Derby Dozen - January 28, 2014 - Presented by Shadwell Farm


Cairo Prince Kiaran McLaughlin Click Here!

Pioneerof the Nile—Holy Bubbette, by Holy Bull

The key formula for selecting a No. 1 horse is running style plus temperament plus pedigree plus class at 2 and showing improvement at 3. Based on that, I have little choice but to put this colt on top right now after what we saw in the Holy Bull and the number of good horses he not only beat but dominated. His action isn’t the smoothest, but he runs perfectly straight and is extremely professional and although there isn’t great extension to his stride he still generates a lot of power. One can say the Holy Bull did more to flatter Honor Code, who is a striking individual on all fronts, but Honor Code is just back breezing now while Cairo Prince is already proven at 3. And Honor Code was getting six pounds from Cairo Prince in the Remsen, and that’s a lot going 1 1/8 miles; certainly enough in a finish that close. He also was giving the runner-up six pounds in the Holy Bull. All in all he’s a solid choice, he’s improving, but doesn’t have much more to improve, and it’s about time for the Derby gods to smile down on McLaughlin.


Top Billing Shug McGaughey

Curlin—Parade Queen, by A.P. Indy

I toyed with the idea of putting him No. 1, because I feel he’s the most promising 10-furlong horse I’ve seen this year and I cannot find a single fault in him. He has all the tools, his allowance score Saturday was flawless, and the best is yet to come. He won going away, and his final time was less than a second off the track record after going five wide. In all three of his races he’s shown a devastating turn of foot, and has taken both the outside and inside routes. He’s won in the slop and on a fast track, from 6 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. In his second-place finish at 1 1/8 miles, beaten a half-length, he was coming off only one 6-furlong race in the slop at Laurel, while the winner had already won at 1 1/8 miles and put him in a tight squeeze twice in the stretch. By Curlin, his female family includes two Triple Crown winners, three Belmont winners, two English Derby winners, and a CCA Oaks winner. And his sire and broodmare sire are Breeders’ Cup Classic winners and Horses of the Year. He still has to step up into stakes company, and that’s probably the only thing preventing him from being No. 1. It’s a photo with Cairo Prince and he could displace him at any time.


Shared Belief Jerry Hollendorfer

Candy Ride—Common Hope, by Storm Cat

Really in a dilemma what to do with him. Talent-wise, he’s No. 1 by far, but foot abscess isn’t healing as quickly as hoped and forced him to miss his 3-year-old debut. Still plenty of time to have him ready, but this isn’t the way you want to start off. We do know he has a world of talent, and no one has come even remotely close to beating him, but have no idea what’s going on with him. Not much coming from his camp, so we’ll assume he’ll be fine for the San Felipe. He appears to have all the tools -- looks, pedigree, running style, and explosive acceleration, and who better to promote the game than Jim Rome. From the side, you have to love the way he drops his shoulder and covers ground down the stretch, exploding away from his opponents. But he does paddle his left front leg, which could mean absolutely nothing in the long run, but considering he hasn’t run on dirt yet and has already missed two works and a race, I figured I’d start him off at No. 3 and see how and where he goes from here. He was an easy choice for the top spot until the setback.


Honor Code Shug McGaughey

A.P. Indy—Serena’s Cat, by Storm Cat

The first time I laid eyes on this colt, in the paddock at Saratoga, I was awestruck by his appearance, and then awestruck again by his performance. Great story if he can get the now pensioned A.P. Indy that elusive Derby winner. After another breathtaking stretch run in the Champagne that came up just short, he showed his versatility and courage, sitting just off a sloth-like pace in the Remsen and then battling back after seemingly beaten to snatch victory over a top-class colt in Cairo Prince. If he has a fault I haven’t seen it yet, but he still has to make the all-important transition from 2 to 3 and we won’t likely see him until the Fountain of Youth, as he just started breezing, although he hasn’t worked since his Jan. 18 breeze. We hope to see him on the work tab in the next day or two. He and Top Billing give McGaughey quite a 1-2 punch, with the latter more likely to ship to either Tampa or out of state.


Conquest Titan Mark Casse Click Here!

Birdstone—Miner’s Secret, by Mineshaft

This was my big sleeper going into the Holy Bull, and he’s now a sleeper no longer. With back-to-back big efforts using his new style of running he is the real deal. He has an awesome pedigree and push-button acceleration that he can sustain a long way. Throw out his earlier speed-crazy races. This is a new horse, as he’s shown how adaptable he is by switching his style so dramatically. He merely plays with older stakes horses in workouts, and Shaun Bridgmohan said he may be the best 2-year-old he’s ever ridden. Casse says he trains as good as any horse he’s ever had. He had no shot to win in the Holy Bull, giving the winner too big an advantage, but he ran like he was crying out for more distance. If you’re looking for a solid Future Wager horse at a decent price, this is the one you want to latch on to now.


Strong Mandate D. Wayne LukasClick Here!

Tiznow—Clear Mandate, by Deputy Minister

He has a world of ability, but needs to learn to settle early. His Hopeful victory was spectacular, and to me he ran the best losing race of anyone in the Breeders’ Cup. His third in the Juvenile was amazing after getting caught up in a sizzling pace. Breaking from post 13, he was rushed to the lead entering the backstretch through torrid fractions, looked like he was going to finish up the track when Havana ran right by him at the head of the stretch, but never quit and fought back to finish third, beaten only two lengths. He has the pedigree to go long and I like the way Lukas has been giving him fast and slow works, the latest being a sharp 5-furlong breeze in 1:00 2/5, fastest of 57 works at the distance. It won’t take much more to have him ready. If he’s progressed from 2 to 3, I haven’t seen anyone at Oaklawn yet that can warm him up.


Mexikoma Rick Mettee

Birdstone—Toccet Over, by Toccet

This colt could be a real sleeper. His race in the Breeders’ Cup was much better than it looks on paper and he’s only going to get stronger the farther he goes. He consistently flies home in his works, and in his mile maiden romp, he came home in about :24 flat, despite winning easily by almost 15 lengths. Loved the way he looked drawing off in the stretch. When Team Valor buys them, there’s usually something there. And when you have a horse who never gets tired, that’s a step in the right direction. He had to come from dead-last in the BC Juvenile, and when he swung out off the rail, he had nowhere to go and had his momentum stopped at a crucial point. Once he got clear and found his best stride, he closed powerfully and kept building up steam to the wire. There is no doubt he will relish longer distances. He could wind up in the Future Wager mutuel field, so there’s no bargain there. Vegas is the way to go if you can get down.


Midnight Hawk Bob Baffert

Midnight Lute—Miss Wineshine, by Wolf Power

Boy, has he taken abuse for his :13 2/5 final eighth in the Sham Stakes. Although coming home fast normally is a prerequisite for being a legitimate Derby horse, don’t be too alarmed, as this turned into a match race with Kristo in a four-horse field, and he was battling most of the way with the one horse he had to beat through some pretty stiff fractions. He did run his next-to-last eighth in :12 2/5 while putting Kristo away and then raced a bit greenly the rest of the way, easing in toward the rail. So, the belief here is that it was the race scenario more than anything that attributed to the slow final eighth, as well as it being only his second career start. Give him credit for beating a good horse who had a lot more bottom under him, having had three starts, breaking his maiden at 1 1/16 miles. One late note, I can’t remember the last time I saw a Baffert horse work 5f in 1:03 1/5.


Vicar’s in Trouble Mike Maker

Into Mischief —Vibrant, by Vicar

A Spendthrift Farm Louisiana-bred taking Fair Grounds by storm? As legendary British racecaller Peter O’Sullevan used to say following an extraordinary performance, “What manner of horse is this?” This colt’s runaway score in the LeComte was brilliant, and confirmed his demolition of state-breds by 13 lengths in his previous start. He was up against some talented colts like Albano and Gold Hawk in the LeComte, but blew them away, despite swerving out a bit and switching back to his left lead in the final sixteenth. We have no idea how good this horse is or how far he wants to go, but it’s going to be fun finding out. Looks like Rosie Napravnik has herself a real runner.


Candy Boy John Sadler

Candy Ride—She’s an Eleven, by In Excess

Really looking forward to his 3-year-old debut, especially the way he’s been working. He put in a spectacular middle move in the CashCall Futurity, which was way too early, and he was inhaled by Shared Belief, which is no disgrace. He still ran on well to finish second, ahead of some pretty classy horses. You can bet Gary Stevens knows him a lot better now. He’s been improving with every start, and was impressive blowing away the field in his 8 1/4-length maiden score going 1 1/16 miles. No worries about stamina, so distance will not pose a problem. All in all, a solid colt with great promise who should return in top form in the Robert Lewis Stakes Feb. 8.


Intense Holiday Todd Pletcher Click Here!

Harlan’s Holiday—Intensify, by Unbridled’s Song

This colt’s career so far is a perfect example of having patience and letting a horse develop at his own pace. He never showed a lot of speed, but kept slowly moving forward, and here he is finishing a strong third in the Holy Bull Stakes. He’s now been on the board in the Holy Bull, Remsen, and Nashua, and looks like the type that is always going to give you that good solid run down the stretch. Reminds me of a Giacomo type. The best part about his Holy Bull was the big run he made on the far turn. He wasn’t able to sustain that strong a run and was no match for the winner, but I believe the reason he couldn’t sustain it was the :22 4/5 third quarter he ran making that run, and that came after a :23 2/5 quarter. When you run a :46 1/5 half in the body of a race, it’s not easy to sustain it. If he keeps progressing like he has, he should give Starlight a legitimate Derby starter after their disappointment last year with Shanghai Bobby.


Commissioner Todd Pletcher

A.P. Indy—Flaming Heart, by Touch Gold

If you’re wondering why Top Billing is No. 2 and he’s No. 12 after beating him, it’s because of the reasons stated above – he had a big edge in fitness and experience and was getting four pounds. But there is very little separating 2 and 12. He’s by a Belmont winner, out of a dam by a Belmont winner, so distance will not be a problem, especially having already won two 1 1/8-mile races. Perhaps that is why he didn’t work for over three weeks after his last race, while Top Billing came back and ran three weeks later. But he did have his first work Sunday and looks to be back in business. He appears to be more of a grinder who is hard-ridden a long way out, but can just keep coming. Now that’s he’s worked, he very likely will move up the list in the weeks to come.

Knocking At The Door

Conspicuous by his absence, for now at least, is HAVANA, and the only reason for that is the fact he hasn’t worked since the BC Juvenile. But once he does hit the work tab, he will immediately jump into the Top 12. He really didn’t get the recognition he deserved for his brief, but brilliant, 2-year-old campaign. Because of his blazing speed going 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02 3/5 and almost blowing a big lead in the Champagne after a :45 2/5 half, many feel he won’t stretch out to classic distances, but I was a big fan of his sire, Dunkirk, who did battle back to finish second in the Belmont Stakes, and his broodmare sire is from a strong Darby Dan family. Although he was caught in the BC Juvenile, he blew by Strong Mandate after pressing a :45 1/5 and 1:09 3/5 pace and still held well for second. If he can harness that speed, he has the raw talent to be any kind. Keep watching that work tab.

In addition to Havana, Intense Holiday, and Commissioner, Pletcher has several lightly raced horses who could be any kind, including HARTFORD, HARPOON, MATTERHORN, and CONSTITUTION. It wouldn’t surprise me if one or more of these colts develop into major stars; that’s how impressive they looked in their maiden wins.

I also had a tough time keeping the Bob Baffert colt INDIANAPOLIS off the list after his impressive score in the San Pedro. But he hasn’t been past six furlongs and he beat only three horses, and two of them had nothing to recommend them. So we’ll wait for him to stretch out against top horses and see just how good he is. Certainly the potential is there, and his tail-female family traces to the immortal Gallorette. I’m also anxious to see Baffert’s once heralded TAPIT IT RICH debut after his ugly debacle in the CashCall Futurity, in which he totally self-destructed. Baffert also is playing catch-up with impressive maiden winner BAYERN, who really caught the eye going seven furlongs in his career debut.

Another colt I’m keeping a close eye on, and who almost made the Top 12, is the nine-furlong maiden winner TONALIST, a rare Derby trail horse from the barn of Chris Clement. I loved his last race at Gulfstream, especially the wide sweeping move he made on the turn and the way he kept getting stronger, drawing off in the final furlong. He has a super pedigree and definitely is one to watch.

An intriguing horse in Cal Cup Derby winner CALIFORNIA CHROME, who, visually, has looked very impressive in his last starts, but his two worst races have come in open company, so he still has to show he can beat horses other than Cal-breds. He did soundly defeat the top-class TAMARANDO, who had won or placed in three grade I stakes, so there is something there.

Also sitting within striking range of the Top 12 are RISE UP, RIDE ON CURLIN, BOND HOLDER, NOBLE CORNERSTONE, NOBLE MOON, TAPITURE and a pair of exciting New York-breds, SAMRAAT and UNCLE SIGH, slated to meet in Saturday’s Withers Stakes, where something’s got to give between these two knockout artists.


Leave a Comment:

Mister Frisky

The dozen makes the next four months fly by,thanks again Steve.Love Shugs two and Pletchers AP Indy colt.Steve I'm curious about a Banshee Breeze half by Bernardini that Asmussen has,do you have any info?Thanks Much.

28 Jan 2014 2:07 PM
Zenyatta John

Very nice way to start the year Steve, we've been anxiously awaiting your first list and it did not disappoint. My list is very similar except I don't have as high praise for Vicar's in Trouble or Intense Holiday, but instead have Uncle Sigh and Tapiture on mine. Can I ask why did you completely dismissed Gold Hawk? Every horse is eligible to throw in a clunker.  

28 Jan 2014 2:20 PM
Johnny D

Glad to see the Derby Dozen back going strong.  Your notes on Midnight Hawk are pretty much all negative so I am surprised to see him ranked so high. I can't argue with Cairo Prince in the 1 spot but see no reason why Honor Code should not be 1A in there. I look for Strong Mandate to get back to his monster 2 YO form.  One note on Vicar's in Trouble.  There is no arguing he ran a huge race in the Lecomte but he set soft fractions and nobody could close on him.  Keep Gold Hawk on your radar who was 3rd that day.  With more distance I would expect him to improve and turn the tables on Vicar's in Trouble in the Risen Star....

28 Jan 2014 2:20 PM

Nice to see a couple Birdstone's in there. Both have excellent Dam sides. And even though Mary Lou doesn't own them I root for Birdstones.

28 Jan 2014 2:35 PM
Daniel Jividen

Steve Haskin's annual Derby Dozen columns have become a big part of the Kentucky Derby tradition in my house;  almost as much fun, and often as chaotic, as the Derby itself.  

28 Jan 2014 3:12 PM

So much talent, and tough to rank them at this point when their development changes by the hour.

28 Jan 2014 3:12 PM
steve from st louis

Steve, I put all your horses on my wall in my computer room and scratch them off as they fall out of contention, a la Claire Danes' in "Homeland". Last year's wall displayed how keen your eye is for bloodstock. You had Revolutionary, Orb, Verrazano, Normandy Invasion, Overanalyze, Palace Malice, Golden Cents, Java's War, Itsmyluckyday and Oxbow. That's the winner of the Derby, Preakness and Belmont in your top 10 a month before the Derby. If Barry Irwin can leave the Form and run a successful bloodstock business, I think you can do the same if not better. I'd love to be your first investor. I'm thinking IEAH but with some staying power.What do you say we give it a try?

28 Jan 2014 3:40 PM

Steve, the race is on - I will have to quibble not seeing Tapiture in your dozen. He runs well at Churchill Downs and is a graded stakes winner there.

Honor Code is still the towering presence in my view, though.

28 Jan 2014 3:43 PM
Steve Haskin

Thanks very much, Daniel. I'm so happy to hear that.

Steve, I've always wanted to do what Barry does, but I dont have his self-confidence to stick my neck with other people's money. I'd love to be a consultant in finding diamonds in the rough before anyone gets wind of them. I was indeed proud of my list last year, especially having faith early in Palace Malice and Oxbow.

Davids, I didnt include Tapiture because the Ky. Jockey Club was very poor race and no one has come out of the race. I just want to see him repeat that against far better horses.

28 Jan 2014 4:05 PM

The Derby Dozen is up, so spring must be right around the corner!  

28 Jan 2014 4:15 PM

Steve your Derby Dozen is always the first thing that gets me buzzed for the Run for the Roses.  Excellent group selected as always.  Although I am a die hard Pletcher fan I must admit, I've got a soft spot for Cairo Prince and I would love to see a good guy like Kiaran McLaughlin win the Derby with him. Excitement is in the air!!  

28 Jan 2014 5:09 PM

Mr. Haskin,

As usual your Derby Dozen is interesting. It’s unusual to see Pletcher barn horses bringing up the bottom two slots. It appears he is not well represented in 2014.

You are indeed a brave man to allot the #1 slot to Cairo Prince. His trainer has hit the Derby board once and that was with a 78-1 longshot. It might very well require divine intervention for Cairo Prince to wear the roses.

The colt has contested three G2 stakes and AS recorded victories in two. Of the 27 horses that have finished behind him in those graded races, only one had a graded stakes victory. That horse is Mr. Speaker and his graded victory was recorded on turf. The colt that finished last in the BCJ finished 2nd in the Holy Bull. Cairo Prince has therefore not been facing the cream of the crop. Who has been facing the cream of the crop?

Only one on your list comes to mind and that’s Strong Mandate. He contested 3 graded races similar to Cairo Prince. The big difference is that they were all G1 Stakes. In the G1 Hopeful he defeated G2 winners Wired Bryan and Corfu. In the G1 Champagne he faced off against top colts Havana and Honor Code. Contesting the race as well were G2 winner Debt Ceiling and Ride On Curlin who was 4th in the G3, Iroquois. While he ran below expectation he did defeat a graded stake winner. In the G1 BCJ that included three other G1 winners, he finished a close 3rd while having 2 G1 winners behind him.

Clearly his body of work is greater than that of Cairo Prince. Substitute Strong Mandate for Cairo Prince in those G2 stakes and what would be the likely results?

Good horses will always look impressive against lesser opponents. This has to be taken into consideration when evaluating rankings.

28 Jan 2014 6:32 PM
Cathy in Washington

What about Ride On Curlin. He won is first start at three and I believe is pointing toward the Southwest stakes at Oaklawn. I believe he came out of the Street Sense Stakes with a lung infection. He set a track record a 2 and was 3rd the the Grade 1 Champagne.

28 Jan 2014 6:44 PM
Steve Haskin

"Good horses will always look impressive against lesser opponents. That has to be taken into consideration when evaluating rakings."  

Coldfacts, I want to thank you for your words of advice. I can't imagine why I didn't think of that. Just shows you're never too old to learn. BTW, I'll repay the favor and say, it might be wise to lean toward a horse who has run and won a stakes impressively as a 3-year-old already over a horse who still has to prove he's made the transition from 2 to 3, which many horses don't. Once Strong Mandate proves that and shows he's progressed from last year, then I can move him up closer to the top, if not the very top. And I didn't hear anyone say the Holy Bull was a bad field before the race. I'm sure you knew it was, but many did not. Or maybe the new and improved 3-year-old Cairo Prince made them look bad. That's always a possibility, as remote as it may seem.

28 Jan 2014 6:48 PM

In spite of the chilling weather many are experiencing, this means that spring might really be right around the corner - the first Derby Dozen!!  Thank you so much, Steve, for sharing your insight and expectations so I can keep up with my studies all along.  Safe racing for all!!

28 Jan 2014 6:50 PM

I confess I'm always drawn to a fabulous-looking horse and Honor Code fits the bill.  Also, would like to see a Derby winner for A.P. Indy and back-to-back Derby wins for Shug.  I hope this colt runs to his looks.

28 Jan 2014 6:53 PM
Steve Haskin

Cathy in Washington, you're right, I overlooked Ride On Curlin. I added his name to the bottom graph and will mention him in more depth next week. Thanks for pointing out that oversight.

28 Jan 2014 6:55 PM

Wicked Strong was upset in the paddock Saturday, and never took to the track. Another chance and a route taking him to the Wood Memorial. He likes NY tracks.

28 Jan 2014 6:59 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Forget that Punxutawney groundhog stuff. There is only one true and accurate sign of an early spring and that is Haskin's Derby Dozen, and in fact spring has now sprung eventhough some of you may not notice or appreciate it due to your below zero temperatures. Now women and men become obsessed with thoughts of who will win The Derby and will we finally see another Triple Crown winner.

1. Indianapolis-My clear number one. The best I've seen from this 3yo group. Phenom.

2. Honor Code

3. Intense Holiday

4. Cairo Prince

5. Midnight Hawk

6. Top Billing

7. Strong Mandate

8. Conquest Titan

9. Havana

10. Commissioner

11. Gold hawk

12. Tapiture

28 Jan 2014 7:12 PM

Nice list Steve and I agree with you about Top Billing.  He looks to be something special, he runs effortlessly and has a turn of foot you look for in a Derby contender.  His breeding is wonderful and his ceiling seems limitless.  Wouldn't it be great to see Shug win it again back to back after all these years of not running.  There is one horse on my radar as well that you haven't mentioned and that is Mosler trained by Bill Mott.  Maybe he can give Mott his first Derby.

28 Jan 2014 7:15 PM

It might be -30C outside but it's spring in my heart!  Yay!  Derby Dozen and hope springs eternal!

Good to see Conquest Titan high up --  I liked the way he finished too, Steve.

Waiting to see where Ria Antonia gets placed after she wins the Risen Star.

28 Jan 2014 7:21 PM

The dozen contains 7 horse sired by descendants of the great Mr. Prospector. If Havana had been on the work tab that number would be 8. When the initial dozen contains such a large % of Mr. P sire line horses the Derby will invariably go in that direction.

Midnight Hawk made the cut and Kristo the runner up in the Sham does not get mentioned. His record reads (4 starts 1-3-0). This colt was sired by Distorted Humor and out of a Capote mare. This is the same cross that produced Funny Cide. He did not change lead in the stretch of the Sham and was still trying hard at the end.

CALIFORNIA CHROME gets mentioned with a record far worst and times that are similar. He was sired by Lucky Pulpit who does not rank with Distorted Humor who has sired a Derby, Preakness, Belmont, BCC, Traverse and Whitney winner. TAMARANDO bypassed the Sham to run against a weaker field and got badly beaten and he gets mentioned. Kristo deserves some love.

Commissioner is an interesting colt. Sire and dam sire are Belmont winners. What were the breeders thinking? These types’ cross produced very slow horses. If I owned this colt I would transfer it to Bob Baffert as he is the only trainer capable of getting this colt to produce speed as he can get a camel to work 57 for 5/8.

I consider Medal Count to be a very nice colt. He beat only two horses in the BCJ but won recently on turf. He won his debut on dirt and although he was sired by Dynaformer I think he deserves another chance on dirt. It appears he is targeting the FOY.

Being a big fan of Invasor I can only hope that recent Todd Pletcher debutant Holy Wildcat can be placed on an accelerated program and get into the Derby mix.

28 Jan 2014 7:29 PM


Strong Mandate  

Honor Code         

Shared  Belief     


Midnight Hawk


Cairo Prince        

Bond Holder     

Top Billing

Medal Count

Noble Moon      

28 Jan 2014 8:13 PM
Karen in Indiana

Steve, I'm happy to see you have a lot of the horses I like in your list. Cairo Prince's win was impressive to me because of he ease in which he did it. I'd like to see Vicar's in Trouble do well to help his sire's growing reputation. Who would have foreseen how well Into Mischief has done so far as a sire? And Candy Boy is built, he's a joy to watch move! He's one of the most balanced colts I've seen on the Derby trail in a while.

28 Jan 2014 8:39 PM

Coldcuts, (the contrarian)......he posted many comments, about how Cairo Prince had no shot in the holy bull.......mentioned many horses that he thought were very good.....Now, he says he beat nothing? but now mentions horses that ran against weaker horses.....remember last year? all the maidens he thought should've been on the, did those horses have class? He mentions top billing is much better than cairo prince, but isnt alw race weaker than the holy bull? didnt he just say horses run good against weaker? Kristo? he mentions why you dont have kristo? are we talking derby? kristo?.....

28 Jan 2014 8:44 PM

robinm...I agree with you about Honor Code. He is just stunning and has that look.

28 Jan 2014 9:06 PM
Gordon Tallman

Steve, I love your opinion of Top Billing.  I have to admit I'm biased though, as I own his half-sister Talent Queen.  She foaled a filly by Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone just hours before Top Billing's victory on Saturday.

28 Jan 2014 9:08 PM

THAT TIME OF THE YEAR; Hopes and nerves start to show up,great group of sophomores, wishing all of them to stay healthy, the more good ones participate the better for horse racing.

Thank you Steve, many of us just waiting for your excellent reporting and analysis.

28 Jan 2014 9:12 PM
Joe Pettit

Steve, anything on Louie's Flower? Not a fast race last out, but nice heart on a wide trip and a ( Flower Alley) ?

28 Jan 2014 9:24 PM
Pedigree Ann

"This colt was sired by Distorted Humor and out of a Capote mare. This is the same cross that produced Funny Cide."

Coldfacts, you know this is not true. Capote and Slewacide are not the same horse; both were sons of Seattle Slew, it is true, but their dams were not the same and had nothing in common in their pedigrees for 4 generations. Even full brothers can have quite different profiles as a sire and damsire; to expect those who share only half the pedigree to have the same influence is not logical.

Plus the next two dams of Funny Cide were by Little Current and Graustark, excellent stamina sources. What are the next dams of Kristo? Magesterial, whose best offspring are milers at best, and King Emperor, a hot 2yo who became a sprinter/miler sire. Judging a pedigree by sirelines alone is simplistic, as you must know.

28 Jan 2014 9:28 PM

Yaaaay!  It's Derby Dozen time!  Like your list!  Love your insights - but on my list I have Rise Up and Havana with consideration to Bond Holder and Noble Moon (all of whom you did mention).  I don't have a strong favorite yet, but I was definitely impressed when Honor Code was passed in the stretch and fought back to win.

28 Jan 2014 9:30 PM
Paula Higgins

I am sitting here at the hospital, on the computer, because I can't get home. Atlanta and the surrounding metro area has turned into an iced parking lot. it took my husband 4 hours to get home from work when it normally takes him 20 minutes. No kidding. My friend's husband left the CDC at 1:30 p.m. and he is still trying to get home. It is now 10 p.m. So on another note, I love your Derby Dozen as always Steve. Like the first 4 alot and I think Cairo prince deserves #1 spot. Can't wait for the season to really start and also to see MMM run again.

28 Jan 2014 9:59 PM
Tiz Herself

Love your dozen Steve! Have my eye on them and a few others. There is

Diamond Bachelor


Yes I'm Lucky



Wired Bryan

Noble Moon

We Miss Artie

Solitary Ranger

Outstrip - does anyone know if Godolphin / Darley is keeping him here or is he back in Europe?



None Like Nolan

Pablo Del Monte

Poker Player

Grand Arrival


General Jack

Empire Dreams





A Step Ahead

Ride on Curlin

Best Plan Yet

Mighty Brown

Roman Unbridled

Am sure there are others... cannot wait :)

28 Jan 2014 10:01 PM
Tiz Herself

I also like a horse named Head Quarters whom have believe has not started to date. However he is a son of Curlin out of Leslie's Lady. Leslie's Lady of course is the dam of Beholder and Into Mischief..hope to see this colt start soon!

28 Jan 2014 10:10 PM
food fight

Hi Steve its a little early for top derby horses but i will say most of your comments on the top 12 are well thought out. I think you should give much more respect to Indianapolis from the first time i saw him break his maiden i said this could be a special horse and the stretch out should be no problem he is as fluid as anything i have seen yet and he got the smarts to find the wirer he looks and runs with a lot of confidence . Hes from the right barn and this will be there big horse .

28 Jan 2014 11:33 PM
Amy Hurley

Thanks, Steve, for a breath of warm, fresh air - the first Derby Dozen - on this frigid N.E. day.  I look forward to this every winter to get me through to spring.  I especially like hearing about the up and comers, those who have not raced in stakes yet, but who could very well be factors come the first Sat. in May.

29 Jan 2014 12:02 AM

Anybody know if No Nay Never is heading to the 2000 Guineas or some of those big time Euro sprints or is he targeting racing in N. Am.?

I don't expect him to be on the Derby Trail - don't know if he can get the mile and a quarter but he might be able to set off some fireworks at a mile and under

29 Jan 2014 12:05 AM

The Derby Dozen contains four horses who are homebreds i.e., Top Billing, Honor Code, Midnight Hawk and Commissioner. Why highlight this fact annually? Well, homebreds continue to win the Derby. In the last 10 years homebreds have won 7 Derbies.

With the level of Derby success for homebreds, it appears it is better to determine which one is the best and significantly reduce the elimination process. Can another homebred win the 2014 Derby?

The Law of Averages should be against this recurrence in 2014. However, it appears the Law is not applicable to homebreds. They won 4 consecutive Derbies between 2004 and 2007. There was a break between 2008 & 2009. Animal kingdom and Super Saver restored their dominance between 2010 & 2011. I’ll Have Another spared us another homebred victory in 2012 but that was short lived as Orb unleashed another victory for them in 2013.

The folks that patronize Yearling and 2YOs in Training auctions must be saying “Those Dam Homebreds” The four cited above are the most talented featured in any Derby Dozen.

29 Jan 2014 12:30 AM

Pedigree Ann

You should know by now that I focus only on the dam sire line when I refer to a particular cross. I am aware that this focus excludes the other portions of the dam line. When a dam sire is classified as a champion broodmare sire, the first, second, third dams and their respective sires not cited in footnotes.

Funny Cide’s dam was sired by Slewacide a son of TC winner Seattle Slew. Super Saver, dam was sired by A. P. Indy a son of Seattle Slew. Kristo’s dam was sired by Capote a son of Seattle Slew.   The Raise A Native line stallions with the mares sired by Seattle Slew sons have produced two Derby winners.

Raise A Native line stallions have sired seven winners of TC races with mares sired by sons of Northern Dancer and five with mares sire by grandsons of Northern Dancer. Would you consider the Raise A Native line stallions with the Northern Dancer line mares  successful?

I try to keep it simple.

29 Jan 2014 1:06 AM

Posted prior to Holy Bull

Cairo Prince:

Nashua Stakes winner in 1:37.59! In the 18 renewals of the stakes at 8F, his time ranks the fourth slowest. I am aware of differing track variances each year but those variances existed when 14 other winners recorded faster times.

I have not researched how many winners of the Nashua have contested the Holly Bull since its inauguration. However, I can state that no winner of the Nashua since 1994 has been reflected as the winner of the Holly Bull.

Remsen Stakes runner up in a time of 1:52.92! In the 30 renewals of the stakes at the current distance of 9F, the 2013 winning time ranks as the 4th slowest. Again, I am aware of differing track variances each year but those variances existed when 26 other winners recorded faster times.

Based on research one winner of the Remsen has won the Holly Bull since its inauguration in 1994. That winner was Nobiz Like Shobiz. His winning time in the Remsen was 1:48.82.

Based on the above CP is not some brilliant colt that merits a 3-1 ML in a competitive HB field.  He is a nice colt who is at best a few lengths better than most but is a very vulnerable ML favorite.

We have seen CP in victory and defeat. There are two in the field that we have only seen in victory. Why should we assume that one will not continue its winning ways?

29 Jan 2014 1:19 AM




29 Jan 2014 1:47 AM

A shot in the dark

(1) Shared Belief : unmatched performances, with a hiccup.

(2) Rise Up : out of Rockport Harbor, won the Delta jackpot in almost record time.

(3)Tap it rich : I've heard clockers have been in awe of this horse earlier, hope to see him soon.

(4)Honor code : will turn the tables on Havana with a better trip. Good trainer in his corner.

(5)Strong Mandate : Ran sneaky good in the BC, got to like the sire.

(6) Honor Code : Champagne ?

(7)Mexikoma : Liked him in the BC in defeat and still do, for now.

(8) Indianapolis : distance no problem for sire. Got to like his name, only 100 miles away.

(9) Hightail : sneaky performance on BC day, did I miss something on him?

(10) Schoolofhardrocks : out of Rock hard 10. talented, but green.

where are they : Dobra Historia and War Command ? Giovanni Boldini ?  

29 Jan 2014 4:32 AM

“He posted many comments, about how Cairo Prince had no shot in the holy bull”

I cited that the colt was a vulnerable morning line favorite. In the dictionaries that I use vulnerable does to equate to having no chance. You are advised to research the meaning of certain words before you venture to discredit others.

“He mentioned many horses that he thought were very good.”

The Chad Brown colt left the starting gates at 7-2 and ran way below expectation. Wicker Strong did not reproduce his Remsen effort. Mr. Speaker did not make a successful transition to dirt. Intense Holiday and Conquest Titan had no chance on that track at the distance. The performances of some horses were way below expectation. Speaking after the fact always makes one look very bright.

“Now, he says he beat nothing?”

There are three horses that are ranked below Cairo Prince. One is the only horse that has defeated him; one is G1 winners and 3rd place finisher in the biggest G1 race for 2YOs and the other is an undefeated G1 winner and champion 2YO. Those three horses have all faced and defeated better opponents than those faced by CP.

29 Jan 2014 7:52 AM

...As I drifted off with single digit temps outside...It was a quagmire at Churchill Downs...Out of the 16 hole, Gary Stevens sent Strong Mandate to the lead and never looked back...As D. Wayne Lukas slogged through the mud to congratulate his rider and horse...myy Calvin Borel bobblehead was Derby glasses began rattling and I awoke to a picture of Steve Haskin and his Derby Dozen!  "We've only just begun..."

Thanks Steve for the hard work of putting this together.  I put Honor Code right behind Cairo Prince.  I hope Shared Belief gets straightened out quickly and I like the way Conquest Titan and Intense Holiday can weave their way through traffic.  But I'm sticking with Strong Mandate on top; a good-looking, well-bred, seasoned son if Tiznow to take it all.  What's the long range forecast for Louisville on May 3rd?

29 Jan 2014 7:57 AM
Proud Acres

It would be nice to see a Curlin baby do it.  I was glad you mention California Chrome.  They seem to be pretty high on him and it will be interesting to see what he does as the races get harder.  It seems we have a pretty good crop this year?  Always love spring, it has such pretty roses!  Thanks Steve

29 Jan 2014 8:20 AM

Nice list steve! Thanks for the update. I really am high on the Casse horse, Conquest Titan. Hope everyone is having a good 2014. Good luck

29 Jan 2014 9:24 AM


Dunkirk – LOL. Thanks! I really meant Havana.

I have mixed feelings about Havana and now question his inclusion in my list. I might very well drop him next time around.

His sire Dunkirk was not a very sound animal and one can only hope that he does not pass on his unsoundness to his progenies similar to his sire Unbridles Song.

The male descendants of Mr. Prospector have sired 28 horses that have won 37 Triple Crown races. Dunkirk is a great, great grandson of Mr. Prospector. He falls into a category of Mr. Prospector line stallions that has accounted for only two of the 28 winners. Birstone is the only great, great grandson of Mr. P that has sired the winners of TC races.

Dunkirk is well bred and was lightly raced but based on historic records, he is not expected to be one of the stellar Mr. Prospector line stallions for TC races.

From his book of mares covered in 2010 he bred 186. It is highly unlikely that a stallion that has covered that number of mares will produce progenies that are structural sound enough to survive either the Triple Crown trail or win the Derby. They are normally very fragile.

The fans of Havana should keep their fingers crossed that he strays sound. The two G1 races he contested with very little foundation were brutal as he was fully extended in both. For a colt from an overbred stallion it was a very risky thing to do.

Real Quiet: Quiet American - Really Blue by Believe It – In Reality

Smarty Jones: Elusive Quality – I’ll Get Along by Smile –In Reality

Havana: Dunkirk - Missy Turtle - Kyles Our Man – In Reality

Commendable: Gone West - Bought Twice – In Reality

WoW! Two Derby/Preakness winners and one Belmont winner produced from Mr. Prospector line stallions with mares sired by In Reality and two of his sons.

What fortunes await Havana on the TC trail? The history is mixed and contains more negatives.

29 Jan 2014 10:06 AM

I think you are on to something with Samraat. I saw him in paddock ( once with one of mine) and two of his races and he is a terrific looking animal whose 16 plus length win was with power and speed that makes him very promising candidate

29 Jan 2014 10:27 AM
food fight

Here are my top 12 selections in the top spot Indianapolis although he is lightly raced and has not gone beyond 6f he will be a better horse stretching out and that should be scary to the opposition. he has the right style stock and ponce.And although he has but a few starts he got something out of them he has taken dirt in his face and ran on as though this is old news .I like the connections and think this could be there year after being quiet for last several years.SO here are the rest of my top 12 in order number 2 Strong Mandate we know he has the ability hes a big strong horse and plenty of seasoning. Number 3 Top Billing his last race in Florida speaks to his ability and with his pedigree should have no problem with distance.Number 4 Honor Code he could easily have been my top choice thats how close i rate the top 4 plenty of class here and pedigree. Number 5 Conquest Titan ran a fantastic race in the Holly Bull to be second and had a great learning experience traveling through and around a large field to close with good energy. Number 6 Mexicoma his bc race was much better than it seamed was stopped and still closed with good determination .Number 7 Intense Holiday from the Pletcher barn finished up good in the Bull. Number 8 Cairo Prince obviously has great ability but looking at his stride  and lack of getting kick back in his races leaves him vulnerable at derby distance. Number 9 Shared Belief very fast horse on Synthetic . Number 10 Commissioner another Pletcher that will not have any problem with distance is he fast enough. Number 11 Tonalist great maiden race looks like could be a force with more experience . Bayern another Baffert horse with raw talent.

29 Jan 2014 10:36 AM

I have anxiously awaited the Derby Dozen.  I love getting to know the 3 yr olds better.  I think I enjoy this as much as watching the Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

29 Jan 2014 10:47 AM
Old Timer

So great to see the Dozen back again! Sitting here in the Midwest, afraid to go outside because the wind chill is 20 or 30 below, dreams of the first Saturday in May keep me going. I can fully understand why Cairo Prince should be at the top right now. For one thing, who else would you put there? It's a long road ahead but I would be happy for McLaughlin if he gets it. Conquest Titan could be a horse for the Belmont IMO.

29 Jan 2014 10:59 AM

I'd be interested in your thoughts on Extrasexyhippzster.  He looked good on the stretch out to a mile and definitely ran like he wants to go further.  I'd love to see a big horse for Stroll - it's ridiculous that he struggles to get 40 mares in his book.

29 Jan 2014 11:47 AM
Old Old Cat

Thanks for bringing springtime and sunshine.  Now we need Mother Nature to do the same. If you had given Top Billing top billing no one could have complained.  It was made for a story line.

29 Jan 2014 11:51 AM
Gallant Bloom

Coldfacts said: "Commissioner is an interesting colt. Sire and dam sire are Belmont winners. What were the breeders thinking? These types’ cross produced very slow horses."

I'm sure the connections of A.P. Indy, Royal Delta and Emollient, to name a few, wish they knew as much about breeding fast horses as you do.

29 Jan 2014 12:04 PM
Steve Haskin

Lance, I will be going into more detail on Extrasexyhippzster next week. I didnt want to inundate the first column with too many horses. I have to mention Bourbonize, Baratti, Mosler, Cool samurai, General a Rod, Ride on Curlin, Louies Flower etc.

29 Jan 2014 12:11 PM

For now, I'll just comment on Steve's top two picks.  Cairo Prince is a nice horse, but pursuant to his pedigree distance is of major concern.  I can't see him winning at 10 furlongs.

Top Billing on the other hand, should have no problem going 10 furlongs.  In fact his pedigree suggests that the longer the distance, the better.

Now I'll check out the rest of the top picks.

29 Jan 2014 12:36 PM

For everybody else the holidays are over bur for us simpletons who wait for Steve's Derby Dozen the Holiday season is just heating up..

I was at Gulfstream Sat for the Holy Bull and the top 2 finishers looked the part. Great looking horses.

Conguest Titan I like a lot especially as the distance gets longer.

I am a little disappointed that Honor Codee will miss the F.O.Y was looking forward to seeing the rematch..

Best of luck everyone..  

29 Jan 2014 12:49 PM
It aint easy being good!

One horse stands on this list! Conquest Titan....he is a MONSTER! I finally figured out how to toss horses. Many cannot get 10 furlongs. Some can get 12.....conquest titan can get 12 furlongs. Conquest reminds me of ORB last year. He has the perfect running style for churchill...ALL SYSTEMS GO!

29 Jan 2014 1:06 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Don't feel bad Dunkirk. Lumpy Rutherford got held back too and had to do 3rd grade twice and he turned out just fine.

29 Jan 2014 1:52 PM

I am sure don't like the news about Honor Code,

the trainer said he will not run the horse in the

Fountain of Youth, well for me , the red flag just

went up and I will not surprise if we not see him

in the Kentucky derby.

29 Jan 2014 2:04 PM
Carlos in Cali

Now that Honor Code has had a "minor setback",look for Shug to focus his attention on his 'now' horse Top Billing. I doubt he will try and play 'catch-up' with Honor Code,that's not his style.

Commissioner is the one I'm following at the moment; a big,robust colt who should keep improving.The longer the better for him,can't wait to see him in the FOY, though the distance will have him wanting more...

Top Billing is a good looking animal,but seems kinda' lightly-made.

29 Jan 2014 3:09 PM

It does seem doubtful that Honor Code will be dancing in the Derby but there are other races. Still the most exciting 3 year old thus far bar none.

29 Jan 2014 3:37 PM

Steve, absolutely love noble moon, beautiful pedigree and a fantastic looking horse. what is the deal with his foot?

29 Jan 2014 5:11 PM

Just wondering: Is Conquest Titan a trailer for 50 to 1 or is 50 to 1 a foreshadowing of Conquest Titan?

(I was a litt. major - although French litt.  I still know what pathetic fallacy is.  In French.)

29 Jan 2014 5:43 PM

LanceS, I agree that Extrasexyhippzster looked very good winning the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel in a very good time of 136.75 on a track that was not particularly fast that day. But, he ran a very good race and strolled away in the stretch, winning by about four lengths over the favorite, Joint Custody. I also agree that Stroll, being a Gr1 winner on grass and Gr2 on dirt, and being by Pulpit, you would think he would get more bookings. Possibly his damside brings too much turf influence for those looking to breed for dirt. However, looking at Extrasexyhippzsters' dam sire being Freud (claim to fame being a full bro to Giants Causeway), would make one wonder what with Pulpit as the grandsire and Freud as the dam sire, what distance capabilities does this guy have? It would be interesting to see where they run him next.

29 Jan 2014 7:03 PM

Ahh, something to help us Jerseyites thaw out with!

I have two of your horses on your list in the first round of the Ky Derby future bet, Cairo Prince and Shared Belief. I have a few that could be knocking at the door, but the horse I am really interested in is Exitstagelef, NJ bred winner of the Cal Derby I believe. Steve you are from NJ no? How about showing some love to the hometown boy who may just beat the odds and be the first NJ bred horse to wear the Roses.Thanks for a great column as usual.

29 Jan 2014 7:57 PM

With the Derby trail loaded with high price Tapit progenies, the stallion should at least have one or more Derby starters. I guess when a stallion breeds 169 mares in 2010 it will be well represented in 2014. Below are 12 that have made at least one start. Ten of the 12 have at least a maiden victory.


COUP DE GRACE - $300,000

HARTFORD - $700,000

HARPOON - $500,000

MATTERHORN - $625,000

TAPIT IT RICH - $510,000

TONALIST – Homebred

TAPITURE – Homebred

ANCHOR DOWN - $250,000

ANTHOLOGY - $210,000

DIVINE ENERGY - $390,000

JUBA - $250,000

Which of the above is likely to crack Derby Dozen first? Harpoon will contest the Sam Davis on Saturday. An impressive victory should be able to land him in the dozen at the expense of either Candy Boy or Mexikoma.

Tonalist was very impressive in his MSW victory and might just be the best of the 12. His final time of 1:50.21 is faster than Orb’s winning time in the 2013 FL derby.

I would wager that he is the strongest candidate to crack the DD.

29 Jan 2014 8:14 PM

people.........honor code is going back to the track on's january.......relax!

29 Jan 2014 8:57 PM

Just what we have all been waiting for, our first "Derby Dozen" of the year!  Yippeeee!!!  And a royal start it is to the dozen with Cairo Prince.  His Holy Bull win was very impressive indeed.

Dr. D.  -  C'mon, where's my Holy Cow from you?????

It is nice to see Shug has 2 in here.  Not real crazy about any of their names, but what's in a name?  The Vicar's In Trouble name is funny, perfectly derived from his pedigree names. Don't know that much yet about them but this is a great start.  One thing I do know is this Derby Dozen has two key elements that all of racing needs, that is Steve and a Commissioner.

29 Jan 2014 9:18 PM
Mike Relva


Concerned regarding the news regarding Honor Code.Do you think he can move forward?

29 Jan 2014 9:50 PM

I disagree with you on Conquest Titan's "awesome" pedigree. The line breeding on the tail side of his pedigree is concerning.  He is off of my list.

29 Jan 2014 10:26 PM

Finally !  Thanks for the list Steve and getting the triple crown started... officially.   I'm sure by now everyone's read that HtC will not be in the FOY, still not sure where Shug is taking him.   I love this time of the year because it's fun to look at all the potentials, the ones that has yet to run as well as looking for the ones that will transition their skills and abilities to 3.  It's the one lesson I've learned about the TC, horses who dominates at 2 doesn't necessarily mean they'll do the same at 3.   I'm still not sure why that happens...

Here's my early dozen.  I have Candy Dandy and Peace Mission next on the list if Shared Belief and HtC doesn't progress.

Exit Stage Left

Poker Player

Rise Up

Honor Code

Cairo Prince

Top Billing

In Trouble

Gold Hawk

Shared Belief




GOOD to see you back Dr. D!  Hope you (and others going through that ice storm) are keeping safe and warm.

29 Jan 2014 10:55 PM

Pedigree Ann, I agree with you.  Judging pedigrees by sire lines is simplistic.  A sire is only as great as the mare he is bred to.  Top Billing and Vicar's In Trouble have lovely pedigrees.

29 Jan 2014 10:56 PM

Dr D that was freakin hilarious..............

30 Jan 2014 5:58 AM
Mike from Michigan

So glad to have the DD back, this is my favorite time of the year.  Steve, you've been loyal to Mexicoma from last year, so you must see something in him that I don't.  Glad to see you got Intense Holiday on there, he seems to be improving with every race.  I was surprised when I saw you had him on there, most people are more or less dismissing him, he might surprise on the TC trail.  Also,  you were one of the very few that stayed with Palace Malice last year when most bailed on him....boy were you right!  Another thing I noticed, 'Top Billing' opened in Vegas at 150-1 on the derby futures,  he wins an allowance race and he drops to 14-1.....amazing.  For what it's worth, in the Sam Davis Stakes, I really like 'Noble Cornerstone'.  Gotta go shovel snow-Mike.

30 Jan 2014 7:56 AM

Gallant Bloom

Kindly accept my apology for any offense taken regarding my points on Commissioner. I was just trying to inject some humor into the point I was making. In retrospect I should have stated that I would not have bred Flaming Heart to A P Indy in an effort to secure a Derby horse.

I have seen the combination of sire and dam sire being Belmont winners and the resulting offspring being void of the speed necessary to win the Derby. This purely related to the Derby and should be viewed outside this context.

You mentioned A.P. Indy Royalty Delta and Emollient which are all fine examples. However, neither won the Derby. The Blog is titled Derby Dozen and it would have been more appropriate if you had cited a Derby winner where sire and dam sire were Belmont winners.

Historically horses whose sires and dam sires were winner of TC races rarely feature in the Derby. The talented Summer Bird was product of a Belmont winning sire and a Preakness winning dam sire and he finished 6th in the Derby but returned to win the Belmont. His example is a rarity.

I was of the opinion that Friends Lake would have been a serious Derby horse being by A P Indy out of a Spend A Buck mare. Spend A Buck was one of the few Derby winners that completed the distance in 2:00 and a bit. A P Indy’s time of 2:26.13 ranks him either in the top three or top five. Friends Lake won the FL Derby but that was it.

Mr. Prospector and his stallion descendants have accounted for 16 of the last 32 Belmont winners and none of those Belmont winners had both sire and dam sire being Belmont winners.

Commissioner might turn out to be the exception and win the Derby like Giacomo the king of the grinders. However, a pace meltdown is not guaranteed in the 2014 Derby.

30 Jan 2014 8:19 AM

Gallant Bloom

Mr. Prospector and his stallion descendants have accounted for 12 of the last 24 Derby winners. Of the 12 two were sired by winners of TC races and none of the dam sires were winner of TC races.

Triple Crown winner Omaha was sire by fellow TC winner Gallant Fox but Omaha’s dam sire was not the winner of a classic.

Commissioner’s pedigree combination is a historic longshot to win the Derby. But you never know.

30 Jan 2014 8:57 AM

After the Withers on Saturday, Uncle Sigh will step to the front of the line. This product of the potent In Excess/ Indian Charlie cross with Pine Bluff mares has early speed and a high cruising speed from his huge stride coupled with the look of a horse that can run all day.

30 Jan 2014 10:06 AM
Steve Haskin

I'm really looking forward to the Withers. Uncle Sigh is indeed a beautiful mover, who just bounds along with great extension. But Samraat is no slouch either. Another beautiful moving horse who won his race much easier than Uncle Sigh. But I cant separate the two of them. Cant wait to see them hook up on Saturday in open company. The winner will become a serious Derby contender. Some other nice ones in there as well.

30 Jan 2014 10:18 AM
Pedigree Ann

Coldfacts - you used the wrong word; you said you like to keep it 'simple' when you meant 'simplistic.'

Commissioner's female line was pure 2yo sprinter back a few generations - Jo Lar Tay (Pappa Fourway over Debenture) won twice in 2yo sprints and placed in the 6.5f La Centinela S in January at 3. Next three generations were bred with miler sorts, got SW-milers, then bred to Touch Gold, who was fast enough to win a sprint and to place in the Swynford S (7f) at 2 before he won the Lexington S (1 1/16) and Belmont at 3. Result was another SW, at 1 1/16 and 1 5/16 (restricted race). Then another reinforcement with another classic winner who was precocious and speedy enough to win the Hollywood Futurity (1 1/16) at 2 and the San Rafael (1 mile) at 3.

Neither A.P. Indy nor Touch Gold was a one-dimensional stayer and neither has sired primarily stayers. This was a female line that started out sprinting and was bred up to miling; these two sires, one after the other, might breed it up to producing a classic type. No guarantees in breeding, though. Kona Gold was bred for the Belmont, deliberately.

30 Jan 2014 11:06 AM

The Withers big two will be tough to separate and I agree Samraat might have the edge. Wouldn’t it be nice if sire Noble Causeway progenies could win both the Sam Davis and Withers?

An interesting colt with a horrible surface pounding action is Street Gent. His dam was sired by Beau Genius. Why mention dam sire Beau Genius? Well, he is  also the dam sire of the unbeaten and very impressive West coast colt Indianapolis. Interestingly, the second dams of Street Gent and Indianapolis were sired by the influential Vice Regent, dam sire of Belmont winner Victory Gallop and sire of 2007 leading Broodmare sire Deputy Minister.

Street Gent dam line is loaded with quality. His gate to wire MSW victory over 9F was in a time of 1:51.89. That was faster than the time recorded in the Remsen. I like this colt but he appears to be a risky proposition because of his high action. He does not possess energy efficient strides and he will need every ounce of energy to defeat the top two.

I was high on Classicnroll heading into the Jerome. He ran well without changing leads. This colt by Derby winner Giacomo is out of a mare sired by Derby/Belmont winning broodmare sire Storm Bird. If Giacomo is going to produce a classic horse this colt could be the one.

30 Jan 2014 11:39 AM

Pedigree Ann,

You are correct. I used the wrong adjective.

Simplistic - Treating complex issues and problems as if they were much simpler than they really are.

My bad English on display yet again.

30 Jan 2014 11:46 AM

Your formula includes pedigree; Cairo Prince does not have the pedigree for 10f, so how can you put him at #1?

30 Jan 2014 12:06 PM

I do like the tail side of Uncle Sigh's pedigree.  His dam is by Pine Bluff, and he is out of an AP Indy mare.  Nice horse and should be able to run all day long.

30 Jan 2014 12:20 PM
Sam Santschi

Forget The Masters...this is the tradition like no other, the Derby Dozen.  Great list and always how I start my TC search.

30 Jan 2014 12:23 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


    Thank you very much. I loved your response, glad you enjoyed it.


    Things change but I did say Holy Tamole when I saw Intense Holiday pre-race. Has the look of a champ to me. But for the sake of tradition- Holy Cow did you see that Holy Bull !!!!  I was impressed by each of the top three. Good start to kick off the first Derby Dozen of the year, which has taken over as the number one holiday.


   Great to see you back too. Looking forward to seeing who you end up falling in love with. I'm still impressed with your early Will Take Charge pick as the phenom. Looking forward to more old timers returning here soon, and like seeing the new timers here also. They have some good things to say.

30 Jan 2014 1:09 PM


I am surprised to see the horses below in your dozen:

Meadowood - Harlans Holiday-Into Reality by  Untuttable

In Trouble - Tiz wonderful-Ballpark Butterfly by Grand Slam

Gold Hawk - Empire Maker – Caressing by Honour And Glory

Rise Up - Rockport Harbor – Appenzell by  Johannesburg

Exit Stage Left – Noonmark-Hanna J by Peaks And Valleys

The broodmare sires are not known to in Triple Circle.

I know you must have some rational. Would you care to share?

30 Jan 2014 1:17 PM
lunar spook

BILLyRF - I disagree with your statement about CAIRO PRINCE NOT BEING ABLE TO GET 10 FURLONGS , WE SHALL SEE , but then your the same individual on the tapit blog who made the inane statement about smarty jones after you lost your a** at the 2004 derby ! cant wait to see what brilliant statement comes out of you next ! lol !!!

30 Jan 2014 1:25 PM

Coldfacts Its time to prove your knowledge,practically by picking the winner of The Withers.I read this blog and you have wrote about several,pick one and post it.

30 Jan 2014 6:04 PM

Uncle Sigh............what was the name of that other Uncle horse?.......let me see, oh yea, Uncle Mo.....never made it to the gate for the Derby,....some strange illness, too bad, he was awesome....I would go out on a limb and say, watchout for Uncle Sigh, with some similar breeding to Uncle Mo, this next race, the Withers could be his beginning of something him to win the race....I almost guatantee it....besides with the loss of the great Indian Charlie, it would be great to see this guy start a new legacy.... and is that Fleet Victress in the dam side.......oh yes it is, boy she could cover a mile and a sixteenth like it was a  mile...set a NTR at Belmont!

30 Jan 2014 7:23 PM

Dr. D,

Thanks for the official Dr. D. Holy Cow!  For our fictional "Bloodhorse Children's Edition" version of the Holy Bull, let's do a cartoon photo of Cairo Prince crossing the finish line doing the Egyptian walk dance!  Behind him, far behind him, will be a bunch of bulls trying to imitate the dance but not succeeding!  Heck, the NTRA thinks the key target demographic group to market to are the 30 something males.  I say start way before that and get kids involved early.  Would be a pretty funny photo anyway, I would love to see an artist come up with that!

30 Jan 2014 8:26 PM

I'm interested in hearing some specifics from those that think Cairo Prince' pedigree suggests he is incapable of getting 10 furlongs.  All I see is a bunch of stayer-types throughout his pedigree.  Am I missing something?

30 Jan 2014 10:00 PM
Steven Rothblum

Well done Steve!

31 Jan 2014 12:57 AM

Coldfacts : Rationale ?   I don't have any good rationale why I picked these horses.  It's January, only 3 horses from my list has run this year.  One of them, Samraat will run this weekend and I'll see if he stays on my list or not.  I don't go by pedigree alone, and I don't go with how many times the sires got lucky, nor how the history of the Kentucky Derby is tied to the sires.  I look at how the horses ran their races, then I pick who I think might (keyword:might) progress as a 3 yr old, some are pure guesses.  I don't expect you to understand how I pick my dozen, It's okay though, cause I don't understand how you pick your dozen either.  

You posted a long comment about Havana and in the end, you said " The history is mixed and contains more negatives"… yet, he is your number one horse.  It's a bit confusing that someone who posts about overbred sires and history all the time managed to miss those criterias about their number one pick…can you pls explain your rationale for picking Havana as your number one pick?

I consider January derby dozen as a "free play", I get to pick who I think will transition their form from 2 to 3 and if they do well in the early preps.  After that, I have Feb and Mar to try and pick legitimate contenders, then April to find substitutes for those that gets injured from my list, then on Derby day, I look at the post parade, the odds and the track condition, and could very well toss all my picks and go with another horse and all my picks could very well represent the rear of the pack at the end of the race or they could finish in the exact order I picked them :)    It's the Kentucky Derby, anything can happen.

Dr. D : Yeah, I'm thrilled at how WTC turned out.  I'm looking forward to his campaign this year, I'm hoping he only gets better and makes it to the Classic in good shape together with all the top handicap horses so they can rumble in the Classic, no excuses, top horses... winner takes all.  It is good to see the old timers as well as the newcomers and I'm not surprised.  Just goes to show how popular the Derby Dozen is, as soon as it's posted, everyone comes back :)   It's amazing.

31 Jan 2014 3:29 AM
lunar spook

robinm - I Agree with u 100% I have looked at cairo prince's pedigree and see no reason he cant get 10 furlongs !

31 Jan 2014 8:18 AM

robinm--Some of the concern about Cairo Prince being able to get 10F comes from his dam Holy Bubbette, a SW sprinter of $240,995.  Holy Bubbette has produced 4 winners from 4 to run, including stakes placed Holdin Bullets (3rd. to Secret Circle's 2011 BC JUV. Sprint on the peanut butter track at CD that day)and grade I stakes placed Nonna Mia.  All four of Holy Bubbette's offspring won at 2 and three of them, including Cairo Prince, broke their maidens first time out.  Holy Bubbette is a half sister to 8 winners including grade II winner Sum Runner($234,193).  

The gray Prince has certainly followed his siblings precocity with his Nashua win(8F), his gutsy run vs. Honor Code in the Remsen(9F) and his Holy Bull romp(8.5F).  With his stalk and pounce running style, can he get the 10F on Derby Day with 160,000 fans, probably 19 other contenders and a new humongous action video board, up and to his right as he enters the backstretch?

He needs to continue to show me, as we go down this trail, that he can on the track, not from his pedigree profile.  If the Holy Bull brilliance through Holy Bubbette can mingle with his sire's side, there is nothing stopping him.  Show me please, Cairo Prince.

Good Luck this year.  

31 Jan 2014 10:12 AM
Pedigree Ann

Robinm - the problem is that the direct conduits from those stayers did not always show the same staying ability as their ancestors. Remember - the ability to maintain racing speed over a distance of ground which distinguishes the Thoroughbred is a aberration from the norm for horses and reversion towards the norm will be found in many offspring of stayers.

Pioneerof the Nile ran a good race in the Derby on an offtrack, but was beaten many lengths by the winner and was tiring at the end, when he weaved in front of a couple others. (I expected a DQ, or at least an inquiry, even though I always prefer the Cal-raced horses if I can.) He hasn't had enough runners run long to be able to make a judgment, so the jury is still out on PotN as a distance sire.

Dam Holy Bubbette was a good-class sprinter, 6-7f. They never tried her at 8f+, possibly because her older SW half-sister (by Belmont winner Summing) won the Old Hat (6f) and Forward Gal (G2-7f), but couldn't handle that level of filly around two turns, winning only the OBS Sales race for fillies at 8f+. And Holy Bubbette previously had a good-class SP-runner sired by PotN's sire Empire Maker who won only sprints, could only place third at 8f+, even around one turn.

Now horses who really don't get 10f can win races at the distance on superior class; Precisionist comes to mind in that category.  Before I can judge CP's class, I need to see more races from him and his rivals.

31 Jan 2014 10:36 AM
Linda in Texas

Boy look at the posts Steve, you hit a home run for all the greats who posted here. Especially Dr. Drunkinbum hello and how are you and new names! I have not read your article Steve, yet, but i looked at the horse you placed No. 1 and i am a happy camper. I will save this article to read later today so i can bury my nose into every word that your wrote and other's responded with. What a treat i have to look forward to. Thanks Steve. Horses i like are Cairo Prince, Conquest Titan, Honor Code and Intense Holiday right now. I want Intense Holiday because his sire Harlan's Holiday recently died and i think it would be a great respectful thing for IH to do to honor his sire. Besides did you see him strutting to the gates? Now i will read this article and responses. I think we all are glad you posted this when you did Steve. Been a cold winter even for Texas. Hang in there folks up northish the first thaw is just around the corner.  

31 Jan 2014 11:02 AM
Linda in Texas

Steve, this is trivia for those who might be a little superstitious. Looking forward to August 2014 please note that during August there will be 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. Happens every 823 years and named by the Chinese as "Silver Pockets Full" days. And additionally remember today begins The Horse of The Year for the Chinese. Handicappers will have a great month in August! And will also be going on during the Saratoga Races! Thanks Steve.

31 Jan 2014 11:31 AM

To everyone in the Freezer (all of eastern North America):  TODAY I WASHED MY CAR!!!

This is a great harbinger of the end of the Deep Freeze -- although not as great as Steve's DD.

Anyways, I just read that Ria Antonia has hit a set back BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER in her run to the Risen Star.  Shoot!

31 Jan 2014 11:43 AM

Robinm - I am a proponent of Dr. Steve Roman’s Dosage Theory, which doesn’t look at a sire’s performance on the track, but rather the type of runners he sires.  His website,, give a detailed explanation.  Historically, a horse with a Dosage Index over 4.00 rarely wins the Derby; the average DI for 10f is 2.50. Cairo Prince has a DI of 7.00! He has out-performed his expected distance limitations so far, but can he do it at 10f? I’ll bet against that.

31 Jan 2014 1:08 PM

If Shared Belief can heel properly of his QC problems (and that is a big if), all of these will be looking at his behind down the stretch on Derby Day. He is the most talented horse I have seen in a long time. My Top 5 now will be Shared Belief, Cairo Prince, Honor Code, Mexikoma and California Chrome.

31 Jan 2014 1:28 PM

Pedigree Ann I read on Horse Racing Nation that if Cairo Prince wins the KD he will be a Pioneer in his own right, because his broodmare sire Holy Bull has not had a winner at 10 furlongs, and that this has never happened for a winner of the Kentucky Derby.Can you verify this or will you refute it.

31 Jan 2014 1:31 PM

Pedigree Ann here is an excerpt from the article that I read on HRN I used the word never which IS ABSOLUTE.

However, the majority of Kentucky Derby winners all have one thing in common – their damsires have previous winners at 1 ¼ miles.  None of the offspring of Holy Bull’s daughters have won or placed in a stakes race at 1 ¼ miles or farther

31 Jan 2014 1:42 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Linda in Texas

   It's great to see you here too, you are needed here, and thank you very much for your special words. I loved Intense Holiday's looks and demeanor pre-race which made him one of my top three rooting interests so far along with Indianapolis and Midnight Hawk.


  I never heard of rationale in January for a Derby Dozen, is that some kind of newfangled, cotton pickin, high falootin', fancy smancy picking technique, new gadget or something? I expect WTC to get even better and be the horse to beat in The Classic. True monster, and top older male is my expectation. I think Wise Dan will really have his work cut out for him getting another repeat. I'm not seeing it.

31 Jan 2014 2:29 PM
The Deacon

At this early juncture I like Honor Code.

The good news is he is by A.P. Indy, the bad news is that he is by A.P. Indy.

Nice looking equine specimen though.

31 Jan 2014 3:23 PM

robinm, I really like Cairo Prince.  I was so excited when he won the Holy Bull, but after that race I looked at his pedigree.  The tail side of his pedigree; sire line and dam line suggests that his best distance is probably a mile or under the right circumstances 9 furlongs. His dosage index is high, 7.00.  Yes, I am disappointed.

31 Jan 2014 7:14 PM
Linda in Texas

Correction: I meant 2014 is The Year of The Horse for the Chinese not The Horse of The Year.  I well know which one was horse of the year and he wasn't Chinese!

And Hello To Deacon and Trackjack and Mary and Playfriskyforme, and i could go on. Neat folks here even when we disagree. Nice to see the old crowd!

And thanks again Steve.

31 Jan 2014 7:26 PM

For those who are playing the Winstar Fantasy Derby, I created a group for all of us to play in. the name of the group is "Haskin's Clan" would love for all to join.

31 Jan 2014 8:35 PM

Thanks to all who've responded to my inquiry regarding Cairo Prince' 10-furlong pedigree limitations.  I hadn't checked his DI; and yes, 7.0 is high, but I don't think the 4.0 DI max for a Derby win probability  holds quite as true as it once did.  However, the fact his dam has not produced distance winners is significant; particular as the sires of her off-spring are stayer-producing types. He will be interesting to watch, but with this additional info, I won't be surprised if he stubs his toe as the distances get longer.

31 Jan 2014 9:48 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Reguarding Cairo Prince and his dosage- His dosage will not remain as high as 7.00. His sire Pioneerof the Nile was a freshman sire in 2013. There is not enough data for his progeny yet. Cairo Prince's dosage number will go down as Pioneerof the Nile's progeny races longer distances. This often happens with young sires with limited race statistics for the progeny. Real Quiet won the Derby with a 5.33 dosage and Charismatic's was 5.22. Cairo Prince's stride and running style and winning attitude all suggest that 10f is possible. Throw the dosage out on this one. The bottom is a little bit of a concern to some but not to me. Mucho Macho Man's grandsire is Holy Bull and MMM has done just fine at 10f. Yes, that is different than a damsire and there might be some history to overcome but history is overcome every yerby.ear in racing and often in the Derby. I'm going by stride and performance only with Cairo Prince and it remains to be seen what I think of that at 9f and how that might transfer to 10f. The only concern to me is that it looks like he may have only the Florida Derby to judge by. That isn't enough stamina preparation for me for the Derby especially since his natural stamina isn't a given. Still, if he stalks and pounces with authority in the Florida Derby and does it looking really good he might be a Derby contender. Those that like him should give no credence to his current high dosage number in my opinion.

31 Jan 2014 10:52 PM


The quote below was extracted from my post regarding Havana.

"I have mixed feelings about Havana and now question his inclusion in my list. I might very well drop him the next time around."

There are many negatives associated with Havana. The biggest of which is his trainer's dismal Derby record. His dam was sired by a son of In Realty who is unknown to me. When a mare sired by a son of In Reality produces a horse like Havana, irrespective of his negatives, he simply cannot be dismissed.

I have never seen Kyle’s Our Man in the pedigree on any horse. However, Derby and Triple Crown history reflects that In Reality and two of his sons have been broodmare sires of a Belmont and two Derby winners.

This mare from an obscure broodmare sire produces Havana and he fetches a price of $575K. He breaks his maiden at 51/2F in almost track record time and then returns to wins a G1 race at mile while under immense pressure. Every horse that finished behind him in the Champagne made a start beyond 51/2F. He rated off a suicidal pace in the BCJ and ran by the very fast Strong Mandate with ease and faltered late and was only defeated by one.

Havana has a very high cruising speed. His pedigree reflects s a lot of stamina. He was given two brutal G1 races in which he was fully extended. He has shown a lot of class. He has never contested a race in which the half mile was not 45 seconds. The half mile in the Derby will not be 45 seconds and with further development this colt will be dangerous. He is so far the best of the colts from the 2011 crop.

Can he overcome the negatives associated with him? I have to keep an open mind in a sport of glorious uncertainties.

NB: I gather from your response that I offended you with my request. No offense was intended.

31 Jan 2014 10:54 PM

BILLY RF- I too look at dosage as a guide when looking for my triple crown picks and I also noticed Cairo Prince being 7.0.  I have never seen one that high so I reviewed his pedigree.  Upon doing so, I noticed he has only 2 chef de race sires in his pedigree until the 5th generation.  That may have skewed the numbers I believe so I am taking a wait and see with him as I think he may get more distance than the numbers seem to indicate.

31 Jan 2014 11:21 PM

You breeding people! Haven't you people learned anything? How has that dosage thing worked for you the last 20 years? You post that cp 's family has all of these stakes winners.....but not at 10f......but if one was a claimer, and won at 10f......thats better? Are you all morons?  Your science is flawed!!! How about common sense? Lets start out many 10f races are there? ALMOST NONE! The numbers are very, if that family has 1 horse that is really good, he can change the number drastically........didnt cp just win at 1 1/16th by almost 6? shouldnt he be getting worse because he stretched out? why not judge the athlete?  

31 Jan 2014 11:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Cairo Prince's sire is Pioneerof the Nile who nearly won the Derby but was passed by a speeding bullet, no wait it was a plane, no, it was a bird. CP's grandsire is Empire Maker who won the Belmont Stakes, his great grandsire is Unbridled who won the Derby and the BC Classic. CP's endurance and ability to get 10f could surprise quite a few disbeliever's because of his dosage number. CP's AWD of his sire and damsire are currently at 6.8 each which is in the ballpark for Derby winners. I'm not a dosage expert and now that I think more about it I might have been thinking about the fact that the sire and damsire AWD changes over time. I'm not 100% certain but I do believe the dosage changes also. Class? Anyone, anyone? I'm sure a dosage expert can enlighten us on exactly how the dosage number is arrived at and if it actually does change.

31 Jan 2014 11:54 PM

I am going to roll the dice with Classic Giacnroll in the Withers. I liked him before the Jerome but his price was too low and consequently I made some exotic wagers with some of the longshots.

Despite his encouraging effort in the Jerome, I consider that effort out of character. He was far too close to the pace and he did not show his usual acceleration in the stretch. Being wide on both turns and not changing leads did not help either. The final time for the Jerome left a lot to be desired for a graded race. However, the same could be cited for the Remsen.

Classic Giacnroll last victory was at 6F. He recorded a time of 1:11 flat closing 8L into fractions of 22, 45, 58. That effort gives the impression, that like his sire, he is at his best when there is a strong pace upfront. There will be plenty of pace in the Withers and it is hoped that whatever caused him not to change leads has been rectified by his trainer.

I made some money off Giacomo and I feel somewhat obligated to support his progenies. To be fair, this colt is a May foal with a proven Derby pedigree who should be at a stage of rapid improvement. His father was the king of the grinders. Giacomo never contested a 6F race in his career. In fact, the shortest distance he contested was 8F. He won the Derby as MSW winner only.

Champion sprinter Gulch teamed up with a Storm Bird mare and produce Derby/Belmont winner Thunder Gulch. Derby winner Grindstone teamed up with a Storm Bird mare and produced Belmont winner Birdstone. Birdstone’s, Belmont time of 2:27.50 is the 3rd fastest for the stakes in the last 20 renewals.

Storm Bird was the broodmare sire of winners of more than 100 stakes races. If one was going to roll the dice on a horse in a stakes race, the logical choice has to be the one from a Storm Bird mare. Its horse racing and on any given Saturday strange things can happen.

01 Feb 2014 7:28 AM

Coldfacts I am sticking with Scotland in the Withers.He finished right behind Classic Giacnroll in the Jerome, while everyone was chasing Noble Moon in that one.I think Uncle Sigh and Samraat havent been tested on the lead yet and if they both make and press the pace, Scotland could get the inside tracking trip that I visualized for him in the Jerome.Scotland has had one more race so he should be fitter that his last and this is a 6 horse field.Since his morning line is 8-1,if he goes off at these odds he will be a good bet if he hits the board and in exotics.

01 Feb 2014 9:45 AM
Pedigree Ann

Roman dosage is bunk and always was. I won't go into all the reasons of why I considered it bunk, but I will explain its biggest failing, one that was entirely Roman's creation. The previous Dosage gurus, Vulliers and Varola, counted chefs-de-race however far back in the pedigree they existed; Roman only uses the first 4 generations. That means with every decade that passes, top stallions age out of the 4th generation and must be replaced by younger ones. But Roman has not kept up nor, IMHO, done a good job of choosing the newer stallions he designated as "shapers (bosses) of the breed," which is what chef-de-race means.  Mr. Prospector, yes; Apalachee? no.

Roman's Derby dosage of 4.00 AS A PREDICTIVE TOOL (for which he claimed more success than it actually had, since he used data from earlier Derbies to determine which sires were placed in which categories) was blown apart in 1991, when when Strike the Gold, with a DI over 7 won the Derby in the manner of a stayer. Oh, says the man, I just haven't kept up. Now if I make Alydar a classic chef, that fixes everything. Ex post facto didn't help those who tossed Strike the Gold because of his dosage and lost their bets.

Ever since, Roman has been in a losing battle to choose and categorize CURRENT stallions who belong on the list. Vulliers and Varola used those whose careers at stud were finished and whose influence was better understood. The 4-generation limit that Roman imposed became a straight-jacket that doomed his system to irrelevancy.

01 Feb 2014 10:40 AM
Pedigree Ann

Brontexx - I have not studied the factoid you mention and will take your word for it. Nor have I examined the exploits of the offspring of Holy Bull's  daughters as a group. However I should point out that Holy Bull sired a Kentucky Derby winner named Giacomo, of whom you may have heard. Female sides can either help or hinder staying ability - one must not ignore them.

Another factoid mentioned by the immortal Charles Hatton in a column back in 1972 - no daughter of Heliopolis had produced a Derby winner. Until Riva Ridge's win. Heliopolis was a foal of 1936 so had decades of producing daughters representing him; he did have a CCA Oaks winner earlier as a damsire, so your factoid is fulfilled.

But sometimes things don't happen until they do. Just because something hasn't happend yet doesn't mean it CAN'T happen. (E.G., fish and fowl mating, daughter takes after the fowl=stayer dam, not the fish=sprinting sire, and passes it on to her

offspring.) Nowadays so few races are run at 10f that very few stallions' will meet that criterion.

By the way, who was Slewacide's previous grandfoal 10f winner? He stood in Oklahoma, where he was the perennial leading sire and 9f was considered a marathon. Funny Cide's second dam came from an old Darby Dan family of staying antecendents (actually the same female family as Empire Maker), so Slewacide may have been incidental to Funny Cide's phenotype.

01 Feb 2014 11:18 AM

Just when it was beginning to seem as though winter might never end, along comes Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen to remind us that spring isn't really that far away . . . :)

One colt I'm really excited about this year is Ride On Curlin. I've been on his bandwagon ever since his first start, and while it's been a bit lonely in recent months, I hope to be joined by many others within the next few weeks! I know he's been a bit inconsistent, but let's not forget that he showed he could run with the best of them in the Champagne Stakes, where he was third to Havana and Honor Code.

Here is my "Derby Dozen," subject to change, of course, after today's prep races!

1. Top Billing

2. Cairo Prince

3. Strong Mandate

4. Honor Code

5. Shared Belief

6. Conquest Titan

7. Commissioner

8. Vicar's in Trouble

9. Ride On Curlin

10. Midnight Hawk

11. Bobby's Kitten

12. Candy Boy

01 Feb 2014 11:37 AM

Dr Drunkinbum - Dr. Steve Roman’s website,, gives a detailed explanation of the theory, how Dosage is calculated, and how he has determined when a sire should be named a Chef-de-Race.  A horse’s Dosage will change only if a sire in the first 4 generations of his pedigree has been determined to be a Chef.  As more progeny race, the sample size gets to be statistically significant, and a pattern of prepotency may emerge.  It’s possible Empire Maker could achieve Chef status; it will take longer for P o t Nile.  Sire’s and damsire’s AWD does change as their offspring continue to race.  Dr. Roman’s website also has a detailed look at Classic Contenders, with AWDs and Dosage info.

01 Feb 2014 11:54 AM

KY VET – The statistical evaluation that goes into the Dosage Theory is NOT flawed science!  The distribution of a sire’s offspring will logically fall into a bell-shaped curve, and it’s quite possible that Cairo Prince is an outlier – being out at the 3-sigma portion of the curve.  However, if you’re not getting odds to match that probability, he would be a poor bet, especially in a future wager before he even attempts 9f!

Certainly the breeding industry’s penchant for speed, precociousness, and more speed in order to bring high prices at sales has diminished the stamina pool in current sires, and Dosage numbers are creeping up.

Why is it that you have to resort to name-calling (morons) instead of a reasoned critique?  Study the Dosage Theory and point out flaws, and perhaps you could be taken seriously.

01 Feb 2014 12:16 PM
Cathy in Washington

Hi Steve,

Was just looking at the list of Triple Crown nominees and noticed that the Curlin son Texas Ryano was on it. I know he only has a maiden win on the grass but he was quite impressive in a last to first run.

01 Feb 2014 2:32 PM

Dr. D : Hahaha, my daughter and I had a big laugh with "high falootin'"...she loves that word lol.   I have no idea about the rationale, caught me off guard.  I guess I should post something, at least a little info why I picked them but then again, most of them might not even last past next month.  I'll try and put some "rationale" to my list next round hehe.  

Coldfacts : No offense taken, I've never been offended by your posts, they are your opinions, nothing more, everyone is welcome to have them.  I asked about Havana because you break down other people's picks based on those things, the number of times the sire bred, the history etc.  and you missed it yourself.  Your last reply about Havana shows me you can twist and bend cold facts to your benefits :)

I have Havana on my list as well, I don't think he's a Derby caliber but he will win a prep race (or two).    I'm waiting to see him run in the Swale.

Oh, this weekend...I like Vinceremos in The Sam Davis, and Wildcat Red in the Hutcheson.

01 Feb 2014 2:41 PM
It aint easy being good!

I love it every year people jump on the hype horse and watch their money burn up in smoke the first saturday in may. Last year it was Verzzano. Bodemiester the year before even though he did run a great 2nd! Uncle Mo, Dunkirk, Quality Road. None of these hype horses ever win the derby. This years hype horse Cairo Prince....He does look good. I am not a big fan of his running action! KT VEY I love it people talk breeding and dosage until they are blue in the face!!! I havent seen a true derby horse yet. Nothing is catching the eye besides Conquest Titan but I will reserve jugdment until next race!

01 Feb 2014 2:47 PM

Scotland lost all chance to make the exacta at the start of the Withers ,with the two expected pacesetters battling for the lead and opening a gap back to the rest.Since he went off at 15-1 I got back more than half my money playing him in 3rd eventhough the favorites came in order.

Vinceremos reminded me of his daddy Pioneer of the Nile in the stretch of the 2009 kentucky Derby fighting back in the stretch of the Sam Davis more than once after he was passed.It was Pletcher 1st and 2nd in that race and it was Gulfstream shippers 1st 2nd and 3rd.

01 Feb 2014 5:01 PM

Pedigree Ann, Cairo Prince lost a race at 9 furlongs.  The female side of his pedigree is replete with sprinters.  I would love to see CP get the distance in the Derby; I love him.  I just don't think it will happen.

01 Feb 2014 8:27 PM

Sorry, my last post should have been directed to KY Vet, not Pedigree Ann.  

01 Feb 2014 8:31 PM

Dr. D, I'm not just looking at Cairo Prince's dosage index.  I just can't find that all important stamina in the tail side of his pedigree.  Please believe me, I really love the horse, but IMO he's a miler.  He did lose at 1 1/8.  If he breaks the mold; I will be thrilled.

By the way, I like Ragtime; he won his maiden today.

01 Feb 2014 8:49 PM

Linda in Texas, great to hear from you again.  It is an exciting time of the year.  

01 Feb 2014 8:51 PM
cuba"s classic chef de race

My friend Steve,this year i see the real top contenders facing a real pace Question but that is okey....for the broodmare sires experts, i think we have time to wait.

01 Feb 2014 11:12 PM

Samraat definitely stays in my Dozen, that was a very very gutsy and professional performance today in the Withers.  I'm going to wait another race to see how far up he moves but that was a very impressive race. I'm looking forward to "Rocky II" in the Wood Memorial.

Wildcat Red looked impressive in the Hutcheson but I don't know how he'll do stretching out.  I don't remember the last time a D'Wildcat horse successfully stretched out and become competitive.  I'm thinking long term, BC Dirt Mile for him.

Vinceremos did a Gemologist type run in the Sam Davis.  He got up half a length from Cousin Stephen mid-stretch and then kind of like stalled, not sure if Prado got a little scared on the rail but then started running again, just enough to hold off Harpoon.  

Swept the 3 races in the Winstar Fantasy contest although there seems to be a problem with the scoring, hopefully they'll get it rectified soon.

01 Feb 2014 11:57 PM
cuba"s classic chef de race

People tend to confuse the overall pedigree with class and pace but tend to forget row ability and i do not have problem with that, i sincerely feel that Holly Bull as a Broodmare sire is not the same as Giacomo,sometimes derby winners did what their sires din't but you have to pay attention to the patterns from those sires before they lost the derby like Flower Alley,i do not want people think i want to be smarter then many bloggers here who are great like but Coldfats,mary,Carlos in california,DR Drunkinbun and yourself etc.but believe me to win at the derby you do not have to be a handicapper but one historic lover of this race.

02 Feb 2014 12:23 AM
cuba"s classic chef de race

If there is not a ghost among the 500 derby contenders i hope to do my homework very easy folks i know what it takes do not confuse me please.

02 Feb 2014 1:04 AM
El Kabong

Winter knows it must go when the Wizard of Bloodhorse casts his Dozen upon the fire. I feel warmer already and Paula(Higgins) I do hope things get better down south. Dreadful winter all around but Steve has tossed his log upon the fire and all eyes must turn to Louisville and warmer days. I don't know if it is just me or a sign of the times but I have never felt this starved for contenders at this point. Your list Steve is a compass in open sea that seems to be a trend in Derby hopefuls. Either I'm out of it a bit or this year's contenders seem less seasoned then in years past. Only time will tell. Thanks for the list. I must do some more work…. film, charts etc. I must have missed something but it feels like the cards are not on the table.

02 Feb 2014 1:53 AM

JayJay; 01 Feb 2014 11:57 PM.

Swept the 3 races in the Winstar Fantasy contest although there seems to be a problem with the scoring, hopefully they'll get it rectified soon.

Will be waiting to see the stables of the players that show a large amount of earnings the first day. The leaderboard showed earnings of $1,005,000, to get that amount, if they had Samraat  150,000 for the win x 3  = 450,000, and have Wildcat Red 135,000 for the win x 3 = 405,000 and also Uncle Sigh 50,000 for the place x 3 = 150,000. Each of these horses are listed in different groups?

02 Feb 2014 4:15 AM


“you break down other people's picks based on those things, the number of times the sire bred, the history etc.”

I give historic perspectives on some of the fancied horses not necessarily people picks. In the case of those from your 12, I just wondered why you liked them as their dam sires seem suspect for the Derby distance. As usual just an opinion!  

On the subject of Havana, I am of the opinion the colt has too many negatives but my opinions are not set in stone and must be balanced with reality. He is a very talented colt but I doubt he can overcome his historic negative. The name Havana has already been assigned 17 time before. Not good! Very rarely does a champion emerge with a name that has been used so many times previously.

I am desperate to proved myself wrong about stallions I consider overbred and the success of their progenies in the Derby. I hope one of the 100 Tapits win.

While you continue your evaluation take a look at Baratti. He is a Darley colt that broke its maiden at 1 1/16m in 1:42.97. His sire is Medaglia D’ Oro and his unraced dam was sired by Storm Cat. He has high action and his legs appear to be uncoordinated under him. He was probably still green when he won and if that is the case, he is scary good. His energy was impressive.

I love horses produced from unraced mare as they are more likely to emerge as exceptional champions on the track. My opinion is driven by the fact that their dams were not subjected to the stress of training and exposed to the litany of race day medications administered in the US.

He is amongst the probables for the Gotham.  

02 Feb 2014 5:15 AM

“I'm looking forward to "Rocky II" in the Wood Memorial.”

Is the above based on the presumption that there will be only NY Breds in the Wood?  If Samraat and company were not running against a very strong head wind in the stretch, the final time of 1:46.31 is cause for concern. The first two past the post did not finish with a lot of energy. If they were going 9F and recorded another 7.25 for the final 16th, the final time would have been 1:53.56.

The track on Saturday was listed as fast. I think an important adjective was omitted – ‘Deep’ Only a very deep and windy track could account for a such slow time by graded horses. Probably the race consisted of popsicles parading around four legs.

Between 1952 and 2013 the slowest times for the Wood have been 1:52.35 and 1:52.40. In the last 5 year the average time for the stakes has been 1:50 and a bit. Samraat and the runner up will have to improve about three second to be competitive. It is highly unlikely that $1M race will not attract some very talented and faster horses than those on display in the Withers.

02 Feb 2014 5:56 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Thanks for that info. It's good to know how the doasge number is arrived at and how it could change. I do use the dosage number as part of my evaluation. I am also a little leary of the higher numbers as others are and do further evaluation of their pedigree because of it. I rely more on the sire and damsire AWD (average winning distance) of their offspring than I do dosage. The range of dosage for Derby winners is greater than the range of AWD it seems, and AWD seems like a stronger gauge to me. I do think that with Pioneer or any young sire you have to give more of a benefit of the doubt concerning dosage and AWD and look more at the performances of the sire, grandsire and down the line. Thanks for your response and enlightenment. It's good to have you here.


  That's true. I also feel the tail side is a bit of a negative but I'm not tossing him because of it. He's a wait and see for me. At least he's not just a sprinter like some are that get into the Derby. At this point it would not shock me if Cairo won the Derby. The Florida Derby should tell us a lot eventhough that isn't enough prep work for him in my opinion. Maybe he's a super horse.


    It's too early to worry about it. I may not even do a another list until after the next group of bigger races like the FOY. Too much will change and my list is iffy anyway. I just wanted a starting point and to start loving a few horses for the sake of the Derby Dozen and Derby holiday spirit. Let the festivities begin !!!!!

02 Feb 2014 7:54 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   My list is just one that I really love anyway and that is Indianapolis. Take your time, just let it come about naturally. You don't have to force anything. Your good instincts will come into play at some point. Don't interfere with your instincts by trying to force rationale or any of that mumbo jumbo voodoo science hill of beans.

02 Feb 2014 8:02 AM
Linda in Texas

Okay, i am taking note of the posters here and so far great to also see Deacon, MZ, El Kabong, (name makes me smile)Carlos in Cali, -Keelerman, Karen in Indiana present and accounted for so where is Karen in Texas and Angela in Abilene? For a great turn of foot, watch Vinceremos win the Sam Davis at Tampa Bay, and his stablemate Harpoon's turn of foot trying to overtake him so he could beat him back to the barn for a bucket of oats, Race 9. Missing so far is Lazmannick (2 n's or 1 i forget) and i hope Paula got home after the sneet (combo of snow and sleet)in Georgia). But of all the missing so far, my favorite and most respected blogger friend, Slew. Please let us know you are okay and Needler in Virginia also. I know i have missed several but time will hopefully be good to the rest of us and soon they will report in. I am not a breeder as KY referred some as, nor an owner now, but I Simply Love This Sport, from the people who make it happen from the owner to the most important people of all and to me they are the dear backsiders who care for the horses and the barns. And of course the horses. Hope your team wins today at The 'Souper' Bowl, i don't have a horse (team) in this race) so i am going to pretend the Seahawks are in disguise as the Cowboys and pop a cork anyway and fix fajitas. Oh and speaking of corks i almost forgot Ted in La and Bob from Boston.  Thanks Steve, it is another dreary day and 30 degrees. Linda    

02 Feb 2014 11:36 AM
Steve Haskin

KY VET, one more post like that and it will be your last on here. If you are unable to be civil and are compelled to resort to name calling, especially regarding everyone as a whole, please take your comments somewhere else. People are trying to have fun and engage in friendly debate on here.

02 Feb 2014 3:45 PM

cathy in washington, thanks for mentioning Texas Ryano, that was a very impressive first race, this is a horse I hope will try dirt and aim for the Derby. He is very unseasoned, getting such a late start, but he can really run. Love that he is by Curlin, and even though his dam sire was a very, very good sprinter, his dam, Blending Element(great name for a dam) was most effective at two turns and could run and win at over a mile and an eighth. He might be that something special. He's got me excited.

02 Feb 2014 5:00 PM

Nice win by Samraat, nothing wrong with the time of the race, he is a very good horse; Uncle Sigh was impressive in defeat, as he was a race less seasoned and had the poorer post for this race. Would lover to see these two try better next, think they can handle it, and would put alot of those that are being billed Derby hopefuls to shame. Not sure either wants a mile and a quarter though.

02 Feb 2014 5:16 PM
Cathy in Washington

Predict ~ What really impressed me about Texas Ryano's win was that he was totally hand ridden, the jock never used the whip on him when he came out off the heels of the horse in front of him and he was flying with his ears pricked.

02 Feb 2014 6:16 PM

KY Vet: You're gung-ho over Holy Bull winner Cairo Prince but you're forgetting something ...he's yet to post a 100 Beyer Speed figure. Does this observation sound familiar to you? or have you changed your tune? Back in 2011/12 your post would've read something like this "you people are going crazy over a horse that's never run a 100 Beyer in four starts ...are you all nuts?" (LOL)

Steve: perhaps you should cut the "Vet" some slack ...consider some of his remarks "Distorted Humor".

By the way, I'm yet to be impressed with the quality of this 3YO crop. Two and only two colts have given me the impression that they could break the Triple Crown drought: Honor Code and Top Billing, especially the latter, that's bred to stay forever. If Top Billing wins the FOY his stocks will soar to stratospheric heights. I'm looking for not just the Derby winner but that very special one to join the class of icons, Secretariat, Seatle Slew and Affirmed.

02 Feb 2014 6:50 PM

derbygal : Yeah, I posted that I was on 32nd after having all 3 winners, then for some reason, I moved to 33rd.  Now that they fixed it, I'm at 30 lol.   It's okay though, I didn't want to waste another pick by having both Samraat and Uncle Sigh.  I used Uncle Sigh's spot to add Commissioner for the FOY.   Are you in the contest ?

Coldfacts : I respect everyone's way of handicapping the races.  I was just curious why you use your handicapping angles to break down (or give historic perspectives) other people's picks but it doesn't seem to apply to you.  If you were not into Havana, you probably would be posting those things to me except without the "hope" that he can buck the history trend.

As for the "Rocky II", I quoted that from Uncle Sigh's trainer.  The trainer would like another go at Samraat.  It makes sense as both are NY breds and would most likely race each other again either in the Gotham or the Wood Memorial but to answer your question, no, I did not presumed that they will both be in the race and no, I didn't mean they will be the top two again in the Wood but I do want to see both hook up again and see how it turns out.  Samraat's trainer mentioned the Wood or the Lousiana Derby as their options.  I've never been a race time handicapper, I don't really understand why people look into that.  Horses will go as fast as they need to go.  Comparing a horses last race final time to their next race doesn't make sense to me.  There are so many things that can affect the final race time that doesn't show in the form.

I already have Baratti in my Winstar Derby contest, he's my horse for the Gotham and I'm hoping he can ration his speed.  I didn't know about him until I joined the Winstar contest and picked him based on his last race, that was on the inner track though so I'm not sure how he'll do on the main track.

Dr. D : Yeah, you're right.  I feel good about my top three although Poker Player seems to be taking long coming back.  Rise Up had a "breather" and back on tab.  He'll be going to the Risen Star stakes.  I have a couple in my list that hasn't even run yet that I'm excited about, In Trouble, he had a small setback last year (knee chip) but he's back on the track and has had two workouts.  Meadowood is the other one I'm waiting for.

I'm waiting to see where BB will take Indianapolis, I'm pretty sure he's going to the SA Derby.  I read somewhere that Midnight Hawk might the one doing the travelling.   There's something different this year, as there has not been a super hyped horse yet except Cairo Prince and I thought he was legit, until the news about skipping FOY.  I don't like the long gap between the Holy Bull and FD.   There are still soooooooo many horses that hasn't run this year that I think will be there in the end. I don't think we've seen the Derby Winner run yet.

02 Feb 2014 6:50 PM

Dr. D, since I really like Cairo Prince, I'm going to go back further in his female line to see if I can find a stayer or two.  I really like Top Billing and Ragtime.  Ragtime just won his maiden so we shall see.

02 Feb 2014 8:56 PM


“There are so many things that can affect the final race time that doesn't show in the form.”

I agree with the above. The track must have been very tiring as the two top colts appeared to be laboring in the last 100 meters. I expected a time of either 1:44 or less. Conditions must have been for more favorable when Baratti recorded his 1:42.97 for the distance while full of run.

I am more impressed with Baratti than Cairo Prince. That stated, I have limited confidence in his trainer’s ability to get him to be competitive when it matters.  I realize he might be behind CP at this time but he is the better Derby prospect. When Storm Cat, a son of Seattle Slew and Roberto are sires of the 1st,2nd & 3rd dams, the possibilities are endless.

My dozen will be significant different the 2nd time around as I have spent more time evaluating  Derby prospects. After the performance of Declaration of War in the BCC, I am even monitoring some of Mr. Obrien possibles.

As usual Darley has a trailer load of horse that none of their three trainers seem capable of developing into Derby horses. I cannot understand why the operation does not try a different set of trainers. They had more Derby starters when they prepared the horses in Dubai.

If my memory is correct my dozen is the only one that contains Bond Holder the 4th place finisher in the BCJ. Mr. Haskin has him knocking on the door but I believe he earned his way in to every dozen. The colt has contested three G1 races with one victory and two 4th place finishes. Do you care to share why you did not consider him with his pedigree and résumé? Not many on the Derby trail have a HOY as sire and dam sire. Remember Mineshaft gave us Nehro who finished 2nd in the Derby with only a MSW victory to his credit.

02 Feb 2014 9:39 PM

Dr D and all, the 5x female line may be Cairo Prince's saving grace. Lady Angela is a descendant of Canterbury Pilgrim.  CP's sire female line and dam female line is replete with stamina; Pocahontas, carrier of the large heart gene.  I hope he wins the Florida Derby.          

02 Feb 2014 9:42 PM

Coldfacts :  I did look at him but watching his races, I think he's very inconsistent.  He doesn't seem to have focus, is it the horse?  the jockey? or the trainer ?  I'm not sure but I'd like to see him actually race, not just run in a race.  He's going to the Risen Star to start off his campaign, I'll be watching him.

03 Feb 2014 4:05 AM

Mary: You may be like the drowning man clutching at straws, searching for Classic distance stamina in Cairo Prince's pedigree. Chances are he'll be an exceptional colt up to nine furlongs but beyond that it will be a matter of whether he's gotten that 'something special' from his broodmare sire Holy Bull or his grand sire Empire Maker. His Beyer figures doesn't suggest the latter case so far but we'll have to wait and see. Another thing in his favour would be if this is a sub-standard crop of 3YOs that he could use superior class to dominate. His trainer thinks that he doesn't need to improve but he might be very mistaken, in terms of CP's speed figures.

My dozen at the moment is comprised of: Honor Code, Top Billing, Strong Mandate, Bobby's Kitten, Shared Belief, Cairo Prince, Conquest Titan, Vicar's In Trouble, Tonalist, California Chrome, Constitution and Cleburne.

I'm still keeping an eye on Wicked Strong, Almost Famous or Awesome Sky ...these three are going to make quantum leaps in their next outings IMO.

03 Feb 2014 9:36 AM

Is it crazy to be optimistic that Baratti will improve rapidly and impose himself on the Derby trail similar to Bodemeister? Why compare the two?

While Bodemeister was from the dominant Mr. Prospector sire line, Baratti is from the sire line that ranks second in Derby success in the last 20 years. However, the dam line of the two colts as it relates to the first three dam sires is identical.

Bodemeister – Storm Cat, A P Indy & Roberto

Baratti - Storm Cat, Avenue Of Flags & Roberto

Both A P Indy and Avenue Of Flags were sired by Seattle Slew. The 4th dams of the two horses are Nijinsky and Prince John. While Prince John does not rank with Nijinsky on the track, he outclasses the 1970 British Triple Crown winner in the broodmare sire category. Prince John was leading broodmare sire: 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986 and 2nd twice.

While Bodemeister was 2nd on debut, Baratti was 5th. However, both colts returned to score smashing maiden victories. Bodemeister next start was the G2 San Felipe where he finished 2nd and the rest is history. The connections of Baratti are considering the G3 Gotham for his next start.

NB: Bodemeister did not make a start as a 2YO and though gallant in the Derby, failed to join Apallo as the only winners not to have made a 2YO start. Baratti made one start as a 2YO and consequently does not have the Apallo hurdle to cross.

03 Feb 2014 9:37 AM


“By the way, I'm yet to be impressed with the quality By the way, I'm yet to be impressed with the quality of this 3YO crop."

My learned colleague the 3YO crop to which you refer does not include many of the top 2YOs who are yet to make their 3YO debuts. There were 24 betting interest in the 1st KDFP.  Of the 23 that are still on the Derby Trail, eight have made 3YO debuts i.e., Almost Famous, Cairo Prince, Commissioner, Coup de Grace,  Financial Mogul, Noble Moon, Pablo Del Monte and Tamarando.

Of the eight, 4 have won and another 2 have finished in the board. Who are the new shooters worthy of notice?   Baratti, Tonalist, Top Billing, Indianapolis, Vicar's In Trouble, Kristo, Matador, Midnight Hawk etc., are very nice horses.

“Two and only two colts have given me the impression that they could break the Triple Crown drought”

The last three Triple Crown winners were brilliant 2YOs so you should really be looking at the brilliant 2YOs from the 2011 crop. Neither Honor Code nor Top Billing could be considered brilliant 2YOs. That distinction would have to go to New Year Day, Havana and Shared Belief. Favorite Trick like secretariat was voted HOY as at 2YO. He was a live TC candidate and never won a single TC race.

The horse that has gone the closest to being a TC winner since Affirmed was Real Quiet and he broke his maiden in his 7th start as a 2YO. I am sure he would not have impressed you.

The 1st TC winner Sir Barton did not win any of his 6 start as a 2YO. His 1st victory came in his 7th start in what was his 3YO debut that just happened to be in the Kentucky Derby as rabbit for his highly regarded stable mate Billy Kelly. The rest is history.

A Triple Crown winner could emerge from the least likely of the horses we are currently evaluating. We can evaluate pedigree, review PPs, trainers records and a host of other pertinent facts, but we are in no position to evaluate the heart a horse will show in the final quarter of three races at various distances covering 30 1/2F in five weeks.

For many Derby winners, the Triple Crown will always be a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained as they are just not special enough.

03 Feb 2014 11:05 AM
Drinks from a glass !!

first venture into the derby dozen..............

steve, really like reading the multi dimensional views of all..

jayjay, mary, pedigree ann,coldfacts everyone so interesting and at times overwhelming with historical   perspective...i am still learning the game every week........

horses are learning the game daily ... the now horse who will win the derby ?  a horse not mentioned yet from oaklawn ?  same day of vicar's win ?  an old fashioned colt ...great

03 Feb 2014 12:29 PM

Early Triple Crown nominations were dominated by the progenies of Tapit and Bernardini with each stallion represented by 16. Distorted Humor and Giants Cause Way were next with 10 each.

On the trainers’ side Todd Pletcher has 42 and BB has 18. Wayne Lukas seems to be back in the game with 12. Steve Asmussen has 12 as well. Surprisingly, Bill Mott has 10 along with Chad Brown and Kenneth McPeek. European base trainers Aidan O’ Brien and Dermot Weld have 4 & 5 respectively.

Is there strength in number? No for the Derby! The dangerous Christophe Clement has 1 and I like this colt a lot. First year Team Valor trainer Richard Mettee has 1.

Will Mr. Pletcher be represented by his usual 5 or will this number? Will Speedy Bob have at lest one starter this year? Will one of the progenies of either Tapit or Bernardini breakthrough for either stallion? Two trainers and two stallions dominate the nominations and the spells doom.

03 Feb 2014 12:40 PM

As far as McLaughlin is concerned Baratti has a following on the blog here is his immediate breeding

( Medaglia d'Oro - Surf Song, by Storm Cat)there is another that I am following that ran his first race on January 1st at Gulfstream he came in 2nd coming from off the pace since then he has had one bullet workout at PM in  Florida where a lot of the trainers have stables to run at Gulfstream.Here is his immediate family  Medaglia d'Oro - Kotuku (GB), by A.P. Indy)when he runs again I will post it on the blog.

03 Feb 2014 1:20 PM
Drinks from a glass !!

great way to spend a snowy day her in nj .

anxious to see honor code soon . my # 1          

there is an allowance race #8 Thursday at oaklawn I will watch ..bitters n bourbon ran a beautiful race the day of the lecomte..ran as a 2yr old at huge odds and finished second that day....his maiden was impressive channing hill up for r moqett. old fashioned by an honour and glory mare....

next five.. vicars in trouble  top billing   strong mandate  mexikom  conquest titan

03 Feb 2014 2:53 PM

Ranagulzion, I know that the dosage index is not in Cairo Prince's favor.  I am just trying to help Dr. D find something in his pedigree that would suggest that he can get the 10 furlongs.  Lets not focus on his sire, Pioneerof The Nile or his broodmare sire, Holy Bull.  If CP has the stamina to run all day long; he inherited such ability through his dam's female line.

I know that his dosage index is 7.00.  No horse has won the derby with such a high index, but no one thought that a Bold Ruler colt, Secretariat could get the distance.  Secretariat's dosage index was 3.00, which is borderline for distance.

I still really like Top Billing and Vicar's In Trouble.    

03 Feb 2014 7:43 PM

Where some 3 Y.O.'s Derby Trail horses MIGHT be racing next. Subject to change.

Cairo Prince- Florida Derby-GP-3/28

Commissioner- Fountain Of Youth S.-GP-2/22

Strong Mandate- Southwest S.-OP-2/17

Vinceremos- Tampa Bay Derby-Tam.(Duh)-3/8

Exit Stage Left- El Camino Real Derby-GG-2/15

Candy Boy- Robt. B. Lewis S.-SA-2/8

Havana Swale S.-GP-3/1

Honor Code-Gotham S.-AQUI.-3/1

Indianapolis-San Vincente S.-SA-2/16

MR. Speaker-Palm Beach S.-GP-3/1

Tanzanite Cat-Southwest S.-OP-2/17

Bond Holder-Risen Star S.-FG-2/22

Louies Flower-Southwest S.-OP-2/17

Tapiture-Southwest S.-OP-2/17

Top Billing-Fountain of Youth S.-GP-2/22

Vicar's in Trouble-Risen Star S.-FG-2/22

Wildcat Red-Fountain of Youth S.-GP-2/22

Albano-Risen Star S.-FG-2/22

Baratti-Gotham S.-AQUI.-3/1

General A Rod-Fountain of Youth S.-GP-2/22

Gold Hawk-Risen Star S.-FG-2/22

Midnight Hawk-Robt. B. Lewis S.-SA-2/8

No Nay Never-Swale S.-GP-3/1

Noble Moon-Gotham S.-AQUI.-3/1

Ride On Curlin-Southwest S.-2/17

Rise Up-Risen Star-FG-2/22

Uncle Sigh-Gotham S.-AQUI.-3/1

JayJay In Contest? yes.

03 Feb 2014 10:59 PM
Old Old Cat

Correct me if I am wrong.  I beleive the 2013 Derby had at least one horse that was entered by supplemental nomination,(Maybe Golden Soul). I beleive that any supplemental nomination horse can enter only if there is still a vacancy after ALL of the regularly nominated horses have been selected.  If that is true, then any regularly nominated horse, even with ZERO points could have entered the Derby ahead of the supplemental(s).  Wich if what I think happened is indeed correct, then any regularly nominated horse that had even ONE point could have run in the Derby, which mean that ALL of the Derby qualifier races are relevant.

04 Feb 2014 7:34 PM
Old Old Cat

My previous blog should have been in response to the latest Derby Dozen..

04 Feb 2014 7:36 PM


You are welcome.

05 Feb 2014 1:14 PM

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