Fountain of Youth Analysis and Selections

The Fountain of Youth is always one of the most highly-anticipated Derby prep races of the year, but with the race now at one-mile for the first time in its history, the dynamics of it have changed dramatically from a handicapping perspective. It means speed is a much bigger factor.

That is especially true this year, with Gulfstream's track holding speed very well. Pace will probably be the determining factor in who wins here, which means Notonthesamepage, even if he doesn't win, should play a major role.

The general consensus is that Notonthesamepage will use his electric speed to go right to the front. But will he run a :21 and change and a :44 and change like he did in the Spectacular Bid? Or will he take back a bit and let Quality Road and/or Taqarub challenge?  When I talked to Ken Ramsey on Thursday night he wasn't tipping his hand, but if I read between the lines correctly I got the feeling that they don't want Notonthesamepage to run those lighting fractions again. Remember, they think this is a legit Derby prospect and they may have been teaching him to be something other than a speedballer.

Either way, I think it's safe to say that we can expect Notonthesamepage, Quality Road, Taqarub and This Ones for Phil, who breaks from the outside and probably will lay right off the pace, to be near the front. If the pace is quick, the race may set up perfectly for This Ones for Phil, or horses that will likely be mid-pack, such as Capt. Candyman Can, Beethoven or even Rocketing Returns. Or, a deeper closer like Theregoesjojo could pick them all up if the race falls apart.This is a very challenging race to handicap. The good news is, no matter who you like you will get a decent price. I suspect that by post time This Ones for Phil and Capt. Candyman Can will be co-favorites, or close to it.

First, for the horses I don't like: I am throwing out Quality Road, who I feel will be overmatched in his second start; Break Water Edison, who comes off a bad effort and doesn't seem to like the track; Jack Spratt, who makes his first start on dirt and will be outclassed; Bee Cee Cee, who isn't fast enough; and Beethoven, who will need the perfect trip to win, like he did in the Kentucky Jockey Club.

It may come back to bite me, but I am also throwing out Capt. Candyman Can. He has done nothing wrong so far and has Leparoux, who demands respect, But I also thought he was the beneficiary of a perfect trip in the Hutcheson and won't get that advantage here. I don't think he will be close enough to the pace to make his move a winning one. I think the Captain takes a step backward.

That leaves me with Notonthesamepage, Taqarub, Theregoesjojo, Rocketing Returns and This Ones for Phil. Taqarub is the wild card for me. If he is the freak that he hinted at being in the Jimmy Winkfield, we could have a new, major Derby contender. Tough call. He has only the three starts, all at six furlongs. No question about his speed, but is he ready to go a mile? For now, I'm going to pass on using him in the top spot and use him underneath. But he will be used in all exotics.

The Fountain of Youth is featured on this week's That Handicapping Show.

The Pick: My scenario is that Notonthesamepage will take a lead into the stretch and fade. The horse is very fast, but he has also had some breathing issues. Ramsey has had him in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber. I could be reading too much into that, but I am taking a stand against him.

Taqarub should have a run at the lead heading into the stretch and I'm also guessing that longshot Rocketing Returns, who has enough speed to stay close and might improve off what was really a pretty decent effort in the Hutcheson, will be a factor. But if Prado can get him in a good spot, I say This Ones for Phil takes home the prize.

Despite the outside post, this horse has good tactical speed to get into winning position and his 116 Beyer last out was not a fluke. He has a win over the course, a win at the distance and has been working very well for Dutrow. Also, I'm not sure how much Paul Pompa sold him for earlier this week, but you can bet the new partners did their research and think this horse is pretty special.

I'll play This Ones for Phil to win and use him in an exacta box with Rocketing Returns, Taqarub and Theregoesjojo, who really impressed me with his allowance win last out and could be coming hard at the end.

Good luck to everyone this weekend. Who do you like?


Leave a Comment:


Im taking Notonthesamepage over Beethoven for the exacta. Then finishing it with Capt. Candyman Can third for a trifecta.

27 Feb 2009 2:09 PM

This is where we find out who is for real and who is a pretender.  Taqarub has a better chance of learning to fly than he does winning this race.  This one for Phil is out too wide and will be out of the race by the first quarter pole.  Speed will carry go with the fastest horse or suffer.  

27 Feb 2009 2:09 PM

One thing I've learned in racing is not to go against your gut instinct, so for that I'm taking Break Water Edison! He must rebound from his last race which I think he will and I've been high on this horse from the get go, so I can't jump ship now. The price is right and Eibar Coa is not a jock I let go off at good odds. Good luck to all, this is a wide open race!

27 Feb 2009 2:29 PM
Lemon Drop Kid

I'm with you. Been high on Break Water Edison since last year and I'm not going off now. Gets blinkers and will be 10/1, not 5/2 like in his last. Good luck

27 Feb 2009 3:09 PM
Mike Relva

Taking Notonthesamepage to win.

27 Feb 2009 3:27 PM

Break Water Edison has back-class and will go off at juicy odds since the focus is off him and on others now. Worth it at the right price.

27 Feb 2009 3:50 PM

Way to go out on a limb nay nay. Guess this way you can sit back and ridicule someone elses picks.

I like the Captn. and Theregoesjojo.

Tons of speed in here and it should be a fast pace. I don't think this race will tell us much since it's only a mile.It will eliminate some from consideration and the winner will have to prove themself again at longer. There is a big difference going a mile and going 1 1/4. Just ask smooth air.

27 Feb 2009 3:55 PM

I'm not sure why this would be considered a derby prep at 1 mile.  Many derby candidates are already routing at 9 furlongs.  What was the reasoning behind changing the distance?  This makes little sense to me.

27 Feb 2009 3:55 PM
John T.

  I,m glad to see the Fountain Of Youth is now run at a mile as the Florida Derby later on is at 9 furlongs and they sure have been rewarded with a large field.I will be looking for Capt.Candyman Can to run a big race.

27 Feb 2009 4:08 PM

I'm going to go with the "little horse that could" in this one,  Capt. Candyman Can. This 25,000 purchase has really proven that he bellongs with his more expensive company. I think he most definitely has wat it takes to win this race , and to be a major player on the derby trail. I'm really hoping all goes well for him, Keep carrying the hopes of the little horses " Capt. Candyman Can "

27 Feb 2009 4:25 PM
Brian A.

Notonthesamepage, This Ones For Phil, and Capt. Candyman Can.

27 Feb 2009 4:36 PM

I'm sticking with Quality Road in the FOY. The other contenders seem to be Beethoven, CCC, and the late running Theregoesjojo who may run by them all in the stretch. I like Smart Bid to battle with The Pamplemousse and Take the Points in the Sham. Mark S the Cooler is my sleeper.

27 Feb 2009 5:01 PM

I'm going with the Captain.  He did benefit from a pretty nice trip last time and I think he'll have a pretty nice trip this time as well by sitting a couple lengths off the speed and pouncing on them just past the 1/4 pole.  Sit just behind the speed and when they start to back up, he will have first run.  I don't think it's enough ground for a horse like Beethoven to close and beat him.  I think the Captain may regress a little after the Hutchenson, but he should still be able to win this race due largely in part to the 1 mile distance.  I think he can go 2 turns, but if this was a 2 turn race and he regressed, a horse like Beethoven could run him down.  If I were betting this one I would put CCM over Beethoven, Taqarub and This Ones For Phil.  I think Taqarub and This Ones for Phill have the best chance to carry their speed a mile in order to hit the board (especially over the speed favoring track), but not win.

27 Feb 2009 5:06 PM

Jason,my man..why do you keep dogging Beethoven? lol..I know you think he got lucky in the Jockey Club S. last year,and you think he needs a perfect trip to win the FOY..but that's exactly what he's getting this Saturday.

Check this out:  We know there's tons of speed lined-up,and all of front runners are trying more than 7f for the first time..Ideal situations for a pace melt-down.Beethoven is the only one with multiple 2-turn wins and he'll be sitting in the cat-bird seat while drawing a better post than last race in which he was 5-wide all the way.Notice that he made an excellent move on the far turn,but came up empty down the lane..He should be tighter for this race.

This Ones for Phil drew a horrible post for the mile distance,so I'm sure he'll have extra running to do..not good!

Don't sleep on Beethoven..I'm just trying to get some cash in your pockets so you can start giving away some Shwag(hopefully),in the Handicapping contests. :)   PEACE!!

27 Feb 2009 5:14 PM

This is a nice group of horses, but I agree with Householder.  Why was this race shortened to 1m?  We want the breeders to breed a sounder horse with more stamina yet major races are continually getting shorter.  There is zero incentive for the breeders to stop accentuating speed.

27 Feb 2009 5:17 PM
Mike Relva


It will be interesting to see your spin after Notonthesamepage blows by,lol!

27 Feb 2009 5:44 PM

Notonthesamepage, Breakwater Edison, Capt Candyman Can and Beethoven in that order.  In such a hot contest proven class usually prevails unless one of the "young turks" or This One's for Phil is really realy special.

The revising of the FOY seems like a very good move as a Derby prep for speed types and those trying to improve tactical speed going towards the Derby.  Perhaps returning it to Grade One status would be the next very good move.  This field is certainly Grade One quality.  

27 Feb 2009 5:56 PM

When Magna bought the track, they lengthened it to 1 1/8 miles from the one mile oval it had been. That meant you could no longer run a 1 1/16 mile Fountain of Youth as they had done for 50 years, thus negating the FOY as a useful prep.

I think a mile may be too short for the Captain with this group, and I'm not convince Notonthesamepage won't blow himself out. I'm thinking, This Ones For Phil with the Captain picking up a piece late.

27 Feb 2009 6:11 PM

Jojo's time in that 7f race was stellar. He could be reckoned with if he improves 2nd off the layoff. I hope since I put a future bet on him!!

27 Feb 2009 6:30 PM

I am with you Mike Relva I say he is off and gone !  One thing for sure is he will be in the lead at the 6 furlong and I think he will cruise the last 2 furlongs to an easy win.

27 Feb 2009 6:41 PM
The Rock

As far as the distance question is concerned, it's really not that far-fetched. Take NY & CA for example. In NY, prior to the Gotham being run on the inner dirt track @ 1 1/16, it was run at one turn mile on the outter track at AQU in early march, in which a lot of top horses used to spring themselves onto the Wood @ 9f. In CA, the best 3 year olds were usually split between the San Rafael @ 1m & the San Felipe @ 1 1/16m. Both run in early March until the San Rafael was moved back a few years ago to Feb. Again, plenty of have used the San Rafael to spring board them to the SA Derby @ 9f as the final prep. So in a sense, it's used as a progression stage in distances leading up to the respective meets' April key Derby preps. My thought is, a horse will get the distance if they're talented enough. Take HIGH FLY in 2005 for example. He had 3 9f races prior to the Derby, and he was done by the top of the lane.

27 Feb 2009 7:03 PM
Jason Shandler

Slew: Nothing against Beethoven. I like Ward a lot. But I saw him live at CD when he won the KYJC and was not overly impressed. Ever since then I threw him into a 'no' category and cant get him out. Maybe he'll prove me wrong in the FOY.

27 Feb 2009 7:12 PM

Listen to me... Fountain of Youth: $1 Exacta Box 2,7... I going to see you in the winning circle. Thanks!

27 Feb 2009 7:16 PM
Mr. Racing

The GP oval is actually 1 1/8 miles + 17 feet.

27 Feb 2009 7:39 PM

Jack Spratt. There's a reason that his connections skipped the Hallandale Beach on the turf to try the dirt instead.

27 Feb 2009 7:48 PM

I'll take the Captain on top and  Theresgojojo second. Third will be tight but I think Phil and Beethoven will fight it out.

27 Feb 2009 7:51 PM


27 Feb 2009 8:10 PM

T is for  Taqarub ....

27 Feb 2009 8:11 PM

It makes sense The Rock.  I could not understand why they moved the San Rafael back a month (to February)either.  Most who have already routed (e.g. Chocolate Candy and POTN) were not interested in the San Rafael at a mile even back in Feb.  We will see Sat what kind of spring board this was for the Pamplemousse.  My bet says he quits in the Sham (at a longer distance) and gets picked off by Col John's full brother. (Col John won the sham last year and used this as a spring board to the SA Derby).  See you at the windows.

27 Feb 2009 8:27 PM

GP does not run 1-1/16 mile races. So, the only choices are 8 or 9 furlongs. The horsemen don't want to run two 9 furlong preps, so GP accommodated them and made the FOY 8 furlongs. As you can see from the field, the horsemen love the idea.

27 Feb 2009 8:30 PM

Jojo, Captain, Phil

27 Feb 2009 8:31 PM

"El Gato Malo" falters for the first time in the Sham as Colonel John takes the last 1/8 in 12 seconds.  Tell me distance does not matter.

27 Feb 2009 8:33 PM
Dare and GO

Take the opportunity to kill this race. The candy ride offspring

are viable wagers @ long odds. Jack Spratt

27 Feb 2009 8:57 PM
Mike Relva



27 Feb 2009 9:03 PM
Toccet's Dad

Theregoesjojo will win going away.  He'll finish second in the Florida Derby and first in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont.

27 Feb 2009 9:04 PM
Mike Relva

Hello Jason:

What do you think of the chances of Haynesfield & Notonthesamepage getting into the Derby?

27 Feb 2009 9:13 PM


I hear you,it's cool man..He's no Man o' War,but I just think the race is gonna' set-up perfectly for him.I'm trying to make a dollar out of


 You're right,the reason being  "derby fever"! It seems to spread around rapidly this time of year.


 T is for "Tired",which describes Taqarub on the far turn..  lol j/k.

 Just having fun people,nothing personal...Peace!!!

27 Feb 2009 9:39 PM
Jason Shandler

Mike: I do not like either ones chances to be quite honest. I think Haynesfield will be overmatched in the Gotham. You already know who I like there. I also think Notonthesamepage is a sprinter with little chance in the Florida Derby. If he wins tomorrow, I guess he'll have enough earnings to ge into the Ky. Derby, but as you can see from my write-up, I dont think he'll win.

27 Feb 2009 9:45 PM

By the time El Gato Malo took the San Rafael (1 Mile) by 7 lengths he had won all 3 starts by a combined margin of 17 lengths.  

27 Feb 2009 10:14 PM

CCC AND Tagarub exacta box.  Hammer time.  This ones for  Phil is very likely to bounce. One of the speed ballers will be first or 2nd no doubt about it,  Speed at the Gulf is killer

27 Feb 2009 11:05 PM

Very easy for me to skip this race and just learn... I don't see 'a sure thing'! But, Good Luck! outside of the favorties at post time, there is a big payoff here somewhere!  

27 Feb 2009 11:11 PM

Everyone wants to see the next great thing and everyone loves a hero.  Notonthesamepage is the only horse in the race with 2 race Beyers of 104 and higher.  Any improvement in his last race will put him into Superhorse territory.  I don't know about you but I would love to see a new Superhorse and Notonthesamepage is on the verge of doing just that.  I know many are saying he will not get the distance but I am rooting for this horse to make believers out of all of us.  Wouldn't it be nice to see a horse pull off a 120+ Beyer?  If he is in the lead at the half mile pole between 45 and 45.5 they will never catch him.  Run baby run !!!

28 Feb 2009 1:33 AM

Beethoven- should take this one, is ready now, will improve off last , distance is PERFECT, pace will be to his adavantage, can certainly run with these, don't overlook this one.

28 Feb 2009 1:46 AM

Jason, Like your analysis with a couple of exceptions. This is one of the toughest prep races to handicap due to one fact - the track. Speed has held like a rock during this meet and looks to be the key here. I don't think you can put too much into the result no matter how they finish, but more as to how the horses that don't figure to handle this bias perform.

The two big question marks seem to be - can This Ones for Phil overcome a post that has been death and just how good is Taqarub. You have more faith than I do that Notonthesamepage will not go a mile on this surface but certainly pace will determine this race especially if Taqarub doesn't contest the lead. From a betting point I've got to pass this race and watch, but if pressed I would have to go with the horses that should sit the perfect trip - Capt. Candy & Theregoesjojo, who won't be as far back as many think.

28 Feb 2009 9:08 AM

I like the Captain, Taqarub, and Jack Spratt.  Good luck to everyone this weekend.



28 Feb 2009 9:12 AM

Oh yes, the Ftn. of Youth, an elongated sprint that will say little about a horses ability to go 1 1/4 miles the first Saturday in May. It's lining up to be a good race to follow but won't prove much if a front runner wins virtualy wire to wire. Handicap it like a sprint not like its the Derby.

Gulfstream has been playing to speed (surprise surprise) so whoever gets a clean break and goes on top will have to be caught. I'm hoping for a speed duel to at least test the guts of those involved. That sets it up for a stalker/closer like the Captain or Theregoegjojo and because it's speed favoring Gulfstream both can move up with a good second or close third providing they are running through the lane.

I don't really care who wins,this race will certainly eliminate a number of these from Derby consideration.

28 Feb 2009 9:40 AM
DK Stables

Taqarub over Theregoesjojo and Capt. Candyman Can in Florida and Hi Flyin Indy over The Pamplemousse and Mr Hor Stuff

28 Feb 2009 10:40 AM
DK Stables

The 1 Mile FOY is a logical step from the Hutch and before the Fla. Derby.  It's a nice progression for the Derby trainers and brings together now & future horses against on another.  We have 2 Now horses (distance wise), the 3 and 9 and 2 very well bred Classicly strong horses in the 2 and 10.  Should be a very good contest but I'm looking for the 10 to make his move towards May 2

28 Feb 2009 10:50 AM

this race is a pivotal race for the candyman sure thing here it may be a easy exacta candyman/bee cee,nonethesamepage,strong effort by the other horses.

28 Feb 2009 10:51 AM

Here's my prediction. Whoever wins this race today will probably have to run his guts out to do it. Saying that the top three finishers may do the "bounce" next start. I'd be wary of any horse who runs major big time today and runs back in the Florida Derby.

I agree with the_wiz, I'm sure not excited with a mile stake on a speed favoring track.

28 Feb 2009 11:59 AM

The race is a perfect distance for this time of year.  The speedballs will be winging, and if the jocks try to rate them in the race, they will fight it and then spit out the bit.  The race will set up perfect for a stalker, closer.  Thereegoesjojo is coming up great for the race, and his trainer has been unbelieveably hot this year.  They will win in a photo.

28 Feb 2009 12:06 PM

I'm going with Notonthesamepage to take the FOY. I'd like to see Beethoven do well, but he hasn't shown me he can compete at this level.  I hope I'm proven wrong.

28 Feb 2009 12:35 PM
ralph e.

phil takes it all and at the very end

28 Feb 2009 12:42 PM

Oh..I just realized the FOY is a 1-turn mile.Dammit!..well,that changes my original analysis of the outcome,because it's really just an elongated sprint race that truly favors front runners.

Wesley Ward,the trainer of Notonthesamepage,said that he's gunning for the lead since he's the only speed on the inside,the rest of the speed is hung,if he gets clear without any heavy pressure,he might get brave..But,I'm sticking with Beethoven for the win at Nice,Juicy odds(12-1 morning line).

I'll key Beethoven on top w/3,9,12 w/3,9,12 trifecta------then box 7,3,9,12 for the trifecta/superfectas just in case.

28 Feb 2009 1:03 PM
Positive Charge

Beethoven and Calvin by 2

28 Feb 2009 1:09 PM

The derby trail is littered with the Pyros, El Gato Malos, and Bob Black Jacks and you can throw Old Fashioned and the Pamplemousse into this bunch soon (Check out OF dosage index). All highly touted milers or over achievers who hit the wall the first Saturday in May or sooner (El Gato Malo was done after the San Rafael).  The sooner we get beyond a mile with better competition the better.  DK stables...thanks for Hi Flyin Indy he's worth 2 bucks at 30-1.

28 Feb 2009 1:33 PM

I'm just totally bummed all the races are exclusively on HRTV, which is another upgrade (and not a cheap one, unfortunately) on my cable bill (which I'm already 2 levels up)...I'm even more bummed looking into March and seeing almost all of it on much for expanding your audience.

If me were chief in this economy, I'd get the races out on every venue I had at my least on both TVG, HRTV...

28 Feb 2009 1:34 PM

Love the Captain, hope he's calm and listening.

I think this is Quality Road's 3rd start...unless you're counting only starts this year as a 3 year-old...I think he had a lousy race last time out...I'm willing to give him this chance to see what he's made of.

28 Feb 2009 1:51 PM
Jason Shandler

You're absolutely right da3hoss. It's ridiculous that all of these races cant be on one channel. Just another example of how the industry hurts itself.

28 Feb 2009 4:16 PM

I am SO glad I gave Quality Road one more shot! ;-)

28 Feb 2009 5:23 PM

What a nice performance by Quality Road. Theregoesjojo (his mile in 1:35.8 was only .2 seconds off big browns mile last year)also ran a big race but was no match for the winner.

Quality Road just ran the mile 3+ lengths faster after being jostled between horses at the start than last years Derby winner did when he ran his mile at Gulfstream untouched. He's already shown more heart than last years Derby winner ever did an if he can stretch out will be more than a handfull. I can't wait to see his Fla. Derby.

Jason you were right on about notonwhatshisname. He showed absolutelty nothing and was a total embarassment to those who picked him. In fact none of the others did anything to indicate a Derby contender.

28 Feb 2009 6:35 PM

Nice job da3hoss.

Quality Road just ran a faster mile with a little trouble and against far better competition than last years Derby winner (what was his name anyway?)did at the same time of the year. This was an impressive performance and I'd love to see him duplicate it in the Florida Derby.

I'm glad I used your horse as well. I keyed Theregoesjojo and Captn. Candyman Can in the superfectas and it worked out well for me.  

28 Feb 2009 6:49 PM

About the only horse I would keep from this would be Beethoven.  He came from last to get third.  He obviously could use a little more ground.  What time does the Sham go off?

28 Feb 2009 7:04 PM

Great race and throw them all out for the Derby except Quality Road.  Notonthesamepage trying to rate was a very bad joke.

28 Feb 2009 7:04 PM
Mike Relva


I can admit i picked the wrong horse today,but I guess you will tell us you had Quality Road,right?

28 Feb 2009 7:19 PM

Wow did that race not set up like it should have.

Just goes to show you that you can read the form all you want and still they'll make all your predictions look dumb!

28 Feb 2009 8:04 PM

Like I said,speed rules at GP.Seems like if you're within 4 lenghts of the leader,you have the best chance of winning..Taking nothing away from the winner,he looked good no doubt.But,Beethoven is the one that impressed me most.The bad break didn't help,but that's racing.He closed from dead last and it's obvious he needs more ground for his best..He needs to leave speed favoring GP and head to NY for his next prep.All in all though,Quality Road looked like he should go on with it.

The Pamps' destroyed a sorry bunch of runners at SA.That's all thats to it.He looks kinda' freakish though.

28 Feb 2009 9:47 PM

"Quality Road" back in the hunt... and all he did before today was w/o LASIX!!

28 Feb 2009 10:04 PM

Both races were exciting, and can't complain about the outcome of either..What stands out to me is The PM's action when running, very high, like Unbridled, and Sea Cadet. (if any remember him) I think he's the real deal, only distance will tell, and yes I know he has yet to be headed, but I think he's built for it. I'll probably get crucified for saying this too but Take the Points didn't do too badly given his history and his hustling the whole race. Nice horse there too..Derby quality?? maybe not, but wouldn't mind having him in my barn either.. He tries and that counts. On to Pioneer of the Nile! ( and awaiting Mr. Fantasy)

01 Mar 2009 12:36 AM

FOY recap. Great race out of two horses. Quality Road - very nice performance, but especially Theregoesjojo who came wide, and although no match for the winner today, closed a lot of ground over a dead speed track. Now they are one win apiece against each other -the rematch should be interesting.

Would like to see a few after thoughts from all the big Beyer Figure players - what happened?  

01 Mar 2009 5:28 AM

Quality Road looked good and I can't wait to see him at 2 turns.  His final mile time was very good.  Pamp did look a bit freakish running very good splits like it was nothing.  Very interesting Santa Anita Derby coming up.

01 Mar 2009 8:10 AM

I got to see the replay of the Sham this morning and must admit the Pamp looks pretty impressive. The fashion in which he won was spectacular, but i'm still not quite sold. He's was loose on the lead, and yes i know he went in quick fractions, and i am impressed with that high cruising speed, but he had no real pressure from anyone which allows a lead horse like him to get all the more brave. I also am kinda questioning whom he beat, TTP had to travel a bit to cali that could've taken something out of him, plus many of those horses, though multiple winners hadn't even won stakes races yet, or at least some like Mr. Hotstuff whom were suppose to be able to give the pamp a run for his money, and they failed to do so. Basicly what i want to see Pamp do next out in order to make me truley believe he can win is to face some real pressure up front, not rate, just face pressure, and in doing so beat some good stakes qualilty horses. O please don't bring up Square Eddi, the horse hadn't run since early novemeber giving him a good two month layoff, and he was not cranked to his best for that race. I want the pamp to beat quality horses coming into the race ready to run. O just a little side note if i were Eddi's trainer I'd skip the Derby and wait for the Preakness or Belmont, prefferably preakness. My reasoning is because though he's being walked under tack and may return jogging in the next couple of weeks, that will land him in the middle of March, which would make him be rushed in order to make the Derby. If he waited for the Preakness he'd have two more extra weeks to prepare, and he could even run in the Withers to help prep him for the run. So basicly i don't think we'll see him in the Derby, but the Preakness or Belmont may be quite possible.

01 Mar 2009 8:17 AM

The Fountain of Youth shot a hole in my bankroll. Captain Candyman was a disappointment. Wishing I had gone with my gut instint that he wouldn't fire which he did not. Nice race by Quality Road though and Theregosjojo.

The Pamplemousse sure rocked The Sham as I suspected he would. That was sure a nice hand ride Alex finished him up the stretch with. Can't wait to see him square of with Pioneer of The Nile. Should be very interesting to see who comes out on top of the west coast horses includeing Chocolate Candy. I haven't thought too much of the west coast horses as Derby contenders the last few years but if the Florida and east coast contingents can't establish a consistent runner I may have to lean towards the this year.

01 Mar 2009 9:16 AM

Looks like I was one of the few who Liked Quality Road in the FOY. He improved off his 7 panels prep, rated pretty well and finished up. What's not to like about him with Strawberry Road in the bottom half of his pedigree. The question is whether either his lack of experience and 2YO foundation and competing at equal weights next out will prove to be too much for him. I think the Pamplemouuse's Sham win is a bit overrated. As much as I want to like him, I can't get past what appears to be sprinter-miler breeding, he's not proven on the dirt, and he's unproven against (in form) top level runners. Right now I have him rated behind POTN, Papa Clem and I Want Revenge as possible Derby starters.

01 Mar 2009 9:31 AM

Congrats to the breeder of Take The Points. Sorry Bud I forgot your handle.

01 Mar 2009 9:50 AM

I'm grateful lets you have a free membership and I got to see the races, but the screen is tiny so my observations are from a "small" point of view, so correct me if I'm in the post-parade CCC was way too quiet (for him) and he looked like he never really got into the race.

Notonthesamepage looked like he was fighting his jockey at the beginning of the race, were they maybe trying to have him relax?? While Beethoven finished well, and JoJo ran a great race neither of those two was ever going to catch the Quality Road yesterday, who looked like he wanted to go on all day...

JMO, Jason, et al what did you guys see in real life, on the BIG screen?

01 Mar 2009 10:04 AM


01 Mar 2009 11:11 AM

Its kind of hard LDP to pressure a horse that is running fractions like Pampelmousse did in the Sham.  How many horses have you seen run those fractions at that distance this year?

01 Mar 2009 11:19 AM
Mike Relva


You seem to thrive on bashing horses. Here's a question: have you always performed to your full potential on whatever job you have every single time?

01 Mar 2009 12:32 PM

Well I enjoyed my crow dinner.  Apparently the San Rafael is a good quality 1 mile prep.  I like the Cherokee Run influence coming out in the Pamplemousse as speed over a distance of ground is always tought to beat.  It really is a "feel good" story as Alex Solis-II Picked this horse out as a blood stock agent and is part owner.  His dad has done nothing wrong while on the horse and why SOLIS is NOT already in the Hall of Fame is simply wrong. My most recent memory of Cherokee Run has to be last year's Illinois Derby Winner Recapturetheglory.  A nice horse that was third during each split in the Kentucky Derby (High Cruising Speed) but faltered to 5th in the stretch.  Cherokee Run did make a nice run at Prarie Bayou in the 93 ( I think) Preakness but was rewared later with the Breeder's Cup Sprint.  This may be this years Bob Black Jack as it took Col. John to close the last 1/8 in 12 sec to get to that one before he stole the SA Derby.

01 Mar 2009 12:37 PM

DK Stables.  I lost 2 bucks on Hi Flyin's tax time.  I'll take this ticket along for the ride as well.

01 Mar 2009 1:02 PM

To Mike Relva:

Who did I bash?..if you're talking about The Pamps' and/or Quality Road,then read again cuz' I complemented them.

And Yes,I do perform to my full potential on every job,every single time.Because I love my work,therefore I'm more than willing to go that extra mile.

Here's MY question:  Is that ALL you've Got?..that's weak!!

I'm not a teenager so I won't let your weak sarcastic comments(see blogs) bother me.

B.T.W: Haynesfield Sucks!!   lol

01 Mar 2009 1:21 PM


    That track produces fast fractions, so every horse on that track should be able to get over the ground quicker if they take to the surface. Plus it's also kina hard not to win when the field is that weak. He needs to face better competition and then he will get some pressure, then we'll see if he can be as brave and brilliant as he was yesterday. Most of the horses in that feild hadn't eve won a graded stakes yet, and most had wins against maidens or allownece horses and were viewed as potential breakout horses, which they just showed that when face with a decent competetor that they aren't for real, which means the pamp ran against just about nothing. I'm not saying he not good in fact he kinda reminds me of a synthetic version of HS with that high cruising speed of his, but again if he's going to be taken seriously he needs to go against a good stakes field that provides more up front speed so he can be challenged. If he wins that in the same fashion he will most certainly one to look out for.

01 Mar 2009 1:30 PM


    Just to let you know my previous post this morning was not directed at you or anyone in particular, you post hadn't even been posted yet. All i was doing was simply stating what i saw and how i felt, nothing more.

01 Mar 2009 1:33 PM

I agree with Draynay(see,there's always a 1st)lol..

There is a big differance between lone speed/easy fractions and running them off their feet with solid splits like The Pamps' did.There's nobody out here that can pressure him without self-destructing themselves, of yet.If you try and run with him,you're cooked.And if you let him bound-away,you're $#!% outta' luck! He could be a Freak.

01 Mar 2009 2:52 PM


    A good enough horse can run with the Pamp, he just has yet to run against him or her yet. That track that he ran over is faster than most tracks allowing horse to get over it quicker, so it's no suprise that he ran quick fractions. If i'm correct he ran on the same track the BC was run on, feel free to correct me if i'm wrong, but do we remeber how may records fell that day. Do we remember how hot the paces were all day? Yes i know tracks can change from day to day, but so far this track has proved pretty consistant, in that matter. Run the Pamp on dirt or another synthetic track like Hollywood park and see if he runs fractions like that and holds. So far the horse has had things his way and it makes him look good. Let him run on dirt against Silver City for half a mile and see if he hold on when an onslaught of closers come. He right now is a good horse, but far from a freak or unbeatable.

01 Mar 2009 4:21 PM

The "Mousse" lit them up and smoked them. After hearing Alex Solis comment on how easily he goes over the track it was a no brainer to pick him on top. In fact with Take The Points and Mr. Hot Stuff keyed in the 2 and 3 spot and Bourbon Bay and Smart Bid only in the fourth slot my $50.00 super paid me back over $1100. That was my bet of the day. A much better performance by far then last years #1 west coast (Col. John) Derby contender had going into the Derby. Provided he carries that effort through the SA Derby he will be much tougher to eliminate from consideration than the Colonel was last year. Should be a great SA Derby especially if Stardom Bound throws her tail into the mix.

In answer to your question mr. irrelevant I did use Quality Road in a 4 horse exacta box multiple times and the other 3 I used finished 2,3 and 4. I guess ya get lucky some days.

01 Mar 2009 5:55 PM


I get the feeling you're not from the Best..I mean West Coast.Everyone out here knows that the track does NOT play faster than most tracks.That's insane!..Most trainers think it plays like turf,opposite Hollywood's who they feel is more like dirt.(which the Pamps' should relish even more BTW)..Yes,it is the same track as last years BC Races.In which case you've proved my point: Good Horses run fast,anywhere.That's why when the Best of the Best get together,like the BC,then track/world records are likely to fall.

Keep in mind the difference between having things your own way,(like OF's Remsen win and Haynesfield's and Mr.Fantasy's lone speed/easy splits victories),and The Pamps' solid splits while running them off their feet..Big Difference I'd say.

Silver City?..oh,come on,you can do better than that..or did you reference him solely because your beloved OF beat him?...hmmm!

I'm not on The Pamps' bandwagon..yet.But,he looks like the real deal to me.Ordinary horses just don't put-up splits like that and keep going,effortlessly.

01 Mar 2009 7:10 PM
Mike Relva


Funny,you of all people using the word irrelevant,lol!

01 Mar 2009 9:03 PM


    Trainers, even Assumesen were quoted saying the track was playing very fast. JJ said it too saying that it allowed horses to get over the track a little quicker, not allowing them to feel the effect of dist as much and he was worried about Curlins chances because of it. I have a pretty decent memory, and if you want feel free to check me. Many horses have gathered on dirt many times and were better than some of the groups that showed up on cup day and never ran that many records into the ground. Could it have been the quality, yes, but that track had more to do with it in my oppinion. Many synthetic tracks play much slower than pro ride, heck dirt track in places play slower. O and I said silver city for a half mile, lets say it again HALF MILE. My point is yes SC would falter but he'd cause a hot pace on the front end possibley softening up Pamp for other closers, ala War Pass in the Wood Memorial. Remeber War Pass could run solid splits alone but when actually pressured faltered and Tale of Ekati came up and nabbed the win. You ppl whom say OF has faced nothing well niether has Pamp, and don't say SE, the horse was coming off a layoff and wasn't even geared up for a top effort.

01 Mar 2009 10:41 PM
Mike Relva


Hi! I'm on board with what you are saying here. Like we talked about the other day some people aren't impressed unless OF used everything in the tank now before the Derby. Also,as I've said many find an excuse to "slam" a horse no matter what.

01 Mar 2009 11:38 PM
Householder the War Pass example.  Another Cherokee Run with high cruising speed but limited distance.  Recapturetheglory...the Pamp's dad (Third to Buddy Gil in the SA Derby) the list goes on.  

02 Mar 2009 1:08 AM

Bamboozlement and ludicroustation!!!!

02 Mar 2009 1:52 AM


Curlin's people were just making pre-race excuses in case he didn't win.Nobody else had a problem with the surface that day.

Using War Pass to make a point is weak..that's all circumstantial.Every horse is not the same..and don't mention Silver City in the same breath as The Pamps',that's blasphemy! After 4f SC would be breathing fire and coughing-up his innards if they ever face each other,but they won't because SC is a pretender.

And..can you let Mike Relva speak-up for himself...what's that old saying?  "If you can't stand the heat,then...hightail it!  or something like  

02 Mar 2009 12:05 PM

Hey Slew.em.all I agree with your last statement.Mr.Mike called out Big and Brad when they defended me so..... yea let everyone on here speak for themselves! No disrespect LDP, peace Bro.

02 Mar 2009 2:07 PM
Mike Relva

TO: Slew.em.All

If you think for a sec that Curlin's connections "were making excuses" I feel for your lack of knowledge! They didn't have to run him last yr,he could have went the way of Street Sense and Hard Spun.The impression you give everyone is that you "wrote the book" on horseracing,if you possess that amazing amount of knowledge then it's easy to determine Curlin's connections made no excuse,period! Oh yeah,I'm able to defend myself,cause I can always give as good as I get,no problem with that!

02 Mar 2009 3:01 PM
Mike Relva


You seem not to be able to get past that,lol!

02 Mar 2009 3:02 PM
Mike Relva


Good point! The same people that are slamming OF will be the same ones in a couple months from now declaring,"we were on him from day one",lol.

02 Mar 2009 3:05 PM

Hey Mike I thought I wrote the book!

02 Mar 2009 6:48 PM

Man if we all wrote the book how come Jason or Steve hasn't wrote one?

02 Mar 2009 8:06 PM

Slew em All,

    If my points and arguments are so weak then why don't you come up with some yourself, maybe because you have no decent points or comebacks??? Other ppl on here seem to agree that my war pass example was quite good, maybe your lacking in some knowledge. Let you know boht war pass and Pamp are simalar which is why i used him both have CR in their lineage, both are speed horses, and both so were not challenge for the lead in the first 4 or 5 race of their career. Also both possesed that high cruising speed that only a pure sprinter speed horse could match. Also when unpressured both could run blazing fractions on the front end and still go at least 1 1/16, War pass did it as a two year old in the Juvinile. But when pressured or made to rate War Pass couldn't handle it, and that may go for Pamp whom like war pass was never headed for five starts straight. Again like in the wood where war pass face a speester sprinter, kinda like SC, then the same may go for Pamp when he is pressured, which means the race will set up for a closer, again just like the wood. Not so bad of a comparison after all when you do your hw now is it.

02 Mar 2009 8:29 PM


    The saying is if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Get your sayings right, lol.

02 Mar 2009 8:31 PM

It's interesting all the comments about front end runners. I don't know if the Pamp needs the front cause according to the rider he's pretty relaxed running. However things can change when they get eyeballed or a stalker can pressure them. He does need to hook better horses to answer that question. One thing about going to the front you stay out of trouble!

03 Mar 2009 10:39 AM


    Agree with what you said. War Pass looked good winning all his races on the front end and looked relaxed enough when nobody challenged, but when he was forced to rate in the TB Derby, he showed his dire need for the lead. He also showed that in the Wood where he burned himself out by running those hot fractions when pressured. He did show though his guts, when TofE tried to go by him. The Pamp looks great on the front unchallenged, but i want to see how he reacts when challenged. I'm not saying he can't win, just saying i'd like to see before i pass judgement.

03 Mar 2009 11:12 AM

10-4 LDP as we say at work. If it don't pan out he'll be a nice mile horse. I wouldn't turn him down if I had him in my shedrow. It's getting interesting isn't it?

03 Mar 2009 11:50 AM


    The SA Derby should be very interesting. I looked up the times for POTN and Pamp and compared, if you add six more seconds to POTN final time in the RB lewis, which is what he did his last sixteenth in, you'll see that the times are only .04 seconds apart, with the pamp the leader. What i saw that may make a difference is Pamp was slowing drasicly in the final three furlongs and POTN was just getting started. Your right, if dist doesn't work out he'll make one heck of a miler.

03 Mar 2009 3:05 PM
marc w

I look at Pamp's form and he came off the pace previously. When you are that much the best why not send?

"Almost" any great horse in history went wire to wire or laid close at some time in their career. Most good horses adapt to race conditions and set ups with jocks who know pace---assuming as I do that the jockey colonies of today are as great as ever in history.

On other post--too early yet to guess on Derby true contenders.

03 Mar 2009 5:46 PM

Your right on LDP.  I was thinking BC mile on the turf.  Perhaps the next Lure.  I think we would all benefit from also seeing the Pamp with some graded company (some multiple stake winners).  I mean Mr. Hot Stuff's maiden will was pretty impressive (I think it took him 5 times) but not a real good guage.  

03 Mar 2009 8:21 PM
Mike Relva


Hello,good points!

03 Mar 2009 8:51 PM


    THANK YOU. Your probably the only person so far other that wanda and a couple others who compliment my points. I'm getting bashed on all sides saying i have week points, ppl nit pick my every little word. I swear i'm gonna go insane, lol.

03 Mar 2009 9:30 PM


    Thanks, i've been trying to say the same thing about a hundred times and ppl just throw me under the bus for it. I think your right about the five times, i'm not sure.

03 Mar 2009 9:32 PM

Easy LDP you made your point. We get it and understand you put alot of thought into your comments. I've enjoyed reading your take on the preps last weekend but give everyone else their due okay? We all see things in different ways, and ya never know someone might say something you haven't thought of. It's kind of the whole point of debate right?

03 Mar 2009 10:00 PM


    Sorry, i tend to get very passionate and hot headed about different things, theres that irish coming out in me, lol. I get what other ppl are trying to say but to come back and say o well that arguement is weak, or brush me off like i know completely nothing about racing is rude. Maybe some ppl don't mean their post to read like that, but i can't hear how they talk, i'm reading in my own voice, not theres, and many times it sounds like to me they bash everything i say. In return i tend to get mad and rude back sometimes. I'll give them their due, but can they give me mine too.

04 Mar 2009 7:40 AM
Mike Relva


I understand what you are saying,many may have "egg on their face" in the next coupleof months,lol.

04 Mar 2009 2:11 PM


    I hate to say it but i hope your right. I am far from passive and very competitive. Basicly i like to be right. I won't laugh at ppl, but like the vindication that comes along with being right when everyone else say your wrong. That's just me, i know it's not the best way to be, but as i said it's just me, i like to win, lol.

04 Mar 2009 6:07 PM

No worries LDP keep'em coming. I truly don't think people are bashing you. You have shown that you have knowledge of the sport and thats all anybody needs to have. You stand by what you say and I think you have more respect than you realize.

04 Mar 2009 6:28 PM
Mike Relva


In respect to being right,I'm the same as you,lol. Keep up the great work!

04 Mar 2009 9:19 PM


    Thanks. I know i get into fights real easy, i'm just so used to fighting to prove my oppinion or myself to others, i guess i'm always ready to go in and fight. I hope you are right, and again thank you.

04 Mar 2009 10:31 PM


13 Mar 2009 4:06 AM

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



01 Apr 2009 10:02 PM

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