Derby Dozen - April 30, 2013 - Presented by Shadwell Farm

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Revolutionary Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

Gave him the work of the day on April 27 when 10 Derby horses worked. Just love the way this colt finishes and gallops out. Borel kept him right on the rail as usual, and although he again switched leads three times in the final furlong, he still flew home in :11 3/5 and galloped out some seven lengths ahead of Charming Kitten.


Orb Shug McGaughey

Malibu Moon—Lady Liberty, by Unbridled

I could easily have made him No. 1 based on how he has flourished at Churchill Downs and how he has continued to look and do better by the day. His gallops have been smooth as silk, and his demeanor has been of a colt who is sitting on the race of his life. McGaughey is extremely confident and that’s good enough for anyone.


Verrazano Todd Pletcher Click Here!

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

If you’re going strictly by looks, he is a standout. A big, strong, handsome colt, he dwarfs those around him and exudes class. His work April 27 was excellent and I like the way he traveled through the stretch and how he galloped out. The big question is where he’s going to be placed and what kind of pace pressure he’s going to face.


Overanalyze Todd Pletcher

Dixie Union—Unacloud, by Unaccounted For

This is the first of the longshot specials, not that he should be a longshot. But he will be ignored because of the slow time of the Arkansas Derby and who he beat. The track at Oaklawn this year has been on the deep side and I just love the way he opened up on the field late and just kept going. Turned in a strong work with Palace Malice.


Palace Malice Todd PletcherClick Here!

Curlin—Palace Rumor, by Royal Anthem

More and more people seem to be latching on to him as a live longshot, and rightly so. His half-mile work in company with Overanalyze was strong. The only reason to be a bit skeptical is blinkers on. Although he probably needs them and should benefit from them, a change of equipment for the Derby is not what you want to see.


Normandy Invasion Chad Brown Click Here!

Tapit—Boston Lady, by Boston Harbor

Chad Brown has done a great job getting him sharp, with some brilliant works over the past month, and it is highly unlikely we’ll see him as far back as he’s been in recent starts. If he breaks well, expect to see him no worse than mid-pack. He just needs to make that explosive run on the far turn and not wait until the final sixteenth.


Itsmyluckyday Eddie Plesa Jr. Click Here!

Lawyer Ron—Viva la Slew, by Doneraile Court

He no doubt will be the forgotten horse. He shipped well from Calder and looked like a million bucks on the track April 28. Even though he just jogged around there, he acted like he owned the place and was strutting along with his neck slightly arched as if he’s been there his whole life. Distance is a slight question, but the talent sure isn’t.


Goldencents Doug O'Neill

Into Mischief—Golden Works, by Banker's Gold

I admit this colt could be ranked way too low, especially considering the high degree of optimism in his camp. But so much depends on the draw and where he’s placed. He’s going to need every break to get the 1 1/4 miles. O’Neill has done a super job getting him to settle and relax early. Wouldn’t mind seeing him relax on the lead and try to steal it.


Oxbow D. Wayne Lukas Click Here!

Awesome Again—Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy

Like Palace Malice, he hasn’t had the opportunity to show what he’s capable of. Between the bad posts, the premature moves, and having to come from dead-last in the Arkansas Derby, he deserves to get a break. He’s been like a coiled bundle of energy and is rarely still. He’ll have to harness that just a bit in the race, but he is definitely raring to go.


Mylute Tom Amoss

Midnight Lute—Stage Stop, by Valid Expectations

A big under-the-radar colt who seems to be coming up to a peak performance. Amoss has been training him just the way he did for the Louisiana Derby, and if you like Revolutionary you obviously have to at least give him a legitimate shot at an upset. He’s a well-balanced colt with an excellent disposition and must be respected.


Java's War Kenny McPeek

War Pass—Java, by Rainbow Quest

Well, you know one thing, he’s going to be at the back of the pack and is going to have to find a way to get through or around a 20-horse field. I actually liked stablemate Frac Daddy’s work a little better when they went in company, but he has more credentials of the two, and has to be respected for his monster closing punch and big effort at Tampa.


Vyjack Rudy Rodriguez

Into Mischief —Life Happened, by Stravinsky

I wish I knew what to make of him and what to expect. I know his last work was panned big-time, but he just may be a horse who needs encouraging in his works. I also can’t help but remember the quick acceleration he showed in the Wood before flattening out slightly at the end. But with the lung infection and time at Fair Hill, who knows?


Leave a Comment:

Ted from LA

Overanalyze over Orb, Verrazano, and Palace Malice.  Revolutionary 17th.

30 Apr 2013 2:06 PM

Very competitive field.  Wouldn't be shocked if any of 10 horses win. Have changed my mind each day on who I'm betting on.  

30 Apr 2013 2:13 PM

Rain or Shine:

Black Onyx



Since it is a wide open race, I will go with the x-factor question mark in Black Onyx. A lot of things about him might not jump out and say "yes" right away, but there are also a lot of things that don't just say "no", either.

30 Apr 2013 2:16 PM
Sail On

Thanks for the rundown. I spent the morning watching film of previous races. Unimpressive, I must say. The majority of these horses lack early speed, have been out run, and failed to step up when an opportunity appeared.

I must say I have revised my impression of Orb. But Revolutionary fails to inspire, except his thrilling penchance to thread the needle between horses.

Vyjack and Palice Malice should finish out of the top 10.

I would agree that javas War has heart, but Verrazano, Normandy Invasion and Charming Kitten will out run him.

Mylute is an interesting horse, with some decent speed. How is he in the slop?

Goldencents is a game horse, hoping he hangs on for 4th.

Itsmyluckyday and Oxbow are under my radar.

Revolutionary beat Charming Kitten is workouts? Bully for him. Can he beat Verrazano and Normandy Invasion in the Derby? In my opinion slop will hurt his running style.

Does postposition advantage change with a wet track?

30 Apr 2013 2:33 PM
The Deacon

Your field is as fair as it could be Steve. There are about 12 even horses in this race based upon performance. The fastest slowest horse will win the Derby. Meaning that all these slow 9 furlong prep race times is just a head scratcher to me.

Along with the consideration of weather and track conditions and all things being equal my top 4 are....

1. Goldencents.... fastest prep of any Derby starter for 9 furlongs. I happen to like O'Neil, the media vilified him last year. I'll Have Another was the deserving horse of the year in my mind.

2. Orb.... Maybe Shug finally gets his coveted Derby win. This horse in my estimation is the best 1:50 plus 9 furlong horse in the race. Love his color and professionalism.

3. Normandy Invasion.... Loved his sire Tapit, could be well primed for a monster performance.

4.Verrazano.... The horse that could be awesome or just another gorgeous slow 9 furlong runner. Could also be last years Gemologist. Negative here for me is his winning the Wood Memorial. I suppose the jinx has to be broken someday.

Want to thank you Steve for all your hard work in posting these weeks blogs. This is very hard work. The information you always provided was accurate and informative.

Good luck to all.....  

30 Apr 2013 2:39 PM

Another great year Steve, appreciate your time and effort you put in for us!

Barring getting the 1 hole, I am sticking with Orb as my top pick.

Other horses that I'll play:



Normandy Invasion

My longshots to hit the board:



Black Onyx

Box all those in a Ex, Tri and Super.

That's all bogus if the rain comes and the track is sloppy or muddy. I haven't looked too much into that scenario, but I like Orb, Mylute, Black Onyx and Lines of Battle.

Good luck to everyone!

30 Apr 2013 2:54 PM
Don from PA/DE

Nice update SH, like the lovin spoonful song "Did you ever have to make up your mind?"....right now if I were to select my top hope for KD winner, with a less than dry track, son of Tapit, Normany Invasion. Glad you have note ignored IMLD as well, he could steal it, battle proven. Don

30 Apr 2013 3:06 PM
Saratoga AJ

Looks like you think Todd will get his second Derby this year Steven. If not the Triple. Unless of course Shug or Chad get in the way.

Now they're calling for showers  Saturday. As if handicapping the damn race wasn't tough enough! :-)

30 Apr 2013 3:12 PM


Who is you off track pick?  Looks like it may be wet Saturday and that may change everything.  My pick is Orb rain or shine!

30 Apr 2013 3:15 PM

steve as always great job. my list is the same except a slight tweek in order of finish. 1)revolutionary-appears to be able to run all day at decent speed, from grade 1 winning dam. 2)orb-your write-up says it all, also from winning dam. 3)palace malice-blinkers on means he's to be sent on a mission. could cause problem like alysheba did to broad brush,smith pilots, also from winning dam 4)will take charge the only other horse from grade 1 winning dam. lukas on a roll lately, big stride and class gets him close.5)mylute-not from winning dam but training great with live jock rosie to ride. all picks should be able to cruise despite possible punishing wet/fast track based on lineage. good luck!

30 Apr 2013 3:48 PM

my dream a month or so back says post position # 4 will win the derby.i will say it again i hope it's revolutionary.

30 Apr 2013 3:51 PM

Steve, thanks again for your marvellous, witty, insightful commentary that is the 'Derby Dozen.' Your photos are the icing on top. Over the decades, your writing has enhanced my enjoyment of racing, you have a wonderful gift.

Still like Orb and Normandy Invasion with Revolutionary as the major threat. There are so many horses you would love to win for various reasons but there can only be one Kentucky Derby winner each year.

The 'kiss of death' draw comes next so everything is in flux until the gates open. All you can wish for is a safe trip for all and the best of 'racing luck.'  It's in the hands of the gods of racing.

30 Apr 2013 4:36 PM
Mike from Michigan

My pick for the Derby is 'Palace Malice'  My pick for the Oaks is 'Close Hatches'.  Hoping all the jocks and horses have safe trips.  Good luck to everybody.

30 Apr 2013 4:45 PM

Thanks Steve, I respect your insight, keep up the good work for up Handicapper/Fans.

30 Apr 2013 4:56 PM

Orb then, and Orb now. Great work as usual Steve.

30 Apr 2013 5:14 PM
Steel Dragon

Does anybody think the eventual favorite will be under 4-1? Orb is clearly the "now" horse. Normandy Invasion was the "wise-guy" horse, but I sense Palace Malice is about to replace him with that tag.

Gotta toss Julia from my Oaks-KYD DD tix. I think she's gonna bounce like a brand new Pennsy Pinky. You got any of those laying around, Steve?

30 Apr 2013 5:27 PM

Looks like there are only 4 horses who have run and either won or hit the board on an off track



Revolutionary on good track

and Palace Malice finished 2nd

30 Apr 2013 5:41 PM

Revolutionary: After his MSW win I quoted that if it was not aided by high octane the Derby would be over. I am not surprise he is ranked #1. Can he overcome his trainer’s dismal 3% win record from 31 starters and the dismal Derby record of G1 winning broodmares mares? He has not defeated much in his two wins subsequent to his MSW victory. Mylute has a MSW and an Optional Claim victory his credit with both achieved as a 2YO. Departing contested the LA Derby without Lasix and based on his subsequent performance would probably have won if it was administered. Is might not be as good as his PPs suggest?

Orb: I liked him after his 3rd place finish to Violence as a 2YO. He has major Derby hurdles to scale. His meticulous trainer is zero for six; No son the A P Indy has sire the winner of a TC race; Derby winner have dismal records Derby broodmare sires with the last to achieve the feat being Count Fleet 40 plus year ago. He has defeated top class competition and deserves the #1 ranking. He might just have too many hurdles to cross?

Verrazano: The only undefeated contender in the field. Has speed but has not live up to the wonder horse status in his last two victories.  If he is to be assessed on his Wood victory over Normandy Invasion, he does not belong in the #3 spot. Normandy Invasion could to find extra to overhaul lesser contenders Overanalyze and Ivestruckanerver. Java’s War was SIS and had to be checked to against the rails en route to closing 10L of a 13L gap in the TBD. Java’s War subsequently won the tougher 9F Derby prep and will be significantly fitter for his Derby effort. It’s not whether Verrazano can win the Derby but whether he can repel JW in the closing stages with an additional 1.5F to travel.

Overanalyze: Unplaced in the Gotham and defeated a suspect field in the AK Derby and he lands the #4 ranking. There are surely others with better PPs and credentials. Did not run faster than Will Take Charge or Rose To Gold. Who will he be out closing?

Palace Malice: Has been behaving mulish at CD. His crammed schedule heading into the Derby gives him no chance against talented horses with lesser burdens. His trainer’s Derby record reflects 30 losers with less taxing schedules. Who would be brave enough to gamble that he is capable of producing a Derby winner from one that will be contesting its 3rd races at 9F or longer in 35 days?

The above 5 are very vulnerable.

30 Apr 2013 6:25 PM
It aint easy being good!

My Top 5 there is no reason for more.

1) Orb he sizzled over the track. Bob Baffert likes the way he moves. When a hall of fame trainer says something like that. I tend to listen.

2) REV: First the horse is bred to run all day. Two he romped in the mud. Three 2 out of 3 of C Borel's wins were in the mud.

3) Black Onyx, one of the only horses to start his career running a mile and has sinced ran a mile and further. If you need a bomb here he is. His trainer is 2 for 2 won with ruler on ice and no one is talking about him. I guess he trained like a champ!

4) Palace Malice he is the son of curlin and a year where everyone doesnt run there horses anymore this one is taking the opposite approach which I like! Curlin didnt do to bad in the mud oh yeah he romped!

5) Goldencents I dont even like this horse there is always one horse that will haunt you he is it!

30 Apr 2013 6:59 PM

We have reached the point of data saturation, bring on the draw, so that we can eliminate a few ponies.

30 Apr 2013 7:06 PM

Things that can't be denied. Normandy Invasion has only won once,

Goldencents is not bred for 1 1/4, either is Vyjack,will take charge,itsmyluckday,goldensoul,normandyinvasion and Revolutionary is on the bubble, everyone else can get it.I think Palice Malice will run out of gas, but he has heart, so many ways to play it, Weather and Post Position still my deciding factor...........

30 Apr 2013 7:11 PM

ORB is jinxed now that he'll be the favorite and JoeL is white Hot and will be on him..........

30 Apr 2013 7:12 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

iceman92 and MZ

   I had a Derby dream last night and posts 4 and 6 were the top two spots but I don't think my dream will come true. The win and place trainers were Bob Baffert and William Kaplan. I wish I could remember the names of the horses. It wasn't raining and the track was fast, dry. It seems to me that there are more great looking entrants this year in peak form, and I do think that everyone in the race belongs. The points system needs a few tweaks but it works. I also think that the number of Triple Crown nominated horses next year is going to go up and the fields in the points races will increase.

30 Apr 2013 7:24 PM

Still can't pick a horse...I like Itsmyluckyday, Verrazano, Goldencents, Revolutionary, Overanalyze, and Orb - not necessarily in that order.  Will also place a bet on Frac Daddy just because I love greys.  Not really understanding why I keep seeing distance questions for Goldencents.  I always look at the dosage (which I guess a lot of people don't use anymore).  But anyways, of the above horses, Goldencents with his 1.67 dosage index and .38 center of distribution gives him a distance capability of 12 furlongs plus.  The next closest is Verrazano at 2.06 and .69 and then Frac Daddy at 2.33 and .90.  Itsmyluckyday comes in at 3.00 which is the same as Revolutionary and Overanalyze which puts all three of them at about 8 1/2 furlongs, making Itsmyluckyday not any more distance challenged than the other two.... Orb is the highest at 3.21 which gives him the distance ability of just under 8.5 furlongs. So my logical choice should be Goldencents.....but I just find myself not being "wowed" by any of them this year so I am looking around and trying to find a standout.   Also just a note:  last year I'll Have Another's numbers were 2.11 and .50 which equates to about 11 furlongs.  Union Rags was a little higher at 2.14 and .77 so the Belmont should have been a heck of a race with IHA coming out slightly on top and winning the triple crown. (Paynter is 2.5 and .86 so third place for him...) If it was only that easy!  LOL  It's only a guide but I do look at it. Still a shame!

30 Apr 2013 7:26 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The Deacon

   I second your motion in applauding and thanking Steve for all of his hard work. Hip, hip hooray, for he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow which nobody can deny. I can't possibly make my picks until the final pps and track condition and like Kevin I've changed my number one daily lately. I hope they all get to the gate healthy, this is shaping up to be a great Derby.

30 Apr 2013 7:30 PM
Kyle S.

Did anyone hear the reasoning behind Revolutionary coming to the track this morning in "bell boots" and only putting in a jog versus the other Pletcher horses putting in their routine gallops?  I don't like these types of changes four days out, but could also be nothing.

30 Apr 2013 8:10 PM

I think Revolutionary is caught between the laws of man and nature. He knows he's circling to the left and therefore should be on his left lead, but his riders have always insisted he be on his right lead while rounding the bend into the stretch and stay on it.

30 Apr 2013 8:17 PM

Rinzier, I agree with your picks, but I'm still on the fence with Orb.There are at least 10 horses that could win this, so I'm relying on pedigree.  Call it the X factor, large heart gene, etc., it is real.  

Concerning the tail side of Black Onyx, beautiful pedigree.  You have Key To The Mint, out of a Princequillo mare on the broodmare sire's female line.  Then there is Secretariat out of a Princequillo mare on the tail female line.

You top this off with Mr. Prospector and Buckpasser on the broodmare sire line.

Black Onyx may not win the Kentucky Derby, but he no doubt about it has the pedigree to do so.  So now, he needs a bit of luck.

Revolutionary also has a beautiful pedigree, but I'm too tired now to delve into it.  Like you, I'm betting on the pedigree in the Kentucky Derby.

30 Apr 2013 8:38 PM

Steve,sorry my friend-but Oxbow is going to send you to the poor's house.When you look at the horses who ran with Revolutionary,you will see that most of them came back and run well.Now do the same for the horses that ran behind Orb,those did not run well in their return.That to me means something. I have not decided on Revolutionary-but with Calvin up he already has a leg up on the field. Todd Pletcher will finish 1,2,3. I will just box all his runners.

30 Apr 2013 9:05 PM

Holy Cow! I love this time of year! As a relative newcomer to " the game" I enjoy your colorful commentary and expertise! Thanks for making this so enjoyable. Your time is greatly appreciated. Got my fingers crossed for Orb....

30 Apr 2013 9:05 PM

Rapole ain't gonna win the Derby !!

30 Apr 2013 9:09 PM
Fran Loszynski

Normandy Invasion.  Overanalyze. Orb.     In that order.  Normandy because he is fearless 19 other horses he could care less. Overanalyze because  my mother always said whoever wins the Arkansas derby can win the Kentucky derby and Orb because of Shug. All in all I have one word  for this Derby YEEEEHHAAAWWWH

30 Apr 2013 9:31 PM
Fran Loszynski

In tribute to my brave home state city Boston...bring it home Normandy Invasion you have the Boston Lady waiting for you on the Boston Harbour---yes Sir!

30 Apr 2013 9:37 PM
Fran Loszynski

The Kentucky  Oaks has a special meaning for me and my friends this year. For many years our close friend ROSE would pick a long shot in the Oaks or other races and would win. She taught us that a favorite wins you won't win much on a small bet but on a long shot  you win you're going home with GOLD in your pockets! Every year we look for a racehorse that can remind us of her when she was alive. The great Calvin Borel is riding-ROSE TO GOLD---this one's for you Rosie!

30 Apr 2013 10:20 PM

Okay!  Crunch time!!  I'll take a win/place on Lines of Battle (the Aiden O'Brien factor).  Then its all Mylute and Revolutionary-----Got no idea as to off tracks, so I'll stick with the above regardless of the track condition-----

30 Apr 2013 10:36 PM

Hi Steve. It was reported that Revolutionary only jogged today, apparently a surprise, and in bell boots...or something like that. I've seen this reported as an indication that Revolutionary is flighty a foot problem. Can you please clarify? Have you heard anything regarding any injury to Revolutionary? thanks.

30 Apr 2013 10:41 PM

Other than drawing the 1 or 2 hole its Orb..

Steve whats your 2 cents on willtakecharge?

Im of him now and replaced him with Itsmuluckyday..

Also Vyjack is my other top pick..

I will play orb up and down exacta.

Then wheel him in tris with Overanlyze,goldencents,itsmyluck,

vyjack,revolutionary and fracdaddy

and N.I.

Good luck to everyone its been great,im sure I will post again but just in case..

30 Apr 2013 10:56 PM
Maria Knack

This is such a talented field this year all in their own right. I like Goldencents (post parade in the SA derby he was so sassy) Revolutionary tries harder than any horse out there and Overanalyze because of his impressive last two wins. Though many of the horses have had impressive wins, these three stood out to me.

30 Apr 2013 11:03 PM
Mike Relva

Torn between Orb and Java's War.

30 Apr 2013 11:53 PM



Revolutionary, Verrazano, Overanalyze, Itsmyluckyday, Mylute,

Excluding Orb since he'll be the favorite



Midnight Lucky, Close Hatches, Rose to Gold


1) No Hear the Ghost

2) No Departing (what a shame!)

3) Wished Shanghai Bobby would've done better

4) No filly in the Derby


1) Team O'Neill a chance for back to back

2) Great field for the Derby

3) Shug / Orb

4) Derby winner a potential Triple Crown threat

5) Another great season with Steve Haskin!

01 May 2013 2:54 AM

There are 11 horses from the Northern Dancer sire line in the Derby field. These contenders can form a Tag Team against the rest of the Derby field. Between 1986 and 2012 the Northern Dancer sire line was associated with 4 Derby winners i.e., Ferdinand, Sea Hero, Charismatic and Big Brown. This sire line is ranked 2nd in the number of winners during this period.

Which of colts from the 11 strong contingents are likely to the 2013 Derby? Of the 4 Derby winners associated with this sire line, three were sired by grandsons of Northern Dancer and the other by his TC winning son Nijinsky.

Overanalyze, Lines Of Battle and Golden Soul were sired by grandsons of the Northern Dancer. The remaining 8 were sired by stallions falling outside the generation that has been successful. Overanalyze and Lines Of Battle were impressive winners of the AK and UAE Derby and can certainly win. Golden Soul closed from another Zip Code to snatch 4th place in the LA Derby. If the LA Derby has not been reviewed in-depth, Golden Soul’s electrifying move from last and 10L wide trip is hardly noticeable.  

There is always strength in numbers and the ND sire line must have an excellent chance with its contingent comprising of speeders and closers. Lines Of Battle is an unknown quantity on dirt but so too was UAE Derby winner and KD 5th place finisher Master Of Hounds. Lines Of Battle has a significantly better dirt pedigree.  

01 May 2013 8:38 AM
Ted from LA

Welcome back, Dr. D.

I had the exact same dream only Gabe Kaplan was the place trainer.

01 May 2013 9:59 AM

dr. drunkinbum-your dream was about next years derby. this years results could be rev,orb,pm good luck!

01 May 2013 10:49 AM

Some how I don't think this is hard work for Steve.

I bet he enjoys it as much as the rest of us would if we were there.

Steve thanks for the keen eye.

What is the whisper talk on Willtakecharge?

01 May 2013 12:04 PM

Hi Steve,

Awesome list! It looks a lot like my own list, although I have Goldencents, Lucky, Oxbow & Java's War listed higher on my list.  I think you have an excellent eye for great horse talent.  

I believe the Derby winner will probably be an excellent horse that is flying way below the radar in bettor and media support, a horse that few are talking about but SHOULD be talking about - just like in the cases of past Derby winners Animal Kingdom, I'll Have Another, Charismatic, Silver Charm and Thunder Gulch.  Nobody was really talking about them up to the day of their Kentucky Derby victories and people SHOULD have been talking about them! They were all pretty impressive horses leading up to the KY Derby, with impressive performances in their background, which should have caused them to be touted much, much more than they were.  And as a result, as they all proudly posed for their pictures in the KY Derby Winner's Circle and received their garland of victory roses, gave a big time reward to those who saw their potential, stuck with them & supported them at the windows.  

I can see the same thing happening this year, too.  It looks like a 50/50 chance of rain at race time Saturday & a chance of a sloppy track.  Talk of rain reminds me of my very first Kentucky Derby winner - Go For Gin.  One of the main reasons I played him (including loving his name, of course) was because he enjoyed running on a sloppy track. (Also because Susan Lucci was at Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby Day 1994, and was being interviewed pre-race by ABC Sports.  She looked fabulous - dressed all in white and wearing a large, white, picture-frame hat. She just happen to mention in the interview that she was at Churchill Downs that day in support her good friend & next door neighbor, who owned Go For Gin.  I knew right then & there I had picked the right horse! - LOL.  I thought it had to be a SIGN - a good omen! - LOL.  It still makes me laugh to remember that memory.  Hey, what can I say?  I was a teenager back then, but I had great instincts for a kid! - LOL.  (Susan Lucci also played a hand in helping me be diligent & pro-active about playing the horse I loved most in the 1995 Derby, Thunder Gulch - but that's a story I will tell another day.  I just want to say:  Thank you, Susan!)  

So, if it's raining Saturday for Derby Day - and Friday for KY Oaks Day - those races will be even more up for grabs than they are right now. Both the Derby and the Oaks are DEEP, DEEP, DEEP in talent, with pretty level playing fields in each race.  So, horses that are getting low-key buzz right now in the Derby, like Goldencents, Palice Malice, Oxbow, Mylute, Java's War, Overanalyze, Itsmyluckyday, Normandy Invasion and Vyjack should be looked at long and hard by bettors as being the sparkle-y diamonds-in-the-rough this year.  Support & loyalty for them from their fans will bring lucrative results!  

I'm not happy that Orb is now the favorite going into the KY Derby.  I was hoping he would keep flying very low under the radar to help boost his price come race day.  I've been supporting him all year, and now he's the favorite in the race! Ugh!  I rarely play chalks.  I just hope Orb goes off a higher-end chalk at 9-2, 5-1 or 6-1.  That will make playing him singled & in exotics more rewarding should he win or hit the board on Derby Day.

I'm loving the KY Oaks!  No one is talking about this race and everyone SHOULD be talking about it!  I loved Believe You Can (fab name!) and Broadway's Alibi in last year's race - and I thought last year's Oaks was very deep in talent.  This year's Oaks field is even DEEPER in talent - amazing!  I didn't think that could even be possible.  Dreaming of Julia, Beholder, Unlimited Budget, Rose to Gold, Midnight Lucky, Close Hatches - with a possibility of three co-favorites in the race at race time.  I think Julia will be the favorite though, and at lower odds than 3-1.  I think 3-1 is very generous in her case.  This race reminds me very much of the 2012 Breeder's Cup Ladies' Classic featuring Her Highness, Royal Delta.  The Oaks field is a powerhouse one, just as was the Ladies' Classic.  I'm supporting the six listed above in my exotics & singled, but I'm also looking for the one outstanding long shot in the group.  Still evaluating that one.  I will make my final decision right before the race on KY Oaks Day.  I  like evaluating horses while they are on post parade before putting in my final wagers.

Congratulations to Mr. John Nerud, who is the REAL winner in this year's KY Oaks and KY Derby.  What a formidable legend this wonderful man is!  In his 100th year, he has more KY Derby and KY Oaks entrants than even Todd Pletcher! - LOL.  It's entirely possible that a John Nerud horse will win BOTH the 2013 KY Oaks & the 2013 KY Derby.  What an accomplishment that would be!  I just have to say "Thank You" to the classy Mr. Nerud for his unusual thoroughbred vision & his gifts to us all.  Mr. Nerud's vision has given racing fans, and the world, some incredible champion horses over the decades, and Derby & Classics winners.  I greatly admire Mr. Nerud.  Way to go, Mr. Nerud!  You're the man!!  A grateful nation thanks you.  Please let Mr. Nerud know we love him, Steve.

Thanks, Steve.  Once again, great list.  Good luck with your personal picks in the KY Oaks & KY Derby!  I hope you nail it just like you did last year with I'll Have Another. You were one of the few journalists out there that supported him & had vision about him from the get-go.  

Good luck to everyone on this blog in their selections in the KY Oaks/KY Derby!  May there be many Happy Campers posting here starting Friday night, and continuing on long past Saturday night.

And good luck to all of the mighty, talented, impressive horses running in Friday's Oaks and Saturday's Derby races.  May they provide exciting, competitive races (think Believe You Can w/Rosie Napravnik on board breaking glass ceilings & making history in the KY Oaks, and I'll Have Another & Bodemeister slugging it out in last year's epic KY Derby race - giving birth to two exciting, thrilling, heart-pounding Classics races for the ages) that we will all be buzzing about for years to come.  And may each & every participant come back from their respective races both happy, healthy & sound.  That's the most important thing of all, and all that really counts.

Good luck, everyone!

01 May 2013 1:11 PM

Hey Dr. Drunkenbum,

Loved your dream. - LOL.  Write down the details of your dream and bring it back out for next year's Kentucky Derby!  Bob doesn't have a horse in the Derby this year, of course, but he usually does have entrants most years.  This dream could be a tip about a future Derby winner.  If it is, you have the inside track!!  Good luck!

01 May 2013 1:39 PM

Perfect scenario: At least 6 horses cross the wire together!

But that isn't going to happen.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, before the post draw, top 4 finishers:



3.Java's War

4. Tie...Vyjack, Verrazano, Goldencents

In my dreams...but the dreams include a Triple Crown.

Oaks:  Deeeeep field.

1.Midnight Lucky


3.Close Hatches or Dreamin of Julia

01 May 2013 2:00 PM

I am surprised Verrazano gets beat up so much. Nothing is a bigger mirage in racing then a horse closing fast(NI) on a horse who was in complete control(except the even sillier, "he passed him after the wire in the gallop"). I don't love him but when a horse is able to cruise at the speed VZ does, he is capable of being any kind. Can't say that about any other horse in the field. I also think the slow times are a little exxagerrated. Pace does matter when it comes to final times but this is the important part: A pace that is about .6-.75 seconds slower or faster then par has no real effect on the quality of the race BUT as a mathmetical certainty, it will effect the final time. Beware of taking a slow paced race and writing it off because of the final time(Florida Derby) especially when comparing it to an earlier race with a faster pace where the winner ran loose and her it all her own way. I like the mid-pack closer's race that closed into a snails pace against much stiffer competition better.

01 May 2013 2:55 PM

I am surprised Verrazano gets beat up so much. Nothing is a bigger mirage in racing then a horse closing fast(NI) on a horse who was in complete control(except the even sillier, "he passed him after the wire in the gallop"). I don't love him but when a horse is able to cruise at the speed VZ does, he is capable of being any kind. Can't say that about any other horse in the field. I also think the slow times are a little exxagerrated. Pace does matter when it comes to final times but this is the important part: A pace that is about .6-.75 seconds slower or faster then par has no real effect on the quality of the race BUT as a mathmetical certainty, it will effect the final time. Beware of taking a slow paced race and writing it off because of the final time(Florida Derby) especially when comparing it to an earlier race with a faster pace where the winner ran loose and her it all her own way. I like the mid-pack closer's race that closed into a snails pace against much stiffer competition better.

01 May 2013 2:55 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

JoyJackson21, iceman92, Ted from LA:  That is a great idea to write it down for next year, thanks. I also wish I could remember what Baffert and I were talking about when we were standing on the track after the race, and conversing about something. Do you know Ted? Good luck to all of you this year !!!!


    Hubba, hub, hubba, hubba, hubba, hub.

01 May 2013 4:58 PM

OK, now that Rosie-Mylute are going to be less than 60 - 1 (thanks, Steve; thanks 60 Minutes), and now that my Kitten Exacta (Charming Kitten / Fear the Kitten) is not absolutely certain (tho if it is, I'm purrfectly willing to go for it), Charming Kitten and Golden Soul.

Seaneen Girl in the Oaks.

(Hey Iceman92 (anything to do with Top Gun??), Ted and Dr. D: dreams can come true, it could happen to you...)

01 May 2013 5:17 PM
El Kabong

Poor Java,

He would have been better off in the 1 hole. I hope he decides to break with the other kids.

01 May 2013 6:02 PM

Verrazano 4-1 morning line?? I'll take 4-1 in a New York minute----there's still a lack of respect for this horse.

01 May 2013 6:04 PM

Verrazano 4-1 morning line?? I'll take 4-1 in a New York minute----there's still a lack of respect for this horse.

01 May 2013 6:04 PM
EM James

If Goldencents brings his party favors to share with all runners, he will win just as IHA won. Handicapping such a race is futile. Okay, let us assume that the race is run fairly so we can all be confident that the true winner is one of the top horses in the best form, and our handicapping efforts are rewarded.  

01 May 2013 6:13 PM

Sorry Steve!

   There's no way Revolutionary goes off at 10-1. What's Battaglia been smokin'?! He'll probably be 5-1. Although Giant Finish's bloodlines are laughable, He does have real old school breeding with Nashua on his bottom female line.....something to think about at 85-1!

01 May 2013 7:06 PM

"Lines of Battle" has to sit in the starting gate for toooo long. Bad draw for him.....demand 45-1!

01 May 2013 7:09 PM

Poor Black Onyx draws post #1. He deserved better.

Java's War and Vyjack in just as much trouble in #19 and #20

#3 post suits Calvin on Revolutionary, one horse tactical enough to navigate well.

Orb in #16 was made morning line favorite.

The one time Oxbow doesn't have the outside post, he's nailed in #2.

Goldencents placed well in #8

Mike Smith all smiles; Palace Malice in post #10, the same post used by Mike on Giacomo.

Interesting.  As much as I love Orb, I worry because he's lazy and ultra-inquisitive.  He might become too entranced by the crowds to concentrate.  But then, his works have shown him outdistancing his workmates, and then keep on going once he passes them.  Since he had the habit of stopping when he made the lead, it's a great improvement.

No changes to my choices, except Goldencents may outrun little Java's War.

01 May 2013 7:12 PM

Here's my $99,999 superfecta 18-1-3-2

01 May 2013 7:17 PM
Scott's Rail

Have to admit, not quite as confident as last years pick.   Oh yea, that was last year.  Going Tri- with Orb, Imlday, one of the Lucas' horse and 5 other...

01 May 2013 7:34 PM

Well, Pletcher got his wish for Verrazano's post.  He wanted toward the outside and especially outside of the other speed horses (Goldencents and Falling Sky) which is exactly what he got.  If Todd's happy, I'm happy.  Sticking with Verrazano because until he loses a race, he can be "any kind" as they say.  Still love Orb; partly because of my esteem for Shug and partly because by all accounts, he is doing very, very well at Churchill.  In fact, he is morning line favorite ahead of Verrazano. , which is a bit of "bad luck" since favorites don't win that often anymore (blame the 20 horse fields).

Of course, those 2 are chalk (though 7-2 or 4-1 are nothing to sneeze at), but for a better price, I like Itsmyluckyday and Mylute.

01 May 2013 7:38 PM
Pedigree Ann

Racingfan - Dosage as practiced by Mr. Roman was always an iffy calculation and since he has paid little attention to adding new stallions of late, it is worse than ever as a predictive measure. Just a few years back, the horse with the HIGHEST DI in the field was the winner (Mine That Bird).

You are much better off analyzing the racing and production records of the parents to determine distance possibilities. More work, but more likely to be accurate.

01 May 2013 7:59 PM

Ack!  Black Onyx 50 -1 in the ML?

What's a girl gonna do???

01 May 2013 8:11 PM

To The Deacon:

I totally agree with you.  In my book, I'll Have Another was the most deserving horse for Horse of the Year last year.  In a perfect, fairer, less agenda-filled world, he would have been!  

01 May 2013 8:22 PM

Goldencents,Orb and possibly It's My Lucky Day who broke a record in the Holy Bull and was not quite ready in the Florida Derby.Look at Goldencents pedigree again he has a few Triple crown horses in there and Beholders Dam

01 May 2013 9:15 PM

For some reason I just can't jump on the favorite bandwagon this year, with once exception, and that's a distant favorite.

Love Normandy Invasion and just think he is something special. He's  been willing to go through a wave to get where he needs to - knocking at the door, overcoming obstacles with always strong finishes. Just hope Castellano will hang on, check him only slightly and wait for the holes, and just let the horse figure the route - rather than ride the rail or swing around the whole Derby field to the outside. He worries me as a jockey who doesn't usually take chances - until The Withers, and that was only splitting 2 horses, not a stampede like The KY Derby. Or hopefully he'll somehow just have a clean trip and blow them all away.

Rosie can improve Mylute's chances especially being such a strong finishing jockey. His finish in the LA Derby due to slight drifting. Rosie could will him straight!

Goldencents can shine if he can stay calm - but on Derby day?

Orb has such class, but taking 4 to break his maiden, and only 1 race this year? Still not convinced.

Java's War really coming up at the right time, but how to rate the Blue Grass? And same for a late charging, but impressive Charming Kitten.

A good long shot consideration is Will Take Charge. Seems to do well with the time off. Can be sure Lukas is checking to make sure all the hairs on this horse are lined up perfectly.

Have my bets ready, but probably won't make any until I see them in the post parade, but definitely include Normandy Invasion in most of them.

Thanks again, Steve, for your insight coming up to The Derby! If we can't be in the sun to watch them run, so glad you are there for us!

01 May 2013 9:58 PM

Enjoying all the videos from Steve and Lenny and Churchill, the workouts, the trainers comments, everything!  Thank you all.

Dr. D.,

I dreamt 2 nights ago I was going to work but walking down a street.  I drive to work on major highways so why I was walking down a road I don't know.  But 4 bay colts were walking towards me in the opposite direction, one was slightly ahead of the others.  As soon as I came up to them I can't remember anything else.  It was not a race, just walking.  What it means I have no idea, looking at too many videos I would imagine!!!

Your dream was interesting and too bad Baffert is not in it.  Interesting you dreamt Post 4 because if my memory serves me correctly that is the post Iceman dreamt about recently?  

El Kabong,

Don't despair.  The post positions played out the War Pass colts like I thought, encircling the field.  Rev far inside, Calvin can't get much closer to that rail, and Java's War far outside.  He may be able to get around the traffic come flying late and not get caught too wide, who knows.  I would love to see a War Pass colt avenge his untimely death, I want Rob's bred Lucky to win, and I want the undefeated one Verrazano to remain that way, cant have it all so:

But my picks are:

1.  ItsMyLuckyDay

2.  Verrazano

3.  Orb

with Revolutionary in there too.  For some reason I am liking the looks of Palace Malice more and more.  But it is a very talented field, good luck to all, agree the point system seems to work, and may they all come home safe.

GO LUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

01 May 2013 10:20 PM

Alright I'm going with Itsmyluckyday and Goldencents in that order. I will probably also place bets on Verrazano, Overanalyze and Revolutionary though since this has been a ridiculously hard decision.

01 May 2013 10:51 PM

Here's the pace sceanrio of the Derby: Oxbow, Goldencents, Itsmyluckyday, Falling Sky and Verrazano will vie for the lead, passing the stands for the first time, the opening quarter in 23 and change. Falling Sky wants that lead and gets it narrowly over Oxbow with Itsmyluckyday being the filler-for-the-sandwich between that one and Verrazano,to the outside, the first half-mile in about 47 flat. Behind this group will be Palace Malice, Normandy Invasion, Orb, Overanalyze, Will Take Charge and My Lute. Making their runs from the extreme rear of the field will be Revolutionary, Charming Kitten, Black Onyx and Java's War. Frac Daddy etc get lost somewhere in between. Between the five-eights and the Half-mile points, a sudden shake-up takes place as Goldenents tries to wrest the lead away from Falling Sky to steal a march on the leading group but the "Sky" isn't about to fall as they cover six panels in 1:11 flat ...not until Verrazano and Itsmyluckyday, in tandem, make a cripling move at the three-eights pole. These two open up some daylight with Orb, Normandy Invasion, Overanalyze and Revolutionary (leaving the back markers for dead) charge towards the new leaders.

At this point a mischievious thought has occured to me ..."keep them posted 'til Derby Day" (LOL) such luck ...the long and short of this sneak preview is that Verrazano draws off from Itsmyluckyday just below the eighth pole, after turning for home with a mile covered in 1:34 and change. With Johnny V brandishing the whip vigorously to keep him up to his work, Verrazano crosses thw wire in a final time of ??? no no no got to wait for race to get that bit. Overanalyze sizzles over the last quarter to relegate Itsmyluckyday to the show spot, ahead of Orb, Will Take Charge and Revolutionary in a tight photo to fill out the superfecta. Thats it folks.

Now do you want to know about the Oaks and Woodford? Wise Dan says to Dream of Julia tonight and you might get lucky by midnight on Friday.

For those who fancy mysterious angles: it could be a Todd Plecher Oaks/Derby double or a "lucky" Oaks/Derby double i.e. Midnight Lucky/Itsmyluckyday never know. Anyway on the serious side, Verrazano is the real deal: he will show his true class on Saturday and so too will Dreamig of Julia. Enjoy.

01 May 2013 11:03 PM

Verrazano? in a new york minute?.............your only its gonna be a KENTUCKY 2 MINUTES!!!!! of the week! me!

01 May 2013 11:20 PM

WOW, Black Onyx 50-1.  I hope he is 50-1 at post time.  No. 1 hole is not bad for him, and Revolutionary in the 3 spot is perfect for the horse and Calvin.

01 May 2013 11:53 PM

Between all all of us, couldn't we toss in $50 a head and find us an Oaks horse for $1,400???  


Mary - research dam side Princequillo roots

Coldfacts - Northern Dancer pedigree analysis

Dr. D - pedigree analysis to conjure up perfect personality

Ky Vet - scoping

Pedigree Ann - find crosses that produce Sherman tank hind quarters

Fran L - off radar horse that traces back to Arkansas Derby winners

Slew - Build us a closer with speed freak pacing ability

Cassandra.Says - find us that right stride & way of going

The Deacon - cook us up runner for any track condition

Karen in Texas - conformation

Haskin - write the book

Bigtex - drinks &'snacks

Stable name: ???

Derby Dozenites Stable, Blogging to Hogging Winner Circle Stable...

Horse Name: ???

A man can dream can't he??

02 May 2013 12:26 AM

I will be rooting for the D Wayne Lukas colts for sure but my pick in this very evenly matched field is going to be Normandy Invasion.

02 May 2013 3:44 AM

EM James IMO Goldencents did not draw well if he was hoping for a stalking trip.All the quick colts are outside of him and with all the focus on NOT starting from the 1 or 2 hole, I believe one or both of Black Onyx and Oxbow will be hustled out of the gate and close to the front within the 1st 100-150 yards after the break.If the inexperienced(in big races) jockey on Goldenscents tries to restrain his mount in any way from making the lead or lead pack,he could be squeezed back before the first turn and begin a rough trip.He needs to get to the front or press the pace and not be restrained in any way or he could be toast.

Last year O'Neil rode an inexperienced jockey but they started outside in post 19, this year his colt is right in the middle of the field,I think the experienced jockeys will tell you that in the 20 horse field of the KDerby it is better to start outside or closer to the rail without being in 1 or 2 as a rider without much big race experience.

02 May 2013 7:05 AM

I've come around to liking Palace Malice to be in the money, and possibly score an upset.  Despite trouble of some sort in every race, he has put up good numbers.  Curlin, Mike Smith, a sharp 4f work and blinkers on spells a dangerous horse.

Verrazano could be a super horse, and Orb looks fantastic as well (go Malibu Moon!).

If there is a pace meltdown (which there could be with Falling Sky, Goldencents and Verrazano), look for Java's War to pick up the pieces.

1. Palace Malice

2. Orb

3. Verrazano

4. Java's War

Good luck all!  

02 May 2013 8:55 AM
By a long nose

Haskin couldnt pick his nose let alone a winner. The worst handicapper in turf writing. Bar none

02 May 2013 11:01 AM

Oh yeah!!! In the Kentucky Derby anything could happen, and even more in this edition that, with the exception of Overanalyze, doesn´t line up any of the 2 year old colts leaders in 2012. Well, this is my top 3:

1- Palace Malice

2- Verrazano

3- Normandy Invation

But i like a lot too:


Goldencents and


Once again I regret Dreaming of Julia is not a Derby "horse". Good luck to all.

02 May 2013 12:21 PM

Just by an act of fate I happened to be able to attend the Louisiana Derby and found my fondness for Revolutionary because of his impressive pedigree cemented by watching him move.  He continues to impress me and I am really gratified that you continue to support him as your number one, Steve.  I have to stick with him even though there are so many others that are impressive also.

My son-in-law is a huge Rock Hard Ten fan.  We stopped at Lane's End to see him after Breeder's Cup 2010 and he lived up to expectations.  So, Black Onyx ending up in post one is a real disappointment.  I can only hope he is able to deal with that handicap.  He is just gorgeous.

Your pictures in recent articles have been beautiful.  I tell you, Steve, you have the best job in the world!  And you do it so well.  Too many horses to love here but I'll stick with Revolutionary this time.  It is a great Triple Crown name, don't you think?

02 May 2013 7:51 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I ate two donuts and made out my Derby Dozen. I still don't know what the track condition will be so it could change things. This is based on a fast track. It could also be a peanut butter track and I'd be toast.




4-Java's War

5-Palace Malice



8-Charming Kitten



11- Golden Soul

02 May 2013 7:53 PM
El Kabong


Like your pick. I like Goldencents and Java best. I will be playing them with Revolutionary, Mylute and NI for the most part. Knowing your along helps pal. Stay strong down the lane, it's going to take a lot of encouragement to get our little man home. Enjoy the race.  

02 May 2013 8:39 PM

The derby is set!  Very happy with the field, thanks to the new points system which worked unbelievably well for its first try.  This is the field I wanted to see, 3 yr old colts that actually ran and worked hard for their spot in the Derby.  The 2 yr old races no longer has impact and that's how it should be.  Anyone who still believes this points system is flawed needs to get out from under their rock.  A change was required and this was a very good first step.

As for my bet, I'm going for the gold, have to wait to see how wet it will be though.  Looks like there's a good chance it'll be a wet and wild party.

Question for anyone familiar with CD, how does sealing the track affects the "condition" of the track?  Does it make it more like a fast track (except wet of course) ?

02 May 2013 8:49 PM

Dr.D: very disconcerting dream last night...still upset about it...

My surprise..has been Orb for several months.

Last night I dreamt Revolutionary won.

Now, where did I put that Tequila?

03 May 2013 10:51 AM

by a long nose.....Lenny, is that you???

03 May 2013 12:24 PM

OK, I have thrown away my money on Black Onyx, Charming Kitten and Golden Soul.  (Re: the latter two, have there been any Saddlers Wells line horses who have won the Kentucky Derby yet?  If not, I'm hoping it's time)

Maybe I should just have buried my money in the back yard but it really doesn't matter because IT'S THE DERBY and it's still fun.

Good luck to all.  Good trip to all.

P.S.  Whoever is there this year, guzzle a couple of the Oaks drinks for me, OK?  I didn't really like the mint julips but those Oaks things really, really went down very easily.  Wish I was there.

03 May 2013 12:29 PM

Bigtex, I'm willing to put a little money.  Coldfacts, I think is a Mr. Prospector fan.  I like Mr. Prospector as long as there is not a lot of line breeding.  I like a Count Fleet/Princequillo cross, Count Fleet on top and Princequillo on the bottom.  This is why I am so high on Revolutionary.  

Revolutionary, Itsmyluckyday, Will Take Charge and Orb.  I'm putting Orb in the mix simply because everyone is so high on him.  If his pedigree was reversed, i.e. top of the pedigree on the tail and tail on the top, I'd be high on him too.  

03 May 2013 6:53 PM

So now I understand why Castellano decided to go with Normandy Invasion.  Personal reasons, I get it.

03 May 2013 9:54 PM

35 years since the last Triple Crown winner.  This is what I am aiming for. Orb can run all day, and he'll eventually pass any horse ahead of him.  I kept thinking 12f.  That's why I want Orb. (and I want my Slew line to shine!)

Did ANYONE have Princess of Sylmar?

Nice payout!

Wise Dan running today? Should be one hell of a day!

Good luck to some one else's trip to all.

04 May 2013 9:16 AM
Mike from Michigan

@ By A Long Nose......are you serious about Steve or are you just kidding?  Let me tell you, I have learned more about thoroughbred racing from Steve than I have anywhere.  I know Steve doesn't need my defending, but he gives us much insight throughout the year and I think he can hold his own with any none.  I really like the fact that Steve has stuck by 'Palace Malice' pretty much most of the year despite some hiccups for this horse.  I too,  am gonna stick with him in the Derby because I really think he has the talent to compete for the roses. He may or may not win, but he belongs and I am looking forward to watching him motor down the stretch towards the wire.

04 May 2013 10:24 AM

YES!!!!  ORB wins!  Atta Boy!

04 May 2013 8:00 PM

Big Tex: I do believe I've completed my assignment....a stone closer shutting down the speed freaks ... in the slop, no less.

Did Orb's hooves ever really touch the ground in that run?

Thankfully, 151k screaming fans did not distract him, and blinkers were unnecessary.

Always felt that as much as folks cite Man O'War and Secretariat as top horses of the 20th century, and as much as I brag on my love of the Slew, the true champion of the 20th Century was the first race horse I ever saw, Citation!

I think we may have seen THE horse of the 21st Century winning the Derby yesterday.  God Bless Orb, Shug, the Phipps, and Joel.  I am so happy for all of them.

05 May 2013 10:00 AM

Reflections of the 139th Kty Derby:

  Firstly, some “Zarvona” quotes:

   “Neither “Verrazano” or “Vyjack” are bred to go long”!!!

   “None of the milers, “Itsmyluckyday”, “Verrazano”, “Vyjack”, nor “Shanghai Bobby” are bred for distance”.  {{…simply meaning bred to retain their speed via stamina over 1 ¼ or longer}}  and that Steve Haskin’s early ‘dozen’ lists were full of “MILERS” !!!

    “Itsmyluckyday” 9-1  ???, THEY didn’t read my blog post !!!

    “Verrazano”, bred by “More Than Ready”, on the sire side,--the ½ or brother of “El Padrino”, who btw again finished 13th in 20 in his Derby,--“WILL NOT WIN the Kty. Derby” !!!…where as you now see,  “Verrazano” finished 14th of 19 !!, which was my point all along about being bred or not FOR DISTANCE.

    “No horse that ran in the Risen Star will win the Kty. Derby.”

    “Normandy Invasion” 9-1 ??? THEY didn’t my blog posts !!!

    “No horses without a link to the “BHXFG” strains in this era of breeding will win the Kty. Derby” !!

  …Those that were “0 Xs bred to any “BHXFG” strain in this Derby run included: “Normandy Invasion”, respectable run considering, on the lead at the turn--at what near 1 1/8 ??--and finished in $$ 4th , although was NOT the WINNER, as projected, and “Java’s War”, whom basically showed NO GAME AT ALL…

    “Normandy Invasion” 9-1 ??? THEY didn’t my blog posts !!!

    “Java’s War” 21-1 ??? THEY didn’t my blog posts !!!

   “This is a pretty weak group coming out of California and the off the west coast!!!”  … Their best contender, “Govenor Charlie” ran at Sunland for the $$, & broke the track record !!! for a 1 1/16 and was later unfortunately scratched from the Kty. Derby.

  “Goldencents” 7-1 ??? THEY didn’t my blog posts !!!

   6 weeks back ?? I stated, “At this point “Revolutionary” and “Orb” are serious contenders. Would I ordain one or the other at that point in time as The Winner, no.”

   2-3 weeks ago ??? I stated, “Hats off to anyone that can beat “Black Onyx”; “Govenor Charlie”; “Orb”; or “Revolutionary”; that they were my Derby picks,--REGARDING PICKING THE WINNER!!!

“Govenor Charlie”; scratched, “Black Onyx”; late scratched, left only 2 players, “Revolutionary” and “Orb”, where one won the Derby and both hit board in the top 3 !!!.

  “Revolutionary” 6-1;

  “Orb” 5-1  … well, either someone read my blog posts, lol , or Steve’s influence along the horses themselves brought true value.  

 Next point, it is my true feeling that the best horse in the 139th Kentucky Derby did not win the 139th Kentucky Derby. “Revolutionary” actually out ran this entire field !! Borel, who got “Take Charge Indy” out from the #3 gate last year,--up to 5th in the first turn,--lost this race coming out of the #2 gate and settling in for last of 19 at some c. 20 + lengths behind the leaders and off the pace before even starting his run. Did he really think he was riding “Zenyatta” ???,--who by the way lost her last race for the record of 21 straight wins BY A NOSE employing that exact same style, although as we know it had been her style in many runs.--The rest of the field was too good to get that far behind and although he lost this race by only 1 length, not the post position or the slop,--which was physically handled,--can be used as any excuse. To me, it was purely Calvin “Borail” not going for earlier position. “That’s my take and I’m stickin’ to it”. If “Revolutionary” skips the Preakness and goes to the Belmont,--as he should in my opinion,--he should clearly be the favorite and that no matter what line Battaglia sets !!!

 Also, as noted: “Violence” was chosen as my standard in Aug.-Sept. of 2013 to “rate breeding against others”, all following her performance at Sar., and that being breeding for handing DISTANCE from a horse with class that had just won a 7 fur. Msw high $ prep, where we have learned that trainers like testing their 2 yr. old hopefuls ‘at the Spa’!!! Only three horses in comparison ranked higher than “Violence” going into the 139th Kty. Derby, 1 was even, and 2 lesser but in the variance range of acceptable players. Those that ranked higher included, in order for distance: “Forest Giant”; “Black Onyx”; and “Revolutionary”; the one that was equal to “Violence” was “Orb”. The two that fell into the ‘variance range’ of 25 points below “Violence”,--who btw rated at “284”, by my breeding scale,--were “Frac Daddy” and “Falling Sky”. What a sloppy track does to anyone individual horse or if any of these came out of the race injured, or etc., we never know. However, “Forest Giant” actually finishing in the top 10 with his lack of earlier successes did not surprise me.

    Finally, even in the year of “Storm Cat’s” death, the curse prevails, no “Storm Cat” bred horse has yet won the Kentucky Derby !!! Both “Black Onyx” and “Govenor Charlie” were her best chance once that the likes of “Bradester”; “Carving”; “Cerro”; “West Hills Giant”; and “War Academy”, and other such as those failed to measure up.

05 May 2013 4:55 PM

    Oh, and by the way, for all of you who missed out on the 38-1 Kty. Oaks winner, “Princess of Sylmar”, --who got like 20-1 or 19-1 in CD Pool #2, but 38-1 on Oaks Day,--well she was the only 3 year old horse that I looked up the breeding on and that I rated out this year THAT WENT OVER 300 !!, --remember “Violence” rated out at 284, therefore any mare for me over 285 is nice and a consideration and any filly over 300 ranks for me,--as the fillies get an extra 15 points because of 8 extra potential links to “BHXFG” strains from the sir side,--anyway, being where via my scale, she rated out at 403 !! And, thusly yes, I not only had her in the Kty. Oaks, but also in Future Pool #2 !!!

  So, if you think “Zarvona”, who hit the Risen Star $2,285.00 exacta; and had the OAKS winner and the Derby winner is full of hot air re all this hoopla over BREEDING investigation, and you are one whom doesn’t think that breeding matters accept from some sire you once heard of, or you just like to needle my posts all year,--where I admit I make a few posting errors with no reviewers or editors here on staff and my old PC, and--those needlings being to the point, where I am seriously debating no longer sharing my thoughts any longer, where 2 TY s a year aren’t that gratifying or rewarding. Yes, I may in the future just read others posts and from here on and no longer contribute as I have stopped in the last 6 weeks, we shall see.

  In any event, you have been given many insights into my methodology and there is no reason I need to do your homework for you. Remember, I don’t get paid for sharing this free information, so don’t bother asking how I found “I’ve Struck a Never” at 135-1 or “Princess of Slymar” at 38-1, although I often expressed how I arrived already at “ORB” and “REVOLUTIONARY”,--all using the same methodology,--and although I have to congratulate Steve for ranking these last two mentioned 1-2 in his dozens, I must admit that I had a different 12 all year ‘RATED by breeding for distance’ ranked higher that I expressed many times in my posts, where our lists were often quite different. And, I did share some thoughts regarding Steve’s entries that I thought were way off, which in any event I hope someone on here took note of and saved a few dollars on not making frivolous bets letting others’ thoughts sway you.

 So, anyway, good luck from here on boyz and galz. I may get ‘the Derby blog fever’ again come next Feb., we shall see. But, after sharing thoughts this year and having people nit-pick at a post where I got a trainer misplaced or a birthday off,--where one can get all that info yourself, correct my errors and just let them go by, it seems less and less appealing to me to spend the time wasted contributing, where I have to read about editing errors pointed out instead of debating more important issues, forget the 2 hours drafting the info after the hours of research spent. And again, i get little gratification or some TY for the free information that I shared. And with no gratification of a TY or getting paid,--other than at the window, and--with fellow bloggers not just simply taking advantage of my freely offered and shared information and then some TY, it all added up makes contributing less and less important or appealing to me. I think at first it was just seeing the ‘me’ publicly in print on the blog pages and my love for the Derby that attracted me to this blog in the first place, but again, I don’t get paid and I don’t get dates from this site either, lol.      

05 May 2013 5:14 PM

Zarvona, I agree with all that you posted.  You know from my posts that I was a big Revolutionary fan, and also Black Onyx and Govenor Charlie.  I put Orb in the mix just because everyone was so high on him.  He is a very nice horse.  It was upsetting to lose  Black Onyx and Govenor Charlie.

Revolutionary is the better horse; but in the KD the best horse does not always win.  

06 May 2013 8:06 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Mike from Michigan

   It's his loss. The Great Steve Haskin is one of the most knowledgeable and insightful purveyors of horse flesh in the history of the world, and he helps me to make money in The Derby. Phipp, Phipp Hooray, Phipp, Phipp Hooray !!!!


    Dreams do come true. At least the ones while we are awake. Serious Triple Crown candidate but we won't count our chickens before they hatch. Orb is one cool customer, that is for sure. Some good ones are going to take him on in the next two legs though.

06 May 2013 9:53 PM

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