March 22, 2010 - Presented by Darby Dan

With so many one-dimensional speed horses this year, many of whom were in the Top 12, I’m making a major overhaul this week, dropping several of those types who look like they will be at a major disadvantage going 1 1/4 miles with a contentious pace. Horses like Conveyance and Sidney’s Candy can get back on if they show enough in their next start to indicate the Derby might be within their reach. We’re concentrating more now on horses who have shown they have the running style, pedigree, fitness, class, and toughness to handle a race like the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). I’ve been unable to sort out the California horses, so I’ve decided to let them sort themselves out April 3 in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), and watch for Dave in Dixie and possibly American Lion on the dirt somewhere. And I’m keeping a close eye on Drosselmeyer, Stay Put, and Mission Impazible in the March 27 Louisiana Derby (gr. II). Even a come-from-the-clouds closer like Ron the Greek bears watching if he can get a fast pace. Drosselmeyer, especially, has a lot of room for improvement.

In a bit of irony, three of Nick Zito’s best 3-year-olds—Ice Box, Jackson Bend, and Our Dark Knight, an impressive maiden winner March 20—are all out of Tabasco Cat mares. It was Tabasco Cat who defeated Zito’s Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin in the 1994 Preakness and Belmont (both gr. I; Go For Gin was second in both races), costing him the Triple Crown. The other irony is that this is the 25th anniversary of Spend a Buck’s Derby, and Ice Box’s second dam is a half-sister to Spend a Buck.


Eskendereya Todd Pletcher

Giant's Causeway—Aldebaran Light, by Seattle Slew

Normally don’t like horses having their schedule changed at the last minute, but the Wood (gr. I) looks to be a much better spot for him. He’ll get tested and will be tighter and tougher coming back in four weeks instead of six. Extremely flattered by Fla. Derby 1-2 finishers, whom he demolished in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (gr. II), but the pace that day was much slower.


Lookin at Lucky Bob Baffert

Smart Strike—Private Feeling, by Belong to Me

Baffert said he’s now considering staying home for the Santa Anita Derby. He’s had his tough race in the Rebel (gr. III), and a great learning experience as well, and now just needs to get a good conditioning race to set him up for the Derby.


Interactif Todd Pletcher

Broken Vow—Broad Pennant, by Broad Brush

He can adapt to any kind of pace and can handle any kind of surface. He’s found a way to get beat when pressing the pace, but can come home when taken back. If he can sit back and time his closing kick, he’s going to be dangerous.


Awesome Act Jeremy Noseda

Awesome Again—Houdinis Honey, by Mr. Prospector

He’ll get his class test against Eskendereya and several others in the Wood, and he only needs to duplicate the high cruising speed and turn of foot he displayed in the Gotham (gr. III); he doesn’t have to win to be ready to peak on Derby Day.


Ice Box Nick Zito

Pulpit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat

Gave warning of what was to come with big move on the turn in Fountain of Youth. Took advantage of fast pace in Florida Derby and came home in :36 2/5, despite not changing leads—looked as if he was running too fast to change leads. Appeared beaten, but won with final late burst. He’s coming around in much the same manner as Strike the Gold.


Noble’s Promise Ken McPeek

Cuvee—The Devil’s Trick, by Clever Trick

I’m not quite seeing a horse yet who I think can win the Kentucky Derby in his third start of the year. He will need a strong finish in the Arkansas Derby and for that stamina-laden tail-female family to come out and neutralize all that speed in the rest of his pedigree. But the talent, consistency, and determination are there.


Dublin D. Wayne Lukas

Afleet Alex—Classy Mirage, by Storm Bird

He’s had his chances and his excuses; now it’s time to deliver. If he is going to prove himself to be a legitimate Derby horse, he has to step it up a notch. He needs a good ride and a good trip. He hasn’t shown the quickness you like to see, and maybe 10 furlongs isn’t his game. But he has one more race to show that he’s a legitimate contender.


Odysseus Tom Albertrani

Malibu Moon—Persimmon Hill, by Conquistador Cielo

The main concern with him at this point is the indecision whether to run him again or train up to the Derby. No time for indecision at this late date. Going into the Derby off a 7-week layoff and no 1 1/8-mile races is asking a lot. If he’s not physically up to another race, how can he handle the Derby with so little foundation? His placing on here will depend on their decision.


Schoolyard Dreams Derek Ryan

Stephen Got Even—Hear This, by Prospector’s Music

Hesitated at first to put him on because his dam was strictly a 6f speedball and he couldn’t put those horses away in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), but he’s only one of very few who have shown an explosive turn of foot. With three straight bullet works and two big races at Tampa, he should be dead-fit and still has a lot of room for improvement.


Super Saver Todd Pletcher

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

He’ll get a lot out of the Tampa Bay Derby, but it’s the same old tune: he has to show he can be effective from off the pace. Decided to drop the pure speed horses for now, but keeping him on because I believe he can rate if given the chance. But time is running out. Stablemate Rule had every chance to rate with that fast pace, but wasn’t taken in hand and got cooked battling for the lead. And he’s run out of opportunities.


Discreetly Mine Todd Pletcher

Mineshaft—Pretty Discreet, by Private Account

Yet another Pletcher horse who still has to show he’s versatile enough to win from off the pace. He’s far from a speedball and does rate kindly, so, like Super Saver, giving him one last chance in the La. Derby, because he’s already shown he doesn’t need the lead.


Caracortado Mike Machowsky

Cat Dreams—Mons Venus, by Maria’s Mon

San Felipe didn’t set up for him at all. Ran a strong race, but couldn’t match strides with Interactif in the final furlong. Did lose more ground on the turn, so all in all it was a good enough effort to keep him in Top (Baker's dozen) 12.


Pleasant Prince Wesley Ward

Indy King—Archduchess, by Pleasant Tap

He’s developing quite a rivalry with Ice Box. Appeared to have him beaten in the shadow of the wire, but let it slip away. Both earned a solid 99 Beyer Speed Figure. It’s hard to know where they fit, because they’re so far behind Eskendereya, with a lot of lengths to make up. The (two-second) faster pace in the Florida Derby helped a great deal.

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:

Karen in Indiana

I had Ice Box on my list a few weeks ago, even though I wasn't really sure about him because of his record. But I kept him on there because of Tabasco Cat. I like Nick Zito training him and thought he was impressive in the Fla. Derby.

22 Mar 2010 11:56 AM
Steve Haskin

If I don't address any comments this week it's because I'll be in Dubai.

22 Mar 2010 12:24 PM


I understand your bias against front running types in the Derby but I think that you are making a big mistake by dropping Rule from the "Dozen". After setting those torrid fractions he sprinted away from the field briefly at the head of the stretch before giving way grudginly to those two "hand-over-fist closers near the finish.  That was a very creditable performance from a horse (bred to stay 10 furlongs) that needed a tough race to put further conditioning into him.  The after-the-race comments by both Todd Pletcher and Johnny V indicating that they learned something more about the colt should be taken as a positive sign.  Now they have six weeks to put on the finishing touches on a colt that is not lacking the class and scope for improvement to be a winning factor on the first Saturday in May.  You might want to reconsider especially since you have Odysseus and Schoolyard Dreams (one that Rule put away with ease at Tampa Bay coming off a lay-off) so high in your rankings.

22 Mar 2010 12:27 PM

Steve (or anyone), could you tell me what number Devil May Care earned for the Bonnie Miss?

22 Mar 2010 12:28 PM

You lucky dog, Mr. Haskin! Can't wait to read your reporting from there. Have a safe trip and a wonderful time!

22 Mar 2010 12:34 PM


I find it worrisome that Ice Box didn't change leads in the stretch and then stopped at the wire.  it makes me suspect something might be bothering him.

22 Mar 2010 12:45 PM

Still no Jackson bend? Understandable I guess after esky put him away in the foy.  But he is sitting on a big race in the wood. With borel up in the irons and a quality field I firmly believe he will have a great race. He just needs to learn how to finish that monster closing he looks like he starts every race. He's the most consistent horse around.

22 Mar 2010 12:55 PM

Steve that is no excuse:)

Was at the Fl Derby this weekend.

1) Gulfstream was a mad house, mgmt needs to have their head examined. Not a good experiance and it is my home track.

2) IEAH stables had his body guard.

Now on to the Ponies.

I agree tons of speed so far this year in the Derby.

Lookin at Lucky is tough,his win in the Rebel is the best by far this year.

Looking forward to Awesome Act vs Eskendereya.

Caracortado and Intercif are dangerous in the Derby if a speed duel develops.

Still do not know what to make of Odysseus has alot of heart,maybe a little green.

22 Mar 2010 1:05 PM

Have a wonderful trip to Dubai.  Don't miss shopping at the souqs in Sharjah.  The carpet shops are wonderful.

22 Mar 2010 1:06 PM

Where is Sidney's Candy? He never ran this weekend and you dropped him out of top 12! For who,Ice Box and Pleasant Prince? Come on, get your mind off Zenyatta and focus on the derby!

22 Mar 2010 1:23 PM
DerbyLady 88

Really like Noble's Promise - and what a great story - bought for $10,000 - shoulda woulda coulda!!! He's in my top 3 along w/Rule and American Lion.

22 Mar 2010 1:42 PM

This is interesting news about Lookin at Lucky.  Is the Arkansas not coming up that strong?  

22 Mar 2010 1:50 PM
Josh#1 Santa Anita

I am not a big fan of Rule but i really thought he ran a really good race. What happen to Conveyance on your list? Conveyance at 15 to 1 in the derby gate sounds like a good price to me... Keep on ignoring him just higher odds for me.

22 Mar 2010 2:01 PM

I still like Ron the Greek's closing style if he can prove himself in the LA Derby.

22 Mar 2010 2:11 PM
Matthew W

Think Alphies Bet will have plenty of pace to collar in SA Dereby--also they NEED the $$! Will use in exacta boxes with Interactif/Lookin At Lucky but I do believe Alphies Bet is the real deal--huge improvement--and he ran ok v Caracortado as a two year old/maiden--flying under the radar but he will get the 1 1/4--he got 1 1/8 off a seven week break after his 1 mi turf Cal Bred maiden win--he will get the 1 1/4.....

22 Mar 2010 2:18 PM
Matthew W

Would LOVE to see American Lion relax in the gate/relax early in the race! This horse is a "must use" when he surfaces back there--we have not seen his best--he HAS talent! Dave In Dixie I'm not too sure.....

22 Mar 2010 2:21 PM
Fran Loszynski


...and that's that!

Jeremy knows when a racehorse wants to kick-in and Alex's kids "kick-in" He knew the Dad, he'll know the son.

22 Mar 2010 2:32 PM

I love Eskendereya more for his Breeding than Performance. Sire and Grand Sire are both Great bloodlines and mare through a Group 1 winner in England. Look for him to stay the 1 1/4 Derby and for me to collect my 22-1 Future Wager.

22 Mar 2010 2:37 PM

My top 10 has many of your horses but I still have a few on the lead. I think conveyance and Sidney's candy are the real deal. If Drosselmeyer is given some pace then I think he can do some damage. My top 10 right now are


Lookin at Lucky



Awesome Act

Sidney's Candy

Noble's Promise



Schoolyard Dreams.

The LA derby and Sunland will play a major role for me who is contender and pretender for the derby.

22 Mar 2010 2:45 PM

to housrholder baffert is not looking for a soft race as you would sugest. lookin at lucky does not the money to get in the derby. he looking to win the derby

22 Mar 2010 2:53 PM

This past week's Florida Derby was the perfect time/race to see if RULE could rate. He didn't...After the race, jockey John Velazquez told trainer Todd Pletcher that "he would have liked to have gotten Rule to settle a little more and sooner"...why didn't he then???....Obviously this horse can't be rated. He only knows one way how to run. I'll give the horse credit for hanging in there to finish third despite the testing fractions doing him in. Then again, with the exception of the top two finishers, everyhorse close behind that quick pace had an excellent chance to respond, no horse did. Obviously the field was weak allowing Rule to stay around. Certainly the Derby won't be the time and place to experiment. With so many other need to lead types Derby bound, i believe that RULE is doomed. For now, SIDNEY'S CANDY and CONVEYANCE at least have another chance to show if they can settle, if they fail in that department, then there chances rapidly diminish on Derby day as well.

22 Mar 2010 2:59 PM

Householder- I think Baffert knows that LAL can run on dirt, and he'd rather not ship again before the Kentucky Derby, imo.

22 Mar 2010 3:06 PM
Steve Haskin

I'll address a couple of comments before leaving. First off, I can appreciate people asking where is this horse or that horse, but with only 12-13 horses, there is always going to be people wanting to know why a horse is not on the list. I stated up top that I'm waiting on the pure speed horses, because there seems to be too many this year. I acknowledge that Conveyance and Sidney's Candy are terrific horses, but I'm trying to think ahead to the Derby, not just what these one-dimensional speed horses are doing at a mile and 1 1/16 miles. If you line up those two in the Derby along with Rule, Super Saver, Discreetly Mine, Tempted to Tapit, etc; something has to give. Is one of them going to put all those other speed horses away and still have enough to hold off the closers going 1 1/4 miles?

As for Rule, I took him off because he had the perfect opportunity to finally rate and still didn't. Yes, he ran a good race and yes, he'll improve off it. But can anyone say for sure he's going to rate in the Derby off a 6-week freshening when he's never done it before? Do you want to see him get caught up in a speed duel with the above mentioned horses? Also, I cant remember the last time a horse won the Derby who had blown a two-length lead at the eighth pole in his previous start. Rule may wind up back on the Top 12, but his race in the Fla. Derby was frustrating to me and anyone who was hoping to see him show a new dimension. In years when speed horses ran well in the Derby, there was little other speed and they werent pressed on the front end. As of now, I cant see a horse this year not being pressed on the lead.

22 Mar 2010 3:25 PM


I see your new dozen has only 4 contenders from the Raise A Native sire line. However, this latest dozen has two too many. Nobles Promise and Dublin have not won a prep and have shown stamina limitations going 8.5F.. The exclusion of Connemara defeats the valid points you made in your opening paragraph. Do you seriously think that Nobles Promise and Dublin can out run Connemara over 10F? He is one of the best movers coming from behind I have seen this year. If you were going to have more than two Raise A Native sire line contenders, then surely Sidney’s Candy merit a spot over Nobles Promise and Dublin. He is the most fluent of the litany of front runner seen this year. His fluent stride pattern makes him the most dangerous of the front runners and has to be the horse to beat from CA.

You have inserted Ice Box at #5 and Pleasant Prince at #12. I am at a loss at the two rankling. Ice Box never passed Pleasant Prince in the gallop out and stopped abruptly after the post suggesting he was dead tired. It probably is a result of him not changing leads. The prodigies of Pulpit are soft and susceptible injuries, I hope all is well with this colt but I doubt it. Pleasant Prince finished ahead of Ice Box in the FOY. They reversed positions in the FL Derby and you have assessed that Ice Box is 5 level better that Pleasant Prince. Steve, they have been closer in their races than on your list. Clearly you believe Ice Box is the better horse. However, I happen to think the opposite. From a derby winners profile stand point, Pleasant Prince has the upside. His sire stands for $2,000 as compared to pulpit’s $80,000. Remember Birdstone the $10, 000 stallions that sire the Derby & Belmont winner of 2009. Indy King was only bred to 60 mares in 2006 compared to Pulpit’s 100. Ice Box dam was sires by Tabasco Cat a son of, sad to say Storm Cat. None of his sons are on the Triple Crown chart as broodmare sires. There are hundreds of sons and grandsons of Storm Cat around. Ice Box dam Spice Island made 37 starts and did very well at the graded level. In fact, should he win the derby she would become the highest earning broodmare to foal a derby winner. Pleasant Price dam was unraced and unknown but she is from the Ribot via His Majesty. This line has not been doing particularly well but there are not a lot of mares from this line as compared to the Storm Cat line.

The history of the derby indicates that the son of a well bred, inexpensive stallion, with a lightly raced or unraced dam has a greater chance of winning. It also indicates that the son of a high profile expensive stallion with a high profile dam rarely wins.  

NB: Indy King was a $2.2M yearling.

22 Mar 2010 3:28 PM
Bill Daly

Looks like another Giacomo or Strike The Gold type Derby all right.  Lots of speed to set up somebody's big stretch run. I think this year's Fla. Derby is a good barometer of this crop. The question is which of them will be peaking on May 1????

22 Mar 2010 3:38 PM


Considering Tabasco Cat won 2 out of the 3 legs, i would say that Go for Gin cost him the triple crown, not the other way around (disclaimer - Tabasco Cat is my favorite horse)

With that being said i think SC should be on the list, and JB as well. After all the only horse to beat him in FOY is #1 on your list, having finished ahead of #5 & #12.

22 Mar 2010 3:39 PM
El Kabong

What was the incentive for Biancone to have Corey try and wire a race with a horse that has never done so, and why would he push him to produce fractions damned near good enough for the Swale. I've seen his horses mess up important races before, including the Derby(2005 with Spanish Chestnut) but I really wonder about his incentive plan on this one. To send a horse like Pulsion to the lead in a 9F effort was the most obvious act of desperation or the most slimy display of horsemanship, not sure which to believe. On a positive note, I wouldn't be surprised to see Pletcher run Rule in one more on synthetic. They bounce back well from that surface so the Bluegrass could be a good fit to add more bottom to Rule. It worked for Nafzgar. Not counting Rule out yet. And for the record, Rule is not in my top 5, I just don't think the Florida Derby means squat thanks to that wonderful Lapin a La Cocotte Biancone served up.

22 Mar 2010 3:59 PM
Carlos in Cali

I agree,as of now there seems to be a whole lot of speed lining-up for the Derby which will set it up for the closers' & mid-pack runners.

Ice Box has a wicked turn of foot and to be able to demonstrate it @ GP makes it all the more impressive. Pleasant Prince has always been highly thought of by his handlers and seems to be coming around now, while Rule ran his race,it clearly showed that he's not a Derby threat but merely a pace-factor. If he couldn't hang-on going 9f,he certainly won't be around @ 10f when facing even more pressure. Eskendereya's FoY looks better than it really was,because of the slow splits he had every right to finish like he did.Let's see what happens in his next outing before people crown him. Odysseus should benefit from another prep before the Derby,but I guess they think 4races in 4months is too much too soon for him.If in fact he does have one more prep,the Derby will be his 5th start of the year,I can understand their hesitation but...

22 Mar 2010 4:01 PM
Steve Haskin

I'd love Connemara if he was going to have a race on dirt before the Derby, but his dirt form is unknown. I can see him on the list as we get closer to the Derby if others falter.

22 Mar 2010 4:19 PM
Josh#1 Santa Anita

Conveyance and Sidney's Candy should be on the Top 12 no doubt about that. All this two horses do is win races after races. So much East Coast Bias on your list, watch out for California Horses come derby time. We will prove you wrong and on Huge Odds too....

22 Mar 2010 4:30 PM

How bad was the field in the Florida Derby... It was real bad in my opinion. The Florida Derby had an exciting finish but i'm thinking that the quality of those horses who ran were not so hot. Take nothing away from the winner but in my opinion he is not one of the horses that will go on and win the derby... How bad was this field 3 of the top 4 finishers came from off the pace.

The winner was last on the backside the second place finisher was 3rd last before making an early move 3rd place finisher was basically on the lead the whole time and got tired and the 4th place runner was second last before making his move... All the others that were sitting off the pace had nothing to offer... You had a bunch of sprinters in the race that couldn't keep pace chasing the speed and then you had the closers that proven that they could get the distance. This was a very weak Florida Derby....

Eskendereya  crushed the winner and runner up already. Had he run he would of buried this field.  They weren't exactly flying up front and they definitely weren't flying coming home.

If anyone noticed in the past performances of both Ice box & Pleasant Prince  they have run against each other 3 times  I believe and the farthest they have finished apart was 2 lengths.  I just don't see these 2 as legitimate derby contenders.

What Looking at Lucky overcame in the Rebel and the determination this horse has is going to make him tough to beat May 1st. Steve has Nobles Promise at # 6, This horse had the perfect set up in the Rebel and still couldn't hold off Looking at Lucky. I think he is out of the top 10...

Heres my top 5

1)Lookin at Lucky


3)Awesome Act


5)Ice Box or Interactif

To me the top 2 are in a league of their own, but we will see I guess..

22 Mar 2010 4:38 PM

Hey Tiznowbaby, Devil May Care earned a 100 Beyer in the Bonnie Miss. Is that what you wanted to know?

22 Mar 2010 4:42 PM

Coldfacts, if you are insinuating that Storm Cat line horses are any less capable of winning the Derby than any others, then you probably should look to his over 170 stakes winners, including Preakness and Belmont winner Tabasco Cat and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Cat Thief to see that the alleged distance limitations of Storm Cat horses are a myth.

22 Mar 2010 4:46 PM

Noble's Promise couldn't get 1 1/4 miles on a milk truck. He's an honest little horse but come on...It sure doesn't look like Lookin at Lucky is crying for extra distance either.

In my mind the clear Derby horses are Awesome Act and Super Saver. Both bred for it, both have run well on dirt - including Super Saver, who set a stakes record on the quirky Churchill surface - and both are being brought along conservatively. I thought Super Saver's race was especially good given the circumstances, ie layoff, deep Tampa surface, level of competition. He only got beat a half length and dug in when hooked by Schoolyard Dreams. With this race under his belt I think he's the one to beat in the Arkansas Derby, regardless of who else is in there.

Cheers to all.

22 Mar 2010 4:58 PM

Steve - Please give Mr. "I Did It My Way", Presious Passion, the "lucky charm".  I'd like to see him rock the internationals again!

22 Mar 2010 5:00 PM

Steve, is Matz going to try Lentenor in another stakes race before the Derby or have they taken him off the trail now?  I still think he can do well, but they need a different jockey on him, Garcia got him into trouble at the top of the stretch that a more talented jockey should have avoided (at least that's how it looked on the replay).  I also think he needs blinkers on, same way his brother does (Nicanor smashed his maiden as soon as Matz put the blinkers on).  

22 Mar 2010 5:15 PM

Steve is right. All of the one-dimensional speedballs have no chance. The last three wire to wire Derby winners,(Winning Colors,Go for Gin and War Emblem)all had uncontested leads and were not pressured. I can't see that happening this year. I'm looking at horses that can close,have a mile and a quarter pedigree and could be a decent price: Interactif,Awesome Act,Odysseus,Drosselmeyer,Pleasant Prince and Stay Put.

22 Mar 2010 5:35 PM


I am not insinuating anything; I am just stating the colt facts. Kindly revisit your post any you will see that only Storm Cat has sired a classic winner. None of his sons, grandsons or great grandsons at stud in the US has done so. Kindly advise me if my records are incorrect. Neither he nor any of his sons, grandsons or great grandsons has been broodmare sire of the winner of a Triple Crown race.  You may think I am being overly critical of the Storm Cat arm of Northern Dancer but with his status as a grandson of the great stallion he has been a miserable failure on both sire of the Triple Crown Chart. The Northern Dancer broodmare line has account for the winners of 18 TC races and Storm Cat and his hundreds prodigies have not made a contribution. They have had enough opportunities and I will continue to ignore them until I see an extremely exceptional one. Even then I will have my doubts. Do you realize that as bad as Secretariat’s record is on the TC chart, it is better than that of Storm Cat.?

22 Mar 2010 5:52 PM

This is what happens when breeders go for all speed and not enough  stamina! Next the derby will be cropped down to 9.5 lol.

22 Mar 2010 5:55 PM
Josh#1 Santa Anita

Santa Anita Top Five

1. Lookin at Lucky

2. Eskendereya

3. Conveyance

4. Sidney's Candy

5. Awesome Act

Just place a trifecta box wager on any combinations you want and its money! You might even signed up to an IRS Form. Bet on it

22 Mar 2010 5:58 PM

Does anyonelse think that Schoolyard Dreams doesn't like the

surface at Tampa Bay?

22 Mar 2010 6:41 PM

I have loved Lookin at Lucky since his 6 furlong score at Del Mar on the "Zenyatta" undercard.  He would have his way with either the Arkansas Derby field or the Santa Anita Derby field.  I just assumed that Baffert left him back in Arkansas.  I don't see S-Candy, Caracortado, Interactif, or Connemara (if he ships south) beating the 2 year old champ.  

22 Mar 2010 6:52 PM

Lookin At Lucky up to this point.

What a gutsy performance in the Rebel, and I think we are about due for a Santa Anita Derby runner and winner to shine at Churchill Downs during the first Saturday in May. What started out as a very good crop of Derby horses last year quickly folded due to certain injuries. This year, other then the top 2 or 3 I really don't see any standouts. Rachel would have won the Derby in 2009 if they would have run her there instead of the Kentucky Oaks.

22 Mar 2010 7:02 PM

Steve, check out Mendip while you're in Dubai and let us know what's up.  For now, I have to keep LAL at the top, because he's been the most impressive, as is Dublin.  I haven't given up on Ron the Greek (his works are starting to pick up good fractions) or Dave in Dixie.  I need to see more.  Absolutely can't wait to see how Backtalk does; I like him.  I'll wait on the others.  Everything still seems very unsettled for me to pick a front runner.

22 Mar 2010 7:08 PM

Pleasant Prince made at least two moves Florida Derby down the backstretch and in the home stretch and still only got beat a nose by Ice Box. If he rated and made one move he might have won for fun.

Wesley Ward will move the Prince up nicely in the next six weeks. He has a chance to hit the board in the Derby at a big price.

Ice Box looked very choppy and shut it down after the wire after making only one move. Mr Zito will bring him in over-rated and under valued.

Look for Ron the Greek and Stay Put to put in big efforts this weekend.

22 Mar 2010 7:10 PM

Thanks Citation. Now I really think Ice Box's number was too high.

22 Mar 2010 8:17 PM

Steve -

Keep ODYSSEUS in your top 5 - Albertrani is smart and he will give him another race as a prep in either the Arkansas Derby or Bluegrass.

The horse came out of the Tampa Bay Derby in good order and looks fantastic.

22 Mar 2010 8:37 PM
Backside Pass

subject to change...waiting for the Wood.

22 Mar 2010 8:48 PM

Rule will improve off his Florida Derby effort and be a serious winning factor at generous odds, come Derby day.

Odysseus is not a Derby horse based on pedigree (AP Indy line slow/late developer), hence the problem of his connections trying to walk the tightrope of not rushing him and having him ready for the 1st saturday in May ...its just not going to happen for him ...but he could be ready for the Preakness (which I have stated on these blogs before) or the Belmont Stakes.  

22 Mar 2010 8:52 PM

Looking At Lucky has been beautifully handled and keeping him at his home base prior to the Derby makes perfect sense. He is a determined racehorse and so far I have not seen any speed horse running he can't catch.

Schoolyard Dreams is training perfect up to the Derby and should be ready to give his best.

Ice Box is the perfect Zito horse, not a favorite of anyone. Totally off the radar and ready to be in your face on raceday. He is not the equal of Lucky, but some bad racing luck and he can take advantage.

The next two weeks should firm this up.

22 Mar 2010 9:00 PM

Have a great trip Mr. Haskin!  I'll look forward to your reports from Dubai!

22 Mar 2010 9:53 PM

I know this is DERBY talk. I don't see anything beating "Lucky". But, this is the 1st time since Point Given lost the Derby and I couldn't wait for the Preakness that I feel the same way about D'funnybone - NO TCW this year either.

22 Mar 2010 10:04 PM

Got good horses on your list, but I definately wouldn`t go by it. One race and a horse is on your list and another dropped from it, even if its a good horse that had a bad day. :/

Ice Box has one good race, where he wins by an ok margin, and he`s on the list and Rule, a fairly well proven runner, is off?


22 Mar 2010 10:13 PM
Race Fan

Has anyone thought about this:  If Eskendereya does not hit the board in the Wood he may not get in to the Derby based on earnings.  

He won a n1x, lost by 9+ in the BC, and won the Fountain of Youth against who?  No one who is a contender in the Derby.  

Can't wait to see the Wood, I hope he is the real deal.

Just a thought.

22 Mar 2010 10:40 PM

Despite being outfinished by Ice Box and Pleasant Prince, I still like Rule better than those two.  I'm not convinced he is a "speed ball" or strictly a sprinter.  He held on well in the FL Derby after setting the early fractions and should come back stronger next start.  I've pretty much given up on Dublin and Super Saver. They don't seem able to find a way to win.  Interactif still needs to show me he can run on dirt before he makes my list and Awesome Act needs to prove he's more than a one race wonder.  He'll get his chance and then we'll see.  I also haven't given up on Jackson Bend or Conveyence.  Conveyence especially looks like he could be another War Emblem.  If he gets loose with minimal pressure, he could steal it.

I agree with Eskenderya & Lookin At Lucky for 1 & 2.  I'd have Nobels Promise 3, Odysseus 4, Rule 5, and then Discreetly Mine, Schoolyard Dreams, Jackson Bend and Conveyence in no particular order.  

Can't wait for the report on Dubai!

22 Mar 2010 10:47 PM


Enjoy your trip.  

Some thoughts:

 The FLA Derby validated Eskendereya's ability.

 Sidney's Candy will wire the field in the S.A. Derby.

 Drosselmeyer needs to improve in the Louisiana Derby. If he does, he is my choice to close down the stretch at CD after all those speedballs you mentioned chuck it in.  Drosselmeyer's pedigree begs for 10 furlongs.

22 Mar 2010 11:16 PM

Coldfacts, it's fine if you don't want to pick a Storm Cat line horse as a Derby pick, but he is an incredible sire, and to say that his presence in horse's pedigree is a detriment to said horse's chances in the Triple Crown is silly. Mr. Prospector didn't get his Derby winner for quite a while. Storm Cat's many sons haven't sired a classic winner yet, but considering how high they manage to be on the sire list, I believe it is only a matter of time until they do. Besides, didn't Giant's Causeway's daughter Ghanaati win the One Thousand Guineas? That was traditionally considered a classic in England, though a filly only one.

23 Mar 2010 12:00 AM


1. S

2. I

3. D

4. N

5. E

6. Y

7. S

8. C

9. A




This horse belongs at the top of anyone's list. Wires his last field on a track that doesn't favor front runners, going two turns for the first time. He is all heart, incredible pedigree with Crepello and Exchange on the Dam's bottom- ALL HEART!, Candy Ride certainly at his best going 10F's; He who can focus on Storm Cat only, will miss what this horse is all about.Who looks better? Can't wait to see this one's next race, should just become incredible on dirt.Candy lovers everywhere finally have their Derby winner.

23 Mar 2010 12:00 AM

Dear Steve, This is my Derby list may be you can comment about this list :

1. Sidney's Candy;

2. Eskendereya;

3. Noble,s Promise;

4. Ice Box;

5. Jackson Bend;

6. Super Saver;

7. Odysseus;

8. Lookin at Lucky;

9. Awesome Act;


11.Discreetly Mine;



14.Pleasant Prince

15.Schoolyard Dreams;



18.Tempted to tapit;


20.Vale of York;

21.Ron The Greek;



24.American Lion;


26.Dave In Dixie;



29.Stay Put;



32.Dry Fly.

Drosselmeyer, Steve as a peronal, I like this horse very much. I think Drossselmeyer would work extra hard to approved his capabilities as a potential horse and one of the best contenders in Kentucky derby.

23 Mar 2010 1:25 AM


Regarding Schoolyard Dreams, we will find out soon enough as he is scheduled to run in the Ill. Derby at Hawthorne in about 12 days.

It is hard to carry big moves on that quirky surface at TBD. Street Sense and AGS were crawling home a few years ago, and Musket Man, while flying home, only got up by a head over lone speed (thanks, in part, to a typical bizarre Centeno ride).

23 Mar 2010 4:16 AM

Spend a Buck set very fast fractions on the front end, he simply outran the field around the Derby oval, and kicked away in the stretch. At the time the 3rd fastest Derby in history, and fastest ever wire to wire.

If I recall Hard Spun set some pretty strong fractions and was pushed by Stormello, Cowtown Cat, Tueflesberg and Liquidity, all who were run off of their feet by HS.

The fractions were 23 and change-47 flat and 1:12 and change, pretty strong fractions for 10f. And if that rail did not open up magically, SS does not get thru and HS wins going away wire to wire.

I guess the question to ask is: Are any of the speed here at the level of a Hard Spun (bred to run all day), or a step below? Is the speed here stronger than the graded stakes winners listed above, or weaker. And is there a Curlin or SS in this year's bunch?

Remember, Curlin lacked the tactical speed and experience to win the Derby but was a distant 3rd. He came back to the Preakness and moved forward dramatically.

Slow starting gallopers and grinders usually do not win the Derby, either. Except when a Spanish Chestnut is entered.

23 Mar 2010 4:26 AM

Hey Steve....appreciate the time you put into crafting "The Dozen" every week.  I agree with your decision to do an overhaul of the list.  Too many front-runners with distance questions this year.  To me, its a rather weak field.  It's Lucky and then everyone else.  I'm looking for a late developer that makes a strong statement in one of these last preps.  I was awfully impressed with Odysseus's determination and I do believe there is enough time to correct his flaws.

23 Mar 2010 5:28 AM

I`ve been posting about the number of need the lead horses for about a month or so and what would happen when they could no longer be kept seperated.  A similar situation existed the year Giacamo won.  I threw out everyone who even remotely had a chance of being within 5 lengths of the lead down the backstretch and took a bunch I thought may close.  It worked out well.  Could be deja vu all over again.

With a field of 13 entered in the Louisiana Derby I don`t think we`ll see another merry go round race like the Risen Star.  A faster pace and extra 16th of a mile will show whether Ron the Greek and Stay Put are contenders or pretenders.  Drosselmeyer too.

If Esky stubs his toe in the Wood and finishes worse than 2nd he doesn`t get into the KyD.  Master David nipped Eddington in the Wood and ended his Derby dream.  Zito`s Shetland pony Jackson Bend may do the same to Esky.

23 Mar 2010 7:18 AM

With so much speed this year, ill be betting closers as always...The horse is flying under the radar is ALPHIES BET this horse could run 2 miles. I would love to see calvin get the mount but oh well as long as he stays well off the pace he will be passing horses like there tied to a post. It seems that he is putting it all together at the right time.. If you have time go back and watch his jan 15th race 6 where he went from dead last to first like a rocket. Hes going to the BLUEGRASS as far as i know.

23 Mar 2010 8:21 AM

I wouldn't be suprised to see Super Saver run in another prep. Probably the Blue Grass. He certainly doesn't need to win that but another strong showing will set him up for a monster race at his favorite track. Pletcher is over due.

23 Mar 2010 8:46 AM

Kentucky Fan, I hope your right about SS.  

Steve have a good safe trip!  

23 Mar 2010 8:46 AM
Billy's Empire

Don't discount the speed horses though if you want to hit any exotics. Hard Spun led them around the track to be caught at the end by Street Sense. Lion Heart led them around the track only to be caught by Smarty. Funny Cide and Peace Rules basically set the pace being second and third with only the brilliant Empire Maker getting up for second to have Peace Rules run third. Then there was War Emblem, who won on the front end after an easy lead. So if you look at the last 8 Derby races, we have horses on the pace (top 4) do quite well.

War Emblem- set the pace, won

Funny Cide- stalked 3rd, won

Peace Rules-stalked 2nd, got 3rd

Smarty Jones-always top 4, won

Lion Heart- pace, 2nd

2005, Crapamo, top 4 came from off the pace, MUDDY

Barbaro- always top 4, won(Pletcher's speed horse keyed entry is last)

Hard Spun-pace, 2nd

Pioneer of the Nile, never more than a legnth of the pace, 2nd.

So with the exception of Big Brown's race, and Giacomo, the horse's in the first group setting the pace have faired well in the Derby. Unless it is muddy, I am going to be leaning towards stalkers and pace horses, not dead closers.



Sidney's Candy


Discreetly Mine

Super Saver


they all fit into this profile. I am sure there are more, but I am going off of memory.

23 Mar 2010 9:34 AM

I don't know how you can have interacif 3rd on your list,he has not beat anyone.Dublin is also too high,has not won since last year.The seperation between pp and ice box is too large, they were seperated by a nose.Lookin at lucky has to be the fav right now,has not run a bad race and has run in many.

23 Mar 2010 9:47 AM
Fran Loszynski


Don't give up on Dublin.Picture if someone filled up your closet with alot of clothes to wear and said pick one. Every race he has a different jockey and Afleet Alex's kids like to bond with their jockey, it's their true race heart. Dublin just might surprise everyone at the Derby "And here comes Dublin around the far turn!"


23 Mar 2010 9:52 AM

@ Ranagulzion - "Torrid fractions" in the Florida Derby????  Rule wasn't setting the pace, and after the first half mile, the pace slowed.  Check the chart:

The pace was slower than he's likely to see in the KY Derby and he wasn't able to get past the closers in this slower, shorter race, what evidence do we have he's capable of doing it against faster horses?

I'm just not overly impressed with any horse this year.  Eskandereya and Looking at Lucky have shown a bit more, but with the "don't race them unless you absolutely have to" midset of trainers these days who knows?

23 Mar 2010 11:30 AM
Ann in Lexington

Coldfacts, just because a son of Storm Cat hasn't YET been damsire of a classic winner doesn't mean they CAN'T EVER do so. I remember in '72, talk to the effect that no horse out of a Heliopolis mare had won a classic, until Riva Ridge did it.

As to poor racemares or unraced mares being better choices for dams of classic winners, I recollect that being good runners didn't bother Toussaud or Tuerta, or Ribbon or Bonnie's Poker (won 11 of 63 starts) or Cool Mood or Buzz My Bell or Line of Thunder (G1-placed and highly ranked at 2 in England). The odds against it happening again are not large enough to eliminate horses willy-nilly.

23 Mar 2010 11:54 AM

Esken and Lucky deserve to be where they are. Awesome Act is probably just as good. However if FAST ALEX can get the earnings and get in I think he can motor them all down. If early speed can run away with it Sidney's Candy seems the most dangerous. I still like Rule but still question the style with the speed we are going to see.

Before the Fla derby I gave no chance to Lentenor but actually I was impressed. He got caught along the rail and seemingly if he found a better seam he might have challenged for the win.

23 Mar 2010 11:58 AM
Fran Loszynski

To Kentucky Fan:

Nobles Promise was second in the Rebel "couldn't run a milk truck" He is from Cuvee, one of the best. Nobles Promise could deliver milk, skim milk, whipped cream, and still be home for his bluegrass! Nobles Promise is just that- a promise that is noble to his fans.  I considered it a privilege to watch Dublin and Nobles Promise head to head in the Rebel. Then when Lookin at Lucky swooped up; I'm telling you if we can get these three in the Derby together-what a thrill of a race we'll see. Keep your milktruck in the backyard because he is a Corvette.

23 Mar 2010 12:15 PM

When is Conyeance's next race?

23 Mar 2010 12:56 PM

I kind of like the Holy Bull side of things on Conveyance plus he is undefeated.  Perhaps he can get free up front and cause some discomfort.  We'll know more after 1 1/8.  Could be Baffet's set up for Lookin at Lucky.  Baffert certainly has taken a little different road with L at L than he did Pioneer of the Nile.  Much to be pleased with.

23 Mar 2010 1:07 PM
El Kabong

Lmaris-  the typical fractions for the derby are 23+, 47, 1:11+, 1:37+ so the fractions in Florida were faster, and Rule trailed by only a head. Velasquez was man enough to say he was fooled by the pace-set by a horse who was sent(a rabbit) with no intent on finishing. Only in 2005(Spanish Chestnut-Biancone again) do we see ridiculous fractions that would be faster than this years FD.  

BIlly & Geronimo- I'm with you both. I am not with those who want to discount the speed. Nothing wrong with a trip up front in the derby(top 5 near pace have a much better shot.) Barbaro, Smarty and Big Brown could easily have been discounted with this logic as all three won on front prior to derby. The field is not set. We do not know how many front runners will make it, and most of them can and do relax anyway. IF the red sea doesn't part twice for Calvin and Sweet Fancy Moses(street sense) Hard Spun goes wire to wire with ease.

Joeywoge- Super Saver will run in the Arkansas Derby, as planned. He should be a deadly force with that last race under his 3 month layoff belt and  that short stretch at Oaklawn. Hopefully he will get Calvin on him, who knows how and when to get this horse to switch leads.  

23 Mar 2010 1:33 PM

Looking forward to more preps over the next few weeks but to this point no one has looked more impressive than Eskendereya. I wonder if JJ will scoop in and buy the obvious horse again? Zayat is a tough one ,to buy off of and especially with this being his get of the hole card.

23 Mar 2010 1:59 PM

I am keeping my fingers crossed for Alphie's Bet.  He can have the moves to power up to the demands of the Derby.

Also, can't help but admire Lucky's fortitude and quality.  If he gets the right trip, he could be the one.

Can't forget Odyseuss' will to win.  Heart counts for a lot in the Derby.

I hope Ice Box is okay.  It wouldn't be a bad thing to see a Zito horse take it all.

Knock Pleasant Prince all you want, but he goes for it as well.  The Florida Derby was a great prep for him.

23 Mar 2010 2:36 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Great point on hard spun made earlier. I think that alot more will be understood this weekend. I agree if that conveyance goes a mile 1/8th and wins he will be hard to beat come may 1st. Are you really going to be against a horse that is 5 and 0 and wins at a 1 1/8th? Still alot of question marks and the florida derby didnt help the cause!

23 Mar 2010 2:41 PM
Billy's Empire

Porfi, Sunday, Sunland Derby

23 Mar 2010 2:44 PM

Exciting weekend of racing coming up. I am especially looking forward to UAE derby. I really like Medip and if he does what he did in his last race,there is a good chance that he may join godolphin horses that are scheduled to ship to the states next month.Although Mendip has been entered in the English Guinees (G1) which is scheduled  on the same day as kentucky derby.  His chances of running in the triple crown races have increased dramatically due to the sickness of Vale of York.I think Vale of York is out because even if he gets healthier, godolphin is not gonna rush him.   They give their horses a lot of time to recover and we may not see Vale of York for a while.At this point mendip is their sole derby hope but the final decision will depend on how he runs in the UAE derby.Every year godolphin send their best three year olds to Europe for the European classics and this year is no different. Their best three year olds like Passion for gold, Al Zir, Kingsfort and Emerald commander are all pointed towards the European classic campaighns and none of them have made their three old debut, which makes it that more likely that Mendip will not go to Europe next month.

23 Mar 2010 2:51 PM
Michael P.

In the end, I think it will boil down to 3 horse really trying to win the K.D. They are all closers:


2)Alphie's Best

3)Lookin' at Lucky


I will box all of these in my tri because i really can't separate them at 10 furlongs. Good luck to all...MP

23 Mar 2010 3:00 PM
Carlos in Cali

Don't be misled by the recent Derby winners'(trends),..Barbaro,Smarty,Funny & Brown were high cruisers who had the ability to finish. I don't see any front runners this yr. w/that type of kick.

War Emblem was lone,uncontested speed.He showed in the Ill.Derby that he's tough when left alone on the front-end.

Hard Spun was comfortable setting average splits w/out pressure.

Peace Rules & Lion Heart benefited from off tracks & not much pace pressure,hence their on-the-board finish.

Giacomo's win was on a fast track,not muddy. Look for a similar finish this yr. w/all of the speedy horses not having shown they can withstand setting/contesting a lively pace and finishing strong. I think the pace will be blistering this year if say,..Super Saver,Rule,Conveyance,Sydney's Candy(possibly) and the proverbial 'send' horse locking horns early and often.

23 Mar 2010 3:37 PM
Billy's Empire

Footlick, what's up? I saw you asked how I was doing on the other blog. Just got back from a little vacation in Gatlinburg. I missed all of the basketball games and races, except for of course UK and U of L, since they were on so late. Snowboarding in 70 degree weather in a t shirt is the way to do it...

Good week of races coming up. Can't wait for Dubai

23 Mar 2010 3:37 PM

Fran -

Please , no jockey is going to get along with a foal from Afleet Alex better than any other jock just because he rode the sire. Why then isn't Edgar Prado riding Lentenor after all he is a full brother to Barbaro? See - its not logical, its sentimental.

Yes Cuvee is a nice sire - of sprinters. Noble's Promise will never get 10 furlongs on dirt. By summer, they will have come to their senses and keep him around one turn and probably pint to the G1 Kings Bishop at 7 furlongs.

23 Mar 2010 3:38 PM

Nice twelve Steve, also agreed with your eclipse award pics. What about Alexis Barbas two colts? I think both look really promising. But then I picked Summer Bird to win the Derby. Would Summer Bird have gotten Horse of the year if he won the classic? One more favor because I know your never busy, just kidding. Would you do a article on why are the very small barns are dominating the Kentucky Derby for what seems like the past several years? Better attention and more quality time for these horses? Thanks again!

23 Mar 2010 4:53 PM
El Kabong

-Carlos in Cali

I think Eskendereya showed you that type of talent. He cruised at decent fractions and exploded away from the field(Which included Ice Box) who was closing but still far back. I think Super Saver has the ability to do the same in the Arkansas Derby. The TBD was his first race back in 3 months and Dominguez gave him an unfamiliar ride. SS can cruise and explode-view KJC- Grade II on 11/29. IF he shows that readiness at Oaklawn, you will have seen two horses with the high cruise and finish speed necessary to win KD (Assuming Eskendereya repeats FOY performance in Wood). But if neither of them perform next out, you may be right on target.

23 Mar 2010 5:31 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Carlos in Candy have you seen sidneys candy run yet I hope so if your name is carlos in cali. Although unproven on dirt that horse has high crusing speed and can deliever the knock out punch. I see sidneys candy sitting right in front of conveyance and watch sidneys candy put away everyone including all star looking at lucky! You want a tri box take

sidneys candy

awesome act



23 Mar 2010 5:32 PM

Sydney's Candy still at the top of 'em all.  He'll bounce up off the Cali synthetic or tank in Kentucky.... I predict (and will back) a bounce up... So far the Santa Anita Derby Field is no tougher then the San Felipe was...

Dublin is still in my tri box with Sydney... looking for a longshot to complete the (ICE) box?...

23 Mar 2010 6:39 PM

re: spend a buck - that's not irony!!!

23 Mar 2010 6:51 PM

Yes where is Conveyance?  He beat # 7 Dublin and then his stable mate came through and beat # 7 Dublin again. Is there any reason Conveyance can't take the Sunland Derby?

23 Mar 2010 6:56 PM

that's one hell of a meeting you're going to there in dubai steve. been to the old nad el sheba track but haven't been to the new meydan one yet. wonder if it will make a difference having a new track. does anyone have any thoughts on gio ponti v richards kid? or whether gio ponti would prefer the turf. personally, I think red desire has the best form of the runners. if he goes on the surface, he should go close. 8s across the board. don't want to hijack the kentucky derby thread with the dubai world cup but it is on saturday and worth 3.7 million pounds to the winner. 5.5 million dollars according to currency converter. christ almighty.    

23 Mar 2010 8:00 PM
El Kabong

-It aint easy-

Sidney won the San Felipe because he got away with a snails pace. 24, 48, 113- not high cruising. And even with that, barely held off interactif and he didn't look at the finish like more ground was a plus. Final time was good but he won't get away with a slow pace in SA and my hunch is LAL will be in town. If Noble's Promise is around, he and LAL and probably Alphie Bet will be flying past Sidney in the lane. Conveyance barely held off Dublin off a layoff going only a mile. 3 weeks later, with more in his tank, LAL and Noble's Promise left Dublin scratching his head in the stretch in Rebel 1 1/16.  

I think Sidney will get a chance to take on  LAL in SA Derby and I think white hair and sunglasses will be holding the cup in the photo. Sidney is better off at  7 or 6 where he can cut loose and shine. Giddy UP!

23 Mar 2010 8:04 PM

Connemara, may be in the 2nd or 3rd Flight now but if he torches the Lanes End...Well there is some reason the leading Jock of all time travels across the country to ride for Pletcher (Vs anything Hollendorfer sends out) on the fake dirt (Just like GGF) - Huge Betting angle for me!!!!!  Like Pleasant Prince also if you can get past his Mommy and Daddy look at the heritage!!!

23 Mar 2010 8:18 PM
mike rullo


how good is mendip?

23 Mar 2010 8:52 PM

Fran: I LOVED Afleet Alex - Dublin just doesn't strike me as the same kind of horse (much as I'd love him to be).  Alex had the benefit of the same jockey for most (if not all of - not sure of this) his races but that doesn't mean his off-spring would benefit from the same jockey any more than any other horse would.  Some horses like the familiarty and some actually seem to run better (at least the first time) for a new jockey.  Have you wondered why no jockey has stuck with Dublin yet?

23 Mar 2010 9:22 PM
Carlos in Cali

El Kabong

Esky' did look impressive in the FoY,but I really think it had more to do w/the rather average(slow for GP)splits he inherited when the longshot turf horse that was hustled out of the gate gave it up.Don't get me wrong,he's probably Pletcher's best 3yo colt,but w/those fractions it's no surprise he bounded away from the field and Ice Box's rally was short lived.It was a funny race,we'll see how he does next outing. Super Saver can improve in his next race,I agree on that,but he was on the rail and was lone speed in the KJC last yr.The colt he beat,Wordly has been taken out of the Derby trail because he's not good enough.We'll see how he copes vs. better next outing too.Check out his race @ Belmont(I think it was the Champagne?) for a better gauge on his abilty to handle pressure...he gave up the ghost!

It Ain't Easy being cheesy,

Sydney's Candy controlled the pace with so-so splits last out,nothing special & Interactif was closing on him at the end.He might show more speed on dirt,but then he'll have a whole lot of others right beside him...not good.We'll see what he does w/a little more pressure on the front end.Plus,..what happened to your 'lock',the overrated Dublin?..

23 Mar 2010 10:01 PM
It aint easy being good

El kabang are you serious I love of how people analyze and say that they barely won. Sidneys cadney had the race from start to finish and keep in mind it was his first race around two turns and still crushed. American and tiz chrome cant say the same! Sidneys a special horse and so is Conveyance. Look back at Conveyance times if he can hold the lead in the sunland derby you migh see another Hard Spun in the making!

23 Mar 2010 10:26 PM

I was all over Pleasant Prince as I thought the FOY was the the key race this year.  Ice box was the only other out of that same race and I am kicking myself for not having him in my exotics for the Fl. Derby.   Ice box looked off to me pulling up so fast past the wire and Pleasant galloped out  very strong.

23 Mar 2010 11:42 PM

Wake up Carlos, wake up and tell us how the dream ends. Which one is this year's Giacomo? (LOL)

El Kabong your answer to Lmaris was excellent regarding the "torrid" fractions of this year's Florida Derby vis a vis the average Kentucky Derby fractions.  A scenario where everybody is scared to be on the lead in the Derby is also quite likely (given the perils of front runners in recent times), which could produce slower than average splits resulting in the front runners and forwardly placed stalkers stealing the race (from a historical point of view the time is ripe for another such scenario).  The best horses are those that do not rely too much the "send" horses to set things up but can monitor the pace while carrying a final punch of their own.  The Todd Squad top trio (Esky, Super Saver and Rule)fit that description very well. El Kabong I think we pretty much agree.  Eskendereya is the outstanding one that can romp the Derby irrespective of the pace.  I'm not saying that the undefeated Conveyance, 2YO champion Looking At Lucky, UK invader Awesome Act and the "hell-for-leather" closers are not to be respected but Esky's talent is scary folks.  

24 Mar 2010 12:14 AM

Billy's Empire:

I'm tending to agree with you, based on trend...

I'm not sure where the Derby winner will come from, but I'm pretty sure that it won't be those up on the pace (will back up in the stretch), and those caught up in the traffic jam, tiring, and getting dirt kicked up in their faces... I can picture the winning horse having a good stalking trip just off the pace... reminiscent of Barbaro's winning run in '06... we'll see...

24 Mar 2010 12:30 AM


I have some good new and bad news for you. I will start with the bad. Rule will not improve for the derby as he was fully extended in defeat. How do I know? Well, when horses with stamina limitations are fully extended they tend to never be the same after. Here are the cold facts to support my claim.

2006 Florida Derby – Sharp Humor was locked in Battle with Barbaro for the almost the entire 9F and was fully extended. He finished second and never won another race.

2007 Florida derby – Stromello was fully extended on the lead in splits of 23.05, 46.78, 1:10.82, and 1:35.92. He finished second to Scat Daddy made it to the derby and finished last. He never won another race.

2008 Florida Derby- Smooth Air was fully extended in his relentless chased of Big Brown. He made it to the derby and finished 11th.

2009 Florida Derby – Dunkirk was fully extended in his quest to beat Quality Road. He finished second and 11th in the derby and never won another race.

The signs are now good for Rule. However all is not lost. I want to interest you in a colt that will allow you to recover your losses on Rule and your composure. On Saturday a colt sired by a stallion that was broodmare sire of two colts that won two 9F derby preps in 2009, will enter the starting in the LA derby.  He will present you with an opportunity to secure all the funds you require to place your usual derby wagers.  His dam sire is associated with a KD 3rd place finisher that earned over $3M in his career. However, that’s not the best bit of information about this colt. His grand dam sire, great grand dam sire and great, great grand dam sire were all multiple champion broodmare sires. The grand dam sire of his second dam was also a champion broodmare sire. Broodmares from this colt’s sire are associated the winners of two 9F derby preps, His dam has a litany of champion broodmare sires in her first five generations. He will leave the starting gates at double digits odds.  Just identify him and step to the bank.

24 Mar 2010 1:15 AM

Vince: Red Desire is a filly.  Got her chance because Vodka is out.  Over $3 million earned.  I still see Gio Ponti on top with Gitano Hernando in the money.(They along with most of the field are turf horses, so they should transfer well to tapeta surface)  Fast Alex previously was being geared toward the LA Derby...where did he go?  He's already beaten Island Soul.  Here's hoping for my boy Ron.  And Mendip in the UAE Derby.

24 Mar 2010 7:32 AM

I like all the 4 horse tri-box opinions.  It can be a reasonable bet with the chance of a huge payout, especially with the 20 horse cavalry charge we see in the Derby.  It's too early to be serious about it, especially since we don't even know who will be in the gate.  However, being a horseplayer entitles one to express one's opinion.  Here's mine:

 Sidney's Candy



 Lookin at Lucky

Keep them coming.

24 Mar 2010 9:30 AM

Billy's Empire- glad you're doing well.  Hope your horses are too.  Dubai should be great racing.  Glad Red Desire got in the WC.  A nice hard knocking filly.  Vision d'Etat gets his best distance as does Gio and Twice Over.  

24 Mar 2010 9:50 AM
It Aint Easy being good

Carols in oakland my dublin horse is still around he will do well just cut him some slack he has faced some good horses and is just starting to get back to form one more race will do him justice. You dont have to win every race to be a derby winner just need to win your last prep and run a beyer over 100. Even though that wasnt the case last year in most years it is the case. aka big brown, street sense and barbaro. You can talk about closers and front runners open up the form if they are runnning over 100 and have the distance bet on them if they dont ...toss toss toss!

24 Mar 2010 10:42 AM

Jeremy Noseda wouldnt send Awesome Act if he didnt think the horse had a chance. Eskendereya will be his toughtest competitor. The Wood shud be a good guage.

24 Mar 2010 11:21 AM

I have never observed a "running style" for the Derby...I've seen stalkers, wire-2-wire, closers, and long-shots running down the center of the track as well as down the rail...

I think leaving out Sydney's Candy is a boo-boo, to me, a nobody, his training is more reminiscent of the old style training by returning in 2010 with a 7-furlong race early in the year, and then stepping up to 1 1/16 ...nothing about that colt says he can't get 10...just ask his daddy!

24 Mar 2010 11:36 AM

It's hard to argue with Lookin at Lucky and Eske at the top but I am keeping Odysseus way up there until they actually decide not to run him in another race.  Then I'll drop him out of the top dozen.  I'm also keeping Conveyance up near the top of my list.  I love the Holy Bull in him - lots of talent and he hasn't done anything wrong.  Was super impressed with Sydney's Candy, Schoolyard Dreams and IceBox.  The next few weeks will tell.  Rachel has it right on the money - the Derby is always surprising and never predictable.  That's what makes it so much fun!

24 Mar 2010 5:26 PM
John Horton, Jr.


I'm so glad to see a thoroughbred writer giving Iteractif some respect. I've loved the look of this colt since he was a 2yr.old, and always thought that his connections should give him a shot on the dirt to see if he stacked up as a 2010 Kentucky Derby contender. I thought that Interactif looked very good in the San Felipe, and think had Kent not let him gone so wide around the last turn, that Interactif would've had a legitimate shot at catching Sidney's Candy, IMO. I would have liked to seen him get one Derby prep on conventional dirt, however.

24 Mar 2010 5:26 PM
John Horton, Jr.

I still think Rule will be a player in the 2010 Kentucky Derby. The reason being, for 95% of the Florida Derby, Rule was much the best. Velazquez allowed him to get into a bit of an early speed duel with Pulsion, instead of conceding the lead, and slipping Rule back into a stalking 2nd. If Rule does that, he win's the Florida Derby, IMO. Ice Box and Pleasant Prince still didn't catch Rule until deep stretch with the wire looming.

24 Mar 2010 5:38 PM


On Saturday a colt sired by a stallion that was broodmare sire of two colts that won two 9F derby preps in 2009, will enter the starting in the LA derby.

For the above mentioned portion (only), there

is another horse in the (LA derby) that has a sire that was a broodmare sire to a 9F derby (2009) prep winner.

24 Mar 2010 5:41 PM
John Horton, Jr.

The biggest surprise of all to me, is hearing that Dutrow isn't going to race D'Funnybone in the 2010 Kentucky Derby. This colt has got 4 Stakes win's on 3 different conventional dirt tracks. Plus, one place effort in July, nailed right at the wire by Jackson Bend at Calder in the Frank Gomez Stakes. He's won the Hutcheson Stakes, and the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream, the Saratoga Special at Saratoga, and the Futurity Stakes at Belmont. His only bad effort was on the poly at Santa Anita in the 09'B.C. Juvenile. He's probably, top to bottom, the most established 3yr.old on dirt right now. Whether he can get 1-1/4 or not, I'd still take a shot if I'm Rick Dutrow. TJMO.

24 Mar 2010 5:43 PM
Numbers please

Hey Coldfacts,

How about a track, a horse and a race number if your so confident?  

24 Mar 2010 6:41 PM
Carlos in Cali

Ranagulzion/El Kabong, come on.. the fractions posted in the Fla.Derby weren't any faster than in yrs. past. Rule just couldn't last,and to think he'll have a chance going longer is just plain ridiculous.He likes to be on the lead and w/more heat,you can be sure to "rule him out as the Derby winner"- pun intended. There's no way jockeys will be hesitant to take the lead and risk the chance of their horses getting bumped,jostled & crowded any more than they normally do in the stampede towards the 1st turn.Expect a lively pace if all the speed horses show-up.Good luck w/your 'dream scenario'.

24 Mar 2010 6:43 PM

Lookin At Lucky and Eskendereya have had impressive runs.  What really amazes me is that for a few races, most of us were more impressed by the 2nd place horse than the 1st.  That would be Dublin in the SW and Dave in Dixie in the R. Lewis.  Dave bounced in his next race, but Dublin was still in the money in the Rebel.  I think we're having an incredible year, with quite a few surprises and lots of finishes with wins by a nose hair.  As a race fan, I'm having fun watching and guessing.

24 Mar 2010 7:04 PM
Billy D.

I think D'Funnybone should stay sprinting. there is a lot of money to be made in the next few weeks. I can see him taking the Carter H. By the way I had the late DD and hit the trifecta in the Florida Derby. (good thing horses can't read) I think Ice box may make some noise on Derby Day. He Certainly has the right running style. Ice Box reminds me a little of Timely Writer('82 Pre-Derby favorite) before he got sick.

24 Mar 2010 8:01 PM

JH Jr - did you say Rule was much the best for 95% of the Florida Derby? That uncontrollable speed which proved un-rateable at 9 furlongs will prove 100% best at 10 furlongs?  Hogwash.

If Rule could rate they would have- since Johnny knew Pulsion had no business showing speed and most likely was going to run out of horse, but ran with him anyway.

Rule will be gasping for air just like 17 other 3 yr olds who will stagger home behind the Kentucky Derby winner.  

24 Mar 2010 8:17 PM
Matthew W

Deacon I agree Lookin At Lucky is tough--I do not agree that Rachel wins the 09 Derby if they go--Mine That Bird "mined that rail"--over one of the most awful tracks in Derby History--biased to a fault--if she were to have not found the rail she would have floundered like the 18 others in that race--of corse, Bo-Rail would've certainly helped her cause! I like Lookin At Lucky, Eskendareya, Interactif--and Alphies Bet, whom I contend is the real deal....

24 Mar 2010 8:36 PM

One thing I can tell everyone posting comments on this page, sure as sunshine. If Todd Pletcher brings Eskendereya, Rule, and Interactif all three to the 2010 Kentucky Derby, he's going home with the roses this year. It wouldn't even surprise me if he hit the board with all three of these promising 3yr.olds. JMO.

25 Mar 2010 12:10 AM
Forbidden Apple

1-Conveyance 2-Awesome Act

3-Lookin At Lucky 4-Connemara

5-Eskendereya 6-Mendip

7-Sidneys Candy 8-Odysseus

9-Nobles Promise 10-Caracortado

11-Super Saver 12-Ice Box

13-Schoolyard Dreams

Conveyance is far from a horse that is trying to set it up for Lookin At Lucky. Zabeel Racing has a serious horse in their name and they will win the Sunland Derby!

The speed horses are Sidneys Candy, Super Saver, and Conveyance. Rule is a pretender and his average speed does not scare me at all. I like Conveyance to get the first jump on Sidneys Candy and Super Saver if they enter the KY Derby.

Mendip will win on saturday and be pointed to the KY Derby with a huge shot at winning it all.

Awesome Act is a powerful runner and will be hard to beat in the Wood. This horse has unknown talent and definitely scares me. I can't wait to see him live at the BIG A when he enters the winners circle.

Dublin is the most overrated horse on this years trail. When are you folks going to give it up already? It's not his countless jockeys that are the problem, they are riding an average horse. Lukas should shorten him up and try to do battle with DFunnybone who is a sprinter. And maybe add Super Saver to the growing list of sprinters.

I know that Super Saver has had only 1 race, but he seems extremely overrated too. I was not impressed by his running style at all.

Gio Ponti is a complete stud and should take the oil money with something left in the tank!

25 Mar 2010 12:14 AM


I am unable to verify your claim. Which colt or gelding are you referring to?

Numbers Please,

I did provide the track i.e., LA Derby. It’s not impossible to identify the horse with a little research. It may be worth the effort. I cannot see him loosing unless the horse from up north runs to his pedigree. A tip; he is the least of the apostles.

El Kabong’

Since my posting name is Coltfacts, I did a fact check on your claim that the typical fractions for the derby are 23+, 47, 1:11+, 1:37+. I assume your were referring to the Kentucky Derby. My records reflect that the average splits for the last 10 derbies are 22.78, 46.28, 1:10.89 and 1:36.45. Below are the colt facts:

(a) Only three times in last 10 derbies was the mile split 1:37 plus. Two of the three occasions the track was sloppy (Mine That Bird/Smarty Jones) Hard Spun recorded a 1:37 split for a mile on a track was drying out.

(b) Only two time in the last 10 derbies was the split for the first 2F, 23 plus. ( War Emblem/Big Brown) All other occasions the split was 22 plus.

(c) The 6F split was recorded at 1:11 plus on four occasions in the last 10years. In one year it was 1:12 plus( Mine That  Bird/sloppy track)he four 1:11 plus splits included two times when the track was sloppy or slow (Smarty Jones/Street Sense)

If the derbies for Smarty Jones & Mine that Bird, run on sloppy tracks are excluded from the computation the average time would be as follows: 22.74, 46.11, 1:10.63, 1:36.21. I am not sure where you got your figures but they are way off.

25 Mar 2010 12:32 AM

Lookin@Lucky, Eskendereya and Ice Box in the KY Derby, not necessarily in that order. Could break out the champagne if Ice Box wins and I hit a multiply Pay out on a superfecta

25 Mar 2010 1:56 AM

BTW there`s a big prep @ Sunland Sunday.  I don`t think Tempted to Tapit will be content to play follow the leader this time.  He should challenge Conveyance early and make for realistic fractions unlike the Risen Star merry go round.  Win Star`s 4th string horse Endorsement makes the trip from the Fair Grounds for Shannon Ritter and gets Albarado on board.  He should be laying off the pace early and if the front runners spit the bit could find himself in the winner`s circle.  Whoever wins or runs second for that matter will vault up the graded earnings list.

25 Mar 2010 4:27 AM
Fran Loszynski


I know I'm a dreamer and want Afleet Alex's legacy to continue and I believe it will. Yes you have a good point why a jockey hasn't come forward to ride him-but I just have a feeling he's going to win the Kentucky Derby out of the blue. He is a fine horse and strong. I'm hoping his heart will kick in. Whatever the outcome I hope Afleet Alex gets to watch his kid race on T.V. !  Ha. Ha.

25 Mar 2010 7:28 AM


Good luck with your mystery horse but I'm not looking beyond Discretely Mine, Mission Impaz1ble, Stay Put and A Little Warm in that order.  Ron The Greek wouldn't be a surprise but he seems too dependent on hot fractions.  Discretely Mine is the class horse of the line up but I'm looking for a huge step forward for Mission Impazible with Rajiv Maragh on board.  This race is a stamina test for A Little Warm and Stay Put is gonna come flying up the lane.  The "math" problem you set me is a bit tedious and not really worth the effort given the scenario that I have outlined.  Tell me how much I've lost when the race is over Bro. (LOL)

25 Mar 2010 10:06 AM


Rule is not yet fully cranked up.  The Florida Derby was only his second race of the season and he is the type to fight on tenaciously based upon past performances and pedigree (he is a close relative of Funny Cide).  Ten furlongs is no problem for this horse when fully fit.  I would prefer to believe his trainer's opinion that Rule can rate.

25 Mar 2010 10:14 AM
El Kabong


The big difference between your stats and mine are two factors.

I used only the last 6 years, info at my finger tips and a 23 flat is included in 23 or greater symbol (23+) likewise, a 1:11 or 137. You conveniently excluded them.

I did exclude the ridiculous fractions set by Spanish Chestnut for obvious reasons. 22.1, 45.2 and 109.3 and 135.4 must be thrown out. Again, you conveniently included them.

But let's not lose the point, the KD splits will not be faster than the FD. Not this year and not in most years.  I'll let you do the historical research on how many times that has happened. Have fun with that.

25 Mar 2010 12:38 PM


You are a riot my friend, LOL, "the least of the apostles" from up north, I found to be hilarious.  Perhaps we should start calling you the TEACHER or better yet, the RABBI on here (LOL).  Your tips are for the diligent student who would learn a bit of pedigree analysis but will only be rewarded if the horse wins thats the part which is more difficult than your "calculus" problem. Good luck Pal.  

25 Mar 2010 1:01 PM


If you have the entries, #11.

25 Mar 2010 1:28 PM
El Kabong

Everyone but coldfacts

Here’s a classic reason why common sense is better than cold facts calculated using pinhead math that some folks use to their own demise.  Using the last 6 years, including spanish chestnut’s time, from the official site of the race, the

20O4  1:11 4  

2005  1:09 3  

2006  1:10 4  

2007  1:11:0

2008  1:11:0

2009  1:12:0

Pinhead math will tell you that the average split for the 6F mark is 1:10 4. Ah hah! El Kabong, you are wrong! Where do you get off? And if you get rid of 2004 and 2009, you are really off.

El Kabong will advise you to use your eyes and common sense. I see 4 years of the last 6 years at 1:11 or greater so that’s what I advise the time will likely be. If you want to side with someone who doesn’t see that, you can.

25 Mar 2010 1:46 PM

After the Wood Memorial run's, and I see how Eskendereya and Awesome Act look going at each other, and how both come out of the race, I'll have a pretty good idea of what my Kentucky Derby tickets are going to look like this year.

25 Mar 2010 3:06 PM


I picked Stay Put to Win. What do you think?

25 Mar 2010 3:59 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Ranagulzion great post I am dying laughing because its so true.

Zookeeper dont tempt coldfacts he will tell you that Stay Puts great grand mother can only win at 7 furlongs and that is great great grand daddy only ran on turf! This is the same guy that says Connemara is going to win the derby when pletcher just said he is a synthetics horse! lol! Any those are the coors light cold hard facts baby!

25 Mar 2010 5:39 PM

What's ridiculous.  We have not as yet seen one contender win 2 in a row in the preps.  The purses have really been spead out.  No telling who will survive the final preps.

25 Mar 2010 7:02 PM

Got Sidneys Candy in top 3

One of the best from out West

25 Mar 2010 10:21 PM


"We have not as yet seen one contender win 2 in a row in the preps"



Sidney's Candy:


26 Mar 2010 12:00 AM

Dunkirk ran huge in the Belmont to place second.  He may not have won, but he was no "beaten horse".

26 Mar 2010 12:22 AM


It seems to me that EL KABONG'S fact check on the average Kentucky derby splits vis a vis this years Florida Derby (assessing Rule's performance/potential) packs a hotter punch than your cold facts Bro.  Gotta be an honest and accurate Poster on this blog or you're gonna get called out folks.  Great stuff.

At one point I was feeling lonely on here but its now great to have some company on the Todd Squad derby train in EL KABONG and MEDLOCKE.  After the Wood Memorial the Esky triple crown train wagon will get rolling and my good friend FIRE SLAM has already booked his ticket. Roll Eskendereya roll.  

26 Mar 2010 1:39 AM


Stay Put is an excellent choice although I like a bomb in the race. His sire Broken Vow is a son of Unbridled whose son Empire Maker sired PioneerOf The Nile the runner up in the 2009 KD. His dam was sired by two times derby broodmare sire Dixieland Band. He is a product of the most successful sire and broodmare lines in the history of the Triple Crown.

It Aint Easy being good,

Your attempt at being funny has failed miserably. If you want to participate meaningfully in this debate you need to have your facts correct. My exact quote was - Connemara is Plether’s best chance of winning the 2010 derby. I never said he was going to win and I assume you are capable of making the distinction. I feel compelled to inform you that there is no such thing as a synthetic horse. If Mr. Pletcher thinks Connemara’s best surface is synthetic, what would he do with the colt if there were no synthetic tracks? Probably send him to the glue factory. Mine That Bird was the 2009 Canadian champion 2YO. He won all the races that landed him the award on a synthetic track. He won the Kentucky Derby that was contested on a dirt track. I am quite prepared to indulge you but you have to keep civil. My capacity for nonsense has long been exhausted.


You seem to have amused It Aint Easy being good a lot with your comments. Now, let me ensure that I use extremely measured language as I have no desire to offend. My tips are not necessarily for diligent individuals. They are for those who are willing to invest the time to undertake research and expand their knowledge base.. You laugh at my use of the term "the least of the apostles" Are you suggesting that such a figures of speech is restricted to biblical subjects. ‘From up North” I cannot see the humor in that term. Is it any different from saying “From across the pond”

Your are imbedded in Mr. Pletcher’s stable and you are unaware that he has a colt slated to start on Saturday whose sire was broodmare sire of Hold Me Back the 2009 Lanes Ends winner and General Quarters the 2009 Blue Grass winner. The colt shares dam sire with Peace Rules the third place finisher 2003 KD. His dam sire Hold Your Peace is a son Speak John who sire was Prince John a son of Princequillo. All three stallions above Hold Your peace were mega champion broodmare sires. The colt is the least of the apostles because he has only three starts and has the least grade earning of those on the radar. I profiled Mission Impazible and you had no clue. You need to get out of that cam you are doing it an injustice.

A.P. Indy has a son starting on Saturday who was bred north of the American boarded. He is presently in Louisiana being prepared for the LA Derby. A.P. Indy needs no introduction. However, this colt dam does. She was the 2004 Champion Three Year Old Filly with earning of over $688K. Last year this colt’s full brother the highly thought of Eye Of The Leapord won the Queen’s Plate. This colt is extremely well bred but has not been running up to his pedigree. He could create a major upset in the LA Derby should he decides to do same. The 2009 renewal of the LA Derby saw Friesan Fire a son A.P. Indy whose dam had earnings of $673K rump to victory. Contrary to popular belief, lightening can strike twice and at a big price. It may sound funny but it’s true, he is from up north.


Check your facts, you are dead wrong.

26 Mar 2010 1:50 AM
It Aint Easy being good

Coldfacts tell me the last time a synthetics horse has won a derby? When I say synthetics horse I mean train, race and prep on synthetics oh yeah thats right never. When is the last time a Pletcher horse has won a derby oh thats right never. Your beloved Connemara is not that good just face it. Good luck explaining his bloodlines when he gets waxed May 1st.

26 Mar 2010 9:44 AM

Forbidden Apple,

“Awesome Act is a powerful runner and will be hard to beat in the Wood. This horse has unknown talent and definitely scares me. I can't wait to see him live at the BIG A when he enters the winners circle.”

I like Awesome Act and if he wins the Wood, you should be very careful with your plans for him in the derby. His dam was sire by Mr. Prospector and there have been a litany of brilliant colts in the past whose dam were sire by the great stallion. Most of them broke down and very few made it to the derby. A small list is cited below:

Rock Hard Ten – Kris S – Tersa by Mr. Prospector (11 Starts)

Scat Daddy Johannseburg – Love Style by Mr. Prospector (9 Strats)

War Pass – Cherokee Run – Vue by Mr. Prospector (7 starts)

Pulpit - A.P. Indy - Preach by Mr. Prospector (6 starts)

Mineshaft – A. P Indy - Prospectors Delite by Mr. Prospector (18 Starts)

Malibu Moon – A. P. Indy - Macoumba by Mr. Prospector (2 Starts)

Indy King - A. P. Indy - Queena by Mr. Prospector (Unraced)

It is interesting to note that Mineshaft made the most starts. He started his racing career in England before switching to the US. Awesome Act is taking the same path. No broodmare sired by Mr. Prospector has been associated with the winner of a Triple Crown race to date. Scat Daddy won the FOY & FL Derby, he finished 19th in the derby. Rock Hard Ten didn’t have the earnings to make the derby but made it to the Preakness and was destroyed by Smarty Jones. He like Mineshaft was better as 4YOs.

Even if he wins the Wood, I think he is a toss from the derby top spot.

26 Mar 2010 9:46 AM

Coldfacts:  You drive me nuts, making me look things up! :-)

Hotep! I like him too.  Don't forget Ron is also an AP Indy colt.

Has anyone else heard about Backtalk's work yesterday?  Wow! Amoss is furious that he went too fast. 6f in 1:09:6.  How many trainers have a colt moving like that?  He started out with 2 work mates 20 lengths ahead.  He was supposed to have been kept 10 lengths behind.  He blew by both workmates.  Awesome!...but it sounds as though they're having a difficult time controlling him in a competitive situation.  Focus, baby, I'm counting on you! (Don't tell my kids I like Backtalk..

..they might not realize it's a horse!)

26 Mar 2010 10:29 AM

PS Cold facts...only one was an actual Derby Prep race...the SW.  The rest were minor stakes.

26 Mar 2010 10:30 AM
Billy's Empire

I am going to say now that Bob will have a 1-2 finish in the KY Derby this year.

26 Mar 2010 10:47 AM


I'll be very honest with you. I figured you were referring to Mission Impazible after I'd posted my first response. And i know about Hotep. Just for the records.

26 Mar 2010 12:27 PM

Slew:  I don`t really consider the Southwest a true derby prep since Oaklawn uses a bogus finish line in mile races which tend to favor the front runners.  I didn`t see Amoss` comments regarding Backtalk`s work.  I thought the timer may have malfunctioned or was accidently triggered.  The Kenner sprint tomorrow may not be  faster.

26 Mar 2010 12:42 PM


#11 MISTER MARTI GRAS (USA) ch. G, 2007 his sire is(Belong To Me). The (2009 Arkansas Derby) winner was Papa Clem, his sire was Smart Strike, his dam was Miss Houdini, (by Belong To Me).

26 Mar 2010 1:53 PM
Forbidden Apple

It's no surprsie that Ranagulzion likes Discreetly Mine and Mission Impazible. Mission Impazible fits a Pletcher regime horse well, since he can not win the KY Derby! Discreetly Mine ran his last race like a turtle, good luck. When a Pletcher horse wins you call them world beaters and when they lose you have a bag full of excuses.

Coldfacts, thank you for the information on Awesome Act. However I know that every year and every horse are different and this colt deserves a chance to step up and knock off another Pletcher donkey. Do you like Conveyance at all, let me know? And what about Mendip, he will win tomorrow?

26 Mar 2010 2:07 PM


I took a long look at Hotep, he being from the north... but his high earning dam threw me off. Mission Impazible completely eluded me. I don't know NEARLY enough about pedigrees to follow your clues to their logical conclusions. I think the subject is fascinating and I enjoy your posts very much. It opens a new door to my appreciation of horse racing. Now that the door is ajar, I want to understand what's behind it. What book(s) do you recommend I read to get started on the right foot?

Just for fun, I'll place a modest "across the board" bet on Hotep. He should be a long shot as in "Pleasant Prince", maybe even better. A small exacta box with Hotep & Mission Impazible is worth a try for a big pay off. Last week was an eye opener for me... so I'm not about to throw out any of your educated picks. However, I'll still place a win bet on Stay Put. I've spent too much time finding him to throw him out the window. Dixieland Band sold me on him. I'm glad you like him also and thank you for the encouraging words.

26 Mar 2010 2:17 PM


You are absolutely entitled to you opinions but you should tell us if you will be willing to eat some crow (lots of it) or do the honorable thing that Mike Relva proposes to do when a Pletcher trained horse wins the Kentucky Derby.  Ranting against Pletcher's horses is okay but if you are proven wrong don't expect Ranagulzion to let you off the hook Pal. Penance you will have to pay or ignobility will come your way.

26 Mar 2010 8:22 PM


Your posting of 26 March, 1:50pm reads like an epistle though you may not be an Apostle (LOL). May I refresh your memory you about your treatise on the San Filipe about a week ago (although I figure you would like this case to be forgotten) in which you waxed warm on philosophy like the great Aristotle, telling us about the "unknown unknown" and led the gullible ones among us to conclude that an unknown colt named Erbeia could upset the apple cart and defeat the well known leading lights like Sidney's Candy, Interactif, Caracotado and even the known pretender American Lion?  You anticipated that Erbeia would reward you hansomely with cash and much needed bragging rights.  I couldn't resist the temptation to re-ash this your nightmare but the "horse from up North," Hotep has apparently taken up Erbeia's mantel in your dream again. Wake up Coldfacts! wake up bro!

26 Mar 2010 8:56 PM

Coldfacts.... I think you got it cold with  Sidney's Candy and Conveyance...  Why Sid is getting no love in the Official Derby Pools is beyond me... won 2 graded stakes in a row... and has he been asked in either? He looks like the Rodney Dangerfield of this year's crop...   That's OK... I 'll take the long odds while I can get 'em.  Conveyance looks solid... Ice Box closed real nice last week to beat my 25:1 shot- oh well that's racing.. and I still think Dublin can get in the money.   Who the jockey will be on Dublin.. I dunno.

26 Mar 2010 10:25 PM

As of –3/26 …prior to La. Derby and the Lane’s End Stakes, the Sportswriters Poll consensus reveals the following:

                                            Watchmaker Odds:

      By ranking & compiling their lists:

  #1     “Lookin at Lucky”:                 4-1

  #2     “Eskendereya”:                      -9/2

  #3     “Awesome Act”:                    15-1

  #4     “Sidney’s Candy”:                 15-1

  #5     “Dublin”:                                20-1

  #6     “Conveyance”:                       20-1

  #7     “Stay Put”:                         not-listed

  #8T  “Discreetly Mine”:                  30-1

  #8T  “Rule”:                                    15-1

#10T  “Ice Box”:                               15-1        

#10T  “Interactif”:                             20-1

#10T  “Odysseus”:                            25-1

#13    “Super Saver”:                         20-1

#14    “Drosselmeyer”:                 not-listed

#15T  “Tempted to Tapit”:                50-1

#15T  “Radiohead”:                      not-listed

#17T  “Ron the Greek”:                not listed

#17T  “Alphie’s Bet”:                        30-1

#19T  “Schoolyard Dreams”:       not listed

#19T  “Fly Down”:                       not listed

#19T  “Soaring Empire”:              not listed

27 Mar 2010 1:28 AM

River city: It's true...the SW is a prep for the Arkansas Derby.   The rest were preps for the Santa Anita Derby. The story about Amoss was relayed via HRTV.  I've been watching his works at the FG, and he's always been one of the fastest there.  I believe the time is accurate.  The closest time to his has been 1:11.4.  Also, Giant Oak has been turning in better times than Ron the Greek, who just started picking up his pace last week.  I feel bad for Jody Slew; I think she was still nursing her injury.  She did not run her usual race, but Quiet Temper did a great job.

27 Mar 2010 7:53 AM

play of the day is Helen Belen in Grade 3 Bourbonette.  Speed fiugres are much the best and she loves Turfway! m/l 6-1!  

27 Mar 2010 9:00 AM


There is probably still some gloom in the Steve Amussen’ barn over the Rachel Alexandra’s loss. The stable can certainly do with a lift and it could come on Saturday the 27th March. It is amazing that such a powerful stable does not have a serious contender for the big dance scheduled for the 1st Saturday in May. The stable will send out a colt in one of the preps on Saturday the 27th March and his profile is very interesting. The colt is Letsgetitmon and it appears his pedigree is ideally suited for the Turfway Park poly track.  His sire Marias Mon needs no introduction as he is known for siring 2001 KD winner Monarchos.  Café Concerto the dam of Letsgetitmon was unplaced in seven starts but she was sires by a Trempolino the winner of the 1987 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.  It’s not very often a mare sired by an Arc winner shows up in a horse’s pedigree.  Trempolino has had success at the highest level as a broodmare sire with Breeder Cup Juvenile winner Action This day and Breeders Cup Distaff winner Round Pond. The dam sire of derby winning sire Marias Mon was Irish bred Caro who was 4th Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) and is known for siring  the siring the brilliant derby winner Winning Colors. Caro was also dam sire of Breedes Cup Juvenile winner Unbridles Song.

Letsgetitmon ran an encouraging race in the G3 LeComte S closing fast from very far back.  The influential turf horses in his pedigree should allow him to perform effectively on synthetic tracks. I think he can spring a massive upset. He is definitely an exotic wager horse.

27 Mar 2010 9:41 AM
El Kabong

TIme to put it on the line for LD. All the blah blah aside. Here's my play in the swamp.


Discreetly Mine

A Little Warm


DM, ALM,Stay Put, Dross


DM, ALM, Stay Put, Dross, Mr. Mardi G

And I've made all my donations for 2010 so get on board or close your hand and take me off your call list. Good luck y'all. If I'm wrong, I hope your right(yes even you naked cadaver truth-cf

Giddy UP!

27 Mar 2010 2:14 PM

steve you were right on about mission impazable make room on your list

27 Mar 2010 7:29 PM
Matthew W

Ain't Easy Bein Good--How many pro ride years, two??? No way can you spot a trend off of just a couple of years--fact is they have been winning on dirt from out here, wanna toss Lookin At Lucky? Be my guest! Too early to spot a trend--I hope they get rid of the stuff but we're stuck with it for now--the track surfaces are "fake" but the horses are real....

27 Mar 2010 9:24 PM

There were so many "Kittens" running last year.  Now Dean's turns up a winner.  Thought I'd just put velvet saddles and chipmunk jockeys on my cats, and let them loose.  Still couldn't decide which would win!  As I bid the Greek adieu, I still haven't formed any impressions except for Lookin At Lucky and Dublin leading my list.  Still like Mendip, but I don't know if he'll come to the US. Here's hoping for the best from Backtalk.  Rivercity: Cash Refund won the 6f sprint in 1:09.13, so Backtalk's work time of 1:09.6 looks honest (on a souped up track).  At this point, the best I can do is bury my head in the sand until May 1st, see who takes Kentucky, and then decide.

28 Mar 2010 8:26 AM


Congratulations on the positive outcome of the "brain-tickling" math problem you set us regarding the LA Derby.  Mission Impazable's win makes you look like Professor Coldfacts ...maybe we'll have to give you your deserved title on here Bro.  My apologies to you for trivializing the exercise ...anyway I myself am on record here as predicting a huge step forward for this colt under Rajiv Maragh.

Regarding Hotep, I guess the less said about that one the better for your reputation but I wont apologise for keeping you grounded on those odd "wild & crazy" upsetter predictions.  Keep up the good work Pal're a good sport.  I do enjoy rumbling with you ...unlike some others we know, you have a thick skin.

28 Mar 2010 9:08 AM

El Kabong,

My response to your post regarding the typical KD 2F, 4F, 6F, & 8F splits was neither to offend nor an attempt at calling you out. You did not specified how you arrived at your figures. Consequently, no comparative fact check could be conducted on your figures. Going forward I suggest you specify the formula used to arrive at your figures. Instead of politely highlighting the period used in you computation you have responded with a rather confused justification. You have done just as bad a job with your respond as being impolite.

Your post highlighted what you determined to be the typical KD splits for 2F, 4F, 6F, & 8F. Your response only addressed only the 6F splits. A proper response would have contained support for all the figures you highlighted. Could it be that those are only figures that are close to those you highlighted? Let’s use the six years you used to determine that the Derby 6F split is 1:11 plus to calculate the average for the other splits:

2009 -   22.98, 47.23, 1:37.49 (Sloppy Track)

2008 -   23.30, 47.04, 1:36.56 (Fast Track)

2007 -   22.96, 46.26, 1:37.04 (Drying Out Track)

2006 -   22.63, 46.07, 1:37.02 ( Fast Track)

2005 -   22.28, 45.38, 1:35.88 (Fast Track)

2004 -   22.99, 46.73, 1:37.35 (Sloppy Track)

Your policy is to focus of the splits that are recorded the most during this period. Using this policy the typical split for each of the categories would be as follows:

2F – 22 seconds plus (22 plus seconds appears the most)

4F - 46 seconds plus (46 plus seconds appears the most)

8F - 1:37 seconds plus (1:37 plus seconds appears the most)

In your initial post on the fractions you listed the typical fractions as for 2F & 4F as 23+ and 47. Now, using your policy of focusing on the times recorded the most in the last six years, these splits’ should be 22+ and 46+.  Your initial post also listed the 8F split as 1:37 plus. Using your policy the 8F split is in fact 1:37 plus. If your policy is adopted, you were right in two of the four categories.

In 2004 and 2009 the KD was contested on sloppy tracks. The 2004 Smarty Jones Derby recorded a final time of 2:04 plus. The Street Sense Derby was contested on a track that was drying out from rain the previous day. I have no need to advise that the times on sloppy tracks are normally slower as the race progresses. Many horses do no perform at their best on theses surfaces. I understand your policy but I do believe a simple average is the better approach as it includes all the times irrespective of track conditions.


From the above you can appreciate that using El Kabong’s policy, he is wrong on the 2F and 4F splits. His policy ignores the tack condition under which some of times were recorded. A simple average captures all the variables as against the adaption of the time most recorded for a particular period. You continue to align yourself with those who are short on substance when you have an opportunity to join the camp of the Coldfacts. “To each his own” This is my final post for the season. Good luck in the derby and I hope Mr. P get of zero. I hope you took my advice and stepped to the bank with MI.

28 Mar 2010 10:28 AM
Forbidden Apple


You asked for the Pletcher bashing when you claimed Quality Road HOY for 2010, Eskendereya a triple crown winner and a small field in the KY Derby because of Pletcher's army of donkeys. Are you a teenager? What's your recent spin on Connemara and Discreetly Mine? It must be that they ran good in your mind, just like Rachel and Rule. Thank you for all of the laughs.

28 Mar 2010 7:48 PM

If Interactif runs big, first or second, in his next race (Bluegrass) look out!

28 Mar 2010 9:12 PM

Good race by Win Star`s 4th string horse who punched his ticket yesterday @ Sunland easily beating highly touted Conveyance.

Best horse to likely come

up short in earnings this year to me is Drosselmeyer.  Maybe they can take a shot in the Lexington in a few weeks.  Drosselmeyer could be joined by Eskendereya after next week`s Wood.

Slew:  The locals disappointed in the LaD.  The track did appear "souped up" which favors those closer to the pace.  No real excuses though except perhaps for Drosselmeyer who seemed to be kept snug on the rail for too long.

29 Mar 2010 9:37 AM
El Kabong

Cold Facts

Again, use your common sense. 22.96, 22.98 and 22.99  combined with the 23.3 are more accurately recorded in my world as 23+. 22+ would not have been as representative of the truth. You will notice that on 47 I did not put a plus. It may have been more accurate to just put 46 + but not by much. I avoided the others so as not to bore the world with the minutia of the mundane, but I will gladly serve it up for you. If your intent was the truth, you should have asked for my method before applying your hammer to my remarks in kind. Instead you went headlong into some long winded twisting tale of historical revision of the ages.If you feel you have been respectful to most out here with the nature of your high horse replies, you are most delusional.expl. "I don't know where you are getting your facts but you are way off." (your words, not mine)No need to apologize, I know you. Your handicapping skills are enjoyable part of these discussions, but your standard for manners are in need of refinement.

29 Mar 2010 1:56 PM
Vale of York

El Kabong

Coldfacts isn't coming to this blog any more.  See his post dated 3/28 10:28 am.  Coldfacts if you see this, I hope you keep coming here.  I enjoy your posts.  Better yet, email me at

30 Mar 2010 6:30 AM

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