Will The Factor be our Derby Favorite?

The Arkansas Derby is the final major prep race that will be run and it has become the most important one of the season.

With only three weeks until the Kentucky Derby, we are without a standout favorite. The only horse that can change that is The Factor. If he wins the Arkansas Derby on Saturday, whether it's by a nose or seven lengths, he becomes the one to beat on May 7. Despite being a seemingly one-dimensional speed burner, The Factor would be the only 3-year-old to have three graded stakes wins this year. Whether you think he has distance limitations or not, he would be the morning-line favorite at Churchill Downs.

What if The Factor struggles in the Arkansas Derby? Well then, it looks like Dialed In would be the favorite and Derby 137 would probably be the most wide-open renewals since 2002 when Harlan's Holiday was sent off as the 6-1 favorite.

Arkansas Derby

The Factor is brilliantly fast and unless something unforeseen happens, will have the lead into the first turn. But unlike the Rebel when he was on top by 2 1/2 lengths after a :23 1/5 first quarter, he will not have an uncontested lead this time. Dance City and Javier Castellano will make sure of that. Dance City is very quick from the gate and he will be sent. D. Wayne Lukas doesn't have much choice but to send Saratoga Red from post 13 either, and J P's Gusto adds blinkers, so they both should help ensure a quick pace. The $1 million question is, can The Factor take the heat and run on?

The Rebel was an indication that The Factor has improved his ability to relax on the lead and according to Bob Baffert, he has gotten even better at that in his two subsequent works. If he can rate on the lead and still leave something for the final eighth of a mile, he will win. I see him running very well again and he must be included in all exotic wagers, even at a short price.

However, I'm going to take a shot to beat him for the top spot with Elite Alex. I played against Elite Alex in the Southwest and Louisiana Derby. He drew outside posts and was a short price in both. This time, he draws more favorably from post 2 and will be an attractive price; maybe 8-1 or more. The addition of blinkers and the instructions that Calvin Borel not drop too far back will have him closer to the pace. Hopefully, he will not have to circle six-wide like he did in his last two starts. Let's be honest, they were not Borel's finest rides. The added distance and quick pace should only help him too. I think this is the race he finally puts it all together.

I will also use Alternation and Brethren. I thought Alternation was sitting on a big race in the Rebel. Unfortunately, he didn't get a chance to run after being scratched for his gate antics. Apparently, those problems have been resolved and he is ready to roll. This colt is built for two turns and if he gets a quick pace should be rolling at the end. He is coupled with Caleb's Posse, which isn't a bad thing, considering he ran second in the Rebel and also has win over the track.

Brethren should be more involved with the addition of blinkers and could get a nice stalking trip instead of having to run on the lead like he did Tampa Bay Derby. And don't be surprised if Dance City runs on. This is his stakes debut but he's no rabbit. He beat a pretty darn good horse in Cal Nation last month and broke his maiden at 1 1/8 miles. I think Nehro will be overbet here and will regress a bit.

Blue Grass Stakes

Anyone have a dart? I can make a serious case for all 12 horses here. On paper, there isn't much separating any of them. Who the heck knows how this race will play out. Santiva could sit just off a moderate pace and kick away late. Joes Blazing Aaron may get an easy lead and be gone. Or we could have someone come from off the pace to pick them all up.

No matter who you like, just remember this: Last year's winner (Stately Victor) won at 40-1 and the three previous years, horses at 8-1 came in. The trifectas in the last three years were $4,291, $1,399, and $3,313. What I'm saying is, take your shots in this race.

My shots are going to be with Queen'splatekitten and Crimson China. Both draw outside posts and both are dead closers. Queen'splatekitten just may be the most talented horse in this group. Go back and watch his maiden win on Woodbine's Polytrack and his allowance win on the Gulfstream turf. He has an explosive closing kick. He was privately bought for a large sum after his maiden win with the June 26 Queen's Plate in mind. He needs a decent pace, but if he gets it he will be flying late. He is 12-1 on the morning line.

Crimson China was also a private purchase after he broke his maiden on the Polytrack in England. He won a 1 1/8-mile allowance race on the Gulfstream turf in his first start of the year and was being pointed to the Spriral Stakes. He was excluded from that race because of earnings but ran a good second, also closing into a moderate pace, in the Rushaway. Getting back to nine furlongs should help him. The connections also have Spiral winner Animal Kingdom, and they think this colt is every bit as talented. he is 10-1 on the morning line.

My boxes will also include Santiva, Wilkinson, who has a good second over this track last year, and Willcox Inn. Willcox Inn ran second to Great Mills in the Grindstone Stakes last out and Great Mills came back to run huge in Keeneland's grade III Transylvania last week.

Good luck. Who do you like?


Leave a Comment:

Billy's Empire

Oaklwan has been speed favoring all meet. This has caused trainers to add blinkers to a few horses to keep them closer to the pace. The Factor and Dance City are going to the front, but I am still waiting on the beautifully bred Alternation to show up and make some noise. Sway Away will need to be closer, and so will Elite Alex.

If the Factor does win impressively, he is the favorite May 7th. Otherwise, it is going to be Dialed In. Mo will maybe be third choice. The sleeper that I hope everyone overlooks is MMM. He is going to be ITM on Derby Day. I have to get out and watch him on the CD track still, but he may play the wiseguy horse this year.

15 Apr 2011 11:45 AM
Billy's Empire

Bluegrass is a toss up, but I will go with King Congie, Wilcox Inn, QPK, and Santiva in a box. This race is a crapshoot. Just bet the longest shot and you could have a 46-1 stately victor type of race again.... Damn POLYTRACK

15 Apr 2011 11:49 AM

I think the stars are lined up in this one for Elite Alex.  But don't discount Brethren yet.  There seems to be more talent there than he is being given credit for.  He was hung out very wide in Tampa and its a big disadvantage.  He is going to get a nice trip behind the speed of The Factor and Dance City.  Make no mistake Dance City is going after The Factor and both will finish out of the money.  EA and Brethren exacta box.  I don't know if Santiva wins or not but he is a tough horse and will be on my ticket in May no matter what.

15 Apr 2011 12:01 PM
no rider

If The Factor can't handle being pushed on the front at 1 1/8 miles I believe Von Hemel has a very good chance to go 1-2 with Alternation and Calebs Posse. Archarcharch also looks good coming off his big race in the Rebel after getting beat up in the gate. I like Elite Alex but I believe its going to take a little more maturing for him to win this race. The addition of blinkers might be what he needs. This race is a big one and with all the upsets that have alrdy happened we might see a new horse on the derby list.

15 Apr 2011 12:13 PM
40 year santa anita guy

this guy can talk all day , i bet . but there really is only one question in the arkansas derby , if The Factor continues to improve , they're all in trouble on the 1st saturday in may !!!! if he don't then the only other horse in the race is Sway Away , he was making up ground on The Factor earlier in his career at Santa Anita and the rebel was just a easy lead for The Factor , and don't forget that THE WORLDS BEST RACE RIDER is going to be on Sway Away saturday . When PATRICK VALENZUELA is on anything , the horse moves up 5 lengths or better . everyone is finally starting to trust P-VAL again , and it's just a matter of time before he wins the triple crown on a great horse , they took garrett gomez off of Sway Away to get P-VAL , WATCH OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 Apr 2011 12:21 PM
The Rock

Kent Desormeaux + 2 year olds = disaster.

15 Apr 2011 1:18 PM

I don't think the public is that easily fooled. If the Factor wins with a steady margin, he is the favorite. If it's diminishing or close, I think not. People will throw out the Wood and stick with Mo, the horse that has made over a million dollars or they go for Dialed In. If the Factor loses or his margin shrinks closer to the wire, people know when Mo is in top form he crushes the competition and he's done it before. At Churchill.

15 Apr 2011 2:41 PM

I think Bataglia already has the Factor as the Derby favorite and unless he runs horribly in the Arkansas he is probably going to be no worse than second choice May 7. If he is going to be caught in the Arkansas I see Sway Away as being the one to run him down.

15 Apr 2011 3:02 PM
factor this

The Factor is the most talented 3 yr old so far this year by a mile. Expect him to win the Ark. Derby then we'll see if he can handle the big one. At least a dozen horses or more have had better 3 yr old campaigns than Uncle Mo has to this point. So far no greatness out of that one. A minor stakes win that was written just for him and a fading 3rd in a G1 don't add up to much.

15 Apr 2011 3:37 PM
Matthew W

The Factor is the one to beat this Sat....at Charles Town, I'm boxing Tackleverry/Acclamation/Inherit The Gold....today I boxed Harve De Grace/Miss Match and put a little win $$ on Miss Match as I thought her Santa Margarita was a strong race--as for Smiling Tiger, he looked real good yesterday--they only went 22 2/5, but I sure didn't see a speed bias--that's what a good horse will do.....

15 Apr 2011 3:41 PM
Matthew W

Nobody's taking off Gomez to get PVal--PVal is a great talent, but I wish he were not riding at Santa Anita--he rides his as well as many other horses in the race, ala Cordero, and I, for one, do not like it--I do not like a jock who rides on the edge, so much so that he changes the outcome of the race--ride your own horse/don't mess up the race for everybody else! He moves up SOME horses--if he moved up every horse five lengths he would be #1--he is not # 1, and the best jock riding is Joel Rosario....

15 Apr 2011 3:47 PM
Matthew W

Joes Blazing Aaron/Wilcox Inn at Keeneland, box and both to win.....

15 Apr 2011 3:48 PM

Will be interesting to see if The Factor can settle with the expected pressure from Dance City, although no horse will beat him to the lead.

Ex box:

The Factor

Alternation entry

Sway Away

Looking for The Factor to dominate and win.

Will pass the Bluegrass, as Jason pointed out, take your pick, anything can happen. I need Santiva in RTTR and will be pulling for him.  Wide open.

Good Luck!

15 Apr 2011 3:52 PM

Unless The Factor shows a different dimension at Oaklawn, he will not be my choice in the Derby (though he could go off the favorite).  Front runners need one of two things to win the Ky Derby.  Either be overwhelmingly better than the rest of the field (like Seattle Slew or Spend a Buck) or get a slow pace (like War Emblem).  I don't see either of these in The Factor.

15 Apr 2011 4:20 PM
Monarchos Matt


The Factor certainly appears to be worth trying to beat here at a price given the likely pace scenario. This could very well set up for the late runners while taking him and Brethren both completely out of the money, so the play here is to try to beat them both altogether. I don't see this as a race where the Factor ruins my exacta by running second. I think he'll either run away from the field or finish off the board completely.

Brethren doesn't appear to want any part of the distance; he couldn't come home after setting much slower fractions in the Tampa Bay Derby (:48.2) than he'll have to chase here so I'm not sure how to justify playing him when he'll have to go longer...he also wasn't flattered at all by the Illinois Derby outcome. I also tend to think that Nehro may have to go early out of the #1 hole and Archarcharch may be more forwardly placed then some might think, and this may wear them both down earlier than might be ideal, neutralizing their late kick.

Instead I'll also look to Elite Alex for the win spot for many of the same reasons posted above in Jason's blog, and also because any duplication of his :12.0 final eighth and incredible :35.6 final 3/8 from the Louisiana Derby if he's closer to lead should win this race fairly easily. Also think he's been working as well as anyone and remind myself that these Afleet Alex colts tend to make sudden improvement leaps after building the kind of foundation he has so far in his three races this year (think Afleet Express in last year's Travers).

Sway Away had excuses last time out and I love his pedigree for stretching out as much as any of this year's three year old crop. And I'll take a shot on Alternation as well, given his similar running style- if I like Elite Alex, I suppose I have to give him some respect as well from his hard closing victory over that one here in January. Can't really say anything negative about his pedigree either. Also get a free shot at Caleb's Posse thanks to the coupled entry, and while he wouldn't be one of my top selections, he certainly made the most impressive late move of anyone in the Rebel.

Exacta Box: Elite Alex, Sway Away, Alternation/Caleb's Posse

Win/Place: Elite Alex

Place: Sway Away

15 Apr 2011 4:27 PM
Art in AZ

Love your blogs. But here you go again with Elite Alex! I was stupid enough to  put some money on him in Pool 1 &2  of the futures. He has not shown anything that would convince me he will be a factor in the AD let alone the KD if by some mircacle he gets in. The horse does not finish in time to win!! Horses like him are better left out of the equation. This humble handicrapper's pick: The Factor, Sway Away, ArchArch Arch, Alternation, Nehro, Elite Alex (again a little too late!)

15 Apr 2011 4:33 PM
Jason Shandler

Art: This is the first time I picked him.

15 Apr 2011 4:39 PM

From what I understand The Factor got tested by the track in the Rebel.  He came in blowing harder than normal.  He had to dig down and find something more because the track was deeper than he was used to.  He did.  He won going away.  This is a tough colt and he's blindingly fast.  I've seen him run live.  He burns up a track.  He's settling down.  He's listening more.  Not as hard headed.  Rating The Factor was a near impossibility before the Rebel.  He hated to be told what to do.  He's maturing mentally and learning the game.  If he relaxes in the Arkansas and saves a bit, he'll be dangerous.  If they can bottle all that speed and dribble it out when they need to, he'll be deadly in the Derby.  This is a highly competitive mind racing here.  He will dominate or die trying.

15 Apr 2011 4:43 PM
Monarchos Matt

Art in AZ- He's hopefully going to be much closer to the pace than he was in the Louisiana Derby. He just worked a :58.3 5f and galloped out 7f like he wasn't even winded. He's feeling it, and the pace scenario sets the race up perfectly for him.

But I agree, if Borel takes him 14 lengths off the pace in the early going again I'll be worried. But again, that isn't the instruction for him in this race as I understand it.

15 Apr 2011 4:46 PM
Matthew W

Both Inherit The Gold and Tackleberry love 1 1/8---as for Acclamation, he's by Unusual Heat out of a Silveyville mare--Silveyville was one tough Cal-bred! He won many races, mostly on grass--he won the Hollywood Derby cuz he beat me by a nose that day, and paid boxcars...Acclamation won a GrI and GrII last year, and he came back huge, setting the pace in the Kilroe Mile, and finishing up in 24 1/5, which was just not fast enough for those tough guys--tom he'll be 15-1 ish--I like him a lot/I like him more than Game On Dude, who gets the ten hole--I love the Cal-bred and the New York bred tom! They are both quality horses, capable of running one/two in that very tough race....

15 Apr 2011 4:51 PM
art in az

Jason,My apologies! Somehow I was thinking of Mr. Haskin who continues  to pick Elite Alex despite his miaerable performance in his last 2 preps.

15 Apr 2011 4:58 PM

Everybody speakes of The Factor going out front and the pressure he will face setting it up for the closers.Mr Baffert said he's settling down,now what happens if we find him stalking the pace??

15 Apr 2011 5:22 PM

I've been amazed at everything The Factor has done this year. Each time I thought he wouldn't be able to go much longer, but he sure has proven me wrong. If he wins the AD with pressure up front he truly has a huge shot to take the Derby. I haven'g given up on Brethren though. I have liked him from the beginning and one bad race hasn't changed that. Santiva needs very little graded money, so he needs to run well in the BG to be a big Derby contender. He seem to have some early stalking speed and then just keep on grinding it out. What are people's opinion that if UM doesn't get to the Derby that Pletcher will put in R Heat Lightning? She ran a second faster than the boys in the FD and the FD numbers turned out to be better than the preps since then, so far!

15 Apr 2011 5:48 PM

Does blinkers on make a diff with JP GUSTO??

Some really good works coming in..

15 Apr 2011 5:49 PM

I can't leave The Factor off my bets. I'd be too mad at myself if he wins in Ark. and I didn't include him because his odds were too low. I'll play the horses you picked Jason plus The Factor. It will cost more money but I'm tired of kicking myself.

15 Apr 2011 6:17 PM
Mike Relva


I agree,that's who I'm picking King C.

15 Apr 2011 6:20 PM

For those of you who were on the Noon Live Blog now is the time to thank me for giving you the winner Get Stormy.  I believe he paid over 10 bucks so you can send 50% of your winnings directly to me.  Thank you.

15 Apr 2011 6:21 PM

If you followed my comments from the Live Blog at 12:25 and 12:28 you got rich today.  You're welcome.

15 Apr 2011 6:25 PM

What are people's opinion that if UM doesn't get to the Derby that Pletcher will put in R Heat Lightning? WILD HORSES 15 Apr 2011 5:48 PM

She Wasn't nominated to the Triple Crown, if the connections did decide to enter her it would cost them $200,000. Do not know what her graded earnings are right now.

15 Apr 2011 6:29 PM
Mike Relva


15 Apr 2011 7:07 PM

they said the factor would be 7/2 if the derby was run today unless mo comes back with unbelievable works.

in the ark derby i like alternation, and saratoga red. i think the factor is going to be tough to beat. ill take the factor over saratoga red but as a back up ill go alternation over elite alex.

since the bluegrass is wide open. im leaning towards sensational slam over wilkinson. i like sensational slam because he's 2-2 over a synthetic track and wilkinson ran well over this track earlier in his career and maybe the layoff took a toll on him last race so ill give him another chance. santiva looks good but he's seems like a ? to me cause of his race career. but he was second in the G1 breeders futurity so ill put him on top of brilliant speed. i think brilliant speed will run well cause of the surface and that he has joel rosario on him so thats a positive right there.

15 Apr 2011 7:10 PM

The Factor will win. Also Baffert won't use him anymore than he has to. The electric eye popping stuff is yet to come. This guy is special, long, lean and FAST !

15 Apr 2011 7:59 PM

I don’t know about The Factor. He’s raced four times now and to me he’s still a mystery. He wasn’t challenged at all in his last and even though he was running fast he was well within himself so he wasn’t being stressed.  Every quarter in the Rebel was slower than the previous one and with his 6.2 final 16th translating to a 25.20 final quarter (which was a slower quarter still) he was not running faster in the stretch and yet was pulling away from the rest, which doesn’t say much for them.

So to me that tells me nothing about going 10F or even 9F. Now, if he should win the AD and again not be pressed I wouldn’t touch him in the Derby. However, If he should win the AD and be pressed say starting somewhere in the backstretch and go on and win, then if I bet the Derby he would be my bet, no doubt about it because he would be showing superior capabilities.

15 Apr 2011 8:19 PM

Mr. Art, not that Mr. Haskin needs me to defend him, but you might rethink your evaluation of his evaluation of Elite Alex...yeah he likes him tomorrow, but I don't believe he liked him from the #10 spot in his last. I am going to give Elite Alex a little rope, since I believe his dad should have won the triple crown in '05, but Mike Smith had other ideas. It would be just desserts for Mr. Ritchey. Aside, P.Val will "adjust" The Factors' game plan. Look for runners from the second flight as he will have plenty of company early and often, and maybe Mr. Baffert will try him on the lawn[one can only hope]

15 Apr 2011 9:02 PM
Point Given

The Factor keeps WINNING,Garcia keeps RIDING,Baffert keeps COLLECTING,(Asst Trainer)keeps RECEIVING and George Bolton(owner)keeps MOVING ON to the TC races.

Tomorrow "WILL DO IT LIVE".

15 Apr 2011 9:51 PM

I think the Arkansas Derby is the key prep this year. 1st there is the big horse: The Factor 2nd we have the winners of early preps: Archarcharch,calebs posse, jps gusto and Brethren 3rd the potential horses: alternation, elite alex ,sway away and nehro. I will watch all these horses closely.

I will play the factor on top

Playing elite,1 and 1a horses arch sway away and brethren

15 Apr 2011 10:20 PM

The Factor has earned both a 5 and 5.25 Ragozin numbers for his two starts this year.

These represent the best two races of any three year old to date.

That said, with the numbers that his competition brings to the table for the AD, The Factor has a huge margin of error not to win.

Translation=The Factor would nearly have to breakdown to lose this race.

15 Apr 2011 11:09 PM

The Blinkers may keep Elite and Borel closer to the pace but it also may take away his closing kick.  I will toss.  I believe AAA is the winner.  50 WP  

Blue Grass I love Crimson China, He needs some pace and should recieve it.  Due to the the races history I am going to take a shot on the trifecta and go 11 with all with all.  110 bucks. If I am lucky enough to get 6 to 1 on him I will also play a 50 w/p bet.

Crimson China is my best bet tomorrow.  Anyone else have a best bet?  Good luck

15 Apr 2011 11:13 PM

Don't forget about R Heat Lightning....she could run in the Derby if Mo doesn't. I think she would be the Factor and Dialed in handily if she doesn't go in the Oaks.  I am nervous about Mo's health and want to see him improve.

16 Apr 2011 12:23 AM
quiet american 55

sway away super key over; elite alex, caleb's posse, alternation, archarcharch, jw blue.  sway away goes off as second choice in ky-derby.

16 Apr 2011 12:37 AM

The Factor deserves to be feared.  For those pedigree analysts among us, consider his bottom line.  Greyciousness is out of Skatingonthinice, herself a useful racemare, and dam of Chief Seattle (GI). Go back a generation, and you find on the top side Icecapade, half to brother to Ruffian, out of Shenanigans, who was by Native Dancer.  If anyone my age (47) remembers, Ruffian had BLAZING speed, always went straight to the front, but proved she could get the distance.  I'm hoping The Factor honors his royal (Ruffian) ancestry tomorrow.  By the way, I have a son of Chief Seattle, a 6 year old Tb gelding (nearly 18 hands), who is enjoying his post-retirement career as a show jumper.

16 Apr 2011 12:59 AM

The Factor = Miler

16 Apr 2011 1:17 AM

the factor will take this field wire to wire if Sway Away does not keep him in his focus.

by the way how come Johnny V got away with a fine where he can choose where that money goes? so that he can deduct that money from his taxes. Way to go Kentucky horse racing board you are as corrupt as them.

16 Apr 2011 1:30 AM

How about an exacta box on the Afleet Alex horses, Elite Alex and Sway Away?

16 Apr 2011 1:57 AM
Joe Alva

C Hoffman:

Fabulous insights on The Factor!  I think you may be right in saying that the horse "will either dominate or die trying."  We'll see what happens at Oaklawn tomorrow, but my sense is that there is no quit in this guy and he will continue to outrun his pedigree.  If he wins tomorrow, he is clearly the main danger in the Derby.  Beyers-wise, he has consistently been suprerior to all the others in this crop so far.


I would be surprised to see Pletcher run R Heat Lightning in the Derby.  Last year he ran Devil May Care there and although she ran decently, the race took a ton out of her and she could not get back to racing for a while.  Fillies just cannot take the banging around of a twenty horse field the same way colts do.  Fillies that have won the Derby or run in the money were amazon-types -- Winning Colors, Genuine Risk, and Eight Belles were pretty big gals and, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, who obviously did not run in the Derby, had success against males because they were huge.  I don't know how big a filly R Heat Lightning is, but I have a feeling Pletcher won't make the same mistake two years in a row.


Thanks for the insights on the two races tomorrow -- they are great.  I don't sometimes agree with you, but these make a lot of sense to me.

Good luck to all tomorrow!

16 Apr 2011 2:12 AM

The Apple Blossom has always been one of my favorite races, and it didn't disappoint this year.

Given its timing and geographic location, the Apple Blossom has become the first major race for the leaders of the distaff division from throughout the country to meet.  Although the field was small yesterday, it had quality.

With all respect to Awesome Maria, who has looked strong at Gulfstream, Havre de Grace cemented her position atop the distaff division with a stylish win in the Apple Blossom.  This filly ran some strong races against Blind Luck last year and has come back better at age 4.  She has tactical speed and an excellent closing kick that can carry her 10 furlongs.  Compared to last year, she is really relaxing well now, and this improvement allowed her to sit back and wait to pounce as Switch worked hard to wrestle the lead from Absinthe Minded.

Switch ran as well as she could to get 2nd.  I believe Switch is better around 1 turn, but a 2-turn 8.5 furlongs is still in her wheelhouse; and note that she closed in about 6 seconds flat in the Apple Blossom.  Switch was running hard to the wire; she simply got beat by a better filly.

Havre de Grace can now focus on all the major distaff races around the country.  Since she won't have to face Awesome Maria at Gulfstream, I give Havre the advantage in that matchup.  

As for Switch, I really think they should focus on the Humana Distaff and then the Ballerina later followed by the BC Filly + Mare Sprint.  In between, perhaps some of those 1-turn 8.5-9 furlong stakes at Belmont or the occasional 2-turn 8.5 furlong race(Lady's Secret) is worth a shot.  I do think Switch can win a gr.1 over a mile, as long as Havre is not running.  If nothing else, Switch has become remarkably consistent, winning 2 gr.1 races and running 2nd in 4 gr.1s  her last 6 races.  

I didn't fancy Miss Match at all in the Apple Blossom.  She totally took advantage of a Switch-Always a Princess speed duel(which produced a 133 and 4 mile split) in a race in which Switch was the best horse.  In a 5 horse field, Miss Match wasn't going to get the same setup, and she didn't.

Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass look interesting.  The Arkansas Derby has come up the deepest prep and the Blue Grass a great betting race.

Obviously, The Factor is the horse to watch today.  My gut feeling is that he should win the Arkansas Derby, but it will be MUCH tougher than the Rebel and I expect him to be losing ground through the stretch;  I've never viewed The Factor as a Kentucky Derby winner.

And I think Jason has the right approach for the Blue Grass.  Box some longshots(and maybe one of the favorites) in some exotics and cross your fingers.  I viewed the SA Derby the same way.

16 Apr 2011 3:33 AM

The Rock :  Had luck today at GG Fields and hit the late P4 - singled the 6 on the first leg for fity cent.  Not bad payoff for a $12 ticket.

Here are my picks for the weekend :



1, 2 / 1, 2, 10, 11  /  1, 2, 10, 11 /  1, 2, 10, 11

1, 2 / 1, 8, 2, 5 / 1, 8, 2, 5, 3

1,10 / 1, 10, 8 / 1, 10, 8, 11, 3, 5

$ 0.50 TRIFECTAS :

1, 2 / 1, 2, 5, 13  / 1,  2,  5, 13

1, 10 / 1, 10, 5, 6 / 1, 10, 5, 6,  8

2, 10 / 2, 10, 1 / 1, 2, 10, 3, 13


9, 12 / 9, 12, 6, 3 / 9, 12, 6, 3

9, 12 / 9, 12, 7 / 9, 12, 7, 11

12, 7 / 12, 7, 9 / 12, 7, 9, 6


9, 12 / 9, 12, 10 / 9, 12, 10, 6, 4, 11, 8

12, 7 / 12, 7, 5, 11 / 12, 7, 5, 11, 10, 4

I'm sure i'll have more combinations but mainly with my picks and just adding some longshots depending on who I like in the post parade.  Of course, I'll also have my regular 0.50 superfectas which will be duplicates of my tri bets.  I'll see how TF looks during the parade, maybe I'll put him on the 2nd spot.  I just don't think he'll be a factor in this race.  It doesn't mean he won't go to the Derby, I just don't think he'll be as dominant like he was in the Rebel.  Nehro is my Funny Cide - the only thing I don't like about Nehro is the jockey, NakNak.

Good luck to all betting tomorrow!

16 Apr 2011 4:53 AM
Matthew W

Some good races this weekend--my singles tom at Santa Anita are Cozi Rosie in the 9th race and Jade's Song in the 10th....tough to win a stakes aroung two turns off a long layoff--but I like, in Golden Gate race three, Seismic Speed to do just that, with Frank Alvarado....Los Al I'm also on two horses who are making their first starts of the year--race two Bond Is Back (6-1) and race ten Two Blessings (7-2)....over at Charles Town, in what I think is the race of the day, I mean they really came up with a fine field of ten--I ended up boxing Tackleberry/Acclamation/Inherit  The Gold/Duke Of Mischief for the exacta, and playing Acclamation/Inherit The Gold to win, the Cal bred and the N Y bred, both on top....as for Arkansas, I like Archarcharch boxed with The Factor, who is the likely winner--they won't beat him tom....Keeneland I like two longshots--one of them is Willcox Inn, the other's name, he's ridden by GOmez and I love him on top---12-1 and he has a weird name, I can't find it, I think I left it at my friend's house....what a pic of Calvin Borel at the White House, with Laura Bush, Queen Elizabeth, President George Bush and Borel's stunningly beautiful wife Lisa.....I saw that pic when I was looking for that Keeneland race--oh, there it is--Joe's Blazing Aaron, I like him/not the name.....

16 Apr 2011 5:57 AM
Mike from Michigan

Bob LaPenta doesn't purchase a horse unless it's a good one.  Truman's Commander takes the Arkansas Derby.

16 Apr 2011 7:32 AM

Mike are you ever right?  Switch?  You honestly thought Switch was going to beat Havre De Grace?  HDG has the potential to be the greatest older filly since Personal Ensign.

16 Apr 2011 8:52 AM
Big Louie


I like the way you think. Got a funny feeling we just might see The Factor sitting 2nd or 3rd this race.

He's going to the Derby for sure and there's no reason not to see what he can do sitting behind other horses. He loses? They run him on the lead in the Derby. He wins? Then watch out!

16 Apr 2011 8:57 AM

Mike Relva and the rest of you folks, more of draynay claiming to know it all and lying after the fact to try and make you believe it.

Here is his post the day after the 2009 Ky Derby,

"Next year I am going to do what I said I was going to do this year... I am placing 100 bucks on Calvin Borel every race he is in and will count my winnings at the end... I have a feeling I will be much further ahead then I was this year....shame I didn't do it this year."

draynay 03 May 2009 1:14 PM

This is in direct conflict with what he wants you to believe now. He says he was going to make the bet but decided not to then but now he lies to make you think he it was just a mistake that he didn't.

Fast forward to today and here is his recent post to Mike Relva claiming the he was going to make the bet but blaming his poor wife for not making the bet. As you can see he's lying through what teeth he has left.

"Mike, 2 things upset me about Mine That Bird.  The first was I didn't get my Borel bet in because I thought my wife had done it and she thought I had done it.  The second thing that upset me is he was a FLUKE winner and won only because Borel was on him."

draynay 08 Apr 2011 1:57 PM

draynay is an attention seeker. Something he lacks draws him to lie and make outrageous comments so people notice him even if it is in a negative way.

16 Apr 2011 9:37 AM


Love Gomez on the 4

TRI Wheel

3/4 with 3/4 with 2,6,8,9,11

Arkansas Derby:

Box Exacta

1 with all

Good Luck everyone..

16 Apr 2011 9:41 AM

Johnny, like your thoughts on the 2 big races...I will include Makers other runner Twinspired....feeling is he is sittin on top effort, after disappointing effort in last...Albarado takes call, and the price will be right. Wouldn't be too quik to toss Brethren, and a user on my exotix @ Oaklawn is the #11 JW Blue...he is working too good not to be included, from capable connection...I think The Factor will have company early and the result may give us a nice parimutual

16 Apr 2011 10:53 AM


“However, I'm going to take a shot to beat him for the top spot with Elite Alex”

You are indeed brave to use this horse on top. I have seen enough of him to conclude he is average on dirt and belong on turf. I could be wrong but his progression suggests he is just below classic standard. His two OP races were average at best. His first at 8F resulted in a 2nd place finish to Alternation in 1:42. His second was in the Southwest where finished in 3rd beaten 2 1/2L in 1:38 1/5. In the SW he was one pace from the 6F point.  In the LA derby he made only mild progress from far back to be beaten by 4 1/4l. He has been working brilliantly in his lead up to the AK derby. I find his exercise works similar to those of Jaycito before the San Felipe. Jaycito was flying in the mornings and in the San Felipe he tailed off to last and closed for second. Elite Alex was close to the pace in only one of his 4 starts and if he is put into the race today he is unlikely to hit the board. I remain convinced this colt is very average and a bad choice for the top spot.

The horses I will be boxing with The Factor are J W Blue, Nehro and Trueman’s Commander.  J W Blue was not mentioned in your post but I think he ran best race of those finishing behind the The Factor in the Rebel. He is a very big colt with a beautiful stride and will be the beneficiary of a fast pace than most. He drew post 13 in the Rebel and had to be taken back to save ground. That left him about 17L last. He closed impressively to finish 1 3/4L, 1 ½L, 3/4L behind Cable’s Posse, ArchArchArch and Saratoga Red respectively. He finished ahead of Sway Away and J P Justo in what was his stakes debut and second race in 88 days. With all the colt adding blinkers to chase The Factor they are going to be spent in the last 16th and this colt can pick up the pieces.

16 Apr 2011 11:02 AM

I just have to say I love the way The Factor is relaxing in his works.  I can't predict whether it will translate to race day, but Garcia is doing a great job with him.  I'm not betting anything this weekend, so I'm just going to enjoy.  Frankel looked very impressive in his trial for the 2000 today.  Have a prosperous day!

16 Apr 2011 11:19 AM
Point Given

(1)The Factor (M. Garcia)

(2)Nehro (C. Nakatani)

(3)Sway Away (P. Valenzuela)

Santa Anita Jockeys Trifecta.

16 Apr 2011 11:21 AM
So Cal Racer

FACTOR? well Factor this..lets look at the statistic with all the trainer most repeat win on KY Derby is won by trainer that does well on prep races not necessary win but in the money, the main point is they want to win the KY Derby and need to have enough earning to get in.. so if they have enough earning they will not push their horse to win again and again on prep races ! will Factor win? maybe but look at the earning ask yourself will the trainer keep on pushing to win or reserve it for the run for the Roses? some other trainer look like they want to win the KY Derby but they fail because they push their horse hard to win most of the prep races..leaving nothing left for the main race the KY Derby and what happen? you got it..lost.     on today race find value.. this is prep race any one has a shot but finding the right one is tough but to the open minded people you will.. good luck.

16 Apr 2011 11:57 AM
Point Given

The Legends Trifecta

(1)The Factor (Baffert)

(2)Truman's Commander (Zito)

(3)Saratoga Red (Lukas)

16 Apr 2011 11:58 AM
Zen's Auntie

The Factor, is just WAY too sexy to not like for this win.  

I like Arch 3x for place this time - I hope he gets enough money to make the KD as his grinderstyle after a not so hot start might be just the ticket.  

My daughters tip is Trumans Commander she says Zito is HOT and his last work is good and she says he will be up for it at the end.

Tackleberry, my favorite older male, has Hchutspa, and should like the surface.  He is the kind of horse that knows how not to lose so I like him to win.

Joe's Blazing Aaron should relish the Poly and is a gritty tested critter that can handle competition.  I would LOVE it if he makes the Derby for his connections.  

Good Luck and prayers for safe trips to all and how bout a nod to God for the miracle or E. Coa

16 Apr 2011 12:20 PM
Mike Relva


You are on point. It's just a game as you say seeking attention. Makes you wonder what goes on inside his head,now you see what he does with his massive amount of spare time!

16 Apr 2011 12:22 PM
Mike Relva


Yeah,I was wrong,but unlike you I don't have a problem indicating that.

16 Apr 2011 12:24 PM

Draynot I am the liar?  Funny I am the ONLY one on ANY BLOG posting some of his winning tickets.  When you post some then you can talk.  Maybe it's time to leave your moms basement.

16 Apr 2011 12:40 PM

I think it's pretty much a lucky bag this year. Uncle Mo, The Factor, Santiva and Dialed In might indeed be the best - but so far every new, "hot," colt has thrown in a real clunker. I can forgive Uncle Mo - most of us with with GI-tract infections just curl up in bed and moan and groan; he went out and did his best - but I'm very disappointed in the others I've been watching. I know the winner of the Derby is very often not the best of his crop, but this year I'm really not sure quite who IS the best. And isn't that part of the mystique of the Derby: anyone can grab the dream! Good luck to all of 'em come the first Saturday in May and whoever comes under the wire first, may ne go on and prove himself the rest of the year. If I was betting, I think I'd still hang with Uncle Mo or maybe The Factor ... maybe ...

16 Apr 2011 12:59 PM
Sunny Farm


You were right on about GET STORMY.

I'm glad you made some money.

I think DANCE CITY may do better than you suspect though, if he can rate & not become too excitable early..so to DANCE CITY & Jockey :

"Breath in...Breath out"...

16 Apr 2011 1:09 PM
Zen's Auntie

I'm a bit confused about the AD morning line -

How is Sway Away 6:1 (I know he got a 103 behind the Factor at the Santa Anita Speedway 2 back but earned just a 95 finishing 6th in his last against many of the same here, and Elite Alex 8:1 (whos never run better thatn his Maiden breaker 94)  They shoulda kept Napravnik on him hes gone 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th respectively in his 4 starts Huh??

while Calebs Posse is 10:1 and A3x is 12:1 (both got 98's last out behind The Factor)

I kinda get Nehro at 5:1 as his last was a mile and an 8th but still only garnering a 96....

Morning Lines often confound me...

16 Apr 2011 2:36 PM
Pedigree Ann

" Fillies just cannot take the banging around of a twenty horse field the same way colts do.  Fillies that have won the Derby or run in the money were amazon-types -- Winning Colors, Genuine Risk, and Eight Belles were pretty big gals and, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, who obviously did not run in the Derby, had success against males because they were huge."   - Joe Alva

How old are you, Joe? Genuine Risk was an average-sized and quite feminine filly, not an Amazon like Winning Colors. But then, she ran in a field of only 13. People didn't run horses just because they had qualifying earnings in those days; they ran only if they thought they could win.

You would be surprised at how many fillies ran in the Derby in the 1980s and 90s that didn't hit the board but were just fine afterwards. Cupecoy's Joy went on to win the Acorn and Mother Goose and place in the CCA Oaks. Excellent Meeting came out of her fifth in the 1999 Derby to win the Princess at Hollywood, while the last and 19th finisher in that same race, Three Ring, won the Acorn next out. You can do the research on others. Take the time to look at the facts before making such assertions.

16 Apr 2011 2:48 PM

Ark. derby

The Factor

Sway Away


Blue Grass

Crimson China



16 Apr 2011 3:13 PM
Mike Relva


The past several times haven't heard you doing your usual hype of MO winning the Triple Crown. I think Mo is in a world of trouble regarding your premature opinions.

16 Apr 2011 3:33 PM


Why did I not figure that you would say the greatest older filly since Personal Ensign?  LMAO.

16 Apr 2011 4:13 PM
Matthew W

I ended up playing Archarcharch/J W Blue behind The Machine--err Factor--then I played Factor over both in exactas....Smiuth just beat me a nose in third race--Smith is on many live mounts today--don't be suprised if he gets a four-bagger today, I played a rather small late pick four, and he's on my ticket in every race...

16 Apr 2011 4:50 PM
Ted from LA

Nehro and Santiva.  It's raining cats and dogs today.  I just stepped in a poodle.

16 Apr 2011 5:07 PM

The superfecta looks like it might be a pretty good payoff in the Bluegrass.

16 Apr 2011 5:29 PM


I'm waiting for you to post your winning ticket on Brilliant Speed in the Bluegrass.  We all are.

16 Apr 2011 5:51 PM

Bluegrass superfecta $2.00= $129,093.60. Very nice size payoff like I thought it would be.

16 Apr 2011 6:00 PM
Mike Relva


Get out your usual spins when The Factor wins today. Your style instead of saying you're wrong, you will FIND A WAY TO UNDERCUT HIS WIN.

16 Apr 2011 6:00 PM


Your comment on this blog was:

The Factor = Miler

Well guess what you 2011 Triple Crown Winner Uncle Mo also...

Uncle Mo = Miler

So for real get a grip.

16 Apr 2011 6:18 PM

I am not so sure I would bet The Factor at a mile and a quarter but I do know one thing for sure. Since January this year Uncle Mo was no longer the best 3 year old in the country. The Factor without a doubt has been the most impressive horse running simple as that. Dialed In has been the second most impressive. You can argue alot of things during these preps over the last several months but that is one thing you can not agrue. If you think anything else you do not know horse racing or your just not paying attention. Of the two horses I would think Dialed In has the better chance to run a winning race in the Derby. I can't see me betting a need the lead type horse in the Derby as well as I can't see me betting a horse that has to pass up 18 others to get the win. This race is shaping up to be just like the Derby was couple years ago when Mine that Bird won the race. Anybody can win it. This may be one of the slowest final times we have ever seen watching these horses stumble home could be a  scary thing...  Good luck at the windows everyone.

16 Apr 2011 6:35 PM
Matthew W

I looked at Rosario's horse in the Bluegrass--just because Rosario was riding, hoping to get a closer, since Rosario is such a good finisher--his horse had turf form, and he also has Rosario--I threw him in/bet him to win and as I was sinking all day long at Santa Anita--up popped the do-rey-mi on my tvg account--voi-la,thank you, Mr Rosario, they didn't know, back there, if Rosario is on a closer, and it's grass/synthetics, use him! I haven't seen the race but I look forward to doing so, I'm busy handicapping--I'm still in the game--thanks to Mr Rosario!

16 Apr 2011 7:22 PM

Ark Derby - worst race call ever!  Evidently the caller can only see 4 horses at a time.  We NEVER got the full order of runners.

16 Apr 2011 7:27 PM

Okay Draynay.

Don't keep us in suspense.  Please post your Arkansas Derby bets and tell us how much you won.  You must be getting tired from counting all that money.  You did post that ArchX3 was going to win didn't you?

16 Apr 2011 7:34 PM
Hammer Time

That was the worst race call I have ever heard (Arkansas Derby). I did not bet the race, so this isn't sour grapes. It's like he forgot that he was calling the race, and instead just watching it. I"m sure he will look back and be mortified, on their biggest race day, and race. Boo!

16 Apr 2011 7:34 PM

Mike, please post your picks for the KY Derby and KY Oaks here so I'll know who not to wager.  Lazmannick, good to see you agree.  I knew you'd come around.

16 Apr 2011 7:58 PM
Mike Relva


16 Apr 2011 8:01 PM


With Elite Alex finishing 9TH, who do you think Calvin B. will ride, or will he have a horse to ride at all? ( this is if Elite Alex doesn't race in the Derby Trial, or ? to try to get graded earnings to get the Derby gate).

16 Apr 2011 8:02 PM
The Rock

That was probably the worst race call I have ever heard in the Arkansas Derby. I know the announcer has been a staple there for a long time, but it might be time to go to the bullpen. And this isn't the first time this has happened during the meet.

This Derby is going to be nuts. All the preps have proven that anyone can step up at anytime. Time to get the darts!

16 Apr 2011 8:33 PM
The Rock


Hope you had straight money on Nehro. I stayed away from those two prep races today. Way wide open. Now the KY Derby will be worse. Good value tho.

16 Apr 2011 8:47 PM
Jason Shandler

A couple comments before I call it a night.

You guys are right on Arkansas Derby call. It was embarrassing. I'll leave it at that before I get into any trouble.

The Blue Grass: I'm not surprised it was bombs away. Twelve evenly-matched horses on Poly. Too bad I had the wrong ones. I will say, what was JV doing having Queen'splatekitten so close? I was expecting him to be coming late like Brilliant Speed and King Congie. Bad ride, unless he got instructions from Todd.

Arkansas Derby: I didnt expect J P's Gusto to outhustle The Factor to the front. The Factor wont be Derby bound now.

Nehro was the most impressive horse for the second straight race. He should be flying at Churchill. He's for real.

Finally, with two good works, Mo will be Derby favorite. Who else would it be?? Dont say Dialed In! What a wide-open Derby!!!

16 Apr 2011 8:55 PM
Sunny Farm

Congratulations to ARCHARCHARCH !

I am VERY proud of DANCE CITY,(3rd) he sure gave it a great go and for a colt with only three starts was it ? Not bad for a large field, gate troubles and getting bumped....

16 Apr 2011 9:01 PM

It is now safe for O'Brien and Master of Hounds to jump on British Airways and come over. He may need an American Jockey though!

16 Apr 2011 9:01 PM

Bob Baffert said after the AD that The Factor displaced his palate.

Hey, if a little stomach gas works for Uncle Mo than this excuse should work just fine for The Factor.

Throw out the race and we'll all meet at Churchill in three weeks.

16 Apr 2011 9:19 PM
Matthew W

Bet The Factor over Arch archarch and put win $$ on Archie! Lucky wins for me in Bluegrass/Archansas Derby (haha), my only winners on the day/keeps me in the black for tonight, where I'm gonna "enjoy Ed Bughart under the lights"--and the call--wow--somebody worse than Battaglia--poor guy, drew a blank--wow--haveta think about hangin' things up....compounding the horrible call, was when he finally DID identify a horse--it was THAT horse, and he kinda grabbed on to him, and tried to last on just saying his name--slowly--I thought, after fumbling through the labyrinthe of "what the hell am I doing here", he goes into this, creepish, "Arch.....Arch.....Arch....Arrr ch....Arch...."--hey, maybe you can just keep on saying "Arch...."--and they can just take you to the loony bin---aw, heck, my horse won, both photos, only tickets I cashed all day and I'm gonna get my arch over to Gary's house so we can take'em down at Los Al, or something....

16 Apr 2011 9:20 PM

Just got home from the track where I cashed big time with the superfecta in the Ark. Derby. I cannot believe the payoff was over 29k for my $1 super!! I'm still shaking from when they posted the payoff. I see where Baffert says The Factor looks like he displaced his palate, no wonder he faded so fast, he couldn't breathe. No surprise here that Elite Alex and Brethren finished behind the winded Factor though, both were the most overated, underachieving in the race and only a rookie would have chosen either one to win this race and anyone who chose both should give it up. Time to gather some of my friends and go celebrate.  

16 Apr 2011 9:22 PM

Put Calvin on Nehro!! It would be a huge upgrade from Nakatani.

16 Apr 2011 9:23 PM

Uncle Mo could well be your Kentucky Derby favourite(I’m European, hence the 'misspelling').

If he is, it will be down to the legions of fans indoctrinated by confirmation bias. He was the best two-year-old, but he hasn’t proven to be anything like the best three-year-old.

He could still bloom in the Run for the Roses, but one has to question the judgement of anyone who regards him as a worthy favourite.    

16 Apr 2011 9:31 PM
Mike Relva


Like I stated don't have a problem saying I'm wrong. How about you? How much did you win today?

16 Apr 2011 9:32 PM

Just watched the replay of the Ark Derby and I hate to bad mouth anyone but that announcer is terrible..

I went 0-2 in the big races.

Archarcharch won the Rebel then gets a 3rd with only 1 speed horse.

Keenland artificial turf none of those horse will be on my tix except maybe Santiva..

Any lessons to be learned this weekend and last??

They run the race for a reason..

Until the Derby lets do our homework and cash a big one this year..

16 Apr 2011 9:46 PM

I was so wrong about Brethren and the Bruins!

16 Apr 2011 9:57 PM
Zen's Auntie

WOW workmanlike Grinder over Super Sexy - A3x is always my hearts pick anyway I said second this time and he ALMOST faded enough... just kidding, I thought he looked MARVELOUS.

You are Right Jason the likely ML Favorite Might be back to Mo.

The Post time fav?  who the heck knows. I am amazed that people let Archarcharch go 25 to 1,  freaking amazing... Its a feel good story in the making if my favorite Little Grinder does his thing in the KD ;^)

That said and in my gut I will root hard for A3x and MMM, Everyone here thinks Nehro WANTS the 1 & 1/4 BAD. I betcha his post odds drop way down.  

Still Waiting on TACKLEBERRY you go boy!

16 Apr 2011 10:04 PM

hey jason how bout nehro being the derby fav? he seems to be the only legit horse as of now.

16 Apr 2011 10:10 PM
Zen's Auntie

Hey did I hear right?  is Runflatout going to CD for the derby prep?  If so GOOD LUCK ZOO!!! I always always root for RFO.

16 Apr 2011 10:22 PM
Mike Relva

With Baffert's "Derby fever hunger" still think he will run The Factor.

16 Apr 2011 10:25 PM

The Rock : It was a pretty bitter sweet day for me betting AD and BG.  First on the BG, I had 40 WPS on the 7 and had him in my P4 but alas, Rosario beat me.  I did hit the exacta but not much else.  I saw Brilliant Speed was morning line 6-1 and I was all over the 7.  

For Oaklawn, I had the $5 exacta and $40 to win on Archx3.  The bets I posted had wrong numbers as I was using the lineup from thedowneyprofile.  Again, I had the 9 in my P4 and ending with 2 horses (6, 10) on the last leg.  P4 paid $54K!!!! I thought I was going to get paid twice but that darn 12 beat me.  I still can't believe Archx3 ran at 25-1 !!!  

Like I said, Nehro is my Funny Cide.  He should be really tight for the Derby and he'll probably be my top 2 together with Dialed In.  It was a good day for me but it could've been better.

I knew TF wasn't going to be a factor.  

16 Apr 2011 10:27 PM

Finally, with two good works, Mo will be Derby favorite. Who else would it be?? Dont say Dialed In! What a wide-open Derby!!!

Jason : YOU said it yourself.  If TF struggles, Dialed In will be the favorite lol.

I don't mind it at all if UM takes the money and be a heavy favorite.  I have more confidence now to bet against him with my picks.  I think DI, Nehro and Soldat will be on the board.  I also like the way Archx3 won, he came from way off the pace this time and I think it was a good prep for the long stretch of the Derby.  There are no longer standouts in the Derby and I'm salivating at what the odds will be.

16 Apr 2011 10:36 PM

Just a simple opinion on the Triple Crown Trail - based on the outcome of the 'prep races' which includes today's Blue Grass and Arkansas races - it is obvious none of the horses touted as the coming of the next Derby winner are ready.  Plainly, their training regimens are inadequate as evidenced by injuries and illness.  In addition, winners of recent past races can't even place in current preps.  Today's trainers and owners and breeders need shock therapy to wake them up to the havoc they have created for these majestic animals and their state of well being.

Instead of arguing amongst yourselves ad-Infinitum who is going to win and why, you all might do some good for the horses by writing emails or letters to the owners, trainers and breeders as to how fed-up you are with trying to pick a winner among what has turned out to be mediocre racing stock when compared with past superb Thoroughbreds.  Think about it and redirect all the energy in these blogs to do something really good for the horse, racing and its fans - you!

16 Apr 2011 10:56 PM

Pletcher won't have Uncle Mo ready for the Derby. Two works in 3 weeks after a poor performance in the Wood? No wonder his record is so atrocious in the Derby. Dialed In deserves to be the favorite because he's the only horse so far who hasn't finished behind another 3 year old. He should love a mile and a quarter.

16 Apr 2011 10:58 PM
John T

Yes I must agree with the bloggers

who are complaining about the race caller for the Arkansas Derby.It seemed like he was more in awe of the race rather than the call of the race itself.

16 Apr 2011 11:07 PM
Paula Higgins

Well, that result makes it all as clear as mud. Disappointing as all get out. Unless Mo comes back after treatment for his stomach virus, forget about the Triple Crown. It's going to be a free for all. I still like Mo.

16 Apr 2011 11:27 PM

WOW I have been betting the derby for 20+ years and dont ever remember feeling so !@#$%^ bummed----THAS is out -PREM.PEG.  gone---Winstar is out ,UNC Mo may have never been in we shall see and now a horse I played two races ago makes me look !@#$%^&* and wins the Ark Derby or as we shall now call it the archarcharch derby while Im loaded for bear with BRETHREN !!!!!  ARCHARCHARCH could be for real---- Nehro is rolling for ESKY connections of last year and Bafferts got a maiden winner that is better then The Factor !!!!! Current form is in -It is what have you done lately WOW now that I think about it Brethren may NEED SOME BLOOD WORK or I guess we only do that with 1-9 odds horses .My blue grass was tragically close but I made an error I had it down to Wilkinson and Brilliant Speed for key horse but for some reason I bought the farm on Wilcox Inn .I can still hear myself tell a friend if you like King Congie ya gatto go with brilliant speed off thier last  oh welll And then I finally figured out Rule is a miler or shorter type of horse that only cost me a couple preps last year and the million dollar race he was in at chucktown -Is it just me or has this future wager thing thrown a wrench in the stability of the preps and the TC!!!!!!! Here is  a question JASON what does it take for the connections of a horse to nom it for the triple crown there so many overhyped horses-  I know 600 dollars but what makes a trainer say hey this horse has got a chance in the TC  ---I honestly do not see how we can have a horse under 7-1 come derby day I guess Dialed in will be fav or ARCH3x I would take arch over Dialed IN on cd surface --Good hit ZENS AUNTIE You had said you liked Arch!!!!!!!!

17 Apr 2011 12:11 AM

Antman - nice call.  Hope you put that 50 wp bet on AAA like you posted.  Well done.

17 Apr 2011 12:30 AM

Was just reading these posted comments from Bob Baffert: The Factor, who was the 4-5 favorite, finished seventh, and immediately following the race, trainer Bob Baffert said it appeared the horse displaced his palate.

17 Apr 2011 1:21 AM

The Derby picture just gets muddier.  It's almost comical now.

If The Factor did displace his palate, how much did it affect his performance?  Do you forgive him?  Was it just the palate?  These are questions I'm sure Baffert and the owners are asking as they contemplate whether to go to Kentucky.

Uncle Mo has similar questions.  While Uncle Mo certainly ran better than The Factor, his 3rd place finish was nonetheless shockingly disappointing.  Was it solely the result of the GI infection?

My guess is, if you were a person that really liked The Factor going in, you're going to point to the flipped palate as the reason for his poor performance.  However, if you have never considered The Factor a classic horse, you are likely to dismiss the "displacement" and point to distance limitations as the reason for his defeat.  The same is true for Uncle Mo.  

If you were on the Mo bandwagon, the GI infection provides a tidy alibi for the Wood, and it's back to expecting Triple Crown domination.  If, on the other hand, you questioned Uncle Mo's pedigee and/or training regimen, the GI infection was all too convenient and was secondary to the other factors.

The Blue Grass almost defies analysis.  To me, it reads like a turf race, and it's hard to see the top finishers coming back to run well on the dirt of Churchill.  But who knows?

I have not thought much of Arch x3 before today, but he did run a solid race to win the Arkansas Derby.  The time suggests a Beyer of 94 or 95, right in the range of the other major preps.  Beyerwise, this IS the worst group of 3 year olds(I know it seems like there are people who say this every year, but this year they might be right).

I suppose Arch x3 has a decent shot in Louisville, but I just can't get excited about him or anyone else for that matter.  The Derby is going to be a great betting race, but from an aesthetic or historical perspective, I'm not excited.  I'm going to sit back and let them sort themselves out in the Triple Crown.  Maybe someone will emerge and surprise me?

Nehro is going to be a major buzz horse for the Derby, and he certainly deserves some buzz.  He ran well to be a closing 2nd in both the Louisiana and Arkansas Derbys, and is clearly getting better quickly.  However, the fact is he still lost what were only moderate renditions of each race; we're not talking superstar, at least not yet.

Dance City ran quite well to be 3rd.  The pace set by JP's Gusto was scorching for that track, and 2-turn races were strongly favoring closers at Oaklawn throughout the day.  Dance City was tracking JP's Gusto and then weas able to re-rally and fight of bids from first The Factor and then Sway Away.  Dance City deserves alot of credit for hanging around, against the track profile and against the pace setup, to keep 3rd.

For a second at the top of the stretch, Sway Away appeared the winner, and maybe by daylight.  However, he still is his own worst enemy, with rankness from earlier in the race catching up to him that final sixteenth.

The Arkansas Derby ended the Derby hopes of Sway Away, Alternation, Elite Alex, Brethren, Caleb's Posse, JP's Gusto(or at least it should since he can still make the Derby b/c he has the earnings), and likely The Factor. And boom goes the dynamite.

There was another $1 million race Saturday.  Is it just me, or is Duke of Mischief a difficult horse to figure out?  There are times he has been very impressive, and I start to believe he may actually be one of the best horses in the country.  Then, he'll go and turn in 2 or 3 uninspiring efforts, enough so that I get off his bandwagon, only to then reappear with another strong performance.  The end result is that the Duke has never quite reached elite status, but he's made a nice career for himself.  While he has been absolutely trounced in his 4 gr.1 attempts, he has now won 4 graded stakes as well as the 09' Iowa Derby.

I thought Game on Dude ran well for 2nd.  Flores had to really hustle him out to avoid being wide the first turn, and the horse simply tired the final eighth.  However, he was able to outduel Tackleberry, and that's not an easy thing to do.  $200k is not bad consolation.

Matthew W, I know you liked Acclamation, and I like the horse too, I just hated him in this spot.  I believe he should be running tomorrow in the San Juan Capistrano.  When are his connections going to learn that he is a turf marathon horse, in the style of a Presious Passion?

And finally, getting back to the 3 year olds, over the last ten years the Preakness has actually been more reflective of true ability than has the Derby.  ALL 10 of the Preakness winners the last decade went on to be voted champion 3 year old; that's 9 champion 3 year old males and Rachel, the champion 3 year old filly and HoY of 09'.  So, while the Derby has had the occasional Giacomo, Mine That Bird, or Super Saver, the Preakness has had champion after champion every year for 10 years.  

17 Apr 2011 2:13 AM

If I had to put my 4 horse ex. box down right now for the Derby, it would be:

Longshot, Longshot, Longshot, Longshot and Longshot to win.

17 Apr 2011 6:52 AM

Oh yes the derby is going to be a real nice betting race.Of the prep races that have been run i'd have to pick Nehro over Dialed in and MMM as third choice for a price and his ability.If you could have any horse to own at this point.i'll take Nero who has'nt won a prep,you guys can have the rest.If he dont win the derby he's gonna win the Belmont.LOL

17 Apr 2011 8:31 AM

So much for rating The Factor. Maybe he has the same infection as Mo. The next Gr1 two turn race that baffert should be pointing to is the Haskel.

17 Apr 2011 8:58 AM

Baffert said he thought that The Factor displaced his palette.

17 Apr 2011 9:09 AM

Big Louie,only we could see the Factor stalking,but he did'nt finish up,he was'nt my derby horse anyway i cant see him rebounding on the front end going 10 furlongs.Now that Borel is available,i'd like to see Asmussen team up with him again on Nehro,Nagatani is not my favourite jock.He changed the jock after running 2nd in the LA derby,so the horse dont seem to mind.

17 Apr 2011 9:31 AM

Should Master of Hounds take entry that will throw another spanner in the works,looks to be a genuine stayer,but grass Tapeta form is a question mark,that team has no problem putting up the cash and taking a chance,remember the Green Monkey $16 million.

17 Apr 2011 9:56 AM


Thanks, was a great day, except for my Crimson China bet.  Thought I was going to get caught at the wire with Nehro.  He might be a live horse come Derby.  Any further he runs by AAA easily and my 1700 win turned into a 400 dollar win.  Was damn lucky

This Derby is going to be a great betting race, 5 to 1 will be the favorite and I hope I am on the right side.  

Wonder what the Derby Dozen will look like know.  Steve has some work cut out for him.  

This year looks like you should box them.  Box 7 of them in a trifecta is like 210.  Get 2 or 4 buddies to split it either 105 for 2 or 52.50 for 4 buds.  Should pay like a slot machine. If UM don't produce this tri and super will be huge

Can't wait for Jason and Steve's blog.  Opening line Where do we start and its wide open baby

17 Apr 2011 10:42 AM

Master of Hounds beyer would be around 98 for his last race...better than any of this year's preps, so yes he should be on a plane ride over immediately.

17 Apr 2011 10:52 AM

I hit nothing in the Bluegrass or the Arkansas Derby.

It seems alot o people on this blog won money on the AD.  I'm glad but a little baffled as the only blogger I remember posting that AAA would win and had money on him was Antman.

17 Apr 2011 10:52 AM
Smoking Baby

Gun Bow.  I agree with you on The Factor and Uncle Mo backers.  I'm catching myself looking for resaons to explain away The Factor's poor performance (no WAY he just wasn't as good as I thought he was LOL).  In my heart of hearts I think it may be time to take him home and regroup.  It's a long year and there are other races out there also worth winning. Love your posts.  

17 Apr 2011 11:15 AM

when he didn't get the lead, The Factor looked uncomfortable. never thought he wanted 1 1/4 miles anyway but he also appears to need the lead, which is problematic in the derby. if i were baffert i'd skip the derby and point for shorter races. as someone else mentioned the factor might have a great shot in the $1 million Haskell later this summer at Monmouth, always a speed-favoring track.

17 Apr 2011 11:21 AM

Considering how really, really nice the English 3YO's are shaping up this year (besides Frankel, of course, did you see World Domination and Solar Sky, who was running on impressively at the end in the same maiden?), it's probably worth it for the owners to take a shot at the Derby with Master of Hounds.  Seems to me like this Derby would be a better opportunity for him than that Derby.

On the other hand, the way things are going on this side of the Pond, probably any one of us bloggers and even Jason and Steve Haskin would have a better opportunity this year -- anyone have enough earnings to make it into the gate?

17 Apr 2011 11:48 AM

Oops!  Forgot to add Lenny Shulman in my last post as a possible starter in the Derby this year.  At least he has a pony tail (not that I mean anything against Steve Haskin when I say that)

(This is what comes from being media stars, guys.  People start to talk about how you look and soon, you have to be looking into botox and lipo to keep up with the Beautiful People and then you move to LA ... wait a minute ... isn't Ted already there?)

17 Apr 2011 11:57 AM

First, I was JACKED watching AAA win yesterday!  Like Zen's Auntie, he has been my "heart" pick ever since I saw him in the post parade before the Southwest Stakes.  His Beyers have been average and he did lose the Rebel, but he has run a legitimate race each of his last 3, with 2 wins.  Not many others can say that.  Oh, and I won a nice chunk of change on him (25-1??? are you kidding me, people???).

Second, with regards to the KD, it's hard to toss Uncle Mo, as I think he still has the most impressive overall resume.  Dialed In has to be in my Top 3.  The only other horse that I'm impressed with is Toby's Corner.

So there are my 4 Derby picks, pending post positions (post 1 or 2 and they are likely tosses).

I for one love the wide-open aspect of this year!  

17 Apr 2011 12:04 PM

Nice comments GUNBOW What do you think of the TC question of mine(see above) It seems the future wager has become this gorilla thet puts alot of hype into the pic !  I only have 30$ tied up so Im not hurt BUT think of all the people with THAS,PRE.PEG, and maybe MO-- I also know of the countless defections every year at this time. But what is the Criteria for nom. a horse to the TC .Business I guess--  364 nom at 600 =218400 +13@6000 thats a cool quarter mill. then sorting thru the pretenders I guess everyone dreams to run for the roses !! I am also starting to doubt the skill of fletcher why does he not train longer then 4/5 furlongs where are the longer works !!!!! Granted I liked Brethren He ran himself out of the Derby so he does'nt belong in the derby he may be better suited at a mile I was never totally sold on the sire- maybe JV knew this and ramon got the mount .COLDFACTS and JASON feel free to chime in I would love to see your comments.JASON I think you gave elite alex a chance so you may feel like me with BRETHREN it was a must race for them WOW what a let down!!!! At least I only used The Factor as a spoiler over BRETHEN 20$st ex The Factor/Brethren and viceversa 10$straight ex and still dont like the Factor if he even runs 5/7. ANd yes Nehro is HOT he is the now horse two back to back !!! ROLLING MASTER OF  HOUNDS would really thru awrench into it I believe O'brien has two horses that may run on the undercard so it could happen!!!!

17 Apr 2011 12:21 PM

I believe the displacing palate situation for The Factor is a lot worse than at first thought. Very worse.

Someone who was at Oaklawn yesterday said The Factor came back after the race gurgling, chortling and blowing for air.

Someone also said it take surgery to correct the problem...

17 Apr 2011 12:25 PM

the factor should go to the met mile,  haskell and then ethere the travers or kings bishop. perfect set up for the breeders cup if all goes well

17 Apr 2011 1:18 PM

Barry : I agree, if everyone closes their eyes and forget about 2010, where does that put Uncle Mo ?  Way below the totem pole.   I still don't understand it but I like it, I like the fact that people will put a lot of money on Uncle Mo on Derby Day.  I prefer him going 6-5 early in the day so that people like Draynay keeps pouring more money on him up until the gate opens.

17 Apr 2011 1:19 PM

TO everyone who wants Borel on Nehro; I say heck NO.  Your odds get cut in half if you do that; from the CD faithful who bet nothing but Borel (Like they used to do Pat Day).  Super Saver would have been 16-1 last year if not for Borel riding him. I'm betting huge on Nehro to show and hoping to get 3-1 on my show bet.  

17 Apr 2011 2:39 PM


Yes, I think the Future bet has added to what was already strong Derby-hype.  After every prep, the talk isn't just about how the results could affect the Derby and betting on Derby day, but also about how they could affect the prices on the Futures.

I think the Future bet may also needlessly tie people to one particular horse, and then they end up sticking with the horse in later preps or even the Derby itself much longer than they should.  As such, it makes "crushes" that much stronger, and that much more difficult to break.  We see it in blogs like this.  Even after repeated evidence, some people continue latching on to a horse as the "next" this or "next" that; I wouldn't be surprised if a Future wager wasn't key in cementing such devotion.

As for me, I've never made a Future bet, and have typically not developed "crushes".  Sure, when I was 15 and 16 and following my first few Triple Crowns, I may have placed my heart before my head with horses like Mister Frisky and Best Pal.  But it didn't take me long to realize that the Triple Crown trail is a rough place for a naive kid.

Thus, I developed defense mechanisms that seem to prevent me from developing any crushes.  But I've come close.  After the 97' Santa Anita Derby, I was as certain as I've ever been about the Derby that Silver Charm would be the winner.  Since then, if I do get behind a horse, it's usually one that I saw in person.  So, I got behind Ten Most Wanted after seeing him win the 03' Illinois Derby(with a 110 Beyer by the way), and last year it was Lookin at Lucky (BC Juvenile,Hollywood Futurity, SA Derby).

This year,  my heart is with Comma to the Top, but my head wants no part of him, at least not in the Derby.

17 Apr 2011 2:49 PM

No one had any respect for Archx3 in the Arkansas Derby.  No one gave him a chance.  Just goes to show you.  It would seem that Dialed In is more likely to be a Derby Favorite.  Nehro was unbelievable...again.  What a closing kick that colt has.  Archx3 and Pants On Fire should be considered among the top contenders along with MMM, and no one should discount UM or The Factor just yet.  Midnight Interlude has an amazing turn of foot.  And Stay Thirsty is still around, looking good.

17 Apr 2011 2:59 PM

The No Factor.Another free runnin pretender with big beyers.That always had it his way until yesterday.Be glad that he was exposed now and not derby day.7

17 Apr 2011 3:15 PM

Gunbow, interesting fact about Preakness winners, I had never made that connection.

I hope The Factor is okay.  I know nothing about displaced palate, but John's description of the condition of the horse after the race is unsettling.  It doesn't really matter whose pick he is/was, I just hope the horse is okay.

I was very impressed with the way Nehro closed, and agree he is a horse to watch.  If the Derby was today, I would likely box Nehro, Dialed In, MMM, Soldat, Archx3 and Uncle Mo.  I agree with the multitude in feeling Uncle Mo isn't really showing his two year old form thus far, but also expect that savvy trainers are training up to Derby Day.  I have my doubts about his conditioning, as many have elaborated, but since I have never trained a thoroughbred for the Derby, I'll give those who have the benefit of the doubt :)

Oh yeah, and I guess I might have to add Midnight Interlude, another who-knew horse (to me at least).

17 Apr 2011 3:42 PM

I like the fact that people will put a lot of money on Uncle Mo on Derby Day.  I prefer him going 6-5 early in the day so that people like Draynay keeps pouring more money on him up until the gate opens.

jayjay 17 Apr 2011 1:19 PM

He is running out of options, he has Uncle Mo, then the horse Calvin B. is on, which will not be Elite Alex, he also had mentioned Brethren, but does this horse get a spot in the Derby starting gate? It's getting pretty thin for Draynay.  

17 Apr 2011 3:42 PM

After the Arkansas and Bluegrass, the derby picture is up in the air. First of all, if the factor does not go, who will lead the race? Shackleford, descisive moment, JP's gusto, pants on fire, uncle mo or Soldat. We might be looking at a slow pace. The top horse came from behind: Dialed In, Animal Kingdom, Toby's Corner, Archx3. This will be a tough race to figure out. We all started out in January or February with our derby lists and I feel that no one top 10 is even close to what they had. Good luck to every one and right now I am banking on MMM and Nehro to be my top 2 as of right now.

17 Apr 2011 4:25 PM
Ted from LA

Keep an eye on Decisive Moment.

17 Apr 2011 4:39 PM

Gun Bow,

I enjoyed your post. You made a very good observation about the Preakness being the defining race for 3YO champions. For many decades it has been like the "stepchild" among the Triple Crown races but it has most often confirmed the superiority of the Derby winner or provided redemption for the beaten Derby favourite that might have lost due to bad luck at Churchill Downs. With Frank Stronarch throwing in a 5 million dollars bonus there are a couple of horses that could take it easy in the Derby if they were to suffer the dreaded #one hole, traffic problems or be bounced around, and come charging back with a vengence for the added incentive in the Preakness.

Unlike you, I wouldn't conceed that this is the worst crop of 3YOs. I do believe that this group is better than Big Brown's class of 2008 (BB excepted).

If in fact Uncle Mo performance in the Wood was affected by GI issues and he can return to his accustomed level he should be about five lengths better than Toby's Corner (not bad at all). He could rebound in the Kentucky Derby but still has to answer the distance question and Toby's Corner will not give him a pass on that one. The Factor is pretty good, without doubt a super 100 Beyer speed horse that ran below par in the Arkansas Derby.  Perhaps his problem can't be fixed in time for the Derby but he's all quality and will be back for sure.  Soldat is the forgotten horse after one lacklustre performance which was really a mistaken strategy of taking him back on dirt when in fact this horse has been simply sailing on the front end. There's no doubt in my mind that he's going to run big in both the Derby and Preakness (assuming he remains healthy). Dialed In is being underestimated by a lot of people because of the sub 100 Beyer speed of the Florida Derby. This colt has so much scope for improvement that many detractors are going to be surprised.  Some say that he has no tactical speed and needs the race to set up perfectly but all he really needs is for the jock to be aware of the pace of the race.  Julien Leparoux is as good a pigskin master as you can get going two turns.  Furthermore, a hot pace in the Derby is guaranteed with the likes of Shackleford, Pants on Fire, Decisive Moment, Soldat, Comma to The Top vying for the lead and with Uncle Mo and Mucho Macho Man sitting in the catbird seat. If Master Of Hounds shows up, he too is likely to be a pace factor.  Therefore the stage is being set for Dialed In to really sparkle on Derby day like an emerging champion.  That's the way I see it right now, but things could change based upon Derby week reports.

17 Apr 2011 4:39 PM

Dance City is a star and Nehro is on my ticket.  Can't wait to see Cal Nation run.  The Factor ?  Give me a break CA.

17 Apr 2011 5:17 PM

mz- not only a maiden, but an 11 furlong maiden.  I loveEuropean racing because they still card distance races!  Frankel looked every bit his hype.  Such an easy win, as was World Domination's.

17 Apr 2011 5:32 PM

If The Factor flipped his palate, then the race is a throw out.  If he needs a procedure done, then they have to wait.  I, personally, would wait anyway if he was my horse, as I would with Uncle Mo.  Could you imagine a Met Mile with Morning Line, The Factor, Uncle Mo, Smiling Tiger........ just like the old days!

17 Apr 2011 5:39 PM

Well no derby-bound horse has beyered over 100 is this correct,if not someone post the correction.Beyer in "Beyer on Speed" himself goes over the imperfections of the times,and therefore the beyers for horseracing.To make consistent money using Beyers you have to have an edge(those that make their own adjustments to the figures)Although I doubt they would post it, if anyone has any Beyer speed figure over 100 for any of the contenders feel free to post.

17 Apr 2011 5:45 PM

Garcia said he did not want to "kill" his horse by letting him go to the front with that torrid pace. I thought the only way that horse could win was on the lead. What was he trying to "teach" the horse in a final prep? How pathetic. It is one thing to get beat running your race...another to throw in the towel once you think the pace may be hot.

If a horse has zero shot not being on the lead, THEN go to the lead. He may have less than ideal conditions, but simple math shows zero shot is worse than a less than avg. shot.

Now Baffert is claiming TF flipped a p. Not sure I buy that...but if he did it was when Garcia was really pulling on the horse going into the first turn.

Wow, good thing he kept The Factor off of that "torrid" pace. 46 and change and 1:11 and change is even SLOWER than when Line of David won it wire to wire last year. These modern jocks all pee their pants whenever the pace gets hot, unless they are on a long shot...then they willingly will try and wire the field. Enough already with teaching horses anything in their final prep!

Momentum is everything. I will give Johnny V credit, Uncle Mo may have been short and have soundness issues he is dealing with, but at least they let the horse run his race and go directly to the lead on the backstretch. 3rd is much better than 7th. He has to move forward from The Wood. TF's race was pathetic. He got nothing out of it!

If this is the way Baffert and Garcia are going to ride TF, better stay away from classic races and point to the Kings Bishop. It is a good thing War Emblem was 12-1 at post and not the odds on favorite or he probably would have been ridden not to lose in the Derby...

It is going to be a long time before we get another kick-butt front runner who is a legit Derby threat. I remember once Hard Spun finished 2nd in the Derby Larry Jones wanted jockeys to set him off of the pace. The result was a 3rd and a 4th. When you rate a horse like that there are millions of things that can go wrong, like moving prematurely or too late. In the Preakness they moved HS too early. He would have finished 3rd setting the pace anyhow no matter how fast he was going. In fact, the horse never finished worse than 2nd setting the pace at any distance no matter how fast the pace was. So, why get cute?

Kind of funny how the last 2 T/C winners we had were confirmed front runners. Even if Slew did not have the lead in the Derby the jock knew enough to let the horse go up and get it on his own terms.

Of course, if The Slew raced today they would be trying to rate the horse and he would want none of it and the connections would conclude he had zero shot of winning a classic race and point him to the Kings Bishop.

Of course, The Factor is no Slew, but with horses like that you live or die on the front end dictating the pace. That is what makes a front runner who can win at classic distances so rare...and so special. Trainers and jockeys do not know how to handle horses like that these days. Baffert did, Garcia did not. Both have to be on the same page. Baffert was not pleased Garcia was trying to teach the horse something in a final Derby prep.

Sadly, The Factor was not allowed to run his race and we will not know if he could get 9f, much less 10. Way to teach the horse, Garcia.

We already knew the horse would not rate and your ride was painful to watch.

Baffert said the horse could not relax off of the lead and did not want to run behind horses. Period. Fine. Accept that and give the horse his head and the lead. TF broke 2nd...c'mon man.

Garcia said The Factor could have easily went to the lead, Jason. Garcia chose to hold him back, fearing a fierce pace for 6 f which never happened. The second and third calls were avg. for the Ark. Derby. I know being an experienced handicapper that you watched the race and knew that TF was being held back, and that JP's Gusto did not beat him to the first turn. He was allowed to.

17 Apr 2011 7:06 PM


Soldat got 103 beyer in the FOY..

I just noticed that inside the front page of the DRF

17 Apr 2011 8:36 PM

Battaglia the worst odds maker in the country will probably still make The Factor the favorite,even though he won't be in the race.The favorite should be at least. 6 to 1. This is the best betting race of the year,as it should be. Questions marks for all twenty starters.See you at the IRS window.

17 Apr 2011 8:39 PM

Dance City is a star and Nehro is on my ticket.  Can't wait to see Cal Nation run.  The Factor ?  Give me a break CA.

Draynay 17 Apr 2011 5:17 PM

Looks like he is getting a little worried about his pick of Uncle Mo.

His list is starting to expand more, stay tuned, the list might expand more than this again.  

17 Apr 2011 8:40 PM

My 1st thought of the Derby now is there really any true speed?

I say the only one [for sure]is Schackelford..

If the 1st quarter of the derby is run in 23 change and the half is 47 change watch out..He is a big ol horse..

Now if Soldat gets it he will do 24 quarters all day and if anybody reads the downy profile 12 sec furlongs are huge.

I like Nehro on all my tix but why do some rank him better than Dialed In??

MMM is on all my tix crazy thing he will still be a two year old Derby day..No horse ever has won as a June foal..

Does this years fav go off 5-1 or better?

17 Apr 2011 8:54 PM



9, 12 / 9, 12, 10 / 9, 12, 10, 6, 4, 11, 8

12, 7 / 12, 7, 5, 11 / 12, 7, 5, 11, 10, 4

jayjay 16 Apr 2011 4:53 AM

Take a look at your 2nd line of the above tri picks, if you had boxed all of them for the exacta, you would of hit it. The $2.00 exacta paid $655.20 with #5 over the #7.

17 Apr 2011 9:05 PM
cat thief

Pletcher's best chance at a derby win:  R Heat Lightning.  If she's entered she'll also go as the favorite.

17 Apr 2011 9:29 PM

Ranagulzion- I just glanced at your post, but I think you were supporting Soldat, and I agree.  Now with everything happening with the preps I think Soldat might have a great chance.  Not sure how often I will be commenting because I am so tired of someone's comments that I am trying to stay away because of them.  But Soldat has the preps and the foundation.  I hope that they do not push Uncle Mo and The Factor to make the Derby.  As I said before, what a Met Mile it would be with both of them!!!

17 Apr 2011 9:35 PM
Single in LA

It's reported that The Factor displaced his palate which is a legitimate physical impairment. Can he carry his speed 1 1/4 miles? Probably not, but it does offer some explanation of his dismal performance.  On another issue: has anyone seen Bellwether lately?  Next to Ted in LA, he's one of my favorites.  (Ted: you're just too cool for words. My fascination with Bellwether is somewhat more perverse.)

17 Apr 2011 9:44 PM

alexaso- yes they should take a chance with Master of Hounds because of the preps and the fact that he may be the only one bred to go10 furlongs.  Archarcharch also because of his bottom line and I feel Arch is a better top influence than a broodmare influence, so I don't feel he is a great distance influence for Uncle Mo.  But I could be wrong.

17 Apr 2011 10:03 PM

I would be VERY suprised if Baffert runs The Factor in the Derby. On a side note it will be a great day when Keeneland starts losing the G1 status on some of these races on the poly so they will then do away with it. Plastic tracks do nothing for racing other then make a gambler bet less because he/she is more unsure of his wagers. It is a joke simple as that. If its not on Turf at Keeneland someone couldnt pay me to place a bet there...

17 Apr 2011 10:06 PM

ArchArchArch received a 98 beyer.

I think that is a solid beyer considering where the 1 - 2 horses came from in the race. I am eager to see who Andy Beyer chooses for this years Derby. I never had any real thoughts about Ax3 I mean he just looked like everyone else but I thought his race was really solid in the Arkansas Derby and I could see me using him on top for sure. As for the second place horse, no thanks. He is a maiden winner simple as that. He will be way overbet because he will be the buzz horse coming out of that race. If I want a dead closer I am not taking a Maiden winner when I can take a Grade 1 winner such as Dialed In or Toby's Corner... Good luck at the windows everyone.

17 Apr 2011 10:12 PM


I sure hope this crop ends up being better than the 08' crop or other lower rated ones.  Trust me, I don't want mediocrity.  I hope a few horses really jump out of their skin in the Derby and we see some rapid development.  It is possible.  I'm just going to wait for it to happen first.

17 Apr 2011 10:53 PM


I tend to think that the jockeys of today are worse judges of pace than those of the past. Maybe the appearance of synthetic surfaces as added to their difficulty?

But I'm with you.  My biggest frustration is when a jockey takes a horse's biggest asset, his speed, and strangles it out of him.  Or, when a jockey takes a speed horse back off a pace that ends up being 48 to the half and 113 to 6 furlongs.  See Bejarano on Rail Trip in the 10' H. Gold Cup or Talamo on Aggie Engineer in the 11' San Antonio.  I didn't have a dime on either horse, but I wanted to see all the horses ridden to maximize their talents so as to have the best race.

17 Apr 2011 10:59 PM

Draynay : PLEASE PLEASE STOP WITH PICKING THE HORSES I PICK.  I talked about Elite Alex putting blinkers on and working :58 prior to the AD and said I'm jumping back on his wagon...then you go on and picked him and the poor thing just didn't have a chance against your curse.

If EA had hit the board, I would've had the trifecta twice and I don't care what your cronies say.  That was my race, it's pays well when you pay attention to Steve's article and his derby trails.

GET OFF NEHRO PLEASE!!!!  I told ya, play the QH.  There's speed and fast times there, you'll have a great time!!

I felt it as soon as I read it, Nehro is doomed...

18 Apr 2011 12:52 AM

Okay, I've decided to jump off of Nehro's wagon and am dropping him off my derby top contenders.  I just read that he's just a maiden winner.  He will not hit the board in the Derby.

Jaycito is currently #20, if he makes it, he'll be my third horse with Dialed In and Soldat (if the track is sloppy).  I'm also adding another horse that I won't mention for fear that Draynay will pick it and curse any chances the horse has.

This guy waits and waits for people to post their picks then picks the one that has the most posts.  The "chalk" from the bloggers HAHAHA

18 Apr 2011 2:04 AM

2:24 : I was the other one that posted ArchX3 will win - I've posted my bets for the Arkansas Derby.  Except I used thedowneyprofile lineup which was listed with their post position.  If you check Equibase, my bets matches the post position.  Sorry you hit nothing on both races, maybe next time.

18 Apr 2011 2:06 AM

tcc : LOL, yeah.  Check out his post earlier in the blog :

" EA and Brethren exacta box.  I don't know if Santiva wins or not but he is a tough horse and will be on my ticket in May no matter what. "

Now he's going to play a horse (Santiva) that's so far doesn't have enough earnings to make it to the Derby.  This horse was his money horse in the Bluegrass.

So far, here are his picks :

FOY : Gourmet Girl

San Felipe : Bench Points

TBD : Brethren

Rebel : The Factor will not win (CA Horse)

LA Derby : NOT Pants on Fire

Florida Derby : Dialed In will not win

Wood Memorial : I don't remember who he picked on this race...

Blue Grass : Santiva

Arkansas Derby : Elite Alex and Brethren exacta box.  (Poor EA)

I need to pick up 55 points to catch up to the leader in RTTR, I'd be happy if I get in the top 50 lol.

18 Apr 2011 2:45 AM

How inconsistent has this 3 year old crop been?  Well, they make the 09' crop look like 97'or 87'.

At this time in 09', here was the situation:

Quality Road had won the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby back-to-back with 113 and 111 Beyers.

I Want Revenge had swept the Gotham and Wood with Beyers of 113 and 104(doesn't calulate that he lost 5 lengths at the start)

Pioneer of the Nile was riding a 4 race graded stakes winning streak, having won the gr.1 Hollywood Futurity,gr.2 Bob Lewis, gr.2 San Felipe, and gr.1 Santa Anita Derby.

Friesan Fire had dominated the Fairgrounds, sweeping the LeComte, Risen Star, and Louisiana Derby (by 7 w/ 104 Beyer).

Musket Man was coming off consecutive wins in the Tampa Bay Derby and Illinois Derby.

General Quarters, who had won the Sam Davis, bounced back off a dull effort in the TB Derby to win the Blue Grass.

The Blue Grass runner-up, Hold Me Back, had won the Lane's End, so like General Quarters he was validating his form in his final prep.

And while Arkansas Derby winner, Papa Clem, had lost his previous 2 starts, they were solid performances, running 2nd in both the Bob Lewis and Louisiana Derby.

Then, there was Summer Bird, 3rd in Arkansas, Dunkirk, 2nd in the Florida Derby, and Mine That Bird, the horse that would go on to wear the Roses.

There was also future sprint champ, Big Drama, who was trying to stretch out and finally there was a certain 3 filly, Rachel Alexandra, who would rise to the top of the class with wins in the Preakness, Haskell, and Woodward.

It's easy to look back at Mine That Bird's fluky win and the fact a filly won the Preakness and conclude the males of that crop stunk.  But 3 weeks from the Derby, that crop towered over this year's crop in terms of accomplishment, speed figures and consistency.

18 Apr 2011 3:25 AM
Joe Alva

Pedigree Ann:

I'm not quite sure you understood the point I made earlier about fillies running in the Derby and their subsequent success or lack thereof.  I never stated that EVERY filly that runs out of the money in the Derby cannot recover from that race and have immediate success (the fillies you pointed out were very good examples of that -- I do remember them -- as I remember other brilliant ones that did not fare well in the Derby and had great careers such as Althea and Serena's Song).  

My point was that the reason trainers are hesitant to run quality fillies in a 20 horse field packed with colts is that they fear the stress of the Derby can set them back.  I heard Todd Pletcher explicitly say that about Rags to Riches when questioned as to why he did not run her in the Derby when she may have had a shot to win it.  He said it was not a risk he wanted to take with her and would prefer to run her against the boys in the less-packed Belmont.  The connections of Rachel Alexandra expressed the same sentiment before the Derby when encouraged to run her in it.  Most trainers, and I have personally known a couple of them, will tell you that running good fillies against colts is a very risky proposition.  That is not to say they cannot beat colts or have immediate or future success against other fillies, just that SOMETIMES it really backfires.    

By the way, to answer your question as to how old I am, I'm old enough!  I'm old enough to have a thing or two in my bloodwork always be off , old enough to remember the price of gas at 29 cents a gallon and old enough to well remember Genuine Risk although I never saw her in person.  Grant you, I'll give you that she was definitely not as big as Winning Colors, maybe an inaccuracy in my previous statement while comparing them, but, according to her connections (and I definitely remember having heard or read this), they decided to run her against colts because she was a very good "masculine" and "extraordinarily tough" filly that they felt could take the stress of battling against the boys.  I do indeed remember the smaller 13 horse field in that race with Plugged Nickle and Rockhill Native running disappointing efforts and Rumbo flying at the end under the urging of Laffit Pincay to finish second.

All in all, I appreciate your expertise and sound knowledge of the sport -- it shows!  I admire it very much and hope you keep sharing it on these blogs.  I do hope you share it in the future with a little more charity and a tad more humility.  Best of luck to you!  

18 Apr 2011 3:32 AM

Kudos to trainer Mike Puype for doing right by Turbulent Descent and keeping her at middle distances.  She rewarded him Sunday by winning the gr.2 Beaumont with ease.  That's her 4 stakes win and 3rd graded stakes in 6 career starts.

18 Apr 2011 3:34 AM

"Dance City is a star"

Draynay 17 Apr 2011 5:17 PM

Wasn't it you draynay who was bashing another blogger not long ago for calling another horse a star and questionnig what races he had won and who he had beat? This horse has done far less (he's a maiden and allowance winner only)but once again you contradict what you make fun of others for doing. He's a good looking prospect but far from "a star" based on what he's done.

18 Apr 2011 8:43 AM

Draynot I am the liar?  Funny I am the ONLY one on ANY BLOG posting some of his winning tickets.

Draynay 16 Apr 2011 12:40 PM


I'll say it again yes you are a liar. Here's the proof for the rest to see and by the way posting pictures of someone elses winning tickets is really pathetic.

"Mike Relva and the rest of you folks, more of draynay claiming to know it all and lying after the fact to try and make you believe it.

Here is his post the day after the 2009 Ky Derby,

"Next year I am going to do what I said I was going to do this year... I am placing 100 bucks on Calvin Borel every race he is in and will count my winnings at the end... I have a feeling I will be much further ahead then I was this year....shame I didn't do it this year."

draynay 03 May 2009 1:14 PM

This is in direct conflict with what he wants you to believe now. He says he was going to make the bet but decided not to then but now he lies to make you think he it was just a mistake that he didn't.

Fast forward to today and here is his recent post to Mike Relva claiming the he was going to make the bet but blaming his poor wife for not making the bet. As you can see he's lying through what teeth he has left.

"Mike, 2 things upset me about Mine That Bird.  The first was I didn't get my Borel bet in because I thought my wife had done it and she thought I had done it.  The second thing that upset me is he was a FLUKE winner and won only because Borel was on him."

draynay 08 Apr 2011 1:57 PM

draynay is an attention seeker. Something he lacks draws him to lie and make outrageous comments so people notice him even if it is in a negative way.

draynot 16 Apr 2011 9:37 AM


18 Apr 2011 8:55 AM

People just keep dismissing Nehro at their mutual peril. This is a legitimate horse and will make some waves in Ky. The worst thing I can say about him is that after finishing a close second in his last two races even draynay's eyes have been finally opened and we all know that means Nehro has the curse to overcome.

18 Apr 2011 8:59 AM
Billy's Empire

Mucho Macho Man got to the Churchill this morning.

18 Apr 2011 9:32 AM
Toro On Turf

And I do agree that the Arkansas Derby was one of the worse race calls that I have heard.  But the results were good.  Again Nehro only lost by a neck and another 2 yards he would have won by a neck.  And he was just getting going.  1 1/4 may be perfect for him....Hint Hint!!  I am sure glad that I boxed him to all.  Best bet in racing if you really like one horse and the others are all over the place!!   Really nice when a 25-1 horse wins too.  Only ticket I did not cash on Arkansas Derby was my win ticket on Nehro.  But if he keeps regressing like Jason says then he may get bigger odds at the Derby.....but I doubt that because if handicappers don't notice since fast closing horse with a good racing style then they are missing something.      And what about the Duke!!  Now you got to let him run flat a couple of times to get his odds back up again and he will win another big race at good odds.  Cashed all my tickets on that race.  Saturday was good day.  And oh yeah, I did not play the Bluegrass......a little confusing and I do not believe that any of those horse will have an effect on the Derby!  Now the waiting begins....May 7th here we come!!

18 Apr 2011 10:54 AM

From what I understand it's difficult to get a horse to displace during an endescopic exam.I wonder if it actually showed during the exam or are they just making excuses?

18 Apr 2011 11:06 AM
The Rock

You know what I find humorous is that after every article i've read about the latest prep race its been concluded that the group participating within the races are not that strong. Can we just conclude that this crop is just not that good? Actually, I'll take that back. I think the US has a very strong breed for producing sprinter/miler types. Its just when you go that extra furlong or two, the quality gets watered down. We've seen The Factor break 1:07 going 6f's. Turbulent Descent has proven to be a beast going one turn. When these horses stretch out, its like trying to handicap the Blue Grass stakes. You never know what kind of race these horses will run.

Perhaps they're going through the motions of getting races under their belt and building conditioning. The only problem is there's not enough time to put a little more work in b/c the Derby is less than 3 weeks away! So instead of these connections babying these horses, let them get some races under their belts so they can figure them out instead of having a glorified Blue Grass stakes as our KY Derby.

18 Apr 2011 11:35 AM


With the Derby preps now virtually done, its time to assemble your top 10 from which the winner and runners up will emerge. I'm expecting that good sense will prevail and that you will make a right about turn in your views of the winning chances of Dialed In, Toby's Corner and Mucho Macho Man, colts that you've so far disdainfully dismissed as having no shot.

To get you started I'll post my top ten, subject to Derby week reports , of course:

1)Dialed In 2)Mucho Macho Man 3)Shackleford 4)Nehro 5)Toby's Corner 6)Uncle Mo 7)Soldat 8)Archarcharch 9)Master of Hounds 10)Santiva

One caveat on my list is that in the unlikely event that Uncle Mo returns to good health, fitness, his 2YO form and stays the trip, he'd be my #1 selection but only by narrow margin as I have a lot of confidence in Dialed In based upon his talent, trainer, jockey and the trajectory of improvement since his debut victory off a light campaign.

18 Apr 2011 12:15 PM

Maybe back to back shipping, and big efforts got the best of TF? They should have left him at Oaklawn after the Rebel and trained up to the AD. I think he bounced.

18 Apr 2011 12:21 PM

Hmmm again--though the AR Derby tough race to bet--kudos to those who could--and cash. I stayed out and watched--not going to knock rides, thought winner got a good one. Place horse might make my Derby ticket in a small way.

Bluegrass only went to prove that JR is riding with such confidence that horses must feel it--boy is he in a zone. Nothing for KY Derby gleaned except earnings bumping someone. Now if you were talking the VA Derby-different story.

--My called out pick lost although I had the first four  6 W---1-4-5 W 1-4-5-8 should have seen the merry-go-round pace-my bad and I was wrong unless you boxed my top 4 and got 250+ on the tri and $550 on the super--but I "didn't say" box---so can't post my ticket-ha ha -REALLY?????? (as was I on my claimer mentioned he paid $14.20 to place (and 9.20 show) but didn't post him so it is hearsay)--of course I only picked/posted one race and wasn't solid on it--did it to be sporting --the Master ---how many races did he pick? 10? To boast about it and ask for 1/2 of winnings?-discounting the other ones that didn't make the first 4 finishers in the other races picked? Good deal if you can get it.

He should get ALL HIS FOLLOWERS and start a group--"The Dray Duo"



Unfortunately I work Mon-Fri for live blogs and although I love racing and went Saturday--I married a much younger woman for someone who saw the great Kelso run and have produced a 4yr old stakes winner who I went fishing with on Sunday. Better than picking a $100 winner- even for a horseball.

18 Apr 2011 12:26 PM
Mike Relva


If The Factor flipped his palate it's an "excuse" the same as for Uncle Mo having one. I think Factor will run in the Derby.

18 Apr 2011 1:38 PM
Mike Relva


I think The Factor had an excuse like Uncle Mo,guess you don't see it that way.

18 Apr 2011 2:19 PM

Coldfacts - I, too, am waiting for your Derby Top 10 and pedigree analysis.

jayjay - sorry, didn't catch that.  Good work on having AAA.

Mel Tillis could have provided a better race call of The Arkansas Derby than the one we heard.

18 Apr 2011 2:45 PM
Ted from LA

Next to Ted in LA, he's one of my favorites.  (Ted: you're just too cool for words. My fascination with Bellwether is somewhat more perverse.)

Single in LA 17 Apr 2011 9:44 PM

Ted from LA prefers perverse affection to cool.  What's next, you're going to tell me I remind you of your brother?  Single, keep a close eye on Decisive Moment... he's taking a shine to Churchill Downs.

18 Apr 2011 2:56 PM
Mike Relva

The _Wiz

I agree with some of your points. The worst is his trainer!

18 Apr 2011 2:59 PM

The only excuse MO SMO and The Factor have is the distance.  As I said before you can't push them 1 1/4.  They must be dreaming.  The only thing I can say about the recent winners of the last few derby preps is at least they have bloodline and style to go the distance.  They just don't ahve the consistency like Dialed In has.  Dialed In has been totally disrespected.  He should be odds on but the experts keep trying to find someone to put in front of him.  Zito will be laughing all the way to the bank after he wins the Derby and then collects the 5.5 million bonus for the Preakness.  This could be the year we finally see a Triple Crown winner.

18 Apr 2011 3:08 PM
mr pibb


There is a good reason alot of people have refered to draynay as mr. bs over the past few years. He's had a habit of saying one thing one day and when it doesn't work out flip flopping his position hoping people don't remember what he originally said. I see him as the class clown that thinks people are laughing with him when they are really laughing at him. He's completely oblivious to that.

18 Apr 2011 3:17 PM

WOW Ranagulzion, that's a pretty drastic change on your views on Uncle Mo...talk about bandwagon jumping.  I take it you didn't buy in the G1 infection??  That's the one thing I learned about the Derby, you never buy in to the hype, always watch the races.  

Shackleford ?? Really ??  He doesn't even have enough earnings.  How can you put him on your list?  If he ran in the Derby and finished above 6th, I'd be very surprised.

So for your caveat, basically, you're saying if he wins, he's your number 1 and if he doesn't, he's your number 6? Did I get that right ?

My top 4 (my caveat, if any of these 4 wins, they're my number 1, otherwise...) :

Dialed In, Soldat, Nehro, Jaycito

The rest :

Midnight Interlude, MMM, ArchX3, Toby's Corner, Stay Thirsty, Decisive Moment, Animal Kingdom, Pants On Fire

I'll play Uncle Mo on the bottom of my exotics if the works are good (if his two works are 6F or shorter), he'll probably be done before the top of the stretch so I won't play him at all.  Anything 7F or a mile workout, I will.

tcc : I did hit that exacta, as well the as AD exacta.  I was ready  for bombs on both races.  Twinspired is actually my horse on the Bluegrass, if he had won, I would've had the daily double as I wheeled him on the last leg.

18 Apr 2011 3:18 PM

bushwacker, I have to give credit where credit is due.  Dance City is a star (for the day) for what he did in the Arkansas.  The way he came back to get 3rd was really special and well deserved.  It makes me look forward to Cal Nation running next week.  Sniper, maybe you and others need to update your phones because none of you seem to have a camera on your phone.  Every Saturday I post a few of my winning tickets for all to see on my facebook page but no one else does.  Is it because you need a new phone or need to pick winners ? By the way, Zenyatta was a poly specialist nothing more.  Blame proved that for sure.

18 Apr 2011 3:19 PM
no mo mo

As wide open as this Derby is unca schmoe will not be the winner!! Wrong breeding, weak preperation, 2 yr old curse, draynay curse, has the runs, you name it there will be plenty of excuses when he gets whipped for the second race in a row over his 1 1/16 mile limitations. If pletcher were smart he'd retire him now and save what value he has as a stud. If he keeps racing its all downhill from here for him as the distances get farther and farther beyond his limit.

18 Apr 2011 3:27 PM

Ok Soldat only prep race runner with triple digit Beyer.I dont have a well defined idea of who I like,as it seems most on this blog are in accord.I have some horses in mind but until the post position draw,and then the early afternoon odds on May 7, I dont know if this years derby merits a big risk in the exotic pools.

18 Apr 2011 3:28 PM

tcc, you missed one, he's up to 4 including mo for now.

I don't know if Santiva wins or not but he is a tough horse and will be on my ticket in May no matter what.

Draynay 15 Apr 2011 12:01 PM

Dance City is a star and Nehro is on my ticket.  Can't wait to see Cal Nation run.  The Factor ?  Give me a break CA.

Draynay 17 Apr 2011 5:17 PM

Looks like he is getting a little worried about his pick of Uncle Mo.

His list is starting to expand more, stay tuned, the list might expand more than this again.  

tcc 17 Apr 2011 8:40 PM

It's early folks, draynay will have picked 75% of the field to win before they go off. The remaining 5 he doesn't pick will fill out the superfecta between them.

18 Apr 2011 3:41 PM


Only 55 points behind the top place in RTTR is not bad.  You're still in the ballpark. Good Luck! I'm way back.

We leave a week from Sunday for all of Derby week.  CD also added a VIP tour of WinStar farm which we'll do on Thursday.  Can't wait. Now I just need to settle on my 4 horse ex. box.  Decisions, decisions.

18 Apr 2011 4:35 PM

Dialed IN-Number 1 Default--hate deep closers any race period unless they are an over sized mare

Uncle Mo- Moved him back to 2 because of preps almost to 1 again

Nethro-number 3-Improving quickly, default pick maybe shouldn't be this high with SA Derby more handy than him in 4th and the Wood winner in 5th.

In retrospect, bias aside and the fact Mo has the weight of Dray on him ---(really shouldn't that "hot air" actually make him lighter???)Really is hard not to give him his mulligan and Dailed In has done very well and certainly is a nice horse. I hate chalk picking--but I sort a small possibility of a 100-1 shot to run 3rd or 4th in the KY Derby who I can't pick in my top 5 with a straight face--- but he will run well--- but if that is good enough?--he just might be behind in talent but he was certainly best in the Spiral on close examination-- 5 wide almost the whole trip and the speed all stopped badly except him????? Decisive Moment still my bomb--not so much to win but stab the ticket--keep that in mind Animal lovers

18 Apr 2011 5:06 PM

Mike, it was clear to anyone who has been around racing that The Factor would be no factor when pressed with some speed.  You're young you will learn.

18 Apr 2011 5:08 PM

I want to thank many of you for being honest and sending my 1/2 your winnings.  I don't give out the answers to just anyone.  Please do me a favor and make sure you send me a Money Order.  Regular checks are a pain.  Thanks in advance.  For those who want the win place and show in the Derby send 999.00 and I will get them to you as soon as the horses are drawn.

18 Apr 2011 5:20 PM
Danny from UK

Sorry to be rude, but I just have to get this off my chest...

This is the worst bunch of U.S 3 year olds I've ever seen.

I can't overstate just how badly Frankel would smash this this bunch of mediocre muppets.

18 Apr 2011 7:07 PM
Toro On Turf

Every year people claim it's a bad bunch of 3yos.  That is what makes handicapping an art; and not just spouting off!!    Let's watch some workouts....and the Lexington......and see who falls off the trail!!  They we can start truly handicapping the Derby!!  Too early to make any sensible picks until a couple weeks from now.  Good luck everybody!  When you throw out your picks; explain why!  

18 Apr 2011 7:31 PM

slyder, I will choose 5 horses and box them for my Tri and Super.  But if UM is in the gate he will be my pick for the win.  UM is simply too good. Jason, Cal Nation looks good for the Jerome after watching Dance City.

18 Apr 2011 7:39 PM

Here's my .02 cents...

Anyone else thought of the fact that maybe we really haven't seen any GOOD crop of 3 yr olds ?

I think the last time we saw a good crop of 3 yr olds was 2005. That year and the previous 2 years where there was a pretty good matchup in each year.  The 80s and the 90s were probably the best 2 decade of colts.  I can't go farther than that lol, I've only been losing money on horseracing since the early 90s.    I really miss those days as far as watching the best of the best run against each other.  For betting purposes, I have to say I like the fact that there are no standouts even though I haven't hit the superfecta... yet.

I've given up on the fact that I'll ever see a TC winner in my lifetime (unless Zenyatta/Bernardini and RA/Curlin produces one).  Does the mare gene have more impact on the baby or is it the daddy's gene or is it a "who knows until they race"  type thing?   I'm not very educated on the breeding part of horseracing.  Something I need to start doing :)

18 Apr 2011 7:49 PM

trackjack : That sounds like a dream trip!  Have a great time!  Yeah, I have 3 stables (DaDaddy1,2 and 3)  My 2 stable is the one that's currently in the running.  I just added MMM and Nehro to it, I don't stand a chance at winning now but I'm just trying to make the top 50.

18 Apr 2011 8:00 PM

jayjay, unlike you I actually go to the races and bet real money.  When you bet as much as I do you have to know what you are doing.  All races are not equal and some of the worst races to bet are the Derby preps.  Was I cheering for Elite Alex? Yes. Who doesn't want to see Borel in the Derby?  When I hit my 10 dollar Pick 3 at Keeneland Saturday I did it on races where I felt I had a handicapping advantage. Picking your races is as important as picking your horses.  I have spoken.

18 Apr 2011 8:20 PM

jay jay,

When it comes to races like the Kentucky Derby, I've gotta make my picks with a certain degree of confidence. I jumped off Mo's wagon because there are too many questions surrounding his readiness for the Derby. In the case of Dialed In my confidence grows the more I think about his talent, scope for improvement, pedigree and connections. This colt has multiple inbreeding to the big heart Xfactor carrier Princequillo via his sire's and dam's family (AP Indy, Storm Cat and Daring Bidder). It may not be a coincidence that his large upperbody is built similar to Secretariat's, therefore expect him to be motoring like an express train ...or better yet, zipping like a low-flying rocket-propelled missile.  Believe me jay jay, none will be finishing faster than Dialed In.  Even if Uncle Mo were to return to his best form, I think that Dialed In will truly test his mettle at this stage going ten furlongs.

Shackleford is to be respected because of his talent and pedigree.  He is a son of Forestry, a stallion that occassionally throws some very classy colts (remember Discreet Cat and Forest Danger). His broodmare sire is none other than Unbridled (Derby winner and Derby-winner-producing influence as in Grindstone and Mine That Bird).  Shackleford is going to be a pace factor in the Derby that will hang around doggedly for a share of the minor placing.  I do believe that he will make the field. More anon.  

18 Apr 2011 8:22 PM

I read these blogs and can't believe the mentality of some.  How does one horse (Uncle Mo) move up so quickly on people's lists when another horse (The Factor) displaces his palate, has trouble breathing, and hence, loses the race.

Do I have to remind you that Uncle Mo not only lost to an ungraded stakes winner but also finished behind a horse that had won only  a maiden race in eight tries.

And for some, hanging your hopes on a horse's (again Uncle Mo) workouts only is insane.

18 Apr 2011 8:23 PM


     thats sounds like an awesome trip take some pics of BLUEGRASS CAT!!!HOPE YOU GET TO MEET e WALDEN OR MR TROUT  Hey Darley (who owns PR) has a farm close by but I dont think you can tour it PANTY RAID foaled a colt by STREET CRY that would be awesome to see----- Also GLENCREST FARM is near by THE FILLY -DEVIL MAY CARE may still be on the farm man have a great time and post any in side info you may get down at CD man Id love to go to CD but here I am in MD and I have'nt even done the PREAK might this year if i hit the DERBY--I did get invited to BELMONT the year BBrown went could not make it Mother in laws 75 bday hey FAM first !!HAVE A GREAT TIME

18 Apr 2011 8:50 PM
Karen in Texas

jayjay----2007 gave us Curlin, Street Sense, Hardspun, Any Given Saturday, and Rags to Riches as 3 year olds. They were all fairly accomplished.

18 Apr 2011 8:56 PM

I think the current earnings list might just be the actual field for the Derby.  Master of Hounds' connections just announced he's in.  I don't see anyone else from 21 to 30 that is running in the lexington except Jaycito and he's currently # 20.  The only one I'm not sure of is JP's Gusto and The Factor - JP may have been toasted in the AD but haven't heard anything about him not running.  I'm not sure how serious TF's "displacing the palate" is. It's the only way Santiva will get in the Derby.

Draynay : How about YOU actually post your picks before the race instead of saying you take pictures of winning tickets.  For all we know (and the probability is close to 99%), those are people around that keeps picking the winners and you beg to take pictures of their tickets.  Your record online as far as picking winners doesn't exactly match what you say after the race.

18 Apr 2011 9:11 PM
Mike Relva


Yeah,but Frankel isn't here,is he?

18 Apr 2011 9:19 PM

Karen : Thanks for that!  I missed that one and you're right about that.  I remembered cheering for Street Sense and not liking Hard Spun at all as I thought he was just a speedball but boy did he prove me wrong.

Rana : You're confusing me now, your last post pretty much says you've completely jumped off the UM bandwagon.  Yet in your previous one, you said if UM do this, and do that and returns to this and that, he'll be my number 1. Which is it ?

As in my previous post, the earnings list seems to be set and probably will be the derby lineup.  MoH is in, the only thing that can change things (and drastically) is if UM and TF doesn't make it because of their issues. How else do you think Shackleford will make it ?  Who do you think will withdraw from the race ?

It would be more of an impact if TF doesn't run because he would be the one that will set things up.  They  are not going to hold him back in the Derby, it'll be a blazing "come and catch me if you can."  The key is whether you believe he can get the distance or not.  I hope he makes it, I will try and beat him.

LOL. You don't have to tell me about Dialed In, I was on his wagon way before you are.  Even before his Holy Bull, I was already watching Zito's horses.  When Draynay was saying he couldn't win an allowance race, I was thinking this fool doesn't know anything about horse racing.  That allowance race was the key race for him that set him up for that big run in the Florida Derby.  People questioned his time, and found excuses to jump off his bandwagon (against because of the hype about slow times), I made him my top choice at the time together with Jaycito.

18 Apr 2011 11:01 PM

Jayjay, I will count you as one of those that doesn't know how to work his camera phone AND can't pick a winner.  I will continue to post some of my winners every Saturday.  

18 Apr 2011 11:11 PM

" When you bet as much as I do you have to know what you are doing. "

Please continue the way you've been betting and "knowing" what you know.  We all welcome your money in the pool.  So the preps are done, now you can tell us how much WIN money you're putting on Uncle Mo.  Don't be changing your story now, he's 10 lengths better than any 3 yr old this year, remember?  He's so far above the rest that he's the next triple crown winner.  I say anything less than $1,000 WIN bet on Uncle Mo from you, means you are all BS and that you probably won't even play him.  Let's us see that BIG WIN TICKET after the race.  I'd also be surprise if you even box one exacta considering there's no other horse that even comes close to the great Uncle Mo.  SO let's also see your exotics bets with UM singled on top.

Looking forward to your reply...

18 Apr 2011 11:12 PM

John, maybe you missed some of Uncle Mo's brilliant performances.  The Factor was exposed as soon as he raced against top competition.  The Factor was out of it as soon as the race started he has been measured and served.  Next.

18 Apr 2011 11:16 PM
Paula Higgins

Joe Alva, good post and a funny one too. Well, my top two picks are Dialed In and Mucho Macho Man with the caveat that Uncle Mo gets back in there too if he gets over his stomach problem and trains well. That's a big "if." Uncle Mo is too talented to throw out completely based on a 3rd place finish when he was sick. I think he is the most talented of the bunch and I think the distance in the Derby should not be a problem for him. But all of his other issues may make the Derby a bridge too far. I hope I am wrong for Mike Repole's sake. If anyone deserves a Derby win, he does.

18 Apr 2011 11:35 PM
Mike Relva


The Factor is a long way from being out of the mix,just wait.

19 Apr 2011 12:41 AM

In respect to some one noting Pletcher wasn't going to put a filly in the Derby...didn't he have Devil May Care, a filly, in last year's Derby???

19 Apr 2011 8:16 AM

I will continue to post some of my winners every Saturday.  

draynay 18 Apr 2011 11:11 PM


Posting pics of someone elses winning tickets is pathetic.

19 Apr 2011 9:08 AM
Single in LA


Thanks for the tip on Decisive Moment.  If I win big, I'll buy you a drink. Thanks, bro!

19 Apr 2011 11:00 AM
Mike Relva


So true.

19 Apr 2011 2:31 PM
Ted from LA

Single in LA, Ted from LA is old fashioned.  I'll let you buy me a drink win or lose.

19 Apr 2011 2:41 PM
tampa table 56

I have come to wits end and wish this all to stop. One of your bloggers who goes by the name of "draynay" befriended me at Tampa Bay not so long ago. Once he felt comfortable with me he asked if he could take pictures of my winning tickets so he could play a joke on some of his friends. He was playing chalk every race and couldn't get a winner if he bought one so he wanted to "borrow" my tickets before I cashed them. Apparently his ruse was to post the pics of my winnings on his Facebook page and come here to brag. I'm here to tell you people to believe not a word of it. I have witnessed his inept ability to pick a winner day after day. He's all smoke and mirrors. Run from his picks!!  

19 Apr 2011 3:07 PM

Lol.  Ummm there is no table 56 at Tampa Bay Downs and you didn't tell us your name.  I have struck a cord here because I have figured out most of you are full of it.  I still haven't seen anyone besides me post some of their winning tickets and I don't expect to.  It's one thing to blog a bunch of BS but when it's time to show your tickets you all run and hide.

19 Apr 2011 3:23 PM

Hurts doesn't it Draynot.  I posted some of MY WINNERS and you and others can't do the same can you.  You're being called out and you can't do anything about it can you.  Lol.

19 Apr 2011 3:25 PM

Mike, I don't think we have to worry about The Factor going 2 turns anymore.

19 Apr 2011 3:26 PM

Draynay : No one really believes you lol, you're a sad sad pathetic gambler.  We respond to your post to make fun of you.  If you haven't noticed that, then you're as dense as a...

Keep your handicapping angles lol, keep betting big!  Let's see your bet on UNCLE MO, I bet you won't have a dime on UM come derby day.  Cause you go with whoever is the people's bet, you can't pick your nose without poking your eye let alone pick a horse that wins BEFORE the race.

19 Apr 2011 3:32 PM

Jayjay, you're all talk too.  I don't see you posting any of your 2 dollar bets.  Somehow you can't post any of your winners either.  Sad.

19 Apr 2011 3:46 PM

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