Derby Dozen - March 3, 2013 - Presented by Shadwell Farm


Itsmyluckyday Eddie Plesa Jr. Click Here!

Lawyer Ron—Viva la Slew, by Doneraile Court

Let’s face it, no one has really stamped himself as a bona fide Derby favorite. What prompted the switch this week was the impressive Swale score by Clearly Now, who had been trounced by 13 1/2 lengths by Itsmyluckyday in the Holy Bull. On a lesser scale were the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place finishers behind Revolutionary in the Withers all finishing out of the money in the Gotham. Also, looking at the Thoro-Graph figures for the leading Derby contenders, Itsmyluckyday is by far the most consistently fast 3-year-old in the country, putting together back-to-back negative numbers. Not only didn’t he bounce off his monster figure in the Gulfstream Park Derby, he actually ran faster in the Holy Bull.


Revolutionary Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

No, he did nothing wrong. He only was relegated to the No. 2 spot because of the reasons mentioned above. We still think he’s a very talented colt with tremendous upside and is going to show big improvement wherever he runs next. It’s a very fine line between No. 1 and 2, and even No. 1 and 5, and any little factor can alter the placings. He did not receive a fast Thoro-Graph figure in the Withers, but certainly no one is going to hold that against him, considering what he had to overcome to win.


Orb Shug McGaughey

Malibu Moon—Lady Liberty, by Unbridled

For all the traditionalists looking for a horse to root for, the Janney--Phipps union goes back to when Stuart Janney Jr. bred his mare Shenanigans to the Phipps stallion Bold Ruler and got Laughter, the fourth dam of Orb. Two years later, Janney bred Shenanigans to the Phipps stallion Reviewer and got the legendary Ruffian. Perhaps now, that union between the two great racing families finally will result in a Kentucky Derby victory. With McGaughey, you know that if this colt shows up on the first Saturday in May, he is going to be extremely live. He had the biggest leap forward in his Thoro-Graph figs, running a number so much faster than he’s ever run before, it will be interesting to see how he handles that in his next start.


Vyjack Rudy Rodriguez

Into Mischief —Life Happened, by Stravinsky

Watching the horse that was charging down the stretch in the Gotham and blowing by horses with huge, powerful strides was one of the real eye-openers of the year. But the real eye-opener was discovering it was the speedy Vyjack, who had come from 10th in one of the most astounding turnarounds seen in a while. This is a horse who had never been worse than third and never more than two lengths off the pace at any point of race. Credit Rodriguez for doing a masterful job. We realize this gelding is inundated with sprinters in his pedigree, but he does have several stamina influences and is a half-brother to Prime Cut, who placed in the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan and Curlin, so until he shows he has a limit, he has to be considered a major contender, especially with his new running style and never having been beaten. And, yes, he did mow down all the horses closest to Revolutionary in the Withers and was drawing away at the end.


Verrazano Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

Breezed a half in :48 1/5 for his highly anticipated stakes debut in the Tampa Bay Derby, where he’ll be facing far superior horses than he’s faced in his first two starts, including several stakes winners who have shown they like the quirky Tampa Bay surface. So, this will be his biggest test and will help determine to what heights he can attain. A victory would be the turning point for some and a confirmation for those who already have him ranked at No. 1. By having only four starts, and none at 2, he would benefit from being tested at least at some point in the race. Romps in the park are fine for show, but you need to build your toughness to be ready for the Derby. He and Itsmyluckyday have the fastest single Thoro-Graph figure of the year, and we can’t wait to see where he takes that. As a side note, Gunderman, who he beat by 16 1/2 lengths, came back to win a 1 1/8-mile allowance race Saturday.


Shanghai Bobby Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Harlan's Holiday—Steelin', by Orientate

From a pure speed standpoint over a period of time, he had the third fastest Thoro-Graph figure at 2 and has the third fastest figure at 3. He had a sharp tuneup this past weekend, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 and continues to progress toward the Florida Derby. Whether you consider him a Derby contender or not, there is no doubting his talent, class, and brilliance. Like with several other big names, we’ll just have to see how far they take him.


Flashback Bob Baffert Click Here!

Tapit—Rhumb Line, by Mr. Greeley

Drilled a sharp five-eighths in a bullet :59 flat in company, as he gears up for the San Felipe. Not only was it the fastest of 63 works at the distance, the average five-furlong work was 1:01 3/5 and he came from several lengths back and actually had to squeeze his way between his stablemate and another worker, making this work a good learning experience. We’ll see if lives up to his trainer’s high praise when he squares off against Goldencents to determine who is the leading 3-year-old in California. Although one might think his speed figs are fast, they’re not even close to some of the others, at least not yet. In fact, his Robert Lewis number was the same as his maiden victory. Those figs no doubt will improve once he finds someone who can test him. What is important right now is that he not only runs a strong race in the San Felipe, but shows he can rate off the pace. Like Verrazano, there just isn’t enough body of work to form any concrete conclusions.


Goldencents Doug O'Neill

Into Mischief—Golden Works, by Banker's Gold

Worked six furlongs in 1:11 3/5. What else is new? He’s been working six furlongs like this regularly for the past two months. This last drill was particularly impressive, as he did it professionally, seemed more focused, and was striding out beautifully down the stretch. Strategy is going to play a big part in the San Felipe. Both his and Flashback’s connections had better hope there’s some pure speed in there (rabbit anyone?). This colt relaxed beautifully off the pace for the first time in the Sham and you don’t want to take a step backward in that regard. Dry Summer, who he beat by 17 lengths in the Sham, has come back to win his next two starts at Sunland, including the Mine That Bird Derby.


Oxbow D. Wayne Lukas Click Here!

Awesome Again—Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy

Have watched the Risen Star way too many times, trying to decide what to do with it, and am still as clueless as watching it the first time. Are they all good as Beyers suggest? Are they all bad as logic suggests? Still believe this colt changed the entire fabric of the race by moving so early. Did everyone get too aggressive looking for points? You have give him a mulligan, losing so much ground on the first turn and engaging Code West and Proud Strike on the backstretch. Still believe he’s better than he showed, and if you feel the Risen Star was a regression from the Lecomte, it is important to note, he ran the same Thoro-Graph figure for both, and that number ranks as the fourth-fastest run by a 3-year-old this year.


Palace Malice Todd PletcherClick Here!

Curlin—Palace Rumor, by Royal Anthem

Still cannot emphasize enough how much we believe his lack of experience, especially at two turns, contributed to his coming up a half-length short in the Risen Star. In addition, he was in traffic down the backstretch and was farther back than he’s used to, had to go three-wide on both turns, and raced greenly in the stretch, drifting in an out and switching back to his left lead. If any horse should move forward in his next start it is him, as this race was an excellent learning experience.


Normandy Invasion Chad Brown Click Here!

Tapit—Boston Lady, by Boston Harbor

For whatever it’s worth, the two horses who were noses apart in last year’s Remsen both finished fifth in their 3-year-old debuts. With his running style, he could be one of the horses hurt by the points system if he has a trip like he did in the Risen Star. Overanalyze just wasn’t good enough. He never got a chance to show his best. And the Wood Memorial promises to have a full field, so the colt’s connections will just have to hope he gets lucky or makes his own luck this time.


Super Ninety Nine Bob Baffert

Pulpit —Exogentic, by Unbridled’s Song

I originally dismissed him because Baffert said he was a miler, but the trainer admits the horse keeps surprising him. Studying his races and pedigree more closely, he could be a freaky type. Dam is a three-quarter sister to the ill-fated Beldame and Gazelle winner Exogenous, who was second in the Alabama and 12f CCA Oaks. Third dam is by Dancing Count, broodmare sire of Preakness and Belmont winner Hansel, out of War Exchange, who is the third dam of champions Curlin and Countess Diana. For such a heavy-bodied horse, you have to like the way he has re-broken turning for home since stretching out in distance. How far he’ll go is anyone’s guess, but we now have an open mind.

Knocking At The Door

TREASURY BILL, who was ranked No. 12 last week, still is right there, and we’d rank him at No. 13 this week. Surprisingly, the Thoro-Graph figure for the San Vicente came up slow; much slower in fact than we would have thought. But this horse should improve in leaps and bounds once he stretches out, and we still consider him a live Derby contender who will bust out in the Rebel.

If you’re looking for an intriguing horse who will be a total mystery going into the Derby, but could be something very special, keep a close eye on RYDILLUC, who was extremely impressive winning Sunday’s Palm Beach on the grass for Gary Contessa. With the new points system, that race doesn’t do anything to help get a horse into the Derby, and he will have to run big in his Polytrack debut in the Spiral Stakes and then try to pull an Animal Kingdom and use that race as a steppingstone to the Derby. It’s an unconventional and precarious way to try to make the Derby, and you would also have to overlook the colt’s only dirt start in his career debut when he was a handful in the paddock and threw in the towel after a half mile. Did he dislike the dirt or was he just mentally unprepared for his debut, which was a difficult task amyway, being at a flat-mile at Belmont?

But if you do throw that race out and take in all the other factors, what you have is a son of Medaglia d’Oro with an awful lot of dirt breeding in his pedigree, who, in his last three starts on grass has been as impressive as any horse we’ve seen over a three-race period, grass or no grass. There is something about this colt that makes you take notice. First off, he has an amazing stride that is not your normal stride, as his left leg reaches out so far and stays in the air so long, it seems for a split second both his front legs are leaping forward at the exact same time. Maybe it’s just an illusion, but that’s the way it looks on the replays. The way he kicks in turning for home and glides over the ground with that big extension reminds us of Big Brown in his maiden romp on grass.

Finally, his running style is that of a dirt horse, as he makes his move and charges to the front on the far turn, which is not the way your typical grass horse runs. While most horses who move that early on the grass usually pay the price in the stretch, he just keeps accelerating and pulls away from his competition with such ease, no one, not even a top-class horse like Charming Kitten, has gotten close to him. He’s also extremely athletic the way he cuts the corner turning for home and quickens on a dime. Even with the slow pace of the Palm Beach (how could it be that slow with the field strung out like it was?), his final three-eighths in :34 2/5 was spectacular.

If you like venturing into the unknown to try to find hidden gems, you’ll have a lot of fun with this guy. Maybe we’re completely off base and are getting a bit too carried away, and maybe he’ll despise Polytrack or even dirt and won’t even make the Derby, but, boy, this looks like a darn good horse. Oh, yes, his maternal great-grandsire is a horse named Quack, who just happened to equal the American record for of 1:58 1/5 for 1 1/4 miles as a 3-year-old against older horses in the Hollywood Gold Cup.

In the Gotham, WEST HILLS GIANT showed big improvement with blinkers added and looked like a winner until he was inhaled by Vyjack. In addition to the winner, the horse to watch coming out of this race is third-place finisher ELNAAWI, who was making only his third career start and was racing on Lasix for the first time. He had a troubled trip throughout, getting bumped around early and having to steady, tossing his head in the air. He then got caught wide on the first turn and raced six-wide down the backstretch. He still was able to make a five-wide sustained run around the far turn, fanning six-wide turning for home. He was stuck on his left lead in the stretch, and when Vyjack went by him, he came in on him, causing him to alter course just enough to switch leads. After drifting out, he came on again and closed determinedly to get the show. He should only improve off this race, which turned into an excellent learning experience, especially for such a lightly raced horse. He has as strong a pedigree as you’ll find, being by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and from a classic Darby Dan female family.

The fourth horse to stand out this past weekend was DEPARTING, who remained unbeaten with an impressive score in the Texas Heritage Stakes at Sam Houston. In all three of his races, the son of War Front has caught the eye with his smooth, effortless way of moving while drawing clear of his opponents each time. Scratched from the Risen Star because of a bad post, he showed up here and defeated a couple of nice horses in HOLIDAY MISCHIEF and the 8-5 favorite WORLDVENTURER. He came home each of his last two eighths in :12 1/5 under little or no urging, and his mile time of 1:37 4/5 was three-fifths faster than the mile time of the nine-furlong Maxxam Gold Cup for older horses, run later in the day. Because he’s been so impressive from a visual standpoint, Departing could be a sleeper in the Louisiana Derby, if that’s where trainer Al Stall runs him next.

WinStar’s GENERAL ELECTION, who looked good breaking his maiden first time out at Churchill Downs last year and then was crushed in a pair of allowance races at Fair Grounds, rebounded with a half-length score in the John Battaglia Memorial after going 8-wide at the head of the stretch. The son of Harlan’s Holiday had blinkers off after wearing them for one race.

At Oaklawn, the highly regarded TITLETOWN FIVE got caught up in a wicked battle for the lead with GET HAPPY MISTER in the six-furlong Gazebo Stakes (formerly the Mountain Valley). While the latter was done in, finishing last, Titletown Five held on gamely, but finally succumbed to the Steve Asmussen-trained KING HENNY.

The Mark Casse-trained GUNDERMAN flattered Verrazano by coming off a 16 1/2-length trouncing by the Pletcher colt to win a 1 1/8-mile allowance race at Gulfstream.

Bob Baffert has two talented colts who are treading a very thin line as far as making the Derby. POWER BROKER, who we had rated at #2 in our preliminary rankings, is now up to three-quarters in his works, and his :47 3/5 half-mile drill and 1:12 3/5 move on Sunday suggests he’s coming along beautifully. But because of all the time he lost, he likely will have only one race before the Derby, possibly the Wood Memorial. Baffert is not going to push him to make the race. The son of Pulpit would no doubt have to do something extraordinary to run on the first Saturday in May. Impressive maiden winner TIZ THE TRUTH has had a little foot issue, but he’s still on the Derby trail. The son of Tiznow also could be ready for the Wood Memorial, and he would have a better shot at running in the Derby with a big performance, having that one-mile maiden victory Feb. 2 under his belt. Baffert is confident he’ll have him fit. Another highly regarded Baffert 3-year-old, CURLY TOP, also has been battling foot issues.

The Rebel looks to be right in Todd Pletcher’s wheelhouse as a next stop for several of his latecomers, including DELHOMME and one-race maiden sprint winner PARK CITY. With SHANGHAI BOBBY pointing for the Florida Derby and PALACE MALICE a logical candidate for the Louisiana Derby, Pletcher will have to double up with his other contenders, either in the Wood Memorial, Florida Derby, Louisiana Derby or Arkansas Derby. Pletcher has lost five straight 3-year-old stakes with Violence, Palace Malice, Overanalyze, Forty Tales, and Charming Kitten, but one suffered a serious injury, one was in a sprint, and one was on grass. If you’re going to get beat, this is the time to do it while there is time to gear up for the big preps. Pletcher still has quite an arsenal lined up, beginning this weekend with Verrazano in the Tampa Bay Derby.


Leave a Comment:


Really? Vyjack bet down to 11-1 in futures? off 93 beyer?  Does anyone know that mdn races get 93 beyers?  Whats eye cathing about beating horses going slower than mdn races? Look, the fav. looked strong on paper....didnt fire at all.....the rest of field was horrible...........doesnt matter?'ll look back on ranking and shake your head later.................

04 Mar 2013 5:03 PM

Why does everyone worry about points?..if horse doesnt run great in last prep, they wouldnt have won the derby anyway..............guess how many horses have won the derby finishing worse than 2nd in the last 20-30 years?   Alot of talk about nothing.........

04 Mar 2013 5:07 PM

Mr. Haskin...what about Code West.., not even "knocking at the door"?

04 Mar 2013 5:38 PM

RYDILLUC: 24.91, 49.59, 1:13.59, 1:36.78, 1:48.18

OffLee Fast: 23.07,49,79, 1:11.26, 1:36.16, 1:48.60

What can be determined from the above comparison of fractions for races won by two colts that recorded impressive win at 9F on turf?  

Was RYDILLUC as impressive as he appeared when he sprinted away from his opponents?  Would his final three-eighths in: 34 2/5 be possible without a half mile and 6/8 of mile fractions of 49.59 and 1:13.59?

Should Offlee Fast be held in similar or higher regards seeing that his fractions were 2 to 2.5 seconds faster for the second and third quarters?  Would his final three-eighths in: 37 2/5 be faster if not for half mile and 6/8 of mile fractions of 46.79 and 1:11.26?

When  good horses are allowed to set pedestrian fractions there is no great impact on their energy resources consequently they can run much faster in the latter stage of races.  If RYDILLUC recorded the spilt recoded by Offlee Fast and recorded 34 2/5 for his final 3F, he would have recoded an estimated final time of 1:45 4/5. That would be better than Barbaro’s winning time of 1:46 2/5 recorded in the Tropical Park Derby.

RYDILLUC certainly has ability but his victory should be taken in the context of the slow early fractions.

04 Mar 2013 6:17 PM

 Are we really suppose to now believe that this Kty. Derby in going to flatly be contested by a sack of miler types with shorter pedigrees for 1 ¼ in the likes of: “Itsmyluckyday”; “Shanghai Bobby”; “Flashback”; “Vyjack”; & “Verrazano”??… to me that all still somehow seems hard to believe unless this is truly a weaker crop than first thought.--Although, “Flashback” for me rates out a bit higher than the rest of that bunch.--Yet, have we truly seen a true distance type runner off the pace yet? ...other than: “Orb”;  or a “Revolutuionary”; ? who are bred for longer? And what is to be made of the likes of:  “Title Town Five”;  or a “West Hills Giant”;  or an “I’ve Struck a Nerve”;  or a “Super Ninety Nine”; or a “Dynamic Sky”; or a “Falling Sky”; or a “Treasury Bill”; or a “Mudflats”;  or a “War Academy” ; or an “Uncaptured”; … all bred for longer. Will one of those go streaking by down the Church Hill stretch passed the rest to become the winner, ? …or maybe even a revived “Transparent”; or a “Forty Tales”; or a “Valid”; or a  “Power Broker”;  and/or etc.  Or, are there yet new shooters out there still lurking in the likes of: “Bold Dance”; or “Distinctive Passion”; or “El Duro”; or “Bradester”; or “Forever Thing”; and/or  “Govenor Charlie”, and etc. ? or some other totally yet undiscovered new shooters?…--such as a “dogshoostsowner”,--?? Furthermore, at this stage, are we really suppose to just flatly throw in the towel on the likes of: “El Duro”; “Little Distorted”; “Majestic Hussar”; and/or “Merit Man”, ?? and etc. ?  

  Personally, I still think we have a ways to go unless you are in the crowd,--as seemingly many appear to be at this stage,--whom are flatly sold on this two turn ‘sprinter’ bunch as the Pool #2 closing bets revealed, with little room for those bred for longer.

04 Mar 2013 6:33 PM
Plod Boy Phil


Why would the connections of Rydilluc even consider returning him to the dirt following his last three efforts on turf?  They risk doing more harm than good as the chances he shows even a hint of his turf talent on dirt is remote. Even a synthetic experiment is unwise.

04 Mar 2013 6:37 PM

 Not sure I was pleased with his trip, with “West Hills Giant” bolting from the 10 post and then trying to wire the field to eventually get run down by “Vyjack”,--but bets in the exacta and across the board on the 33-1 shot paid off handsomely.--However, besides some impressive filly romps at SA, in Race #11 a Msw 6 ½ fur. event at SA, it was topped off by 4 horses that are all notably ‘triple crown nominated’ ! The winner in a 13 horse field, “Summer Exclusive”,--in his maiden debut,--was impressive at 1:15.88; with “Master Appeal”,--another 1st run starter,--only a length behind. However, one has to also wonder how that stacks up against maybe the ride of the day,--outside of “Vyjack”'s,--where 2 non triple crown nominated 3 yr. old entries in the 5th at SA ran their 6 ½ fur. duel to finish in an unheralded 1:12.20; !!! being “Rosengold” in a + 1 win over “Will Trump Up”.

04 Mar 2013 6:44 PM

KY Vet I think Mine that Bird finished worse than 2nd in his last in New Mexico.

04 Mar 2013 7:05 PM


We're 'ad idem' on this one: RYDILLUC!!! I like the "Big Brownesque" similarity. Perhaps this is the colt we've been waiting for ...he has that charismatic aura about him, the way he moves and dominates the opposition. hope he takes to the Churchill Downs dirt.  He didn't make your list but I'm putting him at #3 on my list and looking forward to the Bluegrass or Spiral for  change.

Here are my top six #1 Itsmyluckyday #2 Verazzano #3 Rydilluc #4 Overanalyze #5 Flashback #6 Shakin It Up

04 Mar 2013 7:07 PM

Thunder Gulch , Sea Hero and Mine That Bird come to mind right off.

04 Mar 2013 7:08 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I tried to do a Dozen with comments but there was a bureaucratic snafu so I'll try it wothout comments.

1. Itsmyluckyday

2. Revolutionary

3. Uncaptured

4. Shakin It Up

5. Palace Malice

6. Verrazano

7. Elnaawi

8. Hear the Ghost

9. Omega Star

10. Tiz the Truth

11. Delhomme

12. Dry Summer

13. Shanghai Bobby

04 Mar 2013 7:14 PM

Ky Vet....Maiden?  Vyjack has 4 wins in 4 starts.  Did you miss the Jerome?

Well, I'm sort of ready to put numbers to my list which really hasn't changed much.

1.) Orb...he gets top spot on breeding alone.  His stride is beautifully long and reaching, and he's fast too.

2.)Revolutionary...magnificently tactical.  I can't wait to see how he does when he has room to run.  His stride showed some awesome promise, but we just had a glimpse.

3.)Itsmyluckyday...beautiful run.  I'm looking forward to his next out.

4.)'s been a while since I've seen him. I'm looking forward to his next out.

5.)Shanghai Bobby..He did well in his last out, and I want to see how far he'll go.

6.)Vyjack  I liked him before, but Rosario seems to know how to bring out his best.  Rudy! Rudy!

7.)Verrazano...can't deny his speed, but I want to see how he goes in a stakes race.

8.)Beholder...yup, got my filly in there. Can you blame me?

9.)Tiz The Truth...he's shown promise.  I still need to see more.

10.)Super Ninety-nine..nice job but I need to see him perform on a dry track.  He's well bred, and shows promise.

11.)Transparent..Simply because I'm not willing to give up on this Bernardini.  He has time to mature.

12.)Valid...I admire his heart.  He's the horse that stumbled out of the gate in the Withers, but he composed himself well and still tried.(Medaglia d'Oro)

The Risen Star just didn't show me anything.  May have produced good colts, maybe not.

And still avoiding Tapits (distance)

04 Mar 2013 7:42 PM
Ted from LA

One dozen =  13.  If Dr. D says so, who am I to question it?  He's a doctor for goodness sakes.  I'm giving up on picking a top horse.  All I can say is the Derby future bet is one step up from playing the lottery (a short step).

04 Mar 2013 7:47 PM

Hey KY Vet....Why so angry?? Vyjack looked great..Nothing wrong with a 93 Beyer plus he only ran the last 200 yards. If he actually runs the whole race he probably laps them!

04 Mar 2013 7:47 PM

 What I found was the most strange, was that in Pool #2 in the Oaks Futures filly’s section, was that “Flashy Gray”-- 3-  2-1-0 --off of two pedestrian 6 ½ fur. Msw  runs,--one a 2nd + a head at Keen. in a pedestrian 1:17.76 in her first attempt; and then a win at CD in a 6 ½ fur. Msw win at 1:17.59;--although a win by +10 ¼ ,-- and then a reasonable 7 fur. win in at 1:22.64; + 4 ¾; at GP in a $75K OAC, was somehow made the betting ‘favorite’??.?? Geeze, did everyone on “Team Valor” reach in their pockets to bet on their hopeful? Well, it is good for the rest of the field, I suppose if you picked out some alternative future winner, but it did seem a little odd.  

04 Mar 2013 7:54 PM

 Lots of quality closers this year. Too bad they all can't get a good spot turning for home. This derby might belong to the horse with the veteran rider that has seen that movie before. Had a dream two nights ago that post # 4 wins the derby. I hope that horse is Revolutionary.

04 Mar 2013 8:06 PM
Plod Boy Phil

The RF Derby List grows to 2:

Code West

Vyjack -recorded an impressive 'vs Plod Win' in the Gotham. In other words he ran through a Speed favoring race Flow from an early position as a deep closer.

04 Mar 2013 8:12 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Coldfacts -

The Offlee Fast turf win you referenced was exceptional in our opinion a vs Zip Win in RF parlance. Sunday's win by Rydilluc was recorded under a 'fair for all' scenario' - it deserves neither upgrading or downgrading.  It was as it appears on paper and in video.  

As with Offlee Fast, I can only hope that the connections of Rydilluc keep their feet on the ground and their heads out of the clouds.

04 Mar 2013 8:32 PM
It aint easy being good!

Based on the eye test the best moving horses have to be itsmylucky day, RYDILLUC & Dice Play.

Zarvona Dice play is a true 10 furlong horse yet I know he hasnt hit the dirt yet but who care its still early. He has very late speed and tons of stamina. Coldfacts he hails from mr. prospector line so right there you know he has a chance!

04 Mar 2013 8:34 PM


“Perhaps this is the colt we've been waiting for”

Let me see if I understand. A colt that recorded splits of 24.91, 49.59 & 1:13.59 for the first 6Fs of a race is potentially one that thoroughbred fans have been waiting on.

OffLee Fast who recorded splits of 23.07,49,79 & 1:11.26 for the first 6Fs of a race is one thoroughbred fans were could not help ignoring. He also finished a close 2nd to the 3rd place finisher in the BCJ.

Did I miss the fact that Offlee Fast is 2A on your list just ahead of RYDILLUC?

04 Mar 2013 8:45 PM

Code West


This will change only if neither make it to the gate. :-)

04 Mar 2013 9:02 PM

After a nice Single Malt and a cigar by the fire I log on to find this weeks dozen.

My top 3 right now

1a) Vyjack, looks like he is the most push button of all. Coming from of the pace like he did and win going away. Can he travel?

Off all the horses he has a chance of being a freak.

1b) Orb,can get the distance and comes from of the pace more of a one style type horse than Vyjack.

Can he close into a 48 half?

1c) Itsmyluckyday,beat the champ set a track record,not bad.

Likes the front end classic presser.

2)Revolutionary ran a great race question who did he beat?

3) Ivstruckanerve, ran a good race coming 5 wide coming for home.

I really liked Vyjack's race a lot.

Owner is really tuned into this horse,he made a jock change and the results speaks for its self.

I watched the replay and he never felt the whip.

Did it all on his own.

Like I stated this horse could be a potential freak.

04 Mar 2013 9:04 PM

not angry...glad alot of people bet vyjack....and 93 beyer isnt close to being enough.....

04 Mar 2013 9:46 PM
Bill Rinker

Thanks for the Dozen's up-date Steve, it's looking pretty interesting, and that was a really nice article on Vyjack also. It was a good weekend for the Timoniun grads, Vyjack appears to be moving forward nicely, and one of the things I noticed about Rydilluc's impressive win, was that the Jock had a strong hold on him for most of the early portion of the race. Both horses showed alot of power and determination. I can't wait to see what the monster will do down at Tampa this weekend.

04 Mar 2013 9:50 PM

Plod......The FACTOR.....can beat 5000 claimers from 20 lengths back......all vyjack did, was beat very weak horses....still its a 93...............that doesnt matter? time? who they run against? If a good horse is held early, they come home fast......duh......93?

04 Mar 2013 9:51 PM

People have lost their MINDS!..Vyjack beat who?  Those 2nd 3rd 4th horses were absolutely nothing.........what do you go on?

04 Mar 2013 9:57 PM


   I wouldn't want your job! Here goes:



3)Tiz The Truth


It's another weak field with a ton of speed.....seems like it's been this way the last 12 years. "Eskendraya" would have smoked these horses!

04 Mar 2013 10:02 PM

Salutos Amigos going straight to the front in the San Felipe so Flashback and Goldenscents will definitely need to be able to rate or they will be dueled into submission.  Salutos a real burner breaking 6f maiden with 43.55 half and final time of 108.56 on Santa Anita landing strip last month.

04 Mar 2013 10:06 PM

How did Shakin It Up get disappeared? I'd have thought he'd have to step on his pedigree to be eliminated from consideration.

As an equine character of John Tainter Foote used to say: A racing grandmother is a good thing to have half way down the stretch.

04 Mar 2013 11:51 PM

Great list again Steve.  I liked Vyjack's race a lot.  I have him at number 3 or 4.  I see LuckyDay made the #1 spot and I like it.  I think the real Verrazano bridge in NY just had it's toll raised so colt needs to step it up!


Keep that dream in mind and don't disregard it.  Now it will be interesting to see who gets Post 4 in the Derby.  The Street Sense year I dreamt it clearly that he won despite my intense love of Hard Spun and Marilyn's dream of Paynter surely meant something so hold on to yours.  

Dr. D.,

Just noticed the 13th snuck in there on your list!  Can't let go of Shanghai Bobby either.

Side note:  Hope Went The Day Well is ok with this beathing issue and Rachel continue good progress.

05 Mar 2013 12:22 AM
joseph alva

After having watched Normandy Invasion come up pretty empty on points last week and Overanalyze do the same in this week's Gotham, I have a feeling that due to the new points system many of the horses who will be in the starting gate on Derby Day may not be ones we are focusing on a lot now.  Horses like Normandy Invasion, Shanghai Bobby and Overanalyze, among others, may come up short on points if they don't race well in their next and final prep.   Trainers that are taking the two-prep approach to the Derby are  really rolling the dice with this new points system because it leaves them little room for error.  If their horses run into trouble of any kind in their next prep they will be on the outside looking in.  Moreover, even if they do well and indeed qualify, another problem arises for them . . . they will have already been quite cranked for their final prep just to qualify for the Derby.  That is not how you ideally want to approach the Derby.  How much will be left in the tank for them?  Will they be capable of having their best effort ahead of them after having been squeezed enough to earn points to qualify?  I will not like their chances much on Derby  Day, I would think, because you typically win the Derby by peaking that day as opposed to on your final prep.  

It's still too early to tell who'll be in the gate and there are still significant points to be earned, naturally, but opportunities are running out for those behind the eight ball who have just a prep ahead of them.  I predict that next year we will see a lot less trainers taking this two-prep approach to the Derby.  It's just too risky in a sport in which there are so many variables influencing race performance and in which there is no such thing as a sure bet.          

05 Mar 2013 1:25 AM

Uncaptured -- has made enough starts to expose what he has: not green, not soft, tactical speed, stays. Less antsy about his late start, because he doesn't have so much to learn and he has been raced before.

Itsmyluckyday -- nothing left to prove. Speed, class, stamina all been demonstrated.

Revolutionary -- after chronicling the abuse he's suffered from his rivals, and how resolutely he's endured and risen above it, I'm liking him a lot more. (I've also resolved never to judge a race from the side. The head-on, especially of R's first start, shows an entirely different race.)

Orb -- he's settling into a style that's hard to beat: See who's in front and run by him.

Shakin It Up -- Who's yer Granny? I'll expect him to stay until he proves me wrong. He's been green but shown impressive acceleration in deep stretch once the light goes on.

Vyjack -- he's so STRONG! Gallop out so cool; came back so calm, not breathing hard.

I've Struck A Nerve -- he's been thereabouts in good fields, so he should get full credit for growing into a terrific race. It wasn't entirely out of the blue.

Oxbow -- too many fails, one good afternoon workout.

Verrazano -- getting late; the others are wising up and learning their trade while this one's on the sidelines.

Normandy Invasion -- too little, too late.

Bobby -- He's no Bodemeister, and Bode couldn't do it.

West Hills Giant: New York breds are not what they used to be. G1 winning sons of great international sires didn't stand there but N.Y. racing and breeding is on the upgrade and Frost Giant is very like Eskendereya, ability, elegant looks, legendary distaff, and has every right to sire horses that step easily out of state-bred company.

Palace Malice: not the brew that is true. I'm not one to think of a race as a "learning experience." In my experience, horses require many repetitions to learn something. If they have trouble from start to finish in a race, they haven't yet learned what they need to know, and one bad experience is unlikely to remedy that. They should have run the patterns when being broke and legged up so that they don't need to learn going between, taking back, swinging wide, etc. in mid-race.  

05 Mar 2013 1:44 AM


Is your expectation of stamina limitations in the Tapits perhaps over-influenced by a certain colt out of a sprinting mare who ran sub-22 quarters?

What about Careless Jewel (Alabama), Dance Card (Gazelle), Headache (10f G2), Zazu, Joyful Victory (decent 3rd & 4th in Ky Oaks, e.g.)? While certainly brilliant, Trappe Shot outfinished several classic horses when 2nd to Lucky in the Haskell.

The Tapits should probably have a sturdy distaff, but shouldn't be dismissed without a long look at their dams.

05 Mar 2013 2:34 AM

How ofen do contributor’s posts contain the statement ‘He defeated a weak field’?

Animal Kingdom won the Spiral en route to victory in the KD. The field he defeated could have been considered weak. He defeated the field assemble. A horse has no control over the composition of the field and connections do not scratch because fields are assessed to be weak.

It is very unwise to put labels on young developing horses that perform creditably. One race can transform a horse from average to exceptional.

In my opinion the pick of the paddock in the Gotham was West Hill Giant. VyJack looked very trim and although he ran well I would have liked to see him with a little more flesh. Back to WHG!  I looked at his PP prior to the Gotham. In his last start he was very y competitive coming off a respite in a 6F race ran in 1:09 and a bit. Most of his previous races were on turf at distances similar to that of the a Gotham. I expected a good race from him and he delivered. In fact I used him in a handicapping contest because of his looks and 35-1 odds.

West Hill Giant set the fractions kicked away from the field and was run down by the unbeaten and more accomplished Vyjack. This colt can make a significant forward movement off this race. He is big, with great conformation & pedigree and most importantly he has great speed. His grand dam sire Cure The Blues was the sire of Belmont winner Temperence Hill.

I have amused many with my tracking of the number of mares bred by many top stallions. I consider many stallions to be overbred and although I am not sure of the impact on the foals, they seem to be always MIA at Derby time or come up short of the winners circle.

Frost Giant the sire of West Hill Giant bred only 52 in 2009. Intomischief the sire of Vyjack and Goldencents bred only 61 mares in 2009. Could he turn out to be another Birdstone who sired  Mine That Bird and Summer Bird from 69 mares bred in 2005?

05 Mar 2013 7:49 AM


"Also I state emphatically that Verrazano will romp the Tampa Bay Derby “

Interesting prediction! What do the cold facts indicate?

The trainer has sent nine horses to the TB Derby and has come away with one victory. Many of these horse were the off time favorites but were found wanting at the finish.

The race is never won in a romp. The 2006 Champion 2YO Street Sense set the Stakes Record by a nose over a top ranked Pletcher colt Any Given Saturday.

The #5 ranked and undefeated Verrazano is a January foal that should have a maturity advantage over other colts with April and May foaling dates. He is projected to enter the starting gates in the TB Derby as the 1-2 favorite. It is likely that he will meet the also undefeated Purple Egg who is a May foal.

Which of the two have the more impressive resume?

Verrazano has recorded two wide margin victories at GP. The second was as impressive as Itmayluckyday’s victory in the GP Derby.

Purple Egg has recorded three victories at three different tracks. His last victory in the Inaugural at Tampa Bay was visual impressive as he chased fast rations i.e., 21, 45 and pulled off for a commanding victory.

Does anyone remember the outcome of the Derby that featured the over hype January colt Dunkirk and May gelding Mine That  Bird?

While Verrazano has been like a fine English Gentleman in his demeanor, Purple Egg had been the total opposite and had to be scratched twice at the starting gates.

Trainer’s Quote after MSW victory at Monmouth Park:-

"The first time he went to the gates he went right up in the air and ran off. The next time out and even though he'd been schooled with the pony, he acted like he wanted to kill him. It was horrible. He had both front feet over the pony and knocked the pony girl off. That kind of behavior only got worse, so unfortunately, we had to geld him."

I do not recall ever reading a report of a colt trying to kill the lead pony and dislodging its rider.

Purple Egg appears to be a mean individual who can now channel all his energy resources into racing since he is now a gelding.

Verrazano better beware as Purple Egg is big and fast and has already been cited for assaulting  a harmless pony. While it was reported he was gelded it did not specify that he attended anger management sessions.

05 Mar 2013 8:24 AM

BIG BROWN??? Looks more like Howe Great to me. Go back and watch last years Palm Beach when he beat Dullahan. If I remember correctly, he was also unbeaten on turf at this point.

05 Mar 2013 8:26 AM

I'm liking that the broodmare sires of the top two are sons of Seattle Slew!

05 Mar 2013 8:47 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Shanghai hasn't proven that he won't keep going yet. He could surprise. ITM 6 of 6 with five wins. I heard stories about when Ted From LA was a kid and he was sent to the bakery for a dozen donuts and when the baker gave him a baker's dozen he gave one back. "This is 13 donuts, not 12, it's supposed to be 12. I just can't accept the extra donut, you'll have to take it back. A dozen is 12 not 13, and we ordered a dozen."  


   I think Valid won't make the Derby, time off for an injury. Foot I think. Beholder is awesome. I wouldn't go the Derby route though, don't know what their plans are.

05 Mar 2013 8:53 AM

Vyjack run is not about who he beat its how he did it.

Rider change,drops back to 10th getting dirt in his face goes to the backstretch moves up just a bit to gets into position. Enters the far turn swings outside improves his position starts his run. Enters the stretch switches leads and explodes to run past the field. Never felt the whip,did it all on his own.

This from a horse who was on the lead in his previous races.

He won 4-0. Can he travel?

I remember another Derby winner who was undefeated entering the Derby and left it undefeated. Got 8-1 on him as well.  

05 Mar 2013 8:57 AM

Glad to see Itsmyluckyday get #1, he deserves it. Also, glad to see Super Ninety Nine, get put on here from the AE list. Vyjack has interesting pedigree, Into Mischief reminds me of midnite lute and Speightstown, bred for longer distances than they actually were good at.

Cassandra.Says - awesome point about the Tapit line.

05 Mar 2013 9:05 AM

HERE IS MY PROJECTED FIELD FOR THE 2013 KENTUCKY DERBY: (based on remaining races that were handicapped and points that were adjusted)

flashback 160

ivestruckanerve 151

orb 150

goldencents 124

itsmyluckyday 110

revolutionary 100

rydilluc 100

war academy 100 uae derby

noble tune 100 blue grass

vyjack 60

power broker 60 sunland derby

verrazzano 50 tampa bay derby

tiz the truth 50 rebel

will take charge 50

palace malice 50

shanghai bobby 44

normandy invasion 44

code west 30

den's legacy 30

dynamic sky 28

and the winner is VERRAZZANO


05 Mar 2013 9:39 AM

Cassandra, I see Tapits as being the speed of the speed up to 9f.  Case in point Hansen and Zazu.  Even Stardom bound does not show a win at 10f.  Tapit, himself, though well bred, had a short racing career and a recurring lung infection.  

05 Mar 2013 9:45 AM

Elnaawi  (3rd Gotham)

Treasury Bill (2n San Vicente)

Code West (2nd Risen Star)

Palace Malice (3rd Risen Star)

Shakin It Up (1st San Vicente)

Capo Bastone (1st AwlOC)

Fortify (6th UAE Guineas)

Elmutahid (9th FOY)

Cerro (6th FOY)

Curly Top (foot Issues)

Footbridge (MIA)

Omega Star (MIA)

The above Mr. Prospector sire line DD does not inspire a lot of confidence 60 days ahead of the Derby.Who is likely to emerge as the top dog to represent the line?

Code West appears to be the leading contender. Treasury Bill is not far behind but he does not have as much foundation as Code West and has the less proven dam line.

Cerro & Elmutahid will have to step up in probably the Bluegrass to have any chance.

I was hoping Footbridg and Omega Star would have resurfaced by now but it appears they are long shot to get into the Derby mix.  

Fortify will have to set up big time in the UAE Derby to have any chance of representing the line in the great race.

Of the 369 horses nominated for the TC, 139 are from the RAN/Mr. Prospector sire line. Sixty days is plenty of time for one to transition from average to exceptional.

05 Mar 2013 9:54 AM

oh pls Byers figures are so subjective. What were Mine that Birds Byers before the Derby. I don't care what the Byers are does he have stamina and how fast can he close in a race. I don't even care what the final times are in prep races all track surfaces are different.  

05 Mar 2013 10:13 AM
Pedigree Ann

Cassandra -

The malice from the palace doesn't hold the brew that is true? What about the flagon with the dragon? Or the vessel with the pestle? Love that movie. Kaye in fine fettle.

Seriously though, staying 9f is not enough to be a Derby winner. And Zazu's stakes wins were all at 1 1/16 - did not stay even 9f against top class. Joyful Victory's stakes victories were all at 1 1/16 or less. And Joyful Vistory's damside was darn good for longer - Wild Again over Alydar over Prince Royal II (won the Arc!) over Princequillo.

05 Mar 2013 10:31 AM
Bloodline Bob

I'm staying with my Ky. Derby future bet(50-1) Dynamic Sky for the Tampa Bay Derby. If he does not win, I'll be looking for a new Ky. Derby prospect.

05 Mar 2013 10:33 AM

I don't remember if I every said that you are doing a great job, Steve, with your Derby Dozens.

Whenever I have any discussions with any horsie people about the Derby at this time, I know that I can refer to your choices and comments and sound knowledgeable -- at least until I pipe up with my picks.

Anyways, thanks for all the arguments/discussions/FUN.

(Still waiting for the Spiral. )

p.s.  Rachel still doing good?

05 Mar 2013 10:34 AM
Rusty Weisner

I think Normandy Invasion should be off this list in light of Overnalyze's performance.

05 Mar 2013 10:35 AM
Rusty Weisner

I really hope Vyjack wins the Wood, because I want him to take money in the Derby (of course, he could end up taking mine again).

The race was slow, the field was weak and half of them were taken out in a demolition derby, but, like others have said, don't blame a horse for winning.  Vyjack gives a boost to my expectations of his half-brother, Goldencents.

05 Mar 2013 10:56 AM
Pedigree Ann

Steve, you do realize that Mrs. Stuart S. Janney, Jr., was the former Barbara Phipps? And her son, the current Stuart S. Janney (III) is a Phipps grandson?

And Ruffian was bred by the married couple Stuart S., Jr., and Barbara Janney. But still all in the same family. Just like the current Phillipses are the continuation of the Galbreath breeding operation as Joan Galbreath Phillips's children.

05 Mar 2013 11:00 AM


Were you saying the same thing last year about I'll Have Another when he posted Beyers of 95 & 96 in R.B.Lewis and SA Derby??? Its that kind of thinking that got me 15-1 on him in last years Derby.  Keep on thinking these horses are "too slow" and people that know better will keep picking winners.

05 Mar 2013 11:00 AM



05 Mar 2013 11:16 AM

Derby dozen should be picked after the last big race on April 13th. Half the ones picked now probably won't be there after that date.

05 Mar 2013 11:28 AM
Don from PA/DE

Amazing assessments SH as usual and thanks for keeping my two KD future value plays off the radar til now, I selected one east coast horse Vyjack and one west coast horse Super99 @ near 99-1 each in Feb, only hope they will SH stay healthy and make it to KD gate May.

05 Mar 2013 11:34 AM

Verrazano will never make the distance he will hit the speed horse wall at the top of the stretch. Right I see the winner coming from these revolutionary, Treasury Bill, orb,normandy invasion and flashback

05 Mar 2013 12:03 PM
Plod Boy Phil


Good luck with West Hills.  You continue to press the issue on horses we at racing flow have downgraded - each to no avail. WHG will be no different.

05 Mar 2013 12:10 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

This Derby Dozen every week is just an amazing gift. I love it. I like reading new bloggers too along with the frequent posters. I'd like to see some of the old bloggers that have disappeared come back and write about who they like. Exciting weeks ahead. A new star or two will emerge out of the fog in the next two weeks along with a few that are expected to do well. As an Oxbow fan I hope that he can do much better. That last race was very disappointing. Is this a Giacomo, Mine That Bird year? It has that feel.

05 Mar 2013 12:10 PM

The real Dozen starts Aril 14th. Half the horses listed in this Blog probably won't be there.

05 Mar 2013 12:26 PM
Steve Haskin

Pedigree Ann, I'm well aware of the family connection. I'm just referring to horses and the connection between Stuart Janney and the Phippss, not Mrs. Janney.

05 Mar 2013 12:57 PM

While we stack rank all the contenders don't you think we should post a caveat?

The most likely factors for predicting the Derby winner are..

post position

track bias

prerace appearance (crowd/noise rattles somw)

trip trip trip

not to mention dropout injuries.

it's dangerous to get too supportive of any without these factors calcuable.

Future wagers should be small and on bombs, it's the lottery stage.

05 Mar 2013 12:59 PM

Dr. D: Sorry about Valid; I thought he held much promise.  He probably injured himself in that stumble in the Withers.  Perhaps later in the year, he might resurge.  I simply admired the heart he showed.

And I think Beholder showed she's back, and I think she's good enough for the Derby even if they choose not to go.

I do check the dams, but it appears that speed dominates stamina in Tapits.  I have reservations about Medaglia D'Oro, but his pedigree speaks to stamina though we know Rachel Alexandra was limited.  You simply never know.

Since I'm personally partial to bays, I'll try the Medaglia starters sooner than Tapit.

I think it would be difficult to find a Derby starter today who doesn't carry both the Mr. Prospector and Seattle Slew lines.  More than a few are carrying genes for Secretariat, Roberto, Damascus, Danzig, Sadler's Wells, Buckpasser and Northern Dancer.  Not bad in my book.

05 Mar 2013 1:23 PM

How can you put 3 horses Code West beat in your Dozen, and ignore CW? He got headed by Oxbow, came back and just missed, beating PM and NI.

05 Mar 2013 2:15 PM
It aint easy being good!

Colfacts I am confused on your post  RYDILLUC ran faster than the horse you compared him to which would result in a loss. Rydilluc race was awesome and he looks like he wasnt even breathing hard. Hopefully he will pop up on the next future betting pool he is damn good. Dice flavor bandwagon is empty I cant believe I am the only one that sees the potential! Google the el camino derby and watch and learn as he explodes at the end and dusts some decent horses. He hails from mr. prospector line and should be a huge price if he can make the gate. Verazzano = El Padrino= a stiff!

05 Mar 2013 2:58 PM
Sam Santschi

As usual, nice list Steve. I always learn something out here. But, as the the late turf writer (Dave Feldman) from my hometown might say, there sure seems to be quite a few sore BDH's (Broken Down Horseplayers) out here and even more so on Pete Denk's excellent blogs.  It's only a game.  Opinions differ, reasonable trash talking is fun but the Derby is the hardest race to handicap even on the day of the race itself, let alone in February or March so quibbling about who's on or who's off these lists seems silly. Help! These are just snapshots, incantations, food for thought.  As of today I can still dream about a Code West/Dynamic Sky exacta or an individual victory by one of them or maybe wheeling the three West's horses on Derby Day in a trifecta.  I would quit this hobby if I ever had to rely on it for purely ego purposes. Just saying...

05 Mar 2013 3:29 PM

Plod Boy Phil,

“Good luck with West Hills.  You continue to press the issue on horses we at racing flow have downgraded - each to no avail. WHG will be no different.”

I was unaware that I was touting this colt. I was also unaware that Racing Flow is the exclusive authority on the evaluation of performance. While I recognize that you might have sound reasons for defending the results of your Flow System, I do not have to agree with the results.

Flow results are based on existing variable on a particular race day. You are no doubt aware that a downgraded horse can return with a spectacular performance next time out. It therefore means that that particular horse should have been neutral. Nom system is perfect in a sport of glorious uncertainties.

There is flow and there is known!  

Let‘s examine what we know about West Hill Giant.

The colt has contested 6 races; three on turf and three on dirt.  He broke his maiden at 1 1/6m on Turf at Saratoga. He followed up that victory with a win on dirt at 6F at Aqueduct. His next race was the G3 Pilgrim contested on a soft turf course and he finished 7th. After the Pilgrim he was given 18 weeks off and returned in the Java Gold contested at 6F. He finished a close 3rd in that race completed in a fast 1:09.88.

While West Hill Giant has contested 3 races at 1 1/6M on turf, the Gotham was his first attempt beyond 6F on dirt. In addition to being his graded debut on dirt it was also his second race in 20 weeks.  He defeated all but one in the field and his effort result in a downgrade.

You have clearly become a Vitim of the system you have partnered to develop!

How good is this fast developing colt?

Is this colt likely to be fitter for his next race?  

Will a change of strategy involve taking him back for a closing effort next time out?

West Hill Giant is a well-bred and imposing looking chestnut.  Chestnuts from the Storm Cat line are amongst the best of his breed.

His sire won the 10F G1 Suburban at odds similar to those he left the gates at in the Gotham. His dam sire was runner up in the BCJ and his grand dam sire Cure the Blues sire a Belmont winner. His second dam sire Reprised is a son of stamina power Roberto. Reprised  is also dam sire of the unbeaten Purple Egg. This is the same dam line the gave us I'll Have Another.

This colt ran his heart out in the Gotham and such a race can be the turning point in his career. He clearly displayed that he is on the upgrade. If the Flow System did not suffer a mal-function in its result,  it has revealed that it clearly needs to be upgraded.

05 Mar 2013 3:34 PM
Steve Haskin

BillyRF, the concept of the Derby Dozen is not to combine form with projection. I guess if I had Monarchos ranked over Congaree after the Wood or Real Quiet over Indian Charlie after the SA Derby you would question that. Code West could very well win the Derby, but I felt Oxbow and Palace Malice had excuses and have more upside right now, especially after Bob Baffert said following the risen Star that Code West basically is not even in the same class as Flashback and is just more of a grinder. I like Code West and I like the race he ran. i just liked the other two's races better. It was only a half-length difference, and it was only Feb. Asking how I can have a horse ranked over a horse who finished ahead of him has no validity on the Derby trail.

05 Mar 2013 3:57 PM
Forbidden Apple

1)ITSMYLUCKYDAY 2)FLASHBACK 3)ORB 4)Fortify 5)Shanghai Bobby 6)Revolutionary 7)Goldencents 8)Super Ninety Nine 9)Vyjack 10)Treasury Bill 11)Frac Daddy 12)Tiz the Truth 13)Code West

The toll for the George Washington Bridge is up to $13.

KY Vet,

A 104 beyer is fast for Itsmyluckyday and a 93 beyer is slow for Vyjack. I think you are just mad because Shanghai Bobby and Overanalyze lost. And you are starting to even confuse yourself.

05 Mar 2013 4:09 PM

It aint easy being good!,

I needed a good laugh and your equation provided it i.e., Verrazano = El Padrino= a stiff!

RYDILLUC: 24.91, 49.59, 1:13.59, 1:36.78, 1:48.18

OffLee Fast: 23.07,46,79, 1:11.26, 1:36.16, 1:48.60

From the comparison above RYDILLUC recorded splits for the first three quarters were 1.5, 2.5 and 2 seconds slower than those recorded by  OffLee Fast.

RYDILLUC completed his last 3F in 34 2/5. OffLee Fast completed his last 3F in 37 2/5. The difference between the times  for the final three furlongs were directly related to the first 6F of each race.

RYDILLUC looked super impressive in the closing stages of his race because he was allowed to set pedestrian fractions for the first 6F.

He would have been about 15L behind Offlee Fast at the 4F marker. Thus his impressive victory should be taken in the context of the slow early fractions.

05 Mar 2013 4:51 PM
Plod Boy Phil


re: WHG

His race is better than it looks because of the Speed favoring dynamics under which it was run.

As for you touting WHG (hate that term), it was clear that you gave his race a glowing review.  I simply responded to it with an objective analysis using measureable factors.  That is what we do. It has nothing to do with being the exclusive authority of performance,  but now that you mention it...

The best thing about this differing opinion is much like a couple of previous disagreements, it will likely sort itself out on the track.

Good luck.

05 Mar 2013 5:53 PM

Rusty: Goldencents and Vyjack are not half brothers.  They must have the same dam to be half brothers, and if the same sire was bred to the same mare x2, then they would be full brothers, but not born in the same year.(Barbaro and Lentenor were full brothers)

Eblouissante and Zenyatta are half sisters because Vertigineax is a dam to both, while Streetcry sired Zen, and Bernardini sired Eby.

It's sort of odd, I know, but consider how many mares a sire services each year, while a mare usually has just one foal a year.

05 Mar 2013 6:09 PM
It aint easy being good!

Got ya coldfacts still though did you watch the race at all? Rydilluc looks very smooth!

05 Mar 2013 6:49 PM

Revolutionary's next start will be in the LA Derby.

He won his last two starts at The Big A. I guess the long stretch at the Fairgrounds will provide more opportunities to recover from any likely gates issues.

05 Mar 2013 7:03 PM

  Steve earlier this year alluded to the battle between the ‘Pletcher barn full’ and the ‘Baffert barn full’. At some past juncture, I myself alluded to the fact that ‘no horse yet bred to “Storm Cat” has ever won the “Kentucky Derby”’. At that time, I went on to name the many in this year’s crop from the “STORM CAT NATION” that were hopefuls to kill that string, with they,--about a dozen and a half,--now including the likes of,--plus additions, being--: “Verrazano”;  “Vyjack”; “Shanghai Bobby”; “Treasury Bill”; “Dynamic Sky”; ”;  “I’ve Struck a Nerve”;  “West Hills Giant”; “Mudflats”; “Little Distorted”;  “Bradester”; “War Academy”: “Uncaptured”;   “Falling Sky”; “Merit Man”; “Distinctiv Passion”; “El Duro”; “Forty Tales”; and “Governor Charlie”; and etc., and likely many others on the Nominations List still not looked into, thusly more…thusly, no line up to be sneezed at and a formidable little tribe at that, I’d say.

  Noting that Steve in the last two weeks now has had a non-“Storm Cat”-bred on the top of his list, who else are we left with out there to keep Ol’ “Storm Cat” in his place of remaining off the coveted Derby breeding list of winners ?? Well, let us see. There is: “Flashback”; “Itsmyluckyday”; “Revolutionary”; “Orb”; “Super Ninety Nine”;  “Shakin’ It Up”;   “Goldencents”;  “Transparent”; “Valid”; “Power Broker”; “Speak Logistics”; “Honorable Dillion”;  “Offlee Afleet”;  “Declan’s Warrior”;  “Majestic Hussar”; “Fortify”;   “Title Contender”;--…oddly about a dozen and a half also,--or potentially some other ‘newbies’ in those in the form of:  

“Bold Dance”;  “Battled”;  “Integrity”;  “Forever Thing”;  “Market Outlook”; “Pleasantly Perfect”; and, or  “Summer Exclusive”, and etc.…

 And yet and so, the question still remains, …“Will the “Storm Cat Curse” be broken and the rule upheld where ‘no Storm Cat-bred has yet won the Kty. Derby’ ?, or, will the curse fall via a win from one of this year’s “STORM CAT NATION” ??    

  So can we, as in the past, afford to leave “Storm Cat”-breds off our winner’s PICK ??? or picks??? , … or not ??? hmmmmmm

  {{Yes, I admit to it, I played “Bodiemeister”,--I mean “Bodebeyermonster”,--as one of my winner picks last year, but again it will be remembered that he was run-down down the stretch by a non-“Storm Cat”-bred, that silly little cookie,--a monster in his own right, in--“I’ll Have Another”!!! }}  

05 Mar 2013 7:15 PM

Orb is still the top horse, Point Blank!  The rest:



Crop Report


Power Broker



05 Mar 2013 8:01 PM
Age of Reason

Just so everyone knows, Omega Star is hardly missing in action. He's had 3 straight drills at Hollywood park, and in fact has been working there quite steadily and handily since his last race. On February 10, 4f in :48 flat (7/39); on February 18, 6f in 1:14 flat (4/14); on February 24, 6f in 1:13.80 (2/13); and on March 3, 6f again in 1:13.80 (3/11). For some reason I've really taken a shine to Omega Star lately and will be rooting for him on Saturday. Also, Footbridge hasn't exactly dropped of the earth's edge since his last race either, already turning in a 4f and 5f breeze in good time. Who knows?, if he wins impressively in his next star he could well jump straight into the SA Derby and then off to Louisville. I'm not saying yay or nay, just that 3yos constantly force us to remember that one has to keep an open mind in evaluating them. Certainly stranger, more unexpected (Mine That Bird anyone?) and unorthodox routes have been taken to the roses...

I expect a competitive showing from Omega Star in the San Felipe, and hopefully with at least three confirmed speedy types in the field (Flashback, Goldencents & Tiz The Truth) he won't be forced into making a premature move this time. With a Pacific Classic winner as a sire and a Derby winner (Mr. P. line no less) as a damsire, you couldn't get much more of a classic pedigree. He certainly deserves a shot, and isn't that exactly what this time of year is about and makes it so exciting?

05 Mar 2013 8:35 PM


Now you're playing with us.

How many graded stakes wins at 10f on dirt are available, especially to fillies and mares? So far this year there has been one such race, won by Game on Dude.

If you're a filly racing anywhere but on the grass in California you are sol.

It's necessary, and possible, to extrapolate from 9f races based on pace and closing pace. I deal with the problems presented by lack of opportunity by thinking of staying as running a 24 final quarter, and thinking a horse "stays" off a certain pace and distance; e.g. s/he stays a mile off 1:11.

Early on, thinking like this unmasked the stamina claims of many European classic horses who ran their first half mile covered up in :56. Euros thought American horses did not stay, ignoring the impact of pace to distance.

I thought Hansen withstood a gruelling test of stamina in the Juvenile. That turned out to be a Belmont winner he outgamed down the stretch after a sizzling pace.

Not that I'm ON a Tapit this year, but I'm still waiting for Flashback to show us something.

05 Mar 2013 8:39 PM

Cassandra, thank you for your take on I've Struck a Nerve.  He is the most seasoned horse to date.  My favorites are I've Struck a Nerve and Revolutionary; both have spectacular pedigrees.  

05 Mar 2013 9:35 PM
Bloodline Bob

I love the jockey switch to Rosario on my DYNAMIC SKY!

06 Mar 2013 12:12 AM

Rydilluc, oh my, what a stride, too early to say it won't translate to dirt. I'm smiling over this guy. :D

06 Mar 2013 12:29 AM
Matthew W

When I saw Goldencents break his maiden I knew I had seen something good---Flashback had a similar look about him, though it was Goldencents who left the best imprint on me---I hear Doug O'Neil is eager and confident this week, I hear that guy can train some.....

06 Mar 2013 5:58 AM

joseph alva -

Excellent point about current top rated horses who run poorly in their first of only two preps being at risk of not even making derby field. What makes that an even higher risk is that with the new system, the fields have been bigger and more competitive, making it even harder for any individual horse to win. I also suspect that we may even see multiple horses all in the same boat....needing points off of poor initial outings....showing up in the same final prep. I actually will be surprised if we don't see some highly regarded, probably deserving, horses getting shut out of the derby starting gate. Something, ironically, that never happened with the old qualifying system.

06 Mar 2013 8:02 AM

Age of Reason,

Although your post was not directed to me. The information is appreciated.

06 Mar 2013 8:33 AM


I have the memory of an Elephant. You are as high on Rydilluc now as you were on Exothermic another impressive winner of a 9F turf race at GP.

When a horse shows the type of stride extension that Rydilluc does on turf, it is unlikely it will do likewise on dirt.

While I recognize that the likes of Barabro and Animal Kingdom who were essentially turf horses that won the Derby, one has must be careful as those colts were sire by turf sires i.e., Dynaformer and Leroidesanimaux  

06 Mar 2013 9:22 AM
Forbidden Apple

Orb is not a speed horse, he is a come from behind closer. Why is he the best? He just beat a horse that was running with a broken ankle.

06 Mar 2013 10:18 AM

The Spiral to be contested on 23 March is shaping up to be a very competitive race. Included in the six possibles and four probables are five representatives from the Mr. Prospector sire line. Four of the five colts are outside my current Mr. Prospector sire line Derby Dozen. However, one can easily make the next dozen with an encouraging performance.

Channel Ile - Finished distant 4th in the Southwest Stk.  Being by turf champion English Channel out of a Linamix broodmare he is likely to prefer a Synthetic surface.

Balance The Books - - Finished 3rd in the BCJ Turf. Being by Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid out of a Seeking The Gold broodmare he should be effective on Synthetic, Turf and Dirt. He won his Synthetic debut at Keeneland.

Mac  The Man – He has won three  consecutive races at TWP. All the races were in extremely good times. His dam sire Mountain Cat is a sneakily good broodmare sire.

For Greater Glory -  A small Afleet Alex colt with only a MSW victory to his credit but has never been of the board.  Appears to be slowly developing. Dam sire is Belmont winner Touch Gold. The further should be the better for this colt.  Based on his times so far he might be lacking in the class to win but will be making his Synthetic track debut.

While there will be soft interest in the colts from the Mr. Prospector sire line, there will be great interest in two Madaglia d’Oro colts. Rydilluc recent impressive turf winner over 9F and Crop Report recent a  fast closing 3rd in a quickly run 1 1/6M turf race.

Folks, when the Mr. Prospector sire line runners accounts for 50% of the starters in a field, the prospects of other sire lines winning is extremely remote.  

The fans of  Rydilluc and Crop Report  are therefore being put on notice.

06 Mar 2013 10:20 AM
Pedigree Ann

"And I think Beholder showed she's back, and I think she's good enough for the Derby even if they choose not to go."

The day a Henny Hughes wins the Kentucky Derby is the day I toss out my Bobinsky-Zamoyski Tables.

06 Mar 2013 10:27 AM
It aint easy being good!

EBNY: You make a great point about the new point system. I am actually a big fan of the system. Reason being is because you are now seeing large fields and no easy spots for any horses. The days of glorified workouts are over which is great. Also I think that alof of trainers need to rethink what they are doing. If I were the owner of Normandy Invasion I would never put my horse in a 15 horse field for his first start! Some good horses are going be left out this year and I am actually glad due to the arrogance of the trainer/owner IE: the todd squad. TP has no prep winners yet this year we will see if that streak ends on Saturday.

06 Mar 2013 11:29 AM
Karen in Texas

One thing I've noticed about both Vyjack and I've Struck a Nerve is that neither of them has any inbreeding through the 5th cross; and Itsmyluckyday has only 5Sx5S to Neartic. This year I'm not making a list until after the final preps; just observing for now.

Age of Reason----You mentioned Tiz the Truth as being in the San Felipe field--he was going to the Rebel, but that start has been delayed due to a quarter crack. (Steve mentions the Wood above.)

06 Mar 2013 11:33 AM


06 Mar 2013 11:48 AM

Forbidden Apple,

The FOY was not a match race.

Violence was the highest ranked colt although he was not the recipient of the Eclipse award for Champion 2YO. He was ranked #1 from day one by Mr. Haskin.

While I questioned the #1 ranking for a colt that did not win his races commanding fashions, I was viewed as being focused on his performance and not his excellent 10F pedigree.

At least Uncle Mo destroyed most of his opponents and deserved the hype.

06 Mar 2013 11:49 AM
Karen in Texas

According to Dogwood Stable, Palace Malice will be ridden by Edgar Prado beginning with the Louisiana Derby.

06 Mar 2013 12:03 PM


“I actually will be surprised if we don't see some highly regarded, probably deserving, horses getting shut out of the derby starting gate”

Your statement above requires clarification. If a particular horse’s performance in the Derby prep/s it has contested, does not lead to the points necessary to make the Derby cut, how can it be deemed deserving to be in the fiels?

Being held in high regard is not a qualifying criterion. The brilliant Bernaddini was held in very high regards but lacked the graded earning to get into the Derby.

06 Mar 2013 12:07 PM

"Folks, when the Mr. Prospector sire line runners accounts for 50% of the starters in a field, the prospects of other sire lines winning is extremely remote."

I am no math major but I would say they have at least a 50% of winning.

06 Mar 2013 12:50 PM

It seems to me in the FOY both Orb and Violence were more than 6 lengths ahead of the rest of the field.  That speaks quite well of them both.

Cassandra: There are male Tapits also running, and there are 10f races.  Tapits just don't win them, no matter how much you want to crow about 2nd and 3rd place finishes.  The BCJ was 8.5f.  Uncle Mo won the year doesn't speak to a Derby winner, the only execption being Street Sense.

It's certainly not an absolute, and you never know which horse will step up to the plate.

I'm not knocking Tapit, he has plenty of stakes winners.  I just personally feel that none are up to the Derby.

Zarvonna: Storm Cat son, Tabasco Cat did win the Preakness and the I wouldn't discount his get.

We keep pointing out the probables based on pedigree, and we always look for a dam with stamina.

John Hertz slapped convention in the face breeding a Derby winner to a sprinting mare who had won 32 of 85 starts.  She was 7 when Hertz purchased Quickly, and finally bred her to Reigh Count.  That singular pairing resulted in our 6th Triple Crown winner, Count Fleet.

My point never know.  At this point, everything is speculation.  If I choose not to back a Tapit, it's my personal choice, and I have no idea why Cassandra is so upset at the prospect.

06 Mar 2013 1:03 PM


Last year Exothermic, a son of Empire Maker, fell off the trail due to health issues therefore dont use him to bolster your argument against Rydilluc. Lets hope that Rydilluc stays healthy as he is a also bred to run on dirt, being by Medaglia D'oro.  You shouldn't be so skeptical of colts that are visually impressive in winning ...notwithstanding your preference for those that show ability in a losing effort.

This weekend should put the brakes on you with Verazzano and Flashback strutting their stuff. If one of these two is vulnerable it might be Flashback because Goldencents is a sharp colt going his optimum distance in the San Felipe ... a great race in the offing.

06 Mar 2013 1:30 PM
The Deacon

Dr. D: I rarely make any picks for the Derby in March, way too early. I still feel many on these lists won't even make it to the Derby. My Derby selections in recent years have not fared well. Street Sense was the only winner I have picked. I liked Pioneer of the Nile and he ran 2nd or 3rd.

I will predict this, the Derby will be a great betting race and longshots galore will light up the tote board. Big payouts on the exotics as well.

There is no list posted on this blog without merit. At this point in the game, every horse has a shot of some kind.

Steve brings some fun to all  this. Where else can you go and get all this free insight and handicapping. Lets all be sponges and enjoy the ride..........

06 Mar 2013 3:13 PM

Watching Rydilluc's stride in slow motion, after Steve mentioned it, took my breath away!  It must be an extremely generous slope to his shoulder that allows him to throw those front legs out so far.  The reach on his stride is absolutely amazing--talk about gobbling up ground.  Wherever he goes, I am excited to watch!

06 Mar 2013 3:33 PM

In the Tampa Bay Derby Verrazano gets 4 lbs from the top weight.

In the San Felipe Flashback has to give up to 5 lbs.

The winner in each case gets 50 points.

And we call these qualifying races.

What a joke.

06 Mar 2013 5:46 PM
Age of Reason

Thanks Karen in Texas, I stand corrected. I remember that fact about Tiz The Truth, now, but for some reason it didn't occur to my one-track mind at the time. Thank again.

06 Mar 2013 6:13 PM
It aint easy being good!

Couple of comments coldfacts get on board with Rydilluc the way he runs is a thing of beauty. He reminds me of the papelmousse def. spelled that wrong but yall know who Iam referring too! Too the big guns are out if BB says Flashback is an absolute monster I get excited everyone load up on the future bet he will be 5-1 after this weekend!

06 Mar 2013 6:16 PM

I rewatched the Palm Beach, and I must be missing something.  I didn't see a stretching stride from Rydilluc.  I actually found his footwork a bit choppy.  He may hold promise, but for now, not for me.

Orb's stride, I think, really stretches the way I like to see a horse reach for ground.  Revolutionary showed us a peek of that movement.  Violence did it easily.  Some horses just look as though their feet barely graze the ground, so long and sleek is their movement, with knees barely raised. It's efficient, and covers ground beautifully.

And if I have to remove Valid from my list due to injury, I'll throw Dice Flavor in his place.  Hope they nominate him by Mar 23rd.  I do believe that's the cut-off for late nominations.  He was outstanding in the El Camino, is fast, and has a graceful, fluid stride.  

06 Mar 2013 7:30 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Amazing. I just watched the race for the first time and felt pretty much the same thing you did with the Palm Beach.  So far I also feel the way you do about Tapit's. I consider it to be a negative for The Derby until I see something really special from the horse.

The Deacon and Karen In Texas

    Smart to wait until after the big preps. You'll do better that way. Less bias will come into play. I was going to do that this year but I decided to have fun and hope that I can toss my entire list without prejudice if need be. I like Hear the Ghost, Omega Star, Flashback and Goldencents in that order in the San Felipe.

06 Mar 2013 8:21 PM
Age of Reason

It ain't easy,

I think that's the first time I've ever heard the words "Pamplemousse", "Stride", and "beautiful" used in the same sentence. The Pamplemousse ran like a freakin' eggbeater, as I recall; many attributed his soundness problems to that crazy stride.

Slew, I've heard buzz about Dice Flavor from several people lately whose opinions I respect, and now I'll have to go watch that replay again. My only concern is that he's only ever ran on turf and the very turf-friendly Tapeta; similarly, half-brother Swift Warrior (by First Samurai instead of Scat Daddy, but both Storm Cat-line stallions)is a stakes winner on polytrack (as well as turf) but I see no lost love for dirt in his PPs. Then again the Churchill track has become known of late for being quite kind to synthetic horses, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

06 Mar 2013 10:04 PM

Karen In Texas :  Thanks for that news about Palace Malice, while I really don't like Edgar Prado riding Palace Malice, it means there's hope that Rosie might ride Mylute in the LA Derby.  I hope she does.

06 Mar 2013 10:10 PM
Forbidden Apple


At least Uncle Mo destroyed most of his opponents and deserved the hype. Coldfacts March 6

Is this a fact? Uncle Mo might have run well at 2, but that is it. At 3 he destroyed nobody period.

06 Mar 2013 10:22 PM

On the Bloodhorse replay of the Palm Beach they eventually show a slow motion close up of just Rydilluc finishing the race.  In that slo-mo you can see how far he reaches out with his front legs.  There is almost a hesitation in his stride...almost a he stretches forward and gets the most ground he can.  He lowers his head and neck and uses his shoulder beautifully.  

06 Mar 2013 10:38 PM

It aint easy being good!,

Below are the fractions for the first three quarters recorded in the last races for four of the colt that Flashback will be matching strides against.

Hear The Ghost Star 21.55, :43.61, and 1:08.50 (2nd)

Omega Star23.12, :46.39, and 1:10.88 (2nd)

Goldencents 23.00, :46.31, and 1:10.06.(1st)

Tiz a Minister- 23.12, :46.39, and 1:10.88. (1St)

In Flashback’s last race the fractions were 24, 48 and 1:12. It is unlikely that those fractions will be recorded on Saturday. Which of the above colts will he be able to out run stalking the above fractions?

All the horse behind him were struggling in a 1:12 split for 6F. How can he be deemed a monster when by CA standards he was crawling for the first 6F? A MSW race contested earlier recorded splits 2 seconds faster..

Goldencents shipped to NY to take on S/Bobby the eventual Champion 2YO in the G1 Champagne off a 5 1/2F MSW win. It has been his only defeat to date. I am sure even the most ardent fan of Flashback can appreciate the enormity of the task he undertook

Goldencents has the best resume in CA and until Flashback takes him down it is unwise shower him with unearned accolades

Flashback has not impressed me the way he has impressed others. A big performance on Saturday will hand his supporters bragging rights and I will consume a large plate of crow.  

I believe Goldencents will win and I expect Hear The Ghost, Omega Star and Tiz a Minister to occupy the remaining slots on the board.

07 Mar 2013 12:47 AM
joseph alva

it aint easy being good:

Very good point on your part that it was foolish to have run Normandy Invasion in a 15 horse-field on his first prep back especially being a closer!  Derby possibilities have a lot to do not just with how well you train them, but with how well you place them.  Chad Brown usually places his horses well, but this is his first experience with a serious Derby contender.  Shug placed Orb, another closer, perfectly in the smaller FOY field.  I know that Pletcher doesn't want to run his horses against each other, but Palace Malice would have been better served making his first two-turn try in the FOY rather than in the large 15-horse field of the Risen Star, especially given his inexperience.  

07 Mar 2013 1:03 AM


“You shouldn't be so skeptical of colts that are visually impressive in winning ...notwithstanding your preference for those that show ability in a losing effort.”

I cannot be impressed with a colt that set fractions of 24.91, 49.59 and 1:13.59 and then gallops home in: 34 and change. The average Derby fractions for first three quarters are 2 to 3 seconds faster.

Proper analysis of his race will reflect that the he crawled for 6F and galloped the last 3F. His performance was visually impressive but were there mitigating factor that contributed to it?

Offlee Fast ran a comparative time for the distance and there hasn’t been similar excitement about his performance. The reason is he did nor galloped home in: 34; he galloped home in: 37. His internal fractions were 2 to 3 seconds faster.

Why is Rydilluc Filet Mignon and Offlee Fast Chopped Liver?

07 Mar 2013 1:09 AM

Forbidden Apple,

“Is this a fact? Uncle Mo might have run well at 2, but that is it. At 3 he destroyed nobody period.”

Valid point! However, the statement was posted in the context of their first two races. The fact that Mo was dominant as a 2YO is irrelevant.

His hype started after with his MSW win and expanded after his win in the G1 Champagne. At least he was not setting fractions of 24, 48 1:12.

Let me reiterate, I have am not against Flashback. However, based on his last race where the rest of the field was sucking wind after 6F was completed in 1:12, How can be so hyped?

The SF Stakes will undoubtedly be  his biggest challenge. If he wins against the formidable group assemble against him, he will deserve the hype. Until then, Goldencents remains the top dog in CA and he has the resume to prove it and Flashback does not.

Zazu was a brilliant filly/mare. Rarely do broodmares produce back to back champions. In light of this I would not recommend wild prediction about Flashback. I can recall the excitement about Empire Way the full brother to Royal Delta. I advised then that the excitement was misplaced as he would neither be her equal nor supersede her.

07 Mar 2013 8:44 AM


I see you still feel Mylute has the goods. I questioned your interest in what appears to be a colt too slow to be competitive in graded races containing top class horses. Are you aware that Revolutionary is heading to LA Derby? The rider of Mylute is the least of his problems.

You also highlighted interest in Proud Strike and Ground transport. I consider these colts slow as well and while they can improve in the speed department they are unlikely to be competitive in serious Derby preps. The prices are right but the ambition might not be.

Are you aware that Revolutionary is heading to the LA Derby?Assuming the report is correct, the long stretch at the Fairgrounds will be ideal for Revolutionary assuming he is not another NY only horse.

07 Mar 2013 9:37 AM
Pedigree Ann

Age of Reason - not only did The Grapefruit paddle like a duck (eggbeater action), but he hit the ground HARD with every stride. All downhill action, no power from behind to balance. I never thought he would make it to the Derby because of the way he hit the ground on the forehand, which reminded me of a Derby candidate of years past named Midway Cat, who broke down in the Florida Derby.

07 Mar 2013 9:57 AM

Dr. D: Thanks.  As much as I don't want to start picking early, I can't help myself.  I just fall for the way a horse looks and moves, and how they overcome adversity.  There is so much to be said for heart.  And I really haven't seen them all run yet.

Age of Reason: You should watch the El Camino.  The top 3 were amazing, and none had been nominated.  I still want to see what Dice Flavor does on dirt, but Animal Kingdom showed us it can be done.  And Dice Flavor seems to have unlimited speed and stamina.

I still would prefer the stride on Orb rather than Rydillic;  and Orb's stride was evident w/o slow motion.

Coldfacts: OMG, can't believe we agree on something.  I feel Goldencents is superior to Flashback(never liked his stride), and I'm picking Goldie in the San Felipe.  And Verrazano at Tampa Bay.

And we're still only in the prep stage.  To me, it's not always about winning a prep, but how a colt manages himself during the run.  

And I'm always considering not how a horse will do at 10f, but how he'll do at 12f, because we're overdue for another Triple Crown winner.  Last close..

07 Mar 2013 10:09 AM
Karen in Texas


I believe Rosie will be riding in Florida on Louisiana Derby day. I actually think Edgar might be a nice fit for an improving colt such as Palace Malice...

07 Mar 2013 10:46 AM


Things did not work out well for Ore Pass in the Gotham as he finished 9th.  I know you like Revolutionary another War Pass colt and you have no doubt moved him up a spot after Overanalyze’s sub-par performance.

There is another War Pass colt that will be in operation on Saturday. He is Java War from Kenny McPeek’s barn. He is a May foal that has far more foundation than the more mature Verrazano. In fact, 4 of his 5 starts have been at 8F or longer. He finished 6th to Uncaptured in The Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in his last start before being given 3 months off.  That was his dirt debut.

He carries his head very high similar to Revolutionary but he is a beautiful mover with great acceleration. He worked: 59.89 in preparation to take on the wonder horse Verrazano and I think he will be competitive.

When a May foal is given 4 races at a mile and over and then put down for 3 months for further development it can return significantly improved.  I do not believe this War Pass will not finished last and merit being included in your exotics. Why? He is a War Pass.

07 Mar 2013 11:32 AM


A horse’s strides will start to shortens went it begins to tire.  A horse that is bred for endurance will carry its speed over longer distances. If said horse is in a canter for six furlongs and then put to full gallop for the next 3F, it will look majestic as there was no significant impact on its energy resources while it was cantering.

If Rydilluc was involved in a 23, 46 and 10 pace, the strides you saw would be different as he would have used up a lot of energy and therefore would be tiring at a faster rate in the latter part of the race.

The colt I wagered in the Palm Beach was Quinzieme Monarque. He was last after a furlong. When I saw the 49, 1:13  fractios, I turned to a friend and said I should have donated the wager to charity. Quinzieme Monarque  closed an enormous amount of ground to finish 4th in a paceless race.  Revisit the video and look at his strides. He was stretching like a rubber band. His long ground devouring stride got lost in the majesty of those executed by Rydilluc.

07 Mar 2013 12:02 PM
El Kabong


"Flashback has not impressed me the way he has impressed others. A big performance on Saturday will hand his supporters bragging rights and I will consume a large plate of crow.  

I believe Goldencents will win and I expect Hear The Ghost, Omega Star and Tiz a Minister to occupy the remaining slots on the board."

I have to say, this is one of your boldest stands to date. It directly faces mathematical facts against experience and horse sense. I know that Baffert, who represents experience and horse sense thinks this horse is in another class from the rest in his barn. You, on the other hand, have mathematically determined that we cannot believe Speedy Bob, based on simple math. Very interesting and very bold. I applaud your willingness to defy the institution. Not since Don Quixote have we seen such a valiant stance. You have added more excitement to this race than Danica Patrick could ever hope to add to NASCAR. Should you prevail, you will be known henceforth as the MAN OF LA MANCHA.

07 Mar 2013 12:32 PM
Rusty Weisner


You're leaving out Salutos Amigos in that list of horses able to contest the pace.

07 Mar 2013 12:58 PM
It aint easy being good!

Age of Reason: Are you saying the mousse wasnt a good horse if so you have lost your mind! His stride did lead to retirement. All I am saying is that Rydilluc glides across the track and you dont see that often and obviously Steve Saw it too. Also go watch the el camino derby and watch Dice Flavor explode down the stretch and just hit the turbo button past some good horses.

Coldfacts: I usually am loving your coors light cold hard facts but let me enlighten you for a sec.

Why is Rydilluc Filet Mignon and Offlee Fast Chopped Liver?

Rydilluc hasnt even cracked the derby 12 so right now he is more like chicken. He has won a G3 what has Offlee Fast done?? He sounds like green peas and you know how good that taste!

BB has had alot of horses how many does he refer to as beast/monsters/freaks of nature? He also stated that code west is not in the same league as Flashback. All I can say coldfacts is get yoru popcorn ready...would you like extra butter?

07 Mar 2013 1:10 PM


All I'll say for now is that Rydilluc is a superior colt to Oflee Fast ...there's a lot left in his tank ...the comparison isn't close and you'll see in due course my friend ...lets hope that they stay healthy.

07 Mar 2013 1:48 PM
Rusty Weisner


You're persuasive about Flashback.  People impressed with Flashback might know something, or be taking it on faith that this is Baffert's "monster", but he's already run his first route prep with a not-that-fast final time off an easy pace.  Bodemeister was his "monster" last year after he got a 100 Beyer breaking his maiden at a mile.  I think you're right to ask Flashback to prove you wrong.

Hear the Ghost looks fast enough early and likely to be coming at the end.  Omega Star had no excuse.

I'll try: Goldencents, Hear the Ghost, straight and boxed.

07 Mar 2013 2:41 PM

I think to date Bafferts best colt is S99.Lets see what Flashback does this Saturday at home against a relatively smaller field, than the shipper S99 will face in the Rebel a week later.Hey Bob do you actually think S99 is a miler,if he is, he is not as fast as the Factor or as classy as Secret Circle but lets see if he can handle more competitors in the Rebel at a 16th of a mile more.

07 Mar 2013 3:17 PM


Back in my neck of the woods, horses who finished their extension inches above the ground and dropped were called "pounders" and not expected to hold up in the forelegs very long.

07 Mar 2013 4:10 PM
El Kabong


You don't have to take anyone's word on Flashback. You can watch the film on Flashback and see how easily he turned away Den's Legacy, a horse who had been quite competitive against the other socal horses. Yes the fractions were more moderate but he let it out with just a tap on the shoulder and finished with a very respectable time of 1:42.4 and made it look like a workout. I like what ONeill is doing with Goldencents, several 6f's and a bullet on each. Goldencents will be plenty fit. But I would be surprised if we was able to get to  Flashback and I certainly don't see anyone running with these two. The only value I see is Kochees or Tiz A Minister snagging second if Flashback draws clear again, and he just might. I don't think that last race was close to what he has to offer and that's based on what I have seen, not just heard. But I do know that Baffert is a real straight shooter when it comes to accessing his talent.

07 Mar 2013 4:42 PM

Coldfacts make your pick on the San Felipe,Rusty Weisner seems to think you are high on Flashback.

If you guys think it was a monster performnce in the last race when he beat 3 others I think he wasnt really tested at all,so make your pick Coldfacts.BTW Now and Then was smoked finishing 3rd out of a 4 horse allowance field, the 7th race today at Aqueduct.That was your pick in the Gotham while I picked the Vyjack Elnaawii exacta box.

07 Mar 2013 5:37 PM

Horseplayers there is a BIG difference in those that talk a BIG GAME and those that play one,I think we all know who Im referring to.

07 Mar 2013 5:46 PM

Karen In Texas I agree and I think it is possible that Palice Malice could get the kind of track at Fairgrounds that he didnt get in the Risen Star on Louisisana Derby day.

07 Mar 2013 5:49 PM


I haven't given up on Ore Pass ...he got hampered pretty badly in the rough early goings of the Gotham. I don't know how he came out of that race but he's still on my watch list.  You should appreciate not giving up on a colt that I'm convinced is a good one ...just like you're persevering with Footbridge (LOL).

I like your reference to Verazzano as "wonder horse" should become a believer on Saturday because the Tampa Bay Derby field is quite a formidable one.

Similarly you should be impressed when Flashback turns back the challenge of Goldencents in the San Felipe.  Goldencents' best chance of winning is to try getting first run on Flashback or to attempt wiring the field ...he's versatile enough to try but I just think that he'll be running into a Californian buzzsaw on Saturday.  

07 Mar 2013 6:02 PM


I suspect you gentleman touting the Mr. P. sireline have not done your homework. Am I right? Have you actually run the numbers and determined that Mr. P. is not, in fact, underrepresented among classic winners?

There are several hundred stallions descending from Mr. P. in tail male. There are fewer than 2000 stallions breeding mares in North America.

I'm not going to do it for you, but just looking for an indication, I ran through the mares bred and by the time I got to Henrythenavigator (paging alphabetically) I found the top ten Mr. P.s had bred an average of 150 mares.

The entire North American foal crop is 25,000.

BTW, just a candle in the night, this is NOT the North American figure, nor are ANY of the N.A. figures which the industry uses. Mexico is in North America fyi.

A helpful tip for explorers: any two countries where you can walk across the border are probably in the same hemisphere.

07 Mar 2013 6:06 PM

Sometimes there are no choices. Revolutionary's gate problem is that other horses swerve in front of him and fall down.

He has dealt with this superbly. If he wasn't remotely self-protective facing this kind of interference, he'd be crazy. He looks, compensates and goes about his business. What more can we ask?

07 Mar 2013 6:36 PM

Uhhh, how many horses has Bob Baffert called a "monster"?  Flashback, Bodemeister, Paynter, Lookin'At Lucky, Secret Circle, Game On Dude...ahh skip it...he says it about every horse he's run.  Silver Charm and Point Given earned it.  Take Control had all the promise.

Coldfacts is not tilting at windmills.  We'll see which horse makes it into the gate on Derby Day.

I used to watch Pioneerof the Nile working out alongside the Pamplemousse.  Never figured the Pamplemousse would hold up, he pounded the track so hard.  Pioneer, on the other hand, had a graceful stride, I thought he'd do well in the Derby. In 2009 I had I Want Revenge.  When he scratched, all of a sudden, there were 9 more I liked.  None was Mine That Bird.

07 Mar 2013 6:37 PM

Ed Kabong who are you picking in the San Felipe?How are you playing the race w/p/s or exotics?

07 Mar 2013 6:56 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Chief -

What 'kind of track' was the FG's main on RS Saturday?  

07 Mar 2013 8:03 PM
El Kabong


If Flashback off the board in the San Felipe isn't tilting at windmills, then fortune will be guiding his affairs better than he himself could have wished.

07 Mar 2013 8:08 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

My Top 5 are based off of horses I already like or horses that I think will get better with the preps and get enough points at the end to get in the Derby.



Dynamic Sky


Hear The Ghost

07 Mar 2013 8:18 PM

History has shown that the letter to win the most Kentucky Derby's is the letter "S".

S has won the Derby 19 times with the last one being Super Saver which could almost count twice since both names start with a "S".

This year we have Shanghai Bobby, Super Ninety Nine,Shakin It Up,Sunbeam,Speak Logistics and Siete De Oros.

Folks when the letter s stands out like this you must take note.

07 Mar 2013 10:54 PM

Cold Facts, apparently pedigree is not your forte, with your "Folks, Mr. Prospector...50%" rhetoric.  Really, with all due respect, the Raise a Native/Mr. Prospector inbreeding has caused an undue amount of casualties.  Take a look at the pedigree of Eight Belles, an accident waiting to happen.  

I've Struck A Nerve's female family is loaded with stamina.  His dam, Ranaway, by Cryptoclearance, is inbred 4 times to stamina and soundness influence Princequillo.  

What I am saying here, is that unfortunately many horses are bred for speed, with no thought for their soundness; no thought for their well-being.  

The Mr. Prospector inbreeding has reduced these magnificent animals to a lesser being. It is just immoral.  Of course, IMO.

07 Mar 2013 11:48 PM


Below is the list of stallions that trace back to Mr. Prospector that have sired classic winners.

Flower Alley (G/Grandson)

Birdstone (G/G/Grandson)

Street Cry (Grandson)

Elusive Quality (Gandson)

Distorted Humor (Grandson)

Our Emblem (son)

Quite American (Grandson)

Unbridled ( Grandson)


Fappiano (son)

Smart Strike (son)

Northern Afleet ( Grandson)

Thunder Gulch (Grandson)

Woodman (son)

Seeking The Gold (son)

Roman Ruler ( Grandson)

Grindstone (G/Grandson)

Gone West (son)

Kingmambo (son)

Cryptoclearance (Grandson)

Forty Niner (son

The above 21 stallions have combined to sire the winners of 35 Triple Crown races.

I have records on the Northern Dancer, Bold ruler and Hail To reason sire lines and none are even close.

There is no hype of the Mr. Prospector sire line as the cold facts supports its dominance.

08 Mar 2013 2:10 AM

Looking forward to see how Bob Baffert is progressing with his star colt Flashback. Flashback has been untested thus far and this may still remain the same.

Not over the moon with Verrazano as some appear to be on this blog, he is not the second coming of Seattle Slew just yet!! Nonetheless, hyperbole makes the Derby preps what they are, fun. Especially on blogs.

By Sunday, some cocks may have turned into feather dusters ad some feather dusters may be crowing cocks!!

08 Mar 2013 7:01 AM
Bloodline Bob

I've spent the last 2 hours going through my 2013 Ky. Derby horses to watch(started on Dec. 10, 2012) + I'm throwing out all my fillies + geldings. There are only 2 colts left on my watch list that have a chance to go to the Ky. Derby and they are both running 3-9-13(Sat.). DYNAMIC SKY(Tampa Bay Derby-Gr.2) and TIZ A MINISTER(San Felipe-Gr.2). I believe that the new Ky. Derby point system will give us "false favorites" for the 2013 Ky. Derby.

08 Mar 2013 9:07 AM


“I suspect you gentleman touting the Mr. P. sire line have not done your homework. Am I right? Have you actually run the numbers and determined that Mr. P. is not, in fact, underrepresented among classic winners?”

Your statement above is confusing. You refer to the Mr. P sire line in one sentence and Mr. P in another.

For the records 21 stallions that have sired classic winners trace back to Mr. Prospector. As for Mr. Prospector, he is amongst a hand full of stallions that have sired a winner of each leg of the Triple Crown. His grandson Unbridled who appears to be the his best extension emulated him with a similar achievement.

If I fully understand the above you are correct that Mr. Prospector line stallions are not, in fact, underrepresented among classic winners.

You entire post is confusing and as a result I do not believe I have provided either a meaningful or informative response.

For the records the Storm Cat sire line has mores stallions than the Mr. Prospector sire line. To date the Storm Cat sire line has one classic winner to its credit i.e.,Shackleford.

08 Mar 2013 9:46 AM


“You should appreciate not giving up on a colt that I'm convinced is a good one ...just like you're persevering with Footbridge (LOL)”

Footbridge is royally bred and would have been on the Derby Trail if not for Darley’s zero race day medication policy. Do you consider Ore Pass a better colt than Footbridge?

“I like your reference to Verrazano as "wonder horse"

I was not the one that actually referred to Verrazano as a potential wonder horse. I saw the reference in an ESPN piece where Flashback and Verrazano were referred to as potential wonder horses. After reading the piece it reminded me of just how deficient I am in the evaluation of talent.

Itsmyluckyday has run just as fast or faster than Verrazano and against better company and Verrazano is he potential wonder horse. Interesting!

It appears you are predicting a new track and stakes record in the TBD as anything less will leave Street Sense as the fastest to date in the TBD.

I’ll have another and Bodemeister recorded times of 1:34 and a bit for 8F in their build up to the Derby. Flashback recorded a time of 1:36 and he is a wonder horse, monster and Buzzsaw. I clearly have my head to separate my ears and also visually impaired.

Subject to correction Consolidator holds the stakes record of 1:40.11 for the San Filipe. The brilliantly fast and Ill-fated Premier Pegasus appears to have the second fastest time of 1:41.23. You Buzzsaw will have to run 3 seconds faster than he has to date to get close to the record. Anything less will seriously damage his reputation as a potential wonder horse.

08 Mar 2013 10:21 AM


“Coldfacts.BTW Now and Then was smoked finishing 3rd out of a 4 horse allowance field, the 7th race today at Aqueduct”

His margin of defeat is not consistent with being smoked unless my definition of smoked is wrong.

He clearly ran green but he kept trying and was actually closing at the end. He is a talented colt in a barn that has lost its way.

I would not be surprised if Darley make some changes going forwards.

I think Goldencents will win the SF. He has won from 51/2F to 9F in his short career. His four races have been contested at four different tracks. His graded stakes baptism against S/Bobby is testament to his class. He is battle tested and very classy. He has an advantage over all and if he run to his potential he will be very tough.

His sire Into Mischief bred only 61 mares’ compared to the sire of Flashback that bred 170. Flower Alley the sire of Ill Have Another bred <70 and he sent the Bodemeister into retirement who was the product of a stallion that bred 151 mares.  

Goldencents is not the product of an overbred stallion but Flashback is. He might get hurt if he tries to test the golden one.

08 Mar 2013 10:39 AM


“All I'll say for now is that Rydilluc is a superior colt to Oflee Fast”

Offlee Fast exited a Maiden Claiming race in 7th place and entered a MSW to record a gate to wire victory. En route to victory he recorded racehorse fractions and repelled all challengers.

He switched to a different surface and suffers a close defeat to the 3rd. place finisher in the G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile.

He is inferior to Rydilluc that contested 3 races at 8F before he tackled 9F while setting internal fractions consistent with those of claimers. Offlee Fast tackled 9F in his second start, ran faster internal fractions and repelled numerous challengers.

Medaglia d'Oro the sire of Rydilluc bred 194 mares in 2009. Mares covered are normally higher figures. The horses from these overbred stallions normally fall by the way side when subject to serious pressure. Violence got seriously tested and he broke down. I am amazed Dan Legacy is still around with the brutal campaign to which he has been subjected. He has done most of his racing on synthetic and turf.

Offlee Wild the sire of Oflee Fast bred only 56 mares. Horses from those small books are dangerous when talented. Big Brown, Mine That Bird and I’ll Have Another are a few.

I would suggest that Rydilluc be kept away from Offlee Fast as he is not the product of an overbred stallion and is very good.

08 Mar 2013 11:22 AM

It aint easy being good!,

"He also stated that code west is not in the same league as Flashback.”

I happen to prefer Code West to Flashback. He is from the Mr. Prospector sire line that has dominated the Triple Crown. He was sired by a grandson of Mr. P that has been disappointing as a sire to date. However, the grandsons of Mr. Prospector have a impressives record in the Triple Crown.

I must be missing something significant about Flashback. I just cannot see what other have.

Would Speedy Bob ship his wonder horse to NY to take on S/Bobby in a G1 after his MSW victory? Highly unlikely.

Goldencents stepped up from 51/2F to 8F in a G1. Who deserves wonder horse status?

All that glitter isn’t gold!

Speedy Bob believed that Indian Charlie was far superior to Real Quiet. Enough revealed!

08 Mar 2013 11:44 AM
It aint easy being good!

CHIEF PICAWINNA: My pick this weekend FLASHBACK! Can you guys wake me up when the race is over!

Slew I have never heard BB talk so high about a horse like this so soon. El Kabong said it well when BB speaks and analyzes his horses I listen. He said that Code West is not in the same league as FLASHBACK! Just like I was right with Orb go collect your free money this weekend at Santa Anita. LOCK OF THE YEAR!

08 Mar 2013 11:50 AM
Rusty Weisner

El Kabong,

I saw the race.  I know Flashback toyed with them.  But I'm willing to take a stab betting against him in a race where I don't expect him to just get a away with an easy lead, much less that same easy pace.  I won't be surprised if you're right, though.

08 Mar 2013 12:36 PM
El Kabong

Chief P,

I like Flashback to win. Goldencents will probably be there with him but without seeing the odds, I don't think there will be money to make unless you use Flashback over Kochees or Tiz A Minister. So without seeing the odds, perhaps a Super. 2 w 4,6 w 3 with 4,5,6 for a base of $4 each time you play. I may play it 5 times for $20. You could back it by playing  one 2 with 3 with 4,5,6 with 4,5,6 for $6 to get your wager back if it runs chalk. Anything outside of a super won't return much. Good luck, Willlllburrrrr.

08 Mar 2013 4:42 PM
Little Bill


You must have missed Baffert leaving the Derby paddock that year. I'm sure he was excited about Charlie all spring. Camera rolling, national audience, he put his index finger to his lips, shhhh. He knew RQ was sitting on a big one. I'm sure he still had confidence in Charlie, RQ was one of those that came around at the right time.  

08 Mar 2013 5:41 PM
El Kabong


Good luck. It will pay nicely if Flashback runs off the board. There is a thrill in making those plays. keep kochees in mind. That last race, only his second was in good company. It was his first dirt race and he may improve off of that last effort with the blinkers. A Lion Heart with Maria's Mon  is a very good cocktail and I like his works since his last out.

08 Mar 2013 6:27 PM

It ain't easy: That's odd...I hear the same thing from Baffert every year.

Johnny:"S has won the Derby 19 times with the last one being Super Saver which could almost count twice since both names start with a "S".  

That is out of 138 Kentucky Derbies.  And Secretariat couldn't win a stakes race that started with the letter "W". So?

Coldfacts:"To date the Storm Cat sire line has one classic winner to its credit i.e.,Shackleford."


So you've never heard of

Tabasco Cat? (Preakness and Belmont)?  

Life Is Sweet?(BC Ladies Classic) Bluegrass Cat? (Derby and Belmont) Giant's Causeway?(Euro champion) Cat Thief? (BC Classic)

Storm Flag Flying?(BC Juv fillies)

After Market? (Charles Whittingham Memorial)     To name a few.

Just how many months have you been following this sport?

El I don't think Flashback will be out of the money; I just believe Goldencents is the better horse, and is heading to the Derby. (with the Coach, Lava Man!)

Going off on a side track now:  NFL linebacker Ray Lewis to speak at Derby?  Yup, that's just who I want to speak to my kids...the guy who pleaded down from a murder indictment in a drunken brawl, to an obstruction charge.  Should really give the Kentucky Derby some class!

08 Mar 2013 6:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   You make some excellent points. It sure will be interesting to see what Flashback does. And Goldencents too. I always want to see Lava Man but I'm not sold on Goldencents yet, or Flashback. Maybe tomorrow. I'm rooting for a big effort from Hear the Ghost myself more than any of them. I am determined to keep an open mind and effectively start from scratch after all of the preps are done. It wouldn't bother me in the least to be completely wrong on any of them prior to The Derby then I hope to be right.

08 Mar 2013 7:52 PM

HEy...can you watch kochees stride? tell me what you think.......kochees.....what are your thoughts? Watch the replays......comments?

08 Mar 2013 8:28 PM

Slew,my post was made in jest.

08 Mar 2013 8:43 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

KY Vet

   Kochees stride and action looks more suited to turf to me, nice stride though, vertical action a little high, reaches out well. What do you think? It's a good stride though. He should have some success. May know more tomorrow but I'd most likely stick to turf if he was mine.

08 Mar 2013 10:25 PM


My quote:

"For the records the Storm Cat sire line has more stallions than the Mr. Prospector sire line. To date the Storm Cat sire line has one classic winner to its credit i.e.,Shackleford."

A clarification is obviously needed.

My reference to the one classic winner related to the line of stallions that trace back to Storm Cat.  I assume that this would have been obvious since I was comparing the Mr. Prospector and Storm Cat sire lines.

There is Storm Cat and there is his line of stallions. Related such that each excludes or precludes the other.

08 Mar 2013 11:38 PM


Mr Prospector bred 1970

Storm Cat bred 1983

Seems more fair to compare Mr.P to Seattle Slew and Secretariat, all born in the 70's.

Storm Cat's son Giant's Causeway alone did not have his first crop until 2002.  He then produced:

Mike Fox..Canadian Queen's Plate

First Samurai...2000 Guineas

Footstepsinthesand...1000 Guineas and Coronation stakes

Shamardal who was the Euro 2 year old champion, and came back at 3 to win the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, the Prix du Jockey Club and the St. James's Palace.

That's just one Storm Cat son who never had a foal on the ground until 2002.

Johnny: I know you were joking, it's just that every year someone else brings it up.  Don't forget Sunday Silence and Seattle Slew, both double SS's.

Dr. D.: I'm not firm in my choices yet either.  The horses on my list are those who have impressed me.  I haven't seen them all yet, and I'll see what else happens.  I'm still not impressed by Tapits for the 10f, so therefore not 12f.  I guess Hansen just knocked me off that train last year.

09 Mar 2013 8:09 AM

Coldfacts: You should also consider that because the Mr. Prospector line is so prevalent in Derby Starters (along with Slew), for every Mr. P. colt who wins, there are at least 15 other Mr.P. colts in the gate who didn't win.

That's simple logic.

09 Mar 2013 8:40 AM

Wow: The gate crew at Meydan is awesome!  In race 5, Masterstroke #5, went down in the gate.  The crew had him up and out in under 30 seconds, and the remaining 8 unloaded within a minute.  #'s 5,4 and 6 were checked by a Vet, and everyone was reloaded with no delay. #5 was scratched. I liked #'s 2 and 4.  12f...slow first half by lead (#4), then they really started racing...#6 Jackalberry, #2 Await The Dawn, and pacesetter #4 Cavalryman.

09 Mar 2013 10:07 AM

Hmmm..In the Burj Nahaar, African Story made it back to back victories, eased at the wire.  Dullahan, off to an awkward start, crept up on the rail, but then faded back in the home stretch.

Little Mike will be running in the next race.

09 Mar 2013 10:43 AM

Hunter's Light won the Al Maktoum Challenge r3.  Little Mike ran well but faded in the final furlong on the tapeta.  Needs to go back to the turf.

09 Mar 2013 11:19 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I've been using Brisnet PP's since 2003 but I do happen to have the DRF Beyers for Derby winners from 1993 through 2009. Maybe somebody else can list the numbers for 2010 through 2012 for the following stat. I've listed the Derby winner's high Beyer number for their career prior to March 1st of their 3yo season. I hope this helps.

1993-Sea Hero-99

1994-Go For Gin-100

1995-Thunder Gulch-105


1997-Silver Charm-110

1998-Real Quiet-102


2000-Fusaichi Pegasus-103


2002-War Emblem-86

2003-Funny Cide-103

2004-Smarty Jones-105



2007-Street Sense-108

2008-Big Brown-90

2009-Mine That Bird-81

09 Mar 2013 11:32 AM
El Kabong


I am surprised you focused so much on the San Felipe when your easy target should have been Verrazano in the TBD. This is a race that eats favorites for the fun of it, and 5 of those have been Pletcher's. That said do we go against him? YES! I see speed, too much speed in this race and that leads me to three others. Purple Egg, Dynamic Sky and a long shot named Java's War who will benefit most from a heated pace. I will key the favorite second and third and place these horses around him and probably toss in Park City down low. Will you join me in slaying a the great giant out east?

09 Mar 2013 11:40 AM
Pedigree Ann

Coldfacts - then you don't count Conquistador Cielo, Tank's Prospect, Kingmambo (he won the French 2000 Guineas), or Fusaichi Pegasus in your Mr. P total?

I think you had best clarify further that you are talking about US classics, since Giant's Causeway has sired 4 classic winners overseas, making your statement about the Storm Cat line laughable as it stands otherwise.

09 Mar 2013 1:49 PM

I for one am very disappointed to see that the triple crown races keep falling to lightly raced horses that after winning, so often are never heard from again.  Where are the battle tested champions of old that gave the fans a hero to cheer for for entire seasons??  I refuse to believe that thoroughbreds are so fragile that they can only handle 3-4 races in a year and then they are done.  If they spent more time RACING and less time TRAINING perhaps we could enjoy more of their performances.  These athletes thrive on competition, and it should be the trainers job to keep them sound and race them as often as possible.  THAT is what the sport needs, Champions, not one hit wonders.  The likes of War Admiral, Affirmed, and Citation would be ashamed!!

09 Mar 2013 1:51 PM

Dr. d.....what is your point? it takes at least 105 to win the derby......not talking about preps....

09 Mar 2013 5:18 PM

DrD: Nice call.  Hear The Ghost sweeps past the dueling leads to win the San Felipe.  Flashback doggedly keeps 2nd, Tiz A Minister comes from last to grab 3rd just ahead of the tiring Goldencents who dueled with Flashback midrace.

But you must admit...still the best looking horse on the track was the lead pony for Goldencents, my Lava Man.

And Tiz A Minister was not too shabby either.  He was handsome, and really covering ground in the final furlongs.

09 Mar 2013 7:00 PM

Flashback learnt a few things today, the extra weight may have cost him the race or perhaps he didn't "Hear" the Ghost come running. Still, it was an exciting prep for the Santa Anita Derby - that's the real test. Even so, Hear the Ghost was very impressive today.

Verrazano was exciting to watch in his win but can he rate? Perhaps there are more questions than answers with his win today. Have been keeping an eye on Mr Palmer and he ran a nice race today.

09 Mar 2013 7:11 PM

And Verrazano does step it up in the Tampa Bay Derby!  He did not even look winded in the gallop out. Very impressive looking colt.

Verrazano Bridge toll now 15.00, even more than the G.W. Bridge.  Attaboy Verrazano!!!

Pletcher must have been evasive when asked what is next for Verrazano?  I guess he'll cross that bridge when he comes to it!

Pedigree Ann,

Why not a Henny Hughes offspring winning the Derby?  Henny was a geat sprinter, resides at Sheikh Mo's Darley USA where no "slouches" reside.  Henny's a descendent of Secretariat, look at his pedigree (by Hennessey) and if bred to a mare with distance why not a Derby winning offspring, why is it so farfetched?  Henny was amazing and a fan favorite in New York.  I saw him several times in the flesh at Belmont Park.  His color was uniike any I have seen, it was as if they sprayed him with 24K gold.  He is a rich coppery, reddish, gold color and it gleamed in the paddock in the sun.

Other stuff:

Rydilluc, it was told to me, was bred for the dirt so there is dirt potential despite his last great efforts out on turf.

Now that I've heard the Ghost loud and clear my list is:

1.  ItsMyLuckyDay

2.  Revolutionary

3.  Vyjack

4.  Verrazano

5.  Orb

6.  Shanghai Bobby

7.  Rydilluc

8.  Palace Malice

9.  Hear The Ghost

10. Goldencents

11. ???

12. ???

09 Mar 2013 11:30 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Thank you, thank you very much. I think I found my main rooting interest. So far anyway.


   I probably misunderstood what you were saying but what I am saying is that Vyjack getting a 93 Beyer does not mean that he can't win The Derby. Derby winners have gotten similar speed figures at this point and won The Derby. We all have our reasons for liking and not liking horses to win The Derby. For me, a 93 Beyer at the early stage he earned it wouldn't be the reason I would toss a horse from contention.

09 Mar 2013 11:48 PM

Both of the major Derby preps were won by horses receiving weight.

Flashback would have won at level weights.

Verrazano would still have won even if he carried the top weight.

He looks like a bigger and more relaxed version of Seattle Slew. The question now is whether he will be effective at 12 furlongs.

Pletcher should send him straight to the Derby. If the horse needs work, he can simply put 140 lbs on him and work him over 9 furlongs. Racing on dirt hurts horses.

10 Mar 2013 8:35 AM

I must confess that despite my love for Hear The Ghost I wagered more on Tiz A Minister.

I am GG fan and I won a lot on the colt with my man up in his last start. He looked magnificent in the paddock and I suspect would have won if not for a judgmental error by GG.

Approaching the top of the stretch he had the room and the option to go inside and save ground but chose to needlessly take the colt six wide and that cost him a victory and my exacta.

Mr. Patrick Husband was at his worst in costing me a lot of money as well. For a rider with his experience it is inexcusable what he did with Pyrite Mountain.

How can these riders turn victory into defeat with such bad decisions?


10 Mar 2013 12:57 PM


Aren’t you being a bid unkind to the Raise a Native/Mr. Prospector legacy?

There will always be issues with inbreeding especially if it is too close. I do not believe said issues are unique to Native/Mr. Prospector.

“Take a look at the pedigree of Eight Belles, an accident waiting to happen.”

Unbridles Song’s offspring’s are known for breaking down. This is common knowledge in the industry. The Tapits are not far behind.

The Raise a Native/Mr. Prospector has been associated with winners of 51 Triple Crown races and over 100 top three finishers.  I consider the Triple Crown to be the ultimate test for 3YOs and if this line was producing a trailer load of fragile runners, how do you explain its success at these grueling distances?

The requirements for young developing horses to run at 30 MHP over distances between 8F and 10F, will invariably result in injuries.

No sire line associated with reducing thoroughbreds to lesser beings would be capable of the level of worldwide success achieved by  the Raise a Native/Mr. Prospector sire line.

I think your statements do a disservice to the most dominate line in TC history.

10 Mar 2013 1:24 PM


He ran a courageous race but was exposed as not being a wonder horse. I think this race is likely to set him back. The internal fractions recorded while going head to head with a very fast opponent is not good for a colt making its third start. He is a Tapit and they have proven to be very temperamental and soft. One tough race and they can go off. Tapizar and Joyful Victory are prime examples.

As cited in some of my previous posts, the internal fraction recorded in the Bob Lewis were pedestrian and Flashback’s impressive win should have been taken in proper context.  

Despite his loss he is still being regarded as a monster by a particular contributor. This is not surprising as said contributor hailed Dunkirk as a rising Star after his defeat in the Belmont. I guess eventual Champion 3YO Summer Bird was a non-factor.

A monster that has been slain is a dead monster. The focus should now be on the monster slayer.

There are those that will blame Flashback’s loss on his rider’s decision to engage Goldencents in the first 6Fs that produced wicked fractions. If Flashback was a monster/freak as proclaimed, said fractions would not be a factor. I contend the outcome of the race would be no different.  

Hear The Ghost running style and PPs suggest that he would be formidable in two turn races. I cited in a previous post that he was not a sprinter. He closed to be 1 1/2L second in race at 6F completed in 1:08 and a bit. The 6F fractions for the SF were 1:09 plus. There are no fractions that could have been recorded to stop HTG as he would have been second best if not for Mr. Gomez inexplicable error.

The terms monster and freak are loosely used to describe certain horses in each new crop. If a horse’s achievements has not either equaled or superseded those of past champions, why are these accolades being bestowed prematurely?  

Have we not seen enough Uncle Mo’s and Union Rags’ in the past?

10 Mar 2013 1:32 PM

It takes 105 to win the Derby!


The highest Beyer's for 17 past Derby winners cited by one contributor included 7 <100 and only two at 105. Therefore 15 did not attained the requisite phantom Beyer of 105.

Are horses that have not attained a Beyer of 105 excluded from the Derby field?

Well my learned friend you have certainly enlightened use as to what it take to win a Derby?

Your insightfully input is invaluable!

10 Mar 2013 1:43 PM

I like Palace Malice. I don't have any fancy facts and figures to back up my choice (though it is great that he is getting recognition and is thought to have a decent chance) I like him because I've been following Curlin's first crop since last year and I would love to see a colt from his first crop make a name for himself. Palace Malice is Curlin's best chance for the derby or any other Triple Crown race because he's basically Curlin's only "stakes level" colt mature enough this early in the year. Curly Top has been mentioned as a derby nominee but he hasn't run since early this year though i believe he won that rave if i remember correctly. A large portion of Curlin's colts didn't race (or even workout) at 2 so in that sense they seem to take after their sire and we probably won't see much out of them till later in the year.

Curlin has several fillies looking to get into the Oaks. Countess Curlin and Blue Violet may have the best chance there. Blue Violet did not do well in her first starts last year but has improved a lot and is now graded stakes placed. Countess Curlin has a good record and is Curlin's first stakes winner.

Anyway, it's nice to the "cream" of his first crop rising to stakes level racing it will be fun to see if any take after their sire in more than just growth rate :-)

10 Mar 2013 4:14 PM


You're not getting it.

Around 25% of all horses at stud in the U.S. are descended tail male from Mr. Prospector.

Half the studs in the U.S. with more than 100 foals per crop are descended from Mr. P.

On a quick read of these signs, it can not be ruled out that 50% of our classic prospects are descended from Mr. Prospector, and it is therefore not surprising that quite a few classic winners are. It's by default; you don't breed much else.

When you add to that the export in droves of other bloodlines and the failure to import the world's leading bloodlines . . . . if not now, soon. In the entire U.S. there is not a single son of the world's leading sire of sires, Danehill. There was naught but modest, belated interest in Sadlers' Wells, before and after El Prado was brought over.

Sadler's Wells claim to fame for a decade or so was as the answer to a trivia question: what stallion has sired the most Breeders' Cup winners?

It's not a classic, I know, but nobody seems to recall that a Storm Cat stallion sired very recent Breeder's Cup Marathon winner Man of Iron.

10 Mar 2013 9:29 PM

By the way, congrats to those who espied classic potential in neophyte Hear A Ghost: I did not.

Another neat War Pass showed up at roll call though. Anybody seen any good War Pass fillies?

10 Mar 2013 9:32 PM

JerseyBoy !! You have hit a nerve, "He looks like a bigger and more relaxed version of Seattle Slew," "sacré bleu."

Revisit Seattle Slew's "Flamingo Stakes" - this is why there is only one undefeated Triple Crown Winner. There are no comparisons.

Verrazano may be a promising horse but Seattle Slew would have destroyed the impostor.  

10 Mar 2013 9:42 PM


Forgive me for taking his holy name in vain.

I do agree Seattle Slew was unique. He is the only one.

However, he ran the KY Derby in just 2:02.2

I do not know what the Track Variant was, but 2:02.2 can be matched.

I did not say that Verrazano is already equal to the Slew.


“Hope springs eternal in the human breast”

11 Mar 2013 9:31 AM

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