Derby Dozen - February 19, 2013 - Presented by Shadwell Farm


Violence Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Medaglia d’Oro—Violent Beauty, by Gone West

Finally makes his 3-year-old debut in Fountain of Youth Stakes. Normally, a good second or third would be encouraging enough, but he has a big class edge, with only a few stakes horses entered, and he should win considering how revved up Pletcher’s horses have come out this year. He displayed his sharpness with a bullet 1:00 1/5 breeze Sunday working in company with Palace Malice.


Itsmyluckyday Eddie Plesa Jr. Click Here!

Lawyer Ron—Viva la Slew, by Doneraile Court

Plesa said he’ll have his first work back on Friday. There’s still five weeks to the Florida Derby, so there’s plenty of time to get him ready. Those skipping the 50-pointers and going straight to the 100-pointers are going to feel like bridgejumpers. If you’re not 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, you better switch gears and start thinking about crabcakes.


Normandy Invasion Chad Brown Click Here!

Tapit—Boston Lady, by Boston Harbor

No one can say he’s not sharp for his comeback in the Risen Star. He followed up his 1:00 2/5 work with a :47 4/5 breeze, the second-fastest of 74 half-mile works. The main concern could be the big field, with 14 in there. Closers not taking the overland route have a tendency to find trouble at Fair Grounds. We can see him picking off horses one by one on the turn and just circling the wagons at the head of the stretch. We’ll see if his mainly speed-oriented female family is exposed at all by that long stretch. One positive is that his tail-female family traces to Man o’War in the sixth generation through the distance-loving Fairy Manhurst, who had the somewhat dubious distinction of finishing second to Count Fleet in the Belmont Stakes…beaten 25 lengths.


Shanghai Bobby Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Harlan's Holiday—Steelin', by Orientate

He had his first breeze since the Holy Bull, going an easy half in :49 3/5. Kind of torn as to what to look for from him in the Florida Derby. You don’t want to feel he has to win his final prep, yet you really don’t want him getting beat in both his starts this year, and to the same horse. That would start to raise questions about his chances in the Kentucky Derby, mainly is he as good as he was last year?


Revolutionary Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

He seems to be in limbo right now. If Pletcher is looking ahead to the Wood Memorial for Verrazano, then what do you do with this horse, who has never raced outside New York? You have to figure Pletcher horses are going to have to knock heads somewhere down the line. Pletcher is like the manager of an all-star team who has to keep juggling his players to make sure everyone gets in the game.


Verrazano Todd Pletcher Click Here!

More Than Ready—Enchanted Rock, by Giant’s Causeway

He’s already chased Sam F. Davis winner Falling Sky out of the Tampa Bay Derby, and you have to wonder who is going to want to take on this monster. The only ray of hope appears to be the quirkiness of the Tampa Bay surface and memories of War Pass. He’s still inexperienced and untested. Turned in a nice :48 half-mile sharpener.


Flashback Bob Baffert Click Here!

Tapit—Rhumb Line, by Mr. Greeley

The California version of Verrazano also is inexperienced and untested, but he at least has defeated top-class horses in a graded stakes. Horses like this are exciting to have around, but will they be able to get toughened and battle-tested enough to go 1 1/4 miles and win the Derby on sheer brilliance, like Big Brown?


Oxbow D. Wayne Lukas Click Here!

Awesome Again—Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy

We know he looked spectacular in the Lecomte, winning by a pole, but the competition improves dramatically in the Risen Star, and that’s when we’ll find out for sure just how good this colt is. It’s also time to see what he can do rating off the pace. He is one horse who you know will run all day.


Goldencents Doug O'Neill

Into Mischief—Golden Works, by Banker's Gold

Continuing his string of six-furlong works, his latest being 1:13 2/5. He no doubt will be fit for his showdown with Flashback in the San Felipe, if that’s where they decide to go. Difficult to know what we’re dealing with. We know he’s immensely talented, but just want to see him level off a bit better and stay focused.


Overanalyze Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Dixie Union—Unacloud, by Unaccounted For

Turned in a strong five-furlong breeze in 1:00 2/5 in company with Delhomme. He should come out running in the Gotham Stakes and could make those 33-1 Future Wager odds look mighty attractive. He’s already been 1 1/8 miles and already has prevailed in a dogfight. He just needs to maintain his form.


Treasury Bill Ron Ellis

Lemon Drop Kid—Wow Me Free, by Menifee

We said going into the San Vicente, if this colt can finish second or third and be closing, the sky’s the limit. With his pedigree, there is no way he should have been able to sprint with those horses. And we love the way he threw in a :22 second quarter to reach contention and still came home in :12 1/5 after going 6-wide. Ellis only put him in here because he had to work him anyway to start preparing for the Rebel and Arkansas Derby, so might as well run instead and get a good work in him. He got a lot more. This guy has stamina coming out of every pore and only inbreeding is to Buckpasser, which is as good as it gets.


Tiz the Truth Bob Baffert

Tiznow—Truly Blessed, by French Deputy

Consider this colt in a virtual tie for 12th with another Baffert colt, San Vicente winner Shakin It Up. We still love everything about Tiz the Truth, especially his smooth, fluid strides and high cruising speed. But Shakin It Up looked like the real deal and also is bred to keep going. Right now, it’s a toss-up.

Knocking At The Door

PALACE MALICE is stretching out to two turns next Saturday in the Risen Star Stakes (see this week’s Derby Trail blog) and we are expecting a huge effort and possible upset that would put him back in the Top 12, where he was in Week 1. He’s bred to go long, and even if he runs a good second or third and is coming at the end (like Treasury Bill in the San Vicente) it will be a big step forward toward a peak performance on Derby Day. He couldn’t be any sharper, coming off a bullet work in 1:00 1/5 in company with Violence.

Another potential live horse to watch this weekend is SPEAK LOGISTICS, who is from the same barn as Itsmyluckyday and who goes in the Fountain of Youth. Impressive winner of last year’s In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Series, he was making what looked to be a winning move along the rail in the Sam F. Davis when Falling Sky closed the hole and forced him to take up, losing all momentum. He still ran on well to finish fourth. The spot of the incident and the lack of a good camera angle made it difficult for the stewards to take any action. And it is just supposition whether he would have gone on and won or not. But that move alone makes him an intriguing longshot in the Fountain of Youth. He did run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but tired after pressing that fast early pace, yet still was beaten only 5 3/4 lengths.

Pretty soon, Oaklawn trainers are going to sign a petition to get Bob Baffert banned from running in stakes in Hot Springs. Once again, Baffert singlehandedly destroyed the locals’ Derby dreams, sending SUPER NINETY NINE there to win the Southwest Stakes by a mere 11 1/4 lengths, leaving the first three finishers of the Smarty Jones Stakes floundering far up the track in the slop. Like Secret Circle last year and The Factor the year before, Baffert has sent one of his swifter horses to Oaklawn to soften up the local horses for whoever he chooses to send there for the Arkansas Derby. Whether Super Ninety Nine actually turns out to be a Derby horse or not, Baffert has a number of classic-type horses he’ll be sending east in the next two months.

It's hard to know what to make of El Camino Real Derby winner DICE FLAVOR. He looked impressive down the stretch and finished with good energy, dominating this group. He just has to show he handles the dirt as well as the Tapeta and grass. But all in all, a very nice horse with a bright future.

There are several interesting up-and-comers running this weekend, and a big performance could put any one of them into Derby contention. They are PROUD STRIKE, CERRO, DEPARTING, MYLUTE, ELMUTAHID, MAJESTIC HUSSAR, SKY CAPTAIN, and ORB. One proven stakes horse looking to make his way back on the list is HE’S HAD ENOUGH, who likely will run in the Fountain of Youth (he also was entered in the Risen Star). Another to watch at Gulfstream is the aforementioned FALLING SKY (see same Derby Trail blog).

For down the road, keep an eye on GENERAL CHARLIE and FOOTBRIDGE, who staged a furious stretch duel in a Santa Anita maiden race, run a full second and two-fifths faster than the other division two races earlier. Both look like they could have a future.


Leave a Comment:

Dr Drunkinbum

Looks like a good Derby Dozen at this early stage. It's good to know that you are doing your homework and not just goofing off. I can't do a dozen yet, will wait til after this weekend's races. I really don't have a feel for anyone being a Derby winner yet. Thanks for doing the work Steve. I like the "switch gears and start thinking about crabcakes" line. Unfortunately some that could have top notch sprinters or milers will trudge along on the wrong path, then the horse will need a long vacation before becoming a sprinter or miler, or never race again. The Derby is nothing to mess around with. The world's toughest race for sure. Some of theses horses that have heard about "the stampede" won't be too interested in getting enough points for the entry. Horse to the trainer, "I tried boss, I really tried," then winks at the groom.

19 Feb 2013 10:43 AM
Your Only Friend

Treasury Bill very impressive....could move up the latter very quickly.

19 Feb 2013 12:05 PM
Bloodline Bob

Steve, besides CURLIN'S Palace Malice on Saturday, he has 2 other good one's running this weekend: Friday at Laurel 7th(CURLAMOROUS) + Saturday at FG 9th(BLUE VIOLET).

19 Feb 2013 12:22 PM
Bloodline Bob

I'm doing a 5 horse trifecta box($60) for the FOY on Sat.: Orb, He's Had Enough, Sky Captain, Majestic Hussar and Joshua's Comprise.

19 Feb 2013 12:26 PM
Carlos in Cali

I take it you've had enough of Dynamic Sky's "antics"...

Regardless of the sloppy conditions during the Southwest,I thought Super 99 settled nicely on the lead(he can rate),and quickly accelerated when Bejerano took notice of the 'looming pace pressure' at the 1/2 and 3/4 pole, then subsequently ran them off their feet in impressive fashion while coming home in :06+ handily. 9f should be well within his grasp,but we'll see how he handles a quicker pace and better opponents on a fast/dry track. I don't see anything significant coming out of that race,save for the winner.

Bejerano was right; He would improve when stretched-out and now BBaffert can hopefully treat him as a TC contender and not a mere "miler" anymore.. he's been wrong before in his 3yo assessments,like when he stated Midnight Lute was comparable to General Challenge.

19 Feb 2013 1:40 PM
It aint easy being good!

I think the El Camino winner was very impressive and should be on the honorable mention list I know he is not derby eligible the owners would be fools not to fork over 6k to get him eligible that was a great performance and it seems like he is a stone cold closer with stamina ......YES PLEASE!

19 Feb 2013 1:55 PM

Steve, agree with your top 10, except its about time Shanghai Bobby gets the axe, yes he leads in points at this time, but, I seriously doubt that what he has now may not be sufficient to get him to start in the derby.

I still think this point system needs some tuning, like Grade 1 having the same points(there are less grade 1's in their 2 year old season and then there more Grade 1's as we near the derby.

I had posted that here last year & still think that would be better than this do it yourself point system where some trainers complain that some tracks are favored over others and may even encourage some tracks inflating the purse with Grade 2 or 3 quality horses and then have their point's raised in the future.

19 Feb 2013 2:16 PM


What has Normandy Invasion done since his last race to merit a higher ranking than Overanalyzed, Verazzano and Shakin It Up?  His pedigree does not even suggest 10 Furlongs will be easy for him ...this one is a bit wacky.  Also, how can Treasury Bill be ranked above Shakin It Up when the latter had him measured easily coming of a lay-off?  This calls for some reassessment Steve.

19 Feb 2013 2:21 PM


19 Feb 2013 2:46 PM
Saratoga AJ

I listened to Pletcher being interviewed last weekend by the local OTB Racing show. He went down the list of his Derby horses...took him 20 minutes. He's on top of every one of them. While Todd seems to be loaded with good 3 yr olds every year, this year is ridiculous. There even a few more not mentioned above. I think you hit the nail on the head last week Steve with that article concerning Baffert on the Left Coast and Pletcher here in the East. They just dominate.

Made a few "sucker bets" in Pool #1...using Normandy Invasion, Flashback, Oxbow and Overanalyze.

Oh well, ya' never know. At least the odds were generous.  

19 Feb 2013 2:57 PM
Steve Haskin

I should have mentioned Dice flavor. I wrote about him in my column, but when I started shifting horses he got lost in the shuffle. I will add something now.

Dynamic Sky only fell off the list because another came along I like better. Thats what happens on the Derby trail. I still like the horse; he just has to get more focused.

Dr. D, you just leave everything to me. You sit back and I'll take all the abuse. lol

19 Feb 2013 4:44 PM
Steve Haskin

Normandy Invasion moved up a spot because he's about to run and has been working brilliantly. It's where he is next week that's important. Overnalyze likely will move up next week because he is sharp for the Gotham and I foresee a victory there. If he can finally put two good ones in a row then he will move way up the list.

19 Feb 2013 4:57 PM
Steve Haskin

Saratoga AJ, you took my lead for tomorrow's story. It took Pletcher 40 minutes to go over his Derby horses on the teleconference and that was going to be my lead.

19 Feb 2013 5:08 PM

With this big weekend coming up, looking forward to your revised list on Monday! Who will stay, and who will go?  

I realize you concentrate primarily on the Derby, but could you do an occasional Oaks prep update?  There are some nice fillies, some of whom will be running this weekend in the Davona Dale and the Rachel Alexandra:  Dreaming of Julia, for one. There are some other interesting sidelights, incuding Gary Stevens flying into the Fair Grounds to ride Midnight Ballet in the Rachel Alexandra for Tom Proctor.  

Love all the insights you provide, Steve. Thanks so much.

19 Feb 2013 5:20 PM
Karen in Texas


Title Contender ran at Oaklawn on Feb. 17. Here is the race chart.

19 Feb 2013 5:21 PM

As always, thanks for the time and patience in keeping this blog going, Steve.  This is my key handicapping tool I use each year for the Derby.  And regardless as to whether I score on the first Saturday in May or not, it is always an enjoyable journey.

Super Ninety Nine looked dominating yesterday, but he was the only horse who didn't get a face full of mud, so who knows what to make of it.

I'm curious to see if O'Neill's tactics of long works yields the same results as last year.  Goldencents and Oxbow are the 2 horses I am most anxious to see in their upcoming races.

And your comments on Treasury Bill had me taking notice.  Lemon Drop Kid and Menifee were great during their time on the trail and bring back good memories.

19 Feb 2013 5:34 PM
Carlos in Cali

Fair enough re: Dynamic Sky's omission.

But, out of curiosity; I would like to know the reasoning behind your respect for Shakin' It Up and not Super99 when in fact the latter has beaten the former, along with a few of the San Vicente also-rans. Also, as I'm sure you are aware of; Super99 has aired in both of his 2-turn races handily,while Shakin'It Up hasn't gone over 7f. Is it the potential/pedigree to get the Derby distance?.. Midnite Lute was a late-running sprinter.

19 Feb 2013 5:44 PM
Sam Santschi

Code West should be a nice price on Saturday at FG. A big ask though.

19 Feb 2013 5:55 PM
El Kabong


Off topic, but I have to mention to the same crowd anyway that your article on Gary was really well done. It always amazes me how you take a topic and turn it into a performance. It's so well thought through that it's more than a story. It's gripping and compelling you bring us along. And the finish leaves anyone who reads it with a nugget of truth, of real experience in a moment we are privileged to share. That was very good,  I hope Gary hangs it on his wall. Here's to this story having a little more life.

19 Feb 2013 6:10 PM

I think Violence should win Saturday,but after his last work and what he has accomplished(gr1 &2winner)his win odds will be very low.I hope all 11 run but He's Had Enough is cross entered in the Risen Star and he should run there,but we will see what they decide.

19 Feb 2013 6:37 PM
Steve Haskin

Carlos, Bob Baffert told me Super Ninety Nine was a miler. Who am I to argue with him?

El Kabong, thank you very much. I really appreciate the kind words.

19 Feb 2013 7:25 PM

Okay here is the problem with all this.

Do I really need to be coming to this website 3 plus times a day to read this?

Hello my name is Johnny and I am a addict.

Looking forward to the FOY. Like to see ORB put in a good run.

19 Feb 2013 7:51 PM

Steve, thanks so much for your updates on the derby . We are planning on taken in the Tampa derby and G.streampark .Tampa is 2 hrs away and 4.50 to G.S.Park . But it makes the derby a lot more interesting . Again thanks Doug

19 Feb 2013 8:34 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Hold your horses, I'll be there soon enough with some confounded statement, or a horse at the top of the list that has no business in tarnation being up there, and I'm sure I'll take some heat for it. I do think we will see the leader emerge this weekend but I don't know who it is. Mr. Lukas has a shot this year. Pletcher is number one so far. Baffert has a bunch of milers but you can't ever count him out. He might have one off of the radar. Gary Stevens comeback is exciting and I'm rooting for him to get into the Derby and have a crack at it. Nobody rides better, and there are no superstars at this time. Rooting for a few other old timers to get in this year too. I'm sure one of the horses will woo me soon. Hot diggity dog, this weekend with the big fields is a real hootinanny !!!!!!

19 Feb 2013 8:55 PM


19 Feb 2013 9:22 PM
Paula Higgins

ITA with this list but would move Shanghai Bobby a little lower down the list. Will be nice to see Gary Stevens but Mike Smith is my favorite.

19 Feb 2013 9:36 PM

Code West and Departing in the Risen Star, keep an eye out for those 2. I really like Normandy Invasion, but I don't like him training in South Florida and then skipping the FOY to run in a easier spot. I don't think it's easier, he's running over a surface he's never trained/run on, he's traveling and the field is over sized. But he has the class, and the raw talent, I'll be rooting for him, but my money won't be, too many things can go wrong.

Violence is in good form, I expect him to win, but Cerro and Orb are very worthy foes here.

Super Ninety Nine looks like and is built like a miler. But runs like a he can run all day. Granted it was against an vastly inferior competition, but still, it was very impressive. His win reminded me of The Factor in the Rebel, broke in front, settled in, and re-broke turning for home.

19 Feb 2013 9:54 PM
Point Given

While Stevens is on his come back trail,Point Given is relocating and refocusing on his sex life.Hopefully a few good ones for a change since Coil and Go Between to name a few.Good luck champ.

19 Feb 2013 10:58 PM

Steve : Is there a youtube of Pletcher's interview ?  I must admit, I'm more interested in your "Knocking at the door" list at this time hehe.  Interesting list that you come up with in that section, makes me research them.  Thanks!

20 Feb 2013 12:42 AM
Greg R

Any clues as to which of his horses Pletcher favors to go all the way?  Same for Baffert.  Have they dropped hints re: horses they prefer?

Shakin It Up is probably the one that zoomed up my list the farthest this past weekend.  Despite what some have said above, his is not necessarily a sprinter/miler pedigree.  Midnight Lute was only restricted to shorter distances because he was plagued with a mechanical breathing problem.  His own pedigree and talent would not otherwise have limited his range, distance-wise.  To me, seven f. would not figure to be SIU's best distance.  So if he could win at that trip over a good group, he has demonstrated a superior talent and will only excell more at greater distances.  At this point, still a guess.  Nevertheless, I've tried to be a booster of M L's potential as a sire.  He has been the "dark horse" in the breeding game and is starting to emerge into the limelight, but top mares with route pedigrees will rocket him to the elite levels.

20 Feb 2013 12:52 AM

Of the interesting up-and-comers that you referenced, I think ELMUTAHID is the most intriguing.

He is on my RAN/MR. Prospector Derby dozen. I am of the opinion that his trainer is not doing a particularly good job of margining his big stable this year. This colt by Street Cry out of a Dixieland Band Broodmare made its first four starts on turf and all resulted in loosing efforts. The 2007 Derby winner and previous year Champion 2YO Street Sense was by Street Cry out of a Dixieland Band Broodmare. His preferred surface was dirt. I would think that with the similarity in the pedigrees, the natural progression would be dirt to turf and not the other way around.

His maiden victory was not surprisingly secured on dirt albeit a sloppy track. In his turf efforts he displayed good tactical speed but was not very resolute in the last 2Fs. In his 9F dirt debut he again displayed good speed recording splits of 22, 46, 1:11 and made every post a winning one. Again his last 3Fs were very poor. He is a January foal and should be stronger than most with his maturity advantage.  It is therefore puzzling why he continues to falter in the latter part of his races given his pedigree. In addition to Dixieland Band being his dam sire, his second dam was sired by Seattle Slew.

Street Cry horses normally display excellent closing speed over the last 2Fs of their races. ELMUTAHID is therefore not your typical Street Cry offspring. That said, if his trainer has placed him on a stamina enhancement program to correct the deficiencies in his last 2Fs, he will be a dangerous colt on Saturday as his running style is suited to the Gulfstream Park Speedway.

NB: Street Cry has sired a Derby, BCC & Melbourne Cup winner. Dixieland Band broodmares have associated with Derby winners Street Sense,  Monaerchos and runner up Eight Belles. ELMUTAHID therefore has a pedigree that is proven at the highest level.

20 Feb 2013 1:49 AM

There are some very exciting 3YOs occupying positions many Derby lists. I suspect many of these lists do not have representatives from the most successful sire line in Derby history.  Despite the fact that the top performers in 2013 have not been from this sire line, I am still convinced that the winner of the 2013 Derby will emerge from it. Below are the representatives on my RAN/MR, Prospector sire line watch list.

Capo Bastone





Treasury Bill

Omega Star

Palace Malice


Code West

Curly Top

Govenor Charlie

Mr. Prospector's dam was Gold Digger. If quest to win the Derby can be equated to digging for gold then the gold digger line is likely to have the advantage.

20 Feb 2013 2:50 AM


 I wait with baited breath to see who Gary Stevens chooses to ride in the Derby!  I watched him start his career at Les Bois in Boise Idaho - where my Uncle and cousin (Marion and Pat Stitzel) trained horses.  I think he even rode for them a time or two.  I have followed his career ever since, and I was probably one of the loudest people when he won on Winning Colors.  Good luck and safe return to all the riders and horses.

20 Feb 2013 3:11 AM

I may not know anywhere near as much as most on this list but I do know that Todd Pletcher can't give all these excellent horses the amount of time they deserve and need for the Derby. There are so many other good trainers out there I don't understand why the owners don't go to them.

20 Feb 2013 5:23 AM
Brown brother

Treasury Bill will give Lemon Drop Kid, a top sire for years flying just under radar, his biggest horse yet. He stays kd distance and has tactical speed. Get on him now before Arkansas preps show he is a monster.

20 Feb 2013 6:56 AM
Proud Acres

Oh my God, Sundance.  My first horse we bought from Marion Stitzel.  What a hoot, he had 1001 ways of how to get a 12 year old off his back!  I loved it though!

20 Feb 2013 9:06 AM

"Treasury Bill will give Lemon Drop Kid, a top sire for years flying just under radar, his biggest horse yet."

I like Treasury Bill and hope he continues to improve and earns a Derby starting spot. His sire Lemon Drop Kid has been a disappointment given his excellent pedigree. He is probably impacted by the Belmont winners’ curse. Despite success at 12F, Belmont winners winners have dismal records as Derby sires. The equally well-bred and great sire A P Indy is amongst Belmont winners that failed sire a Derby winners.

Lemon Drop Kid He belongs to an elite category of the Mr. Prospector stallions i.e., grandsons.  He is the only winner of a TC race that was produced from a Seattle Slew broodmare. His sire Kingmambo was produced from the great race mare Miesque. His pedigree is therefore excellent for both dirt and turf.

I hope Treasury Bill’s career will supersede those of following G1 performers:

Lemons Forever won the G1 Kentucky Oaks.

Santa Teresita won the G1 Santa Maria HD

Never underestimate horses from the RAN/Mr. Prospector sire line. Many might not recall that Mr. Haskin’s final Derby Dozen contained four horses from this sire line and they were the first 4 past the post.

20 Feb 2013 9:30 AM
Pedigree Ann

Brown Bro -

A Lemon Drop Kid out of a Saint Ballado mare might also be able to run well at a distance of ground. More likely to than a Tapit out of a Boston Harbor mare. (Code West and Normandy Invasion referenced.)

20 Feb 2013 10:02 AM


20 Feb 2013 10:27 AM

Asking a 3yo to give 6 pounds to the competition over 8.5 furlongs is not a good idea.

Violence should not run this weekend. If he runs and wins, then there will be no stopping him.

However, weight will stop any horse.

Pletcher should scratch him.

The Fountain of Youth should not be used as a qualifying race because it is not run at


20 Feb 2013 10:58 AM
Saratoga AJ

Another sleeper 3yr old in Pletcher's barn is Forty Tales, who was absolutely flying when finishing second in the 7F Hutchinson. Needs more distance?

20 Feb 2013 12:31 PM

Jersey Boy,

Even at the weights disadvantage, Violence should trample this field. However I wouldn't say there will be no stopping him if he wins ...until his main competition, Overanalyze, Itsmyluckyday, Verazzano and Flashback strut their stuff. There are also a few others still under the radar that could be quite brilliant (on my list: Transparent, Ore Pass, Vegas No Show, Shakin It Up). With many trainers waiting for the 100 points races to sneak in we could have a major upset in the Derby this year ...and added to that is the fact that many of the top ones are suspect for the Derby distance on pedigree, if the race is truly run. No violence just yet my friend.

20 Feb 2013 1:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   That's what I always thought also, unless you give your horse to a scrub who has no chance of getting a horse to The Derby, but there are plenty of capable trainers that could give the horse more attention and not have to worry so much about seperating his horses in different preps. The right path for the horse is the right path, and it doesn't matter if he runs against another Pletcher horse. I wouldn't accept that as an owner, my horse would be going elsewhere, to a trainer who could focus on him as his one, or one of a few Derby bound horses. I wouldn't use Baffert either with all that he has and his survival of the fittest approach. Of course I wouldn't be pressing my trainer to get my horse into The Derby no matter what either. If he's not ready to win it then pass, and don't kill him trying to get there either.

20 Feb 2013 2:29 PM
Forbidden Apple

Violence simply looks faster than the rest of the field, Orb should be good enough for second. Elmutahid has a chance too, but he must run much faster than his last race and I think he will.

1)Itsmyluckyday 2)Flashback 3)Violence 4)Orb 5)Fortify 6)Shanghai Bobby 7)Goldencents 8)Treasury Bill 9)Frac Daddy 10)Revolutionary 11)Elmutahid 12)Super Ninety Nine

20 Feb 2013 3:42 PM


“Even at the weights disadvantage, Violence should trample this field.”

The above extract from your post is yet another example of how easily you submit over the top statement. Violence has won three races by a combined 3 3/4L. He has never trampled any field. He fought hard to peg back Title Town Five for his maiden victory by a NK. He won the Nashua by 2L running to the rails under pressure and had to survive an objection. He won the Cash Call by 1 1/4L fully extended.  

The FOY is the best field assembled against him. It contains five last time out winners. Three of those winners are cutting back from 9F victories. One is well-bred and very fast. The Sam Davis winner will be forwardly placed and has the stamina to carry is high cruising speed. Cerro was very impressive in his gate to wire 9F victory. He has the better trainer and no one knows the extent of his ability.Orb has not reproduced that explosive turn of foot shown on debut. He appears better when the pace upfront is fast and it will be. He finished 3rd by 1L to Violence while spotting him a 4-5L advantage at the start at a distance not suited to his pedigree. You are predicting that six months later  Violence is going to trample him. It appears Violence has either  a monopoly or has cornered the market on improvement while Orb and the rest have regressed. I have cautioned you repeatedly about your fantasies regarding member of the Todd Squad.

You have a lot of experience and should be more measured is your declarations.

20 Feb 2013 3:58 PM


I do not see why Overanalyze is highly thought of. He won the Remsen by a nose and ¾ of a length.

He was beaten 8 lengths by Uncaptured who next time out beat Frac Daddy a neck. Frac Daddy could not be found in his last start.

My bet in Pool 1 is on Itsmyluckyday.  But if the track is dry and Violence wins I might have to cover that bet in Pool 2.

As I have always said, I judge them by their performance. Six pounds is a lot of weight to concede.

There is no emotion in my betting.

20 Feb 2013 5:26 PM

Perhaps the most interesting time to come will be this weekend.  I'm looking forward to the return of Violence.

Watching the Southwest, my thought was that if the Ky Derby is a swamp, I'd take the Pulpit colt.  Super Ninety Nine was impressive, and has a great pedigree.  But I still want to see those same colts on a dry track.

I hope they nominate Dice Flavor to the Derby.  And while I'm aware the colts behind him were dirt horses who struggled, I was still impressed by his late acceleration and his style. He's got something.

For now, I'm not adding these two to my Derby list until I see more from them.  So my previous list remains unchanged.

Violence, Transparent, Vyjack, Itsmyluckyday, Shanghai Bobby,  Verrazano, Revolutionary, Tiz the Truth, Goldencents and Valid.

Dr. D: It's great to hear your voice again...about time.

Steve, I still don't know how you manage to get your dozen +, or how you're going to thin out what's yet to come.  But you always do it, just right! Thank you!

20 Feb 2013 5:39 PM

I know this is a Derby blog, but c' about my girl Mizdirection?  She seems stronger than ever-loved her stretching out.  Now I'll be wondering which BC race she's aiming at, while proving to be more than a sprinter.

20 Feb 2013 5:44 PM

By what we know as horseplayers without any inside knowledge,  Violence should win the FOY.He dosent win by much but going forward that could be an advantage if he scores Saturday he is probably in the gate for the Derby.For a colt that competed in grade 1 and 2 events as a 2yo he has had a relatively easy race schedule compared to say Shanghai Bobby who I think has already peaked in his form cycle until maybe later this year or next season.But this is speculation S.Bobby is working towards a rematch with Itsmyluckyday in the Florida Derby.In the FOY the high weight won last year and the two or three highest weights win quite a bit of the yearly renewals.I looked at this factor last year and just reveiwed it, the last time that a low weight won it was when Quality Road won it in 2009 at 114 lbs, the race was at a mile that year.In this years field there are only four weights there is the high weight at 122 one colt at 120 lbs one at 118 and the rest are at 116 lbs.

20 Feb 2013 5:55 PM
Point Given

$50 on Code West to win the Risen Star.

20 Feb 2013 6:48 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Thank you very much, that means a lot to me. I miss you and worry about you too when you're not around for awhile. What happened was I went on a three hour tour and ended up on an island full of desserts so I had to try every dessert and stuff myself before leaving and it took awhile. We're still waiting for a Triple Crown but the good news is we won't kick the bucket until we get one.  

20 Feb 2013 7:42 PM
Forbidden Apple


If you like Mizdirection I understand, she is a very impressive horse. I would also suggest that you take a long look at Purim's Dancer. A blazing filly trained by Tom Proctor in CA.

20 Feb 2013 7:53 PM


Violence has yet to be fully extended. Although after taking command he doesn't pull away from his field, he wins with a lot in hand therefore no one knows really how good this horse is.  I found his last race impressive by the way he responded in taking over the lead when roused by the jock. Part of your problem this season with picking winners among the 3YOs is your aversion to Todd Pletcher trained horses don't seem to acknowledge even one good one among them when such a one is clearly a budding star to most knowledgeable turfites.

Jersey Boy,

Only a couple of things I'll say to you right now about Overanalyze: you'll be welcome to join his bandwagon after the Gotham. When a 2YO performs inconsistently but shows real quality in his/her good performances it is wise to accentuate the positives because once the kinks are worked out you have a monster on your hands. This colt is so versatile, he can adapt to any pace scenario and he has the tanacity of a pitbull if a challenger hooks him and looks him in the eye. He is also one of the few bred to truly get the Derby distance.  

20 Feb 2013 8:18 PM
El Kabong

Uncaptured (3-Year-Old Colt)

Your comments for this horse were: 2013 Derby JOP di 2.0

Date: February 19, 2013


Distance: Four Furlongs

Time: 47:80 Breezing

Track Condition: Fast

Surface: All Weather Track

Rank: 1/4 - See the day's workouts

Ha Ha Haaaaa!

Call me old school but this guy will have to be dealt with before all is said and done.

20 Feb 2013 9:52 PM
El Kabong

Good Girl Rachel,

Boy she looks like she's been through hell, but she looks very determined. You have to respect a mom who knows how much she is needed. What a fighter. I was not one who thought she deserved HOY but my respect for her now goes far beyond that disputed award. She's MOM of the YEAR. I just hope she gets a chance to relish the rewards of her remarkable recovery. It's obvious she is in good hands and she knows it. All the best to you Rachel, so many are rooting for you now that you are the nation wide favorite.

20 Feb 2013 10:07 PM
Paula Higgins

willie1, ITA with you that some of these Pletcher horses should be with other trainers. Pletcher has too many. He would not be my first pick if I had a great horse because he just has too many horses to train and plan for. It's not because he isn't a great trainer. I would just want my horse to go to a smaller operation. He must have to turf alot of the day to day stuff to other people in his barn.

20 Feb 2013 11:35 PM

Has anyone heard if Fury Kapcori is still a possibility for the Derby

21 Feb 2013 12:02 AM

the foy is setting up to a hot and VERY humid affair this year, on par with the florida derby of 2011 that wiped out a lot of good horses for the rest of the year, and some for good...horses who've done well in hot and humid conditions will likely have an advantage over those who've done well in cool, dry conditions (which bodes well for the calder longshot...)

i don't have strong feelings about any in this year's crop...but i wish that coldfacts hadn't jinxed my key bet on saturday ;-)

last year i posted the stats on the high-weight runners vs winners of the foy on jason's blog, before it was run in 2012--i don't know what i did with the list but if memory serves no high weight had won it in like a decade, before union rags' win last year against a very over-matched field of one hit wonders and also-rans.

in years where there were quality light weights in the race, like quality road (who carried only 113lb measly lbs), soldat, scat daddy, cool coal man, and eskendereya--the quality light weight has won..but i'm not really sure it's a race you want to win if you want to win the ky derby--you have to go back to 1995 and thunder gulch to find a foy winner who went on the win the ky derby...that's almost 20 years...

21 Feb 2013 1:41 AM

El Kabong:  thanks for keeping me updated with Uncaptured.  What is he being pointrd at?

21 Feb 2013 1:57 AM


“Violence has yet to be fully extended”

‘There is No Blinder Man (Than The One Who Refuses to See)’

In his first race Tom Durkin specified that at the top of the stretch he was under a drive. In the last furlong he stated that he was full out. He also specified that Orb was an unlucky third.

Revisit the video!

In the Nashua he was under a ride approaching the top of the stretch and was under the whip deep in the final furlong.

I certainly would not question the experienced Mr. Durkin when he states that a horse is full out.

“Part of your problem this season with picking winners among the 3YOs is your aversion to Todd Pletcher trained horses.”

I have no aversion to Mr. Pletcher’s horses. I just cannot understand why his horses are always overhyped. His 2YO champion was beaten decisively by a much underrated colt. If Itsmyluckyday was trained by Mr. Pletcher he would be at the top of every Derby list. Violence heads Mr. Haskin’s list despite Itsmyluckyday having greater foundation and two spectacular performances as a 3YO including a NTR. There are those that gone all in on Violence and there is no course correction in sight.

“you don't seem to acknowledge even one good one among them when such a one is clearly a budding star to most knowledgeable turfites.”

Can you specify where I have cited that Violence is not a good colt? There is a difference between good and exceptional. He has proven to be good but not exceptional. Consider the following - He was spotted a 5L advantage by Orb at the gates. He received another 5L from him when he had to be taken 5 wide for his stretch run and he defeated him by 1L. By any measure who was the better colt in that race? To mention Orb and Violence in the same sentence is almost sacrilegious. How do you conclude that a colt that has won three races by a combined 3 3/4L is a budding star? He has not won any of his races with the sort of the authority to be considered same. The colt obviously has potential but he is not alone in the department. There are other good colts in the FOY and you have concluded that he is going to trample them.

This is the type of disrespect for the charges from other stables that I detest.

I happen to like Revolutionary a lot. He is not even in your dozen but Transparent whom he whipped by 7L is. I am on record specifying that if his maiden victory was not aided and abated by high octane, the Derby is over.  War pass got the highest Beyer for a winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. When a lightly raced horse of his caliber sires a colt like Revolutionary, the like of Violence will not have enough fire power to challenge him.

21 Feb 2013 3:19 AM

Jersey Boy,

Violence already carried 121 lbs.

At 1 1/16 it will not be a problem. I agree with you however when they go 1 1/8 or longer. Violence should not finish worse than second.

21 Feb 2013 9:06 AM
Forbidden Apple


Including Overanalyze, you must be up to 6 monsters on your Derby Dozen list. Halloween must be coming early this year. And of course they are all trained by the same guy. Wait 2 months and then we will see where all of these scary monsters stand.

21 Feb 2013 9:29 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Very interesting post from you as usual. Thanks, enjoyed it. I'm more interested in the Risen Star and am seeing it as more of a probable key race but only time will tell. I'm especially interested to see how Proud Strike, Code West and Oxbow do. Others are very interesting also such as Palace Malace out of Curlin, the highly touted Normandy Invasion, and others with interesting angles. This is a big weekend. I believe this weekend the Great Mine That Bird has a 3yo stakes named after him that will be run at Sunland.

21 Feb 2013 10:57 AM


The issue with weight is not the amount of weight a horse is carrying but the amount of weight he is giving to the others.

On Saturday Violence will be giving some of the starters 6 pounds. That is a significant handicap.

Under the Timeform scale it is the equivalent of about 3 lengths. In other words, if Violence would have beaten these horses by 3 lengths at equal weights, those with the 6-pound advantage have a chance to match him.

Violence might  win easily anyway but I will not bet on him even if the odds were 3-1.

21 Feb 2013 11:49 AM

The evolution of Coldfacts on Revolutionary.

Where do you really stand?

“To suggest that I was all the rage over him is inaccurate.  He is not even on my list as I do not believe his performance was natural.” Coldfacts 15 Jan 2013 7:50 PM

“I am on record specifying that if his maiden victory was not aided and abated by high octane, the Derby is over” Coldfacts 21 Feb 2013 3:19 AM

21 Feb 2013 12:03 PM
Pedigree Ann

The enthusiasm and purple prose are overflowing and it is only the middle of February. Step back and take a deep breath, everybody.

Where was last year's Derby winner this time last year? He had won the Lewis in what was considered an upset and wasn't getting much interest.

Derby winner 2 years ago?

Hadn't stated yet. Would run second in a GP turf allowance race on 3 March.

2010 Derby winner?

Still on vacation - wouldn't run until the Tampa Bay Derby (didn't win)

2009 winner?

Hadn't started yet. Would go in the 28Feb Borderland Derby.

2008 winner?

Hadn't started yet. Would run in a 4Mar allowance.

2007 winner?

Hadn't started yet. Would run in the 17Mar in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Five of the last 6 Derby winners hadn't started at 3 yet at this juncture. One was a 2yo champion, one made only one start at 2. And the one who had started wasn't on top of anybody's Derby lists.

I know this is the time to dream; just don't count on your dreams coming true. The 'modern' method of getting horses to the Derby winner's circle frequently doesn't include racing in mid-winter.

21 Feb 2013 12:10 PM


I'm going to watch you run away and hide after Violence wins on Saturday

21 Feb 2013 12:40 PM


Get ready to finally add Orb to your list after this weekend.  Better late than never sir!  Orb sits the trip this weekend from the rail and Johnny V pulls the trigger.  Shug has played coy about this colt all year, but he won't be able to after Saturday.  To have all of these Pletcher speed ball types over Orb is sad and seems to happen way to often year to year.  Pletcher horses come and go each year like these and it took a quagmire track to get his first and only Derby.  There is too much faith in that barn every year.  The race sets up for Orb perfectly and with a 1 1/8 race already under his belt he will be primed and ready.  

Hey guys there is room on the wagon for all you Johnny come lately's come Sunday though!

21 Feb 2013 1:38 PM

Soldat carried 120 Cool Coal Man carried 118 neither of these colts was the high weight or the low weight.This year the FOY has four weights 122,120,118,116 this is more or less how it works every year.You would think that the low weights would win more because there are more in that group than in the other weightings EVERY YEAR.

21 Feb 2013 1:40 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Jersey Boy-

re: Weight

I agree that looking at weight should be done in the context of the other horses in the race,  not in terms of how much a horse is gaining from one race to the next. Significant weight changes may have some impact on sprinting speed horses relying on sharp breaks and early quickness.

21 Feb 2013 1:47 PM
El Kabong


Last I heard, Uncaptured was pointed to the Spiral, but it's been a while. That does seem like a good start. I think the plan was the Spiral and the Bluegrass. He runs fine on dirt, proved it at Churchill, so he doesn't require any litmus test.

21 Feb 2013 2:58 PM

Jersey Boy,

Coldfacts is in a revolutionary orb-it right now ...but he'll come back to earth when Violence allows wieght and defeats Orb in the FOY on Saturday (LOL).

21 Feb 2013 3:17 PM

Forbidden Apple,

I get the feeling that the Todd Squad has you trembling ...take it easy and quit stalking ... like Pedigree Ann says, its only February.

21 Feb 2013 3:23 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Pedigree Ann

    Even though it's BYOB, we're still going to show up at the party with our favorite drink and try to have a good time. We know there is no champagne but we're still going to ask the host, "Where's the champagne?"

21 Feb 2013 3:27 PM

A couple of colts I will be keeping an eye on for the future will not be running in graded stakes this weekend.

I have been hearing quiet positive buzz about a colt named Crop Report for a while now. He is owned by Team Valor and trained by Graham Motion. He is bred to run a distance, as he is by MDO and out of a mare who won the Del Cap. He will be running in a turf allowance race at Gulfstream on the Fountain of Youth undercard.

Another colt I will be watching as a potential future marathoner type is Invasive Cocktail, who will be running in the Mine That Bird Derby. He is by Invasor (and will probably be slow maturing as a result) and out of a mare who has Roberto, Kingmambo, and Stage Door Johnny all fairly close up in her pedigree. It is unusual to see a pedigree this loaded with stamina, and I think it will be hard for his connections to find appropriate races for him if they keep him on dirt. Nonetheless, I will be keeping an eye on this one, hoping against hope he does well enough as an older horse that he gets a chance to pass that stamina and his bloodlines on to another generation.

I am not expecting these colts to run in the Derby - they are getting a late start, and the Invasor colt probably will not really get running until he is a four year old (if they can even find appropriate dirt races for him).

But I do like to play a game called "spot the potential Belmont colts who will actually relish the 12 furlongs" and "spot the ones who might become good older handicappers at classic distances" and these two might fit those bills.

Steve, I want to thank you for your Derby lists. Here in what looks to be a gloomy snowy Michigan winter weekend, it is good to be reminded that spring really is coming, complete with plenty of roses,lilies, black eyed susans, and carnations.

In addition, for those of who do not get a chance to get to the track very often, you are our eyes and ears on the spot. And that is invaluable.

21 Feb 2013 3:48 PM

Pedigree Ann:

Those are the best COLDFACTS I have read in a while.

Great post

21 Feb 2013 5:01 PM

Doc D: Really?  Three hour trip? Island?  Now I know that if that were true, you'd still be there with MaryAnn and Ginger, enjoying your "just desserts".

You just can't stay away too long because you know I miss you.  

We're all just guessing now, with few races to consider.  That will change after next weekend.  But let's keep enjoying the guessing until then.  We all have our far.  Everyone's list will evolve as the months go by.

I'm not putting my hopes in the Risen Star.  The Fairgrounds, while offering Derby Starters, is woefully short of Derby Winners.  (Rosie had Pants On Fire positioned perfectly 2 years ago in the Derby...and then he bled.  Anything can happen.)

As far as some folk's aversion to Violence.....because he doesn't win by 10 lengths?  Sorry, a lot of horses will not go on once they're in the lead.(pack mentality)  The pair has to rely heavily on the jockey's sense of timing.  It doesn't mean the horse is not exceptional.  Haven't you ever seen Zenyatta?  Sea the Stars?

It takes only a nose to win a horse race.  In fact, right now, a horse who wins by 10 lengths, has a very suspect field behind him.

As far as Pletcher and Baffert are concerned, yes they have a lot of top horses, but they know their trainees right down to every pimple and hiccup that occurs.

My problem with Pletcher is that his top horses, the hype horses, don't seem to hold up long enough to get into the Derby Gate. I like too many of his horses this year to accept those odds.  My fingers are crossed.

21 Feb 2013 6:34 PM


“I'm going to watch you run away and hide after Violence wins on Saturday”

If Violence does win there is no need for me to hide as I did not state the colt couldn’t win. I am taking exception to your trample projection and other over the top compliments.  

The FOY has 11 runners 6 of which were last time out winners.  There are a lot of unknowns and therefore projecting that Violence with trample the fields is a stretch.

Cerro: How good is he? No one really knows. The FOY will be his third start on dirt. His last was very impressive and he can only improve. We are all aware of the capabilities of his trainer.

Falling Sky: How good is he? He is fast and resolute. His trainer is excited about the way he has been training and stated that his quick return will not be a problem. He was produced from a Sea Hero broodmare. Are dose still around?

Elmutahid: How good is he? He is a Street Cry! Sole effort on dirt resulted in a commanding victory. Previous starts were on turf. Could he have found his preferred surface?

Majestic Hussar: How good is he? He is very fast but capacity to carry his speed is unknown. Should have no problem stretching out as his sire is a son of A P Indy.His dam was unraced and this makes him even more dangerous.

The above colts are interesting as their true abilities are unknown. One of them could have a break out performances. Orb has a score to settle and the two colts that exited the BCJ are capable of rebounding.

The race is filled with intrigue and you choose to ignore same and proceed to make an absurd prediction.

21 Feb 2013 10:39 PM

Thx El Kabong

I remember when another little Cdn colt used the Bluegrass as a stepping stone to the Derby almost 50yrs ago.


21 Feb 2013 10:54 PM

Jersey Boy,

"The evolution of Coldfacts on Revolutionary.”

Cited below is a claim made by Ranagulzion

“you don't seem to acknowledge even one good one among them when such a one is clearly a budding star to most knowledgeable turfites.”

I paid Revolutionary a complement when I specified that if his maiden victory was not aided and abated by high octane, the Derby is over. It was that impressive. I reference the previous quote in an effort to point out to Ranagulzion that I have in the past acknowledged one of Mr. Pletcher’s horse.

In the same post containing my complement, I specified I would reserve judgment on Revolutionary until his next start. He was just as impressive in his next start. You conveniently exclude this section of my post.

Partial disclosure is sometime just as bad as none disclosure by legal colleague.

21 Feb 2013 10:57 PM

“As far as some folk's aversion to Violence”

I possess no strong dislike or disinclination regarding Violence.

My aversion if any is toward the over the top comments regarding the colt. Some of these comments serve to demean other colts and place Violence on a pedestal not yet earned.  

21 Feb 2013 11:18 PM

J.V. on Orb is music to my ears. Orb wins the F.O.Y. The fact that Orb is 12-1 morning line just shows how they are trying to cover him up. When you see him sitting at 9/2 at post time you will know to throw your violence bet at 2/1 in the garbage. Is orb better than violence? not necessarily but 6 pounds is a ton in this race and orb has ran a race at this distance. Orb had issues getting out of the gate but that has been solved.

22 Feb 2013 2:41 AM

Stakes winners this weekend.Orb, normandy invasion, justin Phillip, Klisz, and Golden Ticket.

22 Feb 2013 2:44 AM

Everyone remember goldencents lost by a few lengths to shanghai bobby.

22 Feb 2013 2:45 AM


I did not disclose anything. I simply quoted you.

Everyone on this blog has access to all the entries in their entirety, including the circumstances under which they were made.

If they read them they would see the true picture is understated by the two quotes.

22 Feb 2013 8:24 AM
Forbidden Apple

Look, I like Violence, if he wins at 4/5 that's great. No horse is that scary at the moment, so stop crying when someone picks against Verrazano Ranagulzion.

22 Feb 2013 8:29 AM

“As far as some folk's aversion to Violence.....because he doesn't win by 10 lengths. Sorry, a lot of horses will not go on once they're in the lead.(pack mentality)”

I have already addressed the aversion issue. Now let me address the margin of victory issue and pack mentality.

If the 10L selected as an example is based on the estimated 10L advantage Orb surrendered, then you clearly did not understand the point that was being made. I was not comparing Violence to Title Town Five whom he reportedly  defeated by a NK while full out. I gather when het inched ahead by a HD his pack instinct tripped in so he only increased the margin by a NK to keep him close.

In the Nashua, Violence decided to run down to the rails when he made the lead to keep close to the pack. He even dared the steward to uphold the resulting objection.

The 10L advantage point was made to highlight the fact that one horse gave the field a major advantage and was able to get within 1L at the finish. Horses can overcome weight disadvantages but rarely is ground given regained. The pack mentality advanced would not be applicable as Title Town Five & Violence were not waiting on Orb as both were under heavy drives while feeling the stinging effect of their rider whips.

It appears pack instinct is as selectively observer as it is advance as support short margin victories. When Street Sense disappeared from the BCJ field he failed to observe the pack mentality of his breed. When Uncle Mo and Union Rage dismantled their respective Champagne fields, they likewise did not observe the pack mentality of his breed.

I have been lectured before on the pack mentality concept.  Those providing these lectures fail to recognize that there is a significance difference between a pack of horses galloping in their natural habitat as opposed to a pack carrying fit, tiny humans armed with whips who require them to sustain their gallops long after lactic acid has unleashed its devastating effect on their systems.

Should Violence wins the FOY impressively by a wide margin, would he have failed to observe the pack mentality of his breed?  

22 Feb 2013 8:47 AM
It aint easy being good!

12-1 on ORB hahahahahaha and getting a weight break and has been this far and a win over the track and gets one of the best riders in the country what else can you ask for! I am in line now waiting for my free money! The risen star throw a dart at the board I will go with horse out of the 1 hole!

22 Feb 2013 12:20 PM
Pedigree Ann

"Everyone remember goldencents lost by a few lengths to shanghai bobby."

To which I ask - how long ago? where? at what stage of each's career? what distance? what track? Don't forget that these youngsters are still growing and the hierarchy among them can shift dramatically in a few months.

Buckpasser was beaten by his stable-mate Impressive in his first start at 3, in a 6f race, which was Impressive's specialty. Did not mean that Impressive would turn out to be a better Derby prospect than Buckpasser. Context is everything in such observations.

22 Feb 2013 12:27 PM

I consider myself a pretty open minded guy.

To post what a horse is thinking is quite funny to me.

Signed the Horse whisper.

P.S Anybody know what I am thinking?

22 Feb 2013 1:34 PM
steve from st louis

With tried and true training methods suddenly out the window and most 3-year-olds having but a handful of lifetime starts prior to the first Saturday in May, the Derby puzzle is just harder and harder to decypher.

In Secretariat's Derby 40 years ago this May, the 16 runners averaged 12.7 starts going into that Run for the Roses. I would guess this year's running might average half that number, making handicapping that much more difficult, with less information to go on. Good luck with that.

22 Feb 2013 2:41 PM

My Fountain of Youth picks:



Elmutahid (running without Lasix which may be a good thing in the heat)

If Violence wins, Pletcher cannot grant any interviews though, he must "hightail" it back to the barn to "micromanage" the rest of his "forty tails."

22 Feb 2013 6:59 PM

I don't believe that I put forth a screaming generalization that ALL horses stop when they get to the front.  But many of them do.  Perhaps some time should be spent listening to the jockeys themselves.  On those horses, a jockey's timing is everything.  Mike Smith on Zenyatta is a perfect example.  She's never crossed the wire with her ears pinned back.  Her ears were always twitching...and yes, even a horse's body language speaks volumes.  

And then you have a horse like Presious Passion whom they could never train to relax during the race.  He ran all out every step...and then would run out of gas long before the end.  Fast ..yes; Savy..No!  

Some horses just like to run.  Citation did. Secretariat did. Horses are as different in personalities as humans.  

Pedigree Ann: Champagne Stakes, Belmont, Oct 6, 2012.  Goldencents led for half the race, then Shanghai passed him on the homestretch and won by 5 lengths.

Bobby went on to win the BCJ over He's Had Enough in November.  Headed by Enough, Bobby came back to win by a nose.

My original point, whether by 5 lengths or a nose, a Win is a Win.

22 Feb 2013 7:47 PM

I wont be surprised if the FOY race falls apart because jockeys on the other colts push their mounts to try and run overly ambititous races compared to the present condition their mounts have attained, and talent their mounts have.What will happen is that a longshot will come in 2nd or 3rd or both 2nd and 3rd and leave alot of bettors scratching their heads in retrospect.After the race is run they will be thinking, all I had to do was key the favorite on top with either all in 2nd or all in 2nd and 3rd,depending on how much you are willing to bet on the race,and how much you have to hedge your bets in case you are right, but your pick finishes 2nd instead of 1st.There are many probabilities, and possibilities with an 11 horse field.

It intrigues me that using a piece of paper, PPs, people create what is not there.In spanish(se poner a inventar)They prefer to risk their money  betting on guesses that have a very low chance, compared to with what is already known.There are 10 other colts in exotic betting terms, this is a very bettable race, in exotic pools as compared to win place and show.I consider myself a horseplayer, and I will leave the handicapping to the racing secretary, who after all, are the real handicappers.They handicap the entrants in a race by assigning more weight to the most acomplished runners.They do a lot less guessing than the bettors.

22 Feb 2013 10:19 PM

Steve Haskin the credibility of the Derby Dozen is on the line in the FOY.Some of the posters on the blog insist that Orb and others are going to win because they get weight 6 lbs in this case.Weight is more important the farther you run, a mile and a sixteenth is not that far for a racehorse.In sprint races you will see horses giving up more than 10 pounds,and you know what, the high weight wins more than the low weight by a wide margin long term,eventhough the low weights are usually a group and the high weight is just ONE.I wonder why.I know the racing secretary is the best handicapper on the track,the bettors are horseplayers.

22 Feb 2013 10:38 PM

I think J Velazquez is one of the best big race riders in the country.If you think Orb is the only horse that JV rides for Shug you would be wrong.If you wonder why he is not on Violence instead of Castellano,and you think it is because he has chosen to ride Shugs colt over Pletchers colt,you are wrong. Castellano in the last few years rides a lot more of Pletchers horses than when JVel was Pletchers main go to guy.Castellano took a risk and shipped west to ride Violence in the Cash Call, probably giving up a lot of favorites at the track he was based at on the same day.That is why he is on Violence and not Johnny V.Shug gives a lot of great mounts to Johnny V,one of which is Point of Entry and Shug asked him to ride Orb, and of course he agreed.

22 Feb 2013 10:55 PM

steve from st louis,  

Lasix was not permitted then. These days, lasix, as a diuretic, 'lightens' the horses and hence, arguably makes horses run faster and possibly longer than their normal aptitude. However, dehydrating takes a lot out of a horse and their recovery rate from a race is, subsequently, impaired.  

Here is an interesting snippet from a piece by Bill Finley:  "In 1970, before Lasix had permeated racing's landscape, the average number of starts per runner per year was 10.22. It's now down to an alarmingly low 6.31. During that same period, the average field size has fallen from 8.62 to 8.17."

Pedigree Anne, please look through your "Orb," should I be counting on my dreams coming true? Can you see a an 'Invasion' to France as a positive or just merely a Flashback to happier times. ;)

23 Feb 2013 1:57 AM

 Steve, I won't come out and say I think you have been drinking, but... after all my posts related to the BIG HEART "X" FACTOR GENE strains and links,--including a previous listing of those 'strains' and links to the past 25 years of Kty. Derby winners,--and being where you who claim that you 'like the horse's action' and etc., and cite his works, and etc., and make a horse #3 on your list this week... "because he's running this weekend"  ???  

 I think you're losing some true prospective once again especailly being where your "dozen" and this blog are suppoedly about 'picking a Kty. Derby winner',--and not the argument bashing of other bloggers posts that this blog has appeard to have become,--when you make your 3rd choice a horse who has 0  "O"  zero !!! none links to any 'BHXFG' strain.      Whether this horse, "Normandy Invasion",-- can defeat what I assess as being an extremely 'weak' group at the Fair Grounds Saturday or not, a Kentucky Derby winner he will never be. And, making him 3rd on your list must be for some different motive that I can't figure out and just plain don't get. Yes, to each his own opinion, but this particular horse has been off my radar as a seroius KENTUCKY DERBY considered winner for a long while now.

23 Feb 2013 2:05 AM

I think as of now I like this points system.

It may not be perfect but look at how many entries are in today's two big race's.

Much better than having 5/6 horses in the race.  

100 point races should be really interesting.

Good luck to all today.

23 Feb 2013 10:19 AM

Well, I guess Orb answered a few questions in the Fountain of Youth and looks like a true 10f horse.

23 Feb 2013 5:48 PM

FOY WOW ORB wins it is in the Derby, Violence only 20 points will have to run again.I think the pacesetter went a little too fast,not an excuse.I played a 10cent super for the race to fall apart, and covered with place bet on Violence Dammit I lost a dime.

23 Feb 2013 5:55 PM


I bet you add Orb now to your list!  I forgive you though, I left room on the wagon for all the doubters out there.  Shug is the master of coy, he knew what he had!!

23 Feb 2013 6:36 PM

There were 2 Ky Derby qualifying races run today, Saturday. In each of them the winner enjoyed a weight advantage over the top weight.

Orb received 6 lbs.

Ive Struck a Nerve received 4 lbs.

Violence  would have won at level weights.

Only races run at weight for age should be used as qualifying races. Otherwise the process is a farce.

23 Feb 2013 7:01 PM
Steve Haskin

Hirize, do you honestly believe Orb should have been in the Top 12 before this race? You make it sound like everyone who didnt have him is stupid and you're a genius. Yes, he now belongs, but the race was totally set up for him, they crawled home and the Violence was giving him 6 pounds and got a bad ride. As an old schooler, I'm thrilled for Shug and Janney and Phipps. But trust me, there are no idiots or geniuses when it comes to the Derby. Just enjoy it. There's still 2 1/2 months to the Derby.

23 Feb 2013 7:46 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I'm ready for the next Derby Dozen with my Derby Dozen, and I'm ready to take the heat but hopefully nobody gets violent since Violence won't be on my list. This is my take on the Derby lists- it is who we think has the best chance of winning The Derby, not what they have done so far and not what the Derby order of finish will be. If I have Itsmyluckyday number one it's because so far I see him as having the top potential for a Derby win. If I have Orb number eight it's because I think his chances for a Derby win is eighth best, not that he is eighth best at this point.

1. Itsmyluckyday

2. Speak Logistics

3. Code West

4. Uncaptured

5. Shanghai Bobby

6. Revolutionary

7. Palace Malice

8. Orb

9. Verrazano

10. Flashback

11. Tiz the Truth

12. Overanalyze

    Details in next Haskin Derby Dozen.

23 Feb 2013 8:10 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The Deacon, Steve

   The greatest pitcher of all time, Sandy Koufax sure is looking good at age 77 at spring training.

23 Feb 2013 8:25 PM
Steve Haskin

Dr. D., my uncle was Sandy's parents' accountant and Sandy and I went to the same high school  Lafayette (not at the same time), and he actually was a great hitter. Greatest pitcher I ever saw. When he pitched at Shea the place was packed and alive.

23 Feb 2013 8:50 PM
Steve Haskin

I remember when Sandy first came up and pitched at Ebbetts Field he couldnt find the plate. He was just a flame thrower. His pitches were all over the place. It all changed when he developed that big overhand curveball.

23 Feb 2013 8:58 PM

Steve, you are on a hiding to nothing sorting out a Derby Dozen every week. Good luck with that. Just a short query, do you think Violence really wants 10 f?

23 Feb 2013 10:24 PM

Mr. haskin,

"Hirize, do you honestly believe Orb should have been in the Top 12 before this race? You make it sound like everyone who didn’t have him is stupid and you're a genius.”

I think you are being a bit harsh with Hirize.  If you recall, I questioned the exclusion of Orb from your initial list of 20 colts. I subsequently confirmed that you did give a brief mention of him in closing paragraph of your blog but he was not amongst the top 20 from which your initial DD was determined.

Do the cold facts support or oppose Hirize belief?

Tiz The Truth: He has only a MSW victory to his credit and he made the cut at #12.

Orb: Prior to his FOY victory he finished 1L behind the #1 ranked Violence after surrendering a 10L advantage to him.  He won a MSW in which he defeated the #5 ranked Revolutionary. He also won AwlOC race.

If TTT was able to make the DD with only a MSW victory, the belief that Orb exclusion was not justified is support by colt facts.

You did not specify that Orb's exclusion was an oversight. It therefore obvious that you placed  greater weight on TTT’s wide margin MSW victory than Orb’s two victories including one over Revolutionary and his close 3rd place finish to the #1 ranked colt.  

23 Feb 2013 11:25 PM

  Now in the RISEN STAR_FG, the only horse that I found that rated above “Violence”--my standard remember,--was “I’ve Struck a Nerve”. SO, among the $36 worth of exacta tickets that I purchased for that race, one was this one…   8-10 // 1-2-5-6-8-9-10    $12… all because I liked “Oxbow” the #10 from his LeComte run and because “I’ve Struck a Nerve” had rated out at some 30 points higher than “Violence”.--my rating.--Well, when I bought the ticket early on as to avoid the line, “I’ve Struck a Nerve” was 99-1 , which I never figured he’d end up, and as there were many other horses on the board early on then because they were loading up on Battalia’s fav’s and DRF fav’s etc., such as “Normandy Invasion” because Haskin’s moved to up to #3, ???? & etc.,…and the DFR hype over “Proud Strike” and “Palace Malice” and “Oxbow” and etc. Well, the only horse bred foreva’ in this race from well off the pace passed about 6 horses in the deep stretch to win at 134-1  !!!!  paying $270,00  to win !!! … The bad news was that I didn’t bet him across the board. However, he beat Va. bred , Baffert’s trained, 6-1  #2, “Code West”, where in the end the $2 exacta with the 134-1 over the 6-1 paid  “2,295.00”-- And although I only had ½ for “$1,147.50”,!!!!--it then sucked because I had a ‘SIGNER’ !!! Too bad for me, huh ???

   So now, who is to say that there isn’t something in this breeding investigation horse hockey that I go through, HUH??

24 Feb 2013 4:36 AM

Cold facts;

I know Steve is a grown man and can defend himself, but you are being quite the ass right now.

It's friggen feb and this is all done for fun.

Lighten up and put your ego away.

24 Feb 2013 8:38 AM


“Only races run at weight for age should be used as qualifying races. Otherwise the process is a farce.”

The above is a rather extreme assessment considering the FOY has been a significant a Derby prep over the years. It must be highlighted that you are on record with concerns regarding Violence’s weight disadvantage prior to running of the FOY. While you expressed concern over Violence’s weight disadvantage, there were no similar concerns for the weight disadvantage regarding Falling Sky and Sr. Quisqueyano. They were in receipt of 2lbs and 4lbs from Violence by were allowing the rest of the field 2lbs and 4lbs as well.

Although I did not submit a post on the issue, I was curious as why this was such a concern. Union Rags and other top weighted horses in past FOYs have successfully shouldered this burden. Are you aware that Union Rags was allowing both Algorithms and Fort Loudon 2Lbs and the rest of the fields 6lbs? Algorithms scratched and Union Rags went on to a facile victory.  

The connections of Violence were aware of the conditions of the race. On paper Violence was the superior contender with his two graded stakes victories. Heading into the FOY he was the #1 ranked colt on most in not all Derby lists. In fact, he was projected to trample the field despite the weight disadvantage. Admittedly this was not your projection. Horses have been allowing weight successfully for ages and the weight allowance was not the reason for Violence’s loss. He allowed weight to all and only one colt of those in receipt of 6lbs finished ahead of him.

He was simply beaten by a better horse. Violence’s supporters will no doubt have some choice words for me regarding the aforementioned claim. If these supporters had not chosen to ignore the fact that, had Obr not squandered his chances at the gates when he met Violence six months ago, he would have defeated him. He surrendered a 10L advantage and was only beaten 1L. Revisit the video! I have been on record with my views that Orb was likely to defeat Violence in their next meeting. The extracts below bear testament to same:

“Consider the following - He was spotted a 5L advantage by Orb at the gates. He received another 5L from him when he had to be taken 5 wide for his stretch run and he defeated him by 1L. By any measure, who do you think was the better colt in that race?”

“Orb has not reproduced that explosive turn of foot shown on debut. He appears better when the pace upfront is fast and it will be. He finished 3rd by 1L to Violence while spotting him a 4-5L advantage at the start at a distance not suited to his pedigree. You are predicting that six months later Violence is going to trample him. It appears Violence has either a monopoly or has cornered the market on improvement while Orb and the rest have regressed”

“The FOY will be fast and not restricted to these two colts. However, if the option was to wager either Violence or Orb, my vote would go to Orb despite his lazy disposition.”

Orb had a score to settle and he did so successfully. He is the better of the two as Violence defeated him in receipt of a major advantage. The 6lbs Orb received from Violence in no way equates to a significant disadvantage. Horse can allow weight but should never allowed ground.

24 Feb 2013 9:16 AM

Horseplayers I think it all should be settled in the Florida Derby and this time keep the handicapping racing secretary out of the picture.Itsmyluckyday,Orb,Shanghai Bobby and Violence should all run.

24 Feb 2013 9:26 AM
El Kabong


I haven't a clue what your thinking but I know you deserve a Guinness and some premium oats for that remark:) Johnny 22 Feb 2013 1:34 PM

24 Feb 2013 10:11 AM

Orb won in 1:42.24, after they went 6 in 1:08.85 and he took the lead.

The track record for 6 furlongs is 1:08.12.

The 3yo filly Live Lively won in 1:42.30 after they went 6 in 1:10.21.

The final time for the 2 races was almost the same, 0.06 sec. slower for the filly.

The filly received 5 lbs. Orb received 6 lbs.

The rider on Violence panicked. His horse ran the best race but was exhausted sprinting 6furlongs.

Now John Velazquez has a dilemma. Does he ride Orb or Violence or Verrazano?

Steve, do you not become exhausted by the second-guessers who make multiple statements, some of them conflicting, then say I told you so when an opportunity arises? Some  of them ignore their actual prediction about the specific race.

For instance, Coldfacts wrote:

“ELMUTAHID is therefore not your typical Street Cry offspring. That said, if his trainer has placed him on a stamina enhancement program to correct the deficiencies in his last 2Fs, he will be a dangerous colt on Saturday as his running style is suited to the Gulfstream Park Speedway.”

The horse finished last, but if he had won we would have heard…?

24 Feb 2013 10:19 AM
El Kabong

Risen Star,

I like what I saw on the new kid. I've Struck A Nerve ran a tremendous race. Patient, determined, made his break at the top of the lane, and didn't break stride when Palace Malice drifted out into him in the lane. Dam sire on this guy say it all. He'll get the classic distance and how do you think his chances improve with a faster pace?

24 Feb 2013 10:31 AM
Pedigree Ann

Davids -

Afleet Alex, Point Given, Affirmed, and Lemon Drop Kid all finished second in the Champagne and went on to classic wins. It has, in fact, been nearly twenty years since a Champagne winner has won the Kentucky Derby, that being Sea Hero. (Of course, Union Rags won the Belmont last year.) You have to go back to the 1970s to find when victory in the Champagne was a reliable clue to hitting the exacta in the Derby - Secretariat (dq'd to 2nd), Riva Ridge, Foolish Pleasure, Seattle Slew, Alydar, Honest Pleasure, and Spectacular Bid. Only one winner in the interim even placed in the Derby and that was Easy Goer.

Not particularly a fan of Goldenscents, but one who knows that 2yo form is not always indicative of 3yo form. Make that frequently not, these days.

24 Feb 2013 10:36 AM

My 2cents from the paddock of Gulfstream.

Orb was my play all along opened at 9-2, I was annoyed. 12-1 was a gift.

Horses came out to the paddock Orb was on his toes and getting worked up/nerves.

This would be a concern of mine come Derby day and something to look out for.

Violence was looking good as a Pletcher horse always does he did not turn a hair.

Majestic Hussar looked good as well.

Orb was getting 8lbs which is quite large. Would he have caught Violence with equal weight?

Simply we don't know. I think he would of though.

I believe the longer the distance the better for ORB.

As of now Orb is my Derby horse of course subject to change.  

24 Feb 2013 10:57 AM

Gosh Steve, I'm glad someone else remembers Ebbets Field, and probably the Polo Grounds too!

I have to say that Orb did very well, and his pedigree is to yearn for.  AP Indy and Unbridled grand sires.  His stride really stretches out, and he was impressive. 12f-no problem!

On the other hand, Violence certainly did not disgrace himself, and fought to the wire.  In the end, the FOY was a 2 horse race.  

The Risen Star, however, looked more like a free-for-all.  Anyone remember last years La. Derby and Hero of Order?  2 for 23. The Risen Star told me nothing except Normandy Invasion has trouble leaving the gate, and Code West might (might) have something.

Jersey Boy:  I love Violence, but by pressing the pace, he was tiring, and I don't know if the weight difference was that acute over the required distance.  In the Ky Derby, all contenders vie at 126 pounds.

Dr. D:  Nice list.  Don't discount Valid yet.  I think he's got heart, and I'm waiting to see more from him.

24 Feb 2013 11:58 AM

Violence is OFF the Derby Trail.. Right sesamoid fracture coming out of the FOY.  Now I think he's even more special for having run the race he did.

24 Feb 2013 1:00 PM

Our first one is down due to injury.

Sorry to hear,but we all new it was a matter of time.

24 Feb 2013 2:03 PM
steve from st louis

Davids, you lost me. If lasix benefits the animal, making racing and training easier for them, why would current-day trainers cut their work and race load in half? By your thinking, they would be able to train and race harder instead of the opposite. I would think the lighter scheduling is because we have allowed bleeders to reproduce, having a deleterious effect on the breed.

24 Feb 2013 3:41 PM

Thanks Coldfacts you are spot on!

Mr. Haskin:  

With all due respect, I don't think I'm genius but I questioned your top 12 for many reasons but Orb had kept good company, although he had not won a stake he deserved some press.  No one gives this horse credit and after your statements you still don't.  

The excuse now is Violence was moved to quick into a fast pace and it cost him the race.  Well my take is that he beat 7 other horses doing the same thing except Orb, which means it took a good horse to beat Violence despite the move.  Had Orb not been in the race Violence would have won by 5 and called a "Super Horse".  

Will you just finally give this colt some credit for being well bred, well handled and well meant.  You can ride the Pletcher train all you want and crash, but Orb has now beat his top 2 stars.  He deserves respect!  Let's hope he makes your next list, it would not take a genius to add him now!

24 Feb 2013 4:32 PM

Johnny:  24 Feb 2013 8:38 AM

Thank you for that. I'll buy the 2nd Guinness.

Zarvona: In all your previous lengthy posts, how come you never mentioned Ive Struck A Nerve until after he won?  After last year's La. Derby, I just don't buy the Fairgrounds form any more.

And now we know...Orb didn't win because of a weight advantage; he won because Violence was running on a broken leg.  What a heart!

24 Feb 2013 5:31 PM

The Fairgrounds dirt track reminds me of the AW track at Keeneland,once they make the turn for home if one or two horses are not dominant and have separated from the field, it seems like more than a handful have a chance deep stretch, whoever excelerates best in the last 20 to 30 yards wins.When is the last time a colt that prepped solely at Fairgrounds came in 1st or 2nd in the Derby,I think its been a while.There are reasons for this, but I will keep my thoughts to myself, wouldnt want to start discussion back and forth on this because it will be your opinion vs mine and it will end in a stalemate.

24 Feb 2013 6:13 PM

To all those who say 6 lbs. do not make a difference, I say thank you for agreeing with my crusade. Welcome to the club.

You see since according to your approach weight does not make a difference, then let them all carry the same weight. Logical? This is my point-let them all carry the same weight.

Seriously,  I believe that every pound counts. The greater the weight DIFFERENCE, the greater is the disadvantage. If weight did not make a difference jockeys would not starve to avoid over-weights of even less than 6 pounds. Further racing organizations would run all races at weight for age.

It is not just my idea. It is the Timeform method for ranking horses. It is over 50 years old.


This is a blog. If I commented on everthing, I would be blogging all day. There are lots of soccer matches on weekends.

Why do you not just comment on what I did say, such as my money on Pool 1 is on Itsmyluckyday.

Finally, weight is the great equalizer. That is how the handicap system works. For me to have to explain why weight matters, would be for me to have to explain why 122 pounds is a greater burden than 116 pounds. As a boy I was told such things are truisms.

24 Feb 2013 6:50 PM

Slew and CHIEF : If Ground Transport goes to the LA Derby next, then I think we'll have a legitimate derby contender coming from FG.  His last win (yesterday's 4th race) looked really nice, I'm hoping they go to the LA derby next.  He's been on my watch list way before his first race, now he's got two wins and I think he's ready.

Like most already know, it was inevitable, just sad that Violence had to be one of them that gets hurt this year.  Last year, it was Algorithm, this year, Violence.  Hopefully he's going to be okay but again, he'll be part of a breeding program with less than 5 starts, he'll probably command big fees too and in 4 years, we'll start seeing his babies and will probably go through exactly what we go through each year.  There's just no more durability in these young horses and doesn't look like anyone cares anymore.  Oh well.

24 Feb 2013 8:27 PM

 It is just tragic to hear about “Violence”. My best wishes to Black Rock and connections and all involved and I offer my sincere hopes for a speedy recovery. But, the grind always seems to have its yearly casualties and yet, life goes on.


 In any event, Steve, I don’t think this coming week’s “dozen” should now reflect your original list at all, so please evaluate thoroughly before posting the next for our reviews.

 Let’s first start with any horse that ran in last year’s BC Juv., where once before I stated, that “I wasn’t impressed with anyone from that race”. First of all, undefeated “Shanghai Bobby”,--who is not bred to go long,--ran a slow 1:44.48 and not some 1:41.50; to  some sub-1:42.99; that we might have been more impressed with. Secondly, the horse he only beat by “a head” who trailed him down the stretch by “a head” to the finish line, has gone on to finish out of the money +9 to “Violence”; out of the money + 6 to “Flashback”; and out of the money plus more than + 9 ¼ to “Orb”!!! And, even “Speak Logistics”,--who is bred to go longer and ran in both those races--finished a dismal + 7 plus back  to “Orb”!!!… And, I have already told you why “Normandy Invasion”,--having no links to the “BHXFG” strains,--has no place in anyone’s top 20, forget the top 12 !, --unless he possibly could have pulled off some freakish “Bellamy Road”-“M C Dreams”  type of a run against that weakish Risen Star field where more evaluation my have been required, But, he didn’t !!!.--        

 Furthermore, turf runners “Crop Report” and “Tesseron”,--other former hopefuls,--also failed to impress this weekend.

 But yes, to all of you “Orb” supporters, I guess he made his case for serious consideration, even in defeating an ailing champion. And it is my opinion, that at this point there should not be a ranking of the coveted “dozen’, maybe just a listing of some top twelve and let the bloggers vote on their favorites? Or, go ahead and rank you favs as you do for the magazine and still let us vote. It would be interesting to see just where the consensus opinion of the group is at this stage now with no “Violence” in the picture, which is also good advice to contributors to this blog, “no Violence”!!!.  


 Sub note: After the FOY, few probably took little notice of 12th race at Gulfstream Park, being a rather small $50K 1 Mi. (T) Msw. However, in the finishing top 3, there are 3 live horses in my opinion to keep a future eye on. The winner in 1:36.00; flat, Chad C. Brown’s trained “Market Outlook” by “Lemon Drop Kid” is bred forever, and so is the 3rd show-finisher in Linda Rice’s trained “Summer Shine”, who is improving steadily and finished only a head and nose back for 3rd. But, the horse that “placed” in this fascinating sandwich was “the million boy”, Todd Pletcher’s trained “Forever Thing”, who finally got on the track for his 1st time ever. So keep your radar up awaiting the next appearance of any of those Pool #1, “field” ‘live long shots’.  


Sub note to Slew:

   I didn’t post much at all last week, as I was doing my usual looking up of 60 plus odd horses entered that I haven’t YET researched more deeply besides the other life’s responsibilities. HOWEVER, I looked into all for the FOY and all for the Risen Star and in the Risen Star no one accept “I’ve Struck a Nerve” ranked above “Violence” and only “Departing”,--a non-derby nominee who was later scratched,--was within my ‘25 point variance range of acceptability’. And hey, “I’ve Struck a Nerve”--in you--didn’t have to run that great, his past performances certainly weren’t sterling, I just NOTED TO MYSELF without time to tell the world--who I do bet against btw--that he was appealing to me ‘breeding wise’ alone. And btw, I cashed triple tickets in every other 3-year-old race whose breeding that I looked up the breeding on, on every horse also. That being, accept for that one race THE RISEN STAR, that I only in fact played exactas in, because frankly, I didn’t like the race choices, the field was weak, and the only horse that was bred for distance looked real sucky on paper. But, then again, I was once told by a fellow bettor, “they don’t run on paper, they run on that there track out there !!!.    


 Folks, it is my opinion that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Remember that there are some 400 of some 4,000 out there just trying to get one of 20 gate slots for this the “Daytona 500 of horse racing”. So, stay tuned and stay on board the ship to watch for more. We might be assuming that we can at this stage somehow place the top contenders to find a winner, but we may not have even yet seen him just yet. So, follow these preps closely and don’t form some over attachments to any one hopeful just yet. There is no “Big Brown”--hey brother Doug, ‘keep an eye out for a horse name of ‘big brown’”, who then went off the radar with hoof cracks,--who was that freak type of an animal, out there off of 2 runs, or some “Smarty Jones” type that can win at any distance on any surface at any track and that is also bred to go long. Thusly, we may not have even yet seen the ones that will be the favorites for Florida Derby! or the Wood ,etc., forget the Kentucky Derby. And, don’t judge so rapidly until after the Wood and SA Derby have been completed or flatly you’ll be leaving yourselves short in your assessments.

24 Feb 2013 8:41 PM

Orb still needs to run one more race to guarantee a spot in the Derby.  There's currently 16 horses in the standings that has 10 points or better and there's 13 races where the winner gets 50 points or better.  So, he's the talk of the town today but then again, it was the same with Itsmyluckyday when he won a race that was worth 10 points.  Lots of time before the derby, half the field probably hasn't even run a race this year.

24 Feb 2013 9:50 PM

maybe its just me......but orb hasnt won the kentucky derby.......coldcuts is excited because he hasnt picked a winner in a year,,,questions the top 12 because a mdn winner is on it, but wondered why his footbridge , who hasnt won a race wasnt on the list......and........the pletcher horse barely got beat right?, why the spouting off?

24 Feb 2013 10:05 PM

I DONT like ORB for the DERBY!

24 Feb 2013 10:34 PM

Steve from st louis, you have totally missed what I wrote. Lasix dehydrates the horse, it takes them longer to recover - hence less races. Re-read the article snippet :)

Pedigree Ann, I think it may be another poster you are responding to. :) thanks anyway and I agree with you.

25 Feb 2013 1:30 AM


You are the latest supporter of Mr. Haskin to attack me. Under no circumstance would I feel it necessary to classify you as an ass even if you left no doubts. I am respectfully requesting an apology as you have crossed a civility line. Whether you are aware or not, by disrespecting a supporter of Mr. Haskin, you have by extension disrespected him. If my comments were deemed offensive they would not have been posted.  

I merely provided some colt facts that supported a contributor's belief that Orb should not have been excluded from the latest DD.

In what way did I offend the gentleman?

Do you consider the contributor who questioned Orb exclusion an ass as well?

Mr. Haskin could have overlooked the colt facts I provided.

It is inconceivable that so many rude individuals can support such a classy gentleman and not learn from him. His mass of supporters that have displayed a lack of civility in their quest to defend his honor are unknowingly dishonoring him. Who would want to be surrounded by individuals that do not have the capacity communicate their disagreements in a civil and respectful manner?  

I have chosen not to be rude to any of Mr. Haskin’s supporters as I consider it a polite and civil policy to observe. However, this policy is not practices by many. There are those who feel they have the market cornered on rudeness. However, what they do not realize is that they are out of their league in this department as I have compile a vocabulary specifically for rude individuals but chose not to waste it on those I consider unworthy.

You Sir, are one such individual.

25 Feb 2013 4:22 AM
Pedigree Ann

Chief -

Funny Cide didn't prep SOLELY at Fair Grounds, but he did run there, finishing second in the Louisiana Derby to Peace Rules, who was also right there at the wire on Derby Day.

Two years ago, Nehro and Mucho Macho Man were 2nd and 3rd in the La Derby, and the year before, Drosselmeyer was third in the same race. How many were ship-ins, I do not know.

I still believe 2002 La Derby winner Repent would have been a horse to reckon with in Kentucky if he had not been injured in running second to War Emblem in Chicago.

Don't forget, Grinstone won the La Derby in 1996 before winning in Kentucky.

Local hero Risen Star had help from the prayers of an order of nuns in NO, who got a cut of his earnings. No luck in the Derby, but much thereafter.

The La Derby was 1 1/16 up from 1988 until 2010, so some of the more recent La Derby winners have been miler types - Pyro, Friesan Fire (his dam was a sprinter Down Under, people - I tried to tell folks that), Circular Quay (his mum was a sprinting 2yo), High Limit, etc. And until very recently, most horses stabled there went on to race one more time - in Chicago, Keeneland, or New York, before running in the Derby.

25 Feb 2013 9:35 AM
Steve Haskin

(What follows will be posted on today's new Derby Dozen blog) I must preface this with the following comment. I cannot monitor every post that comes on here. That is the moderator's job. I try to help out as much as I can. So, once in a while an inapproprate post might find its way on here. If I see it after the fact I will delete it. Considering we are dealing with the Kentucky Derby and not politics or religion, future posts with name calling and anything insulting will not only be deleted, but the person writing it will have his or her future comments deleted as well, regardless of their content. This blog is meant for the exchanging of ideas, opinions, and friendly debate (I emphasize the word friendly). Anyone who wishes to engage in improper comments can take them somewhere else. There are plenty of free-for-all blogs out there with no restrictions. I realize this is directed at only a small fraction of the people who post on here, but ground rules must be set if this is going to be a blog people enjoy coming to.

25 Feb 2013 11:21 AM
Steve Haskin

(What follows will be posted on today's new Derby Dozen blog) I must preface this with the following comment. I cannot monitor every post that comes on here. That is the moderator's job. I try to help out as much as I can. So, once in a while an inapproprate post might find its way on here. If I see it after the fact I will delete it. Considering we are dealing with the Kentucky Derby and not politics or religion, future posts with name calling and anything insulting will not only be deleted, but the person writing it will have his or her future comments deleted as well, regardless of their content. This blog is meant for the exchanging of ideas, opinions, and friendly debate (I emphasize the word friendly). Anyone who wishes to engage in improper comments can take them somewhere else. There are plenty of free-for-all blogs out there with no restrictions. I realize this is directed at only a small fraction of the people who post on here, but ground rules must be set if this is going to be a blog people enjoy coming to.

25 Feb 2013 11:23 AM


It’s is unlikely that you know what is the true  measure of a  man as you have discredited your gender over the years with your  policy of disrespect and posts that are void of any meaningful information. I challenge you to be a man an post an extract from any of my posts that questioned the exclusion of Footbridge from any of Mr. Haskin’s DD. If you are incapable of providing this evidence, you are required do the right thing and either retract you statement or put my position in proper context. I hope the aforementioned request is not too complex as you have given indications that you are seriously challenged in comprehending the written word.

“but orb hasnt won the kentucky derby”

Why bother having an exchange with someone who doesn’t know what a proper noun is and that it should begin with a capital letter no matter where it occurs in a sentence. Mr. Haskin is a brilliant writer and it is clear you have not taken any time to observe the standards he has maintained. He leads by example and you dishonor the gentleman’s blog with the crap you submit in the form of English. It is not surprising as only one lacking in self-respect finds it so easy to disrespect others.

You are a pathetic soul!

25 Feb 2013 12:48 PM

Jersey Boy: Since all colts carry the same weight in the Ky. Derby, it would only be common sense that the preps should run at equal weights also. I agree with you there.

These are not handicap horses; these are 3 year-olds, youngsters in a tough game. Their bones and muscles are still forming no matter how big they might seem.  They are still immature, and have not, as yet, learned to protect themselves from the rigors demanded.

Jay Jay: you said "There's just no more durability in these young horses and doesn't look like anyone cares anymore."  I totally agree.  Why is it that globally horses run 3 and 4 miles, but in the USA, we call 12f a marathon?

By breeding for speed alone, we've lost the durability and the essence of the Arabian.

25 Feb 2013 1:22 PM

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