Q&A With Odysseus Trainer Tom Albertrani

If you're a regular reader of this blog you know by now that I am a big fan of Odysseus. I liked him when he broke his maiden and even more after his allowance. His run in the Tampa Bay Derby, while not accomplished in a blazing time, was very impressive visually and showed the type of determination you want to see from a Kentucky Derby contender.

When I read after the race that the connections are considering training Odysseus up to the Derby I had to find out if that was the plan, because if it is, I will need to start looking for another horse to back. While I believe he is a super talented animal, there is no way I would be able to pick him on May 1 off seven weeks rest and without a nine-furlong test. Not happening.

On Thursday morning I went right to the source, trainer Tom Albertrani. While Albertrani did not confirm that Odysseus would make another start before the Derby, he did say  they are "leaning" that way. That's what I needed to hear to continue on the Odysseus journey. Enjoy the interview.

Also, at the end, I give a couple quick selection from Gulfstream on Saturday. Let me know your thoughts on the Florida Derby.

JS: How did Odysseus come out of the race?

TA: He's doing fine. He went to the track the last couple days and seems to be in good shape.

The first day (after the Tampa Bay Derby) he came back a little tired, but he didn't get back to the barn until after midnight; it was a long day. But he looks good now.

JS: I've read you are considering training him up to the Kentucky Derby or running him in the Wood. What are your plans right now?

TA: We don't know yet. No decision has been made, but we are considering the Wood, Arkansas Derby, or the Blue Grass.

JS: I hadn't heard the Blue Grass was a possibility. You would feel confident prepping him on the Polytrack?

TA: It's just a possibility. We're going to take everything into consideration and see how he trains.

JS: When will he have his next work?

TA: Probably in about eight days, give or take a day?

JS: Was the Tampa Bay Derby a tricky spot because of the timing--seven weeks before the Derby?

TA: It was. But we pointed him there all along because of what he did in the allowance race (over the same track) and we wanted to get him earnings. We felt that would be the easiest spot. Now we're in a tough spot with the seven weeks. Ideally, I'd like to have another couple weeks, but it's still enough time to run him back if we want.

JS: Although he ran a big race in the Tampa Derby, I think you would probably admit he ran a bit greenly. Because of that and the fact that he has never been tested at nine furlongs, does it make you lean toward running him one more time?

TA: I have no problem with the distance. I don't think he'll have any problem getting a mile and a quarter. And I like the idea of having a fresh horse. It all depends on how he's training. But I would say right now we are leaning toward running him one more time.

JS: When he was passed on the turn what was going through you mind?

TA: I thought we were done. Even at the quarter-pole I didn't think we had much chance. But in watching the replay he never really gave up and was never more than a couple lengths back. Once he changed leads at the sixteenth-pole he found another gear.

JS: I guess the most impressive part for you was the determination he showed. Did that surprise you?

TA: He showed that same determination in every race he's run. In his first race he made a strong closing move to get second. When he broke his maiden he looked like a beaten horse, but he showed a lot of heart too.

JS: How does he compare do some of your better 3-year-olds, including Bernardini?

TA: Bernardini was an early developing horse. You could see his talent even before he raced. This horse has gotten better with time. I think he belongs with my top group.


Florida Derby Analysis

I can't say I'm very impressed the Florida Derby, which over the past few years has arguably been the most important prep race. Moving the race up a week so it is now six weeks from the Kentucky Derby was a mistake. Plain and simple. The defection of Eskendereya confirmed that.

Rule is the only horse to have won a graded stakes in the U.S. Radiohead won a turf sprint in England as a 2YO. The other nine are unproven. Though not the strongest of fields, it does make for a good betting race.

Rule is certainly the one to beat. He has done nothing wrong in his last four starts, including his pair of grade III wins this year. If Pletcher wants to finally see him rate, it is now or never. There is some decent early speed in this race and he should be able to sit just behind it, if they want. For the simple fact that he is going to be 5-2 or less, I'm going to take a stand against Rule, but he will be used in all exotics.

I was going to take Radiohead before I saw the post draw. But I have a hard time backing him from post 11. It's tough to win from out there at Gulfstream in nine furlong races. But the colt showed he is for real in his first start on dirt in a Feb. 27 allowance race and was a consistent money earner last year in England. Again, I'll use him but not for the top spot.

It came down to First Dude, Lentenor, and Miner's Reserve for me. All have good early speed, which is usually a must at Gulfstream. I think Lentenor has a legitimate chance in this spot, especially with a favorable post, but I gave the slight nod to First Dude. The son of Stephen Got Even broke his maiden impressively at Gulfstream going a mile in January, then came back to run a big one in a Feb. 21 allowance at nine furlongs. In that race, he was in a speed duel with favored Collizeo, which he won, then battled down to the wire only to lose a head bob with Fly Down. He showed a lot of resolve. Now, he stays at the same distance and adds top rider Ramon Dominguez. And he is 8-1 on the morning line. Good enough for me to take a shot.

First Dude to win. Exacta box First Dude with Lentenor, Rule, and Radiohead.

In the Bonnie Miss, I'm going with Christine Daae (big surprise I know), but she is in a tough spot against Amen Hallelujah and Devil May Care--both really talented fillies. We will find out what she is made of in her first stakes effort.

Good luck this weekend. Please join me and Tom for another live blog at noon eastern on Friday.


Leave a Comment:



Great interview, I love hearing from the front-line horsemen.

I have stated before my love for Rule.  I don't understand why everyone keeps asking him to rate so much.  The trainer and jockey have both stated that he just has natural speed out of the gate and a high cruising speed.  He did well to allow the jockey to settle him into stride in the Sam Davis and responded on cue when the jockey asked him.  What more do you want from a horse?  Why ask a horse to slow down if they are comfortable at a higher pace?  When the jockey fights the horse too much it ends up tiring the horse more (I.E. Rachel last weekend).

I don't think Radiohead will be ready for this race and will not be in my exacta.  I may have Lentenor and First Dude underneath, with my eyes on a deep closer to challenge.

I am looking forward to AH and CD's match up as well.  Not to mention Bambera's North American debut.  Another great weekend for racing!

18 Mar 2010 1:28 PM
steve s

Lentenor is ready to be big time player now

18 Mar 2010 2:29 PM

I will actually give Lentenor a chance here, certainly for second.  Said it on the other blog, the place here is gonna be the easiest 150k available in the prep season.  However, I really dig Soaring Empire @ 20-1 if it holds up at all.

18 Mar 2010 3:33 PM

I like Pleasent Prince in the Florida Derby.

I like Christine Daae in the Bonnie Miss.

18 Mar 2010 3:46 PM
Maltese Falcon

There is a rumor that JJackson wants to buy Eskenderya and delayed the next race untill details are worked out.

With that said I like RULE over Pulsion and Game On Dude

18 Mar 2010 4:07 PM
Carlos in Cali

Good Q & A,..obviously that's about as much as you're gonna' get out of the soft spoken man.

I noticed Odysseus was blowing pretty hard right after the TB Derby which makes all the more sense to give him another race(@ 9f) before the Derby,he needs it,IMO. All he needs to do is come charging hard at the end,a win is not necessary,but it would be nice. More experience with that type of potential is ideal,then again he'll likely have raced once a month(4starts) prior to the Derby. I can understand his reasoning for wanting him freshened-up a little,..we shall see.

I think Devil May Care will rebound off her 1st start of the yr. and run big in the Bonnie Miss. I remember the Pletcher barn(namely Cordero), mentioning that they thought she was their best over-all 2yo. in the barn last yr. right before the BC in which she didn't care for the surface.

18 Mar 2010 4:21 PM
The Rock

Rule really looked "push button" in the Sam F. Davis, and the form was flattered. He can do anything he wants and its his race to lose. I'll put Game on Dude & Miner's Reserve underneath, just based off how impressive they were in their maiden victories. Pleasant Prince will be thrown in underneath as well, with a little more on Radiohead, despite the poor post. I'll definitley keep an eye on all these in the paddock.

Amen Hallelujah was another horse that was "push button" last time out against a good field. Although she stretches out for the first time (I think), she should be tough to beat. Throw Jason's lady and Devil May Care (As long as she behaves in the paddock) underneath in a Tri and kill it.

Oh yea, Kansas wins the bid dance! (Awfully chalky weekend and April 5th)

18 Mar 2010 6:00 PM
Forbidden Apple

I am going with Lentenor in this spot, there are no killers in this race. Now is his time to show that he can run on dirt and get the needed stakes earnings. If not, he can always take a break and prepare for some stakes races on turf. I do not like Rule even a little bit, so my exacta pick is unclear. Maybe Miner's Reserve because he won impressively with plenty left in the tank. Radiohead will be overbet like Rule and he does not deserve the hype off from one race.

The undercard looks great, I have my eye on 3 runners from the McLaughlin barn. Race 2, St. Eligius is only 5/2 but looks like a winner. Race 6 Pull Dancer is a stakes filly in my mind, look out at 8-1! And in Race 10 Fearless Cowboy is a bit of an unknown coming down from Canada last year. He was a kind horse as a 2 year old and has a bright future. He may need a race to show his best.

I also like Aurora Lights right back, I scored pretty good on her in her last race. I will be watching the early pace with hopes of Bambera up front to set it up for Aurora again.

The Wood should be a great battle between Awesome Act and Eskendereya. If Jess Jackson buys Eskendereya I will scratch him from my list.

18 Mar 2010 9:12 PM
Greg J.


    Good interview, I agree with you, Odysseus needs a race, Seven weeks is too long, But, Six weeks is just about right, lol...

No surprise here, This race is between Lentenor and Rule. Brettzky99 is spot on, This is by far the easiest prep to get those graded earning's. This is Lentenor's one shot to get into the Derby, The two spot is perfect for him.  His works have been impressive on the dirt at Palm Meadows, The work on Monday with Alan Garcia had Lentenor off several lengths behind three other colts, Lentenor circled and ran by his three workmates to complete the five furlongs in 1:00, covering his final quarter in 24.00 seconds before galloping out six furlongs in 1:13. The drill was the fastest of 36 at the distance on Monday's works.  I think he is fit and ready, On the fence with Garcia, But, They only need to finish first or second.  With all that said, Lentenor to win and get into the Derby, Rule second and Miner's Reserve third...

18 Mar 2010 9:22 PM

Odysseus is a very good looking young colt but who cares about a horse destined for 4th or 5th in the Derby?  I look at what Noble's Promise did first time on dirt and consider his excellent 2 year old record and believe he is of the top horses to be considered not a lucky head bobbing winner of the Tampa Derby of all things.

18 Mar 2010 10:29 PM
Ted from LA

Soooooo, Jason, who's your second pick to win in March Madness?  Rule will win the Florida Derby.

18 Mar 2010 11:04 PM
Jason Shandler

Great pick with Georgetown huh Ted? Syracuse is my pick in my other pool. That's why I do two of these things. Brutal.

18 Mar 2010 11:25 PM

I'm using Game On Dude in some exotics.  I stopped betting against Jeremy Rose in exotics a long time ago, got sick of him messing up my tickets.  I don't care who or what he's riding, that kid manages to hit the board a lot.

I'm playing Pulsion across the board because I'm not ready to give up on him just yet.  I've liked him since he broke through the gate and finished a game second in his second start.  Don't see that very often.  I'm hoping the rider switch will help him this Saturday.    

19 Mar 2010 12:24 AM

I'm not at all inspired by the Florida Derby.  The Florida Derby had a big impact on the Kentucky Derby in 2006 and 2008, but was completely irrelevant in 2004(Friends Lake), 2005(High Fly), 2007(Scat Daddy), and last year(Quality Road didn't make it to Churchill, Dunkirk was flat).  This year would appear to belong with the latter 4, although I do respect Rule and Radiohead.  Maybe one of the lightly raced colts will jump up with a big one?

The Bonnie Miss is the higher quality race.  I think Switch is a perfect candidate to transfer her form from synth to dirt, but I'm not sure she really wants 9 furlongs.

I think Amen Hallelujah is the class and talent of the field, but I have two reservations.  One, I wonder if she is more of a miler and whether she will run as well as she did in the Davona Dale as the distances get longer.  Second, is it possible there could be a synthetic-bounce, similar to the Euro-bounce?  I've made alot of how well Cali synth runners have been running back East on dirt.  However, of the first wave of synth-to-dirt stakes winners, Kays and Jays, Bickersons, and Cardiff Giant came back to run poorly in their 2nd dirt start.  

It's quite possible that Bickersons and Cardiff Giant were done in by a longer distance and not any "bounce", but Kays and Jays just ran miserably in last week's Inside Information.  Also disappointing in the Inside Information was Pinkarela, a very impressive allowance winner on dirt first-off the plane from Cali where she had run in the gr.1 La Brea on synthetic(the same race Kays and Jays had come from).  If Amen Hallelujah runs poorly, 4 horses just might be a trend.  

Jason, I respect your eye for talent and for that reason give Christine Daee a decent shot in the Bonnie Miss.  Personally, I have not been overwhelmed by her, and think she is a long way from being where Rachel was last year.  Additionally, I have serious doubts whether she has Rachel's talent or brilliance.  But I do like the fact she has proven that she can get 9 furlongs, something her main rivals haven't, and also like that she appears to rate very easily and be very push-button.  If she can keep Amen Hallelujah close, she very well could run her down.  I give Amen the advantage, but am eager to see Christine get tested.

I'm not sold on Devil May Care.  She had some excuses for her Fair Grounds debacle, but I wasn't high on her before the race and don't think the excuses fully explain just how mediocre she was.  I'll wait and let her prove to me she's as good as hyped.

19 Mar 2010 4:37 AM

Steve, agreed.  I think Jeremy Rose is the most underrated jockey out there.  Hell, if I had a horse with talent, it would be between Rose and Leparoux as my pick for jockey.

19 Mar 2010 7:48 AM

Love Rule and the Winstar farms horses, Super Saver and Drosselmeyer.  If the jockeys at Gulfstream play FAIR, (that would be a first)Rule should win hands down. However, so many favs rear in the gate or get dangerously boxed in to the point where accidents almost happen...or get held back such as RA.  I don't trust the whole scene.  And they wonder why the betting is down.  You can't fool the TV camera boys.

19 Mar 2010 1:59 PM

I am a follower of three sires, Dynaformer, Malibu Moon and Oratory and two have horese running at Gulf Stream on Saturday so it will be an exciting day to watch. As for Odyssseus he is by Malibu so I feel he is an up and coming colt who may just surprise everyone come Derby time. But what can I say about Lentenor, he is my heart soooooo guess he will just have to show everyone tomorrow that he has the "right stuff."

19 Mar 2010 2:08 PM
Kevin Stafford - The Aspiring Horseplayer

Looks like you've got me beat (LOL) - as I fell in love with Odysseus following his Allowance win.  

It seems that with each passing day more folks become supporters of this horse - which makes me extremely happy to see.  

He's gorgeous, talented, and runs with so much heart. Reminds me quiet a bit of the 2007/2008 Horse of the Year.

By the way - did you know he's got his own Facebook fan group?  


Outstanding article.  

19 Mar 2010 2:46 PM
The Rock


Just read the Live Blog. I'd have to say Point Given being the best 3 year old in the last 20 years is hard to debate. But I think Holy Bull would run him off his feet. His Woodward win was really something special, and he did it easily against a tough handicap field.

What do you think of Unrivaled Belle in the Rampart tomorrow? I think going back to dirt will do the trick. But do you think the cross country trip might take something out of her. Don't really care for the rest of the horses in the field.

Regarding the Derby Preps, why are there not any preps at the Derby Distance? It seems like the only time they run races at 10f's is the Derby, Jockey Club Gold Cup & BC Classic. Basically the signature races of the meet. Everything is mostly 9f's. What gives?

19 Mar 2010 3:01 PM
The Rock


If you like Noble's Promise, how can you not love Looking at Lucky? He's beaten him 3 times? You dislike the West Coast horses that much eh?

19 Mar 2010 3:02 PM
Ted from LA

The Rock,

For the same reason you don't run 26.2 miles hard when training for a marathon.

19 Mar 2010 3:43 PM
Jason Shandler

Rock: I like Dont Forget Gil. She is on her way to a breakout season, IMO

19 Mar 2010 4:12 PM

Murray State "Racers" from Western Kentucky (complete with a picture of a thoroughbred on their uniform/logo).  How cool is this?  I think they just took out Vanderbilt.  

19 Mar 2010 4:20 PM

1 1/8 should tell us alot about Noble's Promise.  His pedigree suggests he hits the wall.  

19 Mar 2010 4:23 PM

Enjoyed the interview with Albertrani. I like Odysseus alot but he definitely needs another race. The others Im looking at are Awesome Act, Drosselmeyer, and watch out for Interactif. His race last week was sneaky good,closing fast into that very slow pace. Has proven he can run on any type of surface(dirt,grass and synthetic),and to me has the best mile and a quarter pedigree of them all.

19 Mar 2010 4:28 PM


You did very well last week-end and I see you are treading cautiously this week, omitting the Florida Derby from considration.  I say Rule wins this by at least 5 lengths ...he's a real smart cookie and has a running style similar to Quality Road (which is why I think you are ambivalent about him (LOL)...shame on you Bro.)  We both agree on Devil May Care however Amen Hallelujah is a serious filly.  As for Christine Daae, she makes the Bonnie Mist very interesting and her performance here should clarify whether she is indeed the second coming of Rachel Alexandra as some seem to believe. Good luck.  

19 Mar 2010 4:30 PM

Great interview!  I love Odysseus.  He is such a beauty and has great heart and courage. Just what a Triple Crown horse needs.  I do hope they run him in another race. If they don't I really believe it'll ruin his chances.  The problem with training these days is that they don't run enough.  Horses from years past ran every 2 to 3 weeks or even closer together and I think it built their stamina to a much higher level.

19 Mar 2010 4:58 PM

Rock I will be right here after the Derby.  Let me know where Lookin at Lucky finishes compared to Noble's Promise.

19 Mar 2010 10:13 PM


Instead of another Pink Dress promise, if Noble Promise finishes ahead of Lucky why don't you just promise to stay off the blog for at least six months or until Zenyatta loses a race, which means that you will probably have to stay off the blog forever.

20 Mar 2010 9:24 AM

I think Odysseus is a great horse with a lot of potential. I'm curious if it wouldn't be better for his next race to be at 7 furlongs or so. A shorter race would help him with experience just as well as a longer race.

Also it would serve more as a good workout instead of a taxing route given the time frame from the TB Derby to the Kentucky derby.

If the trainer doesn't think distance is a problem (and I agree), and is thinking of training him up to the derby anyway... why not?

20 Mar 2010 10:33 AM
The Rock


Funny you should mention a Marathon, I ran a half marathon in Miami earlier this year and got up to 10 miles in training before the day of the race. I was going a 7:30 clip till the 11 mile marker and I was reduced to a trot the last 2.1 miles. Not enough bottom in me as it turned out as I finished the race at a 9:00 clip. I think if I ran hard in my training and had gotten up to 13.1 before the race, I would've finished it at a decent mile clip. Ever wonder why these 3 year olds stagger the last quarter mile of the derby? Granted more races will help condition a horse for a 10f race like that, but I always think that its good that you train the distance you're about to run. If you train hard for the distance you're attempting, you'll be fine. Just give yourself time to recover.


I saw you right here after Dunkirk lost the Derby last year. You sound like a broken record.

20 Mar 2010 10:41 AM

Jason, Nice interview with Tom. As much talent as Odysseus has, he does not have enough seasoning to do a seven week "train up" to the Derby, and Tom is too good of a horseman to not run him one more time.

LH1216... while I agree Odysseus needs one more race, you don't back a horse up to 7 fur. while prepping for the Derby. You can start the 3 yr old campaign at 7 fur., but they need the distance/stamina training...

20 Mar 2010 1:05 PM

Jason, I too love Odysseus and agree he needs another race before the Derby.  I agree with you that it needs to be a 9 furlong race, not 7 as someone else has suggested.

Regarding the Florida Derby.  Until Rule is beat, I cant rule him out (pun intended). Along with many millions, I was one of Barbaro's greatest fans but I don't see Lentenor as the "second coming".  He looks like his big brother, has a stride and carriage alot like his big brother but so far, I haven't seen the "heart".  This race will be a big test for him and I can see him in the top 4 IF he takes to the dirt, but only because there is not a lot to beat in the race this year.  I'll stick with Rule until he does something wrong.

20 Mar 2010 1:55 PM
Greg J.

Alan Garcia won the first two races, Wager against Lentenor at your own risk people...

20 Mar 2010 2:39 PM

I hope all the Christine Daea facing the boys talk is finished.

20 Mar 2010 4:21 PM
The Rock

Too much too soon for Christine Daee. She was just overmatched. Plust the Draynay factor didn't help. lol

So Dray, when are you going to jinx Zenyatta? After she wins at CD, SAR & BEL? lol. Nevertheless, I think she can carry your weight.

20 Mar 2010 4:22 PM

Draynay must have put a lot of money on Christine Daae.  From the time they were in the gate until they were off her odds dropped from 8-5 to 6-5. Unfortanely she ran like a Draynay prediction......up the track after an uninspired effort......Sorry, Christine.  You should do better next out now that Dray's jumped off you and is looking for another Derby filly.

20 Mar 2010 4:23 PM


Try not to succomb to that "Old Fashioned-Mr Fantasy" blues again regarding Christine Daae.  She still has time to develop into an accomplished filly but as of now she is not even a pale copy of a Rachel Alexandra type ... I'll agree with Gun Bow that you do have an eye for talent but should temper your zeal until the colt/filly/gelding has shown a little more. Peace Bro.

20 Mar 2010 4:35 PM

Jason- at least Devil May Care ran the way you thought she would at Fair Grounds, justifying what you thought of her.

20 Mar 2010 4:52 PM

In Jason's defense, Biancone thought she was in the same league as All Along, so he must have seen something.

20 Mar 2010 4:53 PM

Malibu Moon now has KY Derby and KY Oaks hopefuls with Odysseus and Devil May Care!  Give Odysseus one more race for seasoning and he'll get the Derby.

20 Mar 2010 6:07 PM

I hope all you FOB go back to your hole, after Lentenor has shown you yet again that he isn't Barbaro.  

And as i said all along, Hot Dixie Chick was the best 2 year old filly, and will be the top 3 year old filly.  What a beast.

20 Mar 2010 6:50 PM

Hitting the wall is not so much about pedigree as it is about proper conditioning and building lactic acid tolerance. Bullet works 22sec 1/4s and 45 sec/1/2s dumps to much lactic acid in a speed horse's system hence the Brick Wall at 6/7 furlongs that's why deep closer's win MTB if the pace is to fast.  The old time trainers conditioned for distance not bullet works and probably knew nothing of lactic acid tolerance (before Tom Iver's time).

Preston Burch, Max Hirsh and Tom Collins however trained there horses with altering sprint and route works 4/6F and 3/8F at 13/13.5 F rates with works spaced from 3 to four days apart sometimes closer.---Assualt's works before the Belmont-- May 28 4 furlongs :50, May 29 1 1/2 mile 2:32, June 1 Won Belmont Stakes 1 1/2 miles by three lengths in 2:30 4/5,fast track  average 12.56F

When trainers quit worrying about bullet works, hanging magnetic blankets on there racehorses the day after a work and start working a altering sprint/route work every three to four days we may see a Triple Crown winner that can break Secretariat's 2:24 4/5 Belmont record.

20 Mar 2010 6:51 PM

The Florida Derby didn't prove much other than Rule has no shot at the Derby unless they change his running style.  Letinor didn't have the best of trips, but when he dropped down to the rail in the stretch and started to roll I thought that he might have a shot, but he didn't go on.  Glad to see Zito and Ward move into the Derby picture.  A certain blogger took a pretty good shot at Lezcano after Buddy’s Saint’s disastrous Fountain of Youth.  I wonder what LDP thinks of his ride in this race.  BRING ON ALPHIE'S BET!!!

20 Mar 2010 6:53 PM

Hot Dixie Chic looked great winning geared down.  If JJ decides to buy her at least he won't have to change trainers.

20 Mar 2010 7:02 PM

nmhiplains - Secretariat's time in the Belmont was 2:24 flat. It remains the world record on dirt for the mile and a half.

20 Mar 2010 7:19 PM
The Rock

Hey Jason,

This is gonna be the craziest NCAA tournament ever. Kansas goes down to Northern Iowa.............? WOW...........

20 Mar 2010 7:52 PM

Did anyone else notice that on all the tracks, the girls were scorching in their times, while the boys just sort of hung in there and tried to slow the pace.

Today has been topsy turvy with the only horses racing like the favorites they were, were D'Funnybone, Bourbon Bay, Hot Dixie Chick, and Unrivaled Belle.  The last I saw of my pick, the longshot son of Rock Hard Ten, Best Actor...he was still trying to get to the finish line.  He expects to be there by Tuesday.

20 Mar 2010 8:32 PM


great interview with Tommy, he is fantastic horseman. Have known him since 86 when he was galloping horses for Calumet at Belmont. Hope he gets back to Derby this year. Devil May Care was so impressive, she ran faster than the Fla Derby and should be a handful on Oaks day. Heard nothing but good things all winter about her but like everyone else was caught off guard with her race in NO, glad she is back.

20 Mar 2010 9:08 PM
Carlos in Cali

Nice move by Ice Box on a track not conducive to that type of runner.He made that same move in the FoY but didn't sustain it. Never the less, the 'Todd Squad' brigade is getting exposed one-by-one,look for Esky to also disappoint next out. It's too late to try and change their running style now, look elsewhere for your Derby winner Ranagulzion and all the other 'Pletcher people'..lol.

Devil May Care showed what she's really made of today,like I thought she would. Don't know why some folks doubted her ability,she had  legitimate excuses her last 2 outings (synthetics/acting-up). She's top class and toyed with her competition today,plus her odds were ridiculous, the Ky.Oaks is in the bag already. CD had every chance to win,she's just not in the same league.

20 Mar 2010 9:55 PM


Have you noticed That Todd P. is sending all his horses (with one exception being Eskendereya, who sat in 2nd before winning his last race.)on or toward the lead in most of their recent race's. Rule sat 2nd today in the Fla. Derby, for awhile, he was  leading at the stretch call . Colizeo was on  the lead today for awhile, Super Saver was on the lead in the Tampa Derby, Discreetly mine was on the lead in the Risen Star. So far 3 of the 5 listed have been caught by other horse's.

20 Mar 2010 10:05 PM


Longshot's today,

Northern Iowa topple's Kansas, and 20-1 Ice Box topple's the Florida Derby field.

20 Mar 2010 10:15 PM

Odysseus will need another race before the Derby, and maybe the Bluegrass fits the bill. This chestnut has a lot of heart, and, hopefully, will be peaking for Derby Day.  Really like the name & history of the meaning of "Odysseus," and he reminds me of "Congaree," who surely has a place in history, and should have won the Derby, in 2001, except, for the brilliant run of Monarchos.  Odysseus has great bloodlines: Mr.Prospector, AP Indy, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Northern Dancer, Native Dancer, Bold Reasoning, Bold Ruler, and Nashua.  Watch out for this horse. I'll be rooting for Odysseus and Albertrani.

20 Mar 2010 10:42 PM

wow the win place bet on pleasant prince saved me from an otherwise horrible day of betting.

20 Mar 2010 11:15 PM

You guys are not going to believe this but a horse named Quasicobra ran in the feature race, the San Luis Rey at 1 1/2 miles on turf. His trainer?....Patrick Biancone! He led most of the way, gave up, was eased and finished last. I guess he ran out of v.... No, I'm not going there!

21 Mar 2010 12:34 AM

Not sure what to make of the Florida Derby and the other major stakes races at Gulfstream.  All the 9 furlong races were run in about the same time, 1:49 and change.

The 9 furlongs did expose Rule, although he tried hard.  I'm not sure how talented Ice Box and Pleasant Prince are, but at least the have the style that's won so many Derbys.  To be fully sold on them, I would love to see them in another prep, but that's probably not going to happen.  Both horses, and Rule, are not without a shot at Churchill, but they will be 2nd and 3rd tier horses for me.  I don't think we saw the next Big Brown, Barbaro, or even Quality Road.

Devil May Care showed me and ran a time equal to that of the boys in the Florida Derby.  As I suspected, Amen Hallelujah found that extra furlong a tad too far, as did Switch.  Christine Daee showed little, and had no real excuses.  Devil May Care now moves to the top of the Eastern Oaks contenders.  Hot Dixie Chick is fast, but she's never gone even a mile and I think 9 furlongs in less than 2 months could be a little too demanding.  I believe Devil May Care's biggest challengers(for the Oaks) will come from Crisp and Blind Luck, two fillies that have proven class and can get 9 furlongs.  Do not expect a filly in the Derby this year.

Unrivaled Belle is the 2nd filly to emerge from the La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita and win a graded stakes on dirt next time out.  I had been surprised to see Unrivaled Belle, a speed horse that had run 2nd in the gr.1 Gazelle, brought out to SoCal given how unsuccesful her style had been at Santa Anita(around 2 turns).  I expected her to run big in the Rampart.  While she didn't exactly run big, with the field clumped at the wire, she was good enough.  

Bambera probably lost all chance to win at the start, but she showed absolutely nothing and was beaten a mile.  If she was as good as some have been touting her, she would have at least made an impression at some point during the race. I think Jason is right regrading her; she's just not fast enough.

Comparing the times for each of these 3 races, I don't think any should earn a big Beyer.  As mentioned, the field for the Rampart was bunched at the finish, yet the time was just a tick behind Devil May Care and the Florida Derby.  And while I now have respect for Devil May Care, I would think a top Derby prospect would be able to run faster than her; Devil May Care is a nice Oaks prospect, but she would be a longshot in any Derby wagering (and hopeflly is kept in the Oaks).

D'Funnybone did what was expected in the Swale, but I am dubious about his ability to run over a mile.  He has the ability to be a really fine sprinter, and there's nothing wrong with that.

It was a slower day at Santa Anita, but Bourbon Bay proved beyond doubt he is the real deal, and at least right now, the best marathon turf horse in the West.  Bourbon Bay had already won two 12 furlong races on turf at the Santa Anita meet going into the gr.2 San Luis Rey, including a 4 length win in the gr.2 San Luis Obispo.  However, he had yet to run particularly fast.  

Well, Bourbon Bay ran fast today, putting up a time of 2:24 flat enroute to a powerful and easy 2.5 length score in the San Luis Rey. The time was the fastest in the San Luis Rey since Kotashaan outdueled Bien Bien in 1993, and Bourbon Bay became the first horse since Dark Moondancer in 2000, and the 8th horse overall, to sweep the San Luis Obispo and San Luis Rey in the same year.  

Bourbon Bay has such a great cruising speed, can run all day, has an explosive turn of foot, and can power home in the lane.  He does have somewhat of a high-leg action, particularly in the stretch, and in that regard reminds me somewhat of Skip Away; maybe he picks his legs up because he's running so hard and so fast, as he turned in another sub-:24 final quarter in a 12 furlong race.  Hopefully, Loup Breton shows up for the 1.75 mile San Juan Capistrano, otherwise, the race appears Bourbon Bay's for the taking.

Disappointingly, the wonderful sprinter, Bob Black Jack, has been retired.  Since synthetics were installed in California, he has been arguably the best sprinter.  However, as fast as he was, his movement/leg action was equally flawed. Plagued by injuries throughout his career, even long periods on the sidelines couldn't prevent this ending.  Still, he was a top-level talent.  I would have loved to have seen him on dirt.

21 Mar 2010 2:07 AM

For Tiznow fans, at Santa Anita Saturday, a nice looking 3 year old son of Tiznow, Golden Itiz, won a 6.5 furlong maiden race by 2 in a smart 1:15 flat.  Golden Itiz is trained by Ron Ellis and owned by the successful Jay Em Ess Stable.  Golden Itiz is unlikely to be a factor in the Triple Crown races, but he is a tall, long horse that appears to have a future.  His time was a few ticks faster than that of Royce, a nice looking chestnut 3 year old son of Came Home owned by John Toffan.

21 Mar 2010 2:24 AM
Scat Daddy

I thought Lentenor ran well late,

I don't think he will make enough

purse money to make it to the Derby. He needs a win!

21 Mar 2010 9:23 AM

LH1216:  the problem with putting Odysseus in a 7 furlong race is a one word block buster-D'Funnybone.

Odysseus has heart, but I'm not that confident that he has the talent.  After this weekend, I'm in a wait and see mode for all contenders.

21 Mar 2010 10:17 AM


Yes I saw Golden Itiz. Did you notice how much he runs like Tiznow. He keeps his head low and stretches his neck at the finish, a characteristic that made his sire a winner of 2 BCCs. Loved that horse and always have a soft spot for his offsprings. If only American Lion would get his mind in tune with his ability...

21 Mar 2010 1:06 PM

No matter how illogical it is, I let the name of a horse influence my betting. It is really difficult for me to cheer for Ice Box or Radiohead or any horse with an "unnoble" name. Yesterday at SA I lost a trifecta bet because I couldn't bring myself to include the horse who came in second. His name? Frank and the Goat. Can you blame me?

21 Mar 2010 1:24 PM

Ooops! Frank and the Goat came in 3rd not 2nd. In any case, the darn name cost me a nice pay off.

21 Mar 2010 1:26 PM

Gunbow, according to her trainer, Bambera cut a tendon in the race -- I guess when she stumbled so badly out of the gate.

21 Mar 2010 1:46 PM

Felt bad for Bambera and all her fans in Venezuela who absolutely adore her. We never got to see the real Bambera as her stumble was a very bad one and took her right out of the race. I very much hope that her injury is not serious and that we see her later when she has a better start and a chance to show her talent.

21 Mar 2010 2:16 PM

Hot Dixie Chic looked great winning geared down.  If JJ decides to buy her at least he won't have to change trainers.

LAZMANNICK 20 Mar 2010 7:02 PM

Or even lose any money, considering his wife owns her.

21 Mar 2010 2:58 PM

I had Ice Box, for no other reason than a hunch.  Doesn't happen too often-lol.

21 Mar 2010 2:58 PM

For all you Vale of York fans- he's out of the UAE Derby with colic.

21 Mar 2010 3:03 PM


Yes, I read that right after I posted.  So, I guess the race was a complete throwout for Bambera.  However, we don't know if the tendon was sliced, a serious injury, or if the "tendon cut" refers to some superficial skin cut that just happened to occur over a tendon.  I would like to think that if she tore a tendon, the jockey would not have persevered with her.

21 Mar 2010 3:17 PM
Jason Shandler

CV: Im sure some info will come out. Give it a day or two

21 Mar 2010 5:10 PM


You saying that the Todd Squad brigade is being exposed one by one is laughable.  I'm sure that responding to you now is going to convince FORBIDDEN APPLE beyond the shadow of a doubt that I'm a "Pletcher groupie" (as he has characterized me ...but you know better ...and I sympathise with him).  The Todd Squad has already captured four major Derby preps;the Risen Star, Sam Davis, El Camino Real and Fountain Of Youth, placed second in four and third in five and your vision is so jaundiced that you can't see dominance of the 3YO races as the proverbial "writing on the wall".  He is going to capture the Kentucky Derby soon and this 2010 is the year.  Yes, you are going to tell me that we've been this way before with Pletcher on the Triple Crown trail but I say this is the year when he is going to score big time.  Previous years failure will look like an apprenticeship in hindsight.  He has never had a trio of colts like Esky, Rule and Super Saver, a sleeper like Interactif and second flighters like Connemara, Mission Impazable, Descretely Mine and Akenite. Eskendereya is going to have all you Pletcher detractors eating crow or taking an hiatus from these blogs to hide embarassment.

Carlos, I cant wait for Derby day.  An astute handicapper as yourself should be able to see the upside of recent losses by Super Saver and Rule in the Tampa Bay and Florida Derbies respectively.  These colts are going to be tuned to the minute on Derby Day. I'd say looking at the Florida Derby, that the way Rule put away the front end challengers at the top of the lane gave careful observers a peek into what a fully cranked up Rule could do on Derby Day ...that is, control the pace and separate himself (barring Esky and Super Saver) and not be caught by any of the hell-for-leather closers.  The picture I'm painting may be a caricature but it is highly probable with these quality colts.  You've written off Super Saver with Rule and now wait for Esky to fall in the Wood but let me tell you that a fit and ready Super Saver is the kind that can sit chilly in hot fractions and still kick-on when roused in the stretch.  These colts are all going to be forwardly placed and at the opportune time take the Derby by the "scruff of the neck" my friend.  Call me a dreamer Carlos but you might just be in for a nightmare Bro.

21 Mar 2010 5:19 PM


See that.  the JJ influcence is everywhere.

21 Mar 2010 5:28 PM

I like Rule, but he reminds me of More Than Ready. It was a bang up training job by Pletcher to get MTR to finish fourth in his Derby, so I could see Rule being in the mix. I don't see him winning. Esky looks like Pletcher's best chance ever, but I want to see his Wood and what LAL and the others do in their final preps. Btw, Gary West said Radiohead was running with a quarter crack. Oy.

21 Mar 2010 5:30 PM


My mistake I thought 2:24 flat was right but when I checked Thoroughbred Champions I got his turf debut time for the one and a half mile Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park ran in course record time of 2:24 4/5. Just makes Secretariat that much more AWESOME!!!  

21 Mar 2010 6:53 PM

I find it interesting that Pleasant Prince was 4th in the Fountain of Youth and Ice Box was 5th, behind Esky.

Would love to see Odysseus move forward.

21 Mar 2010 6:57 PM

hey folks !!


read some  POST RACE (commentary)

      from u guys :

I agree RULE may not be suited to

run 10 F at this point in his


But we may find out MORE

should he get another 2 TURN


but to me  the PREAKNESS might be

the best chance for him to impact

the Triple Crown,


D WAYNE, he's GOING to be

AGGRESSIVE in  carrying out his

NEVER SAY "its over UNTIL it's

  OVER approach

ESKENDEREYA seems to be suffering

from the PREJUDICE everyone seems

to have toward anything trained

by (TODD) Pletcher

LET's see what he ACTUALLY DOES

in his NEXT RACE before we

CRUCIFY  his chances to be a

Derby contender

h,e along w/ the TOP 3 in the

Rebel LOOK like the "cream"


By the WAY, I wasnt as SOLD on

      DUBLIN  after the SOUTHWEST

as EVERYONE else, but I HAVE to

say  that his run in the REBEL


 i would say all of guys

 at this POINT are  "on point"

when it comes to him

  HE SHOWED some tactical speed

  more than 4F out from the


"compromised" his FINISH, I think

it makes him MORE "HANDY"

The tactics in the REBEL may not

be the stategy employed on DERBY

DAY SHOULD HE RUN  "accordingly"

in the Arkansas Derby , where

it's LIKELY he will "re - APPEAR"

should he RELISH  the mile and a

quarter  as you guys have

suggested, then depending on how

things UN- FOLD

he may run  more of a "DEEP

CLOSING" Southwest type race in

the Derby if there's a lively pace

But I LIKE the fact that, with a

GOOD RIDER if horses start to tire

NO MATTER what the  "pace

 scenario" is HE CAN  put on a


those far turn type moves

 if his fitness will ALLOW for

that to take place on Derby day



if heA

10 F  half FurlongsNOW has megiveon  at

fla derby

21 Mar 2010 7:13 PM


Just wondering if you think Todd gives his horses a route work between those weekly sprint works

Who's going to notice an unclocked 1:40 /1:45 mile if he doesn't ask the clocker's  for it, everybody's looking for the bullet 4 or 5 furlong work--Nobody remembers those old trainers got up before daylight to sneak in a work and everyone today thinks pedigree determines stamina.

Breeding determines heart score conditioning determines lactic acid tolerance and stamina.

21 Mar 2010 7:26 PM


Todd Pletcher doesn't need me second guessing his training strategies or racing tactics.  He seems to be pretty good at what he does ...just needs to get that derby winner under his belt this year and waltz into the Trainer's Hall of fame at year's end.  BTW for the records, I have no axe grinding for Pletcher ...just going according to my personal observations and knowledge of the game (believe it or not).

Breeding determines heart score as well as stamina subject to conditioning of course.  This is a cold fact thats not debatable.  No matter how much conditioning you put into a sprinter he/she will not stay 10 furlongs in a truly run race unless it is a horse like Informed Decision which has a stayer's pedigree but has been masquerading (very successfully) in sprints.

21 Mar 2010 11:37 PM
Forbidden Apple

I never said that Eskendereya was not a KY Derby prospect. Heck, he was my 2nd pick in the Fountain of Youth and is currently 5th on my derby dozen. I am just not silly enough to mention him as a triple crown winner. However, Rule is a pretender.

22 Mar 2010 12:45 AM

Since I moved back to SoCal, Tuscan Evening has become one of my favorite horses.  She's not tall, but she's built like a tank, has great early speed, and is all heart in the stretch.

on Sunday, Tuscan Evening won her 3rd graded stakes of the meet and year, capturing the gr.2 9 furlong Santa Ana by an easy 1.25 lengths.  In January, Tuscan Evening had won the gr.3 Monrovia at 6.5 furlongs on the downhill course and last month was victorious in the gr.2 Buena Vista in a stakes record 1:33.47 for the mile.  The 9 furlong Santa Ana was Tuscan Evening's first stakes win beyond a mile, and she carried highweight of 123 lbs, spotting the field between 6 and 10 pounds.

Under Jerry Hollendorfer, Tuscan Evening is now 9 for 13 in the US, with one 2nd and two 3rds.  Of those 9 wins, 6 have come in stakes, with 5 of them graded(4 gr.2, 1 gr.3).  She has won 4 of her last 5 starts, all stakes, with the only loss a 2nd to the marvelous Ventura in the gr.1 Matriarch.  Another interesting statistic is that Tuscan Evening is 6 for 7 with Rafael Bejarano aboard, losing only the Matriarch.

The 123 lbs Tuscan Evening carried in the Santa Ana is the most any winner of the race has carried since champion Estrapade hauled the same weight in 1985.  Further, until today, the only horse to have finished anywhere in the top 3 carrying 123 lbs or more since 1985 was champion Brown Bess, who in 1990 ran 3rd under 123.  This is noteworthy because alot of very good female turf horses ran in the Santa Ana between 1986 and 2009, including champions North Sider,  Possibly Perfect, Wandesta, Fiji, and Golden Apples as well as major stakes winners Reloy, Claire Marine, Fieldy, Annoconner, Royal Touch, Bequest, Exchange, Hero's Love, Matiara, Windsharp, Donna Viola, See You Soon, Spanish Fern, Starine, Astra, Megahertz, Katdogawn, Valentine Dancer, Citronnade, and Visit.

Tuscan Evening now joins Estrapade for 3rd on the list of the higest weighted Santa Ana winners, behind only 1972 winner, Street Dancer(124), and 1979 winner and champion, Waya(127).  To do so, Tuscan Evening had to hold off gr.2 winner Cat by the Tale, who hounded Tuscan Evening throughout the race.  Tuscan Evening and Cat by the Tale engaged from the start, sitting atop pedestrian fractions of :24 and 4, :49 and 3, and 1:13 and 3.  2nd choice Treat Gently, 3rd behind Zarkava and Dar Re Mi in the 08' gr.1 Prix Vermeille, was in tight early and very rank, and offered nothing in the stretch.  And while there were some other quality fillies and mares in the field, like gr.3 winner April Pride, defending Santa Ana champ Belmont Cat, gr.2 Buena Vista runner-up Eissoai, and recent allowance winner (and runner-up by 3/4 of a length to Zardana in the restricted Swingtime Stakes in October) General Consensus, Tuscan Evening and Cat by the Tale broke away from the rest of the field on the far turn.

Although the Neil Drysdale trained Cat by the Tale fought hard down the stretch, Tuscan Evening was just too tough, and kept finding more to turn back every challenge.  Tuscan Evening blazed the 4th quarter in :22.92 and then put up a :11.45 final eighth, for a final 3 furlongs in :34.37.

It sounds like Hollendorfer is planning to take Tuscan Evening on the road.  Hopefully, she remains sound and in form so that the rest of the country can see just what a gem she is.

22 Mar 2010 1:13 AM

Rangulzion is right.  Very few horses can really outrun their pedigree.  Even in Europe you will see the sprinters have stamina blood in their genes to give them the stoutness needed to compete and stay sound at the upper levels.  That's why sprinters like Anaaba and Oasis Dream get horses who can run 10 furlongs, because they have stamiona in their blood and breeders can cross that with compatible mares.  But in general, if a horse has a short pedigree, it won't get 10 furlongs, unless maybe Whittingham or Stevens trained the horse-lol.

22 Mar 2010 9:29 AM

The "Pletcher" list is getting shorter.  I'm going to stick to an Ice Box-Popsicle one two punch for the Derby.  

22 Mar 2010 12:02 PM
Mike Relva


In Jan. I stated that if Pletcher wins the Derby lol I won't blog here for THREE MONTHS. That's how sure I am he will suffer the usual result. lol

22 Mar 2010 6:49 PM

GunBow, thank you so very much for your 1:13 post about Tuscan Evening's Santa Ana!  I've watched her and loved her since she came over from Europe, too.  Although I allowed the nay-sayers/handicappers to make me doubt her ability to get 9f, in my heart I still believed she could.  She runs with such power and confidence.  I've watched the video replay several times and feel she still had something left in the tank.  I read that Hollendorfer is considering Belmont for her next start.

I often wish there was a blog here that wasn't so specialized...where we could talk about any & all horses, outstanding performances away from any given "trail," etc. I follow several horses that I find very exciting but there's so little opportunity to talk about them!  I'm very glad you give us these reports on other races you've seen and are richly deserving of blog-space. :-)

22 Mar 2010 8:20 PM

Heck as far as I'm concerned both sprinters and routers run on LASIX blood and all those records of the Greats (Dr Fager)  broken by today's racehorses should have a Barry Bonds asterick after their name if they were running on lasix and a tweaked track

22 Mar 2010 8:23 PM


Officially off the Derby trail is Lentenor,Matz said Lentenor would likely return to allowance company in his next start.

23 Mar 2010 2:16 AM

I like Pleasent Prince in the Florida Derby.

2:24 18 Mar 2010 3:46 PM


Hope you played him somewhere. I did a very small $1 exacta box with Ice Box, Pleasant Prince, Rule, Miner's Reserve, and Game On Dude. Nice return. Too bad I wasn't confident enough to play more. Just took a shot in a wide open field.

23 Mar 2010 8:25 AM

Hollendorfer has done well with some other girls as well.  Lite Light (I think won the Oaks by 10), and more recently Hysterical Lady (Second by a head to Ginger Punch in the Breeder's Cup) and Blind Luck (3-4 Grade 1's).  He certainly knows how to ship so the Belmont would not be out of the question for Tuscan E.

23 Mar 2010 1:17 PM
Shucky Ducky

Now that the overhyped Lentenor(I'mNoBarbaro)& Christina Daae(I'mNoRachel) have run themselves out of the Derby and Oaks,let's concentrate on the real contenders shall we.

23 Mar 2010 1:49 PM


This should make you happier than seeing Pletcher lose another Kentucky Derby ...you will be greatly missed ...some of us on here might even shed a tear or two (LOL)

23 Mar 2010 2:30 PM
Carlos in Cali

As you mentioned,there seems to be more pace presence this time for the La.Derby. I still think Ron The Greek is pretty good and he did close well from way back against the slow pace while only finishing 4+lengths behind  Discreetly Mine's gift-of-a-trip. Don't know if he'll get up in time,but he'll be the one closing fastest. I'll also use Fly Down, Discreetly Mine & The Program(u can't leave out Baffert). Drosselmeyer got a bad post or else I would've used him also.

Jason, any news re: Odysseus' latest plans?..

23 Mar 2010 2:51 PM


Officially off the Derby trail is Lentenor,Matz said Lentenor would likely return to allowance company in his next start.

tcc 23 Mar 2010 2:16 AM

About where he belongs.  I wonder where Greg J. is and his laughable prediction that he would win the KD.  Oh how i enjoy the comments that come from the FOB.

23 Mar 2010 3:30 PM

Isn't Drosselmeyer a closer? If so, the 13 post should not be a problem. He'll just cross over at the back of the field, save ground and make his move later in the race. He needs to win this race to have enough earnings to qualify for the KD. Right now, he only has $12,000. If the events of the Florida Derby repeat themselves at Fair Grounds, this promissing colt won't make it to the gate on Derby day.

23 Mar 2010 4:44 PM
Carlos in Cali


Drosselmeyer has a late kick,but he doesn't lag behind like a Ron The Greek or Ice Box per say.He's more of a mid-pack runner so I think that 13 post will carry him wide more than you think,IMO.

23 Mar 2010 5:27 PM

Carlos in Cali,

Thanks! I was about to go on a wrong assumption. Now I'll go back and watch his last race again. There's been so much going on that I keep forgetting who did what. If you are correct, then the 13 post is not good.

23 Mar 2010 5:49 PM
Mike Relva


So,you've NEVER been wrong about a horse.........right?

23 Mar 2010 6:29 PM
Mike Relva


Like I said, seriously doubt he will win the Derby,I don't care if he had a dozen horses' entered.

23 Mar 2010 6:33 PM

Carlos in Cali,

I watched the Risen Star again and you are correct. I also reviewed Dross' past performances and it appears that his style is the way you described it. Let's see what happens in the La.Derby... Good luck with your picks! Me? I'm going back to the drawing board!

23 Mar 2010 7:24 PM
Carlos in Cali


It can get pretty hectic around this time of yr. w/so many prep races leading up to the Derby/Oaks,but I enjoy it..big time.

The FG Oaks should be chalky w/the top 3 betting choices heads-above the rest. Ailalea is coming into the race w/the same pattern as Discreetly Mine in which they both disappointed in their comeback race @ GP while sprinting,then stretched-out to a 1 1/16th @ the Fair Grounds.The latter was successful,both are highly regarded and both trained by Pletcher.She should run big in here. I don't know if Jody Slew is 100% fit for this race after being cast in her stall last week,but if they entered her she must be doing well enough. She's a tough filly and the only reason she's not the morning-line betting choice is because of that incident.If she wins,she'll be the 1st to sweep the 3race series(Tiffany Lass,Silverbulletday,FG Oaks).Quiet Temper is improving and was nosed out by Jody' last time, these 3 should be there at the end.

23 Mar 2010 9:04 PM

Mike, there is a difference between being wrong, and making comments that when said out loud sound laughable.

And there is a difference between having objectivity and hoping for a certain outcome, then the delusional belief that you, greg j., and the rest of the FOB hold.  I have read some of the post on that blog, and you guys need to realize he is no world beater.

23 Mar 2010 9:47 PM
Mike Relva


Really? There's also a DIFFERENCE between respect and slamming horses' that run for people like yourself  attempting to cash a ticket!

23 Mar 2010 10:14 PM
Mike Relva


Here's how it is,I've never said Lentenor was "a world beater". Find ONE blog where I've stated this. Maybe you need to have your facts straight before you make fictional comments. BTW,people like GREG J has knowledge that wouldn't be in your area code! If you don't care for FOB,don't read the posts! Thanks for the laugh! lol

23 Mar 2010 10:25 PM
Greg J.


   Honestly, I don't know why I am responding to a moroon like you, But, Here you go, First, If Lentenor had finished two spots closer, He would be going to the Kentucky Derby, He fell short, Not because of talent, But, Because of a troubled trip and the fact he is still a little green and still learning.  Out of 35,000 colts that were born three years earlier with the ultimate goal of making the Kentucky Derby, He was two spots from doing that Dave, In my eyes, That is pretty damn impressive.  Most trainers would try to run him back in three weeks to get the earning's, I applaud Mr. Matz for taking him back and letting him go through his conditions and not ruining this colt for one race, The Derby. If you don't think Lentenor is talented, Then you have no clue about talent Dave. You call me picking Lentenor to win the Derby Delusional?  Yes Dave, A colt that I placed a future on five months ago at 250-1 odds with never having run a race and coming that close to being in the Derby and having a shot at it must be delusional?  It is called being a fan and having hope that the connections you respect and admire can have a brother of a Kentucky Derby Winner get to the Derby and win it Dave!  

23 Mar 2010 11:57 PM
Carlos in Cali

Looking at the earnings list..Odysseus is far from being guaranteed a starting position in the Derby.Any of the 4-5 horses beneath him can surpass him with a placing in their next start.Looks like they might have to give him another prep in order to be invited to the big dance.It is what it is...

24 Mar 2010 12:03 AM

Mike Relva,

Your position re: Pletcher's chances of winning the Derby is irrational and based upon factors other than normal handicapping considerations therefore you will be very disappointed when one of his horses prevail on the 1st Saturday in May.  Anyway take comfort in the knowledge that some of us including Draynay and The Gladiator (LOL) will miss you very much during your promised 3 month long hiatus.    

24 Mar 2010 12:26 AM

I'm still pulling for Ron the Greek in the LA Derby; believe Island Soul will be in the money. Jody Slew is still recovering; she entered but connections still aren't sure she'll actually run.  The Silver Bullet Day was great, and I still see Jody and Quiet Temper in another duel, though Jody might not win if the injury bothers her.  Giant Oak in the LA Handicap, and the Muniz should be a challenge with both El Caballo and Blues Street entered.  Can't wait to see how Mendip does in the UAE.  Where is Dave in Dixie's next start?

24 Mar 2010 7:42 AM
Mike Relva


Here's news,I could care less what you think! Will wait for your lame spin after it doesn't happen. Good luck with that!

24 Mar 2010 3:25 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Greg J

    Good Post. I'm thrilled that Matz is going to do the right thing. Lentenor although extremely talented is immature physically and mentally. He will be a phenom on all surfaces in the furture. Many horses have been ruined being thrown into the Derby at the wrong time for them and you'll see a few more ruined this year. I love the Derby and believe it is the world's greatest race but horses need the proper foundation and mental attitude in most cases to survive. Survival of the fittest. Some, because of the loud, huge crowd, the big field and other stresses, just want to survive, get the heck out of there and never come back.

24 Mar 2010 3:33 PM


Dave in Dixie might be pointed toward Illinois Derby.

24 Mar 2010 4:55 PM

Dr Drunkinbum,

In a DRF article by Steve Davidowitz, I read that Storming Saint, who was promoted to 1st in the Borderland Derby, will run in the Sunland Derby. His opponent in his last race, Raise the Bridle, is not named as a starter in the SD. I wonder why? Do you know?

24 Mar 2010 5:16 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I don't know what happened. Last I heard, he was pointed to the Sunland Derby. I'm hoping that he's healthy and they decided to go to Oaklawn but it's possible he's injured and we didn't hear. He's not a high profile horse. I doubt if I'm playing Sunland now.

24 Mar 2010 5:31 PM
John Horton, Jr.

IMO, Lookin At Lucky, Eskendereya, Awesome Act, and yes, Rule still look the best of the colts headed to Churchill Downs. I also give Interactif a shot just on pure talent, although he's unproven on dirt. The reason Rule is still on my "Big 5" list, for 95% of the Florida Derby, Rule was much the best in the race. Johnny Velazquez  allowed Rule to get into a bit of an early speed duel up front with Pulsion. If Velazquez takes Rule back and slips him into 2nd behind Pulsion, Rule win's the Florida Derby, IMO. Ice Box and Pleasant Prince didn't even catch Rule until deep stretch with the wire looming. So I still think he'll be a player in the Kentucky Derby. I'd love to have Johnny Velazquez problem of deciding between Rule and Eskendereya for the Derby.

24 Mar 2010 5:34 PM


Trainer Tom Albertrani has confirmed that the Tampa Bay Derby winner, Odysseus, will have one final prep before the Kentucky Derby, with the choices remaining either the Blue Grass or Arkansas Derby.

24 Mar 2010 6:00 PM

Tuscan Evening is being pointed for either the Distaff Mile at Churchill (on either Oaks or Derby day) and/or the Just A Game at Belmont(I Belmont day).  However, being a 5 year old mare, Tuscan Evening is not eligible for the Belmont Stakes, nor would she be pointed for a 12 furlong race.

24 Mar 2010 6:16 PM


Face it Pal Odysseus is more suited to the mid-summer classics. Perhaps circumstances are conspiring to benefit him.


Waiting for my "lame spin" is gonna be a very long one Buddy 'cause Esky and the Todd Squad are looking very good.  Watch Discretely Mine and Mission Impazable shine this week-end and begin to plan your 3 months hiatus (LOL).

24 Mar 2010 7:11 PM

John Horton, Jr.

For the first 95% of the Florida Derby Rule may very well have been the best horse, but for the last 5% he wasn't.  I expect him to improve enough to win maybe a 1-1/8M race next out, but getting an additional 1/8th is going to be very tough, especially if he's pressed in the early part of the Derby which I believe he will be.  For that reason he disappeared from my Derby list, but I still hope he runs well.  LOL

24 Mar 2010 7:23 PM
Mike Relva


Must be nice having it all figured out. Last time I checked,you aren't risking anything like me!

24 Mar 2010 7:51 PM

Dr Drinkinbum, for the Fla Derby, I ended up going with Rule, First Dude, and Best Actor.  Yep...that really turned out great???  I'm looking for Ron the Greek to regain his previous form.  If Dave in Dixie and Back Talk go to Illinois, that should be very interesting.

24 Mar 2010 7:51 PM

I am a Lentenor fan, and felt whipsawed the way Matz agonized over whether he should run in the Bluegrass/Belmont or the Florida Derby/KY Derby, even though Lentenor did not have stakes experience. However, Lentenor placed 4th, behind Rule, so we can't discount him.

The idea that Lentenor has to run in an allowance race seems silly, considering that he had a bad trip, new surface, eye injury, and a graded stakes as new variables. I could see Matz aiming Lentenor towards a graded stakes, again, with Velazquez aboard, and I bet he'd win.  In the "old days" horses seemed to be fitter and could run 5 days after a race and win. So, 3 weeks? Come on. Matz lost his nerve.

I like Odysseus, but he seems overmatched in The Derby. I would like Blind Luck with her speed, but she seems to need more distance and could do well in The Belmont. We all saw the fiasco with Christine Daae last week, so she's definitely not Derby material. I think Rule would crumble if pressed in The Derby, and I think we may see an upset similar to last year-a late developing unknown.

26 Mar 2010 12:36 PM

Give Lentenor an allowance race and hopefully he'll win it and gain some confidence.  I was impressed with his move and will in the Florida Derby, but I wonder if his future is on the grass.  The G-1 Secretariat at Arlington would definitely be on my list.  A nice win there then he can step up against older in an ambitious fall campaign.

26 Mar 2010 8:38 PM
Mike Relva


Here's news,I think a Derby winner like Matz knows what he's doing. BTW it's insane to run five back after a race. This isn't the "old days". Horses' are different now,if I'm wrong why do so many each yr. go off the Derby trail due to injury? Horses' aren't machines!

26 Mar 2010 9:42 PM

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