Derby Dozen (video) - February 13, 2012 - Presented by Shadwell Farm

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Creative Cause Mike Harrington Click Here!

Giant's Causeway—Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer

Worked a bullet 6f in 1:11 2/5 for his debut in seven-furlong San Vicente Feb. 19. Like that Harrington is bringing him back at that distance. Old School training was to get them sharp before stretching them out. He just needs a good solid race. Derby winners Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, and Spectacular Bid all debuted at seven or 6 ½ furlongs.


Union Rags Michael Matz 

Dixie Union—Tempo, by Gone West

Rematch with Hansen in Fountain of Youth won’t happen with the champ heading to the Gotham Stakes. He’s progressing in his works and should be ready for a big effort. Although his 5f in 1:03 doesn’t look fast, Palm Meadows clocker said it’s the best he’s looked all winter; did it well in hand with a final eighth in :11 3/5, galloping out another eighth in :12 3/5. Like Creative Cause he only needs a solid effort. Matz will make sure he doesn’t peak too early. He picks up Julien Leparoux after Castellano dumps him for Algorithms.


Algorithms Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Bernardini—Ava Knowsthecode, by Cryptoclearance

He keeps eliminating any question marks by taking huge steps forward with each race. Only one remaining is the speed in his pedigree and the fact he has yet to go two turns. But the stamina and his class should eliminate any doubts. He looks to be on a collision course with Union Rags and his own undefeated stablemate Discreet Dancer in the Fountain of Youth. Castellano chooses him over Union Rags. Bold move, but he’s not going to dump a big-time Pletcher horse.


El Padrino Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Pulpit—Enchanted Rock, by Giant's Causeway

He may be the most solid of all of Pletcher’s Derby horses and the most suited for 1 ¼ miles. Most of the talk has been about Algorithms, but his win on the same card was equally as impressive and he has more of a foundation. He has tremendous upside and the colt he defeated, Take Charge Indy, is a serious Derby contender in his own right. Can’t wait to see how he does in the Risen Star.


Sabercat Steve Asmussen Click Here!

Bluegrass Cat—Miner's Blessing, by Forty Niner

Breezed a half in :50 3/5. He seems to have fallen off most people’s radar. His two stakes wins have come at Delta and Monmouth and his speed figures are nothing to rave about, but he has a monster kick, a rock-solid pedigree, and the look of a class horse. He’ll have his hands full against more seasoned stakes horses in the San Felipe, and with only two preps he can’t afford any setbacks.


Out of Bounds Eoin Harty

Discreet Cat—Unbridled Elaine, by Unbridled's Song

The key to this big, long-striding colt is how much untapped talent there is still waiting to come out. His two victories didn’t blow anyone away, but one can’t help but think there’s a lot more there. He’s already shown he’s a relentless stretch runner and could be one of the ones by Derby Day.


I'll Have Another Doug O’Neill Click Here!

Flower Alley – Arch’s Gal Edith, by Arch

He could prove to be the biggest gift of the year with those ridiculous 43-1 odds in the Robert Lewis. He’s already demonstrated his sprinting speed and the ability to carry it two turns. And he’s bred to go a lot farther than 1 1/16 miles. Regardless of the no-shows by the favorites, that victory was legitimate, and he has to be considered a serious contender.


Gemologist Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Tiznow—Crystal Shard, by Mr. Prospector

Late start has gotten him buried a bit beneath several others in barn. But he is undefeated and a grade II winner going two turns at Churchill Downs. He could take the same route at Super Saver and go Tampa and Arkansas Derbys.


Hansen Mike Maker

Tapit—Stormy Sunday, by Sir Cat

Gotham should be a good spot for him to show off his speed. Would love to hear what the Derby gods have to say when they see his painted mane and tail. The human Hansen better hope they’re in a particularly giddy mood this year. But, hey, if it reaches the national news broadcasts under fun, frolics, and follies, maybe it’ll bring attention to the sport. What kind of attention we have no idea. Would have given anything to read Joe Hirsch’s account of this.


Alpha Kiaran McLaughlin

Bernardini—Munnaya, by Nijinsky

Well, at least by skipping the Gotham he doesn’t have to chase Hansen around the inner track. We’re not a fan of skipping preps and waiting two months between races, leaving little room for an audible in case of a setback. But after what McLaughlin did getting Invasor ready for the BC Classic and Closing Argument ready for the Derby, we’re not going to doubt his methods.


Discreet Dancer Todd Pletcher

Discreet Cat—West Side Dancer, by Gone West

Missed a work due to a fever, but returned to the work tab this week, going 5f in 1:00 4/5. Missing the one work shouldn’t hurt too much, but he will be going against the best horses he’s ever run against, and you don’t want any setbacks. With only two starts timing is everything. You don’t want to have to start altering the schedule of a horse with so little experience and seasoning and who hasn’t been two turns yet.


Fed Biz Bob Baffert Click Here!

Giant’s Causeway—Spunoutacontrol, by Wild Again

Don’t know who belongs to be here more, him or stablemate Bodemeister, so call it pretty much a toss-up. He gets the nod having already defeated winners. He still needs work on changing leads, but is loaded with talent. He ran a very promising colt, Consulado, into the ground after a :45 2/5 half, but was a bit erratic in the stretch, drifting in after clearing his rival, and didn’t change leads until three strides from the wire. Despite the flaws he still drew off to win by almost 6 lengths in 1:34 3/5. He has a nice way of going, running with his head down, and you had to love the way he put away the leader and then merely shrugged off a serious challenge on his outside at the head of the stretch. He has a few issues he needs to work on, but no doubt has a bright future.


Bodemeister Bob Baffert Click Here!

Empire Maker—Untouched Talent, by Storm Cat

OK, we couldn’t resist, so taking the cowardly way out and putting them both on, despite this colt having won only a maiden race. The reason is his sensational splits -- :23, :23 4/5, :23 3/5, and :23 2/5. You rarely see a young 3-year-old run a :23 4/5 second quarter and proceed to run each subsequent quarter faster than the one before; and do it drawing off to a 9 ¼-length romp in 1:34 2/5, earning a 99 Beyer. And this was after being rushed up from the outside post. He switched leads smoothly and on cue and did everything on his own with no urging at all from Bejarano, who has a big decision to make after having declared Fed Biz his Derby horse just the day before. In 2008, Baffert couldn’t stop raving about an allowance score by Big Brown, who was making only his second career start. Well, now he’s got one of those freaky types of his own. Could it be Baffert and Zayat actually have one as good or better coming up in the near future? Stay tuned.

Knocking At The Door

Dullahan Dale Romans Click Here!

Even the Score—Mining My Own, by Smart Strike

Still like this colt a lot, but would have preferred to see him try the dirt one more time before the Derby instead of taking the safe grass--Polytrack route that has become popular the last few years. In his case it’s the Palm Beach and Blue Grass, where he’ll meet some very talented horses going the same route, including Exothermic and Howe Great.

Empire Way Mike Harrington Click Here!

Empire Maker – Delta Princess, by A.P. Indy

The Empire Makers normally come around later and it looks as if he’s no exception. A full-brother to last year’s champion 3-year-old filly Royal Delta, he has shown improvement with each start, and although he finished a solid second in the Robert Lewis Stakes, we haven’t seen the best of him. If he keeps moving forward, he should be peaking just around Derby time. He’s certainly an able back-up for Creative Cause, giving Harrington a powerful one-two punch.

Exothermic Rusty Arnold

Empire Maker – Irridescence, by Caesour

If this colt handles the dirt the way he does the grass, and he should with his breeding, there’s no telling how good he could be. He demonstrated as explosive a turn of foot (very European-like) as we’ve seen all year and just bounds along with big, beautiful strides, which make it appear as if he’s leaping off the ground. If you want toughness, his tail-female family is almost all South African, and his broodmare sire is out of a full-sister to one of the greatest iron horses of modern times, the indefatigable Jim French. He’s also inbred to the great Tom Fool through his classy daughters Dinner Partner and Mrs. Peterkin. They’ll try to emulate Animal Kingdom by attempting to win the Derby in his dirt debut, following starts in the Palm Beach and Blue Grass.

Take Charge Indy Pat Byrne Click Here!

A.P. Indy – Take Charge Lady, by Dehere

This is another colt with a lot of room for improvement. His first start back against El Padrino was an excellent debut, as he separated himself from the field with a huge early move and, although caught by a top-class colt, left a lot in the tank. As he showed in that race and in the Arlington-Washington Futurity, he just needs to finish off his moves, which will come with experience. His fifth-place finish in the BC Juvenile at 25-1 was very solid.

Street Life Chad Brown Click Here!

Street Sense – Stone Hope, by Grindstone

Good luck trying to figure out what Chad Brown has in this colt, who dropped more than a few jaws in a Big A maiden score Saturday with arguably the most scintillating stretch run of the year. He was squeezed back early, dropping a dozen lengths out of it. After turning for home, still in last, he was steered to the outside, and as soon as he switched leads he took off as if he were given a hot foot. When the leader, Quorum, drifted out into his path, he was moving so fast he literally leaped back on to his left lead, cut to the inside and blew by Quorum while already being geared down. He hit the wire under wraps with his ears cocked and just kept going past the wire. The fractions and inner splits of the race were very slow, so it’s really hard to tell what we’re dealing with at this point. But, boy was this colt exciting to watch.

Souper Speedy Tom Albertrani

Indian Charlie—Speed Succeeds, by Gone West

Still going along easily at Palm Meadows, breezing a half in :51 2/5. Not sure if he’ll stay 1 1/4 miles with his style of running, but he is one tough horse on the lead, and he did finish ahead of El Padrino in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen. He’s not an easy horse to get by in the stretch, and we’ll just have to see if he can be as effective coming from off the pace.

Ever So Lucky Jonathan Sheppard Click Here!

Indian Charlie—Bally Storm, by Summer Squall

Missing the Hutcheson may not seem like much, but it was huge in our opinion. Instead of having a good sprint sharpener, followed by a pair of two-turn races, he now will have to sprint in the Swale and have only one two-turn prep. For a horse with a suspect pedigree and only four career starts before the Derby that is asking an awful lot. If Sheppard feels he’s not up to it he’ll be the first to give up the chase.

Rounding out the Top 35 are Liaison and Rousing Sermon, who both threw in clunkers in the Lewis, and definitely deserve another shot, as does Sky Kingdom, who’s better than he showed; the first four finishers in the Lecomte, Mr. Bowling, Z Dager, Shared Property, and Dan and Sheila; Mr. Prankster, impressive winner of the WEBN Stakes and Turfway Prevue; the first two finishers in the Sam F. Davis, Battle Hardened and Prospective; the late-running Russian Greek, winner of the Gold Rush and California Derby; My Adonis, who showed flashes of brilliance at 2 and made up 15 lengths in the Holy Bull to finish third; San Pedro winner Midnight Transfer, who worked a sharp 5f in :59 2/5; Smarty Jones one-two finishers Junebugred and runner-up Reckless Jerry; the Pletcher-trained Spring Hill Farm, who made it two-for-two with a mile allowance score at Gulfstream Saturday;

Other names to keep an eye on are Casual Trick and Consortium, who both have worked a half-mile since their respective debacles at Gulfstream; the stakes-placed maiden Brother Francis; Zackn’mat, who was a fast-closing second to Fed Biz before breaking his maiden impressively going seven furlongs; Ender Knievel, an impressive two-turn maiden winner in first start for new trainer Pletcher; Sky Kingdom, another who deserves one more chance after an inexplicably poor effort; Gulfstream Derby winner Reveron, Iroquois winner Motor City, Longview Drive, the powerful stretch runner Najjaar, Hopeful winner Currency Swap, Went the Day Well, big stretch runner who should show huge improvement next time out; News Pending, Apprehender, Teeth of the Dog, Cyber Secret and Castaway.

In Action Last Week

Even with Ever So Lucky’s defection and four so-so opponents, Thunder Moccasin still was very impressive winning the Hutcheson Stakes by 6 ¾ lengths in only his second career start. Pletcher, however, said he will stay at one-turn and likely will be pointed for the Swale Stakes. Spring Hill Farm remained undefeated following a workmanlike victory in a mile allowance race over a sloppy sealed track at Gulfstream that seemed to take its toll on many of the performances that day. Although he won by only 1 ¼ lengths, he defeated a talented colt in Unbridled Minister, who finished six lengths ahead of the third horse in what appeared on paper to be a very strong field. By Smart Strike, out of a Pleasant Colony mare, he should only get stronger the farther he goes. Good Morning Diva looks to have a future following his 3 ¼-length maiden score going seven furlongs at Gulfstream, defeating promising colts Z Vilna, Desert Storm, and Morgan’s Guerilla. Majestic Number took the second division of that maiden race, also winning by 3 ¼ lengths with the addition of blinkers for none other than Pletcher. In a 1 1/16-mile off-the-turf maiden race, the Kenny McPeek-trained Golden Ticket drew clear late to win by two lengths.


Leave a Comment:

El Kabong


Like you I am fond of Alpha. Great breeding, seems to be improving with every race. What I don't like so far is that he has raced against so so Beta company and in small fields as well. Like some of the others, I believe it does matter. I'd like to see him get a gut check with a real field of at least 9 or 10 and a pace to challenge his intelligence. He will need to learn and like to go shoulder to shoulder with more aggressive and faster competition before I give him a chance in a tough race like the 20 field Derby. If Alpha is going to succeed against the other pack leaders, His connections need to put some Alpha Mojo into the boy.  

As far as his ranking goes, I don't think it is necessary to split hairs just yet, he's in the Dozen, but I know you do it for the fun of it. Problem I had with your case was the comparison of a 2 year old's 3rd start(Gemologist) to that of a 3 year old's 5th. Not fair, but the only difference was 1/5 of a second. And from that you conclude one is slow and the other is not.You made a case against Alpha with that comparison. I know you tried to explain that away with the different track conditions but that didn't wash up with me. Track records for Aqueduct at 1 1/16 are faster than CD's. When you consider Gemologist ran that 144.46 in late November at CD and the record for CD was set in July, those times don't look much different. I think we need to give Gemologist a chance to see what he does with his first and second outings if you want a fair comparison. The only fair comparison between the two is what they did up to November of 2011. I'd give the nod to Gemologist and maybe that's why he is above Alpha for now.  

That aside, Alpha has shown that he has improved, and I like his breeding for the classic distances, especially for the Belmont. But I will feel better about his chances in the Derby when he gets a chance to show me he can hold his ground in an aggressive and competitive field of fellow contenders not letting him have what he wants, but making him earn it from the gate to the wire.

13 Feb 2012 3:30 PM
Nicholas Costa

Steve, Have always been a huge fan of CREATIVE CAUSE. Became my top Derby candidate immediately after the BC Juvenile. Absolutely love his pedigree. Also really think the following horses have top pedigrees: SKY KINGDOM(let's hope he can bounce back to good form)--ALPHA--RUSSIAN GREEK(goes this weekend in El Camino)--ALGORITHMS--CASUAL TRICK (he also needs a better showing next out to be further considered)...Also like the breeding for CONSORTIUM--BATTLE FORCE (if Sheriffs considers this one for the Derby trail)--EMPIRE WAY, DISCREET DANCER and HOWE GREAT(same connections as last year's Derby winner)....thanks for your list every week!!...always a pleasure to read.

13 Feb 2012 3:42 PM


Off the subject, have you heard anything about My Miss Aurelia, as she shows no workouts within the last 60 days?

13 Feb 2012 4:02 PM

Fed Biz and Bodemeister looked like dynamite last week!

Surprised with Castellano chose Algorithms over Union Rags. Algorithms is a Gulfstream horse, Todd knows the track so well, he adapts horses over it and has a lot of success. Union rags is the better horse for the long term, IMO.

13 Feb 2012 4:27 PM
Kyle S.

The first and most important attribute that I look for when searching for my Derby horse is, can he/she excel at 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May.  Let's be honest, some of the higher ranked horses so far on the trail are not suited to do their best running at the classic distances.  Union Rags, Discreet Dancer, Out of Bounds, Hansen, and even Algorithms still have major distance questions to answer for me to consider them legitimate Derby contenders.  Today, and I know a LOT can change between now and May 5th, Fed Biz looks like a standout based on his pedigree, tactical speed, connections, and quite simply untapped raw talent.

13 Feb 2012 4:55 PM

I think Hansen knew Alpha wouldnt be running in the Gotham before they made the decision to run in the race.Mclaughlin has Consortium for the Gotham.

13 Feb 2012 4:56 PM

Baffert has two Empire Makers now.

13 Feb 2012 5:00 PM
Steve Haskin

My Miss Aurelia suffered a shin injury just after Christmas. They had hoped to have her ready for the Ky Oaks, but I dont know if that's going to happen.

13 Feb 2012 5:28 PM
Baby Jane Towser

I agree with Kyle S. that Fed Biz is a standout. I wanted to play him in the Future Book but I thought the odds were too low. If he held in the 30's I would have done it. Most of the top contenders simply don't have the breeding to go the distance and most will have dropped out of contention by Derby Day. Pletcher can get them cranked up, but at a mile and a quarter in a big race he is not the way to go. Better take a chance on one of the Empire Maker's at a big price.

13 Feb 2012 6:23 PM
It aint easy being good!

Type in street life in the search box on top of bloodhorse and watch Race 5 Aquaduct from Saturday.....WOW! Streetlife look like a bullet coming down the stretch!

13 Feb 2012 6:24 PM


You have had this right from the first Derby Dozen.

I’ll Have Another was beaten by  Creative Cause in August, on a synthetic surface, in a Grade 2.

I’ll Have Another has run one poor race to date. That was in the slop at Saratoga on a sealed track.

His last race showed that he is a horse of high quality as he ran a DRF Speed Figure of 97, when completing the distance in 1:40.84. That indicates he was 3 points off the best recent time. (The Track Record is 1:39.18 set in 1993).

I’ll Have Another may have improved since he was beaten on the synthetic surface by Creative Cause, but his latest result shows that Creative Cause beat a top horse when they met.

Creative Cause finished within a length of the top two in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile when travelling three wide into the second turn.

I believe there is going to be lots of improvement this year.

On another matter, there has been a lot of comment about the way a horse strides. For those of us  who think the strides do not matter, here is supporting evidence.

It is Skip Away spreading his paddles.

13 Feb 2012 6:36 PM


I was wondering about which horse he'd choose as well, but I am not so surprised. When he first rode Union Rags he mentioned his name among the best horses he's ridden Ghostzapper and Bernardini. Of course the latter is the sire of Algorithms, so I'm sure he is a little biased when it comes to that as well. Not too mention turning down Pletcher's top sophomore at this point would just be a dumb career move. I think I agree with you on the better horse, but am basing it a little on what Javier had to say about Union Rags last year. Algorithms is probably in a tad better form right now, but Union Rags will be ready for the Derby if Matz has anything to say about it.

Anyway, back to the Dozen. I like the Top 4 you have at this point, they are all really close. El Pradino is especially enticing after his last win. I was tempted on betting a few of these in the KDFW but with Secret Circle lurking amongst the "All Others" I didn't think any individual was offering good enough odds. I am surprised no one has mentioned him, he is much better than almost every horse on the KDFW list yet was not included, is there something wrong with him that I am not aware of?

1. Union Rags

2. Algorithms

3. El Pradrino

4. Secret Circle

5. Creative Cause

6. Gemologist

7. Hansen

13 Feb 2012 6:44 PM
El Kabong

Great notes on all. I am really looking forward to the Palm Beach. Exothermics last win looks even better with Golden Tickets easy win yesterday. Dullahan is walking into a barn fire with this guy. I hope he's up for the task.

Bejarano has been on most of the big names out west. I hope his enthusiasm for Fed Biz sticks. Baffert's going to have to do some training on the colt to smarten up his game. Next field is going to be a real test for him. Do you think Baffert will ship anyone out to Oaklawn to help them get earnings at the expense of another barn?

13 Feb 2012 6:45 PM
Tiz Herself

Hi Steve - what is your view on Immaculate?

Although haven't seen the replay, have seen the pictures of him breaking his maiden at Santa Anita. Have pretty much followed this guy from day one as Folklore was one of my favorites and the first Tiznow that I followed. Bookmarked him from the get go from the Septembr 2010 sale and was fortunate to see Folklore's Unbridled's Song filly at Taylor Made before she was sold to Japan connections. It looks like Folklore is producing physically nice looking horses. I was excited to see that Folklore produced a winner. Whether not he'll improve in the right company remains to be seen, but pedigree wise, maybe he has a chance?

Anyone know what his speed figures was for this race and where one could catch the race replay?

13 Feb 2012 7:03 PM

I'm a fan of Prospective. Not to win the Derby, but think he has the look of a horse that can sneak in the Super at big odds.  

13 Feb 2012 7:12 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Jersey Boy

  I loved it. Thanks for that link of Skip Away and excellent example of the stride we look for in the Classic distances. Here's my top 8.

1. Algorithms

2. Empire Way

3. I'll Have Another

4. Midnight Transfer

5. Spring Hill Farm

6. El Padrino

7. Bodemeister

8. Creative Cause

13 Feb 2012 7:52 PM

Do you think Baffert will ship anyone out to Oaklawn to help them get earnings at the expense of another barn?

El Kabong 13 Feb 2012 6:45 PM.

Feb. 10 NOTE: Trainer Baffert said Secret Circle has received an invitation to race in Dubai on World Cup Day. Secret Circle is nominated to the Feb.19 San Vicente Stakes but has been mentioned as probable for the Southwest Sakes on Feb. 20.

Feb. 7 NOTE: Pointing to the Southwest Stakes on Feb. 20.

Feb. 4 Note: Secret Circle is possible for the Southwest Stakes.

13 Feb 2012 8:19 PM

If they can stay sound, I'll be keeping my eye on the Discreet Cats(Out of Bounds,Discreet Dancer...). I saw Discreet Cat win a race at Saratoga years ago going 7/8ths against some quality sprinters. The rider never moved on the horse and he won as he pleased. It was visually the second most impressive race I've ever seen. If the rider had asked him at all it may have brought comparisons to Secretatiats Belmont.

13 Feb 2012 9:03 PM

Looks to me like there's a new Queen on the scene, Princess Arabella.   Is she being aimed at the Oaks, Steve?  Wow, was she getting down to business!   She belongs in the Dozen if she's on a collision course here.  

13 Feb 2012 9:22 PM
El Kabong


looks like it's set in stone:) News at eleven. Thanks for  the for the info. I love this blog, It's like having a network of MI6 agents in barns at every track.

13 Feb 2012 10:55 PM

I have cited in a few posts that I dislike horses sire by stallions I consider to be over bred. These comments are mostly associated with horses sired by Giant’s Causeway because I am of the opinion he is over bred each year. Giant’s Causeway was a brilliant horse. He made 13 starts all in stakes races and won nine and finished second in the remaining four. I expected great things from him as he was not over raced and being based in Europe he was not exposed to the litany of race day medications use in the USA. I have been ridiculed and accused of posting nonsense regarding the over bred issue. I consider the criticisms valid in spite of them being state in an offensive manner.  Is my opinion on this issue out of bounds? Is there a possibly that COLD FACTS below are as a result of over breeding this exceptional horse?

Giant’s Causeway’s first crop were became 3YOs in 2005. The records below reflect the number of mares he bred in his first season up to 2009. Obviously his 2009 foals are represented in the 3YO class of 2012. He was a turf horse and it is likely that many of his offspring’s were probably sent to Europe and other part of the world where turf race in dominant. Giant’s Causeway is the sire of the #1 ranked horse in Mr. Haskin’s Dozen. He is also the sire of two other on the radar colts i.e., Russian Greek and Battle Hardened. Mr. Pletcher has a nice filly sired by him as well.    

2002 - Bred 213 mares; one starter in the 2005 Derby, Noble Causeway who finished 14th.

2003 - Bred 144 mares; No starter in the 2006 Derby

2004  Bred 192 Mares; No starter in the 2007 Derby

2005 - Bred 215 mares; one starter in the 2008 Derby, Cowboy Cal who finished 9th.

2006 - Bred 191 mares; one starter in the 2009 Derby, Hold Me Back who finished 12th.

2007 - Bred 176 mares; No starter in the 2010 Derby.

2008 - Bred 190 mares; one starter in the 2011 Derby starter, Santiva who finished 6th.

2009 - Bred 194 mares; likely starters Creative Cause, Battle Hardened and Russian Greek

2010 - 217

In Giant’s Causeway’s first seven crops to race in the US he was presented by 4 starters in the Derby and not hit the board. In the 2003, 2004 and 2007 Derby he was not represented.Betwee.2002 and 2009 he bred 1321 mares. I am aware of that there are certain percentages the come into calculation i.e., % of live foals, % that make it to the races and % sent to other parts of the world. Irrespective of the percentages, a stallion that breeds 1321 mares over seven years and is only represented by 4 Derby runners that were unplaced must make those following his Derby record cynical.

14 Feb 2012 1:46 AM
The Deacon

Playing it a little on the conservative side it is still way too early for me to pick a Derby horse. Creative Cause and Union Rags haven't even raced yet this season. Steve , I liked your assessment on Street Life, he looked awesome albeit very green, but should dramatically improve.

Like his turn of foot............also like Algorithms. If I had to make a selection at this time, he would be it. Not much mention of any top 3 year old fillies, any catch your eye Steve?

14 Feb 2012 1:50 AM

Tiz Herself:

I closely inspected Immaculate in the paddock for his debut a few weeks ago.  Being out of Folklore, I even put a few dollars on him, but after flashing brief speed from the inside, he faded rather badly.  But the 1-2 finishers in that  maiden race appear to be very impressive horses, with the winner(American Act, I believe) nominated for the San Vicente and the runner-up, Bodemeister, an awesome winner this past Saturday.

Physically, Immaculate is a real little guy, quite short.  To me, his frame looked well suited for the 5.5 furlong maiden race.

Immaculate ran again in his second race a week ago or so.  It was the first race on the card, however, and I missed the race by about 10 minutes.  I wasn't going to play Immaculate after watching him do little that first race.

When I got to Santa Anita, they were showing a replay of the race.  Baffert had a horse go out and set wicked fractions.  But then the race fell completely apart, as the field took over 25 seconds to cover that 3rd and final quarter(6 furlong race).

Immaculate just kept plugging away in the center of the stretch and got up right in the shadow of the wire.  The final time of 1:09 was moderate for the surface that day, and the Beyer came back a 76.

14 Feb 2012 2:23 AM

I was at Santa Anita for Bodemeister's smashing(99 Beyer) maiden win this Saturday.  I loved his chances vs. Welter Weight; that horse had been soundly beaten by the solid but hardly elite Consulado while Bodemiester had run a huge 2nd at a distance that seemed too short for him.

Steve already highlighted the positives of Bodemeister's race.  It was an awesome effort; clearly this is a horse with a world of ability and massive upside.

If I am to be critical, Bodemeister appeared to wash-out in the walk towards the starting gate on what was a cooler day at Santa Anita.  Second, after having to be used in the run through the clubhouse turn, things really unfolded splendidly for Bodemeister the rest of the race.  Bodemeister was able to get out on an uncontested lead and set moderate fractions(1:10 and 4) for the Santa Anita speedway.  I loved that he really kicked it into overdrive that final quarter, but it was a dream set-up.  

I would have to imagine that in his next race one or more horses will apply a little more pace pressure, AND he will likely have to run a 1:10 flat or faster opening 6 furlongs.

But I'm with Steve on the positives.  Bodemeister is a good looking, leggy colt with excellent speed and the pedigree to carry it a long away.  And he has a 3-time Derby winning Hall of Fame trainer(Baffert) in his corner.  He has many questions still to answer, but don't they all?

14 Feb 2012 2:42 AM
Barry Irwin

I want to commend The Blood-Horse for devoting the amount of space in its on-line issues to aspiring Turf Writers such as Cold Facts, who is basically using the space provided herein to launch his own  blog. Pedants such as this normally would have a difficult time publishing their insufferable drivel, yet here is Cold Facts with several inches of copy right next to a brilliant professional like Steve Haskin. As the great English philsopher Ali G might say, "Hamazing!"

14 Feb 2012 7:51 AM
Forbidden Apple

Castellano's choice of Algorithms most likely had to do with choosing a Pletcher horse. Pletcher has an army of quality 3 year olds, where Matz has only 1 known top colt.

It's amazing to me how many people are writing off Out Of Bounds, Hansen and others as milers. Almost every single race for 3 year olds has been contested at 7,8, and 8.5 furlongs. I'd rather sit back and wait for a 1 1/8 mile race before I started labeling horses that we all no very little about. Just because a horse is sired by Empire Maker, that does not make him/her a distance specialist. And a horse by Discreet Cat should not be labeled an automatic miler.

Fed Biz might end up being a very good horse, but as of now he is the flavor of the week. By next week there will be a new horse popping up that grabs the spotlight.

I thought the NTRA poll was a bit silly when you have half of the top 10 who have not even raced this year. A horse like Ultimate Eagle runs a hole in the wind and does not even break the top 10. Maybe because he races in CA or because some so quickly labeled him a turf horse.

14 Feb 2012 9:33 AM

Tiz Herself;

I don't know what Beyer speed figure Immaculate earned when breaking his maiden, but here is the replay of his victory:

I thought it was a highly promising effort, but I was also impressed with the effort of runner-up Mile High Magic, who raced greenly in the homestretch and appeared to be going nowhere before leveling off and finishing strongly to secure the place.


14 Feb 2012 9:55 AM
El Kabong


It is rare that any sire produces one Kentucky. Do we dismiss all of those how have not yet achieved this feat?  All Giant's Causeway needs is one and he joins an elite status.Who knows in a Stallion's career when this might happen? I will leave you with two notions I reserve to shed hope on Fed Biz's chances.

"always look on the bright side of life"

"every sperm is sacred"

14 Feb 2012 11:57 AM
Karen in Indiana

Barry Irwin, agreed. I come on this site to see what Steve Haskin has to say. When I see a post that's so long it fills my screen, I scroll down to see if it says Coldfacts. If it does, I skip it.

14 Feb 2012 1:16 PM
J Blo

As a long time lurker, I was compelled to set up an account so that I could post one simple comment.  Bravo, Mr. Irwin.  Bravo.

14 Feb 2012 2:10 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

As the great philosopher Red Auerbach once said, "We sometimes use Cousy's insufferable dribble to run out the clock when we're ahead. But we're not going to use it all the time." And as another great philosopher Abe Lincoln once said, "You can't read all of the bloggers all of the time but you can read some of the bloggers some of the time." If everyone had to match Steve Haskin's turf writing brilliance there couldn't be a blog since his writing at this time is unsurpassed by anyone, and this blog is entertaining and sometimes informative. Whether it be nobler to ignore or read a post is the question. As far as Cold Facts is concerned, he does get responses to his posts so obviously some people are entertained by them.

14 Feb 2012 2:14 PM

So far, Exothermic and Prospective.

Ignore those who hate Giant's Causeway.  Any horse who can close like a freight train on his first dirt race and almost win THE grade one race of the year ... I love his babies.

Northern Dancer rules!

(Am I the only person in the world who thinks that "...IIIIII will ALLLWAYYYS LOVVVE YOUUUU.." is a crappy song and its singer deserving of some sorrow but NOT world event sorrow?)

14 Feb 2012 2:16 PM
Age of Reason

Ladies and gentlemen, you are watching the verbal cyber-annihilation of one "Coldfacts", live and in person. Grab a napkin, C.F.,you just got served! Mr. Irwin: I am hearing rumors that some on the Team Valor bench would like to go to the Arc with your soon-globetrotting Animal Kingdom. Obviously any speculation at this point is premature at best and irrelevant at worst, but are there any other international dreams for the Derby winner at this point? (Who knows? What with Mr. Commons, Winter Memories, Acclamation, Animal Kingdom,and others returning in '12, maybe the American turf horse will start to gain some respect!)

14 Feb 2012 3:22 PM
Golden Gate

My favorites are Hansen, Sabercat, Creative Cause and Algorithms.

14 Feb 2012 3:44 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

I appreciated the information on "Old School training."  So some of the greats started preps with 7 furlongs.  Your point is well taken.  

14 Feb 2012 3:47 PM

In regards to the upcoming Southwest Stakes (gr. III) on February 20th; Secret Circle, Castaway, Longview Drive, and Unbridled's Note have all shipped in from California to compete in the race, which is also expected to draw Junebugred, Reckless Jerry, Pee H Dee, Cyber Secret, Atigun, Najjaar, and Jake Mo. I believe that Ring It Up, Red Jack, Optimizer, and Chalybeate Springs are all possible runners as well.


14 Feb 2012 4:24 PM
Criminal Type

DR. D, Amusing post, but, I think you mean irritated, not entertained.

I would like to thank Barry Irwin for his comments. You nailed it, Mr Irwin. I was just commenting on the same issue the other day. I would like to wish you much success with Animal Kingdom in Dubai and elsewhere. My husband (not a horse person at all) picked him to win the Derby, I should have listened. I will be visiting Fair Hill in April and would love to meet AK if he is back from the mid east.

Mz, your comments are in very bad taste, dissing one of the greatest voices of our generation. Her death was a tragedy, whatever the cause. I suppose you feel the same way about the songs writer, Dolly Parton ?

14 Feb 2012 5:34 PM
Barry Irwin

There has been no chat whatsoever about any race beyond the World Cup with Animal Kingdom. We plan to run him on the grass in his comeback, Tapeta in the World Cup and, hopefully, dirt in the BC Classic. Other than that, we have not contemplated anything, because making long term plans is difficult with any horse.

14 Feb 2012 5:43 PM

Count me in on the Sabercat bandwagon - His Delta Jackpot was a thing of beauty: the acceleration he showed on the final turn sure looked like a move that has won many of KY Derby's.  Also, Steve Asmussen is overdue for a Derby win and hoping that the $1M Delta Jackpot is a relevant race.  

14 Feb 2012 6:35 PM

Hello again fellow bloggers What do you think about Pee H Dee is he a contender or pretender?Does he have the credentials to win the Southwest?

14 Feb 2012 7:05 PM

a list of 21 probables for the one-mile Southwest, which has a good chance of being split into two divisions. If it is, each division will be a Grade 3, and each will have a purse of $250,000, said David Longinotti, the assistant general manager for racing at Oaklawn.

“There’s a strong possibility of splitting, depending on how many go,” said Pat Pope, the racing secretary at Oaklawn. “There’s got to be two strong fields to consider it.

“I’m real excited. I can’t remember when this was done, in a long, long time, to have this kind of stature of race, with this kind of field, looking at a split.”

14 Feb 2012 7:20 PM

Mr. Irwin,

“I want to commend The Blood-Horse for devoting the amount of space in its on-line issues to aspiring Turf Writers such as Cold Facts, who is basically using the space provided herein to launch his own blog”

I have been accused of many endeavors but none so ambitious. Since you are of this opinion I want to make it exceedingly clear that I neither have ambitions to launch a blog nor am I using this medium to do so. To imply this is do me the greatest dishonor. I don’t not expect a prominent operator of a national and international stable to offer an apology to one he regards a hanging ornament. However, I do believe you owe Mr. Haskin an apology for inferring that he is some how oblivious to my attempt to use his blog to advance a nonexistent agenda. Like everyone else I am merely participating in a process of sharing views on the animals and industry we all love. I am aware that my opinions and positions are outside of the main stream and are view with disdain by many. I am often the subject of ridicule but I regard this as part of the process.

“Pedants such as this normally would have a difficult time publishing their insufferable drivel,”

For the benefit of those that have limited vocabularies like myself, I think it is appropriate that I supply a few definitions of some of the words comprising your rather provocative characterization above.


A hanging ornament


1. Too extreme to bear; intolerable

2. Having or showing unbearable arrogance or conceit.


Silly nonsense:

Your opening remarks are in total contradiction to those that followed. You are obviously an educated gentleman with an expansive vocabulary. I am a mere primary school drop out that struggles with the English language and this might account for the assessed nonsense in my posts.  I must give you an A+ for your well packaged insult. I guess I should be honored that you have taken time out your busy schedule to enlighten Mr. Haskin’s supporters of my ambitions and stupidity.  That said, I would appreciate an explanation as to why you think an individual you consider a hanging ornament, who is arrogance, conceited, intolerable, extreme to bear and one that engages in silly nonsense, would be aspiring to be a turf writer and launching a blog.  Who on this earth or any other would support one so convoluted?

It appears I am a magnet for attacks. You are a most unlikely of attacker but your attack supersedes those of all previous attackers as none have gone as far a regarding me an ornament. This was highly unexpected but I guess notoriety and class sometime have a strained relationship. In spite of your notoriety you have sadly joined the club of many before you who have not distinguished themselves as being schooled in the social graces. In fairness to you, your unpleasantness was compiled in the subtleties of forms but none the less just as offensive. As a youngster while being schooled in the social graces, I was taught that if one could not utter kind words about another, silence equated to eloquence. The same is applicable to the written word.

I regard the post you some how find Hamazing, as crossing the line. In spite of you being the head of a national, international stable and Kentucky Derby winner owner you are also human. Humans are not infallible and you have clearly made an error by regarding a fellow human being as an ornament. To err is human, to forgive is divine. I will embark on the path of divinity and forgive your transgression as it’s the least I can do for one so intolerant of the views on another. Those who take pleasure in belittling others do not distinguish themselves but in so doing provide a grim reminder of how vile we as human being. I guess you have displayed How Great you are in an Animal Kingdom.

I have taken note of the overwhelming joy your post has created for many. It is interesting that you are being applauded for insulting someone whose only guilt is posting his opinions.

In horse jargon, an honorable man should feel like gelding for this endeavor. It is exceedingly clear from the endorsements your post has received that my opinions seem to disturb many of the supporters of the very accommodating Mr. Haskin. I have no desire for his blogs to be transformed into the attack forums.  Consequently, I will do what I consider to be the right thing and make this my final post.

Good day Sir and I hope your color bearers continue to win.

14 Feb 2012 8:32 PM

Criminal Type:  I am sorry if you thought my comment "dissed" Whitney Houston.  My intention was to "diss" the state of the news media today.  In light of what is happening around the world:  wars, governments bombing their own citizens and killing children, economies going to ruin and dragging us down with them, global warming wrecking havoc this winter, men telling women whether they can or cannot have children ( but not bothering to work out sufficient social safety nets to feed those children once they're born) .... anyways, you get my drift; in light of all that hard news, the death of a singer is sad but by no means something that should have been reported as if it were earth shattering.  I miss the days of Walter Cronkite and REAL news.

And while I may not like Ms. Parton's songs, I really admire her business savvy.

Can we agree to disagree about music?  Some of us are a little rock n roll and some of us are a little country but we can all appreciate "My Old Kentucy Home" on the first Saturday in May.

14 Feb 2012 9:55 PM
Mike Relva


Enjoy reading many of your comments.

14 Feb 2012 10:39 PM

On Valentine's Day I am reminded of how much I love Steve's Derby Dozen, for the race up to the Kentucky Derby wouldn't be the same without it.  Thanks! Steve

14 Feb 2012 11:15 PM


I have always enjoyed your posts, I find them thought provoking and admire the obvious work you put into them, and whether I agree with them or not, I will always defend your right to post them.

14 Feb 2012 11:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I am impressed by your excellent retort and personally hope that wasn't your last post. I commend you for stepping into the ring and putting the gloves on. In fact I have you the winner on points. Like I've said before more than once, if somone doesn't like someone's posts all they have to do is scroll past them. I don't think unsolicited derogatory statements are necessary. I've read some exchanges between you and a few other bloggers here so I feel that you have a place here. If you enjoy it and you have some that enjoy responding to you then post. Who cares what anyone thinks. The exception would be Steve Haskin who has put his foot down a few times with people but being the kind and gracious man that he is has given people another chance numerous times.

14 Feb 2012 11:46 PM
Barry Irwin

Martyrdom is so rare in America.

15 Feb 2012 12:04 AM
Steve Haskin

Coldfacts, I agree with Dr. D. and Predict regarding your posts and their intent. And I also agree with Barry. Before you finalize your decision about leaving for good, let me offer you some advice. I normally don’t advise our readers how to comment on here. One is free to express his or her thoughts, and if I deem those thoughts to be out of line or offensive on a continued basis I just stop posting them. But considering you have supported this blog on a regular basis, I will make an exception and strongly suggest that you read your own comments as others would. You will find that they can come across not as opinions, as you state, but strong statements that imply that you are right and others are wrong. You obviously are very passionate about the sport and should be commended for that. These are all good people on here, many armed with their own arsenal of facts and a wide variety of opinions. And even with all the cold facts, it all comes down to opinions. You can state all the facts you wish, as long as you don’t shove people’s faces in them. I only offer this advice to insure a happy existence on here for you and those who respond to you. There is a saying that goes: “There is nothing like a horse to make a person feel like an ass.” After 45 years in the business, I still am made to constantly feel like an ass by these wonderful creatures, who go far beyond the world of facts. As long as you can learn a little each day from them, it’s worth being humbled.

Predict, thank you for the kind words.

15 Feb 2012 12:14 AM

Steve, I'm excited to say i'll be in attendance for the Southwest, Monday, 20th.  

I can't see SECRET CIRCLE NOT being in the winner's circle but am I crazy for thinking CASTAWAY, if moving forward well, could pull a surprise here?  He certainly doesn't back away from a challenge from what I've seen & if he runs anywhere near his daddy's speed...

15 Feb 2012 2:00 AM

1. Sabercat

2. Exothermic

3. Out Of Bounds

4. Anything Barry Irwin likes

All should be able to get 1 1/4.

15 Feb 2012 8:12 AM


I, for one, appreciate the research and analyses you bring to this forum.  I always read and digest what you have to offer.  Some of it intrigues me, some of it I ignore (which is the same treatment every post by any author receives).

I hope you stick around, buddy.

- Stones

15 Feb 2012 10:37 AM


 Please listen to the advice that Steve gave you. You should read your post several times before you hit the send button. You can be so arrogant and condescending that sometimes it is hard to take you seriously. Do you talk to people face to face in the same manner? I doubt it.

15 Feb 2012 11:42 AM


Any sire who has a Derby horse is worth following, to me.  It's such a difficult race to get to, much less, win.  I glean a little bit from most bloggers including your "foods" for thought.

Watching an old Breeders Cup, you never can tell when a favorite just isn't going to fire, like Riboletta in the Ladies Classic 2000.

I try to find the right horse, jockey with the right athleticism, demeanor, IQ, pedigree...I got it wrong in 2009, 2010 and got it right with ANIMAL KINGDOM & NEHRO.   I stuck with NEHRO from what I observed from a race at Oaklawn & thought MINESHAFT was worthy through AP INDY.

What do I know, I still think with better handling, UNCLE MO was capable of winning a Derby & Classic!

15 Feb 2012 11:46 AM

Cold Facts my buddy!

Whats going on here? I know that you are made of sterner stuff than to be scared off the blog by Irwin.

Come on Bro get back in the ring and rumble! Seriously.

15 Feb 2012 12:52 PM

Cold Facts,

Dont think that I'm going to let you get away that easily without posting your Derby dozen after steam rolling mine. Forget the nonsense, you have unfinished business here Bro.

15 Feb 2012 12:57 PM

Checking in at Steve Haskin’s blogs is like diving into a juicy steak! My mouth waters when I see 40-50-60 comments after one of Steve’s columns.  It means Steve has hit one out of the park, again, and that his “regulars” have gathered rather like the regulars in a small town around the cracker barrel at a local store.  

Steve to me is at the top of the field that he has labored in for over 40 years. His knowledge, wisdom, and writing ability I consider the best of the best.  The fact that occasionally I disagree with him says a lot about his ability to educate rather than preach.  As to Cold Facts, since I more often than not “don’t know what I don’t know” about the sport, I do take a lot of his posts with a grain of salt, waiting for other posters here to weigh in.  I do occasionally scroll past his more lengthy efforts in favor of reading the opinions of others on Steve’s topic at hand.  While I can’t comment on Cold Facts being correct or incorrect about any of his assertions, he would be wise to learn one of the cardinal rules of good writing:  the use of an unflinching blue pencil prior to posting is strongly recommended.  He would do well to listen to his critics here, as we all learn more from our critics than our friends.  When my mouth occasionally overloads my brain and I’m confronted with unpleasant consequences,  I call these moments “yanking my chain”.  It’s not a pleasant experience, but you do have to stomp on some grapes to make a good wine!

15 Feb 2012 1:02 PM
Karen in Texas

Coldfacts---I agree that Steve gave you good advice. One of his closing sentences said (paraphrased) that these horses go far beyond the world of facts. To me, that is really the point. No matter how many historical facts one recites, new occurrences create new sets of facts every day. Living creatures are subject to the happenstance of life itself---an infinite subject. Also, as I pointed out last week on Jason's blog, opinions based on innuendo alone do not magically create factual statements.

15 Feb 2012 1:36 PM
Age of Reason

Mr. Haskin:

You should receive a special Eclipse award for that last comment; what a brilliant display of articulately tactful diplomacy. If I were President, you'd be my Secretary of State.


Though you raise a very valid point that the recent criticisms of you were surely over-the-top, I am afraid that you are (mis-)construing them as personal attacks instead of general disagreements, however vitriolic. Though I hesitate to speak on presumption in the place of Mr. Irwin or anyone else, I'm pretty confident that you could change the screen name at the end of your "Giant's Causeway" post to anything else, and the response would have been the same. It wasn't/isn't about you personally at all; it was about the fact that your post exhibited the classic logical fallacy of "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc"--"After this, therefore because of this". To say that the reason Giant's Causeway has not had any winner or on-the-board finisher in the Derby because of the large books of mares he has bred is operating on the mistaken assumption that the two events have a cause-effect relationship. Let me again be clear: I am not writing these things because I dislike you; rather, I would have said the same thing to anyone else who might have written the same thing. As an aside, I was also fascinated by a comment you made on an earlier blog that Russian Greek's Derby chances looked slim because all of the really good Giant's Causeways were chestnut, and he is bay. Have you ever heard of Sharmadal (the prototypical Frankel)? Foostepsinthesand? Ghanaati?--European classic winners all, and bay offspring of Giant's Causeway?

But I digress. Whatever you do, please don't leave these forums. The last thing our beautiful sport needs is for old fans to leave it. Please continue to (humbly) post your opinions--otherwise Draynay will surely drive me insane (JUST KIDDING!). Your posts are almost always original and researched, whther I agree with them or not. I look forward to our sharing of ideas in the future. Have a great day, y'all!

15 Feb 2012 1:59 PM
El Kabong

Cold Facts,

Once again, Steve is very insightful as always, and a skillful advisor of equine and supine matters. Take his advice, I know I have on many occassions, including this one directed at you but best adhered by all.  You are not the only one who needs to breath in the wisdom of Steve's words, myself included. Gallop a few laps, think about it, then work out in good company with the fine collection of thoroughbred railbirds on this site.

15 Feb 2012 2:00 PM
El Kabong


Well said.

15 Feb 2012 2:15 PM

Hey Coldfacts or Ranagulzion what do think of Bluegrass Cat as a Derby Sire?

15 Feb 2012 5:50 PM

Bodemeister looked extremely impressive and reminds me of Curlin. However, like Curlin I think he's coming to the Derby short on seasoning. He could be the best 3YO colt in California.  We'll see.  Baffert is back in the thick of things with "Bode" and Fed Biz. I also think that Secret Circle deserves another chance to live up to his pedigree although I can't see anything stopping Junebugred in the Southwest.

15 Feb 2012 6:28 PM

IMO, UNION RAGS just got better with JL in the irons.  I'm not saying he's a better jockey just a better fit for the horse.  Great patience, timing, & good positioning.

Steve:  what was up with Dullahan in the BC?  Was anything wrong that day?

15 Feb 2012 6:31 PM
Point Given

Come on kids,Let's Play Ball

15 Feb 2012 6:45 PM

Mrs. Jackson said of Barbaro:  "He looked the way you want a racehorse to look".  That is exactly the way I felt upon observing Sky Kingdom for about 10 minutes in the saddling area prior to the Robert Lewis stakes.  I was completely taken by his physical perfection and intelligent kind eye.  On the other hand, I could see he clearly did not have his game face on.  Racing seemed to be the last thing on his mind, as he was gawking at all the goings on around him (including me, which of course I loved).  Given what Steve has said about Empire Makers maturing later, it might actually be a good thing if Sky Kingdom does not make the Ky Derby, as I would love to see him have a big year as a 4-year-old.

15 Feb 2012 6:52 PM

Well, Mr. Irwin didn't have anything to discuss regarding Haskin's Derby Dozen. Keep up the good work Coldfacts. I hope Empire Way keeps taking small steps along the way and then peaks on Derby day. If he pops before then, well forget it. Don't want to see his best until May 5th.

15 Feb 2012 7:12 PM
Scott's Cause

Steve, I want to thank you for allowing my voice/opinion to get out there, in a forum of passionate followers, of the greatest sport, period.  You don't need a Phd. or have a stable or be recent P-6 winner to have a opinion.  Last year @ Del Mar waiting in line to make a wager, I talked to 5-6-7 people in the immediate area and not one of them agreed with my pick.  Which is what is great about this game.  The same can be said for this forum.  Thinking back I just wished I would have listened to the middle aged lady who had never been to the races, who touted a horse whose name rhymed with her new grandson's name...43-1 shots don't come along everyday...With that being said, group hug for CF and Go Sabercat..

15 Feb 2012 7:35 PM
Criminal Type

MZ, I absolutely agree with you about all of those things. Im pretty disgusted with the way things are going in this country. Our so called representitives have no clue what average americans go through on a daily basis just to survive. Our governor just passed a 6 % tax on gas, as if its not high enough. I am a Realtor, I really don't have to tell you how badly the housing crash has effected those in my profession, do I?  Im sick of our elected officials bickering and not getting anything done. I could go on and on but I won't.

Also, so you know, I am not a country music fan. I may have come on a little strong about Whiteny Houston, but I was just pointing out that Whitney did not write her songs, none of them, and while I agree there are worse tragedies being perpetrated in the world, her death was a significant lose to the music world. She had a phenominal voice. The media turns everything into a circus. Im sick to death of them giving Casey Anthony airtime, they are feeding into her S***.

As far as Rock and roll goes, One of my favorite sayings is "I might be old, but I got to see all the great bands." Clapton, Stones, McCartney (wings), Zappa, Santana, Skynyrd (before the crash) Led Zeppelin, Rush, Ted Nugent, Def Leppard, (with Bonham)  ahhh the good ol days. I remember almost all of them, although there are couple years in the early 80's that are a bit

15 Feb 2012 8:35 PM

Nascar Pro,

Considering what was expected of him, in terms of the millions spent in purchasing his offsprings, Storm Cat has been an abysmal failure as a sire of Triple Crown horses. Yes, Tabasco Cat won the Preakness and Belmont (1994) but neither he nor any of the many others at stud have distinguished themselves as sire of Classic runners. Giants Causeway,notwithstanding Cold Facts' observation and conclusion about overbreeding, has come closest by siring the brilliant but unfortunately injured Eskendereya.

Bluegrass Cat is a young sire and has to be judged ultimately by what he produces. He was a well beaten second in Barbaro's Derby (2006)however, from a pedigree point of view his prospects aren't great, as a son of Storm Cat. His Broodmare sire AP Indy puts stamina into his capabilities as a sire but also brings a late development trait where the Kentucky Derby is concerned.  Therefore on the surface I wouldn't recommend Blugrass Cat as a good Derby-winner-producing prospect.

Now let me hasten to add that there is always a possibility of beating the odds as there are other influences in any pedigree, such as the contribution of the broodmare. Bluegrass Cat is the sire of Sabercat, one that looked every bit a Derby prospect when winning the Delta Jackpot last year. Let's see what happens. I would be quite happy to see him or any other of the Northern Dancer line colts win the Derby this year but he is lower down on my list because of the Storm Cat/AP Indy factor in his pedigree. Nevertheless his broodmare's family could pull him through.    

15 Feb 2012 9:58 PM


I've never had a problem with you, and I found Mr. Irwin's comments to be slightly misguided(understandable emotions, but wrong target).  As someone less knowledgeable in the area of breeding, I find many of your posts informative.

I can surely understand why Mr. Irwin or any person involved in professional athletics would get a little upset with so much nonsense on the internet.  Just imagine if there were blogs dissecting your every decision or your work performance.  In an age in which millions have a microphone(in the form of computers), there are many unqualified people strutting around with the pretensions of an expert.  For a real expert like Mr. Irwin, I can only imagine the frustration.

However, I personally do not lump Coldfacts in among these "pretenders".  Yes, by using the phrase "cold facts" repeatedly, I see how some could see his posts as statements of fact and perceive him to be someone pretending to be an expert.  So, yes, I can understand how others could view him as a bit pretentious.

But as someone who has been reading Coldfacts' posts for almost 3 years, I recognize that the use of the term "cold facts" is more for rhetorical impact and is not flaunting expertise; I see it as a clever catch-phrase, a way for Coldfacts to distinguish himself from other posters, and to this end he has been effective.  I appreciate how he sets up his posts, leading the reader up to the presentation of the "cold facts"; that's his signature.

I have never seen Coldfacts as arrogant.  In fact, and I hope I am reading it correctly, I've always sensed that Coldfacts  has perspective, that he is aware of his fallibility and that his "cold facts" are not divine.  Coldfacts has many times humbly admitted that he is not well educated, and has repeatedly apologized for his less than perfect grammar and composition.  And he does not pose as a know-it-all handicapper; he freely admits that his unique approach to picking winners, based heavily on breeding, does not always provide a windfall at the windows.  Yet, and I can testify to this, when his approach does work, it is often with an unexpected winner at long odds or in correctly predicting a horse's long-term success.

Another positive about Coldfacts is that I rarely see him resort to being rude or nasty.  To both of their credit, in their long-running "feud" Coldfacts and Ranagulzion have kept things civil and above boards about 99.5% of the time.  It says alot about Coldfacts that even his "rival", Ranagulzion, offered words encouraging him to remain here.  Yes, there are people in cyberspace who are insufferable, egotistical, and cold(to other posters and even the horses), but I don't consider Coldfacts one of them.

With this said, Coldfacts, I do think you are taking Barry's comments too harshly.   Making a declaration to never participate again is taking yourself and the situation too seriously; such behavior is not in character with the humble Coldfacts I have come to know.

And now I'm afraid that you think that you've painted yourself into a corner by making that declaration.  But don't feel that you will dishonor yourself by revoking that declaration and posting again.  Personally, I will respect you alot more if you return to the blog than if you force yourself to maintain a self-imposed exile.  In the end, what does such an exile achieve, and who does it benefit?

I'm sure getting critiqued by someone of such import as Mr. Irwin has to hurt.  And I am sure the piling-on posts immediately following Mr. Irwin's comments didn't help. But as more folks have now joined the discussion, hopefully you see that those earlier negative posts do not represent the majority.  

16 Feb 2012 1:07 AM

Coldfacts see what GunBow just said +1.

16 Feb 2012 9:16 AM
Forbidden Apple

To all that have written off Out of Bounds as miler, wait and see him race beyond 1 mile before you label him a miler. And to those who are questioning the ability of Alpha, I think he will prove his quality with a sharp win in the Wood.


Please do not let a few meaningless comments by Captain Bodgit get in the way of discovering top prospects. Some people called him an expert. Expert at what? Most racing and sports fans have opinions and express them often. I am much more interested in ColdFacts than a few comments once a year from an owner. At least you always make your comments and stand behind them. Unlike some owner's who say one thing on national tv and then later change their comments to appease the public. I have always respected your comments even when I did not agree with you. I'm still waiting to see your Derby Dozen, go ahead and post it.

16 Feb 2012 9:48 AM

Have never met Barry Irwin, but would love to ....he has eloquent balls, ....errrr hutzpah

Coldfacts attention to what Steve and others are saying, with an open mind some on here not so versed in pedigrees etc., your facts are undoubtedly invaluable, but your conclusions are merely your opinion ....not gospel

16 Feb 2012 10:57 AM
Age of Reason

Daily Racing form is reporting Zenyatta will have a new bronze statue at Santa Anita,directly across from the one of John Henry.I first saw it on facebook, but when I tried to get onto to see for myself the website wouldn't even load for about thirty minutes; perhaps too many rushing there at once. Definitely off-topic, but you probably read it here first! Lol

16 Feb 2012 1:12 PM
Age of Reason

Also, just discovered a very recent article by Australia's horse-racing site, The Daily Telegraph, which compared (perhaps I should say contrasted) Black Caviar and Zenyatta. Here is the link:

16 Feb 2012 1:24 PM
Criminal Type

TTimes is reporting that Dr Hansens Request to "color" Hansens mane and tail for the upcoming Gotham Stakes has been denied by the New York Racing Stewards. Thankfully they have more sense then this poor horse's owner. When denied he stated that he should have kept his mouth shut and just done it. "what are they going to do tell me not to do it again ?"  

16 Feb 2012 2:32 PM

What an exciting week on this blog.  WOW!  The one thing I love about this sport is that there is no such thing as an "expert".  

Can't we all just get along!

By the way, Howe Great will win the Derby! :)

16 Feb 2012 4:31 PM
Karen in Texas

I'm glad and relieved that the NYRA stewards denied the request to dye Hansen's mane and tail. Dr. Hansen seems to have missed the portion of their letter where it stated that new equipment or practices "must not generate confusion or suggest exploitation of the horse to the public." As to what they might have done had he not asked---I believe they could fine him and/or not have allowed the horse to run once on the track.

16 Feb 2012 6:21 PM

Gun Bow,

I appreciate your words of encouragement to our friend Cold Facts. I've heard it said that "sticks and stones may break my bones but words cannot harm" What a fallacy. Word are powerful for both good and bad.

My view of Irwin's vitriol is that it reflect more about him and his way of thinking/acting than on Cold Facts. Even if a poster was testing his/her "turf-writer" skills on here, why should that be so offensive to Irwin? All I could see in his remarks was mean-spiritedness. Perhaps he could come back and clarify for us what was so irritating to him about Cold Facts postings.

16 Feb 2012 7:23 PM
El Kabong


Let it go. There is no need to insult the type of guest we should all be flattered to have posting on this site from time to time just to save the colors of a hot air balloon. Mr. Haskins has never displayed the high ground that our mutually liked blogger has all too many times. Mr. Haskins patience is to be commended but Mr. Irwins honesty  was long over due and it may have done some good for everyone involved, including Mr. Haskins.  If not, it would never have been posted. Again, I would encourage all to let this pass and to learn. Take the high ground and stick to your insightful comments about the thoroughbreds.

16 Feb 2012 8:05 PM

Karen in Texas,

Hansen's mane and tail dyed?  What???  What did I miss???  I know I had Zenyatta get hair color for Pirate Queen, but this!!!!!!! Fill me in Karen please I must have missed reading this about NYRA and color for Hansen.  I think it is so cool with him being that white out there ina sea of bays, I would leave his color alone, what are they thinking?

16 Feb 2012 8:16 PM
El Kabong


The Palm Beach is going to be a display of talent. Exothermic, Dullahan and Howe Great in the same race and maybe a dark horse or two. March, so they will get one shot to prep in the Bluegrass. That race is showing up in my Palantir............ I SEE YOU!

16 Feb 2012 8:25 PM
Thoroughbreds are the best

Cold Facts, As someone who really enjoys following pedigrees, I have always enjoyed your posts.  When you make assertions based on correlative data rather than causative data, I then I make my own judgement on what you are claiming.  

For example, I used to agree with you about top racing mares not being the best producers.  Many great race mares of the past were notoriously difficult to settle.  I think this was due to the hormones many mares were given in the past to keep them from coming in season.  I know that we used to do this all the time when showing off the track thoroughbreds as hunters forty plus years ago.  I don't know that this is still an allowable practice but it is in the dog world.  Female dogs that have been repeatedly exposed to these drugs, whether they are racing greyhounds or best in show winners in conformation, often are difficult to get pregnant.  Perhaps this is why many people used to state that good performance mares rarely made good brood mares.  That being said, I hope that the plethora of exceptional female thoroughbreds of recent years will overcome this truism.

Please keep posting!  If someone doesn't like it they can just scroll by it as I do many!

16 Feb 2012 8:27 PM

Great list as always Steve!

Cold Facts:

Gun Bow has it right in my opinion - I agree.  I personally enjoy your posts and all the research you put in to them.  I too tend to look at things a little differently than the mainstream sometimes so I like your ideas and perspective - even if they are not necessarily "facts". And I have never thought that you were actually insisting on all these things being FACTS - but rather possibilities supported by the evidence you present.  Don't take personally anything said on here.  Anyone who does not like your posts is free to skip them like I do with Draynay's on Jason's blog.

16 Feb 2012 8:43 PM
Karen in Texas

Alex'sBigFan---I noticed an editorial on ESPN regarding a blog Dr. Hansen wrote saying he thought it would be great fun to dye Hansen's mane and tail. (Several of us discussed it on Steve's Feb.3 Derby Dozen.) I'll link it again here. Anyway, not surprisingly, the NYRA stewards found it not to be appropriate.

17 Feb 2012 12:11 AM
Karen in Texas

ABF----Here is a link to the Thoroughbred Times article that Criminal Type mentioned this P.M.

17 Feb 2012 12:29 AM
Point Given















17 Feb 2012 2:00 AM
Criminal Type

I think a lot of fans have a "what have they done lately" attitude when picking their TC horses. I see a lot of good 2 yr olds from last fall dissapearing off peoples lists because they have not run yet this season. The next two weekends should take care of that.

17 Feb 2012 8:05 AM


Would it be possible to add a physical description, height, etc. to your horses selected for the DOZEN or is there a resource I'm unaware of for that information???

17 Feb 2012 10:59 AM

Ed Kabong,

That "hot air baloon" has contributed way more and consistently so, to the interest and glitter of this blog than the "type of guest" that you are flattered to have posting on this site from time to time.

It is pretty clear that Irwin isn't missed for not posting although his contribution is certainly welcome.  Lets be fair and without partiality or respect of person.

Re the Palm Beach Exothermic will win.

17 Feb 2012 12:25 PM
El Kabong

Some have you have mentioned pedigree analysis as area you would like to improve on. Bloodhorse has an incredible feature. If you do not receive the yearly book from your subscription, and even if you do, this feature is very informative and fun. It allows you stack up quickly a comparison of stallion to stallion performances from their offspring with a click. Try it.

17 Feb 2012 12:35 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

We now return you to our regular programming,  The Derby Dozen. Thank you for watching this special edition of As The Blogger Turns. It now appears that Hansen is no longer on the Circus Circuit thanks to Aqueduct and will attempt to show in The Gotham that he is a Derby horse. Either way he is special and it is now safe to root for him again. Tune in next week at it's regular time for the continuing saga of the Derby Dozen and our elusive pursuit of a long awaited Triple Crown winner. Could this be the year? Be sure to tune in every week for clues, right here on this station.

17 Feb 2012 3:27 PM

Winner not listed above, CURRENCY SWAP. Works tomorrow @ Gulfstream.

17 Feb 2012 9:00 PM

Just before the ending credits of "As The Blogger Turns" run out...literary minimalism is always a good master.

By Tuesday a few truths may be answered on this year's pretender/contender roster.

18 Feb 2012 7:11 PM

Cold Facts,

As a long time lurker, I agree with Gun Bow.  I enjoy your posts and you obviously spend a great deal of time researching and composing them. The only part that I could ever consider "off putting" is your moniker.  It implies that you are right and everyone else is wrong, which I don't think you really believe.  (Draynay owns that piece of territory)  Perhaps a change in name is in order?  But, don't change the passion and research you put into your post.

I enjoy the back and forth of you and Ranulguzion (sp), and feel that some of the nasty comments others have made are simply rude.


I feel badly about it, but I think my ears are going to bleed if I hear that song one more time this week.

19 Feb 2012 7:46 PM

Bodemeister, # 1????

Off a Maiden, who did he beat????? Not taking anything away from him, Monster Race, but #1???

Btw, he is in the right hands with Mr. BB....

20 Feb 2012 3:16 PM

Coldfacts:  A "pendant" is an hanging ornament.  On the other hand, a "pedant" is One who pays undue attention to book learning and formal rules.

That said, you absolutely cannot leave the blogs.  I enjoy your posts.  I enjoy discussing them with you.  Most of all, I enjoy the research I'm required to do to disprove some of your statements.  I've learned so much, and you are the reason for much of my research.  So stick around...we have so much more to debate...and not too far to go to Derby Day.

Mr Irwin:  Talk about a stride on a horse!  Animal Kingdom was magnificent in his return.  His stride was unbelievable!  His legs were stretching out of their joints to cover the ground.  The way a horse covers the ground is just as important as the clock.  I'm even more impressed with him this year than last year.  Best of luck to you and Mr. Motion where ever AK decides to go next.

As for my top ten, I might have skipped Alpha had I not seen both SW stakes.  Alpha is faster than Secret Circle or Castaway.  So I really cannot dismiss Alpha.  I know a new list will be out today, but for now (meaning tempoarily until the next round of racing) my top 10 colts are:

Algorithms, Fed Biz (supersensational), Take Charge Indy, Secret Circle, Scatman, Alpha, Hansen, Swag Daddy, Out Of Bounds, Gemologist.

My problem is...I want a 12f horse.  I'm simply not about to jump on a horse just because he went fast in a sprint.  There are soooo many very good 3 year olds this year.  Life is getting very exciting.  Let's hope the routers separate themselves from the sprinters before Derby day.

21 Feb 2012 8:26 AM

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