Derby Dozen (video) - March 18, 2013 - Presented by Shadwell Farm

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Itsmyluckyday Eddie Plesa Jr. Click Here!

Lawyer Ron—Viva la Slew, by Doneraile Court

After his easy mile breeze last week, he came back with a bullet 1:01 drill this week. Love the way he’s training for the Florida Derby. It seems like ages ago that this colt ran in the Holy Bull. Although he must finish 1st or 2nd to secure a spot in the Derby, it was smart of Plesa to back off after two consecutive blazing speed figures. In his Gulfstream Park Derby score he ran a whopping 9 3/4 points faster than his previous start on Thoro-Graph and one of only two negative numbers this year by a Derby horse (Verrazano being the other). Instead of regressing off that effort, he actually ran a full point faster, which is something you don’t often see with a young 3-year-old. He did have an excellent 2-year-old number at Calder in September to fall back on.


Verrazano Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

If Pletcher can get him to win or even run big in the Derby, it would actually contradict what’s worked for him in the past. It is ironic that Pletcher usually likes at least 4-to-5 weeks between races, but the fact is, he has saddled six horses to finish 4th or better in the Derby, and all six went into the race off only three weeks, while all those given 4-to-5 weeks all ran poorly. Go Figure. Pletcher’s two best finishes in the past 11 years have been a win with Super Saver and a second with Bluegrass Cat, and both those horses prepped at Tampa Bay, so that at least bodes well for this colt, who could use as much fitness as he can get.


Revolutionary Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

Worked five-eighths in 1:00 3/5 for the Louisiana Derby, where he likely will meet stablemate Palace Malice. A big field is expected, and although a 1-2 finish would put both in the Derby, a third-place finish by one of them would put that horse teetering on the edge of elimination. It doesn’t take much to fall off the Derby trail these days. This colt has two major objectives at Fair Grounds. One, of course, is to finish first or second, and the other is keep out of trouble, something he’s had trouble doing, whether it’s getting clobbered coming out of the gate or getting trapped in a near costly traffic jam. The one time he had a clean trip he won by 8 ½ lengths, earning a 102 Beyer figure.


Orb Shug McGaughey

Malibu Moon—Lady Liberty, by Unbridled

Breezed a sharp half in :48 at Payson Park. He’s already in the Derby field with 50 points, and with a possible small field expected in the Florida Derby, there would be nothing wrong with a good second or close third, as long as he’s closing at the end. This will be his fifth race at a mile or longer, so he certainly will have enough foundation. Shug doesn’t run short horses. We doubt any 3-year-old has shown more improvement than this colt has, especially from his allowance score to his Fountain of Youth victory. Now, he just has to keep moving forward.


Hear the Ghost Jerry Hollendorfer Click Here!

Ghostzapper—Rehear, by Coronado's Quest

The more I watch the San Felipe, the more I’m convinced this is a special horse and not just one who capitalized on a pace meltdown. Love the way he dug in and re-broke when Tiz a Minister came charging up alongside him from last and was actually pulling away from him in the final yards. And his final 1/16 in :06 flat was very impressive. You don’t normally see a horse rallying from 16 lengths back on the far turn and then get outclosed late. He has a very efficient way of moving and when he lowers his shoulder and levels off in the final hundred yards, the result is electrifying. In his first two starts at 6 furlongs he beat Let Em Shine and was a fast-closing 2nd to Distinctiv Passion, arguably the two fastest 3-year-old sprinters in California and then stretches out and beats the two most accomplished two-turn 3-year-olds in California. There is a question of foundation, but I’ll Have Another, of whom this horse reminds us, didn’t have much more racing foundation than he does.


Vyjack Rudy Rodriguez

Into Mischief —Life Happened, by Stravinsky

Breezed a half in :51 1/5 at Aqueduct, as he prepares for his showdown with Verrazano in the Wood Memorial battle of the unbeatens. He won’t have the services of his trainer for 20 days, as Rodriguez currently is serving a 20-day suspension for an old drug positive, which ends the day before the Wood. The only thing we should be concentrating on is this gelding’s unbeaten record and the incredible versatility he’s shown, whether it’s track surface, distance, or running style. His Gotham stretch run still may be the single most memorable moment on this year’s Derby trail. If only he can duplicate that on the main track against far better competition.


Oxbow D. Wayne Lukas Click Here!

Awesome Again—Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy

This horse has been narrowly beaten in his last two races and keeps moving up the list. For the second straight race, he got hung 5-wide on the first turn and raced wide all the way to the quarter pole. This time, he actually made two early moves, one from 6th to 3rd nearing the backstretch and another from third to first on the far turn. When Super Ninety Nine ran right by the leader and began to open up, Smith went with him to prevent the Baffert colt from getting a big jump on him. It appeared as if he wasn’t aware just how quick and powerful a move Oxbow has and was all over the favorite in a flash. Then when Super Ninety Nine backed out of it, he found himself on the lead sooner than he wanted. This set it up perfectly for his stablemate. In our opinion, had Oxbow not lost so much ground or made those two premature moves, he would have won, Some will feel he’s run out of excuses after two defeats, but these are preps, and preps are for learning and moving forward. His Beyer figures are climbing, despite the defeats, and his Thoro-Graph figs have been very strong. Smith now knows the horse much better and we hope he sticks with him. He has stamina and a quick turn of foot that just needs to be timed correctly.


Shanghai Bobby Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Harlan's Holiday—Steelin', by Orientate

Turned in a sharp 5-furlong drill in 1:00 flat in company with Palace Malice, second fastest work at the distance. Like with Itsmyluckyday, we have to keep going back to watch the Holy Bull to remember the race in detail. One thing that is most certain, he is going to be much more formidable with that race under him. Just would like to see him sit off the pace this time, although that might be tough if the Florida Derby comes up short with no speed. His running style is way too similar to Verrazano’s, but he’s the one who seems more ratable at this time. The reason he’s dropped several places is because of inactivity. If he had beaten Itsmyluckyday in the Holy Bull the way Itsmyluckyday beat him he’d probably be No. 1 right now. If he can somehow keep off the lead and close in the Florida Derby, he most certainly will move well up the list.


Flashback Bob Baffert Click Here!

Tapit—Rhumb Line, by Mr. Greeley

Baffert was thrilled with his :48 2/5 half-mile work. Like Hear the Ghost, his race in the San Felipe seems better the second time around. The opening half mile was a killer, with him eyeballing Goldencents, and he showed a lot putting away a talented, more experienced horse. He tried hard down the stretch, but the pace took its toll, and ducking to the rail after clearing Goldencents just as the closers were bearing down on him didn’t help. While his performance was more impressive than first thought, the fact is, he still needs to learn to settle, which he seemed to be doing early in the race until he came off the rail to engage Goldencents and Salutos Amigos. We’ll see if the switch to Garrett Gomez helps.


Palace Malice Todd PletcherClick Here!

Curlin—Palace Rumor, by Royal Anthem

Worked five-eighths in 1:00 flat in company with Shanghai Bobby. His performance in the Risen Star seems more impressive now that Oxbow has come back to run big in the Rebel, at least big enough to justify the form of the race. We still come back to his inexperience in that race and how much room for improvement he has. If he moves forward at all off the Risen Star, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be right there in the Louisiana Derby, even with Revolutionary in there. If he does run the way we think he will and gets in the Derby, he has the right running style and should be very formidable going a mile and a quarter.


Normandy Invasion Chad Brown Click Here!

Tapit—Boston Lady, by Boston Harbor

He needs a lot of luck in the Wood Memorial if he’s going to make the Derby field. After his bullet 5f work in :59 3/5, it would be a shame if he missed the cut, especially after his nightmare trip in the Risen Star, in which he got shut out on points. Remsen form has not held up so far, but he still looks like a top-class colt with a huge kick. If he can get past the Wood, we can see him coming back with another big effort in the Derby. Fox Hill could use a break in the Derby for a change after Hard Spun ran his heart out only to finish second in 2007 and Eight Belles ran an incredible race the following year only to run into Big Brown. Her death was one of the great tragedies in racing history. Could the racing gods be ready to reward Rick Porter, who certainly has paid his dues?


Will Take Charge D. Wayne Lukas

Unbridled’s Song —Take Charge Lady, by Dehere

Taking nothing away from his Rebel score, but he had a perfect setup, with Oxbow doing the dirty work up front. He is a big, long-striding colt who can gobble up ground and is a battler with the money on the line. But he needs to show he can run two good races in a row. His bad races have been terrible, but he does bounce back from them, and we’ll give him a pass on the Southwest, as it appears he absolutely hated the sloppy sealed surface. His only inbreeding is to Fappiano, which is a tribute to John Nerud on his 100th birthday.

Knocking At The Door

Is racing foundation a dying factor on the Derby trail? Hot Derby prospects Verrazano, Flashback, Hear the Ghost, War Academy, Departing, Ground Transport, and Tiz the Truth are just some of the horses who are looking to accomplish something that has only been done twice in the past 94 years – win the Derby with as few as four career starts. Of the two that pulled it off, Big Brown was a total freak in a mediocre crop and Animal Kingdom’s four races all were at a mile or longer. All the above mentioned horses will be attempting it with only two or three races at a mile or longer. There’s no saying it can’t be done, but history is against it.

If we were listing a baker’s dozen, WAR ACADEMY would be No. 14, right behind No. 13 RYDILLUC, following his 1 1/16-mile allowance victory Saturday. Although he didn’t beat much in the five-horse field, it was the way he did it that was impressive. We love the way he moves, much like his sire Giant’s Causeway, and how effortlessly he gets over the ground. Baffert has been high on him from the beginning and we’re just now seeing what this colt is capable of. What he has going against him is lack of experience, with only three starts, two of them in sprints. He desperately needs to get a gut check in his first and only attempt to pick up points. He just hasn’t been tested enough over a distance of ground. But there is no doubt the talent is there.

Speaking of Rydilluc, he turned in a bullet five-eighths breeze in 1:02 at Palm Meadows. This still is our live longshot, and he will remain an unknown even with a victory in the Blue Grass Stakes. Can he run huge over Polytrack and then on dirt at Churchill Downs? If he is as good on those surfaces as he’s been on grass, there is no telling what he’s capable of. What is most intriguing about him is that we haven’t seen any horse that strides out they way he does and is as athletic.

Although DEN’S LEGACY doesn’t win very often, you sure can’t knock his consistency and determination, as he is always in the picture, regardless of who he is running against and where. In the Rebel, he had a perfect trip, but could do no better than third, while returning with a pretty nasty gash on his back leg, which fortunately looks to be superficial. He tries hard every time and you have to admire him for that. TEXAS BLING also ran a good race in the Rebel to be fourth. He looked to be running on well in the stretch, but lacked a big closing kick at the end.

One of our big sleepers, DICE FLAVOR, drilled six furlongs in 1:14. We’ll see if he shows up in the Spiral. Private Terms winner MR. PALMER got right back on the work tab breezing a half in :49 2/5 for the Wood Memorial.

The late rush to Louisville continued this past weekend, as Darley’s soon to be Godolphin colt INCOGNITO ran off with a mile maiden race at Aqueduct. We’ll have to see if they throw him into a 100-pointer or perhaps try the Illinois Derby as a prep for the Preakness. By A.P. Indy, out of the top-class Octave, Incognito took the lead nearing the head of the stretch and was never asked, coming home in :24 3/5 to win as jockey Mike Luzzi pleased. This is another with beautiful action who appears to have a bright future. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin also has the promising ELNAAWI, third in the Gotham, likely heading to the Wood Memorial. Two races back, Incognito finished a good third to Elnaawi in a mile maiden race in the mud.

What makes this race even more significant is that Incognito was coming off a neck defeat to MR. PALMER, who turned in a huge effort last week to win the Private Terms Stakes for Bill Mott. So, each horse flattered the other. Mr. Palmer looks to be headed to the Wood Memorial.

In the early bird catches the roses department, we saw two monster debuts over the weekend, but, alas, neither colt is advanced enough to be ready for the Derby. ZAIKOV, a son of Distorted Humor who twice was consigned to sales and withdrawn each time, never raised a sweat in his six-furlong debut, winning off by 14 ¼ lengths in a snappy 1:09 3/5. He is trained by, and this getting to be redundant, Todd Pletcher.

The other horse, however, probably missed his calling in the Derby by one race. ABSTRACTION, trained by David Carroll, turned a mile and 70-yard maiden race at Fair Grounds into no more than a breezing workout, coasting to a 9 ¾-length victory. This son of Pulpit is out of a Quiet American mare and his third dam is a full-sister to Derby and Preakness winner Majestic Prince. Carroll is hoping to have him ready for the Belmont Stakes.


Leave a Comment:

Rusty Weisner

Steve Haskin,

I really like your placing of Oxbow and your call of the race.  This was a closer's track, too.

18 Mar 2013 3:12 PM

This is becoming a very interesting Derby this year because no one can say there really is a dominant horse this time around. Every horse has their own strengths as well as their particular weaknesses. It is going to be a very interesting first Saturday in May.

18 Mar 2013 3:20 PM
Mister Frisky

Hii Steve,Really liking both the Lukas horses.If they make the gate come derby day I think they are a must use in the exotics.At the very least underneath in the tri and super.If they made up half the super I would not be shocked.Maybe Will Take Charge will deliver on his monster pedigree.Too many from the purple like Saarland.Friends Lake.and WTC half brother have flopped in KY,maybe this is the year.

18 Mar 2013 3:56 PM

Great list, Steve, as always.

War Academy looked much better this time around and I expect big things out of him. Treasury Bill flattened out and so did Super 99.

Will Take Charge is a nice colt, but I am not totally sold on him yet, he needs to repeat performance. Love the breeding though! Onward to some of the final preps, Pletcher is playing musical chairs with his horses, it's getting real confusing! Can you straighten it out for us, Steve?

18 Mar 2013 4:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Even though the early bird catches the worm it's still midnight as far as figuring out a Derby winner is concerned. Great list of stars and extra cast hoping to break into the big time though. I still like Java's War, Uncaptured, Shakin it Up and Dry Summer as possibles. I really like Uncaptured as one of the leading men. That is funny how long ago the Holy Bull seems. From a historical perspective I have my pet peeves but have learned not to rule anything out without a very close examination. There will be no tosses from a historical perspective from my camp.

18 Mar 2013 4:14 PM
Rusty Weisner

I'm curious if anyone got a look at Revolutionary's workout and had any impressions.  It was slower than Shanghai Bobby's I saw.  Ground Transport's was strong -- that's a horse I'll probably be betting, but so will everyone else.

18 Mar 2013 4:46 PM

Am disappointed that you dumped Goldenscents entirely--was not even included in the Knocking at the Doors.

18 Mar 2013 4:52 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

And I still like Carve as  distance talent but I wonder if he'd be better suited for The Belmont. I don't know if they are still going to try to get him into The Derby. I hope he does get a chance in a 9f if he's ready and can get in somewhere. Not sure if he's fast enough to win The Derby but still could finish in the top four possibly.

18 Mar 2013 5:05 PM


only one i deffer is with Flashback and Hear the Ghost, as we know he took advantage of that suicide pace even Cory had said that he was smiling throughout the race.

I'm trying to figure the pace in the derby, as most of the sprinters are out(due to the point system) and we know Verrazano is a speed horse and Baffert who always sends his horses(Although he switched to Gomez who is not that speed crazy and other speed of the horses with top points not compared to these two(O'neill will not try to tackle Flashback on the front end), we should be looking to a horse that will lay just off the pace and be able to close and knowing Baffert's horses can stick around to the end, IS FLASHBACK GOING TO PULL ANOTHER BAFFERT "PLACE" TRIPLE CROWN?

18 Mar 2013 5:06 PM

Should Footbridge line up for the SA Derby all will change.

18 Mar 2013 5:09 PM
Louiville Dave

Steve, what do you think of Java's Wars performance behind Verrazano? It looked like he was the only one in the field not losing ground to him. The pedigree is interesting

18 Mar 2013 5:28 PM

I dont agree with Oxbow over Will Take Charge, he was a big overlay in the last race coming of the sly track.

I still believe Vyjack may be a freak.

Florida Derby coming up weak only 5 horses compared to the other 100 point races.

18 Mar 2013 5:54 PM
Indiana Johnny

Johnny's Bad Boys ( Revised, and probably will be revised a few more times before Derby).

(1) Shanghaii Bobby

(2) Itsmyluckyday

(3) Titletown Five

(4) Javas War

(5) Uncaptured

(6) Verrazano

(7) Tiz A Minister

(8) Hear the Ghost

(9) Overanalyze

(10) Orb

(11) Revolutionary

(12) Dens Legacy

Note to other can have my old list now, and I do have Orb this time.

18 Mar 2013 5:58 PM

I don't know why, but I think is going to beat Secretariat's mark, and it's going to be a Florida trained horse

18 Mar 2013 5:59 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Hi Steve,

Oxbow and Uncaptured I  bet in the derby Future wagering.  I have added Hear the Ghost to my top 3 bets.  I am keeping my fingers crossed all three are in the gate for the Derby because they all have a great shot of hitting the board.  Uncaptured will be back with a bang after he beats the Spiral field.

18 Mar 2013 6:46 PM

steve- i've watched war academy's allowance win many times now and conclude you only need to settle this horse then push the button. only had to be hit 3x coming for home. nice looking fit horse! also pletcher smart by putting revolutionary in a large field for louisiana derby. he needs to prove he can face adversity once again and still win. if he gets in the derby he will be one of the freshest horses in the field based on his probable training pattern.

18 Mar 2013 6:48 PM
Steve Haskin

Louisville Dave, Java's War ran a terrific race and may be coming into his own at the right time. McPeek said he's seriously considering sending him to Dubai for the UAE Derby, which would eliminate as a Derby contender, at least to me. too much to ask.

Jancatalona, I cant have everyone on there. You have to keep moving forward to stay on the list and he took a step backward. not every horse is mentioned on Knocking at the Door, only horses who did something relevant that week. If this were a Top 20 list he'd probably on there somewhere. He just hasnt shown any indication he wants 1 1/4 miles. I wish he would. I'm sitting on a feature on him and waiting for a reason to use it.

18 Mar 2013 6:57 PM

In the last 30 years two winner of the Rebel have won the Kentucky Derby. Below are the winners and their winning times:

2004 Smarty Jones: 1:42.00

1983 Sunny Halo 1:42.20

The 2013 Rebel was won in a time of 1:45.18; the 1990 Rebel in 1:46 and the 1979 in 1:45.80.

The time recorded by Will Take Charge represents the third slowest in the history of the race.

Is WTC fast enough to will the Derby? Based on the available data he needs  to improve 2-3 seconds in the speed department.

18 Mar 2013 7:02 PM

First Super Ninety Nine. Then Dan's Legacy - for a short bit. And now War Academy. Looks like Code West is getting lost in the shuffle, which is OK by me just as long as he makes the gate first Saturday in May.

Visually, Uncaptured is a gutsy runner with lots of heart, but  nothing all too spectacular. He does find a way to win with whatever is put in front of him - most of the time. I find it a bit  worrysome that the horses he has beaten have not won or at least run well in their next start. The Spiral should settle if his 2YO  form carries over and if he belongs on the trail. It's shaping up to be a tougher race for him  than I expected a month ago.

18 Mar 2013 7:09 PM

just some wishful thinking MR. Steve but i think that after this week you will have Demonic up there. i know everything is working against him but hey why not.

18 Mar 2013 7:41 PM

great pics, although I still like shanghai bobby to win it all, just imagine we can possibly have Lucas, McGaughey,  plesa, quite an improvement from O'Neil and his milkshaking. These guys are real class

18 Mar 2013 7:48 PM
Karen in Indiana

You are so right about the lack of foundation so many of these horses have. The exceptions prove the rule - Big Brown was a freak (and looks awesome now that he is fully matured) and Animal Kingdom is special (can't wait to see how he does in Dubai). One of the things that can't be ignored is that these horses with few starts will be doing something unfamiliar (racing) in one of the most packed, loud crowds to be found in horse racing. It messed up Mr. Hot Stuff's head - he was freaking out before the race and was never the same after that.

This year, there are no horses on my list with less than 6 starts already. Like that you put Oxbow ahead of his stable mate. Itsmyluckyday is tops on my list, too. Orb is on there, too. And my 'these have as good a chance as any and at least know what they're doing' horse are Den's Legacy and Texas Bling.

18 Mar 2013 8:07 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Dr D -

Maiden claiming winner Carve beat Title Contender by 3/4s of a length in their Alw1x meeting. In the Rebel, Carve beat that one by 1/2 a length. Neither belongs anywhere near another Derby prep or a Triple Crown race.

18 Mar 2013 8:14 PM

Hear The Ghost and Revolutionary, best pedigrees.

18 Mar 2013 8:26 PM

Delhomme decided to pull a "Shackleford" in the saddling area on Saturday.  I felt he was a little freaked by the good crowd there.  I lost hope in him before he ever left the gate.  Super Ninety Nine was pretty wet before the race too.  

Did anyone see More Hundred Acre, 3 yr old on turf this weekend at Gulfstream??  Wow, did this guy explode in the stretch!!! I think he's a Pletcher horse.  I'd put him a a hair above Rydilluc in athleticism, perhaps!!  

18 Mar 2013 8:49 PM
El Kabong

Steve, Louisville Dave:

For what it's worth, I just sent Mr. McPeek a message. It was loaded with beg, and visions of Roses if he'd just give the kid a chance. The desert can wait. The Roses are sweet and they're still up for grabs. Now, if he runs to Dubai, I may have to consider that as a white flag I should heed, but I never fear the 8.5F "freaks." And we all know what happened to Bellamy Road who delivered the biggest slice of freak pie at 9F's I've ever seen. 10 is a wall for most and a bucket of gravy for the super talented and well bred few. I hope he reconsiders. This guy will not shine until he sees the gasp of 9F favorites  at the quarter pole, lamenting  a stretch run that doesn't suit their gene pool. I just hate the waiting game, it does not sit well with the guy who taught Pete Townsend how to smash a guitar and get a rise from the audience. No sir.

18 Mar 2013 8:50 PM

REALITY CHECK! The gotham, rebel sam davis, etc.....are tiny prep races....every week, you are all talking about the winners like they are derby horses? WHAT? Vyjack? Oxbow? etc.? 93 beyers?95 beyers? WHATS THAT GONNA GET YA?........theres only a handfull that can win the derby! WISE UP!!!!

Its like youre picking 5000 claimers to win a 20000 claiming race.......yea sure upsets happen, but if you think you can improve 10 to 12 points, in 1 race, youre in for a letdown.......mine that bird

18 Mar 2013 9:33 PM

Steve, Hear The Ghost has a great pedigree; I'll Have Another did not.  Revolutionary, Hear The Ghost, and Will Take Charge are my horses.  Of course, this is all based on pedigree.  So we shall see.

18 Mar 2013 9:47 PM


I heard today that Dice Flavor is going to ship for the UAE Derby??  Major mistake by the connections IMO!!!

18 Mar 2013 9:56 PM

Louiville Dave, Java's War, I don't like his pedigree, interesting maybe, but...

18 Mar 2013 10:03 PM

Dr. Drunkinbum, I am over the moon with Carve's pedigree.  I need to take another look at this horse.

18 Mar 2013 10:20 PM
Forbidden Apple

1)ITSMYLUCKYDAY 2)HEAR THE GHOST 3)ORB 4)Flashback 5)Shanghai Bobby 6)Revolutionary 7)Verrazano 8)Vyjack 9)Fortify 10)Frac Daddy 11)Tiz the Truth 12)Incognito

The anticipation is killing me, I can't wait to see Itsmyluckyday win the FL Derby. It gets harder and harder every week to come up with 12 quality colts. Hear the Ghost is better than most give him credit for. It's great to see that Plesa and Hollendorfer both have an ownership interest in their horses. Incognito is a cool and calm horse that looks like he will appreciate more distance.

18 Mar 2013 10:54 PM

Nice list again Steve.  I like Oxbow more and more.  I am more sold on him than on Will Take Charge.  I like how you said that Oxbow did the dirty work up front in the Rebel.  His second kind of reminds me of his "cousin" Paynter's Belmont second.  Oxbow ran true to how I predicted, no so for Delhomme though.

I see you have the two geldings at #5 and #6.  Should Hear The Ghost do anything spectacular it would be so unfortunate that he could not make any little spooks for us! Dr. D. just spilled his coffee.

Rydilluc is intriguing and must answer the dirt question.  I'd put Goldencents at 12 and Will Take Charge at 13, that's the only change I would make.


Please clarify something for me from the last dozen.  You are touting Revolutionary due to his stellar pedigree which is impressive and I like him.  Yet you have a great dislike for Mr. Prospector, who I just love.  Regardless, you also stated that you look at the female-tail of the sire's pedigree, so if you look at Revolutonary's pedigree, sire War Pass has guess who right smack in the female-tail?  Mr. Prospector.  I am just trying to piece together what you are saying.  I wish Mr.  Alan Porter would write a book on Mr. Prospector if he hasn't already.  I loved Steve's photo of him with Mandy.  

This is off-topic but Artie Schiller's classic rounded neck and form remind me of the Godolphin Arabian.  Someone said they began in 1724 and I do believe the country of origin was in the desert in Morocco where they were in high regard by the Berbers or Bedouins.

18 Mar 2013 11:02 PM

Hey Steve,

Great list! I look forward to it every Monday. I have a question. What do you of Uncaptured and Power Broker derby chances if they receive enough points for the derby. Do you think one prep race will sufficient for them to damage in the derby?

18 Mar 2013 11:41 PM


Tell me more. How do you understand his "body of work"?

I would never have thought Darley was a betting stable, so the signs that they were not "going" with him in his first couple of starts can't be due to early book bets.

And anyway, his rider was all over both sides of him like a flea in heat futilely trying to beat some kind of rapid motion out of him.

I'd probably agree with you that he looks like he CAN run, but he doesn't seem to want to. The race in which he broke his maiden was pleasing to the eye but the pace is not the kind of thing that has you (or me, at least) breaking out the bourbon and branch water. Which of the contenders is not capable of 25> 49> 1:13> 1:37.6?

Perhaps this is a deliberate training style with Darley: race them in the morning and gallop them in the afternoon? (Coupled in the afternoon with a well-meant stablemate to fend off the peasants with pitchforks.)

19 Mar 2013 12:20 AM
joseph alva

Fascinating the way the Derby field is beginning to take form!  Horses not getting a lot of press early on are starting to make a bit of noise and turning some heads.  The Rebel's top finishers are case in point.

Those three can be major players in the Derby.  Will Take Charge is regally bred and although he displays some inconsistency his experience makes up for that.  Watching his Smarty Jones and Rebel wins he seems to love a fight down the lane -- the mettle of successful Deby finsishers.  Lukas in a post-Rebel interview described Oxbow as the toughest horse he has ever trained.  Although Lukas at 77 is actually older than the Pope and maybe desperately seeing it all through rose-colored glasses since time is running out for him, he has trained a few great ones and Oxbow always shows up and is more than battle-tested.  The only knock on him that I find is that he is a smallish horse and that is an added obstacle in a very physical 20 horse field.  And finally . . . Den's Legacy . . . the oft forgotten Baffert horse who scares the daylight out of me.  Although he has not looked exceptional in any of his races, he is always good and professional enough to finish in the money and seems to want to go longer.  He is tested, tactcial and keeps coming. Should he afford a decent trip in the Derby he can light up the exotics and, who knows, possibly even the winner's circle.  He reminds me of a very similar type who performed in his preps in quite the same way in 2005.  Can anyone say Giacomo?!!  Very dangerous horse.

19 Mar 2013 1:09 AM
Baby Jane Towser

My favorite pedigree of the Derby contenders this year is Vyjack - his dam is 4x3x5 to the full siblings Thong, Moccasin & Ridan, who are all by Nantallah out of the illustrious mare Rough Shod.

If Vyjack wins the Triple Crown he will be the third Triple Crown winner in a row with a dam who is inbred to full siblings. The Slew was out of a mare that is 3x3 to the full sisters Striking & Busher, who are by War Admiral out of La Troienne's daughter Baby League; and Affirmed's dam is inbred 2x4 to brothers Fighting Fox & Gallant Fox.

Vyjack’s dam kind of reminds me of Mien, the dam of Big Brown. Not only was she inbred 3x5 to the great mare Thong and another full sibling Lt Stevens, she also goes tail female to Simon's Shoes the 2nd dam of Rough Shod.  

Mary, I have to respectfully disagree with you. I have always believed that I'll Have Another has a great pedigree.  He is inbred 4x4 to Danzig, each time with Hail to Reason, duplicating a very effective combination; and he goes tail female to Patelin. Last year, before the Derby, I stated on the True Nicks Blog that it was my favorite pedigree of the Derby contenders.

19 Mar 2013 3:14 AM

Hi Steve...Wow Super 99 dismal performance. Not normal for a horse with two 100 plus speed ratings at mile and 1 & 1/16 prior races without a major reason. I know the horse is being checked out for breathing issue or other ailment. I wouldn't be surprised it was breathing and less on the deepness of the track. Hopefully he is ok and runs in the Santa Anita Derby and gains enough points to make the derby being that it will be a fairly high probability that it will rain its worth the connections anything can happen...just like super saver years ago. Rain literally separates a lot of the horses that normally would run well...having not been exposed prior to the derby...especially in a 20 horse field.

19 Mar 2013 4:33 AM
Bloodline Bob

Steve, could you tell me if ORB was worked out at PARX in 2012. I'm a close follower of Phipps horses and when I saw in the DRF one(ORB) of his horses worked at Philly I didn't understand why he was there. Could you see if you could shed some light on this for me. TY.

19 Mar 2013 5:41 AM

Where are we likely to see War Academy next?  I'm anxious to see what we get from Shakin it Up this weekend.  

Right now, I've got Hear the Ghost #1

Itsmyluckyday #2

I liked the way HTG said to Tiz a Minister, "Look, when I'm making my move, no one gets by me!  Go have a cup a Joe with Dr. D!"

You gotta have that in a derby horse.

19 Mar 2013 5:55 AM


Your Pletcher comments on Verrazano aren't comforting.  He knows which of his horses need to run on 3-4 weeks versus 4-5 right?  Although, he seems to have it down right on Bobby.  I expect to see him run big in the FL Derby.

I hope you're right on Palace Malice but for some reason he gives me EL Padrino flashbacks.  

I'm thinking back to Lucien Lauren, after Secretariat having a 128 beyer for the derby, saying he was going to have him even finer tuned for the Preakness.  Wow!  And what a great horse Sham was, too!

19 Mar 2013 6:14 AM
Matt Converse

1. War Academy--stepped up tremendously in his first attempt going two turns and earned a 98 Beyer winning an allowance at Santa Anita. Obviously, it will be all or nothing in his final prep, which I'm guessing will be the Blue Grass given his turfy pedigree.  By Giant's Causeway, out of an AP Indy mare, his pedigree for 10 furlongs put others on this list to shame.

2. Verrazano--his Waterloo could be the Derby distance.  He too has Giant's Causeway influence, but the other half is More Than Ready, whose dirt runners generally prefer shorter, even with stamina on the bottom.  Still, he has been better than anyone else so far.

3. Itsmyluckyday--his biggest question mark is also distance.  His awd's are a bit low on both sides, although Lawyer Ron is probably stronger than his awd's suggest considering the limited data on him.

4. Revoltionary--his pedigree is a bit like Verrazano's, a bit iffy on the top for stamina (War Pass), but stamina on the bottom (AP Indy.  He appears to be a a bit of a dumb jock, talented if he can stay out of his own way.

5. Orb--this horse has grown on me and inched his way up my list, his pedigree is more balanced than most.

6. Hear the Ghost--son of Ghostzapper looked great winning but not sure our California contigent is as strong this year.  How would his close have looked against Verrazano?  I'm guessing a little like Java War's did.  Damsire Cornado's Quest awd is just 7.55, so his stamina might be iffier than most seem to think.

7. Oxbow--mixed feelings.  First off, those who blame his loss on him being wide on first turn, do you know how many horses were between him and Will Take Charge?  One.  If five wide beats you, God help you in the Derby.  But his pedigree is better for going long than the winner.

8. Will Take Charge--I pegged him a better bet for the Derby off what I saw in his win, but his pedigree gave me reason to be suspect.  Unbridled's Song is not Unbridled.  His awd is 7.86, and damsire Dehere's is 7.89.  That said, I liked his distinctive stride, he's a big ole lug with some turn of foot.

9. Java's War--would he have ever caught Verrazano?  Still, he came from a long way back and finished strong.  By War Pass, but again, stamina on the bottom, this time with a lofty awd of 9.82 via turfer Rainbow Quest.

10. Balance the Books--has yet to make his 3-year-old debut, but they seem to have a plan to get him to the Derby.  By Lemon Drop Kid, out of a Seeking The Gold mare, he has the second best pedigree for the Derby distance.

11. Departing--hasn't faced much but earned a 97 Beyer last out which puts him on par with many here.  The key to a 90-something Beyer isn't the actual number, but whether you can improve off that to a 100+ in your final prep.  Sire War Front has only a 7.83 awd but Pulpit as damsire helps at 8.63.

12. Vyjack & Shakin It Up--two I've liked since the beginning but consider them very iffy to relish ten furlongs.

Preakness watch list: Zaikov

19 Mar 2013 6:44 AM


I am very high on the Darley colt Footbridge. He broke his maiden last Sunday in a performance that appeared to be well below the standards he set in his previous three starts. I was not overly impressed but I know he is capable of much better.

I have been monitoring Incognito for some time and similar to Footbridge, I was not overly impressive with his maiden win. However, I must agree with Mr. Haskin that has energy efficient way of covering ground and he might be seen at his best at a longer distance.

His runner-up finish to Elnaawi was probably his best effort to date. In his loss to Mr. Palmer the race was pace less.

He is a very nice colt that is improving steadily and he has the credentials to the win the Derby assuming his connections have plans to try to secure the requisite points and he can overcome some negative Derby trends.

19 Mar 2013 8:10 AM

Hey Steve

Another well thought out list. While I may not always agree with all your picks I love how you make your case and present your point of view. It really opens me up to looking at things from another perspective and who better to present it. I'm anxiously waiting to see Title Town Five in the Sunland Derby and if he runs like I think he will Lukas could well have three runners in the big show. Is it just me or did anyone see Lukas getting back to this level? I certainly didn't but I think it's great for the game.

19 Mar 2013 8:35 AM
classic go go

As the author referred to,due to the point system this list and future lists will change very quickly in the next 3 weeks . i for one am sticking with Speak Logistics as thought he was actually gaining ground on Orb late in Holy Bull and have in futures at vegas

19 Mar 2013 8:49 AM


"Louiville Dave, Java's War, I don't like his pedigree, interesting maybe, but"

I am of the opinion Java’s War pedigree is loaded with the requisite stamina to win the Derby. You are probably too focused on his sire War Pass who never won beyond 8 1/2F.  

Let’s not forget Mr. Prospector was basically a 7F horse and despite his sprinter’s status he sired a winner of each leg of the Triple Crown.

Java’s War dam line is loaded with stamina. His dam sire Rainbow Quest was promoted to first in the 1985 Arch after the disqualification of Segace for interference twice in a reported head to head battle.

After his retirement Rainbow Quest went on to sire the winners of important route races I Europe & the US.

The Arc, Epsom Derby, British Oaks & St Ledger, Ascot Gold Cup and Santa Anita Handicap are some of the races won by horses sired by him.

Rainbow Quest was sired by Blushing Groom who is also the grandsire of Cherokee Run the sire of War Pass.

Java’s War second dam was sired Explodent who was a son of Nearctic. The same Nearctic that sire Derby and Preakness winner Northern Dancer. Explodent was a leading broodmare sire.

19 Mar 2013 8:58 AM
Pedigree Ann

Baby Jane -

And I tossed a promising candidate for THE Derby a few years back named Archipenko because he had Special, Thong's daughter, 2x3. Let's face it - the Footware family (Rough Shod II) is terrific at producing high class horses but not at producing high class distance horses. It is true Ridan stayed 10f but he was the exception to the rule. And he sired good 8-9f horses at best. Moccasin didn't stay and none of her kids did, either. Can't see why inbreeding to this family is a reason to choose a horse to win the Kentucky Derby.

19 Mar 2013 9:30 AM
Pedigree Ann

Steve -

Den's Legacy may have had what you call 'a perfect trip' in the Rebel, but you seemed to have overlooked one important fact - his rider put him into his drive at the half-mile pole to keep that position on the rail.

Now Denny has only one move and like most horses, he can sustain it for 2-3f max; Alborado asked him to use it 4f out from the finish. It was a strategic mistake made for tactical reasons. But Denny didn't spit the bit when his run petered out, he kept plugging away.

It would be nice if DL was a bit more 'tactical', but one can't have everything. A jock who knows how to place him and when to time his move would give him a fighting chance.

19 Mar 2013 9:42 AM
Pedigree Ann

People - why are maiden winners who haven't yet run in stakes races, or even in n1x races?, being talked of here? It's 3/4s past March! Such horses have no chance of getting to the Ky Derby or performing well if they do get there.

We are 7 weeks out from the Main Event. For most trainers these days that means one more race max. If the trainers (and owners!) of these recent maiden winners care about their horses, they won't pitch them into the 100 point races against seasoned stakes horses.

19 Mar 2013 9:55 AM

Mr. SOS,

The gotham, rebel sam davis, etc.....are tiny prep races”

Under the new Points System some Derby preps can now be consider to be small. However, all the stakes that are referenced above have  either produced winners or top three finishers in the Derby.

“every week, you are all talking about the winners like they are derby horses”

This is not a forum where the participants talk. Views are written. Verrazno, Revolutionary, Hear The Ghost, Flashback etc., are amongst the top 3YO in the country. These colts and other improving 3YOs are worthy of continuous evaluation.  

You have the option to visit other Blogs where the evaluation process is more selective and satisfies your undisclosed criteria.

“theres only a handfull that can win the derby! WISE UP!!!!”

By stating the obvious you have highlighted your lack of wisdom.

Some that engaged in the evaluation process will be placing wagers. The Derby offers more than win only wagers.

Legitimate longshot if they can be identified, provide the potential for lucrative returns of exotic wagers.

“mine that bird”

Again you see if fit to undermine MTB.

I understand that either a movie or a documentary has been made about the gelding's exploits.

It’s a deserving tribute to a horse left a commentator momentary speechless and void of adjectives to describe the massacre he had witnessed.

A horse that caused unimaginable silence amongst the 100,000 plus assembled at Churchill Downs.

The only subsequent occurrence in a sporting event that caused such disbelief was the results in the Men’s 100M finials in the 2008 Olympics.

Mr. Usain Bolt with one shoe lace untied, celebrations 20 meters from the finish line and while posing for the cameras, set a NWR.

You clearly have no appreciation for excellence!

19 Mar 2013 9:56 AM

@Matt Converse: Do you have a Tomlinson Distance number (10F+) for War Academy? Much appreciated if you do.

19 Mar 2013 10:54 AM
Rusty Weisner

I am rooting (as opposed to betting) for Uncaptured in the Spiral and against Crop Report.  I like him as a Derby dark horse and I don't want Crop Report to win -- I don't want to feel like I have to cover another Graham Motion longshot out of this race.

19 Mar 2013 11:14 AM
It aint easy being good!

Here is the deal Verazzano is a beast hasnt been beaten and will be undefeated going into the derby. He will blow up Vyjack in the wood. Verazzano is simply the fastest horse on the planet right now no horse can even get close to him. He is suspect at 10 furlongs but class will kick in and he will win by a head. I agree with Dens legacy he needs another prep at a longer distance and think he will be around May 4th. Even though I am not a TP fan he sure has alot of ways to land in the winners circle. Dont sleep on Palice Malice that Curlin blood can kick in at any time.

19 Mar 2013 11:18 AM
Rusty Weisner


Re: WTC and the Rebel.

I hate to say it, but I'm going to take KY VET's side here.  You've got to be more rigorous about comparing times.

The Rebel and Azeri were awfully slow, and I think it was a reflection of the track, not the horses.  Not a perfect indicator, but just compare the times for Tiz Miz Sue for the two runnings of the Azeri.

19 Mar 2013 11:19 AM
Rusty Weisner

Matt Converse,

I really like your list, except for your #1.  If you don't like the California contingent this year, why do you like this one on the top?

I'm curious if you or anyone else know about how the SA Derby field is shaping up yet.

19 Mar 2013 11:28 AM
Rusty Weisner
19 Mar 2013 11:30 AM

steve-for what it's worth i looked up ancestors of new world record holder "bright thought" and looked up derby contenders that are most closely related to him. after a quick review i came up with verrazano and palace malice.

19 Mar 2013 11:43 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Pedigree Ann -

I agree with you completely.  

Incognito is a great example.  The horse just defeated a failed Mc horse from the FG after stalking a pedestrian 50 second half mile - finishing in 24.54 means little in that scenario.  The pace setter was the dreadful Tapulous.  The only real horse in the race was Ghareeb,  who while talented, clearly has no clue why he's running around an oval.

19 Mar 2013 1:24 PM

Departing....I told you first!  #TeamColdfacts

19 Mar 2013 1:26 PM

Rusty Weisner,

The five slowest times recorded in the Rebel Stakes contested between 1961 and 2013 are listed below:

1963 - 1:45.00

1979 – 1:45.80

1990 – 1:46.00

2002 – 1:45.06

2013 – 1:45.18

In 53 years the track at OP was slow, deep and heavy five times.

What do you think?

I guess WTC winning time in the Smarty Jones could be extrapolated to reflect a more realistic time for the colt.

If the fractions for the Smarty Jones are used to extrapolate a time for 8 1/2F that time would be 1:45.26.

The colt ran marginally faster in the Rebel. He finished with a lot of energy but the race was slow. Den’ Legacy was one pace along the rails.

He finished 13th to Uncaptured in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes competed in 1:44.97. I wonder what was his final time?

He got beat by Texas Bling in the Springboard Mile in a time of 1:39.96.

The colt might be very resolute but he is not very fast.

19 Mar 2013 1:42 PM
classic go go

Posted this earlier but did not get in . Incognito is a nice horse probably going to Hawthorne 4/20 . The horse who had a troubled 3rd in that race - Ghareeb - should get his maiden win next out

19 Mar 2013 1:59 PM
Age of Reason

Sceptre, Coldfacts, and Slew (and whomever it may interest)...

Sceptre, I agree that Footbridge in the Santa Anita Derby would be an interesting proposition; however, according to Jay Privman via DRF's Twitter feed, trainer Eoin Harty said after the colt's win that he would be pointed to the Blue Grass. He's consistently worked very well over the Hollywood synthetic, so I think it's a good spot. Out of curiosity though, in what ways did you mean that "all will change" if Footbridge were to start in the SA Derby? Coldfacts, I feel vindicated! Footbridge's score showed there's obviously some room for improvement, but his last three races have showed him to possess a good amount of gritty toughness in which many of his (over-?)hyped counterparts might be lacking. It's great to see a colt get really good and battled tested the old-fashioned way; now all's left to see is simply whether or not he's good enough. Slew, I've heard several say that Dice Flavor is headed for the UAE Derby. From a purely practical standpoint, I guess "Why not?", but it eliminates him from my Derby Short List for the time being. Oh well!

19 Mar 2013 3:15 PM
Sam Santschi

Still hoping Code West somehow finds a way in along with the horse that has impressed me the most, IMLD as I have them boxed with All others (and the unfortunately too slow, Dynamic Sky)in the Pool 1 exacta.  

19 Mar 2013 4:11 PM
Rusty Weisner


You know from my comments that I'm not keen on WTC and like Oxbow's potential better.  I said WTC benefited from the track.  I was just pointing out that the track really was probably really slow -- look at the Azeri.

19 Mar 2013 4:12 PM

All the races were run pretty slow at Oaklawn Saturday so I'm not counting it against the top 3.  I agree with the assessment that Den's Legacy had to get his button pushed early but a tactical necessity.  Also not forgetting the chunk taken out of his leg on the first turn.  His works have been eye popping.  

19 Mar 2013 5:28 PM

Pedigree Ann

There are maiden winners & there are maiden winners with stakes talent who happen to have as much foundation as stakes winners on the Derby trail.  The latter deserve mention.  

19 Mar 2013 5:36 PM

Age of Reason:

Re-Footbridge; simply meant that if Harty enters him in a big one I'll know they're going for the Derby, as opposed to waiting for later. I'm high on this colt, and expect him to perform well, whether it be the SA Derby or Blue Grass. He has demonstrated dirt form, but as he's by Street Cry, and out of a Dubai Millennium mare, they may feel he'll show  even better on the synthetic-enabling him to accumulate more "points".  

19 Mar 2013 5:59 PM

It starts to get very interesting as Steve's number one ranked is still 17th on the points earned ranking. Everything keeps changing, week to week, as the preps are run. One prep this weekend , The Spiral, which was last won by Went the Day Well and before that by Animal Kingdom, should not be taken lightly if history means anything on this path to the Derby. One horse seemingly forgotten as this point, but I expect to be running in the Spiral, is My Name is Michael. Distance should only help this guy's performance, he should like the surface and could be Mott's big surprise this weekend. Can't wait to see as there should be a fairly strong group of horses out to gain the 50 points for first, in the likes of, Uncaptured, Balance the Books, Fear the Kitten, Crop Report, Capo

Bastone, Black Onyx and Channel Isle, to name some of the possibles. A lot remains to be seen.

19 Mar 2013 6:16 PM

Age of Reason,

I am not surprised the Bluegrass was considered as an option.

Footbridge does not have the smoothest of action and I have been wondering if dirt is really his preferred surface.

The important thing is to get the requisite points to make the Derby field.

Churchill Downs has been kind to turf & synthetic type horses in the past.

19 Mar 2013 7:32 PM

Forbidden Apple,

I noticed Orb is your #4 ranked colt.

Have you evaluated Freedom Child another Malibu Moon colt who ran second to Orb when making his second start?

He won a gate to wire 9F at GP and a good time of 1:50.96.

He is likely heading to the IL Derby. He is a big colt with plenty of speed.

19 Mar 2013 7:37 PM

More I look the more I believe this years derby is coming up strong.

New Point system got rid of the sprinters.

I still believe Vyjack may be a freak but the more I watch the more I like "Will take Charge".

His Smarty Jones race was nice throw out the slop race you have a horse going in the right direction.

Lucas saying he may train him up the the Derby.

1) Vyjack

2) Itsmyluckyday,Orb

3) Tale Charge Indy,Hear the Ghost.

My Derby half Dozen best I can do know.

19 Mar 2013 7:46 PM
Forbidden Apple

It aint easy being .... , Now you really have lost your mind over Verrazano. Fastest horse on the planet, give me a break. Right at this moment he is the most hyped horse on the planet. Itsmyluckyday ran a mile at Gulfstream in 1:34.39 and Verrazano ran a mile at Gulfstream in 1:34.80. I'm pretty good with numbers, and it appears quite obvious that Itsmyluckyday ran faster. Do you think the other horses in the Wood are just going to get out of his way and let him win? Good luck with him at 2/5.

19 Mar 2013 8:15 PM

Very good observations about Hear The Ghost Steve,if this horse is anything like his sire then lookout. Ghostzapper is one of my top 5 horses of all time.

19 Mar 2013 8:55 PM
El Kabong

Excellent News!

Thank you bloodhorse for being on top of everything.


A little java dance going on over here with my Martini.

19 Mar 2013 9:27 PM
Pedigree Ann

Bigtex -

Name for me the Kentucky Derby winner, or even 2-3 finisher, of the last 50 years who was still a maiden on the first of March. I don't think you will find any. Yes, some of these recent maiden winners have talent. Too bad they are coming to hand too late to have any shot at the Derby.

19 Mar 2013 9:35 PM
Paula Higgins

1. Verrazano 2. It's My Lucky Day

3. Vyjack 4. Orb

19 Mar 2013 10:14 PM

Pedigree Ann,

Footbridge got beat by a NK & 3/4L in two MSW races he contested January and February.

He broke his maiden last Sunday.

If he should win the Bluegrass and secure sufficient points to make the Derby field. Are you suggesting that he would have no shot at wining the great race?

19 Mar 2013 10:19 PM

Alex'sBigFan, no, I look at the broodmare sire's female line.  No Mr. Prospector there.  Also, it's not that I don't like Mr. Prospector, but there are leg issues with the inbreeding to him.  I have much more to say, just so tired tonight. I'll go further tomorrow.  Thank you for your comments.  

19 Mar 2013 10:44 PM

Forbidden Apple, you really can't go by time with these two lovely horses, Itsmyluckyday and Verrazano.  Track conditions change every moment, not to mention the pace setup.

19 Mar 2013 10:50 PM

Closer, Ghostzapper, okay, but I like Hear The Ghost's female line.  I say this with all due respect.  

19 Mar 2013 11:03 PM

Pedigree Ann:

The last 50 years is a poor comparative as the game has changed re-avg. # of starts pre-Derby.

19 Mar 2013 11:28 PM

Footbridge's "action"/manner of going is quite similar to that of his sire, Street Cry. Funny, didn't seem to impede his form on dirt.

19 Mar 2013 11:38 PM
Greg R

Thank you for your little tribute to Eight Belles.  Sadly, I didn't appreciate quite how good she was until her last race.  Indeed, if it wasn't for the extraordinary Big Brown, she would have been a Kentucky Derby winner by many lengths.  Rachel came along, then Blind Luck and Havre de Grace, and the memory of E B was overshadowed somewhat.  What she did put her in the same rank.  What a loss.

By the way, we shouldn't let the above fillies overshadow Rags to Riches, either.  Given her poor start and slightly wider trip, she was effectively multiple lengths better than Curlin in the Belmont.  

19 Mar 2013 11:58 PM
Greg R

Forbidden Apple:  When did Verrazano run at GULFSTREAM?  What are you talking about?  Even if you meant Tampa, what makes you think you can compare times at Gulfstream with times at Tampa?  Apples and oranges.  

Steve:  All we heard about post-San Felipe was how they crawled home and HTG's closing rush was an illusion!  So I'm very glad you pointed out that he actually finished fast by the clock.

   Also, would most people agree that if Verrazano loses in the Wood, the FL Derby winner will be the favorite in Louisville?

20 Mar 2013 12:09 AM

Just a note of rememberance for War Pass, sire of Revolutionary.  War Pass died such an untimely and unexpected death in 2010, he was only 5 years old.  He had just arrived at Lane's End one day in 2010 and died the morning after.  Rest in peace, War Pass.  

20 Mar 2013 12:14 AM

Inbreeding to Rough Shod:

Gotta question the wisdom of inbreeding to and through severe sickle hocks and ankles the size of basketballs.

One of the mares, I think Thong, was on the cover of the Thoroughbred Record some decades back (late 70s) with suckling colt at foot, and the foal's ankles were almost as enlarged as his dam's.

It seems to me we're getting a lot less information online than we used to get in periodicals with floods of photographs.

20 Mar 2013 12:34 AM

Ann, leave it to the Dumbo to research that.  I can only go back to '92, but 10 horses were still maidens as of March 1st.

Last year Went the Day Well took 3rd at 30-1, broke mdn on 3-3.

2010 had Paddy O'Prado and Make Music For Me, 3rd and 4th respectively, both broke maiden on the turf on 3-6.

Other notables:

'09 Summer Bird broke mdn 3-19, 6th in derby

'07 Tiago broke mdn April 7th, 7th in derby.

Bodemeister 2nd (2-11), Nehro 2nd (2-21) and Congaree 3rd (2-28) are close.

I still kinda agree with you Ann, but this new way of prepping for the derby; less preps, less 2 y.o. foundation makes me wonder.

Lets go back only the last 3 derbies.  4 horses broke their maidens later than March 1st.

3 horses in the Superfecta ( 2-3rds, 1- 4th)

Same years, 7 horses broke their maidens on Feb. 11th or later.

5 horses in Superfecta. (2- 2nds, 2- 3rds and 1- 4th).

I'm changing my opinion won't be long until one of these wins.

20 Mar 2013 1:08 AM

Pedigree Ann

It's not beyond the realm of possibilities.  I don't think we could name a winner in the history of the Derby who was first time dirt until 2011 if my memory hasn't failed me.  Always enjoy your insight!

20 Mar 2013 1:47 AM

@ Pedigree Ann:  Most "recent" maiden winner of the Kentucky derby was Brokers Tip in 1933.  That was the easy find.  Those maidens finishing 2nd or 3rd....not so much.

Anyway, the horseracing headaches of the past few weeks have subsided and I can see clearly now.  This broad likes blood, old blood.  Colonel Bradley blood.  Verrazano's sire's dam, Woodmans Girl is Female Family 1-X.  

Revolutionary's dam, Run Up the Colors is tail-female to Female Family 1-X as well.

The State of Alaska doesn't permit online wagering, but if it did, I'd flip a coin to figure out who I'd want to bet on winning the Kentucky Derby.

For now, Verrazano and Revolutionary are my top picks.

20 Mar 2013 2:22 AM

This was the first post to this DD, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't profane, libellous or lewd, but I can't figure out where it went.

How on earth can you do pedigree analyses of this field when we do not have data for the Sire for a dozen or more contenders? An amazing number of the contenders are from their sire's first crop.

My pet Revolutionary does not have a good or bad pedigree. He is about to write his own pedigree.

His sire did not run past April as a 3-year-old. His sire has had no offspring run past April at 3 yrs. Not one. So how the ahem can we be arguing about the distance proclivities or limitations of this colt?

Revolutionary himself is about to give us our first data on the topic.

And btw, anybody who thinks Revolutionary gets himself into trouble can, for 10 cents each to Equibase, watch all his starts head-on and see what a wonderful mind he has. He breaks beautifully; he has only had trouble when other horses involved him in their trouble.

First start, for instance: using pp #s, Revolutionary was No. 3. No. 1 broke inward, picked up No. 2, and pushed him like a snowplow blade into Rev's shoulder and passed in front of him to crash into No. 4.

It goes on. We now have a clump of horses STANDING in the 3-4 paths. It's still the runup. The 1, who started it, recovers quickly, and the 5, who wasn't hit, cuts across in front of #s 2-to-4 to join the 1. These two trip the timer at least five in front; they are nerved up, bolting and do a quarter in 21.8.

As the timer starts, Revolutionary is BACKING UP, literally, out of a wedge made up of 2 and 4. John Velasquez, my hero, keeps a cool head. His mission hasn't changed. It's to ride the horse so as to enhance his prospects of winning the Kentucky Derby. He settles him behind the runaway pace and asks him in the stretch. Whoooosh, 1'm figuring maybe 5 seconds for that final 1/16th?

In justice to the horse you should see this race head on. And in justice to yourself you should realize that you can only trust your own naked eyeball in the out of doors, not the announcer, not the program notes, not the camera.

Not even your favorite guru who may have rattled off that prediction while his wife was calling "Hurry up and carve before it gets cold."

20 Mar 2013 3:08 AM
Matt Converse

Bob has decided on the Arkansas Derby for War Academy, so I'm banking on him winning that race and becoming one of the Derby favorites with a big effort.

Rusty--thanks for the props on the rest of my list, I realize War Academy is an odd choice for #1 but many of the others seems very iffy to me going the Derby distance, so I'm rolling the dice with him.  It doesn't matter if the California contingent is weaker this year since he won't be running against them.  What he did in sprints against them has very little to do with the horse he was going two turns for the first time.  Even Verrazano's number dipped a little when going two turns, War Academy's actually went up--dramatically.  His pedigree backs up this performance.

Rinzler--I don't have War Academy's Tomlinson number handy but it should be excellent for 10f with a Giant's Causeway/AP Indy cross. Anyone?

20 Mar 2013 3:49 AM

Mr Haskin is Dice Flavour now confirmed for Dubai?What a shame if this is true.

20 Mar 2013 4:15 AM


How on earth can you do pedigree analyses of this field an amazing number of the contenders are from their sire's first crop?”

Pedigree analysis can be undertaken irrespective of horses being from first crop sires.

Assuming the sire has a race record, a determination can be made of its speed and stamina.

The success of the sire line in Triple Crown races can be useful.  

Dam lines usually have some Derby history and  a determination can also be made.

Several first crop sires from successful sire lines have sire Derby winners i.e., Street Cry, Birdstone, Bold Reasoning to name a few.

I am a big fan of Revolutionary and I am not worried about his gate issues. He as the class and ability to overcome  same.

“His sire did not run past April as a 3-year-old. His sire has had no offspring run past April at 3 yrs. Not one.”

The War Pass horses currently running are from his first crop.

Whereas his 2YOs would have run passed April, his 3YO would only achieve same if April is switched with one of three months that precedes it.

20 Mar 2013 8:50 AM

Does anyone know what has happened to Purple Egg?  He looked like he was just not right in the Tampa Bay Derby, and have not heard a thing about him since?  He just kept on going backwards.  Was he completely outclassed or was he actually hurt?

20 Mar 2013 8:51 AM

Pedigree Ann,

“They won't pitch them into the 100 point races against seasoned stakes horses.”

While I understand you concerns, There are several colts in Mr. Haskins DD that cannot be considered seasoned Stakes winners.

Flashback, Hear The Ghost and Verrazano have contested only three races.  Vyjack & Palace Malice have contested only 4.

It’s a new era and it’s crazy.

20 Mar 2013 9:11 AM

Steve:  Thanks for the list and comments.  In your report about Java's War going to the Blue Grass you mention his third dam Careless Virgin is a half sister to Turf Classic winner Cacoethes.  I recall watching that Turf Classic on TV. Cacoethes was in a class of his own that day, a physical specimen who looked and acted liked he owned the Belmont Park turf and he ran that way.  If any of Cacoethes' genes are mixed into Java's War, watch out in the Blue Grass.  

Greg R:  Verrazano ran a AOC at Gulfstream on Feb. 2 in 1:34.80 as Forbidden Apple posted.  Don't be too harsh on those who check their facts.

Speaking of Verrazano, I was at Tampa Bay that day and watched him from the walkover and paddock.  Very professional, did not turn a hair, no sweat, intelligent, measuring up his competition.  I'm not sold on his 10F capabilities, but to this point, this colt has it all.  

It Ain't Easy Being Good: I know you've been on Verrazano for awhile and I'll excuse your hyperbole.  But I do understand what you see in this colt.  

Has anyone seen Revolutionary live, up close?  Just from video, my take is that he's a smallish type, with a lot of agility which may account for his ability to manuever the way he does when he gets in trouble.  I'm not knocking him, I like him, but was wondering what others have seen about his size.  The Louisiana Derby will be the big test for him.

My Fab Five at this point (subject to change)

1.  Verrazano

2.  Orb

3.  Itsmyluckyday

4.  Hear The Ghost

5.  Vyjack          

20 Mar 2013 9:29 AM

Consurgo must be a potential wonder horse.

In his second start he finished less than a length behind the mighty Footbridge.

They ran the mile in 1:37.52, just 4.12 seconds off the track record.

You beat a maiden by ¾ of a length in your fourth start. That gets you noticed!

I hope the maiden Consurgo, born May 29, lines up against Footbridge in his next start.

20 Mar 2013 9:35 AM

Greg R,

Curlin was a tired horse in the Belmont after the Ark Derby Ky derby Preakness. Rags was fresh and Todd P took advantage of it. He was not pointing Rags to the race and entered her at the last minute. Curlin would have been a Triple Crown winner!! That is why we may not see another T C winner again. Maybe their should be a requirement that all horses compete in all 3 T C races but that will never happen. What do you think Mr Haskin?

20 Mar 2013 9:53 AM


The internal fractions in his debut race were good. However, the internal fractions in his 1 70yrd and 8F wins were slow by Derby standards.

His pedigree is interesting. His sire War Front was essentially a sprinter. However, two sons of Danzig have sired Derby winners so that is a plus.

His dam sire Pulpit does not have a stellar record as a broodmare sire. Subject to correction no son of A P Indy has been a broodmare sire of a Derby winner.

Departing has an excellent trainer and that is another plus. He seems to improve with ever race and has won his last two races easily so he can run faster if necessary.

He does not have the typical Derby pedigree but many that do have not shown his ability.

A very nice colt.

20 Mar 2013 9:54 AM
Rusty Weisner


I think the pace must have fried him.  Watch for him come Easter, though!

Sorry, that was just for yolks -- er, I mean yuks!

20 Mar 2013 10:14 AM

Will Take Charge  (1st Smarty Jones & Rebel)

Balance The Books (3rd in the BCJ Turf)

Nobles Tune(2nd in the BCJ Turf)

Elnaawi  (3rd Gotham)

Fortify (4th BCJ)

Code West (2nd Risen Star)

Palace Malice (3rd Risen Star)

Shakin It Up (1st San Vicente)

Capo Bastone (6th FOY)

Secret Number (1st Al Bastakiya )

Channel Isle (4th Southwest)

Footbridge (1st MSW)

The above colts comprise my top twelve from Mr. Prospector sire line.

Will Take Charge is the current point’s leader. How ironic, since the sire line he is from leads with Derby wins in the modern era.

I consider WTC a slow by Derby standards and yet he is on top in points. Crazy!

While the above 12 will be the subject of laughter and will not scare any of the top 3YOs, it should not be forgotten which line they represent.

20 Mar 2013 10:23 AM
Rusty Weisner

Matt Converse,

I'll buy that.  War Academy is the one I heard of last fall before the other Baffert horses.  

Top 10:

1. Itsmyluckyday

2. Orb

3. Verrazano

4. Hear the Ghost

5. Uncaptured

6. Oxbow

7. War Academy

8. Java's War

9. Revolutionary

10. Flashback

11. Den's Legacy

12. Beats Me

Where I'm suspicious for the long spacing between races for Revolutionary I like it for Itsmyluckyday.  He had four races in the winter and I'll bet him to come back big.  I think the Florida Derby is supposed to be a small field and am curious to see if Orb can run up closer to the pace because his style so far might not be to his advantage in the Derby.  If Verrazano wins the Wood my angle angainst him in the Derby will be a mistrust of his trainer's record (last year, especially with Gemologist) when more seasoned horses will be facing him, or horses by certain trainers known for quickly turning out brilliant horses for the TC races.

20 Mar 2013 10:29 AM
Karen in Texas


Jay Privman's twitter feed said Footbridge will be pointed to the Blue Grass 4/13, OR the Illinois Derby 4/20 as back-up. I'm not sure what that says about Harty's Derby ambition for this colt. (I would link that twitter feed for you, but BH seems not to want to link anything with a rival publication's initials in it.) It is easy to find, though, just Google Privman's name.

20 Mar 2013 11:06 AM
Pedigree Ann

I am still skeptical of the 'rush job' horses for a race like the Derby. Maiden win, then first race against winners is a G1 100-pointer? That all the established high class stakes horses are going into? So he gets into the Derby - is that the only goal, like some teams say it's all about getting to the Final Four? And what happens in the actual event is beyond your control?

I think it is too much to ask a young, growing horse to remodel their bones and muscles to such huge increases in stress, twice, in such a short time.

Charlie Whittingham bypassed the Derby with his gigantic Quack after he was a close second in the Santa Anita Derby because he thought the colt needed more time to grow into his frame. Quack become one of a very few 3yo winners of the Hollywood Gold Cup, doing it in a time of 1:58 1/5.

20 Mar 2013 11:23 AM


You already do an outstanding job with the dozen & go above and beyond.  Thank you for your insight!

Is there anyway you could insert your thoughts on the physical appearance & stature of each of these athletes as well?

I'm like Trackjack in that we don't always get to see these guys up close & personal and the information adds a lot intrigue for me.  I know the way Secretariat was built would've really fed speculation for me as to whether he could go the distance but knowing after the fact it just accentuates his special athleticism.  Btw, that picture Bloodhorse posted of Dullahan in Dubai with Tammy Fox aboard made him look HUGE!

Anyway, thank you for all you do, Steve!

20 Mar 2013 11:33 AM
Love 'em all

Thanks to ABF, here's another note of remembrance for War Pass ...

#50 slideshow pic of those who left us in the '2010 Farewells'. He's among some great ones!

He's still missed by his many fans ... and best wishes to his offspring.  

20 Mar 2013 12:14 PM

Pedigree Ann: your comments about Special & Thong are absurd given that they are the dam and granddam of one of the best sires of stayers in the history of US breeding: Nureyev.

20 Mar 2013 12:51 PM
Steve Haskin

Thaks, BigTex, but I dont see these horses in the flesh any more than you do, except in the Gotham and Wood Memorial . Once I get to Churchill I will be filing daily columns that will focus on the horses' appearance both on and off the track. My final picks normally are based mostly on how the horses are looking and feeling.

20 Mar 2013 1:08 PM

Private Zone has departed for Dubai and the sprint.  This is one of the most honest horses I have seen in my 30 years of handicapping.  Zero quit in this guy.

20 Mar 2013 1:25 PM

My top 12 remains unchanged, with the same horses as last week in the same order.

I liked the stride on Will Take Charge, but I'm not ready to add him until I see him run again.  Oxbow has simply never made my list.  I think Den's Legacy is a real trier, but always seems to be a bridesmaid.

Does anyone know if Declan's Warrior or Narvaez is entered in a stakes?  Narvaez has a different pedigree.  By Holy Bull out of an Unbridled mare.  His pedigree reads like a TB historical saga...Minnesota Mac, Ta Wee, Mr. Prospector, Damascus, Dr. Fager, and Buckpasser.  I like it!  And he can run, and fight to the wire.

I'm holding out hope for Dice Flavor.  If he goes to Dubai, the race is on the 30th...has plenty of time to recuperate.

Orb, It's My Lucky Day, Dice Flavor, Revolutionary, Verrazano, Shanghai Bobby, Vyjack, Hear The Ghost, Tiz A Minister, Java's War, Goldencents, Transparent.

All for the same reasons stated last week.

20 Mar 2013 2:22 PM

CD, thanks for the insights on "Departing" ....the thing I like the most besides his pedigree is his stride, a fluid and easy one.....he is the sleeper for me.

20 Mar 2013 2:32 PM

Pedigree Ann

Most likely, the only real possibility that goes beyond your rational, which is always solid, is a late bloomer freak horse.  From that perspective it would be exciting to see, but only if all signs pointed to a green light for go & nothing is compromised.  

20 Mar 2013 3:26 PM


Thanks!  I was just thinking on the horses you hadn't actually seen in the flesh the trainers could fill in the blanks for you.  

20 Mar 2013 3:34 PM


I appreciate your ambition to approach the handicapping quest with stats rather than superstition, but too often that means you pontificating on the completely obvious.

Like, somebody posts "what a great little horse" and you come back with four paragraphs on how tall the horse appears from measuring his height against the rail posts and how that height compares to the median heights listed in the Stallion Register.

And the trouble is: superstitions are closer to factual than the heights in the Stallion Register, which are researched on the honor system.

20 Mar 2013 4:19 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Time for Uncaptured to ROMP in the Spiral!

20 Mar 2013 4:20 PM

Pedigree Ann

 Congratulations on your I.Q., like mine, who cares. I responded to a comment made of ‘genius’ and intended that ‘word’ merely as potentially amusing in my response and in reference to that comment and not as some act of bragging.

  If you think that by cutting me down and, or cutting down my posts in your little ‘word-semantics-game’, is somehow either amusing to me or to others or bruising to my ego in anyway personally,--know that I am not easily offended to a matter of caring and that I have been criticized many a time in my life and especially frequently on this blog, where thusly,--such criticism are not hurtful nor do they add to my knowledge of potential horse for a gate slot this blog supposedly so addresses. Gee, I make a light joke of some comment to amuse potentially anyone and give a response to being called ‘Steve’s Assistant’ or a “Genius” and somehow I become the brunt of your criticism ??? Let’s say, for your little ‘word semantics game’,--that you so appear to want to so engage in,--that “SHE WAS ‘PHYCHIC’ IN HER APPRECIATION” of the bloodline whether she chose the horse or it was forced upon her.

  Moreover, certainly like any bettor, I do not win every wager either and I have only pointed out a few wager victories here and there, if that is somehow offensive to anyone or ‘over-bragging’, my apologies. I do admit that I have an ego, but it is not so swelled up that I cannot also take criticism for my errors or faults when POLITELY expressed. Also in being aware of my errors I also do rarely feel any damage when my faults are pointed out to me. And that the case, even occasionally by judges in courtrooms. I am also in no race to prove I am ‘the smartest blogger’; ‘the greatest handicapper’,--where I don’t ever predict winners on the next prep races online anymore, where such a post might mislead someone else;--nor do I profess to being ‘the greatest Derby picking winner ever’; or that I am by any means ‘the smartest horse breeding evaluator expert’ out there alive; or any other competition you seem to want play down with me as a poster. I do however get a little tired of my word choice phases as being ‘errors’ being pointed out to me,--especially where totally meaningless,--where I suspect such posted comments are made only to simply belittle me or made to engage in some battle of wits to display some ego driven intelligence battle and being where likely one can see through and or beyond my simple miss posting errors of a trainer to a horse, and etc., or where one might be attempting to prove and brag about his own intelligence on a subject being higher than my own, which I am personally in no way interested in any such a competition and I suspect where no one else cares to read or hear about such either. I do however occasionally write and offer a post after having been awake my second day sometimes in a row before sending it off and then hitting the sack.

  Furthermore, personally, my life does not only, or simply revolve a round: horses; horsing racing; or this blog. I am simply ‘a horse player’, a Blood Horse subscriber, and have been a contributor to this blog for several years going. Thusly, if you’re attempt is,--like apparently some others,--that you simply want to belittle my ego or tear down my posts all over some potential minor posting error made or to simply tear down my posts simply over one word or phrase so chosen in some expression,--all in some ‘word-semantics-game’ that you seem to enjoy engaging in for whatever purpose,--please simply SKIP READING MY POSTS in the future, or, even if you do read them, PLEASE AVOID RESPONDING regarding my posts or to me personally in the future. Most simply, your ‘word-semantics-game’ is quite boorish and it is nothing I personally prefer reading about while you waste my time on here reading others posts of interest where I might learn something of more meaningful valuable. And even though I am a forgiving person, no apology necessary, where yours would not have been accepted anyway.

  P.S. My apologies to the rest however whose time I will undoubtedly waste having to read this post if it is posted at all, to discover there was ZERO content here related to a potential horse in a gate come May the 4th.    

20 Mar 2013 4:24 PM


Are you seriously telling me you think you can predict a horse's distance proclivities without knowing what distance the sire's offspring did best at?

Sire's average winning distance, longest winning distance, stakes class stayers, these are trivial factors which are dispensable?

I'm sure such a thought never crossed your minds until you saw a chance to go for the contrarian championship by uttering them.

20 Mar 2013 5:12 PM


I haven't eyeballed him in the flesh, but watching the video of his maiden win, with lots of close passing, he looks to me as maybe the tallest colt in the field or close to it.


You think you need to explain to me that War Pass's first crop is now three? And throw in the calendar for good measure?

How old are you? This seems about knock-knock level.

20 Mar 2013 5:22 PM


You should be prepared not to take any credit if Will Take Charge turns out to be the Kentucky Derby winner because he only makes your list based on the success of his sire line don't seem to fancy his chances, being on record repeatedly as saying that he's slow.  I'll tell you this much my friend, WTC appearing to be on the slowish side of being an Unbridled's Song progeny is a blessing in disguise because 90% of fast Unbridleds Song 3YOs have brittle legs and invariably get injured on the Derby Trail. Also, most of the speedy Unbridleds Songs are stamina challenged beyond 9 furlongs ...not so with Will Take Charge ...this colt will relish a distance of ground and appears to be a live Derby horse in a year when most of the elite colts have suspect pedigrees for 10 furlongs in a truly run race.

I put Will Take Charge in my top five and unlike Steve, I do not hold his Southwest performance against him ...that race in the slop was a good work out for him in a big field, running behind horses and taking a lot of kickback. His trainer, D Wayne Lukas his very high on him right now and is considering training him up to the Derby (an idea I like for this colt).

My current top five: Itsmyluckyday, Verrazano, Rydilluc, Will Take Charge, Overanalyze.

20 Mar 2013 6:11 PM
Greg R

Trackjack:  I didn't think F A could be referring to Verrazano's debut,since it wouldn't make sense to compare a first time starter with a horse who raced multiple times at two (IMLD).  That's all.  

Meanwhile, I suppose that what people think of Orb depends heavily on they thought of Violence.  Those like myself, who still think well of Violence after his sophomore debut, rate Orb highly.  Liking him more and more, even though Steve's top two are my top two.  Then Oxbow, then maybe War Academy.  Shake It Up is still one of my sleepers, even after Treasury Bill's clunker in Arkansas.

Secretariat:  Don't know what you mean by, "Curlin would have been a Triple Crown winner."  Since he didn't win the Derby, he could not have won the Triple Crown by beating Rags to Riches in the Belmont, even if he had.  

20 Mar 2013 6:26 PM
Forbidden Apple

Greg R,

You must not be a true horse racing fan, not even of Verrazano. I made no mention of Tampa Bay Downs. Did you think the Tampa Bay Derby was his first career race? Next time think for a few moments before you speak. Verrazano raced on 1/1/13 6 1/2 F in 1:16.48 @ Gulfstream. He then raced on 2/2/13 1 mile in 1:34.80 at Gulfstream. You clearly missed his best performance on Feb. 2. What I did was compare 3 year old colts who raced at the same distance and track, both on a fast track. Have you ever heard of Youtube or the Daily Racing Form? I suggest you sit back and watch Itsmyluckyday's 2 smashing victories at Gulfstream Park and then check back with me. In his Gulfstream Park Derby win, he scorched the track in hand. He then followed that up 24 days later with an even more impressive race, while defeating the 2012 juvenile eclipse award winner. He has run faster than Verrazano, accept it. Go ahead look at the charts, they don't lie. The problem with you and many other's is that you accept and expect every Pletcher horse to be a monster. Good luck with Verrazano in the Wood at 2/5.

20 Mar 2013 7:51 PM
Forbidden Apple


I think every horse writes his own pedigree, that's why breeding experts are often wrong. The sale price at auction also clouds the minds of many breeding handicappers. The same can be said for people, we are all individuals and unique. How does one see a wonderful mind by watching a replay? Did you have a psychic interaction with Revolutionary? I think you are completely guessing, unless you have been around the horse back at the barn or up close during a workout. Either way, he has obvious talent as a racehorse.

20 Mar 2013 8:07 PM
Uncle Smiley


Your picks are cool, but where is Shanghai Bobby?


20 Mar 2013 9:35 PM

I love watching you "breeding" people argue about one is bred for 1 1/2, or that horse is a "miler" ......havent you people been wrong enough? Every year! bad breeding wins a long race, and now....that same breeding is good! It takes one great horse to skew the all were dosage crazy, then that was embarrassed every about trying to pick the best athlete?

21 Mar 2013 12:01 AM


If you made an error just state same and move on.

I was in no way  lecturing you.

Age is a number and love conquers all.

No offence meant!

21 Mar 2013 1:41 AM


Be not quick to anger for anger lies in the lap of the foolish.

21 Mar 2013 1:43 AM


Your posts are in a language with which I am not familiar.

Your anger for being corrected is unnecessary.

You stated your opinions and I stated mine. That makes us equal participant sin the process.

21 Mar 2013 1:49 AM
It aint easy being good!

Ket Vet amen brotha on the breeding! Last year who was the fastest horse going 1 1/8th yep it was IHA. Sometimes the numbers dont lie. The fastest horse this year is itsmyluckday the best athelete is Verrazano. Verrazano is going to win the wood if you dont think so you must not watch horse racing. Go back and watch the tampa bay derby he was toying with those horses. You guys love javas war yet Verazzano dusted him. Verazzano was challenged early on and he laughed when dynamic sky tried to outrun him.

21 Mar 2013 8:50 AM


"You should be prepared not to take any credit if Will Take Charge turns out to be the Kentucky Derby”

I do not have to make preparations for the above as the subject colt will not win the Derby.

Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes beaten 25 1/2L

South west Stakes beaten 18L

Can you specify any recent 3YO that eventually won Derby who was beaten that badly in two races on dirt?

Can you name a high profile million dollar mare that has produced a Derby winner?

His half-brother Take Charge Indy is the better of the two. He ran against the eventual 2YO champion and three of the top colt of 2012.  he did not overcome the curse of the high profile mare.

Will Take Charge is a nice slow colt. In the unlikely event he wins the Derby is it will no longer be the Run For The Roses but instead The Walk For The Roses.

“Also, most of the speedy Unbridled’s Songs are stamina challenged beyond 9 furlongs”

Would the list include Eight Belles? She was fast and got 10F.

“His trainer, D Wayne Lukas his very high on him right now”

He was so high on Optimizer that he ran him in all three legs of the Triple Crown for also ran finishes. He repeatedly specified the colt was a dirt horse. Interestingly he horse has now found a home on Turf.

He was high on Dublin and despite his off the board finish in the Derby he wheeled him back in the Preakness for last place finish. He specified that the colt was a blinkers horse. He added them and the colt did not win a race subsequent. All his victories were with the head gear.

He was so high on Flying Private that after his last place finish in the Derby he wheeled him back in the Preakness and Belmont.

Mr. Lukas is high on two thing -blinkers and the past.

21 Mar 2013 9:14 AM


I always strive for clarity in my posts.

The extract below is from one of your posts'. it is unlikely that even you understand the point that it being communicating.

"Like, somebody posts "what a great little horse" and you come back with four paragraphs on how tall the horse appears from measuring his height against the rail posts and how that height compares to the median heights listed in the Stallion Register."

Effective communication results in desired feedback!

This worth noting going forwards.

21 Mar 2013 9:28 AM
Pedigree Ann


IHA was also sired by a Travers (10f) winner. Damsire a Super Derby winner. Bred to go 10f, unlike many others in the field. And the logical horse as well!

As to Nureyev....,

Yes, he got Theatrical, who stayed 12f. From a mare by Sassafras (who stayed 2 miles) out of a half-sister to an Arc winner. And Peintre Celebre, from a mare who stayed 12f in stakes company herself.  But if you look at the rest of his better offspring you find a preponderance of milers - Sonic Lady, Zilzal, Miesque, Soviet Star, Spinning World, etc. Nureyev didn't transmit huge amounts of stamina himself, but when given an appropriate mare, he could sire a stayer. And he gave those offspring a touch of his class.

21 Mar 2013 9:42 AM

The Mr. Prospector sire line is well represented in the Spiral.

Balance the Books

Channel Isle

For Greater Glory

Mac the Man

Capo Bastone

Based on pedigree and performance Balance the Books appears to have the best chance of taking down the top points. Can he transfer his 2YO form on turf to a synthetic track?  Turf horses seem to adapt to Synthetic track.

Mr. Lukas Channel Isle has won on both turf & Synthetic but is an extremely slow colt. His chances of winning is dependent on a pace meltdown.

For Greater Glory is definitely not fast enough to trouble this field. However is bred for the distance and beyond and it’s a horse race.

The term horse for course is overwhelmingly applicable to Mac the Man as he is undefeated in three starts at TP. His speed figures are good but his class is suspect

After being burnt badly by Delhomme in the Rebel I am staying away from horses from TP’s barn. That said this colt always shows up and one can only hope he is fit and ready unlike his stable mate Delhomme.

I am expecting Balance the Books to take home the Spiral for the Mr. P sire line but I Fear The Kitten.

21 Mar 2013 10:13 AM
Rusty Weisner

Uncle Smiley,

Or Vyjack, for that matter?  I don't know, it's easy to forget horses making these lists on a lark.  As far as Shanghai Bobby goes, I'll probably play a straight Itsmyluckday/Orb exacta.  It's not very original to be down on Shanghai Bobby, but I can imagine the other two getting better, not him, and the other two have different, competing styles; they shouldn't be going head to head until the final furlong, where Shanghai Bobby may get beaten out of the exacta by Itsmyluckyday.  I won't bet the Wood, where I think Verrazano will win, but don't know what to do with Vyjack, plus I don't think I've ever cashed a ticket at Aqueduct.  

21 Mar 2013 10:16 AM
Dr Drunkinbum




4-Hear the Ghost



7-Palace Malice

8-Shanghai Bobby

9-Java's War



12-Shakin it Up

21 Mar 2013 10:26 AM
Rusty Weisner

It ain't easy being good,

I think you mean Falling Sky, not Dynamic Sky.

I'm glad this horse, Falling Sky, looks to be getting into the Derby, by the way.  To me it seems that the new system it's harder to toss horses easily, and I can use a toss.

21 Mar 2013 10:26 AM

Uncaptured.  Spiral.  Do or Die.

(I'm hoping for a big, fat "DO" - especially since I've been up on the horse since his first Woodbine race days.  Never mind.  Maybe I will just be one of those people who are "wrong enough" that Ky Vet was ranting about.  Although I still have problems with his posts -- what the heck is he saying???)

21 Mar 2013 10:48 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Carve's possible next race is the Arkansas Derby or the Northern Spur on the undercard.

Matt Converse

   Nice list with comments.

Greg R

    I would have won the superfecta if I had included Eight Belles. I also understood and appreciated her talent too late. We lost a great one. That will always make that Derby a very sad one for me because of the loss of Eight Belles. My losses that day are irrelevant. The 2006 Preakness Bernardini was my bet and I won good but couldn't even enjoy the win. I loved Barbaro. He absolutely was a tremendous horse on any surface, and I believe would have been one of the all time greats. Win or lose, any death on the track is very difficult and overshadows all else.

21 Mar 2013 11:00 AM
Age of Reason

Anger and logic cannot mutually co-exist. You can have one or the other, but never both at once. If you don't believe me, just head over to HRN and watch the daily drama unfold...

21 Mar 2013 11:05 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

I realize that Barbaro didn't actually die on the track but I clearly remember the feeling of great distress, pain and sadness that I had at the time. I felt sick. It just looked and felt like a devastating injury. I also remember how fantastic Barbaro looked pre-race and saying, "oh oh," since my only bet was wps on Bernardini. I'm still not convinced that Bernardini would have won that race if Barbaro wasn't injured. I would use the word "magnificent" for how Barbaro looked pre-race, and "extraordinary" for his talent.

21 Mar 2013 11:11 AM

It aint easy I'll be taken Vyjack in the Wood.

Don't count out Normandy Invasion.

21 Mar 2013 11:21 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Nobody knows. It's a mystery wrapped in an enigma inside of a riddle surrounded by little dots and pieces of coal and burning bridges.

21 Mar 2013 12:01 PM
Rusty Weisner


Me, too, though I'm "rooting" for him, not betting.  I loved his 2-yo foundation and the two wins at CD, but the delay in his schedule because of the injury is something that will be hard to look past for me if he makes it.

21 Mar 2013 12:36 PM

Mr. SOS,

“no one is bred for 1 1/2, or that

hat horse is a "miler"

The term ‘no one‘ is not used when referring to horses!

A P Indy' sire won the TC  that includes the 12F Belmont. His dam was sired by a TC as well. It could therefore be concluded that AP Indy was bred for 12F.

Did he win a 12F race?

Has any of his offspring’s win  12F races?

You must now realize that some horses are bred for endurance and endurance is not limited to 12F.

“havent you people been wrong enough?”

The process is not about being wrong or right. It’s about sharing views and information. In a sport with so many variables, glorious uncertainty is the only thing one can be absolutely right about.

“Every year! bad breeding wins a long race, and now....that same breeding is good!”

There is no such thing as bad breeding and only you would be so uniformed to post such a statement. Triple Crown races are opened to thoroughbreds.

There are fashionable line and unfashionable lines. Holy Bull was from an unfashionable line and he sired Derby winner Giacomo.  By your assessment Giacomo would be bad breeding. What nonsense!

There are about three to four lines from which Derby winners usually emerge.

Knowledge prevents the posting of nonsense. You are advised to secure some before you attempt to criticize others.

“how about trying to pick the best athlete?”

Revisit the above proposal. Based on current information Verrazano is purported to be the best athlete.  As of today he is ML favorite for the Derby.

How many of the so called best horses/athletes usually win the Derby?

When 20 fit and well horses are assemble for a race, the event transitions from race to a stampede. It take more than the best athlete to win.

21 Mar 2013 12:45 PM

Coldfacts my buddy,

You would do yourself a good favour by reading my posts carefully before responding. My comments about the fast Unbridleds Song offspring accounted for both Eight Belles' stamina and her unfortunate breakdown.  I should also remind you that there are many events in history that have no precedents and that Will Take Charge's dam, Take Charge Lady is begining to look like a potential Blue Hen mare. She has a better chance of producing the Derby winner from her Unbridleds Song cover (Mr Prospector / Raise A Native line) than AP Indy as in WTC's half brother Take Charge Indy. I would say that WTC is the better of the two half siblings ...we'll see.

In the Spiral, if Balance The Books turns out to be a short horse off the layoff, Capo Bastone should oblige.  

21 Mar 2013 1:39 PM


Re Will Take Charge,

Can you say Charismatic??

21 Mar 2013 2:31 PM


Mission Impazible won two 9F races and was runner up in four others. He contested only one 10F race.

Dunkirk was second in the 12F Belmont.  

Recent Donn Handicap winner Graydar appears to be capable of staying 10F.

There are just not enough 10F races available for you conclusively make your claim.

21 Mar 2013 3:46 PM


If you consider Charismatic (1999)a recent 3YO then he certainly qualifies as an example.

21 Mar 2013 3:52 PM

Pedigree Ann:

I grant that Rough Shod II and her descendants had speed, but this exceptional blue hen-line is better noted for brilliance that stretched, and of the highest quality. Ridan was certainly one notable example-don't forget his Travers-, and what about Lt. Stevens? I failo to understand your reference to Archipenko and The Derby. Which Derby? Archipenko won a 10f Derby Trial (for the Epsom Derby) near to the time of our Derby. He also won at 12f at 4.-so much for your worry about a 4x5 to Rough Shod. And, I think we failed to mention Saddler's Wells. He was often linebred to Rough Shod, and that result didn't have any problems staying.


Re-the apparent quality of Footbridge: I think that Harty has a better "read" on Footbridge than does a JerseyBoy. Harty isn't known to be a bs kind of guy, and he's very high on this colt. I admit that his comments do bear somewhat on my appraisal of the colt.

21 Mar 2013 6:55 PM
Forbidden Apple

Steve Haskin,

I like your method of waiting to see what the horses look like and how they are feeling before the KY Derby. For me I handicap races even better when I am live at the track. The 2012 Saratoga season was very kind to me. There is plenty to be said for ones own critical eye. I was surprised and happy to see you at Greentree last summer. You stopped by to photograph Questing and others. I was the tall gringo hotwalker who pointed you in the direction of Fortify's stall. Your love of horses is easy to spot. The keys on my computer only stick while I'm posting on your blogs, it's true.


Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom. These blogs are meant to express thoughts and winning angles, keep doing what you do. I have to ask you if you listen to reggae music? Optimizer and Dublin both had their wells run dry, a bit sad. Lukas gets the same endless love that Pletcher gets, no surprise. My favorite horse that he trained was Open Mind. Her Alabama victory was tremendous, I'll never forget that day at Saratoga.


This is shocking, you picked anther Pletcher horse (Capo Bastone) on top in a prep race. Verrazano just beat a turf horse. He has never faced competition like Vyjack or Normandy Invasion. Good luck at 2/5.


KY Vet even confuses himself.

21 Mar 2013 7:27 PM


  Although it wasn’t my opinion personally that you asked for, I will freely and gladly offer you my own quick assessment of “Freedom Child”.

   Hopefully, toward a racing career, he might make a good ‘miler’ type in ‘claiming’ fields, possibly even allowance races, where I doubt he will ever recover the dollars already invested and spent with him. Thusly a right off.

   Regarding any consideration in relation to this year’s potential “Triple Crown” crowd…

   Positives: he does have a good trainer; he is in the barn of a fine ownership group; he has a positive rated ‘sire side’; his only one win in four outings was respectable,--where he likely recovered some small portion of $350K spent on him at auction,--and I do like the name that was chosen for him a little. lol

  Negatives: he has a ‘weak dam side’; he has only 1 link to the “BXHFG” strain via “Blossom Time”; he has no “Prince Rose”-“Cosquilla” link on his ‘dam side’; his D.I. quotient is over 4.00; he rates some 50 points below “Violence” in a straight up standard comparison re my ‘breeding rating system’,--which is some 25 points out of the ‘variance acceptable’ range,--he will likely be an investment ‘loss’, whereby thusly, personally I wouldn’t want him in my barn spending more money on feeding him.

  Furthermore, if I were a breeder,--which I am not,--I would run the horse in $5K ‘claimers’ hoping to get rid of him. Additionally, personally, I would not even ever consider actually breeding him for a potential investment return.

 Thusly, the only hope in his case is that he might someday make a fine ‘saddle horse’. Purely my own assessment, …but who knows.

21 Mar 2013 9:06 PM


   Personally, my own assessment of “Hear the Ghost”, falls way below my standard of acceptability level in seeking out a potential Kentucky Derby winner. Although with a “Prince Rose”-“Cosquilla” link on his ‘dam side’, I personally find both his ‘dam side’ and the ‘sire side’ rated far below others in comparison.          

  As to a simple comparison, compare him to any of those listed below: “Bold Dance”; “West Hills Giant”; “Quiszieme Marquet”; “Mudflats”; “Black Onyx”; “War Academy”; “Taken By the Storm”; “Bradester”; “Forever Thing”; “Mac the Man”; “Valid”; “Mr. Palmer”; “Dewey Square”; “Manando”; “Nevada”; “Cerro”; “Speak Logistics”; “Little Distorted”; “Departing”,--a non early ‘TCN’,--“Revolutionary”; even “Carving”, or “Flashback”, or “El Duro”, “Govenor Charlie”, “Perfect Set”, “Qualify”, “Zaikov”, “Fortify”; “Intrepid Citizen”; “Eton Blue”; “Ore Pass”; “Merit Man”; “Shakin It Up”; “Will Take Charge”; or “Saint Viguer”; …or even “Verrazona” or “Itsmyluckyday”, and hell for that matter,--those with no “Prince Rose”-“Cosquilla” link on his ‘dam side’, including: “Orb”; “Malibu Moon”; “Vyjack”; “Uncaptured”; “Treasury Bill”; “Title Town Five”; “Shanghai Bobby”; or “Triple Cross”, …and thusly pick one horse from this listed field that you find less suitable than “Hear the Ghost” breeding wise ???. Thusly in my opinion, should “Hear the Ghost” even get a gate slot, he has a ‘ghost’s chance’ in hell of winning the Kentucky Derby based on his breeding.

 But again, I must state, that even “Giacomo” won, so you have no chance if you don’t in the least start in the gate, which “Hear the Ghost” is way ahead of achieving a place over many of those so listed,--including the likes “Qualify” listed above who has yet hit a track no less ‘the trail’, whatever his state is or whatever ownership group is thinking.--

 In any event, personally for me he also ranks lower than most all of those that I have already also previously tossed that were likewise also previously under consideration.

21 Mar 2013 9:25 PM

Awaiting Uncaptured with bated breath. I would so like to see a great Lion Heart son emerge from this crop!

Still, they spoke the truth who said "No foot, no horse."

22 Mar 2013 5:14 AM

Why Coldfacts, what a surprise! I never figured you for a nonagenarian. Not only not a teenager, but antediluvian yet.

From reading the oldest Colonels in my oldest BloodHorses, I believe we can date to the 40s the decline and fall of the rule that one did not use the same pronouns for people and animals.

"The horse WHICH won the Derby" not "WHO won the Derby."

Quite impertinent when the names of the horses in question were so frequently based on sexually distinct royal titles.

22 Mar 2013 5:32 AM


I always appreciate the input of other contributors and I have noted the positives and negatives highlighted regarding Freedom Child.

In your evaluation of the Ridgling you specified some absolutes that I find inconsistent with what has become known as the glorious uncertainties of breeding and racing. I always try to avoid absolutes in my evaluation of thoroughbreds from a breeding angle.

The MSW race in which Orb broke his maiden, he had to be fully extended to defeat Freedom Child.  Orb had maturity and a 2 race experience advantage over FC heading into that race.

Subsequent impressive maiden winners Transparent and Revolutionary, whom FC defeated in said race, also had maturity and a 1 & 2 race experience advantage over FC. Freedom Child has a DOB of 18TH May 2010.

FC was sired by Malibu Moon who is also the sire of Orb. In the only meeting between the two colts, FC turned into the stretch with a 5L lead on Orb. The Malibu Moon colt finished a close 1-2. The runner-up is projected to be a $5K claimer and although not specified, I suspect you expect Orb to be competitive in the TC races. Interesting!

Both Orb and FC contested 9F races on a fast GP surface. The internal fractions and final time for Freedom Child’s race was siginicantly faster than those recoded in Orb’s race.

Malibu Moon is a son of A P Indy who is mostly known of siring exceptional fillies.  He is one of the many sons of A P Indy that was produced from a Mr. Prospector mare. Sire and sire of sires Pulpit is probably the most prominent. While he has not sired the winner of a TC race he has been well supported by breeder.

FC’s dam sire Deputy Minister does not need any introduction. The likes of Curlin, Rags To Riches, Jazil and Sarava were products of Deputy Minister broodmares.  The useful To Honor and Serve and his half-brother Elnaaw who recently finished 3rd in the Gotham were also produced from Deputy Minister Mares.

I do not evaluate pedigree to the extent that you do as I consider it an exercise in futility. The majority of horses do not runt to their pedigrees and many out run what is deemed to be less than stellar pedigree.

When an inexperienced May foal is capable of being competitive and running faster than older and more experienced colts, its pedigree takes a back seat. Performance will all ways supersede pedigree.  

Many owners would prefer a horse with a less than stellar pedigree that can run fast over one that is bred in the purple that cannot.

22 Mar 2013 8:45 AM

Colts that run from behind will fill out my exotic tickets in 3rd and 4th.Hear the Ghost got a perfect set-up in the San Felipe, and he didnt even explode in the stretch like a troublesome Revolutionary did in his last at Aqueduct.

I have an image of the winner of the Kentucky Derby running in the first group or at least a closer that is in contact with the first group that makes up a lot of ground on the last turn(Animal Kingdom),not in the stretch like Giacomo.

A lot of you on here seem to have an image of tiring front runners in the stretch of the Kentucky Derby, and it just dosent happen on a dirt track even when Mine That Bird won, he was really the ONLY one that made up lengths and did so on the inside and saved a lot of ground.That trip was a dream for that colt, and I would be very surprised if there was a repeat.

I think some mistake a turf race for a dirt race even at a mile an a quarter the surface is dirt as opposed to turf.Its not a mistake as to why in the US the commercial breeders breed for speed on the dirt, and have been doing so since I can remember.

22 Mar 2013 9:05 AM

BTW I think Animal Kingdom was able to run closer to the pace in the Derby as opposed to the Preakness because his LAST race was on an AW surface before the Derby.

22 Mar 2013 9:07 AM

At this date I think D Wayne's best colt heading to the Derby is the same one he thinks is his best, Oxbow,but as far as winning,I dunno he has already run TOO many races to expect him to provide an EXPLOSIVE performance in the Kentucky Derby.

22 Mar 2013 9:12 AM

As far as closers winning the Derby since 2000,lets see Monarchos,Street Sense,Giacomo,and Mine That Bird.Did I miss anyone I probably did so post it.

Otherwise in 12 runnings 4 closers won.

22 Mar 2013 9:18 AM

My bad I left out Animal Kingdom,but of all the closers that I named,which of them actually were very far back and made up the ground in the stretch.

I think only two or three at the most.The image of a stretch runner winning the Derby is an illusion for the most part.If the colt is a closer he must make up ground on the backstrech and be in contact with the front, by the latest the last turn.

Those are the images I have in my mind when choosing a winner for the next Derby.

22 Mar 2013 9:27 AM

I look for pressers or on the pace types in the Derby, just like I do for allmost all dirt races in the US.

BTW these colts hit the board a lot more than drop dead closers, so I have a chance to cash winning tickets even if I dont pick the winner in a 20 horse field.

22 Mar 2013 9:29 AM


I agree with you most of the time and you are right about Dublin, and Optimizer. D W Lukas has burned my money many times but not last weekend. I had the $2 dollar Tri boxing Wayne's and Baffert horses for a nice juicy payoff. 1999 is not recent but over time I discovered always use Lukas's horses when they are 15 to 1 or better. Over the years I am way ahead using his longshots in my exotics. Broken Spell, Hightail, Criminal Type, Ladies Secret Timber Country, Thunder Gulch. I will burn some more cash on derby day using Lukas horses over and under all! Good Luck

22 Mar 2013 9:30 AM


Regardless of what the trainer thinks of Footbridge or I think of the horse or you think of the horse, he is still a horse who took 4 starts to break his maiden.

On his form to date, Footbridge is only 3/4 of a length better than the maiden Consurgo.

22 Mar 2013 10:59 AM
Rusty Weisner


I agree and that's the way I'm likely to play it.  It's incredible that Dialed In was a Derby favorite.  I like Oxbow's style, near enough to the lead, to give him a chance, and I thought he was the best horse Saturday.  I rate Orb highly, though, because of the competition he's faced (I also like the name) and I'm interested to see if he'll show another dimension running closer to the pace if there's a short field in the Florida Derby.

22 Mar 2013 11:06 AM


what's up with Balance the Book, it looks like he will come up short on the win end in the Spiral. He shows only 4F work outs with only 1 of those being noteworthy, the only thing I see good about Balance the Book is his class which may carry him into the exotics.

Where as Uncaptured was firing bullet's.

Mac the Man will be in the exotics

22 Mar 2013 12:46 PM

Forbidden Apple,

Capo Bastone is one of those under the radar Derby horses that is doing very well and will certainly hit the board. Balance the Books is my first choice but i suspect he may not be a fit as "Capo" off the layoff. You're too much stuck on the trainer bias ...BTW Todd Pletcher is the Derby prep king ...consider his record over the years ...and try to be honest about it. I guess Uncaptured also has a good shot in the Spiral but I cant see him winning the Derby on pedigree therefore he's a toss for me.

22 Mar 2013 1:43 PM

Rusty Weisner if a colt that had been running from well back(Orb) has a race where he is mid - pack or closer, it cant do anything but help him as experience gained when he tries to beat 19 other colts.

Btw this is not a tout, but an example was the win in the Gotham that Vyjack got, running from well back, vice-versa to his normal racing style.

22 Mar 2013 4:33 PM

Rusty Weisner make your exotic pick for the Spiral and I will post one.After my initial look at the piece of paper(pps)I like a local long shot.

22 Mar 2013 4:35 PM
Rusty Weisner


The Vyjack thing was actually what made me think of that.  It might have been the mess at the start that made him hold back, but it seemed like it was a good step for his development.

Not trying the Spiral, thanks.  

22 Mar 2013 6:39 PM
Rusty Weisner


...though it looks like you can't miss with that Mac the Man you like.  Good luck!

22 Mar 2013 6:41 PM
Rusty Weisner


I don't think you're going to get 10-1 on that horse.  Maybe 8-1. I'm surprised by 10-1 on My Name is Michael, too.

Fear the Kitten is the longshot I'd take.  I'd throw out the three from the John Battaglia; all were first time synthetic runners and hit the board and the favorites there were very weak.

With my imaginary money:

My Name is Michael/Fear the Kitten exacta, MNiM on top in keyed trifectas over Fear the Kitten with

Capo Bastone

Mac the Man


Balance the Books

Not betting, though.  I've never bet Turfway park and only bet one or two races at Keeneland and I'm not going to start now.  Synthetics are too daunting for too many reasons.

22 Mar 2013 7:21 PM

Four of entries in the Rushaway tomorrow wanted to enter Spiral but would have been excluded due to lack of earnings. They will use the Rushaway to get ungraded stakes money that hopefully will get them into the Blue Grass.

Add in the projected also rans from tomorrow's Spiral and those already pointing for the Blue Grass and horses like Contessa's Rydilluc will have a slim chance at getting in the race.

22 Mar 2013 9:13 PM


Can you read a dog's mind? Do you form an opinion when it wags its tail, raises its hackles, whimpers, bares its teeth?

I can read horses' minds to a similar degree. My first summer holiday job, over 50 years ago, was retraining rogue horses. This wasn't bronco stuff very often; mostly dealing with fears.

I've watched Revolutionary's races a lot and this is what I'm impressed by. He never panics. He doesn't bolt. He doesn't ignore mayhem going on around him but his strongest reaction might be call "disconcerted." He hesitates and looks when another horse falls in front of or beside him. This is allowed, he's only human, as long as he stays in hand and pointing the right way. Even in his first start, he shook off a mugging and was ready to ramble after a quarter to regroup. He has also demonstrated willingness, even eagerness, to split horses.

He has done better than Secretariat, who had a similar first start and never broke well again until the Belmont, preferring to come out last and look for muggers before making his move.

23 Mar 2013 2:47 AM


Liking the name became an accepted wagering strategy at the 2002 Delta Princess S., where the favorite, Souris (mouse, Fr.) was caught in the last jump by My Trust Cat.

23 Mar 2013 3:08 AM

Here's an example of where genetics is headed.

"Autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia share common genetic underpinnings -- despite differences in symptoms and course of disease . . .

The researchers found that SNPs (single-letter changes in the genetic code) in four regions were associated with all five disorders: two on chromosome 10, including the L-type voltage-gated calcium-channel subunit CACNB2, one on chromosome 3, and another calcium-channel subunit, CACNA1C, on chromosome 12. . ."

I wonder what one of these geneticists would do reading our pedigree experts on horse genetics.


23 Mar 2013 3:32 AM
Pedigree Ann

Sceptre -

I double checked Archipenko's racing record at racingpost and he never won past 10f. He won the QEII Cup at Hong Kong over 2000m (10f) and the Leopardstown Derby Trial over 10f. That was his limit. He ran 17th and last in the The Derby. That is, The Derby S., run at Epsom for over 200 years.  That is why I capitalize 'The,' to distinguish from all of 'the' Derbies that borrow its name.

In US racing, the gap between 9f ability and 10f ability is the difficult one to bridge; in Europe it that between 10f and 12f. The very fine miler can stretch to the first, but it takes an extraordinary miler, like Dr. Fager or Brigadier Gerard, to stretch to the second.

23 Mar 2013 8:37 AM

Rusty Weisner I thought you might interpret my not naming my local longshot as being Mac the Man,or maybe you are purposely making a pick for me so that I tell you for some reason I like General Election in an exotic wager.I also like Mac the Man and would use 1 more of the colts coming out of the John Bataglia 21 days ago on this track.

I dont know why because out of the 12 entered 8 are shippers and 4 ran their last here, and I think there is a good chance that out of those four 2 have a chance to be in the super.

I dont like the favorite in this one Uncaptured, and if I were to play an exotic he would only be included in 4th as a key.

I dont like Capo Bastone,but am not convinced to disinclude him in any exotic because he might like synthetic tracks(he ran his first two at Del Mar on an AW track,breaking his maiden 1st out and running 4th in a grade one.I would include Balance the Books because on AW at 9 panels I normally like closers more than early runners or pressers,and he being a closer has a better chance to run to his normal figure on an AW track off a layoff rather than Uncaptured who is an early runner coming 1st race off a layoff on a new track at a new distance(he also missed training time because of health issues)remember Delhomme last week, and he had already ran 9 panels dropping back to 8.5 on a new track off a layoff the only ones I normally like off a layoff as 3yos are undefeated colts like Violence but it depends on all the circumstances.

I like to use trainers that are sending out everything to win or come in the money at a meet,especially at a price check out General Election's trainer stats, who incidently is a WinStar colt and looks to be bred for a route of ground.

Since this is a race that I am playing using only PPs I dont know if I will bet yet,in comparison to lets say the Kentucky Derby where I have watched all the preps and followed the developments for months before reaching a conclusion(bet,exotic bet)

23 Mar 2013 9:28 AM
Old Timer

Steve, while I cannot argue with your placings based on the past performances to date, I just love the breeding of Will Take Charge. That Fappiano/Unbridled line is deal breeding for the classic distance IMO. Plus his dam was a great filly. Oxbow as well looks very live. Can D. Wayne make a comeback to the winner's circle?

23 Mar 2013 10:06 AM
Rusty Weisner


I think your Mac the Man is a lock to hit the board with his style, in a race where a couple of the favorites are coming off long layoffs; now way he'll be 10-1 though. I think Mott will manage to do something with My Name is Michael back off the dirt. Tossed Fear the Kitten into exactas, too.  

Exactas: 7,5/7,4/4,5

$1 tri keys 5/7/4,1,3,12

$1 tri keys 7/5/4,1,3,12

I wish you hadn't pulled me in, but I'm game now.  Made bets, $22.  That's it for my weekend.  Good luck.

23 Mar 2013 10:06 AM

How many 2YOs start their careers in a 9F race? Taken By The Storm debut was over 9F on dirt where he finished 4th.

His third race was over 9F on Synthetict and that resulted in a victory. One 9F race is the norm for a 2YO in the US but two is very unusual. Channel  Isle is another 2YO that has participated in two race over 9F as well.

Taken By The Storm most recent start was over 8F wheRE recorded a very easy victory in a good time of 1:34.94. He was in hand at the line.

The relative ease with which TBTS won his last suggestS he is much improved as a 3YO. He has good tactical speed and great acceleration.

At almost 17 hands his strides cover a lot of ground. He has to be the colt to beat.

Balance The Books, Fear The Kitten and Channel Isle will complete my exotics.

23 Mar 2013 10:36 AM


Who do you dislike more Footbridge or me?

“he is still a horse who took 4

starts to break his maiden.”

As a person with a Law Degree you seem to always leave yourself open for serious rebuttals.

The obvious question an opposing Lawyer would pose is - Relevance?

You would not be in a position to provide any significant reason for highlighting the above cold facts.  

If you tried to equate ability with to the number of starts taken to break a maiden, then you would be laughed out of court

Real Quite was sold for $17K because of his crooked keens.  He took 7 starts to break his maiden and subsequently came within nose of being the 12th Triple Crown winners.

Your attempt to discredit Footbridge is feeble and is consequently overruled.  

23 Mar 2013 11:06 AM
El Kabong

Steve, et al,

Looking forward to the Spiral today. Going to be backing Uncaptured, he looks ready and he has foundation, like Street Sense, so I'm not afraid to put him up top today. Like some shots under, like My Name is Michael, For Greater Glory, and General Election. I'll play Balance the Books and Capo B third out of respect, but this should be a good race. Good luck to all.

23 Mar 2013 11:35 AM

Cassandra.Says:                                                        Post the mapping of the human

etc. genome, there have been far more profound mechanistic insights revealed than the one (merely) quoted by you...As far as how those geneticists might judge these postings-I'd say it would vary, depending upon the post/author. Yours' would no doubt receive from them a hearty laugh.

23 Mar 2013 12:24 PM
Rusty Weisner

Cassandra.Says --

I was actually betting at Monmouth one wet day a couple years ago when My Wife Doesn't Know beat My Wife Knows Everything

23 Mar 2013 1:05 PM

ROBBIE / Trackjack (and anyone who wants to play) :  Don't forget to sign up for RTTR, registration is now open :

23 Mar 2013 1:34 PM

Rusty Weisner my KEY horse in any possible exotic wager is General Election not Mac the Man, although I would include him he wont be 10-1 but,General Election could go off at double figure odds to win.

I saw your posted bet was $22.

I will now commit to making a pick and since you have played about 20 dollars I will pick a 5 horse $1 exacta box on this site although with real money I dunno yet for reasons I have given in a previous post.

$1 exacta box 1,5,6,7,8 and with the other $2 I will play Capo to place.

23 Mar 2013 3:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

In the Rushaway JayJay is betting number #5 J.J. Got Even and KYVET is betting #8 Bet A Bundle.

23 Mar 2013 3:53 PM

Verrazono and Vyjack are bred for speed, IMO.  

I'm staying with Revolutionary and Hear the Ghost, stamina.

Here's why. It is thought that Princequillo had the ability to correct leg problems and give soundness.  He is a great source of soundness in American thoroughbreds.  In stayer sires he is often found in conjunction with Count Fleet.  His pedigree is pretty quiet until you get to the 5th generation; after that it explodes with concentrated bloodlines.  Stamina is built up from multiples of the same horse or relatives betwen the 6th and 10th generation.

In Princequillo, there are many buildups.  Many good stayers are inconsistent sires because they do not have a closer focal point of the background buildup.

Princequillo, 12 lines of Galopin, which has created a lasting stamina influence.  These lines include 4 of St. Simon nd 2 of his sister Angelica, 3 other 1/2 sisters, and 2 of his brother Galliard.

So, Revolutionary and Hear The Ghost have the pedigree to go the distance.

23 Mar 2013 3:55 PM

Thanks, JayJay.

I'm already sizing up my winning stable.  Thought for awhile CD would scratch their contest in favor of squeezing and gouging regular racing fans with PSL's, 'The Mansion', and more pricey upscale seating.  But this is a simpler contest, a little less stressful. Good Luck!

Steve, like your cameo promo on TVG.

The Spiral is a dartboard race:  W/P Mac The Man.

Sunland Derby:  W/P Abraham.  

Good Luck to all.

23 Mar 2013 4:08 PM

The focus (our back & forth) was, I recall, your staunch view that linebreeding to Rough Shod II would cause an impediment to stamina. Your "nit-picking" details notwithstanding, I think your concerns have been laid to rest.  

23 Mar 2013 4:09 PM


I do catch your drift, and am not suggesting that margin differential is meaningless. But it often reveals not a 1/1 scenario. Take, for example, the case of Buckpasser. I doubt any would argue that, as a talent, he was only a nose better than Abe's Hope.

23 Mar 2013 4:20 PM

Rusty Weisner the reason I dont use the $22 betting amount for my pick to key General Election in 1st with all in second or vice-versa all with General Election in 2nd is because looking at the paper(pps) I dont have an idea if he is an EXPLOSIVE closer or one that just grinds away until he passes the competition at the wire.(I have never even seen ONE of his races)its all paper picking for me on this one.I think he will run well and will rward his conections with a check in this race it could also be 3rd,4th or 5th for him.

23 Mar 2013 4:56 PM

I dont think Balance the Books will win the Spiral, if he comes in the money its 2nd or worse for him.

23 Mar 2013 5:09 PM

Well the Spiral has run and the only right idea I had about this race beforehand was that the exotics would pay well eventhough Uncaptured was not the post time favorite and he ran 2nd.I went the 10 cent superfecta route on this one and lost less than the cost of a postage stamp.

This race is another one like the Risen Star and the Golden Gate job and I will be ready to push the toss button(my bad there isnt one)to runners that make the gate in the Derby as representatives of these preps.

No body picked the exacta on here proving what an unpredictable race the Spiral was.My pick on here was terrible but my actual bet wouldnt by a postage stamp because I considered this race a lottery type chance and the only colt that hit the board with single digits odds was Uncaptured.

23 Mar 2013 6:28 PM

I might also put the Rebel in the waste can depending on if there is any confirmation for the results at Arkansas or elsewhere.

23 Mar 2013 6:30 PM

Horseplayers any of you that used the PPS to hit the exacta should be awarded a phd in PP interpretation, or they should send a wagon to your residence to put you in the white jacket and be transported to the nuthouse.

23 Mar 2013 6:50 PM
cuba"s classic chef de race

Steve i know Hear The Ghost has talent,his sire won the BCC at 4 but this race is for 3 year's old, i hope the VAlid Appeal he has in the second dam is good enough to help him to win the Santa Anita Derby but the Kentucky Derby is so different.

23 Mar 2013 7:05 PM

Sceptre: I didn't even mention your name but here you are defensive and threatened and trying futilely to find a riposte. Shoe fits, I guess.

23 Mar 2013 7:51 PM

MZ: I call that a DO for Uncaptured, d'accord?

The worst possible thing to be laid up for is abscessed feet; nothing else makes it so difficult to get even walking exercise into your horse before his tendons degenerate to boiled spaghetti strands.

He was pretty much left to do what he wanted, and what it turned out he wanted was a nice professional race about 5% off his best effort. Ideal for next time; that shouldn't have stressed him.

23 Mar 2013 8:05 PM
cuba"s classic chef de race

One thing is to know breeding and other to know how interpreted take your time that some people are born to smell the blood and that for me is not more important then to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis a decease that my beautiful 17 year old dauther has but believe me i know my breeding capacity.  

23 Mar 2013 8:27 PM

Cassandra, I must agree with you.  Secretariat in all of his races broke last.  In the Belmont, he decided to defy all odds and break well and win the Belmont in record time.  I like Revolutionary's pedigree, the Mr. Prospector (Count Fleet) Secretariat(Princequillo) cross is what I like to see.

23 Mar 2013 8:36 PM
cuba"s classic chef de race

One thing is to know breeding and other to know how interpreted take your time that some people are born to smell the blood and that for me is not more important then to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis a decease that my beautiful 17 year old dauther has but believe me i know my breeding capacity.  

23 Mar 2013 9:40 PM

Cassandra:  Yup

Now that he has had a race this year, on to the Bluegrass.  

BTW, does he now already have enough points?

24 Mar 2013 1:48 AM

OK, just read that Danedream is in foal to Frankel.

So I'm thinking that the foal might turn out a better mile and a quarter horse than a mile and a half horse -- presuming we could count on a Law of Averages.

Could this mean that the 2017 Kentucky Derby could look forward to a Sunny Jim / Woody / Luro winner?  Or, even better, a Criquette / Gai  / Sahadi winner?

( except for the turf thing, maybe not so surreal)

24 Mar 2013 2:20 AM

I am a pedigree buff myself, but pedigrees don't win races, horses do. In my opinion, running style, including tactical speed, the ability to rate and the ability to adapt to different circumstances are more important, especially in the large Derby field. And then there is Lady Luck, which has nothing at all to do with pedigree.  Consider Smarty Jones, a colt not possessing a stayer's pedigree, was considered as close a "sure thing" to be the next Triple Crown champion as any colt in recent memory, except maybe Big Brown.

I'm looking for a colt with all the physical attributes and running style I like and I've found Verrazano.  I think he can win the Derby and Preakness, but admit that, like Smarty Jones, the lack of strong stamina influences in his  pedigree may fail him in the Belmont.  Of course, there are 3 big hurdles to climb before he even gets to Belmont, and he is not yet even solidly in the Derby field.  I'm looking forward to the Wood as I like Vyjack too.  If Verrazano can handle Vyjack as easily as he has the other colts he has faced, he may be the real deal.

24 Mar 2013 2:36 AM

LOL Dr. D : I didn't bet the 5 but I'm sure KY did on the 8 hehe.  These derby preps are stressful and at the same time exciting... need to make sure you're stocked up with coffee all the way to may !

I thought Uncaptured ran very well and very happy with his 2nd placing.  I tried to post here before (but my post got eaten by the internet dog) that Uncaptured only needs to hit the board in this race to get some points, didn't want him to run hard to win.  All he needs now is hit the board in the Bluegrass and then peak in May.  That's how I really envision it... now just need for him to come out of this race in good order and run a decent one in the BG....then I'm all good for the Derby.  He's got foundation and proven at Churchill, I feel good about his chances.

24 Mar 2013 3:30 AM

"If you tried to equate ability [with] to the number of starts taken to break a maiden, then you would be laughed out of court." COLDFACTS

JerseyBoy: Heads up! Catch!

I just checked the most recent 40 Derby winners, as far back as I can easily access full past performances, and find that 75% of them won their first or second start.


24 Mar 2013 4:41 AM

Crop Report wins the Rushaway.

Last time out he runs 3rd in his US debut in a turf Alw @ 8.5F at Gulfstream on 2/23 to Black Onyx.

Black Onyx wins the Spiral.

I didn't have Black Onyx at 15-1.

24 Mar 2013 6:05 AM


I get your point.

We should all know by the summer who is the better horse, Consurgo or Footbridge.

In the meantime, I will not compare Footbridge to any Grade 1 winner. I will continue to judge him by his performance, as I do all horses. We will see soon how great he is.

I am stuck on judging horses by their performance.

24 Mar 2013 8:51 AM

Using breeding to handicap a race like the Kentucky Derby where all the competitors have already gone through the qualifying process is more confusing than for someone to pick up the PPs,without any other practical data points like actually watching the preps or reading about colts missing workouts etc.

I think if you could get the real story about the health status of ALL the colts running in the Derby that week instead of the politically or diplomatic story you could probably hit the triple in a box of those participants that had the speed figures and were COMPLETELY healthy and energetic the week of the race.

Thats the type of information that the professional gambling synicates pay for, and you wont find that in any PPs or Bloodstock reports.

24 Mar 2013 8:58 AM

If I was the owner of Black Onyx I would probably tell you that he should be very competetive in the Kentucky Derby and could win it with the right trip,that would be while I sip on an alcoholic beverage in the clubhouse along with 100 of my friends also getting drunk, and having a good time at an event that I might not EVER attend again, as an owner of a runner in the race.

24 Mar 2013 9:05 AM

IMO a knowledge of breeding is best used in Maiden races,breeding horses,buying horses to breed and other high percentage circumstances in races.I dont see using that knowledge as an edge in stakes races where almost all the competitors have earned the chance to run in the race based on their performance in previous races.

24 Mar 2013 9:14 AM
Rusty Weisner


Don't make me do that again.  I'll try anything once.  But I definitely not Turfway Park twice.  I also won't try the Bluegrass on synthetic a second time this year.

24 Mar 2013 9:43 AM


I do not wish to belabour the Footbridge issue. However, it cannot be ignored that he has been beaten by horses on race day medication.

If Lasix was a part of his race day diet he would have broken his maiden long ago.

Those who seek to highlight the numbed of starts taken to break his maiden while ignoring pertinent facts, seek only to discredit the colt.

24 Mar 2013 10:10 AM


"...if you could get the real story about the health status of ALL the colts running in the Derby that week.....

and were COMPLETELY healthy and energetic the week of the race."

Steve Haskin may not be able to lasso each and every tidbit of information during Derby week but he does a heckuva job regarding the above.  Looking forward to Steve's observations during Derby week to help narrow my tri box.

24 Mar 2013 10:33 AM

Steve, I could try to figure it out, but I figured I'd just ask the expert. How are Govenor Charlie and Shakin' It Up.... both sons of daughters of Silverbulletday and sons of Midnight Lute... officially related?

24 Mar 2013 12:21 PM

Chief, I would never use my pedigree knowledge in a maiden race.  I use it in the triple crown races, because IMO, distance is what it comes down to. You never know what a maiden is going to do first time out. I am of course no expert.

24 Mar 2013 4:41 PM

Rusty Weisner it was a postage stamp race(10cent superfecta)a race to play a lottery ticket for less than a dollar.I liked the 1,5,6,7,8 so I played my new post office box number staight 7-8-1-6 I left the 5 out because I wasnt playing the post time favorite which turned out to be the 5.I also played 7-1-8-6,the last 10cent super I hit I got for 30cents.

The race played more like a dirt track, if you look at the chart the top 4 finishers were in the top 5 from start to finish the only colt that didnt hang on was the one we needed to come in Mac the Man who was eased.

The Bluegrass exacta last year was very easy to hit Dullahan with Hansen in 2nd.I picked the winner last year on this blog as well as the winner of the Arkansas Derby,Bodemeister.

24 Mar 2013 4:42 PM

Robin, Hear The Ghost does have a bit of speed in his pedigree, along with an abundance of stamina.  My only problem with him, is that he is so lightly raced.  Revolutionary has the better pedigree, with the Count Fleet/Princequillo lines; speed and distance.  Itsmyluckyday also has the pedigree to be a good distance runner; with some speed in his pedigree.  So far, these 3 horses are at the top of my list in the triple crown races.

24 Mar 2013 5:07 PM

Robin, I loved Smary Jones, but 1 1/2 miles was not in his pedigree.  I, like you, am simply looking for a triple crown winner.  The industry needs it to happen.  Verrazano IMO may have trouble in the Kentucky Derby with a 20 horse field, Orb also. Both are bred more for speed.

I do want to remind everyone of the fact tht all of the handicappers and the rest of the world said that Union Rags would need significant help from the female side of his pedigree to get the distance in the Belmont Stakes.  Come on, that's where the stamina comes from.  I am no expert, obviously, but Union Rags not only had the speed from the Mr. Prospector(Count Fleet)female line of his pedigree, but he also had the stamina from the Secretariat(Princequillo) female line. I love the coupling of these two lines.

24 Mar 2013 5:24 PM

robinm, if you and I am sure that you have, look at Big Brown's pedigree, you can see that he was an accident waiting to happen.  Love the horse, but I would never think of purchasing a horse with Big Brown in the pedigree. The inbreeding was unconscionable IMO.

24 Mar 2013 5:33 PM
Pedigree Ann

"I think every horse writes his own pedigree, that's why breeding experts are often wrong."

Having trouble figuring what you mean here. Are you saying that their parents' distance preferences and class have no bearing on the those qualities in the offspring? Every time? I'll admit that there are those rare individuals who exceed all expectations, but most of the time, you get what you breed for. You breed a sprinting Orientate mare to Speightstown and odds are you won't come up with a Belmont winner, despite all the staying horses farther back in the pedigree.

24 Mar 2013 7:51 PM


Shhhh. History of betting: horseplayer finds an angle, can't shut up about his wins, everybody picks it up, odds tank, profits evaporate.

I always say the best angle at the trots is a driver shift, if you were the only one who knew about it. Failing that, the best angle is my opinion of the scores, which I tell NOBODY.

Surface shift is about the best for the pedigree angle: first time on grass. For horses who love grass it's usually love at first sight.

24 Mar 2013 8:48 PM

"Anger and logic cannot mutually co-exist." AofR

A Modest Proposal?

24 Mar 2013 8:56 PM

I wonder if runaway leading second crop sire Midnight Lute is booked absolutely solid.

After back-to-back track records at 8.5 and 9 furlongs by rising 3s, his excuse for being distance-limited is looking pretty unimpeachable.

Which means: he must be regarded as a stayer who was a champion sprinter. Not too shabby!

And incidentally, a perfect example of a point under discussion earlier when I said you found out crucial information about a sire by watching his first foals race.

24 Mar 2013 9:03 PM

Rusty Weisner I read somewhere that Baffert said War Academy was his Derby horse,what did you think about Governor Charlies performance today?

24 Mar 2013 9:12 PM


Your belief that much can be learned from the record of sire lines in Triple Crown races is your greatest weakness and will be responsible for your ending your life on a sidewalk somewhere with a Derby hat upside down beside you.

As for clear communication, you'll never make it. I do deadpan, I do whimsy, I twist tails once in a while. You'll never get any of these. OCD?

24 Mar 2013 9:27 PM


Of the 10 Derby winners in the 70s, 7 were Bold Ruler line. In the 30 years since, Swale.

So here's our hero in 1979. Wow!! 70% Bold Rulers. I've found the key! The map to the Lost Mule Mine! The cure for the common cold! I'm moving to Vegas and bankrupting the early books!

24 Mar 2013 9:38 PM

Hey Coldfacts the Gov that beat the colt you have been harping about for weeks should be in the dozen dont you think.

I usually dont comment very much on that list because it is his opinion, as opposed to you and your buddy Rangulazation who argue about that list every week.

BTW he will defiitely be ahead of Footbridge after he smoked him and then had a cakewalk in the Sunland Derby.

24 Mar 2013 10:11 PM


“Of the 10 Derby winners in the 70s, 7 were Bold Ruler line. In the 30 years since, Swale.”

Many thanks for the history lesson. However, I am puzzled regarding its relevance.

The Bold Ruler sire line dominated the decade of the 70s. Since that period of dominance, the line has produced three Derby winners and not one as you have highlighted.

Bold Ruler goes back to Nasrullah. Caro the sire of the 1988 Derby winner Winning Colors is a great grandson of Naarullah. Leroidesanimaux the sire  of Animal Kingdom is a great grandson of Red God who  is a son of Nasrullah.

“So here's our hero in 1979. Wow!! 70% Bold Rulers. I've found the key!”

Kindly forgive me but you  will have to decode the above.

24 Mar 2013 11:43 PM


Governor Charlie victory was impressive against in what turned out to be a weak field. There are a few in Mr. Haskin’s DD that he could replace but that is entirely up to how he viewed the performance.

“BTW he will definitely be ahead of Footbridge after he smoked him and then had a cakewalk in the Sunland Derby.”

I am not surprised to see your post on this issue.

Governor Charlie defeated Footbridge by a NK. Such a margin of defeat is not normally referred to as being smoked. However, if you chose to redefine the meaning of smoked then, the context that I have provided is meaningless.

Race day medication is not administered to Footbridge and consequently he will always be behind other talented opponents.

25 Mar 2013 12:05 AM


I do not profess to be as bright as you are as I am just a simple man.

Only one with superior intellect and knowledge would venture to post views in such absolutes.

When 20 stallions from a particular sire line are associated with the winners of Triple Crown races,  the particular sire line should be respected.

There is significant difference between what can be learnt and what historic information indicates.

The process of evaluating Derby contenders has not left me paranoid.

If you chose to post coded statement you are unlikely to secure any meaningful responses.

Clarity will always get my vote.

25 Mar 2013 12:26 AM

Speed, particularly tactical speed, has done very well in the Derby recently and I suspect the large field has played a major part in that.

While I would love to see a Triple Crown champion again, I fear I may not, because a colt (or filly!) with the tactical speed to win the Derby and Preakness may not have the stamina to win the Belmont.  As Mary pointed out, the brilliant Smarty Jones didn't and the brilliant Big Brown was stopped by injury.  I'm not sure I've seen a colt yet this year with the necessary combination of brilliance and stamina. All are lightly raced compared to the "iron horses" of yesteryear.  We do see far to many injuries, but it's hard to say if this is due to a lack of foundation on a  3 yr old when asked to run 3 grueling races in 5 weeks or to a propensity to unsoundness in many of today's pedigrees.

25 Mar 2013 1:15 AM

A cakewalk is a cakewalk, frankly I dont give a R..s A.. what figure is assigned I might have to make my own adjustments to the raw figgur ala vetky did in his calculation for uncle mo and plooting what a mile prep race and its subsequent figgur means to a mile and a quarter event against seasoned routers.

25 Mar 2013 8:14 AM
Rusty Weisner


Matt Converse, above, was very high on War Academy.  I took him seriously because War Academy was the first of Baffert's horses I'd read about in the fall, can't remember where.

I didn't bet or watch the Sunland Derby.  I am tempted to close my eyes and refuse to consider the winner a Derby candidate coming out of this venue and againt this competition (he beat a bush leaguer, the 2nd favorite had never won a route, the third favorite never beaten maidens).  And the track itself?  Two track records in a row.  Last year this race was a negative indicator of ability, so I'm biased against it.

That's not very original handicapping, I guess.  I guess I'll get around to taking a peek and will keep an eye on the winner.  It seems he has to run again before the Derby to be a contender, though.

The Spiral's the same way, I'm just tossing them all.  I was keeping tabs on Crop Report just because of Motion, but I think I read yesterday that even after winning the Rushaway he's not being pointed at the Derby.  Maybe I'm mistaken.

25 Mar 2013 10:08 AM

This is just going to go on and on, innit?

There is a big difference between former years and nowadays, called sports medicine.

Horses are not worked (and overtrained) the way they used to be because we now know that racers, any species, do not have to train at race speed to get a full training effect.

Fortunately for the horse, this took less time to catch on than the decades of vets insisting that burning injured legs didn't help them heal. Mind you, I've caught a couple of glimpses of what appear to be firing scars quite recently.

25 Mar 2013 10:27 AM
Rusty Weisner


You're right, last year's Bluegrass went according to form.  I tried to beat Hansen with Dullahan I think and only bet a rew bucks (I tried Hero of Order because he was 36-1 and had like grass, now I remember!).  The year before was crazy, with Brilliant Speed on top of longshots we never heard from again.  This race looked more like that one with the exception of Uncaptured.  Uncaptured runs near the pace, one of the reasons I liked him as a darkhorse for the Derby -- wins at CD and runs the kind of pressing style we like.  I'll maybe still consider him as a longshot underneath if he shows more in the Bluegrass.

25 Mar 2013 10:33 AM


You are absolutely wrong and it has probably cost you a fortune.

In events governed by chance, what has already happened does not affect what happens next. If the roulette wheel stops 20 times in a row on black, it's still 50/50 on the next spin. (Skullduggery aside.)

You leave out a step in your decision making which is indispensable. You have to understand what the random chances are for the phenomenon you are weighting.

I have tried to steer you towards the first thing you need to know based on mares bred: what %age of the US foal crop is produced from whatever it is you're impressed by, Raise A Native or Mr. P.

I'd suggest you do a quick count of RaN or Mr P sirelines from the sires index of Keeneland fall.

Do you realize that 100% of horses first, second or third in Triple Crown races descend tail-male from Eclipse?

25 Mar 2013 10:42 AM

  First of all, a question, was “Black Onyx’s” Spiral run faster than “Animal Kingdom’s”?

  Gee, and when these late ‘young guns’ that I mentioned were still out there in the likes of “Govenor Charlie” that now step up without a 2 year old foundation, suddenly your “dozen” becomes closer to my own. I said back when, that “it was a long way to May the 4th”and that there was way too much faith among those of your early ‘miler’ choices that were listed. Yes, they, many on your previous “dozen’s list”, have demonstrated speed, but I said that they were not bred for extremely longer compared with those that would come out later. Moreover, there were also several others that just missed out points wise over this last past weekend that are also ‘bred foreva’, that should they find some more points somewhere, they too will qualify and be ranked by me over many of your likely next “dozen” yet.

25 Mar 2013 1:02 PM
Rusty Weisner


Unless I spend a day at the track I play these preps as isolated races and put between $10-30 on them.  They're the only ones I play vertical exotics on because I don't have the opportunity of multi-race bets, which I prefer.  I probably shouldn't bet exotics, period.  To wit:  I had $20 on Bodemeister on top of Secret Circle with Cozzetti and Stat in a trifecta last year.  Close!...but no cigar.

I singled Bodemeister in the Derby in both vertical exotics (another race I always try the exotics on) and multi-race bets, but he wasn't my big play of the day.  My big money was on either Turallure or Doubles Partner to win the Woodford, and where I had all pressers in the Derby: Bode, IHA, Gem, TCI, UR (UR against my better judgment).  My third play of the day was a saver single in the last race anchoring the late pick 4, which I was live to (I recognize a lack of impulse control in myself on big days and try to find a late single to pin my hopes on in case I'm knocked out of the Woodford or Derby). That one lost by a flared nostril, so despite a bad day, with Shackleford my only winning single, I was very close to walking home with several thousand dollars.  The Derby's just that kind of day -- often all it takes is getting one single home in the right spot, and where two is nearly always enough.

25 Mar 2013 1:31 PM

robinm :

"   I'm not sure I've seen a colt yet this year with the necessary combination of brilliance and stamina.   "

I'm hoping we'll see one this weekend in Ground Transport.  A fast Big Brown colt who I think is just getting good.

Mary : Can you pls elaborate on what part of BB's breeding is an accident waiting to happen ?  I don't know how to read that inbreeding part yet...

The LA derby is probably the best betting prep race...because there's no standout, looks like a very evenly matched field.  Going to save up my lunch money this week for this race.  Anxiously waiting for Ground Transport to run, hopefully he steps up, it's all or nothing.

25 Mar 2013 7:21 PM

Jay Jay;

I loved Big Brown and I love his pedigree.  I suspect Mary is referring to the inbreeding.  While there is no inbreeding to Mr Prospector, which she really objects to (as a recipe for unsoundness, I believe), BB does have many crosses to the same horses in his pedigree.  Good, even great horses, but inbreeding none-the-less.

26 Mar 2013 3:25 AM

robinm : Thanks for the info, yeah I love the Big Browns crop this year just as much as I like the Midnight Lutes.  I'm really excited about Ground Transport, took a long time for them to find the path for him and get him going, now there's one shot but I really like his chances here.  He loves this track, has a good local jockey and his last win looks like he'll relish the added distance.  It's a tough field  but I think he's on par with all these, including Revolutionary.

26 Mar 2013 11:11 PM

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