Real Derby Trail Starts with FOY

Take nothing away from the other nine Kentucky Derby preps that have already been run, but for me, the Fountain of Youth is where the real Triple Crown trail begins. From this point forward, everything starts to get serious.

I think many would agree that the best 3-year-olds in the country make their home in Florida, and this is our first chance to see where the upper-echelon stands. Will To Honor and Serve carry his 2-year-old form over to this year and confirm his status as one of the top two sophomores in the nation? Will Soldat continue his climb toward the top of the ranks and become one of the new Derby favorites? Or will a horse like Shackleford, Casper's Touch, or Bowman's Causeway jump into the fray in their North American stakes debuts? Either we will have a major shake-up (if To Honor and Serve loses) or things will remain unchanged at the top (until Uncle Mo runs two weeks from now).

Here is my take. Let me know who you like:

Soldat should run well. Breaking from the rail kind of forces his hand, so I think he will battle with Shackleford for the lead and be in a good position to win turning for home. Kiaran McLaughlin is over the moon about how he has been training for the race and having that two-turn allowance win last month is a big advantage over To Honor and Serve, who comes off a nearly three-month layoff and might not be geared up all the way for the race. Im thinking To Honor and Serve will be favored, but would not be surprised if Soldat takes a lot of money and is bet heavily.

Gourmet Dinner is razor sharp right now too. I don't believe he is a threat for the Derby but he is a major factor here given his form, affinity for the track, and his racing style, which should land him in a stalking trip. He is a must-use on exotics for me, especially with Ramon flying in for the mount.

On That Handicapping Show, I landed on Casper's Touch, who was very impressive in a runner-up finish to Shackleford in a Feb. 8 allowance race over this tack at the same distance. This is a big test for him against some very good horses so I want to see what his price is near post time. I want at least 7-1 on him to make a win bet, otherwise he will be an exotics play. Normally, if Leparoux switches mounts it's not a good thing but in this case there is a legitimate reason for Ken McPeek to replace him with Alex Solis. Leparoux is committed to Dialed In and McPeek wants the same rider for this race, the Florida Derby, and hopefully the Kentucky Derby. Solis is riding superbly right now.

Maybe Shackleford will run back to his last race but I don't think he'll have things his own way like he did then so Im going to leave him out. I'm going to take a wait-and-see approach with Bowman's Causeway too, though the third race could be a good indicator to include him in exotics if Nacho Business runs well. I think El Grayling and Racing Aptitude are up against it.

As it stands now, I may just bet a four-horse trifecta box--Soldat, Casper's Touch, To Honor and Serve, and Gourmet Dinner. If Soldat is 3-1 or more (which I doubt he will be) and Casper's Touch is not at least 7-1, I will be very tempted to play a win bet on Soldat.

222 Comments

Leave a Comment:

mickey 1957

gourmet dinner is the 2011 version of jackson bend,he very well could when the foy,and your right,that's his limit....I don't see no money being made except for pick 3 or 4...which I rarely play,shackleford is a bum,so what's that make casper's touch?

25 Feb 2011 2:43 PM
Zarvona

Ummm...Didn't "Super Saver" win this race? his only winning prep... Unless To Honor is affected by the layoff, he should nip Soldat and we  should see an interesting battle for 3rd between Shackleford; Bowman's Causway ; and Casper's Touch... excluding Gourmet Dinner and showing is he is but a pretender...

25 Feb 2011 4:07 PM
blackgold77

I think the real Derby trail started last Saturday at the Risen Star Stakes, Mucho Macho Man is a beast!! 17 hands tall and he won't be three until June 15th. He is steadily improving, and growing!!

25 Feb 2011 4:16 PM
daflash

Super Saver did NOT win the FOY.  He never ran in it.  He DID win the KY Jockey Club as a 2 yr old.  He was 3rd in the TB Derby and 2nd in the Ark. Derby.  Iskinnedmyrear won this race last year.

25 Feb 2011 4:20 PM
Tony Bada Bing

In order of preference:

Soldat - second off layoff, may now make a splash on a fast, dirt track

To Honor and Serve - my top Derby horse right now, may need this race, but also may be good enough to win without having to run his best

Casper's Touch - eventful runner up finish in allowance race last month, if he gets a clean trip, he may stamp himself a Derby contender

25 Feb 2011 4:25 PM
the illum

Super saver ran in tampa then oaklawn park.I dont think the FOY will prove much of a race to include or disclude any horses.Soldat and To honor and serve should come in the top 3 at worst top 4.If one of these horses doesnt win and lets say caspers touch does then you will have to include him in your thinking.I would like to see gourmet dinner win because of the effect it will have on horses in this race and otherwise that I have in mind for the derby future bet.

25 Feb 2011 4:31 PM
Zarvona

ok ok was the Tampa Bay Derby I couldnt remember thats why I asked...

25 Feb 2011 4:32 PM
Woodrow

I think it will be a battle between Soldat and To Honor and Serve. Would defenitly pick THAS if he hadn't had such a long layoff. I don't like picking horses that are coming off of long layoffs. Soldat had a very impressive race last out and the only thing that stands in his way is THAS, but I think he will win. I'm really disappointed that Dialed in didn't enter this race, he could have dominated.

25 Feb 2011 4:34 PM
the illum

RE:tracks and preps Ive heard it said that oaklawn park has a surface that most resembles churchill downs as far as the tracks that the preps are run on.

25 Feb 2011 4:56 PM
longwaytomay

Jason,

 I know that you can't like them all, but I think you're making a mistake leaving Shackleford off your tickets. Is the outside post a concern or is it something else?

25 Feb 2011 5:41 PM
Betsy

IMO, THAS is by FAR the best horse in the race. I have zero questions about whether he progressed from 2 to 3. If he's near 100%, I think he'll roll.  I think, however, that Soldat will probably have an easy lead; I want THAS to rate like he did in his maiden, not to press Soldat, even if it means Soldat gets away with soft fractions.

25 Feb 2011 5:45 PM
Ted from LA

Who are all you people?  Ted from LA feels like he took a wrong turn.  As board moderator, I'd like to welcome you and hope your stay her is a comfortable one.  Gourmet Dinner over To Honor and Serve.  Hold the Mayo.

25 Feb 2011 5:57 PM
Draynay

I am shocked.  Most of you claim it takes experience to win the Derby yet some of you seem to discount the most experienced horse at 2 turns in the race.  This is just a 3 horse race between Soldat, THS, and Gourmet Dinner.  Dialed In is everyone's favorite and Gourmet Dinner only lost by a length because he got stuck behind horses.  If you don't like Gourmet Dinner for the win you must not like Dialed In very much.  There is plenty of speed in here so THS will have to show us some new tricks but this race sets up perfectly for Gourmet Dinner and the switch to Ramon makes him a easy win pick.

25 Feb 2011 6:02 PM
Footlick

I can't really see past your top 4.  Soldat is hot and classy, always seems to run well.  Gourmet Dinner is training well.  To Honor and Serve looks like a prep.  He just needs to run well.  Casper's Touch is the wild card.  But I think either of the first two are the winners unless To Honor and Serve just is too much for them.

25 Feb 2011 6:18 PM
SnakeEyes

Great horses do not let long layoffs affect how they run first time back.  Remember Big Brown winning an allowance first time time back at GP.  OK, so from what I have seen last year tells me that To Honor and Serve is the real deal.  Under ideal circumstances, he should romp the field!

25 Feb 2011 6:42 PM
Jason Shandler

Longway: I just thought Shackleford had ideal trip that he wont get again. He is good value if youy like him though.

SnakeEyes: He might be the best horse but at 6-5 I will take my chances that he isnt geared up all the way.

Havent seen Jayjay weigh in yet, but miraculously I bet you he will have the super and pick 6 on Sunday!!

25 Feb 2011 6:46 PM
John T

The Fountain Of Youth Stakes has a

lot of questions to answer but that is what a prep race is all about.The chief question is can To

Honor And Serve retain his 2 year old form? He is working very well so if he wins this or at least put up a good performance it will make

the awaited 3 year old debut of Uncle Mo all the more interesting.

Another horse I will be watching

closly is Casper,s Touch as I think he will have a big say as a

3 year old before the year is out.

25 Feb 2011 7:25 PM
longwaytomay

Jason,

 I'm pretty sure that Soldat is your winner, but I think I'll use Shack underneath with Gourmet and THS. Don't think you will get 7-1 on Casper.

25 Feb 2011 7:33 PM
EUGENE LEVEY

soldat will set the pace with TO HONOR & SERVE tracking him...HONOR & SERVE DON'T HAVE TO WIN THIS RACE AS I BELIEVE THEY ARE GOING EASY WITH HIM AS HE HASNT BEEN OUT FOR A WHILE..

25 Feb 2011 7:49 PM
WinPlaceNoShow

If the connections of THAS were not looking to win the FOY don't you think they would make a jockey change from Johnny V.; because it looks inevitable down the road. Regardless, glad JV is riding him, and expect a big effort from To Honor and Serve because no one knows him better than JV.

25 Feb 2011 9:01 PM
trackjack

ex. box:

Soldat, To Honor and Serve, Shackleford, Gourmet Dinner.

Win: Soldat

25 Feb 2011 9:04 PM
trackjack

Now I'll put in my stables for roadtotheroses.com

Good Luck to all!

25 Feb 2011 9:06 PM
Draynay

Jason, you have not heard from jayjay because he handicaps AFTER the race.  Geez, I thought you knew that.

25 Feb 2011 9:10 PM
LAZMANNICK

Soldat to outgun To Honor and Serve.  If THAS should win this and outgun a game Soldat (after that one gave his absolute best), then he jumps to the top of the three year old rankings until Uncle Mo displaces him.  If Soldat wins he's in the top three.

Sorry Dray, but Gourmet Dinner is in tough.  However, if he should do the unthinkable and win this race then the Derby picture is really going to heat up even more.

Just a thought about Dutrow and I Want Revenge.  Does this guy have to go to another continent to get a race, especially with a horse that is lightly raced and hasn't won in nearly two years?  Maybe over there if they catch you cheating they cut off certain body parts.

25 Feb 2011 9:38 PM
Mike Relva

I see THAS.....winning!

25 Feb 2011 9:56 PM
El Kabong

The foaming starts here but based on the history, you have to look back to Thunder Gulch in 95' to find a winner who actually went on to grab the roses. That said, I hope KM tries something different with Soldat to expand his horizons. Love this pony and think he has a special running attitude that is necessary to win again and again, but I'll settle with a good performance for now and hope for the best later. Gut feeling is he will run big and step into the spotlight, and I hate the spotlight this early but it makes for quite a showdown in Louisville if Mo is fit, ready and still in form.  

25 Feb 2011 9:56 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The fractions won't matter, the multiplication tables won't matter, he can even do long division. Soldat will dispatch of this fairly strong field since he will be on his preferred surface-dry dirt. Bowman's Causeway is a talented router and should close well. I'll wait for jayjay's picks before picking and betting my superfecta (I'm not joking), but I'm betting Soldat to win. If he's not the favorite, I'll bet him to place also.

25 Feb 2011 10:11 PM
Kristen Ohler

I like To Honor and Serve.  I like Soldat.  I like Gourmet Dinner. I like Bowmans Causeway.  I like Crossbow.  I like Uncle Mo. I like Bandbox.  I like Astrology.  I like Stay Thirsty.  I like Dialed In.  I like Brethren.  I like Cal Nation.  I like Santiva.  I like Mucho Macho Man.  Actualy I like To Honor and Serve the best.  The best horse doesn't always win the Derby, especially with 20 horses running.  Secretariat ran 3rd in the Wood for his "prep".   Everybody thought he was finished before he even faced his "small" field of 12.  Does anybody really think Super Saver was a better horse than Looking at Lucky in last years Derby?  May the best trip win.

25 Feb 2011 10:32 PM
Ranagulzion

Jason,

Nacho Business will win his allowance race and Bowman's Causeway will finish in the top three here (FOY).

25 Feb 2011 10:43 PM
Let you IN

Shackleford....need I say more!

The horse has not even been asked yet or cranked up by connections.Don't say you was not warned...Caution...Caution

25 Feb 2011 10:47 PM
stevebiscuit

To Honor And Serve is probably the best horse in the race, but Soldat will be sharper. Bowman's Causeway seems like a slight overlay but I wouldn't take him to win here.

I'd love to get 5-2 on Dancinginherdreams in the Davona Dale. She's got an incredible turn of foot and she never stops trying, plus she's got some versatility. Someone's gonna have to run a monster race to hold her off, but I just don't see it happening.

25 Feb 2011 11:12 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

I already heard from JayJay.  He gave me his pciks, all of them, but said not to say anything until Sunday morning.

25 Feb 2011 11:31 PM
LAZMANNICK

Just a thought.  If THAS is going to fire, this should be the race, maybe more so than his second (possible bounce factor).  Maybe the third race off a layoff really does have meaning seeing that for THAS and Uncle Mo and a few others, the Derby is scheduled to be their third race after lengthily layoffs.

26 Feb 2011 12:18 AM
Coldfacts

El Grayling yes; Racing Aptitude no.  Racing Aptitude made his first two starts on dirt. He was then switched to turf for his next five starts. His last two starts wqere very interesting. He returned from a 48 days break to make his seasonal debut in the ungraded Tropical Park De run at 9F. He finished 5th beaten 4 1/2L by King Congie. The time of the race was1:49 2/5. Fifteen day later returned to run in the Dania beach where he finished 7th beaten 4 3/4L by Adirondack Summer. The time of the race was 1:34 2/5. In the Dania Beach he was impeded twice going into the first turn and had a bazaar stretch almost falling and still managed to be only beaten by 4 1/2L.  This colt has 7 career starts with two in 2011; one at 9F and the other at 8F. He would have been challenging for the victory in the Dania Beach in not for his misfortunes. He now switched back to dirt for the Gll FOY after a strong 8F race runs in 1:34 2/5. From observation the turf cannot be his best surface in spite of his favorable results on same.

From a pedigree angle Racing Aptitude is interesting. His sire Aptitude is one of the many sons of A P Indy and remains the only one that has placed in the Kentucky Derby. He also place in the Belmont and is probably the only serving stallion that was produced from a Northern Dancer mare. It is ironic that Aptitude the best bred son of A P Indy and the most successful in Triple Crown race sis literally forgotten and not the one expected to sire derby contender. Could this well bred son of A P Indy emerge from obscurity with a classic contender like Our Emblem the well bred but obscured son of Mr. Prospector did with War Emblem? His dam made only one start and was sire by Saint Ballado sire of Breeder Cup winner & HOY Saint Liam & two times champion Ashado. Saint Ballado’s sire Halo sired two derby winners. His second dam was sired by Riverman consequently stamina should not be an issue. Does he have the class to compliment his pedigree? I think he does as his late race depicted he is a colt with a lot of upside. He has a foundation and two 2011 starts advantage over most. His trainer has a 26% turf to dirt record. Could the senior son of A P Indy upset the junior? It’s racing and anything is possible. I think he is merits and inclusion in the exotics.

26 Feb 2011 3:12 AM
jayjay

Jason : I feel honored that I'm always on your mind now when it comes to betting :)  You won't see my true picks because I don't blog when I'm at the track, it's just something you will have to live with.  Unlike you, I don't just rely on the form or the beyer or draynay's picks LOL.  I've told you how I play my bets a million times.  I wish you luck though, this race doesn't look like there's going to be any longshot plays, I'm sticking with THAS, but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't fire on his first race back.

Who's your pick on the Hutcheson based on the racing form ? That's the race with a potential for an upset, I'm playing my longshots there and I'll tell you all about it on Sunday :)

26 Feb 2011 3:18 AM
jayjay

trackjack : Good luck to you too!  I picked my 3 stables this morning.  Not one stable has UM lol.  I must be crazy!

26 Feb 2011 3:20 AM
jayjay

Just dawned on me... I'm Jason's Draynay!! HAHAHA!

26 Feb 2011 3:27 AM
Draynay

Rannagulzion, the allowance race will be the coming out party for Cool Blue Red Hot.  He may be the days best bet.  After finishing 2nd to Soldat he has worked very well and should love the added distance.  Nacho Business ran a 136.4 nothing special.  The lock of the day is Dancinginherdreams.  There is nothing to stop her from running away with this one.  The Hutch looks like a tough race but I will have to see someone beat Flashpoint to believe it.  That horse is built for 7 furlongs.  Good luck beating him.

26 Feb 2011 4:35 AM
AustinBnike

I think Casper's Touch runs a big race and finishes in the top 2. Obviously, THAS doesn't need to win, but I still think he runs well. I also like Bowman's Causeway to finish in the top 4. So, here's my picks:

1) Casper's Touch

2) THAS

3) Soldat

4) Bowman's Causeway

But I can also see THAS winning this one because he is just as good as these horses at 85-90% which he probably is having not raced in 3 months and the others have already run this year, too. It should be a very good race!

THAS has been my #1 since last October. I love this guy and his pedigree. Casper's Touch is in my top 10 and Bowman's Causeway is in my top 15. Here's my top 15 going into today's races:

1) THAS

2) Dialed In

3) Brethren

4) Sway Away

5) Elite Alex

6) Casper's Touch

7) Alternation

8) Rogue Romance

9) Bench Points

10) Astrology

11) Awesome Patriot

12) Bowman's Causeway

13) Wilkinson

14) Nacho Business

15) Crossbow/Travelin Man

Six of these horses run today and all at Gulfstream.  Nacho Business in the 3rd race (9f Allowance)

THAS, CT and BC in the 10th race (9f FOY)

Crossbow and TM in the 9th race (7f Hutcheson)

26 Feb 2011 8:29 AM
LongStoryTB

LOVE THAS, but am hoping Casper's Touch gets a clean trip to see if he can handle to big guns. I personally have not seen Soldat run, so look forward to this. Shackleford a bum.....kinda harsh for a 3 year old isn't it?

26 Feb 2011 9:03 AM
jbstoned

i just saw bc's race he almost got taken out down the stretch and still finished a strong closing second i like him over the favorites in a tri.  where's jayjay i'd like to see who he likes before i place my bet

26 Feb 2011 9:23 AM
Zarkava

Soldat

Gourmet Dinner

To Honor and Serve

Sort of like Shackleford too, but... not today.

26 Feb 2011 9:26 AM
Katherine

I love Soldat, pure class. He doesn't seem to care what surface he runs, he just runs fast.

Zookeeper, are you lurking around? I haven't seen a post from you in a long time. Too busy with Runflatout? Lol. Miss you

26 Feb 2011 9:27 AM
Criminal Type

I'll take To Honor and Serve, Soldat, Gourmet Dinner and Caspers Touch in a super box in the Fountain of Youth. In the Hutchenson, I like Black N Beauty, Sadly it doesnt look like he can get the mile and quarter Derby distance or was just plain outclassed in his last race. I'll throw in Crossbow. Maybe it's just the name but im gonnna throw a couple bucks on razmataz just for giggles.

Stevebiscuit, Im with you on Daincinginherdreams, She's a beautiful filly. I've always thought your name was great, a play on Seabiscuit. I hadn't realized there was actually a horse by that name. I saw a race he was on on TV the other day it clicked and I was like Holy *%^*...haha.

Emotionally I would love to see Nicanor win the Canadian Turf tomorrow, but as much as I love him I just don't see him beating Soceity Chairman or Twilight Meteor of this long a lay off. I hope I am wrong and this will be there year he show's everyone he IS Barbaro's brother. Everyone says Dynaformers are slow to mature and statistically his offspring do perform better as they age, I would like to think thats the case here. Nicanor is still lightly raced for a 5 yr old horse. Only 13 starts. I am anxious to see how much he has matured since turning 5. Good Luck Nicanor !

26 Feb 2011 9:48 AM
jbstoned

opps i meant casper's touch over the favorites

26 Feb 2011 10:00 AM
Forbidden Apple

Soldat has a recency edge over THAS and will get his chance to shine over a fast track. Soldat does not need the lead, but will take it if it's there for him. Just watch the stretch run of his last race and that's all you need to know. He runs hard in every race and will finally earn his due respect today.

I love Dialed In, but that does not mean that Gourmet Dinner is an automatic play for me. The Holy Bull was at 1 mile and Dialed In rolled by him like he was standing still.

WinPlaceNoShow,

J.V. is sticking with THAS because this is his best chance to win the KY Derby.

26 Feb 2011 10:30 AM
jason

Go Shackleford !! I hope he wins by 5, I really like him.

26 Feb 2011 10:32 AM
Scott's Cause

Bowman's Causeway.  Take the time too YouTube Giant's Causeway's races in Great Britain. What a DETERMINED horse, even in defeat.  He will be the STUD for the next 10 years.  His first race on dirt and he finishes second to Tiznow, who will remembered as a great racehorse and below average sire.

26 Feb 2011 10:35 AM
kingknothing

If Uncle Mo is all that the hype indicates, why has Mott chosen to put Johnny V on To Honor And Serve's back?

It appears that trainers are now jockeying for riders who will stick with their colts throughout the derby trail, so this arrangement seems strange...

I am positive Velazquez wants a Derby, but at the risk of loosing 1st call with Pletcher... I doubt it.

26 Feb 2011 10:35 AM
Rocky Road Farm

It will be very,very HOT at Gulfstream today....you need to watch the early races & see how SPEED is doing!!!!..Should be very FAST!!!!..I like McPeak's horse

26 Feb 2011 10:44 AM
kingknothing

...as for the FOY, does anyone remember Closing Arguement or Invasor?

McLaughlin is a true professional who knows how to get ready for big races (it's called a prep race of the bench Mr. Mott) and his charge, Soldat, will have an insurmountable advantage in this contest.

26 Feb 2011 10:44 AM
Pedigree Ann

Bearing in mind that my handicapping talents seem to lie with maiden claimers and conditioned claimers...,

The fact remains that Soldat's only wins were on firm grass and slop. Working on dirt means nothing; all turfers work on dirt. I take a wait-and-see attitude with him; think his odds are too low for the uncertainties.

The Remsen hasn't been a very good for pointing out Derby winners. Good horses, many of them - Court Vision, Bluegrass Cat, Nobiz, Pine Bluff, Coronado's Quest, Believe It, Jim French..., But Derby winners? Thunder Gulch (1994), Go for Gin (1993), Pleasant Colony (1980), then back when it was a 1-turn mile, Damascus, Northern Dancer, and Carry Back. It has also turned up some 1-race wonders, ie. Saarland, Tropicool, Pillaster, Hang Ten, and Heavy Mayonaise among them.

26 Feb 2011 10:48 AM
ThudThud

Horse change physically going from a 2yo to a 3yo - some improve, some same about the same, some digress w.r.t. their ability to run fast.  Also, sometime about race #3 to #5, horses  begin to figure out this racing stuff.  Some embrace it - relax and run hard when it comes time to run.  Others prefer to relax and cruise around with the pack finishing as also rans.  BOTTOM LINE - 3you performances are very unpredictable!  Especially, for those who have not run since Oct or Nov.  So, look for value, and just have fun enjoying the ride and surprises whether you cash or dispose of your tickets....

26 Feb 2011 11:36 AM
Quiet American 55

Putting Shackleford on top of a super-wheel.  Do not like Gourmet Dinner as I take a stand against any big beyer figs from Delta Downs, they do not hold up.  Reading nothing into Ramon making the trip, it's a $400K race, beats a day at AQU.  Also, we'll see how the big beyer holds up from THAS's Remsen, another race that has not held form in the last half dozen years.  Mott already put out the wanring of "only six works, etc." Also, proceeding with caution on Soldat's fig over a sloppy-sealed track.

26 Feb 2011 12:11 PM
Carlos in Cali

Best bet @ GP today:  Arch Traveller over Nacho Business.

26 Feb 2011 12:32 PM
nickie

all aboard...I agree Jason...Caspers' Touch...Mott can't have his guy 100%. I am interested to watch Bianconnes' runner...this may be his shot to garner some graded earnings...good luck all

26 Feb 2011 12:51 PM
Trebloc

I think Super Saver was the best , because he won.  I like Casper's Touch at 6-1.  

26 Feb 2011 1:44 PM
Betsy

Arch Traveller won, and continues to flatter Heron Lake

26 Feb 2011 2:43 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

jayjay

  That's funny !!!!! (3:27am) Next round is on me. What was I drinking? Good Luck.

26 Feb 2011 4:33 PM
-Keelerman

In the Hutcheson Stakes today, I like Leave of Absence. I'm hoping for a rapid pace that will set up his late run.

In the Fountain of Youth, I have no idea! I think that To Honor and Serve is the best horse, but I don't know if he is fit enough to win off such a long layoff. But I'll pick him to win anyway.

-Keelerman

26 Feb 2011 4:50 PM
Ranagulzion

kingknothing,

in 2009 Johnny V stuck with Jimmy Jerken's Quality Road when Todd P's star was Dunkirk.  There's nothing strange about Johnny V and Bill Mott keeping their options open for as long as possible.  We all know that the Derby trail is paved with many uncertainties.  Nothing wrong or stupid about Johnny V having a contingency mount or Bill Mott trying to secure his first choice jockey.  I'm pretty sure other jocks are lining up to pick up whichever horse is abandoned by the jockey.  

26 Feb 2011 4:54 PM
LAZMANNICK

Soldat in the FOY.  I was high on this horse after his last and many said that he was either a turf horse or he excels in the slop.  He was overpowering today in that he ran with the lead and was pushed and like his last, about mid way in the back stretch took off, had his head high and won very professionally.  Of all the Derby horses, this is the only one that I feel could actually wire the field.  His ability to relax while on the lead and while being pushed is amazing.

26 Feb 2011 5:50 PM
Paula Higgins

Hmmm.... disappointed in To Honor and Serve. I could see second after a layoff but third has me questioning how good he is at 3 years old. Wasn't loving what I was seeing. Clearly, Soldat continues to improve. So this race shales things up a bit. Dancinginherdreams didn't set the world on fire either.

26 Feb 2011 6:05 PM
ilwacocapper

move over moe here come soldat and flashpoing and lookout for fusacode

26 Feb 2011 7:01 PM
ilwacocapper

well ann guess soldat showed he belongs

26 Feb 2011 7:04 PM
Footlick

Paula- I think he ran just like a short horse who needed a race.  Mr Mott didn't want the horse to come out blazing, and looks to be wanting to race him into shape.  Don't give up on him yet.

Laz- I love Soldat also.  So far this year he has taken the leap forward.

26 Feb 2011 7:04 PM
Draynay

Can we stop talking about Caper's Touch now?  Move over Factor there is a new speed king and his name is Flashpoint.  I told Flashpoint could not be beat and he did it with such ease.  Gourmet Dinner ran a great race but Soldat was allowed easy fractions and never got any speed to run into.  The fact is all of these horses would have lost by 10 to Uncle Mo.

26 Feb 2011 7:41 PM
LAZMANNICK

The thing about seeing To Honor and Serve fall back like he did without putting up much of a fight just shows how horses change from two to three. THAS might have been away for a while, but my question will always be why. This is the same question I have with Mo (why is he ducking the Tampa race and why away so long). When THAS almost drew even in the turn I thought that if he takes off from here he's the Derby favorite, but he didn't. Soldat is the real deal and on any surface. Unless Uncle Mo uncorks an eye popping performance in the TW, this guy is at the top of the heap and deservedly so.  Unlike Dialed In, he didn't make a run and pass horses that had run their race and were through.  He ran tough throughout.

26 Feb 2011 7:47 PM
Mike Relva

Wrong today regarding THAS,not ready to give up on him just yet.

26 Feb 2011 8:11 PM
LongStoryTB

Zarkava:  Way to pick it!!!!!!

Soldat really looked good.  Gourmet Dinner surprised me!

26 Feb 2011 8:19 PM
Draynay

Flashpoint lit it up Jason BUT think about this.  A maiden by the name of Cal Nation ran the same distance on the same track a few weeks earlier and ran it FASTER.  Just saying...

26 Feb 2011 8:21 PM
trackjack

Good wrap-up, LAZMANNICK. Soldat did a professional wire job today, he was ready.  Don't count out THAS.  Bill Mott clearly said his horse would not be 100%.  I wish he would have held on better in the stretch, should improve for the FLA. Derby.  

Having a chalk ex. and a chalk win is better than not cashing.

Flashpoint was awesome, good call Draynay.  They're talking maybe the FLA. Derby.

jayjay: Most RTTR players are counting on UM starting in that Timely Writer walkover, then add him in for the Wood.  If, by some chance he does go to the TBD, I don't have him.  But I'll be there if not to see UM but maybe Brethren.

R Heat Lightning looked awesome, another Pletcher/JV combo.

26 Feb 2011 8:31 PM
Footlick

What I didn't like about the FOY was the closing 8th.  But I'm getting used to slow closing 8th's.  Still don't like it.

Laz- he ran like a short horse. Mott hinted at that enough for many to take notice and fall off of him for this race.  Johnny V said it reminded him of R Heat Lightning's first race back.  Her second back was pretty good. With so many horses only having two races before the Derby they are all trying to get them to peal for that race.

Flashpoint looked very good winning the Hutchinson, but I can't say he looked better than The Factor.  Didn't run as hard early and finished in 13 for the final 8th.

26 Feb 2011 9:10 PM
LAZMANNICK

trackjack

Regarding To Honor and Serve. I have mixed emotions regarding today’s loss. My concern is that he had no punch when they turned into the stretch and like Mott said, he would have been happier if he would have run deeper into the stretch. However, the upside is that he changed his running style to a stalking style, and he has worked steady leading up to today, but they weren’t lights out works. It’s like Mott is dickering with his running style for at least one race before they settle on a particular style that they think will benefit him in the Derby. Regarding competition, THAS has already dominated the Risen Star winner, Mucho macho Man twice and he even finished ahead of Anthony’s Cross, though AC is much improved since then.  He should definitely be a differnt horse next time out.

26 Feb 2011 9:16 PM
Jimmy

Interesting to see people give up on To Honor and Serve so quickly. The horse was off for a few months, and this was his first race back. Also, this was 1 1/8 miles, so his performance was pretty much expected. The horse is not yet fit, and that was obvious based on THAS making a nice move on the turn, but then flattening out in the stretch. He needed this race; if this happens again in his next race, then we should start to doubt him. But this brings up the bigger question - why bring a horse back from a layoff in a 1 1/8 mile race? Makes no sense. Back in the day, horses like Seattle Slew, Affirmed, and Secretariat would return in a 7 furlong sprint to build their fitness on the way to the Classics. Odd choice by Bill Mott, but he is a professional and he knows what he is doing. It will be interesting to see THAS's next race...

26 Feb 2011 9:29 PM
Paula Higgins

O.k I will defer to the seasoned people i.e. Footlick and Mike Relva and not give up on THAS. I hope you are right. I really liked him last year-alot. His name actually means something to me. I would love to see him do well.

26 Feb 2011 9:54 PM
The Bid

Can we FINALLY quit The OBSCENE nagging and haggling posts from The Relva Co. Haters in regards to THE BEST 3yr.Old???? Beyond a shadow of a doubt...MO trots better than THIS current crop and NO ONE HAS EVEN embarked on the Catch-up trail...YET!!!! Brethren was "visually" impressive but That's IT!!!MMM is the most improved and proven...Dialed In, ok...Soldat couldn't HOLD a carrot to MO!!!Factor is a sprinter!??THAS...REALLY???? He's Over-rated and Over-Hyped, showed ME NOTHING today!!! Realization is the key here...Take a deep breath...exhale... and repeat...MO IS HANDS DOWN....THE BEST!!!!!(It's ok to admit it)

26 Feb 2011 10:32 PM
Footlick

Funny, I thought it was the first Saturday in May that was the goal for a horse to give it's peak effort, not February 26th.  Glad The Bid could educate me on that.  I'll have to re-evaluate everything, oh wait, EVERYTHING NOW!!!!!!!!

26 Feb 2011 10:55 PM
Footlick

Paula- glad you think I'm seasoned and I have much more confidence in Euro picks than here in the US, but I say that only because he ran like a short horse and Mr Mott said he would be a short horse.  But, Mott was also not happy with the race, even though he expected him to be short.  So it was an expected race, but there is a little caution to go with it.  I wouldn't throw him out yet, but he will need to show marked improvement next out.  Watch his works and see if there is a spark that was lit.  The guys on the Thoro-graph board seem split on his race so far.

To me the upside to Soldat is that we have seen him come from behind horses before, so we know he can sit behind horses and close.  He seems very versatile.  Whether he wants 10 furlongs is another thing entirely, and whether he is good enough really is another question.  But, he is as consistent as they come.  I like him, but not necessarily for the Derby yet.  Jaycito is still my pick.  Hopefully he will blossom under Mr Baffert.

26 Feb 2011 11:11 PM
Saratoga oviS

I was in love with Dialed In from the moment I saw him run, but man I feel better and better about his derby chances everyday.

First there was Much Macho Man's performence, which really boosted Dialed In.

Now you have more Derby speed signed on with Soldat who can challenge Mo on the front end.

If they can find a way to get Dialed In to track just a bit closer to the pace...he is my favorite.  I hope he and Mo face off on March 12th in the Timely Writer.

27 Feb 2011 12:32 AM
Ranagulzion

Soldat silenced his doubters as should Gourmet Dinner in the FOY.  These two are legitimate Derby contenders.  Gourmet Dinner, like Mucho Macho Man, has validated the strength of the Holy Bull performances therefore these two along with Dialed-In and Sweet Ducky belong with the eilte.

To Honour and Serve needed the race but was nevertheless exposed as over-rated.  He'll need to improve significantly of his FOY performance to merit being a part of the calculations. I'll continue to exclude him from my list in the belief that no son of Bernardini or AP Indy has any shot at winning the Derby this year.  THS's FOY run, even with anticipated improvement doesn't offer much hope to his fans when one considers that he'll have to demonstrate superiority to Dialed-In, Soldat, a totally different Mucho Macho Man, Sweet Ducky, Santiva, Brethren and Gourmet Dinner before he can even dream of entering Uncle Mo's orbit.

The Hutcheson winner Flashpoint was quite impressive both in looks and performance.  What a handsome specimen of a thoroughbred ...kinda reminds me of Quality Road.  His pedigree suggests sprinter/miler, like The Factor, but his tail female family could put a lot of stamina into his 'tank'.  I don't think he's a Derby horse but he finished up really strongly and has that princely look about him.  It should be interesting to find out if Rick Dutrow thinks that he's superior to Boys At Toscanova. Really nice colt.  

If his sire Pomeroy is doing so well as a stallion it makes you wonder how good will Big Brown's offspring be.  Both are sons of Boundary, with Big Brown carrying more stamina inbreeding to Northern Dancer (crossing Nureyev with Danzig).  

Look out for Little Drama in the Swale Stakes on Florida Derby day.  The Hutcheson was a good pipe opener.  If Flashpoint goes to the Florida Derby LD should be able to hold his own in the Swale.  The Florida Derby is shaping up to be a real humdinger if the anticipated starters hold their ground and don't run scared because the principals. This Triple Crown Trail is so absorbing and the 3YOs are a classy bunch.  How awesome was R Heat Lightning among the fillies in the Davona Dale?  

27 Feb 2011 1:19 AM
mickey 1957

caspers touch and shackleford......both of these were never in chase......gone.

27 Feb 2011 2:57 AM
mickey 1957

bid....theres 3 things in life that are certain,death,taxes,and mo will not win the derby.

27 Feb 2011 2:59 AM
Draynay

The Factor will stay in California beating average competition while Flashpoint will go on to win at the top tracks beating the best again and again.  They will meet at the Breeders Cup and Flashpoint will win by a head beating The Factor but The Factor will still get top male sprinter.  Sound familiar?

27 Feb 2011 3:46 AM
stevebiscuit

The Bid, all we know about Uncle Mo is that he has the best 2 year old resume of all the current 3 year olds. Until he races as a 3 year old and proves that he carried his form I think it is more than fair to be skeptical. Remember, To Honor And Serve was a promising 2 year old, but as a 3 year old he seems to have receded in form. You think of Uncle Mo the same way I thought of War Pass but luckily for Big Brown he wasn't the same horse when he turned 3 and only managed an allowance win. Uncle Mo may very well be the best but he still has to prove it.

27 Feb 2011 4:41 AM
Gerald BortolazzobMD

Who would of thought that by end of February, the 2 fastest three year old colts to race 7 furlongs or farther would be Soldat  and The Factor, both by sprint sire, War Front. My prediction, The Factor wins the breeders cup sprint and Soldat wins the derby in the mud. Soldat owners should pray for rain otherwise Mo be out there. . Jb

27 Feb 2011 7:56 AM
Johnny

FOY played out 100% as I thought it would..

THAS came up short and I expect a better Fl Derby effort..

Soldat is no joke he proved he can rate or take the lead runs 24 1/4 mile no matter what..

This horse as of today is on all my Derby Tix..

Gourmet Dinner on the bottom of my tris and Super's as of now..

27 Feb 2011 8:55 AM
the illum

Just what I expected in the FOY a race that doesnt shake up any ratings in my mind.All

chalk.Soldat has run two good races

on dirt keep in mind that he has run from post 1 and 2 in both races so unless he is extremely lucky his next trip will not be from the inside post.Thas came in the money 1st back at 1 1/8 and gourmet dinner ran well on a track his trainer says he loves.If this race changed any opinions on rankings I dont know what they are.

27 Feb 2011 9:13 AM
Forbidden Apple

Carlos in Cali,

The exacta with Arch Traveller and Nacho Business was easy money. However Nacho Business was the best horse. Joe Bravo had no business choking back on Nacho Business down the entire length of the backstretch.

Pedigree Ann,

Yes turf horses train over dirt, your analysis of Soldat was way off. The horse had already run well in three races over dirt before yesterday. Kiaran McLaughlan had stated that the horse could not be better and his horse was flying over fast dirt in training.

Draynay,

If Gourmet dinner ran a great race, then how would you describe Soldat who blew him away with ease? Any other horse in the race could have taken the leed, the truth is that Soldat won for fun and dominated the FOY. And The Factor is much faster than Flashpoint, you just have a strange bias because The Factor is from California.

The Bid,

If Mo is so great then why is he planning to race in the Timely Writer at 1 mile? If Mo is so great then he should stick around FL and prove that he can run with Soldat and then hold off the tremendous charge by Dialed In. I repeat, 2010 is over and Mo so far has made zero impact on the Triple Crown trail. All of you Pletcher groupies will be crying when May rolls around.

27 Feb 2011 10:41 AM
Betsy

THAS was my Derby horse, but he's off my list completely off of that terrible performance. He was fractious in the gate, wouldn't settle down early and just completely caved.  I know what JV and Mott said, but it was a brutal performance and beyond disappointing to me. I give him little shot in the Florida Derby.

27 Feb 2011 11:31 AM
Betsy

Actually, THAS had been working brilliantly at Payson....

The colt is intractable -I don't think he can be rated comfortably at all based on what I saw yesterday.

27 Feb 2011 11:33 AM
Draynay

There was no speed in the FOY.  Soldat was allowed to jog around and without any speed duel up front Gourmet Dinner was doomed.  Flashpoint is faster than The Factor. If The Factor ever leaves California you will see.  The fact remains Soldat is no competition for Uncle Mo.  None.

27 Feb 2011 11:56 AM
Draynay

Forbidden Apple, I have answered this for you once before.  Uncle Mo is going to have a nice jog around in the Timely and Wood.  He is going to win the Derby and Preakness with minimal effort.  The Belmont will be his first real test as a 3 year old and with everyone gunning for him he will have to step up and gut it out for the win. 5 races away from legend status.

27 Feb 2011 12:00 PM
longwaytomay

Jason,

 You got your odds on Casper and I got mine on Shack. Neither really ran a lick, but I guess that's why they call it gambling. Soldat is for real and I wouldn't give up on THAS just yet.

Draynay,

 I'll bet you have brown eyes.

27 Feb 2011 12:32 PM
Footlick

Your man Beyer gave them both the same BSF, Dray, so give it a rest.

27 Feb 2011 1:03 PM
LAZMANNICK

Interesting to see how Flashpoint (102 Beyer in winning the Hutcheson) does in the Florida Derby if they go that route, and if he looses will they still keep him on the Derby Trail.  It’s interesting to note that in 1984 Swale won the Hutcheson in 1.22.1 after leading at the 6F mark in 1.09.3, would come back in 10 days to run a tiring 3rd in the FOY (they ran on different days back then), then came back in two weeks and won the Florida Derby in 1.47.3.  Of course Swale also won the Derby and the Belmont………..In 1994 Holy Bull won the Hutcheson in 1.21.1 after leading at the 6F mark in 1.08.1, three weeks later totally bombed in finishing 6th by 24L in the FOY and came back after that and won the Florida Derby easily in a time equal to Swale’s.  Though Holy Bull was well back in the Derby, he did win the 10F Travers later that summer.

In saying this I wouldn’t exactly consider Flash Point (now 2 for 2) as much more than a sprinter who might be able to get a mile when competing against very good company.  His sire, Pomeroy tied with Congrats with the most individual 2 year old winners at 25 in 2010, and his son Positive Response won the recent 1 1/16M California Derby.  However, Pomeroy himself was a pure sprinter who failed miserably at distances beyond 7F and his dam, Two Punch Lil (by Two Punch), was herself a sprinter.

27 Feb 2011 1:36 PM
Forbidden Apple

Ranagulzion,

It's funny how you are so quick to call THAS over-rated, but you would never say that about MO.

The illum,

Actually Soldat has run 4 good races on dirt. If you get a chance, look up his first 2 starts on dirt, they are worth watching.

I just got news that Break Up The Game is finally going to race again, next saturday at Gulfstream.

As much as I love Dialed In and Soldat, I am still quite scared of the monster from CA named Sway Away!

27 Feb 2011 1:39 PM
Mike Relva

BETSY

You are an example of a fickle fan. Yes,THAS suprised me yesterday,but to drop him off the list already doesn't make alot of sense. He deserves another shot.

27 Feb 2011 1:40 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

Still can't get past that HOY award,can you? lmao

27 Feb 2011 1:41 PM
Mike Relva

THE BID

Can you summon the guts to answer one question? Has Mo ran as a three yr old?

27 Feb 2011 1:46 PM
Ranagulzion

Jersey Boy, Slew & Carlos in Cali,

Is Ranagulzion's future on the blog still surrounded and imperilled by the sons of Bernardini and AP Indy?  Ha Ha Ha.  I'm not letting you guys off the hook because you fail to take the medicine about the AP Indy line that I've been administering.  Your silver bullet turned into a blank shot in the FOY (LOL), anyway there is still time to reload and come again.  I'll be checking in with you again after the Florida Derby, if THAS doesn't defect to a weaker prep race.

27 Feb 2011 2:12 PM
TJLuvsTizs

Soldat sure looked like the real deal yesterday.  Forced to race out of his comfort zone, he rated well responded to his jockey and won easily.  I was expecting a loss from THAS but he looked closer to 70% than 90%.  Gourmet Dinner did enough to stay relevant, but Soldat is the only true contender coming out of this race.

Bowman's Causeway held his own coming in fourth, but he may be a Preakness or Belmont horse, not quite ready for the Derby.

27 Feb 2011 2:17 PM
tcc

Draynay,

If Gourmet dinner ran a great race, then how would you describe Soldat who blew him away with ease?

Forbidden Apple 27 Feb 2011 10:41 AM

in the Santa Anita I will take Mr. Hot Stuff for the upset thanks to the rabbit Z Day cooking the field.

Draynay 02 Apr 2009 2:46 PM

He finished 3RD.

Kentucky Derby, he finished 15TH.

this race sets up perfectly for Gourmet Dinner and the switch to Ramon makes him a easy win pick.

Draynay 25 Feb 2011 6:02 PM

Finished 2ND.

Kentucky Derby finish. ?

the allowance race will be the coming out party for Cool Blue Red Hot.  He may be the days best bet.

Draynay 26 Feb 2011 4:35 AM

Finished 5TH

Kentucky Derby finish ? (if he enough graded earning's to get in)?

At least he is consistant in his picking. Give him a (small) amount of credit.

27 Feb 2011 2:36 PM
stevebiscuit

I'm not going to discount THAS just yet. He got beat by two horses who were much sharper the he was. If they point him toward the Florida Derby he'll be in better shape to win. It doesn't matter to me if he wins as long as it's a good learning experience and it leads to him peaking around Derby time.

27 Feb 2011 2:39 PM
Trebloc

Dialed IN had a nice work on Friday.  Any word on where he is heading?  Disappointed in THAS effort, will need a big effort in the FL Derby.

27 Feb 2011 2:46 PM
Paula Higgins

Footlick, you are light years wiser than I am about horses, European (which I am developing a tremendous respect for) or otherwise. But I get a feel for them that is often right. Just gut feelings, not necessarily knowledege. Uncle Mo had a bullet work folks. However, I agree with those that think he should be going to Florida to race and not in the Timely. I don't think that prepares him as well as the other would. I wish someone would explain to me the thinking behind that choice.

27 Feb 2011 2:48 PM
Footlick

Betsy- why don't we wait and see.  Maybe they should have started him in the Hutchinson.  He was training well at Payson, but that doesn't mean he wasn't a very short horse for 9 furlongs.

27 Feb 2011 3:50 PM
Kristen Ohler

So dissappointed in THAS.  I loved Bernardini as a racehorse and couldn't wait for his babies.  I was so hoping THAS was the real deal.  I'm not giving up on him yet, but yesterday was brutal.

Forbidden Apple:  Couldn't agree with you more about MO.  Why are his connections avoiding the big horses and races to run in a race made specifically for him and probably facing nobody?

27 Feb 2011 6:02 PM
Woodrow

Besty,

I don't think it's time to compltely give up on him yet. He just came off of a long layoff and still finished 3rd at 9 furlongs. What did you expect? He will probably be much improved for his next race. Not a great performance, but nothing to be ashamed about.

27 Feb 2011 7:42 PM
papillon

soldat was totally in control the entire race and won effortlessly.

if THAS was any near what people kept hyping him as, he would have at least finished a lot closer, not 6 or so lengths off the lead (his show standing is pretty deceptive considering he staggered over the finish line).

even though the fractions soldat set where very comfortable, and THAS was in the cat bird's seat just off the pace for the majority of the race, when he made his move, he had absolutely nothing.

dialed in was flattered by gourmet dinner, i think (two races in row now have flattered him nicely)--it's a real shame he wasn't there yesterday and is scrambling around looking for a race =(

the most beautiful horse in the race, hands down, was bowman's causeway--what a gorgeous horse...he had such a regally, high-arched neck--but he had no butt--it was pretty obvious in the post parade that he wouldn't be able to make a dent in the race with that dainty  little rump of his. soldat is a pretty small fellow, but he has a nice big butt!!

so far my two derby picks, soldat and dialed ,in are looking pretty strong.

27 Feb 2011 9:19 PM
Ted from LA

I think we should hold an awards show for all the bloggers here.  If someone throws it together and there is free food and drinks, I'll host it with mz.  Churchill Downs Museum?

27 Feb 2011 10:19 PM
TJLuvsTizs

Scott's Cause...

Not quite sure what you base Tiznow being a "below average sire" on...  In his first crop he has a Champion 2YO Filly and finished 1st in first crop standings.

His second year of runners was less impressive than other crops, as he finished 15th for second crop standings.

His third year he finished 2nd in third crop and 29th overall.

In 2008 his 4th year he finishes 3rd overall.

In 2009 he was 4th overall with at least 100 less runners than the three ahead of him.  He also had the Dubai World Cup Champion.

In 2010 he finished 22nd overall and a head away from having a BC champion.

Obviously at this point in their stud careers Tiznow is no Giant's Causeway, but show me a better In Reality line stud.  

Storm Cat has proven to be a great Sire of Sires, and thus we would expect nothing less from Giant's Causeway given his pedigree.  

However, to describe Tiznow as a below average sire because of the disappointment you received when GC lost the BCC is unfounded.

28 Feb 2011 12:04 AM
GunBow

Soldat- very solid, professional horse with speed and heart.  He's not an elite level talent, but he's very good and every bit a top Derby contender.

Gourmet Dinner- Still have questions about 10 furlongs, but have begun to believe he can get into the exotics on Derby day.  He's a notch below the likes of Soldat and Dialed In, but he's durable, versatile, and always runs his race.  His connections are talking Santa Anita Derby instead of Fl Derby.

To Honor and Serve- I'm sure he wasn't at his best, but I guarantee you that was not what his connections were looking for.  Heck, in the San Vicente The Factor won off 3 works in 2 months and Premier Pegasus ran off 3 works in 3 months while THAS had a string of fast works for the FoY.  For some reason over the last decade or so, the Remaen winner starts the year as one of the most highly rated contenders then disappears.  I'm not assigning THAS to that fate yet, but his FoY was unquestionably disappojnting and he will need to improve considerably to win the Fl Derby.

Bowman's Causeway- He's the only one of the also-rans I will pay attention to beyond the FoY.  He had some trouble on the 2nd turn and was the only one gaining on the top 3.

Casper's Touch = Theregoesjojo?

28 Feb 2011 1:50 AM
The Bid

The Apple...

See any of Mo's works recently??? He's being handled w/ kit gloves and He should be!!! The mile is enough for now...The Wood is perfect for The Derby, Mott is looking around for answers AND excuses when he should've considered The Writer as well!!!WE all know why that was not even in the cards...March 12th may not prove anything to we "MO-onies" or whatever clever adjective anyone wants to come up with, what it will do is serve Mo well for The Wood and His debut as a 3yr. old on the winning side!!! I would love to see Dialed In for MO in the Writer!!!

28 Feb 2011 9:48 AM
Rachel

Forbidden Apple: you're not taking into account the track conditions for TF and FP's races...on Beyers they both got a 102 for their races. Plus, Mo plans on racing everybody in the Kentucky Derby and not before...he doesn't have to prove he can run with anybody...they all have to prove they can run with him. Why should he try to run the big race before the big day? ♥

28 Feb 2011 10:38 AM
jimmy redneck

I just woke up from that yawner of a race they call the FOY. Watching those plodders come home put me to sleep big time. There isn't a serious contneder that will come out of that race unless the field loses Uncle Moe and comes up as weak as the field Big Brown beat. Soldat looked like he was begging for the wire and looks like the second coming of Noble's Promise when it comes to getting 1 1/4 miles. Gourmet Dinner just isn't fast enough to be a winner. The Borderland Derby winner looked better than any in the FOY and that's just laughable.

28 Feb 2011 3:48 PM
thomas

idk why anybody liked gourmet dinner in that race a good horse but he's this years jackson bend the horse is by trippi that should have said it all right there.

28 Feb 2011 4:36 PM
Pedigree Ann

All I said about Soldat was that I didn't feel I had enough data about his abilities to come to any conclusion and would need to wait and see; also that his odds would be a bit low, all things considered.  I NEVER said I thought he had no shot. Well, I waited and I saw and missed the points in RTTR. Life goes on.

If Flashpoint can go further than 8f in a good company, I will be extremely surprised. He is by a sprinter out of a sprinter, by a sprinting sire. The next two sires on the damline array are stayers Secretariat and Tompion, but I see no indication that they made any impact on the talents of the dam, Two Punch Lil, a SW over 5f at 3 and over 6f at 5.

In an interesting sidelight, Flashpoint is the first horse I've noticed having two crosses (6x4) of Tompion, winner of the Travers, Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass S, Hopeful, etc.

28 Feb 2011 6:04 PM
Footlick

GunBow- the San Vincente as 7 furlongs, not 9.  It is a whole different ball game.  I also agree that Mr Mott was looking for a better effort, but it wold have been probably if it was a 6 or 7 furlong race.

28 Feb 2011 6:47 PM
brettzky99

Yeah, MO should stick around to run with Soldat, right.  I'll agree with Draynay-there ain't gonna be a 48 flat half with MO in town.  I'm praying Zito has to go the Timely Writer, but he's praying he gets Dialed In into that allowance race.

28 Feb 2011 7:38 PM
GunBow

Footlick:

Well, I guess Mott really #!#! up running THAS at 9 furlongs if he had any idea that horse was going to come up that weak in the stretch.  My point is simple, Mott, Steve Haskin, and everybody else who had been closely watching THAS thought the horse was prepared enough to at least contend for the win.  If what we saw from THAS was 100% the result of him being "short" and undertrained, then Mott and others should have realized this before the race and pointed for an easier spot.  Running a horse known to be short 9 furlongs doesn't sound like the best thing for the horse's health.  Either Mott took a huge risk with a horse he knew was way too short to contend, or THAS underperformed and the poor performance was due to MORE than just being "short".  

I believe the latter explanation.  Yes, it's more challenging to get a horse to run 9 furlongs first time back, but trainers these days do it all the time and THAS had only been off 3 months and had been working regularly and swiftly at a great training track.  I didn't expect THAS to be at his best for the FoY, but I expected more than that fade job and I have to believe his connections did as well.  Thus, he was a disappointment.  And I just don't see how else to look at it.

With so much racing to go and the list of contenders in such flux, it would be foolish to now claim THAS has no chance to win the Derby.  However, I think it's also foolish for supporters of THAS to claim that his Derby chances are as good now as they were before the FoY.  One has to take new evidence into account, and the evidence from the FoY was not that positive for THAS.

28 Feb 2011 7:54 PM
2:24

I don't know who wins the Derby.  All I can say is that the following horses have me excited as being potentially special at 9.5 to 12 furlongs on the TC Trail:  Uncle Mo, Dialed In, Brethren, Sway Away, Toby's Corner, and Alternation.  Some others are strong horses but lack potential excitement for me at least in the TC.

28 Feb 2011 7:57 PM
Footlick

GunBow- Mr Mott said he was going to be short.  After the race, he said he expected a little more out of THAS.  Johnny V said THAS reminded him of R Heat Lightning in her first race back.  Sadly, not many trainers make their horses debut as a 3 yr old at 9 furlongs.  Mr Mott miscalculated how fit his horse was.  I believe trainers aren't perfect and can miscalculate and if I'm not supposed to say the horse ran like he was ready for 7 furlongs then so be it.  That is the way the horse ran.  If he runs poorly in the FL Derby, then he does and it had nothing to do with him being a short horse.  But if you are going to debut a horse 9 furlongs and you are training them to win or be close, then you would think that you would have them work at least 7 furlongs once.  To me he didn't have the foundation for 9 furlongs, but I trust Mr Mott is a smart enough trainer that he is pointing his horse to the first Sat in May,not Feb 26th.  So, I won't say he really #!#! up.  I'll wait and see for the next race.  I respect your opinion and your posts, but I have a different viewpoint.  As far as it not being good for a horses health, trainers used to race horses into condition all the time.  It didn't hurt them then, why should it now.  Just because a horse is training well on a deep tiring training track does not mean the horse is in top condition to win a race and to win at 9 furlongs without a couple of stiff distance works.  But I believe Mr Mott did not target this race to win and he didn't have THAS at quite the point that he thought.  Sometimes they have to race in order to know where the horse is at.  This is the last I'll say about THAS and Mr Mott.

28 Feb 2011 9:18 PM
The Bid

Mr. Relva...

Mo HAS run as a 3yr. old...DUHH!!! He just has not TROUNCED anybody yet!!!MO and Thirsty remind me of a recent highlarious movie...Talladega Nights! Thirsty is Mo's insurance policy against a Torrid opening 1/2 in The Derby! NOT THAT HE COULDN'T HANDLE IT ALONE...

28 Feb 2011 10:54 PM
Jon

there are trainer who will admit & then there are who may not o Honor and Serve was not ready for any race let alone 1-1/8 mile, that set him back even if he was able to way beyond the derby.

On another not what is the news about the "life at ten" last heard news was to be reported 5 weeks ago.....looks Johnny & Tod are going to get away scott free!

01 Mar 2011 1:54 AM
Draynay

tcc, I explained the race already.  Soldat was allowed to jog around with no real speed pushing him.  We all felt there would be speed but it never showed up.  Gourmet Dinner did what he could with no speed to run into.  By the way you didn't post my prediction for Flashpoint.

01 Mar 2011 4:17 AM
Forbidden Apple

Dialed In needs a two turn race before the FL Derby. Nothing good could come out of him running another 1 mile race when he is built for the 1 1/4 mile KY Derby distance. The Timely Useless race is not in his future. Forget about who Dialed In beat in the Holy Bull. The most impressive aspect of his game is that he has shown ample speed, but his late turn of foot is explosive and unmatched for a distance horse.  

Several people have mentioned speed in reference to Soldat. I love this horse, but he does not have killer speed and is not going to be on the front end in the KY Derby. He has shown an early lick when no one else wants to go. He has already proven that he can rate. Whoever said that he was struggling to the wire needs new glasses. Soldat was geared down at the wire, wake up.

Papillon,

Soldat does have a fine butt & thighs, that's why he displays a ton of power!

Kristen Ohler,

Mo is being sent down the yellow brick path because they want him to remain undefeated. This tactic may come back to haunt them later when his short comings are revealed.

Rachel,

It is my opinion that Mo will not be battle tested and ready for other superior colts. Has Mo ever been bumped hard in a race, has he every been stopped in traffic and then forced to run wide?

The Bid,

I don't care if Mo works out in 57 flat, a workout is not a race full of other competitive horses. Mo is not 10 lengths better than every other colt in the land. He can not match the locomotive charge of Dialed In!

01 Mar 2011 10:12 AM
LAZMANNICK

Footlick

Right On.  If you get a chnace read Andy Beyer's piece in the DRF about horses racing in Chile and their training methods.  I'm not suggesting that these horses or of high quality, but they race more than 200 times in their career.  One horse racing last weekend has raced on average once every six days since last October.  These trainers take it easy on training and race their horses into shape.

01 Mar 2011 11:14 AM
LAZMANNICK

Mike Relva

Right on.  Until Mo races at three, he is yesterdays's news.  OF course, once he races at three and if he trounces the opposition like most people think he will, then he is the number one headline in today's news.

01 Mar 2011 11:18 AM
LAZMANNICK

Soldat might have jogged along in the FOY, but he had more than plenty left at the end.  He just didn’t need it.  He was roused but not really whipped, ran with superiority and has a powerful stride.  The most dangerous thing about Soldat will be if he rates in his next.  When he won his last two on the front end, in spite of being challenged early in both he pulled away and was very dominant in the stretch with a superior demeanor, very professional for a young horse.   If he rates properly like he did in the past he is going to be one tough hose in a race like the Derby.  I believe he will also be the only one going into the Derby off three consecutive 9F races.  The foundation is there.

My only concern remains his breeding.  His sire (War Front, the same sire as The Factor) is relatively young without a chance of proving if he can sire 10F horses.  He is the first progeny of his dam Le Relaise, who herself was unraced, but with Princequillo and Native dancer blood.  In total, there are six HOY’s in the last five generations of her breeding line, every one of them, except Moccasin winners of 10F races, and all five sires having sired 10F winners.  Soldat appears to be the real deal.

01 Mar 2011 11:47 AM
Draynay

Lazmannick, Soldat is the real deal? Soldat is real slow. You're a rookie for sure Laz.  Next Saturday you will see the real deal.

01 Mar 2011 12:40 PM
tcc

By the way you didn't post my prediction for Flashpoint.

Draynay 01 Mar 2011 4:17 AM

I didn't post that because it was a sprint race (7f). Im also liked him to win big time. Was referring to the route races (1 1/8) and/or longer with your picks.

01 Mar 2011 12:59 PM
Draynay

Mucho, Soldat, THS, Dialed In?  These are the top horses to take on Uncle Mo?  Don't make me laugh.  The clock doesn't lie.

01 Mar 2011 1:05 PM
Ted from LA

LAZMANNICK,

Ted from LA is a keen observer of human behavior.  He noticed you started two separate posts with "Right on."  Did you drop acid in the 1960s or 70s?  If so, how did you like it?  The more I think about the Uncle Mo trail to the Derby, the less confident I am in him getting the distance. I guess The Wood will have to tell the story.  

01 Mar 2011 2:05 PM
jayjay

Draynay : How about you post something about Gourmet Dinner and how Ramon flew in to ride the horse instead of your usual bantering and now that GG couldn't get past what you called a "slow" horse, you're again back on UM LOL.  Geez, do you even think before you post ?  So tell us, how much win money did you put on GG ??

Jason : I know you've been waiting and waiting and waiting for my post about my P4s and P6s, I will have you know that I played 5 P4s at different tracks all weekend and guess what?  I hit nothing!!!  So you can rejoice now lol.  The closest I got was the last P4 at Gulfstream, down to my last money, bet a .50 pick and I singled the 11 and the 4 on the first 2 legs, had 6 and 7 on the 3rd leg and had 4, yes, FOUR horses on the last leg.  So, 5 minutes before the last leg was to run, I took some pictures of my ticket just for you because I was SO SURE, WITHOUT A DOUBT that I had the P4 won.  I stood by the IRS window because the smallest payout of the 4 horses I had was 700.00.   If you watched the race, you can do your snoopy dance.   My 4 horses :  3, 7, 9 and 11.   It was PAINFUL!!

I don't get people who jump horses after each prep races, there's a reason these are PREP races.  They are for preparing these horses for the Derby.  Horses who wins ALL their prep races are good horses but doesn't mean they're a shoe in for the Derby, that doesn't happen very often and when it does, it pretty much guts the horse.   The ones that races past KD are pretty special.

THAS needed that race, it's a long layoff.  I wouldn't want him peaking in March.  I thought it was a good first race back considering he went 9F, I don't know how he came out of the race though.  I hope he's in good shape.  As long as it's just the horse getting tired and nothing wrong with him physically and mentally, I'm actually liking him more.  He'll actually be at a price come Derby day.

For me, that was a pretty impressive race by Soldat, only because I never really thought he would handle the dirt but he did and did it well.  If no other speedballs like UM makes it to the Derby, and it's raining, I'll have to make Soldat as my top horse regardless of whether he's a favorite or not.

Gourmet Dinner is a good horse, except Draynay picked him LOL.

01 Mar 2011 2:26 PM
Forbidden Apple

You are correct, the clock does not lie and time is running out for Uncle Mo. It's time for him to get Dialed In to some stamina building workouts, he is going to need it. His fast times in 2010 mean nothing as of March 1, 2011. Go enjoy another Keystone light and check back to these blogs when Mo wins a graded stakes race in 2011. You have aready jinxed Boys & Tosconova, I'm afraid Mo is the next to fall under your brutal curse. He might not even be the best horse in his barn, let alone the entire country.

01 Mar 2011 2:30 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

All I know is that at this point in 2011 Soldat has raced a total distance of 2 ¼ miles and has amassed a winning margin of close to thirteen lengths over his nearest competitors (one of which was your pick).  How far is the barn door form Uncle Mo’s stall Dray?  It certainly isn’t 2 and ¼ miles.

01 Mar 2011 2:31 PM
LAZMANNICK

Ted from LA

Right On!!!!!

I mean about Uncle Mo and the Wood, not about the acid.

01 Mar 2011 2:55 PM
Draynay

Soldat is not in the same zip code as Uncle Mo.  If you are hanging your hat on that cheap speed you will be very sorry.

01 Mar 2011 3:47 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

How many voices do you hear inside your head? lol

01 Mar 2011 4:13 PM
LAZMANNICK

It wasn't cheap speed Dray.  It was the inability of others to hitch up to the wagon and run with him.  He's a dominator.  He was too much.  I know you want to get behind him, but unfortunately you've made too much of a noise and can't change sides even if you wanted to.  I'm not denying Mo was great last year and I hope he's just as good or even better this year.  Another Affirmed-Alydar rivalry will be great for the sport, but now it’s Mo that is going to have to catch up and if he stubs his toe this guy will dominate him.  The trainer and the jockey are first rate and they aren't going to screw it up.

01 Mar 2011 4:34 PM
Mike Relva

LAZ

Your comments..... on target!

01 Mar 2011 4:35 PM
Footlick

Soldat is versatile enough to be able to set a pace if nobody wants the lead or lay off the pace if someone does.

01 Mar 2011 5:21 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

  A space cadet used to come into my store all the time in the 70's and he was always saying "right arm." I think that is the acid version of "right on."  Who does the blog moderating when you're on break? By the way, congratulations on your big win. Yeah, I heard about it. You'd think of all people I would have bet on Beer Meister. I don't know what happened.

01 Mar 2011 11:20 PM
The Bid

LAZ...

I am with you in regards to "What has MO done lately"! I get it!! 2010 is 2010... granted, but you can not dismiss his 2yr. old foundation, nor his times!!! I know it was another time...This colt has alot of room for improvement!! He has to run in order to improve too!!REALLY....You seem to be a wealth of knowledge regarding history, pedigree and 'capping!!! You really think MO's 2yr. old campaign was an anomoly????This Soldat is a FRAUD...you heard it here!!! I actually thought THAS was LEGIT 'till the FOY! I'm sorry but visually impressive races and SLOW time wins WILL NOT WIN THE DERBY!!!!!I'm not trying to convice ANYONE on ANY of these blogs otherwise...What kills me is how EASILY people are dismissing MO after these sub-par prep performances that Mo would only have to trot to have won. LAZ..."special" is a word you have used recently and often describing some recent colts,fillies and remeniscing 'bout a champion of the past...This colt is that and more,,and all he has to do is RUN!!!

01 Mar 2011 11:31 PM
Draynay

24.34

47.99

112.43

137.19

150.23

Soldat comes home in 37.80 and this is your monster?  This is your Derby horse?  Please be serious.  Coming home that slow after posting a 112.43 is just plain sad.

01 Mar 2011 11:42 PM
GunBow

Footlick:

Last I'll say about THAS's FoY.  I may have been overly blunt in my earlier posts, but I basically agree with Steve Haskin's take.  

Was the FoY a disaster for THAS? No.  Does it eliminate him from the Kent Derby?  Absolutely not.  Do Haskin and I still have THAS highly ranked?  Yes.

But was THAS disappointing?  Most certainly.  Does it make the task of winning the Kent Derby that much more difficult?  Most likely, because with only two preps THAS needs to get ALOT more out of the Florida Derby than he did the FoY and needs to run much better.

Our biggest point of disagreement is why THAS was disappointing.  You seem to believe that Mott, correctly not wanting to squeeze the lemon dry, undershot and didn't put enough into the horse to have the horse where he wanted and expected.  

I have no problem assigning Mott some of the blame.  It happens.  However, I have trouble believing the performance was entirely the result of THAS being short(as a result of Mott incorrectly undertraining him).  If THAS was beaten 2 lengths, then maybe I buy it; but beaten almost 7 and fading badly?  I just don't think Mott was THAT off.  If Mott wanted a more traditional prep, there was the 7 furlong Hutcheson earlier on the card.

I think there was something else going on.  Maybe the horse just had an off day. Most likely, the disappointing performance was a result of some trainer error on the part of Mott and the horse, for whatever reasons, not running up to capabilities.

THAS can make all this irrelevant if he comes back with a big performance in the Florida Derby.  But, as Haskin points out, an effort similar to the FoY could really jeopardize his participation at Churchill the first Saturday in May.

If this was the olden days, and the FoY was the first of 3 or 4 preps for THAS, then I agree that the performance was no big deal and that there was no need to have had him cranked up.  As Haskin points out though, when the plan is for just 2 preps, every race matters to the uptmost and the horse must get everything it can from each appearance in order to build the foundation that trainers from the past established with 3-5 races; there is much less room for error with only 2 preps, and the trainer and horse cannot afford to be too badly off the mark in one of those races.  Again, the FoY was not a disaster, but it has significantly narrowed the margin of error for the Florida Derby.  

02 Mar 2011 1:15 AM
GunBow

It's not a Kentucky Derby prep, but the Santa Anita Handicap is still a big race and it's coming up this Saturday.

Like most every stakes race at this Santa Anita meet, it's shaping up as Sadler vs. Baffert.  Sadler will be saddling two horses, the likely heavy favorite Twirling Candy and San Antonio winner, Gladding.  Baffert could saddle as many as 4 starters, inclding Tweebster, Spurrier, Game on Dude, and First Dude.

For me, First Dude is the X factor, and really makes this race interesting.  Yes, he has been a disappointment, but did we not see some talent in him when he ran 2nd in the Preakness and 3rd in the Belmont?  Isn't he still something like 17 hands, with a huge stride, and effortless speed?  And now he's in the barn of one of the greatest trainers of speed horses in history, at a track that's been favoring speed.  

I really think Baffert is a perfect fit for First Dude.  After attempts in the past to rate or back the pace up, I believe Baffert will have First Dude ready to gun from the start.  And I believe "gunning" is First Dude's best chance to run well.  

There isn't much pace in the race, with Aggie Engineer, Pode Ir, Twirling Candy, and Gladding stalkers.  First Dude should have a clear lead setting a solid, but not ridiculous pace; the pace should be fast enough that First Dude is able to separate himself from less brilliant horses like Tweebster and Aggie Engineer.  Twirling Candy will not be able to let First Dude get too far away, so he will likely have to be used some early.  If Twirling Candy is a true superstar and can get 10 furlongs, he should get first run at First Dude, put him away in upper stretch, and then separate from the rest of the field while coasting to the wire.

However, if Twirling Candy comes up as weak as he did in the Goodwood, his only other race against horses outside his age group, then it's possible he never is able to get by First Dude(who we know can get 10 furlongs), or is so exhausted in putting that one away that he leaves himself vulnerable to a late run from a horse like Soul Candy.  With First Dude, the Big Cap is a very intriguing race.

02 Mar 2011 3:50 AM
trackjack

Ted from LA:

"Right On".  Did you get your stables down for RTTR?  I just lost Crossbow because of a knee ship.

Draynay:

Smart jockeys, like Alan Garcia, will attempt to gear their horse down for a breather if they get the lead as Soldat did.  Soldat was able to relax and had plenty left in the tank.  He did not need to putting up an UM Beyer on 2/26.  

Will you be in Box 74 at the TBD or will you be watching UM in his walkover?  I hope Mo can come back, but we are not going to get a good line on him until the Wood.

02 Mar 2011 10:39 AM
LAZMANNICK

The Bid

Trust me.  I'm not dismissing Mo nor am I trying to diss him.  I want to see him on the track in the afternoon and I want to see him do well.  But I'm also a realist.  Some were down on To Honor and Serve before his season started and a lot more are down on him after his first race.  The truth is, he won three in a row leading into this year and he did dominate Mucho Macho Man in their two meetings last fall.  Then what happens?  He comes out this year and to me he was much more than a short horse.  He was away for too long IMO and his sudden turn around (at least for one race) just proves that horses change a lot from two to three.  Until Mo runs at least one race, we don’t know what we’re going to get.

02 Mar 2011 11:15 AM
Forbidden Apple

Gunbow,

I hope you enjoy the Big Cap this weekend. It has always been one of my favorite races to watch and wager on. I'm looking for a horse to place under Twirling Candy for a straight exacta. I believe he is way to sharp right now to be dethroned by any horse. If he wins saturday in an impressive fashion and comes out of it healthy, I see him packing his bags for Dubai! The $10 million purse is hard to ignore and Twirling Candy deserves a chance to show the world what he is made of.

Draynay,

If my horse just won a Grade II KY Derby prep race and earned $240k, I would be far from sad. Soldat did not have to run his eyes out and empty his tank, that's what makes his effort even more brilliant. He can run all day long and the FOY took nothing out of him. He has shown an ability to rate, he is by no means a speed horse. Uncle Mo or whoever else can have the lead, but they better watch their back when they turn for home. Soldat is professional and keeps improving, his best race is still in front of him. Soldat laughed his way around the track, no other horse took the lead and he cashed in. Team McLaughlin knows what they have in this classy horse, they don't need to live up to your silly expectations.

02 Mar 2011 11:46 AM
Commentator

The fact they are electing to run Mo in the Timely Winter is quite rvealing, no?

Is it that Gulfstream is the preferred surface?

Or is it that they don't want to face the real Derby threat, Brethren, in the Tampa Bay Derby?

Option B is my inkling.

Zito would be making a big mistake by running Dialed In in this race. One mile at this juncture will do nothing for him. If you can't get a decent distance race, ship him out. Don't do a disservice to this talented colt.

02 Mar 2011 11:51 AM
Draynay

I will be at Gulfstream sitting outside at Ten Palms eating shrimp cocktail waiting for Mo to ROMP.

02 Mar 2011 1:06 PM
Draynay

If Soldat is your top Derby horse you're in trouble.  Uncle Mo is going to win the Derby.  After the race many of you are going to have nothing but excuses.  I was looking for value blah blah blah.  Make sure you do a Tri box with all Pletcher horses in the Derby.  It may be your best chance to win some big money.

02 Mar 2011 1:13 PM
Ranagulzion

Gun Bow,

Yes indeed, The Santa Anita Handicap becomes very interesting with First Dude in it.  Based on the anticipated pace scenario I dont see Twirling Candy overpowering First Dude at all. He may be asked to make his run early to be on terms with FD and not be as full of running when FD fights back in the stretch.  I'm picking First Dude to finish first at last.

02 Mar 2011 1:15 PM
LAZMANNICK

Ranagulzion

Perhaps First Due’s performance in the Santa Anita Handicap will help us to better evaluate and compare the east coast handicap contingent against the west coast’s.  First Dude was always a threat against the top 3 year olds last year, this in spite of only a single maiden win.  In the BCC he only faced one west coast horse (Zenyatta), as none of the other contestants were west coast horses, and he finished 9 or 10 lengths behind her.  There were no west coast horses in the Sunshine Millions when First Dude faced basically non distinguished bunch (the only four horses coming off wins in that race occupied the last four positions), and finished 4th to Tackleberry (at 4 to5).

Now we’re lead to believe that Twirling Candy, to many the top handicap horse in the country, is going to be out run by First Dude.  Such is the lack of respect for the west coast.  My concern is that if First Dude and his loan maiden win should outrun Twirling Candy then the handicap ranks in N/A will be considered at an all time low when compared to any of the past years.

02 Mar 2011 1:39 PM
Ted from LA

trackjack,

Right on, dude.  I am currently standing in the 10s of thousands place.  I still like my odds to dethrone you and take your wife to Derby 2012.  Don't worry.  I'll send you photos.

Dr. D., right arm, man.  I'm hip.  The Beer Meister always takes care of me at Turf Paradise.  Has the proliferation of adult entertainment websites dramatically effected foot traffic in your store?  Bet Shankopotamus this weekend.  Tell the teller that Ted from LA sent you.

02 Mar 2011 1:44 PM
Billy's Empire

Looking at some of the preps coming up, the San Felipe and Rebel have some really interesting horses.  

In the San Felipe, you have

Albergatti

Awesome Patriot

Bench Points

Comma to the Top

Jaycito

Runflatout

Sway Away

Sway Away is running back on short rest

Jaycito is making first start of the year

Albergatti is coming back after a nice race last time

Runflatout is making 2nd start

Then you have the Rebel with

Alternation

Archarcharch

Astrology

Elite Alex

J.P's Gusto

With the trip Elite Alex had last out, and Alternation winning and with great breeding, Astrology shipping from Cali, and the 1,2 finishers of the Southwest, this is going to be a great race also.

I am looking forward to watching Alternation, Albergatti, Jaycito, and Sway Away. Thoughts?

02 Mar 2011 1:58 PM
stevebiscuit

Draynay, what will your excuses be if Uncle Mo fails to hit the board? I can't wait to hear them.

02 Mar 2011 3:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

  I'm not sure, but I can tell you this- the video of your last proct exam is the number one best seller in a runaway. Remember that form you signed that you didn't read? The video's in the comedy section. I hear that the howling section in the video has people rolling on the floor, and your version of "Hey there little red riding hood, you sure are lookin' good" rendition of the Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs 60's song has that group doing a tour now. I'll bet the store on Shanktopotamus this weekend so I can expand and do a chain of stores. By the way that video is called Ted from LA's Excellent Adventure.

02 Mar 2011 4:10 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

That's plenty amusing you mention "excuses',cause your great at making them or simply ignoring when some of your predictions don't work out for you.

02 Mar 2011 5:56 PM
the illuminati

I think THAS got almost all of what Mott wanted out of the FOY.I think if he ran with Soldat for 100 yards more after the turn it would of almost exactly been what he imagined he would get from a horse coming back from was it a 3 month layoff and 1st start back he runs in a graded stakes at 1 1/8.One thing he did get was more graded earnings.As seasoned of a trainer that Mott is do people actually think he made a mistake,that he has forgotten how to train a racehorse to peak in a distance race.I definitely think he knew exactly what he wanted to do,and he was wrong by 100 yards give or take.He wasnt wrong about making enough in earnings out of the race to almost guarantee a spot in the starting gate.Whos to say he will run in the Florida Derby next and not another 1 1/8 prep.The key to the PREParation of THAS is to get his best races during the triple crown series.Since I have him in my bets I hope he makes it to the derby in good form.

02 Mar 2011 6:10 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I think everyone should bet everything they have on Uncle Mo to win The Derby. He's a lock. Can't lose, so why not get rich? It's OK to be greedy. Get a loan from Lefty if you have to. Uncle Mo to win. It's guaranteed. You might even double or triple your money. Running the race will just be a formality just to make it look good, and so they can have more parties. Don't miss out on this sure thing, this chance of a lifetime. Send $19.95 to Ted from LA at the LA Post Office for this information.(I get 10%). But wait, there's more, if you act in the next ten minutes you can go to the Three Stooges Big Bash after The Derby. Yack, yack, yack, yack, yack. Don't be fooled by imitations. Sell everything you have and put it on Uncle Mo. That's Uncle Mo. But wait, that's not all, if you call in the next ten minutes we'll throw in a towel for free.

02 Mar 2011 7:08 PM
jayjay

The Bid : You just dismissed two horses, one who just won the FOY and the other who won graded races at 2.  You contradicted yourself in your own post while you're questioning Laz's posts about Mo.  You said, what has he done this year ??  Soldat has won two races against better horses most likely as they are now 3 yr olds.  Mo has beaten 2 yr olds so far and as Laz mentioned, there's a big question mark on how horses transition from their 2 yr old form to 3 yr old.

I don't get you getting all bent out of shape when someone questions Mo's derby trail.  No one has said he wouldn't keep his form but it's a legit question whether he will or not.  Let's see one race with legit competition to see where he's at.

He can dominate every single prep race I still wouldn't call him a lock in the Derby.  I wouldn't make that decision until the post positions are drawn and the weather forecast for the race.  You and Draynay, you can bet the farm on him before then, I'm sure you both think he's the next TC winner.  I'd love to see you both bet BIG on him.

Draynay : It's called controlling the pace.  Here's a thought for you, how about you stop playing thoroughbreds and concentrate on quarter horse races.  Your one dimension handicapping might work there LOL.

02 Mar 2011 8:24 PM
Draynay

Flashpoint calls out The Factor and as usual California will come up with a reason not to ship east and get whipped.  The owner for Flashpoint is JUST LIKE ME and believes The Factor is a fraud and he is willing to prove it.  Step up California step up and get whipped just like you did in the Breeders Cup. Lol.

02 Mar 2011 8:28 PM
GunBow

Laz:

I've never been a really big First Dude fan, but I've always had respect for his talent and potential.  For me, the big attraction with First Dude now is Baffert.  Now that Santa Anita is back to dirt, Baffert can focus on putting in speed, speed, and more speed in the mornings, which is exactly what he's done with First Dude.  And in my opinion, First Dude is a horse that must be ridden to run fast early and get separation, not to rate.  First Dude's best race was the Preakness when he was up on quick early fractions.

From the workouts and Baffert's comments, First Dude has been on-point.  The horse has been rattling of 58 seconds, and been doing it easy.  Like I wrote earlier, First Dude to Baffert is a great fit.  Evidently, Baffert is smiling like a cat that ate the bird when no one was watching.

This is not to say I'm picking First Dude for the upset, but I do think he'll make Twirling Candy have to work every step of the way.  If Twirling Candy does win, he will have proven himself a truly elite horse.

02 Mar 2011 8:59 PM
GunBow

Ranagulzion:

After the Strub, most observers out here in Cali were convinced the Big Cap would be an easy repeat for Twirling Candy.  

I've not been nearly as certain.  First, I'm not convinced Twirling Candy is a true 10 furlong horse.  Maybe he is, and with First Dude in the field he will have to be.  I was at Hollywood Park in early October for what was supposed to be Twirling Candy's first coronation, and I haven't been able to get the image of him fading to 4th in the final sixteenth of the Goodwood out of my head.

Second, the Big Cap is going to be a much greater test for Twirling Candy, in terms of talent and class, than was the Strub.  The fact is, Twirling Candy has not won a stakes race outside his age group.  The one time he tried was the Goodwood, and he was spanked in the stretch by Richard's Kid(Baffert by the way), Crown of Thorns, and Dakota Phone.

While the field for the Big Cap is not great, it's a heck of alot better than the field Twirling Candy beat in the Strub.  In the Strub, Twirling Candy was able to stalk Indian Firewater, put that horse away, and then open up when challenged by Tweebster.  Indian Firewater?  First Dude is not Indian Firewater, so Twirling Candy is going to have to work much harder to get by him then he did in the Strub.  If Twirling Candy has any problems with 10 furlongs, the task of reeling in First Dude is likely to expose it, and make a repeat of the Goodwood possible.

Twirling Candy will by trying to win his first stakes outside his age group while running an eighth of a mile farther than he has ever run.  Rather than having to deal with Indian Firewater, he will be meeting a legit classic speed horse in First Dude.  And rather than just having to deal with Tweebster(15-1 morning line) down the stretch, he will have to deal with the additional challenges of Gladding, Aggie Engineer, Soul Candy, and Game on Dude, all of whom should be lower prices than Tweebster.

02 Mar 2011 9:23 PM
2:24

Dray - when I read that article, I immediately thought that you must own Flashpoint.

02 Mar 2011 9:27 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

Seems like your pick for winning the Breeders and HOY came in last. lmao

02 Mar 2011 9:31 PM
GunBow

Draynay:

Baffert and Bolton are on-board for the $1 million race against Flashpoint(and others).  The big problem is whether Gulfstream will actually put up that kind of money.  And why should it be at Gulfstream?  Why not a home and away with one at Gulfstream the other at Santa Anita with $500k for both?

As for California horses not showing up for big races, you mean when Zenyatta didn't show up for the $5 MILLION Apple Blossom vs. Rachel?  Ooops.  That's right, Zenyatta was the one that DID show up.

02 Mar 2011 9:32 PM
Ranagulzion

Lazmannick,

You are so sensitive about bias against west coast horses that you fail to see your own west coast bias.  The one time that Twirling Candy faced true competition was in the Goodwood last Fall where he got whiped good and proper by Richard's Kid etc, and now he's become the standard by which North American racing is to be judged in 2011?  Get real my friend.  First Dude is a good horse that apparently needed the race in the Donn Handicap, won by Tackleberry.  He's run in strong company last season without being disgraced, and now as an AP Indy line 4YO colt in full bloom, is very capable of putting Twirling Candy to the sword in the Santa Anita Handicap.  I would expect a fair assessment from you, not some disingenuous spin/excuse about the low standard of N/A racing if your favourite TC gets his butt kicked by a fellow 4YO that has faced much more formidable competition in his career.  Talk about bias?  Check the mirror Laz.

02 Mar 2011 10:04 PM
Ted from LA

If you act in the next 15 minutes, Ted from LA will throw in a one hour Charlie Sheen interview CD.  Winning!  Come one come all...

02 Mar 2011 11:47 PM
jayjay

Dr Drunkinbum: Your UM post was hilarious!

Draynay :  What exactly are you basing your prediction that UM will win the Derby ??  How do you figure he will beat everyone since he hasn't run a race this year ?  Care to explain ?  I'm serious, stop your nonsense about UM will win the derby and post something that makes sense as to why you think he will win without having seen him run yet.  Was it his races last year ?  I mean, you can't be that naive or dumb to base it all on speed right ?  Did you not learn anything from last year ?  You thought very highly of QR last year, called him that "once every 30 year horse"...he was setting records here and there, demolishing his competitions....then he ran in a 10F race, with 4 races under his belt... and we never saw you mention his name again.

UM will run in the Derby off of 1 paid workout and 1 race.  I'm anxiously awaiting to see your response and see what your angle is for picking UM to destroy this field in the Kentucky Derby.

03 Mar 2011 4:42 AM
Mike Relva

RANAGULZION

You mean like when you are sensitive about Uncle Mo and last yr QR?

03 Mar 2011 9:06 AM
Draynay

GunBow: If Twirling Candy beats First Dude he will be a elite horse?  What on earth are you talking about?  What races has First Dude ever won?  How does beating First Dude suddenly make you elite. Complete nonsense Gunbow you have managed to jump the shark already this year and it's only March.  Gunbow step out of California and run where the big boys run and then brag about how good you are.  California horses have been bragging for years about how good they are until they step onto Saratoga, Belmont, Churchill, or Gulfstream. Suddenly we then get to see just how average they really are aka Lava Man and Zenyatta.

03 Mar 2011 10:14 AM
Draynay

Jayjay, you are beyond help and I am not just talking about this sport.  You watch horse run splits of 112 and finish in 38 and you think these horses have a chance against the speed of Uncle Mo?  Like Big Brown Uncle Mo is a 110 horse.  If Uncle Mo runs a 110 for 6 furlongs and comes home in 36+ where does that leave everyone else?  Figure it out and then get back to me. Unreal.

03 Mar 2011 10:18 AM
Forbidden Apple

The Factor has a race planned at two turns with an $800k purse. Why would he ship into FL to satisfy Flashpoint's owner and some maniac blogger?

Twirling Candy will win the Big Cap and then show the world his talents in the Dubai World Cup!

Uncle mo is a pure ghost, maybe he should skip all of the prep races and train up to the KY Derby.

03 Mar 2011 10:26 AM
jayjay

Looking forward to the next set of prep races, I feel good about my RTTR picks :

San Felipe : Jaycito / Albergatti / Sway Away / Awesome Patriot

Gotham :  Dialed In (hopefully) / Stay Thirsty  / Toby's Corner /

Tampa Bay Derby :  Brethren

Rebel : ArchArchArch / Elite Alex / J P's Gusto

Anyone know who the top horses are from Florida ?  For some reason, I can't think of any horse at the moment that is top caliber coming from Florida...by that, I meant stabled and based in Florida.  I'm pretty sure we can break it down state by state these so called "great" east coast horses. :)

03 Mar 2011 11:13 AM
Footlick

The 7 furlong Swale will be a great prep for the Derby, won't it?  That certainly will prove whether either horse can stretch out and go two turns.  Maybe Flashpoint should ship to New Mexico and run around two turns against The Factor.  Then at least they would get two-turn experience

03 Mar 2011 11:14 AM
LAZMANNICK

Ranagulzion

Not to argue, but two things…….First…..I am not particularly biased towards west coast horses.  In fact, 90 % of my Derby and TC picks are east coast horses.  Personally, like many, I think the west coast has been getting short changed in terms of respect.  Many of the top horses in each division are based on the west coast, but too many that doesn’t mean much.

Secondly……How would you characterized a horse finishing 4th as a 3 year old in its 5th lifetime start to a horse that has won two million dollar races and was coming off a resounding victory in one of them; another horse who the previous year finished a fast closing second by a nose in the BC Sprint (he previously won the G2 Lewis at a distance); another horse that in its next start after the Goodwood would win the BC Mile.  Also included in the Goodwood field was a horse that finished fifth after winning the 1 million dollar Hollywood Gold Cup earlier that summer and defeated the west coast’s top handicap horse in doing so (and previously in its career finished 3rd in a BCC).  Also in the field was a horse that finished a respectful 4th, a nose away from third and less than three lengths away from winning the one million dollar Woodbine Mile of turf.  I wouldn’t exactly characterize Twirling Candy as getting his butt kicked, not when he was in one of the toughest races of the year, a race with three different one million dollar race winners, a BC winner in its next, and a horse that was second by a nose in a BC race the previous year, a horse that had previously finished 3rd in a BCC; and this a seven horse race.

As for First Dude, we’ll see what he’s made of as I am certain we’ll see what Twirling Candy is made of this weekend.  The truth is, regardless of the competition he faced last year, most of which didn’t even compete in a BC race, he is still only a single maiden winner of one race.  I still stand by my conviction that the handicap ranks, as it stands now, is not as formidable as it has been in past years.  Hopefully, for the good of the sport, that will change for the better.

03 Mar 2011 12:21 PM
jimmy redneck

tcc, I explained the race already.  Soldat was allowed to jog around with no real speed pushing him.  We all felt there would be speed but it never showed up.  Gourmet Dinner did what he could with no speed to run into.  

Draynay 01 Mar 2011 4:17 AM

I saw the same race as you dray. What I saw that your blinders missed though was Gourmet Dinner jogging just off Soldat's pace. This was not some dead closer 10 lenghts behind needing a hot pace, if Gourmet Dinner was good enough he would have gone by Soldat at some point. Instead he just kept jogging along eating Soldat's dirt.  

03 Mar 2011 12:26 PM
Draynay

Dialed In vs. Brethren?  I will take Brethren.  Dialed In is not that good.

03 Mar 2011 12:42 PM
Ted frpm LA

Are any of Ted from LA's fellow bloggers from New Jersey?  If so, how do you feel about your Governor's gambling stance?

03 Mar 2011 3:19 PM
draynot

GunBow: If Twirling Candy beats First Dude he will be a elite horse?  What on earth are you talking about?  What races has First Dude ever won?  How does beating First Dude suddenly make you elite.

Draynay 03 Mar 2011 10:14 AM

Gunbow,

This outta give you a chuckle or two. Seems your little buddy has had another bout of amnesia. Here's Mr. Thinksheknowsitall and what he said just months ago before the 2010 Belmont. Coincidently First Dude had never won a big race to that point but draynay had no problem touting him a superstar then but now questions your sanity? Let's take a trip down what is surely a clouded memory lane for draynay:

Pace does not set up well for Ice Box this is two horse race between Fly Down and the new SUPERSTAR First Dude.... First Dude wins in a walk over.

Draynay  23 May 2010 8:19 PM

First Dude is a star and EVERYONE will know what I already know after the Belmont.  First Dude is your winner bet the house.  I have spoken.

Draynay  25 May 2010 5:00 PM

LMAO!!

03 Mar 2011 3:26 PM
jayjay

Draynay : I guess you proved you are naive and ....

Do you really believe that UM will get the lead by himself in the Derby ??  Do you really believe that the other 19 horses will just wait in the gate and let UM go by himself so they can play catch up ??  

Let me remind you of another horse you picked last year based on your speed handicapping, the one that had really fast splits and finished the race subpar 1:42, it's the La Troinne race.  The winner was the slow california horse.  Remember that ? LOL

Dude, you really need to learn how to handicap these races, you are the one that' s way beyond help.  I knew when I posted the question to you, you'd come back with speed because you really have no idea how else to handicap a race.

03 Mar 2011 3:32 PM
stevebiscuit

Draynay, was Tiznow average?

03 Mar 2011 3:42 PM
Tiznowbaby

I wish I had that really lousy Cali horse, Blind Luck. Or that other lousy one...what was his name? Looking at Lucky or something.

03 Mar 2011 3:44 PM
Trebloc

Draynay, I like your thinking but it now looks like Dialed In got his Gulfstream race.

03 Mar 2011 3:48 PM
no mo mo

Dialed In gets his 1 1/8 mile wish Sunday. After this horse puts up his easy 1:10 6f, 1:35 mile and completes the trip under wraps in around 1:48 you'll see a horse who has the ability to whip unca schmoe.

03 Mar 2011 3:53 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

Guess you will say LAL wasn't a quality racehore cause he was from CA right?

03 Mar 2011 7:02 PM
The Bid

Comma To the Top regains form by a whisker over Sway Away with Jaycito a tired show!!!!

Stay Thirsty romps in the Gotham but has nothing for his stable mate "Batman".

Elite Alex proves he is worthy of his Daddy's name beating J.P.'s Gusto and debuting on The Trail's Top Ten!!!

Next Week...THE REAL HORSE debuts...BOYS!!!!

03 Mar 2011 7:48 PM
LAZMANNICK

draynot

I'm laughing.  Fickle is as fickle is.

03 Mar 2011 7:59 PM
Forbidden Apple

Why are some of you surprised that Twirling Candy is the best North American handicap horse in training? First Dude has proven nothing so far in his racing career. As for Twirling Candy he has one loss on his record.

Dialed In is the best 3 year old colt in training, get used to it. And don't let his giant staliion neck scare you off from liking him. He can not help it that he's built like a stud. His late kick is push button and will make Uncle Mo scream out NO MAS!

03 Mar 2011 8:42 PM
draynay

Dialed In is not that good.  Race or no race won't change that.

Draynot wake up son.  First Dude looked good in the Belmont but after that he went off form.  It is now A YEAR LATER and to call a horse beating elite is just plain silly but typical for California racing.

Tiznow?  Geez, what year was that again?  2001? Lol. You have to go back a decade?  I guess I made my point.

03 Mar 2011 11:38 PM
Draynay

jayjay, I will be at Gulfstream March 12th at Ten Palms.  You are more than welcome to join me and my beautiful wife and guests and come give me a handicapping lesson.

Bring plenty of money.

03 Mar 2011 11:43 PM
Draynay

Jason I am with you!  First Dude gets a big class drop here because he is up against California horses.  I think Baffert lets the horse run and dare others to keep up with him.  First Dude 100 to win/place.  Stay Thirsty should win by 3 easily.

04 Mar 2011 12:00 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

jayjay

  Cool. Thanks. The San Felipe and The Rebel will be awesome races, not to mention the Timely Riderless battle. And we're not far off from the Louisiana Derby, then Florida Derby, and SA Derby. San Felipe could be loaded with talent. Dialed In is running an allowance OC, 3 and up, 9f ,4th race at GP this Sunday so he won't be in the Gotham, or TB Derby. That is a nice RTTR lineup you have. Good Luck, and keep up the good work blogging. Your posts are a lot of fun and you know what you are talking about. Just don't be making anymore bets where you give the field against your horse. Stick to supers, trifectas, and the other ones you hit. Super easy 29k Pk6 at SA today. Kind of wish I would have taken a shot at it. All low odds winners for a big payout. Strange. Looking forward to your Derby Super if you post it, if you don't mind sharing the loot.

04 Mar 2011 12:04 AM
GunBow

draynot and Draynay:

I most certainly remembered Draynay writing that about First Dude last year, so thanks draynot for bringing it back to light.  First Dude was going to be the next Quality Road.

In terms of Twirling Candy proving himself an elite horse, most years the winner of the Big Cap does this by simple virtue of winning the race. If Twirling Candy wins the Big Cap, I have a feeling Mike Watchmaker will keep him ranked the #1 older male.  By definition, isn't Twirling Candy already elite?

Well, my answer is that Twirling Candy is not yet a bonafide elite horse.  The Big Cap is his big test, and will tell us alot about how good this horse really is.

As for First Dude, I was nowhere near his bandwagon last year, a bandwagon which got really heavy after the Preakness.  However, the move to Baffert has me intrigued, and I think Baffert's going to instruct Garcia to ride the horse aggressively, and I think First Dude's only chance of ever living up to his potential is as a pure frontrunner.

I guess, in fairness to Draynay, I should have qualified my statement about Twirling Candy proving himself an elite horse by beating First Dude.  Naturally, if First Dude flops and no one else really runs well and Twirling Candy only wins by a desperate neck, then the win wouldn't certify Twirling Candy an elite horse.  However, if First Dude runs as well as Jason, Ranagulzion, and I think he will(and as well as Draynay thought he would last year), and Twirling Candy still inhales him at the top of the stretch and runs off by 5, then yes, Twirling Candy will most certainly have proven himself an elite horse.

04 Mar 2011 1:15 AM
jayjay

Draynay : All you have are assumptions, if this and if that. Tell me, what IF um doesn't run 110 in 6F, where does that leave you??  You got no mo horse to jump on, you may have to take up  my advice and switch to Quarter Horses then.

The Bid : I totally agree, the REAL HORSE debuts next week, his name is Jaycito.

04 Mar 2011 2:09 AM
Billy's Empire

Jayjay, go back and watch the BCJ. No assumptions needed. Mo sat off of Riveting Reason in 2nd, edged closer on the turn, and dusted the field, including your Jaycito. In the Champagne, he ran 45 and change and came home 48 and change. You are going to be pissed when your horses are stuck behind a wall with no where to go in a 20 horse field. That will not be an issue with Mo and Soldat, and I am pretty sure Calvin is not on Dialed In.

04 Mar 2011 3:50 PM
Carlos in Cali

Random Thoughts:

I expect THS to improve 10-12 lengths in his next start and Mott will not underestimate his fitness level this time.

First Dude upgrading to a better trainer in Baffert is a good thing,but I still think he's a one-paced horse without a kick down the lane.

Twirling Candy was fractious at the gate and was throwing his head as soon as the gates opened in last year's Goodwoood,that race is a toss for me,he's much better than that.He towers over the SA Handicap field.

04 Mar 2011 5:31 PM
draynot

draynay,

it's you who needs to wake up little man. You had no problem calling First Dude an elite horse and he had won nothing big when you called him that. The best he had done was finish 2nd in the Preakness but somebody had to finish 2nd in the race. As usual you missed the point entirely which was you were calling a horse a superstar and to that point he had beaten nobody. Now you call it silly when Twirling Candy has done far more than First Dude had at the point you called him a superstar. Typical East Coast RA, QR biased thinking.

04 Mar 2011 5:32 PM
The Bid

Dialed In.......Starting a 2 turn ALLOWANCE?????????HMMMMMMMMMMM....

No one takes exception to this TOTAL DODGE by Zito?? Funny....MO gets all the "negative" press regarding a "MADE up public workout prep race" and dialed in enters an ALLOWANCE race...AND he's supposed to be 2nd or 3rd rated colt on The Trail??? Whatever....March 12th can not get here soon enough!!!!!!!!!!!! THE MEN from UNCLE will be out in FULL-FORCE!!!!!!!

04 Mar 2011 5:38 PM
slyder

slyders back and I see draynay is still spewing drivel out of both sides of his mouth depending on the color of the sky in his mind that day. Some things never change. Guess he figured out you can't be wrong everytime if you say one thing today and the opposite tomorrow. Good to see Relva, Laz, Jayjay, and others with some real logic are still here. All that is missing is Greg J who could make a living outclassing draynay in handicapping anyday.

04 Mar 2011 5:50 PM
Mike Relva

Horses winning this weekend.....Dialed In,TC,Jacito

04 Mar 2011 6:20 PM
Mike Relva

JayJay

Jaycito is a very good horse.

04 Mar 2011 6:22 PM
Ranagulzion

Draynay,

You are dead wrong about Dialed-In.  He's the second best 3YO colt right now and still improving.  Remember that in terms of Beyer speed it is more difficult to judge an out and out closer.  This colt has a similar type of explosiveness to 2001 Derby winner Monarchos but with more powerful strides, and with speedballs Flashpoint and The Factor entering the Derby picture, he could get a similar type of pace set-up.  I'm convinced that he can run up a very high Beyer figure if necessary, to be Uncle Mo's biggest threat.  The other growing danger is Mucho Macho Man.  If he breaks out in the Louisiana Derby his bandwaggon is going to full overnight.  This colt can be any kind of horse ...possibly a "Point Given" type that gets stronger with going longer.  Lets watch and see.    

04 Mar 2011 6:43 PM
Mike Relva

THE BID

At least Dialed In has already run a race this yr.

04 Mar 2011 10:03 PM
Mike Relva

SLYDER

Great to see you,too. Somethings never change,right?

04 Mar 2011 11:04 PM
stevebiscuit

Draynay, Tiznow wasn't the horse from California that could give the east coasters a run for their money. Since 1990 about 69 horses from California took home eclipse awards, 8 of them being Horse of the Year, 5 Older males, 12 older females, 6 three year old males, 5 three year old females, 9 Sprinters, 7 Turf Horses, 9 two year old males and 8 two year old females.

Live in denial all you want but California horses are far better than you say they are. California also has the deepest jockey and trainer colony in the world. Also, they've got the best older horse in the nation, Twirling Candy, as well as the best 3 year olds fillies, Zazu or Turbulent Descent. Jaycito will be a huge factor in this year's Triple Crown.

I know it's hard to accept but just because California has had the best horse in the nation for the past 4 years doesn't mean you shouldn't give them credit for it.

05 Mar 2011 12:00 AM
jayjay

Draynay's Billy : So you're telling me without a doubt that UM is the SAME exact horse that won the BCJ ?  If you pay attention, a lot of the folks not jumping on UM right now, including me, wants to see a race first.  No one is denying that UM was the best 2 yr old last year.  If you can guarantee that he will be the same power horse he was last year, then I'll bet the farm.  Can you GUARANTEE IT ??  I didn't think so.

I said before, if he wins the Derby, I will be rooting for him to win the TC.  Until then, my money will be on another horse not named UM for the Derby.  He can beat me with his 6/5 odds in the Derby, I don't mind.

It's no surprise that you're riding Draynay's back and basing UM's win in the Derby from his form last year.  If he's that good that he only needs one prep for the Derby then good for Mike Repole, he will deserve that win for the way his team prepared UM.  I'll have to put my money on someone else and stick with historical facts when it comes to prepping for the race.

I have Jaycito, Dialed In, Soldat and THAS as my top derby horses right now.   Is there a chance that will change come Derby time, you better believe it.  I'm not dumb that I will stick to a horse and bet money on a horse that I don't think has a chance come the 1st week of May.

05 Mar 2011 12:15 AM
Jason Shandler

Jayjay: You again show that you dont understand betting. No horse in a 19 or 20-horse field is going to be 6-5. Cant happen.

05 Mar 2011 12:20 AM
The Bid

RELVA...

SO WHAT!!!!!!!! The Holy Bull has turned out to be LEGIT...I'll give that to ya...BUT, an ALLOWANCE...Wake Up!!! Zito is running SCARED!!!When dialed in wins convincing...I don't want to hear that MO's win in The Writer is any less significant...Let's just compare the numbers MO WILL run to what dialed in ran @ the same distance a week from now!!!

05 Mar 2011 12:57 PM
Forbidden Apple

Keep telling yourself that Dialed In is not that good. You are completely blinded by all of the chalk you eat and your Pletcher blinkers. Dialed In will prove that he can get 1 1/8 miles and two turns tomorrow. Dialed In is second to none, he is the best three year old colt in the land! Mucho Mach Man wants nothing to do with him again and is opting for the LA Derby. We might also see Soldat skip out of town and race in the Bluegrass.

05 Mar 2011 1:04 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

Again,you live in a FANTASY WORLD. To slam Lava Man is a horse that ran his eyeballs out. You don't realize how "off point" you are. I'm glad you don't own or train.

05 Mar 2011 2:45 PM
Mike Relva

THE BID

Don't go there regarding the race Dialed In is running tomorrow. What about the race Mo is entered in? Please.

05 Mar 2011 10:13 PM
LAZMANNICK

The Bid

Uncle Mo could have scratched from the Timely Writer and taken on Dialed In in the two turn allowance. Seriously, it would probably be a much better race for him. I don't think Zito's dodging.  He wants the 9F distance.

06 Mar 2011 1:41 AM
Footlick

The Bid- two turns vs. one turn.  They didn't want another one turn race and they wanted to give the horse a little more time, so the FOY was too soon.  If they had 3 races or more before the Derby, then the mile would be the next logical step, but they have two races and since he needs two turn experience they are giving it to him.  It really isn't hard to understand and there is no need to make some drama out of it.  Both Mr Pletcher and Mr Zito have their plans to get their horses to the Derby.

06 Mar 2011 10:01 AM
Footlick

Billy- I agree with closers getting behind a wall of horses ala Little Current, but sometimes the field parts like the Red Sea ala Sea Hero.  I believe horses who are mid-field stalkers are at an advantage though.  I think Dialed In will need some luck in the Derby, but so will alot of others.

06 Mar 2011 10:10 AM
jayjay

Jason : Are you sure it can't happen ?? The way your boy is talking, he would be running at 1/9.  It goes to show your lack of knowledge about horse racing, anything can happen.  You write about horse racing stuff other than blogging right ??

06 Mar 2011 2:10 PM
jayjay

Also, I find it funny that out of all the posts I made, you picked on the "6/5" comment.  Was that the only thing you found that you can use to call me yet again someone who doesn't know about horse racing ?? LOL  You're getting desperate my friend.  At least you're persistent :)

06 Mar 2011 2:16 PM

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