February 16th, 2010 - Presented by Darby Dan


Buddy's Saint Bruce Levine

Saint Liam—Tuzia, by Blushing John

Pair of sharp six-furlong drills indicate he’s ready for a big effort in the Fountain of Youth. He has to show that his 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the Nashua was the norm and the 82 Beyer in the Remsen was the aberration.


Lookin at Lucky Bob Baffert

Smart Strike—Private Feeling, by Belong to Me

He’s back in steady training, up to a half-mile, and is still on target for the San Felipe Stakes. Baffert still has plenty of time to get him sharp and fit, which he’ll have to be with only two Kentucky Derby preps planned.


Super Saver Todd Pletcher

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

He’s progressing in his training, breezing five furlongs in 1:01 2/5. Pletcher mentioned the March 6 Gotham Stakes as a possible first start back. Look for him to finally show he can be effective rating off the pace.


Rule Todd Pletcher

Roman Ruler—Rockcide, by Personal Flag

Love the efficiency of his stride. He’s gutsy, and has won on Belmont’s sweeping track, fast and sloppy surfaces on Delta Downs’ bullring track, and Tampa Bay Downs’ quirky surface. Needs to step up in class and learn how to rate off the lead.


Eskendereya Todd Pletcher

Giant's Causeway—Aldebaran Light, by Seattle Slew

Drilled five-eighths in 1:00 3/5 for the Fountain of Youth, second-fastest of 34 works at the distance. Unlike his last race, he should take back, as he did in his prior starts, and do what he does best—grind down his opponents.


Caracortado Mike Machowsky

Cat Dreams—Mons Venus, by Maria’s Mon

Here’s another feel-good story in the making. Cal-bred former claimer at Fairplex is now unbeaten in five starts after classy win in Robert B. Lewis. Showed great agility and an excellent turn of foot, and covers a lot of ground.


Jackson Bend Nick Zito

Hear No Evil—Sexy Stockings, by Tabasco Cat

He ran a big race in the Holy Bull, but needs to improve off it going 1 1/8 miles against a deeper, classier bunch in the Fountain of Youth. Zito has him sharp, and we’ll see how far his talent can take him.


Dave in Dixie John Sadler

Dixie Union—Risk, by Wavering Monarch

Been waiting for this colt to debut, and he turned in a big effort finishing a fast-closing second in Lewis. Had to come from last in a strung-out field, swung five-wide, and really kicked into gear the final sixteenth; perfect first start back.


Discreetly Mine Todd Pletcher

Mineshaft—Pretty Discreet, by Private Account

Pletcher could have run him in the Hutcheson, but opted to stretch him out in Risen Star, which is a good sign. His :59 1/5 bullet work three works back was huge, especially for Pletcher. Liked him a lot last year and have a gut feeling he’s sitting on a big one.


Pulsion Patrick Biancone

Include—Spring, by Stravisnky

Making his dirt debut in the Fountain of Youth. If works mean anything, he should relish it and turn in a huge effort. Taking a chance and putting him on the list based on that and his effort in the Norfolk Stakes. He’s been plagued with setbacks throughout his career and this could be his breakout race.


Ron the Greek Tom Amoss

Full Mandate—Flambe, by Fortunate Prospect

His late run from the clouds is not unusual at Fair Grounds, but he can’t expect to win like that with consistency. Yet he was visually impressive, with his long, powerful strides, and won with his ears pricked.


Drosselmeyer Bill Mott

Distorted Humor—Golden Ballet, by Moscow Ballet

Whether he ships to Fair Grounds or stays in Florida, Feb. 20 will be a big day for him as he attempts to step up in class and prove himself Derby material. Will this be the year the Kentucky Derby gods finally smile on Mott?

To participate, use your cursor to drag the selections on the left 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:


I moved Rule to the top of my list off of his Sam Lewis, and you can't argue with the credentials of Buddys Saint or Lucky.  Those are my top 3.

I put Sidney's Candy in my Top 12 with that great run yesterday, along with other CA horses Caracortado and Dave In Dixie. Despite my fears about synthetic horses. I liked Caracortado going into the Lewis, and have never been huge on Tiz Chrome and Am Lion for some reason.  We'll see if they rebound.

What a huge disappointment that the Southwest didn't run yesterday.  Dublin is all over my list and others I'm sure so that race was going to have huge implications.  Any word on if the horses that shipped in plan to stay and run on Saturday?

16 Feb 2010 12:19 PM

I agree, Rule looked amazing in the Lewis, and I think he had more in the tank than what he even showed.  He went from not in my top ten to the top.  

16 Feb 2010 12:54 PM

I think you made a good call including Pulsion in your dozen.  I've suspected he may be a dirt horse since his second race, so I'll be watching him with great interest in the FOY.  With that said, Buddy's Saint in my number one, too.    

16 Feb 2010 12:54 PM

The Cal-bred gelding Caracortado took out the heavy weights coming off layoffs.  Sidney's Candy looked sharp.  All out west still have a lot to prove before taking on Lookin at Lucky.  Don't see any storm clouds on the horizon.  He should make easy work of this crew.  The only down side is he is probably looking at small fields with a lot not entering for place or show.  

16 Feb 2010 1:10 PM

Can't wait to see Sidney's Candy go two turns - his turn of foot once told 'it was time to go' was awesome.

Looking forward to both Dublin & Buddy's Saint returns on Saturday.

16 Feb 2010 1:12 PM

The Fountain of Youth is going to be a big test for Jackson Bend!  He has proved he was a classy horse as a 2 year old, and showed a good effort in the Holy Bull without much urging for Jeremy Rose, but now it's time to dig in and prove he is the same horse if not better at 3!  I am personally a fan of him, so hopefully he can turn up big!

Also, what an impressive win by Rule this weekend!

16 Feb 2010 1:20 PM

I watched the Lewis Saturday and was very impressed with the first and second finishers.  Dave in Dixie shouldn't have any problem stretching out to 1 and 1/4 miles.  Though he looked very good I have some concerns with Rule stretching out to a mile and a quarter being out of Roman Ruler.  I can't wait for the San Felipe with Looking at Lucky, Dave in Dixie, Caracortado, Sidney's Candy and American Lion.  Whoever wins that one may be the early favorite.

16 Feb 2010 1:30 PM
It Aint Easy being good

I agree with everyone else that Rule looked very good last week. It seems as though he was going to run out of steam but he found another gear. Got to like horses that have never lost in their career heading into the derby aka barbaro. Still like dublin though and I a glad it was moved to saturday so we can see all the big races at once!

16 Feb 2010 1:44 PM
Fran Loszynski

I don't think the post position will affect Dublin in the Southwest if it is still #10 Saturday.  I hope Mr. Lukas isn't too worried about that. Alex's kids can weather the storm-Look at Afleet of Angels,  coming up second, second race, in the snow!

YeeHah! Go Dublin and get yourself back on Steve's List!

16 Feb 2010 1:53 PM

Mr. Haskin,

This is my first year following your articles "Derby Dozen". I'm really enjoying the ride. However, my state of confusion seems to be deepening every week. If the Derby was today, I would have to push the "ALL" button and hope that a "Mine That Bird" pops out of nowhere!

16 Feb 2010 2:08 PM
Kentucky Bob

With Caracortado's impressive win, I would say he moves into everyone top 5. Great stride and motion, and if he didn't keep looking at the crowd coming down the stretch he would have won by more. This one has very good breeding to get the Classic distance as well. Love him....

16 Feb 2010 2:17 PM

Steve:  Right now I've seen two horses who look like legit contenders to win the derby on this list. Buddy's Saint and Rule. The former still has to prove he's continued from last year and Rule is for real. I can't believe I'm saying that about a horse from the Delta jackpot, but I am. He's a really nice horse who looks like he can only improve. Outside of these two the rest on this list or any other I've seen aren't so impressive though I do believe American Lion maybe this years I Want Revenge and needs some dirt under his feet. That big ole things isn't a synthetic horse. He gallops like a dirt horse. I hate to sound silly but I still believe Barbaro's brother may turn out to be legit, I saw him up close at Keeneland and he's all horse,(Top 3 two year olds I've ever seen physically)  reminded me alot of Perfect Drift WHen He was 4) in his Physique. He's physically that impressive.

16 Feb 2010 2:19 PM
Steve Haskin

I really didnt want to take Dublin off, but I'm not sure what the week's delay will do and there are several live horses running in big races this weekend. Also, Dublin's dam was a 6-furlong horse, so I want to see how he does stretching out. If he runs big and is running strongly at the end he will go back on.

16 Feb 2010 2:31 PM
Steve Haskin

I was very impressed with Lentenor and am anxious to see him run tomorrow. But he really needs to get on dirt. I also agree that American Lion could improve on dirt.

My problem with the all button is the price.

16 Feb 2010 2:34 PM
Steve Haskin

Interactif is still my defiance horse and he will be put back on in the next week or two. I still see him as a force on dirt and coming from farther back. The rest is up to Pletcher.

16 Feb 2010 2:37 PM

I can almost not stand the wait to the Southwest.  I listened to Wayne talk about the delay and how he'll work Dublin this week because the horse is so big (he thinks 1250-1300 lbs)and he can take it.  I think what Wayne said was he could "lean on him".  I have to love a horse like that in this day and age. They are redrawing the posts for the SW so he could end up more favorable than the 10 spot.  

I really liked the looks of the CA horses last weekend, BUT I am always suspect on how synthetic form is going to translate to dirt. So, even though these guys catipulted into alot of top lists, including mine, they have alot to prove.  

I read that Maximus Ruler will miss the Risen Star, and that is too bad.  Hopefully he will rebound and get another good prep in so we can see where he stands.  Still like the horse.

16 Feb 2010 2:40 PM

quote re last weekend: ..."...writing this before I submit this posting and before Steve’s –2/16 next dozen’s list appears, which I presume will not be out until after the running of the Southwest ?, (so much for that thought!!) I am going to speculate ahead of time, that we see undefeated “Caratortada” (old ‘scar face’) at 5   5  0  0 and “Drosselmeyer” sneak onto Steve’s next dozen!!! Maybe??

   Meanwhile, my question remains… why aren’t we hearing more about the likes of “Vale of York” the BC Juv. winner!!!; “Pounced”  6   5 1 0 with his 2nd and only loss being a mere ¼ length lost to everyone’s seeming favorite “Lookin at Lucky” ?? ; undefeated Canadian “Hollinger” at 4   4  0  0 ; Virginia’s own “Outlaw Man” with a 1 1/8 run in at 1:49.25; the undefeated  “Conveyance” at 3  3 0 0 ; and “Fly By Phil” with his own 1 1/8 run in at 1:48.17 ??; thusly, where do these rank & really stand versus everyone else’s favorite at this point or top dozen list at this juncture??!!!...

 "And please, stop with this silly attack that “they can’t come off the grass”!!! “Big Brown” not only came off the Turf, he was scheduled for a turf run after his layoff being his 2nd run that was taken off the Turf!!!

  "And so, my top dozen awaiting further preps at this point:

“Pounced” ; “Lookin at Lucky” ; “Buddy’s Saint” ; “Vale of York” ; “Super Saver” ; “Drosselmeyer” ;

“Outlaw Man” ; “Noble’s Promise” ; “Hollinger” ;  “Conveyance” ; “Caracortado” ; “Fly By Phil”;    

...and many many more do remain  on my ‘watch list’, which does now also include “Desert Lord”

–by (“Elusive Quality”)

Tr. K. McLaughlin  !!

16 Feb 2010 2:42 PM

I just love Caracortado.  From my perspective, it is a highly positive thing that he is NOT inbred to those influences that some hold responsible for the current fragility of the thoroughbred (Mr. Prospector, Raise a Native, and Native Dancer), but rather is triply inbred to Bold Ruler (sire of Secretariat).  If indeed Scarface and Lucky meet, I will be torn between the two and will simply be rooting for all to stay safe.  

About Blind Luck, who after seeing her in the Las Virgenes has become one of my favorites, I agree with you that it was eerily reminiscent of Zenyatta's Del Mar race last year, where you thought she had actually been defeated.  Blind Luck is a muscle-mass to be sure, but on the smallish side, and I hope they keep her in the Kentucky Oaks.  In fact, I will be very upset if they attempt the Derby with her.  I can see that Mr. Jackson has influenced some owners/trainers to push their fillies to run against males, and I don't believe that is a good thing.  I don't want to see the filly/mare races reduced to nothing.    

16 Feb 2010 3:09 PM


    I agree so much with what you just said on AL. Tiz Chrome has already proven his affinity for dirt, so to me, when you look at that fact, it's not huge as to why he may have faltered over Pro-Ride, which plays the most like turf, and excelled at Hollywood Park, whose track most resembles dirt. I think they need to bring AL to NY, just like they did with IWR. Right now there is no real big horse, and if he took to dirt he could have a nice easy prep in the Gotham and the square off with Buddy's Saint in the Wood.

16 Feb 2010 3:13 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Great point about turf. They do need to take lentenor and interactif off the turf to see what kind of dirt horse they have. Would be great to see some rain tomorrow for lentenors race and make him run on dirt.

Was is it the trainer of RULE that said RULE is the lebron james of racing???

16 Feb 2010 3:20 PM

That's why my hope would be for a long shot to take it. On second thought, maybe I better wait a few more years for that brilliant :) strategy to pay off. Giacomo 2005, Mine That Bird 2009, ??? 2013. (That's if I'm still alive and coherent enough to remember that thought.)

16 Feb 2010 3:22 PM

2 words  Dave in Dixie!

The list is starting to come together.  Dave in Dixie is in the top 10 where he belongs.  Rule is the real deal.  A new route to take, by going to Delta, but they have a fresh horse, who is a front runner in the Florida Derby.

16 Feb 2010 3:36 PM

The horse I'm waiting for is Thomas Got Even. He's nominated to both the FOY and Hutcheson but I would like to see him run in an entry level allowance race before tackling stakes company since his only start was in September. Zito's finally working him on a weekly schedule and he's up to five furlongs in his works so he seems to be close to a race. Interestingly enough he wasn't among the early Triple Crown nominees so maybe the connections will take their time with him and not rush him like McLaughlin did with Charitable Man. By the way the correct names of the stakes races are the Bob Lewis and Sam Davis everyone.

16 Feb 2010 3:53 PM

I still have Noble's Promise on top. I've always thought he'd like dirt best. His style tells me that as well. Had the BC Juvenile been on dirt, when he started drawing off that would have been it, the Pro-Ride that day didn't let anyone win who was ahead at the top of the stretch. He had a recent bullet at GP and that furthers my confidence. He is well ahead of most of this group, especially with everyone banking on horses who have had less than two races. Concord Point was one I was watching, but to list him as an individual betting interest off a sprint maiden win over a two-turn stakes winner like Peppi Knows, just tells you people don't know what they are trying to decipher.

16 Feb 2010 4:08 PM

What IS going on with Vale of York? haven't heard peep about him lately?

Also, love the phrase "turn of foot"!

16 Feb 2010 4:20 PM

I am another who would like to see Baffert re-route Tiz Chrome to either NO or NY and get his feet back on the real stuff. I believe he will be better after his 1st run in 2 months and 1st attempt at 2 turns this past Sat as he quite obviously needed the race. His 2nd attempt at 2 turns and a much needed surface switch should put him right back on track.

16 Feb 2010 4:21 PM
Billy's Empire

Itainteasy. It was the farm manager in florida when they were all yearlings when he was referring to Rule as the Lebron James. He was also talking about American Lion and one other. I think Jason Shandler talked about it in a blog about three weeks ago. These guys see hundreds of yearlings a year, and Rule was the standout for the 2007 crop. Oh Yeah, they said Drosselmeyer looked great as well, so I will do a Drosselmeyer, Rule exacta in the next future pool.

16 Feb 2010 4:47 PM

90 Proof - I know what you mean about Lentenor.  I saw him before he began his racing career and was impressed - there was just "that something" about him.  I was much more visually impressed with him at that age than Nicanor, even though Nic was racing at that time.  Don't know how far he is going, but he's definitely got a "presence" about him.

16 Feb 2010 4:55 PM

Love Dave in Dixie.  Very impressive maiden win at Del Mar and looks to want to stretch out after his performance in the Lewis (even after a lay-off).  Think Lookin at Lucky is top contender as well.  We'll see after San Felipe.

16 Feb 2010 4:57 PM
Billy's Empire

oops, sorry steve, it was your Feb 1st top 12 list where you referenced the horse, Super Saver, Rule, and American Lion. Look back at that itainteasy

16 Feb 2010 4:58 PM
Billy's Empire

itainteasy, I dug it up for you

Donnie Preston, yearling manager at WinStar, remembers all of them, but one in particular.

“Rule was our LeBron James, because of his athleticism and his strength,” he said. “He was muscular, well put together, and well balanced; just what you wanted to see. He was the one yearling everyone looked at. He was a given.

“American Lion probably was the second most impressive. He was a big, long, scopey horse, well balanced and solid, and he had a really good mind. Both Rule and American Lion were fairly easy to work with.

“Super Saver didn’t have the best front end, but it wasn’t bad. He was pretty tough. He wasn’t overly aggressive or mean, but he had that attitude that you want to see that carries over to the racetrack. Whoever he was turned out with, he was always the leader of that group. You had to make sure you had a pretty good guy working with him. When he came back here for a little break, I was in charge of the layup barn, and I noticed that he was a lot easier to handle. He wasn’t a bad horse to handle before that; just a typical teenage boy. Now, he acts like he’s grown up, and is more mature. When he was here, I didn’t let him down all the way. We just let him get out in the round pen, weather permitting, and hand-walked him around the shed as much as possible. They just wanted to give him a break; there was nothing wrong with him physically.

“All three of them were in our top five. They bought Drosselmeyer at the Keeneland September yearling sale, so I wasn’t around him that much when he was being broken. But I remember that the gal who was in charge of the breaking, Jillian Lang, commented that she really liked him; the way he moved and the way he handled himself. I remember him as being a big, strong, fairly correct horse.”

Preston also liked a Tiznow   colt, In the Paint, but he could finish no better than seventh in Saturday’s WEBN Stakes for trainer Kellyn Gorder after getting bottled up in traffic early and then having to steady on the far turn. He previously had broken his maiden by 3 3/4 lengths at Turfway.

16 Feb 2010 5:03 PM

I love your Derby Dozen feature.  Look forward to it every Derby season.  

I'm on board with Pulsion.  He's already shown a lot of grit which is tops on my list in picking Derby horses.  Didn't he break through the starting gate and win a MSW?  Or did he finish second in that race?  Either way, I've rarely seen any horse finish that well after breaking through and especially not a juvy.  Even if he doesn't do all that well in the Fountain of Youth, I'm still keeping him on my Derby radar.  

16 Feb 2010 5:05 PM

Any votes for the filly Blind Luck?

16 Feb 2010 5:59 PM
Forbidden Apple

The KY Derby scene is starting to heat up with 10 more weeks to go. So far the horses that have run have been okay, but nothing great yet. The Fountain of Youth should help tighten the belt on my list. I had to leave off some contenders who did little last year and nothing so far this year.

1- Buddy's Saint  2- Lentenor

3- Eskendereya  4- Lookin At Lucky

5- Vale Of York  6- Dave In Dixie

7- Hotep  8- Ron The Greek

9- Nobles Promise  10- Rule

11- Caracortado

12- Uptowncharlybrown

16 Feb 2010 6:15 PM
king leroy

Buddys Saint has done nothing to warrant being #1. His Ramsen win was very slow. He is one paced no explosiveness. I think he will get blown off the track in the Fountain of Youth. Caracortado is a horse to fear he is just getting better with every race. He started once on the dirt be it Fairplex at 4 1/2 furlongs. At the route distance he has shown that he can relax. He is the horse to beat. A perfect style for the derby. CalBred sounds great.

16 Feb 2010 7:24 PM
Matt Converse

Many have made the same comment about Ron the Greek, that the big closing kick he showed is common at the Fair Grounds.  But if you look at his record, you can see it isn't the track.  Am I the only one who noticed he's closed very strong on four different tracks?  

16 Feb 2010 8:03 PM

Sidneys Candy was unreal, looked so smooth and rateable cant wait to see him stretch out. Rule just keeps getting it done. Lots to look forward to this weekend with Op, FG, and Gp all having major preps coming up. Great time of year, now if the weather will give us a break in KY

16 Feb 2010 8:11 PM
Matt Converse

1. Carcacortado--best prep so far.

2. Blind Luck--faster than #6.

3. Ron the Greek--great late kick.

4. Conveyance--gets dirt test.

5. Tempted to Tapit--big test now.

6. Lookin at Lucky

7. Super Saver

8. Pleasant Storm--wants 9-10f.

9. Rule--slow final sixteenth.

10. Dave in Dixie--closed strongly.

11. Prince Will I Am-sleeper.

12. Drosselmeyer/Eskendereya (tie)

16 Feb 2010 8:13 PM


I'd like to get your thoughts on Dryfly. I believe this horse is something special and he is my pick to win the Derby. I believe the Southwest will be his coming out party. What do you think of him?



16 Feb 2010 8:38 PM

Matt Converse,

I like one thing about your list, you left off Buddy's Saint.

Other than that you should probably go back and rethink it a bit.

Carcacortado beat a small field that was untested around two turns, and the pace got to them.

Blind Luck, you really put the filly who beat a terrible field by a nose in your second spot? And probably won't even run in the Derby...enough said

Ron the Greek, won because of a hot pace and had a clean run, will never get that kind of set up again, especially coming into some fields of better horses.

Conveyence, yeah he ran okay last out to win that race in cali, and Baffert is one of the greatest put I didn't think he finished all that strongly but I'd say he still makes the list.

Tempted to Tapit, got a big Beyer last time, but it's the inner meet at Aqueduct, nothing good ever comes from the inner meet at Aqueduct.

Lookin at Lucky, should probably be in your number one spot.

Super Saver, good horse, should be higher on the list

Pleasant Storm, I agree he wants the distance, but he lacks the class.

Rule, impressive race, quick fractions early you should expect him to slow a little.

Dave in Dixie, again beat to horses who hadn't be two turns before and closed into a solid pace, good for him, won't happen again.

Prince Will I Am, Michelle Nihei won't get this horse to the Derby, he looks good, but it ain't a beauty contest

Drosslemeyer, definitely deserves a spot on the list by himself probably the 3 or 4 spot to be precise.

Eskendereya, I have nothing against this horse, he just didn't seem all to impressive in the allowance win.

Basically I think the winner is a horse who is still improving not one that has already made it's mark.

16 Feb 2010 9:03 PM

I am impressed with Sidney's Candy and he should like to route. Rule made be a beliver but not sure he can handle the KD distance. I remain in Buddy's corner until proven otherwise.

16 Feb 2010 9:57 PM
Steve Haskin

Victor, I can tell you that Calvin Borel loves this horse. He's a good moving horse and his numbers keep improving. But again, I like to see them come from off the pace. I doubt he can outrun Conveyance, so we should find out if he's as effective when he doesnt have the lead. This will be a good test. He picks up 5 pounds, while runner-up Pleasant Storm drops two, so we'll see if he can overcome the 7-lb weight shift.

16 Feb 2010 10:25 PM


Enjoy your list.  This weekend will begin to sort things out.  Rule looked strong.  My top pick is still Drosselmeyer, Mott and Kent D.

16 Feb 2010 11:40 PM
Chuckles the Clown

It's time to stride out and not get "locked in" reshuffling Steve Haskins Top 12. So here we go in reverse order:

Right on the bubble (A Little Warm)

12. - Afleet Express (Hey, I picked a horse eligible for NWX1 here.)

11. - Afleet Again (Another Afleet Alex. This one cost me the Whirlaway enchilada. I'm not leaving him out.)

10. - Thank U Philippe (Yes, he's in Chuckles top 10 and thats no laughing matter.)

09. - Toboggan Slide (He's trained by Pletcher and that counts against him, but hes better than Discreetly Mine.)

08. - Supersaver (Another Pletcher trainee. What ya gonna do?)

07. - Wildcat Frankie (This horse has more ability than even his trainer knows. I'm not sure he'll get 10 panels, but he'll win more money than most on some lists.)

06. - Uh Oh Bango! (Yes...Chuckles likes the Bango.)

05. - Dryfly (Never...ever...discount Lynn Whiting.)

04. - Dublin (They say Lukas is over the hill, but theres some things to like.)

03. - Rule (Rushing towards the top with a bullet.)

02. - Jackson Bend (We gonna have us some fun.)

01. - Buddy's Saint (This one is probably a goner because Haskin and I agree.)

Chuckles list is as notable for the horses he dismisses as it is for the longshots he includes. Once again in reverse order or from least to most likely to make the May 1st starting gate and be a factor:

Vale of York - (lol you gotta be kidding me!)

Discreetly Mine - (Mineshaft well on his way to Bust)

Tiz Chrome - (Already called his two turn loss. Baffert needs to send him East and shorten him up.)

Lookin at Lucky - (Well the Baffert balloon has already burst. I'm probably not going to surprise many by letting them know that this is a turf horse.)

Nobles Promise - (Not impressed with the Breeders Futurity in any way.)

Eskendereya - (That NWX1 heat is starting to look a little soft)

Ron the Greek - (First Bubble Horse Alternate.)


17 Feb 2010 12:21 AM

I think it is too fast to place caracortado in the top 12. I mean we have too many high stakes races this week with the southwest, risen starm, and fountain of youth. My top 12 are

Lookin at Lucky

Buddy's Saint


Super Saver

Jackson Bend




Uh Oh Bango(which i am starting to question)

Noble's Promise

Stay Put

Laus Deo

This might change after this week

17 Feb 2010 12:22 AM
Forbidden Apple

Buddy's Saint did have a slow time in the Remsen, but he was running off from 3 weeks rest as a 2 year old in a 1 1/8 mile race! Even older horses are kept on the shelf for more than 3 weeks. I think you are forgetting that he ran 1:35 3/5 in the Nashua and earned a 101 beyer speed figure while pulling away from the field by 12 lengths. Both of his stakes victories were won under a hand ride. These prep races so far only have a few good prospects in each race, so the winners always appear to be better than they actually are. It is difficult to compare final times from different tracks. After saturday people should have a better feel for what kind of a horse Buddy's Saint is. He should win even though this is only a starting point for the pursuit of the KY Derby. I hate to be his cheerleader here, but this horse has speed, power, stamina, experience, and an effortless closing kick. His versatility reminds me of the way Barbaro and Big Brown waited for go time, and then plowed past their competition. Until I see some better horse come along, he is the number one.

17 Feb 2010 12:30 AM


Your updated list is easy to eliminate those that win not win and those who have a chance. I know your supporters are going state that I am crazy but who isn’t a bit crazy.

The following horses should be eliminated as no horse from the Raise A Native will win the 2010 Derby based on pattern analysis:

Lookin At Lucky

Super Saver


Jackson Bend


The RAN line won 7 out of the last 10 derbies. Five of the first six horses past the post in the 2009 Derby were from the RAN sire line.  The line ended the decade with a bang. It will not commence the new decade with any glory.

The following horses should be eliminated as the stallions from Storm Cat & A.P. Indy sire lines are derby cursed:



Discreetly Mine

Ron The Greek

Storm Cat & A.P. Indy are associated with a combined 154sons that have entered the breeding shed and subject to correction not one has sired the winner of a Triple Crown. The above four will not break the trend

Assuming the winner will come from your latest Dozen, we are therefore left with:

Buddy's Saint: Sired by a BCC winner. Only one winner of the BCC has sired Derby winner. Saint Liam was a quality racehorse from the Halo line that produced derby winners Sunny Halo & Sunday Silence. His dam line has no derby history but Blushing Groom sire the scintillating Arazi. He must have a shot if there is no Derby curse associated with BCC winners

Dave In Dixie: His sire is from the Northern Dancer line that has a better record on the broodmare side of the derby chart. His grandsire is broodmare sire of two derby winners. The ND sire line was associated with three derby winners in the last two decades. His dam is unraced and from the RAN line. Is it likely that another unraced broodmare from the RAN line will produce the 2010 Derby winner? It’s possible but a big long shot.

Pulsion: I was disappointed with hi BCJ effort but I am eagerly awaiting his return. He has the best credential of the dozen to win. His sire line has never featured in the derby but his sire earned 13 triple-digit Beyers in his final 15 starts, including back-to-back 117s. His dam was unraced but hails the Northern Dancer line that is most success broodmare line in Triple Crown history. Pulsion’s 3rd dam Hidden Glance is inbred to sibling Royal Charger & Tessa Gillian Both by (Nearco/Sun Princess) The second  dam of the  1986 Derby winner Ferdinand was inbred to siblings Bull Dog & Sir Gallahad both by (Teddy/Plucky Liege)

Of the Derby dozen, Pulsion seems to be the one best equipped to win.

17 Feb 2010 2:42 AM

Sorry Jason, but I agree with Matt on his Ron the Greek take.  His from out the clouds move in the Lecomte was similar to his other three starts and longer the better would seem to suit him.  He`ll be 5 wide again the the Risen Star Saturday.

I don`t care for the Southwest due to Oaklawn using a very short stretch for the race which will favor a front runner/stalker.  I think Citizen won the race last year and hasn`t been in the winner`s circle since.  I`ll take Cool Bullet in this one.

Buddy`s Saint and `Lucky looked good last year, but haven`t made a start in `10 so I have questions about them both.  Same goes for Interactif and Lentoner who`ve run well on turf.  The derby`s on dirt ya know.  Would Lentenor really get any ink if not for his brother?

Two year old graded earnings should not be used for derby elligibility or perhaps races less than a mile.  This would force the hand of trainers to run their 3 yo`s and would give fans better matchups.

Why do all of Pletcher`s horses go to the front?  Discreetly Mine will try to wire the Risen Star Saturday.

The Blue Grass has become irrelevant since they switched to polycrap.

The derby winner this year will come from the midwest or maybe even Sunland which should resemble a SA race except for another Pletcher front runner.

17 Feb 2010 3:52 AM

The Derby list :

1. Drosselmeyer;

2. Sidney's Candy;

3. Rule;

4. Buddy's Saint;

5. Super Saver;

6. Mendip;

7. Vale of York;

8. Lookin at Lucky;

9. Ron The Greek;





14.Hot Dixie Chick


16.American Lion

17.Jackson Bend

18.Discreetly Mine



17 Feb 2010 4:08 AM

Steve, I'd assume that you have not ranked either Vale of York or Pounced due to their current prep status overseas. Is there any news from the connections concerning their plans for preps here or their intentions to run in the Derby?

17 Feb 2010 7:11 AM
Fran Loszynski

I want Dublin to win the Southwest but boy if Calvin loves his horse and his horse likes him, watch out for that rail! I think Dublin and Dryfly are going to be head to head but Dublin will win the Southwest by 2 furlongs "The Machine". I like Terry Thompson as jockey too. I know  Steve, I'm watching for Dublin to stretch out too to see if he can go "Derby". Because the Belmont is a "really" big stretch to undertake. He's got his Dad's (Afleet Alex) determination and his back legs remind me so much of Barbaro's stride. It's good to hear his post position may change. I see Conveyance coming in 3rd.

17 Feb 2010 8:20 AM
Fran Loszynski

Sorry Steve I meant Dublin by 2 lengths not furlongs- sorry.

17 Feb 2010 8:47 AM

I want to wait and see what the coming weekend brings.  For Now, I still see Buddy's Saint on top, with Ron the Greek next, and Dave in Dixie sneaking in.  I'm not just looking at speed...I need to see stamina.  

According to Lucas, post positions will be re-drawn for the Southwest, and he's looking for a 5 gate for Dublin.  

17 Feb 2010 9:35 AM
Billy's Empire

Dave in Dixie looked great once he changed leads and started to lengthen his stride. I would love to see him come East ala I Want Revenge and take a few preps in NY, and then actually make it to the track on Derby Day.

My top 5 are

Rule (dirt)

Drosselmeyer (dirt)

Dublin (dirt)

Dave in Dixie (rubber)

Buddy's Saint (dirt)

see the trend. The only reason Dave is on here is b/c they are talking about shipping him East, otherwise I would not consider the horse. Other's to watch



Stay Put

Sydney's Candy

17 Feb 2010 10:58 AM
Alex PB

Derby Runners Classified:

Hyped w/ good chance:

 Buddy's Saint

 Jackson Bend

Overhyped with major weaknesses,


 Lookin at Lucky - not proven

  on dirt - keeps beating same

 Eskendereya - strictly 2nd tier

 Rule - Sammy Davis soft field,

 easy pace, 7-sec final fraction,

 sire shows limited stamina

Recent tosses:

 American Lyon

 Concord Point



Doubters Beware:

 Ron the Greek

 Fly by Phil

 Peppi Knows


 Stay Put

 Noble Promise

 Dave in Dixie

 Afleet Express (is he still


17 Feb 2010 10:58 AM

My list looks about the same as most. I just wanted to write in  about the name Caracortado. It means "cutface". If you remember the movie, Scarface,  I think it was the Columbian with the chainsaw, that called Tony, "cicatriz". That is the spanish translation for scarface. I am not a teacher, just wanted to let you all know that.

I really enjoy reading everyones comments.

17 Feb 2010 11:14 AM
It Aint Easy being good

I got laughed at for saying Dryfly's name earlier. Finally someone that thinks this horse is talented. Reminds me alot of old fashioned. When lentenor runs today and crushes he has to go on the derby dozen based on class and amazing talent. The people that dont think this horse is talented are crazy and the thing about lentenor is he is getting better and better and thats what you want to look for heading into the derby. I am telling you look out today at 4:43 when he wins by 3 lengths!

17 Feb 2010 11:37 AM

Take a good look at the top 15 to 20 contenders for the KY Derby....lots of colts with Slew bloodlines!  I predict the next Triple Crown winner will be of Slew bloodlines, no doubt about it...the BEST horse ever!  The only undefeated Triple Crown winner to date!!  Last but not least, we are still enjoying progeny of Slew...he keeps on giving back to Thoroughbred racing, year after year....the ultimate, consummate Thoroughbred!  Last year my selection early on was I Want Revenge...because of the name and the Slew bloodlines.  This year, it's Rule...or any colt w/Slew bloodlines! :)

17 Feb 2010 12:55 PM

I wonder how Joe Talamo feels about Sidney's Candy compared to IWR...

17 Feb 2010 1:19 PM

Here  are  a  few  that  may  improve  enough :


Sidney's Candy

Kettle River


Still  like  Buddy's  Saint  the  best.

17 Feb 2010 3:23 PM

I dont understand how you can toss a horse this early in the derby campaign... Espically a Southern Cali horse... If you can remember Silver Charm and Real Quiet had bad "bounce" races(Baffert Horses-Tiz Chrome)and with American Lion who Harty trains was part of the Baffert camp for ages and look where they are standing... I just think that it is a bad choice of words, Tiz Chrome and American Lion will be fine and are still in my top 6.

17 Feb 2010 3:25 PM

Congrats to my big brothers, Wavering Monarch's influence continues. Wavering Monarch's son Maria's Mon is not only the sire of Super Saver he is also the broodmare sire of Caracortado, the one Dave In Dixie almost caught last week. Dave In Dixie is out of a Wavering Monarch and bred by my big brothers. Guess who I will be cheering for!

17 Feb 2010 4:09 PM
Carlos in Cali

Ron the Greek has demonstrated he can close strongly on multiple tracks.Watch for him to continue his March towards May in the Risen Star vs. a tough & salty field.Discreetly Mine will be tough to collar though,and Hotep seems to be improving rapidly.This will be a very interesting race.

17 Feb 2010 4:09 PM


I believe Dublin's first dam, Classy Mirage, won the G2 Bed O' Roses Handicap at 4. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the BOR was run at 1 mile in 1994. Also, I believe she won the G1 Ballerina at 7/8 as a 5yo. Regardless, obviously not a stamina influence per se, but all class. I think Dublin is a serious horse, and I think he'll prove it this weekend.

17 Feb 2010 4:48 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Lentenor needs blinkers he still was a game 2nd today. I agree that you cant toss tiz or american lion especially tiz who fizzled around 2 turns. The good news about both of them losing is maybe the can now turn to a dirt surface to see what they are working with!

17 Feb 2010 5:06 PM
Kevin Stafford

Seems like we'll know a lot more about these guys in the coming weeks, but if you forced me to pick a top 10 at the moment, it would look something like this (although it changes virtually every moment...including while typing this!) :-)

1. Blind Luck (I know, Oaks instead of Derby)

2. Buddy's Saint (trust his dirt form a bit more than Lucky)

3. Vale of York (would be my #1 overall if I had any confidence he'll come back for the Derby...I do like him training in Europe more so than Dubai though).

4. Rule (feel he's overrated but for now I'll put him here)

5. Lucky (although I'll be rooting for Scarface to best him)

6. Herr Drosselmeyer (needs to show me something to keep this spot)

7. Scarface (Caracortado)

8. Ron the Greek (If all the Pletcher runners make it, I'll take anyone from off the pace)

9.  William's Kitten (hearing rumors that he's off the trail though).

10. D'funnybone - I predict he'll be in your top 12 after romping this weekend. Gorgeous looking colt who really has only run 1 "bad" race - and that was over the Pro Ride and he was very much in contention....until the real running began at the top of the stretch. Don't sell him too short though.

Just my 2 cents.

17 Feb 2010 5:36 PM

wow ho !!!  For all you "Lentenor" lover hopefuls DON'T FOR GET Pletcher's "Double's Partner" from here on out!!

17 Feb 2010 6:05 PM

ID:  I agree that Slew's the greatest...now consider Ron the Greek...Slew is his great grandsire.  And last year Friesan Fire was also in but didn't fire in the Ky Derby...and I loved I Want Revenge...can't wait to see how he comes back.

17 Feb 2010 6:34 PM

I hope Odysseus gets to prove his merit in stakes next out. His 15 length win on the dirt at Gulfstream Park says he is ready, even though it was allowance race.

17 Feb 2010 7:02 PM
El Kabong

Last year at this time, I was in Friesan's Camp, and quite content he would fire at FG & CD.

Year before, I was hoping Colonel John would take to dirt.

In 2008, I was all in on Hard Spun.

This year, I can honestly say that I have no strong feeling about any of them yet, and since the best I've done lately is 2nd, that may be a good omen.

Still, I liked what Super Saver revealed last year, Dave in Dixie threw down in RL, and what Concord Point exhibited his first time out. Kaleem Shah agreed with me on the last.

Good luck, Pay Attention, and thank your god we have someone brave enough to publish his annual Derby Dozen Pinata for all of you stick wielding know it alls.

17 Feb 2010 9:00 PM

Love Buddy's Saint, i see him running big in FOY.

Also, everyone watch out for Caracortado, I believe he was underrated in this Derby Dozen, his race was huge and he ran like he knew he was the best, pricking his ears at the end.

Also, I believe Lookin At Lucky is highly overrated.

17 Feb 2010 9:13 PM

It Aint Easy being good

Would you like to explain why Lentenor needs blinkers, I don't think he's a Derby contender but I would like to hear your reasoning.

17 Feb 2010 9:33 PM

El Kabong,

Loved your post, especially the last paragraph. LOL

17 Feb 2010 10:45 PM
It's been 31 years and is still 31.5 furlongs aways

I'm not sold on Looking at Lucky. Was he visually impressive in the BC Juv, yes, but I have no faith a 2yo race on synth as a Derby indicator. Everyone was high on Pioneer of the Nile last year, but it's fairly obvious if Midshipman, Quality Road and I Want Revenge had still been healthy he wouldn't have been close to the board in the derby. That's who Looking at Lucky reminds me off.

I don't think Vale of York has a shot either. History shows the BC Juv/ Derby double just doesn't happen very often.

I'm going to name Buddy's Saint my early favorite, after seeing him run well on short rest and beating me in the Remsen, but a lot of good horses will run this weekend...

18 Feb 2010 12:04 AM


Rule has moved up four spots on your revised dozen for his Sam Davis effort. That’s a significant jump for a performance that is on or below those of past winner of the race. Todd Pletcher's horses have won three of the last four running of the Davis and ironically all the winners have been owned by WinStar Farms or in partnershhip with.

Bluegrass Cat won in a time of 1:44.17. He went on to be 2nd in both the Derby and Belmont. He was a far better 3YO than Rule.

Any Given Saturday won in a time of 1:44.27. He went to win the Wood and was 5th or 6th in the Derby. He was a far more imposing figure than Rule. Remember he destroyed NoBiz in the Wood and Curlin & Hard Spun in the Haskell

Rule won in a time of 1:44.15. I refuse to believe that a stallion that has been bred to almost 200 mares in 2006 will be the sire of the 2010 Derby winner. Rule like Bluegrass Cat is a January foal. January foal rarely win the derby because they always end up with soundness issues i.e., Old Fashioned, Dunkirk, Imperial Council etc. January foals maturity advantages help them early in the 3YO season but not on the 1st Saturday in May. Both Any Given Saturday and Bluegrass Cat were impressive winners of the Davis but failed to win the derby. Rule Sam Davis effort should be seen for what it represents and that is; on par with previous Pletcher winners that subsequently failed to win the derby.

NB: Subject to correction, General Quarters holds the stakes record for the Davis of 1:43.54. I do not recall any rush to crown him 2009 derby winner. No winner of The Davis has won the derby to date. He is not the one. Focus on the one in the Cal Derby.

18 Feb 2010 12:59 AM

The Derby list :

1. Drosselmeyer;

2. Sidney's Candy;

3. Rule;

4. Buddy's Saint;

5. Super Saver;

6. Mendip;

7. Vale of York;

8. Lookin at Lucky;

9. Ron The Greek;





14.Hot Dixie Chick


16.American Lion

17.Jackson Bend

18.Lost Aptutude

19.Stay Put


21.Tiz Chrome


23.Maximus Ruler

24.Soaring Empire

25.D' Funnybone

26.General Maximus

27.William's Kitten


29.Discreetly Mine

30.Laus Deo

18 Feb 2010 3:16 AM
Fran Loszynski

The Southwest Stakes will tell alot Saturday about the Derby.

Good Luck Dublin

Your long legs and strong body will touch the red clay hills of Ireland.

Your nostrils will fill with the wind of the desert sand where racehorses first set their pace.

And your heart will beat fast as your Father Afleet Alex breathes that day--Go Dublin, Go Terry, Go Alex.

18 Feb 2010 7:42 AM

I`m tired of hearing about Lentenor who hasn`t really accomplished anything.  His hype has all been based on his brother Barbaro`s feats.  I never had him on any of my lists and am sure glad I never included him in any of my contest stables.  Same goes for Interactif.  One of these could still get into the derby IMO if they somehow could win the Blue Grass on Keeneland`s playdoh surface.  Then we`ll likely get another Dominican on derby day.

18 Feb 2010 8:03 AM

I guess we can add Double's Partner to the derby trail. Looking forward to the races this weekend.

18 Feb 2010 8:22 AM

I know alot of people are disappointed that Lentenor didn't take the step forward that would have propelled him on to the Derby path.  He ran a game race, a good race, but he is not ready for a big jump in class.  

The horse I saw yesterday ready for a class jump is Odysseus.  He won by 15 in 1:44 and change yesterday, favorable to Rule's time in the Sam Davis.

18 Feb 2010 10:36 AM


Rule is certainly, on performance and looks, one of the most impressive 3YO colts seen out so far.  Therefore he definitely belongs in the upper echelons of everyones derby list as of now.  Another fact check: You were also wrong about Any Given Saturday defeating Nobiz Likeshowbiz in the Wood Memorial.  Just keeping you honest Bro.

18 Feb 2010 1:08 PM

#1, until proven otherwise, is Buddy's Saint. He is doing it the old-fashioned way. Strong races at 2, winter break, now training super. Not known how good he is yet. FOY will tell a lot. #2, Lookin at Lucky. What has he done wrong? Running BIG every time, beautiful stride, digs in when asked. #3, Noble's Promise. He is fast, talented, and loves to run.

18 Feb 2010 1:34 PM

Frankly I don't think Buddy's Saint has beaten anything, he beat Peppi Knows who came back and won, against a FIVE horse field, in which the 1/5 favorite blew the first turn. He has to prove himself, plus I don;t think he will get the distance on Saturday. I will take Lost Aptitude in the FOY, Stay Put in the Risen Star, and Dryfly in the Southwest.

18 Feb 2010 4:31 PM

Coldfacts said: "January foal rarely win the derby because they always end up with soundness issues i.e., Old Fashioned, Dunkirk, Imperial Council etc."

Junk like that is why I can't take you very seriously. You really think that January foals "always" end up with soundness issues? Do you think that Rachel Alexandra (born Jan. 29, 2006) would have lost the Derby last year had she run? If she had run and lost, it wouldn't have been because she was unsound. She had a pretty vigorous campaign last year and never had any unsoundness issues. Bluegrass Cat didn't place 2nd in his Derby because he was unsound -- he placed 2nd because no one was beating Barbaro that day.

Maybe not as many January foals win the Derby simply because not as many foals are born that month as later in the season; there's simply a greater statistical chance of Derby winning foal being born sometime between late February through early May because that's when most foals are born.

18 Feb 2010 6:15 PM


 I don't know if you would have the answer to this question, but I know from your earlier blogs that you have been watching this horse too.  LaPenta/Zito's Our Dark Knight ran a very convincing race at Saratoga back in August and I thought he would progress to be a very nice horse, but we haven't seen him since!  What's going on, is he hurt or are they just saving him for the right race?

Thanks Steve!

18 Feb 2010 7:12 PM
Carlos in Cali

Wow,Odysseus sure looked good romping in yesterday's allowance race @ Tampa. And racing on that deep surface should be to his benefit if he aims towards the Derby. Albertrani is a great horseman,he's got a solid pedigree and I'll rank him right up there w/the leading up & coming Derby prospects who have yet to win or place in a Stakes race. I'll also keep an eye on First Dude & Fly Down in that 1 1/8 allowance race on Sunday @ GP where they'll meet one of Pletcher's guns,Colizeo.

I wasn't impressed with Jackson Bend's Holy Bull performance giving that they crawled home the last 1/8th. Plus,he's tiny and the added distance vs. tougher will not be to his liking IMO. It looks like a mile will be his limit,as most Calder Florida Stallion Series runners tend to be. If Buddy's Saint wins the FOY(1 1/8) off of the lay-off then he's a serious,serious race horse. Initially I was leaning towards Ice Box for the upset win,but after he drew the far outside I'm thinking Prince Will I Am will improve off his 2nd place showing vs. Drosselmeyer in his last start. Yup,I'm throwing out the Pletcher horses thinking they'll be on the pace & give way down the stretch.

Ron The Greek will have plenty of pace to set up his BIG stretch kick in the Risen Star with Tempted To Tapit and Discreetly Mine amongst the pace-setters. Drosselmeyer is well thought of and just won a 1 1/8 allowance race @ GP,many people were impressed by it.Hotep is rapidly improving,but drew the extreme outside post,too bad. After Ron The Greek runs this field down in his usual manner,there should be no doubt he's the real deal.Take heed with this improving colt,he always runs his race.

18 Feb 2010 7:21 PM
Carlos in Cali

Thx,Kim... lol

Like they say: too much of anything is bad for you in the long run.

18 Feb 2010 7:28 PM

Just gonna throw this out there Carlos in Cali, Discreetly Mine probably won't get out of the gate as quick as usual off the layoff, and other than Tempted to Tapit there won't be much pace at all. And I don't believe Amoss can hold a good horse together for too long.

19 Feb 2010 12:05 AM

Eskendereya goes to the head of the class this weekend in the FOY.  Buddy's Saint and Jackson Bend should follow him home as the classy ones separate themselves but at this stage surprises are always in the offing with these rapidly developing 3YO colts.  I am also curious to see if Jackson Bend can overcome the stamina limitations in his pedigre.  

19 Feb 2010 12:53 AM


You are correct I cited the wrong race. I have to stop posting when I am tired. I should have cited the Dwyer Stakes. Now that I have conceded my error, let me address the impressive Rule. The Kentucky Derby is not a beauty contest and I hardly pay attention to looks. On the subject of performance, I do believe you seriously need to reassess Rule.

Fact Check-

(a)The Delta Jackpot has been run at 8.5F seven times since its inauguration. Rule’s winning time of 1:45.63 all out ranks as #6. It probably would be #7 if not for the fact that the 2004 renewal won by Texcess was contested on a sloppy track. Who was he all out to beat? Uh Oh Bango who won his career debut at Prairie Meadows. A product of Top Hit an AZ stallion THAT bred 22 MARES IN 2006. So let’s see, he defeated a horse with a relatively unknown sire in the 6th slowest time in the history of the race. (Impressive)

(b)His Sam Davis time of 1:44 .15 is on par with those of Fierce Wind 1:44.13 & Blue Grass Cat 1:44.17 all recorded in the last four renewals. If Rule was impressive, what classification would you apply to General Quarters whose 2009 winning effort established a stakes record? Behind General Quarters was the eventual 3rd place finisher in the Derby the highly regarded Musket Man. If your standard for impressive represents performances that do not supersede the average, then the bar is set too low. If you compare Rule’s Davis performance to those of Ron The Greek who closed from another ZIP Code to win the Lecomte and A Little Warm who galloped powerfully to victory on the wrong lead in the Spectacular Bid, I am sure you will have a better perspective of what constitutes an impressive performance.

Rule is average at best and is not a serious derby contender. I recommend you redirect your attention to the only Pletcher horse that I think has a chance of winning the derby – Connemara. His dam is also the dam of Haskell Invitational winner and Derby runner up Lion Heart. She started 78 times and is without question an iron horse. My only reservation with Connemara is the fact that his dam produced a derby runner up. Can she follow up with a Derby winner?  It’s possible! Never Knock was the dam of the 1990 Derby 3rd place finisher Pleasant Tap. She followed up with 1994 Derby winner Go For Gin. Strange history is made in the derby Connemara does not have the tactical speed possessed by Lion Heart but will run all day.

Rule’s dam was sired by a great grandson of Damascus. No Damascus line stallion has sired a derby winning broodmare to date. Mr. Leader the dam sire of Connemara is a son of Hail To Reason. Hail To Reason was the sire of 1967 Derby winner Proud Clarion and his son Stop The Music the dam sire of Giacomo. It is better to focus on Connemara as he has the more proven dam line. Lest keep it real, both the stallions that sired these two colts have been commercially abused (Bred to almost 200 mares 1n 2006). The toughness of Connemara dam is bound to be a positive.

19 Feb 2010 3:01 AM

KIM, many thanks for your wide ranging comments.

“Junk like that is why I can't take you very seriously”

This is a forum where opinions and views are expressed. You may not agree with a lot of opinions advanced by posters but your disagreement does not render any opinion Junk. You are at liberty to disagree but you should aspire to do so in a civil manner. You do not have exclusivity on rudeness.

“Do you think that Rachel Alexandra (born Jan. 29, 2006) would have lost the Derby last year had she run?”

I am not one to get into hypotheticals, but I will give it my best shot.

The distance of the Preakness is about 9.5F and she had to be fully extended to stave off the derby winner. The derby winner is a pint sized gelding that ran very hard two weeks earlier in the derby; was allowing her 5lbs along with her 3 months, 10 days maturity advantage. I could ask a some what similar question. Do you think Rachel Alexandra would have won the Preakness if the distance were 10F? Her diminishing margin of victory suggests she would not have been effective at the derby distance. However.

I am aware Rachel is a January Foal and may just be an exception. Probably a January foaling date does not impact fillies as much as colts. Horses in their natural habitat in this hemisphere normally foal in the Spring & Summer months. In so doing the foals are not subjected to the harshness of the winter months. Most January foals are products of manipulated conception. The mare are put under light and tricked into believing the days are longer similar to the spring and summer months. If the gestation period for a mare is 11 months, she would have to be served approximately February to produce a January foal. Breeding to get January foals in most instances is done to have a maturity advantage come the 1st Saturday in May. I consider January foals to be like fruits out of season. That said there exception to every rule. Bluegrass Cat was beaten in the Derby and Belmont by colt over which he had a maturity advantage. He suffered a career ending injury after the Travers. The last January foal to win the derby was Grindstone and retired five days after. Of the long list of January foals that came to prominence in 2009, Rachel seems to be the only one left standing. I must concede I tend to eliminate January foal from derby winning consideration for the reason specified above. Is this approach representative of Junk? Probably! But you know the old idiom 'One man's trash/junk is another man's treasure'

19 Feb 2010 3:09 AM
Kevin Stafford

Steve, like many above, I'm jumping on the Odysseus bandwagon.

I've consulted the Oracle of Delphi on the matter, and apart from her usual warnings about the folly of invading Persia, she's informed me that Odysseus will indeed be the horse for the 2010 Kentucky Derby.  :-)


19 Feb 2010 10:23 AM

Kevin Stafford,

Thank you for the link to a very entertaining post. I voted that it's too early to tell about Odysseus but he certainly is one to follow. Great name! Worthy of KD winner.

The author mentions Steve Haskin, that made him an automatic genius in my eyes.

19 Feb 2010 2:47 PM

I commend you in placing Coracortado in the top ten. I myself was very unsure of the horse heading into the Lewis. I saw his victory back on Dec. 26 and while it was impressive he did not give the indication he would beat top flight horses. The win while perhaps aided by the pace of the race was very impressive. He shows a nice kick coming into and out of the final turn. This is a move that often dictates the winner of the Kentucky Derby. Though I harbor no illusions that this is the derby winner, he does appear to have the style to win it. But likely in the end he will just be another Larrythelegend.

19 Feb 2010 3:52 PM
Carlos in Cali

Jason,..Discreetly Mine raced last month in the 6f Spectacular Bid Stakes and has had blazing workouts since then,he's plenty fit and I say they're gonna' send him outta' the gate. He'll be tough to collar and the pace should be somewhat similar to the one in the LeComte which will favor RTG's devastating kick. Plus,Amoss(off the top of my head),I believe trained the Champion mare Heritage of Gold & Take Charge Lady to multiple Gr.I winning seasons.He's good enough of a trainer,IMO.

19 Feb 2010 5:08 PM
Steve Haskin

Runfortheroses, Our Dark Night is working, and I'm still waiting for him to show up in the entries. The Derby obviously is out, but I'm looking down the road with him.

19 Feb 2010 7:10 PM
Forbidden Apple

Take Charge Lady was trained by Ken McPeek. What a wonderful horse she was. I agree, the pace will be fast in the Risen Star. I'll be boxing Hotep with Ron The Greek.

Does anyone else like Radiohead in the Hutcheson?

19 Feb 2010 9:40 PM

My bad on Discreetly Mine, I had forgotten about the Specatular Bid, as far as Amoss goes, he has had two G1 horses in his career, but as of late his "big" horses haven't held together much, Backtalk, Oakk Motte, Wicked Uno to name a few.

19 Feb 2010 9:48 PM


Do you have any picks this weekend for the 3yo preps?

19 Feb 2010 11:12 PM
John T

I don,t know how many of you remember the popular 1960,s tv show

called The Fugitive starring the late David Jansen as Dr.Richard Kimble but the narrator at the start of the show always stated the

following ''When Fate Moves It,s Huge Hand''And what a huge hand fate moved in the sport of horse racing this week moving the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park from Monday to Saturday joining the Fountain Of Youth,The Risen Star,and The Real Camino Derby.What an awful lot we should learn about the Kentucky Derby this Week-end all because fate decided to use it,s huge hand.

20 Feb 2010 12:23 AM
Sandra in Lexington

Love the looks of Rule and think it's going to be Pletcher's year.  Wishing my hometown newspaper would put more horse racing on their front sports cover than college basketball...

20 Feb 2010 11:40 AM

Was very impressed with Conveyance, cant recall a horse going that fast early and hanging around to win at Oaklawn. He was tired last eigth for sure but over that track to be expected. Hope he stays at OP for Rebel will be a tough horse to handle.

20 Feb 2010 7:14 PM

Eskendereya's running action reminded me so much of the immortal Secretariat that I got goose pimples watching him trample the FOY field.  I believe we've just seen the 2010 Kentucky Derby winner and I'll go further (sticking my neck out) to predict at this point that Todd Pleatcher will become a Hall of Famer at year's end when he has dominated all three legs of the Triple Crown.  Call me crazy but I like to call them early and there's more to come after the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial etc.  Let's just say that an unprecedented Derby trifecta looms on the horizon. You heard it first from Ranagulzion. Shalom.

20 Feb 2010 9:52 PM


You had better start preparing to eat belly-fulls of crow on this year's triple crown trail because this is Todd Pleacher's year to make history (which you'll be reflecting on in years to come). Eskendereya, Rule, Discretely Mine, Connemara and the soon-to-be-unleashed Super Saver are going to give you nightmares my friend.  Your pedigree analysis on both Rules and Eskendereya is seriously flawed. Anyway I don't wish to go over ground already covered in our previous discussion on the pedigree angle of these two colts.  Suffice it to say that their performances to date are supporting my position and you are going to be very hard pressed to argue convincingly otherwise.

21 Feb 2010 1:42 AM

After a full day of watching races, yelling at the TV, and scaring my sedentary cats, all I can say is "WOW"!  FOY -I have to note that as well as he did, Jackson Bend looked like a little girl playing dress up in Mom's clothes wearing a saddle cloth that looked way too big on him.  Eskendereya was awesome, Jackson Bend (like the little engine that could....but couldn't) ran gamely...just not enough yesterday.  Buddy's Saint needs a new jockey.  I'm not about to count him out...he had a terrible ride.  I'm hoping he's okay after some terrible decisions by his jockey. Risen Star...good race by Discretely Mine and Tempted to Tapit, but I honestly cannot yet count out Ron the Greek.  He remains in my top 5.  (I have high hopes).  SW...Wow...between Conveyance and Dublin, it was easy to not notice all of the other contenders. However I did notice Mission Impazzible who also ran well.  (In a prior race...please someone tell Wallace how to pronounce New Madrid who came in 2nd. It's not nice to dis a Rock Hard Ten baby...especially one that looks like daddy).  Those really close races between  Karelian and Gio Ponti...then another thriller with Jody Slew and Quiet Temper were awesome. Finally...welcome back Bob Black Jack.  

21 Feb 2010 7:31 AM

On a side note...there was one lead "pony" at the Fair Grounds (and I loosely use the term pony) who was a dark bay who was HUGE!  He was bigger than any horse racing there yesterday.  Does any one know who he is????

21 Feb 2010 7:52 AM
Forbidden Apple

Wow, the next Secretariat! Triple Crown winner! You must be another Pletcher groupie that thinks Quality Road will be horse of the year. Of course Eskendereya looked good yesterday, but lets wait and see how he does with some added pace pressure and away from Gulfstream. I do not like the Gulfstream surface and give no merit to fast times. How do you think Eskendereya will run when Conveyance is looking him in the eye?

21 Feb 2010 10:21 AM


I agree with your comment about Eskendereya's low neck running action. Watching the slow motion replay remind me so much of Secretariat. With Eskendereya's  impeccible balanced pedigree, he should stretch out nicely.  

21 Feb 2010 11:40 AM

Slew, funny you should mention the Fair Grounds lead pony.  The "pony" who caught my attention was the one who led Eskendereya off the track at GS.  Wow! also huge, prancing & bobbing his head - you'd have thought he was the winner!  I'm thinking that horse would be magnificent in dressage.

Watched so many race videos yesterday....have to say the one that stood out most to me was Connemara's run at Golden Gate.  The way he moved out from last and circled the field was Zenyatta-esque, just beautiful!  A perfect trip by Russell Baze.  Is GG's surface Tapeta?  I hadn't paid much attention to Connemara before but will sure do so now.

D'Funnybone has muscled up nicely since last I saw him as a 2yo; hope to see him at more distance next race.  

Derby-wise, I thought Dublin's placing bodes better than Conveyance's win in the SW. JMHO.

oh, and Helen Belen. Would love to know where that name came from! We'll be seeing more of that filly, betcha.

Lastly: Bob Black Jack rocks!

21 Feb 2010 11:54 AM
Bloodline Bob


21 Feb 2010 12:07 PM

   Ok, when one is wrong, it is good for the soul to confess he was wrong. I was wrong about “Eskendereya”.

   To my defense, one might remember that I once said earlier, …that…“with all the “Storm Cat” breds out this year that maybe one might break through”. Of the horses and races run as preps this weekend, “Eskendereya’s” was the most impressive. Double bred to “Bold Ruler”; “Northern Dancer”; and “Hail to Reason”, with a little “Blushing Groom” and “Raise a Native” thrown into the mix, “Eskendereya” may give “Storm Cat”--( a dismal 0  0  0  0  0  0  0 , etc. and etc. in the Derby !!!!)-- his best chance to break out of that pattern since “Blue Grass Cat”. Hopefully, this will also not be another one time “Bellamy Road” run. In any event, he has marked himself as the favorite in the Florida Derby if that is his chosen route.

  Other reasonable wins or runs that were mildly impressive were: “Connemero” with his 1:51 + 1 1/8 victory; “Conveyance” the ever consummate; and even “Dublin” charging to the end making up ground after lung surgery and his layoff. Am I still wondering now how far “D’Funnybone” can go??? But, it was nice to see him nearing some form again after the mild winter layoff, even though I admit that I was secretly routing for the Virginia bred “A Little Warm” who may still grow. And, is Pletcher really attempting to get stakes earnings for eight or even more Derby qualifiers??? Maybe they should make a rule and limit a trainer to the number of entries in the Derby allowed??

  I suppose the biggest let down to the fans and the bettors this Saturday was that of “Buddy’s Saint’s” meltdown. Why was there no jockey’s objection??. was my first question. But, if Aikenite can come back and run 3rd after the rearward confrontation, what does that say about “Buddy’s Saint” or the jockey??? And, these boys better get use to ‘rubbing and racing’ cause the Derby gate is a traffic zoo stampede jam. Speaking of the gate, I don’t remember seeing so many in one weekend having trouble getting out of the gate. Don’t they train these runners that first they have to GET OUT OF THE GATE!???!!

  The “Discreetly Mine’s” Risen Star win was a mild shock, but the slow time and the fact that no one in that field could ever even challenge the two front runners,--he and “Tempted to Tapit”,--that took the early lead as expected, says tons about the overall weakest at this point within the rest of that field. Hopefully, some few will mature from within that field,--maybe before the Belmont???,--like “Drosselmeyer” with his skyward Tomlinson distance rating so high, and etc.

  “Eskendereya’s”  1:12.41;  1:36.54;   1:48.87; was also mildly reasonably impressive, considering he was not pressured at all in the stretch, but it surely makes one go back and think about “Westshore” by “Saint Liam”-((s.d.s. “Quiet American”-“Fappiano”/“Alexi Dancer-A.P. Indy”-((d.d.s.s. Nijinsky (Can.))); with his gutsy finish of   1:13.12;  1:37.12;   1:48.78; in comparison--and another Early Derby Nominee I might add,--and that close--(though on the Turf!!!)--to get his 3 year old ‘MAIDEN WIN” out of the way in the earlier preliminary run back in Race #5 !!

  Thusly, are we yet awaiting still yet another dozen or more newcomers??? And, just how many others will make the--at the moment soon required--career change and come off the grass and start earning the needed Stakes required bankroll to even get cinsdieration and into the Derby mix?? How about you “Doubles Partner”?

  Awe, one weekend of major preps out of the way and behind us and March still left to open even wider our eyes.  

21 Feb 2010 1:59 PM


You must be relatively new on here or you wouldn't be suggesting that I'm a "Pletcher groupie" as you call it.  I was perhaps the first one, a season or two ago, to chide Todd Pletcher for his apalling record in the Derby and I took him to task last year over his "rabbit" idea with Dunkirk vs Quality Road (trained by Jimmy Jerkins in the Florida Derby) so speak easy my friend.  Also, I have NOT YET said that Eskendereya will win the Triple Crown but honestly I've thought about him in that way, based mainly on pedigree, since his impressive performance in the Pilgrim Stakes as a 2YO.  Reacting to his FOY tour de force I only said that his galloping action reminded me of the late great Secretariat and gave me goose bumps as he squandered the opposition.  Regardless of your dislike for Gulfstream, this colt acts on grass and dirt effectively and has scored at Belmont Park.  

However I'm on record on these blogs as suggesting that he has the pedigree to go all the way, assuming the talent is there.  At that time I was very high on D'Funnybone but was in doubt about that one's stamina from a pedigree stand point (notwithstanding that it was 2YOs being observed and analysed).  You see FA many brilliant thoroughbreds can be spotted from very early in their careers.  Some are even spotted in terms of their disposition and attitudes (intangibles I admit) on the farms by people who have an eye for the extraordinary, so don't be so cynical.  You may be a hindsight specialist but there are many racing connoiseurs with tremendous foresight.  We're not always right and as you should know the thoroughbred is quite a fickle wonder so lets give and take a little.

BTW I do agree that Conveyance looks special too but he may be one dimensional in his running style and have stamina limitations whereas Eskendereya has already shown ability to come from well of the pace and posseses great tactical speed.  With much scope for improvement according to Todd Pletcher and Johnny Velasquez, we might see a relatively small field facing him in the Derby if he blows away the opposition again in the Florida Derby.  Think again Pal.

21 Feb 2010 2:59 PM


You actually think the Derby is gonna be a small field because Eskendereya had an impressive win, you must be not understand horseman very well.

21 Feb 2010 6:58 PM
Kelly Bold As Love

I think that Dave in Dixie's sub 30 second final 3/8's in the Robert B. Lewis makes him a top five derby candidate.  With that kind of closing ability, I think that the extra distance will only help as the preps get longer.

21 Feb 2010 9:16 PM
Line from David

The average opening half mile in the derby over the past ten years has been :46 and change.  I think that this derby could be even faster with front-runners like Discreetly Mine and Conveyance in the mix.  I think that sets up well for horses like Eskendereya and Dave in Dixie.

21 Feb 2010 9:19 PM
Forbidden Apple

Yes, I am new on these blogs,so what? I have eyes and ears, work with horses, and have been watching the KY Derby closely for the past 25 years. A small field in he KY Derby is just as ridiculous as saying he might be a Triple Crown candidate that resembles Secretariat. Secretariat is easily my favorite horse of all time and Eskendereya is far from being at that level. You can disrespect me, but leave Secretariat out of it. I loved Buddy's Saint yesterday even though I thought he would not be near 100% in a prep race. If he won I would not be mentioning him as a Triple Crown candidate. I agree that talent can be predicted early on, but everyone watched what you watched yesterday. I apologize for linking you with the likes of Itssoeasy and others that are in love with Pletcher's regime.

I will stand by my opinion that Conveyance is a serious threat to any speedy Pletcher horse. And I completely agree with Coldfacts, the KY Derby seems to always have a blistering pace. War Emblem is the last front runner that I remember winning the KY Derby. I prefer horses that come from a little bit off the pace and make their own race, like Point Given, Barbaro, Big Brown. I admire your early prediction on Eskendereya, but keep an Open Mind.

21 Feb 2010 9:34 PM


I do understand horsmen and Kentucky Derby history very well.  I do believe that if Eskendereya has another runaway victory in the Florida Derby we will not be seeing the use of the auxillary gate to load a twenty horse field.  I think the last time that we had a Derby field without the use of the auxillary gate was in 1997 when Silver Charm, Pulpit, Free House and Capt. Budget were the stand out horses.  Back in the glorious seventies the Derby fields were smaller for obvious reasons ...Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed and Spectacular Bid.  Perhaps another tour d'force by Eskendereya in the Florida Derby, Rule in the Arkansas Derby and Super Saver in the Wood Memorial will scare all pretenders away.  Lets watch and see.  

21 Feb 2010 10:45 PM

Kentucky Derby usually has large fields; it's the Preakness and Belmont that seem to thin out the competition.  Aikenite was bumped x2 by Buddy's Saint, but Buddy (thanks to a bad ride) ricocheted back and forth between Aikenite and the rail about 4x's.  If Lezcano could ride like Borel, he might have squeezed through the first time, but he went a little wide and bumped Aikenite...then the rail, then Aikenite again when the hole closed...and then the rail again.  I think it really knocked the wind out him, which might explain why he did so poorly. Aikenite was not as abused, and ran a better race.  I'm not about to count out Buddy's Saint, or even Ron the Greek.  As spectacular as Conveyance was, I think Dublin earned top spot because his late run was superb. Eskendereya has also taken one of the top 5 spots, but I found Discretely Mine unimpressive. I like Dave in Dixie much better. We're so fortunate to have so many

fantastic colts and fillies to watch this year...my cup runneth over!

22 Feb 2010 8:33 AM


Things happen out of the gate, Lezcano didn't really do anything wrong, you can't always get the perfect trip. Saying that Borel is basically better than Lezcano is down right ridiculous.

22 Feb 2010 9:11 AM

On the rail, Borel is the best.  Did you see him with Miss Izella and Mine that Bird?  It was still Buddy who first bumped Aikenite while there was still room on the rail.  After that, Buddy's Saint was like a pinball.  And they were already into the first turn, not just out of the gate, where I might expect jostling.  

22 Feb 2010 9:52 AM

PS, I'll add...Borel over 4500 wins.  Lezcano 144 wins.  YES, Borel is better than Lezcano.

22 Feb 2010 10:01 AM

lol @ Small field for the Derby??? You don't think the owners want to smooze and drink Mint Juleps with the other owners and their horse in the mix even if he is at 99-1??? Do their really care whether the have a shot at the purse money???

 Gee , anyone who drops out scared of another horse will just open the door for Pletcher to get his entire entourage and 15 owners together for the "Pletcher Derby"!!

22 Feb 2010 11:55 AM

P.S. Seems like little mention is being given to "Fly Downs'" victory over "First Dude" and "Colizeo" even though a strangely small ass field!!! Possibly another to keep an eye on! Aye ???

22 Feb 2010 12:18 PM


Where are you getting your numbers? 2009 Jose Lezcano won 227 races,Borel won 140. But I still don't base my reasoning on wins, Borel wins races at Churchill and Oaklawn, nowhere else. You don't here about Borel at Saratoga where he stays all summer, and he doesn't make much noise at Keeneland. Lezcano wins at the best tracks on a daily basis. Not to mention he is one of the best turf riders in the nation as well.

22 Feb 2010 12:36 PM

Hey, out there!

Does anyone have a line on what the following horses are currently up to:


"Dixie Band";

"Outlaw Man";

"Excessive Passion";


"Twirling Candy"; or

"Fast Alex"...

22 Feb 2010 12:36 PM

For 2009, their percentages are equal.  But Calvin ranks 10th, while Lezcano ranks 19th.  Nothing changed the fact that Lezcano made an error in judgement in trying to run Buddy's Saint through a hole that didn't exist. His skill however, did help to prevent Buddy from going down when it looked imminent that he might.

22 Feb 2010 1:13 PM


The writing is on the wall.  We are loooking at a Pletcher Derby this year.  Pletcher detractors are going to be having nightmares throughout this years Triple Crown races I think.  I'll be interested to hear him comment on what has changed in his approach to his Derby aspirants this year.

22 Feb 2010 3:15 PM
Carlos in Cali

Buddy's Saint deserves a mulligan,he's better than that plus he got pounded.Eskendereya's win was visually impressive,but I'm not jumping on his bandwagon.The race resembled a merry-go-round throughout except when the surprising pace setter stopped running.And Pletcher's horses always perform well in the preps...too much too soon.

I mentioned that Discreetly Mine would be sent to the lead and he'd be tough to catch,but the pedestrian-like splits he set was surprising to say the least.I'm not giving up on RtheG just yet,he obviously needs a faster pace to chase,but he also needs to be in closer contention early on.Maybe the addition of blinkers will do the job along with a jockey upgrade and if he's still around for the Derby,the pace will definitely be to his liking.Stay tuned..

Conveyance ran lights-out in the Southwest while setting fast fractions and almost paid the price down the lane.Gutsy score which might serve him well as he continues on the Derby trail,other's think he might regress a little in his next outing.Dublin's comeback was pretty good considering he broke a tad bit slow & had to go wide around the far turn.The sustained move he made looked even more impressive as the field started to back-up after chasing those quick splits.He run a helluva' race but,understandably flattened out the final 1/16th.These 2 should lock horns once again in the coming preps @ Oaklawn.


Calm down & hold your horses(literally),I'm afraid you're setting yourself up for a rather rude awakening come the 1st Sat. in May.As of now,most of Pletcher's horses are up on or near the lead types which will be their downfall in the Derby.Stay thirsty my overly-caffeinated friend.

Odysseus will be the household name come this spring/summer/fall.

23 Feb 2010 12:51 PM


Let Odysseus put away Uptowncharlybrown in the Tampa bay Derby before I'll take a second look at him. So far it seems that we are only agreeing on the chances of Ron The Greek as a good Derby contender if the pace scenario suits him.  Good closer as he looks though, he may not be able to peg back the likes of Rules and Super Saver (don't even think about "Esken").  Rules toys with horses on the front end and refuses to be passed in the lane.  Super Saver flashes sprinters fractions and is still able to find another gear when asked in the stretch, therefore the Todd Squad could quite conceivably have the Derby all to themselves when they straighten for home. Wake up "van winkle"!

24 Feb 2010 12:18 AM

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