April 12, 2010 - Presented by Darby Dan

Saturday’s results are a perfect example why it is mere folly to compile Derby lists starting in January. It’s OK for fun and people enjoy doing them and debating over them, but the Derby trail has changed so dramatically in recent years, many stakes results in January, February, and March prove for the most part to be meaningless come April and May.

And welcome once again to the wild, weird, wacky world of Polytrack, where form has been reduced to a muddled mess. Why on earth any trainer would prep a dirt horse for the Derby in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) is beyond my comprehension, unless they were already safely secure in the body of the Derby field. The racing secretary’s office at Keeneland should have the following sign up on Blue Grass entries day: “Dirt Horses Who Need Graded Earnings Enter At Your Own Risk.”

The only three horses in the Blue Grass field to have stamped themselves as Derby contenders with graded stakes wins or placings on dirt this year were Pleasant Prince, beaten a nose in the Florida Derby (gr. I); Odysseus, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III); and Aikenite, third in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). Well, guess what? They occupied the bottom three places in the Blue Grass and lost all chance to make the Derby field.

Get valuable insight into the pedigrees of this year's Triple Crown contenders with the special report package, Triple Crown 2010 Pedigree Profiles. Includes exclusive pedigree analyses, Past Performances, sire analysis by racetrack, & more!
So, now, as in recent years, we have to go into the Derby wondering if a horse like Stately Victor is as good as he looked in the Blue Grass or if that race was another Polytrack fluke. One thing is for certain; he sure looked darn good, and if this race had been on dirt, he definitely would be considered by many as a legitimate threat to Eskendereya. He still may be, because of his class and stamina-laden pedigree and his visually impressive performance. And as you will see below, I am falling for it, while acknowledging I may be getting duped.

Going into the Blue Grass he had failed to hit the board in three starts this year and was beaten a total of 15 lengths in his last two dirt starts. Oh, and getting away from Polytrack, did I mention that Arkansas Derby (gr. I) winner, Line of David, had never competed in a stakes, had never run on dirt, and had never earned more than an 88 Beyer Speed Figure? Perhaps someone can explain how he could blast to the lead, set wicked fractions, blow a three-length lead, and still hold off proven stakes horses Super Saver and Dublin? Is he, like, Stately Victor, a budding star to emerge out of the far reaches of the galaxy on the eve of the Derby?

Darned if I know. What I do know is that for the third straight year, we could have a Derby winner that was a virtual unknown the first three months of the year.

And I also know that one late closer I like an awful lot who looks good enough to upset the Derby or at least finish in the money likely won’t even make the starting field with $180,000 in graded earnings, and that is Setsuko, who believe it or not is #28 on the earnings list. This year, it will take $250,000 to make the Derby field; last year, it took $55,500. It has never taken more than $165,000 and that was considered very high. When the runners-up in Santa Anita Derby, Florida Derby, and Wood Memorial can’t get in the Kentucky Derby, something is wrong.

 

 1

Eskendereya Todd Pletcher

Giant's Causeway—Aldebaran Light, by Seattle Slew

Every prep race seems to separate him farther from the pack. Many are all but conceding him the Derby, as he appears capable of not only winning, but blowing the race wide open. Others want to see what he does with a fast pace and how he’ll react if he’s looked in the eye. The bottom line is that his victories have been on another level.

 2

Lookin at Lucky Bob Baffert

Smart Strike—Private Feeling, by Belong to Me

He is still the solid second choice, although he goes about his business in a totally different manner than Eskendereya. He is the workmanlike, blue-collar type that will scratch and claw for everything he can get. And after all he’s been through he looks incapable of running a bad race. He needs to look Eskendereya in the eye at some point just to see what he’s made of.

 3

Super Saver Todd Pletcher

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

He actually started out at #1 back in December and remained in the top 3 before others replaced him. I was just looking for him to show he could run big while rating off the pace and he finally showed it. He did do a bit of drifting in the stretch, but he was probably getting tired, which was understandable considering the fast pace. The Arkansas Derby was only his second start and should move him forward and give him the tightness and toughness he’ll need for the big one. Crazy about his pedigree.

 4

Sidney’s Candy John Sadler

Candy Ride—Fair Exchange, by Storm Cat

His task in the Derby actually got more difficult thanks to his own stablemate, Line of David, who showed at Oaklawn you’re going to have to really motor early to outrun him. It’ll be interesting to see how Sadler deals with this situation. Both horses have terrific speed and can carry it; it’s not an ideal scenario for stablemates.

 5

Stately Victor Mike Maker

Ghostzapper—Collect the Cash, by Dynaformer

OK, I admit it. I am opening myself up to look foolish once again, getting suckered in by another Polytrack fiasco. But, boy did this horse look impressive visually, and I love the way he was running through the wire, as if he was just getting started. And the outrider had to hustle to catch him galloping out. His pedigree is strong, he’s a big, good-looking colt, and I remember being very impressed with him in his first two career starts at Saratoga (one on dirt) before he faded into virtual obscurity. Maybe he has returned. His pedigree shouts late developer.

 6

Awesome Act Jeremy Noseda

Awesome Again—Houdinis Honey, by Mr. Prospector

If his losing a shoe at the start of the Wood Memorial compromised his chances, which it had to have done to some extent, then there is no reason why he shouldn’t rebound from a race in which he was supposed to “bounce” anyway. He likes running with cover and using his quick-fire acceleration, which will help him in the Derby. But his move has to be timed to perfection.

 7

Paddy O’Prado Dale Romans

El Prado—Fun House, by Prized

Looked like he was home free in the Blue Grass, but battling on the lead and hitting the front so quickly didn’t help. I have no doubt he will love the dirt, the 10 furlongs, and will revert back to his old running style, coming from well off the pace. Only one horse won on the lead all day and the horse he was eyeballing finished last. His pedigree is as versatile as it gets. I just think he’s a very talented horse who is improving at the right time and could be a real sleeper. Cannot believe I like two horses coming off the Blue Grass, but I was impressed with what I saw and both look interesting.

8

Ice Box Nick Zito

Pulpit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat

I need to have at least one late-closing dirt horse fairly high up, although it’s hard to tell just how good he is and whether he’ll be able to overcome the 6-week layoff. What a difference that nose meant between him and Pleasant Prince, who had to go seeking earnings over a surface he obviously didn’t like at Keeneland and now won’t make the Derby.

9

Endorsement Shannon Ritter

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

He is yet another talented horse who seems to want to be near the lead, but he is improving so quickly it’s possible he can be effective from anywhere. He was always highly regarded by the WinStar team. He’s a handsome, muscular colt and I’m looking forward to seeing him train at Churchill. If he’s thriving physically and training impressively he’ll be one to keep an eye on. I can see moving him up closer to the top.

10

Dublin D. Wayne Lukas

Afleet Alex—Classy Mirage, by Storm Bird

Keeping him on here because of his talent and consistency, but his inability to win or quicken is a bit of a concern. He has shown he is more of a grinder who can sustain his run a long way, but he hasn’t been able to finish it off and pass horses in the stretch. But, as mentioned, you have to give him high marks for consistency. He comes at you every race.

11

Mission Impazible Todd Pletcher

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

He will go into the Derby as a forgotten horse, because he’s not flashy and the Fair Grounds form has proven to be suspect. But the feeling here is that there is a lot more to him than people think. With his steady improvement, he could run a big race at a big price in the Derby.

12

American Lion Eoin Harty

Tiznow—Storm Tide, by Storm Cat

In the world of WinStar, I’ll give him a slight edge over Rule, but it’s going to be difficult for both of them with their early speed. Rule actually might be a bit more ratable, but I’ll take the 4 weeks over the 6 weeks, especially with a speed horse; you don’t want them too fresh.

12

Line of David John Sadler

Lion Heart—Emma’s Dilemma, by Capote

Tacking him on the end only because he did win the Arkansas Derby and showed a lot of courage holding off two top-class horses. But his pedigree is not really geared for 10 furlongs and he’ll have a lot more pace pressure in the Derby, mostly from his own stablemate, Sidney’s Candy.

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.

262 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Householder

1) Bet against the Derby favorite.

2) Bet a first time Derby trainer.

3) Bet a horse that has first ran on synthetics.

4) Throw out Beyers.

The superfecta should be huge!  After last year, (2-3 legitimate acts: POTN, Papa Clem, Musket Man) I want a share!  This is a better's race.

I may hit the "All" button on top.

12 Apr 2010 3:22 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Interesting that you have supersaver #3 I like that horse and hope that calvin borel sticks with him and should be a nice sleeper derby day!

12 Apr 2010 3:27 PM
El Kabong

Like your pick up on Super Saver. He didn't win but he wasn't tight enough for 9F, as evident by his Foster Brooks, stumble bum drunk dance to the finish in the last firlong. His pedigree is the bomb, but do you think  Pletcher has time to tighten him up in Just 3 weeks for 10F?

12 Apr 2010 3:31 PM
sidekickflats

Line of David looks like he could be a brilliant miler.  I would go Peter Pan, Dwyer, Del Mar Derby and Jerome Handicap.

But they never ask me....

12 Apr 2010 3:41 PM
Ivan

Nice list, although I will give Interactif another chance. I don't think he handled Keenland's Poly particularly well. Is Drosselmeyer going to run in the Lexington?

12 Apr 2010 3:47 PM
trebloc

Nice to see Super Saver is back where he belongs.  He loves Churchill and should only improve off this effort.  He is peaking at the right time and has his eyes on the big prize.  Line of David will bounce off that effort and Sidney's Candy will be run into the ground, by either Rule or American Lion.  Winstar holds all the cards for the Derby.  My Exacta box: Super Saver, Eskenderaya and Endorsement.  Let's hope thy all stay healthy.

12 Apr 2010 3:53 PM
marktoothaker

Great list, not sure what to make of Bluegrass or Ark Derby but time will tell. Esky does look like the one but I am looking to forgive Awesome Act in his last start. Wanted to toss after he couldnt get by Jackson but Julien had a ton of horse turning for home it looked like he was clear second but found out he lost a shoe. If he moves forward could be a Wood exacta and we have seen that before.

12 Apr 2010 3:53 PM
-Keelerman

Hi Steve!

As usual, another great post. I just love reading what you write. It's fabulous.

I know what you mean with Stately Victor --- Polytrack has fooled me too. He was very, very impressive. But I was most impressed by Dublin. Had the Arkansas Derby been a mile and a quarter, I think that he would have gotten past Line of David and Super Saver. He reminds me of Giacomo. I can just see the Kentucky Derby now --- blazing pace up front, Eskendereya gets sucked into it, Lookin at Lucky sits on a dead rail, and Dublin rallies on the outside to win at 30-1 or more.

You are completely right about Awesome Act.

-Keelerman

www.triplecrowncountdown.blogspot.com

12 Apr 2010 3:54 PM
Pedigree Shelly

    Stately Victor was an extremely impressive winner of the Blue Grass but , it would be hard from a handicapping standpoint to see him winning the way he did ! From the pedigree angle he was a good choice !   Being a son of Ghostzapper out of a Dynaformer mare ,he should have no trouble getting the classic distances .I only see him getting better !  

12 Apr 2010 3:54 PM
Speedball

I was at the Blue Grass and was rooting for Paddy O'Prada when Stately Victor went storming by him.  This horse is just as impressive as the "old man" and geese was he fast.  He could certainly give Esky all he's looking for if  he repeats this performance on dirt.  He certainly should relish dirt with those Ghostzapper-Dynaformer genes.  He'll be on my ticket come Derby day.

12 Apr 2010 4:00 PM
Funny1991

I have tried to pick a derby winner last year by stratagey and finished 2nd but I picked the Derby winner twice by liking a name. So this year it is back to the name pick. And the pick is Lookin at Lucky best name in the books by far and he always tries.

12 Apr 2010 4:09 PM
tcc

Steve:

Setsuko moved at least 2 spot's higher with Odysseus out and Aikenite not going to run in the Derby. Although he would still have a little way to go to get in.  Noble's Promise hasn't yet been committed to go or not to go in the Derby.

12 Apr 2010 4:13 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Hey keelerman nice website you need to update that thought its monday already. I like dublin too and think he will run his race and run third come derby day. Like Haskins said Dublin can run long distances for a long period of time he seems as though he doesnt have distance limitations and should able to get 3 or 4th in the derby. This was my derby horse I can back off now but dont think he can win it all!

12 Apr 2010 4:24 PM
josh

I cannot and will not put the bluegrass 1-2 finishers in my top 10 EVER. 2008 Monba(who was your #1) finished 20th (you will never hear the end of this pick) and cowboy cal 9th.  2009 General quarters 10th and hold me back 12th. The only exception would be street sense in 2007, but the other finishers Dominican 11th, Zanjero 12th, Teuflesberg 17th. How could you possibly like paddy o prado who is turf horse and stately victor who just so happen to like the synthetics,and the race set up for him. But cheers for you manning up and not deviating from what you believe.

12 Apr 2010 4:28 PM
Dutch

Agree with you about Paddy O'Prado, who made the lead too early and had to make a long, sustained run in the Blue Grass. He's had three races at 9 furlongs this year, so the foundation is there. He looks like an improving horse who could get a piece of the pie in the Derby.

Line of David looks like a serious horse after setting those fractions and still hanging on. The Kentucky Derby will be a tall task, but he should definitely make his presence felt.

12 Apr 2010 4:33 PM
josh

What happened to interactif? I thought he ran a decent race in the bluegrass and he is MUCH better horse on dirt.

12 Apr 2010 4:38 PM
JerseyBoy

Excellent list Steve. It is nice to see Super Saver where he belongs. I would actually put him at number 2.

I have not yet seen anyone else comment on the fact that Super Saver was beaten half a length in his first prep while conceding 6 pounds. He was beaten a neck in his second prep while conceding 4 pounds. In my book he would have won both races at level weights.  In the Kentucky Derby they will carry level weights.

I have not seen any comment either on the fact that Lookin At Lucky ran into traffic trouble both times he wore blinkers. There might be a connection.

12 Apr 2010 4:40 PM
VermontDon

Line of David will be the speed, will set a very difficult pace for everyone, Sydney will draft behind him all the way and blow by him on the turn, draw away while everyone else is trying to figure out what happened.

12 Apr 2010 4:43 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Very nice list with top notch comments. I love your sign-"Dirt Horses Who Need Graded Earnings Enter At Your Own Risk". You hit the nail on the head with many of your observations and declarations. It is time to declare war on the graded earnings system. Something is rotten in Denmark. It's really getting sickening. Losing a photo like Pleasant Prince did, then not getting into The Derby is just heartbreaking. His style and pedigree is just right for The Derby. However they knew they needed money. Why did they go to Polytrack? I know the answers, but they are the wrong answers. As you said-"SAFELY secure in earnings", and they want a conditioner on Poly near CD. I understand to a degree. I have no problem with having a Derby Winner that was a virtual unknown the first 3 months, but I do have a problem with strong Derby Win candidates like Setsuko and Pleasant Prince who have EARNED THERE WAY IN with second place finishes in a MAJOR Grade One prep NOT GETTING IN. It is a tragedy. Brilliant article. Keep up the good work. I am anxious for you to get to CD to start your observations. Thanks Steve. One final comment-Known or unknown, The Derby winner is no fluke. He is a very good horse who deserves credit for a tremendous win. It is the toughest race to win in racing. Anyone who knocks Mine That Bird or Zenyatta or Rachel needs to reevaluate what kinds of foods they are eating, or switch to beer or wine instead of the hard stuff.

12 Apr 2010 5:02 PM
Kevin

Unless injury dictates otherwise, my pick is Lookin at Lucky to win, with a Lookin at Lucky/Dublin ex reverse.

As for Trps/Supers; I'll play deep for 3rd/4th;

I am pretty confident in my choices on top, in pedigree, stamina, prep races, and overall good vibes/karma.

May the horse always be with you Mr. Haskin's, keep writing as you see it. That is all I can ask, and that is all everyone should expect.

Thank You,

Kevin    

12 Apr 2010 5:04 PM
Josh#1 Santa Anita

Haskin, so you finally gave up on Interactif? Its About Time! Here is my trifecta ticket on the derby

Looking at Lucky w/ Sydneys Candy, Conveyance, Dublin & Stately Victor...

12 Apr 2010 5:04 PM
JP

This Derby has turned into a three horse race,  Eskendereya, Sidney's and Lucky.  It is too bad that horses like Setsuko will not get in because there are few 10 furlong horses in this race.  This is the most pathetic three year old class in a long, long time.  Line of David, Endorsement, and Stately Victor have no business in the Derby, yet they have some of the highest earnings.

12 Apr 2010 5:05 PM
Criminal Type

Just when you think things are gonna go one way, something like saturday happens and the horses you were speculating on just dont perform like they should.

Paddy O Prado a case in point. I think he moved to early, got caught up with Odysseus and burned him self out on the Polytrack, which I don't think he liked very well. I do think he will do better at Churchill. I am also gonna stick with Awesome Act & Eskendereya. Barring any unforeseen issues, those three get my derby ticket.

Best of luck to Odysseus with his chipped knee.

12 Apr 2010 5:08 PM
ETHAN

Paddy O' Prado is one who relies on incredible speed at some point in the race, Keenland goes against that type of runner, Incredible Job to get 2nd possibly Eskendereya's biggest Threat

Fantastic Run by Stately Victor but I thin k he really loved the Track, don't think he'll run huge in the Derby but he's got a good carreer ahead of him

Those of you who say that you love Super Saver's Pedigree I am interested to know if you know that he has a full Brother who is a new york Claimer named Hedge Fund. That only enhances him in my book because Hedge Fund is a horse who guts in out and always runs to his class level.

12 Apr 2010 5:12 PM
Greg J.

    While I could be or likely will be wrong, Stately Victor, While impressive, is not on my radar due to one race.  I still have my favorites/longshots, But, That is what makes the Derby so much fun, One never really knows what will transpire in a field of twenty!  

My top seven (In no particular order):

1. Mission Impazible (Loved him since first race)

2. Backtalk (Son of Smarty winning the Derby?)

3. Eskendereya (Possible Triple Crown Threat?)

4. Lookin at Lucky (Should be Lookin at Unlucky)

5. Dublin (Right there in every race)

6. Rule (Never off the board in 7 races)

7. Jackson Bend (1st or 2nd in all 9 races, including 7 stakes races!)

There you go, The top five in the Derby will be from that list :)

12 Apr 2010 5:21 PM
Gladiator

Steve, once again Sidney's Candy doesn't run and you drop him. Super Saver??? Come on,SC would lap him. And forget about Paddy O'Prado. Also, some of these horses should skip the KD and let some others in like Setsuko, he is at the top of my list.

12 Apr 2010 5:25 PM
Rachel

You're right, Steve. Stately Victor had to be chased down by the outrider...you hear the saying all the time "he could have gone round again", well this horse WAS going round again!LOL

I'm happy for Alan Garcia.

I'm thrilled beyond belief to see Dr. Fager have a descendant running in the Kentucky Derby!

12 Apr 2010 5:30 PM
Auburnbill

Mr. Haskin,

Thank you for the insight. I am greatly anticipating your evaluation of Dublin's workouts at Churchhill. I am still confident in his chances; just irritates me that he will pay more on Derby Day if he wins than the odds I got months before he even entered the gate.

12 Apr 2010 5:34 PM
Ranagulzion

STEVE,

"When the runners-up in Santa Anita Derby, Florida Derby, and Wood Memorial can’t get in the Kentucky Derby, something is wrong."  

In response to your statement above I'd ask "what if the runners up in those aforementioned races have been comprehensively beaten and are just not good enough, while other classier sorts stayed away from those races trying to earn from easier spots, according to their Trainer's assumptions?"  I'd say nothing is wrong with the Graded Earnings qualifying system for the Kentucky Derby.  I think that you may be barking up the wrong tree because the system has never failed ...never, not once ...and even if it did falter this year (which I don't believe is the case), it would have earned a mulligan.  The last time I checked, all the hard core contenders with good 2YO foundation, classic pedigree and astute trainers who know the way, are in along with some interesting new shooters (late developers which the system is supposed to accommodate).  

So what's wrong this year, why the high threshold earnings required to get in? The answer is simple enough: we have a more competitve group in terms of ability that have been competing less against each other in search of easy Graded earnings and relying on a one hit race, assuming that the qualifying/ cut-off point will be about $150,000 and some have been stung by their (Trainer's) folly.  

12 Apr 2010 5:55 PM
marktoothaker

Has anyone seen the Beyer numbers yet from BG and AD?

12 Apr 2010 5:58 PM
YOU GOT TO HAVE IT

Hi Steve,

I was wondering since you brought it up about why top graded earnings has made who will run the Derby.  I was kind of thinking if they should change to points.  In every Stake race and allowance they should have who ever comes in 1st place should get so many points and all the way to 5th place.  From there we could go by points instead graded earnings. What do you think.

12 Apr 2010 6:28 PM
ETHAN

Did you know that Super Saver has a Full Brother.

He's a bit older than Super Saver and his name is Hedge Fund

He's a New York Claimer who gives his all every time and always performs to his class level

That tells me that whatever he has physically, if he is as tough as his brother he'll always have a chance to win against horses of his own class level

12 Apr 2010 6:32 PM
Slew

I've been watching these preps and waiting for a horse to wow me.

All along I seem to have a poor track record in my choices,  Which means I feel a kinship with a horse with a poor past performance record.  Stately victor was most impressive...and I've finally found a horse that could "wow" me.  He's beautiful, tactical, has a long beautiful stride, has speed, breeding, can close well, and can go the distance.  His competition...Endorsement.  I think they're the top 2, and I think these two will take over when the front runners wear out down the stretch.  (with my fingers crossed, I'm praying I didn't just jinx Stately Victor by my support...I better add some beads to my voodoo doll to avoid that hex)

12 Apr 2010 6:43 PM
Bloodline Bob

Ok Steve, I'm down to 4 horses I'm considering to win the 2010 Ky.Derby and they are ESKENDEREYA, AMERICAN LION,INTERACTIF and ODYSSEUS.

12 Apr 2010 6:45 PM
ZJ

Line of David reminds me a lot of his daddy Lion Heart.

12 Apr 2010 6:45 PM
johnny d

Holy crap, cant believe u guys are talking about super saver. If u like horses that go up and down in the stretch with every chance to win a race then he's your guy.

12 Apr 2010 6:53 PM
ctgreyhound

I know what Lookin At Lucky is made of & it's stronger stuff than Eskendereya. What other Derby candidate has had all hell thrown at him & still keeps on marching (to a different drummer). He's the king of adversity & has shown his mettle like no other 3 year old. The trouble he has faced & conquered is more than most of his competitors could stomach. He has truly shown that he belongs in the Derby. That's more than most of the field can say.

12 Apr 2010 6:54 PM
max

Steve, my heart says Dublin but my head says Eskendereya. Can the Student finally match the Master?

12 Apr 2010 7:12 PM
rjb92

i keep replaying the illinois derby race video and still amazed how yawanna twist's legs took twice as many steps but could not pass american lion. like the way a.l. strided out in last 16th. bred nicely for distance another plus. hope he can rate until midway up the backstretch.

12 Apr 2010 7:16 PM
Steve Haskin

Ivan, I'm willing to give Interactif another chance, because I feel he's a better dirt horse, but I first want to hear that he's running in the Derby. Pletcher called him doubtful and said he'd only think about it if the horse worked lights out at Churchill. If he does get confirmed for the Derby, he will return for sure.

12 Apr 2010 7:16 PM
hoofprintsandhorseplay

I found both 'preps' rather blah.

I still see Sidney's Candy opening up on the lead with a quarter mile to go in the Derby - and nobody's gonna get him. He doesn't need the lead, as he rates very kindly, Sid can sit in the first flight somewhere if he happens to draw way outside.

The race for second is wide open.

12 Apr 2010 7:18 PM
mickey101

well.....what was dublin's excuse...this time.....the way I saw the race ,they could have raced another mile and dublin would not have passed super saver, steve keep him on your list ....so the horse's I like will be better odds on derby day.

12 Apr 2010 7:29 PM
Vic S

Well, my Derby Dozen has changed significantly.  Given the fact I had Stately Victor in the Bluegrass; and more so that he and I share the same name he will be my FINAL Kentucky Derby pick.  My Derby dozen as of 4/12/10 is as follows.

1.  Stately Victor

2.  Sidney's Candy

3.  Dublin

4.  Eskendereya

5.  Lookin At Lucky

6.  Endorsement

7.  Super Saver

8.  Paddy O' Prado

9.  Awesome Act

10. Ice Box

11. American Lion

12. Mission Impazible

12 Apr 2010 7:53 PM
Jodie

Still sticking with Lokin at Lucky.  As much as he has been knocked around in his last couple races, he'll be able to handle the Derby Crowd.  Eskendereya is a  very nice horse but I can't for- get Bellamy Road who was a big flop in the Derby and also was the fave.

12 Apr 2010 8:05 PM
RiverCitySmitty

I`ve been calling the Blue Grass bogus ever since the surface switch.  Let`s see, you have the biggest Kentucky Derby prep in Kentucky and it`s run on a track that is the polar opposite of Churchill Downs` dirt.  Two horses make the field, but I don`t know how surprising they`ll be on May 1st.  

Anybody have an update on Drosselmeyer?

12 Apr 2010 8:11 PM
The Rock

I'm gonna do what I should've done last year, although I may be a year late. I really liked Pioneer of the Nile. And I wheeled him on top for $5 hoping that a shot would come in. Well, he ran the race that I thought he would, except I didn't think Mine That Bird would run such a freakish race and I didn't bother to reverse it!

I'm definitley doing that with Eskendereya. He just looks much the best, and faster than the rest of the horses (Beyer wise of course). I'll have plenty of plays with him on top, but we'll definitley reversing him in the exotics in case another MTB comes around. But hopefully they'll plug along for second. If the Oaks Derby Double parlay to Blind Luck is around a $30 probable...I'll be all over that too. She's so push button and just inhales the leaders like they're standing still.

12 Apr 2010 8:37 PM
zarvona

Well, for the first time in near 11 weeks our lists have gotten closer I must admit. However, I still rank "Dean's Kitten" a bit higher than a few of your choices. And, although I was not impressed with the "Line of David"'s run as much as the "Super Savor"'s run, I have to agree with you about your assessment of both "Stately Character" and "Paddy O'Prado", where it looks to me like they tried to see if "Paddy" could rate off the pace instead of just letting him go and that affected his running style, although in no way do I feel I have seen enough of him for a greater assessment.

12 Apr 2010 8:48 PM
SlewStable

The  only  horse  that  I  see  capable  of  beating  Eskendereya  is  Sidney's  Candy. Of  all  the  speed  horses , Sid  is  the  only  one  that  finishes  fast. If  he  is  the  speed  of  the  speed  and  wears  out  the  challengers  as  Rachel  did  in  the  Preakness, he  will  burst  out   to  a  three  or  four  length  lead  at  the  head  of  the  stretch. Here  is  where  the  race  between  Sid  and  Esky  takes  place. At  the  wire , did  Esky  catch  him  or  did  Sid  hold  on?  Only  time  will  tell.......

12 Apr 2010 8:49 PM
Freetex

Thank you Steve for your enlightened comments, there is so much to think about.  I look forward to your observations as you watch the works pre-derby.

I couldn't believe what I saw when Stately Victor came flying.  Wow!  The Bluegrass is impossible to try and handicap.  It seems like that particular synthetic track is entirely different than the California synthetics.

Mission Impazible, Endorsement, Eskendereya and Stately Victor just looked so strong to me as they galloped out of their last races.

I am still a novice and I take notes on your articles.  I also read every blogger's views looking for more learning.  

Its hard not to love a horse's chances just because the horse looks strong and beautiful.  So I guess my emotions get taken away in my handicapping.  Oh well.

I

12 Apr 2010 8:54 PM
Kevin

Steve, been reading your articles for years.  Appreciate the insight.  Agree with Setsuko.  I had him on top for the Santa Anita and thought he was live for the Derby.  How can a 2d place horse in a primary derby prep not make the starting gate?  They need to get rid of all the 2 year old earnings.  Not even the BCJuvenile should count; how many years did we go without a BCJuvenile winning the Derby (until Street Sense); because horses change so much during the 2 year and 3 year campaign.  

I had Esk in the juvenile last year and a good pool 1 future ticket on him; but not sure I will bet him on derby day; word is he'll be 2-1; too short a price for me.

Have no idea how I'll play the derby this year; and will probably change my mind as I"m at the counter.  Its wide open.    

12 Apr 2010 8:59 PM
mickey101

has there ever been a horse,not win a 3yo prep race but won the derby?.....also Interactif ran a nice even race ,did they not try or did he have problems with the proride surface?......it ain't easy...show some love bro you pick a different horse every week,pick a horse and stick with it(LOL).

12 Apr 2010 9:10 PM
Exactabox

I make no bones about my heart strings attachment to Dublin for being the first crop of Afleet Alex etc...I knew he was my Derby horse the day he walked into the Saratoga paddock - I have awesome video of him on Hopeful day...but, even with all that illogical loyalty, I have been concerned up to this point as to the troubles last fall, the spring preps off short rest, the poor Nakatani ride, the musical chairs with the jocks, and the oh so close to Kentucky Derby Arkansas Derby....However, I am very, very encouraged by this performance Saturday.  

If I had to make excuses I would say Terry Thompson might have been a little over confident and even a little conservative (Conservative is understandable, he had the earnings and this isnt the big dance as Lukas made it known prior to the race). More importantly I say over confident, because in watching the replay Terry despite keeping him wide (when I think he could have tucked in to the rail on the back stretch) and after a single whip just past mid turn and again at the top of the stretch, Dublin quickly made up at least 4 lengths from the 3-4 path and Terry settles in to a hand ride - This is where he (I for sure) thought he had the momentum and was going to sail on by the leaders...Terry may have been smiling for the Kentucky derby picture too soon and didnt notice the next door neighbors were no slouches... Anyways, Dublin certainly moved forward off the last race again...and as Lukas says, he's only unloading when it counts.   A note to Terry Thompson,  despite my ribbing above (heck I thought he had it too what with that early pace) I want you right there on Dublin May 1st, no question about it.  

I say Dublin has moved up. The surface isnt an issue, experience isnt an issue, fitness isnt an issue, breeding isnt an issue. I can understand folks not using him on top, but leave him out of your Trifectas and Superfectas at your own peril.  He's not as flashy as an Esky or a Lookin at Lucky - but he will be grinding down the stretch on that 1 1/4 mile route with what I predict will be another move forward and quite possibly his top performance.  Nice job DWL, nice job.

12 Apr 2010 9:10 PM
mickey101

it ain,t easy ....if you box all the horse's you have picked over the last 2-month's plus....it will cost you 6000.00 for a 1.00 exacta box (LOL)

12 Apr 2010 9:14 PM
OLD TIMER

Steve, once again you put things in perspective very well. This past weekend was like a bomb going off as far as the Derby picture. Everyone has to be scratching their heads. I agree with your high opinion of Eskendreya and SS, and those two are Pletcher's best chance to "break the ice". I love both of their pedigrees for this race! However I have to believe that the old guys (Baffert; Zito: Lukas) are going to be heard from.

12 Apr 2010 9:27 PM
CBman

Hey Steve

I agree with  the top three on your list. Like you I was a big fan of Super Saver, I think he finished well considering those fractions. he showed he can rate. I am anticipating  really fast derby fractions,its looking like there will be no less than 5 horses wanting to be on the lead. I dont think on or close to the lead will be a nice place in this race at all.

12 Apr 2010 9:28 PM
Joeywoge

Steve, you are so right about Awesome Act. I feel Julien did not allow him to run in the Wood.He had so much horse the whole race. They are saving him for the Derby. By Awesome Again who won the 1 1/4 Breeders Cup at CD. With a fast pace in front of him and a veteran jockey who's home base is Churchill I think he has a big chance.

12 Apr 2010 9:37 PM
eeebayou

Very sick of the whining concerning horses getting into the Derby that have not won a Graded Stakes. Although Jackson Bend, Setsuko and Pleasant Prince are very nice horses, the fact is that they haven't won a Graded Stakes race.

12 Apr 2010 9:43 PM
Matthew W

One published work for Interactif before the Bluegrass...I'm starting to think this is like Honest Pleasure/Bold Forbes, a two horse race with the big two, and I'm leaning toward Baffert! My sleeper? American Lion, who (finally) relaxed in Illinois, repelled the pressure from that nice NY Bred, and found his "inner Tiznow", and drew off again like something nice, which he is! He needs plenty of schooling, he gets antsy at the gate...but I love what I saw from Mr Flores, perhaps this is his Derby! Also like Endorsement, but, sadly, this Derby looke chalky on top.....

12 Apr 2010 9:43 PM
Chalkbuster

Some years I feel very strongly this far out about a horse or two. This year not so much, but I do want to see how Mission Impazible takes to CD. I like his style, he's improving, and will have a jockey riding him, that will be recognized as one of his generations best. Could be Rajivs coming out party.

LAL, Syds Candy and Esky will have lots to say about the outcome.

12 Apr 2010 9:44 PM
Carson

I don't think that you can rate Super Saver ahead of Line of David when he went head to head with Line of David and got beaten.  He had all the chances in the world to take over and when Line of David got sight of him, Super Saver could not keep up.  Line of David's Beyers last three Beyers went 78, 88, 98.  I think 108 is next.

12 Apr 2010 9:48 PM
Armaan

Eskendrya is absolutely a stand out horse this year. It seems like people are coming up with these radiculous excuses for thier horses. Dublin is winless inhis last four starts. He ran the worst race of his career on the derby track. Every time he comes up empty, there is an excuse for him. After watching his last two races I am starting to think that he cannot get the distance. He was in perfect position In the Arkansas derby and finished at a crawling pace.I mean the winner ran the final 3/8 in 38 and change.Both dublin and super saver enjoyed a perfect trip and still finished like a maiden claiming race. Eskendrya is a monster on the dirt. He has a perfect running styleand he doesn't need any assists.

12 Apr 2010 9:55 PM
Chares Mclaughlin

Sometimes is it hard to believe in what you see at times! Eskendereya is the real deal! May I suggest Triple Crown! The only way I see him beaten is getting a post positon from 1 to 4! Anything outside post 4 bet the house on Esky!

12 Apr 2010 10:00 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Jersey Boy-WOW, I didn't even think about that blinker angle. Good job. You would think Baffert is, right?

Mickey101-Funny !! Eventhough I think It Ain't Easy is a good handicapper. One of the few that is from The Gilligan's Island blog.

The Rock-Always reverse it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SlewStable-Sidney could be a monster !!! Another Gopherzilla. I wish he would have been tested in his last. Those darn brawlers, I mean jockeys.

12 Apr 2010 10:37 PM
Karen in Indiana

I still think we have a very deep field this year. Eskendereya is the only one who has been impressive this year more than once, but there are others showing brilliance popping up here and there.

After reading what you said about Stately Victor's pedigree, I checked it out and he has class all over it - In Reality, Blushing Groom, His Majesty & Dr. Fager. Not bad.

12 Apr 2010 10:47 PM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

To continue our conversation on Mr. Haskin's prior blog... I really like your Top 10 list which closely resembles his new one. I haven't made a list yet, I'm still re-watching all the preps and paying closer attention to the horses who may not have won but showed a good turn of foot and the will to try to get to the front.

One thing I'm noticing though is the absence of Discreetly Mine on anybody's radar. Did I miss something? Nobody's talking about him. He is #15 on the graded earnings list and could move up to #14 if Noble's Promise drops out. Speaking of NP, the lung infection explains a lot more than the bumping at the start of the Ark. Derby. Odysseus' bone chip was also a most valid reason for his last place finish in the Blue Grass. Hope they both recover and come back stronger later on.

RE: Gopherzilla (lol), what impresses me the most about his big win in the Wood is the fact that he ran every quarter faster than the preceding one. As I finally realized that, "like a tremendous machine" flashed through my mind and I concur that he IS the one to beat. However, I have the same reservations you have. If Awesome Act hadn't lost a shoe or/and if he hadn't had a stranglehold to contend with, we might have had a peek at Eskendereya's class and grit. So we are left with the assumption and the hope that he has these qualities. I won't use him alone at the top of any exotics, simply because we don't really know what he is made of. I also agree that the same applies to Sidney's Candy.

What an enigma we have on our hands. At least we shouldn't be complaining about a poor field this year. It's a feast, not a famine.  

12 Apr 2010 10:50 PM
Paula Higgins

Still like the same three even after this weekend:

Eskendereya

LAL

Sidney's Candy

12 Apr 2010 10:53 PM
shuttleworth

I'm pretty high on Eskendereya... he alone has shown Derby-winning form so far... Line of David will back up out of the race, Super Saver will tire, but will hit the board... Lookin at Lucky... hmmm??... not sure.. he reminds me of Any Given Saturday.. a colt who should have made a better showing in the 07 Derby, but got shuffled back and was never a factor. Watch for Dublin or Super Saver to make some noise as the summer wears on...

12 Apr 2010 10:56 PM
Vic S

@ Mickey101,

Well of recent Derby winners who didn't win a 3 year old prep Giacomo comes to mind in 2005.  I also believe only 3 maidens ever won the race Buchannon 1884, Sir Barton in 1919, and I believe Bold Venture in 36', I honestly could be slightly off but I believe it is something like that. Still, Giacomo was a 10L maiden winner and went to the Derby off of that as his only win while not winning any 3 year old prep while placing very well against a tougher than usual 3 year old crop in 05' out in California.  Something like 3 of the top 5 finishers were from Cali that year - Giacomo 1st, Don't Get Mad 4th, Buzzard's Bay 5th.  Luckily this years field -going in- looks just as tough as 07' which had such horses as Curlin, Hard Spun, Street Sense, Any Given Saturday, and even Tiago.  Very solid group, I'm hoping this years crop will be just as solid if not more so than 07'.  Plus although there are flaws to the Graded Earnings I believe it to be a relatively good way to a rate a horse, you win races you make money, plain and simple.  

12 Apr 2010 11:01 PM
smarie

I stubbornly am sticking with Lookin At Lucky as I have been following him since his first race. However, I was impressed with Stately Victor too. Guess we'll see. As for Eskendereya, he is a monster and if he stays healthy and stays in shape, he'll be tough to beat.

12 Apr 2010 11:04 PM
Edward

I like the late comers and outsiders. Endorsement(visually impressive, huge time), Line of David(wicked fraction, leg final furlong), and Sidneys.

I am tossing Looking at Lucky. I respect eskendreya but it was still a weak pace in which the second place horse stopped the clock in 1:51 4/5. Awful Act Indeed!

12 Apr 2010 11:05 PM
shuttleworth

It's always too bad when a deserving horse does not make the Derby based on the current graded earnings system... I think the system could use some changes, such as a point system that weighs more heavily based on a stakes' Grade level, also in head-to-head competition, etc... alas, everyone knows that you've got to have the earnings to get in, and the horse has to make a strong showing! Say what you will about whether Stately Victor or Line of David deserve to be the gate on May 1st... but they showed up when it counted in big $$$ prep stakes...

12 Apr 2010 11:20 PM
So Cal Racer

Ky Derby.. if the favorite is 2/1 or more then it's a good bet if not find some with value on the exotics, Esken has a shot not convince he'll get the triple crown, it's another long shot to win this Derby not as high as Giacomo or Minethatbird but still a long shot.. take a shot on long shot on you may just be rewarded but put some bet on the favorite..never know.

12 Apr 2010 11:21 PM
myoldnags

When are you folks going to understand that horses that haven't run on dirt until the Derby aren't going to win the Derby.  Why do you think the Baffert's of the world send them out of California to test them before the Derby.  It's too difficult in a 20 horse field to add yet another varialble.  Sydney's Candy - Colonel John - same result just different running styles.  Maybe Sydney will finish fifth.  Yes I know Pioneer of the Nile ran better but ain't going to happen this year.

12 Apr 2010 11:27 PM
John

Nice to see a Ghostzapper coming to the Big Dance. Best wishes to Stately Victor.

Steve, I think you've got Sidney's Candy just a bit too low there. I honestly think he's one of the top three. I know Line of David maybe complicates things a bit, but I suspect Sidney's Candy will be able to sit off of it. If Line of David wants to go, let him take it.

12 Apr 2010 11:34 PM
Raven

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

1. Sidney's Candy;

2. Endorsement;

3. Eskendereya;

4. Super Saver;

5. Stately Victor;

6. Lookin at Lucky;

7. Dublin;

8. Awesome Act;

9. Mission Impazible;

10. Rule;

11.Setsuko;

12.Interactif;

13. Ice Box;

14. Conveyance;

15. Discreetly Mine;

16.; American Lion;

17. Dean’s Kitten;

18. Jackson Bend;

19. Schoolyard Dreams;

20. Pleasant Prince

21. Drosselmeyer;

22. Caracortado;

23. Vale of York;

24. Noble Promise

25. Mendip;

26. D'funnybone;

27. Radiohead;

28. Dave In Dixie;

29. Pounced;

30. Tempted to tapit

31. a little warm;

32. Ron The Greek;

33. Dry Fly.

34. Lentenor;

35. Stay Put;

36. Aikenite;

37. Odysseus;

12 Apr 2010 11:50 PM
Blindspot

I agree with Armaan re the Arkansas Derby finish. The last 3/8th was run in 38 3/5ths by Line Of David and yet neither Super Saver nor Dublin could get past him. LOD IS by a very gutsy sire, Lion Hearted. (Well-named too, I will add), so I give him credit for toughing it out. But I am tossing all 3 of them in the Derby.

I just cannot foresee the Derby won with such a slow last 3F without a suicidal early pace, and I do not see that happening. Eskie rules because Unlucky will be so again and may not get the Candy again.

13 Apr 2010 12:26 AM
trackjack

Steve: I enjoy your article and look forward to your comments from CD.

The Beyers: Blue Grass  94

           Arkansas Derby  98

Finally, someone has the guts to put Eskendereya and Triple Crown in the same sentence.  How many years has it been since Affirmed did it.  Can you say 32 years?

Yes, he is a monster and this race is setting up for him with his running style.  JV can place him in behind the quality speed horses, Sidney's Candy, Line of David, American Lion, Rule and others and let them ding dong it.  He'll make his move going in to the far turn on the outside and run them all down.

4 horse exacta box:

 Eskendereya

 Lookin at Lucky

 Sidney's Candy

 Ice Box

Good Luck to all!

13 Apr 2010 12:44 AM
Runfast159

My top Derby horses are the same as yours, with the exception being that I still can't get off the Dublin train and he's in my Top 5.

The only thing I hate about Eskendereya is that he's going to be the favorite.  But then again, so was Big Brown and he had no problems dispatching of his Kentucky Derby field, though the talent there was considerably less than this one.

That said, Eskendereya has not faced any adversity in his two easy Derby preps. Is he really as good as those preps suggest?  I'm willing to bet there are a few horses that have something to say about that.

One is Looking at Lucky who hopes to be just that.  He's got game, you have to like that in a 20 horse stampede.  But his lack of tactical speed is a disadvantage and could put him traffic trouble once again.  If he gets a good trip he'll be tough.

Sidney's Candy. The more I see him, the more I like him. I don't think he has to be in the lead. He has the speed to stay out of trouble and the disposition to rate. Distance won't be an issue. The synthetic to dirt angle has proven a winner this year. I love John Sadler, who I *think* with Joe Talamo and Jon Court may have put the youngest and oldest jockeys into the Derby field, both for the first times in their careers.LOL.

Super Saver is a horse I haven't been too excited about for the past few months.  But like my other top horses, he hasn't done a whole lot wrong. His pedigree suggests he'll improve with distance and his Beyer's have been solid. He showed he can rate just off the pace.  Alot of people don't like him but I do.

Dublin, oh Dublin.  He might relish the extra eighth of a mile to wear his competition down.  Or he might hang again.  I don't know.  But I won't count him out.

My Top 5:

1. Sidney's Candy  2. Eskendereya    3. Lookin at Lucky  4. Dublin  5. Super Saver

13 Apr 2010 12:46 AM
Coldfacts

Steve,

“But his pedigree is not really geared for 10 furlongs”

Your comment above regarding Line Of David captured my attention. I happen to disagree with your assessment of the colt’s stamina potential. His sire Lion Heart won the Haskell Invitational (G1,9F) and was 2nd in the Kentucky Derby(G1,10F) & Blue Grass S.(G1,9F). Let us concede that in spite of Lion Heart’s performance in the aforementioned races, he was not a genuine 10F horse. Well the same could be said about derby wining sires Boundary, Elusive Quality, Distorted Humor, Mr. Prospector, Gulch etc. Subject to correction, none of these derby winning sires had ever started in a G1 ten furlongs race. Consequently, the stamina edge goes to Lion Heart. Before I comment on Line Of David’s dam side, a bit derby history that could encourage the fans of this colt. Both Summer Squall and Alydar finished 2ndr in their respective derbies Alydar went on to sired derby winners Alysheba & Strike The Gold. Summer Squall sired derby winner Charismatic. Derby runner ups do have some positive derby history.

Line Of David’s dam was sired by the 1986 Champion 2YO Capote a son of TC winner Seattle Slew. The Seattle Slew broodmare line has not had a lot of derby success. However, Slewacide a very average son of the great TC winner was the broodmare sire of 2003 derby winner Funny Cide. Capote is a far better bred horse than Slewacide. In fact his dam is inbred to a son and daughter of Nasrullah. She is also inbred to two sons of the great Bull Dog sire of Bull Lea who is the only stallion in the last 70 to sire of three derby winners. He should provide Line Of David with plenty of stamina. Line Of David’s second dam Kentucky Lill was sire by Raise A Native. I cannot recall seeing a second dam with RAN as the sire. Does anyone need to be reminded that RAN sired Derby & Preakness winner Majestic Prince whose only loss came in the Belmont in his attempt at the Triple Crown. Horses directly linked to four of Raise A Native sons have won 43 Triple Crown races. Lillian Russell the third dam of Line Of David shares the same dam as the great Mr. Prospector and was sired by 4 times champion broodmare sire Prince John who sire Princequillo was 8 times champion broodmare sire. LOD has a powerful dam line loaded with speed and stamina and 10F will be a walk in the park for him if his trainer removes head gear. I still cannot understand why some trainers see the need to declare visor or blinkers for horses with high cruising speed.

NB: I see Odysseus is out with an injury. I have written about these January foals and their love affair with breaking down. I remain convinced that they are products of manipulated conception.  I have always stated that Odysseus had soundness issues as he had a maturity advantage over most and had only made 4 starts. I refuse to consider January foals as serious contender for the derby top spot. You have one remaining in your dozen (American Lion) and he can be a safely eliminated as potential winner.

13 Apr 2010 1:17 AM
sking

 Mickey101;  

Broket's Tip, 1933, won the derby and only race of his life.

13 Apr 2010 1:21 AM
Gary Lynn

Ethan...interesting comment on Super Saver's pedigree. Hedge Fund is indeed one tough, gutsy low level claimer.

13 Apr 2010 1:29 AM
robinm

By now, I've always picked my Derby horse and I've been right on 7 of the past 10 years.  This year I am so confused!  I absolutely hate the preps on synthetic tracks.  I've no idea whatsoever how to figure out how polytrack form will transfer to dirt, so I just leave them out of the mix. This means I can't use Stately Victor no matter how impressive he looked in the Blue Grass. I'll keep Lookin at Lucky in the mix because he is ultra consistent and has proved he can run on dirt.  Eskendereya is obvious and I can't leave out Endorsement after his Sunland Derby win plus he has a strong pedigree. Dublin? He is consistent but doesn't win and has not shown the ability to quicken.  If this year's Derby goes to a grinder (like Giacomo), I can see Dublin close if not on top, but I really prefer a horse with tactical speed AND a turn-of- foot.  Super Saver has shown the ability to quicken but doesn't seem willing or able to get his nose in front at the wire.  I was very sorry to hear that Odysseus is injured.  At least it explains his poor performance in the Blue Grass.  Bottom line is I think "chalk" will prevail this year. I'll probably put my win money on Endorsement because of my Top 3, he'll go off at the best (longest) odds.

13 Apr 2010 1:36 AM
wendyg

I'd sure like to see Sidney's Candy and Joe Talamo do well.  He had a heart breaker last year, and I know it is only sentimental reasons, but I would enjoy that.  I also am impressed with Line of David and American Lion.  They may surprise.  

13 Apr 2010 1:52 AM
smartyjones1

ENDORSEMENT

13 Apr 2010 5:29 AM
trebloc

Jersey Boy,

Great points about the weight SS was carrying in both races this year.  SS is sitting on a big race for the Derby.  Winstar must be very pleased.  SS has run in four stakes winning one and being in a photo for the other three. SS can compete!

13 Apr 2010 6:30 AM
skyfire

I think this is the year that Pletcher breaks through.  Esky, Awesome Act, Ice Box, LAL.

How is Ice Box doing?  

13 Apr 2010 6:33 AM
hoofprintsandhorseplay

If I remember correctly Strike the Gold failed to win any of his prep races prior to winning the Derby for Chris Antley and Nick Zito.

13 Apr 2010 6:35 AM
Jerry M

Mission Impazible battle tested in a 13 horse field spaced perfectly 5 weeks out. Best bet of the day. probably get 30/1

13 Apr 2010 7:58 AM
skyfire

Steve,  I heard you on the radio and I think you are right.  Three years old who show developing class by finishing 1/2 in Grade I Derby preps should be in the Derby; that is who I want to see and those are the ones who are going to win the Triple Crown.

The Derby is the test for three year olds, not past two year old class. (Wasn't that what the old Experimental races based on two year old rankings were for?)

I would rather see Setsuko than Homeboy Kris.  A two year old who goes on, like LAL, gets in based on three year old form.

13 Apr 2010 7:59 AM
Fran Loszynski

Hi Steve:

I think Dublin should be a little higher than "Ice Box" but I know it's like watching a skater that looks like he might fall. Will he? Won't he? I intently watched the Arkansas Derby and watched how he left the gate. Watch his legs he hesitated. I don't think he had the heart to race that day and pushed himself toward the end. The sunglasses have got to come off! If he is like Afleet Alex he has to know what's going on around him. Afleet Alex was a socializer that's how he psyched out his competition down the rail and on the outside.  Dublin is always there. Always locomotive speed around the final turn. I always know when he begins his kick. I yell to my racing friends "It's NOW!" You can't begin to know how I want Dublin to win the Kentucky Derby for Afleet Alex and I hope he just zips out but I think too many factors has him confused- change in jockeys, sunglasses, (my name for blinkers, blinders whatever) and his own confusion why is he getting passed. Horses are smart animals they know when something is amiss. Please Dublin come home on the outside and Terry or whoeve rides him if he wants to kick-it-in out of the gate-it won't tire him-Let Him Go! I love you Dublin, my heart is with you and Afleet Alex Kentucky Derby Day. I hope also everyone watches for "Afleet of Angels" she is going to be awesome.  

13 Apr 2010 8:25 AM
MrYeti

This is the time of year that I dread the most. You hear of a ton of people who will say that they always believed in this horse or that horse, but this is the first time the name was mentioned by them. Bandwagon jumpers. I remember not too long ago when Odysseus was all the rage and now is quickly forgotten. Now its Line Of David or Stately Victor. I see one who stands out amongst the crowd, and I'm glad to say I've been betting him all along since Breeders Cup Juvenile. Eskendereya is by far the best looking horse right now. I also liked Dublin and Nobles Promise, but I have my choice to key all trifecta's and supers. The newcomers only add to the mystery. Will they prove to be the real deal or will they only fade like so many others have? Only time will tell...

13 Apr 2010 8:30 AM
Canz

For those of you (like Ranagulzion)  to say there isn’t a problem with the current system for getting into the Derby, you are just plain wrong.  I am sorry, but when a horse is able to finish 2nd in the Grade III Holy Bull, 2nd in the Grade II Fountain of Youth (Beaten by only the Derby ML favorite), and 2nd in the Grade I Wood Memorial (again only beaten by the Derby ML favorite), and somehow doesn’t have the graded earnings to get in.  That’s ludicrous.  By now you all know I am speaking of Jackson Bend.  Now I don’t think he will get the 10 furlongs, but neither will 3 quarters of the field, and after last year, you never know what could happen.  But to think he doesn’t belong is laughable.  

Speaking of the current system of graded earnings, I am sorry, but graded earnings on Turf should not count for the graded earnings to get entry into the Derby.

13 Apr 2010 8:57 AM
animallover

Probably off topic, but my tops for the Kentucky Oaks are (they seem to be ignored and over shadowed by the boys a lot... I have not forgotten about them)

1) Blind Luck

2) Quiet Temper

3) She Be Wild

4) Amen Hallelujah

5) Devil May Care

6) Decelerator

7) Hot Dixie Chick

8) Crisp

9) Jody Slew

10)Christine Daae

11) Biofuel (Woodbine on Sunday talked to her and said she might be pointed to the Oaks. Here's to hoping)

Touching Beauty would be on here although it doesn't look as though she's being pointed to the Oaks.

My Derby tops....

1) Lookin At Lucky

2) Eskendereya

3) Awesome Act

4) Endorsement

5) Dublin

6) Super Saver

7) American Lion

8) Ice Box

9) Backtalk

10) Rule / Sidney's Candy/ Noble's Promise (not sure to the extent of the cuts that NP sustained, will move him way up if he is still on course for the Derby)

13 Apr 2010 9:26 AM
Caballotom

I like Looking at Lucky

13 Apr 2010 9:32 AM
Jon in Maryland

Stately Victor's victory in The Bluegrass reminded me of what might have been with Lentenor, who finished ahead of him at GP. Had Michael Matz put Lentenor in The Wood or The Bluegrass, we might have had a different Derby Dozen. Instead, Matz rejected his instincts and rather than The Bluegrass/Belmont, he pushed Lentenor in The Florida Derby. I still think Lentenor is a better racehorse than some of these longshots, and I am hopeful he can prove that later in the season.

Blind Luck is a filly who could give these colts a run for their money with her closing style, which is similar to Zenyatta's. I would like to see her run in The Preakness or Belmont as a spoiler.

I am not convinced that we'll see Eskendereya's best performance in a 20 horse Derby. Another Mine That Bird may be out there who could beat Eskendereya and peak on Derby day. In any case, The Triple Crown needs a dominant force, and Eskendereya seems to be the one to beat-or not.

13 Apr 2010 9:39 AM
RiverCitySmitty

Graded status is already set long before a race is run.  The quality of the Florida Derby did not appear to be Grade 1 quality by any stretch of the imagination.  If Esky had chosen to run @ GP the field size would have been cut in half and no one would be talking about either Ice Box or Pleasant Prince.  GP positioned itself for the current scenario with their date shift.  Run it a week later and they`d have likely gotten the KD fave Esky to run and most likely win their biggest race.

Still haven`t heard anything regarding Drosselmeyer`s plans.  I like his running style over the other Win Star entrants, but he`ll likely not make the dance unless he runs in and wins the Derby Trial.  We`ve had quite a few merry go round preps which have seemingly elliminated a lot of potential closers in this year`s race.

13 Apr 2010 9:41 AM
berttheclock

Excellent breakdown, Cold Facts, but, do not forget Satin Surprise, the dam of Lion Heart, who was from the Mr Leader and Bold Reason line.  BTW, check out "True Nicks" for the "Roar from Turkey" about Lion Heart and that Hail to Reason line.

Beware the turf to dirt move anywhere.  Sharp trainers have used the turf for years to leg up horses.

13 Apr 2010 9:46 AM
Bluelou

Just about every horse has an angle that, if you focus in on it, you can make a case for his chances in the KD.  After last year, I refuse to "throw out" any horse (as I did with Mine That Bird).

Esky looks to be the best horse but one bad trip can change everything.  SC is right up there but a question mark on dirt.  Lucky?  All he does is battle on through adversity; amazing for a 3-yr old.  You know what I'm looking at?  His Late Pace figures.  I'm also looking at a horse who will be about 6-1.

Awesome Act may be overlooked on Derby Day due to his Wood but I think he is another one who will have gas left in the tank late.

I'll change my mind 247 times between now and Derby Day though...

13 Apr 2010 10:07 AM
Ranagulzion

Skyfire,

Horses do not make decisions about where and how often they race.  Owners and trainers do.  Horses that you think are compromised by the Graded Earning system are really compromised by the decisions of their connections.  Also why should a horse beaten five lengths or nine lengths in the SA Derby and Wood be thought of as a worthy Derby horse, having failed to win races and the necessary stakes in multiple efforts.  How often is a winner or even runner-up in a Grade 3 race far superior to a runner-up in a Grade 1 race? (Check the Beyer speed figures of Looking At Lucky, Noble's Promise and Dublin for example ...scares nobody at all and certainly not any Grade 3 winner / runner-up).  

There is another point being overlooked and that is the ostensible gambling/ future's game motivation to "hide" good horses by not racing them enough and trying to sneak into the Derby field at attractive odds.  The Graded Earnings system is the best way to keep all players honest and it neither discriminates against building 2YO foundation into potential Triple crown aspirants nor disrespects "small track" runners like the "Mine that Birds and Uh Oh Bangos" of the thoroughbred world.  Think on these things Pal/Gal.  

13 Apr 2010 10:17 AM
matt h

The blue grass has always been known as long shots i have known this for the past three years of betting on this race its self its one of those races you think well i have to do this because it has derby horses in it because there is always going to be that long shot that beats you.  And i see the kentucky derby setting up quite similar to that except for the fact that you have two horses that have won by overwelming margens there last two races, its cindys candy and eskrarhra.  That is telling me something right there but at the same time any thing possible like mind that bird proved last year.  And let me just say this mind that bird didn't win one single race after the derby either last year so is he just a one hit wonder like every one else alot of times this year i have seen one hit wonders where you are going wow where the hell did he come from?  It is kindof funny but when you are trying to gauge the derby this late in the game you should already know what you have to work with alittle bit.  I look for a horse like awesome act to be a strong contender but i think the top to will be Eskandreah and cindys candy.  I know cindys candy just came off a california race but i think if his speed can carry over to the dirt he will be alright.  Then of course you have to concider we always have a couple that drop out before the race.  what i have seen in the past couple of years and maybe no one else has seen this the quality of the feild is slowly dropping.  Usually in the past you have one or two undefeated horses.  So you kindof had something to look at but this year looking at the feild as many times as i have.  Only one horse sticks out in my head as beeing that.  And  that is sad.  

13 Apr 2010 10:23 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

When asked who rode the 727 into Hot Springs with Zenyatta, I said Total Bull and some other horse.  Hoo boy, I feel dumb.  That other horse was Line of David.  His acceleration out of the gate was pretty incredible.

13 Apr 2010 10:24 AM
Fran Loszynski

One more thing Steve.

thank you for the nice write-ups of Dublin when on your list. They are very fair and I also know you always liked Afleet Alex. Won't it be something if Dublin wins the Kentucky Derby.  I'll be drinking mint juleps for the rest of the year!!  GO DUBLIN-GO ALEX-GO DUBLIN

13 Apr 2010 10:36 AM
Lord Derby

I agree with Coldfacts.  It is tough to rule a horse out at the distance based on pedigree when the page contains Nasrullah, Princequillo, and Raise a Native.  Super Saver did look good in the Arkansas Derby but I don't think I would place Dublin above a horse that went in 46 flat and held him off going a mile and a quarter.  The lead looks like it belongs to LOD.

13 Apr 2010 11:00 AM
scoripion

the one coment for Mission Impazible I think is about as true as you can get for the winner of the Kentucky Derby and possibly all three Race`s. And the winner is M.I.

13 Apr 2010 11:00 AM
Linda in Texas

I read every comment and think that i like one over the other and agree with some, not with others. Some like one horse, others a different one. I am not experienced in all the furlong stuff so i just have my innerts and emotions to funnel my hopes and wishes to. First off, i always hope for safe trips for all. For the Kentucky Derby i like Lookin' At Lucky, Super Saver, Dublin, Paddy O'Prado, ( Ijust like the name and he is gray)

Sidney's Candy and Line of David for his lineage as i will always be a devout Seattle Slew fan and when checking the pedigrees, seeing his name twice and thrice removed is an automatic for me. Ice Box has done himself well and you know, i am afraid my emotions need to cease or my picks will end up looking like Raven's list. Just so many contributing factors with so many running and ignoring any one of them seems

unfair so my list should probably be longer.  Oh yes, and i did not mention Eskendereya, American Lion, Conveyance,D'FunnyBone and -----??

Woops, forgot to mention Endorsement, cannot forget him.

Fun, fun year for sure. We are all so lucky to have so many choices of some pretty amazing creatures. Oh and i almost forgot Mission Impazible and Jackson Bend etc., etc., etc. and Happy Birthday to Noble's Promise today (13th), he is an Aries just like me and i hope he heals quickly from his cuts and injuries in the Arkansas Derby on Saturday. It just was not his day and who among us doesn't have a day like that once in a while. Maybe a little carrot cake for him today with 3 candles!

13 Apr 2010 11:01 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

EEBAYOU

  The three you mentioned deserve to be in The Derby, if Homeboykris is- under any logical thought process I can imagine. And furthermore, Pleasant Prince did win a Grade One race-The Florida Derby. It's just that the judges officially gave the win to an Old Fridge because they took the photo with an old Polaroid and the picture was too blurry !!! So please bring the facts with you the next time you write. And put that vile, bile whiner stuff on top of Your Capn Crunch for breakfast.

13 Apr 2010 11:04 AM
It Aint Easy being good

Couple of comments first people I dont have a 600 exacta I picked horses in races and they have one because I told you I am the messiah! This year is walk chalk jayhawk. You can look for upsets but at the end of the day I have to admit eskendraya is tough to beat. You go back last year was there any horse that ran 2 back to back 100 beyers um no! Final picks right now no changes! You dont even need workouts since I am the messiah! 4 horse tribox'

Eskendra, American Lion, Endorsment, LAL! (To the bank we must go!)

Dont sleep on American Lion you might laugh but look at the race again and tell me he won improve 2nd time on dirt!  

13 Apr 2010 11:23 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

 Discreetly Mine hasn't shown that he has any desire to win if he can't get an easy lead. He can get the distance but not fast enough to win or place in my opinion. I really think it's all about trying to find a winner and going from there. I'm looking forward to your list. Maybe you'd be kind enough to comment if you see something from the replays. Yes, an enigma, wrapped inside of a riddle boxed with the poly track interpretation difficulty.

13 Apr 2010 11:24 AM
Tim G

animallover, Decelerator will probably go next in the Black Eyed Susan. Tidal Pool will be the Lukas Oaks entry as it stands right now.

Fran, I hope Dublin wins it for a fan like you. I'm interested to see how they work the next couple weeks. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

Uh Oh Bango now out with a fracture, Interactif will need to really show something in his works to get him in and who knows what else will happen or who will drop out and make room for others. Lots of times it all works out.

13 Apr 2010 11:36 AM
mz

OK.  I'm sticking in my toes into the KD pool.  

Eskendereya - believed in him for the Juvenile and haven't ever gotten off the bandwagon

Awesome Act - as long as he keeps his shoes on

Stately Victor - loovve the Ghostzappers as they get older and go longer

BUT I'm not sure about the order and I reserve my right, like Bluelou, to change my mind another 247 times

BTW, re the Preakness: Blind Luck? and my favourite: Biofuel?  (I would have loved to have seen either in the Derby but it isn't to be so I will dream on to the next race)

p.s.  I never said this before but during one of the live chats before the Derby last year, I asked if RA might run and I was basically shot down...a FILLY in the PREAKNESS?  Now, I'm sticking to my 2010 guns about my girls in the Preakness this year!

13 Apr 2010 11:51 AM
OLD TIMER

Strike the Gold lost the Blue Grass but had won the Florida Derby. I had a sweet exacta with him and Best Pal that year.

Steve,speaking of blood lines, it would be nice if you'd comment on the dosage figures at some time during the next two weeks. I know that it's not the hot topic that it once was, but while not perfect, I do believe that it had some value.

Many writers have noted the low odds that may be on Eskendreya. The great thing about the Derby is that even a horse who might be 4 to 5 in a normal race will go at 5-2 in the Derby due to the large field. 2-1 odds in a 20 horse field is one powerful favorite.

13 Apr 2010 12:07 PM
Ivan

Steve, thanks for your thoughts regarding Interactif. I hope Tood P. gives him a chance to run in the Derby. So far, Eskendereya looks like a class by itself, he will be a very tough beat on May 1st. Although he has not been tested with a quick pace, his way of running suggests me that he will not have any problems overcoming this. Sidney's Candy looks to be legitimate, and I don't think he is a "need the lead" type horse, although he will face a much stiffer challenge in the Derby. Looking at Lucky is tough as nails, but he is prone to have problems, and, in a 20 horse field, that can spell trouble. I happened to like the way Endorsement won the Sunland Derby. He is still lightly raced and is one of the few horses who still has a celing to reach. Mission Impazible also looked nice in the FG, and he will be the forgotten horse from the Pletcher barn. Ice Box is one of the few proven deep closers in here, and I prefer him over Stately Victor, because he is proven over a conventional dirt surface. Those are my top choices so far, as may 1 approaches quickly.

13 Apr 2010 12:07 PM
Lex

After the past couple of years I have learned that you can NEVER use the Bluegrass horses in the Derby, unless they run alright on the poly and have already have run very well multiple times on dirt, like Street Sense. Look at the winners the last two years- General Quarters and Monba. Not a good Derby record, and even the horses that have been prepping at Keeneland right up to the Derby never do well (Todd Pletchers horses in recent years).

13 Apr 2010 12:12 PM
You Got to Have It

Here are my picks but will see how it turns 3 days before the Derby.

1-4

Kentucky Derby Predictions:

Favorite:

1-Eskendeyera

2-Lookin At Lucky

3-Super Saver

4-Stately Victor

Probably:

1-Rule

2-Eskendeyera

3-Lookin At Lucky

4-American Lion

Shockers:

1-Super Saver

2-Endorsement

3-Lookin At Lucky

4-Sidney's Candy

My Picks are

1- Lookin At Lucky

2- Eskendeyera

3- Sidney's Candy

4- Rule

13 Apr 2010 12:22 PM
Ranagulzion

RiverCitySmitty,

I see we're ad idem (of the same mind) concerning the Graded Earnings System.  Wonderful. Now we need to agree that ther will be no out-and-out closer winning the Derby this year.

I'll paint two likely scenarios that have Esky home in front by the proverbial city block.  See if it makes sense and if you can agree.

In scenario #1 the run up from the gates pass the stands for the first time is brisk as horses jostle for position but one or a team of front runners slow the pace down entering the backstretch, while most others, afraid of being cooked, refuse to challenge and draft in behind.  Such a scenario would suit the John Sadler colts very well except that Johnny V on Eskendereya would have none of it and just like the FOY and Wood, taking the race by the scruff of the neck before they even hit the far turn. Of course, Talamo on Sidney's Candy and Flores on Line Of David would not give it up without a fight and the other Todd Squad stalkers Rule, Super Saver and Mission Impazible, along with Endorsement, Gomez on Looking At Lucky and Leparoux on Awesome Act begin to take their queue from the leaders.  Dublin doesn't feature just yet because he'll be acting like a closer this time (his best possible winning strategy).  Having gone really fast in the opening quarter and now joined by a colt that is going faster the longer the race goes on (indeed as the 2nd coming of Big Red), the pace setters begin to falter, LOD first then SC, at the top of the lane.  From there on its all Esky in another runaway (with Johnny V saving some horse for the 2nd and 3rd legs of the Triple Crown).  Super Saver guts it out with Mission Impazible for a Todd Squad house cleaning job. Rule, Dublin, Endorsement or LAL scramble in their wake.

Scenario #2 goes like this: A furious pace from the gitgo producing splits of 22 and change, 45/46 for the first half mile and 1:09/ 1:10 and change for six furlongs.  This is very likely if at least someone of a number of connections with multiple interests in the race decides to hook LOD and SC from very early in order to eliminate the "wire to wire threat."  Forwardly placed stalkers (that shall be nameless for now) that have suspect stamina in a truly run race will surely falter and the genuine or even pretending closers will be going to hell for leather when they turn for home (watch out for Ice Box, Dublin, Interactif (if he starts) and Stately Victor in this scenario.  Now I know that you are salivating as you read this one RiverCitySmitty and I hate to disappoint you but think about where Esky, Super Saver and Mission Impazible might be on the far turn when the closers are looking for racing room and think about whether Johnny V on board Esky will be prepared to steal a march on the closers.  Answer this question: have you seen any 3YO that can outrun him down the stretch or even look him in the eye for that matter?  This second scenario is the more likely of the two and it could produce a record winning margin or even sub-two minute 10 furlongs Derby.  This is going to be fun and the assumptions are: good weather, a fact track and a clean break for all.  Good luck friend ...it might still be early days yet but maybe my 2nd scenario encourages you somewhat (LOL).      

13 Apr 2010 12:30 PM
mickey101

sea hero-real quiet-and funny cide,none of these won a 3yo prep race prior to winning the derby.

13 Apr 2010 12:31 PM
Lmaris

Sidney's Candy is a "has to have the lead" horse, and he won't draft off anyone.  He'll challenge for the lead and will be cooked after 6-7 furlongs.  If he isn't on the lead it will be because he can't handle dirt.

13 Apr 2010 12:54 PM
Ghostzapper

I am totally off Dublin at this point. Someone said he should love the distance of the Derby. I disagree. Looks like he is a miler. Eskendereya is the class of this bunch. Maybe one or two have a chance to beat him on their best day. If he gets the good trip he may be unbeatable. But its a big if in a 20 horse field.

13 Apr 2010 1:00 PM
Coneybones

I have been watching, handicapping and wagering on horses for 38 years, since I was 14, and I have not seen a more impressive horse going into the Derby since Seattle Slew, than Eskendereya. The horse is a monster! Bet against him at your own risk.

13 Apr 2010 1:47 PM
MrsCinIdaho

Big O gets a bone chip pass, NP has a virus, SV looked going away to 1.25 better than anyone but big E last time out.  any one of the Ark Derb 3 could have drawn or faultered there but I will say David was game.

13 Apr 2010 1:52 PM
Runfast159

And here they come down the stretch......of the Defection Derby that proceeds the Kentucky Derby as Uh Oh Bango joins Odysseus, Aikenite and likely Noble's Promise on the sidelines.

And we still have almost 3 weeks to go!

13 Apr 2010 2:00 PM
JerseyBoy

Thank you trebloc.

Dr Drunkinbum:

I think the blinkers on LAL might be a coincidence. But many horses seem to encounter traffic trouble when running in blinkers.

But here is another look at the puzzle. It seldom fails me.

Forget  Beyer figs and try this.

Here are the Dirt Speed figs and track variances combined, for the top horses on the DRF list of PP's, at a mile or longer, in 2010.

The weights carried are in brackets.

Eliminate a horse's top performance on dirt and see which horse tops the list using its second best performance.

You can ignore or use single performances. This approach can open your eyes.

Luckin At Lucky (119) 106

Noble's Promise (122,119) 104,106

Rule (122,122) 102,104

Eskend.(123,120,120) 108,105,104

Line of David (118) 108

Mission Imp.(122,118) 101,107

Ice Box(122,116,120)103,93,108

Stately Victor(120) 106

Endorsement(122,121,120)112,100,105

Conveyance(122,122)109,111

American Lion(122) 115

Dublin(122,118,117)107,103,110

Super Saver(122,122) 108,108

Super Saver in 2009  (122) 107

You may have guessed it. My future bet is on Super Saver. But he needs help in the draw to beat Eskendereya at 10 furlongs.

13 Apr 2010 2:16 PM
Aikenite

Interesting to note Stately Victor was a bust on Polytrack in the KEE Breeder's Futurity in the fall (6th-beaten 7 1/4 lengths).  Now he runs a monster race over the same track.  Sounds like a horse who's simply maturing at the right time.  Not enough to beat Esky, but probably deserves to be on exotic tix.  

13 Apr 2010 2:53 PM
josh

AS long as we are putting up our picks:

- Lookin at lucky - will fight it the end

- Esky - if he gets an outside post I REALLY like his chances

- Super Saver/Nobles Promise - they have great tactical speed

- Awesome Act - Love how he handles dirt with push button acceleration

- Sidney's Candy - I think he is the only speed horse that will hold up in the end of a 1 1/4.

And IF interactif goes I like him too much better on dirt and synthetics. Dublin, Mission Impazible and Ice Box I like them and they will be at the bottom of my sup's tri's and maybe ill put stately victor and paddy o prado but I just didnt like the bluegrass and the #'s that came out of it.

13 Apr 2010 3:02 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

JerseyBoy

   Very interesting approach. I'll have to give that one some thought. The problem is what to do with the poly track performances. Especially pro-ride at SA, which has proven to be a nice conditioner for dirt.

Historical Note: Personal Ensign who died Apr 8 at the age of 26 had an undefeated career, 13 wins. Her last year racing she beat Winning Colors twice in the year Winning Colors won The Derby, after WC won The Derby. What many of you don't know is that the term-"really put the screws to them" originated from Personal Ensign's heroic comeback from a serious fracture in which screws were placed in her leg. She was 2 for 2 prior to her injury, then came back 11 months later, winning 11 more races with screws in her leg. When she came back to the track after her injury she really put the screws to them.

13 Apr 2010 3:08 PM
berttheclock

Hey, Linda in Texas, about your "gray" comment.  How would you have like to have tried to pick a winner in a race a few years back?  A friend of mine told me he once worked a season at a small Eastern track.  Near the end of the meet, the racing secretary asked him to put together an all gray race.  

13 Apr 2010 3:22 PM
ace

No other race has suffered a decline in stature and revelance as much as the Bluegrass has since they switched to synthetics.  Just like the last several years,  all form has been shredded in the race.

Eskendereya to win by daylight.  

13 Apr 2010 3:38 PM
It Aint Easy being good

I think you want to be mid pack in this years derby I think the move will have to come after they are around the final turn. This race is all about timing are you guys really going to bet on Joe Talmo lol ......pass! I will take Calvin borel, Gomez and Banjerno and um Ramon Dominguez that guy is monster! I am def. betting on ramon D! Also  I see the senario #2 an think that american lion will show a new dimnesion in the derby, someone give me a reason to toss Rule anyone I need a good awnser!

13 Apr 2010 4:04 PM
TerriV

Very sorry to hear about Odysseus but it explains his Blue Grass - partly.  He's very talented and I hope he heals soon and shows up later in the season.  After this weekend I'm just more confused.  Steve's reports from CD will make all the difference to me.  But... my top three are Eske (overwhelming), Lookin at Lucky (love his grit, courage, never quit attitude but bad luck is a killer in the Derby), and Dublin (sentimental because of his sire but he could be building). I loved American Lion earlier this year and was glad to see him come back so nicely.  Also, really intrigued with Endorsement. This is just a very talented group this year and too many possibilities.  Sidney's Candy could wire it and I like Joe T.  And Paddy O'Prado looks good too and I'm partial to greys.  So, there's my list until we start hearing reports from Steve.

Eske

Lookin at Lucky

Dublin

Endorsement

Sidney's Candy

American Lion

Paddy O'Prado

And maybe Super Saver because of Calvin

13 Apr 2010 4:17 PM
hoofprintsandhorseplay

Sidney's Candy IS NOT a NEED the LEAD horse. He has simply been FASTER than the horses he has been facing.

Sidney races off the bit, a free running horse, not grabbing the bit a tearing through his races.

There is a BIG difference.

Lastly - how many more weeks do we need to read some moron post a 37 horse list? Good gracious , there isn't even 20 of them worth talking about! Nobody cares - notice you beg for Steve to comment on your 37 horse list, and he never does ... Get the hint yet?

13 Apr 2010 4:26 PM
hoofprintsandhorseplay

Strike the Gold did not win the Florida Derby - Fly So Free beat him that day.

13 Apr 2010 4:38 PM
Point Given

I like the obvious top 2 Esky and LAL, and hope Awesome Act will rate kindly this time as Leparoux took the starch out of him in the Wood having a death grip on him. Sidney is a mystery on dirt but I think with so much front end speed likely , the pace/distance will do him in. Exacta of Esky over LAL & AA.  LAL over ESky, AA.

I cannot fathom your putting the polytrack wonders in your top 12, you should have learned by now .

13 Apr 2010 4:42 PM
deeeeee

I am happy that Esky is in this race because without him, I would probably just pick #s out of a hat to express how I feel about the preps; especially the way the races finished

13 Apr 2010 4:57 PM
jasonu

super box will be my bet

esky

dublin

ice box

sidney's candy

13 Apr 2010 5:12 PM
It Aint Easy being good

hoofprintsandhorseplay haha great post I love it when people have a laundry list of horses! 70% of the people on here dont even bet! lol! I am on here to get some insight so i dont have to make a "will work for food" sign on sunday!

13 Apr 2010 5:23 PM
baller32

ok... very interesting comments on this blog but many of u are underestimating the winstar fantastic four... yes eskendereya and lookin at lucky have proven to be good horses but they are no match for rule, endorsement, american lion, and super savor...wish drossylmeyer could of gotten in but he is probably gonna shoot for the belmont instead... this derby will be exciting but winstar has it in the bag

13 Apr 2010 5:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

SLEW

  I thought you might like Endorsement(Seattle Slew on the dam side). A pedigree very much like Funny Cide. Do you remember "Fury" from the 1950's? Great show about a horse. Do you remember "Truth or Consequences" with Bob Barker? It's Howdy Doody time, OOPS, I mean Derby Time.

HOOFPRINTSANDHORSEPLAY-My sentiments exactly. Sidney's Candy doesn't strike me as a need the lead type. Your's was a very sharp post for a few reasons!!! I don't think Sidney's Candy will get the lead as fast as he has been, so he will press, then take the lead in my opinion. But I really can't say much without knowing the final field and post positions as to who, why, where and when things will happen. All I know is that I feel the same as CONEYBONES-I can't remember seeing a Prep that impressed me as much as Esky's Wood. Not because he won by  almost ten lengths. That's irrelevant to me. But the ease and power in which he did it. His class is unproven yet because he hasn't been tested because no one has been talented enough to test him on dirt, but his demeanor tells me that he has the class to withstand adversity. That is one cool monster, Gopherzilla with some Fonze thrown in. Happy Days.

13 Apr 2010 5:46 PM
inside pletchers barn

interactiff out

aikenite out

Devil May Care possible

Will have supersaver ready to go the distance

but no one will beat esky

13 Apr 2010 6:01 PM
Alex PB

Ghostzapper: Dublin is exactly where D Wayne wants him. Thompson used the whip only twice in the Ark Derby; once on the far turn  and  once at top of stretch. He has had many problems to overcome, but getting a distance is not one of them, Expect blinkers off and a stronger close in the Derby than Eskandeya can produce.

13 Apr 2010 6:21 PM
Ravenswood Matt

Steve,

I appreciate all of your input on the Derby trail.

However, you are not going to convince me of Stately Victor. I am also not much of a Super Saver fan.

You hate to play the chalk in the Derby, but Eskendereya seems to lay over the field at this point, though 2.5 weeks can change a  lot.

I will have a hard time leaving him out, and hope to find value in the exotics, where I lean towards Endorsement, American Lion, LAL and Dublin.

I like Endorsement best as the upset horse in this Derby. He ran the third best 3 yo prep on conventional dirt in my view (behind the two by Esky), in the same race that MTB used as the final leg up to the Derby last year. What a story that would be if Sunland produces the winner two years in a row.

Also, assuming that Noble's Promise is now out of the Derby, R. Albarado will likely get the mount on Endorsement. To me, that sets up for an intriguing "Derby Gods" story-line: the veteran champion jockey who has overcome much adversity in his career , and has turned Louisville into his home, winning the Derby despite having lost his primary contender.

I will await your reports from Louisville and hope to hear positive things about Endorsement.

13 Apr 2010 6:26 PM
Kim

In the past 15 years, horses who won the Derby after failing to win any of their 3 year old prep races include Mine That Bird (2009), Giacomo (2005), Funny Cide (2003), and Real Quiet (1998). So yeah, it can be done.

13 Apr 2010 6:31 PM
tcc

Mickey101:

What horse's do you show interest in if the track come's up wet like last year? Just curious!

13 Apr 2010 6:54 PM
Chef Adam

Qualifying for the Kentucky Derby should be based on a graded stake point system rather than earnings, similar to the procedure that is utilized for the Breeders Cup.

It kills me that a couple of horses who got lucky for a valuable purse are guaranteed a spot in the starting gate, yet a horse like Jackson Bend might not make the cut. If Eskendereya doesn't run in the Fountain of Youth or the Wood, Jackson Bend is one of your Derby favorites. As of today it looks Nick Zito and Bob LaPenta could get shut out at the window with a legitimate contender.

Additionally, a point system would eliminate the potential issue of race tracks in the United States and especially racing rich nations such as the UAE inflating purses of graded stakes in an attempt to pack Kentucky Derby gate.

Hmm...

13 Apr 2010 7:03 PM
Slew

Dr D....a lot of horses have a little Slew in them including Esky and Odysseus, and I really like Endorsement, and I see him coming in 2nd to Stately Victor.  He was the only horse that had the "wow" factor for me. Guess what...before TV we had terrific radio shows...The Shadow..Johnny Dollar, Gunsmoke.  I do remember Fury and My Friend Flicka, etc, and could never understand why the "good guys" rode white horses, when I liked black ones...I even remember the Cisco Kid and Zorro.  And keep in mind...Slew, Swale, and Vindication were all very dark bays..along with my other favorite Rock Hard Ten.

13 Apr 2010 7:47 PM
TheMilton

My list is pretty much the same as it was 2, 3, 4 months ago:

1. Sidney's Candy

2. ???? Long Shot (leaning American Lion, but depends on field that runs on May 1st)

3. DUBLIN  (Scrappy runner with tough trips.. and wide turns... but he wants to run with the big boys.. unfortunetly it is always 3rd)  So why not put him there?

4. Eskendereya on bottom of the super ...maybe.

Best of luck to all... but this Derby is gonna be all about the Candyman... Talamo TV story plays too as he was scratched last minute late last year and is/was dating the trainer's daughter this year.. he just has to not fall of this monster to get his ROSES.

13 Apr 2010 8:12 PM
TheMilton

JasonU.... VERY nice super box..I am with you on all those horses.. still could pay well with ice box and american lion in the mix

13 Apr 2010 8:15 PM
trifectabox

I found it interesting that some don't think Endorsement belongs in the Derby, yet they are all over Dublin.

Eskendereya is tops, Endorsement is solid. I don't like Lookin at Lucky to win, but I can certainly understand those who do, they have valid points.

The scary trend of Pro-ride to dirt is quite amusing...American Lion, Line of David..other non-Derby horses as well. Is it just that they "wake up" because of the surface switch, or is it something more? It seems to be only the Pro-ride; doesn't work so much with other poly, like Keeneland.

The concern with Line of David is if he had been facing strong closers he would've been inhaled. Previous attempts to rate him were failures, but then again, that was on synthetic, it could be he just did not like synth. He came in off two good turf sprint wins and although he may not be a Derby winner, that horse has a solid future.

In regards to "jumping on bandwagons" I do not agree that people should "stick with" a horse if they see something they don't like or be chastised if they find a horse they think is improving or better. That's the whole key to success in this game.

13 Apr 2010 8:32 PM
AEchevers

I believe that there are several contenders that could step up and make a race out of the derby such as Stately Victor,Lookin at Lucky,and Awesome Act but the fact of the matter is that Eskendereya is the gold standard and right now no horse has been more impressive than he has    

13 Apr 2010 8:41 PM
Backside Pass

Not warm & fuzzy about any of them but let's talk:  Look'in is the horse to beat...but I aint bett'in him.  I like Awesome Act- provided he doesn't throw a shoe..and I like Ice Box & Mission Impazable.  The BEST horse doesn't win the Derby...you know that !

13 Apr 2010 9:10 PM
Cold Hard Truth

Don't be fooled by Stately's poly form.  Remember the past three BG stakes winners?  General Quarters, Monba, & Dominican.  GQ finished 10th in the Derby; Monba, last; Dominican, 11th.  How about the last two Lane's End Stakes winners over poly?  2009 winner, Hold Me Back, finished 12th in the Derby, and 2008 winner, Adriano, finished 19th.  I'm with Haskin . . . a trainer would have to be out of his or her mind to prep (with Graded $ needed) over poly so close to the Derby.  These preps are meaningless come the first Saturday in May.

13 Apr 2010 9:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Trifectabox

  Very good post. The field isn't even settled, the post positions and pps aren't out. Why anyone should think that someone picks a horse two months out should stick with it is beyond me. Especially with The Derby you need to be adaptable or you can be in big trouble. But sometimes instincts are correct. POLY-The pro-ride is different. I don't put it in the saame category as other POLY. If you look at last year and this year. Horses switching from Pro Ride to dirt were very strong. I thought for sure that Super Saver and Dublin would pass Line Of David. I was shocked. They were slightly weaker than I thought they would be and David was much stronger. That was a good run to hold them off like that. However Super Saver and Dublin can move up off of that. Super Saver could run at that pace another eighth I believe, and maybe Dublin too. Endorsement belongs. He's strong. To expand on Pro Ride. I see it as a very strong conditioner, and it benefits horses that can also run on dirt. Compared to Pro Ride, dirt is easier for them to run on and they are as happy as Steve Haskin is when he gets to CD and has time to himself to just watch the Derby horses walk, or  gallop. Away from the rat race, to start to really feel The Derby. I'm anxious for his posts from there. That's when I start to really get into The Derby too.

SLEW

  Radio, I like the old comedy shows best from the 30'-50's, but my favorite of all time is CBS Mystery Theatre, 75-82.

13 Apr 2010 9:22 PM
mickey101

well I think Interactif will run in the derby,remember pletcher is a lukas,dicipel.....I just think this horse is a HUGE SLEEPER....on any surface...I don't think pletcher had the jockey go ....all out in the bluegrass....I would have run him in the arkansas....but pletcher was not going to go heads up against super saver....when ss needed earnings.....people keep talking about sidneys candy....watch the replay of the san filepe another 50 feet Interactif wins that race....sidney closes fast they say...heck Interactif must have been closing faster to gain the way he did.......awesome act will run much better in the derby' I believe' that death grip and shoe lost ....I feel cost him....and he also did not need earnings....both he and Interactif looked to have made a middle move and then were shut down..work out within a race so to speak.....Interactif fits the lukas charismatic,thunder gulch format.....pletchers 3rd or 4th string will run the better race,kind of reminds me of bluegrass cat everyone forgot about him, what happens he finished 2nd in the derby at not bad odds.....having said all this its esky ...Interactif....awesome act .....super saver box,I will not be changing my mind, if by some reason drosselmeyer got in ,I would use him in some ghizzmo's.

13 Apr 2010 10:02 PM
mickey101

by the way american lion was in the san filepe also....caracortado......Inertactif dusted them....he will run big on dirtat a SWEET price.

13 Apr 2010 10:08 PM
mickey101

if I hear another pro dublin blog ....I will scream....0 for the last 5, can't get past super saver in the arkansas derby , when super saver was not fit staggering down the streatch...besides I think super saver is maybe only the top 4 or 5 if fit....if dublin finishes in the top 10 I will be very surprized....he is a toss for sure....plus he had multible trips over the track...super saver and land of david were ship in's.....come on mon

13 Apr 2010 10:19 PM
Antman

I think Esky is the real deal, and time will tell, but to everyone talking about the strangle hold on Awesome Act, I am going to go look back at his last races, some horse's run faster with a tight hold, some run better with loose reinds, I know this and I am sure others can tell you we had a horse we couldn't figure out until a jockey said he runs off when I pull him up after the race, because he liked the bit tight.  Is all Awesome Acts races a tight hold, might want to take a look at it.

13 Apr 2010 11:00 PM
captainkool16

Raven,

I think you should switch #33 dry fly and #35 stay put around. LOL

Hoofprintsandhorseplay,

Funniest post of all time. I am still laughing.

13 Apr 2010 11:19 PM
Smooth Jazz

I have a major concern as it regards Lookin at Lucky being able to handle the 1 1/4 Mile distance of the Kentucky Derby.  Below is why I have a major concern.

Lookin at Lucky is by Smart Strike out of Private Feeling.  Private Feeling is by Belong to Me.  Last Year's Arkansas Derby winner, Papa Clem, is by Smart Strike out of Miss Houdini.  Miss Houdini is by Belong to Me.  Therefore, both Lookin at Lucky and Papa Clem have not only the same Sire (Smart Strike), but they both have the same Broodmare Sire (Belong to Me).  Belong to Me is widely regarded as not being a Stamina Influence.

Papa Clem's victory in the Arkansas Derby was at 1 1/8 Mile, but Papa Clem finished 4th in the Kentucky Derby.  If you watch the video of last Year's Kentucky Derby, it basically looks like that Papa Clem "hit a brick wall" and really struggled during the last part of the Kentucky Derby.  Papa Clem's struggle with the last part of the Kentucky Derby's 1 1/4 Mile Distance has to be attributed to having Belong to Me as the Broodmare Sire on the bottom part of Papa Clem's Pedigree.

I feel that Lookin at Lucky is going to have the same problem during the last part of the Kentucky Derby that Papa Clem had.  Another aspect that is not going to help Lookin at Lucky in regards to the 1 1/4 Mile distance of the Kentucky Derby is the fact that Lookin at Lucky's 2nd Dam, Regal Feeling, is by Clever Trick.  Clever Trick, just like Belong to Me, is widely regarded as not being a Stamina Influence.  

The bottom part of Lookin at Lucky's Pedigree is severely lacking in regards to Stamina Influence.  That is not good when it comes to a 1 1/4 Mile Distance.

In regards to Eskendereya, Eskendereya's Fractions in the Wood Memorial were very mediocre.  In my opinion, Eskendereya simply doesn't have enough speed to overcome obstacles like a bad starting gate position, or traffic.  Eskendereya may or may not have a good starting gate position, but he will most likely face traffic troubles in the Kentucky Derby.  Eskendereya's lack of speed is going to cause a significant problem for him when he encounters traffic troubles in the Kentucky Derby.                                  

13 Apr 2010 11:20 PM
eeebayou

Good Dr. Drunkinbum:

Please let me know where I can get one of those Florida Derby Polaroids, the fact-changing machine that you must use, as well as whatever you put in your peacepipe daily.

"EEBAYOU

 The three you mentioned deserve to be in The Derby, if Homeboykris is- under any logical thought process I can imagine. And furthermore, Pleasant Prince did win a Grade One race-The Florida Derby. It's just that the judges officially gave the win to an Old Fridge because they took the photo with an old Polaroid and the picture was too blurry !!! So please bring the facts with you the next time you write. And put that vile, bile whiner stuff on top of Your Capn Crunch for breakfast."

13 Apr 2010 11:52 PM
The Deacon

With respect, I totally disagree about your assessment of Super Saver. Don't think he has a ghost of a chance. We are in agreement with the top two but I really like Endorsement and Sidney's Candy.

Great read though Steve, and as always kudos to your phenominal writing skills.

14 Apr 2010 3:09 AM
Gary Lynn

Interesting read, Coldfacts, concerning Line Of David. I can't believe neither Arkansas Rivals went by in the lane. LOD looked strong while being pulled up, head bowed, like he wanted more.

14 Apr 2010 4:36 AM
Gary Lynn

Drosselmeyer to The Preakness. One to watch.

14 Apr 2010 5:03 AM
mickey101

tcc.....until someone slay's the beast(eskendereya)the rest are also ran's, but I love my pick's boxed and keyed with (esky).....I will be making a very large win/place bet on Interactif if he run's......plus a huge exacta box (esky and Interactif).

14 Apr 2010 6:43 AM
Fran Loszynski

Thank you Tim G for the comment about me being a fan of Dublin and hoping he wins. HE WILL.

I hope you're right Alex PB about the sunglasses coming off-you and Tim seem to know alot about Dublin and racehorses in general - and both of you will win May 1st because DUBLIN TAKES THE KENTUCKY DERBY

AFLEET ALEX'S SON GIVES AFLEET ALEX THE DERBY!  AWESOME---

BLOODHORSE HEADLINE MAY 2

I hope Noble's Promise is feeling better and comes in second.

I know fans are saying Lookin At Lucky, Eskey, Super Saver (whew! what a line up we have!) but I think Dublin is going to pull a Mine That Bird. I hope Afleet Alex's T.V. set is working okay at Gainesway! Good Luck to all.

14 Apr 2010 8:23 AM
Mark W

Todd Pletchers year.

Eskenderya should win love Mission Impazible at a big price to run 2nd and a deep closer picking up 3rd. Its all you Todd P!

14 Apr 2010 8:42 AM
Fran Loszynski

My racing friends are always kidding me about a racehorse should have my name-

FRANNY FREUD ran an awesome race in the Beaumont. If Harissa doesn't run in the K. Oaks I hope she wins!  I wonder why!!!!

GO FRANNY!

Who do you think can win the K. Oaks-either way breast cancer survivors and victims will benefit, they really are the winners in this one.

14 Apr 2010 9:10 AM
trackjack

It Ain't Easy being good:  throw out Rule because he needs the lead or to run right up with the leaders and will have nothing left in the 10f KD with this field of early speed.

hoofprintsandhorseplay:  Chill out, leave the name-calling to the political bloggers.  I enjoy everyone's opinion as I try to narrow my bet to a 4 horse box.  Still like:

Eskendereya

Lookin at Lucky

Sidney's Candy

Ice Box

Looking forward to Steve's comments from CD.  

14 Apr 2010 9:31 AM
Slew

By the way Dr. D., the most well-bred horse in the country will NOT be at the Derby.  Take Control gave me goosebumps in his debut win...with a Sea The Stars style.

Can't wait to see him back in training.

14 Apr 2010 9:37 AM
Ann in Lexington

Line of David sizzles the first half-mile but still hangs on to beat Super Saver and Dublin? And that is a good race from those two? Sorry, if they couldn't reel in a tired front-runner of LoD's modest accomplishments, where are they going to find the finish to run down better horses? Face it - all three horses were staggering at the end of the Arkansas Derby, having reached the end of their tether. None of them impressed me as Derby material.

14 Apr 2010 11:10 AM
slot33

I think that we'll get a legitimate pace in this year's Derby... 110 and change for 6F and 136 and change for the M.  A lot of speed with LOD, SC, Conveyance, Rule, AL and even SS and Paddy.  So I believe it sets up for 2nd or 3rd tier horses that can lay off the pace and close.  Big surprise, I can't get past the favorites.  Like LAL, Eskendereya, SC, Endorsement and Ice Box.  I'll likely box the Top 4 and maybe throw Ice Box in there.  Can't believe I'm putting Endorsement in the mix... don't get me wrong I think he's an up-and-comer... but only 4 lifetime races bothers me.  But I use a spreadsheet with 20 rating categories , narrow it down to the 10 most heavily weighted cat's, and any horse in the Top 5 in 6 or more of the 10 most important categories qualifies for the win.  Its worked pretty well for me.  Well Endorsement qualified with 6 out of the 10.  Only my top 4 qualified with Ice Box and Dublin with 5.  They all have 1 cat left to potentially get 6 and that's how they train for the race.  Any bullets at CD or at 6F or more on another track.  We'll see.  For the Dublin fans (and I'll be using him underneath), when watching the head-on view of the ARK., you can plainly see that Thompson whips the horse more than 10 times.  Still probably less than SS, and LOD as their jocks were really into them.

14 Apr 2010 11:56 AM
Just Got Horseracing Channel

After part wheeling the 7 in the Blue Grass leaving out Stately Victor I am a believer now.  Best prep race of the bunch. I am worried that Eskenderaya won't handle the 20 horse field. Still I like her and Victor in the exacta and 1st and 3rd in the Trifecta with an all in the middle. I will certainly throw some out again and miss another one to save $2 per throwout. Also like the Oaks/ Derby Rider double. Worked last year with Borel. Also Mine That Bird ran 2 races, 2nd in the Preakness which was an easy exacta with Rachel A.

14 Apr 2010 11:56 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

EEEBAYOU

  Good one !!!! You made me smile.

STEVE-Nice random thoughts. That was a heap of intriguing information. I was anxious to get to the end to see who was setting those monster fractions. Yes, I do see Sidney's Candy as a possible monster presser swooping by them. Mission Impazible keeps sticking in my brain, but I can't get a handle on how I feel about him. Setsuko-It still seems like destiny for him to get in there. Good article. And so early !!!! Hang on to those thoughts. Have you ever had it figured all out, then the paperwork gets lost in the piles, then you find it the next year and realize that you had the 50k Super, if only you hadn't misplaced those notes !!!

14 Apr 2010 12:23 PM
Zookeeper

Here's what I think, more than two weeks before the Derby:

1) Eskendereya

2) Endorsement

3) Sidney's Candy

4) Stately Victor

5) Lookin at Lucky

6) Awesome Act

7) Dublin

8) Mission Impazible

9) Ice Box

10)Paddy O'Prado

I tried and tried to build a case for Discreetly Mine, as I felt he was completely forgotten by everybody, but I couldn't do it. No wonder NOBODY is mentioning him.

The only thing I saw: he runs better fresh and it will be 6wks. since his last race.

Now, I'll wait for the comments from Mr. Haskin reporting from CD, the post position draw and the weather forecast. Let's not forget about this very important factor: RAIN! To me it changes everything.

Dr Drunkinbum,

It is with deep regret that I leave American Lion out of my top 10 but although he might be able to win at 1 1/4 miles later in the year, I don't think he can do it now, not with running style.

14 Apr 2010 1:12 PM
Pam S.

Dr. Drunkinbum,

"Fury:  The story of a horse, and the boy who loved him."  I loved "Fury," it was on when I was 4 or 5.  That was when I first realized I loved horses, though it took many years until I became interested in racing.

I don't think I like these new horses (from Sat.), so I'll stick with ones that came on the scene at least a few weeks ago.  I like LAL, Ice Box, Endorsement ... but there are still so many.

14 Apr 2010 1:19 PM
Gana Facil 777

Steve:  Greate article today (Random Thoughts).  I have a question around Beyer Speed figures.  Are you as confident in the Beyer Spped figures today as say 5 years ago or so.  Synthetics aside, I think the figures are more questionable thse days.  Does a horse really "move up" on dirt or are the figures just wrong to begin with.  Beyer already came out with adjustment to his formula a year ago or so (for synthetic) recalibrating past figs. along the way.  Is it like Chicago weather where the weather-person can get it seemlingly right no matter what their original projection.  Just last year, we saw major adjustments for 1 and 1/8 races at GP after the fact.  Anyt thoughts?

14 Apr 2010 1:50 PM
slot33

Dr.  I had something happen like that in the Breeders Cup a few years ago.  My son and I were placing our bets the day before the race.  But he was short on cash in his accoiunt so asked me to place some bets with my $$ and then finish my bets the next day.  Well on BC Day in all the excitement I forgot 1 Pick 3.  My son was driving me home and I flipped over my betting sheet to see a $2,100 bet staring me in the face.  Sick to my stomach for a couple of days.  Oh just another Railbird tale!

14 Apr 2010 2:07 PM
tcc

Steve:

Eightyfiveinafifty, if he wins the Derby trial, he would have enough earning's to be 21st on the list, with any defection's he would make the field, if they decided to run him. He would be another horse adding to the pace factor, he just had a 5F workout in a 58.09 at New York.

14 Apr 2010 2:36 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Someone said that horses get freak out in the final turn due to the sound and thats why in the last turn whoever is ahead usually wins except for giacamo and mine that bird! I have a bad feeling that Rule can hit the board and carry that speed a long ways. He is the most seasoned horse and one older horses in the field.

14 Apr 2010 2:37 PM
trebloc

As I watch all the triple crown preps, I am often amazed at how the trainer/owners fly their horses all over the country?  Does anyone have any idea what is costs to fly a colt from CA to AK and then onto KY?

14 Apr 2010 3:28 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

PAM S-I loved it too, around the same age as you. It could have had a strong influence on us.

Gana Facil 777-My opinion is that the speed figures are wrong for poly tracks, AND in the case of Pro Ride, it is easier for them on dirt if they like dirt, so they run better and get a higher number, but in many cases the speed figure numbers, Beyers and others are too low, especially for the top caliber races.

ZOOKEEPER- I guess you really like Victor to have him ahead of LAL !!! Do you wonder what we'd be saying if LAL ran in The Arkansas Derby instead of The SA  Derby? My guess is that he's be one or two on most lists. Trouble or no trouble.

14 Apr 2010 3:32 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

STEVE-In 2006 you said that Dosage Figures are irrelevant for The Derby, that the stamina influences on the dam side is what counts now.(paraphrasing you)  Do you think Rule, Conveyance, Jackson Bend, or Awesome Act have enough stamina influence on the dam side for a Derby Top 2, Top 3 Derby finish, or even Top 4?

14 Apr 2010 3:36 PM
mickey101

RAVEN......keep up the good work, you got enough horse's, on that list to fill a card.....you must have been a racing secratary in a past life.....you should have the top (3) finisher's in every triple crown race plus the traver's...breeder's cup classic(LOL).

14 Apr 2010 4:09 PM
Kim

trebloc said: "Does anyone have any idea what is costs to fly a colt from CA to AK and then onto KY?"

No idea, since no one flies their Derby colts from California to Alaska to Kentucky.

14 Apr 2010 4:29 PM
Linda in Texas

TCC - i was just reminded by your mention of a horse i left off my list. EIGHTYFIVEINAFIFTY.

I really had a brain drain there.

And Fran, i too like FRANNY FREUD when i saw what she did.

I can really feel the tension here among the bettors, which i am not, just love the world of thoroughbred horse racing and the horses and all the fun and kibitzing that goes with it. It makes for a great day, every day!

14 Apr 2010 4:41 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

ZOOKEEPER

   American Lion just ran a 46.80 bullet w/o at Keene today. Why is it that you think he'll be ready later but not in The Derby? I thought he'd be on your list. But then again, this is still very early. The lists to me, are still meaningless. Just fun. Endorsement, and Sidney's were both very impressive. Neither would surprise me even for the win. Yet, I still think the only thing that could stop Esky is the post position. Inside could be tough. He'd have it easier outside. The added lengths are no problem for him. But if he had Post Position #3, he could drop to last circle everyone and still win. It depends on how tough Sidney's and Endorsement and a few others are. I don't know why I have some concerns about the distance with Lucky and not Sidney's, do you?

14 Apr 2010 4:44 PM
Linda in Texas

Berttheclock - an all gray race would be a conundrum for me 'betting on the gray' guess i would have gone to shades of gray then or bridle colors! And speaking of grays, how about Giacomo's filly Blushing Sis winner by 8 lengths at Manor Downs, 4 1/2 furlongs in :52.88 on April 3? Don't know if she is gray but her sire sure is. And i won't list all my other gray faves, but of course Holy Bull,Macho Uno, Informed Decision,Stardom Bound, Kip Deville for sure,etc. And then there are, Forever Together and Silver Timber. And a newcomer Beautician who looks promising. And the ne'er forgotten Silver Charm that started the gray 'lean to' for me. But this blog is about The Kentucky Derby, so i am now way off message. Just like i was in elementary school when teacher always called me on the carpet for looking out the windows. Back then at the turn of the century,(40's) schools actually had real windows and she always caught me daydreaming about my horses waiting for me to get out of school so i could high tail it to the stable.I still am a dreamer.

And I am glad i am not the only ol' timer on here. Thanks Steve.

14 Apr 2010 4:51 PM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

My problem with Lucky is: if he doesn't find trouble, Gomez will. I think that Lucky and Sidney can both get the distance. Because of his running style, Sidney is more likely to avoid trouble.

As to my beloved American Lion, a little more maturity is the key. If he was to have the lead all by himself, he could steal it on May 1st. But we all know that's not going to happen in this KD. I'm hoping that as he gets a little older he may learn to rate a little better and not become rank as we have seen at SA this winter when he was being restrained.

Yes I do like Victor very much. It won't matter what his post position is, he's a definite closer and can stay out of trouble towards the back of the pack. (Unlike Lucky who should be mid pack, right at the heart of it.) If Alan Garcia can keep his cool and give Victor a ride close to the one he gave him in the BG, I think he has a very good chance of, at least, hitting the board. Of course, I may be completely wrong about him. It wouldn't be the first time, nor would it be the last.

P.S. If AL wins the Derby, I won't care that I've lost all my bets. I'll be hanging from the ceiling in celebration of Tiznow being a KD sire ahead of Giant's Causeway just as in the 2000 BC. lol!

14 Apr 2010 6:13 PM
Vol Jack

Stately Victor is for real!!

this was just the coming out party.

14 Apr 2010 6:40 PM
Exactabox

sea hero-real quiet-and funny cide,none of these won a 3yo prep race prior to winning the derby.

Mickey101 - couldnt believe that was your post (above) after all the knocking you do on Dublin.  Ha...I'll let you know something, I had a large exacta and win bet with FunnyCide - made a very nice downpayment on the house I'm sitting in right now...I'd love to pay it off....Come on Dublin!!

14 Apr 2010 8:34 PM
Exactabox

Alex PB

Thompson used the whip a bit more when he was mid stretch and started to hang.  I questioned the blinkers too, wondering if that caused the hang as if he was trying to keep them in line of sight.  Is blinks off a typical move for DWL?  I wonder if he has a % with it.

14 Apr 2010 8:45 PM
Trebloc

Kim,

Well done! LOL..  Let's say the traines/owners decide not to fly to AK, but rather AR? What does that cost?  

14 Apr 2010 9:30 PM
Bloodline Bob

In the 135 years of the Ky.Derby does anybody know how many times a horse won the Derby that his name begin with the Letter "I"? The answer is once in 1957(Iron Liege). Will Interactif be #2? The letter "E"? Twice, 1918(Exterminator) and 1904(Elwood). If you have an alphabet letter you want to know about please feel free to ask me. BTW, there has NEVER been a Ky.Derby winner with the letter "Q" or "Y" or "X" or "Z". THE letter "S" has the most wins with 18.

14 Apr 2010 9:47 PM
animallover

Linda in Texas... I agree with grey horses; Skip Away is one of them as well as Silver Charm, Free House, Octave, Ginger Gold (Canadian Champion), Silver Highlights (a Silver Charm filly who raced at Woodbine who I am not sure what happened to her), El Prado, Black Tie Affair, Spectacular Bid, Native Dancer (was not even born yet when Bid and Dancer raced, but their race videos that I have seen give me goosebumps), Woodcarver (Canadian Queen's Plate winner), Lady's secret, Alphabet Soup, Winning Colors, Monarchos, Silverfoot (any one know where Silverfoot went?), Eight Belles, Dalakhani (one has to see him in person like I.... what a horse!)... I usually always put something on a grey horse. Oh and there was The Pamplemousse as well (loved his coloring)....

14 Apr 2010 10:11 PM
Matthew W

Am starting to wonder if the "toss Sydney vibes" are from the same crowd who tossed Zenyatta in the Classic last year--the "wiseguy crowd"--I mean, forget pace--two turns on the lead on pro ride = no win---along comes Sydney, and Talamo, the front running specialist--and it's no=problema! There are things that point to a Sydney's Candy Derby win! He's different....

14 Apr 2010 10:28 PM
Bloodline Bob

"I"=Icebox;"E"=Eskendreya,Endorsement;"Y"=Ywanna Twist!!!! Something to think about. LOL.

14 Apr 2010 10:49 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

KIM

   I beg to differ. Ice Box is out of Alaska. So was Snow Chief. And if I'm not mistaken- Artic Boy who ran in the 2001 Derby was out of Alaska also.

14 Apr 2010 10:49 PM
Bloodline Bob

And for all you "LOOKIN AT LUCKY" fans, in 1893 the winner was "LOOKOUT", in 1965 the winner was "LUCKY DEBONAIR". The famous DERBY mystery.

14 Apr 2010 10:53 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

How about the Joe Talamo Story. He was the jockey for The Derby favorite I Want Revenge last year and missed out when Revenge was scratched the morning of The Derby. Now he is back with another chance on what will probably be the 3rd betting choice at 5 or 6-1 on the ML on Sidney's Candy. Basically Talamo Wants Revenge for last year's disappointment.

14 Apr 2010 11:17 PM
Zookeeper

Thank you Bloodline Bob for a new strategy: The "S" Factor. Let's see: Sidney's Candy

    Stately Victor

    Super Saver

    Setsuko (if he gets in)

Maybe I've been studying too much but it sounds as good as Mr. Haskin's "good old reliable Pilgrim Stakes scratch angle" featured in his Paddy Cake article.

Speaking of The Pilgrim, I was searching the PPs for horses with experience on an off-track because I'm a worrywart and I like to be prepared. So, who do I find on a track listed good: Eskendereya, in only the 2nd race of his career, breaking last and working his way up to win by 7 1/4 lengths. WOW!

Other horses who have done well on tracks listed good or sloppy: Super Saver, Stately Victor, Mission Impazible, Rule and Discreetly Mine. (I guess I found something else about DM lol!)

14 Apr 2010 11:23 PM
Slew

Treblec...I believe they use private jets especially gutted for the horses.  Quite a few flew

together in one from California to AR...with different trainers.

Bloodline: AHA! That puts Stately Victor (great name by the way), in great company.  Maybe Setsuko will slip in.

15 Apr 2010 1:11 AM
Gary Lynn

Ann in Lexi, uh, LOD's race, last quarter just about the same as Barbaro's final prep over slick Gulfstream surface.

15 Apr 2010 2:27 AM
Fran Loszynski

Steve: Your article on random thoughts nailed Dublin to a tee! My thoughts exactly. You did Dublin a great justice and your insight of how he will approach the final stretch is right on target. You won't have to write about how he wins the Derby-you already did.

To Exactabox: DUBLIN IS IN THE HOUSE  (SO TO SPEAK) !!

15 Apr 2010 8:13 AM
RiverCitySmitty

Ranag...

I have to think your scenario #2 is the one more likely to play out in the derby.  The opening half may be very close to the 45+ that Top Avenger ran many years back.  With sooo many pace types this year and the fact they won`t get the same trips as in their preps leads me to believe a serious meltdown will occur.  The problem is that there aren`t really many runners who`ve proven themselves as closers.  I haven`t made any lists since things are always changing and prefer to wait for the post draw.  Whoever gets the rail or outside posts will be at a disadvantage and will be forced to go early to avoid being shuffled way back and having no shot whatsoever.  I know you`ve got the hots for the Todd Squad, but if I had to pick one of his right now it would likely be Mission Impazzible and not Esky.  Esky may win in a romp, but I don`t bet derby favorites since they lose more often than not.  I still think the best bet is wheeling Blind Luck in the Oaks/Derby DD.  

15 Apr 2010 8:47 AM
the_wiz

My top picks as of today are:

Sidney's Candy

Eskendereya

Endorsement

Lookin At Lucky

I'd love to see Setsuko get in as I believe he'll fill out some exotics very nicely. The other closer I like is Ice Box who has a shot as well to fill out the exotics. I see Conveyance as the best of the speed and most likely to resemble Hard Spun.  

15 Apr 2010 8:51 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Steve

  I heard Lenny's proposal for Derby entries on your show. A system based on points with it skewed more toward Grade One is fine but it is similar to the one in existence now. Payouts are higher for Grade One preps now. It could work if the points are high enough for The Top Two spots in the Grade Ones but then it would still be theoretically possible to leave someone out that is improving, maturing, and peaking at the right time that came in 2nd in a Grade One prep. That is what we're looking for-the horses peaking or maturing that can run a great race in The Derby. We don't care about what they did in the distant past, we want the horses in the race that are showing that they are capable and ready NOW for a high caliber Derby performance.  A horse runs a 1:49.20 in The Florida Derby, has a great pedigree for The Derby and can't get in, in fact isn't even close to getting in.(Pleasant Prince). The system that you and I came up with working many long hours in the lab is good. It doesn't have to be complicated to embody this sound principle- We don't want to leave horses out of The Derby who could win or have a Top 4 finish who have shown in their recent form that they are ready to run a big race in The Derby. I think with the popularity of The Derby now and the desire of many owners just to be in it there will always be someone left out but our system limits the number of peaking horses that will be left out. Using the system where you have an automatic entry into The Derby if you win or place in one of the five Grade One races would put deserving entries like Setsuko, and Pleasant Prince in ahead of a few less deserving. The other ten entries would be decided either by The Graded Earnings or a point system based on other 3yo races. I don't see any relevancy of 2yo races to determine Derby Entries. We need to return to the following philosophy as best we can: "My horse is really getting good at the right time, and he can win The Derby. That is why he is in there."

15 Apr 2010 10:23 AM
RiverCitySmitty

Perhaps keeping the earnings thingy just the way it is will encourage trainers to plan additional preps for promising horses.  The rules are already in place and those that don`t get in due to a money shortage have their connections to blame and not the system.  Of course slow developers will be left out, but so what.  It happens every year that a few surface during the summer that were never on anyone`s list.  As far as Pleasant Prince`s breeding, well that`s not justification for being in the starting gate @ CD.  Ask Letenor`s peeps.  P-Prince ran a good 2nd in the FD, but was blitzed in his other 2 graded attempts.  I say keep it as it is despite me not having any true closers to date.

15 Apr 2010 11:08 AM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

Your proposed grading system is very good. The industry moves at such a glacial pace... what are the chances of a much needed improvement coming to pass any time soon?

15 Apr 2010 11:59 AM
Ranagulzion

Dr Drunkinbum, Steve & Lenny,

I have made several arguments on this Blog in support of maintaining the status quo with respect to the Graded Earnings system for the Kentucky Derby which none of you have addressed or responded to.  You gentlemen continue to turn a blind eye to the fact that the present system has consistently delivered the best line-up of Derby aspirants and keeps all players honest in terms of racing their charges regularly and judiciously to qualify while building 2YO foundation which is sacrosanct in Derby prep tradition.  You keep pushing the one line that "late developing/deserving/now-horses" are being compromised by the Graded Earnings system.  I challenge you to raise one example ...I should really say at least two but I'll be generous and say one example only, from the past (apart from the disingenuous use of Rock Hard Ten & Edington in 2004, which I have spoken to but still welcome your rebuttal).

Your cases in point have been Setsuko, Pleasant Prince and the injured (from being forced) Odysseus this year.  I also read a post that would include Jackson Bend on that list.  May I suggest that pivoting your lobby on those horses is a very weak strategy because each of those horses have been comprehensively beaten (by wide margins) in their last two prep races (except for Pleasant Prince whose "deserving status" is undoubtedely flattered by Eskendereya's moving from the Florida Derby to the Wood Memorial.  Every year the competitive situation among the 3YOs is going to be different therefore it is up to Trainers and owners to manage their route to the Derby properly if they believe that their charge is deserving.  It makes no sense to be tweaking a system or advocating change each time there is the probability that a couple of horses that some opinion leaders think are deserving look as if they might not get in ...because on the contrary, the deserving ones ALWAYS have gotten in ...and I remind Steve again about Dunkirk (the lightning rod of this debate last year).  I wouldn't complain if you argued for the revising of the purse structure of some of the traditional prep races (which many owners & trainers would welcome), but pushing for a change in the Graded Earnings system is barking up the wrong tree IMHO.

Lets assume that you guys are right about the situation this year, that is, "now horses" are being left out.  Answer this: is a one year abberation reasonable ground to change a system that has been very solid for years?  Also, does one year's situation (2010) constitute a "trend" as I heard suggested on the "And They're Off" program?

Over to you Gentlemen.      

15 Apr 2010 12:00 PM
Ranagulzion

RiverCitySmitty,

Devil May Care is going to show Blind Luck and company a clean pair of heels in the Oaks (sorry friend but its Mr Pletcher again).  This filly is the only one right now capable of competing with the boys going two turns IMHO.

15 Apr 2010 12:08 PM
Tim G

Dear Drunk (I sure hope you aren't a Dr. LOL)

Actually a recently graded-GIII stakes, The Sunland Park Derby has one of the highest purses of the preps, has been way up there even as a non-graded race the last few years.

Would we instead say earnings as a two year old don't count? Then we might get some real questionable horses in with very low earnings.

The thing about your theory of who CAN win the Derby, it has been proven many times to be a throwout.

Not only that, some of the horses who were thought to be in over their heads, got on the board or ran well enough to come back in one of the other two legs of the TC and run on the board again.

With the high numbers in earnings this year, these horses have proven that they have been able to make some major bucks.

I believe you are looking at it from a handicappers perspective. Horse owners and trainers look at it a lot differently. It can make a trainers career, it can also make a career for a stud. It isn't cheap to run in it and everyone who owns a horse that can make it in, well, it's a dream come true.

You never know when you'll have that next Mine That Bird or a Charismatic that can line even the bettors pocket.

15 Apr 2010 12:45 PM
Matthew W

Esky won't get my $$ at 8-5...I'm willing to take the 9-2 on Lucky, but will pounce on the 8-1 gift of candy! Sydney's Candy has done the most this year! He's wired them over the pro-ride---twice! Add to that, it seems ten or more this year are plodders who don't belong! And-- horses like Caracortado, a horse who has never run a bad race--are denied entry! I cannot make heads or tails of Stately Victor's Bluegrass--it looked awesome enough,I may have to use him in savers, but I think I will narrow it (exacta box) down to the top two, Esky and Lucky, as well as two who did a little running at two/have improved at three: Sydney's Candy and American Lion, who will be my dark horse--a little bit heavy on the West Coast Horses this year--I think they are a better bunch this year...  

15 Apr 2010 1:59 PM
Matthew W

Forgot Dublin, who will be on my exactas as well---Wayne-o hasn't the sugardaddies anymore--he's the same horse trainer! If ONLY I had bet on him all along in the Derby! No...toss Lukas in the Derby? No sir! Not when he has a horse like Dublin--NOT when you're talking about a man who knows what he's doing like D Wayne Lukas....

15 Apr 2010 2:09 PM
Matthew W

Do think Pletcher has a nice three year old filly--do think she might get Blind Luck (love that tiny filly!) My Oaks future is Sadler/Crisp/Bejarano and watch out!

15 Apr 2010 2:11 PM
Matthew W

Animallover--if you can, take a look at a light grey named Swept Overboard---a DEEP closing sprinter--for that matter, Lit De Justice was also a deep closer---and the stayer (and deep closer) beautiful grey filly La Zanzara, who beat Astray at Santa Anita, maybe twice, in great turf races...

15 Apr 2010 2:16 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ranagulzion

   I'll respond about the Derby Entries in a minute. Then I'll leave it alone. For now it's time to work with what we have(the horses we know are in), and start focusing on getting ready for this year's Derby. But first, I think you are right about Devil May Care. She is my top Oaks pick. This could easily be a Pletcher double.

15 Apr 2010 2:40 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

RANAGULZION, TIM G.

  This is my last comment about a Derby Earnings System until after this years Derby. The system is antiquated. I'd hate to think of all of the horses that had a top 4 finish in previous Derby's that wouldn't be able to get in this year. I don't think it's an abberation. I think it is a future trend that some of the top horses will be left out if we don't change the system. When Homeboykris is in and Pleasant Prince and Setsuko are out then the system is flawed. I'm not saying that I absolutely have the perfect answer but I believe it is better than the current system.

Two year old earnings should count-for the 10 spots that will use the graded earnings system. Ten will get automatic entries based on a top two finish in one of the five GRADE ONE PREPS. If you're not good enough to get first or second in one of those GRADE ONE PREPS then by all means, you are welcome to compete for the remaining ten spots using the graded earnings you have accumulated no matter when it was, and no matter how bad you are now. This insures that the top horses get in and leaves the other ten spots open for Homeboykris, Nobles Promise, Rule, Endorsement, Conveyance etc to compete for. A great horse like Lookin At Lucky is rewarded by his two year old earnings and gets in easily despite not having a GRADE ONE PREP top two finish as a 3yo. Remember that the ten that are in from top two GRADE ONE finishes are not competing for the graded earnings spots. It's just my view, and I see you point too eventhough it is antiquated and short sighted.

15 Apr 2010 3:12 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

TIM G

  Mine That Bird would have been in The Derby in 2009 using my system. And I'm certain Charismatic would have been too. I will answer rebuttals, retracting my last statement that I won't comment until after The Derby. Don't forget to take the ten horses out of the earnings picture that get automatic entries before you do your computations. So Mine That Bird and Charismatic still get their wins under my system. Anymore false presumptions?

15 Apr 2010 4:09 PM
Ranagulzion

Dr Drunkinbum,

Your sighting of a "future trend" is based upon what evidence? The fact is that the 3YO mix varies every year in terms of overall quality, stand-out horses, competitiveness and durability of contenders that impact the fight for spots in the Derby.  How you can project a future trend in this kind of scenario beats me ...given there has been no such problem in the past twenty-odd years of the current system.  Maybe I should have a shot of that stuff you got your name from so that I can think ...er ...straight?(LOL).

Regarding Homeboykris (your whipping horse in this issue), he absolutely earned his spot having won one of the most prestegious 2YO Grade 1 races, The Champaigne Stakes last year.  You might want to argue that the field was week but decades of classic tradition has established that race as a marquee Triple Crown pointer for the top 2YO colts of every generation of North American thoroughbreds.  Besides, if that horse has no shot I don't believe that the very proud, astute and competitive trainer Rick Dutrow would point him to the Derby.  Homeboykris has solid 2YO foundation and 3YO seasoning and the class (Grade 1 winner with reasonable Beyer speed figure) to compete deservedly.  He might shock you, especially if produced from off the pace.  As for Setsuko, what has he won and how far back did he finish in his last two preps ...and has he run with the best on dirt ...ever?  Such subjective reasoning on your part doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Dr Drunkinbum your diagnosis of the current situation is faulty and your prescription could be very costly.  I say again: leave well-enough alone ...literally.  If it aint broke dont prescribe any medicine. Peace.    

15 Apr 2010 4:25 PM
Linda in Texas

animallover - thanks for names of more grays. How in the world did i not think of Eight Belles? She sure was a gray, very dark granite gray. Had her picture as my desktop picture for a year taken as she was training. I never thought of her then as a gray til i watched her race. It was a horribly sad thing to watch,and i was glad her jockey stayed with her, at least she knew him.

And reading today on Bloodhorse that Stardom Bound is being retired and booked to Big Brown. She is a wonderful mare. I wonder what color foal she will throw?

15 Apr 2010 4:33 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

STEVE, TIM G, RANAGULZ, ZOOKEEPER

   One thing I forgot to mention that is an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT aspect to the new plan. ALL of racing will benefit from it. ALL of the PREPS will benefit from it. You won't see anymore 6 horse Wood Memorial fields. You'll see fuller fields in all of the Grade One preps, and that will have a trickle down effect so that you'll see fuller fields in all of the Preps. All of the Grade Ones will be more competitive giving the entrants better experience, and the public a better gauge of talent. Wouldn't you have liked to have seen a 10-12 horse field in The Wood this year, and then see what Eskendereya can do? I know that more owners and trainers would have entered knowing that if they pick up 2nd place that they are in The Derby, despite the fact they were facing Esky. The betting pools will be bigger and more exciting, and the competition will be better. More horses will enter the other Preps knowing that they can pick up valuable earnings because more of the top rated horses will be running in The Grade Ones where they are in if they get first or second OR could be helped picking up earnings from 3rd or 4th etc. More owners that are lower on the earnings scale are going to want to enter the Grade Ones knowing that if they get second place, they're in. I can assure you that the other Graded Preps will fill up despite the fact that the Grade Ones will have fuller fields. Fuller fields in the Grade Ones also means more betting on the entire card at that track that day. People love to bet on big Grade One fields. Don't forget that it is betting that keeps the ENTIRE industry in  business, so don't complain that I'm looking at this from a bettor's standpoint.

15 Apr 2010 4:44 PM
Tim G

Look at the purses comparably even back 5-10 years ago, adjust for the rate of inflation and the increase in the purses and those same horses WOULD have gotten in.

What do you do if the top 2 aren't nominated? What do yo do if the top 2 in the 5 G1's KNOW they can't get the distance and are just going for the money in the prep? So a horse finishes 1st or 2nd in ONE race, does that make them a far superior DERBY horse?

Just because a fan or handicapper thinks a horse should be in the race? Does that make it the truth?

IF the horses you mention were destined to be in, then they would have won enough to GET in. You can't 'place' in a lower purse race and expect to save the horse and make it, especially not this year when so much money was available.

Also not every trainer will use a horse up trying to win the race. That is a way to save a horse, still making enough to get in and prep the horse.

The ones you have to sell this to are trainers and owners. Frankly, I'm not buying in.

15 Apr 2010 6:02 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

JerseyBoy

   You were right !!! The blinkers are coming off Lookin At Lucky.

15 Apr 2010 7:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ranagulzion and Tim G

   OK. Obviously I can't prove the future. If the current system works in the future, it's fine with me. Time to move on to The Derby !!!! It's still a nice field regardless. Eskendereya is still the horse to beat. Homeboykris will still be a much bigger shocker than Mine That Bird or ANY winner in history if he wins. And it is The Derby so many scenarios could happen with a 20 horse field. Best of luck, enjoy the race.

15 Apr 2010 7:36 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

ZOOKEEPER

  No way to know what will happen or if there really is an answer. Who gets into The Derby is not the biggest problem we need to work on anyway !!! And many don't see it as any problem whatsoever. The industry has opportunities they pass up with nonsensical squabbling. When internet gambling was booming in poker, it got worse for racing. I was all ready to play a track then find out that TVG has a monopoly on it so I couldn't play it. That happened quite a few times. Lots of revenue was lost. I do believe that racing has to face the medications issue more strongly. I think more young people should be enticed to go to the track with free entry, free $25 wager vouchers and other incentives. That is where you fall in love with racing is at the track when you see and hear the power and beauty of these great animals and hit a winner. Racing has to do everything possible to limit breakdowns. More investigation is needed but I never thought the problem was dirt tracks. I love dirt tracks and hope SA goes back to dirt. A well maintained, safe dirt track and not running horses when they're not healthy enough to run limits breakdowns. Freak accidents with healthy horses on safe tracks will happen no matter what but we have to strive to limit them. Like you've said before-We need to keep open lines of communication so all members of the racing community can give input. Somewhere in the brains of race fans there are solutions. And ALL involved with racing at any level are fans. You don't have to be an owner or executive to come up with possible solutions.

15 Apr 2010 7:49 PM
noel v

this is my five reasons why eskendereya is the derby winner num 1. that horse wins the pilgrim he broke last and come from behind and wins by 7. num 2. eskendereya runs in allowance race in gulfstream and he wins wire to wire impresive. num 3. he won teh fountain of youth close to the lead and wins for 8 num 4. in the wood memorial he run third and demolished de field an win by 9 in hands num 5. he rode by johny v the best stalker jockey in the country he never wins a derby. eskendereya pedigree said 1 1/4 is no problem for him. people that horse has all the elements to win the derby traffic problems no affect that horse he win come from behind wire to wire or stalk the pace nobody in the field have his abilities eskendereya by 10 lentghs.

15 Apr 2010 9:06 PM
noel v

johny v and todd pletcher wins the oaks with devil may care and the derby with Eskendereyaaa

15 Apr 2010 9:08 PM
Tim G

May be. But a lot of us think there are a few too many MBA types with no background in racing making decisions.

Fans are very important. But, fans switch allegiance to horses every year or two. Some every hour on the hour. (we all know who)

Some grow up and lose interest in racing completely. The fan doesn't have a vested interest, certainly not a financial commitment of the magnitude of even the owners at lower levels.

Owners and trainers are in it for the long haul and have an investment other than just their love of the game. Buying or raising them, the whole behind the scenes that goes on before they even GET to the track. Years of commitment.

Just as I don't like entities totally unfamiliar with my vocation, trying to tell me how to run the business? I dislike people unfamiliar and taking no fiscal risks telling me how to run my avocation without serious input from those who are really the only ones fully aware of the commitment, cost and all the rest.

I'm sure you don't like it, if you are a DR and I'm sure you don't even like it if you're a drunken bum.:) Do you want people telling you what you can get drunk on? What kind of a bum you should or shouldn't be?  (alright I'm being sarcastic about the db part, not the Dr part though, have definite feelings on that)

However since this is about the Derby? I'm sticking to my guns as to the way into the race. He who has the most moolah, gets to play the game.

Poker? Fun to play, like watching paint dry to watch on TV. Plus? Anyone with a modicum of skill can play it and talk about racing being a gambling addiction..LOL

15 Apr 2010 10:00 PM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

Agreed! We are all involved at different levels and we all have something to contribute. No horses= no owners, no trainers, no fans, no bettors. You can shuffle the components anyway you want the result is the same. We're all necessary and we can all do something to improve the sport.

I'm starting to get anxious for the KD to get here. We're already hearing reports on works and I'm looking forward to Mr. Haskin's observations.

Interesting re: blinkers off on Lucky. I really like the horse. Keeping my fingers crossed that his trafic problems are behind him.

I noticed that we have a lot of the same horses on our lists. You shared yours first and I tried to forget it right away (an easy task for me) so I wouldn't be influenced by it. One horse we both have is Dublin. What impressed me the most about him, when I watched the replays, was the big, sustained move he made in the Southwest. I liked that a lot!

You have Super Saver at #5, I don't have him at all due to his inability to pass Line of David in the Ark.Derby. Let's face it all 3 horses were very tired at that point. Yet, I have Dublin and not Super Saver... It's bothering me especially since the KD will be his 3rd race after a rest period. Some handicappers see that fact as very significant. Do you?

I'm positive that American Lion will have fantastic works between now and May 1st. The horse can run, that's for sure! I'm not biting...yet.  :)

15 Apr 2010 10:19 PM
JerseyBoy

Dr Drunkinbum:

I saw the story about the blinkers coming off Lookin At Lucky. But this is confirming a suspicion I have had for some time. I think the blinkers were added to get the horse to pull away from the field at the end of his races. He did not do it after the rough trips. However, the real issue is whether the horse does not pull away at the end because he is a miler. Baffert might be coming to grips with this reality. I am suspicious.

15 Apr 2010 11:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

JerseyBoy

  Lookin At Lucky has a ton of class so nothing he does would surprise me however recently I started having doubts about his ability to get the distance but I didn't know why. I now think it might have something to do with visual impressions watching his replays. I don't really know. The trouble he's gotten into has made it a little more difficult to gauge where he's at. His drive in the juvenile certainly was impressive. We would have known more if he was in the Arkansas. I think we might have seen a dominating performance. I don't believe that he is just a miler but a mile and a quarter might be stretching it. He's still in my top 5 for sure.

16 Apr 2010 2:10 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

ZOOKEEPER

  3rd off of a layoff is usually thought of to be a time when a horse could have a peak performance. I was surprised Super Saver didn't pass Line Of David but it doesn't concern me. He is one that I think can have a sustained drive. I believe he would have passed Line Of David given more time. He doesn't have a fast turn of foot but I believe he can run all day. That's why I have him rated that high. But these lists are meaningless to me. It's just something to have fun with. The order I put them in means very little. The only thing I'm sure of is that Eskendereya is nuber one and Sidney's Candy is number two, today. The only spot I don't expect to change is Eskendereya. He's number one. If I bet the farm on him at 2-1, I could end up with 3 farms. American Lion is starting to intrigue me. If Endorsement is improving, he could be trouble. This could be one of those dogfight super races. It's getting close but still far away !!! Anxious for Haskin reports-For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow, which nobody can deny, which nobody can deny.

16 Apr 2010 2:28 AM
Fran Loszynski

Notice the posts are getting into it for the Derby so just wanted to instill a little humor.

Stardom Bound (Tapit's daughter) and Big Brown are going to get married-

I thought of a great name for their foal:  BROWN ON TAP !!Nothing to do with the Derby but just a little humor.

16 Apr 2010 7:52 AM
Rod

Eskenereya,Mission Impazible, Setsuko my derby 3. These colts look like they want a mile and a quater.Todd its your year.Sneakest one is Mission might surprise us all.

16 Apr 2010 7:59 AM
Angela

This ain't NASCAR.  We don't need a "point system" to get in the Derby, grades earnings are quite sufficient.  If your horse didn't make the money then it don't go to the gate on Derby Day.  

16 Apr 2010 8:56 AM
animallover

I hope Stardom Bound's Big Brown foal is gray like her ...... with the Tapit influence as well as her mother My White Corvette, there is a very strong gene there. Big Brown's sire Boundary does have Native Dancer as well as his dam Mien.... I hope to see a gray little Stardom Bound... it would be very cute. One more gray and then I'll give it a rest is Star Over the Bay (by Cozzene...)..

Someone mentioned Mine that Bird here. Where is he at now?

I hope that Backtalk is able to get in to the Derby. He would be my choice as the Smarty Jones colt has already won over the Churchill track at two and of course his daddy liked Churchill. I also like Awesome Act. Of course there's Esky, LAL, Endorsement, and I do really like most of the WinStar horses. They're loaded this year. I also like, too, how many Tiznows there could be in the field.

16 Apr 2010 9:14 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

FRAN

  I like "Brownie Points" for the kid-I mean foal.

Animallover-The great Mine That Bird is back in training and headed for Churchill soon probably. I do believe they are pointing to The Breeder's Cup Classic.

16 Apr 2010 11:53 AM
Ranagulzion

Dr Drunkinbum,

For he's a jolly good fellow ...yes indeed. Nobody can deny Steve Haskin that accolade in Derby week (LOL) ...agree 100%

Steve,

You are our favourite person this time of year for sure.

16 Apr 2010 12:47 PM
Zookeeper

Fran,

Very clever name for a foal of BB & SB. I was messing around trying to come up with something better and I couldn't. However the name Leaps and Bounds raced through my mind. (Nothing to do with BB though.) I wonder if there is or was a TB with that name.

animallover,

Last I heard MTB was still in New Mexico in training. Churchill Downs is were they are thinking of running him next.

Dr Drunkinbum,

You're so right about the lists, especially the order. But we have to start somewhere. Otherwise, I may have to push the ALL button. Which is beginning to sound like a good idea to me. lol! It would have been last year... A while back, you wrote that handicapping is the easy part but knowing how to bet is the hard one. (Wise comment!) So far, I've only learned when NOT to bet. The KD surely qualifies! But how can one resist the temptation? BTW, 3  farms seems like a lot of work! :)

Thanks a lot for the tune. Now I can't get it out of my head! lol

16 Apr 2010 12:57 PM
Mary

Mr. Haskin, I'm not sure if you're in Louisville but if you are, did you see Lookin @ Lucky's Churchill work yesterday (Thursday, April 15)?  Gary Stevens said on HRTV that Lucky did not appear to like the surface and to the effect that he seemed to tire easily on it.  I can't recall Mr. Stevens ever being so negative about any horse's pre-Derby works before (he's critiqued them the past couple years) so it concerns me.

He also said Conveyance looked awesome and appeared to relish the surface.  

If you saw their works I'm wondering if you share Mr. Stevens opinion?  

16 Apr 2010 3:02 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

This is getting scary. You thought the seasonal flu, swine flu, and bird flu was bad. None are as bad as Derby Fever. Some of these owners have it really, really bad. The DERBY TRIAL is back baby !!!! I have no problem with Pleasant Prince entering. He's a sound horse and barely ran on Apr 10. Could be tough to beat 85ina50 at a mile though. Setsuko should give it a shot. It is on dirt. Maybe he can pick up his feet a little sooner a little faster on dirt. We're back in the old days now !!! Woohoo !!!!!! We're getting closer to having that "Morning of The Derby Trial." Win it in the morning and you're in The Derby in the afternoon !!!!!

16 Apr 2010 3:31 PM
Zookeeper

Dr Drunkinbum,

Stop!!! You keep interrupting my serious KD studies with your relentless sense of humor! First it was an intrusive tune and now it's fits of hysterical laughter. Enough!  :)

16 Apr 2010 5:47 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

  You are so right, we have to start somewhere. I guess that is the purpose of the lists. Just watch out for getting fixated on the ones on the top or anywhere for that matter. You want another one stuck in your head? "For a 3 hour tour, a 3 hour tour, with Gilligan, the skipper too, the millionaire and his wife, the professor and Mary Ann here on Derby Isle."  The Derby is too much fun to not bet. Plus you have a crack at riches usually.

MARY-Steve Haskin said he won't be there until one week before the Derby. Thanks for the Gary Stevens quote. That's very interesting.

16 Apr 2010 7:04 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ranagulzion

  I'm so glad you agree. What a treat.

Mary

  What's most interesting is what Stevens said about Conveyance. And Baffert still thinks a lot of him. As far as Lucky, I wouldn't be the least bit concerned his first workout on the track. He might just be cautious until he gets more used to the track.

16 Apr 2010 7:53 PM
joep

I respect Steve Haskin, I look forward to his BC picks in the fall. But I must say I think that Super Saver and Stately Victor are 2 horses that won't hit the board on Derby Day. I see Endorsement moving way up, Eskendereya to win, Lookin @ Lucky and Sidneys candy will also be in the mix

17 Apr 2010 8:03 AM
Bloodline Bob

OK--I'M DOWN TO 3 HORSES FOR THE 2010 KY.DERBY: ESKENDREYA, ENDORSEMENT, AMERICAN LION. MY 1997 SIRE ANGLE IS STILL LOOKING REAL GOOD NOW.

17 Apr 2010 6:35 PM
Coach

May be the best derby ever with speed that have the ability to carry long and some fine come from off the pace; rabbits,stayers...

BIG PAYOFFS ARE COMING!!!

17 Apr 2010 9:02 PM
Seymour

These two horses are the ice cold exacta Sidneys candy and endorsement. But also keep an eye on Super Saver Calvin Borel jockey,loves churchhill,and moves way up on an off track.

18 Apr 2010 12:56 AM
tcc

Bloodline Bob:

Eskendereya and American Lion's sire were 1997, Endorsement's sire was 1993.

18 Apr 2010 1:43 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

STEVE

  Checkout this quote that I just came across from an article by Mike "Lucky" English for American Turf Monthly May 2003: "Looking for a new angle to play the 129th Kentucky Derby? Then consider betting on a horse or horses that ran SECOND in one of the five key Derby preps--the Grade II Arkansas Derby, the Grade I Florida Derby, the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and the Grade I Wood Memorial. Seven of the past 12 Kentucky Derby winners PLACED in one of these five key races; two of the same seven also won one of these major preps."  Keep up the good work !!!!!!

18 Apr 2010 1:26 PM
Bloodline Bob

I have one other angle that I consider for the Ky.Derby and that angle comes up with Stately Victor and Dean's Kitten--BTW they are both trained by a trainer named Mike Maker, I don't bet trainers but that is strange that these 2 horses had the same trainer. I would like to keep this angle to myself for now to protect any big odds but if it works in this Ky.Derby I'll reveal it publicly. It worked last year with Mine That Bird and some other recent Derby winners. I did have the 2009 Ky.Derby exacta when I combined 2 of my angles together. I don't like synthetic to dirt angles but that Stately Victor won his last on the non-dirt so...I'm still studying. TCC, Endorsement is my W.S. Farish angle to be part of the superfecta. I'll disclose why the year 1997 sire is a key this year after the 2010 Ky.Derby is over. I have studied several different angles to the Ky.Derby history(all very unique) and have had great success since 1998.They definitely are NOT for your average,typical handicapper. My record since 1998 isn't to shabby: 1998=REAL QUIET,1999=CHARISMATIC,2001=MONARCHOS exacta with Invisible Ink,2003=FUNNY CIDE,2005=GIACOMO,2006=BARBARO,2009=MINE THAT BIRD exacta with Pioneer of the Nile. In the last 12 years I've had 7 winners + 2 exacta's AND I've been betting the Kentucky Derby every year since 1972(Riva Ridge).For the record I did NOT bet SECRETARIAT,SEATTLE SLEW or AFFIRMED.

18 Apr 2010 3:03 PM
zarvona

    Among those one-time hopefuls who had hopes of a gate slot in the Kty. Oaks or a gate slot in the Kty. Derby, let us not forget the likes of: “Tiz Chrome”; “Clutch Player”; “Truth or Justice”, “The Mailet”, and etc., whose lives were lost along the way to our eventual 2 minutes of hopes possibly fulfilled. Or, of those from among the list of the many injured, broken down, or that became sick along their pathway, such as: “Aspire”; “Brake Lights”; “Buddy’s Saint”; “Concord Point” “Dryfly”; “Dublin”; “Jung Man Scott”; “Maximus Ruler”; “Mendip”; “Necessary Evil”; “Odysseus”; “Pisitelli”; “Vale of York”; “Winslow Homer”; “William’s Kitten”, and etc., and the many others of which I undoubtedly failed to further record the names of due to lack of information out there, or that I just missed some update on, or that possibly went un-recorded to the public. To you my hat is off and a moment of silence was spent. And, yet thank you also, where thankfully, some like “Dublin” and “Concord Point” were most fortunately returned to us.

18 Apr 2010 3:04 PM
zarvona

  Oh yes, we are the bettors and the procrastinators, the judges and the commentators, the soothsayers and the ones who make the guesses.

  Some 30,000 horses are born annually in America with quite a number of those pointed directly toward racing. The owners, being among those that can afford it or among those who just love it too much, point some maybe c. 3,500 to 5,000 of those horses towards national racing--(possibly more),--of which some 500-750 end up as 2 year olds with Derby aspirations. From among that select group, some circa 400 are nominated as ‘early candidates’ for the Super Bowl of racing, the “Kentucky Derby. From among their lot, and around the month of October of the year before, we begin keeping a closer eye on that bunch hoping to spot the next real Derby contenders. By Feb., we have a list of 150 that have hit the track, knowing that there are 50, or so, more out there that will come along maturing later. By Pool #1, we already have a top 120 list of sprinters and former Turf entrants from which we procrastinate further. By Pool #2, we have a top 60 list. Along the way at about this time some late Derby nominees add into the mix paying the late entry fees from profits accrued through wins! By Pool #3 we have a top 40-50 list, and etc., some of course which we now rank much higher than others, being where but a few major prep races are left to change our opinions further. And some 2 weeks before the event, after all the major preps have been run, we have formed our own strong opinions. A few days before Derby Day, about 15-18 of those 40 become members of the 20 known gate entries. From among those 15, we take some 1-4,--or 4-11 or so,--with us going to the OTB or our favorite track, carrying the high expectations of cashing the correct WPS ticket, or of cashing the even more elusive correct Exacta or correct Trifecta ticket on, etc. That is, such is the nature of the game,--for some of us,--in preparing for the “greatest 2 minutes in sports”. Yes, all that work for just 1:59 to 2:04 minutes of seeing how well we guessed the eventual outcome in an eventual c. 20 horse fielded race.  

   Or, of course, one can just ignore all that work and just show up at the track on Derby Day and get the opinion of others,--like the likes of you and me,--who have done some homework already. Or, one can go to their favorite OTB or open track on Derby day and bet the low odds horses others are apparently betting on. Or, one can take a chance on some long shot with high odds because you liked his name, or for whatever was their other reasoning, etc. Or, supposedly, one can quickly read over the program on Derby Day,--if as a part time player only one actually knows how to read the program,--and attempt to guess correctly and get lucky, with the program being but a paper document that most buy only for the souvenir sentimental value and then throw away later anyway!!!

  But, it is Derby Day!!! and it’s a fun outing for you and the family, or you and your buddies, or just you alone with some hopes! (Then again, maybe, you don’t take the wife or the hubbie along because you don’t want them to see where that hard-earned money went!) Although, what makes it fun for the goers is that the betting pools are much larger on Derby Day and payoffs are slightly inflated, more so than on any normal Sat. or weekday outing at the track.

 Yes, I have my opinion of this year’s potential runners, all earlier expressed. But, like the years when “Giacomo” (sc?) or “Mine the Bird” won, I don’t get it right all the time. Thusly, no one has to even listen to the predictions of others, me included.

 In any event, thank you Mr. Haskin and Blood Horse for keeping is informed and thank you for a forum so that we too could also express our opinions. I love starting around Feb. with my ‘sack of potatoes’,--as Steve once referred to my early lengthy lists with, and then--whittling them down to my 4-6 that I take to the track with me on Derby Day, all to spend some few dollars on, and always hoping for that satisfying feeling of cashing the correct Derby ticket, that being in whatever form of a ticket that that eventually turns out to be for me. And all with that feeling being the accomplishment of all the hard yet fun work put into it all over the past six months hoping to find and believing all the while that those 4-6 runners will produce some payoff magic. It doesn’t always work out the way I earlier on foresaw the outcome or the way I had hoped, but hey, why are we on the planet anyway???  

18 Apr 2010 3:12 PM
zarvona

    Once upon a time in this blog, I wrote that after seeing “Eskendereya” after his first Fla. run,--clobbering the field in some 8 length win,--that I stated then that I was wrong in my earliest assessment of him and that … “he might give “Storm Cat” his best chance yet to get off the Derby “Shynder” (sc) of never having bred an offspring that won the Kentucky Derby”. Then along came “Ice Box” another promising maturing “Storm Cat” bred, and lately even “Line of David”, adding to “Storm Cat” ’s chances.

    However, I am reminded of a horse name of “Candy Ride” from Argentina, who did little more that run around some track over a 1 ¼ in staggering 1:59.11, a track record!!! Eventually, at stud and bred to “Fair Exchange” for even greater speed???, a foal eventually named “Sidney’s Candy” was brought onto this planet. Of note, “Fair Exchange” is another daughter of “Storm Cat”. With a non-updated distant rating,--which let me assure you all will be higher than the 320 average!!,--with a record of  4--1--0 in a mere 6 starts,--having been lightly raced by some standards,--who posted the following wins:  5 ½ fur. 1:02.71; --which is basically flying low and receiving only a 99 Beyer???; the mere major let down destroying a perfect record in his next effort, losing by a head in a normally great speed time at 5 ½ fur. of 1:04.24;--where anything under 1:04.50 in my book qualifies as a future contender to deal with,---having knocked off some Gr. II 7 fur. next race in 1:20.91, with only a 95 Beyer speed rating figure??;--where yesterday at Charles Town they were touting the two efforts of 1:23. +  being just under ½ seconds off the track record, although on that short track it’s 7 fur. runs are around two turns,--where it is also my opinion that that track should be lengthened and elongated before the real estate in that area makes it impossible to do so, or  OH boy …where SHOULD THEY COME DOWN TO COLONIAL DOWNS, if they are looking to break some records,--then in a natural distance progression posting his first and only Gr. II 1  1/16 run, running a respectable 1:42.30;  again only a 95 Beyer, over 1 1/16;--and again where I consider anything under 1:42.50 as worthy of a consideration as a contender always …AND NOTING WHERE ANDREW BEYER UNDER VALUES his synthetic ratings in OUR estimations by some minimum of 5 to 9 SPEED RATED POINTS!!!;--and then topping that all off with his first ever and only “wire to wire” 1  1/8 run in a 1:48.00; only a 100 Beyer??? in his next outing all in winning the prized Gr. I Santa Anita Derby with all of his efforts made against the respectable competition of the month in each effort!! …--where again any running under 1:49.50 gets a notation in my charts, and--all where, again in review, only losing in a 5 ½ fur event as a virtual youngster, where he personally bested a 1:04.50 !!! Not too shabby, aye? and a mind boggling natural progression of a youngster whose father ran a 1:59.11 in the very distance that come May the 1st that he shall next contest!!! Thusly, the collection of the times for this horse’s runs were not the “wow he ran that, he’s probably gonna be a contender”, they all, every run!!!, showed that kind of contender speed!!!!!, where a horse runs that fast once he is considered worth paying attention too and this horse does this every time out!!  

    And, what or who is to say that this horse doesn’t improve over dirt??, where many and most horses do and have!!! and where as I have said for years now, “A GOOD HORSE, a CHAMPION TYPE OF HORSE, will run well over any given surface!” Thusly, who is to again say that ‘this horse can’t get the distance?’ or that he ‘can’t run over dirt?’, all because he hasn’t yet done so!! I was told that they run juveniles over synthetics, where possible, all in order to protect these youngsters from potential injury during their development, as these are but maturing teenagers in reality!! And, what wise investor doesn’t do all that he can to protect his investments??? And what trainer then would in this day an age go out of his way to deviate from such a percentage wise proven pattern of escaping injury with any limited Derby hopeful? ‘Lightly raced’, another supposed draw back, some claim, but that has been the trend in the most recent past, hasn’t it??? And, who is to say that this horse doesn’t strengthen and grow even strong after his handy little Santa Anita Gr. I work out???

    Thusly, this Kentucky bred, John Sadler trained little colt, sired by … “Candy Ride” (Arg.)-((s.s.s.s. “Cryptoclearance”-“Fappiano”-“Mr. Prospector”)) –((s.d.s.s. “Blushing Groom” (Fr.))) /by… dam…

“Fair Exchange”-“Storm Cat”-(“Storm Bird”)-(“Northern Dancer”)-((d.s.d.s. “Secretariat”-“Bold Ruler”))-((d.d.s.s. “Neartic” (Can.) ))-((d.d.d.s.s. “Bold Ruler”))… --thusly double bred to “Bold Ruler” and given an  A ++ rated pedigree grading under some new standard,--does in my opinion thusly give “Storm Cat” an even greater chance to yet get into the breeding Derby column finally and with a chance to do so in a near wire to wire effort. He does have that kind of speed, the kind of speed that I can’t find in any horse so bred for the classic distance yet to date!!

    If you are still a doubter my friend, become a believer!!

    This is all not to say, that I don’t still hold in high regard, “Ice Box” who has grown before our eyes and has had plenty of time since Florida to get even more mature, stronger, and better; “Endorsement”, who came from out of that thin air and found his own 1:48 + 1 1/8 run, forgetting his light racing experience,--where we went over that theory of ‘the Rolls Royce in the garage’ bit already last year in “Dunkirk”;-- “Lookin at Lucky”, who reminds me more and more of “Curlin”; “Eskendereya”, who reminds one of “Researcher”; or “Paddy O’Prado”, that lil gray, who they just might not hold back on to see if he can rate off the pace come Derby day and just let him go, who has also shown greater speed than any other entry on the track thus far at any age in 1 1/8 this year!!!--Guess your figuring how I rate my top 10 with 2 weeks to go, aye??? Or, who my 4-6 horses that I am gonna go to window with regarding are???--

    Then again, there still remains the gamely “Dean’s Kitten”; the late blooming “Stately Character”, who recently shocked us all with his late maturing come from behind run; “Super Saver”, who we have hoped for development from all year, now wondering if he might finally mature on Derby Day??;--(and a horse that I admit I made a silly future bet on at like 25-1, where now I will likely get better odds than that on Derby Day at the track!!, although I did get “Sidney’s Candy” at 33-1 and I won’t see those odds come Derby Day, maybe 6-1 to 10-1 at the time of the …“and they are off!!”… announcement,--“Awesome Act”, who I can’t quite get a bead on, “Mission Impazible” a beautiful gray; and then the many who aren’t bred for the distance, but who have shown some speed or stamina whom could somehow come through, in “Dublin”; “Conveyance”; “Discreetly Mine”; “Rule”, and etc. , the late comer “Line of David”; the earlier on hopefuls, “American Lion”, “Interactif”, and “Noble’s Promise”; and etc.  And, the current system makes us now again reconsider the likes of a “Jackson’s Bend” ; a “Balktalk”; an “Aikenite”; a “Make Music For Me”; an “Exhi”; a “Setsuko”; and an “A Little Warm”,--the latter another once upon a time Virginia hopeful,--and etc.--Gee, I am gonna miss that Va. bred gray “Outlaw Man”!!, too. And, they make is consider the secretive trained “Homeboykris”, who is on the un-classic training route!!!

    But, which one is close in comparison to “Sidney’s Candy”??? I don’t think there is one. Give him a clean trip and watch out folks. He is for real.

    And, I do know that 6-7 our of every 10 of everyone I have polled feel “Eskendereya” is an unbeatable lock in your estimations, that being every time I ask when looking out there for some “Sidney Candy” supporters or even the ever dwindling and dying “Lookin at Lucky” supporters. Then again, who has “Eskendereya” ever run against that was fit? Or, when has he ever seen front running speed that MAY NEVER QUIT!!! He has never chased a “Conveyance”; or a “Paddy O’Prado” or a “Sidney’s Candy”, not once!!  

    Unfortunately, as I think back and remember last year, where I watched my hopeful “Dunkirk” crawl on his knees in the mud for near 10 yards once out of the gate, I am reminded, this is just another horse race.    

    NO it isn’t,… COME ON!!! …this is the Kentucky Derby!!! for crying out loud!!

    Go Baby… Go Baby… Go!!!

18 Apr 2010 7:52 PM
Bloodline Bob

I'm going to confirm my 1st 2010 Ky.Derby bet: $1 trifecta box=ESKENDEREYA,AMERICAN LION,ENDORSEMENT,DEAN'S KITTEN,STATELY VICTOR. $60. STILL $940 to bet.

19 Apr 2010 12:09 AM
Fran Loszynski

Zookeeper and Dr. D.

Great names for B.Brown and S. Bound- I'm sure they are going to have alot of foals!

Thank you-  I get a kick out of picking names for foals. The owner of Afleet Alex graced me with the thrill of liking the name and naming "Afleet of Angels". I thought of the kids with cancer and to continue Afleet Alex's legacy helping kids. The owners are something special!

I feel bad for Tiz Chrome and She Be Wild may be out of the Oaks. One week till Derby Day and boy changes are starting already.

19 Apr 2010 8:24 AM
You Got to Have It

It will be awesome if the 1 2 3 came like this.

1- Lookin At Lucky / Bob Baffert

2- Dublin / D'Lukas

3- Ice Box/ N.Zito

It will be a Derby to Remember........

19 Apr 2010 11:33 AM
Ranagulzion

Zarvona,

I see you've made a compelling case for Sidney's Candy.  Great stuff ...really like the contents of your posts ...even if we disagree on points.  Give both Sidney's Candy and Esky clean trips going the Derby distance (remembering that its not a match race) and I tell you Esky leaves him for dead when they turn for home.  Its going to be very interesting but the pace is going to burn Sidney's Candy because he knows no other way of running but on the front end.  Also, considering how the speedy Pro-riders have been transitioning to dirt ...like a shot from a gun ...I can't see Sidney's Candy drafting in behind ...Line Of David, Conveyance, Rule etc. and being surrounded by other stalkers Endorsement, Super Saver, Mission Impazible and ...the "Big One" Eskendereya ...and then finding what it takes to draw off from this august bunch to win.  That is just not his style, and running on a new surface for the first time in ...well ... you underlined it ...non other than the Kentucky Derby it will be foolhardy to "mess" with the horse's comfort zone.  Sidney's Candy is a very good 3YO colt I agree, but I see him coming up short in this Kentucky Derby.  As you put it in an earlier post "the Super bowl of racing" (Kentucky Derby) is not the place to tinker with what has been successful for a horse, thusly (as you would say) its damed if you do and damned if you don't for Sidney's Candy on whether to try a wire to wire act.  He doesn't hit the board by my calculations ...good and fast as he is.

Now unto your question about Esky, "who has Eskendereya ever run against that was fit? Or, when has he ever seen front running speed that MAY NEVER QUIT!!! He has never chased a “Conveyance”; or a “Paddy O’Prado” or a “Sidney’s Candy”, not once!!"  I like your poetic line (rhyming fit with never quit) but seriously, come on now Zarvona, we both know that Esky scares away competition and that some tried to avoid him only to find him showing up in the Wood Memorial, while others as reputable as your beloved Looking at Lucky became uninterested in the Wood the moment that Zayat and Pletcher indicated that Esky was heading in that direction.  A great horse has to be measured by more than the competition that shows up against him/her.  In the case of Eskendereya he totally squandered the opposition, while on a common canter, giving Johhny V an armchair ride all the way up the lane.  Many who saw his awe-inspiring FOY break-out performance wanted to see it again to be convinced that this "2nd coming of Big Red" racing machine wasn't a flash-in-the-pan, and he delivered big time, with consumate ease, "pulling a train" as the sages would say.  In the opinion of both Trainer and jockey this colt continues to improve and the farther they go the stronger he gets.  Go back and look at his Pilgrim Stakes 2YO performance and see if you think that Derby traffic is gonna phase this guy.  His appearance on the pro-ride in the BC Juvenile is a complete toss ...like all the other Dirt Stars on Breeders cup day he never took to the surface ...besides he was a developing 2YO.  I know that you are looking for betting value but sometimes its not goin to be there ...and this is one of those times when trying to beat the favourite is like hitting your head against a wall ...you'll get a head ache and a hole-in-the pocket ...why not just relax and enjoy racings finest.  Outside of the Todd Squad it may also be difficult to find exotics because Mission Impazible and Super Saver are very very strong contenders.  Of the non-Pletcher runners Endorsement and Ice Box look good but the former is short on seasoning, which doesn't spell Derby success inspite of the obvious talent (most recent reference Curlin).  Awesome Act can make the frame and Looking At Lucky too, because of his gameness, but these will have to show stamina (a bit suspect from both performance and pedigree standpoints).  Indeed, the races are contested because anything can happen before or during a race to upset the calculations of the most astute student/ connoisseur of the game so its good luck to you.

19 Apr 2010 12:20 PM
Fran Loszynski

Did everyone see Dublin is sizzling! Yeeehawh !!!

Dublin do you like Roses?!

Here are my Derby Picks:

DUBLIN

ESKEY

ICE BOX   Trifecta straight

19 Apr 2010 1:25 PM
tcc

They definitely are NOT for your average,typical handicapper. My record since 1998 isn't to shabby: 1998=REAL QUIET,1999=CHARISMATIC,2001=MONARCHOS exacta with Invisible Ink,2003=FUNNY CIDE,2005=GIACOMO,2006=BARBARO,2009=MINE THAT BIRD exacta with Pioneer of the Nile. In the last 12 years I've had 7 winners + 2 exacta's AND I've been betting the Kentucky Derby every year since 1972(Riva Ridge).For the record I did NOT bet SECRETARIAT,SEATTLE SLEW or AFFIRMED.

Bloodline Bob 18 Apr 2010 3:03 PM

I started betting the Kentucky Derby in 2000.

My picks that worked out for me were.

2000 Fusaichi Pegasus

2001 Monarchos

2002 War Emblem

2003 Funny Cide

2004 Smarty Jones

2007 Steet Sense

2008 Big Brown

2009 Mine That Bird

This year I will wait until I see who will get in before choosing any. I did like Smarty Jones and Big Brown in January of their Dery year.

19 Apr 2010 2:06 PM
tcc

Bloodline Bob:

Here is another horse that has 1997 sire, he has enough earning's to run in the Derby, it still depend's if the connection's decide to run him. His name is Interactif!

19 Apr 2010 7:03 PM
Mary

Thanks Dr Drunkinbum - sounds like you're right about it being Lucky's first work so not to worry.    Yesterday Stevens updated his opinion to say Baffert had wanted Lucky to go slow and easy.

20 Apr 2010 12:24 PM
jackaruu59

I'm Looking at Lucky,because that's what we have to be to win the DERBY!!! He wasn't lucky getting locked on the rail or he would be PERFECT--7-0. The name is the game.My other faves are Eskenderva,Endorsment,Sidney's Candy and of course Misson Impazible. I jackaruu59 do endorse this sweet lucky bet on an impossable win at this 2:00 flat race that will end everyone of my monetary mistakes. This is a nice five horse box? I need the MONEY,don't ask why  and I'll never tell.

21 Apr 2010 10:04 AM
jrunner4

I believe the Horse that will win the 2010 Derby is Awesome Act. Tri box Dublin, Interactif , Awesome Act & Noble Promise.. with confidence ..

26 Apr 2010 4:01 PM

Recent Posts

More Blogs

Archives