Derby Dozen (video) - March 12, 2013 - Presented by Shadwell Farm

[brightcove videoid="2219323501001"]


Itsmyluckyday Eddie Plesa Jr. Click Here!

Lawyer Ron—Viva la Slew, by Doneraile Court

Debated long and hard whether to stay with him on top, and with so many lightly raced horses dominating the Derby lists, I decided to stay old school and go with the more experienced, battle-tested horse, who also worked old school, breezing an easy mile in 1:46 at Calder. You don’t see works like that anymore. He has so much more foundation than the others, and that’s kind of refreshing in a way. He has a decent amount of stamina through his sire and broodmare’s family, but the only concern is his speed-oriented tail-female family, which is why I like the long, easy mile work over the deeper Calder strip. He will spend Easter weekend putting all his eggs in one basket. And he’ll have to fill the basket with enough points to move on to Louisville.


Verrazano Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

There is no doubting he is the now horse, and from a visual standpoint, he overwhelms and intimidates his opponents with his physical presence and humongous stride. Java’s War and Falling Sky looked like yearlings running next to a 5-year-old stud horse. The Tampa Derby was a big step forward, but can his freaky talent overcome his inexperience? If he’s going to carry his high cruising speed 1 1/4 miles it likely will be due to his fourth dam, the King Ranch-bred Remedia, who is by Dr. Fager, arguably the fastest horse in history to successfully carry his speed 10 furlongs, out of champion European filly Monade, winner of the English Oaks and second in the Arc de Triomphe. Monade is a half-sister to Miss Dan, who finished third in the Arc behind Sassafras and Nijinsky and second in the D.C. International behind Horse of the Year Fort Marcy. Remedia is the dam of Maskette winner and Alabama runner-up Too Chic, who produced Verrazano’s second dam, Ashland winner Chic Shirine, and champion older mare Queena, winner of the Ruffian, Maskette, and Ballerina. Remedia also produced Beat, the dam of Rising Moon, a stakes winner at 1 1/2 miles who placed in the 1 1/4-mile Suburban twice and 1 1/2-mile Brooklyn.


Revolutionary Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

Breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5, and will be heading for the Louisiana Derby, which would give him five weeks to the Kentucky Derby. This colt has had only one clean trip in five career starts and annihilated his opponents by 8 1/2 lengths going a flat mile, earning a lofty 102 Beyer Speed figure. He has the foundation, he’s demonstrated his doggedness and will to win, his speed over a distance of ground, and he has a dynamite female family. And remember, he was able to do what he did in the Withers coming off only one half-mile breeze in five weeks and no works in 13 days leading up to the race. You have to like a horse who can get fit off his gallops alone. There’s not a lot to pick apart with him.


Orb Shug McGaughey

Malibu Moon—Lady Liberty, by Unbridled's Song

Had his first work since the Fountain of Youth, breezing a half in :48 2/5 at Payson Park. There isn’t much more to say about him than what was said last week. He is another one for the old-school traditionalists to root for, having the foundation , the trainer, and the female family. He is a homebred, which I always like to see. And most of all, he’s probably shown as much improvement race to race than any 3-year-old on the Derby trail. If there is one thing you can count on, it’s that Shug will have him peaking on the first Saturday I May.


Vyjack Rudy Rodriguez

Into Mischief —Life Happened, by Stravinsky

So, which Vyjack are we going to see in the Wood Memorial? Can the stretch-running Vyjack outclose Normandy Invasion? Can the pace-pressing Vyack handle Verrazano? Assuming Verrazano does indeed run at the Big A, he’ll get his big class test, and so far, by all indications, he should be able to handle it. There is something about an undefeated horse, especially one with his versatility that makes for a more exciting Derby trail. And when you can blow by horses the way he did in the Gotham and then quickly draw off with long, powerful strides, you’re going to command an awful lot of respect.


Shanghai Bobby Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Harlan's Holiday—Steelin', by Orientate

If you were going to play a horse in the future book or Future Wager based on how gratifying it would be to see him win and pay a good price, this would be the horse to bet. Not too long ago, he was considered a budding superstar, having won the Hopeful and Champagne. In the second Future Wager pool, he is the seventh favorite among the individual betting interests at 16-1. It is apparent that his head score in the BC Juvenile and slow closing fractions are being held against him, along with his first career defeat in the Holy Bull, and the notion he can’t get the mile and a quarter. All this may be justified, but the truth is, he ran a terrific race in the Holy Bull, breaking the track record in defeat and finished 11 ½ lengths ahead of the third horse. Can anyone say overlay?


Hear the Ghost Jerry Hollendorfer Click Here!

Ghostzapper—Rehear, by Coronado's Quest

Visually, his San Felipe victory was very impressive, especially coming off only two six-furlong races, and you have to love the way this gelding explodes on a dime in the last sixteenth, whether it’s sprinting or two turns. But because of the pace meltdown (:45 3/5 first half and :49 2/5 next half) and having only three career starts and only one two-turn race, I’d like to give him one more race before evaluating him as a Derby horse. Also, as much ground as he was making up, there was another horse closing just as fast from 16 lengths back on the far turn. In the fourth quarter, run in :25 3/5, he lost a half-length, while Tiz a Minister made up nine lengths. To his credit, however, he did out-close Tiz a Minister after getting nearly headed in the final sixteenth. Happy to see Hollendorfer, one of my favorite trainers, back on the Derby trail.


Flashback Bob Baffert Click Here!

Tapit—Rhumb Line, by Mr. Greeley

It wasn’t the defeat in the San Felipe that was unfortunate as much as the race not helping him move forward professionally. He looked to be in a great position settling in fourth on the inside when Leparoux, perhaps afraid of getting trapped, steered him out and right into an unwanted dogfight. Instead of rating nicely and saving ground, he now was engaged with a speed horse inside him, and to make it worse, his sudden move got Goldencents, who was trying to be rated, all fired up. Once these two eyeballed each other and got their blood up, it was a suicide mission from there on. To his credit, he put Goldencents away, but you could see him shortening stride, and his slow final five-sixteenths set it up for the closers. The good news is that he was beaten only a half-length. The bad news is that he failed to get what he needed mentally out of the race and we still don’t know how ratable he is.


Oxbow D. Wayne Lukas Click Here!

Awesome Again—Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy

After running nearly 7 points faster than his previous best Thoro-Graph number, winning the LeComte by 11 1/2 lengths, one would naturally think he regressed, finishing fourth in the Risen Star. But the fact is, he ran a ‘2’ in both races, which is one of the faster figs by a 3-year-old this year. When they pair up like that, it would lead one to believe that the first one was no fluke. Lukas didn’t pick an easy spot, running him in what is expected to be a huge field in the Rebel Stakes, where everyone will be point hunting and post position will be important. But if he draws a decent post, he does have the tactical speed to avoid traffic. He just can’t make an early move like he did in the Risen Star. He turned in a solid 6-furlongs breeze in 1:13 4/5.


Palace Malice Todd PletcherClick Here!

Curlin—Palace Rumor, by Royal Anthem

Unlike Oxbow, he will return to Fair Grounds for the Louisiana Derby, where he should be much tighter and fitter than he was for the Risen Star. He loses Rosie Napravnik to Shanghai Bobby in the Florida Derby, but gets Edgar Prado, who has made a big comeback and is hot right now in stakes races, riding some classy Pletcher horses. It wasn’t that long ago that Prado was one of the main go-to riders in the country. I still feel this colt, who breezed a half in :49 2/5, has tremendous room for improvement following his first two-turn race and having only one sprint race in 5 1/2 months. He also has a strong pedigree and should only keep improving as the distances stretch out.


Normandy Invasion Chad Brown Click Here!

Tapit—Boston Lady, by Boston Harbor

Breezed a half in :48 for his all or nothing attempt to make the Derby cut in the Wood Memorial. He will have to contend not only with his competition, which could include Verrazano, but a likely big field, and then hope he doesn’t encounter the kind of trip he had in the Risen Star, which was enough to shut him out in the points race. It’s going to be a pressure-packed time for the colt’s connections, but if he runs first or second and manages to get in the Derby, it will mean he was flying at the end, and that will make him a major contender, even though there are some question marks in his pedigree. If he does make a big run at the end and gets beat two noses, chances are slim that 24 points will get him in, but who really knows for sure what the cutoff will be.


Super Ninety Nine Bob Baffert

Pulpit —Exogentic, by Unbridled’s Song

Worked five furlongs in :59 4/5 in company with Den’s Legacy, who will accompany him to Oaklawn for the Rebel. This time it’s not going to be an easy stroll on the lead if Delhomme and Oxbow have anything to say about it, not to mention a full field intent on preventing another Baffert theft at Oaklawn. And hopefully, we’ll get a fast track this time. This colt continues to surprise Baffert, who keeps waiting for him to hit his distance limit. But he’s been re-breaking and kicking in and forcing Baffert to keep going on the Derby trail. But it’s a long way from 1 1/16 miles to 1 1/4 miles, or even 1 1/8 miles. Just ask Secret Circle and The Factor.

Knocking At The Door

Here’s the deal with Tampa Derby runner-up JAVA’S WAR. If he runs in the Blue Grass, he moves into the Top 12. If he ships to Dubai for the UAE Derby, he doesn’t. He could very easily win the $2 million prize, but it would seem to be asking too much of him to fly halfway around the world to compete on a demanding Tapeta surface and then fly all the way back home and run in the Derby. If it usually takes older horses several months to get over such a trip, how is he going to run back five weeks later at Churchill Downs?

What I loved about his performance was the way he was able to sustain such a powerful move for almost five furlongs over a testing surface and show no signs of slowing down. He’s already run big on turf and Polytrack, and it has to be extremely encouraging to see him run so well on dirt. His dam, Java, is a full-sister to female grass champion Fiji, winner of the Yellow Ribbon, Gamely, and Santa Barbara among others. His third dam, Careless Vision is a half-sister to the top-class Cacoethes, winner of the Turf Classic and placed in the English Derby, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Juddmonte International, and Japan Cup. She also is a half-sister to Santa Anita Oaks (then Santa Susana) winner Fabulous Notion and Not So Careless, dam of Subordination, winner of the Hollywood Derby, Eddie Read, and Brooklyn Handicap.

Kenny McPeek is as sharp as they come and he has an enviable choice. If anyone can get the horse to perform well in both the UAE Derby and Kentucky Derby it is McPeek. But it’s never been done before and traveling that far back and forth just seems too difficult to accomplish. Now, if he runs in the Blue Grass, that’s a totally different matter and he certainly would have to be considered a major Derby threat.

The other big losing stakes effort was the powerful stretch run from the clouds by TIZ A MINISTER, who proved his explosive victory in the Cal Breeders Championship was no fluke, as he rallied from 18 lengths back early to finish third in the San Felipe, beaten a length. The son of Minister’s Wild Cat has now run two monster races on the dirt after eight starts over grass and synthetic. In the Cal Breeders, he closed from 17 lengths back to win going away for trainer Paul Aguirre. Here is a $6,500 2-year-old purchase at Barretts by a stallion who stands for $4,000. To add to the rags to riches story, he was claimed for $40,000 in his second start. He looks to be an exciting addition to the Derby trail.

The Tampa Derby and San Felipe weren’t the only productive stakes on Saturday. In the 1 1/8-mile Private Terms Stakes at Laurel, the Pulpit colt MR. PALMER, trained by Bill Mott, circled the field seven wide and then mowed down his opposition, drawing off to a 3 1/2-length victory at the 9-5 favorite. It took Mr. Palmer six starts to break his maiden, but his performances and his Beyer figs have steadily climbed with each race and there is little doubt he is a colt on the rise. There were some pretty decent horses in the field of nine and he just ran right by them. Now we’ll just have to wait to see if Mott starts thinking Derby.

So, where is VERRAZANO going to run next?” That is the question all trainers desperately searching for points were asking. If you need to finish first or second in your final prep, do you really want to go up against this guy? Watch a mass exodus from the race in which he does show up. Pletcher mentioned the Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, and Arkansas Derby as possibilities, but is leaning heavily toward the Wood. Here are the questions facing him. Does he really want to run Verrazano against Shanghai Bobby in the Florida Derby when the latter still needs points to get in the Derby? Considering Pletcher normally likes four to five weeks between races, does he want to run Verrazano three weeks before the Kentucky Derby in the Arkansas Derby?

That leaves the Wood Memorial as the logical choice, which is why Pletcher is leaning in that direction. As of now, Pletcher could have Overanalyze going to the Sunland Park Derby. Remember, he could have at least Delhomme in the Arkansas Derby if he runs well in the Rebel, and Capo Bastone has been redirected to the Spiral Stakes. The four weeks between the Wood and the Derby would seem to be perfect, and even though there is always the weather to consider, it is just as likely to rain in Florida and Arkansas as it is in New York. So, just putting everything together, it would seem as if the Wood is the most logical race, Verrazano did grab a quarter when he stumbled slightly coming out of the gate, but it is very minor and is of no concern to Pletcher.

RYDILLUC, who I’m extremely high on, will now make his next start in the Blue Grass Stakes instead of the Spiral. I’m not crazy about having to rely on finishing one-two in a Keeneland Polytrack race with a large field, and then hope he handles the dirt on Derby Day, but if he’s as good as he’s looked in his last three races, who knows what he’s capable of.

GROUND TRANSPORT, who could be a real sleeper in the Louisiana Derby, breezed a bullet half-mile in 47 flat at Fair Grounds. UNCAPTURED continues to progress beautifully at the Ocala Training Center, breezing five furlongs in 1:00, following a :59 4/5 work the week before. Because of his physical setbacks he now is forced to take the Spiral – Blue Grass route. He’s run big on dirt and synthetic, so the surface should not be a problem. Speaking of the Spiral, CROP REPORT returned to the work tab with an easy half-mile breeze in :53 1/5. Eddie Plesa sent SPEAK LOGISTICS a half in :49 2/5. ALWAYS IN A TIZ worked a half in :48 3/5 with Calvin Borel aboard and with blinkers on for Saturday’s Rebel Stakes. Also working for the Rebel was TEXAS BLING, who went five-eighths in 1:01.

Looking forward to seeing Derby longshot special TREASURY BILL stretch out in the Rebel, but it’s going to be a tough assignment with such a large field and a number of talented horses. A first or second here and he will shoot right up the Top 12 list.


Leave a Comment:


I'm still all in with CODE WEST and UNCAPTURED. HEAR THE GHOST and JAVA'S WAR have made it very interesting. I think we will see a lot of changes in Flavor-of-the-Week as the G1 races are run in April.

11 Mar 2013 2:49 PM
Indiana Johnny

*** Johnny's bad boys ***

(1) Super Ninety Nine

(2) Shanghai Bobby



(5) Revolutionary

(6)Tiz A Minister


(8)Dens Legacy

(9)Titletown Five

(10) Overanaylize

: note to other Johnny, don't be trying to take credit for my Bad Boy Picks !

11 Mar 2013 3:11 PM

Normandy Invasion and Revolutionary need a 1 or 2 to make the Derby, and Normandy could be facing Verrazano. Difficult. But I would be more concerned with Revolutionary. This horse should have had another race in there. With Ground Transport,Departing and Palace Malice in there, Revolutionary can't afford a slow start. These are not Withers horses, especially Ground Transport who is the sleeper on the derby trail. I can see Normandy and Revolutionary not making it to Churchill.

11 Mar 2013 3:16 PM

What do you think of Departing Steve? Thinking Departing and Ground Transport may actually both finish ahead of both of Pletchers in Louisiana.

11 Mar 2013 3:18 PM
Age of Reason

Ranagulzion, Slew, Coldfacts and fellow returning Derby Dozen compatriots, be forewarned: the curse has descended upon poor Verrazano, in a manner of speaking. You see, after almost a year of complete inactivity from every horse racing site I know, Draynay resurfaced (think of the Flying Dutchman from Pirates of the Caribbean) today on HRN declaring "Verrazano is 4 races away from being a second Secretariat." The poor thing obviously doesn't have a snowball's chance, now! ;)

11 Mar 2013 3:34 PM

like to see how super99 reacts to pressure on the lead in the rebel. he might have to be tapped a few times to lose his competition this time.

11 Mar 2013 3:44 PM
Steve Haskin

Kevin, I can see it as well. Normandy Invasion will have to contend with Verrazano and Vyjack and cannot afford any traffic trouble. Revolutionary should have an easier time of it if he's good enough. If something weird happens, well, that's the price you pay for skipping the 50 point races.

I wote about Departing in my last column. I think he and Ground Transport could be real sleepers, even if one of them finishes a good second. Dearting has a beautiful way over moving.

11 Mar 2013 3:46 PM
Rusty Weisner

I think Oxbow has to make his move early on a speedy track with a short stretch.  Otherwise Baffert's going to make it three years in a row.  

I'll be playing the second half of the Oaklawn card this weekend along with Laurel.

11 Mar 2013 3:55 PM


I am glad to hear you're staying old school here, I was just thinking about how many times IMLD has started as a 2 year old, I was pleasantly surprised. Here's the Ghost is a little bit further down the list for me, simply because of what happened to Flashback and Goldenscents in the SF. As you noted, Hear the Ghost was sitting in the sweat spot, not too far off the pace, but not too close and the 2 favorites knocked each other out, he capitalized. Good for him, but that situation is unlikely to occur again as the distances get longer. However, I too, am very happy for Hollendorfer.

11 Mar 2013 3:57 PM

i couldn't believe the ride leparoux gave flashback. what a knuklehead. bobby b must put on bejarano or garcia. he was the best horse in the race. for him to go 109:4 that was crazy. if hear the ghost ran the same race as flashback, he would have come in dead last. he will redeem himself in the santa anita derby but without that minor league jockey. regarding the tampa derby, i was not impressed with verrazano. he had no one to beat going 112 and change under a hand ride. the more then ready sire line will kick in the first saturday in may. this horse will be up in the pace , but will be off the board. thats an easy prediction.  keep faith flashback fans. must fire julien.

11 Mar 2013 4:02 PM
Rusty Weisner

Sunbean, too.

11 Mar 2013 4:09 PM

If RYDILLUC is fancied then I think Pyrite Mountain is worth a mentioned.

This lightly race Silent Name colt was an unfortunate looser in the 7th at Gulfstream on Saturday. His rider made what turned out to be a big mistake when he piloted him inside and ran into traffic problem thus costing  him a victory.  

He closed rapidly after being checked sharply in a quickly run 8F (1:34.94) on turf. His#10 post might have also contributed to his loss. I consider him much the best in that race and he was first time Lasix.

I hope the connection take a shot in one of the 9F Derby preps as I think this big colt that has a ton of ability.

11 Mar 2013 4:17 PM

Verrazano although impressive, still has not beaten anybody of significance.  His next race will tell it all.  There is 8 other horses that could have won that Tampa race the same way.  Everyone's on the Pletcher train, I love it!  Flashback, all hype no bottom can't get the Derby distance.  Bye Bye!

Orb and Itsmyluckyday seem to be the horses for the 1 1/4 and it looks like they are hooking up in the Florida Derby.  Orb worked 48 and change this morning at Payson, looks to still be sharp!  Shug's got Derby fever guys look out!

11 Mar 2013 4:18 PM
Rusty Weisner

Steve Haskin,

Re: Rebel Stakes.  Ooh, that sounds good.  Do you or anyone have a preliminary list for that huge field?

11 Mar 2013 4:29 PM
Rusty Weisner

If Verrazano scares off the Wood field, Normandy Invasion has even less of a chance than he had before.

11 Mar 2013 4:31 PM

There is no doubt that Verrazano is physical imposing.  He is a January foal whereas Falling Sky and Java War are April and May foals. Verrazano is a big horse who is already fully 3YO and obviously has a maturity advantage.

His ranking ahead of his stalemate Revolutionary is interesting as he was had a problem free trip in the TBD whereas Revolutionary was only able to be ridden for 1F.

I could not see why Flashback was being hailed as monster and I cannot see why this colt is regarded as the now horse worthy of the #1 ranking.

Itsmyluckyday completed the 8F, GP Derby in 1:34.39

Verrazano completed an allowance race in 1:34.80

Itsmyluckyday completed the 1 1/6M FOY in 1:41.81

Verrazano completed the 1 1/6M TBD in 1:43.94

Both sets of victories were recorded comfortably.

Itsmyluckyday defeated the two time G1 winner and previously undefeated Champion 2YO S/Bobby en route to establishing a NTR. He is undefeated as a 3YO and has recorded the fastest times in 2013 for 8F & 1 1/6M.

How can Verrazano be the now horse when his achievements against lesser opponents are not comparable?

11 Mar 2013 4:50 PM


Regarding the Flashback & the SF:

“He was the best horse in the race. For him to go 109:4 that was crazy.”

The trainer of Flashback referred to him as a freak. A freaks is supposed to capable of wining a race contested in a 1:09 pace. Why was he the best horse in the race?

“If hear the ghost ran the same race as flashback, he would have come in dead last.”

You need to keep it real! Hear The Ghost was the buzz horse all week in CA. He was training very well. You will note he opened at 9-2. His previous race was a 6F completed in 1:08 and a bit and he closed willingly to get within 1 1/2L. He is not a sprinter so he would not run a similar type race to Flashback.

“He will redeem himself in the Santa Anita derby but without that minor league jockey”

Did you witness the way HTG quickened when he was asked for more in the last 100 meters? Flashback cannot out run the  Ghost at 9F.

11 Mar 2013 5:14 PM
Steve Haskin

Coldfacts, I normally dont respond, but you're not really comparing times at Gulfstream and Tampa are you? And youre not really comparing times on different days, separated by 50/100th of a second? I wouldnt expect that from someone as knowledgeable about the sport as you. And, finally, I dont get your point,questioning Verrazano (who is a now horse whether you think so or not) vs. Itsmyluckyday. I have Itsmyluckyday ranked #1. Do you want me to rank him higher than that?

11 Mar 2013 5:25 PM

TIZ A MINISTER was an unlucky looser of the SF. Mr. Gomez had the option to take the shorter route as there was an abundance of room on the inside but made a bad decision and piloted the colt 7 wide and that was costly. He was the pick of the paddock.

11 Mar 2013 5:28 PM

Hi Steve,

Like your line up except that I would take Oxbow & Palace Malice down and Move up Super 99 (3rd) and Delhomme (6th). I expect Delhomme to give Super 99 a run for the money on Friday with Super 99 still winning by 2 lenghts or more.

11 Mar 2013 5:38 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The new Derby Dozen is here. The new Derby Dozen is here !!!! Cool. Am just having coffee now because I was out of coffee this morning and had to go to the store. Just a horrific, horrible morning with no coffee. Great Derby Dozen. Verrazano is even more talented than I thought but still needs more experience. Hear the Ghost looks to be suited for the 10f as does Java's War. Big, big race this weekend that should change the Derby Dozen some. The one I'm most anxious to see next is Revolutionary. This Saturday I'm most anxious to see how Palace Malice does. I also think that Itsmyluckyday is number one still. The top three are the top three and any order would be justified. The rest is a toss up as to how to order them. Super Ninety Nine could win this weekend and still be a big surprise at 10f even if he also wins at 9f, but there is usually a surprise in The Derby top four finishers. Good job Steve as usual.

11 Mar 2013 5:57 PM
Karen in Texas

As I said last week, I'm not making lists; just watching the point system in action for now. I am sorry for the owner and other connections of I've Struck A Nerve after hearing of his injury. The owner was literally speechless with emotion after the Risen Star.

Hear The Ghost made a nice run in the San Felipe. Steve, I think he looks a lot like Coronado's Quest, no?

11 Mar 2013 6:01 PM
Little Bill

Tiz a Minister reminded me of one of my favs, Victory Gallop, separated from the field, back there all alone.

11 Mar 2013 6:05 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Palace Malice next is the Louisiana Derby probably so if I want to see him this weekend I'll have to watch a replay.

11 Mar 2013 6:37 PM

In my opinion, this is a very strong field of horses. Hear are my top 12.

1. Itsmyluckyday.

2. Verrazano.

3. Vyjack.

4. Hear the Goast

5. Shanghai Bobby

6. Goldencents

7. Flashback

8. Palice Maclice

9. Code West

10. Super Ninety Nine

11 Mar 2013 6:58 PM


Itsmyluckday merits and was appropriately ranked at #1.

My issue was not with the rankings.

As you have reported, there is the widely held opinion that Verrazano is the 'Now Horse'

I was trying to determine the basis of these claims as his performances have not superseded those of Itsmyluckyday.

It therefore appears he is being viewed through the same emotionally clouded lens through both Union Rags and Uncle Mo were viewed.

That section of my post was not necessarily directed to you as you are merely reporting a widely held  view.

11 Mar 2013 7:50 PM

Does anyone have the Beyer numbers for the Tampa Bay Derby and the San Felipe?

11 Mar 2013 7:53 PM
Karen in Texas

Dr. D,

Your confusion over Palace Malice must have been due to the coffee deprivation earlier in the day! Are you feeling better now?

11 Mar 2013 7:55 PM

Could not wait for the list to come out today.  Great job Steve.  I like Verrazano more and more.  It seems Verrazano has stepped up to the plate as General Pletcher's top gun since we lost Violence.  I am putting Verrazano in the #2 spot as well and keeping ItsMyLuckyDay at #1.  Revolutionary, Vyjack, then Orb, Shanghai Bobby and then it is hard to figure and sort them out after the sixth or seventh place.  

I guess we have all heard what the Ghost had to say and included him on our lists.  I can't wait for the Florida Derby.  I wish Verrazano would run that instead of the Wood for some reason and then ship from Florida to Churchill.  I would rather him do that but that's just my gut feeling.

I am curious to see how Rydilluc handles the polytrack.  Who knows maybe he can handle all surfaces but that's a tall order to fill.  Churchill tends to get cuppy so who knows how he'll handle it.  

And off topic but how amazing is it that Paynter is breezing and working at Santa Anita.  God Bless him.  And Mr. Zayat's long range goal is BCC, yes BCC.  If all goes well Paynter could end up facing one or some of these 12 3 yr. olds in the BC Classic!  But that's way ahead of the game I cannot even figure the Derby out yet!

11 Mar 2013 8:09 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

I love the way Hear the Ghost refired as soon as he was engaged by Tiz a Minister.  Very impressive for his first go at 2 turns.  I think the further they go the more TAPIT will be exposed in his babies like Hansen. Flashback could be a very very good miler...

11 Mar 2013 8:28 PM
El Kabong


I agree on Java's War. If he goes for the bucks in Dubai I will be off him too and that would be a disappointment. He is breed so well to handle the classic distance and that off the bench performance chasing a moderate pace and very talented horse like Verrazano was very encouraging for a shot at the Derby. Hec, I want him to run in Florida. He would benefit from a hot pace and I would  love to see him on dirt again but I understand why trainers prefer synthetic from a training perspective. Man the Bluegrass is going to be a beauty if he goes.

11 Mar 2013 8:53 PM

I don't care for the trainer, but Revolutionary has a lovely, spectacular pedigree. A lot of thought went into the breeding.  It is not everything, but with this crop of 3 year olds, pedigree is really all that I have.

11 Mar 2013 9:03 PM

After watching the replays of this past weekend 2 big races several times my thoughts.

None of the supposed big 3 impressed me this weekend.

Verrazano who did he beet?

Yes over a 100 figure in 3 of his races impressive colt but who has he beet?

Remember he still has to run another 3/16th of a mile.

I have watched this movie before.

Have I said I refuse to bet a Pletcher horse to win the Derby.

I will wait until after the Wood were I am going to bet Vyjack over him.

Wood may be coming up a sick race especially if ORB goes.

Steve I agree regarding Java War.

If he goes overseas forget it.

Hear the Ghost nice breeding closed into a silly pace. He did rate nicely though.

Will keep an eye on him and on the 3rd place horse Tiz a Minister

Leparoux I will never bet on him to win a Derby,Dialed In and Union Rags. He is much better on the Grass than the dirt.

Indiana Johnny can't believe you stole my list.

Don't like Orb huh?.

My top 3 Itsmyluckyday,Orb,Vyjack.

Vyjack may be the freak horse.

Can he travel?

11 Mar 2013 9:06 PM

Bacon 26, This is NOT a "very strong field of horses". Sorry. With the new point system, only Orb, Verrazano, Revolutionary and Vyjack look like a certainty to get in!

11 Mar 2013 9:33 PM

Karen in Texas, yes I'm also disappointed that I've Struck A Nerve was injured.  I don't think it is too serious, but nevertheless, so sad. Since I live in New Orleans, I'm going to the Louisiana Derby, but it won't be the same without ISAN.

11 Mar 2013 10:15 PM


He reminded me of Silky Sullivan. Hope you're right about whom he resembles.

11 Mar 2013 10:27 PM
Steel Dragon

I understand it's gotta be done, but the Derby has become an annual crapshoot where all the analysis and logic usually goes down the drain.  When was the last time a 2 year old colt really caused a stir and had racing fans (even casual ones) excited for the Triple Crown races? Spectacular Bid?  

11 Mar 2013 10:28 PM

Age of Reason - That was funny!

I will be at the Rebel.  Really looking forward to that race!

I was thoroughly impressed with Verrazano.  My take is he ran them off their feet in the sand and when it was time to hit the stretch, he had ears pricked and was out having a pretty good time.  His cruising gear was just as fast as Java's War's finishing kick through the wire.  There would be no catching Verrazano for any of these horses.  He seems to run at a pace, even in front, that the jock has no need to lay him down unless there is a real and imminent threat.  I'd rank Itsmyluckyday a smidge ahead of Verrazano at this point.  He can cruise and finish, seemingly, just as well as Verrazano but we haven't seen the extra gear from V yet.

Hear the Ghost is only going to get better in my opinion.  Hard to separate him and Tiz a Minister at this point.  Hear the Ghost seems to have a good way of going too.  I'd like to see another rider on Flashback!  That was a horrible trip by JL.

Where will we see Dice Flavor next?

11 Mar 2013 10:37 PM

Two weeks later and I still have a headache.  Tell ya what, whatever horses win the Santa Anita Derby, Arkansas Derby, Florida Derby,  Wood Memorial, and Bluegrass will be my top five picks for the Kentucky Derby.    

It's like the game Yahtzee, put the dice in the cup, shake, and dump.  Sometimes you end up with Yahtzee and a horse like I'll Have Another from last year, or you end up with taking Chance and horses like Bodemeister and Union Rags.

It's a crapshoot, really.

11 Mar 2013 10:41 PM

Said by Karen in Texas:

"Tiz a Minister reminded me of one of my favs, Victory Gallop, separated from the field, back there all alone."

Tiz a Minister briefly reminded me of Silky Sullivan.  When I came out of my ancient reverie, he really reminded me of Zenyatta.

11 Mar 2013 10:44 PM

Oops!  Please attribute my quoted text in my previous post to Fugue for Tinhorns.

My apologies to Karen.

11 Mar 2013 10:45 PM

Tiz a Minister went how wide coming for home?

What would of Verrazono done if he was in the San Felipe with a 45 half?

11 Mar 2013 10:52 PM
Paula Higgins

Age of Reason, I laughed my head off at your post! Say it isn't so, not Draynay touting Verrazano. That is the kiss of death if ever there was one. I think the list is a good one Steve and I am worried about Revolutionary making the Derby as well. I think this points system has its good and bad points, no pun intended. We need to get closer to the Derby before I really pick my #1 and #2. Too many things can happen in terms of injury. But IMLD, Verrazano, Orb and Vyjack are certainly my top contenders now.

11 Mar 2013 11:12 PM

Some readers, critical of Julian L's ride on Flashback, must think that the jocks are driving a car instead of riding a horse....They should get a copy of Joe Palmer's "This was Racing" and read the story titled Whims of Iron....I'll quote the last paragraph....."This doesn't mean a rider has no control of his horse.It does mean that sometimes when a horse stays in or goes out when he should't, the horse thought of it himself, and the jockey went along because it was unsporting to leave him in a huff"    

11 Mar 2013 11:41 PM
Auburn Bill


Thanks for the great job you do with the Derby Dozen. It helps me fill the void during the college football offseason.

Do you have any insight into why Baffert ever put Frenchy on Flashback? After his ride in last year's Florida and Kentucky Derby on Union Rags, I was shocked that he got the mount on any big name 3-year-old, especially one in Cali, which is a new venue for him. Baffert is the man who chastised Gomez when he was THE MAN in Cali for poor riding on LAL, and then Frenchy blows not only Flashback's chances to win, but costs him valuable racing experience for the Derby.

I can't imagine anyone on this site not having serious doubts about betting any Derby horse he rides.

12 Mar 2013 12:07 AM
Steve Haskin

Thanks, Auburn Bill, to be honest I have no idea how Leparoux wound up on him. I cant recall Baffert using him before on a big horse. It wouldnt surprise me if he made a switch, especially with Mike Smith available. But we'll have to see.

12 Mar 2013 12:23 AM
Matthew W

I disagree with the assessment about Flashback not being able to defeat Hear The Ghost at 9fur......from that San Felipe, I could not say that! They ran two very different races! On the clubhouse turn, Flashback vacated his spot, and Corey gladly took it on Hear The Ghost! I think Hear The Ghost is a Derby horse, more so than Flashback---however, Flashback did the wet work in the Felipe, and I expect him to be double-tough in the 9fur SA Derby---for Hear The Ghost, and all the others!

12 Mar 2013 12:24 AM

It's gotta be Curlin. I keep checking the Top 10 for an explanation of Palice Malice's ranking (or presence) on the list. It seems to boil down to the enormous room for improvement the colt has, having accomplished nothing either racing or training for so long.

Do you ever muse over how many tens of thousands of horses in training have enormous room for improvement before they look like Classic contenders?

I think you must be rooting for Curlin to make it big at stud. Wishful thinking is leaning on the scale a bit. Curlin is making an ominously slow start for a horse accomplishments. There seem to be no bright spots: poor auction prices from in utero to 2s-in-training, stud fee tanking, where are the stakes horses? Oh, American SW desert zone? Midnight at the Oasis? Yikes.

So there just HAS TO BE a classic hope out of almost 100 foals, doesn't there?

12 Mar 2013 12:59 AM
All the Kings Horses

Steve the reason Verrazano leaves the friendly confides of both sides of florida coasts racing is not just the timing of races before Derby Day.Fact is Johnny V will ride for Shug when it counts & this separates the dates to get Johnny to New York after Orb has already made the decision for him. Mr.Mellon Robkey Stables reincarnated will get its due with this partnership of another homebred old school group overdue & Shug is high on this one to boot.What a great story here.....

12 Mar 2013 1:05 AM
All the Kings Horses

Steve the reason Verrazano leaves the friendly confides of both sides of florida coasts racing is not just the timing of races before Derby Day.Fact is Johnny V will ride for Shug when it counts & this separates the dates to get Johnny to New York after Orb has already made the decision for him. Mr.Mellon Robkey Stables reincarnated will get its due with this partnership of another homebred old school group overdue & Shug is high on this one to boot.What a great story here.....

12 Mar 2013 1:07 AM

Have to agree about Leparoux. Betting aside, I'm still annoyed at how he screwed up Union Rag's Derby then blamed the horse, claiming he heard a pop.

12 Mar 2013 1:41 AM
joseph alva

The weekend's races lead me to think that Verrazano is talented indeed, but I have questions he has yet to answer.  How will he hold up when he steps up in class and is better challenged?  How will he handle a 20 horse field with his inexperience?  My sense is that he is freakishly talented, but so was Curlin and his inexperience sold him short on Derby Day.  Flashback did not appear to be a horse that can rate well and get the mile and a quarter.  Hear the Ghost and Tiz a Minister are intriguing, but did close into insane fractions as noted by many.    

A little less than two months away and I am convinced that if Orb gets into the starting gate on May 4th, he will definitely hit the board.  He is the horse that I will use in all my bets.  He will definitely get the mile and a quarter, be ready to peak under Shug's wise handling as noted and, with racing luck, could likely win the race.  I expect Johnny V to stick with Verrazano over Orb.  By the way, Steve, the Derby Dozen has Unbridled Song listed as Orb's dam sire.  I believe his dam, Lady Liberty, is by Unbridled.

On a final note, Revolutionary, who so many seem to be high on, may be the real deal indeed.  I like much about him.  However, I question what he has beaten so far.  Pletcher tends to keeps his B-Team up at Aqueduct in the winter like he keeps his lesser stock at Monmouth in the summer.

Thanks to all for the passionate commentary and let's keep trying to figure this impossible but delectable thing out!

12 Mar 2013 2:33 AM
Bloodline Bob

On Jan. 30(12:42p.m.), I named 19 sire's that were born in 2000 that i'm considering for the 2013 Ky. Derby. GHOSTZAPPER(Hear The Ghost) + MINISTERS WILDCAT(Tiz A Minister) came in 1st + 3rd in the San Felipe. SKY MESA(Dynamic Sky) did come in 4th in the Tampa Bay Derby. You can laugh all you want at my approaches to the KY. Derby but I've been cashing in on the 1st Saturday in May on a regular basis. Meet you at the cashiers window.

12 Mar 2013 2:37 AM

Steve, I echo your comments on FLASHBACK. He came out of the gate a little slow but fairly cleanly letting the outside speed get the jump on him. Which I thought was perfect. Even HEAR THE GHOST was in front of him at that point. Leparoux had to ask him a little bit to get into a good position behind those three, but once he settled in 4th on the turn I though it was going to be a good learning race even if he doesn't win. Nakatani looked like he may have been race-riding a bit and pinned him in, but I wouldn't have worried with that big powerful horse underneath me. I'm sure with just three horses in front of him he could have bullied his way to the lead if need be on the turn. Was he concerned about GOLDENCENTS? He was on the best horse, he shouldn't have been. But he certainly hooked him in the dual. It looked to me like Krigger was eyeballing Leparoux and FLASHBACK right before the break and he did get away like a quarter-horse. But he appeared to have his hands full once he (tried?) to rate him behind the #7. I think he was too fresh from the layoff and this race served him well in that he got tired at the end. He went after the leader on the far turn and when FLASHBACK came up on him either Krigger or GOLDENCENTS decided to make this race live up to the hype. Unfortunately for GOLDENCENTS he was being ridden along while FLASHBACK raced comfortably it seemed alongside. GOLDENCENTS moved first but never appeared to have FLASHBACK in any kind of worry but it obviously took it's toll late in the stretch. Neither horse should be disappointed with their efforts, very game, gallant tries by both horses, and they just need to learn to relax and let the race play out in front of them. I think Nakatani was trying to pin FLASHBACK in but instead he intimidated Leparoux into bullying his way to the outside which wasn't what he needed to learn. He can't race like that in Kentucky and I don't know if he can afford to have a learning race in the rich Santa Anita Derby. I think he wins that anyway he wants and hopes he can pull a Bodemeister in the Derby and stay out of trouble. He's a big horse; him and VERRAZANO should keep their noses clean in the Kentucky Derby. I think they'll handle the big field and they are oozing class. Let's hope they make it. Leparoux stays on FLASHBACK but Krigger needs to be replaced I think, he was too worried about beating one horse. And I think his nerves may have affected GOLDENCENTS. I think GOLDENCENTS is much better and had rated well in the past, he just needed a race in between this and the Sham. He was probably keen from all those six furlong drills as well. Interesting race. Not sure I change my opinion on any one horse in the race, except I am disappointed that FLASHBACK didn't get some dirt in his face and wait until the turn for home to bully his way to the outside. GOLDENCENTS got tired, he needed that, he was too rank, and his jockey was riding him too early in the race. He just needs to rate off the pace in the Santa Anita Derby and come with one big run. Mario Gutierrez is probably available.

DEMONIC is back to work. He worked a bullet for John Sadler who skipped the San Felipe with DEMONIC missed some training with a foot bruise. Sadler said he'll have to map out a new plan to get to the Derby. He seemed to come around pretty quick off the injury working a bullet so I hope he can find something this weekend. Maybe Sadler can duplicate previous Oaklawn success and win the Rebel to assure his good looking colt enough points in the Kentucky Derby?




I'm thinking cashing a $3 WIN ticket on VERRAZANO $30 might be a pretty good bet right now. I missed POOL 1 but I would have been enticed by the presence of VIOLENCE. Who I think was as good as an animal as the former but with more experience. Not sure how much better the odds were on VERRAZANO in POOL 1 but I'm sure we won't get anything near it in POOL 3 and on Derby day. Unless Calvin Borel is on something with a chance.

12 Mar 2013 2:38 AM

For what it's worth, I think Orb looks the most likely horse to win the Derby, even with his running style. I like quite a few others, but in racing you just have that 'certain feeling.' Even better, is that you know if the horse is not ready for the challenge he won't be asked.

Flashback was given a poor ride but obviously not by design. Even so, for a horse running in only his third race give him some credit.

I believe Leparoux was chosen because he has a perceived cooler, more relaxed riding style than some. Flashback obviously needs steady handling, and to be put to sleep in a race.

Will Super Ninety Nine stretch out a little bit further?

12 Mar 2013 7:00 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Karen in Texas

   I'm sure you're right. Hopefully there won't be anymore discombobulations like that, and I'll have coffee through The Derby. Thank you.

12 Mar 2013 9:13 AM

Why was Flashback beaten?

Because he was giving 4 lbs. to the winner, not because of the way he was ridden.

If Leparoux had let Goldencents go and Goldencents beat him, people would be criticizing him for allowing Krigger to dictate the pace.

In this case it was the weight, not the jockey, that caused the defeat.

12 Mar 2013 9:39 AM
Rusty Weisner


Tiz a Minister was not an "unlucky" loser.  He's a stone cold closer and I'm not sure he could have made that turn the way you wanted if his jockey tried.  His past two races he's been like 18 lengths off the pace at the half, in his three last at SA he's been last at that call.  That is a natural disadvantage to pulling out a win.  Hear the Ghost, on the other hand, is more versatile, and looks like a monster.

12 Mar 2013 10:04 AM

Mr. Leparoux is being demonized for his ride on Flashback. I have objectively evaluated his handling of the colt I could not find anything wrong with same.

The colt appeared comfortable in his usual stalking position similar to his previous two races. The pace for 6F was marginally faster than those recorded in the MSW he won on debut. The comparative fractions are listed below.

San Felipe: 22.97, 45.95, 1:09.94, 1:35.70, 1:142.34

Flashback MSW: 22.05, 45.11, 1:10.03

The first 2F of the SF were 0.92 slower; 4F, 0.84 slower; 6F, 0.09 faster.

In Flashback’s MSW victory he was about 3-4L off the pace for the first 2F. He joined the leaders pretty quickly and was very close to the 45.11 half mile split. He took the lead and pulled with strides lacking in fluency.

Flashback should have been comfortable with the fractions recorded for the first 6F in the SF. As previously cited he appeared comfortable and was under no urging while matching strides with Goldencents who seemed to be carrying too much weight.

If he was the eventual winner, his praises would have been heard far and wide for the suicide fractions he endured en route to victory.

Flashback won the Bob Lewis easily and that performance was not placed in proper context as the fraction were 2-3 seconds slower than those recorded in his MSW victory.

In his two previous victories he took the lead and pulled off. None of his opponents then had the ability to close and he won as he liked.  The one horse that was able close on Verrazano came within 3L.

If the two races contested by Flashback and Hear The Ghost prior to the SF are compared, it will be noted that HTG ran faster while closing off the pace.

Flashback was classified as a Freak and it’s a classification that was based on speculation and not reality. He lacks energy efficient strides and will find two turn races in good company challenging.  

Flashback was simply defeated by a better colt on the day.

12 Mar 2013 10:12 AM

The fractions for the 2011 San Felipe are listed below:

Premier Pegasus: 21.75, 44.58, 1:08.98, 1:34.55, 1:141.23

The above 6F fractions were significantly faster than those in the 2013 San Felipe.

The three horses that were engaged in those suicide fractions were ridden by Rosario, Gomez and Nakatani. These are all top jocks in CA. Mr. Nakatan’s horse came away with a slight lead before the winner blew by.

It is a safe assumption that those being critical of MR. Leparoux would substitute him with any of the above three.

The demonization of MR. Leparoux for his handling of the Freak can now come to an end.

12 Mar 2013 10:15 AM
Age of Reason

Good morning Steve,

This may seem kind of silly, but even though you posted this yesterday I didn't realize until I logged on to read the comments just now that this Derby Dozen is dated for today, March 12, which is my birthday. What a cool birthday present. :) Thanks for all you do!

12 Mar 2013 10:18 AM

here is my 2nd pass at the derby field with points earned:

VERRAZANO       150


CODE WEST       120



RYDILLUC        100

ORB              90



VYJACK           60





FLASHBACK        50


JAVA'S GOLD      41


UNCAPTURED       25      





DEPARTING        20  COULD MOVE UP      









12 Mar 2013 10:20 AM
Karen in Texas


The Beyer for the TBD was 101; and for the San Felipe was 93.

12 Mar 2013 11:03 AM

My sense is that he is freakishly talented, but so was Curlin and his inexperience sold him short on Derby Day.  

Good point Joseph.

I measure all 3 year old that have not run as a 2 year old to Curlin.

I was at Gulfstream the day he broke his maiden went of 2-1 won by 17

What killed Curlin in the Derby was his post position he got the 2 hole and got 3rd.

I don't think Verrazano is Curlin.

12 Mar 2013 11:54 AM
It aint easy being good!

Bigtex: I think Dice Flavor is running in the spiral next saturday with a decent showing he should lock up enough points to land a spot come derby day! I am very impressed with Verrazano he battled with Dynamic sky for awhile setting modest fractions and had enough in the tank to fend off Javas War. I think Verrazano has alot more in the tank and still needs more pressure his next race. No one knows whats going to happen May 4th but if it rains I am all in with Calvin Borel!

12 Mar 2013 1:06 PM
Forbidden Apple

1)ITSMYLUCKYDAY 2)HEAR THE GHOST 3)ORB 4)Flashback 5)Shanghai Bobby 6)Revolutionary 7)Super Ninety Nine 8)Verrazano 9)Vyjack 10)Fortify 11)Treasury Bill 12)Frac Daddy

Itsmyluckyday is still the fastest an most impressive horse to date. He handily beat the eclipse champion and has 5 wins to date. A sharp undefeated colt as a 3 year old, plus he still has plenty of upside.

Why do people think that Hear the Ghost is going to have trouble with Flashback next out? He just beat him at 1 1/16 and will win by an even larger margain when they go 1 1/8 miles. His closing kick was done with ease, very impressive!

I am also high on Orb, but we all must keep in mind that he beat a horse with a broken ankle.

I had to remove Fortify from a top spot after he was scratched over the weekend.


It has been reported that Verrazano earned a 101 beyer and Hear the Ghost earned a 93 beyer.

Cold Facts,

Your post at 5:14 yesterday was spot on, I could not agree more. I'm still kicking myself for not boxing Flashack and Hear the Ghost in an exacta. I played doubles, Flashback with Sarach and Magnificent Shirl. Like I wrote on the other blog, I always take notice when I see Coronado's Quest in a horses bloodlines, they are runners.

12 Mar 2013 1:07 PM

Another week, another list.  Thanks Steve for your keen observation and special insight.

My own list was shaken a bit.

1. Orb: Malibu Moon out of an Unbridled mare.  How can you ask for more?  Oh, a magnificent reaching stride, best I've seen so far.

2. It's My Lucky Day: Loved the way he moved in the Holy Bull, but he needs a big score. Lawyer Ron-might be a little short, but that's a Slew on the Dam side.

3. Dice Flavor: Hope he's finally nominated because I think he's a special colt.

The next 3 are iffy because they're all trained by Pletcher, and I don't know if they'll make it into the gate.

4. Revolutionary: Awesome in NY.  Looking forward to his next out.

5.Verrazano: Wow! We all saw what he can do, just cruising on a deep track and toying with the competition.

6.Shanghai Bobby: Hasn't taken a bad step yet...just hope I see more soon.

7.Vyjack: Always liked him.  Need to see what he does with distance.

8. Hear The Ghost: Good strategy and great kick...and a Ghostzapper.

9.Tiz A Minister: Beautiful, and he can really move. I think his run was disrupted a bit because HTG came out to make his move just as Tiz was coming up to him.

10.Java's War: A very impressive run, with lots of fire.

11. Goldencents: needs a new jockey. That duel chewed him up.

12. Transparent: I need a Bernardini.  He looks good and runs well...what he needs..points.

Beholder will wait until she's nominated to the Derby. Right now, it's only the Oaks.

2 horses to watch.  Declan's Warrior and Narvaez.  MSW at Gulfstream...dueled side by side down the home stretch, each colt giving everything...both winning in a dead heat. Beautiful movers, stretching every inch, heads low, eye to eye battle.  That was the best race I saw all day.

It's nice to have a list; still better to know there are more gates open beyond 12.

12 Mar 2013 1:53 PM

Auburn Bill and Richard Gross, I agree with you both about Leparoux.  Johnny V. who was on a horse to the outside of Union Rags in the derby, said that Leparoux instead of taking UR to the outside away from traffic, steered him right into the traffic where the poor horse got bottled up.

Bad choice for Flashback IMO.  Anyway, I'm staying with  Revolutionary, outstanding pedigree.  

12 Mar 2013 2:14 PM
Steve Haskin

Age of Reason, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you saved me some cake.

12 Mar 2013 2:58 PM

Is My Name is Michael still on the Derby trail?

Derby could set up perfectly for him. Especially if Itsmyluckyday and Shanghai Bobby and Super NinetyNine are the gate.

Also think Hear the Ghost will beat the entire top six on this list. He is by far the best horse we've seen so far. First try at two turns against the likes of Flashback and Goldencents, it is simply and unconditionally amazing what he accomplished. If he gets better with racing experience, we will have a Triple Crown winner in my opinion. Hollendorfer can train as well as anyone out there.

12 Mar 2013 3:15 PM
Forbidden Apple

Come on people, you are telling me that 4 pounds on top of a 1200 pound animal is what got Flashback beat. A better horse won the race, Flashbck was barely second best.

12 Mar 2013 3:21 PM

Happy birthday AoR!

12 Mar 2013 3:48 PM


I love your list other than Dice Flavor I would add Crop Report.  I do love Orb on top, I think he will love the Derby distance.

12 Mar 2013 3:53 PM

This is a good example of a situation where the connections drive me crazy. Do I send my young, green horse to Dubai or keep him home to potentially run in the KD? Roll the dice; see what you get. Cooler heads should prevail here. Dubai, a proven stressful trip for many a horse, also has a foreign surface to most. Couple these with a multitude of unknowns it would seem too much for Java's War to overcome. Bottom line: is he going to come back the same horse that went over there? Some have never accomplished that feat. Stay home and take the chance (slim at best) that your horse could be in the annals of history, a horse that won the KD. If he is triumphant in the derby and goes on to exhibit some measure of greatness, then send him onto Dubai to see what he can do. It's a no-brainer.

12 Mar 2013 3:56 PM


That is the reason Flashback was beaten.

If the winner carried 4 lbs more, the winner’s progress in the stretch would have been impeded by the extra weight and he would have been beaten 1 ½ lengths by Flashback.

The weight of the horse’s body has nothing to do with it.

There is a reason horses are assigned the same weight in the Classics. The weight carried makes a difference.

My view on this subject will never change.

12 Mar 2013 4:46 PM


You need a Bernardini? Take a look at DEMONIC. He is a nice looking colt. He has his dad's looks, and so far his talent, he just needs to come around as quick as his dad did and make it to the Classics. John Sadler is very high on him, and he is a beautiful mover.

12 Mar 2013 5:22 PM
Forbidden Apple

Nothing was going to stop Hear the Ghost from beating Flashback. Flashback was tired and his jockey quit riding, never even broke out the whip. Four pounds, give me a break. That is such a lame excuse, the best hose won the race!

12 Mar 2013 5:29 PM
Forbidden Apple

So Flashback lost by 1/2 length, but he would have won by 1 1/2 if the weights were equal. Okay, now I know that 4 pounds equals 2 lengths down the stretch. What a joke.

12 Mar 2013 5:30 PM
El Kabong


Dubai will be there next year, the TC won't. It is a slam dunk decision and I'd send him to Florida to chase rabbits before I'd head to the Bluegrass. Can't believe it's being discussed.

12 Mar 2013 5:51 PM

Johnny V on ORB in the FL Derby.

Johnny V who will he choose for the Derby?

12 Mar 2013 6:01 PM

Hirize:  You won't find Crop Report on my list, sorry.  Saw him run at Gulfstream and remain unimpressed. (liked Black Onyx though!)

Dice Flavor, was sensational in the El Camino.  I just want to see how he goes on dirt.  

12 Mar 2013 6:08 PM


Perfectly stated.  I agree 100%.  Java's War is too inexperienced for a Dubai trip right now.  I love what you said about "the multitude of unknowns is too much to overcome."  My opinion is he should stay home first and try for our Derby or whatever, then put Dubai in his future depending on his TC performances here.  Going to Dubai early did absolutely nothing for Sweet Ducky, he faired horribly racing over there but he was sold out.  Java's War still has the chance to make it here and is not bound by contract to go there now.

12 Mar 2013 7:14 PM
It aint easy being good!

4lbs did make a difference that is why they have weights assignements. That is part of handicapping as well. Come on now thats handicapping 101! Hear the ghost is good but he will be a ghost on May 5th. The horse to beat is Verrazano he did just toy with the field. Now if another trainer calls a horse a freak is that legit coldfacts? I backtrack on Verazzano after watching him run he is not a stiff! He might be the second coming of Eskendraya!

12 Mar 2013 7:23 PM

Forbidden Apple:

It is a scheme over 50 years old

See below.

12 Mar 2013 7:42 PM

This is a Derby that will be a carbon copy of last year's.  there's going to be too much class & talent in the front group with:




Hear the Ghost

Vyjack (possibly)

Shanghai Bobby (possibly)


Palace Malice

Super Ninety Nine

Shakin it Up

Dice Flavor


This won't be a Mine that Bird kind of Derby.

So good luck to the rest to get a clean shot to the wire because Orb & the rest of them are not going to close any better than Went the Day Well, Ice Box & Dullahan did.

And I'd put Mike Smith on Flashback in a heartbeat.  Leparoux was caught napping in the stretch.  

12 Mar 2013 8:01 PM

If Departing makes it in, I add him to the front WALL of horses, too.

12 Mar 2013 8:04 PM

I also hope we'll see War Academy & Elnaawi on May 4th.

12 Mar 2013 8:12 PM


How would you compare Verrazano to Eskendereya at this stage in the trail?

Once JV gave Verrazano a chance to have some fun at the quarter pole I thought Java's War 's advance came to a screeching halt.  Did you see that differently?

12 Mar 2013 8:48 PM


Any views on Godolphin's unbeaten Raven's Pass colt, Secret Number?

I doubt he is nominated to the Triple Crown but looks like a 10F colt.

12 Mar 2013 10:04 PM
Auburn Bill


I always appreciate your insights and enjoy reading your posts; however, Leparaux moved Flashback into a speed duel when it was unwarranted. The horse was in a perfect stalking position before he (unforced) moved him into that situation. And yes, I would take any of the other jockeys you listed over him in a heartbeat. I would also guess that the situation in their race warranted their decision to go that fast early.

12 Mar 2013 10:56 PM
Auburn Bill

BTW, I am not a Flashback apologist. I am just a fan mystified by the poor judgement of his jockey.

12 Mar 2013 11:00 PM
Greg R

Leparoux bashers might do well to remember that he is very experienced at Churchill, as he's been leading rider there in the past, hasn't he?  That would serve Flashback well and the Flash's connections would be well advised to keep J L.  Obviously, he won't ride the horse the same way again.  If they don't keep him, maybe he can pick up a better mount.  Flash is not probably not his ticket to a Derby win, anyway.

I'm gratified that I was right about Verrazano's ability to win a stake around two turns.  He didn't strike me as limited to the one-turn brilliance of your typical More Than Ready.  That's still a long way from winning the KY Derby, however.  The Wood should be a real clash.  With two undefeated horses, something's got to give.

12 Mar 2013 11:35 PM
Greg R

There must be ways of getting Tiz A Minister into the race sooner.  I love a closer,  but late runners that win the Derby, such as Strike the Gold and Street Sense, are exceptions.  If you give them too much of a headstart, you end up like Rumbo - forever "almost, but not quite."

12 Mar 2013 11:42 PM

Too soon to give up on Flashback as this was the first time he was in a horse race, instead of a glorified afternoon workout.  I think Stevens will be able to get him to relax 5 lengths off the pace in the Santa Anita Derby and finish strong in the lane.

Goldencents is speed crazy and doesn't need a jockey change.  He just needs to stay healthy until post time for the Breeders Cup Sprint where he will have an excellent chance of winning.

13 Mar 2013 2:08 AM

Would it not be wonderful for one of these colts that goes back to Secretariat become a Triple Crown winner in 2013, the 40th anniversary of Secretariat's winning the crown.

Verrazano is the colt that I am starting to pay attention to as being my favorite to win the Derby.

He is, IMO, a beautiful horse and very talented.

13 Mar 2013 9:58 AM
Forbidden Apple

The results of the S.A. Derby will tell who the better horse is. Blame the weight, blame the jockey, either way Flashback was a tired horse and a beaten horse.

13 Mar 2013 10:01 AM

Coldfacts: I have not really seen Secret Number run yet, or noticed him.  Until I do-I have no opinion. (But I did like Raven's Pass himself). By the way, shouldn't Sea The Stars have some sophmores running this year?  Have you heard of any?

In the San Felipe, I think the jockeys on their respective horses (Flashback and Goldencents)thought that if they let the other get a decent lead, the race would be over.  In a preliminary race, it was just the wrong thought.  They both forgot their end goal was Kentucky. Dumb, dumb duel!

13 Mar 2013 10:02 AM

It is always interesting to read some of the reasons advanced by some supporters of a particular horse that came out on the wrong end of a close decision.  Some of these reasons can be considered legitimate and others amount to whining.

In most cases the victorious horse is rarely given full credit and is deemed to be the beneficiary of either an age old scheme or the conditions of the particular race.

Bad posts or bad trips; judgmental errors or bad decisions by jockeys; burdensome handicaps can all be contributor factors to a horses defeat.

I consider weight allowance or handicap as the least significant of the aforementioned factors.

A horse that finishes ahead of 8 of 9 opponents in receipt of weight and loses to the 9th by a 1/2L was not defeated by the weight it allowed.

The weight allowance did not prevent said horse from beating 8 of his opponents.

Those who have adamantly embraced this theory must understand that despite their convictions, they cannot have it both ways.  

13 Mar 2013 10:08 AM

In the 2009 Kentucky Derby there was a January foal by the name Dunkirk. There was also a May foal by the name Regal Ransom. Dunkirk was exactly 4 month older than Regal Ransom.

Was it fair for one colt that was 4 month older than another to be at level weight?

When Dunkirk was 4 months old and chasing his mother in the paddock, Regal Ransom was struggling to get his feet under him. In spites of the maturity advantage associated with Dunkirk both carried 126LBS in the Derby.

Maturity advantage amongst 2YOs & 3YOs is never use as a against handicap these youngsters despite its significance.

May foals have defeated January foals in major races on numerous occasions. Why should they be in receipt of a maturity weight allowance?

Which is more significant 4 months or 4lbS?

13 Mar 2013 10:17 AM


Revisit the video of the San Felipe and focus on Flashback's strides and then add another 1 1/2 furlongs.

He does not have the stride pattern to be effective at 10F on a Churchill Downs strip.

Take a look also at Hear The Ghost's stride pattern. You will note it is far more energy efficient. He was going right by a tiring Flashback although he had to close into some very fast fractions.

13 Mar 2013 10:32 AM

The undefeated Secret Number will be in the UAE Derby with the likewise undefeated Soft Falling Rain.

He is a big far striding colt that appears to be begging for 9 to 10 furlongs.

His dam was sired by two times Arc winner Alleged and his second dam by Seattle Slew.

It would be great if he can run on dirt.

I am not worried about him coming in from Dubai.

Regal Ransom came in from Dubai and finished 8th in the Derby. Eleven of the 12 behind him were trained in the US for the race.

13 Mar 2013 10:40 AM
Forbidden Apple

As far as your handicapping 101 comment, if I like two horses I will not pick one over the other because of four pounds.

13 Mar 2013 10:49 AM
It aint easy being good!

Bigtex: Amen on your post. I saw the same thing there were many points in the race where I thought the Big V hit the gas eased up and hit the gas again. I did see at the quarter pole JW had a glimmer of hope and Verrazano just laughed and dusted him by 3 lengths. Who ever got 11-1 or higher in a future bet has to be feeling good right now.

13 Mar 2013 11:46 AM

It aint easy being good!

If a horse allows weight to 9 opponents and finishes ahead of 8 and is defeated narrowly by 1, How can the weight allowed be the significant factor in its defeat?

I could understand if all the opponents in receipt of weight finished ahead of him. He allowed weight and defeated 8, but was defeated by the weight allowed to the victor.

The idiomatic proverb below is applicable:

"you can't eat your cake and have it (too)"

You cannot have it both ways!

In 2011 Mr. Haskin dedicated a Blog to the excellent trainer Mr. Graham Motion. I was amazed at one Mr. Motion’s quote contained in the blog. He specified that he had no desire to start Toby’s Corner against Uncle Mon in the Wood Memorial.

I posted some very critical views regarding Mr. Motion’s lack of desire.  I specified that it was not reported that Uncle Mo had five legs; an oversized heart pumping an abnormal amount of oxygenated blood or a pair of wings.

There should be no fear in thoroughbred racing. Horses are not afraid of members of their herds.  Why should human with far superior intelligence be afraid?

A trainer's Job is to prepare his charges to go into battle fit, healthy and poised to deliver an optimum performance. That’s the most they can do. The rest is on the animal and passenger on its back.

Many horses enter a races undefeated and exit with their records tarnished. Very few have undefeated careers.

I found it disturbing that a trainer of Mr. Motion’s caliber would be associated with such a quote. Needless to state, Toby’s Corner defeated Uncle in the Wood.

“Where the senses fail us, reason must step in” GALILEO

I found equally disturbing Mr. McPeek quote regarding Verrazano.  

His colt came off at 3 months respite and ran a great race and he found time to shower accolade on another trainer horse.

Did Mr. Pletcher specify that Mr. McPeek's little colt that finished second is a nice horse? He probably did not know who finished second.

Mr. McPeek finished second in the 1995 Derby with Tejano Run. Behind his colt were the 2YO Champion Timber Country and the freak filly Serena’s Song.

He now has an excellent opportunity to go one better and instead of rushing to fine tune the program for his colt, he finds time to classify Verrazano as a Freak in so doing  has adopted a defeatist attitude.

If the colt belonged to me I would have removed it from his keep and care.

13 Mar 2013 12:41 PM

If Java War goes to Dubai wins the prep and the race on on the Dubai World cup day he will win more money than the Derby Preakness and Belmont. If he goes there he is not coming back for the drby.

It's all about the money!

13 Mar 2013 12:43 PM

In the Rebel, Delhomme gets 7 lbs from the top weight.

Should be enough for him to win.

13 Mar 2013 1:50 PM

 Ok , re Steve’s this week’s listed ‘dozen’, though I have about 20--of which likely several due to never having gotten out on a track much yet, especially in points winning races, may likely never figure in obtaining the points required unless they pull off some one run upset from here, where--‘I think if this current listed dozen produces some top 10 finishers’, this will flatly rate as the weakest crop in years.

 First of all, you have a ‘sack full’ of miler types that should in no way be favored at a 1 ¼. Whether one of several among “Verrazano”; “Itsmyluckyday”; “Shanghai Bobby”; “Flashback”; or “Vyjack” should somehow still win dragging themselves across a mile and a quarter finish line, it would only prove the weakness of the entire crop thus far witnessed.

 “Hear the Truth” ? another in a long list of those that shouldn’t be optimum at long distance !!! --…and that where I was thinking that the Cal. crew this year wasn’t as weak as several had said it was going to be. Maybe they were right !!!--

Oh yeah, and as to “Java’s War” ???, LOL, another like “Normandy Invasion” with no links to the “BHXFG” strains. Yeah, you can mention again how “Giacomo” and “Mind that Bird”,--the latter much better bred for 1 ¼--won too, but I didn’t bet on them either, so I suppose anyone can win as long as you make a gate slot.

So who does that leave on this current dozen’s list? “Orb” and “Revolutionary”,--sincere considerations at this point, “Oxbow”, not really my cup of tea re-his breeding rating either, and then there is “Super Ninety Nine”, who is an appealing long shot in the league with maybe “Super Saver”,--although with multiple connections to the ‘BHXFG”,--9 ?--“Super Saver” not only caught my attention early way back when once I did his breeding check, but I also won a huge futures bet on him back when.--.  

And if your going to pull out of your ‘sack’ the likes of such names as “Mr. Palmer”, where is any credence to those other late running ALSO Nominees that ran “Hotttttttttttt …. Tisssssssssss hot”  this past weekend? They being in the likes of: “War Relic”; --Msw winner over 1 1/8 in at 1:48.86;--“White Rose”--Msw winner over 1 1/8 in at 1:48.71; and the rest of the ‘young gun’ TRIPLE CROWN NOMINEES that are all bred for longer that ran right behind those two winners in “Path of Dreams”; “Precarious”; and “Zadina”, and not at some 7 ½ and 10 ½ lengths back in some 1 1/16  Gr. II race for points yet either, but who finished in only ½ to only 1 ½  back and all as first time starters ??? !!!!!!

Yes, MY SACK HAS GROWN NOT SHUNK !! after a short breeding rating check out on all.

  Yeah, ‘the new point’, where these real horses again bred to maybe handle a 1 ¼ will or might miss out on a gate slot come May the 4th in the coveted Derby, all because they are among those in the late developing crowd,--they will still remain high on my ‘watch list’ until the day past the Belmont.

  This maybe your list, Steve, of 12 that might produce the 1 winner, but again this week, your choices are still far  far  far  from my own.

 And the world has ordained “Verrazano” as #1 ??? this week ?--ok agreed, maybe the best miler out there going yet. Maybe.--But the winner of the Kentucky Derby ??? I think not.--And you have “Itsmyluckyday” as your top pick,--hmmm, so far, and at this stage where the there is too much misleading sportswriter hype, my money will be spent elsewhere and likely at better odds, that's to those that think those bred for a mile can reach 1 1/4 retaining there speed. Yes it could happen, but right now I will still be looking hard elsewhere.--  

13 Mar 2013 2:32 PM

TC: I have yet to see Demonic run, and am looking forward to it.  However, I've seen Transparent, and I think he's a sleeper. (reminds me of To Honor And Serve) Both Demonic and Transparent are in the same boat points. (And I really like Bernardini.Sic-Slew).

Weight matters, but Flashback didn't lose because of it.  It was the too early duel that wore down 2 good colts.  But I've said, since the Derby runs at equal weights, so should the preps.  (Of course, in that case, they'd all be carrying 126#'s, which is too much this early in the year.)

13 Mar 2013 4:34 PM

Zarvona: Both Vyjack and Declan's Warrior have Princequillo in the tail side...xfactor...nothing to sneeze at.

13 Mar 2013 4:48 PM

Coldfacts: I've been watching the races from Meydan, and I'll be looking forward to seeing the colt.  Last year's winner of the UAE Derby, Daddy Long Legs, did run in the Kentucky you never know.

13 Mar 2013 5:02 PM

Looks like the Florida Derby is scrambling to get entries.

Only 3 so far.

I wonder why?

Any thoughts?

13 Mar 2013 5:16 PM
Forbidden Apple

Here we go again, Delhomme can win because he is getting 7 pounds from the favorite. Are you even going to look at the past performances? The Remsen was run in a slow time and the top two finishers have come back this year and did not show me anything special.

13 Mar 2013 6:18 PM
KY VET least you HAVE a sack!....Coldcuts wont list his top 2 derby picks....

13 Mar 2013 6:28 PM

VyJack now has no chance to win.  All eyes will be on his trainer.

13 Mar 2013 6:33 PM
Dr Drunkinbum




4-Hear the Ghost



7-Palace Malice

8-Java's War

9-Shanghai Bobby


11-Shakin it Up

12-Dry Summer

13 Mar 2013 6:34 PM
It aint easy being good!

Coldfacts I learned something today about you. I have come to realize you love the stone cold closer and you hate favorites!

Heres my new handicapping angle for the derby if it rains bet WPS on calvin borel because he is the man when it rains. 2nd look for a trainer that cheats.... Last year it was Doug Oneill, Dutrow with Big Brown this years winner will be Vjack due to the trainer being shady...... book it!

13 Mar 2013 7:08 PM

On the paper Im looking at(brisnetPPs) S99 is the best.Delhomme is comparable but hasnt run since November.Lets find out just how applicable the term foundation is in his case.I dont believe in it in 2013 and I would like to see Delhomme on the lead until he gets tired,lets see if S99 can rate.

13 Mar 2013 7:17 PM

apple? slow time? the remsen? unreal..............look at the other races on the same day! beginners!!!!!!!!!!

13 Mar 2013 8:28 PM

No Slew, Revolutionary has the best pedigree of this 3 year old crop.  I'm not happy with his trainer, but at this point, I'm betting on Revolutionary.

13 Mar 2013 9:18 PM

Forbidden Apple:

I do not need lessons on handicapping races.

I look forward to your selection.

Are you rich?

13 Mar 2013 9:50 PM

Verrazano kind of reminds me of Gemologist last year, that is Gemologist's Wood Memorial.  It was an impressive race but didn't really do much in the Derby.  Yeah, turns out he was hurt but still didn't help my tickets lol.

Steve : What do you think of Carve ?  I don't see anyone mentioning him, undefeated and he beat Title Contender in his 2nd race, slow race but he could improve and he's a local horse.   I like Will Take Charge but looking for another for the tri and super.

Mary : Revolutionary is going to the LA Derby, but you probably know that.  I think Ground Transport will surprise a lot of people, or at at least I'm hoping, so I can finally move him up on my derby dozen.

13 Mar 2013 10:57 PM

Hey! wanna see something impressive? 3/13 fg.......race 6.......2nd out for 3yrold....ABSTRACTION......screaming to this horse as good as he looks?

13 Mar 2013 11:26 PM

Dr. D

Interesting that yhou have Carve in your top 12 with nothing more than a alowcl victory; I think you may be right, and he is my pick for the Rebel this weekend. I think Nakatani is a good choice for this horse.

13 Mar 2013 11:29 PM

The entire weights added concept is mind boggling and seems archaic to me.  Ok, so some 4 lbs. are added to a horse in a race, but suppose one or two horses in that same race are running without having had Lasix administered but the horse with the 4lbs. has had Lasix.  Does that mean that the two sans Lasix are more bloated and weighed down than the others, and is their weight carried about equal to the one who got the 4 extra lbs. put at his sides because he's already urinated out 10 lbs. of fluid?  And at what point do they determine who gets weight put on them, the day of the race?  Do they weigh EVERYBODY jocks included on race day and come up with this? Do they weigh pre Lasix or hours after Lasix?  Is external weight added like 4 - 7 lbs. really different from 4 - 7 lbs. of internal fluid weight inside the horse?  Why can't they just run at whatever the jock's weight is, whatever the horse weighs, call it a day and may the best trained horse win?

13 Mar 2013 11:33 PM

Weight has little effect on a horse in full stride -- it takes a very small amount of energy to maintain momentum. To create or regain momentum can bring weight into play. A survey of major riders a few decades ago, when weight differentials were common and larger, provided a pretty unanimous opinion from the riders that they could tell the difference in their horse at the off, but once the horse had settled into stride they couldn't feel any difference.

We aren't able to measure the energy cost when a horse takes up or loses forward momentum being carried out or fanning out at the head of the stretch. We are able to measure how many more feet a horse covers in the five path than in the two path. This comparative difficulty in measurement leads us into error.

The horse on the outside is not disadvantaged if that provides him with an unimpeded run where he never takes up and can extend his stride smoothly and gradually. It is better to be outside than inside in the Derby, as the stats prove.

An unimpeded rail trip is, as the great man says, the shortest way home. However, in a 20-horse field an unimpeded trip is hard to come by and buying it by staying out in the clear is energy well spent.

14 Mar 2013 2:06 AM

Mary; I would have to disagree with your opinion that Revolutionary has the best pedigree of the 3 year old crop. Then again, you did not specify best for what, but I am assuming you mean best to be effective at the classic race distances.  Revolutionary does have a fabulous female family for stamina but his sire, while brilliant, was a miler, and in general the entire sire line is not strong for stamina.  Personally, I like speed over stamina, but there are many that would legitimately argue for a different combination.  Of the top horses under consideration at this time, I am most intrigued with the pedigree of Verrazano.  I don't see More Than Ready as being distance-challenged as a sire as many seem to think. If I recall, More Than Ready was 4th in his KYD even though time would prove he was better at 9 furlongs or less.  However, his grandsire, Halo, is an influence for stamina, and I see no reason MTR can't produce a colt capable of getting a distance of ground, particularly if the female family is stamina oriented.

I guess my point here is that there  are many opinions of what constitutes "best" in a pedigree.  Stating that any one colt has the best pedigree of an entire crop is going out on a limb.

14 Mar 2013 2:41 AM


 To clear up a few points re my ‘breeding rating evaluation system’ for ‘distance’ and ‘stamina’, as we can all measure speed by PP’s on any given Saturday simply,--in many cases,--just reading the program. And granted, every horse on every list somewhere in his pedigree has some strong historic breeding line in his lineage. Tracing but one or pointing out only one line thusly isn’t that special to me personally.

  But yes, I am in high regard of the “Prince Rose” line that goes back through “Persimmon” (G.B.)-“St. Simon” (G.B.)-“Galopin” (G.B.)-…and ultimately to –“Hamiltonian” (G.B.), with a son “Princequillo” that was not only the damn sire to “Secretariat”, whose daughters also all carry the “BHXFG” through “Cosquillo”. And being whereby that the “St. Simon”(G.B.)-Galopin (G.B.)-…and ultimately to -Hamiltonian (G.B.), likewise produced another Championship line through the great undefeated “Ribot”, that in one case trickles down to “Key to the Mint” through the great “Gruastark”, and etc.  

 Blog name ‘Coldfacts’ forever gives credence to the “Mr. Prospector”-“Raise a Native” line, where “Mr. Prospector”, whom was not really any great racing champion, but where his lineage line is strong, being whereby they are the son and sons of the great “Native Dancer” and the grand offspring of Preakness winner “Polynesian” from the immaculate “Phalaris” line tracing back to -..-“Bend Or” that line. And, of course the “Phalaris” -..-“Bend Or”...line besides giving us one of the greatest of all time in the undefeated “Nearco”. And, it is “Nearco”, who is the grand father of “Bold Ruler”, “Northern Dancer”, and etc., and multiple other great stallions. Yet, whereby the “Raise a Native” line in particular has an even more intriguing line to “Coastal” through “Majestic Prince” via “Raise a Native” and etc., than the simple blog name ‘Coldfacts’ praised “Mr. Prospector”-“Raise a Native” line, as one example.

 All such lines and many more of such strength I could go on and on and list. But, it is the cross breeding and the duplications of those various such lines and the multiple connections carried forward retaining the recently discovered “BHXFG” links that I value and raise ‘points’ on. Such lines I therefore add to access which modern bred young horses are greater suited for some ability to carry their ‘speed’ via ‘stamina’ that therefore then should be more suited than others to be competitive beyond a 1 1/8. Yes, all grand producing high rated lines do not always or frequently produce a great racing offspring champion in every foal. It also, is in my opinion, that it all takes some ‘equine IQ’; some reasonable to expert training; an ability to grow properly; timing in growth and progress; and being ‘special’, ‘gifted’ with talent, and some luck on race day, and etc.

  Unfortunately, we can’t all be psychic enough to stand by every one of 400 and see how they are developing individually. In fact, we really get only a few glimpses at a very special few to form our true opinions around. Moreover, we are ‘bombarded’ with sportswriters and track side paid announcers and odds makers who are constantly praising horses ‘lesser’ bred who achieved successes at shorter distances that ultimately confuse us even more. Sometimes I wonder whether sports on site speculators that evaluate picks supposedly for us actually mislead us after the odds maker does.  

 I told you how I arrived at playing “I’ve Struck a Nerve”. It was not by his poor performance ‘on paper’, not because I am a long shot player by any stretch, but simply because his ‘breeding rating’ in a field with much lesser animals bred for getting distance in comparison seemed to make him a play. Certainly had that race been at 1 1/8 or 1 ¼ he would have appeared to me as even more attractive. But, at a 1 1/16 certainly others could carry their speed to such a distance.

  The Kentucky Derby winner, which this blog supposedly addresses, must simply win at a 1 ¼, the Preakness winner at a 1 3/16’s, the Belmont winner at a 1 ½. Researching in the past, simply looking for those that are more suited to being competitive in the Belmont, has allowed me to stumble into many Kentucky Derby winners in the past dozen or so years when I got more and more interested. And, I have missed several that I failed to do research on, which pushes me to look even harder and deeper now. I am not yet convinced we have yet seen our 2013 Derby winner. Yes, I like “Itsmyluckyday”; “Vyjack”; “Verrazano”; and etc., but they are not my type of a play when looking for a true 1 ¼ winner, not just a likely 1 1/8 competitor that I would certainly not leave off a ticket, if betting that day. So my search for those that I will play come May the 4th simply continues.

 But, yes, I think even Mrs. Cheny psychically saw the value of “Princequillo” when in her day the “BHXFG” through “Cosquillo” was not yet even common knowledge. And, all that I can say to those that scoff at my affliction to such thinking regarding the “BHXFG” strain links is, well, ‘I will see you at the window on race day and wish you good luck, but I will likely be getting against you’.

       Key to the Mint-Graustark-(8   7-1-0)-Ribot (G.B.)- (16   16-0-0)-Tenerani (Ity)-Bellini (Ity.)-

 Cavaliere Darpino (Ity.)-Havresac (G.B.)-Rabelais (G.B.)-St. Simon (G.B.)-Galopin (G.B.)-… -Hamiltonian (G.B.)-

       Raise a Native-Native Dancer-Polynesian-Unbreakable-Sickle (G.B.)-Phalaris (G.B.)-…-Bend Or-

       Coastal-Majestic Prince-Raise a Native-Native Dancer-Polynesian-Unbreakable-Sickle (G.B.)-Phalaris (G.B.)-

       Secretariat-Bold Ruler-Nasrullah (G.B.)-Nearco (Ity.)-(14-  14-0-0) -Pharos (G.B.)-Phalaris (G.B.)-…-Bend Or-

            d.s.: Princequillo (Ire.)-Prince Rose (G.B.)-Rose Prince (Fr.)-Prince Palatine (G.B.)-

            Persimmon (G.B.)-St. Simon (G.B.)-Galopin (G.B.)-…-Hamiltonian (G.B.)-

       Nijinsky (Can.)-Northern Dancer-Nearctic (Can.)- Nearco (Ity.)-Pharos (G.B.)-Phalaris (G.B.)-…

14 Mar 2013 4:38 AM


 To clear up a few points re my ‘breeding rating evaluation system’ for ‘distance’ and ‘stamina’, as we can all measure speed by PP’s on any given Saturday simply,--in many cases,--by just reading the program. And granted, every horse on every list somewhere in his pedigree has some strong historic breeding line in his lineage. Tracing but one or pointing out only one line thusly isn’t that special to me personally.

  But yes, I am in high regard of the “Prince Rose” line that goes back through “Persimmon” (G.B.)-“St. Simon” (G.B.)-“Galopin” (G.B.)-…and ultimately to –“Hamiltonian” (G.B.), with a son “Princequillo” that was not only the damn sire to “Secretariat”, whose daughters also all carry the “BHXFG” through “Cosquillo”. And being whereby that the “St. Simon”(G.B.)-Galopin (G.B.)-…and ultimately to -Hamiltonian (G.B.), likewise produced another Championship line through the great undefeated “Ribot”, that in one case trickles down to “Key to the Mint” through the great “Gruastark”, and etc.  

 Blog name ‘Coldfacts’ forever gives credence to the “Mr. Prospector”-“Raise a Native” line, where “Mr. Prospector”, whom was not really any great racing champion, but where his lineage line is strong, being whereby they are the son and sons of the great “Native Dancer” and the grand offspring of Preakness winner “Polynesian” from the immaculate “Phalaris” line tracing back to -..-“Bend Or” that line. And, of course the “Phalaris” -..-“Bend Or”...line besides gives us one of the greatest of all time in the undefeated “Nearco”. And, it is “Nearco”, who is the grand father of “Bold Ruler”, “Northern Dancer”, and etc., and multiple other great stallions. Yet, whereby the “Raise a Native” line in particular has an even more intriguing line to “Coastal” through “Majestic Prince” via “Raise a Native” and etc., than the simple blog name ‘Coldfacts’ praised “Mr. Prospector”-“Raise a Native” line, as one example.

 All such lines and many more of such strength I could go on and on and list. But, it is the cross breeding and the duplications of those such lines and the multiple connections carried forward retaining the recently discovered “BHXFG” links that I value and raise ‘points’ on. Such lines I therefore add to access which modern bred young horses are greater suited for some ability to carry their ‘speed’ via ‘stamina’ that therefore should then be more suited than others to be competitive beyond a 1 1/8. Yes, all grand producing high rated lines do not always or frequently produce a great racing offspring champion in every foal. It also, is in my opinion, that it all takes some ‘equine IQ’; some reasonable to expert training; an ability to grow properly; timing in growth and progress; and being ‘special’, ‘gifted’ with talent, and some luck on race day, and etc.

  Unfortunately, we can’t all be psychic enough to stand by every one of 400 and see how they are developing individually. In fact, we really get only a few glimpses at a very special few to form our true opinions around. Moreover, we are ‘bombarded’ with sportswriters and track side paid announcers and odds makers who are constantly praising horses ‘lesser’ bred who achieved successes at shorter distances that ultimately confuse us even more. Sometimes I wonder whether sports on site speculators that evaluate picks supposedly for us actually mislead us after the odds maker does.  

 I told you how I arrived at playing “I’ve Struck a Nerve”. It was not by his poor performance ‘on paper’, not because I am a long shot player by any stretch, but simply because his ‘breeding rating’ in a field with much lesser animals bred for getting distance in comparison seemed to make him a play. Certainly had that race been at 1 1/8 or 1 ¼ he would have appeared to me as even more attractive. But, at a 1 1/16 certainly others could carry their speed to such a distance.

  Looking for the Kentucky Derby winner, which this blog supposedly addresses, must simply win at a 1 ¼, the Preakness winner at a 1 3/16’s, the Belmont winner at a 1 ½. Researching in the past, simply looking for those that are more suited to being competitive in the Belmont, has allowed me to stumble into many Kentucky Derby winners in the past dozen or so years when I got more and more interested. And, I have missed several that I failed to do research on, which pushes me to look even harder and deeper now. I am not yet convinced we have yet seen our 2013 Derby winner. Yes, I like “Itsmyluckyday”; “Vyjack”; “Verrazano”; and etc., but they are not my type of a play when looking for a true 1 ¼ winner, not just a likely 1 1/8 competitor that I would certainly not leave off a ticket, if betting that day. So my search for those that I will play come May the 4th simply continues.

 But, yes, I think even Mrs. Cheny psychically saw the value of “Princequillo” when in her day the “BHXFG” through “Cosquillo” was not yet even common knowledge. And, all that I can say to those that scoff at my affliction to such thinking regarding the “BHXFG” strain links is, well, ‘I will see you at the window on race day and wish you good luck, but I will likely be getting against you’.

14 Mar 2013 5:12 AM

It aint easy being good

“I have come to realize you love the stone cold closer and you hate favorites!”

I do not agree with your realization as stated above.  

Closers are always at a disadvantage as there can be many obstacles in the way of horses trying to close ground. Many time closers run further because they have to be piloted wide for their runs.

Post time favorites are determined by the betting public. If I fancy a horse and it turns out to be the betting favorite, I will not switch to another.

It appears you have mistaken my dislike for hype for a dislike of favorites. Many horse win impressively and they are immediately ladled as Freaks and Monsters.

Many times those making these claims are emotionally driven. In the last 40 years two horses that contested the Derby were   Champion 2YOs as well as HOY i.e., Secretariat and Favorite Trick. Secretariat’s margin of victory was <3L and Favorite Trick was an also ran. Secretariat recorded a stakes record but was only 2 1/2L ahead of Sham despite his HOY status.

Are there any HOY entering the 2013 Derby? The opinions about Verrazano suggests he was the 2YO champion and HOY as well. A horse can appear invincible in its Derby Preps and find the Derby to be an equalizer for its awesome talent.  

Some folks make these wild claims totally oblivious to the fact that none of the Derby entrants have ever been in a 20 horse stampede over 10F.

The Derby has been known to humble the biggest of monsters and freaks.

14 Mar 2013 9:27 AM


Many Derby preps are old stakes races with conditions attached to them. The fact that they are now seen a Derby preps does not mean the conditions should be changed.

The Derby is contested over 10F. why are there no Derby preps over this distance?

14 Mar 2013 9:38 AM

It aint easy being good!

"I did see at the quarter pole JW had a glimmer of hope and Verrazano just laughed and dusted him by 3 lengths"

How many of the 12 colts comprising Mr. Haskin's previous DD were in the Tampa Bay Derby?

Bellamy Road won the Wood in an eye popping 17 1/2L in a stakes record. He was an also ran in the Derby.

Why do we constantly forget that they Derby is not a horse race but an event.

The colt that came second was making his 3YO debut and was off for 3 months and the others did not show up.

Violence, S/Bobby, Overanalyze, Normandy Invasion and a number of other promising 3YOs all lost their 3YOs debuts. Overanalyzed did not even hit the board.

Orb, Itsmyluckyday, Goldencents and Vyjack won their 3YO debuts.

Was Verrazano more impressive than either Vyjack or Orb?

You should know better than getting caught up in the Verrazano craze

14 Mar 2013 9:57 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I think Nakatani is doing well and riding good, and I think he fits this horse. Carve is my favorite Derby potential horse in the Rebel. I like him for wps in this race with more on the show in case he doesn't get there in time. It depends on how the speed unfolds, how much of a duel there is, who is rateable etc. I think Super Ninety Nine is the horse to beat since it's only 8.5f. Everything depends on the pace. I expect it to be contested. I like everything about Carve so far. He just needs to move forward and get points. First time against talent will be interesting. We will learn quite a bit about numerous horses with question marks in this race.

14 Mar 2013 11:06 AM
Forbidden Apple

Since 4 pounds equals 2 lengths, Delhomme should have a 3 1/2 length advantage over Super99. What a lame way to pick a winner.

KY Vet,

Since you love favorites, your Rebel exacta must be Delhomme and Super99.

It aint easy,

There is nothing shady about using banamine, it is a legal drug. Plenty of assistant trainers administer the drug without waiting for a Dr. to show up. I don't know who is to blame, but an overage close to race day is more of a mistake.

14 Mar 2013 11:36 AM

Zarvona: When I look at pedigree, one horse jumped out at me.  (Don't forget my tag name).  Orb has Malibu Moon (AP INdy, Slew, Sec, Mr.P, Nijinsky II, Swaps) on top

and Lady Liberty(Unbridled, Mr.P, Damascus, Bold Ruler)on the bottom.

Considering only the Classic Winners produced by Seattle Slew and Unbridled, in my opinion it is the perfect pedigree.

Add to that a magnificent reaching stride, and speed.

That's why Orb maintains the top spot on my list.

I won't even begin to list all other pedigrees, but every colt running has merit in its pedigree, and because you're looking at a single facet does not guarantee a winner.

Remember, one of the most royally bred colts (2 Triple Crown winners), AP Indy...while taking the Belmont, did not win the Derby, or run in it.(scratched the morning of the Derby with a quarter crack). He was however, HOY.

At the same time, a young colt with a questionable pedigree remains the only undefeated Triple Crown winner, Slew.  

In other words, pedigree counts, but it can't account for individual performance, heart, and luck.

14 Mar 2013 12:46 PM
El Kabong


"The Derby is contested over 10F. why are there no Derby preps over this distance?"

Your killing me smalls with such a notion. Do you not like the great odds we now get. Easy does it on the 10F prep. You'll end up with a field o 5 or 6.

14 Mar 2013 12:53 PM

Boy, I would not like to be in the shoe's of a trainer looking for points & the 100 point races specially at this time of the year where weather could make the racing surface anything but fast and the longshot's pop up.

On a side note how about that sprint race at Santa Anita on Sunday winner "Let Em Shine", 2013 BC sprint winner if he's healthy, would appreciate Steve's comment on that.

14 Mar 2013 2:09 PM

That darn piece of paper we call PPs(brisnet variety)still has not revealed anything new since I last looked at it,its still S99 in the Rebel.

Oh I have an idea there is a person that reads the PPs so differntly and comes up with picks that to me are???

Coldfacts who do you like in the Rebel Stakes?

14 Mar 2013 4:10 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   My exacta is Delhomme and Carve.

14 Mar 2013 4:52 PM


You should enjoy my take on the likely winner of the Rebel.

Remsen   2012 – (Gl) 9F: 23.99, 48.07, 1:12.54, 1:37.45

Withers 2013 – (Gll) 8.5F: 24.22, 48.18, 1:12.49, 1:38.01

Gotham 2013 – (Gll) 8.5F: 24.16 48.166 1:12.72, 1:37.74

Delhomme as 2YO ran 1:35.22 for 8F in his second start and stepping up from 6F.

He set fractions in the 9f Remsen that have turned out to be faster than those recorded by 3YOs in both the Withers and Gotham.

If either Vyjack or Revolutionary were in the Rebel they would be the favorite.

Delhomme  is a very big, fast colt that gotten additional time to grow into his large frame. He has already gone 9F and will come back bigger and stronger colt.

S99 will be not be able to dismiss him as did his opponents in the the Southwest.

Assuming the goat Mr. Pletcher was done his job, he has to be the colt to beat.

14 Mar 2013 5:04 PM


Mr. Haskin has four colts in his DD that are affected by Late development Syndrome:

Orb – Malibu Moon – A P Indy

Flashback – Tapit – Pulpit- A P Indy

Normandy Invasion – Tapit – Pulpit- A P Indy

Super Ninety Nine - Pulpit – Pulpit- A P Indy

Waiting to enter:

Mr. Palmer - Pulpit – Pulpit- A P Indy

Power Broker - Pulpit – Pulpit- A P Indy

Incognito - A P indy

I am positive Mr. Haskin will be featuring the newest 3YO sensation in the Knocking At The Door section of his next DD:

Abstraction t – Pulpit- A P Indy

He appears to be a very nice colt. Like Mr. Palmer his dam was sired by Quiet American the dam sire of Bernardini and Saint Liam.

He can be added to the list of talented colts that are likely to show up in the LA Derby.

These colts affected by LDS are certainly showing early signs of ability.

Could the recently deceased Pulpit and recently retired A P Indy have teamed up to finally discredit you theory.

14 Mar 2013 5:22 PM

El Kabong,

You are factually funny.

Kindly ignore the question regarding 10F Derby preps. It is easier for Lasix to be disallowed as a race day medication than a Deby prep at  10f to be written.

14 Mar 2013 5:25 PM


Verrazano is lightly raced and we know he'll get pushed next time out.  He is worthy of craze and is still moving forward, himself.  Will he win the Derby?  Who knows but at this point, he's very impressive.  be sure and post the bets you make before the Derby.  It'll be fun for all to see how you do.  I know I won't make mine until the week of.  Right now, I'm having a gut feeling on Hear the Ghost.  That's likely to change but we'll see.

14 Mar 2013 5:33 PM

I have the feeling that the Rebel is between Super Ninety Nine and Carve, but their post positions can very much hamper their styles.

Perhaps we'll have another colt stepping up on's more than possible.  I think a longshot might pull this off.  (Maybe an RH10 will finally take a big one; but I want one that looks like Black Onyx.)

Coldfacts: part of the fun and handicapping for the Derby is actually NOT knowing whether or not the contenders can get 10f.  We're only guessing until they do.  Do you really want to take that suspense away?

14 Mar 2013 5:59 PM

My big colt Footbridge is entered in an 8F, MSW at Santa Anita on Sunday.  In his three previous starts he has been beaten by colts from Mr. Baffert’s stable.   Well he faces the same challenge as there are two horses from Mr. Baffert’s stable in the field. Mr. Gomez has retained the ride and nothing has really changed.

Will he be fourth time lucky? Probably

14 Mar 2013 5:59 PM

Forbidden Apple: According to the new NYRA regulations, only the state-approved track Veterinarian is allowed to administer meds to the horses...not the trainer or a private Vet.

That's what capped the charges against Dutrow...having syringes full of meds in his desk, after the regulation went into effect.

14 Mar 2013 6:18 PM

Mr. Gomez to Ride Flashback in Santa Anita Derby. It will make not make a difference.

Hear The Ghost is the better of the two and a change of rider will only serve to validate same.

14 Mar 2013 6:25 PM

CF:you said "Why do we constantly forget that they Derby is not a horse race but an event."

Wrong!  Press Agents and media specialists created the circus that has made the Kentucky Derby an "Event".

But make no mistake, The Kentucky Derby has always been, is, and will be a horse race. It's the premier race in the USA.

And it's all really about the horses and their jockeys.

14 Mar 2013 6:30 PM

Slew, I don't like the tail side of Orb's pedigree.  Speed, no stamina.

14 Mar 2013 10:47 PM

FYI guys there is a John Sparkman article in Bloodhorse mag that explains how Liberation Farm's Rob Whiteley, breeder of ItsMyLuckyDay, also is the original breeder of Rydilluc!  Rydilluc's dam was sold in utero, carrying Rydilluc by Medaglia D'Oro

so I think the purchasers get the breeding credit but Rob bred him.  I cannot find the article online in though perhaps it is just in the mag?  That's why I had said in a prior post that Rydilluc was bred for dirt so let's hope he's a multi-surface little colt.

But pedigree alone is not going to get a Derby won.  I don't just rely on pedigree analysis, man, it's everything.  It's past performances, track record, running style - closer, front runner, mid pack runner, Beyer and Tomlinson numbers, the overall look and appearance of the horse, Timeform #, it's Steve's good eye and info, it's who the trainer and jock are, shipping, consistency factor, and those intangibles someone mentioned in another post like the track bias that day, weather, and sheer luck.  Put all of that together and hopefully we come up with one that has the tenacity and mentality to get himself out of the 20 horse traffic jam.

14 Mar 2013 11:33 PM

Zarvona, you are a genius. I have done extensive research into bloodlines, and I wholeheartedly agree with your analysis. I always look for Princequillo on the tail-female line of a colt's pedigree.  Princequillo was likely the greatest long distance runner of all time. Also it is likely that Princequillo was the greatet carrier of the large heart gene,

which he passed on to his daughters.

That is why I liked Union Rags.  He is out of the Gone West mare Tempo.  Gone West as we know is out of a Secretariat mare.  

In the classic races, I'm going with pedigree.  I win more than I lose.  So Revolutionary, though I don't like the trainer, is my horse for the derby.  I love his pedigree.

Thank you for your thoughts.

14 Mar 2013 11:35 PM

Zarvona, Mrs. Chenery did see the value of Princequillo in her beautiful mare, Somethingroyal.  She produced the greatest horse of all time.

14 Mar 2013 11:45 PM

Dr. D,

Someone just brought me a big cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee.  I am in for a few more hours of horse reading!  I was thinking of you running out of your coffee.  But no way am I going to eat any donuts with it though, no way do I want to carry any "extra 4 lbs.!!!!!"

In a recent episode of yes, Mr. Ed, Ed was stationed outside of Hollywood Park with a walkie-talkie around his neck.  Wilbur was inside Lady Sue or Lady Linda's stall with another walkie-talkie asking her who doped her so she could tell Ed and Ed could translate what she said back to Wilbur.  What a riot.  All this was to clear her groom who was a nice guy they hired to help paint neighbor Addison's living room!  Lady whateverhernamewas told them the groom was innocent and who really did dope her and they catch him.  They tried to get into Hollywood park disguised as a jockey and racehorse but were told Wilbur was too big and Ed was too fat!  Too much extra poundage!!!!!!

14 Mar 2013 11:58 PM

robinm, in the classic races, I look specifically at the tail female line, stamina for the longer distance. Some may laugh at me, but the sire line is not relevant in the longer distance. Now, if we are talking about a filly in a classic race, everything changes.

15 Mar 2013 12:07 AM

Jay, Revolutionary, although I don't like the trainer is my horse.  The pedigree is too spectacular to consider another horse.

15 Mar 2013 12:25 AM


  Yes, in several past posts I have alluded to the fact that re my research thus far, that two or more on Mr. Haskin’s current “dozen’s list” that for me rate higher than others right now, regarding me being high on their ‘breeding rating’ to get a 1 ¼. Again they being “Orb” and “Revolutionary” with “Super Ninety Nine” being among those that in least ‘qualify’ for me, where their ‘breeding rating’ in ‘my system’ of evaluation is higher than most all of the others listed. And as you stated and as I thought I also alluded to, breeding isn’t the only factor but for me it’s a damned important one.

 In any event, barring some future poor showings or some other disaster, again “Orb” and “Revolutionary” are among those of my top 20 that right now appear to me to have the potential to be ‘playable’. Will they be my absolute pick or my top choice, or, am I far from ordaining one or the other as this year’s winner yet? Simply, No, for me it is still too early. But yes, I think their breeding in particular makes them more attractive right now than the “V” crowd or Itsmyluckyday”. I am not attempting to dissuade anyone from playing their own pick by any means. Heck, my brother bet “Giacomo” in the CD future pool and on race day!! and we have still been debating that play and win for years. lol

 Oddly, in mentioning a few young ‘fillies’ that just broke their maidens recently at a 1 1/8, I actually discovered I thought several that were ‘double bred’ to the “Seattle Slew” line,--Pletcher’s trained “Precarious” off hand coming to mind,--that seem most interesting and that you might consider for fun with your blog ID name. In fact, I personally have for been looking for a horse cross bred or ‘double bred’ to “Storm Cat” for some time, which in fact so far, I don’t believe I have yet run across such an animal. But I do have a breeding file on near every horse that has been whispered about on several sites including this one and that are all on the “NOMINATIONS List”, etc., being some 200 + of the 396 ? out there plus 75 ++  fillies. And I have a count on each one and their number of “BHXFG” links. Where actually re the passing of DNA on one such link,--IN THE LEAST,--is a requirement for me.

  Heck I wish I had the time and a travel allowance that would allow me to go view all those I have under consideration and being where I could go talk with their trainers and connections. Whereby getting to only see those that I do like only run competitively a mere 2-3 times pre the Derby is not in my opinion the best way to make some final determination, but that’s about all we can do, so that’s our fate.

 So, like Steve trying to also predict for us a winner, this just ain’t no easy task. But, there is fun in searching for him and the debating regarding among those of our top choices. And come about the Feb. 1st, our blood gets up for searching him out. “THE FEVER”!!!.

 Hopefully in about 35 days from now we will all have a firmer handle. But more importantly, we hope to win when we invest in a bet of whatever sort come May the 4th, on that race,--that the ‘greatest two minutes in sports’,--whereby hopefully we from this blog, from Steve’s list, and with Steve’s help, and with the help from the contributors on this blog, that we will all be correct !!!  So, ….


15 Mar 2013 5:22 AM

The choice of Garret Gomez to replace JL as the rider of Flashback has many positives. I look forward to the Santa Anita Derby.

Is Power Broker being prepared for the Preakness Stakes now?  

15 Mar 2013 8:34 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Thanks for reminding me. Last week I had a Baker's Dozen but this week I only had a regular dozen and I left out Delhomme so now that my head is more clear from enough coffee I think I need to put him back on, and I'll use the extra donut spot for him so here it is.

13. Delhomme

That is funny !!!!  Thanks for the episode with my morning coffee !!!

15 Mar 2013 8:38 AM
It aint easy being good!

Coldfacts: For the record I was never on the Flashback bandwagon! I just thought it was interesting that BBaffert was hyping his horse so much. I am not a pletcher fan you know that but the Big V has been impressive he has the highest speed figures and has never been challenged or ask yet. I am following the hype coldfacts I cant help it. You have been right in the past and I have agreed with you with the likes of uncle mo, union rags and dunkirk. Verrazano reminds me of eskendraya and he should thump everyone at the wood! My horse for the derby is Dice Flavor he is explosive and love the way he runs. He has Mr. prospector breeding that your so obssesed with!So watch your mouth when you talk about him! :-)

15 Mar 2013 10:29 AM

For the skeptics about weight difference, here is an idea of what the late Bobby Frankel thought about the difference of 2 lbs.

15 Mar 2013 10:44 AM
Age of Reason

It's already been mentioned, but I too am hopefully looking forward to seeing Footbridge break through this weekend. He continues to work very well at Hollywood Park, firing bullets in the morning as has almost become his custom; on Tuesday, the 12th he went 5f in 1:00 flat (1/19). I don't think I've ever "stuck with" a maiden after 3 losing starts, but there's just too much upside to this baby.

Orb, late development syndrome? My eye. The horse won a deep G2 in February over a Grade 1-winning 2 year old. Sure, there are certain noticeable trends with runners from certain families, but there are also exceptions to the rules. We might all approach the Derby with a little less confusion if we let those darned 'cold facts' (grin) speak for themselves, instead of trying to fit them into our own pre-conceived narratives.

15 Mar 2013 11:19 AM

Mary: the dam sire for Orb is Unbridled, who won the Derby, sired Grindstone, who won the Derby, then sired Birdstone who won the Belmont and sired Derby winner Mine That Bird, and Belmont winner Summer Bird.

That's an excellent recommendation for me.

Zarvona: I think we're all on this blog because of Steve's innate skill in observation.  He gets close up and personal with the horses, trainers, jockeys and owners, grooms,and crews. He's our eyes on the backside.

But he sees the horses with his soul, and writes about them with his heart. He provides us with a window into their individual lives.

I don't think (I could be wrong) that his main goal is choosing the Derby winner.  It seems to me that he is presenting us with positives and potentials for each individual colt, and even their drawbacks.  He doesn't say who's going to win, but rather allows us to choose from the best information he's able to provide.  He loves these horses, and it shows.

That's just my opinion, but it's the reason I'm here.

15 Mar 2013 11:31 AM
Pedigree Ann

Following sire lines is an interesting historical exercise, but that sireline alone has little impact on a horse's genotype. Y chromosomes have little information except to create  males from default-female zygotes (a vital function, so many redundancies are included). Other genes on other chromosomes are what determine what the horse looks like and runs like, and those can be passed on to male AND female offspring.

Princequillo was not your discovery, my friend. Princequillo was at Claiborne as a top sire of runners and a top sire of broodmares. His daughters were held in highest esteem as producers and as a counterbalance to the hot-headedness of the Nasrullah types.

And Penny Chenery had nothing to do with planning breedings for her father's mares; she was a housewife in Denver (Mrs. Tweedy) up until the time her father became incapacitated, when the foal-sharing agreement was already executed. Somethingroyal had already produced 12 foals before Secretariat was born, 3 of whom won races that would have been G1 if grading had been in effect then; her son Sir Gaylord was already a classic sire (Sir Ivor, THE Derby). Ms. Chenery (after her divorce) represented and managed her father's farm and later his estate, but she was not the breeder nor the owner of Secretariat. Too many people ignore the life's work of Christopher Chenery because he wasn't around to share the cheers for two of his most visible champions.

15 Mar 2013 12:34 PM
Forbidden Apple

Interesting article, then and now I would say that he was crying for no reason. And it's much different in the case of Flashback, he was cooked, accept it. It's not like Frankel was saying his horse lost because of 2 pounds. I liked Flashback too, he was simply beaten by a better horse.

15 Mar 2013 5:58 PM

My Rebel picks:

1.  Delhomme (He da man!  L'homme means man in French)

2.  Oxbow (direct relative of Paynter)

3.  Super Ninety Nine

15 Mar 2013 6:14 PM

Coldfacts I will take S99 to your pick Delhomme in the Rebel.Delhomme will probably be in front unless the West(Title Contender) rabbit gets a better jump I would like to see S99 rate behind one or both of these because going forward he is not fast enough to wire the Derby similar to Super Saver a colt that had speed but learned to rate.BTW Verrazano ran very well and rated well against your onetime pick in the FOY before he was scratched Falling Sky.Good Luck Coldfacts keep trying you will pick one yet.

15 Mar 2013 8:08 PM
Little Bill

That's good stuff Pedigree Ann, 12:34 post.

15 Mar 2013 8:17 PM

Slew : great post on 15 Mar 2013 11:31 AM !    

15 Mar 2013 9:23 PM

Mary; is there any science behind your statements?  Specifically, sire line not relevant in the longer distance (races)?

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that stamina in a pedigree, regardless of where one finds it, is going be a positive influence for stamina in the offspring.  And while I know that certain traits are more readily expressed in the famale "y" gene, why would the location of stamina in a pedigree be any different for fillies than colts?  I've studied pedigrees for many years and have a preferred formula  of speed over stamina as many times as possible in both the sire and dam lines.  But my formula for stamina is based on my personal observation,  not science.  I'd love to read the scientific proof of the statements you've made, since you present them as fact.

15 Mar 2013 9:30 PM


TY for your praise,  (my IQ is infact in the 'genious range', which I have been told borders on being crazy. lol)

To all,

Sorry for my poor ability to type and my rush to posts without greater editing. And sorry about the mispelling of Ms Chenery.--I was also not an English major in college.--(And I think that I stated before that I dearly need a 'secretariat' to edit for me.)

I simply express thoughts and pass them on hoping one gets the gist, again free information, take from my posts what you will.

 And I dearly love Steve too, though I get critical of his choices sometimes, (--my job as his 'secret assistant', lol--). However, in fact, he even once thanked me for praising him, so I have always felt a cordial bond and my critisms are in no way directed with disrepect, just a difference of opinion, where like last year re "Creative Cause", I simply attempted to open his mind to a different path, and, etc.

 Anyway, to all, good luck and please do keep passing along your thoughts. Simple knowledge shared is always appreciated and I am sure not only by me.

Pedigree Ann

 I am not sure who you were directing your comment to of being..."not your discovery" ...In my own case, I simply meant to say that Mrs Chenery must have been 'psychic' in seeing the value in 'big reds' bloodline, including the "Cosquillo" link. And personally, I made no mention of any fact that she was the breeder.  

16 Mar 2013 3:32 AM

It aint easy being good!,

Dice Flavor was sired by Scatt Daddy who goes back to Storm Cat. His dam was sired by Afleet who goes back to Mr. Prospector. Dice Flavor is therefore not from the Mr. Prospector sire line.

I am not obsessed with Mr. Prospector sire line I just have a lot of respect for its in the US and achievements worldwide.

Scatt Daddy had two horses in the 2012 Derby i.e., Daddy Knows Best and Daddy Long Legs. They finished 10th and 20th.

What makes you think this colt will do any better?

Since the El Camino Real Derby has been contested on the synthetic surface the only winner to finish a respectable position in the Derby was Chocolate Candy who finished 5th. Do you think Dice Flavor is a better colt?

Dice Flavor winning time of 1:51.45 is the slowest in the history of the race since its distance was increased from 8 1/2F to 9F.

Silver Medallion recorded the best time of 1:50.45. He did not start in the Derby.

Dice Flavor does not have the resume of colt that refelcts the potential to win the Derby but you never know it’s a strange event.

16 Mar 2013 8:13 AM


Your points are valid. However, he is not the only impressive colt around.

Have you seen Abstraction's maiden victory?

Revolutionary's victory in the Withers was more impressive than any race Verrazano has run.

Can you name a Derby winner whose dam sired was sire by a son of Storm Cat?

Two sons of Seattle Slew have been Derby winning broodmare sires i.e., Slewacide and A P Indy.

Verrazano pedigree does not have a lot of success in the Derby.

In the last 40 years the Hail To Reason sire line has produced 4 Derby winners with Barbaro being the last.

Verrazano is a nice colt but folk should wait until he has faced formidable opposition before they go crazy.

The Florida Derby would match him against top 3YO Itmyluckyday and he is heading to the wood. Both colt have recorded impressive victories a Gulfstream Park.

The wonder horse is avoiding the only colt that has recorded a track record in 2013.

Another wonder horse, Uncle Mo who had a bigger reputation than Verrazano avoided that FL Derby and headed to the Wood as the 1-5 ML favorite. We all know how that turned out.

The great Secretariat was beaten in the Wood. Would a Verrazano loss be a greater upset?

16 Mar 2013 8:38 AM

Watched War Academy yesterday.  Beautiful! Mike Smith gave him a perfect ride.

I don't understand Manando being a favorite.  He was a bust in the El Camino, and he quit yesterday...which he did in the El Camino.  He doesn't seem to like being in front.

16 Mar 2013 9:30 AM
Love 'em all

Speaking of Princequillo, it's only fitting that we pay tribute to him on St. Patrick's Day ...

>And we were reminded of St. Simon who had no faults, for *Princequillo had none that were discernable. In fact, if there is any fault where *Princequillo is concerned it is the fault of those humans who were so hot to breed speed that they have allowed this sire line to all but die.

As for us, we never fail to look back in wonder at this horse, whose sire was a World War II casualty and who, as a tiny weanling, came to us over storm-tossed seas and arrived a bedraggled emigrant seeking a fortune he could not understand. But like the human emigrants who came before and after him, he changed the course of history around him and earned a place among Thoroughbred royalty for all time to come. Let us never, ever forget him.<

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all ...

Princequillo and I were born the same year ... and both with Irish and French in our 'pedigree'. [smiling]

16 Mar 2013 11:05 AM

Coldfacts if S99 runs like Flashback his stablemate did in the San Felipe and gets into a duel with one or more colts he wont win.I think drawing post 11 in this race at a 1 1/16 on an oval where the race begins near the turn could turn out to be an unexpected advantage.He can tuck in behind Delhomme and maybe Title Contender or another colt that jumps out of the gate.Looking at the PPs like I reviewed them for Greyhound races the colts that have 1s by their names at the start  are Delhomme,Title Contender and S99.BTW S99 only has one number one by his name at the  start, the last race I think he is more rateable than both Delhomme and Title Contender.

16 Mar 2013 11:49 AM

Zarvano,Pedigree Ann's comments concerning Secretariat and Mrs. Chenery may have been met for me.I did not make such comments, but...she was not the breeder of Secretariat, we all know that, but she had a clear understanding of the Princequillo influence.  In the coin toss, she got what she wanted, Secretariat by Bold Ruler out of Somethingroyal, a Princequillo mare.

Love em all, you are so ight. Thank you for the Princequillo history. I have read extensively about him; so happy that you have too.  Thank goodness for Princequillo's influence on American racehorses.

Coldfacts, I don't like the Mr. Prospector line, partly due to the linebreeding to this colt, which IMO was and is simply immoral; speed, in lieu of stamina.  Also, Orb was bred for speed.  There is nothing in his pedigree to suggest otherwise.

Again, Revolutionary has the pedigree for the classic races, so in spite of his trainer, he's my boy.  He will likely go to the Louisiana Derby, so I'll be there to watch him run.  

16 Mar 2013 1:28 PM

Face it horseplayers racing on a hard dirt surface lends itself to most of the winners being on the pace or at worst mid-pack.The Derby is no different.The weather in Kentucky can be an entire day of rain like it was when Mine That Bird ran down the speed in that Derby.I like to stick with what works a higher percentage of the time than what comes in periodically.I want to find a colt that that can run on the lead or close enough to the lead to be able to get first jump on the field if the race dynamics set that up to be the winning move.Running from the back of the pack just doest work that often no matter if you mentally have a picture in your head of front runners tiring in the stretch, they do every year but they are colts that are not true distance horses.It intrigued me that last year after watching Bodemeister a lot of you said he wouldnt get the distance being out of Empire Maker,his dam is a blue hen and you dont have to go back a generation(20years) to find her.

Now as far as Revolutionary he made a great move in the Aqueduct stretch in his last but thus far he seems to be one that finds trouble in most of his races and coming from farther back will not help him in a 20 horse field.

When Giacomo won that year there was a meltdown because there were more than two runners near the front forcing the pace,that doesnt happen that often either.

I think Animal Kingdom ran better in the Derby than the Preakness because the front runner didnt get too far from him in the Derby than happened in the Preakness.

16 Mar 2013 4:09 PM

Checking pedigrees in the Derby condenders, every single one has Mr. Prospector either on top or bottom.  Most of them have Seattle Slew on top or bottom.

If 20 horses in a race carry Mr.P, it's a given that a Mr. P. will win. Logic!

Rather than compare Mr. P. (1970) to more current sires (Storm Cat '83, AP Indy '89) he should be compared to the Secretariat '70 and Slew sire '74 lines.

If I remember, Animal Kingdom had raced only on turf and synthetic prior to the Derby, which he won.

Dice Flavor has run on turf and synthetics, and he's explosive.


I think Coldfacts has an aversion to the "buzz" horse of the week.  He's not fairly judging them by their performance, but the more hype they get, the more he chooses to criticize them.  It's certainly not an objective observation, and that's a pity.  To deny that Verrazano ran really well at Tampa, seems like either sour grapes (he did pick Park City) or just spouting off to make noise.

Whether or not your favorite horse wins does not mean you can't appreciate how well he did run, or how well the winner ran. It's simply a matter of appreciation for a job well done.  I mean, if you can't enjoy what you're doing, why do it?

16 Mar 2013 5:42 PM

Orb; grandson of AP Indy and Unbridled with tail female to Shenanigans, dam of Ruffian.  Where exactly is the predominance of speed in this colt's pedigree Mary constantly alludes to?

Regarding Mr Prospector being a detriment in a horse's pedigree, apparently if she likes a horse (Revolutionary) it's ok, but if she  doesn't (Orb) it's not.

I appreciate any pedigree analysis that is well thought out, even if the opinion differs from mine, but pedigree analysis that makes no sense activates my argumentative streak.

As it happens, I agree that Revolutionary has the stronger female pedigree for stamina, but not by much.  And I disagree that the sire's pedigree doesn't matter.  Revolutionary is by a miler who was by a horse that had to reach to get 9 furlongs.  Orb is by a horse who had little chance to show what he could do on the track, but was certainly bred for stamina and has produced stamina.  To my mind, Orb has a good, balanced pedigree for stamina.  And remember, pedigree isn't everything.  Conformation and running style are equally important.  Orb is built like a stayer and runs like a stayer.  He may not win the Derby, but he's not a speed horse that will lead for 6 furlongs to a mile and fade.  I expect he'll still be running at the end.

16 Mar 2013 6:42 PM

The mid-packers were the best in the Rebel with the uncoupled D Wayne colts running mid pack down the backstretch as a team.

The West rabbit didnt help Treasury Bill but it hampered the other front runners including S99 and even Oxbow who moved earlier than his stablemate Will Take Charge.Its back to the drawing board for Delhomme but he could run better next time Coldfacts 2nd off a layoff.

16 Mar 2013 7:54 PM

Pedigree Ann:

While the sire-line Y chromosome is the only certain and "identifiable" chromosome that can be traced throughout the (top) sire-line, it is almost certainly not the only genetic material inherited from that sire-line to its descendants. Your explanation suggests that ONLY its Y chromosome is inherited, which is incorrect.

16 Mar 2013 8:55 PM

Ann & Sceptre:

What you talkin bout? You can trace any chromosome that contains an easily recognized trait. We'll soon have those nailed completely, maybe in my lifetime, but we can trace color genes, which are not all on one chromosome, blood types, shelly hooves, calf knees, sickle hocks, almond eyes . . . stuff you need a lab for and some you just need an eye.

Have you never gone into a field full of mares and foals with someone who could say "That's a Bold Ruler foal, that filly looks like a Sensitivo, close-up Turn-to in that one . . ."

17 Mar 2013 2:40 AM

Revolutionary is in War Pass's first crop. They have not run often enough to be 'typed' or to characterize him as a sire beyond saying with some certainty his get do or don't show speed.

War Pass made seven starts between late July at 2 to early April at 3. Much too early to brand him with limitations he had not displayed.

One of the things that's annoying about diving into pedigrees this year is the lack of data -- we have so many kids of first and second year sires on the "List of 30."

17 Mar 2013 3:02 AM

1968 was a confused year at The Meadow, and much of the jumble, such as just when Mrs. Tweedy started asking to be called Mrs. Chenery, is not really of public interest. It was while she was still married to Tweedy.

It's also not clear when Penny came home to help with the old homestead and how much she did except keep the books. Her father was hospitalized in February, 1968 shortly before Somethingroyal was bred to Bold Ruler and conceived her 1969 filly The Bride.

One thing is clear, though. Ogden Phipps controlled breedings to Bold Ruler and offered foal sharing agreements by invitation only.

However, this particular mating was the no brainer of the year, since a filly out of Somethingroyal by Bold Ruler had been the 2nd-ranked two-year-old filly of 1967, winning three major stakes and placing in four more. (While Quillo Queen was winning the CCA Oaks.)

The filly, Syrian Sea, would go on to place in the Black-Eyed Susan and CCA at three, while her little sister The Bride was in the oven and her mom was booked back to Bold Ruler for '69, foal of 1970.

17 Mar 2013 3:43 AM

kudos to "D Wayne" (Lukas)... you may have cost me $$, but you remain a great guy to route for...


the other horse that I am familiar with besides the filly "Precarious", that is dbl bred to "Seattle Slew". is the colt "Taken By The Storm", who rates high and per a Blood horse comment I think is pointing towards the Spiral ...

17 Mar 2013 3:54 AM

A little science for those who veered off topic (casting runes) to ask about it:

I remember the popular wisdom in my youth was that sex-linked characteristics must be on the Xy chromosomes. They are not. Sex-linked characteristics are caused by genes that create cells differentially affected by the sex hormones. The XX or Xy genotype governs what balance of male hormones to female hormones we have.

Take baldness. Genes for baldness are not on the X or y, but they act to inhibit hair follicle output in the presence of testosterone.

Or, this quote I've been waiting to drop into one of these boards:

The genetics of it goes like this:

The dimorphic fu complex is autosomal dominant on the X chromosome at the GDIGB (god damnit I'm going bald) replication site. There is also a series of methylation sites that influence whether you will be attractively bald (like Captain Piccard) or hideously bald (like me).

17 Mar 2013 4:10 AM

I didn't see any horse from the Rebel Stakes being a major threat in the Derby---the last 2 1/2 furlongs were run in almost 33 seconds by both the the winner and place horse---nowhere near Derby standards.

17 Mar 2013 8:42 AM
Saratoga AJ

A day for two old timers...a trainer and stable.

A Lucas exacta? Amazing. Especially  when the winner Will Take Charge  lost by 18 lengths on the same track, at the same distance, against many of the same horses a month ago. Only explanation is it was wet then.

So old timer Lucas has two for the gate on May 4th. As does the legendary Calumet Farms, who own's 2nd place finisher Oxbow.

17 Mar 2013 8:50 AM


I think Coldfacts has an aversion to the "buzz" horse of the week.”

The above would be true if I was not touting Heat The Ghost heading into the San Felipe. He was certainly the buzz horse of the week in CA. Likewise, I have posted favorable comments regarding the latest buzz horse Abstraction.

What do you consider buzz about a 1-5 horse? Verrazano was the overwhelming favorite heading into the TBD. He won handily and his status as a wonder horse has been enhance.

What has done to achieve this status?

The colt is clearly very classy but no classier than the one that occupies the top of Mr. Haskins DD. Why is he going to the Wood instead of facing Itsmyluckyday in the FL Derby? Their meeting in the FL Derby would put to rest any doubts as to who is the top dog heading into the Derby.

Tiz The Truth and Flashback were being hailed as monsters. I questioned the wisdom of same as the two colts won races recording fractions of 24, 48, 12 prior to being elevated to monster status.

This is how absurd some of these statements are. At least Verrazano recorded 1:34 but so did Itmyluckyday twice.

Has he gained wonder horse status? If these sentiment were not mainly emotionally driven I would have no problems with them.

“but the more hype they get, the more he chooses to criticize them.”

Do not confuse my criticism of hype width that of particular horses. I have stated repeatedly that Verrazano is a very nice colt. Has he earned wonder horse status? If he has to be retired from racing now would he make the HOF? Will Mr. Pletcher’s previous wonder horse Uncle Mo make the HOF?

17 Mar 2013 8:59 AM


“It's certainly not an objective observation, and that's a pity”

To some a 1-5 favorite winning a race easily is an exceptional performance. To other achieved what was expected. There's need to be trashing of his beaten opponents or over the top comments.

Hear The Ghost won his graded stakes debut just as Verrazano did. However, he did it against a 4-5 colt that was highly ranked in Mr. Haskins DD. Hear The Ghost was not even in Mr. Haskin's previous DD.

Is he being showered with accolades? No! The excuses for Flashback’s loss have been numerous and I am being accused as being pitifully lacking in objectivity. Not fair!

“he did pick Park City”

Citing that a colt is an interesting unknown does not amount to picking it. I also cited the War Pass colt that finished second would be a good exotic wager.

You have conveniently chosen to exclude same as it would not fit into your narratives to discredit me.

“Whether or not your favorite horse wins does not mean you can't appreciate how well he did run, or how well the winner ran"

A 1-5 is expected to win commandingly. What is there to salivate over? I appreciate exceptional performances not routine victories. Flashback went down to defeat as the short price favorite but he was gallant in defeat.

I appreciate his effort more than that of Verrazano because he was subjected to a wicked pace for 6F and still battled on to the line.

If you choose to salivate over a colt on an afternoon stroll then more power to you.

17 Mar 2013 9:04 AM


“Also, Orb was bred for speed.  There is nothing in his pedigree to suggest otherwise.”

You should try to avoid extreme statements. Orb’s sire Malibu Moon a son of stamina influencing A P Indy did win a race beyond 51/2F but that was due in part to his abbreviated career.

In Raise A Native’s four starts he did not race beyond 5 1/2F but he recorded two NTR for 5F & 51/2F.

He sired Majestic Prince who would have been the first undefeated Triple Crown winner if not for his only defeat in the Belmont.

Orb’s dam sire Unbridled won two major G1, 10F races and his dam line was loaded with stamina. His sire Fappiano was produced from a Dr. Fager mare. Dr. Fager was exceptionally fast so it possible for Unbridled to sire a sprinter.

Malibu Moon recorded: 57 and a bit for 5F so it is conceivable that he could sire a sprinter. However, one can ever accurately predict what a particular mating will produce.

Orb’s pedigree like most US thoroughbreds has a mix of speed and stamina.

17 Mar 2013 9:45 AM

I guess it's safe to say now that the Remsen was a fluke race that fooled everyone but me!  Top 3 horses out of that race has faltered.  

Also, for those who think Orb's pedigree is suspect I only have this to say. AP Indy on the top, and Unbridled on the bottom.  Not to mention 2 triple crown winners on top.  Johnny V staying home for the Florida Derby March 30th means he and Angel Cordero know there is a Derby in their future with Orb!  It also tells me they may not trust Verrazano nor have they committed just yet.

17 Mar 2013 10:48 AM

Robinm, I find your remarks to be touched with arrogance, not to mention condescending.  It grates on my nerves when I run across people like you.  Your attitude takes away from any knowledge that you may have, i.e. I don't trust you.  

The top side of Orb's pedigree is great, but unfortunately the tail side is not.  Mr. Prospector was a nice horse; but the line-breeding to him is simply outrageous and immoral.

Okay, now since the "Y" chromosome is smaller and carries less genetic material than the "X" chromosome, a colt will almost always express certain genes only found on his "X" chromosome.  A filly on the other hand, inheriting two "X" chromosomes, will express whichever is dominant.

This is why I look more closely at a colt's female line; particularly the broodmare sire's female line.

This works for me sometimes.      

17 Mar 2013 11:37 AM

Cassandra: I think what sceptre was noting is that while a female carries the x chromosome, the male determines the sex, since he carries both x and y chromosomes.  The x is then passed only to his daughters.

I felt terrible for Oxbow...but, he was beaten by a better horse. Will Take charge has an easier, longer stride. He has potential.  And a longshot did take it at 27/1 odds.

And, oh my, Bourbon Bay at 7 seems to have lost his zip.  But I still have faith in this guy.  Maybe it's time to shorten him up, but he always used to do so well at Santa Anita in the marathons.  I like Slim Shady too, but he wasn't ready for more than 10f.

A lot of upsets yesterday!  A ton of excitement.

17 Mar 2013 3:46 PM

Zarvona: While I love my Slew, I really prefer to see some outbreeding in a pedigree.  Carefully planned, it tends to balance out potential flaws.  

I really am anxious to see the foals that Einstein breeds. We've been importing some really nice horses from South America and the UK.  And So You Think is shuttling between Australia and the USA.  It just might open up new lines over the next 20 years.  Invasor's colts are racing, but doing so-so.  I've had an eye on Photon for a while, but he's not his Daddy.

17 Mar 2013 3:58 PM
Pedigree Ann

Mary -

The coin-toss in the movie, in which two foals of different breeding were being chosen from, was fiction.

The real coin-toss was for which of the two foals produced by the Bold Ruler-Somethingroyal matings would go to which owner. Phipps won and chose the first one, the filly The Bride (full sister to Syrian Sea), and Meadow Stud got the second one, Secretariat. Somethingroyal was getting on in age at that time, so I would assume Phipps wanted his 'fee' upfront in case the mare didn't get in foal again.

So no 'psychic' inkling about the superior value of a pedigree with Princequillo in it was needed.

Cassandra -

Horses have 32 chromosomes, with the genes for those traits we want in racing TBs spread among them. The X chromosome contains some important stuff, which is why every horse has to have at least one, but the Y is primarily concerned with turning those default-female zygotes into males.

So giving the Y-chromosome line the major credit for a horse's traits is ludicrous; Phalaris is 10 generations back from a horse like Will Take Charge! Now traits other than maleness MAY have come from a male line ancestor, but they CAN come via daughters, too. Daughters of sons, sons of daughters, any path.

Zarvona -

I usually don't brag about my IQ; I prefer to let my words indicate whether I have a high degree of intelligence or not. BUT, since you bring it up, mine isn't shabby, either. Top of high school class, Caltech grad in Math, Ph.D., that sort of stuff. Still hasn't managed to make me a top-notch handicapper.

17 Mar 2013 6:20 PM

Here's my latest dozen :

- Uncaptured : Looking forward to next weekend, see how fit he is.

- Ground Transport : He needs to get points, quickly.  I think he'll get it in the LA Derby.

- Will Take Charge : Like his win in the Rebel, I think he's got enough points to make the field.

- Hear The Ghost : I'm split between him and Tiz a Minister, but he's got the points...

- Shanghai Bobby : I'm thinking he's going to take the Florida Derby, he maybe short for 10F but there's not a lot out there that are true 10F colts anymore.  At least so far, he runs everytime and he's a grinder.

- Itsmyluckyday : I'm still not sure how good he is, bottom line is, he only has 10 points, Florida Derby is going to be a good race.

- Orb : Where's he going ?

- Vyjack : Verrazano going to the Wood...

- Den's Legacy : Like PA's thoughts on BB taking him to the BlueGrass instead of the Arkansas but his cut didn't look too good.

- Normandy Invasion : He landed Castellano, suddenly looks good in the Wood.

- Palace Malice : Still think he's the best Pletcher horse, he'll need a 2nd in the LA Derby.

- Mylute : Still like him a lot, I hope he gets Graham now that ISAN is off the trail.

17 Mar 2013 8:57 PM

Pedigree Ann:

Horses have 64 chromosomes (32 paired), not 32. You may be confusing people when identifying the (top) male line as the Y chromosome line. While that "line" does contain the Y chromosome it also has the same probablity of containing other genetic material as would any ancestor at same generational position.

17 Mar 2013 9:50 PM

Will Take Charge has a very nice pedigree.  I know the Louisiana Derby is only two weeks away, but Will Take Charge ran a very easy Rebel Stakes, so why not.  I just watched a documentary about Chris Antley, Lucas, and Charismatic. Enough said.

17 Mar 2013 9:55 PM

Mary; I express my opinions as just that, opinions,  while you state your opinions as fact.  Who is the arrogant one here?

17 Mar 2013 10:06 PM

Pedigree Ann, no top natch handicapper here, but I will say that since 2007, I have gotten it right 38 to 40 percent of the time in the triple crown races, not too good, I guess.  Rags to Riches, Street Sense, Mine That Bird, Rachel Alexandra, Summer Bird, Super Saver, Ruler on Ice, and Union Rags.  Of course, my greatest disappointment was Union Rags and Freisan Fire, both not winning the Kentucky Derby.  

17 Mar 2013 10:35 PM


You seem habitually to ignore info sources that are at your fingertips. No need to guess about what Malibu Moon might sire; he has almost 1000 foals of racing age. His best are fillies and fast.

18 Mar 2013 1:36 AM
El Kabong


Like you, I thought the same about the Rebel going in to it so I didn't pay too much attention till after it was run. I think Will Take Charge can move forward. I was skeptical before but despite the times, which get too much credit because these are 3 year olds who can improve so much between now and May 4th, I'd give WTC some rope. Let's see how he handles 9F's before we write him off, but he is coming around and is worth another look. At this stage of the game, Curlin didn't do much better in the Rebel.


And I mean all of you, I have enjoyed the spirited conversation, not to mention the extra added depth of DNA! You notice most of the boys have kept pretty quite on the matter, myself included. Awesome stuff. Keep it up! Your insight and passion has been duly noted.

I think the best reward of the new point system is yet to come. The shuffle and mix of who is going to run where is going to bring us some full fields, great racing, heartbreak and great opportunities at the window. I just hope some good closers don't pass on the Florida Derby, it's ripe for the picking.

18 Mar 2013 1:39 AM
Forbidden Apple

The story of the weekend was the world record set by Bright Thought, but no mention of him here. The triple crown prep races are not the only action around.

Coldfacts, That's funny, Uncle Mo will never be in the HOF. He did have an overnight stakes named after him at the Big A last week. Be careful of what you say about the golden boy trainer. Some people continue to believe he can do no wrong.

JerseyBoy, Delhomme could have had a 70 pound weight break and he still would have lost. Another brilliant piece of training.

18 Mar 2013 11:36 AM

If we run horses against themselves, that is, look at their lifetime body of work, they do not run their greatest races carrying the least weight.

I find it a credible hypothesis that track, stakes and world records would be set more often by younger and lighter-weighted horses than is the case if weight was a significant factor.

Of course, there is a limit. A 30 lb. shift in the weights would have to tell.

(Trivia note: in the 1700s racing in India, horses in the Stud Book had to give Arabians three stone, 42 pounds. The Godolphin "Arabian" was born 1724. "Sent to India" was a badge of shame for thoroughbreds. The Arabians were bred in royal studs in India from stock imported overland from Arabia.)

18 Mar 2013 11:53 AM

There is, of course, a reason why weight has been piled on good horses in their next starts. As the crop pecking order becomes clear, it's hard to get your bet covered. Make up some reason, like weight carried, to push up the odds on the favorite and improve the handle.

18 Mar 2013 11:58 AM


I saw War Academy’s debut victory and it was workman like. I have a distinct dislike for Giants Causeway horses.

They always seem to breakdown and if they do make the Derby field they finish off the board irrespective of their proven ability.  His best colt to run in the Derby was Creative Cause and he finished 5th. The best finish by a horse sired by him.

Between 2002 and 2008 Giants Causeway bred 1,259 mares that have produced either 5 or 6 Derby starters with all finishing of the board.

Over the last 8 years he bred an average of 181 mares. No stallion possessing that type of mares bred record has sired a Derby winner.

I would not be surprised if I there is an announcement that he is off the Derby trail due to some back end issue.

18 Mar 2013 12:04 PM

Garrett Gomez on Flasback,

Garret was removed from Looking at Lucky after bad placing from the 1 post position in the Derby. Lepareux is one of the top 3 jocks at Churchil. Another top trainer says you do not remove a jock afetr one mistake! They usually learn from it and ride a much improved race thereafter. I doubt this was baffert's decision. Wouldn't be ironic if Julian won the Derby beating Flashback?

18 Mar 2013 1:34 PM

This is an opinion so you can argue with it if you like,well this whole game is about opinion so Im not in left field.

Leparoux is a good jockey I have bet him on long shots and made money,but noticed that he fell asleep at the wheel on some heavily bet favorites that he rode.

Sometimes the other jockeys in the race focus on beating the big favorite and it makes for a rough trip if the jockey dosent realize that before the race and thinks ahead to those possibilites.

18 Mar 2013 2:16 PM
Mick Cage

I'm not seeing a pattern in repeat trainer winners, seems like every year somebody gets they're 1st derby winner, the repeat winning trainer trend seems to be a thing of the past, looking for the same trend this year. My picks this year...

Dice Flavor,Orb,It's My Lucky Day,Hear The Ghost,and Vyjack...On my Facebook last it's documented that I picked I'll Have A Another the day after the Santa Anita Derby to win the Triple Crown...I was pretty damn close

19 Mar 2013 2:56 AM

The assisstant starter in the wood today shuld be fired.  he just blew any chance of freedom's child getting into the derby. with injuries and everything else the owners & trainers have to worry about, the LAST thing they need to see is human error.  That was a disaster, and the colt actually had a chance to hit the board, especially since he would have brought the pace to verrazzano.  inexcusable,

06 Apr 2013 7:34 PM

Recent Posts

More Blogs