Do Kentucky and Louisiana Matter Anymore?

In 1996, Grindstone won the Louisiana Derby (which at the time was a grade III and run in mid-March), prepped for the Kentucky Derby in the Arkansas Derby, and went on to capture the roses by a nose.

Three years later in 1999, Charismatic, who had run in a $62,500 claimer at Santa Anita in February, won the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland before shocking the field at 31-1 to win the Derby. Both horses were trained by D. Wayne Lukas but neither were based in Louisiana or Kentucky.

Why are these two wins significant and why do I mention them?

During the past 15 years, they are the only two 3-year-olds to win preps in Louisiana or Kentucky then go on to score the Kentucky Derby.

Three other horses (War Emblem, fifth Lecomte and sixth Risen Star, 2002), Funny Cide (third Risen Star, 2003) and Street Sense (second Blue Grass, 2007) made stops in Louisiana or Kentucky prior to their Derby victories, but none of them won those preps.

Here are the tracks the last 15 Derby winners prepped at as 3-year-olds:

1996: Grindstone--Santa Anita, Fair Grounds, Oaklawn

1997: Silver Charm--Santa Anita (3 races)

1998: Real Quiet--Golden Gate, Santa Anita (2)

1999: Charismatic--Santa Anita (5), Bay Meadows, Keeneland

2000: Fusaichi Pegasus--Santa Anita (3), Aqueduct

2001: Monarchos--Gulfstream (3), Aqueduct

2002: War Emblem--Fair Grounds (3), Sportsman's Park (2)

2003: Funny Cide--Gulfstream, Fair Grounds, Aqueduct

2004: Smarty Jones--Aqueduct, Oaklawn (3)

2005: Giacomo--Santa Anita (3)

2006: Barbaro--Calder, Gulfstream (2)

2007: Street Sense--Tampa Bay, Keeneland

2008: Big Brown--Gulfstream (2)

2009: Mine That Bird--Sunland (2)

2010: Super Saver--Tampa Bay, Oaklawn

While there aren't many strong trends that can come out of the information above, it is certainly worth noting that neither Louisiana or Kentucky have played significant roles in the last 15 Derby winners. In the case of Louisiana, which since the addition of slots-induced purses has been an attractive place to prep for the Triple Crown, there have been several high-profile horses win the Louisiana Derby recently only to falter in the Derby. High Limit, Circular Quay, Pyro, Friesan Fire, and Mission Impazible are the most recent examples. Risen Star winners Dollar Bill (2001) and Lawyer Ron (2006) were also well-backed in the Kentucky Derby but ran poorly.

In the Louisiana Derby's history, only two winners have gone on to score the Derby. Grindstone was one. Black Gold was the other, in 1924. It should be noted that the purse was increased to $1 million for the first time this year. Maybe that will make a difference in attracting more top prospects.

One thing that Fair Grounds did have going for it over the past few years was that the nation's leading trainer, Steve Asmussen, usually kept many of his best 3-year-olds in Louisiana. Though he has never won a Derby, Asmussen obviously gets very strong horses and can never be discounted. But with Asmussen stabled at Santa Anita for the first time, his top 3-year-olds are no longer at Fair Grounds-at least not this year. Sham Stakes winner Tapizar is a prime example. In years past, a horse like that would have likely been based at Fair Grounds.

As for Kentucky, it's a little bit of a different situation because the Keeneland meet doesn't begin until April. Though the data is still incomplete, I think it is clear that the installation of Polytrack in 2006 has hurt its ability to attract top caliber 3-year-olds for its major prep race, the Blue Grass. The Blue Grass was for years, along with the Santa Anita Derby, the top Derby prep race in the nation. Names like Spectacular Bid, Gato Del Sol, Alysheba, Unbridled, Strike the Gold, Sea Hero, and Thunder Gulch jump off the page when mentioning Blue Grass runners that went on to win the Derby. Now, it's become less and less likely that the top Derby contenders will make their final stop at Keeneland. Instead, it's a place where connections go for one last chance to grab Derby earnings for horses on the outside looking in. Trainers just aren't as likely to risk prepping a horse on Polytrack before the biggest race of their life.

Recent trends indicate that the top East Coast horses are going to Florida and staying there. In some cases they will go to New York for the Wood Memorial or to Oaklawn, especially if top trainers want to seperate their best prospects. And with Santa Anita now back to dirt, the West Coast contenders are more likely to remain in California. When it comes time to make a Derby pick, I know they are the places I will be most likely be looking. It won't be in Louisiana or Kentucky.


Leave a Comment:

Billy's Empire

The only horse you need to worry about coming out of LA is Machen.

 Soldat is a horse that can prep in the Bluegrass. That would be a logical prep for this horse since he can run on anything. If Dialed in comes up a freak, they can get Soldat out of Fla and into KY.

Now that you have made me think about it, the only horse I have bet in the Derby coming out of a prep from LA or KY is Street Sense, and that is in the last 9 years of my horse betting life.

This year is going to be fun

03 Feb 2011 1:52 PM
Jason Shandler

Billy, good point about Soldat and Blue Grass. As far as Machen, fractions and times were sloooow. Visually impresive but it was a five-horse field. He earned a 76 Beyer.

03 Feb 2011 1:55 PM

Personally I haven't seen anything from LA to look at..

As far as KY, Keenland's polytrack leads me the complete opposite direction.

I look mostly at horses from Santa Anita, Oaklawn, and Gulfstream. They tend to produce the best, especially in recent years. Of course I always keep an eye on Aqueduct, Calder, and Tampa Bay.

Thank you for bringing this topic up.  

03 Feb 2011 2:13 PM

Well if Churchill had a winter meet for 3yr olds ,This wouldn't even be a discussion ...

03 Feb 2011 2:17 PM
La. Boy


Can Fair Grounds at least get credit for Rachel Alexandra?  She seemed to prep fine in Louisiana for the Oaks/Preakness.

03 Feb 2011 2:25 PM
Mike in SB

Another problem for Kentucky is that today many trainers want 5 to 6 weeks between races. A lot of the top horses have made their last Derby prep before Keeneland even opens.

03 Feb 2011 2:31 PM
Southern Chris

So 7 of the last 15 Derby winners, nearly 47%, have used a prep race in Louisiana or Kentucky yet you're claiming neither  have played significant roles in the last 15 Derby winners? Mmkay! FG as only one track has 5 derby winners compared to the 7 total from the 3 Florida tracks.

The only strong trend from the information provided is that the last 5 Derby winners have come off 2 prep races.

03 Feb 2011 3:00 PM

I grew up in Kentucky going to the Bluegrass, and live in Louisiana now and go to all three races in the LA Derby series hoping to see somthing nice, but this year seeems even weaker than most.  Usually the Lecomte is the biggest field, and this year we only got 5.  Despite the purse increase I think things are going to continue to be weak and it makes me sad...

Oh well, I can always keep up on T.V. :(

03 Feb 2011 3:01 PM

I say just run all the "BIG" derby preps on the same weekend four weeks before the KY Derby.  

03 Feb 2011 3:04 PM
Jason Shandler

Check your math again Southern Chris. You are quite confused, on both counts.

03 Feb 2011 3:05 PM
Winnah Pickah

I'll take Uncle Mo, To Honor and Serve, Dialed In and The Factor.

I'll box that super now! (sarc)

I'd be surprised and astonished if the winner didn't come from that group of four, IMO.

03 Feb 2011 3:11 PM
Matthew W

I've been very impressed with Uncle Mo--out here I have seen several nice three year olds--Tapizar impressed me, he ran fast early then pulled away late....The Factor impressed me, I think he'll be more of a one turn horse....Jaycito is a real noce colt....and Runflatout, last Saturday ran one of those maiden races that really stays in your memory--he stalked a fast horse then when he was turned loose he went be very quickly--that is a good horse, maybe not bred for the 1 1/4 but I have heard that about more than a few of this year's contenders--it's early for this weekend, the Donn caught many of the top dogs out there--I think Twirling Candy drew much easier in the Strub--I think Twirling would win the Donn by open lengths, think he's gona be #1 ranked before long....

03 Feb 2011 3:13 PM

Louisiana does not matter just like Friesan Fire didn't matter.  Take a look at the Wood winner, Florida Derby winner and Arkansas Derby winner this year and throw everything else out. (Unless Borel is riding it.)  You people are STILL talking about Dialed In and his perfect trip?  Uncle Mo is by far the best in this weak looking class of 2011.

03 Feb 2011 3:18 PM
All the Kings Horses.........

The Bluegrass & Turfways big race are now run on polytrack & for my handicapping dollar a complete throw out.Congrats to Santa Anita for getting the message & changing back to conventional dirt.You might as well down grade the Ky races that attract horses needing earning & turf/poly horses.Street Sense being the exception but it was strictly a prep & in his case to set him up & wasnt even trying to win the race.

03 Feb 2011 3:19 PM
Matthew W

Hmmmm....last ten years only one Derby Winner prepped in Cali....but I had him WPS/and am thus way up! HaHA...The interesting thing about this year is my top two, Uncle Mo and Tapizar--are both suspect in the sire line stamina dept--no worries, I thought Indian Charlie was a real stud/think Uncle Mo is the real deal--I liken him to Snow Chief, who was dominant but suspect at the distance--but he was the best horse, was it really the distance that beat him or was he too close to that :45 and change half--did he move too soon? He won the Preakness by six/1 1/4 Jersey Derby by two so I think a good horse can outrun his breeding--but will it be enough? THAT is the intriguing question....I will look long and hard for a horse who was a contender in graded stakes as a two year old, who is bred for the 1 1/4, and is on the improve....

03 Feb 2011 3:23 PM
All the Kings Horses.........

Mind That Bird & Super Saver never did much until the Derby or after but last 2 derbies have came up sloppy track & Soldat will love a rainy day forcast moving forward with the proper dosage & earnings...Load him in the gate !!!

03 Feb 2011 3:24 PM

Tapizar?  Can somebody please name the horse he "pulled" away from? Many of you are new at this huh. Tapizar? You have to be kidding.

03 Feb 2011 3:26 PM

Machen is the real deal.  Even his trainer stated that the low Beyer was because he sat behind a wall of horses and let the pace take care of itself.  That is why he is running him back in the Risen Star on the 19th.  He said the race didn’t take anything out of him.

03 Feb 2011 3:31 PM

I think the weather plays more of a significant role in horses going to Florida and Santa Anita for preps than anything.  Usually you will have predictable weather and allow for a predictable training period leading up to the derby.  It also helps that there are a few tracks open in Florida which create more options and allow for easy travel.

I have only really focused on the horses for the last 4 years but it seems that Fair Grounds comes up sloppy quite often on the run up to the derby.  

Kentucky on the other hand (recently) has faltered on gathering top contenders due to their polytracks at Keeneland and Turfway Park.  It destroyed Pyro's confidence and likely deterred many from using that as their final prep for a while.  

Paddy O'Prado was a bit of an exception [being a Graded Stakes winning Turf Horse] I think he was able to handle the mud last year better than others, but his showing in the classic (to me) showed he should stay on the turf or poly tracks.

03 Feb 2011 3:34 PM
Southern Chris

My mistake. So 1/3 of the last 15 Derby winners have competed in prep races in Louisiana and Kentucky. 1/3 of anything is statistically significant.

And I missed that Barbaro raced at Calder. So the last 4 derby winners came off 2 prep races.

03 Feb 2011 3:37 PM


About Dialed In's perfect trip... Has Uncle Mo ever seen a trip he didn't like?  No! However that doesn't make him any less of a horse because he was able to run clean.

The KD winner will come from a horse who hasn't earned his way in yet... Mark my words!!

03 Feb 2011 3:38 PM
Matthew W

Draynay you aren't kidding about Borel--I had Pioneerof The Nile WPS and almost back wheeled him in that $1000 exacta (that Borel won with Mine that Bird)...I had Big Brown on Top of Eight Belles and four others for the trifecta--didn't have Borel, who was third....Borel has beaten me out of mucho dinero and I continue to be stupid and omit him--he is the Derby Sage--he can be the greatest Derby jockey of them all--he wins with horses who never win another race! Kind of like Bobby Knight winning NCAA Titles with guys who aren't NBA stars, Borel is Mr Derby....

03 Feb 2011 3:38 PM
Ted from LA

Personally I haven't seen anything from LA to look at..

anniedixie65 03 Feb 2011 2:13 PM

anniedixie65 obviously hasn't seen Ted from LA with his shirt off.

If Uncle Mo keeps his form, Draynay will be right for the first time in his adult life.

03 Feb 2011 3:43 PM

Winnah Pickah,

Good luck with that bet.  The Factor has not worked since Jan 9th.  

03 Feb 2011 3:43 PM
All the Kings Horses.........

All you Dialed In fans better wait till he tries two turns & look at the sprinter/miler pedigree before you unload your wallets.That breeding cross doesnt scream classic distance

03 Feb 2011 3:48 PM
Matthew W

Tapizar won his debut race, a 12 horse field, from the nine hole at two turns at Churchill--by 10 1/2 lengths...he won the Sham for fun and we may very well see a coast to coast domination of two horses--Tapizar has a strong female family to balance his sire's brilliance--Tapizar in my opinion would be worth a bet in the futures, as I think his odds will drop by the time he wins again....

03 Feb 2011 4:00 PM
Jason Shandler

Street Sense was the only horse based in Kentucky or Louisiana Chris. That is more significant.

03 Feb 2011 4:05 PM

Honestly come derby day if Uncle Mo hasn't yet ran on a sloppy track I will slip a little cash in on Soldat.  Of course I will still have money on Mo, but I would rather be safe than sorry.

I really don't think distance is going to be a factor for Uncle Mo, I brought up a picture of him winning the Champagne, and he has this giant stride! You mix his speed with that stride no one will catch him. I can see why some people compare him to Secretariat. I found a picture of Secretariat's stride as well. I put the two pictures of their strides next to each other, and WoW almost Identical!

03 Feb 2011 4:09 PM

Dialed In is by Mineshaft. He will make one Hell of a sprinter, look at Discreetly Mine.

03 Feb 2011 4:11 PM

Draynay Friesan Fire was not a bad horse. That horse had a big heart to run through the early season like he did with some soundness issues. Lets see you win races with something wrong with you, look at how he ran. Obviously something wrong with him, his gait says it all. Injured horses still run and slip through the cracks, and injuries get swept under the rug all the time for various reasons. I applaud that horse for trying his guts out. The derby was what did him in since he had been nursing issues for quite awhile.

03 Feb 2011 4:14 PM

Get rid of the poly and ALOT more horses will go to KY. Who wants to pin there KY Derby chances on running on the poly crap? This year you got Comma to the Top,JB's Thunder who like the poly

03 Feb 2011 4:15 PM

Dialed In's Dam won two races one at 5 furlongs and one at 6 furlongs. Mineshaft produced sprinter Discreetly Mine. Sorry he will make a great one turn miler, but nothing more. He will not get the distance.

03 Feb 2011 4:17 PM

Yes,  Lou. does matter because there is a horse called Ghost Is Clear coming on to the seen.   If the owners can harness this 3yr. old out of Awesome Again into a route horse then Kentucky Derby is possible.   Awesome Again was awesome to watch and oh what a closer that horse was at the time.   If Corey Lanerie can guide Ghost Is Clear forward without making any mistakes then the future looks good.   I will be keeping a close eye on this horseand in and your in right.    It does not matter anymore if you are a philly and you are turning out to be good you can run with anything just as long as you win.  

03 Feb 2011 4:18 PM

Uncle Mo on the other hand has a nice female side on his pedigree. He is out of an Arch mare. Can anyone please tell me who Arch sired this past year? That's right, Blame.

03 Feb 2011 4:19 PM
Southern Chris

Who cares where they were "based" it's where they ran that's important. Horsemen ship and race outside of their bases all the time. Technically Todd Pletcher is based in New York but obviously he runs his horses all over.  

03 Feb 2011 4:19 PM
Jason Shandler

Ok Chris: I'll take the horses that prep in Florida and New York. You can have the ones in Louisiana and Kentucky. I'll give you 5-1 odds. Deal? If not, let's move on. Thanks.

03 Feb 2011 4:27 PM
Mike Relva


Really? Think you will be suprised when Machen wins late this month. As for Dialed In,your wrong. He's going to get the distance,have no doubt about it,he's more than a sprinter.

03 Feb 2011 4:34 PM
Mike Relva


You sound very much like DRAYNAY,when it doesn't work out for you with Uncle Mo have the class to admit it,unlike some on here.

03 Feb 2011 4:37 PM
Karen in Texas

I wouldn't say that Kentucky and Louisiana don't matter at all anymore, but the Polytrack at Keeneland has changed the significance of the Bluegrass. Rachel Alexandra did run a couple of preps in Louisiana, as someone noted above, as well as an allowance (?) at Oaklawn. To me, Oaklawn is as good a prepping place for the Triple Crown (not just for the Derby) as any nowadays. In addition to the Derby winners Grindstone, Smarty, and Super Saver; the major runners Afleet Alex, Curlin, and Rachel A. all prepped there in recent years.

03 Feb 2011 4:39 PM

Mike Relva,

Because I support Uncle Mo, you are goint to bash me?!? I am not bashing anyone for liking Dialed In, I am just simply reading his pedigree and making my own analysis. As for Machen, I didn't even say a word about him so don't go bullying people. God forbid me to favor a horse on many aspects, I didn't know I wasn't allowed to support a horse. In that case you aren't either!

03 Feb 2011 4:49 PM
Karen in Texas

And speaking of Calvin Borel--isn't he riding Elite Alex? Elite Alex, who seems to be prepping at Oaklawn, and is trained by Tim Ritchie??

03 Feb 2011 4:55 PM

Yes, and Elite Alex looks really nice. I always like to keep a close eye on those Oaklawn horses.

03 Feb 2011 5:06 PM

Sorry La. Boy, Oaklawn gets the credit for Rachel.  She was based at Oaklawn and won 2 preps at Oaklawn before the Oaks.  

This year watch Elite Alex at Oaklawn.  He will run again in the Southwest, if all goes well.

03 Feb 2011 5:11 PM
Mike Relva


First,I'm not a bully. second,you said with your own words Dialed In "will make a good one turn miler,nothing more". If you can't handle people disagreeing with you,can't help it. Just happen to totally disagree. You seem to be defensive,especially with your rant to Forbidden Apple on another blog site. Uncle Mo has alot of talent,but so does many. If im correct,no one had heard of Big Brown until couple months before the Derby. Anything can happen. It's way to early to crown him Derby winner.

03 Feb 2011 5:17 PM

This isn't particularly surprising when winning the Derby is more about luck than actual talent anymore.  I don't think it matters at all where you prep other than if you pick the places with weaker competition you'll wind up getting the earnings you need to make it to the gate.  The synthetics ruin a lot of things, as well as the cold weather, so it is really no surprise everyone stays as far south as possible.  At least for the winter preps in New York they can run on dirt.  As you can see, too, California had more Derby winners prepping on that side of the country before they brought in the synthetics, too.  

Imagine where the industry would be if all those millions of dollars that were spent to install (and constantly fix/repair) these ridiculous synthetic surfaces were put towards things the industry actually needs.  Things like marketing, improving the purses, improving the whole experience at the track for the customer, etc.  There is nothing wrong with natural dirt and it was just frivolous spending.  It's funny how the industry was so quick to jump to synthetics at such a hefty price, but everyone needs constant prodding to address all of the other things the industry needs to change for future success - which likely wouldn't gouge their pockets near as deep as those multi-million dollar surface changes.

03 Feb 2011 5:28 PM
Dave T

Weather or not a horse can negotiate the classic distance in May does not apply to a one dimensional closer.  The reason I am skeptical of Dialed In is because he still needs to prove to that he can step up in class and run with consistency.  And even if he does he is still gonna be at the mercy of the speed in the derby.  Uncle Mo is the horse we should question.  Can he settle in mid pack if needbe and pounce not like in his Breeders Cup win?  Can he get the additional 330 yards in just two preps?  The two horses under my radar are To Honor and Serve and Mucho Macho Man.

03 Feb 2011 5:56 PM

Pretty good research/analysis, Shandler. ... My guess based on what I've seen so far is the Derby winner will come from FL races--of course, I reserve the right to change my mind ... week after week after week. I guess that's the beauty of the "Derby Trail."

03 Feb 2011 5:57 PM

I like Elite Alex as well.  If he makes it to the Derby with Borel, watch out.

I think the Florida and Arkansas paths are the most significant recently.  I think New York is significant because of Mo.  And to me, you can't discount California with Santa Anita being run on dirt and a number of nice horses out there.

03 Feb 2011 5:59 PM
Jean in Chicago

Ted from LA:  Thank you. I needed that image having just come inside from trying to dig my car out of 5ft snow drifts.  Does this mean I can get a Derby ticket for the infield (where the dress code seems much less formal) and save myself vast amounts of money thereby being able to buy that round of drinks?

I've gotta agree with Mike in SB.  The combination of such long layoffs between races and polytrack at Keenland sure doesn't seem to mean any last minute tune ups in KY.  Too bad, because I'd rather look at a horse's last race than at his workout times. A blazing fast 6F workout doesn't tell me how he'll actually do when he has to face other horses for a mile plus.

03 Feb 2011 6:05 PM


I'm getting a little concerned about you and Shandler's "friendship".  In today Handicapping Show, you guys are on the same horses and now your telling him about his good research?  What's up with that?  HA!

03 Feb 2011 6:25 PM
Jason Shandler

Super Bowl picks everyone?

Steelers 34, Pack 33. I say its a shootout. Neither team can run consistently and neither QB makes a lot of Favres, ie., bad mistakes at crucial times. Should make for a lot of points.

Trebloc: After four years of hanging out with me, Tom finally learned that I am astute and knowledgable about all things. What else can I say?

03 Feb 2011 6:25 PM

Mike Revla,

I was just stating my own opinion of the horse I am sorry. That is my opinion. I am done having to defend my opinions to you and other bloggers. So if you don't like them get over it. There are plenty of opinions I don't like but I don't go around critizing everyones opinions unless they post a response to mine first.

03 Feb 2011 6:26 PM

Trebloc: Like I said on the show, we came up with the same horses on our own, which is dangerous. ... As for the blog, I think Shandler does a good job providing information and generating dialogue in his own twisted way. ... and we're both from the Philly area, so I cut the guy a break. He really does love horse racing by the way.

03 Feb 2011 6:32 PM
Mike Relva


Would be great if you could spell my name correctly. I'm done.

03 Feb 2011 6:45 PM

To me I believe the reason why many horses prep in Florida, California, New York, and Arkansa is because of the purse and the timing many trainers want to get only 2-4 preps into their horses before the derby and now to get in the derby you need to find were the money is so they go to where the big moeny is. Also the Blue Grass Stakes never does look really good because usually only Turf Horses enter that want to say that they ran in the Derby (and come in last) or dirt horses that just dont have the earnings and almost all them cant run on Polytrack. So if the Bluegrass wants to be a major derby contender race they first need to get rid of the Polytrack and move up the race a week or so.

Also Im still am not conviced that Unclo Mo will win the Derby I like to make my decsion on what horse can win when I see what horses are in the gate and what post positions they are in and who is riding who (Dont leave out Calvin)

03 Feb 2011 7:12 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I will eat Ted from LA's Ten Gallon Hat if either Jaycito or Elite Alex or The Factor don't finish in the top three in The Derby if any one of the three is in The Derby. I expect that at least two of the three to be in The Derby if two of three are healthy. All three might make it in. Superbowl- great matchup and I too expect quite a bit of scoring. I'm hoping for a barn burner. Steelers-33  GB-27 It's tied 27-27, then Big Ben scrambles, fakes a run toward the end zone then pulls up and passes into the end zone for the TD from the five yard line as time runs out.

03 Feb 2011 7:28 PM


 Hope you are right about the high score in the Super Bowl. I am taking the over. Hope you are wrong about who wins the game.

03 Feb 2011 7:31 PM

JerseyTom and Jason,

Its been four years?  WOW... I remember meeting you guys when Jason was in town for his interview.  The good ole days!  HA!  

Packers 42 - Steeelers 31. Rogers picks the Steelers apart!

03 Feb 2011 7:57 PM

Green Bay wins by 10 or more.  Ben holds on to the ball too long and Green Bay is a better artificial turf team.

03 Feb 2011 8:13 PM

Packers over the Steelers would be my choice, but I wouldn't be surprised at a flip flop

03 Feb 2011 8:15 PM


Are saying we will see King Congie in the Blue Grass?

03 Feb 2011 8:27 PM
Carlos in Cali

Steelers 31

Packers  13

They'll run the ball down the Packer's throat like they did vs. the Jets who btw,had a better defense than GB.Both of these teams play the same 3-4 type of defense so Rogers is used to it in practice,but Pittsburgh will throw too many different schemes at them... and Polamalu once again will cause havoc now that he's healthy.I'm hoping for a close game too,but I doubt it.

P.S.  I can't stand the Steelers,but what can you do?... take the points.

03 Feb 2011 8:32 PM
Ted from LA

I will eat Ted from LA's Ten Gallon Hat if either Jaycito or Elite Alex or The Factor don't finish in the top three in The Derby if any one of the three is in The Derby.  ~Dr Drunkinbum 03 Feb 2011 7:28 PM

Them's fightin' words.

03 Feb 2011 10:58 PM
Ted from LA

Packers 31  Steelers  24

Jean from Chicago... no infield for Ted from LA.  I served my time there.  I got out 17 years ago on parole and have been clean since.

03 Feb 2011 11:03 PM
Jean in Chicago

Dear Dr. D.:  

I think I followed that, but toward the end it sounded like you were saying all three horses might be in the Superbowl.

03 Feb 2011 11:19 PM
John T

I think the most important statistic about the Kentucky Derby is why the last two winners were never able to go on and win another race.If the same thing happens again this year then we have a very serious problem on our


03 Feb 2011 11:20 PM
Matthew W

Green Bay gonna give Pittsburgh a "good Rogering", to quote Norm the pizza delivery "boy"/who disguises himself as some learned/crippled fellow in "Something About Mary"...come to think of it, if Aaron DOES give Pitt a good Rogering, he'll make Green Bay forget, once and for all, about Mary's boyfriend (Bret)....

04 Feb 2011 12:14 AM

Louisana looks like a hard way to get to the derby. 6 weeks out is too hard to come back. Kentucky is polytack and has not proven to be a true builder of winners. Street Sense did do it but he was a Churchill horse and he did the exact same thing prior to the BC juvenile.

The team I want in the super bowl is the scores that match my squares!

04 Feb 2011 12:26 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Matthew W.

  Runflatout- Before he even ran his first race I was thinking that he is probably 6f to a mile based on his pedigree. Then I saw his race and thought that if I had him I would probably try to make him a champion sprinter. Then I watched his race three more times and think he probably could get some distance. He has a nice stride, was still fresh after the race and has some stamina in his pedigree. Interesting for sure. And talented for sure. It was an impressive debut. Professional. We know the track is running fast so you can't go too much by the time. But I like the way he did it also.

04 Feb 2011 2:05 AM

Soldat is this years version of Fly Down.  An up and comer with no graded earnings.  His next race, which at this time looks like the FOY where he will be facing some heavyweights and is no cinch, can ultimately determine weather his connections want to continue down the derby road.  Unfortunately for Fly Down, he got a horrible trip not to mention a bad ride in the Louisiana Derby and never got his chance.  The lesson here:  lets take a wait and see approach with Soldat before jumping on his bandwagon.

04 Feb 2011 2:11 AM

I was impressed at the Fair Grounds by Machen, Wilkinson, and Pants On Fire.  And after the races I thought...when is the last time Louisiana produced a Derby winner?  I need to see more.  I find Tapizar on the top of my list.  As impressive as Uncle Mo has been, I still hesitate because of his stride.  It's very choppy as is BAT's (who seems iffy to his trainer at this point).  In the BCJ, it was the beautiful long stride of Rogue Romance, who kept stretching out farther each time, that caught my eye most favorably.  I think Soldat can be solid.  So far, not enough preps have been run to make me lean heavily on any one specific horse.

04 Feb 2011 6:00 AM

I agree with the LA side of things but how can you even put Kentucky in that same category. During the early months of the year, the only operation open is Turfway. We know that no Derby hopefuls will be prepping there. Keeneland does have two preps in the Bluegrass and the Lexington, however many trainers only use those as last chance plans for the money and also because of the synthetic factor. The Derby Trial was popular back in the day as a prep but with the horses being so fragile now, no one is willing to run there horse back that quickly. Times have changed and the fact that the bottom of this blog turned into a forum to post super bowl picks probably shows many feel the same way I do. This story is true of LA but not KY!

04 Feb 2011 9:05 AM
Jason Shandler

Brandon: I asked people for their Super Bowl picks. Plus, you echoed my points about Kentucky with the Poly making the Blue Grass mainly a last chance for money, not a key prep. Not sure where your issue is with me.

04 Feb 2011 9:15 AM

disregarding Machen is a big mistake. his 76 beyers, is because he was trapped in  box of horses for 9/10 of the race, at an extremely slow pace. he was trying to run over horses the entire way. watch the video.

and never discount louisiana racing. it is stronger than ever.

04 Feb 2011 9:16 AM
Jason Shandler

I watched the race three times kpm. I like Neil Howard a lot and wish him well, but the clock doesnt lie. Nothing about that race makes me think Machen is a Derby horse. He had good finishing kick, but sometimes that can be deceiving when you run a :25 and change, :50 and change, 1:40 and change against four horses.

I like Wilkinson better.

04 Feb 2011 9:19 AM

If you ran the Ky derby every week with 20 horses add slop in, there would be a different winner each time. Where they prep means nothing. Weather, timing, fate, and LUCK means everything. Ask any trainer if they were assured of the La Derby win they all would take that route. A trainer wants a sound, fit, professional horse that likes CD. Good Luck

04 Feb 2011 9:20 AM

The Kentucky Derby preps shine light on one of the big problems holding back the sport. The various states are intent on competing against each other for dollars instead of realizing a united effort might be the smarter approach.

04 Feb 2011 9:51 AM
Billy's Empire

Hmm, I am going Green Bay 31 Pitt 27. Now, if the Steelers win 28-13, I would not be too mad b/c I would win a few hundred on my square. My other square is 2 and 5, so Packers 42-35 would work out also. I doubt we see that many points, but it would make for a fun game to watch.

I am looking forward to a new "Mayhem" Commercial.

Last, Darren I am pretty sure Soldat got second in the GII Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf and won the GIII With Anticipation, so his graded earnings are $240,000, which will most likely already get him in the starting gate. You can wait if you want, but you might miss the boat.

04 Feb 2011 10:05 AM
Billy's Empire

Not the states competing, the track owners Giddyup. Hell, Calder, Gulfstream and Hialeah are all fighting over racing dates and they are like 10 miles apart. There is no issue with the preps. All of the major Preps are 750k to a million dollars, with the exception of the Illinois Derby b/c they lowered the purse even more this year.

04 Feb 2011 10:11 AM
Aaron McCinci

I think what Brandon is saying is that you cant compare Louisiana to Kentucky because while Louisiana has a classy meet at the Fair Grounds, Kentucky only has Turfway during the late winter months that are crucial for Derby preps.   This echoes Jason's reasoning, but if Im not mistaken, Brandon is excusing Kentucky because their classy meet begins later, and expanding on Jason's statement about Kentucky that "it's a little bit of a different situation" by arguing that you cant really compare the two.  

Of course, if all you're looking for are similar effects, without necessarily claiming the causes are similar, then you can compare KY and LA.  

Im relatively new at handicapping, but from what Ive seen thus far, a lot of handicapping logic relies on the statistical compilation and comparison of effects without necessarily looking deeper into the causes of those effects and reasoning from a position that might see different causes for the same effect.  

I dont think you are doing that here, Jason, but overlooking these two states because of past statistical trends might lead to overlooking a worthy horse if one were to prep at their tracks -- no matter how statistically unlikely.  

04 Feb 2011 10:19 AM
Pedigree Ann

I love it when people latch onto one fact and extrapolate a career from it.

Miss Doolittle's only wins were at sprint distances because all 6 of her lifetime starts were at sprint distances, most of them at 2. You can't win 2-turn races if you never start in them. Doesn't mean she COULDN'T have won at a mile or more, only that we have no data.

She was bred to run at least a mile; her sire Storm Cat has sired plenty of distance winners - Tabasco Cat (Belmont), November Snow (Alabama S), Cat Thief (BC Classic), Giant's Causeway (Eclipse S), etc., so he's not a bar to distance ability. Her dam Eliza won twice at 1 1/16 around two turns and had a half-brother named Dinard, a Santa Anita Derby winner who was the pre-race favorite for the Kentucky Derby before suspensory injuries knocked him out. (Dinard, a gelding, became a major attraction at the Kentucky Horse Park.)

Mineshaft stayed quite well - A.P. Indy with Hoist the Flag and Herbager down the damline overshadowed any sprint tendencies from Mr. P (although he sired distance horses, too - Belmont, Travers and Alabama winners).

The problem with Mineshaft is that he was a late maturer; he didn't make his debut until April of his 3yo year (in England) and didn't win his first stakes race until the January of his 4yo year. Impatient owners and trainers who go for speed early on aren't going to get the best out of their Mineshaft runners.

04 Feb 2011 10:55 AM

"Green Bay is a better artificial turf team."

Yeah, but image how good they'd be if they only played on REAL turf!  Or dirt.

My pick is the Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland mix in the Puppy Bowl.

04 Feb 2011 12:02 PM

Calvin (que the banjo music) Borel will not be on any horse who finishes in the top 3 in this years Derby. You heard it here first, take it to the bank. You can thank me later.

04 Feb 2011 12:04 PM

Super Bowl-- Lot of high scores predicted ?THEY are playing in a dome the only time  this season it went over 40 pts(when looking at pitt/pack vs Dome opp.) was when the PACK went to HOTLANTA in the play offs I think ! I'm not saying......

On too the DERBY It would be just lovely to see if Uncle Mo can overcome the STATS only horse to ever win the juv.brd.cup and then win then the derby mummm lets see I thinking Street Sense yes thats right I of course had The C Key with Johnny Vee.And speaking of Johnny Vee lets not mention the uncanny bad luck he has had for the last 3-4/ all of his derbies.I would LOVE to see him catch a break.But it is WAY to early for me to muddy the waters with a pick to much racing to see. Middle of April should find me thinking I have the derby winner only to find out on the first saturday of May I missed again.........arrrrgh

04 Feb 2011 12:29 PM


04 Feb 2011 12:38 PM

i think the horse that win the derby this year is not even heard at this time there is a horse out there that will be better but when is he going to race is the question

04 Feb 2011 12:44 PM

ill be watching the rebel ,the southwest that where i think the horse is coming from

04 Feb 2011 12:47 PM

Steelers win 31-28....should be a bone jarring game. Looking forward to some real "smashmouth football"

04 Feb 2011 12:55 PM

Jason I'm curious....what was your impression of Pants On Fire in the Lecomte? I thought he ran a real gutty and game race.

04 Feb 2011 12:58 PM
Ted from LA

Calvin (der near near near near) Borel owns the Derby.

04 Feb 2011 1:15 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I remember that day. Jason rode into town on a Shetland pony. It was Saturday, so we put him up on one of our fastest, shiniest 3 year olds and he was proud a punch as he rode into town to play poker and get a little drinkin' done with the boys. That young man has come a long way since then. From riding a Shetland pony to riding Zenyatta, from thinking a flush beats a full house to regularly taking our money. And we can always count on him when it gets a little rough in town. He's got a left hook that has cleared many a bar room and a right cross that has sent many a blogger whimpering in the street. He's turned out to be a mighty fine Sheriff in this town.

04 Feb 2011 1:30 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Jean in Chicago

   No, we'll save the horses for a really big game-The Derby.

04 Feb 2011 1:34 PM

Dr.  Drunkinbum,

I also, recall Jason picking Cowtown Cat in the Illinois Derby  for some big bucks, but did he buy a round of drinks?  Nope...  HA!

04 Feb 2011 2:07 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  He couldn't. By the time we rode into town and sullied up to the bar at The Long Branch he had lost it all back on Friesan Fire.

04 Feb 2011 2:18 PM
Jim Mulvihill

Jason, you say that "neither Louisiana or Kentucky have played significant roles in the last 15 Derby winners" and yet your own list shows that five of those 15 ran in prep races in either Louisiana or Kentucky. So one-third is insignificant? This doesn't make sense to me.

04 Feb 2011 2:32 PM

Should get a good look at Tapizar and Jaycito again in the Robert B. Lewis next Saturday.  Would like to see Comma to the Top.  Should get a sense of who can go 1 1/8th pretty early in the game.  

04 Feb 2011 2:45 PM

Preps no matter where they are are good for who is running second, third, and fourth.

Sloppy Track at Churchill means Calvin.

I still like Dialed In, Soldat, and the Factor.

04 Feb 2011 2:51 PM

Of course, the big three are major players at this point headed by Uncle Mo.

Class is class and that's why the Greenbay Packers will win.

GB  31

St   17

04 Feb 2011 2:53 PM
Jason Shandler

It's a fair point Jim but I dont consider War Emblem's two off-the-board finishes in Louisiana a significant role in his 2002 Derby win. And of the five, only Street Sense was based in those two states. Plus, Louisiana's key prep race, the Louisiana Derby, has produced a total of two Ky. Derby winners in its history, which I believe dates back to the 1890's. As for Kentucky, I clearly stated that I think it's the Polytrack that has had the biggest negative effect on its ability to play a significant role going forward. It's a matter of opinion and the numbers don't necessarily back up some of mine, but it's how I feel.

04 Feb 2011 3:04 PM

Green Bay.  (I like them both but GB hasn't won for a while and I like cheese.)

For the Derby: no infield.  Although this is my first Derby, I'm with TFLA.  I would like to be somewhere where I might actually believe I am at a horse race.

To continue, to Jean from Chicago: 1. probably, hats are optional in the infield and since I am going to attempt to wear one (and drag it from TO to Louisville), I will NOT be in the infield; and 2.  whaddayamean "save money"?  How can you spring for round(s) if you are saving money?

Still waiting for my Curlin-like moment to pick my favourite.  I like Dialed In, the Tapits, any Candy Rides and Blue Laser (who hasn't even started yet).

As a result: chances of winning on the Derby (or the Stupid Bowl): NIL.

04 Feb 2011 3:07 PM

Hey Dr. Drunkinbum: it looks like you and Jason might be at the July premiere of "Cowboys and Aliens" together with me and my (poor) 17yo Nephew (who usually has no choice when I want to see silly movies).

Watch the trailer.  Makes me laugh (even though it might not be a comedy).  



'nuff said

04 Feb 2011 3:12 PM
Ted from LA

You have a 1 in 20 shot mz.  Probably much better if you listen to Ted from LA.  3rd floor clubhouse is the plan.  Nothing lower.  $200-300 each should get you in.  You'll win that back in the first race so don't sweat it.

04 Feb 2011 3:16 PM
Ted from LA

Dr. D.,

from thinking a flush beats a full house...Dr Drunkinbum 04 Feb 2011 1:30 PM

If you have a clogged toilet, a flush does beat a full house.

04 Feb 2011 3:18 PM

Ted: I bow to your superior knowledge about how to get from the bunch of people who got seats with tours at the head of the stretch (where I will not see the finish) to the 3rd Floor Clubhouse.

Is security impressed with lawyers?  From Canada?

What about non-young, non-blondes?

What about Cdn$100.00 bills?

Never mind.  Do you know any places I can climb over fences?

04 Feb 2011 3:33 PM
Billy's Empire

50c p4 tomorrow at GP

Occelli/Cal Nation/Kangaro


Twilight Meteor/Little Mike


Rule/Morning Line/ Square Eddie


Blimey/Gothics Peak/Fallah


also like Capser Touch and Shakelford in the third in the 1 1/8 allowance race, and look out for Shadow Warrior

Biker Boy, Yawanna Twist in 5th

Queenplatekitten is 6th

It's tea Time in 7th

04 Feb 2011 3:55 PM

who is the best Ghostzapper in the 3yo class. Sleeper Sire that might strike big. Whats the word on the colt Ghost is Clear? Anyone with info?

04 Feb 2011 3:55 PM
Dave T

Racing is divided into two divisions: east vs. west.  I always focus my attention to the east coast horses.  Why?  Because the talent pool is way more superior.  Think about it.  At Gulfstream  you have the best 3 year olds coming in from NY, KY, NJ, IL, and Calder.  Then they race against one another in big fields and become battle tested and usually one or two of them will emerge as the pro tem leader.  The same can be said at Oaklawn and Fairgrounds, though the quality of the horses is less superior.  

Out west, you have a crop of 3year olds that basically have run against one another from the year before.  Yet, the horse that emerges as the leader is hard to gauge because he has been running in small fields, really hasn't beaten much because the talent pool is very small, and as a result has not been battle tested.                                              Every now and then a quality horse will come out west like Lookin at Lucky or a Giacomo, a fluke derby winner.  But as a rule of thumb always pay a close attention to the east coast 3 year olds preferably Gulfstream then you can gauge the west coast horses accordingly.

04 Feb 2011 4:18 PM
Ted from LA


I'll have you covered (not in the horseracing sense of the word).  The only problem I see is there are a lot of sirens going off around Churchill Downs on Derby Day and I might have trouble getting you to focus.  Additionally, Jason and Dr. D were already in a cowboy movie together.  I would be very surprised if they did another one.

04 Feb 2011 4:45 PM

Brokeback Mountain?

04 Feb 2011 5:04 PM
Mike Relva

Think Fly Down will win tomorrow,also in the L.V. T.D. will prevail.

04 Feb 2011 5:50 PM
Dave T

Toss out any 3 year old who has broken his maiden within the last month. They,re OVERHYPED!  When were the days when it was paramount to have a good 2 year old foundation.  Oh yeah,  Big Brown.

04 Feb 2011 5:54 PM

It's a shame that the Blue Grass Stakes because of the synthetic is no longer a relevant prep. Sure there will be a full field at the Keeneland race because Derby hungry horses will need the fat graded money it offers. However more credible contenders will have gone elsewhere.

The Illinois Derby can be put on the "does it matter" list too. More so because while its graded the purse is too small to help anyone.

A lot of folks might think Uncle Mo is some foregone conclusion but I think he'll be resuming his racing too late and just two preps before the KY Derby is a mistake. Pletcher will be praying the Mo is the same horse put on the shelf in 2010. Odds are firmly against a 2-yr star being the same contender for the Derby.

I'd rather see a solidly developing 3-yr old who just hit the board but has promise in January vs. an Eclipse 2-yr winner who I'll wager won't win his first race back.

04 Feb 2011 6:28 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


    I'm kind of surprised that you don't remember that it was Cat Ballou since you had a dual role as a mule and a saloon girl in the movie. You probably don't want to remember since they never showed your face in the saloon but we did hear you say something from an upstairs room. "That will be a nickel."

04 Feb 2011 7:17 PM

I don`t care who wins the SB as long as Pittsburgh has a 7-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.  My other squares have 2's and 5's in them so not much chance there.

I don`t play polycrap races except for some 10c supers in Ouija Board race @ TP where boxing your zip code can be profitable.  FG purse upped to a million this year which should attract some nice runners along with Machen and "Ghost...".  Are there any horses out west who might be possible off the pace types?

04 Feb 2011 7:20 PM

Dave T,

Careful what you say or all the Runflatout fans will have your head!  

04 Feb 2011 7:35 PM
Dosage ?

Do many of you consider dosage when

you consider true derby threats. I did myself, until I found that Desert Wine had a DI 6.60 and ran 2nd in the Derby and Preakness. I was suprised. Interesting.

04 Feb 2011 8:21 PM

I get very tired of people who keep referring to horses as late-maturing if their wins kick in at 4.(Rock Hard Ten, Cigar)

First, normally a horse does not fully mature until he's 4.  We sometimes get very precocious colts who mature early, at Secretariat or Slew or Point Given, or the Bid among others.  The rest fall somewhere in between and may be pushed harder to do what the precocious ones are able to do at 3.  Then we get the Eskendereya, the I Want Revenge, the Buddy's Saint..etc.  There are 3 months left on the Derby Trail, and I'm still watching to find out what the colts can really do.  One race tells me something, but not a lot.  I agree with kpm on Machen...he's was boxed in for most of the race, ready to run over horses in front of him.  He had to check more then once.  It took a lot of guts to bull his way to the front splitting horses, and then taking off.  That's something not often seen with such a young horse.  I like a horse with that kind of heart and courage.  The same can be said for Wilkinson, whose ride along the rail was pure moxy.  This year, Louisiana just may write a new chapter to the Derby, as Pletcher did last year.

04 Feb 2011 8:39 PM

Dosage is the categorization of certain sires who have contributed certain characteristics to the breed.  It takes quite awhile usually for a sire to become a chef de race, and so it may miss sires who contribute speed or stamina to their offspring if they are not chef de races.  As the American thoroughbred became more speed oriented I have paid attention to dosage less and less.  What I look for in a dosage profile now is balance.  In the American thoroughbred I like to see some representation in the stamina wing of their dosage profile, but it is fewer and far between.  What you mostly see now is representation in the brilliant, intermediate and classic categories, and if you are lucky the solid category.  As far as Desert Wine, the dosage people didn't say a non-qualifier could not finish in the money, they just said they couldn't win.

 I use it to see if a horse has a balanced pedigree, but not to predict a Derby win.

04 Feb 2011 9:40 PM

Dr. Drunkinbum: no need to be nasty.  Just tell me you don't like my comments.

I guess we're not friends anymore.  

04 Feb 2011 9:51 PM
The Bid

WOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!! I'm Shocked...Relva is actually picking MY Fillie TD @ Santa Anita tomorrow...Now I have approx. 11wks. for MO to get him on OUR TC Wagon!!! C'mon MIKEY!!!!!!!! Jason YOU HAVE to like Turbulent Descent??? May Day Rose and Zazu are the ONLY threats to her in this race!!

04 Feb 2011 10:53 PM
The Bid

Packers...34...Squeelers...20!!! GO PACK GOOOOO!!

04 Feb 2011 10:56 PM

No trends???  How about the last five Derby winners have had two prep races?


04 Feb 2011 11:46 PM

So read earlier that The Factor has returned to training today after dealing with a bruised foot. Hopefully everything turns out ok. I would like to see him progress. Loving his pedigree! Ready to see his next work. Hopefully the bruise didn't set him back too much.

05 Feb 2011 12:00 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Donn Handicap- I'm like Les, I Want Revenge will have to prove he's back before I bet him. He doesn't look like the same horse so far to me since returning from his injury. I'll play a buck trifect wheel 6,7,8 with 6.7.8 with 6,7,8,3,9 for $18 total. And a $1 ex 8 over 7and6. For a total of 20 bucks. And go over the 20 bucks to put 6 and7 over 8,  Exacta. My top three are Rule, Fly Down and Square Eddie in the top two spots in the tri and adding Morning Line and Ron the Greek in the third spot. Fly Down has a good shot at HOY and Rule and Square Eddie are going to be formidible opponents this year. Square is still a bit of a ?? But Rule is going to be very strong all year. He looks good. This is a very strong race with some of the best older talent you're going to see this year.

05 Feb 2011 12:02 AM
Ted from LA

Desert Wine?  Who the?  What the?  How the?  Why the?  What year was that???  I want to cordially welcome all the new posters.  I am President and CEO of Jason's blog.  If you have any problems with getting your messages posted here, please do not hesitate to take it up with my assitant, Dr. Drunkinbum.

05 Feb 2011 12:22 AM
Old Yeller

Here we go again Derby, Derby, Derby. This race is NOT a real horserace, the field is too big and people there will do anything, I mean anything to make sure who does NOT win. Anyone betting serious money on the Kentucky Derby has rocks in their head !

05 Feb 2011 12:35 AM
Ted from LA


So just how old are we talking?  There is a reason why I don't go to the Derby with my grandmother.  "Teddy, is that your 16th cigar today?"  "My, you sure do like your Bourbon Ted from LA Jr."  I am not at all anti-elderly, but Ted from LA needs to be able to smoke like a chimney and drink like a fish in order to fully blow his wad on Derby Day.  It's a family tradition that dates back to the late 1800s.  I think I am holding off on my pick this year until May 5th at 8:00 AM eastern time.  I've been hearing ESPN is going to be in my double-wide that morning to get it live.  All women joining the Ted from LA Derby Train on May 7th must wear a big hat or they will not even be allowed on the platform or at Millie's after the races.

05 Feb 2011 12:35 AM

I have to agree, I personally don't pay attention to the BlueGrass nor the Louisiana Derby winners when it comes to the Derby.  One thing I know for sure, the Derby winner is not coming from Florida, the winner will be prepping in Oaklawn or Santa Anita this year :)

So far, I'm keeping tabs on THS, Jaycito, Dialed In, Soldat, Machen.  I think me boy Jaycito is ready, typical Baffert horse workout.  I'm looking for him to run a decent race for his first race back :

02/01/2011 SA   7F 1:25.20 Dirt Fast H

Of course, UM is the best of them all, he's the best in this weak bunch of 2011 as Draynay said.  So everyone please, please BET the farm on UM wherever he runs.  He will destroy any field he runs in.  He's a monster, the beast of the east, a 30 year horse.  I say crown him HOTY already, why wait ?!? ;)

05 Feb 2011 5:12 AM

I like Gian Oak in today's Donn.  I am also looking forward to seeing this year's Haskell winner Cal Nation run his first race.  

05 Feb 2011 7:08 AM

Ted from LA: I am old to my 17yo nephew.  I am young to my 80yo mother.  I am just right to my friends who remember the Beatles, the moon landings and the day Kennedy was shot.  

Also, and most importantly, I am at the right age to know that everything goes better with wine, or possibly in another context, with mint juleps.

05 Feb 2011 9:56 AM
Jason Shandler

Im not a teaser kind of guy usually, but Im playing the Steelers +9 and over 38. That seems fairly safe to me. The Pack may win but unless there is a late defensive TD like last year I dont see the Steelers losing by more than a touchdown. I have spoken.

05 Feb 2011 10:21 AM

I watched the movie Secretariat last night and today I was focused on the Donn at Gulfstream and low and behold Square Eddie and jockey Corey N. and does any body remember Java Man.    Ya I know he will be a huge price but to control the pace and race from the front and then have a lot of horse left come the mile pole I can not turn it down.   Sinister Minister keeps coming to mind.   Yes I do have to take a horse that just set a track record at six and one half furlongs and now wants longer.   The trainer of Square Eddie must see something.   I watched his last race over and over and on the big screen and this horse was not even breathing hard or even working and won.

05 Feb 2011 11:03 AM
Ted from LA


The Packers will win and the over is it.  I am also betting the over on how many beers Big Ben will have tonight/early Sunday morning (+15).  mz, it's a date.  Quick questions for Old Yeller:  Who was the second shooter in Dallas?  Who placed the two fake birth announcements in Hawaii in 1961?  Lastly,  Jason, I know it is your blog and I am merely the CEO and President of it, but I suggest you not refer to yourself as a teaser on a horseracing blog ever again.  That's what friends are for.

05 Feb 2011 11:46 AM
Jean in Chicago

mz:  You are the perfect age (i.e., same as me) with the perfect attitude toward alcohol.

Ted from LA:  I'm sure neither mz or I would be bothered in the least by your immitations of a fish, chimney or anything else.  I will find, purchase or make a large hat with feathers and flowers.

And I don't want to give the wrong impression.  I would never willingly choose the infield.  It seems to combine the worst aspects of Spring Break in Daytona, Taste of Chicago and a Girls Gone Wild video without the redeeming parts of being near the ocean or the lake front.  There are no redeeming parts to Girls Gone Wild.  I also would be more likely to see horses from my window in Chicago.

mz & Dr.D:  Play nice.  You are two of the wittiest, most amusing  people on this blog and I'd hate to see any bloodshed.  I am now going to jump behind the horse trough before any more bullets start flying.  

05 Feb 2011 12:16 PM


Didn't you know that Mike Relva knows everything?? I wouldn't give him the time of day if I were you.

The only thing I agree with him on in this instance is that Machen looks the part of a Derby horse.

Yes, his time was slow and Beyer was slow, but pace makes the race, and I do think there is plenty of time for improvement, and it's not like there are a ton of other really strong prospects out there. Watch him next time out and look for improvement.

Most horses are just getting the necessary foundation and experience leading up to the Derby. In other words, Machen is far from fully cranked. Physically speaking, though, he looks fantastic. He has plenty of stamina in his pedigree, a good doasage and CD for those who use it, and great conformation.

I typically prefer horses who run well, they don't necessarily have to win every prep, but solid efforts that build up to Derby day are good. Unless, of course, they are Secretariat or Slew, horses who only knew how to run like the wind.

05 Feb 2011 2:17 PM
Mike Relva


Guess you know everything,right? lol

05 Feb 2011 2:46 PM

No far from it Mike. No one knows everything about horseracing...except for you ;-)

05 Feb 2011 3:03 PM

i think the whirlaway is going to have some say this year this is  a pretty good field imo. i like preachintothedevil and toby's corner.

05 Feb 2011 3:32 PM
Mike Relva


Don't know what problem you have pal,but I've NEVER behaved as if I know everything,like some on here. Don't hear you calling them out. Why not?

05 Feb 2011 4:01 PM


Relax....I'm sure you know quite a bit about racing, it's just that in the past, I've noticed your posts in particular, and something about your verbiage rubs me the wrong way sometimes.

There are plenty of people who think they know it all, but I can't address all of them. I don't come on these blogs all the time, but your name I do remember, and what I remember is not liking what you've said, or how you've said it.

Primarily, I've been aggravated by your comments about Rachel Alexandra, but for the sake of all, especially Jason, let's not go there, as this blog is not about her. Let's just say, you wrote some really negative things I didn't agree with at all.

Horse racing is one of my passions in life. I'm not some new fan who is just talking smack. Based on my lifetime of watching and closely following racing, I have read your posts and they have rubbed me the wrong way. Am I right all the time? Hell no, but I know more than enough to have an opinion based on my experience. That does not mean I am correct all the time. I try not to make my opinions fact, I try to let the facts speak for themselves.

Fair enough? Maybe you're a nice guy IDK. Sometimes the topics we discuss on these blogs get heated. By the way, I'm a woman. Maybe you're my long-lost husband given how terribly we get along.

Bye Bye Love

05 Feb 2011 4:52 PM
Ted from LA

Alright.  That's enough.  You two go to your rooms and don't come out until I say you can.

05 Feb 2011 5:23 PM

Great win for Giant Oak.  Things set up on the front perfect for him.  None of those horses are as good as Uncle Mo.  There is nothing to stop him from super stardom.

05 Feb 2011 6:27 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I need a vacation, so I'm going on one. It won't be a working vacation like Jason so graciously does. I'll check in when I get back.

05 Feb 2011 6:27 PM
Mike Relva


For the sake of argument,I like and respected what RA accomplished,just don't care for her CONNECTIONS. She deserved to end her career on top of her game,instead of being almost used up the yr. before(her former trainer stated to Jason she was "gutted" in the Woodward. They got greedy and horse and connections paid for it.

05 Feb 2011 7:13 PM
Mike Relva


Will wait for your "Dray spin control mode" next month.

05 Feb 2011 7:14 PM

No horse is as good as Twirling Candy this year.   Sadler has handled him so well....stopping on him last fall after the Goodwood, letting him recoup from that souped up "track record" in the Malibu.  What a master's only a matter of time before he wins a Derby.

California and Florida are the two top areas for Derby horses this year IMO:  Uncle Mo and Tapizar.  Kentucky is irrelevant except for earnings that keep contenders out.  

The Cheeseheads will win!

Anyone heard anthing about Bandbox?

05 Feb 2011 9:19 PM

Poking my head out of my room just to say:

1.  Queensplatekitten - looks good

2.  Pluck - going on dirt or polytrack soon or just sticking to grass?

3.  Anyone notice the sires of 1st and 2nd in the Strub? Candy Ride and Tapit.  Maybe I'm right in my choices but sidestepped one year -- 4YOs instead of 3YOs.  Brings to mind ideas about hindsight / 20-20 / my mule heritage (still smarting from the Dr. D comments)

OK.  I'll go back to my room now.

05 Feb 2011 9:56 PM


There is only one person on this blog who 'knows it all' and we all know who that person is and his name doesn't start with Mike.

05 Feb 2011 10:12 PM

thomas - Toby's Corner looked really strong in the cold slop today and acted like he wanted more.  Very nice colt with an impressive pedigree. I'm going to keep an eye on him.

05 Feb 2011 11:09 PM

So am I the only one that hit it big today??? HA!

05 Feb 2011 11:26 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA (inner office memo)

   I'm leaving in the morning for my vacation mixed with business. Here's my itinery in case you need to get a hold of me. First I'll be at the square in Cairo to get some practice in for The Derby infield, then to the OK Corral in Tombstone to help with a little problem down there, then on to my assignment from you to Dealey Plaza to find the second shooter. As soon as I know the identity of the second shooter I'll be reporting to you directly in Lexington. Shouldn't take long. I doubt if I'll need the entire month. I'll snoop around a little and then turn up the heat if I need to. OK boss?

06 Feb 2011 12:58 AM


Do you have any plans to do a Not Your Ordinary Top 10

this month?

06 Feb 2011 2:13 AM
Matthew W

Blood Horse reporter Jack Shinar reminds that Twirling Candy wiped off Bid's record for 7fur--C'MON! A maiden went UNDER 1:07 that day--sure that was a nice run Sat--but there were no Flying Pasters in there--I saw Paster go 1:46 and change winning the San Antonio as a five year old--still, Twirling Candy has that look about him--he actually looks a bit like Bid, running with head high like Bid did--if I'm Caracortado's people, no way am I gonna try Twirling two turns-dirt--he's a monster--rather, stay on turf/go in Kilroe Mile, while Twirling goes after Bid's 1 1/4 record--yeah, right, that'l be the day! Back East, was impressed with Giant Oak--was impressed with Morning Line as well! They went much faster early in the Donn--would love to see Giant Oak in the Big Cap at 1 1/4 vs Twirling Candy, I would maybe put him on top, considering the distance--only distance will beat Twirling Candy, he loves the dirt and he looks like any kind....

06 Feb 2011 4:57 AM

any one going with arch traveler in the first race at gulfstream today?

06 Feb 2011 8:52 AM

Dr. D: "...I'll be reporting to you directly in Lexington..."

I am shocked! shocked! that Ted might not be from LA!

(Somebody give me my winnings from the back room and then we'll go round up the usual suspects.)

06 Feb 2011 9:52 AM

Twirling Candy looks strong to quite strong.  I like his chances in the older male division this year.  Still, I get a queasy feeling with people throwing around comparisons with The Bid so early.  Same sort of queasiness I get when Mo is compared with Secretariat.

06 Feb 2011 10:28 AM

I was all in on Cal Nation.  Keep your eye on this one.  Breeding is as good as it gets. Fast.

06 Feb 2011 11:39 AM

Any chance Cal Nation goes to the Fountain Jason?  Can you ask you man Pletcher?

06 Feb 2011 11:48 AM

cal nation wont win a TC race if he's even entered. ill be surprized if he is, still a nice colt to look out for.


he's at the top of my list as of now lol hope he runs well in his next preps.

06 Feb 2011 12:23 PM

I would love to see Winstar/Pletcher enter Cal Nation in the Tampa Bay Derby.  The timing would be perfect.   But, then again what do I know.

06 Feb 2011 12:28 PM
Karen in Texas

I agree that Twirling Candy looks to be special--made me wonder what's up with Misremembered right now? (Sorry, Jason, I realize this is Triple Crown Talk.)

Cal Nation looked promising for Pletcher...

06 Feb 2011 12:46 PM
Ted from LA


Ted from LA would rather be homeless in downtown Minneapolis than live in LA.  Dr. D, you do not have permission to go on vacation.  It's Derby prep season for goodness sakes.  sherpa, it's great to see you back.  I was worried I was going to have to carry all my own stuff on Derby Day.  Of all the mint julep joints in all the towns in all the world, mz has to walk into mine.

06 Feb 2011 1:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I've always enjoyed your wit and comments except for one. It's just one little spat but next time I'll probably just ignore. Maybe.

06 Feb 2011 1:24 PM

Cal Nation- another Phipps broodmare.  

06 Feb 2011 1:28 PM
Tom F V

I was trying to remember but didn't Todd say Mo was getting ONE month off after the BC Juvy?

Horses may not get their first 3 year old start until March, on occasion but they're usually on the work tab and getting the fitness level up there. Seems a little reminiscent of Rachel Alexandra last year. Hope not.

Trebloc gives his picks BEFORE the races, Draynay gives his after, well other than the sure thing then the 45 opt outs he gives for the Derby. Then I recall he harasses anyone else who does that?  Okayyyyy.

Jason, back then Wayne based most of his horses in Cal and NY some in Florida, shipped in for any races. CD just became his base around 7 years ago. The struggles of Turfway and the synthetics and short meet at Keeneland may have affected KY, but the timing of CD's meets leave it out of the equation.

If the weather stays like it is, Oaklawn won't be a factor this year for sure.

06 Feb 2011 1:52 PM
Mike Relva


Thanks man.

06 Feb 2011 2:18 PM
Jean in Chicago

mz:  I also am shocked that Ted from LA may actually be from Lexington.  Great job of picking up on that.  There was an earlier clue when he posted on Jan 31 "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow".  They may be drowning in LA, but there haven't been any significant reports of snowfall.  It would also explain his (life long?) attraction to bourbon.  

Besides, I am jelous.  If I were coming from Lexington, I'd hitchhike or beg a ride in the back of a horse van if necessary.  Instead I'm driving 300mi, thinking about trying to park at the airport and take a bus over to the track.  The positive side is that he may actually know a way to get into the grandstand.  

06 Feb 2011 2:29 PM

I guess what everyone has overlooked in the hatred of Polytrack and the Super Bowl banter is that the Bluegrass Stakes became irrelevant to producing Derby winners long before Keeneland switched to an artificial surface.  High Yield, Bandini, Harlan's Holiday, Milennium Wind, Halory Hunter, Skip Away, Sinister Minister, and Wild Syn all won when the BG STakes was on a "real surface" and they didn't exactly tear it up in the Derby.  

06 Feb 2011 2:34 PM
Jean in Chicago

mz:  I think of you far more as the Joanne Woodward character in "A Big Hand For the Little Lady" than anybody in "Cat Ballou".

And I think Ted from LA (HA!) would agree that you can come out of your room now.

06 Feb 2011 3:13 PM

What is the big hype about this Machen horse. Sure he looked good winning, but what did he really beat? He got himself in some trouble early and had to wait for a hole to open up in mid stretch. When he finally got through, he did explode down the lane and won rather easy by five lengths against a suspect group of four runners. I must say visually though, it looked impressive. But after looking at the final times and last two splits, I must confess, I wasn't impressed. His times were average at best. And I don't feel he's ready for Grade 2 quite yet. Now Machen, will going up in class, if trainer Neil Howard decides to run him in the the Risen Star Stakes. Waiting on the other end though will be some stiffer competition, unlike the weak field he destroyed last month. Soon we shall see, but for today the grand stage is in Dallas, Texas. I'm going to make my annual prediction for the 2011 Super Bowl and for the first time ever here JShandler Blog on the Here it goes.

Green Bay 38  Pittsburgh 24

MVP- Aaron Rodgers: 32-40, 414 yards, 3 TD.    

06 Feb 2011 4:08 PM

trebloc : What'd you hit ?

Dr. Drunkimbum : Do you mind taking a detour and find out if QR is still running from the Classic race?  I think Draynay desperately need to know where he's at so he can properly handicap all these blazing "fast" horses.  He needs to understand what "fast" really means.  Thanks in advance!

06 Feb 2011 4:38 PM

Oh and Steelers takes the SB : 42 to 28.  Just made one bet for $100 on the Steelers, gave my friend +10, it's my first bet on the SB.  Hopefully I'll get lucky :)

06 Feb 2011 4:42 PM

Well, that sucked.  Last time I listen to Jason's "spoken" words regarding football lol.  It was a great game, GB deserved that win, they earned it.  Congrats to all the cheeseheads!  At least BEP didn't dissapoint.

06 Feb 2011 10:09 PM
Ted from LA

Packers 31  Steelers  24

Ted from LA 03 Feb 2011 11:03 PM

Ted from LA really knows his football.  

06 Feb 2011 10:30 PM
Jason Shandler

Jajay: I can tell that this was your first football bet. You dont seem to understand betting rules. Check my bet again. I said a Steelers (+9) and over (38) teaser. I won. Listen to me next time and you wont throw away another $100. Seems to be a theme with you. lol.

07 Feb 2011 10:47 AM
Jason Shandler

DQ in Hallandale gave me a nice exacta. Sometimes you get lucky...

07 Feb 2011 10:49 AM

Jean in Chicago: I descended to joining a bus tour to get into the track, fergawdsakes!  FYI, my two friends with whom I am travelling do not drink so, if necessary, I am now offering them up as Designated Drivers (what they don't know can't hurt them)-- all we have to do is befriend someone who can hotwire a van -- it will have to be a van to fit the hats.  Anyways, just get to the track and we'll figure something out.

Dr. D: you are forgiven but please, don't let it happen again.  If I wanted fights over words, I woudda gone into politics (or used the callsign "Draynay").

And Ted: we'll always have Paris (Kentucky).

07 Feb 2011 11:00 AM
Billy's Empire

Good Superbowl, I was 2 off on my prediction of 31-27. Good weekend all around, hit a few races, had my daughter's b-day party (twice), and had the Pack and the over. Way too much chili....

07 Feb 2011 11:20 AM

I said the Packers would win and they did.  I covered and hit the over.  What a great day.  Time to go shopping ! Uncle Mo is looking good.  Jason, anything on Cal Nation yet ?

07 Feb 2011 12:18 PM
Ted from LA

Ted from LA is not from Lexington (or Kentucky for that matter).  Although I do have an aunt and uncle who are first cousins.

trackjack... tell Ted when to pull the trigger for the Run for the Roses contest.

07 Feb 2011 12:52 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

My boss, Mr. Ted around the office and Ted from LaLa Land behind his back has canceled my vacation, apparently now unconcerned about the identity of the second shooter despite his ranting and raving in his ofice about it and his demand that I take a vacation and find the shooter. He now says he wants me to find both shooters later whatever that means and to dive into the Derby head first and vacation in July. Oh well, such is the life of working for an eccentric gazillionaire.

07 Feb 2011 12:58 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  He stopped running, now he's just walking around mumbling to himself, "they should have run me in the dirt mile so they could really see a show, they should have run me in the dirt mile, dirt mile, dirt mile."

07 Feb 2011 1:00 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Jean in Chicago

  Thanks, and keep your excellent posts coming. You've been quite a treat.

07 Feb 2011 1:35 PM

Ted from LA:

As Prez and CEO of Jason's blog, PULEEZ..don't let your assistant Dr D go on vacation.  My Derby Fever is slowly getting worse and I need to get into his office in the back of the bar for some treatment from behind the bar.  (Make sure the Woodford Reserve is well stocked.)

Ted from LA, Jean in Chicago, mz and anyone else who may come to the Derby:

 Gates open at 8:00AM

 First Post at 11:00AM

How about meeting in front of the Aristides statue in the paddock at High Noon?  Is that too early?  We'll be in an Infield Box Suite but I'm young enough to still make the walk.

07 Feb 2011 1:48 PM
super bowl junkie

Jason good call on the Steelers +9 and the over 38 but you were wrong on one thing. Big Ben is looking more like a Favre double every year. Between the women problems and his poor play including two picks in the big game he's headed that direction. The only ones with worse performances were that  stoner Aguilerra who tried to sing the National Anthem and blew it big time and the Peas who gave themselves a black eye with the worst halftime show I've seen in a long time. Thank goodness the game itself proved worthy of sticking around to watch.

07 Feb 2011 2:17 PM
Mike Relva


Before you pass judgement on this horse,the next race will tell. He could be the real deal.

07 Feb 2011 5:14 PM
Mike Relva

Good news,Awesome Feather walking under-tack,maybe back to training soon.

07 Feb 2011 6:21 PM

The Downey Report yesterday (this site) quotes TP saying Cal Nation won't be on the Derby trail.  Says it's too late for him to get enough graded earnings and they'll be conservative with him for now.  Too bad.  Looks like he has a lot of potential.

Ted from LA - back? where have I been?  I passed up a gig on the North Face because I wouldn't have made it back by the First Saturday in May to tote your sh*t.  As I recall, you engaged my services months ago.

07 Feb 2011 6:43 PM

Jason, anything on Cal Nation yet ?

draynay 07 Feb 2011 12:18 PM

Was just reading this.

New Horse in Town

Cal Nation is doing fine after his debut win yesterday at Gulfstream Park. But, according to Todd Pletcher, he's not being considered for the Kentucky Derby.

“Cal Nation came out of his race well,” said the trainer. “It’s a little late (for him to get onto the Kentucky Derby trail). We’d have to make up a lot of time. I think we’ll just take the conservative route with him.”

07 Feb 2011 7:38 PM

machen = Pyro

07 Feb 2011 8:56 PM
Billy's Empire

Trackjack,  I usually don't get to the track until about 12:15, so I may miss out on the meeting. Maybe we can meet on the backside one of the mornings Derby week. I try to go on Sat,  Monday, Tue, and Thursday.

Trebloc, the Davis is shaping up to be a good race. Manicero, Brethren are both running.

08 Feb 2011 9:02 AM
Mike Relva


Just wannna point out that while you  compare your Uncle Mo to Secretariat, (which at the moment can't be mentioned in the same breath) by anyone sane,you will be off him in a heartbeat if he loses next month.  Amusing when you ignore the fact you already crowned him a Triple Crown Winner when it doesn't work out for you.

08 Feb 2011 9:11 AM
Billy's Empire

Wow, I don't know what to think of this latest research I have done, so I will put it out there for all to see.

I have been noticing a trend of late, that strikes me as either obsessive compulsive behavior or insanity. I just scrolled thru the last 2 blogs looking to see how many times Mike Relva has referenced Draynay in a post, and the fact that he can not wait for Dray's spin control after Mo loses.

9 times! 9 times in 2 blogs, specifically referencing Dray. Now, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Obvious to me, Dray is not going to change the way he blogs. So is Mike insane for thinking Dray will listen and stop his touting of Mo, or is he just obsessed with what Dray has to say?

I only bring this up b/c the masses have basically learned to ignore Dray and take what he says as part humor, part pushing buttons, and take it as a grain of salt, but Mike, you always respond. I am worried about you man. Maybe Dr D. can send you a script and a bottle of Jess Jackson's finest merlot. Maybe Dray will take another bet and ban himself from the blog, who knows, but leave it alone man. Seriously. Or, just keep commenting. I find it amusing.


08 Feb 2011 10:09 AM
Billy's Empire

Sam Davis Notable Nominations



Chasing moonlight

Gourmet Dinner

Major Gain



Private prize

Rogue Romance

Tiz Blessed

Washinton's Rules

Dance City

there were many others that just raced last weekend, but this could be a good prep race. Many big names in the mix if they enter the race.

08 Feb 2011 11:58 AM

Billy's Empire: maybe Separated at Birth?

08 Feb 2011 2:06 PM
Tom F V

Depends on how ignorant and outrageous the comment is whether it can be ignored or not. At some point even the ramblings of a madman can be taken seriously, read up on it Billy.

A lot of people who post on here constantly make objectionable, false or embellished comments. :)

Oh and Trackjack, just change the meet time and see who still can't show up.

08 Feb 2011 2:15 PM
Mike Relva


Yeah,here's my thought. If you took the time to count how many times I've commented to Dray,something is wrong and it's not with me. BTW how did Square Eddie work out?

08 Feb 2011 2:47 PM

Also Billy, I appreciate having a guy like Mike Relva around because I've grown tired of proving Draynay wrong, as fun as it is.

08 Feb 2011 2:52 PM

tcc, it will be hard to keep Cal Nation off the trail if they let him stretch out a little from that last win and he wins again with room to spare.  He looked very good and ran very fast.  He could be the 3rd best horse in Florida right now.  I see nothing wrong with bringing him right back in the Fountain of Youth. Billy's Empire, you have to understand Mike is just one of my many fans that follow my every word each day.  People like him seek out my every word to garner the wisdom and knowledge I spew each day.  Millions across the country seek my advice and expert handicapping skills that mere mortals can only dreaming of possessing.  Billy I spout the virtues of Uncle Mo because in my heart of hearts I know he is the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner.  Follow the path to enlightenment my son.  Let me be your guide like I am for so many others.  Amen.

08 Feb 2011 3:08 PM

Surprised to see the news about Drosselmeyer but glad to see him back.  Ambitious goal to go to the World Cup after that long layoff and running on Tapeta but I'm not going to argue with Winstar.  He'll potentially run against FD in the WC.  I like what Zito said about FD's last race, I still think he'll prove he's the best in the older male division this  year.

Billy Billy Billy :  Your post about Mike, reminds me of you about my posts lol.

08 Feb 2011 3:44 PM

Trackjack : I'm not sure if you're familiar with the Winstar Fantasy Stable contest but it's similar to RTTR, the good thing is, the grand prize is the same.  A trip to the Derby with 3 nights lodging and a tour of Winstar Farms.  Thought you might be interested and try your luck there too.  The contest is free as well so anyone can join.  Pretty cool!

08 Feb 2011 3:47 PM


Blame's dam was strictly a sprinter -- all 5 of her career wins came in sprints and she flopped badly the one time that she tried 2 turns in her 15-race career. As a racehorse, she had a lot in common with Dialed In's dam, who is by Storm Cat.

I get the feeling you think Storm Cat doesn't qualify as a broodmare sire for a Derby contender. I would beg to differ if his daughter is combined with the right sire.

A mixture of speed and stamina in the bloodlines is often a good thing for a Derby contender, and Mineshaft was bred to run all day and does pass on stamina to his offspring. Last year, he was represented by both Discreetly Mine and Fly Down, with the latter finishing a nose second in the 1 1/4m Travers as well as second in the 1 1/2 Belmont.

And I think Dialed In has a lot more in common with Fly Down than Discreetly Mine, who was brilliantly fast from the get-go

08 Feb 2011 4:13 PM


 I was more impressed with Pyro.

08 Feb 2011 4:41 PM

Draynay finally jumped on a winner. Uncle Mo had probably the debut in history and the best 2 year old campaign in history. He does everything right. He can rate on the lead through blazing fractions while under a hold and he can rate behind horses through moderate fractions around 2 turns plus he has never been asked for his best winning each start under a hand ride. Regarding his pedigree his dam sire is Arch who won at 10 furlongs and 9.5 furlongs and he's inbred to Nearco who went undefeated in 14 starts. Indian Charlie won his first 4 starts including the Santa Anita Derby before running third in the Derby in his final start. In Excess had no problem with distance winning grade ones. Uncle Mo is bred for speed and to run all day. He also hasn't missed a beat. I'll see you on June 11.

08 Feb 2011 5:27 PM


Thanks for the tag for the WinStar Fantasy Stable contest. I already checked out the entries and will push the button Saturday morning.  If anyone else is playing; entries close this Saturday at noon.

I played Winstar's and RTTR last year.  My record: 1-1.  Doesn't that make me the World's Best Handicapper?  But I hear DrayNay has claimed that title.  That's OK, I'm having fun.  

By the way, WinStar's Drosselmeyer is pointing for the World Cup if all goes well in the Mineshaft.  I think he needs more than 10F to be at his best but there just aren't that many around.  Would not be surprised if they stretch him out further on the turf after the World Cup.

08 Feb 2011 9:48 PM

Tim said: "Draynay finally jumped on a winner. Uncle Mo had probably the debut in history and the best 2 year old campaign in history."

Guess you weren't around in 1972, when a 2 year old won Horse of the Year.(Secretariat)  How about 1947? (Citation).  They each had a lot more than 3 races at 2.  I think it was approximately 9 for each.

09 Feb 2011 7:36 AM

Anyone know where a safe place to stay near churchill downs for the derby?  I checked expedia and all hotels are booked on May 7th, any nearby towns suggestions ?

09 Feb 2011 9:35 AM
Mike Relva


Very good points,some tend to wanna discard legends of the past for a horse that's yet to prove worthy. Absurd.

09 Feb 2011 10:44 AM

Slew - Man O War also had a nice 2 year old campaign.  As did Count Fleet.

As for Uncle Mo, I am rooting for him to become something special.  I am not worried so much about his pedigree because he has the looks of a horse that can handle the Derby distance (to me) and he certainly seems to have the brilliance.  Hell, in the spring of 1973 after the Wood Memorial, nobody thought a Bold Ruler colt could get the Derby distance.  I also remember recently plenty of folks who thought the likes of Big Brown, Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex couldn't go the classic distances.

I worry more about Mo's foundation (for purposes of the Triple Crown and not as much the Derby given the recent history).  Although even for the Derby, I wish he would have more seasoning.  It may be working now to have two preps because alot of horses in the Derby have two preps and/or not a seasoned base of work but I would still prefer a horse have more experience.

My main concern right now regarding Mo in the Derby is the Derby itself with a 20 horse stampede, post position, and horses that shouldn't be in the race setting ridiculous pace that burns out contenders.  I don't think anyone would argue that both Afleet Alex and Point Given were far and away the best of their generations yet both succumbed in oddly run races with ridiculous paces by horses that shouldn't have been in the race.

09 Feb 2011 10:48 AM
Billy's Empire

Jay, look into places in Southern Indiana, Sellersburg, or look south of the ciy in Shelbyville or Bardstown. You could go on a bourbon tour at Jim Beam. You may also want to try Frankfort or Simpsonville. It will be a bit of a drive, but not too bad. Did you try the seelbachm the brown, galt house, 21c? that may help

09 Feb 2011 11:43 AM
Mike Relva


BTW will be in CA late next week visiting my "imaginary gf".

09 Feb 2011 12:02 PM
Billy's Empire

Mike: Square Eddie lost, I am pretty sure you saw the race. At least I tried to pick a longshot and got beat, instead of losing with 2 very low priced favorites like you did. I posted he would get beat, and I was right. I also told Jason that T.D would get beat, and I was right. In the same post, I said, Giant Oak is the one to beat, but I was picking the wiseguy horse at a price. I still had the tri. How are the horses you liked "a lot" working out for you?

Awesome Feather- hurt

The Factor-training setback

I just hope THAS does not follow suit.

09 Feb 2011 12:16 PM

2:24, I could not agree more.  Spanish Chestnut cost us a Triple Crown winner.  

09 Feb 2011 12:34 PM
Billy's Empire

Good, I hope you have a safe flight over those daunting Rockies. Maybe you will come back to the blog more relaxed and not so uptight.

09 Feb 2011 1:19 PM
Ted from LA


Three is no such thing as "safe near Churchill" after dark.  Check Jeffersonville just across the river.  As for the plan to meet on Derby Day, Ted from LA is trying to analyze the issue of the colliding of worlds when pretend Ted meets reality and the implications of that for his writing career.  I think I'd rather sit back and have sherpa help me play practical jokes on everyone.

09 Feb 2011 1:31 PM

Draynay - Afleet Alex's loss in the Kentucky Derby is probably the single most disappointing moment for me as a horse racing fan.  I agree and truly believe he should have been a Triple Crown Winner.  Alex had a turn of foot like few horses I have ever seen.  His feats in the Preakness still give me goosebumps when I watch it today and I believe he had one of the fastest closing quarters in history in the Belmont.

09 Feb 2011 1:51 PM
Mike Relva


Yes,and maybe you will dial down your smart attitude,doubt it.

09 Feb 2011 3:39 PM


Billy's Empire is right, stay in southern Indiana.  I guess it depends if you will have a car.  When I drove down from Michigan, I stayed as far north as Seymour(Indiana) one year, about 45 minutes north of Louisville.  

What's great about staying in southern Indiana is that there is little traffic going south into Louisville on the 65 the morning of the Derby; because most people want to stay in Louisville for the week, and since Louisville spreads south(suburbs are south of the downtown, with the downtown on the banks of the Ohio bordering Indiana), most of the traffic getting to Churchill is coming North on the 65.

If you stay in sothern Indiana(Scottsburg is between Seymour and Louisville), you will have little traffic all the way across the Ohio.  Once in Louisville, you can continue to avoid traffic by getting off the highway at the exit for Cjurchill/Papa John's Stadium(U of Louisville football), where there is plenty of parking(about a quarter mile from Churchill).  Do this, and you will face little traffic getting there, and it is an easy exit;  you'll be back in so. Indiana quickly.  I did that 4 times and never had problems.

09 Feb 2011 7:06 PM
Mike Relva


I stayed in Seymour in Sept 09 on my way back from IL.

09 Feb 2011 8:56 PM

Stay in Cincinnati or if you want to go cheap Florence Ky.  Downtown Cincinnat is very nice and only a 90 minute drive to the track.

10 Feb 2011 1:04 AM
joyce from pa.

Rogue Romance is runnimg in the risen star next week.He came in 3rd,in the breeders cup juvenile, if you remember.I think he's flying under the radar just a bit.So,I know it's early,but there could be someone good coming out of Louisiana.I think there's a little over-analysing going on here!!!

10 Feb 2011 1:24 AM

Billy : What's a "bit of a drive" ? I'll check out the places you mentioned.    I'll have to google map 'em to see which one is the closest.  I plan on staying at the track until I've spent my last dime for the superfectas but I'm hoping I'd hit it big on my first trip to the Derby. :)

10 Feb 2011 6:13 AM

GunBow : Thanks as well, I hit the submit button too quick.  I'll keep that in mind.  I'll have GPS but I still would prefer not to drive too far to and from the hotel.

10 Feb 2011 6:15 AM

2:24...Since I really didn't see those magnificent TC winners before 1948, I really didn't expect others to have seen them.  (other than on film) While I was a bit young to notice Assault, Count Fleet won his Crown before I arrived.  But I vividly remember Citation, and will never forget him.  He introduced me to horse racing.

10 Feb 2011 8:12 AM
Billy's Empire

Jayjay, 40-45 minutes tops. Jim Beam is right off of 65 about 30 miles South of Louisville. The places in Southern Indiana, maybe 15 minutes give or take. That would be the best place to start. The Derby is so big, the schools are closed on Friday in Louisville. Hotels are hard to come by. Check out on Blankenbaker Lane and Hurstbourne Lane. there are a lot of hotels out this way. Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Hurstbourne.

10 Feb 2011 9:50 AM

Slew, I didn't see them either (nor the great Citation who won the TC the same year my mom was born).  Just tried to do my fair share of research and reading.  I believe Count Fleet had the highest Experimental rating even given out for a US 2 year old.

10 Feb 2011 10:27 AM

Off topic, but I'm both bummed that Well Armed has been retired because he's a favorite but also very pleased they are during right by him.

10 Feb 2011 11:47 AM
Ted from LA

Cincinnati is a good idea.  Des Moines is also not too expensive and only about a nine hour drive (10 with the time zone change).

10 Feb 2011 12:52 PM
Karen in Texas

Tiznowbaby---Yes, disappointing about Well Armed, but apparently he's being retired to the Casner family farm where he will be "well loved".

10 Feb 2011 1:12 PM

Ted : Any suggestions on where to hang out in Des Moines ?   I reserved the car rental in Cincy and about to book my hotel in Des Moines.  

I'm a little nervous about this trip, going to see my gf whom I haven't seen since last year.  I'm still not sure about telling the wife why I'm flying to CD.  Don't worry, the gf knows I'm married, we're both into open relationships which makes me feel lucky.  I actually like her new bf, Bernie.  I hope to spend at least a day with her if she's free but she did warn me she'll be busy getting ready for him, her parents kind of set up this whole relationship thing but she seems excited about it.   In a sick way, I am too :)

10 Feb 2011 2:14 PM
Billy's Empire

ok, that is just weird

10 Feb 2011 4:16 PM
The Kennedys

Billy, what's so weird about it?

10 Feb 2011 4:33 PM
Mike Relva


I don't blame you,variety is the "really the spice of life" not married anymore by design. My personal life resembles,in my opinion a "human highlite reel". That's cause wasn't afraid of risks. One of my best friends asked me after my divorce why I threw it away. My answer,remembered how much fun I had when in college single and wanted to find out if I could make lightning strike twice. lol

10 Feb 2011 5:26 PM
Ted from LA


I have no problem with your lifestyle.  Just don't scare the horses.

10 Feb 2011 5:45 PM

jayjay, I'm sure your gf will appreciate your visit if you remember to bring carrots and mints! LOL!!  (please make them organic carrots and unwrap the mints in advance - she's rather voracious about them ;-)

10 Feb 2011 9:27 PM


If you're coming down I71 from Cincy, try Carrolton,KY. It's a 50 minute ride to CD, the prices are reasonable and no 3 night minimum  with jacked up rates.  Anything closer will cost more.  There are a group of motels there.  We stayed there for the '08 Oaks and Derby.  Wherever you stay, make your resv. ASAP.  Good Luck!

10 Feb 2011 10:22 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I'm not even going to get a motel. I'm just going to leave Dallas about 10PM the night before The Derby, should get there in plenty of time. Supposedly about a 13 hour trip. I should be able to get some cat naps on the straightaways using cruise control plus take a nip once in awhile from one of the bottles of Woodford Reserve that Billy's Empire sent me to jolt me awake and keep me going. Then drive back to Dallas right after the Derby.

10 Feb 2011 11:39 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  The corn fields are nice. Miles and miles of them to pick a cozy spot from.

10 Feb 2011 11:42 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

As The Blog Turns

  Jayjay is going to The Derby with his girlfriend and telling his wife he's on a special assignment to Egypt and Timbuktu. Mike Relva the human highlight reel is taking jayjay's wife to The Derby. The catfight between jayjay's wife and his girlfriend is going to make the Borel and Castellano fight look like child's play. The human highlight reel bought tickets right next to jayjay's. Yikes. I predict three billion hits on youtube.

10 Feb 2011 11:52 PM
Mike Relva


Totally misread your comment. lol

11 Feb 2011 9:08 AM
Billy's Empire

When people write "LOL" on a computer, do you really think they are laughing out loud?

11 Feb 2011 9:24 AM


After reading other blogs, pro and con, regarding the new Gulfstream Park, I'm more confused than enlightened. Since you went to Florida on your recent vacation, and probably visited GP, I would like to know your opinion of the new facility.  

11 Feb 2011 10:41 AM
Jason Shandler

I like many things about the new Gulfstream including all of the nice restaurants and shops, the longer apron that includes a couple nice tiki bars, and the accessible paddock area. What I dont like is that there are very few grandstand seats and the ones that are there cost $35 to sit in. There are way too few areas to sit the way that the track is set up. So, unless you are willing to pay entirely too much money, you wind up standing most of the day.

11 Feb 2011 10:57 AM
Billy's Empire

Sounds like Keeneland to me Jason.

11 Feb 2011 11:06 AM

Thanks Jason. I guess I won't move to Florida. (Not that I wanted to)The opinions were so opposite of each other, I didn't know what to think. I guess it's a nice place to visit...but standing all day is not my idea of fun.

11 Feb 2011 11:26 AM

Billy's Empire

To me LOL has a lot of different meanings...lots of luck...lots of love....laughing out loud (for Draynay).

Last year when Jason took a holiday and I wrote 'hope you have a good time' and finished it with lol.  I meant lots of luck and lots of love with your familiy.  Of course someone wrote a post in response and chastized me for writing that because they thought I meant something entirely different.

11 Feb 2011 12:21 PM

[all of my comments to Jayjay have been self-censored]

Famous last word: "...we're both into open relationships..."

The most innocuous comment I can ever make: get your (big) retainer ready to pay your lawyer for the divorce.

On topic: Jason - you heard anything about Queens'platekitten?  How about Awesome Feather?  I heard she was in training again.  Is that right?

And Ted: don't bug out on me (or Jean in Chicago).  I'm sure you've heard about the "woman scorned".  I don't know about Jean but I've developed my infighting techniques with my sisters and you don't want to be the subject of our training and experience!

11 Feb 2011 2:05 PM

Folks, folks, folks - Jayjay must be having a great laugh right now.  His "girlfriend" in Kentucky has a relationship set up by her parents?  With a boyfriend named Bernie?  As in Bernardini?  Yeah, his girlfriend is a big girl and she's pretty fast, too.  Bet she's a great dancer.

11 Feb 2011 4:52 PM
Jean in Chicago

MZ:  I was a little slow on the uptake with regard to JayJay's 'girlfriend', but I've lived in a college neighborhood since the 60s so nothing sounds too outragous.  I thing maybe if he brings his wife with him, wife & gf might become good friends.

Ted in LA:  Careful.  You might be opening yourself up to a charge of breach of promise.  I don't consider myself included, but with respect to mz, the phrase 'third floor clubhouse' comes strongly to mind.

11 Feb 2011 8:05 PM
Jean in Chicago

GunBow:  Thanks for the directions on how to reach the track and where to try for parking.  I hate getting lost and confused.

11 Feb 2011 8:07 PM
Jean in Chicago

Dear Dr. Drunkinbum,  Does coming directly from Dallas mean you will have the name of the second shooter?

I once drove from Chicago to D.C., stayed 1 day and drove back.  It was many years ago and seemed like a good idea at the time.  It wasn't.  

I will be looking forward to more episodes of "As the Blog Turns".

11 Feb 2011 8:26 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Jean in Chicago

  Ted the Boss decided to send me down afterall for "a little assignment." Little assignment my ash. It's a lot tougher than I thought to crack this one despite the help of a case of Woodford Reserve Special Edition courtesy of Billy's Empire. I'm still working on the name of the first shooter and haven't determined conclusively if there even is a second shooter. I'll let you know at The Derby if I make it on time if I don't get held up in Des Moines. They have some corn whiskey there from a private collection that I've been told that I must try before I die.

11 Feb 2011 10:09 PM

mz : is divorce your specialty ?  If so, how much do you charge ? ;)

merlinmerry : Hehe, she is big, hope she doesn't scare Bernie too much.

Just found out from Lane's End that they're not open during breeding season which is through July, I wonder if they will move the Kentucky Derby to run after July if I email them.

12 Feb 2011 1:28 PM

Wow, you guys are a hoot.  Is this real, or was it for entertainment purposes only!

14 Apr 2011 11:45 AM

Considering the top 3 finishers of this years' Derby prepped and ran big in the aforementioned circuits with 2 of the 3 making their final preps there I would say yes Kentucky and Louisiana matter.

07 May 2011 7:04 PM

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