Derby Dozen (video) - March 26, 2013 - Presented by Shadwell Farm

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Itsmyluckyday Eddie Plesa Jr. Click Here!

Lawyer Ron—Viva la Slew, by Doneraile Court

This is it. If you’re going to put all your eggs in one basket, you might as well do it on Easter weekend. Had his final Florida Derby tuneup with a half in :49 2/5. It’s simple: first or second and he’s in; third and he’s in danger of being excluded. Let’s just hope he has a clean trip and there isn’t a three-way photo to sweat out.


Verrazano Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

He’s already secured a spot in the Derby; now it’s time for a little gut check and to put some bottom under him. Worked a half in :49 3/5, but DRF had him “galloping” out in 1:01 2/5, up in 1:13 2/5. Those are :11 4/5 and :12 eighths and horses don’t gallop out a quarter in :23 4/5, so that was more like a 6f work. It was exactly what he needed – slow early and fast late and a good tightener. Time to find out just how special this colt really is.


Revolutionary Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

Here is another top-ranked colt who must deliver, but he has to do it in a big field over a foreign surface against some talented locals and a tough stablemate. He’s had a habit of finding trouble through no fault of his own, and this definitely is not the time to continue that trend. Officially worked a half in :48 1/5 with Overanalyze, but more like 5f in 1:00 3/5. He will go into the Derby off one race in 13 weeks, while stablemate Shanghai Bobby will have one race in 14 weeks. We obviously won’t know until Derby Day how effective this conservative approach will be. The one positive is that both colts at least have a decent 2-year-old foundation. Perhaps Pletcher will have them peaking on the first Saturday in May, as I’ll Have Another did last year.


Orb Shug McGaughey

Malibu Moon—Lady Liberty, by Unbridled

No pressure on him at all in the Florida Derby. He already has enough projected points and with his style of running, he only needs to be closing at the end to set him up for the Derby. If he wins, fine. Knowing McGaughey, he’s more interested in having him peak on the first Saturday in May, and the way he’s been progressing with each race he seems ready to do just that.


Oxbow D. Wayne Lukas Click Here!

Awesome Again—Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy

His overall record does not begin to do him justice. In his four 2-turn races he’s drawn post 10 twice and 11 once and got hung very wide all three times. The only time he drew a good post he won by 11 ½ lengths. His two worst finishes, well-beaten 4ths, were on a synthetic surface, and in his career debut he was pulled up and vanned off. So, his record on conventional dirt is 5 starts, 2 wins, a second, a third, and a fourth (beaten a half-length). In 8 starts, he’s been ridden by 6 different jockeys. Oh, yes, he’s already won at Churchill Downs by 4 ¾ lengths in 1:22 4/5 for 7f. His Thoro-Graph figs are very strong. From 2 to 3, he improved from an 8 ¾ to a 2, then paired up the 2, and then improved to a 1 ¼. No one has put together 3 consecutive figs this strong. All this adds up to a very live horse.


Vyjack Rudy Rodriguez

Into Mischief —Life Happened, by Stravinsky

He looked super working 5 furlongs in :59 flat in company, galloping out way ahead of his workmate, and he just kept going well down the backstretch. The more you watch the Gotham the more you have to be impressed with his stride and powerful closing punch, and that was not even his style of running. Now he steps up in class in the Wood and we’ll see what he can do against Verrazano and a desperate Normandy Invasion.


Hear the Ghost Jerry Hollendorfer Click Here!

Ghostzapper—Rehear, by Coronado's Quest

I keep bouncing back and forth where to put this horse. Winning the Derby off only two 2-turn races and two 6-furlong sprints is not an easy task. But Hollendorfer is one trainer you know will have him as fit as possible. We’ve seen that explosive late burst of speed sprinting and two turns. One more time and he has to shoot up the list. What makes him so perplexing is his lack of racing combined with an acceleration that is rarely seen. If those moves were real and not an illusion, then he has the potential to be something special.


Shanghai Bobby Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Harlan's Holiday—Steelin', by Orientate

Worked 5 furlongs in 1:00 4/5 in company with Palace Malice. Strategy is going to play an important role in the Florida Derby and he has to show the ability to adapt to any pace scenario that may confront him. The big question is, do you go all out to win this race even if it’s on the lead or do use it to teach him how to settle off the pace and close? He did close his final quarter in :24 1/5 in the Champagne, so we know he can come home. This could become a cat-and-mouse game with Itsmyluckday. The wrong move and Orb could swallow up both of them. But Rosie knows this horse so well and she’ll put him where he needs to be.


Palace Malice Todd PletcherClick Here!

Curlin—Palace Rumor, by Royal Anthem

Looking over the Future Wager horses for a potential bargain, he was the one who jumped off the page at 42-1, which very well may look like the overlay of the year after next week’s Louisiana Derby. The way he’s been working and how much room for improvement there is off the Risen Star, there is no reason he shouldn’t run a big race. One of the best angles on the Derby trail this year is the fact that he was the only horse in the Risen Star making his two-turn debut, he had only three career starts, and had only one seven-furlong race in almost 7 months under his belt. There was no way he was anywhere close to 100% wound up for that race, and he still was beaten only a half-length and out-battled Oxbow for the show spot. He has the pedigree to go long and has been training super, working 5f in 1:00 4/5 in company with Shanghai Bobby. That’s the kind of 42-1 shot I want in the Future Wager. If he can get through a tough Louisiana Derby unscathed, watch out in Louisville.


Flashback Bob Baffert Click Here!

Tapit—Rhumb Line, by Mr. Greeley

Like Verrazano and Hear the Ghost, he is light on racing experience with only four career starts, but he at least got a stiff test in the San Felipe and emerged a stronger Derby horse than he was before when had only two easy victories to his credit. As long as he doesn’t do anything to hurt his chances, like he did last time by engaging Goldencents early, he should be a tougher opponent in the Santa Anita Derby. The question is, did he just get tired late in the San Felipe or did Hear the Ghost turn on the afterburners in the final sixteenth?


Normandy Invasion Chad Brown Click Here!

Tapit—Boston Lady, by Boston Harbor

He continues to train sharply for his big Derby push in the Wood Memorial. He followed up his :59 3/5 drill last week with a bullet 1:00 1/5 work, fastest of 30 works at the distance. You know he’s going to be flying at the end, but the main question is whether he’ll have a clean trip and doesn’t encounter the problems he did in the Risen Star. Those problems, mostly at the start, likely cost him enough to points to at least provide some breathing room going into the Wood. But again, when you have only two preps, you better make the most of both of them.


Will Take Charge D. Wayne Lukas

Unbridled’s Song —Take Charge Lady, by Dehere

With that big long stride of his and his ability to gut out close finishes, he’s always going to be dangerous, as long as he gets a track he can handle. Because of his stride, he most likely never got hold of the slop in the Southwest. He’s already won over Keeneland’s Polytrack, breaking his maiden there last year, so the Blue Grass should be a good prep for him, especially considering he’s already in the Derby field and just needs a good tightener to move him forward.

Knocking At The Door

Have to get this out of the way first. Although it has more to do with the Oaks than the Derby, was someone at The Jockey Club sleeping when they approved the name WAR RELIC for a 3-year-old filly? Have we lost touch with history to such a degree that a horse can be named after the most successful son of Man o’War at stud, whose remains along with Man o’War and War Admiral were moved to a place of honor at the Kentucky Horse Park? If this were Twitter, I would end this with #Blasphemy #Disgraceful.

Also, a mention must be made of Rob Whiteley, for years one of the most successful breeders in the country, who was responsible for dozens of grade I winners while operating his Liberation Farm on a much smaller scale than the major breeding operations. Whiteley no longer was able to overcome the breeding industry’s many economic pitfalls and was forced to liquidate his entire stock and retire as a Thoroughbred breeder. While it is sad and scary to think that someone as astute and successful as Whiteley could be driven to such an extreme by the banks, he at least was able leave the sport with a heckuva going away present as breeder of 3-year-old stakes winners ITSMYLUCKYDAY, RYDILLUC, and Saturday’s Rushaway winner CROP REOPRT. It is hoped that these three talented colts can keep Whiteley’s name up near the top of the leading breeders list – a place he occupied for many years.

Speaking of Rydilluc, even if I wanted to bet him in the Future Wager, I couldn’t, because he’s not among the 23 individual betting interests. Nothing against Noble Tune, but why is he on there and not Rydilluc? Noble Tune has only a head allowance victory on grass this year, while Rydilluc has two runaway grass victories, including the grade III Palm Beach Stakes. Have to admit, I don’t get that one at all. I’m also curious why Noble Tune is on there instead of Gotham runner-up West Hills Giant or fast-closing San Felipe third-place finisher Tiz A Minister, who was beaten a length by leading Future Wager contender Hear the Ghost and a half-length by Flashback? Noble Tune could turn out to be a terror on Polytrack and on dirt, but at this time I don’t know what he’s done this year to get on the list of betting interests over the aforementioned horses.

As for the weekend races, BLACK ONYX and UNCAPTURED both stamped themselves as legitimate Derby horses, mainly because they have already proven themselves on dirt and their performances in the Spiral Stakes indicate they should improve next time out. Both colts were very late changing leads and Uncaptured didn’t change until almost at the sixteenth pole. He just seemed uncomfortable on that track coming down the stretch and you have to give him credit for finishing a strong second over a deep synthetic track going 1 1/8 miles off a four-month layoff and physical problems. It is a difficult task for any 3-year-old to just return at 1 1/8 miles off a layoff over any kind of track, but to do it on that kind of surface says a great deal about the colt, who should be much stronger and fitter with this race under him. Once he did change leads in deep stretch, he was striding out much smoother to the wire. He does have back-to-back stakes scores at Churchill Downs, so all he needs to do is pick up a minimal amount of points in his next start to assure he makes it into the Derby field. He may be in already with 30 points and almost $400,000 in stakes earnings.

Black Onyx is now in the capable hands of Kelly Breen, who has saddled the Rock Hard Ten colt to two victories in as many starts. Although he finished a well-beaten fourth on the dirt at Gulfstream, he does have a victory at Aqueduct and a second at Belmont last year in off-the-turf maiden races. What made his performance in the Spiral so impressive was how wide he was for the entire race, especially going into the first turn and down the backstretch. So, he, too, will get a lot out of this race. Next stop Louisville.

At Sunland Park, Bob Baffert struck again, sending out the lightly raced GOVENOR CHARLIE to a five-length score in the Sunland Derby. The son of Midnight Lute, who is improving dramatically, but still has only three career starts, set a new track record of 1:47 2/5. So, does Baffert and Mike Pegram send him to the Derby with so little experience and having only won a grade III stakes at Sunland Park? The temptation is there for sure after such a dominating score, but it is asking a lot of the colt.

From a visual standpoint, the most imposing colt seen all weekend was CROP REPORT, who came from far back in last to blow away his opponents in the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway. Physically, this is the closest thing to Forego seen in many years, in size, color, stride, and even the way he sweeps around horses on the turn. He is spectacular to look at, especially in action where he dwarfs all the horses around him. Unfortunately, he is a May 31 foal and is not there mentally yet, so owner Team Valor will point him for the Belmont Stakes, with a likely prep in the Peter Pan. Like Forego, he should relish those big turns at Belmont.

One of the best works of the week was the 1:12 3/5 six-furlong drill by GROUND TRANSPORT, who rattled off his eighths in :12 2/5, :11 3/5, :11 4/5, :12 1/5, :12 1/5, and :12 2/5 in preparation for the Louisiana Derby. Also working for the Louisiana Derby were stablemates DEPARTING and SUNBEAN, who went their halfs in :47 1/5 and :48 1/5, respectively.

Some other works of interest include Florida Derby hopeful FRAC DADDY, who drilled five furlongs in 1:00 1/5, out in 1:13 1/5; SPEAK LOGISTICS, who went a half in a bullet :47 1/5 for the Blue Grass Stakes; and ELNAAWI, who tuned up for the Wood Memorial with a five-furlong breeze in 1:02 2/5 over the Belmont training track.

Also working for the Blue Grass was the aforementioned RYDILLUC, who breezed an easy seven furlongs in 1:30 on the turf.


Leave a Comment:


In the stills in the Tampa Bay Derby slide show, in the come back Verrazano appears to have a severely crooked left fore, which could be an effect light bend, and in the winner's circle his hocks appear to be in the adjacent county.

These are not quality photos. Anybody done a conformation once over on this horse in the flesh? I don't see that foreleg winging in motion.

25 Mar 2013 3:03 PM

War Relic -- from the people who gave us Boat In A Moat.

25 Mar 2013 3:18 PM
Little Bill

I'm encouraged by your endorsement of Palace Malice. I also think he could be the one. I bet him to win in book 2 also a 5 horse ex box. Book 3 ex key All with Palace Malice, kinda like place money. Book 1 played Code West to win, so the LA Derby is a big one for me.

Thanks for your inut, now and always.

25 Mar 2013 3:21 PM

A horrible dark feeling comes over me when I see an experienced horse, especially one with multiple foot problems, reluctant to change leads in the stretch.

Fingers crossed for Uncaptured.

25 Mar 2013 3:23 PM

If that is Uncaptured being 'short' off a layoff, I'll take it. He should be primed for the Derby if everything goes according to plan and does well in The Bluegrass. Having the Derby as his 3rd race off the layoff has been a successful formula for the last six consecutive runnings.

Still waiting for Code West to get that first non-maiden victory. He's a tough ittle grinder and always in the thick of things. He seems to be the forgotten Baffert horse.

I hope these two make it in.

25 Mar 2013 3:26 PM
Mister Frisky

Hi Steve,Five weeks out and it's still Shug and Lukas for me.That Sunland race showed me nothing regardless of the fast time.See you next week.

25 Mar 2013 3:53 PM

I like Hear the Ghost, but I hope that he's closer to the lead at the stretch call in the SA Derby than he was in the San Felipe. A horse that wasn't up close at the stretch call (1st or 2nd, or within 2 lengths of leader)in the last prep hasn't won a Ky Derby in about 15 years.

25 Mar 2013 4:04 PM

Despite my negative views regarding the Kentucky Derby Future Pool wagering options, I could not resist placing a small wager on my namesake Mr. Palmer.

Pool #3 closed with his projected payout at $111.40.

His next start will in the Wood Memorial against wonder horse Verrazano. If he does not secure the requisite points my cash is dead.  However, I am confident he will defeat  the wonder horse.

How could I not place a wager on a colt that goes by my name and trained by the great Bill Mott.

25 Mar 2013 4:11 PM

There is a relatively unknown colt that is unlikely to be on many lists. He is amongst the late nominees to the TC.

Below are some details:

Narvaez (Holy Bull – Miss Lulu)

Like most Holy Bull’s runners he has no inbreeding in his first five generation. His dam is the lightly raced Miss Lulu that was sired by Unbridled who is a proven broodmare sire.  

Wood Memorial winner and top class sire Tapit, Preakness/Clarke winner Shackleford and FOY winner and #4 ranked Orb were produce from Unbridled mares.

Narvaez second dam was sire by Private Account a son of Damascus. His third by Tom Rolf a son of Ribot and his fourth by Round Table.

Assuming he has inherited some of the stamina for his stamina laden dam line, he should have no problems with the Derby distance.

He returned after from a 3 months layoff and with first time Lasix ran much improved to finished in a dead heat for 1st with Declan’s Warrior over 71/2F in a good time of 1:29.74. He has tactical speed like his sire and is capable of staying close 22, 46 & 1:10 fractions.

His trainer Mr. Agustin Bezara was the conditioner of Reveron the second place finisher in the 2012 FL Derby.

Mr. Bezara will be sending Narvaez to take on Orb, S/Bobby and Itmyluckday in the 2013 FL Derby.

With further improvement expected in his second start off a layoff and second time Lasix, I am expecting him to be a formidable opponent in the 2013 FL Derby.

25 Mar 2013 4:42 PM

Steve:you said the following about my #1 right now Vyjack.

"The more you watch the Gotham the more you have to be impressed with his stride and powerful closing punch, and that was not even his style of running."

I agree regarding his closing kick but disagree regarding that was not his running style.

I believe that is his running style now. That was the reason for the Jock change.

I have never seen a Owner,trainer so dialed in on a horse before.

I bet you this will be one of the first horses to arrive at Churchill.

Vyjack just may be a freak.

25 Mar 2013 5:11 PM
It aint easy being good!

Everyone likes the explosive closer but keep in mind the longer the distances get the harder it is to close so I dont give Hear the Ghost much of a chance! Very interesting comments on Oxbow! I really like what you said about him and I rewatched his last race and felt like he could of geared down and won that race. Oxbow reminds me alot of musket man. I think he would be a great exotics bet. Excited for the big preps to start happening soon and COLDFACTS VERRAZANO is ready to take his afternoon jog soon!

25 Mar 2013 5:24 PM
The Deacon

Steve:  At this point there are no incorrect top 12's. For the 1st time this Derby season I was impressed. Governor Charlie was most impressive as was Midnight Lucky, the 3 year old filly. Wow, she looks like a standout. Reminds me a little of Halfbridled.

I realize "Charlie" is lightly raced but so was Big Brown and Barbaro among others.

Uncaptured may have needed the race but with respect, he did not impress me one bit.

In fact I don't have him my top 16.

I am still not sold on most of these 3 year olds. They say the cream rises to the top so we'll see.............

25 Mar 2013 5:26 PM

This years rule changes left me virtually out of all the KDFWagers(only bet a token $1exacta box)

Eventhough I like Verazano I wouldnt take his low odds in exactas in the pools he was in.

The main reason is that starting next weekend there will be 6 100 point prep races with 40 for 2nd place there are ONLY 7 colts you have qualified to be in the starting gate thus far (50 points or more)a lot different than in the last 4 years where I enjoyed a very profitable run for the bet.

That means that the majority of the field for the Derby with be decided in the next months prep races.

25 Mar 2013 5:29 PM
the foxx

Orb{8-c} only needs to run a 'good' race to set him up for Ky

25 Mar 2013 5:34 PM

I think Orb will win it all

25 Mar 2013 5:42 PM
Steve Haskin

Johnny, you quoted me correctly, but then diagreed with my comment -- that was not his running style. Are you saying that was his running style before the Gotham? Whether it is his running style now, it wasnt before, therefore it WAS not his running style, the key word being WAS.

25 Mar 2013 6:30 PM

So Revolutionary and Bobby have 1 race in last 13 and 14 weeks and they need to be sharp enough off that to put in a big race? Looks like Pletcher sees them as the B-team to Verrazano and perhaps he is thinking Belmont for Revolutionary and Haskell for Bobby. Right now can't see Bobby getting 10f and can't see Revolutionary winning in a 20 horse field. Not sure he can even win in a 14 horse field. Revolutionary may spoil someones triple crown bid but don't see him winning the Derby. #3 is high for a horse with nothing but Aqueduct inner wins.

25 Mar 2013 6:53 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Easter Egg Hunt Weekend for Itsmyluckyday, Revolutionary and Palace Malice among others. A few of the eggs will be plastic eggs you can open up and will be filled with cash and the all important points. A 3 or 4 way photo finish will be scrambled eggs, a runaway winner will be over easy. Hard boiled will be a tough duel. Then you've got poached and eggs benedict. The Midnight Lute winners were both quite impressive at Sunland. Govenor Charlie (no r in governor) sure is a good looking son of a gun. I wonder if they'll consider the Arkansas Derby for him? He's on my Dozen list and I agree with The Deacon, Uncaptured is off of the list. He'll have to show more and I no longer see him as a potential Derby winner unless he is much, much better in his next. Did he have an injury? Is his stride shorter? Itsmyluckyday is still number one but you could make a case for numerous others. It's still a tossup. Getting closer to setting sail that day on a 2 minute tour, a 2 minute tour.

25 Mar 2013 7:25 PM

For me Orb has been the stand out all year long.  I was turned on when he ran his maiden race at Saratoga last year finishing a fast closing 3rd to Violence.  

Without question he has the perfect style and breeding for the Derby.  He has given his owners and trainer Derby fever and that is very hard to do these days.  Not since Easy Goer have they seen this spark.  

Look for something special from Orb on Saturday.  I see Orb chasing down Itsmyluckyday and a weakening Shangai Bobby in mid stretch and finally drawing off comfortably at the finish.

25 Mar 2013 7:36 PM

Vyjack's style is beating weak alw horses....look at who got 2nd...3rd...4th.....maybe he could do that, because he only ran a 93 know, the par time for mdn races...........every week, there are these the spiral, or sunland races, or sam davis, or leconte.........and people talk about the they love them for the one tells the truth...........these are not derby horses............

25 Mar 2013 7:49 PM

Revolutionary is a superhorse, because he got in alot of trouble......against weak horses?

25 Mar 2013 7:51 PM
Plod Boy Phil

I'm no historian and am working off memory only, but I believe that Charismatic, Giacomo and possibly Mine That Bird all failed to meet the 'last Derby prep' running position criteria set forth by EddieF.

25 Mar 2013 8:21 PM

It aint easy being good,

"COLDFACTS VERRAZANO is ready to take his afternoon jog soon!

Bellamy Road romped the Wood and was an also ran in the Derby.

Uncle Mo and Secretariat were beaten in their respective Wood efforts.

Beware of Mr. Palmer as he carries my name and as you are aware I am crazy.

25 Mar 2013 8:48 PM


There is one colt that I am positive will get the Derby distance easily and that's my namesake Mr. Palmer.

He made his way into future pool #3 and the next step is to secure the necessary points in the Wood by taking down the top dog.

25 Mar 2013 8:54 PM

Black Onyx, Govenor Charlie, Revolutionary, and Hear The Ghost.  I won't go into the pedigree analysis again.  My problem with Govenor Charlie certainly has nothing to do with his pedigree, outstanding, but he is so lightly raced which is unfotunate IMO.

25 Mar 2013 8:56 PM

I lost my horse to Dubai,so i'm looking for a replacement and i shure did'nt see that horse in either of those preps,right now i'm leaning towards Vyjack or Orb

25 Mar 2013 9:05 PM

Great list again Steve.  I love the top three.  Still hard to sort them after six, where I have Shanghai Bobby.  Can't wait for the Florida Derby.

Very nice write-up about Rob Whiteley.  You stated it so perfectly that someone as astute as Rob could be driven to such extreme measures by the banks.  And just like that a top class man and very successful breeder and my friend, is out of business. I'm glad these 3 colts have kept his name near the top where it rightly belongs and should be. This is a man who understands the industry thoroughly.  For the industry to lose a man of this caliber, high moral standards, and brilliance is truly sad.

Don't understand the logic either in using the name War Relic and for a filly no less.  Maybe the Jockey Club has a rule that whereby a deceased horse's name can be used?  If so I don't agree with it and don't like a past name used.

I liked the comments on Oxbow as well.  He reminds me of cous, Paynter.  Paynter had a big one in him after his Belmont second so maybe Oxbow will follow that path?  His next time out could be a big one if he progresses and doesn't get hung that wide.    

Good luck to ItsMyLuckyDay in the Florida Derby.  May all come home safely.

25 Mar 2013 9:08 PM

Will Take Charge, glad he is finally getting some attention. He could be a spoiler for everyone and anyone who underrates him or the Coach. Folks, he has the pedigree on both sides to take it all. With Secretariat on the Dam side,that stride and neck stretch at the wire, he needs to be on everyone's short list.

25 Mar 2013 9:21 PM
El Kabong


You sentimental old fool! I didn't think you had it in you, but I'm glad you do.

25 Mar 2013 9:26 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

To me it looks like The Wood and then the Louisiana Derby are shaping up to be the toughest races of the big preps. The first 100 pointers in history. The SA Derby proposed field looks weak overall except for the Ghost, and maybe Flashback. Not too sure what he's all about yet. I do think he should be more of a closer though than a front runner or close up presser if he can relax and listen to the jockey. It is very interesting to see what he will do. He's talented but not sure about 10f with him either. In the LA Derby it will be a big surprise if Palace doesn't run well. Same with Revolutionary. There is other talent in there but they'll have to run big. I think Verrazano is going to get some competition in The Wood. Orb and Itsmyluckyday is a huge matchup in Florida and Bobby could be tough too. I wonder if Bobby could get me a signed Rita Hayworth poster?

25 Mar 2013 10:00 PM

Not trying to split hairs with you Steve.

Just was my opinion.

25 Mar 2013 10:06 PM

To Plod Boy Phil: Charismatic was 2nd by a head at the stretch call, Giacomo was 4th by 2 lengths, and Mine That Bird was 2nd by 2 lengths.

25 Mar 2013 10:40 PM

Steve, three of your top five contenders (Revolutionary, Orb, and Oxbow) along with Code West have something in common. They all broke their maiden on their fourth try. Since 2000, all Derby winners won in their first or second race, except for Monarchos who won his third race. Seems to me there's a logical reason. A horse good enough to win the Derby should be able to beat a field of maiden runners.

If you go further back in Derby history, you'll find Derby winners that needed four or more races to get their first win, but the overwhelming majority did it with fewer.

25 Mar 2013 10:49 PM

Coldfacts:There is a relatively unknown colt that is unlikely to be on many lists. He is amongst the late nominees to the TC.

Below are some details:

Narvaez (Holy Bull – Miss Lulu)

I say he does not hit the board.

25 Mar 2013 11:29 PM


I say Itsmyluckyday hangs on by a nose,with Orb gaining.

S.B third by a length.

Looking for a $12.00 dollar tri if that.

25 Mar 2013 11:32 PM
Ted from LA

Did someone mention Rita Hayworth?  Oddly enough, I just had a dream about her last night. Gove(r)nor Charlie looks disturbingly good.  Mr. Palmer, Overanalyze,  Varrazano, and Gove(r)nor Charlie in no particular order.

25 Mar 2013 11:36 PM

Can't argue with your top 4 Steve.

But why not any love for Code West?

He battled back on Oxbow, and lost a nose.

I'm looking forward to the La. Derby, just to see how Code West does.

Is Baffert talking about him?

26 Mar 2013 12:08 AM

Hmmm, I understand what Steve wrote about Vyjack since in the racing form the horse was either on the lead or pressing the pace in his races before the Gotham.

Smart move sending Dice Flavor to Dubai since he has a realistic chance of winning in Dubai on Tapeta- dirt not so much.  I would guess that 70% of Paddy Gallaghers

career winners have been on turf, and as a result that is the type of horses sent to him.

Govenor Charlie certainly flattered the up and comer Footbridge.  Just think, the beast Footbridge may have been second by a half length to Charlie in Sunland- NOT!!  Footbridge running without lasix not a good excuse since Frankel horse seemed to run a lot of decent ones without it.

Only around 80k to win on Govenor Charlie at post time in the Sunland Derby.  The horse would have been closer to the 6-1 morning line odds had Pegram and Baffert not put their pocket change on him.  

I like Itsmyluckyday to win the Florida derby and will take Code West in Louisiana.

26 Mar 2013 12:08 AM
tom mallios

regardless of whether he wins the wood or not steryotype his running style as a closer or a pace horse.the important thing for vyjack is to get relaxed and comfortable.personallyi think he will be no worse than 4 lenngths off the lead in the wood.the  race on the horse in the gotham has given joel rosario a tremendous insight as to what he is now sitting his first ride ,he rode to instructions.with the knowledge and feel joel got from vyjack should only move him up even more.

26 Mar 2013 12:09 AM

Dr. D et al.

I thought everybody knew. No, Uncaptured did not have an injury. He had a foot abscess on one side and once he was sound on that side they found one on the other side.

So he not only missed working, he probably missed a lot of galloping.

26 Mar 2013 12:11 AM


Revolutionary is a good horse because he overcame a lot of trouble like the good ones do.

BTW: Does Ky Vet mean you are a veterinarian in Kentucky, a former member of the armed forces in Kentucky, or a former resident of Kentucky?

26 Mar 2013 12:15 AM
Native Dancer

Thanks again Steve for your Fantastic account of the Derby picture...! Your selection is fully supported by the performance of the horses and their potential so far. One salient note is that, out of the 23 horses mentioned by Steve, only one (Rydilluc) has no Mr. Prospector is his pedigree; and out of these 22 horses with the blood of Mr. Prospector, 11 show inbreeding to the legendary son of Raise a Native...!

Since 1995 there have been only 6 Derby winners (Silver Charm, Charismatic, Monarchos, Giacomo, Big Brown and Animal Kingdom) with no Mr. Prospector within their first five generations. This trend is predestined to continue this year...!

The Florida Derby is a key race for the aspirations of Itsmyluckyday. Flashback will be vindicated in the Santa Anita, after the learning and exposure from the San Felipe. Many think he should be undefeated at this point but the good thing is that this kind of pressure is out of the equation now. From there I trust that Baffert will make this grey powerhouse a very legitimate derby contender. I just love the presence of Pleasant Colony and Nijinsky in his pedigree complementing the potential from Tapit... more than fit for the classic distance.

Verrazano will be showing his material in the Wood Memorial.

The arguments for Palace Malice are very convincing but he has a lot of catch up to accomplish. Wayne Lukas will be focusing on having Will Take Charge at peak condition the first Saturday in May now that there is no pressure to get the point ticket.

Summing up, Flashback has a fair chance to continue the supremacy of the west hinted by I’ll Have Another last year.

26 Mar 2013 12:30 AM
joseph alva

I find it interesting that the Florida Derby has drawn so few starters with all those points for the taking.  I think it is indicative of how much respect trainers have for the quality of top three in there -- Itsmyluckyday, Shanghai Bobby and Orb -- the absence of many is telling of the depth of their presence.

Pletcher's placement of Revolutionary in the Louisiana Derby may also speak of the quality of the Florida Derby top three or the Wood Memorial's top stock.  Otherwise it makes no sense to run Revolutionary there.  Inserting a horse that tends to draw troubled trips, who is essentially a closer and who needs points right now in a large Louisiana Derby field is asenine unless you consider that Mr. Pletcher knows that colt is inferior to the top Florida Derby stock or even to the top Wood Memorial stock.  It would seem to make more sense to have him, needing points, run in the shorter field of the Florida Derby if he were to feel that Revolutionary was in that league.  Regardless of where he were to run him next he would be going against another of his top horses so he apparently feels that Palace Malice is not as accomplished as Shanghai Bobby or Verrazano.  This placement of Revolutionary looks silly at surface level, but I think Mr. Pletcher, of whom I am not a great admirer, is no fool.  He may be revealing something here about this horse and about the superior quality of competition in other preps.  

Right now the two horses I give the best shot of hitting the Derby superfecta are Orb and Den's Legacy.  They are both experienced enough, consistent and seem to relish the longer going.  They seem to have good minds as they have overcome trouble in races and have ammassed sensible speed figures that are neither too low or too high.  They are also in the hands of Hall of Fame trainers who know how to have them ready to peak.  

This seems to be a harder Derby to handicap than most and that's saying a lot!

26 Mar 2013 1:03 AM
Matt Converse

1. War Academy--has the pedigree edge.

2. Verrazano--about as close to a co-#1 as you could be.  

3. Itsmyluckyday--pedigree still iffy for 10f but Lawyer Ron as sire is a bit of a wildcard.

4. Revolutionary

5. Orb

6. Govenor Charlie--looked good winning, but the filly would have beaten him.  Of course, she would have beaten most of these, if not all of these.  

7. Hear the Ghost

8. Oxbow

9. Will Take Charge

10. Java's War

11. Departing

12. Vyjack

just missed: Black Onyx--best in a slow race but nice pedigree for 10f.  

wrong sex: Midnight Lucky (would be #3.) Expect an easy win in the Oaks followed by a win in the Preakness.  Bob probably won't win or place in the Derby and will realize this is his best 3-year-old.

26 Mar 2013 2:46 AM
The Deacon

Dr. D:  Well said on both blog posts. Here is my problem with the Wood Memorial.  In recent history horses don't usually do well in the Derby that come out of that race. It looks to be the best prep race so far and the purse is big. Young 3 years olds firing a big effort may not have anything left in the tank come Derby day.

Secretariat was the exception and he didn't win the Wood.

I may be wrong but I look at that race as a jinx. Hope all the races come back safe and healthy.

New trends in training my friends, trainers want lightly raced and fresh legs come Derby day. Long gone are the runners with 10-12 races leading up to the Derby. It used to be the norm now its an anomaly.

Unblemished records mean little unless were talking about a super horse. Sharp horses that can get the distance and have staying pedigree are the ones I am looking at. Some folks don't like Sunland Park as a viable prep stop. I disagree. An $800K race whether its a Grade 3 or not carries weight in my book.

Some pretty good horses over the years ran at Sunland Park.

Getting interesting now, this Derby is wide open.......

26 Mar 2013 3:19 AM

El Kabong,

It more than sentiments!

If you closely examine Mr. Palmer's PP you will note something unique.

1st Start 6th

2nd Start 5th

3rd Start 4th

4th Start 3rd

5th Start 2nd

6th Start 1st

7th Start 1st

The progression is clear. He has now achieved his targeted finishing position and is now on a roll.

Verrazano will be cut down like and all others that stand in is way en route to Louisville.

Coincidentally his progression in racing is similar to mine in life.

If he fails, that too will be part of the progression towards the ultimate goal

I am positive that like I have done he will keep trying.

26 Mar 2013 7:44 AM
Rusty Weisner

I understood Johnny's point:  that Wilkinson had changed jockeys with the intention of having Vyjack run in an off the pace style.  I'm not sure I agree that he wanted him that far off the pace -- he had to hold back to stay out of trouble at the the start.  Either way, it worke out.

26 Mar 2013 7:50 AM

Todd Pletcher will win the Derby

"The Louisiana Derby"

He will finish in the top 4 in the Ky derby but "will not win it"

I will wait for the results of the Fla, Ark, S/A derbies and the Bluegrass. The Derby winner will come from those races.

26 Mar 2013 8:52 AM

Coldfacts GL with Mr.Palmer.I am glad you are so sure he will get the Derby distance.Getting the Derby distance means running fast enough at a mile and a quarter race on the 1st Saturaday in May as a 3yo.I dont think even the trainers are so sure about ANY of these colts.

Why you ask,its simple, none of the preps are at that distance so none of them has actually done it and will attempt to do it for the 1st time in the Kentucky Derby.

I think you know that some of these colts will not be able to as they say get the distance as 3yos, but as they mature and learn how to ration their speed for early runners,, and stay close enough to the front runners for closers they will be competetive at the longer distances as older horses.

26 Mar 2013 8:56 AM

Coldfacts to continue on the topic of getting the distance,I dont think a colts breeding absolutely assures its conections that it will run competetively in a mile and a quarter race on the 1st Saturday in May as a 3yo.I dont think ANY method does for a horseplayer.

I do think a horses breeding ultimately will determine a horse's ability and his best distance as they mature,but there are ALWAYS eceptions.I like to play this game with percentages on my side,I know I will lose some,but if I win in most or more money than I lose, then I know I am playing the right way for me.

26 Mar 2013 9:10 AM

Eddie F

without even checking Mine that Bird was 4th in his last prep the Sunland Derby the same one that the gov cakewalked over the field and broke the track record at the distance,a record that stood since the 60s,and he did it as a 3yo.

BTW I think they may wait for the Preakness with GC.

26 Mar 2013 9:16 AM

The Team Valor colt How Great won the G3  9F Palm Beach in 1:46.56 ahead of his 2012 Bluegrass effort. Before his victory in the Palme Beach he won The Kitten’s Joy Stakes in a good time of 1:40.42.

Off those two impressive victories, expectations heading into the Bluegrass were obviously very high. He finished a non-threatening 5th.

The Team Stallion Racing Corp., colt Rydilluc won the G3  9F Palm Beach in 1:48.18 ahead of his expected start in the 2013 Bluegrass. Before his victory in the Palme Beach he won The AwlOC in a good time of 1:35.50.

If the times for Rydilluc last two races heading into the Bluegrass are compared to the similar two races for the impressive How Great, the result would suggest Rydilluc prospects of winning are remote at best.

Despite How Great's impressive 1:46 for 9F on turf, he was unable to hit the board in a Bluegrass completed in stakes record time of 1:47.94.

Are here any Hansens or Dullahans in the 2013 Bluegrass? No! However, there is a very fast and tenacious Footbridge that all will have to cross to achieve victory.

26 Mar 2013 9:43 AM


“ Footbridge running without Lasix is not a good excuse since Frankel horse seemed to run a lot of decent ones without it.”

Is Lasix performance enhancer? If you think it is not, then your statement above is understandable.

However, if you consider the drug a PE then your statement ignores the enhancing properties of the product.

When there is a race between two equal athletes and it’s being decided by mere inches, the one on a performance enhancer has the edge. Both are not operating on the same playing field.

Let’s assume Governor Charlie is a much better colt than Footbridge. He is administered a performance enhancer heading into a race with Footbridge. He ends up defeating him by a NK.

Who would you regard  as delivering the better performance?

26 Mar 2013 10:07 AM

Now the real running is to begin, Orb can really do some good sat he wins that is going to knock either bobby or itsmyluckyday out, but bobby can still go to blue grass'can't believe people don't put winning Ky derby top priority, who cares who wins any other race,I can tell you derby winners, but not any other ones,As everyone can see it is sometimes a once in life time deal with 99% of trainers as they don't have backing that Lucas, Baffert, and others have, not knocking Lucas, Baffert, or Pletcher as they are top guys all the way around, Great trainers n great people, no drugs here Not like Dutrow,Mullins or O'neil, Hope Rosie wins it all, would be a great story

26 Mar 2013 10:56 AM


"Narvaez, I say he does not hit the board."

The opinion expressed above is not dissimilar to that of the betting public in 2004 regarding Friends Lake one of the best bred sons of A P Indy. He was sent off at 37-1.

His sire and dam sire were both HOY.

Narvaez sire Holy Bull and dam sire Unbridled were both winners of the FL Derby. It is not impossible for the two to team up for FL Derby winner.

Are Orb, S/Bobby and Itsmyluckyday faster than Narvaez? Absolutely!

However, he has a great stamina pedigree and enough tactical speed to capitalize on any opportunities presented.

26 Mar 2013 11:09 AM

@joseph alva: Maybe the main reason Revolutionary is not in the short field of the Florida Derby could be the track instead of the quality of the field. Gulfstream is highly favorable to front-runners and Pletcher probably knows this all too well. Otherwise, the obvious short field would be the most productive path for Revolutionary to gain Derby points.

26 Mar 2013 11:09 AM

Chief Picawinna said "Eddie F . . .

without even checking Mine that Bird was 4th in his last prep the Sunland Derby the same one that the gov cakewalked over the field and broke the track record at the distance,a record that stood since the 60s,and he did it as a 3yo."

Chief, I'm not sure what point you're making with regard to my previous comment (i.e., Derby winners are on the lead OR close at the stretch call of the final prep).

26 Mar 2013 11:35 AM
Age of Reason

Let's stop talking about Footbridge for a few weeks, ok? Otherwise I won't get decent odds in the Blue Grass. ;)

26 Mar 2013 11:44 AM


A horse that hops at the start, is pinched back and goes 5-7 wide on the turns and wins by 31/2L at 9F will be capable of recording a competitive time over 10F.

Pulpit was the sire of Derby runner up Ice Box. Mineshaft another son of A P Indy sired Derby runner up Nehro.

Quiet American was the sire of Derby winner Real Quiet. He is the dam sire of Mr. Palmer.

Mr. Palmer's 2nd dam was sire by Believe It who was also the broodmare sire of Real Quiet.

If this one is not capbale of getting 10F in a competitive time none will.

26 Mar 2013 11:46 AM
Rusty Weisner

The Deacon,

Regarding the Wood, I'm thinking of last year's winner, Gemologist, more than any others during this "jinx", even Eskendereya.  He had a light campaign as a 3-yo -- an Alw and the Wood, and was ruined in the Derby.  I had Gemologist on tickets as one of five possible winners in the Derby last year; this has left me prejudiced against Pletcher's methods and this profile of a lightly raced 3-yo.  If Verrazano wins (I will probably refrain from betting the race, as I don't want to try to beat him here) I'll be looking for how to bet against him in the Derby.  I'm also wondering about Revolutionary's soundness -- the long break after the Withers and then the strange spot in the Lousiana Derby make we wonder.  So I'll bet against him in the Lousiana Derby, especially as there seem to be three live locals and Pletcher's other horse.

26 Mar 2013 12:01 PM
Rusty Weisner


I like the chances of this Narvaez to hit the board.  I like that you point out the trainer of Reveron and the late TC nomination, and I liked his last, chasing down speed.  Itsmyluckyday is going to leave wreckage, and a horse like this can pick up some pieces.

26 Mar 2013 12:08 PM
Rusty Weisner

I think the Bluegrass will be a negative race for the Derby.  Lots of last-ditch shots at points, lots of synth and turfy horses.

I just read that Black Onyx is shipping to CD already.

26 Mar 2013 12:33 PM

 I give up.

 When you can’t see the value of a lightly raced horse such as in the case of “Govenor Charlie”,-- the ‘Cadillac in the barn’ theory-- who possesses both speed and breeding and the fact he will be healthy come May the 4th. When you don’t see that in “Black Onyx” and that 3 of the top 4 finishers in a Spiral are bred for the Belmont. When you still list horses in your “dozen” that have no “BHXFG” strain link, and etc., I just plain give up in attempting to sway you that your dozen is not only way off, but that it is just plain flat out ridiculous at this point.

 And it’s not so much that a horse without one “BHXFG” link can’t be a competitive racehorse, it’s that over the last 25 years the majority of the winners of the Kentucky Derby were on average bred 2-3 times to those links. Furthermore, those 2 in your dozen are going to in the least have to step into the Kentucky Derby--should they still get there,--competing against 18 others that do have those links, and many multiple more times so linked and some up to 9-11 times more than the mere 2-3 average. And furthermore, and a good majority with those links will have “Cosquilla” on their dam side, additionally further strengthening their dam sides via the “Prince Rose” line.

  This last “dozens listing” looks to me like it was made up before the results of the Spiral and the Sunland Derby were in. I told you earlier that I wasn’t sure we’d seen the Kentucky Derby winner yet. At this point we MAY well have. Again, how can you dismiss “Govenor Charlie” compared to many of those others on your present list ??? How can you dismiss “Black Oynx” under ranking him below many on your list ??? With some respectable showing by “Departing” be dismissed by you also or praised because you once mentioned him as among those in your vast ‘sack of potatoes’ list ??? Like I said, “I give up”. I don’t get your thinking anymore. Support to certain ownership groups ??? certain trainers ??? loyalty to old time friends ??? … whatever, … Proper changes to earlier lists I got, carrying certain horses right up to the last week in April because of some earlier loyalty or some other odd loyalty where logic says otherwise, I clearly don’t understand and see no point attempting to sway you otherwise from this point onward.

  The apparent present logic behind arriving at a true Kentucky Winner,--not just some list of 12 reasonable horses a few that are assured a gate slot,--almost looks at this point that you, much like Battaglia, and other sports writers and speculators are out and out, out there to mislead the public. And that you’re no longer out there truly looking for or pointing out the true several real competitors for the crown that will wear the roses come May the 4th. Off of last weeks racing results alone this dozen is a joke. In fact, it is almost as funny as DRF’s Watchmaker ranking horses via CD Pool returns !!! ???

  And someone please inform Dick Downey that his sight is not accessible, that viewing his lists has a bug that shuts down viewing them before the horses listed are even visible.

  I likely won’t see you gals and guys at the window come May the 4th, but if you’re intent on betting anything close to Steve’s top 12 listed as this week’s picks, GOOD LUCK !!! Where let it be known now, that I for one WILL BE one likely of many BETTING AGAINST YOU.      

26 Mar 2013 12:44 PM

Coldfacts I have an opinion on salix,I think it can be considered a PE or an anti-bleeding agent, which most use so to the owners it could be an advantage that can help their ownership interests.

IMO Salix is a substance that the regulators want to ban because IT IS USED TO MASK OTHER CHEMICALS,which might be well known or might not.

Those that are owners or trainers argue that it is an anti bleeding agent but they dont include that it masks other chemicals when stating their case.I dont disagree with the beneficial uses of the drug its the masking part of it that I am stronly against.

Who knows what other concoctions are presently being used I dont do you?

26 Mar 2013 12:50 PM

I do not see any mentions in here yet, so everyone beware......once War Academy hits the boards the buzz will change yet again.  Bob Baffert has quite a stable full this year and will be taking down stakes races all over the country.  If anyone deserves a triple crown winner under his belt he does.  

26 Mar 2013 12:54 PM

Since the Florida Derby will have a relatively small field my earlier statement that only one of the top two finishers of the Holy Bull would make it to the gate in the KD is probably going to be wrong, but stranger thing have happened in a race that takes less than 2 minutes to complete.

26 Mar 2013 12:54 PM


Honestly all your pedigree and time machine angles plays a very little role to me in my handicapping.

History has taught me they run the race for a reason.

Also every horse in the Derby can get the distance,just some are faster than others getting their.

26 Mar 2013 1:28 PM

I don't see any similarities between Gemologist & Verrazano except being undefeated at this point.  Verrazano will be improved off of the TB Derby so it would be wise for Vyjack to be within 3 - 5 lengths of him throughout.  Java's War's brilliant close showed that Big V can get too far in front w/o depleting his tank & fall way short of heading him.  If Vyjack is within himself being just off the pace, he's got the guts to make it interesting.  If Vyjack stays w Verrazano it will be an epic race.  Vyjack's workout this weekend was huge!

Midnight Lucky looks like the best 3 yr old in the country.  This could be a Rachel type year again.  

26 Mar 2013 2:19 PM

The FLA Derby is not a small field.

It's a Million dollar race!!!

There are 9 going as of this morning. You gotta be in it to win it!

26 Mar 2013 2:54 PM
tom mallios

johnny.kudos.i have been saying it all along.all horses can get a distance.some and many do it much faster.i will give you an example.when jj toner had memories of silver.she always beat the tom skiffington filly when they ran 1 1/8.when the 2 ran 1 1/4 skiffingtons filly would win.all said,memories of silver cant win past 1 1/8.if you saw the speed figues. silver was 2 lengths faster going 1 1/4.just the other horse ran faster.

26 Mar 2013 3:17 PM
Plod Boy Phil



I was at Charismatic's last four races of his career and do not recall him being so close at the stretch call. Had a feeling that Mine That Bird may have been so as I recall him making a big move on the turn to be a forward factor before flattening out from the premature move.

26 Mar 2013 4:15 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Bigtex -

Midnight Lucky will not even win the Oaks,  never mind beat the best colts in the country. Bejarano asked for much more horses than people are willing to see. She beat absolutely nothing in either win.  The runner up was a modestly talented Cal bred and the other speed was a filly whose last race was earned on a notably speed biased sloppy track.

26 Mar 2013 4:24 PM
classic go go

To Steve Haskin , after making so many lists, over many weeks, amongst many years, and given the pedigree information you avail to all readers, remain amazed at your amenable demeanor

A lot of these posters , many of which obviously are studious horse racing enthusiasts, give themselves more outs than a twenty inning baseball game or andy serling in a five horse race at aqueduct.

Great coverage !

26 Mar 2013 4:48 PM

Too many contenders, too little to work off of....but that's the Derby!

I haven't become attached to a horse yet, but Goldencents and Oxbow would serve me best in my Futures wagers.

Orb is the horse I have "a feeling" about.

Would love to see Tiz a Minister get in the Derby.

26 Mar 2013 5:05 PM

Johnny when so-called breeding experts such as Coldfacts use the term getting the distance,inotherwords it is a form of elitism, in that he proclaims to have some esoteric knowledge that we horseplayers dont.

That knowledge might have been more of an asset when there was no internet and high speed connections to it.

26 Mar 2013 6:22 PM

Secreteriat thanx for the update on the FD, if there arent many tomatoe cans in that 9 horse field one of the top two from the Holy Bull might not make it to the KD ,otherwise the exacta will pay $15 or less for a 2 dollar ticket.

26 Mar 2013 6:30 PM
Steve Haskin

Classic GoGo, I remain amenable by pretty much staying out of the way. I try my best to explain my rankings in the comments and leave it at that. So, I just let the hardcore posters go back and forth and debate the merits of the horses. The comments that are insulting and demeaning dont get published.

26 Mar 2013 6:35 PM


"Honestly all your pedigree and time machine angles plays a very little role to me in my handicapping."

If you scroll through Mr. Haskin's DD you will note that below each horse's name is the name of its sire, dam and dam sire.

Unless I am wrong, that represents a listing of pedigree.

The are several measurement that are recoded during a race. Internal Fractions and final times appear to be the most pertinent bits of information.

Pace makes the race.

I am  not exclusive in the citing of pedigree and times.

The information contained in my posts is not provided to aid in handicapping.

26 Mar 2013 6:44 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

There is no way I can do any better than Steve's list. He's obviously done his homework and after doing mine I think the top 7,8 or 9 on his list is correct and very strong. Casandra.Says, The Deacon, and Ted from LA, thnaks for the info.

26 Mar 2013 6:49 PM

Plod Boy Phil

Re Midnight Lucky, I see nothing wrong w your point.  I'm looking at her from a different angle.  I saw a 1:41 without breaking a sweat.  Her previous race was much the same.  She will win the KY Oaks.  

26 Mar 2013 6:58 PM

"classic go go" - ditto! and I love the Serling comment.

26 Mar 2013 7:09 PM
tom mallios


personally the comments are just that have your opinion as you state and others have theirs.i commend you on your articles because of the number of me that is the best put out a product that makes people those who post comments not worthy of posting.get a real life

26 Mar 2013 7:22 PM
The Deacon

Aw Steve isn't a good verbal fray fun once in awhile?

Kidding aside I agree with you. Lenny sure gets worked up on ATO.......

26 Mar 2013 7:24 PM

For me, last weekend didn't change anything.  I was not overly impressed with Black Onyx as the time was slow.  Conversely, I was not overly impressed with Gov. Charlie as fast times all day indicated the track was really souped up for Sunland Park's biggest day of Thoroughbred racing.

That said, Midnight Lucky looked truly awesome.  Did I hear this was only her second lifetime start?

The 100 point races coming up should help to clarify matters. Of course, we thought there would be clarification before the Derby last year and it didn't happen.  This is   what I am hoping to learn.  Is Verrazano the real deal?  Was Shanghai Bobby just a talented 2-yr old?  Will Shug be going to Louisville with his best shot since Easy Goer?  Will the West coast horses prove superior again this year? Of course we won't know the answer to my last question until Derby day.

26 Mar 2013 8:23 PM

joseph alva, you are so wrong about Revolutionary.  The Louisiana Derby, which state I live in, is an excellent spot for him.  Closers do well at the Fair Grounds; the stretch is very long.

Rinzler, correct, Gulfstream favors front runners; not where Revolutionary belongs.

Zarvona, love your post.  I'm not betting on any horse without the Princequillo line on the dam side of the pedigree; preferably the broodmare sire's female line.  A horse might be able to steal the Kentucky Derby, but not the Belmont.

Govenor Charlie, Black Onyx, Revolutionary, and Hear the Ghost are very much at the top of my list. These horses were bred for distance.  Even though Govenor Charlie is lightly raced; I gotta go with that fantastic pedigree and the speed that he showed in the Spiral.

Steve, I love all of these horses; just disagree with you on a few.

I bid you all a good evening; and of course, pleasant horse dreams.

26 Mar 2013 8:34 PM

Johnny, what are you talking about.  I could run in the Derby and get the distance.  All of the horses would get there faster than me, but eventually I would cross the finish line.  Your comment makes absolutely no sense.  LOL!

I wish you an wonderful evening full of laughs.

26 Mar 2013 8:42 PM

Coldfacts, Please don't forget that Mr. P also ran down pedestrian fractions and  clocked his  last 1/8 in 12 3/5 over a dull track. Junior A. looked real comfy and Mr. P. leveled off and was tearing up dirt the last 200 yds. Mr. Mott cannot be underestimated.

26 Mar 2013 8:50 PM
It aint easy being good!

I will be rooting for Palace Malice this weekend. Even though I am not a pletcher fan he is flying way under the radar and has the perfect race pattern for the derby. Think about it he is bred to go long he is a son of a champion and should get better the older he gets. Yeah you can say that with almost every horse but he is BRED by CURLIN! Possibly the best horse in the past 10 years. If Usain Bolt has kids and they run track what do you think is going to happen? BOOM! HAHA!

26 Mar 2013 8:53 PM

hirize, Shanghai Bobby and Orb may do well in the triple crown races, but their pedigrees beg to differ.  Both were unequivocably bred for speed.

26 Mar 2013 9:00 PM

I'm just not excited about this crop of 3-year-olds. We're gonna start to see some limitations for alot of these horses this weekend. 126 lbs. on the first Sat. in May is 126 lbs. at a 1 1/4 mi. on the first Sat. in May; and I'm not seeing any horse up to this task...maybe "Orb".

26 Mar 2013 9:05 PM
Pedigree Ann

I share your outrage about the JC allowing a new War Relic. But I have been outraged over that few years over a new Maggie B. B. (dam of winners of THE Derby in England, the Belmont and the Preakness in the 19th Century, foundress of a glorious female family) and a new Bramalea (won the CCA Oaks in 1962 and dam of Roberto).

It's as though the person in charge of vetting names is totally ignorant of the history of the breed.

26 Mar 2013 9:21 PM
Forbidden Apple

1)ITSMYLUCKYDAY 2)HEAR THE GHOST 3)ORB 4)Flashback 5)Shanghai Bbby 6)Revolutionary 7)Verrazano 8)Vyjack 9)Frac Daddy 10)Speak Logistics 11)Black Onyx 12)Governor Charlie 13)Incognito

Itsmyluckyday is primed to run away and hide in the FL Derby. I see Orb running down Shanghai Bobby for second. I like Frac Daddy, I just don't know if he is good enough to hit the board.

Revolutionary has plenty to prove in LA, not sold on him at a short price.

UAE Derby, did Fortify retire?

26 Mar 2013 9:37 PM
Uncle Smiley

I think this may be the year Rosie Napravnik makes her mark.

To bring it back to horses, Shanghai Bobby should run better than Pants on Fire...

Well I hope...

Cold Facts... Be gentle!


26 Mar 2013 9:55 PM

Your top two don't have a chance getting 10f... I really hope they make the gate in May

26 Mar 2013 10:00 PM
Greg R

Do we have to give up on Overanalyze completely or can we make an allowance for rustiness in his comeback and grant that he has a right to move forward appreciably?  Pletcher seems still to give him credit for his effort in the Remsen.  The Remsen hasn't played much of a role in the Derby picture for ages, has it?  When do we give up on 2012's Remsen? OR, if you still like Normandy Invasion, why not Overanalyze?

26 Mar 2013 10:02 PM
Greg R

I see the top three in the Florida Derby as being pretty even in that race.

Shanghai Bobby has had a race to sharpen up, so if he improves 2 or 3 lengths, he's right there with IMLD.

On the other hand, IMLD could keep improving and may have a slight edge at nine furlongs.

Orb may have their measure at the end, but don't look for him to be as good on a track like Gulfstream's at nine furlongs as he'd be at Churchill at ten.  If he can outclass them even at this point, look out Louisville.

26 Mar 2013 10:15 PM

Steve: Thanks for your list and comments.

Florida Derby:

We will see Bobby begin to run to his breeding as the 9F will get the best of him against the speed of Merit Man with Frac Daddy and Itsmyluckyday pushing them.  The owners and TP will see they have a good middle/ miler and point him to those races.  

Itsmyluckyday will best those but will not be able to keep the improving Orb from running him down.  This race is setting up perfectly for the "Cold-Hearted Orb."

Louisiana Derby:

This full field of point needers sets up the big test for the exceptional colt Revolutionary.  WinStar and TP know what they have and have him placed correctly.  Trying to keep his charges separated has earned TP this year's juggling award, with BB a close second.  No need to put Revolutionary in against the likes of Orb and Itsmyluckyday nor to run him against his stablemate Verrazano and Vyjack.  The Louisiana Derby fits his race timetable perfectly.  

Revolutionary, at least through his Withers, looks to me as a playful kid still trying to figure out what he's doing out there.  He ran with his head up high looking around, nowhere close to the level strides of his competition.  Last at the top of the stretch with a high head, Javier Castellano, finally guided him into a path where Revolutionary could finally begin to stride out, not smoothly, inside the 1/16 pole as John Imbriale announced.  The colt dug in,split horses, head still up, ears flicking, eyed his last rival, went by him, gaining the lead nearing the wire, and put his ears straight up as if to say "is that all there is?  Dang!  I was just beginning to run."

This colt has a huge upside if TP has been able to get him to "run", not play during his morning lessons.  Let's sees if this guy has matured.  If so he will best this field and I will not be surprised to see TP run 1-2 with Palace Malice.  Revolutionary is an agile colt, able to adjust quickly to the trouble that finds him.  Let's hope he's learned his morning lessons.  If and when he fugures it all out, watch out.

If trouble finds Revolutionary in this large field and he can't overcome it, I look for Palace Malice, Code West and Departing to be there.


I appreciate your knowledge and facts but I have a question.  Do you like Mr. Palmer because he fits your coldfacts or because that's your name.  If it's because of your name, I think that's great because sometimes we have to go with something more than facts.  That's one thing that makes this game so much fun.  In fact, I will predict that Vyjack will finish ahead of Mr. Palmer in the Wood.

Good Luck to all!    

26 Mar 2013 10:16 PM
joseph alva


Maybe you're right about Pletcher not running Revolutionary in the Florida Derby because of the way the track indeed tends to favor early speed, but going with a closer in that large Louisiana Derby field strikes me as a higher risk to pick up needed points than the Florida route.  Apparently the size of the Florida Derby field now seems to be growing since a blogger reported that there are presently nine listed to go in that contest.  My hunch, however, is that Pletcher deems Revolutionary inferior to some of his other stock and thus his winter racing in NY rather than Florida.  

27 Mar 2013 1:22 AM

"Yeah you can say that with almost every horse but he is BRED by CURLIN!" [it aint easy being good]

Curlin is not looking like a very successful sire at the moment. Yes, we might expect his foals to improve with age and distance, but that's IMPROVE, not fail to break their maidens for a year and suddenly become stakes winners. Curlin has 104 three-year-olds. I would expect 10 stakes horses by now, and three or four looking like they might wind up G1 performers, if Curlin was going to be the best second crop sire, let alone reach the top of the general sire list in the next few years.

27 Mar 2013 3:34 AM

Anybody else think Zarvona and Coldfacts would make a cute couple?

27 Mar 2013 3:50 AM

If you scroll through Mr. Haskin's DD you will note that below each horse's name is the name of its sire, dam and dam sire.

Unless I am wrong, that represents a listing of pedigree.

I am very aware of that thank you.

Mary is that a touch of sarcasm?

Yes I could get a mile and a quarter as well but you would probably beat me to the line.

My mothers side has endurance my father was a sprinter.

Now my great grandfather on my mothers side that's a whole. different story.

27 Mar 2013 8:17 AM

I think in the last two years I have only disagreed with the DD on one point,that Bodemeister had more upside than Creative Cause.

I think that is it, if not let me know.I am not here to argue about my picks or anyone else's.I will make picks against someone else for fun, as a practice for what I am, a horseplayer,besides this board is already occupied with posters who love to argue minute points, and they salivate every week for S. Haskin to make any small mistake, so they can bring it up along with their own agendas.

27 Mar 2013 9:33 AM


Kindly revisit my post dated 26 Mar 2013 11:46 AM.

Mr. Palmer's pedigree and running style suggests he will be very competitive at 10F.

His sire Pulpit has sired some excellent routers. Tapit - Wood Memorial (G1,,9F), Ice Box - FL Derby (G1,,9F) and Corinthian - Gulfstream Park H.(G2,GP,9.5F) to cite a few.

Mr. Palmer's dam sire Quiet American is an elite broodmare sire.  He has been broodmare sire of 16 stake winners including Bernardini & Saint Liam.

As you area aware Quiet American was the sire of 1998 Derby winners Real Quiet. Derby winning sires rarely double as Derby winning broodmare sires. However, The great Native Dancer and  Triple Crown winner Count Fleet have been successful as both. It's possible!

His second dam was sired by Believe It who was dam sire of the aforementioned Derby winner Real Quiet. Believe It was a son of In Reality whose other son Smile was dam sire of Derby winner Smarty Jones.

There is enough stamina and Derby history in Mr. Palmer's pedigree to make him a legitimate Derby contender.

Are his speed figures what I would like them to be? No! However, he appears to be improving rapidly  and he did break his maiden at The Big A.

In my opinion his best race was  his loosing effort to Long River. At your leisure revisit that video and focus on the final furlong. You will see how a true router levels out and an example of a sustained gallop.

I must admit the existence of sentiments in my support for the rapidly improving colt. However, he merits more than namesake sentiments.

27 Mar 2013 9:50 AM


Cute used as an adjective needs to be place in context.

Cute as Appealing and Delightful, Charming would certainly not offend.

Any other context would be.

27 Mar 2013 9:56 AM

Just a note here for those of you who are totally unaware.......This remark will not be welcomed by a lot of Todd Pletcher's Owners......Pletcher is the [Largest Money Winner] by Trainers, practically every year.......There's a reason for that......He [TRAINS] for the Big Money Races, which are dominated by the length of the races being Nine Furlongs and under.......This is the reason he does not Dominate the Triple Crown Races and the Breeders' Cup Classic......His Horses are not trained to go the 10 Furlongs and longer.......It's all about the MONEY......And, there's certainly nothing wrong with going after the MONEY.............Thanks, Vance13

27 Mar 2013 10:16 AM


"I was not overly impressed with Black Onyx as the time was slow."

Your statement above caught my attention as similar sentiments were expressed elsewhere.  

The cold facts below might provide some perspective on Black Onyx’s performance.

The 2013, 2012 & 2011 Spiral winners are listed below:

Black Onyx – 1:51.98 (? Derby)

Went The Day Well – 1:51.33 (4th in Derby)

Animal Kingdom - 1:52.32 (1st in Derby)

Animal Kingdom was second in an Allowance race contested over 8F on turf prior to his Spiral victory. The race was completed in 1:34.66.

Went The Day Well won a 1 1/6M MSW on dirt in a good  time of 1:44.78 prior to his Spiral victory.

Black Onyx won a 1 1/6M Allowance on Turf in a time of 1:40.99

Ignoring track variances for each year of the Spiral renewal, Black Onyx recorded a faster time than Animal Kingdom and a marginally slower time than Went The Day Well.

While times can be viewed as insignificant, there is no doubt that Black Onyx defeated one of the strongest Spiral field assembled since the installation of the Synthetic surface at TP.

He was also much faster than both previous winners in his race preceding his Spiral win.

27 Mar 2013 10:18 AM


I agree with you on Shanghai Bobby being bred for speed.  When I see horses like Mt. Livermore and Carson City on the bottom side it tells me speed speed speed.  I also think it is indicative in his races.  There was no doubt in his sprint races last year who was superior.  He was just much the best in those 1 turn races.  However, once he went 2 turns it has been a struggle.  Although he won the BCJuvenile around 2 turns it looked to be a struggle to hold off what seems to be now a very weak bunch.  That race at the top of the lane looked like a bunch sprinters running 2 turns, with all just hanging on for life crying wire wire wire!

As for Orb, I totally disagree with the speed breeding.  I see enough distance top to bottom to indicate to me he is a stayer. I think it is also showing in his races.  Once he start running 2 turns he has gotten better.  I see horses like Unbridled, Cox's Ridge and AP Indy in his pedigree to suggest distance. I think he is bred for distance on dirt or turf.

Orb's numbers continues to increase every race but that is not the most important factor to me.  The most impressive aspect of Orb's races has been the fact he has been able to close and make his run on a track that is built on speed.  He has run through the track bias.  Closers don't win at Gulf. His 1 1/8 race at Gulf although slow numbers wise, was probably his best race considering he got shut off in the first turn, with no pace and still was able to close a win.  He got pace in the FOY and we know what happened there. I expect him to close the same way Saturday and win again.

27 Mar 2013 11:06 AM
It aint easy being good!

Cassanda.says: How about some patience! Curlin's babys are doing just fine. I dont hear much splash about big brown these days as a sire either. Curlin will have his first champion on Saturday get ready. Palace Malice is for real and knowing his name comes the 2004 Indiana Pacers Brawl with Ron Artest I like him even more!

27 Mar 2013 11:11 AM
Age of Reason

Were you being facetious, Mary? Orb, by A.P. Indy son Malibu Moon out of an Unbridled mare, "unequivocally bred for speed"? Do elaborate!

27 Mar 2013 11:13 AM

in louisiana derby looks like logical exacta of revolutionary/palace malice. hope to see revolutionary more prominent early then i can grade his ability to pounce after running at good pace.

27 Mar 2013 11:42 AM

Cassandra.Says : No, but I think zarvona and KY VET are twins....

27 Mar 2013 12:41 PM

Do cold facts meat anything?  

Listed below are the fastest 9Fs run on dirt by 3YOs at Gulfstream Park in 2013.

Cerro: 47.64, 1:11.65, 1:37.10 1:50.29

Freedom Child: 46.83, 1:11.56, 1:376.33, 1:50.96

Pick of the Litter: 46.86, 1:10.78, 1:36.34, 1:49.35 (2nd Start)

Orb 49.11, 13.58, 1:37.69, 1:51.05 (5th Start)

Pick of the Litter was by far the fastest over this distance at the track. The above time was recoded in his 2nd start.

Orb who is the third choice based on the MLs, record his time in his 5th start.

Pick of the Litter appeared much stronger than Orb in the last furlong of his race.

Assuming the race will be run in 1:48 and a bit, if Pick Of The Litter has made the expected improvements, he will be very serious opponents in the FL Derby.

I know the time comparison will be discounted on the ground of the unknown track variances in operation during each race.  However, the 2nd place horse behind POTL was 7 1/2L away.

POTL's ML is only 6-1 and it appears his MSW win did not go unnoticed.

27 Mar 2013 1:51 PM

Black Onyxx ran on an AW track and race that played like a dirt track.The colts that sped to the front were the ones that finished 1-2-3-4 the ONLY exception was Mac the Man who was eased.

I am not going to argue about Black Onyxx chances in the Derby,but to compare him to Animal Kingdom on the basis of the Spiral is to use an analogy a fielders choice(you make the call)

27 Mar 2013 2:04 PM
It aint easy being good!

Coldfacts those are some good cold hard facts about black Onyx thanks for the insight. I dont know if you watched his race but he ran extremely wide on both turns he probably ran 1 1/2 the way he ran and still won. I have heard he is being shipped to churchill soon to gear up for the derby.

27 Mar 2013 2:37 PM

I do believe I've already told everyone for the past several weeks about Declan's Warrior, Narvaez, and Black Onyx.  

I loved Rock Hard Ten.  I really like Black Onyx.  He didn't set the pace, Mac did.  Onyx started moving up on the outside and kept on going.  I was most impressed by his stride, which seemed to get longer with each jump. He looks sizeable, and he's really handsome.  However, (the caveat) RH10 sires runners who excel on turf.  Do I have doubts about the dirt Derby?  Anyone remember Doubles Partner? Best Actor? New Madrid?  They were all RH10s' who were on the Derby trail, but switched back to turf. But I still like Black Onyx...I see possibilities.

Govenor Charlie ran great; he's on the rise, and bears watching.

As far as Crop Report being impressive....against what?  He had little competition, and he came in 3rd to Black Onyx at Gulfstream.  Fast yes...but he had no traffic.

My Dozen continues unchanged, but if Transparent doesn't step up soon, I may replace him with Black Onyx.

I see Narvaez drew post 10 in the Florida Derby.  He's very competitive, and ran in a dead heat with Declan's Warrior 7.5f in 129:74, at Gulfstream....which might be faster than Orb, who has been previously beaten by Vyjack.

I'm most looking forward to the Wood and the Florida Derby.  Top talent in both fields....and a few of my favorites in each.  

For me, Revolutionary doesn't need to win in NOLA, but he does need a win to get his points.  I simply don't trust Fair Grounds never carries over to other tracks.

I think simply that Revolutionary is an intelligent, very athletic, champion in the making.

In LA, I'll stand by Revolutionary, and in the Florida, Orb and Narvaez exacta.


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 2 weeks ago.

27 Mar 2013 2:51 PM

Itsmyluckyday will be too good for rivals in the Florida Derby without even firing his best shot. Shanghai Bobby is going all out for the win but will again fall short. Frac Daddy could surprise for a minor place while Orb is out for the workout (not to be fully extended).

Code West should cool the enthusiasm for Revolutionary in the La. Derby.

Flashback is tipped to be a ghostbuster in the Santa Anita Derby and to roar back into contention among the kentucky derby elite.

In the Wood Memorial, Vyjack will be in an all drive to stay in contention with a cruising wonder horse, Verrazano, otherwise he'll lose by a cityblock, coming from way back. I dont think that Johnny V will need to switch on the afterburners but if he does with a cock of the stick, the points system might become much ado about nothing when all is said and done. Enjoy this colt folks and wish him best of health.

When the Arkansas derby comes around don't Overanalyze, he'll do it for you this time.

I don't know how good Dice Flavour is but his performance in the UAE Derby is eagerly awaited.

Elsewhere on the Dubai World Cup card, look for outstanding performances from the americans this year: Little Mike, Trinniberg and the trio of Royal Delta, Animal Kingdom and Dullahan. The World Cup premier event should be a very interesting as the antepost favourite Hunter's Light is a very good horse with an awesome pedigree. Spring is truly here!!!

27 Mar 2013 3:14 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I think we can get the 10f but will the lights still be one when we cross the finish line? To make it interesting I think we should see how many mint juleps we can drink on the 10f crawl. That will be the true test of a champion. A mind julep for every furlong  sounds about right for a champion. I'm definitely bred for that from my sire. The teetotaler on the bottom is irrelevant in my estimation.

27 Mar 2013 3:23 PM

Dr. D et al:  if you change that to a bottle of (good) wine every furlong, I've already got the points to make it into the starting gate.

P.S.  I was a 220 (200 m.) runner in high school.  Does that make me only the equivalent of a miler?  Doesn't matter: with the genetics from my grandsires on both sides, I have vast drinking and running abilities, no matter how far we go.

(Looks like Ontario racing is OK for a few years -- politicians didn't get to kill it yet)

27 Mar 2013 4:46 PM

IAEBG you are correct Black Onyx is the first at Churchill Downs BIG ADVANTAGE dont you think

27 Mar 2013 5:06 PM

coldfacts-nice analysis of fla. derby. i also think you will see the very best possible from shangbob who strung together a bunch of wins last year.

27 Mar 2013 6:47 PM

Im a single malt guy.

A good party and drinking I will never turn down.

Challenge accepted.

I must worn you though if the track turns up muddy my grandmother was a mudder on my fathers side.

Great card at Gulfstream Saturday.

27 Mar 2013 7:12 PM

I think the LA Derby is wide open.  A Trifecta of Departing, Code West, and Ground Support in no particular order wouldn't surprise me at all.  Would love to see a Curlin shine big & I love Revolutionary but this is a legit tough race!  Are we overlooking another long shot here???  The Handicap race prior looks VERY interesting, too!

27 Mar 2013 7:27 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


 I think I might use a rickshaw and have KY VET pull me. I'll even use one of the new, gentler whips. If he gets the 10f I'll pay him at the end with a handicapping tip.

27 Mar 2013 8:01 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Coldfacts -

I'm well aware of your love of the impressive MSW stepping up to face better.  However,  the Florida Derby field is far more talented than that which Govonor Charlie faced in New Mexico last weekend.

Cerro, Freedom Child and Pick of the Litter did not face the likes of Graded Stakes winners Itsmy, Orb, Bobby.  Pick of the Litter just won an 'off the turf' 9f race beating a field of 4 that was headed by Overwhelming and Moro Tap, who were a combined 0-7 with one 2nd place finish. 'Pick' will be in a state of shock when he becomes aware that the group he's circling with in the paddock are the horses he's supposed to run against.  The notion that final times achieved against children will be replicated against growing men is simply unrealistic.  

27 Mar 2013 8:51 PM

For those who replied to my comment about Black Onyx race time for the Spiral; I readily admit a bias against horses coming out of preps on a synthetic surface.  I still haven't learned to handicap those races and have no idea how to compare preps on a dirt track against preps on synthetic surface.  I'll take your word the time was good for that track and thanks for the education.

27 Mar 2013 8:51 PM
El Kabong

Cassandra, Jay Jay,

After a long day of toiling in the shire pea patch, I finally had a chance to sit down and review some good thoroughbred jabberwocky. But you too are killing me with the cupid comments. And uhhh for what it's worth, Jay Jay is correct! :)

27 Mar 2013 9:11 PM

hirize, Unbridled, bred for speed.  Cox's Ridge is not on the Chefs-de-Race list.  AP Indy is on the top side of Orb's pedigree.  Orb IMO was bred for speed.  

27 Mar 2013 9:28 PM

Slew, I will be at the Fair Grounds for the Louisiana Derby.  I'm going with Revolutionary, and hopefully a long shot.  I placed a bet on Hero of Order last year and won $400 on a simple $2 bet to win, place, show.  LOL.  Long shots were winning on that day.

27 Mar 2013 10:08 PM

I think a few of us are suffering from Derby fever.

Johnny, Dr. D., mz:

 If there is to be a 10f crawl at CD on Derby Day, I have to be considered the morning line favorite because I start early in the morning.  My pp's say it all.  After my experience at the 2011 Derby, my(wife's) comment line read: bourbon; emotional, blathering idiot.  It was a good thing I got my bets down early.  If I go postward in the 10f crawl, I'll do a mint julep for the first furlong, then switch to Vodka for each of the other 9.  My comment line will read: Reserved early, Woodford MJ, finished evenly.    

27 Mar 2013 10:14 PM

I think that England has the best horses in the world, and it is a drug/lasix free zone.  I personally don't think that lasix will make a horse run faster, but it can help a horse with serious bleeding issues to perform at it's optimum abilities.  I like the angle submitted by one blogger, that said perhaps lasix is used to mask the use of other illegal drugs.  I've heard Baffert say before that many of his owners would leave the sport if there was a ban on lasix use.

Footbridge may have talent, but his submissive personality will keep him from winning at the highest levels at this time.  He had Governor Charlie, and Curly Top both beat at midstretch in successive races until the alpha horses imposed their will upon Footbridge and gutted him.

Too bad that Dice Flavor had stomach issues upon arriving in Dubai. Hopefully he doesn't toss in a clunker.  The horse he beat in his last (Nina's Dragon) has a chance to light up the board Saturday in Louisiana.  Couton is an excellent jock from off the pace.

27 Mar 2013 11:18 PM

Since the Wood was changed from 8.5F to 9F in 1952 only two trainers have won on consecutive occasions. Lucien Laurin, 1972 - 1973 and Barclay Tagg, 2007 - 2008.

None of those winners went on to win the Kentucky Derby.

If Mr. Petcher win the 2013 Wood he will join the two above as he scored with Gemologist in the 2012 renewal of the race.  

Interestingly, if Uncle Mo had not been a flop in 2011, Mr. Pletcher would have been the only trainer to win three in a row at 9F as he scored with Esdendereya in 2010.

For the 4th consecutive year a horse from Mr. Pletcher’s barn will enter the Wood as the ML favorite. It will be 3rd consecutive year that the ML favorite will be undefeated entering the Wood.

Esdendereya like so many other Wood winners did not make the Derby due to injury. Uncle Mo finished 3rd and did not make the derby. Gemologist made the Derby and finished 18th.

Based on the record of Mr. Pletcher’s Wood favorites and winners, would anyone be willing to take a chance on VARRAZANO in the Derby if in the unlikely event he wins the Wood?  

I would not be that brave as the cold facts do not lie.

28 Mar 2013 1:27 AM


I have missed your insightful inputs; great overviews of the FL Derby, LA Derby, Wood and SA Derby.

As usual I disagree with your predictions.

Dale Romans might get some excellent news in Dubai but it might just be from the US.  What Pick of the Litter lacks in experience he has in ability. He is a big strapping colt with a lot of pace and stamina. Any significant improvement from his last start will make him a formidable opponent.

Narvaez is another colt that will make the race interesting. I do not anticipate any crazy time like 1:47 and consequently the race will be closer than you think.

It is unlike you to pick against a Pletcher horse. Code West over Revolutionary! No Love for Palace malice!

This prep is rarely won by favorites and longshots are always in the mix.

That stated Departing is an interesting colt. As you are aware his trainer took down your wonder horse Quality Road and the wonder mare Zenyatta. It therefore means if he has the goods he can deliver it.

I have been on Revolutionary for a while and I will not give up on him until he flops. That quite likely as he is trainer by TP and one never knows when the high octane will have a reverse effect.

His record in preps for 2013 reads 2 from 10.

Flashback to reverse positions on the Ghost! To do that he will have to hear him as ghosts cannot be seen. He did not hear him the last time, what are the chances he will this time?

Your Wood memorial prediction suggests you have no respect for my namesake Mr. Palmer. He is the only mister in the race and this suggest he is a distinguish equine. He will be closing hands over fist for his share.

Normandy Invasion ran a very good race in his last start and will be the horse to beat if he does not surrender too much of and advantge at the start.

Unlike you I am not in a chalky frame of mind.

28 Mar 2013 2:03 AM

Johnny: <g> My respects to your great grandfather.

BIGRED: There is only one Mr. P. and he isn't running this year. How would you like it if somebody told you there was another Big Red, or two?

28 Mar 2013 4:05 AM

In case the worries raised about sperm quality on here were serious:

Yes, it is generally thought that fresh sperm are best, although it is also likely that really old (four days) sperm would not do well in the Night Sea Swim and eliminate themselves.

At the beginning of breeding season this is looked after, although all that is usually necessary is to keep an eye out for dried semen between the forelegs to confirm that the stallion has taken care of it himself.

Overbreeding: Horses breeding 180 mares are not being worked to death nor are their sperm factories. One pregnancy per cover is close to attainable with modern tools and knowledge, replacing two or three covers through two or three heats, not uncommon before the 70s.

28 Mar 2013 4:12 AM


If you see a horse in a field suddenly raise its head, do you think it wants to play or do you think it is alarmed?

I think you missed the start of the Withers. Take a scroll through that race (and his others) slomo head on. He was jerked around a lot in the last half looking for racing room and was fouled by the horse who finished second who cut him off when he was going for one at the 1/16th.

All the interference he's suffered at the gate has come from his inside, so I'm wishing him better treatment with a stablemate inside him this weekend.

28 Mar 2013 4:32 AM

Well played  track jack thanks for the morning laugh.

Now we need some fillies in the crawl...

28 Mar 2013 9:26 AM


 Animal Kingdom won the Kty. Derby. He ran a slower time over the Spiral surface than did "Black Onyx" and never once ran on dirt before the Derby. The particlar surface was created simply to protect the animal's feet. The Spiral surface is thicker and deeper than other some such which creats the supposed slower times. "Black Onyx" started his career on DIRT; moved to the TURF; ran the spiral faster than a previous KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER, "Animal Kingdom", who tool that same route and win to the Derby, and "BLACK ONYX" is NOW already at Churchill Downs beginning to train on the CD dirt, while others are out there still trying to gain a gate slot. DO NOT dismiss such a horse because you are not knowledgable. L E A R N... and you will be a better handicapper; horse picker; and horse follower, and etc.

 WHY MR. Haskin's who has been in this game and this business for x number of years doesn't see through those facts I DON'T UNDERSTAND, but don't let that throw you off. Steve is apparently getting old and bias in his way of thinking, where he also doesn't see that "GOVENOR CHARLIE"  needs no 2 year old foundation to be a competitor to win the Kentucky Derby over 12 horses he has listed as his top choices, where NOT ONE  of those he has listed rates out higher than "GOVENOR CHARLIE" on my breeding scale of being able to handle a greater distance.

So, you don't have to be afraid of a bee or a snake or whatever,  if you don't understand it's nature, just go learn about it and its nature and your fears will soon leave you. That's the power of knowledge. Both "Black Onyx" and "Govenor Charlie" will be solid 'plays' come MAY the 4th barring injury, contrary to Steve leaving them off his coveted dozen's list.

 AND THATS simply  WHAT LOGIC AND KNOWLEDGE tells some of us !!!    

28 Mar 2013 9:45 AM

Just a note: Seattle Slew won the Wood and the Triple Crown.  Enough about the Wood jinx!

Dr. D: If you make it a 10f Pub crawl, I might consider it...but these days, the only part of me in racing condition is my mouth, and occasionally my brain. (though rarely coordinated.)

Mary: Unbridled won the Derby.  He sired Grindstone who won the Derby.  Grindstone sired Birdstone, who won the Belmont.  Birdstone sired Mine That Bird (Derby) and Summer Bird who won the Belmont.  WHAT in that line screams speed to you?  Face it, you simply don't want to like Orb.  It's not a matter of pedigree; it's a matter of opinion! And that's fine.  

When you go to the Fairgrounds I hope you get to see Revolutionary open up that awesome stride; he had no chance to show it in the Withers until the final 2 jumps, but it looked awesome.  And that's a looooooong home stretch.  Hope he has a smarter jockey this out.

28 Mar 2013 10:05 AM
Pedigree Ann

"Mr. Palmer's pedigree and running style suggests he will be very competitive at 10F.

"His sire Pulpit has sired some excellent routers. Tapit - Wood Memorial (G1,,9F), Ice Box - FL Derby (G1,,9F) and Corinthian - Gulfstream Park H.(G2,GP,9.5F) to cite a few."

I don't see how the first statement is supported by the second. Horses who win at 9f routinely fail to win at 10f, very good horses from Olympia to Quality Road.

28 Mar 2013 10:44 AM

Whoa! "Sperm quality worries"?

(Don't worry, Steve.  I've already self-censored. No fun, though, being an adult)

28 Mar 2013 11:26 AM

Plod Boy Phil,

Your input in keeping me honest is always appreciated.

You asserted that NW2 Allowance races should be the next logical step for MSW winners. I highlighted that while this might be the recommended path for some MSW winners, there are some with exceptional ability that can successfully make the transition from MSW level to Graded Stakes level. I cited Violence, Flashback and Uncle Mo as making successful transitions.

I merely correct your assertion. How my position equates to a love for impressive MSW winners entering graded stakes is difficult to understand.

The cold facts simply do not support your assertion, there is no love involved.

28 Mar 2013 11:34 AM

Plod Boy Phil,

You are clearly taking your posting points from the Jersey shores.

“Cerro, Freedom Child and Pick of the Litter did not face the likes of Graded Stakes winners Itsmy, Orb, Bobby”

The strength of the field that each colt faced is irrelevant. Verrazano faced a field of maidens and won by 7L and was hailed as a wonder horse. There were no horses the caliber of Itsmy, Orb or Bobby in the field.

It is unusual for a 3YO in its second start and 1st at 9F to go below 1:50 on dirt. What does the competition have to do with the achievement when the internal fractions were consistent with those of graded stakes races?

“'Pick' will be in a state of shock when he becomes aware that the group he's circling with”

Horses are not afraid of members of their herds. Was the MSW winner Giacomo shocked when he saw Bellamy Road who won the Wood by 17 1/2L in stakes record time?  

If winners of races could be determined by details cited in PPs there would be no need to run them.

“The notion that final times achieved against children will be replicated against growing men is simply unrealistic.“

A rather profound statement that highlights immense ignorance!

POTL is the only 3YO to have gone below 1:50 for 9F on dirt at GP. This mark was achieved in only his 2nd starts and it is to be dismissed and deemed irreplicable because it was achieved against so called children.

When Tiz The Truth won his MSW by 8L in 1:36.28 he was being hailed as the next superstar and made Mr. Haskin’s DD. His final time was not the fastest for the distance amongst his peers at the tack. His victory was achieved against so-called children by it didn’t matter. Was Mr. Haskin being unrealistic when he projected that he would be competitive  in stakes races?

The ML for POTL is 6-1. I guess the person responsible for setting the MLs is being unrealistic as well.

I stated that with expected improvement the colt should be a formidable opponent based on his MSW performance. If he is not so be it.

The internal fractions of his MSW race are consistent with those of graded stakes races.

He certainty belongs!

28 Mar 2013 11:54 AM

re the "cadialac in the barn theory"... I believe the last time we started that discusion was when some close to a $1 mil Keenlander name of "Dunkirk" was lightly races... an AOC; the Fla. Derby; the Kty. Derby; & the Belmont if memory serves, where the horse was simply BRED great and they paid a ton for him and DEAL was the recovery would be in the breeding angle not the racing angle!! so let's not tear him up but lets see what he does !!!  SO that with little 2 year old foundation he not only competed at the highest levels BUT WAS Listed on Steve's Dozen weekly throughtout that entire season. THERE is little difference here with the likes of a "Govenor Charlie" other than they spent less  $$$$$ for him at auction. Will he win the Kty. Derby because he hasn't been run into the gorund the way D.Wayne Lukas's trained charges have been ??? I can't say. But right now, at the end of MARCH. he is a far sounder play to me than any horse Steve has on his current "Dozen's List" based on "BREEDING TO GET DISTANCE" alone.  <--- see thats a PERIOD at the end of that sentence.

28 Mar 2013 11:55 AM

Anyone read: On Amazon:

Profitable Horse Racing Handicapping: How to Maximize Profits and Minimize Losses

Using this strategy the winner of the derby is UNCAPTURED

28 Mar 2013 12:02 PM


“Overbreeding: Horses breeding 180 mares are not being worked to death nor are their sperm factories.”

I have been monitoring stallions that breed 150 mare and over and they have not sired a Derby winner.

Mares bred in 2009 are responsible for the 3YO crop of 2013:

Below are some of the stallions that have bred 180 mare and more:

Giant's Causeway:  194

War Academy

Lion Heart: 180


Medaglia d'Oro:194

Dan’s legacy

Crop report


Candy Ride: 182

Omega Star



Will any of the above win the Derby?

28 Mar 2013 12:20 PM

I'm not a trainer nor do I wish to be, but it seems to me when a trainer such as Todd Pletcher who has so many good horses, trying to place them in the right prep race can be difficult.  Obviously, he knows what he is doing but shipping horses out just to stay away from another horse in barn seems like a bad deal.  If I was an owner I would want my horse at the track they have been training on. I would want to stay there until it is Derby time if proven, instead of shipping out for a better spot.

For instance, Verrazano being shipped to Tampa and then Aqueduct for Wood seems like a bad thing considering he ran amazing races at his home track at Gulfstream.  Why didn't he just wait for the Florida Derby?  Was he keeping him away from SB or was it a points thing?  Now he will be facing a tougher field in the Wood on a new surface, and weather concerns. Don't Make sense to me.  

Also, Revolutionary who has been at Aqueduct the whole time is now being shipped to Louisiana for the La. Derby.  Why not wait for the Wood at his home base?

Same story with Remsen first 3 finshers Overanalyze, Normandy Invastion and Delhomme.  All 3 run lights out at Aqueduct but only 1 of the 3 stayed in New York for their preps.  NI shipped out and lost, Delhomme shipped out and lost.  Now Normandy Invasion is coming back for the Wood where he should have never left.  Don't make sense to me.

My theory is why ship out for no reason if you have a horse that has proven to like their home surface. I think Orb, Itsmyluckyday, Shangai Bobby, Oxbow, Will Take Charge, Flashback and Vyjack will all fair better for staying home.  I predict both Revolutionary and Verrazano will both suffer defeats for not staying home.

28 Mar 2013 12:57 PM

Coldfacts Mr Tagg placed in the Wood and won the Derby.

28 Mar 2013 1:03 PM

Slew; appreciate your support of Orb as a colt with a very nice balance of speed and stamina in his pedigree.  I love everything about this colt, including his connections.  Try as I might, I can't understand Mary's insistence that the top half of a horse's pedigree doesn't count.

I've got to agree with her on Revolutionary though.  He is a fabulous looking colt with a great pedigree.  I sure hope he can avoid trouble and show us what he is capable of.

28 Mar 2013 1:10 PM

We have gotten rid of America’s shirking horse with the banning of steroids When are we going to get rid race day medications?

The drug, called GABA, which is gamma-aminobutyric acid, was banned by the United States Equestrian Federation in 2012.

Racing industry officials are looking into reports that GABA is being administered on race day along with furosemide--the anti-bleeding medication also called Salix or Lasix--or adjunct bleeder medications in states in which private veterinarians administer race-day shots.

28 Mar 2013 1:11 PM


I understand Mr Palmer to be a sentimental choice of yours in the Wood Memorial and I get that, however he will not hit the board my friend ...sorry. More anon.

28 Mar 2013 1:29 PM
Rusty Weisner

For context, here are the winners of runnings of the Bluegrass on the synthetic track:


Brilliant Speed

Stately Victor

General Quarters



Here are the winners of the Spiral on synthetic:

Went the Day Well

Animal Kingdom

Dean's Kitten

Hold Me Back


Hard Spun

With A City

28 Mar 2013 2:18 PM
Rusty Weisner

Fourteen horses in the Lousiana Derby, ten in the Floriday Derby.  Anyone still complaining about the points system?

28 Mar 2013 2:44 PM

CHIEF, I think you are putting too sinister a face on "masking."

All it means is that if the horse has a diuretic it thins the urine so if there is another drug present there will be less of it. I think this is an out-of-date concern, pre-ELISA.

If the hotdog man pushes his cart past the barn, ELISA will pick up mustard residue.

28 Mar 2013 3:47 PM

The facts are that in 2003 the top two finishers in the Wood finished 1st and 2nd in the Derby.Historians I believe that was the LAST TIME this happened.

28 Mar 2013 3:50 PM

"Do cold facts meat anything?" [Coldfacts]

Aw right! It's Coldcuts from now on, and you did it to yourself.

28 Mar 2013 3:57 PM

Whoever the majority of the betting public thinks has no chance of winning this race (i.e. the longest shot on the board), that's where my $2 win bet is going. That way I don't get my heart broke.

28 Mar 2013 4:52 PM

Merit Man will try to run better than sprinter Majestic Hussar did in the Fountain of Youth.Since the two favorites are close to the rail, they should track him and if one of them chooses to duel with Merit Man or press too close ala Violence did in the FOY,it could throw a monkey wrench in either S.Bobby and or Itsmyluckydays KDerby appearance.

If they can stay far enough behind him without losing contact, then they both will probably get 1st jump on the field.

Romans is running a maiden and a maiden winner.The two most interesting price horses at least to me are, Mr Taggs Indy's Illusion and Mr Attfields Are You Kidding Me.

Rusty Weisner if Orb can stay in contact with the front runners as you theorized in one of your posts,he could pass both of the favorites and win it, or will he just close into 3rd 4th or 5th and collect a check and move on to the NEXT RACE.

28 Mar 2013 5:22 PM

@Budroyale: How did that book's system do on the previous 20 Derbies?

28 Mar 2013 5:49 PM
It aint easy being good!

I love how the when the big races get closer all the bloggers get a little chippy. Where is KT VET I need some laughs about how he thinks Vyjack is overrated. KT VET preach brother preach!

Picks for the weekend: Itsmyluckyday in a snoozer!

I expect a wild louisana derby and dont think Coldfacts wonder horse will be up to the task I will go with Palace Malice & My Lute book it! Good luck at the windows and remember I am the best hadicapper on this site!

28 Mar 2013 6:16 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Coldfacts -

As I responded previously,  counting 2 yr old Stakes wins after a MSW win is really an unreliable measure as it is not unusual for some 2s to dominate their peers due to early development.  Thus, all two of the three examples you cited above are, in my eyes, discounted. Flashback beat three other horses, including a MSW and another horse eligible for an Alw1x - discounted.

Giacomo was a hardened, experienced runner who run performed respectably in two prior Graded races.  Both of those efforts were 'on the wrong side' of speed favoring scenarios,  but that is a different discussion entirely.

Coldfacts, you often claim to be a very respectful blogger, but using the word 'ignorance' and me in the same breath is anything but cordial. Clearly,  my frequent winning posts on another BH forum should make it clear that I'm far from ignorant.  In addition, your willingness to reference JB in a negative light despite no recent discussions with him is dubious at best.

As for Pick of the Litter, he'll be nowhere to be seen when the race is completed.

28 Mar 2013 6:54 PM

robinm, I apologize.  The sire is important but I look more for speed on the top of the pedigree and stamina on the bottom.  I will say that I looked at the pedigrees of the last 13 winners of the Belmont Stakes, and I found Princequillo on the bottom female line as well as the broodmare sire's female line in 11 of the 13 winners.  I did not find the Native Dancer/Northern Dancer or Raise A Native line; I like to see such lines on the top of the pedigree. What I really enjoy seeing is the Mr. Prospector (Count Fleet) line on the top and the Secretariat (Princequillo) line on the bottom.

I like Orb but I don't think he can win the Belmont and I guess I'm just looking for the Triple Crown.

Revolutionary is a fine horse and I believe the Fair Grounds with its long stretch will suit the horse.

With his very nice pedigree, I think that Itsmyluckyday has a good shot of winning the Florida Derby.  There is a long shot in that race of interest to me and that is Narvaez.

Two horses to watch are Black Onyx and Govenor Charlie.  They both have the very best shot of winning the Belmont.  I can't say that for the Kentucky Derby because the best horse does not always win.

I'll probably go with Itsmyluckday, Orb, and Narvaez in the Florida Derby and Revolutionary in the La. Derby.

28 Mar 2013 9:19 PM

Slew, I like Orb, but I'm looking for a Triple Crown winner, and he's not it.

I bet on Mine That Bird to win the Kentucky Derby, but my decision was not based on his pedigree.  At that time, Calvin Borel owned Churchill and he was having a good day; so I went with Calvin and Mine That Bird.  I bet on Summer Bird in the Belmont strictly based on the tail side of his pedigree.

I went with Super Saver in the Kentucky Derby based solely on his workouts and pedigree.  

You never know what you are going to do until the day arrives.  I simply start with the pedigree and branch out from there.

My greatest thrill was Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby and Hero of Order in the Louisiana Derby.  Such longshots, unbelieveable.

I bet on Hero of Order because my son in law called me from the track and said that long shots had been winning all day long; so I found him a long shot.  Hero of Order in previous races had been running really well at the Fair Grounds, so I thought why not.

Pedigree doesn't always work, but I feel a sense of some control with the little knowledge that I have.  

28 Mar 2013 10:04 PM

Chief Pic...

ITSMYLUCKYDAY has no problem stalking a fast pace.  

It Ain't Easy Being Good

That was funny!

28 Mar 2013 11:11 PM


"however he will not hit the board my friend. Sorry!"

Uncle Mo was suppose to be unbeatable!

You have never been exposed to Palmer Power my friend. LOL

I have never been afraid of failure. This can be seen in the horses I tend to support.

Mr. Palmer defeated the improving Incognito. He then won a 9F race after hoping, being pinched back running 5-7 wide on the turn while finishing 31/2L in front with lots of energy.

How many 9F winners are in the Field?

29 Mar 2013 8:33 AM

Pedigree Ann,

How many 10F races do horses run in their careers?

How many 10F races are available in each calendar year?

The significant measure available to us for projecting 10F capability are the 9F peps contested by Derby contenders.

I cited Pulpit and probably should have cited the dam sires of the referenced colts as well.

Tapit's dam sire was Unbridled who won two G1, 10F races; Ice Box dam sire was Tabasco Cat who won G1  races at 9.5F & 12F; Corinthian dam sire was Hansel who won G1  races at 9.5F & 12F. Corinthian  won the Gulfstream Park H.(G2,GP,9.5F)

Ice Box won at 9F and was an unfortunate loser of the 10F Derby.

Mr.Palmers dam sire Quiet American was 2nd in the 10F Strub and has been dam sire of two Gl winners at 10F.

I am of the opinion that the ones that are proficient at 9F are more likely to be competitive a 10F.

29 Mar 2013 8:53 AM


Are you related to Patrick?

29 Mar 2013 8:55 AM


"Mr. Tagg placed in the Wood and won the Derby."

Did any of his consecutive Wood winners win the Derby?

If Verrazano wins the Wood, Mr. Pletcher will have consecutive winners. Two previous trainers had consecutive winners and none of those horses won the Derby.

With the trainer's 3% win record it appears the trend will be intact.

29 Mar 2013 9:01 AM

Cassandra Says I would say that I dont believe the testing standards are up to date with what those involved are creating to get any advantage,in regards to medications and or banned and or subsatnces that are not even known about by regulators.

There is too much money involved for clever people in the industry to not be involved in research and development of new ways of getting an advantage.

29 Mar 2013 9:38 AM

IAEBG I will see how well your pick of Itsmyluckyday in a snoozer does,he is coming off 8weeks of rest being a early/preeser type runner.

As far as ANY pick in the Louisiana Derby GOOD LUCK.

29 Mar 2013 9:42 AM

BTW for all of you checking closely into Itsmyluckyday's workouts,I live in S.Florida and anyone down here knows that Calder based Plesa ALWAYS works his trainees a mile.

29 Mar 2013 9:44 AM
Rusty Weisner


There's an article on this site this week about raced/unraced mares' breeding.

29 Mar 2013 10:06 AM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

I liked your skepticism Pick of the Litter, but you could have said the same thing about Verrazano's Alw win in a field of 5.  You and Colfacts have left this one a tossup for me.

29 Mar 2013 10:13 AM

This edition of the Florida Derby is very weak, apart from the past accomplishments of the top three,S.Bobby,Itsmyluckyday,Orb and their morning line odds related to their past performances.

It wasnt long ago that their were only 5 or 6 planning on running,the others threw their hats in the ring because well this is a million dollar race in a place where these horses are based.The only colt that made a start on another track before this one is Are You Kidding Me.

I think if this race turns out to be chalky, it will be partly as a by-product of a weak field.Having said that the top two are coming off 8 weeks layoffs so if it is a cakewalk, I dont know how much the race will help these colts in the next race which will be a lot tougher especially for early/presser types.I dont see any Barbaros,Big Browns or even Bodemeisters in this field,but this is all about opinion so you might see what I dont.

29 Mar 2013 10:17 AM
Rusty Weisner


I read an interview with Mott yesterday where he said he had intended to prep Orb for the Wood but he progressed more quickly than anticipated.  He also mentioned that he expected the Gulfstream surface to be more of an impediment to his running style than it was.  Sounds like he is being handled very well and will be a threat in the Derby.  I'm not really sure how to bet this race.  I liked Itsmyluckyday/Orb straight, but that's when I was expecting a field of 7 or 8.

In the same story I read words from Shanghai Bobby's owner about how his "heart" will overcome his I have to throw him out of the exacta.

This Pick of the Litter worries me a little, but I'm going to bet that Romans is pushing him into the deep end too soon.  Everyone remembers Shackleford 2nd at 61-1 in the Florida Derby, but that's because he had been a dud in the FOY out of an Alw race.

I'll try that exacta and I'll also try trifecta bets that Shanghai Bobby won't hit the board.  Don't like any particular longshot, though the ones I like least are Merit Man, Pontiff, Are You Kidding Me.  I'll bet keyed trifectas with Itsmyluckyday on top, Orb/five others underneath.

I don't think Orb is one-dimensional; he didn't just catch Violence, he blew by him near the top of the stretch.  But I'll try the other one to win:

3,6 straight ex $6

3/6/1,2,5,7,10 = $10

3/6/ALL = $14

29 Mar 2013 10:39 AM


I dont think tht we are likely to have a triple crown winner this year because the colts with pedigree for the Belmont Stakes are not yet comparable in class to the likes of Verrazao, Itsmyluckyday, Orb, Flashback, Will Take Charge and Rydilluc. These should be able to see out the 10 Furlongs in a truly run Kentucky Derby but are definitely not Belmont horses.  

Overanalyze is the only other colt with comparable class and the pedigree IMO, on his best day, that could win the Triple Crown, but his performances do not display the consistency of him being a special one ...therefore I'm not really thrilled about his chances.

Bob Baffert's Governor Charley, Code West and D. Wayne Lukas' Oxbow are good colts with Belmont Stakes pedigree. The best of this lot could be "The Governor" but unless he is a freak that has come to hand in time to be fresh enough and tough enough for the most gruelling three race series in thoroughbred racing, having little foundation and next-to-nothing seasoning, to tople the elite group at Churchill Downs, then hammer them into submission again at Pimlico and trounce the new shooters and late-developers at Belmont, its not going to happen my dear.

I notice that some folks like the chances of Black Onyx based on the performances of Animal Kingdom and Went The Day Well in the last two runnings of the Kentucky Derby. Black Onyx??? No shot in my view ...he wont hit the board ...anyway I've been wrong before ... but not to that extent. Best of luck.  

29 Mar 2013 11:59 AM

IT AINT EASY!....i never said vyjack isnt good.....i like the horse....and unlike itsmyluckyday, he has not run too good......not peaked...there is a chance he improves......i said hes not a derby horse....he wont win the derby....itsmyluckyday ran too good in jan.....wont win derby.....nothing about being good....he was jan.............

29 Mar 2013 2:32 PM

If you bet on a horse coldcuts picks, youre about 2 percent winners.....ive seen this contrarian pick for 5 years.....i remember 2 horses that won.....he will get one of these wacko picks in the winners circle home one day......

29 Mar 2013 2:35 PM

Coldfacts I am aware of Pletchers PPs as a trainer in the Kderby.You see I believe that lightly raced colts at 2 or even unraced at 2 have a greater chance at improving on their previous performances a lot more than what some of you on this blog call colts with a foundation.In my view a lot of them have already been trained to their peak performance at the age of two and will not improve as much as the lightly raced or unraced colts of 2 years of age.

Verrazano fits the profile as did Bodemeister last year and farther back off the top of my head Big Brown.

I am in no way implying that Verrazano will turn out to be great but then again NOBODY does including you or me.I will bet my opinion as will you.

29 Mar 2013 4:45 PM

Fl Derby:


Louisiana Derby


Good  Luck to all

29 Mar 2013 6:27 PM

Will be hoping for a win or at least top 3 out of Palace Malice. Have been following the Curlin kids since last year and he's been a stand out. if he hadn't been sidelined partway through his 2-yo season I think there would be fewer doubters of his potential. Curlin has some pretty good fillies too Blue Violet will be running again this weakened as well I believe so best of luck to her on the road to the oaks.

29 Mar 2013 7:21 PM

Plod Boy Phil,

"As for Pick of the Litter, he'll be nowhere to be seen when the race is completed"

I have previously indicated that I have nothing but respect for your knowledge. However, when you post statements like the one above, it forces me to rethink my assessment.

You have made an absolute statement regarding a race not yet contested.

You are so certain that POTL will not be competitive that you are on record stating that he will be so badly beaten he will become invisible.

Are the following fractions - 46.86, 1:10.78, 1:36.34, 1:49.35 consistent with those recorded in graded races over 9F?

If POTL runs the same race in the FL Derby that he did in breaking his maiden, how can he not be competitive? If he improves off that effort he should be faster.

Did Harlan's Holiday, Malibu Moon or Lawyer Ron win at 12F?

Kitten's Joy the sire of POTL won and contested several races at 12F.

He has sired a colt that has run 1:49.35 for 9F in its second start and somehow it was due to him  running against children.  

A Fusaichie Pegasus broodmare produces a colt that runs the fastest 9F race for a 3YO at GP in 2013 and it is due to him running against children.

I never stated that the colt would win. I stated that he should be a formidable opponent based on his figures.

29 Mar 2013 9:13 PM

Plod Boy Phil,

"You often claim to be a very respectful blogger, but using the word 'ignorance' and me in the same breath is anything but cordial."

Kindly accept my apology as it was never my intention to be discourteous. In retrospect I should have used the term 'suspension of knowledge' as I am well aware of your knowledge.

Goldencents won a 51/2F MSW race on a synthetic surface. He was subsequently shipped thousand of miles from CA to NY to contest an 8F G1 race on a new surface. He was required to run 2 1/2F longer than he did previously against a grades stakes winner with more foundation.

His task was overwhelming to say the least and he finished a creditable 2nd.

Pick Of The Litter won the fastest 9F by a 3YO at GP in 2013. He is required to contest the same distance at the same track and you have some how concluded that he has no chance of being completive.

Which of the two colts was faced  with the greater task?

I could understand If POTL had recorded pedestrian fractions and a final time of 1:52. He recorded graded stakes fractions en route to the fastest time for the distance amongst his peers.

There have been many occasions where MSW winners have been placed in graded races and they performed well with some even winning.

How could anyone with your immense knowledge venture to post such a profoundly negative assessment of the colt and not have said knowledge questioned.

29 Mar 2013 9:47 PM

Mary; I think I now understand where you are coming from in your pedigree analysis.  And truthfully, we are not so far apart.  Where you look for speed from the sire line and stamina from the dam line, I actually like to see as many crosses as possible of speed over stamina in a pedigree, in both the sire line and the dam line.  And when I say "speed", I mean 7-9 furlong speed, not pure sprint speed.

Let me also say, that I can see why you are so high on Revolutionary.  He is a grand-looking colt with an excellent pedigree and when he finds room to run, he is very impressive.

29 Mar 2013 10:02 PM

Plod Boy Phil,

"In addition, your willingness to reference JB in a negative light despite no recent discussions with him is dubious at best."

I do not recall referencing a JB in my post. I recall referencing   Jersey Shore.

I am positive the geographic location provides residence to a vast number of individuals.

With no specific reference to a particular contributor, your statement above is without foundation as it is based on the premise that the JB you have cited isn the only contributor from the Jersey shores.

29 Mar 2013 10:02 PM

It aint easy being good!,

"I expect a wild Louisiana Derby and dont think Coldfacts wonder horse will be up to the task"

If you mean Revolutionary, you will be in for a rude awakening.

I have no concerns with the colt but the same cannot be said about its trainer.

Mr. Pletcher record in 2013 preps is a dismal 2 of 10.

Mr. Haskin dedicated a blog highlighting the armies led by Speedy Bob and Mr. Pletcher.

When Mr. Pletcher's soldiers have lost 8 of the 10 battles entered  there is bound to be a crisis of confidence.

Despite the dismal record of  General Pletcher I am committed to wagering Revolutionary although I think Proud Strike will be dangerous.

29 Mar 2013 10:21 PM

OK....thanks Steve for your input and firing up all the monday morning QB's(just kidding), just can't wait for these post's(I learn quite a bit)starting next week when the real fire works start.

Last week I had mentioned about my concern about "Balance the book" and he finished last(ahead of Mac the man who pulled up). But, here are my 2 cent worth prediction for superfecta's for this week:

Louisana Derby:Revolutionary/Code West/Palace Malice/Golden Soul.

Florida Derby:

Itsmyluckyday/Shanghai Bobby or Orb/Shanghai Bobby or Orb/Frac Daddy or Are You Kidding me.

My only concern in the Florida Derby is is Bobby will try to tackle Merit Man early and if he does how long that tussle will last and what does he have left.

Good luck every one.

29 Mar 2013 10:59 PM


You regarded Overanalyze as the best 3YO heading towards the KD.

Now you reference inconsistencies!

He was beaten like a rented mule by S/bobby and Uncaptured and despite this you were convinced he was the top 3YO. You are amazing!

"I don't think that we are likely to have a triple crown winner this year."

Revolutionary, Mr. Palmer, Orb, Incognito have the credentials to win the TC.

Of course Mr. Palmer and Incognito are  both behind the eight ball with regards to points.

The most versatile of the lot I Revolutionary. A G1 winning broodmare is overdue to produce a  Derby winner.

29 Mar 2013 11:24 PM

Gives me chills every time!  May we see another like Secretariat some day!

29 Mar 2013 11:52 PM

Mr Romans trainees have run competetively in the FL Derby for the last two years,but those colts were not coming directly out of maiden races.IMO I would be very surprised if either of Romans entries hit the board in the 2013 Florida Derby.If they do, It will confirm a notion that apart from the 3 favorites the rest of the field has been nominated in a hope that they will deliver  greatly improved performances in a grade 1 race,not because they have earned the shot at such a race because of past accomplishments at the track.

The only exceptions to the last sentence is the two trainers who are conservative in nature, and have entries in this race Attfield and Tagg.I dont know much about Bezara except that his trainee Reveron was 2nd in last years FD, and I think Frac Daddy has had too many physical setbacks to have a realistic chance to come in 1st or 2nd and head to the KDerby with a chance.Mr Hess is hoping to steal the race on the front end like Majestic Hussar attempted to do in the FOY,but that was in a race that was half a furlong shorter in distance.

30 Mar 2013 8:48 AM

Plod Boy Phil,

"Giacomo was a hardened, experienced runner who run performed respectably in two prior Graded races."

Giacomo in his capacity as a MSW winner would not fear a 17 1/2L record setting stakes winner in the biggest race for 3YO, because he had graded stakes experience.

POTL on the other hand will be quivering in his saddling stall when he surveys the paddock and sees a litany of graded stakes winners because he is only a MSW winner without graded stakes experience.

This would be a realistic assessment if it was known that horses read the PPs before a races.

The great Lammtarra won a minor on debut. He returned to the races 302 days after said victory to set a NTR in the G1 Epsom Derby one of Europe's most prestigious races for 3YOs.

Despite his inexperience and time between races he was able to secure an emphatic victor

I guess he did not read the PPs and consequently had no fear.

A person of your experience and knowledge should know that exceptionally talented horses are capable of breaking trends, dispelling myths and breaking unwritten rules.

Is POTL an exceptional talent or a one hit wonder? It's too early to tell but it cannot be denied that based on is last effort the possibility exist.

He could bounce and I am prepared to eat my usual plate of crow.

POTL and Narvaez will be coupled with the big three in my exotic wagers and I hoped the big three provide some opportunities to their lesser opponents.

30 Mar 2013 8:50 AM

Another sentimental awesome would it be that one of the Secretariat line colts won the Derby and then went on to win the Triple Crown in this, the 40th anniversary of his winning the Crown.

30 Mar 2013 10:29 AM
El Kabong

Lines of Battle is coming to Louisville. Steve, we will be counting on your eyeball, thermometer, gauge of wellness to determine this guys demeanor. He's talented and Ryan Moore nows him well.  Good team.

30 Mar 2013 10:35 AM
El Kabong

What a day, I hope all are up and enjoying this daylong feast of racing. I am eating this up. Sun is on the rise out west, great racing in the Middle East and national coverage of FD and LD. Who could ask for more. Good luck everyone this is a day for us. (brackets not included)

30 Mar 2013 10:42 AM
El Kabong

Sun is setting in Dubai, classical music playing in the background, and an appearance from Diego Maradona. Very nice but the announcer refers to Puccini's aria from Gianni Schicchi as Ave Maria. Back to the barn we go.

30 Mar 2013 10:53 AM

Steve, this has nothing to do with the Derby, but was wondering if you have been following the 2013 foals. The fillies seem to be outnumbering the colts and many of the 2013 babies, both colts and fillies, have awesome hips and a lot of bone. Could it be that the industry is starting to turn the corner from the seemingly fragile speed horses to horses that go the distance? Just curious.  

30 Mar 2013 10:56 AM
El Kabong

WOW, what a show. These people revere their horses. Between race 6 and 7 and a spectacular event is unfolding.

30 Mar 2013 12:18 PM
Pedigree Ann

Mary - I find it interesting that you consider Govenor Charlie (the misspelled!) an ideal Belmont candidate, because he has three stallions in his close pedigree that I consider Jekyll and Hyde types - Dehere, Storm Cat, and Silver Deputy. Two of them are by Deputy Minister, who also had J&H tendencies himself.

Jekyll and Hydes are stallions who CAN transmit real distance ability (not just miling), but a fair number of their offspring appear not to get that talent, even as a recessive trait, and THEIR offspring of the next generation are similarly limited.

Since Midnight Lute's and the Gov's dams were both unraced, we have no data about whether they got the Jekyll genes or the Hyde genes. Makes the Gov iffy to me.

30 Mar 2013 1:53 PM

Oh my, my...Dreaming of Julia and Orb, sublime performances. You don't want to get over excited in the preps but Orb's performance was everything you wanted to see - he was a little washy but perhaps that was just humidity. Dreaming of Julia must be the horse to beat in the Oaks.

30 Mar 2013 6:50 PM

robinm, I am thrilled that Revolutionary won the La. Derby.  Orb is a very nice horse, but the pace was much slower in his race, not that the slow pace means much; a horse does what he must do to win.  Nevertheless, Orb and Itsmyluckyday are lovely colts. All 3 are going to the derby. Today was a good day.

30 Mar 2013 7:14 PM

Orb solidifies his place for Derby Day.  Louisville look out here comes Orb!  It's great when a plan comes together.  Big props to Revolutionary as well, awesome race at FG.

30 Mar 2013 7:42 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Early Preview, next Derby Dozen:

1. Revolutionary

2. Hear the Ghost

3. Orb

4. Oxbow

5. Verrazano

6. Lines of Battle

7. Java's war

8. Vyjack

9. Mylute

10. Itsmyluckyday

11. Departing

12. Elnaawi

13. Tie-Governor Charlie and Normandy Invasion (two bonus donuts with those little sprinkles on top)

30 Mar 2013 8:02 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Upon further review I had to revise the order of 7-13. 7. Elnaawi 8.Java's War 9.Itsmyluckyday 10. Vyjack. 11. Departing 12. Mylute 13. Gov and Normandy + easter gift, a bear claw and an apple fritter.

30 Mar 2013 8:27 PM
cuba"s classic chef de race

Castellano said that revolutionary acted like a 5 or 6 year old i think he was raiding the time machine but very soon he will realize that revolutionary's dam is not La Troienne even when he has her in A.P.Indy but who can fill up the hole between his sire and dam? that is okey i do need to do some math.

30 Mar 2013 8:41 PM


Pick Of The Litter won the fastest 9F by a 3YO at GP in 2013. He is required to contest the same distance at the same track and you have some how concluded that he has no chance of being completive.


Uh yeah.

30 Mar 2013 9:12 PM

Well, two big races down today and Steve's list is bound to change.  I fully expect to see a new #1 on Monday and that Bobby and Palace Malice will be off the list.  Who impressed more?  Orb or Revolutionary?   I need to check the fractional times and particularly the time for the last furlong, but both final times seemed slow to me.  Orb looked really washed out by the time he got to the gate, but ran a good tactical race and seemed to have plenty in the tank at the end.  Revolutionary ran a professional race, displaying none of the greenness evidenced in the Withers. I wondered if he was getting short when he held MyLute off by only a neck, but it looked to me they could have gone around again without a change in the order, and he galloped out strong.  I guess the real question is will Verrazano move up to #1 or will Steve move Orb, or Revolutionary or both, above him?

30 Mar 2013 9:34 PM
Paula Higgins

What a great weekend of racing. Congratulations to Team Valor on Animal Kingdom's win in Dubai. That was wonderful to see an American horse win it. Orb, a horse I have liked for awhile, had a great race too. Revolutionary did well too but Orb was the standout to me. Shanghai Bobbby I feel bad about, but it is what it is. My top 6 are now: Verrazano, Orb, Vyjack, It's My Lucky Day, Normandy Invasion, and Flashback. On another note, I am shocked that John Shirreffs is leaving California at the end of April and going to Belmont. I guess he is going to try it out, but talk about a change. I know Hollywood Park is closing but what about Santa Anita etc.?

30 Mar 2013 11:42 PM

Revolutionary, Hear The Ghost, Govenor Charlie, and Black Onyx have the best pedigrees.

31 Mar 2013 8:25 AM

Revolutionary and Orb were both solid yesterday but I'd say R was a tad better. He had to go 8 wide coming into the stretch while Orb had virtually a perfect trip.

31 Mar 2013 8:46 AM


What is your point?

The colt finished 6th just behind the 2012 Champion 2YO.

The track was not kind to closers.

"Coldfacts: Narvaez, I say he does not hit the board."

In your quest to score points you have conveniently forgotten you prediction above.

Man up and go on record citing that you were wrong.

It's called being fair and balance.

31 Mar 2013 9:10 AM

I am still looking for the WOW prep.A race that is fast to see,in most of the splits and the raw final time, and then confirmed by the figure makers.Preferably that race will have 3 colts or more separated at the finish line by less than 3 lengths like a turf race with a blanket finish except that it is on DIRT and run with a lot faster pace.Why, because it helps the odds be dispersed among several and not have a fractional favorite but a favorite at 3 or 4-1 like last years race.

Then I will use that race to take out more than one runner to use in exotics on Derby day, eventhough the last time their was a 1,2 finish from 1 prep was the 2003 Wood.

31 Mar 2013 9:17 AM

Coldfacts good pick of Navarez who completed a good super with the 1 3 choices 1st and 2nd.

That trainer had Reveron finish 2nd last year.Just using these two FDerbies it looks like he gets colts to stretch out their speed.

31 Mar 2013 9:21 AM

My biggest ? regarding Orb is who is going to ride him on Derby Day?

Julien Leporuex[sp] would make this horse a toss for me.

31 Mar 2013 10:42 AM


"Freedom Child: Hopefully, toward a racing career, he might make a good ‘miler’ type in ‘claiming’ fields, possibly even allowance races"

Freedom Child will be in the Wood with wonder horse Verrazano.

Based on your profound assessment above he should be just ahead of the medical emerging vehicle.

It should not be forgotten he dfeaed the wnner of the LA Derby th

31 Mar 2013 11:42 AM


"Freedom Child: Hopefully, toward a racing career, he might make a good ‘miler’ type in ‘claiming’ fields, possibly even allowance races"

Freedom Child will be in the Wood with wonder horse Verrazano.

Based on your modest but emphatic assessment above he projected to be just ahead of the emergency medical vehicle.

Irrespective of your modest assessment, the cold facts reflect the he defeated the eventual LA Derby winner Revolutionary and was 2L behind the eventual FL Derby winner Orb in his second start.

He was subsequently an impressive MSW winner over 9F in a good time.

Being a May foal  he should be at the stage or rapid improvement.

I looking forwards to the colt delivrig a performance that will force you in into posting a retraction.

31 Mar 2013 12:04 PM

Congratulation's are in order for Team Valor and trainer G. Motion regarding Animal Kingdom's victory in the Dubai World Cup.

Trainer motion is a class act and deserve to be commended for the patience he exhibited with  the Derby winner during the periods of his numerous physical issues.

I was very critical of trainer Motion when he specified that he had no desire to start Toby's Corner against Uncle Mo in the 2011 Wood Memorial.

It was not the sort of statement one expected hear from a trainer of his caliber. Great trainers are capable of using lesser talent to defeat better talent, especially when the better talent hails from high octane stables.

When I made what I considered to be a convincing case for Shackleford to be voted Champion 3YO despite his one G1 victory, I was viewed as being crazy.

Shackleford defeated Animal Kingdom in the Preakness and finished ahead of him in the Belmont. He also defeat every other top 3YO during 2011. He was therefore the only 3YO to have defeated him Derby winner and now World Cup winner twice.

Caleb's Posse who was MIA in he Triple Crown races and was never in the same zip code with Animal Kingdom at anytime, secured five votes less than AK for the Eclipse while Shackleford go < 10 votes.

Animal Kingdom's victory in the World Cup certainly serves to vindicate the small group that were in support of the iron horse Shackleford for the Eclipse Award.

31 Mar 2013 12:50 PM


It is a sad state of affairs, inspite of exciting races and the jaw-dropping performance of Dreaming of Julia, that this years Kentucky Derby is being blighted by the spectre of becoming a RESTRICTED STAKES race that bars arguably one of the best 3YOs from competing in the premier event because of being a filly, when in previous years there were no such restrictions. This is absolutely scandalous and there should be a price to pay for such bungling of the qualifying process for the Kentucky Derby. Graded status of the Derby should be revoked forthwith or else shame be heaped upon those overseeing the Graded Stakes program.

The performances of Orb, Itsmyluckyday, Revolutionary and Mylute were dwarfed by the scincillating display of Dreaming of Julia yet the latter has no way of competing in the Derby even though the connections of the flying filly would like a shot at it? Unbelievable!!! More anon.  

31 Mar 2013 3:01 PM


I forgot to mention in my last post that the inevitability of the best opportunity ever for AP Indy to sire a Kentucky Derby winner in Dreamin of Julia, being obstructed by this "points system experiment" should finally convince you that it is a bungled job and way inferior to the Graded Earnings system in terms of producing the final product -the best possible Derby field assembled.

Poor AP Indy. His grandson Orb looked pretty good in the Florida Derby but Dreaming of Julia should give everybody a reality check ...and she's not Verrazano's equal. Think on these things.  

31 Mar 2013 3:41 PM

Pedigree Ann, I didn't mispell the horse's name.  His name is GOVENOR CHARLIE.  Leave out the "r".

31 Mar 2013 7:19 PM

Pedigree Ann, thank you for your comments.  I understand totally where you are coming from.  If I become concerned about mare's that have never raced and J&H types; it would be difficult for me to focus on pedigree.  

I am not concernedd about Dehere on the sire line of Govenor Charlie's pedigree.  I like the Count Fleet/Princequillo cross on the tail side.  I like his broodmare sire's female line and his dam's female line.  Storm Cat is well positioned here.  I simply am of the opinion that Govenor Charlie's pedigree is replete with stamina on the tail side.  He's not the only horse that I like, but IMO he and Black Onyx have very nice pedigrees.  My boy, Revolutionary and Hear The Ghost both have nice pedigrees also.

31 Mar 2013 7:50 PM

On March 28th I posted my trifecta for the Fla. Derby.  Well I came close to winning with IMLD, Orb, and the longshot, Navarez.  Unfortunately Navarez finished 4th.  

31 Mar 2013 8:43 PM

Ranagulzion, I agree with you, Dreaming of Julia ran a spectacular race.  I'm not sold on Orb by any means.

31 Mar 2013 8:45 PM

Johnny do you mean if Leparoux rides him from an inside post or does that mean you toss orb if coupled with Leparoux under any circumstances.

I think Stevens agent will call Shug M.

31 Mar 2013 9:43 PM


No problem he finished 4th feel better now?

By the way I had him in my $1.00 super

"The colt finished 6th just behind the 2012 Champion 2YO.

The track was not kind to closers."

When is Gulfstream ever kind to closers?

Considering you post 3 times to everyone else once, some of the stuff you post just may stick.  

31 Mar 2013 9:47 PM

Tired of hearing people complain that the current point system is keeping fillies out of the Kentucky Derby. Not one of the Kentucky Derby preps have been restricted to just colts and geldings. The owners and trainers were aware of what races earned you points for the Derby before the major preps started. So, if your flavor of the week filly (this week Dreaming of Julia, last week Midnight Lucky, two weeks ago Beholder)doesn't earn points for the Derby blame her connections. Not the point system!

31 Mar 2013 10:00 PM

"Pedigree doesn't always work, but I feel a sense of some control with the little knowledge that I have." [Mary]

This is very insightful, Mary. We usually do better noticing this in other tribes than in ourselves. It is the nature of human sap., when raddled with indecision and doubt, to invent a nonsense ritual to come up with the answer.

Flip them coins, stir them entrails, tip them teacups, toss them runes, calculate that track bias, cross my palm with silver.

It's life and death whether we intercept the caribou migrating south down through one of eight possible river valleys. What to do? Burn them bones!

This does really good things for our digestion, blood pressure, insomnia, other stress symptoms.

We also send out scouts, though. And when one of them reports back that he's found the herd, nobody brings up that tossing the bones gave a different answer.

The trick is to recognize when to pivot, when you have gotten information that might really be a guide to your goal, not a soother.

31 Mar 2013 11:39 PM

No way should Shack have been close in the 3 year old horse of the year voting to the Animal. I distinctly remember Animal Kingdom breaking poorly in the Preakness, cut off at the break, dropping 14 lengths off the pace, only to lose by a fast diminishing half length.

01 Apr 2013 1:10 AM

Ranagulzion, perhaps TP et al are considering a "Rags to Riches" Belmont Stakes repeat performance with Dreaming of Julia.

I feel you a little disingenuous with Orb's performance though - had they run faster earlier in the Florida Derby Orb would, arguably, have had a more 'suitable' race and inevitably would have been credited with a faster time. Everything was against Orb, if truth be told.

Even so, I do realise the point you are stressing and it is valid.  

01 Apr 2013 5:20 AM


"Dreaming of Julia should give everybody a reality check"

In your quest to discredit the New Points System you have made a major assumption and have totally contradicted your late Development Syndrome theory for A P Indy sired horses.

Firstly, in spite of DOJ impressive performance it does not represent a guarantee that she would win the Derby.

Rachael won the Kentucky Oaks by 19 1/2L the day before the Derby. Subsequent were arguments suggested that she would have won the Derby if entered.

Two weeks later she took on the boys at 9.5F and won by a 3/4L.

Bellamy Road won the Wood  by 17 1/2L in a NSR. He was an also ran in the Derby.

Past performances are no guarantees or future success.

It is not unusual for fillies to run faster than colt at GP.

01 Apr 2013 7:12 AM


"The performances of Orb, Itsmyluckyday, Revolutionary and Mylute were dwarfed by the scincillating display of Dreaming of Julia"

How many of the horses that delivered the most impressive pre Derby performances became eventual Derby winners?

I assume a few went on the win the Derby but in recent times the majority of those that made the field have not.

Big Brown delivered some impressive performances in FL and went on to win the Derby handily.

Empire Maker on the other hand delivered an impressive 9 3/4L victory in the 2003 FL Derby.

He was defeated by the less impressive Funny Cide whom he had defeated in the Wood Memorial.

Indian Charlie won the SA Derby in a stakes record equaling time of 1:47. Finishing 2 1/2L behind him was stalemate Real Quiet. The Fish as Real Quite was known went to defeat Indian Charlie in the Derby.

I am sure there are several other examples that can be provided. However, the two above are indicators that impressive performances are no more significant than modest as Churchill Downs will always prove to be an equalizer.

01 Apr 2013 8:16 AM

When Shackleford was entering the 2011 FL Derby I cited in a post that his dam sire Unbridled was uniquely position to achieve something unprecedented.

Unbridled won the FL Derby; sired two winners of the race and a Shackleford victory would have made him a broodmare sire of the winner of the race as well.

Shackleford lost by the narrowest of margins.

With Orb's victory in the 2013 FL Derby unbridled has now achieved the FL Derby trifecta.

Add his feat of siring a winner of each leg of the Triple Crown to his latest achievement and it is overwhelmingly clear that he is undoubtedly the greatest extension of the great Mr. Prospector.

01 Apr 2013 8:41 AM
El Kabong


Bravo! Bravo! I'm in tears........Laughing.

"Sad state of affairs"  

"absolutely scandalous and there should be a price to pay"

"shame be heaped"

Now if you had directed these comments towards Stonestreet and Mr. Pletcher, you might have my attention and full endorsement.

However, the only thing that is "UNBELIEVABLE!!! is that anyone who has a talented thoroughbred, Filly or Colt, can stand around blaming a point system for their failure to fill out an entry form in a race that secures points. All were welcome. Yes that means running against the colts if its a filly prior to the Derby, but this is a far safer and more proven route to a successful Derby. The cards have been on the table and the rules apparent to all(that can read).  We at this site have all crossed this bridge together already as a group long before this situation and the answer to us has been apparent. I can't believe for one second your suggestion that Stonestreet and Todd Pletcher didn't completely understand the rules if they ran D oF J in races without points. Even if they are now regretting their decisions to not run in a qualifying race, you can't blame a system that welcomed their participation all along. Why is it I feel your empathy for this filly is a tad self serving and lacking an ounce of altruism?

01 Apr 2013 9:57 AM

Mary: What confuses me is that you choose to dislike Orb on the basis that Princequillo is not in his tail family line, yet you choose to like Revolutionary even though Princequillo does not appear in his tail female line either.

I would have thought you would be all over Vyjack who DOES have Princequillo in his tail female line. (So does Declan's Warrior)

Wow...Animal Kingdom was superb.  I just think it's a shame that a colt bred, trained and raced in the USA gets a BIG world class win, but Australia gets the credit because that's where his owners are now.  Best of luck to them all as he goes into stud. (Wish he'd make a stop at Royal Ascot.)

Revolutionary had a royal battle with Mylute to the wire, but Orb seemed to saunter to the lead with ease, once his jockey got his attention back on the track.  Love both horses, but I do favor Orb.  I just don't see any distance being a problem for him, as long as they can keep him focused on task at hand.

Thought Narvaez did great in his first stakes race.  Looking to see more from him before the Derby.  He's fast but tired, and he needs points.  I wonder if Declan's Warrior will turn up in a major stakes soon.

My dozen got shook up this week, separating wheat from chaff.  We'll see what's on tap tomorrow.

01 Apr 2013 12:30 PM

Ranagul: If the connections of Dreaming of Julia had entered her in the Fla Derby rather than the Oaks, she'd be eligible for points.  Any filly who wants to compete in the Derby will have to step up early and face the colts in a major prep to qualify.

The point system is working no matter how much cynicism you wish to cast on its effectiveness.

I think it's fair that if a filly is good enough to want the Derby, she must qualify for it just like any colt or gelding.  That, to me, is very equal and not gender restricted.  

The Derby itself has always been age restricted.  Did you want to complain about that not being fair either?

01 Apr 2013 12:41 PM

Mary: Orb won the Fla Derby in


Revolutionary won the La Derby in


Neither winner set the pace.

How can you state that one was so much slower than the other?  We're talking in hundredths of a second.

01 Apr 2013 12:52 PM

Ranagulzion, if her connections wished for Dreaming of Julia to run in the Kentucky Derby they should have started her in one of the colt races. If they did not feel she was up to facing the boys in the Florida Derby, they could have chosen the Spiral or one of the other fifty pointers.

The fact that this filly has no Derby points reflects on the lack of confidence her connections had in her abilities against colts.

Churchill Downs did not make the point system a huge secret.

They are not blocking or barring fillies. But they do want only fillies who have proven themselves against the colts to be entered.

The connections of Dreaming of Julia have only themselves to blame for her lack of Derby qualifying points.

01 Apr 2013 1:52 PM
Linda in Texas

Hi Paula - you know when i heard that John Shirreff's was leaving California and going to NY i thought maybe it might be because David, Dottie's son would be closer. I don't know, something is in the works! Leaving California, that is amazing. Barn 55 (isn't that his barn number) won't be the same. But he says he will return.

Today is Zenyatta's Birthday and i was so hoping she would foal on her own birthday. And it is Mr. Haskin's birthday also if memory serves. If Steve's isn't today it is either the 2nd, 3rd or 4th of April. Because i am 73 on the 5th.

And his birthday is before mine.

Happy Birthday Zenyatta and same to our chief mentor on maniacal maneuverings of the race tracks, the one and only Steve Haskin!!!!

May you have 50 more and not run out of stories and that all of us who appreciate them get to be here to read them.

Thanks Steve, you are simply the best.


01 Apr 2013 5:15 PM
Paula Higgins

Dreaming of Julia could show up at the Preakness and Belmont. Then if she should win one or both of them, they can decide how that point system is working out for a potential Triple Crown winner. Yes, she could have run with the boys but why should she have to? Why even have races for girls and then relegate them to secondary status or marginalize them? If you had a point system for girls, you probably wouldn't have more than two who would qualify and they might not enter the Derby. But if they were good enough, their owners might enter them and it would add another dimension to the race. Alot more women might be interested in seeing it for starters. Zenyatta raced with the girls exclusively and then won the 2009 Breeders Cup Classic and then almost repeated in 2010. Can you imagine if they changed the rules for that race as well? We would have missed two of the greatest races of all time. They should have a point system for girls that doesn't require having to race against the boys before the Derby. You are devaluing the great female horses by making this rule. Does the name Rags to Riches ring a bell? The first filly to win the Belmont in 100 years had never raced against the boys prior to the Belmont. The point system needs tweaking.

01 Apr 2013 6:18 PM

Slew you are wrong.  Princequillo is well established in Revolutionary's broodmare sire's female line as well as his dam's female line; oh and Princequillo  also leaves his mark in his sire's female line.  If you only look at the 5x you are making a huge mistake.

As for the time between Orb and Reolutionary's race, Revolutionary wins, but the time is really irrelevent IMO, two very different tracks.  

Revolutionary went 5 wide to win the race and did it in spectacular fashion.  IMO, Revolutionary is more battle tested than Orb.  I do not mean to take anything away from Orb's race, he is a fine looking colt and he looked fantastic in the Fla. Derby.

I simply am of the opinion that Revolutionary has the better pedigree and IMO got so much more out of his race than Orb did in the Fla.Derby.

They are both fine colts; I just really am attracted Revolutionary.  I've been loving him for a while now, so there is no good reason for me to jump off of his bandwagon now.  LOL!

01 Apr 2013 6:41 PM

Pedigree Ann, Regarding Revolutionary's family, you mentioned Jekyll and Hyde types, both mares unraced, etc.  If I concerned myself with all of what you stated, confusion would rule and focus on the task at hand (pedigree) would be lost.

As far as your "unraced mares" statement, need I remind you that Somethingroyal in her only race finished off the board.  She is the oldest mare to foal a Triple Crown winner at age 18.  She produced 4 stakes winners, Secretariat, Sir Gaylord, First Family, and Syrian Sea.  A PROLIFIC MARE SHE WAS.

Vertigineux, dam of Zenyatta, raced 7 times with 2 wins, maiden and an allowance race.  Vertigineux is by Kris S. out of a Princequillo mare.

Both of these mares did nothing at the race track, but they did a lot in the breeding shed.  Just for your information.

01 Apr 2013 7:31 PM


I like Orb a lot 2 things concern me with this colt.

1) He gets worked up in the paddock. I saw it first hand this year twice.

What is he going to do in front of a 100 thousand plus?

It just may be him who knows?  

2) Leporuex is no where as good of a rider on the dirt as he is on the turf. Dialed In,Union Rags and he was just taken of Flashback.

I have to throw out horses somehow.

I throw out the 1 and the 2 hole.

I throw out the Dubai horse.

I throw out the Pletcher horses.

That usually leaves me around 10-12 to pick from.

Favorite bet the up and down exacta

01 Apr 2013 7:49 PM

Slew, I really like Vyjack, but Princequillo is located on Vyjack's grand dam's sire line.   Now, if Princequillo and Mr. Prospector, who is on Vyjack's brodmare sire's female line, could switch places, LOL, then the story would be WOW.

I do like the Princequillo/Mr. Prospector (Count Fleet) cross, but I don't like the position of these great stallions in Vyjack's pedigree.  

01 Apr 2013 8:43 PM

I understand that there are a lot of people who don’t like the current point system. That is fine. But please stop with the supposed “outrage” that this system keeps fillies out of the Kentucky Derby. I do not recall that any of the prep races are restricted to colts or geldings. So if the owners and trainers, who know their horses better than any blogger, feel that their filly can win one of these prep races then I’m sure they would have put them in the race (Dreaming of Julia can still be entered in the Bluegrass or Arkansas Derby). The connections of Regret, Genuine Risk, and Winning Colors all put their fillies in major preps and went on to win the Derby. These great fillies would have made the Derby field even in the current point system. This point system works. It will keep those 3 year olds who cannot get the distance from entering the gate on the first Saturday in May. Shanghai Bobby may turn out to be one of the best milers ever, but that doesn’t mean he belongs in the Derby. For those who are upset that their favorite horse doesn’t have the points to get in the Derby because they didn’t run in the preps, DON’T BLAME THE POINT SYSTEM, BLAME THE CONNECTIONS!!!

01 Apr 2013 10:45 PM

Freedom Child gives us the 1001st way to lose a horse race. You have to pause at the gate to buck off your second rider as the assistant starter has joined your jockey.

A start worthy of Revolutionary!

Freedom Child is a real little pistol and the pace scenario would have been very different had he been in it. I think he's going to develop into a top horse and we'll have a real example to use kvetching about the points system. We'd probably never have come up with "What if the assistant starter rides one of the horse's head out of the gate, ruining his chance to earn points coming off a very impressive wire-to-wire nine furlong win?"

And speaking of starts, in the race in which Orb beat Revolutionary, Revolutionary was in the one-hole. At the off, the 2 horse broke out into him and shoved him down the track the wrong way, out of camera range. When next seen he was coming around the turn to the stretch trying to rejoin the field.

In his next start, he was on a 'good' inner track at Aqueduct and ran at least 12 lengths better, considering how easily he was travelling and track condition, finishing one second off the track record, breezing. (Broke well, too.) When Orb beat him Revolutionary was third in a photo with Transparent. Next time he cantered past Transparent at will and opened up nine lengths on him effortlessly.

I see several people suggesting that Revolutionary "attracts" trouble. Just how would that work, exactly?

Somehow I can't get enthused about Verrazano. I think it's attitude; I don't see any. JV says he didn't hit him because he thought he had Vyjack beaten and didn't see Normandy Invasion coming. I'd like Verrazano a lot more if he'd pinned his ears when challenged and taken off on his own initiative.

Let's say I have to be showed.

07 Apr 2013 2:09 AM

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