Derby Dozen - April 4, 2011 - Presented by Pauls Mill



Uncle Mo Todd Pletcher

Indian Charlie—Playa Maya, by Arch

Breezed a half in :48 1/5 for much anticipated start in the Wood Memorial. There doesn’t appear to be anyone who can test him to any degree, so he’ll have to rely on himself and Johnny V to get enough out of the race. Regardless of who runs, expect to see him sit back off the pace, or at least attempt to. There may not be anyone fast enough to outrun him.


Dialed In Nick Zito

Mineshaft —Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat

He had the two fastest Brisnet closing pace figures this year and demonstrated that powerful kick once again, establishing himself as one of the top 2 or 3 horses to beat on May 7. He’s a little light on experience, but has a world of ability. He had to run a :47 flat half within the body of the race just to stay within relative striking distance. Once Leparoux steps on the gas, he can turn it on quickly.No, he didn't come fast, but of the 8 other dirt races on the card, no winner came from farther back than 1 1/2 lengths, so there definitely was a speed bias.


Premier Pegasus Myung Kwon Cho

Fusaichi Pegasus—Squall Linda, by Summer Squall

Worked a bullet 5 furlongs in :59 1/5, fastest of 17 works at the distance. He started picking it up at the three-eighths pole, and you couldn’t ask for him to be any sharper right now. He’ll be tough to beat in the Santa Anita Derby if he runs anywhere near the race he ran in the San Felipe. Loved the way he came back after the race, prancing along with his neck arched.


The Factor Bob Baffert

War Front—Greyciousness, by Miswaki

Turned in a super work, going 6 furlongs in 1:11 2/5, out in 1:23 4/5. It took a little while, but he has bounced back from his brilliant effort in the Rebel and is “doing great,” according to Baffert. He will return to Oaklawn for the Arkansas Derby and try to take the next step up; second time two turns will tell a lot. But he certainly is as fast as any 3-year-old out there, maybe faster, and has the stride to carry him a distance of ground.


Jaycito Bob Baffert

Victory Gallop—Night Edition, by Ascot Knight

Worked six furlongs in 1:13 2/5, out in 1:26 1/5 for the Santa Anita Derby. Baffert is expecting a big effort with the San Felipe under his belt. He’ll be closing again, but needs to be in the picture this time to show he can be competitive against faster horses. He did gallop out past Premier Pegasus in the San Felipe for whatever that’s worth. He’s not a big, robust horse and Baffert’s goal is just to get him in peak condition on Derby Day and let his pedigree stretch kick take it from there.


Silver Medallion Steve Asmussen

Badge of Silver—Another Vegetarian, by Stalwart

He had been turning in some sharp six-furlong works at Santa Anita, but after his seven-furlong work in 1:23 3/5 you have to assume he will handle the dirt just fine and perhaps even move up on it. He is improving with every race and that makes him dangerous. He also has become Garrett Gomez’ main Derby hope right now. Looking for a big effort on Saturday.


Mucho Macho Man Kathy Ritvo

Macho Uno—Ponche de Leona, by Ponche

He seems to be coming along nicely after losing his shoe in the Louisiana Derby and returning with a slightly sore foot. He just needs to get that cleared up completely and get in some heavy-duty works coming off a 6-week layoff. He’s scheduled to work April 9. That will be a very important work and could determine his next ranking.


Shackleford Dale Romans

Forestry—Oatsee, by Unbridled

What is most impressive about this colt is that he is still very green. He was ducking in and out in his allowance win and ducked out badly from a left-hand whip in the Florida Derby, but dug in and gutted it out when Dialed In came charging alongside and made the winner work for every inch. And that was after going 5-wide into the first turn and setting a very stiff pace, two seconds faster than the Skip Away Stakes for older horses the race before. He also galloped out strong. His one bad effort is still a puzzler and obviously has to be thrown out. If he can be effective sitting off the pace he could be a major player, especially with maturity. And he has plenty of class and stamina in his pedigree.


Pants on Fire Kelly Breen

Jump Start—Cabo de Noche, by Cape Town

This year in particular you want to see a horse starting to get good at the right time and his big jump up in the Louisiana Derby, plus his pedigree and foundation suggest better things to come. He seems to have found his best running style, sitting just off the pace. We seem to be getting more and more speed horses and stalkers stepping forward, and that could be a problem for horses like him and Shackleford.


Anthony’s Cross Eoin Harty

Indian Charlie—Screening, by Unbridled

You sure can’t fault this horse based on the way he’s been training. He followed up his :46 4/5 work with a sharp six-furlong-drill in 1:12 2/5. He hasn’t run in a while, so he just needs to turn in a sharp effort in the Santa Anita Derby. He definitely will be under the radar, despite his latest works, but has the credentials to make his presence felt.


Sway Away Jeff Bonde

Afleet Alex—Seattle Shimmer, by Seattle Slew

It’s getting really confusing figuring out where these horses belong and who is fast enough. Going to take a chance that the lost tooth in the Rebel really affected him after his brilliant 5-furlong “breeze” in :59 3/5. He’s faster than most of these horses, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him rebound big-time. Watching the head-on, he was throwing his back and forth the opening quarter-mile, so maybe he did have a legitimate excuse. He was shying from the whip in the stretch and was herded out even farther in the final 100 yards. If he’s as good as he was in the San Vicente, he will be very dangerous.


Elite Alex Tim Ritchey

Afleet Alex – Catch the Moment, by Unbridled

Some feel he needs to be given another chance to show how good he really is and others feel he’s just a plodder who doesn’t belong. It’s way too early to categorize him, considering his trips, and he deserves another shot, which he’ll be given in the Arkansas Derby. It was a tough decision whether to put him or Archarcharch in this spot; like them both. But there’s good chance the latter will be on next week.


Astrology Steve Asmussen

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

We sure as heck aren’t dropping him now; at least not until he drops himself. He could very well show up in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race against older horses on the Arkansas Derby undercard. Even the Northern Spur at a mile for 3-year-olds is an option. He doesn’t need the earnings and just has to improve his speed figs and run a big race. Either race would be a better spot than the Arkansas Derby at this point after the hard race he ran at Sunland.

This final spot is extremely close, with Archarcharch, Nehro, and Santiva all noses apart. Even Toby's Corner and Brethren could be put up there along with several others. Toby's Corner has a big shot to pick up the needed earnings this weekend. He loves the slop and the forecast is for showers Friday and Saturday in New York. Any of the first three mentioned could conceivably show up on the list next week, as the Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass approach. I think Archarcharch is going to run a big race, and we’ll see if they run Nehro back in three weeks. Taking a wait-and-see approach with Santiva; not sure how much the Blue Grass is going to do for him, but he’s still a legitimate contender. Soldat, To Honor and Serve, and Stay Thirsty all ran too poorly to keep them on. That was no place for a dramatic regression, and To Honor and Serve didn’t improve at all.

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


Leave a Comment:


Honestly I think this list is dead on, very impressive and also happy birthday...what's your opinion on the come home time of the Florida derby? Everyones saying the time was slow but I think he closed on a speed favoring track.

04 Apr 2011 2:54 PM

The top 3-5 seem to be able to hit Mo from all angles.  You have someone at your neck and someone running clear outside in the middle of the track or up the rail.  

04 Apr 2011 2:58 PM

Mo hasn't beaten anyone yet and has no experience in a full field with speed other than himself. I said it before and here ot is again....Mo won't hit the board if he runs in the Derby.....big field, lots of speed, he could draw #1 or #20 post and be done before they say go.  Sorry.... Mo don't go!!!

04 Apr 2011 3:12 PM
Liz Jamieson

I think you are being a bit harsh on Soldat. It was an oddly run race and he was hemmed in. If this had been Uncle Mo, Dialed In or Jaycito, I am sure excuses would have been made....

04 Apr 2011 3:26 PM

Below are some comments I submitted on another blog on Saturday.

"I just watched a 5F work done by Premier Pegasus and if the FL derby winner does not record a time in the low 1:49 he and those behind him can stay home. Premier Pegasus is a monster in the making that is going to destroy the SA derby field. The most Powerful Force in Triple Crown history is the Raise A Native sire line. It has produced 23 winners of the last 30 TC races. Premier Pegasus will be added to the list on the 1st Saturday in May."

Not surprising the FL derby was the slowest in the last five. When the LA Derby is run in a faster time than the FL Derby, it means the finishers in the FL derby will not figure in the Kentucky Derby unless significant improvement is achieved. There is not enough time for most of the FL Derby participants to improve. Dialed in did not pass Shackleford in the gallop out. Had Shakleford kept a straight course he would have won at 60-1. Shackleford came home in 39.44 and Dialed In was full out to beat him beat him by a head. Dialed In has displayed exactly what I expected. He will have major trouble with the derby distance due to his energy sapping action. Substitute Schakleford with Premier Pegasus a much faster, smoother striding colt with just much stamina and Dialed In has no chance.

04 Apr 2011 3:35 PM


I think you’re being too hard on Soldat and THAS.  There were several factors of note that might have had a negative affect on Soldat:

• They changed his strategy to an off the pace effort.  This resulted in him being boxed in along the dead rail until the stretch.  He experienced probably more dirt kick back than he has ever experienced in his life, which could benefit him in the long run.  I also think that he might have been a little confused.

• The # 1 post was zero for 8 in the 8 dirt races yesterday with only 1 second place finish, further supporting the dead rail fact.

• Only one horse in the 8 dirt races actually closed and stayed along the rail and that was in the second race.  All the others were from the outside, again supporting the dead rail fact.

• Like others, Soldat couldn’t overcome the speed bias, often much more difficult for stalkers a few lengths back, than for stone closers coming from a long way out.  This was evident because none of the stalkers could pass or gain much on a horse that was 68-1.  I could excuse maybe one or two, but not all.

• There really was a bias.  In the eight dirt races, all except for the Florida Derby were won by horses that came from no farther than 1½  lengths off the pace, and all, with the exception of Dialed In, led for at least the last two calls of the race.  And in the Dialed In race, the pace setter fought gallantly right to the wire.

We must also look at THAS.  He raced along that dead rail for much of the race, made a move along the inside then dropped back and moved up to within a ¼ length of the lead on the outside turning into the stretch where Shackleford cut the corner and went on.  I think that THAS was still a short horse seeing that this was only his second race since last November.  Going into the Derby it will be his third race off the layoff, which is often the race when a horse coming off a layoff runs his best race.

All things considered though, Dialed in ran a really good race, maybe not as great as we might believe when looking at the final time and the late splits, the 93 Beyer (which was not very impressive when considering he Swale received a 100 and the Skip Away a 102), and the slow closing final 8th.

Uncle Mo’s connections just might be breathing a little easier.

04 Apr 2011 3:47 PM

As much as I have been a supporter of Dialed In, both earlier this year as well in yesterday's Florida Derby, the reality is that no one can make any concrete selections today, tomorrow, or next week unless they are doing it with there heart and not there head. As much as I thought 5-2 yesterday was a nice price, I might think 6-1 in the Derby is an underlay.  Conditions will be totally different and until one sees on the actual day, what those conditions are, whether it be track condition, bias, etc, not to mention the post positions themselves, it is all just conversation for the sake of conversation.   In Dialed In's case, trying to close from the rear of a field that will include a lot more traffic than yesterday, will not be an easy task.   Couple that with the added new element of the 5.5 bonus and one can see where the lemon may only be squeezed dry here if conditions are optimal.   I can see Dialed In making a late but futile run for 3rd or 4th here and then coming back with his best effort in the Preakness, even if the norm of these respective races might normally be just the opposite for a horse of Dialed In's running style.  Come the first Saturday in May, I will be looking for a horse that can sit within 6-10 lengths of the lead, has shown some closing ability, is drawn between 8-14 post, and has a good foundation.   Meet that criteria and you are looking at a horse that win or lose is likely to be there at the finish.  That being said, I always enjoy reading other people's opinions, some for educational purposes, and some just for a good laugh!

04 Apr 2011 3:55 PM

Dialed in will be the one to beat on KD, it just has that kind of closing kick that will out run them all.

04 Apr 2011 3:56 PM

Uncle Mo needs a real big show in the Wood for me to not doubt him against Dialed In, who is the real deal out of all the three-year-olds.

04 Apr 2011 4:03 PM

I think you have the top-4 dead right.  I don't know what order they should be in but those are the 4 colts that have me excited on the Triple Crown trail.

Would love for one of the Afleet Alex's to break out and become a factor, but I don't know at this point.

04 Apr 2011 4:05 PM

I guess Santiva isn't a contender for you. I think he deserves to be right up there with MMM and above Silver Medallion, even though they are taking a kind of strange prep approach to the Derby, with a long layoff, then the Risen Star and then the Toyota BG three weeks out. The synthetic is no factor since this horse already has run well and won on the dirt.

I was very disappointed with the Florida Derby except for Dialed In. Too many top contenders ran horrible. DI showed alot to me coming off of open lengths (14 back at one point) on a speed favoring track to run them down. Looks to improve also. UM is still the one to beat, although I don't like such a soft 3 yr old campaign. I think he needs to be a bit more battle tested, which it doesn't look like that will happen, before facing a field of 20 in the Derby with alot of early speed. The Factor, win or lose the Derby, will be a definate factor in the race!

04 Apr 2011 4:10 PM

k derby tri

uncle mo


sway away

04 Apr 2011 4:18 PM

Hi Steve, Kinda feel vindicated by what took place on Sunday at Gulfstream. Uncle Mo is far superior to these other 3 yr olds, has been from last year at two. None of them can run the fractions he is capable of including Dialled In who has to come from the clouds. Uncle Mo is no Shakleford. Has everyone just conveniently forgotten what this horse did in the champagne after suicidal fractions for most horses and still came home in 24 flat. There is no pace scenario that can develop that can hinder this horse bc he is not a runaway freight train. As a matter of fact I think his race in the Timely Writer shows that he has improved since he can rate kindly gather himself at the 1/4 pole and rocket home in under 24 sec.

04 Apr 2011 4:22 PM

what have you done for me lately...that seems to be the theme with most people on here...UM has not been tested becasue no one has been able to test him...he should be everyones number #1 until he gets beat...

04 Apr 2011 4:23 PM

Steve, you're stepping up with some bold changes but I think it's your best list to date.

Do you think Flashpoint can move forward after this race?  It was a big jump for him and his pure speed ensured a 4th place finish even though I'm sure he was tired.  He's a force to be reckoned with down the line.

I think I might move Shackleford up to 5 behind The Factor after watching him dig in and match Dialed In stride for stride after being caught.  I definitely like his moxy to fight for his lead.

1) UNCLE MO until he's proven wrong!

2) If he domintates the Arkansas Derby, THE FACTOR will move into my #1.

3) I'm sticking my neck out but I believe SWAY AWAY'S ability puts him here.  After AR DERBY, he'll be in or out.  He has every bit the closing speed Dialed In has.  

4) DIALED IN has too much to overcome in the Derby but his ability is impressive and puts him here.  I would have him at #3 but Shackleford's late effort proved Dialed In's late kick loses some luster after passing a bunch of tired horses.


6) NEHRO reminds me of Dialed In with his closing speed accept he puts himself in better position going into the stretch.  Apart from being a little squeezed at the rail in La. Derby, I think he would've won that race.

7) SHACKLEFORD showed ability and guts.

8) JAYCITO will be close at the wire in SA Derby for a win or near win.

9) MUCHO MACHO MAN impressed me with his 3 shoe effort.

10) I'm banking on ELITE ALEX improving with each outing.  He's big, strong, and fast (and maturing).

11) ASTROLOGY seems to me like he will compete and if he moves forward from Sunland and works, he's a very nice horse.

12) SOLDAT gets a throw out race from me on this one.  If he gets post #1 in Louisville, he's screwed!

If Sway Away makes it to Louisville, I can see quite a stretch run coming our way!  

04 Apr 2011 4:26 PM

Dialed In's win in the Florida Derby was not very impressive and the time was slower than R Heat Lightning's win in the Oak's. What was impressive, was Shackleford! Am throwing the whole field out for the Kentucky Derby except for him. Dialed in needs to be pointed for the Preakness and not Kentucky Derby, because he will bounce!

04 Apr 2011 4:28 PM

i made money off mineshaft, storm cat. miss doolittle's son is doing alot.i am from pensacola ,fla. and that what you do when you stay out-of- town ,call your family-dialed in

04 Apr 2011 4:39 PM

Happy Monday all:

Gulfstream was a mob scene this Sunday track is the worse when it gets packed..

Paddock for the Fl Derby Soldat was my pick going in,horse did not look good to me. Coat was a little dull looking to me just did not like the way the colt presented.

Shackelford was looking awesome the biggest horse in the paddock coat all shiney..

He got my money and he hit for me.

Anyway Steve you throw out Soldat that fast?

Why give Shakleford a pass and not Soldat?

These horse are changing so fast its crazy..

Soldat will be on my tix come 1 Sat May..

Right now my #1 is Dialed In..

I just have this feeling though that this years derby is going to be another bomber.

04 Apr 2011 4:55 PM

Interesting mix of "results" and "potential" in this list, Steve.  What I like best about what the Dozen offers is the updates on the works.  Thanks for the time and effort.

04 Apr 2011 5:10 PM

Steve I'm actually really surprised that you're willing to keep horses like Astrology on the list, who didn't seem to be moving forward in the Sunland Derby, while taking off Soldat, Stay Thirsty, and THAS. Then again, besides a couple standouts, who knows about this crop? You may very well be right.

For the rest of the list, I believe Uncle Mo is number one and will stay that way. Dialed In had a hell of a race in the Florida Derby, but will his closing kick really get him to cross the finish first in the Derby? I still have nightmares about Zenyatta's BC loss with a very similar running style, and last year Ice Box didn't get up in time to win either, same style. Hopefully he won't be kept as obscenly far off the pace as he was in the Florida Derby.

04 Apr 2011 5:11 PM
Windy City

Mr Haskin - once again, Happy B-Day to you!!

I see that this special day had made you very generous :-) I always have loved "underdogs" but Shackleford number 8?

One has to do little more  than run on the front end all the way and place in FL to be consider the legit contender for the KD. His race was impressing but he reminds me of few other "one time wonders" like Big Truck in Tampa Bay D. or DaTara's Belmont...I'm a little sceptic about this one but wish him all best.

I loved Dialed In performance yesterday, now cant wait for the Wood! K.D. shapes like a great race with a lot of strong contenders, God help them all stay healthy. Maybe we'll finally have a year where top favorites don't have to be withdrawn...

04 Apr 2011 5:19 PM

Haven't read anything yet about Stay Thirsty yet, but what are people saying? Is this a throw-out for him, and he'll continue on? Or is he done? What in the world happened to him? I'm willing to accept that he gets beat, but like that?

04 Apr 2011 5:29 PM

very dissapointed in Fla Derby my god they were stagering home,last 3/8in what 39 an change, Soldat ran a very funny race.I can't see derby winnerout of this group. California horse looks real good nowPriemer Pegasus, Soldat is better horse than his last race

04 Apr 2011 5:35 PM
Steve Haskin

Tnanks for the birthday wishes, Mike.

Liz and Laz, how am I being too harsh on Soldat? All I did was take him off the list and mention that he regressed. Didn't he regress? This is the time to move forward or at least stay where you were. I understand all those points you make about the rail, but he didnt do a thing and the Ky. Derby is his next start. It's hard for me to envision him winning the Derby off this performance. You have to adapt to conditions and at least show something. If he goes to Churchill and looks great and trains super I could possibly throw the race out and consider him. But he failed to show he can win on the dirt coming from off the pace and I dont see him winning the Derby wire to wire.

04 Apr 2011 5:35 PM
Point Given

One bad race by Soldat and dropped off quickly.Sway Away & Elite Aex the top two on my newly created list "What Have You Done For Me Lately?"

04 Apr 2011 5:36 PM

Really a depressing weekend for me as a fan of Bernardini.

I still like ST - think he will go to KY sans blinkers - and believe he will do good things this year.

THAS is a disaster - I can not believe how far he's fallen. He showed no life - that move was beyond week - and got completely rubber legged. I hope, hope, hope that Mott does not bring him to KY. He can't rate, for one thing, and he's not good enough.

04 Apr 2011 5:53 PM

Soldat also scoped with dirt in his trachea also, so he not only resented the dirt in his face probably the dirt in his throat too.  I'll see how he comes out of it, but I won't throw him out yet.  It was reported that he was dragging the hot walker around after the race in the detention barn, so may not have taken much out of him.  Who knows about THAS.  Mr Mott is having an abysmal Gulfstream and it wouldn't be the first time that a horse hasn't liked Gulfstream and then run well at Churchill.  Gonna keep reading and watching and decide a day before the Derby, or maybe on Derby Day.  Not before.

04 Apr 2011 5:54 PM
Steve Haskin

Wild horses, Santiva has been on the list since day one. I'm not crazy about him going in the Blue Grass, but he has plenty of time to get back on. Things change every week. This is a crazy year. Its hard to LOVE anyone.

Bigtex, Flashpoint actually ran OK. He ran an odd race, not going to the lead and going 6-wide into the turn. He's not a Derby horse but he's a very nice horse

getitng back to Soldat, horses can have an off day, as long as they have a race in which to bounce back. Soldat has to use this race as his final prep for the Derby. Is he going to win the Derby coming from off the pace? He didnt give any indication he can. Is he going to win on the lead? I doubt that. After next weekend, the list is going to change again even more dramatically. Its a strange year as I said.

StormCatFan, Astrology didnt move forward off what? He hadnt run in 4 months. You dont think that was a good enough first race back?

Thanks Windy City. I was in a generous mood. He could very well be lowered after Saturday.  

04 Apr 2011 5:55 PM

FSF, Mr Pletcher said he was going to go to the Derby with him at this time.

04 Apr 2011 5:56 PM
Karen in Texas

I like the new list, especially the first five. Agree that Soldat did not move forward at a critical time on the Derby trail.

What is the explanation for Stay Thirsty? Some of the HRTV people thought he shouldn't have worn blinkers...Is he going to remain on the Derby path now?

04 Apr 2011 6:00 PM

After a lot of film study I have moved Uncle Mo to number 1 even though I don't approve of his campaign. I project Dialed In as another Curlin - to much too soon for the Derby. If Premier Pegasus runs another big one he will be UM's main rival, assuming the Factor gives it up in the final 1/16. I still use Soldat a bit for a minor share.

04 Apr 2011 6:13 PM
NYC Hillbilly

R Heat Lightning might be better than the above mentioned dozen.  She ran almost a full second faster over the same track/distance than Dialed In...with a hand ride.  Anyone for a philly in the Derby?

04 Apr 2011 6:14 PM


Watch Me Go deserves to be in the Derby Dozen ahead of pollyhorse Silver Medallion, Sway away, Elite Alex, Astrology and Pants On Fire.  His pedigree is typical of the successful Derby winning Raise A Native sire line, showing inbreeding to Northern Dancer in the middle rows of the configuration. He carries in breeding to Bold Ruler via Derby-winner-producing sire What A Pleasure (sire of Foolish Pleasure) and Irish Stronghold (full brother to Derby winner Bold Forbes).  In addition he is inbreed to outstanding Epsom Derby winner of yestreyear, Tulyar, endowing him with stamina to run all day at the highest level. This colt has been improvin with every start, is getting good at the right/usual time for a horse with his pedigree and is going to be tuned to-the-minute for a peak performance on Derby day.  The upcoming Illinois Derby is going to really set him up for the first Saturday in May.  You need to do a rethink on this colt since you don't seem very convinced about the bottom four on your list.  Mark my word, this colt is one of the quintessential derby types.  

04 Apr 2011 6:15 PM

All I know is dialed in was shown the stick only one time in yesterdays race, not to bad for a hand ride. He also was only hit once in the holy bull..he should be set for a big day next out.

04 Apr 2011 6:18 PM

It is interesting that Soldat is now being written off by you after one poor performance.  As many have noted he was boxed in on the rail and who knows what affect that had? His connections seemed determined to prove that he could rate and it may simply have backfired on them.  When you look at the final time and the fact that Dialed In barely got by a horse who had shown nothing up to that race the race just did not strike me as that impressive.  Dialed In had a clear path the whole way and I will give him credit for getting it done, but I think taking Soldat out of the top 12 is an over-reaction. He didn't so much appear to be short, he just did not appear to be "on" that day, never firing, which happens to them all. Best of luck to Uncle Mo and The Factor in their next races so the excitement continues to build.  Horse racing needs heroes.  If Dialed In is the real deal then the $5.5 million available bonus will create some excitement if properly publicized so the public knows what is at stake for his connections.

04 Apr 2011 6:18 PM

Steve, Shackleford's run blew up my wagers on Sunday. Where in the heck did that even come from? Is he really that good, I can't seem to get a bead on this horse. He is one of those, to me anyway, you look at and say yeah he could be there, but...especially with the field like the Florida, I had to throw him out. What am I missing? I never thought Soldat was worth the hype and To Honor And Serve simply laid an egg. That was a little shocking to me.

I've been on Dialed In's bandwagon since his maiden win and do believe he is the next Kentucky Derby winner. He stock continues rise while all others are slowly fading, except for maybe Premier Pegasus. He scares me more than Uncle Mo as D.I.'s main threat. Any thoughts on that? Thanks Steve.

04 Apr 2011 6:32 PM

Well, Happy Birthday wishes to our favorite writer, Steve.  

What a Florida Derby, we saw Dialed In's explosive move alright like I thought.  I also thought Soldat would get dirt on him but would take it well!!!!  So much for that theory but Soldat didn't even look like Soldat.  He was moping along and stuck out there, was it the post, the track, the rail, blogger Johnny saw him and even said he looked odd in the paddock?  Was it the fact his strategy was changed and he was forced to pace and not be in control?  I've watched the replay 5 times.  Maybe something was up with him prior to the race since he looked odd in the paddock. We've given Elite Alex so many chances and he hasn't won so I surely have to throw this race out for Soldat and give him another chance.  Dialed In has to be the real deal and there has to be something to what Zito is saying about him being a gift, a gift just like Zenyatta, with the same late closing Zenyatta-like run too.  THAS and Stay Thirsty are out for me, Shackleford looked impressive but not sure about him.  Soldat looked to be struggling out there, not the same determination look in him at all; I'll take it that something was amiss and give him another chance but drop him a bit. I guess my list looks like this now:

1.  Uncle Mo

2.  Dialed In

3.  Soldat

4.  Premier Pegasus

5.  The Factor

6.  Mucho Macho Man

7.  Sway Away

8.  Elite Alex

9.  Jaycito

10. Astrology

11. Pants On Fire

12. Shackleford

04 Apr 2011 6:46 PM

I love April.

Yesterday's FL Derby looked good to me - I liked the way Dialed In reeled in the field, and if Shackleford was more than he bargained for, Dialed In still prevailed under essentially a hand ride and maybe learned something in the process.

I really liked what Shackleford, a stranger before yesterday, showed.  To be on the lead like that, shrug off your competitor, be challenged in the stretch by a new horse and find something more to put 5 or 6 lengths on the field and then lose by a head?  I liked that a lot.

The field of 20 for the Derby worries me for Dialed In.  That's a lot of tiring horses to pass, even in a long stretch.

Let's see what Uncle Mo and The Factor can do in their upcoming races and see if we can sort this out!


04 Apr 2011 6:57 PM

Uncle Mo beats another group of allowance horses in the Wood by 8, goes off at 7-5 in the derby, then tires in mid stretch to finish fifth in the Derby.  Afterwords Pletcher says he wishes he would have gave Mo a much tougher campaign leading up to the derby.

04 Apr 2011 7:07 PM

Not sure why shackelford is on the list with little chance to make the derby with 212k. in earnings, would need 5-10 horses to fall off derby trail after final major preps on the 16th. I myself would run him in one of the races on the 23rd as a major work for derby.time to stop pampering these horses!

04 Apr 2011 7:09 PM

Steve best list to date. I will say one thing in NO way does ANY horse running at Sunland Park ever make my Derby Dozen. NEVER EVER... Including the Baffert horse last year and Mine that Bird the year before. If it not for a $100 Mine that Bird Derby Winner the race would'nt even be a graded race. Good luck at the wondows everyone...

04 Apr 2011 7:15 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Soldat is probably going to The Derby despite the poor showing and will have a chance for redemption but it would be a surprise if he can rebound. I'd like to see it though. 50-1 wouldn't surprise me unless he trains and looks phenominal. It's possible the FL Derby was a wake-up call and the competitive fires will burn but I saw nothing on Sunday that would lead me to believe he can win The Derby. He's got some talent but doesn't seem to want to win under any adversity. I revised my list last night. Top five are the same as Steve's, but in different order. Some on our lists need more earnings and need a big showing in the fianl preps.

1. Premier Pegasus-The presser most likely to blow by the field and get 10f.

2. Uncle Mo-Looked super pre-race in last. Obviously training good. Weak schedule is either genius or moronic.

3. Jaycito-Should peak on Derby Day and be rolling late. It just depends on if we have a monster front runner in 2:01 or less or not that won't be caught.

4. Dialed In-Top closer at 9f and less. Is he a freight train at 10f too?

5. The Factor-Tremendous talent but 10f is a question, as is the pace scenario. He could burn out in an early duel. Wants to lead at all calls.

6. Archarcharch-Jon Court's year??

7. Silver Medallion-Working out great.

8. Pants On Fire-Improving, talented, underrated.

9. Elite Alex-Has his work cut out for him to even get there but is a 10f horse.

10. Nehro-A lot of talent. Late start.

11. Shackleford-Had a tremendous rainbow jumpshot from the corner.

12. To Honor And Serve-Still needs to improve quite a bit, but at least he improved in his last.

13. Caleb's Posse-Could surprise.

04 Apr 2011 7:21 PM

Here is my updated Top 5.  I have made some changes since my last Top 5 List.  I have removed Arch Traveler from my List, and I have added back Sway Away.

1.  Santiva-  It will be interesting to see if they have him cranked real tight for the Blue Grass Stakes.  It looks like the Connections are wanting to keep him fresh.  Santiva has proven that he can run well both on Dirt and Synthetic.  Santiva has already won at Churchill Downs, so he can run well at Churchill.  That is a big plus for Santiva.  Additionally, Santiva is a tough and consistent horse who has a lot of Stamina influence on the lower part of his Pedigree.  A key aspect that most Horse Racing Experts/Handicappers are not focusing on is the aspect of Santiva's Broodmare Sire.  Smarten is Santiva's Broodmare Sire.  Smarten had speed, and he had stamina.  Smarten won the Illinois Derby, Pennsylvania Derby, Ohio Derby, American Derby, Woodlawn Stakes, and Marylander Handicap.  Smarten won those 6 in a row.  Then Smarten finished 2nd in the Travers, Secretariat, Lawrence Realization, Rutgers, Meadowlands Cup, and Discovery.  Smarten finished 2nd in those 6 in a row.  Smarten set a new track record at Thistledown, 9 Furlongs in 1:47 2/5.  In 27 Starts, Smarten had 11 Wins, 8 Places, and 2 Shows (on the board in 21 of his 27 Starts).  With having Smarten as his Broodmare Sire, Santiva has the Stamina influence that is needed on the lower part of a Pedigree for the Kentucky Derby.  

2.  Premier Pegasus-  Had a very good 5 Furlong work on Saturday.  His work was fastest of 17 recorded works at the distance.  Premier Pegasus has a lot of talent, and he showed that he can make a really good move on the turn in his win in the San Felipe.  He is by Fusaichi Pegasus out of a Mare by Summer Squall, so he has a solid Pedigree.

3.  Watch Me Go-  Winner of the Tampa Bay Derby.  Watch Me Go showed in the Tampa Bay Derby that he is good in the home stretch.  Next Start will probably be the Illinois Derby.  Being out of a Deputy Minister Mare is a good aspect for Watch Me Go.  There have been some other examples of horses out of a Deputy Minister Mare who have done well at the Triple Crown Series races (Curlin, Jazil, and Rags to Riches).

4.  Silver Medallion-  Has been working well lately.  Won the El Camino Real Derby (1 1/8 Mile).  Silver Medallion defeated a tough horse in the El Camino Real Derby (Comma to the Top).  Comma to the Top has a lot of Graded Earnings.  Silver Medallion doesn't have to win the Santa Anita Derby.  A solid effort and a 2nd Place finish should still work.  By beating Comma to the Top in a 1 1/8 Mile race this Year, Silver Medallion has actually been better tested this Year than has Uncle Mo (Uncle Mo has basically faced no real competition this Year and could very well have not faced any real competition this Year before the Kentucky Derby).

5.  Sway Away-  I have added Sway Away back to the my Top 5 List.  Sway Away was the victim of unfortunate circumstances at the beginning of the Rebel Stakes.  He was compromised before that race even began.  He has a lot of talent, and he will probably relish the extra distance of the Arkansas Derby.  Sway Away showed that he can rate off of the pace in his win in the San Vicente.  He also showed that he can close well.  Sway Away is talented enough to win the Arkansas Derby.      

04 Apr 2011 7:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The biggest surprise on this list to me would be Sway Away. It looked like he had a sprinter's butt before his last race. If his butt changes pre-race in his next then I might reassess.

04 Apr 2011 7:31 PM

The females have been much more interesting this year. I am still waiting for the boys to wow me, but looks like a weak crop of horses that can't separate themselves. A lot of speed and milers. If you put a bunch of milers in a race over a mile one of them has to win doesn't mean they are really good at it.

04 Apr 2011 7:43 PM

The derby winner,and maybe more, will come out of the AK Derby.

04 Apr 2011 7:43 PM
Linda in Texas

Short and Sweet Comments for a change.

1. Happy Birthday Mr. Haskin. And

  Zenyatta on April 1 and my

  71st on the morrow (5th).

2. I love the list. And Shackleford

  deserves to be on it for his

  'almost' wire to wire run to

  win til Dialed In dialed in.

And may i please mention that God Bless Skip Away, Mr. Hine and Carolyn Hine,a gray by the name of S. S. Stone won the The Skip Away Grade III, Race 9 and Mrs. Hine was there to present the trophy. That was really nice to observe.

I think the Racing Gods might have

had something to do with that, or i would like to think so.

A couple more nice grays won their races also.

Thanks Steve,and I am not lighting my candles, by the way!!

04 Apr 2011 7:46 PM

   Dialed  In  will  not  win  the  Ky. Derby -  look  elsewhere. This  group  appears  to  be  mediocre  at  best. Where  are  the  100  Beyers ?  Where  is  a  stakes  of  1 1/8  going  to  be  run  in  race-horse  time (1:47 - 1:48)  instead  of  1:50 ? I  think  the  answers  come  this  week  when  Premier  Pegasus  establishes  himself  as  the  top  contender.  Uncle  Mo  could  very  well  look  invincible  against  the  crew  that  Stay  Thirsty  whipped  off  the  bench , but  he  has  yet  to  face  any  competition  this  year. The  Factor  shows  race  speed  and  will  be  winging  it  it  Arkansas ,  but  will  he  get  a  mile  and  a  quarter ?

  Lots  of  questions  that  are  hopefully  answered  in  the  next  two  weeks. My  favorite  as  of  today  is  Premier  Pegasus . Let's  see  if  he  can  string  a  few  stakes  together  with  the  ability  demonstrated  in  his  last.

04 Apr 2011 7:47 PM
Kristen Ohler

Betsy, I agree with you.  Being a huge Bernardini fan, I couldn't have been more dissapointed in Stay Thirsty and To Honor and Serve.  I'm not sure either is a Derby caliber horse, although I hope I'm wrong.  I still keep thinking about Fresian Fire, the AP Indy colt of last year that tore up the Lousiana tracks last year on his way to the Triple Crown and hasn't done anything since. So dissapointed.  I would like to see Shackleford in the Derby, but does $212,000 in earnings get it done?  I would love to see Forestry, sire of Shackleford and himself a son of Storm Cat sire a Derby Winner.  I agree with Steve, I sould take Soldat, Stay Thirsty and THAS off the list.  Their placings in the Forida Derby are not the way to go into a 20 horse field against the best 3 year olds at a mile and a quarter and tiring.  It's a long year.  There are plenty of races out there down the line for these "not up to the task" colts.

04 Apr 2011 7:47 PM
Scott's Cause

I was worried Soldat's conections wouldn't be all that aggressive in their game plan last Sunday.  I had to see Dialed In show his true grit.  Pleasantly surprised at Shackleford and I know his trainer would run his horse against anyone next time.  Uncle Mo 1-9 next week and will run like it.  However, if Premier Pegasus shows the professionalism and class of running well in the SA Derby. (I hope he finishes 2nd or 3rd) I will empty both pockets on him the first Saturday in May..

04 Apr 2011 7:51 PM

I am with the others waiting for an update on Stay Thirsty's soundness. He looked going in like he would have to improve a lot to win, but he did not move here with anything like the fluency he showed in the Gotham and was actually eased. I have a hard time believing that was just due to blinkers.

As for Soldat, he looked to be getting the perfect trip, put his head down and started to try when asked, then up came the head and he quit. My guess would be he wasn't getting his air or is hurt. Time will tell.

Speaking of trips, if Dialed In needs to come from that far back, he may have to hurdle the weary front-runners like a steeplechaser in order to win the Derby. Loved what Shackleford did, but the Derby would be a huge step (and I don't think of Forestrys as 1 1/4th horses ... Shackleford does have a 2YO half brother by A.P. Indy whom I will be watching for!). Hope Flashpoint has not been ruined by this experiment.

04 Apr 2011 8:09 PM

I am so disappointed in the Florida Derby - I just 'knew' that Soldat, Stay Thirsty and Flashpoint would be there at the end - and they weren't. Soldat was the biggest let down. I am not a fan of the La Penta/Zito duo and was not impressed with Dialed In's victory. Shakleford ran a huge race but can he repeat it? I just hope that Uncle Mo, The Factor and

Premier Pegasus run big in their next races.

04 Apr 2011 8:29 PM

Kristen, I'm surprised Mott is leaning towards going.....but I hope he doesn't. I wouldn't be surprised if THAS turns into a nice horse later on, but right now, he's kind of mediocre. What is the point of sending him to KY? To finish near the back of the back? The Derby is a great race, but it's not the end of the world if he doesn't run.

I still like ST - I thought he was going to the Derby for sure, but now I don't think he is. It's probably for the best. He's immature anyway.......let him grow up a bit.

04 Apr 2011 8:33 PM

You just can't throw out another Super Saver or horse at medium odds if Mo gets hurt or just a poor start and upset first Saturday in May. Too many long shots winning or running 2nd. Sunland Derby, Louisiana Derby, and the Florida Derby was just weird for Soldat and Stay Thirsty to run that poorly. The Afleet Alex horses and some of these others that ran "weird" or need to have a race thrown out...will be interesting to see if the Factor, Dialed In and Mo can stay on top...but don't you get that feeling and want to look over your shoulder even if they all (did)do win their final prep at who is lurking? Any clearer picture on who Calvin is riding yet? Derby a ways off but here in Ohio it's been an awfully chilly and wet spring so far...

04 Apr 2011 8:41 PM

cant belive what I'm reading! Dailed In was never asked to run, did what he had to do to win, this horse can an will run all day! I never put much faith in the FLA derby winner but this colt is the real deal. Nick just needs to keep him healthy at this point. already knows his way around CD strip...

04 Apr 2011 8:43 PM

Here's how I see the next few weeks playing out. Jaycito wins the Santa Anita Derby, Premier Pegasus runs a game second, and Silver Medallion gets up for the show. In the Wood Memorial, Uncle Mo romps home to win by 7 lengths in hand, JV just along for the ride. Mo blasts out the 9F in 1:48.76, in a cantor. Illinois Derby, Watch Me Go, to sleep, this race will have no impact on the Derby. Now for the Arkansas Derby, lets say, The Factor gets hooked, melts down, and Sway Away and Elite Alex rush on by for an Afleet Alex one-two finish. Nehro runs a game third. In the Blue Grass, Santiva will rate behind the speed, and pounce. He might get a scare late from Crimson China, but should be clear by the time CC comes rolling in. Look for Wilkinson to get a good run but come up short for the show.  

04 Apr 2011 8:49 PM
Brian Russell

Steve,  I know we have sort of had this discussion before but now #6!?  Do you own a piece of Silver Medallion?  I think you are a great writer and always love reading your material but #6 on your Derby list on 4/4 when he has never won a race on dirt, by a sire that has yet to sire a horse that can outrun you and I on dirt and does not have enough graded earnings to even get in the race???

04 Apr 2011 8:55 PM

I don't see why people are so hard on Uncle Mo, he didn't do anything wrong yet.

''He never beat anyone!''

He won the BC, didn't he? No bigger 2YO race bigger than the Juvenile. And for the Wood, how is that Mo's fault that everyone stay away? It was say since a long time that he would go there. Not his fault if the other owners dropped their horses out, including Jaycito

I'm sure if Uncle Mo decided to go in the Florida Derby you would have seen a lower field. And can you really blame the owner? We're in April, Derby is 1 month away, only couple of preps left. If you,.re not in the Top 20 now, or you are really have to win big now. If you were an owner, with your horse in the 25th-30th spot, would you like to try tackle the undefeated BC's champion or try an easier spot where you have more chance to win and then go to the derby? And yeah agree the Timely writer was easy, but he win reaallllyyy easily too, it's a good sign that he's still real good.

Me I'll stay with Mo 'til he do something wrong. Still worried about the Derby distance....but I think he has more chance to run 1 1/4 mile than horses like Premier Pegasus who won cause the pace totally collapsed

04 Apr 2011 9:01 PM

The only impressive thing about Dialed In's FD was coming from off the pace to win on a speed-favoring track.  The time was not spectacular and I don't think much of Shackleford other than he has guts.  He's an absolutely horrible mover, what with throwing the right fore out and bobbing so low in the neck with every stride.

Though I don't approve of the connections manner of bringing him up to the Derby, until Mo proves vulnerable, I'll stay with him.  Maybe the Wood will show us something but I'm not holding my breath since the competition just isn't there.  Maybe he's just so

brilliant, he doesn't need the experience and toughening of "mortal" horses. At this point, only Premier Pegasus has looked like a horse that could catch him and only The Factor has looked like a horse that could stay with him.

04 Apr 2011 9:02 PM
Point Given

Remember this name "Norman Asbjornson" at the Wood Memorial.Norman will remind Uncle Mo that my daddy whoop your daddy and I will do the same thing in his honor(RQ vs IC).It's going to be a shocker.You hear it here first.

04 Apr 2011 9:05 PM

In the context of -never happened before- I doubt that any Derby winner was sired by a stallion so disappointing (relative to opportunity) as a Fu Peg (Premier Pegasus) or a Forestry (Shackleford). This piece of data may have a bit more relevance than any focus on broodmare sires.

04 Apr 2011 9:06 PM
Paula Higgins

Great list Steve and Happy Birthday to you and Linda In Texas, and of course Zenyatta. Uncle Mo is still number one. Premiere Pegasus number 2, Dialed In numner 3, The Factor number 4(only because we aren't sure yet about the distance, but I think he will get it). You are right Steve, Soldat has regressed and so has To Honor and Serve. I don't see either of them winning the Derby. This weekend will tell us alot. But I am always worried about favorites in a big field. I wish the field was not quite so big for the Derby. It can be their undoing.

04 Apr 2011 9:25 PM
Bob Bright


Your best list

Glad to see Shackleford right where he should be, Terrific effort.

The Mott horse being dismissed also deserving.

Stay Thirsty looked like he was running in molasses last outing in NY. No surprise.

I know you like Mo but he hasn't been in a race yet. Wood looks like another parade.

I hope Shackelford has enough earnings? Run him back next week in the Mo deal for some cash.

04 Apr 2011 9:35 PM

Soldat and Shackleford did a role reversal in the Florida Derby from the Fountain of Youth.  Shackleford was fifth in the FOY, and almost wire to wire in the FD. Soldat was wire to wire in the FOY and fifth in the FD.  Strange.  The more I watch the FD replay the more confusing it gets.  I was disappointed in Stay Thirsty and THAS.  I was disappointed in Soldat especially.  The only question answered for me in the FD is that Dialed In is consistent and still exhibited his Holy Bull run.  I have to throw out this race for Soldat, but a good point Steve made is that this is it before the Derby, Soldat has no race to bounce back and recover from.  He was boxed in with dirt in his throat so I'll toss the race, but if the track was deep with a lot of dirt flying why did his high Tomlinsin # not kick in, or was he just stuck and confused with no running room.  They should leave his running style alone maybe and see what happens, how do you make an 11th hour running style change and expect it to work

when he's been conditioned a whole other way up to this point?

04 Apr 2011 9:59 PM

Happy Birthday Mr. Haskin!!!

Thank you for the new list. It's not an easy thing to do. I try and fail to come up with one every time.

My problem starts with #1. I don't know who to put there as of now. All the horses have to prove themselves (more than once) this year, except Uncle Mo. I'm having trouble with that. I wish I had the confidence that most people seem to have, because if he's good enough to overcome his lack of solid preparation and win the KD off of two easy races... then we may very well be looking at a Triple Crown winner. That would be fantastic and I hope you're right... but forgive me for having serious doubts.

04 Apr 2011 10:05 PM

OK, it's time to toss Soldat and To Honor And Serve. Both of these horses have yet to win a race that they weren't on the lead. The fact that they had not faced fractions of 46 and change, 1:10 and change before the Florida Derby came into play and they folded on top of the stretch. Time to look else where.      

04 Apr 2011 10:20 PM

Good old Northern Afleet is doing pretty good as a sire, with daughter Evening Jewel and now Amazombie with none other than Mike Smith up.  One of these years, Afleet Alex will produce a good champion but I seriously doubt Elite Alex and Sway Away will make this the year we see it.

04 Apr 2011 10:24 PM

I think what is being missed on THE FACTOR, like with The Rebel, is that this horse won going away and he did it in a breeze at Oaklawn track.  Yes, he got the stick a time or two but it wasn't necessary and Baffert and Garcia may have been wanting to stretch him out a little bit.  Garcia knows he was running "just another race" as far as his breathing.  This horse can breeze 1:48-50, but like a lot of you, 1 1/4 is the question.  If it's not a question, the case is closed.

Ice Box closed fast enough to win the Derby last year, but with 20 in the field, was held up just enough to miss.  DIALED IN needs to be mid pack at the 3/8ths.

Dr. Drunkinbum, don't you think Sway Away's bootie is a little enhanced in appearance because of his sway back?  Great comment on Shackleford earlier.

04 Apr 2011 10:28 PM

Since opinions are as profligate as the body part we all share in common, here's mine:

Concerning UNCLE MO: my opinion is that he is either completely overrated, or at least, untested. I see the Derby this way: THE FACTOR will take off like his tail is on fire. After some initial jockeying, UNCLE MO will go up to challenge him since he is used to being in charge, or at least on the bit. By the one mile pole, UNCLE MO will need oxygen-and THE FACTOR will actually still have some leg under him.

At that point, PREMIER PEGASUS and Soldat will settle down for the long drive down the stretch. THE FACTOR will carry his speed deep into the stretch, but 'PEGASUS will waltz by him in a true display of class. Inside the eighth pole, SOLDAT and DIALED IN will continue making a fierce run to the wire, 'MO will be going in reverse and THE FACTOR will finally start to tire in the deep Churchill Downs sod.

PREMIERE PEGASUS will gap the field and win by 3-4 lengths. SOLDAT will finish a game second, holding off a determined DIALED IN. Here's your tri-fecta/superfecta:





(Unless it rains: then, THE FACTOR will go wire to wire and win like Count Fleet. If it comes up wet and sloppy, THE FACTOR wins by 15 lenghts!!!)

You heard it here, first!

04 Apr 2011 10:31 PM

Dialed In barely got by Shackleford who ran his last 3/8s in 39.44 seconds. And that's after Shackleford put away To Honor And Serve battling for the lead. The race sat up perfectly for Dialed In but he should have won more impressively. He is deserving of the 93 Beyer figure.

04 Apr 2011 10:35 PM
Jim C.


Happy Birthday.

04 Apr 2011 10:46 PM
mike rullo


pants on fire ???

this horse has no shot to win the derby.

I told you stay thirsty didnt have any talent.

you where way off on that horse.

04 Apr 2011 10:51 PM
Chuckles the Clown

Soldat was coming off a couple of taxing races. It is fair to say he did not run well from off the pace and it's hard to project him taking the lead in the Derby. That said, he was lathered up about the neck pre race. He never quit and He was wrapped up late by the Jockey and possibly could have been punished for 3rd. I think it's premature to write him off the top 12. He regressed is all. Lets see if his trainer sends him to the Derby, what hole he draws and what his odds are.

Stay Thirsty is done.

To Honor and Serve scored his best on the front end too and he's not going to get there any longer.

04 Apr 2011 10:57 PM

Premier Pegasus is another horse that got a perfect set up by a suicidal pace that saw 2 of the 3 pace setters ran last and 2nd to last by over 30 lengths a piece. Let's see if he can blow by horses that are are not coming to a dead stop.

Thought the Robert Lewis won by Anthony's Cross was a better race than the San Felipe but I don't think A.C. is fully wired up for this. He needs to finish in the top 3 to get a spot in the derby.      

04 Apr 2011 11:03 PM
Dangerous Dan

A bold list; and I think - right on.  I'm glad to see the early hype horses fade, and the horses that are running and winning move up. Uncle Mo, like Eskendreya, has to be in a league by himself to still be ranked number 1 with such a non-battle proven record.  I have to say that I'm not a Pletcher fan because I am of the opinion he runs his horses too hard.  However, apparently, lesson learned with Uncle Mo - kudos to him.

04 Apr 2011 11:16 PM
Chuckles the Clown

Mr Slewstable...

Time only counts in Jail.

You are comparing Time Apples to Time Oranges in comparing Santa Anita to Gulfstream. The new Santa Anita surface is obscenely fast.

If you want some of those Florida Derby horses to run 1.47, just invite them to California.

04 Apr 2011 11:25 PM
Hot Coal Guy

1)Dialed In - He's earned the top slot (for now)

2)Uncle Mo - Let's see something spectacular going longer exhibiting some grit

3)Premier Pegasus - Tactical, fits

4)Jaycito - The potential is there, could score huge next

5)Santiva - Has speed, been getting faster, gets in position and should relish going longer

6)The Factor - He's a factor, for sure

7)Mucho Macho Man - Has the style to avoid trouble and has been solid all along

8)Astrology - Ran a little better than I expected on his first out, has the credentials to be a player

9)Animal Kingdom - Nice score, prefer this one to Pants On Fire and Shackleford

10)Sway Away - Things didn't go his way, he's much better than that

11)Alternation - Gate fiasco was unfortunate, is a complete package, better giddy up now

12)Elite Alex - He reminds me of Drosselmeyer, to me he appears the part of a Belmont horse

To Honor and Serve is still a step or two back. Second would have satisfied me. It didn't happen.

Soldat needed to show better than that despite the rail draw and dirt in his face.

Stay Thirsty. He's hot or he's not. Needed at least third or fourth in here this week. Didn't happen, either.

Thank you Steve! Have a great one.

04 Apr 2011 11:34 PM

Also, after watching the Fla Derby several times, I'm convinced that it is a another race Uncle Mo wins by 7 - 9 lengths unless he just collapses in his final 1/16th.  I don't think that's going to happen especially in a 1 1/8th race.

04 Apr 2011 11:57 PM

I never understood why everyone thought the Factor could only run short.  

Look at the finish picture in the Rebel, he's as long as a boxcar.  Baffert's not saying anything.  How

hard is that for him?  

I don't care what happens in the AK Derby.  It's his last work, he'll get race experience.

I think he' win the KD and go off 8-1.

05 Apr 2011 12:33 AM

Linda in Texas,

Happy Birthday wishes to you.

05 Apr 2011 12:50 AM

Uncle Mo is a VERY special horse. I am not sure what people are looking at. Dialed In was impressive ?? He looked like he would collapse in a few more strides. Premier Pegasus is the only horse that has shown the ability to challenge Mo.

#1. Uncle Mo

#2. Premier Pegasus.

VERY slim chance for Dialed In, Jaycito, the Factor. And that is if the top 2 have horrible trips in the Derby. 3-1 is a gift for Mo.

05 Apr 2011 1:24 AM
Joe Alva

Happy birthday, Steve!

I agree that Soldat was a big disappointment in the Florida Derby, but I would not be so quick to dismiss his ability to perform well in the Kentucky Derby.  I remember a couple of horses off the top of my head who had dismal performances in their last race prior to the Derby and ran great at Churchill next time out.  One of them was Thunder Gulch (the 1995 winner/ off the board in the Blue Grass the race before)and the other is Bluegrass Cat (2nd in the 2006 Derby to Barbaro/ horribly beaten prior to his Derby by over 20 lengths in the Blue Grass the last time it was run on dirt).  Soldat is better than he looked last Sunday and, although I may not think him to be the likely Derby winner, he could get a piece of the action at quite a decent price.

I wrote in a blog last week that the Florida Derby would reveal if To Honor And Serve was an excellent horse or maybe just a decent horse that impressed much last fall when Mott's barn was red hot.  The answer is looking more like the latter.  Who knows, he may improve up in Kentucky, but he would need big time progress made to be a factor in the Derby.

By the way, I felt bad for Dale Romans coming up short again by the slimmest of margins in the Florida Derby.  The result with Shackleford mirrored the defeat Romans suffered with Sharp Humor at the hands of Barabaro in the 2006 rendition of that race.  My sense is Shackleford gave it all on Sunday and is likely to bounce next time the same way Sharp Humor did in his Kentucky Derby.

One last thing:  Too much of a fuss is being made about the low 93 Beyer Dialed In clocked on Sunday.  Mine That Bird, Super Saver and Giacomo were not lighting up the Beyer world in their last prep before winning the Derby.  Dialed In, although being more of a deep closer, reminds me a bit of Alysheba who always just did the sufficient as opposed to the colossal in order to win.  Zito is speaking of him in highly superlative terms and has been training him very conservatively so far.  He will have him fully cranked on Derby Day and he could improve his Beyer status a lot.  Maybe he will win or come up short, but I think he will charge scarily down the stretch on May 7!

05 Apr 2011 2:36 AM
Say What?

Elite Alex is never in the hunt and yet he stays on your list instead of To Honor And Serve who runs honestly and will likely improve third time out for the Kentucky Derby?

05 Apr 2011 2:48 AM
Agave Joe


You tell us how fast Anthonys Cross' final 3/8ths was against that quick pace and then tell us how fast Dialed In finished up in the Florida Derby.

Surprise! Surprise.

05 Apr 2011 3:03 AM

If the Santa Anita Derby is like the other recent preps, then many of the current highly rated horses set to run in it might be off the list by next Monday.  Instead of seeing horses step up, we're seeing the "leaders" take significant steps back.  Maybe this crop just ain't that good?

05 Apr 2011 4:58 AM

One troubled race from Soldat and he's gone?

05 Apr 2011 5:11 AM

i've a few things to say here...

dialed in came home in the final quater of the fla.derby in 24.96!

why would mr.pletcher send uncle mo

up to ny..then to churchill ????

seems like they are afraid of the mineshaft colt if you ask me...the field is a weak field for the wood...the added money was tossed in to get mo up will appear to be nothing more that an over glorfied workout...oh yeah when was the last time a horse wit a total # of 8 dosage points wod the kentucky derby?

05 Apr 2011 5:52 AM


I have a pic of THE FACTOR from being at the Rebel if you'd like to see.  I also have a great one of SWAY AWAY as well.

THE FACTOR  is a long horse and he's a power pack to boot.  

05 Apr 2011 6:36 AM
EL Kabong

Chuckles The Clown,

Well said. Soldat threw a clunker when you consider his efforts so far, but it wasn't that bad. To replace him with the likes of Shackleford is most hasty. Soldat got more out of that race and judging from his times, Shackleford won't be setting the pace in the Derby, nor will he be stalking it with any experience to do so. Like you I still believe Soldat has the ability to hit the board. My hopes for a win on him are not as confident but it is the derby = best trip =add a length or two. I also agree with your comment about the times at GP vs SA. When you look at the track records for times at 1 1/8 or higher, there is a a full 2 second difference. When you look at the time of the 9th race at GP that day going 1 3/16  at 1:55 run by the GS rated 4 year olds, a 1:50 doesn't look so bad.

05 Apr 2011 6:41 AM

Happy Birthday, Steve!  I'm glad you've added Shackleford and Pants On Fire to the list....and yes, POF is regally bred, and upping his game with every race.  I simply do not agree with Silver Medallion and Jaycito.  SM won one of the slowest races at GG, and Jaycito still tends to be a bit erratic.  I think Archx3 is more deserving....probably Alternation too if he can keep his cool in the gate for the AR Derby.  I don't think the times of the preps are important (unless they're ultra slow as in GG), because trainers don't want their colts to burn out before the Derby.  Disappointed in the Bernardini kids....even Kindersley couldn't get near R Heat Lightning.  THAS is looking more like a miler to me, and has not shown improvement from 2 to 3.

Shesfast: I totally agree with you.  The fillies have been setting better fractions than the colts.  Topping my list...Great Hot, Arienza, Kathmanblu, and R Heat Lightning along with Dancinginherdreams.  As far as the colts, The Factor, POF, Dialed In, Premier Pegasus, Anthony's Cross, UM, Shackleford, Archx3, and Alternation are my top contenders

05 Apr 2011 7:28 AM

Uncle Mo is still the horse to beat with his versatility as a runner, speed, and ability to rate. The Wood will either be an Upset a la Angle Light, or a walkover, but Mo will benefit either way.

Premier Pegasus-tiring as the pace collapsed in the San Felipe-overrated as his time was that of a tiring horse, a fact that people refuse to see.

Dialed In-All out to beat a 65-1 shot in the Florida Derby, whcih is really pathetic when he is now part of the Derby Dozen. This win was a likely taxing.

The Factor-His connections are showing off his speed, and we all know what happens when colts are overstressed-injuries.

R Heat Lightning-Not sure why she's going in the Oaks. She's a champion and would make mincemeat of all but Uncle Mo.

My opinion is that these colts are all overrated, and the pundits are grabbing at straws to see who will run for place and show money in Mo's next 4 starts.  I can't stand the fact that 20 naive trainers and owners will risk their colts in The Derby, and honestly, are on a path to oblivion, as the colts risk injury chasing Mo.

05 Apr 2011 7:43 AM

Forget it...I re-watched last years Champagne and the long as Mo didn't loose or horse is going to beat him. He can do a 45 and change and a 110...and still have air at the end of a mile and a sixteenth? His first race this year he was flying home and "galloped out" in 1:49?! These are not on "speedy" tracks either - not to get too wrapped up in times. Unless he has the worst break of his brief career, or is hitched to a haywagon, this horse won't loose. Now I'm trying to figure out how to keep everyone who doesn't draw him at my derby party enthused. Will have to have good 2nd and third place prizes I guess...

05 Apr 2011 8:18 AM

THAS broke his maiden from off the pace; the real issue is that he does not want to go past one mile. If Mott is not going to put him away not, then he needs to aim him for one turn races.

05 Apr 2011 8:24 AM
Fran Loszynski

Happy Birthday Steve! You and Zenyatta who you love have close birthdays so her first foal's name should be- "Haskin's Dancer".!!

To Splits 12: Like you picks to win the Arkansas, same as mine






and Mr. Zito -DIALED IN

(awesome performance, but hope Elite beats, that's horseracing)

I'm not giving up on Soldat though to be there with Elite and Sway.

Thanks again Steve for putting Elite Alex and Sway Away on your list. See you in the Triple Crown Winner's Circle when Elite wins it all. Hmmmmm.

05 Apr 2011 8:43 AM

Uncle Mo's 3 year old no campaigne is a down right heartbreaker. The Wood won't give him anything near what he needs to go to the Derby. For Petes sake he hasn't run a real race since early Nov. What a shame, how could a trainer like Todd Pletcher have done this. If Mike Repole has a dream of winning the Wood OK, but Mo should have ran 2 preps in Florida. The Holy Bull, and The FOY. Then if he MUST go to the Wood. What a mess they have done with him, I'll be surprised if he goes to Louisville first Sat. May. Can't believe this has happed to Uncle Mo. One real prep after 6 months and off to the Kentucky Derby.Come on he's good but he needs to be in shape like any other racehorse. All I can say is boo !

05 Apr 2011 9:02 AM

Steve and Linda - Happy Birthday!!!  I hope yours was great, Steve, and Linda, I wish the exact same for you.  :)  Thank you, Steve, for an informative analysis of the weekend races and work outs, for creating your updated list.  I think it is a solid list, although I am disappointed with Stay Thirsty, To Honor and Serve, and Soldat as I was hoping for more from them.  Shackleford did make an impression on me when he kept trying to battle with all of them and almost held off Dialed In.  Like everyone else, I am anxious to see the races ahead.  I just hope they all stay safe and healthy.

05 Apr 2011 9:22 AM


I believe you may be right regarding the dead rail at Gulfstream. I hadn't noticed that the rail was bad, but I did notice that there seemed to be a speed bias.

Do you think that there was a bad rail at Fair Grounds on Louisiana Derby day? Not one main track dirt race was won by a horse racing along the rail.

In the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes, even the odds-on favorite Cash Refund couldn't win after racing along the rail, tiring to finish fourth.

If there was a rail bias, I would give Nehro some credit. He finished second in the Louisiana Derby after racing along the rail for a great portion of the race. Granted, he wasn't right along the rail in Calvin Borel style, but he was still fairly close to it. What do you think?


05 Apr 2011 9:31 AM
Horse Lover

Steve come Derby day SANTIVA will be in your top five .

05 Apr 2011 9:33 AM

I was touched with the emotion Zito had for Dialed In. My biggest concern for him is a 20 horse field. He might have to be fortunate to pass through traffic coming from way back as he does.

1. Uncle Mo--

2. Dialed In

3. Premier Pegasus

4. The Factor

5. Mucho Macho Man

6. Alternation (just for fun) Ark derby

               or bust)

7. Sway Away

8. Soldat

9. Animal Kingdom

10 Santiva


12.Pants On fire

05 Apr 2011 9:57 AM

Not a mention of Animal Kingdom !   Watch out he is a live longshot who will close.

05 Apr 2011 10:16 AM

I agree with you CharlieCigar!  And actually I hope that is the case because if not, it will just enforce trainers to train & run their horses lightly b4 the Derby which leads to breeders breeding even poorer quality.  Unbridleds anyone??  Look how hard Secretariat was trained prior to the Derby and remaining triple crown races.  He was battle-tested.

05 Apr 2011 10:50 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

Happy Birthday to you, Mr. Haskin.  I hope you are having a wonderful day. Thank you again for helping all of us make some sense of this year's perplexing Derby trail.  Every week a new wrinkle!  What's a horse player to do?  Expect more surprises I suspect.

05 Apr 2011 11:13 AM
Stud Book Facts.


Will have winner of the Kentucky Derby 2011.. the runners are :-

Stay Thirsty-To Honor And Serve-

Elite Alex-Mucho Macho Man-Santiva.

One Of Them Will Win It.

05 Apr 2011 11:15 AM

some of you all know that you are waiting for the p. p. draw in the ky derby to really pick your horse stop, stop, stop ,last year- super saver- love cd, love it wet, #4 hole , trainer t p, winstar farm .come on now

05 Apr 2011 11:24 AM

Animal Kingdom and do not forget about Brethren, Brethren might have taken a step back watch for him again

05 Apr 2011 11:35 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  That is a possibility with Sway Away. It could have been an optical illusion. And I wasn't at the track to see him as much as I'd like to. Just a short view on the video. Other than that, he just wasn't looking anywhere near a Derby winner in his overall appearance. The best looking horse pre-race this year so far was Mo. What counts is that week prior to The Derby and Derby Day though. And Mo won't be battle tested. Depending on what we see in the SA and Ark Derbies, we'll know more about the competition. There are at least two or three in there that could reduce Mo's odds and chances. Then you've got the all important post position draw, and staying away from injuries. I think we have a strong race with everyone staying healthy.

05 Apr 2011 11:45 AM

Todd Plercher has been laying low because he did not know if the "Life At Ten" debacle was going to catch up to him: not to worry, the jockey got blamed for the trainers tactics, and now he exercises poor judgement again in bringing Uncle Mo up to the Kentucky Derby. No worries from the brass. The silver-haired golden boy can do no wrong, but there is a list of failing efforts by supposed can't loose horses littering his past. Sorry 'Mo. I am prepared to be wrong about this horse, but I just don't see him getting the classic distance with stiff competition, especially after dodging horses in the run-up to the Derby.

No excuses Mr. Pletcher: run him clean, and run him often to see if he is the best 3 year old in the land. Otherwise, it's all just hype and the bettors will get soaked again at the windows backing this horse and his suspect trainer.

Opinion will often become fact. (or maybe "THE FACTOR"?!?) I'm just sayin'... I'm still on Premier Pegasus until I see different.

05 Apr 2011 12:09 PM

based on some of the comments, i'm assuming that most who have an opinion on last sunday's derby who have posted here, were not there in person--it was pretty hot (in the 90s) and i think that had an effect on the outcome of the race. Saturday was cooler and breezier.

i was surprised to see soldat completely removed from your list, but in the long run, knee jerk reactions like these will give him better odds in KY. he's a better horse then his FL derby indicated. he didn't regress, he just had an off day.

i was only a few feet away from him during the post parade and he looked too hot, too sweaty, and pretty much unwell to me, enough so that i figured he wouldn't run well and was actually relieved that he basically held his position throughout the race. several people beside me ran over to change their bets after getting a good look at him.

some of the comments here about dialed in seem completely off to me--it reminds me of people critiquing zenyatta's races based on their final times, and not her final closing fractions--dialed in is a z like closer: he was about 15 lengths behind the field for much of the race and then was just barely urged to make his move. watch the race again--he's almost under a hand ride in the stretch.

can a closer win the derby?...uh...yeah. his post won't make a difference, traffic will be a problem, but take him wide and avoid the mess and he's got a shot(that was i think mike's one mistake with z--he kept her too close in and she nearly tripped over QR as he was backing up to the parking lot, forcing her to have to restart her cost her at least a second...and at least 5 lengths...).

i wouldn't have put shackleford on the list, simply because he's not likely to have enough earnings to get into the KY Derby, so his ability is pretty much moot--but he's a decent horse though--i had a win bet on him (and was jumping for joy until it was announced that dialed in got the photo).

i have a hunch speed will win the derby this year, unless it rains--but i don't think it will be uncle mo, regardless of what he does in the wood. at this point, i'm inclined to think the factor is the horse to beat. i also have a hunch that the TC remains un-won this year. when the TC is next won, it will be by some unknown trainer with unorthodox training methods that produce a sound, strong, super-fit horse. and then everyone will hail him (or her) as genius for simply doing the obvious.


05 Apr 2011 12:23 PM

It's starting to look like the most important Derby prep will be The Santa Anita Derby.

Dialed In's 1,50 won't even be in the money at Santa Anita.

05 Apr 2011 12:48 PM

Hi Steve, Happy Birthday, I hope your feeling spry, and chomp'n at the bit. Hats off to Dialed In, he ran a really good race to earn the win in this years Fla. Derby. I like the way he easily took back early, and was really impressed with that big move, now that was exciting. I was a little unsure of his talent after that allowance race, but like him more, and more. He's gritty, I like the way he moves and he has nice weight to size balance. It's really nice to hear Nick Zito's so high on him, the comparisions he's made have me looking forward to this years match ups. It does seem like there are alot of horses that are comparable in class at this point of the season, and I suppose that's to be expected. The mind, the grind, and how much they'll give is the big question I always ponder. When I watch these horses I can't help but wonder how their life goes off the track. I would think that life in the barn is as important for success as the morning work out. Providing an enviroment that enhances a sense of well being can be a very difficult endeavor considering the very nature of the Equine that we claim to understand. So much hope and aspiration at this time of year, it's exciting to take part in at any level. Overall I thought the Fla. Derby was a very good race, despite the final time being a little disappointing. During the 9th furlong they slowed (with the exception of Dialed In) and looked a little dull. To Honor and Serve, looked eager early on under restraint, while later appearing some what frustrated and upset with his tail popping from the whip. Soldat, caught down on the rail, was rated, checked, taken back and seemed penned in most of the way. This weekends preps should be as interesting as you're predicting and I'm sure we all can't wait..., How many candles were on that birthday cake.

05 Apr 2011 12:48 PM

Regarding the San Vicente, did The Factor flatter Premier Pegasus with his win in the Rebel?  Or was it the other way, did Premier Pegasus flatter The Factor with his win in the San Felipe?  Either way when roll down memory lane after the 2011 Triple Crown, the San Vicente will go down as one of the blockbuster 3-year old races.

05 Apr 2011 12:53 PM

Muchas Felicidades Señor Steve Haskin, le deseo un feliz cumpleaños y mis mejores deseos para usted y su familia. Mucha salud y mucho exito hoy y siempre!

05 Apr 2011 12:55 PM

Me acabo de enterar que tambien es cumpleaños de Linda in Texas!! Felicidades!!

05 Apr 2011 12:57 PM

I hope Uncle Mo wins the Wood by 20 so he can join a long list of Wood horses that flamed out come Derby time. Anyone remember these? Eskandreya, I Want Revenge, Bellamy Road, Congaree, Coronado's Quest, Captain Bodgit, Talkin Man, Easy Goer, Thirty Six Red, Private Terms, Eternal Prince, Plugged Nickle. The only survivors since 1981 were Fusaichi Pegasus and Pleasant Colony. I had them both! Good luck MO you are going to need it...

05 Apr 2011 1:04 PM
Pedigree Ann

Ah, the difference of generations, dear Nancy. In my book, 1 1/16 is still running short. Long is 10f or more. For whatever reason and I don't know what it is, there is a gulf between getting 9f and getting 10f that is larger than any other stretch-out on the scale. Some very fine horses who dominate at 9f or less just can't make the jump to run as well at 10f, and some utterly fail. For example, Fred Hooper's brilliant 3yo Olympia, winner of the San Felipe, Flamingo, and Wood Memorial, finished a tired 6th in the Kentucky Derby as the heavy favorite. He got 9f fine, but not 10f.

05 Apr 2011 1:06 PM

But I am always worried about favorites in a big field. I wish the field was not quite so big for the Derby. It can be their undoing.

Paula Higgins 04 Apr 2011 9:25 PM

The 20 horse field that is used now works out O.K.

Let's just see which horses would make the Derby if it was this upcoming weekend saying the field (for Instance,  16 horses this is allowing for 2 horses to drop out, leaving a 14 horse field). Going with graded earnings here are the top horses now. Top 16 listed below.

 Horse Graded Earnings

1.  Uncle Mo  $1,260,000  

2.  Dialed In  840,000  

3.  Pants On Fire  623,000  

4.  J P's Gusto  541,500  

5.  Soldat  540,000  

6.  Comma to the Top  471,000  

7.  Master of Hounds  441,884  

8.  Twice the Appeal  400,000  

9.  Mucho Macho Man  370,000  

10.  To Honor and Serve  350,000  

11.  Decisive Moment  301,000  

12.  Animal Kingdom  285,000  

13.  Astrology  281,893  

14.  The Factor  270,000  

15.  Stay Thirsty  260,000  

16.  Jaycito  250,000  

The other horses that would be under the top 16 graded earnings. Listed down to the top 23 for instance.

17.  Santiva  240,254  

18.  Premier Pegasus  228,000  

19.  Shackleford  212,000  

20.  Nehro  200,000  

21.  Archarcharch  180,000  

22.  Anthony's Cross  162,000  

23.  Brethren  155,000  

Of course the list will change because of more preps to be run, but would it be fair to leave out some of the horses below the top 16, because they have less earnings?

05 Apr 2011 1:16 PM

The Factor PREMIER Pegasus Diale In and the rest can fight for the scraps...

05 Apr 2011 1:30 PM


Louisiana Derby Day main track rail analysis:

• 1st – PP 10 winner –Was inside then shifted outside on far turn.  The horse that lead to the stretch on the rail faded to 5th.  (#1 post finished 5th of 12)

• 2nd – PP 4 winner – Pressed the pace on the outside and was 3 wide on the far turn.  Most horses tried to switch out to make their move which tells you something about the rail.  The horse that held the rail around the far turn faded badly.  (#1 post 6th of 7)

• 4th – PP 1 winner - Winner 2 then 3 wide on the far turn.  2nd place horse, 12 clear of the field, was 4 wide on the turn.  (#1 post 1st  of 6)

• 6th – PP 2 winner – Lead along the inside as co-favorite.  (#1 post 6 of 8)

• 7th – PP 3 winner – raced off the rail and moved further out turning into the stretch.  (#1 post 6 of 8)

• 8th – PP 5 winner –Three wide on the first turn and tracked the leader on the outside. (#1 post 5 of 9)

• 10th – PP 2 winner – Three wide then 2 wide on first turn, tracked the leader on the outside. (#1 post 8 of 12)

• 12th – PP 4 winner – Tracked the leader on the outside and moved 3 wide on the turn.  (#1 post 5 of 8)

• 14th – PP 8 winner – stayed outside and was 3 wide on the turn.  (#1 post 6 of 10

I would say that there was some kind of a dead rail at the Fair Grounds on Louisiana Derby day.  In just about every race the horse on the rail did not close willingly around the turn and into the stretch and it seemed that most jocks were trying to get outside even when they clearly didn’t have to.  The one post had a terrible day.  In nine dirt races it was 9 – 1 – 0 – 0, just a single win and everything else was up the track.  However, this might just be an anomaly because only 3 horses of the nine leaving from the one hole showed early speed.  The others all dropped back immediately.

I wouldn’t say there was a speed bias.  Many close up stalkers won, in the first race the winner came from a long way back, and no horse wired the field.

05 Apr 2011 1:31 PM

Cef, like your Derby visualization.

If it's sloppy, don't worry, Premier Pegasus is a Summer Squall grandson. S.S. ran his best in the slop.

05 Apr 2011 1:31 PM

its funny to read all these folks who have fell into the espn generated uncle mo hype, this is one overated horse who has raced no competition whatsoever , so all you naive people go on to the derby and bet on this 3rd rate claimer, that will run the odds up on my bet and i will laugh all the way to the bank while you all cry over your loses uncle mo ? try uncle overhyped ! lol !

05 Apr 2011 1:47 PM
prince paolo

midnight interlude, baffert wont run him in SAD if he doesnt think he belongs plus has pedigree to go the distance, lightly raced but could be a sleeper in SAD

05 Apr 2011 2:26 PM


Like I said in the other post, how is any of that Mo's fault? The Wood always is one of the biggest prep in April..or THE biggest. Not Mo's fault if this year everyone is staying away. Even Jaycito was suppose to run in the Wood but didn't want to tackle Mo before the Derby

And remember, it's the graded stake earning who decide who's in and who's out. If you won the Santa Anita Derby, you have a big chance to go In, if you're not really high, and decide to take a chance against Mo, and finish 2nd, you may stay out of the Derby. And right now, the #20 is Shackleford with 212 000$. So not surprise owners prefer stay away from Mo and get easier graded stake money just to go to the Derby

05 Apr 2011 2:26 PM
courtland simmons


STAY THIRSTY disappointed - and he's OUT OF THE Derby , though


with him to JUSTIFY  running him BACK -

WHEN they ADDED the BLINKERS , i knew THAT would be TROUBLE - he does have 5 weeks  - maybe the PREAKNESS would be a BETTER spot

SOLDAT -  I said THIS is the

WRONG son of WAR FRONT to go 10f

though he may have had a LEGIT excuse - MAYBE he can rebound and

be in the "EXOTICS" , but NO CHANCE for a WIN bet

TO HONOR and SERVE - my ORIGINAL #1 as I suspected would end up being a PRICE if he goes -

THE PROBLEM is that he WILL be a BIGGER price than even I EXPECTED

Unless the FLA DERBY form is SO STRONG that a  "well beaten"

THIRD PLACE finisher can make the QUANTUM LEAP , reagrdkless of what the 1-2 finishers do in the Derby -

he's going to be a BIG PRICE if he EVEN runs -

NOT as CONFIDENT  as before  that

he'a a VIABLE "dark horse"

he's a 20,30 - 1 shot at this point

and as for the WINNER,

I was UN- IMPRESSED , but he COULD run a BETTER number than he got  

       (93 BEYER)

and pull off an UNBRIDLED (1990) who won the Derby after posting

SLOW NUMBER when winning at Gulfstream

but Im one NOT to get "sucked in" by "deep closers" that seemed to be an IDEAL fit at the LONGER distances

HE MAY BE "better" than THE 2010 FLA Derby winner ICE BOX, who did run well (2ND) at Churchill , but fell on his face in EVERY START SINCE

BUT this crop of "CLOSERS" looks like 2002 all over again- where

the come from behinders were

on the SLOW SIDE and if u were CLOSE to the pace, as Wayne Lukas

encouraged Mike Smith to be,


u are going to get "a piece of it if not ALL of it"

IN other words....



and if he can "get the TRIP"

it's  a repeat of what WAR EMBLEM

did he's going to WIN "going away" , unless we see someone

EXPLODE from off the pace and NO

ONE has done that  - and unless things change  NO ONE WILL catch

that horse if he can LAST

ONE BLOGGER has brought up a point that I POSED to  TOM LAW over at


WHAT ABOUT a FILLY int he field

R HEAT Lightning  ran a BETTER number

than the FLA Derby horses the other day what about her


the connections of these may be

UNDER - ESTIMATING their horses


05 Apr 2011 2:34 PM
Bill Daly

I too am puzzled by the races selected by Pletcher and Repole for Uncle Mo. Obviously, they know a lot more about this horse than we know.  Perhaps he has some issues that prevent more strenous training?  Maybe he's just the kind of horse that doesn't need a lot of training?  Maybe he's got the kind of talent that Big Brown had and can win the Derby off a very light schedule?  I think that most folks would agree that it would be nice to see a more battle tested colt come into the Derby, but what's "nice" and what works can be two diffrerent things,  I just wonder what he'll get out the Wood and how well it will prepare him for the Derby?

05 Apr 2011 2:54 PM
Breaking My Fever

Do you think that the unseasonably warm weather was a factor for Soldat, he looked very warmed and unfocused by Post-Time. I only saw the Florida Derby on TV, I would like to hear from someone who was railside at Gulfstream.

05 Apr 2011 4:04 PM

Happy Birthday Steve and Linda.

Interesting picks Steve.  This year is a tough one.  

If Mo gets the right PP, it looks like he will be there up front at the wire.  The problem is who will join him in the top four.  I still like MMM, Premier Pegasus, The Factor, and Dialed In.  I am waiting to see how Swayaway fares in his next race.

I also liked what you had to say  about Shackleford.  It is always a thrill to watch a horse with heart who fights for the win.

05 Apr 2011 4:14 PM

Another speed favoring track for the Florida Derby.  Why do track superintendents feel the need to condition tracks to favor speed on "big race" days?  They are looking for fast times but too often that backfires on them, as it did Sunday.  Shackleford won't repeat this race in the KY Derby (if he gets in).  The Ky Derby is going to be loaded with speed and I don't forsee any horse getting to the front without company.  The speed horses will be backing up in the stretch.  The race should set up for a horse coming from mid-pack or farther back.  Because of the 20 horse field racing luck will likely determine who gets home first.  Remember Giacomo?  Mine That Bird?  The winner might be the horse who picks up the pieces best in this year's KY Derby.  Dialed In, Sway Away, Jaycito, Elite Alex are a few that come to mind.  Of course they have to get there first.

05 Apr 2011 4:21 PM

How many times do I have to say it? There's Uncle Mo and then there's Everyone else.

05 Apr 2011 5:55 PM
Buster Chopps

Animal Kingdon, who is out of a mare by Acatenango (GER) is bred to run all day lone. It's his Derby to lose if he goes.

05 Apr 2011 7:14 PM

UM is going to be the favorite on derby day.I hope Pre-Peg and Jaycito dont peak in the SA derby so the odds will be very betable for those two.The one thing that I believe about this horse is that he is best RIGHT NOW up to 9 furlongs but as it looks now he will be presured more than he has ever been in the derby, and IMO is a better bet to come in 2nd(dont cover at your own risk).As far as the time for Dialed-In what was the time for Mine That Bird and Giacomo before their great trip in the derby.Also if a horse such as The Factor wins the Arkansas Derby and draws inside of MO it could be bye-bye in the stretch for both if not earlier.If Jaycito and Pre-Peg run like I think they will,this derby could have horses like the version that had Curlin,Street Sense,and Hard Spun.And dont forget the BEST horse got stuck inside and finished 3rd.

05 Apr 2011 7:32 PM

Hey Steve, great list and so fun to read. Love the comments. Here are this Saturday's winners: Mo, Peg and Facto! Jaycito wants longer, and he will miss by only a nose. No one will touch either Facto or Mo. From the Prediction Department!

05 Apr 2011 8:31 PM

uncle mo still the best. only "the factor" can theoretically beat him, but only if he does a "spend a buck" in the derby. dropping jaycito now. appears he has no game since he stays home in santa anita.

05 Apr 2011 8:41 PM

I think Shackerford has to be my favorite long shot, I think this colt has a lot of heart and, even though green, I see him inproving greatly in the near future.

05 Apr 2011 8:51 PM

So Dialed in beat a 65-1 shot who is improving.

Schakelford is not a bad horse,he was a huge overlay 20-1 morning line..Also he was the best looking horse in the paddock Sunday.

These horse are only 3years old some with a wopping 3-4 races under their belt yet some of you know these horses are awesome or this horse is terrible.

3 years old is still a baby that is why odds always favor a 4 year old when they face a 3 year old..

05 Apr 2011 9:12 PM

smartyjones1 - I think you've got it wrong.  By going to the Wood, Mo isn't ducking the competition. The owner wants to see his "big horse" run in the biggest prep race in NY.  Mo has been pointed to the Wood for months.  Other horses are going elsewhere because they don't want to face Mo!

Ocean Roll - In what way is Uncle Mo "over-hyped".  Have you watched his races?  3 ultra-impressive starts at 2 ending in total domination of the BCJ field, going away with plenty left in the tank.  You might not approve of where he ran for his 3-yr old debut but he certainly didn't disappoint.  I'd love to know on what facts you are baseing your negative comments.

05 Apr 2011 9:16 PM

Happy B-Day Steve:

Everyone thinks that UM dodged everyone, what about the thought every one dodged him.  They were very open where they were going and if you wanted to find out what horse you had any of the trainers could have shipped up to AQ.  They never kept a secret and Mike said all along he would love to win in front of his home town.  Just a thought.

Todd Pletcher has forgotten more about horse racing than any of us in this room know. Although I am no going to play UM for any win bets, I believe he is a superior animal at the moment.  Pletcher wins off layoffs and he knows what he is doing with the big hoss.  He is one of the class acts of horse racing, as Baffert, Zito and many more.  If Uncle Mo wins the Derby I will be first in line to root for him to win the triple crown even when that means I didn't cash a ticket on the Derby.  

As for time comparisons, its almost silly to a point.  Each track has different times and when they run on a track away from home they can run the same race beyer and run 1 or 2 seconds slower.  Track variance.  Case in point look at all track records.  Different at every track.  No horse will run a 1:06 at Oaklawn park for 6 furlongs.  No Santa Anita's best.  Deeper track and surface.  Just my opinion.  

Steve Nice list, I am glad I bet Soldat before his flop because I don't think I would bet him to win the derby now with any kind of $.  No confidence, but I still will use him but that race put a lot of doubts in me. If the track came up muddy, that might move him up big time.  Your thoughts?

05 Apr 2011 10:15 PM

Pedigree Ann-add Plugged Nickle to that list.

05 Apr 2011 10:49 PM
Kristen Ohler

I liked the comment about Angle Light.  Us Secretariat fans know darn well that he beat Secretariat in the Wood by 4 lengths.  And Joe Alva also knows that pre-Kentucky Derby races can sometimes mean nothing.  With that many horses in a race the best horse doesn't always win.  Who really was the better horse in last years Derby?  Super Saver or Looking at Lucky?

05 Apr 2011 11:18 PM
El Kabong

Steve, Getting to the bottom of UM

Very good read. You got the straight scoop out of Todd last year and he seems quite enamored with his lead pony this year. The way he guided bluegrass cat and super saver to a peak leaves me no doubt about his refined ability to give Mo his best shot. Has anyone asked him how he compares Mo with Eskendareya, Bluegrass, or Super Saver? I have a feeling I know the answer, but a direct reply would be somewhat telling down the road(after the wood). Hope Mo runs game and safe this weekend regardless of the conditions.

As far as Sodat is concerned, You know as well as well as I do that you tossed super saver to the curb this time last year in the dozen(different reasons yes). Hoping Soldat earns some workout respect to join the fray. I think his pedigree, spirit, and foundation will carry him forward in the derby to at least hit the board.  Even my brother pointed out his condition prior the race stating quite honestly-"who's that... he looks washed out and uneasy" I concurred and's Soldat.

05 Apr 2011 11:30 PM


Interesting Dozen but as usual you seem to have a problem with a number of rankings:

UNCLE MO: There is one bit of cold facts I would like you to think about with your #1 ranked colt. Premier Pegasus made his 3YO debut off a 31/2 months respite in the Gll San Vicente Stakes against one of the fastest 3YO colts in the country. He was a dead short colt as there were only 2 to 3 reported works prior to the race. In spite of his lack of maximum fitness, he engage one of the fastest colt in the country in a half mile run in 43 seconds and a 3/8 of a mile in 1:07 to be eventually beaten by 31/2L in 1:20 and a bit. He returned to destroy the San Felipe field sitting off lightening fast fractions and accelerating with G Force to victory. The Mighty Mo could have faced Flashpoint in the Hutchinson but that would have been too difficult. He instead opted for a race where he was able to set fractions of split 25, 50, 1:13. One colt went to war twice and the other opted for Conscientious Objector status. Who would you want in your fox hole? He clearly does not deserve the #1 ranking at this point. The program this colt in on is bound to result in disaster. His owner stated the he believes he has the greatest trainer on the face of the earth. I took the liberty of educating him with the cold facts below:  


“I feel like I am partners with the best trainer on earth”

While I agree that Mr. Pletcher is a competent and exceptional trainer, I cannot disagree more with your assessment listed above. Since it is a derby blog, I consider the assessment far from measured and inconsistent with the reality of his derby record.  The earth is a big place and I do not for a moment think you are of the opinion that the earth is confined the shores of The United States of America. Your brilliant colt Uncle Mo is the anti-post favorite for the Derby and is being trained by someone who has won the race once from 37 starters. In some quarters the victory is considered to be by default. However, a win is a win irrespective of the good fortunes associated with same. This sort of % can in no way inspire confidence in spite of the quality of the equines under his care. While Mr. Pletcher has a dismal derby record for wins, he has the best record for finishing last but very few people know. Are you aware that horses from Mr. Pletcher’s barn finished last in the 2008, 2007 and 2006 derbies? He was spared the indignity of four consecutive last place finishes when Bandini edge High limit for the 19th of the 20 possible positions in the 2005 derby. All of these horses won one or two of the major derby preps in the respective years.

I cannot recall Mr. Pletcher ever winning a race outside the US and consequently an earth ranking is not applicable. However, if Mr. Pletcher’s accomplishments lead you conclude he is the best trainer on earth, how would you rank California trainer Bob Bafrett?  In the last 15 years he won the Kentucky Derby three times and was runner up on three other occasions. He won the Preakness five times and the Belmont once. A total of nine Triple Crown races and it took moment of brilliance to deny him an additional three. Mr. Pletcher during the same period won one derby with two runners up finishes and one Belmont and a 2ns place finish. The best Triple Crown trainer over the last 15 years by a mile is the white haired gentleman from CA. He even won the Dubai World Cup during this period.

The Triple Crown series of races is clearly not where Mr. Plertcher’s brilliance or dominance is most exemplified. If the truth is told his record in the series is appalling considering the types of owners and horse flesh he is able to attract. If the above statement is purely emotional you are forgiven but if not, his record in the Triple Crown does not reconcile with you same.

I wish you the best of luck with your two charges. With Todd’s TC record you will certainly need it. I think any colt that is going to beat Uncle Mo will have to run 10F in 2:01 or better. There are a few out there and one of them is being trained by white haired gentleman from CA.

05 Apr 2011 11:56 PM
joe p

Steve: My top 5 now are 1.Uncle Mo 2. Dialed In 3.Premier Pegasus 4. Master of Hounds 5.The Factor  Steve, will you consider adding Master of Hounds to your Derby Dozen if he confirms for the Kentucky Derby. Youve' gotta like his connections with Aiden O'Brien and Ryan Moore. He Has tactical speed and will have no problem getting the 1 1/4 distance. The Horse Kwaleh that beat him by a nose in the UAE Derby is a quality filly.

06 Apr 2011 12:08 AM

DIALED IN: How can a colt that was all out to beat another that ran hi last 3F in 39.44 be ranked ahead of one that no horse got within 8 lengths of?  I continue to struggle with some of these rankings as there is no justification for them If Shackleford kept a straight course he would have won the FL Derby. I wonder if he would have secured the #2 slot. Dialed In is not the #2 colt in the country and all and sundry knows this. He will not win the derby as he will be dead tired after 9F. His action is not ideal for 10F. It is just too energy sapping. If he had problem getting by a 60-1 shot, he is not going to defeat Premier Pegasus. I revisited the San Felipe to see the turn of foot Premier Pegasus displayed and I can state without reservation that closer like Dialed In will have no chance against this colt.  He can sit close to a 1:10 pace and then quicken impressively. Dialed In will not close 10-15 lengths and beat a classy colt with a superior speed and acceleration. He should be ranked behind Pants On Fire.

PREMIER PEGASUS: He is the #1 colt in the country. He is the total package and was sired by a classic winning son of Mr. Prospector. Very few can begin to understand the significant of this. Eight sons of Mr. Prospector combined to sire the winners of 13 Triple Crown races i.e., Fappiano, Gulch, Our Emblem, Gone West, Smart Strike, Seeking The Gold, Woodman and Kingmambo. None were as accomplished as Fusaichi Pegasus at the classic level. Only one member of the Dozen is sire by a son of Mr. Prospector. When a colt just one generation removed from Mr. Prospector displays speed, acceleration and stamina the roses will not go elsewhere. I rest my case as no further cold facts need to be presented. If the jury is still out on this colt they lack the capacity to evaluate evidence.


He should have been ranked the #2 ranked colt. He has run some extremely fast times and can only improve off his first attempt at two turns. He has speed, stimania and energy efficient strides every trainer would die for. He is being trained by the best Triple Crown trainer in the last 15YRS. Speedy Bob has the distinction of possibly being the only trainer to have saddled four winner of two legs of the Triple Crown i.e., Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem and Point Given. With Speedy Bob having the fastest 3YO colt with his record, Dismal Todd must be trembling in his booths. The factor has a proven classic pedigree. His dam sire has got to be ranked as the best dam sire produced by Mr. Prospector. He has been dam sire to two Arc winners; one Breeders Cup turf Classics winner. His broodmare have produced 104 stakes winners. His speed is a major weapon but his trainer and dam sire have the advantage in the major category i.e., success at the highest level.


This is an interesting colt that should be ranked ahead of Dialed In. His extrapolated time for 10F under my system works out to be 2:02.85. The average time for the last 10 derbies is 2:02.16. His extrapolated time puts him with range of the derby average. He improved his time between the  Risen Star and the LA Derby by 2 seconds. He only needs improvement equivalent to < a second to be right where it when it’s being decided. Should be #4


Jaycito, Sway Away, Elite Alex and Silver Medallion are closers. They will be racing Dialed In to get to the leaders. They will not out close him. Shackeford, Anthony’s Cross and Astrology are close to the pace colts who will be fired by Uncle Mo and The Factor. Shackeford could be a spoiler.


I posted before the FL Derby that his reported bullet work of 49 was not reflective of a top class colt. I was emphatically told that the track on which he trains is deep. Irrespective of deepness that was not a winning work. He ran the best race he could under the circumstances. He is not fully fit and will be an extremely dangerous colt in the derby. I hope his connections were not frustrated by his performance. His broodmare line is one of the best in the class of 2011. His dam sire Deputy Minister needs no introduction (Rags To Riches, jazil, Curlin, Sarava). His second dam was sired by Miswaki (Sea The Stars, Galileo, Urban Sea, Black Tie Affair). His third dam was sired by great Nijinsky (Ferdinand, Grand dam sire of Belmont winner Drosselmeyer) This colt now remind me of Ferdinand who was 2 of 9 heading into the derby. His rider was near 60 and his trainer near death and he delivered for them. This colt has shown enough to create a major upset on derby day. He is so well bred for 10F it’s unbelievable he is flattening out in his races. Could it be he does not like the Gulfstream strip? His condition looked great on Sunday and has an HOF trainer. If Kent is lucky enough get the ride in the derby be prepared for possible upset by a  pre derby underachiever. Ferdinand was a bred in the purple pre derby underachiever who found the Churchill strip has and 10F to his liking. Do not abandon this colt.

06 Apr 2011 12:50 AM


El Kabong is a very bright individual and quite capable of defending himself. He did advise that he had a large portion of crow on his grill and was just finalizing the wine that goes well with sane. The exchange was all good. You were far too kind with your complements preceding your reprimand. I will address the Dialed In issue shortly.  This is the second year one of Mr. Zito’s charges has denied me. Last year Ice Box nabbed Pleasant Prince who was sent off at 28-1. If my memory is correct he too was badly beaten in the FOY. However, on this occasion I was prepare for it and had the exactor in sufficient quantity to take an all-inclusive Caribbean summer vacation. A lot of posters regard as some pedigree geek who views everything though the eyes of history. As a person who has owned and race thoroughbreds, there are thing I know that other do not. It has nothing to do with either the pedigree or history.

Dialed  In

“ The final time of the Florida Derby was not earth shattering but you have to give Dialed In his due.”

What did he do differently? He normally closes from far back. If Shackleford had kept a straight course I would had to order security to escort me home. When I saw the 68-1, my eyes illuminated like I was watching a girls gone wild CD. In all seriousness the credit goes to Shackleford. He dictated the pace repelled the pressure and challenge from THAS and swerved late to hand Dialed In victory. One colt did all the dirty work and the other benefitted by a head. Shackleford got beat in the FOY by 23L Dialed In got beat in his allowance race by less that 2L by a stalemate that swerved in the latter stage of the race as well. The times for the race were 1:50 and a bit. Who ran way above expectation? You are focused on the wrong colt in your assignment of credit.

“but you must admit that it was a pretty awesome performance by a confirmed "hell for leather" closer on a speed-favoring track.”

Shackleford ran the last 3/8 in 39.44. A devastating closer is only able to defeat a colt struggling home in 39.44 by head and this trigger excitement in your mind? I saw the trainer’s post-race interview and there were tears in his eyes. Can you elaborate? The LA derby winner came home in 37 and a bit. Those could not have been tears of joy. Dialed In will not win the KD unless he improves significantly. In fact he will not finish ahead of THAS.

06 Apr 2011 12:52 AM
Point Given

Real Quiet will turn the Table again on Indian Charlie.(Norman Asbjornson VS Uncle Mo).The only difference is that it will not be in KD but in Wood Memorial.All of you on UM's Band Wagon please don't break a leg when you jump off. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.NO MORE EXCUSES AND NO MORE BLAME GAMES.

06 Apr 2011 2:38 AM
Forbidden Apple

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

My top four horses remain standouts on the KY Derby trail.

Anyone who thinks Dialed In struggled or was all out to win is simply mistaken. He won a Grade I race off from 1 breeze in only his 4th career start. The clock says that it was a slow race, but he sure was running fast at the end. He made up 7 lengths in a hurry after hitting the 3/8 pole. This race will only make him tighter and ready to show his best in the KY Derby.

Premier Pegasus is a running machine and will prove his elite status on saturday. He is another lightly raced colt with great potential. All you have to do is watch the replay of the San Felipe, speed + stamina. This horse was breathing fire after the race and could have run around the track again!

The Factor is scary good and could upset my apple cart if he gets his own way in the KY Derby.

It's true that it had been in the 90's for almost 4 days at Gulfstream Park. Soldat was all lathered up and ended up running a dull race. I think he still belongs at the top of any list and will prove it in the KY Derby. If not, he is bred to be a Turf Champion.

Sway Away is still one of my favorites and needs a huge improvement to show that he is for real.

Uncle Mo looked great last year beating up on Mountain Town and Boys@Tosconova. He is not battle tested and now is about to line up against a fresh batch of cupcakes. The Factor is faster than him and his chances in the KY Derby are looking less promising with each passing week. With a 20 horse field, I just do not see this little colt dominating a race at 1 1/4 miles.

There is still plenty of time and races to go, this list is a work in progress.

Brian 24,

We all know that S.A. is a dragstrip that produces insane final times. The Factor went from running 43 2/5 at S.A. to running 46 3/5 at Oaklawn. Dialed In's race time might have been slow, but Gulfstream runs approx. 2 seconds slower than the S.A. freeway.


I am always the only person on these blogs to comment on your nonsense. Premier Pegasus was far from tiring in the San Felipe. You keep insisting that he ran the last 1/4 mile in 31 seconds. He ran the last 2 1/2 furlongs in 32 and change. It was far from a slow race and he could have run around the track a second time. This horse will show his class and power again on saturday.

Do you enjoy thinking about other horses beeing injured while running against Uncle Mo? Your thoughts are quite disturbing and blatantly misguided.

R Heat Lightning does not belong in the KY Derby. She would get swallowed up in a hurry if she tried the colts, get serious.

06 Apr 2011 5:12 AM

I might be the crazy one, but I am hopping off the Dialed in bandwagon.The leader in the Fl derby who was setting a very strong pace setting it up perfectly for closers, but when Dialed In got to the leader he wasn't able to put him away. Might be the leader is a very very good horse?

06 Apr 2011 7:37 AM

to Alex'sBigFan-

i think you musta been sleeping during the Fla. Derby

dialed in was really moving about 200 yards out of the finish line

also-wasn't even blowing hard on the gallop out - if we get a fast track in the derby with an honest

pace he has a very very very good shot of winning the race-

if it were tomorrow i'd be betting

dialed in

the factor

uncle mo

06 Apr 2011 7:47 AM
Mo Money

Ocean Roll

WOW how can you say a Breeders Cup champion, multiple stakes winner that closes like no one else from the front is a 3rd rate claimer.  You will be upset when your derby pick fails.  ESPN is covering Mo because he has done his job.  His schedule has been out for the whole year, people are ducking him.  Grow up and get off your little soap box that is trying to find a reason not to like a good horse.  Todd seems to be doing just fine again this year.  1st in earning to date and his horses are winning everywhere.  If I remember right Todd has won 5 out of the last 6 Trainer of the year awards.  Don't knock what he does over jealousy.  I understand everyone has an opinion of what they want and they should you don't have to beat someone down or tear them to shreds because you don't agree with what they have done.  Keep your downgrading to yourself and give your opinions on the horses you like.  Sorry for my rant but I like reading everyones opinions and hate reading when people just downgrade everyone they don't like.  

1) Uncle Mo

2) Premier Pegusus

3) Brethren

06 Apr 2011 10:04 AM
Linda in Texas

Breaking My Fever - 05Apr2011 4:04 PM

Scroll to post by papillon,

05Apr2011 12:23 PM, he was at The Florida Derby and has your answer.

The local announcers mentioned it

was very hot and i am sure humid.

Some of the horses were lathering

pre race.

Funny but true, each one of us chooses from each participant in any given race what we feel is a positive or a negative. We don't all see the same pluses and negatives.

That alone is what makes this discussios/blog so much fun. But it does not, for sure, dictate the 'given winner' in another race on another day. To be fair to all we should not just pick one and keep forgetting the gallant efforts of all of the others. Sure we have our faves and i am guilty, but zeroing in on one horse and then it loses, ruins the fun. That is why i like to keep my mind open for several as the positives usually outnumber the negatives.

So Johnny 05Apr2011 9:12PM, i totally agree with you and then some.

Thanks Steve, just finished reading your book about Dr. Fager.

Such greatness he showed and captured as only you can. And

since this is your birthday week,

i must say, your mother must have known you would be a writer and placed a pen in your crib the day you were born.

06 Apr 2011 12:36 PM

hey Liz..thats what everybody said about ice box last year

DO YOU realize how hard it is to close at gulfstream park?..pants on fire's last quater was 25.3

dialed in's was 24.93..chart out the quater splits on a graph and then connect the dot's you'll see who ran a better race

06 Apr 2011 2:07 PM

for you uncle mo fans...

since 1940 only 2 horse's with a dosage profile under 16 pts have won the kentucky derby

middleground in 1950 wit 12 pts

and count fleet in 1943 with 4 pts...

hopefully we will see another count fleet-it would be great for racing ,but i doubt should win the wood easy...he only left gulfstream because they were scard of dialed in...

06 Apr 2011 2:13 PM
Linda in Texas

Jon - would you suggest then that all other 19 nondescript, trained by non trainers, Kentucky Derby particpants just stay home and let 1 run by himself?

As far as injuries go, he could be injured running solamente.

Take Meteor, in a small race at Golden Gate this past week end, takes a wrong step,broke his ankle and was put down.It can happen anytime. These giants are fragile. And they all risk injuries, even when they are put in their stalls.

Use some of your thought processes to better that situation for all horses, rather than dissing all those who are not the horse you have chosen to win. We all like that horse. But we all like others, also, except for maybe 1 i won't mention. He said "Dialed In

would not be talked about anymore after last Saturday's Race in Florida."

In my side notes about The Florida Derby, Race 10, i wrote:

Horse No's.  5 2 8 3 quarter pole

            5 2 8 3 one half pole

            5 2 8 1 three quarter

            7 5 2 8 wire 1:50.07

So where the hell did Dialed In come from?  14/15 lengths behind at

one point late in the race, go watch the video. I did again today.

Dialed In is no slouch, was bred in Kentucky by Mr. William Farish and Mrs. Madeleine Paulson-Pickens (a great supporter of 'in need of help'horses i might add)and lives sometimes in the State of Texas and neither are strangers to racing. Dialed In is by Mineshaft, a Multi Million Dollar Winner, Great American Thoroughbred Race Horse, who by the way was just operated on for Colic and i hope he heals quickly and is with us for a long time. Mineshaft is of course an offspring of my favorite ever of all, SS, a Triple Crown Winner. Mineshaft is still standing at Lanes's End.

So diss Dialed In and all the others as much as you want, then go check their bloodlines! You

would be amazed.

Okay, i am off my soap box, at least for now.

Y muchas gracias al "alejandrom" y otras que desean "Felicidades para cumpleanos (tilde sobre n) de mi.

06 Apr 2011 2:36 PM
Forbidden Apple

I thought break Up The Game was given a horrible ride last weekend, David Cohen is useless.

Is Master Of Hounds coming to the KY Derby?

Mo Money,

Sure Pletcher is at the top of the Gulfstream training standings. Before last saturday he had 140 starters at the meet as compaired to Chad Brown 70 starters and Nick Zito with 80. Of course he wins more races, he has more horses intraining and they are not a bunch of claimers.


I just read on another blog how you thought Rachel Alexandra was a better horse at 3 than Secretariat. Thanks for the many repeated laughs. Do you believe this nonsens or do you just comment to bug other people?

06 Apr 2011 3:11 PM

TO: MO MONEY  you talk a big game lets see if you can back it up , i say the factor wins the derby , if im wrong i will come on this blog and tell you so right after the race , if however when your american idol rock star uncle mo gets his a$$ kicked will you man up and do the same ?

06 Apr 2011 3:13 PM

As I read these posts I see, "So-and-so can't be beaten." "Such-and-such doesn't have a snowball's chance in h***."  "That horse looked awful in the Florida Derby and his previous races were flukes."  I have been watching and playing horses for more than 50 years and one thing I've learned is that there are no absolutes in horse racing.  Horses are like people.  They have good and bad days.  Sometimes they don't feel well.  Other days they feel like Secretariat.  A horse that is frightened will actually tremble because of that fear.  Horses are very attentive to their surroundings and can be upset by things that are different or new.  I once put a salt/mineral block near the drinking trough in the pasture.  It was the first time I had done so.  When I let the horses out of their stalls and led them toward the pasture they stopped, pricked up their ears, and snorted when they saw that small white block sitting there.  You would have thought it was a pack of wolves.  The mares wouldn't let the foals get near that block until they had checked it out and made sure it was okay.  I had to walk over and pick up that block to reassure them.

A horse's digestive tract is very delicate.  It doesn't take much to upset it and a horse will not run well if it is upset.  A severe upset of the digestive tract will result in colic.  More than once I have had to call a vet out when a horse had colic and then spent hours walking the horse, making sure it didn't lay down, until the colic subsided.

In short, a horse is not a machine.  It will not always run its best race.  Sometimes it will produce a sub par performance because something disturbs it or it just doesn't feel good.  That is why there is no such thing as a "mortal lock" in horse racing.  That is part of the reason why the best horse doesn't always win.  That is why a 30-1 longshot sometimes beats the 6-5 favorite.

It is very difficult to predict the winner of the KY Derby because of these things and other factors that are peculiar to the race.  The horses are going a mile and a quarter for the first time.  Churchill's track surface is different and some horses don't run well over it.  There is a 20 horse field and the traffic woes will absolutely eliminate some horses from contention.  The crowd is very large and very noisy and some horses will be upset by the noise.

If you are one who is absolutely certain that Uncle Mo is a lock or that Premier Pegasus or The Factor is going to run away with the race I hope you are smart enough not to bet your home on it.  

06 Apr 2011 4:20 PM

uncle mo is a gifted freak of nature. His stride is amazing. He  will not lose even if has post #1 or 20.

triple crown threat. It's a battle for 2nd amongst dialed in, premier pegasus silver medallion, the factor and my super sleeper nehro.

06 Apr 2011 5:19 PM

"When I saw the 68-1, my eyes illuminated like I was watching a girls gone wild CD."

Thanks for the laugh, ColdFacts!  I always enjoy your posts for the opinions deeply rooted in knowledge.  This tidbit of humor was icing, baby!

One other thing I want to say:


He may not be among the best but he's the one my heart is stuck on this year!

06 Apr 2011 5:24 PM
It aint easy being good

ugh oh Elite Alex posted a bullet with blinkers watch out folks. The bandwagon is still empty come on board if any one wants to make money next saturday take EA across the board ...bling bling!

06 Apr 2011 5:25 PM
Karen in Texas

Steve----Thanks for the article on Elite Alex's work with blinkers. At least we know that Tim Ritchey is addressing the "slowness" and being way too far back issues now. Alex had initially shown some turn of foot in that allowance in January--maybe this equipment change will revive his abilities!

06 Apr 2011 5:52 PM
Mo Money

Ocean Roll,

Of course I will, I don't have a problem with that.  I understand your input but I think that should be left for you and your buddies drinking a beer.  I don't understand why we have to tear people and horses down on a website to make us feel good.  I have personal ties in horse racing and it doesn't make sense to tear each other up.  We should be building up our industry not tearing Todd, or Baffert, or Zito, or Uncle Mo, or Dialed in , or The Factor  down.  This industry doesn't need its back bone of people ripping each other it needs us building it up.  I wish all the horses well. I have a list that I like but that doesn't mean that I'm going to tear down all the other horses on the trail.  I wish you all the luck bro and hope you and your connections do well and make money, as I would expect others to do for me.  

We talk about this sport having a black eye? This comment below illustrates what people coming to our sport see from us veterans and why it has a bad name.

its funny to read all these folks who have fell into the espn generated uncle mo hype, this is one overated horse who has raced no competition whatsoever , so all you naive people go on to the derby and bet on this 3rd rate claimer, that will run the odds up on my bet and i will laugh all the way to the bank while you all cry over your loses uncle mo ? try uncle overhyped ! lol !

That is Ocean's comment.

Good luck bro, I still like the horse that if he wins by 20 he raced against no bodies, and if he barely wins or loses he isn't the horse everyone thought he was.  He can't win for losing.  Go Get Them MO!!!!!!

06 Apr 2011 6:26 PM
Phili Sienko

Leaving Uncle Mo on top although tough to say if he will handle the traffic jam which is the Kentucky Derby. Premier Pegasus appears dangerous. Upset pick, Pants on Fire.

06 Apr 2011 7:14 PM


Thank you for your fabulous analysis! I really enjoyed it.

It will be interesting to see how well Nehro and Elite Alex perform in the Arkansas Derby, should they both indeed run there. After the race, we may be able to gauge how the Louisiana colts stack up against the Arkansas colts such as The Factor.


06 Apr 2011 7:31 PM


What on earth are you referring to? My comments on Dialed In solely were "he did his explosive move as expected and proved consistency."  That's it.  People are saying his Beyer was too slow and the final times were slow, I never said it was fast or too slow at all anywhere so what are you referring to?  He exploded with his Holy Bull run, period and proved he is consistent with his running style.

06 Apr 2011 7:36 PM

This went to the wrong week's blog, it belongs over here.  The colts after the Florida Derby:

Dialed In:  "Can you believe the two-leggers, man?  I practically come flying from the parking lot and some say my Beyer wasn't fast enough!  Geeeeez!"

Soldat:  "Hack, hack, hack, ugh, cough, cough.  I'm choking on this dirt, what in the "hay" were they (the two-leggers) thinking keeping me boxed in?"

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

Flashpoint:  "Gator - Aid?  What's that, an energy drink to help you go wrestle alligators down here in Florida?"

Stay Thirsty:  "You're a regular riot, man!" (sarcastically, a la Ralph Kramden).

Soldat:  "I was so mad after the race that I shot steam out of my nostrils onto my hotwalker, hence their name!"

Dialed In:  "I've got this patented late run down to a science.  No more rating behind older or younger boys, I'm hanging out back and firing at will, or, uh, well, uh, at the first whip."

Soldat:  "Yeah, right.  PrePeg, Mo, and Factor ain't exactly Shackleford, Stay Thirsty, and THAS.  Better find another gear before Derby time."

Stay Thirsty:  "I miss Mo.  I wanna go home, I don't like this Florida!"

06 Apr 2011 9:20 PM

Ocean Roll:

I am in total agreement with Mo Money.  I think I've accurately interpreted his comments; that is - neither of us is questioning your right to your opinion but we both are questioning your right to put down a horse who has been nothing but impressive; particular as you offer no facts to support your conclusions.

06 Apr 2011 9:41 PM


Well said! With all that said, Zenyata sure was special wasn't she.  I wasn't a believe until Breeders Cup 2009.  I was 100% believer then.  

Has any heard any other information on Soldat?  Just wondering, I heard washed out and stuff, Hope they still plan on taking him to the Derby.  If it rains like last year, I would move him up again.

06 Apr 2011 11:14 PM
Fran Loszynski

Great article about Elite Alex. Seabiscuit wore blinkers some of the greats wore "sunglasses" and Elite Alex is only getting more and more experience with every race. He has it in him to be a Triple Crown winner just like his Dad had it all!  I know it in my heart. This article goes in my scrapbook as all your articles!

07 Apr 2011 8:04 AM


I had the benefit of being closely involved with the keep and care of thoroughbreds and you make some valid point. However, a lot of bad performances are not due to deficiencies in keep and care. They have to do with the side effects of steroids, race day and other medications. One of the leading trainers publicly stated that he need 4 weeks between races for his horses to rebound. There are some trainers who have condition champion horses and when they become stallion they are absolute disappoinments. I never used steroids on my horses. I never gave them injectable vitamins. They were wormed regularly and their bedding never went low or dirty. I use to pay my grooms extras to take them out of their stalls several time per day since they were so deprived of their natural habitat by being confined to stalls for long periods. My horses were always performed because they were happy. A fit, sound and happy racehorse will always run its best race even if misplaced. Some conditioners are a lot better than others and their horses will invariably be more consistent.

I agree there are no absolutes in racing and that’s why there are wager to address known race day variables, incidentals, human errors and Acts of God. It called a box bet

07 Apr 2011 8:56 AM
El Kabong


Why you old paint, that was one of the funniest, crustiest post I have seen and it was perfect. Never been a lock never will be a lock for so many reasons that we should all reflect on the greatest words of wisdom ever spoken by an athlete about the subject of winning.

"I'd rather be lucky than good."

NY Yankee, Lefty Gomez

And So would I, but you have to have some humility to know the difference.

07 Apr 2011 11:42 AM


It's hard to believe that the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby are this Saturday. . . it seems like yesterday I was trying to decide if Monzon could catch Rush Now in the Count Fleet Stakes. . . :)

This is always the time of year when I really start to get into analyzing all of the Derby contenders and trying to eliminate some -- which, when it comes to the Derby, can be all but impossible.

Prior to the 2009 Kentucky Derby, I decided to memorize all of the runner's silks so that I would be able to watch the race easier and not rely so much on the race call. So imagine my utter surprise when I see these black silks rallying up the inside, and my first thought is "Mine That Bird?!? This can't be happening! He was last on the backstretch!"

It's results like these that make handicapping the Derby so much fun. Here are a few thoughts I've had over the past few days:

1. No horse has won the Kentucky Derby after finishing worse than fourth in their final prep since since 1957, when Iron Liege won the Derby after finishing fifth in the Derby Trial. Therefore, I highly doubt that Soldat or Stay Thirsty will win the Derby off of their poor Florida Derby efforts.

2. Never toss a Derby contender out of consideration just because he closed slowly in his final prep race. It took Super Saver about thirty-seven seconds to close his final three-eighths of a mile in the Arkansas Derby when beaten a neck, but he still won the Kentucky Derby. Even the remarkable Big Brown required :38.08 seconds to complete the final three-eighths when he won the Florida Derby.

3. Elite Alex is not out of contention yet. He recorded a brilliant workout yesterday while wearing blinkers and showed a great deal of speed. If he finishes first or second in the Arkansas Derby, he will likely have sufficient graded earnings to make the Derby field. And with Calvin Borel as his rider. . . enough said.

4. Bench Points is overlooked. He was third in the San Felipe and may surprise everyone by running well in the Santa Anita Derby.

5. Decisive Moment ran very well in the Spiral Stakes, finishing second despite pushing a quick pace while four wide. He is already at Churchill Downs perparing for the Derby, and could potentially outrun his odds on the first Saturday in May.

6. The second and third place finishers in the Blue Grass Stakes routinely perform better in the Derby than the Blue Grass winner does.

My current top ten are:

1 Dialed In

2 Uncle Mo

3 Premier Pegasus

4 Mucho Macho Man

5 The Factor

6 Elite Alex

7 Jaycito

8 Santiva

9 Pants On Fire

10 Silver Medallion

I also have my eye on Clarke Lane, a promising young colt who may run in the Blue Grass. He made four starts in Europe, winning one and finishing second once, before coming to the United States. On April 3rd, he ran in a one-mile main track allowance optional claiming race at Santa Anita Park against Uncle Sam and Wilburn. 7 3/4 lengths behind at the eighth pole, he closed rapidly to finish second, beaten only a neck at 30-1. He may be something special.


07 Apr 2011 12:41 PM
Criminal Type

Looks like PrePeg is off the trail.

07 Apr 2011 5:44 PM


Sometimes your analysis is brilliant but at other times they are downright wild and crazy (and I can think of a few examples but will spare you the embarassment just now). Remember that I told you there is no way that THAS finishes in front of Dialed In in the Derby.

Let me tell you that Dialed In has been very lightly trained so far and that when Nick zito cranks him up for the Derby he's going to make major improvement off his florida derby effort. This should not sound far fetched to you since Barbaro's quantum leap from a hard fought narrow victory the Florida Derby to a pulsating triumph in Kentucky should still be fresh in your mind.  I'm surprised that an astute student of the game should ignore the quality of a colt that closes from far back over a speed favouring track to nail a determined front runner like Shackleford.  Come on Coldfacts give Dialed In his due.  Irealise that you are adept at spotting the sleepers but you should do so without knocking the acknowledge class horses like "Mo" and Dialed In. That's becoming a bad habit with you.  

07 Apr 2011 5:57 PM
Linda in Texas

reandblacksilks - now with Premier Pegasus out of The Santa Anita Derby your post is eerily so true.

They all are fragile, big as they are, tough as they are and strong as they are it just sometimes works against them.

07 Apr 2011 6:22 PM


Dialed In's late-closing, Zenyatta-like, from the clouds run in the Florida Derby was great, I stated that.  Whether it was fast or slow in fractional margins I have not commented anything on such as I am busy and have not had time to sit and study fractional times.  He did what was expected and what I expected.  My posts after the FD have been predominantly regarding Soldat's performance.  Interesting, I noticed from TV that he wasn't the same demeanor and folks here that actually were there and saw Soldat said he looked off, perspiring, and almost ill.  I got that from TV, pretty astute observations for someone who you think was sleeping watching the race, n'est-ce pas?

07 Apr 2011 6:46 PM


Given what you know about historic trends in the Derby, it surprises me that you fancy Bernardini to become a first crop Derby-winner-producing sire via To Honour and Serve. Aside from his pedigree,this colt needs to be stalking closely in a position to hit the font before turning for home otherwise, if things don't go his way, he chucks the gallop in the lane. He's not resolute enough at this stage to win a race like the Derby. Chances are he'll get braver later in the year but not in time for the Kentucky Derby IMO.

07 Apr 2011 11:33 PM
Windy City

Oh my, oh my, Premier Pegasus.....Oh no! Let the night-mare begin :-( I love so much this season but news like that can be heart-breaking. I really hope he'll be fine.

Happy thoughts: my lovely husband, great kids, TB's, German Shepherds and my beloved Saeco espresso machine :-) I hope to get TB and (again) German Shepherd one day....Best wishes of coming back to health for P.Pegasus and GOOD LUCK to all others!

And BTW, GO MO, GOOOOOOOO!!!!!! :-)

08 Apr 2011 1:02 AM
Windy City

Linda in Tx - Happy belated B-Day! You share your b-day with my 2-year old son :-)

08 Apr 2011 1:04 AM

This is about a story that will not die. It is the repeated insinuations about the A P Indy sire line.

The facts show that three of the last major preps ended as follows:

Florida Derby:

AP Indy is the paternal grandsire of the winner and third-place finisher.

Sunland Derby:

AP Indy is the sire of the runner-up.

Louisiana Derby:

AP Indy is the paternal grandsire of the winner and the runner-up.

Two sires I see being contrasted are Bernardini and Mineshaft.

Both are sons of AP Indy. Mineshaft is out of a mare by Mr Prospector. Bernardini is out of a mare by Quiet American, who is by Fappiano, who is by Mr Prospector.

Yet the insinuations persist.

The average winning distance of Bernardini was 9.08 furlongs. For Mineshaft it was 8.9 furlongs.

Neither raced as a 2yo. Bernardini won 6 of 8 starts as a 3yo. Mineshaft won 3 of 9 as a 3yo.

If a descendant of AP Indy fails to win a classic, it would be due to the fact that another horse won, not to some issue with the bloodline.

We can express opinions but the facts should be kept straight because though tripe might be good to eat it is never worth reading.

08 Apr 2011 8:57 AM


The coments and arguments that this poster has made repeatedly are not insinuations. I've been "shooting fairly straight from the hip" about AP Indy's progeny record in the Triple Crown races and in the Kentucky Derby in particular. Everyone can examine the history of the past Triple Crown races and look at his progeny performances without all the apologetics and decide for themselves. Obviously you enjoy tripe both for eating and reading Bro.

08 Apr 2011 5:43 PM


I agree.  I left some things out of my post because they reflect negatively on the industry and I don't know if they'll post those sorts of comments.

I bred and owned thoroughbreds and cared for them myself.  I got out after a dozen or so years because I saw far too many things done by trainers that were detrimental to the well-being of the horses.  Steroids was just one of those things.  And one of those race day medications is often used to cover the presence of "other" things that enhance performance.

I don't know how many people are aware of it, but race tracks have betting windows on the backside for the horsemen.  Often the HBPA office at the tracks have a lounge with betting machines that are available only to horsemen.  

Anyone who wants to know what is going on in a race should try to spend a few days standing by the final turn and listen to the jocks as they maneuver their horses for the stretch drive in each race.  The truth is, there is a lot of larceny in horse racing and if the industry is to survive the various racing jurisdictions need to police those involved with racing much more closely and make the penalties much more severe.  A jock who gets caught riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs over and over again should face a lifetime suspension.  A trainer whose horses test positive over and over or who is caught with needles in his barn should also be banned for life.  It is unfair to the horses and to the betting public to allow these individuals to continually skirt the rules and line their pockets.

08 Apr 2011 5:46 PM

Terrible news on PrePeg.  I hope his surgery goes well today in California.  We've lost off the trail now Tapizar, Rogue Romance, and now PrePeg due to injuries. This is so unfortunate, get well PrePeg.  And kudos to "Speedy Bob" for erring on the side of caution with Jaycito's foot issue and waiting for the next race.

On a better note, there is a cute little video clip on NYRA's website with Uncle Mo and the young girl contest winner that met him yesterday.  Very well done NYRA and Mike Repole.  Mo looks adorble, just hanging out in the background in his stall, looks like he was more interested in the food than the visitors!  Too cute.  Go Mo in the Wood!  

08 Apr 2011 6:39 PM

TO Honor and Serve out of the Derby.  Minor injury.  Not a good week at all.  There's one reason for the bad performance.  More to come I am sure.  

08 Apr 2011 8:42 PM

It looks like we're going to have to "shuffle the cards" with Premier Pegasus and To Honor and Serve off the "trail".  With PP and now Jaycito out of the SA Derby, that one has really lost it's luster.  Thankfully, it sounds as though Jaycito is not off the trail, but he'll now have some catching up to do.  Isn't the Lexington only 2 weeks before the Derby?  

08 Apr 2011 8:50 PM


Did anyone predict that Birdstone would have become one of the most successful first crop sire at the TC level? No! I have merely compared THAS to Ferdinand. I am not focused on his sire Bernardini. Street Cry produced Street Sense, Street Boss and Zenyatta as a freshman sire. Who predicted that level of success? No one can accurately make predictions about unproven sires. A horse is evaluated based on merit. If you a stating that THAS does not have the ability to win the derby I can understand. However, it is absurd to stat that a particular freshman sire is incapable of siring a derby winner when there are at least three examples i.e., Street Sense, Mine That Bird and Seattle Slew. You are therefore being served with a cease and desist order.

09 Apr 2011 8:30 AM


“Sometimes your analysis is brilliant but at other times they are downright wild and crazy”

You were way ahead with the above but got derailed later in you post.

“I can think of a few examples but will spare you the embarrassment just now”

If it’s has not been exceedingly clear to you by now, I do not get embarrassed for my view points. I am by no means infallible. I am not afraid to be wrong. In a sport of glorious uncertainties one will probably be wrong more times than right. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. I am sure the contents of many of your posts are far more over the top than the measures ones that I have submitted. If a vote should be taken on who should be more embarrassed for their positions would win going away.

“Come on Coldfacts give Dialed In his due.”

I call it as I see it. The only reason we are having this exchange is because the runner up swerved. Dialed In cannot close 15 lengths from behind and win the derby. He is not as devastating a closer as Street Sense, Motnarchos or Mine that Bird. Those horses moved fluently over ground. Dialed In has a laborious action and requires a strong pace upfront and leaders that are one pace in the last to win. The final 3/8th of the FL Derby is usually run in 38 and a bit. If Schakleford was able to close in 38 plus Dialed In would have had no chance. I am not overly impressed with his last race. The 2011 FL Derby was the slowest in the last five years. If this cold fact does not resonate with you I cannot help you.

“You should do so without knocking the acknowledge class horses like "Mo" and Dialed In. That's becoming a bad habit with you.”

I have never knocked Uncle Mo. I have knocked the hype. I do not know how many times I must restate this.  Dialed In ran the slowest FL derby in the last five years and highlighting this is not knocking the colt.

09 Apr 2011 9:49 AM
Forbidden Apple


As a horse racing fan I can accept the bad with the good in this game. I completly agree that the industry needs to clean it self up and get rid of the lingering corruption. Take Patrick Biancone for instance, he was kicked out of France and Hong Kong. So what does he do, he comes to the U.S.A. and brings his cheating ways with him. Do you remember his horse Gorella? I just wonder how mmany steroids or cobra venom was pumping through her veins. Cobra venom?! This guy should have been banned for life and sentenced to prison for animal abuse!


The time of the FL Derby will be long forgotten when Dialed In wins the KY Derby. I know that you are a fan of Unbridled, he won his FL Derby in 1:52.

Maybe now we can finally stop hearing about the horse named Mo, he is above average at best.

09 Apr 2011 9:50 PM

Well I posted something a long time ago(for this venue anyway)that I visualized Mo tiring in mid stretch of the Wood and in the post I thought he wouldnt hit the board.In the world of 3yo thoroughbreds on the derby trail last years 2yo bullies many times dont dominate their competitors anymore as they turn 3,and the distances increase.Having said that, Mo is still eligible to come back and win the derby,but he will have to have everything go his way post postion draw(within the context of the race shape and the competitors posts)weather,trip etc.The derby futures bettors went too far in making him the favorite in two of the pools.I still think he is a good bet to finish 2nd in the derby futures,and now I will be able to cover that bet with less money than before,especially if the Factor wins the Arkansas Derby.If the Factor does not win, then the bettors will enjoy a betting pool on race day much like last year(super saver was 1st or 2nd choice at 7-1.

10 Apr 2011 7:06 AM


You wrote: "Obviously you enjoy tripe both for eating and reading"

Well, I do read your entries.

10 Apr 2011 8:10 AM


Coldfacts -“Sometimes your analysis is brilliant but at other times they are downright wild and crazy. I can think of a few examples but will spare you the embarrassment just now”

My response:

If it’s has not been exceedingly clear to you by now, I do not get embarrassed for my view points. I am by no means infallible. I am not afraid to be wrong. In a sport of glorious uncertainties one will probably be wrong more times than right. I am sure the contents of many of your posts are far more over the top than the measures ones that I have submitted.

If a vote should be taken on who should be more embarrassed for their positions you would win going away.

Below is an example of why you would win going away:

“Uncle Mo is looking good in the Wood, cantering home by 10 lengths and pulling a bus (unless Duca or "Norman" turns out to be something special, capable of finishing within 5 lengths of the champ).  This is money for jam. A soup. A walk in the park. A cakewalk. An afternoon stroll. An armchair-ride for Johnny V.  What mo can I tell you No Mo Mo”  


I know you must be sick in bed this morning as a Bernardini colt finished ahead of the once Mighty Mo. If Mr. Dominquez was any rider he would have won the Wood.  A very poor ride!

Extract from a previous post:

It is absurd to stat that a particular freshman sire is incapable of siring a derby winner when there are at least three examples i.e., Street Sense, Mine That Bird and Seattle Slew. You are therefore being served with a cease and desist order.


Your posts:

“I've posted enough about Watch Me Go's credentials and pedigree therefore I'll just let you observe his performance and watch you tip-toe your way around a post race analysis after the Illionois Derby”

“This weekend will show you that I'm right about Anthony's Cross and Watch Me Go.  I don't expect AC to beat PrePeg but I wouldn't be surprised to see him pull off the upset. WMG is a cinch in the Illinois Derby”

My post:

Watch Me Go like Pleasant Prince his sire and dam were unraced. This pedigree combination is rare. Determine was the last and probably the only derby winner whose sire and dam were unraced. He does not have the speed figures to win the derby but will be a very historic participant.

Let me restate, any horse that has trouble defeating an 86-1 $16K claimer who excited his last race on turf is not a horse that I would get overly excited about. Musket Man won the TBD in 1:43.67 and went on to win the Illinois Derby. He defeated Join In the Dance who would eventual lead the derby field for the first 6F. Do you see the $16K claimer leading this derby field? Watch Me Go time in the TBD was 1:44.25 and no winner exciting with that time has won their next race in the last five years. Watch Me Go is a very soft favorite and one notto get excited about.

Anthony's Cross: His trainer is his greatest liability. His horses are very unreliable and rarely run good races consecutively. He is another that will be fried in the early pace. He won a race at CD in 1:47. No top class colt record those times.

Anthony’s Cross never runs two good races consecutively and therefore will not win. Watch Me Go defeated a $16000 claimer by a head. He is shipping to a new track and you expect him to win. I cannot see it happening.

You have a lot to learn and the Coldfacts will continue to assist.

10 Apr 2011 10:02 AM

Uncle Mo the pamperd horse gets smoked.It will be interesting to see your dozen this week Steve.I wonder what you are going to do with Aurthur's Tale he ran a bang up race as well,if he can get in.Seems like the bloomers are coming too late and not enough earnings.  

10 Apr 2011 10:14 AM


10 Apr 2011 1:46 PM

Mr. Haskin,

I can't wait to see your Derby Dozen tomorrow. So much has happened the last few days, it's enough to make my head spin!!! I don't envy your having to sort through all that and coming up with something logical.

It's not so much the ranking I'm looking forward to (although I'm dying to know), but mostly the comments and articles to follow.

However if Uncle Mo is still #1, I'll be as stunned as I was watching the Wood. :)

10 Apr 2011 10:28 PM

Forbidden Apple,

A lot of changes have taken place since Unbridles victory in the FL Derby. The Gulfstream Park track is now much faster. Unbridled had a more fluent efficient galloping action. Dialed In is going to tire badly in the last furlong of the derby. He will not be able to carry 126LBS on the Churchill Downs surface and win with that kind of action. Do you believe he can finish ahead of Schakleford in the derby if he gets in? He did not pass him in the gallop out. Schakleford  last 3/8ths were just too slow and reflect badly on Dialed In as he struggled to get by. He is not going to be able to pass The Factor if he is allowed to run the first 6F in 1:11 as he will be able to run the next 4F in 50 and win. Dialed In cannot record a time of 2:01 and that is what it will take to win the 2011 Derby.

10 Apr 2011 10:56 PM

As I said, horses are like people.  They have their frailties and that has been amply illustrated the past few days.  In this country we have been stuck in the same rut, breeding for speed, for so long that we have weakened the breed considerably.  As their structure has changed, giving them more muscle mass, their legs have become more spindly.  It is a bad combination.  When you add more size, and more power and all of that is carried around on four toothpicks it is a formula for disaster.  Injuries are much more frequent than they need to be.  

Sly Bob is even slicker than I thought.  Midnight Interlude wouldn't be going to the Derby if he hadn't scratched Jaycito. He needed a win to have enough money to go and Baffert knew he couldn't beat Jaycito.  You will note that he didn't scratch Jaycito until after Premier Pegasus scratched.  Jaycito will win the Lexington and assuming nothing happens with The Factor, he'll have three entrants.

Forbidden Apple,

Don't forget that a number of "name" trainers had horses test positive for cocaine some years back and that happened right after they started checking for that particular drug.  Who knows how long they used the drug in the years leading up to that time. Of course the excuse is always the same, "One of my grooms or hotwalkers must have had some on his hands or something and the horse accidently ingested some of it."  I guess P Val must have accidently snorted some of it too while a hotwalker was helping him blow his nose.

I love the game but I also love horses.  Without them there is no industry.  Remember, the horse doesn't get to choose whether he will run in races or not.  Since horsemen make that decision for the horses they should at least do their uptmost to insure that their methods aren't cruel and will not injure or poison the athletes who run the races.

I think the Derby picture will begin to become clear after the two big races to be run next weekened, the Arkansas Derby, and Bluegrass.  Clearly, Uncle Mo, is not unbeatable and with all of the speed headed to the Derby I don't think a speed horse can win, which eliminates The Factor.  Still leaves eight or ten horses mid pack or back that like to do most of their running in the lane.  After next weekend I'll try to pinpoint three or four to box in a Derby exacta.

10 Apr 2011 11:01 PM

Jersey Boy,

I quote you "tripe might be good to eat it is never worth reading ...Well, I do read your entries."  

Your admitted reading of my posts and oblique references to them belies what you would have us believe, that my views are "tripe", unless you make a habit of doing a lot of worthless things. I think better of you.

11 Apr 2011 3:25 AM


This past weekend was relly tough on my handicapping prowess I admit. And you've come out smelling like roses although you had not the courage to name your picks in those races. Anyway I'll eat my crow and as the faithfull saying goes "Today for you tommorow for me"

On the issue of Bernardini's chances as first crop Derby-winner-producing sire, my position is based upon the cold fact that the Bold Ruler line via the Seattle Slew branch has only produced Swale back in 1984. The AP Indy branch of Seattle Slew has yet to score and you know full well that it is hardly likely to happen for a first crop sire from that non-performing line (in terms of the  Kentucky Derby). If your latest hope, Arthur's Tale does it for Bernardini he would've silenced my ramblings on these blogs forever. You are unpredictable with your use of the cold facts, thats or sure.

11 Apr 2011 3:53 AM
ocean roll

to: robinm , how do you like uncle mo now ? third place ? lol ! i KNOW horses sweeheart ! have your money on the factor come derby day !

11 Apr 2011 2:53 PM
count fleet

boy the uncle mo fans sure got awful quiet ! what an overrated hay burner he turned out to be !

11 Apr 2011 2:56 PM


Dialed In will embarass you in the Derby because you completely overlook the fact that he is a lightly raced colt with a lot scope for improvement. He appears to be an intelligent horse that knows where the winning post is and when his job is done. Trainer Nick Zito knows the way to the winner's circle and will present his charge sharper than a razor to mow down that 20 horse field on May 7 (no pun on UM intended).    

12 Apr 2011 3:42 AM
Forbidden Apple

Yes Coldfacts,

I am convinced as of today that Dialed In is the best 3 y/o colt in the land. I am also looking forward to Sway Away's next start, he still interests me a great deal.

12 Apr 2011 9:32 PM


13 Apr 2011 1:53 AM

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