Although he didn't win the Holy Bull, he put in a good effort.  I also think there were some factors that contributed to the loss such as the outside post, the unexperienced jockey (not to put Jeremy Rose down, but I think a jockey that is much more well known should be riding a horse of that calliber), his outside positon the whole race, and the little wobble at the top of the stretch.  Now that Jackson Bend won't be coming off of a huge layoff, I think there is damage to be done in his next races.  Also, 2nd by not even a full length is NOT bad! Move him up!

Although the horse I was rooting for in the Holy Bull didn't win, it made me take a good look at Winslow Homer!  Jackson Bend to me is a top 5 3 year old easily, so any horse that can beat him is pretty special!  Watch out for him in the future!  Good placement though Steve! He's a very good horse, but he still has a lot to prove in order to break top 3 in the standings!

25 Jan 2010 4:56 PM


    BB broke his maiden as a two year old and won an allowence in Feb I think. He was so impressive in his maiden that his connections had wanted to race him in the BCJ Turf, but his first encounter with quarter cracks stopped that.

25 Jan 2010 5:08 PM
Fire Slam

Has anyone heard anything about Soaring Empire, a very well bred son of Empire Maker, out of an AP Indy mare??

Ran awesome at Churchill Downs getting third in a G3. Failed to switch leads, was passed, and came back on.

25 Jan 2010 5:11 PM


Pretty sure that Big Brown broke his maiden as a 2yr old at Saratoga on the turf. Probably August.

Curlin Broke his maiden at GP, I think late January, it was Super Bowl weekend if I'm not mistaken.

25 Jan 2010 5:23 PM

Loved Jackson Bend but thought he was a little rank and distracted in the Holy Bull.  I don't think Winslow Homer will get him when he gets down to business.  Jaw-dropping performance from Ron the Greek at the Fair Grounds....he's now in my top 5.  And tsk, tsk, for shame...still no one is considering the fillies, who might surprise every one again this year.

25 Jan 2010 5:23 PM

Vale of York should be considered as he did not have the best of trips either in the B.C. He is a lightly raced horse who I think will get the distance and as we all know it's all about the mile and a quarter.

I look forward to your derby trail as always

25 Jan 2010 5:30 PM
Steve Haskin

I wrote about Dublin in my column. He had surgery to free an entrapped epiglottis, and I want to see him run before I put him in the top 12. I had him very high up on my preliminary list in December.

Jackson Bend ran well, but I'm not convinced he wants to go a mile and a quarter. Pedigree has to play some part in the ranking. I'm not saying he cant go that far, but he's got question marks.

Thiskyhasnolimit is on the sidelines.

Aspire still hasnt worked since Nov., so thats not a good sign. Afleet Express could be a good one and is working very well.

25 Jan 2010 5:35 PM

How exciting to see William's Kitten here. He's such a trier. Unfortunately, he always seems to find trouble.

Loving Tiz Chrome and hope he continues to step foward.

25 Jan 2010 5:43 PM

At the moment Looking At Lucky is my top choice at the moment but that may change if he gets a couple races on dirt, he may like it and he may not.  I feel that you will be changing your top twelve in awhile and that you will be placing Lentenor on that list at some point in time.  I know that he has only run on dirt once in his first try out where he finished third and that all his races so far have been on the turf, but let us now forget that Barbaro started out as a turfer also.

25 Jan 2010 6:17 PM

hi steve,

I think jackson bend is the musket man of this year. I thought he was going to lose and he came second, like last year that everybody was questioning if musket man could get the mile and quater and he came close to being second in the derby. I like jeremy rose on him give him time and he'll come through. what happen to that other smarty jones colt backtalk.

25 Jan 2010 6:24 PM
Ida Lee

Lookin at Lucky is my latest #1 equine crush so I'll keep a close eye on him. But thank you for your list. Now I know who else to watch closely. On the other hand, last year I watched EVERY KD prep race, fell in love with a number of beautiful and talented boys (I Want Revenge, The Pamplemousse, to name just two) and we all know what happened. I hope we have better luck this year with our favorites. P.S. I was so happy to see Friesan Fire and General Quarters back on the track and looking strong and healthy.

25 Jan 2010 6:38 PM

I like the Tiznow Stormcat cross of American Lion.  Can't wait for him to get back to it.  Dismiss the "absense of dirt form" on the Smart strike colt at your own risk.  My hunch is that L at L will be even better on the dirt.  Another Cali invaider to take the Wood with a + 15-20 Beyer jump?

25 Jan 2010 6:39 PM

How about Nordic Truce?

He's 2 for 2 after breaking his maiden impressively and following up with a come from the clouds win in the Dania Beach going 8f.

Granted both his starts have come on the grass, but this horse has a ton of talent and deserves some type of mention as one to watch.

Although Yes It's True seems to get speed horses with some distance limitations, it hasn't stopped people from talking about Aikenite.

Nordic Truce's dam-line is full of dominant stamina influences, although all turf, and he traces back to incredible bluehens Mumtaz Begum and Mumtaz Mahal.

25 Jan 2010 7:06 PM

Vale of York has to at least get a mention here! You have Lookin ranked #2 and his only defeat came at the hands of Vale. I know that you or  othere people will say one or more of the following; 1) Lookin had a tough post and went wide in defeat 2) Vale has no dirt form and won on synthetic at SA, 3) The Dubai route is a recipe for disaster. However, when you watch the replay of the Juvenile Lookin had passed Vale in late stretch but Vale rallied again and got up at the line. The effort showed a lot of heart and he demonstrated that he can drop back behind horses and give a second effort. I think the dirt question will be an interesting one as he is not likley to start on the dirt before Kentucky. As for going to Dubai, one of these years Godolphin will nail the plan to perfection, why not this year. All in all, the horse rates a look.

25 Jan 2010 7:11 PM

Lookin at Lucky!! This colt likes like he has it all...the complete package.

25 Jan 2010 7:14 PM
Mindy C.

Cgrif...  I ''so'' agree with you on a Triple Crown winner sired by Tiznow!!!!! He has 2 nice ones this year.  Hopefully, American Lion and Tiz Chrome stay sound...  just love them both !!  Winstar has another Tiznow potential in ''In the Paint'' @ Keenland...  he was impressive in his maiden win there.  They are trying to keep their horse separated so he will probably stay in Kentucky...

Keep up the chattin...


25 Jan 2010 7:25 PM

Having an extreme bias towards Tiznow runners I'm looking forward to seeing both Tiz Chrome and American Lion stretch out. The big plus goes to Chrome, who's won on dirt, but American Lion does have the better name, ;)

Bit iffy on Winslow Homer. Some worry about the time, but the Gulfstream track is as mucked up as Santa Anita.

25 Jan 2010 7:37 PM
Lil Darlin

Can't wait to see Dublin run again.

Where does Maximus Ruler rank?

25 Jan 2010 7:39 PM

Some filly is going to come out of nowhere and show up all the colts like Rachel Alexandra did last year in the Preakness and beyond.

25 Jan 2010 7:41 PM

No mention of D'Funnybone? This horse is all class therefore until his stamina is tested he shouldn't be left out of calculations.

25 Jan 2010 7:48 PM
Matt Converse

Buddy's Saint is a terrible pick for #1.  His regression going from one turn to two turns is a huge red flag.  These horses should be improving, not regressing.  Horses like these get lots of backers every year because they win and every year they either don't make the Derby or flop.  Old Fashioned, Hello Broadway, Scat Daddy, move over.

Blind Luck would beat every horse on your list.  She didn't just outrun Lookin At Lucky on the same track and same distance, she demolished him.  And unlike him, she has a win on dirt.  I'd put her #1 by a very wide margin.

Others I'd include are Tiz Chrome, Pleasaant Storm (who was 2nd but much more impressive than the leg-weary Dryfly), and Bear' Hard Ten, although I'm a bit worried about that one since he still hasn't worked since his last win.

I like your inclusion of Ron the Greek, he came home in about 23 flat and was very impressive.  

Winslow Homer I'll give another chance but I wasn't that impressed.  Jackson Park I dropped altogether.  William's Kitten too.  I had him in my Dozen last week but he simply passed tired horses and stayed exactly four lengths behind Jackson Bend the entire stretch run.  

25 Jan 2010 7:49 PM


I love the Derby Dozen - What about the horse Cool Bullet out of the Lecomte - It was his 1st start around (2) turns - He rated perfectly and moved up easily to contention(Even had the lead at 1 call) only to get a little leg weary and he did stay on well?

25 Jan 2010 8:06 PM

Think it was a nice prep for Aikenite.  Should improve off that race and getting on that track.  Winslow Homer has the Unbridled Song curse going for him he has only 4 career races left if all the other Unbridled's Song are any indication.  See Old Fasioned, Value Plus, Half Ours, Splendid Blendid, Buddha  et al.

25 Jan 2010 8:16 PM

Eskendereya! Can't wait to see him run long.

25 Jan 2010 8:17 PM

Gotta agree with Lyn don't leave Lentenor out of the mix, he has ran one of the fastest times I have seen from some of these colts. But out of these I like Winslow Homer and Buddy's Saint.

25 Jan 2010 8:22 PM
Paula Higgins

I like Lookin At Lucky and Winslow Homer. Great list Steve and well thought out.

25 Jan 2010 8:38 PM
El Kabong

Lentenor looked spectacular and the time of 1:41 he did with ease. Matz ran Barbaro on the turf early on too, so I'm guessing both he and the Jacksons have to be  contemplating a possible dirt prep if he continues to improve. For a very big colt he showed some fancy footwork to boot. Next race will be very important. Hope it's a stakes race.

25 Jan 2010 8:50 PM

It's too early for me to think Derby.  There is always one or two fresh 3 year olds in the wings and too many end up off the trail from injuries.  Catch you in April and then I will have my picks.

25 Jan 2010 9:00 PM

UPTOWNCHARLIEBROWN will finish second or third to a Pletcher horse and to Middle of the Nite, a Albertrani trained Offlee Wild in the Sam Davis.

25 Jan 2010 9:18 PM

Steve, surprised you have Eskendreya at 5 - would think he would be higher. His last race at GP was very strong. Did you watch it? The time was faster than the Holy Bull and he beat a strong field as well.

25 Jan 2010 9:21 PM

Have liked Eskendereya since his 2nd race on turf was moved to dirt and he won so nice.  Love the closer Ron The greek and looking to see what Odysseus does.  

25 Jan 2010 9:39 PM
Pam S.

Does anyone know anything about a son of Bernstein called Make Music for Me?  He was third in the CashCall Futurity and has other graded stakes placings, but is still a maiden.  My husband (only a casual fan) picked Giacomo after the Futurity, never wavered, and won $1,026 for a $20 win bet in the Derby.  He saw Make Music in the Futurity and said "That's my Giacomo!"  I wonder if lightning can strike twice.

25 Jan 2010 9:49 PM

     “Shocked”!!!… that was my first impression of your opening dozen’s list this year!!! Are you being polite to friends?… Owners… trainers ??? what gives?… Some of these names fell below my top 50!!!

     Ok, maybe I could live with your first 3 choices in some desired order, (although I admit I know less of “Super Savor” than some of the others, but … “Winslow Homer” and “Eskendereya” at 5 & 6 ???

Go back and look at the Holy Bull (only a Gr. III, a January race that has rarely produced a future great, and a race that was not that impressive!), but,... who ran the better race and looks more like a future contender, “Winslow Homer” or “Jackson Bend”? … and if you like I think it was “Jackson Bend”, then “Winslow Homer” nor “Jackson Bend” deserve to be in someone's top dozen at this stage. Besides, “Winslow Homer” gets the Jan. foaled back mark! (Although, some one has to fill out those bottom slots in a top 25 list!!) “Interactif” Yes, I still have some faith in this horse off a good 2 Yr. old campaign,--we shall see.--“William’s Kitten”??? … he didn’t make my top 35 !!! “Tiz Chrome” is proving every outing he’s going to be ‘a contender’. And I admit I like the stab and inclusion of “American Lion”. But,…“Rule” ??????  and the “Ron the Greek” ??? selections ???… who is “Ron the Greek” anyway?, he’s not even listed the Thoroughbred Database?? And, “Rule” a Jan. foal with 4.60 DI, not my cup of tea.

    Ok, I do have a ‘sack of potatoes’, again and I admit it. And that 'sack' was near 120 deep recently, and believe me there are 10 fillies out there and a host of high recent purchases that look better than this crop of colts out so far!!! ((Boy, so many this year with Storm Cat breeding, makes me wonder if one might break through at last???))

    However, let me give you a “Dozen’s List” inclusive of NONE on Haskin’s 1st dozens list, and then another promising follow up ‘dozen’. Some may make Steve’s list in the future; some may have been mentioned by Steve in passing articles; (--And btw. I like Steve's informative, eye opening glimpses into other and new possibilities, yet he makes me wonder if being trained by Todd Pletcher is a black mark on a good horse not getting enough personal attention? ) ,-- but in my own case, (when I lay down futures bets anyway,--where some unfortunate majority of those that were my hopeful favorites over the years have ended up on the “injured list”--, thusly--excluding “Clutch Player”,--therefore among the likes of “Take Control” and “Necessary Evil”, we  have already begun to see some fall by the wayside.

    In any event, in Alphabetical order and not my order of preference!!! Try this dozen that are NOT anywhere to be found in Stenve’s top 12 yet!!!…: “Billions Bay”; “Bridgetown”; “Bim Bam”; “Conveyance”; “Dublin”; “Fly By Phil”; “Hollinger”; “Macais”; “Noble’s Promise”; Nordic Truce”; “Pounced”; and “Who’s Up”!!! …  See any familiar names in there that look better than “Rule” ?????????

    Ok, and for some other possibilities that have caught my eye, although some have just shown unbelievable speed,--yet haven’t stretched, but some have,-- and although several in both lists may never come off the turf… try a this lower dozen for a few long shots!… “Convoy Ahead”; “D’Funnybone”; “Doubles Partner”; “El Mirage King”; “Ice Box”; “Indian Firewater”; “Moojab”; “Quiet Invader”; “Savemyspotimbeting”; “Sidney’s Candy”; “Sport Select”; and “Twirling Candy”…

    Hmmm, well I am over the shock, and admit I do appreciate Steve’s Dozen as much or maybe a little more than most, but come on…. “Eskendereya”??, that breeding may have produced some success at 2, but it won’t hold up against what is soon to be coming out of the woodwork.   And my guess from here on is “Rule” will suffer much the same fate and be as much as a disappointing failure and will fall along the wayside also long before some April list appears.

    But, good luck with your picks.

    I for one can’t wait for the Preps to begin, and thusly can’t wait to see Steve’s future Dozen’s revisions!

    Awww, May… it seems just a day away …

    AND THANK YOU STEVE, it is always nice to see where my “potatoes” rate with others…

25 Jan 2010 10:15 PM

Don't think Winslow Homer is going to make it to the Derby. Unbridled Song's just aren't sound enough. RIck Porter has done well with them, but Rockport Harbour,and Old Fashioned didn't make it to the Derby,and Eight Belles who actually did make it suffered the horrific breakdown galloping out. He may be a good horse, I just don't think he has the soundness needed underneath him.  

25 Jan 2010 10:19 PM

This is a good list, though I think Maximus Ruler is still a Top 12 horse.  Love the dam's pedigree, going back to old time greats Ack Ack, Round Table, Arts and Letters, Bold Ruler, Tom Fool... The dam sire Lost Code was maybe never as famous as his rivals Bet Twice and Alysheba, but he was a terrific rachorse and one of my favorites.  So I'm hopeful that Maximus Ruler does that Lost Code blood proud!

Also, are we ruling out the girls for the Derby Dozen?  I think Blind Luck and Hot Dixie Chick could be considered for this list.

25 Jan 2010 10:25 PM

In no particular order (just some I'm looking at/like): Lookin at Lucky, Buddy's Saint, Blind Luck, Hot Dixie Chick, Eskendereya, Winslow Homer, Super Saver, Rule..

Keep up the fantastic work!

-Hannah from TX

25 Jan 2010 11:06 PM

Winslow Homer is to fast for his name. His name sounds like an old man, they should have named him 'WinfastHomeboy' sounds more like it....

25 Jan 2010 11:13 PM

Steve , I like most of your

content but don't you think

that on a list like this or

any article the owners name

should be included. The OWNERS

deserve more recognition.

25 Jan 2010 11:22 PM

carolyn- He's named after a famous American artist.

26 Jan 2010 12:09 AM

My Derby horse is American Lion!!!!!!!! I'll be praying that they can keep him sound, but there is something about that colt that I just love!! And of course I like Tiz Chrome too! XD Tiznow makes me happy. Gotta keep Man o' War's bloodline going strong! XD

26 Jan 2010 12:42 AM


Look forward to your listing and enjoy your take on things.  I love this time of the year, hope springs eternal.  My top 5 in no particular order: Eskendereya, Buddy's Saint, Lookin at Lucky, Rule and WATCH OUT for Drosselmeyer.  Impressive maiden win at Churchill, looks like he can run all day. Can't wait to see where Bill Mott will start him.

26 Jan 2010 12:52 AM


Please give me your thoughts on the regally bred Take Control. I know he will be out for 2 months, but what do you think of his future, outside of the Triple Crown races, since he will miss them in all likelihood.

Thank you. Great dozen as always.


26 Jan 2010 1:29 AM
Lost in the Fog

A few on the list look promising, but so do several off the list.   The two best three year olds in the country right now are Conveyance and Uptowncharliebrown.    

26 Jan 2010 1:44 AM


I enjoy your derby dozen each year. I compare it to my dozen and see what we have in common and what we don't. I have no problem with the horses in your dozen but I feel Stay Put performance at the fair grounds is right now far superior than Tiz Chrome who has not even raced passed 7f. I do like winslow homer. His Holy Bull was impressive to me. Also I prefered Maximus Ruler to Ron the Greek in Lecomte.

I always enjoy January because everyone right now has legit reasons for their horses to be in their top 12. In the next two weeks when we find out who is going to crack the top 12 after the Robert B Lewis.

26 Jan 2010 2:05 AM

I wouldn't be surprised if the Derby winner is not even on this list, remember last year. Way too soon to rank anyone but if one must then this list is as good as any. For me, it's way too soon to get excited about the first Saturday in May.

Still licking my wounds from watching Brett farve yesterday...........

26 Jan 2010 3:22 AM

Hey Zarvona - your long winded windbag entry can be picked apart by any serious horse watcher or player.

Your "potatoes" might not win a non winners of one allowance at Penn National! And Bim Bam ? The Green Monkey has a better chance of winning the lottery than Bim Bam does winning the Derby.

Who is Ron the Greek? Did you even watch a prep race or read anything from last weekends races? If you don't have the time to stay informed, give up posting and stay up on current racing action so your opinion might be more educated.

26 Jan 2010 6:39 AM

Winslow's name is a fitting tribute to Eight Belles and would love to see him win the KD for her.  He was a beautiful sight to behold in the Gulfstream paddock on Sat. Our local boy from Calder, Jackson Bend, contended well and --we could have another In Summation here.

26 Jan 2010 6:45 AM

I love this format.  Sticking with Winslow Homer just because of the very classy race he ran.

26 Jan 2010 8:40 AM

Mr. Haskins,

What are you smoking to leave off an Ecilpse award finalist. Not to mention a game and very talented horse. Did you see any races this past year. We will keep him below the radar, thats fine. See you May 1st. Go Noble!

26 Jan 2010 8:48 AM

I find it hard to believe that Nobles Promise is not on this list.  When all is said and done he will be at the top.

26 Jan 2010 8:53 AM
Bill Daly

Thanks for the Top 12 Summary.  I always find your opinions informative and helpful.  It's hard to keep up with these horses as the 3 yr old picture is always changing.  It's an exciting time of year and one I'll always look forward to.  I was disappointed with Pletcher's horse in the Spectacular Bid on Saturday.  Any idea why he had nothing to offer in the stretch?  Maybe he's just a synthetic track lover?

26 Jan 2010 9:19 AM
Bill Daly

With apologies, I meant the Holy Bull [not the Spectacular Bid] with reference to the name of the stakes race run Saturday.  Easy to get those grays mixed up.  Both of 'em great horses.

26 Jan 2010 9:24 AM
No Good Deed


Glad to see you picked Buddy's Saint your #1 pick. Our client owns a half sister to him so we are huge fans. GO BUDDY!!!

26 Jan 2010 10:21 AM

"Buddy's Saint" if he stays healthy, you picked the Derby Winner right on top.

Very astute, excellent pick.

26 Jan 2010 10:31 AM

Appears to be a very wide open year to me. Lots can happen between now and 1st Sat. in May.  Going with Rule for now, though.

26 Jan 2010 10:46 AM

I understand Ron the Greek being on here, however he only won because of a hot pace up front, Maximus Ruler ran a very game race and deserves a spot in the top 12, and Winslow Homer won the Holy Bull impressively considering Ramon appeared to have a lot of horse under him, he should only get better with added distance. But don't forget, he is by Unbridled's Song, so I give him a 50/50 shot to actually make it to the Derby

26 Jan 2010 10:47 AM
mike rullo


any info on the horse merensky reef,any talent???

26 Jan 2010 10:56 AM

Derby 132 - agree with you on Odysseus another Albertrani horse along with Middle of the Nite. Tom is staying very quiet about his 2 top 3 year olds. Both of them have a shot and the next race for each of them should see where they really stand in comparision to some of the others mentioned.

26 Jan 2010 10:58 AM

Winslow Homer is the best - great name and fast horse.

Just wondering why Blind Luck wasn't included in this list. She ran faster than Lookin At Lucky in her last race.

26 Jan 2010 11:25 AM

Hi Steve,

Thank you for the list and the wonderful funny separate article re: Baffert & Pletcher, et al.

May the Racing Gods smile upon all of the contestants and bring them home sound!  However, I am loyal to St. Liam fan and my heart goes to his son.  I'm also loyal to Eight Bells, so my heart also goes to Winslow Homer who is one of my favorite painters.  Also, any descendant of Secretariat's gets my loyalty as well.

On another note Steve, I have wondered if the Mine That Bird's later races were compromised after his epiglottis surgery.  What do you think?  Those surgeries are not always successful.  Last question for you is - do you see any outstanding three year old Fillies?  If so, who?



26 Jan 2010 12:12 PM

The SIRE of the 2010 KY.DERBY WINNER WILL have a 1997 date of birth.

26 Jan 2010 12:23 PM
It Aint Easy being good

I hate the name but Ron the Greek looked really good last weekend and I agree that lentenor and maximus ruler need to crack the top 12 even though Maximus ruler didnt win impressivly he still won and seems like a grinder reminds me of musket man.

26 Jan 2010 12:46 PM

buddy's saint 100-1 Winslow homer 125-1 American lion 125-1 Fly by Phil 150-1 Dryfly 300-1 Pleasant Storm 300-1 Rule 100-1.This is what i bet in the last three months.You have to take a shot early if you want to get paid.All seven horses i bet i have got my money back betting them in there next race.                  

26 Jan 2010 12:51 PM
Steve Haskin

Sorry, there are too many horses, questions, and comments to address all of them. I will respond to rb, despite his or her rudeness, only to inform those who did not bother to read my accompanying column that Noble's Promise has not had a workout in 5 weeks. Once he returns to the work tab, and shows all is well with him, he will be added to the list. I am not moderating this forum, so I hope those who comment and disagree with me in the future exhibit more class than this poster.

26 Jan 2010 12:53 PM

Hoofprintsandhorseplay said everything I wanted to say except that he left off how Zarvona slammed Winslow Homer who ran a very impressive race in the Holy Bull

26 Jan 2010 12:54 PM



   He did not spit the bit out...

   He was not quiting...

   He broke bad lost a step he

   broke slow bang by another

   horse on the inside...

   Did show speed... three four

   months off...He lost by six

   seven lengths to win... john

   did not used him teached him.

   next race he will be better...

   look out he got dirt in his

   face .stadyed TEACHING...




26 Jan 2010 1:03 PM
fan mail

dublin will make a splash on this list after an immpresive southwest win.  Dublin has been firing bullets on a very slow oaklawn track and is set for a big race.  Never write off D wayne!

26 Jan 2010 1:30 PM
sweet tea

I am having a hard time finding the accompanying column. It doesn't seem to be near the Top 12 column and I even did some searches. Is there a link to the column? Thanks

26 Jan 2010 1:53 PM
John Riley

Steve's KY Derby column from this week can be found here:


26 Jan 2010 1:56 PM
Steve Haskin

It's been the lead story on bloodhorse.com since yesterday afternoon, and is now right next to the Derby Dozen near the top of the website.

26 Jan 2010 2:11 PM

I really don't have an opinion right now. I just enjoy reading Mr. Haskins' writing and the comments of other bloggers. I used to ignore the Derby until April. I missed a lot of the premature excitement but I also avoided all of the early disappointments. I didn't know about this great website until the spring of last year. Now, I'm addicted to it and always looking forward to new articles and comments. I think Derby Fever will grab me much earlier this year. Whether this is a good thing or not, time will tell. :)  

26 Jan 2010 2:23 PM
Fran Loszynski

I think Afleet Express would be awesome.  Of course I'm partial to Afleet Alex's young but that Express has a one-way ticket to the Derby, and wish for the Triple Crown; also did you notice the pick-up speed of Afleet Again! Here come Alex's kids-watch out world.

26 Jan 2010 3:18 PM

Steve, the Sam Davis is one week before the Fountain of Youth. Other than timing and 1/16 longer, what is the difference in running in one vs. the other as far as a prep for the Derby. Are the surfaces an issue?

26 Jan 2010 4:19 PM

Very impressed with Winslow Humor.  Dutrow only had him half cranked for the Holy Bull and he still outkicked Jackson Bend down the lane.  Hope Dublin comes back strong.  Made a fist full of cash on hin at Saratoga.  Pletcher is not the guy I want prepping 3yo's for the Derby.  Lookin at Lucky is another Harlans Holiday.

26 Jan 2010 4:22 PM
lucky fan

Steve great list ....You have the number one selection absolutely correct.... Buddy's Saint is a freak of nature... he has demolished every contender who has gotten in his path... the colt is an amazing animal can handle all virtues of racing by going to the lead closing from off the pace or stalking if needed.... when ever lezcano ask this colt to run he has responded with a quick decisive move and left the competion in his wake. He is a great mover and a beautiful horse..... From a very reliable source they haven't even came close to the bottom of this horse the skys the limit........Go Team LEVINE

26 Jan 2010 4:29 PM

You give the trainers name but you should not have left out the most important names, Owner and breeder. The horse would not have a name if it were not for the breeder and the trainer would not have the horse if it were not for the owner. Besides at this time of year it maybe the only 15 minutes any of these horses may ever get.

Long live the owners!

26 Jan 2010 5:16 PM
Dave, Dr. Joe's partner

Thanks Steve for your early list of

possible derby starters. Two months from now, those who may enter that huge may one thriller will surface more clearly. The up and coming races will both excite and clear the picture somewhat.Lets enjoy.

26 Jan 2010 6:12 PM

To me, both the Holy Bull and Le Comte were very similar.  Both were won by stretchrunners, Winslow Homer and Ron the Greek, who appear to be very legit Derby contenders.  Although frontrunners and pace pressers can win the Derby(Big Brown, Barbaro, Smarty Jones, Funny Cide, War Emblem, Silver Charm, Thunder Gulch, Go For Gin, Sunday Silence), the Derby pace can often be brutal, so at this time of the year it is good to see horses that can rate and rally like Homer and Ron.

While both Homer and Ron were deserving winners and, like I said, are definitely Derby contenders, I really think the most talented horse in each respective race was Jackson Bend(Holy Bull) and Maximus Ruler(Le Comte). Both horses were up near quick early paces that eliminated almost all the other speed, yet fought on tenaciously in the stretch to keep 2nd.

This is not to say that Jackson Bend and Maximus Ruler are necessarrilly better Derby/Triple Crown prospects than Homer and Ron.  Jackson Bend has some questions concerning distance and Maximus Ruler needs to rate better(and might have distance limitations too).  Yet, Jackson Bend and Maximus Ruler both have excellent tactical speed, and the type of brilliance that will serve them well in Derby preps and post-Derby races like the Haskell, Jim Dandy, W.V. Derby, Indiana Derby, Lone Star Derby, Super Derby, Penn Derby, etc.  Both horses are likely to be especially formidable between 8 and 9 furlongs, and on conventional dirt where their early speed is more vital.  While both horses could end up being stars, there would be nothing wrong with becoming the next Pollard's Vision, and winning a million dollars in gr.2 and 3 stakes.  

26 Jan 2010 6:31 PM

my friend phil says buddys saint is the derbywinner.we will have to wait and see to early to tell someone can still emerge up the pike

26 Jan 2010 6:48 PM

I am also one that, if ranking, would have to include the females Blind Luck and Hot Dixie Chick.  

Blind Luck turned in the most impressive two-turn performance by ANY 2 year old in 2009 when winning the Hollywood Starlet by over 7.  Among those left in her wake were subsequent next-out winners Amen Hallelujah (gr.2 Santa Ynez in fast time) and Rose Catherine(listed stakes at Santa Anita by a large margin).  Among her other victims that day were Beautician, Bickersons, Miss Heather Lee, and It Tiz.  Like many of the top synthetic races, Blind Luck's 95 Beyer for the Starlet doesn't come close to doing justice to her performance.  

One thing to keep in mind about Blind Luck, is that while both of her 2 gr.1 victories have come on synthetics, she is proven on dirt, having broken her maiden by 13+ lengths at Calder.  Just as she did on Hollywood Futurity/Starlet weekend, I wouldn't be surprised if Blind Luck upstages the males in the Bob Lewis(although I really like Tiz Chrome) when she runs in the Las Virgines the same day(Feb 6).

Hot Dixie Chick turned in two of the most impressive sprint stakes performances of ANY 2 year old last year, earning Beyers over 100 for both the Schuylerville and gr.1 Spinaway. While distance remains an obvious question mark, and she hasn't started in about 5 months, she is clearly very, very fast.  

26 Jan 2010 6:53 PM


Welcome back.  Its refreshing to see your posting.  You are one brave Derby forcaster.  Is it OK to call yours the "Dirty Dozen"? (LOL).  You've launched quite an assault on two of my favourites, Eskendereya and Rule.  I can understand that you have no faith in the topside of the former's pedigree, being a grandson of Storm Cat but your objection to Rule is somewhat perplexing since he bears great resemblance in both pedigree and ability to 2003 Derby winner Funny Cide.

I'll take my queue from you and name a Derby dozen which I expect to survive the twists and turns of the triple crown trail.  Here goes: 1)Eskendereya 2)Super Saver 3)Rule 4)Looking at Lucky 5)Tiz Chrome 6)Winslow Homer 7)Laus Deo 8)D'Funnybone 9)Uptowncharlybrown 10)Worth A Buck 11)Ron The Greek 12)Eightyfiveinafifty.

Others on my waiting/watching list are Lentenor, Bulls And Bears, Buddy's Saint, Dublin, Backtalk and Fly By Phil. Lets enjoy the ride.  

26 Jan 2010 6:59 PM

I would not have put Ron The Greek in the top ten prior to seeing him run.  His FG win saturday was impressive, he's powerful.  I want to see where this goes.

26 Jan 2010 7:34 PM

Conveyance didn't get much press after his San Rafael score.  

Blind Luck will be the lone filly entry.

26 Jan 2010 7:51 PM

You can't tell me Pletcher trains 4 of the top 12.  What about his Cal Derby bomb?

26 Jan 2010 7:53 PM

Why is Afleet Express not on the list?  I'd have rated him as high as 8th.

26 Jan 2010 8:19 PM

Lookin at Lucky is a slowa$$.  This is a week crop and the derby winner is not on that list!

26 Jan 2010 8:37 PM
John T

As a late May foal you have to admire the maturity Lookin At Lucky

shows as a racehorse.Like all the derby pretenders at this stage he has to show more and only time will

tell if he can emulate Northern Dancer who was also born on a May 27th.

26 Jan 2010 9:44 PM
Ron the Roman

Three words: Ron the Greek.

It is quite evident he only wants to go longer.

26 Jan 2010 10:48 PM
Carlos in Cali

I'll confidently state that the filly Blind Luck will NOT defeat males in the Ky Derby.No way!

She's not an Amazon like Zenyatta & Rachel A.,or Winning Colors,Genuine Risk,Surfside,Estrapade and all of the others who conquered top-class males.History has shown that it takes a studdish,dominant and robust female for it to happen.And,frankly,Blind Luck does not fit the bill.

26 Jan 2010 11:36 PM

I agree with so many comments on here.  I love the Derby Dozen!

Also, it looks like there will be a Road to the Roses game this year.  If you go to the site now, you can put in your email and they'll let you know when the game is ready!

Good luck to everyone who plays the game!

26 Jan 2010 11:48 PM

Good column and rankings, Steve...

One thing about Jackson Bend. It's his 6.2 dosage index, and not that pedigree, that is making you nervous.

JB's damsire is Tabasco Cat, the winner of the Belmont Stakes and Preaknes. What is stamina questionable about a horse Frankel said the further he runs, the better he is? Also, while JB's sire's line is not traditionally classical, his sire Hear no Evil won at 9 furlongs, and Carson City sons have been putting some classic runners on the track.

Have you actually broken down the bottom half of Jackson Bend's pedigree? I find that hard to believe, and that is relevent since he was bred speed over stamina. His dam also has sired 9 runners and all 9 are winners. Tabasco Cat's damsire was Key to the Mint. I know you remember that stout runner.

Yes, there is stamina in the bottom of his pedigree. The problem is, Romans has not chef de raced the sires, so the dosage is high. Oh well, at one time Elusive Qualitys had high dosages and I remember hearing that Smarty Jones would be eaten alive at 10f by big, bad classically bred Rock Hard Ten. How did that work out?

27 Jan 2010 4:37 AM

Watchout for "UptownCharleyBrown"

He may be the one to watch for this upcoming Derby Run. When I saw "Barbaro" run for the first time, I said to myself that he would win the Derby and we all know that history.  I have the same feeling "UptownCharleyBrown"

may very well do the same!

27 Jan 2010 5:58 AM

Carlos in Cali- I can agree with you for this moment, but eventually, just like we have seen in Europe, a filly that isn't studish and an amazon will come up to beat the boys.  But with Blind Luck, they will have to keep her out of trouble and clear.  If they do that, I would at least give her  chance in the SA Derby.  Kentucky Derby?  It will be alot harder to keep her out of trouble there.  And there is also the factor of whether she will perform her best against colts, as there are many fillies who get thrown by running in a field of colts.  Many variables.  But you have a good point.

27 Jan 2010 9:00 AM

Geronimo2123- I believe Tabasco Cat's damsire was Sauce Boat, who's sire was Key to the Mint.  Even with that, I think his top and bottom are still a little suspect for 10 furlongs.  And I still don't think of 10 furlongs with Elusive Quality's.  But stranger things have happened.  He certainly is a genuine runner.

27 Jan 2010 9:26 AM

What about Savemyspotiambeting won easy on Holly Bull day in 108:7 very impresive first time starter for owner Frank Calabrese. By Vidication out of a Fourty Niner mare, a May foal, my derby horse.

27 Jan 2010 9:27 AM
Billy's Empire

Could you see Calvin getting the mount on Ron the greek and winning another Derby with that late running style. I CAN. Always have to bet the crazy cajun in the big race... Steve, have you heard anything on the 3yo Candy Ride colt, Mykindacandy? He has been working lights out at Oaklawn for about a month.


27 Jan 2010 9:53 AM

has anyone heard from bafferts horse bulldogger. he broke his maiden travers day in good company and was highly regarded but has since disappeared

27 Jan 2010 10:04 AM

Thanks for the info on Dublin.  I still like him alot.  No information about Backtalk though - what's up with him.  And just because I will love him always I have to bring up Big Brown's new filly.  She is a darling!!  Check her out!

27 Jan 2010 11:38 AM
Senator FVC

Lookin at Lucky & Buddy Saint deserve top billing in Jan. & Feb. if they stay sound. Count on Bob B. to get L.@ L.there. However American Lion trained by E. Hardy. Tiznow can produce a top 1 1/4 mile horse. Eoin knows this bloodline and will have him ready, CAN DO.!! Eskendereya Todds best horse, won't fold in the lane, solid bloodline. Winslow Homer has a little better staying blood with Summer Squall on the bottom side. Maybe he can stay the distance. Good luck all.

27 Jan 2010 12:09 PM
Steve Haskin

Geronimo, despite the certainty of your comment regarding what is making me nervous, let me assure you I pay no attention to dosage. I merely stated there are question marks because of the lack of any true stamina influences. Tabasco Cat was in the best form of his life in the Preakness and Belmont against relatively weak fields, but tired badly in the Travers against better horses. He did not do much as a stallion. Having Talc, Rock Talk, and Anticipating as your dam side influences gives him question marks in my opinion. I am not saying he wont go 1 1/4 miles. I'm just not confident in his ability to do so based on his pedigree. Hence the term question marks -- not certainty. I said he lost little stature, and that its best to take it one step at a time as he stretches out. He wasnt persevered with in the final sixteenth and should improve off this race.

27 Jan 2010 12:10 PM
Steve Haskin

Bulldogger worked yesterday.

27 Jan 2010 12:10 PM
Forbidden Apple

Hi Steve,

Thank you for your top 12 picks and starting the KY Derby fever of 2010!

I am looking forward to the upcoming Fountain Of Youth Stakes where every racing fan will see a star performing. Of course it is only a starting point for him, but I still expect Buddy's Saint to dominate his competition. I was at Aqueduct for the Remsen, he was not regressing at all. Buddy was simply out to stretch his legs and disposed of his foes with ease. It saddens me that his sire Saint Liam only has one crop of horses to offer us fans. Keep your eyes on 2 other Saint Liam colts, Brake Lights and St. Eligius. Both are trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and have only broken their maidens so far. Also take note that Bruce Levine has left his NY home of 30 years to travel and guide Buddy's progress along.

Lentenor's last race was very impressive and I have goosebumps thinking about his first start on dirt. Michael Matz gets little respect as a top trainer in this business. Lentenor could easily enter the KY Derby trail with another strong run under him.

Winslow Homer looked like he was only jogging in the Holy Bull. Jackson Bend is a slow Calder horse. Give Jeremy Rose a break, he only rides the horses. But these two along with Lookin At Lucky and Dublin seem like 1 1/8 will be their limit.

Eskendereya looked okay, but I liked Middle Of The Night coming out of that Gulfstream allowance race.

My early picks are clearly Buddy's Saint and Lentenor. After these 2 I am not impressed with any other horses as of January.

27 Jan 2010 12:24 PM

Buddy's Saint must have a future as hasken said Bruce Levine hasen't left Ny in 30 years....and has left 75 horses in ny behind to guide the colt to the derby...He must be confident that his big colt has a huge shot at making it to the derby

27 Jan 2010 1:03 PM

I'm with the Blind Luck fans, she's a fearless little race horse...

After her, I, of course, love the Tiznow boys...

Gunbow, good post.


27 Jan 2010 2:47 PM
Billy's Empire

Forbidden Apple

Dublin is out of Afleet Alex, and he had no problem with the Belmont, which is 2 panels longer than the Derby. Why would you think that Dublin would have distance limitations? Heck, the dam is out of Storm Bird, who produced Summer Squall and Bluebird, as well as the dam of Birdstone, who if you don't rememeber won the Belmont. Please explain.

27 Jan 2010 2:50 PM

Blind Luck.  Hollendorfer has been know to crank a few ladies up in his time although I don't know if he is into doin it "Lukas style." (Lite Light or what it Light Lite?).  We can hope, but I would think Kentucky Oaks.  

27 Jan 2010 3:13 PM
Gary at Rough Creek

To Nancy re Mine That Bird,

It may well be the post-surgery MTB doesn't have the same breathing efficiency as the pre-surgery MTB, but I'd suggest two other things probably played more important roles than the surgery in his post-Belmont "tail off".

1) For starters, in the West Virginia Derby, MTB carried 11 pounds more weight than the two horses that beat him.  Strangely, I read and heard very little about this fact; and

2) MTB's two post-surgery races were on a synthetic track that was not to his liking. Not hard to understand...and forgive.

I look forward to his 4 YO dirt campaign, hopefully with a new rider.

27 Jan 2010 3:14 PM
It Aint Easy being good

I bet 2 out of the 12 horses listed will be in the derby. Hopefully Lentenor will get some love. Would love to see him make the derby and if you watch his last race he had alot left in the tank. I think you might see a long streak of wins coming up!

27 Jan 2010 4:07 PM
Carlos in Cali

Dosage Index?...lol,didn't that hogwash go way of the Spandex pants & leg warmers way back when..the Spend a Buck era.

Am I the only one who thinks Interactif is strictly a turf horse?. I mean,Pletcher has stated that he get's over the turf alot better than he does on dirt.Plus,he's keeping him on grass then pointing him towards the SA Derby on synthetics.I smell a grass horse.

27 Jan 2010 5:54 PM
Greg J.

It Aint Easy being good,

    Nice word about Lentenor, It will be tough for him to get in, I figure he has three races before the Derby, Two will have to be graded stakes, And, He will have to hit the board in both to have enough earning's for the Derby(IMO), If the Derby trail is the route the Jackson's and Mr. Matz take, Watch out!  Back in November, Thanks to Jason tipping me off on the future book in Vegas, I put $50 on Lentenor at 250-1(Also have $50 on Winslow Homer & Grand Slam Andre),  Grand Slam Andre might have a very slim chance, Though...

27 Jan 2010 7:09 PM

Carlos in Cali.  Lady's Secret weighed in at a feathery 900lbs.  She was SO light no one could catch her!  

27 Jan 2010 7:12 PM

The horses I'm watching for future wagers are Eskendreya and Tiz Chrome.  

27 Jan 2010 7:25 PM

Let the fun begin, something to look forward to that makes a little sense, I think, sort of a mixed bag, would of thought you would of had Dublin some where in here, to good to not have in here, connections are to good to exclude

27 Jan 2010 7:58 PM

Householder- I forgot about Lady's secret's size.  Does anybody know about Glorious song's size, or Serena's Song?

27 Jan 2010 8:54 PM


Backtalk is back at Tom Ammos barn at the Fairgrounds.

28 Jan 2010 3:55 AM

Hey Carlos in Cali,

I think you meant Spandex Jeans. LOL. Spandex pants are a big part of the current fashion scene. Even Miley Cyrus's cheesey Walmart fashion line is like 80 percent spandex pants...


BTW, I was being sarcastic about the dosage...

Also, the Preakness field that Tabasco Cat defeated included the Derby winner Go for Gin, and the same for the Belmont. Holy Bull finished 12th in the Derby, so there was no way he was getting into either other leg because they thought something was wrong with the horse to run that bad.

There usually isn't much more than the Derby or Preakness winner in the Belmont in any given year. At least Tabasco Cat beat the Derby winner. LOL.

Following his exportation, things heated up in a big way. Tabasco Cat's son Snow Ridge became one of North America's top sprinters, and a daughter, Habibti, one of the best 2-year-olds fillies of 2001. She won the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) and Del Mar Debutante Stakes (gr. I). There also were grade II winners in Cat's At Home, Freefourinternet, and Spice Island, plus grade III winners in Perfect Cat and Raylene (in Canada). To date, Tabasco Cat is represented by 22 stakes winners in the US and Canada, including Habibti (who won many graded stakes), and Island Sand, who won over $1 million including the grade 1 Acorn. Sure, not the stuff a sire of sire is known for, but Tabasco Cat did ok at sire and even better as a damsire.

He finished 2nd in the BC Classic, outperforming other older horses that were supposedly more polished than he was. Since he retired at 3, we will never know how much better he could have become. One thing is for sure, he beat tougher fields than Big Brown did...

And I loved BB.

28 Jan 2010 4:20 AM

I think Uptowncharlybrown could be any kind of horse as well...

but let's give Steve a break. It is early in the trail to CD, and Charly will have a chance to increase his worth in the Sam Davis. Derek Ryan has a nice colt in that race, too, named Schoolyard Dreams (that he has been working in tandem with Musket Man).

Steve, not many people have commented about how Rose kind of lost control of JB at the top of the stretch. Good eye. I think he was asking the horse to change leads much earlier than the horse expected, as he had not even straightened out and gotten into full stride...and the horse was startled. But, that is just a guess.

I agree Buddy's Saint is one who could be very interesting to follow. Seems to have all the tools and the pedigree, and a hands on trainer (always a plus at the Derby). Keep up the good work, as no one paints a better Derby trail picture than you do.

28 Jan 2010 4:32 AM
Forbidden Apple

I watched Dublin race this past summer in the Hopeful and he did grind out a victory at 7f in a good time of 1:23 2/5. The pace was red hot, a 1/4 in 22 flat and a 1/2 in 44 4/5 seconds aided his late run. Lukas likes to work his horses very fast in the morning and cranks them up early in their careers. Pletcher trains the same way and always has fast 2 year olds and then they race at 3 and retire soon after. Another person even wrote on here how Lukas has Dublin firing bullets already this year. This sport is all about using your own best judgment as a trainer and having an opinion as a handicapper. Owners and trainers do not earn any money for running fast in workouts. In my opinion Dublin was completely flat in the Champagne and is an average horse until he does something striking this year. I loved Afleet Alex as a racehorse, but that does not mean that Dublin can get the distance of the grueling KY Derby.

Big Brown broke his maiden in August on the grass at Saratoga Racecourse.

Although Interactif has a pretty good dirt pedigree, I agree with Carlos that this horse is best on the turf.

28 Jan 2010 10:36 AM


i have a nice longshot for you. calizeo just broke his maiden at 11/8 at gulfstream. he will have bottom going toward the derby and pletcher is very high on him.

28 Jan 2010 11:07 AM
Steve Haskin

I agree about Rose. It looked like he lost control trying to get him to switch leads the second they tuirned for home and did it too abruptly.

As for his pedigree, I'm going a lot by second dam Lottsa Talc, who was purely a sprinter, as was her half brother Appealing Guy.

But as I said, he's a talented horse, so you never know.

28 Jan 2010 11:35 AM

Footlick, if I remember, Glorious Song was a LARGE mare.  I think Serena's Song was either average or small.

And hey! Carlos in Cali and Geronimo2132: I LOVED spandex in jeans with, of course, zippers up the ankles so you could actually get your feet through them.  What else would you wear your fake lizard skin flats with?

28 Jan 2010 11:40 AM

What is going on with Thomas Got Even? He got back on the work tab in December but he hasn't worked in over two weeks. What sort of injury is he battling? There was a two week gap between his last two works.

28 Jan 2010 12:55 PM
The Rock


I love that 3 year old crop from 94'. To this day, I think that's the deepest crop of 3 year olds that I've seen since I got involved in this game back in 91'. Tabasco Cat and Dehere were my favorite horses to watch that year. Always wondered what could've been of Dehere had he stayed healthy after the Fountain of Youth, and I believe he was the only horse talented enough to keep up with Holy Bull out of that crop. His 2 year old year at the Spa is one to remember. I think it was in the Special where he was blocked down inside for the majority of the stretch and McCarron finally got him off the rail late to get up. One of the most amazing moves I've ever seen to this day.

Tabasco Cat was a little warrior himself. I spotted him in the BC of 93' where he looked flat turning for home and came back on for 3rd money. Plus he was a Lukas horse, so you know you'd be hearing from him. What a 3 year old campaign he had as well. Seemed like he ran every 3 weeks that year! Unfortunately, I think Lukas bit off more than he could chew by running him in the Hollywood Derby weeks after his placing in the BC. It was in that race that Tabasco Cat got injured and never ran again. But he did accomplish a lot in a short time.

28 Jan 2010 1:26 PM

I don't recall Winning Colors looking all that large up close.  But I could be wrong.  The 80's are getting a bit fuzzy now.  Perhaps it was the spandex being a little too tight or the sacarine in my Pepsi.  

28 Jan 2010 1:33 PM

Footlick.  Ah yes Serena's Song...yet another Lukas trained filly who could kick some serious boys tail (Haskell, Jim Beam, 2nd in Whitney).  With 38 starts, 10 at 2!, she could be the Iron Lady II.  

Wikapedia "She was a small filly, so small that few looked her way at her yearly auction."  

28 Jan 2010 1:44 PM

Wow I guess I really do go for the sleepers.  Granted I dont go with speed figures or works or all sorts of other handicapping.  I really like Pounced if he can come off the turf and go well on dirt. Also I like American Lion, Aikenite, Make Music For Me, and Blind Luck.  I like to see a horse that is a little green at the beginning of the year but always improving.  I also like She Be Wild and Pulsion but I havn't heard anything from them; I don't believe the filly's juvinile was a fluke I think she's just improving really well.  The two major outsiders I have are Cuff Me, I really liked to see her beat I think going into the Derby unbeaten is asking for it also I think fillys aren't respected enough. There was a little international filly that jumped up and handed the boys a major defeat so I think if your small and ignored you can get your race and really shock everyone. Getting beat teaches a horse a lot look for her to improve a lot after her last race.  Also I REALLY like A Little Warm.  He seemed very playfull and a bit immature but I like that in a colt it means they havn't topped out and there best is yet to come.  It took him a while to get the ropes but now that he's got them watch out.  I'd really like to see what everyone thinks of him maybe im just shootin blanks.

28 Jan 2010 2:20 PM

Gotta go with Ron the Greek because of the Old Friends connection (Fortunate Prospect is one of the farm's retirees)...

28 Jan 2010 2:58 PM
Carlos in Cali


Not sure about Lady's Secret's weight,but I do know she was stoutly built and had the "butt of a maid" that D.Wayne Lukas looked for.


You're right,Glorious Song was large and so was that other Canadian filly who consistently beat males & swept the Canadian Triple Crown AND also won that year's BC Distaff..sorry I forgot her name.

28 Jan 2010 4:30 PM

Carlos in Cali: you're gonna hafta tap dance a little smartly to make up for forgetting the lady's name.

28 Jan 2010 10:40 PM

Carlos- that was Dance Smartly

28 Jan 2010 10:46 PM

Blind Luck has been nominated for the Triple Crown...She is on a couple of top 25 derby lists. I am surprised Mr Haskin has not mentioned her.

28 Jan 2010 11:59 PM
It Aint Easy being good

I dont get the love for Aikente that horse is overrated and trained by todd pletcher the most overrated trainer around! I truely believe that the derby winner will come from the florida derby. I knew that Dunkirk was a joke last year. By the way how about Friesan Fire destroying the field on saturday that was really impressive and good to see him back running!

29 Jan 2010 12:47 PM

I know I'm probably the only person who really likes this horse.  But if you saw Drosselmeyer's maiden win at Churchill you may feel the same.  His powerful run down the lane drawing off by 6 lengths was more impressive than anything I've seen so far from this crop.  His time of 1:37 flat on a dead racetrack was deceptively fast.  He had run pretty well up til then on synthetics and turf without winning.  But this was his first race on dirt and the difference was stunning.  He comes from Windstar and has company (Rule, American Lion, Super Saver).  But the people there know Drosselmeyer is the real thing and belongs in that group.  I just was wondering if anyone else saw what I saw and thinks the same. I'd also like to know if anyone knows where he is running next.  He has been working up a storm down at Payson Park, so I'm thinking he'll show up at Gulfstream.

29 Jan 2010 1:21 PM

The best news of the week was that Kip Deville is continuying to improve. Still keeping my fingers crossed...

29 Jan 2010 2:09 PM

It Aint Easy,

    That joke was second in the Belmont to the Three year old Champion Male. Notice also he came out of the race injured. He also ran second to QR, I'm guessing he is overrated too. Point is that in his first real stakes he ran second to a monster. He is hardly a joke

29 Jan 2010 2:27 PM

Hawaiian Springs.  One of the more colorful characters out west Kathy Walsh.  She may have another Georgie Boy.  Blood horse is reporting HS finished ahead of "two highly promising Baffert colts."  The last I checked Baffert still had something like 4 undefeated 3 year olds with Conveyance probably at the top of that list!  How deep is his barn?

29 Jan 2010 2:47 PM

Anne M.  Love the Hollendorfer filly!  I think he got a good taste of the Oaks winning with Light Lite.  I predict she wins the Kentucky Oaks.

29 Jan 2010 2:50 PM

P.S. Always left off and always overlooked by Steve, is my 2 year old watched "fillies" list, which after some tweaking I came up with a dozen that one might want to keep watch on: (again in alphabetical order and not preference):

"Ailalia"; "Awesome Maria"; "Blind Luck"; "Devil May Care"; "Hot Dixie Chick"; "Mi Sueno"; "Negligee"; "Protesting";

"Rose Cathrine"; "She Be Wild"; "Sweet Sophia"; & "Tapitsfly"; ... likely all hoping to reach the 'Kentucky Oaks' , but ya never know!!!

29 Jan 2010 6:25 PM

P.P.S.   'Hats off to "The Mailet";... such losses do sadden the heart!!!

29 Jan 2010 8:33 PM
The Swede of Norfolk

It's very early and surface changes will be key.

But I know one thing, if Dublin stays in the Lukas barn, Irish eyes will not shine upon him, nor will anyone else's.

29 Jan 2010 9:11 PM

Love the talk on fillys Wayne had just a little insight Serena and Ladys Secret were not big horses but had hearts as big as Texas. Winning Colors on the other hand was huge, bigger than most all of the colts that year. Should see more fillies taking on the boys with this past years success. General Maximus looked good on his return at GP but being out of a Good and Tough mare not sure 10f will be in his reach but certainly talented.

30 Jan 2010 1:53 PM
Tim G

Winning Colors was a big filly. First time Wayne saw her, her withers showed above the wall.

Serena's Song was not very big at all. Fact is that's why Wayne got her relatively cheap considering what she won in the long run. Her small stature scared away a lot of buyers. The heart of a champion. WC and Sharp Cat were two big ones, not the norm back in the day but more so as of late.

31 Jan 2010 9:21 PM
KY Fan

Dublin WILL stay in Wayne's barn and frankly, he's one up on anyone else in Derby wins.

Discount the colt and Wayne at your own peril and ignorance.

31 Jan 2010 9:24 PM

marktoothaker- You have to have the right filly.  DWL was an expert when to run them, otherwise the Europeans have us beat.

01 Feb 2010 12:17 AM
Small Time Breeder

Hello Mr. Haskins:

Dublin of course doesn't warrant being on anyone's list. At the same time I am hoping what Mr. Lukas is saying in the most recent BH article about this colt's surgery is correct. I was on Dublin's bandwagon in a big way back in early September and obviously became puzzled, shocked and disappointed last fall. I'm giving this guy one more chance and looking forward to his Soutwest Stakes Performance.

I think there may only be a half dozen drunk Irishmen like myself left on this colt's bandwagon. I know we're delusional, but are we insane to hold out hope? What do you think?

01 Feb 2010 9:27 AM
Forbidden Apple

And Mr. Lukas was always one up on every other trainer in the 80's. He had more money to work with when buying horses for owners and he had the best vets to pump his horses full of steroids. We all seem to forget that steroids were just banned last year! Now this sport has to eliminate lasix. Sea The Stars and other Euro champions ran just fine without lasix.

01 Feb 2010 12:55 PM

Blind Luck sold for $11,000 as a yearling and the bidding stopped at $10,000 as a two year old, so she failed to sell.  This one could turn out real nice.

01 Feb 2010 2:21 PM

I'm thinking Michael Matz will get Lentenor to the Kentucky Derby , and he'll show you that big 'Barbaro' kick on the stretch run.

04 Feb 2010 7:30 PM

this year is winstar rule to win triple crown, because they have Super Saver, American Lion, Rule and Drosselmeyer

10 Feb 2010 4:12 AM

What do you mean by "ill-fated The Mailet??????

28 Mar 2010 11:56 PM

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