February 7, 2011 - Presented by Pauls Mill


Uncle Mo Todd Pletcher

Indian Charlie—Playa Maya, by Arch

Between all his exposure on Facebook and Twitter and owner Mike Repole’s gregarious and infectious personality, they may have to change this year’s sponsorship name to the Kentucky Derby Presented by UM Brands! Uncle Mo was on the work tab for the first time last week, breezing an easy three furlongs in :39 4/5, then followed that up with a half in :49 3/5.


To Honor and Serve Bill Mott

Bernardini—Pilfer, by Deputy Minister

He’s up to five furlongs in his breezes at Payson Park, his last going in 1:04 1/5. Although 1 1/8 miles is not an ideal distance to debut off a layoff, he will be plenty fit training at Payson Park. The last thing you want is to see him come out too fresh and be on the lead again. It’s time to start taking back off the pace.


Tapizar Steve Asmussen

Tapit—Winning Call, by Deputy Minister

He turned in a sharp five-furlong drill in 1:00 1/5 last week, and so far everything has gone off right on schedule. He won the Sham on the front end, but has shown he’s just as effective sitting back just off the pace. He has such a smooth, relaxed way of moving, flicking his ears around, and just looks like he enjoys what he’s doing.


Dialed In Nick Zito

Mineshaft —Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat

It would seem the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby are the two most logical spots for him. He obviously likes the track, speed-favoring or not. Watching the Holy Bull, one forgets it was only his second career start. Who knows how good he’s going to get with maturity and added distance. The raw talent certainly is there.


Stay Thirsty Todd Petcher

Bernardini—Marozia, by Storm Bird

He made his debut on the work tab the same day as Uncle Mo and went three seconds faster, breezing three panels in :36 4/5, then came back with a half in :49 3/5, same as Uncle Mo. Can’t wait to see how he returns at 3 and how much progress he’s made over the winter.


Jaycito Bob Baffert

Victory Gallop—Night Edition, by Ascot Knight

It looks like Baffert has him right where he wants him, and he should be sharp for the Robert B. Lewis. After working five furlongs in :59 2/5, he skipped right past six furlongs and went seven in 1:25 1/5. He has the pedigree and the right running style and will be a major factor if he returns with a solid comeback race.


Astrology Steve Asmussen

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

He also worked for the first time, breezing a half in :52.. No use rushing a horse like this. Despite winning the Iroquois and getting beat a photo in the Kentucky Jockey Club, there still is a lot of improvement left in him. He needs to run faster, but don’t be surprised if he returns a different horse than we saw last year. San Felipe is the most likely spot for his 3-year-old debut.


Soldat Kiaran McLaughlin

War Front—Le Relais, by Coronado’s Quest

Breezed a half in :50 2/5, his first work since his huge allowance score. His pedigree is an enigma. He’s by a pure sprinter, yet has won at 1 1/8 miles already; he has mainly dirt breeding, but has excelled on the grass. He is inbred 5x4 to Round Table, who could run on anything at any distance, and if you go back to his fifth generation in his tail-female family, you’ll find a name you rarely see in anyone’s pedigree – Ole Bob Bowers, the sire of John Henry.


Rogue Romance Kenny McPeek

Smarty Jones—Lovington, by Afleet

You can pick any one of three McPeek colts to put here, along with Casper’s Touch and Washington’s Rules, but this colt has proven himself in major stakes competition, and ran big in the BC Juvenile in his dirt debut. Five-furlong work in 1:00 should set him up well for debut in Risen Star.


Comma to the Top Peter Miller

Bwana Charlie—Maggies Storm, by Stormy Atlantic

Continues to work brilliantly at Hollywood Park, drilling six furlongs in 1:10 2/5, followed by a seven-furlong work in 1:24 3/5. He’s riding a five-racing winning streak and should come out running in 3-year-old debut.


Brethren Todd Pletcher

Distorted Humor—Supercharger, by A.P. Indy

Breezed an easy 5 furlongs in 1:02 2/5. He should be tough in the Sam F. Davis; needs to take that next big step. His two races suggest he’s a top-class colt, but he still has to prove it. An impressive score will move him way up on many Derby lists.


Santiva Eddie Kenneally

Giant’s Causeway—Slide, by Smarten

Drilled a sharp five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 for the Fountain of Youth. He keeps improving with every start, but his speed figures need to get faster, as he has yet to break a 78 Beyer. Kenneally knows how to get a horse sharp, so expect a big effort, despite what promises to be a very tough field.

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:


I don't think Mott was thrilled that THAS found himself on the lead in his last two, but he shouldn't have that problem now. I much prefer him to stalk or run from off the pace and I think that is how he runs best. By the way, he worked yesterday at Payson - 5 furlongs in 1:00, breezing - so THAS seems to be coming along nicely.

As to Stay Thirsty, I can never find any quotes about his works, but he seems to be doing well on the surface. I'm anxious as well to see how he's progressed - and hopefully he will run from off the pace (even if just) from now own.

07 Feb 2011 2:16 PM

Elite Alex will make this list after he wins on Feb 21 at Oaklawn. He runs with the same amazing calmness as his grandpa, Unbridled, once did.

07 Feb 2011 2:34 PM

Why did you take Boys at Tosconova off the list?  I haven't heard of any further setbacks in the last week and Rogue Romance (who I think you added) hasn't raced in the last week - obviously there is the distance question with Boys but that same question is there with Mo, just wondering what made you decide he wasn't one of the top despite his brilliant performances so far...

07 Feb 2011 2:43 PM

No Tobys Corner? I would have him at 11 or 12 right now. Also once Manicero wins the Sam Davis, I would like to see him in the top 12.

07 Feb 2011 3:53 PM

It should be called Uncle Mo plus the Derby 11 for second.

07 Feb 2011 3:54 PM
Zenyatta John

Excellent list as always Steve.

I'm so happy you didn't include Boys of Toscanova since he couldn't get 10 furlongs riding on a bus!

Stay Thirsty is on schedule for the Gotham stakes. He needs to show me  A LOT more to be considered for the Derby.

I also feel Astrology is highly over rated. He regressed in every race in his 2 yr old season. Same as Santiva - over rated and slow.

I think Mucho Macho Man will get a lot out of his first start. I'd also watch out for Break Up The Game, Elite Alex , and Bandbox.

07 Feb 2011 4:13 PM
Reed Galinac

Not sure I remember the last time such a large number of colts this time of the year seemed to possess so much potential/upside.  When a horse like Dialed In, who, in most other recent years, would be heading the class off those two starts of his can manage only #4, you've got the makings of a fine year.  I'm getting a buzz about a number of these colts that I just haven't felt recently.  If this group can hold together physically, and we get a handful of other emerging colts as expected, I think we're looking at a well-above-average Derby trail and a deep, satisfying year for 3yos.  Taking the stand that the Derby winner is coming out of this group, Steve!

07 Feb 2011 4:26 PM

Will be at Tampa next Saturday  and I hope to see Brethren in the Sam Davis.  

07 Feb 2011 5:09 PM

It would be nice to be able to see the beyers as they progress!

Nice Job Steve.

07 Feb 2011 5:23 PM
Paula Higgins

We,, I didn't do too badly. My top 4 are in line with the majority. My middle three are just a tad different. This is going to be an interesting year.

07 Feb 2011 5:28 PM
Bob'e Dee

These youngsters can improve sharply from 2 to 3.  Some who have not started yet this year can give Uncle Mo a real battle; espeically those bred in the purple

07 Feb 2011 5:55 PM
Sandra in Lexington

I absolutely love interractive rankings!  Awesome!  If all are well and safe, my Derby wish is for Uncle Mo to win, Dialed In placing and Rogue Romance in show money.  Saw Uncle Mo at the Breeder's Cup this past year and fell in love with him!  What a character!  Rock on, people!  

07 Feb 2011 6:38 PM
Dan the horse fan

Although Uncle Mo has been really

outstanding as a two year old, his

breeding is questionable at ten furlongs.  His sire Indian Charlie

won his prep for the Derby in

impressive manner but failed to get

the Derby distance.  If Uncle Mo

can get some stamina from his dam

side he may well be the horse to


07 Feb 2011 7:20 PM

I really like Jaycito despite him running off in the BC. He has great dirt pedigree and looks like he can run for miles.

07 Feb 2011 7:22 PM

Steve - have you written off Gourmet Dinner. Looked pretty strong in the Holy Bull. Ran a 5 on the sheets, clearly room to improve. Are you concerned about his pedigree??

07 Feb 2011 7:30 PM
El Kabong

Nice catch on Ole Bob I didn't recall that link to JH. He just might have a little bit of that greatness wanting to rise to the top. I was watching Soldat's turf effort again, and I was very impressed with his courage to come up the rail, at 2. He ran a great race only to lose to a turf monster. Do you know if Pluck is going to remain on course to run in the Guineas in Ireland or will he possibly get a shot on Dirt(for the roses). I haven't heard a word about him for some time. He should be due for at least a turf run.

07 Feb 2011 7:34 PM
Caro 2500

Dialed In looks very strong to me.

07 Feb 2011 7:49 PM

I think Jaycito and 4 pletcher horses will make up the high 5

07 Feb 2011 8:14 PM

This is finally API's year to get the Derby winner with Astrology.

07 Feb 2011 8:24 PM

Good list, Steve.  I'm anxious to see more from Uncle Mo, Stay Thirsty, Dialed In, Brethren and all of the others, so it's still so early to be choosing who will win at this point, but the excitement is building.  From your alternative list, the Derby Challenge, I was pretty impressed by Casper's Touch.  As I have said before, I mostly want them all to remain healthy and strong enough to make it to the gate.  Thank you!

07 Feb 2011 8:35 PM

Unless Steve knows some inside information, such as an injury to Boys At Tosconova, I'm almost inclined to believe that Steve simply forgot to include him. This horse is very gifted, his pedigree is much better than most believe and, perhaps, stout enough (relative to his competitors) to see him through the 10 furlongs. At this point, barring an injury, he'd be among my top three or four.

07 Feb 2011 8:45 PM
Bloodline Bob

I'm currently looking at the 10 following sire's for the sire of the 2011 Ky.Derby winner. In alphabetical order: City Zip,E Dubai,Macho Uno,Orientate,Pleasantly Perfect,Pure Prize,Sligo Bay,Songandaprayer,Speightstown and Street Cry. I'm ONLY interested in 3 year old colts that are sired by one of the above mentioned sire's. I'll know very shortly if there are any on the Ky.Derby trail.

07 Feb 2011 9:10 PM
needler in Virginia

Steve, not to slur your choices ('cause it is, AFTER ALL, February), but if I were betting on a perfectly named horse.......I know, I know, I KNOW!!!.........Twinspired would be somewhere on my list. I KNOW....surfaces, opponents, etc. don't really line this guy up to be a major player, but others have chosen odd roads to Churchill and managed quite nicely, thanks very much. I'm just hoping for a horse with a name that suits the accomplishment.....color me silly on a dreary Monday night. Now, everyone go think up a reason I should NOT be committed to the nearest asylum........... PLEASE think of a reason!!

Cheers and safe trips.

07 Feb 2011 9:31 PM

The 3 year olds this seem to have much better breeding (top and bottom)this year. There are several more that can be plugged in if any of these falter too. The only pedigree that I think is real questionable in the above group is Comma to the Top.

07 Feb 2011 10:05 PM

McPeeks and Mike Smith unite with Gator Champ for a derby prep race.    Gator Champ is a horse with a monster of a late kick.

07 Feb 2011 10:27 PM
Like It Is

Has Pletcher learned how to win the Derby now? Might finally be.

07 Feb 2011 10:51 PM

To Honor and Serve ran his final quarter in the Nashua in under 24 seconds, a two year old making his third start.  He cruised on the backstretch in 24's and came home effortlessly. Not many older horses do that.  He is the real deal, and if he moves forward this year the others are in trouble.

07 Feb 2011 10:59 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

stldustin, Zenyatta John

   I would agree concerning Elite Alex, who has the most impressive performance of the year for me so far except for possibly Dialed In since Dialed In's was a G3 against a strong mile group. I also like Break Up The Game and he is my favorite Bernardini colt. Narrowing the list to 12 is too difficult right now when you try to mix potential with proven in stakes races. I know that Steve was highly impressed with Elite Alex's last race because I heard him say so on his show or another show or both. I was highly impressed with both of Elite Alex's races and he was number one on my list for a long time after his July debut. Big races coming up over the next few weeks will probably change some lists. I don't really take any list too seriously yet, not even my own. Elite Alex, The Factor, Uncle Mo, and Dialed In have run the most impressively, with Tapizar and Soldat a close second. Some interesting workouts at SA today. Jaycito continues his excellent workouts with a 59.20, Awesome Patriot ran a 1:10.80 from the gate, and Tapizar ran a 49. Jaycito and Tapizar are definitely strong Derby candidates. Baffert is one of the trainers with some amazing 3yo talent and I'm hoping that Smash can progress in time to get in on the 3yo prep action.

1. Elite Alex

2. Dialed In

3. The Factor

4. Jaycito

5. Tapizar

6. Soldat

7. Uncle Mo

8. Sway Away

9. Monzon

10. Smash

11. Cool Blue Red Hot

12.Break Up The Game

07 Feb 2011 11:35 PM

My top ten

08 Feb 2011 12:11 AM
Dave T

If the derby was based on impeccable breeding my top three selections would be To Honor and Serve, Tapizar, and Dialed In. Soldat is a head-scratcher!!        

Then again, breeding horses is not an exact science.

08 Feb 2011 12:25 AM

There is Uncle Mo and everyone else.  His 108 Beyer speaks volumes.  Until someone can post a 103 or better the Derby is a one horse race.

08 Feb 2011 12:36 AM
Zenyatta John


Washington's Rule will crush the Sam Davis field - even with baby brother Brethren in the field. Glad your making the trip to see Washington's Rules win.

08 Feb 2011 6:27 AM

Brethren is both being pointed at the Sam Davis not the Fountain of Youth.

08 Feb 2011 7:13 AM

Gator Champ or Ghost Is Clear Iwill be looking for on your list.

08 Feb 2011 8:09 AM

I think that when a trainer doesn't have confidence in his horse, until he does, he may not belong on the Derby Dozen, and that seems to be the case with BAT.  Tapizar is still leading my list.  I simply need to see more of these colts in action.  For the terrible trip Casper's Touch had, for him to re-break and forge ahead to 2nd was an inspiring move.  I'm certain this list will change as the weeks go by.  There is a lot of class competing, and it will be fascinating to watch.

08 Feb 2011 8:40 AM

2 year old champions don't have a good history of success at the Kentucky Derby (sorry Steve. but I refuse to add the corporate sponsorship) and in two of the past three years haven't even made the race. There is no question though that Uncle Mo deserves that top rating. Soldat does have a bizarre pedigree and so what if he might get less respect that Rodney Dangerfield from some folks...I love him.

08 Feb 2011 8:50 AM
Pedigree Ann

Haven't seen this much love for a lightly-raced 2yo champ since Hoist the Flag - he blasted his fields in all 4 starts at 2, although he had to give the Champagne back. HtF came back in March at Bowie (sigh) to win an allowance in the same manner and ran away from a bunch of colts of distinction in the Bay Shore. Triple Crown conceded to him with no dissent. Smashed an ankle pulling up from a workout and never raced again. Doesn't pay to put too much emotion into any horse this early on Derby Trail.

08 Feb 2011 10:00 AM

Mr. Haskin, you should put alternation in the list

08 Feb 2011 10:05 AM

archarcharch wins the feb 21st southwest at oaklawn then the rebel then the arkansas derby and will be the 2nd choice in the kentucky derby behind uncle mo.

with a big chance.

08 Feb 2011 11:29 AM
Billy's Empire

Steve, any update on Dynamize? He worked today, but anything in the works for a race?

08 Feb 2011 11:51 AM

good job steve

but there a couple of horses under the radar right now

machen,caspers touch and mucho macho uno watch these three as time goes on

08 Feb 2011 12:21 PM
Mike Relva


Ok,we get it you like Uncle Mo. Until he loses!

08 Feb 2011 12:49 PM

Does anyone think Toby's Corner is the real deal? What's not to like?

08 Feb 2011 12:51 PM
In aint easy being good!

Thanks for those that see Elite Alex being a superstar he needs more races under his belt and hopefully that starts on the 21st. I love those that say its Uncle Mo and everyone else when Mo hasnt even run at 3 yet..still early but Dialed in and Elite Alex off the pace!

08 Feb 2011 12:58 PM

To Honor and Serve has been my pick for 3 months now.  Agree with previous blogger who states 2 yr old champs rarely hold form at 3, and I simply cannot use Uncle Mo as a top pick.  Tapizar, Santiva and Stay Thirsty would round out my super if the race was today.

08 Feb 2011 1:15 PM
Donna Melendz from Grayslake, IL

Great list Steve!  Love the Ole Bob Bowers catch on Soldat,  I am very intrigued now!  JH was one of my all time faves.  Looking forward to the first Saturday in May.

08 Feb 2011 1:24 PM
Teddy H

1-To Honor and Serve


3-Uncle Mo



6-Rogue Romance



9-Dialed In


11-Comma to the Top


08 Feb 2011 1:43 PM

Pedigree Ann- I remember Hoist the Flag.  Very dominant.  Very sad when he was injured.

08 Feb 2011 1:57 PM
Steve Haskin

Kibble, I took Boys off because Dutrow has backed off on his training. Thats not what you want to see for a horse in the Top 12 or Top 30.

StepAhead, Toby's Corner is in my Top 15 or so, but not quite in the Top 12. He's got to do more than win the Whirlaway, and he raced very greenly. He needs to be more professional.

I'd love nothing more than to add Elite Alex.

Moonie, Not having a horse in the Top 12 does not mean I've written him off. There are always going to be good horses not in the Top 12. Who do you think he should be on there instead of? And, yes, there is some concern about his pedigree. I think he's a tough, hard-knocking horse, but he needs to show a little more.

Needler, no one needs to be considered for an asylum. No one is wrong until May 7 or until their horse is off the Derby trail. We're all guessing.

08 Feb 2011 3:02 PM
Sal C from NJ

JP's Gusto will be on this list after his next start at Oaklawn!

08 Feb 2011 3:03 PM
Fran Loszynski

Dr. D, glad to see you on Elite Alex's bandwagon, any horse that can trip at the wire and make up the distance and give a good showing is material for the Derby. Nothing is going to fluster them not even the mint-julep drinkers at the rail.  It's that old Afleet Alex heart in him, and the "killer instinct for the finish" YEAH!!!

To Steve: your column on Managers and racing: Like it or not horseracing is more of a business now, but it's up to the owners and trainers to put the racehorse and the fan first, and most do. The trainer and the racehorse will always have that special connection, so bring on the managers, they can't break the bond between trainer and horse, they can only follow their lead.

08 Feb 2011 3:08 PM


Pedigrees,Beyers,Trainers,Owners, or Jockeys? Just pick em by the name,& you stand just as good a chance having the winner as any expert out there.

Rogue Romance thats my pick!

Love the way you write.



08 Feb 2011 3:13 PM

I remember Hoist The Flag. I saw him run at Bowie. He was a wonderful horse. His sire Tom Rolfe

was a very underrated horse and extremely well bred being a son of the great Ribot out of Pocahontas.

I don't recall how long Tom Rolfe lived but Hoist The Flag was really something special. His daughter Morning Watch was the dam of the Believe It son Rock Point who chased Easy Goer and Sunday Silence through the Preakness and later made a fine sire of hunters and show horses. The derby will probably be won by a horse that is on this list, but I think if BOT is sound he will be right there.

08 Feb 2011 3:23 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I'm doing evertything I can to come up with horses to beat Uncle Mo, especially those that I think will have 3 or more races as a 3yo. I do not want to see the 2 races as a 2yo trend for a Derby winner continue and I think it diminishes the chance of having a Triple Crown winner. However, unless I see a lot more from others in the next few weeks I'll be forced to move Uncle Mo to number one or number two. The guy can run and could regain and surpass his 2yo form quicker than I had first thought. Despite some spectacular performances by others at a mile or less Uncle Mo is still the only one with Derby talent exhibited so far at longer than a mile except for possibly Soldat in the slop at 9f. And maybe Tapizar in the Sham at 8.5f. The rest is guesswork so far. It is way too early. No one will be seeing anybody in white coats approaching for any pick or list. There are going to be 19 or 20 actually running in The Derby and about 60 candidates(or more) to choose from right now. So have fun til your Daddy takes the T-Bird away and have no fear for Underdog Is Here.

08 Feb 2011 3:40 PM
buckpasser fan

IT is early but theere are lots of good horses to look forward to seeing.

I wis they were on TV every weekend. I grew up in NY and there was racing on Tv every weekend. Now I live in Texas and they do not carry anything about horse racing Good thing I can read Bloodhorse.

08 Feb 2011 3:47 PM
Zenyatta John

So glad Hoist the Flag was mentioned. I met a old timer a few years ago named 'Wild Bill' who was the exercise rider for Hoist the Flag and he would tell me great stories about that monster. Thanks for the memories.

Regarding Tapizar - the Beyer figs are adjusting down A LOT because the surface is lightning. I like Tapizar, but the track at Santa Anita is fast, fast, fast... so I've downgraded him some.

Don't forget Mucho Macho Man who will get a lot out of the Holy Bull and returns to two turns.  

08 Feb 2011 3:52 PM

Hi Steve,

Your other post-Leave The Training To Trainers- explained why BAT doesn't appear on your latest list. I still feel he belongs, as it's early and this colt is very talented. Also noted your uh oh re-Alternation and Elite Alex following Commander's dismal performance. His race did give me pause, but I had been surprised that they ran him back so soon, especially after so tough a race. Speaks, a bit, to your most recent abovementioned article (Leave The Training...). Catch my drift? Not all trainers, perhaps none (of us), are pure altruists. Also none ever received a Ph.d. in training, and very, very, few are veterinarians, although the trainer can overrule the vet. I've witnessed too many trainer mistakes through the years to allow them carte blanche. I'm almost inclined to offer a bit more-specific examples and, separately, the spectre of selfservingness, but I'm sure my post would then not see the light.      

08 Feb 2011 4:07 PM
Karen in Texas

I'm glad to see Rogue Romance (and other McPeek horses) on the list. Maybe Elite Alex will be in the top 12 after the Southwest.

buckpasser fan---You should be able to get some horseracing on TV if you have cable. Our carrier here in north central Texas provides HRTV.

08 Feb 2011 5:23 PM

sceptre, trainers are entitled to make mistakes in  their jobs just like everyone else is. the crime should not be overlooking something, it should be not paying attention to those finer details. take a look at the system a trainer like Todd Pletcher uses and don't be too surprised if you find that attention to EVERY detail is the most important aspect of each and every employee in the shedrow, especially the grooms who earn every penny they make.I will always believe that the trainers can change a lot of things the veterinarians do by simply taking the opportunity to pay more attention to their horses as individuals a lot of soundness issues could be avoided .

08 Feb 2011 5:24 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Please correct my above post at 3:40 to read 2 races as a 3yo !!!!!  Hummina hummina hummina.

08 Feb 2011 5:27 PM
Bloodline Bob

Mucho Macho Man(115);Wine Police(110);City Cool(108);Andersonstate(103) and Behold de Buy(100).

08 Feb 2011 5:34 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The Factor had a workout at HP today !! 4f in 48.20. Nice. Looks like he'll be training at HP and running at SA. HP must be easier on his feet for some reason. Lookout!!!

08 Feb 2011 5:56 PM
The Bid

Mr. NEGATIVE..Oh, I meant Mr. Relva...Dray and Myself including Billy's Empire and Ranagulzion are leading the CHARGE and On-Board for HISTORY with OUR buddy...Uncle Mo...According to your last post, WE may be waiting 'till November OR NEVER for MO's 1st L(Place for those in The New Castrody!)For All those Nay sayers inc. Relva...Get ON BOARD because the 3rd. week in MAY will be TOO LATE!!!

08 Feb 2011 5:56 PM

Dr. D.,

I liked one of your posts about the fever and virus frenzy we all go through come Derby time.  Yes, we peruse pedigrees with such a vengence that we forget who sired who after awhile!  I know for a fact I get so involved I do forget to eat sometimes, food is secondary to digesting horse info!

But it is so true, we go about trying to pick a Derby winner like our lives depended on it. Of course, we can always dream the winnner....................

I have a funny, true story about the year Street Sense, Curlin, and Hard Spun ran and picking the Derby winner that year.  Ok, it was about 2 weeks prior to the Derby and my "beloved" Hard Spun was in it.  I loved Hard Spun that year and he was going to be my pick. I couldn't get enough race replays, internet photos of them all, pedigree info, etc.  I don't know how many times I watched Hard Spun in the Lane's End and Jeanine Edwards of ESPN interviewing Larry Jones afterwards.  Ok, it's 2 weeks prior to the Derby and I went to sleep one night and woke up a few hours after remembering I forgot to do something, did it, and went back to sleep.  I dreamt that the Derby was run in a small town in New Jersey and I was there.  There were only a handful of people there and I saw the name of the winner as clear as day in the dream on his saddlecloth and it said "Street Sense."  Then they walked Street Sense down a small street so the people could see him and I waited to say hello to him.  Little did I know that in a few months time I would in real life be "eye to eye" with Street Sense!  Well I woke up strangely, the way you do after a very vivid dream and just knew who would win the Derby and it wasn't going to be my "beloved" Hard Spun.  I told no one, except my breeder friend Rob.  Now we have a joke about dreams prior to the Derby!  Anyway, sure enough Street Sense won the Derby in real life as we all know.  I did not go to the Derby, but always go to the Belmont.  Curlin and Rags were in it that year, Street Sense skipped it but I went to Sartoga to the Travers 2 months later.  Well, Street Sense won the Travers and I was right next to him by the Winner's Circle, only a row of flowers were separating us and I looked right in his eye, at eye level.  He is awesome!  He looks every part the champion, a real looker, after all he is Zenyatta's sibling too!!  It was surreal, like deja vu, like I was meant to see him. I saw him again too, all three of them as a matter of fact, Hard Spun, Street Sense, and Curlin at the BC which was at Monmouth in NJ that year.  What a summer and fall that year was!  I guess when you compile so much info in your head and try to digest it all, it will eventually invade your dreams too and I guess that is what happened, ah, the dangers of being on "horse overload!"  But a very true story, I have not dreamed any winners since but I'll never forget it.

08 Feb 2011 5:58 PM


Considering that neither Astrology nor Santiva has made a start this year, why do you rank the former as much as five places above the latter, when in fact Santiva was clearly the better horse in the Kentucky Jockey Club stakes at Churchill Downs? Santiva appears to be thriving in preparation for his 3YO debut while trsiner Steve Asmussen is taking it slow with Astrology (very sensible strategy with an AP Indy colt).  I'm sure you have a rationale for your ranking.

08 Feb 2011 6:02 PM
El Kabong


That was an awesome Derby and 3 year old season. My most recent favorite by far. My brother and I, like all of you, spend way too much time on this, but it's fun. That year, he was as sure about Street Sense as I was about Hard Spun. What a race. The easiest trifecta in my Derby history(and my brother's), and one of the lowest paying too, and even though we had it more than once- the sting came latter in the day when I realized that Sedgefield, who I had in my superfecta, was edged out by Imawildandcrazyguy-who I didn't even recognize or handicap(I finished the Sunday before)-he got in the race late due to a defection. When I watched the replay, I kept asking who the he!! is that grey! That's when I saw that my Sedgefield-at 56 to one, the longest shot on the board, had finished 5th. It paid 29K with the 28 to 1 grey whose name I will never forget. And to think I used to like that skit on SNL reruns. Now when I see it,  I can only think back to that day in May, that blur of grey and what a party it might have been. But the wagering does not come close to replacing the value of that year of 3 year old racing. It was one of the finest seasons, all year long.

08 Feb 2011 7:45 PM

El Kabong,

Glad you liked Hard Spun too.  He would have taken that Derby wire to wire too if it had not been for the lucky, traffic-free, rail ride that Street Sense got.  That's why in the back of my mind now I keep saying Elite Alex?  Another Borel rail ride? Naw, couldn't be, could it? Street Sense, Super Saver, Elite Alex all with Borel up. Too bad you did not see ...CrazyGuy entered in the race.  They should have had Steve Martin promoting him! But yes what a 3 year old year that was.  Let's hope this crop can measure up to them.  Could be with Uncle Mo, Factor, Elite Alex, time will tell.

08 Feb 2011 8:32 PM

I'll be taking out a 2'nd. morgage and letting it all ride on early betting on Tapizar....

After he wins, I'll be selling my picks in the future, sign up now for a discount.

08 Feb 2011 8:39 PM
horse lover

This is not aobut the above but I have a question.

what is happening with WELL ARMED?

08 Feb 2011 9:19 PM

Alex'sBigFan, that is so cool. I've never dreamed a winner, but I decided in June06 I was gonna pick out the Belmont superfecta. I love picking superfectas! I worked on it all day at work for 2 days (boss never caught me LOL) and at 2:00 on second day I had my final 4: Jazil, Steppenwolfer, Bluegrass Cat, and Sunriver. I loved their names so much:) My part time college girl came in at 2:30 and said, what do you need done today? And I gave her the 4 horses and said"pick their order of finish" Yep, she picked them perfect. It will never happen again and I will never forget it. This year I like To Honor and Serve, Rogue Romance, Dialed In and Stay Thirsty. Just can't wait to see how things develop. When I was in Vegas New Years the odds were:Dialed In 35/1, Rogue Romance 40/1, Stay Thirsty 50/1, To Honor and Serve 10/1. Have no idea what they are now. Thanks as always Steve for another great article with your wonderful insight:)

08 Feb 2011 9:25 PM
John T

The Canadian-bred Queen,splatekitten returned to the races as a 3 year old with a nice win over a mile on turf at Gulfstream.His only start as a 2 year old was a win on the polytrack at Woodbine so it will be interesting to see if they plan

to give him a race on dirt.

08 Feb 2011 9:53 PM

clubhouse ride, please you should put this horse in the derby list

08 Feb 2011 10:06 PM

Steve, is Sway Away being led toward the Derby?  He's putting in some good works.  McPeek does have a nice plate this year and I don't know who's the best.  I was very impressed with Washington's Rules last race and Caspar's Touch really had some hard luck but finished with some guts and professionalism.  Sounds like Rogue Romance is putting on some meat and looking good, too.  

What is Pletcher's strategy with MO?  He seems to want Mo ready for a distance but not pushing for anything too fast at this point, just wanting a healthy horse.  But, I'm flashing back to Lucien Lauren and Secretariat when Lauren would give the big guy some "zingers" and really let him roll knowing he'd be breathing fire about 3 days, race day.  But also wanting Turcotte to turn him loose even when it wasn't race week.  Then, of course, he'd worry about too fast but are trainers doing this type of training still or was it the fact that Secretariat couldn't get enough work in or he'd destroy shed row?  

08 Feb 2011 10:38 PM

I saw Astrology school in the paddock at Santa Anita a few weeks ago, and the horse absolutely looked the part of a star.  If you're searching for a horse that physically represents what a thoroughbred should look like, he's your horse.  And to top it off, Steve Asmussen himself was the one walking Astrology during the schooling.

Asmussen's other Cali 3 year old star, Tapizar, appears to have the Bob Lewis field over the barrel.  Although there are a good group of veterans and a number of lightly raced prospects out in California, few will be challenging Tapizar this Saturday.  Comma to the Top will be going north for the El Camino Real, and the rest are staying in their barns, including Jaycito apparently.  Hopefully, Baffert at least sends out Awesome Patriot.  

Come Santa Anita Derby time, Tapizar will have at least 2 races this year under his belt, while most of the other top contenders will have just 1.

08 Feb 2011 11:54 PM

I look forward to this weekend's El Camino Real Derby, where one will be able to see this years Kentucky Derby winner, Positive Response.

This horse is about to become a topic of blogs, as he will defeat the top twelve rated Comma to the Top. Of course most will disagree that he can beat a horse of CTTT's ability, but I believe he will. The GRIII El Camino will be his toughest test yet, and he is more than capable of taking the race. He comes into the race with a bullet 5F drill on Sunday, and his trainer, Morey, is very high on his chances. With Boundary on his sire side providing speed influence via Pomeroy,  and Deputy Minister on his dam side providing stamina, I don't think we have seen this horse be fully challenged yet. In his last race he made the lead easily in mid- stretch and was really unchallenged after that point in the race. He steps up in distance this time with the classy CTTT to challenge him, and when he puts this horse down , the sky will be the limit from there.

So far we have only seen him run on synthetics, but I think we will see him really come to life the first time he runs on dirt.

If you don't have a" positive response", you don't have a winner.

08 Feb 2011 11:59 PM
El Kabong


I watched the overhead camera view of that race and literally the Red Sea had to part twice for Street Sense, who shall be referred to henceforth as-Sweet Fancy Moses- but part it did and he was the better horse for it. Let's keep our fingers crossed on this crop and don't forget to watch Soldat's progress. Right now, he's looking like very solid, classy, versatile horse.

09 Feb 2011 6:15 AM


I see The Raise A Native sire line has gained another spot and now stands at three. Like the Stock Market your dozen will eventually undergo the appropriate corrections. I still think you can make Uncle Mo & THAS jointed #1s and make room for another worthy contender. Uncle Mo has been more explosive but THAS has some equalizing factors i.e., Better pedigree for the derby distance, more energy efficient mover over ground and a better trainer.

“They may have to change this year’s sponsorship name to the Kentucky Derby Presented by UM Brands!”

Wow! Has this colt even in jest, earned that kind of status?  I am still missing something with him and I guess I will undergo some correction with time.

Uncle Mo like others will have only two derby preps. I guess the success of Street Sense, Big Brown and the luck of Super Saver have opened a flood gates to the new normal. Two races in 5 plus months for a colt that has a suspect 10F pedigree leave no margin for error. Street Sense was sire by Dubai WC winner Street Cry from the RAN sire line; one of most successful in TC history. His dam was from the most successful broodmare line in TC history so he had pedigree on his side. Big Brown although not sired by a 10F winner, was from a sire line that had produced 4 derby winners and his dam also hailed from the most successful dam line in TC history.  Although Super Saver was fortunate to win the derby, his sire Distorted Humor is from the RAN sire line and his dam is by Belmont & BCC winner A P Indy. He also had pedigree on his side. Uncle Mo has no such luxury in his pedigree and I question the wisdom of this plan of action. I guess Team Pletcher knows best.

09 Feb 2011 6:58 AM

Elite Alex: Purely from a historic angle it is unlikely that colt this colt will win the derby. His sire falls into a derby jinx category. The great grandsons of Mr. Prospector have not distinguished themselves as derby winning sires. Those that have preceded Afleet Alex to the breeding shed with similar resumes have not delivered in the derby department as yet. Quiet, Point Given and Hansel all won two legs of the TC. In fairness Hansel he stood for while in Japan. For reasons unknown, this category for Mr. Prospector has not delivered in the classics. His sons and grandsons have sired three and five derby winners respectively. If it’s any consolation Maria Mon was a great grandson of another Raise A native son, Majestic Prince and he sired two derby winners. Go figure.

Elite Alex dam was sired by Derby and BCC winner Unbridled. What are the chances of the dams of successive derby winners being sired by BCC winners? Remote at best! Derby winners are MIA as broodmare sires of derby winners. The last derby winner to be a broodmare sire of a derby winner was Count Fleet who was the dam sire of 1965 derby winner Lucky Debonair. Two derby winners have been broodmare sires of winners in the last 75 years.

This colt has a lot of historic hurdles to cross and based on the sequence of event reflected by the Derby Chart, he is not likely to be the winner of the 2011 Derby. Of course this means nothing to the colt as he wouldn’t know.

09 Feb 2011 7:33 AM
Triple Crown Line

Loved mention of John Henry. You're a great writer. Thanks.

If we go back 3, 4 generations, do you know how many prospects are from Seattle Slew line? (Thanks to CM research.) And I know it's A.P Indy who is always mentioned as sire, but I am a Slew fan-- and sentimental. And let's not forget AP Indy is out of a Secretariat mare, Weekend Surprise.

With 2 Triple Crown winners in these prospects' breeding, quite the field to watch.

Here they are:

Astrology, Brethren, Crossbow, Comma to the Top, Dialed In, Stay Thirsty, Sweet Ducky, Tapizar, To Honor and Serve.

Couple others not high on lists-- Buffum, I'm Steppin' it Up, Uncle Sam.  May be more.

And -- distaff -- Zazu and Turbulent Descent.  KY Oaks?

09 Feb 2011 8:54 AM

I like Uncle Mo, Alternation, Roque Romance, and Boys of Toscanova so far. That allowance race at Oaklawn with Elite Alex and Larry Jones' horse looked good.

09 Feb 2011 8:57 AM
Forbidden Apple

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

My list stays the same as nothing note worthy happened this past week. How can anyone be surprised that Boys @ Tosconova is off the D.D. list? Dutrow has scratched him from the Holy Bull, removed the horse from training, and has him walking daily. That does not spell out a KY Derby contender to me. He was a suck up 2nd in the B. Cup to an early bloomer named Uncle Mo. I can't wait to see Comma To The Top race again, all he does is win! Dialed In is the new sheriff in town, the racing world has a new star.

Zenyatta John,

What is it that you like about Break Up The Game and Bandbox? I thought Break Up The Game was a winner in both of his MSW tries. But he came up a little bit short and appears to be crying out for more distance. At this point he needs to step up and get some graded earnings. With Bandbox I wonder if something went wrong in the Remsen or was he just not good enough to win that race. I am eagerly waiting to see him run again.

09 Feb 2011 11:59 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  What a fantastic article- "Leave the training to the trainers." Way to go Hofmans.


  Things Change. A new era has begun.

Alex'sBigFan and El Kabong

   2007 was also my favorite Derby in recent memory. My bet was WPS on Hard Spun because his odds were higher but the finish was exactly as I expected. I loved Hard Spun and am expecting good things as a sire. He ran an amazing race. Unfortunately I only boxed the tri since I had the order of finish wired and could have bet it straight also. Easy Tri for a Derby. It would be a miracle if it was ever that easy again. I'm very happy the classy Larry Jones is back also.

09 Feb 2011 1:47 PM
Linda in Texas

Buckpasser fan, if you don't mind watching the races on your computer, i have a 17 inch laptop and the pics are great, you can sign up for HRTV.com for about $50 for 6 months and watch all the racing you want. Of course with a  cable you can port the transmission from your computer to your T.V. set and watch it that way.

Triple Crown Line, you as i look for the Seattle Slew line and it is amazing how many times he is somewhere in the bloodlines.

I am proud to know folks who will post their picks so early in the year. I tend to hold back and then go for it with a truculunce and a vengeance as to which ones i like. And think will be in the top 3.

Like Needler in Virginia, right now i don't think the name of the top contenders/winner have been mentioned yet.

Alex'sBigFan - liked your post a lot as i do all of them.

So many super prospects i just don't want to go out on a limb yet.

But i am taking in all Steve, Gunbow, Coldfacts, Dr. D and all the other experts have to offer

and 'ducking it sweetly' for now.

Hope everyone who has it is managing the ice and snow.

And how 'bout those Packers, The Lombardi Trophy is right where it should be, Coach is proud for sure. I am always for the underdog and they sure were.

Be safe everyone.

P.S. In the Chenery Award Presentation at Santa Anita, a video of Zenyatta and Pirate Queen and another horse were shown by HRTV.com in their paddock at Lane's End.

Charles Campbell must have received the brass tag sent to him for Pirate Queen because she was wearing one too. Thanks Charles.

Lane's End could not be more accommodating if they served lunch  at the entrance to the farm!

09 Feb 2011 2:19 PM

My sons soccer team was called the Hard Spuns and Darley sent the team Hard Spuns hats!   Brethren does not need to win the Davis the prize is the Derby!

09 Feb 2011 2:27 PM


Among the Da Boyz

Flashing Early Speed at 2 turns we have:

1 Mi.:

Uncle Mo: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher ; 1 Mi. 1:34.51 ; 104  Beyer;

Dialed In: (Kty.); Tr. N. Zito; winner Holly Bull S. 1 Mi. 1:35.19 ;

1 1/16:

Tapizar: (Kty.); Tr. S. Asmussen;  1 1/16  1:40.38;   97 Beyer ; (track record: 1:39.18 )

Master Dunker: gr. (Fla.); Tr. D. Fawkes;  $39K’10 OBS ;  winner  1 1/16  1:41.30 ;

Rogue Romance: (Kty.); Tr. K. McPeek; Mdn. winner 1 1/16 1:41.52;

Uncle Mo: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher ;  BC Juv. winner 1 1/6  1:42.78 ; 108  Beyer;  

Positive Response: (Fla.); Tr. S. Asmussen; winner 1 1/16 Cal. Derby; 1:44.56 ;

Santiva: (Kty.); Tr. K. McPeek to T. Pletcher; to E. Kennerly; winner Kty. Joc. Club S.1 1/16 1:45.31;

1 1/8:

Ricketyracketyruss: (Fla.); Tr.  J. Sadler; Feb. 14th foal; winner 1 1/8 1:49.53; SA;

To Honor and Serve: (Kty.); Tr.; W. Mott;  winner 1 1/8  1:50.03;

Shackleford: (Kty.); Tr.  D. Romans; $275K ’09 Keenlander ; winner 1  1/8 Alw. 1:50.04 ; GP;

 ... they say a race can come from any bred line... now who can sustain the speed over 1  1/4 ?

09 Feb 2011 2:43 PM

other early speedsters to watch out for for 2 turn efforts:

Under a Mile:

The Factor: (Kty.); Tr. B. O’Reilly;  winner 6 fur. 1:06.98 ; SA track reord;

Fort Hughes: (Kty.); Tr. K. McLaughlin; winner 6 fur. 1:08.33 ; GP 104 Beyer;

Brethren: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; winner 6 fur. 1:08.80; half brother to Super Saver;

Uncle Mo: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher ; 6 for. 1:09.21;  102  Beyer;

Premier Pegasus: (Kty.); Tr. M.K. Cho; 6 fur. 1:09.62 ; winner Gr. III 7 fur. 1:22.78;

 Cal Nation: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher;  Apr. 1st foal; winner 7 fur. 1:22.02;  

 Arch Traveler: (Kty.); Tr.  J. Jerkens; Feb. 27th foal;  $260K ’09 Keenlander; winner Msw. 7 fur. 1:22.29; GP;  

OFF the Turf:

Adirondack Summer: (N.Y.); Tr. C.Clement; 1 Mi. (T) 1:34.44 ;

Comma to the Top: (Fla.); Tr. P. Miller; Mi. (T) 1:34.77 ;

Pluck: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; BC Juv. 1 Mi. (T) winner 1:35.98 ; come from behind closer style;

Soldat: (Kty.); Tr. K. McLaughlin: off the (T); $180K ’09 Keenlander; Mdn. winner $100K Gr. III 1 1/16 (T) 1:41.37;

09 Feb 2011 2:44 PM

P.S.  Opionion:  

 I do like "Uncle Mo" a bit at this stage, don't get me wrong, but if I remember, wasn't "Street Sense" THE ONLY BC Juv. winner to go on to actually win the Kentucky Derby???  Thusly, he is bucking T R A D I T I O N !!!!

 No matter what i think of (the stupid misguided) training route.-- after all , he's not some $6.5 million investment without insurance coverageh,--he is just a normal

$220K  ’09 Keenlander !!!  Train him and run him!  "Big Brown" had foot issues, "Dunkirk: the high price tag! those were legimate excuses. This 'hide "Uncle Mo" from the public' statedgy (although thankfully we may get higher odds on others) i think really hurts this industry. HE ISN'T THAT speacial, he's just a horse who has shown contender speed!!! He'e not the faster nor is he the most super bred animal on the planet. And frankly, i hope his low odds and lack of on the track new style tactical training method against sound competition works against him!  He may or may not be included among my top winner picks at the Derbye, but I personally like the rest of the betters like to see WHAT I AM BETTING on with some PERFORMANCE creditails as a 3 YEAR OLD besides 1 & 2 preps. Yeah, I get that he has made the qualify $$ , so what?! If you want the public's support for your horse, run the horse to gain a following. Look at the other 100 names discussed !  they are gainng followers, "Uncle Mo" is gaining anyone's greater respect than Draynay's, UNTIL he losses one! LOL  

09 Feb 2011 3:16 PM
Zenyatta John

Mr Apple -

Break Up The Game just needs two turns. A son of Bernardini out of mare Pennant Champion by Private Account is begging for two turns. I have won with siblings who all run best around two turns.

Shug never cranks his horses up for their debuts, so his was extraordinary. In the last race he lost was a one turn mile , and if you watch the gallop out - he was just getting started, and was very strong. I've stated he is Shug's best chance since Easy Goer. That's how much I like this colt.

Bandbox is in the hands of a crafty trainer and is a son of Tapit, who is ultra-hot siring winners now. He had the look of a horse that will run all day.

09 Feb 2011 4:36 PM

Zarvona: just remember, though, there were a 112 Derby's before the Breeders Cup Juvenile was even a twinkle in someone's eye, ;-) He's not bucking that much tradition...♥

09 Feb 2011 5:52 PM

Linda in Texas,

Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed the post.  I am ecstatic that Pirate Queen got her tag and was wearing it!!!  Isn't it great? Thanks to YOU it happened!  You noticed she did not have a tag and ordered one for her!  A very unselfish act and we all should think of a thoroughbred the way you did.  And isn't it great that Zenyatta put Pirate Queen on the map, she was in broodmare oblivion before. Her owners must be thrilled.  Thanks for letting us know the tag arrived.


Interesting about the Afleet and Mr. Prospector line not siring a Derby winner, true.  The bluest of bluebloods can't win a Derby just based on that alone, it does take that amount of luck, post position, and the one who has the heart or wherewithall to get bumped and get himself out of the traffic jam.  I think Alex has something unique, more than the Afleet line, I think eventually he will surpass it and produce a Derby or TC Winner.  He's got thick bone density and that amazing athleticism and turn of foot.  Time will tell.  But yeah, I guess historically it does not point to Elite Alex, but look who's up, Borel. This is going to be interesting.


I forgot to comment on the great article "Leave Training To The Trainers."  Wow, I have no expertise in this at all but find it very interesting.  I guess it's the age where owners are running corporations and conglomerates and have no time to be hands on with their trainers and therefore the overseer racing manager comes into play.  Raises a good question of how much voice an owner should have as far as training goes and there's a fine line between the racing manager and trainer.  We fans are empowered to be owners someday and the more info we read the better.  I think I would be inclined to let the trainer train, but be aware of things and a little hands on.  Sometimes two heads are better than one and someone might spot something the other misses but I can see where it is a sticky situation.  Like the one guy wrote it's not good to give the trainer carte blance either.  A very interesting read Steve and thanks for educating us on this subject.

09 Feb 2011 6:00 PM

Guess who else was in the Winner's Circle that day at Saratoga when Street Sense won the Travers????????  Our Steve Haskin!!! I took a photo of him being interviewed!  I could see very good because I am 5'9" tall and wear 4" high heels so that is how I was eye level with Street Sense by the Winner's Circle!!! And that day was about 95 degrees and the humidity in Saratoga was so thick you could cut it with a knife.  What a day!!!  Then I drove 3 hours back home but it was worth it.  Hard Spun won the King's Bishop that day as well in Saratoga.  I think of that year as the year I followed Hard Spun, Curlin, and Street Sense all over New York and New Jersey!

09 Feb 2011 6:17 PM
Steve Haskin

Me BEING interviewd? I think you mean me interviewing someone :).

Thanks, Dr. D. I appreciate it.

09 Feb 2011 6:53 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   You sure are a smart cookie. I really mean that. You come up with some very insightful comments.


   No, we appreciate it. Honorable honesty. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth done in a very tasteful, classy, insightful manner. In my opinion this is your most brilliant year. I believe in giving credit where credit is due especially in this age of lack of class. Your class draws class such as Zenyatta John, Alex'sBigFan and Linda in Texas just to name a few that are very classy and have exceptional comments that blog on your blogs. There are many others that I didn't name. It would be  a long list. It's a nice place to come hang out. Kind of like gazing at Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling without the neck ache.

09 Feb 2011 7:15 PM

Remember the female racehorse who recently gave birth at a racetrack and everyone was in shock, maybe last year sometime?  All of a sudden they saw a foal at her side in her barn at the track! Talk about owners and trainers being on the same page, where were they on that one, not to mention a vet????? The horse was in racing and pregnant and no one knew it. I forget the filly's name but the article was in Bloodhorse and I just thought about it while reading Steve's article on "Leave The Training To Trainers."  But apparently in this case no one was hands on.

09 Feb 2011 7:18 PM


I remember Jan Rushton holding the microphone up to you so she had to be interviewing the great Steve Haskin!

09 Feb 2011 7:24 PM
Forbidden Apple

Zenyatta John,

I agree with your analysis of Break Up The Game, but so far he has 2 7f races, not even one at a mile. And Pennant Champion is by Mr. Prospector with her dam being Personal Ensign. The female side of his pedigree is incredible and it looks like Bernardini is throwing high quality runners. I'm hoping they send him to the Tampa Bay Derby or the Fountain of Youth next. In his last race I bet him to win and thought for sure that he was going to win.

Any word on where Bandbox will make his first start of the year?

09 Feb 2011 7:38 PM
In aint easy being good!

Come on steve my last post was funny its from billy madison!!! put it up!

09 Feb 2011 7:49 PM

I like Break up the Band, but I don't think Shug will push him to make the TC.

09 Feb 2011 8:44 PM

Oh boy, if any of Steve's Derby Dozen above win it, we could see headlines like this come Derby Day:

"Uncle Mows Down Field" - Uncle Mo

"Zito's Connected In Derby"- Dialed In

"It's All In The Stars" - Astrology

"Romancing the Jones" - Rogue Romance (Smarty's son)

"Parched Pletcher Quenched" - Stay Thirsty

"Holy Papito, It's Jaycito" - Jaycito

"Soldat Soldiers Through to Derby Victory" - Soldat

Yep, I'm on "horse overload" alright!

09 Feb 2011 9:07 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

At this time I'm going to give an early sneak preview to be viewed only by readers of this blog of my Derby Dozen for next week unless there are significant developments in the mean time. The Factor is being moved back up to number one after reading comments from the Great Bob Baffert concerning The Factor, "He was zipping a mile and a half or two miles a day." ZIPPING. Getting for ready for the third leg of the Triple Crown to be run in 2:26.

1. The Factor

2. Uncle Mo

3. Elite Alex

4. Dialed In

5. Soldat

6. Jaycito

7. Tapizar

8. Smash

9. Break Up The Game

10. Runflatout

11. Sway Away

12. Monzon

13. Rogue Romance

    There are some significant races this weekend so the list could change. And I had to get real with Unkie Mowster. Until proven otherwise he has to be in the top three. And keep in mind that this is a Baker's Dozen so you get an extra donut of your flavor of choice for free if you read the entire 13.

09 Feb 2011 9:08 PM

Steve - heard today that Toby's Corner may have a soundness issue. Have you heard anything?

09 Feb 2011 9:42 PM


You seem to be pretty high on Positive Response. He has a nice record of (6 Starts: 4-0-1, $139,681) but does not appear to have the pedigree for a serious derby challenge. I guess if Giacomo could win the Derby with only a maiden victory to his credit any horse can. I agree he must perform creditably in the El Camino Real Derby if he is to be considered a legitimate derby contender. I do not like his chances in spite of his race record.

The colt I am anxious to see perform is Thirtyfirststreet. I am not sure he will start but if he does I think he will be the one to pose the most problem for CTTT. He is a big strong looking colt that has the pedigree to go with his looks. His pedigree is more for Turf and he should have no problem with GG’s synthetic track. Both his sire and dam sire were G1 winners on turf. His dam sire Sky Classic is son of the great Nijinsky who was sire of Derby winner Ferdinand. The dam sire of the 2010 Belmont winner Drosselmeyer is Mascow Ballet also a son of Nijinsky. There is an enormous amount of stamina in this colt’s dam line. The big question is will there be sufficient speed in the race to put pressure on CTTT? My concerns may be unnecessary as in this colt close on the SA Speedway to win at a distance I considered way too short for him. He followed fraction of 22, 44, 1:08 plus, getting up in the last strides to win in 1:22.20.His inbreeding to two influential siblings is also a plus.

Take the Thirtyfirststreet and avoid placing Comma To The Top and you could get a Positive Response.

10 Feb 2011 12:03 AM


Are you surprised that Baffert wouldn't test Awesome Patriot against Tapizar this weekend in the RBL Stakes at SA?  It really seems like Awesome Patriot is training like he is ready to run.

I really liked how Cal Nation debuted last week.  I would think that if he bounces back quickly the likely progression may be the Hutcheson and if he wins it would be hard not to prep him for a derby run.  Maybe they will prep him for the Preakness instead?

Rush Now acquitted himself nicely at Laurel today.  Granted it was in short claiming company, but he handled that field professionally.  Would have been a real nice $40,000 claim!

10 Feb 2011 12:16 AM


“Tapizar, appears to have the Bob Lewis field over the barrel”

I have not seen the field but I cannot but wonder if there are not better colts in CA than everybody’s beating stick Clubhouse Ride. Remember Clubhouse Ride came within 2L of Tapizar at the top stretch and failed to maintain his challenge in spite of the fact that Tapizer was tiring in the last sixteenth. Using the challenge of Clubhouse Ride as a measure, I think he can be beaten. I hope the connections of Thirtyfirststreet enter their colt as I think he will have the measure of Tapizar. Thirtyfirststreet is in my Derby top five.


This colt is a big one pace specimen. The good ones from A P Indy either close or show pace and sprint away from the opposition. Astrology is some where in between. He was defeated by a colt that got a 78 Beyer. The sort of improvement that he has to show will not occur by derby time. I think I have rightfully classified him as pretender. He is just too slow and one pace to be serious derby contender

10 Feb 2011 12:17 AM

The derby has a lot of jinks. A lot of these jinks have been highlighted. AP. Indy and the Strom Cat and their sons zero derbies. Grade one winning mares literally non-existent as derby winning broodmare. January foals with maturity advantage literally non-existent as derby winners. There are just too many to mention. One of the jinks associated with the derby is the lack of victories by high price youngsters. Fusaichi Pegasus remains the most expensive derby winner. ($4,000,000) I thought it would be interesting to compare the price of the last 10 derby winners with those youngsters that made the Derby Dozen cut:-

2010 Super Saver (Homebred)

2009 Mine That Bird ($9,500)

2008 Big Brown ($190,000)

2007 Street Sense (Homebred)

2006 Barbaro (Homebred)

2005 Giacomo (Homebred)

2004 Smarty Jones (Homebred)

2003 Funny Cide ($22,000)

2002 War Emblem ($20,000)

2001 Monarchos ($170,000)

Derby Dozen:

Jaycito ($110,000)

Brethren (Homebred)

Uncle Mo ($220,000)

To Honor and Serve ($575,000)

Tapiza (Homebred)

Dialed In ($475,000)

Stay Thirsty ($500,000)

Astrology (Homebred)

Comma To The Top ($22,000)

Soldat ($180,000)

Santivo ($???)

Boys At Tosconova ($35,000)

The above listed prices represent the final auction prices. Fusaichi Pegasus won the 2000 Derby. Since his victory the highest price youngster to win is Big Brown. The 10YRS preceding Fusaichi Pegasus’ victory some really ridiculous priced youngster won the derby i.e., Real Quite $17,000, Silver Charm $16,500; Gulch $40,000. All three colts won two legs of the TC. If this trend does not change Uncle Mo, To Honor and Serve, Dialed In and Stay Thirsty may fall victims to one of the many derby jinks.

10 Feb 2011 12:29 AM
Matthew W

Tapizar just gonna keep on kicking away from them, his stock is rising, would like to see him take back but he's a free running horse with a natural kick--just like Uncle Mo--Comma To The Top adds speed--and he's one heck of a horse!--talk about a Derby with middle moves--look for stamina/closers this year--there's speed in here--and middle-movers aplenty!

10 Feb 2011 2:08 AM
Fran Loszynski

Early prediction 2/10/11

Kentucky Derby

Elite Alex

Alexandra Rylee or Sway Away if she doesn't run

Dialed In


10 Feb 2011 8:37 AM

Dr Drunkinbum: Thanks, that was very nice of you to say.

AlexBigFan...I can't resist..."female racehorse gives birth at track"...actually it would have been a MUCH bigger headline had it been "male racehorse"...LOL ;-)

10 Feb 2011 10:04 AM

Forbidden Apple;

I'm not sure where Bandbox will run next, but he has been working out at Laurel Park in Maryland. His most recent work was a five furlong breeze in 1:02 3/5 on February 4th.


10 Feb 2011 11:24 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   That is very interesting about the prices and homebreds. I didn't even think about that aspect. Thanks.

10 Feb 2011 12:49 PM
Billy's Empire

Coldfacts, go watch the Sham again. Tiring? really. Is that why he galloped out 15 legnths ahead of the field, he was getting tired? Eased maybe, b/c he dusted the field and Gomez did not need to use him. He wins for fun.

10 Feb 2011 1:44 PM
In aint easy being good!

Coldfacts interesting point about the how much the horses were purchased for what do you mean by homebred??

Fran love the horses box those up and get paid I would add Tapizar to the mix as well!

10 Feb 2011 2:00 PM

Notes FYI

The last time there were fillies/ mares who were horses of the year back to back, there was a Triple Crown winner the next year:

Twilight Tear '44

Busher '45

Assault '46

(then Citation in '48)


10 Feb 2011 2:41 PM
Linda in Texas

Thanks Dr. Drunkinbum for the nice comment. I don't know about classy,

i just write like i feel in my heart and try to follow it once in a while. And most of all it is just plain enlightening to read all the Haskinites and their comments,knowledge and  love of this special sport and of course the horses, the one's who brung us together here with Steve's blessings and guidance !

Going to be lots of kibitzing going on til May and:

Coldfacts thank you for the list you just posted. That is really amazing when you see the prices next to their names. Going to print that out and tuck it into my daily notebook for further perusal

from now to May and beyond all the way to the hallowed and madre of all race tracks Saratoga !

I watched Smarty Jones in 2004 and was glad when he won. Just liked him and his owners.

Then the following year when i was rooting for Giacomo and he won, that is when i started back into keeping daily tabs on horse racing or one of the reasons for sure. Had been away for a few years and just liked his spunk, picked him out of the crowd and cheered him on straight to the winner's circle.

Talk about tickled. I was. I had the bug again. Had no idea who owned him until last year when it was mentioned. He was so dusty from the track that i didn't even realize he was a gray. And i always like to pull for the long shots. Just like i did for Mine that Bird.

So the moral of the list is there is so much more than mere dollars spent when it comes to a winner. So many things have to come together at the perfect time. Depending on the number of horses, it is like throwing dice as to who will win.

That in a nutshell is why i wait til darn near gate loading time. Just a feeling i get. And i have been right each time except once in the last 6 years.

If you zero in on one or two horses, you don't allow all of the others to come to the equation. And that very early on can be detrimental and disheartening.

I watched Uncle Mo run his first race and was impressed to say the least and most of all i like Mike Repole's thinking on taking care of in need of forever homes racers. Watched UM win again but 2 races don't make a KD winner automatically. But then again - - -

on any given race day, one never knows.

As i send this off, i see Billy's Empire would not agree with me. :(

But Dr. D. and Coldfacts do so i am sending this anyway. :)

10 Feb 2011 2:51 PM
Linda in Texas

Thanks Dr. Drunkinbum for the nice comment. I don't know about classy,

i just write like i feel in my heart and try to follow it once in a while. And most of all it is just plain enlightening to read all the Haskinites and their comments,knowledge and  love of this special sport and of course the horses, the one's who brung us together here with Steve's blessings and guidance !

Going to be lots of kibitzing going on til May and:

Coldfacts thank you for the list you just posted. That is really amazing when you see the prices next to their names. Going to print that out and tuck it into my daily notebook for further perusal

from now to May and beyond all the way to the hallowed and madre of all race tracks Saratoga !

I watched Smarty Jones in 2004 and was glad when he won. Just liked him and his owners.

Then the following year when i was rooting for Giacomo and he won, that is when i started back into keeping daily tabs on horse racing or one of the reasons for sure. Had been away for a few years and just liked his spunk, picked him out of the crowd and cheered him on straight to the winner's circle.

Talk about tickled. I was. I had the bug again. Had no idea who owned him until last year when it was mentioned. He was so dusty from the track that i didn't even realize he was a gray. And i always like to pull for the long shots. Just like i did for Mine that Bird.

So the moral of the list is there is so much more than mere dollars spent when it comes to a winner. So many things have to come together at the perfect time. Depending on the number of horses, it is like throwing dice as to who will win.

That in a nutshell is why i wait til darn near gate loading time. Just a feeling i get. And i have been right each time except once in the last 6 years.

If you zero in on one or two horses, you don't allow all of the others to come to the equation. And that very early on can be detrimental and disheartening.

I watched Uncle Mo run his first race and was impressed to say the least and most of all i like Mike Repole's thinking on taking care of in need of forever homes racers. Watched UM win again but 2 races don't make a KD winner automatically. But then again - - -

on any given race day, one never knows.

As i send this off, i see Billy's Empire would not agree with me. :(

But Dr. D. and Coldfacts do so i am sending this anyway. :)

if this shows up twice, sorry, it shows i did not submit it.

10 Feb 2011 2:59 PM

Forbidden Apple, Jersey Boy, Slew, Footlick, Coldfacts & others interested in the chances of AP Indy & Bernardini's sons in the Derby,

I have one other point of observation.  It has been twenty seven (27)years since Swale won the Derby (1984). He was the last Bold Ruler line offspring to cross the line first on the first Saturday in May. Tell me, where have the sons of the other branches of Bold Ruler disappeared to.  Over an eleven (11)years period (1973-1984) there were seven (7) Kentucky Derby winners descending from Bold Ruler (one son: Secretariat, four grandsons:two by Bold Bidder,namely Spectacular Bid & Cannonade, one by What A Pleasure, namely Foolish Pleasure, and one by Irish Castle, namely Bold Forbes.  The others are BR's son Secretariat, great grandson Seattle Slew and his son Swale.  The point of these cold facts is that owners and breeders have forsaken the Derby-winner-producing influences of the other branches of Bold Ruler, packed all of their "Bold Ruler eggs" into one "AP Indy/Seattle Slew basket" and the chicken have been coming home to roost (pardon the pun).

Dr Drunkinbum has been administering only sweets, therefore its up to me to serve up the medicine folks (LOL).  It may be too late to cure a bad situation since those sires only appear periodically on the broodmare side of a few Derby aspirants.

10 Feb 2011 3:50 PM
Carlos in Cali


It's "not a fact" that Tapizar was tiring the last 1/16th,after spurting away from the field Gomez was merely letting him finish in hand.Check out his splits,final time & how he galloped-out. Tapizar has turned into a Beast since his maiden victory,now that's a fact!

Thirtyfirststreet will finish 31lengths behind him,he's never seen this type of animal! Next!

10 Feb 2011 4:22 PM


Yes, I went back to research it and it was a 2 yr. old filly named Tiger Eyed in Louisiana a year or more ago.  She did give birth in her stall at a track.  They all found the foal at her side one morning and all were in shock.  Neither trainer nor owners knew she was even in foal.  I think she went back into training and where she is now I have no idea.  And she breezed like a couple days prior to giving birth!!!! Can you believe it?  The poor thing was training, pregnant, gave birth with no veterinary care, probably had the foal wisked away from her quickly so she could resume training, and God only knows where she is now.  She deserves to go to Lane's End and be in Zenyatta's court after all the trauma Tiger Eyed has been through.  I think they figured out the foal was sired by Hot Fuss and where he saw Tiger Eyed still remains a mystery.  Can't find any info on where the foal is now or if Tiger Eyed is still racing in Louisiana?  I guess an example of "better keep an eye on your trainer and horse."

The poor thing deserved better than what she got and I hope she is ok today with much better care.

10 Feb 2011 5:06 PM
Steve Haskin

MZ, I love it. That's a fun stat. I sent it to Mike Repole. If I use it in my column I will attribute it to you indirectly, as a poster on my blog, as I dont know your name.

10 Feb 2011 5:09 PM


      Will you add Thirtyfirststreet to your list after Sat.     Santa Anita 6th race.   He will be getting more ground and a jockey change that should improve his odds of winning.    Lets not forget the jockey fude that will be going on the entire race.    This is the best race of the weekend.

10 Feb 2011 7:24 PM

Tapizar ran the Sham in 1:40!  and most likely with chase Comma to the Top right out of town this Saturday.  Nice to see a prep this early at 1 1/8th and no doubt Tapizar will blaze away again.

Indian Charlie folded like a pup tent the last 1/8th in the Derby.  Jaycito's daddy blew right past him!  And check out Real Quiet's prep record through February...not very impressive.  

Indian Charlie was undefeated and the Kentucky Derby favorite.  That's all we heard "Indian Charlie, Indian Charlie."

10 Feb 2011 8:13 PM

Don't let Comma to the Top's trip to the Bay Area fool you.  Any horse that wins the El Camino Real, Santa Anita Derby, and Preakness gets a 5 million dollar bonus with and additional $500,000 going to the trainer.  Who said California had a 26 billion dollar deficit?

10 Feb 2011 8:19 PM

Love the Uncle Mo bandwagon still roaring on.  Winning 3 races at 2 does not a derby winner make.  But the bandwagon crowd will keep his odds absurdly low and the better horses will have longer odds.

FWIW, Dialed In has now won 2 and been every  bit as impressive in both and looks like he wants to go much further.

While Toby's Corner was extremely green in the Whitney, he's beaten some nice horses without too much effort and ran far longer than they did during the race.  He belongs on the list.  

I'm over the "Superstar" 2 yr olds who fade into the crowd as their classmates grow up.  

I agree that "Boys" is probably off the trail and there likely is something wrong there.  

Looking forward to seeing Tapizar fly this weekend.  But until someone gets to the wire in front of Dialed In, he's my choice.

10 Feb 2011 8:33 PM
Matthew W

Yeah, I, too, did not see Tapizar tiring in the Sham--although he should have! He sprinted early, then he met the challenge of Clubhouse Ride and looked like a beast late!....Galloped out like a champ---think they're gonna have to take him back sooner or later, but if I own that horse I'm stoked--also, if I owned Comma To The Top I'd also be stoked--maybe he doesn't get the 10 furlongs--doesn't mean he's not a fine animal....plenty of 1 1/16 and 1 1/8 races on tap for three year olds--and he likes winning--he also has a spurt and he has class!

10 Feb 2011 9:04 PM


Do you have any information on what the Ramsey's will do next with Queen'splatekitten?


10 Feb 2011 11:54 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  "Borel Does It Again !!! "Calvin Borel wins the Derby for the fourth time in five years in his most amazing feat yet after Elite Alex gets knocked sideways twice and somehow manages to stay up, then weaves his way through the field and draws away. Borel didn't even need his customary rail ride this time, spending the majority of the race on the outside. Borel said he'd like to guarantee a Triple Crown but, "I'm done with guarantees, but let me put it this way. This is one running, tough son of a gun and I think we're going to get it. Yeah baby !!!!!"

11 Feb 2011 12:14 AM

Carlos in Cali,

I understand your excitement about Tapizar but you need to be  bit more measured. He did not defeat Clubhouse Ride by 31Land the commentator did specify he was under pressure. If Trevor Denman observed that he was tiring then that good enough for me. Below are splits to the Sham and CA breeder Cup:

SHAM 22.66, 45.25, 1:08.83, 1:33.74, 1:40.38

CA B CUP 22.38, 44.39, 1:09.61, 1:22.38

Thirtyfirststreet is no sprinter and he had to be used early to get to the leaders who were set a very fast pace. The Lewis will be run at a much slower pace giving him time to relax and build up. Tapizar will be beaten if this colt shows up. If Tapizar could only beat the moderate to average Clubhouse Ride he is not that good.

In aint easy being good!

“What do you mean by homebred?”

Hombres’ refer to horses that are raced by their breeders/owner. I probably should have used the term owners/breeder. With hundreds of millions of dollars worth of yearlings and 2YOs sold in the US each year, it’s hard to imagine that 5 of the last 10 derby winners never passed through a sale ring. I guess one has a better chance of winning the derby if route taken is buying a mare in foal at a mixed sale.

11 Feb 2011 6:12 AM


Below is the my previously posted top 12:_

To Honor And Serve



Indian winter

Pleasant Run


Sovereign Default

Riveting Reason

Casper’s Touch

Fort Hughes

Supreme Ruler

Dialed In

Since its posting, Sovereign Default, Casper’s Touch and Dialed have made starts. Dialed In was an impressive winner of the Holly Bull; Sovereign Default went down grudgingly to defeat and Casper’s Touch finished a troubled third. Three on my list will go to the post on Saturday. Thirtyfirststreet and Riveting Reason will run in the Robert Lewis and Monzon in the Sam Davis. I am extremely high on Thirtyfirststreet because of his three P’s (Pedigree, Performance and Physique) I think the 9F of the Bob Lewis will suite him immensely. His pedigree is more attuned to turf but I am hoping he is multifaceted. This race will certainly tell if I should continue my love affair suffers yet another broken heart. I am hoping the short respite Riveting Reason received has made him stronger as he does have a lot of ability. The removal of the blinkers will be a blessing as this colt has good tactical speed but is not sustaining his gallop in deep stretch. I fail to see how blinkers will helps in this department. He should be at a price that suite my waging policy.  Monzon’s effortless in victory in the Count Fleet while lugging in suggest this colt has an abundance of stamina. A strong pace is expected in the Sam Davis and I will be looking for him to Uncle Mo them down in deep stretch if he is good enough.

NB: My list contains only three horses from Steve’s Derby Dozen. The exclusion of Uncle Mo and Tapizar can only confirm that I am SOS.

11 Feb 2011 6:14 AM


To Honor and Serve:

“It’s time to start taking back off the pace”

I disagree that this colt needs to be backed off the pace. I have not seen anything to suggest that he is not ratable. His sire Bernardini had extremely tactical speed for his size. After his Preakness victory he was never out of the first two positions at the start each race. In fact, in a number of races he was the leader after 1F  with the BCC being the only exception. THAS has a lot of the characteristics of his sire i.e., excellent conformation, moves effortlessly over ground and lost his first start. His tactical speed is all due to his energy efficient movement and that is natural and should not be altered. Thoroughbreds have spirits and sometime attempt to change what they do naturally results in breaking their spirit. A broken spirit equates to a broken horse.

In the Belmont Funny Cide wanted to go straight to the lead, but Mr. Jones had other Ideas and severely restrained him. In so doing broke the gelding’s spirit. I am of the opinion that when a thoroughbred indicates wants to go let it roll as that adrenalin surge irrespective how brief could be the difference between victory and defeat.

Rouge Romance:

“You can pick any one of three Mc Peek colts to put here”

I think the above number should be four.  There was no mention of Pleasant Run. He stumbled at the off and spotted he field a lot of real estate. He then closed from another zip code for the place position. Ordinary horses do not produce those types of performances and certainly not on a track favoring leaders. The sustained amount of galloping required to close from that far back suggest one thing. Stamina Galore! He has more derby pedigree than all three mentioned in your comments. The fact that both his sire Pleasant Tap and two times derby winning broodmare sire Dixieland Band were recently deceased could make him a haunting force over a distance of ground. He also appears to be the only colt from the Ribot sire line that has shown some ability.


“His two races suggest he’s a top-class colt, but he still has to prove it”

I agree with the above. However, why has he made the cut and Wicked Thunder has not? His race record reads (9 Starts: 4 - 5 - 0, $112,740) He is a son of Derby and Belmont winner Thunder Gulch and his dam is a daughter of two times derby winning broodmare sire Dixieland Band. I love the fact that his dam was unraced as her dam was sire by Seattle Slew. It makes her an unknown quantity. I know you cannot include all but a colt with two starts over one with 9 with including 5 victories and 4 placing with a proven derby pedigree is puzzling.

11 Feb 2011 6:15 AM

Carlos in Cali.

           I ran the race videos of Tapizar and Thirtyfirststreet over and over side by side next to each other and on top of each other and all Thirtyfirststreet has to do is stay second or third right behind Tapizar and make the switch over then pull up side by side with Tapizar and out kick him to the wire with the jockey change.   He will not use his late kick coming from way back but up close to the leaders and then you should see the late kick start after the switch over in the stretch run, starting right before the top,and before the turn starts.

11 Feb 2011 7:07 AM

Carlos in Cali,

           I would go as far as to say that Patrick Valenzuela sweeps the 5th,6th,7th pick three at Santa Anita on Sat.   He certainly has the horses under him to do that in front of his home crowd.   Thirtfirststreet by 3 lengths over Tapizar.  

11 Feb 2011 7:16 AM


You wrote:

"Over an eleven (11)years period (1973-1984) there were seven (7) Kentucky Derby winners descending from Bold Ruler...."

You wrote the above then concluded

"that owners and breeders have forsaken the Derby-winner-producing influences of the other branches of Bold Ruler, packed all of their "Bold Ruler eggs" into one "AP Indy/Seattle Slew basket".

I had said that I will not respond to any comments about AP Indy, but this is too ridiculous to ignore. Do realize that AP Indy was born in 1989, five years after the period you cited, and that his first offspring did not become a 3yo until 1997? What about the 13 years 1984-1997? Your entry is all nonsense.

I repeat for the last time, I judge horses by what they have accomplished, not by what they did not accomplish. The Kentucky Derby is your yardstick not mine.

11 Feb 2011 8:42 AM

It's one thing to lose yourself in the history of the Kentucky Derby.  But history is past tense.  It's faulty to engender conclusions based merely on history.  History is remade with each new Derby win, from a 50-1 shot like Mine that Bird, back to a favored Secretariat who broke all records through his Triple Crown run when no one believed he had the stamina to go the distance.  It's also one thing to post your own list of favorites, but it's an entirely different thing to knock down every one else's choices without ever stating your own.  

As far as leaning on Indy, he's most royally bred, and still producing stakes winners at 21. His sons are producing stakes winners.  That's not too shabby in my book, especially considering Indy is related to almost half the favorites contending to vie in the Derby.  You say, "It can't be done because it's never happened before." I say, "Never say never!"

What I see today are dynasties and most of the contenders are related to Mr P. and/or Slew/Sec.

And you continue to ignore the fact the Indy was dam sire to Super Saver, and Grand sire to Ice Box.  1-2 in the Derby.

Do I have a list?  Yes, but there are over 40 colts and fillies on it, and I need to see much more before I pare it down.  But my highest hopes, for now, are on Bernardini progeny, because I think a new dynasty has begun.

11 Feb 2011 9:03 AM
Billy's Empire

Linda in Texas, I have no idea what you are refering to above when you say I would not agree with you.

Coldfacts, since Tapizar only beat Clubhouse Ride by 5, he must not be that good? " If Tapizar could only beat the moderate to average Clubhouse Ride he is not that good." back to back 105 EQUIBASE speed numbers, yeah, he is terrible. Some times you say things that make sense, other times you astonish me with your outlandish remarks. You can have all the facts you want, but you keep picking the wrong horses.

11 Feb 2011 10:35 AM
In aint easy being good!

Coldfacts thanks for the clearup on the term homebred. Slew the dynasty is starting but you have the wrong horse the dynasty begins and ends with Aleet Alex his horses have heart and the desire to win. Afleet Express had it in the Travers and Elite Alex will have it in the derby! I agree with whoever posted about Uncle Mo ....everyone getting on the bandwagon and I hope MO makes the gate at 9-5 because he will be moonwalking the last eight backwards when he runs out of steem. I see a Curlin Breeders Cup type move out of Mo in the derby.

11 Feb 2011 10:54 AM
Fran Loszynski

Dr. D.

See you in the winner's circle as Elite Alex picks up the Triple Crown Trophy. AWESOME!!

To quote the announcer for his Dad:

"How much the better is he!!"

to It Ain't easy being good:

Yes Tapizar looks good too for a boxed, good lineage. I think it's going to be an All-Star Derby and neck in neck races. Can't wait for the Southwest Stakes, getting excited! I don't think there's going to be any "Mine That Bird" surprises at the finish. Although Calvin will probably be there!!!Go Elite Alex or Alexandra Rylee.

11 Feb 2011 11:08 AM

Slew- Your list sounds like mine. I find something promissing about too many young horses.

I like to read what everybody is thinking though... not that it helps me make up my mind. It only adds one more horse or two to my list. Hope the fog clears before May...

11 Feb 2011 11:51 AM


The Ramsey's do not own Queensplatekitten.

11 Feb 2011 12:15 PM
Linda in Texas



11 Feb 2011 1:03 PM

Steve: no problem.  It is written "in the stars".  We just don't know yet what Star it will be.

11 Feb 2011 2:08 PM


Your dozen is a rather bravely compiled list, that excludes "Mo" and Tapizar, yet includes class deficient colts like Indian Winter, Pleasant Run, Soviet Default and Casper's Touch.  The class gap is too wide and the time too short for the above IMO. Tell me, with THS as your #1, do you really, really believe that Bernardini will buck history and become a first crop Derby-winner-producing sire?

Jersey Boy,

You made a fair observation regarding the 13 years gap between Swale and AP Indy's birth but that is no basis on which to dismiss my argument as nonsense. The fact is, that after 13 years AP Indy/Seattle Slew came to be treated as the saviour of the Bold Ruler line and has failed to deliver in the Derby in particular and in the Triple crown series in general (barring Bernardini and Rags To Riches).  How's that?

You'd better believe that the Derby and triple Crown races constitute a veritable yardstick of a truly world class stallion.  Ignoring it doesn't improve the situation although that may make you feel better about your favourite stallion.


You are putting too much burden on Bernardini to become the new saviour of the AP/Slew/Bold Ruler line.

11 Feb 2011 2:25 PM


        I went over these horses for the Robert Lewis and three horses on the wire first should be Thirtyfirststreet/Wegner/Quail Hill and Tapizar out of the picture.   The trainer of Thirtyfirststreet knows he has a good horse in a great spot and even a greater spot if two horses bail out for another race.    Bejarano will be paying close attention to only one other horse and that is Thirtyfirststreet and Valenzuela because he knows this horse has a great kick and wanted more ground after his last race.  The horse was crying for more track and on Sat. he will get it.

      Comma To The Top and Anthonys Cross might be out because they are cross entered.   Now if 6 horses only run that will set up perfectly for Thirtyfirststreet to run his style of race and sit close right behind the front runners until Valenzuela lets him out.

11 Feb 2011 2:47 PM
Karen in Texas

Slew---I, too, am in the amen circle with you and Linda in Texas. All five of the paragraphs in your latest post were right on and appropriate. Yes, history is remade every single day, both in horseracing and in life itself. Thanks.

11 Feb 2011 2:49 PM

You all are the best :)  This is the most fun reading anywhere on the planet!  I admire all brave enough to try and pare down to a list of a dozen in February, I sure can't!  Love what Repole does for the sport and I can't wish him anything but the best.  That said, I'm anxious to see if Tapizar continues forward, he looks pretty talented to me so far.

Mention of Thiryfirststreet made me wonder what ever happened to Eightyfiveinafifty, anyone know?

11 Feb 2011 3:58 PM


Thanks for the update on Queen'splatekitten.  I missed the sale and the new owner/trainer Mill House and Todd Pletcher. Todd's got another good one in his barn.  

Has anyone heard anything about the next step.  I like this horse.

11 Feb 2011 4:30 PM
In aint easy being good!

Eightyfiveinafifity probably ran away since he is so wild! haha he was fast as lightning. What ever happened to the pamelmousse is her retired?? Bring him out of retirment if so like Benny the Bull!!

Can I ask any of you why the heck would you bring a horse out of retirement do you think that horse will ever regain peak form???

Elite Alex is sick get on the empty bandwagon while there still time!

11 Feb 2011 5:55 PM
Matthew W

Thirtyfirststreet is not gonna challenge Tapizar tom---his time in his Dec 26 race was by far the slowest time run that day! Don;t be fooled! Tapizar gonna take some beating tom, and I don't see it--gonna be a single for me....in Santa Maria like St Trinnians and Washington Bridge...back East, like Soaring Empire, gonna box with Caixa Electronica....glancing at the card tom at 'Anita, these are horses I like: R2 Elle Dehere, gonna box with Ancient Holiday and play to win...R4 Mo Bettah gonna play win/show think Talamo's gonna send/maybe slow it down and bye bye birdie!....R5 like The Whammer/Bullfighter box and playing Thw Whammer W/S cuz of the bigger odds....R6 Tapizar is a stone cold single!....R7 Burj Dubai somewhat of a legend in Northwest, "the untrainable horse" or something--well he was 17-1 in his first time turfing, you'll get 6-1 tom and I'm biting, W/S....R8 St Trinnians/Wash Bridge/ It Tiz box--It Tis looked good in latest and she may get first run on the closers, who are the heavy faves....R9 a great race! I'm boxing Scarlet Starlet/Wave Of Applause/Mrs Rosa--Scarlet Starlet may get the dream trip behind a pace battle in that race, he's a must include at 6-1....R10 Talomo is strong with Tale Of The Bat---but there just may be a (RARE!) Jack FREAKIN Van Berg sighting in the winners circle with Warren's Warehouse (by the way Steve, "when" is that one gonna be miss-pronounced!)

11 Feb 2011 6:46 PM

I should add Thirtyfirststeet has not run more than 6f while Ten Devils has had 2 8f races, but on grass.  The Robert B Lewis should be very interesting.  I still think this is Tapizar's race to win or lose, but we will discover who will hold up more than a mile.

I loved Afleet Alex, but his progeny, like that of Rock Hard Ten, while promising...keep coming up a little short.  Bernardini on the other hand seems to be delivering G1 winners.  (and Vindication's Beamer will run at Tampa Bay).

11 Feb 2011 6:48 PM

Reprized Halo & Thirtyfirststreet should do well enough to break into Steve's Derby Dozen after sparkling this weekend in the Sam Davis and Robert Lewis respectively.  While I don't expect Tapizar to be beaten in the RL, he should be somewhat extended by Thirtyfirststreet to win.  In the El Camino Real derby my eyes are on Anthony's Cross to run huge, but Comma To The Top should still prevail.

11 Feb 2011 6:49 PM


I'm expecting that I'll have to revise/ rearrange the bottom half of my Derby dozen after Reprized Halo and Thirtyfirststreet show up this weekend.  Its hardly likely that my top five will need changing.  They are presently: 1)Uncle Mo 2)Dialed-In 3)Tapizar 4)Santiva 5)Sweet Ducky.  

11 Feb 2011 6:57 PM
Linda in Texas

Oldie - Eightyfiveinafifty evidently had pneumonia and Contessa the trainer said he hoped to race him in 2011. That is all i can find.

I liked Eightyfiveinafifty and posted that a couple of times.

And i so agree with your statement that "this is the most fun reading anywhere on the planet!"

It always reminds me of the tried and true saying, "you are never too old to learn something new."

And i learn something every time i

read all the posts.

Be safe.

11 Feb 2011 6:58 PM

I hope MZ's post comes true.  We are in a period of two back-to-back female HOY winners, Rachel then Zenyatta.  So we are right smack in the middle of a time zone ripe for a TC winner to happen, and Coldfacts stats show that a lower purchase/auction priced or homebred colt may most likely take the Derby.  Whew, interesting.  

And I agree with Slew we have a dynasty starting with Bernardini and Alex, it may take a few yeas for them to pass their unique genes on to the right foal but they will eventually transcend their sires I think.

On a lighter note, did anyone see Uncle Mo's "peppermint video" on his facebook page?  Too cute.  One thing for sure if this is the year of a TC Winner, I wish all of us Hakinites could be at the coronation and "boogie down the shedrow" behind the winner!  How cool would that be?

11 Feb 2011 7:13 PM

Linda in Texas,

I agree, the best bloggers and reading on the planet thanks to Steve and Bloodhorse!  I learn from these posts too.  I hope Pirate Queen knows there is such a person as Linda in Texas.  Hope you get to see her and Zenyatta one day.

11 Feb 2011 7:26 PM

In ain't easy- they brought Precisionist out of rtirement when he proved to be infertile and he was competitive on gr 1 level still.  Not as good as before but right there at the finish usually

11 Feb 2011 8:13 PM

Who is JJ's Lucky Train?  I was going over the prep race finishes so far and looking for "consistency" and he finished twice, in a 4 week time span, in the money in 2nd place in 2 Aqueduct prep races.  He is reminding me of Jackson Bend, always trying and in the money in 2nd place.

11 Feb 2011 9:33 PM

Just out of curiosity I wonder what they named the foal of Tiger Eyed and Hot Fuss?  One of Steve's BC articles comes to mind, "What's All The Fuss!!!!!"  Sorry, having a delayed reaction on that one!  Tally ho, carry on.

11 Feb 2011 10:54 PM
Bloodline Bob


12 Feb 2011 12:49 AM


When I posted my dozen I did specify it was in no particular order. Indian Winter and Pleasant Run dam line rules the Triple Crown.  The dams of both colts were sire by two time derby winning broodmare sire Dixieland Band. He was also dam sire the ill-fated Eights Bells. When one brood mare sire has that kind of record and you see exceptional performance from colt from his mares, the warning should be heeded. Do you remember Belmont winner Jazil? He was 4th in the Barbaro Derby. Pleasant Run remind of jazil. He has a much better derby pedigree than Uncle Mo. When Giacomo entered the starting gates with and Afleet Alex and Bellamy Road there was a significant class difference. We all know how that turned out. A lot of colts have class but it does not allow them to run 10F in 2:02 plus. Pleasant Run will have no problems staying 10F Uncle MO will.  Indian Winter came back a much improved horse after the Del Mar Futurity. He does not have the speed of most Indian Charlie colts and appears to be a router. Any router with a Dixieland Band mare will be in my 12. He closed fluently in his only 3YO appearance and I was impressed.

Sovereign Default and Casper's Touch performed extremely well. It’s ironic they made my list as they are January foals. I do not like January foal. Sovereign Default is bred along the Raise A Native /Northern Dancer cross. Watch him when he stretches out and you will dispel your class gap theory. His dam’s pedigree reflects inbreeding to two of Ribot’s most influential siblings (Graustark/His Majesty) his second dam was sired by Pleasant Tap. This colt has shown enough to suggest he is special. Casper's Touch ran an amazing 3rd in the Chesham Stakes contested at Ascot. How many US colts do you think can place in a 7F race run up a hill race at Ascot? This colt has class you just do not know how to evaluate it. He was sired by Belmont winner Touch Gold and his was sire by a son of two times derby winning sire Halo. That is all I need to know for him to make my list. The silence of your key board is imminent.

12 Feb 2011 8:19 AM


       I will try to knock Brethren out or off your list with a dominating score by Litigate and good Second from Washington's Rule today in the Sam F Davis.

       Litigate out of Closing Arguement and background pedigree should be loving the extra ground with a good outside closing kick ride with no trouble should be right there at the end.

12 Feb 2011 9:44 AM

Billy's Empire,

“Sometimes you say things that make sense, other times you astonish me with your outlandish remarks.”

You are certainly kinder than most. Most think I am a complete idiot you think I am half. Clubhouse Ride was beaten in the Cashcall Futurity, Delta Downs Jackpot S and Jack Goodman S by Comma To The Top, Gourmet Dinner and Premier Pegasus. I all those races he got into contention and was one pace in the in the last furlong. Where are the horses that defeated CR on Steve’s list? Comma To The Top #10, Gourmet Dinner and Premier Pegasus not included. Both Gourmet Dinner and Premier Pegasus have better racing records than Tapizar and they could not make Steve’s list. It’s not difficult to defeat Clubhouse Ride and it is certainly not an achievement that should propel any colt to stardom. I expect Riveting Reason to soften up Tapizar on the front end and for Thirtyfirststreet to do the rest. I the track is speed favoring Riveting Reason could steal it.

12 Feb 2011 10:04 AM


I am going to take shot with Riveting Reason as I think he has an outstanding chance to win the Bob Lewis. He is the toughest colt in the race.

After leading the BCJ for 6F as a maiden he finished 8th beaten 16 1/4L. He returned to the races 19 days later to break his maiden at 8.5F. He was then entered 23 days later in the 8.5F Cash Call. He finished 5th beaten 6 1/2L. One would thing that with that dull effort in what was his 4th G1 races in five months he would be given a well earned vacation. Well that was not to be as 11 days later he contested an 8F Allowance  and finished 2nd  beaten 1/2L in 1:35.

Riveting Reason contested his last two races covering 16.5F in 11 days and was beaten a combined 6L. He has contested 8 races for his career covering 95F. His recent 44 days rest is the longest of his career. If he was able to run 1:35 for 8F 11 days after chasing Cammo To The Top in the 8.5F Cash Call, I cannot imagine what will he do after 44 days rest. He is bound to come back a much improved colt. His last race was his second on dirt and was by far his best. This might my last chance to get a big pay day on this colt consequently I am going to go for it. You are welcome to share the risk.

12 Feb 2011 11:34 AM


J J's Lucky Train is a son of Silver Train out of the Thunder Gulch mare Delta Sensation. He has indeed been running very well lately, finishing second to Monzon in the Count Fleet Stakes and more recently Toby's Corner in the Whirlaway. He is a very game colt who has proven himself on both fast and muddy tracks. He should be a serious contender in the Gotham Stakes next month. However, he has only earned $2,000 in graded earnings thus far, so he will have to perform well in his next couple of starts to have any chance at making the Kentucky Derby.


12 Feb 2011 12:55 PM
Matthew W

Tapizar, when breaking his maiden, went a second faster than a graded stakes race on the same card...when he won the Sham, same story, he ran a second faster than the San Fernando--THAT is why he's being looked at like a contender, he's a very nice colt! Right now I do not care who he is beating, he's doing it like a champ and that's (right now) all I can go on--it's EARLY!

12 Feb 2011 1:26 PM


"The silence of your key board is imminent"  I have to admit that was a great shot (LOL). A really strong argument or great performance on the track (whic I didn't see coming) does silence my keyboard.  You're certainly on top of your game right now.  i wonder if you'll stay the trip until May (LOL) ...when "Mo" really kicks into gear.  

12 Feb 2011 2:07 PM
Matthew W

Somebody just got tapped out of the Derby Dozen!

12 Feb 2011 6:15 PM
Paula Higgins

Interesting comments from above.

Linda from Tx what a sweetheart you are to get Pirate Queen a name tag! A really nice thing to do, and yes, she is now famous! What a hoot.

Well, Tapizar is not going to give Uncle Mo any competition in the Triple Crown. It wasn't just a fast early pace. If it was, he wouldn't have been out of the money. More than that. Maybe they should try shorter distances?

Bretheren, on the other hand, is looking interesting. He goes up on my list.

Boys of Tosconova may never be back. I just have a feeling that whatever is wrong, is permanent.

Steve, it would be fun to be able to submit questions to you for an interview or have on person interview you:)

12 Feb 2011 6:48 PM

Nice win for Team Brethren.   Yippee!!!!

12 Feb 2011 6:57 PM


What a difference an afternoon makes!  Tapizar and CTTT were very disappointing!  Tapizar looked anything but professional today and the effort he exerted fighting the jockey on the run into the first turn and the backstretch left him nothing for the final kick.

Brethren on the other hand sure did not disappoint!  He was very professional, ultra smooth, and although the time doesn't look on the surface like anything to brag about, he did exactly what good horses do, WIN!  Strength of schedule in this race meant nothing to me as he looked every bit as good as his older brother!

Uncle Mo, your stable buddy is closing the gap!

12 Feb 2011 7:43 PM

Nice win for Team Brethren.   Yippee!!!! The Derbu shuffle is on.

12 Feb 2011 7:47 PM


Congratulations! You were absolutely right regarding Riveting Reason in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. He didn't win, but he certainly outran his odds! Good job!


I think that your next Derby Dozen is going to look quite a bit different. . . I know mine will! I was very disappointed in both Tapizar and Comma to the Top. On the other hand, Brethren ran huge in the Sam F. Davis Stakes and looks like a serious Triple Crown contender.

By the way, while watching the simulcast of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes this afternoon I thought for a moment that I was watching one of the most remarkable performance in the history of Thoroughbred racing. Apparently an error occurred while they were posting the fractions, for the video showed that Tapizar had run his first quarter mile in :19.11. He continued to lead through a half-mile in :42 flat. Later in the race, Anthony's Cross passed the eighth pole in 1:32.02, faster than Dr. Fager's world record for a dirt mile, and finished the race in 1:44 and change, a full second faster than Secretariat's world record for nine furlongs on dirt.

I was stunned. . . that is, until I realized that the tote board was showing much more reasonable fractions. I quickly realized that the simulcast fractions were simply errors. For a moment though, I thought that I was watching the second comings of Dr. Fager and Secretariat running in the same race!


12 Feb 2011 8:02 PM

wow, some really interesting results today.  

I wouldn't throw Tapizar or Comma off the contenders list because of one bad race, but neither lived up to his hype on this particular day.  Both could come back and run lights out in one of the meaningful (money-wise) races in the next month & 1/2, so we'll have to wait and see if today was defining.

I thought Brethren looked really classy in the Davis.  Might be better than bro.  

The Risen Star next Sat. is shaping up to be an important prep.  Names from the watch-list who look probable are Rogue Romance, Santiva, Machen, Mucho Macho Man, Justin Phillips and Decisive Moment, and Wilkinson is possible.  More juggling of Derby Dozen names will likely ensue. The speculation and revisions keep this season so exciting!!!

Linda in Tx - have been meaning to say what a loving gesture it was to order that tag for PQ.  I've seen in your writing that you're a natural Empath, a rare and special gift.  I'm sure PQ is feeling very perky with her new spangle. So kind of you!

12 Feb 2011 11:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I saw those splits on the screen also and was quite confused since it sure didn't look like they were running nearly that fast.(Has anyone run that fast?) Tapizar looked like a champ pre-race and I'm sure he thought he was just going to go out there and kick their butts. They forgot to tell him that it was 9f. Going to be interesting to see what they do with him now and if Gomez keeps the mount, although Gomez has bigger fish to fry.(Still has other talented options.) I'm not saying it was his fault at all, but I'd make a change simply because of what happened and the horse may lose confidence in him. I'm probably one of the few that still isn't convinced that Brethren is one of the top Derby horses. Beamer is still green. I liked his race, and love his ped and trainer. Silver Medallion was a HTW but as " a very talented turf horse." The top three in the Lewis all have a shot at progressing. The Derby Dozen just got tougher. I lost two today- Monzon and Tapizar. I lost all faith in Monzon, and some faith in Tapizar but I still believe he is talented. Needs work. Was too sharp for that race for sure. Never could relax. May have needed a blowout the day before. Can you post your Derby Dozen this week. I'm curious.

12 Feb 2011 11:43 PM

I like Comma to the Top as a horse, but he never was a Derby horse.  Just a nice consistent horse who will win alot if the distance is right.  Who knows about Tapizar.  He just never settled.  Could easily be a throw out race.  I need to see Brethren beat somebody before I know how good he really is.  He does win impressively though.

13 Feb 2011 12:20 AM

Comments posted in 1st Derby Dozen blog:

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

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. 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.

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)

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.

Comments posted in 2nd Derby Dozen blog:

I have not seen the Lewis field but I cannot but wonder if there are not better colts in CA than everybody’s beating stick Clubhouse Ride. Remember Clubhouse Ride came within 2L of Tapizar at the top stretch and failed to maintain his challenge in spite of the fact that Tapizer was tiring in the last sixteenth.

If Tapizar could only beat the moderate to average Clubhouse Ride by 5L he is not that good.

It’s not difficult to defeat Clubhouse Ride and it is certainly not an achievement that should propel any colt to stardom.

13 Feb 2011 1:57 AM

A bad atart for Thirtyfirststreet and a terrible ride.

13 Feb 2011 7:10 AM

Brethren may have looked outstanding, but the fractions were a bit slow..1:38 mile... but so were the other races at TB.  Tapizar was uncontrollable.  He still holds promise, but the trainer really has his work cut out for him.  Riveting Reason looked the most promising, but he can be inconsistent. Anthony's Cross really dug in well to maintain his lead. The RBL showed the best times.  I found the El Camino to be terribly slow, and unimpressive.  

13 Feb 2011 9:59 AM

Just to keep this in perspective, it is Feb 13th not the last prep before the Derby.  Tapizar can certainly rebound from this and has plenty of time to do this.  Why take him off of a Derby list because of a race in February.  Let's see what he does in March and April before making a judgement.

13 Feb 2011 11:25 AM

I won't throw out CTT on 1 race, I mean it's his 3 year old debut after 10 starts as a 2 year old...he's run 11 times in how many (few) months? Won a Grade 1's already, plus other graded race and stakes...

It was obvious coming around far turn...he took it really wide, for a horse like him to not want to take the corner, he didn't look like himself the whole race... JMO

13 Feb 2011 12:32 PM

I would of projected a better ride from the jockey that rode Sunday Silence but seeing that Thirtyfirststreet did stumble badly and almost went down I have to not count this race and see if Thirtyfirststreet can get one more shot at a grade one stakes race with the same amount of ground or a litte longer to punch his ticket.     I do not think that was the game plan of Thirtyfirststreets trainer to have him come out last so when he did it was a case of just watch and see what happens. ( It was a case of having to much ground to make up the entire race and never had a chance to settle in on the rail )    I would send that horse to the Lou. Derby and see if that jockey can give him a rail scimming ride in the 2 or 3 spot and then pop out to show us his late kick after the switch over.    

13 Feb 2011 1:23 PM

Footlick, I think the

Davis was a case of a superior horse making a 'good' field look like dogs.  Slow to start from the far outside, Brethren came home geared down.  He has a lovely, smooth stride and the distance/first-time 2 turns were non-issues for him.  IMVHO, he passed this test with an ease and classiness that moves him into the top 5.  Flawless ride by RD, too.  

13 Feb 2011 1:34 PM
Linda in Texas

Sherpa and Paula Higgins, thanks, if you hear of the name of the mare in the paddock with Z and PQ, please post it. She is going to need a tag also.

Brethren ran nicely, but i will have to see more competition.

Beamer, i am not giving up on.

Early races enable all trainer's plenty of time to correct issues

before May.

Fun watching the races yesterday, especially when the ones not touted to win, did.

Be safe. And to all the guys on here, don't forget tomorrow is Valentines Day and same goes to their spouses and significant others!

13 Feb 2011 1:34 PM
Karen in Texas

It'll be interesting to see how Steve A. responds to Tapizar's performance yesterday. He never settled and seemed less than focused on the race to me--maybe looking at something off the track. Assuming he's not injured, maybe blinkers would help.

Not sure what to make of Beamer in the Sam Davis, but Monzon doesn't seem to be a Derby horse at this point.  

13 Feb 2011 1:42 PM

Dr. D;

I agree about Monzon. I was very high on him prior to the Sam F. Davis, but his poor performance disappointed me greatly. It also make me wonder just how good J J's Lucky Train is.

Tapizar is going to have to learn to rate -- I can't see him winning the Kentucky Derby running the way he does. He obviously has talent, and I really like him, but there's no way he will succeed at longer distances if he absolutely insists on having the lead. However, I was impressed with how hard he fought in the homestretch. Even after being passed by Anthony's Cross he really tried to reclaim the lead. I believe that he really wanted to win the race.

Here is my Kentucky Derby Top Twenty:

1 Dialed In

2 To Honor and Serve

3 Uncle Mo

4 Brethren

5 Jaycito

6 Elite Alex

7 Santiva

8 Soldat

9 Clubhouse Ride

10 Machen

11 Rogue Romance

12 Anthony's Cross

13 Stay Thirsty

14 Casper's Touch

15 Silver Medallion

16 Turbulent Descent

17 Riveting Reason

18 Mucho Macho Man

19 Shackleford

20 Tapizar

It's a tough list to compile! There are ten or fifteen other horses that I really like, but I can't include everyone!

I am a bit worried about Elite Alex. He has not worked out since January 30th. I can't see him making the Southwest Stakes with only a little more than a week to get ready. Hopefully he is fine.


13 Feb 2011 1:53 PM
Matthew W

Bet on Talamo five times yesterday--not a sniff---had I bet him every race I wouldda been a big winner! Played three races at Los Al and got all my losses back on Defiant in 7th race at 10-1, just a little reminder that in this game things can change fast--(I'm talkin about starting the day with $47 and finishing with $48, I may be broke but I'm still in this game!)like I wonder what the "Phantom Plunger" was thinking, when Tapizar was loading into the gates...was it his two blow out wins in superb times/or was it his other three races, when he looked anything but a 1-5 stakes horse! At any rate, when they sprung them, and he had to look at the outside horse cross over to the lead, Tappy said "no-no"--and he whisked GoGo to the lead---you could just see Rosario, on Anthony's Cross, just relaxing and waiting--Tapizar looked beaten as soon as Gomez couldn't reign him in, which was about the fourth stride...I thought he would dominate the scene around here, now it's wide open, perhaps Rosario could get his head back, I mean, Gomez had him tight right outta the gate, that is one tough horse to ride/I think he wins by five if he could relax, perhaps you just let him go out like King Glorious or The Diver, some horses will not rate....I would look, seriously, to a jock who could let him go and sit chilly, trying not to fight him, let him do what he wants to do, talking to him with your hands and hoping for the best--THAT is how you ride that kind of horse, I have seen many stone cold front runners run their best when they run FAST early--like they WANT to--they do not always win but when they do, wow! Certainly not the bridge jumper's kind of play--a horse who would be a 5% show better's dream would be a Blind Luck type, who by the way many of my friends are picking against today--all in all it's been a wonderfull weekend at The GREATEST Race Place--unbelievable weather--unbelievable riders out here, right now: Joel Rosario is the best rider, maybe the best I have seen, I compare him to Pincay, he gathers his horse without missing a beat--he doesn't lose horse/he gains horse throughout the race--so much he does well and now he's getting better and better on the lead, which I thought was something he needed to work on...Rosario, Bajarano AND Talamo (don't count him out, he is as good a front running jock as Mr Day/Mr Shoe), are three who will be at the top for decades to come, and Rosario is the best jockey in the world....

13 Feb 2011 2:37 PM
Matthew W

Was impressed with Asmussen's Silver Medallion at Golden Gate, also with the third place horse, who will need earnings/will contend in other preps at a price--that race, over 1 1/8 Tapeta, was won by a horse who looks like he'll get the 10th furlong, there are so many this year with that question mark....

13 Feb 2011 2:50 PM
Karen in Texas

I have been worried about Elite Alex as well, but then I assumed that the weather conditions in Arkansas were keeping horses off the track for any reason. The ground was apparently frozen until the last couple of days. Oaklawn has missed so many days of racing since the meet began!

13 Feb 2011 7:46 PM

sherpa- you may be right but I need to see him run against something.  I'm not sure how strong of a "good" I would give that field, imo.  Not saying he isn't classy, just saying I need to be shown.

13 Feb 2011 7:56 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I was highly impressed with Tapizar in the walking ring with his champion's demeanor, and even more impressed with how hard he tried to keep up at a point that he was dead tired. He convinced me more than ever that he is a champion but I'd me tempted to take him off of The Trail and point for shorter races down the line culminating with the BC. This is not your normal lousy performance and done type horse I don't believe. Thanks for the list. With Oaklawns's weather problems I'm not worried about Elite Alex. If he's not ready then they might scratch and wait for the next one or run him anyway of he's close to ready. The problem is that he's such a trier that you don't want to run him when he is less than really ready. Too risky for a possible star. It remains to be seen just how talented he is but I sure like him. And Borel. Yep, narrowing the list is tough. There are quite a few others I like also. Another month will help. Maybe.

1. The Factor

2. Uncle Mo

3. Elite Alex

4. Dialed In

5. Soldat

6. Jaycito

7. Beamer

8. Smash

9. Break Up The Game

10. Runflatout

11. Sway Away

12. Rogue Romance

13. Silver Medallion

14. Anthony's Cross

15. Quail Hill

16. Riveting Reason

13 Feb 2011 8:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Matthew W.

  I agree that Rosario is the best right now. Gomez is really good too, especially with a relaxed horse.

13 Feb 2011 8:16 PM
Bloodline Bob

On 2-8-11 I mentioned 10 sire's that I was focusing on. There is currently 11 of the 364 Triple Crown nominees that are from those 10 sires. Those horses names are as follows: Birdway(STREET CRY),Classic Legacy(MACHO UNO),Crying Out Loud(STREET CRY),Dance City(CITY ZIP),Fort Larned(E DUBAI),Isn't He Perfect(PLEASANTLY PERFECT),Mucho Macho Man(MACHO UNO),Perfect Coconut(PLEASANTLY PERFECT),Poseidon's Warrior(SPEIGHTSTOWN),Private Prize(PURE PRIZE),Red Maserati(SONGANDAPRAYER). These are by no means my Ky.Derby picks as of now. Just food for minor thoughts.

13 Feb 2011 9:37 PM

Keelerman - thank you for clarifying those times they were posting on my tv screen in the RLLewis - I thought that was amazing and not really possible, but there it was on tv - lol!  Yeah, I am pretty clueless, but at least now I know their displayed times were not right - whew!  Like Linda said every time I read this blog I am learning more in my Thoroughbred education.  And I think you all for your comments that teach me!  I loved the races yesterday and thought there were some big surprises when the favorites, the hyped up horses didn't perform as expected.  I did think Brethren sure looked like it was a very easy win for him and isn't that something you would like to see?  

13 Feb 2011 9:49 PM

I don't envy you Steve, having to pare down to 12, favorites who have either not yet run or who have thrown in the occasional clunker.  I have to think, at Churchill it's Borel, and at GG it's Russell Baze.  It's not safe to bet against them.  I think Beamer holds much promise, and he's just practicing.  As a very young May colt, I don't know if he'll be ready for the Derby, but I think he may eventually be a real stand out.  CTTT is off my list, but Tapizar is staying.  His run looked like a bad imitation of Presious Passion. (maybe he just had a bad hair day; hope it doesn't become a habit). There are also quite a few promising fillies running who have much smoother action than many of the colts and some fast times.  They stay on my list until I'm certain they'll take on the Oaks.  The most efficient strides I have seen to date have come from To Honor and Serve and Dancinginherdreams.  A bit less than 3 months to the Derby, and I am as confused as ever, but starting to narrow down my list.  Riveting Reason looked strong, but he has been inconsistent.  I'm not certain about his promise, but he looks like a colt to watch closely.

14 Feb 2011 9:40 AM

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