Derby Dozen (video) - January 29, 2013 - Presented by Shadwell Farm

[brightcove videoid="2125079616001"]


Violence Todd Pletcher

Medaglia d’Oro—Violent Beauty, by Gone West

Have to stick with him for the time being. Cannot find any flaws in his record, running style, attitude, and pedigree. He’s got it all, and until they beat him he has to be considered top dog. And he is a grand-looking colt. Fountain of Youth likely debut. Needs late start after going cross-country and winning CashCall Futurity on Dec. 15. Handles dirt and synthetic.


Itsmyluckyday Eddie Plesa Jr.

Lawyer Ron—Viva la Slew, by Doneraile Court

It’s is hard to escape the fact that he is, at this point, the fastest 3-year-old over a distance of ground after back-to-back monster efforts and speed figs in graded stakes. Track-record score in Holy Bull, with 11 1/2-length gap to third was brilliant. Good mixture of speed and stamina. Plesa one of the best-kept secrets in America; in good hands.


Shanghai Bobby Todd Pletcher

Harlan's Holiday—Steelin', by Orientate

He had everything against him in Holy Bull – forced to go to the lead from rail, pace pressure, fast fractions, first start of the year vs. seasoned colt coming off spectacular win in fast time, and he still broke the track record in defeat, finishing 11 1/2 lengths clear of third horse. Important thing is he proved he has moved forward at 3 after sensational 2-year-old campaign. Florida Derby will be his only start in 13 weeks leading up to Derby, but Barbaro and I’ll have Another have pulled that off.


Normandy Invasion Chad Brown

Tapit—Boston Lady, by Boston Harbor

A bit apprehensive about the Boston Harbor-Capote line on dam side and tail-female family tracing to British sprint champ, but he did display the most explosive burst of speed on the turn seen last year and showed the ability to sustain it. Beautiful moving colt, he did seem to hang a bit in the Remsen, but had every right to after that big move. He’s had four half-mile breezes and is right on schedule.


Revolutionary Todd Pletcher

War Pass—Runup the Colors, by A.P. Indy

This poor horse started his career with three of the most horrendous starts imaginable, as he was clobbered hard each time, dropping well back, yet still ran big. In his last, he finally had a clean break and demolished his foes by 8 1/2 lengths going a mile. Still goofs off with his lead changes in deep stretch, but has a world of ability. Of the three horses who beat him, one came back to win at Gulfstream and two placed in stakes. He’ll get all the stamina he needs from female family, which traces to major stamina influences Herbager and Tom Rolfe. Also, his dam won the Alabama. Saturday’s Withers likely next start.


Oxbow D. Wayne Lukas

Awesome Again—Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy

So, you’ve got a hot Hall of Fame trainer who has won four Derbys; a colt who won the Lecomte Stakes by 11 1/2 lengths and who has almost the identical breeding as Paynter (same sire, and dams are full sisters). Dam also is a full-sister to Tiznow and Budroyale. So, what’s not to like? He seems to be improving with each race and will run all day.


Goldencents Doug O'Neill

Into Mischief—Golden Works, by Banker's Gold

His sire is hot right now, although not one of the more well-known stallions, and his female family is loaded with sprinting influences. But this colt could have the talent to outrun his pedigree. Although his win in the Sham was more workmanlike, can’t help but marvel at his second in the Champagne when he came off only one 5 1/2-furlong maiden race, traveled cross-country, and finished second to undefeated Shanghai Bobby after setting all the pace, while being dogged all the way by the champ. Did like the way he rated for the first time in the Sham and he looked super in his :45 3/5 half-mile work between races Saturday, galloping out in 1:10 1/5.


Flashback Bob Baffert

Tapit—Rhumb Line, by Mr. Greeley

Yes, he looked very impressive breaking his maiden, but he did have a minor setback after that win and needs to squeeze three stakes in before the Derby. Also, he hasn’t been on dirt, but Baffert says this colt is “scary good,” and that’s reason enough to rank him this high. Appealing Tale, who he beat by 4 1/2 lengths, came back to win by 6 1/4 lengths. He runs Saturday in Robert Lewis, and could make huge strides with a victory or an impressive second. Not going to get a lot of stamina from broodmare sire, but tail-female family is dynamite.


He's Had Enough Doug O'Neill

Tapit—Amelia, by Dixieland Band

Until he runs again you have to throw out his three out-of-the-money finishes on synthetic and grass and just go by his remarkable second, beaten a head, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, in which he overcame a horrendous trip to just miss catching the 2-year-old champ. His pedigree is strong on both ends. Third dam, Courtly Dee, is a granddaughter of War Admiral and produced major stakes winners Althea, Native Courier, Twining, and this colt’s second dam, Aquilegia.


Dynamic Sky Mark Casse

Sky Mesa—Murani, by Distorted Humor

Originally had him ranked #15 on preliminary Top 25, despite finishing sixth in the BC Juvenile in his dirt debut. But he had a nightmare trip and did very well to be beaten only 5 1/4 lengths. Dropped back to 7f and had blinkers added in Pasco Stakes and overcame trouble to win by 3/4. He’s been highly regarded from the time he was a baby and he should only keep getting better. In five starts, he’s never run in anything but stakes.


Overanalyze Todd Pletcher

Dixie Union—Unacloud, by Unaccounted For

Have no feeling for him one way or the other, because he’s always followed up a win with a disappointing effort. But he was impressive coming off a dull third in the Iroquois, scoring a gutsy victory in the Remsen. Been burned many times latching on to a Remsen winner, only to have them get hurt or lose their form at 3. At 1 1/8 miles, it just seems to dull a horse. Encouraged to see him turn in a sharp half in :47 4/5 on Sunday, second fastest work of 43.


Palace Malice Todd Pletcher

Curlin—Palace Rumor, by Royal Anthem

Yes, he is Todd Pletcher’s fifth horse in the Top 12, but Pletcher is just loaded with runners, including brilliant maiden winner Verrazano. This colt looked very impressive breaking his maiden last year, then came off a 5 1/2-month layoff to finish a strong second to the swift Majestic Hussar in a 7-furlong allowance. Love the way he leveled off late and the way he galloped out. Really believe we’re going to see something when he stretches out to two turns. Plenty of stamina top and bottom. What a farewell present he would be for Cot Campbell.

Knocking At The Door

One undefeated horse getting little respect is grade II Jerome winner Vyjack, another son of Into Mischielf, who, in his first two starts, easily handled top-class colts Clawback, Always in a Tiz, and Orb, all of whom came back with big efforts. Although there is a lot of speed in his pedigree, he shows all the signs of a horse who wants to go on. He's already run a 96 Beyer, so he's certainly fast enough to compete with anyone. If you’re looking for a well-bred colt making rapid improvement, look no farther than Darley’s Bernardini colt Transparent, who overcame a total wipeout on the backstretch and still drew off to a 5 3/4-length score at Aqueduct. One horse who really captured our attention was Santa Anita maiden winner Treasury Bill, who rallied from the clouds, was fanned 6-wide, and came barreling down the stretch like the proverbial freight train to win going away, while under wraps the whole way. Bred for stamina and can’t wait to see him stretch out to two turns. Definitely one to keep a close eye on. A pair of 1 1/8-mile allowance races at Gulfstream Saturday were won by Italian import Cerro, for the Team Valor-Graham Motion team, and the Shug McGaughey-trained Orb, who has now won two in a row and is on the improve. Verrazano was as impressive as any maiden winner I saw this year, but he missed escaping the wrath of Apollo by one day, debuting on Jan. 1, and he is by More Than Ready, so stamina might be a question. But his half-brother, El Padrino, was a class horse on the Derby trail last year. If you’re wondering where Uncaptured is after being ranked #7 in Top 25, the Kentucky Jockey Club form took a major beating in the Holy Bull, with runner-up Frac Daddy and fast-closing third Dewey Square getting beat a combined 45 lengths. But more important, Uncaptured still hasn’t worked this year. And how about #2-ranked Power Broker? Baffert said he’s a lightly built colt who is just now getting back in light training, so he has a long way to go.


Leave a Comment:

Carlos in Cali

Any thoughts on the recent 1st-time out maiden breaking Bernardini colt,Demonic, whom Sadler thinks is his Derby horse...

28 Jan 2013 3:41 PM

Mr. Haskin,

Listed below is a extract from a post I made on Pete's blog on 21 Dec 2012.

"Transparent: (Bernardini- Habiboo). Most will laugh at my interest in this colt as he is unimpressive to date. However, he has a very fluent action and I think when he figures out what is required he will reward by interest handsomely.  Unbridleds Song is proving himself to be a very good broodmare sire and Bernardini needs no introduction. This is one to be follow despite is poor showing to date."

28 Jan 2013 3:44 PM

Mr. Haskin,

You Derby Dozens are always filled with interest and controversy.

A stable that has produced one Derby winner from 31 starters between 2000 and 2012 occupies five spots.  While I recognize that your Dozen does not take in to consideration historic factors, it cannot be denied that this annual policy packing the Dozen with Mr. Pletcher’s charges has been an exercise in futility based on the actual Derby results.  Mr. Pletcher had his first Derby starters in 2000. In that year his runners accounted for 4 of the 19 positions. They performed very well with Impeachment 3rd and More Than Ready 4th. Since 2000 the multiple Eclipse Award winning trainers has had multiple starters in the great nine times with a one winner. He had as much as 5 starters in one Derby with Circular Quay being his best finish in 6thposition. The only year since 2000 that he did not have a starter was 2003. Horses from his stable have never finished 5th or 15th. All other spots have been occupied with last place accounting for the most with 5.

It is overwhelming clear that each year his charges flutter to deceive and do not merit such a large percentage of your dozen. They cannot be trusted when May rolls around.

28 Jan 2013 4:35 PM

Mr. Haskin,

I am disappointed that you did not throw A P Indy a bone by including one of his 3YOs in your dozen.  Long River seems to be the one worthy of inclusion and Incognito ran a sneakily good 3rd in his last start and appears to be turning the corner.

A P Indy has been referred to as the perfect horse. He has the conformation and pedigree to support such a claim. He was sire and dam sire were both TC winners. With his pedigree and performance on the track, did this create an illusion that he would be a stellar sire of Derby type horse?

In 16 crops of 3YOs to race between 1997 and 2012 A P Indy had 11 Derby starters and three made the board with Aptitude’s 2nd place finish being the best. Three of his last 5 Derby starters finished 19th, one 18th and the other 15th respectively. How is it possible for the runners sired by a stallion with the bluest of blood for 10F, have perform so poorly in the premier distance race for 3YOs?

I do not believe that the breeding industry was under any illusion regarding A P Indy. However, the Derby is a race with a history that does not favor high profile sires over those considered average. The recently retired stallion has some nice 3YOs and it would be nice if you keep him in our memories with a bone.

Below is a list of his Derby starters and their respective finishing positions:

2012 - Take Charge Indy/19th

2009- Friesan Fire/18th

2008 – Adriano/19th

2006 – A P Warrior/19th

2004 – Friends Lake/15th

2003 – Atswhatimtaknbout/4th

2001 – A P Valentine/7th

2000 – Aptitude/2nd

1999 – Steven Got Even/14th

28 Jan 2013 4:48 PM
Risky Randy

I pulled these soundbites from Mark Casse in Woodbine's weekly Snowbirds report regarding Uncaptured:

Casse also noted that Uncaptured, yet to return to the work tab since his narrow neck score in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club, at Churchill Downs - - a superb follow-up to his earlier Louisville score in the G3 Iroquois - - is being pointed at Turfway’s revitalized Rushaway Stakes.

“He's doing well. He's wild, and he was feeling good this morning,” said Casse. “He was jumping around, but he trained well.  We’ll look to the Rushaway and then come back in the Blue Grass. If successful in those two races, then the Kentucky Derby.”

28 Jan 2013 4:59 PM

Palace Malice is the only colt from the dominant Mr. Prospector sire line in the Dozen.  He has contested two MSW and an AwlOC while achieving one victory and he makes the Dozen?

Fortify has to be the most accomplished colt from the Mr. P sire line. He won on debut whereas Palace Malice lost. He has contested two Gl race and a Gll races finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Palace Malice has never contested a graded race. Fortify’s sire Distorted Humor has sired a winner of the Derby, Preakness, Belmont and Breeders Cup Classic. His dam sire A P Indy is the dam sire of Derby winner Super Saver and 13 other stakes winners. Curlin is not a proven stallion as yet. Royal Anthem is literally MIA as a broodmare sire.

How can Palace Malice be favored over Fortify?

28 Jan 2013 5:53 PM

Although it is very early, I do see the value in your choices. I haven't seen anything I have gotten truly excited about, although Violence seems to be a legit contender and I am very pleased for Mr. Plesa's horse Myluckyday, as you can guess from my sign in.

I was wondering what you might think about a horse named Where's Dominic, a lightly raced colt who peaked my interest. He's won two out of three and the last was a nice win at Laurel, Hawthorne(?).

In any case, thank for putting yourself out there. Always love reading your articles. Best wishes from Colts Neck, NJ

28 Jan 2013 5:53 PM

@Coldfacts:   Transparency has "fluent action"?  In which language?  The term you were looking for is "fluid", as in flowing.  

Kind of puts the "facts" part of "Coldfacts" into perspective.

28 Jan 2013 5:55 PM
steve from st louis

Revolutionary certainly has purple blood coursing through his veins. I haven't seen him run yet but he has a boatload of reasons to be any kind. His second dam produced the dam of Mineshaft for Will Farish while sporting a gaudy dosage of 17-9-15-6-11, with representation in all five chef-de-race categories, a very rare achievement, if one values Steve Roman's work.

   Revolutionary himself has a classicly balanced dosage of 10-8-12-1-1 for a dosage index of 3.0 and a center of distribution of .78.

He is inbred on the dam's side 4X3 to Hoist the Flag, 5X4 to Tom Rolfe, 5X4 to Wavy Navy (Hoist the Flag's dam) and 5X5 to Bold Ruler. His sire, the late champion and multiple Grade 1 winner War Pass, while best as a juvenile, is inbred 5S X 5S X 5D X 5D to some stayer named Nasrullah, who I think was as great a sire as the sport has every seen.

Taking all of that into account, Revolutionary has some very big shoes to fill. On paper, he dopes out as a champion. On the track may be another story. We will see. Thanks for the heads-up, Steve. I think I have my Derby horse to root for.

28 Jan 2013 5:58 PM

Oxbow and He's Had Enough finished behind Fury Kapcori in The Cash Call and they make the cut and he does not. Flashback has a MSW victory over seven furlongs to his credit and Fury Kapcori has 3 starts at a mile and longer and finished a determined second to your #1 colt and he does not make the cut. He is an imposing and fast son of two time BCC winner Tiznow who is one of only three stallions serving currently that  has  covered 10F in 1:59 and a bit. If Fury Kapcori is not off the Derby Trail how can his exclusion be justified with his resume?

28 Jan 2013 6:29 PM
Craig Brogden

Time and again Vyjack is not included in any Derby list.

If anyone has looked at the pp's of his races you will see a number of highly ranked Derby horses that ran behind this undefeated Derby contender.

Number 5 Revolutionary is one of the many.

One only needs to look at the results of the races during the past week to see a number of horses that performed very well in Derby prep races that finished behind Vyjack in one of his undefeated races.

28 Jan 2013 7:05 PM
It aint easy being good!

Amen coldfacts way too many pletcher horses! Pletcher horses = automatic toss unless borel is on board and its raining then you can include a pletcher horse. Put orb on there I rewatched all his races he is talented. Should at least be on the dozen following a win!

28 Jan 2013 7:12 PM

I am sticking with Violence. Itsmyluckyday looks like the main danger.

To keep the record straight, it should be noted that Todd Pletcher won the Kentucky Derby with Super Saver and finished second twice (Bluegrass Cat and Invisible Ink).

28 Jan 2013 7:13 PM
Craig Brogden

Revolutionary comment is wrong, My Bad

28 Jan 2013 7:21 PM

I'm still reserving my opinion, but I was highly impressed by Transparent this past weekend, and I'm so happy that you mentioned him.  He was amazing.  It was a rough trip and a wide trip for him, but he really dominated the field...with ease.  What a fighter.  I'll be looking forward to seeing him in stakes action as the year progresses.

I also believe Vyjack does deserve a mention...he's 3 for 3 so far.  Can't wait to see more from him.

28 Jan 2013 7:23 PM


28 Jan 2013 7:47 PM
El Kabong

Risky Randy,

Good reconnaissance on Uncaptured. I was wondering what was up with him and when Mr. Haskin benched him I started to grow very concerned about this runner. He's been brilliant. I'm glad we haven't lost him.


In case you haven't noticed, Pletcher is once again the Derby Pinata. I'm surprised you haven't been accused of being on the payroll(not that there's anything wrong with that). I can't believe I'm going to say this but if what Risky Randy has said is true, I'll be glued to the screen at Turfway for the Rushaway and the Spiral. Still believe in the KJC colts. It comes down to development in the next three months, and not a greased up speedway in Florida in January. I love GP but that track did not help their efforts to court a Breeders Cup consideration.

Thanks again for posting a Pletcher Pinata to bring out the Violence in those who Overanalyze Revolutionary thoughts of Palace Malice. It's not like someone's been Shanghai'd here.

28 Jan 2013 7:50 PM


Very interesting opening derby dozen here ...all the form horses made it except for Vyjack ...any reason for his ommission? ...after all he's an undefeatd colt never know how good these types are when they display his type of determination to win ...also runs like he'll route inspite of weak stamina on the dam side (not to mention sire's speed oriented pedigree).  I figure that if Goldencents made your list, Vyjack should too.


I see you're finally convinced about the AP Indy late development syndrome ...took you a while but better late than never.  I wonder if our mutual buddy, Jersey Boy has also seen the light. As for Carlos In Cali, his AP Indyitis is incurable (LOL).  BTW that Bernardini colt, Transparent caught my eyes too ...kind of reminds me of I Want Revenge.  You can forget about Dewey Square now, that one should be pointed to the Saratoga festival, like I said before.  I'm interested to see if Transparent can breakthrugh for Bernardini ...notwithstanding my LDS conclusion about these close decendants of AP Indy, I have a strangely positive intuitive feeling about this colt ...could be an excepion to the rule.  I've put him on my opening Derby Dozen(against my better judgment) ...hope he stays sound and makes it to the Derby, unlike his sire, Bernardini, his grandsire AP Indy, I Want Revenge, Agorithms etc.

Here's my dozen (feel free to critically analyse):

1)Overanalyze 2)Violence 3)Itsmyluckyday 4)Shakin It Up 5)Flashback 6)Ore Pass 7)Oxbow 8)Transparent 9)Normandy Invasion 10)Vegas No Show 11)Balance The Books 12)Noble Tune

Those on the periphery of my list are George Vancouver, Dynamic Sky, El Mutahid and Palice Malice.  I've excluded the grandsons and greatgrandsons of Storm Cat, Uncaptured, Vyjack, Godencents and 2YO champ, Shanghai Bobby because of pedigree considerations ...these colts will not stay 10 Furlongs in a truly run race (keeping my fingers crossed in his regard against what I suspect this new half-baked points system will likely produce i.e. a false pace/manipulated pace due to absence of speed horses)

28 Jan 2013 8:03 PM
Age of Reason

Oh, how I love this time of year! I'm more of the moethodical, list-making type myself, so here goes...

1. Itsmyluckyday (Elusive Quality/Doneraile Court, Plesa); 2. Violence (Medaglia d'Oro/Gone West, Pletcher); 3. Oxbow (Awesome Again/Cee's Tizzy, Lukas); 4. Belvin (Empire Maker/Storm Bird, Baffert); 5. He's Had Enough (Tapit/Dixieland Band, O'Neill); 6. Elmutahid (Street Cry [Ire]/Dixieland Band, McLaughlin); 7. Transparent (Bernardini/Unbriled's Song, McLaughlin); 8. Amerigo Vespucci (Henrythenavigator/Fly Till Dawn, Tullock); 9. Elnaawi (Street Sense/Dixieland Band, McLaughlin); 10. Omega Star (Candy Ride [Arg]/Fusaichi Pegasus, Shirreffs); 11. Eton Blue (Giant's Causeway/Cape Town, Zito); and, 12. Footbridge (Street Cry [Ire]/Dubai Millenium [GB], Harty).

In the words of another BloodHorseBlog compatriot, "Giddyup!"

28 Jan 2013 8:06 PM

I always love reading Coldfacts comments.  You are so informed.  Being a HUGE Secretariat fan I'm also an AP Indy fan.  I was so dissapointed in Fresian Fires KD run.  I am also following and like Incognito, Long River and Demonic.  It is interesting how the top profile sires don't sire the winners of the KD.  Am also pleased to see all the Tapits on the list.  I'm a HUGE fan of Bernardini, Malibu Moon and Tapit, all decendants of Big Red. Lets hope all these 3 year olds stay healthy for the Big Dance.  It will be fun to follow for the next 3 months.

28 Jan 2013 8:09 PM


You left off PULPIT, A.P. Indy's first Derby starter who finished a gallant fourth in 1997 Derby despite breaking his knee and never racing again.

Because of his stamina-packed pedigree and the fact that he was quite a champion at 3 (winning the Belmont and Breeders' Cup Classic), I also thought it was only a matter of time before one of A.P. Indy's  3-y-o's won the Derby. I believe, however, that  the main reason why this hasn't happened is that the majority of his runners blossom as *late-blooming* 3-y-o's who really improve at 4.

Pulpit was his most brilliant son, but he got a late start to his career and although clearly talented enough to win, he really didn't have the seasoning but, as mentioned above, had a great heart to still finish fourth despite the severe injury he endured in the stretch run.

28 Jan 2013 8:28 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Risky Andy- I read a lot more about Mark Casse's horses Dynamic Sky and Uncaptured, and I very much like them in the lead up to the Derby.  The Poly route he is leaning towards seems to be more common the last few years, and Uncaptured certainly looks the part of a Queen's Plate contender come June if the Derby trail doesn't pan out.  Dynamic Sky has a wonderful pedigree and I believe he will show his Pasco stakes to be a stepping stone to greater things.  Is he gonna run again at Tampa?, or will he run in the FOY, or Florida derby?.  Cheers.

28 Jan 2013 8:29 PM
Steve Haskin

Coldfacts, please be informed that Fury Kapcori has suffered an injury and will miss Saturday's Robert Lewis. I'm sorry the list does not meet with your approval.

Vyjack's ommission was an oversight on my part that has been rectified. He is now the top horse on Knocking on the Door and will be considered for the Top 12 next week.

28 Jan 2013 8:32 PM

I concur Mr. Haskin, with the exception of Shanghai Bobby, he's a miler.

I am really looking forward to seeing Flashback, Normandy Invasion and Demonic.

Year after year, I look forward to your list, Steve.

28 Jan 2013 8:45 PM
Age of Reason

Coldfacts, you would be well advised to put up or shut up at this point. It's easy to criticize the opinions of others when you aren't even producing a viewpoint of your own; since the flaws in other's Derby lists are so apparent, you should produce your own and enlighten us all. Peer review is a key step in the scientific method of gaining knowledge--but at the same time, don't forget that anyone can sound rather childish when they fail to even attempt to look at something from others' perspectives. You're free to express your own viewpoints--as are we all, Steve's guests--but remember that on this blog you are a peer among equals, not some demigod sitting in judgment over the statements of others. The "cold facts" are often not nearly as apparent as we at first think.

Ranagulzion, I too would really like to see George Vancouver point to the Derby, but a DRF article I dredged up from after the Breeders' Cup has him pointing for the 2,000 Guineas. It's a shame, with that beautiful Versailles Treaty pedigree. Also, what is this "LDS conclusion" you speak of? What does being a Latter Day Saint (Mormon) have to do with horse racing? ;)

28 Jan 2013 9:09 PM

Speaking of derby contenders, I felt in my gut that history would repeat itself in the Holy Bull Stakes. Hansen, undefeated juvenile champion got beat by Algorithms last year and this year "Bobby" undefeated 2 year old champion got bested by Itsmyluckyday. I actually picked "Luckday" as the pony to win. That will never happen twice. I was excited to get it right but sad for Shanghai Bobby. That first loss is a bummer for everyone. We are all secretly hoping for that one horse who will be undefeated in all his or her endeavors, a true superhorse. It will be interesting to see if "Lucky's" luck will hold out for the rest of the year.

28 Jan 2013 9:49 PM
Little Bill

In reference to Vyjack and pedigree I looked at his profile and there's no cross thru 5th. This really doesn't sway me one way or the another. I don't see it that often and I'm curious about other opinions, or if it's relevant at all.

28 Jan 2013 9:58 PM

My top 3 are Oxbow, Violence, and Always in a Tiz.  

I would like to see Itsmyluckyday to run somewhere other than GP.  Not sure if his "freak" is based off of the track or growing up as a 3 year old.  

28 Jan 2013 10:07 PM

The only mistake was leaving Orb off the list.  The horse is bred and destined for stardom.  I know Shug is not known for his Derby capability but I think he has a good here.

28 Jan 2013 10:10 PM

Are you kidding me, how can you have Revolutionary over Orb.  Orb crushed him at Aqueduct!  Orb is getting no respect!

28 Jan 2013 10:14 PM


In case you forgot, I do not judge horses by their pedigree. I judge them by their performance.

I hope you noticed that my selection at the moment is Violence. This is based on his performance, not his pedigree.

Only a mentally deficient person would form a judgment about a horse based on that horse’s pedigree when that horse’s performance is known.

28 Jan 2013 10:50 PM

that's a shame about fury kapcori--i hadn't heard that before you mentioned it..he was the only 3 yo that had sparked any interest in me so far...mostly i'm just meh about the whole crop...

but if i read one more time about that GP record-breaking time i'm going to throw a shoe through my computer monitor--GP only began racing at a mile and 1/16 at the new track last year. itsmyluckyday didn't break the absolute record at GP for a mile and 1/16--it makes a difference, and is bad journalism not to point out that fact. especially considering the horses who have run the distance there faster than him--spectacular bid's FOY at the old GP track at the same distance was faster...just as one example...

i'm not knocking the time, it was very good--it just annoys me that that the "record" he broke wasn't even a full 12 months old and was at a distance that has only been run at this track for a year. that's a ludicrous like saying that endorsement broke the record last year when he set the fastest time the distance at GP in the distance's inaugural year at the new track...

have to feel a little bit for hansen--1 1/16 was his best distance...too bad they couldn't have made the distance change last year...

29 Jan 2013 2:42 AM

I always love reading Coldfacts' comments. You are so informed. Being a HUGE fan of Seattle Slew, I'm also an AP Indy fan,(Slew's son)....and then the rest of Kristen's comments about the descendants of those horses except insert SLEW'S name where she inserts that of that other TC winner related to Indy.  :-)  And I'm a big fan of Itsmyluckyday, #2 on the top dozen list, because of the Doneraile Court/SEATTLE SLEW connection on the dam's side!!!  I so love that Boldnesian/Bold Reasoning/Seattle Slew and his sons (primarily AP Indy) are carrying on the Bold Ruler line!!  That other TC winner, a SON of Bold Ruler, couldn't pull it off with one of his sons.

29 Jan 2013 8:01 AM


If it is possible for you to forgive my choice of adjective used to describe Transparent’ strides I would appreciate same.  I have repeatedly stated that the English language is a work in progress for me and every corrections helps.

There are three definitions of Fluent that may be applicable to Transparent’ strides.

(a)Easy, Graceful ( Fluent Motion)

(b)Flowing a as stream

(c)Capable of flowing, Fliud, as liquids or gases

I consider a horse with a fluent motion one that possesses energy efficient strides.  Its effortless flowing action allows it to cover ground in an energy efficient manner and if fully, it will be better able to utilize its three energy system.

Do you now consider my choice of adjective incorrect or inappropriate for the related subject?


Kindly accept my apology for the omission regarding A P Indy’s Derby starters. You will note I specified that he had 11 starters and I only listed nine. It appears in copying my submission from  Word I did not extend to  include the following colts:

1998 – Old Triest/10

1997 – Pulpit/4th

Thanks for the alert.

29 Jan 2013 9:16 AM


“To keep the record straight, it should be noted that Todd Pletcher won the Kentucky Derby with Super Saver and finished second twice (Bluegrass Cat and Invisible Ink”

Listed below is an extract from my post regarding Mr. Pletcher’s Derby starters.

“Horses from his stable have never finished 5th or 15th. All other spots have been occupied with last place accounting for the most with 5”

Those in your chosen profession  are expected to possess excellent analytic skills. Kindly revisit my post and you will realize that the information provided indicates that the HOF trainer has not had a 5th or 15th place finisher.

It appears hidden in my complex statement is the fact that 2nd place is one of the positions his starter/s achieved.

The application of a simple process of deduction would have helped.

29 Jan 2013 9:44 AM

Mr. Haskin,

Request noted.

29 Jan 2013 10:14 AM

Age of reason: Thank you!

John R:   Aahhh, but Slew had Swale, who won the Derby and the Belmont.  

And AP Indy was damsire for Super he does have a Derby winner.  And he was sire to Preakness winner, Bernardini, and Belmont winner Rags to Riches.  

And what about the Unbridled (won the Derby) line...he sired Grindstone (Derby ) who sired Birdstone (Belmont) who sired Mine That Bird (Derby) and Summer Bird (Belmont).

Yes, pedigree carries weight in this sport....which is why so few handicappers have had Shanghai Bobby at #1 in their choices.  He comes up short in distance ability via his pedigree.  

And I love Bernardini and his progeny, but last year among the leading contenders, only Stay Thirsty seem to stay healthy all year.  (And I really liked THAS).

29 Jan 2013 10:21 AM

Age of Reason,

Wow! Aren’t you in a bad mode?  

That was a vicious and unwarranted attack. LOL! Mr. Haskin has been criticized by many over the years for the composition of his dozens and he takes it in good spirit. While Mr. Haskin is capable of defending his selections, this capability is not a firewall against criticism. I hope you are prepared to condemn every one of his supporters that advance criticisms and not restrict your venom to the blog’s rented mule.  It is evident that I have offended you although my posted was not directed to you. Irrespective,  kindly accept my humblest apology as no offence was meant to either Mr. Haskin or my peers.

Your ID suggests that you should be a reasonable person. You therefore should be aware that no list will be fully acceptable to all. I was of the opinion that this is common knowledge. My list would be subjected to similar criticisms.

Are the questions I have posed unreasonable? Are the cold facts I have provided to support my criticisms irrelevant to the process. Like all Mr. Haskin's supporters, am I not at liberty to question his mythology?

With all due respect Sir, I would never communicated by disagreement in the fashion that you have as I respect all here. Your disagreement is not a passport for being rude to any contributor.

Then again I have myself to blame. Far too often my love for this process supersedes my dignity and I continue to expose myself to vicious attacks.

One Love!

29 Jan 2013 10:41 AM
Ida Lee

Shanghai Bobby is my Derby horse and he has been since the first time I saw him race. Don't care about his pedigree or his connections or how many races he's won or how he's won them...I love this horse and will be screaming my head off urging him on in the KD.

29 Jan 2013 10:45 AM
Derby Dew


You noted that the KY Jockey Club form took a serious hit with the disappointing efforts of both Frac Daddy and Dewey Square.  I was devasted with Dewey's effort and alarmed to hear the reason.... dislike of taking dirt in the face.

In your opinion, do you think adding blinkers to Dewey Square would help the problem with kick back?  Or should his connections abandon the off-the-pace experiment?

I was so high on Dewey Square and now my confidence in his ability has been shaken by the Holy Bull.  

Steve, I know that you had Dewey Square at No. 5 in your previous Derby Dozen.  Do you think he has a chance to turn it around as Dale Romans did with Shackleford?

29 Jan 2013 11:46 AM

Age of Reason,

My previous post was intended to be the final directed to you.  However, since you requested that I enlighten my peers with a Derby Dozen I will reluctantly accede to you request.

In light of the overwhelming success of the RAN/Mr. Prospector sire line in the Triple Crown in general and Derby in particular, I do believe it deserves its own Derby Dozen. It might be seen as an absurd idea but since it has dominated the Triple Crown and produced winners of every significant international race I think it has earned this honor.

The RAN/Mr. Prospector has been responsible for the winners of 50 TC races and almost 100 top three finishers in the series. The most anticipated race of 2012 was the British St. Leger. The Leger contained the unbeaten and Triple Crown seeking Camelot. His colors were lowered by the 25-1 Encke who was sired by Kingmambo a son of Mr. Prospector.

Since the winner of the 2013 Derby is likely to emerge from the RAN/Mr. Prospector sire line; I have taken the liberty of compiling Derby Dozen from the promising ones seen so far.

Capo Bastone



Curly Top







Treasury Bill

Del Mar Sunset

I can foresee your uncontrollable laughter. Mr. Haskin has one from this line in his dozen so even he is not taking any chances. Eighteen Derby winners from the last 43 renewals is all that one needs to focus on. Good Luck in your evaluations.

29 Jan 2013 11:53 AM

Thanks Steve for the derby dozen! This is going to be an interesting year with the new points system. Just wait till the races worth lots of points start coming up, the game will change and 24pnts that a couple horses now have will be not very much. I am a huge Lawyer Ron fan! He was my derby horse a few years back, well we know how that went. I have been keeping up with his babies, a whole 2 crops? I loved watching Itsmyluckyday. He reminds me very much of his sire. However, depending on how much he is like Ron, Churchill Downs may not be his cup of tea. This colt has a little more stamina on his paper than his sire, but his sire lost all his races that were long of route. Which i find disappointing. So for IMLD, will he go further, and will he like the surfaces that his sire didn't like?

Another horse that I am interested in is Violence. I am not a Pletcher fan, but I like the horse. Hopefully he has put on some weight, cause i thought he was thin with his ribs showing when he won his last race. But it added intrigue because that day he looked tough and rangy like how they used to make horses back in the day.

29 Jan 2013 11:57 AM

Hi Steve,

I just completed my top 10 horses for the derby and you had every one of them on your top 12...i feel very good about that because I value your opinion so much.....could you tell me if you have heard about these horses:

Purple Egg

War Academy

Arch Warrior

Little Distorted

Long River

Thank you and I always enjoy your column and look forward to it every't let those people who think that they have all the "facts", get you down....the fact that we are able to communicate and discuss all the glorious Derby possibilities is so wonderful and the cold facts really don't's the discussion that does matter and at this time of the year is the time to do that.

29 Jan 2013 12:01 PM

Age of Reason,

Wow! Aren’t you in a bad mode?  

That was a vicious and unwarranted attack. LOL! Mr. Haskin has been criticized by many over the years for the composition of his dozens and he takes it in good spirit. While Mr. Haskin is capable of defending his selections, this capability is not a firewall against criticism. I hope you are prepared to condemn every one of his supporters that advance criticisms and not restrict your venom to the blog’s rented mule.  It is evident that I have offended you although my posted was not directed to you. Irrespective,  kindly accept my humblest apology as no offence was meant to either Mr. Haskin or my peers.

Your ID suggests that you should be a reasonable person. You therefore should be aware that no list will be fully acceptable to all. I was of the opinion that this is common knowledge. My list would be subjected to similar criticisms.

Are the questions I have posed unreasonable? Are the cold facts I have provided to support my criticisms irrelevant to the process. Like all Mr. Haskin's supporters, am I not at liberty to question his mythology?

With all due respect Sir, I would never communicated by disagreement in the fashion that you have as I respect all here. Your disagreement is not a passport for being rude to any contributor.

Then again I have myself to blame. Far too often my love for this process supersedes my dignity and I continue to expose myself to vicious attacks. When will I learn that it's an unwise man that kick against the pricks?

One Love!

29 Jan 2013 12:20 PM

Mr. Haskin,

I note that a section of my response to Age Of Reason was edited out. I suspect you misunderstood the context in which it was used. It was not intended to be rude or derogatory. It was strictly in a biblical context to denote a sharp object. See below.

“A large percentage of people in the first century were tillers of the soil. Oxen were used to work the soil. The prick or goad was a necessary devise. The prick was usually a wooden shaft with a pointed spike (prick) at one end. The man working the ox would position the goad in such a way as to exert influence and control over the ox.”

It not my policy to used terms that cannot be displayed.

29 Jan 2013 12:22 PM


I certainly cannot compete with an alliance of Age Of Reason and you. Your endorsement was stellar.

Great Call!

I have posted my dozen and that will end my contribution for the 2013 Derby season.

NB: Icognito from the Seattle Slew line merits watching as he is sitting on a breakthrough race.

Good luck!

29 Jan 2013 12:25 PM
Bloodline Bob

There is only 1 horse on your Derby Dozen, as of Jan. 29th, that I have on my top 20 picks. DYNAMIC SKY.

29 Jan 2013 12:26 PM
Forbidden Apple

KY Derby Baker's Dozen:

1)Itsmyluckyday 2)Fortify 3)He's Had Enough 4)Flashback 5)Violence 6)Shanghai Bobby 7)Orb 8)Goldencents 9)Frac Daddy 10)Elmutahid 11)Gulfporrt 12)Hear the Ghost 13)Demonic

Knock this horse all you want, Itsmyluckyday was professional, fast, and he finished strong while pulling away from Shanghai Bobby. Track record or not, he has won on 3 different dirt courses and he is the fastest colt to date.

Fortify will be an unknown on my list unless someone on this blog has access to workouts in Dubai. A very talented and well bred colt, needs to mature and develop some explosiveness.

He's Had Enough appears to be a dirt horse, the best is yet to come.

Orb was impressive on saturday, he galloped down the backstretch with his mouth open, breathing fire. A work in progress, looks to be a stakes horse to me. He is a bit slow, I'd like t see him contest the FoY.

El Kabong,

Now you are disrespecting Itsmyluckyday because of the Gulfstream surface. I don't get it, the horse is fast and he loves dirt. The best part is that he will be 4-1 or 5-1 next time out. You called his efforts at Gulfstream taxing. Again, the Holy Bull was more taxing for Shanghai Bobby.

29 Jan 2013 12:34 PM


You left off Old Trieste who is by AP Indy and ran in the 1998 Kentucky Derby (RIP).

29 Jan 2013 1:26 PM

I've said it before, and I'll say it again....Why is the RAN line being compared to current stallions.  RAN/1961.  The only sire line to use as a comparison (and be fair) is Northern Dancer/1961.  Both horses come from the Native Dancer/1950 line.  Mr. Prospector/1970 might be comparable to the Slew/1974 and Secretariat/1970 line.  AP Indy/1989 would be fairly compared to Unbridled/1987.

We might just as well go back to Nasrullah/40 and Nearctic/54 lines (both by Nearco/35), and Natalma/57 (by Native Dancer/50).  How far back are we willing to go?  Hyperion?  Pharos?

When there is a well-established lineage of more than 50 years, of course there will be a predominance of horses from that lineage.  What about Bull Lea?

If 20 colts line up in the starting gate, and 50% are from the Mr. Prospector line, and 50% are fron the Slew line, and 40% of the 20 are crossbred from both will probably end up with 75% of the fans claiming that their favorite sire line is responsible for the winner...

Just as Coldfacts does every year.

Ain't basic math a bitch!

29 Jan 2013 1:42 PM
Risky Randy

On the Gallop

Casse had this to say about Dynamic Sky

“Dynamic Sky will work on Saturday and if he works well he'll run in the Sam Davis, at Tampa,”

Well, Dynamic Sky posted a five-panel breeze in 1:01.33 on Saturday over the Palm Meadows dirt. My guess is he runs on the weekend.

29 Jan 2013 2:06 PM
Steve Haskin

Coldfacts, there was a word in there that could be easily misunderstood and if taken out of context would bring you great grief from posters.

29 Jan 2013 2:18 PM

Great to see the first listing of Steve's Derby dozen, a list that is so often a list of horses that accomplish great things in their 3 year old year.

This is already shaping up to be a great year, with some incredibly talented horses, and we haven't even got to the "big point races". It may be too early to draw a comparison to past Derby years, but I will go out on a limb and suggest that we may have a year shaping up that is very similar to 2005. In that year we witnessed one of the most talked about results ever of the Kentucky Derby, that being the year that the long shot, Giacomo, won the roses. I can't forget the feeling I had when I witnessed this long shot come through in the stretch in one of the fastest early fractions' Derby I had ever seen. What a cast of race horses we had that year, with the likes of Closing Argument, Afleet Alex,Wilko, Bellamy Road, Flower Alley, Bandini, Spanish Chestnut, just to name a few. I, at this point, would and should not be surprised if we witness another winner of the likes of Giacomo. That being said, don't be surprised if maybe, just maybe, My Name is Michael, wins the Derby.

29 Jan 2013 2:41 PM

Jersey Boy,

Given that the Kentucky Derby is run at 10 Furlongs, a distance that the aspirants are yet to compete at, I should think that the mentally astute turfite would factor in pedigree among the other performance impacting considerations.  Are you admitting to being one dimensional in your thinking about the Derby horses?  I am persuaded that you're smarter than that but I've been wrong before.

29 Jan 2013 2:50 PM


You're the self-professed "rented mule" on these blogs therefore you need to develop alligator's skin my friend. "It is hard for you to kick against the prick" (goads) is a King James Version rendering of what you have to be prepared to deal with buddy (LOL).

29 Jan 2013 3:00 PM
Age of Reason

Ahh friend Coldfacts, where to begin? I'm puzzled that a man (at least I assume you to be of the male variety) like you who prides himself on sparing no criticism of others [nothing wrong with that] would be so quick to take personal offense whenever that same constructive criticism is used on him. I won't waste your valuable time with some drawn-out verbose explanation of what I meant with my last post, but a few points. First, I suspect that you may be from the South. As am I, it's a wonderful place... However, we Southerners (bless our hearts) tend to take disagreements too personally, and to be too over-polite in our arguments, to the point that we often would rather lie than cause offense to someone. I've always tried to be civil, gracious etc on this and every other site I frequent. However, as I said above, I thought that since you are very straightforward and "tell it like it is" in your comments, you would appreciate if I responded to you in like manner. I did not post "venom" by stating a disagreement; and if you would read my Dozen list, you would see that my own list is quite dissimilar from Mr. Haskin's, so I obviously have no problem with you or anyone else who "advance[s] criticisms" against Steve, since I myself would fall into that category. As I thought I plainly said, however, I do get provoked when it seems like someone will only criticize the ideas of others without offering valid alternative ideas of their own. Much was made in the last presidential election when one of the candidates severely criticized the other candidate because the other candidate was allegedly only pooh-pooing his opponent's ideas without offering any new ideas of his own. If that criticism was true (assuming so for the sake of argument), it was a valid criticism because one should not point out things they believe aren't true, if they can't also point to what is true. Finally, I once read the King James version of the Bible completely through twice in two years, so believe me I would have taken no offense to your "kick against the pricks" phrase; honestly, there've been many times when reading the awesome and wise words from Steve and the commenters on these blogs that I felt I was having a Road to Damascus experience! Heehee. But, as Steve noted, "prick" is a gutter anatomical reference (I'm sure you can figure the rest out). Sad that we have to dumb down our language sometimes to accomodate the senseless tides of street slang.

p.s. Your Derby Dozen list has Elnaawi listed twice. Were you thinking of Transparent or another McLaughlin-Darley/Godolphin colt?

29 Jan 2013 3:49 PM
Rusty Weisner

Forbidden Apple,

What are your thoughts on He's Had Enough?  Does running them on synthetic keep them sounder or something?  IHA was injured in the fall of the 2-yo campaign and I'm wondering if O'Neill and Reddam have learned a lesson.  With the name it sounds like they have hopes for the horse.

By the way, you'll never get 4-1 on Itsmyluckyday.  He'll be the favorite.

29 Jan 2013 4:29 PM
El Kabong

Forbidden Apple,

Anytime a horse runs as fast as Itsmyluckyday did, and he did it twice in January, it's going to be physically demanding, taxing. I think Mr. Plesa would even tell you so. Itsmyluckyday will now train up to the Florida Derby, two months from now. Why do you think that is? You believe I have been disrespectful but I wagered on him both times. I see the advantage he has at that track, a 9f oval with a short run from the turn to the finish will always favor the horses on the front end. My comment was more intended to rescue my belief that Dewey Square and Frac Daddy should not be written off for what happen in the Holy Bull for two reasons. They have time to develop and they will do better at a track that runs more true to the Derby itself. If you will notice, Itsmyluckydays stellar performances have both come at GP. He is talented but he is definitely in his element. I did say that he will have a say in the Florida Derby and he will. But it will be our lucky day if we get 4-1 or 5-1. He will be the favorite and I'd say about 9-5 will be more like it, maybe 2-1. Shanghai is pointed to the race and I think he will be sharper next out. Don't be surprised to see a two horse race, all the way around the track, just like last year.  

29 Jan 2013 4:42 PM


You did not post a "Dozen" ...I counted eleven colts from the RAN line ...perhaps you were inadvertently leaving room for a Northern Dancer line colt: Overanalyze, Violence, Oxbow or Vegas No Show. The Northern Dancers are overdue for a Kentucky Derby score.  

You're not done yet mister...not so fast ...come back here and complete that Derby Dozen. As far as I can see, not many of those you listed will likely hit the board.  You've omitted the best and most promising, Palace Malice and Ore Pass from your RAN/Mr Prospector line-up.  Darley / Godolphin's Derby horse is going to be Transparent or El Mutahid ...forget Fortify (I think they'll point him to Saratoga)  

29 Jan 2013 5:11 PM

Forbidden Apple,

Gulfport is off the Trail, injured. Hear the Ghost and Demonic have as much chance as that of a snowball in hell. The Into Mischief, Scat Daddy and Harlans Holiday colts are going to be distance challenged at 10 Furlongs.  Itsmyluckyday is the real deal ...a veritable "Quality Road" in the making.

29 Jan 2013 5:18 PM
Sam Santschi

On the gallop, Risky Randy, Bloodline Bob:  Thanks for mentioning my favorite, Dynamic Sky!  Keep watching that Pasco replay over and my sister owns part of a 2 yr old filly by Sky Mesa...For me, it's just boring to have TAP and BB horses all the time.

29 Jan 2013 5:21 PM
Old Old Cat

A lot of time and effort goes into producing this column.  It is always entertaining and sometimes worth a bet or two.  Thank you very much.

A few respondents have mentioned the point system.  When we get close to the final cut I would like to see if you could produce a column of your top 22 under the current system (those that will probably run) - (I guess it's still 22), and the top excluded horses that would have been in under the old system.

Its interesting to see the automatic throwouts by your bloggers.  How many will change their criteria if one of their throwouts wins???  

29 Jan 2013 5:26 PM
Derby Lover

Coldfacts and Steve Haskins,

Both of you keep doing what you do. This is all entertaining and informative commentary to me. All the people trying to jump on the dog pile to downgrade what the both of you say is rediculous. Both of you have viable arguments that come to an end of the 1st Saturday in May. During the next couple of month I look forward to reading all the posts both of you put together. I don't know if you guys are friends or has Coldfacts just jumped on this blog and started posting. Nonetheless all informative and I wish you both would keep doing your thing regardless of what someone else has to say. Steve all of your articles keep me coming back for more and Coldfacts has just added to them. I look forward to the next Derby Dozen so I can start putting my stable together for RTTR.

29 Jan 2013 5:47 PM
El Kabong


Age of Reason's request were not out of line. He asked that you post your list if you intend to be so critical of the lists of others. That's fair. He asked you to have a little more humility in your opinions and leave room for the opinions of other. That's good advice and he's not the first one to mention this to you. Your posts are appreciated, even "loved" by some. So hair up you old mule and don't let the hide get thin. It's only January. And you probably owe Mr. Haskin a thank you for his edit, but I gotta tell you, I'm dying to see it. Stay strong.

29 Jan 2013 6:07 PM
It aint easy being good!

ORB=Rodney Dangerfield......give orb some love the poor horse spotted number #1 violence 5 lengths and still almost caught him. He will get better with distance and should be bombs away his next race if he enters the FL derby!

29 Jan 2013 6:45 PM
Plod Boy Phil

It Aint Easy -

It's unlikely at best that Orb's next race will be two months from now in the Fla Derby.  If a stake is Shug's next move, it will most likely be the FOY.

As for his potential to be 'bombs away', if not for the fact that the highly over-rated Mountain Eagle was in last Saturday's 5th at GP, Orb would have been 4/5.  We at Racing Flow were very happy to take the 2-1 and consider him a talent worth watching.  That said, he'll have to quickly overcome his genuine lack of early foot or forever be at the mercy of disadvantageous pace scenarios and/or traffic.

29 Jan 2013 7:50 PM

Bloggers if you will allow me to interject a KY Vet-esque type of comment,Dont get too attached to YOUR lists the ponies are only running preps awarding them 10 points for 1st and 5 for 2nd.If you write your lists on the computer that will be your best course of action because you can press delete and start over.If we were in the 70s then you would need a lot of elbow grease because your penciled in LISTS would have to be erased almost completely by the end of February.Out of S.Bobby and Itsmyluckyday I will wager that only one at the MOST will make the starting gate for the Derby.

29 Jan 2013 7:55 PM

I still like Dynamic Sky, have from the beginning.  I also like Uncaptured because except for the blip in the Grey, he seems like he always wants to be first.

from waaaayyyy outaleftfield:  did anyone see Hawaakom (son of Jazil -I like Jazil and I always have) at the Fair Grounds in December?  He seems to run like a Baby Huey.  At least with the Jazil, he should be able to get the distance!

29 Jan 2013 7:59 PM

Steve goes a lot by his eye, guys, and he has a good eye. Remember him remarking (in spite of his better judgement) that Mine That Bird was the best mover in the Derby field from what he was seeing in the gallops?

Still, Steve, I think when you come out of the two-year-old season high on so many Pletchers and Pulpits, it does call for a rethink and elimination round. We've usually seen them lay out their best before the Classic season comes around and they rarely improve dramatically at three. The horses that improve dramatically at three run them down in the stretch.

29 Jan 2013 8:14 PM

Oh, btw, Uncaptured is Canadian. Canadians have a long tradition of indoor exercise only until the snow melts. They know how to do this.

In recent decades shipping South, or Southwest, has become practical but the winter off for a Canadian horse should not be read as evidence of unsoundness.

29 Jan 2013 8:19 PM

Geez, why the few times I do get on a blog and give my opinion on my favorite (pensioned) sire AP Indy and him being a grandson of the Great Secretariat, I have to be reminded Indy is a son of Seattle Slew.  Dah!!  I grew up with  Secretariat, not Seattle Slew.  I'm pretty aware of the lineage.  I give no disrespect to Slew, but I follow horse's cause of Secretariat, period!!  I know Slew was a GREAT racehorse and sire, but I have no interest in him what so ever. It's funny when I've mentioned Storm Cat in the past being one of my favorite grandsons of Secretariat, no one ever got on the Storm Bird bandwagon.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

29 Jan 2013 10:29 PM

In an address to the League of Nation Haile Selassie  the late Emperor of Ethiopia specified that until certain issues are finally and permanently discredited and abandoned the dream of lasting world peace would be a ‘fleeting illusion to be perused but never attained’.  Relevance?

To many the dream of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of winning the Kentucky Derby with a horse prepared in Dubai is likewise a fleeting illusion to be perused but never attained. The Champagne 3rd place and Breeder Cup Juvenile 4th place finisher Fortify who is now under the care of the very dangerous Mahmood Al Zarooni has been nominated to the Triple Crown. This is a clear indication that the man who is known for stating that’ in the race for excellence there is no finish line’ has resume his quest.

Can Mahmood Al Zarooni succeed where Saeed bin Suroor has failed? Well, his record of winning big races with horses at long odds is well known. His recent giant killing act was to take down the previously unbeaten and Triple Crown seeking Camelot with 25-1 Encke.  He use 16-1 Blue Bunting to take down the 2011, 1000 Guineas. He used Rewilding to take down the highly though of So You Think in the Price Of Whales Stakes at Royal Ascot. If Mahmood Al Zarooni  gets Fortify to the Derby I would not discount his chances as this trainer has proven track record for winning the big ones as attractive odds.

29 Jan 2013 11:12 PM
Greg R

Derby Dew:  

A colt like Dewey Square could easily adjust to taking dirt in his face just through experience.  Next time he won't be taken aback by it so much, the time after may hardly notice it.  So there's no reason to panic and throw him over.  He will probably improve next out.

I like Steve's list.  One horse that intrigues me and gets few mentions is He's Had Enough.  Shanghai Bobby received many raves for coming back on in the BC, but He's Had Enough was actually coming back on HIM near the wire.  Now that Shanghai Bobby has run remarkably well in his comeback, I think that franks the form of He's Had Enough.  I really like the fact that He's Had Enough's pedigree combines Alydar and Northern Dancer on the bottom, while his sire, Tapit, carries both Pulpit and the Unbridled line (the latter being great for Churchill Downs).  I seldom pick a layoff horse, so I'm not touting him for the Robert Lewis, but with a race under his belt, I think he'll be tough.

29 Jan 2013 11:16 PM

So many of these horses to comment on early, but others do a way better job of expression than I. AND, it’s a long way to the first week in May. So many injuries, so many still in training, you know those high priced Keenlander class cadillacs they haven’t gotten out of the garage yet accept around the training tracks or at the mock starter gates, and etc..

And yes, Pletcher and Baffert are loaded this year. Pletcher with the likes of “Violence”, who I was telling my brother about way back when after I saw his first Sar. Mdn win -7 fur. 1:22 + who looked professional then as a young 2 year old; “Shanghai Bobby” the BC boy; “Revolutionary” looking bred for the distance better than those ranked by Steve higher; “Overanalyze”; “Palace Malice”, whom we’re still waiting to see; and then there are the likes “Champion Boy”; “Darwin”; “Delhomme”; and “El Duro”, and etc., all yet to throw their hats out yet where Pletcher has to navigate the new point system like the rest… and then there is the Baffert stable and his hopefuls, where besides “War Academy”, “Power Broker”, and “Flashback”, we see in the wings the likes of “Really Mr. Greely”; “Shakin It Up”; “Super Ninety Nine”, and his lesser hopefuls, such as, “Title Contender and “Den’s Legacy”, and the like, and so on and so on.

However, I was glad to see “Dynamic Sky” get some respect and I am liking a few that were mentioned not ranked in “Cerro” (Ire.) and “Transparent” and there are still quite a few unmentioned by the sport writers yet, such as in “Bold Dance”, and, etc.--and many yet still I personally haven’t yet completed my more in depth breeding reviews on yet and of course more will start popping out of barns many of us haven’t yet even begun to follow, likely.--Although I still can’t figure out what Goldolphin is doing with “Reckless Abandon” and wondering where “Speak Logistics” and “Snow King” (T) have disappeared to. And, speaking of off the turf’,  “Antigiano” looks bred forever and there is always “Balance the Books” and “I’m Boundtoscore”, and etc.

 But, I must admit though it is early, that I am not all that high on any of Steve’s top 4 at this point, though ranking anyone yet to me looks like a tough assignment at this juncture with some what 4,000 + out there?. Do we even have a Derby Nomination list anymore under these new rules?

 Yes, we have seen some early speed from “milers” who may make a 1 1/8, maybe, but these don’t look like the classic breds to handle a 1 ¼ and retain there speed to me. I wasn’t that impressed with those from the BC Juv bunch last year year either as I am with others. “Revolutionary”, “Cerro”, “Bold Dance”, “Antigiano” and etc. at long odds looking more well bred for 1 ¼ would be stealing my ‘pool play’ bets at this juncture--if I played pools against my BET THE ONES THAT GET IN THE GATE theory--and not “Itsmyluckyday” or “Shanghai Bobby”, and though I would have put an early bet down on “Violence”--whom Pletcher seems to be handling with kid gloves,--the sportswriters at both the Daily Racing Forum and Blood Horse have brought too much attention to him to make him a real consideration in future pools now, and being where again I am not convinced yet he can get 1 ¼ either. So to me right now this should be an interesting year to see who those ‘20 gate slots’ go to as usual.

Of course I have always loved ‘Steve’s dozens’ since I first discovered them and I love this blog and listen and take heed of to many of the comments, especially from the likes of owners,--like “Take Charge Indy” ’s last year, nice addition to that read before the Florida Derby and sorry about his injury in the Kty. Derby, where I thought him a real player.--Thusly, I am as always still glad Steve and Blood Horse has this blog up and running, though I admit I didn’t think we’d see “the dozen” up until after Fed 1st.

Anyway, I hope this is a fun and greatly profitable year for all. But, after all the work I did last year to come up with a prediction of those 1-2 finishers on top in the Derby, I am thinking again that maybe I will just lay back some and just get in the betting line that first Sat. in May and ask the nearest lady ‘what name she likes the best’. Seems they can find them with much less effort than I spend.    

30 Jan 2013 4:46 AM
Forbidden Apple

Rusty Weisner,

I do believe that synthetic surfaces are more kind on the body. Yet with breakdowns it seems like just as many occur on synthetic as they do on dirt. He's Had Enough is talented, no excuse for not winning the B.C. Juvenile. I'm expecting him to rebound with a big run next out.

If Shanghai Bobby or Violence show up in the FL Derby, one of them will be the favorite. Itsmyluckyday will still get little respect, fine with me.

El Kabong,

You have created the double standad for sure with your taxing theory. Violence ran 1:22 4/5 in Aug. and 1:35 1/5 in Nov. Shanghai Bobby ran 1:02 4/5 in June, 1:22 3/5 in Sep., 1:35 2/5 in oct., 1:44 2/5 (tired) in Nov. And of course he ran 1:42 1/5 in Jan., every race was fast and taxing. Itsmyluckyday has run fast in only his last 2 races and they were both as a 3 year old. Is it possible that he turned a corner or that he is a 2 turn horse looking for dirt and distance?

The plan for Shanghai Bobby is to wait 2 months before his next race. So why are you questioning this move by Plesa, it's the same move as Pletcher. Again, Itsmyluckyday will be one tough and stubborn foe in the FL Derby. Plesa said he came out of the race at 110%, thats enough for me. With only one more race before the KY Derby, Itsmyluckyday will be full of run.


Please don't compare Itsmyluckyday with Quality Road, he doesnot ned hat kind of a curse placed on him. Thnks fo the update on Gulfport, that makes my list at an even dozen. I have at least 4 colts on my list that are completely unproven. So what, it's January and a good horse can pop up any day of te week. I'm not sold on any horse right now, just excited with KY Derby fever.

30 Jan 2013 8:34 AM


You wrote:

“Are you admitting to being one dimensional in your thinking about the Derby horses?”

I have referred to this tendency of yours before. I make a statement and you choose to put that statement into a preconceived category. That is your habit.

The answer to your question is the same as before.

I do not treat the Triple Crown races as being in any way different from other races. My mind does not work like that. For me every race is the same. The horses run around the track and the one that gets to the wire first is the winner.

I ask you to name a rating or ranking system that rates or ranks horses based on their pedigree. You have a year to do this.

Of the top horses on Steve’s list,  name two  you believe  will not be effective at 10 furlongs.

My approach is that any of them can win a 10-furlong race. It depends on the competition, the condition of the track, the post position and how the horse is ridden.

Tell me. What could you have predicted beforehand about Big Brown, Wise Dan, I’ll have Another, Animal Kingdom, Frankel , Successful Dan, based on their pedigree?.

My system has worked for me. It is simple and based on fact, not emotion or an attempt to look smart.

30 Jan 2013 9:20 AM
Big Papa

I think it's safe to assume that some horses will have distance limitations that can be predicted based on their pedigrees.  Like all handicapping methods, sometimes a horse will prove capable or incapable of achieving more or less than was assumed during the handicapping analysis. Since we have not seen these horses run a mile and a quarter, I find pedigree analysis to be a very useful tool in handicapping, understanding that my predictions will only be correct some of the time.  Shanghai Bobby looks strong at these shorter distances, but I am skeptical that he will be able to win a race at 10 furlongs assuming there are other horses who have already shown some ability on the track and have more stamina influence in their pedigrees.

30 Jan 2013 10:43 AM
Forbidden Apple

Creative Cause standing for $15,000, why?

Naked oats, fascinating read, this must be what Itsmyluckyday is eating and thriving on.

I found it interesting that Orb finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Violence at Saratoga. Then he faced Vyjack and Clawback in a sprint. And in his maiden win he beat Revolutionary by 2 lengths. Orb has already faced good horses and seems to be progressing nicely. This could be serious competition for the FoY field, including Violence.

30 Jan 2013 11:04 AM
It aint easy being good!

Plod Boy Phil: The bombs away comment was referring him in the derby if he makes it. You are right they wont wait 2 months for his next start. FOY seems about right. I dont think he has a slow foot to start I think he has more gate issues that need to be fixed. Regardless you cant spot horses 4 or 5 lengths since the racing gets harder. Got to love a horse that is relentless though. ORB baby!

30 Jan 2013 11:46 AM
Rusty Weisner

Forbidden Apple,

It looks like he had every excuse for not winning the BC Juv.  Shanghai Bobby didn't flatter him in the Holy Bull, but he didn't disgrace himself.

His next is supposed to be the Robert B. Lewis.

This is a horse I like right now and I'll have to watch his races.  They seem very confident in giving him a name that's the sequel to IHA, and they're taking him the same route with the same 2-yo foundation.  

30 Jan 2013 12:23 PM
Bloodline Bob

I've been a subscriber of BLOOD-HORSE since 1998. I have a library of all my past issues to date. I started my 3 yr. old look on Dec. 10, 2012. I prefer that the sire of the Ky. Derby winner be about 13 yrs. old. These are the sire's i'm looking at for the 2013 Ky. Derby: EMPIRE MAKER, GHOSTZAPPER, POSSE, WILDCAT HEIR, CONGRATS, VINDICATION, BADGE OF SILVER, SKY MESA, KAFWAIN, WHYWHYWHY, HOLD THAT TIGER, PEACE RULES, LEROIDESANIMAUX, MINISTERS WILDCAT,ROLL HENNESSEY, UTOPIA, EUGENE'S THIRD SON, TOMAHAWK + CHEROKEE'S BOY. There is a 3yr. old named ROLLING FOG that i'm hoping goes on the Ky. Derby trail.

30 Jan 2013 12:42 PM
Pedigree Ann

To whomever posted it:

Itsmyluckyday is better bred for a distance than his sire Lawyer Ron? Have you looked at his ENTIRE pedigree?

His fourth dam, Viva la Vivi, was a nice sprinting mare, winning the G3 Correction and Santa Paula Hs among other races.

Even though being by Secretariat,  Viva Sec was her mom's daughter, winning two 6f ungraded stakes - her longest win was a one-turn mile. The majority of her foals were also one-turn horses; IMLD's second dam was unraced.

Viva La Viva, the second dam, produced the 2yo sprinting SW Ready to Live and the sprint & mile winner Viva la Slew (SP at 5.5f), dam of IMLD. (Her top BRIS speed figure for a sprint was more than 10 points higher than that for a mile.)

This is a very sprint oriented female family, whereas Ron's included runners of both sorts, especially after the cross of Real Strub (10f) winner Mr. Redoy. Yes, Ron's family was quite light on black type, but IMLD's family is heavy on sprint black type. He will be needing some help from Ron if he is to be effective at a distance of ground.

30 Jan 2013 1:59 PM

Jersey Boy,

You said "I do not treat the Triple Crown races as being in any way different from other races. My mind does not work like that. For me every race is the same ...My system has worked for me. It is simple and based on fact, not emotion or an attempt to look smart."

Okay, thanks for clarifying how your mind works in handicapping races. However consider it a fact (superfluous for me to say this really) that the Triple Crown races in America are run at distances previously unattempted by the 3YO division ...therefore pedigree becomes a handicapping tool that refines the analysis of the competition. Even if you don't subscribe to it, you certainly can wrap your mind around it ...and I'm not meaning to be facetious here. Pedigree considerations become relevant when looking at known performances, the competition and distance of the race ...Its not about trying to look smart.

The horses that you mentioned, Big Brown, Wise Dan, Frankel etc. all ran true to their pedigree ...whats your point?

Of the colts on Steve's list, Shanghai Bobby and Goldencents will not see out 10 Furlongs in a truly run race (I'd say take that to the bank).  There is a big question mark also surrounding the stamina of Normandy Invasion and Flashback, based solely on pedigree but I'm not saying that pedigree is the be all end all. In fact, top 3YO colt so far, Itsmyluckyday is not a shoo-in to successfully stay the 10 Furlongs of the Derby but superior class can be a factor.  Hope this clears the air buddy.  

30 Jan 2013 2:40 PM

Not that it will be duly noted but I am back reading Steve's blog after staying away since I'll Have Another went to Japan.

I'm no expert but do enjoy all the commentary and of course, most of all Steve's Derby Dozen picks.

There is a lot of studying to do and races to view.  Gotta get busy.

30 Jan 2013 4:57 PM

Wow.....the natives are restless early this year!  Poor Steve has to be shaking his head thinking "I have 3 more months of this yet???"

Appreciate all the work you put into giving us the dozens, Steve.  I look forward to them every year, as well as all of the posters' comments (I let others do my homework for me).

Looks like a strong crop this year.  Violence looks like the real deal to me, and I have a feeling about D. Wayne this year, so I'll be watching Oxbow closely.

30 Jan 2013 6:13 PM
Forbidden Apple

Since Gulfport is out, I'll replace him with Valid. Valid is a big Medaglia d'Oro colt fresh off from a maiden win at Laurel. He is running saturday in the Withers.

Is Joha planning a run at the triple crown trail or strictly a turf campaign?

Maybe So is an undefeated colt that has a good pedigree for Al Stall. Does anyone have interest in him on the trail?

30 Jan 2013 6:32 PM
Bloodline Bob

I know this is the Ky. Derby(colts) but 2 of my filly prospects for the Ky. Oaks are running in the Florida Oaks@ Tampa Bay: CARAQUISTA(daughter of Ghostzapper) + TOASTING(daughter of Congrats).

30 Jan 2013 7:30 PM
El Kabong

Rusty W,

He's had enough is talented and he should do well Saturday, since there will not be a crowd.4 horses in the  RBL? That's just not right. His biggest problem, it seems has been negotiating the crowd. BCJ, issues, Sham, issues again. At some point, and maybe it comes with age, he'll negotiate his trips better, but he has no excuse on Saturday but to show us he is quality. I think he is, but it is do or die for him. I hope he does it with room to spare.

30 Jan 2013 8:08 PM
Old Timer

Wow. I just love this time of year. The eventual Derby winner is probably not even on our screens just yet.

Your dozen looks pretty good Steve, but IMO Bobby does not want any part of a mile and a quarter.

Itsmyluckyday has looked quite good so far and, as you say, Violence has a heck of a pedigree.

30 Jan 2013 8:59 PM

It ain't easy being good is spot on.  Orb is a true 1 1/4 horse but the problem is getting him there.  The Derby always has pace and if he gets pace look out!  Let's hope he gets lots of pace in the FOY!  He could perhaps head back to Aqueduct for the Wood to crush the overrated Revolutionary again!

30 Jan 2013 9:03 PM

My only disagreement with Steve's list are the 3 colts sird by Tapit Um - Tapit is a son of Pulpit - Pulpit ran 6 times and was injured and retired. Tapit ran 6 times - was injured and retired. I don't think either of them could produce a colt sound enough to last through the triple crown trail or get the distance of 1 1/4 mile, much less 1 1/2. And I don't see why Tapit is so popular.

30 Jan 2013 9:42 PM

The Derby Dozen has returned! As usual, great list, Steve! I look forward to seeing how your dozen progresses during the coming weeks!

Forbidden Apple;

Joha is targeting a summer campaign, and will skip the Triple Crown:

I was very impressed by Maybe So after he won the Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes, but unfortunately, he fractured a vertebra shortly thereafter and has not recorded a workout since then:


30 Jan 2013 10:01 PM

Viva La Derby Dozen!!!!!Great list Steve, sounds good to me.  

Itsmyluckyday runs on for his departed sire and dam, Lawyer Ron and Viva La Slew respectively.  Interesting that Liberation Farm and Mr. Rob Whiteley, breeder of Itsmyluckyday is listed today as #2 breeder in the country in BH and ironically he is now out of business.  He wrote a beautiful exit piece in another publication if anyone is interested.  Ironic isn't it that Ruler On Ice, also bred by Rob Whiteley, won at Aqueduct today.  If you ask me "Lucky" and ROI are rallying all by themselves to put Rob Whiteley back where he belongs, breeding.  If not breeding, this is one man who has the intelligence and class and industry know-how to be racing's Commissioner.

I like the top three so far.  If all these little guys on this list make it to Derby Day do you realize that Pletcher will be in a saddling race himself in the Derby paddock, saddling all 5 of his if they make it!!!!  What a guy!

30 Jan 2013 11:15 PM


The sire of Big Brown was a sprinter, Boundary. Of course, we can say that one has to look at the entire pedigree. However, if Big Brown had faltered there would have been a chorus singing- his sire was a sprinter!

Frankel is by Galileo who won the Epsom and Irish Derbies. Frankel was never tried beyond 10 furlongs. If he had tried and failed the chorus would have sung-his dam was a sprinter.

That is how the pedigree chorus performs.

I will not waste time going further, except to say that the characteristics a horse possesses will be reflected in that horse’s performance. Anyone who judges horses by their performance knows that the inherited characteristics are accounted for in the performance. Adding pedigree as an element would be a form of double counting.

Remember, the aim is to make a prediction, not to engage in second-guessing.

31 Jan 2013 8:52 AM

Was at Gulfstream Sat beautiful day it was.

Itsmyluckyday was my play of the day and he came thru.

Average sized horse,is he a horse for the course? Time will tell.

Horse I am looking out for is Orb.

31 Jan 2013 8:56 AM
Forbidden Apple

Valid would be at least 15-1 on his own, Long River is killing the price on Valid.

Off topic, there is a horse named Midnight Watch running in a maiden race on friday. It is race 8 and horse #6 4-1 with J.V. up. This filly could freak first time out of the gate.

Anne M,

Are you serious about Tapit as a sire? Do a little research and you will quickly grasp why he stands for $125,000. This year alone I have 3 Tapit colts on my KY Derby watch list. They are He's Had Enough, Flashback, and Tesseron. Have you ever heard of Trappe Shot, Hansen, Zazu, Tapitsfly, Stardom Bound, or Tapizar? Not to mention a monster filly named Dance Card who will be a force in stakes company in 2013.

31 Jan 2013 11:43 AM
Age of Reason

Jersey Boy does have a point; with hindsight being 20/20 and all that, we can tend to retroactively read into a pedigree whatever we want once the race is over. Personally, I don't want to be quick to forget Steve's last blog, which used Smarty Jones as an example to note that many good horses always have, and always will, outrun pedigree.

31 Jan 2013 1:03 PM
Rusty Weisner

El Kabong,

Thanks.  I'll take that underadvisement, and like I said, I need to watch the replays.

People sometimes make the mistake of excusing horses that get in trouble, learning too late that those horses...tend to get in trouble.

31 Jan 2013 1:17 PM

Forbiden Apple,

Saying that Itsmyluckyday reminds one of Quality Road is paying a huge compliment to the 3YO colt.  You shouldn't let your dislike of QR's former trainer, Todd Pletcher, colour your perception of the horse. Quality Road was an awesome Derby candidate before his quarter crack issues when trained by Jimmy Jerkins and continued to show his unususal speed and class under Todd Pletcher until he trained off prior to the Breeder's Cup 2010. The public never got to see him at his very best, notwithstanding his track record performances at Gulfstream Park and Saratoga.  In hindsight, I believe that he was tuned-to-the-minute for his biggest run in the Breeder's Cup Classic 2009 and we all know the fiasco he suffered at the gate (taking nothng away from queen Zenyatta's big win).  

Itsmylickyday's fast times score at Gulfstream and his growing reputation heading into the Florida Derby looks very similar to QR ...of course we wish him to escape the misfortnes that the big horse suffered (I prefer to think thats what you mean by 'the curse").

31 Jan 2013 1:19 PM

I think my problem with Tapit progeny is distance.  The kids are fast...but how far can they carry that speed.  I have to see more.

As distance-challenged as everyone points out about Shanghai Bobby, he was the only colt to hang in there even when passed by Itsmyluckyday in the Holky Bull.  I'm not prepared to reject him just yet.

I don't have a "Dozen" yet.  I have to see more.  So far, I've been impressed by Violence, Vyjack, and Transparent.  I might consider Den's Legacy.  Itsmyluckyday looked as though he could run all day.  Time will tell.

I think Goldencents may be more viable than He's Had Enough.  Either way, if there's an O'Neill runner in the Derby, we get to see the Coach, Lava Man, taking bows around the tracks again.  I really want that to happen.

Of course I'm checking Pedigrees, but I want to see how they move, how they overcome a tough trip, even just how they handle the post parade.  

And I love my Bernardini's.  While Transparent gave more than I could ask last Saturday, Dewey Square was a terrible disappointment.  I haven't seen Demonic yet, but I like the name.

31 Jan 2013 1:26 PM

One thing to look out for this year, along with the tons of other stuff, is to see who it is that Gary Stevens wants to ride. If I'm not mistaken, I think Gary gave as one of the reasons he wanted to return to racing is that there is a horse he wants to ride. Did someone talk him into returning to racing because they want him on  their horse? We don't know, but so far I don't think we have seen this horse.

31 Jan 2013 3:12 PM

Stevens does show up on a three year old, Feb.2, SA r-1, Tiz the Truth. Could this the horse? Anyone know anything?

31 Jan 2013 3:26 PM
Forbidden Apple

Quality Road won 8 races out of 13 starts, with 4 wins coming at Gulfstream. He never won a Triple Crown race or a Breeders Cup race or a race beyond 9 furlongs. The horse could not even make it into the gate in his first B.C. attempt. And then in his next B.C. attempt I believe he finished last or second to last. His best race was the Met mile win over Tizway. When he faced Summer Bird or Blame, he lost. Other than beating Tizway, the rest of the horses he beat were nothing special. I only wish that they let him have a turf career.

31 Jan 2013 7:38 PM

    From previously pre-Feb.

research, here is a listing below

that should be greater suited

for the distance of 1 ¼ than

“Violence”,--the horse that I

have chosen as my standard.

  These according to my own

grading system and findings with

a variance or +15 either way.  

   Antigiano (T);  Cerro (Ire.);  

   Dewey Square; Dynamic Sky;  

   Fortify; Gabriel Charles (T);  

   Little Distorted; Majestic Hussar;  

   Merit Man;  Poker Broker;  

   Revolutionary; Rising Legend  (T);  

   Snow King  (T); Speak Logistics;  

   Transplant; War Academy;  

   West Hill Giant; Valid (Va.);

    From previously research, here

is a listing below that should be

even to as suited for the distance,--

breeding rated, my own--when

compared to “Violence”, the horse

that I have chosen as my standard.

  These according to my own

grading system and findings with a

variance or +15 either way.

    Bold Dance (Va.);  Darwin;  

    Declan’s Moon; El Duro;  

    Flashback;  Frac Daddy;

    Imboundtoscore  (T);  

    Know More;  Long River;

    Monument; Offlee Fast; Orb;  

    Really Mr. Greely;  Shakin It Up;  

    Summit County  (T);  

    Super Ninety Nine; Treasury Bill;

    Uncaptured;   Violence;

   Note, many notable others and

mentioned others have also been

researched and fall below a  20

variance,--such as “Itsmyluckyday”,

--& etc., although note that

“Giacomo” would have fallen into

such a lower category also.

  Thusly, listed below are some

of those previously looked into

that fall below the variance of a

level of critters I personally

rate to be able to handle 1 ¼.  

 Champion Boy;  Den’s Legacy;  


 Goldencents; He’s Had Enough (T);

 Normandy Invasion;  Overanalyze;

 Positively; Purple Egg;                  

 Shanghai Bobby; Tittle Contender;

 Under Review (T); Verrazano;  

 Vyjack;   Zeewat; …

… and yet many of these are ranked

by others…

  {{In an attempt not to give away

my true rankings, categories are

listed in alphabetical order.}}

 Again, take from this list what you will.

 Just a fellow blogger. No hate mail please.

 Ones that I have already looked up and have

also lost interest in…

Are You Kidding Me;  Avie’s Quality;  

Bern Identity;  Brown Almighty (T);  

Big Sam;  Capo Bastone;  

Clearly Now;  Delhomme;  

Double Twist;  Dondonnell (T):  

Fantastic Moon (T); Fredericksburg;  

Glenco Kid;  Holiday Star;  

Hazardous;  Joha (T);  

Joshua’s Compromise; Mountain Eagle;  

Omega Star;  Oxbow;  

Palace Malice;  Pataky Kid;  

Private Tudor;   Rolling Fog;  

South Floyd (T);  Sky Captain;  

Squall King;  Sr. Quisgueyzno;  

Tulira Castle;   Wildcat Moon;  

Others ‘newbies’ I haven’t yet gotten to

or rated: prior to Feb. 1, 2013 ...

 Appealing Tale; Bradester;

 Enaawi; Eton Blue; Fighting Hussar;

 Footage;  Gold Soul;  Indiano Jones;  

 Integrity; Manando;  Marks Mine;  

 Midnight Poppa;  MyLute;  Offlee Alex;

 Pyrite Mountain;  Redwood Kitten;  

 Saticoy;  Sunbean;

 Taming the Storm; Tesson;

 Texas Bling;  Tour Guide;

 Vegas No Show;

 Weewinwin;  Will Take Charge;  

 Then add the 50 or so more that we

will all see pop up between now and

May… & grrrrr  

 Like I said earlier,

“its easier to just stand in line and ask

a lady what name she likes the best.”  

31 Jan 2013 8:00 PM
The Deacon

Johnny:  Yoda called he wants to talk to you..... :)

01 Feb 2013 2:00 AM
Pedigree Ann


Have you seen the photo of Frac Daddy's 'grabbed quarter?' The whole back of the pastern had the skin torn off; sting of track surface on such rawness discourages effort. If he can still train while it heals (big IF), he might still be worth watching.

01 Feb 2013 11:44 AM

I wouldn't be too worried about the Tapits getting 10 f.; Careless Jewel won the Alabama Stakes, and Rattlesnake Bridge was second in the Travers Stakes.

01 Feb 2013 4:52 PM

Especially after coming so close last year, and after a 35 year drought, I want a Triple Crown'm looking for horses who are fast, have an easy, effortless stride...and can go 12f with energy to spare.  

So I want a horse who can easily cover more than 10f.  There are a lot of Tapits out there...but I rarely see them keep their speed past 8.5 to 9f.  A lot will depend on the dam.

Europeans often train on an artificial service; it's gentler on the horses joints, whereas dirt tracks are jolting.  Compare running at the beach.  It's easier to run on the firm wet part than the loose sand.  But it's better on your joints to run on the loose part.

Horses' injuries on dirt tracks can be career (or life) threatening because they're usually impact-related breaks.  Horses' injuries on artificial surfaces are usually soft tissue injuries.  While some may be career ending, they're rarely life threatening.  (I wish we could have seen more from Take Control).

Zarvona: Re: Violence's pedigree

I'm looking at Saddler's Wells, Damascus, Mr. Prospector, and Storm Cat.  Which of those sires do you believe is not capable of distance...I personally can't see it.  Looks mighty fine to me.  Go back even further, and you have Northern Dancer and Nijinsky II.

Violence should have no problem with the distance...according to his pedigree.

02 Feb 2013 8:15 AM

 And, speaking of Baffert running both “Flashback” and “Den’s Legacy” in the R. B. Lewis….

hmmm…--seems we saw Pletcher handle “Violence” with kid gloves skipping the BC Juv., and--we saw Baffert attempt to get “Manando”--bred forever--on track, but what about Baffert’s trained other secret bred by WinStar & purchased at the FT Mid-Atl. sale for $55K, by now owners …Natalie J. Baffert & Bode Miller, “Craving”??

“Carving”: Kty.’ dkb/br. C,  

DI = 1.48

Tr.: B. Baffert;  -2/15/10 foal

4-     3-0-0      

Earnings: $129,900

s.: Any Given Saturday-

s.s.: Distorted Humor

d.: In Seconds-

d.s.: Giant’s Causeway-

d.s.s.: Storm Cat…

‘Wynn’s 125-1’

…whom also looks well bred for distance…

at 2: winner: 7 fur.

B. Afflerbaugh S.; FPX;  

     winner 1 1/16  

“Real Quiet S.; BHP;

Well, I for one personally haven’t seen much chatter or buzz about this hot little number! ...YET !!!

02 Feb 2013 11:01 AM

 In my attempt to get Wynn’s Odds… I couldn’t download their pg. #2, thusly I only can get to names beginning before “Ve…” so no odds on “Violence”, etc.;--but he’s probably around 12-1  - 15-1 my guess…

  SO Guess who you’re gonna see in POOL #1 outside of Watchmakers and Haskin’s favorites ?

Wynn’s ODDS:  

       “Violence” [[12-1?]]

15-1   “Uncaptured”

22-1   “Flashback”    

24-1   “Shanghai Bobby”          

       “Shakin It Up”

25-1   “Normandy Invasion”


30-1 “Overanalyze”                




        “Power Broker”    

40-1    “Fortify”                

        “Purple Egg”              


        “He’s Had Enough” (T)

45-1    “Noble Tune” (T)  

60-1    “Frac Daddy”          

 should get great odds if in pool #1 after his Holy Bull flop

65-1    “Oxbow”    

        “Dewey Square”    

 should get great odds if in pool #1 after his Holy Bull flop


75-1   “Balance the Books” (T)    

       “Dynamic Sky”    


       “Long River”    



       “FuryKacpori”                      “Little Distorted”  


       “Den’s Legacy”


       “Rising Legend”  

125-1   “Bold Dance” (Va.)  


       “Majestic Hussar”      

       “Speak Logitics”    


       “Merit Man”  

       “Curly Top”  

       “George Vancouver”  

       “Den’s Legacy”  

       “Gabriel Charles”

150-1  “Cerro”(Ire.)              

       “Super Ninety Nine”  


       “Declan’s Moon”  

       “Northern Lion”

175-1  “Valid” (Va.)      

250-1  “Monument”      

300-1  “El Duro”              

       “Really Mr. Greely”    

       “Know More”              

 Others researched NOT listed by Wynn’s

{{ Although they may list after “Ve…”, that I don’t know. }}


 -n/l’d    “Code West”    

 -n/l’d    “Offlee Fast”        

 -n/l’d    “Reckless Abandon”    

 “lease by Goldophin for 2013”

 -n/l’d    “SnowKing”(T)          

  after 1 turf run has disappeared off the radar


 -n/l’d    “Violence”

 -n/l’d    “Vyjack”        

 -n/l’d    “War Academy”  

 -n/l’d    “West Hills Giant”  

 -n/l’d    “Will Take Charge”  

02 Feb 2013 11:11 AM

Slew, Flashback looked mighty impressive winning the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. Flashback has a beautiful fluent stride and, subsequently, it appears that distance will be no obstacle.

Honorable Dillon was gritty winning the Hutcheson Stakes, but a mile seems as far as he would want to travel.

02 Feb 2013 5:30 PM

zarvona, I think you mean Declan's Warrior not Declan's Moon. :)

02 Feb 2013 5:45 PM

Revolutionary flatters Orb with that nice win!

02 Feb 2013 6:14 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Far from ready to coronate Flashback yet.  Let's keep in mind that he beat four horses after being a length clear in a moderate 1st quarter.  Two of those had only perform well in ideal settings for closers (1 and 4)and the other horse is just a horse.

They all look good when winning under a perfect set-up. If and when this one gets pressured in a real race, we'll find out what he's make up really is. Imagine a 46 second half mile with pressure on both sides with 18 others chasing easy will 10f be then?

02 Feb 2013 8:40 PM
cuba"s classic chef de race

MY friend hasking. probably the bloggers are getting confuse now but one hope can be the 81 beyer speed figure by mine that bird before he won the derby with a 105!!!. so pay attention to hidden class because the top contenders this year are worst then last year in my opinion,the early betting can take you to both the hell or paradise but talent and  expertise are not the same thing the expert learn from somebody else the talented is a creator. a slow pace can make you look like secretariat and a fast pace can make you look like a sprinter,so is better to open your mind and try not to stumble with the same stone Again.  

02 Feb 2013 9:11 PM
cuba"s classic chef de race

Steve some of this experts here want to be sure that you need to stay away from the winners'circle and i can sense that when i read their pedigree comments about derby contenders but an ordinary derby lover like me can turn their comments in trash.      

02 Feb 2013 10:11 PM
Your Only Friend

In breeding 5 cross is nice too look at......but my understanding realisticly you can only count on first 3 generations.....true or false ....only those who really study pedigree knows the true answer.

02 Feb 2013 10:50 PM
El Kabong


Nice call on Verrazano. Can't wait to see him run at next level. I think the call went........"He's going to win this one from Brooklyn to Staten Island." He looked very good yesterday.

03 Feb 2013 10:26 AM

Davids:  I was not impressed by Flashback.  Perhaps because I found the entire field lackluster, and stumbling tiredly after 7f.

However, I was more than impressed by the runaway Verrazano, and especially Revolutionary's zig zag to the lead..stop-start-stop-start-threading the many horses are effective while being so green?

These were Revolutionary's thoughts in the Withers:

"Hey, what are we doing last?  That horse that almost fell is now ahead of us.  Whazzup with that?  Let's go!

I don't like being last.  I think that horse ahead of me ate too many baked beans last night.  Can we please move up?

Okay, now we're moving!  You want me to go right? Okay, goodnight baked beans!

What??? Now, you want me to go left?  Okay, whoops, I almost ran over that last one.

Now you want me to right again?  Make up your damn mind, why doncha?  Is this the way to the front?  How about goin' outside?

Left???  You're kidding!  You want me to go through that itty, bitty space?  Hey....I'm 1200 pounds of dyn-o-mite; how do I squeeze through a little keyhole?

Let's move! My legs are getting tangled up with these clowns.  Right, left, I don't care about which foot to put first, I just want outta here!

Hey, where did everybody go?  Uhhh,

uhhhhh...maybe we should stop here and wait for the others to catch up?"

I have to say, I was also mighty impressed by Valid who went to his nose out of the gate.  He managed to regain his composure and keep going.  I had thoughts of I Want Revenge in the Wood and Afleet Alex in the Preakness.  I think Valid just may have much to offer in the future.

03 Feb 2013 10:41 AM
El Kabong

Revolutionary looked mighty good. Nice ride by Castellano too. Both rider and horse showed patience and winning style. That race was a terrific experience for this colt and he handled it great. HIs head was up in the air at the finish, so there's plenty still left in his tank. Very good colt. Team Valor may have to scout a new ride for Cerro. They should get Stevens while they can. No one is going to beat Flashback out west so if he wants a shot at the Roses he better look east. Would be a good fit too.

03 Feb 2013 10:49 AM

yes that was "Declan's Warrior" sry...

gee ...I Never understand why Jockey's think they can ride their mount as if they were on "Zenyatta', but whooa that's what we like to see in win off the pace for a horse bred foreva, NICE GOING "Revolutionary"... And although "Falling Sky" now makes another worth watching and "Flashback" was impressive in his wire to wire victory, one cannot overlook Hollendorfer's "Magnificant Shirt"'s (Non Derby Nom) 1:33.97 Mi or Lynch's "Coffee Clique"'s (Non Derby Nom) Mi. in 1:34.25... But the ride of the day clearly has to go to Fla. Oaks (T) Gr. III Tam. winner "Tapicat" (f) for her 1 1/16 1:39.78 win  woowhaooo --I had to check that that run was really at a 1/16 and discovered it was !!! and only .13 of the TRACK RECORD !!!  Be sure to keep her in mind!

03 Feb 2013 1:33 PM

Your Only Friend,

The first three generations are critical but the 5-cross and going deeper can be really helpful with inbreeding and multiple crosses, especiallly in the broodmare's family.

For example, an impressive colt like Revolutionary, a son of speedball War Pass and grandson of Breeder's Cup sprint champion Cherokee Run, has inbreeding to Hoist The Flag in his dam's family which suggest class and stamina to get the Derby distance.

03 Feb 2013 1:39 PM
marilyn braudrick

i am tired if listening (reading) all of these bashes of miniscule points in Steve Haskin's articles and other bloggers responses by "Coldfacts "who seems to be using this blog as theater to show off his less than worshipful knowledge of racing . I want to know what "Point Given " another responder to Steve's incredible equine writing thinks.

03 Feb 2013 8:56 PM
Forbidden Apple

El Kabong,

Revolutionary is 2/2 on the Aqueduct inner track, should he now be labled an inner dirt horse? He looks promising, but the time was slow and he beat nothing. What an odd comment in the equibase charts regarding the Withers, a newly-created seam. Yes, the seas suddenly parted extremely well for Castellano, what a gift.

So much for the bloggers who were knocking Tapit as a sire. I was impressed by how professional Flasback looked. Again, the time was average for S.A. and he only beat 3 horses. He would have to be considered the early favorite for the S.A. Derby. He's Had Enough was flat, off my radar for good.

04 Feb 2013 11:04 AM

marilyn braudrick,

Welcome to the long list of contributors that feel they are obliged to make disparaging remark about poor old Coldfacts.

"Coldfacts "who seems to be using this blog as theater to show off his less than worshipful knowledge of racing”

You are second contributor to have made such a claim. In the case of Mr. Irvin he accused me of using Mr. Haskin’s blog as platform to launch my own. He then proceeded to compare me to a hanging ornament. The gentleman is widely known for his candor. However, are there no boundaries associated with such a character trait?   Again I have been accused of using Mr. Haskin’s blog for another venture. Can you provide any evidence to support the claim you have made above?  Can you provide any evidence support where I have either stated or inferred that my knowledge of thoroughbred racing supersedes that of Mr. Haskin’s litany supporters? Am I the only contributor that has questions the composition of his Derby Dozen?  

I assume you have viewed the historic data that I occasionally share with the supporters of this and other blogs as an attempt to project myself as someone with superior knowledge of racing. If my assumption is correct, you have sadly mistaken my intent.  I try to share the historic information I have when it is either relevant to the theme of a blog or an issue raised by a contributor. I happen to believe sharing is caring. Are you aware of the amount of time it takes to research and compile some of the information I have shared?  

There is no doubt that I have a passion for thoroughbred. I have owned and raced them. I was forced to become knowledgeable about their keep and care, training and the thoroughbred industry because of incompetent trainers that I retained due to my ignorance at the time. Most of what I know about thoroughbreds I have never disclosed on any of Mr. Haskin’s blogs.

I seem to offend folks wherever I go and with the written and spoken words.  I must therefore have seriously deficiencies in my  communication and interpersonal skills. In is unlikely that the litany of contributors that have posted disarranging remarks about me can be wrong.

Sometime last year I thanked Mr. Haskin for allowing me to participate in the process and apologize for invariably turning his blogs into attack forums. I pledged then to stop making submission to the Derby Dozen as they always turn out to be controversial. I failed to keep that pledge and this represents yet another failure amongst many in my life. I have allowed my love for participating in these faceless thoroughbred forums to supersede my dignity. Not good!

For those like yourself who take delight in posting disparaging remarks, I would appreciated if you bear in mind the following:

The pathway to unkindness has no starting point as it is not a one of necessity but one of choice.”

04 Feb 2013 12:23 PM
El Kabong

Watching the Sam Davis, and it finally dawned on me that Richard Grunder, the track announcer is a dead ringer for Walter Winchell, who was famous for the narration he did for the original tv show, The Untouchables. I can't help but laugh every time I hear his call now, it's classic.

04 Feb 2013 2:15 PM

Coldfacts- I may not agree with everything you say, but I have no problems with anything you post.  Do not let these critics get to you. Just keep posting.

04 Feb 2013 3:51 PM
El Kabong

Forbidden Apple,

Gonna be a  wise guy huh? Revolutionary can run Queens. We'll have to wait and see if his form transfers, but If makes it here, on the inner and outer surface of the big A,  he'll make it......anywhere. That track doesn't flatter anyone. Times are not that important right now, what I'm looking for at this point is how they handled the added distance. I loved how this horse responded to the cards he was dealt, and that push button acceleration(turn of foot) at the end was very telling, He finished with his head still high. When he learnss to lower it, look out. He looks like he'll enjoy more ground. I hope they plan on putting two more races into him. He needs it. I like his breeding for the Derby.

04 Feb 2013 3:59 PM
Plod Boy Phil


I second that emotion.

Keep it coming Coldfacts. I get the sense that anyone capable of supporting their opinions with quantifiable information, and not pure speculation, is not accepted on these forums.

04 Feb 2013 4:30 PM
Forbidden Apple

El Kabong,

I agree with you, Revolutionary might be Plether's ace. War Pass on top is a big concern for the 1 1/4 mile KY Derby. I also think Valid deserves another chance in stakes company. He kissed the ground about three times when the gate opened. Any thoughts on Flashback?

Marilyn Braudrick,

Do you have any opinions or information about horses? Or did you come on here to bash another person for no reason at all? I noticed Cold Facts a few years ago, and my first thought was about how much time and passion goes into his posts. If you don;t like his posts, then simply don't read it.

04 Feb 2013 5:59 PM
El Kabong

Forbidden Apple,

I love tapits up to 9F, so he's going to need a little help from tail-female side which Steve's says is dynamite. He dusted Den's Legacy without much effort at all. Baffert has described him with lofty adjectives like freak. He looked terrific. I did go back and watch the Tiznow colt Tiz the Truth. He may be able to challenge Flashback, but I don't think anyone else is on his level as of now.

04 Feb 2013 7:41 PM

Coldfacts: Barry Irwin called you a PEDANT, not a PENDANT.  The difference has already been explained to you; you simply refuse to accept it.

And before these weekly blogs continue deeper into the season, and so I won't have to repeat myself continuously each week, I have something to say.

To me, it appears that Coldfacts and Zarvonna constantly disseminate misinformation, represent opinions as facts, and draw conclusions from mis-aligned and distorted statistics.  Added to that, they inundate us with  very lengthy comments couching too few real facts in many personal suppositions.  When called to task with actual statistics, neither will admit to being wrong at any time, and treat the slightest criticism as a personal attack…crying victim whenever anyone challenges their “facts”.

And in the very next blog, they will repeat their erroneous comments as though the actual facts had not been highlighted for them.

And it's now been going on for several years.

I have absolutely no problem with people voicing their opinions.  I find that I become more open to different perspectives.  I find myself doing more research.  And when I do more research, I discover real facts.   And the facts are interesting and very often downright amazing.  I’ve just learned not to depend on any truth behind certain voices on this blog.  

Enough said!

04 Feb 2013 8:23 PM

Slew- Coldfacts is a human being and deserves respect as a human being who has the right, just like any of us, to post what he wants and what he thinks, whether you agree with the posts or not.  

Enough said!

04 Feb 2013 11:51 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Putting Zarvona in the same sentence at Coldfacts is absurd.  One cuts and pastes info from other sites and posts song lyrics.  The other is knowledgeable.

05 Feb 2013 12:28 AM

Footlick and Phil:  I mean no disrespect, and I applaud the enthusiasm that I find.  I just feel both parties tend to distort facts in order to support their opinions, and never, ever admit to having erred.  

Case in point, CF's insistence that the RAN sire line is most successful in the Derby.  He neglects the real fact that 19 of the 20 colts running will trace back to RAN and Northern Dancer.  It's a given that the winner will be from the RAN line...Actually Native Dancer line.  And 18 of the 20 will probably trace to Bold Ruler also.  They are old established breeding lines for over 50 years.

I have no problem with opinions.  I enjoy reading differing opinions.  I enjoy the ensuing debate on the merits of those opinions.  I simply don't buy into the myth that CF is knowledgeable, because too much of what he states is contradicted by the actual facts.

I certainly don't wish either contributor to leave the blog.  I want to engage them, but each time I do, CF runs for cover and cries "Victim" instead of backing up his statements.  Zarvona simply ignores other posts.

I'm not that knowledgeable, and I enjoy learning from others and doing further research into a subject. But when I am familiar with a subject, and see erroneous statements made, I won't sit on my hands and say nothing.

So many contributors to this blog are astute and savy fans of horse racing.  I may not always agree with some perspectives, but we mostly seem to be capable of handling debates with maturity and confidence.  We don't take every criticism as a personal affront.  

And I would prefer that we discuss horse racing rather than bruised egos.

05 Feb 2013 8:38 AM

Slew- but doing things like reiterating what Mr Irwin said about him in caps just promotes the very discussion you say you do not what.  As far as the RAN line, it has been called that for quite some time now, being this era's main contributor of Native Dancer blood.  I have read the term used in various publications for decades.  As far as the amount of horses descending from the two bloodlines you cited, even though it is obvious that both bloodlines are over represented, does it make Coldfacts statement untrue?  And, it seems to me that there have been a few times on a multitude of blogs where bloggers have ganged up and been insulting to Coldfacts.  After a while I'm sure it gets tiring to constantly be barraged with negativity from either the regular bloggers or someone as famous or infamous as Mr Irwin.  This is basically why I have stopped contributing, because of the constant insults that are slung so easily, not just toward Coldfacts but even toward a list of horses that Steve has compiled.  Just treat your fellow blogger like you would want to be treated.  There is a way to criticize someone's post without calling them names or intimating they are stupid, etc.  This will be my last post.  I don't want to go on about this and take up Steve's blog.  And I apologize, Steve, for the soapbox, but I think that it is important that people realize and are aware of how they respond.  Thanks.

05 Feb 2013 9:47 AM
Plod Boy Phil

I must retract my comment regarding Zarvona posting song lyrics.  It was Alex'sbiggestfan.

Footlick -

Perhaps the word 'insults' is a bit harsh in the majority of cases. Questioning or disagreeing with posted lists or opinions does not inherently imply disrespect. Insults do.

05 Feb 2013 11:45 AM

Phil-I won't go on the soapbox again.  I have seen comments about Coldfacts in the past that qualify.  Anyway, people can respond however they want.  Nothing more will be said.

05 Feb 2013 1:57 PM

Recent Posts

More Blogs