Mo, Brethren, and the California Question

Will Brethren put away a seemingly overmatched field and continue his ascent to the top of the division? Who will shoot to the top of the class in California? And will Uncle Mo begin his season in style? These are the questions that we await the answers to on a busy and important weekend of racing. Let's get right into it.

Tampa Bay Derby

Brethren devoured the Sam F. Davis field last month and will be an odds-on favorite to do so again in the Tampa Bay Derby. There is really no reason to think he won't do it again over the same track, at the same distance, and with the second, third, and fourth-place finishers returning as some of his biggest threats.

I won't pick again Brethren here. He should get the same kind of stalking trip as last time against an underwhelming field. About the only thing that was unimpressive about the half brother to Super Saver in that last start was his Beyer, and they are proving to be more and more dubious with each passing weekend (see Apriority and Calibrachoa last weekend). I will overlook his speed numbers and trust my eyes, which told me Brethren is pretty good.

Free Entry is probably the biggest threat to Brethren based off his last two and his close to the pace running style. Fourth to Uncle Mo in his debut last summer at Saratoga, the Tale of the Cat colt broke his maiden sprinting at Gulfstream in January and followed up with a professional first-level allowance win going a mile over the same strip, He stretches out to two turns for the first time, but has shown enough to warrant a serious look. Alan Garcia keeps the mount.

Striding Ahead, an impressive two-turn maiden winner last out over the wet Tampa dirt, and Beamer, who is better than his fourth-place effort in the Sam Davis would indicate, are the other horses I would use to fill out my exotics. But I think Brethren remains undefeated.

San Felipe

Unlike the Tampa Bay Derby, the San Felipe is a very intriguing race. We are still waiting for a California-based horse to separate itself from the rest of pack and this could be the race that does it. Most people think it will be Jaycito, winner of the grade I Norfolk who will be making his season debut for new trainer Bob Baffert. The colt has been working exceptionally well and I believe he will run well. I also think that when all is said and done, he will be the best 3-year-old to come out of California this year. But in this particular spot, I won't pick him on top. He's coming off a layoff, making his first start for Baffert (who has a low percentage with horses in this category), and they are still trying to figure out his best running style. He will probably be cranked for the Santa Anita Derby, so I'll wait for that race and take a stand that he is just a little short here.

Runflatout is the buzz horse here after his sensational maiden win, but I'm more inclined to use another maiden winner--Albergatti. He looks like more like a stretch out horse to me than Runflatout does and I like that he will be making his third start of the year, as opposed to two. And Gomez chose to ride him over Runflatout.

I also like Baffert's other starter, Awesome Patriot. He is also making his season debut, but he last raced on Dec. 29 and got a good test. It was only a three-horse field when he won that allowance race going a mile at Santa Anita, but he outdueled Riveting Reason in a good-looking effort. Baffert, who has said all along that he will be better at two turns, is still a little unsure about what to expect from what he calls an "immature" runner, but he is talented enough to use.

Premier Pegasus is the other horse I will use. He tries a route of ground for the first time after running a good third to The Factor in the San Vicente, his only loss in four starts. This is an exceptionally fast colt who worked five furlongs in :57 3/5 last Saturday and seems primed for another big effort--if he can avoid a speed duel.

If you think the race will break down from all the speed, consider using Surrey Star, the fourth-place finisher of the San Vicente in his first start on dirt. I haven't even mentioned Comma to the Top, Jakesam, or the undefeated Bench Points, which shows you how wide-open this race really is.

Timely Writer

It remains to be seen how much Uncle Mo will face and how he will look doing it. As of now, Wesley Ward is planning on scratching Madman Diaries, and if he does I suspect that Mo will just jog around the track en route to an easy win.

It would be interesting to see Mo face a speedster like Madman Diaries. This is a colt that can run :21 and change and :44 and change at the drop of a hat. He ran poorly in the Hutcheson because of a failed blinkers off experiment, but Ward said he would put them on this time and just send him to the front, if he goes. That would allow Mo an opportunity to rate and also have to work a little bit. But if Madman Diaries doesn't go there is no other horse to challenge Mo up front.

Either way, it will be exciting to see the Derby favorite finally make his season debut. We may not learn too much from it (or next month's Wood Memorial for that matter), but there will still plenty be plenty to analyze in the coming weeks.

Good luck this weekend!

83 Comments

Leave a Comment:

jayjay

Your comments about California, I summarized it in one of my posts in the other blog, except for the last 2 paragraphs lol.

I feel honored that you posted pretty much what I said about the San Felipe :)

11 Mar 2011 12:39 PM
Draynay

Facts are not many want to face Mo and I don't blame them.  He is simply too good.  In the Derby many will say anything can happen and it can but Mo can't be beat, not by this group.  Brethren is your winner in the Tampa Bay Derby.  Not many horses LOVE the surface but this horse does.  He will win again.  Ramon is the man.

11 Mar 2011 1:13 PM
Householder

I really think Comma to the Top is the best at this distance but his San Fransico debut was just as puzzling at Jaycito's Breeder's Cup.  Save Jaycito for the Belmont or like his daddy, a decent but not good enough run in Kentuky.  He did however, blow by Uncle Mo's daddy.

11 Mar 2011 1:43 PM
timelywriter2

It's great to see my favorite racehorse (Timely Writer) being finally remembered again with a race named after him. TW was the epitome of an overachiever, (bred by a $500 stud and an unraced mare)he was on the verge of sweeping Triple Crown when bad luck struck.

11 Mar 2011 1:56 PM
jayjay

Draynay : How much WIN money are you putting on UM tomorrow ?  

What about TB track being a disadvantage for outside posts on 2 turns ??  You still picking Brethren ?  Who's your longshot play ?

Here are my plays for the weekend (subject to change during post parade ) :

Tampa Bay Derby :  

5, 10 with 5, 10, 1, with 5, 10, 1, 8 with 5, 10, 1, 8

5, 10 with 5, 10, 8, 2 with 5, 10, 8, 2, 1

San Felipe :  

9, 2 with 9, 2, 1 with 9, 2, 1, 10 with 9, 2, 1, 10, 3, 7 with 9, 2, 1, 10, 3, 7

9, 1 with 9, 1, 2 with 9, 1, 2, 10, 8 with 9, 1, 2, 10, 8 with 9, 1, 2, 10, 8

9, 10 with 9, 10, 2 with 9, 10, 2, 1, with 9, 10, 2, 1, 7, 3 with 9, 10, 2, 1, 7, 3

The horse I'll be watching up close during the parade is Premiere Pegasus and see what odds he'll go off on.  More than likely, I'll have some tickets on him too.

I'll have to use up my gas and lunch money to bet all that, hopefully I hit it with at least one ticket lol.

Good luck to all tomorrow, may you all cash tickets and win enough to shop for friends and have them for dinner!!

11 Mar 2011 3:23 PM
tcc

Jason: CHECK THIS OUT!

Tampa is a very interesting track Shelly.  with 2 turn races I feel 1 thru 4 post is a real advantage. draynay 08 Mar 2011 10:48 AM.

Brethren is your winner in the Tampa Bay Derby.Draynay 11 Mar 2011 1:13 PM

Isn't Brethren in an outside post??? Maybe because a chalk isn't running from the inside post's???

11 Mar 2011 3:23 PM
jayjay

For TBD : I'll have some extra tickets on Striding Ahead too, can't leave out a Bill Mott horse.  Now I'm dipping into my gas and lunch money for the next two weeks...

I  m u s t   h i t   a   w i n n e r ...

11 Mar 2011 3:27 PM
Quiet American 55

Jason, is this your blog?  You usually have the best.  If it's you, I'm with you on ...Albergatti. Agree with..."He looks like more like a stretch out horse to me than Runflatout." I also like the way he has been working.  For going the two turns, I'll take his works over the horses blazing in the morning on that launching pad of a surface at SA.  Question though and maybe none of us has the answer.  I'm not so sure Go Go had his choice. Considering Rosario is Sadler's #1, I'm thinking maybe it's a bit more complex, maybe asking for a two race commitment or something.  Also, seems like Agent Anderson and Gomez made a deal with Asmussen for this meet. Anyway, I like Albergatti better.  1 and 1/16 to 1 and 1/8 hits him square between the eyes.  I look for a nice stalking trip.

11 Mar 2011 3:50 PM
PomDeTerre

If Ward scratches MD, this horse is running out of opportunities to make his earnings.  With this being Mo's first out of the year, he is probably at his most vulnerable, and the scratch strategy makes no sense (to me).

Yes, Brethren is the far outside horse in a fieldof 9; I just don't think it matters tho.  He's too good.

11 Mar 2011 4:10 PM
Ranagulzion

The way I see these races: Brethren is a cinch in the TBD with Beamer closing strongly to fill the exacta.

Comma to the Top leads them all on merry chase in the San Felipe with Runflatout as his man pursuer.  Uncle Mo takes no prisoners and serves a stern warning to all Derby challengers in the Timely Writer with an impressive warm-up run.

11 Mar 2011 4:37 PM
LAZMANNICK

Draynay

Maybe no one wants to run for a $100K purse (ungraded earnings) with $60K going to the winner.  Do you think that Brethren would have opted out of the Tampa Bay Derby if Uncle Mo ran in it instead of the Timely Writer?

11 Mar 2011 4:44 PM
tcc

Jason:

Future pool #2 (still early) but Runflatout down from 50-1 to 7/2,

To Honor And Serve 15-1 to 5-1, the two lowest odds as of right now. After tomorrow's race's will have to see where the odds changes will be going?

11 Mar 2011 5:11 PM
draynay

tcc, you guys are such rookies it drives me nuts.  Brethren is not a 10,000 claimer and is much the best no matter what post he comes from.  He has the best jockey in the country on his back I am sure he won't hang him 5 wide.  Brethren wins this easy.

11 Mar 2011 6:17 PM
Jean in Chicago

Ted from LA:  I am now upset and in a tizzy.  What's this about Dr.D?

11 Mar 2011 7:06 PM
nickie

Bretheren needs a tuff race, maybe Browns runner can push him a little, but my ticket will include Economic Summit from outfit that ain't shippin for the flea markets, deserves a look.

11 Mar 2011 7:48 PM
longwaytomay

Jason,

 Would you consider 13-1 on R Heat Lightning? If not, what would you consider enticing?

11 Mar 2011 7:51 PM
Jason Shandler

Runflatout at 9-2 is comical. I would look at Silver Medallion at 50-1 or higher again for a few bucks and a token couple bucks on Sweet Ducky at 99-1. Wht not?.

As for Oaks, I am a big Kathmanblu fan but not at 5-1. I dont think you will get R Heat Lightning under 10-1 longway.

11 Mar 2011 8:08 PM
skyfire

I'm with you, Jason, with Albergatti.  Looking at Bench Points as a long shot, along with Premier Pegasus.

Uncle Mo romps over this bunch.  On to the Wood!

11 Mar 2011 8:36 PM
Jessie

skyfire, I agree with you.

12 Mar 2011 2:52 AM
draynay

There are a lot of races to like on Saturday but I am going to jump off the favorite in the G3 Hisborgh in Tampa.  I am placing 100 to win and 200 to place on Keertana.  Zagora will take all the money but I am going for the upset.  In a race without much speed I am going to bet against Pluck and go with speed. Lil Bit O'Fun looks good to me.  Pluck may need a race looking for bigger things down the road.  I don't care much for California racing but I think Jaycito will use this race as a prep and have no intentions on winning.  Bench Points should see a lot of up front speed.  I look for him to pick them off coming down the lane for the win or 2nd at very worst.  Good luck everyone I am off to Gulfstream to watch the future Derby winner Uncle Mo !

12 Mar 2011 4:02 AM
jon

I think  this year should be as exciting as we have seen since 1977 as Uncle Mo does what no other colt has done since 1978. That is-he will win the Triple Crown. I just hate to have to wait until May for him to embark on that journey.

Uncle Mo recorded a 108 Beyer in the Breeder's Cup, and has apparently improved over the winter. If that is true, he should earn much higher Beyer figures, which no other colt will approach. He has speed, he can rate, and possesses a natural intelligence.

I like reading the articles about Brethren, Stay Thirsty, and others, but they're in a race for second. I see Uncle Mo racing unchallenged in his upcoming races, earning accolades as the best horse of the past 100 years, and finally, finally, giving the sport of kings a needed champion for the ages. His Beyers will be statospheric, above 120-130, and the coup de grace will be in the Belmont, where he shatters Secretariat's record by 2-3 seconds. The others will look like ponies chasing him, or will break down trying.  

I knew Mo was special in his first start, in his second, I knew he'd win the Triple Crown, and in his third, I felt he was like Man O' War.

12 Mar 2011 8:38 AM
Jean in Chicago

Ted from LA:

Dr.D responded on the previous post so I'm no longer in a tizzy.  But you are a very bad boy and definitely are being sent to your room.  Just be glad its not the same room you've sent other posters to or else there would be a lot of yelling and cries of "cut that out up there!"  However, since I'm feeling so relieved, you can go after you place your bets for this weekend.

Best of luck, Zookeeper!  (And I'll keep repeating the mantra 'everybody come home safe')

12 Mar 2011 8:47 AM
Jean in Chicago

Jayjay:  good luck, but I'm not sure you should suggest people turn to cannibalism and have their friend for dinner even if they are low on lunch money.

12 Mar 2011 8:50 AM
MikeM

After winning the Triple Crown Mo will win the Travers followed by a trip overseas where he will win the Arc. Then it's back to the U.S. where he will end his career with a BCC victory.

12 Mar 2011 10:02 AM
nickie

Jon, I admire your excitement for your selection, but would caution you[and I am sure there are other examples]...one word....Arazi...good luck to you, I must admit it will be good for racing[see Smarty Jones and Big Brown, who I heard being compared to your Man O' War and Secretariat prior to the Belmont]...this game can be both exhilarating[which is not a bad thing], and emotionally draining[which is a waste of energy...good luck in your roller coaster ride to 1st Saturday in May, and beyond!

12 Mar 2011 10:36 AM
longwaytomay

Jason,

 Any thoughts on the Life at Ten report? I read it twice and still can't believe what I read. It has to be one of the most brilliant pieces of dribble that has ever been written. I really think that no interviews during the post parade will do alot for horseracing and the fans. If there was no conversation between Jerry Baily and Johnny V. then everything would have been just fine. I still can't find where I am going to get a refund on the money I bet on Life at Ten but I'm still looking.

12 Mar 2011 11:08 AM
Zookeeper

Jason,

It's not comical, maybe to you but not to me (insert shocked expression). I'm glad you're amused and grateful that none of you picked him on THS. What a relief that was!!! :)

Thank you to all my fellow bloggers who have expressed support and encouragement. I appreciate it very much. The whole thing is so astounding to me that I'm at a loss for words.

Good luck with all your bets this weekend! Go UNCLE MO! Go RUNFLATOUT!!! May all horses and riders be safe!

12 Mar 2011 11:17 AM
Inquiry

STRIDING AHEAD!!!!

12 Mar 2011 11:27 AM
2:24

Dray - like your Keertana call.  Might jump on that with you.

12 Mar 2011 12:06 PM
Easy Goer

Good luck Zookeeper! How cool to have such a promising horse!

I am so bummed that Draynay likes Mo. I can't decide if Mo is another War Pass or Slew. My heart hopes he is Slew, but recent history (and the fact that he has the Draynay curse upon him) suggests he might be War Pass. However, if any horse can withstand this curse, I hope it is Mo!

12 Mar 2011 12:08 PM
NYC

Rattlesnake is a horse to watchand bring back track bandit previews

12 Mar 2011 12:12 PM
Zarkava

Tampa Bay: Brethren, Striding Ahead

San Felipe: PrePeg, Albergatti, Jaycito

Timely Writer: Hmm... Uncle Mo facing 4 cheesepuffs... Tough one... =)

12 Mar 2011 1:26 PM
-Keelerman

Good luck, Zookeeper!

-Keelerman

12 Mar 2011 1:32 PM
Kris

You probably already know but Madman was officially scratched from the Timely Writer.  

Best of luck Zookeeper (I've garnered from the posts on this and the UM blog that you own Runflatout).

Personally I like Bench Points because his grandsire (Alydar) was my favorite as a kid.  

12 Mar 2011 2:27 PM
Pedigree Ann

Oh, no! Draynay has kind words to say about my boy Bench Points, who impressed me quite a lot last summer at Del Mar. We're doomed! [grin]

12 Mar 2011 2:45 PM
LAZMANNICK

We just got a dose of reality at Tampa……a good two year old debuting at three and not being anywhere near as formidable.  Pluck, the BC Juvenile Turf winner finished fourth at Tampa to Lil Bit o’fun, a horse that disappointed in it’s last when finishing third at 4 to 5.  Pluck did not look anything like his recent press releases and talk suggested he would be.

12 Mar 2011 3:32 PM
LAZMANNICK

Dray

Nice pick in the Pluck race when you chose Lil Bit o'fun, though he didn't run on the lead.  Near the end of the back stretch I think he was fourth and the jock had a nice hold on him.  Pluck looked like he needed one and horses coming from way out of it on the turf had a hard time closing on the leaders.

Too bad about Keertana.  A nice move from last, but no threat to the top pair.  Three hundred down the drain.  Too bad you didn’t put it all to show.  You could have made a $200 profit.

12 Mar 2011 4:37 PM
The Rock

You know, if Dray wasn't an Uncle Mo fan, he would say "25, 49 & 113 for 6 furlongs! What, did Uncle Mo get 15 lengths slower during his break? He's got 0 chance whatsoever at the derby! none. Saying it here and now. Mo' will be dazed wondering how the Derby field got so far in front of him after the break."

But since it's his horse whose bandwagon he's on, he will only praise him, saying that 20% of Mo could've won that race and did.

12 Mar 2011 4:50 PM
Mike Relva

Beamer for the win today.

12 Mar 2011 5:28 PM
Mike Relva

DRAYNAY

I was wrong about Beamer winning. Are you going to admit you were wrong in your comment"Brethren wins easily" or will you simply ignore it?

12 Mar 2011 5:55 PM
Paula Higgins

Well, Uncle Mo did just fine. Good to see. Rattlesnake Bridge is not chopped liver. So that was a decent win. I was disappointed with Brethren's race. He was on the lead too early. I didn't like that and felt early on he wasn't going to get there, even though the pace wasn't fast. Unless I owned the second coming of Secretariat or Man O' War, I would never let a horse go to the lead early on in a large field. It lowers their chances in my opinion. I think they lose their competitve edge when that happens. I don't see him winning the Derby, even though anything can happen in a large field. If he wasn't running against Uncle Mo, I would say he still had a chance. But if Uncle Mo shows up and has a decent race, he has little chance against him. Uncle Mo would have to have a really bad trip for Brethren to win the Derby.  

12 Mar 2011 5:59 PM
Zen Auntie

Im just sick about Always a Princess.  

Mo's run was a decent prep he looked great and I like the final 1/4 but it was pretty ho hum.

I guess Bretheren needed a race, I hope that helped...?

My favorite win of the day so far is Tackleberry what a gutsy horse who HATES to loose and has the GP top $ earner of the year by huge margin.  

I was really looking forward to the San Felipe and rooting for RFO Good Luck ZOOKEEPER but Always a Princess going down is so tough to take - shes up Thank God.

I just pray no one else gets hurt today

12 Mar 2011 6:33 PM
Footlick

Can't take any credit for this but I got this feeling that I had to bet Miss Match, because Mr Drysdale sounded cautiously optimistic.  I had a good month on art commissions, so I took $50 and bet it on her to win.  How lucky can I get.  Sick about Always A Princess breaking down though.

Uncle Mo ran well and proved the adage that you can't let a good fast horse crawl early because they won't stop.  I liked that he finished in 22 and change, but after 6 furlongs in 1:13 and change he had better.  But it was still a 1 turn race.  And the only real speed scratched.  But, not a flop by any means but not a test either.

12 Mar 2011 7:01 PM
jon

After watching Uncle Mo, I stand by what I said after the Champagne-he will win the Triple Crown easily. Why? He has the rare combination of intelligence, natural speed, and versatility that inform his running style. He wasn't asked at any point for speed in the Timely Writer, and the result was an easy, non-pressured win. That result would have been the same against any field he faced today. In other words, he would have won the Tampa Bay Derby, or on the poly track.

Any trainer or colt foolish enough to tackle Mo in the Wood Memorial is going to be shellacked, and some colts, as we saw with boys at Tosconova, will not be the same. Every so often, or not, we have a champion, and in Mo, we have that. I would not want to be in the opposition at this stage, because Mo WILL win the Triple Crown, regardless of the fields. His Beyer of 108 in the BC Juvenile was jaw dropping, and he has improved over the winter. That should put the fear of God in trainers.

What does improvement mean for Uncle Mo? His 108 Beyer will be the bottom when he sprints away from Brethren, Stay Thirsty, and the other ponies he faces going forward. His sole competitor is himself, and he will shatter track records, beat Secretariat's record in the Belmont and may challenge Man O'War as the besthorse of the last 100 years. Clem Florio recognized Secretariat as a Triple Crown winner in his second start, and he took 3 races to win a stakes, and 2 races to win. Mo won on first asking and won a stakes his second time out. The trainers might as well wave the flag of surrender at this point.

12 Mar 2011 7:21 PM
LAZMANNICK

UNCLE MO IS A BEAST

Nice run in his first start.  The first quarter for a mile race at GP in 25.53 and not be challenged is a joke.  However, he picked it up with a pair of 24 and change quarters.  It’s the final quarter in 22.87 effortlessly, that says loads.  I would like to have seen him get more out of it early on, but there is no question he is the worthy leader of the division at this point and is going to take a lot of beating, at least for the Derby.  Foundation for a TC run is still a concern at this point, but he’s not the only one in this boat.  Another thing worth noting……Tackleberry, in a salty race was all out to get his victory in the Gulf Stream Park Handicap.  The race was run in 1.35.23 compared to Uncle Mo’s 1.36.56.  However, Tackleberry ran his final quarter in 24.04 under heavy urging and horses like Soaring Empire running at a favorable distance couldn’t really close.  And Uncle Mo was giving them all weight.  Did I mention that Uncle Mo is a beast?

Brethren really disappointed me, but the ride did also.  Why did Dominguez have to think that he had to wire the field?  His best race by far was at Churchill when he came from way out of it and was a convincing winner.  It doesn’t make any sense to me.  And then to finish behind a $16K claimer.  Wow.  However, once he got off the rail he did close with determination, but this guy still lost a lot in my opinion.

Premier Pegasus looks like the real deal.  Jaycito needed the race and should (might) improve.  Comma to the Top had no excuse.  Runflatout, in his second career race, is asked to run a 1.08 and change 6F in a route race. (Shoot the rider please and back off the horse and bring him to an after TC campaign).  Regarding the Derby, I think that other than the top two (the top one for sure) the others are not serious Derby horses.

12 Mar 2011 7:44 PM
longwaytomay

Draynay,

 Nice call on Lil Bit of Fun. As far as the Hilsborough goes, let me give YOU a piece of advice. NEVER dismiss any horse trained by Mr. Clement when they are running on the grass. Paid 26.20 thank you very much.

12 Mar 2011 7:55 PM
Jon

Mo ran against nothing and proved absolutely nothing.  His connections are delusional if they think the Wood will (be enough to) set him up for the Derby (...all fresh and all) and the two races that follow.

12 Mar 2011 8:08 PM
thederbydream

Jason good call on Premier Pegasus he sure looked good. I luckly hit the exacta. Those following me on Twitter got the Tampa Bay Derby winner. I got split on huge exacta unfortunatly. Got a new video up at thederbydream.com going over pool 2 in futures.

12 Mar 2011 8:21 PM
skyfire

Hay, Jessie!!

Albergatti flopped but, but hope you had Premier Pegasus to win!

Mo rolls!  No stopping him IMO.

12 Mar 2011 8:56 PM
Sodapopkid

Does anyone on here think Always A Princess will make it thru this ordeal or do you think she will have to be put down?

12 Mar 2011 9:16 PM
Johnny

At Gulfstream saw Uncle Mo up close..

Average size colt,nice hind end..

Todays race did ZERO to get him ready for May..

12 Mar 2011 9:22 PM
stevebiscuit

Wasn't impressed by Uncle Mo. I expected him to finish fairly quickly after those slow early fractions because they obviously wanted to get something out of the race. I was surprised at how much Velazquez had to shake the reins to get Mo to pull away from a weak horse like Rattlesnake Bridge.

The most impressive performance of the weekend had to be Premier Pegasus. He looked like a beast and was getting stronger as he went. Jaycito didn't run a bad race and he should improve as he stretches out.

12 Mar 2011 9:40 PM
GunBow

Scary, sad, and finally electric day at Santa Anita.

Had never seen a horse bolt out of the walking ring, run over a brave 90 year Santa Anita employee, John Shear(could play John Longden in a movie), and then run all the way back to his barn, where he evidently was none the worse for the wear.

I hope Always a Princess can pull through.  The second she went down I went back to the paddock, asuming she was going to be put down infront of thousands.  I joyfully heard that she was able to stand back up.  I was standing right next to a Baffert assistant who told someone that she was going to live. I also was able to ask her owner, Mr. Arnold Zetcher, and he told me that it wasn't life threatning.  Given that she fell, I'm still concerned, but frankly I thought she had no chance when it happened.  By the way, Switch might not be a true 9 furlongs horse, but she ran bravely, cutting a mile in 133 and 4(just 2 ticks behind Misremembered's 105 Beyer time) before finally tiring that last eighth.

I really liked Premier Pegasus coming out of the San Vicente, but I didn't see anybody running away with the San Felipe like that.  Although he probably won't get a Beyer over 100(something very hard to do at Santa Anita over a mile), Premier Pegasus is a very legit Derby prospect.  He is a grand horse physically, he has the breeding, and today he showed the ability to rate and accelerate quickly.  Like I said after the San Vicente, he's Riveting Reason 5.0(+ 5 lengths..at least).  Finally, Cali has joined the Derby trail.

Jaycito ran ok, and should get alot out of the race.  He'll be better in the SA Derby, but he'll have to be if he's to keep up with PrePeg.  Bench Points is a real nice Cal-bred, but I don't know about Kentucky.  Comma to the Top actually ran well to survive that 108 and change pace and still hang around.  He showed alot more heart today than in San Fran.  Albergatti and Runflatout were given impossible tasks.

12 Mar 2011 9:49 PM
CV

Man, my heart sank when I saw the fractions set by Runflatout and Albergatti when they hooked up.

Runflatout hung on longer but there was no way he could have finished well. I really hope Sadler is able to teach him to relax and rate, because he's got so much potential.  

12 Mar 2011 10:14 PM
Mike Relva

SODAPOPKID

I think (and hope) she makes it. Every indication is she will.

12 Mar 2011 10:32 PM
Winning

I think we saw the Derby winner today and I'm not talkin bout Uncle Slo. I'm talkin Premier Pegasus. I think he'll win like his Daddy did.

12 Mar 2011 11:00 PM
Footlick

Didn't have Premier Peg but did have Miss Match, so better payoff.  Premier Peg looks very legit on the stretch out.  Nice race for him.  Uncle Mo did what I expected at 1 turn.  A good horse dloses in that with a 1:13 fraction.

12 Mar 2011 11:47 PM
Footlick

Also sick about Always A Princess.  Hope she recovers.  So glad SA went back to dirt because the fatal breakdowns are up significantly.  Such a great stat.  Be proud.

12 Mar 2011 11:51 PM
Footlick

Thought Surrey Ridge would have done better.  Guess put him on the grass where his sire excels.  Jaycito ran how you would want a Mr Baffert horse to run first start for him.  Still think he is the Derby horse for now.

12 Mar 2011 11:54 PM
Footlick

GunBow- Great analysis!

13 Mar 2011 12:28 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Jean In Chicago

  I already sent Teddy to his room without dessert on the mo-jo Pt2 blog, but I'm glad you slapped on some extra time for him. He's not quite fit for society yet. Let him stew and think about the error of his ways. I appreciate your concern and support in this grave matter.

13 Mar 2011 12:46 AM
Flame Thrower

Enuff about that RunFlatOut horse. Who were the fools betting on him anyways? It was easy to see he was in way over his head. People need to stop rushing their horses to try to get in the Derby. Let the horse develop and aim for bigger things down the road. Come Breeders Cup time the Derby winner is a faded memory anyways, especially if they never win another race like the last two did.

13 Mar 2011 1:46 AM
Coldfacts

Ranagulzion,

‘The way I see these races: Brethren is a cinch in the TBD with Beamer closing strongly to fill the exacta’

You clearly did recall my comments on Brethren. I indicated to you I did not like the way carried his hind end in the Sam Davis suggesting all is not right in that area. He reminds of a horse with hock problems. At least you got it right with Beamer as he finished behind Brethren. Be not dismay as Super Saver was 3rd in his Tampa Bay Derby.

“Comma to the Top leads them all on merry chase in the San Felipe with Runflatout as his man pursuer”

You also did not see my (08 Mar 2011 10:46 PM, Derby Dozen) post in response to post suggesting Awesome Patriot would the San Felipe. For your benefit it is cited below:

Barry Boy,

If the blinkers are removed from Premier Pegasus the race is over before it begins. A colt with two reported works in 4 months runs third beaten 3 lengths in 1:20 plus is going to be unbeatable with no one in the race to pressure him on the lead. All his rider has to do is get him to settle in a 1:11 to 1:12 pace and it over. Jaycito will be too close and will not catch him and the rest are pretenders.

The race did dot unfold as suggested by the projected result was.

13 Mar 2011 9:27 AM
Trebloc

Zookeeper, welcome to world of ups and down.  Hope RFO came out of the race good.  Would love to hear how Westpoint spins his race to their "partners". Its bad karma to have Jeff Bloom on HRTV or have HRTV follow your horse.

Now onto Tampa: Ramon Dominguez had a tough day in Tampa.  Pluck and Brethren not winning?  I guess Ramon wants to ride Stay Thirst in the Derby, which is just fine with me. Not sure where they go next with Brethren, but I would put a call into Gomez or Calvin.  Brethren will need another $80K to get into the Derby.  Pretty funny watching Kathleen O'Connell's horse, beat the like of Pletcher, Mott, Brown and Nafzger.  What's her day rate?  Geez..........

Premier Pegausus looke great and it is nice to see Fupeg have a derby contender.  

13 Mar 2011 10:23 AM
Zookeeper

Watching Runflatout finish last was tough. Too much, too soon. Back to square one with more realistic expectations, I hope. My most important wish came true, he came back safe and sound and walked off the track under his own power. Now that the nonsense is over, maybe he'll get a chance to continue developing at a saner pace.

Premier Pegasus ran an outstanding race. He rated kindly and finished like a horse who more than belongs on the KD trail. Congratulations to Mr. Cho and Alonso Quinonez. Great training and great riding!!!

I hope Always a Princess survives her injury. I'm thinking about her this morning... Hope the surgery is successful and that she has a chance at a long, comfortable life.

13 Mar 2011 11:18 AM
Mike Relva

FLAME THROWER

Who are you calling "fools"? Maybe you should look in the mirror! As for the horse you're slamming,he will live to fight another day.

13 Mar 2011 11:53 AM
Cross- eyed Mary

Trebloc- What were you saying about Brethren? HA! and HA! again.

Who's more delusional Jon or MikeM?

13 Mar 2011 12:12 PM
Footlick

Zookeeper- that is what is important, that he came back safe.  The fractions were insane!  At least we still know that he is fast.  Premier Pegasus did run an outstanding race and Jaycito closed well and had a good prep for the SA Derby.  My thoughts are also with Always a Princess.  Sad, but hopefully she will recover and be a broodmare.

13 Mar 2011 12:35 PM
jayjay

Zookeeper : Glad to know that he's doing well.  I guess we had to find out if he's up there or not.  I still believe he can be competitive against the top CA horses.  There was a lot of speed in the race, I really thought Joel would hold him back and just rate off the speed, not duel with the other two because we already know he has speed.  I thought the race was to see if he can rate and accelerate.  I knew when the 3 of them went at it, that they're toast, all of them.  I think Alonso rode a smart race, he has a speed horse but he saw them duel up front and pulled PP back.  PP now has a pretty solid foundation for the Derby, a really fast 7F race, an impressive 1 1/16m race (both against top competitions) and next, the SA Derby.  I wouldn't call him the best in CA yet, I still think Jaycito will probably run better than him come Derby Day.  

I read an article yesterday (probably DRF) that AAP wasn't hurt badly.  The article quoted Baffert as not being too worried, he knew what happened, one of her ankles probably has a condylar or crack resulting from the fall but Baffert said he's not too worried so it's probably not a serious injury.  I'm glad it wasn't, but hate that we lost one of the best horses running this year.

As I've said before, I'm a longshot player and not afraid to bet 43-1 and 86-1 horses in an exacta box when I think there's a good chance they can hit the board.  I didn't think they had a chance against Brethen... WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?!?!  I'm not shocked that Brethren lost, but shocked at who beat him.  What happened to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th morning line favorites ???  Was the TB Derby really that bad that the 2 longest shots on the board finished 1-2 ??  I was betting on Centeno to run his horse well in that race, picked him to upset Brethren but geez man.  Someone tell me that was a joke, that the real Tampa Bay Derby is running next Saturday.

Oh yeah, UM's workout, well, that's it, a nice workout.  Really didn't see anything in the race that I think will help him run in a 20 horse field at 10F, and most likely on a wet track.  If he runs in the Derby at 6-5 or lower, I'm gonna have to sell the farm and bet it on a lot of exotics that doesn't have UM.  At this point, I would have to say he wouldn't be on the lead at the top of the stretch.  Don't get me wrong though, deep inside, I want him to excel and bring us a TC winner this year.  I really do, I will wholeheartedly support any horse that has a chance at winning the TC.  We'll see...

Footlick : Nice hit on Miss Match!  Congrats man.

13 Mar 2011 1:02 PM
draynot

tcc, you guys are such rookies it drives me nuts.  Brethren is not a 10,000 claimer and is much the best no matter what post he comes from.  He has the best jockey in the country on his back I am sure he won't hang him 5 wide.  Brethren wins this easy.

draynay 11 Mar 2011 6:17 PM

TCC,

It seems that if "you guys are such rookies" then draynay hasn't even passed the entrance exam to the Academy of Handicapping after all these years of trying.

13 Mar 2011 1:07 PM
Trebloc

Cross-eyed Mary.

Welcome aboard!  Would love to hear what you think about the derby trail. Now that your in the batters box it's time to swing!

13 Mar 2011 4:37 PM
Cross-eyed Mary

Trebloc,

OK and I'll let you know that I'm swinging for the fences too.

Jaycito,To Honor and Serve,Dialed In,Premier Pegusas and Break up the Game. HA!

13 Mar 2011 5:58 PM
Footlick

Thanks jayjay.  Just luck.  But I did like what Drysdale said about her.  Something made me take notice.

13 Mar 2011 6:32 PM
jayjay

Flame Thrower : Who did you bet on this weekend ?  This "fool" is curious as to what kind of genius bet you made so that I can learn.  If I may take a guess, $100 to win on Brethen?  Sure win right, as Draynay said, he was a cinch.  Come to think of it.."Watch Me Go" was in way over his head running against Brethren, not to mention that 16K claimer at 86-1.  With you being the genius, you'd probably respond to me and say Brethren was in way over his head against the top 2 finishers in the race eh?

I'd believe you're a genius if you had posted the "fools" comment BEFORE the San Felipe ran. Easy to say you "knew" he was in way over his head after the fact.

13 Mar 2011 7:49 PM
2:24

jon - I'll bet you $200 that Uncle Mo doesn't run within 1.6 seconds of Secretariat's time in the Belmont.  You get anything lower than 2:25 3/5, I take anything above.  Game?  Obviously I won't make you pay if Mo doesn't make it to the gate.

13 Mar 2011 8:00 PM
ruffianruns

Zookeeper,

Your kind, generous, good-natured spirit shines through in your words about your fine colt Runflatout and your praise for Premier Pegasus.  So glad to know you!

13 Mar 2011 9:29 PM
Forbidden Apple

Coldfacts,

Thank you so much for giving everyone a winner, Premier Pegasus was brilliant and powerful. You gave this horse out on tuesday March 8th, long before I ever noticed his potential. I scrapped my earlier pick of CTTTop and made a WP bet on Premier Pegasus. Lookout for Sway Away next weekend!jon,

Please check back to the D.D. blog, I wrote something that you should read. Your comments are incredibly rude and slanted. Am I the only one that actually read your nonsense? You just wrote that other horses will break down trying to beat Mo. Do you really wish for horses to break down? You also made a comment about a polytrack in California. Premier Pegasus ran a hole in the wind on DIRT! Have you been living under a rock? The Santa Anita surface is made of clay and dirt. World records and breaking Secretariat's Belmont record, are you serious? Now Mo is a triple crown winner and better than Man o' War. Wow, you are completely delusional, sit down and quit drinking the Pletcher tang. Mo ran 6f in 1:13 3/5, that is a joke. Premier Pegasus set 2 lengths off from a 44 2/5 opening half and then flew by the field, that was impressive! According to your logic, the Kentucky Derby should be cancelled. Churchill Downs should just mail the trophy to Pletcher and crown Mo a champion today. This skinny little horse is talented, but he will not be anywhere near the immortal Secretariat or Man o'War. Wake up pal, your dream is over.

Draynay,

Thank you for putting the jinx on Keertana. Just kidding, she actually was coming back on a short rest and Lezcano forgot that this race was 1 1/8 miles long. He kept her to far in the back, she will win next time out.

What is your excuse for the dreadful performance by Brethren? He was never on my radar, and the same goes for Stay Thirsty. If these two horses had different trainers, we would not even be talking about them.

You said that not many horses want to face mo. Why would any KY Derby contender want to run in an ungraded race around 1 turn for $100k? The only Derby Mo will win is the Timely Writer Derby. He did gallop out well and had excellent muscle tone, but he is a little horse. I have already started praying for him to win the Wood Memorial. I might even go down for the race to cheer him on. If he wins the Wood, that means that he will be an extreme underlay in the big dance!

13 Mar 2011 10:18 PM
Forbidden Apple

Correction: Premier Pegasus sat 8 lengths off from a 44 2/5 half mile

14 Mar 2011 12:47 AM
furlongs

DRAYNAY see what happens when you put your picks out on a blog BEFORE the races! You look avg at best! HAHAHA Funny how the claimer even beat Brethren. You stopped another one. Better stick to what you usually do and just come on here after the races and tell us how much you won. Don't you think??

14 Mar 2011 1:08 AM
GunBow

Zookeeper:

Your class deserves success.  Saturday wasn't Runflatout's day, but better times await.  Running in a gr.2 off one start is no easy task, and it was made impossible when he had to go 108 and change.  I think cutting back to 7 furlongs, maybe a mile, and a drop to allowance or ungraded stakes will give everyone a true read on his tlaent.  Good luck.

14 Mar 2011 3:51 AM
Billy's Empire

Biscuit: I would hope you were being sarcastic with the below statement, but I doubt you were

"I was surprised at how much Velazquez had to shake the reins to get Mo to pull away from a weak horse like Rattlesnake Bridge."

Do you mean the one time he shook the reigns and looked back to see if anyone else was coming, not even taking out the whip, and winning in a hand ride? What race were you watching?

14 Mar 2011 12:04 PM
stevebiscuit

Billy, I was watching the race where Mo was allowed soft fractions against a group of maiden winners and claimers. This field was so weak that Mine That Bird could just as easily have won it. Sorry, but I'd like to wait until Mo proves he's not another War Pass before I declare him a great horse.

15 Mar 2011 2:04 PM
Billy's Empire

I was referring to the shake the reigns comment. He let his hands out, and that is about it. I could care less if you declare him a great horse, but flat out lying about the race to make yourself feel better is sad.

15 Mar 2011 3:23 PM

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