Derby Dozen - February 22, 2011 - Presented by Pauls Mill


 1

Uncle Mo Todd Pletcher

Indian Charlie—Playa Maya, by Arch

Breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 as he progresses toward much-awaited debut. The new one-mile stakes carded at Gulfstream on March 12, same day as Tampa Derby, adds a new twist and is now their first choice. From a historical standpoint, only one horse in the past 30 years -- Big Brown -- has won the Derby off only one two-turn race at 3. But Uncle Mo, like Big Brown, could be a freak. We won’t know for sure now until the Wood.

 2

To Honor and Serve Bill Mott

Bernardini—Pilfer, by Deputy Minister

His Remsen form was boosted by Mucho Macho Man’s victory in the Risen Star. He’ll get a chance to boost that form even further when he debuts in Saturday’s Fountain of Youth. Worked a bullet half in :48 2/5. He’s had some terrific works over the deep Payaon Park surface; he’s ready.

 3

Dialed In Nick Zito

Mineshaft —Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat

Never like uncertainty on the Derby trail, so we’ll just have to bank on Zito finding a desirable two-turn race before the Florida Derby, which is imperative. But what and where? Time is running out at Gulfstream. Coincidentally, the colt hasn’t worked in 11 days. The bottom line is that Zito needs to find two races for him…somewhere. This is what can happen when you’re playing catch-up with a lightly raced horse. Keeping him where he is for now.

4

Mucho Macho Man Kathy Ritvo

Macho Uno—Ponche de Leona, by Ponche

He may not have the greatest 10-furlong pedigree, but the way he gobbles up ground going 1 1/8 miles and 1 1/16 miles, he should have no problem getting the extra furlong. He did everything right in the Risen Star. He runs hard and you had to love his fast closing fractions. Inbreeding to Grey Dawn II will help him stretch out. Here is your Cinderella story.

 5

Stay Thirsty Todd Petcher

Bernardini—Marozia, by Storm Bird

Only two more weeks until he attempts to get out of Uncle Mo’s shadow in the Gotham Stakes. Once again, he worked faster than Mo, with a sharp 1:00 3/5 breeze. The Gotham is a good spot, but then he’ll have to hit the road again, as Mo is slated to run in the Wood Memorial.

6

Brethren Todd Pletcher

Distorted Humor—Supercharger, by A.P. Indy

With Uncle Mo now running at Gulfstream, WinStar will get their wish and make it back to Tampa for the Tampa Derby over a surface he apparently loves. Visually, you couldn’t have asked for him to handle that track any better. He follows in the footsteps of past WinStar horses Any Given Saturday, Rule, and Super Saver, who have run big at Tampa.

7

Soldat Kiaran McLaughlin

War Front—Le Relais, by Coronado’s Quest

Moved him past a couple of horses, feeling he is going to be tough in the Fountain of Youth, especially with the way he’s working. He was very sharp breezing a half in :47 3/5 on Saturday. He just may be a lot better than people think.

 8

Jaycito Bob Baffert

Victory Gallop—Night Edition, by Ascot Knight

He continues to train up a storm, working seven furlongs in 1:24 4/5 as a follow-up to his 1:25 2/5 drill on Feb. 15. Baffert has him primed for a huge effort in the San Felipe. We’ll see what gives between him and Astrology. If either wins, they will vault right up near the top.

 9

Astrology Steve Asmussen

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

The Kentucky Jockey Club form was boosted by Santiva’s excellent effort in the Risen Star. It’s difficult to maintain your ranking this late without running, and so far he’s not as advanced in his training as Jaycito. He breezed 5 furlongs in 1:03 1/5, but look for his training to pick up in the next two weeks. It would be a surprise if he doesn’t come out running in the San Felipe. At 48-1, this is your potential Future Wager overlay, along with Stay Thirsty at 40-1.

10

Santiva Eddie Kenneally

Giant’s Causeway—Slide, by Smarten

Other than winning, you couldn’t have asked for a better 3-year-old debut, as he answered most of his critics who felt he was too slow. He still needs to get a bit faster, but his Risen Star effort was a big step in that direction, as he was running on well at the finish. You have to love his consistency; he always runs his race.

11

Rogue Romance Kenny McPeek

Smarty Jones—Lovington, by Afleet

He is another who needs to keep improving and show a little more turn of foot, which might have helped him break free of traffic a bit quicker in the Risen Star. But all in all this was an excellent effort and he should move forward.

12

Anthony’s Cross Eoin Harty

Indian Charlie—Screening, by Unbridled

Still not convinced the Robert Lewis was a top prep and didn’t like the slow closing fractions, but decided to add him because he has improved with every race and showed marked improvement with blinkers added. He seems able to use his tactical speed more effectively and showed his mettle under fire. And he has a sharp trainer who has plenty of Derby experience, both as a trainer and as head assistant to Bob Baffert during his Derby glory days.

12

Toby’s Corner Graham Motion

Bellamy Road —Brandon’s Ride, by Mister Frisky

Hate to have a baker’s dozen two weeks in a row, but there was no reason to drop him, and the feeling is that he’s a very good horse who has a lot of upside and will be tough in the Gotham Stakes. He still has some maturing to do, but keeps on winning and defeated some nice horses in the Whirlaway.

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.

139 Comments

Leave a Comment:

pat boland

good luck

22 Feb 2011 12:15 PM
zarvona

 Boy, personally I can't wait to see what the likes of:

 "The Factor";                              22.20 ; 43.41; 1:07.31 ; 1:20.34;  AWESOME !!! ... "Da Ruler"; "Albergatti"; "Escort";

"Bind"; "Ft. Hughes"; "Sway Away";

"Runflatout"; "Bench Points";

"Awesome Patriot"; "Swagger Jack"; "Chinese Praise" & "Laconic" ...all do in some 1st time out '2 turn' effort... They all have speed and all are bred for longer! It's certainly gonna make for a most interesting Spring to challenge that 'baker's dozen' with.

22 Feb 2011 12:20 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

1. Jaycito- Training great. Has 200k in graded earnings. Just needs to pick up a little more in the March 12 San Felipe and then run well in the Apr 9 SA Derby, and peak in The Derby. Obviously has to have grown up mentally after bolting in the juvy. Good closing style for The Derby.

2. Dialed In- Find him a race, any race, before the Florida Derby.

3.Soldat-Versatile class. Will find out Saturday in the FOY how he does on dry dirt. No rain in the forecast.

4. Uncle Mo-A 2yo freak. We won't know that much about him as a 3yo until The Derby since he should dominate his two preps. He has the earnings. I would have looked for the best competition I could find.

5. Sway Away- I love his pedigree. Closed really well on Sunday against the world's fastest runner.

6. Silver Medallion- I'm hoping his next is dry dirt instead of taking the easy route with synthetics just to get into The Derby.

7. Rogue Romance- I almost tossed him after his last, then watched the replay and will give him another chance.

8. To Honor and Serve- I'm not sold on his high ranking on most lists but deserves to be somewhere on the list. Strong 2yo, finally running again this Sat. in the FOY.

9. Elite Alex- A little disappointed in his last but am still thinking 10f could be his forte if he can get to the Derby.

10. Awesome Patriot- Training exceptional and always gives it his all.

11. Beamer- Love his pedigree and heart. Needs to mature.

12. Runflatout- Tall order for talented colt to jump up to graded from msw and 8.5f from 6f. It will be interesting. He'll be facing a strong group Mar 12 San Felipe so we'll know then.

13. The Factor-Fastest horse on earth. They have their work cut out if they want to slow him enough for The Derby. If they can't then they won't try. They'll go for sprints and up to a mile.

22 Feb 2011 12:40 PM
TRACKMAN

Steve, I was very impressed with the way DIALED IN won his maiden, overcoming the obstacles that he did. He verified my thoughts about him when he scored in the Holy Bull. Zito want's to find another race before the Florida Derby, but, if he cant, Dialed In would then go into the KY Derby with 3 lifetime starts. As impressive as he has been up to date, I feel that would be a tremendous disadvantage to hurdle. I recall CURLIN in 2007 won his maiden(in his 3 yr old yr)!!! by a large margin, jump into the G3 Rebel and won, followed by a step up into the then G2 Arkansas Derby and won that also. Still, he couldn't get the job done in Kentucky off those impressive races because I feel he was behind in seasoning  as well as foundation. After that '07 Derby, we know what happened with Curlin's career from the Preakness onward. Do you think Dialed In's situation I've described paralels that of Curlin's?

22 Feb 2011 12:50 PM
Johnny

Said it before and I will say it again Mucho Macho Man June Foal and a big horse watch out for him..

I am also liking Soldat more and more my pick for the FOY..

Still a long way to go..

22 Feb 2011 1:36 PM
JerseyBoy

Steve:

Now that the early results are in, I will say this year we could have a Triple Crown winner. All that needs to happen is for To Honor And Serve (THAS) to have an inside draw in the Ky Derby.

This is my analysis. I added the Speed Figure and the Track Variant produced on a dry track by the top candidates at races of a mile and longer.

The top 2 figures for THAS are:

90+13=103

89+23=112

The top 2 figures for Uncle Mo are:

93+7=100

91+12=103

This means that THAS's second best equals Uncle MO's best. If 3 points are deducted for difference in weight carried, THAS's best drops to 109, which still beats Uncle Mo's best.

THAS put up his numbers under a hand ride. He once ran the final quarter 23 4/5 seconds. He need not show any improvement to win the Ky Derby. If he maintains the numbers he will win in about 2:01.

The other runners do not count.

Needless to say, my Future bet in POOL 1 is on THAS. I added an exacta box THAS/Tiz Blessed.

22 Feb 2011 1:36 PM
tcc

Steve:

Maybe they should let you be a 4TH member of the guys that pick the horses for KDFW pool's. At least consider you're input.

22 Feb 2011 2:02 PM
Lowell Rickert

The Factor?????  I guess you think he can't get the distance??

22 Feb 2011 2:05 PM
Kimberley Maunder

I do think it's between Mo and Brethren but may be proved wrong of course!!!!

22 Feb 2011 2:17 PM
jack meyhoffer

anyone know what is the plan with heron lake??

22 Feb 2011 2:20 PM
Fran Loszynski

I'm sorry, but I have to say

ELITE ALEX IS WICKED FAST!!! This racehorse could run on sinking sand and win. he's getting experience with traffic problems early on by the time other stakes races hit him we will be looking at a racecar, not even a racehorse, a racecar. Calvin is figuring him out and he likes what he feels. His speed reminds me of Afleet Alex, Secretariat, Ruffian, and Seattle Slew.

My worry is "Soldat". he will be head to head with him in the Belmont but Elite Alex will win the Triple: Derby picks:

       ELITE ALEX

       SWAY AWAY

       SOLDAT

       DIALED IN

22 Feb 2011 2:21 PM
El Kabong

Steve,

Judging from your list, you were most impress with the Risen Star last week?

I Liked what I saw in the Risen Star from both 1st and 2nd place runners. Likewise with the San Vicente 1 & 2, but more so in this race from Sway Away's calvary charge at The Factor. He was churning dirt like a quarter horse but he looks like he could handle more ground. We shall see. Southwest was a yawner and I don't see anyone coming out of this race being a factor the first week in May.

Really looking forward to the FOY. I like SOLDAT in this field so far. I hope he improves and gets some good experience. He is at the top of my list based on what I have seen this year.  I'm glad you moved him up.

22 Feb 2011 2:28 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Nothing wrong with a baker's dozen. I'll take a chocolate Old Fashioned for my free donut, or maybe a Win Willy with the sprinkles on top.

22 Feb 2011 2:35 PM
Steve Haskin

Zarvona, I have already challenged it ia past column, listing my second Derby Dozen, made up of lesser-known horses. Among those on the list, Casper's touch is running in the FOY, Elite Alex ran OK in the Southwest, Alternation looked good winning an allowance race, Sway Away showed great promise in the San Vicente, Machen should improve off the Risen Star, Beamer ran a solid 4th in the Sam Davis, Crossbow goes in the Hutcheson, and still waiting for Awesome Patriot to show up. He's running out of time.

22 Feb 2011 2:35 PM
Robert

I liked what I saw in Mucho Macho Man also, but if he makes the Derby, he will need some breaks.  As Steve says, he has inbreeding to Grey Dawn II, but I believe it is to far back to do him any good (5x5), and typically inbreeding to Grey Dawn II is a speed trait.  He is likely to get more stamina from Tom Rolfe in the 5th and Nijinsky II in the 4th generations.  He will be getting some of my long shot money.

22 Feb 2011 2:42 PM
trenchtownrock

I have Stay Thirsty number one..Uncle Mo is fourth ...dialed in second and Honor and serve third...still looking for something from the clouds to take my breath away.

22 Feb 2011 3:07 PM
mickey 1957

hey....billy's empire,what was it you said about archarcharch,after the smarty jone's....do you remember my comment?.....well yesterday he won the southwest stake's,my pocket's full of cecil's......bad move for mo....would have gotten,much more out of the tampa bay derby...great for me,because I loved brethren from jump street...you think todd's loyalty is to winstar,over repole,I think so....this confirm's that mo is toast...and if baffert decide's to run the factor in the derby,the mo is burnt toast....I am looking for baffert to use the factor,to either steal the derby or use as a rabbit,any horse's who dare to run with him for 3/4 of a mile will be spent...for sure those with 2-derby prep,and 1- a walk over(timely writer).

22 Feb 2011 3:20 PM
Tiznow

I'm glad to hear someone else believes in Soldat at this point Steve. Something about that horse keeps telling me he will be fine on a fast dirt surface. Sounds like we will get to find out with the forecast apparently. Dialed In skipping...where DOES he go before the Florida Derby...highly concerned here.

22 Feb 2011 3:27 PM
Bloodline Bob

I'm in a different league than these people.

22 Feb 2011 3:27 PM
Mike

1) Astrology,

but he needs to get cranked up fast

has anyone noticed how much he runs like Alysheba? Reminds me an awful lot of him. Aly as a late bloomer too.

22 Feb 2011 3:35 PM
Alex'sBigFan

The Factor is one speed freak!  Wow, impressive.  I wonder what they will do with him, make him a sprinter or go Derby bound?  Sway Away, not bad.  Mucho Macho Man was impressive as well.  Elite Alex and Rogue Romance are both starting to worry me. They both took 3rd in their respective races but aren't ready or something?  They need work.  Elite Alex has to come up with $ in a win to get in now.  In recent prep races we've had a Casper's Touch, a Casperzapper, and a Ghost Is Clear!  Things are getting mighty spooky on the Derby trail!!!

22 Feb 2011 4:44 PM
Freetex

Steve, what are your thoughts about Archarcharch's performance in The Southwest Stakes?

22 Feb 2011 5:03 PM
Freetex

Sorry, I meant to add as far as reaching your Derby Dozen, what chances would you possibly give Archarcharch?

22 Feb 2011 5:04 PM
In aint easy being good!

I still think elite alex is the man he went so wide in the southwest that the fans could almost touch him when he went by! Soldat is awesome since haskins is puzzled by his pedigree = winner in my book.

Soldat

Elite Alex

Mucho Macho Man

????????? Mystery horse

22 Feb 2011 5:08 PM
StonesRoy

I like Mucho's seasoning relative to the majority of these horses, but wasn't all that impressed with his stride in the Risen Star.  He looked to be working awful hard, and he'll be carrying 10 lbs more and going 3/16ths further in the Derby.  

Archarcharch, on the other hand, was visually impressive and I loved his closing stride.  I can't wait to see him go longer to see what he's made of.  Even though I don't have him in any futures bets, I'll be rooting for him.  What a beautiful horse!

Sway Away had that nice closing kick but he also needs to run longer to convince me.

22 Feb 2011 5:22 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I think Baffert caught a serious case of Derby Fever this morning. He was fine yesterday, saying they were going to go slow with The Factor and move him up in increments and that 9f wouldn't be anytime soon. Then he takes a sauna and goes right out into the cold weather in his t-shirt. I guess 7f to 9f is an increment. March 27 isn't that far away though.

22 Feb 2011 5:41 PM
StonesRoy

I love the Derby Futures, but can't bet a horse at less than 20-1.  Too much can happen between now and May, and your odds on Derby Day may be the same or better than now.

I bet $10 on two 30-1 shots (Thirsty, Mucho) and one 50-1 shot (Sweet Ducky!!) and a $5 Exacta Box on Dialed In-Mucho.  If I have 1 live ticket on Derby Day I'm happy.  I understand the risk...which is why I can't bet on Uncle Mo at such low odds.

22 Feb 2011 5:45 PM
WinPlaceNoShow

JerseyBoy

I agree with your sentiments.  We could all be witnessing the beginning of a brilliant season for the most brilliant 3 year old in the FOY.  Will be just another stroll in the park. I just hope Mr. Mott's decision to run him in the Remsen instead of the KJC last year does not backfire in the Kentucky Derby!

22 Feb 2011 6:16 PM
SaratogaDreamin

I think we are down to 7 of your top 8....Mucho macho man has no shot.....there are other terrific 3yr olds, but for later in the spring/summer...derby is down to 7...

22 Feb 2011 6:18 PM
WinnahPickah

Kudos, to Baffert. He's still miles ahead of Pletcher, IMO.

Run 'um early at a 1 1/8 and still have enough time to regroup if it doesn't go well. If he andles the distance train him up to 5/7.

He's gotta take a shot

If Uncle Mo blows a gasket in the Wood Mem'l. Your stuck with nothing but hope and racing luck. I just don't like that pedigree contesting a hot pace going 1 1/4? Remember, Pletcher thought Quality Road could get 1 1/4. How did that turn out?

22 Feb 2011 6:48 PM
Quiet American 55

Again, thanks Steve for the intial thoughts and the platform.  I think Baffert is pretty much being straight-up.  The March 27 race in New Mexico, although 1 and 1/8 is about the $800K, and a stretch out.  I do not believe they'll send "Factor" to the Derby, no matter the result.  The MET MILE seems to me is a better long term objective.  Steve's right on with "his dozen" given what they've accomplished to date.  I'm locked on to both Afleet Alex horses (Elite Alex and Sway Away)personally and look for both to win a grade one mile and 1/8 prep., prior to the Derby.  Hopefully Break Up The Game breaks his maiden next out and at least becomes a thought (if even a big reach).

22 Feb 2011 6:50 PM
Johnny

The Factor going to Sunland huh?

First thing I thought of was from sea level to 5000ft above.

Then I thought of Mine that Bird going from their to the KYDerby and winning..

Thoughts anyone?

I do not believe The Factor is a KY derby horse and right now would be on none of my tickets..

22 Feb 2011 7:01 PM
m2m

Steve I think you"ll be proven right about the "bakers dozen" horse. The longer it gets the better he'll be.  Sway Away closing was impressive, let's see if he can do it around two turns.

1 Toby's Corner

2 Dialed In

3 Uncle Mo

4 To Honor and Serve

5 Brethren

22 Feb 2011 7:07 PM
Big Papa

I like how Alternation is winning each time out with basically the same race.  Interested to see him in stakes company.

22 Feb 2011 7:27 PM
WinPlaceNoShow

Why would anyone want to bet Uncle Mo in the KDFW at 7-2 odds?  My feeling is the owner or someone closely connected with the horse put a big wager just as the pool opened Friday which would explain why the horse was 2-1 after day 1.  Currently, Vegas is offering Mo at 6-1 which I think is still not fair odds considering Lookin at Lucky went off the same price in the derby, but Mo is still no guarantee to make the gate as of yet.

As for the other horse, with the exception of Dialed In who is 8-1 in Vegas, there was value in all the others in the just concluded KDFW

Brethren: Vegas 10-1, KDFW 15-1

Mucho Macho Man: Vegas 12-1, KDFW 30-1

Rogue Romance: Vegas 20-1, KDFW 34-1

Santiva: Vegas 15-1, KDFW 37-1

The Factor: Vegas 8-1, KDFW 25-1

To Honor and Serve: Vegas 8-1, KDFW 10-1

22 Feb 2011 7:42 PM
ilwacocapper

hope ya all are betting uncle moe looks to me like there trying to hide him he wont finish in the tope 10 at a 1 1/4 please all bet bet bet moe

22 Feb 2011 8:06 PM
Giddyup

To me Soldat just seems to have that attitude you always find in a champion. They don't care about surface, distance, weather etc...they just want to win. With To Honor & Serve, Gourmet Dinner and Sweet Ducky also entered in the FOY it's not hard to see why Zito is taking a pass with Dialed In.

22 Feb 2011 8:25 PM
thederbydream

Steve I was ready to drive the Dialed In bandwagon after the Holy Bull but as you said I am a little nervous over the change in plans and no works as you say last 11 days. I have all the confidence in Zito but usually what we have learned is when plans change on the derby trail there is usually something going on. I hope he is ok. Did like Rouge Romance after rewathching his race but I am really looking forward to Honor and Serve and his return this weekend.

22 Feb 2011 8:26 PM
Ranagulzion

On a dry track any horse running 2:01 this year will be about 5 lengths behind Uncle Mo at the wire, in the Kentucky Derby and may not even make the frame.  With anticipated improvement from Dialed In, Mucho Macho Man, Sweet Ducky and Santiva, and a possible wow performance from Soldat coming in the FOY, some paper projections are gonna be blown away on-the-track.

22 Feb 2011 8:30 PM
ROBINM

Steve;

I think your list is still good.  I was disappointed in Elite Alex Monday.  Expected something more than the wide trip and flattening out.  Maybe he simply doesn't have the speed to be able to get into better spots, or maybe Calvin just hasn't figured him out yet.  What ever happened to Calvin "Bo Rail"?

I'm very disappointe to hear Baffert is keeping The Factor on the TC Trail.  He is possibly the fastest horse I've ever seen but he clearly can't be rated and he'll never get 1-1/4.  Why can't they just keep him doing what he does well.  Remember Lost in the Fog?  His people did the right thing for their horse.

Still can't wait to see RunFlatOut.

22 Feb 2011 9:15 PM
Paula Higgins

Steve, pretty much agree with your list. Alot of talent this year that is developing right on time. In several more weeks we will know if Uncle Mo is holding his form. I hope so.

22 Feb 2011 9:20 PM
Horswld

On the Southwest Stakes it seems like everyone is Archarcharch this and Elite Alex that. But who caught my eye more than the other two was JP's Gusto. He had much the worst trip and was gaining by leaps and bounds on the winner. His trainer isnt worried about his distant limitations nor am I. He was a hardcore front runner as a two yr old but has come to show that he can relax and come from off the pace and his experience with hard knocks is a learning lesson and leaping point for a race such as the Derby. I'm keeping my eye on this one.

22 Feb 2011 9:28 PM
Giddyup

Forgot to thank Steve for leaving out the word Kentucky. Otherwise it would be the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum brands "Dirty Dozen" by Steve Haskin presented by Pauls Mill. Any hints on how I can get some corporate sponsorship for my future blog comments?

22 Feb 2011 9:32 PM
halapeno

i THOUGHT SWAY AWAY WAS MORE IMPRESSIVE THAN THE FACTOR. THE FACTOR IS  A BURN OUT ARTIST THAT IS SIMILAR TO BOYS AT TOSCARENO. HE WILL BE  A CHAMPION SPRINTER ONLY. SWAY AWAY MAY CLOSE IN THE DERBY TO WP.

22 Feb 2011 9:52 PM
mike rullo

steve,

zito should run dialed In at tampa in the tampa bay derby. good set up for the wood or arkansas derby.

what do you think?

22 Feb 2011 10:07 PM
HERMINIO

1. TO HONOR AND SERVE

2. UNCLE MO

3. DIALED IN

4. BRETHREN

5. ROGUE ROMANCE

6. SANTIVA

7. STAY THIRSTY

8. SWAY AWAY

9. MUCHO MACHO MAN

10.MOUNTAIN TOWN

11.JAYCITO

12.WILLCOX INN

22 Feb 2011 10:38 PM
RJPPDP

Things will alot different knowing that The Factor is going for graded earnings. If he makes the derby we will definitely see a fast pace and have to handicap accordingly. I still love how things are working out Uncle Mo going in the timely matter and the Wood. Brethren in the Tampa Bay Derby and Stay Thirsty in the Gotham. The Louisana Derby will return with Machen. Arkansas will be rocked by alternation. FLorida is up for grabs between THS and Soldat. I hope it all works out

22 Feb 2011 10:44 PM
It's been 32 years and it's still 31.5 furlongs away

It's far too early to say any horse is going to win the Triple... I'd say right now I like Dialed In, Stay Thirsty, Soldat and Jaycito. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say To Honor and Serve will not be top 2 in the FoY off the layoff. It's a big layoff for THaS and remember what happened to Mucho Macho Man and Gulfstream off the layoff in the holy Bull, and the FoY field should be more contentious.

22 Feb 2011 10:46 PM
Gary

I was really impressed with Rogue Romance. He was really flying and needed just a little more ground. Mucho Macho is a big horse and his strides are huge and really looks strong. I think he is only going to get better.

I do think The Factor is more of a Big Drama rather than a Big Brown. We'll have to see.

22 Feb 2011 10:55 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Red Herrings all over the place. First Unkie Mo-tors is going to the Tampa Bay Derby, then that is canceled and they are running in the Timely Writer. Never heard of it. The Factor is too talented to ruin so they are going to move up in small increments and are a long ways off from 9f, then all of a sudden he will be in the 9f Sunland Derby. I'm getting confused so I'm going to relax and read Tales of the Triple Crown by Steve Haskin again and forget about this year for awhile. I wonder if it's the same Steve Haskin that writes this blog? Most likely but you never know anymore what's really going on. I'm expecting a big race from Soldat Saturday. I am one that thinks he is a powerful talent. Maybe even top of the class. FOY will tell us. I have him number three but just as easily could have put him number one. Three preps at three most likely. I know the recent trend but I still say 3 is a lot better than two.

22 Feb 2011 11:02 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

I enjoy reading all the comments and I look forward each week to the Derby Dozen.  Thank you Steve and thank you bloggers.  The Road to the Roses is such fun but such an enigma.  I'm going to have to see more before I have any chance of picking a leading contender.  Three year-olds, oh boy.  Things change in a heartbeat.

23 Feb 2011 12:18 AM
Coldfacts

Doc,

You have listed 13 colts; some are not even in the top 20 list of graded earners. Are you sure you are not ignoring one that is battle tested, being treated like chopped liver and is plain sight? Steve has chosen to ignore him for some slow colts that he speculates will improve. The  #5,6,8,9,10,11 and 12s on Steve’s list are big time pretenders. I am so positive they will not be in derby top 4 positions that I hoping the betting public support Steve’s assessment.

23 Feb 2011 12:59 AM
zarvona

yeah yeah I know my 'deep sack of potatoes' is deeep... but there are like what some 400+ Nominees and we haven't even yet heard from Pletcher's "Ari C"; "Hammersnith"; "Sensational Slam" $240K ; "Praetereo" $250K ; "Lauburo" $925K ; Asmussen's "Tapaway" ; Zito's "Lake Heron" $800K ; McLaughlin's "Rattlesnake Bridge" $450K ; Violette's "Economic Support" $270K ; Howard's "Prime Cut" $450K ; or Sadler's "Worldreknown" $900K ; and ummm ...what ... Pletcher's "California" was a what  1 million $$  Keenlander !!! ... I know , I know, ...earnings, earnings, earnings... where at least your 'baker's dozen' is on the earnings trail ... but there seems like there are alot more out there than just what we have seen so far off the 2 yr. trail and besides the 'short speed pack' of freaks!!!

23 Feb 2011 1:37 AM
zarvona

make that J.W. Sadler's "World Reknowned"  ... sorry ...

23 Feb 2011 2:28 AM
Deacon

I have to hand it to you Steve, you sure have a way of making February exciting. After Zenyatta, I was on a real downer but you have lifted my spirits with these pre-derby blogs. It is very hard to get pumped up again after watching the Queen for 3 years. I just hope this seasons crop stays healthy so we don't see another Eskendreya or I Want Revenge, The Pamplemousse, etc, etc, etc........I also hope that this years crop is better then the past couple of years horses that actually have run the Triple Crown races. The potentially real good ones got hurt and that was that.

I do have a question for you, maybe it's just me but it seems that whatever horse wins the Wood Memorial gets hurt and they are done. What is it about that race that may cause this? It has happened more often then folks may realize....just curious, and great article as always Steve.

23 Feb 2011 2:41 AM
Draynay

What does Santiva have to do to get a little bit of respect?

23 Feb 2011 3:21 AM
zarvona

GOOD LUCK D. Wayne...

Gee "Todd" has:

"Uncle Mo"; "Stay Thirsty" ; "Brethren" ;

"Ari C" ; "California" ; "Cal Nation" ; "Fairview Hights" ; "Hammersmith" ; "Laburu" ; "Queens'platekitten" ; "Praetereo"; "Razmataz" ; "Redwood Falls" ; "San Pablo" ; "Sensational Slam" ; "Sky Music" ; & "Travelin' Man" ; ( not to mention "Manresa Road" ; "Achaemenes" ; "Dance City" ; & "Imhotep" ...thusly he could fill all 20 gates slots)...

"Steve" has:

"Silver Medallion"; "Astrology" ; "Albergatti" ;  "Positive Response" ; "Awesome Bet" ; "City Cool" ; "Dominus"; "Justin Phillip" ; "Tapaway" ; & "Houston Harbor" ; ...not to mention "Dixon Lane" ; "Brook" ; "Fusa Code" ; "Hot Faucet" ; "La Mans" ; "Manresa Road" ; "Rothco" ; & "Wilburn"...

"Bobby" has:

"Sway Away" ; "The Factor" ; "Da Ruler" ; "Awesome Patriot" ; "Uncle Sam" ; "Smash" ; "Coil" ; "Sinai" ; "Wegner" ; "Grass Legacy" ; & "Free Pourin'" ... not to mention ... "C.J. Russell" ; "Coming Through" ; "Dubber" ; "Guy on the Go" ; "Horrayforhollywood" ; "Indian Knight" ; "Midnight Interlude" ; "Rock So Hard" ; or "Tokubetsu" ...

"Nick" has:

"Dialed In" ; Heron Lake" ; "Sinorice" ... not to mention... "B F Bird" ; "Birdway" ; "Bomber Boy" ; "French Furry"; "King Alpha" ; "Moon On Fire" ; "Praise the Bird" (dats alot of birds) & "Sachem" ...

"Kiaran" has:

"Soldat" ; "Ft. Hughes" ; "Crossbow" ; "Old Guys Rule" ; "Rattlesnake Bridge", & "Occelli"... not to mention "Abra" ; "Golden Triumph" ; "Iscar" ; "Messner" ; & "Opening Moves" ...

 and where is "Buffum"?? ...

...so yeah, I always have big 'sack of potatoes', but D. Wayne needs to steal of few of dem potatoes... so again I say ... "GOOD LUCK D. Wayne" ...

23 Feb 2011 3:29 AM
Tim

First of all the Remson winner always turns out to be a bum because that's a weak end of the year race run in very slow time, Second of all there's a reason that Pletcher trains Uncle Mo and not any of you or Haskin. When preparing a 3 year old for his seasonal debut you don't have him work bullets every week and apparently Haskin missed the 2/13/11 work with Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty working a half in company. Todd was looking for 48 and change and Uncle Mo breezed an easy 47.2 with Stay Thirsty being put to the whip at the top of the stretch just to keep up with Mo and they galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:00 flat with Mo not even blowing like he didn't even work. On 2/20/11 Uncle Mo went 5 furlongs in 1:01.2 breezing and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:14 flat again without breaking a sweat. Stay Thirsty is only having 5 works before the Gotham while Uncle Mo is having 6 works before the Timely Writer so Stay Thirsty is a week ahead of Uncle Mo and I just don't like a 1-4 colt in the Gotham especially when he's being rushed a little to make the race and despite his pedigree Uncle Mo already crushed him in the Juvenile and always gallops out way ahead of him going 12 second eigths during his gallop outs. Repole is a respectable guy so of course when asked about Stay Thirsty he has nothing bad to say but it's obvious the connections don't think much of him and rightfully so. To Honor and Serve is a suckers bet inthe FOY because he will face a lot of quality 3 year olds and a pace he has never seen.

23 Feb 2011 4:09 AM
Matt Converse

1. Jaycito

2. Uncle Mo

3. Dialed In

4. To Honor and Serve

5. Soldat

6. Sway Away--He only moves up one place this week, but I considered moving him to #1 I liked his race so much.   It was a great comeback race.  He's showed he's fast (100 Beyer), has improved, and the pedigree says he should improve even more going a distance. (Sire and damsire went 5 for 6 in Triple Crown races and both won the Belmont.) Soundness is my biggest concern; his action is a bit wild and "pounding", and he's already been injured once, but his turn of foot down the stretch was very impressive.  

7. The Factor--did what was expected of him going 7f, and nice to see him have a nice gallop out. I wasn't thrilled with the final eighth split, but it was understandable; still, you have to wonder what his final splits will be when stretching to 8, 9, or 10 furlongs.

8. Mucho Macho Man--moves back onto the list off better-than-expected final splits. I'm still not crazy about the dam's side of the pedigree or the fact that he's run twice now and his best race remains one he ran at two, but I did like the strong finish.

9. Brethren

10. Rogue Romance--he actually lost a tiny bit of ground on Mucho Macho Man in the final half mile or so because of his uneven race. On BC day he also "closed" for third but didn't actually gain on the winner, but I do like the fact that he is still running at the end of these races.

11. Runflatout--debut was very fast and his pedigree isn't bad for going longer.

12. Alternation--I wasn't wowed by his somewhat pedestrian allowance win, but he was running at the finish and his pedigree isn't bad for going longer.

The top six I like quite a bit, The Factor is very fast, probably a miler or sprinter, but you never know.  The rest I'm not really that crazy about but they look better than anyone else.  Bind debuted with a 105 Beyer this weekend but connections won't push him towards the Derby.  

23 Feb 2011 4:20 AM
zarvona

Zarvona always carrys a 'big sack of potatoes' until c. Apr. 31st!!!

23 Feb 2011 6:02 AM
Rachel

Soldat has the second highest Beyer (overall) for 2011 for a mile & up...he's good on turf and slop...I think he'll love the dirt. I love seeing CC and RT so close in his pedigree.

I hope TF gets a try 2 turns...

23 Feb 2011 6:53 AM
Slew

First...has anyone seen any news on Coil recently?  Pluck?

To Honor And Serve remains on top for me.  I'm excited about the 6f debuts of Runflatout and Bind.  Can't wait to see more. Soldat, Brethren and Dialed In were great. I'm still worried about the hard-pounding stride of Uncle Mo and how his knees are enduring it.  The Timely Writer was written especially for Mo, for Pletcher.

Archarcharch was stunning in the SW, but considering Elite Alex covered the most distance and still finished 3rd says a lot about his endurance.  I really need to see much more from all trainees, but the trainers have become really stingy with the preps, and I find it disappointing.  The picture remains very unsettled to me.  We have so many one turn mile races, and so few preps that cover a decent distance to really test the contenders.  

I don't think The Wood has a jinx as much as I think the colts being bred are more fragile than earlier contenders.  We've been breeding for speed and neglecting stamina.  Until those practices change, we'll always have our doubts on distance and durability.

23 Feb 2011 8:46 AM
Katherine

@ Tiznow...your post regarding Pletcher's loyalties between owners (Winstar and Repole) is uncomfortably ominous. Politics is often overlooked by owners with high hopes for their first serious contender. I hope Uncle Mo has the talent to overcome the strange campaign Pletcher is outlining for him but I have my doubts. I would like to see him come to the KD with a lot more bottom and I would have chosen the other race for him...

I love Soldat's inbreeding to Round Table, one of my very favorites and I suspect he may be a thrownback to RT. If he is, lookout world.

23 Feb 2011 9:32 AM
Footlick

Johnny- Baffert said speed is gold there.  So maybe he thinks it's The Factors best spot to stretch out.  It would be nice if he took his time and stretch him out gradually but he knows what he is doing.  Just thinking about Conveyance though.............

23 Feb 2011 9:39 AM
Ranagulzion

Couldn't have said it better Tim!

23 Feb 2011 9:55 AM
WinPlaceNoShow

A sucker's bet was the KDFW and the KD itself.  Does it matter who the best horse is?  Not really,  because he won't win but rather the horse with the best trip.  In three of the past four runnings such was the case with Calvin Borel guiding all three.  With a 20 horse field and jockeying for position becomes paramount a lot of the horses are forced to go 6-7 wide around the first turn some even having to check wiping out all chances.  meanwhile, there's a horse in the back saved all the ground, waits for the real racing to begin, makes his move and wins. It could be any horse, the horse that got the perfect trip.  Is this how we wanna make the Kentucky Derby to be?  How about limiting the field to 12-14 horses ensuring every horse has a fair and equal chance of winning, and not make the race a sucker's bet.

23 Feb 2011 10:43 AM
Michael

I hope Sway Away gets more graded stakes earning because after I saw him break his maiden win at the fair up north.... I had him on my watch list for the kentucky derby. After his closing style with the Factor......... I love his pedigree and big lookin talent colt even more.

23 Feb 2011 10:58 AM
Mike

Everybody is putting too much stock Dialed In's lack of race experience. They'll get his two races in but he doesn't two. He needs to work, yes. Of course he does. But his desire to run and win races is second to no one in this field. That, to me, can't be trained, it needs to be harnessed. My humble opinion is that he is the horse to beat in this field. Zito knows what he has with this horse and is going to harness that power until the time is right.

23 Feb 2011 11:51 AM
Trebloc

So, Baffert thinks speed is "Gold" at Sundland?  I think speed is "Platinum" at Santa Anita.

23 Feb 2011 12:14 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Coldfacts

   My list has a lot of  speculation based on future races also. There is no doubt that I am leaving quite a few off that I shouldn't be. I don't suppose you'd like to divulge who you are referring to?

23 Feb 2011 12:36 PM
Carlos in Cali

Tim & Ranagulzion

Don't wake a Sleeping Giant.To Honor And Serve has been training very good and he's right on schedule,just the way Mott outlined his to-do-list right after the Remsen and it's been going smoothly.There's no 2nd guessing going on in that camp,unlike UM's where they're basically looking for an easy race,ala Rachel Alexandra's first race last year and we all know what happened.Why not stick to your guns and go in the TBD as planned?..

Here's my theory:  1)They're trying to preserve UM's record. 2)Brethren is doing so good they don't want to tangle with him just yet. 3)The TB surface might be a little to deep for him right now because he hasn't progressed as well as they'd want. Also,Brethren's people have stated they have no problem going up against UM in the TBDerby even though they're stablemates.They're handling him with kid-gloves and that will not do him any good if he runs in the 'stampede' that is the KyDerby,IMO.

23 Feb 2011 12:53 PM
El Kabong

WinPlaceNoShow,

I sympathize with your frustration on the 20 horse field. I for one don't like the auxiliary gate at all but trainers and Jockey's have to accept it as part of the condition on that first Saturday in May and learn to deal with it, and so do wagerers. The Derby however, even with it's large field, produces the best horse that day, under the conditions, most of the time. I still blame Gomez for not hitting the hole that was available to him before Kent did last year, but that is part of the race. Would that have aloud Lucky the chance to win? Maybe, but Super Saver, his jockey and his trainer, prepared the best, used their tactical speed, didn't let the weather hinder them,  and ran faster gate to wire that day. Under those conditions, Super Saver was the best horse and he may have done it again in a smaller field, on a dry track, were it not for his injured cannon bones in all four legs. If ice box gets a better trip, he may have had a shot too, but he didn't. It is for that reason that I don't like betting deep closers in the Derby, I always prefer tactical speed. My speed horse Hard Spun had the perfect trip but was beat fair and square by a better horse in Street Sense(Sweet Fancy Moses)-who did part the red sea twice- but he ran the 10F faster than Hard Spun or Curlin. He was the best horse that day and there is no reason not to accept that.  Curlin, who eventually emerged as the better horse that year was not the best horse that day and has no excuses. His trip was fine, either he was not mature enough, or his trainer(s) miscalculated, but that is part of what we must calculate by the first Saturday in May. Again, I don't say it will produce horse of the year but it does usually settle horse of the day at 10F in May. I'm not touching Mind That Bird because here you may be glaringly correct. But still,  I do not agree that the KD is a sucker bet because the best horse doesn't win. He or She does win because they run it faster than the others under the same conditions. For the record, I hate a sloppy track more than the big field, but the great ones run in any condition. A tough bet, yes, but not a sucker bet, and I'll bet you wager on it anyway.

23 Feb 2011 1:02 PM
cuban chef de race

santiva did show better time but the pace he has been involve has a lot to do with that any body can improve the time in slow pace i will see you soon to confirm what i do suspect about santiva.

23 Feb 2011 1:10 PM
Forbidden Apple

1-Dialed In 2-Soldat 3-Sway Away 4-To Honor & Serve 5-Break Up The Game 6-The Factor 7-Riveting Reason 8-ArchArchArch 9-Mucho Macho Man 10-Santiva 11-Jaycito 12-Beamer 13-Uncle Mo

I think every Dialed In fan is questioning why he is skipping the F.O.Y.. Zito's first goal is the FL Derby and there is still time for another race. Perhaps the T.B. Derby, I just don't know? Soldat looks like he will be hard to handle on saturday. Sway Away jumped from out of the clouds to land on my radar. This colt has an incredible turn of foot, he took off like a rocket. With the way his stride lenghtened and with his head so high, I thought I was watching a cartoon horse in action. To Honor & Serve is a classy horse that most likely needs a race before he shows his best. Break Up The Game most likely does not belong on any list, but he has caught my eye and remains here with hopes of a maiden breaker soon.

23 Feb 2011 1:12 PM
cuban chef de race

i am starting to see a new eskendereya with uncle mo current form,to say that this chip prep he is running next is closer in distance from palm meadows!he is the champion and most show he can travel any distance and prove he is for real that prep in g.park looks out of context to me really.  

23 Feb 2011 1:23 PM
-Keelerman

Slew;

Coil has not worked out during the last sixty days. I suppose a setback has occurred. I can't see him making the Kentucky Derby, but perhaps a return later this summer is possible.

As for Pluck, he has been breezing at Palm Meadows Training Center, most recently working five furlongs in 1:03.90 on the turf on February 18th. The colt's goal is the Irish 2,000 Guineas. Daily Racing Form reported a while back that the Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland on April 8th may be used as his prep for the Guineas.

-Keelerman

23 Feb 2011 1:23 PM
Ranagulzion

Carlos,

Todd Pletcher has a lot more going on his barn than Bill Mott, plain and simple.  The connections of 'Mo' are smart people who know what they've got and what they're doing.  Just be patient Bro and hold back on the synicism.  Mike Repole and Todd P are very straightforward people who have been more open with the progress of their charges than most.  Give them credit for that.

I too am eager to see how the overated (IMO) To Honour and Serve cope with Soldat and the tough and consistent Gourmet Dinner in the FOY.  According to all the hype and overrating, the son of Bernardini should put the aforementioned competition away with a minimum of fuss if he is to have any shot against the ultra smart Uncle Mo and a few other up-and-coming heavy shooters in the Derby.

23 Feb 2011 1:28 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Coldfacts

  I do think that Mucho Macho Man and Archarcharch are good enough to be on the list, and I think it is presumptuous to call Jaycito a pretender, and probably some of the others also. The fact is that almost everyone has question marks at this point. The only one that doesn't in my opinion is Dialed In as a 3yo. It is still all speculation. And really means nothing. I could change my mind a zillion times and still be right Derby Day.

23 Feb 2011 1:32 PM
cuban chef de race

if you pay attention to California derby prospects tapizar,Antony's cross,silver medallion etc the were from the east and won grade races with no problem up there and the California shippers have been beaten almost every time by the east,bring the factor please.  

23 Feb 2011 2:20 PM
datflippinrabbit

A good horse could get that 800k,The Factor aint going to get 9f he was flat on his face,but boy is he fast,that's what made Sway Away look so good,i dont like that he runs with his head held high.Dont think we've seen the derby winner this last weekend.Elite Alex came into the stretch 6 wide so ran a pretty good race.

23 Feb 2011 2:41 PM
cuban chef de race

if you want to know what pletcher is cooking compare two of the three works stay thirsty and uncle mo had together,uncle mo 3 fur.39 4/5 stay thirty 36 4/5 last work uncle mo 1.01,3/5 stay thirsty 1.00 3/5! open your imagination because i sense stones in this river.

23 Feb 2011 3:28 PM
Rachel

WinPlaceNoShow: No excuses or whining allowed, LOL ;-)Read Derby history...6 or 7 wide on the first turn??? They have the whole race to catch up...

Race summations from the KD site:

Monarchos: "Bumped by POINT GIVEN at the start and forced in on JAMAICAN RUM, was outrun for six furlongs, raced five or six wide, commenced a sweeping run five abreast on the second turn..."(and still finished under 2:00, I added)

Barbaro: "Barbaro stumbled at the start, came up running and leaned in (hard) soon after bumping with BOB AND JOHN...continued three wide around the first turn then fanned five to six wide into the backstretch..."

Alysheba: "stumbled when he clipped the heels of BET TWICE just inside the final three-sixteenths, came out (wide) to avoid that rival again"

Big Brown: "...the early pace four wide, advanced in the five path when ready after five furlongs, ranged up outside..."  

Genuine Risk: "..raced to the leaders outside four rivals, and took command entering the stretch"

Funny Cide:"was four wide after bump at start"

Dust Commander: was bumped hard at start, held back hard, came between horses and went wide around the far turen...

Grindstone (who may have won with chips in his knees): "worked his way between horses along the inside around the far turn, angled out five wide entering the stretch and finished strongly to wear down CAVONNIER in the final stride"

Giacomo: "..in behind a wall of horses entering the upper stretch, was alertly angled eight abreast"

Proud Clarion:".. forced to circle his field when rallying entering the stretch"

Lil E.Tee: "raced seven wide while advancing approaching the stretch..."

Majestic Prince ran wide the whole race.

Cannonero II: "was forced to come to the extreme outside to launch his bid upon leaving the backstretch"

Seattle Slew, Go For Gin had lousy starts, as well as a number of others.

23 Feb 2011 3:30 PM
margaret

Hey Steve,

What do you think, fast forward to Feb. 2015 Steve's Derby Dozen, could we be seeing the foals of Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra???

Gives me goose bumps!!!

23 Feb 2011 3:43 PM
Carlos in Cali

cuban,

California shippers have routinely won.Last year they took the Rebel,Arkansas & Illinois Derbys to name a few.Pay attention my friend.

Ranagulzion,

You're taking the powerful To Honor And Serve way too lightly.The FOY opponents are not in his league and neither is your 'up and coming horse' MMM.Let's have some fun,sit back and relax.It's getting good!

23 Feb 2011 3:46 PM
mickey 1957

mike repole,what been in racing maybe a couple of years,elliot walden,a lifetime,get a grip....mo is ducking brethren,and all of you can take that to the bank.....winstar pull's pletcher's string's not repole.....on derby day ,if mo make's the starting gate...brethren will kill him.

23 Feb 2011 4:10 PM
mickey 1957

pletcher doe's have more going on in his barn,too bad he's not a better trainer than mott.

23 Feb 2011 4:12 PM
mickey 1957

it's been said maybe this week,maybe this blog,pletcher likes to only give his horse's 2-prep's prior to the derby....now all of the sudden,brethren will have 3,thanks mr. walden.

23 Feb 2011 4:16 PM
cuban chef de race

some people want to make money in the derby without spending time reading good books and by not loving the game the way i do,in horse racing you can't forget what you learn then your real talent will emerge,pay attention to the derby preps dates and try to see if one horse you like will run the same day the derby 2d pool will open and see the horse workout patterns it may give you clues about the horse fitness and risk some bucks on him,the book open at 12 am and your horse will probably run in the afternoon and mr haskin  is right only big brown won the derby in the last 30 years with only 1 two turn race and he was unbeaten too and won the florida derby in 1;48 1/5 from post 12 and the pace was real fast,also he was so superior to that derby field and the pace was moderate so i like uncle mo but i can't compare history with future this group in my opinion has more dangerous horses then big brown group,i think we have time yet.

23 Feb 2011 4:19 PM
cuban chef de race

gourmet dinner is not going to win the derby of course but he did beat mucho macho men at 2 and at 3 and can cope with a fast pace something that mucho macho lacks this modest breed cookie has some class he may have one more good race in him he is a money machine.

23 Feb 2011 5:19 PM
cuban chef de race

carlos we are talking the 2011 derby not the 2010 do not be jealous with this year California inferior class the construction people up there did built a highway instead of a racing surface,do not worry you can win next year.

23 Feb 2011 5:32 PM
cuban chef de race

the most recent winning memory for winStar was not with pletcher but billy mott winning the belmont last year winStar need a Preakness winner this year this two great trainers may be thinking about it watch out.  

23 Feb 2011 5:57 PM
cuban chef de race

some handicappers tend to confuse a real good closing sprinter with long distance class,he closed in a seven fur.race in 12 0/0 flat now he went a mile and closed in 25 0/0 then he went 1: 1/8 and closed in 13 1/5 and now went to the derby and closed in?.so class,pedigree,pace,form and pp can be an indicator of the problem but you have to do your homework.

23 Feb 2011 6:20 PM
El Kabong

Rachel,

That was impressive. Nice work.

23 Feb 2011 6:24 PM
JOE

Steve,

     I have one to go from my Kentucky Derby hopefuls to make your list.    Thirtyfirststreet maybe but have to give one more shot./ Ghost Is Clear is out/ and that leaves Bench Points in one of the grade ones to see if he has any part of Free House that can get him home in a 2 turner.

23 Feb 2011 7:13 PM
cuban chef de race

take advantage of the tips you can find in Steve Haskin's derby dozen,80 plus % of derby betting public don't pay attention to this teaching blogs and they pay the consequences by not listening or read this blogs.there is not perfect player but you can capitalize learning from experience and try to conclude who is telling the truth,some horses are well breed at first sight but you most identified some breeding mistakes in some of this horses when they try to explore an unknown distance and tough race like the Kentucky derby,for me the mother of all races,stay put  with Haskin you will like this.      

23 Feb 2011 7:49 PM
cuban chef de race

the rise a native line famous for producing the most derby winners in the last 30 years looks suspect as a group this year, let's see and the nasrullah line,uncle mo,to honor and serv,dialed in,stay thirsty etc that don't win the derby since winning colors in 1988 has the first 3 single beating favorites in pool #1,this next couple weeks are going to be interesting to watch.

23 Feb 2011 8:47 PM
cuban chef de race

super saver's dam has la troienne top and bottom and he is from the rise a native line,well the Californian derby prospect sway away also has la troienne several times with Seattle slew and summer squall and he is also from the rise a native male line every thing is possible but there are differences in running styles,seasoning,proven wet track handling,etc,sway away need to run long and the pace most be cruel for him to have a chance just the same dog with a different collar,i know what i mean.

23 Feb 2011 10:04 PM
mike rullo

steve

sending uncle mo to the timely writer is a red flag.

23 Feb 2011 10:29 PM
cuban chef de race

can pletcher turn supercharger into a new la troienne? well don't forget better then honor the only mare in history to produce 2 belmont winners and what a racing class on the track history will tell.

23 Feb 2011 10:57 PM
Ranagulzion

Mike Rullo,

Reg Flag means danger to all others attempting to get pass him.  If you said it were a white flag I'd be worried (LOL).

24 Feb 2011 1:38 AM
Ranagulzion

Rachel,

Your post 23 feb 3:30 p.m. simply wonderful.  You go girl!!!

24 Feb 2011 1:49 AM
Slew

Thank you Keelerman.  HRTV did interview Graham Motion yesterday, and he did say there would be a prep in the USA for Pluck, and then a decision for the UK because they want him in the 2000 Guineas. It seemed to me that they were considering Gulfstream for the prep, but I'm not certain.

The ornaments and tinsel and bows are off the tree.  However, at this point, I am considering throwing colorful beads on the tree and having a Mardi Gras tree.  Maybe..someday...the tree will be put away...I'm just not ready yet.

And Zenyatta and Bernardini have hooked up.

24 Feb 2011 7:25 AM
RiverCitySmitty

willcox Inn.  Has been working well at the FG, but still no start since a 3rd in BC Juvy Turf.  

24 Feb 2011 8:17 AM
7 1/2 Furlongs. Torrance, CA

Mr. Haskin -

Went 2 deep in Future Wager Pool 1.  Sought value foremost, among other considerations.  Got down on Sativa at 37-1 and Astrology at 48-1.  May regret not playing Rogue Romance, but can't play them all.

Top contenders look enticing on paper but at tiny odds.  Look forward to Pool 2 and another wager opportunity.

As usual, the Derby Dozen column is highly informative and a must-read for race fans.  Thanks again.  

24 Feb 2011 10:35 AM
sceptre

Why should it be a given that trainers of the past had it right-relative to frequency of starts? No way now to know for sure but, for example, had a Buckpasser, Sir Gaylord, or a Hail To Reason been raced more sparingly, perhaps they would have started in a Derby.

24 Feb 2011 11:29 AM
Carlos in Cali

cuban, why should I be jealous? With Santa Anita going back to dirt don't expect the top horses to ship because if they did the'd win too,just like they always do.Comma to the top and JP Gusto are not Derby contenders just by looking at their breeding.

24 Feb 2011 1:37 PM
mz

Bowman's Causeway?

24 Feb 2011 2:07 PM
GunBow

I was at Santa Anita for the San Vicente.  Most folks are rightfully focusing on the top 2 finishers, The Factor and Sway Away.  

The Factor had only worked a few times since his Dec.26th record setting maiden race; not only did he have every excuse to bounce, but there was no way Baffert could have had him 100% after missing training, something he admitted after the race.  Baffert threw The Factor in the San Vicente because he knew the horse needed the foundation as well as the graded earnings and because he believed the horses was talented enough to still win despite being short.  And he was.  The Factor is a brilliant horse, but of course distance looms a major question.

Sway Away's training preparation had gone quite well, but he entered the San Vicente off a 6 month layoff.  There is every reason to expect Sway Away to be even better next out, unless he bounces, and his pedigree suggests he should be able to maintain his explosiveness around 2 turns.  Of course, he must actually go out and prove it on the track.

However, the horse with the most going against him in the San Vicente was undoubtedly Premier Pegasus.  Premier Pegasus went into the San Vicente with all but a couple of works since his win in the Hollywood Prevue back in November.  There was no way Premier Pegasus wasn't a short horse, which is why he ran like one.  However, given how little conditioning he had and the fact he was up near a brutal pace,  it's actually quite remarkable he didn't fall completely apart in the stretch.  

Premier Pegasus should improve greatly off this effort, and his breeding screams 2 turns.  What is more, PrePeg is an awesome looking horse with a frame built for classic distances.  If you like Riveting Reason you should love this horse because he's probably at least 5 lengths superior.  

I can't wait to see Sway Away, Premier Pegasus, Jaycito, Runflatout, and Astrology clash in the San Felipe.  California is about to heat up.

25 Feb 2011 4:19 AM
Footlick

sceptre- Buckpasser was prone to quarter cracks, which is why he missed the Derby because back then they had to let them grow out.  I don't think his amount of racing had anything to do with that.  With the others, maybe.  But, it doesn't bother me that horses are raced sparingly for the Derby if that is their only goal.  But if they want to run in all three TC races, racing them sparingly doesn't seem to prepare them for three races in 5 weeks at distances that they have never run and may be challenges for them.  But there are other factors also.  It is complicated.  Count Fleet only raced once before the TC, hurting his leg in the Wood.  But he raced 16 times as a juvenile, so he had quite a foundation.  I think getting a foundation at two is more important than the amount of prep races at 3.  But that is just my opinion.

25 Feb 2011 11:18 AM
sceptre

Footlick-

I'm well aware of Buckpasser's history-followed him perhaps more closely than any horse before or since. My thought was that less race starts may have forestalled and, perhaps, prevented some of those quarter cracks-I think he had about nine throughout his racing career. Less total starts may have also caused a sounder Buckpasser when he entered the gate for his final appearance in the 1967 Woodward (I was there)-it wasn't a quarter crack then that compromised his performance, but rather other unsoundness issues...Also, you don't know that racing them more sparingly would be insufficient to prepare them for the rigors of the Triple Crown-that's just your assumption and I doubt it's based upon much of real substance.  

25 Feb 2011 2:26 PM
Zarvona

Well, thats a crime about "Bind", and I hope Stall eventually changes his mind, but he will be looked for down the road, especially if we ever get a Tomlinson rating on him.

And speaking for Tomlinon ratings, I think they should be way more emphasised and distributed even as program info. I realize the horse needs some distance runs to qualify and many 3 year olds at this stage haven't yet gone beyond 6 fur. in most cases, but I refer Tomlison whenever the information is available, though I always find it hard to find. I was thinking maybe that Bloodhorse could list it in their profiles? when avaiable, which would make this blogger and bloodhorse subscriber a much happier puppy. Just a suggestion, wherever such might get passed along to some 'suggestion box'.

25 Feb 2011 5:04 PM
Footlick

sceptre- he had a chronic bad knee but I don't know if it was bad throughout his years of racing.  I know it bothered him as a 3 yr old and a 4 yr old. I do know that the high weights he carried took it's toll on the knee as a 4 yr old and he passed bad legs to his offspring.  Baeza said it was bothering him in the Woodward and so he never did extend himself.  I'm not sure if less racing has an effect on quarter cracks.  I mean, many horses get them during workouts too and gallops.  Buckpasser is one of my favorites of all time also.  I saw him break the ww for 8 furlongs and also saw him win the American Derby at Arlington Park.

25 Feb 2011 6:32 PM
m2m

re: Katherine and Round Table X

If you like that cross take a look at Toby's Corner. That race in the mud and fog reminded me a bit of RT.  He raced green at the top of the stretch...looked the other horse in the eye...and hit another gear.  I don't think it's the only gear he'll have.  The Gotham should give a better indication.  btw there are some good films of RT on youtube.

A bit off topic but it was great to see that Torch Song made a long recovery from laminitis and will go to stud at a modest $3,500.  He is a great outcross...and hope he gets some nice mares.

25 Feb 2011 6:57 PM
Slew

What makes us think the old style of really testing and racing a Derby contender works?  Three Triple Crown winners in one decade...that's what.

25 Feb 2011 8:09 PM
sceptre

Footlick-

Glad you remember him (Buckpasser) so well. Won't be too long when he'll be known only through books on racing history. But, he was truly spectacular-by far the best I've ever seen (performing and standing still). Both then (the week leading up to the race), and in retrospect, I wish they had scratched him from that Woodward. No doubt egos and sporting gesture trumped what was in the horse's best interests and his legacy-not to mention the risk. As said, the ways of the past are not always to be revered. The great Graustark was yet another example. He wasn't right leading up to the Blue Grass, yet they ran him anyway-yielded him his only loss, and immediate retirement.      

25 Feb 2011 8:28 PM
John T

Sceptre

 It might be true what you are saying about Buckpasser,Sir Gaylord,and Hail To Reason but thank heavens all three went on to be very successful sires.I was at The Curragh in Ireland on July 1 1967 when Sir Ivor,by Sir Gaylord

was making his 2 year old debut and

although he never troubled the leaders you could tell he was a horse to watch.As a 3 year old he went on to win the 2000 Guineas,

Epsom Derby,and the Washington D.C

International.His jockey Lester Piggott would later write he was the best horse he ever sat even putting him ahead of Nijinsky.On

Sunday October 6 1968 I was at Longchamp in Paris to watch Sir Ivor finish second to Vaguely Noble

in the Arc.And once again we are

reminded of what these great racehorses can produce at stud as

Vaguely Noble went on to be the sire of Dahlia,one of the toughest

mares I have ever seen on the racetrack.

25 Feb 2011 8:36 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Next week will be the time to start getting real with my Derby list with only legitimate speculation. No more speedsters, or only MSW winners. Proven in Stakes only. Let the games begin with the FOY, the first real prep. How can the winner of the FOY not zoom to the top of the list if his performance is impressive, although I could see Dialed In being at the top. FOY- I will be surprised if Bowman's Causeway isn't in the top 4 with a good looking performance. I expect a Soldat and To Honor duel at some point with Soldat pulling away for the win, and Honor fading to 3rd or 4th, with one of the younger closers coming up for the place. Bowman's would be my pick, unless Honor is more ready than anticipated and Soldat and Honor blow away the field, dueling most of the way or to the very end. This is a true prep for Honor with a peaking performance on Derby day the plan, but there is the possibility that he is that much better than these and a win now does not negate continued improvement and a Derby win. It will be an informative race. I like Soldat for the win, and proving to the world that he is not an off track or turf specialist but that dry dirt is his preference. He's going to number one on my list if he wins the FOY.

25 Feb 2011 9:46 PM
Coldfacts

Racing Aptitude made his first two starts on dirt. He was then switched to turf for his next five starts. His last two starts were very interesting. He returned from a 48 days break to make his seasonal debut in the ungraded Tropical Park De run at 9F. He finished 5th beaten 4 1/2L by King Congie. The time of the race was1:49 2/5. Fifteen day later returned to run in the Dania beach where he finished 7th beaten 4 3/4L by Adirondack Summer. The time of the race was 1:34 2/5. In the Dania Beach he was impeded twice going into the first turn and had a bazaar stretch run almost falling then switched and still managed to finished 4 1/2L behind the winner.  This colt has 7 career starts with two in 2011 being at 9F and 8F. He would have been serious challenger for the  Dania Beach if not for his misfortunes. He now switched back to dirt for the Gll FOY after a strong 8F race runs in 1:34 2/5. From observation the turf is not likely be his best surface in spite of his favorable results on same.

From a pedigree angle Racing Aptitude is interesting. His sire Aptitude is one of the many sons of A P Indy and remains the only one that has placed in the Kentucky Derby. He also place in the Belmont and is probably the only serving stallion that was produced from a Northern Dancer mare. It is ironic that Aptitude the best bred son of A P Indy and the most successful in Triple Crown races is literally forgotten and not one expected to sire a derby contender. Could this well bred son of A P Indy emerge from obscurity with a classic contender like Our Emblem the well bred but obscured son of Mr. Prospector did with War Emblem? His dam made only one start and was sire by Saint Ballado sire of Breeder Cup winner & HOY Saint Liam & two times champion Ashado. Saint Ballado’s sire Halo sired two derby winners. His second dam was sired by Riverman consequently stamina should not be an issue. Does he have the class to compliment his pedigree? I think he does as his late race depicted he is a colt with a lot of upside. He has a foundation and two 2011 starts advantage over most. His trainer has a 26% turf to dirt record. Could the senior son of A P Indy upset the junior? It’s racing and anything is possible. I think he is merits and inclusion in the exotics.

26 Feb 2011 3:21 AM
sceptre

Slew-

That anecdotal piece of information ("Three Triple Crown winner in one decade") proves nothing, just as the fact that there were no Triple Crown winners from 1949 through 1972 also proves nothing...Try again.

26 Feb 2011 10:20 AM
Karen in Texas

m2m---Yes, I think you're referring to Thorn Song (not Torch) who was treated with stem-cell therapy. I hope he does well at stud, too.

26 Feb 2011 12:05 PM
Coldfacts

Steve,

Mucho Macho Man: “He runs hard and you had to love his fast closing fractions”

Anthony’s Cross: “Still not convinced the Robert Lewis was a top prep and didn’t like the slow closing fractions”

I have to call you out on your Derby Dozen comments on the above colts. In one instance you decry the slow closing fractions of the Bob Lewis and in the other you express pleasure at the closing fractions of the Risen Star. Below are the splits for both races.

Robert Lewis: 22.48, 45.64, 1:09.92, 1:35.07, 1:48.63

Risen Star    : 24.67, 49.24, 1:13.65, 1:37.77, 1:43.98

It is obvious the first three quarters one race was contested at a much faster than the other. Consequently, the faster fractions would invariably result in slower closing fractions. Even if the Bob Lewis fractions are adjusted by 2 seconds for the second two quarters they are still two seconds faster than those of the RS. The Bob Lewis was contested at 9Ffor the first time in 2011. We therefore can only compare those that had been run at the previous distance of 8.5F. The last Bob Lewis run on dirt was won by Great Hunter in 1:42.89. The fractions were one to two seconds slower than the 2011 renewal.  The half mile for the 2011 Risen Star was the slowest in the last five years and the 6F was the second slowest. The only reason MMM came home so fast was because they crawled in the first six.

Do you seriously believe Riveting Reason who led the BCJ filed for the first 6F in 1:11 plus and runner up in the BL is an inferior colt to MMM?   If RR was in the Risen Star with those pedestrian fractions he would beat the rest by at least 5L

FL derby winner Big Brown covered the last 3F of race in 38.08; Derby runner up Ice Box covered the last 3F of FL derby in 38.43. The last 3F of the Bob Lewis was 38.71. This time was recorded after the fastest 6F (1:09.92) run in a 9F derby prep in the last 5YRS. To put MMM above Anthony Cross with his pedigree and speed cannot be justified. I know you regard Riveting Reason as chopped liver as you have not mentioned him neither your first nor second Dozen. How many of the colt in either of your dozens have contested a G1 at 8.5F chasing a very fast colt and returns 11 days to be beaten by 1/2L in an 8F race run in 1:35? That takes stamina and heart and sets him apart from many a fact that should be known by most.

NB: Forty Niner won the Hutchinson and the Fountain Of Youth 12 days apart. He was the eventual derby runner up. The good ones show special qualities.

26 Feb 2011 12:19 PM
Jean in Chicago

m2m:  You mean Thorn Song?  Yes, wonderful news.  Especially since he was treated with stem cells and it seems to have worked.  It would be great if this opens a new door in the fight against laminitis.  It's such a horrible condition and has taken so many great horses from us way before their time.

26 Feb 2011 5:11 PM
mike p

Alex Solis should be suspended for his ride on Casper's Touch. He broke on top and he fought the horse until the horse stopped running altogether. That's not to say Casper's touch could have won the race, but we will never know what his best race was as he was robbed of any chance by this so called jockey. What a travesty!

26 Feb 2011 5:42 PM
rgw

Steve you and I seem to be 2 of only a handful that were actually watching uncle mo DEMOLISH everything he faced.This is THE HORSE that will fix everything thats wrong with racing with his domination of this years triple crown.We deserve this horse as fans,it has been woefully long since our last triple crown champ.After his next start he will begin to be elevated on everybodys list.Unless he sucumbs to injury a la Eskenderaya, nothing will stop him from being mentioned in the same breath as the immortal Secretariat  

26 Feb 2011 10:15 PM
Ranagulzion

Now the Derby trail is heating up, the rubber hits the road and the cream is rising.  Some over-rated colts are being cut down to size and some hard knocking but genuine ones are staking their claim to a Derby dozen spot.  Next weeks Haskins dozen will make very interesting reading.  Many questions are expected to be answered by Steve.

How far down has the 'mighty' son of Bernardini fallen and should he have been positioned so high up in the first place? To what heights has FOY conqueror Soldat risen? Has Gourmet Dinner earned enough respect yet or a firm spot amongst the twelve? Is Stay Thirsty's place in the Derby Dozen really credible? And who will be droped to make room for the flashy and burly son of Pomeroy that made his point in the Hutcheson?

My assessment of the tremendous strength of the Holy Bull Stakes graduates continue to be upheld, last week by Mucho Macho Mann and this week by Gourmet Dinner.  Does Steve now have any valid arguments against making room for Holy Bull Stakes runner-up Sweet Ducky in the Derby Dozen?  I look forward to reading his rationale for continuing to deny the "Swale-like" great grand son of Seattle Slew a spot amongst the Derby-trail elite.  Stay tuned folks.

26 Feb 2011 11:52 PM
Slew

Sceptre...5 x HOY, Kelso.  TC winner Citation.  Dr. Fager. Forego.  How many years did John Henry run?  How many horses do you remember from the past 15 years?  How many from the past 50?   I actually think that 3 TC winners in one decade says a lot.  It happened in the '40's and the 70's.  It hasn't happened since.  It's much more than anecdotal.  It's a historical affirmation of earlier training methods.  If you want a real race horse, you run him.  If you just want to make an appearance in the Kentucky Derby, your wrap your colt in bubble wrap and keep him on the shelf until you find a race without real competition, even if it has to be specially written to accommodate a lackluster campaign.

27 Feb 2011 7:36 AM
datflippinrabbit

Flashpoint looked best of all in a good time of 1.22,but i cant see him getting 1 1/4 miles on that breeding.THAS flooped obviously needed the race,Soldat finished in a rather pedistrian 1.50 and change.So all we need now is for Mo to flop coming of a baby preperation and we have a wide open crop of 3yr olds,i have'nt seen anything yet that could make me jump out of my chair.

27 Feb 2011 8:58 AM
Forbidden Apple

rgw,

Blah blah blah, in 2011 Uncle Mo is a no show. Wake me up when he wins a graded stakes at 1 1/8 or beyond. The Timely Useless will tell us exactly nothing about his ability to run a distance of ground.

27 Feb 2011 9:36 AM
Footlick

sceptre- I agree 100%.

27 Feb 2011 11:36 AM
Forbidden Apple

Does anyone know if Dialed In recorded a workout this weekend?

27 Feb 2011 1:41 PM
Ranagulzion

Here's my Dozen after the FOY and Hutcheson:

1)Uncle Mo

2)Dialed In

3)Soldat

4)Mucho Macho Man

5)Sweet Ducky

6)Santiva

7)Brethren

8)Gourmet Dinner

9)Jaycito

10)Flashpoint

11)Anthony's Cross

12)Premier Pegasus

Others on my radar: Supreme Leader, Toby's Corner, Sway Away, Rogue Romance, Comma To The Top and Riveting Reason.

27 Feb 2011 3:33 PM
Footlick

Forbidden Apple- 5 furlongs in 59.75

27 Feb 2011 9:26 PM
RGW

Forbidden....Uncle Mo worked.....thats all that really matters...

27 Feb 2011 9:29 PM
Karen in Texas

Forbidden Apple---Dialed In worked 2/25 (Fri.) at Palm Meadows 5f. in 59.95. It was 1st of 13 works at the distance.

28 Feb 2011 12:42 AM
GunBow

The FoY was a solid race, but I don't think it should have Team Mo overly concerned.

Soldat and Gourmet Dinner are real nice horses, both consistent, durable and veratile.  Soldat has that excellent tactical speed to be in every race, and I absolutely think he will be tough to handle in the Florida Derby.  However, the fractions and final time of the FoY weren't special, and the Beyer of 96 reflects a solid, but not brilliant performance.  If for some reason the Triple Crown gig doesn't work out, Soldat can always return to turf.

All Gourmet Dinner does is run the same race over and over, in the Midwest, East, or out West, on dirt or synthetic.  As such, he's a great barometer to use when comparing other horses; he was beaten a couple of lengths by Soldat in the FoY, a couple of lengths by Dialed In in the Holy Bull, and  a couple of lengths by Comma to the Top in the Cash Call Futurity.  10 furlongs might be stretching it for Gourmet Dinner, but I now actually give him a decent shot to be right there in the exotics for the Derby.  And there is no doubt he will be a legit contender in the final round of preps, with the Santa Anita Derby the early choice of his connections.  The connections are correct that at this point the Cali division is behind the Florida contingent, but if someone runs a breakout race in the San Felipe, and given the talent(potential) pointing for that race it's entirely possible, then Gourmet Dinner could end up in the Florida Derby afterall.  As a fan living in SoCal, I would love to see Gourmet Dinner again, and the fact is, the division is thin out here.

The big disappointment of the FoY was To Honor and Serve.  It's easy to say in retrospect that THAS needed the race, but all the pre-race indicators were that he was set to run a bang-up race first back; just look above at Steve's comments.  The reality is, when THAS was asked the question at the top of the stretch, he was no match for the battle hardened Soldat and Gourmet Dinner.  Is it possible THAS is another in the long line of horses that dazzled in the Remsen and then flopped on the Derby trail?

As for the also-rans, toss everyone except Bowman's Causeway from your Derby list.  Bowman's Causeway had to steady a bit on the far turn or otherwise might have touched out THAS for the show.

Speaking of trainers making a sudden change of plans, how about Jerry Hollendorfer and Indian Winter?  Indian Winter was all set to run in the San Vicente last weekend, but Hollendorfer scratched him late in the afternoon when he believed the track was too speed biased to realistically beat The Factor (Sway Away, however, did make a nice late run).  Instead, Hollendorfer re-routed Indian Winter to this past Saturday's $50,000 Turf Paradise Derby, where he was only 3rd under the wire(placed 2nd by dq).  I'm a big fan of Hollendorfer, but that move smelled of poultry, and it didn't surprise me at all that it backfired.  We are too late in the game to play hot potato; if you're afraid of the San Vicente, that tells me your horse has no chance in the Derby.

28 Feb 2011 1:16 AM
Ranagulzion

Forbidden Apple,

You really should wish that all worthy Derby candidates show up at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011.  I say that it is bad sportsmanship and mean-spirited to forcast a no-show for one of the most exciting thoroughbreds leading up to the big day in racing.  Why?  Just because you don't like Todd Pletcher?  I thought you liked the sport and the horses more than you hate the trainer.  Shame on you.

I also hope that Mike Relva reads this.  He should scold you on this point, as one of the 'police' on these blogs.

28 Feb 2011 9:40 AM
zarvona

  Like most of the PREP Weeks, and weekends of Feb., Mar., & early Apr., in this closing week of only Feb.,--really just the start to the major Prep Season,--we saw another interesting weekend of results to observe and take note of and notes on. Thusly, and first of all, MAJOR congratulations go out to the connections of:  

“Soldat”; “Flashpoint”; & “Mr. Commons”, all notable and noted performances, moving each a few rungs higher up my current top 20 list…

Also, still alive from my watch list were the winners “Arch Traveler”; (Jerkens)  ; “Red Sharp Humor”; (Hollendorfer) “J.J. Lucky Train”; (Anderson) [[distance issues here?]];  “Left” ; (A.M. Stall, Jr.) ; [[will this Winstar hopeful also take some similar, ‘Non Derby try’ road like “Bind”?]]; “San Paulo” (Pletcher), and “Achaemenes” (Pletcher);… And. minor kudos go out to “Bandbox”; “Midnight Interlude”, (Baffert) ; “Sour” (Stall) ; and even to “Little Drama” (Fawkes) …[[a most heart felt for favorite]]…

   And, the question has arisen, ‘Is “Gourmet Dinner” priming to be this year’s ”Giacomo”??’… His wins and runs look slow time wise, his breeding does not suggest ¼ , yet he seems to finish in the money wherever he runs. And, he appears to be not only off the extreme hard 2 Yr. old training route, but is now in the early 3 Yr. old campaign seemingly running more often than most of the others. He for weeks has ranked way down my list, but I can’t justifiably shaking him off still completely just yet.

   In the world of the fillies, the revival of “R Heat Lightining” made a good field look bad, being actually quite similar to that of “Flashpoint’s” performance….     “Remind your of anyone??”

  Weekend letdowns however did include: “To Honor and Serve” (Mott)--[[just his layoff? and will that now be the question needed to be answered here?,--stay tune BAT fans, we shall see--…]];--although he does still remain high in my top 20 list and among my top 5. Moving a bit down my watch list though go “Travelin’ Man” ; (Pletcher); “Madman Diaries”; (Ward) ; “Leave of Absence” ; “Shackleford”; and “Casper’s Touch”.  

   Further thinning down my ‘sack of potatoes’ and my current deeper near 150 horse watch list, however, were notably the not so good to poor performances of:  “La Mans” ; (Asmussen); “Lumberyard Jack” ; “Indian Knight” ; (Baffert); “Tapaway” ; (Asmussen); “Nacho Business” ; “Cool Blue Red Hot” ; “Manicero” ; “Voodat” ;  and “King Alpha” ; (Zito).

 Added to my original late Jan. list: “Anthony’s Cross”; “Silver Medallion”; “Jakesam”; “Quail Hill”;

            and from off the Turf (T) “King Congie” ; (T) “Master Dunker” ; and (T) “Ari C” ;

     awaiting potential 2 turns efforts on: “Sway Away”;  “The Factor”: “Albergatti”; “Ft, Hughes”; “Da Ruler”;

           “Dialed-In”; “Bench Points”; “Runflatout”; & now “Mr.Commons”; & “Flashpoint”;

     awaiting still on the much anticipated returns of: (“Pluck”); --(who it will be remembered beat “Soldat” in the Juv.

            BC Turf !!!!; and was 1st on my earliest list of all others since Nov.)-- … sadly being missed, and those of the

            likes of: (“J.P.’s Gusto”) ; (“Tiz Blessed”); (“Awesome Patriot”) ; (“Stay Thirsty”);

            (“Uncle Sam”) : (“Astrology”) ; (“Blue Laser”) ; (“Jaycito”) ; & (“Crossbow”) ;  

     … And , now that’s its Monday, I am wondering who was the other most impressive from this past weekend:  

            (“Beer Meister”); (“Left”) ; (“Gourmet Dinner”); (“Arch Traveler”); OR (“Red Sharp Humor”); ??? and I guess

            I am still wondering if “Travelin Man” will return and show us he was not just a one time flash ???….

    Losing ground from my earliest list: (T)  “Comma to the Top”; while now still also heavily questioning the likes of

            “Santiva”; “Mucho Machi Man” ; and “Gourmet Dinner”… and wondering ‘do they really have any hope of  

             getting a 1 ¼ ?’? Awe soon to be the “Ides of March” and then only exactly two months away.

28 Feb 2011 10:16 AM
Fran Loszynski

Just had a thought AFleet Alex fans wouldn't it be something if Elite Alex and Sway Away came in first and second in the Kentucky Derby! It can happen. It's a horserace and they are both awesome. Remember Seattle Slew is in Sway Away's lineage not to mention the stamina of Elite Alex and their Dad Afleet Alex! It's happened before in the Pegasus, Afleet Express and Afleet Again.

Elite Alex to Sway Away:

Hey Bro, try and "sway away" from the rest of crowd in the Ole Kentucky .  Dad would love to have a K Derby! Remember how he sent us letters about wanting the Churchill! Not to mention that little Alex hovering over us from the clouds.  

Yes wouldn't it be something!

28 Feb 2011 12:04 PM
Forbidden Apple

My prediction of Uncle Mo not making it in the gate on May 7 has nothing to do with my dislike of Pletcher or Uncle Mo. So far I have not seen him race and I see plenty of other talented colts to get excited about. It is just a prediction, I would love it if he did make it in the gate because he will be extremely overbet.

28 Feb 2011 7:50 PM

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