Derby Dozen - March 28, 2011 - Presented by Pauls Mill

 1

Uncle Mo Todd Pletcher

Indian Charlie—Playa Maya, by Arch

Breezed an easy half in :49 2/5, working behind horses. Looks like his main threat in the Wood will be Jaycito. The more competition the better. Can’t emphasize enough how much he needs to get something out of this race. From this work, the obvious intention is for him to sit off the pace, which is a must this year with so many fast horses potentially heading to Louisville.

2

Soldat Kiaran McLaughlin

War Front—Le Relais, by Coronado’s Quest

Breezed five furlongs in 1:00 4/5. His races and his works are becoming machine-like. No matter how much you try it’s difficult to find any faults with him. He should be more primed for a big effort than his Fla. Derby foes, who still may be a bit short coming off just one race. As we’ve been saying each week, it’s time to revert back to his running style on grass. If he can be as successful coming from off the pace as he’s been on the lead this year he will have no more questions to answer. Moves up to #2 basically because he’s running this weekend and gets to prove where he belongs before Premier Pegasus.

3

Premier Pegasus Myung Kwon Cho

Fusaichi Pegasus—Squall Linda, by Summer Squall

Looks like he’ll be a clear-cut favorite in the Santa Anita Derby after his powerhouse performance in the San Felipe. What he has to avoid is a similar type of performance. He needs to get a good test and look a horse in the eye. He’ll meet some new faces and won’t have that pace meltdown this time, so this will be more of an indication of how good he really is. Rankings of #2, 3, and 4 pretty much splitting hairs, so slight advantage goes to who is running this weekend.

4

Dialed In Nick Zito

Mineshaft —Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat

Was waiting for his all-important first work back, and he turned in a sharp drill in a bullet :47 2/5, indicating he is right on target for the Florida Derby. Zito said he gets plenty fit from his 2 1/2-mile gallops every day. And those long gallops often do more for a horse than a workout. In his work, he blew past his stablemate, finishing sevens length in front of him. If he should win or finish a close second on Saturday, he will be a red-hot commodity.

5

Stay Thirsty Todd Pletcher

Bernardini—Marozia, by Storm Bird

Breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01 4/5 and likely will get blinkers for the Florida Derby after getting a little intimidated being inside his workmate. He only needs to be in the top three and finish strong to set him up for the Derby. But he obviously still has maturing to do and has to start doing it in the Florida Derby if he’s going to be able to handle a 20-horse field on May 7. The blinkers better help, because the Derby is not the place for horses who get intimidated easily, for whatever reason.

6

To Honor and Serve Bill Mott

Bernardini—Pilfer, by Deputy Minister

Breezed a bullet half-mile in :49 at Payson Park for the Florida Derby. No one needs a big rebound performance and a tough race more than he does, considering he didn’t get as much out of his debut as one would have liked to see. Expect some big changes on the Derby trail after the Florida Derby. He will be one of the positive changes if he can return to his form of last fall.

7

Mucho Macho Man Kathy Ritvo

Macho Uno—Ponche de Leona, by Ponche

How ironic that he loses a shoe in the Louisiana Derby the same day his former jockey Eibar Coa takes his first steps following his near-catastrophic injury. He never seemed that comfortable, drifting in and out in the stretch, and came back with a slightly sore foot that should be fine in a few days. Considering he threw the shoe at the start, it was a good effort and a good foundation-builder, battling hard the length of the stretch. He needed a stiff race in case they decide wait the six-weeks to the Kentucky Derby. How much did losing the shoe cost him? You would think, especially with the sore foot, that it cost him three-quarters of a length.

8

The Factor Bob Baffert

War Front—Greyciousness, by Miswaki

As of now, he is expected to return to Oaklawn for the Arkansas Derby. Unless someone puts a rabbit in there, no one is going to want to take him on early, but they cannot let him coast out there on an easy lead either. Someone will have to take the initiative and test him at some point. If he does have an easy time of it, there still will be question marks going into the Kentucky Derby. But let’s not forget Spend a Buck and War Emblem.

9

Jaycito Bob Baffert

Victory Gallop—Night Edition, by Ascot Knight

The Wood Memorial is an excellent spot for him. Even if Uncle Mo runs lights out, a strong second-place finish would put him in good shape for the Derby. Would like to see him closer to the pace and still come home strong. He has to show he has the speed and the closing punch to compete with the top horses.

10

Anthony’s Cross Eoin Harty

Indian Charlie—Screening, by Unbridled

He’s getting sharp and needs to be with no races since Feb. 12. He will be facing much stiffer competition in the Santa Anita Derby than he did in the Robert Lewis and will need to come home faster than :13 3/5. But with second race blinkers it should be easier for him to relax off the pace this time. His main strength right now is that he’s improving.

11

Santiva Eddie Kenneally

Giant’s Causeway—Slide, by Smarten

He doesn’t exactly tear up the track in his works. Breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02 1/5. Long layoff to the Blue Grass Stakes, and it now looks like he’s going to have some stiff competition coming from the Turfway stakes. Tough and consistent, but can’t quite get a handle on him yet, alternating between dirt and Polytrack. He likely will not go into the Derby off big speed figures.

12

Elite Alex Tim Ritchey

Afleet Alex – Catch the Moment, by Unbridled

Despite another defeat, he is looking more and more like a Derby horse and came home his last three-eighths in a swift :35 3/5, while going seven wide. He had no chance to win this race…again. Between his bad posts, one horrible start, and dropping way too far back in his last three races, he still comes running at the end. Remember, this is a horse who won on the pace going 5 furlongs in his career debut at Delaware Park. He now needs graded earnings in the Arkansas Derby, and it's go for broke time. No more seven-wide. He must be given a chance to win or finish second.

12

Astrology Steve Asmussen

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

Sorry, you’re not getting rid of him that easily. There were too many good signs in the Sunland Derby (see the Derby Trail column for full details), and the Kentucky Derby is still very much a possibility. He can either run back in the Arkansas Derby if he’s thriving over the next week or even go straight to the Derby with a long stiff work in company at Churchill Downs. He did run a new high in his speed figures and simply got tired after breaking from the 11-post and chasing a :22 3/5 and :45 flat pace. But he never quit and never showed any signs of the breathing problem he had last year.

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.

175 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Hank

Zito seems to have gone back to old school long hard gallops, 2/1/2 miles is great he will run big this week if pace is right, he and Soldat are my derby picks

28 Mar 2011 4:24 PM
SaratogaDreamin

Stevei...

As we get closer, it becomes more and more clear...UM, Stat Thirsty, Soldat, and Im right with you on Elite Alex, but like I've said numerous times and taken heat on this site for, Borel has to go, he sticks and your man Steve Byk said the same thing I've been saying, he's a one trick pony..thats my superfecta

28 Mar 2011 4:46 PM
Bran

I really don't think Elite Alex belongs on this list. He had his shot and didn't fire. I would rather see Pants on Fire or the Mineshaft horse Nehro replace him  

28 Mar 2011 5:08 PM
Bill Floyd

At this point, it's 90% guesswork but Uncle Mo is EASY # 1 choice. Best Favorite since Easy Goer in 1989 - - altho he was edged out in a bad trip. The Derby field can do that. If Uncle Mo gets a good post, he is odds on favorite!

28 Mar 2011 5:24 PM
Pixie Lou

No comment - nothing will be right on Derby Day!

28 Mar 2011 5:42 PM
AaronfromLouisville

Why is the Factor so low? What do all these experts need to see from him? He appears to be the main threat to me in Derby 137. I think Mo might have flattened out a bit. Still hopin for Mott.

28 Mar 2011 5:56 PM
Johnny

Soldat is still on top for me..

28 Mar 2011 5:58 PM
Carlos in Cali

Re: To Honor and Serve

Didn't Mott say he sees a big difference in him since the FOY? So,maybe he did get a lot out of his 3yo debut..

28 Mar 2011 6:06 PM
Vincent Thomas

"Anything can (& usually does) happen in the Derby"

28 Mar 2011 6:15 PM
mike 60

Its all about the Pegasus.....until he shows otherwise, he appears to be top dog to me.....

28 Mar 2011 6:18 PM
David, Dublin, Ireland

Hi Steve, interesting news from Ballydoyle that Master of Hounds will have an entry for the Kentucky Derby, following his great run in the UAE Derby on Saturday. How would such news be greeted stateside ?

28 Mar 2011 6:26 PM
Hot Coal Guy

Not much change here Steve. Thought that Astrology looked fairly good off lengthy time off. To me, Elite Alex looks more the part of a Belmont horse. Reminds me of Drosselmeyer.

BTW, thank you for the feature of the '71 Kentucky Derby winner CANONERO II! Enjoyed the story. I share the birth (day) date with the first Kentucky Derby and he was the winner the year of my birthday. ; ) 05-17-71

1)Uncle Mo

2)Soldat

3)Dialed In

4)Premier Pegasus

5)Stay Thirsty

6)The Factor

7)To Honor and Serve

8)Jaycito

9)Mucho Macho Man

10)Santiva

11)Astrology

12-t)Elite Alex, Brethren

Still think that Sway Away can regroup and I'm crossing my fingers for Alternation....

Have a GR8* week everyone!

28 Mar 2011 6:27 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Great list again Steve.  I couldn't wait for it to come out on Monday!  So much going on I don't know where to begin.  I'll start with isn't Mike Repole the best!  He did it!!!!!  I had suggested to him in the Part I. to hold the "Meet Uncle Mo" contest with NYRA and now it is a reality for someone to meet Mo on April 7th!!!  This is so cool, I MUST enter, heck I should get to go along too just for suggesting it!!!!!  

Now this weekend's races, I think MMM would have won if not for throwing the shoe at the gate.  TVG said the gate people showed the owner the shoe and it had flesh and fur on it.  Ouch.  MMM assuredly has a sore foot now and I hope it is not too bad and does not affect his training or give him too much of a lapse in training.  Astrology looked better than I expected, not a bad performance at all.  Elite Alex, gosh I just don't get it with this little guy.  Great closing run, he certainly is a late closer, too wide yet again, what is it with these wide runs? Toss him or still believe and give him yet another chance???  The Dubai races were exciting, nice a horse won for Japan.  Oh my gosh, Ducky; he came in 13th!!!  See how delusional they are, that was my point.  I just hope Ducky's goose isn't already cooked.  How could he possibly have been ready for that race, he most assuredly wasn't even acclamated to the barn in Dubai, let alone the track.  Poor Ducky, I hope they take care of him regardless of the poor performance.

28 Mar 2011 6:30 PM
tcc

Steve:

Off the dozen subject, but do you know which horses were late nominations to the Triple Crown, on 3/26?

28 Mar 2011 6:38 PM
BigLittle Mike

Every top 8 pics seem to be speed horses, Dont think the winner is coming form this group. With that said, the winner of the sunland derby is looking really good now.Just saying.

Mike

28 Mar 2011 6:45 PM
joep

Steve- Uncle Mo to me looks like the clear #1 right now seeing how he destroyed the BC juvenile field at Churchill Downs. If he runs strong as expected at the Wood Memorial all it will take is a decent post position to make it very hard to beat him. I think a sleeper if he runs because he has good tactical speed and can get the distance is Master of Hounds. He ran a lights out effort losing by a nose in the UAE Derby after a long layoff. He is derby nominated and I like Aiden O'brien and Ryan Moore as well. Premier Pegasus also is in the mix with the ultraconsistent Soldat. Dialed in will get a fast pace in the Derby, but can he lay 20 lengths back and pass 19 horses, a difficult task. The Factor has a chance to be in the money, but I don't like the 3 week layoff that the Arkansas allows, he will have to be fresher than that to beat Uncle Mo.

28 Mar 2011 6:56 PM
Karen in Texas

I agree that Elite Alex had little chance of winning...again, but why is he being dropped so far back time after time? Is it a purposeful strategy by the trainer?

Astrology and Mucho Macho Man both gave good efforts and deserve to remain on the list, but no one really is stepping up enough to challenge Uncle Mo's position at #1. To me, Premier Pegasus has had the most impressive prep performance so far, with The Factor moving forward as asked. If only he can continue to prevail as the distances increase...I thought Animal Kingdom looked as though he might be "special" as well, if only he can run on dirt with his turf family pedigree. Every week there is some shuffling of the contenders, but not as much clarity as I expected by this time.    

28 Mar 2011 6:57 PM
JOY

Steve,

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

28 Mar 2011 7:24 PM
Hardhorseman

Steve...I cant believe that you have a horse with a breathing problem...surgery or no surgery...on your list ! Added to that he has already been disappointing...no chance !Uncle Mo and Pegasus...

28 Mar 2011 7:28 PM
trytrytry

Bran

u have a better chance of seeing God on the first Saturday in Man than seeing Uncle Mo as an Odds on Favorite...There is ZERO chance of that...

28 Mar 2011 7:36 PM
Kristen Ohler

Like I said on the other site about the also rans, thanks Steve for keeping Astrology in the top, well 13 now.  I think he ran great for not running in 4 months, him having surgery for a breathing problem, pretty important for a racehorse to be able to get ample air, outside post and racing 4 wide on both turns.  He didn't give up, he just got tired.  I'm sure he gets alot out of this race. I believe Steve Asmussen trains him although I saw Scott Blasi on TV being interviewed, I believe his assistant.  Steve has done a great job with this colt and I admire his patience with him. I think he's on the right track.

28 Mar 2011 7:38 PM
It aint easy being good

Hardhorseman I agree with you 100% Steve we all give you credit for staying with astrology he looks good but do you think he is going to make the derby his first prep was late march!!!! He has no time to make the derby, even if they rush him into another prep he wont be ready come derby time please toss him!

28 Mar 2011 7:52 PM
stevebiscuit

Would not be surprised if Jaycito runs Uncle Mo down in the Wood Memorial. Mo showed the most raw ability as a 2 year old, but Jaycito has been running with tougher horses this year and will have the class advantage.

28 Mar 2011 7:55 PM
Betsy

I adore Stay Thirsty, but lol, he is green and immature. I'm sure the blinkers will help him - he's talented and game and very competitive. If he still has issues with greenness, I might skip the Derby with him as I think he'll be better later on anyway.

As to THAS, although I have faith in his ability, I don't think he can rate - granted, maybe he was just too keen on FOY day because he hadn't run in months. It's so frustrating to follow him because Payson Park is like a black hole - we don't ever get any reports on how THAS is doing.  Soldat is the horse to beat and unfortunately looks to have an easy lead.

28 Mar 2011 7:59 PM
Kristen Ohler

Steve, another question. What do you think about Decisive Moment?  He is by a sire, With Distinction, whom I've never heard of but is by Storm Cat.  He got beat in the Spiral by Animal Kingdom but he held tough in the stretch. He is the first Derby hopeful at Churchhill downs to arrive.  He has a little over $300.000 in earnings.

28 Mar 2011 8:01 PM
Zenyatta John

It has been proven over many years - horses from The UAE Derby don't run well in the Kentucky Derby. It is too hard to ship half way arounf the world and the compete in the hardest race of their lives. Nonetheless the Dubai Bounce, which gets worse on short rest.

I still have -

1. Jaycito

2. Th Honor and Serve

3. Mucho Macho Man

4. Soldat

5. Premier Pegasus

28 Mar 2011 8:05 PM
joeywoge

Now we are seeing some horses for a derby race!! This was the derby dozen I have been looking for! Florida Derby looking like a really good one. T.H.A.S. will bounce back with a big effort this sunday! Is Flashpoint the Factor of the east?? If so WOW! There will be some pace in the Derby this year. Uncle Mo has yet to be 1/1/8th. He really needs to win the Wood by a mile, going away for me. PP has the pedigree and the racing style to peak on derby day. S.A. Derby is secondary! A bomb to look for in the tri might be Santiva. Look for him to move  fwd in the Blue Grass and be ready to suprise alot of people on Derby day!!

28 Mar 2011 8:10 PM
roberttherugguyraleigh

I like Soldat, that being said I haven't picked a winner since 1992.

28 Mar 2011 8:17 PM
Alex'sBigFan

I had noticed the progression of Pants On Fire.  Look at the improvement, a third in the Count Fleet Stakes, a second in the LeComte Stakes, and now a first in the Louisiana Derby.  Do I think he can beat Soldat, Mo, Factor, and Dialed In, NO, even though the improvement is a good thing to see.  Intriguing to me is this Animal Kingdom.  I loved his sire Leroidesanimaux.  Maybe the Invasor in his pedigree can give him enough to like the dirt.  I noticed his jockey is Alan Garcia, and that is Soldat's jockey, and I want him firmly planted on Soldat's back.  The weekend races did not change much for me, I still have Soldat, Mo, Factor, Dialed In, up there.  I did rewatch Premier Pegasus' race to get a feel on him and it looked good.  I'll put him fifth and MMM sixth, Sway Away gets seventh, Elite Alex gets a reluctant eighth.

28 Mar 2011 8:18 PM
Xavier

I thought Prime Cut allowance win on the same race card as the LA. Derby was good enough to beat Pants On Fire. The Arkansas Derby might be a possibility.

Derby Top 5

1. Uncle Mo

2. Anthony's Cross

3. Soldat

4. Mucho Macho Man

5. Premier Pegasus( will bounce next race )

28 Mar 2011 8:37 PM
Ravenswood Matt

Great work, as usual, Steve! I can't think of anyone I would feel strongly about putting on the list that is not there (I don't care much for Jaycito, so I might swap him off the list for Twice the Appeal, as I did find the SL Derby win to be impressive.)

My early Derby favorite  is Dialed In, just because he seems to be the only top contender that is able to win from off the pace.

Of course, if Elite Alex makes it to the starting gate with Borel aboard, you have to take him seriously as well.

I don't think Pants on Fire will do much coming off a pretty underwhelming win in the La. Derby. However, I am happy to see Rosie get a Derby mount to go together with her riding championship at the FG.

The Florida Derby and Ark. Derby seem to be the two most important of the remaining preps. We will have to see what happens there. (The Wood and SA Derby are not drawing big, competitive fields. The Wood, in particular, might only be 6 horses).

I am hoping that Dialed In hits the board in FL, and sets up for Zito's third Derby win.

28 Mar 2011 8:40 PM
Deacon

After what I saw this weekend from Astrology and Mucho Macho Man I would certainly not have them on any Derby list. Both gave subpar performances for such an important prep race. The time was 1:50 and change for the 1 1/8 and I felt they both hung badly.

Uncle Mo, Soldat and The Factor are still the top 3 for me with Premier Pegasus being next. The jury is still out on many of the others, so perhaps in the next few weeks we will get a clearer picture. I suppose after the last 2 years anything can happen though.

28 Mar 2011 8:55 PM
Forbidden Apple

1-DIALED IN 2-SOLDAT 3-PREMIER PEGASUS 4-THE FACTOR 5-To Honor & Serve 6-Uncle Mo 7-Sway Away 8-Mucho Macho Man 9-Jaycito 10-ArchArchArch 11-Santiva 12-Pants On Fire 13-Anthony's Cross

My top four horses are solid and look to be the best 3 year old colts around. After these four, I keep having a tough time coming up with the rest of the bunch.

If Master Of Hounds comes for the KY Derby, he makes my top 6 easily. Even though he is incredibly well bred for turf, he deserves respect on dirt.

Elite Alex is clearly the 2011 sympathy horse like Dublin was in 2010. How many chances can you give a horse to win? He gets close and hangs every time.

The FL Derby should be the most exciting prep race of 2011. I am expecting DIALED IN and SOLDAT to run away from the field.

28 Mar 2011 8:58 PM
Footlick

David, Dublin, Ireland- interesting.  I had read that Mr O'Brien was looking forward to the English Derby with hi,  He is brilliantly bred for turf, has great stamina in his breeding, but not sure about the dirt.  Let's see how it unfolds.  He certainly will be able to get the 10 furlongs.

28 Mar 2011 9:16 PM
Big Papa

I was impressed with Pants on Fire.  He took the lead around the turn and held off bids from two challengers in the stretch.  Tough horse.

28 Mar 2011 9:27 PM
Brian Russell

Steve, No turf horses this week?  No offense whatsoever intended.  Just kidding!

28 Mar 2011 9:52 PM
Johnny G.

I like a horse that has ran several races a mile or more as a 2 yr. old, and won at least one of them. I beleive this builds foundation down the road as a 3 yr. old. And, then see who had good speed ratings in those races, and their tomlinson ratings, and that makes my top 2 horses Soldat and THAS.

28 Mar 2011 10:39 PM
Juan M. Villa

Mo is the clear favorite and in my eyes, if he win the roses, there´s your triple crown winner... easier said than done of course, but that one is a Wonder Horse with a capital "W"... but, what about that upcoming Florida Derby this weekend? Soldat, To Honor and Serve, Dialed In, Stay Thirsty.... what a field...! A race to watch and enjoy... the winner of that should be Mo´s top rival for the Kentucky Derby...

28 Mar 2011 10:55 PM
John T

You can bet no decision will be made to which race Master of Hounds

will run next,the 2000 Guineas or

the Kentucky Derby until the Guineas favourite Frankel has his first run of the season on April 9th in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

Looking forward to the Florida Derby to see if To Honor And Serve

can improve of his last race.It will take a good effort to beat Soldat as he looks like one of the better 3 year olds so far.

28 Mar 2011 11:00 PM
Joe Alva

Hardhorseman:

In 1987 Alysheba had a similar breathing problem to Astrology's fixed weeks before he ran in the Bluegrass Stakes and responded by crossing the wire first in that race although disqualified and then went on to win the Derby as we well know. I don't think Astrology is Alysheba by any long stretch of the imagination, but because he had that breathing issue at one time doesn't make Steve's placement of him in the Dozen unreasonable.  I don't like him at all to win the Derby, but he did run a terrific race given the fractions he chased and his long layoff and strikes me as very sensibly placed in that top twelve list.  

28 Mar 2011 11:23 PM
Judy

Favorites rarely win the Kentucky Derby.  Hard to get excited about the Derby when the number one horse keeps hiding out.  

28 Mar 2011 11:30 PM
furlongs

STEVE-

You are one of the best in the business but.... naw not even going to waste my time, maybe some of these horses that you have listed that have no business being in a top 12 list will sway some people to bet them in the Derby. Every $2 helps!!

28 Mar 2011 11:48 PM
Steve

Maybe Astrology looked to "not quit" because they did the final 3/8ths in around 40 seconds. This is besides the fact the horse who won had numerous chances to break his maiden at Golden Gate Fields and needed a drop to maiden claimers to get his first win. Astrology seems like the perfect candidate to run 16th in the Derby. Too slow and too late of a start to his 3 year old season. No thanks.

28 Mar 2011 11:52 PM
Joe Alva

The Derby Trail seems to get more intersting each week given the recent results and upcoming final preps!  For entertainment's sake, here are some additional views about major contenders:

UNCLE MO

Why is he not running in the Florida Derby instead of the Wood?  I don't get it.  I think the superior competition in Florida would prep him better for the acid test on May 7.

SOLDAT

A true racehorse already battle tested.  I hope they leave something in the tank for May, however -- this will be his third mile and an eigth race this year!  He does not need to win the Florida Derby -- just needs to get enough out of it.

DIALED IN

Nick Zito is no fool in his conservative training approach with this guy.  He speaks of this horse as perhaps being the best he's ever had in his care and is probably trying to avoid the approach he took with Ice Box last year who had three mile and an eigth races before the Derby, ran huge at Louisville, and then burned out.  I think Nick is getting Dialed In ready for the entire Triple Crown (maybe just what the Uncle Mo connections are thinking too with an even more conservative approach).

TO HONOR AND SERVE

This guy is being a bit overlooked because of the dull last effort and will no doubt improve this weekend.  He might be a lot better than we think or maybe he's just a good horse that excelled last year at a time in the fall when Mott's barn was hot.  Mott has not been setting the world on fire lately.

PREMIER PEGASUS

Looks like he has all the tools to win the Derby.  His wise trainer will make sure he gets just what he needs out of the Santa Anita Derby.

MUCHO MACHO MAN

Impressive effort in Louisiana this weekend after losing a shoe.  He has heart!  He is a huge horse who needs to break well in the Derby and secure stalking position otherwise his size will work against him if boxed between horses most of the way.

THE FACTOR

Not sold about the mile and a quarter yet, but his efficient stride and class have me thinking about it.  The more I look at him, the more he scares me.  

ELITE ALEX

If he gets into the Derby, I will not make the mistake of excluding him from my tickets specially with Borel on board.  He looks like a bottom of exotics runner on Derby Day who wants to grind out the mile and a quarter.  I had a winning superfecta in the 2007 Derby up until the last jump when I'mawildandcrazyguy (a similar yet much inferior plodder than Elite Alex) ruined it by sticking his head in front of 4th placed Sedgefield and into the $35,000 I would have cashed!  No way, Jose, not again!

STAY THRISTY

Has talent, but also has mental problems that usually get horses cooked in the Derby.  The latest news of his getting intimidated in a workout is disappointing.  Blinkers or no blinkers, basket cases like him can't usually handle the stress of Derby Day.  I expect him, however, to run decently this weekend in Florida.

NEHRO

Is getting good at the right time and strikes me as somewhat of a threat with Mineshaft in his gene pool.  Is he taking on another prep before the Derby?

Thanks Steve for the weekly update and thanks to all for keeping it interesting!  

29 Mar 2011 12:37 AM
Coldfacts

Steve,

Interesting comments associated with some members of your dozen:-

MMM: The colt that defeated him is much faster than he is and having a full set of shoes would not have made a difference. If his loss is to be blamed on the shoe loss then it discredits the effort of the runner up who was coming of maiden win. The runner up passed him without much fuss. How fast was he expected to run for 9F? This time around the pace was not 49, 13 and he could not close to get the job done. The derby pace will be 22 , 46, 1:10 and he will be in no mans land by the time 6F is finished. He is too slow by derby standards and has no chance of wining. The LA derby will set him back as he had to run very hard and his big under developed frame will be the worst for it.

ST: If he is being intimidated by a workmate then he should be scratched from the FL Derby. The blinker will not help him against Dialed In Soldat and THAS. Although he has the powerful Northern Dance broodmare line in his favor he is still too slow by derby standards. Which of the top closers is he going to out close?

THAS: “Breezed a bullet half-mile in: 49 at Payson Park for the Florida Derby” The :49 must be a misprint. Irrespective how deep Payson Park is :49  is slow for  a top class colt.

Santiva: “He doesn’t exactly tear up the track in his works. Breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02 1/5” It must now be exceedingly clear to all that this colt is slow. Premier Pegasus worked 57 plus preceding the San Filipe. That is 5 seconds faster than this colt and there are those who expect him to be competitive in the derby that is going to be decided upfront.. I cannot see it as he is a close to the pace colt and he will be 15L back. He is not a closer so how is he going to be competitive? The winner of the Sunland Derby deserve his position as he is capable of sitting in s 1:10 pace and not get fried.

Elite Alex: “No more seven-wide. He must be given a chance to win or finish second.” This colt is not as good as presumed. The Pace in the Risen Star was 49, 1:13. An exceptional colt even with a poor start and a 5 wide trip would win that race. In his loss to Alteration in a slowly run race he could not go by. He does not deserve the repeated excuses. He has proven to be average at best.

Astrology: The 2011 version of Dublin. Back from surgery and expected to be a world beater. This colt is a big lumbering sort who felt a 1:10 pace for the first time and was dying in the last furlong. That race has put to rest any chance of him making the derby. I suspect there was some distance between he and his feed bucket late Sunday evening. He is not one of the good the good A P Indy’s. The last furlong of the Sunland derby was run in 13.55.Assuming the winner maintained that pace for another furlong; the time for 10F would be 2:04.46. That time will not win the 2011 derby. Is it realistic to expect Astrology to improve 2-3 seconds with the time left for the derby?

29 Mar 2011 1:06 AM
Lmaris

Karen - Elite Alex is dropping that far back because he doesn't have the foot speed to keep up any closer.  He has one run and hasn't gotten close to the leaders yet.  Why he's ranked so high is beyond me.  

The Factor has done everything asked and done so impressively.  Only runner so far with triple digit beyers in each start too.

Uncle Mo's running out of excuses, and is still on the list at all based on what he did nearly 5 months ago.

29 Mar 2011 1:34 AM
Silvertip

Uncle Mo showed a Two year old phenom not going forward in his Three debut. Too many faster maturing rivals. Would need 3-4 drop-outs to take seriously.

29 Mar 2011 2:39 AM
Don from PA/DE

Nice listing and write up Steve, I would only expand the KD baker's dozen to include Pants on Fire on bottom with * if he gets in don't expect him to win, but this big boy has run alot of races and could be in the money at CD. Don

29 Mar 2011 6:58 AM
Mike

I think we'll see Astrology in the Bluegrass S. Going 1 1/8 first out off a long layoff and illness i suppose his race wasn't that bad. would like to see him off the pace more, he's still my derby pick but he has to have another race and I think we'll see him in the BG.

29 Mar 2011 7:26 AM
RavSingh75

play against uncle mo at your own risk...he will win hands down...pletcher and repole knows this...the question is who will come in 2nd, 3rd and 4th...here is my list subject to change of course.

1. uncle mo

2. soldat

3. dialed in

4. silver medallion

5. the factor

6. to honor and serve

7. premiere pegasus

8. santiva

9. anthonys cross

10. nehro (look out a mineshaft horse)

29 Mar 2011 7:51 AM
Zenyatta John

Coldfact -

49 for Payson Park is flying! To Honor and Serve will be just fine.

Do you understand the concept of a deep training track? Seeing Oklahoma Training track every day of my life, the deep surface builds muscle and lungs.

People who use such facilities like Payson and Oklahoma are not training for speed, they are 'building' up their horses the 'old fashion' way.

Trust me - 49 is fantastic at Payson Park. It's probably one of the best twenty four furlongs there this season. Horses rarely go in 48 and never 47.

29 Mar 2011 8:02 AM
Fran Loszynski

thank you for ranking Elite Alex on the list. Glad to see some fans can feel it in their hearts he is a train waiting in the station.  He will come on like gangbusters in the Derby, breeze through the Preakness and the Belmont those turns will be like running around his mother. We can feel it fans of Elite Alex and Afleet Alex-it's just there- in us. You have to admit he is getting a grocery store of experience! Birdstone is Afleet Alex's roommate, Birdstone is Mine That Bird's Dad, -Email from Afleet Alex to Elite Alex

"Pull a Mine That Bird on the outside Son!"

29 Mar 2011 8:15 AM
mike rullo

steve

Would like to see more trainer comments.

29 Mar 2011 8:17 AM
Jon

Astrology hadn't run since last November, so we can cut him some slack.  He needed a stiff race and he got it.  And who besides Uncle Mo and Jaycito are heading for the Wood Memorial?  That looks to be an easy one; coming up very light.  

29 Mar 2011 8:23 AM
DanC

AP Indy simply will not sire a Kentucky Derby winner, that seems obvious by now; sorry Astrology; that said, his progeny(Bernardini, Mineshaft,Jump Start, etc.) may very well do so.

29 Mar 2011 8:50 AM
Slew

I'm still sticking with To Honor And Serve because I believe he can run all 3 legs of the TC without a consuming effort.  I doubt Uncle Mo can do the same.  For their first run in 2011, I think THAS and Astrology did well...and they needed the race.  Still need to see more of Astrology...his leg action bothered me.  Soldat, Dialed In and Premier Pegasus along with The Factor seem to be the leading contenders.  But Archarcharch and Pants On Fire are well bred and can be contentious. I hope MMM heals well before the Derby; I simply don't find Elite Alex up to the task.  I haven't given up on Beamer, but I've lost faith in Jaycito.  Santiva...I need to see more...he looks promising.

Arienza and Great Hot floored me with their performances this past weekend.  Their speed, styles and breeding place them far ahead of most of the colts in contention.  Kathmanblu will have her hooves full when they arrive at CD, but a lot of the colts also would have much to fear from these sensational fillies.

Finally...when I look out of my window and still see several inches of snow still in place, I really resent getting that call from my daughter to tell me it's 82 in New Orleans...sheesh!...and she never went near the Fair Grounds this past weekend.  That's a real downer when all of the races were so exciting...and warm.

29 Mar 2011 8:55 AM
Luis

Anyone know what the next race Wilburn?? . Until now the most fureza horse that has seen all the foals. Care in the Triple Crown with the colt Asmussen

29 Mar 2011 9:02 AM
TIZLATER

lets get off the mucho macho man bandwagon, its a feel good story but the horse has no talent ! as for uncle mo ? his handlers seem to be scared to run him against any real competition , oh well , he will be choking on the factors dust come derby day !

29 Mar 2011 9:17 AM
GoldenBroom

Still think Uncle Mo is in a class all by himself. The Factor may have enough "freak" in him to run with him though. Love Dialed in and still think Elite Alex has not run his best race by far. If Calvin sticks on him and he can wait inside for a hole he'll be dangerous in the derby with that long long long homestretch if the 2 speed demons burn each other out.

29 Mar 2011 9:24 AM
JerseyBoy

Great list again Steve.

However, I decided to do what I always do, namely, compare some horses using the DRF Speed Figure added to the Track Variant, in this case for races at a mile or longer on a dry track.

The figures are as follows:

Uncle Mo:

101,100,103

Average 101.33

Average weight carried 122.3 lbs

To Honor And Serve(THAS):

97,103,112,98

Average 102.5

Average weight carried 119.5 lbs

Soldat:

104

Weight carried 120 lbs

Dialed In:

105,104

Average 104.5

Average weight carried 116 lbs

What I find remarkable about this is that Uncle Mo's numbers from race to race are almost the same. The difference between the average and any other number is less that 2. Yet his BSF has a range of 89-108. His 2010 Equibase figures have a range of 110-123.

For this reason, I rely on the Speed Figure plus the Track Variant.

They show that THAS ran 5 points below his average in his last start. If he makes up the gap, he is on the same level as Soldat and Uncle Mo. (Of course, his last performance lowers the average, but this is just an exercise).

Dialed In remains in the ballpark after adjustments are made for the lower weight carried.

The bottom line here is that if these numbers are maintained the Kentucky Derby depends on whether THAS recovers his previous form. He is the key. I suspect this horse is best when placed on the lead.

29 Mar 2011 9:25 AM
Cris

I think Astrology moves up at least two good works from that race. I agree it may be too little too late, but that is on the trainer and not the horse.

Uncle Mo is being handled with care. I have never owned the best two year old in the country so I do not know how I would handle it. As an outsider I would have given him at least one more race going into the Derby than he is getting. Trainer not the horse.

The Factor is War Emblem all over again and it is exciting that he has BB training because that man knows what to do to get a horse ready for the triple crown. Like him or hate him, of all the big trainers I think he knows his horses better than any of them.

To Honor and Serve is a really good horse and I hope he moves up from his last race. They sure wait long enough.

Pants On Fire and Twice the Appeal are exciting horses and will make this more interesting going in.

With that big frame I hope MMM did not hurt himself running without that shoe.

This weekend should be fun.

29 Mar 2011 9:31 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

Very, very few favorites have been winning the Derby preps.  It has been one surprise after another.  I braved the crowd at Sunland on Sunday and once again saw a longshot pull out the victory.  Twice the Appeal looked to have potential on paper and he proved it.  Astrology was impressive considering his lack of recent racing.  The show horse, Ruler on Ice, made a nice closing run.  I thought it was a pretty good race.  And Mr. Haskin, thank you once again for providing all of us racing fans with your signature Derby Dozen.  Love it!

29 Mar 2011 9:49 AM
RavSingh75

Mr Haskin,

For Nehro, does a 2nd in the louisiana derby most likely qualify him for the big race or does he have to finish in the top 3 in arkansas derby? I am liking him more and more.

29 Mar 2011 10:08 AM
Giddyup

Pletcher got the monkey off his back last year so I like roberttherugguyraleigh doing it this year. Soldat has been managed perfectly and has done everything asked of him almost effortlessly.

29 Mar 2011 10:41 AM
Pedigree Ann

Sad. Those Easy Goer folks still can't accept the facts. 1 win out of 4 tries versus Sunday Silence, fellah, and that one at his home track Belmont. On neutral tracks, Sunday Silence was 3 for 3 versus Easy Goer. Live with it.

29 Mar 2011 11:47 AM
MyBigRed

Watch Out, Soldat is going: Wire 2 Wire....again :) Oh, how I love Horseracing!! Stay Safe & Happy Racing to ALL!!

29 Mar 2011 12:06 PM
Xavier

To Honor And Serve is overrated. Won the Nashua and Ramsen Stakes running against five horse fields by controling the pace. Won't finish better than 3rd in the Florida Derby and will not it the board if he runs in the derby.

29 Mar 2011 12:11 PM
Arturo

Where is the love for Pants on Fire?  With his earnings he'll be in the race.  Several of these in your top 12 won't earn enough even to be entered.  You couldn't find a spot for him anywhere?  He's an AP Indy too (thru Jump Start) so maybe you could give him a break!

29 Mar 2011 12:57 PM
MikeM

MMM looks to have a big future if they don't ruin him trying to make the Derby. Unless he comes out of the race like an absolute bear I would pass on the Derby. Either way,hopefully they will do the right thing. Astrology looked terrible down the stretch. I don't know who will win the Derby but I know who will not. That was a bad secound to a pretty soft buch.

29 Mar 2011 1:05 PM
jackattack

Assuming that Animal Kingdom will act on dirt I feel he will be a live longshot,he  can close and will love the distance.Watch out.

29 Mar 2011 1:12 PM
Agave Joe

Xavier,

Anthony's Cross was lucky Tapizar got injured in the race,the pace set up perfectly for him and he still came home like a turtle.He's way too slow- overated!

And you have 2 Indian Charlies ranked #1 & #2 on your list.Should I laugh now or later?

29 Mar 2011 1:21 PM
Zenyatta John

Who mentioned Easy Goer and Sunday Silence?  If Angel Cordero was on Easy Goer instead of Pat Day - Easy Goer would have beaten Sunday Silence every time!  Pat Day was too patient as a rider while P.Val was aggressive and making a name for himself.  

Don't give up on THAS to soon Xavier, he will have a major impact in  the Derby. I don't care if he finishes 3rd in the FLA Derby, that's not the goal.

29 Mar 2011 1:28 PM
marc munyan

Hello everyone well derby is coming closer and all i have seen so far are speed horses being picked to win this years ky derby.Everyone has their own opinion on this years races leading up to this years derby.So here goes is the factor the real deal has uncle moe faced  weak competition leading toward the derby.Since graded stake money earners list been changing for the second group of three year olds.Its been a wide open affair this year preps.I am going to look else where.

Bellow are my top 5 picks

1.Animal Kingdom

was a fright train closing  won Spiral

2.Premier Pegasus

san felipe winner with a commanding win seven lenght winner

3.Brethren

Tough loss never fired in tampa bay derby but i just think he need a race

4.Silver Medallion

Tough race horse showed his toughness in El Camino Real Derby he is the real deal if russel baze gets the mount on him tough contender for the derby remember west coast fan russel baze hasnt been on the derby trail for a while so this may be his year

5.Archarcharch

well Rebel was the factor coming out party pass 1 mile tough to say but Archarcharch did very well stuck around for a while got collard by calebs posse but the key reason i think Archarcharch loss the race is because of his lack of eperiance but in dew time he will run a race of his life time.

29 Mar 2011 2:30 PM
shivanie

all the best

29 Mar 2011 3:18 PM
JOY

Steve,

STILL curious:

how many times in the last ten years has the Derby winner been in the top 3 of your Derby Dozen?  I'm not being sarcastic; I really want to know.  I picked the Derby winner almost 20 years in a row, until Giacomo came along and ruined my streak.  I name things in my house that were purchased with Derby winnings; like the Funny Cide barbecue pit.  

29 Mar 2011 3:30 PM
Tim

Uncle Mo is definitely heads and shoulders above this crop. Anyone who thinks he won't be odds on in the Derby is just envious or delusional. He has never even been asked for anything remotely close to his best. He just doesn't need it. He would be favored any year. Sorry for the gamblers hoping for a price in the Derby, you may as well just flush your money down the toilet.

29 Mar 2011 3:33 PM
Karen in Texas

Lmaris---Thanks for your reply! The question arises for me simply because he (Elite Alex) did show some turn of foot and caught up to the leaders very efficiently in that allowance (?) race at Oaklawn in January where he was left at the gate and had to make up 10-12 lengths fairly quickly. He managed to go head to head with Alternation through the stretch and finished second. Although the distances have become longer, I'm not sure why he isn't closing as well as he demonstrated at that time.

29 Mar 2011 5:18 PM
DonM

I am confused. Is the Florida Derby on this Saturday, or Sunday? It is listed bas April 3rd, which is Sunday.

29 Mar 2011 5:38 PM
zarvona

Correction:

{{As I wouldn’t want to see

anyone misled before Pool #3!}}

Soldat: 2 X bred w/the

          ‘BHXFG’:

Soldat: (Kty.);

Tr. K. McLaughlin:

Apr. 19th foal; (T);

$180K ’09 Keenlander;

7     2   4   0 ;   D.I. 2.47;  

Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ;

Haskin’s #9-#8-#7-#3-#2;

Pool #1 20-1 18-1;

Pool #2 8-1 13-1;

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

& quad  bred to Raise a Native & Nearco (Ity.);

& triple bred  Princequillo ; …&

2 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via  

 1 X @ to Blossom Time & Brushup]];

winner Gr. II 1 1/8

Fountain of Youth

1:50.23 ; 96  Beyer;

29 Mar 2011 5:51 PM
Matthew W

Uncle Mo and Premier Pegasus are my top two right now--I believe Jaycito is the Dark Horse, he gets the extra distance--if he's finishing vs MoMo I think that's all you need to see--he'll relish the tenth furlong of the Kentucky Derby--I'm not too sure about ANY of the other horses this (odd) year--reminds me a WHOLE lot of the Snow Chief year, when he was crushing them all, Florida/Cali, and you just thought the tenth furlong would (maybe) be his downfall---Premier Pegasus will romp in the SA Derby, there's a reason Baffert went points East with Jaycito/Factor: he "can't" beat Mr Cho/that is, Premier Pegasus.....

29 Mar 2011 5:55 PM
Caleb's Posse

What has Jaycito done to impress everyone?  Uncle Mo is number one until proven otherwise. The Factor is a very sharp horse even though he got an easy lead.  Been going to OP for 25 years and they don't run in 1:42 and change often. Also the derby winner again won't be coming out of the LA Derby.

29 Mar 2011 6:20 PM
redandblacksilks

Zenyatta John:  I agree with you that Pat Day was a bad fit for Easy Goer.  If you look back at those races against Sunday Silence, Day made mistakes in two of the three losses that cost Easy Goer the win.  Also note that Easy Goer did not like the surface at Churchill Downs.  Not commomly known but Easy Goer had bad knees.

Steve, Every week we see another speed horse winning on a souped up surface.  I agree with you, there will be an overabundance of speed in the KY Derby.  A need the lead type will have to go 22 and change, 45 and change to be on the lead alone.  That is very quick for horses going 10f at Churchill Downs.  The front runners will be breathing fire before they reach the 1/8 pole.  Sets up for a closer coming from mid-pack or even farther back.

Every year I say this:  I think the Derby field should be limited to 14 horses, just as in the Breeders Cup.  Every year I hold my breath as the runners approach that first turn.  There is so much bumping and squeezing that I'm afraid one of the horses will go down in that turn.  If it ever happens half the field will go down.

Additionally, even if there are no spills, the field is so big that traffic often compromises the best horses so the best horse seldom wins.  I don't think that anyone would argue that Mine That Bird or Super Saver were actually the best horses in the race when they won the Derby.  They just had the racing luck that day.  

29 Mar 2011 7:07 PM
Scott's cause

Premier Pegasus wins 3 in a row.  Loses to The Factor after a semi-layoff in a sprint.  Takes the blinkers off, rates, then powers to an impressive two turn win.  Am I wrong, but didn't his last victory seem "somewhat decisive".  He may or may not win the S.A. Derby, he doesn't have to.  Be afraid, be very afraid...

29 Mar 2011 7:29 PM
pittsburgh jd

Everyone needs to stop over analizing workouts on training tracks, jesus they are just workouts. Also trainers are trying to teach there horses how to finish(elite alex). The running style can win the derby just as much as the talent of the horse, we have learned that the last couple years eh.

29 Mar 2011 7:40 PM
IOWay

If the foundation that is always being discussed here is necessary in order to win on the first Saturday in May then it would seem that Soldat is the horse who is best prepared.  He will have plenty of time from the Florida Derby to May 7. I have watched all of the prep races on television except the Rebel which I saw in person and think that the explosion by Premier Pegasus was the most impressive performance by far to this point but The Factor was also very impressive in the Rebel. Based on all of the things I read in the posts that year I was highly skeptical of Big Brown in 1998 because of his light schedule and post 20 but he was so much the best of that bunch that there was no doubt.  I think it is a lot harder to find one that jumps out from the rest this year. This is a nice group and if they can stay healthy it should be a great race to watch and wager on with decent odds on all of the better horses.  I still like my 18-1 odds on Soldat in the first future bet.

29 Mar 2011 8:34 PM
CharlieCigar

I think that Arazi err I mean Uncle Mo is going to crush them in the Derby this year!!!

29 Mar 2011 8:34 PM
rjb92

baffert may send jaycito to sa derby instead of wood. no confidence shown there. i need to see a bullet before his next race to feel confident he still has a chance to win.

29 Mar 2011 8:58 PM
bumper-2-bumper

From my perspective, win or lose the Florida Derby, and the pace will be a factor, Dialed In looks like a horse with the type of running style I like to see in my Derby horse.   Quick enough to win a sprint in his debut, but willing to sit anywhere the race flow puts him.  Couple this with his experience over the Churchill Downs track (his maiden breaker), a foundation of three routes in 2011, a young jockey who owns Kentucky and has just been waiting for that big dirt horse, and an experienced, crafty trainer who knows what it takes to train a Derby winner, and I will sign up for 6-1 on the first Saturday in May right now, win or lose this Sunday

29 Mar 2011 8:59 PM
Xavier

Agave Joe,

At a mile and 1/16th, MSW at Churchill Downs, Anthony's Cross broke his maiden and finished 5 lengths in front of 4th place finisher Tapizar. Thought you should know that.

That's right 2 Indian Charlie offsprings to finish one, two. Cry later will be more fitting.

29 Mar 2011 9:13 PM
ROBINM

Who said Jaycito has a "class edge" over Mo?  Mo is undefeated and untested. Can you explain your definition of "class"?

Elite Alex is not getting close if he continues to go 5 to 7 wide on the turns.  I'd love to know why Calvin (notorius for riding the rail) continues to stay outside with this colt.

I agree with those looking forward to this weekend.  Hopefully, the Florida Derby will start to clear these muddy waters.

29 Mar 2011 9:21 PM
Xavier

I was never impressed with To Honor And Serve. It wasn't even about his performance in the FOY because I understood the layoff issue. In the Ramsen he set the pace with moderate fractions and finished the last 3/8s in 38.85. Not what you want to see in a derby horse.  

29 Mar 2011 9:31 PM
Coldfacts

Premier Pegasus:

I continue to be puzzled by comments that he benefited from a major pace meltdown in the San Felipe. The Tuesday preceding the race I posted that if the blinkers were removed the race would be over before it began. I fully expected PP to destroy the opposition and that is why I was so emphatic with my post. It was widely reported that he entered the San Vicente with three or four reported works in almost 3 1/2 months. He was therefore a short horse. A short horse that engages a speedball colt in a 43 plus half mile and gets beat by 31/2L in 1:20 plus, is no ordinary animal. Lesser equines exposed to that type of speed and not fully fit would hide from their feed buckets for days. Premier Pegasus is no ordinary equine as in his first serious work after his loss to The Factor, he worked 57 and change. He entered the San Felipe with the best PP including wins in the Hollywood Prevue S. (G3,7f), Jack Goodman S. (OTH,6f). His sole loss was in the Gll San Vicente Stakes coming back from an extended rest.

To suggest that this colt somehow benefited from a pace melt down in absolutely incorrect. His effort in the San Vicente clearly indicated that he is just as fast as or faster than those who led the San Felipe. He was simply the best horse in the race and it didn’t matter how the race was run, he was never going to be denied. The SA Derby will be an easier race to win irrespective of the new faces. The strong 8.5F gallop that he got in San Felipe will bring to the surface his true derby colors. Let’s not forget his sire won the KD and his dam sire was 3rd in the KD and won the Preakness. His pedigree is that of a router and with the speed he has shown all derby prospects are in trouble. Throw in The Factor and the rest and they will all get beat. When a son of Mr. Prospector sired a good one, prisoners are not taken. Unbridled, War Emblem, Thunder Gulch, Black Tie Affair, Street Cry, Dubai Millennium, Urban Sea, Lemon Drop Kid, Curlin and Azeri are some of the champions sired by sons of Mr. Prospector. Those champions never required pace meltdowns to win major races. To dilute Premier Pegasus’s impressive win in the San Felipe with pace meltdown theories does the brilliant colt a disservice.

29 Mar 2011 11:22 PM
predict

The Factor remains number one to me, I still think he is far more special than most are feeling about him. The way he runs doesn't remind me much of War Emblem, they are two different front running types. I would compare the Factor's style much more along the lines of Ruffian. The way he moves and his desire to win are eerily similar to her. One can even see in the Factors breeding that this style could from Icecapade, a half to Ruffian.

Speaking of fillies, I think it was Slew who blogged something about there are fillies that should be considering the Derby, and I agree, but the one I think should go, is also a Baffert trainee, Plum Pretty. She totally impressed at Sunland, and showed great stamina and looks to me like the horse most likely to excel at a mile and a quarter. Doubt they will send her, but it would be very interesting!

29 Mar 2011 11:32 PM
furlongs

I did not bet BIG BROWN simply cause I thought the foot might fall off. I was wrong that happened the first Saturday in June instead.

30 Mar 2011 12:02 AM
Coldfacts

Redandblacksilks

The time for the Mine That Bird’s derby was 2:02.66 on a sloppy sealed track. He won by one of the biggest margins in the last 10 years. He was 19th when he commenced his winning run and had to navigate through traffic and a narrow opening along the rails. That can hardly be considered a good trip. What you consider luck is sheer brilliance. Do you realize that Smarty Jones who had a perfect trip on a similar track ran 2:04.06?

Karen in Texas:

Elite Alex might just be better on the turf. He has promised o much and has delivered so little. His second dad was sired by Nureyev who has sired some brilliant turf horses. Just a thought!

Tim:

“Uncle Mo is definitely heads and shoulders above this crop. Anyone who thinks he won't be odds on in the Derby is just envious or delusional”

How exactly does one envy the pre derby favorite? Has Uncle Mo defeated the top colts that have emerged since his Breeder Cup victory? Has he ever been 10F? How many derbies starters has his trainer had in the last 10yrs and how many victories? What a horse is on paper does not always equate to performance in his next race. In time all questions will be answered. Do some research and you will discover that the most Powerful Force in Triple Crown History is the Raise A Native sire line. Then see if you can find a classy horse from this sire line on the derby trail and do not be Timid to change your mind.

MyBigRed:

Soldat will not finish ahead of Dialed In & THAS. There will be a pacesetter in the race to ensure he does not crawl as he did in the FOY.

30 Mar 2011 12:06 AM
cornerwinelexington

the models for PREM PAG's SA Derby ideally would be the final preps for Real Quiet,Monarchos and Unbridled...all were non threatening 2nd's or 3rd's (you could also add Gato Del Sol,Ferdinand,Thunder Gulch and even Proud Clarion at 31-1 if an occasional 4th or 5th doesn't bother you)...for the SA Derby,give me a slow pace,a mild move from the 3/8th and flat down the stretch at 4-5 .....but earn enough to not have an issue w/$ ..2nd by 4 would be a dream

30 Mar 2011 12:27 AM
Bigtex

1) Uncle Mo

2) The Factor

3) Premier Pegasus

4) Soldat

5) Nehro

6) Jaycito

7) Elite Alex

8) To Honor and Serve

9) Mucho Macho Man

10) Stay Thirsty

11) Santiva

12) Astrology

Nehro is my horse to upset on May 7 but my heart is with MO!

30 Mar 2011 3:21 AM
El Kabong

MyBigRed, Coldfacts

Soldat will not set the pace in this race and I expect a he will lay 3rd or 4th, until the head of the stretch. Soldat has tactical speed that will give him a jump on THAS and Dialed In so I expect he will have the lead just after the top of the stretch if all goes well.  I have enjoyed his response to stretch challenges so far and I expect another dusting off when the challenges come at him.  Kiaran prepared Soldat to rate this race to get the most out of it.  He does not need the win. He has been training with horses in front of him tossing dirt and that confirms my suspicion and Steve's suggestion that Soldat needs to come off the pace. I have never thought he was a true front runner so with a legit pace horse in the race he will not go to the lead. With better competition he will have to run faster. Coldfacts, you'll get your splits on Sunday as the weather is looking good for the Weekend, and so is the competition. Sit back and enjoy what your eyes will see. Soldat is going to dismiss this group and hand you the numbers you need to understand how much talent you have overlooked. It's not too late for you to get on the bandwagon and I'll save you a seat.

30 Mar 2011 6:32 AM
StonesRoy

Second race off the layoff, the Florida Derby will tell us what kind of 3 yr old THAS is. Hard to bet against Soldat, and Dialed In has to show me more.  Same for Stay Thirsty.  An Exacta Box of Soldat-THAS seems to be my play right now.

30 Mar 2011 7:10 AM
JOE

Borel and Beamer now that is a idea.

30 Mar 2011 8:20 AM
Betsy

Zenyatta John, after reading Mott's comments, I just don't think THAS is going to be "all that" in the Florida Derby. I've loved this horse from his debut (I love all Bernardinis, but this guy showed he was good from the first), but I have my doubts.

Mott hardly sounds like he's brimming with confidence for the race. He hopes the  horse will improve and he hopes he shows more gameness in his last; he as much as admitted (even right after the FOY) that THAS folded pretty quickly. No matter what he said after the FOY, it's apparent now (it was apparent to me then) that Mott was not happy at all.  I don't think he has any idea what he's going to get from this colt.

30 Mar 2011 8:21 AM
Billy's Empire

RobinM, the person that made the comment about class was Stevebiscuit. He clearly has no idea what he is talking about.

El Kabong, 6:32 am post is spot on. People are only fooling themselves if they think that Soldat is a front runner. He is very versatile horse and will take the lead if the pace is slow, or stalk if it is fast.

I am taking a wait and see approach with THAS. Mott brings them back slow, but we were all shocked that he ran 7 furlongs and stopped. Like someone said, he ran 38.55 in the last part of the Remsen. That time will not win a derby.

Stonesroy, the horse that will show more improvement second start back will be Stay Thirsty. I look for him to finish ahead of THAS.

30 Mar 2011 9:29 AM
Sunny Farm

ASTROLOGY is not "Just an A.P.INDY colt''

This colt is double-bred ROUNDTABLE as well, and will be a hard knocker. Combine this with a very good trainer & I believe the colt CAN do. While there are a lot of good horses entered, ASTROLOGY hs always ben my choice from the first hello & I look forward to the big race ! Good luck to all !

30 Mar 2011 10:49 AM
Jim C.

Hi Steve,

Not sure I understand your thinking.  You have The Factor rated No. 8 because of your justifiable concerns about him not being able to rate, notwithstanding that he switched off impressively in the Rebel.  

Yet Soldat, whom you have No. 2, went gate-to-wire in the Fountain of Youth.  But you do not raise similar concerns about him not being able to rate.  In fact, you say: "No matter how much you try it’s difficult to find any faults with him."  What about him not demonstrating an ability to rate, or not demonstrating an ability to control fast fractions?  Those seem like faults to me.

Now, I would understand your thinking if you believe Soldat is more of a distance horse.  That's fine.  But, by any measure, The Factor's performance in the Rebel was superior to Soldat's Fountain of Youth.  The Factor controlled solid internal fractions of :46 and 3/5, and 1:10 and 4/5 in the Rebel.  Soldat, by contrast, controlled significantly slower internal fractions of :47 and 4/5, and 1:12 and 2/5 in the Fountain of Youth.  Even giving Soldat credit for going one-half a furlong farther in his race, his performance just doesn't measure up to The Factor's.  Sorry, but 1:12 and 2/5 is not in the same Zip Code as The Factor.

What makes you think Soldat would want any part of a pace The Factor would throw at him, especially since Soldat has not given any indication of being able to rate off a torrid pace?  (Premier Pegasus has demonstrated ability to rate off a sizzling pace - the San Felipe - yet you have him ranked below Soldat).

I agree that pure frontrunners have a disadvantage in the Kentucky Derby, but if a frontrunner does win the Derby this year, there is nothing to suggest that Soldat would have anything close to an edge over The Factor.  Soldat has not shown he can rate, and his Fountain of Youth was not anywhere near as impressive as The Factor's rebel.

This is not to say that Soldat cannot win the Derby.  But your No. 2 ranking requires more explanation.  He's a nice horse, but seems far overrated at this point.  

30 Mar 2011 2:50 PM
Agave Joe

Xavier,

You're right,but that was before Tapizar put it together.Remember he came back and romped @ CD going 1 1/16 faster than they did in the 2yo Stakes race a few races later.Anyway,Tapizar is off the trail,so my point was Anthony's Cross won by default and came home way too slow considering the quick fractions.What was his final 3/8ths like? Also remember that he was a distant 3rd to him in the Sham.

OK-- Indian Charlie does not produce legit 10f types,just saying.

30 Mar 2011 2:58 PM
Big Herb

The real test in the KD is to survive the weeks leading up to Derby day. If Premier Pegasus can achive this goal the rest will be history.

30 Mar 2011 4:29 PM
zarvona

For anyone considering the opening 10-1 Pool #3 Field entry?

a late added Derby Nominee:

 "War Pact": (Kty.);

Tr. J.C. Rouget;  

NOTE: racing in France ;

a late Derby Nominee;

2       2     0     0 ;    

D.I. 0.00 ; (unknown)

Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ;

Haskin’s # nl- ;  

s. War Front-Danzig-

d. Tempo West-Rahy-

[[quad bred to Northern Dancer;

dbl. bred to Mr. Prospector &

Princequillo; &

7 X bred to Nearco (Ity.); …&

8X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via

5 X to Blossom Time &  

2 X to via Mah Mahal ; &

1 X to Cosquillo]];

racing in France

Mdn. winner 1 1/16

winner 1 1/8

30 Mar 2011 5:49 PM
redeandblacksilks

coldhardfacts,

The condition of the surface in Mine That Bird's Derby was key in his win. The race fell apart.  To describe him as "brilliant" is to suggest that he was among the best which is far from the truth.  How many races did he win after his Derby?  Additionally, you seem to think that I am one of those who believes that Smarty Jones was a great one.  Sorry, I am not a Smarty Jones fan.  His time in the Derby was laughable.

I read that Dutrow can't decide whether to run Flashpoint in the Swale or the Fla Derby.  Starting to sound like Derby fever.  The best spot for the horse is the Swale. Of course, if he does go to the Fla Derby and performs well they'll go to KY.  You talk about a super fast pace scenario...as if the pace in the Derby doesn't already look as if it will be fast.

The Florida Derby looks to be a good one.  Like others I'm confused by the fact that Uncle Mo is being pointed to the Wood.

Baffert keeps saying that Jaycito needs a mile and a quarter.  That is all well and good but none of the prep races is longer than 9f.

30 Mar 2011 6:21 PM
Scott's Cause

Steve, thanx again for giving everyone the opportunity to voice his/her opinions.  It seems like the blog entrants are growing daily.  I can't wait to get home and punch-up this site.  Trying to keep everything in perspective and congratulate all the trainers, owners and fans who follow this great sport.  Remember: It's all about the Horses...

30 Mar 2011 7:25 PM
Zenyatta John

Betsy -

No worries about Mr Mott's comments or To Honor and Serve.

Mr Mott does not tout his horses - whatsoever. He doesn't set himself or anyone else  up for disappointment. He is a true,quiet, honest gentleman and horseman.

Mr Mott said 'this is his best chance at a Derby' months ago. When Mr Mott was interviewed at Payson Park a week or so ago, he said THAS was blossoming right before his eyes. That is a huge statement for him. He doesn't blow smoke.

He may not win the Florida Derby, but with the light field he has a great chance, but I guarantee THAS will be cranked to the gills and breathing fire when it counts - Derby Day.

30 Mar 2011 7:26 PM
illum

I still think UM is not getting the conditioning he needs in races to run the race he is capable of in the derby.I think talentwise he is no 1 but,even with a win in the wood over a slow field,he is a great key in 2nd as a bet.There are a number of horses who can be keyed first.If Mo doesnt win the Kderby after a Wood win,the connections will forever wonder what if.

30 Mar 2011 9:47 PM
Steve Haskin

I have read everyone's comments but there are too many to respond to. I welcome all the opinions. I will comment on one of the more recent ones being Jim C. requires an explanation.

Soldat has had five two-turn races. The Factor has had one. Contrary to what you say, Soldat had shown on several occasions last year he can rate off the pace. The Factor showed blazing speed in sprint races and has not shown any indication he can rate off the pace. Soldat has won twice at 1 1/8 miles and has never won a sprint race. The Factor has never won at 1 1/8 miles.

It's not a speed horse's first race around two turns that proves he's a two-turn horse, it is the second. If The Factor wins the Arkansas Derby as impressively as the Rebel he will move up on the list.

Horses rarely win the Derby wire to wire. There simply is too much speed and too many horses with tactical speed ,except for a couple of exceptions.

A few weeks ago, The Factor was considered by his owner and trainer a King's Bishop type horse with no aspirations of running in the Derby. They decided to just take a shot in the Rebel to see how stretched out. But its a long way from a grade II at 1 1/16 miles to the Derby. As I said, I need to see it one more time.

30 Mar 2011 10:58 PM
Betsy

Zenyatta John, I hope you're right. Bill Mott is great - I prefer his way to that of other trainers who proclaim their charges to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.  I've just been up and down with this horse since the FOY, but I don't want to abandon him off of one race (what kind of fan would I be, lol).  

30 Mar 2011 11:12 PM
SmoothJazz

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, a clean trip, 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.                

30 Mar 2011 11:20 PM
Coldfacts

redeandblacksilks

I guess we have a different takes on brilliance. If the race fell apart, why was Mine That Bird the only one that benefited? It’s interesting how a race falls apart and only the winner benefits. I POTN had held on to win the race would not have fallen apart. Get Serious! The average winning time for the last 10 derbies is 2:02.16.his time was 2:02.66 on a sloppy track. My apology the tack condition only suited MTB He defeated all the colts from the derby that entered the Preakness.  The colt that defeated him in the Belmont skipped the Preakness. Give the pint sized gelding the credit he deserves. This colt performed one of the most electrifying moves seen in the derby in the last 20 years and you do not rate it brilliant. He won by 6L and if Calvin did not employ the mercy rule it would have been more. Need I remind you he was the Canadian champion 2YO?

Smarty Jones:

“I am not a Smarty Jones fan.  His time in the Derby was laughable.” Do realize that time for the Sunday Silence derby was 2:05? You certainly would not laugh at Sunday Silence.

30 Mar 2011 11:46 PM
Coldfacts

Agave Joe:

Anthony’s Cross 3/8ths - 38.71 (6F 1:09.92)

Soldat  3/8ths – 37.80 (6F 1:12.43)

Silver Medallion 3/8ths – 38.10 (6F 1:12.35)

Pants on Fire 3/8ths – 37.90 (6F 1:12.02)

Twice the Appeal 3/8ths – 40.02 (6F 1:10.89)

Animal Kingdom 3/8ths 39.75 (6F 1:12.57)

“Anthony's Cross won by default and came home way too slow considering the quick fractions”

How much faster did you expect him to come home when he was close to a 1:09.92 pace. Check the other 6F split above and you will find the answer as to why the last 3/8ths of that race were so slow..

31 Mar 2011 12:12 AM
Coldfacts

Sunny Farm,  

“ASTROLOGY is not "Just an A.P.INDY colt''

I not sure what point you are trying to make. Every horse has different horse comprising its generations. However, in thoroughbred circles Astrology is an A P Indy that is inbred to ROUNDTABLE. He is a big lumbering sort that is not very good. Any colt that the slow Santiva beats at 8.5F in 1:45 is void of serious ability. He waddled like a duck in the Sunland derby and it will be announced shortly that he is off the derby trail.

31 Mar 2011 12:25 AM
Matthew W

Zenyatta John: Pat Day moved first in the Breeders Cup Classic--then McCarron moved away from him--not Day's fault--NYRA's/Phipps's fault, for prepping him in the 1 1/2 (then) Jockey Club Gold Cup, also you can "blame" Cryptoclearance for pushing Easy that day--the result was they took his edge off--I agree that he was better than Sunday Silence--but the fact is the only time he beat him was when they ran 1 1/2 on dirt, Sunday Silence won the other three races, the Derby, over a surface Easy distained...the Preakness, when Day made a great move on Pat V down the backstretch, only to have Pat V return the favor around the turn/down the stretch, by crowding Day, so much so that Day turned Easy Goer's head so he could see Sunday Silence in deep stretch--but the Classic was a classic blunder--I cashed a win bet on Sunday Silence cuz I thought Easy Goer would be compromised by that JC Gold Cup prep--Easy Goer was compared to Secretariat before Sunday Silence came along--now it's just old timers like us who still think that--I certainly do not think Pat Day rode him wrong....

31 Mar 2011 12:46 AM
Tom

OK.  I just watched a replay of the San Felipe.  Going into this race Comma to the Top was considered a Derby Contender (so much for him).  Anyway, PP gave one of the best performances of this season, rating off of a sizzling pace and winning easily.  He may have the X-factor as well considering his breeding.  Hard to imagine he will not finish in the top 3 on the first Saturday in May.

31 Mar 2011 3:54 AM
zarvona

 Lagoon of Diamonds: (Kty.);

 Tr. D.K. Ackerman;

$500K ’09 FTS N.Y.;

  6      2   0   1 ;  

D.I. 3.57 ;  

Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ;

[[dbl. bred to Mr. Prospector  & Klarion (Fr.) ;

  triple bred to Native Dancer & Turn To; &

6 X bred to Nearco (Ity.) ; … &

6 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via

4 X to Mah Mahal &

2 X to Blossom Time]];

31 Mar 2011 4:37 AM
Slew

Xavier: What do we see in To Honor And Serve?  It's the way he glides over the track with an extremely economical, efficient and effortless stride.  (Holy alliteration, Batman!)  He's beautiful in motion, and doesn't pound the ground like a jackhammer.  Rogue Romance, also, has an efficient stride.  To me it indicates that they'll carry the speed they have over much longer distances than an Uncle Mo.

31 Mar 2011 7:06 AM
zarvona

  Much earlier on highly regarded as a potential Derby possibility,--and by me also back then, especially as considered where discovered that he was “13 X bred with the ‘BHXFG’ strains”,--a sign of stamina and distance ability!!!,--yet as speculated by me, “getting the distance of a 1  ¼ was not a realistic reach following seeing his runs”.

  In any event, I recently found a quote from S. Anderson of the DRF regarding “Comma To the Top” to support my earlier claim:

 …“Trainer Peter Miller said that ‘Comma to the Top’, the winner of the Grade 1 Cash Call Futurity at Hollywood Park in December but fourth in two starts this year, would have difficulty with the Kentucky Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles.

  “Comma to the Top was beaten 9 1/2 lengths by Premier Pegasus in the San Felipe over 1 1-16 miles on March 12. Wednesday, ‘Comma to the Top’, who is owned by a partnership, worked a half-mile in 49.40 seconds at Hollywood Park.

  “We’re not going to the Kentucky Derby,” Miller said. “We’ll see what happens. I’ve discussed it with the owners and we’re in the same mindset. I’m not on the Derby trail….”

  And yet, he is a 50-1 entry in Pool #3 ????  Who includes such ridiculous entries instead of listing some others that might really have a legitimate shot?  And even Pitttman and Watchmaker still have him listed as a 50-1 in there NON updated ‘Derby Watch’ list????. …I am so confused.

  We deserve better communication and undated and proper information from those supposedly keeping us informed in this day of electronic media and “instant communication”. As apparently, regarding being informed, so do the people who make up the Pool rosters!!!

“Comma to the Top”: (g) (Fla.);  

Tr. P. Miller; $5K ’08 OBS;

 $22K’10 OBS;

12       6     1     0 ;    D.I. 2.20;  

Tomlinson Distance rating 000 ;

Haskin’s #10 -n/l ;

Pool #1 20-1  90-1;

Pool #2 50-1 85-1;

Pool #3 50-1  ???  ;

[[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer &

Bold Reasoning ;

…&

13 X bred to ‘BHXFG’ via

6 X to Brushup ;

3 X @ via Blossom Time & Mah Mahal  ;

& 1 X to Cosquillo]];

winner 6 fur.  Alw. 1:09.73;  95 Beyer ;

winner Gr. I Real Quiet S. 1 1/16 1:43.56;  

  99 Beyer ;

winner Gr. III Generous S,  

  1 Mi. (T) 1:34.77 ; 100 Beyer ;

winner Cash Cal Fur. Gr. I  

  1 1/16 1:44.72;  101 Beyer ;

00 the $$ 4th in the Gr. III

1 1/16 El Camino Real Derby;

..faded in the stretch when in position

   at lead at the top of the turn;

00 the $$ & 4th in the Gr. III  

  1  1/16  $250K  San Felipe ; 1:41.23 ; + 10 ;  

&

a supposed entry in the SA DERBY !

31 Mar 2011 7:32 AM
StonesRoy

Steve

I'd like to get your opinion on the weight assignments these horses are carrying in their preps and how much you feel it should factor into the handicapping.  I always zero in on them when comparing horses, but am I giving the weights too much "weight" when I handicap?

Thanks

31 Mar 2011 8:39 AM
Antman

Joy

STILL curious:

how many times in the last ten years has the Derby winner been in the top 3 of your Derby Dozen?  I'm not being sarcastic; I really want to know.  I picked the Derby winner almost 20 years in a row, until Giacomo came along and ruined my streak.

That is the most absurd statement written in any blog for the Derby that I have read in the last 5 years, and there are some serious yo-yo's that just want to see there name in print.  20 years of picking winners.  In the last 10 years I have been lucky enough to pick 3 and I think that is outstanding.  With your percentages picking the winner you should have your own blog and website because you would be rich with them kind of results.  LMAO.

I am hoping Soldat that rates and wins this weekend.  I want the win because of Roadtotheroses.  In 402nd spot and I have trainer Jock, Horse and I would move up a bunch, then punch his ticket in the Derby and I would think I would have a great chance of taking home the grand prize.  That would be awesome.  Thats no bs just the coldhardfacts.

31 Mar 2011 12:46 PM
El Kabong

Jim C,

Has Soldat shown he can rate? Yes he has, bring up the BCJTurf from last year. Has he rated this year? No but that has more to do with there being no pace setter in races in which he has run.

Soldat's times and running style so far have been more about his competition than him. If there is no true speed, he has shown enough tactical speed to be out front. If he runs into pace, he will sit off of it, like he did in the BCJT. Kiaran has been training him lately to take dirt. There's your clue as to where he will be if there is pace on Sunday. As for his final times, all I can say is why should he run them any faster than he has too, to win the race- there not that far off the mark from Barbaro or Eskenderayas at this point in their run up to the roses. But If he can win a race with ease, and he has won with ease twice now, why should he run any faster. That's not running slow, it's running smart. Again, when he faces tougher competition, and he will on Sunday, I'm sure you will see a faster time. I hope Dutrow runs flashpoint in the FD to set the pace and then we will all see Soldat's best running style-which I believe will be that of a pace stalker- I agree with Steve's ranking of this horse and you should have a real good barometer of it's accuracy come Sunday. Should be a great race, especially if Flashpoint runs.

31 Mar 2011 1:32 PM
It aint easy being good

We can argue all we wont but most of the time the fastest horses win the derby you can speculate all you want when Big Brown won he had the fastest times. When Street Sense won he was on of the fastest horses. When supersaver won he had one of the highest beyers for the year. This year its the factor he hasnt lost yet and yet you guys dont think he is the real deal?? The factor is the fastest horse on the planet and should be ranked #1. The factor is the fastest horse around and is physcially fit hello 2011 derby winner.

I am shocked he is ranked so low especially since horse #6 hasnt done anything lately.

31 Mar 2011 2:30 PM
Zenyatta John

Matt W - I'm not an old timer (lol) - I just got started very young living in Saratoga, with a Grandfather that loved the track, and cause the lady tellers would take my bets as an underage kid cause I had big blue eyes and a big smile.

I thought Easy Goer was a loser in the BC Classic when Sunday Silence got the jump on him.

Easy Goer had many nagging injuries that were never really public , I wish he was a sound horse.

I look at a head on picture of the 1989 Preakness everyday and still think Easy Goer won.

31 Mar 2011 2:48 PM
Agave Joe

Coldfacts

Anthony's Cross was not near that 6f split,he should've came home faster than that if he's to be a serious Derby threat.

31 Mar 2011 5:37 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Onward we march to the Florida Derby led by the fearless "War Horse" French soldier, Soldat!!!  

Soldat, for anyone interested, was named by Scott Clarke, the son of owner Harvey Clarke of New Jersey.  Way to go my fellow New Jerseyans, great classy name.  This is going to be extremely interesting, we'll learn if Dialed In learned anything from Zito's old school move running against the older boys to rate and pace last time out.  We'll learn if Stay Thirsty has matured and lost some of that greenesss and lugging in tendency.  

And now Flashpoint is in there with the speed.  Even if Soldat takes second it should be fine.  Dialed In will be saying to Zito after the race, "Holy Boca Raton, Batman, make up your mind fast or slow!!!!!"

31 Mar 2011 6:00 PM
Jim C.

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your response.  I still do not agree with you.  You said: "Contrary to what you say, Soldat had shown on several occasions last year he can rate off the pace."

Let's dig into that:

(1) In the FOY, on 2/26/11, Soldat went gate-to-wire at a mile controlling mild fractions (:47 and 4/5 and 1:12 and 2/5).

(2) On 1/21/11, in a $40,500 Allowance, non-winners of 1, Soldat went gate-to-wire at 1 1/8 miles controlling even slower fractions of :48 and 1/5, and 1:12.  Not a bad race, and lays a nice foundation going forward because he's a 3 year old and can improve, but performance wise does not compare to The Factor's Rebel.

(3) Soldat's three races before that were as a two year old, all on the turf -- one at a mile, and two at 1 1/16 miles.  True, he did rate off the pace, but this was on grass, when all the other horses were going slow.  Rating on turf is one thing; rating on dirt against fractions The Fraction will throw at him is a different story.  (To be fair, turf races, with their slow paces, can serve to teach a horse to distribute their energy more effectively).

Anyway, my point stands: Soldat has not shown any ability to rate on the dirt against stakes company.  He won his last two races controlling slow internal fractions - far slower than anything he's have to deal with against The Factor.

Soldat is a nice horse, and a contender.  But count me as unconvinced.  At this point, he is vulnerable, and overrated.  He may have a distance edge over The Factor.  But there is no basis at this point to rate Soldat ahead of Premier Pegasus, who is bred to go long, and has a demonstrated ability to rate off a torrid pace, and clear off in the final stretch.  

But I will be rooting for Soldat this weekend.  I am just not prepared to buy into all the hype yet because his pace figures do not warrant it.  (Yes, he did have a 103 Beyer in his N1X allowance, but that is attributable to the early slow fractions; should he have to encounter solid early fractions, that Beyer will go down).

31 Mar 2011 7:36 PM
auburnbill

Joy,

How have you done since giacomo? If you picked Mine That Bird in your Top 10 you did better than most any other handicapper I know. Also, who are you picking this year, or is it too early to commit?

31 Mar 2011 10:09 PM
illum

All I have seen of the Florida Derby is the entries,but with only an eight horse field and Soldat and Thas in the one two post,chances are at least one of those the two will come in the top 3 or 4 if not both.The only questions that will be answered after this Florida Derby with an eight horse field is can Dialed In run em down regardless of the pace, and is Stay Thirsty a serious Derby horse.Unless one of the other four runs an ambitious race on the lead or right behind it to win.I just dont see them putting them to sleep on the front end with Soldat and Thas on the inside,or outfinishing the proven stakes horses.Without viewing the past performances at least 3 of the big four Soldat,Thas,St,DI will come in the top 4.As of today I dont see many questions answered after the race,whoever gets the best trip wins of the four.

31 Mar 2011 11:08 PM
Slew

It would seem that we have a deep field for 3 year olds...with so many different opinions, and several horses rising above their expectations...and too many simply not running often enough to gauge their true abilities.

Think about it...we have the SA Derby, the Arkansas Derby and the Florida Derby to look forward to.  Throw in the Wood, and we have a lot to sort through before the Ky Derby.  

I think UM is going to the Wood simply because Repole feels this his his best horse, and Repole is a fan from NY who wants to give something back to other NY fans.  But Stay Thirsty is a really fine colt who may have more to say than folks realize.  I'm hoping THAS comes out of his funk for the Fla Derby, but this race is simply no sure thing for any contender.  It looks deep and tough.  Can't wait.  I like THAS and Soldat, but I can't discount Dialed In and Stay Thirsty.  But what will happen to our choices if Shackleford or Arch Traveler pulls off an upset?  Wow?  Lots of questions....maybe we'll have some answers by Monday....but not today.

01 Apr 2011 9:20 AM
Coldfacts

Agave Joe,

Anthony's Cross was not near that 6f split, he should've came home faster than that if he's to be a serious Derby threat”

In the last 30-40 derby preps run at 9F, the 6F split has been 1:09 plus twice. The winners of those races came home in 39.22 and 38.71 respectively. The average split for the derby between 6F and 9F is 38.38 that is based on an average 6F of 1:10.86. That average 6F split is almost a full second slower than the 6F split for Anthony’s Cross race. The Monarchos derby had one of the fastest 6F splits in derby history 1:09.25. The next 3F were run in about 38.23. Anthony’s Cross was contesting his first 9F race and wearing blinkers for the first time. A final 3/8ths of 38.71 is close enough to derby average considering the 6F split of the races.. He should improve in his next run at the distance.

01 Apr 2011 9:53 AM
Sunny Farm

Hello Cold-case :

I enjoy reading what you have to say in all the blogs and learn a lot. I still think a lot of ASTROLOGY, however.

Anyway you'd like to look at it, the colt has all the best genetics very close up. This was my point even though I must not have made that clear. This bloodline is hardy , can run all distances, and has a lot more in them than you must be seeing. I hope what we will be seeing with ASTROLOGY is a colt who runs a full career and blooms. In other words , he should remain sound, and last longer then just the Triple Crown.

I like him. He will grow out of his teenage years & become an even better horse. He could even win the Derby if he is entered because it is a horse race with a big field and needs courage. This is just one more thought about the way ASTROLOGY is bred.

I like him.

ZENYATTA wears a size seven shoe and she didn't do too badly !

01 Apr 2011 10:19 AM
Coldfacts

It aint easy being good,

“When supersaver won he had one of the highest beyers for the year.”

How is that possible when he lost both hi derby preps? Are referring to his Beyer for his victory as a 2YO in the  KJC Stakes?

El Kabong,

Eskenderayas – FOY  1:48.87

Soldat                FOY 1:50.03

Soldat ran the slowest FOY in the last 5YRSand you theorized that he was doing enough to win. I gather he was in had all the way. I watched repeatedly and that is not what I saw. Dialed In came 15l off the pace to win the HB in 1:35.19. That was 2 seconds faster than Slodat mile split in the FOY of 1:37.19. He won handily running in 2 second faster than Soldat who you assessed to have won the FOY handily. If we focus on handily, the one that is faster handily must be the one to be on in the FL. Under no circumstance will Soldat finish ahead of Dialed In and both will be defeated.

Jim C,

Soldat is very slow by derby standards and when he faces the 22, 46, 1:10 pace of the derby he will receive a rude awakening. The 2011 Derby will be about speed and plenty of it. Soldat is a close to the pace colt on dirt. He has either been close to slow fractions or setting them. He like derby pretenders Santivo, MMM, Stay Thirsty, Astrology etc. will be cooked by the time the first 6Fs is run as they will try to stay close to The Factor and Mighty Mo. They do not have the natural speed to do same. They are not going to out close Dialed In and Jaycito so I cannot see a scenario where they can possibly win. Premier Pegasus is the colt that has just as much natural speed as the big two and the stamina in his pedigree to compliment. He is the colt that can win it all.

01 Apr 2011 10:29 AM
redandblacksilks

Coldfacts,

Swaps beat Nashua in the KY Derby.  Who was the better racehorse?  Just because a horse wins the Derby doesn't mean he was actually the best horse.

Sunday Silence time of 2:05 was run on a MUDDY track generally the slowest, most tiring type of surface a horse can run on.  There is a great deal of difference between a sloppy surface and one that is muddy.

While I'm at it, Giacomo won the KY Derby, defeating Afleet Alex.  Was Giacomo actually the best horse in the race?  Which of the two would you describe as "brilliant"? It was a case of the race falling apart because of suicidal fractions and Giacomo taking advantage.  

Mine That bird never won a race after the KY Derby.  In my book he is not among the best thoroughbreds in history regardless of the fact that he won the KY Derby and was not a "brilliant" racehorse.

01 Apr 2011 2:45 PM
Coldfacts

Mr. Prospector remains the greatest extension of Native Dancer. One of his grandsons is proving to be the greatest extension of the great sire of sires and that’s Unbridled. Why repeat this fact? Well, the FL Derby is almost here and Unbridled has left his mark on the race. He won the 1990 renewal and sired two winner of Florida’s flagship derby prep i.e., Unbridled’s Song and Empire Maker. To complete his resume he now needs to be the broodmare sire of a FL Derby winner. In a previous post I highlighted that there were six members of the class of 2011 who were produced from Unbridled broodmares i.e., Beamer, Anthony's Cross, Zayda, Elite Alex, Bind and Shackleford. How does this tie into the FL Derby? Well, the 20-1 ML Shackleford will contest the FL Derby on Sunday. Yes I am aware he has not chance or does he?

Soldat FOY               24.34, 47.99, 1:12.43, 1:37.19, 1:50.23

Shackleford Allw.     24.33, 48.39, 1:12.22, 1:36.83, 1:50.04

The big question is what happened to Shackleford in the FOY? He finished a distance 5th. It appeared going in he had the numbers to be competitive. The eventual fractions of the FOY with the exception of the second quarter were similar or marginally slower than those recorded in his allowance win. So why did he run so badly? Could it be that his return was too quickly? (21 days) Could it have been the track conditions that day? Could it be he is just not good enough to compete against the big boys? Maybe the latter is the case. Is he at serious play in the exotics? Let’s give him another chance because his 21 days return is the shortest between his races. Let also factor in the unbridled influence on the race. He has won the race and sired two winners. It is therefore not impossible for him to be broodmare sire of a winner.

01 Apr 2011 4:44 PM
Coldfacts

redandblacksilks,

Your points are valid and well taken. I did not specify that MTB was a brilliant race horse. I specified that his performance in the derby was brilliant. His derby performance has to be ranked as one of the most scintillating derby wins in the last 20 years. When was the last time a derby winner display that type of finishing speed in the last 2F?  Did Monarchos win a race after winning the second or third fastest derby in history? I cannot recall. MTB was very competitive in all 3 TC races. At least he contested all three and this era of soft horses, he deserves a lot of credit. Are your aware he is one of three Canadian 2yo champions that won the derby. The others are Sunnys Halo and Northern Dancer. He is therefore in distinguished company.

01 Apr 2011 8:10 PM
Alex'sBigFan

El Kabong,

I agree with you.  Soldat is running smart like the older boys.  I like what you said in the other blog about how he was purchased, to quote you, "going once, going twice, SOLD, on Soldat!"  I always said I see a mature level in him and I don't think having some dirt kicked on him and having to sit off Flashpoint's maddening acceleration will matter either.  I have faith Soldat will get it won or come in second.  If Dialed In is this gift that Zito says then I look for an explosive burst from him too.  Dialed In is a big colt I think and Soldat is on the smaller side.  I can't wait for Sunday!  I keep talking about the race, the Florida

Derby, and no one knows what in tarnation I am talking about, not my corporate colleagues, not family, no one, and that is sad for racing since I live in the NY/NJ area, you would think this is the mecca of all racing and it's on everyone's tongues.  Not the case, sadly.  Hope Stay Thirsty or THAS gets up for third.  The main thing is they all come home safely.  Enjoy the race.

01 Apr 2011 8:24 PM
El Kabong

Coldfacts,

Thanks for the shackelford demonstration of why your pure time analysis is completely worthless. It has never been fair to compare apples to oranges and you do it all the time. There is so much more to consider than just the time.

For instance:

On the day that Soldat ran his 150 1 1/8 in the FOY, there was another race at that distance, Alw 3yr NW1 X which included the likes of Nacho Business, Arch Traveler and Washington Rules. It ran in 152.36. That is why brisnet gave Soldat a 104 rating for his 150 1 1/8 effort.  Barbaro ran his Florida Derby in 149, and yet Brisnet gave him a 104. The track was running faster that day so a full second better was no better the effort. Tracks conditions play an enormous factor in times and that's why a direct comparison of times is worthless. Brisnet figures and Beyer figures try to include some of these factors, again, because straight time analysis is foolish. Want another one. Barbaro ran the 1 1/8 Holy Bull on a sloppy track in 149.2 and received a 104. Soldat ran his allowance return from layoff 1 1/8 on a sloppy track in 149.2 and received a 108 rating. I could go on but I don't want to boar everyone. Sunday will be an eye opener for one of us. I expect the track to be running very fast due to thunder showers packing it down. With the fast pace of Dutrow's horse, you will see Soldat the stalker. Don't worry about the fractions, just watch for the stretch run. I like Soldat over Stay Thirsty and Flashpoint with Dialed In doing no better than 4th unless Flashpoint throws in the towel. Talk to you on Sunday.

01 Apr 2011 8:45 PM
IOWay

The two horses that most need to win on Sunday are Soldat and Dialed In because they are eligible for the $5m bonus.  If they run poorly that will not bode well for them on May 7 since I think the possibility of winning an extra $5m is important no matter who you are.

01 Apr 2011 9:05 PM
Matthew W

Gonna use a time-tested handicapping angle: To Honor And Serve will be a better price even though he will benefit from his first race back--that's two reasons to back him Sunday (Derby in Sunday sounds funny), also I can "see" how quietly confident Bill Mott is about him--I'm gonna give him another chance Sunday/and hopefully get that 4-1 morning line....

01 Apr 2011 11:52 PM
Matthew W

redandblacksilks Swaps was tons better than Nashua.....

01 Apr 2011 11:54 PM
Coldfacts

SPLITSOF12 (17 Mar 2011 2:35 PM)

Coldfacts:I would like to know if any of the 2011 Derby contenders have RAN on their broodmare sire line?

Kindly accept my apology for the late response. The remaining colts on the derby trail that have the RAN broodmare sire line are listed below:

Elite Alex (Both sides)

Sinai(Both sides)*

Justin Phillip

Shackleford

Soldat

The Factor*

Willcox Inn*

Zayda

Astrology

Beamer

Shadow Warrior*

Anthony's Cross

Bind

Mucho Macho Man

The ones with the (*) were produced from broodmares sired by grandsons of Raise A Native. His grandsons have been the only group that has been successful as broodmare sires of winner of Triple Crown races to date. Carson City, Smart Strike (Mr. Prospector) and Turkoman ( Alydar) have been successful.

02 Apr 2011 7:00 AM
illum

I think comparing times or speed is not as reliable as it was in the past.We live in the information age with access to the internet.All the trainers and jockeys know the times the figures and the race styles of the competitors.This is not the era of Seabiscuit where Pollack was the only jockey who knew how to read.I think the connections use of the information is more important and choosing the right strategy for a horses chance for victory is more important than time,unless you can really compare one horses time to another.Even one of the best known speed handicappers of the century(Beyer)in one of his books said in the future their would be advances in technology which would transmit from the horses in the race information such as a horses distance from the rail,which would provide data on the distance that was actually run.I think this already exists in a way with Tarkus(Keeneland has it)Beyer being a devout speed believer also said that trip handicapping was the future going along with his view that there would be more accurate ways to measure a horses speed in the future.I believe in the Kentucky Derby(20 horse field)of 3yos moving from 9f to 10 the trip they get is THE MOST important factor,unless the horse is a standout as say Big Brown.

02 Apr 2011 8:44 AM
El Kabong

I know he (Coldfacts) won't listen, but everyone else who wants to know why a pure time analysis is fools gold, here  you go:

Since Coldfacts used Eskenderayas time in the FOY as his best source of "facts", here is full exposure of his method's defect.

Feb. 20th, 2010 Gulfstream Park

1 1/8 Claiming 10K 4 and up (not an impressive bunch) and Eskenderayas FOY.

10K Claimers 23.92 47.80 112.17 137.52     150.87

FOY                 23.72 47.92 112. 41 136.54     148.87

a whopping 2 seconds better than low life claimers.

Feb. 26th 2011

Alw 3yr 51K 23.98 49.10 114.35 139.17       152.36

FOY                24.34 47.99 112 43 137.19       150.23

a whopping 2 seconds better than classy 3y olds.

My point here if you don't have it by  now is that you either believe that washed up long in the tooth 4 year olds at 10 k are better than 3 year olds who were derby hopefuls, or  you are starting to realize that to get a good judge of a time, you need to compare it to times run that day at the same track. This is why I do not compare apples to oranges, but other apples. End of lesson.

Coldfacts; I love your breeding analysis. It's great. You find long shots that way who have potential that most won't see, but your time for time analysis is not by any method, scientific or statistical, a method that helps compare because of the golden rule of comparable environments which is necessary for that method to be of value.

02 Apr 2011 11:48 AM
illum

To continue on the thesis that the trip is the most important in the KD with a twenty horse field of 3yos going from 9 to 10 furlongs.To use two derbies as examples Mine That Bird was at his best on derby day but without the ground saving inside trip that Borel gave him he might not have had enough ground to catch pioneer of the nile who I think was the most accomplised horse in the field.Another, Giacomo won when the race fell apart from the pace meltdown and was given a well timed ride by Mike Smith,I think Afleet Alex was the best horse in the field that day.The best horse does not win as much as he would in previous runnings of the derby with smaller fields and less chance of bad trips influencing the outcome.I think reading my last post I might even wonder what did I mean speed figures are not as reliable as they used to be,What I mean is since almost everyone that is betting has the speed figures from the form,brisnet,rags sheets or thorograph sheets,there is no chance of finding an overlay just based on the figures.

02 Apr 2011 6:07 PM
illum

One more opinion on why speed figures are not reliable in picking overlay winners.The favorite is going to be the one or ones with the best figures(sometimes the figs are too close).

Nowadays the trainers want their horse to peak on derby day so if you went just by figures in 2005 you would have bet Bellamy Road.Their was another horse with a huge figure that came out of the Illinois Derby I dont remember his name but he peaked in the Illinois Derby.The standouts make their own trip ala Big Brown.I think Super Saver peaked in the derby last year but I wondered why Lookin at Lucky didnt come in the money he turned out to be the best in the Preakness it was because of the trip he recieved in the derby(gomez was taken off for the Preakness)I dont think he ran in the Belmont.

02 Apr 2011 6:42 PM
El Kabong

Alex'sBigFan,

That's why we blog. Our special group, all opinions valued and appreciated, and I do mean that, keeps our eclectic souls happy. We crave outside thoughts and experience. Thoroughbred racing provides us a very tight circle unfortunately, but that is probably a good part of why we all root for a triple crown-to bring in the rest of the world-if only for a few races. But you have contacts from all over this nation thanks to Steve and Bloodhorse.  We are very fortunate to have that. May they all run fast but come home safely to their oats and hay beds. It's a great day every time they do. Enjoy the Florida Derby, it should be a terrific race for those of us who really care.

02 Apr 2011 7:38 PM
Coldfacts

El Kabong,

Welcome to the band of posters who have gone into attack mode against the Coldfacts.  Let me address some of your points:

“Thanks for the Shackelford demonstration of why your pure time analysis is completely worthless”

My analysis did not focus purely on the fractions of the FOY and the allowance races. The times were displayed to show why Shackelford was expected to be competitive. I posted some questions regarding his performance:

What happened to Shackleford in the FOY?

Why did he run so badly?

Could it be that his return was too quick?

Could it have been the track conditions that day?

Could it be he is just not good enough to compete against the big boys?

I specified that his performance was likely to be linked to the last question posed. The questions above clearly indicated that a number of possibilities were being examined for his poor performance. You have chosen to focus on the time comparison and track conditions that was cited in one of the questions.. Are time comparisons worthless based on continually changing track and wind conditions?  Not in my opinion. When Larry Jones was asked why the connections entered the ill-fated Eights Belles in the KD he replied, they examined the numbers and were of the opinion that she belonged. I am of the opinion the connections of Shackelford examined the numbers and were of the opinion that he belonged in the FOY. You are advised to amend your post and advise them that their time analysis was worthless. Shackelford got beat 25L and I project the final time for his FOY to be 1:55 plus. Do you believe his connection expected him to run 1:55 in his second attempt at 9F? The colt poor performance has left a lot of questions unanswered. I have just posed few above.

“There was another race at that distance, Alw 3yr NW1 X which included the likes of Nacho Business, Arch Traveler and Washington Rules ran in 1:52.36.”

If Shackle ford had run 1:52.36 he would have been beaten 10L and a bit. He ran 1:55 plus and would have finished 15L behind Arch Travelers. Nacho Business and Arch Traveler and Washington Rules  were probably trying the distance for the first time. Shackleford was expected to improve off his first winning start at the distance. The same day of the FOY the fillies ran 6Fin 1:10 and a bit and 1:36 plus for a mile. R Heat Lightening eventually won that race. Those fractions were one to two seconds faster than the FOY. Can you imagine fillies running faster than on The Factor on the same day?

“Tracks conditions play an enormous factor in times and that's why a direct comparison of times is worthless”

I have been following thoroughbred racing long enough to know the above. However, when a colt times declines by 5 seconds the track conditions invariably is not the only factor in play.

“Sunday will be an eye opener for one of us”

I know you are a Soldat fan and I wish him the best in the FL derby but think his best will not be good enough. I still regard him slow by derby standard and he has to show that he has the numbers to win the derby.  Based on his FOY clocking I have projected his 10F time to be 2:03.27. The average wining time in the last 10YRS is 2:02.26. If the sloppy track derbies are excluded the average is revised to 2:01.63. He is therefore one second off the average winning time. I have projected Uncle Mo time to be 2:00 plus. He will be beaten in the FL Derby.

NB: You are encouraged watch the emerging monster from the take no prisoners RAN sire line on Saturday.  You will see a display of speed and stamina that will convince you Soldat belongs in a walking race. You points have been noted.

03 Apr 2011 8:44 AM
Coldfacts

El Kabong,

“You are starting to realize that to get a good judge of a time, you need to compare it to times run that day at the same track. This is why I do not compare apples to oranges, but other apples. End of lesson”

Teacher, are you aware that fast horses normally record fast time on most tracks they compete in spite of track conditions. Street Sense came off a 5 months respite and set a NTR at Tampa Bay a tack that rarely produces track records. Uncle Mo won three 2YO races at three different tracks and ran fast on every occasion. Was he the beneficiary of fast track on each occasion? We are well aware of the impact of track conditions on resulting times. Does this mean comparison should not be made and adjustments made for these variables? When Quality Road won the 2009 FL Derby, a lot of folks claimed the track was playing fast. I did a comparison of fractions for the previous three FL derbies and the fractions for the first 4 quarters were not dissimilar to those recorded in 2009. The difference was in the last furlong. Did the track maintenance team make the furlong preceding the finish line faster in 2009?  It’s a stretch to come to such a conclusion. Quality Road returned the following year to set a NTR for the same distance on a supposedly different tack.

“Your time for time analysis is not by any method, scientific or statistical, a method that helps compare because of the golden rule of comparable environments which is necessary for that method to be of value”

I am not fixated on times. However, when Soldat runs the slowest FOY in the last five years and is ranked #2 in Steve’s  Dozen it leads one to believe that this crop of 3YOS are very slow. The times he has been running for 3/8 of a mile puts him 10L behind the derby leader at that point. Do you expect him to out close Dialed In and Jaycito? He will be 10L behind press button horses like The Factor, Premier Pegasus and Uncle Mo. He cannot make up 10L and have anything left to launch a serious challenge for a victory. Those colts are just too good.

03 Apr 2011 9:25 AM
illum

One factor I dont remember reading about on this blog,but it is very important if talking about the Triple Crown is medication.I have read something written by a very known trainer about this subject.He has stated that he does not believe a horse will win the triple crown because of the use of Lasix,and the dehydration that occurs because of its usage.I would be interested in other opinions on this subject.Everyone that post on this blog has heard the term bounce,could Lasix have something to do with this.A trainer that runs a large stable not only has to condition his animals but he must become an expert in medicating them to get them to peak in the right race.

03 Apr 2011 4:43 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

So much for Soldat and Stay Thirsty. The seperation has started. My post FL Derby Dozen at firsrt glance

1. Premier Pegasus

2. Dialed In

3. Uncle Mo

4. The Factor

5. Archarcharch

6. Silver Medallion

7. To Honor And Serve

8. Jaycito

9. Pants On Fire

10. Nehro

11. Shackleford

12. Elite Alex

03 Apr 2011 6:03 PM
Paula Higgins

Well, the Florida Derby was a shock. By that, I mean to see Soldat not fire at all. Was surprised that To Honor and Serve  did that well. I think he is really regressing. Dialed In was impressive. Stay Thirsty did pretty much what I thought he would. So this changes the top 10 by a bit. No one stands out still except Uncle Mo, and to a lesser degree, The Factor if he can get the distance, and Premiere Pegasus.

03 Apr 2011 6:05 PM
El Kabong

Coldfacts,

Congrats. I've got some crow on the barbie, what wine goes well with crow, I'm sure you may know that as well.

Seriously though, I have to toss you a huge bone on your faith in Shackleford. He ran a smart race on the lead today and finished strong. Dialed in was the real winner but you gained more Kudos from me today than Zito.

I was not happy with the race strategy on Soldat, he needed to be closer to the pace but like you with Shackleford, I am not throwing in the towel on Soldat just yet. I'll see  how he trains up.

The real irony of the day happened this morning on my local sports radio program's contest Decide The Derby. Answering the trivia question correctly first, I was given the opportunity to receive a $100 win ticket for the horse of my choosing. Dialed In, Uncle Moe, Wilburn, The Factor, Sway Away, and Soldat had been chosen. My Pick..................Premier Pegasus. We may end up rooting for the same horse yet.

Again,

I am impressed with your pick today. Now if you don't mind, I have some applewood smoked crow to eat.

03 Apr 2011 6:53 PM
Auburn Bill

Coldfacts seems to be right more than wrong. He was on PP and now Shackleford. I am going to listen to what he has to say come May

03 Apr 2011 7:17 PM
illum

Well now after the race I have a possible reason why Shakleford ran badly in the FOY,He is a speed horse that chased the pace wide.He came back in the Fl derby with a better trip and nearly won.There was another speed horse last weekend with the same pattern Pants on Fire seem to regress after the Leconte in which he came in second.In the Risen Star he chased the pace wide,and in the Louisiana Derby a race in which from first turn to finish line the only change in the top three was Liondrive fading to last he pressed the pace and won.I hope those on this board that posted about him had him in their exotic wagers,or across the board.In sprint races in one race a horse will chase the pace,and not come in the top three, and in the next race he gets an inside post breaks on top and goes gate to wire,with a better trip.

03 Apr 2011 8:03 PM
Jim C.

Soldat was exposed today.  Could not handle a solid pace, even at a speed favoring track.  

03 Apr 2011 9:20 PM
Jim C.

Coldfacts,

It looks like you and I were the only ones around here who were not buying all the hype about Soldat.  I cannot believe Steve had him ranked No. 2 on the Derby list.  His pace figs did not warrant that, as I pointed out repeatedly above.

Soldat only wins on dirt if he is controlling slow fractions.  That will not happen in Kentucky Derby if The Factor is entered.  He cannot handle a hot pace, even if he is rating off it, as the Florida Derby proved.  

Soldat simply does not stack up to Premier Pegasus, who has brilliant tactical speed.  He can go gate-to-wire, or he can rate off sizzling fractions, go wide into the final turn, and clear off, as he did in the San Felipe.

04 Apr 2011 1:13 AM
Coldfacts

El Kabong,

Extract from your post

"Coldfacts, you'll get your splits on Sunday as the weather is looking good for the Weekend, and so is the competition. Sit back and enjoy what your eyes will see. Soldat is going to dismiss this group and hand you the numbers you need to understand how much talent you have overlooked. It's not too late for you to get on the bandwagon and I'll save you a seat."

Extract from my post

I know you are a Soldat fan and I wish him the best in the FL derby but think his best will not be good enough. I still regard him slow by derby standard and he has to show that he has the numbers to win the derby.  Based on his FOY clocking I have projected his 10F time to be 2:03.27. The average wining time in the last 10YRS is 2:02.26. If the sloppy track derbies are excluded the average is revised to 2:01.63. He is therefore one to two seconds off the average winning time. I have projected Uncle Mo time to be 2:00 plus. He will be beaten in the FL Derby.

Teacher you need to revisit your lesson plan. Your attempts to discredit what I bring to Steve’s blog have failed miserably like many before you. I recognize that I get no respect for my thought provoking posts but I will persists in spite of this as I have a passion for sharing my views with others.

04 Apr 2011 2:16 AM
Slew

AAAAaaarghhhh!  Deja Vu slaps me up side of my head once again.  Last year Rock Hard Ten's 3 year olds were full of promise, but did not deliver.  This year, Bernardini babies are having a tough go.  I really like THAS, but there was no improvement, getting rubbery-legged after one mile.  Dialed In was superior, but can he close like that on an Uncle Mo or The Factor?  Shackleford has to be commended; he's had the #10 gate so often, it's an habitual uphill battle for him.  But put him in gate #3 or #4..he wins.  I don't believe Soldat can rate; trying it destroyed his run, but I wouldn't count him out just yet.  When there's such a tremendous card as there was at Gulfstream this weekend, I simply can't find the time to cook and eat something.  Now, I'm starving, and I think there's a sizzling steak calling my name somewhere out there.

04 Apr 2011 9:14 AM
Coldfacts

El Kabong,

I like Soldat over Stay Thirsty and Flashpoint with Dialed In doing no better than 4th unless Flashpoint throws in the towel. Talk to you on Sunday.

Whatever time analysis system you have been using it is not working. Your one, two selections in the FL Derby ranked amongst the slowest in the field.  You have gone to great lengths and have even given lessons on time comparison and track variance and your system came up with Soldat and Stay Thirsty? You listed Flashpoint at #3. Did you look at his strides in the closing stage of his Hutchison victory? It would have told you he wanted no part of 9F. I have told you and the other Soldat supporters including Steve that Soldat and Stay Thirsty are very slow by derby standards. In spite of this, the spin on their ordinary performances continue unabated. What has happed to the El Kabong who posted the following on (13 Mar 2011 9:11 PM):

Forbidden Apple, Coldfacts

“I too read that article but I was already on Premier Pegasus. I was still wondering how he(Coldfacts) came up with Norman B so I didn't hesitate to put PP on top of Jaycito, many times in a tri that would have paid handsomely if Comma hadn't finished up like a bowery bum and let bench warmer steel my bundle. Ouch. Keep up the good work, both of you. A pleasure to be in your company”

You clearly miss an opportunity to cash in on a lucrative exactor. Dialed In/Shacklefore. “You lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink” Translation: People, like horses, will only do what they have a mind to do.

Below are exacts from previous posts:

“You are encouraged watch the emerging monster from the take no prisoners RAN sire line on Saturday.  You will see a display of speed and stamina that will convince you that Soldat belongs in a walking race.”

“Soldat is very slow by derby standards and when he faces the 22, 46, 1:10 pace of the derby he will receive a rude awakening. The 2011 Derby will be about speed and plenty of it. Soldat is a close to the pace colt on dirt. He has either been close to slow fractions or setting them. He like derby pretenders Santivo, MMM, Stay Thirsty, Astrology etc. will be cooked by the time the first 6Fs is run as they will try to stay close to The Factor and Mighty Mo.”

“Soldat will not finish ahead of Dialed In & THAS. There will be a pacesetter in the race to ensure he does not crawl as he did in the FOY”

ST: If he is being intimidated by a workmate then he should be scratched from the FL Derby. The blinker will not help him against Dialed In Soldat and THAS. Although he has the powerful Northern Dance broodmare line in his favor he is still too slow by derby standards. Which of the top closers is he going to out close?

“THAS: “Breezed a bullet half-mile in: 49 at Payson Park for the Florida Derby” The 0:49 must be a misprint. Irrespective how deep Payson Park is 49 is slow for a top class colt.”

“If a colt that ran the slowest FOY in the last 5YRS is Uncle Mo’s greatest danger then he surely cannot win the derby. Soldat is slow by derby standards and will not hit the derby board.”

I am confident I can still make a believer out of you.

04 Apr 2011 11:19 AM
Coldfacts

El Kabong,

I like Soldat over Stay Thirsty and Flashpoint with Dialed In doing no better than 4th unless Flashpoint throws in the towel. Talk to you on Sunday.

Whatever time analysis system you have been using it is not working. Your one, two selections in the FL Derby ranked amongst the slowest in the field.  You have gone to great lengths and have even given lessons on time comparison and track variance and your system came up with Soldat and Stay Thirsty? You listed Flashpoint at #3. Did you look at his strides in the closing stage of his Hutchison victory? It would have told you he wanted no part of 9F. I have told you and the other Soldat supporters including Steve that Soldat and Stay Thirsty are very slow by derby standards. In spite of this, the spin on their ordinary performances continue unabated. What has happed to the El Kabong who posted the following on (13 Mar 2011 9:11 PM):

Forbidden Apple, Coldfacts

“I too read that article but I was already on Premier Pegasus. I was still wondering how he(Coldfacts) came up with Norman B so I didn't hesitate to put PP on top of Jaycito, many times in a tri that would have paid handsomely if Comma hadn't finished up like a bowery bum and let bench warmer steel my bundle. Ouch. Keep up the good work, both of you. A pleasure to be in your company”

You clearly miss an opportunity to cash in on a lucrative exactor. Dialed In/Shacklefore. “You lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink” Translation: People, like horses, will only do what they have a mind to do.

Below are exacts from previous posts:

“You are encouraged watch the emerging monster from the take no prisoners RAN sire line on Saturday.  You will see a display of speed and stamina that will convince you that Soldat belongs in a walking race.”

“Soldat is very slow by derby standards and when he faces the 22, 46, 1:10 pace of the derby he will receive a rude awakening. The 2011 Derby will be about speed and plenty of it. Soldat is a close to the pace colt on dirt. He has either been close to slow fractions or setting them. He like derby pretenders Santivo, MMM, Stay Thirsty, Astrology etc. will be cooked by the time the first 6Fs is run as they will try to stay close to The Factor and Mighty Mo.”

“Soldat will not finish ahead of Dialed In & THAS. There will be a pacesetter in the race to ensure he does not crawl as he did in the FOY”

ST: If he is being intimidated by a workmate then he should be scratched from the FL Derby. The blinker will not help him against Dialed In Soldat and THAS. Although he has the powerful Northern Dance broodmare line in his favor he is still too slow by derby standards. Which of the top closers is he going to out close?

“THAS: “Breezed a bullet half-mile in: 49 at Payson Park for the Florida Derby” The 0:49 must be a misprint. Irrespective how deep Payson Park is 49 is slow for a top class colt.”

“If a colt that ran the slowest FOY in the last 5YRS is Uncle Mo’s greatest danger then he surely cannot win the derby. Soldat is slow by derby standards and will not hit the derby board.”

I am confident I can still make a believer out of you.

04 Apr 2011 11:21 AM
JOY

"Antman" - your name says it all; ants have tiny brains.  My statement about picking the KD winner 20 years in a row is 100% true (I swear on my father's grave) and yes, maybe I should have my own BLOG or whatever; I always do better than the professional handicappers.  I come from a long line of gamblers; great-grandfather was a professional poker player and every diamond I own, he won.  My mother is a professional poker player too.  Just because you're a loser, it doesn't mean everyone else is.  

I don't need to blog here to see my name in print; I win triathlons every weekend and see my name in print on the result pages.  I only blogged because I am very serious about my question.  I really do want an answer, just out of curiosity.  

04 Apr 2011 2:02 PM
Matthew W

Anybody that thinks time analysis is all that, ask yourself this: After a couple of years on synthetics, in where the West Coast Beyer #'s were not in the top twenty or so at any distance--all of the sudden they switch back to dirt, and there are the Beyers again, from Santa Anita , I wonder where they were when they ran on synthetics--speed figs are based on just that--speed--that's why Zenyatta could run 1:43, 1:42, or 1:41--it depended on the pace in front of her--spreed figs are meaningless as far as closers are concerned--a very slow horse (Ice Box), almost won the Kentucky Derby last year--was he closing, or was the field just plain gassed?

04 Apr 2011 2:08 PM
Coldfacts

El Kabong,

No need for crow you defended you position well. It’s no big deal the exchange is all good. I made a very good return on the weekend. If Shackleford kept a straight course the exactor would have been a signer. Well on the next set of 9F preps. I am sure we will disagree agin but it's all good.

FORBIDDEN APPLE,

Did you get a bit of FL Derby exactor?

04 Apr 2011 6:24 PM
El Kabong

Coldfacts,

You are having a good lead up to the Derby so far picking longshots who finish second, but need I remind you who was on Super Saver last year and who was on Backtalk. Your excessive gloating is most unbelievable. One post wasn't enough for you. You need 3 posts to grandstand your point. I could have written a book on your buffoonery from last year but reading it once was enough for everyone.

04 Apr 2011 7:21 PM
Antman

Joy

I apoligize for the comment.  Somethings you have to see it to believe it.  Good luck on this years Derby.  I don't read this blog to attack people or defend myself so I was out of line.  Hit me funny and I reacted.  Good for you on your streak.  

I read this blog for the entertainment and some of the great opinions that some of the people have.  Never to old to learn a lesson or 2 and I have 2 times last week.  That's ok, I can admit when I was wrong or out of line.  

Does anyone know where thee is a site or blog that only horse racing gets talked about?Selections and information they hear?  I would love to just read a blog that talks about what I want and that is the Derby and selections for the weekend and not get such strong opinionaited people, I just want to talk about what I love and none of the other nonsense.  I don't care where just love information for the weekend and the Triple Crown.

My horse Soldat didn't convience me this weekend.  Time to re-evaluate again, got plenty of time though.

04 Apr 2011 9:47 PM
Coldfacts

Excessive! Below are extracts from your posts:

I know he (Coldfacts) won't listen, but everyone else who wants to know why a pure time analysis is fools gold, here  you go:

Since Coldfacts used Eskenderayas time in the FOY as his best source of "facts", here is full exposure of his method's defect.

This is why I do not compare apples to oranges, but other apples. End of lesson.

your time for time analysis is not by any method, scientific or statistical, a method that helps compare because of the golden rule of comparable environments which is necessary for that method to be of value

I WAS NOT THE ONE HOLDING CLASSES AND DECALRING WHEN THEY WERE AT AN END.

04 Apr 2011 10:26 PM
Forbidden Apple

Coldfacts,

I had a big smile on my face after reading your above post on Premier Pegasus. So many people on here give you a fight on your time analysis of races. Yet the same people talk about a pace meltdown and continue to disrespect Premier Pegasus. I thought your comments were excellent and I actually printed out your post and will be keeping it as a Cold Facts souvenir.

I became a father last week, my wife delivered a big baby girl. I spent four days in the hospital with her and lost track of these blogs. I was considering placing an exacta bet with Dialed In over the rest of the field, but never did. Dialed In was a standout to me, so I placed a nice win bet on him. And right after the FL Derby, two people at the local betting parlor told me that Hudson Steele was a sure winner. I rarely listen to a tip horse, but I bet him and he won for fun. I also had a small win bet on Uncle Sam. So overall, it was a good weekend for me. But if I had read your posts, it would have been an incredible weekend.

I love Premier Pegasus in the S.A. Derby. Who do you like for second?

Can Jaycito beat Uncle Mo?

05 Apr 2011 1:54 PM
Alex'sBigFan

The colts after the Florida Derby:

Dialed In:  "Can you believe the two-leggers, man?  I practically fly from the parking lot and they say my Beyer wasn't good enough!"

Soldat:  "Hack, hack, hack, ugh, cough, cough.  I'm choking on this dirt.  My rider kept me closed in, what in the hay are they thinking?"

Stay Thirsty:  "Whew.  They enter this Flashpoint and they gear up the track as if we're going in the dam Indy 500!  Give me some Gatorade."

Soldat:  "I was so mad afterwards that steam was coming out of my nostrils onto my hotwalker, hence their name!"

Dialed In:  "I've got this patented late run down to a science.  I'm not rating behind old or young boys again, I'm hanging out in the back and firing down the stretch."

Soldat:  "Yeah, right Dialed In.  Mo, PrePeg, and Factor ain't Shackleford, THAS, and Stay Thirsty.  You better find a faster gear come Derby time."

Stay Thirsty:  "I miss Mo, I'm going home I don't like Florida."

05 Apr 2011 9:32 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Forbidden Apple,

Wow.  Congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your new baby daughter.  How wonderful and exciting.  I wish her a blessed life and hope she grows up with the love of the horse in her.  I am remembering when I was a little girl I had a porcelain horse collection that I played with for hours on end.  Now that I think of it there was one horse, my favorite, in the collection, a bay with a dark mane and a white diamond mark on its forehead, no wonder why I love Afleet Alex so much.  Little girls usually love horses so maybe that would be a nice thing to get for her when she gets a little older.  All the best to you and your family with your new little addition.  How exciting to be born around Derby time!

05 Apr 2011 10:06 PM
Forbidden Apple

Alex'sBigFan,

Thank you so much for all of your kind thoughts. Between me and her mom, I am certain that my girl will fall in love with horses like I did as a boy and my wife did as a girl. It's to bad I missed out on thes blogs at such a critical time. If I stayed connected here, I could have purchased her a real horse with ColdFacts pick of Shackleford and my love of Dialed In. You and ColdFacts are correct, Dialed In needs to find another gear if he wants to be draped in red roses. Nick Zito is a master horse trainer and knows what he has in this animal. Everyone was saying how the best horses in the country were in FL, and Dialed In beat all of them off from 1 breeze. Now that the race is over, the race was slow and Dialed In is claimed to be average. I counted only 3 cracks of the whip down the stretch from Julian and I know his best effort is in front of him. If he runs 2:04 or 2:05 and wins the KY Derby, does the final time really matter? My biggest fears are that The Factor finds an easy lead or that Premier Pegasus jumps up huge in the S.A. Derby and is the monster that I think he is. Unless Mo runs 1:47 or less in the Wood Memorial, he is my 5th or 6th pick at best. I have my top 3 listed above, after that I think Soldat will rebound well and Sway Away still intrigues me.

Do you work in the horse racing industry?

06 Apr 2011 1:56 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Forbidden Apple,

You are so welcome.  You and your wife sound like great people and your little girl can't miss with both parents loving horses.  She'll be able to pick out great horseflesh by age three!!!

No, unfortunately I do not work in the horseracing industry.  But thanks I take that as a compliment, some people think I do.  I have a New York marketing and product background but not in this industry.  I have a pretty well rounded sports knowledge growing up a basketball player and my husband is a real elite NY Road Runner, ROY in 2000 for New York.  I have always been connected to the NBA, running, and like international soccer, not bad for a woman, huh?  Horseracing I got into just about 13 years ago but loved horses always.  I do have a friend who is a breeder, the only industry person I really know.  Kudos to Bloodhorse and Steve Haskin for making a lot of us outsider fans like insiders!  I think you said once you work in the horseracing industry?

Wow, me and Coldfacts right about Dialed In!  Even if the final fractions were slower than what most people wanted to see, I say that Dialed In proved consistency and did his Holy Bull run.  He fired and exploded on cue and that is what matters, he may have to step it up just a notch to catch PrePeg, Factor, and maybe Mo.  I'm not writing Soldat off just yet, remember that high Tomlinson may just kick in if Churchill is wet.

06 Apr 2011 8:37 PM

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