Derby Dozen - April 18, 2011 - Presented by Pauls Mill


Untitled Document


Dialed In Nick Zito

Mineshaft —Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat

Breezed a half in :49 4/5, but will have only one more five-furlong work before the Derby, relying mostly on long gallops. Because of his late start and huge jump from a maiden sprint to his Holy Bull score, Zito is handling him very carefully. He is even keeping him at the quieter Palm Meadows until Derby week, feeling the colt trained at Churchill for a month last fall and broke his maiden there, so there is no rush to get there. There is always a risk having such a lightly raced horse as the top-ranked Derby horse, but he has certainly accomplished a lot in his four starts.


Archarcharch William Fires

Arch—Woodman’s Dancer, by Woodman

Some will downplay his Arkansas Derby victory because Nehro was getting to him quickly. But he had to do more, showing a much quicker turn of foot on the far turn when he left Nehro in a flash. That is twice now that he’s shown the ability to quicken away from horses. He also threw in a :47 1/5 half in his second and third quarters. He has shown a tendency to wait on horses once in front, so timing is very important. Remember, this is a horse who has the speed to have won a 6-furlong stakes in 1:10 2/5 as a maiden, so he can turn in those quick middle fractions to put himself in good position. Love his stride and his determination, and what a great story Jon Court winning the Derby would make, as well as Jinks Fires.


Toby's Corner Graham Motion

Bellamy Road—Brandon’s Ride, by Mister Frisky

With the discovery that Uncle Mo was suffering from a GI infection, some may downplay his Wood victory. That would be a big mistake. This colt earned every inch of that win and is only going to keep improving as he matures, mentally and physically. The blinkers seemed to make him more aggressive, as evidenced by his display of broken field running, which can only help him in a 20-horse Derby field.


Nehro Steve Asmussen

Mineshaft —The Administrator, by Afleet

Well, we know now this horse is for real and improving with every start. In his last two starts he’s saved his best running for the final furlong. He couldn’t match the winner’s move on the turn, but was running him down at the end. That was as impressive a stretch run as we’ve seen all year. You also have to like the fact that he’s run huge at both Fair Grounds and Oaklawn, rallying on the inside and the outside, from third and from 10th, and has left a lot of good horses behind him. There are a number of talented late-running horses heading to the Derby and he’s certainly right up there will all of them.


Uncle Mo Todd Pletcher

Indian Charlie—Playa Maya, by Arch

Still believe in this horse, but can’t rank him or any horse higher that had an intestinal infection four weeks before the Derby that probably caused him to perform well below his best. Have to see how he bounces back from this, and we won’t have an idea until he works. Even then you never know, as the Derby will expose even the slightest weakness . A big work, however, at least would boost one’s confidence. We don’t know to what extent the infection affected his performance or if its lingering effects will hamper him in the Derby. If he was unable to perform at his best, how much did he get out of the race? He is an extraordinarily gifted colt and we can only hope he will be at his best on May 7.


Midnight Interlude Bob Baffert

War Chant—Midnight Kiss, by Groom Dancer

The more I watch the Santa Anita Derby the more amazed I am at what he was able to do with so little experience. He ran like a seasoned 5-year-old. Between this performance and his 1:10 3/5 work, it appears obvious this is a beast. I don’t think we have a clue how good he really is. He’s a big, muscular brute who has been known to ambush unsuspecting passersby, but is the consummate pro outside the barn. Once again, he does have Apollo hanging over his head, as he will try to become the first horse since 1882 to win the Derby without having raced at 2.


Mucho Macho Man Kathy Ritvo

Macho Uno—Ponche de Leona, by Ponche

Now this is the way you’re supposed to train a horse going into the Derby off a six-week layoff. His 7 furlong work in 1:23 3/5, following a :58 1/5 drill, has this horse sharp and fit and ready to kick some butt on May 7. But he still has a couple of more works at Churchill and we’ll know more then. Remember, this is a June 15 foal, so there should be a lot more improvement in him. He won’t even turn 3 until a week after the Belmont. With so many pace horses and stone closers heading to the Derby, he is the kind of grinder you want who can sit in midpack and just keep steadily coming.


Shackleford Dale Romans

Forestry—Oatsee, by Unbridled

The bottom line with him is if Dialed In is now the early Derby favorite, he certainly has to be taken seriously. His running style on paper may work against him, but with his big stride and ability to relax he looks like a horse who will rate. He’s improving rapidly and he’s a game competitor who doesn’t like to lose and that makes him dangerous. He’s already at Churchill Downs, where he broke his maiden, and I love to see horses settle in at Churchill early and get a lot of training in over the track. He’s been galloping long and will work on April 23. Romans says the colt is thriving and couldn’t be doing any better.


Soldat Kiaran McLaughlin

War Front—Le Relais, by Coronado’s Quest

He’s scheduled to have his first work back on April 21 and then have his final Derby work on the 29th. McLaughlin says he’s training great and is fit. The Florida Derby is looking more and more like a toss. Garcia was pushing him at the start, but he still couldn’t get anywhere near the lead, and seemed to have no interest in running when Garcia went to the whip nearing the head of the stretch. So, this just might have been an off day right from the start, whether it was the heat or whatever. Throw the race out and you can make a case for him. Fortunately he has two big efforts at 1 1/8 miles under his belt this year to fall back on.


Master of Hounds Aidan O’Brien

Kingmambo—Silk and Scarlet, by Sadler’s Wells

Coolmore confirms he’s a go. If O’Brien or any European is ever going to pull this off, this is the year. We have no idea how he’ll handle dirt, but his performance in the UAE Derby was sensational and he’s already run at Churchill. Yes, it was on the grass, where he was beaten three lengths as the favorite, but Kingmambo has sired among others Lemon Drop Kid, a champion on dirt. He has excellent tactical speed and to carry that speed 1 3/16 miles in the UAE Derby on Tapeta off an almost four-month layoff and be beaten the shortest of noses was impressive. He showed his courage in that race, fighting back when challenged by a very classy filly in Khawlah, who had won the UAE Oaks. Now that he’s pointing for the Derby he is an intriguing alternative at a big price.


Pants on Fire Kelly Breen

Jump Start—Cabo de Noche, by Cape Town

Been waiting for three weeks for him to show up on the work tab, and he returned with a bang, breezing 5 furlongs in a bullet :58 3/5. Before that he was open galloping for a week. One more work at Palm Meadows and then it’s off to Kentucky. He certainly was flattered by Nehro’s performance in the Arkansas Derby. He looks like one of a number of pace horses in the Derby, but his race in the Risen Star, when he took back to seventh and was forced 6-wide turning for home, was not nearly as bad as it looks on paper and shows he does have the ability to take back off the pace.


The Factor Bob Baffert

War Front—Greyciousness, by Miswaki

Most everyone is going to toss him after the Arkansas Derby, but that would be very premature. He was running over a much deeper track, had to contend with a horse on a suicide mission, was crowded into the rail, and displaced badly from being strangled. Garcia could hear him gurgling down the backstretch. Baffert will train him at Churchill and if he trains well he will run in the Derby, and this time will go hell-bent-for-leather, and pity any horse who tries to run with him. His winning Beyers consistently tower over most of these horses. Can anyone say Spend a Buck?


Animal Kingdom Graham Motion

Leroidesanimaux—Dalicia, by Acatenango

Sorry, another baker's dozen. Yes, the dirt is a big question mark, and he’s bred for the turf, but he looked good winning the Spiral, and the horse he beat by 6 lengths came back to be beaten a nose in the Blue Grass. He made an impressive early move in the Spiral, so you know he has a turn of foot. And he’s bred to run forever, so you just have to take the chance that he’ll be as effective on dirt. In this kind of year, it’s a chance worth taking if the price is right.

The Blue Grass once again turned into a turf race, with crawling early fractions and blistering late fractions. When evaluating this race as a Derby prep, the three horses in the blanket photo – Brilliant Speed, Twinspired, and King Congie – have made a combined five dirt starts in their career and were beaten a total of 83 1/2 lengths. That’s an average margin of defeat of 16 3/4 lengths. Somehow Brilliant Speed was able to come from 12th and last after a 1:14 3/5 three-quarters and come home his final three-eighths in a ridiculously fast :34 2/5. Best part of this race was getting Tom Albertrani to the Derby. And what about owner Charlotte Weber, who loses one of the early Derby favorites, To Honor and Serve, and now could make it to the race with a horse who has been unable to win listed grass stakes at Gulfstream. He has the pedigree, but good luck trying to figure out where he fits. We’re still awaiting a decision on whether Silver Medallion will take his chances on getting in the Derby or run back in the Coolmore Lexington. Don’t discount this horse quite yet. He ran like a short horse in the Santa Anita Derby and was too close to the pace.

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:

Hawaii Nick

Why is Shackleford high up on the list?  

Well other than that -  this is pretty much the correct order of things for Louisville.

18 Apr 2011 3:21 PM

the excuses never run out for uncle mo , it was the pace , it was the track , it was an infection , blah blah blah , how about maybe hes just overrated ?

18 Apr 2011 3:23 PM

I keep waiting for the Blue Grass to lose it's Grade 1 status.

18 Apr 2011 3:26 PM

I think Mo goes back to form at Churchill. Can't forget the way Blame took down Zenyatta last fall, another horse that loved to run there. Churchill plays to the horses that like the track there and the BCJ was not a fluke, I think the Wood was. . But...who is Calvin riding now?

18 Apr 2011 3:30 PM

I still BELIEVE in Uncle Mo. For him to lead the way in the wood, going 1 1/8 his first time and only lose by 1 1/4 lengths with the infection is very good. Lets all remember Secretariat losing, when there was nothing wrong with him. He is such a talented horse, I dont think distance will be a problem!

18 Apr 2011 3:38 PM

The rankings are already filled in - can't use it.  Please take a look and fix.

Excellent perspectives, Steve.  What about Astrology?

18 Apr 2011 3:46 PM
Fran Loszynski

Well Steve you with Fallen Arches and me with Arch Arch Arch and yet you believed in his potential. Sorry about Elite Alex and Sway Away in the Arkansas but Sway Away came close for Afleet Alex. So Arch Arch Arch is barking loud with a burst of speed and the Master of Hounds on his tail. Hope Sway Away can get into the Derby. Maybe Elite Alex in the Belmont. Boy you never know in horseracing!!

18 Apr 2011 3:47 PM

Steve, been following you for years.  Appreciate your insights.  I predict Nehro will be the wise guy horse and will be 3d choice on the board (Dialed In/Uncle Mo); but it will be another year where half the field is 18-1 or less.  If the Factor does not run, I think the pace can be moderate and maybe stole on the front end (too many closers).  Why is Shackelford on your list; isn't he outside looking in on the money list?      

18 Apr 2011 3:51 PM

The entire field is going to go off at 6-1!  

18 Apr 2011 3:56 PM

Thanks Steve, this had to be one of the most head scratching dozens you have put forth.

There are so many questions and what if's as we approach the Derby that I will take a wait and see attitude. I'll keep my eye on workouts, follow your updates and hope to see some of these guys in person at CD.  I'll be there all of Derby week.

One horse I'm keeping my eye on is Shackleford. If he can rate just behind the speed, he has a shot.

I've watched the SA Derby over and over and Midnight Interlude looks to me like a horse that could overcome a lot of trouble and still come home winging it.  

Nehro was also impressive, looking like the last 1/8th in that long CD stretch will be right up his alley.

Thanks for this dozen and looking forward to your future updates.    

18 Apr 2011 4:00 PM

Who's Calvin going to ride?

18 Apr 2011 4:00 PM


Great list here. A little surprised The Factor is placed where he is on here tho. But as we all know for a long time you did not have much to work with here with most having so few starts.  You have done a great job!  

Most doubt the Bluegrass will produce a derby winner again this year.  But no one has told Brilliant Speed that so one never knows.

Uncle Mo is placed where he should be on this list.  Jeff Siegel still has him second.  Still find it odd they created a race for him at Gulfstream, against WHO?! Yes Pletcher said for the Wood they ducked no one, just others went elsewhere. What I mean is none of those horses in the Timely Writer and ungraded race are going for earnings and seeking the derby win.

Dialed In with how he is being trained and all, we have all seen what surprised Zito can pull out of his hat. Always keep an eye on him.

18 Apr 2011 4:04 PM

One more stride and Nehro beats Archx3.  Nehro looks more like a horse that wants the extra 1/8 mile. Master of Hounds makes the picture even more unclear.

18 Apr 2011 4:06 PM

Nick Zito says Dialed In is best horse he has ever had.He gets a clean trip he wins the derby.

18 Apr 2011 4:08 PM

finally my ole buddy mention ANIMAL KINGDOM,  SOLDAT is a ALSO RAN and should not be in top 10 IMO.  MIDNITE INTRUDER is the real deal and him, NEHRO,master of hounds and ANIMAL KINGDOM wouLD  all be in my tri plays.  if NEHRO works well before DERBY he might over take ANIMAL KINGDOM as my top choice. fact is he is a BETTER VERISON right now of VICTORY GALLOP at the same time in his career. has more huice and better running style as far as he down to the ground stride.

18 Apr 2011 4:09 PM
Tom Frazier

What about Comma To The Top? We all know he doesnt havent the breeding to get the distance but that doesnt always stand up either. He dramatically improved last time out to fall a head short to Midnite Interlude and if he gets a good stalking trip in the derby he could be a major player in the outcome.

18 Apr 2011 4:19 PM
Zenyatta John

What a difference a week makes!

No more Afleet Alex fans with delusions of grandeur! None of them have the earning to get in the Derby.

My current Top 5 -

1. Mucho Macho Man

2. Nehro

3. Dialed In

4. Toby's Corner

5. Archarcharch

That 1:23 work for MMM put him over the top for me. Can't wait to hear how he gallops over the CD strip leading up to the big day.

18 Apr 2011 4:27 PM

Other than switching Uncle Mo and Nehro, I agree completely with your list.  Looking forward to your observations of the horses Derby workouts at Churchill.

18 Apr 2011 4:29 PM
Sam Santschi

Steve, thanks for your insights.  What about Jaycito?  It truly seems like a crapshoot this year. Will be taking the cowards way out and boxing 5 horses in an exacta hoping for something silly to happen.  MMM, AAA, MOH, Jaycito? and MI.  Who knows.

18 Apr 2011 4:31 PM

Wow, this is going to be fun!!!  Who is going to take the lead, someone has to and it doesn't look like there will be an entry where one horse is willing to be sacrificed for the benefit of another?  It looks to me like the best horses all want to lay of the pace and make one big run, but who are they going to have to run at?  This could very well set up like a grass race where they all rate and wait to make their run, so that in the final quarter there are 10 of them across the track closing hard with a multiple horse photo for the winner.  Wouldn't that be fun for a change?

18 Apr 2011 4:33 PM
Karen in Indiana

Like your list, Steve. This year has been nuts - how do you make a list when all the horses are playing musical chairs? One thing I noticed - the 2 big horses from last weekend both have Roberto on their top side.

18 Apr 2011 4:38 PM
peter kreutzer

As expected an informative article.One can understand the search for clarity before the derby,yet as a bettor the jumbled form curently leading up to this years running makes it more exciting to bet Still have the Lexington,Derby Trial,other drop-outs and workout evaluations to go,should be fun for the handicappers  

18 Apr 2011 4:59 PM

I still believe in Uncle Mo. Running with an infection and still finishing 3rd shows he is no slouch. I really like Dialed In too. As for the rest, none of them excite me as much as my top two. It is amazing how much horse racing is a "What have you done for me lately?" sport.

18 Apr 2011 5:01 PM

Again the rankings are already ranked! What's funny is this my home personal computer.

18 Apr 2011 5:03 PM

been waiting all day for your pics, still on top with Zito's horse, nice pony, but he is hiding in sunny fla, where every blade of grass is manicured,I still think if Uncle Mo gets right he will give them all they wan, had a right to get tired in Wood came out of sunny fla to a dead, tiring aqueduct track, stomach problems change of everything, asking a lot from that horse, not taking anything away from Toby"s corner shaping up to be a very interesting derby. hope it is a fast sunny day, mud has given us last two derby winners of which neither one deserved to win neither horse ever won another race

18 Apr 2011 5:07 PM

Steve, you provide the brightest spot for my Mondays with the Dozen.  As always, thank you.

I've been cheering for Archarcharch since the Southwest Stakes and loved his Arkansas Derby.  That race has produced horses in the money in the KD quite often over the past few years.  

My only fear is that the workouts before this year's preps have not been a good barometer come race day so far.  I think that come Derby Day, levels of "consistency" will be the main factor for me.  Given that, I like your 1-2 punch of DI-AAA and I'll throw in MMM to round out that angle.  I'm not sure I can consider any of the others to be "consistent".

18 Apr 2011 5:17 PM
El Kabong

Great commentary as usual. I honestly have not been more confused at this point in the Derby Trail in years. I did like the look of Nehro better in Arkansas for future consideration. He looks to me like he will enjoy not only the extra furlong, but the longer stretch of Churchill.I'd like his chances even better if Calvin Picked up the mount.  That said,  I also like Mucho Macho Man. I will toss in Dialed In, Soldat, ArchAA for my top 5 for the time being. I agree with your comment about the Factor, but I'm hoping it does not happen.

Recent history says that the horse who has the lead at 9F's usually goes on to win. Only recent exception involved a the entry of a 6F sprinter named Spanish Chestnut(rabbit)who turned 2005 Derby into a fiasco. Monarchos blew past a tiring Congaree just a step or two after 9F's so it seems to be pretty important to be the first one there.

I don't like Mo's chances at all. As I have stated before, he may be a very good horse, but even Curlin could not overcome a weak foundation and this race is very much about that. I know Curlin won both of his preps but he was not challenged in either and he did not run against very good competition. I'm tossing Mo out for that reason alone and it doesn't help that his training has been compromised by his condition.

I can't wait for your rail bird commentary from Churchill. Hope Bloodhorse sees fit to extend your mission in Louisville this year. Again, Thanks for a great lead up to the Derby. The names have changed but the confusion is as thick as it was in January.

18 Apr 2011 5:18 PM

Well I am the latest victim of the rankings-already-filled-in syndrome :)  But no matter.  Great list Steve, I largely agree, although I confess to wondering whether Archx3 has the distance given the way Nehro was closing.  Can't wait for May 7th!  Until then, I eagerly await your reports on Churchill works and all the other activities that surround the run-up to the race - as do many of us.  Thanks so much for all you do for all of us who can't be there.

18 Apr 2011 5:24 PM

Again I don't get to chose my own rankings they are already there.

1.  The Factor

2.  Master of Hounds...finally

3.  Midnight Interlude

4.  Soldat

5.  Nehro

6.  Mucho Macho Man

Not sure who to like the most, will certainly change in the next few weeks.  

18 Apr 2011 5:37 PM
Joe Alva


Good list.  I very much agree with you about The Factor.  I would be careful to dismiss him so readily.  If he goes in the Derby he will take off like a torpedo and I can't see anyone crazy enough to challenge him stride for stride up front.  He could likely be alone relaxed on that lead with his high cruising speed.  If he's good enough and devoid of his breathing problems, he can steal it, I think.  The flipped palate may have been a legitimate excuse this past weekend.  I still like Dialed In to definitely hit the board somewhere and perhaps win.

18 Apr 2011 5:37 PM

Mr. Haskin,

Do you know if Master of Hounds had a work over the CD main track when he was in town for the BC Juvenile Turf?

I'm 'angling', Perhaps the connections saw something from a work over the surface.

My head tells me they are avoiding Frankel the best 3yo in the World. His gallop out after the wire (4/23) was jaw dropping!

18 Apr 2011 5:39 PM
It aint easy being good

Nehro is going to be everyone's wise guy horse he is good but think its too much too early. I really like shakelford he is a long striding colt and if dialed in is the favorite then the Shaq attack shouldnt be too far behind. I think he might suprise derby day!

18 Apr 2011 6:02 PM

I see two heros today, Monday,

April 18th.  One is Steve for making sense out of these 3 yr. olds in a more muddled Derby picture than before, and the other is the pilot of the Tex Sutton flight carrying one of the probable Derby favorites Uncle Mo and Oaks favorite R Heat Lightning in the same plane, and a warning light comes on in his cockpit!  Talk about stress.  They diverted to D.C. and arrived safely in Churchill.  I like the fact that this time Mo is there weeks before the race, not days.  Kudos to that pilot.

Now for the list, Steve pretty fair assessment of it all.  I agree for the most part except I have Mo and Soldat right under Dialed In at first, then ArchX3 in fourth.  The Arkansas Derby was a disappointment, I thought Factor and Elite Alex would take it.  It is what it is, this is NOT the year for brilliance from any of Alex's sons as I've stated before.


Don't take it too hard.  It is what it is.  Maybe Tim can get Elite straight by Haskell time and late summer???  Maybe we'll see him later, this must be so frustrating for Tim Ritchey.

18 Apr 2011 6:15 PM
joe p

great list steve! Makes me feel good to know that my top 10 are all listed in your bakers dozen somewhere. Uncle Mo is a wildcard because if he is healthy, and that may be a big if, we know he loves Churchill as he pulled away from a talented Boys at Tosconova in the BC Classic, if he were to run that kind of a race again he would build up a big enough lead to possibly hold off the plethera of closers that would be chasing him. After your high praise of ArchArchArch I have added him to the 6 that I believe can win this race. 1. Dialed in 2. Uncle Mo 3. Master of Hounds 4. Mucho Macho Man  5. Nehro  6. ArchArchArch. I feel like 4 that can hit the board but won't win are 7. Midnite Interlude 8. Toby's Corner 9. Shackelford 10. Pants on fire. I'm glad you gave recognition to master of hound's., He's my longshot pick of my top 6 to win the race, even if he doesnt fire, i have the other top 5 to rely on. Can't bet them all steve, would cost too much. PP draw will be essential. Remember last year when Lookin at lucky drew #1 and Sidney's Candy drew #20, both tosses because of their horrible post position. Only way to whittle down my top 10 will be on PP draw day. Good luck to all. Keep up the good work Steve!

18 Apr 2011 6:19 PM

Thank you, Steve, for attempting to help us sort out this muddled mess of sinking favorites and surprise winners.  It has been an amusing triple crown trail so far, at the very least - you never know what to expect in any race because they certainly haven't been going according to plan.  I really do appreciate your highlighting the dozen and giving us more insight into what is going on.  Thanks again!  Who knows what is going to happen next? LOL!

18 Apr 2011 6:19 PM

master of the hounds is only running in the ky derby simply to avoid frankel, i mean since frankel returned and destroyed his rivals in his 3yr old debut, then like literally the next day master of the hounds is confirmed to fly to america for the ky derby soon.

18 Apr 2011 6:20 PM

This years three year old crop has me completely stumped.  To be honest I'm a bit underwhelmed at the moment with so many ups & downs.  But I'm hopeful that someone will emerge & wow us nonetheless on the first saturday in May.  

18 Apr 2011 6:25 PM

Again the slots were already filled in when I came to this page!

I like your top 12...was thrilled with Archx3's victory since he was my top choice for the AR Derby.  Not ready to put Master of Hounds in my top 10 since he'll have to overcome the travel and the switch to dirt.  Nehro was amazing, and I think he may have a lock on the Belmont.  Since every prep has produced an upset, I expect the same in the Derby.  I'd love to see Jon Court vindicated after losing his mount last year, but I'm also pulling for Anna Rose on Pants On Fire.  (It will be interesting if his name becomes historical).  My top...Dialed In, Midnight Interlude, Archx3, Pants On Fire, Nehro, Toby's Corner, Shackleford, Soldat, Stay Thirsty, Uncle Mo and The Factor....waiting to see the works of the rest.

18 Apr 2011 6:34 PM

talk about la. derby form now ,u will have some of them in your tri

18 Apr 2011 6:35 PM
Danny from UK

Hello again!

Last year I told all of you how bad the European horse (Awesome Act) was. He really wasn't much of a horse, and to be brutally honest, Jeremy Noseda isn't much of a trainer.

This year's European horse, Master of Hounds, is a very different prospect. He's a very, very good horse indeed and don't underestimate him.

His trainer is no Jeremy Noseda either. He's won the 1000 and 2000 guineas, the Epsom Derby, the Oaks, the Arc de Triomphe and just about every group one in Europe. You guys would probably best remember him as the trainer of Johannesburg, Henry the Navigator or Giants Causeway. He's the best trainer in Europe and  he's not going there for a day out.

If MoH is any bigger than 5/1 then I would get your money on quick.  

18 Apr 2011 6:35 PM

The Bluegrass Stakes was just for conditioning purposes for Santiva.  He was coming off of a nearly 2 month layoff since his last race (his 2nd Place finish on dirt in the Risen Star in February).  They were just wanting to get in a conditioning race 3 weeks out from the Derby.  It was a means to an end.  He is now set up for a big effort on Derby day just like Street Sense and Paddy O'Prado was set up coming out of the Bluegrass Stakes.  Expect for Santiva to be unleashed for a full bore effort on Derby Day.

Santiva is going to be tough at Churchill Downs.  His best surface is dirt, and he already has a Graded Stakes win at Churchill Downs.

18 Apr 2011 6:35 PM

I have to ask, Mr. Haskin, what about Jaycito? Are you concerned about his hoof and possibly not making the Derby field, or are you waiting until he runs again as planned? I've always loved that horse, and I think he has a real shot at the Derby distance. I'd also love to see him in the Belmont. What are your thoughts?

18 Apr 2011 6:38 PM

For those who want Borel to ride Nehro; I'd recommend against if you want any price on the horse.  His odds will be cut in half if Borel gets the nod.  Lived in KY for years. People bet that guy like Pat Day.  

18 Apr 2011 7:06 PM
Toro On Turf

I think that Nehro has the best chances of getting the win.....he seems to have a lot left in the tank and increasing speed at the end of the last couple of races!  And he is improving!  I would not leave Uncle Mo off of any exacta, tri or super ticket.  He is just a darn good horse!  Dialed in as got to pass them all, and may but may come up one or two short!!  Lots of horses will be on their gas early!!   The trick is which will last enough to get on a ticket!!  The stalking/closing types should have big advantage in the race.  But who is going to get the "Trip".  Should be a great derby and a good betting race. Unless the Tri is Nehro, Uncle Mo, & Dialed In!!  Because that is my pick!  I will box them too.  And probably wheel a few other horses into spots too.  Good Luck!!

18 Apr 2011 7:21 PM
Scott's Cause

Just got down out of my rafters with my old dart board.  These prep races of taken a toll.  I am trying a new system May 7.  "Honey, Where's my box of darts?"

18 Apr 2011 7:26 PM
Old Warhorse

Two weeks in a row -- chart already filled in, not my choice of placings.  Somebody has to fix it!!!!!!!

18 Apr 2011 7:29 PM

Steve, wow, what a muddled group to sort out...I think you did your usual masterful of job of bringing clarity to the list. I am so confused now though I will have to wait to hear your observations of how they all look at CD. I am sure everyone recalls your 2009 observation of Mine that Bird!

@ Zenyatta John, this is the second time you have posted a remark aimed at a fellow blogger, both of whom are extremely nice people; are you sure you are on the right blog?  We enjoy discussing our picks and hearing about other's interpretations and hopes, none of which are considered "delusions of grandeur". Hope you can lighten up.

18 Apr 2011 7:30 PM

Opinions, opinions. What will we do? After the weekend stock car races, I will be a spectator on the first Saturday in May.

If I change my mind, here is my Tri-Fecta:

Master of Hounds/Dialed In/Soldat.

I saw that UAE race between Khawlah and Master of Hounds. I still think he won. If he brings that Kingmambo class to the U.S. Derby, we may see the first Euro/East horse win it all.

Of course, the smart bet is to sit home and watch it all unfold.

We know there will not be a "Zenyatta" type star this year, but let's hope we at least have a bonifide "big horse" by the fall classics. Otherwise, I'm starting to lose interest really fast. I lost track of racing for over ten years when I lived and worked outside of the US. Zenyatta brought me back...but I'm drifting again. I'd give anything for a Citation or a Kelso/Forego right about now.

18 Apr 2011 7:33 PM

Steve is it me or am I being too critical when I say that the call of the Arkansas Derby was one of the worst calls in horse racing history for such a big race. In fact, I think he has made some  other poor calls this season as well. I apologize because I can't remember his name.  I am wondering if anyone else was bothered by this as well.  Not trying to offend anyone but this bothered me...........  

18 Apr 2011 7:34 PM


18 Apr 2011 7:36 PM


18 Apr 2011 7:40 PM
Karen in Texas

As always, a great assessment. Of the horses to prep in Arkansas, Archx3 has proven himself to be the best and it's extra special for Jon Court. Maybe Elite Alex will sharpen up over the next few months....

I'm glad to hear that Bob Baffert is going to train The Factor at Churchill. If his breathing doesn't remain an issue and he likes the track, then he should definitely be given a chance to run.

Steve, will you be going to Churchill soon to observe and report on the works?

18 Apr 2011 7:41 PM
Afleet Treet


With your high regards for Mucho Macho Man and the way he is training up to the Derby how come he isn't higher on your list? IS it that you think those above him have a much better chance or is it because he hasn't had another prep race. For being such a youngster he seems ultr professional to me and right now seems to be trianing like a bear and doing everything right...well that and he is taking up residence in Zen's stall and that can't entirely be a bad thing huh? LOL!

I LOVE HIM! He's been my number one Derby pick all along and hope he shows he stuff on Derby day and they all follow him to the wire!

Gooooooooooooo Mucho Macho Man!!! Get get 'em kid!


18 Apr 2011 7:43 PM
Jean in Chicago

I'm just getting more confused.  I like Shackleford, but does he have enough earnings?  And Master of Hounds does look impressive.  His flared nostrils look like ramjet intakes.  I'd kind of like to see an import take the roses back home to England (although this may make me unAmerican).  I just hope they get him over here ASAP to get settled in and comfortable.

QueenRachel:  Secretariat had an abcess in his mouth when he ran in the Wood.  I'll bet he would have shown an elevated white blood cell count if anybody had checked.

18 Apr 2011 7:49 PM
Old Timer

Steve, that was a very nice job on the column regarding Arch x 3 BEFORE the Arkansas Derby. How he went off at such long odds I'll never know. Sure he should have been a long shot, but not that long. He won the Southwest and really didn't disgrace himself in the Rebel. It was all about The Factor, I guess. He may be quite the overlay come May 7.

18 Apr 2011 7:51 PM

Hey there ... for the second week in a row, the rankings are already filled in and I can't submit my own. :-( Any way to fix, please?

Not giving up on Mo, but I love me some Midnight Interlude. ;-) He's one monster of a y0ung man.

18 Apr 2011 7:57 PM

Danny from UK;

Welcome back! I agree that Master of Hounds looks like a legitimate Kentucky Derby contender.

If you'll recall, we talked briefly last spring about St. Nicholas Abbey, the heavy favorite to win the 2,000 Guineas. I've thought about him from time to time since then, and noticed the other day that he returned to the races recently -- finishing third in a race at The Curragh on April 3rd. Do you happen to know which race it was and how well he performed? Do you think that he has a shot at performing well at the group I level later this year?


18 Apr 2011 8:01 PM

I understand the Unclo Mo arrived at Churchill Downs will little or no fanfare except just a few hard core East Coast reporters that still believe in him.

And it will be these few so-called "turf experts" that will drive down the odds on Uncle Mo on Derby day with their constant up-to-day fluff and insane comparisons with Secretariat.

18 Apr 2011 8:17 PM

dialed in fits derby profile but in a relatively weak field a good gamble is on the unknown...master of hounds

18 Apr 2011 8:21 PM

Finally- Master of Hounds makes the list. Do you really think Dialed In will outkick him? His race in Dubai was the best prep.Much better than the Florida Derby. I could see him number 2, but Shackford and Soldat in front of him. I don't think so!!

18 Apr 2011 8:36 PM
cuban chef de race

Distance will not be a problem for Uncle Mo but a disaster,Dialed in better stay couple months in palm meadows this is too much for him,the factor may have shown the spring 3 year old pattern 2 big races fallow by a bounce remember thunder gulch?,archarcharch is better then i was told,nehro may fallow the factor pattern 2 good and the not so good one,pants on fire has la troienne in his sire and dam sire lines he is better then some people think,pace in going to be a huge factor this year.

18 Apr 2011 8:53 PM
7 1/2 Furlongs

Smooth Jazz,

Hello, mate.  Wish I shared the same optimism as you, regarding Santiva's prospects in KD 137.

Currently, I hold 50 unit win ticket on Santiva, 20 unit win Astrology, 20 unit win Rogue Romance, and 20 unit win Nehro from Future Wager Pools I, II, and III.

If you want, I can trade my 50 unit win ticket Santiva for win ticket Nehro (if you have) for similar denomination.

I also hold 5 unit exacta box Santiva and Nehro, but think I'll hold onto that one just in case.  It pays a bundle.

The last time I checked, Santiva is listed at #21 for graded stakes earnings.  If Astrology and another horse drop out, Santiva could very well make it to the KD 137 starting gate.

I have to admit, trying to speculate on this year's Kentucky Derby prep races has been next to impossible.  Better to leave that task to the experts, such as Mr. Haskin.  

18 Apr 2011 9:00 PM
Early Speed

quarter there are 10 of them across the track closing hard with a multiple horse photo for the winner.

IOWay, that would be the biggest "blanket finish" in history!

18 Apr 2011 9:18 PM

The Derby picture was muddled so badly after the weekend preps that I could hardly wait to get home from work to check Steve's "Dozen".

I can see why Dialed In is still on top this week, but I can't count all the times Nick Zito has claimed a horse is "the best I've ever had" so I'm going to take that comment with a grain of salt.  Nehro's stretch run was impressive; he's shown that turn of foot twice recently and come up with the same result.  Maybe only timing is the issue but maybe he is a horse with "second-itus".

The "Afleet Alex" colts, especially Elite Alex, have no more excuses.  Neither will get in anyway; not enough graded earnings.  No Triple Crown for an Alex colt this year.

I don't wish any horse or trainer any setback along the "trail"  but I hope Uncle Mo was considerably affected by his GI troubles, enough to explain his poor performance in the Wood.  If this is the case and he can be right for the Derby, I still think he has a very good chance of doing something special.  His win at Churchill last year is still the most impressive I've seen by any colt headed to the Derby this year.  

18 Apr 2011 9:19 PM
Paula Higgins

If Mo is back at 100% and runs, I still like him. Then comes Dialed In and Mucho Macho Man. I feel like Darci, too many ups and downs, too much uncertainty, I am underwhelmed. I probably need an attitude readjustment to the glass half full, instead of the half glass empty mindset.

18 Apr 2011 9:20 PM
early speed

If UM is able to recover well enough from his stomach virus, and can be rated, he could carry it away. However, all too easily, I can see the closers swallow him up too, especially Dialed In.

18 Apr 2011 9:25 PM

wow cant remember so many changes week to week in the 3 year old crop for the derby in a while,  but watch out for animale kingdom if he works good sat at cd he has the running style and power to keep up with any of this bunch!

18 Apr 2011 9:34 PM

Good to see Elite Alex and Santiva finally get the boot The Factor should also say aloha.This is serious race horse time too late in the game for any questions about health.Also if a trainer is still guessing on what style his charge is stay in the barn on derby day.

18 Apr 2011 9:50 PM

There will never be a derby winner come out of the Blue Grass as long as they run on that synthetic surface. Santa Anita got smart and Keeneland needs to follow suit.

18 Apr 2011 10:06 PM

I 2nd the question about Shackleford, he doesn't have the earnings and looking the current list of graded earnings, I don't see anyone jumping off and Shack needs 2 horses to bail.  It would be interesting if the two speedballs (UM and TF) doesn't make it due to the infection/displacing....

If that happens, now what ?? You're left with Soldat (if the track is sloppy, he'll be tough on the lead), pants on fire, JP Gusto and possibly Brilliant Speed and Animal Kingdom going to the front.  MoH might also go for the lead, it'll be a scramble to the lead...Dialed In, Nehro, Jaycito will all be rolling like freight trains barring any troubles.  I'm getting a headache trying to visualize what the first half of the race is going to look like coming out of the gate.  The one horse that I think has been overlooked so far is DM.  I'm going to study him all week.

Do you have any info on him ?  

18 Apr 2011 10:15 PM
Steve Haskin

I'll try to get to as many of the comments as possible

Terri V. Astrology is running in the Jerome Handicap on Saturday. Lets see what he does there before thinking derby, which is a longshot right now.

Kevin, I agree, I wrote about that in my column

Gin, I go into more detail in my column why I havent thrown The Factor out just yet.

Sam Santschi, I'm sure you wont see Jaycito in the Lexington, so I would wait for the Belmont with him.

Stonesroy, thanks. Yes, the works and overall training and looks are going to determine who I really like in the Derby

El Kabong, sont count on that. A week is all theyre willing to go for.

Winnah, I dont believe MOH did have a dirt work but I definitely will check on that

Danny, I think you may be right about MOH. He looks live to me.

Deacon, I dont want to comment on Terry because he's a nice guy and has done great work for many years. I dont know what the problem is.

Afleet Treat, MMM may move up the list after he works at CD. The 6 weeks is still a little bit of a concern, although not as much after his last two works. But he has to keep up that pace.

18 Apr 2011 10:20 PM
Steve Haskin

Regarding the last blog, I agree with the comments about ganging up on one poster. I wasn't able to get to the comments and would have stopped it before it got out of hand. If you disagree with someone please do it in a civil manner and do not make it personal. Any personal attacks from this point on will be deleted.

18 Apr 2011 10:27 PM

This year's preps have been so confusing, that one has to wonder who really is number one, a case could be made for many. This should make for a great betting race on Derby day, maybe even better than usual.

I'll stick with The Factor for now, it is early to give up on him, and even though his style of running is unlikely to win the Derby, something tells me he is going to win.

Sway Away may just be the most aptly named horse after that stretch run in the Arkansas Derby. He looked like he had been out all night with the good Dr. D.... I don't see this horse showing up in the Derby.

Archarcharch, I won't be able to get the track announcer's voice out of my mind in the Arkansas Derby everytime I hear his name mentioned, somebody please throw that guy a fish. He did look good winning, and think his best days are ahead of him still, for he still looks so young to me, and is growing into a beautiful looking horse.

Nehro, to me is going to be something special this year; his gallop out after the Arkansas Derby looked like he'll love the mile and a quarter distance; just not sure if he may be in for a step back in his next race, after two really good performances. If he improves, look out!

Dialed In cannot be overlooked in any bet , and I won't be surprised if does win.

Can't wait to see who ends up in the final field of twenty and what posts they draw, this is going to be one great race!

18 Apr 2011 10:29 PM


18 Apr 2011 10:38 PM

Santiva has the 3rd highest Middle Score (a score of 21) on his Dosage Profile of any of the Top 23 on the Graded Earnings Money List.  The Middle Score on a Dosage Profile is the Classic Score of a Dosage Profile.  Only Master of Hounds (middle score of 30) and Brilliant Speed (Middle Score of 23) have a higher Middle Score on a Dosage Profile than Santiva.  

18 Apr 2011 10:49 PM
John T

It is hardly surprising that Coolmore have chosen the Derby for Master Of Hounds rather than the

Guineas after that very impressive

performance by Frankel in the Greenham Stakes.He quickened away in the final furlong the way the good ones can.

Voodoo Prince,the 3 year old son of Ouija Board making his debut on the same Newbury card in a mile maiden finished seventh and should

come on for the run.

Almost as breathtaking as Frankel

was his 3 year stablemate World Domination winning at first asking

in a 11 furlong maiden,by the Belmont winner Empire Maker out of

the Epsom Oaks winner Realms Of Verse,a lot more should be heard from him.

18 Apr 2011 10:49 PM
JG Indiana

Steve, I really enjoy reading your Derby rankings and look forward to any updates and reports. Dialed in and Nehro just seem to lack foundation, races under their belt, for me anyway.Midnight Interlude did look good, but lacks foundation and the dreaded Appolo rule to overcome, I haven't seen much from the Euro horses in the Derby, there was a couple in the same Derby a few years ago, and neither one did anything,and I haven't seen a race Master of Hounds was in, so I'll toss him.The Factor seems to have distance issues, and Animal Kingdom and unknown on dirt.Now, I just got to sort out the rest.

(1)Mucho Macho man


(3)Toby's Corner


(5)Pants on Fire

(6)Comma to the Top(is he in?)

(7)3-way tie...Shackleford/Dialed in- Jaycito

This is shaping up to be a wide open, yet interesting and fun Derby( and hopefully a sunny/dry one).

Will the outcome be like the last few big preps?? Thanks again, JG

18 Apr 2011 11:01 PM


18 Apr 2011 11:04 PM

Good Evening Steve,I'm loving how Toby is already being overlooked for Louisville.You and Maiden Watch were on to him very early.I agree with you this colt has serious upside.He is a May foal and by summer he should be coming of age.That being said I still think he Is a major player for the derby.Do you think with his pedigree of Bellamy Road on top and Mister Frisky on the bottom he might be a little closer to the pace than his past races thanks.

18 Apr 2011 11:06 PM

I have about 6-8 I have my win $$ on..Got to narrow it down..

Got to say Dialed in by the slimmest right now..

I believe after reading all the comments Toby's Corner is going to be overlooked..

So will Soldat.

I like those 2 horses

Like the 2 Arkansas derby horses

Need to do more research on MOH..

Right now I am starting to look for my bomber play..

Over 30-1 is a bomber in my book..

Main thought I have is

Steve when the hell you getting to Louisville??

Thanks in advance


18 Apr 2011 11:22 PM

I am just not sure about Uncle Mo. I don't believe he can go the distance, I think he's a sprinter/miler and that he won't be able to get the 10 furlongs, and definitely not the 12.

I still am leaning towards Mucho Macho Man though, and I think until the Blue Grass Stakes are run on traditional dirt, you will never get a measure out of how a horse will do in the Derby.

I am greatly disappointed in Santiva's performance over the weekend. I was hoping for a stronger finish. :(

The way it looks right now, this is a wide open Kentucky Derby, more than it has been in years. The "favorites" have been beaten by long shots who may or may not even run the Derby. I'll see how the field shapes up before I start putting my money on any horse though, but right now, my top 5 are (in no particular order) Mucho Macho Man, Toby's Corner, Dialed In, The Factor and Archarcharch. I can't put Mo in, since he hasn't proven that he can get the distance. I know he likes the track, but I don't think he likes the 10 furlongs and I think he'll fade to finish middle of the pack.

18 Apr 2011 11:26 PM

I grant this won't occur (as he has no graded earnings and won't enter), but if The Factor were to enter (insuring a relatively rapid pace), and if Mo can't do it, Alternation may have been the most likely winner of the Ky. Derby. Take a good look at the Ark. Derby-with its short stretch. It's likely he needed the race (having missed the La. Derby and having only few starts prior. ). Never before has such a top candidate been eliminated from the field.

18 Apr 2011 11:26 PM


Street Sense finished second in the Bluegrass and won the derby. PoineerOf the Nile won the SA Derby on a synthetic track and finished second in to Mine That Bird in the derby. Of MTB five victories, 4 were achieved on Woodbine's poly track.  Sometimes we blame the track and it’s really the horse that is not good enough to win certain races. Barbaro’s best race was on turf where he covered 9F in 1:45 and a bit. That fast!

18 Apr 2011 11:38 PM
El Kabong

Is it any wonder we all stand at this crossroad and ask so many questions about this years crop? It's easy to blame them(Our unselfish crop of 3yr olds). Call them less talented, but we'll never know how they could have matched up because they were never given the chance. They were not given the foundation. They were not entered in enough races to build the foundation of a Secretariat or a Seattle Slew. Go ahead and compare the avg racing history of triple crown winners to that of our leading candidates in 2011 and tell me how fair it looks.  Is it the horse that decides not to run, train and enter? No, we race for all the wrong reasons. We race for graded earnings then sit back and scheme how to get the triple crown on the lightest schedule possible. And I say we because we condone it. It is that first step, the graded earnings where we have gone terribly wrong. That  is the thorn in our hoof. For all of us, from the thoroughbreds right on down to us bottom feeding handicappers, that system does a severe injustice to the sport of kings. It must be changed. Graded earnings are the rotten carrots that have mislead the development of this years crop and others. Let's get it changed. Our sport cannot stand to support a weakness from within.

19 Apr 2011 12:10 AM

I am tired hearing about all of the come from behind horses. Nobody will be coming! Your trifecta is-





19 Apr 2011 12:14 AM
El kabong


I don't know why tracks go to that annoying generic saddle cloth for big events or races.  It didn't make things easy for me and I can understand that any track announcer even Terry with all his experience,  would be at a severe disadvantage under those circumstances. Even the Breeders cup agreed eventually that it was a mistake. Those saddle clothes are what I and most folks rely on more than silks to identify horses. I'd cut any announcer slack for the  mistakes made by the marketing department at Oaklawn.

19 Apr 2011 12:28 AM

The Bluegrass

I think the Bluegrass has been unfairly taking some hits for not being legitimate derby prep. Of winners in the last five year only one horse entered the race with any serious derby credentials and that was Street Sense. He entered the Bluegrass off a track record setting performance in the Tampa Bay Derby. That track record still stands today. He was also the champion 2YO. No other Bluegrass winners since the installation of the synthetic tack were considered legitimate derby contenders. Were Mamba, General Quarters and Stately Victor considered legitimate derby contenders going into the Bluegrass?

The fractions for 2011 Bluegrass were faster than the 2007 renewal won by Dominican in which Street Sense was runner up:

2007 Bluegrass    26.12, 51.46, 1:16.65, 1:39.82, 1:51.33

2011 Bluegrass    25.14, 50.33, 1:14.76, 1:38.69, 1:50.92

The last furlong for the 2007 BG was run in 11.51. If that pace was maintained for another furlong the projected time for 10F would be 2:02.84. The average derby time for the last 10YR is 2:02.16. Street Sense won the derby in a time of 2:02.17. He unleashed ferocious run turn of foot from second to last to win.

Brilliant Speed

The last furlong for the 2011 BG was run in 12.23.  If that pace was maintained for another furlong the projected time for 10F would be 2:03.15. Now Brilliant Speed had a bad trip and came from further back than Dominican and Street Sense. The internal fractions for the 2011 BG were about a second faster. It therefore stands to reason that if with a better trip Brilliant Speed’s projected time for 10F would be marginal faster that that recorded in the 2007 BG.

If Brilliant Speed can be competitive on dirt he is the horse to beat baring the participation of Master Of Hounds. His strides suggest he is not at his best on the poly track. Although he closed rapidly there was no great extension in his strides. He has not distinguished himself on turf and consequently there is no other surface left apart from dirt. Of the 24 top graded earners Brilliant Speed and Master Of Hounds are the only two sired by stallions that have previously sired a winner of a TC race .Dynaformer sired Derby winner Barbaro and Kingmambo sire Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid. Brilliant Speed was bred along the same cross as Barbaro. Brilliant Speed’s dam was sired by Gone West a son of Mr. Prospector. Barbado’s dam was sired by Carson City also a son of Mr. Prospector. Dynaformer is the sire of the Godolphin owned White Moonstone who is possibly the anti post favorite the English Oaks. He also sired the 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americian. Gone West sired Belmont winner Commendable and Breeders Cup Turf Classis DH winner Jodar. He is a far more accomplished stallion than Carson City. Needless to state, Gone West’s dam was sire by Secretariat. In Brilliant Speed there is a colt that has the pedigree to do great things. In the BG he was taken to last to save ground and was switched six wide for clear passage and flew home. Do not allow the slow fraction to mislead; no ordinary colt could have done what he did. His second dam Daijin by Deputy Minister is a full sister to Belmont winner Touch Gold and that makes his third dam a daughter of Buckpasser. With Dynaformer as sire and his stamina laden broodmare line this colt will run all day. The big question is, Can he do it on dirt? I think yes.

19 Apr 2011 12:35 AM
Big G


Like Dialed In as your #1 pick but have same concerns as you.  Running style fits Zito training style.  Would like to a very sharp (sub one minute) 5 furlong last work. Not high on Uncle (Slow) Mo like you are.  Pletcher training style mostly the blame here but if I should see Calvin Borel named as his new jockey suddenly we have a new story or if Pletcher anounces a new running style (way off the pace) I give him another looksie. The Factor not sure about him now and was not sure he could make 1 1/4 with his running style and just what was it that caused that gurgling after his last race????  We will see if he takes to Churchill Downs.  The one intriguing horse is Mucho Macho Man. If this trainer is really just interested in the KD she keeps up the bullet works.

Would like to see a one mile work in 1:37 and change about 11 days before the race and 3/8's blow out on the Thursday before the race in 35 and change.   But chances are we are probably looking at a couple of 4 or 5 works before the race and with one being a bullet.  So unless something really changes drastically  Dial In looks to be the one !!!

19 Apr 2011 12:52 AM

If the last couple of years taught us anything, it's that when you look at a field like this, somebody out of nowhere is going to jump up and bite us all. More than ever this will be a jockeys' race and scoping out a plan is key. Personally, I'm waiting untill the final field is set and we have some clear indication of what the wheather will be like. At that time I'll fill in the blanks. I think my bet will be R Heat Lightening in the Oaks with "all" in the Derby. Should pay a ton! On that note, if I owned the filly, she would run in the Derby because at this point in time, there's not a 3yr old colt that can beat her at the Derby distance.  Just saying.  

19 Apr 2011 1:14 AM

Calvin Borel on Master of the Hounds? Rumor has it that an announcement might come any minute.

My top 5:

Toby's Corner




Uncle Mo

19 Apr 2011 1:24 AM

Thank you Steve for your civil interjection.  The passions of one persons opinion should not instigate a total bashing of that individual. folks please can we keep our passions about this great game fun, or we will become tragic forum like so many others.

19 Apr 2011 1:32 AM
Tiz blessed

dialed in,MMM...on top of all

19 Apr 2011 1:41 AM

For two days I have been waiting and reading and still  NO  CLEAR explanation of exactly what "THE FACTOR" problem is, if its corretible ? could it recur ? ... seems like general poor reporting and Baffert doesn't ever say much, but HOW about a better explanation ...  IS he really possibly out of The Derby?

19 Apr 2011 3:33 AM

LOL  Coldfacts ... for weeks you harp about "Raise a Native" must be in the 'sire lire', and then now you jump on "Brilliant Speed" who is one of the few who doesn't have "Raise a Native" in his sire line?

19 Apr 2011 3:35 AM

 And, as I said before... this year handi capping the Derby is like handi capping a Mdn. Spec. Wgt. off of works alone ?? The 1 1/16 preps pointed is in solid dierctions, the 1 1/8 preps confused us beyond realitly , and its the Derby with gate draw and trip ? ... and Trainers hedging whether there are running or aren't ???? Gee can't want for the "Eskendeayra" ... "I Want Revenge" late scratches ???  

Hmmmm, lets see... if I throw out all the (POLY) winners ; all without a 'BHXFG' line ; all that don't have "Raise a Native" in their sire line ; all that have "Storm Cat" breeding ;   I still  have  a dozen ????  and noone that stands out...  HELP !!!

NOW  can we get a  race where noone gets in the gate with breathing problems??  intestinal flu ???  all the horses wearing 4 PROPERLY attached shoes ??  ... and now this horrid English horse who looked worse in the BC Juv returns (who we haven't even gotten to see IN THE USA since) all grown up to make matters  more difficult ??

Yeah , this is why I never revealed MY top 10 which had "To Honor and Serve" and "Premier Pegasus" ... so  now that my favors are gone and "THE FACTOR" can't breath ,  I am seriously considering skipping the race and watching it just to analize what happened among the 12 sub par OTHERS !!!   I think have a chance to be in the top 4 !!!  {{thinking .10 super tickets make more since boxing the 12 ?? }} LOL and keeping my fingers crossed ! and just holding on to my 2 still alive FUTURE BETS of the 6 !!  

So good luck all... But if you really like a horse in here , bet him across the board in PYRAMID Fashion and FORGET Guessing at EXOCTICS !  

Thats my take and I am stickong to it !!

19 Apr 2011 3:51 AM

Was all over Super Saver last year after his Oaklawn run.  He liked the track & got Borel to guide him.  Europe has taken notice of this year's crop & found it lacking.  Master of Hounds will not only WIN the Derby, he will do it in "dominating fashion" as he has the travel part licked (USA & Dubai), plus he wants more distance like Lemon Drop in the Belmont.  This should be a great day!  I just am hoping for at least 10-1 so I can celebrate in style!

19 Apr 2011 3:57 AM
Mike from Michigan

Is 'Midnight Interlude' the 'Mine That Bird' of 2011?

19 Apr 2011 5:39 AM

This is the year I throw a dart and that's the horse I bet.  What a guessing game.

More to my point, why do bloggers have to be rude & arrogant?  Does shouting or condecension make their OPINIONS any more correct than any one else here?  Does calling yourself a "professional handicapper" mean that everyone must defer to your opinionized statements?  I rather think not, and to KY VET I'd like to say:  Stop being so obnoxious and get rid of your air of superiority.  You are, quite simply, rude and overbearing.

19 Apr 2011 6:30 AM
Zenyatta John

Katherine -

Yes , I'M on the correct blog are you?  This about the Kentucky Derby, not "I like this horse because he's a son of Afleet Alex blog." Some people don't get it.

Nice people, i'm sure they are- but it becomes senseless dribble to babble on and on and on about those sons of Afleet Alex because of their blood and not because of their performances on the track.

Hence - delusions of grandeur!!!

19 Apr 2011 6:35 AM

The Factor if he leaves the gate will be showing his hind-quarters to everyone else.  I like Soldat, Shakleford. Windstar breeds great horses.  Arch-triple will be there too.  The rest are tiring and really hipe.

19 Apr 2011 6:46 AM
David, Dublin


St Nicholas Abbey ran 3rd on his reappearance race at The Curragh a couple of weeks ago. Race was 10 furlongs on soft ground, he was beaten by a good race fit filly. He didn't look comfortable and has that characteristic awkward Montjeu head carriage that made him look like he wasn't enjoying it. Hopefully his next race will be on better ground as I'm sure he'll improve but whether he gets back to the horse he was as a 2-yo is debatable. Delighted that Aidan O'Brien is sending MOH to the Derby, hopeful that the Roses will be coming to Ireland !

19 Apr 2011 6:49 AM

I agree with Voyager on R-Heat Lighting.  Wonderful filly and she could beat the boys.  #1 Oaks

19 Apr 2011 6:49 AM
Big Louie

Getting a big kick out of all the comments, rankings and picks but let's be honest here...

Ever since they went to a 20 horse field, the Derby is NOT a betting race. The best horse doesn't win it, the horse with the best TRIP does. Plain and simple.

However, it IS the Derby and it IS a tradition and talking about it is fun but predicting a winner is nothing more than a crapshoot.



19 Apr 2011 7:14 AM
Fran Loszynski

Thank you Steve, Katherine, Alex's Big Fan. My yakkity-ness about the Alex kids brought fans out and some not but everyone has their personal picks of racehorses and opinions. I actually learn from derogatory remarks, I analyze why fans dislike something about a horse and I'm sure trainers do too. If there weren't fans there wouldn't be racing. There's a big difference though between faith, hope, and delusion.

I've found there is your cigar-toting newspaper bettor and your soft-sided, feel-good story fan in horseracing. When I jump up and down when a "story" horse wins, I get the occasional "Oh Brother!" but it doesn't dim the fact that I love that racehorse, and in fact the "Oh Brother" fan usually gives me the next horse in the next race!-so fans of Afleet Alex and his young will ride on. So much so we can bet on other racehorses as well, that's what a true fan of horseracing does.


Archarcharch (unless Sway Away gets in)

Master of Hounds

Dialed In

     (BOXED)  Good Luck everyone

Will be in Kentucky visiting Afleet Alex.

19 Apr 2011 8:20 AM

just wondering why KY VET screams in his posts. Is he hard of hearing?

19 Apr 2011 8:27 AM

According to the DRF on Breeders Cup Day, Master of Hounds had no timed workouts at CD before running in the BC JUV. Turf.

19 Apr 2011 8:44 AM

Great list Steve:

However, it is remarkable how quickly a horse is forgotten.

Remember Stay Thirsty? If he is still on the Ky Derby trail he could be this year's shocker.

Here are his last 4 figures (Speed Fig+Track Variant):

70+10=80 (carrying 118 lbs)

90+18=108 (carrying 116 lbs)

78+7=85 (carrying 122 lbs)

87+20=107 (carrying 120 lbs).

His best figure on a dry dirt track matches any horse in this field, except The Factor. (I am ignoring all figures run at Fair Grounds and Oaklawn)

Stay Thirsty is the horse that easily beat Toby's Corner. On his best day, he can beat any horse in this field.

With a good draw, they could all be asking-what happened there?.

This is where my money will go if the draw is right and he is training well.

19 Apr 2011 8:50 AM

I do not know what happen, but when I open this page It say that I already summited my rankings and I didn't.  I still prefer Uncle Mo.

19 Apr 2011 9:05 AM
mike rullo


what do you think of dialed in only having 1 workout in 3 weeks coming into the derby?

19 Apr 2011 9:14 AM
Love 'em all

My favorite post ... she nailed it!

>Boy you never know in horseracing!!

Fran Loszynski 18 Apr 2011 3:47 PM<

Good post!

19 Apr 2011 9:42 AM
Billy's Empire

Top 20 Derby Earners:

ok, there are 3 jockey's that are each on 2 horses currently.

Nakatani (Nehro, Comma to the Top)

Alan Garcia (Animal Kingdom, Soldat)

Ramon Dominguez (Stay Thirsty, J.P Gusto)

Out of those 6 horses, 2 may not start in the KY Derby.

Comma to the Top was out of the Derby Pic, but now he is back in, or is he? JP Gusto tired and finished a bad 8th in the ARK Derby after setting the pace.

Could we se Calvin on Animal Kingdom?

Also, out of the top 20 earners, Astrology is out. Jaycito may not make the field b/c of his foot, The Factor is qustionable with his breathing issue, and I as I stated above, JP and Comma to the Top may not run.

Astrology is 1 spot, so Santiva would be in.

JP Gusto could be 2, Watch Me Go could get in

Any other's defect out of the three listed or an injury comes up, Shackleford gets in. I would love to see Twinspired get in as friends of mine own him, but he is on the outside looking in at 24. This is going to be a crazy 3 weeks.

19 Apr 2011 9:46 AM

I keep telling myself that its going to be a longshot derby winner. I keep hearing Uncle Mo from the so called experts, one of which we have posting right in this column, but the fact remains, speed does not win the Derby unless its lone speed. We have 5 or 6 that want the lead and have not shown that they can rate, so you can toss out Uncle Mo and The Factor. Just keep telling yourself; Sidneys Candy...thats all you need to say. I have been impressed with Archarcharch for a few months now, but I question the distance for him. I thing Nehro is a good looking late addition into the field, and he was going to be my longshot...well, not any longer. I still think that Santiva will be there at the end, he had a horrible trip in the BlueGrass and you can throw that race, and theres always Mucho Macho Man who is a solid looking horse. Dialed In will be in the mix also, but that FLA Derby time still concerns me. I'll watch and wait for the next few weeks and then I'll do what feels right

19 Apr 2011 10:02 AM

Steve, would you mind giving us your thoughts as to the physical descriptions of these horses as you see them?


For me, a toss up between him and Nehro.  Whoever is faster down the stretch?


My pick to win if he's in good position at the stretch and has a lane to run in.


I like the way he dug in when Dialed In pulled up to him and he's strong and fast.


He just wins.


If he's 100% he'll be on the board.


He may just grind everybody down.


Definite long shot to bet.


He won't have what he needs to finish.



I don't believe he'll have the speed he needs in the final 1/16th


Could be pull it off


He'll lose ground in the stretch.  Can he hold on?

19 Apr 2011 10:04 AM
Jerry L.

Unfortunately, a very promising horse is unlikely to qualify/run in

Derby due to lack of earnings. Dance City ran huge in Ark. Derby-

up on pace and had to move early into fast pace when FACTOR and SWAY AWAY moved. He was only pace

horse left standing and lost by 2 lengths.  I think he hit the rail in the stretch when crowded by

SWAY AWAY. He is 36th on earnings

list, so unlikely to get in, but this could be a serious horse to

watch.  People will focus on 1st 2

finishers from the race, but this

one ran as well as anyone.

19 Apr 2011 10:15 AM

I have been very high on Soldat, I love his inbreeding to Round Table and it appears he is as versatile over surfaces and fast as was the great Round Table. I would love to see him win the KD and take the TC! My observations of him in the snippets of film I have seen in watching Pursuit of the Crown is that Kieran McLaughlin has him in razor sharp condition. He looks like the greats did in some of their photos.

In watching Pursuit of the Crown, The Factor makes me smile every time. He looks like an overgrown puppy ambling along with his head hanging down. I have never seen him nipping at his walker.  The film of him in his stall show him as curious, friendly and very laid back! I can well understand why George Bolton spent so much time hanging out with him.

Steve, I am looking forward to your 'getting to the prospects' articles. Looks like you have some fun in store!

19 Apr 2011 10:30 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

What a nice way to start the day by reading your Derby Dozen.  It is really, really interesting!  Loved Archarcharch's win in the Arkansas Derby.  Would also like to praise Oaklawn for their 60,000+ crowd. I think the other tracks need to take a field trip and study what Cella and his group have going on there.  It's great!

19 Apr 2011 10:56 AM

Please forgive an old lady who has no "System"  Just a fan for 70 years.  I think we may have another "Giacomo" year.  Thus I picked Shackleford because he is a good horse, long stride and is absolutley beautiful.  Bet my system works as well as yours.. Good luck all and thanks for the space Steve.

19 Apr 2011 11:11 AM

If it's muddy



Midnight Interlude

Dialed In

19 Apr 2011 11:29 AM
El Kabong


I could not agree more with your assessment of Soldat. I will be watching his works and reading Steve's comments on him for sure. Let's hope he show some aggressive moves in his drills and a taste for Churchill's surface when he gets there.

19 Apr 2011 11:36 AM
El Kabong

Jersey Boy,

Well said about Stay Thirsty. He's not off my list either. He had a bad day in Florida so his foundation is not where it should be with only two starts but he is at Churchill working very fast. I have an eye on him as well for my exotics.

19 Apr 2011 11:42 AM


19 Apr 2011 11:55 AM

JG Indiana - I think they've confirmed that Comma is out (unfortunately; I love that horse!). As for the Derby, put 20 names on cards and pick a card - any card! I still think Uncle Mo's likely the best of them, but this year who knows? I can't remember a year when the waters have been so muddy. I do like The Factor. I do like Pants On Fire. I do like Dialed In and I do like Soldat. So far, however, all they've done is play, "It's your turn today," so I'm going to be interested to see whose turn it is on Derby Day.

19 Apr 2011 12:06 PM

Secretariat had an abcess inside his upper lip when he lost the Wood, so it will be easy to keep Uncle Mo near the top, But I really do like The Factor,

19 Apr 2011 12:09 PM

I still see Soldat as the most versatile colt in the Derby field and with the attractive odds he will be getting there is just no way I can pass him up.

19 Apr 2011 12:25 PM
Fran Loszynski

Thanks love'em all. Katharine, I know have been looking at Soldat again ,gee Coronado's Quest was sire I believe and he wouldn't give up the run for the finish, was finikey and temperamental but got the job done. We may see that in Soldat, the killer to finish above the rest. Zenyatta John is probably scratching his head right now-"Didn't she leave for Kentucky yet!" Ha. Ha. little jocularity. Good Luck ZJ with your Derby picks.

19 Apr 2011 12:28 PM

Uncle MO's best race was the BCJ..

Now I ask how many of those horses is he going to be facing in the Derby?

Whole new lineup..

19 Apr 2011 1:09 PM

I watched the Arkansas Derby and the commentary before the race on one of the racing channels...I kept wondering to myself why Archarcharch was so blaitently overlooked? He's got the pedigree and the speed to get the mile and 1 1/16 and beyond.

Ya know what, I was right and I'm $105 richer for it. He's peaking at the right time, watch him, at least I will.

19 Apr 2011 3:01 PM

Being a serious horseplayer, I don't take the Kentucky Derby too seriously.

Maybe if the field was limited to 14, I would.

It is, however, a lot of fun to speculate about. It's also worth a small wager, if for nothing other than bragging rights.

It's the one race where I don't really care what the odds are either.

With all that said, I'll be betting on Nehro. To me, he ran the best of anybody in the stretch. I think he'll hit the board.

To the speed figure fans -

Keep betting the top figure horses, better odds for me!

19 Apr 2011 3:05 PM

here is my derby pick  $305




dail in


19 Apr 2011 3:13 PM

Nancyb- your system is as good as most!  Good luck!

19 Apr 2011 3:22 PM

MY DERBY exacta is SOLDAT in the mud folowed by Toby's Corner, Nehro and/or Master of Hounds.

19 Apr 2011 3:27 PM
Zenyatta John

Thanks Fran - I mean no disrespect, but it does kinda get old reading about sons of Afleet Alex when they've proved nothing on the track~ at least for a hard boot gambler, pedigree expert, and horse player like me.

Good luck to you Fran with your Derby picks.

19 Apr 2011 5:04 PM
Thomas Vetis

Master of Hounds should not be on your list. He has done absolutely nothing. I see that some people on here are calling Soldat an also ran. Hahahaha the also ran is Uncle Slo. Dialed In is a play against. And anything Baffert has doesn't scare me at all. Archarcharch and Soldat and Comma To Top should he go.

19 Apr 2011 5:07 PM

I boxed Archarcharch, Nehro, and Sway Away in the Ark Derby.  Cashed a nice exacta ticket.  I thought Sway Away got a bad ride.  PVal moved him way too soon and then seemed to get stuck on a right handed whip.  The Factor is a definite "need the lead type." Additionally, I suspect he has distance limitations.  I will not use him even if he goes to the Derby.

I boxed Brilliant Speed and Santiva in the Blue Grass. No trip to the cashier in that one. I think Brilliant Speed is on the improve but don't think he will handle the surface at Churchill.  He's a grass/artificial surface horse.  Don't think he'd have trouble going the 1 1/4 miles, though.

I love it when people use Borel's first name when referring to him, like they know him personally.  Kentucky horse racing fans used to do the same with Pat Day.  Pat's gonna win this race.  Pat's the best jockey in the country. etc. etc. Quite frankly, Borel isn't even close to being as good a rider as Pat Day.

A lot of folks on here like to give advice on which horses to bet. The problem is they get stuck on a given horse and when conditions change, they stick with the same horse.  If you're going to play the horses, your thinking has to change as conditions change.  The Factor or Uncle Mo might still win the Derby but it is obvious that they are NOT unbeatable.  Personally, I will not bet either in the Derby.

I am bothered by people who, year after year, compare Derby bound three year olds to Secretariat.  One day another horse might come along possessing a degree of talent to rival Secretariat but that hasn't happened yet.  None of this year's three year olds is even as remotely talented as the great horse.  I saw him run and win each of the Triple Crown races.  His performance in the Belmont Stakes was absolutely breathtaking.  He was, and is, the greatest thoroughbred to ever put four hooves on a racetrack.  There is only one horse that should be mentioned in the same breath and that is Man O' War and only then if you're discussing races run at marathon distances.

19 Apr 2011 5:17 PM

OK  , still as confused as I am??  Thusly, for the more serious who really want to look at some breeding angles and forget all the times and fractions that Prep winners ran over different tracks and different surfaces?… First of all, every runner in here is connected to the ‘BHXFG’ (big heart ‘X’ Factor gene’) strain via at least one line, (note: “Watch Me Go” discovered via a line to “Blossom Time” when re-checking all), so we can’t toss anyone on that thought.

As we all know,--unless you’re a “Storm Cat” bred as good as “Blue Grass Cat” you might get second, but WINNING,--that is, being the DERBY WINNER,--isn’t likely in the cards !!! (…–but, 2nd is still possibly in the cards for you, thusly “Dialed In” with “Storm Cat” on the ‘dam side’ (…although better apparently on the ‘dam line’ side than on the ‘sire line’ side, where one picks up a “BHXFG” strain line via “Secretariat” through “Princequillo” to “Cosquillo”, which is more  preferable than on the ‘sire line’ side, where that gene line is broken!!.) Thusly, we must scratch from the ‘presumed 20’ as BEING THE WINNER, those of the likes of: “Decisive Moment” ; “Santiva” ; “Shackleford” ; “Twinspired”, & even "Dailed In", who all fall into this category, where historically “Storm Cat” bred horses don’t rate to get 1 ¼ , and thusly shouldn’t be the WINNER.

NEXT, we must consider this angle, “WAR CHANT” owners claim that they were “out looking for ‘milers’ at purchase time”!!!  (Although re “War Chant” breds we have little historical data !!!) Yet, that means that they weren’t expecting distance rated horses, so why should we the horse players and betters play such to WIN?!!  So who falls in this category? “The Factor” ; “Soldat” ; and “Midnight Interlude”.  AND, Yes we have liked many of these animals in 1 1/16 and even up to 1 1/8, where at those distances several have impressed. And yet, I must remind all that we are still only looking for the Logical WINNER among 20, and not who might finish ‘in the money.’

 THE next detraction has to be those ‘sired’ via the “Indian Charlie” and “Trippi” bred lines,--again, being more ‘miler’ purchased types !!--THUSLY, we must subtract “Uncle Mo” ; & “Comma to the Top” ; {{&  “Anthony’s Cross”}} as the WINNER, (that being should the later make it in!!! ) And again, yes, MANY of those listed so far have impressed us at lesser distances of 1 1/16 and 1 1/8, but historically aren’t winners at a 1 ¼ !!!

 Next, and as percentage wise consideration, we want an animal that has “Raise a Native”-“Native Dancer” (speed influence with distance capability in the ‘sire’ line). So, to this category we lose “Brilliant Speed” ; “Animal Kingdom” ; “Santiva”, & “Shackleford” as the projected WINNER.

 Thusly you must be asking by now, ‘who does that leave us with???’ ….Well,…that leaves:

“Archarcharch” ; “Master of Hounds” ; “Mucho Macho Man” ; “Jaycito” ; “Nehro” ; “Pants on Fire” ; “Stay Thirsty” ; “Toby’s Corner” ; “Twice the Appeal” ; & “Watch Me Go” .

 NEXT, we must consider a lack of inbreeding with “Northern Dancer”-“Nearctic”-“Nearco” (Ity.) {{“Nearco” 16-16 !!! life time, and found in many lines and multiply so}} and “Raise a Native”-“Native Dancer” lines,--in bred for SPEED while retaining some stamina, which makes “Toby’s Corner” & “Twice the Appeal” tosses to win !!! Next, we must consider that “A.P. Indy” lines in general, although highly prized and many good horses from this line, yet where they have historically faired poorly percentage wise over the years at 1 ¼ , meaning that from the list we must toss “Pants on Fire” and “Nehro” as the potential WINNERS ,--note, that anyone can finish 2nd mind you.--…(besides the latter “Nehro” loves finishing 2nd anyway!!) … {& “Arthur’s Tale”}  So who does that leave us with? … “Archarcharch” ; “Master of Hounds” ; “Mucho Macho Man” ; “Jaycito” ; “Stay Thirsty” ; & “Watch Me Go” !!!    

 OK, so next, even though they meet the criteria thus far, (just because your meet the criteria doesn’t mean they are the winner, so let’s toss those that have not impressed us at a 1 1/18, who would thusly be: “Watch Me Go” ; “Jaycito” ;  & “Stay Thirsty”, who would fall into this category!! Therefore, NOW whose left??? … “Archarcharch” ; “Master of Hounds” ; & “Mucho Macho Man” ; …{& “Silver Medallion”}. Now we toss any winner from Poly surfaces ? …none in this category apply ! Thusly, the winner should come from one of these three ??? (or 4?)  following all the logic thus far, that is!!  And still we must consider “Watch Me Go” ; “Jaycito” ;  & “Stay Thirsty”, as the other potential long shots! "Watch Me Go" ? really you ask ! ... well, he does meet all of the other above criteria if your still looking for a long shot!

 But, then lets consider this, this is a year of a 2nd rate group of horses now !!, where with injuries to the likes of: “The Factor” ; “Premier Pegasus” ; “To Honor and Serve” ; “Tapizar” ; “Riveting Reason” ; “Arthur’s Tale”; “Rogue Romance” ; “Boys of Tusconova” ; “Ft. Hughes” ; “Crossbow” ; “Clubhouse Ride”; “Gourmet Dinner” ; “Left” ; “Kantharos” ; & “Rough Sailing”….& etc.,  we are thusly leaving off some of the cream of this year’s crop !!

 And, then there are some of the rest, such as “Flashpoint”;  “Sway Away” ; and “King Congie” & etc. who meet some of the criteria and that came real close to making the grade , but just missed out !.--like “King Congie” by ‘a head’,--re the still ever ‘system of the ‘graded earnings’ ‘ that is still in place, although finding an alternative model to get to the correct 20 and such a system would present us with another challenge, measurable to the like of finding a way to do away with slavery before the Civil War and averting that war when there was never any such model offered the South or the Nation of some viable alternative model of such a radical overnight and monumental change, thusly to the avoiding that war!.

Oh, yes, and should “Silver Medallion” somehow make the starting gate still ??? (hope so, as I am still holding a Pool #1 Future Bet ticket on him , HE does, by the way, meet all the requirements along with “Archarcharch” ; “Master of Hounds” ; & “Mucho Macho Man”, and etc.

Furthermore, should anyone be thinking of playing exoctics with the this bunch ???  YOU had best be prepared to use the ‘ALL’ button !  in the WIN and OR the place category as this race should be that wide open !!! Again, I recommend this line, take the one or several horses you like, and bet then WIN , PLACE , SHOW in some pyramid fashion, like $10 to win… $30 to place … and $60 to show and then keep your fingers crossed !!!

And, adding logic is nice, but, we must add the potential weather condition, the gate draw position, getting out of the gate and early traffic and still having the ability to rate!!. …and something left coming down the stretch ! And again, since this is a weaker than normal field, anything can happen. And also remember this, “rules are made to be broken”, (Maybe this is the year that “A.P. Indy” lines or “Storm Cat” make the grade ?? Thusly, if I excluded your favorite above in some fashion…??  THESE are ONLY Guide LINES re breeding angles and percentages, NOT my recommendation as to the proper bet!!! “Giacamo” and “Mine that Bird” DID NOT initially MEET such guide lines either and yet they still won !! So, again, if you like your horse, you like his name , or he was foaled on your birthday , or whatever your reasoning or excuse , feel free to bet what you can afford on who you like! Then again, $2 WIN bets on every horse in the field over 45-1 is starting to also look like a real attractive bet with this bunch or even boxing 12 horses in a .10 superfecta is looking like an angle.

 In any event, I hope this is a different look for some, and that such helps you consider or reconsider your choice or choices up to and at this point in time with plenty of time to reconsider and that this entry doesn’t confuse you all that much further. THIS IS A TOUGH CROWD TO HANDICAP using breeding angles or other. And remember,  “HORSES don’t’ Run on PAPER “ or listen to or read from blog entries, they run on a dirt track! And, anything can happen from a rider getting tossed at the gate, to your favorite stumbling to his knees out the gate, or even stumbling to his knees down the stretch, OR they take him down after an inquiry for interference even though he gets to the WIRE first!!!. So, don’t feel badly looking for the excuse as to why the one of the 20 you picked lost. But, be joyous if you pick the winner! But, don’t bet the house or the ranch on this race either.  

 Remember this also, there will be lots of races on that card and at the other tracks on that day. Derby Day itself besides the ‘mint juleps’ is about bigger betting “pools” in all of the other races at Churchill and even at the other tracks over that day, because so many players attend and bet this day nation wide. So, I suggest this race is nearly a toss from a true gamblers perspective and SHOULD NOT be BET heavily guessing. Yet, should you chose to bet it, BET it lightly, that being, unless you have that GOD sent premonition or have that horse shoe up your ****** .   Blog entry -4/19-20/11

19 Apr 2011 6:06 PM

Katherine & El Kabong,

That's why I have been so high on Soldat since the FOY.  I see something unique in him as well.  I like the Danzig connection.  He does have a certain look of the greats, an awareness.  The Round Table breeding is interesting too.

And now we have the worry if Mo will retain his weight during his GI recuperation period at Churchill.  And I am sure he is on an antibiotic regimen, so here we go again with the meds. El Kabong, your statement about the graded earnings race was spot on.

After the Derby 20 have been confirmed I am going to follow this formula and see if I still shake it up to come out with my Mo, Soldat, and Dialed In:

1.Group 20 into 3 categories:

Front Runners

Mid-Pack Closers

Late Closers

2.Determine from their 3 yr. old campaigns who has demonstrated the most semblance of order and consistency in performance, not in monetary earnings.

3.Are any synthetic horses in this

20 mix?

4.Watch TVG's "The Works" program or internet video highlights of their most recent works for head carriage, legs, etc. for visuals.

As a matter of fact I think TVG should have Steve as guest commentator as the horses work from Churchill.

5.Look at the Calvin factor if he

is on a mount in the 20.

6.Play out the race on paper a few ways.  Does Dialed In have enough to get to Mo and Soldat if they are out front for example.  If 4 or so mid-pack closers are coming, who looks more able to get out of traffic, etc.?  Master of Hounds will be on his 3rd country to race in, can he endure it?

7.Look at the final post position draws and make a pick.

19 Apr 2011 6:34 PM


Please say hello to Afleet Alex for me while you are in Kentucky.  He is to me like A.P. Indy is to Lenny Shulman.  I have yet to establish myself as a fan of any of Alex's offspring, none of them have impressed.  I was harsh on Dublin and not any better by tossing Elite months ago.  But maybe one year, with the right combination of broodmare the genetics will evolve and Alex will pass his athleticism on.  Sometimes it takes evolvement and Alex is a relatively young sire. Regards to Gainesway, Alex, etc.  Glad to see you retained a sense of humor in the face of adversity and moved on with your picks.  Good luck.

19 Apr 2011 6:58 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I wonder who will win The Derby this year?

19 Apr 2011 7:11 PM

Lot of traveling for Master of Hounds; never raced on dirt; less than stellar PP.  

I'm leaning toward Midnight Interlude.  Your description of him fell in lock step with what I've been thinking about him.

But it may boil down to what horse Calvin is riding.  :-)

19 Apr 2011 7:59 PM

Other than Sunny's Halo, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, and Curlin, every other Arkansas Derby Winner has not had that great of a Kentucky Derby.  More then likely the reason why is that the Arkansas Derby takes a lot out of the Winner.  Other than those 4 Winners mentioned above, the other Arkansas Derby Winners haven't had enough "in the tank" for the 1 1/4 mile distance of the Kentucky Derby.    

19 Apr 2011 8:11 PM


“for weeks you harp about "Raise a Native" must be in the 'sire lire”

Your statement above is a shade off the mark. I stated that the RAN sire line was the most powerful force in Triple Crown history. I never specified that RAN must be in the sire line for a particular horse to have a chance of winning the derby. How could I? It would be absurd to make such a statement with the knowledge that the Buckpasser and Northern Dancer sire lines are second and third in the production of derby winners in the last 30yrs.  At that point there were about 5 to 6 RAN line horses including the explosive Premier Pegasus and the hard knocking Riveting Reason, Alternation Sway Away Elites Alex, Brethren etc.  I was highlighting the success of the sire line and this should not be confused with you statement above.

“now you jump on "Brilliant Speed" who is one of the few who doesn't have "Raise a Native" in his sire line”

You are correct! Brilliant Speed  does not have the RAN sire line in his pedigree. I made a little money off him in the Bluegrass because I liked his dam line. Are you aware that prior to the news that Master of Hounds was derby bound there was a possibility that no horse from the RAN sire line would be in the derby as decision on Jaycito is still pending? Thus an extract from my post:

“If Brilliant Speed can be competitive on dirt he is the horse to beat baring the participation of Master Of Hounds”

19 Apr 2011 9:00 PM

Below the *** below please find breeding info on most all the contenders excluding "Astrology" ; "Comma to the Top" ; and "JP's Gusto", whom are projected not likely to run??? Undoubtedly the format will unlikely not match up , so please copy and paste to a word . doc and print out. The PPS, post positions, and direct sires lines, earnings, & trainers etc., will appear in your program Derby Day obviously, but take this sheet along with you and add or take notes. UNFORTUNATELY, I was not able to display TOMLINSON Distance Numbers "Distance-Wet-Turf" etc., where I have not yet found such through DOWNEY ; CINDY ; DFR ; or Blood Horse properly dosplayed anywhere YET to share and dispaly such with and don't understand why STEVE or someone at Blood Horse can't supply us with those NUMBERS unless there is some contractral problem in reproducing such with DFR and rights haven't been obtained ??? BUT, those numbers re 'distance' {{and 'wet' if sloppy, would be desired information, which might help all try to discern the winner.

 Again, GOOD LUCK TO ALL, and again TY STEVE for the weekly updates and TY bloggers for ALL your comments and shared information.



 Animal Kingdom: (Kty.); H.G. Motion; Mar. 20th foal; $100K ’09 Keenlander ;

              [[dbl. bred to Lyphard -Northern Dancer ; Turn To ; 5 X + bred to Nearco (Ity.) ; … &

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

 Archarcharch: (Kty.); Tr. J. Fires; Mar. 18th foal;  $60K ’09 Keenlander;

[[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer ;  Raise a Native, Nashua ; & Royal Charger ; triple bred to Nasrullah ; & 5 X bred to Nearco ; … &

                           4 X  bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via 3 X to Brushup & 1 X to Blossom Time]];

 Anthony’s Cross: (Pa.); Tr. E. Harty; Feb. 13th foal;  $300K  ‘09 FTS N.Y.;

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

                           4 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via 2 X to Brushup & 1 X @ to Blossom Time & Mah Mahal]];

  Decisive Moment: (Fla.); Tr.  J. Arias;  $70K  ’10 OBS;

               [[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer & Secretariat & 5 X  bred to Princequillo (Ire.)&  quad b red to Nearco (Ity.) ; ….&

                           2 X  bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via 1 X @ to Blossom Time & Brushup]]  ;

  Dialed In: (Kty.); Tr. N. Zito; Feb. 6th foal; $475K ’09 FTS NY;  Haskins #4 to #3-#4-#1:

[[dbl. bred to Secretariat & quad bred to Bold Ruler & 6 X bred to Nasrullah & 7X bred to Nearco ; triple bred to Princequillo ; …&

                           2 X  bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via 2 X to Cosquillo]];

  Jaycito: (Kty.); Tr. (f. M. Mitchell to) B. Baffert; Jan. 29th foal; A+

                [[quad bred to Northern Dancer ; 7 X bred to Nearco (Ity.) ; triple bred to Tirn To ; dbl. bred to Princequillo…&

                          4 X  bred w/the ‘XFBHG’ via 2 X to Blossom Time & 1 X @ to Brushup & Mah Mahal]];

  Master of Hounds : (Kty.); Tr. A.P. O’Brien; ; Mar. 4th foal ;

                [[triple bred to Northern Dancer & dbl. bred to Native Dancer ; Nasrullah ; Forli (Arg.); Hyperion (G.B.) ; & Special &

                                    5 X bred to Nearco (Ity.) …&  

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

  Midnight Interlude: (Kty.); Tr. B. Baffert;

                [[triple bred to Northern Dancer & dbl. bred to Nasrullah ; Native Dancer ; Turn To ; & Princequillo ; …&

                          2 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via 1 X @ to Cosquillo & Mah Mahal]];

  Mucho Macho Man: (Fla.); Tr. K. Ritvo;

                [[dbl. bred to Mr. Prospector Nasrullah ; & Grey Dawn (Fr.) ;  &  triple bred to Native Dancer & Nearco (Ity.)…&

                          2 X  bred w/the ‘XFBHG’ via Blossom Time & Brushup]];

  Nehro: (Kty.); Tr. S. Asmussen; Feb. 25th foal;  $170K ‘09 Keenlander;

           [[dbl. bred to Mr. Prospector; Bold Ruler; Nashua; & Tom Fool; 5 X bred to  Nasrullah ;…&  

                          2 X  bred to the ‘BHXFG’ via Blossom Time & Cosquillo]];

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

                [[dbl. bred to Mr. Prospector ; Seattle Slew; Secretartiat; & Key to the Mint; quad. bred to Bold Ruler & Princequillo;

                                  & triple bred to Buckpasser ; 6 X + bred to  Nasrullah & 7 X + bred to Nearco (Ity.)…&

                 11 X  bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via 4 X each to Blossom Time & Brushup ; 2 X via Cosquillo ; & 1 X via Mah Mahal]]:


  Santiva: (Kty.); Tr. (f. K. McPeek; to T. Pletcher; to) E. Kenneally;

         [[triple. bred to Northern Dancer & quad bred to Nasrullah & dbl. bred to  Bold-Ruler & Turn To; & 7 X bred to Nearco …&

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

  Shackleford: (Kty.); Tr.  D. Romans; $275K ’09 Keenlander ;

             [[triple bred to Nasrullah ; dbl. bred to Bold Ruler ; Dr. Fager ; & In Reality ; & 6 X bred to Nearco (Ity.); … &  

                         5 X  bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via 3 X to Brushup & 2 X to Blossom Time]];

  Silver Medallion: (Kty.); Tr. S. Asmussen; May foal; $150K ’09 Keenlander;

[[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer; triple bred to Nasrullah; dbl. bred to Princequillo & Hail to Reason; & 8 X bred to Nearco (Ity.) ; &

                         4 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via  2 X @ to Blossom Time & Mah Mahal]];

  Soldat: (Kty.); Tr. K. McLaughlin: Apr. 19th foal; off the (T); $180K ’09 Keenlander;

   [[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer & Mr. Prospector & quad  bred to Raise a Native & Nearco (Ity.); & triple bred  Princequillo ; &

                         2 X  bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via  1 X @ to Blossom Time & Brushup]];

  Stay Thirsty: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher;  Mar. foal; $150K ’09 Keenlander; $500K ’10 FT Fla. ;  

 [[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer ; Native Dancer ; Princequillo; & triple bred to Bold Ruler & Nasrullah ;  & 6 X bred to Nearco ..&

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

  The Factor: (gr.) (Kty.); Tr. B. Baffert; Mar. 15th foal; $50K ’08 Keenlander; $40K  FTKty ’09; $250K  ’09 BAR ;

           [[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer & Mr. Prospector ; Princequillo; & Hyperion (G.B.) ;

                           … & quad bred to Native Dancer & Nearctic (Ity.); …&

                         3 X  bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via 1 X @ to Blossom Time ; Brushup ; & Cosquillo]];  

   Toby’s Corner: (Fla.); Tr. H.G. Motion;  foal Mar. 25th;

              [[dbl. bred to Bold Ruler ; Round Table & quad bred to Pricnequillo ; …&

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

   Twinspired: gr. (Kty.); Tr. M.J. Maker; Apr. 16th foal; $55K  ’08 Keenlander; $240K   ’10 FTS Mid Atl. ;

  [[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer ; Bold Ruler ; Hail to Reason ; triple bred to Turn To &  Pincequillo ; & 7 X bred to Nearco ; …&                  

                         2 X  bred to the ‘BHXFG’ via 1 X @ to Brushup & Mah Mahal]];

   Twice the Appeal: (Kty.); Tr. J. Bonde; May 10th foal; $4K ’09 Keenlander ; OBS ; $35K ’10 BAR ;

            [[quad bred to Hyperion (G.B.); dbl. bred to Alibhai (G.B.) ; Tudor Minstrel (G.B.); Lucky Debonair ; …&

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

   Uncle Mo: (Kty.); Tr. T. Pletcher ; Apr. foal;.$160K  ’08 Keenlander; $220K  ’09 Keenlander;

   [[triple bred to Northern Dancer ; & dbl. bred to Raise a Native–Native Dancer & Turn To  w/Princequillo on the ‘dam side’ ; ..&

                         4 X bred w/the ‘BHXFG’ via 3 X to Blossom Time  & 1 X to  Brushup]];

   Watch Me Go: (Fla.): Tr. K. O’Connell;

             [[dbl. bred to Northern Dancer; Tulvar (Ire.); & Bold Ruler ; & triple bred to Nearctic ; …&

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

19 Apr 2011 9:08 PM

Some have suggested we have a mediocre group at best this year( we hear this every year). If so one could say we have a bunch of dogs, and who better to defeat them than Master of Hounds. I don't agree that this is a mediocre group, in fact I find it one of the most interesting groups we have had in sometime. I have become accustomed to dismissing any Europeans, as they have seldom had much success in the Derby. I want to do the same with Master of Hounds this year, but I think it might prove to be a mistake. It is difficult to compare the races overseas , what with the surface differences and the length of the races and the racing styles, but when I look at one of his races, I see a horse that could be very dangerous in the Derby. Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think.

19 Apr 2011 9:16 PM

David, Dublin;

Thank you for the information! I really appreciate it!


19 Apr 2011 9:26 PM

Add me to those who are critical of the 20-horse Derby field.  Get rid of the auxilary gate and, #1 - some of the "pretenders" would get "weeded out" and, #2 - the 14 that really deserve to be there would have a more equal chance. The dreaded "1" pole would still be a detriment, but not to the extent it is now.  Does anybody doubt Lookin At Lucky was best last year?

And speaking of the 14 that "deserve to be there", I'm still not convinced graded earnings are the way to determine that.  I probably shouldn't say that without having a solution (which I don't)but note that I'm not stating this as fact, just my opinion.

And speaking of opinions, if comments were posted as opinions and not as "fact", I think people would tend to be less critical.

19 Apr 2011 9:27 PM

When confusion sets in, that is when history comes in handy. The derby appears wide open and when such a scenario exists there are usually more questions than answers. The group that consistently provide derby winners will also provide the answers and thats horses the Raise A Native sire line. Eight of the last 11 derbies were won by horses from the RAN sire line. In fact the last three TC races were won by horses from this sire line as well as 23 of the last 30 TC races contested. It appeared for a moment that the most Powerful Force in Triple Crown history would be without a representative in the 2011 derby field. But alas the regally bred Master of Hounds has chosen to grace us with his presence. This turn of events will ensure that the ghost of Native Dancer will continue its haunting of Churchill Downs.

Master Of Hounds from the powerful and revered RAN sire line has the best derby pedigree and the most positives of all heading into the derby. He will win the derby if he can bring his A game to dirt.

Consider the following positives:

Trainer:  One of the best in the world at conditioning horses for rout races. While Todd Pletcher was embarrassing Uncle Mo by starting him in the ungraded and Timely Writer against an average group of, Mr. Obrien was making plans to ship his colt Dubai to contest Gll UAE derby on an unfamiliar surface at 9.5F. Mr. Pletcher is on record as saying he had no intention starting the once Mighty Mo at 9F for his 3YO debut. Mr. Obrian started his colt at 9.5f and lost by the narrowest of margins. Now he moves on the ultimate challenge. His record reflects he is up to the task at hand. He brought the undefeated 2YO Johannesburg who raced exclusively on turf to the contest the Breeders Cup Juvenile and defeat the best  2YOs in the US on a surface unfamiliar to him. Included in the field was the Officer the Uncle Mo of his generation. He also brought over Giant’s Causeway who races exclusively on turf to contest the Breeders Cup Classic he lost by a HD.  Now! Which trainer’s charge would you wager your hard earned cash on after reading the aforementioned cold facts?

Sire: The top class Kingmambo who is a son of Mr. Prospector who will attempt to become the 4th son of the great stallion to sire a derby winner. Kingmambo has already enjoyed classic success as he sired Belmont winner Lemon Drop kid. He is also the sire of King’s best who defeat Giant’s Causeway in the Two thousand Guineas and Dubai Destination who defeated Rock Of Gibraltar. Derbywinners Thunder Gulch, Unbridled and War Emblem were sired by sons of Mr. Prospector.

Dam Sire:  Sadler’s Wells was the leading sire in France, Great Britain & Ireland and North America during the 1990s. Champion sire in Great Britain & Ireland 14 times, as well as Champion Sire in France three times and North America once. He has produced over 293 stakes winners and 74 individual Group 1 Grade 1 winners. He was leading Broodmare sire in Great Britain & Ireland (2005-2008) Sadler’s Wells is a son of the great Northern Dancer and will be the 4th son of the great sire of sire to be a derby winning broodmare sire when Master Of Hounds succeed in the derby. The RAN/Northern Dancer cross has produced derby winners Street Sense, Monarchos, Fusaichi Pegasus and Thunder Gulch.

Dam: Silk and Scarlet was lightly raced and G11 winner. Lightly raced and unraced mares make the best producers.

PP: he was 3rd in the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-G1,Don, 8F) to the Godolphin/Darley owned Casamento who is possibly the only competition for the brilliant Frankel who won his 3YO debut in a graded race.

(Nothing like the Timely Writer) He was 6th in the BCJ with a troubled trip. He was 2nd in the UAE Derby beaten by the brilliant and fitter Khawlah.

I consider Master Of Hounds the total package and with the removal of steroids from US racing the playing fields has been leveled. When a colt like MOH from the most successful sire line in derby history enters the starting gates with such overwhelming positives, the derby is all but over and all others will be running for second. He has tactical speed and will be forwardly placed and like the Mighty Mo can quicken out of strong fractions. The significant difference is he has stamina to spare. Subject to correction the UAE Derby was likely his first start since his 6th place finish in the BCJT. He was very strong throughout the 9.5F of the derby on a track that required maximum fitness for success. Closer like the Dialed In, Nehro and Jaycito if he makes the race will be left for dead when this colt quickens. I will be keeping my finger and toes crossed that he can bring his A game to dirt as he will be my key horse and if the ship hit and iceberg I am prepared to go down with it.

19 Apr 2011 10:01 PM

good luck

19 Apr 2011 10:35 PM

With Master of Hounds in there, doggone this Derby, it changes things, uh, well maybe only their names:

Soldat - RinTinTin

Uncle Mo - Air Bud

Dialed In - Old Yeller

Shackleford - Huckleberry Hound

ArchArchArch - Scooby Doo

The Factor - Greyfriar's Bobby

Toby's Corner - Benji

Mucho Macho Man - The Chihuahua

Nehro - Underdog

One thing is for sure if Master of Hounds entered the Preakness, then Steve's choice of infield mascots was perfect, the St. Bernard dog from Topper!

19 Apr 2011 10:52 PM

Me parece que la carrera de Dance City fue extraordinaria, siendo su preparacion para el Kentucky Derby, si Pletcher lo inscribe debe estar entre los 3 primeros en el Derby

19 Apr 2011 10:59 PM
L'ville Sooner

I'm love'n me some Dialed In - the breeding & he's a true closer.  I'm not ready to give up on Soldat.  Really like Arc3 and the Factor still scares the hell out of me.

Only weeks away now - gotta get in the gate to win.  Stay tuned.

19 Apr 2011 11:32 PM
det tom

don't have a clue on this derby no really standout better to throw out no chancers and box whats left dailed in 3arch nehro

20 Apr 2011 3:55 AM

Nice breakdown, Zarvona.  I like when others do my homework for me!

I don't know much about MOH, although I did watch his UAE Derby and you have to be impressed with that performance.  I'm always leery of horses that ship from there for the Derby though.

My Top 4, based on their bodies of work, are AAA, MMM, Dialed In and Toby's Corner (hesitantly).  Shackleford looks like a gamer and could upset a lot of apple carts.  Uncle Mo and The Factor still scare me.  

20 Apr 2011 6:11 AM

derby pk3...?+?+all..

20 Apr 2011 8:16 AM

Animal Kingdom


How does the above colt get into your baker’s dozen with his Spiral performance based on the overall time of the race and the internal fractions cited below?

2011 Spiral          23.57, 45.51, 1:12.57, 1:38.96, 1:52.32

Internal Frnct                 21.94,    27.06,    26.39,    13.36

2011 Bluegrass    25.14, 50.33, 1:14.76, 1:38.69, 1:50.92

Internal Frntc                  25.19,    24.43,    23.93,    12.23    

You haves based it on the following:

“but he looked good winning the Spiral, and the horse he beat by 6 lengths came back to be beaten a nose in the Blue Grass”

I am at a loss with your conclusion that a colt that completed 9F in 1:52.32 looks good. The final time for the 2011 Spiral is approximately 2 to 3 seconds slower than the previous four renewals of the Lanes End. Based on the internal fractions above the 2nd quarter was completed in 21.94 that must be a record for a second quarter. The 2nd quarter for the SAN FELIPE that a lot of posters cited a pace meltdown was run in 22.83. The 3rd quarter of the Spiral was run in approximately 5 seconds slower than the second. What appeared to be an impressive move was really the leading group backing up as they were sucking wind by the time they reached the 6F marker. The last 3F in the Spiral were run in 39.75. The Spiral’s last 3F was the slowest of all the 2011 9F preps. How does that equate to impressive?  The last 3F of the Bluegrass was run 36.16 a full 3 1/2 seconds faster. The Bluegrass last 3F was the fastest of all the 2011 9F preps. It would have been faster if the winner had clear passage as he had to be angled 6 wide for his run.

Animal Kingdom’s performance in the Spiral was not impressive and he does not merit a spot in the extended dozen. The performance of Brilliant Speed in the Bluegrass was far superior. In fact, Brilliant Speed should be ahead of the slow MMM and Soldat as those two along with others will not finish ahead of him in the derby.

20 Apr 2011 8:44 AM

Keep checking back Dr Drunkinbum, we are all working on it as hard as we can and hope to make an announcement soon!

20 Apr 2011 10:12 AM

Zarvona,  very interesting post (19 Apr 2011 6:06 PM), but you were refering to War Front right?


20 Apr 2011 10:28 AM

Zarvona I find your posts fascinating to read and a nice confirmation to my preferences on some of the horses I like, such as Archarcharch.

20 Apr 2011 10:42 AM

RobinM I so agree with you and others about the 20 horse field! Perhaps one way to find the 14 would be number and quality of races won by grade rather than just earnings. What do y'all think?

20 Apr 2011 11:18 AM
Sue Mac-Gray

I agree with those above who think the field is too large. It's a cavalry charge, and whomever has some talent PLUS a good trip will win it. If the physical ailment aspect could be thrown aside, I'd still rank The Factor and Uncle Mo in my top 5 anyway. I also like Dialed In, Midnight Rule, Pants on Fire, Mucho Macho Man. I can't commit more than that until I read about their works in the next two weeks and jockey assignment.

20 Apr 2011 11:37 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

If you want to know the Derby winner all you have to do is receive the vision of the racing headlines for May 8th, Sunday.

* "Stay Thirsty says 'Drinks Are In Me' after Derby Shocker"

* "Mucho Macho Man Battles in Heart To Heart Derby Win"

* "I Cannot Tell A Lie- Pants On Fire Blazes To Derby Win"

* "So Dat's How It's Done !! Soldat Is Splendid In Derby Victory"

* "Archarcharch mARCHes to Big Win For The Gippers"

* "Mo Gains Redemeption With Stomach Churning Photo Finish"

20 Apr 2011 12:34 PM
Ellen from Michigan

To Queen Rachel

Secretariat did lose the Wood, and there was something wrong with him.  He had an abcess in his mouth.  But he sure scooped up the Triple Crown.  Uncle Mo; I still believe in him too.  Hopefully he's 100% on Derby day.  But, I do like Dialed In and Nick Zito.  And Zito's been the spoiler many times.

Whoever wins; may they all come home safe.

20 Apr 2011 12:36 PM

Steve has ANIMAL KINGDOM on the list because he is lightly the video..he DID look good...he also didn't use faulty facts like your 22 2nd quarter....both horses ran about the same...steves horse has right to improve...whats wrong with him likeing that?  And heres a tip....the spiral was run on a slow track...why you go on times of tracks? use beyer figs then compare..use something that takes into the speed of the track.....then facts have relevance....and if horse goes slow early in a race, they come home fast....thats why bluegrass flew home.....are you new?

20 Apr 2011 1:15 PM

Rome was not built in a day, but Nehro will conquer all in May

20 Apr 2011 1:42 PM

THIS DERBY STUFF IS COMPLICATED. Folks with the likes of a suicide duel a likely scenario in the derby.  That tosses the likely front runners. With the likes of the mid packers getting probably a cleaner trip all the way around. A Well rested beast is growing into his body of armour, practically a juvenile still and will be ready to put his 17 hands of raw power to good use, his name...MUCHO MACHO MAN hope to get at least 12-1 on Derby day. As exacta goes couple MMM in with that son of brilliant stamina DYAFORMER himself. when the racing starts at the 1/4 pole thats where my $100 exacta box of Brilliant speed and Mucho Macho Man BRINGS HOME THE MULLAH.hahahaha! good luck folks.

20 Apr 2011 3:29 PM

Thank you, Steve, for staying with my boy The Factor. I think it's too soon to count him out, though I'm anxious to hear how his training is going at Churchill. I actually hadn't heard of a "displaced palate" during a race before, but it certainly sounds unpleasant. I will not have him for my #1, though. Right now I'm torn between Nehro and Archarcharch... probably go with the latter just because I'm a Claiborne fan and would like to see a son of Arch do well.  

20 Apr 2011 3:32 PM

And yes, I WISH they would limit the d*mn field, already! Far too much potential for injury and even psychological damage to some really good horses. Just make a requirement (in addition to $ earned) that they have to have run X number of races at 1 1/8 miles and finished on the board... or hold a lottery... or something. I *know* it would mean less money for Churchill, but it really is out of hand.

20 Apr 2011 3:35 PM
Afleet Treet

Billy's Empire,

Corey Nakatani has chosen to ride Nehro so Comma to the Top still needs a rider....Also Animal Kingdom will get the services of Robby Albarado.

Alex's Big Fan,

Mucho Macho Man the Chihuahua??? WHAT??? He is still a baby and stands at 17 hands high already (maybe one of the tallest in the Debry field this year)...seems like A Great Dane would be a better dog for him...Marmaduke perhaps??


20 Apr 2011 4:27 PM

We have "professional gamblers" on this sight?????? Hmmmmmm.

All you with definite picks talk to AL Roker and know the weather is for May 7th?

I am thinking with the confidence shown before the field is even posted--all should go to handicapping school. Top 5 or 10, 12's fine--picking the winner without the field set-------Do any of you play poker????

Love to play against a player that doesn't look at his cards. Maybe Kreskin and Dionne Warwick have a "special in"---- but here's saying none of you do.

Dialed In is my top pick "AT THE MOMENT" but if speed goes and wins 7 races wire to wire before the Derby I might well box Mo and The Factor. THEN AGAIN neither might even start.

-As a "former" professional gambler I guess (I never took it as a profession but I did support myself that way for 3yrs without an income other than and bought a house cash and 2 cars during that time. Lost $36K in two weeks on the end of the run of not working and just gambling, prompting me to return to a dependable paycheck)

Strong suggestions

First and most obvious--find out who is running.

Second --watch the televised work on the racing networks or maybe take note of what Steve reports on them. He has a trained eye and experience.

Third-watch a few of the earlier races to see how the track is playing.

That said you may or may not pick the winner but your chances improve greatly. Or course I could be wrong and the psychic network may be right. Whats their number????

20 Apr 2011 4:35 PM

i know one thing this derby ,i will be scare to leave out nehro on any ticket

20 Apr 2011 4:45 PM

steve haskin you miss your calling , or was you a school teacher, i never had it explain to me so good, about horseracing.,your the best, love your this derby dozen ,notice the la. derby tri, pants on fire-11, nehro-4 ,  m m m -7

20 Apr 2011 4:55 PM
cuban chef de race

BVM, calvin borrell on master of hounds or master of hounds on calvin borrell? more respect for the chef de race king mambo please.

20 Apr 2011 5:05 PM

First off I pretty sure I have the fix for your rankings.  For those that have the problem go tool bar click on tools hit internet options look for browsing history click on delete and make sure form data is not checked and hit the delete button.  This will also speed up your computer.  If this doesn't fix it sorry, I never have problems on mine.  

20 Apr 2011 5:23 PM

Did anyone else see archarcharch,what did he do at 1/16 pole? his head went down funny like he stepped in hole or's hard to see. anyone else see this?......And i looked at him again.and i give him a chance to run good again...not sure, but he is now in my top 5.....

20 Apr 2011 6:42 PM


  "yes" ...

"War Front" not "War Chant"  looking at pedigrees for hours and hours and then finally typing a draft unedited because tired, I errantly listed "War Front" as "War Chant". MY error. sorry

Hope the rest of the post was helpful in all narrowing down someones choices... AND again, if you like a "Dialed-In" or whoever, good luck to all.

20 Apr 2011 6:44 PM
Danny from UK

I've watched all of Master of Hounds' races.

As a two year old he was campaigned at the highest level, at trips of 6 furlongs to a mile. He was always the horse finishing the strongest, and left the impression he would improve over further.

He is a big, big horse who comes from off the pace and has finished very close to (and gaining on) some of the best UK/Irish colts at around 7 furlongs.

He failed in a photograph to win in Dubai, but perhaps his best piece of form is as a 2year old, when finishing 3rd in the G1 Racingpost trophy.

If you haven't heard of a horse called Frankel, or you've never seen him in action you've just got to see this:

He would just smash any 3 year old in the world right now.

20 Apr 2011 8:51 PM

Danny from uk! master of hounds? in one of the weakest derby fields ever?(other than uncle mo and dialed in).......STOP MAKING SENSE! he is real contender!

20 Apr 2011 10:01 PM
Afleet Treet

Afleet Treet,

I was referring to the Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie and the Spanish speaking dog since MMM's name is of that language.  I am not referring to his stature.  I think George Lopez did the voice but if your heart is so content with criticizing and making him Marmaduke by all means then that he is!  While we're at it then Pants on Fire can be Clifford The Big Red Dog since he is chestnut!

20 Apr 2011 10:49 PM
cuban chef de race

DR S.Roman most be happy seeing toby’s corner with 3 points in the classic wing plus 5 from uncle mo and 5 from m.m.m they have 13 points combine among the three !! wow they need to be 200% to win this race.

20 Apr 2011 10:55 PM

Make that Animal Kingdom, correction, who is the chestnut, can be Clifford and Pants on Fire can be whatever dog movie or dog cartoon is left.  Petie maybe from the Little Rascals.

20 Apr 2011 10:55 PM

Danny from UK, took your advice and watched Frankel's race - very impressive!  What a beautiful run - do the European horses ever exhibit adjustment problems when they run opposite directions around the track?

21 Apr 2011 12:01 AM

Every time WE are confused over the Derby picture, WE claim it's a weak crop of 3 year olds.  Did any one stop to think that it just might be a very good crop of colts?  Only Dialed In and Archx3 have won 2 big Derby preps each.  Nehro has been 2nd in 2.  These babies have been stepping up their game in each race.  Just because a favorite occasionally may give us a clunker, doesn't mean he's not a top colt. And if Someone thinks a 108 is a top about 114 for Maclean's Music?  

Yesterday on HRTV, the BC chairman said they're looking for something to draw more fans to the BC, since Zen is not racing.  He talked about foods and other misc. things.  Haven't they yet realized that what draws fans to racing is the horse itself?  The close-up and personal view?  The access to a top star?  Doesn't Portland Meadows have a program for "the people's horse"?  Wouldn't it be better if the BC committee nominated a "people's horse" in the BC rather than work so hard on some menu?  After all, it's really all about THE HORSE.  Isn't that why we are all fans to begin with?

21 Apr 2011 8:29 AM
Billy's Empire

Master of Hounds lost to Pluck,  Soldat and Wilcox Inn in the BCJ Turf. 1 prep race in 6 months, and lost to a filly? Toss. This is dirt, not poly, tapeta, or grass. Get real folks.

21 Apr 2011 8:56 AM

Are .10 cents superfecta available on Kentucky Derby day. I've been saying Uncle mo for months but my gut is telling me much macho man. Has the name and story of a Kentucky Derby winner. Long shots brilliant speed master of hounds and Soldat. Whoever hits the super will be able to retire and bet horse racing for a living.

21 Apr 2011 12:10 PM

Don't understand why Uncle Mo is on any list,much less at #5.Don't care if he was fit and ready for the big dance,he'll never get the distance.Nor could his daddy Indian Charlie.Very weak breeding.But I do like the term "beast" when refering to Midnight Interlude.He could be just that.The S.A.derby was the best of all the major preps I think and he overcome a solid pace.In the past,would never consider such a lightly raced horse with no 2yo races.But this horse is impresive and can go the distance.The past 2 runnings were won by bumbs.Neither ever won another stakes race.Maybe the old rules don't apply anymore.Maybe the "beast" dosen't know the rules.

21 Apr 2011 12:43 PM

Bloggers what was the toughest prep race this year?

21 Apr 2011 5:13 PM


That's a positive point you bring up about the crop.  The experts are calling it a mediocre crop.  Perhaps they have the potential to becoming more prolific racewise, but maybe they are not being given that opportunity in light of the weak conditioning for the Derby and strange paths they are taking to get there. El Kabong highlighted the same philosophy above.  Steve and Lenny just mentioned that in the 50's some horses would race and work just days prior to a race.  Unheard of today.  Perhaps the new philosophy is a lighter trained horse is a fresher horse, and that coupled with the meds prohibits the emergence of an ironhorse.  It all revolves back to the question of what is going on with the breed and who is controlling racing, the breeders? the pharmaceutical companies that have a billion dollar business in Lasix/Salix/Furosemide alone? I question that stamina and distance will weaken in the breed in the future without solid training foundations to build from now.  The ultimate goal seems to be to get to the BC, not training for a Triple Crown trail.  The problem and answer is far bigger than all of us put together.

BC marketing has a long way to go, they have not even made inroads.  I've worked in marketing and creative and it is so frustrating to me and I've commented on marketing suggestions ad nauseam so I won't reiterate it here.  But yes, one would think it would be so simple, connect the fan and the horse, promote the horses.  NYRA seems to understand that concept now more than before, i.e. the Get to Know Mo promotion.  My marketing strategy would be passion + promotions = profitablity.  And, back to the medication topic, NYRA has a rule, I am not sure if other states and other tracks have followed suit, that only track veterinarians are allowed in stalls to administer Lasix on race day, no private vets are allowed in at all.  I don't even want to get started on the Lasix topic again but I know enough that it dilutes the urine so that it masks the presence of other drugs.  It lowers blood pressure and acts as a diuretic to combat EIPH, exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage.  Whether the breed had this type of bleeding years ago is unknown, what I have read is that they may have but did not have the endoscopic or tracheabronchoscopic devices to determine it if they had an off race performance.  I have also read where it is debatable whether or not the Lasix is contributing to this bleeding in the breed.  How they are going to phase the meds out will be very interesting.

21 Apr 2011 6:07 PM

the factor looked more like eternal prince did on derby day 1985 in his last race. however i believe he is the next spend a buck and hope he whistles in the derby. brilliant and midnight two freaks rounding to form complete my triple box of three and i will use dailed in my triple box of four.

21 Apr 2011 6:18 PM

Still believe MOH won that race(Dubai)...have watched a hundred times..did any one hear see the photo?

21 Apr 2011 8:04 PM

Indian Charlie was 3rd in his Derby; a daughter, Fleet Indian won at 1-1/4, and I think other good ones have won over a distance of ground.  It's not fair to say he is just a "sprint" sire.

There have been several Derby winners in recent years that weren't supposed to be able to get 1-1/4.  If "Mo" flops, it will be his lack of conditioning, not his breeding.

21 Apr 2011 9:07 PM
Hot Coal Guy

Archarcharch - like his running style a bit better for the Derby than Dialed In, may have slight edge for the distance as well

Dialed In - virtual dead heat for the top spot, running style may be somewhat a disadvantage also, Derby distance might be a little bit of a stretch  

Nehro - certainly seems capable, could be getting better in a timely fashion, dangerous

Mucho Macho Man - tries hard every time, been a tough character thus far, what's not to like

Master Of Hounds - all around classy sort, we'll see how  he trains

Animal Kingdom - liked this one's score last out, light on seasoning and experience but could exceed expectations once again

Toby's Corner - may be a stretch getting the distance, though he's so professional when he takes care of business he's hard to ignore

Midnight Interlude - took care of business in fine fashion

Uncle Mo - needed to make hay and didn't, start questionable as well

Pants On Fire - no liars here

Soldat - just maybe he's much better than indicated last run, could finish in the thick of things

Prime Cut - there's got to be at least one more surprise this season right, has the looks of a sort that could accomplish much more

Santiva was a disappointing in the Blue Grass. I expected at least a top three finish. I think his lack of fitness for the Derby is going to keep him a notch or two below his capabilities.

Alternation got off a bit slow. He's still learning and I think that we're going to see lots of exciting things from him.

Elite Alex and Arthur's Tale are horses to watch for the Belmont.

Thanks Steve! I want you to know, that I enjoy your columns here every week. I like reading though yours and everyone's comments. Even when/if our perspectives don't always "jive".

Lots of oddities this year...could be a few more surprises yet!

21 Apr 2011 9:27 PM

El Kabong, Alex'sBigFan, what did you think of Soldat's work today?

21 Apr 2011 9:50 PM

Old Friends

Recieved a nice letter from them today.  Micheal must be one hell've person doing what he is doing and I proudly will donate again.  Thanks for what you do Micheal.  Your top notch in my book.

Don't believe we will get any big prices in the preps this weekend.  Short fields and the favorites look the part. Keenland will be the play this weekend.  Have a horse that will by my play Race 4 Zapparition. 5/1  ML  Big field hope the price holds  50 W/P  Anyone else with some plays.  Will be in Vegas 1st thru the 5th. I wonder if any futures at the sports book will be better than in the derby.  Guess On Wednesday I will see who is in.  Should be interesting.

21 Apr 2011 11:11 PM

Billy- that filly on that day could beat any 3 yr old here. There was no shame in him losing to her.  Too bad none of our three year olds were there to get demolished.  Master of Hounds has already run a race the same distance as the Preakness.  And he had a rough trip in the BCJ Turf.  Of course he has dirt issues, but he has class, and that filly in Dubai was brilliant.  Sahkee had dirt issues too in his breeding and he finished where in the BCC?  Not all turf horses will flounder on dirt.  I worry that Sadler's Wells has not been a great transfer to dirt, so I do worry about the dirt as a surface for him, but certainly not about the distance and Kingmambo is not a negative dirt wise.  I would at least have him on a ticket or would just put a save bet on him.  We will have to see how he trains.  But to just trash a horse like that isn't really like you.

21 Apr 2011 11:32 PM

 W O W ...

 THE FACTOR dropped from Watchmaker's TOP TWENTY on DRF ...

 ARE we ever going to get any information RE this injury from BAFFERT or anyone else ???  AGAIN, is it correctible??  can it reoccur if he runs again ??

 WE need some solid reporting and ANSWERS !  Please ... Geeze a week after the fact and all we get is he shipped to Churchill? How does that help anyone assess his playability and his suppose only chance being to wire the field???  ...and Steve... you have the horse in your Dozen so where is the info??? "Inquiring Minds would like to KNOW!!"

 And please, again, if possible can you reproduce DRF's Tomlinson Numbers for us on the supposed top 20 or at least or your posted top 12 or can you NOT reproduce such ??  

 AND... p.s. "WAR CHANT" ("Midnight Interlude") the 1/2 brother of "WAR FRONT" ("The Factor" & "Soldat" (with both

2 X bred w/the 'BHXFG' makes them relatively interchangable re my last post... Although also note, "Danzig" did produce a few that have made the distance of

1  1/8 where a 1  1/4 might be possible , but then again so has the A.P. Indy's... Less historical data on "WAR FRONT" and/or "WAR CHANT" ,  but the reference re the owners looking for MILERS was directed re "WAR FRONT" and "The FACTOR".

21 Apr 2011 11:58 PM

  P.P.S.:  And, if anyone really cares about who someone elses is playing or how or in what fashion, like DRAYNAY telling us who he intends to BOX 'so & so', and etc., I stated several years ago that I like to take about 4-5 horses into Derby Day on that race that I eventually consider how I am going to play them when the time comes and the odds are up and I know the post positions & etc., well for whoever cares otehr than me (and I can't really imagine why anyone would as I am no handicapper or brillant horse player and losing gambler over the years , though i have had a few payoff days...)  MY short list for consideration at this point is the following:

 alpahbetical order here take no inference from it btw:

 "Archarcharch" ; "Dialed In" ;

all horses whose name start w/an "M" ; "Nehro" ; & "Pants on Fire" ;...AND MAYBE "THE FACTOR" when some ***** Reporter gets off his ass and tells me what the hell the true storyline is there!!!  GOOD LUCK ALL

22 Apr 2011 12:05 AM


The Bluegrass Stakes. The slow Santiva was made favorite and after him it was up for grabs.

22 Apr 2011 12:13 AM


So far so good.  They changed from an originally planned 3 works to 2. Wish we could see it on video, guess we have to wait for the Churchill works to be shown on tv and the net.

I was looking up info on Master of Hounds.  Purchase price is a mystery, was a private purchase.  Got Lasix first time here in US at the BC.  Beaten by a filly in Dubai on their surface, would have to be a superhorse to immediately transform to a dirt win.  Gee I don't know, he fits the RAN line theory of Coldfacts though.  His sire sired Lemon Drop Kid who did a successful dirt transition.

He is in Ireland now and would ship directly into Churchill the week of the Derby, does not have to go to Keeneland quarantine.  Looks eerily like George Washington with the same white markings down his face, same trainer too, different pedigrees.

I just don't know, the Dubai bounce, dirt a question, love the pedigree though and was in the money most of his career???????

22 Apr 2011 12:15 AM


It appears Dialed In retained his #1 ranking because of the results of the last set of preps.  Is he worthy of the #1 ranking? Well, the cold facts below should provide the answers:

If he deserved the #1 raking his race record should tower over all others. He won his last in the Gl FL Derby. There is another colt t that also won his last in the Gl SA Derby. I thought it would be interesting to compare their records their records: .

Both colts have made 4 starts.  Dialed In won his first two starts and MI lost his. Dialed In won his maiden race by 2-3 lengths and MI won by 8 lengths pulling a bus. Dialed In won his graded staked debut in the 8F Gll Holy Bull and Midnight Interlude won his in the Gl SA  Derby at 9F. Dialed In lost his first attempt at 9F in a slowly run (1:51) allowance races. Midnight Interlude won his first attempt at the distance in a G1 race in 1:48.66. While Dialed In struggled to defeat a winner of a NW2 allowance race in the FL Derby, Midnight Interlude out dueled a G1 & Glll winner who won six of his 13 starts. Dialed In last reported work was a breeze in 49 4/5. MI last reported worked was 59 and a bit handily.

The above is just one comparison and It appears Midnight Interlude is a better colt than Dialed In. No rout race was specifically written for MI. He was given a brutal baptism in a GI 9F race off a maiden victory and rose to the occasion. Dialed In was given a much simpler task and failed to deliver.  Dialed In two starts at 9Fdo not equate to the one made by Midnight Interlude.

It is therefore clear from the simple comparison above that Dialed In is not worthy to be ranked above Midnight Interlude and consequently falsely occupied the #1 spot. Does MI deserve the #1 ranking? His SA Derby performance was only bettered by that of Premier Pegasus in the San Felipe and by virtue of this he deserves to be ranked ahead of Dialed In. I have never been high on Dialed In and I cannot understand why he is held I such high esteem.  Is he really as good as he is being made to be? I think not.

22 Apr 2011 1:34 AM


Your idea seems to have worked. I had previously performed-Delete Browsing History.

The problem has disappeared. Now I am stuck with another problem. The horse I like is not even on the list.

22 Apr 2011 9:01 AM

If Master of Hounds and Animal Kingdom work fine at Churchill,,watch out..they boys are bred to run ALL DAY !

22 Apr 2011 11:25 AM

Alex'sBigFan, you've gone to the dogs. :)

22 Apr 2011 11:56 AM


Now that I can see the result of my entry, I have to say I was wrong. It did not work.

22 Apr 2011 12:12 PM

..."Those near or just below the bubble will be keenly watching developments with horses such as ... The Factor, who are currently in the top 20 and have yet to be officially ruled out of the race, though ... [[he,'The Factor']] is [[not]]expected to run." Jay Privman DRF

"Not expected to run"?? OK, What is the storyline here?  WHAT is the nature of the storyline here?  WHAT specifically is the injury? What can a horse VETRENATIAN tell us about such an injury? WHAT are BAFFERT's concerns and THOUGHTS? WHY are we now nearly a week after hte Arkansas Derby still getting NO clear explanations???

WHAT IS UP HERE??? DO we out here in the public get a better explanation ?? an undate ??  some comment from "The Factor" camp?? some comment from the TRAINER ?? WHY are we still being left out in the dark with no press release ??  SOMEONE PLEASE OFFER US SOME EXPLANATION !!  PLEASE

22 Apr 2011 8:59 PM
Danny from UK


Yes they do actually. None of our tracks here are the same. There are clockwise and anti clockwise cicuits here, and lots of very undulating tracks (uphill and downhill). Newmarket even has an 11 furlong straight!

Epsom is one of the more eccentric tracks on our calender. The highest point on the track is a good 30ft higher than the start line, and the whole course is a horse shoe shape. Tattenham corner is very sharp and catches lots of horses out.

It is more obvious in National Hunt racing (Steeplechasing/Hurdles) but some horses show a clear preference for going either clockwise or anti-clockwise, and may jump to one side. When studying U.K or Irish form it is particularly important to remember that 3 miles around a flat track like Kempton, will play to the strength's of certain horses, but 3 miles around a grueling track like Exeter, up big, big hills and back down again, will favour a more stamina laden horse.

22 Apr 2011 9:07 PM

Alex'sBigFan -

I watched the video of the Dubai race and while I liked Master of Hounds that filly took my breath away. I think she is really special.

Master of Hounds has a great pedigree, trainer and connections but I am not crazy about his conformation on the forehand. I think he carries his head too high and his neck set does not flow. That puts me off a little bit. Be that as it may, he does have a good record. I suppose we will find out how he goes pretty soon.

23 Apr 2011 3:11 AM
El Kabong


That's a great time for that surface. It's deep. I like the idea that Kiaran thinks he's sharp enough to skip a work. That is the best news out of this workout. Hopefully Steve will confirm his look at Churchill.

23 Apr 2011 8:03 AM

According to a article, Shaun Bridgmohan will be on Santiva for the Kentucky Derby.  Bridgmohan was the Jockey when Santiva won a Graded Stakes race at Churchill Downs.  The fact that Santiva has already shown that he races well at Churchill is a very key aspect, and getting Bridgmohan back on as the Jockey is a wise move.  

Additionally, according to the article, Santiva will likely be working twice before the Kentucky Derby.  

They didn't have Santiva cranked real tight for the Risen Star in February coming off of a 3 month layoff.  Despite not being cranked real tight, he finished 2nd on the dirt in Louisiana in the Risen Star.  He then had a nearly 2 month layoff, and they used last Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes as a conditioning race in order to get in some conditioning off of the nearly 2 month layoff.  He worked at Palm Meadows the Saturday before the Blue Grass, then had the Blue Grass race for conditioning purpases, and then he will likely be working twice at Churchill.  It is evident that Santiva will be cranked real tight for a full bore effort on Kentucky Derby Day back on the track where he has previously won, and back with the Jockey that was on him during that Graded Stakes win at Churchill.

23 Apr 2011 7:22 PM

Whats up with the factor?   HE IS A SPRINTER!! they won't run him!

23 Apr 2011 9:45 PM

Steve my previous post please do with it as you please..

I do not want to be accused of stealing content..

Ty Johnny


I did not post it on any other blog out of respect towards you..

24 Apr 2011 2:56 PM

From a "newbie" standpoint, this is my first year to follow the Derby Preps all the way from Day 1. I'm green as they come, but, as they say, I know what I like! I've watched every race, most several times, read everything Steve has to say and a few others.  I landed on Dialed In as my #1 pick the very first time I saw him, which was the Holy Bull, and then went back and watched his maiden, and fell madly in love! "Here comes Dialed In down from the clouds!" and "How did Dialed In win?" He did everything wrong in that race and still won it. The announcer nearly didn't even see him until he had appeared from nowhere! He's a closer, what can I say, and that shadow roll, well, you know, I do have Zenyatta withdrawal!! I know I'm not supposed to judge horses that way....but, hey, since I'm so new, give me a break. Then, I came across Mucho Macho Man, and he became my #2 fave. Loved his connections, including his gutsy trainer, like his unusual ownership model, and Mucho himself for several reasons: he's huge, he won't be 3 until June, so he's still improving and growing!!

So, pretty much since Feb-Mar I had my favorites set. Then, along came Nehro tearing up the field breathing down the necks of the winners, looking like all he needed was a longer race and he's my number 3. I did do more research and read about each horse's pedigree, and still see no reason to adjust my picks.  

What has been really crazy is that the so-called experts, those guys who put out each week's odds and who's gonna win, and they do their shows picking the winners, then each week they wound up wrong, wrong, wrong! From what I have read and can gather, this year's Derby prep season has been out of the ordinary and that nothing seems to have gone the way it should. But, for me anyway, it has been interesting, I've learned a lot, have fallen in love with the sport, warts and all, and can't wait to see the Derby and hope a miracle will happen and we see a Triple Crown winner this year (not likely, I know).  I did have the privilege of seeing the filly, Genuine Risk, win the Derby in 1980 from the finish line (relatives are nice!), but this year, I will know a lot more going into the race and, yes, I plan to make a small wager, just to be "legit"!  Steve's blog is about the only one where I learn nearly as much from those who comment as from Steve! Steve, you attract a nice crowd and I really look forward to all your columns. Loved the John Henry movie!  Just super.  Good luck, all!

24 Apr 2011 5:04 PM
Andy Adinolfi

Mucho Macho Man is working gangbusters, but Macho Uno on the top is a concern to me.  And, I think that it's fair to question whether or not his lackluster final 1/8 in the LA Derby was truly because he threw a shoe.  

Baffert has been pressing all the right buttons for months, and I like Midnight Interlude in the Derby at a price...

24 Apr 2011 9:54 PM

I feel bad refering to the last 2 derby winners as bumbs.That was wrong.Hey,you win the derby you earn respect.And wouldn't any owner and trainer be thrilled winning it.But neither had the true champion profile.Year after year you read various rules on picking derby contenders.No winner ever did this or that,must have done such & such prior to the derby.I just don't buy it anymore.Only one rule applies and thats blossoming at the right time.High spd.rtgs.may dazzle you but all too often too much, too soon is a danger.I try to find those that appear ready to run there best.I do look at breeding but take dossage index with a grain of salt.Nehro is over 4.00 (4.33).Yet no one who has seriously looked at this horse would throw him out.I prefer the dosage profile ( has what it takes for the distance when you look at that.As well,his fastest 1/8th was at the end running it in 12 1/5th.No way you throw this one out because his D.I. is over 4.I think the breed is not as strong as it used to be.Maybe too much interbreeding.I don't really know.But things have changed.Establish the fact that your picks are likely to go the distance (that leaves out Uncle Mo,if in fact he goes).Than pick those who are improving at the right time and are comming out of a reasonably fast race.At least a par pace and final time.Forget the rest of the profile rules.This year is going to be tough enough without adding all the mumbo jumbo.I like any horse who runs all 12ths in a very fast race with a solid pace.Than runs a 6f work afterwards around 1:10 sugesting he came out of the race O.K. Thats Midnight Interlude.But your not supposed to play a horse like him in the derby.I'll add Brilliant Speed (fantastic dosage profile) and take my chances. Good luck to all.

25 Apr 2011 9:32 AM

With a derby like this you just have to bet under the radar horses and that horse to me is Pants on Fire he won the La Derby guess who was second and if Rosie gets the mount back he'll be even further ignored,i just have a gut feeling about this horse.Also i like Soldat to be in the frame, if it comes up wet he'll be too short a price.

25 Apr 2011 2:35 PM

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