Derby Dozen - March 21, 2011 - Presented by Pauls Mill


Uncle Mo Todd Pletcher

Indian Charlie—Playa Maya, by Arch

Opinions regarding the colt range from his being a superstar to having little shot at 1 1/4 miles. What else is new? Pedigree will not be an issue. Hard to fault his debut; he did everything he was supposed to and looked great doing it. And regardless of the slow pace his final half and final quarter were sensational, as was his gallop-out. His slow opening half-mile could end up helping him if The Factor makes it to the Derby. You certainly don’t want to take on that horse too early.


Premier Pegasus Myung Kwon Cho

Fusaichi Pegasus—Squall Linda, by Summer Squall

It’s hard to find any faults with him. He’s got it all – the speed, the pedigree, the running style, the explosive kick, and is being given an opportunity to develop; stretching out in distance with every start. You can’t make a better transition to two turns than he did in the San Felipe. It’s that quick turn of foot from the five-sixteenths pole to the quarter pole that wins most Derbys.


Soldat Kiaran McLaughlin

War Front—Le Relais, by Coronado’s Quest

By having three 1 1/8-mile races going into the Derby, plus a full 2-year-old campaign, he will have more miles under him than any of his opponents. After two wire-to-wire jobs it’s time to return to his old style of running. Turned in a bullet 5-furlong breeze in 1:00 3/5, fastest of 27 works on the tab. He will be tough again.


Dialed In Nick Zito

Mineshaft —Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat

He went into his allowance race off only two works in five weeks, and according to Zito he will go into the Florida Derby off one 5-furlong work in four weeks. Zito doesn’t do things without a reason, but this is pretty unusual. He could be the least worked Derby horse in memory. With only four career starts and so few works he needs to get a lot out of the Florida Derby. Still believe he’s an extremely talented horse, but needs an honest pace.


Stay Thirsty Todd Pletcher

Bernardini—Marozia, by Storm Bird

Had his first breeze since the Gotham, going an easy half in :50 2/5. Looks like the Florida Derby will be his next start, and he’ll sure get tested for class in that race. He and Dialed In would love to see Flashpoint in there, and there is a good chance they will, as his connections are leaning in the that direction. His main task, like several others, is to get faster and quickly. He should get better as the distances increase.


Mucho Macho Man Kathy Ritvo

Macho Uno—Ponche de Leona, by Ponche

Breezed five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 in preparation for the Louisiana Derby. He’ll be going up against some new faces and if he can duplicate his effort in the Risen Star he’ll have to be considered one of the horses to beat on May 7, despite the six-week layoff to the Derby. We’ve already stated the historical significance of that task, but we also have to keep mentioning his extraordinarily late (June 15) foaling date and ground-devouring stride.


To Honor and Serve Bill Mott

Bernardini—Pilfer, by Deputy Minister

In his defense, he had been on the farm for a short while, was no doubt short for his debut, was floated four-wide early, and simply got tired. But Mott has seen a big change in him since and he gets Garrett Gomez. He’s put on a little weight, his coat looks good, and if he can turn it around and get battle-tested in the Florida Derby, he has enough 2-year-old foundation to still be in good shape come May 7.


The Factor Bob Baffert

War Front—Greyciousness, by Miswaki

This colt has one weapon – speed – and he knows how to use it. He has the ability to run his opponents into the ground early and then keep going, thanks in part to his powerful and efficient stride. His :06 1/5 final sixteenth was excellent, and he galloped out strong. There is nothing conservative about him; he stretches that neck out and just goes, and there is no wasted action. Whether he can sustain that for 10 furlongs while facing pace pressure is another matter, but the fact that he was getting stronger at the end of the Rebel is a positive sign. Each race is a new test for him and he has to keep passing them with flying colors.


Jaycito Bob Baffert

Victory Gallop—Night Edition, by Ascot Knight

If he could root, he’d no doubt root for his speedy stablemate The Factor to make it to the Derby and assure the kind of pace he needs to be effective. What he needs in the Santa Anita Derby or Wood Memorial, wherever he winds up, is to get faster, plain and simple. He hasn’t even come close to reaching his peak and will only improve with each race, but only has one more shot to get sharp enough to be a major threat in the Derby.


Santiva Eddie Kenneally

Giant’s Causeway—Slide, by Smarten

So, is waiting for the Blue Grass Stakes and prepping for the Derby on Polytrack a good move or a bad one? I like him having the time off now and coming back in the Derby in three weeks. He just needs to get something out of it, and you never know what kind of weird race you’re going to get on that surface and what it will do for him in the Derby. It’s been a disaster for some horses, but set Street Sense and Paddy O’Prado up for big efforts on Derby Day. Have to contemplate this move a little more. It’s sort of the same path (and schedule) Closing Argument took before finishing second in the Derby at 71-1, but the Blue Grass was on dirt back then.


Anthony’s Cross Eoin Harty

Indian Charlie—Screening, by Unbridled

Returns to the Dozen after a few weeks’ absence. Not crazy about his having only one race in 12 weeks leading up to the Derby, but like his 10 point Beyer jumps in last two and most recent bullet work in :46 4/5. Work was the fastest of 25 on the tab, and the second fastest work was :48 1/5. Plenty of stamina in female family and he just may be getting good at the right time. Lots of room for improvement, and blinkers on last out seemed to help.


Astrology Steve Asmussen

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

I must have a stubborn streak keeping him on here with so much uncertainty surrounding his schedule, but can’t help but thinking that he ran his last two races last year with an entrapped epiglottis that has been corrected by surgery. That might turn out to mean little or nothing, but I just want to see how the “new” Astrology runs when able to get his air. If he runs big in the Sunland Park Derby, then he must come back in three weeks, but where? If The Factor (who has the same ownership) runs in the Arkansas Derby, he will have to go up against him or he has no shot of making the Kentucky Derby off one start.


Elite Alex Tim Ritchey

Afleet Alex—Catch the Moment, by Unbridled

Using this extra space to mention him and a couple of others who could emerge as contenders after this weekend. Good move skipping the Rebel and going the extra sixteenth on that long stretch. He drew outside again, but Fair Grounds can be kind to closers who lose ground turning for home because of the stretch. He’s shown tremendous promise, but now needs to step up and show what he’s got. Machen, Nacho Business, and Wilkinson also are right on the cusp. Curious to see what Beer Meister does at Sunland. Took Silver Medallion off until they announce their plans with him. By not going in the Louisiana Derby, he may have to remain on the synthetic. He wasn’t listed as a Sunland Derby possible. We’ll know soon enough. Still think he’s interesting.

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


Leave a Comment:


Hi Steve  - thanks for the great job you do!

All I'm looking for out of ST is a nice jump forward - by no means does he have to win. I've always loved this colt- he's game and determined (just see his Hopeful). I think he'll be at his best around Travers time, so he's a colt I just hope to run well.

THAS is mystifying to me, but I still have hope and some belief in this colt, who I touted after he finished 2nd in his debut. The issue I have with him is he can't seem to rate. He seems like a headstrong colt; after his maiden win, I did think he could rate, but now I have my doubts.

Steve, one more thing - I know it has nothing to do with this list. I see Heron Lake still hasn't worked in 3 weeks. On ATR, you'd mentioned he was coming back - do you have any idea when that will be? Thanks!

21 Mar 2011 2:25 PM

Very nice list.  Agree that PrePeg should move up, that was a powerful race.  Hoping 'Honor' rebounds.  If a horse does not have an exceptional performance in the past I don't like their chances in the Derby.  So far 'Mo, Dailed In, Prepeg and The Factor have those.  I am envisioning a swift pace for the Derby, so closer/stalkers should have an edge.

21 Mar 2011 2:25 PM

steve great list as always, im as baffled by zito as you are. do we atleast know if hes jogging everyday or is he just sitting in his stall or what?...also how about the 3 year old debut of macleans music WOW....he wasnt slowing down either.. he got a 114 beyer highest ever by a first time starter.

21 Mar 2011 2:27 PM

I'm shocked that Astrology is still on here. It's March 21 and the horse hasn't even started ONCE this year. Do you own this horse or something?

21 Mar 2011 2:44 PM

Hard to fault Mo's debut?  What race were you watching?   Glacial fractions against nothing leading up to a decent sprint.  Time worse than the cheap claimers that day.  

The Factor has run as far has Mo has during his career, ran similar half furlong time to Mo but after much stronger mile.

Sorry, but how can you question The Factor's ability to get 10 furlongs without similarly questioning Uncle Mo's?  

21 Mar 2011 3:12 PM

After watching the Rebel and being ultra-impressed with The Factor, I went back and watched some footage of Dr. Fager.  Granted, I am a huge fan of the Doctor (I have him as #3 on my all-time rankings behind only Secretariat and The Bid), but it was nice to rewatch a horse with awesome speed that could run his opponents off their feet and still go a route of ground.  Not saying The Factor is anywhere near the class of Dr. Fager right now but one can dream right?

21 Mar 2011 3:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Super Duper synopsis. I think you are rounding into top form. I can't find your last workout but it appears you are close to being in very good shape with this Derby Dozen. The only one not mentioned here that I still have hope for is Archarcharch. I thought he ran a good race in The Rebel and with his pedigree, jockey, and trainer is eligible to keep improving. Brilliant move by Tim Ritchey scratching Elite Alex from The Rebel and putting him in the LA Derby, assuming he also runs back in The Arkansas Derby. 9f should work out better for him and nobody was going to beat The Factor in The Rebel. I don't think the 9f will be a problem for The Factor either. 10f is a different story especially is there is other speed and he is pressured. That would be a big problem. He wants the lead, and I don't think Garcia can hold him back without great risk to losing the fight, the battle, and the war. Most interesting to me is that you moved Premier Pegasus up to number two. I do agree with the top three spots but not necessarily in that order. The Factor will be in the top four or five if he can cruise through a win at 9f later but he still has to prove it. He is definitely one of the world's most talented horses and if he can learn to slow down even more he will be very tough.

21 Mar 2011 3:22 PM

I think the factor is a great horse but im not certain he can handle 10f.  He will perfectly set up dialed in and jaycito to come in the tri/super.  However, uncle mo is by far the premiere horse.

1. uncle mo

2. santiva

3. dialed in

4. jaycito

5. to honor and serve.

21 Mar 2011 3:45 PM

How The Factor can not be in the top 3 is totally beyond me! I mean I am not a huge fan of this horse but I am smart enough to know he is one of the FASTEST 3 year old this country has. I think Mr. Haskins is great at what he does but for him to list what he has listed about The Factor and not have him in his top 3 something doesn't add up.

21 Mar 2011 4:05 PM

this things messed up, I can't vote!  It shows "my vote" already listed and its NOT my vote!?!

21 Mar 2011 4:06 PM

Good Monday Mr.Haskin:

The Factor?

I bet against him Sat and lost can he get another 3/16 of a mile?

Premier Peg perfect running style for the derby..

Dialed In? Im not a trainer but I do not understand his lack of training and do not know what to make of it?

Mucho Macho Man could be the big overlay come 7th May.

Soldat is still my horse nice 5f workout yesterday

Time will tell..

21 Mar 2011 4:14 PM
Kim R

So glad to see that you FINALLY added The Factor!

21 Mar 2011 4:43 PM
Zen's Auntie

Thanks Steve good analysis. I was looking at the top 5 money earner list, and see that noone is planning outwardly to attend the 1M Wood besides Uncle Mo.  

What a shame, 1 million bucks and not another top 20 name committing to it. I do hope someone worthy runs (sure dont look like it yet though)perhaps a nice spot for Calebs Posse or my little buddy Bandbox (being a ny bred and all) to visit Queens and scoop up some "minor" but major cash chasing Mo in the stretch.  

who can pour in some quality to deepen the Wood?

21 Mar 2011 4:55 PM

Many people have jumped onto the "The Factor" bandwagon.  I'm not prepared to do so yet.  He was not tested in the Rebel.  No one went with him and two of his rivals were compromised by Alternation's antics in the starting gate.  While he was flailing around he got his legs under the starting gate and kicked Archarcharch in the legs and on his flank.  Sway Away lunged forward and knocked out a front tooth on the gates to his stall in the starting gate.  

In my opinion the track was playing to speed all day long.  Eight of the eleven races on the card were won by horses who were running either first or second throughout their race.  

The true test for The Factor will not come until he is pressed on the lead going long in a race with top notch horses where his primary competition hasn't been compromised by the likes of Alternation.

My pet peeve is the idea that the powers that be feel the need to soup up their track for a big race.  Doing so produces a definite speed bias, and is unfair to late running horses unless the pace in the race is very hot.  Of course, this year's KY Derby should have an abundance of speed.  I hope The Factor, Uncle Mo and four or five speed horses all make it to the Derby.  Then we'd see if any of them could actually carry that speed to the wire.

21 Mar 2011 5:04 PM
Criminal Type

I am really looking forward to the Florida, Louisiana, Santa Anita and Arkansas derbies. I think this is a nice group of three year olds. I was really impressed with The Factor on Saturday. It was a very nice performance. He looked like he wanted to keep going too. Imagine if he CAN carry that speed 10 furlongs.

21 Mar 2011 5:17 PM
Steve Haskin

Kim, you apparently didnt read the comment on him or chose to ignore it. I thought I explained why he's on there, and also explained if he runs big in the Sunland Park Derby, he must come back in 3  weeks in the Arkansas Derby. That would give him just as many starts as most of the top contenders. You dont think it's an interesting angle knowing he won a graded stakes and was second in another despite not getting his air? I'm going along with it until he runs. If he wins impressively and comes back in 3 weeks he could look a little better to you. If he doesnt run well and the surgery didnt help, then so be it. Sometimes you take a shot and see if it pays off. As for your sarcastic remark at the end, if you're shocked about anything it should be that I bothered to give you such a detailed answer.

Betsy, thats what Nick told me. You can interpret that any way you wish. Lets just say I try not to put too much stock in what trainers tell me.

21 Mar 2011 5:26 PM
Cowboy Adventure

Steve - do you have any info at all on Gourmet Dinner?  I am dying to know as now I see he was taken off the top 20 earnings list but his trainer has not said one word.  Maybe he is hoping he just needs a rest and will come back but it is killing me to not know!  I was sooooo hoping he would be racing in the Santa Anita Derby so any info you have is appreciated! Thanks!

21 Mar 2011 5:28 PM

I like your comments on my top four (Jaycito, Dialed In, THAS and Soldat) except for Dialed In but I won't be questioning Zito at all.  The big preps are still to come, so I'm waiting for the G1 preps to conclude and see if I'm sticking to my top four come Derby day.

The one thing I've learned about the Kentucky Derby, I can tout and hype my top picks for the Derby up until the post position draws then I have to re-assess where I'm putting my money based on how the posts are drawn...then, and then you have to worry about the weather, you can anticipate the rain and the mud but you still have to watch the post parade to see how the horses are reacting to the weather, the crowd etc.  Jaycito and Dialed In, I won't have to worry too much about posts positions, but THAS and Soldat will be affected by their posts as they are stalkers and will need to get in a good position early.

I think Mr. Cho will try his best to get RR in the Derby to put some pressure on The Factor, hate to admit it but RR will probably rabbit for PrePeg.

Any word on Watch Me Go ?  Last I saw about him was that he was being pointed to the Florida Derby.

21 Mar 2011 5:33 PM

If the Factor makes the Derby it's

his to lose. PrePeg will make his

presence felt also.

21 Mar 2011 5:34 PM
Steve Haskin

One thing about me, Dr. D., I never peak too early. My big important breeze will come the day before the race when I give my picks based on works and overall appearance. If I bet all my picks based on that I'd be showing a profit. I agree about Arch. As I mentioned in the column he was too close to that pace and couldnt use his acceleration. As others drop off he may very well come aboard.

Furlongs, I'll make it add up for you -- there is a long way to go from 1 1/16 miles to 1 1/4 miles and in a 20-horse field with a lot of pace. Any idea how many horses have won the Derby wire to wire in the past 20 years? If you look it up you find many. I'm not saying he wont go 1 1/4 miles. I'm saying with his speed and running style he has to at least give an indication he can at 1 1/8 miles first. Even then its still a whole other ballgame on the first Saturday in May.

21 Mar 2011 5:36 PM


Many thanks for the information on Riveting Reason I hope it’s not too serious.

Your dozen is finally reflecting true quality in a majority of the slots. I still think Stay Thirsty, Mucho Macho Man, Santiva and Astrology will not make the final cut. I cannot see in what way they can be competitive in the derby with their speed figures. Who can they be replaced with? This question will be answered in the next couple of weeks. I agree the LA derby has some interesting colts that could fill a couple of the aforementioned slots.

I do not know what to make of Elite Alex. Based on the derby chart he is a double negative colt. It’s hard to believe that the last horse to win two legs of the Triple Crown and sire a derby winner was the gray ghost Native Dancer. He was the sire of the 1966 winner Kauai King. There has been about 20 plus winners of two legs of the TC since and none have sired a derby winner. (44YRS). It’s definitely a jinxed category in which his sire Afleet Alex falls. The last derby winner to sire a derby winning broodmare is Triple Crown winner Count Fleet dam sire of the 1965 winner Lucky Debonair. There have been easily 40 derby winners that have been broodmare sires since. None have broken through in this department (45YRS). His dam sire Unbridled falls into a jinxed category as well. Can he overcome these negatives and win the derby? Unlikely as he has not shown the requisite brilliance to do same. Is this a realistic way to evaluate a colt?  No! However, 44 and 45 years of zero success in the sire and dam sire category cannot be ignored as there have been some extremely brilliant derby winners in the last 45 year.

21 Mar 2011 5:46 PM
Steve Haskin

Cowboy, Standridge had no comment when asked about the reason. I dont know the guy, and although I'd like to know the answer as much as anyone, it's hard enough trying to keep up with the horses who ARE on the Derby trail, never mind those who are off. I have been asking around and if I hear anything I will report it, as will anyone else who finds out. The DRF would be the best source because they actually have someone who can go to Standridge's barn and ask him point blank. I would hope the horse is doing OK and just has some minor problem. Otherwise I'd think he would have been sent to a vet clinic a lot closer than Ocala.

21 Mar 2011 5:47 PM

Thank you for defending Uncle Mo. I don't even want to say anything about me liking him because I am sure I will be harrassed.

Anyway, nice list this week. I don't know what to make of Astrology. I honestly wouldn't put him in the top 12. He hasn't started this year and the chances of a horse winning with one start are pretty slim. He will have to be a super horse to be a contender in the derby IMO.

Glad you added The Factor. This horse suprises me everytime he runs. I will definately keep an eye on him. But we know Uncle Mo can rate and there aren't many horses in the derby who go wire to wire, only three that I know of. So odds are against The Factor. Unless he proves he can rate.

21 Mar 2011 5:48 PM

Gotta think the pace will be there at the Derby with Soldat,The Factor,Decisive Moment,Comma to the Top and Watch Me Go all liking to run. Look for Jaycito/Dialed In to get a perfect race

21 Mar 2011 5:51 PM

Ok STEVE now I got it... So by having Uncle Mo as your #1 your saying without a doubt he will get 1 1/4. I mean this is a horse that has speed as well. I mean Uncle Mo hasn't raced beyond a 1 1/16 as well and to be honest looking at some of those in the BC Juv. I am not so sure about the quaility behind him that day. I mean you didnt think Boys was really going to be a two turn horse did you?? All I am saying you have Uncle Mo still at #1 with a one turn Mile race agaisnt nothing at all. And you have The Factor way down the list and he has been as impressive as any horse in the nation this year so far. I just think that he should be higher on this group is all. I guess I just don't understand how you rank horses on the Derby trail is all. I mean so Uncle Mo is #1 based on 2 year old form as is THAS correct? Because no way does there 3 year old form look anything like The Factors. Since you made it clear why The Factor is so low on your poll. Can you please make it clear why Dialed In is so high on your poll? Looks on paper to me he's the biggest waist of money in the entire Derby field! Nothing but a one turn closer if you ask me. He is the perfect type of horse that gets totaly lost in the huge Derby field and has no shot for the win. I mean I would rather bet Uncle Mo then Dialed In in the Ky Derby!

21 Mar 2011 6:02 PM

I'm still high on DIALED IN. The Florida Derby is going to be tough though, as long as he finishes well I won't jump off. If the Factor makes Soldat and Uncle Mo crazy on the front end that could set up for a closer in the K Derby.

21 Mar 2011 6:04 PM

STEVE, I do know how tuff it is to win the Derby gate to wire. I can't imagine me betting The Factor as well in the Derby. All I am saying for this horse to be ranked in your poll lower then Dialed In and Stay Thirsty is CRAZY! By the way its no harder to go wire to wire in the Derby then to win it off one prep race. As far as I am concerned thats what your #1 ranked horse is getting. Take care everyone and good luck at the windows.

21 Mar 2011 6:10 PM

Steve, my apologies for the harsh comment on Astrology. I'm just disappointed in his lack of a campaign so far, when I had high hopes for him early on. I suppose it's made me a bit bitter.

I enjoy your Derby columns very much. Thanks for keeping us updated.

21 Mar 2011 6:14 PM

There is no reason not to have Uncle Mo and Soldat 1/2.  PP has won 1 race and he faced average company at best.  Brethren is the horse to watch in the Arkansas and if Baffert brings The Factor back you can count on Brethren breathing down his back all the way around the track.  I think Baffert will stay in California with The Factor.

21 Mar 2011 6:17 PM

Steve, I wasn't criticizing you.... I just was wondering if you had more detail because I like the horse and hope he's not hurt. Anyway, I hope he returns-  not holding my breath. Thanks.

21 Mar 2011 6:17 PM
cuban chef de race

elite alex is the only horse that can try to win the derby after never win beyond 5 furlongs if he finish 2d or 3d in Louisiana derby? that will require a statue for borrell in racing hall of fame.

21 Mar 2011 6:18 PM
It aint easy being good

Dont you guys think this will be one of the fastest derbies in history mo and the factor run 46 in change in their sleep. I think Mucho macho or elite alex might be your dark horse where you see all the speed early and super closers coming at the end should be a hell of a derby this year. I think mucho macho has an advantage in the way he runs and its up ground at the end.

21 Mar 2011 6:19 PM

Uncle Mo is still on top in my book.  You can't compare Mo running 1-16th at 2 and say he's done no more than The Factor (to prove he isn't a sprinter).  Mo can rate and so far as I can see, The Factor can't.  I don't think 2011 will be 2002 all over again.  Nobody went with War Emblem because they were all sure he'd come back to the field.  The Factor won't get an easy, uncontested lead.  If he can handle being pressured early and still be there late?  Then he is a super horse, because there is no doubt he is one of, if not "the" fastest 3year olds.

21 Mar 2011 6:22 PM
cuban chef de race

dialed in will be better for the peter pan then finish second or third in the belmont with another mineshaft son with class in the dam? i want to see this.

21 Mar 2011 6:25 PM

First it was Dialed In, then Mucho Macho, then Soldat, then Premeir Pegasus, and just this past week The Factor.  A horse wins a stakes race and gets annointed a legitimate contender for the derby. But those races have little meaning other than you can be assured they will be over bet in their next race.  I want to see all the races play out before making any judgements.

Uncle Mo and The Factor are fast.  Unfortunately, fast horses do not win classic races like the KD, they win races like the BC sprint and the Met Mile, which if they can carry their speed.  Big Drama and Quality Road can attest to this theory in the last year's BC.  But they have only chance to go down this road, but some just don't belong.

21 Mar 2011 6:27 PM

Does anyone have any information on Mavericking or have him on a watch list? He is slated to start in the LA Derby with discarded Steve Asmussen stable rider S. Bridgmohan listed as rider. Steve Asmussen has two starters and wouldn’t be something if Bridgmohan wins beating one of Steve’s horses. Back to reality; I have no information on Mavericking but he is from the RAN sire line and invariably has captured my attention. He was sired by regally bred Empire Maker out of a Lord A War broodmare. Interestingly he has the same sire and dam sire as derby runner up PioneerOf The Nile. It appears he has a better broodmare line the POTN. His second dam was sire by Belmont 3rd place finisher Naskra; third dam by Preakness and Belmont Little Current; fourth dam by Buckpasser. He probably has too much stamina and too little speed in his pedigree consequently should have no problems with the 9F. Irrespective, he is from the RAN and a grandson of the great sire Unbridled. Another grandson of Unbridled was an encouraging 4th in his second start in the Rebel. Could this well bred homebred be sitting on a breakout race?  You never know!

21 Mar 2011 6:35 PM
Mike O

Mr Haskin,

Why is there no mile and a quarter prep race for three year olds?All this doubt if these horses can get the distance.Why not have some derby preps that are a mile and quarter?

21 Mar 2011 6:42 PM
Steve Haskin

Mavericking is a real nice grass horse who is making his dirt debut in the La. Derby He closed very fast to finish third in the Grindstone Stakes in his last start.

Snake eyes, so let's hear your legitimate Derby contenders, especially the ones who havent won a stakes.

Betsy, I never said you were ctiticizing me. I thought I gave you a straight answer. If you didnt read it that way I apologize.

Kim, no problem. If you're disappointed in his lack of a campaign how do you think I feel? I've been waiting all year for him to run and forcing myself each week to keep him on the list. Once you've committed yourself to a horse with an angle like this that has never been reported anywhere, you look pretty foolish taking him off right before he runs and then having him win big. First it was the San Felipe, then the Rebel, and now Sunland. He hasnt given me a chance to take him off. That will change one way or the other this weekend.

21 Mar 2011 6:53 PM
cuban chef de race

did sway away bounce in the rebel or will run big in Arkansas derby? one suspect race doesn't mean he is a closing sprinter,he is by a Belmont winner and out of a mare by a Belmont winner,he will have another chance to show or to hide.

21 Mar 2011 6:58 PM
Cowboy Adventure

Thanks Steve; I'll keep watching for info on Gourmet Dinner; I'm staying hopeful!

I thought the Factor looked good but I was also surprised with how long Saratoga Red kept up with him.  I was a little disapointed with JP's Gusto and Sway Away but maybe that had more to do with Alienation flipping.  I think so far Soldat has been the most consistant. Not sure how I feel about Uncle Mo taking such an easy road to prep. Just seems to me those horses who have really been working and showing up for the more demanding races have the best shot of being ready come Derby time.

21 Mar 2011 7:06 PM

Great list as always, Steve to help us sort through the races and it really defines the talent of this year's crop of colts like no one else can.  Good to see Elite Alex on the list and Ritchey is great so I trust his decision to reroute little Alex.  Factor says, "heys guys just factor me in your Derby too!"  Great race and the one thing I like is that he can run on something other than the "Santa Anita Freeway."  He has shown he can run on another dirt track just as well so that is a positive sign and he looked as though he had more run in him at the end, looks very dangerous to me.  He's got the Danzig thing in him and remember Hard Spun almost did do the wire to wire thing in the Derby if not for SS. I'm more sure of him, Factor, than I am about Premier Pegasus, he's the one I'm not sold on just yet.  Tough about Rogue Romance, I assume he's off the TC trail now with a fracture.

What happened to Sway Away in the Rebel?  If my memory serves me correctly Afleet Alex came in LAST in his Rebel due to a lung infection, so maybe there is still some hope for Sway Away. My list looks something like this:

1.  Soldat

2.  Uncle Mo

3.  The Factor

4.  Dialed In

5.  Stay Thirsty

6.  Elite Alex

7.  Mucho Macho Man

8.  Premier Pegasus

I really can't figure it much past the 8.  I hope Pletcher is working on Stay Thirsty's "greenery" but I stand by my theory that Mo is the better training buddy of the two.

War Front's kids are both in the mix so it is now time for Elite Alex to step up to the plate and show me some spark of his heritage.

21 Mar 2011 7:13 PM

With all the speed lining up and questionable training patterns and race selection among the top contendors, I sense another Mine That Bird or Giacomo flying under the radar and scooping all the candy this year in run for the roses.

21 Mar 2011 7:32 PM
Karen in Texas

I'm glad to see Premier Pegasus moved up on the list! Still hoping Elite Alex gives a strong performance in Louisiana--as you said, Steve, it's time to step it up. Was Alternation injured in the gate incident, and do you know where he'll start next?? Thanks for the DD each week--I look forward to reading it!

21 Mar 2011 7:39 PM

Great list, Steve. After watching all the prep races this year over and over and over...i think the race Stay Thirsty won in the Gotham really stands out above all others. I never cared for the horse until close inspection of the Gotham. My longshot pick still remains Beamer (Vindication, out of an Unbridled mare). Allowance race and then i suspect the Lexington for Beamer. Thanks and good luck to all.

21 Mar 2011 7:39 PM

So I guess I missed that RR will most likely be off the Derby trail, so much for my theory with him being a rabbit for PrePeg and one that will try and soften up TF.

21 Mar 2011 7:45 PM
Brian in VA

The Factor needs to be in the top 2-3 just based on his humongous Beyers thus far. I wouldn't touch right now with a ten foot pool in the Derby due to his style; but, to date, the only word I can find to describe his performances is flawless.

Based on what I saw of Maclean's Music in that MSW win at Santa Anita on Saturday, I may have to make a pitch for him soon. That was some performance...

21 Mar 2011 7:55 PM

Love your column Steve. Here's my Derby Dozen.

1- Premier Pegasus- Has all of the qualities you look for in a Derby horse. This is the one to beat!

2- Sway Away- Had legit excuses in Rebel. I still think this colt is dangerous.

3- Uncle Mo- Light,easy prep schedule + pedigree makes him vulnerable late at Churchill.

4- Dialed In- Has the talent to win but running style requires a perfect trip.

5- Archarcharch- Improving at the right time. Has a good distance pedigree.

6- Santiva- I like this colt but change in schedule is a negative.

7- Soldat- Not convinced a mile and a quarter his best distance.

8- Machen- Must make a statement in Louisiana Derby.

9- Silver Medallion- Could be a factor if he takes to dirt.

10- The Factor- Dangerous if loose on the lead. That's not likely in the Derby.

11- Stay Thirsty- Must improve big time in Wood to be a serious contender.

12- Jaycito- So-so return in San Felipe. Has to show more in next.

21 Mar 2011 7:57 PM
Criminal Type

The story is that when Alternation flipped in the gate, Sway Away jumped forward, banged his mouth on the front barrier of the starting gate and knocked out a front tooth.

21 Mar 2011 8:07 PM

SnakeEyes : By your logic, no publication, journalist or blog should be talking about the Kentucky Derby contenders until the last week of April right ?  Did you even think about your comment before posting it ?

There are prep races for this exact reason, so people can discuss, give their opinions about the horses and separating the contenders from pretenders.

So again by your logic, we won't hear anything from you until the last week of April ?  Looking forward to that...

21 Mar 2011 8:07 PM

List already compiled for me!!!! What's up with that?  Great List, hoping for The Factor to get the distance.  Appreciate all your input.  Looks to be an excitng racing season.  Health and good races for all.

21 Mar 2011 8:18 PM
Paula Higgins

I agree pretty much with your list Steve, but would move The Factor up a bit closer to the top. But Uncle Mo and Premiere Pegasus ITA. I am still a Mo fan. As everyone has said, it remains to be seen how far The Factor can go and win, but I think he can go further than his last race. Hard to know about 1 1/4. I don't think Mo is just a sprinter either. Alot will be seen in their next races. My top group right now looks like this:

Uncle Mo

Premiere Pegasus


The Factor

Whoever Wins The Florida Derby

21 Mar 2011 8:23 PM

I wasn't aware that Sway Away knocked out a front tooth in the gate!  WHAT?!  Wait a minute.......then where was the vet to scratch him and why was he allowed to still run, probably bleeding in the mouth?  He must have been shaken up and in some amount of pain, maybe this explains his lackluster performance.  One minute you are in the gate with all of your teeth and the next minute you are missing one of them?  It must have been a significant enough jolt to knock a tooth out, I question why he was allowed to continue.  Archarcharch must have felt some pain in his leg as well.  Is Alternation ok form all his turmoil?

21 Mar 2011 8:32 PM


The Factor’s time of 1:42.19 has only been bettered 7 times in the 50YRS history of the Rebel Stakes. In the last 24 years only Derby winner Smarty Jones 1:42.07 has been faster. Preakness winner and two times HOY Curlin recorded a time of 1:44.70 in his Rebel win. The 1993 Derby winner Sunny’s Halo recorded a Rebel time of 1:42.20. The mile split for the 2011 Rebel was 2 to 3 faster than the previous five renewals.

It is ironic that Soldat another son of War Front ran the slowest FOY in the last five years and he is seen as a legitimate challenger for Uncle Mo instead of The Factor. Why do so many think this colt will not be effective at 10F? War Front is a son of Danzig. Derby winning sires Boundary and Polish Navy are sons of Danzig. The Factor’s dam sire Miswaki has been associated with Breeders Cup Classic, Prix del Arc de Triomphe & the Japan Cup winners. He was broodmare sire of Sea The Stars, Daylami and Galileo. Further, Miswaki was a son of Mr. Prospector whose sons Carson City and Smart Strike are derby broodmare winning sires. If doubts about The Factor’s 10f capability lies in his sire War Front, those doubts can be dispelled by the examining Raise A Native’s racing career. RAN was undefeated in 4 starts and at least 3 were between 5 to 5 1/2F. He sired Derby, Preakness winner and Belmont runner up Majestic Prince. He also sired Alydar the only horse to finish 2nd in all three TC races. Ironically Alydar was defeated on all three occasion by Affirmed a colt sired by a son of Raise A Native. The Factor will have no problems staying 10F and that’s a cold fact.

21 Mar 2011 8:38 PM

Charlie Cigar:

I had the same thought..

I will take my one long shot and wheel him up and down..  

Question for all!!

What do you consider a longshot?

Me anything over 15-1.

21 Mar 2011 8:39 PM


Don't despair, Tim made a smart move and we'll see Elite Alex soon.  Sway Away ran toothless, well practically, and I am sure was affected by the gate jolt.  The Alex kids are not done yet.

Sally, (From the March 14 Derby Dozen)

Look for your Sweet Ducky this weekend in the UAE Derby in Dubai.  I believe, the unproven Ducky, is up against Gio Ponti of all horses.  I'm rooting for Ducky just so he can secure his place in the future.  I feel for you since you said you love Ducky so much and we can all see our favorites but yours has gone off the TC trail here.  TVG I think is covering the UAE Derby.

Good luck to Sweet Ducky!

21 Mar 2011 8:41 PM

Thanks for an interesting top twelve listing. I think too much is made usually over a horse can't get enough air and so surgery to correct it should make a big difference; wasn't this the story with Dublin last year? I prefer to wait and see, saving my bets on this has saved me repeatedly.

I would put The Factor higher up , at least in the top 5 at this point. I don't think anyones going to beat this horse this year. I believe he will be a triple crown winner. Reminds me of Ruffian the way he runs( could there be a spirit to this horse?). Just can't believe how much he runs like that horse.

21 Mar 2011 8:42 PM

Well Kim said it all about being bitter on Astrology and not having a start yet and still being in the 12 picks.  I guess we will have our answer on Saturday if he stays in the top 12 or not.  It has been hard on you with these horses not running much that is for sure!

Blackandsilks pointed out about Archarcharch and Sway Away being victims to Alternations Freak Out in the gate.  Arch got kicked and Sway lost a tooth!  No wonder he was putting his head up when the jockey tried to pull the reins His Mouth hurt! As for Arch I wonder if he has cuts from being kicked?  Was he checked before the start of the race, by the stewards?  I missed the actual race. Unfortunately. So did not know if he was checked or not by stewards. You can bet tho his legs hurt from being kicked by Alternation.

I still can't believe you do not have Archarcharch in you top picks. But as I mentioned it has been tough on you with many having so few starts.  It has been an odd campaign this year for sure with trainers.  You cant predict them all! You have done a great job tho despite being frustrated I am sure with so few starts on many.

21 Mar 2011 9:01 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I have no doubt that you are in peak form for your last Derby Dozen after you have seen the horses gallop and work. That is when I really pay attention. I have said this before and I hope you do it-First and foremost pick who you think will win The Derby based on physicality and all of the other factors, regardless of the odds, THEN say who you think is a live longshot. Many times you would have picked the winner but wanted to go for long odds. There are times to do that but I don't think The Derby is one. Even a low odds horse will usually pay well for WPS. You can usually double your money at least on just a show bet. You won't be seeing those $2.10 payouts in The Derby with everyone and their uncle betting their horse. I am sick of people saying that Haskin isn't picking winners because they don't listen. You usually say who the most likely winner is, then pick an unlikely longshot. Don't do it this year !!!!

Mike O

   I've often thought the same thing-why not a 10f prep somewhere? I think there should be one a month before the Grade One preps and it should be called The Haskin. Or make the LA Derby a 10f six weeks out. If nothing else it would be a great conditioner and gauge. Hopefully it would work it's way up to a graded stakes. It could work if it was backed by someone or a corporation with money and had a decent purse. Pedigree is a factor but far too many don't have the conditioning to get 10f on Derby day.

21 Mar 2011 9:07 PM

There's a diference between being brilliant and being classy.  

Brilliant horses are the ones who excel at shorter distances early in their careers where speed is paramount. War Pass and Favorite Trick are prime examples.

Classy horses are the ones who excel later in their careers at classic longer distances where the closers catch up.  FuPeg and Blame are two examples, although Blame never tried the trail.

Rare is it that the brilliant ones can carry their two year old form to the longer more demanding classic races.  War  Pass and Favorite Trick, winners of the BCJ and Eclipse award winners  they were never classy three year olds.

Uncle Mo was brilliant during his two year old season.  Will he be a classy three year old?  Stranger things have happened, but history tells us not a chance.  And the way his connections are preparing him certainly does not help his cause.

Premier Pegasus is very intriguing.  He was brilliant as a two year old, but he was lightly raced and not racing at the highest level.  But is one of a very few select who has shown he can carry his brilliancy from his two year old and be a very classy three year old.  And his pedigree is in his favor.

21 Mar 2011 9:22 PM
Hot Coal Guy

Here ya go Steve here's this week's "snapshot".

I was really disappointed with how Sway Away ran in the Rebel. I still like him and I think that he's much better than the way he ran but until he proves otherwise, he's going to have to earn his way back.

Alternation...I have such high hopes for him....he's talented and I still think he has a shot but the clock is ticking. Hope he gets things settled mentally and returns with a run like I know he can soon.

Elite Alex just cannot get a break. I like his move over here, then he gets another outside post draw. I think he'll finish in the top four this juncture I'd say a win is questionable even with a track the better suites his running style at this juncture.

Machen. This is a case where I'm getting one of those intuitive vibes he'll run really well next weekend.

The Factor. Well, I still think he's short for the Derby distance but he ran a professional race and until others can prove otherwise he's earned his right to be listed where he is.

Anthony's Cross. I think he's sitting on a strong race and may surprise a few. That's the feeling I'm getting but I still think he is vulnerable getting the Derby distance.

Something isn't or hasn't been right with Astrology...I don't know what it is/has been but surely he'll need a race and that's been a long time coming for some reason.

Santiva. I like this horse a lot. The gap in his racing activity,I don't. I'm pulling for him.  

1)Uncle Mo


3)Dialed In

4)Premier Pegasus

5)Stay Thirsty

6)The Factor

7)To Honor and Serve

8)Mucho Macho Man




12)Alternation & Elite Alex

I'm anticipating good things of Maclean's Music and Norman Asbjornson. And for anyone interested, I think that Transcend is going to do rather well in the Dubai World Cup.

Have a great one everyone. GO BABY GO!

21 Mar 2011 9:25 PM

Great picks, although i just can't see Zito's horse, being trained very funny, like Soldat very much his trainer is definetely dotting his I's and crossing his T's, best prepared horse here so far. Trainer is very underrated,

21 Mar 2011 9:27 PM

Every year people predict several "need the lead speed" horses will force a hot pace...and then they usually don't (either by strategy or by bad starts in a crowded field).  While Mo and The Factor appear to be the speed, I don't think their connections will want to see them cooked after a mile.  It's usually the longshots with little hope that try to steal the race.

The next month will bring a lot of changes to a lot of people's lists.  I'll be looking for a "fighter"; a horse that overcomes trouble and finishes strong.

21 Mar 2011 9:35 PM

   OK a few points points, besides the fact that some of us out here in computer land do not only track the “TURF BOYS”, but the fillies as well,-- where gee Steve you left out any mention “Joes Blazing Aaron”? off of your potential turf-cross over list.--Yet, thanks for the update on “Riveting Reason”, where again I have expressed long ago that I have always felt that we who do follow this sport deserve a constant accompanying “injury list” report weekly or bi-weekly minimally.--Moreover, I personally, would like to see besides your dozen’s list a notation referring to each animal’s “Tomlinson Distance rating” figure,--also as previously expressed, that would be a nice addition for Turf as well as Dirt. And those have been some of my pet addressed points in the past that haven’t gotten beyond anyone’s suggestion box I suppose.

  And, although you ‘sway away’ from adding horses to your ‘dozen list’, which haven’t yet gone two turns, you in most cases are fair in telling us who you like below your dozen. And besides, we all keep a list larger than 10 & 12 anyway I would hope,--where my ‘sack of potatoes’ alone is near 300-400 between Feb. and Mar. and grows and grows right up to just after the Preakness,--yet I keep a pretty evenly monitored eye over my own top 50 list for considerations of potential TURFERS and DIRT boys and DISTANCE, besides my FILLIES list. However, remembering that 20 will make the coveted Derby gate and around 30 will be under consideration right to the last 2 weeks for such spots, and of course I like you follow ‘da  BOYZ’ with an interest and seemingly some passion.

 And yet, I must admit re the point of seemingly now for weeks having listened to the large number of seemingly not so knowledge ‘new name? bloggers’ out there,--which I admit to also having been one of those once upon a time,--who continue the bashing of horses who haven’t yet gone two turns or who they think are only sprinters, and can’t get this distance or the likes of at, and, etc. YES, many bred horses today are only Milers and 1 1/16 can be their limit and testing a 1 1/8 seems a challenge, here or there. And where 1 ¼ seems unobtainable and 1 3/8 near ‘impazzible’, and in this day and an age, where a 1 ½ must look to some as being like some of those bloggers trying to plan a next weekend’s trip being a pic nic to the moon. BUT, please, to you bashers, do some breeding research and explain why you have reached such conclusions. Yes, some express they don’t like “Storm Cat” bred animals beyond 1 1/8 some don’t like “Trippi” bred animals beyond a 1 1/16,--just like I used to feel,--and on and on, where supported by proper statistics and percentage comparisons they can influence and sway opinions, & etc.

  Well Pooh!!!

  Like for example now, let us say some blogger says “let’s drop “Sway Away” now and only say from now on that he can only be a sprinter ??? Well, to all you ‘bashers’ who seem to talk a lot through your computers where we can’t “ ….#&q$_#)%.”, or actually don’t usually care to, or don’t waste our time,--which I am breaking my own rule and doing now,--let me enlighten A FEW you--and the rest who ever follow anything I ever say on here,-- to take a look below at the accompanying list before you start telling everyone who and who can’t get the distance!!, all because I for one am getting tired of reading through that kind of interference looking for those miniscule facts that I hope will aid me in my next trip to the window where I bet my dollars, which I would like to think that the ‘cold facts’ presented in this blog for all of us in the “Haskin’s blogger” family are getting a some stream of relevant information from or are in the least being amused.

   BRED TO the “BHXFG”--the “big heart x factor gene” strains… --and this list may not be 100 % accurate,--as i looked up many of these quite tired i must admit and in a hurry, at that time, and where--I have yet to have researched all those listed in my ‘sack of potatoes’ for these strains,--as I actually do do other things in life besides researching the likes of every “Maclean’s Music” that I see on a horse racing program somewhere, but, below are few randomly chosen examples that all may take note of for down the road consideration…  

being where the likes of "3 X" refers to an animal where the gene through one of the "X FACTOR" lines can be traced back too in that dam's line via "3" such lines, & etc. ...

 6X  BHXFG :  “Sway Away” ;

 5X  BHXFG :  “Premier Pegasus” ;

 4X  BHXFG :  “Jaycito” ;

 3X  BHXFG :  “The Factor” ; “To Honor and Serve” ; “Flashpoint” ; “Anthony’s Cross” ; “Silver Medallion” ;

                               “Wilkinson” ; “Elite Alex” ;

 2X  BHXFG :  “Riveting Reason” ; “Beer Meister” ; “Norman Absjornson” ;  

 1X  BHXFG : “Uncle Mo” ; “Santiva” ; “Archarcharch” ; “Albergatti” ; “Stay Thirsty”

     no  BHXFG

  appearing in dam lines: “Soldat” ; “Mucho Macho Man” ; “Mr. Commons” ; “Watch Me Go” ;

                               & $900K Keenlander “World Renowned” lol  

  Point being, that the next time someone says that “Sway Away” or “Flashpoint” or “The Factor” are “just sprinters”, please support your arguments with more than your opinion, as does the likes of ‘Coldfacts’. Because some of us out here are looking deeper than at next week’s program the day of the race, or only accepting the opinions of friends or other bloggers. But, in some cases, actually, it is refreshing to know that when wagging my dollars, I AM actually BETTING AGAINST the likes of YOU and the other UNIFORMED and those who are betting only via such opinions. And being where, such opinions are not represented with seemingly a shred of evidence but only feeling and emotion. Yet, if you like the horse's name and he’s 50-1 + although he looks like a slow plow bulling donkey on paper, go ahead and spend the $2 and the $5 dollars, where my brother’s girl friend makes a killing every time out using that method alone. And, I apologize ahead of time to anyone who finds this blog entry offensive, as I usually feel way more humorous and want to be much more entertaining as well as informative on here and not attack every blog entry I don’t agree with or see foundation for. But, please if it is your opinion only that so and so is only a sprinter ‘DRAYNAY’, attach and give us the ‘COLDFACTS’.

21 Mar 2011 9:35 PM

Uncle mo prem peg and soldat is my tri box

21 Mar 2011 9:36 PM
John T

At this point you can make a good case for many horses and not only

does that keep the Kentucky Derby

interesting but also the important

preps that are coming soon.The form

of the San Vicente is working good

With Premier Pegasus and The Factor

both coming back with impressive wins and I read were one blogger

made a comment that the other placed horse in that race ,Sway Away might have had an excuse in the Rebel as he knocked out a tooth

at the starting gate.

Chantal Sutherland returns to Louisiana on Saturday to partner Inglorious in the Fair Ground Oaks

She finished second in her last race there and it,s hoped she can go one better.

21 Mar 2011 9:37 PM
cuban chef de race

this days is more difficult to read the trainer's mind then 20 years ago when the Dual Qualifier system was working properly then no dosage index over 4.00 can win here came R.Quite,charismatic,Giacomo,mine that bird etc,no horse with 2 preps won since Sunny's hello in 1983?now we have 5 in row,mine that bird best beyer was an 83 and won the derby by more then six lengths with a beyer of 105!!!wow the factor is real fast,uncle mo was a great 2 year old ,soldat has some class,dialed in is talented,THAS is better then people think and the 2 alex and pegasus have the breeding to win but this group has some serious Questions to answer some of then are not properly prepare to win the derby but to make you loose your money even when you spend time studying the game and loving the game,there is not margin for error with some of this people,so you most learn from your mistakes and never think some thing can not happen because it can.    

21 Mar 2011 9:44 PM

Furlong, a G1 race is a tougher race than anything The Factor has seen until now.  Not only does he step up into a G1 race but now his speed WILL BE contested.  If he shows in the Arkansas Brethren will run at him with all he has.  Uncle Mo has been run at in a G1 race.  Watch the G1 Champagne again and you will see. With a prize of 200,000 you are going to see plenty of horses in the Wood running for 2nd.  Brethren is my pick in the Arkansas.  He will get a much faster track and I hope he gets a post better than 10 this time.

21 Mar 2011 9:51 PM
mike rullo


In your opinion from a scale 1 thru 10 what number would you give

the fitness level of to honor and serve was for the fountain of youth stakes?

21 Mar 2011 9:53 PM

For those that are MAD at Mr Haskins for having UNCLE MO at #1 in his Derby Dozen should wake up and smell the coffee Beans. I Totally Endorse Steve,s picks, and I think he is right on this year. For all mo did was Destroy Everything in his wake so far. I say let MO disgrace himself by getting beat by another 3 year old before the derby. I JUST DONT SEE THAT HAPPENING. I happen to love everything about the FACTOR but BYGOD let the champ disprove himself. Ironically the last time i checked that horse was UNCLE MO. Please lets sit back and enjoy the ride, if we have Bi-coastal Favorites, MO and the FACTOR thrown in with PREPEG and MMM. WE SHOULD BE IN FOR A HELL SEASON FOLKS.

21 Mar 2011 9:58 PM

If Machen can manage to pull off a victory next weekend I'd say we have a bonafide wide open KD on our hands. And isn't that preferable? I'm not ready to concede the derby to Uncle Mo.

21 Mar 2011 10:27 PM

My only problem with Uncle Mo being ranked number 1 is that we don't know for sure if Mo is the same horse he was last year. Winning a race against non-winners of 2 didn't prove, at least to me, that Mo had successfully carried his 2 year old form to his 3 year old year. For all we know his peak could have been the Breeders Cup Juvenile. If The Factor gets loose on the lead he's gonna be tough to catch. The pace should set up nicely for horses like Premier Pegasus and Jaycito. California has a strong hand this year.

21 Mar 2011 10:56 PM

 Mavericking: (Ill.); Tr. P.L. Perssin; (T)

                   7       1     2     2 ;    D.I. 3.44 ;  Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ; Haskin’s # nl- ;

        Empire Maker-Unbridleds Song-Unbridled-Fappaino-Mr. Prospector-Raise a Native-Native Dancer)-            

                 (s.s.d.s.: Le Fabuleax (Fr.))-(s.s.d.d.s.: In Reality)-(s.d.s.s.: Northern Dancer-Nearctic-Nearco

                 (Ity.))-(d.s.d.d.s.: Buckpasser)-(s.d.d.s.: In Reality)//

        Ioya Two-Lord at War (Arg.)-General (Fr.)-Brigadier General (G.B.)-Quuens Hussar (GB.)-

                 (d.s.d.s.s.: Ribot (Ity.)-(d.d.s.s.: Nasrullah-Nearco (Ity.))-

                 (d.d.d.d.s.: Buckpasser)-(d.d.d.d.s.d.s.d: Brushup);

                 {1 X BHXFG via Buckpasser-Brushup};

                     [[dbl. bred to In Reality ; Buckpasser ; & Nearco & bred 1 X BHXFG to Brushup]];  

21 Mar 2011 11:00 PM

 Joes Blazing Aaron: (g) (Kty.); Tr. A. Hunter, Jr.; Apr. 18th foal; (T)

                      9       3     0     0 ;   D.I.  3.00;   Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ; Haskin’s # nl- ;

             Graeme Hall-Dehere-Deputy Minister-Vice Regent-Northern Dancer-Nearctic-

                    (s.s.d.s.: Secretariat-Bold Ruler-Nasrullah)-(s.s.d.s.d.s.: Princequillo)-(s.s.d.d.s. Damascus)-

                    (s.d.s.s.: Mr. Prospector-Raise a Native)-(s.d.s.d.s.: In Reality)-(s.d.d.d.s.s.: Buckpasser)//

             Distorted Blaze- Distorted Humor-Forty Niner-Mr. Prospector-Raise A Native)-

                    (d.s.s.d.s.: Tom Rolfe-Ribot (Ity.)-(d.s.d.s.: Danzig-Northern Dancer)-

                    (d.s.d.d.s.: Mr. Leader- Hail To Reason-Turn To)-(d.d.s.s.: Danzig-Northern Dancer)-

                    (d.d.s.d.s.: Prince John-Princequillo)-(d.d.d.s.s.: Sir Gaylord-Turn To)-

                    (d.d.d.d.s.: Prince John-Princequillo);

                [[triple bred to Northern Dancer & Princequillo dbl. bred Mr. Prospector ; Danzig ; Turn To ; &  Prince John &…

                         2X bred w.the “BHXFG” via Mah Mahal & Brushup]];

                         winner of the Gr. III  1  1/8 (T)   $150K  Palm Beach ; 1:47.85 ; +1 ½  wire to wire

21 Mar 2011 11:15 PM

Thanks for another list to keep my brain pondering on the changes based on the weekend's races and the unraced horse's works.  My family just doesn't understand why I spend so much time on the computer looking up horse stuff, but my husband actually watched The Rebel with me and was quite impressed with The Factor.  I was just impressed that he watched the race with me!  :)

21 Mar 2011 11:18 PM

 King Congie: (Kty.); Tr. T. Albertrani; $30K ’09 Keenlander; $47K ’09 Keenlander; $100K ’10 FTS Fla.;

                      4       2     0     0 ;   D.I. 2.00 ;     Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ; Haskin’s # nl- ;

                           Pool #1 Field 2-1; Pool #2 Field 3-1; Pool #3 Field ;

             Badge of Silver-Silver Deputy-Deputy Minister-Vice Regent-Northern Dancer-

                    (s.s.d.s.: Mr. Prospector-Raise A Native)-(s.d.s.s.: Roberto-Hail To Reason-Turn To)//

         Wise Ending-End Sweep-Forty-Niner-Mr. Prospector-Raise a Native)-(d.s.d.s.s.: Northern Dancer)-

                    (d.d.s.s.s.: Hail To Reason-Turn To)-(d.d.d.s.s.: Bold Ruler);

                         [[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer & Mr. Prospector & dbl. bred to Hail to Reason ; …&

                             bred 1 X BHXFG via Cosquilla]];

                      winner 1 1/8 Mi. ; 83 Beyer; CRC ; (winner) Halladale Beach S. 1  1/6 (T)  1:41.30 ; neck; placed 3rd;

21 Mar 2011 11:23 PM

The Factor is freaky fast. Say Uncle, I mean Mo. Soldat is a soldier just like his name. Mucho Macho Man is very mucho and very macho. Dialed In, is he really dialed? And Stay Thirsty, well he's thirsty for some competition. He'll get just that, in the Florida Derby. Beware of Anthony's Cross! Premier Pegasus just wants to fly. And To Honor and Serve had better honor and serve his bettors. Well that's my Top Ten in no particular order and I don't even think anyone of those horses on it will win the Kentucky Derby.

21 Mar 2011 11:43 PM

It's pretty easy being a genius when you're in the cheap seats and NOT the one having to do "The Derby Dozen".

Those critical of the list need to offer their own if they don't appreciate the choices by Mr. Haskin's based on prelim preps!  We're not talking about national security here!  Take a deep breath, relax.

I was at Oaklawn on Saturday, Steve, and your assessment was dead on with The Factor.  I sort of looked on in stunned silence as my jaw scraped the ground.  I saw an earlier comment that he wasn't tested.  He was so superior, he COULDN'T be tested, and, he made it look easy.  Sway Away had a rough first turn and was just way too far back to do anything.  He'll be back I think.  He's a grand looking horse!

Alternation was ready to run and it's a shame he had his issue.  He's a great looking horse as well.

Just my opine, but I see a east / west thing starting to happen with The Factor and Uncle Mo, ala Zen and Rachel.  I hope I'm wrong!  

Steve, even though The Factor ran a great last 1/16th, he was on cruise control!  Wow!!!  It's the first time I've seen something to make me worry about Uncle Mo.  These are two outstanding horses!

21 Mar 2011 11:56 PM

I have read a lot on these blogs that Uncle Mo won't get the 10 furlongs because of his sire Indian Charlie. Arch who sired BC Classic winner Blame had no issues going 10 furlongs. Not only will Uncle Mo get the 10 furlongs, I still believe he wins this race by daylight. Nothing I have seen so far tells me otherwise. Obviously Soldat is a solid contender, as is The Factor. This is horse racing and anything can happen and all of us have opinions.

What really scares me is that I agree with Draynay, I must be losing it. I guess a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.............:)

22 Mar 2011 12:01 AM

Furlongs, I can't think of one horse that hasn't won the Derby going "gate to wire", well, as long as gates have been used that is.

Sorry, I couldn't resist that! :-)

It could be, that no one is able to give Uncle Mo the challenge he needs because no one was able to do it last year.  At this point, I'm not willing to argue with what I see with my own eyes and his Ragozins are dead on so far.

22 Mar 2011 12:31 AM
Big G


Your eastern bias is showing again. For this week how you cannot have "The Factor" in the top 2 is just unthinkable.   After Uncle Mo's last race he should be renamed "SSLLLOOOOOWWWW Mo".  Any horse with four legs could run the last 1/8 in 22 and change with the slow early fractions he had.  Remember this is a Todd Pletcher trained horse and unless he comes from well off the pace he won't be there at the end of the KD.  Not saying "The Factor" will be either but after the last week I like his chances better than SSSSLLLOOOWWW Mo.  

22 Mar 2011 1:22 AM
Joe Alva


I agree with you that The Factor is the fastest three year-old period, but . . . Who is going to be nuts enough to go eyeball to eyeball with him and not expect to get scorched?  It would be totally suicidal!  

What I think will more likely happen is that The Factor will force others with early speed like Uncle Mo, Mucho Macho Man and To Honor and Serve to go quicker than they want to near the front as they sit behind hoping he doesn't open up too big a lead.  This "don't-let-him-get-away" pace scenario will hurt those immediately behind The Factor and favor the likes of Premier Pegasus, Dialed In and others sitting farther back.

Although insanely talented and Baffert-handled, I can't see The Factor sensibly hanging on for a mile and a quarter running on the lead even if mostly uncontested.

If, by chance, however, as you say, someone may decide to go with him to prevent him from becoming a runaway train, might not Jaycito or Elite Alex be the grinding, long-winded Giacomos of this year's pace meltdown?

The Factor has definitely made Derby matters far more interesting!  

22 Mar 2011 1:36 AM


I'll be very, very surprised if Brethren gets within 5 lengths of The Factor by the wire.  From what i saw, or maybe it was the gush of wind I felt as TF zipped by in the stretch last Saturday, The Factor can go at 80% come April 16th and Brethren won't matter.  This guy was truly amazing and he'll have time for a breather and a coffee when Brethren burns off after 3/4 trying to keep up.

22 Mar 2011 1:51 AM

So who is carrying a BHXFG strain into the La. Derby ???

     #5 “Mucho Macho Man”:                                                  ?? …the -9/5 Favorite?  No …                                

                   ( 7      2    3    1 ) Macho Uno / Ponche De Leona-Ponche ;

#7 “Machen”:                                                                     ?? …the -7/2 2nd choice??  No …                                                  

                   ( 2      1    0    0 ) Distorted Humor / Ready’s Gal-More Than Ready ;

   #12 “Elite Alex”:                                                                 ?? …the 6-1 3rd choice  Yes!!!…  3X bred to the BHXFG!!  

                   ( 3      1     1   1 ) Afleet / Catch the Moment-Unbridled ;

#10 “Wilkinson”:                                                                 ?? …the 8-1 4th choice?  Yes!!!…  3X bred to the BHXFG!!

                   ( 5      2    2    1 ) Leon Drop Kid / Tasha’s Delight-Afternoon Delitees ;  

#11  “Left”:                                                                          ?? …the 10-1 5th choice?  Yes!!!…  dbl. 2X bred to the BHXFG!!

                 ( 2     2   0   0 ) Arch / Leave-Pulpit ;

   #1a “Nacho Business”: :                                                      ?? …the coupled 10-1 6th-7th choice?  Yes!!!…  3X bred to the BHXFG!!

                 ( 2     1   0   0 ) Rahy / Palaestra-Attticus ;

  #2a  ”Pants on Fire”:                                                             ?? …the coupled 10-1 6th-7th choice?  Yes!!!…  5X bred to the BHXFG!!

                    ( 8      1    3    0 ) Jump Start / Cabo de Nocho-Capetown ;

    #8  “Majestic Harbor”:                                                         ?? …the 12-1 87h choice??  No …

                    ( 1      1    0    0 ) Rockport Harbor / Champagne Royale-French Deputy ;

    #9  “Le Mans”:                                                                     ?? …the 20-1 shot ?? Yes !!!… 1 X bred to the BHXFG!!

                    ( 1      0    0    0 ) War Front / Call Your Beau-Caller I.D. ;

#4  “Mavericking”:                                                                ??…the other 20-1 shot ?? Yes !!!… 1 X bred to the BHXFG!!

                    ( 7      1    2    2 ) Empire Maker / Ioya Two-Lord at War (Arg.) ;  

#3  “Nehro”:                                                                           ??…the other 30-1 shot ??  No !!!

                    ( 3      1    0    0 ) Mineshaft / The Administrator-Afleet ;  

  #13  “Populist Politics”:                                                           ??…the other 30-1 shot ?? Yes !!!… 1 X bred to the BHXFG!!

                    ( 4      2    1    0 ) Don’t Get Mad / Cedar Summer-Souvenir Copy ;

#6  “Liondrive”:                                                                      ??…the 50-1 shot ?? Yes !!!… 3X bred to the BHXFG!!

                    ( 6      1    1    0 ) Lion Tamer / Out of the Park-Grand Slam;

 Yet, let me also add that the "BHXFG" strains are breeding traits for getting 'distance' (stamina) and that this should not be used as a handicapping aid neccessarily unless they are going longer and longer, etc. And certainly there are no statistics (compiled to my knowledge) where a horse runs any better of faster with that gene present (all being where 'the gene' might also be dormant! and a BIG HEART isn't present. And we haven't measured any of these animal's hearts and likely never will until autopsy time, and that maybe long after my own autospy!  lol

22 Mar 2011 3:22 AM


From what I gather Archarcharch didn't suffer any cuts but was missing patches of hair in several places where he was abraded by Alternation's hooves. Have you ever been walking along and banged your shin real hard on something when you weren't paying attention?  Even if you don't break the skin it hurts like hell for a good while.

Sway Away isn't the first horse to knock out a tooth in the starting gate and still run in the race.  He wasn't kicked and wasn't the horse who became caste in his stall so they had no reason to suspect he was injured.  If a horse bleeds in his/her mouth, they swallow the blood.  Even when a horse acts up in his stall or gets kicked by another horse the vet generally only checks the horses legs.  If a horse injures his head in the gate the vet will not notice it unless the horse has an external cut that is bleeding.

Steve does a great job with his Derby Dozen.  He has an opinion just like each of us does but has the unenviable task of having to make his opinions public.  You have to remember, no one knows if a young three year old colt/filly can get a mile and a quarter until they actually do it.  I was around when the great Secretariat was prepping for the Derby.  The general consensus of opinion among the experts was that neither Secretariat nor any son of Bold Ruler could get a mile and a quarter.  You toss a horse on pedigree alone at your own risk.  Time after time Derby horses do the unexpected and win on too few races, on miler pedigrees, etc.  Steve is smart.  He hedges his bets.

22 Mar 2011 3:22 AM


So what your saying is Brethren will not make the Derby field. Cause if your pick is Brethren to win the Ark Derby, looks like he has no chance! I mean how are you going to pick a horse 3 weeks out when you don't even know what the pace of the race is going to look like! You continue to show why you pick so many "up the track" favorites week in and week out! Wow you are something else, just want to know one more thing (besides that list of horses Pletcher has that are better then The Factor) If Todd Pletcher asked you to hold his ___ (well wont go there got to keep it PG) would you?? I mean do you bet anything outside of Pletcher's even money favs every week?? WOW just remember even a trainer that wins 30% is still losing 7 out of 10 races!!! Man you are like the worse handicaper I have ever came across! I would never pick a single horse to win the Ky Derby this early, but if I had to have a favorite right now I really like what Soldat has done on the racetrack the best. But I think there are several horses out there that have to be looked at and considered to wear the roses.

22 Mar 2011 6:03 AM

SnakeEyes, FuPeg won only one race at a "classic" distance.

Dr Drunkinbum, if we all had been listening to Steve verrrry closely, we'd have made a chunk o' change on MTB!!!

22 Mar 2011 7:18 AM
Zenyatta John

Draynay -

Enough with Brethren - he's just your average slow 3 yr old. Has he Beyered over 85 yet? He has no chance in the Ark Derby. None.

22 Mar 2011 8:02 AM

Gee...and here I usually wait to make my final picks during the post're a brave man, Steve, to do this week after week.  What we need (and won't see) is a contest between UM and the Factor.  Since they seem to be the fastest runners at this point.  Poor Alternation!  I was hoping for a big run from him.  I think that Triple A (Archarcharch) did very well considering the ruckus in the gate next to him.  I thought he was quite professional.  I wish Terry Wallace could get the horses' names right once in a while.  Who was J.W.'s Posse?  Perhaps a cross between Caleb and Gusto?  Maybe next time, I'll just press the "mute" button so that I won't get more confused than I already am.  Louisiana Derby and Meydan on tap this next weekend.  I like Wilkinson...hope Machen does better..and Pants On Fire (like Lily Fa Pootz...I love the name!) but Mucho Macho Man might have this sewed up.  

At this point, my list is already close to Steve's, and I still need to see more.  I just wish it wasn't injuries that pare my list down so constantly.

And MacLean's Music was magic...can't wait to see more!

22 Mar 2011 8:23 AM

If Santiva stays sound he,ll be the one to beat on derby day. He needed his last race. I know he,s small but he has everything he needs to win a race like the derby.

22 Mar 2011 8:30 AM

I never did top pick remains To Honor And Serve.  I just can't help myself...I like him.  I also believe that Uncle Mo and The Factor will run beyond their sires' limitations, and carry their dams' stamina.

22 Mar 2011 8:32 AM

The Factor looks like a very serious horse. Reminds me of Ghostzapper, maybe even Seattle Slew the way he carrys his speed.Early but what the heck, isn't this what it's all about.

22 Mar 2011 8:54 AM
Fran Loszynski

Alex's Big Fan: Thank you. I didn't know Sway Away lost a tooth! And like you I trust Tim Ritchey -after all Afleet Alex fell and won a race so his kids will be there with the same spunk! He is a strategist and Elite Alex will win the Louisiana Derby -after all Calvin is the "Lousiana Man". Thanks Steve for putting Elite Alex on your list, he certainly is interesting. Look at his eye he has the killer instinct. He's just waiting for the competition to come close. As for Sway Away-when I lost a tooth people couldn't come near me- "I was a bear!"

22 Mar 2011 9:44 AM
Forbidden Apple

1-DIALED IN 2-SOLDAT 3-PREMIER PEGASUS 4-THE FACTOR 5-SWAY AWAY 6-To Honor And Serve 7-Uncle Mo 8-Mucho Macho Man 9-ArchArchArch 10-Nacho Business 11-Riveting Reason 12-Arch Traveler 13-Santiva

Dialed In is being lightly trained, I just don't get it. I hope he is sound and ready to fire a winning race in the FL Derby.

Soldat is solid and maybe the most talented colt on the trail.

Premier Pegasus has won 4/5 races, this colt might be #1 on my list after his next start. Someone wrote that he has one win, you are clueless Draynay.

The Factor ran 43 2/5 in the San Vicente, so maybe running 46 3/5 in the Rebel is rating for him.

Sway Away is far more talented than his rebel performance. I hope this colt comes back with a big race next time out.

Alternation was rank and full of sweat before the start of the race. His antics really shook up this race.

22 Mar 2011 10:02 AM
jerry daker

Why did Archarcharch run in the rebel spotting The factor 5 Lbs. still can't believe it.Was it Owner greed, or just a workout.? Court didn't urge him till past the 1/8 th pole. Fires said after the Sugar Bowl.." Southwest, Arkansas Derby, and Ky Dby.." your thoughts...

22 Mar 2011 10:03 AM
Forbidden Apple

I fogot to mention that there have been zero Grade I prep races this year. So why do some people say that a horse has not won a Grade I race to question his ability?

22 Mar 2011 10:04 AM
Pedigree Ann

Mike O - It has somehow become 'tradition' that Kentucky Derby candidates don't run at 10f before the big event. This has not always been the case.

In 1938, the Santa Anita Derby winner Stagehand was doing so well that he lined up for the Santa Anita H at 10f the next weekend. Carrying 100 lbs, he beat Seabiscuit a nose, getting 30 lbs. The pre-race favorite for the Kentucky Derby, he was injured and didn't make the gate.

In 1971, Canonero II raced in Venezuela against older horses (3 and up) in most of his races, and in fact won one at 2000m (about 10f).

Once upon a time (1930s and 1940s), the Preakness was run before the Kentucky Derby, so this also provided a longer test before the Derby itself.

22 Mar 2011 10:19 AM
Pedigree Ann

Re: Zito

Lack of timed works need not indicate lack of training. Training includes conditioning, or at least it should. Unless the horse hasn't gone to the track under saddle, one can't conclude he hasn't had training.

22 Mar 2011 10:28 AM
Pedigree Ann

As to The Factor: Danzig has gotten the odd distance horse, from mares of stouter constituents, but War Front wasn't one of them. Yes, his dam outran her pedigree (by champion sprinter/miler Rubiano), jumping back to her damsire Forli and her

dam's damsire Round Table. But War Front didn't, from all appearances. The Factor's dam Greyciousness won only at sprint distances. HER dam was a

stakes-winner all over the Midwest, in sprints and mile races, but she had a half-sister by Miswaki (sire of Greyciousness) who was a SW at Woodbine only at sprint distances; she never won in 5 tries at 8f+. The Factor has the look of a fast miler to me.

22 Mar 2011 10:32 AM

Like Cowboy I have become a fan of Gourmet Dinner. This colt may not have the pure talent of Uncle Mo or Soldat but he a big heart and in a race like the Derby that is just as important as an impressive Beyer number.

22 Mar 2011 10:33 AM

Well my sentimental hopeful Alternation didn't get a chance to prove. The last I heard he was ok but I didn't hear the future plan for him. Any word?

Nice to see a lot of different favorite  choices. Thats what makes this fun.

I moved The Factor in my list for the first time. The fact he finished so well I'll put him 3-5 on my list. I have Mucho Macho #2 . Every stride he made took up so much real estate over his competition. I just think he is physically a horse that can do great things. I leave Mo #1 until I see a chink in his armour.

22 Mar 2011 10:58 AM

How does anyone think The Factor compares to War Emblem? Our last gate to wire Derby winner? I am anxious to tune into Soldat's next race as I'm not as familiar with him...these next 3 weeks should give us a great read on our top 3 - 4 Derby favorites. Hate the 20 horse field because I don't think the best wins every derby...unless you have early speed and can make up for a crappy draw like Big Brown did so hopefully Mo and The Factor will still be in it.

22 Mar 2011 10:59 AM

I need to know where to,and how i obtain the tomlinson distance ratings.Thank you in advance for your help.derbyhat

22 Mar 2011 11:11 AM

Just because the Factor ran well at Oaklawn does not mean he will be able to handle the CD track. Oaklawn favors speed so his win is not a surprise, but boy was it impressive.

Uncle Mo has raced on the surface before and won, which makes a huge difference to me.

Someone said no two year old champ has won the Derby. I was at the Derby when Street Sense beat Curlin and Hard Spun, so I beg to differ.

In my mind if The Factor runs in the Derby, he will be sent off much like War Emblem and it will be up to Uncle Mo to nail him at the wire. This could make for a historic race and I hope a one for the ages triple crown.

I am hoping To Honor and Serve wakes up with a big win. He could make a huge difference in how things shake out.

The people behind Anthony's Cross are what makes me interested in him. They know a triple crown horse

when they see one, so I don't see the horse going to the Derby unless they think he can run well in it.

Great list Steve, things are heating up and we have a good crop to keep it interesting.

22 Mar 2011 11:23 AM

Joe Alva;

My thought exactly.  If The Factor gets into the gate, it's unlikely the best horse will win the Derby this year.  Some of the top colts (including Uncle Mo) will probably work a little too hard to keep him in their sights, setting it up for a plodder like Giacomo to pick up the pieces.  Is there any doubt Afleet Alex was the best horse in that year's Derby?

I'm also in agreement with those that mentioned Maclean's Magic.  What a debut!  But it's far too late for him to make the Derby field.  Hope to see good things later though.

22 Mar 2011 12:40 PM

Like Mr Haskin i am not ready to pick my derby horse until more preps are run,but i am jumping off of Dialed In,that's not what trainers do at this stage of the game going up against good horses in the Flroida Derby,i think something must be amiss with him,i will climb back aboard if he runs a great race like Dunkirk.  

22 Mar 2011 1:19 PM

Where can I make any comments about Inglorious in the Fair Grounds Oaks?


OK.  Inglorious in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

(Fillies looking good this year: Kathmanblu, that-Tapit-filly-who-is-now-in-my-brain-freeze-area: she-just-won, etc.)

22 Mar 2011 1:40 PM

Joyful (something)!

22 Mar 2011 1:41 PM
cuban chef de race

I think machen is going to kick some buts in L.Derby,the only think elite alex has going for him is borrel he is a hanger that close the last Quarter in 26!!

22 Mar 2011 2:04 PM
Jean in Chicago

Dr.D & Mike O:

I think 10f is too long for a Derby prep and part of the attraction of the Derby may be that its the first time any of the horses have gone that far. These are young horses and I think the distance should be increased a bit at a time.  A 10f race before the Derby is a little like training for the Boston marathon by running the Boston marathon.  

 Go ahead and condition a horse to 10f, but a race is very different.  A horse in a race has to learn to leave the gate without tripping over his own feet, veering into another horse and establishing his full stride.  He has to experience dirt or mud being kicked into his face without getting too upset.  He has to learn how to take turns without swinging too wide and when to change leads.  And he has to learn how to pass other horses and to dig in and fight off other horses coming up beside him, looking him in the eye and trying to pass him.

I think this experience comes in races, not workouts, and thats why some 2yr old races resemble equine demolition derbies.  Its also why I'm in favor of more preps, not fewer.  A horse learns something every time he races and learning these things is as important as the physical conditioning he gets in workouts.

 Besides, if horses showed they could actually handle 10f, it would give bloggers one less thing to argue about.

22 Mar 2011 2:04 PM
Zen's Auntie

Jerry I hope Jinx does bring Archx3 to the KD every horse has a chance with luck - you just never know what might happen.  In the slop he could get 3rd.  If he were my colt (a person can dream) then Id go if he had enough earnings.  

I'd go back against the Factor  (whos sons should someday be named for quadratic equations) in the AD first. you dont get better running LOWER, he was Game as hell to be an advancing 3rd in the Reb after not just dropping off - like some who may have been in that position all along on that heavy track. Ax3 is acheiving higher fitness all the time.  I would not count that little grinder out of minor placings anywhere he goes.

22 Mar 2011 2:06 PM


Thank you for letting me know Archaracharch was not cut. But hair missing and being kicked is sure uncomfortable enough.

Yes, I am sure Sway Away swallowed blood as well with missing tooth. Hence that is also why his head went up he couldnt breath clearly. There would be no reason to check his mouth when a horse goes down in the gate.

Yes on Secretariat, who simply had a bigger motor. Thanks to Princequillo who is one of the best long distance runners considered. The sire of large hearts thru the dam line.

22 Mar 2011 2:27 PM

I have to admit that im a big Uncle Mo fan. He has easily beat all the competition in each of his races. Put that with the fact that he has shown that the CD track is also to his liking. It makes me sad that I will not be betting on my favorite horse on KD day. Im just too old school to make that bet. Im getting used to the new 2 prep race theme that many are now taking. Its the fact that when you only take a two start approach and then you have a short easy cake walk on the first one that I cannot get past. The derby history is full of horses that take the easy way or long layoffs going into it. It just never works out for the horses. Im sorry to say that my favorite horse with short fields and little competition will not be winning the derby. Forget the fact that no Indian Charlie colt has every won a grade 1 mile and a quarter race at 3 years old. My uncle will not have the foundation at 3 to pull this off and that makes me sad. I will root for him all the way but these things always become so clear after the race is over. Go Mo Go!!

22 Mar 2011 3:02 PM

The Factor ran 43 2/5 in the San Vicente, so maybe running 46 3/5 in the Rebel is rating for him.

Sway Away is far more talented than his rebel performance. I hope this colt comes back with a big race next time out.

Alternation was rank and full of sweat before the start of the race. His antics really shook up this race.

Forbidden Apple 22 Mar 2011 10:02 AM

From the DRF.

In the stretch, The Factor had more, and with his efficient stride he separated himself from the field. He covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:42, the fastest Rebel since Smarty Jones in 2004.

“The thing is, he’s just natural speed,” jockey Martin Garcia said of The Factor. “He’s a really strong horse, but whatever you ask him, he gives it to you. He gives you everything.”

Sway Away, the San Vicente runner-up who finished a troubled sixth in the Rebel, lost a front tooth in the race, said his trainer, Jeff Bonde. The Southern California-based horse was second choice in the Rebel.

“I view it as throw-out race,” said Bonde. “We left him in Arkansas. More than likely he’ll run back in the Arkansas Derby.”

The start of the Rebel was delayed when Alternation reared up in the gate, lost his balance, and then sat down in his stall, resulting in him being scratched. Bonde said Sway Away, who had been standing good in the gate, lunged into his stall doors anticipating the break, likely knocking out his tooth. The horse then broke next to last. “He wasn’t set and he got away bad,” said Bonde, noting the Sway Away was then shuffled back in the first turn of the Rebel.

“The reality of the whole deal is the winner won pretty easily,” he added. “But if you take the winner out of the equation, [Sway Away] was beat three lengths to the second horse and I believe he had much more trouble than that.”

Caleb’s Posse, who closed from seventh for second, will be pointed for the Arkansas Derby, said his trainer, Donnie Von Hemel. A start in that race is also being discussed for Alternation, another Von Hemel trainee. He said the horse lost “a little hair” on his left foreleg as a result of the gate incident.

Archarcharch, who was in the stall gate next to Alternation, was kicked by that rival in the hip and lower leg, said Jinks Fires, who trains Archarcharch.

“We got a little hair knocked off in a few spots, no big deal,” said Fires.

Fires said Archarcharch is headed for the Arkansas Derby.

J P’s Gusto is possible for the race, said Steve Bajer, the racing manager for the horse’s owner, John Waken. The horse was farther off the pace than usual in the Rebel and finished seventh. However, he emerged from the race in good physical shape, said his trainer, Joe Petalino.

22 Mar 2011 3:08 PM

There is only one reason Nick Zito is training this colt as he is: He's affraid the colt will not hold up. I've walked horses into races in the past but not the derby, followed two weeks later doing it again, and then three weeks later going 1.5MI.  Good luck Nick...

22 Mar 2011 3:18 PM
Billy's Empire

Joyful Victory MZ. She is only getting good now. She is by Tapit. I have been on her since her 3rd last year behind R Heat Lightning and A Z Warrior.

22 Mar 2011 4:47 PM
Zen's Auntie

Joyful Victory MZ and she sure did look like her name.

22 Mar 2011 5:22 PM

From the Drf:

Despite the two recent defeats, Borel remains high on Elite Alex. After working the colt one morning at Oaklawn, he told track officials that Elite Alex “reminds me of Street Sense. That’s why I love him so much.” Street Sense, of course, won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Kentucky Derby, and Travers for Borel.

22 Mar 2011 5:39 PM

Zen's Auntie

I feel the same about AAA as you do.  I thought he ran a very game Rebel and think he'll be in the money in the Arkansas.  He is getting into shape and could be the late grinder that pulls the upset in the Derby.

22 Mar 2011 6:25 PM

Sally & Ducky fans,

GUESS WHAT???!!!  I found something for you!  An article (3/21) on Dubai World Cup and Dubai Racing Club website that reads: "UAE Derby Could Serve As Kentucky Derby Prep For Sweet Ducky."  Wow, it is still possible according to how Ducky does on Saturday.  Glad to read that Ducky traveled well and is eating and drinking well over there.  Sally, if Ducky gets fourth or better you still may see him in OUR Kentucky Derby.  Not sure if Gio Ponti and Fly Down are in the same race as Ducky but they are all running there in Dubai on Saturday.  Go Ducky!!!!!!  Ducky could be the one "flying under the radar", and literally at that in planes.

Dr. D. & Coldfacts,

None other than "Speedy Bob" is over there too, in Dubai as we speak.  Bloodhorse article, 3/23, entitled "Gio Ponti Keeping More Weight In Dubai This Time" says and I quote,

.............the Hall of Fame conditioner (Baffert) was trying to get his bearings in Meydan.  "I was wandering around the grandstand when I heard a security guard say, "Excuse me, sir, can I see some identification?"  Baffert related and said, "You're looking at it.  It's my hair!!!"  Baffert sends out his horse Euroears, in the Dubai Golden Shaheen.  Big doings in Dubai.

22 Mar 2011 7:21 PM
Karen in Texas

Seriously, several of us have asked if Alternation actually sustained an injury in that gate incident--does anyone have information on that? I found his next start shown as the Arkansas Derby on the Horse Racing Nation contenders site. Maybe he's essentially okay and will be trained up to that race,  with the Rebel just considered an unfortunate write-off.(?)

22 Mar 2011 7:36 PM
Zen's Auntie

Mr Haskin - You are the best heart string tugger I have ever read - LOVE your piece on Mucho Macho Man and Kathy Rivito.  

I have always thought this big gangly colt will go far. I love this kind of information please keep it coming! In the pictute with your article MuchoMM is so deep from chest floor to wither its almost like he is a different breed! Big does not adequately describe this colt.

Thanks again Steve, for bringing  life to racing.

22 Mar 2011 7:38 PM
Zen's Auntie

StonesRoy, considering the circumstance, A3x showed a LOT of composure too, no one likes stuff like the Alternation incident one bit (glad they all sound ok).

I thought well, if he overcomes this he will show me some smarts.

He was very professional the whole race despite that gate stress and banged up shins, it gave him much more depth.  I cant wait to see  more.  

Grinders - less flash always a paycheck odds worth taking

22 Mar 2011 7:50 PM
Karen in Texas

Alex'sBigFan---The UAE Derby is a race for 3 year old horses (like Ducky). Gio Ponti and Fly Down are entered in the Dubai World Cup, a separate race--these two horses are not eligible for the UAE Derby because they are older.

22 Mar 2011 7:56 PM

Golden Broom,

Dutrow chose post 20 for Big Brown. They knew he was much the best.  I hate he never met Curlin.(almost as much as Z vs RA never goin down).  Thats a shame! the best of 08 and 09 never met, although I think Z would have won the Classic then also.  She was on cruise control to pass the ladies.  I also think Big Brown would have ran well on the "pro ride" in the 08 classic.  Its a shame he had those bad feet because he was brilliant.  Oh well enough ramblings.  Go MO, MMM, Soldat, ST, TF, Jay, etc, etc.  I like them all.

Zenyatta -- Top 20 Racehorse of ALLTIME!!   Yep !

22 Mar 2011 7:57 PM
Scott's Cause

Love hearing your comments on SB Radio Show.  He was all over "The Factor" and you tried to reel him in a little.  Don't have the time to research, but think I heard someguy, somewhere say, "The last 10 Derby winners had dams who had won at a 1 1/16, or had runners who had won at that distance.  It's a LOT about the dam...

22 Mar 2011 8:10 PM

 Ok, in case someone is missing my point here:

 And I was waiting to see if someone was going

to YET point this out !!!! But, I see no follow-up!  

  Brethren: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher; Apr. foal;

  4   3  0  1 ;   D.I. 3.00 ;  

Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ;

 Haskin’s #11-#5-#6-#7 nl- ;

 Pool #1 10-1 15-1;

 Pool #2 15-1 30-1;

 Pool #3 ??? ;

[[Note: the brother of 2011 Kty. Derby winner "Super Savor"]];

[[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer & Mr. Prospector ; &…

  10 X bred to BHXFG ;

   4 X via Brushup ,

   3 X via Blooming Groom ,

   2 X via Cosquillo , &

   1 X to Mah Mahal]];

 Did anyone ever question whether “Super Savor” could

'get the distance' ??

[[ok Zen-John I tried a new spacing format, hope this works.]]

22 Mar 2011 8:16 PM

if the factor gets in, he'll wire this field...uncle mo may have peaked too soon and I don't like babying a horse as in his first 3YO race.  I don't see a rabbit getting in to burn up the factor...does the name war emblem ring a bell?  but a classic duel between mo and factor would be a joy to behold and I hope it happens. Those two, with Honor bringing up the rear.  Mucho MM rounds out the super.  

22 Mar 2011 8:49 PM

Karen in Texas,

Thank you.  I wasn't sure and did not have time to go back and reread the two articles to get the differentiation of the two races, World Cup & UAE Derby, as I am working on a report at the same time I am reading all this stuff!  Ah, the joys of multi-tasking.  But thanks so much for posting who is in what Dubai races.

I was wondering at first, why Ducky would be against older males, he can't be that good yet!  As a matter of fact the new trainer said he looked "babyish and immature and long-legged" but I hope he wins enough $ to get himself entered here, especially for blogger Sally's sake.

22 Mar 2011 9:21 PM

Someone asked a question of posting Tomlinson figures for the Derby hopefuls.  I have a question on them and other figures in general.  Is it correct in assuming that the higher the Beyer figure of a horse the better, the higher the Tomlinson figure the better, and the lower the Thorograph figure the better?

22 Mar 2011 9:27 PM


Well I thnink well have 2 wait and see w the FACTOR he could be like WAR eMBLEM or Hard Spun and go 10 f

there are some whol like the DANZIG line given Big Brown 's success and MISWAKI as a broodmare sire that has produced  route winners at the GRADE 1 level

I like this horse , but we will see if going :46 and change is

a relaxed fraction - if he can rate then it's OVER with no one stalker types or DEEP CLOSERS will catch him

But Uncle Mo , Soldat , even PREMIER PEGASUS could be handy horses that can stalk or take back

LESS LIKELY with Uncle Mo unless he gets an UN- FAVORABLE POST or

has a bad break , gets shuffled back

the KEY is what horse can

OVER -COME trouble -  in a 20 horse field , u cannot EXPECT to get a PERFECT run

that makes it all the MORE IMPERATIVE that a horse has the

"extra" stamina to NEGOTIATE  the 9 and ultimately 10 furlong route  at CHURCHILL

Right now my picks:

Premier Pegasus SEEMS to be the RIGHT FIT

Soldat - could be , but let's see if he's STAYS "on - form" or BOUNCES

and if TO Honor & SERVE can move forward and bck into the mix

because he ARGUABLY has ALL of the TOOLS  - he was my #1 , but

he has to STEP UP

ASTROLOGY is a possible ? "X" FACTOR

can he "JUMP START" his way into the mix with a new and improved

breathing that was an issue last year?

But for an "EXOTICS" horse some like ELITE ALEX , but

 I think that CALEB'S POSSE 's runner - up REBEL run should be considered

JAYCITO is a horse to CONSIDER

but regardless of whether P PEGASUS regresses or runs another "lights out" race @ 9f

he 's going to have to make  somewhat of a QUANTUM LEAP"

OR GET BETTER with more DISTANCE like Timber Country did after going WINLESS, chasing Larry the Legend and Afternoon DEELITES  plus the speed - bias at S.ANITA that went with it before placing (3rd) in the Derby and WINNING the Preakness

But at this point he(JAYCITO) is not a notch below both him and his SIRE (Victory Gallop)

has 2 perform BETTER in the SA DRBY or the WOOD

22 Mar 2011 9:53 PM


You caused me to do some reading. What I read only magnifies the importance of AP Indy.

Apparently, the heart size can be measured using an  electrocardiogram to produce a Heart Score. Have you any information on this? I have not been following your blogs.

I simply judge horses by what they have done.

22 Mar 2011 10:02 PM

P.S. & keep these in mind:

6 X bred w/the BHXFG

 "Cloud Man"

4 X bred w/the BHXFG

 "Behold de Buy"

3 X bred w/the BHXFG

 "MacLean's Music"  

no links via the BHXFG


22 Mar 2011 10:04 PM

P.S. oops, re "Brethren" that was to 3 X to "Blossom Time" not "Blooming Groom" a typo sry

22 Mar 2011 10:10 PM

The most interesting thing that has happened since Saturday,its still Tuesday,Imo its Bees changing course with Jaycito,opting to run in the Wood instead of the SA Derby.The 2nd place money 20% of 1mil $200,000 is not bad.I was expecting a small field for the wood,as I think Mos connections were.I think they wanted an undefeated horse in the derby.Now when they raised the purse for the Wood(when did they announce that Steve?) more trainers are changing their mind and want to run in the Wood.I think Bob Baffert(bees)wants to see how good Mo is in person against a horse he knows about in detail,plus it will help him decide if running the Factor an extra furlong is something he should do.I think the Factor has a very good chance to come in first or second in the Ark derby(he will be going from 8.5 furlongs to 9 furlongs on a track he likes.The question for BBs after the result of the Wood, after he sees  how well jaycito runs, if he should stretch the Factor out from 9 furlongs to 10 furlongs on a track he has never raced on.The Factor could win if nobody challenges him,but he will definitely help his stablemate if they both make it to the derby.One more item that is related, is whether he is changing course from the Sa Derby to the wood because he would rather face the timely writer winner for more money, or san felipe winning Pre-Peg for less money.

22 Mar 2011 10:19 PM

Courtland S,

Yes, Big Brown has Danzig in his pedigree right in the same place as Soldat and Factor, the sire of their sire.  I sure hope Big Brown did not inherit his "fear of flowers" from the Danzig line.  I hope Soldat and Factor don't freak out if they get roses on their backs.  Funny how such a great horse could be afraid of a silly thing like flowers!  Right now I am torn between two guys for the Derby, one a handsome French soldier and one a charismatic uncle.  My X factor is Elite Alex with Calvin, who excels in that Churchill railride.  I'm also looking out for the one flying under the radar which could be Mucho Macho Man, the toothless Sway Away, or even Ducky if he earns enough Dubai money to get in.

It is certainly getting exciting and we all better relish it because we'll miss Steve's Derby Dozen immensely after it is over.

22 Mar 2011 11:02 PM


I thought Gourmet Dinner was off off the Derby trail.

23 Mar 2011 6:37 AM
Pedigree Ann

Do any of you folks remember that these horses have dams as well as sires? Not every Miswaki mare is the same: some like Urban Sea were group winners at 12f and come from super stout families, while others like Greyciousness won only sprints and comes from sprint/miler families. You can't just say "she's by Miswaki so she'll transmit stamina" because it doesn't work that way.

23 Mar 2011 9:47 AM
Forbidden Apple


Thank you for posting that DRF article. I only purchase the DRF on saturday and sometimes on sunday if something looks good. After reading that article, I suspect that I am right about The Factor. When he ran 46 3/5 for a half mile, that was rating for him. And Sway Away certainly has to be given another chance at two turns after smashing the gate and swallowing some blood. I really like the way Sway Away is built, even if he does have a minor sway back. His San Vicente run was extremely impressive to me, I can't give up on him yet. I became interested in Alternation when I noticed him in the posat parade. He looked fired up and ready to run a big race. And then every time they showed him on screen I could see more and more lather on his neck. I was at the betting windows and did not see when he dropped to the ground or when Sway Away hit the gate.


The Tomlinson #'s for KY Derby contenders are posted in the Daily Racing Form every few weeks. I think the Bloodhorse also has a special paper on betting the KY Derby that is on sale now. I believe it has past performances and the same stats that the DRF posts. I buy the DRF every weekend and save the charts to look back and check on information without having to search the internet. But I am not sure if Lee Tomlinson has a website where you can find #'s on every horse in training. If you find the website, please post it here.


Yes, having a high Beyer and Tomlinson number is better than having a low #. I think the highest Tomlinson # a horse could have in any category is 470. And the highest Beyer #'s that I have seen are in the low 130's. I do not use Thorograph numbers, but I believe the lower # is better than a higher #.

23 Mar 2011 10:49 AM
Pedigree Ann

Do any of you folks remember that these horses have dams as well as sires? Not every Miswaki mare is the same: some like Urban Sea were group winners at 12f and come from super-stout families, while others like Greyciousness won only sprints and come from sprint/miler families. You can't just say "she's by Miswaki so she'll transmit stamina" because it doesn't work that way.

23 Mar 2011 12:21 PM
Zenyatta John

Yes Zarvona -

The spacing looked much better.

Thanks for understanding my comments,the new spacing is making your posts easier to read.



23 Mar 2011 12:48 PM
Zenyatta John

Gourmet Dinner is NOT off the trail?

I looked for articles saying so - but I can't find any. If he's on the farm - he's gotta be off the trail.

Please post a link Coldfacts if you've seen otherwise, that he's back on the trail.

23 Mar 2011 1:24 PM
The Shark from

I see visions of the 2002 Derby where War emblem strolled around the track and Mike(my man) Smith in second,going wire to wire in what was in my opinion the most BORING Derby I have ever watched (and I have seen 53 of them.)Only in this one Uncle mo never gets by the factor and soldat and the three of them kill each other and a fresh -fast well trained combo of ZITO_MOTT come up and run 1-2.My play will be Dailed up and To honor and serve (and a box of same) for all the money!!

23 Mar 2011 1:50 PM

Ah yes, I keep forgetting the CD factor...Mo won there and look what "loving Churchill" did for Blame last fall? He beat the QUEEN. Still think Mo's the one to beat and Pletcher is just killing time despite his horse's inexperience. He knows he's got talent, you need fitness but they are doing the minimum with experience to avoid over-risking the 3rd item on the needs list (health - despite SS's win, look at Pletcher's camp last year) and the 4th, well heck, that's just Derby luck and she never tips her cards before the draw or sometimes she waits until the gate opens...

23 Mar 2011 2:12 PM

I'm tellin' ya, watch out for Elite Alex! And THAS is going to make a splash in the FLA Derby along with Dialed In. Still think Uncle Mo is the best and I now believe that he can get the 10f since he showed he can rate and gets some stamina from his BMS, Arch. PrePeg is also nice. Was at Churchill when his daddy won it in '00.

23 Mar 2011 2:35 PM

Gourmet Dinner was sent to the farm, but there is no explanation, nor has anyone stated that he's off the Derby trail.  ????

23 Mar 2011 2:41 PM
Billy's Empire

Zenyatta John: above someone asked about Gourmet Dinner. Haskin responded saying he is off to the farm but that Stanridge is not saying anything. His odds were also removed from websites.

23 Mar 2011 4:00 PM
Billy's Empire

"Having not worked since his promising second place finish in the Fountain of Youth, Gourmet Dinner has been taken off the ground of Gulfstream Park and headed towards a farm in Ocala, Fla. according to Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form."

23 Mar 2011 4:02 PM
Forbidden Apple


Don't forget that Dialed In ran at Churchill Downs when he broke his maiden in impressive fashion.

The Factor reminds me more of The Pamplemousse, he takes to the lead early and never looks back.

As for Gourmet Dinner, if he is at a farm, then he is most likely not in training. Why would he be sent to a farm if he does not have an injury?

I am completely surprised that we have not seen a blog about the surface at Santa Anita. The last I knew, they have had 13 breakdowns this winter on dirt. Last year they had 3 breakdowns on the polytrack.

23 Mar 2011 5:26 PM

I remember when The Factor made his debut. I was watching TVG and before the race it was noted that Baffert Said he was going to win the Derby with this colt. I was laughing and still was after the San Vicente because he looked like a pure speed ball who couldn't ration his speed. He sure surprised me in the Rebel running 23 and change opening quarters. I think it's awesome that Uncle Mo is so ratable because if he wasn't you would see him, The Factor, and Soldat run each other into the ground in the Derby.

23 Mar 2011 5:31 PM


Just curious; how many times in the last 10 years has the Derby winner been in the top 3 of your Derby Dozen?

23 Mar 2011 6:04 PM
JJ's Lucky Train

Surprised to see Astrology on the list, when you have legit contenders like Silver Medallion out there, Calebs Posse, pretender or contender only next race will tell but I think Santiva can be scratched. Archarcharch can be considered, he has been consistent, Decisive Moment, Positive Response, Twinspired lower tier but may all improving

23 Mar 2011 7:15 PM

OK as to some of the fillies currently out there ...

and crosses with the 'BHXFG'

 9 X "Zazu"

 8 X "Pomroy's Pistol"

 7 X "Joyful Victory" ;

      "Tell a Kelly" ;


 6 X  "A Z Warrior" ;

 5 X "Dancinginherdreams" ;

     "Delightful Mary" ;

     "More Than Real" ;

     "R Heat Lightning" ;

 4 X "Awesome Feather"


 ...and yet there is

     "Turbulent Descent"

16 X bred to 'BHXFG' lines

who his trainer Puype says

is off 'all' trails, Oaks

or Derby, and that a 1 1/16

is her distance limit?...

so go figure...

23 Mar 2011 7:35 PM
Forbidden Apple

Tim and others:

Soldat is not a speed freak, look at his past performances. He would have sat off from the pace in the FOY, except every other horse was slow and did not want the lead. Soldat will not be running his eyes out on the front end in the FL Derby or the KY Derby.

23 Mar 2011 7:44 PM

  Dynamic Holiday: f. (Pa.);   Tr.: H.G. Motion; (T)

  7     4   2   0 ;

  D.I.  2.75 ;  

  Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ;

 [[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer ; Turn To ; Bold Ruler ;

  & Princequillo ; & 5 X bred to Nearco (Ity.) …&

 9 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via

    4 X via Mal Mahal ;  

    3 X to Blooming Time &

    1 X @ to Brushup &


winner Florida Oaks

1 1/16 ; Tam ;  

winner Tropical Parks Oaks

1 1/16 ; Crc

winner Gr. III

Herecomesthebride Stakes

1 1/8 (T) 1:46.60 ; + 2

23 Mar 2011 8:14 PM

   So, will he ever only be a sprinter ? Does he have some limited distance range ? Or, was that the run attempted solely by the jockey ? or due to trainer instructions ? Did they actually think he could wire the field ? Has the horse never been taught to rate ? Did the horse just take off on his own and thereafter was uncontrolable until he sprinted his way right out of oxygen ? Will they ever bring him back for another distance return try ? Have the connections now reasoned he is distance limited ?

  His breeding certainly appears to show ‘stamina’ and ‘distance’ capability. So stay tune , ‘bat fans’.

  Runflatout: (Fla.);

Tr. J. Sadler, Jr.;  

   $22K ’09 FTS Kty. ;

   $165K’10 BAR

2     1   0   0 ;    D.I. 3.00 ;

 Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ;

 [[dbl. bred to Mr. Prospector;

  6 X bred to Nearco (Ity.) ;

   quad bred to Nasrullah ;

   triple bred to Bold Ruler ;

  & dbl. bred to Secretariat ;

 Key to the Mint ; & Graustark]] ;

 & …

11 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via

 4 X  via Blossom Time ;

 4 X  via Brushup ;

 2 X  via Mah Mahal ;

& 1 X via Cosquillo]];

 winner 6 fur. Mdn. 1:07.70 ;  

 111 Beyer;

 00 the $$ & last in the Gr. II  

1  1/16 San Felipe SA ;

1:41.23 ;

{Note: only his 2nd time on the track ? & his first try at 2 turns after his maiden win in Graded Company ? & put on the lead appearing to attempt to wire

the field?}

  I guess that's where a 2 Yr. Campaign or more preps shows up as making a difference.  "SPEED KILLS", but it has to be properly trained and appropriatley applied when called for.  

23 Mar 2011 9:09 PM

My fellow posters it’s time examine the tale of the tapes:

With The Factor’s impressive victory in the Rebel Stakes, he is now seen as a legitimate challenger for Uncle Mo. I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison these two in a number of categories. No disrespect is meant to the other colts comprising Steve’s dozen but they are just not as fast as the aforementioned two.  


Pedigree – Check mark goes to The Factor. He has the edge in this category as both side of his pedigree are represented on the derby winners’ chart several time in the last 30 years.  

Speed – Check mark goes to The Factor. He is undoubtedly the faster of the two at every comparative distance.

Movement – Check mark goes to The Factor. He moves effortlessly over ground and is consequently energy efficient while in motion. Uncle Mo has a high action that is not as energy efficient.

Stamina – Check mark goes to both. They are both stamina suspect but The Factor’s fluency in movement may take him further.

Foundation - Check mark goes to both. They will both enter the derby with five starts. The factor will possibly have a plus one start on Uncle Mo as a 3YO. It’s hard to judge any advantage from this.

Ratability - Check mark goes to both. Any doubts about The factor ability to rate was dispelled in the Rebel.

Size - Check mark goes to Uncle Mo. He is a much bigger colt. Is this an advantage? It is alleged that a good big horse is better than a good small horse. Tell that to Goldicova! Does size really matter? I guess it depends on whether the subject matter relates to human or equine.

I am sure there is a category that was missed but there is enough comparison above to suggest that the colts are pretty close with a slight edge going to The Factor. While the colts are close, the significant difference between the two headings into the derby rest in the tale of the tape for the conditioners:

Data from last 10YRS


Derby – WIN: Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem; PLACE: PioneerOf The Nile, Congaree, Covannier; SHOW: Inidian Charlie

Preakness - Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem, Point Given, Lookin At Lucky

Belmont- Point Given

Summary: Winner of nine Triple Crown races and four other top three finishers.


Derby – WIN: Super Saver; PLACE: Bluegrass Cat; SHOW: Invisible Ink

Preakness – ???

Belmont – Rags To Riches; PLACE: Dunkirk

Summary: Winner of two Triple Crown races and three other top three finishers.

The above records might not be totally correct for place and show totals. However, they give an indication of who is more likely to successfully transform a stamina suspect, light on foundation colt into a derby winner. Interpretation on the above will differ and opinions will be advanced for the success of one and the limited success of the other. While the opinions will vary, there can be no variation in the cold facts. It is exceedingly clear that The Factor conditioned by Speedy Bob has a mega advantage over Uncle Mo conditioned by Dismal Todd. Use cold facts as you see fit.

23 Mar 2011 9:46 PM

First of all, love your selections as you put it out there for everyone to hammer.  And some do, I think you do a great job!  We all have different opinions.  That is what this is for, not hammering someone.  Great Job  

1 question and 1 statement.  Steve is the move Mott did with TO Honor and Serve (in my opinion was short) not have them ready the first time out then come back the 2nd time much better? Just wondering if that is something he normally does historically.

2nd I can't wait till every one bets on Borel to win the Derby again.  He has had an unbelieveable journey but I have to beleive the jockeys will learn this year shut down the rail.  I wouldn't bet him if he was on my selections right know.  Top 3 UM Soldat and To Honor and Serve.  Thanks Steve for all your comments and information

23 Mar 2011 9:55 PM

By Dick Downey

The Downey Profile

March 22, 2011 8:20 AM

GOURMET DINNER (FL)--He is apparently off the Derby Trail, and his trainer isn’t talking. Churchill Downs took Gourmet Dinner off its graded earnings list that was released yesterday

23 Mar 2011 9:56 PM

a correction to a former post where "To Honor and Serve" was listed as  3 X bred to the 'BHXFG' strains, make that read 6 X

 To Honor and Serve: (Kty.); Tr.; W. Mott;    

$250K  ’08 Keenlander;

$575K ’09 Keenlander; Gr. II Mi.135.86 ;

[[triple bred to Northern Dancer & dbl bred Mr. Prospector ; …&

6X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’:

via 2 X @ to Blossom Time &

Mah Mahal ;

  & 1 X @ to Brushup & Cosquillo]];

winner Gr. II Remsen S.

   1 1/18  150.03 ;  

23 Mar 2011 11:21 PM


In your Pletcher-Baffert comparison, you can add:

Number of Ky Derby winners this century:

Pletcher -1


Number of Ky Derby winners this century with horses trained for more than 4 months:



Headstart enjoyed last century by trainer:

Baffert born 1953

Pletcher born 1967

Age when saddling first Ky Derby winner:



Advantage in this century goes to?

24 Mar 2011 12:17 AM
Forbidden Apple


What do you make of the 431 Tomlinson distance # that has been assigned to The Factor? That's a pretty high number if you ask me. War Front also has Soldat on the trail and another good looking horse named Data Link.

24 Mar 2011 10:18 AM


Before you start comparing speeds maybe you need to look at track variants. Premier Pegasus ran 1:41.23 in the San Felipe does that mean he's faster than The Factor?

Maclean's Music ran 2/5ths slower than what The factor did in his maiden win but got a beyer of a 114 compared to The Factor's 108. It's more than just comparing raw times.

24 Mar 2011 10:34 AM

Forbidden Apple, you're right...all Soldat does is exactly what you ask him to fuss...the pace, off the pace...just like a great horse does.♥

24 Mar 2011 10:38 AM


If I make my posts any longer Mr. Haskin will stop displaying them I am already on a short leach.

“Before you start comparing speeds maybe you need to look at track variants. Premier Pegasus ran 1:41.23 in the San Felipe does that mean he's faster than The Factor?”

The answer to your question is contained in my post. See the extract below:

“No disrespect is meant to the other colts comprising Steve’s dozen but they are just not as fast as the aforementioned two.”

 Premier Pegasus is ranked amongst the remaining ten.

“Maclean's Music ran 2/5ths slower than what The factor did in his maiden win but got a Beyer of a 114 compared to The Factor's 108. It's more than just comparing raw times.”

The first week the new SA track was used it was much faster than it is now. This could account for the difference in beyers. I pay very little attention to beyers. With regards to speed, if The Factor’s times at SA are adjusted by two seconds he is still faster than Uncle Mo. I did not state this in my post because  I was of the opinion it is common knowledge that that SA is about 1 ½ to 2 seconds faster than most tracks with the exception of Gulfstream. The fact that speed was just one of about six categories of comparison indicates I was not focused on raw times only.

Forbidden Apple:

I have no idea what those numbers represent. They play an insignificant role in the results to come. I have Data Link on a list but he appears to be MIA. Is he a turf horse? I took note of him because his dam sire Known Fact is also the dam sire of my little sucker horse Riveting Reason. Known Fact was a son of In Reality and should be respected as a broodmare sire as two of sons of In Reality have been derby winning broodmare sires. His second dam by Deputy Minister makes him even more appealing.  I much prefer his pedigree to that of the slow Soldat. Is he one of those heading to the Bluegrass like the ultra slow Santiva? He must be better that Santiva and if Santiva is fancied Data Link he must be a nice bet..


Do you know how long Speedy Bob has been training thoroughbred? What does age have to do with it? Old men dream dreams and young men have visions. Dismal Todd’s visions have been nightmares over the last 10 years in the TC. You confuse me as I am finding it difficult to understand the point you are trying to make. Why specify a period that does not reflect the two conditioners’ body of work in the Triple Crown series? Are you implying that they are equal based on the cold facts you have presented? If you are a Dismal Todd fan you need to accept his TC record for what it is. ‘Dismal’

24 Mar 2011 4:18 PM

JerseyBoy, Maybe you should compare numbers that actually matter, like perhaps Baffert's number of Triple Crown race wins or Pletcher's number of starters that finished last. Make no mistake, Bob Baffert is the best Derby trainer in the nation. Pletcher's one win came with Super Saver who turned out to be a fluke.

24 Mar 2011 4:24 PM

RE:As per my last post another facet in BEEZ decision to possibly run Jaycito in the Wood instead of the SADerby is this.When Jaycito shipped to Churchill for the Breeders Cup Juvenile,if Im not mistaken it was his first ship out of California.I got a feeling that he did not handle the ship very well,and thus was high strung before he stepped off the plane in Kentucky.I think that is the main reason he ran so out of norm in the BC.He never acclimated to his new surroundings,even before he got to his stall.This will test Baffert and his team to see if they have solved his shipping concerns.Baffert ships horses all around the country so he has to have a good routine in place,maybe Jaycito is happier now and more mature and he will handle the ship a lot better this time.

24 Mar 2011 5:34 PM

Forbidden Apple,

I agree with you Soldat isn't a speed demon; he may have enough left in the tank though should Mo and Factor tire in the stretch. Factor could take the whole Derby wire to wire for all we know.  Soldat has more of a "reserved" killer quality, Factor is all out kill from the get go.  Mo looks the most physically impressive to me right now, Soldat the most mature.  I wonder where Dialed In fits into all this since he turned in a bullet work?  Factor must be a mudder with that high Tomlinson you mentioned, like I said he traversed Oaklawn dirt no problem after being used to the freeway in CA.  He must be a champion that can take to any surface easily, or more like fly over it easily!  I don't know what to make of the Santa Anita surface and the amount of breakdowns you mentioned.  No good, how far have we really come since all the bruhaha after Barbaro's breakdown?  The last article I read in BH said the SA dirt was comprised of 86% sand, which is what Dr. D. out in CA suspected.  I hope they get the right measure of ingredients or components to slow it down and lessen the amount of breakdowns.

I can't even get my head around the Santa Anita thing, I'm still on Sway Away banging his mouth in the gate, don't they watch or did it happen so fast it was undetectable until a taped replay?

Someone said they only check their legs not their heads, but that doesn't make it right.

I'm glad Dialed In turned in a bullet, must have not liked Zito's move of running slow with the older boys and decided to speed things up all by himself!!!  So many of them look, well, not ready.  Stay Thirsty has lugging in issues, Alternation has gate and maturity issues, Jaycito has shipping issues, Brethren has to get with the program, Astrology has beathing issues, etc., they are young and inexperienced.  No matter how I toss it I still have Soldat, Mo, and Factor the top 3.

24 Mar 2011 7:06 PM

This post is for the blogmaster Steve Haskin.If its not too much trouble can you post when nominations are or were due for these preps.Florida Derby,Wood Memorial,Santa Anita Derby.I tried to use the search ap on this site but maybe I did not phrase it correctly.If you can tell me how to find it on this website even better (self-serve)

24 Mar 2011 7:46 PM


As always, absolutely great stuff from you and your readers.  I am still quite surprised that Wilkinson is not more promeniently mentioned in the Derby discussions.  Either I am crazy or he is being overlooked by many skilled handicappers.  I guess we will find this weekend in the Louisiana Derby if he is worthy of placement. on the Derby Dozen.

24 Mar 2011 9:21 PM

The Factor's future kids:


Nombre de Guerre (War Number)

Fast Addition


Figure It Out

The Great Divide

Speed Squared

Sorry, I was getting bored!  Somebody come up with some more!

24 Mar 2011 10:00 PM

Coldfacts and stevebiscuit:

The whole point of the exercise was to show that one can make statistics say anything. What happened to your sense of humor?

By the way, I omitted the fact that they both graduated from the University of Arizona but that Pletcher looks better in a suit. He is also taller.

24 Mar 2011 10:01 PM

Uncle Mo does not need a bunch of races to win the Derby. Man O' War won the Preakness as his first start in 1920 on a rougher track, tougher opponents, and no starting gate. I also want to mention that The Factor's speed is great, but....we've seen what using a horse's speed does to future efforts, and I would not be surprised to see a bounce.  Premier Pegasus looked sharp as the pace collapsed, but still ran a slow final 1/4. Mo galloped out each quarter faster than the one prior...Secretariat did that in the Belmont. If you want to see a similar pace collapse, watch Donnaguska's race of a few years back...

A name I like is King Congie, a late bloomer who is never mentioned, but was behind Mo in his first start and has gone on to win a stakes.

I hope Mo runs in the Florida Derby. He'll be tested, and have an extra week of rest for the Derby than he would in Wood Memorial.  That may be Pletcher's angle--the extra rest. I do think Mo will make short work of the fields he faces, no matter who they are, and some, such as Boys of Toscanova may never be the same.

24 Mar 2011 11:24 PM

Re Steve’s current ‘dozen’ & the ‘BHXFG’ …

    The number of times a ‘BHXFG’ strain

     threads through the given dam’s line:

  #1.  “Uncle Mo” : 1 X bred w/the “BHXFG’

  #2.  “Premier Pegasus” : 5 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’

  #3.  “Soldat” :

          no links to the ‘BHXFG’

  #4.  “Dialed In” : 2 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’

  #5.  “Stay Thirsty” : 1 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’

  #6.  “Mucho Macho Man” :

             no links to the ‘BHXFG’ ;

  #7.  “To Honor and Serve” :

             6 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’

  #8.  “The Factor” : 3 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’

  #9.  “Jaycito” :  4 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’

#10.  “Santiva” : 1 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’

#11.  “Anthony’s Cross”: 3 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’

#12.  “Astrology” : 3 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’

#13.  “Elite Alex” : 3 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’

And as to some others previously possibly not having before mentioned:

 10 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ : “Brethren” ;

   6 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ :  “Fusa Code” ;

   5 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ :  “Free Entry” ;

   4 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ :  “Escort” ;

   3 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ :  “Pluck” ; “Flashpoint” ;

       “Queen’splatekittten” ; “Quail Hill” ; “Newsdad” ;

       “Uncle Sam” ;  

   2 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ : “Joes Blazin Aaron” ;

       “Crimson Praise” ; “Lou Brissie” ;

   1 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ : “Positive Response” ;

       “Data Link” ; “Master Dunker” ; “Jakesam” ;

    no links w/the ‘BHXFG’ : “East of

24 Mar 2011 11:40 PM
Forbidden Apple


Yes, Data Link is a nice turf horse. He tried two dirt sprints early on in his career, but he ran into some good horses. He was in the MSW race at Saratoga that included To Honor & Serve, Anthony's Cross, and Astrology. He is a possible starter for the Bluegrass. I think he deserves another chance on dirt. He seems to want a longer race and he is more mature now than he was over the summer. I don't know that one turf victory makes him a turf horse.

I have written to you before about Soldat. Yes his last two races on dirt were slow, but he gets the job done. What has always been more important to me is the way he showed an ability to rate well on grass. Please go back and watch the replays of his grass races. He is also more mature now and I believe the best is yet to come. In the B.C. Juvenile he was scraping the rail and Pluck was in the middle of the racetrack. He never layed eyes on Pluck until after the wire. When he finally noticed Pluck, he finished fast and galloped out past him after the wire. When the KY Derby rolls around, I think Soldat will be very happy to watch the speed battle it out in front of him.

I know that I'm looking ahead, but Dialed In remains #1 on my list for a reason. His late kick has been very impressive in every start, including the loss. Nick Zito knows what he has in this animal and I think he will surprise everyone in the FL Derby.

And I have Premier Pegasus ranked a very strong #3 at this time.

24 Mar 2011 11:45 PM

Thanks Jersey BOY !! I needed some humor today.

24 Mar 2011 11:46 PM

Data Link: (Kty.): Tr. C.R. “Suggs” McGaughey III; (T) ;

                      6       3     0     0 ;   D.I. 3.00 ;     Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ; Haskin’s # nl- ;

         War Front-Danzig-Northern Dancer-Nearctic-(s.s.s.d.s.: Native Dancer-

                    (s.d.s.: Rubiano-Fappiano-Mr. Prosepctor-Raise a Native-Native Dancer 2 )-

                    (s.d.s.d.s.: Nijinsky-Northern Dancer 2 -Nearctic)//

         Database-Known Fact-In Reality-Intentionally-Intent-

                 (d.d.s.: Deputy Minister-Vice Regent-Northern Dancer 3 )-(d.d.d.d.s.: Alydar-Raise a Native 2 );

                        [[triple bred to Northern Dancer & Native Dancer &  dbl. bred to Raise a Native ; …&

                           1 X  bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via Blossum Time]];

                        winner  1 1/16 (T)  1:41: 00 ;

24 Mar 2011 11:50 PM

Forbidden Apple- I have been keeping a close tally on the breakdowns.  I hope many people in the industry have been.  I know they have reported on it in Europe.

24 Mar 2011 11:55 PM

Karen in Texas

I read somewhere that Alternation ended up with some scratches but nothing serious.  I was very glad to see that.


Does Nehro not have a chance to make some noise in the La. Derby in your opinion?  I thought he showed some speed at Oaklawn but he's making a jump in distance here.

25 Mar 2011 1:07 AM
Zenyatta John

Maclean's Music ran slower than The Factor breaking his maiden but received a higher Beyer at 114.

The Factor ran on the 1st day of the new dirt surface at SA that day. He also received a Raw Beyer of 151 - than was adjusted down to 108.

A Beyer is just a tool to help handicapping.

25 Mar 2011 1:47 PM
Karen in Texas

Bigtex---Thanks for the info on Alternation. Apparently, he's going on to the Arkansas Derby. I'm glad he's okay, too.

25 Mar 2011 6:27 PM

Get Well to Mineshaft (at Lane's End), Dialed In's sire, who just had colic surgery.  Apparently he had an obstruction and is expected to be ok.  Dialed In holds tight in my #4 spot and could move up after the Florida Derby.  

Good luck MMM and Elite Alex tomorrow.

25 Mar 2011 8:36 PM

some of you people love to throw stones at a horse who has done everything anyone could ask...Its very pathetic how you continously are misinformed and fail to see what is in front of your eyes...Uncle Mo is special, and TP's approach is so freakin obvious, I can't believe you "so called" horse players and prognosticators can't see it... He knows he has a legitimate shot at the Triple Crown, and not just the Derby...he wants a fresh horse that can potentially be fresh when the Belmont comes around if need be...there is no need to run around the country and have 5 prep races and so forth...he has the earnings, he's proven to be faster than any horse thus far and only time will tell at this point. Why then does anyone care what Coldfacts and others say?

25 Mar 2011 8:44 PM

The one I never mention in my posts is Premier Pegasus.  I can't get a feeling or read on him and for some reason I just come up with no feeling on him.  He has the exact same sire line as Roman Ruler has, the Fusaichi Pegasus/Mr. Prospector thing. And Roman Ruler was a champion, photo on my office wall of his Haskell win in 2005 that I took.  Pre Peg could be that dangerous one, as Steve has him at #2.  But in 2005 Roman Ruler wasn't the best of the 3yr. old crop, Alex was.  Very confused on Premier Pegasus, I need to see more of him.

25 Mar 2011 9:04 PM
Forbidden Apple


The recent breakdowns at S.A. are troubling to say the least. Maybe it has to much clay and not enough water. I miss the old dirt before the Polytrack mandate came sweeping through California.

I was at the betting window and did not see Sway Away smash the gate. You would think that the jockey or the starter noticed blood or a flying tooth. He ended up with a lousy trip also. It seems safe to say that he was bothered and deserves another chance to prove himself. I would be happy to see him in the AR Derby.

Dialed In's 47 2/5 workout should serve notice that he means business. Nick Zito called him a gift from god. His late explosions have been uncorked in every start. Even in the allowance race defeat he was gobbling up ground after a turtle like pace in front of him. They know what Dialed In is made of and he will shine bright on April 3. I am 99.99% sure that team Mo wants nothing to do with Zito's beast! Take another look back at Premier Pegasus (S.F.), it looks better every time I watch it.


The Factor has run three blazing races in a row. Why is he all of the sudden going to slow down? Rubber balls bounce, horses have good days and bad days.

The injury to Boys@Tosconova has nothing to do with Uncle Mo. Your thinking that Mo injures horses is twisted. In the Timely Writer Mo went out slow, then went slower, and then crawled through his 6f split. At best he ran fast for 2 furlongs. Does a fast 1/4 mile really deserve yet another absurd comparison to anything that Secretariat accomplished?

26 Mar 2011 12:11 AM

Zenyatta John,

I really don't put too much stock into beyer but was merely using his numbers as an example to show that there are other factors involved other than raw times to judge the performance of a race.  

26 Mar 2011 11:49 AM

I just watched the Louiaiana Derby replay.The top four around the first turn were the top 3 finishers of the race except for Lion Drive who faded.The pace scenario and spacing of the horses allowed for a conveyor belt like finish to the race.I dont know if there was any bias today or if the inside of the track was favorable.One horse that I watched for in the replay was Elite Alex.If you liked him before dont get off him he was the only one gaining from the back,and he was  last down the backstretch  and had to swing wide.The spiral was another last to first finish but Animal Kingdom ran up the inside much like Street Sense did in the derby he won.The 2nd place finisher Decisive Moment ran on in the stretch,the only one near the pace who stuck around for the finish line.Twinspired ran wide so its hard to get a read on him,much like Pants on Fire did in the Risen Star(an inside post and stalking trip helped him win.I hope he is added as a separate entry in pool 3 of the derby future wager.

26 Mar 2011 8:25 PM

With Riveting Reason now off the Derby Trail with a hoof injury, with Sweet Ducky being sold and racing over in the UAE, with the uncertainty regarding how Sway Away will perform in his next race after the unfortunate circumstances at the Rebel Stakes, and with J P's Gusto's subpar performance in the Rebel Stakes, I have made changes to my Top 5.

1.  Santiva-  Next Start will be the Blue Grass Stakes.  It is an interesting race schedule.  The Connections have decided to give Santiva rest now with the 8 Weeks between his 2nd Place Finish in the Risen Star and the Blue Grass Stakes.  I personally don't have a problem with the 3 Weeks between the Blue Grass Stakes and the Kentucky Derby.  To me that 3 Week time frame is better than the time frame after the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial before the Kentucky Derby.  They may not have him cranked real tight for the Blue Grass Stakes (his Trainer stated after the Risen Star that they didn't have him cranked real tight for the Risen Star).  If they don't crank him real tight for the Blue Grass Stakes, then they are basically wanting to keep Santiva fresh and then unleash him for a full bore effort at Churchill on the first Saturday in May.  The Blue Grass Stakes set Street Sense and Paddy O'Prado up for big efforts on Derby Day.

2.  Premier Pegasus-  Had a very good performance in the San Felipe.  Made an explosive move on the turn, showing that he has a very good turn of foot.  There are still questions regarding the level of competition he beat in the San Felipe, but his performance was nonetheless very good.  His Pedigree has Kentucky Derby and other Triple Crown Race Series success all over it (by Fusaichi Pegasus out of a Mare by Summer Squall).

3.  Watch Me Go-  Made a nice move in the Tampa Bay Derby.  Showed that he can rate, and he showed that he is good in the stretch.  He is out of a Deputy Minister Mare.  There have been other Triple Crown Series race Winners that have come out of a Mare sired by Deputy Minister (Curlin, Jazil, and Rags to Riches).

4.  Arch Traveler-  Has finished on the board in all of his 4 Starts (2 Wins, 1 Place, and 1 Show).  Has a lot of talent.  He doesn't have a lot of wasted motion when he runs.  Scheduled next to run in the Florida Derby.  Will be forgotten leading up to the Florida Derby with all of the hoopla surrounding Soldat and Dialed In.  If Arch Traveler gets a good Post Position, and if he runs his normal race, then he should have no trouble exhibiting why Soldat and Dialed In are way overhyped.

5.  Silver Medallion-  Won the El Camino Real Derby (1 1/8 Mile).  Had a wide trip during the entire race, and still won.  He defeated Comma to the Top (who has $471,000 in Graded Earnings).  Silver Medallion showed that he can rate, and he showed that he can close very well.  Next scheduled Start is the Santa Anita Derby.  He doesn't have to win the Santa Anita Derby.  A solid effort and a 2nd Place should still be okay.                

26 Mar 2011 8:56 PM

  Well, I for one am was in a state of mild shock, but then again after investigating their breeding, after the fact, not that much of a surprise seeing how either horse would have little trouble with the distance raced or in getting longer.  In any event, we get to add two great trainers to the Derby field who have now most likely qualified for Kty. Derby gate slots in both Kelly J. Breen and in one of my all time home town favorites from Laurel, Md. working out of Pa.--maybe better known for his work with fillie “Better Talk Now” nationally,--H. Graham Motion.

  As to other weekend news thus far, f. “Daisy Devine” stamped herself as a legitimate Kty. Oaks contender winning the Gr. II 1 1/16  Fair Ground Oaks in 1:44.25 .

  And, as I look out my window at the snow, all eyes will now turn on sunny Sunland. There for sure, another will be surely crowned once having earned another Derby gate slot with a win there, where I think back and remember a horse named “Endorsement”, leaving off mention of--the up and coming movie star--“Mind that Bird”. Wow, I like the breeding on “Fusa Code” and “Ruler on Ice”, but I can’t help think back to that of the amazing run by “Beer Meister” back from some 15 lengths off the lead to come flying down the stretch like “Pluck” in the Juvenile Turf. Looking for another exciting race and another gate to be given away.

  So again, what will the low Derby cut off gate figure be with the size of these purses getting bigger and bigger???

  Animal Kingdom: (Kty.); Tr. H.G. Motion;

    Mar. 20th foal; $100K ’09 Keenlander ;

    4       2     2     0 ;   D.I. 1.67 ;  

  Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ; Haskin’s # nl- ;

[[dbl. bred to Lyphard ; Turn To ; 5 X + bred to Nearco (Ity.) ;

… &  2 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via Brushup & Mah Mahal]];

winner  Gr. III 1 1/8  Vinery S.

 (f. the Lane’s End {Poly track}

  :23.57 ; :46.56 ; 1:12.57 ; 1:38.45 ; 1:52.32 ; + 2 ¾

  Pants On Fire: (Kty.); Tr. K. Breen; Mar. 29th foal;

    9       2     3     1 ;   D.I. 3.00 ;  

 Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ; Haskin’s # nl- ;

[[dbl. bred to Mr. Prospector ; Seattle Slew; Secretartiat; &

Key to the Mint; quad. bred to Bold Ruler & Princequillo;

& triple bred to Buckpasser ; 6 X + bred to  Nasrullah

& 7 X + bred to Nearco (Ity.)…&

11X  bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via 4 X each to

Blossom Time & Brushup ;

2 X via Cosquillo ; & 1 X via Mah Mahal]]:

00 the $$ 5th 1 1/16 Risen Star  1:43.98 ; ++++

winner Gr. II 1 1/8 La. Derby 1:49.92 ;

  :23.43 ; :47.53 ; 1:12.02 ; 1:37.24 ; 1:49.92 ; + 2 ¾

good day

27 Mar 2011 4:47 AM


“He's proven to be faster than any horse thus far and only time will tell at this point. Why then does anyone care what Coldfacts and others say?”

Your comment and question above merits a response. You are clearly either in a state of denial of on unable or unable analyze speed figures and performance. Uncle Mo has not proven to be faster than The Factor even if you adjust the SA time by 2 seconds. His time on the slower Oakland track was faster than Uncle Mo’s BCJ time. At ever distance The Factor has been faster. Those are cold facts not fiction.  The Factor has a track record and Uncle Mo does not. Even in your state of denial I am sure you can appreciate the significance on that. In my tale of the tape I concluded that the two colts were close with a slight edge going to The Factor. I considered that to be a very measured conclusion. You are encouraged to adopt that policy when posting your comments.

The objective of all posters on this Blog is to share their views. They are fully aware that there will be agreement and disagreements and they do not expect anybody to be influenced in anyway. I have not discredited Mighty Mo or his achievements. What I have been repeated critical of is the lowering of the bar of greatness to match his achievements which have been equaled or superseded in the past.

Every time Mr. Haskin post a blog at the end is normally the following world “Please leave a comment” This is what posters do. You are at liberty to disregard posted comments but you are not at liberty to disregard the process.

27 Mar 2011 12:29 PM
El Kabong


I have to take issue with your comment about Super Saver being a Fluke. You may not be aware that after his two unusually poor showings in the Preakness and Haskell, he was diagnosed with bruising and inflammation in a all four of his cannon bones. Retirement followed for obvious reason. There is no question that he was a contender and a winner. Many of us saw this, hence is odds, and I believe he would have succeeded, rain or not. He may not have won the next two legs if he was healthy but he most certainly would have run much better than he did. One thing is certain, he wasn't the same horse after that Derby race, but his lead up 3rd Place at Tampa, 2nd in the Ark Derby, and 1st in the KD do not lend themselves to the description of  a fluke. Not even close.

27 Mar 2011 1:35 PM
El Kabong


You have stated that " SA is about 1 ½ to 2 seconds faster than most tracks with the exception of Gulfstream"

I did some research on that and here are the applicable facts

While the times of race under a mile are close, that changes drastically after the 1 mile distance.

1 1/8 GP 147.4   SA 1:45.6

1 1/4 GP 202.6   SA 1:59.2

Looks to me that there is a full 2 second difference.

you can't compare 1  mile times as GP has a one turn mile, but as you can see, there is a big difference in times at the longer distances. Just thought you should know if you're going to be comparing them at the distances that matter.

27 Mar 2011 2:05 PM

  How rapidly the entire picture so changes between mid Mar, and mid Apr., where now,--relatively unconsidered before as being off the scope of my top 50 list anyway,--we have to add the likes of “Pants on Fire”-“Animal Kingdom”-“Twice the Appeal”-& “Decisive Moments”- to surrendered yet earned gate slots and have to continue to take a look at another new threat in “Nehro”. And, what will the likes of “Astrology”, “Brethren”, $ “Sway Away”, etc. do next to attempt to still get their earnings for a gate slot? And, have we seen the last attempts from “Albergatti” & “Runflatout”?, and etc.  With “the Wood”,--or whatever its called now,--& its new $ million dollar giveaway ; the Santa Anita Derby & its $ million dollar giveaway ; the Illinois Derby & its ½  $ million dollar giveaway ; the Arkansas Derby & its $ million dollar giveaway ; and only the Toyota Blue Grass & its ¾  $ million dollar giveaway, left, many are running out of time and many on the bubble like “Watch Me Go”, &-or “Archarcharch” & etc., might still yet end up on the wrong side of the earnings fence when all is said and done.  


 “Twice the Appeal”: (Kty.);

Tr. J. Bonde; May 10th foal;

$4K ’09 Keenlander ; OBS ; $35K ’10 BAR ;

[[quad bred to Hyperion (G.B.); dbl. bred to Alibhai (G.B.) ;

Tudor Minstrel (G.B.); & Lucky Debonair]]; …&

1 X bred to the ‘BHXFG’ via Mah Mahal]];

winner Gr. III  1 1/8   Sunland Derby ;  1:50.91;

“Decisive Moment”: (Fla.);

 Tr.  J. Arias;  $70K  ’10 OBS;

    [[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer & Secretariat &

5 X  bred to Princequillo (Ire.) & quad b red to Nearco (Ity.) &

    2 X ‘BHXFG’ via Blossom Time & Brushup]] ;

2nd in the Gr. III 1 1/8  Vinery Spiral S. 1:52.32 ; + 2 ¼ ;

The GRADED EARNINGS:  Race as of


Uncle Mo                       $1,260,000

Pants on Fire                    


J.P.s Gusto                      $541.5K

            Soldat                            $510K  

Comma to the Top                  $471K

Twice the Appeal                  


Mucho Macho Man                $300K +

Animal Kingdom                   $293K

The Factor                        $270K


Stay Thirsty                      $260K

Decisive Moment                  $251K

           Jaycito                           $250K

To Honor and Serve               $250K


          Santiva                           $240.25K

Dialed In                        $240.K

Watch Me Go                       $232.5K

Premier Pegasus                   $228K

          Nehro                             $222.9K

    Archarcharch                      $180K  

Anthony’s Cross                   $162K  


       Brethren                          $155K  

Stay Thirsty                      $150K  

Silver Medallion              $124.3K

      Flashpoint                        $90K

Sway Away        


28 Mar 2011 6:18 AM

 P.S. & some of these (marked *) might also be corrections to previous posts:

11 X bred with the ‘BHXFG’: “Pants on Fire”;

10 X bred with the ‘BHXFG’: “Brethren”;

  5 X bred with the ‘BHXFG’:

“To Honor & Serve”; * & “Premier” Pegasus”;

  4 X bred with the ‘BHXFG’:

“Silver Medallion”; * & “Jaycito” ;

  3 X bred with the ‘BHXFG’:

“Archarhcrch”; "Astrology”;

“Anthony’s Cross”; &


  2 X bred with the ‘BHXFG’:

“Animal Kingdom”;

“Dialed In”; “Decisive Moment”;

“Mucho Macho Man”;*

“Nehro”; & “Sweet Ducky”

  1 X bred with the ‘BHXFG’:

“Santiva”; “Stay Thirsty”;

“Twice the Appeal”; &

“Uncle Mo”;

“no links to the ‘BHXFG’:

“J.P.s Gusto”; “Soldat” ;

“Watch Me Go”;

28 Mar 2011 6:30 AM
Slew Pants On Fire with Rosie...looked great.  I really didn't realize just how well he was bred.  By Jump Start, an AP Indy son, out of a Cape Town mare.  Hot diggity!  But with Uncle Mo, The Factor, and Soldat, and of course, To Honor And Serve, along with Prem Pegasus out there...POF is in my 2nd string with Archarcharch, Alternation, MMM, (.."a kingdom was lost, all for the want of a nail?"..). Machen, wilkinson and Elite Alex are all off my list.  Astrology seemed to have a weird egg-beater type locomotion with his left rear leg. (Am I the only one who saw this?)  He needed at least an allowance before he tackled a Derby.  I love the crescent moon marking, and hope for better next out.  By rights, he should be my hunch play, since I've done charts...maybe when a horse comes along named Tarot...I'll feel better about my hunch.

Most impressive 3 year olds this weekend were Great Hot and Arienza, both fillies with speed, stamina, breeding, and heart.  They just moved way ahead of many colts in my picture.

28 Mar 2011 8:49 AM

Usually the derby comes down to a contest between speed and breeding, with breeding almost always winning.  This year we have the holy grail--one horse has speed AND the pedigree -- The Factor.  

28 Mar 2011 10:51 AM
JJ'sLucky Train

Love the blog, my favorite time of year to argue about blood lines, distance, track, trainer, jockey, level of competition, trainers and the like, it is what makes horse racing, horse racing, much of the Derby is getting a horse to peak first week in May. I would add Pants on Fire to the mix, I still consider him a pretender, BUT, gotta respect the big win and seems to be improving, outside looking in but cannot discount yet

29 Mar 2011 6:03 PM

master of the hounds can run all day

adrain o'brien was very happy after dubai race.your comments please

31 Mar 2011 2:31 PM

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