March 29, 2010 - Presented by Darby Dan

A huge weekend is coming up that will decide just where the Southern California horses are. I’m letting horses like Caracortado, Alphie’s Bet, and Sidney’s Candy sort themselves out against Lookin At Lucky Saturday to see just which ones are leading Derby contenders. Another California horse who still can make a name for himself on dirt is Dave in Dixie, while Make Music For Me is heading to the Toyota Blue Stakes (gr. I). The intriguing horse in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) is Skipshot, who has won his last three at Golden Gate and most recently worked five furlongs in :58 2/5 at Santa Anita.

We’ll also get a look at American Lion on the dirt for the first time in the Illinois Derby (gr. II). If he shows big improvement, he also will catapult back on the list. Backtalk is another intriguing horse heading for the Illinois Derby, as well as New York-bred Yawanna Twist, who ran a big race in the Gotham.

And we also have Jackson Bend trying to prove he can handle top horses going 1 1/8 miles, as he takes on Eskendereya again and Awesome Act in the Wood Memorial (gr. I).

Aikenite, who has been all but forgotten, has a chance to stamp himself as a legitimate Derby contender with a big effort in the Blue Grass. And watch out for Paddy O’Prado in that race. This horse could be very live and looks about ready to storm onto the Derby scene.

I hated taking Pleasant Prince off the list, but I had to make room for Endorsement and Mission Impazible, and he might be iffy with earnings and no more races before the Derby. The other Ken Ramsey horse, Dean’s Kitten, looked good visually winning the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) over Northern Giant, but he was beaten 33 lengths in his only dirt start. Connemara lost way too much ground in the Lane’s End and could only finish a well-beaten third. I have no idea where he stands now and what to make of him, but wouldn’t be surprised to see him run much better than expected in the Derby in his first try on dirt. He hasn’t run big speed figures, but don’t give up on him just yet.


Eskendereya Todd Pletcher

Giant's Causeway—Aldebaran Light, by Seattle Slew

With the Florida Derby finish enhancing his reputation even further, he heads into the Wood Memorial as an overwhelming favorite and will provide a good gauge on the merits of his main foe Awesome Act. He’s been freshened and should be sitting on another huge effort.


Lookin at Lucky Bob Baffert

Smart Strike—Private Feeling, by Belong to Me

Baffert said he’s 90% sure he’ll stay home for the Santa Anita Derby. It’s not your typical preparation going into the Derby, bouncing back and forth between synthetic and dirt, but the timing is right and he’ll get tested by some new faces. He definitely is the most solid and dependable horse on the Derby trail.


Interactif Todd Pletcher

Broken Vow—Broad Pennant, by Broad Brush

Keeping him where he is for now, even though he hasn’t worked since the San Felipe. He is, however, listed as a probable starter for the Blue Grass Stakes. Would have rather seen him on dirt, but he at least should get a good prep out of it and is certainly good enough to win it. Next step is to see a work from him.


Awesome Act Jeremy Noseda

Awesome Again—Houdinis Honey, by Mr. Prospector

If he can be competitive with Eskendereya in the Wood Memorial, he will establish himself as one of the top contenders for the Derby. Remember, a slight bounce off the Gotham is understandable. If he shows enough to move forward he could be on course to peak on Derby Day.


Ice Box Nick Zito

Pulpit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat

The key will be the six-week layoff and whether he can make up a dozen lengths on Eskendereya. He does have the foundation, with three nine-furlong races this year and five career starts at a mile or longer. With all the speed shaping up, the Derby could set up well for him.


Dublin D. Wayne Lukas

Afleet Alex—Classy Mirage, by Storm Bird

He worked six furlongs in a sharp 1:11 3/5 and should have no excuses in the Arkansas Derby, as long as he gets a decent ride and an uneventful trip this time. Then we’ll know once and for all just how good he is. He’s been asked to do an awful lot in his last two races.


Endorsement Shannon Ritter

Distorted Humor—Charmed Gift, by A.P. Indy

Could it be, with all their big 3-year-olds, this is WinStar’s main Kentucky Derby prospect, coming out of the woodwork to blow away undefeated Conveyance in the Sunland Park Derby and looking awfully good doing it? He’s always been well regarded and loved his inner splits of :23 3/5 quarters and solid come-home time, doing it with relative ease. This is a great break for Shannon Ritter, former exercise rider of Victory Gallop, Menifee, and Distorted Humor.


Noble’s Promise Ken McPeek

Cuvee—The Devil’s Trick, by Clever Trick

He’s a tough competitor who must be respected wherever he runs, but he still has to show signs he will be able to handle 1 1/4 miles, especially off only two starts at 3 and a pedigree top heavy with speed influences. He will need to depend heavily on his strong tail-female family, which is all Darby Dan stamina and class.


Odysseus Tom Albertrani

Malibu Moon—Persimmon Hill, by Conquistador Cielo

He received a form boost when Exhi, whom he destroyed by 15 lengths in his Tampa allowance victory, came back to win the Rushaway Stakes. It has been decided to run him the Blue Grass, which is an excellent spot for him to use strictly as a prep. It will allow him to get another race in and not have to go all out. He certainly doesn’t have to win.


Schoolyard Dreams Derek Ryan

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

Turned in yet another sharp work at Tampa, drilling a half in :46 4/5, indicating he bounced out of the Tampa Bay Derby in excellent shape. The Illinois Derby should be a good spot for him, and more improvement is expected. In addition to picking up much-needed earnings, he basically needs to show he can put good horses away after having them on the ropes. (Late news has come in that he will now run in the Wood Memorial).


Mission Impazible Todd Pletcher

Unbridled’s Song—La Paz, by Hold Your Peace

His Louisiana Derby victory was no surprise off his sneaky good fourth in the Southwest Stakes, in which he re-rallied in the stretch. He did the same at Fair Grounds, although the leaders looked as if they were backing up as well. Fair Grounds 3-year-old form has not held up all that well in out-of-town stakes, so we really don’t know who he beat. Runner-up was stretching out from sprints. But there is something about this horse I’ve liked and he is improving quickly at the right time.


Super Saver Todd Pletcher

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

From a WinStar perspective, it’s a toss-up between him and Rule. He gets on here because he still has one more opportunity to show what he can do rating off the pace. Although nothing has been decided, he most likely will head to the Arkansas Derby. He was my initial #1-ranked horse back in early December, so let’s see if he can do enough to get back to where he was.

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:

Larry Zap

Steve...Toby Turrell & i have started our own show last Saturday...interested in having you on...we have archived the first show on me know if you can come on this

29 Mar 2010 3:04 PM


 I think Jackson Bend could turn up big in the Wood Memorial this weekend.  What do you think about that?

 Also, isn't it funny how him and his stablemate Icebox have reversed roles?!

29 Mar 2010 3:11 PM

Super Saver is still my Derby pick and I am expecting big things from him in the AD.  Surprised to see Dublin ranked 9th.  When was the last time he won a race?  Nobles Promise will never get the distance.  Pletcher will have some explaining to do if SS is on the lead in the AD.

29 Mar 2010 3:27 PM

Sidney's Candy will be on the next one...

29 Mar 2010 3:30 PM

I think discreetly mine should show improvment at 10 furlongs.

he should be in the dozen.

29 Mar 2010 3:40 PM

I'm not dropping Conveyance yet even though Endorsement did look pretty impressive.  I can't wait to see what Backtalk does.  Still keeping Lookin at Lucky and Odysseus at the top.

29 Mar 2010 3:46 PM

What about Tiz the One?  Promising Tiznow colt is 2 for 2, and his 101 Beyer Speed number is impressive.

29 Mar 2010 3:51 PM
Derby Fan

Endorsement looked rock solid yesterday.  Baffert was quoted as saying "I think we saw a star born today."  Being by Distorted Humor can only help him.  Look out!

29 Mar 2010 3:58 PM
Billy's Empire

Where is Dave in Dixie's next start going to be?

29 Mar 2010 4:13 PM

I can't beleive you still have interactif and dublin so high,neither of them have done anything THIS YEAR!

29 Mar 2010 4:16 PM
Rock Hard Ten Inch

Great list, Steve. Beware of Alphie's Bet and Setsuko this weekend. Solis is due for another good Derby mount and been wanting Mandella to have another Derby horse. Neither men have won it yet.

29 Mar 2010 4:20 PM

Lookin at Lucky will run out of luck when he meets Sidney's Candy!He is too slow, and has just been to lucky this far for me. A bet against in my book!

29 Mar 2010 4:31 PM

  Hmmm… Assuming you saw “Mendip”, and by the fact that he got enough earnings in his $200K, showing,--which appears now to possibly be the magic GATE ‘cut off figure’,--I am a bit surprised to see that you still have 3 horses in your 'dozen'  that do not have enough in earnings,-actually 5, but of course I am excluding "Sidney's Candy" and "Eskendereya", whom with any showing will make the $200K plus mark and crack that top 18!,--being those of: "Odysseus"; "Super Saver"; & "Schoolyard Dreams".

  Minimally, it appears 18 slots are already filled!

  The 'Wood' nor the ‘Santa Anita Derby’ do not appear that they will produce any drastic earnings changes, barring some miracle!,--where I only see maybe "Alphie's Bet" stepping up, yet in a really tough field to potentially get added in, and that at very low odds!--So, that leaves only the ‘Ark. Derby, winner, the ’'Ill. Derby' winner and possibly the 'Blue Grass' winner left to likely to crack the top 20!!--Maybe the ‘Coolmore’ winner??? might make enough earnings and affect the apple cart, but that too is a long shot!! Thusly, at this stage, you would have to have all of your ‘behind in graded earnings’ horses raise their pokes! and, or have many connections decide to skip the DERBY to even consider getting those 3 horses in UNLESS, who are still behind a host list of others!!...and that being, unless they actually wake up and shock the world between now a Apr. 10th? Seems too short a window to me! Thusly, just what will "Mendip" do?? “Homeboy Kris”?, and etc. actually do?? … And, then you still have the likes of "A Little Warm"; Radiohead"; & "Uh Oh Bango; still ahead of you earnings wise! Thusly, you may like "Odysseus"; "Super Saver"; & "Schoolyard Dreams" ahead of others, but they likely won't even be in the gate!! that is, unless the present status changes drastically! Just a thought...

29 Mar 2010 4:31 PM

This year I think the only list that will matter is the final list.  With Backtalk, Am Lion or Dave in Dixie likely to win the Illinois Derby.  Then on the 10th Aikenite or Make Music for Me or Paddy  have good shots on the 10th.  

29 Mar 2010 5:06 PM

I'm glad to see you added Endorsement to the dozen because he sure snuck in a highly exciting win yesterday.  Admitting I'm a fan of Win Star, I also have to admit that Endorsement was a complete surprise to me - lol!  Guess I haven't been studying hard enough, but I loved the way he tracked the leader and so easily went by.  Cool horse.

29 Mar 2010 5:10 PM

I'm caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to Dublin.

I like him for The Arkansas Derby but HE doesn't seem to like Chuchill Downs. Bummer.

29 Mar 2010 5:19 PM

I thought Mission Impazible was visually stunning in the post parade.  He looked very strong throughout and after the race.

Endorsement was a shocker.  This could get very interesting.

As you stated, Steve, this weekend will settle out a few of the contenders.

Thank you for your perspectives on each of your Derby dozen.  Lots of thoughts to muse and ponder over what will finally be my own Derby dozen.

Can't let go of Looking at Lucky,  Icebox, Pleasant Prince and Caracortado. Oh, and Odysseus.  Come to think of it, Mission Impazible will certainly be in consideration for me.

29 Mar 2010 5:21 PM

That was an impressive performance by the lightly-raced Endorsement. He closed strongly, so an extra eighth of a mile would appear to be within his scope...The same can't be said for Conveyance. He set moderate fractions, but still faded in the last 1/16. I can't envision him finishing better than mid pack if he's sent to the Derby.

I read on another site that Terry Thompson has reclaimed the mount on Dublin for the Arkansas Derby.

29 Mar 2010 5:36 PM

I look at your rankings every week. It amazes me that you move nobles promise down after not even having raced since the rebel stakes.  It surprises me how reactionary you are every week.  Eskendereya won't win the wood this weekend.  Dublin was going backwards in the rebel stakes, and is going to get blown out in the arkansas derby by nobles promise.  The two best horses are lookin at lucky and nobles promise.  There is not even question about that.  You move endorsement up to 7, and that is a joke. The sunland derby was the easiest prep race, and clearly conveyance cannot go the distance.  I cannot wait until may 1.  Let's look at your list then.

29 Mar 2010 5:40 PM
christy tate

these next two weekends should sort the horses out as to who has a real  chance to win. i just hope if there's a full field of 20 nobody gets hurt.

29 Mar 2010 5:46 PM

Any one of the contenders will beat  BoB Bafferts horse(s)

29 Mar 2010 6:11 PM
Trackman Nick

Steve, as im sure your well aware, Connemara sits to far down on the graded earnings list...29th to be exact and eight of the horses you mentioned in your piece will be in action over the next two weekends. So it is highly likely Connemara will drop down even further. It would take a mass of defections for him to get in the Derby even if those horses do not leap frog over him.

29 Mar 2010 6:15 PM

Why do you rate Interactif so highly, Steve? He's performed primary on turf and synthetics, and has he even won a stakes race this year? My list leans heavily toward recent performers who've shown top speed over dirt and distance. Have a hunch that Endorsement may make a lot of Derby Pool "all others" bettors happy on Derby Day.

29 Mar 2010 6:18 PM

When you have a big money race and you want a jock that smells money, you go to Rocket Robbie.He gets the most out of any horse he rides. Once this year he gave me an $80.00 horse in a feature race.I watched the race with Endorsement and saw a work of art tween a Jock and a Horse. Hope he has enough bucks to get it the Derby. And then again not get stuck in the 20 hole.The scarey thing is the speed horses are dropping by the wayside and that makes Eskendereya a big threat. But D`Funnybone might get in and hes a good one too.Noble`s Promise I feel for. He`s been in some tough races. Lot`s of Heart, but he might just be a bit tired.I was up in the air bout Lookin at Lucky and thinking Baffert was losing his mind with the way he was handling this horse. I apologise Baff, guess you knew what you were doing.I`d make a $2.00 wager he goes off as the Fav. in the Derby. Now I have to wait to see what Awesome Act and Aikenite does. Yurs truly, The Original Derby Fever.

29 Mar 2010 6:21 PM
joe d.

why cant we post our own derby dozen? i dont like your rankings at all this week,except for the top 2(flip flop)

29 Mar 2010 7:03 PM

Skipshot automatically has my support as a sentimental choice as Skip Away will always be my number one horse no matter who runs before or after and I would love to see a son of his in the Derby gate one day. It could happen, however it is getting close to being too late.

As much as he is a sentimental choice, LAL is my pick in the SA Derby.

I hope as well to see Backtalk cement his status as a top contender. He already owns wins over Churchill's track in the Bashford Manor as a two year old. I also like Schoolyard Dreams.

I truly believe that American Lion will improve on dirt. It was clear that he did not like the synthetics and he will prove that. Whether it is good enough to be in the Derby, time will tell.

Endorsement looked v. good in his prep this past weekend. He is bred on the same cross as Any Given Saturday and he looks the part.

The Wood is probably the race I look forward to most of all the preps as it will be a top field and it will definitely give a clearer picture for May 1.

I am also glad that they are giving Odysseus another race before the Derby. I do hope to see Dublin take the Ark Derby... the rider change will be good for him.

29 Mar 2010 7:16 PM


What are your thoughts on Tempted to Tapit's chances if he makes Derby? Also, I'd love to know your top choices for Kentucky Oaks and if you think Blind Luck's synthetics ability will translate well to dirt.

29 Mar 2010 7:31 PM

Esky # 1 !!!

He needs to win or place to even make the field.  Could be deja vu Rock Hard Ten/Eddington scenario.

29 Mar 2010 8:18 PM
johnny d

like music derby lists are very personal. But to put any winners from this weeks prep races are crazy, just because they win the LAST prep dosent mean they must go on your list. Those dont look seasond enough or ready to go a mile and a quarter. Odysseus and alphies bet overcame much more in there last races and look much more like mile and a quarter horses than the 2 horses that won preps this week.

29 Mar 2010 8:32 PM
Lou-i-vul Larry

Good list Steve. Lucky is a special hoss and it will take a lot to beat him in the KY Derby regardless of the outcome in the SA Derby. He's already set.

Super Saver has been #1 on my list since last fall. I wish he had a different handler as Pletcher has so many, not sure he has put the effort into this one and I'm getting skeptical at this point.

Great move to run Odysseus in the Bluegrass. He needs another race and should move forward.

29 Mar 2010 8:57 PM
The Deacon

The list is solid and the Derby is taking shape. I agree with your observation about Lookin At Lucky, switching to synthetic then back to dirt. I want to see how Eskendereya handles the NY racing surface, winning at Gulstream is one thing, winning the Wood Memorial is much more daunting. Endorsement sure looked good, very impressive. I want to see 1 more race from Odysseus. It is still possible that we have not as yet heard from the Kentucky Derby winner, look at last year.

Great article Steve, I really enjoy your observations and content.............

29 Mar 2010 9:36 PM

I think Mr. Haskin has the same faith in Dublin that I had in "Dollar Bill" a few years ago.  

29 Mar 2010 9:44 PM
Jorge Martinez

I like the way Lookin At Lucky won his last race. Something like this could happen in the Kentucky Derby. He defeated traffic!

29 Mar 2010 9:57 PM

there is NOOOO way lookin at lucky will win the derby.  No WAY!

29 Mar 2010 10:10 PM

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

1. Endorsement;

2. Sidney's Candy;

3. Eskendereya;

4. Noble,s Promise;

5. Super Saver;

6. Odysseus;

7. Rule;

8. Ice Box

9. Awesome Act;

10. Lookin at Lucky;

11.Discreetly Mine;

12. Interactif;


14. Pleasant Prince

15.Schoolyard Dreams;

16. Jackson Bend;

17. Mission Impazible;

18. Conveyance;

19. Dublin;

20. a little warm;

21.Ron The Greek;

22. Vale of York;

23. D'funnybone;

24. Drosselmeyer;

25. Tempted to tapit

26. American Lion;

27. Mendip;

28. Dave In Dixie;

29. Radiohead;

30. Stay Put;

31. Aikenite;

32. Setsuko;

33. Dry Fly.

34. Lentenor;

35. Pounced.

29 Mar 2010 11:39 PM

Fair Grounds form has done okay in out of town stakes.  Endorsement, Cool Bullet, and Northern Giant, all did pretty well this weekend.  

30 Mar 2010 1:35 AM

Please folks don't mock my beloved Dollar Bill.  There's no shame in finishing 15th in the Derby.  Just ask Todd Pletcher.  He finishes worse than that all the time but he still pops up on everybody's Top Ten list every year.

And didn't Baffert think a star was born last year too when MTB blew past his hoss in the Derby?  

I think it would be hilarious if Eskendereya threw in a clunker this weekend since he's Numero Uno on so many Derby lists.  It would be especially funny if Nicky Boy finished in front of him.  She'd probably rocket to the top of many Derby lists for beating the almighty Eskendereya.

30 Mar 2010 1:54 AM

Billy's Empire:

 Dave in Dixie, is headed for the Illinois Derby on Saturday.

30 Mar 2010 3:22 AM

4 1/2 weeks away, and no one seems quite sure who is on top.  I'd have to pick the most impressive with LAL.  I hope to see something from Backtalk.  Eskendereya also looks good.  Dublin's efforts have been impressive, as has Noble's Promise's.  Everyone else is still up in the air for me, although Endorsement had an excellent start. And I'm still hoping for Mendip to come.  He had to go around Timely Jazz breaking down, while Musir cut off other horses to win.

30 Mar 2010 5:44 AM

Dublin has the talent, he just needs the win, which he may get in the Arkansas Derby. He ran with an entrapped epilottis, sorry if I butchered that, in his final two starts, which was probably the cause of his poor performance in the his CD Stakes.

I loved Endorsement the other day, but would save him for something like the Belmont. He shows a lot of promise, and I wouldn't want to see that promised rushed out of him. His breeding, I love, with a speed horse on top who can sire just about any type of horse, and a good distance influence on the bottom.

I think American Lion will improve when switched to dirt. His last two races, his worst, were on a track that plays the most like turf, and is very biased against speed. His wins came on tracks that resemble dirt more.

About LAL, I can't believe the stupidity some of you spew about this colt. His ONLY loss was by a head after a HORRIBLE trip, so I think it's safe to say he wasn't so lucky there. In the Rebel he ran the fastest time since Smarty Jones, after being bothered at the start, cliping heals, then coming wide. Again not so lucky of a trip, especially considering it was is 3yr old debut.

30 Mar 2010 5:54 AM

The shake down is starting... I questioned both Rule and Conveyance in their abilities to go long.  Even with the earnings, the distance is ouy of their range.  Sidney's Candy? No way.  Seems to me there are 6 real contenders who can handle the mile quarter: Lucky, Eskenderaya, Endorsement, Noble's Promise. Awesome Act and Dean's Kitten.  If Endorsement comes put of Sunland well, with that pedigree and what we saw Sunday, I think he could win the Indy 500.

30 Mar 2010 6:09 AM
El Kabong


If speed is holding at Ark, SS will have to run on the lead or a very close second. The stretch is very short and if no other pace in race, he won't have a choice. But take heart, horses have shown such speed in races up to Derby and settled just fine on the backstretch of CD on derby day. Barbaro, Smarty and BigB. The concern over a torrid pace assumes that all the front runners will get a clean break. That never happens. The big pace danger is a 8F sprinter running in a race he doesn't belong. I see a couple and when they are confirmed, I'll be concerned about a ridiculous pace. Until then, SS has to do what is best to win the ArkD. Keep the faith on this guy my SS brutha. 11 more days to feast or famine. Until then, have your "new guy" in your hip pocket. These 3 year olds can break your handicapping heart, and you can't bet with that.

30 Mar 2010 6:25 AM

There is a horse that I think can get a mile and a quarter and has a trainer that can get a peak effort out of a horse in a big race.His trainer is not as well accomplished in the triple crown arena as some of his peers but if he gets in, is a big race trainer,remember he won four breeders cup races on one card.The horse is setsuko and I am looking forward to watching him run saturday.

30 Mar 2010 6:31 AM

Wow - so many haters this week , Steve probably can't wait for the Derby to be over so he he can stop defending his opinion so much.

What some people don't understand is a 'Derby list' is your list of who 'you' think will be 'best' on Derby day - not on March 27th.

It's a projection of talent. It's not a list of the 'best 12 eligible with earning' or that would be the title of the list.  

Steve clearly has seen talent that he loves in Interactif. I don't really like his chances but I don't bash the guy every week like lots of folks on here when Interactif is on his list. Give it a rest. Open your mind to the possibility that  Steve gets paid for his opinion because he sees what others don't.

30 Mar 2010 6:56 AM


The last three Triple Crown winners have not been stellar sires or broodmare sires. Seattle Slew and Secretariat have been both sired a winner of two legs of the TC. They have also been broodmare sires of winners of TC races. Affirmed on the other hand has neither featured as a sire nor a broodmare sire on the US TC chart.  However, he sired the Canadian Triple Crown winner Peteski. In spite of their differing records as stallions, they all have one thing in common. They have all been broodmare sires of a Breeders Cup Classic winner. What's the relevance of this? Well, one of the BCC winners was 1981 Eclipse Champion 3-YR-Old Colt, Pleasantly Perfect.  Why has he been singled out? Well, his sire was the winner of two legs of the Triple Crown and his dam was sired by a Triple Crown winner. What possible impact could this information have on your next derby dozen? It depends on the outcome of the AK Derby.

It appears the promising colt Backtalk has been overshadowed by the Mr. Pletcher’s magnificent 7 or possibly 8 and Mr. Baffrett’s small army. In Backtalk we have a colt that has a similar status to BBC & Dubai WC winner Pleasantly Perfect. His sire Smarty Jones won two legs of the TC similar to Pleasant Colony the sire of Pleasantly Perfect and his dam was sired by the TC winner Affirmed who was also the dam sire of Pleasantly Perfect. Backtalk’s victories in the Sanford and Bashford Manor were very workman like although he won them in very fast times. His running style suggests that he is not a sprinter but reflect a wicked turn of foot that appears suitable at just about any distance. He stumbled at the start of the 6F Bashford Manor and had to chase fractions of 21.98 and: 45.84 and still found extra to win in 1:11 plus. In the Sanford he was six wide into the turn after fractions of 21.99 and: 44.96 and won in 1:10 plus. Very few of those heading to AK boast his credentials. I do not think this colt is a late running sprinter as his last race showed that he can go two turns.

As previously mentioned Affirmed has never featured on the TC chart in any category. The last time a TC winner was broodmare sire of a Derby winners was 1965 when the Count Fleet mare Fresh As Fresh was the dam of Lucky Debonair. It was also the last time a Derby winner was broodmare sire of Derby winner as well. There are a couple of colts whose dams were Derby winners but only two will be mentioned as their dam sires’ were TC winners. In addition to Backtalk, the dam of the #1 ranked colt in your dozen Eskendereya, was sired by a TC winner Seattle Slew. Which of these two colts is more likely to repeat history? The overwhelming response surely would be Eskendereya. Well, as I have stated before Eskendereya is not deserving of the #1 ranking as Lookin AT Lucky has the best credentials and defeated Eskendereya in there only meeting. LAL has won on two surfaces and has only lost once. Let’s get back on track. Backtalk was a much better 2YO than Eskendereya. Based on their records he is also the more versatile of the two. Eskendereya could not stumble out of the starting gates and recover to win with fractions of 21 & 45 upfront. He got bumped in the BCJ and went MIA. LAL got bumped in the BCJ and lost by a nose. There are genuine colts and there are frauds. We all know what Eskendereya can do i.e., track a slow pace and sprint clear. However, we have not seen the best of Backtalk as a 3YO because of some interruption in his training program. He is in effect an unknown quantity as a 3YO. I think he is a far better colt than Eskendereya and the one most likely to win the derby as he has more speed, a greater closing kick, just as much stamina and certainly more fighting spirit. I expect an extremely big effort from him in the AK Derby that should propel him into your next dozen.

NB: Could Backtalk be the one to get affirmed on the TC chart? He has speed, the class, the stamina and the fighting spirit of his dam sire. Affirmed was just too good a horse not to at least feature in the races that made him famous .My records reflect that in the last 70 years, no derby winner was the product of a sire who won the derby and a dam that was sired by a derby winner. I would love to know if it has ever occurred.

30 Mar 2010 7:31 AM
Derby Dew


I look to your weekly Derby List to compare my contenders with yours.  One horse that I can't see going a mile and a quarter is Noble Promise.  He just hasn't shown me that he wants to go on.

I do agree, however, with your high ranking for Awesome Act.  No Derby prep race is awaited with more anticipation than the Wood.  All the Act has to do is hit the board and he will remain my choice to win the big one.  Bon chance, Julien!

30 Mar 2010 7:40 AM
Fran Loszynski

I know it's early but here are my picks for the Kentucky Derby-

DUBLIN Kentucky Derby

Harissa or Cuqui's Love  Kentucky Oaks.

I wish Jeremy Rose could ride Dublin but Mr. Lukas likes Thompson and I think Dublin likes Terry.  Bring Dublin Home in the Arkansas, Terry. Prove he's K. Derby material! If you see a little angel near the finish line it will probably be Alex Scott!

Go Alex's Kids.  See you all at the K. Derby!

30 Mar 2010 8:12 AM

Hey Coldfacts, last I read Backtalk was going in the Illinois Derby Saturday.  Has this changed?  I`ve not seen anything stating otherwise.

30 Mar 2010 8:51 AM
Steve Haskin

Sure, Larry. Just let me know when.

30 Mar 2010 9:00 AM
Bill Daly

The thing that occurs to me about predicting the winner of the Derby is that the results often appear to be irrational.  Who could have presented a logical rationale for Mine That Bird last year? A lot of posters on this blog have presented their rationales for why they like this horse or that horse, but just keep Mine That Bird in mind. The Derby result often is the result of a lot of luck, emerging skill and divine intervention.

30 Mar 2010 9:01 AM

Haven't we learned from last year how much can and will change in the next 5 weeks? Come Derby day, some or most of these horses might have vanished from the scene and others come forth.  To me, it certainly is fun to speculate; but I  also know that it's unrealistic to predict 5 weeks out who'll win the Derby.  Remember "I want Revenge" and "Quality Road"? Scratched very late - one even on Derby day! So, I won't speculate - just hope that the best horses make it to the Derby and "May the Best Horse win!"

Hoping that Looking at Lucky is that one horse! But! Who knows! Always surprises in the cavalry of 20 horses! That's what makes it the most exciting two minutes in all sports!

30 Mar 2010 9:16 AM

Does anyone know what happened to Tiz Chrome?

30 Mar 2010 9:25 AM
Steve Haskin

All I can say, Hoofprints, is Amen and thanks for the words of reason.

I'll address two things from posters who had legitimate questions. And the answers will be direct and simple, because, and I hate to say it, no one has a clue about these horses and there are no so-called experts on the Derby trail. History has proven that.

I have Dublin ranked where I do because I don't like anyone better. Pure and simple. We're all guessing and 99.9% of us are wrong.

My lists, like all of them, are merely for entertaintments and not meant to be taken as gospel. It's all about opinion.

Horses who win major stakes get moved up...if theyre impressive. Why would anyone ignore the horses who are proving to be in top form now?

I have Interactif high because of another simple reason. I like him. I like his pedigree, his class, and his versatility. Would I be shocked if he lost the Blue Grass and faded out of the Derby picture? Of course not. It happens all the time to good horses. You take a stand on a horse once in a while and see how it plays out.

Right now, there are two potential Derby favorites and the rest are all lumped in the same big pile. So you pick and choose the 10 you feel most comfortable with and that's basically all there is to it. Trust me from years of experience. There are no geniuses. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes: "There is nothing like a horse to make a person feel like an ass."

30 Mar 2010 9:27 AM
matt h

here's how i see the kentucky derby at this point it is going to be a toss up just like last year i can tell just from this weekends lovely damn derby.  but here are my top three choices looking at lucky, ofcourse he has to show me something in the santia anita derby and no califorina horse that i know of has won the derby in the past ten years or maybe it is longer then that i have no clue.  I know his times are right on target and he seems to handle the dirt well you can tell that by the rebel stakes but i am not so sure what to make of the blinders.  Um when i see blinders on a horse i think the horse has trouble knowing what his job is and is easily distracted he ran fine with out them.  My second choice would be awesome act.  he showed me something in the gothum stakes i think he will be a contender my question is this does he have enought stamina to get down the track in a twenty horse feild.  Convoyence looks pretty impressive but time will tell.  Bob seems to have a pretty good horse this year in him i like what i have seen from this horse so far.  Except for maybe saturday but that might have been a fluck.  I don't really care for that horse because i was looking at the stats sheets before that he finished 9th.  I know i am betting on a horse where he can go eather way.  Michen impossible impressed me alittle bit i usually don't like that horse in the derby but i have a feeling this horse was no fluck.  As usual when we get to this time of year Todds horses fall on there face.  He went from looking like he had it all to now i don't know.  And one more thing about Eskandarea if he don't prove to me he is the real deal in the wood momorial we have a huge problem i know alot of people think he is great after one race because he killed the feild in the fountain of youth but my thinking is this you can't tell a whole lot by just one race.  The last two times i have bet on a horse with gomez on it it blew up in my face.  Or i take that back john vascase.  But as for gomez that little plain of his don't work eather so i am not saying there is any thing to that but it seems to me like both them two guys can't put there horses over the top.  

30 Mar 2010 9:54 AM

Seriously - is Lentenor out of it?

30 Mar 2010 10:30 AM
Bloodline Bob

I said it here in Feb. that LOOKING AT LUCKY would not win the Ky.Derby and probably won't EVEN start in it. I'm standing by that prediction. I also said that the sire of the 2010 KY.Derby winner will have a date of birth in 1997. I'm standing by that prediction also! Waiting is the best part isn't it?

30 Mar 2010 10:52 AM
Steve Haskin

Bloodline Bob, if you are correct in your prediction, which you felt compelled to share with us again, all you're going to get are a couple of possible "well dones;" nothing more. You made two predictions regarding Lookin (not Looking)at Lucky, but gave no basis for them. Without an explanation they mean very little. If you care to share with us why he wont be in the Derby it will give you more credibility should you prove to be correct.

30 Mar 2010 11:34 AM
Billy's Empire

Just watch, Pletcher will finally win a Derby with a horse no one was excpecting to win, Aikenite! That would surely piss a lot of Todd haters off.

30 Mar 2010 11:34 AM
It Aint Easy being good

Coldfacts: you still had connemara as your derby horse you can word vomit about other horses about their pedigrees but the bottom line is you picked Connemara as your derby horse so suck it up and stick with your guns buddy stop jumping ship like draynay! I have to stick with dublin even though he is this years dunkirk actually worse since he hasnt won a race yet!

30 Mar 2010 11:36 AM
El Kabong

LOL Mr. Haskins,

Was that from Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush by chance?

I can't believe your Derby Dozen doesn't include High Hat!

30 Mar 2010 12:21 PM
Peppermint Patty

Wouldn't it be interesting to limit the field to just 12 and eliminate some of the chaos that often ruins the chances for budding super stars to have a Triple Crown shot!  Not to mention making a safer race for all.  The cream doesn't always rise to the top!

30 Mar 2010 12:24 PM

Endorsement looks and runs just like FunnyCide.  By Distorted Humor out of an AP Indy mare?  I smell 1 1/4 miles sitting just off the speed balls.  I think I read they paid 600k for this guy so they expected big things.  Gitty up!

30 Mar 2010 12:42 PM

Steve, how is that Ice Box can be ranked so high, yet, the horse he beat (Pleasant Prince) by a nose - and Pleasant Prince actually ran the better race - in the Florida Derby, is not even on the list?  Also, it kind of steams me that many trainers are keeping their horses strictly on synthetics leading up to the Derby.  Seems to me that they are just taking spots that should go to Derby prospects that are actually being trained to run in the Derby, which, is still being run on dirt.  Why play guessing games right up until the first Saturday in May?

30 Mar 2010 1:06 PM

Billy's Empire,

Re: Aikenite winning the Derby, it would also make Cot(?)Campbell a very happy man! Wouldn't it be a terrific story for his horse to win, after all the years he's been involved in horse racing? I, for one, would be thrilled for him and his partners.

Mr. Haskin,

Welcome back! Will we read an account of your experiences in Dubai? We're waiting...

30 Mar 2010 1:17 PM
It Aint Easy being good

I think this years winner is coming from the arkansas derby. I have this gut feeling about it all week so circle that race on your calendar! That being said awesome act in a romp this weekend!

30 Mar 2010 1:22 PM


Check your FACTS, Backtalk is running in the Illinois Derby.

30 Mar 2010 1:29 PM
Matthew W

Raven: No Alphies Bet on your top thirty? Seven weeks after his maiden score he reemerges as a graded stakes winner, and he did it in style! Big robust guy! Has the look...I have him, right now, on my top four list: Lookin At Lucky, Esky, Interactif...then Alphie! He'll get the 1 1/4, I am quite sure of that...he needs to step up this Sat, 1st or 2nd, I think he will....

30 Mar 2010 1:38 PM

Schoolyard Dreams!!

I was at Tampa Bay Derby & Odysseus did not was Schoolyard Dreams!  It should have been a dead heat.

30 Mar 2010 1:52 PM

OK, I know this is off-the-wall at this point.  Could Hollinger, with one 2F work (so far as I can see on the BloodHorse worktabs), get into the Derby still?  Do Cdn graded earnings count?

Otherwise, gotta say that I ALWAYS liked Eskendereya.

30 Mar 2010 2:12 PM

Sorry: forgot to add Awesome Act.  

30 Mar 2010 2:14 PM

Still think Schoolyard Dreams has the potential to move forward significantly. He looks like he is still figuring the game out and should have plenty of condition to him by the time the Derby rolls around with 3 starts over a mile and one at 1 1/8th miles under his belt. Dominguez should fit him like a glove for the Wood and I look for him to perform well and win it.  He has been working right along with his older stablemate Musket Man which will continue to aid in his development.  What a shock it would be if a horse with an old-school style prep schedule who keeps making gradual, steady improvement steps up and wins the Derby!

30 Mar 2010 2:39 PM


Very interesting to see your responses.  There may be no Derby experts, as you so appropriately state, but there is no better informed turf writer than you when it comes to the Derby (and I am a fan of many different writers).  I will also commend your many intelligent posters.  Everyone keep it going!

I was particularly interested to see your response to why you have kept Dublin and Interactif on the list.  Where I differ from you (and implicitly agree with the poster who was surprised you still have them on the list because neither has achieved much THIS year) is that there are other young horses out there that are showing great promise as inexperienced three year olds. To me, when it comes to making a top 12 list as we approach April's door, I will almost always prefer an up and coming (i.e. inexperienced) three year old over an "accomplished" two year old who has not replicated that two year old form.  The obvious one to me this year is Tiz the One, a 2 for 2 son of Tiznow who is showing Derby-like  ability by any measure (strong maiden win at 6 furlongs and then an eye popping performance and 101 Beyer in his subsequent allowance win at a mile).  In addition to performance, other factors are positive (i.e. Owners - Gary and Mary West, stamina laden pedigree -Tiznow out of Abundantly Blessed by Phone Trick, and trainer (Chad Brown), suggest just as much potential as Interactif right now.  Have I convinced you to replace Interactif with Tiz the One yet??!!

30 Mar 2010 2:54 PM


Love the quote, your the greatest.

So appropriate.

30 Mar 2010 3:04 PM

Jared, no horse has won the Derby since 1882 without racing at age 2.  Even Curlin couldn't get it done, so I seriously doubt Tiz the One will appear on anybody's list.  

I personally agree with Mr. Haskin's logic of putting accomplished two-year-olds on his list. If somebody has used that logic last year Mine That Bird probably would have made it to a few lists.    

But as for Derby lists in general, it's very difficult to accurately pick the winner before the final preps are run and before post positions are drawn.  Mr. Haskin will undoubtedly be mocked by some as a poor handicapper if say, Eskendereya draws a really bad post and therefore finishes off the board.  So this is one time I don't envy your job.  

30 Mar 2010 4:04 PM

I agree with some of the posts about the second place finishers. PLEASANT PRINCE and SCHOOLYARD DREAMS might be better than who they just missed beating. I was totally impressed with ENDORSEMENT. You have to figure heading into the most important weekend of preps that at this point its wide open.

30 Mar 2010 4:07 PM
Matthew W

I would love to own Interactif--He has a most correct and beautiful way of going--he kicked hard and from the head on view, you can see how fluid he was---this is a Derby Horse! A "must use".....also love him in Blue Plastic Stakes--ON TOP, it's a Pletcher/ and it's a Derby prep already!!!

30 Mar 2010 4:21 PM

I write in reply to Irish's comment that no horse since 1882 has won the Derby as an unraced two year old.  Thank you, Irish, I am very happy you brought that up.  You are absolutely right.  I personally thought Curlin would be the one to dispell that particular Derby "absolute," but as you noted he did not get it done(even if he lost a lot of ground that day and still ran a good third).  My only retort to this absolute is that I am "down" on all of these Derby absolutes, which over time have been have stayed as iron clad rules...1) no geldings win (Funnycide), 2) no fillies win the Derby (3 winners, a second place finisher - Eight Belles, and a filly that could have won it in Rachel Alexandra), 3) the dual qualifier absolute, etc..  As you can imagine, I have been waiting for a few years anyway for the colt that will dispell the oldest and last remaining of the Derby absolutes...unraced at two means no way to win the Derby.  Please go to You Tube and watch both of Tiz the One's races.  Tell me what you think of his allowance win.  To me, it is one of the most visually impressive races I have seen this year.  I know there are many young colts that go 2 for 2 and then are unable to handle the step up stakes competititon, but for the reasons I outlined before (great connections, 380K yearling purchase and pedigree), I do not think that will happen with Tiz the One.    

30 Mar 2010 4:43 PM

He won't make the Derby, but Trappe Shot just may be the most talented 3 yr. old. If he stays sound, he'd be my prediction for 3 yr. old Champ.

30 Mar 2010 4:52 PM
Forbidden Apple

1-Awesome Act 2-Lookin At Lucky

3-Endorsement 4-Eskendereya

5-Conveyance 6-Mendip

7-Nobles Promise 8-Sidneys Candy

9-Schoolyard Dreams 10-Odysseus

11-Caracortado 12-Super Saver

13-Ice Box

I am not giving up on Conveyance or Mendip just yet. Conveyance had an easy lead in the Sunland Derby and appeared to be out there for a workout. Endorsement may be a better horse, but Conveyance only lost by 3 lengths in a prep race. The question I have is was that him running hard or him only prepping for the KY Derby? Mendip did have a horse pull up in front of him and ran on well to the wire. Keep in mind that he just might prefer real dirt like Awesome Act does.

I have Lookin At Lucky #2 on my list, however I can understand why some people are not thrilled with this horse. He always seems to do just enough to win and maybe his luck will run out in a field of 20 eager colts.

The Wood will be a very important race and should answer a few questions for me. I see Awesome Act flying down the stretch to win it.

30 Mar 2010 6:38 PM

The best two 9 Furlong times this year (I think don't hold me to it)were run by Eskendereya and Endorsement. Eskendereya will get another chance to verify it wasn't a freakish outing, Endorsement won't

Even so I don't think either outing was

One horse I'll be worried about Derby day is Nobles Promise, not sure if he can do the distance but if he doesn't he'll fight on, could get hurt thats when it happens after all

That would be ashame

30 Mar 2010 6:41 PM
Steve Haskin

Jared, I always welcome your comments and respect your opinions as much as anyone's. Being from the old school, I still have a tendency to look for a good 2-year-old foundation. It's because of the Tiz the One types that lightly raced horses fail to cap off the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. They just do not have the foundation to withstand the rigors of the three Triple Crown races. Tiz the One indeed looked impressive, but to rush a horse with only two starts into the Derby is crazy in my opinion. If you bring up Big Brown, remember he had only two-turn races, which gave him more foundation than your typical lightly raced horses who start off sprinting and then are rushed into a two-turn race.

I'm actually surprised to hear you say Interactif hasnt replicated his 2-year-old form. Getting beaten a nose by a tough horse afrter drawing a terrible post and then making up two lengths on Sidney's Candy thru a :22 3/5 final quarter in his synthetic debut in a grade II race to me is replicating his 2-year-old form and then some. As Matthew said he has a beautiful way of moving and I just like the horse.

To briefly answer jc2, you state with great certainty that Pleasant Prince ran a better race than Ice Box. On what do you base that comment? Also, Pleasant Prince is going to have to struggle to even get in the Derby on earnings, and he has no more races. So his fate will be decided by other horses. Ice Box is in the Derby.

30 Mar 2010 7:07 PM
Bloodline Bob

Steve, In the 135 years of the Ky.Derby has there ever been a sire that was born in Canada? I do not believe there has been one. Smart Strike was born in Ontario,Canada as a son of Mr.Prospector. Mr. Prospector has 3 son's that won Triple Crown races: the 2000 Ky.Derby winner(Fusaichi Pegasus),1985 Preakness winner(Tanks Prospect) and the 1982 Belmont winner(Conquistador Cielo). He will NOT have the 2010 Ky. Derby winner. The Triple Crown History has moved on past Mr.Prospector's son's.

30 Mar 2010 8:39 PM

My pick right now is Lookin At Lucky, and Eskendereya right below him. Now i Have Noble's promise up close to, because if Lookin At Lucky is a serious derby contender than Noble's Promise should be up there to. Dublin ran third to some of the top derby horses so I think he has room for improvement in the AD. I'm watching out for Yawanna Twist. I think he will run really well in the Illinois Derby, he ran very well to Awesome Act who is a big derby horse, and he was coming off an allowance race going 6 furlongs, so there is only room for Improvement in his case.  

30 Mar 2010 8:44 PM

Greetings Steve,

Many thanks for your reply to my question.  First, I am embarrassed to say that I was absolutely mistaken about explanation except I simply "misremebered" how his last race broke down.  By all means, you are right insofar as he has absolutely replicated his two year old form.  

As far as your comment about the seasoning needed to get through the triple crown and the benefit of two turns, I'll meet you half-way.  The lack of a two turn race at this point is a legitimate concern when considering a shot at the Derby, especially for a lightly raced colt, and I appreciate your stated concern (i.e. it is crazy to rush a nice young horse to the Derby!).  From my viewpoint, however, the lack of two turn experience is not a big concern because I was very impressed by the very strong way he has finished both of his races.  The You Tube video shows the gallop out  after his allowance victory, and he looked very strong.  Thus, I do not feel the lack of two turns experience, so long as he gets it in his next race, will be an issue.  

I have to admit that I tend to discount the importance of a lot of two year old experience as a prerequisite to building the foundation necessary to endure the triple crown.  My belief is that most of the good two year olds usually are not able to come back the next year and compete in the triple crown (last year was a particularly good example of that with so many of the top young horses on the sidelines by the first Saturday in May).  Street Sense has proved me wrong in this regard, and I guess one could make a strong argument that the accomplished two year old runners that actually are able to make it to the starting gate in a triple  crown race fair much better on average than the inexperienced three year old who may be rushed to the Derby.  Moreover, I certainly agree with you that as a general rule, it is usually not wise to rush a good prospect too soon.  That being said, however, it seems to me that the general preference against pointing talented but inexperienced runners toward the Derby should not control the decision when you have the right horse.  Perhaps I am very wrong in my evaluation of Tiz the One's potential.  This may be the case, as there has not been the buzz about him that I expected since his last race.  But alsa, he is my Derby horse and like my  sories, I am sticking to him!

Many thankls, again, for your thoughtful reply.  

30 Mar 2010 9:21 PM


Considering there is at least 30 horses that have a chance to win the derby, you do an excellent job providing meaningful content on a week to week basis. Couple notes: I have picked the derby winner 5 of the last seven years. Your column had help me significantly in making my decisions. It's just to early to make chooses that won't change by Derby week. Just the same it is worth while to review your weekly column as it puts things in perspective as things takes shape. The most important info you provide is during derby week when you are on site and had time to speak with connections and to see the final Works on the track.

My picks have changed as well since early in the year from Buddy's Saint (which I believe was injured in FOY- great horse) to Super Saver to today Eskendereya, Ice Box, Endorsement, Mendip & Looking at Lucky. However, I believe Super Savor is going to run big in AD and if all goes well will have an excellent shot at winning the Derby. Contrary to one of your responders comments that earnings is a concern; AD has a 1 million purse and a placing of at least fourth will qualify him. He has every right to be on your list of 12 (having won at Churchill) until we learn more.

Very Best....Xray

30 Mar 2010 9:43 PM

I haven't seen any Big Brown in this year's preps yet, which leaves me with one horse I really think has the potential to win this year's Derby. This horse reminds a great deal of the horse that ran second to Big Brown, Eight Belles (who would have won if not for the circumstance of facing Big Brown). That horse would of course be Mission Impazible. I don't want to seem freaky here, but his dam, La Paz, would translate ,I believe ,to "Her Peace".

30 Mar 2010 11:04 PM

I think at this point we need to remember if a horse doesn't have graded stakes earnings, he won't make it into the field.  This said, some of the picks are very interesting, especially since more than a few aren't slated to run in any of the remaining graded preps.

I've also noticed a couple of people on Backtalk's bandwagon.  A colt that ran a couple of very good sprint races at 2 but was not effective at longer distances later in his 2yr old year, just doesn't look very stong to me. That said, I'd like him to show me something this weekend, because I loved Smarty Jones. Finally, seriously, someone ranked 35 horses?  I guess this makes some weird kind of sense because all we really know for sure right now is that 1 of the 20 horses in the gate on Derby Day will win the race.

30 Mar 2010 11:44 PM

Jared, I actually agree with you about no Derby absolutes.  I used to subscribe to them religiously, but over the past decade so many have been broken.  Big Brown winning from post 20 being the most glaring.

But as for the "no races at 2" I've always considered that the granddaddy of them all.  I'm not going to bet against it until at least one horse in my lifetime breaks it...maybe it will be Tiz The One!

31 Mar 2010 12:53 AM

As I posted here yesterday Setsuko is a horse nobody is talking about.I look forward to seeing him run Saturday

31 Mar 2010 3:19 AM

I read where Win Star is thinking of doing another prep race with Drosselmeyer either in the BG or Lexington.  He doesn`t seem to have a big turn of foot, but his resolute running style could have him passing quite a few horses if he can get into the KD gate.

31 Mar 2010 3:47 AM

If Churchill Downs is a sloppy track on Derby day, Discreetly Mine will wire the field.  Read it here first!

31 Mar 2010 5:15 AM

Bloodline Bob!

There's a first for everything!  You make no sense! Statistics do not matter in the Derby field. Anybody can win given the cavalry of horses and sheer luck of the post position draw, being blocked in, good/bad trip, etc. I hope Looking at lucky wins so you can eat crow! Remember CURLIN beat the Derby winner just two weeks after the Derby! It's not all about the Derby for some of us - but the best horse during and at the end of the season.  And you might remember Smart Strike's son winning the BC in 07 with teh Derby winner only in 4th place!

Go "Lucky!"

31 Mar 2010 7:35 AM


Super Saver will wire the field!

31 Mar 2010 9:16 AM
Steve Haskin

Thanks, X-Ray. I appreciate it. You mentioned the key to everything -- what these horses do and how they look in the two weeks leading up to the Derby. Every Derby horse I've ever selected was based on seeing them up close in person and watching them train. Thats when the Derby winner is revealed. Horses who had "The outstanding Derby work" were Real Quiet, Monarchos, Smarty Jones, Barbaro, Street Sense, and Big Brown. Horses who made the most dramatic improvement from a physical standpoint and blossomed on Derby Day include Sea Hero, Charismatic, Invisible Ink (2nd), and Closing Argument (2nd).

31 Mar 2010 10:52 AM
Steve Haskin

Jared, I'll also meet you halfway because times are changing and us old fogies have to come to terms with it, as evidenced by the big races turned in by Curlin and Big Brown, although those were superstars and could get away with being so unseasoned. I also was impressed with Tiz the One, and being close to Gary West's racing manager Ben Glass, I have been well aware of this colt and his potential for quite a while. However, I also remember what happened when Ben and Gary rushed Buddha to get to the Derby off only four starts and he got hurt two days before the race and never was the same. Four starts seems fine now, but it was considered very little 8-9 years ago until Big Brown shot that premise to hell.

Always great hearing from you.

31 Mar 2010 10:59 AM

AS far as Steve's lists go, I kept wondering why Lookin At Lucky kept holding the top before he even raced as a 3 year old.  After the Rebel...I get it.  Good work, Steve.  Am I worried that Lucky wins only by as much as he needs?  The point being he DOES why would he have to outrun himself?  If Eskendereya doesn't take the Wood, is he in trouble as far as earnings go?..maybe.  I think the Wood will be the toughest prep to call...lots of sure bets.  Backtalk is my choice in Illinois...and I'm looking for a rebound from Dave in Dixie (yeah...and I wanted Ron to come back too..oh well).  I think Yawanna Twist will be in the money. I think LAL will take the Santa Anitia, with Sydney's Candy closing in.  And I still like Dublin.  I like Awesome Act and Noble's Promise too.  Endorsement is promising...the rest I'm iffy about.  I'm soooo confused now.  Let's hope we get the best in the Derby gate...and they can take it from there.  Last year, my I want Revenge didn't make it in the gate...and I was so disappointed.  I'll just continue to watch and learn.

31 Mar 2010 11:11 AM
Matthew W

Steve: Thanks for reminding me of Sea Hero! My brother had come up with a few "musts" for a horse to win the Derby: they must have raced in graded stakes at two/must have run fast at least once (of course, synthetics have changed that as we cannot really fathom what we're seeing) Sea Hero had done just that in the Champagne but the best part was that I played him in a bar in Salem, OR, and they did not co-mingle the pools from Oregon at that time--I got 31-1 on a horse who paid 12-1 at Churchill! The way I can tell if a synthetic horse is for real is this: are they consistently right there?---Lookin At Lucky is just that, his Arkansas race screamed his quality/ his Hollywood race (over Noble's Promise) was run over the cushion track, which is filled with sand and plays like dirt--that's why horses like Zenyatta, Rail Trip AND Lookin At Lucky as well as Noble's Promise are gonna be tearing up the East Coast this season--good luck trying to beat those guys!  

31 Mar 2010 11:14 AM
Matthew W

Lookin At Lucky and Nobles Promise are the two most consistently good horses of the crop, so far--and LAL has certainly been the better of the two--LAL deserves top billing, Baffert has been high on him from the start, not easy being good on ALL of the plastic tracks...

31 Mar 2010 11:29 AM

Could we get another upset this week in the Illinois Derby?  I think Game Ball has a shot in the race.  He`s undefeated when his jockey doesn`t fall off and might have the style is takes on Hawthorne`s fairly long stretch.  Casse is headed back to Canada and perhaps scheduled a side trip for the horse.

31 Mar 2010 11:30 AM
Matthew W

Steve I'm with you! But Big Brown had a very weak crop to dust--I still prefer--need, as it were, a horse to have won at two, and to have contended, not necessarily to have won, v graded guys...Curlin was rushed a bit, and lost in Kentucky, Curlin, the great Curlin could not even come close---Cali has those two turn races for two year olds, I'm always hoping to see one from Cali--outside of Esky and Interactif, I think Cali has a huge shot at the Derby this year, I think Pioneerof The Nile was the best horse going into the gate last year/ I think Lookin At Lucky is #1 as of right now....

31 Mar 2010 11:36 AM

I've read the Steve Haskin Derby Dozen religiously since 2003.   He doesn't get the winner in his actual list some years but watch his articles about how they look and work in the week or two before the race.  There you will frequently find the winner by the way he describes their works, appearance and so forth.  

He even gave a nod to MTB last year before the Derby.  I can't remember his actual quote, it was something about the horse's eye catching strong gallop, and he was the only writer who even mentioned him in a positive light.  Others just blew the horse off as a dud with zero chance to win.

Anyway, I still haven't made any picks this year.  This crop's general inconsistency has me thinking it's another long shot year.  Lookin at Lucky has been the most consistent, but I've gotten burned on CA horses in the Derby so many times that I'm gun-shy about them.        

31 Mar 2010 11:42 AM
It Aint Easy being good

Xray the winner of the derby is coming out of the arkansas derby!!! Steve your very helpful the days leading up to the derby. The horses that you liked did well in the derby and horses like dunkirk and desert party were easy tosses after the post draw came out! I believe you were high on POTN and he did not disappoint in the derby! Hopefully this year you can pick a winner so I can have the beer flow like wine!

31 Mar 2010 11:51 AM

Steve, Good list. I have no big differences with it. I just want to say that dirt/synthetic or whatever, Mr. Baffert knows how to win this race. The good Mr. Beyer last year was blasting away at "synthetic" horses and Pioneer of the Nile would have won if not for Calvin's wild ride. IMO LAL will make up for Bob's near miss last year.

I might add that I thought his odds on the last future wager pool were pretty low, considering that he still has the SA Derby and 5 weeks to go before he even enters the starting gate with 19 other horses.

31 Mar 2010 12:23 PM

Mission Impazible, Nobles Promise, Looking at Lucky, School Yard Dreams......stick a fork in them.  1 1/4 miles is to far for them.  And yes I meant to put Lookin at Lucky in the group.  His bottom line is week on stamina.  Belong to me and Clever Trick are not stamina influences.  Even his sire Smart Strike is not real strong on the distance side unless the mare he is bred to is.....see "English Channel and Curlin".  Lookin at Lucky has a better shot than the others because of his trainer and jockey, but that is only going to get him to the 1/8th pole.  His breeding does not bode well for that last 1/8th.  Noble's Promise is out of a CLever Trick mare and by a sprinter.  Mission Impazible is by Unbridled's Song who is not a stamina influence, nor soundness.  Yes I know about Eight Belles, but she had Dixieland Band as her broodmare sire.  I am keeping my eye on Ice Box.  I never thought I would pay attention to anything by Pulpit going 1 1/4 miles, but was rolling thru the stretch and has plenty of foundation to get him that last 1/8th.  Eskendereya is a logical choice, but his trainer has had rotten luck with the Derby.  His breeding screams 1 1/4 miles.  Did I see he is ranked outside the top 20 on graded earnings??  If I have that wrong, please correct me.  If this is true, he must win or run 2nd to even make the Derby field.

31 Mar 2010 1:08 PM
Matthew W

If you could win a two turn Gr I at two....then you're ahead of the pack/ as likely as MOST---to get the 1 1/4.....

31 Mar 2010 1:53 PM
Matthew W

Baffert with one--and that includes Cavonnier, the unlucky nose second to Grindstone---Baffert with one/Pletcher with six---you choose....

31 Mar 2010 1:55 PM
Matthew W

If American Lion can relax--seeya! Bigtime good horse--tread lightly, as he is a head case at the gate/in the gate....

31 Mar 2010 2:01 PM
Steve Haskin

Bless you, Mary, for remembering that about Mine That Bird. Here is what I wrote:

"Although no one was paying attention, Mine That Bird, who likely will be either the longest or second-longest priced horse in the field, actually turned in a smooth, strong gallop this morning, which caught the eye. There is nothing striking about him physically; he’s just a smallish colt in a plain brown wrapper, but he sure does move well over this track."

31 Mar 2010 2:25 PM

Mr. Haskin,

That small paragragh you wrote from Churchill Downs has haunted many of us for months following the Derby. It will go down in the annals of turfwriting as a very prophetic tidbit of information which most people ignored. (Including me!)

That "smallish colt in a plain brown wrapper" made many fans that day and we defended him against the barrage of insults he suffered at the hand of some very sore losers. Now, he's back in training and will head for Churchill Downs once again. Whether he wins or loses, he will always be a KENTUCKY DERBY CHAMPION and very dear to many of us.

31 Mar 2010 3:03 PM
Steve Haskin

Zookeeper, I observed it. I wrote it. And I ignored it. So don't feel too badly.

31 Mar 2010 3:10 PM
Melneey in Indy

I haven't had a chance to fully scrutinize any of the preps, but I must throw my two cents in and go with Game Ball on the day of the NCAA semi finals.  His pedigree is as good as any of these others. I'm just sayin....

Don't go betting the farm on my account!

31 Mar 2010 3:46 PM

Still like Dublin.  What's up with D. Wayne's choice in Nakatani?  Was Eddie Arcaro not available?

31 Mar 2010 4:10 PM

Mr. Haskin,

Your honesty matches your writing talent. I feel a wee bit better... but not much!  :)

31 Mar 2010 4:19 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Zookeeper trust me I felt the pain I did a 5 horse trifecta and put Chocolate Candy instead of MTB and ignored steves comments and the only reason I was going to put MTB in was the fact of steves comments and of course mr. churchill himself Calvin Borel. Even at the top of the stretch I was golden 2 seconds later I wanted to throw up as the trifecta paid 20K and have been bashing california horses ever since!

31 Mar 2010 4:23 PM

It Ain't Easy,

That explains a lot! But it does NOT excuse it. LOL!

31 Mar 2010 4:37 PM


I don't understand how a two race losing streak against decent fields can be seen as a good thing.  ugh.

Oh well...I could be wrong.

Lookin at Lucky and Eskendereya are the top two right now.

I prefer the CA synthetics to the KY synthetics, so the results of the Bluegrass will be meaningless to me.  I know Street Sense ran in it, but he had already proven he could run on dirt.

If it hadn't been for MTB, POTN would have won the Derby (with Papa Clem finishing 4th) and the questions would have been answered.  And LaL has won on dirt now.

The IL Derby seems to be the "hail mary" race these days, so going there to me means you are just trying to make the field.  Denis of Cork and Musket Man ran credible races in the Derby, but I don't see a horse as good as they were in this field.  American Lion has been crushed in his last couple, so he would have to move WAY up and this is Backtalk's first race since.....I'll wait.

Interested to see what Awesome Act and Alphie's Bet do more than anything.

31 Mar 2010 5:00 PM
Mike Relva


Don't "all of a sudden" lose your memory after May 1, regarding Dublin. You've bash CA horses' repeatly giving them no shot. I'll state what I've said two months ago,Dublin won't win the Derby.

31 Mar 2010 5:04 PM


I know Derby's your thing, but if you had to pick a horse for the Oaks, who'd it be?

31 Mar 2010 5:38 PM

Lest we forget, yesterday (3/30/10) was the 40th anniversary of the birth of Secretariat.  At least none of the current crop of 3 year olds is being jinxed by being compared to him.

31 Mar 2010 6:53 PM

I feel a triple crown coming............

31 Mar 2010 7:19 PM
Paula Higgins

Lookin At Lucky, Eskendereya, and Odysseus for me until we see how things shake out this weekend.

31 Mar 2010 8:23 PM

2 race losing streak, um do you even watch the races or just check to see who came in first?

This is what I like about Dublin.  He was nose to nose with Conveyance at a miles distance on his first start off the long layoff including a stumble start...Conveyance is a formidable miler and the Southwest was the fastest since Smarty Jones (per someone here).  A few weeks later Dublin pulls post 13 is pushed around the out side of the track with two ill timed moves and still finishes no more than 2 lengths off LAL and NP...not bad and it seemed like a great conditioner (remember he is solidly in the money and doesnt need to be gutted for a prep) - Maybe DWL said keep him clear and healthy first and foremost so Corey avoided the traffic.  Solid racing foundation at 2, plenty of experience moving through and around traffic, great works, and absolutely great breeding.  I dont know of any Derby voodoo hex's he falls under either (ie never raced at two etc).   So he fits on the top side of anybodys list leading up to Derby week.  Toss if you like, but Mr.Haskin is trying to tell you something... if you do it now, your doing it too soon.

I'm not in the business of posting derby lists like Steve or HoofPrintsandhorseplay, but I do know a wee bit about horse racing.  And what I know for sure is - these guys are good.  

Now with that said - Everyones a FOOL if you dont have BIM BAM at the top of your LIST!!!!!!!!  (Thats a joke bye the way)

Since I cant list em out, heres my 'Boxed Superfecta' at this time...Dublin, Looking At Lucky, Ice Box, Endorsement.  Eh...

31 Mar 2010 8:46 PM

The pace figures to be ok in the Illinois Derby.  I don't think American Lion is good enough.  Backtack should get the perfect trip.  Dave in Dixie for me.

31 Mar 2010 8:54 PM

noble's promise that the poromise i told to the last year after breeder cup race he is the kentucky derby winner

31 Mar 2010 9:09 PM

It took a two horse entry to beat the last great horse that lived in the us BB before barbaro.Does anyone know who trained the two horse entry that knocked out the champ,clue he won four breeders cup races on one card.This same trainer has a horse running saturday if he beats the juvenile champ what will his post time odds be for the kentucky derby

31 Mar 2010 9:38 PM
John T

English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky was born just down the road from were I live in Canada and

he did go on to sire Kentucky Derby

winner Ferdinand,so in answer to Bloodline Bill,s question,yes a Canadian-Bred has sired the winner of that great race.Smart Strike did not sire a Derby winner with Curlin,but I am more than interested to see how he makes out with Lookin At Luucky.

31 Mar 2010 9:53 PM


31 Mar 2010 9:56 PM

Steve, what is your opinion on the filly Nicky Boy that is apparently being pointed to the Arkansas Derby? I'm not familiar at all with her... any thoughts?

31 Mar 2010 10:27 PM

I think you will see after Saturdays Santa Anita, that it is astonishing that Sidney's Candy was not included in your Derby Dozen. Curious given the fact that Interactif checks in @ #3.

31 Mar 2010 10:30 PM
Bloodline Bob

Steve, you want me to give you a reason why Lookin at Lucky won't be "IN" the Ky.Derby. I don't care if he is in the Ky.Derby but I am saying  he will be a false favorite if he does Run for the Roses. Do you agree with me on that point? Could you answer my question about the Canada sire, has there ever been a Canadian sire that had son or daughter win the Ky.Derby in the 135 yr. history? Thank you for your time.

31 Mar 2010 11:46 PM
Criminal Type

AWESOME ACT ! I love this horses pedigree. Double shots of Almahmoud, Gold Digger, Geisha, Natalma. Those are some superior mares. Now that Conveyance has pretty much shown he cant get the distance, ive pretty much decided my derby trio is AA as mentioned above, Eskenderaya and Odysseus if all perform well in next prep.

I have little faith in Lookin at Lucky, or the other wax and rubber racers. Yes, Lucky did well in the Rebel, I do not think they should have shipped him back to Cali for the SA derby, He should be in the Wood (I dont blame Baffert for ducking Awesome Act or Eskenderaya) or Arkansas Derby field. Obviously the connections do not want to race those two until they have to.

Hats off to Zayat for bringing Eskenderaya east to prep. He may have his best shot at the Derby yet.

01 Apr 2010 7:29 AM

I'm still mad at myself for not putting even a lousy $2 bet on Endorsement...I hadn't seen him before but I looked at his pedigree and went "wow, that's a breeding I would do" and promptly did not include him in my wagering...

I want to see American Lion on dirt, too.

01 Apr 2010 7:59 AM
Fran Loszynski

To Mike Relva and James b

I wasn't going to post again till after the Derby because I have my choice-but-Dublin will be the winner in a "large brown wrapper". I hope I can wave up at you in the stands as Dublin is draped with the blanket of Roses! Here is the scenario:

"On the outside, it's Dublin in a burst of speed-where is he getting this speed! He's doing what his Dad Afleet Alex always showed us! Dublin is neck in neck with Lookin At Lucky, its Lookin At Lucky-it's Dublin.  Dublin has won the Kentucky Derby by a neck-


01 Apr 2010 8:00 AM

Bloodline Bob, Nearctic is Canadian, sire of Northern Dancer.

01 Apr 2010 8:10 AM

I was at the Sunland Derby last Sunday and I can tell you Endorsement looks like the real deal. It appeared he had Conveyance (who did not run badly)any time he wanted. Having Robby Albarado in the saddle is a big plus. And Endorsement looked like he had more in the tank. He's my Derby choice.

01 Apr 2010 8:42 AM

NJ Trotter: D.Wayne changed jockeys last week.  T. Thompson will be on Dublin.

01 Apr 2010 9:55 AM

Someone on one of these blogs asked why folks were edging toward Backtalk.  The answer is...speed. Add the breeding to go the distance.  I like his chances. What I did not appreciate was his debut at Delta where he showed absolutely no focus, yet still somehow won.  I suggested blinkers. His works at the Fair Grounds have been consistantly superior.  IF..and that's a big "if"..he will focus in the Ill Derby...he'll win. 6f in 1:09.6..speed...speed...speed.  Yawanna Twist in the $$.

01 Apr 2010 11:12 AM

Here I was thinking that Northern Dancer never sired a Kentucky Derby winner although his blood is probably in every horse running in the race and DUH! Nearctic sired Northern Dancer.

Thank you Rachel.

(I am still not resigning as High Priestess of the Northern Dancer cult, although I might have to do a little penance by (grudgingly) making a little bow before the Mr. Prospector/Raise a Native voodoo doll(s) I have on the altar.)

01 Apr 2010 11:20 AM
El Kabong

Criminal Type

I share your frustration with synthetic racing leading up to the Derby. However, LAL did run and win very professionally on dirt as did Noble's Promise. Baffert even stated he(LAL) liked it better, so why run him on synthetic? Here's why. Synthetic doesn't tear/build muscle like dirt, but it does build stamina without the damage to the muscle. Most horses come out of a synthethic race in far better shape than if they had run on dirt. The result is a +++ for a horse that does not need to win, just train. Synthetic races take less out of a horse because of less stress to muscle and tendons. Your horse is then ready to move on, as Baffert has stated, is his real goal. Training  on dirt and  fine tuning is all this horse needs. He may not even win the SA Derby and then you'll think, " I told you so, LAL is out." But don't count this guy out for one second. Nafzgar(street sense) and Jones(Hard Spun) both used this method and brought two derby ready horses to the derby with alot more left in the tank than everyone else. Baffert Knows he'll hit the board May 1st, but that is not his goal.

01 Apr 2010 11:26 AM
Forbidden Apple

My early Oaks/Derby double picks will be Apple Charlotte with Awesome Act. Both horses have very bright futures ahead of them.

I still can not believe how many people on here are stuck on Dublin and Drosselmeyer. I have nothing to say about Drosselmeyer because he has always been hyped up for no reason. And Dublin keeps losing, but gains more respect. I can see him throwing in another average race at Oaklawn and yet folks will still be high on him. How many races do these two have to lose before people understand that they will not make a dent in the KY Derby?

Endorsement was scary good on saturday, it is hard to ignore him right now.

01 Apr 2010 12:55 PM
Bloodline Bob

Thank you Rachel for my answer. I have learned alot more now that I did some research on NEARCTIC + NORTHERN DANCER. If Lookin At Lucky wins it will be the second time in 135 yrs. that a son of a Canadian sire won the Ky.Derby.

01 Apr 2010 1:46 PM


Second in the Southwest, and third in the Rebel = 2 race losing streak.

He couldn't beat LAL even with his jockey trying take LAL out of the race, and he couldn't catch Noble's Promise in the Rebel.

He won't catch LAL in the Derby either.

Fran...his daddy didn't win the Derby and he won't either.  At least his daddy had a won a race prior to the Derby though.

Like I said, Dublin is just another Imperial Council or Theregoesjojo.

01 Apr 2010 2:23 PM
Fran Loszynski

Forbidden Apple:

Faith in horseracing is believing in a racehorse even when logic and realists say "Nay". Ask a reporter or fan that watched Seabiscuit. All in all it's going to be a great Kentucky Derby and exciting because all these magnificnet racehorses are champions in their own right with their champion jockeys and that's why I love horseracing as do many fans-as I'm sure you do. Endorsement did look scary good; I'll give you that one. And as always as I've done in the past-I keep an eye on Nick Zito, no matter what racehorse I like. ---but my heart says Dublin.

01 Apr 2010 2:34 PM


You mentioned UPtowncharlybrown as scheduled to run in the next two weeks.  What race are you referring to for him?

01 Apr 2010 4:52 PM
Criminal Type

EL KABONG, Sorry, you have your opinion, I have mine. Why dont you just come out and say Lookin at Lucky is gonna beat Awesome Act and Eskenderaya. HA ! He may beat one of them, but he will beat both of them. What you got in that kabong abyway ?

01 Apr 2010 5:51 PM

Bloodline Bob, no, it will be the 3rd time. As someone else already mentioned, Ferdinand was sired by the Canadian Nijinsky II.

01 Apr 2010 6:35 PM

in illinois derby american lion will have choke hold on him until half way up the backstretch then be turned loose to get the top dollar.

01 Apr 2010 8:07 PM
havana jose

I look forward to the SA derby on saturday so the pretenders will be exposed and the horses that belong in a race where they have to run one mile and a quarter rise to the top.Then again a $750,000 purse IS a means to an end for these middle distance runners that are entered.Hey this is my third post hopefully the editors of this website will post this one I think it is politically correct and I have not stepped on any toes have I.

01 Apr 2010 8:08 PM
El Kabong

Criminal Type

It's a Hookah, much more complicated. Thanks for the laugh, and it wasn't your handicapping this time:) Believe it or not, my jury is still very much in Voir dire.  I must see Esky's next run, as well as Super Saver's. Super Saver's pipes should be clean and ready and it is now or never against a tough field, but he has a pedigree that lights up the board at 10F if he handles this next 9F at Ark Derby. I think Esky and Awesome act will run this tiny field into the ground. No $ there but a great duel down the lane could be fun to watch. Enjoy the races. I'm counting on one of two longshots to team up with Lucky to make exotics pay at SA.

01 Apr 2010 8:14 PM

the best horse todd keep-in his pocket guess don't get mad on me is is is AEKENITE for confirmation see his keenland race plus more proof see the Breeder cup juvenile and u know the real deal sorry for inconvenience for all the world

01 Apr 2010 8:45 PM
Bloodline Bob

Well Steve, 1964=Northern Dancer and 1986=Ferdinand were son's of a Canadian sire so I'll take my gamble and say that 2010 will NOT be the 3rd time that a son of a Canadian sire wins the Ky. Derby. I'll even go further with this AND say that he doesn't WIN the Santa Anita Derby on Sat. 4-3-10 but he will collect a paycheck for his effort Sat. 4-3-10. Bob Baffert will announce that Lookin At Lucky will not be going to the Ky. Derby! LOL.

01 Apr 2010 8:55 PM

Jamesb...We'll just see if Fran and I take your money on Derby day with Dublin.  LAL and ESKY appear to be your picks...thats easy, they've come in first the last couple of races this year.  Good angle, perhaps you only place win bets....not that there's anything wrong with that.

It's tough to knock those two until we know whose in the gate...after all, Esky has yet to earn enough money (but geez he won that last race right).  I dont like to like the california horses but I bit the bullet last year with POTN and he did well so I cant totally ignore LAL, however I will have plenty of tickets with him completely out of the money - same with Esky.  They both seem to need to land on lead to be a factor - I know your thinking what about LAL's run in the Rebel? Well there werent 20 horses to run around and maybe, just maybe, it happened because he isnt that good negotiating the traffic - and maybe that bad break is the only thing that gave him a fighting chance because it forced him to take back.  In the stretch he started lugging in and the jock was all over him to keep him on task - my opinion is he will be hard pressed to get the derby distance on dirt.  If he goes to the lead on the derby as is his MO he will be cooked, if he holds back he may get a piece but I think his win potential is very low.  This is why they are going to the SA will be easier on him, so Baffert must agree that he has to work too hard on the dirt and needs to save it for the Derby.  

Now Esky I think is going to have the same challenge, need the lead, and the speed will cook him (if he gets in).  I also dont think that last race was as impressive in review.  It was slow pace and JV worked him HARD all the way through the stretch - thats why he won by so much day light. I think Johnny V thought someone was bearing down on him and just pushed him all out.  He'll have to repeat that again this weekend for me to believe... My only 'fear' of Esky is the Big Brown factor.  See my home track is Saratoga, I make it a point to go to the Labor day running of the Hopeful every year - my favorite day.  Why? To see the future Derby winner take the Hopeful. Well that is the same day a few years ago that Big Brown won his maiden at Toga on the turf.  We all laughed about his funny name but didnt even think much about Derby potential...shame on us....I remember Esky's race that same day last year, I remember saying..well heres the turf race Big Brown won, lets pick our Derby winner - joking because we were all about Dublin in the Hopeful - well...I picked Esky.  Yeah, so ...If he gets in...I got to cover him...ESKY and LAL are just going to make me spread too thin!

01 Apr 2010 10:20 PM
El Kabong

Bloodline Bob

It's time for your pill, go see big nurse.

01 Apr 2010 11:16 PM
John T

Thank-you Kim for pointing that out to Bloodline Bob.I could have said the same as Rachel but chose Nijinsky instead because he was a son of Northern Dancer and if the truth be known whether it be the Kentucky Derby or any other important race around the globe it,s hard to look past the Northern

Dancer cross.

01 Apr 2010 11:28 PM

Hey, Bloodline Bob.  I guess you don't like Awesome Act either, eh?

01 Apr 2010 11:40 PM
Matthew W

Lookin At Lucky is the horse to beat for the roses this year! I will take Alphie/Caracortado in the threeway box with Lucky! Alphie ta WIN! American Lion in Illinois--he needs to relax! At/in the gate! And if he wants to run--let him!  

01 Apr 2010 11:56 PM

You know, I've been trying to figure out why it matters where a sire comes from?  Bloodline Bob: can you explain to me why this is a reason to remove a horse from consideration as a possible Derby winner?  What's the logic?

If it's simply a way to try to come to some decision about your KD horse this year, when it seems that a lot of them rise to the top with one big win but then don't live up to that promise, why not pick something else just as logical -- eg. just pick grey horses (one of my cousins uses that and demmit! has managed to win more than me!) -- just pick horses with pretty dances before they race (works for the Zenyatta lovers) -- or, maybe the best one of all: just pick against Draynay.

Just wondering.

02 Apr 2010 12:23 AM


Shortly before your dozen dated March 22, 2010, I highlighted the fact that the majority of the contenders were from the Raise A Native sire line. In fact, 7 of the 12 that were listed in your dozen at the time of my post were from this line. I further stated that the composition of the dozen was not consistent with the results of 17 major derby preps that had been completed up to the March 15 2010. Of the 17 major preps, RAN sire line horses had won 5 and the group classified as the Rest had won 12 or 70%. While the RAN line contenders accounted for 58% of your dozen, the prep dominant ‘Rest’ accounted for only 42%.

The composition of your dozen dated March 22, 2010 was more reflective of the results of the preps with the dominant ‘Rest’ accounting for 58% of the contenders and the RAN sire 42%. I was very pleased to see this correction but my pleasure was short lived as the disparity returned in your latest dozen.  Subsequent to the correction, three additional preps were completed and two were won by RAN sire line horses. The score now reads RAN sire line 7 the rest 13.  The RAN sire line achieved a net gain of 1. This net gain resulted in the addition two RAN sire line contenders. The split in heading into your next dozen is RAN sire line contenders 7(58%) and the Rest 5(42%) I am not a math genius, but the million dollar question must be - How can the group that is winning 35% of the preps account for 58% of your list and the group winning 65% account for 42%?

Interactif, Dublin, Noble’s Promise and Super Saver who are all from the RAN sire line have not won a 3YO prep and account for 33% of your latest dozen. These are the contenders that discount the seriousness of your list. Alphie’s Bet the winners of the Sham was very impressive. Are we to assume that Interactif runner up performance to Sidney’s Candy is ranked above his? Dublin in two races has not earned as much or has finished a strong as FL Derby runner up Pleasant Prince and he is bounced. Pleasant Prince got beat by a nose, Dublin has been handily beaten in both his preps. Nobles promise is incapable of beating LAL even when he fall in a race and you bounce the previously unbeaten Conveyance who lost a 9F prep by 3 lengths run in 1:48 plus. Super Saver was literally retired after his Kentucky Jockey Club victory and brought back to crawl home in the Tampa Bay Derby and Caracortado is bounced.  None of your supporters would be opposed to inclusion of Backtalk in the dozen over any of the aforementioned non winner. At least he won his 3YO debut with a troubled trip.

We have become accustom to seriousness form you because that is where you have set the bar. We would much prefer a serious list instead of one weighted to the horses that are likely to make the final cut due to graded earning. Some the mega graded earners will only be racing the ambulance on derby day.

02 Apr 2010 1:36 AM
Fran Loszynski

You are so right Exactabox-There's going to be one heck of a pile up with these great horses and Dublin is going to pull a "Mine That Bird". If Terry or whoever rides him holds him back early and then shifts to the outside Dublin is going home! I see Eskendereya, Lookin At Lucky, Ice Box, and Conveyance in a row and pulling out at the stretch on the outside- Dublin. I know Afleet Alex didn't win the K. Derby that's why his son is going to do it for him!! I'm hoping to go to the Derby and whisper in Dublin's ear "Do it for Dad!" That is if Mr. Lukas let's me get close to him!  Ha. Ha.


02 Apr 2010 8:04 AM

Bloodline Bob, maybe not a son of a Canadian sire, but the winner will be a direct descendant of ONE Canadian horse!

Now, how's that for influence!

One exception, who, I think, is on a "Mission Impazible" to win the KD but you never know.

(PS Thanks, I'm a pedigree fanatic, so I loved checking this out)

All ND descendants:

Lookin At Lucky (ND and SS)


Sidney's Candy

Awesome Act

Ice Box

Noble's Promise




American Lion


Super Saver






Jackson Bend

Pleasant Prince

Alphie's Bet

Discreetly Mine

Schoolyard Dreams

Dean's Kitten

Make Music for Me

A Little Warm


D' Funnybone


Dave in Dixie

Lentenor had ND in 6th generation, with Nearctic in 4th

Only "Mission Impazible" was free of Northern Dancer BUT he was linebred top and bottom with "Nearco", ND's grandsire... sire...

02 Apr 2010 8:06 AM
Fran Loszynski

I think I have the Wood Memorial-

1. Jackson Bend

2. Esky

3. Schoolyard Dreams

I think Awesome Act is going to be squeezed out. He's going to tire. He'll be up front all the way till the end.

02 Apr 2010 9:19 AM
Criminal Type

EL KABONG, Ok, the laugh has been returned, LOL. I know what a Hookah is..I did my college thesis on various types of paraphernalia. In fact I think I have one of those packed away in my attic, maybe three.

I think Lucky is gonna bounce in the SA Derby. I'll say hello to my little friend, Caracortado (scarface) & Alphies Bet. GO GO AWESOME ACT  in the wood!

02 Apr 2010 9:20 AM

Awesome Act at 9-2, how can Jackson Bend be 4-1. I'll take 9-2 on AA. Caracortado is getting no respect in the SAD, at 5-1... good play. He should sit right off a fast pace. LAL off of 3 weeks and has more than enough earnings, Baffert will not kill him.

02 Apr 2010 12:47 PM

When a horse is young and facing a huge crowd, a distance he may have never faced before, and a large field with all the bumping and traffic that goes with it, you might just want to have a horse that has already seen it all. For those folks that want to dump on Lookin At Lucky and how he has been trained, just tell me who else has better prepared their horse for a day like Derby day. His horse also knows how to win, his races are impressive because he knows where to find that special something that gets him to the wire. I hope he stays sound.

02 Apr 2010 1:40 PM

What are the rules regarding foreign horses and graded earnings?  Are only Group 1 races used?  Only races from Dubai?  How about only races where the owner has Al somewhere in his name?

02 Apr 2010 2:40 PM
Criminal Type

Smitty, I believe that group earnings, like graded earings here in the states, would count toward Derby entry. I am not sure of this but I think all group rated stakes count, be they 1, 2 or 3. Which is the same as graded stakes here. All count.

Steve may want to chime in on this one, I am sure he would have the answer. He's a smart cookie as well as a great writer.

It is not just Dubai, but I think any country as long as the horse has the graded/group earnings to get in. Remember Cannonaro II ? He raced in latin america before he came for the Derby and won it.

02 Apr 2010 4:03 PM

I loved the trip down memory lane with your Mine That Bird comments from Churchill.  It just goes to show the talent you have, Steve, for observation.  So, now every word you write from Churchill during Derby week, I plan to dissect under a microscope - looking for the random comment from Steve Haskin that is actually a prophecy.

02 Apr 2010 4:20 PM

I believe ESKENDEREYA will not win the WOOD MEMORIAL , and if he is 4TH , he will not make the Derby field. SYDNEY'S CANDY will win the SANTA ANITA DERBY , the enemy is CARACORTADO, LOOKIN AT LUCKY will run a smooth race , BUFFERT is very clever when he said LAL will not be force because his goal is the KENTUCKY DERBY and he wamts a fresh horse , same as STREET SENSE prep to DERBY.

02 Apr 2010 5:20 PM


UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN (Limehouse), last seen finishing a troubled fifth in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3), is under consideration for the May 8 Dwyer S. (G2) at Belmont Park.

02 Apr 2010 5:35 PM
havana jose

criminal type a high morning line odds horse is a ridiculous overlay.Time for criminal types to speak in yalza code and keep the loot for those thats pockets can keep it foe years to come by puttin it to work

02 Apr 2010 6:23 PM
Bloodline Bob

OK, here are my picks for Saturday's Ky.Derby preps: Wood=Eskendereya; ILL.Derby=Dave in Dixie;Santa Anita Derby=Setsuko. To El Kabong, after I "lose" Sat. I'll take a pill. LOL.

02 Apr 2010 8:28 PM
El Kabong

Bloodline Bob,

I am with you on Esky, and Dave in Dixie. guess I will have to swallow that pill too. :0 LAL will be at Derby, His hay is waiting already. Good luck, to both of us. We'll need it.

02 Apr 2010 9:54 PM

After tomorrow's races, I may change my mind, but right NOW I think I will live with my Derby Superfecta box: Odysseus, Alphie's Bet, Eskendereya and Interactif. I can see Lookin at Lucky, Jackson Bend, Backtalk and Sidney's Candy setting such a hot pace that Odysseus and Alphie's Bet will blast past and finish 1-2!  

02 Apr 2010 11:55 PM

A European champion is an automatic berth.  That I do know.  Group earnings should count from Europe but I don't know if they do.  And I have no idea about SA graded earnings

03 Apr 2010 3:58 AM

Cris- AMEN!

03 Apr 2010 3:59 AM
Criminal Type

Ok Havana, can you please repeat that, in English this time. First of all, I am not a handicapper, I pick the horses I like based on their past performaces and breeding. I am far from an expert in this area. If I win, its blind luck, though admitedly, I've had some really decent blackouts.

I do not bet on races other then the classics or the races on that days card if I happen to be at the track. I will run down to Laurel Park or rather, Charlestown, now that I am in Western Maryland, and place bets for Derby, Preakness & Belmont. Then I go home and watch on TV. I only bet when I know in my hear and soul this horse will win, for example. I had Hard Spun, Street Sense and Curlin in a trifacta box in 07. Also had Barbaro & Bluegrass Cat exacta in 06. I didnt bet in 08 or 09, cause I didnt "feel" it.

Also, I don't think you have the slightest clue who Criminal Type was.

03 Apr 2010 7:05 AM

Occasionally a sire line with either one representative or a debut representative ends up producing the Derby winner. This has occurred by my records twice in the last 27 years.  In 2002 Giacomo (Holy Bull/Great Above) and 1982 Gato Del Sol (Cougar/Tail Of Two Cities) What possible interest could you and your supporters have in this bit of information? Well, the SA Derby is likely to produce a shocker and propel a colt that falls into this category into the 2010 Derby mix.  You highlighted this colt as one of interest earlier in the season. Subsequent to your highlight, I placed him in my chart to research his pedigree. Admittedly, I have not followed his progress but I have not forgotten what my research had revealed about him.

When I researched Skipadate, it was immediately apparent he had a lot of historic derby negatives. His sire Skip Away was a Breeder Cup Classic winner and former HOY.  A.P. Indy has that status and he has not sired a Derby winner. BCC winner are only responsible for one winner of the great race todate. His dam was sired by the 1983 Derby winner Sunny’s Halo. I have not seen Sunny’s Halo in the dam of any horse of worth. In addition to this, the last time a derby winner was broodmare sire of a derby winner was 44 year ago. So his sire is from a category that has produced one winner and his dam sire is from a category that has produced two derby winning broodmares in the last 70 year. By my assessment he was obviously an immediate toss if not for the reasons highlighted in my opening paragraph.

Skipadate goes back to the brilliant Damascus. Damascus was the favorite in his derby and finished in what was considered a disappointing third. He would return to win the Preakness & Belmont. The best horse from the Damascus sire line is undoubtedly the aforementioned the Skip Away. He was an impressive winner of the Blue Grass and a Flop in the derby. He did however finish runner up in the Preakness & Belmont. Included in Skip Away’s 18 victories is a win over the incomparable Cigar in the Jockey Club Gold Cup in what was a pressured gate to wire victory. Sunny’s Halo’s victory in the 1983 Derby could also be considered as a pressured gate to wire win. So what we have in Skipadate is a colt whose sire and dam sire had tactical speed that they carried for 0F. Add the fact that his dam was unraced and you should have a wining formula. However, those nagging negatives mentioned above suggest no.

Skip Away was suppose to be the horse that would keep the Damascus flag flying. but to date he has been a miserable failure as a stallion. His sire Skip Trial won the Haskell Invitational, Travers and MassCap all rout races. However, Skip Away has been a miserable failure as a stallion to date. Could he find redemption in Skipadate? It is not very often a contender from the Damascus sire line emerges and I think one has, in Skipadate. He is by far the best bred horse in the SA Derby field. His pedigree suggests he can be forwardly place and go by the leaders at will with the stamina influence of his sire and dam sire. He could be the one to erase the disappointment that Mr Hollendorfer experience with the 2009 failures of the highly thought of Chocolate Candy. Todd Pletcher is expected to do the Derby and Oaks double with Esky and Devil May Care. However, could the double actually come from Mr. Hollendorfer with Blind Luck and Skipadate. Thruth be told bothe trainer are overdue for a derby win. Todd has a squad but Jerry has the odd one.

Giacomo and Gato Del Sol won their derbies as the odd sire line in the field. A victory for Skipadate in the SA Derby could lay the foundation for another odd sire lie victory in the great race. You never know!

NB: Skip Away is second to only Curlin in North American earnings with $9.6M. It time he step up to the plate with an exceptional horse. Could he just be a dud as a stud?

03 Apr 2010 7:25 AM

I`ll throw in my KD prep picks.  Wood: Jackson Bend...Ill Dby: Game Ball....SA Dby: Posse Power (bombs away)

Aqu sure has small fields in their Sat stakes...late pk4  3/5 & 5 & 4/5 & 2/3

03 Apr 2010 7:52 AM


I dont know if you meant me, I'm not bashing LAL, just trying to find the weaknesses in the apparent faves...but, that said, on LAL's experiences, an angle that has worked well for me is the colts experience with large fields.  While LAL has had some large fields, he has only been successful when he is down by the rail.  This could mean a lot of things but...I will be willing to bet it's an issue if he's not drawn in towards the rail on May 1st...And...I think the fields hes faced in California are weak.

03 Apr 2010 7:57 AM


You just lost your credibility.  As much as I have (and Fran) a liking for Dublin - for admittably some irrational to statical reasons....You misrepresented the truth on the Dublins 2 preps this year.  He was only beaten by a nose in the Southwest...not handily either because he was charging past Conveyance and we all know Conveyance is a miler now.  So your facts are slanted...not straight.

03 Apr 2010 8:02 AM
criminal TYPE

Just back from my illuminatti meeting here in cally you heard it here first.We are making a large show bet in the SA derby not large enough to show our cards until we collect at the window.

03 Apr 2010 1:37 PM
Criminal Type

AWWWW look at Havana Joe, he wants to copy me. Well, you know what they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery. LOL. I think he means Cali, and the only thing he will be collecting after the SA derby is beer cans in a garbage bag.

03 Apr 2010 2:43 PM

Coldfacts, Skipadate isn't running in the SA Derby, as he's a 4 year old. Also, Giacomo won the Derby in 2005, not 2002, and Skip Away is NOT 2nd to Curlin in North American earnings. Remember a horse named Cigar?

03 Apr 2010 4:32 PM

Well as they say READ-EM and weep.The illuminati has collected the largest mutual in the SA derby.And by the way criminal type I am not imitating you I am trying to stir up major domo the editor of this board it is probably you with your long-winded posts with useless information to the bettor.Also any beer drinker KNOWS that GLASS IS BETTER.

03 Apr 2010 6:32 PM

Its official Folks ...we've just witnessed the second coming of BIG RED ...WOW!!!  It is rare to see a 3YO colt taking your breath away while on an afternoon stroll.  To all the skeptics and Pletcher bashers I say ...speak easy and tread softly ...for the remainder of this tear's Triple Crown trail.  I invite you to lay down your skepticism and any animosity towards the very professional trainer whose hour of fullfilment is at hand and enjoy the "ultimate racinig machine" called ESKENDEREYA!!!

Fire slam!!! where are you Bro?  Be lonely no more because a host of "waggonists" are about to join us on Esky's Triple crown waggon (LOL).

03 Apr 2010 7:13 PM

Well , I predit 2 days ago that SYDNEY.S CANDY will gallop the SANTA ANITA DERBY , and that LAL would be 3rd. Now for the derby I do not like SYDNEY;S CANDY , neither LAl . ESKENDEREYA is a horse like BARBARO and BIG BROWN,which I knew were going to gallop the DERBY .The only rival for ESKENDEREYA in the distance is ENDORSEMENT , by pedigree and by last performance, so don/t waste your time in looking for elsewhere because when class arise CHAMPS are not with comics. LOOKIN AT LUCKY could enter in the superfecta but unfortunate this horse hasn't beat any good horse and his rating are discreet.GOOD LUCK IN THE DERBY

03 Apr 2010 9:05 PM

    Following the -4/3 prep race results, and leaving on the -4/10 Ark. Derby; the Blue Grass, and the –4/17 Lexington to potentially change and,or upset these curret standings, listed following….

           1.)    Lookin at Lucky: (Kty.); Tr. B. Baffert; Tomlinson distance rating 311;           $$ 1.46 mil. earnings;

           2.)    Noble’s Promise: (Kty.); Tr. K. McPeek; Tomlinson distance rating 259;            $708K earnnigs;

           3.)    Rule; (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher;  (-1/30 foal); DI 4.60; Tomlinson distance rating 250;  $645K earnings;

           4.)    Eskendereya: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher;  Tomlinson distance rating 336;                    $500K + earnnigs;

           5.)    Sidney’s Candy: (Kty.); Tr. J. Sadler; Tomlinson distance rating 269*; ^             $500K + earnnigs;

           6.)    Endorsement: (Kty.); Tr. S. Ritter; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                          $500K + earnnigs;

           7.)    Mission Impazible: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;          $473K earnnigs;

           8.)    Ice Box; (Kty.); Tr. N. Zito; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                                       $457K earnnigs;

           9.)    Conveyance: (Kty.); gr.; Tr. B. Baffert; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                   $386K earnnigs;

         10.)    Discreetly Mine; (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; Tomlinson distance rating 336;              $355K earnnigs;

         11.)    Dean’s Kittten: (Kty.): Tr. M. Maker; Tomlinson distance rating 276;                   $326K earnings;

         12.)    Dublin: (Kty.); Tr. D.W. Lukas; Tomlinson distance rating 276;                              $293K earnnigs;

         13.)    Homeboy Kris: (Md.); (g) Tr. R. Dutrow; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;              $250K earnnigs;

         14.)    Interactif: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; Tomlinson distance rating 334;                            $270K + earnnigs;

         15.)    Aikenite: (Fla.): Tr. T. Pletcher;   (-1/29 foal); Tomlinson distance rating n/l;          $218K earnnigs;

         16.)    Make Music for Me; (Kty.); Tr. A. Barba; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;           $215K earnnigs;

         17.)    Awesome Act; (Kty.); Tr. J. Noseda; Tomlinson distance rating 302;                    $200K + earnnigs;

         18.)    Backtalk: (N.Y.); Tr. T. Amoss; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                                $200K + earnnigs;

         19.)    American Lion: (Kty.); Tr. R. Budge; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                     $200K + earnnigs;

         20.)    Yawanna Twist: (N.Y.); Tr. R. Dutrow; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                $200K + earnnigs;

         21.)    Jackson Bend: (Fla.); Tr. N. Zito;  DI 6.20; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;             $200K + earnnigs;

         22.)    Mendip: (Kty.): Tr. S. bin Suroor; (Feb. 9th foal); Tomlinson distance rating n/l;     $200K earnnigs;

and the known few remaining potential  hopefuls:

         23.)    Radiohead: (G.B.); Tr. R. Dutrow; Tomlinson distance rating 000;                      c. only $196K earnings;

         24.)    Uh Oh Bange; (Ariz.); Tr. R.C. Owens; Tomlinson distance rating 000;             c. only $188K earnings;

            25.)    Odysseus: (Kty.); Tr. T. Albertrani; Tomlinson distance rating 301;                   c. only $180K earnnigs;

         26.)    Super Savor: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; Tomlinson distance rating 368;                   c. only $163K earnnigs;  

          27.)    Pleasant Prince: (Fla.): Tr. W. Ward; Tomlinson distance rating 000;                 c. only  $162K earnnigs;

         28.)    Connemara: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; Tomlinson distance rating 323;                     c. only $138K earnnigs;

         29.)    Northern Giant: (Kty.): Tr. D.W. Lukas; Tomlinson distance rating 000;            c. only $127K earnnigs;

         30.)    Paddy O’Prado: (Kty.): Tr. D Romans; Tomlinson distance rating 000;               c. only $101K earnnigs;

         31.)    Drosselmeyer: (Kty.): Tr. B. Mott;  Tomlinson distance rating 000;                      c. only  $94K earnnigs;

   …. where it looks like something approaching $211K + is the more likely low cut-off figure barring mass defections!!! …thusly, Steve, I don’t see where you get $180K as the current low

03 Apr 2010 9:25 PM

keep some things in mind

-Sidneys Candy is proven as a   superstar only on synthetic, while he may have the correct locomotion for it, you never know psychologically

-Both Eskendereya and Sidneys Candy got fairly slow paces

-It doesn't appear anyone else in the Wood Memorial could really truly do 9 Furlongs

03 Apr 2010 11:30 PM

Sidney's Candy will be on the next one...

04 Apr 2010 2:00 AM

I can not believe that Sidney´s Candy is not in the list, tremendous horse.

04 Apr 2010 4:47 AM

And time keeps marching and preps keep shaping up the field.  I have to include Eskendereya, LAL, Sydney's Candy, Endorsement, Noble's Promise, Dublin, Setsuko, aligning at the top.  It's going to be a interesting month ahead.  Here's hoping Talamo finally gets his revenge after losing the favorite to a scratch last year.

04 Apr 2010 10:32 AM


Using graded earnings as a qualification for running in the Kentucky Derby is inequitable. A better method would be to award points for finishing 1-5 in Graded stakes. The horses with the most points will then get in based on the grade of the races they ran in rather than the dollars they earned. This is not a new idea. A sample plan is shown below:

Finish GR 1 GR 2 GR 3

1 48 36 24

2 16 12 8

3 8 6 4

4 4 3 2

5 2 1.5 1

04 Apr 2010 10:37 AM
You got to have it

Here it is Sidney's Candy will be comanding the lead in the KDerby while Eskendereya will be tracking Sidney. Looking at Lucky will be sitting behind horses while Setsuko will be trailing.  Here it is Sidney with Talamo will duel it out in the final stretch when Eskendereya is a head in front LALucky will start coming from the outside and Setsuko from far back is rallying to reach them.  The Final will be

1. Looking At Lucky by head

2. Eskendereya by a nose to

3. Setsuko 1 1/2 to

4. Sidney Candy.

04 Apr 2010 11:34 AM


Since ZARVONA mentioned it, what do you think are the chances of a mass defection, in the wake of Esky's awe-inspiring Wood Memorial romp, to spare us a twenty horse clutter and the auxillary gate in the Derby?  

Is this still are far-fetched notion of mine or is reality slowly sinking in?  Game and genuine as he is, does Jackson bend really belong in the same Derby line-up as Esky, and what about Schoolyard dreams and Odysseus?  

04 Apr 2010 11:50 AM

Endorsement is going to upset this apple cart.

04 Apr 2010 1:59 PM

  Thoughts as of Easter…

  “Awesome Act” reportedly lost a shoe at the start of the ‘Wood’ and “Lookin at Lucky” has a bad trip that one might expect in the “Kty. Derby”. Tough to gauge where either really still stands after we thought we were going to get a bead on each versus real competition. Although, “Lookin at Lucky” made up some awesome ground.

  “Sidney’s Candy” who has been in my top 5 for some weeks and a horse Steve has seemed to have largely ignored in favor of the likes of “Odysseus” , “Super Saver”, and “Schoolyard Dreams”, now looks like he could actually wire the Kty. Derby field! He was the only real speed in the SA Derby and galloped right on passed the finish line hardly ever even contested in a sterling 1:48.00. “Eskendereya” gets a 109 Beyer for 1:49.47, what would one assign the run of “Sidney’s Candy”?? (I couldn’t find it posted anywhere.) Then again, the only draw back to “Eskendereya”,--besides that detraction of a “Storm Cat” breeding thang,--is that he has so far never had to look another horse in the eye!

  And then again, besides “Ice Box” growing up before our eyes, “Endorsement” looks more and more on paper like the real late developing deal!  

  Thusly, if Pletcher and “Eskendereya” think the Kty. Derby is theirs if they just show up, they better think again.

  P.S. Also, as of right now, “Mendip” at $200K looks like he will finish 21st-24th on the graded earnings chart at $200K in !!

Therefore my dozen at this juncture looks something like this:

           1.)    Lookin at Lucky: (Kty.); Tr. B. Baffert; Tomlinson distance rating 311;            $$ 1.46 mil. earnings;

           2.)    Eskendereya: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher;  Tomlinson distance rating 336;                  $600K earnnigs;

           3.)    Sidney’s Candy: (Kty.); Tr. J. Sadler; Tomlinson distance rating 269*; ^             $630K earnnigs;

           4.)    Endorsement: (Kty.); Tr. S. Ritter; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                         $400K earnnigs;

           5.)    Ice Box; (Kty.); Tr. N. Zito; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                                     $457K earnnigs;

           6.)    Awesome Act; (Kty.); Tr. J. Noseda; Tomlinson distance rating 302;                     $285K earnnigs;

           7.)    Interactif: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; Tomlinson distance rating 334;                           $270K earnnigs;

           8.)    Dean’s Kittten: (Kty.): Tr. M. Maker; Tomlinson distance rating 276;                    $326K earnings;

           9.)    Noble’s Promise: (Kty.); Tr. K. McPeek; Tomlinson distance rating 259;               $708K earnnigs;

         10.)    Discreetly Mine; (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; Tomlinson distance rating 336;                $340K earnnigs;

         11.)    Aikenite: (Fla.): Tr. T. Pletcher;   (-1/29 foal); Tomlinson distance rating n/l;         $218K earnnigs;

         12.)T  Dublin: (Kty.); Tr. D.W. Lukas; Tomlinson distance rating 276;                             $273K earnnigs;

         12.)T  Rule; (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher;  DI 4.60; Tomlinson distance rating 250;                   $645K earnings;

         12.)T  Make Music for Me; (Kty.); Tr. A. Barba; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;               $215K earnnigs;

         15.)    Conveyance: (Kty.); gr.; Tr. B. Baffert; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                    $386K earnnigs;

         16.)    American Lion: (Kty.); Tr. R. Budge; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                       $255K earnnigs;

         17.)    Mission Impazible: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;              $473K earnnigs;

         18.)    Yawanna Twist: (N.Y.); Tr. R. Dutrow; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                   $217K + earnnigs; (147K?)

         19.)    Jackson Bend: (Fla.); Tr. N. Zito;  DI 6.20; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;              $230K + earnnigs;

         20.)    Backtalk: (N.Y.); Tr. T. Amoss; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                                $222K + earnnigs;

         21.)    Homeboy Kris: (Md.); (g) Tr. R. Dutrow; Tomlinson distance rating n/l;                $250K earnnigs;

         22.)    Mendip: (Kty.): Tr. S. bin Suroor; (Feb. 9th foal); Tomlinson distance rating n/l;    $200K earnnigs;

    sitting on the fence with potentially only one run left to go to make ‘the Dance’…

         23.)    Paddy O’Prado: (Kty.): Tr. D Romans; Tomlinson distance rating 000;               c. only $101K earnnigs;

         24.)    Drosselmeyer: (Kty.): Tr. B. Mott;  Tomlinson distance rating 000;                     c. only  $94K earnnigs;

         25.)    Odysseus: (Kty.); Tr. T. Albertrani; Tomlinson distance rating 301;                   c. only $180K earnnigs;

         26.)    Super Savor: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; Tomlinson distance rating 368;                   c. only $163K earnnigs;

04 Apr 2010 2:52 PM

 With the Fillie major preps behind us,--and  thusly, in order to figure out the illusive "OAKS-DERBY Double",--one is going to have to take a scrutinizing look at this column of potential running fillies in order to figure out an order of finish. (A listing btw the Steve could yearly aid us in taking a crack at!)  

Blind Luck:  (Kty.); Tr. J. Hollendorfer;

Hot Dixie Chick: (Kty.); Tr. S. Asmussen;

Devil May Care: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher;

Tapitsfly: (Kty.); Tr. D. Romans;

Amen Hallelujah: (Fla.); Tr. R. Dutrow;

Christine Daae: (Kty.); Tr. P. Biancone;

Evening Jewel: (Cal.); Tr. J. Cassidy;

Tidal Pool: (Kty.); Tr. D.W. Lucas;

It’s Tea Time: (Kty.);  Tr. R. Arnold;

Crisp: (Kty.); Tr. J. Sadler;

Khancord Kid: (N.Y..); Tr. J. Kimmel;  

Quiet Temper; (Kty.); Tr. D. Romans;

Rose Catherine: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher;

All Due Respect: (Fla.); Tr. K. Walsh; DI 6.00 ;

04 Apr 2010 4:41 PM
Fran Loszynski

I believe Garrett Gomez may have saved Lookin at Lucky's life or a potential injury in the Santa Anita. I know Bob Baffert wanted him to race him and let him run but no offense to any trainer-"but,geesh louise, who's on his back when a horse is running Guys!!!" Sure jockey's can make mistakes but while your ankles are jumping up and down in the stands, your jockey's ankles are steering and holding on for life and your horse's life. Garrett Gomez could steer a locomotive down the finish line! Thank you for saving Lucky- I want to see my Dublin and Lucky race K.Derby Day!

04 Apr 2010 6:24 PM
Bloodline Bob


04 Apr 2010 10:53 PM

  Further late calculations show that graded earnings of $231K or higher could be the required and the safe level to actually gain a gate slot!! That being so, for example where during these final 3 major preps should, "Odysseus", "Super Saver", "Drosselmeyer" &/ or "Paddy O'Prado", or etc. --(potential newbies to crack the $230K + list)--all enter the current earnings list at a figure of $230K or greater !!!

  Also, I too am of agreement that a point system of Graded races--any distance any surface, possibly assigning more & more points to events of greater lengths, extra points per furlong, & extra points per the higher grades, etc.--should count toward determining the final Kty. Derby line up, but you would be bucking the current system of running every weekend vs. on certain trainer desired 'prime' weekend dates possibly. Therefore, much in the way of detail would be needed to be worked out should such a major change be implemented. But, I agree it would be a better system.

  At the moment "Drosselmeyer" one of the highly regarded horses of this generation must be kicking himself at all his just behind by a "nose" and "neck" finishes costing him 'graded dollar', but thats the way it goes & that’s why they run they races. Still, look out for him in possibily the "Preakness", although he'd be much more dangerous in the "Belmont".

04 Apr 2010 11:03 PM

I think Baffert was upset because Gomez maintained the inside and pressed that position where all the trouble was. I really thought during the race that his ride looked like something Borel would do. My opinion is candy is better than he is given respect for.

My dozen are:

1- Eskendereya

2- Lookin for Lucky

3- Sidney's Candy

4- Odyseus

5- Interactif

6- Dublin

7- Rule

8- Endorsement

9- Noble's Promise


11-Mission Impazable

12-Little Warm

regrettingly leaving off Awesome Act, Schoolyard Dreams,Plesant Prince, and Ice Box.

05 Apr 2010 12:43 AM

I watched that wood a few more times but havent set about the serious comparative analysis yet. I am still undecided on what Esky's potential is in the Derby. Why? they walked around the track, there was NO pace, and it was a small field. They ran that thing like a California poly race or a European turf race....the Derby will not unfold like a loosely wrapped birthday present for Esky like this one did. The last time I attended the Wood Memorial I saw a similar incredible display that every one thought was the second coming....remember Bellamy Road?? - I am just sayin' ....while this was a great looking race and Esky dominated the field, it aint gonna be the same conditions by a longshot come Derby Day......The one thing we do know for sure, he's going to be taking all the money.

05 Apr 2010 5:47 AM

The numbers above came out crooked. I will try again in case anyone cares. The points can be assigned thus:

FINISH Grade1 Grade2 Grade3

 1      48    36     24

 2      16    12      8

 3       8     6      4

 4       4     3      2

 5       2     1.5    1

05 Apr 2010 6:53 AM

As awe inspiring as Eskendereya's romp in the Wood was, during his past 2 starts, the horse has basically been kept wide on the backstretch completely out of traffic, has been allowed to gallop into his bridle, has been given his head a full furlong before his competitors, and basically galloped his outclassed foes into oblivion.

This year the Derby post draw is assigned via pill pull. Read: The trainers do not choose posts this year. Your gate is what is in the blind pill draw. Period. This is Pletcher, who has had some bad Derby breaks.

If Esky draws inside, the horse may be in major trouble. If he can get outside via Big Brown, maybe he can steer clear of trouble. We have NO IDEA what this horse can do when steadied, has to be taken up, encounters trouble, etc. Except when he threw in the towel when Lookin at Lucky blew him away in the BC Juvie. So, the question is: Esky: Big Brown or Bellamy Road?

One thing for sure, his final 3/8th AND his pace in both of his preps have been SLOWER than Sidney's Candy. SC ran a 1:12 for 6f and then exploded home in 35.67 seconds for the final 3 furlongs in his ultra impressive SA Derby.

That, ladies and gents, is a serious racehorse. He looks every bit the part his sire Candy Ride did when he beat Medalio d'oro in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar (ON DIRT) and set the track record of 1:59 and change for 10 panels.

Candy Ride received a 123 Beyer Speed Figure for that 10 furlong win. Another son of Candy Ride has looked good recently; Misremembered, winning at 10f at Santa Anita. Candy Ride's damsire was Candy Stripes, sire of Invasor, who excelled at 10 furlongs ON DIRT.

We keep hearing about some so-called speed challenging SC up front, but the fact is, they do not. They are afraid to go with him, and this is setting up like War Emblem II or even Spend a Buck (where Cordero told Whitaker before the Derby he was going to the front and letting the horse run and dared the rest of the field to go with them).

Spend a Buck went 23 flat, 45 and change, 1:09 and change and then really started running...the mile in 1:34 and change and the Derby in 2:00.03. Third fastest Derby in history at the time. It was the biggest laugher in Derby history because NO ONE WAS NEAR THAT HORSE AT ANY POINT. Utter domination from a horse everyone thought might fold when the pace got to 46 or 47 in the Derby. Right.

Esky come home time was 36-1/5 for 3 furlongs in The Wood. Very good, but he is going to have to pick it up to catch Sidney's Candy. And the best part about LAL's game performance Sat. (final 3 furlongs in 36-4/5) is that his price will go way up and he came out of the race very well.

BSFs on synthetic tracks are inherently unreliable. Typically top class horses jump 8-10 points going from synthetics to dirt (like Lookin For Lucky did). LAL did not improve by that much, he just ran on dirt which Beyer actually figures out accurately.

But please, Esky may be special, but let him earn it. He is not the next Big Red, and anyone who knows pace and horseracing knows that. One thing is for sure: The Pletcher choreographed outside galloping show will be officially over when the Derby gates open.

Candy Ride is one of the most underrated classic distance runners in history because he was labeled as a speedster and a miler in his home country. Yet, unlike many other sires, when locked in a stretch duel, CR prevailed.

05 Apr 2010 8:41 AM


I thought that Mine That Bird drove the last nail into the coffin of an ill-conceived notion of changing the Graded Earnings qualification system for the Kentucky Derby last year ...but lo and behold Steve Haskin has unbelievably resurrected the issue and his reason for doing so is no better than last year me.

05 Apr 2010 8:49 AM


The reason for again suggesting a point system is this. Horses are currently accepted in  based on their earnings in graded races. The point system says it does not matter how much money  horses earned in those races but where they finished in those races, the higher the grade the better. This way a horse does better in winning the Fountain of Youth (GR2) than the Sunland Derby (GR3).

It does not prevent a rank outsider from winning.

The worst example of the current inequity can be found today on the DRF earnings list.Uh Oh Bango is ahead of Setsuko. Uh Oh Bango finished 2nd in the GR3 Delta Jackpot. Setsuko was 2nd in the GR1 SA Derby.A point system would have prevented this.

05 Apr 2010 10:08 AM

Esk ran well in the wood in a time of just under 1.50,the clock is alot slower than he looked.All these preps are won by horses on or near the pace setting comfortable early fractions,when the stayers get the pace they want derby day going 10 furlongs we'll see who's boss.Endorsement and LAL,i'd like to see Baffert give the horse to Calvin.

05 Apr 2010 10:44 AM

I don't know what some folks are expecting out of a superior horse in Derby preps ...the shattering of record splits and track records when a colt is preparing for the most rigorous 3 race series of any racehorse's career?  It aint gonna happen just have to be smart enough to read pedigree, performances versus the available competition, the horses's body language, the jockey and trainers comments and reflect on some outstanding past champions record in the same races etc.  Then it becomes simpler.  Otherwise trust Ranagulzion assessment (LOL).  Actually I picked four of the last ten Derby winners (Monarchos, Smarty Jones, Barbaro and Big Brown) and what you'll notice about these is that they all towered over their rivals at the Big Dance here we go again. Eskendereya it shall be!!!

05 Apr 2010 11:47 AM


Your system is prejudiced against horse like Mine That Bird that came from finishing 3rd or 4th in The Sunland Derby.  What qualifies you to choose Setsuko (a Synthetics horse) over UH Oh Bango (a proven under-the-radar dirt gelding that is capable of a shocker similar to Mine That Bird).  

My point is that the current system has never failed to deliver the best line-up (plus a clutter of pretenders of course)...never failed!!! ...not once.  Therefore why agitate for change everytime it seems like one/two of the favourites of some opinion leader is in danger of not making the cut?  I say "leave well-enough alone" or if you prefer, "if it aint broke don't fix it."

In 2004 when Rock Hard Ten and Eddington did not get in they were not deserving and hindsight vindicated that outcome.  At the Belmont they both ran a relay as cheap speed rabbits to foil Smarty Jones Triple Crown bid.  End of story.

05 Apr 2010 12:29 PM

Zarvona:  For the Oaks/Derby DD I`d probably wheel Blind Luck and hope blind luck occurs in the 20 horse derby field.  Sorry Ranag., Esky won`t scare people out of their derby dreams despite your wishing for it.  I wish Hollendorfer would reconsider the derby with Blind Luck.  She`d have a good chance of being the only closer in a speed dominant field where most may be catching asthma down the stretch.  Most of these will see a 6f run in a much faster time than they`ve encountered.

05 Apr 2010 12:39 PM


I have no preference. I am saying that the present system is inequitable because it allows horses in based on their earnings not on the quality of their performances. As to your reference about "synthetic" horses, please note that Uh Oh Bango also leads Odysseus, the winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (GR3) on dirt. I stand by my statement that a points system would be superior.

By the way, be careful about questioning other people's qualifications. You do not want to know what mine is.

05 Apr 2010 4:21 PM

its cool

02 Oct 2010 8:44 PM

im a big derby fan

02 Oct 2010 8:46 PM

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