Louisiana Derby Analysis

Last week, the Gotham presented us with a tough set of challenges. This week, the Louisiana Derby makes the Gotham look like an introductory course to handicapping.

Easily the most challenging Derby prep race of the season from a handicapping perspective, Saturday's Louisiana Derby is a head-scratcher. On paper, you can make a case for all 10 starters and while Friesan Fire has won the first two legs of the Louisiana series and will be the likely post time favorite, he is by no means a lock.

Looking at the PPs, I can't recall a race where so many of the starters have fired bullet works coming into a race. Throw in the fact that some are adding blinkers, removing blinkers, coming off a layoff, coming from different circuits, recovering from a variety of different ailments, and you have one tough race to handicap.

I'll do my best to break this one down, and then you can tell me who you like and why. I'll be back on Friday with brief breakdowns of the San Felipe, Rebel and Tampa Bay Derby too. And don't forget to join me right here for another live blog on Saturday at noon eastern. We have a lot to go over. I'll also be joined by professional handicapper TopTurfTeddy to help give us an edge.

1. Free Country - He's the first of many in here you have to make a difficult decision on. Showed little in the Sam Davis, but maybe he didn't care for the track. Since then he has fired off two bullet works and the addition of blinkers might help. He's also proven at two turns based on his Gulfstream allowance win. Tough call. I say he improves and runs a nice race, but not a winning one. A good exotic play.

2. Soul Warrior - The first of two Asmussen longshots. Broke poorly but finished well in the Risen Star. Not sure he is fast enough or has good enough to be a major factor. Does get Bridgmohan back and also adds blinkers for the first time. I guess he could be worth a shot for bottom of exotics, but in a field this good, I'll pass.

3. Patena - He's the hot horse and his price will likely reflect this. Dutrow says he's back to 100% since minor muscle and coughing issues forced him to miss Risen Star. His bullet work on March 9 suggests he's right. Might be closer to the front than he was in the LeComte because there isn't much speed in here. Remember, he broke his maiden going wire-to-wire and was close to the pace in his Display win. All indications are that he runs a big race. However, I'm taking a stand against him for top prize based on his probable short price. Don't leave out of exotics though.

4. Terrain - Makes his 3YO debut after battling health issues. The 3-month layoff is a concern but there is also a lot to like about him. He's had a pair of bullet works over the grounds and adds Leparoux. Also takes blinkers off, which sometimes helps more than the other way around. His first three wins were without the equipment. Also, has a significant class edge over most of these. If the layoff doesn't affect him and he's 100%, is certainly an upset possibility. Another of many tough calls.

5. Flying Pegasus - His runner-up in the Risen Star was very impressive considering having to break from post 12 and being 5-wide on the first turn. It's completely logical that he will be even better in the race, and now he draws a good post. Trainer has been hot too. Only red flag is Albarado jumping off to go to Patena; can't say I blame him. Johnny V no slouch though. Morning-line indicates value will be there if you like him.

6. Giant Oak - Will this one finally live up to expectations? Two of his three graded stakes efforts he had legitimate excuses - both traffic related. Like the way he finished the Risen Star; it was easy to tell there was plenty more in the tank. On first glance, Prado leaving not a good sign. But Graham knows this track and more importantly, he's the regular exercise rider. Very solid work on March 7 indicates his minor health issues from two weeks ago are behind him. The people who know are very high on this colt, and I am too. If he can avoid the same traffic pitfalls, he's going to be there in the end. The pick.

7. Uno Mas - Asmussen's second entry. Had every chance in the Risen Star but didn't show any late kick. Looks like he is going in the wrong direction and works haven't been great. Does have two wins over the track and defeated Friesan Fire last year. That seems like forever ago. Unless Asmussen has worked magic I don't see him being a major factor.

8. Papa Clem - The wild card in here. Will the California shipper's first try on dirt be as successful as I Want Revenge was in the Gotham? Many think it will. Major difference is that he hasn't run well at Hollywood, which they say is more similar to dirt than any of the other synthetics. Has a couple of bullet works at Santa Anita which indicates he's in good form. The fact that he beat I Want Revenge last out is significant, and even more significant is that he appears to be some of the only early speed in here. He could carry them a long way. But something tells me he's a sucker bet. Too easy to pick him off of I Want Revenge's win. I could be wrong, but he won't be in my figures.

9. Friesan Fire - Jones says the LeComte and Risen Star winner is just starting to peak, which could mean lights out for the rest of the field. His work on March 9 was scary good and surprised even Jones. There is nothing to indicate that he won't run a big one here, except that he breaks from the unfamiliar 9 post. Others think he is set up to bounce a bit. I would be surprised if he wasn't a major factor and didn't hit the board, but since I'm looking for value, he'll only be used in exotics.

10. Nowhere to Hide - Gave a nice effort in the Risen Star. Question is, will he improve off that? Always have to respect Zito horses this time of year. He might try to send him right to the front and see what happens, but his PPs indicate he doesn't have great early speed. Too many others in here I like to include in my tickets.

Selections: If Graham can put Giant Oak in the right position turning for home I have every reason to believe he can run them all down. He has big, long strides and is the kind of horse who can pick them all up on Fair Grounds' long stretch. Kind of risky taking a horse with his running style; needs a good trip. But he's due for some racing luck and I'm hoping he gets it here. I'll put $50 win on Giant Oak and put him on top of Free Country, Patena, Terrain and Friesan Fire in trifectas.

 

68 Comments

Leave a Comment:

The Rock

Jason,

I agree that there is a lack of early speed in here, but I expect Papa Clem to set the pace and Fresian Fire to lay off his flank from the outside. Giant Oak I believe will be stalking Friesan Fire the entire way and these two are going to set themselves up for a match race down the stretch, as I just believe they're the two best in here.

The Bet: $50 EXB Giant Oak, Fresian Fire

11 Mar 2009 3:03 PM
Draynay

Patena has every right to improve here and I like that he has solid foundation.  The bullet work is enough for me to believe Dutrow has him ready.  Patena for the win.

11 Mar 2009 3:20 PM
Elway

I agree, tough race! This could absolutely go anyway. I'm going to go with Patena over Free Country, Flying Pegasus, Friesan Fire and Terrain for the Superfecta. I do like a couple other horses in here but I can't choose them all! Good luck with Giant Oak, Graham is a fighter so you'll get your money's worth.  

11 Mar 2009 3:23 PM
2 time valley player of the year

shaping up as very good race, shakeout time the pretenders will fall by the wayside. too hard to handicap.

11 Mar 2009 3:40 PM
Derby Mass

I little off topic, but whats up with Chocolate Candy out of the San Felipe???

11 Mar 2009 3:48 PM
marc W

Hardly betting the ranch her but a Superfecta key

Friesan Fire over

Flying Pegasus, Papa Clem, Patena, and Terrain

Same in tri's

Then a press

Friesan Fire over Papa Clem and Flying Pegasus with all tri

These are real bets not mind bets I will make----IF the odds float up due to other horses press clippings, maybe a win bet

11 Mar 2009 3:50 PM
jj

I'm taking the five horse.

11 Mar 2009 3:52 PM
DERBY34

Jason,

You're right on, it's very touch to handicapp. The last time they all got together. The more a looked into the race, the more I liked Friesan Fire. I'm sure this will be some of the same. I've left off Flying Pegasus in my RTTR stable in favor of Giant Oak. It's getting to late in the game for horses to have excuses. So much like Swale was the year he won the Derby, under appreciated but solid. It will be Freisan Fire in the end and a blanket finish for minor awards.

11 Mar 2009 3:55 PM
drewclearwhenroused

Papa Clem, Smart Strike-Miss Houdini (Belong to Me) should relish the dirt Bejarano ships for the money.

11 Mar 2009 4:02 PM
aspradling

Alright! Welcome to the club. Giant Oak and Terrain all the way.

11 Mar 2009 4:44 PM
DONNA

I've liked and bet Freisan Fire his last two races. I see no reason to jump ship at this point in the game.

My tri key will be Freisan Fire over Patena, Giant Oak, Terrain and Free Country.

11 Mar 2009 5:38 PM
Slew.em.All

I'm going with the current form/class in here.Friesen Fire,who I suspect will be a short priced favorite..No problem.I'll try and make that up in the exotics.

Papa Clem--His last race definitely points him out,finishing a neck behind POTN and just ahead of IWR.Frankly,that's all I need to know he's dangerous in this spot. But,for all you knuckle-headed non-believers,here's why: THE SURFACE WILL NOT BE A PROBLEM. I know there's still a few out there thinking; "umm,well he likes Santa Anita better than Hollywood Park,so he shouldn't take to dirt like IWR".BS!! That angle is way overblown.Just ask any Cali trainer,they'll tell you.These so-called synthetics only horses have no problem with dirt tracks.Zenyatta,Hystericalady,Heatseeker,Tiago,Gayego etc., sure as hell didn't..Plus he's been training sneaky good lately,is improving for sure,Bejarano follows him for the mount and Stute only ships when he has a live one.Should be a pace factor throughout.PP# shouldn't matter.

Patena--Not sure what kinda' odds to expect,but if he's under 7-2 he's live.IEAH is known to bet a pretty penny on their charges if they're well meant. He's still a fairly unknown sort,but I'll use him on the basis of "u just don't know".Should be running in the end though.

Nowhere to Hide--will use him in my bottom of the exotics because,I think he ran a good 4th in the Risen Star,coming right after his maiden victory,indicating he's on the improve.Don't like his PP# too much,but he's not speedy anyways.Zito has him in La. for a reason,he rarely sends horses down there.

So,I'm sticking to my angle where I play horses that have current form or are improving.

I'll also use Giant Oak in the bottoms only because he'll be closing,but he seems to make his own trouble in his races,this year's Court Vision.Somebody has to finish 3rd/4th.. Terrain--was solid late last year,but his 5th in the weak Delta Downs Jackpot and subsequent "issues" related time-off is a no-no for me.Seems like he's being rushed for this,I'll pass here.. Flying Pegasus--seems like a lot of people are going to bet him,not me. Here's why: His Risen Star was OK/Good in my opinion for his first route.Yeah,I know he was parked out wide,but this isn't Gulfstream Park.And he was laying perfect after the first turn. To me,he had to run harder than they probably wanted him to first race off a long-off,first around 2-turns.If he'd had a race before the Risen Star I'd think differently.I see him regressing here,so I'll gladly pass.. The rest are over-matched.   Peace!!!

11 Mar 2009 5:40 PM
The Rock

Derby Mass:

Hollendorfer said he'd considered the San Felipe if CC was begging to run. But I guess that didn't happen so they're sticking with their original plan and going straight to the SA Derby.

11 Mar 2009 5:52 PM
Curlin

I can't see how anyone can knock Friesan Fire in here.  It seems every horse in here has an excuse for their last except Friesan Fire.  Jones says the horse is "just getting good" and that's scary to think.  He has always said Friesan Fire is his most talented horse in his stable and said that the horse may be the most talented he's ever trained.  People made excuses for Flying Pegasus and said it was his 1st start off the layoff and 1st time 2 turns and that's why he didn't beat Friesan Fire in his last.  Giant Oak had a bad trip and that's why he didn't beat Friesan Fire in his last.  Patena was trying dirt for the 1st time and just started running at the 1/4 pole or he might have beat Friesan Fire in his last.  I'm noticing a pattern here.  Bottom line is that they didn't beat Friesan Fire in their last race and probably won't in this one either.  I'll play Friesan Fire for the win and wheel him on top of Patena, Terrain & Flying Pegasus.  I'll play small reverses for savers just in case.  Dutrow will move Patena up and Flying Pegasus I think will improve, but the biggest thing I've noticed was the switch to Leparoux from Theriot on Terrain.  I've thought for the last few races that if Terrain had a different rider he would be very tough because I've thought Theriot just seemed to get him in a little trouble or maybe it was just bad luck.  Leparoux will have him in a better position turning for home.  Taking the blinkers off is a move I like as well.  I guess we'll see.  Good luck to everyone.

11 Mar 2009 6:56 PM
Ranagulzion

Flying Pegasus to turn the table on Friesan Fire with Free Country Giant Oak, Terraine and Patena in a dog fight for the other minor placings.  What a competitive race.

I do believe that Friesan Fire is definately looking strong for the 1st Saturday in May and could eclipse Old Fashioned as Larry Jones' silver bullet in the Derby. Therefore, how good is the "bred in the purple" Flying Pegasus?  We shall catch a glimpse.  

11 Mar 2009 7:01 PM
NOLA

Fresian Fire.  I saw him at FG and will be there this weekend. Giant Oak lost before he got on the track.  He was a disaster.  If that happened to be a really bad day then maybe he's got a chance but he wasn't just hot he was really mad.  Fresian Fire, Patena, Flying Pegesus.

11 Mar 2009 7:17 PM
zarvona

   I think "I Want Revenge" has validated why he and "Papa Clem" had left the ‘left coast’!!! Who wants to take on the real MONSTERS!?! out there for earnings? If they aren’t better than “Pioneerof of the Nile” and the “Pamplemousse” and only possibly on par with “Chocolate Candy” maybe, then why not head east!? just like "I Want Revenge"...I really don’t think “Papa Clem”’s connections just came here to test the dirt! I think they need more earnings and figure they have the horse! I love “Patena”’s breeding as much as “Imperial Council”, but can only guess what stage Dutrow really has this horse at (hopefully ready by Derby Day since I throw him in as one of my 3 Pool #1 picks!). I also think that “Friesan Fire” is already seasoned and no way he doesn’t go all out! “Giant Oak” needs this one badly! Then again, so do “Nowhere To Hide” and “Uno Mas”. “Free Country” may again be over his good allowance company limit in this one.  “Soul Warrior” I throw out. “Terrain” is another steady “Beethoven” type grade 3 horse that might luck into 3rd! Again, where does this leave “Flying Pegasus”??, Flying to the front or flying home!?! However, I agree, this is a very tough one to handicap. The payoffs should be respectable however, no matter what, therefore, if you get it right YOU are home!!! I plan to bet this race lightly! (as I always do when it isn’t clear) So I will ‘place’ my theoretical $50 on “Papa Clem”.  $10 to win & $40 to place and hope to hell he runs 1 or 2 thinking he’s probably the real horse to beat in this one to begin with and can’t believe he is a morning line 8-1 instead of 5-1!!! And frankly, I can't beleive you people if you are real horse players and are actually thinking exotcis in this one????

11 Mar 2009 7:21 PM
zarvona

Opps. P.S. TY Jason for your thoughts and your article, another fine job.

11 Mar 2009 7:23 PM
Tiznowbaby

I'm liking Patena, FF and Terrain. I think Patena steps up here.

11 Mar 2009 7:53 PM
Robert H

Heatseeker- you mentioned him- he is by Giant’s Causeway. Funny how you talk trash that I mentioned that two GC’s won on the same card in 40k maiden races- then you mention Heatseeker trying to prove a point that is still absurd.

Finally- and once again- these are the horses that YOU picked,  Zenyatta was a champion- raced one time outside of California and won. What is your point? That champion California horses can win outside of California?  Why don’t you list the huge amounts of flops as you can hardly list many positives? LOL …Tiago left California and was a well beaten 7th in the Derby and distant 3rd in the Belmont, besides, everything you listed above is in regards to seasoned horses with class experience-that isn’t Papa Chum.

Rush out and bet FF- just as the last horse that tried to win the Louisiana Triple and was a heavy favorite and ended up off the board. Throw in Papa Chum and you have the perfect 4th and 5th horses.  

11 Mar 2009 9:25 PM
Robert H

Zarova-

Since Elis Starr and most of the Equibase writers picked Papa- I would say he goes off at around 9-2 since people will expect him to be the next- I Want Revenge.  

11 Mar 2009 9:28 PM
Wanda

Terrain with the blinkers off? Maybe he's more relaxed with them off and first start off the shelf he'll be sharp. His works indicate he's ready.

I really like Patena, he's run tough on dirt and poly and proven at the distance. He ran out of ground his last start and should move forward after minor issues were cleared up.

11 Mar 2009 10:19 PM
DaTruth

Nowhere to Hide was able to save ground most of the way in the Risen Star.  He lost position on the far turn when FF was alongside him, but closed decently in the lane and narrowly missed catching Uno Mas for the show spot.  Fair Grounds is a quirky surface and horses from Florida often have a hard time getting over it the first time out.  There is a lot to like about this horse, but unfortunately Zito has kept Lanerie aboard.    

12 Mar 2009 1:13 AM
Householder

How could you not like Papa Clem?  He steps from a straight maiden win into a Grade II and beats the Gotham winner.  This is either a classy horse or POTN and IWR are over rated. Your free to decide. My advide, bet any horse that has run over the magic dirt in Cali.  Looking forward to Chocolate Candy's next run.  

12 Mar 2009 1:21 AM
FourCats

Don't agree that Uno Mas is moving in the wrong direction.  He may not be good enough, but he made a strong move into a slow pace in the Risen Star before weakening.  This is often a good sign.  I have had many winners that look like this at good prices.

12 Mar 2009 1:48 AM
I. W. Hammer

Tough race , no doubt. Has anyone heard anything about Captain Cherokee???

12 Mar 2009 7:47 AM
the_wiz

If Larry Jones expects a big effort out of Friesan Fire than nobody here can argue with that. Alot of people have been anxiously awaiting the return of Patena. Since he's missed time I believe he has to be cranked up for a good performance. Giant Oak will bring his best and if he doesn't run big should be taken off the trail. Papa Clem and Flying Pegasus also need to run big. I don't see a scenario here like last week where IC only had to improve some and show he belonged to move on. His connections clearly feel he's got alot of talent and did not have him ready for his best just yet. There is more overall talent in this field and it is more of a test of class then last weeks races. For most of these it's put up or shut up time. We'll learn more about these horses than we learned about the also rans from last week. They can't afford a workout like performance like IC could. It makes this race more difficult to handicap and it appears there will be some good value built in.

12 Mar 2009 8:14 AM
Draynay

I can hardly wait for the Wood.  Yes IWR looked good but was facing marginal horses and Imperial Council was out for a training jog.  The next race is moving out to the main dirt and there will be much stiffer competition in the Wood.  Don't believe for a minute that suddenly California horses are all that.  For most of us its hard to imagine horses running on that soft poly track and then liking the parking lot surface that is Churchill Downs.  The winner of the Derby is not coming out of California.

12 Mar 2009 9:44 AM
TonyC

Flying Pegasus gets the top call here. Ran a huge effort coming off more than a two month layoff while breaking from the 12 hole. Has two solid works breezing since his return and appears to be ready for a big move Saturday. Not really concerned with the pilot change either! Terrain has met better and is working lights out over this strip. Have him as a lukewarm second choice but he made need this one to move forward. Free Country deserves another shot and could play a part here as well, although I wish he had local works. Friesan Fire will have his hands full trying to notch his 3rd consecutive graded stakes victory. Finally, I think Soul Warrior is the sleeper here. He got a terrible ride from PVal and took up just when he was getting into position down the back stretch. He should be much closer midway through the race and has a good chance to bust up the exotics!

12 Mar 2009 10:24 AM
nickie

lookin for a number...leanin to Nowhere to Run...2nd time over surface,2nd off layoff, werks ok,pedigree as good as any, underated jock, and Zito lives for this time of year...he gets in behind top flight,hope for legit fractions and lets the colt run down the lane!

12 Mar 2009 11:03 AM
kokimoto

I believe either Patena, or Giant Oak will run down Friesan Fire.

12 Mar 2009 11:56 AM
GMAN

Friesan Fire is a man among the boys.  Did you see the size difference between him and the others in the Risen Star.  Play against him for the win at your own risk.  IMO, Larry Jones wil win the K Derby this year after finishing 2nd the last two years.  If FF doesn't win, he has Old Fashioned.  The horse racing Gods will be smiling on Larry Jones this year.

12 Mar 2009 12:41 PM
BE109

I like Friesan Fire to win. If playing an exacta,I would put FF on top with Giant Oak. If G O can get a good spot,he may get to show his stuff on that long stretch.

12 Mar 2009 1:05 PM
Ruffian67

I'll take Papa Clem wire to wire. I like his last race, I like him being out of Smart Strike, no other early speed and love Rafeal Bejarano on him. Eveyone remember Intercontinental in the 2005 BC F/M Turf??????

12 Mar 2009 1:10 PM
gw_bushwacker

Hot off the press,

draynay's Vineyard Haven will not run in the UAE Derby. They are not pleased with his lack of progress and he has been missing some time.

Oh how I love to make nay nay's day.

12 Mar 2009 1:48 PM
insider p

mike I. not as high on patena as he was about big brown.Off track will not suit his style of running.we'll have to see how much Rich moves him up and don't forget he did spot Fresian fire 6lbs and a race over track while finishing 2nd.I'm looking forward to this one should show a real contender.

12 Mar 2009 2:42 PM
CMarie

Can I add in my pick??!! I am not a handicapper. In fact, I have never bet on a race. But... I am a huge racing fan. Every day, all year long, I watch racing on TV & love it!! My pick to win is 'Flying Pegasus'. My reason is unique.I own his retired 5 yr. old brother, 'Super Hero'. They both have the same father & look so much alike. Watching 'Flying Pegasus' is like watching 'Super Hero' coming down the lane. What a thrill that he is, at this point, a contender on the Derby Trail. If pride & prayers, along with his talent, carry him around the track on Saturday, 'Flying Pegasus' will cross that finish line first. I am so excited that Fusaichi Pegasus has a prominent 3 yr. old son running this year. He is sure due to have one of his offspring racing in stakes races. I may  even find myself placing a bet, for the first time in my life.

I'd also love to see 'Patena' come across the wire right behind 'Flying Pegasus'. Rick Dutrow is one of the very best trainers in the country, if not the best. He always has his horses 100% ready for their races. I'd love to see Rick D. have another top contender leading up to the Kentucky Derby again this year.

12 Mar 2009 3:00 PM
GIDDUP PUP

I think the tell in this one is Albarado moving to Patena. I'll give him the nod over Friesan Fire

12 Mar 2009 3:50 PM
Draynay

gw_bushwacker it appears that Vineyard has not been well and having troubles eating.  It seems you take some pleasure out of a  horse having some physical problems. I find little joy in the news that Vineyard continues to have problems... maybe you were the kid that enjoyed pulling wings off flies but I think I will pass on your senseless joy in horses struggling and ill.

12 Mar 2009 4:36 PM
TerriV

GMan - Shhhh!  Don't jinx Larry J by saying things like that out loud.

12 Mar 2009 5:27 PM
Slew.em.All

My Point is that Synthetics horses can win on dirt surfaces.And Tiago DID win on dirt,he won the Oaklawn Hdcp.last year.Gayego won @ Arkansas too.Hystericalady won all over the map.etc.. Papa Clem will hit the board in the La.Derby,that doesn't make him a flop,just means he got beat by someone better. You bet I'm Keying FF on top of the exotics.  Just because 1 or 2 horses couldn't complete the La. Series doesn't mean FF will do the same.Not all horses are alike,same with trainers or people in general.You're assumming that he can't,that's all it is.  Since you think you know it all,who's your La.Derby pick.  Oh,that's right you picked FP then retracted for some reason.

12 Mar 2009 5:36 PM
Mike Relva

Larry Jones' horse for the win. Also,unlike some I've been on Pioneer of the Nile from the beginning,(I don't have a dozen pics,lol). His race Saturday will be nothing more than a workout.

12 Mar 2009 6:29 PM
Slew.em.All

Jason, or anybody out there,do you know what happened to Flat Out regarding his scheduled start in the Rebel? Noticed he's not in the field.  thx

12 Mar 2009 8:33 PM
Wanda

Yo Brad, Big, Jordan you out there? Let's here some Cal trash talk, besides I miss you guys!

12 Mar 2009 9:26 PM
Coldfacts

Guys Giant Oak was only able to run the last furlong and a half of the Risen Star if so much. He was only beaten 51/2L. The horses that finished ahead of him all had better trips. In fact, Flying Pegasus entered the stretch in hand and should have won the race easily. If Giant Oak losses the LA Derby, it will not be to those that finished ahead of him in the Risen Star. I believe the stakes record for this event will be broken on Saturday. All James needs to do after the break is a angle GO to the outside. There after he just allow this monster chestnut colt to use his long effortless strides to inhale the opposition. I am expecting a stakes record on Saturday. Guys it will be like taking candy from a baby.

12 Mar 2009 9:34 PM
Puritan

Papa Clem gate to wire in his 2nd start around (2) turns and if he hits the str. w/a 5 lenght lead look out at the wire.

13 Mar 2009 3:36 AM
gw-bushwacker

nay nay,

Nowhere did I direct anything towards the horse. If you could read and comprehend something you would understand. By the way how many flies, ants, or spiders have you swatted or smashed in your life? I'm quite sure you have killed your share of them.

13 Mar 2009 7:40 AM
slyder

Cmarie,

Dutrow has been a little under the radar so far this year along the trail. Maybe it is because he can't get by with pumping up his horses with drugs like he did last year. Wasn't it interesting to see Big Brown totally flop in the Belmont the first race his system was clean of Dutrow's drugs? I like Patena too and am looking forward to seeing how he fares Saturday. Maybe they bought their way into another good one. I'd much prefer to see the winner of the Derby be owned and trained by the same connections right from the start instead of being bought once they prove some talent though. Greed and money have gotten us into a huge mess today. Sometimes that makes it very hard to pull for a horse whos connections have so much money they can buy a contender whenever they want.

13 Mar 2009 7:50 AM
Robert H

It's going to be raining heavily Sat in the Big Easy- your thoughts JS?

13 Mar 2009 9:47 AM
nickie

happy 13th to all the "trixadecahs" out there...ruffian67[great filly,great year...I gotta contest your lone speed theory...I \'ve got a bunch going early, including Patena and Freisan Fire...I know both outfits are high on their runners, but I need a solid early pace say 23,46,111 for my guys to do well...stretch runners should fare well, I am hoping that Zito tells Lanerie to find a way to the rail, and start moving around the turn. Given this scenerio I am also using Giant Oak on my ticket.

13 Mar 2009 9:55 AM
The Legend

Giant Oak if he gets the pace to run into and the right trip he wins! I love the rider switch to Graham. Go to the bank.

13 Mar 2009 9:55 AM
Jason Shandler

Robert: I think the wet track could set up well for some of the closers. It wont help Papa Clem.Soul Warrior has a nice run over the slop and so does Free Country. Tough to tell.

13 Mar 2009 11:20 AM
Robert H

I was going to make the drive JS- but its been raining heavy here for the past day and will for the next two- so I won't.  

I read everything Wizard had to say in his article- I would add that they wanted to but there way into the Derby picture and he was the best they could do.

The bottom line is- I think Patena and Giant will get good trips- so it will be a matter of the best horse winning. The bet.........I'm temped on exotics; however, I do think that Clem will get heavy $$$ from the I Want Revenge clones (And fade badly in the stretch in my opinion), I think it's the wrong fit for Flying Pegasus to bring him back here after the Risen Star-but I love that horse.....FF seems beloved at that track and I guess I'm the only one that thinks he will put in a stinker tomorrow and follow the path of the last horse to attempt the triple, so the play is $300 win on Giant Oak.

13 Mar 2009 11:40 AM
Robert H

'Buy there way into the derby'

13 Mar 2009 11:49 AM
insider p

In reference to accusations made that trainer Dutrow uses drugs on his horses is absolutely insane however,R. Dutrow is a devoted hard working guy with a vast knowledge of horsemanship.Big Brown had a bad day and misjudgement of jock added to the problem.I would also say that IEAH takes chances financhially to obtain prime stock to compete in this game and have proved to be winners.I would also like to mention Darley buying up everything that looks like it can run.I sgain invite anyone who happens to see Ieah people to come on over to say hello and see how down to earth they are. Also what about there contributions to the industry why do they go unmentioned? You can Think and say what you want but,before making accussations know what your talking about.

13 Mar 2009 2:03 PM
Robert H

Dutrow has used illicit drugs, on himself and on his horses. He the later- he should have been banned for life!

Patrick Biancone, currently is serving a one-year suspension should also have been banned for life for using cobra venom to  numb horses' feet in his Kentucky barn.

Last year Dutrow failed to appear before a hearing in Washington, D.C. to discuss the use of drugs in horse racing, he also had no probs pumping large amounts of Clenbuterol into Saulte The Count for a G-3 sprint just before the Derby.  

THEY HAD TO RETURN THE PURSE $$$!

Dutrow has been fined or suspended at least once every year since 2000 for medication violations - including positive tests for mepivacaine, phenylbutazone and Clenbuterol.

THIS IS A MAN WHO LOVES HORSES? THIS IS A MAN WHO LOVES THE SPORT AND RESPECTS THE LONG TRADITION IT STANDS FOR? LMAO

Dutrow should be banned for life.

I GUESS IN THE BELMONT BIG BROWN WAS PISSED HE DIDNT GET HIS USUAL MONTHLY HIT OF WINSTROL.

AND- This Ones for Phil, an 11-1 shot, won the Millions Dash by 2 1/4 lengths. His Beyer rating of 117-was the highest of any 3 year old at that time in the history of Beyer figures.

You know what Beyer said? LMAO.

I rest my case!!!!!!!!!!!! And I didn't even make it- I simply laughed at somebody thinking Dutrow was a positive symbol for racing.

13 Mar 2009 3:30 PM
keenelandcat

I can't get past the fact that F.F put away both Patena and Flying Pegasus in his last two stake races. It was almost a workman like effort beating two very good horses each time. Sorry, I have to stay with Larry Jones.

13 Mar 2009 4:26 PM
Robert H

KCat-

And before those two races nobody thought much of FF! And he didn't 'put away' Patena. That horse was closing fast on a race set up perfectly for FF.

In regards to Flying Pegasus. He is the better horse in my opinion. He lost many length with the 5 wide trip- then fought out that place finish never stopping.

We will heear a great deal from Flying Pegasus in the future- and in my opinion- FF best days are in the past.  

13 Mar 2009 7:01 PM
Skyfire

Draynay, nobody dislikes the horse VH, it is your know it all arrogance, attaching yourself to him that is so distasteful.

13 Mar 2009 7:33 PM
Wanda

RobertH: I agree Patena ran out of ground going a mile. He was closing well going a mile and a tick at Woodbine and looked IMO that he wanted more ground that day. They stated that he had some minor issues after running 2nd to FF so...

13 Mar 2009 9:17 PM
mr.ruffian

Isn't IEAH a big supporter if not the soul supporter of a Equine Center at Belmont Park??  That says alot to me about them.

Patena, Giant Oak, FF, FP

13 Mar 2009 10:03 PM
boxgilly

friesen fire and papa clem, that's the exacta, may come down to a bob of the nose, so box them. under those, Patena,Terrain,Flying Pegasus, and Giant Oak will complete the tri and super. Simple.

14 Mar 2009 12:32 PM
DaTruth

boxgilly, that was a good call.  You had the exacta, tri, and super.  

14 Mar 2009 10:25 PM
mr.ruffian

Congrats Boxgilly!!!!

15 Mar 2009 7:51 AM
slyder

Score one for the "little guy"!! Way to go Wee Willy!! Who woulda thunk a horse who broke his maiden at a "minor league" track could win a Graded Stakes against many peoples #1 rated 3yr old? You can never take that away from him.

16 Mar 2009 8:05 AM
marc W

Boxgilly,

My hats off to you for very slightly out handicapping me note below. My first and obviously question and hope is you made a score. I ended up with the Tri For $2 $20 Ex, weird as it seems a $0.20 super because I punched the all button for dimes then repeated (I bet on Xpressbet because I couldn't go to the track Saturday) and by default had $75 win which I wouldn't have hit --I swear he was 5-2 when entering the gate--wouldn't have bet win under 2-1

Hardly betting the ranch her but a Superfecta key

Friesan Fire over

Flying Pegasus, Papa Clem, Patena, and Terrain

Same in tri's

Then a press

Friesan Fire over Papa Clem and Flying Pegasus with all tri

These are ----"real bets not mind bets" ----I will make----IF the odds float up due to other horses press clippings, maybe a win bet

marc W 11 Mar 2009 3:50 PM

Again I would you made a score--not a mind/blog bet

16 Mar 2009 11:49 AM
Alessandra

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.

 

 

18 Mar 2009 10:12 AM
Sarah

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.

Sarah

 

20 Mar 2009 10:23 AM

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