April 5, 2010 - Presented by Darby Dan


Eskendereya Todd Pletcher

Giant's Causeway—Aldebaran Light, by Seattle Slew

Well, the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth certainly was no fluke. When it comes to combining brilliance with staying power, he stands alone among this year’s 3-year-olds. Only thing left is to see what he can do with a fast pace. His high cruising speed and ability to run his opponents into the ground with little effort make him a legitimate Derby favorite.


Lookin at Lucky Bob Baffert

Smart Strike—Private Feeling, by Belong to Me

Whoever named this colt apparently put the whammy on him. If there is a horse who can use some good luck it is him after three consecutive nightmare trips. He lost all chance in the SA Derby after having to take up badly at a crucial point in the race, but still finished well to finish third. Like the way he accelerated between horses and ran on strongly.


Sidney’s Candy John Sadler

Candy Ride—Fair Exchange, by Storm Cat

Didn’t you get the impression the Santa Anita Derby was over after a half-mile? He always seemed in complete control while setting another slow pace. For a speed horse he sure can motor home, which makes him very dangerous. He actually could turn out to be the only true speed in the Derby, depending on who runs. And when a speed horse can close in :35 3/5 (even on a synthetic surface) good luck trying to catch him.


Interactif Todd Pletcher

Broken Vow—Broad Pennant, by Broad Brush

Yes, he’s still here. No use lowering him now with the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes coming up. Persistence can be a good or bad thing on the Derby trail. We’ll find out soon which one applies in this case. Still want to see him back on dirt, but the Blue Grass will at least serve as a good gauge how he measures up against some top-quality horses from the East.


Setsuko Richard Mandella

Pleasantly Perfect—Dance With Grace, by Mr. Prospector

His one-for-seven career record is not the kind of statistic you want to bring into the Kentucky Derby, but as I’ve said before, I believe this horse will be far superior on the dirt, and is one horse who looks ready to peak on Derby Day. He lost a ton of ground in the SA Derby and flew home his final eighth in :11 3/5. Earnings still a bit of a question.


Ice Box Nick Zito

Pulpit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat

Getting beaten a dozen lengths by Eskendereya is not a blot on the record anymore, and in fact is becoming commonplace. He is a horse on the improve, and is in good hands, and that makes him a legitimate threat in the Derby. But the six-week layoff still is a concern. Main difference between him and archrival Pleasant Prince is he already has the earnings to get in the Derby.


Awesome Act Jeremy Noseda

Awesome Again—Houdinis Honey, by Mr. Prospector

He stumbled at the start of the Wood, lost a shoe, and was victimized by a slow pace. Not sure if he wants to go 1 1/4 miles, but he's a talented horse and certainly deserves another chance. He needs to have his move timed right, and if he gets the trip he should improve big-time and could be ready to peak on Derby Day.


Endorsement Shannon Ritter

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

It’s starting to look as if the only way to beat Eskendereya is from the back of the pack and hope the pace is fast enough to soften him up. That doesn’t bode well for this colt’s style of running, but he is getting very good right now. He could be one of five WinStar horses in the Derby if Super Saver moves forward at Oaklawn and Drosselmeyer runs in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes and picks up sufficient earnings.


Dublin D. Wayne Lukas

Afleet Alex—Classy Mirage, by Storm Bird

Can he get a clean trip in the Arkansas Derby? Can he stretch out to nine furlongs and still be effective? Those are the key questions that should be answered. A win or very strong second would move him up the list. Want to see him show signs that nine and 10 furlongs are within his range.


Odysseus Tom Albertrani

Malibu Moon—Persimmon Hill, by Conquistador Cielo

Have no idea what to expect from him on the Keeneland Polytrack in the Blue Grass. Schoolyard Dreams didn’t boost the Tampa Bay Derby form in the Wood, but who knows how good this horse is and how good he can be with maturity?


Noble’s Promise Ken McPeek

Cuvee—The Devil’s Trick, by Clever Trick

There is no reason why he shouldn’t be right there in the Arkansas Derby. He always is. Because it is only his second start of the year and first at 1 1/8 miles, he needs to run a strong final eighth and show he can keep going.


Mission Impazible Todd Pletcher

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

So tough to choose among him and other Pletcher horses like Super Saver, Rule, and Aikenite. He does have the right running style, is improving at the right time, and has already secured his place in the Derby.


American Lion Eoin Harty

Tiznow—Storm Tide, by Storm Cat

Sorry, had to go to a baker’s dozen again this week. It’s difficult to get a true assessment of his Illinois Derby victory. He took advantage of a track and race that normally favors speed and defeated a horse with distance question marks. But you had to love the 11 1/4-length gap to third. Horses were coming home slowly all day, so his :13.07 final eighth was actually OK.

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:


Anybody know how fast esky's last 3 furlongs were 35 maybe??

05 Apr 2010 2:21 PM
John T

Eskendereya was most impressive in

the Wood Memorial as he did not have to use any of his top gears to

beat two horses who were highly regarded.The big question now is can Esky give Todd Pletcher that much sought after Derby Win? After

watching a performance like that it

seems likely.

 As for the Santa Anita Derby it looked more like a scene from the Marx Brothers comedy movie ''A Day At The Races'' So only time will will tell us about the main players

from this race.

05 Apr 2010 2:33 PM

I think we are set up for classic duel for the TC series between Eskendereya and Sidney's Candy like we had with Affirmed/Alydar, Sunday Silence/Easy Goer and Real Quiet/Victory Gallop.    Eskendereya will win the TC this year if he stays heathy.  Not much competition in this crop other than SC and LAL.  

05 Apr 2010 2:33 PM

You have Lookin At Lucky 2nd and Noble's Promise who lost at the wire 11th ?  Really ?

05 Apr 2010 2:34 PM

Solid list, top horse does look like a standout at this point with ability on dirt and distance looks like no problem. Just dont know what to make of sidneys Candy and will he run on the dirt as effective if he does will make it real interesting. Also, on thederbydream.com Michael Matz talks about pointing Lentenor to the Travers instead of one of the triple crown races.

05 Apr 2010 2:36 PM

I know I'm bordering on blasphemy, but I sure would like to see Garret give Lucky a good ride.  Three bad trips in a row, can't be all be the fault of the horse and/or other riders. Hopefully Lucky will keep his edge and not get discouraged.

05 Apr 2010 2:44 PM

Sidney's Candy up to # 3--Well I told you he would be on the next one.  He is a very special and talented thoroughbred. The best is yet to come.

05 Apr 2010 2:46 PM

Not really sure Inquiry what his final 3 furlongs were. That was an impressive race Eskendereya ran.

05 Apr 2010 2:56 PM

Still sticking with Lookin at Lucky.  The race he had in the Santa Anita was the type of races that makes Derby winners.  A lot of bumping and knocking around in the Derby too.  Takes a good horse to finish as strong as he did.

05 Apr 2010 2:56 PM

if you don't think jackson bend displayed heart and talent in the wood memorial, i don't know what is! he should be on here

05 Apr 2010 2:56 PM

How can LAL be ranked ahead of Sidney's Candy. Even if LAL doesn't get in any trouble he never catches SC. If SC handles the dirt, lookout!

05 Apr 2010 2:57 PM

I guess I'm not sure why SC is merely a speed horse and Esky is a brilliant, staying horse when they have run the same distances...albeit SC ran in front every call and finished the same distance in hand 1.9 seconds faster...

05 Apr 2010 3:00 PM

Anyone know Sidney Candy;s Beyer in the SA Derby?

05 Apr 2010 3:00 PM

I don't agree with you on Sidney's candy, he is strictly on synthetic front runner, that HAS to have a slow pace with no one to else pressuring him, he will melt in the derby just like every speed horse. Any horse that runs a controlled and uncontested 48 half well be sure to finish strong. I counted 5-7 speed or pace horses that will show up come derby day. Did everyone forget 2005 KY Derby, all the horses that won major prep races were all front runners. So far, Sidney's Candy, American Lion, Esky has speed, Rule is going in, Deans kitten shows early speed, super saver, conveyance (not sure if he is going)Endorsement show early speed. If eksy or Lookin at (bad)lucky dont win, well see a mild long shot win. I like awesome act and caracortado, if they can get in they closed well over god aweful slow paces. They will have the pace they need in the ky derby.

05 Apr 2010 3:06 PM

setsuko will be a force to be reckoned with come derby day if he gets in i think that he most likely will. i have his mother with me at the farm getting to give birth. hopefully setsuko will win the kentucky derby.

05 Apr 2010 3:14 PM

Can anyone tell me why Winstar would put a horse like American Lion out on the West Coast where the tracks are all synthetic when the horse is obviously bred to be a dirt horse?  How many races does it take on synthetic to tell them what was obvious before the Ill Derby?  Just doesn't seem logical to me, but what do I know.  Really anxious to see Sidney's Candy run on dirt.

05 Apr 2010 3:15 PM
Kyle S.


I don't know.

05 Apr 2010 3:17 PM

Doesn't Eskendereya look like Big Brown  stalking and drawing away?

05 Apr 2010 3:23 PM

Just read that Eightyfiveinafifty plans to Run in the Derby Trial and then the Derby if he wins.  That would give Sidney's Candy some early speed competition!

05 Apr 2010 3:24 PM

Steve, I am very disappointed with you putting Setsuko on the list and writing that he should get in. I am curious what you think the odds are that Setsuko will get in and thus your definition of SHOULD.

05 Apr 2010 3:25 PM

With Sidney's Candy's stride and high cruising speed, clearly the fastest of the 3 yr old crop, imagine what he is going to do on a dirt track! This colt's running style is absolutely screaming for dirt.

This horse is going to ROMP in the Ky Derby. It will not even be close.

Ladies and Gentleman if you're looking for the derby winner look no further than Sidney's Candy.

05 Apr 2010 3:57 PM


What are your thoughts on the ride that JL gave Awesome Act in the Wood? I know the horse stumbled and lost a shoe so he might have been a little amped on the backstretch, but JL had a hammer lock on the horse. Act looked like he could have at least gone up and challenged Eskendereya. Instead he was held back and then even when he was let run he could not outkick Jackson Bend. Do you think he would have been considerably closer to Esky with a different ride?

05 Apr 2010 4:01 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Speedball where did you read that? Eightyfiveinafifty is good and dont want to seem him in the derby! Why would they run him when he has only ran sprints thats just dumb! I agree that Setsuko will be a force on derby day and is a that closer that everyone is looking for! Benjarno is in his prime and should be flying home in the derby.

05 Apr 2010 4:05 PM

Also, those of you concerned with Sidney's Candy being a "need the lead" type I don't know whether I want all of you to think that so that I can get a better price on him come derby day or if I should break it to you gently.

Watch Sidney's Candy's races. HE NEVER PULLS. NEVER. He relaxes so easily, runs his own race, and is

push button with ease.

Joe Talamo and Jon Sadler both were interviewed after the Sa Derby and Talamo in particular was the one who mentioned how ahead of the game this colt is. They asked Talamo to compare this colt vs. I Want Revenge and he claimed this colt was farther ahead.

This colt showed last year that he can rate if necessary and again a horse that relaxes like this is not your RULE, DEAN'S KITTEN, CONVEYANCE type that desperately needs the lead and will duel himself into submission.

05 Apr 2010 4:06 PM

With the ridiculous wind working agains them during the Illinois Derby, I'm not surprised to see slow fractions at the end of the race. So I'm glad to see American Lion up there. I'm betting he got a lot of fitness out of it with the conditions he was working with.

05 Apr 2010 4:11 PM

It Ain't Easy- that bit about Eightyfiveinafifty running in The Derby Trial and then possibly the Derby was in DRF today in the article about Wood contenders in one of the feature articles of the day.

05 Apr 2010 4:31 PM

Eightyfiveinafifty likely for Derby Trial

Don't call it Derby fever, but the connections of Eightyfiveinafifty have a slight temperature.

Trainer Gary Contessa said Monday that he plans to run Bay Shore winner Eightyfiveinafifty in the Grade 3, $200,000 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs on April 24. Should the horse win that one-turn, one-mile race, he could very well run back one week later in the Kentucky Derby.

"If all goes well, I'm going to the Derby Trial," Contessa said Monday. "He could punch his own ticket to the Derby. I don't have to go to the Derby by any means, but if the Derby Trial is an easy race for him, he comes back a week later in the Derby and that would probably be good for him; it would take the edge off him."

from the DRF -article by Steve Anderson

05 Apr 2010 4:37 PM
You got to have it

1 - Lookin at Lucky by a nose

2 - Setsuko neck to

3 - Eskendereya half to

4 - Sidney's Candy

5 - Endorsement

6 - Convenyance

7 - Mission Impazible

8 - Rule

9 - Dublin

10- Ice Box

11- Interactif

12- American Lion

05 Apr 2010 4:42 PM
Billy's Empire


pay no attention to times when horses are running on different tracks. Esky was running in NY, where I think it had rained, and SC was on a synthetic. ESKY got a 109 beyer, and SC a 100. Esky was much more visibly impressive. I got goose bumps watching him. Someone said he looked like Big Brown. Esky reminded me of a 2009 Rachel Alexandra. he drew off without asking, on his own, in a hand ride. He is a nice colt, and has much better breeding than BB did, being out of Boundary. Looking forward to the races this weekend. Zenyatta, Super Saver, Odysseus, Dublin, Northern Giant, Make Music for ME, it just keeps getting better.  

05 Apr 2010 4:45 PM
Trackman Nick

At first I thought Leparoux gave Awesome Act a butchered ride....I really think he could have gone by Jackson Bend in the stretch at any time, but the more i watch the replay, the more i believe that trainer Noseda was using the Wood for what it was, a prep, and that the way the race unfolded for Awesome Act was by designed...He certainly is a far better horse than he displayed and the form of the Gotham got a little boost when Yawanna Twist cam back to run 2nd in the Illinois derby....i really like Awesome Act's chances in the Derby and they definately will be enhanced by the anticipated pace...the Wood was the perfect setup for his Derby run.....

05 Apr 2010 4:51 PM

Just waiting for Horsehats to make the Eskendereya hat available so I can add it to my collection of Derby winners!!

05 Apr 2010 4:53 PM
Billy's Empire

also, if you want to have a better understanding of how fast Esky ran, the race before the Wood was 1 1/8 stakes race for older horses and the time was at least a 1.5 seconds slower than what Esky ran.

05 Apr 2010 4:58 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I would like to say while I'm here that you are in the top 3 writers in America in any field. Thanks for all of the great articles and insight through the years. I also love your show with Lenny-you two are The Dynamic Duo. Don't break up that team. Setsuko had been at the top of my list since I saw him March 6th. I wanted them to take him to Oaklawn. I too believe that he is really a dirt horse. However, having said that, there is no doubt that the horse to beat is Eskendereya. I don't think I've ever been more impressed with a prep. The ease at which he annihilated that field with his long powerful strides, looking like he could run all day at that pace had me wondering if Belmont Stakes tickets are on sale yet. Being motivated by the fear that Setsuko won't have enough graded earnings, and disturbed that Pleasant Prince has to run in a race they didn't want to run him in, I proposed a new system to determine The Derby entrants-it should be posted on Jason's blog-"one month to go." I don't think the Blue Grass will hurt Pleasant Prince at all for the Derby, provided he gets the earnings and comes out of it OK. I was surprised they wanted to wait 6 weeks anyway. Noble's Promise and Awesome Act would not be on my top 13 list. My top 6 is Eskendereya, Setsuko, Sidney's Candy, Lookin At Lucky, Pleasant Prince, and Interactif.

05 Apr 2010 5:09 PM

  I don’t know exactly what the “last …  in 35” means, but here are some times to play with in your head!!!  

“Least we not forget”:

    “Eskendereya”:      Gr. I  1  1 /18  Wood Memorial:  109 Beyer ???

   Times in 100ths:    ¼ :24.32;   ½  :49.21;   ¾  1:13.54;   1 Mi.  1:37.73;    1  1/ 8  finish 1:49.97;

  “Paddy O’Prado”:    Gr. III  1  1 /18 (T): a 93 Beyer ???

  Times in 100ths:     ¼   :23.11;  ½   :46.56;  ¾  1:10.10;   1 Mi.  1:33.51;    1  1/8  finish  1:45.40;

   “Kankord Kid”: (f)  Gr. III  1  1 /18 (T): __ Beyer ???

   Times in 100ths:     ¼  :23.96;  ½  :48.58;   ¾  1:12.17;  1 Mi.  1:35.32;      1  1/ 8 finish  1:47.14;

   “Sidney’s Candy”:  Gr. I  1  1 /18 Santa Anita Derby:  __ Beyer ???

  Times in 100ths:     ¼   :24.00;  ½   :48.50;  ¾  1:12.33;    1 Mi.  1:35.55;   1  1 /18 finish; 1:48.00;

05 Apr 2010 5:14 PM

I was impressed with Sidney's Candy's winning time compared to Eskeneraya's.  1:50 for the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct is not jaw-dropping, and although he did it easily, there was obviously not that much behind him.  Eskendereya and Sidney's Candy both covered the last 1/8th mile in comparable time.

Remember, Candy Ride ran 1 1/4 miles at Del Mar in 1:59, NTR.

05 Apr 2010 5:16 PM

    (ya really think maybe we should add a few Beyer points (like maybe 5+ !!!!) for artificial do ya????

   “Sidney’s Candy”:  Gr. I  1  1 /18 Santa Anita Derby:  100 Beyer ???  

  Times in 100ths:     ¼   :24.00;  ½   :48.50;  ¾  1:12.33;    1 Mi.  1:35.55;   1  1 /18 finish; 1:48.00;

  “American Lion”:  Gr. I I 1  1 /18 Illinois Derby:  98 Beyer ??

 Times in 100ths:      ¼  :24.89;   ½   :49.32;  ¾  1:13.22;    1 Mi.  1:38.24;   1  1 /18 finish;  1:51.31;

05 Apr 2010 5:21 PM

steve, I was at aqueduct for the wood and what a race it was. eskendereya deserve to be favorite and even triple crown winner but lookin at lucky impress me more in defeat coming in third after stopping cold like that, never seen anything like before.

05 Apr 2010 5:26 PM

i'm gonna bet the two horses out of mr prospector mares - awesome act and setsuko. esky didn't look nearly as good as bellamy road did winning the wood(not to take anything away from eskendereya.

05 Apr 2010 5:28 PM

I've been on Sidney's Candy corner since day 1. When I first saw him run at Del Mar in his first outing, I could tell this horse was something special. Never had I seen a 2 year old run so professional first out. The way he breaks and the way he handles a turn with his type of sprinter speed is simply brilliant. And for those that think he can't relax and sit off speed, just look at his maiden victory, he relaxed beautifully behind a very fast Oceanographer and finished in a track record time. Every race that goes by he simply reminds me more and more of his dad who showed similar sprinting speed over the  1 1/4 Pacific Classic, in which he won and broke a track record. I wouldn't be surprised if he wins the Derby off a stalking trip. I'm sure glad I got him locked in at 75-1.

05 Apr 2010 5:33 PM


I thought that you would pass over the Graded Earnings issue after Mine That Bird spoke so profoundly in the Derby last year(accumulating his earnings as a 2YO and placing in the lightly regarded Sundland Derby) but alas, you resurrected the issue at Easter in your "High Cost of Roses" column.

Anyway, here are some concrete reasons for keeping the status quo:

1) It encourages top class juvenile races, with successful 2YOs earning themselves a bright 3YO campaign

2) It fosters planning and plotting of a path to the K-Derby from as early as possible for the precocious ones

3) It leaves more room for the late developers to get into spots where early qualifiers are not desperate for earnings

4) Graded earnings are a good index of the quality of a horse in its generation and of a trainers astuteness in qualifying their charge (to both owners and breeders, therefore why not for the K-Derby)

5) The cash incentives mean a lot more to owners in the qualifying process than some arbitrary points system skewed against 2YOs and small track horses (which also need a fair shot at their day in the sun)

6)The system has never failed to deliver on its objective...never (even Dunkirk got in last year)

7) A points system will be inferior in that it usually throws up ties (requiring tie-breakers which might very well come back to a question of cash earned in graded stakes).

Tell us what you think Steve and let us bury / settle this issue once and for all or at least until the system fails us.

One last thing Steve.  Please explain how a distant running second place finish in one race (Santa Anita Derby) on Pro-ride earns Setsuko such a high position in your Derby Dozen?  Has he impressed you more than dirt-proven closers: Ice Box, Awesome Act or Pleasant Prince?  The latter has a better shot at getting into the Derby through the Bluegrass backdoor.  Steve, I have to tell you that this one needs some honest reviewing.  I'll be looking out for your response.  This is my final post until after the Akansas Derby romp by Super Saver. Peace.

05 Apr 2010 5:34 PM

I love Sidney's Candy. This horse is a true professional. Before the race he is so focused he almost looks asleep. Perfectly calm, keeps his head down as if he is concentrating on the task ahead. Once he is out of the gate he is a completely different horse. He actually looks like a completely different horse.  After the win, you can see his aware of what he just accomplished. Sidney Candy is a true Derby horse!

05 Apr 2010 5:34 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Ugh I dont want to see Eightyfiveinafifty in the derby that horse is fast and would throw a monkey wrench for the derby. Why would an owner run a horse a week later in the kentucky derby??? Why not point to the preakness instead....thats just dumb! Could we finally see a synthetic horse win the kentucky derby?? Sidneys candy is for real!

05 Apr 2010 5:35 PM

1. Lookin at Lucky

2. Eskendereya (would make him betting fave)

3. Sidney's Candy

4. Interactif

5. Noble's Promise

6. Ice Box

7. Rule

The Fountain of Youth(Eskendereya, Ice Box, Jackson Bend, Pleasant Prince) and San Felipe(Sidney's Candy, Interactif, Caracortado, American Lion) appear to be the key early preps.  I think the Rebel(Lookin at Lucky, Noble's Promise, Dublin) will also prove to be "live".  I expect Noble's Promise to win the Arkansas Derby and think his main challenger will be Dublin.

05 Apr 2010 5:38 PM
Criminal Type

To me it looks like Eskenderaya is in a class all by himself. Sidneys Candy got the benefit of Luckys extremely troubled trip. Clearly he was boxed in early and they wanted to keep him that way. If I wasn't totally on the Eskenderaya bandwagon before Saturday, I am now. WOW he looked like he was just out for a Sunday stroll on Saturday.

I also agree with RilHarreGuy, that Julian had a tight hold on Awesome Act and should have let him run sooner. It doesnt help that he stumbled and lost a shoe. I really like this horse. He may be from England, but has a supurb American pedigree. I think he is a lot better then the Wood showed. Hopefully the Wood was his "bounce" and he will run in the money on May 1st.

Glad American Lion finally got a chance to show he is by Tiznow. however, I dont picture him in the winners circle May One.

right now my top twelve are

1. Eskenderaya

2. Lookin At Lucky

3. Awesome Act

4. Odysseus

5. Rule

6. Sidneys Candy

7. Mission Impazable

8. American Lion

9. Ice Box


11.Nobles Promise


05 Apr 2010 5:38 PM

   “Sidney’s Candy”:  Gr. I  1  1 /18 Santa Anita Derby:  100 Beyer ???  

  Times in 100ths:     ¼   :24.00;  ½   :48.50;  ¾  1:12.33;    1 Mi.  1:35.55;   1  1 /18 finish; 1:48.00;

  “Endorsement”:  Gr. II I    1  1 /18  Sunland Derby:  101 Beyer

  Times in 100ths:      ¼  :23.71;   ½   :48.04;  ¾  1:11.91;    1 Mi.  1:35.88;   1  1 /18 finish;  1:48.46;

05 Apr 2010 5:41 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Since you are open for business and Jason is somewhere goofing around, I'll try to remember what I wrote as a proposal to determine The Derby entrants. The Top Two finishers from the Grade One prep races are in automatically. The Wood at AQU, The SA Derby at SA, The Florida Derby at GP, The Toyota Blue Grass at Keeneland, The Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. The remaining 10 positions will revert to The Graded Earnings Format for the horses that didn't qualify from the G1 preps. The horses eligible to be drawn from the Graded Earnings List must have run in a Graded Prep as a 3yo. This will insure that qualified horses such as Pleasant Prince and Setsuko won't have to worry if they have the earnings and the connections won't have to fret so much waiting for the verdict. They can train for The Derby without fear. And it will force Homeboy to actually run a race. If you want to qualify with a way other than earnings-run with the big boys in a big Grade One prep. Those races should get even more competitive and if you can finish in the top two then you most assuredly deserve to be in The Derby.

05 Apr 2010 5:58 PM

Remember 2009's Derby - Friesen Fire, Pioneer of the Nile,General Quarters, Dunkirk, Chocolate Candy and the potential for I Want Revenge and Quality Road?  If I remember correctly (and I sometimes don't) the best of that year was Pioneer, Friesen, Quality and Revenge.  The track was slop with 20 horses. Who won?  A great little long shot named I Want Revenge.  My favorites were I Want Revenge, Pioneer of the Nile and Quality Road.  What did I learn from 2009 - don't have favorites. I'm not a gambler, but I do like putting a small something on the Derby and the Belmont.  On race day I couldn't chose with 20 given the track conditions.  So a friend and I bet on all of them and we won pretty well.  So, what I'm saying is keep an open mind folks, itsn't called a horse for nothing.  As long as they all come home safe and sound that is all that really matter.  But yes, I'll be screaming my head off for Lookin At Lucky, Eskendereya, Ice Box and all of the others - who is the speed, who is the stayer, who is stalker at this point it really doesn't matter.  What they experience and do during the race will determine the Champ.  Let us hope the jocks are on their A game that day.  

05 Apr 2010 6:06 PM

"Sidney's Candy" goes wire to wire in the Kentucjy Derby; "Eskendereya" finishes 4th!!! See ya in 2011 TODD!!! Oh, did I say that or was I just thinking it???

05 Apr 2010 6:08 PM

I don't have a problem with Nick Zito wanting to take Jackson Bend to the Derby because that colt's a hard tryer and never runs a bad race. But, for him to say, "There are going to be some horses in there that ran on synthetic that'll probably get beat 100 lengths" -- that's just silly. Really, you think LAL or S.Candy are going to get beat a hundred? It just seems like a cheap shot and not something he normally would say.

And yeah, a 100 Beyer for SC? Give it up, Andy.

Tiz The One won't be going to the Ark. Derby -- trainer didn't like the way he came out of his work. Too bad.

05 Apr 2010 6:10 PM

Rachel--I'm with you on Eskendereya. S-L-O-W fractions....easy trip. I'm not sold on him either...

05 Apr 2010 6:14 PM
The Deacon

Excellent list Steve, but how in the world can Lookin At Lucky continue to find trouble ever time he races, this is beyond weird. Can Sidney's Candy carry his speed a 1 1/4, never thought Smarty Jones could but he did. I Still like Eskendereya, Lookin At Lucky and Endorsement as my top 3, maybe Sidney's Candy next but I also think Drosselmeyer should get some attention.

05 Apr 2010 6:26 PM

Rilharreguy, I think JL knew Awesome Act threw that shoe and was taking care of him. Just did enough to get to the Derby. Esky was out for a lope in the park once JV saw daylight. Both Esky and AA looked like sheer class in the paddock. And that's all I'm going to say.

05 Apr 2010 6:30 PM
dr fager01

the derby will be formfitting, not much value.

1]lookin at lucky 1st

2]eskendereya 2nd

3]sidneys candy 3rd


longshot# setsucko

05 Apr 2010 6:39 PM

Sidney's Candy can rate if asked.  Read his pp's, first race.  I think Talamo will rate him if the pace is hot, take control if the pace is slow.  Big question is dirt.  

05 Apr 2010 6:48 PM

my thoughts on both sidney's candy and eskendereya. is that eskenereya was more impressive but sidney's candy won in a much faster time. since eskendereya won in 1:49.97 and sidney's candy won in 1:48 flat nearly two seconds faster.

05 Apr 2010 7:03 PM
El Kabong


First off, let me say that I was a Sidney skeptic too before the SA Derby, but I don't know why after that race against that field, he is not at least on par with Esky who ran against much weaker and fewer. I loved the way both horses finished up, and I don't think Sidney will challenge a rabbit any more than Esky will,unless a real rabbit, like D'Funnybone is in the race. That would spell trouble for anyone near the lead. As for the lead getting crazy, it won't happen unless you get a true sprinter. For the record, in 2005, Afleet Alex won the Ark Derby off the pace, and can not be considered one of the front running winners of that year's prep races. As we all know, he was by far the best horse and probably would have won the Derby without the sprinter in the race(although closing argument could argue that point). The front runners we have this year are legit pace setters(conveyance,rule,discretely mine, super saver, American Lion, sidney) that have not gone crazy on the lead  and I believe class will settle that score once the gates open, not barn burning speed speed. The front runner with the most class will set that pace, as Hard Spun did, and the others, if they break well, will not turn this into a clown show like 2005. We'll have a good race and having 5-6 legit 9-10F pedigree speed horses is fair in a field of 20. May the best horse win. I Just hope someone doesn't run a rabbit, this is supposed to be an American Classic.                            Steve- I understand why you left off Super Saver, but we both suspect you will be forced to bring him back after Saturday. At that time Awesome Act, Ice Box, Dublin or American Lion will have to go. Dublin is the only one with his fate in his hands. I hope he runs well but I have serious doubts about his maturity.

05 Apr 2010 7:10 PM
Vic S

I love Conveyance but he had no excuses last time out. I had him for my early derby choice and said I wouldn't back off him but something about Sidney's Candy is drawing me to him.  Based on past races and how easily he dismantled yesterday's top Cali prep I won't look past him.  No horse in this years crop has been able to run as fast as him for as long as long.  If he gets an easy lead in the Derby he will be extremely tough to chase down.  Setsuko closed nicely, but Candy was already being geared down.  Had he been asked we would have definately seen 1.47 and change (went 1.48.00).  This is why I have to eat my words and for now at least eliminate Conveyance as my top derby contender, he just couldn't hold the pace he set unlike Sidney's Candy and didn't beat as tough as a field.  Lookin At Lucky would have been at least 2nd yesterday but it's hard to say that he would have caught Candy.  Once he got straightened out he took off like lighting but was already out of steam.  Lookin at Lucky has a heart of iron, he never ever throws in the towel and gives it his all every time he runs.  Eskendereya, has had two very very easy preps before the Derby which I don't like.  Heck, in the long run it doesn't really matter what will be is what will be.  Great horses don't need excuses.  So if Esky is all that many think he is he'll be fine.  Best of luck to all.  My Derby Top (Eight) as of today.

1. Sidney's Candy

2. Dublin

3. Lookin At Lucky

4. Eskendereya

5. Endorsement

6. Conveyance

7. Setsuko

8. Interactif

This is a very good quality of three year olds this year (so it seems) I thought last years' crop was slightly above avg., 2008 crop was horrendous, and the 2007 crop was spectacular.  So it's nice to see that we may have a very nice crop this year.

-- To Josh,

Really Sidney's Candy needs slow fractions to win races??? I think you may need to see his PP's he runs em into the ground and just keeps going.  Went a 7f in 1.20 and change, went out blazing in 22, then 45, finished in 1.20.  He won't be caught in Derby if he gets a clean break.  SIDNEY'S CANDY IS MY DERBY HORSE.  Let's not forget dirt is kinder to frontrunners than synthetics so all systems go.  Also, don't look at Beyers they are absolutely USELESS.  Best horse in America runs Beyers in the 90s(usually) because she is from Cali (Zenyatta), beyers are made up numbers that favor speedballs out east and are PURE BIAS and Bullspit, don't use beyers to handicap the Derby or any major race for that matter.  Bias, useless, madeup information.

05 Apr 2010 7:37 PM

I think the best horse won the SA Derby, Baffert and his wife need to do a better job of giving jockey instructions.No Baff winner in the derby sorry!

05 Apr 2010 7:37 PM

Don't jinx Eskendereya by comparing him to Big Brown. Can't wait to see him run May 1!

05 Apr 2010 7:47 PM

Good article as usual "Stars Break Out", but I don't agree with you on "Setsuko" even being a factor. You kind of said it yourself. He shouldn't have been second, for clearly 2 horses were better than he at the 'Oaks', and had "Caracortado" not gotten caught up in the "Luckin at Bad Luck" wash, he would probably have been an easy 4th best. Not to say that he can't improve a bit in 28 days.

 However, the horse like that may get the price, is the Sunland winner,--who was a highly respected $450K youngster!--who matured late (but at the right time) is liightly race, yet has the speed and the style to be competitive to the death and at 1 1/4! He could make Sunland 2 in row!!! with "Mine that Bird" !!!

 On the other hand, "Lookin at Lucky" made up such ground after a near dead stop, like nothin I have seen, maybe only to compare him with "Curlin" when he would go into that "fifth gear" others didn't have. And, as I stated before, toss the SHOELESS "Awesome Act" debacle out the window, where we will now get a good price on a horse whom we certainly have not seen the best race from yet.

  "Ice Box" is another beisides "Awesome Act" that I wish had another prep so I could really get a better bead on, having a little trouble sensing where both really stand at this juncture, but they have already impressed.

  Not sure where anymore to rank "Interactif" or "Noble's Promise" with the above bunch, but Dray has a point in that "Noble Promise's" multiple losses have only been at the hands of "Lookin at Lucky" by necks' heads and 1/2s, who we're all now penciling in as #2 ??, although until the silly 109 Beyer came out yesterday, the NTRA had him , ('LaL') still at #1!!! ...

  CAN any of the rest of the others even get the distance and with the speed of any of the above grouping???  NOPE, I don't think so... so who needs a 'baker's dozen' when there are 9 above to already fill the superfecta!    

05 Apr 2010 7:47 PM
johnny d

Dont try to figure out those stupid beyers for synthetic horses,never add up. esky will be waaaay overbet in the derby win or lose. He will be in a fight for real in the derby and unless he is the second comming of Barbaro or smarty jones he will be a terrible bet. And i hope Setsuko gets in because he is a real closer and has the right trainer and jock, oh and price. He can get a mile and a quarter unlike alot of those florida and midwest horses the stager home after they get perfect paces to chase.

05 Apr 2010 7:51 PM

Speedball, did you watch the Bay Shore by any chance?  Talented colt, has a lot to learn, but looked (to me) like he finished with plenty in the tank.  What a hoot the announcer was, too :)  Whether he makes any TC races or not, he should be fun to watch as he (hopefully) straightens out.

05 Apr 2010 7:52 PM


I had the same thought about the Mr. P damsire horses.  Both had good preps.

Sidney's Candy and Esky were impressive and I still am fond of American Lion.  What a good looking horse.  

05 Apr 2010 8:15 PM

What is the story on Backtalk? 7 starts 4-0-1 and his pedigree is awesome, great grand-daddy being Affirmed.  5th back Secretariet. Just what kind of a race horse is he because I just started hearing about him about a month ago . . . . What's his "problem?"

05 Apr 2010 8:23 PM


Sidney's Candy had a final come-home time of 35-3/5 for his final 3 furlongs. Steve actually posted it above. His first 6 were in 1:12 and change. SC has the fastest come-home time this year.

Esky, though visually  impressive, sat through slower fractions wide off on his own, was allowed to run into the bridle on his own and came home in 36-2/5 seconds after 1:13 and change.

The BSF for the SA Derby is not relevent because Beyer has admitted he cannot do synthetics. Horses usually jump 8-10 BSF points when going to dirt successfully.

If SC transfer's his ability to control the pace and come-home to dirt. Esky will have to run faster to catch him in the stretch. And LAL ran great despite all of that trouble (should not have been ridden like he needed the graded earnings).

05 Apr 2010 8:23 PM

Lookin at Lucky will be a force in the Derby.  Baffert was steaming over Garret's ride.  What do you make of it, Steve?  I know all is forgiven now, but it does seem there has been a lot of  mishaps in his races.

Sidney's Candy was just so impressive on the synthetic track at that.  Eskendereya looked so powerful and in charge.

I hope the weather for the Kentucky Derby will be conducive to the rightful winner.  

05 Apr 2010 8:32 PM

Awesome Act needs a fast early pace and will be hard to beat - over a mile. This horse has struggled to settle throughout his career, but over a furlong shorter he could be a superstar.

05 Apr 2010 8:43 PM

my american lion finally woke up ( on dirt). notice how he got a second wind at the sixteenth pole. this one doesn't like to be passed. in the derby, needs to lay no worse than third then take control half way down the backstretch and let his breeding do the rest. easy to spot he has abnormally big head and neck.

05 Apr 2010 9:06 PM


Talamo says that Sidney is ahead of I Want Revenge.  What's he supposed to say?  You can bet that if Sidney wins the Derby Joe will say that he's the best horse he's ever ridden......Sidny might look like he's a push button easy striding horse, but he won't get the same type of trip in the Derby.  There will be serious challenges right from the get go.  If he can withstand them and still win I would be surprised, but that said he would get boss respct from me. LOL

05 Apr 2010 9:06 PM
Jill Smith

Mission Impazible along with Lucky and Promise best battle tested horses. Big fan of MI!!!!!20/1 win

05 Apr 2010 9:14 PM
Driftin' Sage

I still keep thinking about Ice Box.  Very impressive in last race.  Eskendereya always lookin' good.  He'll be there, unless Ice box cools him off at the end.

05 Apr 2010 9:18 PM

I would still like to see Eightyfive...  He screwed up in one race, but was amazing in this last race. He is goofy, and needs to mature a bit, but he can sure run.  

05 Apr 2010 9:27 PM
Matthew W

Esky is no Brownie--doesn't have that kind of turn of foot--but he does look good when he tracks a slow pace--he'll be tracking Sydney---Lucky will be closing into a lively pace this time! And if they don't make a middle move, or something, at Sydney-- then that Candy Ride will find himself alone at the 1/16 pole---again! Sadler is gushing about him....

05 Apr 2010 9:59 PM

Eskendrya is a class of his own.He just crushes strong fields of horses without even trying. I don't see another three year old that is even close to Eskenderya"s class. He has a perfect running style. He does't need any assist to win. He is just scary good.  Awesome act is just not good enough. He finished behind interactif who may not even make it to the derby. Awesome act was crushed by Al Zir in his debut last year and Al Zir is 20/1 for English derby. The point is he just can;t keep up with good horses.

05 Apr 2010 10:07 PM

Rule is much faster than Sidney's Candy--the only horses faster than Rule are the true sprinters like D'Funnybone (who is insanely fast).

Say all you want about times being meaningless when comparing different tracks in different weather, but the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby were run at the same track in nearly identical weather--Eskendereya may prove he can handle pace, but until he does--there is no reason to believe he would have survived Rule's pace in the Florida Derby.

While its sad to me that one of the truly classy horses of this crop, who has done nothing but consistently run well (and has never finished worse than 3rd), is completely disregarded and judged inferior to horses with 1 in 8 lifetime starts, I'm actually pretty glad Rule is completely off the radar. Not only will he have decent MLO, but Pletcher may not be tempted to mess with his running style to satisfy people who think that rating is the be all and end all. The best way to ensure a horse loses is to prevent him from running his race.

What I don't understand is how a horse like Sidney's Candy, who runs slow opening fractions, which will surely not soften up and put away horses like Eskendereya, now makes wiring the Derby a distinct possibility, where the very thought of wiring was impossible on its face with a horse like Rule who buries the field with his pace, doesn't back up when he tires, and has to be beaten by pure closers that will battle through 15-19 horses to catch him? Oh well, guess I see on May 1st =/

05 Apr 2010 10:15 PM

It is very hard for me to believe that Blind Luck got a higher Beyer (104) in her 3-length score in the Fantasy at Oaklawn, than Sydney's Candy (100) in his 5-length romp in the Santa Anita Derby.

He ran a 1:48 for 9 furlongs on the synth, finishing the last 3 furlongs in 35 and change.

This is a horse that ran a 99 as a 2-year old, and a 95 in his first try around two turns. He beat Caracortado by 2 in the San Felipe, and last saturday he crushed him by 7, while being geared down. This is the same Caracortado that was awarded a 98 when winning the G2 RB Lewis.

According to the Beyer numbers, Blind Luck's figure jumped 23 points from her last race, and 10 points from her previous high (93) in the Starlet, a race she won on the synth by 7 lengths, and the only time she's posted a figure above 90.

On that same Friday card at OP, $5,000 claimers ran 6 furlongs in a very fast 1:10'2, and they were non-winners of 2 races since december.

Blind Luck beat Tidal Pool comfortably, despite the fact her last Beyer was about 20 points lower than her rival's; Zenyatta was not supposed to have a chance in the BCC because of her "low" synth Beyers.

DRF needs to review the figures process for Santa Anita, because they are not adding up!!!

05 Apr 2010 10:42 PM
Karen in Indiana


Does this year's field look deeper to you than it has been in a while? It wouldn't be surprising if any of the top three won and really most of the top 20 earners have all earned a spot the hard way. 2008 was all about Big Brown and last year horses were falling off the trail left and right so much that Churchill was calling people and asking them to run.

05 Apr 2010 11:08 PM

I've never been a Lookin At Lucky fan, but each time I see him race, I admire him all the more. After the Santa Anita Derby fiasco, I thought to myself, "I can't even remember anymore when the last time was that this horse had a decent trip." He can't seem to get one to save his life.

Having said that, Sidney's Candy has done everything right this year, and Saturday, after those easy early fractions, he blitzed them in the last quarter, and should be better on dirt, so I'd personally rank him right behind Eskendereya, who is way out in front, with LAL third.

05 Apr 2010 11:17 PM

Typical comments from the East. Eskenderaya was visually impressive , not time wise. A six horse field don't impress me at all half of the field should not even been in that race. He must finish faster to win the KY Derby don't think he is that good. Looking At Lucky is the same his times have been slow. Even at Oaklawn his final time was 1:43 he has never gone faster than this at 1 1/16 so I don't care what anyone says that Looking At Lucky would have won the SA Derby had he not had trouble. He would never have caught Sidney's Candy. Never no way. Eskenderaya and Looking At Lucky are toss outs at the Derby overbet and slow times don't make me believe in them. Sidney's Candy is not a synthetic horse and the world will see that come Derby Day. Joe Talamo wins the Derby after he should have won it last year with I Want Revenge.

05 Apr 2010 11:28 PM
Boricua7 Seattle Slew

The way Eskendereya is running reminds me of the great Big Red. I think we will have a triple crown winner this year.

05 Apr 2010 11:30 PM

well it's been said that WIN STAR could have 25% of the derby field,come on if you don't think.....they won't try and set the derby up for themselves.....I can't believe that ....I think rule will rabbit for esky,endorsement and ss and aikenite or drosselmeyer which ever gets in....the ultiment final call is the owner's.....sidney don't have a chance ,the horse was life and death to beat Interactif in the san felipe and Interactif might not  be the best horse,sidney will face in the derby.

05 Apr 2010 11:41 PM


"The best way to ensure a horse loses is to prevent him from running his race."

I couldn't agree more! Case in point, American Lion in the Illinois Derby. He was allowed to run, without trying to make a stalker out of him. Result: a happy winner!

You make a very good case for Rule. I'll pay close attention to him. He does appear to have been forgotten, doesn't he? That may bode well for your pocket. :)

05 Apr 2010 11:43 PM
Vic S


Rule faster than Sidney's Candy??? You must be kidding yourself papillon.  Go take a look at the past performances, on slower (syntehic) tracks not favoring front runners Sidney's Candy is still leaps and bounds better than D' Funnybone and Rule at ANY DISTANCE.  PP's don't lie.  Go look at Candy's fractions from races prior to the SA Derby, truly a speedball.

05 Apr 2010 11:45 PM
It aint easy being good

I love how everyone says that the derby will be fast! How the heck do you know how its going to pan out? You never know how the pace is going to be! There arent maney front runners as originally thought. Dont forget about Odysseus people he has another gear and I told you there are only about 4 explosive runners in the derby field you will hopefully see that from Odysseus on Saturday!

06 Apr 2010 12:35 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

The Derby is the greatest race in the world, and these months are my favorite time by far but we've created a monster. And not the kind of monster we like to see-the special racehorse but the madness of The Derby Scramble. A new March Madness, a Spring Psychosis or The Mad Hatter March to The Derby. Trainers are scrambling to run their horses two weeks before The Derby to get in, and one even talking about one week before, then running in The Derby. Not to build a foundation like the old days when whoever should get in, could get in, not to help their horse to get in shape to have a better chance in The Derby but Just To Get In. Next they'll have a race in the morning of Derby Day to help get enough earnings to run in The Derby in the afternoon-"just in case there's still someone that wants to get in that needs earnings." The Morning Madness Prep will be the first race at CD on the first Saturday in May. We need a better system so that more owners and trainers will know that they are in and can train, plan, and ship appropriately. A few might still want to try for more earnings but not nearly as many. The picture should be much clearer.

06 Apr 2010 12:48 AM

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

1. Sidney's Candy;

2. Endorsement;

3. Eskendereya;

4. Noble,s Promise;

5. Ice Box;

6. Lookin at Lucky;

7. Rule;

8. Mission Impazible;

9. Awesome Act;




13.Super Saver;

14.Pleasant Prince

15.Schoolyard Dreams;

16.Jackson Bend;

17. Caracortado;

18. Discreetly Mine;

19. American Lion;

20. Conveyance;

21. Dublin;

22. Vale of York;

23. D'funnybone;

24. Drosselmeyer;

25. Tempted to tapit

26. a little warm;

27. Mendip;

28. Dave In Dixie;

29. Radiohead;

30. Stay Put;

31. Aikenite;

32. Ron The Greek;

33. Dry Fly.

34. Lentenor;

35. Pounced;

36.Dean’s Kitten

06 Apr 2010 1:36 AM

  Point of interest.  HOW DOES “SETSUKO” make the cut ??? Isn’t that a bit like routing for “A Little Warm” or “Alphie’s Bet” to be in a Derby gate all over again???

No., Horse, Earnings, (next start if not the Kty. Derby):

  1.  Lookin At Lucky; $1,480,000

  2.  Noble’s Promise; $708,000 (Arkansas Derby)

  3.  Rule, $645,000;

  4.  Sidney’s Candy; $630,000

  5.  Eskendereya; $600,000

  6.  Mission Impazible; $473,434

  7.  Ice Box; $457,500

  8.  Endorsement; $400,000

  9.  Conveyance; $386,000

10.  American Lion; $378,000

11.  Discreetly Mine; $340,000

12.  Dean’s Kitten; $326,475

13.  Awesome Act; $285,000

14.  Dublin; $273,208

15.  Interactif; $270,450

16.  Homeboykris; $250,500

     ….. watch out for the $231K cutoff with the $750K  Blue Grass,  $1 mil. Ark. Derby, & the

$300 Lexington still to go !!  .…….

17.  Jackson Bend; $230,000

18.  Backtalk; $225,916

19.  Aikenite; $218,000

(Toyota Blue Grass)

20.  Make Music for Me; $215,000 (Toyota Blue Grass)

Those on the outside looking in as of April 5:

21.  Mendip; $200,000

22.  Uh Oh Bango; $187,952 (Arkansas Derby)

23.  A Little Warm; $180,000

24.  Odysseus; $180,000

(Toyota Blue Grass)

25.  Setsuko; $180,000

26.  Super Saver, $163,832 (Arkansas Derby)

27.  Pleasant Prince, $162,500 (Toyota Blue Grass)

31.  Connemara, $138,500 (Coolmore Lexington)

33.  Northern Giant, $127,000 (Coolmore Lexington)

34.  Eightyfiveinafifty, $120,000

(The Derby Trial or Withers)

35.  Paddy O’Prado, $100,950 (Toyota Blue Grass)

37.  Drosselmeyer, $87,000 (Toyota Blue Grass or the Coolmore Lexington)

06 Apr 2010 1:44 AM
Old HR Fan

Mr. Steve Haskin, I read your column regularly and know you are a racing history buff.  Please tell me the last time a horse finished six lengths behind the winner in his final prep and went on to win the Derby?  I am almost six decades old and it has never happened in my lifetime.

I have seen my share of horses encounter serious trouble in their final prep.  Even if they closed like a freight train after that trouble, if they could not get within five lengths of the winner then they did not prevail on Derby day.  

I am one of Lookin At Lucky's biggest fans so I am not saying this to be mean.  It is just a fact that for as long as I have been alive, regardless of the circumstances, six lengths behind the winner in final prep means you are not winning the Derby.  I think that is why Mr. Baffert was so mad.  In the back of his mind he knows that.  

06 Apr 2010 1:52 AM

 To YOU and those silly Beyers that don’t add up???… especially to you who don’t like the ODD (to say the least) Beyer comparisons to of Turf or Synthetics runs saying they aren’t comparible!!!  Try these dirt to dirt comparisons, then!!

“Devil May Care”: Gr. II  GP  1  1/8  100 Beyer ??  DIRT

Times in 100ths:       ¼  :23.68;  ½  :47.28;  ¾   1:10.76;  1 Mi.  1:35.59;   1  1/8  finish 1:49.06;

 “Eskendereya”: Gr. I  Aqu. Wood Memorial  1  1/8  109 Beyer ??  DIRT

Times in 100ths:       ¼  :24.32;  ½  :49.21;  ¾   1:13.54;   1 Mi.  1:37.73;   1  1/8  finish 1:49.97;

 “Ice Box”: Gr. I  Florida GP 1  1/8  99 Beyer ??  DIRT

Times in 100ths:       ¼  :23.21;  ½  :46.46;  ¾   1:10.76;   1 Mi.  1:36.09;   1  1/8  finish 1:49.19;

  So, Beyer under values “Sidney Candy’s” SA run on synthetic!!! And apparently the Fla. Derby "Ice Box" run on dirt as well!!!! Well, I for one never understood the under value of the “Paddy O’Prado” run on grass!!! But, how about the “Ice Box” to “Eskendereya” comparison??? AND a 16 point Beyer difference to the “Paddy O’Prado” Turf run ???? (GO BACK AND LOOK AT THE STOP WATCH ONE MORE TIME!!!) and a 10 point difference to the “Ice Box” run??? DIRT TO DIRT !!!  Sure if you're Andy Beyer, "Eskendereya" must be #1 !! aye RANGULATION ???

 ANDREW BEYER, it looks to me like YOU ARE just FEEDING US a bunch CRAP unless “Eskendereya” just ran in a hurricane!!!

06 Apr 2010 2:15 AM

Never really felt compelled to comment, but the "what have you done for me lately" list seems to be the norm this year, except for LAL.

Noble's Promise has almost slipped off, forgotten by some, written off by some, really? second on the graded earnings list. 11th under Ice Box and Endorsement, really?

Heart wants him to win the AR Derby, but wallet wants him to finish 2nd, by yet another neck to 1/2 length, so I will get 30-1 at the Derby. Either way it goes, I will meet everyone at Longshots after the race, if we can get in!

Actually, love the column. Thanks.

06 Apr 2010 2:25 AM

Find the horse that will have the lead at the mile/eighth mark -

Over the years it has been demonstrated (sans Cavonnier, Alex) that's all you have to do to win the race.

And I really think the horse that will grab the lead at the eighth pole will be Lucky.

06 Apr 2010 2:30 AM

P.S.  Don’t think for a second that “Sidney’s Candy” is a sprint only speedster. He is bred to go all day!!! He could pull the same run in the Kentucky Derby as he did the SA Derby and that without stumbling out of the gate no matter what speed is up front. And in doing so, he would have “Eskendereya” and “Looking at Lucky” running as hard as they can looking at his ass!!! , battling it out for 2nd or 3rd! or 4th !! However, I still feel that the one to maybe watch out for who has already chased up front speed in “Conveyance” is…

  “Endorsement”:  Gr. III

1  1 /18  Sunland Derby:  

101 Beyer ???

  Times in 100ths:      ¼  :23.71;   ½   :48.04;  ¾  1:11.91;    1 Mi.  1:35.88;  

1  1/8 finish;  1:48.46;

                        Endorsement: (Kty.); Tr. S. Ritter; -’08  $450K $$ Keenlander;

                                              4      2    1    0 ;  Distorted Humor-(Forty Niner-Mr. Prospector)-((s.d.s. Danzig))/

                                                                         Charmed Gift-A.P. Indy-(Seattle Slew);  B ?

                                                   f. Haskin’s NA--#8; Pool #1 Field -3/2 ; Pool #2 Field -3-1 ; Pool #3 Field -9/2;

                                                   Tomlinson distance rating nyr; Watchmaker (n/l);

                                                      winner  1  1/8  Gr. III Sun. Derby 1:48.46;  101 Beyer;  + 3 over Conveyance- +6 Tempted to Tapit;

  … although “Sidney’s Candy” did complete a slightly faster final furlong time than “Endorsement” did!!!

  Ahhh a month to grow!!! I mean a month to go!


06 Apr 2010 2:42 AM


I agree Rule is the fastest of the Eastern speed horses.  

It's hard to compare dirt fractions with synthetic fractions because jockeys have learned that if you go fast early on synthetics, you're in big trouble.  Thus, the number one thing jockeys do on the Pro-Ride is try to slow the pace down as much as possible.  Even so, Sidney's splits in the SA Derby were as fast as just about any of the dirt preps, save the Florida and Tampa derbies.  On dirt, Talamo will have the confidence to let Sidney roll even faster, and Sidney most certainly can.  Remember that Sidney set the 5.5 furlong track record at Del Mar and ran 7 furlongs in the San Vicente at Santa Anita in 1:20 and 4.

I do like Rule, which is why I have him at #7, and 2nd behind Sidney among frontrunners.  He thoroughly manhandled Schoolyard Dreams and Uptowncharlybrown in the Sam Davis, and then hung around well in the Florida Derby after setting a solid pace.  I think Sidney is more dynamic and gifted, but I respect Rule.

06 Apr 2010 3:25 AM

Noble Promise should be 3rd. Ignore now pay later

06 Apr 2010 4:16 AM
Criminal Type

You sure can tell the left coasters from the RIGHT coasters by the comments.

Has there ever been a Derby winner who raced exclusively on synthetic prior to the Derby?

Mr Zayat played the game better then the other SoCal owners when they shipped Eskenderaya east to prep. He has proven himself on dirt, whereas the others, except LAL, are too big of a question mark for me to put money on.

06 Apr 2010 4:29 AM


I agree Rule is overlooked and a legit speed factor, but where in the world are you getting your facts?

Rule is nowhere near as fast as Sidney's Candy. When Sidney's Candy broke his maiden in a 5.5 furlong sprint, he blew the field away and shattered the Del Mar track record for that distance.

He rated 2nd just off the shoulder of the pacesetter and clicked off fractions of 21 and change, 44 and then ran away in the stretch. How many horse's have broke their maiden and set a track record in the process? At a major track like Del Mar? Only a select few.

The only reason SC is going slower, longer, IS THEY ARE LETTING HIM. However, SC has sprinter's speed and may be the fastest 3 year old, period. 85ina50 may be the only horse close. But that one is too green and it will be abuse to run him in the Derby after the Withers or Derby trial.

And, BTW, Jackson Bend ran down D'funnybone in a sprint last year, so who knows who really is fastest?

You can make a point about Rule without trashing the credentials of the Del Mar track record holder.

06 Apr 2010 5:30 AM


In addition to SC's come home time of 35-3/5, off of a 1:12 and change 6 furlongs-

Eskendereya ran a final 3 furlongs in 36-1/5, off of a 1:13 and change 6 furlongs-

Both went under the wire under a hand ride and mild urging. But SC's ran the final 3 furlongs faster than Esky did.

06 Apr 2010 5:36 AM

Ranagulzion, I agree that 2 year-old winnings need to in the earnings equation...later bloomers have plenty of opportunities late 2-year-old year, early spring while some more heavily campaigned 2-year-olds start later in their 3 year-old campaign...it's as fair as it can be, I think.

The major problem is everyone avoids each other and there are so many graded stakes to be able do that.

06 Apr 2010 7:26 AM
Fran Loszynski

If there's ever a time you think of Afleet Alex and Jeremy Rose it would have to be watching Sydney's Candy and Joe Talamo! What a team. Joe Talamo is a great jockey at such a young age. He knows how to cruise a racehorse. They could be a possbile second -Lookin At Lucky has so much heart and ability-BUT-I still see a mish-mosh of racehorses nearing the finish line and Lookin At Lucky and Dublin neck in neck with Dublin kicking in a speed we have never seen. I'm hoping for a win in Arkansas to prove he has the courage. Those spider legs of his sometimes overwhelmn him in the stretch but if Terry lets him relax and just lets him go-we've got Arkansas. I know there will be alot of "NAY" sayers (a little pun, Steve)! but I say "YEEHAWH" DUBLIN.  

06 Apr 2010 7:48 AM

I love Eskendereya, but the best horse does not always come home first in the Derby.  Lookin at Lucky has Gomez on his back, and I think that will give him the edge he finally needs. Loved the way he came back in SA Derby.  He does not give up and can mentally handle traffic.  Sidney's Candy is brilliant, but not at 1.1/4.  My heart wants Caracortado, but not my mind.

06 Apr 2010 8:06 AM

setsuko, interactif, dublin ahead of nobles promise?  wow!

06 Apr 2010 8:07 AM

I look for Eightfiveinafifty for the Preakness.  I love watching him run - horse with personality plus.

06 Apr 2010 8:08 AM

Boatrocker:  Backtalk raced as a 2yr old and is all speed.  As a 3yr old..he has no focus....his Delta win was clumsy, but he won.  I say he needs blinkers...and yet they still haven't tried them.  He was a wash in the Illinois Derby.

I don't understand why people keep saying front runners can't win...go watch the 1977 Triple Crown races again...then try to say that.  Slew stalked the lead in Kentucky by 1/2 head...then blew by him.  Front-runner, speed, and stamina...nothing wrong there.

Eskendereya, Sidney's Candy, and Lookin At Lucky top my list with Endorsement being a quality runner who represents the unknown factor.

06 Apr 2010 8:18 AM
Billy's Empire

Please stop comparing times from Aqueduct and Santa Anita, b/c you are only setting yourself up to fail if you think ESKY was slow. First, he was in hand, never asked to run, and did it easy. Second, different surfaces mean different times. If that was not the case, explain this.

At Aqueduct, the stakes or track record is 1:47 for 1 1/8 miles, where the same distance at Santa Anita on synthetic is 1:45.3.

last year IWR ran the Wood in 149.5, Papa Clem won the Ark Derby in 149 flat, and Quality Road broke the track record at Gulfstream in 147 and change. So quality road breaks the track record at Gulfstream park at 147 and change, but is still 2 seconds slower than the track record at Santa Anita? Why is that? Dont you all think QR is a great horse?

All of the reasoning above says otherwise. I mean, QR only ran 147, he is slow compared those awesome plastic cali horses, right??

You see my point now. Stop comparing times.

If you want to look at it this way, Esky and Candy were both about 3 seconds off of the track record for their respective track they were running on. If you all think handicapping final times will win you races, good luck!! Now fractions, that is a different story!!

06 Apr 2010 8:53 AM

I sometimes hear people say that a running style dictates they would wnt Dirt, I am curios as tor ather that means the locomotion or merely th distinction of Front Runner, Stalker so on.

It also strikes me that Sidneys candy got an extremely easy pace, if you watch that place with any regularity you know that claimers get through the half faster than that on that track about 75% of the time or more.

I don't know about Lookin at Lucky second, but he a nice and likable colt and I'll be rooting for him to be on the Board on Derby Day

Jackson Bend has heart and battles on no matter what the distance but I don't think he will be competitive Derby Day and with a hard fighting horse overextended thats when you get injuries, that could happen on Derby Day, if it hasn't already, and I would hate to see any hard trying horse like him injure himself in the Derby.

06 Apr 2010 9:29 AM

Oldie-I did see the Bay Shore and thought Eightyfive ran a good race.  Cracked me up when he began tracking something in the infield, but when Ramone asked him to straighten up and pay attention, he followed orders.  He's very fast and I look for him to be a top horse down the way.  Who knows-he could make the Derby!!

06 Apr 2010 9:32 AM

Zarvona,how dare you even mention the name Endorsement  shushhhhhhh !!!!,let them stay on the bandwagon of speed.

06 Apr 2010 9:37 AM

Hey Old HR Fan, Ferdinand lost the Santa Anita Derby by seven in 1986, then went on to win the Derby. I don't know if he is the most recent or not, but at least I can tell you that it has been done.

06 Apr 2010 9:46 AM

Billy's Empire

Good point and I totally agree with you.  Secretariat's 1973 Wood was run in 1.49.4 (and he lost by 4-L on a fast track)......Sham's SA Derby was run in 1.47.  Who won the Kentucky Derby?  I know that SA was dirt back then but it still tanslates to Secretariat running his Wood approximately 13-L slower than Sham ran his SA Derby.....Another reason why time is not the most reliable factor when comparing a horse's PP and when those times are on different tracks and surfaces they are even less reliable.  LOL

06 Apr 2010 10:35 AM

Citation & HR Fan

Charismatic was defeated by more than 8-L and was actually fading in the 1999 SA Derby and won the Kentucky Derby.  LOL

06 Apr 2010 10:41 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

I finally finished my top 13. These are the top Derby horses. I'm not going to make a determination as to whether they'll get in. If they don't get in then the best horses didn't get in.

1. Eskendereya

2. Setsuko

3. Sidney's Candy

4. Lookin At Lucky

5. Interactif

6. Pleasant Prince

7. Endorsement

8. Dublin

9. Mission Impazible

10. Paddy O' Prado

11. Super Saver

12. Northern Giant

13. Ice Box

06 Apr 2010 10:53 AM
Steve Haskin

To all those questioning my placement of Noble's Promise, who I admit has been jumping up and down each week as new horses emerge, I will say this:

First off, I am a great admirer of Noble's Promise. With his top-heavy speed pedigree, I just want to see him either win or show some signs that he is going to improve going another 3/16 of a mile. He's had clear leads at the eighth pole in the BC juvenile and Rebel and was caught, and Aikenite was getting to hom fast in the Breeders' Futurity. I think he has a big chance to win the Arkansas Derby, and if he does and wins the right way, I will overlook his pedigree and move him way up. He does a very strong tail-female family to fall back on. Even if he doesnt win the Arkansas Derby, I want to see him running strongly in his first start at 1 1/8 miles. As a pedigree buff, I need horses with a pedigree like his to show me some signs he can overcome it. There is a huge difference between 1 1/16 miles and 1 1/4 miles. As I said, I'll a lot more about him -- as a Derby horse -- after the Arkansas Derby.

06 Apr 2010 10:56 AM
Steve Haskin

I should proofread my comments before posting them.

06 Apr 2010 11:21 AM
Alex PB

The forgotten horse is Dublin. Posters here (except Steve, Vic S. and El Kabong) are running the Derby before three major preps are run.

In the Rebel, Dublin lost over 9 lengths to the rail, LAL about 3, and NobProm almost 6. The ajusted margins put Dublin and NobProm in a close finish with LAL 3 back. If you like LAL, you have Dublin to fear. Dublin will move forward as he prevails over an excellent AD field and becomes the hot item for the Derby.

06 Apr 2010 11:55 AM

We are seeing a lot of heart and courage from this year's Derby contenders.  Watching horses who battle, recover from adversity and just plain dig in with such whole hearted determination is a real thrill.  This is a great group of 3 year olds.  Lookin at Lucky has really exemplified these traits but it has got to be getting really hard on him.  He has all the talent in the world but if there is any race where trouble will rear it's ugly head, that is the Kentucky Derby.  He and Garrett have had their share of practice dealing with trouble.  I agree with those who are reminded of Big Brown when watching Esdenderaya.  He is impressive.  They deserve their place at the top but the Derby is always a free-for-all.

I do have to admit to being very disappointed with Backtalk.  What is up with him?  He has pedigree and talent and should be doing better.

Lastly, did I miss something, since I'm not able to get on here as often as I'd like.  Where is Zenyatta?  Has she shipped to Oaklawn yet?  I haven't read a word about any works or breezes.  Nothing at all!  Will the Apple Blossom by televised at all?

06 Apr 2010 12:15 PM

Baffert called "Go-Go's" ride "horrendous."

Cuvee never won beyond a mile.  Comparing a previous effort by NP to L at L is probably not the way to go.

L at L has already finished ahead of Eskendereya.

The addition of American Lion (yet another So Cal horse to take to dirt) makes things interesting.  American and Sydney's Candy will ensure that Eskendereya can not lope around a mile in 1:37 and change.  

06 Apr 2010 12:15 PM
Karen in Texas

Steve---Like your list and hope Dublin does well in the Arkansas Derby. That race will be defining for several horses.

Old HR Fan---Your 1:52 A.M. post asked an interesting question! I immediately thought of Thunder Gulch's 1995 Blue Grass, in which he finished fourth, way behind Wild Syn. I'm not sure of the number of lengths, but it was more than a couple. Here is a link to that race.


06 Apr 2010 12:18 PM

It is always hard comparing times in these Derby preps in Calif.; Fla.; NY; Arkansas and Kentucky. I have to agree with the posters who are skeptical of the Beyer figures.  Interesting that we'll have Baffert; Zito and Lukas in this year's edition. Add in Mr. Pletcher and it has the makings of one heck of a race.

Steve, I agree wholeheartedly that there is a huge difference between 1 1/16 or even 1 1/8 miles and the 1 1/4. How about either Ice Box or Setsuko to sweep to the front after all the "stalkers" knock themselves out? Both seem to be coming on strong at this time.

06 Apr 2010 12:39 PM

PLEASANT PRINCE if he gets in!

06 Apr 2010 1:16 PM

Hey Lazmannick, Charismatic actually won his race before the Derby, the Lexington Stakes. He was pretty bad before the Derby though, I really don't know how he won.

06 Apr 2010 1:17 PM
Bloodline Bob

My # 1 Ky.Derby horse since Jan. has been Interactif. I Know he will win the Blue Grass Stakes but I'm not going to commit to him winning the Ky.Derby as of today 4-6-10. The reasons I like him in the Blue Grass: bloodlines,owner,breeder, trainer, jockey, track surface and his last race. Steve, Is that good enough explaination for my pick?

06 Apr 2010 1:32 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   When are you going to Churchill? Will you be reporting daily on how horses look-gallops, workouts, their "presence" and generally how they look? I'm hoping that you'll be reporting from there daily for 10-14 days. That would be the most valuable and highly apppreciated aspect of all information available to the public leading up to The Derby.

06 Apr 2010 1:48 PM


You're not kidding.  Charismatic took six starts to win break his maiden and it was actually in a maiden claimer.  It took him another 8 starts before he won his first stakes (the Lexington).  In between he was moved up via DQ to get his second win a $62,500 claimer.  Then after the Lexington he wins the Derby, The Preakness and broke down when in contention for the Belmont.  Quite a story.  I wonder how it would have bore out if he had actually won the Belmont.  He would be like a folk hero, reformed claimer to Triple Crown winner, the stuff movies are made of.  LOL

06 Apr 2010 1:51 PM
Forbidden Apple

My list has changed some, but I am sticking with Awesome Act and Lookin At Lucky. Both had bad luck on saturday and are much better horses than what they showed recently. I completely agree with Trackman Nick, the Wood was merely a prep race for Awesome Act. Julian Leparoux is a smart jockey and I do believe that he was aware of the thrown shoe. I was in the paddock on saturday and Awesome Act was on the muscle and he looked great! He was pulling his way down the backstretch and wanted to do much more running, the turtle like pace did not help him either. He is a strong horse who seems to be peaking at the right time, look out at maybe 10-1 or more. I'd rather take a chance with him than eat 9/5 chalk with an overhyped Eskendereya. Watch the replay again and you can see how much of the race Julian was standing up and holding the horse back for the entire race.

I am also going to use Endorsement and Conveyance in my exotic wagers. Both horses are going to be overlooked at decent odds. My top 6 are solid, after that I am only filling in the spaces for my usual bakers dozen.

1-Awesome Act 2-Lookin At Lucky

3-Eskendereya 4-Endorsement

5-Sidneys Candy 6-Conveyance

7-Mendip 8-Setsuko

9-Nobles Promise 10-Ice Box

11-Make Music For Me 12-Interactif


06 Apr 2010 1:53 PM
Mike P.

Ok! To those who thought I was crazy by picking Caracortado as my first choice: I now humbly eat my words and move on to My next choice(s). I really like Odysseuss and Lookin' At Lucky with Eskendereya as a tri-box and exacta box with perhaps Dublin if he runs well Saturday. Best of luck to all....

06 Apr 2010 2:04 PM

Ok one final thought... should "Drosselmeyer" run in the 1:49 range from off the pace and win by a few OR should "Paddy O'Prado" produce some horrendous sub 1:47.5! type of a run AGAIN... I may have to modify some of my Easter thinking ... OH we are so close , with all but 25 days to GO...  GO BABY GO BABY GO!!!

06 Apr 2010 2:25 PM

Chill out with Ice Box, better look at the video of the Florida derby, a 1 1/8 dirt track for ZITPO, he did not start running till the final turn then took off like a lear jet. while you're at it calculate HIS splits. 8 to 1 ? Setsuko ran a 22 and change 1/4 between the 6 furlongs and mile and came home in 11 and 3 but he's a NW 2 lifetime.Esky's off the board and so is the candy man.

06 Apr 2010 2:32 PM

Pleasant Prince worked 58 and 2 at Keeneland, he ROMPS in the Bluegrass. Held at start of Florida derby- THE key race as usual.

06 Apr 2010 2:40 PM

BTW Endorsement ran FAST off a maiden win here in the high, THIN air at Sunland park Derby where I live and saw him, watch out when he comes down to your level!!

06 Apr 2010 2:48 PM
Steve Haskin

Bob, If you've been reading my Dozen list all year you know you wont get an argument from me.

Terri V, Zenyatta arrived at Oaklawn today.

06 Apr 2010 3:48 PM
seth farmer

Mission Impazible BATTLE TESTED in LA DERBY. Improving at the right time. Should  get a good price.

06 Apr 2010 3:52 PM

I agree MISSION IMPAZIBLE has a big shot. Still pretty wide open.

06 Apr 2010 3:55 PM
El Kabong

The daily racing form publishes in the form, from time to time, most track records for the varying distances over a three year period. It is very handy when trying to access how well a horse ran over that  track in comparison to a time at a different track (provided the track has not had major surface issues like SA.) You can see the difference in how fast a track runs by these numbers and take that  into account when trying to compare track to track efforts for any distance. Compare their times against track records(almost always set on hard fast tracks). That said, there is no telling what Sidney did in comparison to Esky, but you can appreciate the intelligence of their efforts. As Vic S has tried to point out, Sidney is capable of setting amazing fractions on the lead(see san vincente) or relaxing as he did in SA Derby and finishing strong. The horse simply runs his race and since when is versatile/tactical speed not extremely dangerous? Esky is comfortable sitting off the pace(so far not much pace) and finishing up push button and effortlessly. Lucky, if he has any luck left will get the distance and will be charging home no matter what. I only hope Super Saver runs true to his pedigree on Saturday and gives us one more stand out  talent to ponder for May 1st. I don't mean to exclude the others by any means, they are all 3 year olds and there are a few who left who could take it up another notch. But these three have been special. Potentially we could have one or two more, maybe Dublin, Noble, SS or Oddysseus? We'll see Saturday. I'll let Rajiv tell me who is the goods between Ody and Mission Imp. This is shaping up to be a great race.   Steve, we will definitely need your acute eye on these kids when they start tapping their shoes in Kentucky.

06 Apr 2010 4:00 PM

Personally I think that the Keenland stuff is almost polar opposite of TUrf, which he and Paddy O' Prado thrived on, though I think Interactiff is more powerful and threefore locomotion wise will get the stuff, It is a mistake to think that Turf and Keeneland/Turfway Synthetic are favorable to the same horses.

K/T Synthetic is extremely draining on the horses while Turf tends to let them have something at the end.

Turf also favors brilliant speed while K/T I think is more staying power

06 Apr 2010 4:00 PM

Gato Del Sol lost the 82 SA derby by about 6 lenghts. I think he was 4th beaten by Marfa. Take it easy you all. The fastest 3yo this year is Sidneys Candy hands down. Does he win the derby and deserve to be number one in this dozen poll? We'll all know for sure come May 1st at 6:00pm eastern time.

06 Apr 2010 4:08 PM

Thanks for the answer about Zenyatta, Steve.  I just pulled Bloodhorse back up and saw the article.  I hope the stands are packed with supporters; I'd be there if I could.  Any chance she comes to the east coast this year?

Also, there was lots of speculation last year that the high altitude contributed to MTB's win.  Are you putting any weight on that angle, Steve.

06 Apr 2010 5:05 PM

Interesting that Contessa would WANT a race a week before, though I sort of get the whole 'take the edge off' reasoning.  Problem is, depeding on where the horses finish this weekend, $240,000 may not get you in!

Gotta like Contessa's confidence in his horse though, "If he wins easy", not "If he wins".  I guess he thinks an easy win is akin to a good mile work.

06 Apr 2010 5:32 PM
Steve Haskin

Dr. D, those 10-14 days are a thing of the past. I'm not supposed to start until the Sunday before the Derby, but I may get down there a day early to catch the Saturday works. I will be filing that week, but it'll be only gallops left by then. I'll have to go more by that and overall physical appearance. I used to be able to see horses work twice, but no more.

06 Apr 2010 5:54 PM
Criminal Type

When Charismatic and Ferdinand ran in the Santa Anita derby it was a conventional dirt surface. Not really fair to compare their dismal performances with the performances taking place on pro ride.

Judi, The turns at Pimlico are very tight, I sure hope Eightyfiveinafifty can negotiate them. He is very fast, but have serious worries about his maturity and scope.

06 Apr 2010 6:12 PM

Mr. Haskin,

Sorry to hear that your stay at CD will not be as long this year. But I'll take whatever you offer and love every word.

I just saw your article on Kip deVille and his new colic problem. Man! can this poor horse get a break? Kudos again to his owners for going all out to see him get healthy again!

06 Apr 2010 6:19 PM

I don't know how "good" this group of 3 year olds is but it is certainly the DEEPEST group I've seen in a while.  We could legitimately have a full Derby Field of horses that think they they are good enough to be in there get shut out on earnings.  This brings up a question that we don't usually have to consider.  How are Preakness starters chosen if it is over entered?  It is limited to 14 starters right?

06 Apr 2010 6:35 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Thanks for your response. We'll take whatever we can get from your observations. Gallops, and overall appearance works for me. We're lucky to get that. Thanks for the info, have a good time, and good luck. Unfortunately I don't see how Setsuko is going to get in but things have looked bleak in other Derbys so maybe it will work out this time too. He belongs. Will be a serious player if he gets in.

06 Apr 2010 6:49 PM
Vic S

Thank you both for the kind words El Kabong and Alex PB.

--Vic S(me) and vic, Vic are not the same poster

06 Apr 2010 6:55 PM

Does anyone give POP (Paddy O’Pardo) a chance to make the derby field?  If he does have a good showing in the Bluegrass, does anyone give him any chance at all to win the Derby?  When you go a mile and one-quarter, which these horses have never done, everything’s up for grabs. Somebody’s got to shake lose in that last 1/8th and go on with it, might as well be POP.

06 Apr 2010 6:57 PM
David R

Setsuko was the "Pick of The Paddock" in the Santa Anita Derby. One of the best looking horses you'll ever see. If he can run to his looks he will be dangerous.

06 Apr 2010 7:02 PM

Lookin at Lucky gets bad trips because he has a lame style. He likes to race mid-pack, in traffic. I like 'em within 3 legnths of the lead at the first call or in the back. Good luck with this style in a race with 20 entries.

06 Apr 2010 7:49 PM

Qatmom.  Let's us not forget that Candy Ride also gave Medaglia D' Oro a light dusting in that 1 1/4 mile Pacific Classic!  

06 Apr 2010 8:06 PM

Man, I love this!  There are a half dozen horses I am rooting for, for various reasons, which is odd for me.  I'm overly partial to SC because I loved Candy Ride.  But if Odysseus runs well this weekend and gets in, he may move to the top of my list.

Which leading contender will fare best on a muddy track?  

06 Apr 2010 8:49 PM

Why are you guys so worked up by the times and who's beyer is bigger...you do understand that conditions and tracks vary and most races are usually run pretty differently.  Pace is everything especially going 10F for first time...If we judged each race by times and beyers Zenyatta would have lost long ago.  Who has improved, who is fit, who is mentally tough and who knows how to win and wants to win?  SC and Esky have had it pretty easy battle tested? not to me, fit? maybe...my money will be on neither...so please put ALL ur money in those 2, i know u want to...

06 Apr 2010 8:51 PM
Matthew W

Sydney's Candy is by far the fastest horse of this crop--including D'Funnybone and that NY Bred freak--his tour'de'force v Tiny Woods (1:20 4/5) was huge!...he rates like a champ--BIG TIME contender! He got 1 1/8--and was ten clear at the 1/16 pole (or so it seemed).....The unbeatable mare arrived---enjoy her! I hope they don't risk her v Quality Road unless it's the 1 1/4 Classic--make him come over to her best distance! After all, she's unbeaten! Some persons seem to think they should be trying him in the Met Mile--I say if you wanna try her--make sure you're in the gate when you get the chance--and they'll all get their chance--everybody gets their butts kicked by Big Z--eventually!....

06 Apr 2010 9:47 PM

I know I'm just repeating what others have said but you can't compare times on different dirt tracks much less dirt vs synthetic vs grass.  I like to analyze the trips and look at who ran behind the winner (who did they beat).  Sidney's Candy got the perfect trip for his running style.  Yes, he beat Lookin at Lucky, but Lucky got a horrendous trip. Also, despite what Sidney's fans are saying, until he runs on dirt, we don't know whether or not he'll display the same talent he has on synthetics.  Eskendereya was absolutely in hand and blew by a very nice horse (Jackson Bend) who continued to try his heart out. I'm not really an "Esky" fan and I definitely don't think he is the 2nd coming of Secretariat, but the Wood was a very good race even though the time was slow.  

I like Odysseus because of his smooth action and his amazing turn-of-foot.  He definitely needs another race, but I'm not sure his race this Sat. will tell me much since it's on a synthetic surface. I think the best I can hope for is to see a more "professional" race from him. The colt I will really be watching is Endorsement.  Perfect prep in the Sunland Derby and perfect pedigree for the 1-1/4 mile on dirt.

06 Apr 2010 10:48 PM

I haven't seen a horse that moves like Sidney's Candy since Secretariat. If you put white blinkers on this guy it would be haunting. I know it's almost sacrilegious to make such a comparison, but this horse just reminds so much of the great one. I can't bet against him, even with his "Sham", Eskendereya, in the race. I don't think we have even seen anything close to what this horse is capable of, as he continues to mature both physically and race wise. Don't forget the Santa Anita Derby was just the second time he has gone 2 turns- that's incredible by itself. So I always have the utmost respect for your opinions, Steve, but for me, it's Sidney's Candy at the top of the list.

06 Apr 2010 11:01 PM

GunBow and Geronimo, thanks for telling me about Sidney's Candy's maiden win--I actually didn't know about that.

Geronimo, I'm sorry you took offense,  but there was no need to make your comments personal--I like Sidney's Candy and wasn't "trashing" him at all.

My comment was just pointing out the hypocrisy of Mr. Haskin having said for months now that there is no way that Rule could win the Derby because to do so he'd have to wire  and that could never happen--yet now, he is saying that Sidney's Candy could very well wire the Derby. That's was what I was objecting to, not Sidney's Candy's talent to do so.

The problem I have with saying that Sidney's Candy could wire but Rule could not, is that Sidney's Candy has an established running style that involves soft opening fractions and lightening closing fractions; even if he has the ability to run faster opening fractions, he doesn't usually.

While I take GunBows's point about the fact that such a style is necessary on synthetic surfaces, he is not a machine that can simply be reprogrammed to suit the day--he is an animal, and animal's are inherently habit forming--no animal, human animals included, respond well to abrupt changes in their routines.

If you train to run a certain way over and over again, your chances of being successful in your first attempt at running a different way are not likely to be met with great success. Not impossible but improbable.

If Sidney's Candy leads with soft fractions, he may wire, but he is going to have to deal with a lot of other horse with strong closing kicks, who will be as fresh he is in the stretch, which will make it infinitely more difficult to stay in the lead in the final furlong.

Granted, slow opening fractions will help Sidney's Candy fend off the true closers that will always plague Rule, but they won't do anything to help against horses like Lookin at Lucky, Endorsement, Odysseus, and Eskendereya. It's funny, everyone felt that the Derby was going to be all speedsters a month ago, but now if looks like it is going to be all come-from-off-the-pacers. Something has to give.

If Rule is on the lead, the opening fractions will be exhausting. I am actually really glad to hear that Sidney's Candy has early speed too, which is likely even better than Rule's. As long as Rule is on form, I think his chances of winning the derby just got better!

My take on Rule is that he needs the duel, he feeds off of it. I think that as soon as he gets clear he starts losing interest (sort of like Roger Federer before he started to dominate tennis in a way no man ever has before) maybe he even thinks "job over, I win!", and so starts slowing down (or rather winding down).

In fact, I think he would have won the the Florida Derby if Pulsion could have hung on a little a longer. Unlike Pulsion, and most horses when they hit the wall physically and have burned themselves up, Rule didn't back up in the Florida Derby...maybe that's because he hadn't hit his limit, he just lost the thread of the race because he had pulled clear. The valuable lesson that Pletcher was hoping Rule learned in the Florida Derby, I think, was that the race isn't over till you cross the finish line--how better to learn that than to get passed just before it?

I don't know if Rule win will the derby, maybe he will run like crap and finish last, maybe he won't even start, but I do know that he is the best horse that nobody is talking about (not the best horse period, just the best ignored horse), and the Derby winner is frequently a surprise.

07 Apr 2010 12:08 AM

Sidney's Candy has been flattered in his last two by slow fractions.  He WILL NOT have the luxury of going to the half in 48 and change in the KY Derby or the 6f in 1:12.  The first half will go in 46 and change or better.  6f likely in just under 1:11 or better.  He'll be cooked at the 1/8th pole, if not sooner.  Then the race will begin. There will be a half dozen closers coming at that point who will blow by Sidneys Candy and fight it out to the wire.  It will come down to Eskendereya, Lookin At Lucky, Awesome Act, Interactif, and Odysseus (if he has the earnings).  I can't believe Baffert didn't enter a speed horse in the SA Derby to insure an honest pace.    

07 Apr 2010 12:47 AM
LV Wiseguy

Years ago when the prep races were run 10-14 days before the derby or when horses run more than once a month it produced a better quality horse. I think now owners/trainers protect their horses too much because the breeding can bring more money than any one race or lifetime earnings.

07 Apr 2010 6:20 AM

It's so interesting to me that some folks don't think Sidney's Candy will get 10f.

Beyond the aforementioned fact that Candy Ride (ARG) won the Pacific Classic in NTR time, it should be noted that his grandsire Cryptoclearance loved 10f. and his broodmare sire, Candy Stripes, produced BC Classic winner Invasor.  

And speaking of broodmare sires, SC's broodmare sire, Storm Cat, sired Belmont S. winner Tabasco Cat and BC Classic winner Cat Thief, just to name two winners at classic distances by that stallion.

Delving into SC's female family, second dam, Exchange, was a G1W at 10f. and a G2W at 12f. on turf. Plus, she was by Explodent, sire of several G1/G2 winners at 10-12f.

Dig a little deeper into this bottom line and you'll also find Breeders S. (10f.) winner Kingsbridge and Queens Plate S. (12f.) winner  Steady Growth under 4th dam Crelita. And 6th dam, Avila, produced Almeria, winner of the 12f. Yorkshire Oaks and 12f. Ribbesdale S. Almeria in turn produced Magna Carta, winner of the Doncaster Cup at the formidable distance of 18f.

So, speed *and* loads of stamina in the same package? I'll take that any day in a Derby contender!

07 Apr 2010 7:56 AM
Billy's Empire

Since my post was not put up yesterday, I will post it again.

I am with Bloodline Bob on the Bluegrass. I like Interactif. ITM possibly Pleasant Prince and Aikenite. As far as the Arkansas Derby, I like Dublin, Super Saver, and Noble's Promise, but also like D Wayne putting Northern Giant in the race as well...

07 Apr 2010 8:38 AM

After the Wood, Nick Zito said that ESK was a monster and in a class by himself.   He said the same about Barbaro after seeing him in the paddock just before the Derby.   Thats good enough for me.   ESK and SC will duel for the TC series.  

07 Apr 2010 8:52 AM
Steve Haskin

Papillon, know what youre talking about before commenting. And please dont put words in my mouth. I never said there's no way Rule can win the Derby. I just said I'd rather see him come from off the pace because of all the speed in the Derby. Assuming Conveyance now does not run, I am saying that Sidney's Candy has the sprinter's speed (and has proven he can carry it) that can outrun horses like Rule, just as War Emblem outran Came Home and those types in 2002.

07 Apr 2010 10:22 AM

I find it amazing that people discount a horse that doesn't have a Kentucky Derby win..when some are soooo good, they go on to win the Preakness and the Belmont..

...Tabasco Cat, Afleet Alex, Point Given. It doesn't mean they weren't good enough to win the Derby...they simply didn't win on that 1st Saturday in May.  Now that I find New Madrid is a possible for the Arkansas Derby, and being a devout Rock Hard Ten fan...as much as I like Dublin and Noble's Promise...I hope New Madrid gives daddy that graded stakes win...he's such a good-looking colt!

07 Apr 2010 11:05 AM

Also, there was lots of speculation last year that the high altitude contributed to MTB's win.TerriV 06 Apr 2010 5:05 PM.

This not the factor why MTB won last year, as he had differnt things working in his favor.

07 Apr 2010 11:13 AM


It's OK to disagree with anybody on here, even Mr. Haskin. But the word "hypocrisy" is an insult that Mr. Haskin doesn't deserve. Your comments are usually very good, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and take it as a oops! moment on your part. We all have those lapses and once submitted and posted, we can't take our comment back no matter how much we wish we could do so.

07 Apr 2010 11:16 AM

I am still liking Lookin At Lucky. The Kentucky Derby is oftentimes a bumping free-for-all with so many horses in the field, and LAL has experience with this! His last races should set him up well for what he may encounter in the Derby.

07 Apr 2010 12:09 PM

Has a Horse ever won the Kentucky Derby Wire to Wire ?? I can't help but wonder if Sidney's Candy could do just that! I'm looking forward to the Run for the Roses! It has been exciting watching the races leading up to the Derby. I pray for a SAFE Race, for all Horses & Jockeys.

07 Apr 2010 12:56 PM

I believe your persistence will be rewarded on Interactif.  I liked his San Felipe. Sidney’s Candy has certainly moved forward off that as well as American Lion.  Looking forward to your observations from Churchill.

07 Apr 2010 1:09 PM

tcc, I didn't say that the high altitude factor was why MTB won the Derby.  I said that there was SPECULATION that it CONTRIBUTED to his win.  There has been mention of the same possibility for Endorsement this year.  It's a factor that I find curious and would like to hear opinions and facts about.  There are some posters here who are great at statistics and facts.  But I'm keeping an eye on Endorsement partly because of curiosity about high altitudes affecting performance.

07 Apr 2010 1:24 PM

He is not my favorite but Eskendereya in the Wood was the most impressive race I have seen since Big Brown.  It was a WOW performance.  It didn't look like Johnny even asked him to run.  I can't imagine what he could do if asked to really run.  I don't see him getting beat by anyone if he has a good trip.  American Lion is my favorite just because he is a Tiznow and beautiful but I am not sure he is in the same league as Esky.        

07 Apr 2010 1:42 PM
The Deacon

The best horse on the planet is back in training, I Want Revenge.....He is my HOTY if he stays healthy. What a brilliant animal before the injury last year. He would have stayed healthy the Derby and the Belmont wouldn't have gone to the "Birds" .

Lookin At Lucky will still shine come May..........

07 Apr 2010 2:09 PM

I am very surprised everyone has signed off on Caracortado. this horse had a bad trip and was caught up in traffic, remember he defeated American Lion

07 Apr 2010 2:18 PM
Matthew W

Sydney's Candy does not have a great stride--watch the headons--he chops out--I will consider him, on top--but Baffert will send his gray-- I am looking for a Bluegrass horse-- Interactif, a horse with a beautiful/correct stride--to step up--4-1??? Pletcher???...Prep???..take that to the bank!

07 Apr 2010 2:19 PM

2 email---


You are right in backing Noble Promise. He should run well in AD this weekend. In fact Super Savor is ready to impress as it will be his 2nd start of 2010. Add Dublin and I beleive as before the AD can provide a strong competitor in the Kentucky Derby. As far as last weekend results, I favor Eskendereya's performnace over the others with LAL my second choice. Eskendereya was never asked by JV where Sidney's Candy was all out. Also, Sidney ran a 48.5 first half and horses were still closing in on him in the stretch. The fractions in the derby will be no more than 46 and change as I'm sure Pletcher will make Rule or Superfavor keep the pace honest. Under such senario, I visualize Sidney finishing around sixth at best in this years KD.

Very Best  X-ray

07 Apr 2010 3:08 PM

Eskendereya and LAL are truly special horses without question but here is a scarey thought:  What if Sidney's Candy is even better on dirt?  It seems that it is easier for a horse to go from synthetics to dirt than viceversa.

I was truly impressed with his SA Derby.  He's something special too.

07 Apr 2010 3:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  After watching your "Culinary Delights" show you have with Lenny we decided on the corned beef. We had some delicious corned beef sandwiches today. Good tip and insight into culinary consumption strategy.

 Zookeeper-  It's getting scary how much we think alike.

   TOM-thanks for the Zito quote. That says it a lot coming from a competing trainer, but is also the way I feel after watching the ease in which he destroyed the Wood field. There is Esky, then there is the rest.

07 Apr 2010 4:22 PM
Paula Higgins

I agree that Eskendereya is an impressive horse and won convincingly. But I also think that Sidney's Candy and LAL are still in the running. They are too good to count them out. I don't think you can dismiss LAL because he had a horrible trip and ride. My concern is that Gomez needs to keep him out of trouble in the Derby. LAL isn't as agile, as say, Zenyatta when she gets into traffic. Depending upon what Odysseus does this weekend, I don't think he is a toss either.  The field is very good this year, but it remains to be seen whether there is a super star with the potential to win the Triple Crown.

07 Apr 2010 5:47 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Even though I love Sidneys Candy do you like his chances with a 21 year old jockey that has never been to the kentucky derby and has no experience at churchill?

07 Apr 2010 5:54 PM

There sure are plenty of Sidney's Candy fans all of the sudden...including Steve putting him in at #3 THIS week... Well better late then never...but you missed out on some sweet future odds and 3 stakes wins in a row.  ODDS won't be nearly so sweet on May 1st, but Sidney is STILL the one to beat.  One thing for sure he will avoid traffic trouble no matter what his post is...can the other favorite horses claim the same? He stumbled out of the gate this past win and still easily made the front.  Can he last??  I think so.

07 Apr 2010 5:57 PM
Karen in Texas

TerriV---There was quite a discussion on the effects of altitude training and MTB's winning of the Derby last year on these blogs. Any horse or person who LIVES at a high altitude has a natural physiolgical response to the decrease in oxygen in the air. One of the main things that occurs over time (not immediately) is the increase in the body's production of red blood cells to adapt to the need for increased oxygen binding capacity since the oxygen in the air has lessened. This oxygen binding occurs through the increase in RBCs and their hemoglobin molecule, which carries oxygen to the cells.

The Altitude Simulation Technologies site has much information about the work/studies being done specifically on altitude training and effects on horses' performances. I am linking a page from their site, but the various headings found there are all interesting and informative.


07 Apr 2010 6:06 PM

Thanks, Karen in Tx.  With actual science behind this phenomenon it could be possible that high altitude training could become popular for colts heading for the Triple Crown.  If this works, MTB's edge didn't last through all 3 races enough to make him 1st in all 3.  Or maybe there were other reasons - I'm definitely keeping an eye on Endorsement.

07 Apr 2010 7:18 PM

Ohhhhh, I made a big mistake in my comments above - Mine That Bird that great little guy was last years winner!  What a slip of the tongue (or rather mind).  You can tell I Want Revenge was my favorite for the Derby 2009.

07 Apr 2010 7:47 PM
Kid Crepello

If Sidney's Candy likes the dirt the others better hope that Contessa's horse makes the Derby because this looks like a Spend a Buck repeat!

07 Apr 2010 8:34 PM


The high altitude did not contribute or will not be the reason affecting his performance, if you like the horse, look for other things, do not let the spectulator's about the high altitude influence you either way. Also the 1st and 2nd place horse's will probably both be in the Derby, and they both ran in the high altitude. Bottom line, it was not the high altitude that contributed to or affected MTB'S Derby's performance.

07 Apr 2010 8:55 PM
Matthew W

Monica V Sadler says that! (He wants to dirt him!) Sadler is GUSHING about his Candy! John Sadler is a kid in the candy store!

07 Apr 2010 9:13 PM

With actual science behind this phenomenon it could be possible that high altitude training could become popular for colts heading for the Triple Crown.  If this works, MTB's edge didn't last through all 3 races enough to make him 1st in all 3.  Or maybe there were other reasons - I'm definitely keeping an eye on Endorsement.

TerriV 07 Apr 2010 7:18 PM

As far as MTB performance there were other reasons.

07 Apr 2010 9:18 PM

What do you mean "other reasons"    TCC!

07 Apr 2010 9:43 PM

I think SC has as good a shot as any.  He can definately rate and looks like he can get the distance.  I will make my picks closer to derby week, but if I had to now it would be LAL, Dublin, Esky, and Interactif in no specific order.   Go ZENYATTA!  She will go down as the GREATEST!   Her pedigree is genious as was Big Browns!  ZEN is the female Man O War!

07 Apr 2010 9:49 PM


Had a chance to get with Todd Pletcher and he shared his thoughts with me on how Eskendereya came out of Wood and shared his thoughts on Mission Impazible, Super Saver, Aikenite, and Interactif. Can check out what he had to say on thederbydream.com great video.

07 Apr 2010 9:50 PM


Everyone is off Caracortado because even if he was the second coming of Secretariat, he doesn't have enough earnings to make the race.

07 Apr 2010 10:19 PM
Vic S

@ Redandblacksilks, like papillon you don't know what you speak of. Candy is breed for distance, and is actually the fastest horse (fractions and final times) of the entire field.  Did you not see his 1.20 and change 7 furlong workout in his stakes prior to SA Derby?? Yeah he led in that going 22 and 45 and change, your pt is moot as is Papillon, if he gets a clear break he'll be hard to beat.

07 Apr 2010 10:44 PM
Bloodline Bob

The winner of the 2010 Arkansas Derby on Sat. 4-10-10 will be PULSION.

07 Apr 2010 10:56 PM

"Paddy Cake" ha ha good article. Seems you too have gotten a case of the "O'Prado fever"!! ... had it since that 93 Beyer? run here!

07 Apr 2010 11:14 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  In reference to your "Paddy Cake" article: Yes, hindsight is 20/20 but foresight can be close to that. You have to look at the possiblities ahead. You must assume a number of horses are going to jump into the Graded Earnings picture. Regarding Odysseus- I thought all along that it was quite risky for them to assume that 180k would be enough earnings, and I also thought he should be running in The Arkansas Derby for three reasons. It's on dirt, it pays more, and even early on it was shaping up to be an easier spot especially once we realized that Baffert was almost certainly going to stay at SA. But the field, for quite awhile in The Bluegrass looked strong. We knew Interactif, Aikenite, and when I posted on Jason's blog(eight in the gate? 30 Mar 1:25am)that Paddy O Prado was going to enter. But let's disregard the tough field and the the dirt vs. poly aspect. The Arkansas Derby pays more. The owners weren't worried about earnings but I never could understand why. They were already in the bubble area, and if you looked at horses like Sidney's Candy, Setsuko, Esky, Super Saver, Paddy O'Prado. Horses that we already knew were strong contenders for win or place in upcoming races. Then you have to throw in the unknowns, and the good ones that we didn't know would run another race, like Northern Giant. The other factor is that nowadays owners want to be in the race despite how the horse is running, or that there is very little chance he can get a mile and a quarter without catching a bus. So there aren't as many dropouts unless there is an injury. Pleasant Prince, Paddy, Interactif, Aikenite. Good luck to Odysseus cracking the top 4. Then throw in First Dude and Music.That is one tough race. And then we have the Lexington. Besides Drossel and Conemara, who else is going to show up that needs earnings? In The Arkansas Derby I see Super Saver dusting off Noble's Promise, then Dublin and Northern Giant making strong closing runs. I think I'll stick with my Mar 30 pick-Paddy in the Blue Grass with Pleasant Prince and Interactif battling for 2nd. Speaking of Interactif. He was high on my list until the confusion about how many times he was going to run. He's another I wanted to see run on dirt. He had the earnings so I saw no point of running on poly. But he's been in my top ten most of the time. If Odysseus can pull it off then he is one tough cookie. I'm hoping for the earnings to go to horses that are already in the top twenty, giving Setsuko a better chance to get in. But Pleasant Prince deserves to be in, and paddy could be another monster.

07 Apr 2010 11:53 PM


Other reasons:

Bloodlines,and by handicapping the race.

08 Apr 2010 12:01 AM

Mr. Haskin,

Loved your Paddy Cake article. Especially your reference to "the old reliable Pilgim Stakes scratch angle for the exacta." LOL!!! At this point I'm so confused that this strategy makes as much sense to me as any other. 'Tis a puzzlement!

08 Apr 2010 12:43 AM

i took a lot of abuse on some blogs last year after the derby,,but i was correct i said that mine that bird will NEVER win another graded stakes race AGAIN,,i stand behind that.

ENDORSEMENT-will win the kentucky derby-period!

08 Apr 2010 6:48 AM


setsuko-reminds me a lot of a colt

called WOODCHOPPER...look out

should be in the top 4 at the finish line

08 Apr 2010 6:50 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

PLEASANT PRINCE-GP made a mistake moving the Florida Derby to 6 weeks out, and now they may make the same mistake again because they had a strong handle that day. It forces horses to either run in The Derby off of a 6 week layoff or have to run two races 3 weeks apart(another prep, then The Derby). Then The Preakness in two more weeks if they win The Derby. But it's ridiculous that Prince has to scramble for earnings after losing a Grade One prep by half of a nostril. THE SYSTEM MUST CHANGE. He should have an automatic entry into The Derby. Any Grade One prep must be 5 weeks or less from The Derby. If they refuse then drop them to a Grade Two and elevate another race like the LA Derby.

ODYSSEUS-I have a great deal of respect for his owner and love his honesty but the thought process was flawed from the beginning. Their original intent was to train up to The Derby. 7 weeks is too long. Within a week of winning at Tampa they should have decided if they wanted to run in either The Wood or Arkansa Derby. That should be the thought process even if they did have enough earnings. They probably don't have enough earnings, and probably would have placed in The Wood, or a top 3 at Arkansas. They are in the toughest race because it was an afterthought-"well maybe we should get a prep for foundation."

HOMEBOYKRIS-Dutrow should be arrested for training him into The Derby without a prep. It would be the biggest upset in sports history if he won, and I consider it to be unsafe. CD should deny him entry. It would be like the World Series in baseball being played between the best regular season team and a team that only had a spring training and was denied playing the season.

08 Apr 2010 8:05 AM
mike rullo


I think eskendereya is a legit triple crown contender,the preakness is the only race I'm worried about?? the belmont will be a joke for this horse, he likes to gallop you to death.

08 Apr 2010 10:59 AM

tcc,  You may be right that altitude had nothing to do with MTB's win but it's really one of those things you can't really know for sure without tracking it and gathering evidence.  Since it's not really hurting anybody or anything, I think I'll just watch the progress of high altitude horses - just for fun.

08 Apr 2010 11:42 AM
Steve Haskin

Dr. D, I cant argue with you. It's tough trying to make the right decision. Running in the Blue Grass obviously is better than their original thought of training up to the race, which is absurd. I know one of the reasons they chose the Blue Grass was because it was easier on the horse not to have to travel to Hot Springs, which is not an easy place to get to. $180,000 would have been no problem any other year but one. As I said, they have to play the hand they dealt and hope for the best. It could very easily blow up in their face, but they'll have to accept the consequences if it does.

Zookeeper, we're all confused, so dont dont feel badly.

08 Apr 2010 11:48 AM
Steve Haskin

Dr D, Lenny actually is a pastrami guy.

08 Apr 2010 11:50 AM

Steve, I am one of those people who cannot be convinced that weight difference does not matter.

For those who say weight difference does not matter, I say so why not let them all carry the same weight?.

What this is leading to is my pet peeve.

This weekend we have the Arkansas Derby which the authorities upgraded to GR1 status after years of clamor. But the track operators have seen it fit to assign different weights to the starters. This means a horse carrying a lower weight gets an advantage over the others and gets  a better chance to earn more graded earnings.

It is about time all GR1 races be run at weight for age or be reduced to GR 2 or 3. This is madness.

08 Apr 2010 12:32 PM

we dont have the derby post positions yet, but when all 20 horses run the #20 post position wins most often(like 18+%). the next best post positions are #1,#5,#10.good luck!

08 Apr 2010 1:45 PM
It Aint Easy being good

rjb92 your on crack if you think post positions #20 and 1 are great positions for the derby! I would never bet a horse in those positions. I usually get my pen out and draw a lin on post 17-20 and post 1! When is the last time a horse has hit the board at post 20 or post 1 previous to big brown?

08 Apr 2010 2:58 PM

Matthew W,

When I watched the SA Derby, I was astounded by Sidney's Candy.  He has the look of a very special horse and to do what he did on Pro-Ride makes me think without a doubt that he will be better and faster on dirt.  I know there are doubters but I'm thinking this horse is the Derby winner and maybe even the TC winner.  I just have a feeling about him.  Sadler's due for a really big horse and he's a great trainer.

08 Apr 2010 3:34 PM
Steve Haskin

Mark, I can't find your website. Nothing comes up.

08 Apr 2010 5:13 PM
noel v

i think eskendereya is the best 3years old horse i ever see since affirmed he had a perfect trainer, perfect jockey and he have a lot of potential remember that horse is unbeatable in dirt he can run all the day bad news for others horses

08 Apr 2010 6:24 PM

Vic S:  The Kentucky Derby is not 7f or 1 1/8 miles.  It is 1 1/4 miles.  Sidney's Candy going 22 and 45 and 7f in 1:20 at Santa Anita does not mean he could do it on the track at Churchill Downs.  The farther a horse runs the more his early fractions will take out of him.  You seem to think that he can go 46 and change at Churchill as easily as he went 48 and change at SA and still be able to go his last 3f in 35 going 1 1/4 miles.  Any decent handicapper knows that the faster a horse goes early the slower he is likely to go late in a route race.  Sidney's Candy is NOT Secretariat no matter how much you west coast racing fans wish it was so.  I don't see any way that the other trainers with entries in the KY Derby will allow him to get out on an easy 2 length lead and go to the half in 48.5 and get the 3/4 in 1:12 and change.  I hope you bet big on him in the KY Derby. The more you folks bet on him the better the odds will be for me.  My money is going elsewhere.  If you win, more power to you, but I don't think you will.  

08 Apr 2010 6:30 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Noel V- You make some very good points about Eskendereya.

Steve-Originally I thought the travel aspect to go to Oaklawn wouldn't be a big deal, but it could be with only 3 weeks to go. I suspect that Tampa should possibly be moved to 8 weeks out, giving trainers and owners more options for their next race. I'd like to see The Florida Derby moved back to 5 weeks out. The LA Derby moved to 4 weeks out. That would be 4 weeks from The Derby on two dirt tracks, plus the poly at SA. Unless SA switches back to dirt, then I'd reevaluate. I think we saw trainers/owners shying away from The Arkansas Derby, not liking 3 weeks out. It pays the most so it should have been the most sought after. 4 weeks seems to be the preferred time for many and 5 weeks for others. I still would keep Arkansas and Blue Grass at 3 weeks out. With Tampa 8 weeks out, there would be no problem filling all 3 tracks(FG, SA, AQU) on the same day 4 weeks out with enough quality horses. The 3 races on the same day would need a coordinated effort for spacing the times so there isn't conflicts. Does any of that make any sense?

08 Apr 2010 8:03 PM
Matthew W

Thing is, us West Coasters just don't see horses wire them on the pro ride like that--opening up on them like that--I'm not saying he's Big Red (!!)...I am saying it's a rarity, for a horse to do it like Sydney--if he can continue to relax....we already know he has another gear....and who wants to go with him besides cheap speed?...Esky?...Really?...Don't think so....

08 Apr 2010 9:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Matthew W.  That's right you don't see that on pro-ride much. And Sidney's(with an i) Candy is a big talent. Since he's an unknown on dirt, and some may still question his ability to get a mile and a quarter with his running style, will give you decent odds to bet on. I think you'll get better odds than you normally would from a horse winning like that. Esky will be a big favorite. Don't sell Esky short. Also depending on who's in and posts and circumstances starting the race, Candy might have to stalk. Esky will stalk and pounce.  If Candy gets the lead, Esky will keep up with him wthout Sidney getting too far ahead. Then who will be able to pull away?

09 Apr 2010 9:40 AM

rjb92...need...math skills.  In 135 Derbies, 2 horses have won from post 20..in 1929 and 2008, which makes the percentage closer to 1.5%.....not 18%.  Calculator broken!  ....need brain.

Historically...best positions are  #5 and #16.  And after last year...I don't think anyone will really want #13.  Can't wait to see I Want Revenge back on the track.

09 Apr 2010 10:39 AM
It Aint Easy being good

Matthew well said I am a west coast basher but SC has afterburners on his hoofs his acceleration is amazing. I dont see that in eskenydra and Looking at lucky is probably going to be the real value come derby day!

09 Apr 2010 10:48 AM

to it aint easy and slew, thru derby 2008 there were 16 derbys with a 20 horse field. 3 horses won from post 20. 3 divided by 16 is.... i think even you two jabronies can do that math. also post 1 has had 12 winners, post five 12 winners and post 10- ten winners. i believe only post 17 and 19 have never won yet. good luck!

09 Apr 2010 11:30 AM
It Aint Easy being good

The forgotten horse in all this is rule who I think will set blistering fractions and could burn out alot of horses and like someone else said dont be suprised if rule comes back and hit the board may 1st he is still talented.

09 Apr 2010 11:56 AM


Cant wait until Sunday to see some more dust settle. Had a chance to talk with Gomez about Lookin At Lucky and he is fired up about his chances.www.thederbydream.com/Check out a great video update

09 Apr 2010 1:30 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Rjb92 why dont you bet on horse 20 and horse 1 and come back on this blog and tell me how they faired!! If either of them get 3rd it will be a win. Rjb92 its funny when post draws come out the last two spots chosen are 20 and 1 mmmmmmmmmmmmmm I wonder why???

09 Apr 2010 2:11 PM
Chris Camerom

Esky is great, but this is the Kentucky Derby. Nobody should be a huge favorite. Bellamy Road looked better than Esky. Point Given was the best three year old in years. With 20 horses anything can happen.

09 Apr 2010 2:30 PM
Bloodline Bob

I just found out that PULSION can come in 2nd place in the ARKANSAS DERBY and still have a good chance to make the Ky.Derby cut. So, I'll be routing for Corey to be 1st or 2nd in the Arkansas Derby tomorrow afternoon. GO COREY GO!!!!!!!!!!!

09 Apr 2010 3:17 PM
dr fager01

My Big Red' to answer your question. Has a horse ever won the derby wire to wire? Yes! That horse was the great "Spend a Buck" in the great year of 1985.

09 Apr 2010 5:12 PM

Since 1975, the Derby has been LIMITED to 20 horses.  There were sometimes more than 20 horses in the field.There have been 135 Kentucky Derbies. Big Brown was the first horse to win the derby from post 20 since 1929. In 1929 Clyde Van Dusen was the first to win from post 20 but that was with a walk-up start, before there was an electric starting gate which was not introduced until 1939.  So the math goes 2 winners from post 20 in 135 races = 1.5%.  However you may choose to juggle numbers you simply do not conform to simple math.  You simply cannot exclude 119 races just to support your obtuse deductions.

09 Apr 2010 5:43 PM

Didn't War Emblem win the KD wire to wire also?

Bloodline Bob,

Why do you like Pulsion? Maybe there's something I should know about that horse.

09 Apr 2010 5:46 PM
Karen in Texas

The KD has been won wire to wire more than 20 times. Here is a Bloodhorse blog/commentary on 10 of those winners.


09 Apr 2010 7:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Saturday Morning Derby Top 6

1. Eskendereya-It's so easy for him. He gobbles up ground like a gopher.

2. Sidney's Candy-Gopher Jr.. But it's not quite as easy as it is for Esky. He has rubber impeding his gopher path.

3. Lookin At Lucky-The most proven class in the field. Gets into a lot of trouble-a juvenile delinquent.

4. Endorsement-Many could be overlooking this Funny Cide-like pedigree guy who is rapidly improving, has an underrated excellent trainer and easily beat big fav Conveyance.

5. Super Saver-A big Arkansas Derby win moves him up??? Another Pletcher !!! Borel !!!!

6. Paddy O' Prado-A big Blue Grass win moves him up?? Showed a ton of talent in his last, and training well.

   P.S. Setsuko isn't on here because his chance of getting in is very slim.

10 Apr 2010 10:26 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

WOW. I just saw where Setsuko is nominated to The Lexington Coolmore-there's still hope for The Derby winner to get in !!!!! Also nominated is Caracortado, Lentenor and Soaring Empire. I liked Soaring Empire until he scrubbed out in The Florida Derby.(he was on my Derby Top Ten back then).

10 Apr 2010 10:37 AM
El Kabong

Rednblacksilks/VicS----I think VicS' point is that Sidney's Candy has tactical speed. When you can control your own actions to suit the race(and SC has done that, long or short) what you have is tactical speed and I'll even toss in a  dominate pedigree that lesser horses will not challenge(Alpha Dog is another term). This guy is far more dangerous than you want to believe and I'm not sure why you don't think he will control the pace wherever he goes. He hasn't done it at different tracks, but he has done it against a host of different company. It's too bad lucky had trouble in SA Derby, we would have been able to see a few more cards in his(SC's) hand if that had been the case. Our loss. Sidney will pick his own tempo on the lead or biding his time in 2nd or 3rd. He may get the lead and repel challengers with his class but  he will be a factor in the finish. No doubt in my mind. He is that good. Someone else has made another point(Matthew?) about the rare occurrence of SA runners going wire to wire, especially around 2 turns and winning going away.....exceptional. I don't think a horse of his pedigree will have any trouble on dirt or with 10F. The only question I have is how will he handle the sound of hoofs beating down on him in the lane. He did let Interactive get near in san felipe but  when he saw him at wire he actually pushed way in the ride out. SA Derby He left them so fast there wasn't hoof near. Love the way SC takes turn for home, very athletic horse that knows when it's time to gear up. VicS, SC is in my exacta and I don't care what happens between now and May 1st.

10 Apr 2010 2:10 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I'm real happy for Jon Court who I think is a great guy, eventhough he cost me the Trifecta. Ironically I was just thinking this morning-watch out for horses coming from Pro-Ride. It seems to be an excellent conditioner. But then I failed to go back and see who has been running on Pro-Ride. It's been since Feb for Line Of David, then two on turf. Sneaky, don't you think?

10 Apr 2010 6:00 PM

Glad to see Pulsion choke....Lots of frauds were exposed today.  Super Saver has his eye on the big prize!  Pletcher is sitting pretty.

10 Apr 2010 7:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

New Derby Baker's Dozen in order of preference:

1. Setsuko

2. Eskendereya

3. Sidney's Candy

4. Lookin At Lucky

5. Endorsement

6. Super Saver

7. Line Of David

8. Paddy O' Prado

9. Pleasant Prince

10. Ice Box

11. Drosselmeister

12. Dublin

13. Mission Impazible

(For the record-I never had Noble's Promise on any of my top 19 Derby lists. He is not a mile and a quarter horse. He's a good horse. Don't ruin him by running him in The Derby. Interactif-It still makes me mad that they didn't give him a dirt prep so he's off the list.

10 Apr 2010 7:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

OOPs-I forgot that Pleasant Prince might not have enough earnings. He's a dirt horse-another that was in the wrong race. If he gets in The Derby he still could be tough. This was a nice conditioner 3 weeks out. I've said all along that Odysseus should have gone to Arkansas but he still has an outside shot, and still has talent. Why did they rush him to the front? It shocked me. Still, I supect they may just point him to The Preakness instead. Despite the face that he's a dirt horse that hated poly, I just don't think he's ready for a strong Derby performance.

10 Apr 2010 7:42 PM

Well, here are my post A.D. & Bluegrass reflections: I'm not bashful in saying I told you so about Odysseus not being a Kentucky Derby horse.  It makes little sense to rush these slow-to-mature/late developing AP Indy sons/grandsons for the 1st Saturday in May.  Pedigree matters a lot on the Triple Crown trail.  Lets see if the Noble's Promise backers also take heed.  That colt will be a very good miler but he'll be wasted trying to hit the board in any triple crown race.

Dublin is still in with a shot at getting up for fourth/fifth place in the Derby.  He is tough and battle-ready as a typical Lukas trainee but seems a bit short on talent for 10 furlongs.  Uh Oh Bango's under-the-radar quest continues ...sorry Setsuko fans.

At this point the Todd Squad is looking as imposing as ever ...very encouraging performance from Super Saver and Interactif remains somewhat of a sleeper/mystery horse.  He undoubtedly has the class to do well in the Derby if he takes to the surface and the Blugrass should not have taken too much out of him.  

The Blugrass is a backdoor into the Kentucky Derby and I see no reason to think that Stately Victor will do any better than General Quarters or Monba did in previous years.  The Paddy cake crumbled (Paddy O'Prado)...failing to squeeze in at the last minute ...well only another pretender biting the dust (no pun intended but this one should excell on grass instead).  Pleasant Prince should have just sat and waited for the Preakness and Belmont.  Eskendereya's absence from the Florida Derby flattered his chances somewhat but he is really bred to be very good later on in the season and perhaps even better as a 4YO however, Derby fever can be a serious infection that takes months to recover from for those that are forced to make the cut.  As things presently stand (barring bad weather on May 1, 2010) I see no real threat to Esky, Interactif, Rule, Super Saver, Mission Impazible and Discreetly Mine (a Todd Squad sweep) outside of Sidney's Candy, Endorsement and Ice Box ... and perhaps Looking At Lucky (think he'll come up short on stamina but not heart).  The Arkansas Derby winner Line Of David can affect the splits but he has no shot of being around at the death in the Derby ...none ...he's a game one nonetheless.  I figure they might "send" him with Sidney's Candy tracking like a laser beam until the inevitable occurs ...more anon.  

10 Apr 2010 9:29 PM

    Well, after another weekend of mild shocks,--(to say the least),--we now have 4 chances for the "Storm Cat" line to get off the “schnide” (sc) in: "Eskendereya"; "Sidney’s Candy"; "Ice Box"; and now "Line of David"; and we have 6 chances for Todd to get off the “schnide” (sc) in "Eskendereya"; "Super Saver"; "Discreetly Mine"; Mission Impazible"; "Interactif"; and "Rule", with a potential 7th shot still possible come next weekend in "Connemara". Although, should “Drosselmeyer” & “Connemara” finish 1-2 several may still get bumped from the bottom rung of the earnings chart still!--((After thought, and then there is always “Eightyfiveandafifty” to still gum up the works late)). And yet with some odd mass defections, Pletcher might still get to add “Aikenite” for 8.

  Hard also to believe that it will take more than a 1/4 million in earnings to preserve a spot, but that should be a lesson to future connections plotting courses!!!

10 Apr 2010 9:54 PM
Vic S

It's nice when you pick the 40-1 shot in the Bluegrass. Yep, I had Stately Victor to win.  With this, I will dethrone Sidney's Candy from the #1 place on my Derby Dozen(although I do think he still has a great chance at winning).  I will probably never get the chance again in my life to pick any horse named Victor to win the Kentucky Derby.  So because his name he is my Derby horse.  His sire is also a plus - Ghostzapper, greatest male horse since the 80's. I will place him atop my Derby Dozen.  My heart will chose my derby pick this year Stately Victor all the way!  Stately Victor is my Kentucky Derby pick - FINAL.  Unlike previous years I have changed my choice 2 times already from Conveyance to Sidney's Candy - now to Stately Victor.  Usually, I stick with the same horse all year but lets face it Conveyance flopped at 1 1/8, then Candy guaranteed a spot with a flawless prep, and now a horse with same name as me - Victor, gets a chance to win the Derby - it is simply a chance I can't pass up.  So my final, absolute, Derby pick is Stately Victor for first, then Sidney's Candy in the 2nd spot.

11 Apr 2010 12:24 AM

My top 10 is similar to yours, Dr D. (minus the faith in Setsuko)

1. Esky

2. Sidneys Candy (would be #1 if he had dirt experience; love the 33-1 I got in Pool 2!)

3. LAL (love the perseverance; wonder how much its taken out of him)

4. Super Saver (room to improve or destined to round out exotics?)

5. Endorsement (suspect he will be the "wise guy" horse come Derby Day)

6. Awesome Act (was Wood just a tune-up?

7. Mission Impazible

8. Ice Box

9. Dublin

10. Drosselmeyer (hope he gets in so my Pool 1 Exacta Box Esky-Dross has a shot)

11 Apr 2010 6:27 AM
lover of horses phil

Let us Not forget 'who's Calvin gonna ride in the derby.....And I like Sidneys Candy...

11 Apr 2010 7:13 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  This is the first year I played the futures pool. Before I thought it was crazy. I passed on Pool One. Then bet Pool Two. At that time my top horses were Setsuko, Sidney's Candy and LAL. Obviously I wasn't going to bet LAL at those odds. I bet Setsuko at I think 68-1. Then I almost bet Sidney's Candy at 33-1, and said "too low". That was a dumb no bet. Then I bet exactas only boxing Setsuko instead of boxing all of them. After the pool closed I said, "oh no!!!, what a dummy." I should have boxed the six horses. I still don't like the single horse future wager but I'm starting to like the exacta. Next year will be different. I did do a box in Pool 3 exacta this year but the payoffs weren't nearly as high for my horses as in Pool Two. Good luck.

11 Apr 2010 10:44 AM

Oh shoot! New Madrid really didn't care for the company, and was looking for a different track down the stretch.  I still like him, but he remains green, and outclassed for now...I see him stepping up mid-summer.  I actually saw my Derby horse this weekend.  His previous performances have been as bad as my previous picks....but he came through when it counted.  I really hate to put the "kiss of doom" to any horse, but I was impressed by Stately Victor and Endorsement this year. (I am afraid that saying it out loud might just jinx them now...I hope not).  

11 Apr 2010 10:52 AM
Bloodline Bob

SO, here is what i see about TODD PLETCHER. RULE=#3,ESKENDREYA=#6,MISSION IMPAZIBLE=#7,DISCREETLY MINE=#15,INTERACTIF=#17,AIKENITE=24 and CONNEMARA=#32. This is where his horses stand on the graded earnings list as of 4-11-10. WOW-WOW-WOW. HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE PLETCHER TO WIN THE 2010 KY.DERBY???

11 Apr 2010 11:52 AM

"Hard also to believe that it will take more than a 1/4 million in earnings to preserve a spot, but that should be a lesson to future connections plotting courses!!!"...Zarvona

That`s exactly why I don`t think they should mess with the current earnings rule.  If you have a decent horse, then run the damn thing.  Winning one race and then being hailed by many as the second coming of Big Red makes no sense at all.

As for "the Todd Squad looking as imposing as ever" comment, well it hasn`t gotten him to the winner`s circle in the past like...ever.

Blind Luck could beat any of the WPS finishers from yesterday, but Hollendorfer changing his mind is doubtful.

11 Apr 2010 12:31 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

We are living in the wacky world of the two worlds of the parallel worlds. Everything in our world is backwards and everything in their world is logical and sane. Therefore I predict that Homeboykris will win The Derby in 2010. In the other world, the horses that should be in, are in, and Setsuko would be my pick if I lived over there. Also, Pleasant Prince is in their Derby. In the other world they only have well mantained and groomed dirt tracks, and two turf courses at each track. So for the most part, the horses that should be in are in. They use a different system to determine their Derby horses. It's not entirely a Graded Earnings System. I've been given glimpses of the other world. It's nice. There is more logic, sanity, and decency. Sometimes I wish I could live over there. There is one huge problem however that would really disturb me. They don't have nearly as many longshots winning as we do.

11 Apr 2010 2:17 PM

Vic S,

I like your namesake very much. He will probably remain a long shot in the KD which might bode well for your pocket. I prefer his running style over the front runners'. If Alan Garcia can duplicate the fantastic ride he gave SV in the Blue Grass, the potential is very real to me. Some will doubt him because he has raced mostly on turf and synthetics... but if the switch to dirt seems to work very well for the California horses, I don't see why it would not be the case for SV also. Best of luck to you AND your namesake!

11 Apr 2010 2:27 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Yes, and our world is more fun!

Setsuko is #27 on the graded earnings list. He may still make it to the KD although it doesn't look good. I don't think that running him 2 weeks before the Derby, in order to get him in the gate, is a good idea. Let the chips fall where they may and shoot for the Preakness. Blackeyed Susans would look good against his splendid coat. :)

11 Apr 2010 2:42 PM

Wow what a day at the races was yesterday, Stately Victor and Line of David impressive.  But now what another full of surprises coming into Derby day.  Let me just say that Esky is still the one to beat.  He could be the next Big Brown.  Lookin at Lucky is a nice colt with good pedigree and I know come derby day Bob Baffert will make Lookin at Lucky a superstar. But there is more great colts running and with full steam.  First the ones that won Sidney Candy, Ice Box, American Lion, Endorsement, Dean's Kitten, Line of David, Stately Victor, Mission Impazible, and you wonder which one will hit the board and win.  I always thought that Sidney Candy is a great looking horse same characteristics as Secretariat or Affirmed.  That just my opinion.  I still see others going into the KY derby with a little bit of hope to win and thats Backtalk, Setsuko, Stately Victor, Conveyance, American Lion. Esky is the best for now Odysseus was disappointed yesterday but this colt will rebound.  Super Saver is a hard worker just like Hard Spun.  Lookin at Lucky needs to be trained good coming into the KYderby his target will be Esky and the Derby.  Baffert + Gomez + LALucky is a great combination. California horses are good they just stuck on pro ride but they're bred to run on dirt. So beware California is coming ready to face the KYderby and other dirt tracks in the East Coast. Here are my picks.

1- Lookin At Lucky

2- Setsuko

3- Esky

4- Sidney's Candy

5- Line of David

6- Endorsement

7- Super Saver

8- American Lion

9- Odysseus

10-Stately Victor

11-Ice Box

12-Mission Impazible


11 Apr 2010 4:12 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  You're right about Setsuko. It wouldn't be right to run him in The Lexington. He'd have to win it anyway. Then he'd have to run again in two weeks. I'm positive that the owner and trainer feel the same way. He'll be in The Preakness or Belmont. I'd prefer The Belmont if they choose just one. He's going to turn out to be really something. I hope he can make it to The Breeder's Cup Classic too. What a show that race is shaping up to be. Setsuko has the look of a champion. Can't wait to see him on dirt. I'm starting from scratch now in The Derby.

When you're studying for The Derby, don't leave any horses out in your evaluation. Speed figures can be decieving especially for synthetics. Don't just toss a horse based on speed figures, look at his charts and replays. Mine That Bird was impressive as a two year old at Woodbine. Two Year Old Champion in fact. His speed numbers were weak but part of that was because they haven't figured out how to give them the correct numbers yet for AW. You can't toss a horse based soley on pedigree or the sires and damsires average winning distance either. Look what Musket Man did. But if you watched his previous races you could see the class. I wonder how big the exacta would have been if he hadn't been bumped in the stretch. I hit the exacta and would have had that one too, at I think a much bigger price. Keep in mind also that pro ride is different than Keeneland's surface. Don't put all synthetics in the same mold. Good Luck in your studies. Good to have you back. Did you ever see Line Of David run at SA? That was impressive at OP. I was certain they would overtake him for my Trifecta. But he was tough. I ended up doing a wheel with Super Saver on top, Dublin, and N Giant in 2nd and all in 3rd.  I felt certain that Noble's Promise wouldn't be in the top 3 but there was no point in leaving him out of 3rd, just in case.

11 Apr 2010 9:25 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I know you know how to handicap. The only reason I said what I said is because a 20 horse field is an imposing task, and it's real tempting to try to save some time by tossing horses without a full evaluation of them.

11 Apr 2010 9:33 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Thank you for your confidence in my handicapping abilities. I wish I felt the same about myself. I can use ALL the help I can get. Although I didn't do too badly in the BG & the AD by picking both place horses, if I had bet, it would have been to win, and my pocketbook would be lighter because of it. I'm improving but I am far from being a good handicapper.

I'm sure you read the article about the possible entries to the Lane's End, to my great relief, Setsuko's name wasn't on it. Smart connections!

Congratulations on having the exacta in last year KD. Pioneer was an easy choice but Mine That Bird was a well hidden treasure. I'm glad you found him. If you make such a discovery this year, please share it with me. Your secret will be safe as most bloggers don't listen to anybody anyways and are too busy touting their own brilliant choices. LOL

11 Apr 2010 10:06 PM

Sidney's Candy will win the Kentucky Derby in 2010.  I said it weeks ago.....I am still saying it. I bet it months ago.. I will bet it on May 1st.  THE HORSE HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG... but win stakes and more stakes... triple crown winner? now there is the question.

11 Apr 2010 10:06 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Line of David escaped my short attention span when he raced and won at SA this winter. Like Gunbow, I need to write notes to myself and keep better records of the horses I have seen, so that I can make better decisions. As I posted on Jason's blog, I was impressed with his grittiness but I am doubtful that he can carry that speed and courage at a 1 1/4 miles. What do you think?

I was more impressed with Stately Victor's charge to the wire for a 4+ lenghts win. Maybe it is my bias towards late runners that is clouding my judgment but I have placed him high on my list. What are your thoughts on that?

11 Apr 2010 10:54 PM
Vic S

--Vic S,

I like your namesake very much. He will probably remain a long shot in the KD which might bode well for your pocket. I prefer his running style over the front runners'. If Alan Garcia can duplicate the fantastic ride he gave SV in the Blue Grass, the potential is very real to me. Some will doubt him because he has raced mostly on turf and synthetics... but if the switch to dirt seems to work very well for the California horses, I don't see why it would not be the case for SV also. Best of luck to you AND your namesake!

Zookeeper 11 Apr 2010 2:27 PM --

-- Thank you very much for the kind words Zookeeper.  I too think he's a legitimate threat, especially with that running style and pedigree.  He looks very good when he runs and he seems to be improving at the right time, I can only hope for the best and I'll surely bet $20 to win on him(at least lol) come Derby day.  Victor all the way!!!!  Best of luck to you and your Derby pick Zookeeper, this year's Derby field seems to be very competitive and I can't wait to watch the race.

11 Apr 2010 11:04 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


 Handicapping is usually the easy part. It's betting correctly that's the hard part. Last year's Derby was the toughest ever to handicap for me. My top horse was I Want Revenge. After I lost him I had no one to key. The only bet I made was a large exacta box because I believed there was a high probability that one or more of my longshots would win. Our good looking underachiever Mr Hot Stuff was in my box too. Without injuries this year I will have one, two, or three key horses. That's what I think today anyway. I went over to The Gilligan's Island blog because I thought you would make one last response to your recent adversary, and you did !!! Again, thinking just the way I do.

12 Apr 2010 9:08 AM

Dr Drunkinbum,

It takes two to tango...so I left the dance floor. After a while it gets tiresome and my feet were hurting.  :)

12 Apr 2010 10:07 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Monday Morning Top Ten 4-12-10

1. Eskendereya

2. Sidney's Candy

3. Lookin At Lucky

4. Endorsement

5. Super Saver

6. Dublin

7. American Lion

8. Mission Impazible

9. Stately Victor

10. Ice Box

12 Apr 2010 10:25 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


 I agree. After watching replays this morning I made a new top ten. Stately Victor is now higher on my list, and Line Of David lower. I am very interested to see how horses come out of the Apr 10 races with only 3 weeks to go. Who can't recover, and who will move forward. Of the horses that can get the distance in a good time, who will be peaking or at least ready to run Derby Day. The SA Derby told us very little. If LAL had gotten through instead of being blocked and backing up then we'd know more. We needed to see Sidney challenged. He is still a bit of an unknown. We know he is very good. But how is he on dirt in a mile and a quarter, and how does he respond when challenged and has to dig in. He could be a monster. Esky is still the horse to beat but I see at least 3 or more that could challenge him.

12 Apr 2010 10:34 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Eskendereya-Gobbles up ground like a super gopher. Gopherzilla. The one to beat. We haven't even seen him in high gear, I don't think. Highly impressive with ease in all of his dirt races. Tremendous, powerful stride. He will be flying down the stretch. But how was his trip and where is he in relation to everyone else at that point? His post position could be very important. His stride hasn't been interrupted yet. We know about his talent, but we can only assume on his class. He hasn't been tested or put in a difficult position on dirt. His races on other surfaces are complete throwouts. One turf and one pro ride. He is the only one in The Derby with the speed figures that you would expect to see for a Derby winner but AW figures are off so it isn't as relevant as pre-AW years.

12 Apr 2010 10:43 AM

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