February 14, 2011 - Presented by Pauls Mill

 1

Uncle Mo Todd Pletcher

Indian Charlie—Playa Maya, by Arch

Pletcher got a bit more than he expected when the Derby favorite breezed a half in :47 2/5 in his third work back. Pletcher was looking for :48 and change, but what’s a second here or there when you’re dealing with a gifted colt? The Tampa Bay Derby is his likely target, but with Brethren’s obvious love of Tampa, who knows?

 2

To Honor and Serve Bill Mott

Bernardini—Pilfer, by Deputy Minister

His 1:00 4/5 five-furlong work last week was exceptional for the deep Payson Park track. Although he’ll have to debut going a mile and an eighth off a layoff, he has plenty of foundation and will be sharp, judging from that work.

 3

Dialed In Nick Zito

Mineshaft —Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat

Moves up into the third spot vacated by the self-destructing Tapizar, who shouldn’t be totally dismissed quite yet. This colt bounced out of the Holy Bull in good shape, breezing a half in :48 4/5 in his first work back.

 4

Stay Thirsty Todd Petcher

Bernardini—Marozia, by Storm Bird

Uncle Mo’s half-mile work got all the press, but, as usual, no one said anything about this guy’s identical work in :47 2/5. Giving him a slight nod over stablemate Brethren only because he’s faced far better competition. Still believe he could be Pletcher’s silent weapon.

5

Brethren Todd Pletcher

Distorted Humor—Supercharger, by A.P. Indy

Remained undefeated with dominating score in the Sam F. Davis. His performance was visually impressive, but he beat a pair of 30-1 shots and the runner-up is a former $16,000 claimer. He also had a dream trip, tracking a 53-1 shot, and none of the contenders made an impact. He’s gaining maturity with every start, and this was by far his most professional effort. No doubt he’s an outstanding colt, but next race will tell more about him.

 6

Jaycito Bob Baffert

Victory Gallop—Night Edition, by Ascot Knight

Baffert wasn’t able to get an allowance race to go and now is forced to sprint him first time out in the San Vicente – same path he took with Silver Charm. He’s razor-sharp – 5f in :59 2/5, 7f in 1:25 1/5, and 5f in :59 1/5. Baffrert is always eligible to change his mind, and he'll have to decide whether he wants him tackling The Factor going seven furlongs. Even a good second or third would be a big first step, considering his wacky performance in his only dirt start.

 7

Astrology Steve Asmussen

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

There is no arguing that his speed figures last year were slow and that he simply might not be fast enough to compete with the leading contenders. But the word is he had issues last year that have been resolved. The positive is that he won and placed in major stakes despite those issues and big improvement is expected. He’s had two half-mile breezes.

8

Soldat Kiaran McLaughlin

War Front—Le Relais, by Coronado’s Quest

Breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 in preparation for the Fountain of Youth. If he runs on a fast dirt track like he has on grass and in slop he has to move up to the Top 5. His pedigree is an enigma, but he has class and ability. And he has shown excellent tactical speed.

9

Rogue Romance Kenny McPeek

Smarty Jones—Lovington, by Afleet

He is another who will move way up if he wins or runs big in his next start, which will be the Risen Star. His wide move in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, in which he finished third, indicates he should appreciate that long Fair Grounds stretch. McPeek also has Casper’s Touch in the barn, and he should have a say in the Fountain of Youth.

10

Santiva Eddie Kenneally

Giant’s Causeway—Slide, by Smarten

He’s had several excellent works at Palm Meadows, including five-furlong breezes in 1:00 2/5 and 1:00 3/5. Kenneally has had his share of fast horses, so he knows how to get them sharp. He is another who needs to get faster.

 11

Tapizar Steve Asmussen

Tapit—Winning Call, by Deputy Minister

Boy was that ugly. A leading Derby contender is not supposed to self destruct like that, especially at 1-5, and we have no idea what was going on in his head. He was a goner by the time he got to the paddock. He actually did fairly well to still be right there at the eighth pole. Didn’t like the slow final fractions, so this race has major question marks. He’s too good a horse to drop completely, at least for now. But they’ve got to figure out what went wrong…and then correct it.

12

Mucho Macho Man Kathy Ritvo

Macho Uno—Ponche de Leona, by Ponche

Decided to put him back on despite his fourth in the Holy Bull. He was way too sharp for that race and was stuck between horses. He needs to settle better and run like he did when second to To Honor and Serve in the Remsen. If his five-furlong breeze in 1:04 1/5 doesn’t help slow him down early nothing will.

12

Toby’s Corner Graham Motion

Bellamy Road —Brandon’s Ride, by Mister Frisky

Can’t separate the bottom two. Watched all three of his wins and was impressed with everything about this colt. He breaks sharply, settles off the pace, and then consistently launches a big run with a smooth efficient stride. He handles any kind of surface and just has a look of class about him. This last spot was tough to fill, with several others bunched together. Very impressed with Bowman’s Causeway this past weekend.

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.

193 Comments

Leave a Comment:

LizJ

Just curious as to why Soldat isn't higher on your list

14 Feb 2011 3:44 PM
Bloodline Bob

On 2-8-11@5:34p.m. I mentioned 5 horses that I was considering and 1 of them is entered 2-19-11@F.G. in the Risen Star Stakes--MUCHO MACHO MAN. He is part of the exacta in that race.

14 Feb 2011 3:50 PM
Bloodline Bob

Steve, I noticed you put Mucho Macho Man on your Derby Dozen. Well now I know I'm wheeling him into the last race for the late daily double.

14 Feb 2011 3:54 PM
Giddyup

What is the deal with JPs Thunder? He has a 120 on the experimental plus $490k in graded earnings yet you would think he was retired with how little attention he is getting.

14 Feb 2011 4:00 PM
Trebloc

Steve,  I was lucky enough to witness Brethren's win in person and he won with such ease.  Very smart ride to coast home for the win.  The speed figure does not reflect the race.  I would like to see Brethren run two

more preps with them being at Oaklawn.    

Can someone in the know please tell Mike Watchermaker that the goal is to win the Derby not run your best race in the Sam Davis.   Even his top ten list is a joke.      

14 Feb 2011 4:03 PM
Melissa

Happy Valentines Day Steve.

I'm still sticking with Rogue Romance.

Hugs,

Melissa

14 Feb 2011 4:09 PM
Zenyatta John

Soldat is low on list since he's only won on grass and a sloppy surface. He's yet to be tested on a fast track - hence a lower ranking.

I don't think that much of Astrology or Santiva. Brethren did impress me in the Sam Davis.

I knew that race Tapizar ran was too good to be true. That was the Opening day at SA and track records fell big time. It was a dirt freeway.

My top 5 is -

1. To Honor and Serve

2. Rogue Romance

3. Dialed In

4. Uncle Mo

5. Break up the Game.

Runflatout and Cal Nation both just broke their maidens after being 'rumor' horses for 6 months.

If Curlin can't win the Derby without a 2 yr old start, one of those two would have to be very special.

I'm looking forward to seeing Elite Alex , Jaycito , and Bandbox run soon.

14 Feb 2011 4:10 PM
kerry

the 2 neil howard colts should be on that list

14 Feb 2011 4:10 PM
kevinm

I saw brethen at tampa he is a fast little horse , but dialed in has the late kick and uncel mo much better bayer then any of the contenders leave them at the top

14 Feb 2011 4:13 PM
Freetex

Always look forward to your Derby Dozen, Steve.

I still like Soldat, Stay Thirsty, and of course the Uncle.  It will be very interesting to see how Brethren does in his next race.

Can't figure out what happened with Tapizar,

14 Feb 2011 4:32 PM
Karen in Texas

Glad to see you left Tapizar on the list. There is still time to rethink and rework his training regimen. I watched his PP's and didn't see any real behavior problems except that he likes to be in front...nothing close to what happened yesterday...

14 Feb 2011 4:39 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

1. The Factor

2. Uncle Mo

3. Elite Alex

4. Dialed In

5. Soldat

6. Jaycito

7. Silver Medallion

8. Rogue Romance

9. Runflatout

10. Sway Away

11. Beamer

12. Smash

13. Quail Hill

    If your Derby Baker's Dozen matches mine just walk into any donut shop or bakery in the world to get your free donut. Just tell them Dr Drunkinbum said you won a free donut. It should be no problem.

14 Feb 2011 5:13 PM
Ranagulzion

Steve,

You need a three way tie for the 12th spot because Sweet Ducky belongs in that Dozen and a case could also be made for Gourmet Dinner.  The Holy Bull was a very strong race IMO.

14 Feb 2011 5:23 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Well, some conversations were overheard this weekend by trainers talking to their Derby hopefuls.  After all, they are only age 3!!!!

Pletcher to Uncle Mo:  "But I told you the story of Mr. Ed. ten times already.  You have tv, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!"

Asmussen to Tapizar:  "Ok, ok so next time out I promise to take the tight braids out of your mane."

Baffert to Jaycito:  "Of course they have tacos on the east coast. And no way Jose can you be first in the line up to get them!"

Ritchey to Elite Alex:  "Now if Calvin gets crazy and starts yanking your reigns and pulling you left just humor him.  Trust me, people will send you tons of peppermints, sweet potatoes, and apples afterwards."

Zito to Dialed In:  "I'll get you one of those new I Phones if you win the Derby!"

Asmussen to Astrology:  "Stop eating those cards, they're tarot, not carrot!"

14 Feb 2011 5:24 PM
GoldenGiven

anyone else notice the gallop past the wire from Beamer on Sat @ Tampa? i'm not going to say he will win the derby , but he looks to be a major factor in the rest of his derby preps. Flashpoint is the best 3yr old sprinter , imo. thanks Steve , you are the man.

14 Feb 2011 5:25 PM
Steve Haskin

Anyone who wants to know why this horse or that horse or any one of dozens of horses is not on the list, I will be glad to answer as long as you state why that horse should be on the list and make a case, preferably with facts included, why he should be above the 12 (or 13 on this occasion) that are on there. There are plenty of allowance horses and even maiden winners that I like a lot and would love to put on, but until they prove their class I find it hard to justify them taking precedence over horses that have.

When you ask why a horse like J B's Thunder is not on the list and not getting any respect, there usually is a good reason, such as his trainer took him off the Derby Trail months ago.

I would love to be able to do a Top 20 and include more horses, but that isnt the way this works, so I have to make do with 12.

As for Sweet Ducky, he was among three horses I was debating for the final spot, but I chose the other two because Sweet Ducky had a maiden sprint winner with only one start in his life blow by him in the stretch after he got in front. I do like the horse, but I just had nowhere to put him this week. And Mucho Macho Man has already shown what he can do against a horse like to Honor and Serve when ridden correctly, so I decided to excuse this one race and put him back on.

14 Feb 2011 5:41 PM
jockey girl amy

uncle mo,is still my favorite but anything can happen in the derby we all know that! we have some super star three year old this year! and lots of them we dont even know there true ability!!! i cant wait for the up coming big stakes then i think we will all get a better idea whos good and whos not that good!!! but still! in the derby any thing can happen!!

14 Feb 2011 5:48 PM
Slew

Dr D:  A list without To Honor And Serve means no donuts for you, you bad boy!

14 Feb 2011 5:49 PM
Betsy

Blame Todd for that - he refuses to say anything about Stay Thirsty. It's hard for a horse to get attention when his own trainer doesn't say a word about him.

THAS worked yesterday at Payson, 1:03 breezing- but that was the 3rd best time as the track was very slow apparently.  For the consensus #2 pick, I've read almost nothing about him.

14 Feb 2011 5:50 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I also like what I've seen from Toby's Corner and could easily have been on my list except that I'm not convinced that he's a Derby horse. They've got a lot of work to do with Tapizar. Yes he's talented but yikes that was scary. Kids were running, screaming down the aisles. It's going to be very interesting to see where they go next and if they even keep him on The Trail. I'd be tempted to go another path. They are still fishing bodies out from under the bridge.

14 Feb 2011 6:02 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

GoldenGiven

  I must have noticed something since Beamer is on my list and Brethren isn't. I'm glad someone else likes him. Still a little green, don't you think?

14 Feb 2011 6:04 PM
In aint easy being good!

Elite Alex will be on the top 5 list soon he is a freak of nature. Brethren was not that impressive. Looks like there are 5 real contenders this year.

To Honor and Serve

Jaycito

Elite Alex

Dialed in

MO

The rest have no chance!

14 Feb 2011 6:06 PM
bilbo

to Bloodline Bob--we don't like horses that's name begins with J.

No seriously, I don't see him on the list of nominees, do you?

14 Feb 2011 6:26 PM
LAZMANNICK

Tapizar ran sprinter's time for the first 6F in each of his last two races.  That won't work for the Derby.  They have a lot to do with this guy or else leave him like he is and concentrate on races like the Met Mile.  

14 Feb 2011 6:26 PM
Footlick

Karen in Texas- the jock said that they earcuffed him in the gate and he got mad.  So maybe thge race can be a throwout.

14 Feb 2011 6:32 PM
Footlick

Dr Drunkinbum- I read where Beyer adjusted the Factors figure to 108 for his 6 furlong maiden win

14 Feb 2011 6:34 PM
bilbo

Soldat and To Honor and Serve went to the front. Uncle Mo stayed home. He Dialed In the Brethren, who were looking for some Rouge Romance around Toby's Corner. But Astrology said, you're a Mucho Macho Man, Jaycito. You better smoke some Sativa, and then Tap a Czar.

14 Feb 2011 6:41 PM
Steve Haskin

Footlick, the ear incident just exacerbated what was already there. He was a time bomb before that and had lost his composure before he even got to the paddock, so there is a lot more to it than that. I dont believe he is long for the Derby list. I'm pretty sure he'll be gone after the Risen Star and Southwest next week.

For all those who believe Elite Alex is special, please read my column. There usually is a lot in the columns that isnt on the Derby Dozen. The column will explain why he didnt make the list this week.

14 Feb 2011 6:48 PM
JamesB

Steve,

I agree.  I can't see how, at the moment, the list could look much different.  The only ones I am looking at that aren't here are Machen, Runflatout and Cal Nation.  All of whom have won nothing of consequence but are exciting prospects.  Although Runflatout did beat a well regarded horse in Tokubetsu, he and Cal Nation just broke their maidens.  And if Curlin couldn't do it, I don't see how these two can.

14 Feb 2011 6:53 PM
Arlene

Beamer didn't upset..from ESPN Plonk "The best upset candidates are horses coming off of solid tries at Gulfstream, namely Jan. 21 allowance third-place finisher BEAMER (Carl Nafzger) "..he came from behind a wall of horses..good experience if he makes the Derby..he is being brought along slowly..I would have to look at his closing times to see if he is fast enough..but hey..Giacamo won? Don't know if he is fast enough to stay up closer to the pace..but does not look like a "head case"..that and Carl Nafzger have to saw something. My early pick.

14 Feb 2011 7:00 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The column Steve is referring to is "KY. Derby Trail: Catching Up With The Sleepers" under Hangin' With Haskin or TCM-Triple Crown Mania page. A really nice article that is a must read for any Derby and or Haskin aficionado.

Slew

   I could have easily put him on the bottom of my list but he wouldn't be in my top nine anyway, which are the ones I really like.

Footlick

   I was glad to see the Beyer raised to 108. That's the kind of performance I thought it was and the kind of talent I think he has.

14 Feb 2011 7:13 PM
Inquiry

You had to know that after tapizars last race he was gonna bounce like a ball, i bet he wasnt even standing in his stall that  night.. Any horse thats near the lead in the derby will be no where around at the end....This is DIALED IN'S race this year.Its all about getting the distance and all i see is alot of speed and horses that will not get 1 1/4....

14 Feb 2011 7:33 PM
Footlick

Thanks Steve.  I had only heard that one thing.  I didn't know it was going on before the paddock. I didn't ever hear he was a head case.  Are there any trainers now that are known for their work with headcases?  I know Frankel, Whittingham and Stephens had success with many, so they probably got more than their share.

14 Feb 2011 7:34 PM
SaratogaDreamin

Stev,

Absolutely definative top 10...I would argue some of the order, but I think they are the ones now...I believe the pletcher 4 (Dance City added, if he can get to the track) and jaycito make up the top 5...

14 Feb 2011 7:49 PM
papillon

i can't place horses who've yet to race this year on my list--i'm not saying uncle mo won't win the derby, but until he does something this year he's not on my list.

i'm not goign to jump on brethren's bandwagon just yet--his win looked visually impressive, but it wasn't very fast--and horses coming out of tampa just seem to have n uncanny a way of fizzling out.

so right now i'm sticking with dialed in and soldat. i agree ranagulzion about the holy bull--it was the best race run by 3 year old's so far this year.

14 Feb 2011 8:19 PM
Paula Higgind

With Tapizar, they need to go shorter distances. He shouldn't have faded like he did. I don't think it was the ear clip at the gate either. Pretty much agree with Steve's list but have Bretheren further up by one slot.

14 Feb 2011 8:35 PM
Your Only Friend

Long way too the Derby ...anything can happen and usually does....some break down some mature,some are too short ....lot will happen.....don't get any hurry to pick Derby entries.

14 Feb 2011 8:37 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Asmussen sends them out with those braided manes, I can't stand it.  I wish he would just leave their manes to flow beautifully in the wind like they are supposed to.  Poor Tapizar, he gets one more chance.  Something must have spooked or riled him.  Big Brown went on to win 2 more Grade I's after that freaky Belmont so Tap gets another try.  Speaking of Freaky, that cool quarterhorse runs this weekend at Los Al.  Not too worried about Elite Alex, he'll be fine.  Kentucky got blasted with more snow last week, poor Zenyatta, must be wondering where the heck the sun went.  Wonder if Bernardini is there today?  Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Bilbo,

Very funny lines!

14 Feb 2011 8:46 PM
ROBINM

Until Uncle Mo begins his 3-yr old season, he's still #1 in my book based on being heads and shoulders ahead of his competition at 2.  

I like Steve's Top 5, though I might switch Dialed In and Stay Thirsty.

I wasn't surprised to see Tapizar blow up.  I've always felt he is overrated.  I can't wait to see RunFlatOut stretch out in the San Felipe.  I find him much more intrigueing than the Factor becauase RunFlatOut is bred to get a distance.

14 Feb 2011 8:58 PM
mike rullo

steve

you have stay thirsty to high on your list.

this horse could not warm up heron lake when they where babies.

14 Feb 2011 9:17 PM
Kristen Ohler

The best horse doesn't always win the Derby.  Can you say Mine That Bird, Giacomo, Super Saver and plenty more?  And not all horses go on the win races after that.  Can you say Mine That Bird and Super Saver?  I don't know who will win, but I hope he is by Bernardini or AP Indy or one of APs' sons like Mineshaft, with his Dialed In.

14 Feb 2011 9:32 PM
JOE

I am sticking with Thirtyfirststreet until the end.   A clean ride makes all the diff.

14 Feb 2011 9:39 PM
Trebloc

Dr. Drunkinbum,

Beamer?  Please tell me you joking.

14 Feb 2011 9:41 PM
Bloodline Bob

To Bilbo, the letter "J" has only won the KY.Derby 4 times(1947,1939,1903,1885). Just FYI, the letter "U" for UNCLE MO has only won the KY.Derby once(1990). He isn't even close to my 2011 KY.Derby pick. BTW, the 2010 KY.Derby winner SUPER SAVER, "S" IS THE #1 LETTER TO WIN THE MOST KY.DERBY'S WITH 20 WINS. Bilbo, laugh but its a little scary isn't it?

14 Feb 2011 9:43 PM
zarvona

"Comma to da Bottom"... "Santiva" and "Tapizar" all appear to have serious distance issues...

WOW & no credence to "Anthony's Cross"? & "Silver Medallion"? & "Riveting Reason" the steady eddy... or "Jakesam" bred for the Belmont,,,

Yes, "Albergatti"; "Fort Hughes"; "Da Ruler"; & "The Factor" all bred to go longer ,,, "Awesome Patriot"; "Tiz Blessed"; Uncle Sam";&

"Shackleford" another sleeper, all still remain on the radar...

and hmmmmmm what about...

 "Ari C": (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; $130K  ’09 Keenlander;

and the undefeated newbie

 "Bench Points": (g) (Cal.); Tr. T. Yakteen; Feb. 18th foal;

  4   4  0  0 ;  

awe only mid Feb.;  where will this Spring's "Endorsement" spring from ???

14 Feb 2011 9:57 PM
charles2u

Hey Steve have you heard anything about Bob bafferts other 3year old horse named Smash.

14 Feb 2011 10:07 PM
trackjack

Dr D,

You should think seriously about bringing Tapizar into your institute for some treatment.  I'm not ready to throw him out and since you helped me with my Derby Fever maybe you can get him settled down and back on track.

If Zenyatta could go 19/20 and win HOY, with a daily Guiness, maybe some Woodford Reserve for Tapizar would settle him down.

Ted from LA,

roadtotheroses.com is up and ready to go.  Pull the trigger as late as possible before the first scoring races on 2/26.

14 Feb 2011 10:32 PM
trackjack

Steve,

Thanks for the article "Catching up with the sleepers."  Very helpful in putting together my stables.

Do you have any info on Queen'splatekitten?

14 Feb 2011 11:06 PM
Draynay

Tapizar is not a top horse.  Cal Nation is a horse worth watching.  His maiden win is on Youtube check it out.

14 Feb 2011 11:21 PM
Jean in Chicago

Silver Medallion has just become my latest favorite.  How can you not like a horse whose trainer calls him 'something of a twit'?  This description (while I don't exactly understand it) absolutely makes him fit right in with a whole lot of the bloggers here, myself included.

15 Feb 2011 12:06 AM
Bigtex

Steve,

I'm not an expert just a passionate fan, but instead of fighting Tapizar like he (Jock) did, why don't you just turn the horse loose and let him go, building up a pretty good lead at his speed, and pull him back for a breather at the 5/8ths or the half pole when he's bound to be a little more pliable?

What the heck happened to Washington's Rules?  Comma to the Top?  With these two and Tapizar, I thought surely boxing them would pay but.........

Not a good week of betting!

I was very intent on keeping a keen eye on Jaycito prior to the BC and I still am if he gets the dirt figured out.

If Uncle Mo gets to Louisville in good shape, gets a good trip to the 1/4 pole, Dialed In better learn to stalk or he'll never get a whiff of Uncle Mo.  I see a Barbaro type finish if Mo gets his trip.

15 Feb 2011 1:15 AM
Bigtex

One last thing, the old adage, "crazy is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result".......it's about time to put Blind Luck forward in the pack don't you think?

15 Feb 2011 1:19 AM
Bigtex

Is Astrology the 2011 version of Stately Victor or is he a better colt in your opinion?  He looks awfully good as a colt and if he DOES improve, he's a factor.

15 Feb 2011 1:59 AM
Deacon

As much as I like the great history that Santa Anita has brought to the Kentucky Derby, I wouls stay off any horse who runs there. The new dirt track is new and no one knows how any of these horses will run once they leave those confines. Tapizar is a mystery to me, wouldn't touch, don't think he gets the mile and a quarter Derby. Uncle Mo is obviously the choice. Based on his big BC Juvenille at Churchill Downs. He obviously loves that race track. Barring any injury or set backs he will try to become only the second horse ever to win the BC Juvenille and the Ky Derby. Street Sense being the first and only so far. I still believe that it is way to soon to make a clear choice, most of the important races are yet to be run. We will know much more in the weeks to come, but Steve your list is sound and I see no arguements here. Thanks for sharing............

15 Feb 2011 2:55 AM
Coldfacts

Ranagulzion,

Thirtyfirststreet finished 4th and Monzon ran like a dog and had no excuse as the pace was very slow. I do believe in giving second chances but in the case of Monzon he did not show up in a field that was no particularly strong. He will be removed from my twelve and place in the supplementals pending a performance that merits his restoration. Thirtyfirststreet cost me the tri and might have proven my worst fears. It appears he belongs on turf a surface that is consistent with his pedigree. He like Monzon had no excuse. He also will be place in the supplemental pending an improved performance.

They will be replaced with the Rahy colt Nacho Business and the Dubai based Street cry colt Splash Point. Nacho Business was a recent maiden winner. You might wonder why is a maiden winner being included at this point. Well, Rahy does not have many dirt horses but he is a phenomenal sire and I have not seen a sire that goes back to Red God with a colt so talented. He won his maiden without much fuss and it not often trainer debut young horses at 8F. I am anxious to see his next start.  The Dubai based Street cry colt Splash Point recently won the UAE 2000 Guineas. He closed from last with a troubled trip in the stretch and ran out much the best. This colt will have no problem staying 10F. His mad by Danehill is Irish bred and he could be a turf horse. However, his sire Street Cry who won the Dubai WC on dirt was produced from an Irish dam. Danehill was son of Danzig who the first Stallion to sire 300 stake winners. Interestingly this colt was bred by WinStar Farms and was not nominated to the TC.  

15 Feb 2011 5:47 AM
Bloodline Bob

I'm testing my stakes handicapping by giving my selections for the 10 stakes races coming up this weekend.Thurs.(2-17-11)NY8th=WRITINGONTHEWALL;Fri.(2-18-11)NY8th=RAM;Sat.(2-19-11)FG4th=DON'T SHOOT;(2-19-11)FG5th=SMOKEY BELLE;(2-19-11)FG7th=KATMANBLU;(2-19-11)FG8th=MISSION IMPAZIBLE;(2-19-11)FG9th=DUBIOUS MISS,WORKIN FOR HOPS;(2-19-11)FG10TH=MUCHO MACHO MAN,MACHEN,JUSTIN PHILLIP;(2-19-11)SUNLAND10TH=PLEASE N TERAS;(2-19-11)TurfParadise8th=OUR MINESWEEPER. If their is more than 1 horse it is an exacta box.Just remember that was without a DRF or morning lines. Today is 2-15-11. Its good practice while waiting for our next Triple Crown winner. LOL. Steve, give it a shot. You + Steve Byk can do it on his XM radio show.

15 Feb 2011 6:35 AM
Zenyatta John

You don't hear anything about horse training at Payson Park like To Honor and Serve just for that reason. It a peaceful place far from the race track , so Payson horses hardly get much press.

The Road to the Roses contest has started but you are allowed to change your horse until 2/25, so you can start picking a stable anytime.

How about we compete against each other in a Road to the Roses league? I just started one for this purpose - team # 2251417165 and code is 2614340348 .

We can all put our money where our mouth is - join the Free league on and someone will get their 'props'.

15 Feb 2011 7:22 AM
Coldfacts

Steve,

“Anyone who wants to know why this horse or that horse or any one of dozens of horses is not on the list, I will be glad to answer as long as you state why that horse should be on the list and make a case, preferably with facts included.”

I find your comments above encouraging. I must confess I cannot see you regarding any set of facts meaningful enough to influence the compilation of your dozen. This will not stop me from trying as I am after all Mr. Colfdfacts.

TAPIZAR: He was defeated by Anthony’s Cross for the second time in three meetings. In spite of this, Tapizar was dropped to #11 and Anthony’s Cross fails to make the cut. Your comments on Tapizar gave him as pass because of his rouge behavior before and during the race. When he was defeated by Anthony’s Cross for the first time, he was well behaved. His retention has diminishes the two emphatic victories scored by Anthony’ Cross. If your dozen is performance based then we would appreciate some consistency. An excuse based retention of a member of the Dozen is extremely weak and does a disservice to genius deserving contenders.

UNCLE MO, STAY THIRSTY, JAYCITO & ROUGE ROMANCE: All three colts were in the Breeder Cup Juvenile field. Uncle Mo destroyed the field, Rouge Romance was 3rd and Stay Thirsty was 5th. And Jaycito 7th. There were two horses in the BCJ field that stood like a sore thumb. One was Uncle Mo because of his two explosive wins prior to the Juvenile and the maiden Riveting Reason because he didn’t belong.

Uncle Mo’s record speaks for itself. Riveting Reason on the other hand was a crazy entrant. Here is a colt that lost his two attempts in maiden company and was beaten badly in the first of his two GI attempts as a maiden. All these starts were on synthetic tracks. His running style was close to the lead and weaken late. In spite of his lack of achievement he was entered into the biggest 2YO race in the country. At Churchill Downs he would be racing on dirt for the first time and would be sporting blinkers for the first time as well. A colt that has a high cruising speed  but no lake a closing kick affixed with blinkers over a distant of ground equates to madness. He was the leader of the pack for the 6F before fading to 8th.. Why have I provided his overview?

The 3r place finisher Rouge Romance was 10 1/4L behind the winner. The 5th place finisher Stay Thirsty was 14 1/2L behind the winner. Jaycito bolted and finished about 18L behind the winner.

The maiden Riveting Reason who led the race for 6F finished a neck behind Jaycito. Rouge Romance and  Stay Thirsty finished 7 3/4L and 3 1/2L respectively ahead of Riveting Reason. Jaycito was just a neck ahead.

The #4  ranked Stay Thirsty was only able to defeat an out of place maiden running with blinkers and on dirt for the first time by 3 1/2L.  The #9  ranked Rouge Romance was only able to defeat by 7 ¾ and the #6 ranked Jaycito by a neck. What has occurred since?

Well, subject to correction none of the aforementioned three have made a start since the BCJ. Riveting Reason has made four starts since the BCJ with his last two being on dirt. His most recent being his 3YO debut at the demanding distance of 9F against 1-5 monster Tapizar off a 45 five days respite. He was a close second in the Bob Lewis run in 1:48.63. This colt certainly exhibited his improvement and appears to only takes on tough challenges. He made 4 start at 8.5F and in his nine  starts has logged 62F. He is battle tested, tough and has a proven TC pedigree. Does anyone believe Mr. Pletcher would not run any of his prized 3YOs at 9F for starters?

Can anyone truly state that Tapizar, Astrology, Stay Thirst, Mocho Macho Man, Toby’s Corner and Santiva have a comparable body of work and are more deserving of a spot in the dozen than Riveting Reason?

15 Feb 2011 7:28 AM
Coldfacts

Slew,

“Some of the "facts" related by posters speak only to the Kentucky Derby winners and sires”

The above extract from your post of 4 Feb 2011 has left me questioning its relevance. The Blog highlights a Derby Dozen. It therefore follows that comments would be mostly confined to derby data and information.

“When a sire has proven winners in the Preakness and Belmont, you simply cannot discount his chances in the Derby”

The sire lines that have been dominant in the Kentucky Derby are the same ones that have dominated the Preakness & Belmont. Below is a breakdown between 1980- 2010:-

KENTUCKY DERBY:

Raise A Native     15

Northern Dancer     4

Bold Ruler              2

Hail TO Reason      3

Buckpasser              3

Ribot                       2

Others                     2

PREAKNESS:

Raise A Native      13

Northern Dancer     8

Bold Ruler              3

Hail TO Reason      2

Buckpasser              1

Ribot                       2

Others                     2

BELMONT:

Raise A Native      15

Northern Dancer     5

Bold Ruler              5

Hail TO Reason      1

Buckpasser              0

Ribot                       1

Others                     4

Of the 93 Triple Crown races contested between 1980 - 2010 the sire line records are:

Raise A Native      43

Northern Dancer   17

Bold Ruler            10

Hail TO Reason      6

Buckpasser             4

Ribot                      5

Others                    8

“Lop-sided facts can present only faulty conclusions”

The above summation covers sire lines only. Most top stallions cover over 100 mares each season. They are more likely to be associated with Derby winners as compared to mares that produce one foal each year baring twins. How the data above is transformed into information is entirely up to those who chose to use it. There are no recommendations as to how this data should be used or interpreted. It’s really just historic facts.

The Bold/Nasrullah Ruler sire lines accounts for 7 in the Derby Dozen. It ranks 3rd in the production of winners of TC races. Does this number represent a classic case of more equaling less? No one really knows. In some quarters two derby winner in 31 contests does not inspire confidence. . Does this number of RAN sire line contenders in the dozen represent a classic case of less equaling more? No! One would be correct in concluding that there is more to derby winners than sire lines. The big question that still remains unanswered is, why do the horses sired by stallions that trace back to Raise A Native run consistently faster than the rest?

15 Feb 2011 7:44 AM
Slew

Anyone who firmly believes that a horse who likes to be in front on the lead cannot win the Derby, Please, please go back and watch Seattle Slew's 1977 Ky Derby.  Wake up!

I'm willing to toss Tapizar's RBL and keep him on my list.  His behavior seemed to be an anomaly...but we'll have to wait and see how he does in his next race...I think that will tell us more.

I think a very young Beamer is being brought along slowly, and has not been expected to run all out and win....yet.  He's a deep closer, and that could cause him some problems if he falls too far behind a speed horse.

I tossed every horse in the El Camino.  Tooooo slow.  The Sam Davis was slow too, but so was every other race that day.  While Brethren was impressive, a 1:38 mile is not so impressive...but the potential was there.  I'm looking forward to the Risen Star, and will have a decent chance to better appraise the competition, while not having to cling to just the winner.  There will be lots of talent at the Fair Grounds. (and yes, I wish I could be there...now who will cat sit for me for a week?...or so?)I like RR and Machen, and probably everyone in the race.  It should be telling. (and of course the Krewe du Vieux kicks off the Mardi Gras parades the 19th at 6:30pm C...wicked satire at its bawdiest).

I'm still plagued by a list of 40, but I am beginning to pare it down, but I am definitely keeping every Bernardini high on my list.  They have class, can go the distance, and can work on their speed over the next few months.

15 Feb 2011 8:02 AM
Coldfacts

Steve,

The following colts comprised your “B” Dozen: Casper’s Touch, 2) Elite Alex, 3) Alternation, 4) Awesome Patriot, 5) Washington’s Rules, 6) Rustler Hustler, 7) Tiz Blessed, 8) Sway Away, 9) Machen, 10) Crossbow, 11) Beamer, 12) Heron Lake.

Those on your keep an eye list were: Bert B Don, Cool Blue Red Hot, El Grayling, Fort Larned, Leave of Absence, Lumberyard Jack, Manicero, Nacho Business, Runflatout, San Pablo, Sovereign Default, Supreme Ruler.

The three new members of your ‘A’ Dozen are Toby’s Corner, Mucho Macho Man and Rouge Romance. These colts were not amongst the 24 colt listed above. Subject to correction they were never mentioned in your piece. Are you being a bit premature with their inclusion?

15 Feb 2011 8:26 AM
Fran Loszynski

Anyone notice Elite Alex and Rogue's Romance- Afleet Alex and Smarty Jones sires, can we hope for another Derby walk of the two sons! That would be awesome. I can barely breathe. If Calvin calls Elite Alex "the real deal" the fans of Afleet Alex can start hooting "Here we come Kentucky Derby!" Any kid of Alex's can ride the rail, go midline, go outside, jump the rail, sip a mint julep and still reach the finish line!  YEAH!

15 Feb 2011 8:40 AM
M-D

On Tapizar (vis-a-vis Footlick):

Asmussen is NO Michael Dickenson--thats goes without saying, who worked wonders with Tapizar's dad, the fantastic yet supremely tempermental Tapit.

If Tapizar is as sensitive as his father, then I doubt very much he will be in a position to run in The Derby.

Mr Dickenson & his fantastic training staff spent a lot of time working with Tapit at his former farm Tapeta, coaxing & training him to trust & follow the lead & cues of his trainers, riders, & jock--against the spectacular & soothing back-drop of perhaps the most picturesque & beautiful horse farm in America (Chantilly on the Chesapeake).

When it comes to horsemanship, Asmussen could not hold a candle to Mr. Dickenson.

15 Feb 2011 8:56 AM
Pedigree Ann

I was very impressed with Bench Points' races at two and thought his come back race was just right. (Odds-on for a Maiden winner versus an unbeaten 2-time SW? Hype machine working overtime.) Has much stronger damside for a distance than that other Benchmark, Brother Derek. Can't wait to see him stretch out.

Freetex, I remember your namesake when he was racing. Nice racehorse of the Lost Code/Smarten sort; not top of the class, but won himself plenty of good races by avoiding Riva Ridge. Always had a soft spot for his sire Vertex, yet another of the wonderful class of 1954 (Bold Ruler, Round Table, Gen. Duke, Gallant Man, Promised Land,...so many good ones I can't remember them all off the top of my head.)

15 Feb 2011 9:06 AM
Footlick

FYI- Sea the Stars-Zarkava colt was born Friday

15 Feb 2011 9:19 AM
Pluck

I am backing Rogue Romance. I agree he will be much sharper as he tries longer distances. He is a Smarty Jones Colt....Asking a lot in his first race of 2011 though . He is in tough. MY absolute favorite though is PLUCK. I cannot wait to see him and Frankel going at it deep in the stretch in the 2000 Guineas.

15 Feb 2011 9:56 AM
Dr. Sobey

Put me down for the longshot BEAMER. He has a great mind and will improve and put in a Street Sense run at the Derby. As an added bonus he is the best looking horse on the planet.

15 Feb 2011 10:14 AM
Rachel

I like that Jaycito's coming back in a sprint...very old school, bringing a 3 year-old into his new season with a shorter race. I think they had 2 out of 3 TC winners in the 70's following that philosophy (SS & Secretariat)...♥

Kristen: They were the best horses that ran the best on the 1st Saturday in May, the only day that counts...;-)

15 Feb 2011 10:31 AM
Forbidden Apple

1-Dialed In 2-Soldat 3-To Honour And Serve 4-Machen 5-Break Up The Game 6-Uncle Mo 7-The Factor 8-Santiva 9-Jaycito 10-Beamer

11-Bandbox 12-Tapizar 13-Comma To The Top

I am now convinced that there is zero chance of Pluck entertaining a race on dirt. And with the extremely dull efforts by Tapizar and Comma To The Top, I have made some severe changes to my bakers dozen list. I am guessing that it will change again rather quickly as many colts have not even made one start in 2011. After last weekend it is very clear to me that this year's KY Derby trail is still up in the air. The way I see it, there is only one monster so far and that is by far Dialed In! With every other horse on my list I see many question marks and feel like I am guessing to fill in the slots.

Trebloc,

Mike Watchmaker is a fine handicapper who deserves more respect. As I just wrote above, many colts have not made a start in 2011 and we are all guessing as to how they will perform in the future. Are you completely sold on everything that Pletcher sends out? Are your top three horses Uncle Mo, Brethren, and Stay Thirsty?

15 Feb 2011 11:12 AM
steve from st louis

Steve: Why hasn't a trainer as talented as Bill Mott had more success in the Triple Crown races? I know he broke through last year but is there something in his training DNA that prevents him from developing a precocious 3-year-old who's Derby worthy? It's not for lack of quality stock. Is he just so patient with his stock and fundamentally against sending a 3-year-old a mile and one-quarter in May? Does that ultimately work against seeing To Honor and Serve in that starting gate?

15 Feb 2011 11:30 AM
halapeno

1  clubhouse run

2  brethren

3  runflatout

4  gourmet dinner

5  uncle mo

6  soldat

7  sway away

8  anthony's cross

9  santiva

10 wilkerson

11 rogue romance

12 elite alex

15 Feb 2011 11:48 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

trackjack

  After thinking about it more I believe that Tapizar should be kept on the list and be given another chance with instructions- "no earing !!!!"  Whatever was going on in the paddock, he acted like a champ in the walking ring, and was highly disturbed by being eared going into the gate just as anyone would be. He's too talented to give up on yet. It was a freakish event that I believe they can learn from. I wish the entire industry would learn. I hate it when they pull their ears. How many get their ears pulled and win the race? None that I've ever seen. By the way, this last race was not a bounce. Physically he was ready to go.

15 Feb 2011 11:57 AM
Ranagulzion

Steve,

I quote you "As for Sweet Ducky, he was among three horses I was debating for the final spot, but I chose the other two because Sweet Ducky had a maiden sprint winner with only one start in his life blow by him in the stretch after he got in front."

That's a pretty disigenuous argument considering that the 'maiden sprint winner' was Dialed-In.  I tell you one thing, Sweet Ducky will be a major force in and after the Florida Derby.  I do believe that you've undervalued the overall quality of the Holy Bull performances.  Anyway its still early days and the build up to the Derby is very absorbing.

I also was impressed with Bowman's Causeway last week.  That colt looks at least like one for the Belmont Stakes or the mid-summer classics.

15 Feb 2011 12:25 PM
In aint easy being good!

Dialed in has an allstar trainer that had bad racing luck last year. I think this is nick zito's year. Pletcher wont go back to back this year I can promise you that. Dialed in has overcome adversity and when is the last time you saw a closer win at Gulfstream????? Dialed in has overcame alot in his first two races and I think he needs one more race and then he will be ready to explode May 7th!

15 Feb 2011 12:34 PM
Trebloc

I would not touch any horse coming out of CA.  I will also, stay away from any horse that has not faced winners todate.  The trainers/owners will push their horses to fast to get graded earning and will be completely gassed on Derby day.  Cal Nation is currently not being pointed to the Derby.  He is being pointed to the Preakness.  What a family Brethren and Cal Nation.  WOW!

15 Feb 2011 12:48 PM
Derbyme

To Honor and Serve has to be the most overrated colt on the trail.  Sure he's got a nice trainer, solid record, and great pedigree, but few recent winners ever amount to anything.  Their wins look better than they are because the Big A tends to yield large winning margins.  However, the winner usually just outlasts a bunch of overmatched sprinters hopelessly trying 9f as a two-year-old.  Rarely is the winner truly a 9f dirt horse.  Top class colts don't go 9f at 2 anymore.  Yet every year the Toccets, Rockport Harbors, Read the Footnotes, Buddy's Saints, and Old Fashioneds are at the top of everyone's list.  Believe me, going 9f in March or April is much more important than 9f the previous November.  Almost all recent Remsen winners flopped badly once they get to FL or AK, or switch to turf.  Only Bluegrass Cat ran big (nosed out by Street Sense in the Sam F.)  But he was nowhere to be found on Derby Day.

15 Feb 2011 1:00 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Slew

  I want that list pared down by Tuesday the 22nd if not sooner. This is getting ridiculous young lady. Your room is a mess, your list is a mess, and all you think about is horses, horses, horses. If we can post a Derby Dozen then you can too. I don't want to hear anymore excuses like your cat ate the Derby Dozen list. Ah, ah, ah, ah. Now get to work. This is no time to be monkeying around, to fiddle-faddle, or be goofing off. You've got work to do young lady so hop to it.

15 Feb 2011 1:05 PM
crazykid

archarcharch will be on every top 5 list next tuesday

15 Feb 2011 1:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

steve from St. Louis

  That's an interesting, thought provoking post at 11:30am. How much does a basic philosophy of preparing a horse for a race and a career play into Derby success or lack of success. It's very important I assume. If they are ready so be it, and if not so be it also. I admire trainers who don't think The Derby is everything and do their best to do right by the horse and their future. It appears that To Honor And Serve is behind with only one workout this year with no races. But it also seems that with his 2yo foundation and talent that he does have enough time to get ready for The Derby. That is why he wasn't on my list is because when I made it he had done nothing yet. I'm assuming that he was healthy and Mott wanted him to mature more but I don't know.

Deacon

  Nice to see a post from you this morning. There is no chance that I'm going to stay off of a horse that is running at SA just because it is a souped up track and no history to go by. I'm still going to go by visual impressions which include stride, tenacity, and demeanor among others.

15 Feb 2011 1:16 PM
Trebloc

Forbidden,

Yes, I like Uncle Mo, but I love Brethren!  Just like I loved Super Saver last year.  I do not think Stay Thirsty will hit the board come Derby day.   Not only did your number ten horse Beamer get dusted by Brethren he did not even hit the board. Beamer also, has zero graded earnings and will completely toast come Derby day.  But, then again what do I know.  Watchmaker is king!  HA!

15 Feb 2011 1:31 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

Regarding Tapizar, I would love to know what was going on with him.  Darndest thing I've seen! Beautiful horse but a crazy performance.  As he skidded by my section at Santa Anita, I was thinking, "What the heck?"

15 Feb 2011 1:35 PM
Zenyatta John

Forbidden Apple -

Mr Watchmaker may be a good handicapper, but lost ALL RESPECT for him for even having Boys at Tosconova on his first list. That horse couldn't get 10 furlongs being pulled by a John Deere!

A Derby list isn't the best two year olds from previous season , you need foresight as the Derby is a long hard battle. That's why Mr Watchmakers list is a bunch of crap.

I've had Cal Nation and Runflatout in my stable mail since last June - so I cashed on both, and neither was a surprise to me. But to press either of these colts to any triple crown race is criminal. Let them progress slowly so we can see their full talents by summer.

15 Feb 2011 1:54 PM
rtm

Dr Drunkinbum,

To Honor And Serve has actually had five workouts this year already, including three five furlong workouts.

15 Feb 2011 2:19 PM
RAMMER

Santiva will win the Risen Star! He won the GRII at CD in the fall and has good works now.  Very tough customer...

15 Feb 2011 2:27 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Derbyme

   Huh !!!!!!! Bluegrass Cat ran second in The Derby in 2006. I think you got your years and horses juxtaposed or something.

15 Feb 2011 2:33 PM
Trebloc

Tapizar:  Knee Chip off the the derby trail, per Gary West of the Ft. Worth-Star.

15 Feb 2011 3:08 PM
Saddle57

I'll pick the horse Calvin Borel is riding.

15 Feb 2011 3:12 PM
Ranagulzion

Coldfacts,

Sentiments for AP and Bernardini trump facts, on-the-track evidence and logic for some players. Some wont take the medicine Buddy, but the debate is informative and a lot of fun anyway.

Anthony's Cross, Riveting Reason and, I would add, Gourmet Dinner are hard knocking colts with solid foundation going forward.  These indeed have a lot more on their resume than the 'highly favoured' Bernardinis and AP Indys.

15 Feb 2011 3:23 PM
Kim

Tapizar is injured with a knee chip and is now off the TC Trail.

15 Feb 2011 3:28 PM
Beebs4201

Here is my top 12 at the moment:

1.  Uncle Mo - Speed figures are excellent, classy as could be, gonna be tough for anyone to beat him.

2.  Dialed In - Excellent Pedigree, ran well at Churchill, closed like a freight train at Gulfstream which is tough to do.

3.  Brethren - Has done nothing wrong in 3 starts but needs to get a little faster.

4.  Rogue Romance - Should be able to run all day and McPeek is due for a derby winner.

5.  Premier Pegasus - Undefeated as a 2 year old but has not strecthed out beyond 7 furlongs yet.  I love the pedigree to go longer.

6.  Cal Nation - His maiden win was too good to ignore.  I can't see the connections not taking a shot at the Florida Derby with this one.  Ridiculously good pedigree.

7.  Machen - Hasn't beaten anything yet but looks like he has a world of talent.

8.  Nacho Business - Maiden win was spectaculr and 2nd place horse came back to dominate as well.  Fountain of Youth maybe?

9.  To Honor and Serve - Has done nothing wrong but I'm just not that impressed with any of the horses he has beaten.

10.  Elite Alex - Love the breeding and ran well enough off the long layoff.  Borel factor?

11.  Soldat - Has a very high cruising speed no matter the surface.  Love McLaughlin.

12.  Casper's Touch - Like Churchill Downs and should improve off of his troubled trip at GP this year.

15 Feb 2011 3:30 PM
oliver

-

-Machen will BLOW the field away in the Risen Star. The colt has such a serious turn of foot. I'm not guaranteeing he'll be able to handle 10 furs (especially with lack of experience) - but he should sizzle this Saturday.

15 Feb 2011 3:35 PM
El Kabong

Derbyme,

You make some good points about the big A and Bellamy Road comes to mind, but for the record, I seem to remember Bluegrass Cat running second to Barbaro.

15 Feb 2011 3:56 PM
Cris

Alex's Big Fan is a very clever person. I like the Zito phone offer for Dialed In.

I have read that Bob Baffert has a barn full of three year olds. How does a person find out which horses he has? I know a few have been discussed here, but I am interested in finding what is out there we know nothing about.

15 Feb 2011 3:59 PM
Alex'sBigFan

It appears that the gate crews need to "go to school in the gate" not the horses.  I don't like to hear this ear pulling thing with Tapizar.  That is just as bad as blindfolding Quality Road, when he was already most agitated.  They made QR worse and I am sure that ear incident made an already riled Tapizar lose it.  What happened to horse first?  They are acting with a "race first" philosophy.  Maybe Tap had a medication reaction, did his blood get checked?  Include Life At Ten in there as well, not putting the horse's well-being first.  And who is it that can only scratch a horse from a race, the jock or track veterinarian, what is that rule does anyone know?

15 Feb 2011 4:46 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

rtm

  Ooops. You're right. Thanks for the correction. Lesson learned. I guess I was thinking about someone else and should have looked it up before posting. Thank you. At least we now know what was wrong with Tapizar and can stop the speculation. Pretty good race for a chipped knee.

15 Feb 2011 5:20 PM
afleetalexforever

Derbyme 15 Feb 2011 1:00 PM  “Almost all recent Remsen winners flopped badly once they get to FL or AK, or switch to turf.  Only Bluegrass Cat ran big (nosed out by Street Sense in the Sam F.)  But he was nowhere to be found on Derby Day.”

Seems like you failed to do your research as Bluegrasss cat was 2nd in the running of the derby behind Barbaro.  Not so sure what your comments mean or what you base them off of when your information is wrong.  Please try again

15 Feb 2011 5:28 PM
stateofnature12

I would like to get an oddsline on when Bernardini will throw a classic winner. I would take 5-1 for 2011.To Honour and Serve could be any kind of horse as Mucho Macho Man has not flattered. IMO Stay Thirsty could be a very effective horse for a June July (Belmont Travers). Pletcher is loaded. Wonder who will be cranked up in the Risen Star? Graded earnings are going to get tricky as the bears are starting to wake up looking for a place to run.

15 Feb 2011 5:29 PM
Karen in Texas

I hope Tapizar's surgery is successful and he is able to return to racing as they expect.

I've always thought that the industry should learn not to do illogical things to horses in/at the starting gate! Earcuffing/pulling or any rough handling can only be counter-productive in an already anxious animal. They need to employ techniques that aren't going to escalate a potentially explosive situation.

15 Feb 2011 5:37 PM
Deacon

Dr D:

    Certainly respect your opinion, but for my money it is way too soon to annoit any horse and I need to see more before I touch a horse running on the I-5 Freeway called Santa Anita. The Churchill Downs surface and Santa Anita are like night and day. Remember Sidney's Candy last year. Of course Santa Anita was a synthetic surface last year but it is very worrisome. After all of the upsets we have seen in the Ky Derby these past many years so horse should be left off anyone's list.  What worries me is that the Ky Derby is slowing turning into a "One Hit Wonder", ala Mine That Bird, and Super Saver.

It's early, we'll see.............good posts from you as always.      

15 Feb 2011 5:51 PM
In aint easy being good!

Doesnt anyone think that Mo's layoff is too long aka Rachael Alexandra? Mo isnt running until march thats 5 months off with no action. I just believe that other 3 year olds are closing the gap! Dialed in is in great racing form. Does anyone know when Soldat is running next? Soldat is Haskins x-factor which means he might be a nice 10-1 horse come derby time!

15 Feb 2011 5:53 PM
StonesRoy

Bummer about Tapizar.  

I have no glittering insight to offer.  You all know far more than me.  I love this column and it's comments, though; look forward to it every Monday.

My amateur opinion: Dialed In has shown he can come from behind.  Uncle Mo looks the most impressive but let's see him handle adversity.  Anthony's Cross desrves some respect.

And whichever horse wins the Florida Derby will be in my Derby Tri.

Still a lot of racing before D-Day, though.....

Any Rock Hard Ten colts out there to watch?  I have a small future's bet on RockSoHard but haven't seen or heard anything of him in months.

15 Feb 2011 5:55 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Wow, poor Tapizar.  Well that explains his performance.  Racing manager states, "he wasn't acting like himself before and during the race...."  Key word here being "before."  No one thought of scratching him? If I owned one and he was acting way out of character certainly my radar would be up and I would assume something was wrong medically and scratch him, yes as much as I wanted him in that race I would scratch him for his own safety.  Goes back to my question who gets to scratch a horse from a race?  Hope Tap's surgery goes well.  Poor thing has to fly to Kentucky for surgery now instead of flying there for the Derby. No Tap and probably no BAT.

Cris,

Thanks for the nice comment.  Try BobBaffert.com or Bob Baffert Racing.  He lists entries and results and maybe some of those in his barn are on there, worth a try.

15 Feb 2011 6:03 PM
Criminal Type

It seems like every year the horses I really like don't make it to the Derby and this year is no exception. I just read Tapizar is off the trail. I had hoped this year would be different, but it seems I am cursed. Old Fashioned, Winslow Homer, Tizchrome(RIP), The Pamplemousse, I Want Revenge...uggg I give up !

15 Feb 2011 6:17 PM
Criminal Type

EL Ka Bong ! yep, Your right, Bluegrass Cat was second in Barbaro's Derby.

15 Feb 2011 6:20 PM
-Keelerman

Very sad to hear about Tapizar. . . hopefully he will be able to return sometime later this year and run just as well as before.

Rachel;

I agree entirely regarding Jaycito making his three-year-old debut in a sprint race; I think that it is a very good idea! This used to be very common for good horses. Not only did Seattle Slew and Secretariat make their three-year-old debuts in sprints, but so did Affirmed, Whirlaway, Assault, Citation, and War Admiral! I am greatly anticipating the San Vicente!

Steve;

I am not sure what to think of Stay Thirsty. His pedigree should certainly carry him a mile and a quarter, even a mile and a half, but there is one thing that worries me. In the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, he was weaving quite a bit in the homestretch. In the Hopeful Stakes, he ran straight and true through the stretch. Do you suppose that in the Breeders' Cup he was simply exhausted after being caught wide on both turns? Or was the added distance too much for him? I'm very fond of him, but am worried that he may not be able to run as far as his pedigree implies. What do you think?

-Keelerman

15 Feb 2011 6:33 PM
Footlick

Bluegrass Cat was not the horse nosed out by Street Sense in the Davis, fyi

15 Feb 2011 6:40 PM
ravsingh75

My top 3 all ran in the breeders cup juvenile...

1. uncle mo

2. rogue romance

3. jaycito

4. soldat

5. dilaled in

6. astrology

7. the factor...

15 Feb 2011 6:41 PM
oliver

stateofnature-

you want to bet 5to1 that one of Bernardini's first crop will win the BC Classic as a 3yr old? Man, I am willing to take that wager all day if you are serious.

15 Feb 2011 7:02 PM
Footlick

Too bad about the chip.  But it isn't surprising conidering how hard the track has been there.

15 Feb 2011 7:06 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Off topic but Zenyatta got a Valentine's Day card from Bernardini and Steve took a photo of Bernardini and sent it to Dottie and it is up on Zen's webiste!  Go Steve!  Also Zen got an early Valentine's Day visitor, Mike Smith on the 9th!  Way to go guys!

15 Feb 2011 7:30 PM
backside sweetie

Well,I guess now everyone can stop picking on Tapizar's behavior.When will humans ever realize,that animals,especially horses are possibly trying to tell us something is wrong with them when they display unusual behavior!!!!I have had many heated moments,trying to explain that to fellow employees,usually to no avail.Horses are intelligent creatures,knowing when a fly is biting them on the opposite side that the human is on,that is presently yelling at them to STAND!To me,he was trying to let everyone know (I don"t know what is wrong,but I don'T FEEL good)The people that spend 365 days a year with them should be alerted to behavior out of character and take some extra time to find out,what the problem is.

15 Feb 2011 8:22 PM
Inquiry

DIALED IN!!!! from the clouds.

15 Feb 2011 9:15 PM
Derbyme

All,

Hey, yeah.  I was going by memory.  I believe it was Any Given Saturday who ran 2nd to Street Sense.  Blue Grass Cat ran a big 2nd in the Derby at like 33-1 after flopping badly in... the Blue Grass?  

Bottom line, Aqueduct tends to spread out the runners, especially in the Remsen which is typically filled with sprinters.  Either a miler wins, or a turfer outlasts them.  The truly talented horses don't run 9f in November anymore.  They run 8.5f a month earlier in the Breeder's Cup.  Had To Honor and Serve ran in the Breeder's Cup he would have been 4th or 5th choice based on trainer, pedigree, and buzz.  But I tend to think he's probably at the bottom of the top 12 if he's in at all.  2.5 lengths better than Mucho Macho at the Big A is like a neck at Gulfstream.  The more seasoned colts with a fitness advantage will tear him up in the Fountain of Youth.

15 Feb 2011 9:16 PM
El Kabong

Footlick

Not only was blue not the horse, it was not the Davis. Street Sense in his first race back as a 3 year old nosed Any Given Saturday in the Tampa Derby.

15 Feb 2011 9:19 PM
tvnewsbadge

+1 re Alex'sBigFan

What they did to Tapizar was a disgrace and pretty stupid after the Life at Ten debacle.

15 Feb 2011 10:06 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Unfortunately, this makes two black marks against the industry in one race.  Not only were they not astute enough to heed Tapizar's own warning, but as Steve said exacerbated what was already wrong with the ear pulling.

Oh yes, Tap deserves to recuperate from surgery in Zenyatta's court too.  Any misguided or mistreated thoroughbred should deserve some quality "hanging" time with the Queen. I've already "sent" Tiger Eyed and now Tap, QR is already there.  If they continue thoroughbred treatment in this way Lane's End Zenyatta Visitor Barn is going to be loaded.  We all love this sport and industry so much I just wish they could get it together more in promoting horse safety and well-being.

15 Feb 2011 10:28 PM
John T

Henry Cecil will also train the 2

year old full-brother to Frankel who is yet to be named.Frankel himself is doing very well at this time and there looks like some very

promising 3 year olds on both side

of the Atlantic this year.To Honor

And Serve is the horse I like for the Kentucky Derby so I will just have to wait till he races so we can see if he has trained on.

15 Feb 2011 10:33 PM
Coldfacts

Steve,

All your supporters have derby watch lists but I suspect very few have category watch lists. I have compiled data on a lot of categories but the one I have been watching keenly each year is associated with broodmares sired by derby winners. In the last 70 years only two derby winning broodmares were sires by derby winners. They were Iron Maiden dam of 1957 derby winner Iron Liege and Fresh As Fresh dam of 1965 winner Lucky Debonair. Interestingly both broodmares were sired by Triple Crown winners. (Count Fleet/War Admiral) A derby winner is certainly overdue from this category. I thought it would be interesting to highlight the colts on the radar whose dams fall into this category:-

Beamer: (Vindication by Untarnished by Unbridled)

Anthony's Cross  (Indian Charlie by Screening by Unbridled)

Shackleford  (Forestry by Oatsee by Unbridled)

Zayda  (Bluegrass Cat by Winter Solstice by Unbridled)

Elite Alex  (Afleet Alex by Catch The Moment by Unbridled)

Uncle Sam  (Tapit by On The Town by Pleasant Colony)

Yankee Passion (Yankee Victory by Pleasant Pat by Pleasant Colony)

Alternation  (Distorted Humor by Alternate by Seattle Slew)

Sway Away ((Afleet Alex by Seattle Shimmer by Seattle Slew)

Unbridled sired five of the dams associated with colts above. There are about three of these colts high on watch lists. I think the broodmare that will break the drought in this category will reflect Unbridled as sire. He is by far the best extension of Mr. Prospector. He like his grandsire sired a winner of each leg of the Triple Crown (Grindstone, Red Bullet and Empire Maker) His son Grindstone would go on to sire Belmont winner Birdstone who in turn sired Derby and Belmont winners Mine That Bird & Summer Bird. Unbridled has therefore stamped his mark on the Triple Crown and has the credentials to be derby winning broodmare. I have seen a lot of positive comments posted about Elite Alex.

The fact that the last two derby winning broodmares were sired by TC winners, bring into serious focus the Seattle Slew broodmares. If not for the misfortune of Esky in 2010 the Slew might have had is derby winning broodmare. Alternation certainly could get him off the mark. I would not discount any of the above that have shown derby winning ability. Broodmares sire by derby winners are well overdue to produce a derby winner.  

I know a lot of folks have already given the derby to Uncle Mo. However, the derby chart is more likely accommodate a winner from the above category than an Uncle Mo type. If any of your supporters are high on any of the above I would encourage them stand firm.

15 Feb 2011 10:54 PM
Linda in Texas

backside sweetie, my thoughts exactly. Wrote a post then deleted it for fear of being too emotional.

In it I asked, who the heck finally realized he was in a state of agitation and why was nothing done to figure that out sooner?

Pain, stress and fear all cause agitation. He had to be feeling a couple of those because he flat was off kilter.

He is bred to run like hell, but it hurt him to, but his bloodlines tell him run anyway. I wonder how long he had had the chip?

I like him, said so and was not

going to give up on him. Now i  have to.

If you just observe the horse, heck they will tell you. 9 times out of 10, they aren't acting up  like a kid throwing a temper tantrum, there usually is a reason and it is real to them. One day docile and the next off the chart in the behavior department. Something is wrong.

Thanks for your post backside sweetie. That was a good lesson for people to learn.

Dr. D, i think i might have to whip you up some of my 127 Proof Fruitcake a little earlier than next Christmas to settle you down. You are on fire with your postings

and demanding Slew to come up with a list shorter than 40 and you are swearing off of any California horses. You had your wheaties today! That is for sure.

Heck, how can you whittle down a list of 40, when there is a possibility that there could be a bunch more hiding out in the trainer's stables?

And Deacon, you are a gentleman.

Good to see your post, had been missing them.

15 Feb 2011 10:55 PM
NancyP

Hi Steve,

Given Tapizar's behavior prior to the race, during the race and then losing it don't you think that the chip was already in his knee and causing him a great deal of pain or discomfort?

Thanks,

NancyP

15 Feb 2011 11:05 PM
bimbisara1

Steve, at this point after seeing holy bull race i am rooting for dialed in.

15 Feb 2011 11:15 PM
TJLuvsTizs

It is unfortunate incidents and issues that pop up for horses like Tapizar and BAT are part of the road to the Derby, but that is what makes assertions that any horse at this point is going to win the Derby is so ridiculous.  

I look forward to and enjoy the Derby Dozen Presented by Pauls Mill Farm every week for the information that Steve provides, but for the people who criticize Steve for his placement of horses is frustrating!

Each of these horses are still growing and learning every day.  It only takes one race for a horse to turn potential into professional class.  

Many maiden and allowance winners may be true contenders for the Derby but remember they still have to qualify!  Each of the above runners have graded earnings, and until the others get some, they don't deserve to be on the Derby Dozen Presented by Pauls Mill Farm.

My favorite horses (Awesome Patriot and Cal Nation) haven't qualified yet and thus I have no grounds to criticize Steve for not putting them on the list.  However, I could ask Steve what he thinks of Clubhouse Ride.  Although he has been beaten his last few races, he seems to be the Jackson Bend of this group as he always finishes in the money and sometime soon may put it all together.

15 Feb 2011 11:23 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

backside sweetie

   Yeah, and then they go and pull his ears for trying to say he is injured and shouldn't be running. "Oh yeah, quit your crying or I'll really give you something to cry about." Did anyone else hear that one when you were a little kid? Well they gave Tapizar something else to cry about when they pulled his ears. Poor guy. No wonder he was trying to run as fast and as far as he could, pronto !!!  "Leggo my eggo !!!"  You are right, everyone involved with horses or any other animals needs to learn to listen.

16 Feb 2011 12:47 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Linda in Texas

   I was just joking with Slew but she is in her room diligently studying the Derby trail horses as we speak. I'm afraid she'll be up all night. She just made another pot of coffee.

Alex'sBigFan

   Great posts. I think we might have to make it our mission in life to get ear pulling banned.

Deacon

   I'm not about to annoint either. You're right about the track surface being totally different. That's why I like to see A+ works from them at CD prior to the Derby especially if they haven't run there. I'm not going to toss anyone based on where they race despite track surface differences. I do wish they'd slow down the SA surface. Maybe off season they can put in more cushion and top surface. Thanks.

16 Feb 2011 1:19 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Karen in Texas, Linda in Texas, tvnewsbadge, Alex'sBigFan, backside sweetie (Two Texas sweethearts, a Jersey sweetie, a backside sweetie and sweet TV reporting)- The loading into the gate, the restlessness in the gate, and the fear of something happening like happened to Smarty Jones when he cracked his head in the gate is always a stressful time. I'm one that does not believe in doing whatever it takes to get them into the gate. If they won't load with reasonable coaxing and pushing, then scratch them. I honestly would like to get ear pulling banned. If anyone wants to start it, I will donate my time doing work for the cause. Can anyone tell me why the top of the gate isn't higher so there is no chance of the horse or rider hitting their head if the horse rears up?

It ain't easy being good

   Dialed In needs two more races but either way he sure is exciting. I could easily jump headfirst onto his bandwagon.

oliver

   What I do know about Machen is that he is brave and tenacious- certainly two attributes that could help in The Derby slugfest if he gets in. He's a warrior for sure.

16 Feb 2011 1:53 AM
Bill C

Love Dialed In's late kick and would pick him first butI see nothing that says Uncle Mo can't go the distance he looks like a super horse to me but if he can't get the distance Dialed in will catch him. Brethren could do it all he sure looks like he has talent.There is so much talent this year and Uncle Mo stands above them all.

My top 5.

Uncle Mo

Dailed in

To Honor and serve

Brethren

Rouge Romance

16 Feb 2011 4:27 AM
RiverCitySmitty

Willcox Road is waay under the radar and has been off since a fast closing 3rd in the BC Juvy Turf.  he's been working well at the FG and I'm hoping Stidham  gives him a shot on real dirt.  His running style makes me believe he could do quite well if he takes to the surface switch.

16 Feb 2011 5:30 AM
stateofnature12

Oliver,

When referring to a classic win,I was talking about a 3yo classic race you know KY Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Travers, maybe Haskell. Not BC Classic, although I would take 10-1 that Bernardini will get a BC winner in the next 3 years.

16 Feb 2011 5:52 AM
Jon

I just look for Seattle Slew in their lineage, and they're the ones I go for every time.  That's all I need to know.  

16 Feb 2011 7:55 AM
austinbnike

Here's my "Derby Dozen" as of 02/16:

I'm leaving out the obvious contender, Uncle Mo.

1) To Honor And Serve

2) Elite Alex

3) Brethren

4) Dialed In

5) Rogue Romance

6) Casper's Touch

7) Sway Away

8) Machen

9) Astrology

10) Alternation

11) Manicero

12) Awesome Patriot

Others I like: Wilkinson, Sour, Bowman's Causeway, Cal Nation, Nacho Business, Bench Points

16 Feb 2011 8:07 AM
JerseyBoy

The Tapizar episode was unfortunate, as was the Life At Ten episode, but as we criticize the connections and the vets(in both episodes) we should remember that mistakes are made everyday.

Horses do not talk and it must be hard on trainers and vets to diagnose problems. But remember doctors make mistakes too and they deal with people who can talk.

More mistakes will be made this week. It is the nature of racing. Let us hope no one gets injured.

Now the odds on my Pool 1 bet will be lower because of Tapizar's withdrawal. That's really unfortunate.

16 Feb 2011 8:25 AM
Slew

First, Coldfacts...get your facts straight.  "Beamer: (Vindication by Untarnished by Unbridled)"

Should read Beamer by Vindication OUT OF Untarnished by Unbridled.  It's always "BY" a sire, "OUT OF" a mare.

Uncle Mo, BAT and Tapizar have all exhibited the short, choppy, hard-pounding stride of a sprinter.  Two of them are now off the Derby trail. (Only Tapizar had the class to go the distance).  By contrast, To Honor And Serve has class, and glides effortlessly over the ground with an energy efficient stride, barely raising his knees.  Rogue Romance has a graceful stride but needs a touch more speed.  Riveting Reason, while a gutsy performer, is inconsistent. Crossbow and Heron Lake are promising, and the gutsiest performances I have seen have come from Machen, Wilkinson, and Casper's Touch who were all hampered and had to check in their races, but rebroke after adversity to claim wins.  Soldat and even Pants On Fire both ran great races.  I'm waiting to see Stay Thirsty run this year.  

Dr D: Unfortunately my list is being pared down by injuries.  I feel terrible about Tapizar, but at least we all now know why he curtailed his run so abruptly in the RBL.  (And I pulled my kids' ears constantly to get their attention, though some handlers will latch onto a horse's tongue but it seems to be a slippery hand hold. Tapizar was throwing his head around at the time, and it appeared to be better than having Tap thrash around in the gate.)  The blindfold used on QR is a standard practice when a horse balks about going into the gate and usually it's the most efficient way to calm them down.  Unfortunately for QR, it might have been applied too late to help.

My list now is smaller, but not by much.  Runflatout is in the the DRF top 20 after his single debut win.  I have been unimpressed by Thirtyfirststreet and Ten Devils who I think should stick with the turf.  I need to see more from Sweet Ducky and Astrology, though both need more speed. And if Awesome Feather comes back, the boys will have to watch out!

16 Feb 2011 9:15 AM
mike rullo

steve,

please answer this question,

why is johnny v still riding to honor and serve??

why wouldnt mott go to another rider??

16 Feb 2011 9:44 AM
Billy's Empire

Casper's Touch is going to suprise some folks, watch for him to jump out and say "BOOOO"

16 Feb 2011 10:02 AM
Footlick

Let's see how he recuperates from the chip removal.  Some, like Spend a Buck, come back better than ever and some don't.  That's the problem with hard running horses running on hard tracks.  As far as earcuffing and hoods, they are used with great success in Europe.  As Steve said, it exacerbated the situation.  All in all, the gate staff are just trying to get the horse in the gate and break well.  99 out of 100 times the earcuffing will not affect the horses performance at all.  

16 Feb 2011 10:03 AM
Love 'em all

Backside sweetie, good post and darn good reminder.  

Wish only the best for Tapizar - and a successful recovery is at the top.

Take one race at a time.   Remember Odysseus last year?  He was one of my Derby hopefuls.  What a good-looking fella that one was!  

www.bloodhorse.com/.../bone-chip-sidelines-odysseus

Wish 'em all the best.

16 Feb 2011 10:17 AM
Linda in Texas

Sometimes we take chips in knees as Tapizar has been diagnosed with not a serious issue. And he is headed for surgery next week.

But just last April I remember Odysseus also was sidelined with a chip in his knee, 4 months later he was dead of laminitis after developing colitis after his knee chip operation.

So the chips have to be taken seriously. Hope Tap heals quickly and survives to comes back and race again. So delicately fragile these marvels of monstrosity.

And Sherpa, i think you are correct. I am an Empath. And glad to know it is not a bad diagnosis.

Thanks Steve and all be safe.

16 Feb 2011 10:19 AM
Forbidden Apple

Coldfacts,

I don't know where you find the time to dig up all of this information, but I thank you again. Out of your list of horses having a broodmare sired by a KY Derby winner, I like Beamer. Of course he needs graded stakes earnings, but he deserves a long look on the KY Derby trail. In the Sam Davis he closed steadily and galloped out past the winner, I like his slow progression.

Zenyatta John & Trebloc,

Mike Watchmaker's 3 YO male List as of Feb. 12:

1- Uncle Mo 2-To Honor And Serve 3-Dialed In 4-Comma To The Top 5-Runflatout 6-Boys @ Tosconova 7-Jaycito 8-JP's Gusto 9-Tapizar 10-Tiz Blessed

Many people are fans of Boys @ Tosconova, I don't think his list is crap because you don't like one horse on the list. I am sure by this weekend the DRF will have his updated list and Tapizar, Boys @ Tosconova, and Comma To The Top will all be scratched off. He is not my favorite handicapper, but his picks are just as good as the next person. Boys @ Tosconova is by far an over hyped horse in my mind. For this reason I have been saying for months that Uncle Mo beat up on a field of weak/inexperienced horses in the B.C.

Trebloc,

If you take off your T. Pletcher blinkers, you will find that Beamer is far better than your quick analysis based on the Sam Davis. Watch the replay again and you will find that Beamer closed from last into a super slow pace and galloped out around the clubhouse turn past your beloved Brethren. From what I could see, Goncalves never touched the horse with the whip, he was pushing him with a brisk hand ride. Carl Nafzger is a master trainer in my mind and is prepairing his horse for the KY Derby. Why would he want to send his horse all out in a prep race? I am expecting him to get a more serious run in his next start, as he needs graded earnings.

Alex's Big Fan & Backside Sweetie,

Horse racing needs many more people involved in it who think like the both of you. someone on this blog stated that horses do not talk and that is true. However they are very intelligent animals and know how to communicate their discomforts. The stable hands, jockey, or trainer should have picked up on abnormal behavior coming from Tapizar. And it sounds like they did know of some abnormal behavior and did nothing about it. This is yet another reminder of the Life At Ten incident in the B.C. Ladies Classic. I work on the backstretch from April-October here in Saratoga Springs,NY. I have found that many of the workers are only in this game for the paycheck and some of the trainers/owners only care about the purse money. The safety and well being of the horse comes second to greed and money. If one horse has to be retired, oh well, we can just breed a new one next year. I have been lucky the past 2 years to work with trainers who give their horses the best care possible.

Dr. Drunkinbum,

My father ruled by that line, stop crying or I will give you something to cry about. It seems quite possible that Tapizar was injured before he even entered the starting gate. I hope he has a healthy recovery and his owners find him a new trainer.

16 Feb 2011 11:17 AM
trackjack

Zenyatta John,

Thanks for setting up a league in the roadtotheroses.com contest.  I'll get into your league, looking forward to some chats.  I'm waiting as long as possible before the races on 2/26.

I'll second your request to invite any bloggers on this site to get into the contest.

Good Luck!

16 Feb 2011 11:41 AM
Deacon

Linda in Texas:  Thank you for the nice words, I try to be respectful of everyone. I learned a long time ago that folks can disagree without being disagreeable. You and Dr. D always have enteraining posts, I enjoy reading them.

I have been in Zenyatta detox the past few months, wondering where my next horse racing high is coming from. She was like an E ticket ride at Disneyland. Plus it was too early to get excited about these young 3 year olds, so I gave myself some downtime.

16 Feb 2011 12:30 PM
Steve Haskin

Mike, I have wondered the same thing and cannot give you an answer. We'll see if JV rides him in the Fountain of Youth. As far I know he's supposed to. I really don't get it.

16 Feb 2011 12:46 PM
In aint easy being good!

5 Days before the Elite Alex bandwagon is full! He is a beast a superfreak! Horse on fire. Cant wait for the southwest. Its Elite Alex and the rest!

16 Feb 2011 1:25 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Slew

  No problem. The committee has decided to extend the deadline to Apr 20 for you due to your excellent service to the blog.

16 Feb 2011 1:32 PM
Jean in Chicago

Linda in TX, Dr.D, backside sweetie and everybody else who puts the horses first:  

I agree that if the people around the horse are paying attention they should notice that the horse is trying to tell them that something is WRONG.  I'm not talking about some acting up by a young, inexperienced or poorly gate trained horse.  I'm talking about uncharacteristic, off the charts type behavior. Instead, the poor animal puts in a bad performance and the trash talk starts flying.

Secretariat fights the bit, loses the Wood and only afterward do we find out he has an abcess in his mouth; Thorn Song swings to the outside rail, almost dumps Mike Smith in the 2009 Eddie Read and everybody says he's crazy and too dangerous to race.  Later it comes out he ruptured a tendon and had abcesses.  Quality Road won't load and is diagnosed as 'crazy'.  Probably being scratched from the BC was the best thing for his longterm health.  And everybody watching the BC on TV knew something was wrong with Life At Ten, it was only the people in the stands who didn't know.

 Let's just hope Tapizar comes out OK.

16 Feb 2011 2:30 PM
Oldie

Great reading as always :)  I am saddened by the injury to Tapizar, and agree it certainly seems he, like Life At Ten, exhibited unusual behavior that in hindsight was a clear indication there was something wrong.  The question becomes, how often do horses act "off" simply because they are anxious to run, nervous because of new noises and visual cues, etc.?  I am not trying to excuse those who failed to understand their charges, but I am pointing out that these two cases are not a full representation of what jockeys, vets, gate attendants, trainers, assistants, etc. deal with every day of racing.  I would also say that just because something is standard procedure, doesn't mean it should continue to be.  Blindfolding a horse to lead him out of a burning barn and save his life is one thing; blindfolding a horse to get him into a confined space to run a race when he isn't in the correct mental state to do so is something else altogether.  At a certain point we must acknowledge these are living, breathing, sentient beings, not simple inanimate commodities.

Derby picks - with Tapizar out of the lineup, I'm watching Uncle Mo, Sway Away, Runflatout (it is a squeeze, but he has good training behind him, and I sense he has a good brain), Santiva, Soldat, Astrology, Beamer, Elite Alex, and Rogue Romance, and if Pluck is on the trail I will be watching him as well, love that one!  I know everyone's list changes and mine will as well.

16 Feb 2011 2:31 PM
Ranagulzion

Steve & Mike Rullo,

Regarding To Honour and Serve and Johnny V, its fairly simple.  Everyone knows that a lot of negative stuff can happen to a horse between now and the Derby.  For the connections of THS, Johnny V is their first choice and they obviously want to keep that option open as long as possible.  For Johnny V, THS is his insurance against an 11th hour injury to his hot Derby mount Uncle Mo, having suffered misfortune with Quality Road and Eskendereya in 2009 & 2010, and his agent wants to keep that option open for as long as possible.  I'm pretty sure that other astute Jockey's agents have spotted developments and are waiting in line to grab the opportunity to ride the son of Bernardini.  That's simple enough.    

16 Feb 2011 3:32 PM
cuban chef de race

asmussen to astrology stop eating those turtles they are all ready making you slow body.

16 Feb 2011 4:12 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Thanks to all the nice comments and I think we all feel the same, these are majestic creatures that deserve simple respect.  I wish my "virtual" barn I am creating at Lane's End for mistreated thoroughbreds was not fictitious.  Zen had so much healing power to us humans and was an inspirtion, imagine what she could do for her own kind.  This is one barn I don't want to see loaded.  The greed that Forbidden Apple mentioned is what I meant by a "race first" or "the show must go on no matter what" philosophy. I am sure they see thoroughbreds acting a little off or up, especially the "terrible two" age. Maybe they should change that rule to owners, handlers, jockeys, trainerss, assistant trainers, racing managers, grooms, hotwalkers, and vets have the power to scratch a horse from a race.  I am no accomplished horsewoman by any stretch of the imagination but I can't figure out how they missed that communication from Tapizar.  Horseracing needs a "Nancy Grace" person, a great advocate for those abused or killed, who don't have a voice and cannot speak for themselves, like Dr. D. and Backside Sweetie.

Dr. D.,

I wonder what is up with the Santa Anita surface?  Did they treat the ground with chemicals or leftover polytrack chemicals that are permeating through to the dirt and hurting their feet?  Seems they are "hotfooting" over it the same way dogs walk on the sidewalks that have been salted from the ice and snow as the salt burns their paws.  Why is it playing out so fast?  Polytrack used to get really hot in the afternoon sun, maybe the ground is still wreeling from it!

16 Feb 2011 5:39 PM
Alex'sBigFan

I can venture a top 5 now, getting more brave but that really special one hasn't grabbed me yet.

1.  Uncle Mo

2.  Dialed In

3.  Elite Alex

4.  Soldat

5.  Rogue Romance

As for the rest, I have to do that funny, funny thing that Linda in Texas said, "ducking it sweetly!!!"

16 Feb 2011 5:48 PM
Forbidden Apple

I just tried to find out a bit of information on Elite Alex. I noticed that he ran second in an allowance race that was run in 1:42 for one mile. He would have to improve by leaps and bounds to make a dent in the Southwest if that time is correct.

16 Feb 2011 5:56 PM
Slew

Tapizar was on his toes and excited before the race, which is quite normal for some horses.  He ran off...but quit halfway through the race, which makes me think the bone chip may have occurred during the race.  But that is merely speculation.

Dr D: Put on another pot of coffee. While the colts list is being pared down, the fillies list has grown.  Will add Kindersley by Bernardini out of a Storm Cat mare.  1:38 mile won it for her at Gulfstream today, but it was one turn.

16 Feb 2011 6:03 PM
In aint easy being good!

Forbidden Apple watch the race and you be the judge of Elite AleX times dont do you justice when you almost fall starting out!!

www.bloodhorse.com/.../race-7

16 Feb 2011 6:19 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Alex'sBigFan

  Too much sand can do that. Remember walking bare foot on the beach on a very hot day? And it is abrasive too. The surface is almost all sand. That's my theory anyway. There are so many varieties of sand. This one may be abrasive. They have a ways to go. They need to keep working on it.

16 Feb 2011 7:05 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Alex'sBigFan

   Now that I think about it, I used to get abrasions really easy when I used to run barefoot in the sand in my runner days.

16 Feb 2011 7:08 PM
Alex'sBigFan

The more I think about it a "Nancy Grace" show for mistreated thoroughbreds would be great.  For those of you unfamiliar with the show, she, I believe is a former prosecutor and a great advocate for victim's rights and missing and exploited women and children.  The show is a nightly cable show out of New York City.  She takes a "no nonsense, take no crap from anyone" approach, which at times is comical but very righteous and effective.  Callers call in with tips and ideas, much the same as we bloggers do here.  She usually belts out a reverberating "Unleash the lawyers" phrase, in this case she would be screaming, "Unleash the trainers!"  She would be just perfect for our cause, too bad she cannot overextend herself for thoroughbreds' rights as well.

16 Feb 2011 9:39 PM
Bloodline Bob

My #12 was TAPIZAR. My #13 is UNCLE MO, who is now dropping out of the Tampa Bay Derby for an allowance/starter handicap? The only 3 horses on the 2-14-11 DERBY DOZEN list that I think have a chance at winning the KY.DERBY are: MUCHO MACHO MAN,STAY THIRSTY and SOLDAT.

16 Feb 2011 10:47 PM
Coldfacts

I am not sure if you think you are scoring point by pointing out insignificance.  If it's not apparent to you, let me assure you I am quite familiar with thoroughbred jargon. If I considered it necessary to be correct in pointing out that foals come out of a mares I would have. Mr. Haskin's supporters are quite knowledgeable and I assumed they would be able to understand the post even in its incorrect format. I will have you to know that I initially had slahes instead of bys. I would appreciate if you would focus on significant issues and stop being petty.

Kindersley is not nominated to the Triple Crown and would have to be supplemented. Based on your many post in defiance of A P Indy and Bernardini listed below are the TC nominees for the respective stallions:

Bernardini

Arthur's Tale

Bomber Boy

Break Up The Game

Cassini Flight

Crossbow

Gallant Dreams

Heron Lake

Iscar

Major Duomo

Messner

My Dividend

Opening Move

Stay Thirsty

To Honor And Serve

Wilburn

A Pindy

World Renowned

Shadow Warrior

Raison d'Etat

Northern Indy

Manhatan Man

Indy Heir

Clear Attempt

Astrology

16 Feb 2011 11:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Slew

  I just put another pot on and some gumbo. Baking some bread for you too since you're working on two lists. Let me know if you need anything else.

17 Feb 2011 3:51 AM
Jon

Once upon a time a horse's Dosage was front and center in any discussion of it's chances "to get the Derby distance."  We were told that over and over leading up to the Derby.  When was that discarded?  It was, um, useless all along as a barometer when some horse came along with a 5.00+ Dosage and won the Derby?  Anyone know?  

17 Feb 2011 8:13 AM
Serkan

JAKESAM......

17 Feb 2011 8:21 AM
Fran Loszynski

it ain't easy bein good:

I know can't wait for the Southwest.  It's going to be an awesome race! Can't wait for the owners of Elite Alex and Calvin to hold the Triple Crown Trophy. Got a feelin'!!!

Take care oh great son of Tapit. Get better.

17 Feb 2011 9:05 AM
Deacon

This has nothing to do with this Triple Crown blog but hearing that Smarty Jones is going to Uruguay is very disheartening. Classy horse who should have won the Belmont getting shipped off to Uruguay never to be seen again most likely, well it's just not good. What in the world is our sport coming to?

17 Feb 2011 1:14 PM
Blood-Horse Staff

Deacon - Smarty Jones is not moving to Uruguay, he is shuttling. He is standing in Pennsylvania for the Northern Hemisphere season and in Uruguay for the Southern Hemisphere season, and then returning to Pa. You can read more here: www.bloodhorse.com/.../smarty-jones-to-shuttle-to-uruguay

17 Feb 2011 2:07 PM
Forbidden Apple

It aint easy being good,

Thank you for the link to Elite Alex's last race. Yes, that was a very poor and dangerous start. I do pay attention to times and that was extra slow, but I don't follow Oaklawn much. He appears to be a very large strong colt and I like the way he galloped out past the winner around the turn. I noticed the front bandages, is that something that Tim Ritchey does often? The only other horse in the Southwest that I have watched is Yankee Passion, I'll box him up with Elite Alex and hope for the best.

17 Feb 2011 2:48 PM
Rachel

Jon: Strike the Gold (my pick)...Real Quiet (I picked VG)... Charismatic (oh, so my pick I love this horse)...Mine That Bird (only Steve H saw him coming ;-))...

17 Feb 2011 4:20 PM
Coldfacts

Forbidden Apple,

The first time I saw Beamer was his maiden victory at Tampa Bay. I was very impressed with the way he extended his strides in the closing stages of the race. Sadly he appears to be a very slow colt with lots of stamina. I must confess I do not like youngster that were sired by stallions that were trained by messers Pletcher, Bafrett, Lukas and Dutrow during their racing career. If Beamer amasses the requisite graded earning to make the derby field he would have to overcome too many historic negatives to win. His profile is similar to that of 2010 winners Super Saver. SS was sire by a champion 2YO ( Marias Mon) and his dam was sire by Belmont & Breeder Cup winners A.P. Indy. Beamer was sired by a champion 2YO (Vindication) and his dam sired by Derby & Breeder Cup winners Unbridled. Horses with that type of profile are not going to win the derby in successive years. I would safely eliminate him from consideration.  This does not mean you should do likewise as thoroughbred racing is filled with glorious uncertainties.

17 Feb 2011 4:55 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Deacon,

I echo your sentiments about Smarty.  Smarty going to Uruguay? WHAT?  To expand and diversify his mare base!  Indeed!  I hope the medical care level is good there and Smarty is well taken care of during his time out of the states, but I don't like it.  They say he will shuttle back but who can believe it.  In a way this does pertain to this blog because should Rogue Romance win the Derby or Preakness or Belmont, watch how fast Smarty is on a plane back.  Another thoroughbred with no voice, Nancy Grace, help!!!!!!!!

Dr. D.,

Great point about the sand, I felt that something had to be an irritant to their hooves.  They'll figure it out, I have faith.  You were a runner?  Wow that is great.

Did you do any marathons?

17 Feb 2011 5:32 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Deacon

   He's taking a shuttle bus. Just like the adventurers in Romancing The Stone he should be able to make his way back. Isn't that where Invasor is from? It should be fine. Root for Rogue Romance to win The Derby, that will help Smarty to stay here all the time. He just hasn't had the kind of success they were hoping for. If it was me I would keep him here, but I'd have to be really rich to be able to do that. I never like to see any shipped to foreign countries. But then again I didn't even want Zenyatta to go to Kentucky and she seems to be doing good. I have to trust that they know what they are doing and Smarty will be well taken care of. He might have the time of his life with the Senoritas and German beer. It will be like a vacation.

17 Feb 2011 6:21 PM
Alex'sBigFan

I was on the right track, someone told me there is a back to back show also on HLN, called "Issues" with Jane Velez Mitchell also out of NYC.  She is great and actually is an animal rights activist and has animal stories about mistreated animals on her show as well as missing and exploited women and children.  She's a former reporter and has a great show.  So at least there are  people out there sticking up for animal rights for those that cannot speak for themselves.  TVG take note!

17 Feb 2011 6:34 PM
Slew

ColdFACTS: I pointed out the jargon because you are the one who claims to present facts.  I have not been in defiance of AP Indy.  Quite the opposite.  I very much like him and the Royal lineage he carries.  Bernardini was one of my favorites, and his first crop is doing exceptionally well.  He leads the nominations in fact.  However, those are only the initial nominations, and I'm certain more will be added at a later date.  In regard to Kindersley, I'm also looking at the the Kentucky Oaks because we have so many really good fillies this year, and any one of the top just may slide over into the Derby.

Beamer's biggest problem is his youth being a late May foal.  I expect to see a lot of good runs come from him possibly later in the year, but he's been progressing with each race.  His sire, vindication was 2 year old champion but also the son of Seattle Slew.  His dam sire, Unbridled, won the Derby and sired Derby winner Grindstone who sired Belmont and Travers winner Birdstone.  Not too shabby for a bloodline.

Dr D:  Well I made a big pot of chili too.  The home made bread will go well with it.  But I've been very busy trying to decide just when to take down the Christmas tree, now that warm weather has finally arrived.

17 Feb 2011 7:44 PM
Arlene

Someone earlier dispirited my choice of Beamer and maybe attributed it to Dr Drunkinbum in error. Thank you Steve for not discrediting this choice. But, at this stage, so many champion horses who have not even raced in 2011. All I know, and I have been watching since the 60's, that when "around the turn they come" happens on the first Saturday in May..we will all be there. Even the future wagering, the field at 5-2?

Maybe I will take my chances on game day (also I do not have a wagering venue) I hope all contenders stay healthy,and the best colt/filly will win on the day..with luck, connections, conditioning, but for the best colt/filly it will be in their court. I think of Funny Cide, Smarty Jones and (ok soft spot here) Afleet Alex (should have been a Triple Crown winner maybe also Point Given?) Anyway..analyze..the gut feeling..and racing luck. Isn't this a grand game. It is hard for me to support "cheaters-Dutrow"..on my gosh I said that. Only the players know the inside...I wish I could hot walk the contenders..watch their feed and attitude..look at their ankles. But the horses' determination..on the right day and being up to the job..good luck to all the connections and the supporters. And, to our picks.

17 Feb 2011 9:03 PM
Matthew W

Tapizar is a stone cold front runner--if he goes, that's bad for Uncle Mo, who will be chasing a hot pace--better for MoMo to relax/stalk/pounce--Tapizar is this year's X-Factor, I believe him to be the second best horse of this crop, and a close second at that--they only need to realize he needs to go--and don't fight him....

17 Feb 2011 10:49 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Dr. D.,

Oh my goodness!  Smarty and the Senoritas!!!!!  Hee, hee, hee.  I forget if Invasor was from Uruguay or Argentina, Steve you're the expert on Invasor, where's he from?

Yep, Smarty's going on vacation alright, will be sipping Margueritas in no time flat!

18 Feb 2011 12:24 AM
Coldfacts

Steve,

I am selecting a colt from your second dozen to win the San Vicente Stakes. I know very little about him but I am willing to take the gamble and face the consequences. I recently posted a list of colts on radar whose dams were sired by derby winners. In this list was the popular Afleet Alex colt Elite Alex. However, he was not the only Afleet Alex colt in the list. There was also Sway Away the runner up in the 2010 Best Pal Stakes contested in August. He was sidelined after the Best Pal and has been off for six months.

I revisited his Best Pal performance and it was visible from his action that he had issues. His physical issue was not the only thing that was visible. What was very obvious was his immense ability. He was angled five wide and on the wrong lead in the stretch, closed rapidly on the speedy J P Gusto to be only beaten by 1/2L in a fast time of 1:16.61 for 6.5F. No colt by Afleet Alex out of a Seattle Slew mare should be expected to be competitive at 6 ½ F with a five wide trip and not changing leads. Only the very good ones deliver top class performances under adverse conditions.

Hi sire won 2 legs of the TC and dam sire won the whole thing. Only one Seattle Slew broodmare has produced a winner of a Triple Crown race and that was Charming Lassie the dam of Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid. Charming Lassie race once and consequently there was no opportunity to assess how good a horse she would have as her dam was by Buckpasser. The dam of Sway Away (Seattle Shimmer) made one less start as she was unraced. Her dam was sired by Preakness winners Summer Squall who just happens to be the dam sire of recent Belmont winner Summer Bird. Seattle Shimmer like Charming Lasssie is an unknown quantity and that make Sway Away a dangerous colt. I am firmly of the opinion that unraced and lightly raced mares are the best producer of champion horses. The dams of Invasor, Candy Ride, Curlin (unraced); Secretariat (one unplaced start)

My only concern is his level of fitness with such an extended lay off. However, I hardly believe the trainer of this talented colt would risk starting him against the likes The Factor if not fully fit. I hope I have FACTORED in everything in my evaluation.

18 Feb 2011 1:01 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Deacon

  Dick Powell is backing you up and tossing all SA runners.

Slew

  Christmas is just around the corner. Leave it up.

Alex'sBigFan

  I was training for one when I was hurt for good. No more running but I can walk and hike and swim. Even biking is out now which is something else I did a lot of. I did a smaller Triathlon, a ten mile race, and some Bay to Breakers. Pretty good for a sprinter in high school. 100, 220, 440. I would have gotten that Marathon without the injury. I was running over 12 miles a day. I loved running, and really miss it. My favorite was in the sand, dunes and splashing through the surf, especially isolated beaches with no other humans. Just me and the birds. A marathon is a great accomplishment. Beyond natural human capacity. Breaking through ridiculous pain and suffering and the 20 mile barrier. Almost unheard of centuries ago. Only modern man has that much desire to punish himself unmercifully in that capacity for an achievement with no monetary reward. Just deep satisfaction of the survival and crossing that line. Kind of like horses in The Kentucky Derby or especially The Belmont Stakes. To say, " I did it and I survived." I know that many people say after the first one that there is no way they will do it again, and then they do it again. How else can you accomplish something so extraordinary?

18 Feb 2011 2:47 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Training at HP and running at SA may become more of the norm. That track is too fast and too hard. Reminds me of when I used to get shin splints from running too much on asphalt. If it takes too much of a toll on the runners there, maybe it is wise to toss them as Deacon and Powell say but I'm not that wise. I'll still play them if I like them and they make it to the Derby. And I am expecting a Wow performance from The Factor on Sunday. With Sway Away coming in second. But all I ever really want is for all of the horses and jockeys to be safe. It's a bird, no it's a plane, no it's The Factor, more powerful than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet and who came to earth with powers and abilities far exceeding those of normal horses who can set track records in the blink of an eye. I wish his jockey was named Lois or Jimmy.

18 Feb 2011 3:01 AM
Slew

ABF: Invasor was from Argentina.  

I forgot to add to the Unbridled line Birdstone siring Ky Derby winner Mine That Bird, and Belmont winner Summer Bird.  Seems like a very consistent line to me.  So Beamer certainly has the class, he just needs the maturity....and the muscle (he's still a very lean colt who is being brought along slowly and carefully.)

18 Feb 2011 8:01 AM
Fran Loszynski

Dr. D.

You couldn't be more on the button about loading the racehorse in the gate. If the horse has a problem maybe he isn't feeling well, is scared for some reason or gee God forbid like we humans has a headache! We fans should all get together and somehow stop the un-necessary force of loading a racehorse. I know its big money involved but to this day I feel if Barbaro who tensed up after a fault start if his leg was cramped from that and led to it being broken. I feel he should have been scratched.  Thank God he had Edgar Prado aboard but to no avail we lost a great racehorse. A racehorse should "want to race". Sure they might be a little testy that day but if they don't calm down then "its back to the barn". I can assure you if the person is a real fan of horseracing he would rather the horse be treated well then win on his ticket.

18 Feb 2011 8:11 AM
Slew

I prefer the UK method where if a horse does not wish to load, they stop trying and give him a break.  They'll try only once more; if he balks again, he's scratched.  In fact, it just happened in the 4th race at Meydan.

18 Feb 2011 12:32 PM
Jean in Chicago

ABF & Slew:

Invasor was Argentinian, but he raced in Uruguay (won their triple crown) before he came up here.  I've thought he and Zenyatta might make a nice couple.

18 Feb 2011 1:55 PM
Zookeeper

Dr D.,

Good writing about running!!! Who knew the Bumster was such an athlete? :)

The beach, the sand, the birds... it all sounds great to me, but I'd just be walking. Never could run (sigh).

18 Feb 2011 2:31 PM
Jean in Chicago

Zookeeper:

I'm another non-runner, but I've got ambling and wandering aimlessly down pat.  This allows me the time to find interesting pieces of wood and pretty rocks to fill up my pockets.

Dear Dr.D: "But all I really want is for all the horses and jockeys to be safe."  Well said.  I knew there was a reason I liked you so much.

18 Feb 2011 4:08 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Dr. D.,

Wow, I knew you were a runner!  I know all too well all the effort involved, my husband was a New York elite runner.  He won ROY in New York and New Jersey in 2000 or 2001, I forget the year.  He was basically a 5K & 10K specialist, but won the Hartford Marathon in 1999 and was the 20th over the finish line out of 30,000+ in NYC in 2001.  You sound like you were a great runner too and I understand your pain of missing it, him too with trying to run a business now and minor injuries it is tough to continue and he is basically out of it for right now but trains lightly.  He has been running since age 10 in Morocco.  He was a niche under the greats, the record breakers.  The Kenyans are unbeatable today, more than likely due to the high altitude training conditions in their country.  Which brings me to a question maybe only you could figure out, would high altitute training benefit horse runners?  But your story was great and thanks for sharing it, no wonder you have a wealth of knowledge about horse and human running.

Coldfacts,

Wow you are surely the "Factster."  I can't keep up with all these facts!  Interesting point about lightly raced mares producing more champions, doesn't bode well for Zenyatta, all the more reason to make her an ambassador.  Let's see what Sway Away does.  And keep the facts coming.  I really like the auction/purchase price analogy post, what was Elite Alex's purchase price?

Fran, Slew, etc.,

I like the UK loading method that Slew mentioned.  And like Dr. D. said "with a reasonable amount of coaxing."  Also the "who gets to scratch" needs work too.  A lot rests on the jock's shoulders as he is the only one involved from the time they leave the paddock saddling area to the post parade to the gate.  He bears a heavy burden of responsiblity by himself in that all of 10 minute time frame?  Even if one is out of character at the last minute they should err on the side of caution

and scratch, not to mention out of character from the walkover from the barns to the saddling area.  It's far beyond me to address but after Life At Ten and Tapizar the industry has to re-think these two policies.

18 Feb 2011 6:04 PM
Alex'sBigFan

I can't get the image out of my mind of Smarty wearing a big straw hat, smoking a cigar, and being poolside somewhere in Uruguay!  

"Don Smarty Y Las Senoritas!"  Gives Steve a whole new chapter to write about.  But if I had it my way, Smarty's feet would be firmly standing on the good old Pennsylvania soil.

18 Feb 2011 6:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Jean In Chicago, Fran

  Thanks. Best wishes to Eibar Coa. I sure hope he regains feeling. Another reminder of how dangerous the sport is, and we should never forget that, and appreciate the tremendous courage of rider and horse every race.

Deacon

   I'm not disagreeing, just trying to look at things in a positive manner when possible for my own peace of mind to balance my love of animals with my love of the sport. I'd rather see Smarty stay home but I also think that for the survival of the sport owners are facing tough economic decisions. I don't like it either.

18 Feb 2011 8:25 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Zookeeper

   Thank you. Now I'm like you and Jean. I walk it and collect rocks. Almost any kind of meandering at the beach or track is good. We're lucky we can walk. I hope Coa will be able to do the same.

19 Feb 2011 12:00 AM
Zookeeper

Dr D,

Amen to all of that, especially Coa!

19 Feb 2011 12:34 PM
Slew

Well...what do I do today...take down the Christmas/Valentine tree? Shovel snow?  Or watch horse racing?  Scratch the first 2, I'll stay with the 3rd.

Two days ago, the weather warmed up, I finally saw my grass for the first time in 3 months.  Today, the gusty wind blew in temps in the teens, snow, ice, and will dump 12 inches on us tomorrow.  It's definitely time to make more chili!...and watch the races.

I was most impressed by Bind yesterday, and I can't wait to see more.  Machen seemed to tire.  Beautiful running from MMM, Santiva, and RR.  And Kathmanblu was awesome, while Amen Hallelujah just can't seem to get back in gear.  The San Luis Obispo was a heart-stopping run.  Loved the race but a shade disappointed Bourbon Bay didn't quite get his nose to the wire first.  The Champ however, did well.  

My prayers go out to Eibar Coa and his family.  

20 Feb 2011 9:36 AM
JJ Lucky Train

1) Uncle Mo

2) The Factor

3) Dialed In

4) Brethren

5) Silver Medallion

6) SWAY AWAY....Outstanding Effort

7) Soldat

20 Feb 2011 10:01 PM
Fran Loszynski

GO ELITE ALEX

BRING THE TRIPLE CROWN HOME YOU AND CALVIN FOR GOOD OLE' DAD!

Scene at Gainesway Farm:

Afleet Alex gazing at the stable T.V. brought in and smiling "That's my son!"

21 Feb 2011 7:30 AM
Exactabox

Waiting patiently for the next Derby Dozen...I know who firmly planted themselves on my list yesterday...were you 'Swayed' Mr.Haskin??

21 Feb 2011 9:55 AM
Forbidden Apple

Coldfacts,

Although Sway Away ran second again, his late kick was unbelievable. His head was way up in the air and he took off like a rocket down the stretch. He clearly needs more distance and is by far my top pick for the Santa Anita Derby. In the Best Pal he galloped out past JP's Gusto and in the San Vicente he galloped out past The Factor. I thank you again for pointing this horse out before the San Vicente, excellent work on your part.

21 Feb 2011 1:44 PM
new york connection

my top ten .......... not in any order but these are the top ten. So PAY ATTENTION TO SURFACE, CLOSING,TIME,POWER RANK, WHO CARES ABOUT MONEY, trust me. PICK  YOUR WINNER FROM MY LIST IS 100 PERCENT.

3 OF TEN HERE WILL BE THE TRIFECTA.

comma to the top

dialed in

nehro

uncle mo

midnight interlude

shacklford

animal kingdom

decisive moment

astrology

archarcdharch

21 Apr 2011 8:34 AM

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