Eskendereya: The Star We Were Searching For

Through three months of the Kentucky Derby prep season, for the most part, we watched one unspectacular effort after another. Many of the prep winners wired their respective fields after setting pedestrian paces and having ideal trips, and the ones who did come from off the pace, well, you just kind of got the feeling that they weren't going to run the same type of winning races in their next efforts (see Ron the Greek, Connemara, Alphie's Bet).

Many of the most lucrative preps, including the Louisiana Derby and Florida Derby, were packed with large fields of promising but unproven horses. Did the next superstars break out from these races or were the winners beating 3-year-olds that were just not ready for prime time? The latter seemed to be the most probable scenario.

We debated back-and-forth about which, if any, 3-year-old was going to separate itself from the pack. Were we going to go into the first Saturday in May without a clear-cut favorite? Were we going to go into the Derby with a wide-open betting race, much like last year after the late injuries to Quality Road and I Want Revenge?

Well, it took more than three months but we got the superstar we were looking for. The horse that will likely go off as the big favorite. The horse that seems to have it all. The horse that again has people dreaming of the Triple Crown.

Even before his 9 3/4-length romp in last Saturday's Wood Memorial, Eskendereya showed signs of being a star. It wasn't just that he won the Fountain of Youth by more than eight lengths, it was how he did it. He was able to rate off the pacesetter, take over with ease, and draw away with a lot left in the tank.

But we needed to see him do it again before we called him the real deal; against grade I company and in the same dominating fashion.

He did. And we now have our big Derby horse.

Eskendereya seems to have everything a Derby winner needs. He's a big, robust horse with staying power. He is immaculately bred. He has tactical speed. He rates willingly. He is professional. He has a world-class trainer-jockey team. About the only thing he doesn't have is a name that rolls off the tongue.

It would be foolish to say any horse is a can't-miss Derby winner with three and half weeks remaining. There is still a lot of time left. He must stay healthy, train well at Churchill, and draw a favorable post. And even then, anything can happen with 20 3-year-olds going a mile and quarter.

But there is no debating that we now have our Derby favorite.

My question to you is, with three and half weeks remaining, do you think Eskendereya will win Derby 136?


Leave a Comment:

The Rock


Yes it would be foolish to say he's a can't miss Derby winner. But, deep down, do you think he is?

Greg J,

Yea, I see where you're going with that, but no value in that play. I don't want to get suckered into playing another race when I'm zoned in on one in particular. Plus, he goes against a quality field off the layoff. I'll take a wait and see approach.

06 Apr 2010 12:49 PM
Jason Shandler

Rock: I havent made up my mind yet to be honest. Im anxious to see a bunch of horses run in the Blue Grass and Arkansas

06 Apr 2010 12:54 PM

Sidneys Candy ran faster on plastics by 2 seconds then EsKENdereya & we haven't seen the bottom of him yet! I don't think that Esky will hit the board on Derby day!!!

06 Apr 2010 12:54 PM

Maybe.  I have him rated even with Looking at Unlucky and Noble's Promise.  

06 Apr 2010 12:56 PM

It was amazing to see Eskendereya absolutely just galloping down the stretch with ease. I don't even think he hit fourth gear. Anything can happen in the Derby as we all know, but he should be the biggest favorite in many years. Looking At Lucky will definitely be a challenger though. Do we have another Easy Goer-Sunday Silence rivalry?

06 Apr 2010 12:58 PM

Watch out for my guy Dublin this weekend, his late kick will have him winning the Arkansas Derby like Curlin.

06 Apr 2010 1:06 PM
Jason Shandler

ALB: You do realize Eskendereya was jogging to the finish line right? You dont think he could have run faster than what he did if asked? I also put stock in final times, but in some cases you have to watch to see how they did it.

06 Apr 2010 1:08 PM

I can't yes yet either but he is the deserving favorite. I was impressed by Sidney's Candy and don't think LAL would have caught him even if he had a good trip. He really is the only true speed horse we have so far. I'll wait and see next weekends race before I make a final selection.

06 Apr 2010 1:08 PM

It has proven time and again that you need a horse who has shown heart and determination to win the derby. The only time Esky has been tested was in the Juv where he folded.

Looking at Lucky is by far the worst bet of this year's derby in terms of odds and chances of winning.

I am very looking forward to this weekend's derby preps for I believe the Derby winner is probably running.

06 Apr 2010 1:12 PM

Sidneys Candy is a toss.

06 Apr 2010 1:25 PM

You know, Storm Cat is the paternal grandsire of Eskendereya, and the broodmare sire of Sidney's Candy, American Lion, and Ice Box. Why does everyone insist on denigrating him? I haven't seen any insults lately, but I think he needs more respect than he gets.

06 Apr 2010 1:25 PM
Karen in Texas

One never knows what will actually happen on Derby day, but Eskendereya is a deserving favorite. I will never forget his sire digging in against the much larger Tiznow in the 2000 BC Classic; and I believe that was Giant's Causeway's first time on dirt. If Esky possesses his sire's talent and heart, then we can expect a lot of star-power this year in the Triple Crown series.

06 Apr 2010 1:31 PM
Greg J.

     Like you say Jason, Eskendereya (es-ken-DRAY-uh) has everything you want for a Derby winner and beyond. Still have questions about how he handles a fast pace, The Churchill oval and surface, What happens if he is behind, Etc., But, At least we know the talent is there!  I would love to see him take the Derby and then the Triple Crown, It would be amazing for the sport and would also like to see Mr. Pletcher get his Derby Victory, Finally!  I am just not 100 percent sold yet, So much can go wrong in the Derby with that size of a field.  I still think Lookin at Lucky could also be that special one, Just hope all of his bad luck is out of the way.  The next three weeks will answer alot of questions on the field and how they are coming into that first Saturday in May, Can't wait...

06 Apr 2010 1:32 PM

There is a thing called handicapping that many have just thrown to the wind.  Maybe a few of you need to watch Esky first race back in January and watch how he struggled a bit after running a 47 second half and a 111 for 6 furlongs going only a mile.  Let me remind all of you the quality of horses he saw in the Wood.  One horse had a G3 win and the rest were optional claiming winners and a Maiden winner.  The last time he faced any of the current top horses he finished 9th.  Those who think Esky is the favorite going into this thing are crazy and it's an insult to a horse like Lookin At Lucky and what he has accomplished.

06 Apr 2010 1:33 PM
John T

Eskendereya winning the Wood has been the most impressive Derby trial so far because he was,nt anywhere near top gear, but still won with ease.Lookin At Lucky must be given another chance because of what happened in the Santa Anita Derby but nevertheless it is going to take quite a performance to beat


06 Apr 2010 1:34 PM
Jason Shandler

Dray: He also ran those same fractions going a mile as a 2YO in the Pilgrim and drew off by 7. The BC was a throwout bc of the plastic. You are wrong about this horse. He is very good.

06 Apr 2010 1:37 PM

better view the Florida derby again and watch ice box, he did not start to run until the final turn then took off like a lear jet, while you're at it, calculate his splits for this MUCH improved Zito production. 8 to 1?

06 Apr 2010 1:39 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I wasn't able to bring myself to vote. I can say that Esky looks the most impressive so far but I'm not going to say yes or no to "will he win The Derby" He is the deserving favorite and going off at close to even odds wouldn't suprise me. He appears to me visually to be an incredibly talented horse. I expected him to romp in The Wood and then become the Derby favorite prior to The Wood being run and yet I was still blown away. I didn't expect him to be THAT good. The ease in which he showed his dominance, the long, powerful stride. No one has looked that good, with such ease for a long time. The fact that he hasn't been tested on dirt doesn't bother me. He's too talented to have doubts about. Will still have to see how he trains and looks coming into The Derby. What his post position is. Who else gets in etc etc. I liked the way Velasquez looked behind him in the stretch. Some of these jockeys seem to have serious neck troubles. Just forge ahead without even looking around, then getting into trouble. The fact that physically he doesn't even look that good yet is another reason he's so amazing. He's still maturing, still developing. His demeanor though is one of a major star, and a True Champion already.

06 Apr 2010 1:44 PM

Hello Jason

I was very impressed with Eskendereya last Saturday, but I still don't think that he is going to win the Kentucky Derby. I think that he is going to be like Empire Maker, Birdstone, Summer Bird, etc., a colt who runs in the Derby, fails to win, and returns to win the Belmont.

Personally, I like Dublin, and I have liked him since he won the Hopeful Stakes last year. Even after he developed his breathing problem, I stuck with him, and I'm confident that he will win the Kentucky Derby, whether he wins the Arkansas Derby or not.


06 Apr 2010 1:45 PM
The Rock


Odds projection on Eskendereya? 5/2 to 3/1? The lowest maybe 2-1, but I can't see him being that low.

06 Apr 2010 1:47 PM

The only thing Eskendereya has proven to me is he can dominate Jackson Bend by an average of 9 lengths. Visually he looks like a beast. His breeding is off the charts and the way Velasquez had him wrapped up with 200 yards before the wire, makes him 4/5 on the morning line. But we all know come Derby day there is no guarantee, Esky will get a clean trip. What we do know is that he'll be facing more than just five runners, and he'll be facing much better competition than tough but smallish Jackson Bend.  

06 Apr 2010 1:48 PM

Jason, since when is a 112 4/5ths the same as 111 and 3/5ths ???  Anyone can look good when racing against optional claimers and maiden winners.  When this horses loses the Derby so called experts are going to ask what happend ?  The horse has not faced any of the top horses this year and when he does we will see what he is made of.  I say he folds like a house of cards.  He may be your Belmont winner but he is not your Derby winner.

06 Apr 2010 1:49 PM


Last night I was doing what everyone else was doing at around 10 PM ET, looking at past Derby Pedigrees of the last 20 years (how sad is that?).  Guess the National Championship didn't interest me much although Butler almost stole it at the buzzer.

Anyways, as I was checking these out, I noticed that there hasn't been one horse in the last 20 years that has had Storm Cat show up at all (top or bottom) in the pedigree of a winner.  I wonder if there is something to this.

I also noticed in the dosage points of the winners that only 4 of the last 20 winners [Mine that Bird (51-1), Giacomo (50-1), Thunder Gulch (25-1) and Lil E. Tee (17-1)]had 8 or less dosage points in the "C-S-P" section of their pedigree (Generally regarded as the staying power of the pedigree).  

The post time favorites have won 3 of the last 6 but were 1 for 14 from 1990-2003.

Mr. Prospector has been in the Sire Line in 10 of the last 20 winners and one more winner had him on the Dam side.

All this being said, trends have been known to die the last few derbys.  If I was just doing pedigree analysis my top 6 contenders (in no order) would be:

Lookin at Lucky

Noble's Promise

Mission Impazible


Discreetly Mine

Dean's Kitten

However, by my eyes, I have enjoyed watching Esky do what he needs to do to win and draw off with ease.  I think he is a great horse, but I don't think he will win.  I am disappointed that Tiz the One is likely off the derby trail with his defection from the ARK. Derby.  I am looking for Super Saver to run back to form as his pedigree would suffice to my amature research, he just needs the earnings.

Sorry this was so long, I just found it interesting.

06 Apr 2010 1:52 PM
Jason Shandler

Dray: I was talking about the half-mile split. It was :47 3/5 for both. According to you, there are only three good 3YOs this year and they all ran in the Rebel. No wonder he hasnt faced anything.

06 Apr 2010 2:06 PM
bill marshall

A mile and an eighth in three hundreths of a second short of 1:50.  Super Star?  You've got to be kidding.  Another Derby winner coming at a price.  Just need to find him.

06 Apr 2010 2:08 PM

Noble's Promise first time out and first time on dirt put away G1 winning Dublin and came within inches of holding off 2 year old champion Lookin At Lucky.  To me that is more impressive then beating a group of Optional Claimers and a Maiden winner by 9 lengths.  But I guess that is the difference between a handicapper and a fan.

06 Apr 2010 2:17 PM

Esken has all the looks and tools...but my oldest has been high on Noble's Promise since last year - and I have to say he seems to get better (even though he gets nipped time and again) as the distance increases.  Could he be rounding into shape for a major effort?

As for me - I can't bail entirely on American Lion - though his IL Derby didn't overwhelm me.  I just think when he gets his head straight - he'll do his sire proud.

And what about Odysseus?  No one seems to be thinking about him at all?

06 Apr 2010 2:19 PM

Eskendereya is no doubt impressive but I find what Lucky has been able to do with bad trips even more so. I like to see horses that won't quit. What would he do with a perfect trip?

As for unproven horses on dirt, they're out until proven otherwise...

06 Apr 2010 2:20 PM

The time does concern me.  Not so much the time that Esk ran, but that his competition was 10 lengths behind him.  They were 2 seconds behind a near 1:50 and were fully extended.  This is why I have him even with NP and LAL.    

06 Apr 2010 2:24 PM

The Rock,

If Eskendereya is 3-1 on Derby day I'm betting my house on him.  He's more likely to be 9/5 than 3-1.

06 Apr 2010 2:32 PM

I like Blind Luck, even though I realize she's not running in the Derby, but if anyone can convince her trainer to run her, we might have an interesting race. If not, she can run in The Preakness.

Also, I have to wonder if Lentenor could have done better in The Wood than The Florida Derby, given the smaller field. Yes, Eskendereya dominated, but Lentenor would have had plenty of room to run, and I think would have at least placed. Matz's first inclination was to go with The Blue Grass/Belmont, and then switched gears and leaned towards The Florida Derby, or The Wood. The FD was too crowded, and Eskendereya scared away The competition. That would have helped Lentenor get the graded earnings he needed for The Derby. I guess Matz wasn't thinking tactically. The odds were better for Lentenor in The Wood.

The Derby will be full, and either Eskendereya will dominate, or Lucky will have an untroubled trip. Or...we'll have an upset from a colt who peaks on that day. I can't decide who that might be.

06 Apr 2010 2:34 PM

Will  ESKY  be  able  to  catch SID ? Sid's Candy  is  a  very  impressive  animal. Rare  are  wins  on  the  plastic  that  are  wire-to-wire  and  rare  is  the  margin  of  victory  on  plastic  by 4 1/2  lengths  which  could  have  been  greater. Speed  horses  do  better  on  dirt , especially  those  that  finish  faster  than  the  closers.

06 Apr 2010 2:36 PM
Ted from LA

Bob Baffert has a better chance of winning Dancing with the Stars next year than Eskendereya has of winning this year's Derby.  Dray is right on this one.  He'll melt in the final 1/8 at Churchill.  Lookin at Lucky is vulnerable to bad trips.  Once, oops.  Twice, ouch.  Three times, not for my money.

06 Apr 2010 2:39 PM
Jason Shandler

It is not likley a horse will be 9/5 on the ML in a field of 20. 3-1 or 5/2 is more likely

06 Apr 2010 2:40 PM

I like Lookin At Lucky.  Just something about him.

06 Apr 2010 2:41 PM
The Rock


He's got a G1 win on dirt. Has NP won on dirt?

06 Apr 2010 2:43 PM
Tim G

Someone on the other blog asked who was running in the AB, entries just were posted.






Taptam will carry 117, Zenyatta 123 and the rest 120.

On Eskendereya I just haven't seen the Wood hold form in a number of years.

06 Apr 2010 2:44 PM
The Rock


Get ready to put your house up. Big Brown was 2/1 in his Derby, although I think he would've been lower than that if not for the post. If the favorites win the preps this weekend, he'll be no lower than 2/1 or higher than 3/1, unless some horse throws out a similar performance as his Wood.

06 Apr 2010 2:47 PM

Clarification.  More likely to be 9/5 at post time than 3-1.  I agree the morning line will probably be 2/1 or 5/2.  At post time if this horse is 3-1 I'm betting with both hands!

06 Apr 2010 2:50 PM

Endorsement ran huge and FAST in this high elevation with THIN air at Sunland park where I live. wait till he gets down to your level!!

06 Apr 2010 2:50 PM

Blind Luck ran a final 1/16 in 5 and 2 THAT is the best bet at Kentucky.

06 Apr 2010 2:53 PM
It's been 31 years and is still 31.5 furlongs away

I have a hard time believing in Sidney's Candy. Let's be honest folks, he basically stole the race with those early fractions, and Lucky had the jump on him before he got stopped. And for me the golden rule, never bet a synthetic horse to win on dirt, unless he's already proven on dirt.

I was at the Big A for the Wood, and it was beyond a doubt the most impressive race I've seen. If Velasquez asked Eskendereya, he would have been easily 1:47, and that was with the wind blowing against him in the stretch. Am I guarentee he'll win the Derby, no, because crazy things can happen in that race, but have no doubt, Eskendereya is the real deal...

06 Apr 2010 2:56 PM
Ann Ahnomous

No I don't think he wins the Derby.  The "star"  folded the one and only time he didn't get his own way in a big field (BC Juvie).  

Surface issue is a lame excuse.  He should have taken to the Proride just fine.  He's a Giant's Causeway.  His progeny have earned 71.5% of their earnings on surfaces other than dirt.  Not to mention Esky was not dirt-only before his BC flop.  

06 Apr 2010 2:59 PM

I have a question.  How is Eskendereya pronounced (es-ken-DRAY-uh.  The DRAY part is wrong.  Es-ken-der-eya should be pronounced with the Der part as "DER" not "DREY".  Flip the "R" with the "E" and you get Eskendreya....The two "E's" make the DREY part incorrect.  I guess it is like people here in Louisville pronouncing it Lou-a-vulle......and yet right across the river is Jeffersonville with the end par pronounced as "ill" and not "ull".  Eskendereya is a serious race horse, but I wonder if he got enough out of that walkover called the Wood Memorial.  I did notice that John Valesquez galloped him out that extra 1/8 at the end of the race.  I love his pedigree to go 1 1/2 miles much less 1 1/4 miles.  He is Linebred to Northern Dancer and is all stamina on that bottom side.  As for the Storm Cat issue.  Storm Cat can through stamina, but it comes from the mare.  Giants Causeway had plenty of it to go 1 5/16th miles in Europe.  Storm Cat on the bottom side of the pedigree should be stamina oriented as he inherited the large heart gene from Secretariat.  He should pass this along to his daughters.  Giants Causeway has already shown to throw horses who can go 1 3/4 miles....hello Breeders Cup Marathon winner The Iron Man??  A lot of the field in my opinion is not bred to go 1 1/4 miles, and that includes Lookin at Lucky and Noble's promise.  Time will tell.

06 Apr 2010 2:59 PM

I can see where you are coming from. But Esky will be beat by a nose by Noble's Promise.

Also, I am no expert, but watching the SA Derby, it looked to me like Gomez was trying to make a hole that was closing and LAL just could not bolt thru then he realized it and pulled up.  Although, I am sure it was not the best riding by Espinoza I do not believe it was careless. Gomez will lose the derby for Baffert and LAL.

06 Apr 2010 3:00 PM

To TJLuvsTIZS, You have such a fascination with Mr Prospector top lines that you should change your screen name to TJluvsMrProspectors. Like you, I am a student of dosage numbers, but give less and less credence to them each passing year.  Many articles even question their relevance in the results of the last 20 years. As a sire of sires, Prospectors importance on the dirt is undeniable, but the line is really Raise a Native's.  With Eskendereya, you have Raise a Native, through Alydar, and more importantly, Bold Ruler TOP and BOTTOM, (Seattle Slew on bottom, Secretariat on top). I would have to say that Eskendereya deserves to be on your list of top pedigree contenders.

06 Apr 2010 3:04 PM


06 Apr 2010 3:09 PM

Jason, the Juvenile is NOT a throwout for Esky because of the plastic. Giant Causeways' handle the surface. He had a problem with being challenged by quality horses and folded up. I would agree with you if you can show me any quality Giant Causeways' that don't handle the plastic.

06 Apr 2010 3:09 PM

Why in the world would Eskendereya run any faster than 1:50?  He certainly had nothing left to prove in the Wood.

Lookin At Lucky will be a force in the Derby.  As others have stated, he is tough and determined.

I still like Ice Box as a closer and Sidney's Candy as the speed.  I also like Ice Box as a closer and Sidney's Candy as the speed.

This weekend I'm watching Pleasant Prince.

Other than the obvious favorites, I am considering Mission Impazible, Odysseus, and Endorsement in my wagering somewhere.

Its still the Kentucky Derby, Jason, as you have written.  A lot of horses, post positions, and weather to take into account.

06 Apr 2010 3:17 PM

Please watch the Juvenile again. Esky was bounced around big time and he folded. It had nothing to do with the surface and everything to do with his trip. It is a given that he will be bumped around again in the Derby.

06 Apr 2010 3:35 PM
Jason Shandler

Alexaso: Any time you run on a new (fake) surface there is a possibility of having an issue. Plus, he had a very bad trip into the first turn if you watch the race.

06 Apr 2010 3:36 PM

31 Furlongs you believe Esky could have won by 25 if he wanted to ?  Do me a favor and go over the group he beat and quit wasting time with such nonsense.  Let me know when he faces a G1 winner and wins or just hits the board.

06 Apr 2010 3:39 PM

Sure, why not? He looked pretty impressive in the Wood.

I see no "big horses" coming in to really dominate the Derby. Nobody this year really stands out.

So here we go with another "pot luck" Triple Crown Series with a bunch of lightly raced, inter-bred and overly-hyped 3 year olds.

Say, does anyone remember how to  breed sound, versatile horses who can run at any distance and still have enough tactical speed to hold off their competition at the wire?

Like you know, the great horses we had in the 70's, when we had 3 Triple Crown Winners?

Sadly, it seems not...

06 Apr 2010 3:40 PM

I think that Lookin at Lucky will be the major contender for the derby first Baffert has said that he is better on dirt and in the SA he finished 3rd after a terrible ride and trip. So he still is my choice (or at least till post postions are drawn)

06 Apr 2010 3:43 PM


06 Apr 2010 3:46 PM

Draynay once again its your time of the year to look like a fool. Saying Eskendereya is not the best 3yr old right now is being ignorant. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but at least others have some logic but you my friend are just either attention hungry or one of the worst handicappers out there. You talk about his breeders cup race which is a throw out. His first race you said he was slow. I didn't realize that the goal of a potential derby horse was to start his  3yr old campaign  running  his fastest race in his first start. I thought you wanted to bring them along and have them get stronger with each start as you try to get them to the derby. How many breeders cup runners have won their first race back after they have run in the breeders cup races? I can tell you its a low percentage.

He won the wood with out being asked to run it was a paid workout.  He beat the Florida Derby winner and runner up by double digits. Granted they may not be that great but that not his fault he doesn't get to choose who he runs against. The horses in the Louisiana Derby are all garbage except Drosslemyer who was unlucky and is improving. You talk about slow look at that race and those horses are all out.

Sidney's Candy  ran a very respectful race in the SA but I worry if he can carry that sprinters speed all the way in the derby. The only other horse that I was impressed besides  Eskendereya,  SindsCandy LAlucky was Endorsement who won the Sun Derby in a final time of 148:2 and he has great pedigree.

You talk about Nobles Promise  who cant beat LALucky even when Nobles Promise had a perfect trip in the Rebel. LALucky almost fell in that race was hung wide while your derby horse had a PERFECT TRIP AND HE STILL COULDN'T hold off LALucky as he got nailed on the wire. How did Dublin do that race? Oh that right he made a move and backed on up. Nobles Promise is out of Cuvee who was a sharp sprinter and miler perhaps Nobles Promise should stick to one turn races. Dublin has the pedigree but the talent? He showed signs of ability as a 2yr old but haven't seen improvement as a 3yr old.. I hope these 2 run 1st&2nd in the Ark Derby because there is nobody else of quality in the field. Correction maybe Super Saver will improve in his 2nd start back. You talk about Eskendereya beating nobody if one of your derby picks wins this race they must be really considered derby day. Look who's projected in this race Noble's Promise, Super Saver, Pulsion, Uh Oh Bango and Line of David. Possibles included New Madrid and A Student & Northern Giant. Real quality derby contenders.. What a joke.....

Your sense of reasoning is ridiculous  and I hope you get banned for a month like you did last year.

Eskendereya is coming along just the way you want a derby horse to. Maybe you would have been happier if Johnny got into him and he ran a 1:48... Somebody said to me the other day this horse is going to bounce like Bellamy Road I don't see how that is possible when his beyers went from a 106 to a 109 its not like bellamy roads 100+ to 120...

The Bottom line is if this horse has no hiccups in the next 3 weeks and the track is not affected by the weather like last year Eskendereya is going to be the horse that the rest of them will have to beat. I don't like betting chalk on derby day myself but you can't deny that he is the best 3yr old right now. If he relaxes like he did in the Wood its all over for the rest of them because he is bred to run all day long.

06 Apr 2010 3:51 PM
Lady Slew

I would like a third option on that poll - the "I don't want to jinx it" option! People, please stop saying the T. C. words. You're scaring me.

06 Apr 2010 3:57 PM

Superstars are born in the triple crown races not in the preps...see Bellamy Road...

06 Apr 2010 4:02 PM

Jason, I am sorry to do this but Zenyatta is facing a group of 4 dogs!

This is a joke. When is the Breeders Cup winner going to step up and take on G1 winning males?  How many more silly filly races is she going to enter ? HOY goes through Quality Road and Rachel in the Breeders' Cup. I know Rachel will be there. Unreal.

06 Apr 2010 4:02 PM

Big Red Forever,

I really don't have a fascination with Mr. P, I was just making an observation.  9 of the last 15 had him on the top side, and one more had him on the bottom. Again, just an observation.

The only reason I kept Esky out (and let me be clear, I Love Esky)was because of my observation that Storm Cat had not appeared in the pedigree of any winner of the derby.  I am not oblivious to his pedigree prowess, and the fact that Giant's Causeway has proven his worth as a Sire.  My suggestion was merely that it hasn't happened yet, and as the last few derby's have shown trends are made to be broken.

Esky's pedigree is much like Bluegrass Cat who finished 2nd in the derby, and his pedigree is very well documented.  It is not that I don't like his pedigree, it is that Storm Cat has never been represented in a derby winner.

06 Apr 2010 4:05 PM

One last thing,

It hurt me not to put up American Lion.  I love his pedigree, love his sire, but since Storm Cat was in there, I left him off.

I also left off Interactif as he has Mr. P on top and bottom, and that has only happened with one Derby winner, Mine that Bird.  Interactif's pedigree screams distance, but it was an observation.

06 Apr 2010 4:08 PM


06 Apr 2010 4:08 PM

I don't get all the obsession with Nobles Promise he can't beat lookinatlucky even when he had a dream trip in the Rebel and L@lucky clipped heels almost fell was wide in the stretch and still ran him down. He is by Cuvee who was a sprinter/Miler. He probably should win the Ark Derby because the field is the weakest quality of a derby preps yet. But I bet you find him  finishing 10th or farther back in the derby. He dosen't have the pedigree for the derby distance.  Dray one more thing to bash on you about, You said Esky hasn't beat a Gr 1 winner your wrong he beat Ice Box by 10- 12 lengths in the FOY. Then Ice Box came back and won the FLDerby so once again your wrong..

06 Apr 2010 4:09 PM


You keep repeating the optional claimers bit - ignoring completely that two that in beat by 10 in the FOY went on to go 1-2 in the G1 Florida Derby.  Jackson Bend, has never finished worse than 2nd in 8 races, including 5 stakes.

And, Esk has the two fastest speed figs of any horse this year.  The next best?  Awesome Act who got beat by 10 in the Wood.

Fine if you like another, but be honest with yourself, at least.

06 Apr 2010 4:09 PM

One can't bash the Santa Anita Derby for not producing a recent Kentucky Derby winner and then endorse the Wood.  They both seem cursed.  

06 Apr 2010 4:12 PM

Ok just because i want to insult some race horses my quarter/paint mare who is 8 would be able to destroy all of the horses in the wood and give the winner a run for his money. Thats how bad the field was in the wood the best horse was Jackson Bend who is more a sprinter, and Awesome Act who had the Euro bounce.

06 Apr 2010 4:18 PM

SC was under wraps at the end, too...there's a few that will step up. Of course I like Esky, too, but not annointing him...yet.

SC did not sprint through the SA...24, 48, 1:12 are not sprinter times...just because he CAN sprint only means he'll sprint home down the KD backstretch...yelling catch me if you can! LOL;-)

That last 1/8 one knows until it's run.

06 Apr 2010 4:19 PM

Eskendereya = Bellamy Road.

Same ending? Reminds of every one thinking that Bellamy Road was the one...

06 Apr 2010 4:21 PM
Lady Slew

Raw times are meaningless - especially when you are comparing the raw times at different race tracks. Geesh, does anybody read Andy Beyer books anymore? Raw times are meaningless is kindergarten handicapping, yet I'm seeing an awful lot of importance being put on raw times in this discussion. Go back to handicapping school people - and this time pay attention.

And anyway, "Time only matters in prison." Who here knows the name of the trainer who said that, when he said it, and about what horse who'd just won what race? Here's a hint: the idiots who didn't listen to that trainer were burning their "Seattle Who?" t-shirts after the same horse ran the fastest first mile in Preakness history two weeks after that quote was spoken....

Good horses can do great things, but truly great horses can do what was previously determined to be impossible - and actually may be impossible even though you just watched the horse do it. With a truly great horse you just toss the past performances and have faith - defined as believing in horses when common sense and Daily Racing Forms tell you not to.

Is Eskendereya truly great? I have no idea. Ask me again after he gets to Baltimore and I have had the chance to let him look me in the eye. If he's great he will say so himself, as anyone who's old enough to have met a Triple Crown winner will tell you. No kidding. It's not sentimental hype. But you can't understand that without seeing it for yourself.

06 Apr 2010 4:26 PM

Rocker I honestly don't know where to start with you.  The Rebel had 3 of the current top 5 horses heading into the Derby.  Noble's Problem ran away from A G1 WINNING DUBLIN and then came within inches of BEATING THE 2 YEAR OLD CHAMPION.  Noble had a dream trip ? Bongo shot through on the first turn causing him to go 4 wide all the way around the track.  Eskendereya took on Most Happy Fella ? Carnivore ? Schoolyard Dreams ?  These horses haven't won since a optional claiming race and Awesome Act and Jackson bend have one G3 win between them.  Are you kidding me ?  You want to compare the Rebel to the Wood ? Really ? Real handicappers notice the little things and Eskendereya has a nice easy glide but let's see what he has when a 110 or 111 is fired in the Derby.  He has seen a 111 once in his career and he struggled coming home.  You like many other rookies will be wondering what happend come Derby Day and just remember I TOLD YOU SO.

06 Apr 2010 4:27 PM

If Setsuko gets in the derby,

he will close like an expresstrain.

that horse is licking his chops for a chance at 1 1/4

06 Apr 2010 4:39 PM
Greg J.


    This is the correct way to say Eskendereya, From the one and only Mr.Tom Durkin:

If that link didn't work, Here you go:

06 Apr 2010 4:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted From LA

  Last I heard you had to be entered in Dancing With The Stars to win it, however using your logic equation-If Baffert is in Stars he will win it !!!!  I saw Baffert dancing after War Emblem won The Derby-and you're right, that boy can dance !!!! Shake shake shake... Eskendereya is a beast, a monster. He's Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, Hannibal Lector, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Little Lotta, Mr. Hyde, Freddy Kruger and Cyclops all rolled into one.

06 Apr 2010 4:55 PM
The Rock


Zenyatta entered in to a G1 race on dirt. Where's everybody at? Seems to me they fear her than the other way around. Just like your Rachel Alexandra ran for the hills once she got a taste of Zenyatta's teammate.

06 Apr 2010 5:04 PM


You now sound like an clown regarding ZENYATTA and G1 males.  Let's talk Gio Ponti, Einstein, Summer Bird, Mine That Bird, Col John, etc, etc, etc, ALL in the same race.  Rachel's best days are behind her; she will never be the same after they bottomed her in the Woodward.  Macho Again cooked her in that race. Sorry, but your better points in these blogs go to waste when you speak stupidly.

06 Apr 2010 5:07 PM

I think the odds are shorter of Eskendereya beating 19 colts than Homeboykris beating 1.  What a joke he is gonna start after a ridiculous layoff from that taxing Allowance loss to Radiohead at a mile. Early 2 year old graded earnings are a joke; period.  I guarantee he'll take some celeb money at the window because people will like his name.  Back to topic:  I am going with Interactif, and have to call it prior to the Blue Grass.

06 Apr 2010 5:15 PM


Stop saying Noble's Promise had a bad trip in the Rebel!  I already proved you wrong before, he went 4 wide for roughly 100 yards, then settled into the two path the rest of the way without incident.  He had NO EXCUSE.  He is a good horse, but stop acting like he had near the trouble Gomez caused for LAL.

I like Noble's Promise, and will likely bet him to Place in the ARK., but he has not won since Keeneland beating Aikenite by 1/2 length in October of last year!  Win something and get back to me.

06 Apr 2010 5:17 PM
Barbara W

Only Draynay could make everyone mad! He did so this time with his off-topic comment about Zenyatta and the Apple Blossom. He must realize that she has no control over who wants to show up to face her. It's not the team of Moss/Sheriffs/Smith that didn't keep their commitment.

06 Apr 2010 5:23 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted From LA

  P.S.-If you look at Eskenderya's Wood it closely resembles Godzilla's annihilation of Tokyo.

06 Apr 2010 5:23 PM
Lady Slew

Beth said:

"Say, does anyone remember how to  breed sound, versatile horses who can run at any distance and still have enough tactical speed to hold off their competition at the wire?"  

Yeah, they remember. There's just no profit in it! At the sales the buyers want fast youngsters they can run asap in short races to get a quick return on their investment. It's too much business and not enough sport. And also not likely to change.

I remember the days when the Jockey Club Gold Cup was run at 1-1/2 miles, and my parents remember Kelso winning it when it was run at TWO MILES. But there's no profit in breeding horses that can run a distance anymore, so the races get shorter, and ten or so horses stagger once around Belmont on the first Saturday in June and go back to the barn thinking how they are very glad that their groom says they won't ever have to do that again!

06 Apr 2010 5:30 PM
Lady Slew

For the nameless person who said "If Velasquez asked Eskendereya, he would have been easily 1:47, and that was with the wind blowing against him in the stretch." I would like to point out that the track record at AQU for 1-1/8 mi. is 1:47 flat, and was set in 1973 by Riva Ridge. No horse in 37 years has been able to break it, yet you think Eskendereya could have tied it easily with a strong wind in his face? Please. An awful lot of horses have tried and failed in 37 years, and more than a couple of them were immortally great. Nobody is going to tie or break that record "easily" - and likely when it does happen that Riva Ridge's record is broken it will break the horse who does it.  Look what happened to Isitingood and Atticus (for those who weren't around in 1997, Isitingood broke Dr. Fager's 29 year old world record for 1 mi. and then Atticus broke Isitingood's record about a month later - but since the horse's name was pronounced "Is it in good" and not "I sitin good" as the Jockey Club was told when the name was submitted, by the comedy naming team of Baffert and Pegram of course, people try to sweep it under the rug and say Atticus broke Dr. Fager's record.) Both horses never won again, and their careers ended quickly - Isitingood broke a bone and died of laminitis; can't remember what injury got Atticus but he at least made it to stud so probably something soft tissue.

Sure, if the jock had asked Eskendereya would have run a lot faster.  But don’t insult our intelligence (or the memory of Riva Ridge) by suggesting he would have tied a 37 year old track record!

06 Apr 2010 5:33 PM

Draynay,  Zenyatta is racing in the Apple Blossom because she was committed to come.  It's Rachel who isn't showing up; making it a completely different race than Zen signed up for.  All I can say is thank goodness Zenyatta is still coming.  After all Oaklawn did to make the "race of the ages" happen it would be a real shame if Zen backed out too and let everyone down.  Wherever she goes she will draw people to watch, even if she just ran alone.  She is a godsend for racing.  So just back off with the criticism.

06 Apr 2010 5:38 PM
s lee

Now we have a horse race!

I was looking at the earnings list, the top 30 or so, and decided I hold no envy for anybody whose job it will be to call the race!  You can hear this, right?  "It's Eskendereya, Odysseus, Interactif, Coracortado and Setsuko is flying at the 8th pole.  Mission Impazible is coming and Eightfiveinafifty is moving on the rail, but it's Odysseus and Eskendereya........."  Makes me tired just thinking about it - bet the race callers are hoping Rule and Ice Box run near the top!

06 Apr 2010 5:39 PM

Eskenderaya looks like the real deal but I can't commit to saying he'll win the Derby.  I want to see how he looks after he settles in at Churchill.  There are just enough other possibilities to be cautious and I am intrigued with the high altitude aspect of Endorsement.

06 Apr 2010 5:50 PM
Criminal Type

Good lord is it really Es ken DRAY ah. Thats just wrong ! You would think Dray Neigh would be all over him.

I really like this horse, I mean really, whats not to like, he has an exceptional pedigree, has performed brilliantly on the racetrack with relative ease. He is bred to run all day.

And, although im not into numerology...he has the same number of letters in his name as another big red horse who went on to win the triple crown. Eleven. I'm surprised no one else noticed or commented on this.

Bets have been won on less of a hunch then that.

I'll wait until the rest shake out this weekend before I make my list, but right now, im sticking with Eskenderaya and Awesome Act.

06 Apr 2010 5:50 PM
Mike Relva


Your wrong as usual,S.C. isn't a toss.

06 Apr 2010 5:57 PM
The Rock

I don't get this whole comparison with Bellamy Road. Bellamy Road was one dimensional. With Eskendereya, you can do whatever you want with him. Is the comparison based on the Wood victory? Besides that, there's no comparison.

06 Apr 2010 5:57 PM


Only you would come up with the garbage here, Zenyatta has no control over who enters the gates with her, If I'm not mistakened RA was supposed to be here, but we all kknow what happenend there aka "Ducking", Don't blame Zenyatta for being so damn good and having owners not wanting to run against her, it's not her fault, blame the racing gods and powers above you and me.

Well you cosnstantly going to put her down, here she is on your surface and you still complain....where is your HOTY? why isn't she manning up for this, she got a prep race in...she should be ready to gooooooo.......Have we got to wait til the end of the year to see if JJ enters her in at least one race against the queeen?  Let Ra go and look for Zenny, because Zen came here for her and as usual , she is a no show....

06 Apr 2010 5:57 PM

It's like FuPeg all over again on the pronunciation of this horse's name.  This is from Churchill Downs' Facebook page:

"Eskendereya (properly pronounced es-ken-DARE-ee-uh) romps in the Wood"

He looks like a million dollars and I really enjoy him. Lookin' At Lucky reminds me of Real Quiet who I also liked. I think we've got an exciting Derby ahead.

06 Apr 2010 6:04 PM

Barbara W,

You took the words right off of my keyboard re: Dray's inane comment about the Apple Blossom's field.


I guess that keeping a commitment is not one of your priorities. When there isn't a valid reason to break a promise, it is really poor class to walk away from it.(Class doesn't seem to be your strong point either.)

Dr Drunkinbum,

You are in rare form today, AGAIN! Thank you for making me laugh!

06 Apr 2010 6:09 PM
Mike Relva


Was going say to you that I hoped you and I could place our differences on hold regarding Zenyatta for awhile,cause I actually AGREE regarding your Derby selection,but you had to ruin it with your silly remark regarding the Apple B. Look,as usual you're wearing blinkers cause it's YOUR GIRL RACHEL that pulled out of this contest,but in all fairness to her she's needs to be a hundred per cent before she faces anyone again,let alone Zenyatta. Zenyatta has no say in WHO LOADS INTO THE GATE BESIDE HER. I REALLY THINK SOMETHING SERIOUS IS WRONG W/YOU TO HATE A HORSE SO MUCH. WHY DON'T YOU DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND GIVE HER A BREAK? You've cried for the fact that Zenyatta hasn't run on dirt.only once so far in her career,well she's running ON DIRT Friday. Why don't you blame RA's connections for running her one race too many last yr and her having a "hang over" from that? Or the fact that your pal,Jackson shouldn't have agreed to race Zenyatta on the 9th,when in reality a six day difference from refusing on the 3rd makes little difference. All the fans that purchased non refun. airline tickets that they couldn't get a refund. What about all that? Guess in your way of thinking that counts for nothing? Point,Jackson should'nt have EVER AGREED TO A RACE ON THE 9th. Should have been later in the year. I recall you stating that RA would win easy on Jason's Friday post. Then you ran for the hills. You've never one ------- time gave credit to the Mosses' for bringing her back at six. No never change!

06 Apr 2010 6:16 PM

"Jason, I am sorry to do this but Zenyatta is facing a group of 4 dogs!"--draynay

It WOULD have been a great race, but your favorite horse (at least before 2010) backed out. When the purse dropped, so did the entries.

"HOY goes through Quality Road and Rachel in the Breeders' Cup. I know Rachel will be there."--draynay

You knew she would "be there" for the Apple Blossom, too, right? November is a long ways away.

06 Apr 2010 6:18 PM

I love TC prep races talk.

And poor Draynay, handicapper is a statistically full of s%$t profession. One study found that sports experts' (handicappers, sportscasters, sports writers, etc) ability to predict the various sporting events had a success rate worse than flipping a coin. Your handicapping expertise amounts to little more than a shot in the dark. You really have a misplaced sense of confidence.

06 Apr 2010 6:20 PM

What is wrong with you people.  Zenyatta entered a G1 race ? Lol.. for GIRLS !!!  She is the Breeders Cup Classic Winner she is 6 years old is it time yet to meet G1 winning males on dirt ?  Geez what is so tough to understand.  She is still looking for girls to beat ?  Really ? You can't hide from Quality Road all year and next month Rachel will be ready so keep dodging.  Win something at Churchill, Belmont or Saratoga or just go back to poly parks and pretend to be the best while Quality Road and Rachel prove it at the real tracks this summer.

06 Apr 2010 6:20 PM

ALB - did you see the track at Aqueduct?  Deep.  Not the slick plastic.  And it was dirt a surface Sidney's candy hasn't stepped foot on, let alone won a single race over.  Eskandereya gets better each race.  Looking at Luck has a horrible ride by Gomez and stopped twice.  A decent trip, and he'd have blown past SC.  SC will be off the board on the 1st Saturday in May.  

06 Apr 2010 6:22 PM

He settled into the 2 path ? Lol. what are you watching ? He has raced once this year and got nipped at the wire by the top ranked 3 year old in the country.  After the Arkansas come back and tell me how bad he is.

06 Apr 2010 6:23 PM

Dray your on Drugs if you think Nobles Promise and Dublin are in the top 5 for derby horses. I'll say again Dublin was a good 2yr old but he has been a underachiever as a 3yr old. Nobles Promise WILL NOT GET THE DISTANCE!

This years crop of 3yr olds is not the strongest in my opinion there are Esky L@L SCandy, 2nd string Setsuko  

Ice Box (breeding) Endorsement (Breeding)  Dublin needs to regain his 2yr old form..

I just can't see how people can knock Esky when he has been the most consistent of the bunch and hes been obviously faster than everybody else at this point or he wouldn't be getting the beyers he's getting. It's all about having the horse who is improving on derby day and he could improve again and if he does he's the one they will have to beat.

Dray you say Eskendereya has a nice easy glide but let's see what he has when a 110 or 111 ... I'm sorry he hasn't run 110 or 111 but I don't think he would have a problem with that considering he ran 112 and pulled away to win by 8 in the FOY.

Its all about being able to ration your speed and  finishing up in the derby not running 6F. I want my horse to run faster at the end of the race. I don't know what your obsession is with 110 or 111, if this horse can relax in the derby and sit off Sidneys Candy pace he will eventually take over and he will be the one they have to catch.

Just for the record I don't see either Dublin or Nobles Promise running 110 or 111 so why bash Esky when your 2 horses are not doing what your so admitted  about running 6f in 110 111... Who says that the pace in the derby is going to be that fast anyways they could just run 112 for 6f... If Conveyance run I could see they might go 110 or 111 but if he dosen't  run in the derby Sids Candy will be the speed and they could go 111-112

People keep saying he beat a weak bunch in the Wood I agree there were some weak horses but what I would like for all that say he beat nothing tell me where Pletcher should have run this horse?  Should he have run back in the FL Derby where he already crushed most of that field? Then all of the haters would of said he beat nothing again... Should they have shipped to SA Derby so he had some competition?  I don't get it the horses connections are doing right by the horse so he has a chance of winning the derby but we have people that are haters and say go out of your way and find competition. You find competition on derby day and if your horse is good enough he wins. If I recall the Wood was suppose have stiffer competition than it was  but it didn't pan out that way can't blame the horse for that.

Everybody wants to bash the best horse I get it. From a gambling point I understand we all want VALUE but bad mouthing the best 3yr old  I don't get.  You can admit hes the best 3yr and then say I'm going to try and beat him instead of saying this horse has no shot or hes a garbage favorite...

06 Apr 2010 6:26 PM
Gary at Rough Creek

Hey Dray,

Breed a horse that's not a dog, and put her against Zenyattta.  'Til then, shut up.

06 Apr 2010 6:38 PM

Rocker -

Arkansas Derby field much stronger than Sunland or Illinois Derby.


what is your early prediction for Blind Luck-Eskendereya Oaks-Derby Double? I see this as only way to back my future Derby bets. Also, any word on Christine Daae?

06 Apr 2010 6:38 PM
Been There Before

Sure he's a good colt & has been visually impressive in the preps where he basically sat behind the slow to moderate splits,but let's see how he handles real internal fractions and has to pick up his feet from the get go. At best,he'll be laying mid-pack and not up on the pace like he has been. Plus,who knows what the outcomes would've been had Buddy's Saint gotten' a better trip/ride in the FoY & Awesome Act's jockey didn't choke the run out of him in the Wood?..So Please people,hammer this sucker's bet at the windows come Derby Day. If he beats me,so be it but,I'm looking elsewhere for my choice(s),...

So far,I have Sydney's Candy,Lookin at Lucky,Ice Box,Pleasant Prince and waiting for Odysseus to run in the Bluegrass to see how he finishes the race.

They're all lucky Tom Amoss hasn't put the blinkers on Ron The Greek,or else we'd be talking about the next Silky Sullivan. LOL.

06 Apr 2010 6:41 PM


When you said that Rachel Alexandra had a better 3-yr. old campaign than Secretariat you lost all credibility henceforth.  So anything that you proclaim now is just hogwash.

06 Apr 2010 6:42 PM

I have to go with Lookin at Lucky.  Yes I'm a big Baffert fan but this horse has proven himself to me.  He almost caught Vale of York in the Juv. and he came out of post 13.  I thought Garrett gave him a horrible ride in the Rebel weaving him in and out.  The colt stopped in the SA and still came back to get 3rd.  If he gets a good run...he's gonna WIN

06 Apr 2010 6:42 PM
It aint easy being good

haha you guys are great! Dray how come no love for sidneys candy who def. beat some quality horses huh? Horses to watch this weekend are dublin and odysseus. Arkansas derby winner is going to be a force in the derby. Last years papa clem who won the arkansas derby should of been 2nd in the derby but got punked by POTN!

06 Apr 2010 6:44 PM
Carlos in Cali

Sorry,that last post should have read: Carlos in Cali has "Been There Before"

06 Apr 2010 6:45 PM
Lady Slew

No, I get what Draynay is saying.  It really is silly for them to have kept the plan to go to Oaklawn once Rachel backed out.  Everybody knew that at best ungraded stakes caliber horses would run against her because 2nd money was better than what they could get elsewhere.  It's actually an insult to Zenyatta to run her there.  She could have stayed home and gone in the SA Handicap against males for instance.  After beating up on the boys so handily in the BC, having her go back to beating up on overmatched females is a joke.  Plus the Apple Blossum purse is $250K less than the SA Handicap purse.  Or she could have been sent to KY to run in a race at KEE, or on the KY Oaks undercard if they really wanted to keep her with girls - some race where at least one or two high caliber ladies would show up.

Seems to me that there are just a few people here who have to knock Draynay no matter what.

But even though it makes no sense, I'm glad she's still running as I had booked my nonrefundable flight already!

06 Apr 2010 6:46 PM

Eskenderya may be 3-1 with all the hogwash im hearing from some of you.If he is im with The Rock and betting with both hands.I will say it again...... Times are for Planes & Trains,sometimes buses. He has gotten way bigger and better since his BC flop,so dont put to much in that race.The Demo Derby takes some racing luck to win but he has the MOST raw talent. SCandy is a nice hind but can he go 46 flat and keep running? LAL loves trouble and he will find plenty in Louisville. ESY has tac. speed. Great pedegree,trainer,jockey.

06 Apr 2010 6:49 PM

Esky only ran a 109 Beyer Speed Fig in the Wood...geared down in the stretch.  106 BSF in the FOY.  It'll take a 110 to beat him in the Derby.  8-5 would be a fair price.  

06 Apr 2010 6:55 PM
Forbidden Apple

I am voting no, Eskendereya will not win the KY Derby.

Dr Drunkinbum, do you really think that Awesome Act showed up with his best performance in saturday's prep race? I was there and you are right about Eskendereya's physical appearance, he looked average to me. His coat was dull and I did not see tremendous muscle tone at all, and the front bandages were eye catching too. I was expecting a brilliant looking specimen, but he did not impress me at all. In the end it does not matter though, because he jogged for the first mile and only had to run for 1/8 mile. Awesome Act was far from fully extended as someone else wrote on this blog. He was off slow and was always on the muscle and not comfortable, he was pulling and wanted to run faster. Leparoux was standing up on him until the very end of the race. If he can keep all 4 shoes on in the KY Derby, he will be a serious stretch threat along with Lookin At Lucky and Endorsement.

06 Apr 2010 6:56 PM

No one is mentioning Endorsement...he won in a very good time...effortlessly..can relax and rate ..very dangerous !

06 Apr 2010 7:04 PM

Did anyone else see Sydney's Candy go to his knees at the start?  And what is with Talamo hitting him 6-8 times at the 8th pole when he is 5-6 clear?  Did he think Lookin at Lucky was coming?  Love the trainers (Saddler and Baffert) but the riders???  "Go-Go" waits 10 more seconds and the 3 goes wide on the turn anyway with him sneaking under.  Why is he looking for a hole that is not there so early?  I know Baffert probably said don't let Candy get lose...but he all but stopped on L at Lucky.  Bob called that ride "horrendous!" That horse did well to finish in the money.  Baffert looked pretty nervous prior to the race and chose to saddle Lucky "behind closed doors" away from the crowd.  I was mad.  I had my camera out and ready.  My parting thought is that Lookin at Lucky now has 10 more horses to get through next time around.  

06 Apr 2010 7:06 PM
Justin Zayat

Tom Durkin pronounced his name wrong. Its Es- KEN-der-eya. It was said correctly in the fountain of youth.

06 Apr 2010 7:08 PM

Rachel is not winning this time by staying in the barn.  Moss has asserted all along that they can't get to her (Rachel).  

06 Apr 2010 7:14 PM

Auburnb- Your probably right the field in th Ill derby was the worstthey were all garbage. The Ark derby has 3 big names the rest of the field is bad I hope Pulsion wakes up and beats the field then it will kill the talk of Nobles Promise and Dublin...  The sunland derby was run at 1:48 we will see what the horse do in the Ark Derby. You could be right but lets see how they run sat...

06 Apr 2010 7:31 PM

Add American Lion to the list of Southern California synthetic specialists who fail to show up for the big races!!!  I love it.  Even Dray is lovin a dirt convert.  As I said last year.  I would not bet a horse that has not run on synthetics first.  And I don't need to remind anyone that a lot of dirt horses HATE Churchill rain or shine.  For many it is the worst race of thier carreer (e.g,. Holy Bull).  

06 Apr 2010 7:34 PM

Can we not talk about Zenyatta?  This is a blog about the Kentucky Derby.

06 Apr 2010 7:38 PM

ESKENDEREYA not only looks like the real deal. He is the REAL BIG DEAL. He's a horse that has never been tested in a dirt stakes race and I don't really think he'll be that tested on May 1. I actually have 3 of TP's horses completing the trifecta and Lookin at Lucky running 4th.


2) Super Saver

3) Aikenite (running style is perfect for the derby)

4)Lookin At Lucky

5)Nobles Promise

06 Apr 2010 7:40 PM

Blind Luck's win.  On dirt no?  

Well at least Arkansas is showing Zenyatta some respect.

"Zenyatta has arrived at Oaklawn Park after getting a hero's welcome at the airport and a two-car police escort to the track where she'll try and run her record to 16-0." (NBC Sports).

06 Apr 2010 7:49 PM

Don't count Lookin At Lucky out, he had a trouble in his last race and never really had a clean run in any of his races. Another really good horses are Odysseus, Setsuko and American Lion. Good trainers=good horses.

Eskendereya is very impressive, his Wood was super. Another underrated horse in my opinion is Awesome Act, he has yet to show us his best. All this said(in no particular order), my three for the Derby are Lookin at Lucky, Eskendereya and American Lion.

06 Apr 2010 7:52 PM
Mike Relva


Are you nuts? What's "silly" is that JACKSON AGREED TO ENTER RA INTO THE A. BLOSSOM WHEN SHE WASN'T A HUNDRED PER CENT! As for"a few people knocking DRAYNAY,trust me it's more than a few. Maybe he shouldn't have turned this blog into a Zenyatta/RA when it's off topic,did that ever occur to you?

06 Apr 2010 7:52 PM

The Champion 2 year old beat Noble's Promise by a photo and Dublin was close behind. All of them are G1 winners and tops in graded earnings and they are not in your top 5 ? Then you are looking at the wrong horses.  If you think Dublin has problems running fast splits check him out in his G1 win at Saratoga and if you think Noble has any problem check out his pedigree and his splits first time out in the Rebel.

I will tell you this one time and one time only Eskendereya is about as a reliable favorite as Sweetnorthernsaint.

06 Apr 2010 7:52 PM


Zen entered the Apple Blossom fully expecting a full field of 12.  She didn't pick and chose where she was going to run and then look for the easiest race like some of the stalwarts you back.  And what's this about optional claimers and G-1 horses.  What did Quality Road race against in the Donn and what did a certain powerhouse three year old race against last year?

06 Apr 2010 8:01 PM
Mike Relva


Zenyatta "pretending to be the best". Is that along the same line as RA's connections(your pals) PRETENDING TO ALWAYS PLACE RA's INTEREST FIRST?

06 Apr 2010 8:04 PM

Uh Oh Bango needs a 4th place finish or even a 5th and he is in the Derby. Noble is in and Dublin is in. Super Saver also gets in with a top 3 finish.  The Arkansas will have 4 horses in the Derby. Now that is a real Derby prep race.

06 Apr 2010 8:08 PM
My Juliet

   This time of year is great...Springtime, Baseball, and the Kentucky Derby. Eskendereya looks very promising but holding enthusiasm as I rem many 3yr olds who looked that way before the 1st Sat in May and disappointment followed. I still rem at least one article actually reading 'Point Given will win the Triple Crown' Before the Derby. I just hope he and all the horses get a clear trip so the best is able to win.

   The prediction goes to the AB, has there ever been a more 'sure thing' in horseracing. Zenyatta wins by a cakewalk. I realize her conn. are keeping their commitment, just wish the race would be more challenging for the BC Classic winner. These horses have not even won a Gr1 or Gr2 race. I agree with Lady Slew that it is almost insulting for a horse of her caliber.

   Dr Drunkinbum, a fan of movie monsters? your comments are fun :)

06 Apr 2010 8:12 PM
Tim G

Northern Giant is going in the Ark Derby. I think he's a sleeping Giant at least I'm hoping so.

Perfect scenario, Dublin and NG one/two.

Justin you keep telling people how to pronounce Eskendereya's name. However you only tell us what the correct emphasis should be on KEN. I doubt many on here are fluent in Arabic and maybe you should sound it out phonetically for those who didn't see the FOY.

From my research the correct Arabic/English phonetic spelling  translation is pronounced Iskindireyya (slang), and al Iskindireyya (formal). (There is apparently no phonetic spelling in Arabic, from the little I know of the language or at least the dialect that I know)

However, according to the Churchill Downs facebook site, Ahmed said it's Es ken dray yuh. So which is it?

I know race trackers will never get it right, that's why a classic/classy name is usually the best course.

06 Apr 2010 8:14 PM


Jackson don't want Moss to get to RA, because thats what the ducking is all about.

He knows it's history for Ra against Zen.

I really doubt that Jackson ever races RA against Zen.

If she can't face Zenyatta , whats the use in her coming back???

Jackson don't need this year's AB to show him how good Zenyatta is, He already knows, thats why he has kept the distances from her.

06 Apr 2010 8:23 PM

"I will tell you this one time and one time only..."--draynay

If only we could take that to the bank! ;)

06 Apr 2010 8:28 PM
Bob M

What if it rains again Derby day?Bet Rule!

06 Apr 2010 8:30 PM
Mike Relva


If you "bet your house" on ESKY you might end up homeless. lol

06 Apr 2010 8:34 PM

I'd be happy to close the subject of Zen and Rachel but it's pretty hard to ignore such ridiculous, insulting statements.  Dray would be fighting mad if someone bashed Rachel like he's done to Zen, but no one has said an ugly word about Rachel.  That's because most of us love both these girls and are adult enough to realize that it isn't necessary to insult one to praise the other.  They didn't have to race Zen at 6 and they could've backed out of the Apple Blossom but they had enough class to do neither.  Zenyatta will race this year wherever she is sent and against all who show up.  She is a gift - just enjoy!

Now back on topic - I love Odysseus and hope he's a big competitor.  What are his chances in the Blue Grass?  I'm nervous about that "plastic"

06 Apr 2010 8:45 PM


great article but on a different note sad news about Kip Deville and his new bout with colic but why in every interview does Michael Ivarone always mention money and it not being an option rather than just say there doing what they think is best for there horses

06 Apr 2010 8:47 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Forbidden Apple

  No, I don't think Awesome Act showed up with his best performance at The Wood. And I thought the ride was weird. What was he doing strangling him so much and what was he waiting for? Was he waiting for Eskendereya to get into his best stride then think he was going to catch him? I think Awesome Act is talented, I just didn't think he could beat Esky in The Wood or The Derby. I was more impressed with Jackson-that little guy runs his heart out. I didn't think Musket Man would be flying down the stretch like he was in Derby 09. Class horses can outrun their pedigree. And whose going to be able to handle the huge and noisy crowd and 20 horse field? No horse in the Wood has the talent Esky has. He's a freak of nature. But anything can happen in The Derby. Speaking of freaks. The Derby is THE FREAK SHOW. Most of the horses running can't wait to get out, never want to go back, and some will never recover from the stress.

06 Apr 2010 8:48 PM

Wire to wire twice in a row at SA. I don't think sprinters have done that at SA let alone a router. I respect Sidney's Candy and I can't see him lugging in the last 1/8. IMO

06 Apr 2010 8:51 PM
Greg J.


     When in need of comical relief, Well, Your comments are the ones I seek out.  Your hatred for Zenyatta is sad to say the least, You are witnessing history being made and instead of enjoying this true Champion, You belittle and mock her, I feel sorry for you.  Last year you said she would never go in the classic, Then she would never win it, Then she wins it, and all you say is she is a plastic Champion, Then you say put her on dirt, Well, That is what they are doing, And you still make excuses. She is there, Where is Rachel?  Did you ever stop and think that they are prepping her for the Classic at Churchill on the dirt?  The field in the Apple Blossom is a after thought(They don't control who is entered!), They wanted to have her travel, Check, They wanted her on dirt, Check, She will probably take on the boys in her next race.   What excuse will you bring up after she wins the Classic at Churchill?  I guarantee you will find one, Too funny Dray...

06 Apr 2010 8:51 PM
Greg J.

Lady Slew,

     No offense, But, Running Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom makes all the sense in the world.  This was the plan laid out for her, They want to get her on dirt and to travel, They have no control on the field, That isn't the issue, Her connections think she can beat any field, But, They are preparing her for the Classic on the Dirt at Churchill, The Apple Blossom is the first step in that plan to get Zenyatta to the Classic, Makes all the sense in the World, IMHO...

06 Apr 2010 8:55 PM

Eskendereya is by no means a sure thing, but like you said, he did look like a monster winning his two big preps although I thought the FOY had a much quality horses than the wood (hence the outcome of the wood.)  I personally liked the way Ice Box won the Florida Derby and I think if Sidney's Candy can carry his speed to 1 1/4, then that's my play.  A $10 exacta box on Ice Box with 5 horses (L@L, Rule, Eskendereya, Sidney's Candy and Pleasant Prince).

06 Apr 2010 9:17 PM

Eskendereya is a beast. However, a 20 horse field leads to different betting contingencies. Besides it would be fun to see Pletcher shut out with 8 entries or so.

After being burnt with Pyro and forced to settle with Friesen Fire when I Want Revenge got scratched, over the past two derbies, I feel that some oddball play is just what the docotr ordered.

Better to look at some other track that day where a true value play may be in the offing.

06 Apr 2010 9:17 PM


Here is the link, watch the race.

He was 4 wide into the first turn, but was able to get back to only two wide mid turn.  He was on the outside in the two path the whole backstretch.  Began moving three wide into the far turn, passed his rival and moved in on to the rail by the time he hit the 1/4 pole coming in to the homestretch.  Aside from Bango's early move, NP had a perfect trip.

Dray, you have no credibility.  From your remarks on Zenyatta, to your false analysis of NP on his Rebel run, and your lack of awareness that a great racehorse, wins the race that is in front of it regardless of set up.  If it is a fast pace, slow pace, on the rail, forced wide, great horses end up winning.  Noble's Promise is a good horse not great.  Esky has won the races going away as needed.

Have some respect for horses who show up and take care of business!

06 Apr 2010 9:18 PM

Draynay....the William Hung of these boards.

06 Apr 2010 9:21 PM

I honestly don't understand how this became draynay's blog but I guess he has all the time in the world to monitor this blog and put his nonsense.  RA beat some questionable 3 yr olds last year, and also beat some questionable older horses.  I doubt very much she can be the same horse she was last year.  I would even go as far as her not winning any race this year.  But I guess we'll have to see what draynay says since we're all just a fan and he's a handicapper.  Frankly, I'd tell him not to quit his day job but that may actually be a blogging job...

06 Apr 2010 9:23 PM
Matthew W

Someone said Esky reminded them of Big Brown--no way! He hasn't shown that kind of turn of foot---more like Easy Goer, with that stamina-laden stride---Lookin At Lucky HAS faced troubled trips/and has shown heart--we do not know what Esky will do when Sydney turns up the heat--EASY splits prove he can do big things when it all goes his way--throw out "his way" when you handicap the derby--know this: Sydney's Candy will go--Lookin At Lucky will make the big run---I love what I see in Eskendareya--superstar? Off two easy paced victories? Not just yet.....

06 Apr 2010 9:27 PM

What was so impressive about the Rebel Stakes splits? 23 3/5, 47 3/5, 1:12 1/5 finish in 1:43.  Where is the "test" that Noble's Promise shown that he handled a pace of 1:10 that he "will see in the derby"? The BCJ was run at 48 3/5 and 1:13.  Answers?

06 Apr 2010 9:29 PM
Matthew W

Dray--Zenyatta's going against fillies but she'll dirt against the males--no worries! And how bout Quality Road trying males at 1 1/4 allready--ya don't think Big Z will try him in that one turn mile race, do ya? Ya want her? Show up in the big one--or at least try a little more than a mile! I'm not too sure I'd want any part of Quality Road at anything under 1 1/4--but you'd oblidge a girl that one small favor, wouldn't you??!!

06 Apr 2010 9:35 PM

ESKY  is so good that the horses he beat in the FOY came back to run 1-2 in the Florida Derby not to mention the horse he beat proir to that in the allowance race who was THANK YOU PHILLIPE  also came back and won a stakes at Tampa on saturday....So doubt him if you must draynay because you will be the one walking out of the track ripping up your tickets not me..

06 Apr 2010 9:52 PM
Carlos in Cali

Does anyone know if Rajiv is slated to ride Odysseus in the Bluegrass?...since he's also been riding Mission Imp. lately,I'm sure he's waiting to make his choice til' after the BG. Kinda hoping they name a more experienced big race jockey to ride Odysseus in the Derby if he goes.Nothing against Rajiv,his ride in the TB Derby was great,but...

06 Apr 2010 9:54 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


Thanks !! And you're welcome.

   Bellamy Road-It was an amazing performance when he ran the Wood. But it didn't impress me as something he could come close to again, and he was a toss for me in The Derby. Eskendereya is much more talented and will surpass his Wood performance as many times as they'll let him run. His breeding value could be so great after The Triple Crown races that he might not get to race much. Enjoy it while you can. His toughest task is the Derby. If he wins that and comes out of it Ok then you know what will happen. Despite the fact that he would be facing D'funnybone an extemely talented sprinter, and the strong horses that couldn't get into the Derby he should win The Preakness if he runs in it. The Belmont will be a piece of cake at 1-5. IF he can win the Derby. The biggest IF. Sorry to bring up races beyond The Derby. But this is a very intriguing situation and we've waited a long, long, long time.

06 Apr 2010 9:59 PM
christy tate

the only reason i would say no to esky winning is i dont want jinx him. i think hes a good horse and if he stays healthy, he has a chance.

06 Apr 2010 10:06 PM
Paula Higgins

I think Eskendereya is one of 4 with a serious chance to win the Derby. Lookin At Lucky and Sidney's Candy for instance are clearly part of the equation. Lookin At Lucky didn't just have a bad trip, he had a bad ride. If Gomez can get it together and keep the horse clear, I think Lookin At Lucky has a good chance to win the Derby. He landed in third after a horrible trip and ride. That is pretty impressive. Sidney's Candy also isn't chopped liver. I still think Odysseus has a good shot as well. We will have a better idea how he stacks up this weekend. Like Terri V, I think that there are enough good horses in contention so that alot depends on how the race shakes out/ how they handle the ride, traffic, etc. While Eskendereya clearly has an edge, I don't think he is such an overwhelming favorite that you can discount the others. In short, I don't see a Derby where there is a Big Brown we just know is a lock.

06 Apr 2010 10:07 PM
Bill Daly

Does anyone believe that the Bluegrass Stakes has any relevance to the Kentucky Derby, save for an opportunity to stretch the legs of some marginal contenders?  What possible conclusions can be drawn from the results of this race?  It may have helped Street Sense in his preparations for the Derby, but the winners of this race since poly was layed down have a woeful record in the Derby. It's still a great betting race, but a Derby prep, NO!

06 Apr 2010 10:09 PM

I am sick of talking about what's his name.  


What are your thoughts about Storm Cat never being represented in a derby winner?  Is there something to it, or will that come to an end soon?  I would assume if there is a son of Storm Cat that would produce a derby winner it would be Giant's Causeway, but until it happens I will remain skeptical.

06 Apr 2010 10:10 PM

TJ if you don't want to drink from the well then don't drink.  It was the fastest Rebel since Smarty Jones.  The Wood was one of the slowest in 20 years.  I am trying to let you know what I see good and bad about various horses.  Bet Eskendereya and bet him big he is a fool's gold and many will be scratching their heads come May.  Watch the Arkansas closely and learn.  I just hope Dublin doesn't give up second trying to run down Noble's Promise.  He doesn't need the money so he may take it easy and let Northern Giant into the Derby.

06 Apr 2010 10:12 PM
Matthew W

Baffert was concerned about Sydney's Candy BEFORE the race---AND Lucky was coming back a bit early after that very tough race in Arkansas--I think he's still the horse to beat--not the favorite--the horse to beat if you want to win the Derby....dunno if he's the most likely winner--DO think he's the most likely to finish in the exacta....

06 Apr 2010 10:14 PM

Eskendereya = Bellamy Road

06 Apr 2010 10:17 PM

Warning, Don't try this at home kids but I'm going to give it a shot...

Zenyatta is so weak that only 4 "Dogs" are showing up.

At this rate the Breeders Cup Classic at Churchill will be a Walkover. Proving once and for all that Zenyatta is fraud and a ....

Ouch my head hurts, make it stop...must stop trying to think like dra...y...need some serious painkillers.

06 Apr 2010 10:23 PM

Hey, that's not fair.  I like William Hung.  Also I like Dr. Drunkenbum.

Neither of them is running in the Derby unless the conditions have been changed.  Or maybe Fairgrounds could write a  prep race especially for those two at equal weights.

Meanwhile, I'm still undecided about the Derby cause I can't take the favorite.  Dr. Drunkenbum's been selling me on Setsuko.  Update later.

06 Apr 2010 10:23 PM
Ted from LA

Numerology?  We've stooped to this level of handicapping now?  I did, however, notice last month that Endorcement has 11 letters in it too... just like the great Secretariat.  And if you say his name five times really quickly it sounds just like "gullible."

06 Apr 2010 10:35 PM
Supa De

I think we'll finally get a Triple Crown winner after waiting more than 30 years. His name is ESKENDEREYA

06 Apr 2010 10:39 PM
Ted from LA

Additionally, I noticed two months ago that Caracortado had 11 letters in his name too, just like the great Secretariat.  My palmist told me he would win the Triple Crown right after that.  I fired her Saturday.  

06 Apr 2010 10:53 PM
Mike Relva


Great posts,I enjoyed them.

06 Apr 2010 11:06 PM
Jason Shandler

TJ: Its heard to believe Storm Cat hasnt produced one. I have no explanation as to why.

06 Apr 2010 11:11 PM

Mike Relva,

If ESKY goes to post at 3/1 I will bet my house on him.  If he loses can I come live with you?  I don't eat much.

06 Apr 2010 11:11 PM
Mike Relva


I noticed the same thing. Guess Ivarone is concerned about improving his public image. He should be! lol BTW My only wish is for Kip to live a long,healhy life.

06 Apr 2010 11:16 PM
Mike Relva


I'm giving you props,that was funny.

06 Apr 2010 11:19 PM
Mike Relva


So,how does that work? Firing your palmist,is that like Trump's show? lol

06 Apr 2010 11:21 PM
terry s

i agree with ted from la triple crown winner only injuries or racing luck can cost him to lose

06 Apr 2010 11:24 PM


Pedigree experts state that Storm Cat is a speed influence sire and does not provide stamina to his offspring.  However, that doesn't mean that one of his sons that has stamina on his dam side cannot sire a classic winner.  

06 Apr 2010 11:28 PM

Hey whats your name,

What was wrong with Esky in the FOY? Final 3F in 36 2/5, final 1/8 in 12 1/5, 9F 1:48 4/5 and he was pushed 4 wide just like NP in the first turn.  

I don't even have Esky as my favorite, but the blinkers you have on drive me nuts, so I feel like I have to defend a good horse.

Take your blinkers off for once and applaud good and great horses when you see them (including Zenyatta).  We are not asking you to like any of the horses we tout, it is just frustrating that you don't have an objective bone in your body.  East coast, west coast, dirt, turf, poly, cushion, tapeta, whatever, a great horse is a horse that beats its peers on race day regardless of circumstance on a consistent basis.  Zenyatta has shown up every single race of her life, not one off day, respect it.  Esky is perfect as a 3YO, respect it.

06 Apr 2010 11:35 PM
Gary Lynn

drayneigh...Fan versus real handicapper. Hmmm...I place you somewhere in between; let's call it a real handicapped fan! Hope you hit Molly, Molly, Molly recently. Now that was one live animal!

06 Apr 2010 11:39 PM
Fahad Malaikah

Eskendereya is Arabic for Alexandria, although it should have the definite article.  Nonetheless, it sounds better in Arabic than some American announcers have pronounced it thus far.  It is not pronounced "Is-kan-dray-uh." It is pronounced "Iss-kan-da-ree-uh." It has 5 syllables, not 4.  Whatever, no big deal.  My apologies if someone already pointed this out.



06 Apr 2010 11:50 PM
It aint easy being good

You guys are just giving it to eskend. He is a talented horse but come on the triple crown are you guys serious?? This is the derby we are talking about! Just watch the arkansas derby and odysseus if nothing is impressive after this weekend then go ahead and crown them. You want to crown them then crown them! lol! I hope odysseus performs this weekend! Wheres the love for american lion??

06 Apr 2010 11:51 PM

Why so much empahasis on Eskendereya's name? I for one will never say it right, or spell it right, So, just plain Esky is good enough for me and anyone that prefers to spell it in it's short form is good enough for me to know who your'e talking about.

All thru the years  I for one have had a terrible time with thses long racing names, I like the easy short , simple ones....JMO

06 Apr 2010 11:52 PM
Fahad Malaikah

Ohh, and don't forget to roll the "r" in his name.  :)

06 Apr 2010 11:54 PM

Jason, Are you going to be at the AB on friday?

06 Apr 2010 11:58 PM

I have a nit to pick. The headline to this article is  really off base. 3 year old stars are not determined until May at the earliest. There have been a few collisions of matter in the stratosphere, but it's too early to declare that a star is born... at this stage it could just be a flame out.

If you're looking for a star, look no further than this Friday at OP. The wait has been over for some time now.

07 Apr 2010 12:04 AM

LADY SPEW and DRAYNAY, can either of you explain why RA ran against males last year and came back to run against unknown fillies for her first start back ??  You guys keeps mentioning zenyatta running against unknowns.  If you two have any inkling about racehorses especially the caliber of Zenyatta, you don't just run your horse in a race because "fans" want to see it, you have to consider whether they have a shot, how ready the horse is because any horse can be beat if they're on an off day.  You two should know better, RA ran in a race that should be a workout and yet...SHE LOST...let me type it again...SHE LOST and ran like a claimer.  She was struggling so bad just to keep 2nd.   Like I said, I doubt she'll win any race this year, probably another race where she'll stop dead last and the owner will retire her.

Also, DRAYNAY, you seem to pick on people's picks instead of posting who you think will win the derby, that way, I can NOT bet it and win :)  You've gone from race splits to who ran against who...why don't you POST who the winner will be ??  Or maybe you just like to criticize so you'll feel like you know anything about handicapping ?? :)

07 Apr 2010 12:08 AM


Esky is a great name and if he played football or hockey instead of being a horse, that's the nickname they would probably give him anyway. LOL

07 Apr 2010 12:14 AM

It aint easy being good

Hey genius.  For the second time this week I agree with you.  How many Triple Crown winners have we heard about before the Derby has even been run over the past, what is it, 32 years now?  It seems that every year the same thing comes up, but we're still waiting.  I don't think that it's appropriate to jump on the Triple Crown bandwagon until after the Preakness.  LOL

07 Apr 2010 12:18 AM

Speaking of Zenyatta, Zenyatta has showed up and done what was ask of her at every race and every time they ask it of her.

Now the Mosses haven't complained about the surfaces, other than the one time they scratched due to the sloppy track.

They have ask her to run on all the different synthetic tracks in California and have ran her on dirt before and will again this friday.

Now, the other filly, her owner complains about every damn thing,

He complains about the surface, He complains about who his horse is to run against. He is not a true sportsman at all.  He would be more wiser at this time to just eat his crow and admit it to the world that he doesn't want any part of Zenyatta , instead of playing his silly little games.

It's not very impressive and they make him look bad...His biggest problem is his ego.

07 Apr 2010 12:22 AM
Forbidden Apple

Dr Drunkinbum, I agree about the ride on Awesome Act, it was extremely weird to me. During the race I kept saying what is he doing, the horse is pulling and wants to run. It must be that Leparoux knew about the thrown shoe. The trainer also said before the race that his horse did not have to win for him to be pleased and ready for the KY Derby. So for me, I was thinking that this is just a prep race for Awesome Act. I have seen many good horse lose a race and then come back in the next race breathing fire! Awesome Act and Endorsement are being completely overlooked.

Draynay, just remember that Quarter Crack Road beat up on Mambo Meister and Delightful Kiss in the Donn. And Rachel barely held off Macho Again. J. Jackson is scared to run against Zenyatta, it is that simple. Dublin beat Backtalk/Aekenite in the Hopeful. What has he accomplished since then? And Nobles Promise loves to run second, who has he ever beaten? Thank you for the repeated laughs.

07 Apr 2010 12:42 AM
west coast

I love the East Coast bias again. A super horse in Eskendereya? After two wins against weak fields. Can't wait to see Sidney's Candy become the REAL super horse.

07 Apr 2010 1:44 AM

Esky is no Bellamy Road.  Bellamy was a speed horse best at 9 furlongs.  Esky is a true distance horse; I don't think his problem at Churchill, if he does lose, will be fading down the stretch.

My concern with Esky is about his brilliance.  It's easy to get excited about his Beyers, and his final eighths, but keep it real folks.  He's been able to stalk 1:12+ and 1:13+ 6 furlongs paces in his last 2 races, on DIRT! That's slow no matter what the variance.  And don't forget on Wood Day the Carter and Bay Shore were run in 1:21 and change, so the track wasn't nearly as "dead" as some apologists have made it out to be(and if it was dead why were the closing fractions of the Wood fast?).  

The pace for the Wood and FoY were slow, and Esky got the perfect stalking trip on the outside of cheap speed in both(I'm not talking about Jackson Bend; JB was behind Esky in both).  I'm not hating, just stating facts.  Esky is a horse that just grinds his competition into the ground with superior stamina and the ability to click off consistent 12 second eighths. In my mind, that makes him the perfect Belmont horse.

However, it's somewhat difficult to imagine the Derby unfolding for Esky like the FoY and Wood did.  In the Derby, Esky will either have to run about 1 or 2 seconds faster over the first 6 furlongs than he is accustomed to in order to receive his typical stalking trip, or find himself at best in midpack if he runs his usual 1:13 split for the first 6 furlongs.  If he is forced to run faster early, will Esky have the same stretch punch?  And if he doesn't have the speed to be in the first flight, does he have the agility to navigate through the big field from midpack or further behind?  

Jason, no question Esky had trouble in the first turn of the BC Juvenile, but a big part of the trouble was a result of the fact that he wasn't quick enough to get into the first flight of contenders.  Instead, he was just midpack going into the first turn, and from there found trouble, something not surprising in a large field.

The one and only time Esky has ever run faster than 1:12 for 6 furlongs, in the January 1 mile allowance race at Gulfstream, his finish was not nearly as strong and he won by just a little over a length.

The FoY and Wood were carefully managed, almost choreographed performances for Esky.  First, as a big and powerful horse, he was steered to the outside and given a clear run throughout.  That's easier to do when there's not much speed, like in the FoY and Wood.  Then, on the outside, Esky tracked what proved to be cheap speed through leisurely paces.  He was able to get a perfect stalking trip because the pace in both races was 1:12+, and there weren't many pace pressers.  Finally, in both races he was given his head at a point where he could get the jump on closers who had been compromised by the slow pace.

I just have a feeling if Esky was doing this out in SoCal, most would be crying that he has no chance against "dirt speed", not after 1:12+ and 1:13+.

The finny thing, I hear people discussing Sidney's Candy's slow SA Derby pace, even though it was a second fater than the pace of the Wood.  The first 6 furlongs Sidney ran in the SA Derby, 1:12 and 1, is not slow for a 9 furlong synthetic race; it's not fast, but it definitely is legit, or moderate at worst.  And I know for certain that if Sidney has to run fast early he can because he set the 5.5 furlong track record at Del Mar and won the 7 furlong San Vicente in 1:20 and 4. Remember, Esky has never even so much as run a race shorter than a mile.

Having said all this, if I were Mike Battaglia or whoever sets the Derby line, I would make Eskendereya the favorite.  And I think this is what Jason's getting at.  Esky might or might not be his own personal choice, but Jason recognizes that he will be the betting favorite and deserves to be.

I'm not bothered at all by those predicting Esky to win the Derby.  Afterall, he has a better chance than most.  But conceding him the Triple Crown?  Over recent years, we've seen lightly raced horses win the Derby, horses with little 2 year old seasoning, horses that began their careers on turf, and horses that never made a start shorter than 1 mile.  However, we didn't see them follow their wins in the Derby with wins in both the Preakness and Belmont.  No, our modern Triple Crown winners were all champions at 2, had displayed superior speed, run fast, and defeated high quality competition on a number of occassions.  The closest to Esky, by far, was Seattle Slew, but with him there was absolutely no questions about speed and brilliance.

07 Apr 2010 1:47 AM
Ti Amo

Eskendereya forever & ever

07 Apr 2010 1:49 AM

Bill Daly:

I'm confused by your comment.  You mention that Street Sense used the Blue Grass to prep successfully then write that since poly was put down the Blue Grass has produced nothing.

Did you forget that when Street Sense ran in the Blue Grass, it was on poly?  So, in the 3 years since the Blue Grass has had poly, it has produced a Derby winner in 1 year.  That's 1 for 3, 33.3%.  That's not bad at all.  

This year, I think most view Interactif and Odysseus as completely legit Derby contenders running in the Blue Grass.  Pleasant Prince, a nose behind Ice Box in the Florida Derby, is also a legit contender.

07 Apr 2010 1:55 AM


What you don't know!'s "O'Prado"

Go Baby ...GO Baby... GO !!

07 Apr 2010 2:13 AM

Correction: Jackson Bend was behind Esky in FoY, even/slightly ahead of Esky early in Wood.

07 Apr 2010 3:30 AM
Don from Delaware

Jason, I just love this horse, to me so far he has it all...he was not my early selection, but now...I really hope he complete what Barbaro could have done if he remained injury free. Next to him, I have no idea may run second in KD. Don

07 Apr 2010 6:45 AM

Of course, anything can happen in the Derby, but none of us can predict these variables.  At this point, yes, Eskenedereya will win the Derby.  He has all the tools, including the best running style, as Jason describes.  If he stays healthy and continues to blossom physically, he will go off in the 7-5, 8-5 range.

I know this is all horseplayers speculation, but I am going to the Belmont this year and Esky looks like the best shot at this point to be a TCW.  Would I love to witness a TCW.  

07 Apr 2010 6:57 AM
Blue Blue Sea

No sure bet, certainly, but I've been watching and rooting for him since last year. Still Lookin at Lucky was most impressive in a 3rd place finish in a rough race, and we all know what kind of rodea the Derby always ends up as with such a huge field. So much depends on post position and early race position.

07 Apr 2010 7:07 AM

This Derby is shaping up to be very interesting.  With both Pletcher and Winstar having so many starters, I wonder if Winstar will sacrifice one of their colts to make sure the Derby has a very honest pace.  As I stated once before, Winstar might want Elliott Walden give the jockey instructions to their horses.  As impressive as both the Wood and SA derby were, I a not sold on the winners based on the slow pace.  LAL ran a very impressive 3rd, but he seems to always get in trouble and I see the same in the Derby.  SS better show up on Saturday, I have alot of money riding on him.  

07 Apr 2010 7:17 AM

Can we not have a TC blog w/o someone bringing up RA and Z. By the way Dray, Z's connections were just honoring there commitment to the Apple Blossom. You can't just all of sudden change plans on a racehorse. Case and point JJ and RA's connections should have never agreed to the AB. They new she wouldn't be ready and 6 days was not going to make a difference.To soon to give any of these 3yolds the Derby. NP in the mix maybe but I will be amazed if he wins. I still like Dublin but so far this year he has been a disappointment.  

07 Apr 2010 7:49 AM

Matthew Lookin At Lucky is going to be very tough to handle in the Derby I believe he is the only one with a million in earnings and 2 G1 wins until Saturday when Noble joins the club.  I expect it to be a two horse race in the Derby and I expect the above two taking it down to the wire with Noble holding off Lookin At Lucky.  I expect Dublin and Sidney's Candy to fill out the bottom of the ticket.  TJ I have no issues with Zenyatta just tired of her picking on fillies.  PROVE you are all that and take on the males at Churchill or Belmont or Saratoga.  No one wants to see her race against over matched fillies anymore.  Act like the Breeders Cup champ and enter only G1 male races and do it on dirt already. Geez.

07 Apr 2010 8:09 AM

Let's see:  First of all, Rachel didn't run for the hills to get away from Zenyatta.  She's still preparing for the year.  Her training isn't there yet.  Her initial race told her trainer that.  That's all. She's not ducking Zenyatta.  Wait and see.

Sidney's Candy won't win 'cause his name is Sidney's Candy.  A Derby winner just can't have that kind of a name.  Ugh.  If an owner/trainer thinks they have a serious Derby contender in the barn, they don't name it Sidney's Candy.  Ugh again.  Finally, could we please decide on the correct pronunciation of Eskendereya.  First, I read that it's EskenDEARya, then EskenDRAYya, then again, it might be, EskeDAREya.  Could someone find out the correct pronunciation??  But, then again, he'll likely be called Esky, so maybe we shouldn't care.  Oh, and we don't have to care about Storm Cat's influence in Esky's pedigree. He has Slew!  That's the most important thing.  

07 Apr 2010 8:12 AM

I see nay nay is back to bashing Zenyatta. Funny how mere "girls" took RA down in a G2 race to boot.

RA has never beaten any "girl" who had previously won a G1 race.  

07 Apr 2010 8:28 AM

Baffert is loving it - no one is talking about his horse - just the way he likes it!!!

07 Apr 2010 8:40 AM

Eskendereya is among the tops to beat as is LAL, Awesome Act, Sidney's Candy, Noble's Promise, Backtalk, Odysseus (the Blue Grass will show what he's made of....) and I still like Caracortado.... not sure if he has the earnings yet or not.

I am eager to see Zenyatta race this week.... is NTRA still showing the race live on line?

One thing I am generally curious about with her... there's the slide show on here with her arriving for the Apple Blossom and it shows her portrait and she has cotton in her ears... does she race with that in her ears? Just generally curious... horses that race locally here have it and I never noticed before if she did.

07 Apr 2010 9:09 AM

It's time to take a look at the Arkansas Derby.  As you all know I like Noble's Promise for the win but behind him will be an interesting race. Uh Oh Bango, Northern Giant, and Super Saver need money to get in. Dublin needs a workout and need no additional money but Northern Giant must take 2nd place and 200,000 that goes with it to get in so look for him to take second place at all cost. Super Saver can take 4th and 60,000 and get in.  He has never gone 1 1/8th and will have a tough time holding on.  My prediction...

1. Noble's Promise

2. Northern Giant

3. Dublin

07 Apr 2010 9:22 AM
Billy's Empire

Dray, I hope you have a good trainer in your corner, b/c these bloggers are coming out swinging!!

Dray=William Hung.

That was funny.

You have a way of pissing people off, and I find it amusing. Not b/c you do it, but b/c people actually take you seriously and feel they need to defend their stance or a horse you have dogged. If anyone has been reading this blog for a while, everyone knows to ignore Dray b/c he has no credibility and has diarreah of the mouth. Amusing none the less.

I would like to comment on BIGWILL and Carlos

BIGWILL, I like the aikenite angle as well. Perfect running style for derby. Don't leave Endorsement out of your exoctics

Carlos, Rajiv is riding Odysseus in the BG. Then he will get to chose who is better, but I think Odysseus gets beat in the BG.

Is anyone going to be in KY the week before Derby watching the works in the morning?

Master's starts tomorrow. Does Cheetah have a chance?

07 Apr 2010 9:27 AM

Too lazy to look it up, but, about three years ago, Todd P had a rising star.  But, he ran down the track at Keeneland as a heavy favorite and was promptly dismissed for the Derby.  No, he did not win, but, Blue Grass Something or other, I think, ran 2nd and was part of a great exotic.  I had tried to tell others about not dismissing this colt because of his dam side which came from La Troienne.  They all laughed and said that goes too far back.  As I believe the dams are the foundations of any top thoroughbred, I would suggest to readers that the foundation mare of Esky is Almahmoud.  Follow her lines on both top and bottom of his breeding and you find Halo and Northern Dancer, and Derby winners, Sunday Silence and Sunny's Halo.  Yes, Esky will be able to handle both the distance and the surface with ease.

07 Apr 2010 10:10 AM

The entertainment value of these blogs is priceless. Keep it up.

I am particularly fascinated by people's interest in Storm Cat as a stamina influence. A few people seem fixated on the restricted fact that he and his offspring have not yet sired a Kentucky Derby winner. This overlooks the fact that sons of Storm Cat finished second in the Kentucky Derby and  Belmont Stakes--Bluegrass Cat and Vision and Verse,respectively. His son Tabasco Cat won the Belmont Stakes.

Nothing, however, will ever match a blogger using more than 50 lines in his April 3 blog to discuss the sire influence of Damascus and ending up touting a 4-year old ,Skipadate, as a Kentucky Derby prospect. That was a highlight.

From my observation any sire can produce a distance runner if the dam has enough stamina and the offspring can be waited with. That is how Sea The Stars by a speed sire stayed 12 furlongs. Remember Bold Ruler, the sire of Secretariat, was once known as the King of Speed.

07 Apr 2010 10:21 AM

I believe Steve Haskins gave the correct pronunciation on one of his shows...Eskendereya rhymes with Sumeria, and is 5 syllables as Fahad correctly noted.  But I still cannot just climb on his bandwagon. (Guess I'm just tone-deaf).  While he's very impressive, so are a few others.  I personally do not see a Triple Crown winner emerging from the hopefuls.  I liked Endorsement's run as well as Esky and Sid.  I like too many horses at this point, and I still cannot point to ONE and say..he's IT.  (I think I actually tried that already, and failed miserably.)  The 2 horses that I have seen actually beat quality fields are Lookin At Lucky and Sidney's Candy.  And I really can't discount upstarts like Setsuko.  Now if Dublin takes the Arkansas..I'll be even more confused.  A little over 3 weeks to the Derby, and I have never been so utterly lost. (Then again, I've always enjoyed amazing new discoveries every time I've been lost). Who knows if there is still someone new who will step up?  I'm still waiting.

07 Apr 2010 10:33 AM


"If you're looking for a star, look no further than this Friday at OP. The wait has been over for some time now."

This has to be THE comment of the week! Short, to the point and absolutely brilliant!

07 Apr 2010 10:33 AM

Eskendereya certainly appears to be the best bet to win the Derby, however, more times than not, the best horse does not win.  But at least the Triple Crown series should be interesting and if he does win the Derby.....

07 Apr 2010 10:44 AM

Well Dray...I will give you one are consistent. Consistently predictable. This is like a repeat of last year, and the year before, and the year before that....only the names have changed.....hahaha

07 Apr 2010 11:35 AM

How does one pronounce the horse's name  - Eskendereya?  I thought I read somewhere that the Ahmed Zayat pronounced it:

Es - kan - DARE - e - uh.

Yet, the racecallers are pronouncing it:

Es - kan - DREY - uh.

The name is spelled so it would be like the former pronunciation rather than the latter.

Can someone clarify?  (P.S. the horse already had a Wikipedia funny is that).

07 Apr 2010 11:49 AM
the only one


07 Apr 2010 11:56 AM
wrong mare. com

this derby is about as wide open as it has been in the last 10 yrs. Let's have the Dorf through Blind Luck in and really have some fun?

07 Apr 2010 12:01 PM
Ann in Lexington

Eskendereyya is a version of the name of the Greco-Egyptian city of Alexandria (founded by Alexander the Great and named after himself). The Arabic version is al-Iskandiriyya and the original Greek transliterates as Alektsandreyah (with the last part pronounced DRAY ah).

07 Apr 2010 12:03 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Thanks for the correct pronunciations of Eskendereya. The Aqueduct announcer really confused me. I thought I had it down, then heard the announcer and thought other people were wrong. The race caller apparently had it wrong. I thought he would have heard straight from the horse's mouth and gotten it correct. Especially for a horse that is such a high  profile. The whole world will know soon how it's pronounced. Get to that race caller at Churchill early !!!!

07 Apr 2010 12:12 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Gary Lynn had me LOL.

Snow-Perfectly stated about pedigree.

Could be a lot more Derby firsts again this year !!!! To start with-Pletcher, Giants Causeway and Storm Cat. For the record for those that don't know-My top horse is and has been since March 6th-Setsuko. But if he's not in I'm rooting for Esky, and hoping Esky gets an outside post (if Setsuko isn't in)The extra lengths of running wide won't hurt Esky at all. I already think he can run a fast 1 1/2. Some other horses I really like as potential stars are Lucky, Sidney,and Pleasant Prince. A few others(or more) could be too. This is a strong field.

07 Apr 2010 12:26 PM
street sense

noble promise has the right back ground for a derby winner. he was in the mix at age two hitting the board in the bc juvenile as well as the hollywood futurity just missed in the rebel he is all set for a big arkansas derby go kenny mcpeek

07 Apr 2010 12:26 PM
Ann in Lexington

Esky has not been tested yet around two turns; he has had two slowly-paced races where he didn't have to work early to keep up. The average Derby has enough speed horses to set a faster pace than he has faced, so both he and Sidney's Candy have question marks because of the likely pace scenario. Either could step up and pass the test, but neither is guaranteed to.

The difference between Ice Box's finish in the FoY and the FL Derby can be seen in the quarter and half fractions in the race. Pace makes the race.

Also, it really annoys me that people extrapolate racing talent from impressive size and musculature. A horse may be a 'monster' physically, and/or a well-bred beauty (Saarland anybody?), but a medium to small, average looking horse can run a hole in the wind, too; the will to win is not the exclusive property of the beauty contest winners.

07 Apr 2010 12:27 PM
The Rock

Well Jason,

Who's it gonna be in the Blue Grass? Odysseus or one of your future wager selections, Interactif?

07 Apr 2010 12:41 PM

I think Sidney's Candy was the most impressive horse on Saturday.   Say what you will about Lucky's bad trip, I still don't think anybody was getting within 4 lengths of that horse.  And on pro-ride to boot.

Best to be cautious about proclaiming a horse a star before the Derby has been run.  If memory serves, another writer with your publication proclaimed Bandini a star after he ran away with the Blue Grass.    

07 Apr 2010 1:02 PM

I was fortunate to get to Aqueduct and see Eskenderaya win going away on a hand ride.  Believe me, it was all him, and he wasn't even tired.  (What trainer or owner, already having the earnings  would, in their right minds, push a horse like this to peak too soon?) He  made me a believer as a contender, but I think a few others deserve mention.  I would not for a second overlook Endorsement.  That pedigree will really come thru in the Belmont.  I do, however, have to take down Rule and Conveyance- neither, while great horses, will get the distance, and Rule's connections should keep him at a mile.  I personally think Sidney's Candy is overhyped and can't have faith on a strictly synthetic horse making the grade at the Derby.  Lucky- well, I'd change jocks.  I do think he's the 3rd real contender, but Gomez apparently learned nothing from his Breeder's Cup ride and chose to place him on the rail again, where he lost, again.  Too much talent in that horse to risk on a jock who doesn't or won't learn from his mistakes.  

And Odysseus, if he gets the earnings this week, would round out my super.  

But- have to agree with Chalkbuster.  The only start w've got right now runs Friday- GO Z!

07 Apr 2010 1:44 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Mike R haha thats funny he will be homeless. Any thoughts about Rule hitting the board? Dont you guys think rule and sidneys candy will be battling up front and might cook the pacesetters behind them and turn into a two horse race with some lucky bomb like calvin borel rounding out the trifecta??

07 Apr 2010 1:49 PM

With all respect to the participants, with Eskendereya we are witnessing horseracing history. This colt is the sure winner of the Derby regardless of the post position drawing. He will do that at the strecht "draw away". The Wood was that day mornig breeze for him. No whip and not urging from JV. Like the greatest. He is the Secretariat of Century 21 and along with Zenyatta the idols who will assure that the sport overcomes competition and remains in the people's heart

07 Apr 2010 1:53 PM

Fahad, Thanks for the clue to pronouncing Iss-kan-da-ree-ah.  Saying it that way is very pretty-very musical.  

Mike, I tried not to respond to him but just couldn't help it.  Can't bear to hear any horse trashed.

I think I'm gonna go check out the birthdates and times for all the derby contenders to see who is closest to March 30 at 12:10am.  That's Secretariat's birthday.  And, to add to that, Man O' War was born March 29 at 11:50pm.  20 minutes apart.  That must be when the stars are aligned for equine greatness!

07 Apr 2010 2:04 PM
Matthew W

Esky will be 8/5, and I will bet a pretty sum onanother horse, or two....maybe Sydney, to steal away on an easy lead....maybe Lucky, who will creep up, 5-1, ....also will look at the Win-Stars, including Drosselmire if he draws, Esky won't get his dream trip--he'll have to PROVE best in the Kentucky Derby---they all do....

07 Apr 2010 2:10 PM
Hoof Hearted

Eskendereya is pronounced "loses the Kentucky Derby".

07 Apr 2010 2:13 PM
Ted from LA

Mike Relva, Yes, the firing was just like on The Donald's show, only I don't look like somebody duct taped a dead animal to my head.  Please, somebody tell me what's up with Mendip?

07 Apr 2010 2:13 PM


Unlike Rachel at least Zenyatta always beats the fillies she runs against.

And, no, it won't be Rachel and Quality Road competing for HOY in the BC Classic, it will be Zenyatta and Eskendereya.

07 Apr 2010 2:20 PM
Jason Shandler

Billy: I dont think Tiger will win but I will be rooting for him. My picks are Phil, who has been playing pretty bad I know but will be ready, and Lee Westwood.

Rock: Im leaning toward Interactif and Paddy O'Prado. Not sure yet.

07 Apr 2010 2:28 PM
Where's Rachel ????

If it gets in the gate with Z its a "dog" if it gets in the gate with RA it a great horse thats Drays outlook on things !

Cant wait till Z does meet up with RA and If Z whups her will RA become a dog then??

QR must have known how dray belittles those that Z beats that is why he threw a fit and refused to load in the classic   he just didnt want to take the chance of letting Dray down !

07 Apr 2010 2:35 PM

Can he?  He definitely can.  Will he?  Ask me again after I see him train at Churchill.  That's when I make my final call.

07 Apr 2010 2:51 PM
Fahad Malaikah

Ann in Lexington,

I am quite confident that Ahmad Zayat is thinking of the modern, Arabic pronounciation of the port-city in his country of origin.  With that said, it should have 5 syllables, and again, is pronounced: "Iss-kan-da-ree-uh," with a rolled "r" sound.  



07 Apr 2010 2:56 PM
Greg J.

Ted from LA,

     Regarding Mendip, After his third in the UAE Derby, He's next scheduled to race in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 1st...

07 Apr 2010 2:59 PM
Fahad Malaikah

Ann in Lexington,

One more thing: the difference in this case is just between Egyptian Arabic and formal Arabic.  In formal Arabic, it should have the definite article (Aleph and Laam=Al), but it doesn't in the Egyptian dialect.



07 Apr 2010 3:03 PM

I think it is possible that Odysseus could finish up the track in Pyro like fashion and possibly miss the derby.  I would be worried if I were part of his connections in running him on the Poly in a spot where he may need a 3rd place finish to have the earnings to get in the derby.  I don't know if there is a better spot for him, but I don't know that he is a better poly horse than Interactif, Paddy O'Prado, Aikenite, Make Music For Me, or even Codoy.  

I think it would have been better to send Odysseus up to Hawthorn last weekend in the Illinois than run him here.  Hope I am wrong, because he could be a derby factor if he gets in.

07 Apr 2010 3:06 PM
Billy's Empire


I have the same feeling about Phil. You want to root for him, but he has 1 top 10 in seven tournaments this year. I like Charl Schartzel this week. He has been playing well for the last few months.

I was looking at Paddy O, but Interactif stands out to me in that field. Should be nice weather Saturday, no excuses.

Super Saver favored in the Ark Derby??

Dray must be licking his chops...

07 Apr 2010 3:08 PM
It Aint Easy being good

A comment from LAZ alright I will take it! I agree with whoever said that physical size and presence makes them a beast! Eskendraya is a good horse but hasnt been tested yet and he will get the book thrown at him. Looking at lucky has had bad trips ran on dirt and has a great trainer and will def. hit the board may 1st. This is a deep derby field but you need to be running over 100 beyers to have a chance....historically most horses that win derbys have over 100 beyer figs. I believe the only 3 that do are Eskeydra, Endorsement and SC right?

07 Apr 2010 3:16 PM
Anita Knapp

the NYRA issued a press release before the Wood saying the owner Ahmed Zayat wants Eskendereya pronounced s-ken-DREY-uh with a 4 syllable sound and the Drey part sounding like Dray.

here's the link and it even has a recording of the way the owner wants the name pronounced:

07 Apr 2010 3:16 PM
Ted from LA

Thanks Greg J.  Counting Eskendereya, that's two to cross off my list.  If Eskendereya does win, at least hundreds of thousands of degenerate gamblers in America will learn how to roll their "r"s.  So, that's a plus.

07 Apr 2010 3:18 PM

We have some hysterically funny people contributing to this blog. The latest one that had me LOL was "I don't look like somebody duct taped a dead animal to my head." (This gem from Ted from LA)Hilarious!

07 Apr 2010 3:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

ZENYATTA FANS-See the new post under the blog-"A New Top 10 and Thoughts on Rachel/Zenyatta." #622

   Odysseus sure picked a tough spot. The Blue Grass is a very strong race. Probably the most competitive of any prep. If he can beat that group then he is a very talented colt. Even a 4th to pick up needed graded earnings will be an accomlishment. He would have to outfinish Pleasant Prince, Paddy O' Prado, Interactive, and Aikenite. All of whom I expect to run well. First Dude and Make Music For Me could impact too.

  Oaklawn. I'm expecting a big race from Super Saver. I also expect big closing runs from Northern Giant and Dublin. I can't see Noble's Promise winning but if he does well, that's good. There will be more money on a Derby tossout. I know he's been a strong performer, but I don't see his pedigree or style working for The Derby. But then again-pedigree has been irrelevant more than a few times for a top 4 Derby finish.

07 Apr 2010 3:24 PM
The Rock

Greg J,

I believe Mendip was injured in the UAE Derby. I'm about 90% sure on that.

07 Apr 2010 3:27 PM
The Rock


Thanks for schooling everyone on the pronunciation of the current top derby contender.

07 Apr 2010 3:27 PM


A horse is anointed every year before the derby is run. In the last 25 Derbys, 4 favorites have won. Good luck with Esky...I don't remember Secretariat or Zenyatta running like Esky did in the Juvenile.

07 Apr 2010 3:41 PM
Tim G

Draynay, are you NUTS? Sorry, rhetorical question.

Two different ownership interests, what you are suggesting between NG and Dublin is .....well I just don't know what to tell you.

07 Apr 2010 3:43 PM
The Rock

A little off topic, but this is a good race coming up tomorrow.

Vinery Madison: Eclipse Award winner Informed Decision makes her comeback tomorrow and word is she should be ready to fire off the bench. As much as I would want to beat her with Witty, with it being 7f's, I think she'll be tough to hold off. I expect Starlarks and Dubai Majesty to fill out the top four. In order to create some value, I'll be playing a hammer superfecta: Informed Decision/Witty/Starlarks/Dubai Majesty with a slight cover on the reverse of the 3rd & 4th horses. Hopefully I'll be able to get 20-1 for my money.

07 Apr 2010 3:45 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Forbidden Apple

    Endorsement is a good one. Thanks for reminding me. You could very well be right about the thrown shoe keeping Leparoux from letting his horse go, and they already knew he had enough earnings. My biggest dissappointment is that I thought he had a chance to get eyeball to eyeball with Esky, and I wanted to see what Esky would do at that point.

  JERSEYBOY-I really liked your post about pedigree, Storm Cat etc. Thanks for reminding us that  his offspring have had some top notch Derby finishes. And how stamina can be acquired. To automatically toss a horse from a Top 4 Derby finish because of the sire's pedigree can be trouble.(If you bet exotics)

07 Apr 2010 3:46 PM

This time of year I always have to pull out my Secretariat DVD and watch the great Big Red.  That perfect, huge, fluid, graceful movement as he eats up the ground!  That regal, intelligent presence!  Every year, I think we all look for him to reappear and every year we are disappointed.  The Triple Crown races are his and even though it may seem off topic, it really isn't.  I don't think there is another Secretariat this year either.

07 Apr 2010 4:19 PM


Your wrong as usual,S.C. isn't a toss.

Mike Relva 06 Apr 2010 5:57 PM


I would just like to point out that, that wasn't me.  And i know it was me you were referring to.  I personally love SC.  He and Odysseus are 1 & 2 on my list.  And since i have seen a lot of Daves pop up, i am going to change my name so i don't get confused with other Daves.

I will now officially go by Canz.

07 Apr 2010 4:22 PM

I have to wonder if anyone in this sport knows what they are doing.  Noble's Promise is second choice ? Super Saver who has never run 1 1/8th in his LIFE is the 9 to 5 favorite ?  He won't hit the board Noble will run him into the ground! All you Zenyatta fans need to relax all she has to do in win a G1 on dirt against males and I will stay quiet until she gets her butt whipped in the Breeders Cup...if she shows !

07 Apr 2010 4:56 PM
Greg J.

The Rock,

     Umm, I didn't hear about Mendip being injured?  Thanks for the info, That's too bad, Any idea what the injury is?  Holding out on that 10 percent though...

07 Apr 2010 5:00 PM

Hey What's Your Name,

Newsflash!! Noble's Promise has never run 1 1/8 miles in his LIFE and he is the 2:1 second choice?

Do your homework!

07 Apr 2010 5:11 PM

He is a strong Derby Contender..there are factors though such as slop, fast track, different track, being bunched up with possibly 19 other horses, and traffic.

07 Apr 2010 5:13 PM

Eskendereya has not beaten a soul. He ran against stiffs, had an easy pace to follow, and was non pressured the entire way. A horse can easily run his best in this scenario, just look at Rachel.

07 Apr 2010 5:16 PM
Tim G

Anita, that's what I saw as well. On the CD facebook/Twitter site.

I asked a couple of people who work for us and speak Arabic, but they are from other regions, not Egypt.

I'm sure Ahmed realizes how much trouble race trackers have with pronunciation. Even the most educated butcher the names. Louis Quatorze, Circular Quay, Rachel AlexandrA. LOL

Fahad, the reason I asked Justin is because if he really IS

Justin Zayat, that is Ahmed's son.

07 Apr 2010 5:22 PM

The winner of the Bluegrass is Make Music for Me.  Any horse that can finish right behind Noble and LAL will have no problem with these.

07 Apr 2010 5:22 PM

Dray, Zenyatta will take on any or all of them later in the year in the BCC.  

First of all, Zenyatta has already "been there and done that" sort of speak, she was the first and only filly to have broken that tradition last year,

But she will do it again this year for you naysayers.

She is the REAL DEAL, she is serious about what she does,  she is going for 16-0 , I believe someone would have to be a real flake not admit her true greatness at winning 15 races straight.

ONly a sore loser would put her down.....

07 Apr 2010 5:28 PM

As I mentioned earlier, I am a big fan of Dublin. I'm hoping that he wins the Arkansas Derby, but I thought I'd mention the horse New Madrid. He is trained by Tim Ice, who trained Summer Bird to win the Belmont Stakes last year, and I think that New Madrid has a shot at finishing in the top five on Saturday. If he does it the right way, I'll be watching him for the Belmont Stakes.

Does anybody else like Make Music for Me in the Blue Grass Stakes?


07 Apr 2010 5:38 PM
Carlos in Cali

Apparently Odysseus' work outs on synthetics @ the Ocala 2yo's in training sale were impressive. I expect him to run big in the tough,wide-open Bluegrass.As long as he's closing rapidly near the finish,he should be set for the Derby.

BEWARE!!:  Last year's forgotten Superstar is back in training. Revenge is best served cold!

07 Apr 2010 5:46 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Don't you think that it's just slightly possible that Esky was born with Secretariat's large heart, making everything just a little bit easier for him than the rest??

JASON-Who's going to be your guest on "The Jason, Tom, and Another Guy Show?"

07 Apr 2010 5:54 PM


Rachel most certainly did not run like a claimer in the NO Ladies.

And you criticized Draynay for putting down other people's picks but not stating his own picks? You couldn't be more off.  Dray is constantly giving out his predictions and has clearly stated his Derby favorite.  If there is a problem it's that he has a tendency to get off his favorite(at the time) and jump onto another if the favorite runs below expectations.

07 Apr 2010 6:14 PM

I have to agree that Zenyatta is taking on a poor field for the Apple Blossom but that's not her fault.  She was going to run there before all the hype about a match race and $5M.  Why the field isn’t better quality I don’t know.  Zenyatta has always faced full fields of quality horses (something that cannot always be said of Rachel Alexandra) so why they would suddenly be afraid of her now is questionable.

I'm taking it for the above comments that draynay is a big Rachel fan.  I like her too she's done a lot for the sport, she has done a lot of great things but she shouldn't have been HOY--Zenyatta should have been.

Jess Jackson and Steve Asmussen crafted an excellent campaign for Rachel.  So good they should get an award.  Think about it--she never went a mile and a quarter (and I don’t think she can), had the Preakness and Woodward been longer she’d have been caught at the wire.  Unlike Zenyatta, she didn’t have to carry weight.  Both girls are big, bigger then most of the boys, don’t tell me that a weight advantage didn’t help her.  She never met the rest of the best (Quality Road, I Want Revenge, The Paplmousse, Stardom Bound, and Careless Jewel to name a few).  She avoided a harder race (The Travers) and opted for a softer spot at a distance she prefers (The Woodward).  She didn’t go the Breeders Cup.  That’s big for me.  A HOY needs to race on all surfaces.  Curlin may not have won a 2nd cup but it wasn’t for the lack of effort nor did I think his 4th place finish was a disgrace.  Jess Jackson apparently thinks so and won’t race his horses on it.  Personally, I’d love to see Rachel Alexandra meet Quality Road.  I loved this horse for the Derby last year and I’m enjoying watching him this year.  Do I think he can beat Rachel—Yes; Zenyatta—I don’t think so.  Can Rachel—No.  

I don’t buy Rachel being tired or not ready for racing.  Why?  She has had more “time off” then Zenyatta.  She has had the same training opportunities.  She faced a lighter field of horses in a non graded race and lost.  Zenyatta was “retired” after the Breeders Cup.  She trained in California where a lot of rain cancelled whole racing cards.  She met a larger field carrying more weight in a Grade 1 race …..and won…and is racing in the Apple Blossom.  To me she is the better horse.

07 Apr 2010 6:39 PM
joe c.

As a grandson of Seattle Slew, I'll be rooting May 1st. for "Esky."  Oh for names like War Admiral, Assault, Count Fleet, Bold Ruler...even more recently Afleet Alex.  (I'd welcome a Dublin win also!)

07 Apr 2010 6:41 PM
mike p

This is the I want revenge were looking for Eskendreya is a son of storm cat which has blossom at the right time . i see some idiot talked about polytrack and sids candy running faster , does this person realize that velasquez hasnt even asked this horse to run yet twice in the stretch and this horse can go mile and 1 1/4 i cant fault a horse that is peaking and i beleive is pletcher year (can you say triple crown finally) and dont discount ice box and dublin im hoping he gets post 10-13

07 Apr 2010 7:14 PM

I nearly fell out of my seat when I realized Dray is touting the 1-2 Cash Call Futurity runners!  Lookin at Lucky and NP. "Throw in Sydney's Candy to fill out the bottom of the ticket." Thanks for showing some respect and the ability to look west for some answers my man.  

07 Apr 2010 7:17 PM



07 Apr 2010 7:39 PM

Noble's Promise should be the favorite. eskendereya didn't win the juvenile because of traffic not track surface. if thats the case then he won't win the derby unless he has a clean trip which i don't think so. terry is back aboard dublin again look for a better trip then what nakatani gave him. and odysseus should have no problem if he handles the polytrack. Zenyattas facing a better field then what she faced in california recently.

07 Apr 2010 7:42 PM

Dr D, I suppose Eske could have been blessed with Big Red's big heart.  It makes genetic sense that it will pop up somewhere in his line.  And I keep reminding myself that there were tons of doubters about Secretariat after he lost the Wood and before his Derby; even though he was HOY as a 2 year old.  He had quite a 2year old prep for his 3 year old Triple Crown magic.  No horses have that anymore.  I may sound doubtful but I do have Eske at the top of my list.  It's just that I think several others are good too.  Guess I'll watch some races over again and hope to see and read some really good reports from Churchill Downs in the couple weeks before the Derby.

07 Apr 2010 7:59 PM

TJLuvsTizs pointed out that no Derby winner has ever had Storm Cat in his or her pedigree.  This is true.  

However, keep in mind that the Prospector line has been far more prevalent in pedigrees over the last 20 years, which would account for a greater number of Derby winners with that lineage.

Mr Prospector as a sire of sires has been far more successful than Storm Cat.  Fappiano, Quiet American, Conquiestador Cielo, Woodman, Gone West, Gulch, Elusive Quality, Unbridled, Kingmambo.... one could go on forever it seems like with the number and impact of top stallions by Mr Prospector.  And then again, his line has been around for many more years than Storm Cat's.

The Storm Cat line has been represented by about 28 starters in the Derby since the first of his foals came of age. If I was throwing numbers out, I would guess that Storm Cat has appeared in about 10% of all Derby entrants going back to 1990 or so.  Not sure when the first Storm Cat's hit the ground, but I don't think he had a Derby starter until 1994 when Tabasco Cat ran 5th. I could be wrong on that.

As a sire of sires, Storm Cat has not enjoyed the success of the likes of Mr Prospector by any means.  Giant's Causeway is his best.  He has Tabasco Cat and Hennessey.  But his impact is far less reaching than Mr Prospector.  So I don't think that its really apples to apples when you look at pedigrees to think about comparing Storm Cat to Mr Prospector.

I never was convinced that Storm Cat as a sire was worthy of the accolades heaped upon him.  However, down the road he will be represented by a Derby winner just by sheer volume if nothing else, as far more colts will be headed to the Derby carrying his blood.

I do like the pedigree behind Storm Cat. However, it is only a slice of the whole pie.

07 Apr 2010 8:00 PM

I read somewhere (may have been on a blog) that Mendip came out of the UAE Derby w/a condylar fracture.

07 Apr 2010 8:00 PM
Greg J.


    I don't think Dray realized that until you mentioned it...


    I did like Make Music for Me, Until Dray picked him to win, So the curse is on, And, I will now go with Odysseus, Aikenite, and Interactif as my top three with First Dude finishing my Super.


     It is useless trying to convince Dray that Zenyatta is as good as advertised.  She will go 20-0 in her career with it ending winning the Classic at Churchill and He still will say she is nothing, Mark my words...

07 Apr 2010 8:04 PM

I can't get behind a Pletcher horse to win the KD.  His horses are famous for throwing in clunkers in the Breeder's Cup and TC races.  I think the explanation for that is in Pletcher's interviews.

He has stated that his barn is focused on winning as many of the preps as possible, in other words, he focuses on getting to the KD.  Then he doesn't appear to know what to do when he gets there.

Then take a look at, for instance, Carl Nafzger's training philosophy.  When he has a solid contender he focuses on winning the KD from the time the horse is a juvenile.  Every prep race he picks and everything he does is carefully designed to have his horse peak when it really counts.

Another major difference between Nafzger and Pletcher is worth noting.  Nafzger has a 66% win rate in the Kentucky Derby.

07 Apr 2010 8:09 PM

Householder I think many of the best horses are from California this year. It pains me to admit it but facts are facts.  Noble wins the Arkansas and Gomez and Mike Smith should finish 1/2 in the Bluegrass. Horses from Florida and New York are below average to put it kindly.  Unless Dublin and Endorsement squeak in you could see a Cali sweep in the Derby.

07 Apr 2010 8:13 PM

Storm Cat has NEVER produced a Derby winner and Mr. Pletcher is 0 for 24 in the Derby and some of you still think that horse is going to win the Derby ?  Duhhhhhhh.  PT Barnum was right.

07 Apr 2010 8:17 PM

Dr D, It does occur to me that if Eske could have Secretariat's heart so could Ice Box, Sidney's Candy, Endorsement, Odysseus and Dublin. Did I leave anyone out?

07 Apr 2010 8:24 PM


I too read that on a blog about Mendip.

I searched the Internet all over and can't find out anything about it. I hope he is OK if it is true.

If you find out anything about it please share with us.

07 Apr 2010 8:30 PM

Y'all can't get mad at Draynay.  He's just being true to his nature.  He incites people with ridiculous statements because he craves attention.  Don't let him rile you up.

On a different note, why do people think sprinters like D'Funnybone and Eightyfiveinafifty will be effective in the Preakness?  It is still too much distance.  Yet I get the feeling from reading some posts that people really think these horses will be a factor.

07 Apr 2010 8:31 PM
Jason Shandler

Dray: You are clueless. Go back to sleep.

07 Apr 2010 8:33 PM

In an article on , J.Sherriffs admits he has been training Zenyatta on dirt track at Hollywood Park.  

07 Apr 2010 8:35 PM

Jason, Have you heard anything about Mendip?

07 Apr 2010 8:36 PM

Did I miss something? Is this blog no longer the Triple Crown Talk blog? I didn't know we were back to the Rachel/Zenyatta ridiculousness. Really, people, neither of them have any place on this blog.

P.S. I love how people find ways to dislike a horse's Derby chances just to find faults with him. Eskendereya has never run fast. Sidney's Candy has never run on dirt. Can we look for the POSITIVES in each horse? PLEASE?

07 Apr 2010 8:53 PM
karen in PA

Who will win the Derby?

Uh, who is Calvin riding?

07 Apr 2010 9:07 PM
Matthew W

Interactif in Blue Grass! Make Music For Me would not suprise me--however, beware of the close third placers on synthetics--the best horses WIN on synthetics--it makes good horses look average/average horses look good...also like Noble's in Arkansas...Sadler has a horse-"-oh oh! Bingo"? (Line Of David)

07 Apr 2010 9:10 PM
Matthew W

I said last Fall the West had horses--Lookin At Lucky, Noble's Promise, Sydney's Candy, now Interactif...Make Music For Me...the Sundland derby winner (Win Star, American Lion (Tiznow!)these are all nice horses! Esky has his hands full....8/5 no thank you.....

07 Apr 2010 9:18 PM
Matthew W

Draynay? he's managed to piss us all off at one time or another--leavr his horses off your ticket at your own peril, he manages to spot the contenders--also, just because a guy plays against Esky--I mean, 8/5 on a horse who has not faced any trouble--yet! I'll gladly play agtainst him, heck, I have bet against Zenyatta at least 7 or 8 times! It's called horse racing, where you try to make a little do re mi--anytime you have a horse like Sydney's Candy in the Derby---it's kinda up for grabs! Real speed/real race!

07 Apr 2010 9:25 PM
Matthew W

Sydney's Candy: last two calls--+4 1/2...and +4 1/ doesn't show the TEN LENGTH lead he had at the 1 1/16 pole!! AND you'll get maybe 10-1 on him? AND Sadler is gaga over his chances to IMPROVE on dirt---can you say Sunday Silence to Esky's Easy Goer??!! In terms of pure turn of foot, no horse has shown the acceleration of Sydney's Candy on the Triple Crown Trail--that is why I am so high on Interactif--he did close on Sydney...

07 Apr 2010 9:31 PM


Zenyatta is going for an undefeated 16th in a row on Friday and we shouldn't be talking about her?

Dr Drunkinbum,

Where is that blog you were referring to on your 3:24PM post? Since Zen is persona non grata on this site (according to funnycideoflife), maybe I'll visit there and be able to type her name without fear of being shouted down. Speaking of scary... yes! :)

07 Apr 2010 9:36 PM

funnycide the problem I have is I am in complete shock.  Esky beats nobody not a G1 winner or a G2 winner in the Wood and people are going crazy.  You have to look at the competition he has faced and it has been very very poor.  Take a look at his first race this year and look how he struggled heading for the wire.  He folded last time he faced G1 winners and he will fold again.  Look out west and look at the tough G1 races some of the horses have been in not the cake walks Esky has been in.  When are you people going to learn Mr. Pletcher has no idea how to get a young colt ready for the Derby.  He is 0 for 24 and after the Derby he will be 0 for 30 !  When will you all get it through your heads?

07 Apr 2010 9:37 PM
Fahad Malaikah

Tim G,

Thank you for your response.  I completely understand.  My post wasn’t directed at you.  It’s really not a big deal.  My point is mainly that it sounds better in Arabic than some are pronouncing it here.  Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Zayat “gives into the pressure” and just pronounces it however others are finding it easier to pronounce.  This happens to me even with my first name.  I just let people pronounce it wrong and even introduce myself with the wrong pronunciation sometimes because the wrong way seems to be easier for some Americans to say than the correct way.

As for your friends, even if they are not from Egypt, they should know how it is pronounced in Arabic.  No one would pronounce it with the “Dray-uh” in Arabic.  It might only slightly sound like that to an untrained ear if someone is speaking very quickly with the rolled “r’s.” Virtually everyone would be familiar with Alexandria, whether in Egypt or other regional cities, and most people are quite familiar with the historical figure of Alexander the Great.  Some people even take the Arabized form of his name.  

Again, it’s not a big deal, but I appreciate your reply.



07 Apr 2010 9:44 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  First let me say-Go Eskendereya, the star we were searching for!!!! It's a new post on an old blog-"A New Top Ten and Thoughts (on you know who vs you know who.)I wrote directions on my 3:24pm post !!!

07 Apr 2010 9:54 PM

When was the last time the favorite won the Kentucky Derby?  Remember last year?  Favorites have rarely  won the Derby.

07 Apr 2010 10:04 PM

Matthew I already gave you the exacta box for the Bluegrass. Gomez and Mike Smith.  Everyone else is running for pennies.

07 Apr 2010 10:11 PM


have you heard anything about future plans for Christine Daae?

Everyone else -

I can't believe how much concern and effort you all are spending on how to pronounce a horse's name! Did you all hear the Tampa Derby call for Odysseus? Anyone who took history or English Lit in highschool could correctly pronounce that name and the announcer still blew it, but ultimately, what does it matter? The payoff is the same, regardless of the name.

07 Apr 2010 10:11 PM


Great fun all of the back and forth, this has got to be Todds year. Too good a horseman and loaded this year his number has to come up roses this year. Check out he shared his thoughts on winning this year with me out at Keeneland Monday night.

07 Apr 2010 10:28 PM
Forbidden Apple

Draynay, for once I agree with you, Make Music For Me is my pick in the Bluegrass. Keep in mind that he will be ridden by Zenyatta's jockey and he is a west coast horse. Do you still like him? It seems like you are picking quite a few synthetic horses these days. Make Music For Me was flying late in his last race and I think he can run by the speed in this race.

The Arkansas Derby is not that interesting to me. I am against most horses trained by Biancone, Lukas, Pletcher, and Asmussen. I am going with Uh Oh Bango by default.

07 Apr 2010 10:34 PM

Here's a new look at Esky's chances on why he could be successful on May 1.  

Without being put into too much trouble, or needing to reach his bottom in his last two races, he is coming into the derby very fresh!  If NP is in a duel on Saturday and loses another head bob at the finish he only has three weeks to recover just to face a crowd of 19 other horses.

I will likely try to beat Esky in my derby wagering, but won't discount him as he has handled his competition, regardless of how strong they may or may not be, with ease.

I will look for a strong run from SS, but I think Bango could have a much better race 2nd off a layoff. Let's get these last preps over and done with so we can really get into some serious battling! (as if we haven't even started yet)

07 Apr 2010 10:53 PM
Justin Zayat


It is pronounced as you said. you have been saying it correctly

07 Apr 2010 11:11 PM


"Zenyatta has always faced full fields of quality horses" Ehrrm... Allicansayiswow? Briecat? Come on, Rachel may have had some questionable opponents, but honestly, Zenyatta had nothing but payed workouts until the 11:th hour, when she finally got a chance to display her talent.

Please don´t get started on the HOY, I think everybody agrees that´s a closed case.

Rachel choosing the "easier" Woodward instead of the Travers? You pointed it out yourself; The answer is distance.

Would you go to the Breeders with a tired 3-year old? Don´t think so. Rachel was never pointed to the Breeders. Zenyatta was, therefore her light schedule.

I can´t believe some people feel the need to bash either of them, they´re two completly different horses, but both are fantastic!

07 Apr 2010 11:12 PM

Sidney's Candy had a 100 Beyer for the SA Derby.  Endorsement had a 101 for the Sunland Park Derby.  Eskendereya had a 106 for the FOY on Feb. 20.  Fast forward 6 weeks to a 109 for the Wood.  Fast forward 4 weeks to a ??? as he wins the Derby.  The Pletcher schedule has him well rested and well trained. No other horse can approach these Beyers.  

Paddy O'Prado will win the Blue Grass.

Super Saver will win the Arkansas Derby.  

08 Apr 2010 12:30 AM
Race Fan

I'm a LAL fan and I hope he wins the Derby, but with all due respect, Eskendereya is the real deal.  I hope they both get good trips in the Derby and lets see who is best.  Go Lucky.

08 Apr 2010 1:01 AM
Tim G

Fahad, both of the young gentlemen I asked, pronounced it the same way you did and the same way I found when looking it up (my earlier post).

I'm just wondering why Justin Zayat would say it one way and his father Ahmed would want it pronounced another. The only thing I can think of is Ahmed knows more how we on the race track tend to mangle any unusual name.

I don't think anyone ever figured out how to say Circular Quay and even his jockey called Louis Quatorze- Louie Cortez. Fusaichi Pegasus became FuPeg because it was mutated into all kinds of names. It's a block we have.LOL I'm very happy not to call ANYTHING DRAY.:)

Appreciate you trying to clarify it but I'm pretty sure we'll never get it right.

I always try to name my race horses something that isn't so difficult.

Dray, you're back harping on Todd?

He has no idea on how to prep a colt for the Derby, yet YOU do?

Calling out those IN racing for the morning line on Super Saver? What does anyone who is actually IN racing (ie trainer, owner, assistant trainer, jock, excercise girl/boy, groom, hotwalker) have to do with setting the morning line????

You can prep them you can have the favorite, but the Derby is a whole different breed of race. But you'd know that if you ever had one in it or did more than watch on TV.

Guess he didn't learn anything from the time he spent with you guys Jason.

I just continue to be dumbfounded by a guy who NEVER owned a race horse, never employed a trainer and has no idea as to how the whole thing works, calling out one of the best trainers of our time.


08 Apr 2010 1:58 AM
Gary Lynn

Just as the old Derby rules of thumb have fallen, so will an 0 for 24 anomaly very soon. Pletcher gets so much good stock, it's only a matter of time.

It may not even be this year; there is always the post position draw. But he has a tough lookin' horse, and the percentages are now big time in his favor. I love o'fers. We're not talking about 10k 0 for 24 claimers. Roulette anyone?

08 Apr 2010 2:08 AM


The blog he's talking about is an old Triple Crown Talk from March 14. Dr Drunkinbum added a cute post about an imaginary discussion between John Shirreffs and Zenyatta.

Here's the link:

08 Apr 2010 2:22 AM


Since I can be OCD about things I love, I figured I would dive deeper into the research I started.

You were right to note that comparing Mr. P to Storm Cat was an unfair comparison as Mr. P was born 13 years before Storm Cat and has had (as you noted) far more sire sons.  I figured I would compare Storm Cat to one of his more notable grandsons Unbridled who was born 4 years after Storm Cat.

Since 1994 of the 286 starters in the Kentucky Derby Storm Cat has been represented in 30 pedigrees(10%), and Unbridled has been represented in 21 (7%).

Storm Cat has had 5 horses in the money with no winners.  Unbridled has had 6 in the money with 2 winners.  I also looked at Dixieland Band who didn't have as many runners (15 since '93) but had 4 in the money and also 2 winners.

Last 4 years alone there were 20 Storm Cat reps and 10 Unbridled's. Unbridled was represented in the exacta of last year and in 2008 was represented in the 2nd and 3rd placed horses.

This doesn't mean that I automatically like Mission Impazible, Interactif, and Tempted to Tapit better than I like Lookin at Lucky, NP, or Esky.  I am not sure that this really means anything, but it was interesting to look at.  

08 Apr 2010 2:40 AM
Charlie Cigar

How many Wood Memorial winners have gone on to win the Derby in the last 20 years???  Esky is this years Private Terms....

08 Apr 2010 3:45 AM

Thank you Dr Drunkinbum. Maybe this additional information will help end the concern about Storm Cat as a "Derby sire". His son Tale of the Cat sired Lion Heart,2nd in the Kentucky Derby, and Gio Ponti, 2nd in the Breeders Cup.

If you are interested in studying pedigrees click on "Stallion Register" in this publication. You will see that the mighty Distorted Humor and Kingmambo did not win beyond a mile, but that Giant's Causeway won beyond 10 furlongs.

For past stallions click on this link:

08 Apr 2010 7:34 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

I snuck into Bloodhorse and there was a stack of blogs that were denied from over the years. I looked at the one that Ted From LA sent in that was deemed "unprintable". Wow, he sure has a temper !!! And such language !!!! He should have his mouth washed out with soap.

Zookeeper-Get a handle on your off topic problem. We have men watching you 24 hours a day. If you get arrested for it may I suggest that you be represented by one of our top notch Public Defenders-CV, Slew, Greg J. or Paula Higgins.

08 Apr 2010 8:12 AM
Jason Shandler

Thanks for that video Mark

08 Apr 2010 8:43 AM

In order for Esky to express the large heart gene it would have to come from his dam's side. The dam gives two X chromosomes, while the sire only one. The large heart gene is passed thru the X chromosome. Esky has Secretariat on his sire side. He might genetically carry it. But will not have the large heart himself. Also, Somethingroyal was a double copy mare. Which is why Big Red probably was able to not only pass on the gene but express it with his own large heart.

08 Apr 2010 8:58 AM

I saw Eskendreya in his very first start at Saratoga last year. It was a turf race at two turns and he was very impressive in his effort running second to a nice horse who had already had several races under his belt. To see how he has matured to where he is now, is incredible! His two performances in both the Fountain of Youth and the Wood were easily the best performances by any 3-year old this year. Quite honestly, I do not see anyone beating him at 10 furlongs the first Saturday in May. Just a very, very impressive racehorse!!!

08 Apr 2010 9:11 AM

At the end of March I read somewhere that Mendip was out with a condylar fracture...although today, I cannot find a single news story about it???

As far as pronunciation goes..doesn't anyone remember 2009 at Saratoga when not one HRTV host could accurately pronounce Grand Couturier.  Americans tend to mangle foreign languages, and then argue that their mangle is correct..which leaves the rest of the world scratching their heads wondering why we are so arrogant when they usually speak at least 3 languages fluently.  Heck, we barely get English correct.  As far as a horse..Esky seems to be the safest route.

08 Apr 2010 9:28 AM

Cannot wait for the Blue Grass and the Ark Derby.... I like NP and Dublin in the Arkansas Derby, but also really like Northern Giant.

Bluegrass .... I love Odysseus, Make Music For Me, Paddy O' Prado, and Pleasant Prince. Cannot wait to see who gets the job done this weekend... one thing you cannot beat in this sport is the unpredictability, the suspense and unscripted moments... really when it all comes down the horse wins whether it is supposed to or not and the Derby horse comes from everywhere....

Just watched the video about Rachel Alexandra, Rachel Mattson, and Hal Wiggins.... what an inspiration.

RIP Dixieland Band. I really loved him and had hoped to see him in October when I go to KY for the first time as the BC is on there as we all know. Dixieland Band will be missed. I think Dixieland Band is one of my favorite broodmare sires and I loved his babies. He joins his son Bowman's Band... I love Dixie Union, Snake Eyes, Drum Taps, Sharp Lisa, Jambalaya Jazz, Jazz Club, Hook and Ladder, Dixie Brass, and of course Chimes Band.

08 Apr 2010 9:30 AM


You are going to question Zenyatta's fields compared to the one's that are handpicked by JJ for RA?  Come on, thats why Ra didnt' win her prep race because JJ didn't get to handpick this one, like he had last year....They didn't do enough homework on Zardana, or RA would have not been in there that day.

Thats why Zardana was able to beat RA.....JJ only puts her in races he knows she has a guarenteed win at.   See who she challenges next, I prominse it won't be Zenyatta.

Zenyatta came to the AB , anyone that wanted to take her on, had every opportunity to get in.  She can't help it that all of them  took another path.

She also came to take on RA, and they chickened out, not the other way around....Lets see if RA goes looking for Zenyata....

08 Apr 2010 9:32 AM
Jason Shandler

AuburnHill: I havent heard anything yet.

08 Apr 2010 9:33 AM

Zarkava said:

I can´t believe some people feel the need to bash either of them, they´re two completly different horses, but both are fantastic!

Zarkava 07 Apr 2010 11:12 PM

Seems to me in your cute little innocent tongue-in-cheek way you just bashed Zenyatta.

There's a half mill on the line in the Apple Blossom.  A lot of hores had a chance to enter.  Where are they?  And the industry is complaining about money.

Nobody's hiding or chosing their spots when it comes to G-1 races.  It's the competition that scares them away.

08 Apr 2010 9:56 AM
Greg J.


      I agree 100 percent!  One of the greats of this generation is running tomorrow and Zenyatta will try to equal the record of 16 consecutive victories shared by Cigar and Citation, And we can't mention her????, Crazy...

08 Apr 2010 10:01 AM
Greg J.


     "A lot of hores had a chance to enter.  Where are they?",  Umm, In Vegas???, lol...

08 Apr 2010 10:17 AM

So let's see, this time last year who had these picks for the Triple Crown trail?

Kentucky Derby- Mine That Bird

Preakness- Rachael Alexandra

Belmont- Summerbird

Anybody have these horses? Because all I remember hearing is Quality Road, Pioneer of the Nile, I Want Revenge, The Pamplemousse, and others I've already forgotten. And for sires who was talking Birdstone (sire of both Bird horses) and MDO the new young sire (I won't even try to spell his name) of RA. I'm just saying you never know for certain. That said I like Esky and Endorsement. If it rains- Northern Giant. Whoever wins, you can bet I'll be pulling hard for them to go all the way!  

08 Apr 2010 10:30 AM
It Aint Easy being good

LAZ here you go for saturday buddy: Odysseus will come in 2nd and Super Saver will romp in the arkansas derby!

Homeboykris in the derby what a joke if there is a horse that should be 100-1 odds it should be that horse!

08 Apr 2010 10:40 AM

Greg J.,

It's crazy how some people want to control the content of this blog. If comments about basketball, golf, football, dogs and cats are allowed why not ZENYATTA! After all, she's not only trying to tie Cigar's and Citation's record but she is doing it while UNDEFEATED! To those who complain about the quality of the field, I see it as a left-handed compliment. For a $5 million purse, connections might be interested in having their horse stare at Zen's big behind but at $500 thousand, the proposition is less interesting. Still a Zen victory is not assured. Unlike some on here, I never know the outcome of a race until it is run.

Dr Drunkinbum,

This post should get me in further trouble. If so, I'm dissapointed that you do not list yourself as one of my defenders. LOL! I finally figured out what you were talking about regarding a prior blog. I couldn't believe it was still alive. Cute bedtime story.


Thanks for trying to help me. It eventually dawned on me and I located it in the archives. (where I belong, duh!)

08 Apr 2010 10:57 AM
Pam S.

So many people have said they like Make Music for Me, I am beginning to wonder what he will go off at on Sat.  Arkansas Derby, I am going with Super Saver for the simple reason that Todd P. is due for a prep win (JOKE).  

Is it just me, or does it seem like every 3yo male in the U.S. who has ever run in a stakes race, any distance or any surface, is still currently pointing for the Derby?  The only contender who has dropped out is Buddy's Saint, about six weeks ago.  You can argue about their talent, but they are staying healthy, that's for sure.  A horse might have a quarter million in graded $$$ and be on the outside looking in.

CD could make a lot of money if they had a "consolation Derby" for horses 21-40 on the earnings list. (Like what they have for the All American Futurity.)  It would have to be the race before the Derby because of course they would need the auxiliary gate.  They could have a "Little Derby-Big Derby Double" bet and I think it would be popular.  

Just an amazing year so far.


08 Apr 2010 11:10 AM

Greg J.

You are absolutely correct! We have a six year old mare that is going to try to egual the wins such as Citation and Cigar, but we are not suppose to mention her, Geez Louise, I can't get over this.  I bet if this was the "other filly" we would be crucified for not wanting to hear about it.

You are dead on Lazmannick!

Half a mill is pretty darn good to me.   Like Laz said, It's the competition that scares them away....

08 Apr 2010 11:12 AM

Eskendereya had some pedestrian fractions and only beat 5 other horses. He will have to beat 19 others and I don't really see that happening. Last year, I Wheeled Summer Bird (Birstone), and Mine That Bird won, the other (Birdstone) horse.  If Drosselmeyer (Distorted Humor) can get in, and I like Endorsement (Distorted Humor, they are the horses that I like.  Same sire.  For some odd reason, when two horses are entered in a race with the same sire, one of them usually gets part of it.  I've been attending the races for the past 25 years and I've seen this phenomenon over and over again.  For a sleeper, I like Icebox (Pulpit).  I always look at the AEI Index.  Eskendereya (Giant's Causeway) usually get better with age, and the longer the distance, the better.  He will be especially tough in the Belmont, especially since the bottom bloodline is out of A.P. Indy, who by the way, won the Belmont.

08 Apr 2010 11:14 AM

I want to pose this question: which of the non top 25 (in graded earnings) horses running this weekend is most likely to move up into the derby definites?

I like Paddy O'Prado, Northern Giant, and possibly Codoy with an upset.  I don't know that Odysseus will take home third or better on the poly, and if he gets fourth he will still need serious help from the defectors.

08 Apr 2010 11:19 AM
Justin Zayat

Tim G,

My dad told NYRA how to say the name and they still pronounced it wrong. My dad and I haven't been saying the name differently.

08 Apr 2010 11:22 AM

Pam S, I completely love your idea of a "derby" before the Derby. Think of the wonderful mess it would create if No. 21 on the earnings list won the early derby in a faster time than one of the top 20in the real Derby. That would be awesome! (I'm not being sarcastic here)

Oh, and Go Zenyatta! Show 'em your big, beautiful behind.

and, go Rachel! Throw down some more good works and get back to the races soon.

08 Apr 2010 11:29 AM


Will there ever be another "Field" bet in the derby (5-6 coupled horses)? The last time it happened was the 2000 derby when there were three coupled in the "field" bet.

08 Apr 2010 11:29 AM
Tim G

Okay folks, did you hear how Ahmed pronounced it?

He explained where his pronunciation comes from.

Like I thought, local dialect-pronunciation.  How'd he put it local sexy French something or other vs classic Arabic pronunciation.

08 Apr 2010 11:40 AM

In the Arkansas Derby, I am going out on a limb here and take the longest longshot in the lineup. If I was a betting man thats what I would bet on. Now, I'm not a betting man but will still look for an upset.

Always expect the Unexpected, is what I have always been told.

08 Apr 2010 11:44 AM


I just read your latest article:"Derby Field Still a Work in Progress". Your comment about a "dizzying task" is right on. I'm more confused now than I was on Jan. 1st. So many excellent horses! I don't think anybody can logically complain about a weak field this year.

The Homeboykris situation is (to say the least) particularly puzzling. What the heck are they thinking? (Rhetorical question) Now watch him win the Derby and leave us all dumbfounded with our mouths wide open. :-O

08 Apr 2010 11:57 AM

Pam S,

You certainly can think outside the box!

08 Apr 2010 12:00 PM

All you Zenyatta fans need to relax all she has to do in win a G1 on dirt against males and I will stay quiet until she gets her butt whipped in the Breeders Cup...if she shows !

draynay 07 Apr 2010 4:56 PM

nay nay,

It was you who just recently said who cares about Zenyatta running in the Apple Blossom a race she has already won. Your point then was it wasn't a big deal to win a race you already won once before. As stupid as that comment was it's more stupid to now throw out a "if she shows" to another race she has already won. You are so full of contradictions they are coming out of every orafice you have.

That being said I like Make Music For Me as well in the Bluegrass. Interesting too that McPeek is considering the Epsom Derby at a mile and a half for Nobles Promise. Think he might just know a little more about his horses potential to get a distance than most? Nobles Promise = this years Musket Man.

08 Apr 2010 12:03 PM


Interesting stuff, pedigrees.  I think 10 years from now the Unbridled line will be quite prevelant in the pedigrees of Derby starters.

I loved Unbridled as a racehorse.  I question the durability of some of the horses coming down from him.  But there is no doubt they can be very precocious racehorses and if they stay sound, very effective in the classic 3 year old races.

Interesting, there was one Storm Cat colt in the Keeneland sale and he did not generate the price his owners were looking for so he was bought back.  And he was out of a Smart Strike mare I believe.  Not shabby breeding, but perhaps the Storm Cat craze is past now.  

On to a new craze!

08 Apr 2010 12:17 PM

I was just looking at the past performances for the Arkansas Derby and noticed Line of David. He has won his past two starts, (although they were on turf) going wire-to-wire in each. In his last race, a one mile allowance race at Santa Anita, he won by four and a half lengths with a final time of 1:34 2/5. Should he get a clear lead on Saturday, he may be tough to catch. Of course, with Super Saver running that's going to be a hard thing to do, and if Pulsion decides to stick with his new front running style, the race could set up well for someone like Dublin, or Berberis.

I was also looking at the entries for the Blue Grass Stakes. Pleasant Prince had a nice workout here, and there's no reason why he shouldn't like the synthetic surface. As for Paddy O'Prado, he could be very dangerous. I'm a little concerned about Odysseus running poorly when he needs the money, but I think that he'll come through.



08 Apr 2010 12:17 PM

Can we all agree on just calling him Esky, for short. We all know who he is by calling him by his short name version. Not all of us are grammatically correct, It is a tough name and even tougher to pronounce. (for me anyway). I am way good with calling him Esky.

08 Apr 2010 12:19 PM
Nose Bob

I still support Lookin At Lucky, despite his run of horrible luck in his past races. I don't know if he'll come out on top in the Derby, but this horse ALWAYS comes back swinging at the end. A rough trip in the Derby will be nothing new to him. He will hold his own in a big field of 20. And Eskendereya, what else is there to be said? I just hope we get to see him perform to his full potential. I do not care so much about picking the winner as I do seeing the "best" horse take the roses and continue on to Maryland.

08 Apr 2010 12:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


 Here's my suggestion for a guest on The Jason, Tom, and Another Guy Show in the next two weeks. Someone connected to Eskendereya that can teach us how to pronounce the name !!!!!!!! And maybe we'll get some info on how the horse is doing at the same time !!! Zayat Stables-Any volunteers? And they need to send a rep to CD to have a nice little chat with their race caller. I think his name is Mark Johnson-is that right??? He's a sharp guy-it shouldn't take long.

08 Apr 2010 12:44 PM
Pam S.

Zookeeper, thanks for the  compliment (I think) about thinking outside the box.  I was half joking with what I proposed.  But I was also half serious!  

Agree on Homeboykris.  Another Spanish Chestnut?  Another one I don't get is Backtalk.  I know he has fans on here, but you know, his money was earned sprinting as a 2yo, they entered him in the softest prep (Ill. Derby) and he was what, nine lengths out of second?  What would you have to see in order to say, "I don't think the Derby is the right race for my horse?"  I feel Backtalk would rather pull a carriage in Central Park all summer than run a mile and a quarter. (And he's not the only one).

I think the longshot winners like Giacomo and MTB really get the owners excited and maybe a bit less rational at this time of year.

08 Apr 2010 12:46 PM
It Aint Easy being good

John nice post but I though that puplit was a horse with distance limitations. If giants causeways get better with age then Eskendrya will be a monster if he is already running 109 beyers. You guy love to hate on the chalk. The best way to hedge your bets is to take esken in your trifectas and exactas and then across the board on the 2 horses with decent odds that can hit the board! Look no further than Setusko if he gets in he is a beast!

08 Apr 2010 12:54 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Mr. Zayat should have given the AQU race caller a tape with the correct pronunciation, then everytime he needs to say his name, he turns on the tape. He either didn't get the info from NYRA, or just couldn't pronounce it and just to get through the race pronounced it the best he could, or what he previously thought to be the pronunciation. When's the last time we spent this much time on "how to pronounce a horse's name??" Will be glad when we actually hear it. I have to hear the sound before I really get it. THANKS JUSTIN ZAYAT FOR THE INFO.

08 Apr 2010 12:55 PM

Alright I'm interested.  Who is Just Jenda (3-1) the second choice in the Apple Blossom?  The trainer is saying that it is just a pleasure to be in the same race as Zenyatta.  And where is Careless Jewel and Music Note?  Have they been retired?  These seem to be the 2 girls who were being touted the most prior to Zenyatta's defection in the Lady's Classic.  You have to love Zenyatta spotting less weight than she has in a long time (+3).  

08 Apr 2010 1:03 PM

So Baffert yells at Gomez and he in turn punches the jockey who closed him off?  Classic.  I hope we can see this on season 3 of Jockeys.  Perhaps we can follow Gomez to "Jockey Court" as he pays the $750.00 fine.  

08 Apr 2010 1:08 PM

Here's a couple of gems from trainers of horses competing against Zenyatta tomorrow:

"I think any mare in the world would have their hands full against this mare," Cindy Jones, who trains Just Jenda, said of Zenyatta. "But if we can run second, we can say, 'I ran second to probably the best mare ever in racing.'"

"I hope Be Fair doesn't hate me for going against Zenyatta," trainer D. Wayne Lucas said of his horse, a petite front runner. "I might put full-cup blinkers on her and cover her up completely until they get to the gate so she doesn't see Zenyatta."

Of course, I had to go to another site to get that info since the BH is chosing to practically ignore the AB now that it doesn't include RA. Oh well! at least the people at Oaklawn are not yawning.

08 Apr 2010 1:15 PM
Ted from LA

Amy Rooney,

Thank you for the lesson in genetics and Big Red's heart.  It was fascinating.  I think I learned something about myself from it too.  My mother passed on a diarrhea gene to me, my father a constipation gene.  And that must explain why I often suffer from constipation and diarrhea at the same time.  Either that, or I am a hypochondriac.  

08 Apr 2010 1:25 PM
mr pibb

nay nay,

"You are so full of contradictions they are coming out of every orafice you have".

draynot 08 Apr 2010 12:03 PM

Now that's funny stuff!! Sad but true.

In answer to the question posed, Eskendereya will not win the Derby. That's my opinion. I don't care what the nay nay's of the world think about it.

08 Apr 2010 1:32 PM

Eskendereya is a good colt, in fact he is very good. He has the looks, he has the breeding, and he has prooven he has an abundance of the talent. In most years when there is only one standout at this point in time, I would probably say that Eskendereya had a fantastic chance at winning the Derby and even the TC. I am still saying that, but quite as strongly. This year we have multiple horses who could easily jump up to take the Derby. Mid pack/closers like Dublin and Lookin at Lucky would love the quick opening fractions set by SC, Conveyance, and Rule to close into. You have the quality speed horses in all the three listed above, none are cheap speed, like Spanish Chestnut or Sinister Minister. Then you have the pressers like Eskendereya, Endorsement, and American Lion. This year is a pretty consistent year, which leaves the race wide open, should something to detract from the favorites chances at winning.

08 Apr 2010 1:35 PM
Tim G

I've never seen Jason or Steve totally ignore a race. They both had blogs not too long ago with Zenyatta and Rachel as the headliners.

There's an article on here about Zenyatta, just no place for the people to rewrite the same comments over and over and over and over.......HOW many times can the SAME people say the SAME things about the mare and the filly with ANY different slant on it?

I love the mare, but right now it's become crunch time for the Derby.  

The AB is NOT the sole focus of attention in the racing world. If RA had shown up? Maybe. But Wayne commenting on it was because of his filly. I would bet more of even HIS attention is focused on the two colts running Saturday.

08 Apr 2010 1:41 PM

Zookeeper.  "Cover her up completely until they get to the gate so she doesn't see Zenyatta."  Now that's typical Lukas funny.  With Be Fair out front she won't see her at all until it is too late! Zenyatta is perfectly capable of pulling herself into the race if they go too slow (like she did with Hysterical Lady, who betters hit heavy as another "potential" Zen loss, in the first Lady's Secret).  Go 46 or 50...she is gonna get you either way.  I would actually like to see a "prep" run for RA.  It would be nice to keep her 2-3 off the lead. She is hardly a uni-dimensional "Silky Sullivan" although those runs are pretty cool to watch too.  I just remember her being 10 in front of Ginger Punch at the wire in her last appearance at Oaklawn and I'm not seeing any Breeder's Cup competition here.

08 Apr 2010 1:44 PM
Tim G

By the way Zookeeper I'm not sure why you keep trying to turn this particular blog in that direction??

Not sure where you're getting your quotes but it's LUKAS.

Jason, please tell her if you're writing yet ANOTHER blog on Zenyatta so the comments can be saved for that?

Although what is left to say? Until the race is run, more redundancy.

08 Apr 2010 1:44 PM
Zenyatta The Peoples Choice as HOY for 2009

"She was bouncing on the track," said her exercise rider, Steve Willard, after Zenyatta took a one-lap gallop on the one-mile track. "She loves real dirt. She was happy as a pig in pie."

Jerry Moss said Zenyatta will travel quite a bit this year.

"Our focus is on the Breeders' Cup, as it has been the last two years," he said. "We'll be happy to show up at Churchill Downs. We want to let everybody see her. We're proud of her. She's a star."

RA's going to have to do alot of travelling as well to duck Zen all year.

08 Apr 2010 1:45 PM
Ted from LA

They should move Churchill Downs across the river to Indiana.  The politicians in KY have ruined the horse industry.  I also think they should move Texas to southern Mexico.

08 Apr 2010 1:54 PM

Pam S.,

It WAS a compliment!


Just watched THS. Since you guys all agree on Interactif, I'll go sideways and pick Paddy O'Prado. He's grey, I like his name and Oh! he can also run.

In the Ark. D., Super Saver to win, if only to annoy Dray.

BTW no mention of Zen on there either, not even as a little aside comment just to, at least, acknowledge her existence. :)

08 Apr 2010 1:57 PM

Since the match race of the century did not materialize between Zenyatta and Rachel, what this sport really needs is another Triple Crown series like the one in 1978 when Alydar and Affirmed battled to the finish line with Affirmed ultimately winning the Triple Crown.  After Looking at Lucky's trip in the Santa Anita it is hard to judge his abilities as a three year old but I would be elated to have Looking at Lucky and Eskendreya battling down to the wire in all three races with one of them winning the ultimate prize of the Triple Crown.  

08 Apr 2010 2:01 PM

Ted, back away from the keyboard! I live in South Texas, and we like being part of the United States just fine no matter what kind of comment Gov. Goodhair makes.

08 Apr 2010 2:14 PM

Tim G,

Sorry to have annoyed you AGAIN. I'll be quiet now about "you know who" or anything that doesn't have to do with the TC, OK? Probably NOT. :)

08 Apr 2010 2:18 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted From LA

  Good one. Native Americans knew how to race horses so- America back to the Indians? That might solve this financial problem in the industry. But I do believe you were serious in stating that they could move Churchill Downs(were you not?). I'm all for it if that's what it takes to save the company. I expect to see a lot of changes to save the industry. They had their opportunity to explode when internet gambling was taking off and blew it with their petty squabbling. TVG trying to monopolize tracks was one problem. It's not too late to recover. Horse race betting is legal on the internet, poker isn't. Take advantage of that now with the most exciting form of gambling that exists(horse racing). NOW before internet poker is legal here.

JASON-Was surprised at your Arkansas Derby pick. That tells me that you think Noble's Promise has a ton of class. Because his pedigree is weak. You're forcing me to go back and watch a lot of race replays. I'll get back to you before Saturday.

08 Apr 2010 2:23 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Ted from LA......classic I read that too and rolled my eyes about the heart gene I am still laughing. That was almost good as someone on here calling draynay william hung.

08 Apr 2010 2:24 PM


I remember both of us last yr playing more exotics then singles, and both of us bumming about the derby..Any thoughts this yr on how your going to bet?

08 Apr 2010 2:46 PM

My question is .....what happened to the other "Z" horse who was trying so hard to impress the AB people to get in the race? HMMMM maybe they dont want Zenyatta running against her in that race after They put her against Rachel to see where Rachel was fitness wise and its bull to think any different.

08 Apr 2010 3:10 PM

Pam S, what a fun idea!  I love it.

And also, Thanks Amy Rooney for the genetic info.  I learned a lot - I'll look for Secretariat only on the broodmare side from now on. HA!  No really, I look for him everywhere.

I love Zenyatta.  It occurs to me in fun fancies that maybe Secretariat came back as a girl this time.  There was no need to run in the Triple Crown again but he wanted to run after the age of 3.  She moves with that same powerful rhythm.  Go Zen!!! And please travel further East this year.

08 Apr 2010 3:41 PM

Okay, I will make a comment on the AB even if this blog is not about it.  There is no way that Zenyatta will lose that race.  Absolutely, no way.

08 Apr 2010 3:51 PM

I really like Esky, he is the best son of Giant's Causeway I have seen since the wonderful Aragorn was retired. (Now there is a horse who was gone from competition as he was getting even better with age!)

I loved his easy, geared-down win in the Wood, so the big question is how he will do in a bigger field and how he will handle that bigger pressure.

08 Apr 2010 3:58 PM
Billy's Empire

Interactif, if you all love Sidney Candy so much, you should love Interactif who was closing on him in the San Felipe i think. take it to the bank

Just Jenda is a Larry Jones trained filly, actually his wife is trainer now. NO SHOT

08 Apr 2010 4:19 PM
The Rock

Keenland has to be the toughest track to handicap. Horses coming from every which way and there are so many factors that you have to apply to it. If you score, you'll benefit greatly. I can't get a grasp of it though. I'm sticking to the west coast and dirt tracks.... Informed Decision looked like a short horse today. With that, damn the Blue Grass stakes too. I hope the longest shot on the board wins and throws a wrench into those trying to get into the Derby.

08 Apr 2010 4:59 PM

"They should move Churchill Downs across the river to Indiana.  The politicians in KY have ruined the horse industry.  I also think they should move Texas to southern Mexico."

Ted from LA

I think I love you.

08 Apr 2010 5:01 PM

On a serious note, it is really way too early to firm up a Derby favorite. So much can happen in these next few weeks. I like to spend these intervening weeks studying past performances, speed figs, and pedigrees. The morning of the race, I will then weigh the merits of the different trainers still in, the jockeys, any track bias and only then decide who my pick is. (And, upon reaching the window, I kiss my money goodby as I toss all of that out and bet on "Sparkly Magic Rainbow" because the name is so pretty.)

08 Apr 2010 5:11 PM
Ted from LA

When does plan to put up hats of the Derby contenders on their website?  August?  This is not an ENDORSEMENT of any one horse or the website, but I want a hat before the week of the Derby.  

08 Apr 2010 5:16 PM

What's the deal with Baffert still pointing Conveyance towards the Derby?  He may have a say in how far S-Candy can go.  Could be the "set-up" for Lucky.  In fact, Baffert should have let Conveyance stay for the Santa Anita Derby.

08 Apr 2010 6:30 PM
Ted from LA

3-1 merlinmerry is a super model.

08 Apr 2010 6:31 PM

I was hoping for the promised Interactif/Lucky match-up.  He did not stick around to get round II from Sidney's Candy, or a whipping from Lucky.  

08 Apr 2010 6:33 PM
Ted from LA

Or an obese man with a really hairy back wearing a white tank top.

08 Apr 2010 6:36 PM


Where did I bash Zenyatta? Don´t go paranoid here, I´m NOT bashing her. It´s not her fault nobody wants to race her.

(The "hores" would certainly not be able to hold her off...)

I hope Z and RA get to meet this year (that is, if JJ grows some cojones)

On another topic; Am I the only one who actually likes the name "Eskendereya"? It´s freakish, but it´s fun! "Lookin at Lucky" makes me think of a happy shetland pony for some reason...

08 Apr 2010 6:42 PM

Eskenderaya looked good beating on soft competition. A terrible ride by Julian Leparoux cost Awesome Act second place. Having said that Eskederaya 109 Beyer is outrageous. A horse goes that slow and he gets a gigantic beyer. Old east coast garbage. His race was visually impressive , but time wise it was awful. He will get beat in the derby not because of a bad trip , the reason is simple he is just not that fast just like Looking At Lucky who are both throw outs come derby time. When he loses I can already hear excuses. No need for excuses cause he is not that good. And by the way Zenayatta is the true champ. RA has a coward for an owner. Excuses are for losers and thats what Jess Jackson is.

08 Apr 2010 7:22 PM

To the person asking about returning to "field" bet in Derby - that was done in the past when technology didn't allow for 20 individual wagering options. And, as you already know, they no longer couple horses from same owner. That would be an interesting option with WinStar this year, wouldn't it?

08 Apr 2010 7:22 PM

Mr. Gomez let me be the first to thank you for a very good day at the track thanks to you.  Your riding today was simply beautiful. Tim G I have never played Pro Football but I know when a coach is good or not and I also know when a quarterback sucks or not.  And Tim if a coach was 0 for 24 in the Playoffs fans would be all over him.  Like I said before I give Mr. Pletcher credit for trying new things this time around but I am still convinced he has NO IDEA how to get young horses ready for the big race.  I guess when he is 0 for 40 the excuse will STILL be he hasn't had the right horse. Mr. Pletcher is a very good trainer but if you want to win a Derby give the horse to someone who has won it.  Now here are my picks for the Apple Blossom tomorrow.

Win - Be Fair

Place - Just Jenda

Show - Zenyatta

08 Apr 2010 7:23 PM
Fahad Malaikah

TimG (one final note on pronunciation),

I probably should let this go and allow people to pronounce it however they like, but I feel obliged to respond one more time just to correct you on something, and I apologize to others if this is tiresome.  If you are implying in your 11:40 AM post that the way his name was pronounced in the Wood Memorial (“Iss-kan-dray-uh,” with 4 syllables) is correct, based on some difference between formal Arabic and the Egyptian dialect, then you are mistaken.  The difference between the two is the absence of the definite article ("al") in the colloquial.  If you heard Zayat pronounce it the way that it was pronounced in the Wood, then he is either pronouncing it wrong, for whatever reason, or you just are not hearing the short vowel between the “d” and the “r.” In both dialect and formal Arabic, it will always have 5 syllables and there is always a short vowel between those two letters.  If Zayat meant it to be pronounced as “Dray-uh,” then he should not have put a vowel in between the “d” and the “r” in the English spelling.

Since you say that you know a little about Arabic, I suppose that you might be interested in the language, so I will go ahead and just explain the very basic Arabic grammatical rules that are going on here so you can understand how it is pronounced.  This also holds true in dialect.

The Arabized/Persianized form of Alexander the Great’s name is Iskandar, which can be spelled different ways in English (like “Eskandar”).  It has 3 syllables and is pronounced “Iss-kan-dar.” The final “a” is a short vowel and is not written but is always pronounced (not collapsed), and the final syllable sounds much like the “der” in the name Alexander.  The eyya/iyya part at the end is pronounced like “ee-uh,” and is a feminine nisba.  The nisba means that we are turning a noun (Alexander’s name) into an adjective, just like in English when you turn the noun “flower” into the adjective “flowery.” In this case, it is feminine, like many place-names in Arabic, and thus it has that final “uh” sound, which is called a “taa marbuta” (a “t” that is usually unpronounced in such instances, although it may occasionally be pronounced like a very soft “h”).  If it was masculine, the nisba adjective would simply be “Iskandary” (like “flowery”), with 4 syllables.  Since it is feminine, we add the “uh” syllable at the end.  So, to recap, we are simply turning Alexander’s name into an adjective and a feminine place-name, so it comes out pronounced “Iss-kan-da-ree-uh,” with 5 syllables.  It can be spelled different ways in English but never differently in Arabic, and although in formal Arabic it has the definite article (“Al”) in front, in dialect it often does not.  There are other cities in the Middle East with the same name and same pronunciation.  We do not say “Iss-kan-dray-uh.” Different dialects might place slightly different emphasis or sounds on certain syllables or letters, but the word will always have 5 syllables, and the “der” part is never collapsed.  It’s really quite simple, and I hope this ends the confusion.

In sum, it is pronounced “Iss-kan-da-ree-uh.” It is a real “s”, like in the word “sound,” and does not sound like a “z,” like in the word “is.” The “r’s” are rolled.  The “a” in “kan” is also a short vowel, so it really sounds closer to the name “Ken” than the word “can” in English.



08 Apr 2010 7:32 PM

Draynay sorry you don't know anything about horse racing. But get for real on what planet could RA beat Queen Z. Maybe Mars bonehead. Oh I am sorry Jess would not even run her on Mars. Zenyatta is a star whether you like it or not couch potato.  You come on here insulting horse owners for their names. Sidney's Candy was named for his late owner Sidney Craig. Oh you would not know that cause you are a know-it-all who really knows nothing. If you don't like Zenyatta then you don't like horse racing. Get your facts straight when you insult owners about naming their horses. They can name what they want if you don't like too bad. Excuses are for losers seem you are one of those kinds of people from your dumb comments.

08 Apr 2010 7:36 PM

shane- the owner already didn't want to run against Zenyatta in California.  Since it's not a $5 mil purse, he probably doesn't want to run against her at Oaklawn either.  But you believe whatever you want and whatever conspiracies you want.  That is your right.

08 Apr 2010 7:52 PM

JASON ! You like my Noble's Promise ! Well allow me to move over a bit there is plenty of room on the NP Express bandwagon.  You didn't like Northern Giant for Place huh ?  Watch for him right at the wire !

08 Apr 2010 7:54 PM

"My mother passed on a diarrhea gene to me, my father a constipation gene..."

--Ted from LA

Ugh, Ted, I think you may also suffer from the "Too Much Information" gene.

I look for Tim G. to tell you to stop posting now and direct you to a suitable blog. ;)

08 Apr 2010 8:11 PM

Thank you Tim G.!

Geez, people, you'd think that by me saying that we shouldn't be talking about the Apple Blossom on a TRIPLE CROWN blog, that I am being disrespectful to Zenyatta? My point is that this blog is just going to turn into another blog filled with hate and venom like all the Rachel/Zen blogs do. Blood Horse should just make two new blogs, one anti-Rachel and the other anti-Zen so people can write how much they hate the "other horse." At least all of the bloggers will agree on the blog they choose to post on and share their hatred for the undeserving horse of the year or the polycrap champ. Is that what we need to let people release their emotions?

P.S. I like Eskendereya (isn't that what I am supposed to be writing) and there is no way Zenyatta can lose tomorrow short of tossing Mike Smith out of her own boredom (oh dear, I am being such a hypocrite writing about the Apple Blossom now)

08 Apr 2010 8:12 PM

"what happened to the other "Z" horse?"

Shane, Zardana is headed to the La Troienne Stakes on April 30 at Churchill Downs, per a story on ESPN back in March.

Sorry to spoil your conspiracy plot Shane but her owner Arnold Zetcher and Trainer John Shirreffs also said Zardana needed some time off and the 1 1/16-mile La Troienne suits her better than the 1 1/8-mile Apple Blossom.

Oh, and for Tim, I like Lookin At Lucky. Baffert said Lucky came out of the last race in good shape, and if Garrett Gomez learns from his last two mistakes, the colt has a good chance.

08 Apr 2010 8:29 PM

Thanks Jason for watching, had a chance to get with Gomez yesterday on Lookin At Lucky but won't have it up until in the morning at He also talks about Franny Freud and the Oaks.

08 Apr 2010 8:46 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Super Saver wire to wire. Ex and Tri wheel- Northern Giant and Dublin boxed in 2nd and 3rd. And trifecta box those 3. Watching replays-I saw Tampa Derby again for the first time since the race. Odysseus deserves to be in The Derby. Big, big weekend coming up impacting many horses, trainers, owners and Zookeepers.

08 Apr 2010 9:04 PM
Matthew W

Tons of $$$ was spent on tommorrow--by many--they won't get the dream matchup--they will get to see the wrath of Zenyatta! Take it in--take it all in! Why do I mention Zenyatta? Because the word superstar was used to gloss Esky--too soon! The one and only Zenyatta--that is a true superstar of the sport! Enjoy her!

08 Apr 2010 9:10 PM
Greg J.


     "And, upon reaching the window, I kiss my money goodbye as I toss all of that out and bet on "Sparkly Magic Rainbow" because the name is so pretty."  

Too Funny!!!

08 Apr 2010 10:05 PM


Read your 11:12 PM post and tell me you aren't taking a "shot".  Actually no comments about Zenyatta were needed on this particular BLOG.  It's supposed to be about Eskendereya.  LOL

08 Apr 2010 10:18 PM
Tim G

Fahad, I heard Ahmed pronounce the name on TVG. Maybe it's the rolling of the rrrrrr's but, whatever.

My WHOLE point was, in reference to Justin, I think we were getting the KEN part, just not the last syllables.

The rest of my point is from the point of view of a long time race tracker. That point being DON'T name your horse something that is difficult to pronounce, we'll struggle with it. THAT's just the way it is.  

My obvious choices for the Derby are Dublin and Northern Giant so I really don't fancy Eskendereya, the name or the fact that he's being installed as the early favorite.

CV and all the rest,

Personally I think Ted is pretty funny. I know a lot of you are 'in love' with certain horses, that's fine. But I really think these Derby horses deserve the attention right now. If that doesn't fit with your thoughts?  You're in the minority, at least in the world of racing.

Really, The Derby is far more important to ME and most other horsemen right now than an AB with the other 'major' player (per Draynay) out of the picture. The purse was reduced, the field is really short and it just doesn't have a lot of the glamour it was going to have. That's really too bad, but I'll still be there to watch it.

I love Zenyatta and what she has accomplished, I love most horses, but it's time for the Derby horses to shine and what better place than on a Triple Crown blog???

Imagine a newbi coming on wanting to read about the Derby and the bickering that goes on about Zenyatta et al slamming them in the face. Now there's a positive experience.

Also CV, your sarcasm is wasted.

08 Apr 2010 10:20 PM

Shane, Shane,Shane,  Whats up with all the conspiracy theories.

Any horse can be entered in any race the owner wants to enter them in, for their age groups or gender restricted groups of course.

Any mare/filly age 4+ could have entered in the AB as well as the La Troienne thats coming up. Its not a conspiracy.

08 Apr 2010 10:21 PM

I hope all of you are eager to talk about Zenyatta when she finally gets the guts to cross the Mississippi and take on G1 winning males on dirt.  Is there ANYONE out there that thinks she will do it before November ? Geez.

08 Apr 2010 10:34 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

SODAPOPKID-Thanks for the review, glad you liked it. ZENYATTA is one of the greatest of all time. GO ZENYATTA, take your time, and be safe. ESKY is a monster !!!!! Pletcher's first Derby win. WOOHOO!!!!! Unless Setsuko is in, then Pletcher will have to settle for second. Zenyatta should win Dancing With The Stars next year. It's between her and Baffert. Exacta Box those two with ALL in 3rd.

08 Apr 2010 10:44 PM
Tim G

Dray, I think you should take the word of a guy who HAS won the DERBY and other TC races. More than anyone in modern history.

It isn't easy and it took him a while too.

He believes Todd will win it one day, but here's hoping it's not this year. Todd happens to train a lot of horses for people that have interest in winning a lot of races,not just the Derby. Todd wins a lot of races and at a very high %.

Your football experience? Is that an inside point of view? ie the tackling dummy? Horse racing once again, does NOT compare well to other sports. Why? Well we get paid whether it's a championship race or a championship prep.

Also, what most consider the  best and most important, races: The TC and especially the Derby? Don't even have the highest purses in racing.

08 Apr 2010 10:47 PM
Tim G

plus, what is the focus to some of us, isn't to some others. What Wayne and Nick and to a degree Baffert focus on (or in Wayne's case, obsess over)? Not necessarily what Todd or his clients focus on.

08 Apr 2010 10:50 PM
Ted from LA

Fahad Malaikah,

You seem like a very nice and respectful person. Thanks for helping people with the pronunciation of Iss-ken-de-ree-ah.

How did I do?  Are you a friend or family member of Zayat?

"Personally I think Ted is pretty funny."  Tim G, I don't know whether to hug you or watch my private parts with such a "complement."

08 Apr 2010 11:01 PM
Fahad Malaikah


Fair enough.  I still contend that it is easy to pronounce and sounds better when correctly pronounced anyway.  :)  

I need to add to my above post that it behaves "like" a nisba, just to clarify.  Doesn't change the pronunciation.  You can make a "nisba" from it for names.  

Back to racing: I wish all of the horses running this week safe travels! Good luck to all Derby contenders.  Best of luck to Zenyatta tomorrow.  I also hope my girl Rachel is doing well and returns soon.



08 Apr 2010 11:07 PM

I'm sure a discourse in the proper Arabic pronounciation of Eskenderya would do a lot for newbies also. No disrespect to you Fahad. At least you probably know what you're talking about and I enjoy your very respectful posts.

Since I'm under a gag order on a certain subject, let me just say to you Tim G: enjoy your day at Oaklawn!  :)  

Now, I'll go back to my study of the only important subject at this time of year: the KD preps. That topic is completely free of bickering and slamming and is the true picture of what horse racing fans are all about. A real inspiration to any newbie that might wander on here.

08 Apr 2010 11:12 PM


I have come to a conclusion. I don't care were or when or what surface Zenyatta runs on , You are going to find fault with her.

Eveything she does is never good enough, Apparently, you can't accept a real mare such as her.

By the end of this year and she has succeeded all that you have requested,  Are you going to stand up and give her the credit, or are you going to continue to demean her and her success.

Whether you like it or not, she is the best race horse by far than any other in the freaking world,man

How can you not like this mare???

She will make history again tomorrow if all goes well....she would have to be sick for it not to go well....knowing Zenyatta.

08 Apr 2010 11:33 PM
Ted from LA

Mr. Drunkinbum,  Comedic genius.  Your best post ever!

I have an uneasy feeling that if Caracortado doesn't make the field, Endorsement might be intriguing.  I endorsed a check that bounced to NE Nebraska today, so I guess I have a feeling...  it could be gas...  

08 Apr 2010 11:40 PM

It Aint Easy being good

You probably have the Blue Grass right but I think that it's now or never for Dublin.....absolutely no excuses.  At least Draynay jumped off him so that should move him up at least a little bit.  LOL Hope you cash.

08 Apr 2010 11:41 PM

Tim G. lol. Let me help you.  Next time you are going to respond to me take a minute and collect your thoughts and then type it out.  It might help if you spit your gum out first.  Soda, for the last time I don't care to see the Breeders Cup champion run against girls again and again and again.  Do I have to draw a map for Mr. Moss to show him where Churchill, Belmont or Saratoga are located ? Rachel in 4 or 5 months ran against G1 winning males on dirt 3 times as a 3 year old.  Zenyatta is 6 year old and has NEVER beat G1 winning males on dirt.  NEVER.  How many more filly races do we have to endure before they will finally get the stones to run her on the dirt vs. G1 winning males? What filly race will Mr. Moss take her to next month and the month after that ?  Enough is enough.  Look up what Curlin did after he won the Breeders Cup and get back with me.  Seems like you and Mr. Moss need a map.

09 Apr 2010 12:00 AM

"Personally I think Ted is pretty funny."

Me too, Tim. Guess you missed the ;)

You seem to have worked yourself into a little frenzy here, writing nearly a page to tell me my comment was "wasted" and ordering others not to post.

We're all horse racing fans or we wouldn't be reading Bloodhorse.

So you may want to take a step back, quit playing blog cop and chill out. OK?

09 Apr 2010 12:46 AM

Dray, Belmont and Saratoga aren't open yet so they can't run Zenyatta there now, and she'll be at Churchill for the Breeders Cup.

09 Apr 2010 1:53 AM

Ted From LA

Mendip is hurt.  Wont be coming here for the Derby

09 Apr 2010 2:10 AM

Arkansas Derby = Uh Oh Bango

09 Apr 2010 2:22 AM

Mr. Dray:

I know you don't read articles on Zenyatta, So I will tell you what Mr.Moss said in one of his the other day regarding Zenyatta.  He said, "We will be traveling this year and we want to do something at Churchill and Belmont", something to that order,is what he said. I believe they do intend to bring her out of Cali more.

Mr.Sherriffs said that he trains her at Hollywood Park on a dirt track , thats what he said in a article on

He did for this race in the AB.

09 Apr 2010 7:32 AM
Fran Loszynski

When I was younger as a racing fan my favorites were Seattle Slew and Ruffian you know Dublin must be great to me with Afleet Alex because look who sired Esky-Seattle Slew! I wish a great race for Eskey but my heart belongs in Dublin. Watch for his kick-in speed in the Arkansas it will overwhelmn us. May the red clay hills of Ireland embrace your heart and long legs- my Dublin.

09 Apr 2010 8:54 AM


If the object of your piece was to be provocative it has achieved its objective.

“The Star We Were Searching For”

What exactly makes Eskendereya a star? Which of the Top 3YOs has he beaten? To be considered a star you have to beat the best. Both Lookin At Lucky and Nobles Promise who are on the derby trail, finished ahead of him in the BCJ and they are yet to meet as 3YOs. Bellamy Road won the 2005 Wood by 17 1/2L in a NTR pulling a bus. Was he the star we were searching for? Empire Maker won the 2003 Florida Derby by 9 3/4L pulling a bus. Was he the star we were searching for? We have seen these and better performances before. Cast your mind back to 2001and a colt by the name Officer. He won his first five starts in hand including the Champagne S. G1. He was probably one of the shortest priced favorites in the history of the BCJ and he never hit the board. The difference was he pace. I am surprised a gentleman of your knowledge did not use a more measured CAPTION as neither Bellamy Road nor Empire Maker elevate themselves to star status.

“Eskendereya seems to have everything a Derby winner needs. He's a big, robust horse with staying power. He is immaculately bred. He has tactical speed. He rates willingly. He is professional. He has a world-class trainer-jockey team. About the only thing he doesn't have is a name that rolls off the tongue”

Come on Jason! You’re a brilliant writer and a knowledgeable thoroughbred enthusiast and certainly the above profile of a potential derby horse is way off. Let’s check some colt facts:

“He's a big, robust horse with staying power”

The 2009 derby winner Mine that Bird is barley over 15 hands. The great Northern Dancer whose Derby record Secretariat broke was 15.2 to 3 hands. Smart Jones was also very small Derby winner. They are considered midgets to most thoroughbreds.

“He is immaculately bred”

How many sons of Storm Cat have sired a winner of a Triple Crown race? How many broodmares sired by Seattle Slew have produced a derby winners? None! If being immaculately bred was one of the ingredients for derby success then the likes of Mine That Bird, Big Brown, Funny Cide Giacomo, Lil E Tee, Go For Gin etc would have been sent to the glue factory. How many of the so called is immaculately bred horses have been derby winners? Your guess is as good as mine.

“He has tactical speed. He rates willingly”

How advantageous are these characteristics? Street Sense closed from 19th to beat pace setter Hard Spun. Mine That Came from 19th to beat tactical speed horse PoineerOf The Nile. Fusaichi Pegasus, Monarchos, Unbridle, Firdinand and came from double digits lengths off the pace to win.

“He has a world-class trainer-jockey team”

How many races have this team won outside the US? How many TC races has this team won? A grand total of one! The US is a great country but it is not the world. I would not put Jonny V in the top 5 riders in the US much less the world. Todd Pletcher does not rank with the top trainers in the world in spite of his dominance in the US. If the truth is told, Todd has a strained relationship with the Triple Crown series of races and that is to Eskendereya disadvantage.

One characteristic your piece did not highlight was ‘Heart” It takes heart to win the TC sires of races and “The Star We Were Searching For” did not exhibit any in the BCJ. He was bumped and folded like a dead bird.  Potential stars overcome adversities and win.

This colt has been following extremely slow fractions and spurting away. This has allowed many to believe that he will be able do the same when faced with a true horse race pace. Well is history is to be followed he will not be the one to get Todd off the mark.

09 Apr 2010 9:00 AM

You all can make fun and roll your eyes if you want.  I always roll my eyes when I see a stud advertisement and it contains the phrase "carries the large heart gene". Which would very difficult for him to market since you would have to buy his daughter and breed her to try to express the gene.

09 Apr 2010 9:20 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

ZOOKEEPER-Ignore the gag order. I will represent you in court for free for as long as it takes. To take anything away from your brilliant posts is the crime of the century !!!! Be yourself, please.

Esmedereya is pronounced- ESK-ee.

Ted From LA-Wow. That's an amazing compliment coming form you. Thanks. Were you being serious or sarcastic ????!!!!!!!

09 Apr 2010 9:26 AM

Fahad, I, for one, enjoyed your post on how to pronounce Esky's name -- and it is quite pretty with that pronunciation. My question is, which syllable should by emphasized in his name?

Ark Derby: Northern Giant, Noble's Promise, Super Saver.

09 Apr 2010 9:45 AM

No matter the controversy over the pronunciation of Esky's name...I find him to be a great horse named after a city named for Alexander The Great, which is soooo much more regal than a horse called Ice Box.  Don't forget, once no one could properly pronounce the name Slough, so the owners changed it to spell it as it should sound...


Good fortune today, Zen.

Tomorrow...I cannot predict any race except I want New Madrid to do well even though I do like Dublin too.

09 Apr 2010 9:54 AM


You're getting to be a yawn......Zen showed up for the AB to face you know who.....who as we all know chose not to participate at this time.......As far as G-1 winning older males, I hear on good authority that Zen's connections contacted the owners of Bullsbay and Macho Again several times to set up a race......guess what.....they declined.  They figured that she would be too easy and wanted to race in the ultra tough Woodward instead.....Zen declined that race because Moss wanted her to race against allowance females instead....SOUNDS PRETTY STUPID DOESN"T IT?  It fact it sounds like something you would post.  LOL

09 Apr 2010 10:04 AM

Once again, the mention of Zenyatta and Rachel brings out all the hatred between certain bloggers.  What a shame and how tiresome is that?  Why must either of them be demonized?  These are two horses who care about nothing but running.  Why all the nasty comments and insinuations?  This is supposed to be fun discussing the sport not a forum for unleshing all this venom.

09 Apr 2010 11:00 AM
It Aint Easy being good

this blog has turned into a circus show the main acts are

Ted from la


Mike R

Tim G

Still love Teds post response to transferring a big heart post by amy (blog classic!) When I read amy's post about transferring a big heart I thought to myself I am now dummer for reading that post and may god have mercy on your soul! lol!

09 Apr 2010 11:01 AM
Tim G

Well it looks like a beautiful day.

Hope it holds for tomorrow.

Ted, I meant my personal opinion, don't get worried,LOL.  Maybe that would be easier to hear from one of the 'ladies' on here.

Although SOME of them seem a bit belligerent and you might not come away unscathed from some of them.

As far as the pronunciation of Eskendereya, thanks for your help Fahad and Justin. Yes Ms Zookeeper I think it's important, since a lot of people are touting him for the Derby. There's a lot of interest in him, whether Mr Zayat will accept the offers to buy in, sizing up the competition etc. That's part of the Derby banter. I just know we seem to have a problem with pronunciation of other owners/trainers horses names.

Ms. CV, I'm not trying to play blog cop. There are a lot of people who are sick and tired of the bickering and think it's not good for the game. Don't necessarily believe that any pub is good pub. Especially when there are so many good stories around the Derby which have not been hashed and rehashed and trashed.

If it was pure speculation as to what the mare would do or how the others are feeling about running against her that wouldn't bother any of us. What I'm talking about is the mudslinging, smear, hate campaign that starts up in EVERY blog when either horse is mentioned.

(see Draynay's commment above, a perfect example of how the truth is twisted constantly. Z came to OP to run AGAINST RA. But once again fact turns to mockery and belittling)

Believe it or not there are casual fans whose interest is sparked at this time of the year. People who don't normally hang out as a FAN on a website day in and day out will read up on info at this time of year.

I've had a number of friends and/or patients from all over comment to me that 'no wonder racing is in so much trouble'.

I guess the 'fans' on here really are the definition of a 'fan'. I realize that 'fans' spend time trashing opposing teams coaches (trainers) and players (horses) involved. I just don't particularly buy into that. I sort of come at it from a different point of view.

NOW THIS is a long post directed at you in majority. My others? Addressed several people.

Dray, how did that help me understand anything to tell me to spit out my gum?

I addressed you on the subject of your inexplicable hatred of Todd.

I believe that those in the game who know Todd, who believe that he has the ability to win a Derby and is a future HOF trainer are more reliable sources than you are.

THEY also know just how difficult it is to win that race and most of them are more concerned with trying to win it themselves. Your criticisms are very similar to those against others who have run a lot of horses in the Derby.

Like I said, now I plan on enjoying the great weekend of racing. Hope you all get to watch.

09 Apr 2010 11:10 AM
Jason Shandler

Coldfacts: He's a star because he's the Derby favorite. That qualifies. BTW, where are your Derby horses? Who were they again? lol

When will you learn, all that overanalytical pedigree stuff doesnt mean jack when it comes to picking a Derby winner. You guys have been proven wrong time and time again...

09 Apr 2010 11:11 AM


You could not have summed it all up better. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Jason is completely wrong about pedigree people being wrong time and again. He shows that he is ignorant about pedigree analysis, but that does not mean that there aren't many other ways to pick a winner. By the way Jason, my early favorites are Noble's Promise and Make Music for Me. I arrived at those through pedigree analysis, and it just shows that people like dray can arrive at the same horse using different angles.

09 Apr 2010 11:29 AM

Dr Drunkinbum,

Thank you! I was only kidding about the gag order. I have no intention of being silent.

Tim G.,

I find it ironic that you singled me out since you would be hard pressed to find a comment from me that vilifies either horse. I'm not responsible for other bloggers who constantly engage in what you condemn, yet you attempt to silence me. Again have a great time at Oaklawn, even if today doesn't feature a horse headed to the KD! Peace!  :)

09 Apr 2010 11:52 AM

William Hund Said: I hope all of you are eager to talk about Zenyatta when she finally gets the guts to cross the Mississippi and take on G1 winning males on dirt.  Is there ANYONE out there that thinks she will do it before November ? Geez.

Blah, Blah, Blah...

I hope all of you are eager to talk about Rachel when she finally gets the guts to cross the Mississippi and take on G1 winning males on Poly.  Is there ANYONE out there that thinks she will do it before November ? Geez. Oops, she had the chance and her owner bailed.

09 Apr 2010 11:59 AM
Jason Shandler

Alexaso: I guess you liked Smarty and Big Brown too? Werent they supposed to come up short at 10 furlongs too?

09 Apr 2010 12:00 PM
It Aint Easy being good

jshandler I can tell you that coldfacts had connemara winning the derby back a month ago he will get on here a spew pointless pedigree facts but at the end of the day he has no eye for talent! He has changed his derby horse as much as Dray but at least dray is funny and know that Zenyatta is never going to be a real champion until she runs away from santa anita versus males on dirt! I love how a horse loses a race such as Rule and looking at lucky and get no love anymore.

09 Apr 2010 12:01 PM

Wow, I thought everyone was aware of the X-chromosome linked large heart theory. It's not something a blogger pulled out of their behind, so I'm not sure why anyone would be the dumber for having read about in a blog post.

09 Apr 2010 12:13 PM


When you know the truth, Never back down from it.  The naysayers and the fans know how good Zenyatta is. You lift that gag order right away because the naysayers want you to shut up and go away so they don't have to be faced with the truth.  I love horses, and I see the good in all of them. I for one will not sit back and see a mare at six being demoralized when she is doing what is great at her age.

Whether you like her or not, you still have to admit her great achievements.

Question? How many fillies thats running today, do you think you will see on the tracks at six??

09 Apr 2010 12:21 PM

On a sad note, Personal Ensign is dead at the age of 26. How sad this news is.

09 Apr 2010 12:28 PM
Fahad Malaikah


Thank you, as well as Ted from La and Zookeeper, for your kind responses.  As for your question about emphasis, if you can believe it, it is full of short vowels.  The short vowels in Arabic are not written, but they are pronounced.  If you were to “transliterate” the sound of each letter in English and ignore the short vowels, it would come out something like this: “Iskndryh.”  That is not a real transliteration of the name, but I hope you see my point.  The “I” could also be an “E” I suppose.

So, the word has no long vowels, except for the sound of the “ree” part.  So, it goes like this: Iss-kan-da-ree-uh.  The “Iss” has a real “s” sound and the first syllable can sound like the first syllable of the word “escape.”  The “kan” sounds more like the name “Ken” with just slightly more of an “a” than an “e” sound.  The “da” is just a quick “da” sound, as in “What da heck” in slang English.  The last two syllables, the “ree-uh” part, sound like the first two syllables in the word “reify,” with a rolled “r” sound.

So, it is pronounced quickly and does have a kind of musical quality to it.  There aren’t really any long vowels and the syllables are basically equal in length, with only the “ree-uh” part sounding a little drawn out.  Certain dialects might draw the last two syllables out more than others, but the word remains 5 syllables always.  I hope that helps and doesn’t cause more confusion.



09 Apr 2010 12:36 PM

Yes, I won on Smarty and Big Brown. Many did say they would come up short. Many are saying the same about Noble's Promise too. I hope he has a good one this weekend, but maybe not too good.

Jason, I enjoy your blogs. I would like to suggest a blog close to the Derby where you list out different handicapping angles and which horses fit. I would like to hear your input on the different angles too.

09 Apr 2010 1:22 PM

Hey Ruffian where did you hear  about Mendip's injury because as far as I know he has been shipped to Newmarket rom Duabi along with other gosdolphin horses, where he is preparing for his next start which will be in the English guinees (g1) at Newmarket on May 1st.

09 Apr 2010 1:35 PM

3-1 merlinmerry is a super model.

Or an obese man with a really hairy back wearing a white tank top.

Ted from LA

Ted - you've been peeking! I was wearing a white top! But I'm not a man (sorry) and the only hair touching my back comes when I brush out my long, flaxen tresses.

09 Apr 2010 1:55 PM

Thanks Tiznowbaby I appreciate it.

Thanks also to Mr. Justin Zayat and Fahad for the pronounciation of the horses name. It is a beautiful name.

09 Apr 2010 1:57 PM
It Aint Easy being good

Who cares how to pronounce a horses name that is going to choke in the derby yeah he looked decent in the wood but come on people looking at lucky is the cream of the crop and its a blessing in disguise of what happened to him in the SA derby he is the real deal and will be hard to beat in 3 weeks! His large heart will look great when he is in 4th place may 1st!

09 Apr 2010 2:56 PM


I was responding to a post regarding the "unspeakable subject". I was not "taking a shot" at anything, but if it offended you, then I apologize.

09 Apr 2010 4:05 PM


Maybe I should be the one to apologize.  Sorry I misinterpretred your post. No excuses on my part.  LOL

09 Apr 2010 6:00 PM
Ted from LA

Flaxen tresses???  I don't know what that means, but I LIKE it!  Mr. Drunkinbum, I was being serious.  I don't like to joke.  While I'm on the subject, if you suffer from depression, increase the amount of flax seed in your diet.  What is the difference between "flaxen hair" and "dirty blonde?"

09 Apr 2010 6:04 PM

My gosh how slow is Zenyatta on dirt? Her time would have been the 2nd slowest Arkansas Derby in 25 years.  Step to the side Zenyatta and let the young 3 year old horses show you how to run.

09 Apr 2010 8:02 PM

Amy Rooney,

A stallion can only inherit the LH gene on his X chromasome.  This means that he can only pass it on to his daughters, as male offspring inherit their X from their dam.

Males are XY, females are XX.  In some species, different letters are used, but I don't recall what is used for the horse.  A male horse always inherits the X from his dam.  If she is homozygous (meaning two of the same), or double copy, as you mentioned, she passes her LH gene to all of her colts.  Fillies from this mare would get their other X from their sire.

I'm not sure if the inheritance on this gene is fully understood.  It is probably Dominant, or Sex linked Dominant.  I'm also not quite sold on this gene and its' expression, and I have a good understanding of genetics.

First of all, I'm interested in a horse's physical, next is how a horse reacts to their surroundings and environment (good mind).  Of course, I started with the catalogue page.  Less chrome(white markings)is better IMO.

You can't always "see" a horse's heart until they work or race.  I'm talking about their spirit/will to compete/win.

Eskendereya makes running look easy; we'll see about the heart in the KD, and I'm not talking about the literal meaning.

09 Apr 2010 8:52 PM


Less white markings is better? I never heard that before. What does it signify?

09 Apr 2010 9:38 PM

Based on the 8:02 post by this boards clown, the diagnosis of Zenyatta Derangement Syndrome is positive. The clown was last seen in the padded room babbling what sounded like the following:

I'll let her rough me up

'Till she knocks me out

'Cause she walks like she talks

And she talks like she walks......She bannnnnngs

09 Apr 2010 9:39 PM

"My gosh how slow is Zenyatta on dirt...?"--draynay

Oh, for the love of God just stop. (rolls eyes)

If you watched the race, you know she practically cantered to the wire with Mike Smith napping on her back.

Give it a rest, dray.

09 Apr 2010 9:49 PM

Hi CV,

Some white markings involve pink skin and a hoof with less or almost no pigment.  Maybe I was overly influenced by Tesio, but I agree with him re white markings.  Also pink noses can get sunburnt in the pasture.

If you look at other animals, such as African wild dogs, dometicated birds, even pigeons in the park, the visible pied markings usually indicate less genetic diversity.

I should have said that less chrome is my preference.

If you like white, look at Northern Dancer and his genetic contribution to the breed. Cigar's sire Palace Music had a lot of white on his face.

Just my preference.  

09 Apr 2010 10:12 PM

Just wanted to add that yes, I agree with linebreeding to increase the chance of good characteristics appearing in a horse's offspring.  And yes, sometimes you get chrome as well.

Back to the Derby:

I like NP and New Madrid for tomorrow.

09 Apr 2010 10:24 PM


I guess the only thing slower than Zenyatta is that speak resting somewhere between your ears.

09 Apr 2010 10:30 PM

What is the difference between "flaxen hair" and "dirty blonde?"

Ted from LA


09 Apr 2010 10:31 PM


He has a Condylar fracture from his last race.  I'm not sure where I read/heard it.   It's been posted in this blog by others also on these two dates/times.  4/7 327pm and 4/7 800pm.   Ted from LA has been asking about him.  I answered it on another blog but I guess he missed it.   Also, are you the Armaan from the Steve radio show they mentioned a week or so ago?    I hope this helps, better yet, I hope I'm wrong.

09 Apr 2010 10:52 PM
Tim G

One white foot, buy him. Two white feet, try him. Three white feet, deny him. Four white feet and a snip in his nose, take him out and feed him to the crows.

An old rhyme(in varying versions). An old wives tale claims a white hoof is weaker than a dark/black hoof.

A bald face horse can get sunburn and it can lead to problems, just like it does for humans.

I personally like the horses with chrome. Even though it's not a beauty contest, doesn't hurt to have a good looking one.

The track was listed as fast, but it seemed real humid and the track seemed to be playing pretty slow. Very slow times all day.

Zenyatta looked like she was out for a glorified work.

Won it EASY.

09 Apr 2010 11:39 PM
Tim G

May be a bit cooler tomorrow, so lets see how the track plays for the Ark Derby.

That answer was for you LDP.:)

Only broke my own rule for a nice young lady like you..;)

09 Apr 2010 11:42 PM

My picks

BG :

Trifecta Box : Make Music For Me / Aikenite / Interactif and Paddy O'Prado

AB :

Trifecta Box : Dublin / Noble's Promise / Uh Oh Bango and Northern Giant

For KD : I'm still deciding on 3 horses : L@L / Make Music For Me (if she runs well tomorrow) or Eskendereya

Queen Z netted me 230.00 today with a 10 trifecta straight bet 4-2-1 :)  

I'll say it again, RA will never win another race and will be retired the next time she loses :)

10 Apr 2010 3:25 AM

I cant wait for the KY Derby. I think Eskendereya will win and draw off by at least 5 lengths, hand wridden. We could be looking at A triple Crown Winner here. Hope He's 5-2 or higher. Will be betting him on top of Exactas, Trifectas and Superfectas with 3 horses behind him, won't reveal those 3 horses though, 2 are obvious, the third I really like, good luck to all of you bettors on Derby Day.

10 Apr 2010 7:18 AM

Triple Crown ?  You people crack me up.  The horse beats Jackson Bend twice and he is the Derby favorite? Give ME A BREAK.  Is Jackson even in the Derby ?

10 Apr 2010 3:26 PM


Okay.....who do you like for the Derby now????????????????

10 Apr 2010 5:52 PM

I'm with jayjay on Demo Derby winner. After today he even looks better. Now granted he is not as battle worn as Unlucky but if he breaks well she is ALL over. Eskendereya has so much upside and We all will see it on the 1st Sat. in May. Giants Causeway, Seattle Slew mare reeks of wanting the 1 1/4 distance. Sorry folks but your racing for 2nd. Remember this.  

10 Apr 2010 7:02 PM


Who gave you those picks.....Draynay?.....Just joking.....LOL

10 Apr 2010 8:52 PM

Hoping Eskendereya (means Dominant Horse) will be at least 2-1 in KY Derby so I have a good chance at Straight Exacta, trifecta and Superfecta picks. So much for interactiff, nobles promise, they both flopped prep races. Line of David maybe would have a chance except for only 3 wks. rest, Eskendereya, Sidney's Candy, Lookin @ Lucky and Endorsement. Stately Victor won't do much, off 3 wks. rest, running on synthetics at Keeneland, he runs off the pace, by the time he makes his run Eskendreya would have already kicked for home, Sydneys Candy will be long gone, Lookin @ lucky will have made his move, Endorsement will also be in the hunt. Good luck on KY derby day to all of you bettors!

10 Apr 2010 10:16 PM

Eskendereya reminds me physically of Zenyatta, possibly the two will meet in the BC Classic after Esky wins the triple Crown. Eskendereya beat up on a very good horse Awesome Act in the Wood. Aslo beat up on Ice Box in The Fountain of Youth. His only competition will come from Sydneys Candy, until Esky blows past him in the stretch, also Lookin @ Lucky won't be able to catch the hand wridden winner Eskendereya. Endorsement will give chase but Eskendereya is much better than Conveyance, who is a very good horse by the way.

10 Apr 2010 10:21 PM

I am still on Noble and maybe the terrible start will help on Derby day and have him forwardly placed and out quickly.  It can't get much worse.

11 Apr 2010 1:18 AM
Gary Lynn

Oh, those "rubber-track" horses are so versatile. What a weekend!

11 Apr 2010 3:33 AM

LAZ : yeah, I just copy the fan handicapper LOL.

I don't see any bashing of Esky from Dray today...maybe because Noble showed that he doesn't belong and will not make any impact in the derby.  Did anyone bet Dray to stop blogging if Noble loses ?? :)

I actually had Line of David in my trifecta...just not on was a painful, painful day at the track yesterday.

11 Apr 2010 1:16 PM
Chris L.

Lookin' At Lucky

11 Apr 2010 1:55 PM

jayjay I don't need to bash Esky the facts are the facts.  His last two races he beat a horse who isn't even in the Derby whoopeee.  Like I said in another thread Mr. Pletcher is not betting 1 dollar on Esky to win so why on earth would you ?

11 Apr 2010 1:59 PM


Don't feel bad.  Over the past week I've read maybe a thousand or make that two thousand sure-fire predictions of who would win the Blue grass and the Arkansas Derby.....How many of these predictions were wrong?  Probably 99.9%  LOL

11 Apr 2010 2:33 PM


your knock has been and always will be that you never pick them until the following day when you magically have a ticket. How did Noble fair in the Ark. Derbythis weekend? Lugging out and dead tired. Here come the excuses!!!!!

ps...Eske is better.

11 Apr 2010 4:29 PM
Tim G

And like I SAID in the other thread. How the heck do you have any idea WHAT Todd is doing, what and if he's betting on any horse?

What in fact do you actually know about ANY trainer or ANY Horse or ANY owner that you seem to love to comment on?????

11 Apr 2010 7:20 PM

Dray is hiding because he hasn't figured out an excuse for Noble's Promise LOL.  

Just like RA, he kept glorifying Noble's Promise.  Like Winner14Derbys says, he'll start talking about how his NEW pick is and will probably deny he ever picked NP LOL.

Just goes to show how much he knows about horses, I think he analysis everything and depends a lot on statistics and run times.  Sometimes, you just need some racing luck...doesn't every handicapper know that ??? :)

12 Apr 2010 1:31 AM

Hmmm...I think I just gave Dragnay the excuse:

"NP had some bad luck!"

12 Apr 2010 1:32 AM

I think Eskendereya will win at least two of the classics - maybe three? Wouldn't it be wonderful after last year's early favorites withdrawn and the disappointment following that.  I think we can learn to pronounce his name so it rolls off the tongue. Not every horse can have a beautiful and easy name like CURLIN! :-) bUT I am practicing.  And this is not even my favorite horse.  But I always think the best horse should win.  And there you have it!

12 Apr 2010 11:56 AM

jayjay if the horse is injured and not in the Derby I will have to go with my second or third choice.  LAL or Endorsement.  The workouts will give me a better idea.  But without NP in the race LAL should have his own way.

12 Apr 2010 7:59 PM

My early picks (subject to change after post positions are known) :

Looking At Lucky : I just hope GoGo gets his head back together and rides him clear, it's not like he needs any more challenges when running in the KD.

Eskendereya : I do believe he is the real deal, until he loses, I think he's going to be a good candidate for the triple crown

Long shots :

Dean's Kitten : He's my longshot, I liked his race at TP, he moved pretty early on the last turn and continued to power home.

Ice Box : His late running style suits CD so I'm looking for him to fly late...and hoping I'd get him on a WIN or exotic bet.

On another note, I'd like to commend the Jacksons and the Moss' for letting their horses run even though the trend now in the racing industry is to retire them as soon as they win a G1.  I think that's why the horses of today are far more inferior because they don't race for too long.  There are sires that runs 2 races and retire and breeds.  I can't fault the owners because in the end  it's all about the money.  I'm just glad the moss' and the jacksons are there to let us see these great horses race, again, even if they really don't need to.  Queen Z and RA doesn't have anything else to prove, it's awesome to still see them race!

12 Apr 2010 8:38 PM
Tim G

Good grief Gertie. NOW you're on LAL after all the trash talking about HIM???


By the way what do you even know about Endorsement? What did you see him do prior to the SP Derby?

Maybe the fact that MTB came out of that race is influencing you? A closet MTB fan?

I think you have now picked 15 horses since the beginning of the year. NP DID not appear that 'injured' Minor if anything, from what I could see.

You were declaring it a travesty that Steve had LAL on his top ten while leaving the awesome NP off. If he was as great as you were hyping him to be he would have won on heart alone. Face it, you shouldn't give your pick until May 2nd, then you might get it right.

I think you SHOULD wear a pink hat, hide the pink dome, obviously you're getting too much sun.

Oh, how are things in Alabama? LOL

12 Apr 2010 8:45 PM

Youre on the right track draynay, I like Eskendereya on top, with Endorsement, Lookin@lucky and Sidneys candy to follow, playing exactas, trifectas and superfectas with these 4 with Super Eskendereya on top.

12 Apr 2010 10:31 PM

Tim again you have managed to take up space and not say a lot.  Come out of your mom's basement and take a deep breath and lose the Quiet Riot T-Shirt.

13 Apr 2010 12:29 PM
Tim G

Uh, just repeating your comments, without the quotes, paraphrasing. So who is it that takes up space saying nothing???....LOL

First Mom doesn't have a basement, second I'm many years older than you are, third the only time I even GO to the basement is to experiment on my patients like the mad Dr....

Or to watch a game/movie etc in my theatre.


13 Apr 2010 2:34 PM

Draynay's been really quiet, he says that Esky didn't beat any horses going to the Derby in his last 2 prep races.  NP hasn't won ANY preps and going by his glorifications of NP, he should've won AD by many many lengths, the only time he runs decent is when he's getting whipped by Lucky...I don't even know why NP is running in the Derby, he doesn't have any shot at all. I'd be surprised if he finishes in the Top 10.  Lucky gets banged up, goes dead stop and runs like a freight train...and Dray says "well if NP is not running then Lucky will have his own way" NP would win the Derby.

I'd like to make a bet with you Dray, if NP finishes in the Top 10, I'll stop blogging here :), if he doesn't, you stop blogging and take some handicapping lessons (you can blog the proof you took lessons on here but nothing else) :)  How about it ?

14 Apr 2010 2:27 AM

Nobles promise is a good horse but may not even run in the Kentucky Derby. It's going to be all Eskendreya, By the way Jackson Bend is a good horse, he would have won the Fountain of Youth and the Wood Memorial if it wasn't for superhorse Eskendereya. Watch out for Lookin@Lucky, Sidneys Candy and Endorsement to complete the Superfecta Behind Dominant Eskendereya, I'm hoping he's at least 2-1 on Derby Day. will only get 1-5 on him for Preakness though

16 Apr 2010 5:40 AM

Draynay - you seem more interested in being inflammatory than making any intelligent comments. Do us all a favor and stop clogging up the blog with idiotic statements. I love racing, but seriously - do yourself a favor and do something more interesting with your life than purposely ruffling people's feathers on a racing blog.

16 Apr 2010 10:30 PM

Eskendraya is a phenomemal Triple Crown candidate. At even money, he is found money in the Derby. I will hit him.

23 Apr 2010 4:34 AM

It's very unfortunate whe a horse with such potential is injured before we can really enjoy what may have been.

Luckily the star that we've been searching for has run and won twice in 2010, to extend her lifetime record to 17 wins without a loss.

I haven't been searching, I've been enjoying.

30 Apr 2010 3:24 PM

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