January 31, 2011 - Presented by Pauls Mill



Uncle Mo Todd Pletcher

Indian Charlie—Playa Maya, by Arch

For raw talent, he stands above the others. He has the potential to be a superstar if he can keep showing that same brilliance at nine and 10 furlongs. He has enough stamina to suggest that won’t be as much of a problem as some think. Exceptional talent can take you a long way on the First Saturday in May. By then, Mike Repole and Uncle Mo will be as well-known a pair as Roy Rogers and Trigger.


To Honor and Serve Bill Mott

Bernardini—Pilfer, by Deputy Minister

As of now, it looks like the Fountain of Youth will be his first start. Not easy going 1 1/8 miles off a three-month layoff, but he’s already won at the distance. His Remsen was more workmanlike than his previous scores. Super pedigree and another good-looking colt with a ton of ability. But there’s isn’t much going on with him right now.


Tapizar Steve Asmussen

Tapit—Winning Call, by Deputy Minister

After so-so start to his career (he lost his rider in one race), he became an overnight sensation with two monster efforts. In his maiden win he ran over a full second faster than the Kentucky. Jockey Club Stakes the race before, and his Sham score was over a full second faster than the San Fernando for older horses on the same day. Beautiful mover with great cruising speed and love the way he runs with his ears up. Watch his powerful gallop-out in the Sham. He seems to do everything like a pro.


Dialed In Nick Zito

Mineshaft —Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat

The Zito--Bob LaPenta team is back yet again on the Derby trail, but this time with a colt who may be the best they’ve ever had. For him to win the Holy Bull the way he did off only one maiden sprint, he must be pretty special. And he did it with final fractions of :23 3/5 and :24 flat, despite not changing leads until the sixteenth pole. What was most impressive was the way he dropped his head and leveled off after changing leads, unveiling a big, beautiful stride that covers a lot of ground.


Stay Thirsty Todd Petcher

Bernardini—Marozia, by Storm Bird

Still not giving up on him, despite his antics in the BC Juvenile when he ducked in badly from a right-hand whip after turning for home. Believe he was short for that race, not having run since the Hopeful and never being farther than seven furlongs. Amazing pedigree; he just needs to mature and stretch out in distance. He’ll be in Uncle Mo’s shadow all winter.


Jaycito Bob Baffert

Victory Gallop—Night Edition, by Ascot Knight

Bob Baffert is on the Derby trail with a son of the horse who deprived him of the Triple Crown by a nose. You gotta love it. After taking over his training following the colt’s Breeders’ Cup fiasco, Baffert has had to overcome some issues with him, but he’s reportedly doing great now. Robert Lewis Stakes looks to be his next start.


Astrology Steve Asmussen

A.P. Indy—Quiet Eclipse, by Quiet American

Big, handsome, long-striding colt. Despite Iroquois score and Kentucky Jockey Club second, expect huge improvement when he returns, which likely will be the San Felipe. Plenty of 2-year-old foundation, so he won’t need much. Ignore his slow Beyer figure in the Kentucky Jockey Club; he’s much better than that and his speed figs will improve dramatically this year.


Boys at Tosconova Rick Dutrow

Officer—Little Bonnet, by Coronado’s Quest

If Uncle Mo wasn’t in the BC Juvenile, he wins by six, his time is a full second and a fifth faster than the BC Juvenile Fillies, and everyone is raving about him. The big question is: how far his talent will carry him. Withdrawn from the Holy Bull because Dutrow didn’t like his energy level. That has to raise a few eyebrows, but Dutrow feels this was not a setback. He’s probably better than #8, despite pedigree questions, but we’ll have to wait to find out.


Soldat Kiaran McLaughlin

War Front—Le Relais, by Coronado’s Quest

Lots of speed top and bottom, but he’s already run off the screen going 1 1/8 miles. He’s proven himself on grass and slop, and now must show what he can do on a fast dirt track. It’s hard not to like his last race, slop or no slop. He was hooked by a promising colt, ran him into the ground, and then just spread-eagled his field in the stretch.


Comma to the Top Peter Miller

Bwana Charlie—Maggies Storm, by Stormy Atlantic

Don’t know how far he wants to go or how he’ll handle dirt, but any 2-year-old who can win five in a row, including three stakes and a grade I, has to be respected. He was all speed, but did sit just off the pace in CashCall Futurity. Not bad for a $40,000 claimer.


Brethren Todd Pletcher

Distorted Humor—Supercharger, by A.P. Indy

Half-brother to last year’s Derby winner Super Saver, he’s won both his starts, and several of his beaten foes have come back to win or run well. He’s already shown a big kick from off the pace as well as stalking speed.


Santiva Eddie Kenneally

Giant’s Causeway—Slide, by Smarten

His record is impressive on paper and he has the pedigree, although his Beyer numbers are very slow. Whatever ability he has is obscured by the weird goings on between his owner and his (too many) trainers. Not a healthy situation and that has to change. If Kenneally is given a free rein with him he’s got a chance to make it to Churchill.

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:


Spring is coming, spring is coming, and what better way to shirk off the ice and snow and 10 deg temperature outside my door this week than to start thinking about May.

Let's hope they all stay healthy and we get to watch them fulfill their potential!

Come on, springtime!

31 Jan 2011 6:57 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The Derby Dozen Blog is here !!! The Haskin Derby Dozen Blog is here !! It's here !!!! It's here !!!! Spring has really sprung !!!!! It's really here.

1. The Factor

2. Dialed In

3. Elite Alex

4. Soldat

5. Uncle Mo

6. Sway Away

7. Rogue Romance

8. Tapizar

9. Clubhouse Ride

10. Monzon

11. Cool Blue Red Hot

12. Jaycito

31 Jan 2011 7:10 PM

Steve, you and I might be the only 2 who like Stay Thirsty. It's frustrating that all I hear from Todd is about Mo (understandable) and Bretheren.  He had what appeared to be a fine workout on Sunday and there isn't a drop about it. I thought Todd made a dreadful mistake running him in the Juvy off of a 2 month layoff and a 7 furlong race.

As to THAS, I don't think he wants the lead at all. He was green in the Remsen  - and I believe got to goofing around. I really think he wants a horse to stalk - his maiden win was spectacular.   Bill Mott raved about him today and that's saying something.

Solid list - thanks!

31 Jan 2011 7:24 PM

Dialed In's impressive victory, considering his modest experience, shows he could be a true superstar.

31 Jan 2011 7:24 PM
Zenyatta John

I really don't understand how Boys of Toscanova can be anywhere on a Derby list. There is no way this horse gets 10 furlongs unless he hails a cab.

I respect his brief 2 yr old form but he's gonna be looking for a place to lay down in that 10 furlong.

31 Jan 2011 7:29 PM
In aint easy being good!

I still like Elite Alex but dialed in was the star of last week. I really like Soldat as well and think he will be a force May 2nd even though he ran in allowance race. Soldat still needs to run on a dry dirt surface. Anyone know when Elite Alex is running again?

31 Jan 2011 7:41 PM

Uncle Mo is the deserved top ranking, though I think Dialed In was impressive enough to be ranked right below him.  It's hard to tell with these horses only running a few times.  A first time starter I saw run Saturday that really impressed me was Runflatout from the Sadler barn.

31 Jan 2011 7:48 PM

Mucho Macho Man nowhere to be seen after finishing 4th to Dialed In? I guess he still needs to prove he can compete at this level before he gets a mention.

31 Jan 2011 8:01 PM

Comma to the Top!

31 Jan 2011 8:10 PM

As I wait for another 20 inches of snow to hit the area, this list puts a smile on my face!!  Spring is in the air!!

31 Jan 2011 8:27 PM

Yes indeed lets hope they are all healthy come the first Saturday in May that is most important

31 Jan 2011 8:29 PM
backside sweetie

Thanks STEVE for your Derby Dozen and for reminding me that if,you are picking your dozen then SPRING must be coming soon!!!!I love your blogs,they are always food for thought and like tonight,take my mind off of ugly things, like the winter storm warning,predicted for my area for the next 2 days.God bless you Steve and also THANKS for the pictures of our girl Zen when you went to visit her on the farm.You are the best!!

31 Jan 2011 8:29 PM

My first rankings fall exactly within the community rankings!  I'll never keep that up, but it's a great exercise to start off the pre-Derby season.  Good to start off with you Steve....

No snow here,

Terlingua, TX

31 Jan 2011 8:32 PM

LOVED Dialed In in Holy Bull.....Can't wait to see him go 2 turns. Also hope Baffert keeps Jaycito going in the right direction. I think he is a viable. Kentucky Derby contender

31 Jan 2011 8:35 PM
All the Kings Horses.........

Barbaro & Big Brown were both turf horses that I bet in Vegas 6 months before the Derby at huge odds before they hit the dirt running in Florida.....Thats right I have a nice ticket on Soldat waiting to be cashed at the Winn Las Vegas as history repeats again...

31 Jan 2011 8:37 PM


Thanks for posting the ORIGINAL Derby Dozen.  Now the official discussions can begin (everything before now was merely warm-up talk).  It must be very hard to keep To Honour And Serve at #2 in the light of how Dialed-In blew away Mucho Macho Man in the Holy Bull.  Nick Zito's colt and Tapizar look like THE legitimate threats to Uncle Mo so far.  Others including one of my favourites Santiva are speculative at this point.  

Interestingly you have five AP Indy line colts on this list (I know you've been a loyal fan of his pedigree over the years). Hopefully Dialed-In can relieve your (unspoken)derby-frustration with the AP Indy line this year.

31 Jan 2011 8:48 PM

Excellent list Mr Haskin.  One would have to think that the derby winner is definately on this list.  Lots of great potential.  Dialed In run was very impressive. The way he closed reminded me of a certain someone. (wink wink nudge nudge)....Anywho, Im looking forward to more preps. I feel like im getting the fever.

31 Jan 2011 8:50 PM

Wow!  Dialed In ran the Holy Bull like his tail was on fire!  I was impressed!

31 Jan 2011 9:03 PM

Great starting list Steve! How exciting that we're talking about the Derby already! I am trying to pick a new favorite horse since my two from the past few/couple years (Zenyatta and Lookin At Lucky) are retired. None of them are thrilling me yet though like Lucky did as a two year old. (Maybe it's still the post-retirement depression. LOL). Dialed In, Tapizar and Comma to the Top all won impressively recently though. I have the same top four as you and the community only in a slightly different order: Uncle Mo, Dialed In, Tapizar and To Honor and Serve. Also put Comma to the Top in 6th after Stay Thirsty. Don't know much about some of them so couldn't really decide. Still hoping to see great things from Sagamore Farm's Monzon too.  That would be awesome for them to win a Kentucky Derby!

31 Jan 2011 9:16 PM

A very good list Steve.  I, too have got to go with Uncle Mo until he shows me he can't get the distance.  He didn't seem to be slowing down when he romped in the BCJ.  I expect Jaycito to move up with Baffert but doesn't he have another promising 3yr old?

I have Comma to the Top a little higher because, wow does that colt have guts!

31 Jan 2011 9:17 PM

gotta like the first three, but are you not impressed with wilkinson? and i just looked up wilkinsons true nicks and he's an A++.

but, if it rains on the derby as it often does i'm sold on soldat.

31 Jan 2011 9:27 PM

I saw one yesterday that looks like a cinch to make the list prety soon.  Machen won the fifth in a much the best burst at The Fair Grounds Sunday.  this Neil Howard colt just toyed with his opposition.

31 Jan 2011 9:36 PM

I was very impressed, visually, with Dialed In's win in the Holy Bull.  He demonstrated the style that so often translates well to 10 furlongs at Churchill.

Being a late runner, it's going to be hard for Dialed In to consistently post blazing times and huge speed figures, and it's doubtful he'll run and hide from a field like Uncle Mo, with his stalking style, has done.  Consequently, in comparisons of time and figures, Dialed In is likely to come up short against the brilliance of Uncle Mo or even To Honor and Serve.  However, winning the Derby often proves to be about alot more than times and figures.

Dialed In produced a solid 96 Beyer in winning the Holy Bull.  It's a big figure given it was his second start, but it still leaves him about 7 lengths inferior to Uncle Mo.  And I do find that 96 figure fairly accurate, given Gourmet Dinner, 3rd in the Holy Bull, always runs the same race.  

Not only does Dialed In not compare with Uncle Mo in terms of figures, but using Gourmet Dinner as a measuring stick, Dialed In doesn't appear any faster than Comma to the Top, who beat Gourmet Dinner 5 lengths in the Cash Call Futurity.  However, as I wrote above, the attraction of Dialed In is not in the numbers but in the visual, the style, and the breeding.

The Cali contingent appears solid with the "veteran" consistent horses Comma to the Top, JP's Gusto, Jaycito, and Clubhouse Ride having been joined by Tapizar, The Factor, Runflatout, Awesome Patriot, Da Ruler, Indian Winter, and Astrology (in the near future).  Yet, the Cali group appears weak next to the likes of Uncle Mo, Dialed In, To Honor and Serve, and Boys at Toscanova.  This could be one of those "once every 15 years" crops.

31 Jan 2011 9:55 PM
Robin from Maryland

Still in a state of MASS confusion regarding the entries - so far.  But, it still is way too early for me to be committed to one individual - yet.  Just wishing they all stay sound for the Big Dance.  God Bless to all and all the others that may make the top 20.  Can't wait!!!

31 Jan 2011 10:01 PM
Big Papa

Nice list.  I would probably replace Comma To The Top with Alternation.

31 Jan 2011 10:08 PM

backside sweetie!  I hope you look in again.  I never seem to catch a recent post by you. This is completely off-topic - and I apologize to Steve & everyone - but I've been anxious to know where Cloudy is these days & how he's doing. Do you know? thanks!

31 Jan 2011 10:17 PM
Paula Higgins

Zenyatta John I can't stop laughing about your "hailing a cab" comment. OMG hilarious!!! Yes, I agree that he isn't living up to his early promise. My list was pretty close to the compiled list. Good discussion Steve as usual. An interesting group this year. Let's hope and pray Uncle Mo lives up to his early billing. Without Zenyatta and Rachel this year, we need some one to step up to the plate.

31 Jan 2011 10:30 PM

I hope you are right about Stay Thirsty, I bet him in the future book at 75-1 !!!

31 Jan 2011 10:32 PM
Thomas dolby


I saw that race on Saturday with runflatout and think he is going to be something special if he stays health.  His connections are good horse people who care a great deal about horses and their well being.

By the way runflatout ran 1:07.7 as a first time starter.  I've never heard of a first time starter doing 6f that fast

31 Jan 2011 10:32 PM
Thomas dolby


I saw that race on Saturday with runflatout and think he is going to be something special if he stays health.  His connections are good horse people who care a great deal about horses and their well being.

By the way runflatout ran 1:07.7 as a first time starter.  I've never heard of a first time starter doing 6f that fast

31 Jan 2011 10:33 PM

Thanks Steve, your list officially begins Derby Fever.

Until someone can take down Uncle Mo, he's on top.  Tapizar, Dialed In, Santiva have all won at CD.  Soldat if it comes up muddy.

Keep an eye on Machen.  He could be a monster.  

Runflatout looked vey impressive breaking his maiden

31 Jan 2011 10:41 PM
Karen in Texas

Thanks for your Derby Dozen, Steve! I'll be watching all of them, plus Rogue Romance and Elite Alex.

It ain't easy being good---I think Elite Alex is going in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn. He'll probably be in the prep series there--the Southwest, the Rebel, and the Arkansas Derby.

31 Jan 2011 10:52 PM
Matt Converse

Probably the best list I've seen from you in all the years I've followed you.  Only three misses: Comma To The Top, you don't know how far he'll go?  Yes, you do.  And so do I.  He just ran that distance.  Not a Derby horse.  Stay Thisty could improve but I wouldn't hold my breath.  He's been ordinary.  Astrology isn't fast enough.

The rest of the list looks great, I like seeing Dialed In and Jaycito up there, and Soldat too.  Excellent picks.  

31 Jan 2011 11:51 PM
Barbaro Girl

Boys at Tosconova will do just fine come the first Saturday in May, Zenyatta John.  I have faith in him and may be you should, too.  Great list Steve!  I love how everyone is making comments about "Spring time is coming, Spring time is coming!"  Looking forward to watching all of these young colts develop over the next few months!

01 Feb 2011 12:14 AM

watched dialed-in's performance in person and was very impressed--but then again i have a pretty big soft spot for closers who spot the field 15-20 lengths, then win going away =)

also like soldat, especially since he's already gone a mile and 1/8th, and because he can handle mud--which is always a plus for kentucky in may. did't like his time so much though; if he can't speed it up, he'll probably only have a chance if it rains.

i'm agnostic about the rest, except for BOT. something is wrong with him--he just looks like eskendereya and rule all over again...

01 Feb 2011 12:26 AM
Matthew W

Tapizar blew me away--I've always loved Jaycito--The Factor is a sprinter--but the Sadler first-timer who ran Sat in 2nd race, Steve look at that last 1/4 and tell me if that wasn't the best debut race ever! No, I'm excited out here, Steve--and out there--Uncle Mo is the real deal/real good horse--both Uncle Mo and Tapizar, in my opinion the top two--both are stamina challenged when it comes to sire lineage which makes this all the more interesting....

01 Feb 2011 12:30 AM

Zookeeper: Congrats with RunFlatOut!  Very impressive!

I was really impressed with Dialed Ins race! I love those closers!  My list would pretty much mirror yours right now, Steve.

01 Feb 2011 12:59 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Who's Roy Rodgers and Trigger? I know who Roy Rogers is (no d). Uncle Moe is pretty good but I do think they haven't taken advantage of his talent for a run at the Triple Crown. Too long of a break and too few 3yo Derby Preps. Now if you want to talk about raw talent. The Factor has one of the most beautiful strides I've ever seen. Even better than Trigger's, Silver's, Mr. Ed's or Fury's. The stride of a router running 6f in under 1:07 effortlessly. The Great Bob Baffert is galloping him in an effort to slow him down a tad so he doesn't run The Derby in 1:56 and not have enough left for The Preakness and Belmont.

01 Feb 2011 1:13 AM
Orlando Zurita

Like the 3 mosketeers you have to increase your Dirty Dozen list to 15, including Machen, JP's Gusto and any other good colt

01 Feb 2011 6:02 AM

  Well with Pletcher talking of running "pluck" on the dirt, i wull say it again "Plucckkkk...pluck  pluck pluck pluck pluck pluck"

01 Feb 2011 6:47 AM

   Obvious to me, "Pluck", "The Factor", "Awesome Patriot", "Premier Pegasus", "Rogue Romance", and "Uncle Sam" deserve way more serious attention.

   Also from my 'sack of potatoes', I am high on "Alternation", "Blue Laser", "Caleb's Posse", "Positive Response", "Sweet Duchy" , "Thirtyfirststreet", and "Tiz Blessed".

  And, 'under the radar' are still the likes of "Alternation", "Archarcharch", "Biondetti", "Gourmet Dinner", "J.B.'s Thunder" and "Positive Response", many of whom I feel rank equal to or above "Jaycito" and "Astrology" in my listings.

 But, I do know that limiting to a dozen is tough, especially this earlier time of year.

  "To Honor and Serve"; "Brethren"; "Pluck"; "Uncle Mo"; "Santiva"; and "The Factor" should in some order be near the top of anyones list this time of year by performance and pedigree alone. And, "Awesome Patriot"; "Comma to the Top"; "Dialed In"; "Premier Pegasus"; "Rogue Romance"; "Sodat"; & "Uncle Sam" make it real hard to limit my list to a dozen.

  However, in the end, we do get to fill 20 gate slots, not just 12!!!!

  And of course, wishing they all stay healthy, as we have already lost "Rough Sailing".

01 Feb 2011 7:05 AM

Rogers, not Rodgers...well, then again maybe there was a Trigger and Rodgers, too...;-)

01 Feb 2011 7:11 AM

i know that this has nothing to do wtih this  topic, but steve i was wondering if you had any news at all on if take control will ever race again or if his owner and trainer bob baffert decided to pack him up and send him off to stud? since he hasn't raced in well over a yr now.

01 Feb 2011 7:21 AM

Here is my list:

1)Brethren:  Deepest pedigree of all Ky Derby Contenders.  Great connections.  Win over Churchill.  

2)Uncle Mo:  Great Booty.  Win over Churchill.  Owner will make the Derby Trail fun and exciting!

3) Dialed In:  Holy Bull win was a WOW!  Win over Churcill.

4) Tapizar:  Best in the West.  Win over Churchill

5) To Honor and Serve: Not a fan of the 1 1/8 for first race in 2011.  Great trainer.  

6) Soldat:  Pray for rain.

7) Gourmet Dinner: Ran a solid race in the Holy Bull.

8) Machen:  Just beat winners.  Good connections.

9) Rogue Romance:  Will know more after the Risin Star.  

10) Santiva: Too many mares bred to Giant Causeway and too many trainers.  

11) Astrology:  Win at Churchill.

12) Jaycito:  Bob Baffert, enough said.

BAT is not bred for the distance and missing the Holy Bull is a major concern.  Love the horses that have won over the Churchill dirt.  Not even paying attention to maiden winners (The Factor and Runflatout) until they run against winners and stretch out.

The snow has arrived!

01 Feb 2011 7:26 AM

I was very impressed by Dialed In`s race Saturday coming from waaay back going one turn on what is generally a front runner`s track.  There seems to be plenty of frontrunning types again this year which should set up his out the clouds style.  The 20 horse field @ CD could be his undoing though unless Zito can get Calvin to ride.

What about Machen?  His times haven`t been too impressive and he still seems a bit green, but he should be a mid-pack closer and one of those to get first run.

01 Feb 2011 7:56 AM

Hi Steve,

Rogue Romance has my interest, but again I'm a sucker for a great name. Scat Daddy & Bluegrass Cat were two of my favorites.



01 Feb 2011 8:12 AM
Fran Loszynski

Elite Alex I read may be going to the Feb 21st Southwest Stakes.

so here is my list :







So Steve did you expect anything different from me!

Oh and maybe Dialed In coming in third by Nick Zito, he was my favorite trainer before Afleet Alex came along.

01 Feb 2011 8:25 AM

While I've liked BAT, Rick Dutrow is really worried about him not coming back to form, and BAT appears to be undergoing extensive testing. He's on the bottom of my list. I'd prefer to see Rogue Romance on this list as opposed to BAT.  Leave some room for Machen...he's really a gutsy colt who seems to really want to run, and has no fear.  Tapizar stayed on top of my list, if just for the breeding.(then add the speed).  I like Uncle Mo...but we haven't seen him run at 3 yet, have we?  Dialed In and Soldat...impressive!

01 Feb 2011 8:26 AM

Exceptional looking two year-olds have a long history of NOT progressing as three year-olds. At times i wonder if they are just early bloomers who tower over their competition because they physically developed sooner than their counterparts. With that said, I belive that there is one horse who could perform better at 3 than at 2. J.Ps gusto is working very well at Santa Anita and I expect he will be better at three than at two. I don't like one dimensional horses like Uncle Mo or Dialed In. Even though he didn't win, Gourmet dinner has the look of a Derby Horse and one who will continue to move forward with distance and more racing experience. Those are my top 2. good luck to all and thanks to Steve Haskin for all his great imput.

01 Feb 2011 8:38 AM
Billy's Empire


2.Uncle Mo

3.Dialed In


5.To Honor and Serve

6.Stay Thirsty

7.Comma to the Top


9.Clubhouse Ride



12.Chasing Moonlight

I was really impressed with Machen at Fairgrounds. I think he will move forward in the upcoming stakes races.

01 Feb 2011 8:41 AM

Wow, spring really is here!

I just have one horse right now, with the others sitting in a muddled heap behind him.

That horse is Jaycito.

He impresses me as a horse who just needed to grow up and fill out, work out his antics, and just mature somewhat. The way he closed in the Del Mar Futurity was very impressive, considering how far back he was and how wide he came into the stretch, but then lowered his head and lengthened out.  

Of course, his Norfolk Stakes was nice, and I think the main factor in the BC Juvenile was greenness- and he still tried to catch them at the top of the stretch, but by that time, he was just too far back.

I don't really doubt that he'll get the Derby distance, and I'm excited to see how he'll preform under his new trainer.

01 Feb 2011 8:43 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

Love the Derby Trail!  I always anticipate your Derby Dozen reports.  Thanks.

01 Feb 2011 9:18 AM

Echoing the excitement and enthusiasm of Dr. D - yea!  It's finally here!!  Looking out in my backyard with all the snow and knowing it's 17 degrees out there - here - in Texas! - this really warms my heart.  LOL!  I'm staying on the Uncle Mo bandwagon, but I was very impressed with Dialed In in respect to how he got going after he finally changed leads - wow!  And to see Runflatout break his maiden at first asking was great, too.  Naturally, I'm just hoping they all stay well and injury free and we get to enjoy more great races leading up to the big day.  Once again - thank you, Steve, you are the best!!

01 Feb 2011 10:14 AM

My top 4 were exactly the same. I adjusted a few others. I moved Soldat up a little because I really liked his performance, but agree that he's won on turf and slop. He has to be proven on a fast dirt track. How many times do you see them love the turf and slop, but the flop on a fast track. I like Dialed In and kept him 4th, but that's where he will probably stay for me. Come derby time I don't know if he will be able to make up what Uncle Mo is going to put on the rest of the field. Uncle Mo is the real deal, and I will be watching him all the way.

01 Feb 2011 10:33 AM

  Anyone lookin for a "future bet" long shot?  Try this on:

Buffum: (Pa.); Tr. T. Albertrani;   $1.2 mil.  ‘09  FT N.Y.;

                2       1     0     0 ;   D.I. 0.00 ;  

                winner 1 Mi.. Msw  Bel.;

Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ;

         Bernardini-A.P. Indy-Seattle Slew-Bold Reasoning-Boldnesian-Bold Ruler-

              (s.s.d.s.: Secretariat-Bold Ruler)-(s.s.s.d.s.: Poker-)-(s.s.d.d.s.: Buckpasser)-

              (s.d.s.s.: Fappiano-Mr. Prospector)-(s.d.d.s.: Spectacular Bid)-(s.d.d.d.s.: Northern Dancer)//

         Storm Beauty- Storm Cat-Storm Bird-Northern Dancer-(d.s.d.s.: Secretariat-Bold Ruler)-

              (d.d.d.s.s.: Princequillo (Fr.))-(d.d.d.s.: Hail to Reason-Turn To);

                   [[Note:  dbl. bred to Northern Dancer & Secretariat & Princequillo & triple bred to  Bold Ruler]];  

01 Feb 2011 10:41 AM

Dialed In did not beat anything. Gourmet Dinner is no Derby threat. I can't believe people are getting this excited about the winner of the Holy Bull.  Relax, let him win a G1 before you get too excited.

01 Feb 2011 10:50 AM

Mr. Haskin,

Great list! I think I feel a fever coming. Dr D already has a bad case of it. I'm a little slower... but I love to read all the comments and the heads-up on horses outside of my dysfunctional radar. :) Uncle Mo, right now, is blocking all the other beeps.

01 Feb 2011 10:58 AM

A good friend of mine in Lexington who not  only broke but was instrumental in the development of a certain colt by Bernardini is really high on Crossbow, whom I believe will run in the next derby prep here  in south Florida. This is very much a quality colt and has a very bright future. I like the exacta of Dialed In and Crossbow big time in the derby assuming they both stay healthy and progress as I believe they will

01 Feb 2011 11:04 AM
steve from st louis

Dialed In ran like 4-year-old in the Holy Bull and has to jump to the top of my list. Has a head which reminds me of Buckpasser. We don't know how the 2-year-olds from last year will come out of the blocks at 3, and the list of   precocious juveniles who don't go on with it at 3 is a long one. But we know this boy is a monster right now. When he learns how to run, Leparoux just has to hold on and keep him clear.

I also love the A.P. Indy--Quiet American cross with Astrology. Not a bad way to go, considering the same cross gave us Bernardini.

01 Feb 2011 11:07 AM

Sherpa:  From news on Oct 20th, 2010...

"Accomplished veteran stayer and crowd favorite Cloudy’s Knight has been retired after a right front suspensory injury flared up while he was preparing for the Sycamore Stakes (G3) on Thursday at Keeneland Race Course."

That's the last I've seen.

01 Feb 2011 11:14 AM
Donut Jimmy

I think the biggest pedigree question about Uncle Mo (his dams side could give him the necessary stamina) is whether he will hold together long enough to be in the gate on Derby day. Those Indian Charlie's have been brilliant but can prove very tough to hold together. Could give Pletcher another Eskenderaya style pre-Derby disapointment.

01 Feb 2011 11:16 AM

Was Dialed In's performance in the Holy Bull a harbinger of Superstar?

01 Feb 2011 11:17 AM
Easy Goer


Funny how the "braintrust" say that he can't run 1 1/4 Miles... Yes he has the Dosage numbers...

These are the same people who used to SWEAR by Steve Roman...  


01 Feb 2011 11:35 AM
Billy's Empire

I just watched the Sham again, and I was amazed that after running a 133 mile and 140 for the 1 1/16 distance, Tapizar galloped out a good 10-15 legnths ahead of the field around the turn, ears pricked, not tired at all. I know SA is fast this year, but that is  impressive. He needs to sit off the pace in his next.

01 Feb 2011 11:38 AM

Ahh the list it is out and the fever is starting more than 3 months out. Is this a problem??

Was at Gulfstream Sunday in the paddock Dialed in looked like Quality Road with the long bangs good looking horse. Opened at 1-5 went of 2nd choice..

Make my bet $2.oo ex 9-all made my tri bet $1.00 9/1,3,4,7,8..

Race goes off track announcer makes the first call and you hear "Dialed in has dropped way out of it he must be 10-15 lengths off the lead"..

I have my eyes focused on him the whole race he starts to move I nudge my wife "here he comes"..Entering the turn he is 5 lengths of the lead and the announcer "hear comes Dialed In with his run".. Out of the turn he is 5 wide and on the wrong lead and gaining.. Finally at the 1/16 pole the lead change and a explosion of a move runs by them like they are standing still,gets shuts down 50 yards from the finish.. You can see the smile on Julians face from the stands..

For a horse as green as he is it was one of the most impressive runnings I have ever seen in person..This horse is screaming for distance and wow what a pedigree.

Yes I have a love at first sight for this horse, hate to say it but very Z like with the move..

Time will tell..

Also Mucho Macho Man was the biggest horse in the paddock very late foal I believe June do not count him out for the future.

01 Feb 2011 11:39 AM
Billy's Empire

the courier journal recently did a top 50 Derby horses for 2011. It was in the Sunday edition. this may open your eyes to a few more sleepers.

01 Feb 2011 11:45 AM

Yes, sitting here waiting for another 18" of snow, on top of 2.5 ft, the Derby feels good, at least in one's mind. My first 5 selections matched the community, which I thought was neat. I am learning!!!

I just wonder why The Factor (love the name, as does Bill), is not on the list???

01 Feb 2011 11:50 AM

Have the connections of Frankel said anything about coming over for the Derby? He dominated Europe last year and it would be nice for the namesake of a great American trainer to try and win the Derby. Any info would be appreciated.

01 Feb 2011 11:57 AM

Here's my top 5-in no particular order, and includes another real sleeper:


Boys At Tosconova-extremely talented, and pedigree just fine.

Uncle Mo

Dancinginherdreams-may be as good (or better) as her near namesake. At least, for me, the present Oak's favorite.

Point Of Entry-fairly good first out effort (was on dirt). Super pedigree-his dam is arguably among breed's best. Seems to have somewhat "round action" (?turfy), but if Shug keeps him on dirt and runs him back soon, might just be a Derby threat.

Overall, this year's Derby prospects are the best in last ten, or so, years.  

01 Feb 2011 12:03 PM
Bloodline Bob

The sire of the 2011 Ky.Derby winner should have a date of birth in the year 1998. That is not yet in concrete. UNCLE MO WILL NOT BE THE 2011 KY. DERBY WINNER! Just like I said last year about Lookin At Lucky-but he will win other big races but not the Ky.Derby. I'M VERY high on FLY DOWN right now for the Donn + the Dubai Cup.

01 Feb 2011 12:04 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I'm almost positive that Calvin Borel will be sticking with Elite Alex. Four out of five? Could be. He's on a good one.

01 Feb 2011 12:08 PM

Thanks Steve for your top twelve, at this point, they are the best we've seen so far, with alot of racing to come, to sort it all out.

I was wondering what, if anything, you may have heard about Mcpeek's Pleasant Run. I was very impressed with the way he closed the other day in a Maiden race, even though he didn't win, it was visually impressive. I see in your writing's about McPeek's prospects, that he wasn't mentioned. I like the breeding on this horse and would be surprised after the way he closed, if he wasn't good enough to become a top three year old.

I can't imagine how miserable the winter has been back East(I've always lived in the SF

Bay Area), and uderstand how exciting any suggestion of Spring must be to those who have endured this winter. Weather here today, clear, sunny, with temps in the high 50's to low 60's, a beautiful day, rather unusual for this time of year, just as much of January was this year.

01 Feb 2011 12:12 PM
Old Timer

Great list Steve. It is hard to argue with Uncle Mo on top. I just still have reservations about Indian Charlie out of an Arch mare offspring lasting 10 furlongs. My choices for the top three are To Honor and Serve; Brethren; and Dialed In; based on the trainers and their breeding. 3 months to go!

01 Feb 2011 12:22 PM
Forbidden Apple

1-Pluck 2-Dialed In 3-To Honour and Serve 4-Tapizar 5-Comma to the Top 6-Soldat 7-Uncle Mo 8-The Factor 9-Jaycito 10-Break Up The Game 11-Bandbox 12-Machen

I am going to leave Pluck at the top of my list until it is 100% official that he is not going to try dirt.

The explosive hair raising performance by Dialed In has clearly given me Kentucky Derby fever. His late kick was push button when Leparoux asked him to go. Dialed In took over under an easy hand ride and did not look like he was even running all out. His turn of foot is scary good, look out Mo! I would like to seem him race one more time before blistering the field in the Florida Derby.

To Honour and Serve was quite impressive in 2010, however his recent workout of 1:04 1/5 was turtle like. It looks like he will be brought along slowly this year.

I included horses like Break Up the Game,Bandbox, and Machen as they are colts with some potential to improve rapidly.

01 Feb 2011 12:56 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   This is the best time of year but beware of the virus called Derby Fever. There is no known cure and it can be all consuming. Known symptoms are insomnia, relentless pursuit and evaluation of pedigrees, race replay fanatacism, over-hyping horses that never do much, falling in love anew with each big prep, finding yourself begging for another Triple Crown winner again, ignoring people that don't have the same disease, redoing list after list, loss of appetite or overeating, forgetting to eat, forgetting appointments, one track mindedness, falling deeply in love and having your heart broken. Then the fever breaks after The Derby or Triple Crown and there is a large void and you can't wait to be afflicted again !!!!!!!!!

01 Feb 2011 1:01 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

It ain't easy being good!

 I think Elite Alex is pointed to the Southwest Stakes Feb 21 at OP, 250G, one mile. And he will be tough to beat. He is a fighter, a runner, and a winner, and has Borel on his back.

01 Feb 2011 1:08 PM
In aint easy being good!

Buying a horse for 500k, having an all star trainer, jumping from maiden to stakes and running 15 lengths off the lead going 5 wide and beating good horses equals beast! Dialed in is a freak!

Mo has no chance!

01 Feb 2011 1:17 PM


Think again Bro.  The undefeated 3YO colt Dialed-In made a significant class leap from a maiden to the Grade 3 Holy Bull, which is perhaps a bigger leap in terms of the quality of the field than Uncle Mo made from his maiden race to the Grade 1 Champaigne.  Dialed-In was very impressive and with the Zito-La Penta-Leparoux connection, represents as exciting a Derby team as the Uncle Mo-Pletcher-Repole-Johnny V connection.  This year's Derby trail has a special kind of aroma ...a rare kind of excitement is building in the air.  May we have a record low level of injury drop-outs.

I'm a gung ho "Mo" fan but Dialed-In's 'floating and leaping' stretch run has me now "torn between two lovers."  I remember vividly Nick Zito's no holes barred celebratory shouts when Go For Gin won the Derby in 1994 "We know the way Gin ...Go ...I love you God, I love my wife, I love my kids I love everyboy!!!"  One of the most animated victory shouts I've ever seen.  Nick Zito has been a favourite of mine ever since and as much as I like the Uncle Mo crew, I'd love to see him win this Kentucky Derby again.  Dialed-In has the running style of Strike The Gold, only he appears to be more explosive.  All I can say is wow!!!

01 Feb 2011 1:37 PM
Pride Libidinoso.

1. Uncle Mo

2. Boys at Tosconova

3. To Honot and Serve


Lookin at Lucky has not shown that result showed that Mo in Breeders' Cup Juvenile, so I dont take it as an examplame.

01 Feb 2011 1:45 PM


Your challenge to the dozen is interesting, as I have followed your Derby Dozen and the others you mention throughout the last few years, you usually mention the Derby winners name somewhere before the Derby. As it is not always in your Derby Dozen.

01 Feb 2011 2:01 PM
Steve Haskin

That's weird. I wrote in Roy Rogers and I think spell check changed it on its own or something else changed it. In any event I corrected it.

01 Feb 2011 2:03 PM

I CAN NOT understand how nobody believes in the horse that was second in the juvenile....and a  grade stakes winner.  Imagine a world without Uncle Mo, who wins the juvenile, lenghts??..... very strange rank for Boys at Toscanova.

01 Feb 2011 2:23 PM

Correction to my Nick Zito quote above should end with "I love everybody" not "I love everyboy" (LOL).  Sorry Nick. Blame it on Derby fever ...right Dr Drunkinbum?

01 Feb 2011 2:47 PM
barry aksarben

Hardly ever go with sentiment but pulling hard for rogue romance as smarty jones helped my mom fight cancer and will always be tops in my book

01 Feb 2011 3:18 PM


Thanks your very interesting evaluation of the 3YO landscape in your blog titled “A Challenge to the Derby Dozen” A few of your comments that are listed below are similar to some expressed on another blog.

“Of course, almost every horse that has run so far, no matter how impressive he’s looked, is going to avoid the Repole roadblock that is already being set up at Tampa Bay Downs (in the grade II Tampa Bay Derby) and Aqueduct (in the grade I Wood Memorial)”

I know you are a generous man and I need your help as it appears there is something that I am seriously missing with regards to Uncle Mo. The connections of every impressive horse will make every effort to avoid Uncle Mo prior to the derby. The first time I read similar statements, I considered them then to be over the top speculation and I consider the above comments likewise. What has Uncle Mo done to merit this speculated avoidance?  Did he record new track records is each of his three victories? Were there reported adverse physical problems suffered by those he defeated? Has it been discovered that he has an oversized heart and consequently enjoys a greater supply oxygenated blood? What exactly has he done that has not been achieved and superseded in the past?

Street Sense destroyed his BCJ competition gearing down in a far more impressive performance than that of Uncle Mo. I do not recall anyone speculating that he would be avoided because he was some sort of thoroughbred monster. It was unlikely that those he defeated in the BCJ would have made up the deficit in the six months leading up to the derby. In fact, none did but new competition emerged i.e., Hard Spun, Any Given Saturday and Curlin. Ironically, Street Sense first start as a 3YO was in the Tampa Bay Derby and in spite of his impressive BCJ victory, he won by a mere nose. He subsequently won the derby by 21/2L a far cry from his 13L victory in the BCJ.

Secretariat was voted HOY as a 2YO. Were trainers running to the mountains with their impressive 3YOs giving him walkovers in his derby preps? If the records are correct the thoroughbred monster known as Secretariat came third in the Wood.

I refuse to believe that experience trainer like Mott, Zito etc., were going to enter their impressive horses in the Tampa Bay Derby & Wood but changed their plans when they discovered that Mo would be in town. How would they explain to the owners of $400k or $500K colts that they are afraid to run against another horse? I am of the opinion that trainer should be confident in their abilities to prepare horses to win in spite of the competition. The great horses of the past were never avoided, I see no reason for the speculation that Uncle Mo will be.

In light of the above, what exactly am I missing with this colt?

NB: The connections of Uncle Mo by choosing the Tampa Bay Derby/Wood route have left some quality competition at Gulfstream and in fact have chosen the path of least competition

01 Feb 2011 3:23 PM


“ All I can say is wow!!! “

Am I the only one that recognizes that Dialed In carried 116lbs and was being allowed weight by three to four of his competitor? The colt also appears to have soundness issues. His galloping action is by no meant smooth and his heavy neck is not ideal for young horse. (Too much weight upfront) Here is question for you. Will a mare from Storm Cat’s 300 plus broodmare band finally produce a derby winner? No son of A P Indy has ever sired a derby winner. No Storm cat broodmare has ever produced a derby winner. Do you have any idea the historic hurdle Dialed I has to cross? With his body type his connection are advised to be very careful with him. I would suggest they find an equine swimming pool and train him there.

01 Feb 2011 3:37 PM



01 Feb 2011 3:44 PM

No way would I put Uncle Mo at #1. I love the colt but his training and race schedule will be the death of him. Even if he manages to win the Derby no way could he withstand the rigors of the Triple crown with the cupcake schedule Pletcher has set out for him. I'm saddened by this as he has a lot of raw talent, if only he was started off better and being managed better.

01 Feb 2011 4:13 PM
Mike Relva


Well,you've found another horse to bash. Dialed In is a very good horse with great potential. You know how your predictions usually go,LIKE SOUTH!

01 Feb 2011 4:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Did you see the photos of that sea of people in Egypt lining up for Derby tickets since the performance by Dialed In in The Holy Bull. Wow !!!!! And you thought the infield was crowded last year. Holy Cow !!!!!!

01 Feb 2011 4:46 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


 Yep. You can officially blame any mishap, snafu, or discombobulation on Derby Fever starting yesterday.

01 Feb 2011 4:51 PM

Great list Steve.

It reads like an A P Indy family reunion with Uncle Mo as the party spoiler. Half of the list are descendants of the great sire who is looking more and more like America's Sadler's Wells.(Last year his grandsons were 1-2). Had it not been for Uncle Mo, he could be looking at a clean sweep. I will make my early choice in Pool 1

01 Feb 2011 5:14 PM

Ranagulzion, I was there on that beautiful windy Sunday and I can tell you speed didn't hold all day.

Three horses fighting for the lead set things up very well for Dialed In.  Better speed horses will put him away before he has a chance to roll on.  He beat very average horses and none of them will be in the Derby so relax.  THS and Uncle Mo are still the best by a mile in Florida.  When Dialed In wins something at 2 turns let me know.

01 Feb 2011 5:25 PM

Tapizar being ranked so high has me puzzled. The horse beat Clubhouse Ride and he has won nothing.  Tapizar was alone on the lead with no other speed in the race and a small field.  Placing him above BAT at this point seems reckless at best. None of these horses are anywhere near as good as Uncle Mo.

01 Feb 2011 5:36 PM
Big Brown's Buddy

had such a hard time with this - the last couple of years of Derbies has been weird,so..... must admit that if it's a sloppy track on Derby Day, I'm going with whomever Calvin Borel is riding!! LOL

01 Feb 2011 5:37 PM

Your list is red hot!

I fancy Soldat and Dialed In as perhaps two hopefuls that may surprise.

01 Feb 2011 5:59 PM

Steve, As always you have a very strong list for the TOP cadidate's to win the Kentucky Derby. Your top 5 should in the driver's seat. I don't know if any foreign horses will make the trip, but they have the World's best 2 yr old in the name of FRANKEL  He was named after the late Bobby Frankel by Juddmonte Farm, he is a freak. If he could transform his turf form to dirt watch out. He has a unbelievable turn of foot like no other. Just wondering if know if this horse may come to the USA, so I can go to Vegas!

01 Feb 2011 6:11 PM

Hey Zarvona Buffum is now trained by Saeed Bin Suroor and he has been entered in the UAE derby.So if he does well in Dubai we may see him at Churchill. Hey Steve I remember you mentioned Crossbow in your initial lineup. What did you make of his allowance win at  Gulfstream.I thought he was extremely impressive dueling a hot pace throughout and getting a better of a game horses and the final time for seven furlongs (1:22.86)was impressive.

01 Feb 2011 6:13 PM
Old Timer

What is it with the Boys at Toscanova fans? The horse's daddy is Officer! He is a great bet for the Withers or the Bay Shore but a mile and quarter?... puh-lease! He will maybe win at a mile and 1/16 if he is lucky but that will be the limit for BAT.

01 Feb 2011 6:24 PM
Early Speed

I'm impressed with Uncle Mo, and hoping he is at least as good a three-year old as he was last year. After reading about Dialed-In's last race and looking at his breeding, I'm impressed with him, and he has moved up pretty much even in my mind as Uncle Mo.

I often wonder if trainers are reading our posts.

01 Feb 2011 6:33 PM

dialed in is a good horse he wont win due to lack of expierience. tapizar i need to see him run on real dirt before i can taje him seriously

01 Feb 2011 6:42 PM


As usual I do not envy you for the task of compiling a Derby Dozen this early in the season. Let me see how your dozen compares to the winning sire line over the last 30 years. One might ask why go back 30 years? Well, some sire line would have been excluded if not for this period.

RAISE A NATIVE: 15 winners (1980-2010)




Uncle Mo

To Honor and Serve


Dialed In

Stay Thirsty


Comma To The Top




OTHERS: 2 winners (1980-2010)

Boys At Tosconova

The Buckpasser, Ribot and Hail To Reason sire lines that won the remaining 8 derbies during this period are not represented.

In the last 10 years the RAN sire line has won7 derbies; the Northern Dancer sire line one; the Hail To Reason sire lines one and another sire line one. The Bold Ruler/Nasrullah sie line zero. Your dozen contain seven horses from a sire line that has produced two winners in 30 years. Will we be seeing a changing of the guards in 2011?

There are 24 colts from the RAN sire line on my watch list that include the two above. I am of the opinion that the exclusion of Machen, Monzon and Sovereing Default at the expense of Astrology Stay Thirsty and Santivo is inexcusable. The RAN sire line should at least have five representatives. The dozen is weighted heavily in favor of a non performing sire line and reflects a total disregard for the phenomenal record of the RAN sire line. Its early days yet and I hope some semblance of reality will be reflected in future dozens.

01 Feb 2011 6:43 PM

When I look at the comments here about BAT it makes me wonder how we can all watch a race and get many different views from it. If you like Uncle Mo, you have to respect BAT because no one else was close. Although I am worried about what is going on with him. Sound he is my pick.

I am still picking my jaw up from the floor after watching Dialed In. He is very impressive.

I respect hay, oats, and time type trainers so if Shug likes Point of Entry for the derby I will be watching.

Mostly, I just want these guys to stay sound, grow up and be wonderful racehorses that are talented enough to beat each other on any given Saturday. I just hope I pick the right one in May.

01 Feb 2011 6:47 PM

What does the good doctor prescribe for Derby fever?

bed rest, with no tv, computers or other information devices until the first Sunday after the first Saturday in May?

Why do we do this year after year? There has to be an answer. Do we expect to discover some great secret insight that will allow us to make the killing of a lifetime at the Derby betting window. How could this be possible when every horse in the race is examined every which way imaginable, and we feel like we know every detail about every horse. Why do we start to pick the winner, before the field is even drawn? It's like saying the Patriots will win this year's Superbowl. No they won't; why? because they aren't in it!

 How can so many experts such as Steve Haskin, Coldfacts, Gunbow, Ranaguizion, Amy, Draynay, Slew, Ted in LA, It Ain't Easy Being Good, Zookeeper, Mike Relva, Old Timer, Lazmannick, Jackie, tcc, Dusty, Melissa, Rachel, Betsy, Trebloc, Dr. Drunkinbum, etc, etc, all stay up nights analyzing the this one race to death and then come Derby day, mostly miss the outcome? While some guy named Scott who blogs about three times a year, nails the top four horses in order like it couldn't happen any other way. Beats the S#%t out of me.

 Maybe we all really are sick. I know alot of people who know I do this probably think I am... Oh well , I just don't care what others may think, I just love doing it and I guess that's what really counts.

I'm kinda seeing Uncle Mo as this years Street Sense and Dialed In as this years Curlin. Don't think there is anything wrong with the way Dialed In moves or in how powerfully he is built in the shoulders up. If they both get to the race, that's my early Exacta box.

01 Feb 2011 6:59 PM
backside sweetie

SHERPA                                  Cloudy has retired and the last info I heard,he went home to his owners farm and is enjoying his life as a horse.Thanks for thinking of him.If I hear anymore I will try to let you know.And to everyone else I say GO MO!I loved his Dad and all his siblings.

01 Feb 2011 7:16 PM

Steve, on your future book one I would look into is Da Ruler. His maiden at Santa Anita was impressive. Yes it was only a 6 1/2 furlong race, but I see some potential. Da Ruler is by Roman Ruler, who won the Haskell at a mile and an 1/8, and out of a Flying Continental mare who won a sprint distances. However you can't overlook Flying Continental's wins at a mile and an eigth as well. Da Ruler broke his maiden in a gutsy way in his first start being the inside speed. Definately one to watch out for IMO.

01 Feb 2011 7:23 PM
In aint easy being good!

Uncle Mo will be this years sidney's candy all front speed with no stamina left. Mo will be lucky to hit the board! Dont blame the horse blame the trainer mo wont be ready!

I love how Draynay says who has he beat and give me a Grade 1 win. But when it comes to Zenyatta Grade 1's dont matter your a joke just like your nobles promise derby pick and your quality road pick you should stick to college basketball picks. What happened to you Dray you used to be good????

Actually dray who do you like for the Superbowl I am taking 100 the opposite way!

01 Feb 2011 7:25 PM
Early Speed

Another one I like is Tapizar. He has such an effortless way of going. When he can learn to really take advantage of that, he will be one of those horses few really figured on, but will take the summer Stakes like Summer Bird did.

This has to be one of the strongest fields for a long time, perhaps stronger than the field Barbaro beat.

I still like Uncle Mo, but someone who is a close Thoroughbred watcher said that the Indian Charlies are talented but fragile. Can Uncle Mo break the JBC jinx like Street Sense did or is he a juvenile wonder?

01 Feb 2011 7:40 PM

Hmmm, My comments are never posted, not like I ever say anything to offend anyone.

Anyway, I actually agree w/ Draynay on this one. I broke down who Dialed In beat in the Holy Bull. Here is a look at who Dialed In beat:

1.Sweet Ducky- Won his Maiden, and two Non-graded stakes.

2.Gourmet Dinner- Won Maiden @ Calder, 2 Non Graded Stakes @ Calder, and won Gr. 3 Delta Downs Jackpot where he beat Sweet Ducky.

3.Mucho Macho Man- Only win came in MSW.

4.Black N Beauty- Wins came in MSW and Allowance.

5.Leave Of Absence- Only win came in MSW

6.Printing Press- Only win in MSW out of 8 starts

7.Major Gain- MSW win out of 5 starts.

8.Ribo Bobo- MSW winner and Non Graded Stakes winner.

After really breaking down the field Dialed In beat horses with little experience like him, or horses that weren't as high of quality as originally thought. Things may change as each horse gets older. Yes Dialed In had a fabulous run from last, but will he be able to navigate a run like that in a field of 20 in the Derby? I don't know. I want to see him win some more first, this includes some more graded stakes, and at two turns. I don't see this colt be as effective of a closer as Zenyatta.

01 Feb 2011 7:42 PM

Drunkiinbum shop you had dialed in ...like. I said he will run a hole in the wind and be on top the derby dozen..look no further that's your derby winner.

01 Feb 2011 8:10 PM
7 1/2 Furlongs

Mr. Haskin -

The Derby Dozen column is a reliable and authoritative source of intelligence for previewing the 2011 Kentucky Derby.

Thanks for the info on Santiva.  Looks like he'll need to bring his running shoes to keep up with the likes of Tapizar, Dialed In, et.al.

Besides Santiva, will look for a Plan B horse during Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Pool I, Feb. 18-20.

Other than the top 3 or 4 selections, it looks like another typical grab bag.

01 Feb 2011 8:10 PM

thanks so much for literally breaking the ice with a Derby Dozen.

Let's just hope all goes well for horses and riders.

Nice group of 3 year olds.

01 Feb 2011 8:17 PM

Hi Steve,

Like the names on your list..Although I'd put Brethren and Soldat a little higher...There is one horse I believe you're missing...DANCE CITY will take the Risen Star and give team Pletcher 4 for the dance as on mid February...Santiva also has a nice shot

01 Feb 2011 8:33 PM

slew - I knew Cloudy had been retired, was just hoping backside sweetie would know where he's living now and if he's recovered from the injury.  Anywho, it was dear of you to see my post and offer a response :-)

On-topic - I'm one of those who falls in love with at least one horse in every race.  I couldn't possible choose among them or even rank them at this stage, though it sure is fun to read everybody's comments.  By Derby time, when I see who the 20 will be at the starting gate, I'll pick one.  But he won't necessarily be my "favorite" 3-yo.  

01 Feb 2011 8:39 PM

I forgot about RunFlatOut.  What an awesome maiden victory.  If he's more than a sprinter, watch out!

01 Feb 2011 8:53 PM

UNCLE MO: You stated he has the potential to be a superstar. He won his debut by 14 lengths in 1:09.21. His stable companion Brethren won his debut at the same distance in 1:08 and changes. He won the Champagne by 5 lengths defeating the winner of a claiming race. Blew by a maiden in the BCJ and won in a time slower than that of the geared down Street Sense. The colts that finished 3rd and 4th were making their dirt debut. All this amounts to superstar potential. I am not convinced. His pedigree does not fit into the derby winner’s chart. I cannot see him winning the derby He deserves the #1 ranking but not the hype.

TO HONOR AND SERVE: This colt covers ground effortlessly like his sire. The sires of his first three dams are Deputy Minister, Miswaki and Nijinsky. These stallions have sired Derby, Arc and Breeder Cup Classic winners. Their broodmares have produced Arc, Preakness and Belmont winners. This colt has the best dam line of the dozen. His only negatives are: His sire lie has strained relationship with the derby. No stallion from the Bold Ruler sire line has produced derby winner in the last 26 years and no grandson of Northern Dancer has been a broodmare sire of a derby winner. I am confident this colt can break the drought. He should be joint #1 with the Mo.

TAPIZAR: Similar A P Indy/Northern Dancer pedigree cross as THAS and has the similar negatives cited above. Displays far more speed than his pedigree suggest and must be deficient in the stamina department. No problem with #3 ranking

DIALED IN: Similar A P Indy/Northern Dancer pedigree cross as THAS/Tapizar and has the similar negatives plus one. No Storm Cat broodmare has ever produced the winner of a TC race. The Northern Dancer broodmare line has processed the winners of 20 TC races. Storm Cat is a grandson of ND and has a dismal as a broodmare sire in TC races. This colt has a very thick neck and bulky body. To carry 126LB and that body for 10F around the CD oval will not be easy. Nice colt I hope he stays sound. No problem with ranking.

STAY THIRSTY: Does not merit being in the dozen.(Pretender)

JAYCITO: He has the closing kick of his disappointing sire. Classic winners are poor derby sires. Belmont winner Birdstone was successful in 2009. It is unlikely another Belmont winner will sire the 2011 derby winner. He is from the RAN sire line and should not be taken lightly base on the sire line record.

ASTROLOGY: He does carry the classic look of the exceptional A P Indy champions. Appear average and one pace in his last two races. Does not merit being in the dozen.(Pretender).

BOYS AT TASCONOVA: He will not endure the 10F distance of the derby. Does not merit being in the dozen (Pretender)

SOLDAT: The ranking of this colt must be a mistake. The performances of Stay Thirst, Jaycito, Astrology and BAT certainly do not supersede those of this colt. He belongs but should be at least #5

COMMA TO THE TOP: This colt does not have a derby pedigree by any stretch of the imagination. Does not merit being in the dozen (Pretender)

BRETHREN: Nice colt with a major hurdle to cross. No broodmare has produced back to back derby winners. Better Than Honour produced back to back Belmont winners so I guess it’s possible. Two races to date brings into question his soundness. He is ranked too low. Any colt that can record 1:08 for 6F should not be ranked below the slow pretenders cited above

SANTIVO: A son of the over bred Giant’s Causeway will not win the derby. The filly Kathmanblu recorded a faster time in the Golden Ron than that recorded in the Kentucky Jockey Club. If he could not run faster than a filly, how is he going to beat top class colts? Giant’s Causeway is one of Storm Cat’s 100 plus sons. None of their runners have come close in the TC races. Does not merit being on the list (Pretender)

01 Feb 2011 8:57 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Yeah. Thanks for that early heads up on Dialed In. When you told me about him I looked at the replay of his debut and knew he was something special. At that point he zoomed on to my top ten out of nowhere. I was anxious for his next race and he didn't disappoint. Good job and thanks again.

01 Feb 2011 9:06 PM

Rating Derby chances just a month after everybody turned 3 is kinda like eating an ice cream cone in the Sahara. The smart money passes. Fast bloomers have a habit of late of letting everybody down. Eskendereya anyone?  

01 Feb 2011 9:10 PM

backside sweetie - thank you thank you!  I knew his connections would take care of Cloudy, I'm just happy to know he's healthy and enjoying the good life!

01 Feb 2011 10:02 PM


Your thoughts/facts on the performance of certain sire lines in the Derby are freezing cold (LOL). I couldn't have said it better.  You've once again taken the chair of the professor. Good stuff Buddy.

01 Feb 2011 10:09 PM

Jersey Boy,

AP Indy looking like the American Sadler's Wells?  Are you kidding?  Please tell us how many Derby winners "AP" or any of his sons has produced ...just name ONE ...only one my friend.  If AP or Bernadini sires the winner of this year's Kentucky Derby I'LL QUIT being a blogger on horseracing and you will never have to read my obsessive ramblings about AP anymore.  Keep dreaming Pal(LOL).

01 Feb 2011 10:23 PM
Quiet American 55

Steve - thanks for the kick-off and write-up, always the best.  Hmm, is a Grade 1 win necessary at this time to spot some serious talent?  Back of the envelope, there's been six out of the last ten Derby winners that did not have a Grade 1 win prior to the Derby.  "Let's see what they do around two-turns."  I definitely agree with that.  From a "futures" perspective, taking a stand against Pletcher and Mott.  Steve, thanks again.

01 Feb 2011 10:26 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Did you get your definition of Derby Fever out of your medical book?

01 Feb 2011 10:35 PM
Forbidden Apple


All I can do is laugh when I read your comments about the size of Dialed In's neck.


If B.A.T. is so good, then why did he skip the Holy Bull? If he was in the race, he would have been pushed aside like a rag doll. Dialed In does not have a win around 2 turns because he has only run in 1 turn races. Gourmet Dinner and Mucho Macho man are not my favorites, but they are serious contenders on the road to the KY Derby. If you think Mo and B.A.T. are superior speed horses, think more clearly. They will have serious competition on the front end if they run into The Factor, Tapizar, and Comma To The Top. Dialed In does not need your respect and he is not in this world to live up to your expectations! I like this horse, but I always have to keep an open mind when it comes to lightly raced 3 year olds. No horse is unbeatable.


What was the point of listing the entire field in the Holy Bull? Every stakes race this year for 3 year olds is going to have similar competition. There are only so many stakes races to go around for 2 year olds. So newly turned 3 year olds showing up in a stakes race are most likely coming out of MSW and allowance races. What more would you expect? And Dialed In does not have to live up to the legendary status and closing kick of Zenyatta. There can only be one Zenyatta in this world. Dialed In is still a bit green and learning what his job on the track is all about. I will continue to enjoy him and give high praises to Nick Zito for training him up to the Holy Bull.

01 Feb 2011 11:02 PM

Forbidden Apple, I am well aware of that. Thank you for stating the obvious there. I was just simply stating not to get too excited about anyone yet. It is way too early. Half these horses probably won't even be in the starting gate come the first saturday in May. I will be there so I will be sure to let you know the outcome. What I was stating with the Dialed In/Z comment was I just don't see him being consistent in this 3 year old division. I understand a lot of stakes will have MSW and Allowance horses, but there are already quite a few colts that have established themselves that appear much better than what Dialed In beat. Don't get me wrong I like Dialed In, I just think I want to see him race another time or two before I get too excited about him.

Also kudos to BAT's connections for playing it safe instead of running a tired horse in the ground. That is why half the horses don't make it to the triple crown because they are ignored. No I don't think BAT will get the distance, but you have to give him some respect for finishing the closest any horse has to Uncle MO. It's not like he skipped out on the derby so chill. He opted out of the first prep race for the year, IMO no big deal, give him the time he needs to get ready.  

01 Feb 2011 11:50 PM

Great list. I am excited every year to see your derby dozen and compare it to mine.

Here is my derby dozen:

1. Uncle Mo

2. TO honor and Serve

3. Boys at Tosconova

4. Rogue Romance

5. Machen

6. Tapizar

7. Soldat

8. Dialed In

9. Brethren

10. Premier Pegasus

11. Astrology

12. Comma at the Top

Stay Thirsty is 14, Santiva is 17 and Jaycito is 18 on my list. I love everyone's takes about the best 3 year old. Its Uncle Mo's to lose until some horse or Uncle Mo proves otherwise.

01 Feb 2011 11:54 PM
Mr. Belmont

I love the derby trail when does advanced wagering start

02 Feb 2011 12:03 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I'm not sure where I got it. I might have learned it when I feebly and miserably tried to cure you. You've been afflicted since 1968. I'm sorry we couldn't help but we do appreciate your business. Make another appointment and we'll keep trying. I'll be sure to get a supply of Woodford Reserve for the office. Could use a little myself in between pedigrees and replays. It can't hurt to try. I'll order a couple of cases. You'd better come in early next week this time.

02 Feb 2011 12:57 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

I love the pedigree of Sway Away and he's been working out really good. Should be seeing him in a race very soon.

02 Feb 2011 1:09 AM


Compiling a second dozen was a brilliant idea. I am sure you will be criticized for excluding a colt of two. Let me be the first to take a shot. Below are the colts comprising you second dozen and their race records:-.

Casper’s Touch (3 Starts: 1-0-1, $41,514)

Elite Alex (2 Starts: 1-1-0, $30, 300)

Alternation (3 Starts: 2-0-1, $41,004)

Awesome Patriot (3 Starts: 1 - 0 - 1, $35,980)

Washington’s Rules (2 Starts: 1-1-0, $33,000)

Rustler Hustler (5 Starts: 3-1-1, $144,470) (2) stakes victories

Tiz Blessed (3 Starts: 2-0-0, $123,227) (1) stake victories

Sway Away (2 Starts: 1-1-0, $45,100)

Machen, (2 Starts: 2 - 0 - 0, $51,600)

Crossbow (3 Starts: 2 - 0 - 1, $55,000)

Beamer, (3 Starts: 1 - 0 - 1, $16,085)

Heron Lake (1 Starts: 1 - 0 - 0, $23,100)

Colts that surprisingly didn’t make the cut:

Manicero: Mass Media- Ritzy Blitz by Kris S

Record (5 Starts: 4-0-0, $189,008) (3) stakes victories

With the coverage you gave Zenyatta, How could you exclude an obviously talented colt whose dam is an unraced daughter of Kris S the dam sire of Zenyatta. He has more stake victories and earnings than all the colts on your list. Closer examination of his pedigree will reflect that he is ideally bred for the derby. His sire is a son of a Belmont winner. His dam Ritzy Blitz did not race but any broodmare sired by Kris S is premium. Kris S sire Roberto was the 1972 winner of the Benson And Hedges Gold Cup. The dam line gets more interesting. Ritzy Blitz‘s dam Razant was sired by Assert the 1982 winner of the Benson And Hedges Gold Cup. How often does one see a pedigree with the grand sire and the grand dam sire winning one of England’s prestigious G1 races? This colt has a routers pedigree but has been showing a lot of speed. Any horse that records splits of 22.2, 45.30, 1:11.1 at Calder is very fast. He has only lost one in five starts. He merits a spot in your second dozen.  

Fort Huges: Henny Hughes – Forty Greeta by Roar

Record 3 Starts: 2 - 1 - 0, $84,600

This colt is very fast. He broke his maiden first time of asking at 51/2 in 1:02.98 at Belmont. He finished runner up in his second start in the Southampton Stakes in 1:09 plus. He won his third start in the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes recording a time of 1:08.3 geared down. His pedigree suggest he is a sprinter but his action is nothing like that of a sprinter. His dam was as undefeated Champion 2-Year-Old filly in Argentina who won at a mile. There is a lot of excitement about Runflatout and none about this colt who is just as fast. If this colt can carry his speed he will be a monster He certainly merit inclusion in your second dozen as Beamer would be racing in a different zip code against this colt.

Supreme Ruler; Don’t Get Mad- Smolensk by Danzig

Record (1 Starts: 1 - 0 - 0, $21,600)

His dam should qualify him for inclusion in your dozen since you have Heron Lake included. Smolensk is a daughter of Blush With Pride the 1982 Kentucky Oaks winner and dam of Better Than Honour and Maryinsky. Better Than Honour is he dam of Belmont winners Jazil & Rags To Riches. Maryinsky was the dam of champion Peeping Fawn. Smolensk was runner up to 1995 European HOY Ridgewood Pearl in the Coronation Stakes G1 at Ascot. She was a quality mare that appears to have produced a quality colt. Supreme Ruler closed from for his debut victory and appear to have a lot of scope for improvement. His sire Don’t Get Mad won the derby trial at 8F and 8 days later finished 4th in the derby. This is a colt bred for the derby trip and merits a spot in your second dozen.  

02 Feb 2011 1:21 AM

Coldfacts and Ranagulzion:

Because Uncle Mo is hotly favored to win this year's Ky Derby, it is easy to take a position against other sire lines. All that needs to happen to prove your point is for Uncle Mo to win, something which is unimportant to me because I do not concern myself with the performance of sire lines in specific races.

Here is your challenge. Over the next 3 months name your two top horses, excluding Uncle Mo, for this year's Derby. Do not give a  list of 10 so you can say "I had him on my short list". I will give mine after Pool 1 closes.

By the way, I will not respond to any comments about AP Indy. Steve's list says it all.

02 Feb 2011 8:09 AM


I enjoy your comments on the derby dozen.  I am one who is hoping that SuperCharger becomes the first mare to foal two Derby winners, let along back to back years.  

Mrs. Trebloc and I will be at Tampa Downs for the Sam Davis and unlike Draynay, we will be hanging out with the regular folks. No suites or box seats for us.  

02 Feb 2011 8:13 AM

Steve - Kiaran M. has another sleeper who ran a big race at Gulfstream on 1/29 - Crossbow. Take a look at him and an Albertrani horse - Chasing Moonlight who won first out in Tampa at 6 1/2f in early Jan. You heard it here first.

02 Feb 2011 9:50 AM
Forbidden Apple


Why should I not get excited about the new heavy weight champion contender Dialed In? Some people on these blogs are already claiming Uncle ShMo to be a triple crown winner and putting him in the same realm as Secretariat. Most people have To Honour and Serve number two on their list and all he has done is beat up on Mucho Mach Man twice. If I can remember correctly, Dialed In stormed past Mucho Macho Man with ease on sunday. I am so tired of a son of Indian Charlie being crowned a 3 year old champion before he even steps into the gate.

And with Boys At Toscanova, you mentioned that he was a tired horse. How can he be tired already, he has 4 career starts and has not run since November 6. Comma To The Top has 8 career starts and he is breathing fire when he steps on a race track. As the season progresses, I think you and others will find that Mo and B.A.T. were fast 2 year olds that had a head start on the others. Good luck getting either of them to dominate a race past 1 1/8 miles.

02 Feb 2011 11:18 AM

Forbidden Apple,

I am happy I brought some humor to you for a day.

Dialed In has the size neck that is regarded in thoroughbred circles as a stallion neck. It’s the neck more associated with a more mature studish horse. Those heavy necks create a lot weight upfront and could cause problems with front legs with continue growth. Rarely do you see route horses with those types’ necks. I know I will be classified as crazy for my comments but it’s just an observation.

02 Feb 2011 11:35 AM

This is not a year (nor, perhaps, was there ever a year), the breed's relative lack of stamina notwithstanding, where obvious sprinter-types such as Fort Hughes (note his pedigree/performance), Manicero (again, p/p-and Touch Gold is more of a speed-type sire), and Crossbow (p/p-watch his races, see his dam) would have any chance in a Ky Derby.

02 Feb 2011 11:54 AM


I am by no mean an expert. I just provide some cold facts and some news some can use. The annual evaluation that is done of 3YO on the derby trail is not guaranteed to spot the actual derby winner. Evaluation is one thing, what occurs on race day is another.  Take for example. I had Ice Box to finish ahead of Super Saver. No amount of evaluation could forecast the horrible trip he experienced. I tend to design a wager that cover incidentals and known race day variables. Evaluation is one thing, what occurs in race is another. It’s rarely a marriage between the two.

02 Feb 2011 11:54 AM
Billy's Empire

SSC, I have Chasing Moonlight in my Derby Dozen, #12. Good to know I am not alone.

02 Feb 2011 11:56 AM


Good call with Mass Media, not sure myself how he got overlooked. Definately one to watch out for.

02 Feb 2011 12:21 PM
Mike Relva


It's difficult to have suites when his income probably derives from a lemonade stand. lol

02 Feb 2011 12:23 PM


I like your second tier list, and instead of posting my Derby Dozen I will list the horses that are most interesting to me that are not named To Honor and Serve, Uncle Mo, or Dialed In as so far they are the class of the early 3yo crop.

Awesome Patriot


Cal Nation




Rush Now

Tiz Blessed

Again, I am not saying these are the best horses, just ones that I will be watching closely.

02 Feb 2011 12:26 PM


Brethren and Cal Nation are cousins.  Cal Nation being a half brother to Bluegrass Cat, who finished second to Barbaro in the KY Derby.  Very deep KY Derby family.

02 Feb 2011 1:03 PM


Here is a little news your supporter might find interesting about the sires associated with dozen#1

I have an issue with over bred stallions. I just think their chance of siring derby winners are compromised because of the number of mare bred in a season. Below is the number of mares bred in 2007 by the sires associated with your dozen; I have assumed the 2007 mares bred produced the 2008 foals.

UNCLE MO: Indian Charlie (117)

TO HONOR AND SERVE: Bernaerdini (133)

TAPIZAR: Tapit (174)

DIALED IN: Mineshaft (97)

STAY THIRSTY: JAYCITO: Victory Gallop (87)

ASTROLOGY:). A P Indy (94)

BOYS AT TASCONOVA: Officer (115)

SOLDAT: War Front (109)

COMMA TO THE TOP: Bwana Charlie (66)

BRETHREN: Distorted Humor (117)

SANTIVO: Giant’s Causeway (176)

Wow, the sires of Tapizar and Santivo bred 174 and 176 mares respectively. Bear in mind the mares served would be either marginally or considerably higher. I am surprised freshman sire Bernardini bred 133 mares. What does all of this mean? The meaning will vary between thoroughbred enthusiasts. Based on my policy I would not give Tapizar and Santivo a ghost of a chance to win the derby unless I had evidence they were the products of early servers. Based on mare bred I would be inclined to take Jaycito who is from the hot derby wining sire line to win the derby over the remaining 11. Comma to the Top would be ideal but he does not have a derby pedigree and was coming back to the field rapidly in the Cash Call.

In 2004 Boundary bred 37 mares. It is safe to assume he had small book. One of the 2005 foals was Big Brown. Boundary was not a sire that featured often on the derby trail. There is a 3YO that broke its maiden recently that was the product of a small book. The colt is Nacho Business sired by Rahy who bred 69 mares in 2007. Rahy is an old but phenomenal sire with a record of 14 GRADE I WINNERS, 12 MILLIONAIRES. His offspring’s are more dominant on Turf but Nacho Business appear to be a nice dirt colt. This is a colt with a great derby pedigree with a champion sire that covered a small book. If one is looking for a dark horse. He is the one.

02 Feb 2011 1:20 PM
In aint easy being good!

I went back and watch to honor and serve and his races are weak he is not that impressive and doesnt pass the aint easy eye test. Mike R welcome back and that was funny!

Eye test passers= Elite Alex, Tapizar, Dialed in (Mr. Thick Neck ha!) and Mo even though Mo is a miler like QR!

02 Feb 2011 1:25 PM
steve from st louis

Coldfacts: Your comments regarding Dialed In's neck I found interesting. When a newly-turned 3-year-old  reminds you of an older horse (as I pointed out with my previous comment), I see that as a plus, not a negative.

It's been my observation that well-developed thoroughbreds have a better chance to run to their looks than those who appear balanced but who are short-coupled. When Dialed In's refined  head (which reminded me of Buckpasser)is attached to a long, thick, muscular neck, the sky's the limit, especially if the horse is balanced overall.

Obviously, he looked pretty good to LaPenta and Zito, who paid alot of money and who have a pretty good record. Just because their Ice Box owed you some money in the Derby, don't disparage their latest crack. Look at it this way, Dialed In will win back what you lost on Ice Box last year.

And with Draynay throwing water on his chances, he has to be the odds-on early favorite for Horse of the Year!

02 Feb 2011 2:42 PM
Billy's Empire

Coldfacts, Giraffes have huge necks. They don't seem to have any front end issues.

02 Feb 2011 2:43 PM


Your post 01Feb 2011,8:57PM analysing Steve's Derby Dozen was both interesting and amusing.  Your observations about Dialed-In's physique was sharp but your conclusions doubtful.  This colt has a look of Quality Road, as someone else has already noted, but his action and style is very different.  These muscular types, like Secretariat himself (who happens to appear close up in the pedigree of both QR and Dialed-In) exhibit very powerful strides, covering more ground than the competition.  Dialed-In appear to me to leap and float in the air almost like a triple-jump athlete, with the effect of literally flying past his rivals when in top gear.  I'm no expert at detecting the risk of injury in a horse's running action but I see no greater tendecy for hurting himself than any other colt.  Dialed-In is a wonderful sight to behold in full flight.  His running action also reminds me somewhat of Alydar and Easy Goer.  As in life in general, variety does add spice to the spectacle that is horseracing.  Lets wish them health and soundness.  Nick Zito is a very astute trainer.  This colt is in exceptionally good hands.

Your ranking of To Honour and Serve is puzzling to me. Given your knowledge of the dismal history of the AP Indy line in the Derby, do you really expect Bernadini to become a first crop Derby-winner-producing sire?  Apart from the pedigree issue, THS has done nothing on the track to rank him alongside or above Uncle mo, Dialed-In, Tapizar, Santiva or Boys At Toscanova.  THS ranking is yet another manifestation of Steve Haskin's annual love affair with the "abusive" AP Indy line.  AP disappoints him every year but he wont let go and now you are encouraging both him and Jersey Boy to stay in love (LOL).


I'll give you a running commentary on my top two.  Right now they are #1 Uncle Mo and #2 Dialed-In (grandson of AP via the Mineshaft arm...should bring a smile to your face).    

02 Feb 2011 3:38 PM

Gee, telling us after only the Holy Bull that we are all speculating!! Of course we are!!! We have no idea who will fill the 20 gate slots or be the winner. But, then again, don't you attempt to pick the winner of every race when betting guessing at the future? And, what is wrong with trying to hunt down the likes of last year's "Endorsement", for example, long before we first see him step on to the track. Besides, this blog creates great forum with much shared information, a few laughs, and those of us around a few years appreciate the insights of others as well as Steve's. So, don't go bashing this blog DRAYNAY,because some of us appreciate this forum immensely and what we have here and what we share!!!  

02 Feb 2011 5:11 PM

Good God people lets cut Dialed In a little slack. It was only second race of a 10 week layoff growing up from two to three. He still has a ways to go but learning with every stride. Not many horses can so that powerful acceleration in different stages of a race like he did in the "Bull". By the way didn't Secretariat have a "Stallion neck". I guess we know the rest of that story! I wonder who is 4X4 to Big Red? Hummmm.

02 Feb 2011 5:14 PM

A Derby Dozen! Spring is almost here!

My top 12:

#1 Dialed In

#2 Stay Thirsty

#3 To Honor and Serve

#4 Boys at Toscanova

#5 Comma to the Top

#6 Awesome Patriot

#7 Mucho Macho Man

#8 Soldat

#9 Uncle Mo

#10 The Factor

#11 Casper’s Touch

#12 Rogue Romance

On the subject of Uncle Mo: I don't like him. Period. I felt the same way about Big Brown in '08. He may pull off a Derby, maybe even a Prekness, but that horse cannot go on to be a champion. Just my thoughts.

02 Feb 2011 5:22 PM
Mike Relva



02 Feb 2011 5:32 PM
Mike Relva


Let's hear your excuse come May. THAS is a horse to pay attention to. Maybe you would like him better if your friend was training him. lol

02 Feb 2011 5:34 PM

Dialed In and Tapizar have not faced tough company yet.  Tapizar is not a real Derby horse and nothing from California looks like it will be unless something comes up in the next 30 days.  Dialed In beat a very average group.  Gourmet Dinner is no real Derby threat let's be real.  His last 4 races do not scream Derby horse.

02 Feb 2011 5:37 PM
El Kabong

Winter is gone, Steve's list is here. So far, most impressed with effort by Soldat. The great ones can run on and in anything. He has done so on Turf and in the slop, and what a performance that was at GP. Anyone who has not seen that effort should watch it. Love the way he let Red Hot Cold Blue(a very nice horse himself)pull up eye to eye, before effortlessly finding another gear. Very professional win. Can't wait to see what else he has under the hood. Tapizar looks like a very strong contender as well, and Dialed In performed like a maturing horse in Holy Bull. Good to see all of you barn rats back at it again. Let the fun begin.

02 Feb 2011 6:05 PM
mickey 1957

ranagulzion,they sent zenyatta to bernaedini,now from reading these blog's over the last couple of month's most people consider zenyatta,the best female horse ever,I think she's in the top (5),you have to know there were maybe 20-30 involved in deciding,who to send her to,I know most if not all those people,know more about horse's than you and I,so look's to me that a.p.Indy line rule's........turn the page DUDE.

02 Feb 2011 6:08 PM


Heisman is a full brother to Any Given Saturday, and they have Spectacular Bid as their 2nd dams sire!  

Winstar sure has a couple more stars this year as they continue their success from 2010!

02 Feb 2011 6:09 PM
In aint easy being good!

Draynay stop it with Mo he wont be that good at 3. He is like the little kid growing up playing basktetball.He was a beast because he grew faster then everyone by 8th grade (that beast!) wasnt playing bball anymore. Same goes with Mo, he is faster than everyone last year but 2011 is a new year. Also dialed in went from a 75 beyer to a 96 what do you think he will do next time when he doesnt have to go 6 wide??

02 Feb 2011 6:13 PM
In aint easy being good!

BTW have you guys seen the Donn this year WOW if your a fan of racing that should be awesome. For handicapping that race pick your favorite number 1-9! lol!

02 Feb 2011 6:14 PM

Coldfacts- is that just for Derby sires?  Because even though many said Sadler's Wells was overbred he has a healthy gr1 percentage and was a brilliant sire.  So was Danehill.  It just depends on the sire.  Some can handle it and some cannot.  And Danehill was shuttling to boot.

02 Feb 2011 6:31 PM

Of course Dialed In hasn't faced tough company yet.  It was his second start.  I can't say any of the three year olds have faced "tough" company.  It will be interesting to see if Dialed In can mature enough and move forward enough.  

As far as screaming Derby horse, better go to Europe for that.  Almost every top contender on these lists can have a strike against them as far as stamina. That's the way we breed them here for the most part.

02 Feb 2011 6:36 PM


 I meant absolutley nothing disparaging in my mentioning you as an expert, and to me, you are one of the the most adroit if not the best bloggers here when it comes to the knowledge you display and the way in which you do it. I can't tell you how much I have learned just reading your blogs. So to me, you are truly an expert. Does that mean I think you will always be able to pick the outcome of a race, of course not, but what you have to say should always be recognized for what it is: the coldfacts.

On the subject of Dialed In's build, I once knew a horseplayer who would not even consider betting a horse in the Derby who did not have a "swan like neck", as he felt this was the truest of indications of a well bred thoroughbred, bred to run a long distance of ground. And I have often thought he may just have had something there. I don't think anyone has ever mentioned anything along the lines of this idea here, as I don't think it really holds as true today as it might have in the long time ago past of thoroughbred racing, as the industry has tended to breed horses more for speed these days than for distance. Sometimes I think some of todays thoroughbreds almost look like quarter horses. Anyway it will be interesting to see how far Dialed In can carry his speed and power.

02 Feb 2011 7:32 PM

Mickey 1957,

I welcome anybody to challenge my observations and conclusions about AP Indy and his offspring.  The proof of who knows what they are doing or talking about in this sport is thankfully demonstrated on the track, not by the "who's who" status of people in the industry.

My own view is that mating Zenyatta with a Northern Dancer line stallion (Big Brown, Hard Spun, Medaglia D'Oro) or a Buckpasser line stallion (Montbrook, Einstein) would be better than going to AP or his son Bernadini (notwithstanding the latter's great start at stud).  If I were advising concerning Zenyatta, I'd look more long term in order to make her into a Blue Hen broodmare.  Therefore I'd recommend sending her to Europe to be covered for at least two consecutive seasons by Galileo and Sea The Stars respectively (brilliant sons of the great broodmare Urban Sea).  Talk about bred-in-the-purple?  That would be it, and its still possible, with the free advice of Ranagulzion.  What can I tell you...don't assume that you know the extent of my knowledge and, wisdom and foresight are no respector of persons Mickey.  Its all great fun to me.  

02 Feb 2011 8:22 PM

Footlick- so you actually took seriously Coldfacts' "hypothesis"/"conclusion" that overbred stallions tend to sire lower quality foals? Give me a break! There is absolutely no scientiic basis to this, just as the vast majority of his anecdotal data fail to support his other posts/conclusions. It's fine to have fun on this blog assessing the various merits of Derby contenders, but when some of the rationales impart more generalized erroneous information this can prove damaging to some of the readers. It's one of the downsides of the internet in general-little, if any, editorial review.  

02 Feb 2011 8:40 PM

Forbidden Apple,

Let's see here, Uncle Mo is being compared to Secretariat because he has thus far taken a similar route to the Derby, and of course this leads to great excitement amongst horse racing fans. He deserves to be on top he has performed every race leaving no one NEAR him, that could be a reason to get excited, I don't correct me if I am wrong, which I am sure you will find something wrong anyway. Let me recall who champion 3 year old male was last year...hmmmm....Oh yeah! Lookin At Lucky, and he is sired by whom??? Definately not Indian Charlie, get your facts straight.

Yes I mentioned he was "tired". Let's see if your energy is "low", aren't you tired? Connections did say he did not have his usual high energy. Geeze, you just have to find something wrong with EVERYTHING said. I hope you eat your words and Uncle Mo's dust come Derby day. No horse will be able to touch him.

02 Feb 2011 9:01 PM

TJLuvsTizs: I'm a Heisman fan too! Any Given Saturday was my favorite horse in 2007. I was so bummed when he retired at three!  I had been waiting for one of his sisters or brothers to make it to the track and here's Heisman. I've been watching him and hoping he turns out good!  I can't wait til Saturday's babies starting running this year!

02 Feb 2011 9:19 PM
Matthew W

Tapizar and Uncle Mo have speed and an extra gear or three---Runflatout had that in his maiden race--he tracked that good Baffert horse and when he attacked he moved past in (startling) quickness--that's a second gear--a 6 fur/debut race second gear--and he looks like any kind--I hope he routes....

02 Feb 2011 10:03 PM

Mike Relva,

If To Honour and Serve win the Kentucky Derby, I'll quit as an idiot on these blogs Buddy.

02 Feb 2011 10:21 PM

Uncle Mo is a brilliant racehorse, nobody can deny that. But Tapizar and Dialed In already have solid wins as 3 year olds and still have yet to peak. Todd Pletcher doesn't have a very strong record when it comes to running horses off of a long layoff. I'd love to see a class act like Mike Repole win the Derby, but I just don't see it happening. The transition from a horse's 2 year old season to their 3 year old season is much more dramatic than people realize. It's gonna be a huge task for Pletcher to get this horse to carry his form all the to May 7. Until Mo can prove that he's a least as good as he was last year I don't see the logic in declaring him the next Derby winner. People will cite his wins in the Champagne and the BC Juvenile, which were both impressive races but the only problem is that he was only running against other 2 year olds, horses who aren't even close to reaching their peak. He reminds me of the vastly overrated Big Brown in that neither horse had been battle tested leading into the Derby. The difference was that Big Brown was running against perhaps the weakest crop of 3 year olds in 30 years. Uncle Mo conversely beat a stellar group of rising stars in the Breeder's Cup, but I've got a feeling they're all gonna be on a much leveler playing field when Uncle Mo isn't battle tested or fit enough to go the extra 3/16ths of a mile and the competition is in peak form.

02 Feb 2011 11:17 PM

“It's one of the downsides of the internet in general-little, if any, editorial review”

You are taking these blogs too seriously. Why would editorial reviews be necessary for opinions? You will note my post indicated that I have an issue with over bred stallions. Clearly the Industry does not as it is good for business. Bernardini stud fee is $75,000. If covers 100 outside mares his farm/owner makes S7.5M in one breeding season assuming all the foals stand and nurse. Why restrict the number of golden eggs a goose can produce. I would not purchase a foal sired by an over bred stallion in spite of his brilliance on the track. I am of the opinion these stallions are abused by requiring them to sever so many mares. I do not expect Steve’s supporters to agree with my opinions but I hope they provide food for thought.

I do not need scientific evidence to determine conclude the  practice is bad for the industry: Let’s look at some colt facts: Below is a list of the ten stallions that bred the most mares in 2006. Obviously the 2007 foals were the Derby class of 2010.

Roman Ruler            197

El Corredor              195

Giant's Causeway    191

Stormy Atlantic       191

Grand Reward         187

Johannesburg           183

Songandaprayer       182

Eurosilver                179

Purge                       177

Wildcat Heir           173

The top ten breeder in 2006 had a grand total of 1 starter in the 2010 Kentucky Derby who finished 16th. OK! Giant's Causeway is really the only black type stallion on the list so let’s focus on the

most brilliant son of Storm Cat and 200 European HOY.

Giant's Causeway – Mare Bred    

2007  -  176    (pending)

2006  -  191   (No 2010 Derby Starter)

2005  -  215   (One 2009 derby starter 16th)

2004  -  130   (No 2008 Derby Starter)

2003  -  144   (No 2007 Derby Starter)

In fairness to the Iron Horse a lot of his foal probably race in Europe. I have not heard of any exceptional European champions sire by him. How would you rate the chances of Santiva making or winning the derby after viewing the above data? (Good, Fair, Excellent)

“Just as the vast majority of his anecdotal data fail to support his other posts/conclusions”

When I read comments like the one above, I remind the poster that the option to bypass my post is always available.  If find the stuff I post  useless and annoying, kindly exercise the aforementioned option.

03 Feb 2011 12:08 AM

It ain't easy, are you serious?  UM posted a 108 in a geared down runaway.  Let me know when any other horse his age post a 108 Beyer.  I'll wait....

03 Feb 2011 12:43 AM
Matt Converse

Matt's Derby Dozen

1. Jaycito--his BC Juvenile was deceptively brilliant. He finished the final 9/16ths faster than anyone in the race, six lengths faster than Uncle Mo. His pedigree says all systems go for going 10f.

2. Uncle Mo--we've seen his brilliance, the question is distance with his sire Indian Charlie having a dubious AWD.  So, the odds are against him relishing 10f.  Of course, the odds were against Fleet Indian too and she did it--twice--and her dam sire was Afleet, not Arch.  He has a rare triple threat of speed, not needing the lead, and finishing strong.  Many overlook that he's a nice "closer".  He finishes strong but it's hard to notice since he's already ahead.

3. Dialed In--he moved up a few notches this week as he ran even better than I hoped he would in the Holy Bull.  I was expecting a fast-closing second.  He isn't fast enough yet, but he's getting there.

4. To Honor and Serve--Mucho Macho's Man's race vs. Dialed In did not flatter him, any way you spin it.  Still, it can't be held to much against him since he beat him easily as well and his pedigree in flawless.

5. Soldat--he was super impressive last out and don't be fooled, he has already run on a dry dirt track and handled it quite well.

6. The Factor--I honestly don't have much faith in him going 10f, but he was so fast I had to give him a shot at stretching out that brillance.  He may be hard (or impossible) to rate.

7. Sway Away--don't forget about this horse.  He was a fast-closing 2nd to JP Gusto when last seen in the Best Pal, and was working lights out up here in Northern California.  The switch to Santa Anita didn't change that, as he fired yet another bullet. Pedigree you ask?  Afleet Alex/Seattle Slew mare, need I say more?

8. Tapizar--I've had him on my list since late Decemeber, and he ran exactly how I hoped he would in his 3-year-old debut.  He might have the edge on Jaycito at Santa Anita, but not so sure it will hold at CD.

9. Brethren--showed promise in debut but is a bit short on foundation at this point, he has plenty to prove.

10. Rogue Romance--finished with interest in the BC Juveile.

11. Santiva--he hasn't been very fast and was outrun by the filly Kathmanblu, but he's improving and distance shouldn't be a problem.

12. Boys at Tosconova--I have dropped him from #7 due to missing the Holy Bull.  I also have doubts about him going any further than he already went at two.  

03 Feb 2011 3:40 AM

Those who bet on horse to win races know that there is only one factor to consider, namely, can their horse beat the other starters in the field. Yet come derby time and people try to be intellectuals when discussing horses.

This reminds me of two events. A sale of a future stallion was voided because the seller did not reveal the fact that the horse was a cribber. The second event concerned a horse who was exported because American breeders did not like the shape of his rear legs.

The first horse was Halo. The second horse was Sunday Silence.

According to Wikipedia "In the Blood-Horse magazine List of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century, Sunday Silence is ranked #31".

03 Feb 2011 7:36 AM

Regarding the "stallion neck"...if memory serves me well, I saw that same type of neck on some promising 3 year-olds in the past, most notaly Secretariat and Seattle Slew.

03 Feb 2011 9:23 AM

sceptre- just pointing something out to him.  Thought you could do that on a blog.  But many breeders have expressed concern on overbreeding to make a buck.  When it works it's great.  When it doesn't it is routinely criticized.  Take your pick,

03 Feb 2011 10:21 AM

Ranagulzion- I would love to see them breed her overseas, either to those sires or maybe one of the Aga Khan's sires.

03 Feb 2011 10:25 AM
In aint easy being good!

anniedixie65 you sound alot like draynay you to have to be related. So lets say mo gets a 20 post or a 1 post are you still thinking they are the best horse on the planet? Post positions make a big difference in the derby if Mo gets a 1 post or at 15-20 post bye bye mo regardless he has no chance.

Your beast Mo will be exposed soon.

03 Feb 2011 10:31 AM
Love 'em all

On the lighter side ...

The reason Comma to the Top got his name:  His owners are MGM co-chairmen Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum and Warner Bros. president Kevin Tsujihara. The gelding is the first horse for Birnbaum and Tsujihara.

When Birnbaum's daughter was learning to read, she couldn't say “apostrophe.” Hence: Comma to the Top.

Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but it was news to me.  Never would've guessed that one.

03 Feb 2011 11:23 AM
Mike Relva


Question? How many horses have you seen with "all the potential in the world" that either don't make it into the gate,or don't run well on that big day? You seem defensive,can tell you this for some that already having him winning the Derby and others proclaiming him a Triple Crown winner,that's crazy. Yes,he's very talented,but this is a WIDE OPEN field,with many out there that can move up. What were they saying about Esk and I want Revenge,(neither made it to the big show)? Please.

03 Feb 2011 11:52 AM
Mike Relva


Sorry the connections of Zenyatta weren't wise enough to contact you for your advice. lol BTW Their selection is a great match,sorry you're disappointed.

03 Feb 2011 11:55 AM

  Seeminly yearly recently, stacked with Quality and Quantity, T. Pletcher seems to enter a 1/4 of the field in the Derby. Again, this year looks little different than the previous several.

 T. Pletcher:

Pluck; Brethren; Uncle Mo; Santiva; Stay Thirsty; Heisman; Travelin' Man; Hammersmith; Sky Music; and San Pablo, & undoubtedly, ... etc.   vs.

 S Asmussen:

Tapizar; Positive Response; Wine Police; & Silver Medallion... vs.

 B. Baffert:

Awesome Patriot; Sway Away; & Uncle Sam ...  vs.

 K. McLauglin:

Fort Hughes; Soldat; & Crossbow ...vs.

 M. Cho:

Premier Pegasus  ... vs.


 W. Mott:

To Honor and Serve   ... vs.

 Yep, looks like once again at this stage that ol' Todd will be stacking the gates again come MAY.

03 Feb 2011 12:05 PM

The Derby Dozen is back! Great job as usual, Steve. I greatly anticipate the return of your Derby Dozen every spring.


I was vaguely aware of the fact that the Raise a Native sire line has been dominating the Triple Crown races in recent years, but I had no idea how dominant it was until reading your comments. Quite fascinating! I will keep this fact in mind when evaluating potential Triple Crown contenders.


Here are a few little-known three-year-olds that I feel could influence the Kentucky Derby Trail soon. . .

Adirondack Express

Adirondack Summer


Adirondack Express turned in a strong late run in a 6-1/2 furlong maiden special weight at Tampa Bay Downs on January 12th, failing by two heads to catch Chasing Moonlight and Kriegspeil. He is entered in a one-mile maiden special weight at Tampa Bay Downs on February 4th.

As for Kriegspeil, he finished second in the above-mentioned maiden special weight despite some traffic in the stretch. With a clearer trip next time out, I expect him to break his maiden.

Finally, I have not heard much about Adirondack Summer despite the fact that he is a stakes winner. He turned in a jaw-dropping late run last time out in the Dania Beach Stakes, a one-mile turf event at Gulsftream Park. Last of nine at the quarter pole and still 4 3/4 lengths behind at the eighth pole, he rallied furiously to win by a nose. I calculate that he closed his final quarter mile in something like :23 seconds flat. His pedigree should carry him a mile and a quarter or further. He has yet to race on dirt, but I would think that he will in the future.

Coldfacts, perhaps you already have him on your radar, but if you don't, I feel I should mention that he traces back to Raise a Native.


03 Feb 2011 12:28 PM

After digging out yet again after ANOTHER BLIZZARD, it is so nice to be talking Kentucky Derby and the first Saturday in May. I really like Uncle Mo - so far, he is my Derby pick.

03 Feb 2011 12:36 PM

OK, so, we are aware of Pluck; To Honor and Serve; Awesome Patriot; The Factor; Fort Hughes; Premier Pegasus; Soldat; Tapizar; Santiva; Adriondack Summer; Dialed In; Rogue Romance; Uncle Mo; which is easily a fine baker's dozen... So, just what should we expect from the other two dozen or so promising hopefuls??...

What will come of: Positive Response; Uncle Sam; Comma to the Top; Thirtyfirststreeet; Tiz Blessed; Boys of Tosconova; Sway Away; Travelin Man; Sweet Duchy; Sky Music; Soveriegn Default; Stormberg; Stay Thirsty; Runflatout; San Pablo; Washington's Rules; Buffum; Bandbox; Casper's Touch; Cozy Kitten; Crossbow; Elite Alex; Hammersmith; Heron Lake; Humble and Hungry; Machen; Monzon; Powhatan County; Rush Now; Silver Medallion; Sinorice; and Wine Police...& etc. Oh, let those preliminaries begin. And, good Luck to all and to all of their connections.

03 Feb 2011 12:39 PM

Boys At Tosconova I think has a good chance to win the kentucky derby at chuchill. i don't understand why he doesn't get the respect he so deserves. He has been a fine 2yo old racing form and I think he can blow off the other competiors although you have to consider Uncle Mo, Brethen and Stay Thristy can bea real threat.Good luck at the kentucky derby Boys!

03 Feb 2011 1:05 PM
Forbidden Apple


My facts are straight, I was talking about Uncle Mo being crowned 3 year old champion of 2011 before he even enters the gate. And yes he is a son of Indian Charlie. How could Mo be taking a similar route as Secretariat? Mo has only 3 starts and there was no B.C Juvenile race when Secretariat was burning up the race track. Secretariat raced 9 times as a 2 year old and won 8 of his races. I will always take offense when someone attempts to compare a horse to the immortal Secretariat.I am not the least bit excited about Uncle Mo.

03 Feb 2011 1:24 PM
Carlos in Cali

sceptre,I agree.


You claim that the AP Indy line somehow has a recessive gene that will not allow them to sire a Derby winner because they tend to lack maturity in May right?..

Yet,plenty of them have prevailed in the Derby preps throughout the years,this is a fact.

Tell us how is it possible for them to be precosious enough in Jan./Feb./March/April and not May? Does this gene "suddenly" appear in the week leading up to the Derby? And does it suddenly "disappear" the week after the Derby,knowing he's sired a Preakness and Belmont winner? If not for bad racing luck he and his sons would've had their fair share of "Derby winners". My friend,this makes absolutely no sense to me.

03 Feb 2011 1:49 PM

Looks like the Triple Crown is going to be a Secreteriat line familly meet. Uncle Mo do not have a chance.

Dialed In new legend!

03 Feb 2011 1:59 PM

1. To Honor & Serve (PF -71, B=102)

2. Soldat by 10L  (Mudder,B=102)

3. Tapizar by 10L (PF -68, B=97)

4. Dialed In  (ZITO! PF -50 B=96)

above have great Dosage pts.and cd's

Watching: uncle mo

         elite alex (BOREL)!!



         east of danzig

03 Feb 2011 3:04 PM
In aint easy being good!

Draynay you need to read stevebiscuit's post he says everything that needs to be said. Horses peak at different times and long layoffs and switching from 2 to 3 makes a huge difference DRAYNAY!!!. You were an Rachael Alexandra fan Dray how did she do from 3 to 4 years old....... oh yeah she wasnt good same applies to MO!

I actually love MO alot just dont see it happening.

03 Feb 2011 3:30 PM

Cal Nation is entered in the 8th race on Saturday at GP.  He has Johnny V on his back with a bad post.  If he is able to break his maiden in this race with that post... Watch out!!

03 Feb 2011 3:42 PM

It aint easy,

I realize the whole post position deal. I wouldn't even consider Lookin At Lucky after his post position draw last year.

Do me a favor look at Big Brown, Secretariat, and Uncle Mo's stride.

I don't wanna hear he won't get the distance. Uncle Mo's dam is out of Arch. Can you please tell me a horse who Arch sired this past year? That's right, Blame. So don't Blame me when I told you so.

03 Feb 2011 4:22 PM
Mike Relva


It Aint Easy is right on the mark,if your Uncle Mo draws a bad post,it's over. Kinda like what happened last yr with Looking With Lucky. Mo is talented,but not the only one with promise,it's wide open.

03 Feb 2011 4:22 PM


Andirondack Summer appears to be a nice horse. I wish there was some more info on him.

03 Feb 2011 5:35 PM

Mike Revla,

Big Brown overcame a bad post, are you saying it is impossible for Uncle Mo to? Don't underestimate him. Thing is, no one knows what will happen Derby day.

03 Feb 2011 5:36 PM

Forbidden Apple,

Fine don't be excite about Uncle Mo, I don't care. And I don't have to be excited about Dialed In, so lay off geeze

03 Feb 2011 5:39 PM

Mike Revla,

Why don't you just leave people's opinions alone. If I like Uncle Mo or who ever who cares? You don't have to like it.

03 Feb 2011 5:41 PM

Is it me or does anniedixie65 need a drink?  Relax and enjoy the derby experience!  It's all good!  

03 Feb 2011 6:10 PM
Mike Relva


I've the right to respond as you and everyone. No one has carte blanche.

03 Feb 2011 6:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Carlos In Cali

   That is hilarious !!! They are obviously not "501's" (May 1st). That is some talented gene to be recessive for only a week. I wonder what the gene is doing during the first Saturday in May. Could be hitting all of the Cinco De Mayo Pre-parties, Post-Parties and Parties. "What do you mean win The Derby. That's when we take our vacation every year !!!!! Like I'm going to win the Derby when I'm drunk as a skunk having a good time. I don't want anything to do with that bumper car fiasco, even if I was sober !!!!!

03 Feb 2011 6:31 PM
Jean in Chicago

Coldfacts:  I also have a problem with overbred stallions, but for me its just because it means too many foals.  I'd be happy to send a mare to Giant's Causeway if I could get a foal like Eskendereya, Red Giant, First Samurai, Hold Me Back, My Typhoon or Shamardal. (Of course, I have no idea exactly when during the season the dams of these horses were covered so I couldn't begin to guess if there is some sort of 'over breeding effect' going on.  I guess I could check actual foaling dates.)  I'm more worried about Shamardal and Esky going lame at 3yo.  Does this point to a 'weak' horse that's going to fall apart no matter what or to one that needs more time to mature?

03 Feb 2011 6:47 PM

Uncle Mo is gonna run out of gas,Dialed In nice race will he get that trip in a 20 horse field maybe with Borail up.We aint seen the winner yet.

03 Feb 2011 6:59 PM


I'm glad you responded. Now, perhaps (if Steve permits), I can finally expose the credibility of your posts for what they are. My earlier post was in response to your statement (of 02 feb. 2011 1:10 PM)"... I have an issue with over bred stallions. I just think their chance of siring derby (sic) winners are compromised because of the number of mare (sic) bred in a season..." Are not those your precise words? When I then called you to task about this statement by stating that there was no scientific basis for it, you responded first by offering that it was bad for the business, and abusive to the stallions. Such a statement is decidedly beside the point, and neither offers anything in support of your quoted remark (above) nor is it a logical retort to my later post on the subject. A bit more on topic, you then cite the covering numbers for the most "used" stallions of 2006 and compare it to their number of Derby starters in 2010. You label all this as "cold facts", and while they may indeed be facts, albeit isolated ones, they are at best no more than anecdotal evidence for your stated (quoted) claim. This same practice you repeat in nearly all your posts, on all subjects. You appear to have no understanding of what constitutes statistical proof, or near-proof when using "facts" to find broader, accurate conclusions. The cause of this error in logic is no doubt rooted in a fundamental lack of perspective-ex.- inability to grasp the breadth of variables. So, for example, it is without dispute that the genetic quality of an individual sperm cell is unaffected by the number of ejaculations preceeding the ejaculation which contained that sperm cell-yet you believe that your simple chart on the covering numbers of the top ten covering stallions as it relates to their Derby starters offers sufficient proof to refute the aforesaid scientific fact. Consider, if you will, all the previous scientific facts, data, and related biologic investigations involved in establishing this fact...Lastly, it is far too easy to posit that one may simply avoid/ignore your many comments. Misinformation can prove quite damaging to the less informed, so it is encumbant on others to offer a reasoned retort in an effort to, perhaps, extinguish or dilute what they perceive as false conclusions/improper logic, etc.    

03 Feb 2011 7:48 PM

There is more to breeding than a horses damsire as to whether the horse will get a distance of ground or not.  It is far from an exact science.  You never know how the genes will combine.  

03 Feb 2011 8:31 PM

Carlos In Cali,

Here we go again.  I'll probably make this my final treatise on AP Indy's abysmal Derby record unless of course I get an overwhelming flood of request for further commentary (LOL).  But seriously Carlos, AP has had 15 opportunities to throw a Derby winner since his first 3YO crop emerged in 1996. I'll be very conservative and say that he covers well over 100 mares each season, thus entering the Kentucky Derby Trail with a better than average chance against his rival sires.  His chances are further enhanced by the fact that he covers more bred-in-the-purple broodmares than his competitors (the exception being the now pensioned Storm Cat).  

The cold facts are that in the fifteen years his "successes" have been paltry for such a highly rated and high priced stallion: Aptitude ran 2nd to Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000 (his best showing), Atswhatiamtalkingabout ran 4th to Funny Cide in 2003 and Pulpit ran 4th to Silver Charm in 1997.  In most of the other 12 years in which his progeny have failed to hit the board, they have been hyped during the build up and floped/faltered on or before the 1st Saturday in May.  AP's lack of prowess as a sire of potential Derby winners appear even more dismal when comparing his performance with the likes of Maria's Mon, Birdstone, Street Cry, Distorted Humour and Elusive Quality, all of whom have had less time at stud, covered less mares and overall less fashionably bred broodmares yet produced Derby winners in their first crop (Maria's Mon which went to stud in 1997 and died in 2007 sired two Derby winners).

Having said all that, let me make it quite clear that I regard AP Indy as one of the most reliable stamina influences, a prolific producer of stakes winners and a brilliant sire of sires. As a broodmare sire, his best days are ahead and perhaps it is in this department that he'll really become sucessful in the Derby, being the broodmare sire of 2010 Derby winner, Super Saver and having a shot at a unique repeat with SS's half brother Brethren (out of the mare Supercharger).

Now nothing I've said so far speaks to the issue of the perceived genetic late development trait (my perception) that affects most of his offspring.  Admittedly this assertion of mine is purely anecdotal and based upon careful observation of AP colt progeny. What I've noticed is horses sired by AP that show glimpses of talent/brilliance early but mature later as late developing 3YOs/4YOs, or falter from being forced to make the Derby, and this happens over and over again. Horses have a growth cycle that is largely genetically determined and I've made some observations and made my deductions about most of AP's sons, and will give a few examples.  I'm lumping the "meteorites" with the obvious late developers here: Take Control, Friesan Fire, Odysseus, Dechlan's Moon, Stevie's Wonderboy, Indy Dancer, Sky Mesa, Corinthian, Suave, Golden Missile, Mineshaft, Master Command.

Our mutual sparring partner, Professor Coldfacts, tried to make a case for Bernadini's precosity in 2006 but I dealt (what I believe but he wont admit) a cripling blow to his argument by comparing him to the younger Barbaro which was much more accomplished up to the time of the Preakness 2006.  Bernadini won a fortuitous victory in that Preakness IMO, not whitstanding his obvious brilliance.

You may not agree (as I guess you'll continue to hold your "lack of luck" apologetic for AP) but at least you should understand my conclusions about AP Indy a little clearer.  I have made room in my assessment of his sons for Mineshaft, Stephen Got Even, Pulpit and grandson Tapit to become exceptions to my "AP Indy Derby rule".  Accordingly, Dialed-In, Tapizar and Sweet Ducky are in my Derby Dozen whereas Astrology and To Honour and Serve are toss outs for me.  Perhaps Bernadini will prove at some point that he too can break the rule.  However as of now I stand by my decision that if any AP Indy colt or son of Bernadini wins the Derby this year, they would have silenced Ranagulzion for good.  I would quit blogging here.  Lets continue to enjoy the ride Buddy.

03 Feb 2011 10:17 PM
Jean in Chicago

Carlos in Cali & Dr. Drunkinbum:

As we biologists know there are many environmental factors that can turn genes on or off.  However, I think it may be stretching things to include the  factors of post position and who is sitting on a horse's back for two minutes among possible epigenetic switches.

03 Feb 2011 11:12 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Jean in Chicago

  I didn't even know you could still use an epigenetic switch to whip the horse. I thought they outlawed those. Well maybe that's just in a few states.

04 Feb 2011 2:08 AM

Some of the "facts" related by posters speak only to the Kentucky Derby winners and sires.  We should remember this is the "Triple Crown Trail" that also includes the Preakness and the Belmont.  When a sire has proven winners in the Preakness and Belmont, you simply cannot discount his chances in the Derby.  When a sire produces a mare who produces a Derby winner, that, also cannot be discounted.  Lop-sided facts can present only faulty conclusions.  I still maintain that, of all the races, the Derby with a field of 20 on a track not wide enough for that field, creates factors dependent more on luck than bloodlines.  And if some folks are unwilling to credit a dam as being a heavy influence on a colt, why would you stay with Uncle Mo when it's his dam sire who carries the stamina to take him through all 3 legs.  Uncle Mo has his sprinter sire's speed...how far can he carry it depends on the influence of his dam.

As far as being bred often is concerned, didn't Seattle Slew produce Vindication, a champion 2 year old, when he was 25?

04 Feb 2011 6:27 AM


While I am for sure no breeding expert just a guy who loves the ponies. How long did Pletcher go before he won a Derby?

Can't a case be made that allot of so called experts said Pletcher could not win the big one both for the Derby and the Breeders Cup now lately he is winning his share..

Pletcher the A.P Indy of trainers?

Derby is alot of luck we all know that and not always does the best horse win..

All that matters in my world is cashing tickets and I will make up my mind as usual 5-10 minutes before post..

If the Derby was run tomorrow it looks like alot of speed and the race could fall apart [Giacomo]Right now I am leaning towards a closer Dialed In or Rogue Romance type..

Anyone going to be at Gulfstream Sat ?

04 Feb 2011 7:58 AM
Fran Loszynski

You'd be surprised Jean in Chicago,

a racehorse with heart teams up with his jockey and where they are placed enables the racehorse to sike out his competition if has the killer instinct for the finish line. A racehorse is a very smart animal. When they are trained to race they realize the jockey is now a part of their life and some even protect their "pal" from being bumped or falling off. I know I'm a romanticist but read the story "Seabiscuit". It's a true story. Afleet Alex cared for his jockey and was determined they both would not get hurt.  

04 Feb 2011 9:00 AM

Great list, Steve!  I'm going to keep an eye on Elite Alex.  The Derby is not for the faint of heart and EA has got some guts and talent and a daddy who almost won the triple crown.

Is Machen an Arazi starter kit?  I see similar talent in that horse.  I was very impressed with what I saw in Washington's Rules.  Any thoughts there???  And does Sway Away have the blood for the 1 1/4???

I felt the stars had to align just right for Super Saver to win the Derby.  Fair or not, I hold that against Brethren.

You can shoot me too!  I passed on putting $20 on 99-1 Gazillionaire at Fairgrounds last week!

1) Uncle Mo

2) Tapizar

3) To Honor and Serve, Boys at Tosconova, Dialed In

4) Jaycito (if he runs straight line!)

5) Comma to the Top, Machen, Stay Thirsty

6) Washington's Rules, Sway Away, Rogue Romance

7) Elite Alex

04 Feb 2011 9:32 AM


This is my last word.

There has been talk on this blog about the under-representation of the Raise a Native sire line. I have never seen a definition of this sire line so I am not clear what people mean by it.

But here are the facts.

The following are inbred to Raise A Native(RAN):

To Honor And Serve,Tapizar, Boys at Toscanova, Soldat and Brethren.

The following have RAN on the paternal side:

Uncle Mo,Dialed In,Stay Thirsty,Jaycito

Astrology has RAN on the dam side.

This means that a Raise A Native descendant is almost certain to win the race.

Note, this list might have errors on it but the presence of RAN is so pervasive, I will not sweat the details. If there are errors, I admit them.

04 Feb 2011 9:36 AM


You are comparing apples and oranges by comparing trainer Pletcher to AP Indy.  I'll never tout AP as a derby-winner-producing sire but I did pick Pletcher last year.  I'm on record with that.

04 Feb 2011 10:30 AM

Ranagulzion- it would be a shame if you quit blogging here.  We have sparred before but I do enjoy your blogs.  Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

To me, the biggest strike against AP Indy, other than the "general" late-maturing factor, which many trainers have noted, is that although he is one of the elite sires, he has not become a dominant sire like Nasrullah, Bold Ruler, Raise a Native and Mr Prospector.  Those horses thoroughly dominated their market, like Sunday Silence did in Japan.  That, I believe is another contributing factor why he has not had a Derby winner.

04 Feb 2011 12:00 PM

I agree with the list, but the only issue I have is that Uncle Mo ran 3 seconds slower in his 3 f workout than Stay Thirsty did. Was that by design? If not, Mo could end up just another precocious 2 year old whose competition has now caught up to him in talent.

That said, supposing that the 3 f workout was by design, and MO has improved over last year. Well, if he earned a 108 Beyer in the BC Juvenile, and improves, then he ought to earn 115-120 Beyer in the Tampa Bay Derby, and be the champion that Steve believes he could be. That would mean a Triple Crown for Mo.

The breeding arguments are silly. if we have 5 colts/fillies by the same dam and sire, the flawed logic states that all will perform the same. Really? Is that why The Bride (Secretariat's full sister) finished out of the money in 4 starts, and why Masda, full sister to Man O' War, was never in the same league as her brother? We have also seen that same logic with the Barbaro brothers. The same people who focus on pedigrees also said no Bold Ruler colt would get the Belmont in 1973. Secretariat proved them all wrong.

Meanwhile, Mo was brilliant as a two year old. Let's hope the 3 f workout was not an indicator that he is now behind Stay Thirsty, or the Haskin List might be  devoid of Mo. The Tampa Bay Derby will either show the MO is still brilliant, or just a flash in the pan. I am hopeful that the 108 Beyer will be the beginning, not the end for MO, and that he wins the Triple crown over colts and fillies (who knows where the fillies are) who run for second.

04 Feb 2011 12:38 PM
Jean in Chicago

Fran Loszynski:

I apologize.  My comment was intended as a smartass response to Ranagulazion's continuing arguement that AP Indy can never sire a Derby winner and Carlos in Cali and Dr. D's amusing posts about the AP Indy genes that 'turned off' the first week in May.

George Woolf could win on Seabiscuit because he was perhaps the greatest jockey ever, but even though everbody agreed Red Pollard wasn't a great jockey, he had a connection with 'his horse' that went far beyond riding skills.  Would Zenyatta have done as well with somebody other than Mike Smith?  We'll never know, but I firmly believe there was also a connection there that transended the usual skills of how well a jockey can pace or manuver a horse in a race.  I remember a line from one of the Black Stallion books where Henry says to Alex 'on other horses you make mistakes, but on the Black, the two of you make a perfect pair'.  (Probably not a dirct quote, its been 50yr since I first read them.)  I feel sorry for the many runners who get a complete stranger lifted onto their backs for every race because that horse/rider bond can never develop.

I'm just saying (like Slew) that LUCK is such a strong factor that it can trump the best genetics and training in the world, especially in a chaotic, overcrowded field.  Bill Shoemaker always said that if Sword Dancer hadn't bumped Tomy Lee at the 8th pole, hard enough to make Tomy Lee switch to his right lead, he never would have won.  We all can name Derbys where 'the best horse' didn't win. I'd love to see the field reduced to 16, but even my tenuous grip on reality knows this won't happen even if Hell (like Chicago and Dallas) does freeze over.

Besides, no matter how nice picking the winning horse is, all I really want is for everybody to come home safe and sound.    

04 Feb 2011 1:33 PM

jon- analyzing breeding is not silly.  It gives you a base to try and extrapolate if a horse has a chance to get a distance of ground or not.  There will always be exceptions as it is not an exact science. In general, Bold Ruler's foals were distance challenged as far as 10 furlongs were concerned.  That is why people questioned Secretariat's ability to get 10 furlongs and beyond.  As far as full siblings, again since it is not an exact science you cannot expect the siblings to be able to perform at equal levels.  You can only hope.  As far as Uncle Mo is concerned, you can only hope that whatever distance influence is there will be dominant, as his sire line is known for precocious, fast offspring.  But, there are always exceptions as I said before.  Only a fool will say it is definite that he cannot get 10 furlongs the first Saturday in May.  

04 Feb 2011 1:55 PM

 Well, it appears that I am the only "Pluck" fan. Hope I get the 99-1 odds this blog would suggests I would get in future pools or at the Derby gate if he gets there!!!,,, "Say it again!!" ...Pllluckk! Pluck Pluck Pluck Pluck Pluck Pluck Pluck!!!

04 Feb 2011 2:30 PM


Have no fear, come 2nd May I'll still be here.  The APs and Bernadinis have a mountain to climb called Uncle Mo. Also I have their 'cousins' Dialed-In and Tapizar playing a serious offensive game along with Giant's Causeway's son Santiva.  Coming off the bench for my team will be the Floridian son of Halo's Image, Reprized Halo together with Nureyev's grandson by Good Journey, Thirtyfirststreet.  I think you can see that my defences are pretty much impenitrable, not that the opposition is that formidable.  I'll admit that Bernadini is a bit of a lose canon in this game but history is against him being a first crop Derby-winner-producing sire.

Jersey Boy,

The RAN sire line simply refers to horses produced by stallions decending on the paternal side from Raise A Native.  It does not include broodmare sires. For example Raise A Native sired Derby winner Majestic Prince which sired Majestic Light which sired Wavering Monarch which sired Maria's Mon which sired derby winners Monarchos and Super Saver. Can't explain it any simpler.  I hope that our mutual friend Slew is also taking note (LOL).  

04 Feb 2011 2:56 PM
Lisa Andres

Astrology is by A.P. Indy out of a Quiet American daughter. Bernardini is by A.P. Indy out of a Quiet American daughter. 'Nuff said.

04 Feb 2011 3:16 PM

zarvona- I belive Pluck is being pointed to the 2000 Guineas in England, not the Derby

04 Feb 2011 5:50 PM

Wait a minute......Elite Alex is ridden by jockey Calvin Borel; a 3rd Derby rail ride couldn't happen, could it?  If so, Elite Alex is gearing up for the ride of his life!  At any rate I am glad that Tim Ritchey is back on the Derby trail, he's been too long away from it, right Fran L.  It will be interesting to see what Bernardini's son Stay Thirsty does. And I bet we see Dialed In as Nick Zito's trump card for the Belmont.  I like Steve's choices here and also his Overlays list of a second string.  I still cannot see one that grabs me yet, don't feel it yet, maybe next month.

Off topic, Linda in Texas:

Did Lane's End receive that bridle tag yet for Pirate Queen do you know?  I hope Steve tells someone to take a photo of it on her for all of us to see.  We should call it a "bridal" tag and she can be the Maid of Honor at the Bernardini/Zenyatta wedding!

04 Feb 2011 6:34 PM

Dr. D.,

I am cracking up about your comment Holy Cow about Dialed In in the Holy Bull!!!!!!  After all this ice and snow in NJ I needed that laugh!  On a serious note though the poor horses in Egypt, I was watching the news the other night and all of a sudden in Egypt horses are running down the street in the middle of the bruhaha.  The poor things.  Once was riderless and they were at least holding him.

I don't know if it was police on horseback trying to hold off the crowd or what but all of a sudden horses came running down the middle of a street amidst the fighting people, terrible.  

But Dialed In looks like he has a powerful closing kick alright. If I see another "Winter Storm Warning" on my tv I am going to have a cow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

04 Feb 2011 8:00 PM

Jon...did you give a thought to half-brothers/sisters...such as Dr. Fager and Ta Wee?  Seems they did all right, both out of Apidistra.  

A normal gate has 14 slots.  I'd like to see the auxilliary gate gone in the Derby to allow the true talent to emerge.  Until they do that, I don't think we'll get to see a TC winner.

Ranagul: even if you only play the odds...Bernardini has (so far) 5 or 6 contenders, Tapit has 2, Pulpit, Flatter, Jump Start and Mine Shaft each have one.  These are all sons of AP Indy who also has Astrology. Of the Dozen listed, 5 of the 12 are connected to AP Indy.  Puhleeze.  Those are pretty strong odds in anyone's book..except yours of course.  AP Indy did win the Belmont. Son, Bernadini won the Preakness, and daughter, Rags To Riches won the Belmont.

In 2010, the winner Super Saver's dam sire was AP Indy, and 2nd place finisher Ice Box was sired by an AP Indy son, Pulpit.  Please tell me how any handicapper can ignore those hard facts.

04 Feb 2011 8:12 PM
Mike Relva


Let's be real if Pletcher  entered a donkey into a race you would still pick him. lol

04 Feb 2011 8:17 PM


You're high on Pluck but how about Queensplatekitten?

04 Feb 2011 10:34 PM
Quiet American 55

I'm looking elsewhere - than Uncle Mo, however the pedigree question (by some) will not be the reason he does not win a TC race.  Indian Charlie, refuting others notations, was not a "sprinter."  He won the Santa Anita Derby in 1:47 Flat and ran quite respectable in the Derby (other forces were at work there other than pedigree, like was he truly 100% going into the race?).  So, Uncle Mo will not be stopped because he's an Indian Charlie (who like Slew notes above, has Arch as a broodmare sire).  Still taking a stand against, but he will be the one to beat come the first SAT in May.  He is no War Pass.  As for the notations on Beyers in the blog, 112 probably is the winning number (in the KD).  More than Mo will have that within reach come May.

05 Feb 2011 1:37 AM


Thank you for the definition. I used and found that Raise A Native and AP Indy are both line descendants of Phalaris.

This is the reason I am not fixated on pedigrees.

05 Feb 2011 7:51 AM


I also hope Steve will likewise grant me the opportunity to respond to you post of ( Feb 2011 7:48 PM) Hopefully this will bring some closure and give you an opportunity to move o to your next case.

Many thanks for your comprehensive psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud would be very proud of you work; Let me assure you I could not afford your services on my dish washer’s salary. Since I was not present at the time  you developed your body of ideas, I have couple of questions. Why was I selected?  What method of investigation was used to determine that a portion of Steve’s supporters are less informed and need others to offer a reasoned retort?  I am happy that at long last the blog now has self-appointed tsar whose job it is to expose comments for their infectious and misleading  effects.

Now to address some of your point:

Listed below is the closing portion of your thesis dedicated to discrediting my posts:

“Misinformation can prove quite damaging to the less informed, so it is incumbent on others to offer a reasoned retort in an effort to, perhaps, extinguish or dilute what they perceive as false conclusions/improper logic, etc.”

I have made nine posts month to date. I request that you and anyone else to revisit these posts and then return to your closing comments to determine if they provide accurate assessments of the information and opinions presented.

I got the impression reading your post that you are either a very bright or confused individual. I opted for neither but will settle on a combination. Assuming the above depictions of my posts are accurate, what benefits am I deriving from this assault on the less informed?

You are evidently in a state of confusion regarding opinions and facts. The factual portions of my posts correct or incorrect can either be verified or debunked by various thoroughbred third party sources. Opinions are like entitlements and while we are all entitled to our opinions, none of us are entitled to the cold facts. The cold facts represent historic records that opinions are incapable of altering. Many of the supporter here advance opinions. You give me way too much credit by assuming my opinions are more influential than others. The emphasis that you have placed no this, lead one to believe that you regard this as a fact. You should fine this question to your liking. What scientific evidence do you have to support your assertion that my opinions influence others?

I conceded I have no scientific evidence to support my opinion regarding the prospect of overbore stallions producing derby winners. Does this change my opinion? No! The information available to me is mares bred. Lion Heart and Roman Ruler and possible Fusaichie Pegasus sires bred 200 mares as freshman sires. These stallions had to be producing seamen at a record pace to keep up their duties. They continued to be bred to large books in subsequent years. How many derby contenders are these stallions producing each year? A microscope would be required to find them. Is the law of averages against theses stallions? Are they just unfortunate that not one of the average 160 or 170 mares bred each year is capable of producing a sound enough horse to even make the derby field regularly? I have no evidence but I have an opinion. I welcome your evidence to the contrary that over breeding does not impact quality.

“You then cite the covering numbers for the most "used" stallions of 2006 and compare it to their number of Derby starters in 2010. You label all this as "cold facts"

Evidently you have a problem with the term cold facts. Well let me define what I consider to be cold facts. They are fact that can be verified by third party sources i.e., Official Reports of Mares Bred and official records of the annual Kentucky Derby fields. Do not confuse the conclusion drawn with the supporting cold facts.

“You appear to have no understanding of what constitutes statistical proof or near-proof when using "facts" to find broader, accurate conclusions”

English is not my second language and I am aware of my limitations in this area. However, you writing in a language with which I am not familiar. This is where over analysis gets you confused. I am a dish washer I know nothing about statistics a sub section of mathematics I assume. I present historic records that I consider data. I compare the sire and broodmare lines that have been producing the winners of TC races and like very one else have no idea why one line is so dominant over others. How people process this date into information is entirely up to them. Like they say on FOX “We report you decide”

“The cause of this error in logic is no doubt rooted in a fundamental lack of perspective-ex.- inability to grasp the breadth of variables”

Are you related to Donald Rumsfeld?

“As we know, there are known knows. There are things we know we know, we also know. There are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns,

The ones we don't know we don't know.”

Friend you need help. Do you know what the hell you are thinking or posting? I have stopped viewing the Kentucky Derby as a horse race long ago. I now regard it as an event for which a combination of traditional and non-traditional approaches is required. In 2008 I wrote a thread highlighting the positives of a Canadian 2YO heading into BCJ. I used the same approach that you have so negatively critiqued to support my points. I specified that his dam was unraced (Best broodmares are unraced/lightly raced) He was May foal (Horses in their natural habitat have foals in the spring and summer months thus the foal avoids exposure to the harsh winter months) His sire covered only 102 mares. He finished last in the BCJ and do you know why?  “The cause of this error in logic was no doubt rooted in my fundamental lack of perspective-ex.- inability to grasp the breadth of variables” Yes Indeed! After his disappointing effort I jumped ship. Seven months later he won the Kentucky Derby @50-1 silencing 100,000 fans at CD. That colt was Mine That Bird. What I lacked was not the ability to grasp variable but some round ones.

“So, for example, it is without dispute that the genetic quality of an individual sperm cell is unaffected by the number of ejaculations proceeding the ejaculation which contained that sperm cell-yet you believe that your simple chart on the covering numbers of the top ten covering stallions as it relates to their Derby starters offers sufficient proof to refute the aforesaid scientific fact”

Let us forget the lack derby winners.  How many G1 horse are produced by these overbred stallions? Something is affecting quality when these big books are covered. For one who has the ability to grasp the breadth of variables; do you any ideas or opinions you wish share?

“Lastly, it is far too easy to posit that one may simply avoid/ignore your many comments.

With infectious nature of my posts I think my advice is sound. Look at the confusion they have caused you. You are now in the Rumsfeld zone. I hope I am not exclusive and you are off on your next case to expose sinister posters whose plans are to feed misinformation to the vulnerable less- informed.

05 Feb 2011 9:24 AM
Jean in Chicago

Alex'BF:  Yeah, I saw that too.  According to CNN it was pro-Mubarak/police on horseback whipping the anti-Mubarak people.  I saw one horse go down.  I kept trying to see if he got up OK.  It looked like he did.  Once again, its the innocent ones that caught up in the fights of humans.  I think 'collateral damage' is one of the most obscene phrases in the English language.

05 Feb 2011 12:38 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  There's some real talent out there if they can just get to the dance. I don't see anyway that Dialed In isn't for real. And Elite Alex, who requested Calvin Borel by the way. He said, "I could win it by myself, but the make you use a jockey, who's the best Derby jockey? That's who I want. Go out and get him. And I don't care how much it costs." I felt the same way about the horses in that mess in Cairo as you did. And the camels. I preferred it when it was a human rock fight and the animals were left out of it. I wonder if any of those horses are going to The Derby. They're brave enough.

05 Feb 2011 12:57 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Even if I wanted to run in OP big preps I wouldn't be there until mid Feb at the earliest. I hope the weather setbacks don't set Elite Alex back.

05 Feb 2011 1:15 PM

I watched Queen'splatekitten run in a one-mile turf allowance race at Gulfstream Park today. He won by two lengths with an incredible late run. . . I believe that he closed his final eighth of a mile in ten seconds and change!

And just a few moments ago I watched Cal Nation easily win a seven furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park in impressive fashion. He tracked pacesetter Jack London in the early going before flying past him to win by daylight in 1:22.02. . . it was an exceptional performance!

Also, keep an eye on Bill Mott's colt Striding Ahead, who looked good in a maiden special weight at Tampa Bay Downs today when he won by seven or eight lengths.


05 Feb 2011 4:37 PM

Jersey Boy,

Don't be so simplistic.  Each sire line has several arms resulting from sons that produce offspring with different qualities.  For example, the Danzig arm of the Northern Dancer line is known to throw exceptional milers that excel more often on turf but are also quite accomplished on dirt.  Comparitively, the Sadler's Wells arm of ND is very prolific at throwing classic distance (10-12 furlongs) offspring that excel more or less exclusively on turf.  Thus, AP Indy and Raise A Native have descended from different arms of Phalaris, producing very different outcomes in their respective progeny.  What's so perplexing about that.  The human race, with all its diversity descended from Adam (if you are creationist) or from the same bit of primordial protoplasm (if you are evolutionist), so what's so frustrating to you about pedigrees?  I'll tell you.  The RAN line horses mature faster than the AP Indy line, to be able to win more Kentucky Derbies.  This cold fact is like medicine to you Bro.  Just take it with a teaspoon of sugar and you'll be alright(LOL).


Your 'hard facts' are luke warm. Astute handicappers will ignore them because they have YET to produce a Kentucky Derby winner.  Try some COLD facts next time you post (LOL).

05 Feb 2011 4:43 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I'm going on vacation. Should be back by March.

05 Feb 2011 6:29 PM
John T


 Pluck is being pointed towards the Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh.It is the same race that the New York trained Fourstarsallstars was successfully

pointed to some years ago so good

luck to Pluck and then we will see

were he must go after that.

05 Feb 2011 10:39 PM
Matthew W

Comma To The Top likely not gonna win the Derby--that's a good horse nonetheless--he has the ability to run fast early/kick away--and keep going late--will win many races with that style....

06 Feb 2011 5:13 AM

THE FACTOR, how did you leave him out of the to 12

06 Feb 2011 8:51 AM
Forbidden Apple


It is a complete waste of time to defend the A.P. Indy sire line against the likes of Ranagulzion. He hates A.P. Indy as much as Draynay hates Zenyatta. The truth is that A.P. Indy is a brilliant sire who continues to bless the horse racing world with the bloodlines of Seattle Slew and Secretariat. His son Bernardini will continue to keep the Seattle Slew/Secretariat bloodlines prominent for many years to come.


I have Pluck #1 on my KY Derby future list. Although it looks like he is being pointed towards more turf races and will not attempt to run on dirt. I have him on my list until I am completely sure that he is strictly turf. And he is no longer trained by Pletcher as you noted, his new trainer is Graham Motion.

If anyone is playing Gulfstream today, take a long look at Brilliant Speed in race 9(#10). His last 2 races have been nothing less than brilliant, I believe he is going to fire a huge late kick today.

06 Feb 2011 10:08 AM

Watch Cal Nation.  Very impressive win Saturday.

06 Feb 2011 6:01 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I don't understand why Boys At Toscanova is on any Derby list. I think it would be a shame if he is in The Derby. He should be pointed to the BC Dirt Mile or maybe even the sprint. His ideal might be 7f but I'm hoping he's a miler. He's not a 10fer. Let's strengthen the sprint and mile BC races by running horses where they belong before they get ruined. I still say that winning the BC Mile is better than finishing last in the Classic.

07 Feb 2011 3:47 AM

Here's my "Derby Dozen" as of 02/07/11:

Though, I'm leaving out some of the obvious contenders like Uncle Mo, BAT, Jaycito, etc.

1) To Honor And Serve - I've been high on this guy since last October. Superb pedigree! Comes out of a great female line, family 4 (4-r, Cub Mare).

2) Elite Alex - Love this guy's pedigree and I picked his daddy out in his 2-yo campaign after I saw his awesome late kick. Also comes out of a great female line, family 4 (4-d, Manganese).

3) Dialed In - Have been high on him since his 1st outing. Have always liked Mineshaft and his progeny.

4) Tapizar - Love Deputy Minister as a bms! Could be a very dangerous 3-yo as we near the 1st Saturday in May! Comes out of a strong branch, family 8 (8-c, Woodbine).

5) Sway Away - Love this guy's pedigree! Has great potential. Can't wait to see him race here in a couple weeks.

6) Machen - Awesome race last out! Nice pedigree, too!

7) Casper's Touch - Absolutely love this guy's pedigree especially for the TC trail! Should only get better in the next few months.

8) Rogue Romance - Very tough runner! Great tail-female line going back to one of the best broodmares of the 20th century,  Plucky Leige.

9) Brethren - Super Saver's half-brother is very talented! Obviously, has a great pedigree and arguably one of the best tail-female lines going back to the great La Troienne.

10) Wilkinson - Nice win in the Lecomte. I liked his daddy a lot. Could be a dangerous 'lil 3-yo colt.

11) Bench Points - Very nice pedigree through his dam, Mo Chuisle by Free House whom I loved. Has a lot of stamina influences including Deputy Minister and Vaguely Noble.

12) Manicero - Nice 3-yo colt who has 4 wins in 5 starts. Comes out of a great female line, family 8 (8-c, Woodbine).

07 Feb 2011 9:16 AM
Fran Loszynski

Jean In Chicago

You put me to shame as a horseracing fan! Wow! You know your stuff. You also have a heart for horseracing and what it really is. I too, wish whoever wins does it safely and we have a great horseracing year. Go Elite Alex.

To Alex's Big Fan:

If Elite Alex has any of the killer instinct with heart his Dad has -Calvin better be the one to hold on tight because his kick in speed and Tim Ritchey's expertise will prevail and I think Calvin being the super jockey he is can adjust quite readily. He's already in sync with him and who knows that day the rail be the "thing" to do. Go Elite Alex! Go Alexandra Rylee

07 Feb 2011 10:15 AM

Ranagulzion-Queensplatekitten sure looked good.

Quiet American 55- it's not what Indian Charlie ran or could have run, I am gauging it more on what his offspring do.  They just don't seem like they want to go more than 9 furlongs in general.  Uncle Mo certainly could be the exception but we won't know until May.

07 Feb 2011 11:49 AM

Mike R.,

That was too funny!  Thanks for that laugh too!  I am trying to visualize Pletcher decked out in his suit, very dapper, bringing out a donkey to the saddling area!!!!  Oh my goodness my mascara is running down my cheeks from laughing so hard!  Thanks Mike!!!!

07 Feb 2011 6:34 PM

Kentucky Oaks!

Go Girls!!!!!!!

Awesome Feather

Turbulent Decent

Zazu (The Moss's Filly)

07 Feb 2011 6:47 PM

The Super Bowl of Horse racing is now beginning with the triple crown races.  I am excited regarding Uncle Mo and Dialed In as contenders for the these million dollar races.  Waiting to win exactas, trifectas and superfectas.  Money, Money and more money.  Thank You.

07 Feb 2011 9:10 PM


I wish the Ramsays would get adventurous and send that Queensplatekitten across the pond to the Epsom Derby.  He has looked awesome on both polytrack and turf and has me thinking NIJINSKY!!!

Forbidden Apple,

I do not hate any horse.  My opinions on AP Indy has been shaped by years of observation and analysis.  I've had to dwell on the point a lot because of push-back from sentimental AP fans that dislike unfavourable information about their beloved under-achieving classic sire.

07 Feb 2011 9:52 PM

Thanks John T.  I had the wrong one.

07 Feb 2011 10:10 PM

It's odd.  Some folks post a simple comment.  Some folks post a treatise, mostly attacking another poster.  Some just don't get the big picture; some do.

All the theories, bloodline studies, weak conclusions, and stubborn arguments all fly out the window when your favorite horse draws post position #1 in a 20 horse field on Derby Day.

What's really necessary on Kentucky Derby day is LUCK coupled with a sturdy horse able to withstand the bumping and jostling, and the heart to overcome it all.  

08 Feb 2011 8:34 AM


I have to agree that the bluest of the bluebloods alone won't guarantee a Derby win.  I look for a "consistency" factor, and the one I think has the stamina and wherewithall to get himself out of the Derby traffic jam.  Alex himself got bumped but got himself a length away from Giacomo for a respectable third, which cost him the Triple Crown. Lucky got a raw deal last year from post 1.  I was right on the money with Barbaro, Street Sense, and Big Brown, let's see what I do this year???????

Mike R.,

It is a day later and I am still giggling about Pletcher saddling up a donkey for a race!  I can see it now, people are gathered in the paddock and over marches the Pletcher platoon with donkey in tow.  The fans are scratching their heads and looking mighty perplexed and saying, "gee, this guy is good but this is ridiculous!"  hee, hee, hee, hee, haw!

08 Feb 2011 5:19 PM

Great list again Steve. It looks like Cal Nation might be this year's late-bloomer.

Cal Nation ran 7 furlongs first time out in 1:22.02 carrying 122 lbs. Older $62,500 allowance optional claimers ran the distance in 1:21.92 when carrying 3 lbs less.(The track record is 1:20.88).

I am still waiting until Pool 1 to make a choice.

08 Feb 2011 7:47 PM

Ranagulzion- That would be very fun to see.

08 Feb 2011 11:16 PM

Ranagulzion- Also Soldat for one of the Guineas would be nice, if he doesn't pan out for a shot at our Derby after all.

08 Feb 2011 11:18 PM
Forbidden Apple


It must be that owners and breeders are all crazy to involve A.P. Indy in their business models. You are completely wrong here, I can not see any reason to call him anything other than spectacular. If Uncle Mo was by A.P. Indy you would be calling him the best sire in the history of horse racing.

09 Feb 2011 11:39 AM

I want to see a Bernardini kid win the KY Derby in his first crop, so I'll root for To Honor And Serve & Stay Thirsty. I want to see if the Queen got the right guy.

10 Feb 2011 5:38 AM

Ranagulzion can defend himself, but I do have to say that even though AP Indy is an elite sire, he does not usually get precocious two year olds and has usually later developing three year olds.  Of cpourse there will always be exceptions, but this is as a whole.  There was an article in the Blood Horse in their series of profiling sires by trainers and most trainers said this about AP Indy foals.  They like them as race horses but they are slower to come around.  He is not knocking AP Indy as a sire, just as a sire of what the racing world calls precocious horses.

10 Feb 2011 10:57 AM


That was a funny comment "I want to see if the Queen got the right guy."  I think that the best "guys" for Zenyatta are in Europe, namely, Galileo and Sea The Stars.  These are Northern dancer line stallions that are sons of the great broodmare Urban Sea, carrying strains of highly regarded German bloodlines.  You're gonna be disappointed because there's no way Bernadini is going to be a first crop Derby-winner-producing sire.  Bernadini looks like a very promising sire but history and his sire's genes are against him doing it this year.


I like your objectivity.

Forbidden Apple,

Many owners and breeders have fallen for the hype.

10 Feb 2011 1:20 PM

Forbidden Apple,

Consider this point.  It has been 34 years since a Bold Ruler line colt won the Kentucky Derby. Could it be that all the owners/breeders have sold out completely to the Seattle Slew branch via AP Indy, totally neglecting/ forsaking branches such as Spectacular Bid/ Bold Bidder, Foolish Pleasure/ What A Pleasure, all of which have Derby-winner-producing influences?  These other Bold Ruler line sons only appear periodically on the Dam side of Derby aspirants.  Thats something to think about my friend.  Seems to me that breeders have put all of their "Bold Ruler eggs" into one "Seattle Slew/AP Indy basket" and the chicken have come home to roost (pardon the pun).

10 Feb 2011 2:10 PM
Carlos in Cali

Fla: Looks like Mucho Macho Man is getting the "hell out of dodge" and shipping to the Fair Grounds in order to avoid the likes of Dialed In, who blew right past him in the Holy Bull and To Honor and Serve who toyed with him in both the Nashua & Remsen.

Cali: Looks like 2 of the West Coasts' leading 2yo's of 2010(Comma' to the Top,JP's Gusto) are also "high tailing-it" and avoiding the "New Kid on the block" Tapizar. Not that the former 2 are any threat to win the Derby anyways.

Ranagulzion,  I think you better undo your placement of Notso Macho Man on your Derby list my friend,ha! Also,it looks like the AP Indys' have surrounded you & your "Mo'-jo" with so much talent that it has you at a loss for words....UM,UM,UM,UM,UM,UM. LOL!

Shalom in the home my friend and be thankful that the 20-horse fields in the Derby have turned it into a stampede and not a true gauge of superiority.  

10 Feb 2011 3:38 PM

Carlos in Cali,

You said the key word "stampede."  It pretty much comes down to which one is resilient enough to get bumped, not get flustered, gather himself back up, and go on to win.

Of course that theory gets thrown out the window if Calvin sees daylight and goes for the rail again.  Maybe they should shorten the field to 15, wouldn't it be safer? 15 is more of a race and less of a stampede.  Let them change the criteria for entering somehow so the best 15 athletes are entered?  Just a thought, probably never happen.

Your "Notso Macho Man" name was pretty cute!

10 Feb 2011 5:53 PM

Carlos in Cali,

Mucho Macho Man is a June foal therefore he shouldn't be written off.  Also, I think that the Holy Bull was a very good Derby prep for the top five colts in that race.  Sweet Ducky and Gourmet Dinner are tough competitors, although the latter's stamina is suspect going ten furlongs.  The Gulfstream preps are the toughest of all the Triple Crown circuit therefore I wouldn't blame or mock MMM's connection for seeking easier qualifying money.

As for being surrounded by the AP Indys, you should read my previous post.  The harder they come the harder they fall. Quality is the key, not quantity my friend. They (the Seattle Slew line) are the last "bastions" of a fading Bold Ruler line due to years of misjudgment by breeders.  I think that Donn Handicap results tell a tail about AP Indy.  Count how many of his sons/grandsons were present and tell me how they fared.  Therefore, be careful about how you rely on the large number of AP Indys in the Derby.  

10 Feb 2011 6:05 PM
Carlos in Cali

Ranagulzion,Re: the Donn.

Fly Down was coming off a tough 3yo campaign & a 3month lay-off,their goal early this year is the DWC in late March,I'd say he wasn't fully cranked..

El Daafer is not and has never been in that league,plus he wants to go further than 9f.

I Want Revenge was coming off yet another long lay-off(6months) and he still ran a tremendous race to finish 4th missing 3rd by a head. Considering his devastating injury the day of the Derby in 09',I'm wishing he stays sound enough to show some resemblance of his Brilliant sophomore Spring campaign that was cut short.

BTW: AP Indys' finished in the money in all 3 TC races last year,in case you forgot.

10 Feb 2011 8:24 PM

Carlos in Cali,

Your post 10 Feb 2011 8:24PM is another of your apologetics but doesn't paint an accurate picture of the testimony of the Donn Handicap about AP Indy. He had 2 sons (El Daafer and Ron The Greek) and 2 grandsons (I Want Revenge and Fly Down) in a field of nine (9) Grade 1 contestants (talk about surrounding/ innundating a field), yet his best finish was fourth (IWR).  BTW my pick to win the race was IWR, so you see I'm not an AP hater as some may think.

In this year's Triple Crown his best prospects are Tapizar (great grandson), Dialed-in (grandson), Sweet Ducky (grandson) and Supreme Ruler (grandson). Interestingly, the Pulpit branch that produced Ice Box last year is responsible for Tapizar and Sweet Ducky, the Mineshaft branch that gave us Fly Down and Discreetly Mine, is responsible for Dialed-In, and the Stephen Got Even branch that produced First Dude is represented by (under-the-radar) Supreme Ruler.  Watch out for the latter at Oaklawn Park.  You can toss Astrology, Shadow warrior and all sons of Bernardini.  They will flatter and then deceive you Bro.

Don't you find it amazing how some sire lines have all the luck repeatedly in the stampede, that you call the Derby (LOL).  As a once astute handicapper, you should realise that it doesn't pay to stick with "lack of luck", "no luck" or "bad luck".  Last year I never liked Looking at Lucky but in spite of all his bad luck, he, a "lucky" RAN line offspring (going by your way of assessment) still managed to WIN the Preakness ahead of ...you know who ...First Dude.  Sorry Carlos, you're out of luck again.  Anyway lets continue to enjoy the ride.  

11 Feb 2011 4:38 AM

Recent Posts

More Blogs