Allowance With Derby Implications?

Some of the early stakes for 3-year-olds, which have had trouble luring more than five horses in some cases, have been a bit underwhelming so far. The grade III Lecomte on Saturday at Fair Grounds is one example.

Though the Lecomte is the marquee 3-year-old race this weekend, the best field of sophomores could be running in the ninth race at Gulfstream on Friday. It's a nine-furlong non-winners of two that drew a field of eight. Though only one of the starters is a stakes winner, there are several that have generated considerable buzz amongst those (like myself) that enjoy following 3-year-olds on their way to the Kentucky Derby.

Don't be surprised if one of more of these budding stars wind up in the Fountain of Youth, Florida Derby, and/or Kentucky Derby. In fact, this exact same race a year ago produced the Florida Derby exacta of last year with Ice Box and Pleasant Prince. Many of them were high-priced yearlings or 2-year-olds. Here are the PPs and a breakdown of what should be a fun race:

1. Financial Empire (Empire Maker-Bank Audit, by Wild Rush)--The first of two starters for Todd Pletcher in here, this colt broke his maiden in his Dec. 16 debut at Calder by coming from off the pace in a one-mile contest. He was an $800,000 2-year-old buy for Brushwood Stable, so he is obviously a horse with a lot of potential. He's had three works at Palm Meadows since his win and will get Eibar Coa once again.

2. Dialed In (Mineshaft-Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat)--Maybe the most hyped horse in the race, he broke his maiden in electrifying fashion on Nov. 7 at Churchill when he started slowly and looked like he had no chance turning for home only to come flying down the stretch to win by a half-length in his 6 1/2-furlong debut. Nick Zito trains Dialed in for Robert LaPenta and Julien Leparoux keeps the mount. He was a $475,000 yearling who obviously has all kinds of potential. He has been working like a monster at Palm Meadows this winter, including two recent bullet moves.

3. Soldat (War Front-Le Relais, by Coranado's Quest)--He's been on the radar of many since winning the grade III With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga last summer on turf. Was runner-up in both the Pilgrim (gr. III) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT), but will now go back to dirt where he made his first two starts last summer. He's obviously an exceptional horse, but it remains to be seen what his preferred surface might be. Kiaran McLaughlin will probably give him this one chance to prove himself on dirt. If he underperforms he could return to turf, where he looks to have a promising future.

4. Cool Blue Red Hot (Harlan's Holiday-Paris Rose, by Accelerator)--Came from off the pace in his two starts as a juvenile, including maiden breaker in November at Calder when he was sent off as the 1-10 favorite and scored by 3 1/4 lengths going two turns. Angel Penna trains this colt, who missed by a nose in his debut at Belmont in October but earned the top Bris speed number amongst the starters in this field (105). A $120,000 yearling buy, he might be less hyped than some in here, but he could be a good one.

5. Beamer (Vindication-Untarnished, by Unbridled)--Ran out of his shoes in a Dec. 30 maiden race at Tampa Bay, winning by more than five lengths as the heavy favorite. Interesting that the Jim Tafel homebred made his debut in an $80,000 maiden claimer at Churchill in November when he was fourth. I'm guessing Carl Nafzger won't be dropping him in for a claim any time soon. Showed more early speed in his win than in his debut, and without much early pace in here look for Beamer to be near the lead. Of course, Tafel and Nafzger won the Derby in 2007 with Street Sense.

6. Lauburu (Unbridled's Song-Goulash, by Mari's Book)--Pletcher's other starter is a half-brother to two-time champion Ashado. The $925,000 yearling made a winning debut in November at Aqueduct, stalking the early pace and getting up late to hold on by a nose in the seven-furlong contest. He had a poor break in that race and was still near the pace. Could be the one to beat turning for home.

7. Halo's Thunder (Thunder Gulch-Her Halo, by Saint Ballado)--The classiest starter in the field, he has raced in stakes company during his last three without hitting the board. Ken McPeek trainee comes off a sixth-place finish in the Tropical Park Derby on the Calder turf. Broke his maiden on Polytrack last fall when racing near the pace. Adds blinkers for this, so look for him to be more involved early than he's been in his last three starts. McPeek and Desormeaux are off to pretty good starts at this meet.

8. Mas Trueno (Afleet Alex-Cateress, by Tabasco Cat)--Broke his maiden at Philly Park in this third try in November going a mile and 70 yards when trained by John Servis. Makes his first start for William Phipps, who usually does Ok with new horses. He'll be a longshot in here, even with Castellano aboard.

We're going to profile this race on That Handicapping Show tomorrow so I'm going to wait to make up my mind until then. But Cool Blue Red Hot, Beamer and Dialed In are the most intriguing to me right now.

Who do you like?


Leave a Comment:

Kyle S.

Dialed In.  His maiden win at Churchill was ultra impressive and with the way that he finished in that 6 1/2 furlong race, along with his royal pedigree, tells me he should relish stretching out to the two turn 1 1/8 distance.

19 Jan 2011 1:57 PM


Look forward to your That Handicapping Show.  I like Dialed In.  Check the video on his win at CD on Nov.7.  Truly amazing! Well bred. Nick Zito has a good one.

19 Jan 2011 2:01 PM

There's alot of good horses in this race but there's only 1 great horse and that's dialed in...the distance should be right up his alley,as long as julien doesn't drop him to far off the pace. His running style is the kind that wins derby's, not speed horses on the lead. I look for him to run huge and to atleast to win by 5.

19 Jan 2011 2:13 PM

Dialed In should win, but I wish his first race as a three yr old was not 1 1/8th.

19 Jan 2011 3:09 PM

Very intrigued by Beamer. ...

19 Jan 2011 3:13 PM

I've like Dialed In since his maiden, and I like the Empire Makers.  But I'll be rooting for Beamer and the blue and gold silks that represent the University of Pittsburgh.  Go Panthers!!!

19 Jan 2011 3:21 PM

Zito  was the only trainer last year to have a horse hit the board in all 3 triple crown races. Its been 20 years since he won with GO FOR GIN.....I hope he makes it back with this one.

19 Jan 2011 3:27 PM
Billy's Empire

I am liking Soldat. We have had a few good horses come off the turf and start the TC campaign. He could also be William's Kitten, and not do jack. He has good speed, can get the distance, and should do well in this spot. Never finished worse than second in five starts, and that includes a few stakes races.

19 Jan 2011 3:29 PM
Zen's Auntie

I like...

this topic and have been thinking about this race since many of the other bloggers "Dialed me In".

I love his come from behind goosebump raising effort and his  works have me anxiously awaiting the race.

IF I had to bet on trainers stats Id bet him to PLACE but he might just win.  This isnt 6 and a half though but hes a gutsy colt so lets see whos a big boy.

I am interested in Mineshaft offspring as he's like an A+++ with my ancient mares, so his kids catch my eye just for fun.

19 Jan 2011 3:29 PM

JerseyTom, Beamer will bounce.

19 Jan 2011 3:38 PM
Billy's Empire

There is no real speed in this race, and Gulfstream is speed favoring, so Laubaru may try to steal this on the front end. Johnny V will regognize the lack of pace and will send this colt, and see what happens. Laubaru did beat Break Up the Game in his maiden. This is a very interesting race. The inside horse, Financial Empire, did close on a speedy track at Calder as well, so there are many angles.

19 Jan 2011 3:51 PM

I said after the BCC last year, 2011 has got to be Zito's year so I'll be watching all his horses this year specially in the TC.  Looks like he's got a good one in Dialed In.  If his last year's seconditis continues this year, then I pick Financial Maker or Lauburu to beat him.  Lauburu could turn out to be one of the legit top derby contenders when all (preps) are said and done...

19 Jan 2011 4:07 PM

Cool Blue Red Hot has a lot of potential his trainer is good at bringing horses back after a long break and he looks to improve off his last maiden win. Beamer & Dialed In in that order should also do well.

19 Jan 2011 4:12 PM

Dialed in is the hype obviously, but a horse i'm keeping an eye on is Financial Empire. I saw his maiden on HRTV and though the margin is not impressive he won it very easily, IMO. He seemed to make the lead and then wait on the others. I love his sire, who seems to sire horses that can run on just about anything and can run a distance.

19 Jan 2011 4:30 PM

I was really liking Dialed In, but obviously so is the rest of the world. Soldat has class, but the juvenile turf wasn't that strong. Halo's Thunder has beem useful, and is a really good horse to put under in exotics. As for the two Pletcher trainees, they need to prove it to me. Finally, Cool Blue Red Hot is good, but thats all that maiden race at Belmont was overrated, and this is proven by the depressing performance by winner Buffum in the Remsen.

19 Jan 2011 4:40 PM
Don from PA/DE

For the price I will select "Cool Blue Red Hot" #4 like the fact that he closed and has run on two different tracks  NY & FL....Don

19 Jan 2011 4:52 PM


 Thanks for the PP's. Very kind of you!! I think Nafzger might suprise some people with his horse. Think he might be a sleeper. Love his last work. Don't think he would put him here if he didn't think he had a good shot. Bet him heavy Jersey Tom, and I promise not to make fun of your hat anymore!

19 Jan 2011 4:52 PM

Dialed In, future star in the making? I think so, looks to have tremendous natural talent, and should love the added distance. Can't wait to see how much he has improved.

This is definitely a very good group and anything can happen, I will take a shot with one longshot that should only get better with more distance and that is Mas Trueno (More Thunder). Don't underestimate him, he can run all day long.

19 Jan 2011 5:28 PM

Hmm...Afleet Alex - Tabasco Cat, I smell a spicy longshot for the tri and super hehe.

19 Jan 2011 5:44 PM
Mike Relva

Dialed In and Beamer

19 Jan 2011 5:45 PM

Dialed In looks very good...Beamer looks very live and has the work pattern of an dramatically improving horse.  So so CD works led to the 80K race, but check out the bullet work 1/15 at Tampa.  He'll be right there.  

19 Jan 2011 5:51 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Absolutely Derby implications. Really fantastic synopsis Jason. This could easily be a key race. What I really love about this race is that it's 9f. While others are pussyfooting around with 6f-8.5f and others are barely doing anything this group is getting a big jump on the rest. I believe that January is the perfect month for more of these key 9f races on dirt, and am really glad this one exists and has so much talent in it. Any one of these could make the Derby. Beamer is the most interesting to me because of his pedigree and the Nafzger/Tafel angle. I'd like to see him progress. With any of these all you need is a progression and you want to see an affinity for 9f or 10f. I'm anxious to see this race. Since there is talent in it we will learn something. Whoever wins this one jumps up in the rankings but it wouldn't surprise me to see two or three that exhibit 10f talent. There is no obvious pick. Soldat is the ML fav at 5-2 eventhough his last three have been on turf. Then comes Dialed in at 7-2, and Cool Blue Red Hot at 4-1. Beamer, 6-1, I like him at those odds. Going to be interesting if anyone gets hammered with early money. Mas Trueno and Halo's Thunder may want even longer and a less speed favoring track. Soldat is most likely to be leading at the mile point. Dialed In and or Beamer should be flying late. Halo's Thunder and Mas Trueno could surprise flying late. Financial Empire is an expensive horse. I don't know what he'll do in his second career. This might be too long for Lauburu(the most expensive horse) at this point. I'll go with a tri wheel of Beamer, Dialed In and Soldat in the first two spots and add Halo's Thunder and Cool Blue Red Hot in the third spot. $18. And $2 Beamer to win for my twenty bucks.

19 Jan 2011 5:52 PM

Balls bounce, horses don't--at least in my opinion. I've never bought into that nonsense.

19 Jan 2011 6:15 PM
Zenyatta John

While Dialed In is probably the 'best horse' , he's never been two turns.

Lauburu will be a grass horse, I don't like him here.

I'd take a shot with Soldat. Probably will be 1st or 2nd and with Coronado's Quest (who won the 1 1/4 mile Travers stakes) as the dam sire, his speed should transfer to the dirt.

1st - Soldat

2nd - Cool Blue Red Hot

3rd - Dialed In

Trebloc - there is no reason to just say Beamer will bounce. Mr Nafzger gives his horses a race which they are only 75% to 80% fit and they return with a stronger race. He increased in speed fig gradually too. Beamer fits this pattern that Mr Nafzger has used for many years for prepping horses from Unbridled to Street Sense.

19 Jan 2011 6:16 PM

only balls with air bounce......HA!

19 Jan 2011 6:20 PM


19 Jan 2011 6:37 PM

Remember everyone this is just a prep. Something crazy might happen but I truly believe that Dialed In will become  a classic winner. With that being said he still has to learn to run and grow into that tremendous frame he has. Sit back and enjoy the ride!

19 Jan 2011 6:41 PM


 Never bought into the importance of the gallop out either. Did you see how that horse galloped out so strongly? Yeah, after it finished fourth in a five horse field. Never made sense to me.

19 Jan 2011 6:47 PM

I'm sure Soldat's presence was unexpected at this level and I'll be surprised of Beamer comes down from Tampa to face this group. Trebloc, I don't know what distance you would prefer for Dialed In, but this is optimal. That he was able to win in a sprint speaks volumes about his ability.

19 Jan 2011 7:04 PM

I have a friend who is high on Dialed in but like I told him, I think this horse is over rated like it was ice box and pleasen prince. even thought ice box came second in the derby he haven done anything after that. looking foward to see who he handle this pretty good group.

19 Jan 2011 7:12 PM

DIALED IN--The manner in which he overcame numerous obstacles to win his maiden debut indicates he has unlimited potential. By far the most determined and gutsiest 2 yr old performance I've seen.

There are no graded earnings here, so there isnt any sense of urgency to win. Just run well and progress to the next step.

19 Jan 2011 7:27 PM

cool blue red hot


19 Jan 2011 8:02 PM
The Rock

Any chance you can provide pp's in the "DRF" format or is that a conflict of interest? lol

Based on the Brisnet form, I'd go with Soldat. His two dirt races weren't bad. At least it shows he handled it. You'll get an even price as some of these maiden breakers are sure to take lots of play. He's battle tested. And most importantly, he'll be forwardly placed on a speed biased track. I'll say 5-2 to 3-1 odds.

He's my bet

19 Jan 2011 8:13 PM

Dialed-in should pack too many guns for this bunch inside the final furlong.  However I'm looking for a very good showing from Todd pletcher's Unbridled's Song colt Lauburu.  Being by Unbridled's Song he might only have four races in those brittle legs, therefore look for him to run well here.

19 Jan 2011 8:16 PM

Doesn't matter.  Uncle Mo is light years ahead of these horses.  It would be lucky if one made it to the gate in May.

19 Jan 2011 8:27 PM
Mike Relva


A Pletcher horse- why aren't I suprised? lol

19 Jan 2011 8:31 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The Rock

   It's a conflict of what's best and easiest to use. Brisnet has the best pp's. Get to know them. I know you are a good handicapper already but I think you'll like them. I don't know anyone personally that has gone back to drf after learning and using Brisnet, but a few people I know  use both, especially if they use drf Formulator and Brisnet. I really like this 3yo group. I just hope they can stay healthy. The newer sires have really thrown some talent into the mix. Afleet Alex(2nd crop) Bernardini and War Front(freshman) are going to have an impact this year and there is quite a few other really strong freshman, 2nd, and 3rd crop sires. Tapit and Candy Ride are two of the strongest 3rd crop.

19 Jan 2011 8:52 PM

I've always liked Soldat.  See no reason to not like him here.  Also like Halo's Thunder's and Financial Empire's breeding.

19 Jan 2011 9:17 PM

BTW-welcome back LDP.  Hope life has been good to you.

19 Jan 2011 9:30 PM

Cool blue red hot is an awesome name but I don't see him winning.  Dialed In, not quite yet...Zito will have him ready to roll in the classics.   I pick Pletcher's horses  this Friday.

19 Jan 2011 9:48 PM

Mike Relva,

Correction! A good horse that happens to be trained by Pletcher.  He does have a few good ones and they consistently do very well in derby prep races.  Watch and see and then give me your post mortem of the race.  it will be okay to say "Rana you were right about Pletcher's horse."

19 Jan 2011 10:42 PM

I have been excited about this race since it was posted. If I were to make a choice right now, I would go with:

1: Beamer

2: Halo's Thunder

3: Cool Blue Red Hot

I might change my mind by Friday

19 Jan 2011 11:15 PM
Windy City

I'm still riding with Dialed In :-)

Were they serious that Uncle Mo is going to have only two prep races before KD??? I really hope they were joking, however I wasn't smiling

19 Jan 2011 11:34 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Cool Blue Red Hot has really impressive numbers in his debut so I watched his replays. He looks good. I don't have him in the first two spots in my tri that I posted earlier but I wouldn't play the tri without putting him in the top two spots also. He can run. He hasn't actually had any time off so he should be ready to roll and I think the distance won't be a problem. There are too many capable for me to actually play a tri here I think unless I can come up with one to wheel on top.  Did I say I love this race !!! Going to look at more replays. Woohoo !!!! Derby Fever. A temp of 105. Stick a beer in the freezer.

20 Jan 2011 12:59 AM

Dialed In

20 Jan 2011 1:27 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Cool Blue Red Hot and Dialed In look the best visually. Dialed In was green but looked really talented in his debut. Projected order of finish:

1st-Dialed In

2nd-Cool Blue Red Hot



5th-Halo's Thunder

6th-Financial Empire


8th-Mas Trueno

   I like Halo's Thunder at 10f and longer if he can get in. He will keep running.

20 Jan 2011 1:38 AM

We're expecting a few maiden winners to beat a classy horse like Soldat? Well, to beat Soldat, a horse has to be very precocious.  I'm taking a shot with Cool Blue Red Hot.  His last race was a maintenance race over a deep track like Calder.  Penna will have him ready off the layoff.  I expect him a little closer to the pace. Have a saver bet of Dialed In over Cool Blue Red Hot and Soldat.

20 Jan 2011 1:51 AM

Dr D: I was with you on Beamer until you put him 3rd.  Of course, last year, my favorite in the Lecomte was Ron the Greek.  Although he won, he simply did not do too well after that.  Where is he now?  I really liked him.

20 Jan 2011 9:26 AM

Ron the Greek is actually entered at Gulfstream on the 22nd in a very tough AlW/Opt 80,000. Going up against Our Dark Knight.  

20 Jan 2011 10:54 AM

Thank you Shirer.  That's going to be a tough race for me to watch as I tend to favor Our Dark Knight too.  I had a terrible conflict when Einstein and Cowboy Cal ran against each other...but I did lean a bit more heavily on the brainy guy.

20 Jan 2011 11:10 AM

3 horse Ex Box:

 Dialed In



Good Luck to all!

20 Jan 2011 11:18 AM
The Rock

Dr D,

What is it about Brisnet in your opinion that makes it a better handicapping tool than what drf produces. I've been using DRF since I was 8 years old and use every formula that it offers. Does Brisnet condense it?

20 Jan 2011 11:32 AM
Billy's Empire

Kathmanblu returning on Saturday as well in a 1 mile turf race. She should be even money. Why they are running her in the Sweet Chant and not the forward gal is puzzling, but I will find out. I am assuming it is b/c of the speed bias at Gulfstream, but not sure. She is an Oaks Contender for sure.

20 Jan 2011 11:35 AM

Dr Drunkinbum,

I see that you are in full Derby Fever Mode!!! I'm not there yet but it won't be long before I jump in. Right now, I'm just reading and watching...

All of you guys are way ahead of me! I'll try to catch up. That race at Gulfstream looks very interesting... Thanks for the heads up!

20 Jan 2011 11:40 AM
Jason Shandler

Billy: Maybe they dont want to face Dancinginherdreams?

20 Jan 2011 11:41 AM

i like beamer and lauburu. carl might be on the right track with this one. i like lauburu pedigree and his win was pretty good for a first time starter last out

20 Jan 2011 11:45 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Just like RJJDP I could change my mind. It's extra tough with limited races and improving talented horses. This may be the toughest one to handicap the entire year other than the bumper car derby. Dialed In looked the most talented in replays but green, and talent doesn't always get it done. Beamer is a competitor, and I'm hoping he shows up big too. I'll be rooting most for Dialed In and Beamer. It's not for the all important Graded Stakes money so I just want to see a good showing but a win propels them to the next level for sure.

The Rock

   I like the E1, E2 and LP pace ratings the best, then the spd figures. prime powers, then the synopsis on the back page. Visually it works best for me also but all of the pps are good. It's just what works for you.


  What a great surprise !!!!!! Y'all come back now, ya hear.

20 Jan 2011 11:58 AM
Chop! Chop!

This one sets up for this Laubaru character; speed favoring course, no other speed in the race, smart jockey who will take advantage of the situation, it's tee'd up for him nicely. . . especially if my hunch is correct and Carl decides not to ship Beamer in from Tampa to face a tough field like this.  No Beamer means no one in the field is gonna keep Laubaru honest up front and he smiply steals this one.  Don't get your hopes us for the derby gate though - Unbridled's just aint built for the rigors of a hard knocking prep season.

Cool Blue Red Hot is the real thing - he and Dialed In are the real classic distance talent in here and the ones with long windy roads full of roses in their futures.  

One last thing: Soldat is less classy than appears - that BC Juvenile turf was about as deep as a puddle. Cross a line through him despite McLaughlins exceelent Turf to Dirt Stat.  

Sorry guys  . . . .but the best horse doesnt always win.

20 Jan 2011 11:58 AM
The Rock


Good point. Although you have to wonder how Dancinginherdreams will handle the speed bias there. If you're not within 3 1/2 of the lead you're toast.

Gotta say Gulfstream has been good to me. It never really has. Pick 3's are the way to go. You just need to find that one single and spread on the other two races. There are some really sweet overlays to be had there. I've already had two signers this past weekend and looking for more on saturday.

20 Jan 2011 12:02 PM
Mike Relva


Ok,no prob. And it will be ok for you tell say I was right  in a few months from now. lol

20 Jan 2011 12:24 PM

I've been too busy with work to pay much attention to the Derby trail so this is a good article for those of us who haven't had time to research the 'lesser knowns' of this 3YO crop.  So thanks for the heads up on these colts.  Considering Carl Nafzger has won 2 of the 3 Derby's he's entered, I'll be keeping an eye on Beamer from here on.  

20 Jan 2011 12:30 PM

I have a funny feeling come Jan 29th, Zoopkeeper will have derby fever!  Good Luck!

20 Jan 2011 12:36 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Chop! Chop!

   Very nice post whether Beamer runs or not. It's really tough to judge on a speed favoring track with horses with limited experience if there is going to be someone with controlling speed but if there is and he is well conditioned for 9f at this point then he probably would be the best bet. That's why I'm not too sure about Dialed In on this track. It should be an excellent test for him though.

20 Jan 2011 12:37 PM

Financial Empire will not be denied.  He is the real deal!!!

20 Jan 2011 1:45 PM
Ted from LA

Did they really allow the name Indian Firewater?  What's next, Drunkin Irishman?  

20 Jan 2011 1:53 PM
Billy's Empire

Nope, that is not it Jason. They wanted a longer race with 2 turns.

20 Jan 2011 2:19 PM

Coming up for air during the WeekFromHell at work:

Jason: heard anything about Blue Lazer?

20 Jan 2011 2:21 PM

Dialed In debut looked very strong and has Zito. Cool Blue has the speed figures a touch above the rest and Soldat has the resume. Zenyatta John, I think that you have the exacta/trifecta box.

20 Jan 2011 2:23 PM
Jason Shandler

mz: Blue Laser has had two works in the last week after being off since Delta Jackpot. Im sure he'll land in one of these Florida races soon.

20 Jan 2011 2:52 PM
Vans Guy

I am hoping that the blinkers can put some speed into Halo's Thunder because i think this horse can run all day. if not, Soldat should wear down the pace setter (Lauburu).

20 Jan 2011 2:56 PM


Thanks, lol. Life has been life and college will be college. It has been busy but nothing will keep me from the Triple Crown Trail!

20 Jan 2011 3:24 PM

Anyone notice the fastest horse this year Big Drama was beaten by the greatest ever, Rachel Alexandra?

She left them all in the dirt!  Preakness, will we ever see the likes of her 2009 campaign?

20 Jan 2011 5:38 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Ron The Geek is entered in the 8th race Saturday at GP !!!  Are you saying that Cowboy Cal took 5th grade biology? Go see Cal go see Cal go see Cal.

20 Jan 2011 5:51 PM

Ted from LA:

HAHAHAHA! That actually made me laugh out loud!

20 Jan 2011 5:51 PM
The Rock

I know what you mean LDP. Work during the day, school at night. Cranking out as much work as I can before the weekend races.

20 Jan 2011 5:54 PM
Zenyatta John

If you saw my Derby Top 20 on Jeremy Plonk's latest column ,I have Dancinginherdreams as #4 on my Derby Dozen. She's a stone cold freak.

I can't wait to see her run at Gulfstream.

20 Jan 2011 6:25 PM

Zenyatta John;

6. JB'S THUNDER (on your list).

From DRF:

Stall not pointing J.B.'s Thunder for Triple Crown.

“He’s not a Derby horse,” Stall said. “I don’t think he trains as well over dirt as he does over Poly or turf. He’s just not doing as good as I thought he was doing in Kentucky.”

20 Jan 2011 9:13 PM
Paula Higgins

Ted from LA, once again the best comment on the blog. Dialed In is the one to watch. Can't wait for this season to get going.

20 Jan 2011 10:18 PM


Off the subject.

The Derby Future Wager dates are Pool 1 – Feb. 18-20; Pool 2 – March 11-13; and Pool 3 – April 1-3.

The only Oaks future pool is March 11-13.

20 Jan 2011 10:43 PM
Matthew W

A well built/not large/somewhat distance challenged (breeding) yet real nice speed in a route of ground--sounds like Uncle Mo, also of Tapizar, not to mention the Bwhana Charlie colt who won the Cash Call (whose name escapes my cranium), looks like the Derby Faves are gonna be a question mark--really thought Tapizar looked solid in the Sham....

20 Jan 2011 10:46 PM


Here’s a little confidence builder regarding Lauburu. As you are aware Unbridleds Song was the sire of the ill-fated Derby runner up Eights Belle. Her dam sire was Dixieland Band a son Northern Dancer the undisputed greatest Triple Crown grandsire ever. Lauburu was sired by Unbridleds Song and his dam was sired by Mari’s Book a son of Northern Dancer. Mari’s Book was also the dam sire of $3M earner, champion miler and derby runner up Congaree. The following sons of Northern Dancer have been dam sires of winners of Triple Crown races:

Dixieland Band – Kentucky Derby (two))

Danzig - Kentucky Derby

Storm Bird - Kentucky Derby/Belmont

Danding Count – Preakness

El Gran Senor – Belmont

Vice Regent – Belmont

Nureyev – Kentucky Derby/Preakness

Mari’s Book came close to being the eight son of Northern Dancer to sire a dam that produced winner of a Triple Crown race when Congaree was bested by Monarchos in the 2001 KD. I know you are high on Uncle Mo but this colt has more proven derby pedigree. If he is good enough he will be a factor in the TC series.

20 Jan 2011 10:54 PM
Matthew W

Another thing about Tapizar's Sham: While I'm not "Mr Gallop Out", the horse did really like the gallop out--after setting all the fractions/pulling away--he leaves them in his dust after the finish--that hoss looks like he'll stay like a mother in law!

20 Jan 2011 10:56 PM

@ Ted from LA

They have allowed far more inappropriate names than Indian Firewater... =)

20 Jan 2011 10:59 PM


Just an addition and correction to my post (20 Jan 2011 10:54 PM)

Nijinsky - Belmont

Mari’s Book came close to being the ninth son of Northern Dancer of being the damsire of the winner of a Triple Crown race when Congaree was bested by Monarchos in the 2001 KD.

21 Jan 2011 6:54 AM
Matthew W

Ted Hoof Hearted still runs at Los Al--he paid boxcars one night I was there (blew 'rm away, so to speak...)

21 Jan 2011 8:54 AM


 Have you heard anything concerning where Sway Away might race. I read where he was likely for the Holy Bull but now it appears that's not in the cards. He had a nice work yesterday (5 furlongs in 1:00) and his progression of works suggests that they are preparing him for a race soon. Thanks in advance.

21 Jan 2011 10:13 AM
Jason Shandler

Sorry Longway, not sure. But I did see that he had that bullet work yesterday at Golden Gate

21 Jan 2011 10:32 AM

He is one that I'm watching. Love his pedigree. Looked pretty green in his last, but could be one that improves with more experience. Any thoughts on the trainer? Don't know a whole lot about him.

21 Jan 2011 10:38 AM
Jason Shandler

Bonde a successful trainer. Been around a while. Also has Smiling Tiger. Trained Derby contender Sierra Sunset a couple years ago before he got hurt.

21 Jan 2011 10:43 AM

I knew he had Smiling Tiger but I didn't remember him ever having a TC contender.

21 Jan 2011 10:52 AM

The field for the Lecomte has come up disappointingly small. However, there is a very interesting starter in the form of the Sky Mesa colt Mobeetie. Acquired for a mere $4000 at the (KEE SEP 09 SALE), he must have reflected horrible conformation to have fetched such a modest price. He won on debut at Fair Grounds in a 50K maiden claiming race. The big question is why have the connections seen it fit to nominate him to a graded stake race off a maiden claiming victory? One answer could be, just to fill the race. Another could be he has a lot of ability known only to the connections.  Why bother to mention the winner of a maiden claimer who is accepted to be outclassed? Well, his pedigree for starters. His sire Sky Mesa is a well bred son of Pulpit who was very promising a 2YO/3YO who was forced into an early stud career because of nagging injuries. Mobeetie’s dam Ashley’s Crown was sired by Danzig. What’s particularly significant about Ashley’s Crown’s sire? Well, Danzig belong to the most successful group of Triple Crown broodmare sires i.e., sons of the great Northern Dancers. Eight sons of Northern Dancers have been broodmare sires of the winners of 13 Triple Crown races between 1991 and 2008. Danzig was dam sire of 2000 Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. Mobeetie is suspiciously well bred but must have resembled a mule in the sales ring.

I might be a bit paranoid but I am of the opinion that any broodmare sired by a son of Northern Dancer can produce a champion. Consequently, I will be paying close attention to Mobeetie in the Lecomte and Lauburu in the subject allowance race as both their dams were sired by sons of Northern Dancer.

NB: Derby winner Mine That Bird broke his maiden in a maiden claimer. Charismatic was entered in a claiming race before going on to Derby& Preakness success.

21 Jan 2011 11:56 AM
Jason Shandler

Coldfacts: It's likely just to fill the race. This horse doesnt have much of a chance.

21 Jan 2011 12:05 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Sloppy track at GP as of 12:26 est. No scratches in the 9th. I say if it's an off track at post time that it helps Beamer's chances and he'll go off at less than 6-1. Like Jason said in his show we don't know that Dialed In will have the same style as his debut. He could even be one of the leaders or press much closer. He does have Storm Cat on the bottom for off track pedigree. Cool Blue Red Hot's ped is not that great for off track but you never know for sure until they run on a specific off track surface.

21 Jan 2011 12:38 PM

Ted: I actually wrote the Jockey Club asking what they were thinking...very tacky considering the sad historical context.

Miesque...we who were privileged to watch your career will never forget you. A true Queen of the track.♥

21 Jan 2011 12:47 PM

Be careful, Jason....remember how Mine That Bird had no chance in the Derby? :)

21 Jan 2011 1:05 PM

Here's the way I see it.

Financial Empire

Dialed In



Box'm all in the Exacta. Mite do

.10 superfecta box.

21 Jan 2011 1:07 PM
Jason Shandler

Tiznowbaby: Let me know if you are going to bet Mobeetie on Saturday. I will hold your bet.

21 Jan 2011 1:11 PM
Forbidden Apple

1-Dialed In 2-Soldat 3-Mas Trueno

Dialed In needs a good break to sit in behind the early leaders. He did race greenly in his debut, but his stretch run was explosive. He galloped out strong and looks like he should love the added ground. The only problem is that his price is sure to drop by post time.

Soldat peaked my interest over the summer at Saratoga on turf. A son of War Front out of a Coronado's Quest mare spells out athlete to me. Both War Front and Coronado's Quest died young and I just can't help rooting for Soldat because of them.

Mas trueno is well bred for a distance of ground and should be running on late. His new trainer is classy and knows how to care for a horse. Will Phipps also trains Fancy Point who beat Khathmanblu handily last summer at Saratoga. Any word on her progress in 2011?

21 Jan 2011 1:31 PM
Zen's Auntie

Im sorry to hear of the passing of a truly great Race Mare and Producer,  Miesque. What a Wonderful, Exhilarating Horse.

21 Jan 2011 1:32 PM
Forbidden Apple

My mistake, I confused War Front with War Pass.

21 Jan 2011 1:45 PM

Fair Grounds (1st Jan 2011) Sloppy

Justin Phillips: 1m 70yd, OC$50K - 24.3, 48.4, 1:13.4, 1:46.2 (Winner) All over the place in the last furlong (SPD 86)

Wilkinson who kept a straight course finished 3 3/4L 3rd. (SPD 82)

Mobeetie:  6F MC50K – 22.4, 47.3, 59.3, 1:13 (Winner) Bmpd Brk; 4W 5/16; 4W 1/4 (SPD 82)

Mr. Gomez was recruited to ride Wilkinson who was given an SPD of 82 in his 4th start and a clean trip. Mobeetie: was given an SPD of 82 in what was his 1st start with a trouble trip. A clean trip and the final time for Mobeetie would be in the 1:12 plus zone. It could be argued that he ran faster than Wilkinson under the circumstances. He is unknown but exhibited a lot of courage after being bumped at the start, loose lengths on the turn and still won by 2 1/2L in good time over a sloppy tack. Can he improve of his debut effort? The overwhelming vote would be yes. His dam was sired by a son of Northern Dancer and that all one needs to know.

21 Jan 2011 1:56 PM
In aint easy being good!

Beamer Benz and bentleys! lol! Beamer is going to win in a photo I hope I get 10-1

21 Jan 2011 1:59 PM
Zen's Auntie

why has Dialed In scratched??

21 Jan 2011 3:11 PM
Jason Shandler

sloppy track Auntie

21 Jan 2011 3:15 PM
Zen's Auntie

Thanks Jason, I was hoping it was just precaution not injury or issue.

21 Jan 2011 4:36 PM

Race 9 Gulfstream Results:

3 Soldat

4 Cool Blue Red Hot

5 Beamer

8 Mas trueno

21 Jan 2011 4:59 PM

8th from Gulfstream...Soldat dominated the field by about 5 lengths and loved the slop.  Red Hot was giving him some competition, but then dropped off.  Beamer made a nice move from last to 3rd, was running, but Soldat, by then, had such a lead, I think Beamer's jockey might have let up a bit to save him for the next time..finished 3rd.

21 Jan 2011 5:07 PM

Beamer is beautiful, looks black, tall and a bit gangly...but he looks promising.

21 Jan 2011 5:08 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I actually ended up betting Mas Trueno WPS at 30-1 after it looked like he would handle the track well when warming up, and looked good physically. Too bad he got 4th. A bummer not seeing Dialed IN but they weren't going to risk him in the slop at this point with his off track pedigree. Soldat loved the slop and he'll be on the Trail now for sure. Would expect they'll look for clear weather and get Dialed In a race as soon as possible. Cool Blue wasn't overly enamored with the track eventhough he got second. He'll be better on dry. He wasn't looking too happy with it pre-race but like he would tolerate it. Beamer didn't look like he really wanted to run today. Either he's not there yet and or didn't like the track that much. I suspect it wasn't going to be his day no matter what. I wouldn't count Soldat out on a dry track either. I think he'll be in The Derby. Classy horse.

21 Jan 2011 5:11 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Lessons RE-Learned AGAIN. Don't depend on an early weather forecast at GP and don't make your picks too early, the weather changes dramatically at times. Originally I thought Soldat would be first or second for sure. Then I watched replays and got overly excited about maiden and second out wins, and moved Soldat down a bit for no logical reason. He would have been on any exotic ticket for the top two spots however. At this point I'm sure he will be in most Derby Dozens. Cool Blue is talented. Halo's hated the track. Mas Trueno moves onto my Derby list. Beamer moves down.

21 Jan 2011 5:48 PM

Nice race by Soldat.  Let's see where he goes from here.

21 Jan 2011 5:55 PM
Forbidden Apple


What happened today with Lauburu and Financial Empire? I was expecting world beaters from your main man Pletcher, not even in the tri. Pletcher will not win the KY Derby this year. I give all the credit last year to the sloppy track, Super Saver loved it. Super Saver is about as useful a horse as Mine That Bird and Giacomo were, one hit wonders. I hope Shug sends Break Up the Game to break up the Mo Tampa Bay Derby party.

21 Jan 2011 6:42 PM

Maybe Uncle Mo should be glad he was in the barn today and not in this race. Soldat looks like he just might be the monster of 2011.  I haven't declared my allegiance to anyone yet, but this guy is now definitely at the top of my list.

21 Jan 2011 8:31 PM
The Bid

Mildly impressed w/ Soldat...Needs WAY MORE to catch my Uncle Mo!!!! That's fo'sho!!!!!lol

21 Jan 2011 9:01 PM

After all that, that allowance turned out to be a fiasco.  The sloppy sealed track pretty much screwed everyone up.  I think Soldat is good but not that good, beating this group by 10 lengths.  I guess we'll have to wait and see how the horses came out of it and how they do on their next race.

21 Jan 2011 9:21 PM

Look at the times people.  three races today at 9F and Soldat a 10L winner and is about two secodns the fastest.  this guy is going to make some noise today, either on the turf or dirt, or maybe both.

21 Jan 2011 11:35 PM

I guess people don't want to give a horse his due.  Soldat was tons the best today.  He can obviously turf.  And he runs well on dirt.  A nice thing to have a horse that can act on both.

21 Jan 2011 11:48 PM

Cannot wait for the Holy Bull.  May end up being one of the best prep races for the Derby.  Nice move by Zito on scratching Dialed In.  LOve the fact that he is trying to get some graded earnings and not running the 1 1/8.

Soldat looked pretty awesome today and he sure liked the slop.  The rest of them are high priced pretenders.

22 Jan 2011 1:18 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Weekend-  Da Factor workout, Da Bears game, Da Steelers put an end to the nonsense. Freezing for both games. Could be snow in Pittsburg. Which game will have more drunk guys with their shirts off, Pittsburg or Chicago?

22 Jan 2011 2:40 AM

Soldat annihilated that field but it was on a sloppy sealed track.  He maybe that good but I doubt he can beat the same field again on a fast track.  It's very hard to gauge that race.  I don't think Lauburu is that bad, neither is Financial Empire but who knows.  I guess we'll have to see.  The one thing that's good for Soldat is that we all know he can run in the slop...and that's a big advantage in the Derby.

22 Jan 2011 9:48 AM


Without the Draynay type of hype, it looks like Soldat can run on anything.  Of the three 9F races on the card, his was 2 seconds faster and he won by a non threatening 11 lenghts pulling away.  Financial Empire was 19-1.  I doubt the track condition had anything to do with his odds. This guy has to be taken seriously at least until Draynay discovers him, then what?

22 Jan 2011 12:13 PM

Soldat won against a bunch of Maiden winners.  He is a turf horse that did well in the mud. Shocker.  He better hope he never runs into BAT.

22 Jan 2011 2:44 PM

Maybe your boys better hope they don't run into him. Did you notice, no whip and how effortlessly his effort was?

22 Jan 2011 5:08 PM

Forbidden Apple,

Don't write off Lauburu just yet.  He appears to be in the mold of Mission Impazile last year and could show up big time in one of the preps.  PLease remember that Todd Pletcher is king of Derby Preps among trainers (if you'll be honest enough to admit it). I do believe you'll be eating crow and humble pie again this year, compliments of Mr Pletcher and Yum Brands when Uncle Mo mows down the competition on the first Saturday in May.  Enjoy yourself for now Pal.

22 Jan 2011 5:24 PM

Laz : You're right (I'm actually blind to boxcar odds as to me, 20-1 is like 2-1 hehe), but I don't think FM or Lauburu is 10 or more lengths worse than Soldat.  I've watched Soldat's races on the turf but I don't think he can take the talent on a dry fast surface against the top 3 yr olds this season but who knows, I've been wrong a billion times before lol.  

The good thing is, because of the hype on UM, Soldat will still run at probably 6-1 or higher come Derby day and if it rains, I hope people have all but forgotten this race and I get him in the tri and supers at 10-1 or higher :)

Happy New Year to you my friend, hope your new year started off on a good note.

22 Jan 2011 7:33 PM

Draynay : BAT, if they run him in the Derby, will be very very lucky to hit the board.  I'd bet you on that but I don't trust that you would actually honor the bet, you haven't honored any bets on this blog.

Off Topic : Anyone heard or seen anything about Rail Trip ?  Did he retire ?  Haven't seen or heard anything about him since before the Classic.  Hopefully he's okay.

22 Jan 2011 9:32 PM


Same to you buddy.  May the cash windows be kind to you.

22 Jan 2011 11:06 PM

I like Soldat and Beamer, but Beamer is one of the youngest on the trail.(5/24).  Wilkinson and Pants On Fire had a great duel.  But the best may not go on.  Awesome Feather was 6-0, when she was sidelined with an injury.  It's still too early for me, but I'm noticing a few rising to their pedigrees. Couldn't have asked for better at Gulfstream with the Our Dark Knight-Ron The Greek exacta.  I was greatly disappointed by the ride on Apart..he was simply left with too much to do...and Gomez..Apart is not Zen.  He was the best horse in the race, but was allowed to lag too far back.

23 Jan 2011 9:33 AM

jayjay, BAT is off in the Holy Bull.

I think that race will tell you all you need to know.

23 Jan 2011 11:29 AM

Draynay : I never said BAT will never win a race, I said he will not hit the board in the Derby.  The Holy Bull is NOT the derby.  In fact, I hope he wins the HB.  I hope he wins it by a mile, that way, he'll take some of the bets in the Derby.

24 Jan 2011 4:39 PM
Mike Relva


Watch how long he stays on his beloved Uncle Mo,if he loses The Tampa. lol

24 Jan 2011 6:11 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Good point. The Holy Cow is only a mile, a far cry from 10f, and BAT is a very nice horse and should do very well at 7f and a mile, and even 8.5f but he isn't a Derby horse. Not one that can finish in the top four anyway, or even the top seven. All I know is no activity since October for Rail Trip. I don't know what the point of changing trainers was. It failed miserably as did taking Mine That Bird from Chip.(no comments from the peanut gallery please.) How often do you get to GG? The 49er's should have had Rodgers. Everyone knew it but the ones doing the drafting. He's a QB and always has been. Smith was just a thrower.

24 Jan 2011 11:10 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I like Soldat, one of the classier 3yo but that win in the slop is hard to gauge but I think his form will transfer to dry dirt and he'll do quite well. I still say there was a lot of talent in that race and we'll be hearing from more than a few of them.

24 Jan 2011 11:16 PM
Billy's Empire

Soldat looked like all Dat and a Bag of Chips! Please continue to discout his performance and blame it on the track conditions. Good horses run on anything. He has shown he can run on turf, dirt, and the slop, had a lot of back class, and should keep moving forward. I know I will have him in the Derby Futures exacta with Brethern, Mo, and tapizar

25 Jan 2011 10:59 AM
Forbidden Apple


So now people should fear Boys At Toscanova because he ran second to the immortal Uncle Shmo? How does it feel to keep eating so much chalk? Boys At Toscanova is a skinny little horse that will be smashed and bashed up by the time the KY Derby rolls along. If Dialed In enters the Holy Bull, it will take a strong performance to hold off his late kick. Black N Beauty appears to be the horse to beat, not Boys At Toscanova. Shadow Warrior should also move forward off from his last race, but he does not seem fast enough to win at 1 mile.

25 Jan 2011 1:55 PM

I will continue to "discout" Soldat's performance until he runs on fast track but I'm not stupid.  If it rains on Derby Day, he'll be one of the ones in my trifecta and superfecta.  It's all tooooooo early to start picking horses.  I'm still on THS and Jaycito, but like the others, I'm not stuck on them...well, maybe Jaycito hehe.  I think he's a true distance and derby horse but we'll see how he does in the Lewis.  I'm going to ride him all the way to the Belmont Stakes, win or lose...just like Draynay will ride BAT all the way to the race after the HB... LOL

I think the top 4 right now are Soldat, THS, Uncle Mo and Tapizar.  Here's a poll :  What do you think is the best path to the Derby ?   For me, Oaklawn route, with the Arkansas Derby as the final prep.  I think the worst one is the Gulfstream route, only because I don't like the surface on the GP track, it seems much much more faster than CD, like it's not a true dirt track but I'm sure someone will correct me on that (Billy Joe Bob Jim ?) LOL

25 Jan 2011 4:38 PM

Forbidden Apple,

How about Mucho Macho Man in the Holy Bull?  BAT is a good measuring stick for all the others since he is the proven class horse of the field.  If he is not beaten then all others can call it a day, 'cause they'll have no shot at tagging Mo.  Mucho Macho Man is a june foal yet very advanced.  He's improving all the time and should have the measure of To Honour and Serve next time they hook up.  Dialed-in is also getting good and can move forward significantly even if he loses (but shouldn't be blown away).

Mo and Pletcher are going to give you nightmares Pal.

25 Jan 2011 5:49 PM

Billy- I too liked Soldat's race and like the fact that he seems to act on dirt and turf

25 Jan 2011 10:36 PM
Derby doctor

Oh just wait for Soldat. Even if he does not win the Kentucky Derby, this colt will knock out some major stakes this year. Of all the starters in the 2009 Kentucky Derby only two went on to win stakes after the race.  Serious horses go for the breeders cup.

26 Jan 2011 12:11 AM

It seems to me that the last 2 Derbies were run in a swamp.  If we see that in May again, Soldat's looking promising.  I liked Wilkinson's move on the rail, and I think he's a very gutsy horse, with an instinct for the wire.  

26 Jan 2011 9:21 AM

Mike Relva : Yeah, especially if BAT wins the HB. LOL

Dr. Drunkinbum : I used to go a lot but it gets cold there being so near the Bay.  When I go there, I usually hang out near the paddock as I like to look at the horses.  The only thing is I get allergy attacks really badly...the things I will endure for horse racing.  

I go to the Pleasanton satellite quite a lot as it's on the way home, I hear this little voice everytime I come up to Bernal exit..."just one bet...or two."  It's a really nice facility and pretty clean.

26 Jan 2011 7:04 PM
Forbidden Apple


We can now eliminate Boys At Toscanova from the Holy Bull on Sunday. The Draynay curse/flu must have gotten to him early. There is nothing wrong with Mucho Macho Man, he ran a very good race in the Remsen. J. Velazquez was all out and whipping To Honour And Serve to hold off Mucho Macho Man. I really like Dialed In because I believe he has greater potential to move forward and improve leaps and bounds as a 3 year old. Dialed In had a powerful late kick in his last race because he was left behind the field and had no choice but to come from far back. I thought that effort spoke volumes for his talent, I look for him to be much closer to the pace of Black N Beauty on sunday. Thank you for pointing out Mucho Macho Man, I will surely use him underneath Dialed In in the exacta.

Look, I know that Uncle Mo is talented, but you and Draynay don't seem to understand that 2010 is over. Some 2 year olds peak far earlier than others and that is what Mr. Pletcher is very good at, winning early. I like trainers who are in no hurry to pressure their horses into running way to fast at 2 years old. Most of the competitive 3 year olds this year have never raced against Mo and BAT. So when Draynay makes a comment that if Mo can win by 10 at 1 mile, he can slow down and win by 5 at 1 1/4 I have to laugh. You guys act like Mo is the only colt with talent and the only one who has potential to improve. I know that at least you Ranagulzion are smarter than that. You know that with 3 year olds, a star can be born any day of the week at any race track.

27 Jan 2011 12:21 PM

I think that Soldat has an upside that will compete with any of the three year old crop I‘ve seen (going back to last year too). He has finished second in a BC race and even though it was on turf, he proved he has class, which many of these pretenders will end up not having. When he ran lights out last week he showed a number of things. (1) That he can run fast. His 9F was the fastest, by 2 seconds, of three races run at the distance that day. If pushed he could easily have run his 9F in 1.48 and change. His closing furlong of 12.57 un-pushed equates to a 25 second final quarter, not bad for a colt that won’t be officially 2 years old until April. (2) That he can go further than 9F and still be strong when he starts that 10th furlong. (3) Based on his past record he can rate and come off the pace; he can set the pace; and he can go head and head for a good portion of the race and then accelerate away.

I’m not ready to get caught up on his turf and off track preference just yet. True, Wine Police ran away from him in a maiden race last summer at Saratoga, but at the time of that race he was officially 15 months old and Wine Police 17 months old, a big difference at that point in a horse’s career. His only downside will be the same downside that Uncle Mo will have to deal with, his ability to overcome his breeding. His sire, War Front was primarily a sprinter and from what I can see has never sired a big winner out of a 100 or so reported foals. He is the first foal of his dam Le Relais. However, at least he has gone 9F and looked very strong doing it. Uncle Mo now has to show he can get the distance and with authority.

27 Jan 2011 1:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I know, it does get cold. I'm quite a ways from GG now but used to go a lot. So I assume you go to the fair races at Pleasanton also. I think OP has a very nice series for 3yo on the trail. SA's is good too and has good weather. It's a little fast though.

27 Jan 2011 1:51 PM
Carlos in Cali

Keep this in mind: Soldat has never raced on a "fast" dirt track.His 2 prior races on the main track were also on "off" tracks where he finished 2nd both times. To me he's a turf horse who handles off tracks like most turf horses do.We'll see...

28 Jan 2011 3:24 PM

Draynay : BAT would've been swallowed by Dialed In in the Holy Bull.  Now there's a horse to watch.  BAT would have set the same exact pace as this HB, and he would've folded.  I think you can now jump off BAT and wait for Uncle Mo to run in March.  Although I'm sure you'll find another horse to jump on before he runs in March LOL...maybe Dialed In ??

Laz : As impressive as Soldat's race last week was, I still don't think he is all dat.  Not to say I won't bet him in the Derby because the likelihood of an off track in the Derby is probably 99.9999999%.  I don't think I will bet him in his prep races if the track comes up dry/fast.  He did look solid in that last race but whether it's him or the other horses didn't care for the off track is still a question in my mind.

Did you see Dialed In's race today ??  Man, that horse can gobble up ground like some great mare I know. :)  He was 15 lengths at the start of the race and won by 2 ... easily!

30 Jan 2011 8:33 PM

Dr Drunkinbum : Yeah, I like the OP series a lot.  I also like betting races at OP in general, there's a lot of money and the payouts are great.  I still don't get why they can't fix the speed track at SA.  It'd be interesting to see if any east coast horses fly over the rockies for the series, there's really no excuse anymore.  The purses are good if not better so the only question now is will they come.  Did you see RFO's race ?

30 Jan 2011 10:56 PM


Don't give up on Soldat just yet.  His only race on a fst track was won by Wine Police who just might be a crack sprinter in a time less than 1 second off the track record.

Dialed in was really impressive, especially on GP's track.  To be honest, that's one track I don't like, especially for deep closers.  I want to see him try 9F fast.

Another horse I saw today that has been impressive in both his starts was Machen in the 5th at the Fair Grounds.  This guy looks like the real deal.  He's 2 for 2, a pair of 5 length victories.  It'll be be interesting to see him in a stakes.  I'm not sure what they have on his plate at this point, but I like him

30 Jan 2011 11:36 PM
Carlos in Cali


Soldat has never raced on a fast main track. 3 starts: (2)sloppy,(1)muddy with (1)win & (2)2nds.

31 Jan 2011 5:56 PM

Laz : No, I'm not giving up on Soldat, I didn't mean it that way at all even though I said I won't bet him, I probably would hehe.  What I meant was that I'm not going to single him in any prep races where the track is fast until I can see him run on it and run solidly, not necessarily win, but run well on it.  If he does then he will be the solid favorite in the Derby over UM just because he is more of a distance horse than UM, at least IMO.

I'd have to watch Machen's race, I didn't see it.

31 Jan 2011 9:07 PM

Carlos in Cali

You're right.  The Wine Police race wasn't on a fast track, but it wasn't sloppy or muddy either. According to the charts it was rated good and the race time for 5 1/2F was 1.03.36.  We still have to see him race on a conventional fast dirt track.  Personally, I think I'm more concerned about him getting 10F then running well on a fast track.  It'll be interesting to see how he progresses.

31 Jan 2011 10:33 PM

In his race against Wine Police the track was listed as good according to the video.  So it wasn't sloppy or muddy actually

31 Jan 2011 11:38 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Yeah I saw RFO's race. Professional and fast as heck. He really did remind me of Lost In The Fog. I expected Dialed In to win at GP but when he dropped back so far I thought I was wrong. He was the only one in the race that looked to have exceptional talent but there were many in there that are talented. It was a strong mile race with a number of horses looking really good physically. You had to go by talent, too many looked very good. Other than Dialed In I saw it as a tossup. We'll hear from some of them again. Runflatout looked great pre and post race. Exciting times. Anxious to see RFO, Dialed In, Elite Alex, The Factor, Soldat, and Mo run again. I believe that visually those are the most exciting with strong potential. I'm sure there are more but I haven't seen them all either. I didn't see Machen either. I will be surprised if Soldat doesn't run really well on a dry dirt track too.

01 Feb 2011 12:09 AM
Forbidden Apple


The Gulfstream dragstrip seems to favor speed every time I play a race. The fact that Dialed In closed from so far back is what made his effort brilliant in my opinion. This horse is still learning the game and almost seems push button to me. His future is looking bright!

01 Feb 2011 10:49 AM

Forbidden Apple

You're right.  That's why I want to see him stretch out to at least 9F.  I would also like to see him a little closer to the pace.  IF he's as good as he looked in the Holy Bull then he looks like a serious TC type of candidate.

01 Feb 2011 8:46 PM

Uncle Mo hasn't even run yet as a 3 year old and people have already declared him the best in the nation. It's difficult for a horse who was brilliant as a 2 year old to carry their top form all the way to May. It's been done, but it's not easy. After seeing Pletcher's failure to have Quality Road prepared for the Classic after his layoff, I haven't a whole lot of faith that he can pull this off with Uncle Mo. He's a good horse, but so is his competition, many of whom have yet to peak: Dialed In, Boys At Tosconova, To Honor And Serve, Comma To The Top, Jaycito, Stay Thirsty, Tapizar, Gourmet many more along the way. For all we know, Uncle Mo's BC Juvenile was the race of his life, while those who finished behind him were still learning and developing. If Uncle Mo can toy with the competition in the Tampa Bay Derby and Wood Memorial like he did as a 2 year old, we might be looking at a Triple Crown winner. I wouldn't count on it though.

03 Feb 2011 1:45 AM

Stevebiscuit, do me a favor and bet against UM every race this year and let me know in November how much you won.  Good luck.

15 Feb 2011 1:35 PM

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