April 19, 2010 - Presented by Darby Dan

Even with the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) completed, we still don’t have a firm field. A starting berth in the Derby is in such high demand, The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) has now become a final last gasp for those with a bad case of Derby fever. One of those who has been stricken is Ken Ramsey, who, refreshingly, admits he has Derby fever in the worst way. And it has to be frustrating for him to have a closer who was beaten a nose in the Florida Derby (gr. I) and can’t find his way into the Derby.

So, instead of going into the Derby with no races in six weeks, as originally planned, the Derby would be Pleasant Prince’s third race in three weeks. And you know what? More power to Ramsey, who already has Dean’s Kitten in the field, for doing everything possible to get there with this colt, especially considering his attempt in the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), although futile, likely took little or nothing out of the horse.

The exclusive BloodHorse.com special report, Triple Crown 2010 Pedigree Profiles & Sire Analysis, will help you identify the pedigrees with the greatest potential to win each leg of the Triple Crown. Order now!

In an era of conservative training, wouldn’t it be nice to have a poster child for good old-fashioned racing when horses routinely ran every two to three weeks, and even running back in one week was nothing unusual. Ben Jones used to run all his big Calumet horses in the Derby Trial when it was only four days before the Derby and then worked them a half-mile two days before the Derby. The Blue Grass Stakes was at its most productive when it was run nine days before the Derby.

Whether or not Pleasant Prince wins the Derby Trial, and he has to win to get into the Kentucky Derby, at least Ramsey is taking his best shot with a horse who deserves to be in the race, and he’s honest enough to admit he is badly infected with Derby fever and covets that blanket of roses more than the Dubai World Cup and Breeders’ Cup trophies he’s already won.



Eskendereya Todd Pletcher

Giant's Causeway—Aldebaran Light, by Seattle Slew

He towers above the others in dominance and speed figures, and his negative 3 1/2 on Thoro-Graph puts him well above everyone else. But the last horse to romp by such big margins in his final two preps was Spend a Buck 25 years ago. He doesn’t even need to move forward, just maintain where he is. If he wins the Derby, you can bet Triple Crown sweep talk will be hot and heavy.


Lookin at Lucky Bob Baffert

Smart Strike—Private Feeling, by Belong to Me

I’m liking him more every day. He had his first spin over the Churchill surface, breezing 5 furlongs in 1:01 1/5. He has an incredible mind, which you want for the Derby, and you won’t find a more professional racehorse. If he has a chance to win, he’ll find a way to do it. If he didn’t finish out of the money in the BC Juvenile, Rebel, and SA Derby, with all the trouble he had, he may never finish out of the money. And unlike most of the others, the Derby has been on Baffert’s mind with this colt since last summer.


Sidney’s Candy John Sadler

Candy Ride—Fair Exchange, by Storm Cat

Putting him back to #3 after his excellent 5f work in :59 4/5, in which he sat off his workmate, then galloped out strong in 1:12 4/5. This work was just what you wanted to see. He settles so well, he should rate off the lead. If he does settle and can come home like he’s done in his three previous races he will be tough. The way Pro-Ride horses have performed on dirt, it’s not even worth bringing up that subject.


Dublin D. Wayne Lukas

Afleet Alex—Classy Mirage, by Storm Bird

Moving him up as well after breezing a bullet 5f in :59 1/5 at Churchill, fastest of 44 works. At least we know he loves the track. He is one of the few horses who can put in a long sustained run, but he hasn’t been able to finish it off. What he needs to do is take way back and launch that move from well off the pace in order to save more for the end. He doesn’t have a turn of foot and is more of a grinder, so his best shot is to sit back and pick off horses one by one. He is consistently fast in his Thoro-Graph numbers and he has the fastest 2-year-old figure to fall back on. I just would like to have seen him settle better in his work and gallop out stronger. The last you want from him now is early speed.


Endorsement Shannon Ritter

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

I also moved him up after his most recent work, although I wish it had been at Churchill instead of Keeneland. But it definitely was a “Derby” work. Only having four starts is a slight concern, but his potential is unlimited and he is improving rapidly. Loved his :22 4/5 middle split, his “gallop” out in :12 2/5, and most of all pulling up another eighth in :13 2/5 for a 1:25 2/5 7f clocking, while blowing away his workmate by 10 lengths. That would have been a terrific 7f work, but pulling up in that time was extremely impressive. Maybe coming back to a much lower altitude (from 3,700 feet) can be a factor.


Awesome Act Jeremy Noseda

Awesome Again—Houdinis Honey, by Mr. Prospector

He is one of the few horses who had a legitimate excuse in his last start, losing a shoe coming out of the gate. He possesses the quickest turn of foot of anyone in the race, but it must be timed to perfection and he can’t be given too much to do too early. He is on a good pattern and should be flying at the end with a perfect trip. Julien Leparoux is the perfect rider for him and knows him pretty well by now.


Stately Victor Mike Maker

Ghostzapper—Collect the Cash, by Dynaformer

All logic says to ignore the Blue Grass; there is no reason why this colt all of a sudden has gone from mediocre allowance horse to Derby contender. But, visually, I can’t help but be impressed with what I saw. I just love the way he was striding out at the wire, and any horse who runs as well as he did on two occasions at Saratoga, on dirt and grass, has got to be legitimate. Other than his allowance at Churchill, after which he was very ill, and his return race after a three-month absence, he hasn’t shown any indication he won’t run well on dirt.


Super Saver Todd Pletcher

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

As one can see I’m not really sure where to put him. He shied from the whip three times in the stretch of the Arkansas Derby, which might have cost him the victory. But it was only his second start of the year, so he should move forward. But his running style is not ideal in this year’s speed-heavy Derby, and of the four WinStar horses and however many Pletcher horses, he has always been the one considered the least likely to rate. But I still think the Arkansas Derby will move him forward; just the tightener he needed.


Ice Box Nick Zito

Pulpit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat

Being away for six weeks has sort of put him in the background, and you don’t hear too many people talking about him. The truth is, we really don’t know much about him, except he’s the one true deep closer in the field. And if there is a pace meltdown, which is entirely possible, he is one you can rely on to come late and pick up the pieces. Stablemate Jackson Bend is a tough little fighter and if he gets in he will make sure the stalkers are preoccupied for as long as possible.


Mission Impazible Todd Pletcher

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

His Beyer Speed Figures and Thoro-Graph numbers say he’s not fast enough, but he still intrigues me. He basically runs the same race every time, but he seems to be maturing with every race and I can’t help but think he has a big effort in him. I just like what I see when I watch him run. It’s as if he’s lurking in the shadows, waiting to surprise a lot of people. He could be an interesting horse to fill out a juicy trifecta or superfecta.


Paddy O’Prado Dale Romans

El Prado—Fun House, by Prized

He has little shot running the same way he did in his last two races, but he has shown on three occasions he can come from far back and turn it on in the stretch. If he returns to that style and handles the dirt he could be a real sleeper. His Palm Beach was a 6 1/2-point improvement on Thoro-Graph, yet he improved off it in the Blue Grass, moving up 2 1/4 more points. Who knows how much more he can improve in the Derby if he can use his pedigree and closing punch.


American Lion Eoin Harty

Tiznow—Storm Tide, by Storm Cat

Frankly, I was surprised to see he received a negative Thoro-Graph number in the Illinois Derby, one of only two negative figs this year, making that race faster than one might have thought. That race was set up for him, it wasn’t a strong field, and he’s yet another horse with a ton of speed, but you never know when those Tiznows are going to break out.


Interactif Todd Pletcher

Broken Vow—Broad Pennant, by Broad Brush

I don’t like putting “doubtful” horses on here at this late date. But with Setsuko unlikely to get in, why wouldn’t his owners give him one shot to show what he can do on dirt, making one big late run from the back? They have nothing to lose. In the Blue Grass, he again was mistakenly hustled out of the gate and still ran a good race, despite never looking comfortable on that track and going very wide on both turns. Finally, the dirt beckons; go for it. If he does, he moves back up in the top 5. I’m sure not going to give up on him now.

To participate, use your cursor to drag the selections on the left to the blank placeholders on the right. Once you have completed ranking all of the horses, submit your entries and compare your results to the rest of the community. A first place ranking will earn 12 points, second place receives 11 points, and so on.


Leave a Comment:


what happened to setsuko you can not tell me that the horse on that list other than eskendreya and lookin at lucky are better than setsuko

19 Apr 2010 2:19 PM
You Got to Have It

My Sweet 12 for now:

Kentucky Derby:

1- Lookin At Lucky

2- Dublin

3- Endorsement

4- Sidney Candy

5- Eskendereya

6- Awesome Act

7- Ice Box

8- Paddy O Prado

9- Mission Impazible

10- Rule

11- Super Saver

12- Stately Victor

Kentucky Oaks:

1- Blind Luck

2- Devil May Care

3- Evening Jewel

4- Quiet Temper

5- Amen Hallelujah

6- Jody Slew

7- Crisp

8- Tidal Pool

9- Seeking the Tidal

19 Apr 2010 2:37 PM

I read through the top 12 horses but I can't help but wonder what about Conveyance? What makes him fall short of these 12?

19 Apr 2010 2:39 PM
Fran Loszynski

Put my picks on the other blog Steve but here are my picks

Kentucky Derby:



ICE BOX     Trifecta Straight

Good Luck everyone but Dublin is smokin!!! DUBLIN DO YOU LIKE ROSES?!!!!

19 Apr 2010 2:44 PM
jonathan smart

eskendereya is 5 pounds better than the rest

19 Apr 2010 2:52 PM

I'm real high on Eskendreya but I'm a 'capper and I want to make money. So, if the posts come up the way I like them. I'm gonna play the synthetic to dirt angle on Sidney's Candy & Stately Victor anf hope they 'freak' on dirt.

If the track comes up muddy I'm throwing out all synthetic horses.

Who benefits from an off track?

19 Apr 2010 3:01 PM

The problem with running a horse today the way they ran a horse in the 70's is the question marks of stamina and breeding.  Horses have been bred for speed, and have lost their sturdiness in the process.  Horses' bones seem more fragile, and I have to wonder about medications since Euros seem more sturdy than American stock.  Last year, every week, another leading contender was sidelined with injuries..Quality Road, The Pamplemouse, I want Revenge.  Pioneer is already retired due to injury, Tiz Chrome is gone, She be Wild is out, ...is it any wonder we anxiously wait for May 1st, with our fingers crossed?  And I'm still holding out for Stately Victor and Endorsement.  They're the only horses I see able to make 12f.  (Yes, seeing another Triple Crown winner is on my "bucket" list).

19 Apr 2010 3:02 PM


Pleasant Prince is an AP Indy grandson therefore the Ramseys should think twice about forcing this colt to be ready for the Derby.  I'll say it ad nauseum if necessary, that pedigree matters BIG TIME in the Kentucky Derby.  This colt is bred to be very good later in the year as well as in his 4YO season so why risk injuring the colt ...his pedigree says "DO NOT FORCE ME THIS TIME OF YEAR".  So far I'v been right about Take Control, Odysseus ...and well ... Schoolyard Dreams  which I wished to be an exception being by Stephen Got Even (sire of I Want Revenge and Stevie's Wonderboy both of which faltered through injury) also didn't make the cut but he's a nice colt that will feature later in the season.  I wish to be proven wrong in this matter ...but the cold facts don't seem to cool the very contagious Derby fever.

19 Apr 2010 3:04 PM

Excited to hear that R. Dominquez takes the mount on RULE. Ramon seems a great choice by Win Star.

This is my first post, perhaps my last too, but here is my opinion on the order of finish for KD 2010...

Eskendereya (1) Zayat/Pletcher shake the monkey.

Rule (2)

Super Savor (3)

Candy Ride (4)

Normally, I hate placing WIN money on a short priced horse; even worse in a 20 horse field. But, one only needs to watch the FOY and WOOD replays to understand that this year the favorite appears to be a monster.

I may regret that I didn't play Esky @22:1 to WIN in Pool 1...like many I get greedy, and played Esky on top of several others in the exacta pool...$1 wheel multiple times...unfortunately some of my picks have already been sidelined. I still have Rule and Super Saver on bottom. Also, I placed RULE on top of many of the same in each pool...and still have Esky and Super Saver underneath.

Played Pool 2/3 in the basically the same fashion.

I wagered on the exacta combos instead of the WIN for a couple of reasons:

I had Giacomo to Win (no exacta available) in KD future Pool 1/2/3. Heck, the day of the Derby paid better than Pool 1/2 and same as Pool 3. Then last year I played I Want Revenge to Win in Pool 1/2/3 and he got scratched the morning of KD...hence, why not let greed take over?

BTW, Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen has been the ultimate media tool to build my interest for the KD...been that way for years.


19 Apr 2010 3:10 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Where is pleasant Prince on your list if he gets in? There is no problem with him running in The Derby Trial. He barely ran in The Blue Grass. But what if he runs his heart out in The Trial, and can't recover in a week for The Derby? By then he's knocked a horse out of the race. I assume they scratch from The Derby at that point. Still, I think they're making the right move, and he could recover in a week to run in The Derby. Hopefully The Trial will be a nice bullet workout for him. He has a ton of stamina so a mile may leave him with enough left. A nice little precedent that would set if Pleasant Prince won The Trial and then The Derby, and you talk about a hot sire in Indy King, and a hot broodmare sire in Pleasant Tap if that scenario unfolds. A win in a mile won't be easy since he's a mile and an eighth plus horse.  If Pleasant Prince runs in The Derby, he's in my top five, but good luck winning at a mile. It most likely will be a nice conditioner for The Preakness. Stately Victor is the biggest puzzle to me.

19 Apr 2010 3:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  If we all chip in and pay for your bus ticket, can we get you to go to CD a little sooner?

19 Apr 2010 3:19 PM

I really hope Jackson Bend gets in!  He is the most consistent horse in the country, and he really loves to run.  His desire to run, and I mean really run, was shown in the Wood Memorial.  He tries so hard and never fails to deliver.  He refuses to let horses pass him in the stretch, and those are the types of horses that deserve to be in the Derby field.  I'm praying that he'll get in in the end because he will make it more interesting, and will not run anything less than 110%

19 Apr 2010 3:24 PM

Hope they decide to run Interactif. This horse lost to Sidney's Candy by 1/2 length while losing that much ground on the turn. With 20 horses in the Derby, Interactif will need to be placed back in the pack and make that one run style that Desormeaux used to perfection used on the turf last Sept and October. Talk to someone Steve and get him in. He will be there at the finish if ridden properly.

19 Apr 2010 3:28 PM

I'm anxious to see what happens when all of the speed horses hit the track together in the KY Derby.  I expect the pace to be very hot and really can't see any of the speed hanging around at the finish of the mile and a quarter.  You keep hearing that this or that speed horse will rate but how far back will they rate.  Anything within 3 lengths of the lead at the half mile is likely to be compromised, setting it up for a horse coming from mid-pack or further back.  Also feel that you can toss the results of the Bluegrass, which I feel are suspect.  I hate it that Odysseus was injured in that race.  He has a lot of upside.  I like Eskendereya and Lookin At Lucky but have this nagging feeling that Awesome Act is going to peak at the right time and is really sitting on a big one.

19 Apr 2010 3:50 PM

Steve, when I write down all the horses in the race I can't believe how many of them either want to be on the lead or very close to the lead. I appreciate the fact that you feel Sidney's Candy rated in his last work but you know as well as I do that rating in a work is not the same as 4 or 5 horses kicking dirt back in your face. I'm not sure he is going to like that. John Valazquez has to be careful that he doesn't have ESKY to close to the pace like Gary Stevens had Point Given.

There are too many trainers and owners with multiple horses in the derby this year telling me that a "HOT" pace is almost a given. I would be shocked if a horse from far back does not win this year's Derby.

19 Apr 2010 3:53 PM

i watch and watch but do not agree with awe act have the best turn of foot seems to plod thru more than anything plus weak gotham

19 Apr 2010 4:05 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

They threw in the towel a long time ago with Interactif. There was no reason to not give him a dirt prep. I can't comprehend their thought process with this horse since his Feb 7th turf race. If you have any inclnation at that point to run him in The Derby then his next race should be on dirt. Why do you then run him on two different poly track surfaces? The only logic would be if you already knew he could run on the dirt and were going to enter him in The Derby no matter what. Now they say he would have to train lights out at CD. That could happen. Although I don't know what lights out would mean for this horse-they might know. I still see him as being in The Derby. I'm befuddled by every move they made with this horse this year.

19 Apr 2010 4:05 PM

Apparently posters need to read things closer -

To quote Mr Haskins from Interactif -"I don’t like putting “doubtful” horses on here at this late date. But with Setsuko unlikely to get in,...."

So Setsuko might be better than 10 of these 12 but since he is "doubtful" - why waste everyone's time?

Same thing with Conveyance - except he had NO CHANCE to win the Derby in the first place.

Great to read American Lion is the only other horse with a "sub-zero" sheet number. I have two nice future bets from Pools 1&2 on him!

I even read Dick Powell thinks Sidney's Candy is a "need the lead" horse in his BloodHorse article. I guess my evaluation has been correct all along - Sid will rate and finish strong and is definitely not a "need the lead" type as he kindly showed in his first work over the CD dirt surface.   Free running is not necessary "need the lead".  

Has there been a year in the last 30 like this when there are three horses might join the Derby from the Derby Trail?

19 Apr 2010 4:16 PM

My top 3

1- Eskendeyera

1- Mission Impazible ( Tied with Esky )

3- Lookin at Lucky

19 Apr 2010 4:29 PM
T. Yamada

Steve Haskin -

I don't feel real good about my Kentucky Derby Future wagers:

(1) Super Saver, (2) Connemara , and (3) Interactif.  In fact, only one figures to make it to the starting gate, Super Saver.

In retrospect, if I could do it all over again, I'd put it all on Sidney's Candy.

The horse has done everything asked of him in his last 3 races,

and maybe he has some premium high octane gas left in the tank.

As of 4-18-10, premium gas was selling at $3.29/gallon in L.A.

19 Apr 2010 4:48 PM
Steve Haskin

Where is Setsuko? Where is Pleasant Prince? One needs 5 horses to drop out and other needs to win the Derby Trial. Why would I waste a spot on horses who at this moment are not even close to getting in the race? If you've read my columns you'll know I'm a big Setsuko fan. If he gets in the race he may very well be my pick or close to it.

Conveyance is a speed horse in a field of speed horses and has never rated off the lead or on the lead. He's a flat-out free-running horse, and that is not conducive to winning this year's Derby.

19 Apr 2010 4:51 PM
Steve Haskin

Dr. D. the answer to your question is yes if you can the bus ticket and pay for my hotel.

19 Apr 2010 4:53 PM

Lookin at Lucky has already beat Eskendereya.  I like that L at L did not win the Breeder's Cup or the Santa Anita Derby.  Those 2 curses have been lifted.  However, Eskendereya has now been cursed with being the Kentucky Derby favorite and won the Wood which has produced how many winners of the Kentucky in the last 20 years?  When one adds up Pletcher, favorite, Wood winner...my money is going on Baffert.

19 Apr 2010 4:54 PM

Hi Steve

Great post --- I'm glad to see Dublin in the number four spot.

You are absolutely right about Endorsement. I think that he is ready to fire a big one at this lower altitude. And Conveyance might too. What do you think of this idea: Do you think that it's possible that Conveyance ran out of breath in the Sunland Derby at the high altitude? If so, he might run huge down at Churchill Downs.



19 Apr 2010 5:06 PM

Setsuko has won one race in his career. Setsuko has not won a Stakes race, much less a Graded Stakes race.

What makes anyone think that this horse will line-up and beat 17 or 18 Graded Stakes winners in the Kentucky Derby?

I 'm hoping that Pleasant Prince wins his race and is able to get into the Derby. That's right, horses are running and trying to win a Graded Stakes race, not sitting in the barn like Setsuko. Why didn't Setsuko run Saturday at Keeneland? This Saturday in the Derby Trial? I admire all horses and owners who run their horses and fill fields for us to gamble on!!

19 Apr 2010 5:15 PM

Does Jackson Bend not have enough earnings?  I thought he did. Thanks.

19 Apr 2010 5:41 PM
Boriken Seattle Slew

If everything goes right and Eskendereya is in good shape I think this year we will a Triple Crown winner.He has separate himself from the others. The way he put his head down look to me like A.P.Indy and the way he rus like Secretariah.

19 Apr 2010 6:05 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Maybe you can start a collection for an earlier trip to CD for Mr. Haskin. Air(bus?)fare AND hotel room. It's a sad state of affair when the premier turf writer in America is not in Louisville by now to observe and report on what is going on. Good grief! What's next? Mr. Haskin reports on the KD after watching it on TV? Are times THIS hard? Maybe...

19 Apr 2010 6:09 PM

eeebayou- you have it wrong.

Why potentially ruin your horse by running in unscheduled prep races just to be part of a 20 horse free for all in the Derby??  If that is your only goal - then pound on your 3 yr old to make the Derby - and they most likely will never be the same again.

The way Setsuko finished in his last race, he is a very nice colt - he will develop into a very special horse, and if he just had six more weeks of training under his belt, he just might win the Derby.

Why ruin him by rushing into another race? The three horses running in the Derby Trial considering running back in the Derby have only one goal - to RUN in the Derby, not to WIN the Derby. Huge difference.


19 Apr 2010 6:20 PM

I'm still high on Eskendereya... I think he's the class of this field... I think the only way he loses is if he gets stuck in a traffic jam in the stretch - which is not entirely uncommon in the Derby... a clean trip and he wins by 4+...

19 Apr 2010 7:48 PM

Can't complain about your top three horses and for added value Mission Impazible, Ice Box, and Stately Victor.

Dublin is surely a mystery.  He is one tough horse; just don't know what to do with him.

19 Apr 2010 7:54 PM

esky looks like a monster here..john v. and pletcher looking for there first derby win..I like him in the preakness too.. not sure about the belmont..

19 Apr 2010 7:56 PM
Vic S

STATELY VICTOR is my derby horse, as stated last week

19 Apr 2010 7:59 PM

  O.K. I will say this again... "Go Baby .. Go Baby Go"...

  "Front runner 'Sidney's Candy' goes wire to wire in the Kentucky Derby!"

  AGAIN, His Dad, "Candy Ride", ran a track record 1 1/4 in 1:59.11 !!... Melt down??? Gee ya think he can't get the distance???? I would love to see this horse with a 2 1/2 length lead early in the race!!!!

  This horse is faster at 5 1/2 fur. ; 7 fur. ; a 1 Mi. ; a 1 1/16th ; and 1 1/8th than any horse that will enter any of the Derby gates! And, HIS DAD HAS already TOLD YOU, that 1 1/4 IS NOT THE ISSUE!!!    

  Thusly, traffic problems of getting to the first turn on or near the lead is the only issue regarding this horse that I see! [[...and he still could come off the PACE and be a factor if not the winner with a bad early trip!]] ((Gee, didn't he stumble out of the gate in the Santa Anita Derby? and then run some awesome 1:48.00!!? What if he hadn't stumbled out of the gate IN THAT WIRE TO WIRE anyway WIN??? OR did YOU not all see that??)) IF this horse is on or near the lead at the first turn, "Sidney's Candy" will from there WIRE THE FIELD!!! OTHERS may melt down from the up front speed, THIS HORSE WILL NEVER MELT DOWN!! Did the Santa Anita Derby and his DAD not tell you that this horse could go a 1 5/8 !!! Whoever you like will be looking at this horse's ass come the final turn and may still be looking at his ass as he crosses the finish line unless he posseses "Curlin's" 5th gear closing kick! and from what I have read, none of these horses has "Curlin" as his father.

  ASK his dad about his great grandparents "Fappiano" and "Blushing Groom". Oh ,ok, thats right, horses can't talk, (accept for Mr. Ed.), thusly, HUMANS have to find the answers on their own!

  In passing, however, I do like "Eskenderya"; "Lookin at Lucky"; "Endorsement"; ... along with "Ice Box"; "Stately Victor"; and "Paddy O'Prado"; and can't quite yet get a bead on "Awesome Act"; or "Super Saver"; and of course any of the rest could be the next ...."Who was that who won? What was that horses name? ... "Mine that Bird" OH ****!!!

19 Apr 2010 8:00 PM

Bettys...Jackson Bend is likely to come up short in the earnings race.  Nice little horse who seems to be an overachiever.  Could hit the board if he somehow got in, but I doubt he will.

A lot of people will be PO`d if their horse doesn`t make the race, but the rules are in place and it`s the connection`s fault if they chose to run a minimum of preps and take their chances.

Still looking for a closer although Ranag.. keeps saying Esky is a lock...LOL

Sheer Beauty, if she runs in the Oaks could be another Lemons Forever and will be running late with Graham.  Not much Oaks talk at all on here but the same ol same ol on the Derby.

19 Apr 2010 8:04 PM

As of today my picks are Candy Ride or Looking At Lucky by a nose or head, with Ice Box passing the tiring horses. This is my Trifecta box.

19 Apr 2010 8:05 PM

The closer we get to the Derby, the more I like Sidney's Candy.  Also liking Endorsement a lot.

19 Apr 2010 8:14 PM

You can count on every long shot with stamina and speed stalking the top 3-4 strong contenders with the hope of upsetting their apple carts.  Speed demons without staying power will fade at the far turn.  So, who to pick for win, place and show?  If you love them all, and can't stand the suspense - safest place to put your money is on all of them, because you can definitely come out a solid winner that way with maybe $4.00 on each.

I wish we knew Beyer speeds for each of them.

19 Apr 2010 8:31 PM

By the way, I checked the weather forecast for May 1st - nothing definite in the forecast yet, however, there is rain in the forecast as follows:

60% chance 4/24, 40% 4/25, 60% 4/26 and 60% 4/28.  No predictions yet for 4/29, 4/30 and 5/1.  If the track is sloppy hold on to your hats!  It's a free for all then.

19 Apr 2010 8:39 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Steve, Zookeeper

  OOPS. I forgot about the hotel. We'll work on something for next year. I agree Zookeeper-It is a sad state of affairs when the premier writer and observer in America can't be there two weeks prior. If everyone is entered, then this is a tough Derby. But remember last year. The top horse scratched the morning of. I'm done studying until the final pps come out. Then I'll start over again. After watching replays, Eskendereya is still number one. On paper and visually. Many are number two. Take your pick.

19 Apr 2010 8:40 PM

I don't think Endorsement was in New Mexico long enough to give the altitude training theory serious consideration.  He had his final work for the Sunland Derby at Fairgrounds on March 22.  The race was March 28. He was in Kentucky by April 9 so he was in NM for two weeks or less.  

Mine That Bird was in New Mexico for around 6 months before last year's KD and he shipped to Churchill directly from altitude.  

Human athletes that use altitude training go for at least several weeks (preferably longer) and train at altitude up until as close as possible to the race they're training for.  

You don't spend a week or two in the mountains and come back a month before a big race and expect to retain any benefit from altitude training.  I'm certain of this because I'm a distance runner that used altitude training religiously in college.

I wouldn't plonk down big money on an altitude training betting theory with Endorsement.  If he's a good enough horse he'll win the KD.  But I seriously don't think it will have anything to do with the short time he trained in the mountains more than a month before the KD.

19 Apr 2010 8:49 PM

That's funny, Jonathan Smart, I've always had good luck playing good mudders on Polytrack and vice versa (the opposite of your Derby angle).  Just sayin'......I wouldn't be so quick to toss the poly horses due to a muddy track.  Pioneer of the Nile ran pretty well on the mud last year.  It's too early for me to pick a Derby winner, but if Leparoux is riding Awesome Act, that's likely the way I'm headed.

19 Apr 2010 8:54 PM
mike rullo


interactiff belongs on turf,the owners would be doing the wrong thing by the horse.the gr II stakes on oaks day would be perfect for this horse. the owners wont be happy with a 10th place finish in the derby.

19 Apr 2010 9:08 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I believe you're right. Over running them is more risky than the old days. But they still do run and win on 7 or 8 days rest even today and escape injury.  Personally I think the fragility is because of the medications. I think we should test Lasix out on NBA players, use them as guinea pigs for a three year study and see what happens. Do you concur?

19 Apr 2010 9:21 PM
Paula Higgins

Dr Drunkinbum, love the idea of trying the Lasix on overpaid NBA players LOL. However, I think alot of them would keel over from potassium loss. Apparently, it doesn't effect horses that way.

I still say for the umpteenth time:


Lookin At Lucky

Sidney's Candy

They are the three to beat.

19 Apr 2010 9:44 PM

Yes there will be three other horses lurking in the shadow of Mission Impazible on derby day and they will be 10 lengths back in 2,3,4 place.   When Rajiv puts the hammer down on Mission Impazible he will take off like a jet takes off at the airport.    Rajiv knows what he has to do to make history.   Led Zeppelin will get Rajiv home by 10 lengths.   Rajiv going to be singing [Thats The Way] all the way to the wire.     Joe

19 Apr 2010 9:48 PM

Going to try to beat the favorite...



Sidney's Candy

Lookin at Lucky (hard not to keep him up in the top 3)


Ice Box

Awesome Act


Paddy OPrado

Super Saver

I can see any of my top five winning and being some combination for the trifecta... waiting to see how the rest work at Churchill.

19 Apr 2010 9:56 PM

Venceremos @8:49 - exactly what I've been thinking re altitude.  Endorsement shipped in for the Sunland and back out on the Tuesday following.  That couldn't possibly have been sufficient time to give him an oxygen boost.  He was the best horse that day and could just be coming into his own.  I like that he's been lightly-raced and training super.

19 Apr 2010 10:00 PM

Steve Haskin,  moving #10 on you list to the #1 spot on your list should be done at this time.  Mission Impazible winning the Kentucky Derby by 10 lengths and paying $68.40 to win and in the exacta for second will be Awesome Act that will pay $19.00 to place for show it could be any of the three Dublin/Endorsement/Lookin at Lucky.  There very well could be a negative show pool paying as much as $90.00 dollars for the show prices.     Joe

19 Apr 2010 10:19 PM


  I once liked a horse named "Bellamy Road"... I don't he made the superfecta!! REMIND YOU OF ANYONE???

19 Apr 2010 10:32 PM

I was so surprised when I heard Plesant Prince's owners were putting him in the Derby Trial and pointing him towards the derby. I am horrified. After running in the Arkansas derby with little time to rest they are putting him in the trial and then a week later expecting him to perform in the derby? That is crazy to me, and that is not in the best intrest of the horse. That is just desperation to be in the derby. Anyway this year should be an intresting one and I can't wait to see it play out this year is a very talented group.

19 Apr 2010 10:33 PM

Steve, I am happy to see Stately Victor on your list this week.  I was very pleased with the way he ran in the Blue Grass and it didn't look like he was going as fast as he could.  He made his win look easy and it was a good field he was against.  I like him more than I do Line of David.  I think Stately Victor has enough talent that he can hang back from the sizzling pace that there is sure to be in the Derby, avoid traffic problems and make a great run in th stretch.  I don't know that he'll win, my choice for first is Eskendereya, but my choice for second is tied between Rule & Stately Victor.  Not sure where Looking for Lucky will be, but I don't think he'll win.  I also don't think ANY front runner will have a chance to go wire to wire, there will be too much speed at the front, they won't be able to hold the speed and win.

19 Apr 2010 10:35 PM

Steve, I agree with your top 3 picks.I dont agree with your 4,5,6 & 7th picks.In my opinion they should be lower on your list of 13.

Paddy O should be higher up and Interactif ran horrible in his last and is not KD contender in my opinion. Exhi would really give them a run for all the money-but he wont make the race.He will be one to reckon with in the months to come-maybe in the Preakness.

Just dont forget him,I did not in his win last Saturday.

19 Apr 2010 10:48 PM

Lookin as Lucky is the key horse. He is very consistant, can be rated, can overcome trouble, has more than one run, will not quit and is good (maybe not great but good). If Gomez gives him any chance he is the one you have to beat to win.  History tells you most will not get the 1 1/4 no matter how good they have looked in the preps but a couple will. Who are they? Eskenderey has looked like a maching and certainly looks like he has it all. I will bet Lucky to win and use Esky in the exacta, on top and bottom, with him. Good luck to all. I love Derby time!!

19 Apr 2010 11:21 PM
Matthew W

Steve, American Lion is my longshot horse this year--I like him a lot--especially if he can relax in/at the gate! He did not relax at Santa Anita, and I thought he ran real well in Illinois, he repelled a strong bid from the (good) NY Bred  guy I cannot remember his name--he was passed and he came back and won big, like a Tiznow! Even in his Santa Anita losses, he ran well down the stretch, in races where he was compromised by early antics--Mr Flores, a real pro, retains the mount...by Tiznow, and at 1 1/4, that should stand for something!

19 Apr 2010 11:53 PM

btw... that was "I don't think 'Bellamy Road' made the Superfecta in his Derby!!!

ok next problem...

hmmm Let us assume.... that 'Interactif' and 'Noble's Promise' drop out (both listed as "doubtful" & 'Make Music for Me' or 'Conveyance' decide not to press the 1 1/4 for some different avenue... so the owners of "Exhi" and "Setsuko" (being the same) get to drop "Exhi" to allow "Setsuko" to get in?, as has been a suggestion... so anyway, my question is... (lol) WHO Owns the tie breaker between "Setsuko" and "A Little Warm" or what are the rules on TIED earnings?  Thusly, could they drop "Exhi" in an attempt to get "Setsuko" in, but actually allow "A Little Warm" an in? ...

DO we see a coin toss???

I know, I was just as confused posing the question...but does anyone actually know the answer???

20 Apr 2010 12:44 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Paula Higgins

  I wrote before that your dues debt has been erased and you now have free membership but I don't think it was printed. I do think your three are the three to beat but I still think it would be weird if that was the trifecta. It seems too easy. And it wouldn't pay much. It would be similar to 2007 so it could happen. I say all lists are good lists. Big Saturday coming up AGAIN. Who could have guessed that The Derby Trial would be a factor. Good Luck.

20 Apr 2010 12:52 AM
joe p

I've read your recent top 12 list Steve for 4-19-2010. I really respect your horse racing knowledge. Last year I predicted 5 of 8 winners for the Saturday Breeders cup Edition 2009. I always check your list and try to be sure that I have some of your top horses included with mine. For the Derby Steve I like Eskendereya, followed by Lookin @ Lucky, Sidney's Candy, Endorsement. Glad to see you've moved Endorsement up to #5. I don't think that Dublin working well at Churchill downs will get him to crack into the top 4 on derby Day. He's coming off 3 wks. rest compared to 4 weeks for Sidney's Candy, Lookin @ Lucky and Eskendereya. Edorsement has gotten 5 wks. off since his impressive win over a very good horse Conveyance in the Sunland Derby. Endorsement narrowly missed setting a track record in the Sunland Derby. He was flying. Hope to win on Derby Day. Will have Eskendereya on top with Exactas, Trifectas and Superfectas with the other 3 horses I mention previously coming after him.

20 Apr 2010 12:59 AM


A few comments on your #1 ranked contender Eskendereya –

“Many are all but conceding him the Derby, as he appears capable of not only winning, but blowing the race wide open”

“He towers above the others in dominance and speed figures, and his negative 3 1/2 on Thoro-Graph put him well above everyone else”

The above statements were posted  in English but I cannot understand a word. Let's see, a colt that has won two races with the slowest 6F fractions of all the major preps, towers above the others in dominance and speed figures. So 1:12.41 and 1:13.54 represent dominance in speed. Where on the speed dominance chart would Sidney’s Candy’s 22.77, 45.50, 1:08.62, 1:20.91 in the 7F San Vicente be ranked? Eskendereya could not record those fractions if affixed with an additional leg and an oxygen tank. Those who harbor the opinion that Eskendereya is capable of decimating the Derby field are living in a fool’s paradise. We know he has ability but so do other that he has not competed against.  The big question about this colt is - Does he have heart? The best field he faced he got bumped and he folded like a dead bird. His victory in the Wood has no doubt propelled him into an impossible to lose status in the minds of many.  Those with very shallow memories will certainly forget that these types of victories mean nothing for a future engagement with the cream of the crop. A few examples: Bernardini won the Jim Dandy Stakes, Travers Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup in a canter. He was regarded as an impossible to lose contender for the Breeder Cup Classic. In the race he had to be used early to get into contention and in the end could not hold off Invasor and struggled to say ahead of Premium Tap. Sweetnorthernsaint won the 2006 Illinois Derby impressively pulling as bus and went off as the post time derby favorite. While Sweetnorthernsaint finished unplaced, the derby winner was the unbeaten Barbaro who had a hard fought victory over Sharp Humor in the FL Derby. Curlin won the Arkansas Derby by 9 lengths likewise pulling a bus and finished 3rd in the derby. Easy victories do not necessarily mean that the victors will defeat or decimate their peers. There are several horses that Eskendereya will face in the derby that have just as much ability and are either as fast as or faster than him. How is it therefore conceivable that he will be able to blow them away?

What elevates him above the rest when others have been equally impressive?  What would be a rational measure of his ability against the rest? Well, since he has not started against some of the top contenders, the only acceptable measure would be a comparison of speed figures for races won as all other measures would be based on speculation. Listed below are the fractions and final times recorded in some of the major 9F preps:

FOY – Eskendereya               23.72, 47.92, 1:12.41, 1:36.54, 1:48.87

SAD – Sindney's Candy (S)   24.00, 48.05, 1:12.33, 1:35.55, 1:48.00

FLD – Ice Box                       23.21, 46.46, 1:10.76, 1:36.09, 1:49.19

TBG - Stately Victor (S)       23.89, 47.96, 1:12.33, 1:36.63, 1:48.69

AKD –Line OF David           22.65, 46.26, 1:10.75, 1:36.52, 1:49.37

SLD - Endorsement              23.71, 48.04, 1:11.91, 1:35.88, 1:48.46

There are those that will state that Sindney's Candy and Stately Victor fractions were recorded on synthetic surfaces and therefore cannot be compared to the times recorded on traditional dirt tracks. Well, if we use Conveyance victories in the San Rafael (1:36.45) and Southwest (1:36.94) as a measure then there is not a lot of difference between times recorded on both surfaces.

Sindney's Candy and Stately Victor faced the deepest Santa Anita Derby and Bluegrass fields that have been assemble in the last four years or more. They both won comfortably and in the process recorded the fastest times for their respective events since the installation of the synthetic track at the respective locations.   In the case of Stately Victor, it was the first time the Bluegrass time had gone below 1:49 on the synthetic track. In fact, every quarter of the 2010 Bluegrass represented a record for the new surface in the event. Line OF David came off an impressive turf win to defeat a solid field that included Super Saver and Dublin. He recorded the fastest 6F splits of all the 9F preps. Ice Box came back from his average performance in the FOY to win the FL Derby that recorded significantly faster 8F splits than the FOY. Amazingly he won a 9F race without changing leads. Endorsement defeated the previously unbeaten Conveyance whose resume reflects win in the San Rafael and Southwest stakes. His time of 1:48.46 was just outside the stakes record.

All the performances above are either on par with or exceed that of Eskendereya in the FOY. Eskendereya does not have a monopoly on improvement and a number of the above colts an others will go into the derby much improved off their last race. The big question is - why was Eskendereya’s FOY victory cited instead of his Wood? Well, Eskendereya cantered home in the wood and none of the winners of the preps above were cantering in the last 2F. This brings us to Eskendereya’s Wood Memorial performance. The assembled field was probably the weakest seen in a G1 $750K race for the last 10 years. Which of the colts above would not canter home if the following fractions were recorded? 24.32, 49.21, 1:13.54, 1:37.73. It must be noted that the splits for the preps above are 1 ½ to 2 seconds faster. Let’s substitute Eskendereya with Sindney's Candy in the Wood with the same pace scenario. Let us also remember that Sindney's Candy won the 7F SAN FELIPE setting fractions of 22.77, 45.50, 1:08.62 and 1:20.91. With Sindney's Candy speed the he would win the Wood in hand from gate to wire. Based on Line Of David’s 1:34 plus for 8F on turf and his 1:10.75 for 6F in AK Derby, he too would canter home from gate to wire in hand. His 6F split in the AK Derby is some 3 seconds faster than that recoded in the Wood.  Endorsement and Stately Victor would probably be exactly where Eskendereya was cruising and would equally destroy the field. To assume or conclude that Eskendereya is the only colt that could have won the Wood in such a fashion would require a strained relationship with the truth or serious ignorance of thoroughbred racing.

Eskendereya was given one real test to date and he failed miserably. I cannot recall a colt that has performed so poorly in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile that came back to win the KD. Those who harbor this opinion that he will be an easy winner of the derby must not forget that all that glitters isn’t gold. Eskendereya might have glittered in the Wood & FOY but he is by no means gold. There are two horses I am sure will not win the derby and they are Eskendereya and Dublin.

20 Apr 2010 1:03 AM

As last year showed us, the Derby can be full of surprises!  What if the track comes up wet?  What contenders have the best mud pedigrees?  Can anyone answer this?

20 Apr 2010 1:09 AM

I'd wager a trifecta box with Endorsement, Lookin At Lucky and Eskendereya.  I know it's "chalky", but in a 20-horse field, should still pay well.  Dublin never runs a bad race, but doesn't seem to have the tenacity of his daddy; I'd add him for a super.  I keep hearing Jackson Bend's name; he's a neat little horse and definitely a tryer.  Reminds me a lot of More Than Ready who was not embarrassed in his Derby.  I doubt Jackson will be embarrassed either if he makes it in. Sidney's Candy has been impressive, and as one of his fans has pointed out, his sire, Candy Ride, was capable of putting horses away early and continuing on.  1-1/4 mile was definitely within his scope and I see no reason Sidney can't get the distance either.  Still, to my knowledge, he has not run on dirt, and until he proves he can, I can't use him.

20 Apr 2010 1:22 AM

w/the giant,storm bird and storm cat in the family  if you look further there is red good and north dancer on both side   what a stallion

20 Apr 2010 1:47 AM
Robert from Baltimore

Obviously, Esky is the horse to beat but the Churchill track on the KY Derby Day may not be to his liking. Here are my top six picks which will be in an exacta box.

Awesome Act  15-1  He had an infected back leg pastern bone and lost a shoe in the Wood Memorial.

This horse wanted to run in the Wood as Julien tried to rate him. He caught the field on the outside before ESKY pulled away. He'll turn the tables on ESKY. A good patient ride by Leparoux will help. Awesome Act is already at Churchill and working out over the strip. It will be great to see a patient English trainer win the Derby.

Sydney's Candy  5-1  The more I look at this Colt and his races the more I like. Good early speed and plenty of pedigree to help him with Stamina. John Sadler seems like a decent guy and finally a horse from the synthetic California tracks wins the Derby.

Looking at Lucky 6-1  Most consistent of these Ky Derby challengers. Certainly handled by the best of KY Derby handlers. All of Bob's KY Derby winners were non-favorites the day of the Derby.

Stately Victor  30-1  Yes, I know the current Blue Grass Stakes Curse

but this horse ran a great Blue Grass and stately Victor has won on the dirt at Saratoga and then he became ill. He has great breeding with Ghostzapper and Dynaformer.

Endorsement  25-1  This horse ran a professional race in New Mexico.

He has great breeding with A.P. Indy. Robby Albarado in the irons helps.

Super Saver  20-1  Best horse for Pletcher after Esky. I saw a determined stretch drive in the Arkansas Derby and Borel in the Saddle ensures a good ride. This is the only horse with a win over the Churchill Strip.

As far as Pleasant Prince, please skip the Derby Trial. Rest your horse for the Belmont Stakes, Travers or Haskell later in the year. Too bad for Setsuko and Drosselmeyer but the Belmont will await. Good luck to all horses and jockeys in the Derby and a safe trip to all.

20 Apr 2010 2:46 AM
The Deacon

Endorsement, Sidney's Candy and Lookin At Lucky

20 Apr 2010 2:47 AM
Newbie Player


      I enjoy reading your Derby Dozen and your evaluaions of the horses.I'm not an experienced handicapper and could use some general guidence on playing tri's & ex. in the Derby. Using your Derby Dozen ratings as an example. If I really liked #'s 1, 4, 9, and kinda liked 2, 3, 6, 8. Should I just box 1, 4,9, in a tri? Or, play a tri wheel 1,4,9 with 1,4,9 with 2,3,6,8? Should I leave the fav's off the top? any help is appreciated.

20 Apr 2010 3:48 AM

For me, the "big 3" are the keys to the Derby.  Eskendereya, Lookin at Lucky, and Sidney's Candy.  I really believe they are a level above any other contender.

While it's possible that one or even two of them may disappoint at Churchill, I don't think all 3 will; at least one will run to expectations and be very tough.

Last year, I thought Quality Road and I Want Revenge were a level or two superior to the others.  My handicapping was based on the assumption that one of them might run poorly but not both.  

When both Quality Road and I Want Revenge were declared from the Derby, it shot the race wide open.  The favorite became Friesan Fire, a horse that simply was a level of two below past Derby favorites.  The defections also left Pioneer of the Nile as the second choice; Pioner of the Nile was a solid horse, but in most any other years he would have been a 3rd or 4th seed.  When last year's Derby lost its top 2 contenders, each remaining horse moved 2 spots up in the rankings(wagering), with the result being that we had a horse that should have been the 3rd seed go off as the favorite and a 4th seed go off as second choice.  In college basketball terms, it would have been like if the top 8 teams in the country were excluded from the NCAA Tournament and teams that should have been #3 seeds were put on the top line as #1 seeds, #4 seeds became #2 seeds, #5 became #3, and so on.  While Mine that Bird did not appear to be a logical alternative, he should not have been such a longshot if for no other reason than the favorites for the race were false favorites, 2nd tier horses masquerading as favorites.

Comparing this year's field with past Derby fields, I believe Eskendereya is a deserving favorite, Lookin at Lucky the prototype 2nd choice, and Sidney's Candy an appropriate 3rd choice.  

If one these horses doesn't make the Derby, I think it could really scramble things.  While I would still believe that one of the remaining 2 would run well, it wouldn't be a shock if both flopped.  And should the 2 remaining favorties flop, I think the Derby would absolutely be up for grabs.  Frankly, after the top 3, I have trouble separating the other contenders.  If, sadly,  2 of the Big 3 are withdrawn from the Derby, I could see any one of about 14 horses winning.

20 Apr 2010 4:08 AM


Mission Impazible has NO CHANCE in the Derby.

Also - the possibility of enormous show payoffs is silly too since there won't be any bridge jumpers piling on one horse. Esky won't be 1/5 - even when he loses!

20 Apr 2010 6:08 AM
Derby Dew

Holding off on my final choices until I see the post positions drawn.  That's one factor that could derail Eskendereya.  Can't wait to see Awesome Act work at Churchill.  He intrigues me and if he shows a liking for the track, I will definitely move him near the top.  Always anxious for the Derby to be run, but this year the excitement level is high octane.

20 Apr 2010 7:19 AM

Rechelle...Stately Victor came from almost last place, through the mob, and surprised everyone.  I like his chances.  I think he can handle the stampede better than most. My exacta includes Endorsement.  Beautiful AP Indy son.

Dr D: NBA?..ok...but diuretics are already in wide spread use by us old-timers, and I can tell you this-it accelerates bone loss which is why osteoporosis is so common in the elderly on hypertensive medications.  Guess I'm a guinea pig in this. (will they pay me like an NBA star at least?)

I think that if a horse needs meds to run effectively, maybe you shouldn't run him.

20 Apr 2010 7:44 AM

Steve; been reading your posts for years.  Really enjoy them.  Can you explain the thoro-graph figures a little and give the breakdown for the anticipated Derby field?  

20 Apr 2010 8:00 AM
Fran Loszynski

Before we all log off to watch the Kentucky Derby next week-I would like to take this opportunity to ask all the fans of Dublin-if he wins-please find it in your hearts to give a portion of your earnings to your local charity for kid's cancer research-you will continue Afleet Alex's legacy and you will be a brite lite in a child's life. I know this probably isn't the forum to ask this but what can I say: "KIDS AND ANIMALS-ANIMALS AND KIDS!" Thank you.

20 Apr 2010 8:20 AM

I heard that Dublis work was fast, but his gallop out not very impressive and that Super Saver looked great yesterday at Churchill.  On a side note, I am on vacation at the Outer Banks and yesterday the family went to get a slice of pizza at a local pizza joint had TVG was on the TV.  Not ESPN, CNBC, and etc... The owner likes Sidney's Candy.

20 Apr 2010 8:24 AM

ALL!!! I repeat ALL Louisiana Derby horses are throwout's!! Please stop talking about Mission Impazible.

20 Apr 2010 8:24 AM

My top 4 are:

Sidney's Candy


Lookin At Lucky


I see Conveyance as the Hard Spun of 2010. I have a feeling he'll be hanging around at the end for a piece of the pie. I like Ice Box as the best closer on the list. Super Saver or Dublin are my choices as the possible Giacamo's of 2010. Hang around and hope the spped/stalkers fall apart on a fast pace and grind your way to the end.  

20 Apr 2010 8:25 AM

The mirage of speed in this Derby.

All horses run fast. But how fast are the front-runners in this field?. Not as fast as some people seem to think.

The 10 fastest 6-fur splits in the last 40 years of the Ky Derby range from 1:09.25 to 1:10 1/5.

Spend A Buck went in 1:09 3/5 and won.The others lost.

The fastest 6-furlong split run in 2010 on dirt by the top horses in this field going a mile or longer, is 1:10 3/5.

As a 2-yo going a mile this year's sleeper ran in 1:09 2/5, beaten 2 lengths while carrying 122 pounds.He earlier ran a split of 1:10 4/5 and won by daylight.

The name is Super Saver, the super sleeper. If he is drawn 1-5 he will romp. If the track is wet they won't see which way he went.

20 Apr 2010 8:30 AM

Trebloc did you get your handicaping lisence out of a bubble gum machine? This a 20 horse race, the La D was the largest prep race field run yet there have been 12 run prep races with many different paces settings, gameness will count on 90% of the outcome. If you werent watching one thing I can inform you is Mission Impazible is game!

20 Apr 2010 8:42 AM
Ann in Lexington

Horses 101, the last horse to run in the Trial and back in the Derby was Don't Get Mad, who ran a respectable 4th in the big dance. He was far from ruined; he won a G3 at CD in June and the Indiana Derby in the fall. He wasn't a G1 horse and didn't really want 10f, but he was FIT on Derby day.

The first Derby horse I picked out early and followed was Jim French, who on consecutive weekends ran in the Gotham, the Florida Derby, and the Santa Anita Derby, finishing 4th, 3rd and 1st. Two weeks later he was 4th in the Wood, then another 2 weeks later he was 2nd in the Kentucky Derby. This was after a full winter in Florida. Secretariat he wasn't, but he was FIT.

And you can't blame this "poor horsey can't run for 4-5-6 weeks" attitude on Lasix; horses were running on Lasix in the 1980s and 1990s and they could run back in 2-3 weeks. They didn't have Sheets guys telling their trainers that they will bounce if they run back too soon, you see.

20 Apr 2010 8:49 AM
Bill Daly

Steve, it would be nice if horses could change running styles like women change shoes, but you and I know that isn't easy to do.  Paddy O'Prado probably would have a better shot if he could revert to his former style, but what are the chances of that happening. Not much. Horses like Dublin and Super Saver don't seem to have that killer instinct.  It's hard to like horses like that. Endorsement scares me.  This horse is getting so good you have to give him a big shot. Regardless of his running style he deserves very serious consideration.  That goes for any horse.  When they get really good it doesn't seem to matter what kind of style they have, but I do require an ability to close the deal.

20 Apr 2010 8:54 AM

The major prep races this year proved that the overall crop is average with 2 horses head and shoulders above the rest and legitimate monsters:  ESKY and SC.  The rest are overrated as is the case each year (e.g. Lawyer Ron, Brother Derek, Court Vision, Bellamy Road, High Fly, etc).   I think LAL has dropped off from his 2 yo season and like Pyro of last year, will disappoint.   ESKY and SC will battle to the wire in the TC series.   Can you say Affirmed and Alydar?.  Hope they all stay healthy.  

20 Apr 2010 8:58 AM

Ark Derby finished the last 3/8 in 38 sec good luck betting on one of those guys. Dublin has had every chance to win a route race all winter even with the advatage of running on his home track he never got the money. Now these guys want to bet him in a 20 horse field. Conveyance needs a mile not 1 1/4 nice horse but...... Super Savor couldnt win the Tampa Derby or the 38 sec finish Ark Derby sorry boys wrong horse. The Ky Derby is about horses that want to win like Lucky, Esk, Mission Impazible and  yes i agree gameness is the what you want!

20 Apr 2010 9:02 AM

Winstar thinks Drosemeir is as good as Endorsement. One problem he cant get in. And by the way he ran in the La D for Trebloc. Everyone does understand the Derby is run at 1 1/4 not 1 mile. If you dont finish going 1 1/8 I doubt you'll finish well going 1 1/4. Just my thought though!

20 Apr 2010 9:15 AM

I dont think you Throw out horses that can run well down the lane Trebloc. Who do you like Dublin?

20 Apr 2010 9:18 AM
Matthew W

Like Alphies Bet over Caracortado in the Snow Chief, will give him another chance this Sat--then on to Preakness....think it's a shame a horse like Caracortado doesn't draw in The Derby! Never a bad race!

20 Apr 2010 9:35 AM

I really hope people keep jumping on the Dublin bandwagon. I love dead money in the Derby pools. Dublin can't win a race, but everyone thinks he's going to win the Derby?  He can barely get 1 mile & an eighth.  Reminds me a lot of Saarland...kept finishing in the money in preps and everyone thought he'd peak on Derby day. Keep it up everyone!

I think it's obvious that the winner will come from way off the pace this year. That means there's a lot of easy tosses cause of their front running style:

American Lion (this year's Cowtown Cat)

Conveyance - Can't even get a mile and an eighth

Line of David


Sidney's Candy

Super Saver

Eightyfiveinafifty (if he gets in)

Eskendereya will either get cooked trying to lay right off the leaders or have to come from way off the pace, which he hasn't done before.

Could be a Giacamo type year.  

20 Apr 2010 9:55 AM
Driftin' Sage

Still thinking Ice Box will be in top three at least.  

20 Apr 2010 10:58 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Eightyfiveinafifty would have a big impact on the pace if he runs. It's very interesting that Steve had Super Saver #3, and Dublin #10 AFTER the Arkansas Derby, then had Dublin #4 and Super Saver #8 a week later when nothing had changed but one workout. What really is going on here??

20 Apr 2010 11:16 AM

I agree setting up to be a front end disaster. Trying to get around all of these dead rabbits could be a problem for these jocks. Ice box got some questions been along time since hes run now going 1 1/4 his photo finish rival in the Fl Derby didnt fair well in Bluegrass. Awesome act didnt show much last out that leaves..... Looking at lucky, Endorsement, Mission Impazible, Eskendereya......the Rider will be KEY!!!!!!!!!!

20 Apr 2010 11:22 AM
El Kabong


No question about that. Endorsement was not around early enough or long enough to benefit from the altitude which may have had alot to do with conveyance losing his strength at the end, but Endorsement over came that and looked great.Any athlete who has to go to such altitudes and perform such a demanding cardiovascular task will suffer. That said, Endorsement must be a tough horse that is very fit and he can hang and finish with the horse who probably will have a hand in setting the pace. I will use that horse in exotics.

20 Apr 2010 11:24 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

If it isn't a dry track-Proceed With Caution. Last year was labeled sloppy sealed but they said it was more like between muddy and sloppy sealed. Pedigree isn't always going to be the answer. Sloppy is different than muddy, and in between is different than both. A dry track last year would have produced a different result. It's very difficult to know how a horse will handle an off track unless he has experience on that same type of off track. I'm more interested in the weather reports than anything else at this point. I'm hoping for dry.

20 Apr 2010 11:24 AM
Al from Indiana

Were getting  some smart players now. Front end most likely not the place to be. Sidneys Candy probably only speed with a chance. If the riders are smart they lock in Eskenderya, Gomez usually stops himself. If Robby rides like he rode Nobles Promise in the Ark D he stops himself. That leaves Mr Lepareaux (Awesome Act) and Rjiv (Mission Impazible) the word is working lights out. Big time exta here boys!!!!!!!!!!!

20 Apr 2010 11:29 AM
It Aint Easy being good

I love it keep talking about other horses that wont win. Go back and watch the illinois derby and tell me american lion is not worth betting. The winners of the illinois derby have hit the board the past 3 years. American Lion is getting good at the right time and is one of the oldest 3 year olds in the race! American Lion has stamina and is getting that killer instinct.

20 Apr 2010 11:30 AM

Always enjoy your insight Steve, it makes great reading. I have a question/comment about Pleasant Prince, I was at the Florida Derby and watching the horses in the paddock. PP's handlers walked him over to the edge of the walking ring and PP threw up a couple of times. Apparently this is a common practice for him because his handlers has a sponges loaded w/water and they swabbed out his throat, I assume to make sure he did not choke. I have never seen other horses do this before, common or not?

20 Apr 2010 11:32 AM

Jeff, sounds like you need a vacation.  

George, I like Super Saver to win.  Like Mr. Haskin's, I am crazy about his pedigree, won at Churchill, won in the slop (should it rain), great connections and should continue to improve. I might even get better odds then MI.

20 Apr 2010 11:35 AM
The Derby

Great comments... Stately Victor wouldnt think he would be Poly track horse. Big price there. Mission Impazible improving. Big price there. Nobles Promise troubled trip last. Big price there. Must use the best horse in Eskendreya but its the derby and favorites love to lose. Great betting race

20 Apr 2010 11:36 AM

 Lmao  "269 *"  "262 *"  ??????? whatttttttttt??????????????? ... woooo boy TY for the update??? COME ON!!!  

 You ('Tomlinson distance')rated "Endorsement" at "379" then "381" in heart beat after only what, one 1 40 , 1/16, and 1 1/8 run? But, "Sidney's Candy" after a 7 fur., a 1 1/16, and a 1 1/8 run we can't seem to get an honest distance figure on??  I don't really care if you down grade runs on sythetics whatever point system shaving you apply and desire, but please GIVE US A FIGURE WE CAN WORK WITH!! And, HOW in the **** did you come up with the '262 *'-'269 *' anyway then? Why bother even feeding us information that is MEANINGLESS!?

 Gee, it's like trying to pay attention to ANDY BEYER assigning Speed Figures to synthetic runs all over again. WHO NEEDS untelling MISINFORMATION??? I don't!!! ... Either give us a working comparitive number or just record it as "000" , stating that YOU HAVE NO CLUE!!!

 AND MR. Beyer, if you can't formulate to adjust for synthetic tracks, I am guessing we should only use your GAUGE on east coast dirt tracks then, AYE?? We guess by assigning 5 to 9 additional 'BSF points' to your numbers already now! SO WHY is it that YOU as a mathematician can't COME UP WITH A BETTER system to adjust to synthetics instead of making US GUESS???

Sorry, one unhappy customer!

Are there any others like me??

P.S. My guess on a bright sunshiny day... 21.50;  44.00 1:10.50  1:35.00 1:47.50  1:59.00 "Sidney's Candy" in a wire to wire WIN!!! FORGET THE BEYER'S and the DISTANCE Ratings!!

20 Apr 2010 11:52 AM

Pletcher may run filly in KD?  By the time the gates open May 1st he may have half the field.  I guess eliminating the competition is one way to ensure his first win.

20 Apr 2010 12:03 PM


You dropped Noble's Promise, thinking he was out.  He just lit up the track.  He probably won't win, but it was an injustice to exclude him.  He is better than 60% of your list, and he will make the gate.

20 Apr 2010 12:07 PM


Had a chance to get with Calvin Borel to talk about Super Saver and he was pretty confident he can get him to relax. We also talked about Racheal. Link is below.


20 Apr 2010 12:12 PM

No one talking about a wet track. What does everyone think that favors. Sidney? Lucky? Super? Mission? Eskendreya? those are the logicals to me.

20 Apr 2010 12:13 PM
El Kabong


Consider this about the Arkansas Derby. Those fractions would have fried most horses. The fact that those three were 123 all the way around and noses and heads apart at the finish is remarkable. The closers should have been able to gobble them up, and they didn't. The final time of 149.1 which you are not impressed with is better than times posted by Curlin and Smarty Jones. Afleet ran it in 148.4.  In retrospect, and after simmering down because Super Saver did not poke his head past LOD to give me a superfecta, I believe that this race was an excellent tune up for all three of those horses and I expect Super Saver and Dublin to get the most out of that effort because of their pedigrees for 10F. Plus, that was SS's second race back off a 3.5 month layoff. It's easy to handicap races that go as expected, normal paces with great closes but this race was not like that at all. You underestimate the value of the race for those horses and that final time. I was once told by a trainer that the best training for building endurance is to run as fast as you can for as long as you can. It's better than beating yourself up with longer works and builds better  muscle and lung. That 9f grinder was a great tune up. While there is something of truth in your remark about this race  being one for proven winners, you'll never enjoy the thrill of beating the obvious choices with a Funnycide, War Emblem or Monarchos ticket. It's way  more fun. Super Saver is that kind of horse.

20 Apr 2010 12:19 PM

What if Pletcher runs Devil May Care in the Derby? They're considering it and she can run all day. Pletcher says he will enter her in the Belmont and if so, there goes the tripple crown. With a high cruising speed, loving the distance, she could win both the Derby and the Belmont. If he stays healthy, I think Sidneys Candy will win the Preakness.

20 Apr 2010 12:24 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

After I saw Lookin at Lucky win the Futurity at Del Mar, I said that's my Derby horse and I'm sticking to it.  And I really enjoy and love to share your Derby Dozen.  Thanks.

20 Apr 2010 12:30 PM
Bill C

Dublin #4 I'm speechless

20 Apr 2010 12:32 PM


A few people are scared to jump on Esky's bandwaggon because Bellamy Road burnt them in 2005 BUT comparing these two are like apples and oranges ...they only have in common that the slaughtered the opposotion in the Wood Memorial with class topping Beyer speed figures.  Bellamy Road was a one-hit wonder ...no so with Esky as you've seen. Fear not to get on board baby ...come baby come (LOL).

20 Apr 2010 12:40 PM
rolo from ky

steve its lewis from facebook,  i agree with u about statly victor.

im boxing, him with eskendyra and endorement in exacta box.   might key eskendyra too,  but this will get u money if u plsy it.   throw in Dublin, ice box for a tri and super.

20 Apr 2010 12:43 PM


As you have noted, it is refreshing that we may be seeing a return to horses running more and not training up to the Derby. Chalk that up to the graded earnings requirement. This year may be the first, but certainly not the last time that horses get into a competition for graded earnings, i.e. they'll be running more often, not less. I can see even the horses who had good 2 year old earnings having to run more just so they do not lose their spot on the earnings list.

Second, one angle that I am really interested in is that of Endorsement. Will his running at the high altitude (3,700 feet) give him any advantage over the horses who have run at sea level more/less? If he wins this year, and after MTB last year, that Sunland Derby may get some serious attention in the coming years. After all, human runners from Kenya have shown that training at those high altitudes gave them an advantage in Marathon races. Why shouldn't the same principle apply to horses?

20 Apr 2010 12:48 PM

Coldfacts- Thank you for the great analysis of the Wood and Blue Grass.  I too love Stately Victor and Sidney's Candy-Esky appears to be much improved since his Breeder's Cup disaster last fall,but remember MTB finished last in the Cup, and look what he accomplished!  Stately Victor is very fast and can rate off the pace while many of the others are dueling it out up front.  Sidney's Candy may just be fast enough to put them all away if he gets a good post and a good trip.  Then there's always old reliable LOL who'll be right in there, but something tells me that he's not fast enough to win.  Can't count out Zito's Ice Box.  He's a real fighter as well, and he'll be coming off the pace.

Does anyone know if Esky as ever won on an off track?  Wonder if he'll take to an off track?

Sitting Bull- are you out there this year?  Any psychic predictions yet?  We need as much help as we can get!! You hit it last year with the double digit odds!

20 Apr 2010 12:48 PM

I "saw" your phone interview on TVG over the weekend.  I can't recall the name of the show, it was hosted by Chistina Olivera (sp?) and that dark haired guy.

You should do more Q&A interviews.  I like to read your opinions on Bloodhorse, but the insights you give in response to interview questions is outstanding.  

I share the opinions you expressed about Stately Victor in that interview.  Also found your take on Dublin to be very informative.  Again, do more interviews please.  

20 Apr 2010 1:01 PM

When is Steve scheduled to get to CD? His reports on how the horses are working there is always a prime part of my handicapping the Derby. It keyed me in on Denis of Cork a few years ago so that I was able to scoop up the tri with Big Brown on top.

20 Apr 2010 1:20 PM

OK, I am getting closer to closing in on those "Kty. OAKS" picks....

As of this point in time...(and I always reserve the right to change my mind before reaching the WINDOW!)...

"Amen Hallalujah"; "Evening Jewel"; : "It's Tea Time"; & "Quiet Temper" on top...

"Crisp" and "Tidal Pool" in my second tier... & for my long shot pick... "Bella Diamante" who won't appear that awesome on paper with those PPs, but whom, like "Sidney's Candy", is dbl bred to "BOLD RULER",--the father of "Secretariat" from Doswell, (Hanover Junction), Va.!!!--

  GO BABY ... GO BABY... GO!!!

20 Apr 2010 1:31 PM

Zarvona.  Candy Ride dropped a big one that 1 1/4 day at Del Mar.  Medaglia de done.  Julie Krone just kept going and going and going.  Every one just kept waiting and waiting and waiting for Candy Ride to back up.  Pretty much stole the Pacific Classic.

20 Apr 2010 1:33 PM
Fran Loszynski

Wowwie Wow- I just read Backtalk (Smarty Jones) could be in the Derby!  Two years ago I said to my racing friends:

Picture Smarty Jones son and Afleet Alex's son running against one another in the Kentucky Derby-Oh my gosh it might happen! I still have my Smarty Jones t-shirt before Afleet Alex took my heart. We will be seeing horseracing history if this happens. Two great Dads -two great sons. Both from Philly!If that happens my Derby picks are:





Stay tuned folks we're going to have to have double-fisted mint juleps if all these horses race May 1st.I think I'll wear my Afleet Alex hat, my Smarty Jones t-shirt, alternating with my Dublin t-shirt and Kentucky Derby lace hat. Whew! Any chance Lentenor can get in (Barbaro's brother,) oh my gosh I would go hysterical!!! Ha. Ha.

20 Apr 2010 1:44 PM

As of -4/19 the "Associated Press" has:

#1.) "Eskenderya"

#2.) "Lookin at Lucky"

#3.) "Ice Box"

#4.) "Sidney's Candy"

#5.) "Mission Impazible"

#6.) "Awesome Act"

#7.) "Super Saver"

#8.) "American Lion"

#9.) "Line of David"

#10.) "Jackson's Bend" ...

 and... the lead in article addresses T. Pletcher being 0-24 as a Derby trainer with 5-6 potential entries!! How does that bode for "Eskenereya"? Todd Pletcher could thusly now become 0-29 or 0-30 as a Derby trainer the way I am looking at it !!

 ok... I have to get back to work and clear my head for a week and stop thinking about some 1:59 to 2:02 seconds in all of our futures...

20 Apr 2010 1:55 PM

Still like Eskendereya (however you pronounce his name), Awesome Act and Stately Victor.

I'm waiting to see which fillies run in the Preakness.  

Belmont is too far ahead so far.

But, above all, any guesses yet on who's going to be 40 to 1?  I might have to change my choices!

(I looovvvee the come-from-behind horses and I expect this Derby will give me a thrill)

20 Apr 2010 2:28 PM

EL Kabong who were the closers in the Ark derby? Nobles Promise had a horrible ride no one else was in there. Dont think that kind a finish will get it done. Good luck with that group!

20 Apr 2010 2:31 PM
Derby Fever 10

Off track I like Sidneys Candy (Candy Ride) Eskenderyea (Giants Causeway) Endorsement(Distorted Humor) Mission Impazible (Unbridled's Song)

20 Apr 2010 2:34 PM

Wayne Lukas thinks every horse he has is doing well enough for the derby. Maybe he needs to try the All American again. Ark derby runners have are throwouts!!

20 Apr 2010 2:36 PM
Derby Dasher

El Kabong I hope you bet on your favorites. Helps my odds Todd Pletchers year Esk, Mission, may even with the filly maybe 1,2,3

20 Apr 2010 2:39 PM

The advantage of having a workout at "altitude" is that you do have to work a little harder than you would lower down and in addition, although you get more of a cardiovascular (conditioning)workout, you do not have more wear and tear on body.  We use to go from sea level (living) to workout (weekend day) going 5,000 up to 10,000 feet on local volcano.  It was more beneficial for the next weekend than going from 0 to 5,000 feet to workout.  Although the accumulation of additional RBCs takes a period of time to "cycle" from the bone marrow, the benefits of the more strenuous workout can be felt over much shorter timeframes, just as a horse can improve from one week to the next as a benefit of any good workout.

20 Apr 2010 2:40 PM

Ice Box is creeping into my consciousness.  Not many are discussing him as a legitimate shot (Driftin Sage gets a nod here).  More people are talking up Pleasant Prince, whom Ice Box beat twice.  Florida Derby winner, late closer, Nick Zito and likely off at 15-1.  If you believe it is a year for late closers, a Lucky-Ice Exacta Box could be your winning ticket.

20 Apr 2010 2:40 PM
James from Ky

1. Looking at Lucky

2. Eskendereya

3. Mission Impazible

4. Sidney's Candy

5. Stately Victor

6. Super Savor

20 Apr 2010 2:55 PM

If you run the last 3/8 in 38 sec I dont care how fast you run the first mile you lose badly You better look for some closer that wants to win Eskendereya, Stately Victor, Looking at Lucky, Mission Impazible

20 Apr 2010 2:58 PM

Leaving Rule off of this list is a mistake. All of Rule's lifetime starts have come over conventional dirt, and he's never been off of the board in any. For 95% of the Florida Derby, Rule was much the best. Velazquez even admitted that if he hadn't allowed Rule to get into an early speed dual with Pulsion in the race, then Rule comes home the winner. Ice Box and Pleasant Prince still only caught him in deep stretch with the wire looming. If whoever get's the Derby mount on Rule drops him in right off of the pace, in a stalking position, then, IMO, Rule will very much figure in the stretch drive in the Kentucky Derby.

20 Apr 2010 3:08 PM


 by “Bold Ruler”-(“Nasrullah” (G.B.) );

      “Something Royal”-(“Princequillo” (Ire.) )

Owner: Meadow Stables

   Breeder: Meadow Stud

State Bred: Virginia

 Winnings: 21 Starts: 16 - 3 - 1, $1,316,808

At 2:

Won Garden State S., Hopeful S., Futurity S., Laurel Futurity, Sanford S.

2nd Champagne S.

At 3:

Won Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness S. (G1), Belmont S. (G1), Man O' War S. (G1), Canadian International S. (G2), Gotham S. (G2), Bay Shore S. (G3), Marlboro Cup H., Arlington Invitational S.

2nd Woodward S. (G1), Whitney S. (G2)

3rd Wood Memorial S. (G1)

Foaled March 30, 1970.

1972 Champion Two Year Old Colt & Horse of the Year.

1973 Triple Crown Winner, Horse of the Year, Champion Three Year old Colt, & Champion Turf Horse.

Hall Of Fame inductee, 1974.

Set World Record of 2:24 for 12f on dirt in winning the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths.

1978 Leading Sire of Two Year Olds.

1992 Leading Broodmare Sire.

Euthanized on October 4, 1989, due to laminitis.

Buried at Claiborne Farm, Doswell, Va., where he stood his entire stud career.

  Thusly, in “Sidney’s Candy”,-- being bred to “Candy Ride” (Arg.) and “dbl bred” to “Bold Ruler”,--some here and now at the ‘11th hour’ are going to question his ability to get the distance ????  Oh that’s right, this horse’s d.s.d.s. SET THE WORLD RECORD for 12 fur.!!!!  WHO is doing that questioning again regarding this horse’s ability to get the distance ???  YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE!!  Try and FORGET that silly WORD… “Melt Down”!!!  

  You do make me laugh!!

"Go Baby... Go Baby...  GOOOOO!!!

20 Apr 2010 3:09 PM

Jersey Boy,

You might be right with Super Sleeper if he can draw 3-6 with closers and slow breakers to the inside.  However, if he doesn't get away clean or is outside, forget it. Only 21 have wired the field and there is better class in here than he brings. As for weather, he did wire a wet field to break his maiden going a mile at Belmont, which is no easy task.

20 Apr 2010 3:11 PM
exercise physiologist

about 15 years ago I worked in a high altitude training center with many national and international athletes.  In a good area for horses, they planned a marketing campaign to draw equine athletes. However, they withdrew the campaign when they realized the science showed that horses do NOT respond to high altitude similar to humans. There was no significant benefit to training horses at high altitude no matter how long they stayed.

20 Apr 2010 3:12 PM

  Ahhh, ya never know, I may yet get a touch of that "O'Prado fever" again and lay down a few hard earned dollars on a "Place" bet yet!!! ~~~ But, he will have some tough competition, where several others would have to 'melt' (yes, that horrid thought, 'melt'!!!)

20 Apr 2010 3:53 PM
El Kabong


I looked at last years race, a beautiful example of a sloppy track and one theme rang true. The synthetic horses, even ones without a high off track tomlinson or off track breading, did very well. 1,2,4,5. Mine That Bird raced all but two preps on Synthetic(6 of 8). Pioneer of the Nile, Papa Clem, Chocolate Candy all Santa Anita horses. Musket Man(3rd) ran most of his races leading up on the deep surface of Tampa Bay. For what it's worth, synthetic raced horses faired the best on the sealed sloppy surface at CD.

20 Apr 2010 3:54 PM

The more I think about it, the more I think that Super Saver has a shot. He has a big win over the track, and he will be ridden by Calvin Borel. Calvin is famous for the rides he gave Street Sense and Mine That Bird, but just watch the ride he gave Denis of Cork in the 2008 Derby. I've always been very impressed with it.

-El Kabong

You are absolutely right.


I think that if there was a tie for the twentieth spot, the horse with the higher earnings in ungraded stakes races would get in. In that case, A Little Warm would become the twentieth horse. I might be wrong, but I think that's what I read.



20 Apr 2010 4:08 PM

My problem with Lookin At Lucky is he's never put up that big number that jumps off the page.Can his troubled trips in his last 2 be blamed on blinkers ? Call me crazy but I hate seeing changes going into the Derby.gary Stevens comment after his 1st work at CD was he was blowing hard and looking for the water trough and may not like the track.Stay tuned for work number 2

I keep wondering how Eskie will handle an honest pace.A lot of these horses only chance at winning will be gunning for the front.Baffert already said no holding Conveyance back this time.23,46 here we come,he'll have more lengths to make up this time.

Sidney's Candy, had that great acceleration coming out of the turn that I love to see.IF he handles a little kickback.If he handles rating off the lead a couple lengths.One thing I keep seeing is people talking about his 10 dosage points.Been 60 years since a horse this low has won.We keep seeing other trends being broken every year.Could this be the 1 this year.

I want to see Endorsement train over the track,but this one could Improve.

Super Saver looks like a real fighter.Didn't like that Dublin didn't win the Ark.Derby but if Lukas can squeeze a little more ...

20 Apr 2010 4:24 PM
Keith from Fla

I believe its a year for fist timer Todd Pletcher. His winning % this year is unbelievable. Word from their camp are Eskeneryeya and Mission Impazible. Might pay good with MI in there.

20 Apr 2010 4:40 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Looks like it's Devil May Care for The Derby and Belmont. Pletcher is going to withdraw Eskendereya from The Derby and run him in The Preakness only. That way he won't hurt the filly's chances. You can't miss her she will be the one with the most well defined muscles. Or he may change his mind and still run Esky in The Derby. If Devil is in, how many does Pletcher have in there? You need a super computer to add them up.

goneforgin-You're right about Lookin At Lucky's numbers but they were compromised by bad trips. If his last work was that bad, then his next is critical and could tell us a lot. If he would have run in The Arkansas Derby instead of SA we might be seeing that big speed figure you're looking for. Also, if you're going by numbers then this is a weak group but quite a few are improving fast and are visually impressive. None as much as Esky though.

20 Apr 2010 5:31 PM
Derby Watch

Endorsement and Mission Impazible both colts going the right way seem to be working lights out. Lucky had an average breeze at CD, Sidneys Candy looks like a quality colt dont really like the front end style. Eskendereya seems to be the best colt but 20 horse field may be some of a challenge. I believe theres good value with Endor and MI

20 Apr 2010 5:35 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Besides-They don't know how to do Poly track speed figures. No telling how high some would be on dirt.

It sucks that Jon Court isn't riding Line Of David. One of the best guys in the biz, and that was a great ride.

I like Super Saver better than Dublin. Line Of David was the most impressive but I don't see him getting a mile and a quarter. If he is in the top three in The Derby I lose, but I may do a superfecta wheel with all in 4th if I can get cheap enough in the first 3 spots.

20 Apr 2010 5:49 PM
Karen in Texas

exercise physiologist---The work on altitude training for equines continues, regardless of the withdrawn campaign you mention. Please see the Altitude Simulation Technologies site and its board of directors, including well known equine DVM names such as Dr. Wayne McIlwraith. Studies they cite have been done this decade--here is a link.


20 Apr 2010 5:53 PM
El Kabong


Uh Oh Bango, Pulsion, Berberis, Northern Giant were all in a position, off that torrid pace to make a run. They didn't. The Top 3 were much better. Uh Oh Bango finished up well for 4th. Really should have had a hay day with that pace.


Agree on Esky and pace, and Sidney's push button acceleration in turn. A thing of beauty. Only horse in group coming into this race having run a better time in prep race than predecessors from previous year. And it was much better. I am much more impressed with Sid than Esky and I like the building blocks on Super Savers run up to the race. Esky looks like he can run all day and that will be of value in the Belmont. This race has more to do with speed and endurance and opportunity(a good trip). By the way, I like my gin shaken, tad dirty, one good olive thank you very much.


I'll settle for somewhat right if he hits the board with my posse. Thanks for the note. It would be more to Pletcher's credit if he guided SS to win this race with just the right amount of seasoning from only two preps.

20 Apr 2010 5:56 PM


The mere fact that you had to write such a long-winded treatise to convince yourself that Esky wont romp the derby says that you are the one living in a fool's paradise.  One thing I ask of you is that you report back to this blog to explain the outcome after May 1.  Your diatribe about Eskendereys's galloping action not being suited to Aqueduct and success in the Wood has already been exposed, yet you disappeared without explaining your debunct theory.  Now you reappear hoping that all is forgotten to rant on and on about what?  Come on Professor Coldfacts tell us which one(s) are going to "dust" Esky in the Derby.  The comparitive speed fractions you posted do not stand alone Bro.  Tell us how easily Esky ran his race in comparison to the others and how much unrevealed talent he has, being untested by those who wanted to avoid him and get into the Derby.  I look forward to hearing from you AFTER the Derby my friend.  Good luck to you 'cause you're gonna need plenty of it.  Peace.

20 Apr 2010 6:11 PM

Bring on Devil May Care!!!!!! I love that filly....She trains with Eskie and seems to be able to handle it. Could we be talking about another super filly here???

20 Apr 2010 6:11 PM

I also really like Nobles Promise. He is sitting on a big race and his works are sharp. He might be peaking at the right time.

20 Apr 2010 6:14 PM

Thank you BigRedForever.

I pay little attention to Speed Figs except the times in which races are run and the track variance. The reason is the cost of computing Speed Figures in a scientific way (checking wind direction, distance travelled, temperature conditions, etc) would be prohibitive. No one could do that nationwide and stay in business. In fact, one famous guy has been known to change his own figs.

The Beyer 2010 range for the top 3-yo colts, excluding Eskendereya, is 98-100. What use can anyone make of those figs?. A rounding error might give similar results.

Here is a simpler approach. By how much did Lookin At Lucky beat Noble's Promise? By how much did Super Saver beat Noble's Promise?

Which horse in this field has consistently put up a Speed Rating+Variance of 107 or better   on dirt at 3 different tracks?.

The horse is Super Saver. If he puts up the same 107 at CD and the Variance is say 15, he would have run the race in 2:01.40. That's a runaway.

He was beaten in his 2 preps because he was conceding weight.

Did you notice that  a horse ran past Lookin At Lucky near the finish of the Breeders Cup Juvenile and the SA Derby?

Note Super Saver has already put up 107 at Churchill.

I hope I am not going mad.

20 Apr 2010 6:37 PM

Esky is a scary horse... Belmont seems ideal for this horse if he can get the first 2 legs.  BUT that's not gonna happen.  Sidney's Candy will avoid the traffic that Esky will have to deal with (too much speed in this race means traffic}.  AND Just maybe Calvin's ride the rail strategy may be followed by one or two this year. (oh oh...no threepete..) Sidney's Candy will survive (unless super crazy fractions set..) and have the late acceleration of last 3 races to win it all.  Dublin can HANG for a small piece... he does every race.

20 Apr 2010 6:44 PM
Forbidden Apple




7-Setsuko 8-Stately Victor

9-Ice Box 10-Nobles Promise

11-American Lion 12-Super Saver


I am using my top 6 in all of my exactas and triples. I will bet Awesome Act to win and place. Sidneys Candy and Conveyance have ample speed, Endorsement and Eskendereya will be stalking the speed, and Awesome Act and Lookin At Lucky will be flying late. Conveyance might be a big headache for Sidney and Eskendereya. This horse deserves a little bit more respect off from his 2nd in the Sunland Derby. My top three horses are powerful, determined to win, and will be full of run!

20 Apr 2010 6:45 PM


        I would like to know if you have been going over the race videos of all the horses entered for the Kentucky Derby to date and not just the prep race videos every race each horse has run in to date    I have watched all of the races each horse has run in and I can tell for fact that only two horses stand out and that is Mission Impazible and Lookin At Lucky.   I have narrowed it down to these two only because Awesome Act had problems and still may have problems.    These two horses are the only two of all the horses entered that have gas/brake/gas style of running.    These two horses have a huge late burst of energy and if you watch the way they have run you can not miss it. It is not going to matter if they are in a race with 5 horses ar 20 horses that style of running stands out.  Also about a negative show pool can happen and will happen if Eskendereya is out of the money and at a mile and a one quarter after watching him race he will not be there at the finish in the top 7    Eskendereya will most likely go off at 3/2 because people are not paying attention to the one mile and a quarter length of the derby.   Rajiv has only one chance to get it right and that is get out, get over, stay over,and stay high on the horse until the one mile and one eighth pole and then take off.   If you do not like my horse to win explain why instead of just saying it.  Yes if you are in the outside ten horses you have to move quick and settle down  inside and save energy.   In this years derby betting show is a good thing to do if you are a show player.   Mission Impazible to win by 10 , Ijust can not see it any other way.   You can have early trouble in a one mile and one quarter race and still have time to get out of trouble.   Joe  

20 Apr 2010 6:54 PM
Newbie Player

Could somebody please give me some general trifecta guidence? I may box 4 horses, but anymore gets very expensive. If I do a partial wheel tri, how many horses should I try to limit in each slot? Should I only use one of the top 3 on top for better value? Using Steve's rankings above only as an example, would a $2 tri wheel of 1-3-9 with 1-3-9 with all be too " chalky" ? any help, or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

20 Apr 2010 7:33 PM

I thought Eskandereya looked pretty strong; but when Zayat announced Esky would be sold in his entirety this year, I had the feeling that maybe his team was baiting a hook to catch Coolmore or a Sheik. It made me start wondering about the horse and the overall strength of this year's field. That was intensified by the announcement that Pletcher might even run a filly in the Derby.

20 Apr 2010 7:43 PM
Carlos in Cali

All I have to say is:

I really,really hope the muddled masses pound Eskendereya at the windows come May 1st. If Pletcher takes this year's Derby,it'll be w/the highly thought of Filly,Devil May Care,IMO.

20 Apr 2010 7:49 PM
Matthew W

Householder Candy Ride stumbled badly, then laid just off Madaglia...he came alongside, then just cruised away--he was a top horse--7 for 7, Big Mac called him his best--he trained John Henry...he's my answer to this: best twelve horses since Bid, who's the favorite?...Candy Ride...

20 Apr 2010 9:33 PM


I picked Dublin a few weeks ago. Then confusion started to set in after watching a few more of the prep races. However I have decided to stay with Dublin. Ice Box a possible second. I think in a 20 horse field of this quality, you will have enough front runners to draw everyone out early at a very fast pace.  Pace meltdown will probably start right after the final turn. Last year Mine That Bird demonstrated this to perfection.  This year I like Dublin and Ice Box to do the same.

20 Apr 2010 9:37 PM
Matthew W

The thing about American Lion is, he really didn't run that badly in California, he went out with Tiz Chrome, in 47...which was by far the fastest 1/2 of the four graded stakes races run there that day....he hung in there--he HAS stamina!...he was messed up in the San Felipe, he was very amped up in the gate--he has problems/it's a toss out race, and yet, he did hang in there all through the stretch--he's got stamina...then in Illinois, he was hooked on the turn and down the stretch, and he kept to his stride like a nice thing---all I can say is Tiznow....

20 Apr 2010 9:40 PM
Matthew W

Just when I think Pletcher's holding a strong hand--and he starts gripping and tosses the filly out there? The only filly that belonged in the Derby was Winning Colors, if you're not an amazon,then don't fiddle around with the males at 1 1/4 on dirt, I'm not even sure you beat The Dorf's little chestnut filly in The Oaks--or Sadler's CRISP-Y critter!

20 Apr 2010 9:46 PM


Any trifecta in the Derby will pay a great price. It is because there are 20 * 19 * 18 possible trifectas. That's 6,840 combo's. Even the "chalky" ones pay well. That being said, a 4 horse trifecta box will cost $2 * 4* 3* 2 or $48. Similarly a 5 horse box is $120. So it's just a matter of how much you want to put at risk. My personal preference is take my 4 top picks and do an exacta box. That costs $24. If a lesser pick gets in there you got a $100 exacta easily.

20 Apr 2010 9:59 PM

The odds right now on Mission Impazible are 30/1 and will go down at post time to around 24/1 that is a fifty dollar horse on top.   I say to all on this blog that you best jump on board now.  Wheel him in the exacta and triple and double.  Also back wheel him in the Derby Double and you will cash big time.   Todd Pletcher knows right now that Mission Impazible will win the Kentucky Derby.  Mission Impazible has had a month to rest and flys around the track at a mile and sixteenth and pulls awayfor fun.    Now when he pulls away at a mile and a eighth and wins by 10 lengths I want everybody who is ripping up tickets to come back and read this email that was sent on april 20th 2010.   A lot of money to make if you wheel Mission Impazible down the line.   I may buy every person I see in the local O.T.B. A $2.00 win ticket the day of the derby because I am that sure of Mission Impazible winning by 10 lengths.   Joe

20 Apr 2010 10:52 PM

Newbie Player,

Anything with Esky winning and Sidney's Candy 2nd won't pay much. Based on your picks, I'd watch the odds board with thoughts of Ice Box win bet, heavy tri with Esky winning and Sidney's Candy 2nd and third with Ice Box and couple others. For years the second horse has bitten me, so be careful of that spot (in other words, don't get obsessed with all in third alone - maybe Esky to win with sidney's candy and ice box second and third with all might be a thought). Ultimately, though, remember, its parimutal, so you the payoff depends on what others are playing.Best thing I ever heard was that an average handicapper who is a great bettor beats a great handicapper who is average bettor everyday. Good luck, and don't let anyone talk you out of your picks. Much easier to live with betting yours and losing then losing with someone else's.

20 Apr 2010 10:55 PM

I want every one to take a good look at the white mark on Mission Impazibles head because you will see that mark all around the world come Sunday morning in the newspapers and on the news.     Joe

20 Apr 2010 10:56 PM

Is there anybody else here who thinks if Todd Pletcher really had a lot of confidence in one of his horses he'd feel the need to keep adding to the number he enters?  If I were one of the owners, I'd feel my horse isn't getting the necessary attention from my trainer.  Of course, I guess all of Todd's owners know going in that for him it's a "numbers game" with quantity trumping quality.  He proves it year after year.

To Fran regarding Dublin and Backtalk; I loved Smarty and Alex as much as anybody.  While I'm really pleased to see these young stallions getting offspring that can compete at this level, Dublin and Backtalk are simply not in the same league as their illustrious sires, much as you might wish them to be.  I sure wouldn't mind eating my words though if one of them wins the Derby.

21 Apr 2010 12:25 AM

My two favorites are Lokin at Lucky and Sydney's Candy.  I am glad they are not the favorites because the favorite never wins the Derby.

21 Apr 2010 12:56 AM
Newbie Player

Matthew W,

             Thanks for the ex./tri. suggestions, The tri boxes get expensive after 4 horses, so thats why I didn't know if maybe a $2 partial tri wheel would be better than a box. Like I said, I'm kinda new at this. I've hear some say that if you do a tri partial wheel, to turn them around each way also, seems that would be the same as a box. Thanks again for the help.

21 Apr 2010 4:48 AM
Newbie Player

Old Timer,

         (oooops), thanks for the help with the tri's.I'm also going to do a exacta box. But with the tri's I wasn't sure if I should do a tri box, or a tri partial wheel. Thanks for the suggestions Old Timer.

21 Apr 2010 5:16 AM

Zarvona...the Churchill track and Ky Derby record was set in 1973 by Secretariat at 1:59 2/5, and I don't see any horse running today who can even equal, let alone break that record.

21 Apr 2010 7:18 AM

here's some solid advice-

toss out all the poly runner'e from

contention,,,no way do those runners have a chance to win,,,

running second is a totally different story but be real,,,

racing on rubber ain't the same as running on dirt,,and please..sorry all you cali fans..your runnere are inferior to the east coast runners-always have been,and always will be

21 Apr 2010 7:52 AM

Why cant anyone pronounce Eskendereya's name correctly?? There is clearly an 'e' between the 'd' and 'r'. I hope they get it right on Derby day.

21 Apr 2010 8:18 AM

Classy move by Line of David's connections, to dump Jon Court after he gave them a Grade 1 win.  

21 Apr 2010 8:20 AM
Derby Study

The only 2 horses that have a chance to win by 10 are Sidney and Eskrendreya. I highly doubt either one will.A 20 horse race can be impossible to handicap.  It take luck smart rides trainer skill and more luck. Setting up to be front end disaster. There should be tired horses all over the track that will make it tough for closer to navigate. I like the stalking styles which favors Endorsment, Looking at Lucky, Eskrendreya and Mission Impazible.

21 Apr 2010 8:55 AM

Smart: it's more difficult to run on poly than dirt.  If it were easier, the dirt horses would not have such great problems with it.  And from what I have seen this spring, poly horses do even better on dirt.

21 Apr 2010 10:08 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I'm with you on that one. A G1 win, and a great ride. The horse ran for him. That kills Line Of David's chances of running well in The Derby. Karma if nothing else. At least Dublin's connections did the right thing going back to Thompson. Joel Rosario should have been left on Chocolate Candy last year. Look how well Rosario is doing this year. He was really good last year too, and the right jockey for that horse. Switching to Smith just for The Derby was idiotic. What if Street Sense's connections said they were taking Borel off of the mount because he never did that well in The Derby before? Street Sense would probably have lost. That's Bejarano's tough luck if he wasn't on the horse at Arkansas. He loses the mount. The horse probably would have lost anyway with Bejarano on and he wouldn't even be in The Derby. Nobody could have ridden Line Of David better than Court did in that race. It's impossible.

21 Apr 2010 10:10 AM

Interactif will win if only he doesn't get the ax at the last minute by his nervous trainer.

21 Apr 2010 11:15 AM
El Kabong


You should really consider changing your post to:


Just a thought.

21 Apr 2010 11:25 AM

I think that Setsuko will be over-looked by the majority of handicappers.  The horse closed well in the Santa Anita derby and came flying down the stretch.  

21 Apr 2010 12:02 PM

Trebloc & Dr.D, Kindly don't start the knock on Sadler for the jock switch. Bejarano is his go to rider, no disrespect to Court but he only got the ride due to a previous committment. If you liked Line of David's chances before the switch, Bejarano moves this horse up by a bunch. Sadler is a class act and simply made a good business decision. Best to all

21 Apr 2010 12:27 PM

Carlos in Cali,

You were all over I Want Revenge last year after his impressive victories in the Gotham and Wood but you avoid Eskendereya like the plague this year ...makes no sense, seeing that Esky is a bigger monster than IWR ever was.

Devil May Care's presence in the derby is going to be insurance on a house cleaning act by the Todd Squad.  Guess Todd's not going to make the same miscalculation with her as he did when failing to enter Rags To Riches in the 2007 Derby.

21 Apr 2010 1:01 PM

here are the winners in this order:looking at lucky, eskendereya, rule.

21 Apr 2010 1:47 PM

Mission Impazable, winning the Derby?  Why? How? I don't see him in the top 10. Can somebody explain it.  I have only been doing this for 40 years and if there is one thing I know it is this horse does not have a chance.

21 Apr 2010 1:54 PM
Carlos in Cali


This will be easy:  I Want Revenge was a Beast once he hit the dirt. In the Gotham he showed that he can sit right behind a solid pace and turn on the jets,while in the Wood he stumbled out of the gate and bided his time,weaved or rather bullied his way thru traffic and pulled away.If he'd broke with the field his margin of victory would've been double digits in rapid fashion.

Eskendereya has NOT shown such high cruising speed & quick turn of foot,..or an ability to sit, pounce,make his own room & pull away into a solid pace.Big difference. He's more of an Belmont Stakes type horse where his steady low cruising speed will be best situated,not the stampede-like Ky Derby where he'll find himself mid-pack at best & having to make a few moves before hitting the far turn. I'm betting he'll get outrun because of this. You're fooling yourself if you think Eskendereya will get an easy 'dream-like' trip he's gotten in his last 2 starts. There's no comparison between these 2,IWR showed much,much more brilliance.

Devil May Care is for real & will be live if she goes in the Derby.She Belongs in there.....I've always thought Rags2Riches was the best of her crop,bar none.

21 Apr 2010 2:30 PM
Barb Dwyer

Okay I've been reading through all the posts on this blog and the other guys (Jason).  In case anybody missed it, Ranagulzion likes Eskendereya and JOE likes Mission Impazible.

Ranagulzion I read through the posts here last year at Breeders Cup.  Aren't you the one that was so high on Careless Jewel to win the distaff?  I'm pretty sure it was you that was very repetitive about her winning, much the same as your repetition about Esky now.

Please tell the folks where Careless Jewel finished in the Breeders Cup.

21 Apr 2010 3:15 PM

The big difference between LAL and Esky from last year to this year is Esky has improved 20-30 beyer points while LAL ran one race over a 90. LAL is just not fast enought.

Sydneys Candy has improved, Ice Box and Endorsement have also improved. Awesome Act is sitting on a big race. LAL is a nice horse but not in the same category as the other 5. Take a look at American Lion, his pp's aer very similar to LAL. Dublin has no chance either. He couldn't get by Star of Davis with a perfect trip. He looks like a miler.

21 Apr 2010 3:36 PM

1. Lookin at Lucky

2. Eskendereya

3. Sidney's Candy

Lookin at Lucky's work today at Churchill solidified my belief that he is much more explosive and brilliant on dirt.  Lucky is the class of the field, versatile, professional, consistent, battle-tested, well bred, and has Baffert.

Eskendereya and Sidney's Candy are the "fastest" horses according to the figs; remember, Sidney's 100 Beyer for the SA Derby is like a 106 on dirt.

21 Apr 2010 4:10 PM

Barb Dwyer: don't go dissing my girl Careless Jewel.  Anyone can have a meltdown during a high tension event.  

Let's give her the benefit of the doubt for this year.

Also, she can't help it if Draynay liked her.  Unfortunately, you can't always pick your friends.

21 Apr 2010 4:26 PM

I was surprised when Pletcher started talking about possibly entering the filly in the KY Derby.  Clearly this years crop of 3 year old colts is not weak.  If it were it might make sense to enter the filly.  As it stands she has no chance.  It does make sense if there is a colt near the bottom of the earnings qualifiers who scares Pletcher.  I think that colt is Awesome Act.  The filly bumps him to 19th. If Eightyfiveinafifty picks up enough earnings it would bump Awesome Act to 20th.  If that happens don't be surprised if Pletcher changes his mind and enters Aikenite to bump Awesome Act out of the field.

21 Apr 2010 4:31 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I totally respect John Sadler and have thought for years that he is a great trainer and person, and I understand the move. I just don't like it. I'm really not knocking them for their decision to go to their guy Bejarano. It's a logical decision. It's just not what I would have done. It's not a bad decision, unlike the other two moves I mentioned-Chocolate Candy last year, and when they went to Nakatani this year on Dublin. You don't take off a good rider who is doing well with the horse to go to someone that has Derby experience. They corrected their mistake with Dublin. I like Mike Smith too, but using him instead of Rosario was the wrong choice on Candy in my opinion. Many people would go back to Bejarano over Court. It's a move that makes some sense, it's just not the move I would have made.

21 Apr 2010 5:19 PM

A few comments back Coldfacts asked a question about any horse ever doing poorly in the Juvenile and then winning the Derby.  Well, I believe that was Mine That Bird.  Anything can happen.  No matter which horse I like, I'll always put some money on Calvin Borel in the Derby.  He seems to be magic there.  Conveyance looks to be training really well and could pull a surprise.  Who is his jockey?

21 Apr 2010 5:36 PM
Old HR Fan

Steve Haskin I just read your article about Lookin at Lucky not having any question marks.  I have a question for you.  What is Endorsement trying to do that hasn't been done since 1918?  Didn't Big Brown win the Derby with fewer starts?

Sorry but I disagree with your assessment that Lookin at Lucky and Awesome Act don't have any questions.  They both have a major question cause they both lost their final prep by more than 4 lengths.

Only one horse since 1975 failed to finish within 4 lengths of the winner in his final prep.  That was Thunder Gulch and he only lost by 4 1/2.  Even MTB and Giacomo were less than 4 lengths back from the winner in their last prep.

Lucky and Awesome both lost by 6 or more.  I cannot find a horse that lost by that much and went om to win the Derby, and thus far I've gone back to the 1950s.  

Yes I know they both have excuses but it's unrealistic to assume they are the only two horses in decades to have had enough trouble to overlook a loss of more than 4 lengths.  

In other words, I'm sure there are other horses that had a great excuse for losing their last prep by a wide margin but nevertheless you didn't see them winning the Derby.  

21 Apr 2010 6:11 PM


Another great grandson of "Secretariat" bred to Candy Ride"; is capable of breaking that record!! GO BACK one more time and look at the speed of "Sidney's Candy" forgetting all together his other STAMINA influences!!

LET ME quote again from my earlier blog posting of a different date.

   “…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”. …  [[HE has]]…posted the following wins: 5 ½ fur. 1:02.71; --which is basically flying low… and [[has]]  knocked off some Gr. II 7 fur. … in 1:20.91... …[[Next, in his first ever two turn race!!]]… only [a] Gr. II 1 1/16 run, …[[he ran]] a respectable 1:42.30; …and then topping that all off … [[in]] his first ever and only “wire to wire” 1 1/8 run in a 1:48.00; …[[after stumbling out of the gate!!! And…]] winning the prized Gr. I Santa Anita Derby [[all]] against the respectable competition of the month !! …[[and all in a]] 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,]] …who is to again say that ‘this horse can’t get the distance?’ … And, who is to say that this horse doesn’t strengthen and grow even stronger 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 ….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!! [[AGAIN, this horse is dbl bred to "Bold Ruler", "Secretariat's father"!!!

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


  Just be thankful that I am not a national sports write and don't post these findings of this information to every bettor who will go the window on May the 1st and place their wagers on whoever or for whatever reason and that thusly I only share these thoughts with you!

  Again, NO ONE HAS TO LISTEN TO ME or follow my lead by suggestion!! Just sharing my thoughts on notes I essentially just send off to my brother, the LUCKY 'sob', who once upon a time had $100 on "Giacamo" to win in a future pool, at greater than 99-1!!! BEING A HORSE I DIDN'T EVEN USE accept for once for 3rd in a triple ticket purchase!!  So see, I don't know all!! But I will repeat my prediction! "See ya again next year TODD! cause "Sidney's Candy" wins the Kentucky Derby in a near wire to wire performance!" Yes, with this horse I think the Derby track record could even be in jeopardy!

21 Apr 2010 6:28 PM

Matthew W. Looks like Sidney's Candy inherited Candy Ride's stumbling gene.  His breaks have been less than clean and if he stumbles/hops in the air Derby day it may be over.  

21 Apr 2010 6:32 PM

In addition to Candy Ride, Big "Mac" also had his own "Zenyatta" ride with Bayakoa who went on her own 18 month "reign of terror."  I remember his teary eyed comment after Go For Wand broke down against Bayakoa in the Distaff.  "These horses give us their all for our enjoyment."  Pretty classy dude.

21 Apr 2010 6:57 PM

Lookin at lucky

Nobles promise

Awesome act


21 Apr 2010 6:58 PM

P.S. Slew


 Anyone who beats "Sidney's Candy", whoever that could possibly be... will probably have to run faster that 1:59.30!! NOW you have a point in that there isn't anyone else out their yet that has flashed that kind of speed! And even, "Eskendereya" 's over blown 109's an 106's aren't even close to 116's!!! Just wait for "Sidney's Candy" to try something he hasn't yet done, like when for fun he first attempted his first ever 7 fur. Gr. II or his first time ever GR. I  1 1/8 and now the next test, 1 1/4! OH BOY, we may see something special yet, beleive me!!


and that so...that being in the way that 'DRAY' believes in "Noble's Promise"; 'Ranagulzion' believes in TODD & "Esky"; and Joe believes in the impossible mission, I mean "Mission Impazible!!!

21 Apr 2010 7:06 PM

Two quick pedigree comments, one based on Steve's article today about Lookin at Lucky.  First, can we please stop touting Super Saver's pedigree by insisting on the virility of his female line while ignoring that he is sired by a mediocre producer on the top?  For S.S., let's say "nice female family and interesting dynamics," and not "great pedigree."  Maria's Mon is NOT a great sire.

Second, and with respect for today's article, Belong to Me has been an enormously effective producer of classic distance runners as a BMS.  Nothing whatsoever about LAL's female side suggests limitations to his ability to get 10 furlongs.  Just my 2 cents.

Keep up the great work Steve.

21 Apr 2010 8:28 PM
Newbie Player


            Thanks for the help, I sure do need it. Using Steve's ratings above for an example again. How would this $2 partial wheel tri look? 1,6,9 with 1,2,3,6,9 with 2,3,5,6,9  This would cost $84.  Does it still look too chalky? Any help is appreciated.Should I add more or less in any slot? I'm not very experienced at tri's. Thanks

21 Apr 2010 8:38 PM
Forbidden Apple


I believe Conveyance will be ridden by Martin Garcia. I have liked this colt all spring and he deserves a serious look in all slots. I could see him running 3rd or 4th.


I completely agree that Devil May Care has no business entering the KY Derby. Eightyfiveinafifty is a sprinter and he should stick to one turn races. It would be very bad for horse racing if Pletcher enters more than 5 horses. This is a sick joke and us fans should be outraged at any one trainer trying to stack the race full of his own donkeys. You could be on to something, but I am guessing that Awesome Act will be in the starting gate.


Besides Pletcher, what other trainers have entered numerous starters in any one KY Derby in the history of the race? Does Pletcher hold the record for most horses entered in any one KY Derby?

21 Apr 2010 8:49 PM
Gana Facil 777

I am not an expert and have no inside information.  But from looking at Glencrest Farm and their focus (Broodmares), I think they'll arrive at "yes, let's go in the Derby."  Devil-MC is as well-bred as most in the race for one and one quarter.  Her figures fit.  She's coming off of a 1 and 1/8 win - why not.  Arguably she might be Pletcher's second best shot, depending how you view the non-Eske bunch.  If they do so, there's a lucky rider who will fall into a nice spot.  Steve, this is your best year.  You are like a fine Cabernet.  However, still hoping you do not land on my horse as your pick.  Keep it up!  You add a lot to our horse racing lives and provide excellent and welcomed historicla context and insight!

21 Apr 2010 9:47 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I'm anxious for your physicality assessment. I now think that Lookin At Lucky is the one to beat with a slight edge over Eskendereya. Hope you get there for the Saturday workouts, although rain may prevent them from having many or any. Eskendereya's post is important. Lucky can get out of any mess in a mile and a quarter, but can Esky???

21 Apr 2010 10:35 PM


First off, I would not get cheap and leave Esky out of third, if you think he can win (you will be sick for quite awhile if that happens, cause it will pay well). If he doesn't win, any bet will pay better, so maybe you can play a $2 tri 1/2369/23569 ($32) and $1 tri 69/12369/12369 ($30) for $62 and then play a couple of win and exacta bets depending on odds board, or box Esky, Sydney's Candy and Ice Box in $1 tri for $6 in case all 3 come in together and you'll then hit it 2 or 3 times, offsetting the lower payoff if Esky and Sidney's Candy run 1-2. Just stick to your gut on your choices - better to lose with yours than someone else's.

21 Apr 2010 10:46 PM


If you're concerned about cost and payoff, I'd recommend playing exactas. You have less spots to cover, and you can see probable payoffs, so you know what your risk to reward is. Best of luck - I am one of those dumb bettors who still has faith in Dublin. I wish I could get Joe to tell me who he's wagering on -I'D PROBABLY PUT A COUPLE BUCKS ON IT.

21 Apr 2010 10:51 PM

To: Tom, Goneforgin and Jersey Boy

Re: Lookin at Lucky

Tom, you say you believe Lucky has regressed since his 2 year old year. He has had two races. His Rebel win has been called the most impressive race of all the preps by some. He got a Ragozin 4, which has only been beaten by Esky, and Baffert said before the race he was not fully cranked up and the jockey had to stand up on him and regroup in middle of the race.

Then came the Santa Anita Derby. If you look at that race, stop the

action, see where he was and how he was moving when he got pushed into the rail, see where he is when he recovers, note how he has to regain momentum.

Jersey Boy, you say he was passed in the stretch in the Santa Anita Derby. Yeah, he was passed by the late running Setsuko. What you leave out is that Lucky got within two lengths of Sydney's Candy on the turn and was making a good move when he got shut off and dropped back to 7th, a good 6 lengths back, and had to regroup and come on again. He would have been at least 5 lengths further ahead of Setsuko, who will probably always make up some ground on him in the stretch, but Lucky would be 5 to 8 lengths ahead of him and not just 2.

Also, Baffert said again he is not fully cranked, does not even have to win this race and Gomez did not push him through the stretch. (He did keep riding him but didn't push him)

Just making my case for my horse and really enjoying everyone's thoughts.

22 Apr 2010 12:28 AM

Old HR Fan:

You missed a couple of Kentucky Derby winners that lost their last prep by more than 4.5 lengths and even more than 6.

1986- Ferdinand: Lost the SA Derby by 7 lengths when 3rd to Snow Chief.

1984- Swale: Lost the Lexington by 8 when 2nd.

1982- Gato del Sol: 2nd by 5.5 lengths in the Blue Grass.

22 Apr 2010 12:52 AM
You Got To Have it

This derby will be a fast pace.  It all depends on Derby day who will lead and who will stay behind.  LAL is my pick. Here's why.  Lookin At Lucky has great talent with a great jockey plus BBaffert. I was looking back on some race videos specially Breeders cup Juvenile and Lookin At Lucky came out on the middle of pack while Esky was rough up on the first turn.  On the back stretch LAL and Esky where toe to toe coming into the stretch LAL Started firing and rallying for the win while Esky was hung on the stretch but did rally when most of them rallied late.  Okay Esky improve from that performance he loves the dirt.  But Esky only wins when the pace is slow in a fast pace Esky will tired and end up losing the KYderby. Looking at Lucky on the other hand loves the fast pace and he closes with a rush. I just need to know how he will handle the dirt.  Now I know he is ready to win by 4 and half lengths on KYderby. my picks are

Time: 2:01.57

1: Lookin At Lucky      4 1/2

2: Nobles Promise       Head

3: Dublin               .1/2

4: Endorsement          Neck

5: Sidney's Candy       2

6: Eskydereya           neck

7: Conveyance           nose

8: Awesome Act          1

9: Super Saver          neck

10: Rule                .1/2

11: Ice Box             2

12: Mission Impazible  

22 Apr 2010 1:51 AM
Tom Fly

Dirt-1 1/4 Mi.-126 lbs.

Do the Math

Eskendereya-- 2:00 flat

22 Apr 2010 3:20 AM


You are clearly not lacking in "gumtion" and "testosterone" when it comes to confidence in your "Derby horse", and I quote you: "I will repeat my prediction! "See ya again next year TODD! cause "Sidney's Candy" wins the Kentucky Derby in a near wire to wire performance!" Yes, with this horse I think the Derby track record could even be in jeopardy!"  

Thats a pretty bold statement to make and you've supported it with very strong arguments from both pedigree and performance analyses (Love it).  More power to you my friend. I have to say that you make such a grand case for Sidney's Candy that had Esky not been in the race you'd make a believer out of me. Wire to wire in a sub-two minute 10 furlongs Derby (possibly eclipsing the track record?) ...Wow! ...it certainly will take that kind of performance to lower Eskendereya's colours.  However I have a question for you of the kind that requires a paradign shift to answer correctly...a step up in your BELIEVING and reflection on Derby history ...here goes: Do you know what it means to be seen as "the 2nd coming of Big Red, aka the 2nd coming of the immortal Secretariat?" ...That's what Eskendereya IS Baby ...think carefully and research what 2nd coming means vis a vis 1st coming (Holy Writ may be a good reference).  I tell you one thing, there is still room on the waggon but if you wait 'til after the Derby your spot isn't guaranteed ...so COME BABY  COME BABY  COME ON BABY!!! ...let the good times roll (how about 1:58 and change ...if SC ever tests Esky). Interesting times indeed (no pun intended).  

22 Apr 2010 6:55 AM
Gentleman Mike

It' amazing to me that 13 of the contenders trace back to Secretariat, but no one mentions this great sire of sires and broodmares.

22 Apr 2010 7:12 AM

Barb Dwyer,

Ouch! Your barbs are sharp ...yes that Careless Jewel went rank and ran off like cheap speed and ...embarrased me by coming in LAST ...thought that I ate my crow on that one long ago ...anyway, in this game nobody gets it perfect all the time ...some times, maybe. I'm good but not that good Sis.

When it comes to this Derby do not be ridiculous in thinking that Esky bears any resemblance to Careless Jewel in the BC Distaff...he's simply a horse of a different colour ...just wait and see, then come back and thank me.

22 Apr 2010 7:23 AM

I'm hoping Jackson Bend gets in. He, along with Lookin at Lucky and Ice Box would be my picks. Esky's too overhyped for my taste, whereas Lookin at Lucky and Jackson Bend are tough and consistent. I like Ice Box to pick up the pieces late with all those speedsters in there.

22 Apr 2010 7:47 AM
Bob B

Steve ,

Actually in the other article BUT ...a Lucky Lorenzo reference ? You might be my new hero ....I was sure i was the only one who remembered that line.

22 Apr 2010 8:21 AM

Zarvonna...you were speaking of beating Secretariat's time.  It hasn't happened in 35 years...I don't see any colt today that can.

(well..maybe 85ina50 if he can be tamed and go 2 turns and have no traffic)

"The second sub-two minute time was recorded by Sham, two-fifths of a second behind Secretariat in the same race. Another sub-two minute finish, only the third, was set by in 2001 by Monarchos at 1:59.97."

Secretariat was notable in that each successive quarter was faster than the previous quarter.  And then consider...what if it rains?

I think we all have differing opinions on who will win.  Predicting a record breaking time, however, is a bit far-fetched for me.  I like Sidney, but he's not my favorite.

22 Apr 2010 8:52 AM


On your comment that Maria's Mon "is not a great sire". It may be  true that he was not. But at the time he sired Super Saver his stud fee was $60,000. He is one of only two sires in this field to have sired a Ky Derby winner. His son Monarchos ran the second fastest Ky Derby ever.

22 Apr 2010 8:53 AM

Old HR Fan,

SC won by 4.5 lengths over Setsuko, who barely out finished LAL. I'm not sure how far ahead of him he finished, but it wasn't more than a length. LAL had a horrible trip, horribe. Also, the races your talking of, were all on dirt, not synthetic. I would also bet that most of those horses had three preps before the Derby, while LAL has only two, which could leave him with more energy. Also remember that, before MTB, it had been quite a while before a horse had finished out of the top three in his final Derby prep and actually won the Derby. LAL is much better and much more explosive on dirt, which is probably why he was able to overcome the trouble for the win in the Rebel, and not so much in the SA Derby. So far, I actually would like LAL most in the Derby. Synthetics, seem to exercise a horse better, strengthening their muscles and tendons and providing them with more bottom than those training on dirt. LAL just had one heck of a prep, that could set him up perfectly for the Derby. He'll be fresh, he'll have more experience with traffic, he's coming in off a good work, and seems to steadily improving. He's got the goods and the ability to win.

22 Apr 2010 9:07 AM
Newbie Player


          I appreciate the help.I may adjust my picks according to post postitions and workouts, and just me making up my mind, lol. Thanks

22 Apr 2010 9:47 AM


Maria's Mon didn't live long enough to become a great sire in the way that great sires are defined but he got off to a whopping start, throwing  2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos (the only other sub-two minutes Derby winner in history) in his 1st crop.  Maria's Mon was champion 2YO (Eclipse award winner) in the same crop as Unbridled Song, Hennessey and Grindstone ans Skip Away.  He is from the same sire line as 1969 Kentucky Derby winner Majestic Prince (his great grand sire), descending from Native Dancer through Raise A Native. In his short career he has also thrown some useful Triple Crown contenders in the past such as High Limit, Strong Contender and the infamous Monba (Blue grass winner 2008).  He is also grand sire of Champion mare Informed Decision.

As far as credentials go, to be a bona fide Derby-winner-producing influence, Maria's Mon belongs in the category of the elite sires in the light of his abbreviated career.  Therefore beware of Super Saver in the Derby ...his pedigree (top and bottom) compares favourably with the best in the field and he's gonna hit the board and be a part of the Todd Squad house cleaning act, come May 1, 2010.  Remember that Ranagulzion told you so.  Peace.    

22 Apr 2010 9:48 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Gentleman Mike

  You must be right. I've seen Secretariat a lot in these ped lines. Thanks for bringing that up. Nobody ever thinks about him as a sire.

22 Apr 2010 10:09 AM

Hey Zarvona,

I need to inquire further regarding the $100 WIN Future Book wager 299 to 1 that you've claimed was made by your brother. When and where did the wager get placed?

2005 KD future pool #1 Giacomo was 25 to 1; in pool #2 26:1; and pool #3 50:1.

Hint: Try sometime before February 2005.

22 Apr 2010 10:09 AM


This is about your other article "No Lucky Questions", since there's no comment portion there.  You note that an issue with Endorsement is "With only four career starts, can he do something that hasn’t been done since 1918?"  Big Brown won the Derby off 3 starts in 2008.

22 Apr 2010 10:17 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Weather Report NO RAIN. That song worked-Rain, rain go away..... Now, back to handicapping for a dry track.

22 Apr 2010 10:27 AM
It Aint Easy being good

You know what I kind of funny. Every day I go on here the headline says a new horse had a work in he was sizzling.

Jackson bend sizzles

Yesterday conveyance sizzles

the day before looking at looking is blazing in his works.

Nobles promise blazes.

Is everyhorse sizzling when they work out who is not sizzling ?????

22 Apr 2010 11:18 AM

I am not new to horse racing, but have an observation and question because I don't know all angles. Looking at times, not Beyer figures, for all horses that have run 1 1/8, the best time is 1.48 roughly. The final split was 1.36-1.48. This was Esnkendreya. Loooking back at the last 9 Derby winners, it seems like that was equal to all the winning horses at 1 1/8. The thing is though there are 5-6 horses that have done this as well. They are Endorsement, Ice Box, Stately Victor, Sidneys Candy, and Line of David. My question is what does this mean and shouldn't Esknendreya have a faster time that everybody else to be considered so dominant? Thank you

22 Apr 2010 11:22 AM
El Kabong

smart strike

You don't have to waste anymore time defending the efforts of Lucky. At this point, you are talking to a wall that starts on the east bank of the Mississippi and thinks that anything west of that wall is inconsequential(smartyjones1 in particular). You can't help them and it's not worth it. Anyone who does not see the talent in Lucky is in a serious case of denial that doesn't take a Freudian to diagnose. A hot walker could do it.

22 Apr 2010 11:53 AM


I agree with your analysis. What I am trying to do is to show that Lookin At Lucky does not pull away at the end of his races. I believe he is a classic, high-class miler, running a longer distance. I might be wrong but we will see soon.

His sire, your namesake, never won beyond 8.5 fur though he has sired winners of longer distances.

22 Apr 2010 12:10 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

It Aint Easy being good

  That was a crackup. Sizzlin humor. Did they look like hamburger doing it or filet mignon? I like your checklist on AL on the other blog too. You got anymore of those checklists to share? Workouts-They need to have a dictionary before they report. How about he snapped, crackled and popped that workout, whereas the other guy was only sizzlin. And where are the simmering workouts? You're right-How can they all be sizzlin, but apparently they are, at least in vocabulary terms. It isn't possible for them all to be equally sizzlin. Where's Haskin when you need him?

22 Apr 2010 2:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Thanks for reminding me that the weather could change any time. I needed that reminder. I'm just about to get into some serious studying. Do you take binoculars with you when you go to the track? What do you think the chances are SA will go back to dirt? They should go back to dirt and raise their purse for the SA Derby to a million and give 300k to second. Inflation has hit The Derby and the potential winners that can't get in need help.

22 Apr 2010 2:42 PM

I had looked a couple weeks ago at how many of these colts have Secretariat in their pedigree.  He has never really been respected as a sire but if ever there was a colt with stamina it has got to be the Great Big Red.  He could do anything and stamina has never been seen like his Belmont.  So, would it be accurate to say all this year's colts who have Secretariat in their line have a greater potential for stamina than some of the others that we've recently seen running.

22 Apr 2010 2:47 PM
Jim King

Lookin at Lucky will be running late trying to catch Sydney's Candy. Sydney's Candy will comfortably control the pace & hold off Lookin at Lucky in a photo. Candys Ride will be top stallion in short time. Excellent speed & stamina.

Hit Em Hard & Hit Em Often!

22 Apr 2010 2:54 PM


sry I guess "Giacomo" was 99-1 on DERBY DAY. Although, I didn't pay the IRS or make the wager and do not actually know what his pool odds were! I didn't make the wager or cash the ticket, he did! But believe me i have never heard the end of it! lol

22 Apr 2010 3:44 PM
Workout inspector

Boys the writers talking about the sizzling works can not be watching these workouts. All of these fast works except Luckys were all dead horses at the wire. True they went fast but that was it, they galloped out terrible. Looking at Lucky different story plenty in the tank at the wire. At Palm Meadows last week Mission Impazible worked with Rule and left him late in the work and gallop out impressive. Hope to see more works like these guys are. Super Savor also looks good galloping.

22 Apr 2010 3:54 PM
Jim from Ky

Workout Inspector what about Eskenderya? How is he moving? I have heard the same about Lucky, Super Savor, and Mission impazible. I also have heard the filly Devil May Care is also working/training lights out. Not getting positive word on Eskendereya whats your take?

22 Apr 2010 4:26 PM

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who likes Mission Impazible. I want to play him with Sidney and Lucky

22 Apr 2010 4:33 PM
El Kabong

Eskendereyas splits were not as quick as you say. You did say roughly but 1:37.3 and 1:49.4 are no where near what you posted(1:36-1:48). It is not useful to compare times from track to track because of variance. I find it more useful to compare to recent times run on that track, even those of last years runners of say the  Wood, the FOY, SA Derby etc. When I did that, I was very impressed with the effort of one. Sidney's Candy time blew Pioneer of the Niles time out of the water by a full second(1:48-1:49). Your point that Eskendereya has not posted anything dominate in terms of a time run is very true. He has dominated his competition to this point, but they are suspect in  terms of crowning this horse dominant over the field he will face in Louisville.

22 Apr 2010 4:39 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Workout inspector

  That's what I wanted to hear !!!! Thanks for your input. I had a sneaking suspicion that was the case. Post more !!!! I really appreciate it.

22 Apr 2010 5:07 PM

Zarvona...Giacomo was 50:1 on Derby Day (2005).

Closing Augument finished second at odds of 71:1 the exotic payouts were tremendous. The $1 Superfecta paid $864,253.50.

I played Giacomo to win in Future Pool 1/2/3 and then more to WIN on derby day.

I also played Giacomo on top of 7 other horses in the exacta...Afleet Alex-Don't get Mad-Bellemy Road-High Fly-Wilco-Bandini-Sun King. Alas, couldn't find Closing Augument...the $2 exacta paid $9814.

I wished CD allowed $0.10 superfecta on the derby because I loved Giacomo (and already had alot of win $$)and would have played Giacomo-All-All-All. It would have been a $581.40 ticket cost...intead I played $500 in losing exacta combos.

Although, that day was real rewarding it could have been my "Lifetime Story" day.

Guess it's easy to understand why betting a 20 horse field is so intriging.

22 Apr 2010 5:36 PM

I wish one of the requirements for the field of contenders entering the Derby was to pass a INFARED Thermal camera scan---Most of these trainers rely on a assistant trainer or groom to run there hand down a horse cannon bone and signs of a limp before a bone scan is done----

A infrared scan would pick up those horse with stressed (hairline bone fractures)---Most of these horse that breakdown go out on the track the morning they are put down on stressed bone --THEY WORK THROUGH PAIN they don't say OUCH-they run through it ---The damage is done the Race or Work -- BEFORE they breakdown.

I would rather see a filly like Joanie's Catch with 18 starts 2-8-6

entered in the Derby than Devil May Care  with just five starts!!!

Joanie's had a start an average of once every two weeks ---and I would almost bet you shes getting two works a week ---Preston Burch and Max Hirsh gave there chargers as many as three works a week----and you can bet they didn't stand in the stall the morning after a work under a magnetic blanket to get the soreness out---they were out on the track.   Blood will TELL but you have to get these stall babys out on the track forget the bullet works and put some miles on them

Long slow miles----see how far they can carry a 13/13.5 F--a mile,1 1/8----1 1/2 etc---

You can bet Secretariats excerise rider knew he could carry a 25 sec 1/4 for two miles.

So the Question is who works there horses at less twice a week ---which one of these horse is getting a unclocked route work each week.  I say Endorsement and Sidneys Candy is maybe Stately Victor they carried that last furlong of a 9F race at <12:50

Do Todd's horses get more than a sprint work every seven days ---you cannot run futher than you train ---sprint speed comes natural  to carry it beyond 6 furlongs you have to be training for it.--Max Hirsh gave Assualt a 8 furlong work in 1:41 2/5 two days before winning the Wood Memorial 1 1/16 miles in 1;46 3/5 by 2 1/4 lengths.

Who's trying to buy a TRIPLE CROWN

or who's the really trainers in todays world!!!!

22 Apr 2010 6:11 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Workout boy! THanks for the input. I just want to know who is not sizzling and its good to know that those horses were struggling because they were all tosses for me. BTW when is the last time a louisana derby winner has hit the board out? Just curious!

22 Apr 2010 6:20 PM

Workoutinspector,  Keep up the good work!  I like what I am hearing about Super Saver.

22 Apr 2010 6:25 PM

 OK, lets be fair and take this to the negative side…That way you don’t have to bash me later… Quotes from the DRF

   “The Santa Anita Derby was a ruse. The sluggish pace - 48.50 seconds and 1:12.33 - matched the approximate par for 3-year-old maidens. This is no knock on Sidney's Candy, who won by 4 1/2 lengths, but the tepid Santa Anita fractions were nowhere close to the likely up-tempo of the Kentucky Derby. Perhaps Sidney's Candy could reproduce his 100 Beyer if handed another easy lead in Kentucky. But the expected Kentucky Derby field includes a host of front-runners; the pace will be swift. Sidney's Candy has not shown the ability to cope with true fractions, nor has he won a route race rallying from behind. Despite his runaway win in the Santa Anita Derby, Sidney's Candy has yet to prove he is as good setting or chasing true fractions. His win in the Santa Anita Derby was good but ultimately overrated because he will not get the same trip in Kentucky.”

    “Figuring out what to do with Sidney's Candy could be a big key; his pedigree and running style indicate a horse who should handle the switch, but then again, he hasn't had another horse so much as breathe on him in three races as a 3-year-old. How he'll react to pressure is anyone's guess.”

    "The synthetic question includes horses who have been racing on Pro-Ride at Santa Anita. Beyond footing preference, a second dilemma is pace. Two-turn speed is blunted on Pro-Ride. The surface has transformed main-track racing into slow-early, fast-late racing. The slow fractions complicate pace handicapping; deep closers have little chance when the front-runners dawdle…... Dirt races are more "truly run" compared to the slow fractions …

closed against on synthetic at Santa Anita. Conversely, the steady front-running performances in slow-pace synthetic routes such as the Santa Anita Derby are less likely to be repeated when the pace is swift. In the Kentucky Derby, Sidney's Candy will face genuine two-turn heat for the first time.

    “Sidney's Candy is one of the all-synthetic horses most likely to regress simply because he has more room to go down than up switching surfaces. Moreover, his routes have been slow early, fast late, the opposite of what will happen Derby Day.

    “Of the most accomplished runners, Sidney's Candy is the least appealing. He was a perfect-trip winner in the Santa Anita Derby, enjoying soft fractions on the lead. The Derby, in contrast, is top-heavy with speed horses, which probably will force him to set or press demanding splits. Toss in a surface that is unfamiliar to him, dirt, and there is a good chance he will be backpedaling in the stretch.

     “…the horses to bet against are ones who will be relatively short prices but have significant questions about them that make them vulnerable. Lookin At Lucky and Sidney's Candy are prime examples. I wouldn't be surprised if either won the Derby, but they are horses to bet against because they are likely to be the second and third choices in the betting, and we still don't know important things about them. We don't know whether Lookin At Lucky is even fast enough to win, and we don't know whether Sidney's Candy can handle dirt or win when he doesn't control a very soft pace.

    “Other than Eskendereya and Lookin At Lucky, the other contenders have major question marks. How will the expected quick pace affect speed horses such as …Sidney's Candy, …Endorsement, …, Super Saver, etc.? Which horses will be compromised by this demanding distance? I guess if you put a gun to my head, I'd say Eskendereya. He's going to be a short price, and his lead changes haven't exactly been the smoothest in his last two races. I understand that …it's possible that he's simply been bored because of the lack of competition.

    “Pace may be a better tool for whittling away at things, because so many horses can be classified as "E" (early pace) horses: Rule, Sidney's Candy, Line of David, Conveyance, and American Lion all fit that description; and an "E/P" designation (early presser) applies to Endorsement, Super Saver, and Discreetly Mine.

Eskendereya is a "P" (presser) based on his Fountain of Youth and Wood. The issue, or X-factor, is whether he'll adapt to being farther back off a faster pace and consequently in a different kind of early position. If he [["Esky"]] is positioned close up to a fast pace, the issue then becomes whether he can still deliver a winning punch turning for home.

From the perspective of pace analysis, the chief beneficiaries will probably be the "S" (sustained pace) horses, a.k.a. the stretch runners: Ice Box and Stately Victor; and perhaps as well the "S/P" (sustained presser) horses: Awesome Act and Dublin.

I would use those four in intra-race exotics keyed around Eskendereya, and hope a strong pace takes a toll on all the other first-flight horses.

In terms of trying to beat the favorite with a win bet, I'd probably forsake Stately Victor (too slow, only decent race on Polytrack) and focus on the other three.

   And so, we hear from the handicap horse writer experts, who are the professional EXPERTS!!! So, you don’t have to take my opinion.

   P.S. None of them picked “Giacomo” or “Mine that Bird" either!!

22 Apr 2010 7:35 PM
Bloodline Bob

I'M REPEATING: the SIRE of the 2010 KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER WILL have a 1997 date of birth!!! This is according to the previous 135 years of the Ky.Derby.

22 Apr 2010 9:17 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Yes, I absolutely take binoculars when I go to the races. I can see better thru them (then on the big screen) and I can also zero in on my pick(s).

To dirt or to synthetic? That is the question... to which I have no answer. Mr. Stronach was not encouraging in his last meeting with the trainers at SA. He is reluctant to invest another 10 millions or so to restore what he's paid dearly to replace. It's not like Magna is floating in money right now. Same goes for raising the purse for the SA Derby. The connections may plan better next year. If they elect to ship earlier and more often, the SA Derby may become irrelevant. Unless Sidney's Candy wins the roses at CD and blows the mind of all the dirt advocates. If he does (and that's a big IF) will it convince people that prepping on Pro-Ride is as good as prepping on dirt? I don't think so, but it sure would shoot a hole thru their argument.

22 Apr 2010 9:31 PM

I am also waiting for Mr. Haskin's physical assesments.  I think it's important to take note of every word. If I recall, Mr.Haskin did make mention of a regal looking little bay...Mine That bird that was working beautifully and gliding over the surface last year. It was a brief mention, but he clearly caught Steve's eye.  I will be listening.

22 Apr 2010 10:27 PM

  NO Questions for “Lookin at Lucky” aye? … hmmmm… I always have questions… here are a few…

  Is "Conveyance" to be "Lookin at Lucky’s" ‘RABBIT’?

  Has the #1 horse in Steve’s Dozen ever won the Derby??? Or, is that why he gives us a dozen to chose from?

 Were earlier performances from "Stately Character", "Dublin", and "Noble's Promise" compromised by illness?, all meaning that healthy again that we haven't yet seen their best, hiding the winning performance???

  Is "Super Savor" by now primed to show us what we have all been waiting for?

  Can Nosada get on a plane out of England, so that he can assure "Awesome Act" will have 4 attached shoes???

  Does a $10 bet on any 10 horses 19-1 or greater really make any sense???

  Is it possible that the three leading candidates,--being “Eskendereya”; “Lookin at Lucky”; & “Sidney's Candy”; --will not be in the top 3 finishers at all??

  Is "Eskendereya" the next "Big Brown" or the next "Bellamy Road"?

  Can Gomez finally run the race he's capable of running and not go looking for traffic trouble???

  Can "Sidney's Candy" actually get out front and retain his speed all of the way through the stretch?

  Is Pletcher headed for 0-30 as Derby trainer??

  Will "Storm Cat" ever produce a Derby winner?  

  Is "Endorsement" the 'Rolls Royce in the garage'?

  Is there a gray in this bunch that really could shock us?

  Could "Devil May Care" really come in and steal the show, knowing that the fillies at this age mature faster than the males??

  Could "Homeboykriss" really be the next closet "Giacomo"?

  Will Steve Haskin ever begin giving us some insight as to what is going on at the  Kty. track side other than we just getting reports of rain scheduled for the Fri. and Sat. works?

  Is there anyone on these blogs that ever gets it right 100% of the time?

  I don't know... I guess I just made a case for "Sidney's Candy" because I want to believe!! I will have to put my money on someone!! And, I guess I do know the difficulty of a ‘wire to wire’ Derby winner and of breaking the Derby track record, but hey records are there only to be broken, aren’t they? Thirty-five years is a long time, but you don’t think they will last forever, do you?

23 Apr 2010 4:44 AM


I am honored that even in ridicule you consider me a Professor. With my lack of academic achievements I am truly honored.

Now to address some of the points you made. Before I do, let me just state that I felt compelled to highlight some facts about the other derby contenders who seem to be regarded as chopped liver in comparison Eskendereya. My post was not to discredit Eskendereya or to convince myself that he cannot win the derby. I am already convinced that he will not be the winner of the 2010 Derby. Over the top quotes such as “Eskendereya, the star we have been searching for”  “He towers above the others in dominance and speed figures” “Many are all but conceding him the Derby, as he appears capable of not only winning, but blowing the race wide open” “The second coming of Secretariat” are all not justified based on the cold facts. A lot Eskendereya supporter are convinced that based on his FOY & Wood victories he is a certain derby winner. You expect him to ROMP. Well you have all gone thoroughbred crazy and someone has to provide the therapy.

“The mere fact that you had to write such a long-winded treatise to convince yourself that Esky wont romp the derby says that you are the one living in a fool's paradise”

I have presented facts about the failures of past pre derby favorites and comparative races to highlight that the pedestal on which Eskendereya has been placed is without foundation. There are other colts whose performance supersedes that of Eskendereya. What have you provided to justify your position? Speculation on “unrevealed talent” Are implying that Eskendereya has monopoly on unrevealed talent? I presented facts to highlight that this colt is not the wonder horse you and others are making him out to be. Where are your facts to support the romping wonder horse status that you have bestowed on him?

“Your diatribe about Eskendereya's galloping action not being suited to Aqueduct and success in the Wood has already been exposed, yet you disappeared without explaining your debunk theory”

You should try to keep it simple as I not a very bright guy. My assessment of Eskendereya’s galloping action is not theory, it was based on observation. He does not possess energy efficient strides. Compare his galloping action to that of Super Saver who is one of the best movers in the Todd Squad. This is why his best race was at Churchill Downs. That track consumes the ugly gallopers and rewards those with fluent effortless strides.  Sidney’s Candy is the best mover of the entire 3YO colts seen to date. Eskendereya’s His victory in the Wood does not negate the fact that his galloping action is suspect. At your convenience review some tapes of Chiefs Crown and you may get an idea of what I am alluding to.

“Now you reappear hoping that all is forgotten to rant on and on about what”

What exactly does the above mean? Mr. Haskin determines what appears on his blog. Are you implying that I should post points that satisfy your requirements? You are at liberty for scroll by my posts since you deemed them rants and provocative. I post when I think I have a point to make. The points that I make are in most instances carefully measured. The same cannot be said about others. Do you know who posted that it is likely that Eskendereya is capable of covering the derby distance in 1:58? Talk about a rant. A horse that cruises at 1:12 for six has to run the last 4F in 46 to achieve 1:58. I do have a life away from my key board and I am not obligated to respond to everything that occurs on the derby trail. I will stand by anything that I have posted.

NB: I did not disappear as I have never appeared. In fact, none of Steve’s supporters appear on his blog. What appear are their postings? There are occasions when time does not allow for review and posting.

“Come on Professor Coldfacts tell us which one(s) are going to "dust" Esky in the Derby”

In Steve’s Next Dozen I will provide this information.

“The comparative speed fractions you posted do not stand alone Bro”

I agree but they indicate how slow the first 6F of Eskendereys races have been. What will occur when he faces a 1:10 plus pace? You can get a good indicator by researching the story of the brilliant colt Officer going into the Breeder Cup Juvenile. He won all his races in a canter. You can also research the comment about Zensational heading into the Breeder Cup Sprint. He was beating sub standard sprinters in CA but when he was exposed to real speed he hooked reverse. Speed kills and Esky does not have the speed of the top contenders.

“Tell us how easily Esky ran his race in comparison to the others and how much unrevealed talent he has, being untested by those who wanted to avoid him and get into the Derby”

You have got to come to the surface for air the lack of oxygen is telling. I hope you have identified the Bridge and put you affairs in order.

23 Apr 2010 9:04 AM

Mark Johnson, the track announcer was commenting on the works he has seen while being interviewed on HRTV yesterday.  Said Devil May Care is a big filly, and could stand up to the pressure by the colts.  He also said Esky is one of the biggest colts there.  Actually, he had a lot to say about the runners, and if you can watch that replay, it would prove quite informative.  He commented on LAL, 85ina50, etc...how well they worked, and how well they looked....and who he thought would do well.  He also commented about his call last year, almost missing MTB's run.

23 Apr 2010 9:19 AM
Vic S

Zarvona, there is major flaw with the DRF writers - ALL of them think Speed Figures are God's gift to racing.  Fact is those so called speed figures are actually nothing more than a man or twos opinion on how a race was run, and no matter which way you look at it they can't handicap a synthetic race to save their lives or give it an appropriate speed figure for that matter.  The greatest horse in racing for the past two years usually only gets 90's out of them (Zenyatta).  Do not EVER listen to them.  Eskendereya is their new "God child" just as Rachel Alexandra was last year and so many horses of the past have been before.  Look no further than Easy Goer in 1988 (2 year old) they were already proclaiming him the next best thing since Big Red in 73'.  Oh how little do they know.  Sunday Silence beat him 3 of 4 times, and you can say well this or that got Easy Goer beat, thats clear cut BS, Sunday Silence got Easy Goer beat.  I'll say it again, do not use the DRF as a means of handicapping, especially when they use their opinions on horses who run on synthetics.  According to them Zenyatta should have never won a G1 race given their phony numbers, yet she is a solid sweet 16.  Eskenderya, if he has the kahones, which he has yet to show, does have the ability to win the race, but the Derby is all about luck and if you don't have any don't expect to win -- that is unless your Seattle Slew and luck doesn't matter.  Either way it still makes me laugh when these writers say that they don't know if Lookin at Lucky is fast enough, yet then go and say "I wouldn't be surprised if either he or Sidney's Candy wins".  This should be a red flag right there - they don't know if the Champion 2 year old who has had 2 races from hell and still holds on to win or do well is fast enough???  They need to stop kidding themselves and realize the horse does nothing but his all every race, and Esky - folded like an omlette on a griddle the one and only time he was asked to do the same.  This is like talking apples and oranges.  A horse who wants to win (LaL) and a horse who given a good situation can win (Esky) come Derby day you can bet Lucky won't be the one who got afraid of getting a little bit bumped at the start.  Bet winners, proven horses, and ones that fight - as Haskin's article from earlier this week said and I summarize - there are no question marks with Lookin At Lucky.  Although Lookin At Lucky is not my Derby horse, he is currently 3rd on my list which goes as follows:

1.  Stately Victor

2.  Sidney's Candy

3.  Lookin at Lucky

4.  Dublin

5.  Endorsement

6.  Eskendereya

7.  Awesome Act

8.  Super Saver

9.  Paddy O'Prado

10. Ice Box

11. American Lion

12. Mission Impazible

-Yeah my top three horses are primarily synthetic horses.  All of them proven against the stiffest of competition (all three preps(including the Bluegrass) had deeper fields than ANY east coast prep this year).  Until Eskendereya beats a good colt I can rank him no higher than 5th, he is currently 6th for me.  I am in no way disliking Esky for the horse he is, I am simply stating the facts and using proven horses against him. Stately Victor is my Derby horse!

23 Apr 2010 9:32 AM
Billy's Empire

Ice Box looked great in his work today. He sat right off of his workmate and cruisd by at the 1/8 pole in a great time.

Paddy Looked good too, and for as fast as he went, he had a nice gallop out. he did not get turned around until the far turn after his work.

Eightyfiveandafifty is much bigger than I thought. He was pulling the e-rider around the track and he looks like he could be sitting on a big race tomorrow.

Jody Slew looked good in her work too. She was moving great over the wet track, so if it is rainy, you have a nice filly that could relish the surface.

All of Pletcher's horses, Oaks and Derby hopeful's, were on the track, and they all look good. The top three visually were Super Saver, Esky, and Devil May Care. Mission Impazzible and Rule had a nice way of moving after seeing them for the first time.

Discreetly Mine was smaller than I expected. He could have a rough trip in the Derby getting bumped around.

Looking at Lucky looked great also, as usual. He has looked fantastic every morning I have been out.

Awesome Act galloped behind a workmate today, which I thought was odd. I am sure that they are trying to train him to stay behind horses until that last turn, but the few times I have been out, he has always been out to the track with a workmate. He is going to be live on May 1st.

Be back out in the morning.

23 Apr 2010 10:20 AM
Forbidden Apple


When are you going to wake up from your love affair dream with every Pletcher horse? Eskendereya is his only solid chance of winning the KY Derby. Entering Devil May Care is a mistake in my mind, but she is most likely better than the rest of his donkeys. Eskendereya is a quality horse because he was born that way, it has little to do with who his trainer is. Zayat finally got lucky buying a good horse after blowing millions on other purchases. And who are you to question someone else bragging about the potential of Sidneys Candy? After the FOY you were calling Eskendereya a triple crown winner and the next Secretariat! You sure talk plenty of b.s. when it comes to every Pletcher trained horse. Pletcher's best asset in the KY Derby is simply the # of horses he is expected to enter.

23 Apr 2010 10:34 AM

Esky is strictly the one to beat as he can sit in the catbird seat and stalk what promises to be a lively pace.  "Lucky" should be right with him.  So it is East/West in the Derby and that would be exciting to see coming down to the finish.  Where Rachel and Zenyatta couldn't supply the rivalry, maybe these two 3 y.o. can do the trick.

I have always been partial to the horses who take to the Churchill strip with sparking works.  Is Dublin that good right now where he can take home all the marbles?

23 Apr 2010 10:35 AM

"Esky" and "Lucky" seem to stand out, but in a bulky field of 20 racing luck will play an important role.  Those who "smoke" over the Churchill strip are the ones to fear the most.

23 Apr 2010 10:40 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Bloodline Bob

  Who are those sires !!!


  Have fun and THANKS ahead of time for your invaluable reporting. We're all looking forward to it.


  Thanks for your response. I was pretty sure you used binoculars. I have mine all ready. Eventhough they aren't as good as I'd like, they'll help. I'm hoping to get to SA in the fall or early 2011. I read that a lot of trainers are saying they have new injuries on the synthetics they didn't have before and want to go back to dirt.

23 Apr 2010 11:05 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Coldfacts and Ranagulzion

  I am very glad to have Coldfacts posts. I take what I deem to be valuable information, and discard what I don't. He has always made some good points. It doesn't matter if I agree or not. Coldfacts-I hope you do post your picks. I will give them a lot of thought. As far as Esky is concerned. What I see is an ease of power visually. That could override the negatives you mentioned, and I have the same question marks. That's why my primary bet is going to use 3-6 horses on top in a tri and super. I'm not betting WPS or Exacta in The Derby this year. I think the value will be in the tri and supers(fecta and high 5). Esky will be used on top with others. His possible potential in The Derby can't be ignored regardless of how he actually does. The Derby is not usually an easy race to handicap(except for 2007) but the possible substantial rewards are worth the effort and expense, win or lose. I will be surprised if Esky isn't in the top 4, but won't be surprised if he doesn't win. Two weeks ago I thought he was the horse to beat. Today I think Lookin At Lucky is the horse to beat. Tomorrow I might change my mind. Coldfacts-What are your thoughts on American Lion?

23 Apr 2010 11:36 AM


I have been very negative towards Dublin and have questioned why you have retained him in your dozen. As I continue to evaluate the contenders that are likely to make the final field, I came across something interesting about Dublin. The three races he participated in after his surgery were the Southwest, Rabel and AK Derby. He was declared with either blinkers or visor and a nose band or shadow roll. He came from 3rd to last to be second in the Southwest. He came from 2nd to last to be 3rd in the Rebel. He was forwardly placed in the Arkansas Derby but failed to quicken sufficiently to win. An examination of his last victory which was in the Hopeful, he won without any equipment and was forwardly placed in fractions of 22, 44 plus. If the horse won his last race without equipment why change a winning formula? How can a horse that is capable of tracking a 22 plus, 44 plus pace be 2nd and 3rd to last in a race with one or two good horses? Equioment such as blinkers/Visors can have positve effects on a horse's performance. However, when it is not needed it can have the opposite. I am certainly in no position to tell Mr. Lukas anything about horses but if I had the opportunity would quote Anthony Robbins. “If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've gotten” All Mr. Lukas has to do is remove the fandangle from the horse's head. This is a classic case of a trainer gone backwards. If he is declared with an equipment change for the derby, watch out we could have another Thunder Gulch.

23 Apr 2010 11:41 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Let me rephrase that since I just saw from last week's post that you are eliminating American Lion for the win because he is a January foal. According to drf he was born 2-10-07. What do you think of his chances for 2nd, 3rd, or 4th?

23 Apr 2010 11:49 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Billy's Empire

  Thanks for the great report !!! A lot of reevaluation going on because of these workouts. I sure like it when one of my tossed horses looks bad, but when they look really good it makes it tough to toss them.

23 Apr 2010 12:14 PM
Red Ransom 423

Coldfacts, Billy's E, Dr. D , Ranagul and Forbidden A - thank you for your insights.  Steve, great work as usual.  A few questions.  1.  Any concerns about Eske having fronts last out (knowing Pletcher explained)?  2.  Wide trip for Eske, which often happens with Pletcher chalk on dirt, may just be enough to get him beat in the last 100 yards?  3.  Any Grinstone's in here with a 12 point Beyer bump from 100 (G's Ark Derby Beyer from wide post)?  Thank you, Red Ransom 423

23 Apr 2010 12:22 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Sires born in 1997:

Giant's Causeway (Esky)

Tiznow (American Lion)

Broken Vow (Interactif)

Malibu Moon (Devil May Care)

Forest Camp (Eightyfiveinafifty)

I think that's all of them. If I missed one maybe Bloodline Bob can fill in the blank(s).

Have you ever been to SA before?

A lot of trainers would rather return to dirt. Not all of them tough. Some really like synthetics, the injuries are different but, as a whole, not as catastrophic.

23 Apr 2010 1:02 PM


You are correct regarding AL DOB. I must have mixed him up with Rule. His Illinois Derby time of 1:51.31 is the slowest in the last 4 years. Cowtown Cat recorded a winning time of 1:51.21 and finished last in the derby. His profile as a potential derby winner is weak. Breeders’ Cup Classic winners have dismal records as derby sires. Storm Cat broodmares are nonexistent on the TC chart. AL does not have the speed but it appears he will enjoy 10F. If there is a contentious pace he could grind his way on the board at 99-1. There are better long shots. Unless you are fan of Tiznow, I cannot see what you like about this colt. That said it’s a horse race and anything can happen.

23 Apr 2010 1:47 PM
Billy's Empire

I have not gone back and looked up beyers or speed figures for races, but it seems to me that this year there are very few horses that have run over 100 Beyer going into the Derby. I know ESKY, Endorsement, and Sydney Candy, but are there any others? Does this seem like a slow field? What concerns me is the beyers are all slow, and the works are all fast as lightning. Stamina seems to be the big issue this year.

With that said, I think the improving horses, lightly raced colts are going to be tough, and they include

Super Saver (3rd start)

Mission Impazzible (improving every race)

Statley Victor( closing both last out, working great)

Awesome Act( third start states, working good, great turn of foot)

I am not saying they are going to win, b/c I am not picking the winner yet, but don't snooze on these 4

23 Apr 2010 2:40 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Thanks for the info !!!! I was at SA a long time ago betting on Pincay. I had tickets for Breeder's Cup 2003 but then was unable to go.


   Thanks for your response. I'm seeing class in American Lion and think he can easily get 10f in a good time. He's a dirt horse and on the improve, whether he will improve in time for The Derby is a big question but I do see a bright future ahead for him. I don't know whether to use him or not but I like the horse. The slower time in the Illinois Derby doesn't bother me in the least. Esky's races fractions don't bother me either. Neither does Sidney's Candys. Sid is either going to be able to rate or he will lose badly. Despite his style in the previous 3 races I think he will rate very nicely and could get the lead after 1 1/16. All of these thoughts are early. I don't get serious until the final pps. Just trying to build a little knowledge before the final pps, then try to temporarily erase some of that knowledge and start from scratch.

23 Apr 2010 2:56 PM

Actually, Esky did go 1:36-1:48 in the Fountain of Youth and that is what I was basing it on. My point and question is since other's have run a 1:48 as well, how can Esky be considered so dominant? I know times are just one factor, but isn't that what old schoolers and racing really boils down to, times?

Just as a side note. Steve I got to tell you that you are my favorite part of Down the Stretch when you are on. That recap of the '82 Derby was pretty funny. Glad you are done bird watching and helping us pick winners. Here are my top horses as of now

1) Looking at Lucky

2) Eskendereya

3) Endorsement

4) Sydneys Candy

5) Super Saver

6) Ice Box

7) Paddy o Prado

8) Nobles Promise

9) Mission Impazzible

10) Stately Victor

23 Apr 2010 3:50 PM


I appreciate your response as usual even though we fight over your interpretation and application (and sometimes your embroidering /twisting) of the "cold" facts.  Also I react strongly to you knocking down an obviously super-talented horse with arguments that have been discredited by actual performance on the track as in the case of your criticism of Esky's galloping action.  The colt happens to possess a very smooth and fluent action that masks how fast he really travels and yet you have not admitted to being proven wrong re the Wood Memorial.  I had to hit you hard regarding that because you assert some of your opinions as if those are "facts" ...got to call you out on those professor.

As of now I will await the running of the Derby to engage you further on the "2nd coming of Big Red" but I'll have some final comments on my position on the Derby outcome next week.  I can assure you that I wont be looking for any bridge after the event and would suggest that before you contemplate such drastic selfdestruction after Esky romps the Derby and Pletcher cleans house, eating some crow is all that I'd require of you since this Triple crown ride is only a very enjoyable game.  Peace.    

23 Apr 2010 4:31 PM

Forbidden Apple,

I shouldn't be responding to you for disparagingly calling the Pletcher trained horses donkeys without reasonable arguments.  Your comments say more about you than the ones you intend to reproach, anyway I have to make the observation that you are being hammered into submission by Eskendereya's scary talent and he hasn't even won the first leg of the Triple Crown yet. Hope that you can find the courage to apologize after the Derby.  

23 Apr 2010 4:43 PM

How can you include Dublin and Super Saver in the top 12 and not Line of David?  Both had all the momentum in the Arkansas Derby and got outright beaten by Line of David after LOD did all the hard work.  Also, American Lion and Interactif should not be included.  Interactif is probably not even going to run, and shouldn't after his last performance, and American Lion won a weak Illinois Derby after being allowed to go in :49.

23 Apr 2010 4:47 PM

If you have Paddy O'Prado in your Derby Dozen - you sort of have to like Dean's Kitten as well.  As for Lookin' At Lucky - he and GG have found trouble their last 3 races - and GG retains the mount.  Why do we think he won't find a trouble line in a 20 horse field?

23 Apr 2010 5:43 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Coldfacts you talk about american lion not having a chance. Then you talk about removing the blinkers from dublin to be sucessful. If you do you research you will find that American Lion did not run with blinkers his last race and won the illinois derby which has translated in the past for horses hitting the board. You also said that AL will enjoy 10f. So no blinkers a win prep will like 10f =BET $$$$$$-

I am the messiah dont question my picks!

23 Apr 2010 5:48 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I was going through old papers and came across my notes for Curlin just before Derby 2007.  "Curlin-Long stride, gobbles up the ground. Could either get a good start, or be boxed in and be flying late-but will it be too late? 1 1/4 is a good distance for him. AWD-7.3, 7.6 Pedigree+."  Remind you of anyone?

23 Apr 2010 7:32 PM

It Aint Easy being good,

I mentined nothing about AL and blinkers. AL will enjoy 10F but will be racing the ambulance if he does not display tremendous improvement.

Dublin won his last race naked. Why not revert to no equipment for the derby. If I am correct he has not won a race wearing them.

23 Apr 2010 7:43 PM
Carlos in Cali


Still waiting for your response.

23 Apr 2010 8:33 PM


I admire your confidence though misguided. Esky is going to romp the derby. I am increasingly convinced that Esky and the Todd Squad has caused you suspend rational thinking. In fact, I think you are in a state of temporary insanity. Be not dismay, your state will come to an end in a little over a week. I wonder if you know what has to happen for a romp to occur. Consider the following:-

Mine That Bird’s 6 ¾ L winning margin is the largest in the last 62 years. Barbaro won by 6 1/2L and his margin is the second largest in the same period. Mine That Bird was the Canadian champion 2YO. Barbaro was undefeated going into the derby. The largest margin before MTB 6 3/4L was that of Triple Crown winner Assault who won the 1946 Derby by 8L. Triple Crown winner Whirlaway and Johnstown won the 1941 & 1939 Derbies by 8L as well. No one would dear compare Mine That Bird to Esky consequently his romp margin has to be greater than 6 3/4L You have posted that he is the second coming of Secretariat. Secretariat hold the stake record of 1:59 2/5 for the Derby. His winning margin was 2 1/2L.

Since you are so convinced that your wonder horse will romp the derby, I would appreciate you providing the following:-

Projected time

Winning Margin

Projected fractions

Position approaching the top of the stretch

Average splits last10 Derbies - 22.85, 46.42, 1:11.04, 1:36.55, 2:01.64

Esky’s Fountain Of Youth       23.72’ 47.92, 1:12.41, 1:36.54

Using his FOY figures he would have run his the last two furlongs in 23 seconds to get close to Secretariat’s time. He ran the last 2F of the FOY in 24.13. The average time for the last 2F for the last 10 derbies is 25.37. Barbaro, Monarchos & War Emblem came home in 24 plus.

23 Apr 2010 8:46 PM


If anyone is having questions about Sidneys Candy and whether he can handle dirt or rate off a fast pace check out what Joe Talamo had to say about it. A hint he is a believer. Working in the morning then Joe heading back to Cali until next Thursday.


23 Apr 2010 9:53 PM
Forbidden Apple

Look, we all know that Pletcher's barn is loaded with 3 year old colts. They are not all superstars and you know that Ranagulzion. I will always question anyone who thinks they found the next triple crown winner after 1 stakes victory. I know that Eskendereya has loads of talent, but he does lack speed and is not battle tested.  And like Red Ransom noted, the front bandages were a large caution sign in my mind. I have nothing to apologize for, this is a game of opinion and luck.

23 Apr 2010 10:29 PM
rick in georgetown ky

If someone is going to talk about the great Secretariat get your facts straight buried claiborne farm paris Kentucky

23 Apr 2010 11:30 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

After thinking about it for a while, because it applies to a few of the horses in the field, I landed on Lucky. Is he the one you had in mind?

We don't know if Esky and Sidney can extricate themselves out of trouble and keep going the way he has.

As far as the distance goes, we're only guessing & hoping. We'll find out May 1st, won't we?

23 Apr 2010 11:46 PM

After today's works by Paddy O' Prado and Ice Box, seems as though they relish the slop.  The weather forcast is for possible thunder showers on Derby Day with a 60% chance of rain.  If so, get out the calculator for the exotics - the Derby will be a wild one again.  Those that have liked the off track include Eskendereya, Super Saver, Rule, Ice Box (based on 4/23 work), Paddy O' Prado (based on 4/23 work), Mission Impazible, and I'm guessing a turf horse like Dean's Kitten (who ran pretty well working 4/23).  

We'll see over the weekend as the track will continue to be sloppy and sealed with increasing rain, and several Derby horses are supposed to work Sat and Sun.  

In the Oaks, both Quiet Temper and Devil May Care have done well on slpy track -winning by 7+ and 4+ respectively.

So when you factor in the weather, it could make for another long-shot, and who knows how those which have not run on an off track will do ??

24 Apr 2010 12:48 AM

But that's my point Carlos. ESKY isn't the only the horse following that possible speed line. Sydney ran a 1:10-1:48, Stately Victor ran 1:12-1:36, Endorsement ran a flying 1:11-1:35, hell even Awesome Act has been on that pace.

I think Eskendereya is a great horse, but his splits have been matched by about 7 horses that I can see. The other thing that I think is interesting is that Esky has only run against more than 9 horses once and ran 9th. Granted it was the same race, but LAL has beaten bigger fields. Mission Impaz ran down 12 horses and Nobles Promise 13. I may be wrong, but this Derby seems wide open.

24 Apr 2010 1:33 AM

And one other thing. It would be a complete joke if Jackson Bend doesn;t get in. I know it's based on money, but losing twice to Esky and once to Winslow Homer is not a bad thing. If he does get in, he is my trifecta key horse with LAL,Candy, and Endorsement


LAL,SC, End/all/JB

24 Apr 2010 1:39 AM

  LOL, I was just lookin back at Steve’s original Jan. list and the 1st blog of the year postings back then… At that time, to Steve's credit and his fine eye, Steve had “Lookin at Lucky” ; “Super Saver”, and “Eskendereya” all in his top 5 or 6. I must note, to be fair as a spoof on myself, that I ended up ragging on “Eskendereya”  back then, as an inclusion… ---who of course went on to win the Wood Memorial.--OK, well I changed my opinion a bit after the Fountain of Youth, and so later expressed my error in judgement in another later blog entry in his regard. In any event, back at that time, I also listed some alternatives to Steve’s original dozen from my ‘sack of potatoes’, that I liked and that weren’t in Steve’s original dozen. Notably, I did that in two blog entries on that first blog posting,--because I threw in a second list of potential Fillies,--where among the names of some of my alternative choices back then, were the names of “Ice Box”,--who went on with the Florida Derby,--not then in Steve’s Dozen, “Sidney’s Candy”,--who went on to win the Santa Anita Derby,---not then in Steve’s dozen, and a fillie named “Devil May Care”!! LOL, now I find myself wondering, ‘if all three of these should actually fill Derby gates’, SHOULD I BOX THEM with “Lookin at Lucky” ???  They all have grown up to be must respectable opponents! And of course, back then, I was just actually trying to find someone, anyone, that I thought might be competitive to “Lookin at Lucky”!!!

24 Apr 2010 5:05 AM

Vic S- Stately Victor is my Derby horse also along with Sidney's, LOL,Ice Box,and Dublin.  Esky is right up there, but I'd like him to answer a few more questions before he's proclaimed the King for the day.  Although I do think the DRF writers opinions about the pace hold some serious validity-ie Bellamy Rd, Afleet Alex etc a few years back, go with your gut people about whom you think the winner could be.  I've been burned too many times by handicapper's opinions and later wished I followed my own intuition.  While I think Steve's Derby Dozen is a great analysis, I think that he might agree. I've read that most handicappers average about 40% on their hits.  Happy Derby everyone!!  

24 Apr 2010 8:41 AM


I know your dozen reflect the contenders likely to make the cut but I cannot understand the exclusion of Line Of David and the inclusion of American Lion after the respective AK and Ill Derbies. The speed figures do not support your decision:-

AK Derby – LOD: 22.65, 46.26, 1:10.75, 1:36.52, 1:49.37

Ill Derby   -  AL   : 24.89, 49.32, 1:13.32, 1:38.24, 1:51.31

Some Cold Facts:-

American Lion – Every quarter of the Ill Derby were the slowest of all 9F preps.

Line Of David  -  The first three quarters of the AK Derby were the fastest of all 9F preps.

Looking At Lucky- If the final time of 1:43.06 for the 81/2F Rebel Stakes, is extrapolated for 9F the resulting time is 1:49.71.

LOD final time of 1:49.37 suggests that he would have beaten the 2YO champion.

Now, your #2 ranked contender would have been beaten by a contender that does not make your dozen. A contender whose time recorded over 9F is two seconds slower than both the extrapolated time for LAL and actual time for LOD is on the list. There must be some inside information that you are not sharing with your supporters. If this colt is in your dozen then he must have a chance to win. Based on his last race the only race he will win is the one against the ambulance as this emergency vehicle is required to stay some distance behind the last runner.

24 Apr 2010 9:53 AM
I see Sidney's Candy as a lock.

Could win all three.

Has ran against the best and has

Had a lot left. Mile & a quarter

On the dirt should be easier than

Mile and one eight on the sny track.

Playing a win parlay for two more races.
24 Apr 2010 10:50 AM

The last words out of the Kentucky Derby 2010 race callers mouth are I DO NOT BELIEVE IT THAT IS MISSION IMPAZIBLE PULLING AWAY BY TNE LENGTHS.   HOLY COW HOLY COW .    JOE

24 Apr 2010 11:06 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


    It now looks like rain on Derby Day, but the forecast will change, it's been changing daily. We won't know until Fri or Sat. You should handicap for off track too. This is a tough one. I still think Lucky is now the one to beat. He's exhibited the most class, is the most versatile. Can get out of trouble. I was actually comparing Curlin to Esky eventhough Esky will go off at lower odds probably. Curlin was 2nd choice at 5-1. Street Sense was 4.90-1 (final odds). Both Esky and Curlin were romping with big powerful strides in their preps, and highly touted. Post positions are going to be huge, and there is no way I'm going to single a horse on top eventhough after the race in hindsight I may wish I had. But I can't. I don't know why I'm seeing Esky in post 3 or 17. If it's 3 it could be trouble. Lucky should be in post 7 because of Lucky Seven. Anyway, I'm already saying what I say every year-"Don't spend so much time on The Derby, treat it like any other race !!!"  Then I always get caught up in it and spend too much time on it. Next year will be different !!!!!! Wait for the final pps !!!!! I'm going all out on Keeneland from now on, assuming they show the horses as well as they did this time in their broadcast. It was the best ever for any track.

24 Apr 2010 12:08 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The best workout reporter in the biz is back !!! Awesome reporting. Woo hoo !!! Thanks Steve. Made my day.

24 Apr 2010 3:47 PM

Finally, we have a report from Mr. Haskin. The works on a sloppy tracks are giving us a good idea of who can move well under these conditions.

I'm a little surprised that Todd P. is waiting until later with Eskendereya. He has done well on a track listed "good" but has not raced on the slop. Would have liked to see whether he can handle it or not.

Dr Drunkinbum,

I've already compiled a list of horses who have experience on a track listed "good" or "sloppy". But several of them have no history of racing on such a track and if the KD is run in either of these conditions, works today and tomorrow will be very helpful in handicapping for next Saturday.

I'm still hoping for good weather on May 1st. Not much fun for the people in attendance, the horses and the jockeys if it's pouring.  

24 Apr 2010 4:13 PM


I shall address your questions next week folllowing Esky's final breeze.  Stay tuned Professor.


Esky doesn't need any dream trip to win the Derby by a "City Block" ...yes by a city block I tell you.  The colt just needs to report to the starting gates in good nick, get a clean break and Johnny V will take care of the rest.  Not even the post position is a bother tom concerning this horse.  All i'm looking for now is a good final work-out.  See you next week Bro.

24 Apr 2010 5:34 PM


Thanks for the workout reports in your column today very informative. I missed this morning but was there yesterday and was also impressed with Paddy. Thought Super Saver and Esky looked good galloping. Dublin looked a little choppy but that might just be him. Caught up with Nick Zito over at Wagoners and he talked about Ice Box and Jackson.


24 Apr 2010 5:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Don't mess with the pro ride boys(or girls). Another winner-Hurricane Ike. Anxious to hear what Haskin thinks of Esky and Lucky and a few others. Things are starting to look a little weird for Esky. He should have worked today, but Monday should still be OK. He will be tough to play if it's an off track but tough to leave off. This could very easily be a pro ride year.

24 Apr 2010 5:41 PM

HRTV showed the works today.  I like a horse with a long reaching stride who doesn't look as though he's pounding the ground in short steps.  Ice Box (gee, I hate to admit it) was the most impressive as it looked as though he was floating on air, with Mission Impazible doing much better than I thought he would.  All in the slop.

5 wins for Calvin at Churchill today...Wow.  And 85ina50 is still a bit loco.  Aikenite almost caught up to the Hurricane Ike.  The fractions set at Aqueduct were amazing today...I see Afleet Again going easily for more distance, but D'Funnybone had a sad trip.

24 Apr 2010 6:36 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

I'm telling you, nothing but dogs coming out of Cali. Don't know why they even ship east of the San Gabriel mountains! lol! Don't they realize that plastic horses can't run on dirt?  :)

24 Apr 2010 7:28 PM
workout inspector

Big work day on a sloppy track. Sidneys candy with jockey Talamo up worked very quick beating his work mate with ease BUT... he was all out with little to nothing in the tank cant recomend this guy from that work.Devil May Care...just worked with the most ease in a very fast time with a tun in the tank. Looks like alock for the Oaks and a true contender in the derby. Mission Impazible..WOW much the best over a very nice horse in Rule. Working completely in hand with much left in the tank embaressed his work mate. This horse looks big time ready. He is a must play based on his workouts.. Super Savor worked a solid half and a fairly good galop out, a good work out but not a eye catcher. Mild contender.... Exotic play. Hope to get a good line on Eskenderyea soon getting alittle nervous about this guy

24 Apr 2010 9:24 PM
Vic S

Wow, I just saw today's works and they were all different!  Rule was absolutely HORRID.  The horse could barely pick up his feet and his backend seemed to be sliding out from under him - do not use this horse in the Derby.  Mission Impazible looked slightly rank but moved well over the track, or so it seemed at least.  I couldn't watch Super Saver's work but a 48 and change is bothersome for a supposed speed horse even with a muddy track.  Sidney's Candy worked fast but he was asked and was training in restraint (we call em' martingales where I'm from) and I would say the work is ok-good.  Maybe he was tearing down the barn so they worked in Co. with restraint and asked him to get some energy out of him.  A little pleased yet a little bothered with the work, but IMO it was more on the better side.  Without a doubt the work of the day was Devil May Care, gosh can the horse move over that track, ran or shine this filly is going to be tough.  She looked like she was just going with the motions, doing what was needed and while not really trying, very very impressive moved up onto my Derby Dozen no doubt, maybe even cracked the top 5.  I will post my 2nd to last Derby Dozen on monday, and then my Final Derby Dozen after post positions are drawn.  I am still in awe of how well that filly worked and looked (boys beware that Devil doesn't care lol).  My Derby horse is Stately Victor!

25 Apr 2010 12:08 AM
box it up

eskendereya out of the derby, some of you guys had doubts about him runnning. nice job.

25 Apr 2010 9:15 AM

Bummer about Eskenderaya.  I wonder what he is worth now?

25 Apr 2010 9:23 AM

Joe, regarding your trifecta question, you might consider a wheel with an increasing number of horses in the place and show slots.  For example, I commonly play trifectas like this:  1,2 with 1,2,3 with 1,2,3,4.  This 'only' costs $8 vs. a $24 4-horse box.  In the Derby I usually expand the show slot and play something like 1,2 with 1,2,3 with 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.  That costs $20.  If you key the right horses in the first two slots, you get a lot of chances for bombers in the third slot and don't have to spend a fortune.  In the Derby you might even do multiple tickets like this using different ideas (one pace meltdown scenario, one that excludes the favorite, etc).  Good luck!

25 Apr 2010 9:33 AM

Esky is out!  Does this hand favoritism to Sidneys Candy?

25 Apr 2010 9:50 AM

with Eskendereya out of Derby this morning, just another reason why I wait until the entries are drawn to make my mind up. It's so tough to make it into that gate.

25 Apr 2010 9:54 AM

Esky is out of the derby

25 Apr 2010 10:01 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  They should have a pro ride training track even if they go back to dirt. Pro Ride is a great conditioner for dirt. Pro Ride to dirt-the world's greatest angle. I knew something was fishy with Esky. If Pletcher is going to enter Devil May Care in the Oaks and Derby then they need also eligibles. That's cold to knock someone out just to see if you want the post. Either run or don't run. Cold, cold, cold.

25 Apr 2010 10:02 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Afleet Again was on my top ten Derby list before the Gotham and my bet in that race. He scrubbed out so I figured I was wrong about him and dropped him from my horse to watch list. Then look what happened. What disturbed me the most was missing out on that giant show payout. I almost went into shock when I saw those fractions.

25 Apr 2010 10:05 AM

smartyjones1 how can you say toss the west coast horses, all they did was go east and win races.

25 Apr 2010 10:08 AM
Linda in Texas

Today walking to the starting gate, 85ina50(shortened version) was picking up his right rear leg like he did not like the slop and as it ended up. He didn't. But i am not giving up on him,have known people like him i didn't give up on and they came around.

As for Hurricane Ike, wow, another good horse in Mr. Sadler's stable!

Frankly, 4 grays won today at other tracks and Conveyance (25-1, Mission Impazible (30-1) are grays and so too Paddy O'Prado(25-1) so what the hay! I would love a gray to win again as it has been a while. I said in the beginning i liked anything with 'luck' in its name and 'anything gray'. So now i am in a quandry, 3 grays and LAL could be running.If i were betting i would also put some money on Prince Will I Am (200-1) for the heck of it!

No matter, there will be a winner. And next week at this time some of us will be eating crow and going home with empty pockets. Others will be buying a round for the house and having Chateaubriand for 12.

Good luck to all, i hope your choice wins. And most of all i hope they all come back sound.

Thanks Steve. Have a great time and bring back lots of inside the track and behind the scenes stories.

I wrote this Saturday evening and did not send it. Am now reading Sunday Morning, Esky has been scratched. The filling was probably why he did not train. A shame for him and for us but he comes first, no sense in racing him if he is not sound. Changes the whole equation and perspective now for many.

I hope you are right JOE !

25 Apr 2010 10:37 AM


I don’t know if you are a praying person but if you are not you should immediately get on your knees and be prepared to pray long and hard for no rain on the 1st Saturday in May. The chosen one Mr. Pletcher has state that he was not inclined to work Esky on the sloppy track as he is a big horse. The good ones run on any surface, its called heart. I have mentioned the lack of smoothness in his action and if it rains on Saturday he will be skating around like Michelle Quan. His type of action required firm ground for maximum effort. I didn’t have him as the winner on a dry track and on a wet, sloppy or muddy track he will not hit the board.

I watched Rule’s work and it has validated my comments that he became damage goods after the FL derby. You will recall that I referenced two other colts that had their engines blown in the FL Derby and were never the same. Sharp Humor battled Barbaro from gate to wire and became damaged goods. Stoermello ran is heart out in his loss to Scat Daddy. He ended up last in the derby and was never the same horse after the FL derby. Ice Box victory has place Rule on ice and I hardly believe he will be melting anytime soon.

The chosen one’s horse that I encouraged you to wager in the LA derby was Mission Impazible . You will recall that I highlighted the litany of champion broodmare sires in his dam line i.e., Speak John, Prince John & Princequillo.  I watched MI’s work and I think Esky will not finish ahead of this colt. I any even,t from a derby history angle he has the better derby winner’s profile. His sire line has produced 43 winners of TC races. His dam line has accounted for 5 to 6 derby winners including TC winner Secretariat.

I also saw the Devil May Care work and I think she looked the best of the Todd Squad. She recorded a faster time in her Bonnie Miss victory than FOY winner Esky and FL Derby winner Ice Box. She has high a cruising speed and rates kindly. Her acceleration is as smooth as silk. She is a May foal and is at a maturity disadvantage but she has the ability advantage over many of the colts. If Todd wins the derby it will be with this filly as I have always regarded him a better trainer of fillies than colts. His only TC success was with a filly he was very reluctant to run in the Belmont. DMC half brother Regal Ransom a May foal as well was 8th in the 2009 Derby. He has stamina limitation an issue that clearly does not affect her.  Both DMC and Stately Victor are May foals who were produced from broodmare sired by sons of the great Roberto. Could they finish one/two?

On the subject of Ice Box, I watched work and all derby contenders are in trouble. It’s not the 46 plus for the work; it was the way he was extending to the line. When a dead closer works that fast, there can only be two results. One is either an explosive victory or a total bust. His trainer has won a number of TC races including two derbies. This colt won going 9F on his wrong lead. When was the last time the winner of a G1 race at that distance won on the wrong lead?

NB: Pulpit was the sire of the promising chestnut Corinthian who got injured before the derby but came back to romp in the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile on a sloppy track.

Could – Pulpit, Chestnut and Sloppy CD track = Derby success?

I happen to love May foals and that led to my catching the 2009 derby EXTR as mine That Bird, Poineerof The Nile and Musket Man were all May foals. I have every intention of boxing the May foals again i.e., Looking At Lucky, Devil May Care and Stately Victor.

25 Apr 2010 10:47 AM

Workout Inspector,  great job!  Love the honest reporting.  

25 Apr 2010 11:18 AM


You fell short of calling me an idiot to suggest that esky’s action id suspect. I didn’t want to go as far as saying that he will not hold up to racing as it would viewed  as my wanting misfortune to befall the animal. Esky is a very big horse and he gallops very low to the ground resulting in him hitting the surface very hard. It is what I observed and wrote about after his FOY victory. You will note I have not stated that any of the Chosen One’s other contenders have a suspect actions I was not picking on the colt but the cold facts are what they are. If it’s any consolation I posted last year that Dunkirk would not race again after the Belmont as with his action 12F would destroy him and it did. Below are some exchanges we had leading up to his scratch.


“I do not like Eskendereya’s action and I think it will not be suited to the Big A. Good Luck”


Your diatribe about Eskendereys's galloping action not being suited to Aqueduct and success in the Wood has already been exposed. Yet you disappeared without explaining your debunct theory.”


“He does not possess energy efficient strides. Compare his galloping action to that of Super Saver who is one of the best movers in the Todd Squad. This is why his best race was at Churchill Downs. That track consumes the ugly gallopers and rewards those with fluent effortless strides. Eskendereya’s victory in the Wood does not negate the fact that his galloping action is suspect. I will stand by anything that I have posted.”


I have mentioned the lack of smoothness in his action and if it rains on Saturday he will be skating around like Michelle Quan. His type of action required firm ground for maximum effort. I didn’t have him as the winner on a dry track and on a wet, sloppy or muddy track he will not hit the board.

NB: Remember I told you he did not have the profile of a derby winner and had too many negative to overcome. I hope he has quick and full recovery

25 Apr 2010 11:37 AM

Geez...Eskendereya out of the Derby. Two years in a row that I've held KD future tickets (Pool 1/2/3) that gave me great confidence only to have them evaporate into worthless paper.

I understand the risk of wagering well in advance of race day; but to have these eliminations so close to the race is definately frustrating, now I'm so uncertain on how to wager on derby day. Last year I'm all set on I Want Revenge that I go to Los Alamitos early morning to load up and then find out that IWR was scratched...I really had no back up plan for my wagers...so went with Dunkirk...at least now I've got a week to regroup.

Ouch...next year I may wait until KD day to place any wager...gotta kick the jinx.

25 Apr 2010 11:55 AM

When is Endorsement going to work,he has got to be in there at the end with a legitimate shot at a good price too,with ESQ now out his chances are even better,backstrech seems to be mumbling about Paddy the gray.

25 Apr 2010 12:56 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Great report Steve. It appears to me that I have to take a closer look at Line Of David. He was on my toss list. Reevaluation needed there.

Vic S and Workout Inspector-Thanks for your workout reports. Keep them coming. Rule was originally a toss then I was on the fence. Sounds like he could be a safe toss. Mission Impazible has moved up. These workouts are important for signs of who might be peaking.

25 Apr 2010 2:59 PM


I believe you have stated before that Dublin has no chance of winning. Why? I honestly want to know because I have heavy bets on him in future and am thinking about ways to cover. If it is simply because his worst races were at Churchill, I am not as concerned because of the breathing issues he was having at that time.

25 Apr 2010 3:51 PM
Newbie Player

I don't know much about handicapping, so would this tri-wheel be too awful bad? Even if you don't agree with these picks, should I play or arrange them differently? Thanks for the help.

LAL, Super Saver, Awesome Act.

with Sidneys Candy, Ice Box, L.A.L., Nobles Promise.

with L.A.L, Endorsement,Line of David, Devil may care.

25 Apr 2010 4:41 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I really like Joel Rosario. I think he's a future superstar. Love his style of riding, usually has perfect timing.

25 Apr 2010 5:47 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Originally I felt the same way re Devil May Care on/off the Derby depending on the draw. But then, I realized that her connections aren't concerned about other horses, only their own filly and her best chance of success. It does seem cold, I agree. But horse racing is a tough world in spite of its gentlemanly aura.

I feel bad for Jackson Bend and his connections. Not wishing any bad luck on anybody, but maybe someone else will step out before Wednesday. I don't see JC winning the Derby, but he seems to always finish on the board. If he gets in, he will not be a toss for me.

Santa Anita's training track is dirt. If your wish came through it would be a good place to recycle the Pro Ride surface if they revert to dirt on the main track. However, the drainage would have to be worked on as well: more $$$, a rare commodity these days at Magna and all over the racing world. Don't hold your breath, I think Synthetics are here to stay for quite a while.

I notice a definite lessening of "Cali trashing" on these blogs. Maybe the recent successes of our horses has quieted some of the loudest "poly haters". I don't know enough yet to have an educated opinion on the subject. There are so many different "facts" advanced pro or con, that it seems a good idea to me to wait before reversing prematurely what was ordered in such haste. Just MHO.  :)

25 Apr 2010 6:33 PM

Eskendereya out of the Derby with a swollen leg from the ankle up is just one more reason all these entrys should have a INFRARED camera scan the day of the gate draw-Lets make sure there standing on sound bone when they leave the post on Derby day----I looked at the video of his win in the Wood and like Coldfacts thought this is a big horse pounding the track HARD

Its hard to spot a hairline fracture by running you hand down a cannon bone---How many coach's have wrapped a basketball players ankle and put him back in the game ---Next game he's on the sideline wearing a cast and using crutches.

25 Apr 2010 7:40 PM
Vic S

Speedball - nice choice there.

Dr Drunkinbum - It's not a problem, I'll keep the report up.  To me Rule is definately a throw out, he looked awful, probably the worst work of the Derby contenders.  He literally was sliding all over the place and couldn't get his feet out from under him, was being asked and MI was hardly trying and beat him easy workwise.

25 Apr 2010 11:26 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Joel Rosario is a very good young jockey. I like him a lot. Talking to one of the trainers at SA, I was told that he's a very hard worker, has no ego problem, and does everything the way he's instructed, if at all possible. A rising star? I think so!

This is a tough jockey colony. It's hard to rise to the top here, since it is already occupied by so many great riders. I have my favorites and Rosario is one of them.

BTW, when I mention talking with a trainer, I don't want to give the impression that I'm an insider. I'm just a fan and I have found that if the timing is right, most trainers will graciously have a conversation with people like me. I think it's great! In what other sport can you exchange a few words with a coach?

Now that Eskendereya is sadly out of the Derby and that some horses are working lights out, my list has evolved a great deal. I'm waiting for more reports from Mr. Haskin and others (thank you so much!) and the blessed post position draw to start putting my bets together. One strategy for a dry fast track and another for a sloppy track. The condition I dislike the most is when the track is muddy. Most horses look like their feet are stuck in goo when the track is like that. My betting will be very light if the track turns out sticky on May 1st. I simply won't know what to do... and when that happens, the red light flashes: Bet small and have fun!!!

25 Apr 2010 11:28 PM

Eskendereya may be out of the Derby (very sad indeed) but the Todd Squad battleship isn't about to sink. Yes it has hit an "ice berg" with Esky's withdrawal but Mission Impazible, Super Saver, Devil May Care, Discretely Mine and Rule are formidable deputies.  Also the squad could be further reinforced with a solid work from Interactif.  Given the uncertainties of this wonderful sport I think that it would be prudent to strap on a few life boats at this point, just in case ...Mike Relva,Coldfacts, Forbidden Apple, Carlos in Cali, Draynay and Barb Dwyer come looking for my carcas (LOL).

I'll bring on board three non-Pletcher vessels, namely the Line of David speed boat (for a clean getaway), the Stately Victor canoe (a Ghostzapper could help) and the Homeboykris drive-by-gunboat (at scandalous/wicked odds).  

26 Apr 2010 3:19 AM


I lot of poster think I am crazy because I eliminate some horses based on certain historic factors. It is one of the measures I use and I am not fixated on it. Dublin pedigree has a lot of historic negatives. His sire won two leg of the Triple Crown i.e., Preakness & Belmont. Twenty six horses excluding Afleet Alex have won 2 legs of the TC in the last 43 years. A possible 22 had one or more crops to race and none have sired a derby winner. So Dublin’s sire belongs to a category of sires that have had zero success in the derby. His dam was very productive on the track earning $700K.  Even in the era of high purses no broodmare with that type of profile has produced a derby winner. Last but not least, based on a pattern analysis I conducted, no horse from the Raise A Native sire line is likely to win the 2010 derby. Can an exceptional horse overcome those negatives? Certainly! Is Dublin an exceptional horse? No.

In spite of his negatives, I think Dublin can be competitive in the derby if the blinkers are removed. This is just an opinion based on the fact that he won his only graded and last race without them. They were affixed to correct his bearing out issues in the stretch but they seem to have created another problem. He use to show tactical speed and he is now dropping far back in his races. His trainer stated that he is a blinkers horse which is odd as he has never won in them. However, he is a Hall of Famer and should know. He got tired in his last two races and was one pace to the line and showed absolutely no fight. To win on the Churchill Downs track at 10F requires a lot of stamina and determination and he has not displayed a lot of those components. It’s a horse race and anything can happen. One man’s opinion however convincing, is just an opinion and must be combined with others.

26 Apr 2010 7:18 AM
Bloodline Bob


26 Apr 2010 8:34 AM

Coldfacts...in the past 43 years?  I believe Seattle Slew sired Swale!  Both were Ky Derby winners.  Also SS sired AP Indy who scratched Derby Morning but won the Belmont.

26 Apr 2010 9:19 AM
Forbidden Apple

If Dublin had a different trainer we would not even be discussing him so much as a contender.


I made some comments yesterday, but they were not posted. All I can say is that I told you about the front bandages in the Wood. Do not be surprised if Eskendereya never races again. Now Devil May Care is Pletcher's best chance at hitting the board.

6-1 or 8-1 morning line on Awesome Act is unbelievable. This horse should be 15-1. Endorsement and Sidneys Candy now look like very dangerous stalkers.

26 Apr 2010 9:20 AM


You wrote this: "based on a pattern analysis I conducted, no horse from the Raise A Native sire line is likely to win the 2010 derby"

How do define "Raise a Native sire line"? Do you regard Street Sense, a Derby winner, as a product of the Raise a Native sire line?.What about Funny Cide?

What ever you do you cannot change the fact that all a horse has to do to win a race, any race, is finish ahead of the field. Their mothers, fathers and grand parents won't help them or hinder them if they have the talent. There are facts and there are relevant facts. You need to say why a fact is relevant.

26 Apr 2010 10:08 AM

OK, now RULE has been declared too.

There goes my last chance on any KD future bet.

2005 KD Future - Giacomo to WIN in all three pools. Yet, if I'd waited until Derby day I would have gotten equal or much better WIN odds to simply wait until derby day to place wager...and avoid the risk of not running at all.

2009 KD Future - all my money on I Want Revenge. Scratched morning of race.

2010 KD Future - all my money on exacta combos...ESKY and RULE on top of many others. Both declared one week prior to race.

In summary, for me, the KD future bet has become the second worst wager proposition closely behind P6 wagering. Enough of this for me...from now on I'll wait until race day to bet.

26 Apr 2010 10:41 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Off track quite possible for Derby. My intention is to handicap it pretty much the same and bet a little lighter unless I come up with a key horse or two. Either way I'm not betting too light !! It turns out that Hollywood Park is good to me so far so I don't want to blow too much on The Derby.  That's great you got to talk to trainers. There is no one in the world I'd rather talk to other than Steve Haskin, than a trainer or a jockey. With Pro Ride they could cover it when it rains heavy like they do in baseball. The water could be diverted to a drainage system off of the track by bubble or triangular covers that overlap. It's a shame Esky wasn't healthy enough to run. I have great admiration for trainers that scratch their horses when they aren't healthy enough to run. Pletcher takes very good care of his horses. That's why I will always like him even if he does something else I don't like. But I just read that Devil May Care is in The Derby and highly unlikely to be cross entered so that's good.

26 Apr 2010 10:52 AM

Sorry Ranagulzion, but the Todd Squad battleship seems to be springing many leaks and may resemble the Spanish Armada on Saturday.  Rule is now out and the filly "supposedly" is a go for the Derby and will not cross-enter.  I think the filly that could fare the best against the boys is Blind Luck due to her running style.  (Remember I`m a sucker for closers)

Anyone have a link to the filly graded earnings list?  Not much info on the Oaks out there.

26 Apr 2010 11:00 AM

rcsmitty here is a link to the list as of 4/18/10 www.bloodhorse.com/.../tidal-pool-last-to-get-into-oaks--graded-list.

Auburnbill like jersey said coldfacts writes a lot but the reason he is hammering Dublin is pretty clear. He doesn't like Lukas.

Same for Forbidden Apple. Scope out

Shandlers blog.

Apple any horse who has won a major stakes as a 2 year old and placed on the board in several preps would be getting this attention. Lukas adds a little more focus to a good colt because he knows how to win the race or at least finish on the board.

If you talk about it that way Lucky won by a nose and was 3rd in his last prep. He had troubled trips both times too. Troubled trips no matter who the runner is can be magnified in the Derby. Baffert seems to have had horses who just seem to get in a bind in the Derby remember several of them who took up in the first turn or got in a bind in other spots. The Lukas horse may get in a bind or he may not. He has proven to be a useful colt and any placing in the Derby is a good day. Winning it is a great day.

26 Apr 2010 12:16 PM
Vic S

Well, I'm glad Rule was pulled from the race.  For those of you who follow my comments on the Derby horse works, my words about him were "horrid".  So that takes a non-contender out of the race and brings a better horse in- Jackson Bend.  Glad to know Devil is confirmed, she is working lights out and has a legitimate shot at winning the race.  Major major major changes to my Derby Dozen but I'm waiting to post it until Steve posts his new Derby Dozen later today.  Stately Victor is my Derby horse!

26 Apr 2010 12:19 PM
Carlos in Cali

The thinning of the herd continues...


They say: "Desperate times calls for desperate measures",so who is steering the Tug-boat? LOL.. Your  Line of David,Stately Victor & Homeboykris reinforcement duds has me thinking you've gone 'overboard',lost at Sea. Not only are you suffering from Sea-sickness,but of Oceanic deliriousness too. It might be time for you to 'walk the plank' or become a Pletcher dissenter,the ship is sinking matey...aaarrgh!

26 Apr 2010 12:48 PM

I prefer to make my fianl picks after watching the post parade.  Seems there are a lot of excuses but no work from Endorsement.  I am now having doubts about him.  Why would you say your horse needs a day off when he has already had at least 4 days off?...and if they don't like the track...what do they expect for Saturday?...same track...same rain...different day.

26 Apr 2010 1:43 PM

Hi. I think it`s a shame to put the filly in when there are more deserving horses to run in the Derby. Pletcher is so desperate to win the Derby, he`s putting in all he can. I will say flatout, the filly wont be anywhere near at the end of the race.

26 Apr 2010 9:13 PM

I'm impressed by Stately Victor's come from behind abilities.Many of the other horses this year have already peaked.

I agree with Dave about the filly.For one thing she is no Rachel Alexandra and if they expect her to be they're making a mistake.This year it's boy power not girl power.Jackson Bend looks good.Also glad Rule is out.

28 Apr 2010 8:26 AM

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