Wilkes Has Two to Watch For

Ian Wilkes has not won a Kentucky Derby on his own yet, but as the top assistant to Carl Nafzger he played a vital part in developing Street Sense, who took the roses in 2007. A native of Australia, Wilkes also galloped horses for Nafzger when he first came to the United States way back in 1989. One of the horses he routinely exercised for Nafzger was Unbridled, who of course won the 1990 Derby.

Wilkes knows what Derby-caliber horses look like. As with every horseman, he also knows luck plays an important role in getting one there, especially when it comes to keeping them healthy. But the 46-year-old trainer says there is no substitute for having talented 2-year-olds in the barn this time of year.

"It makes it easier to get up in the morning, that's for sure," Wilkes said.

Wilkes, who lives in Louisville and is based at Churchill Downs and nearby Skylight Training Center, has a stable full of promising juvenile in his barn, but two of them have the look of Triple Crown contenders. Perhaps the most talented is Timely Tally, who most recently finished third to Gemologist in the Nov. 26 Kentucky Jockey Club. If you haven't already done so, go back and watch the race again. He is the 3-horse, way at the back of the field under Calvin Borel. With no room on the rail, he's swung wide, comes from last around the turn while making a huge move, and is flying at the end. He fell two lengths short of Gemologist but likely would have passed him with a little more ground. Here were Wilkes' quotes after the race:

"He was still last at the quarter-pole and then he circles them at the quarter-pole and gets beat by two lengths. I wouldn't want to trade places with anyone going forward off this race. I just feel my horse is getting better. He's improving with racing. And you know he likes the track here, so that's a good sign."

Timely Tally is by Mr. Greeley, out of the A.P. Indy mare Score. Owner A. Steven Miles Jr. paid $220,000 for him at the Keeneland September 2010 yearling sale. Wilkes helped pick out the horse.

"Obviously we liked his pedigree, but he also had good conformation and looked like a runner," Wilkes said Dec. 6. "Now, sometimes they look like runners and they can't run a jump, but he had all the attributes. We paid a little more for him than we thought we'd have to, but hopefully we'll get rewarded."

Timely Tally ran off the board in his first two starts at Saratoga this summer, both in sprints. Wilkes knew he needed more ground, so took him to Keeneland for a two-turn race in October. He won by a beck, but it was much better than it looked on paper.

"He won from the 12-pole that day. If you look at the results from Keeneland, I don't think there were many that won from out there at a mile and a sixteenth or longer," Wilkes said.

In his next start at Churchill, Timely Tally was second by two lengths to Gemologist in an optional claimer. He was making up plenty of ground at the end, as he did four weeks later in the KJC.

"Gemologist has beaten him two lengths both times; he's a good horse, give him credit," Wilkes said. "But the good part is that (Timely Tally) justified us moving him ahead. He took the next step (in the KJC) coming off that allowance race and just didn't get the trip. But he proved that he belonged. And if he improves a little more he can take us there."

Wilkes shipped Timely Tally down to his barn at Palm Meadows in Florida after the KJC and will map out a 3-year-old campaign for him in the near future. One of the things he will do when picking his spots is figure out how to separate him from his other standout-Motor City.

Motor City is by Street Sense, out of the Danzig Connection mare Shawgatny. He is a homebred of Lantern Hill Farm. Wilkes started him at Ellis Park this summer, where he broke his maiden at second asking in front-running fashion. He then finished third in the grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity and off-the-board in the grade I Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland-both on Polytrack.

But Motor City responded with a big effort in the grade III Iroquois at Churchill, coming from off the pace to win under Borel. It was a totally different type of effort than when he broke his maiden in wire-to-wire fashion.

"In his maiden race he drew the inside and we had to put him in the race early or he would have run the risk of getting shut off at the rail," Wilkes said. "We didn't want to get him in trouble. In the Iroquois he was about six to eight lengths off it. He looks a lot like his dad I think.

"They are both showing they belong. As they go further we'll find out more. They are still young, still determining which way they want to run; closer or from out of it. They will find their strengths as time goes on."

Not coincidentally, Borel, who normally winters at Oaklawn Park, has decided to ride full-time at Gulfstream for the first time this meet. He will be first-call rider for Wilkes for much of the meet, especially with his 2-year-olds.

With either Timely Tally or Motor City, the three-time Derby-winning jockey may have already found his Derby horse.


Leave a Comment:



Ian Wilkes looks like he has a good pair of horses here to work with.

06 Dec 2011 2:29 PM
Bob from Boston

It's Triple Crown season!  YES!!!  Timely Tally is your Florida Derby winner.  Where is everyboy?  mz, Dr. Drunkinbum, Single in LA, Fonzy, Ralph, Joanie?

06 Dec 2011 3:24 PM

Triple Crown Talk has returned! Good post Jason. Timely Tally is at the top of my Derby watch list at the moment, and I like Motor City a lot too.

Calvin Borel has two other promising looking colts lined up for this spring. Exfactor, winner of the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) who should be returning to the races soon, and In The Beat, a son of Stree Sense who broke his maiden going six furlongs at Churchill for the exact same connections as Street Sense himself. Unlike last year, it looks like Borel won't be looking for a Derby mount at the last minute.


06 Dec 2011 5:29 PM

Good Luck Ian!  Wishing you the best.

06 Dec 2011 6:42 PM
Sam Santschi

Thanks for the post Jason.   Excited to follow Wilkes' horses. You know they are well taken care of as he learned the right way from Mr. Nafzger.  Looking forward to next year!

06 Dec 2011 7:13 PM

Borel's gotta be psyched with all these Street Sense babies coming of age.

06 Dec 2011 9:45 PM

I have loved the fall Churchill meet this year. I feel there are a few horses that go far on the derby trail. Timely Tally and Motor City are on my watch list. I might make a bet in Vegas on Motor City.

06 Dec 2011 10:50 PM
Tiz Herself

Am also looking forward to seeing if In The Beat moves forward, as he is a Street Sense colt, owned by Jim Tafel and trained by Carl Nafzger if memory serves from his win on my Virtual Stable watch. Deja Vu?


Would be neat to see him there, whether he'd have a chance or not.

Nafzger knows how to get a horse to the Derby. Wouldn't it be neat to see Nafzger and Wilkes have a horse in the Churchill gate? As mentioned, both had a hand in Street Sense and Unbridled's triumphs. Would be sweeter if they both had Street Sense kids there. That'd be a neat story!

Triple Crown fever ... check! Can't wait to see what this spring will have in store for us.

07 Dec 2011 12:22 AM

Timely Tally is a good horse, but, as with come from behinder he is at the mercy of a speed dual and racing luck, unless he shows more early speed & have the same late kick he is at a disadvantage.

07 Dec 2011 11:27 AM

I already had been aware of the race he ran in the KJC,and also that the jockey was Borel.Just going by where they both ran TT,was more highly regarded by his connections than MC.Saratoga,Keenland,and lastly Churchill.Thanx for imposing this into my memory further Bloodhorse blogger.

07 Dec 2011 2:11 PM

On the topic of running style Borel has won two of his three derbies on horses that sustain a move for more than a quarter mile,Street Sense and Mine that Bird. Both of these wins came with the help of his BO-RAIL style saving ground on the inside and waiting for room to make a move.

07 Dec 2011 2:18 PM

Just as I try to ease the pain of watching my beloved Cleveland Browns by watching an "Urban Legend" begin to rebuild the fortunes of my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes.....

Just as I need to decorate my Christmas tree and look forward to the Holidays.....

.....Just then I'm yanked back to reality with the return of TRIPLE CROWN TALK.  Thanks Jason for this article, especially the embedded videos.

Good Luck to Ian and his stable.  I still have to wait and see how these two develop.  Timely Tally needs to prove he wants 10F, but Ian has him moving forward and that's all you can ask at this point.  Motor City looks very much like his sire as Ian mentions.  Wouldn't be surprised to see Motor City point to the Tampa Bay Derby after his Daddy set a new track record there winning it in 2007.

As others have mentioned, it's great to see the Street Sense babies and yes, Calvin sure looks loaded (with Derby Trail riding opportunities).

This Derby fever is coming back!

07 Dec 2011 4:01 PM

Sorry, but wanted to respond to a comment from the last Breeders Cup post.


I didn't disrespect Quality Road.  It might have read as if I were disparaging Quality Road, but I was only critiquing his ability to get a classic distance.  

Quality Road was an outstanding miler-9 furlong horse, and won 4 gr.1 races for his career.  But he just wasn't as good at 10 furlongs, and I don't see how one can really dispute this.  True, his two 10 furlong races at 3 were far from being bad, with the Jockey Club Gold Cup a particularly solid effort,  but both those races came against medium sized fields with only a few truly elite runners.  Ultimately, I just don't see any way around the fact that his career record at the distance was 0-3.  

Maybe Quality Road could have won the Gulfstream Park Cap if it was still held at 10 furlongs given his affinity for the track.  But facing an elite field like he faced in the BC Classic, with multiple classy speed horses, 10 furlongs was just a bridge too far.  

I concede that Quality Road likely wasn't at his best in the 10' Classic, but I don't think the entire margin of defeat can be swept under the rug as an "off day".  In my opinion, the debacle was a combination of being off form and having to run 10 furlongs while pressed by 3 other solid speed horses.

But really, my earlier post wasn't intended to be about Quality Road; I wanted to bring attention to what I think is a sad lack of gr.1 races open to older horses at a classic distance back East.  Whatever the extent of Quality Road's distance limitations, the stakes schedule for gr.1 older males back East allowed Quality Road to go almost the entire year without having his distance capabilities tested.  Keep in mind also that Pletcher skipped that one gr.1 race at 10 furlongs for older males in the East, the Jockey Club Gold Cup, in favor of running in the Woodward and then training up to the Classic.  

I found it amazing that one of the  top 2 older males of 2010 was able to go all the way until November without contesting a race beyond 9 furlongs.  And that's why I asked people to imagine what would have happened had Quality Road held off Blame in the Whitney.  Quality Road would have had such a lead in the older male Eclipse that Pletcher could have withdrawn the horse from BC Classic consideration, if he felt the race would not show Quality Road in a positive light(whether because of fears of distance limitations or the horse training poorly), and still likely have won the award.

Had Quality Road not run in the Classic last year(in addition to not contesting the JCGC), his supporters could have continued insisting that he was a gr.1 10 furlong horse, and given (in this counterfactual) that he beat Blame in the Whitney, could have even suggested that he would have done the same in the BC Classic.  Those skeptical of Quality Road's distance abilities would not have had the "truth" to offer as evidence, with the "truth" being Quality Road's last place finish in the Classic.

07 Dec 2011 10:30 PM
Forbidden Apple

I also made a few comments in the last blog that were not posted. GunBow is correct when he talks about the handicap division on the east coast being flooded with 9f races. The Woodward absolutely should be run at a different distance than the Whitney. If it was run at 1 1/4 miles, I am not so sure that Rachel Alexandra or Havre de Grace would have beaten males. I would like to see more races beyond 9f (before the KY Derby)for 3 year olds too.

Quality Road loved Gulfstream Park and in my opinion, he was a miler. He had no business entering the starting gate in either B.C. classic race. I would describe his efforts as complete meltdowns and embarassing.

I loved Street Sense as a race horse, but as a stallion I see Hard Spun being more of a standout.

08 Dec 2011 9:10 AM
Carlos in Cali

Mr.Greeley(Timely Tally)has as many 10f winning progeny as Indian Charlie does... not good.Plus,it seems like Gemologist is about 2L better than him anyways,troubled trip or not.

Wilkes is solid though.

08 Dec 2011 1:24 PM

I agree that Mr Greeley is a stretch distance wise, but AP Indy is a stamina influence here in the States, so hopefully Timely Tally will get that shot of stamina from his dam.  I do like Motor City's breeding for 10 furlongs so I will be watching to see how he progresses.

09 Dec 2011 12:00 PM

Tiz Herself- In the Beat's dam is bred to the purple.  Great Phipps blood there.  Breeding-wise an interesting one to watch also.

09 Dec 2011 12:05 PM
Linda in Texas

Jason, thank you for Mike Repole's update on Uncle Mo, Stay Thirsty and Overdriven whom i have watched win along with Stopshoppingmaria, love her and what her name stands for.

Very sensible and sensative perspective from Mr. Repole and i am especially glad Stay Thirsty will not run at Churchill. Horses do not get a say in everything they are asked to do, but he certainly let someone know his dislike of CD and they listened.

I will always picture Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty crossing the wire together in Mo's last race.Always. Just somethin' about their togetherness that day that touched me.

Thanks again Jason. And Jason i hope Draynay is okay. Please tell him i miss his posts. And i mean that. He said in his last post, "see you next year" and i am beginning to believe he was serious. Hope not.

09 Dec 2011 1:19 PM

Jason, agree with Linda in Texas, thanks for the update on Stay Thirsty and the Repole stable. Glad to hear Mike has softened his stand about boycotting the BC with his plans for Stay Thirsty.

Linda in Texas:

Enjoy your insightful comments about Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty's togetherness, especially as they crossed the wire together in the Classic.  We were blessed to spend Derby week in Louisville and every morning Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty were on the track together.  Over the year they worked together, even timed workouts.  If you go back and watch the rerun of the Classic, after a couple of strides out of the gate, ST is looking to his outside as UM comes up near the lead.  ST comes out a little and joins UM, next to him but a length or so off as they come past the stands the first time.  My wife pointed this out to me.  She thinks ST was looking for UM to run with.  As you pointed out, they crossed the line together, perhaps they are BFF.

09 Dec 2011 2:44 PM

I think breeding is helpful most of the time but not always,an example when Funny Cide won the derby his pedigree was suspect going into the race and so was Real Quiet's.It takes one talented colt to make believers out of the crowd that use history as evidence that this horse or that horse cant win at a mile and a quarter.When one colt with suspect breeding in the sire line breaks through and wins a triple crown race,then guess what, breeders start breeding their mares that  produce distance horses to the colt, and success breeds success which is how horse racing works after all.With all the information at your finger tips these days,breeding is not so archaic as maybe it was thought to be as late as the 1990's.A lot of posters on this blog claim that any progency with AP Indy in the sire line wont win a triple crown race,all it takes is one talented colt and after that there will be more.Success breeds Success,for trainers also.

09 Dec 2011 5:26 PM

Gun Bow,

Regarding Quality Road's last placed finish in the BCC 2010 you wrote "In my opinion, the debacle was a combination of being off form and having to run 10 furlongs while pressed by 3 other solid speed horses"

If you take a reasonable look at QR's race record you should see how ridiculous that conclusion is. At his best QR could sit comfortably in that pace or just off it and make his winning move at the 5/8th pole. Quality Road was a highspeed cruiser that never chucked the gallop. That Breeder's Cup Classic performance was a complete toss ...totally uncharacteristic of the brilliant horse. Come on Bro, resist the temptation to malign the reputation of a special horse. He didn't win at 10 furlongs but had good excuses each time. Saying that he wasn't capable of winning at the classic distance in top company is plain speculation, no better than if I were to assert that had he not suffered the fiasco at the starting gates of BC Classic 2009, the furor over Zenyatta would have "died in the egg".


You made a good observation about Mr Greeley's offspring but Timely Tally does act like a colt that's begging for more distance.  Its early days yet so don't right him off.

09 Dec 2011 5:34 PM
Linda in Texas

Your wife and i would get along well.

I thought that during the BC and mentioned it in a post. I mentioned it again today because it was special.

For the past year leading up to The BC yes they did train together, i saw many photos and i downloaded them all to save for later. I even was concerned back then that they trained together so much that it might affect their racing. But they both had their own reasons for their finish and so be it. But Stay Thirsty is a New York Kinda Guy so i am glad no Churchill. I love them all.

Alex'sBigFan agreed with your wife and myself. And i am sure you felt the same way when your wife  mentioned it to you.

I wasn't in Louisville as you  were lucky to be, but i was glued to my screen.

I always know when you are writing a post even before i see who signed it. Great observations always.

09 Dec 2011 5:46 PM
Mike Relva


If QR was "off form" as indicated, he had no business running.

09 Dec 2011 9:11 PM
Tiz Herself

The two fillies, My Miss Aurelia and Weemissfrankie, can't wait to see their 3 yo campaigns!

Don't see anyone topping Frankie in the Starlet!

09 Dec 2011 10:21 PM


To be honest, I was skeptical all last year about Quality Road running 10 furlongs in the Classic, good form or not.  Although there were signs that Quality Road might not be at his best for the Classic(so-so win in the Woodward, questions about his training leading up to the BC), to me it really didn't matter because I didn't like him in the Classic, even in his best form.  Given how demanding Churchill was on speed, and given the number of other speed horses in the Classic in addition to doubt about Quality Road at 10 furlongs, I was strongly of the opinion that Quality Road would not be able to turn the tables on Blame, and most likely wouldn't be able to hold off Zenyatta or Lookin at Lucky.

Sorry, I truly do believe Quality Road was not an elite horse at 10 furlongs+.  And ultimately, all we really can go on is evidence, the races actually run; in 3 races over 9 furlongs, Quality Road was winless.

But like I wrote above, Quality Road was Blame's nose away from having wrapped up the Older Horse Eclipse, distance limitations or not.  Quality Road was clearly an elite horse, with 4 gr.1 wins, and in today's racing world, winning at a classic distance is not a requirement to be a champion or a high-fee sire.  

09 Dec 2011 11:16 PM
Forbidden Apple


In case you missed it, the Darley juvenile Out Of Bounds is running today in the 7th race at Hollywood. He looks primed for a strong performance at 8-1 morning line odds.

10 Dec 2011 7:58 AM
Zen's Auntie

Thanks for the link Jason, this clip was just what I needed – a good closer always gives me chills. No time for dish means no race watching lately.  

TT Sure looked like he wanted a bit more room.  I don’t like the ride Calvin gave him much – waiting for the rail to open cost this colt, or maybe the colt was just getting it all figured out.    Gemologist continues to look great he’s a mature looking colt for sure.  Timely Tally (I love this name for this colt) looks like he has a bunch of growing up and filling out to do.  Perhaps he will blossom at the right time.  I see truenicks calls TT’s cross a D just a quick look and it’s an A for me ;) Motor City may still be the young star in the barn though.  Yeah I bet it makes it easier to get up in the morning! Lol you go Mr Wilkes!

I see Indian Charlie has produced another really nice, fast maturing colt, (in second place Ever so Lucky), that will probably want to be a miler.

If you guys are right and ST is looking for Mo then the connections here have wasted a lot of undesirable training on a way too pricey and classy colt.  It’s amazing what you can train a horse to do intentionally or UN intentionally.  Training is hard to undo. This was to fine a colt to be an El Vino… please, anyone else for TOTY but TP…

I kinda wish my heartthrob handsome Hansen wasn’t the BCJV winner. Yeah right, ok I lied,  but the burden is so overwhelming. He is still my hope for the homebred hero.

I will miss the always amusing and controversial Pat V good luck in your future!

10 Dec 2011 10:25 AM


Gun Bow has all the arsenals to defend himself so this is not an attempt to do so. Quality Road was not a 10F horse at the top level. His flop in the BCC was not unexpected from my end. His previous race signals his decline. In one of my post posted preceding the 2010 BCC I highlighted this decline and the remote prospect of him hitting the board. His last place finish was consistent with the MIA syndrome associated with his barn.  He was not the only one that finished an unexplained last from that barn on that day. Life At Ten went MIA that day and thereafter. His performance can also be blamed on Blame. Pardon the pun. His will was broken by Blame in the 2010 Whitney run in 1:48.88. The records reflect that in his subsequent race the Woodward his winning time was 1:50 flat. His Woodward time was the slowest for the distance for his career. His three previous times for 9F were 1:47.72, 1:47.49 & 1:48.88.

In his two efforts at 10F (Jockey Club Cold Cup/Travers) preceding the 2010 BCC he finished 2dn & 3rd. He was one pace after 9F in both and had it not been for lesser competition he would have probably fisnihed further down the board. The 2010 BCC was his 6th race of the year and consequently it cannot be concluded that he trained off. He was clearly not a 10F horse. However, the blame for his performance was not his inability to effectively stay 10F at the top. The blame lies squarely at the feet of his trainer. QR was one of a list of many from that barn that bloobed and then decline drastically.

Mr. Snahdler,

Since I am being critical of the program of the beloved Mr. Pletcher, I do believe in this season of giving, there is one person that should not be excluded from your list. Your blog dated 08/02/2011 and titled “Sidney's Candy Will be a Second-Half Force” contained the following declaration, prediction, opinion and fallback cover:

“ Newsflash: Todd Pletcher is a pretty good trainer and horses tend to move up when he gets them in his barn”

“Prediction: Sidney's Candy will have a monster second half.”

“Opinion: Sidney's Candy is the most talented horse in the country”

“Okay, so the opinion is a bold one”

You went on to detail the basis of you prediction and the points raised were well measured and reasonable. However, you went on to commit a totally avoidable journalistic sin. What sin?  ‘Undermining the achievements of one, while glorifying the achievements of another.’ Your gracious statement below speaks for itself:

“And take nothing away from John Sadler, but this horse (Sidneys Candy) should perform better under Pletcher.”

What was the colt’s record preceding the switch to Mr. Pletcher?

13 Starts (6-4-0)

What is the colt’s record with Mr. Pletcher?

4 Starts (1-0-1)

Is it fair to compare a body of work involving 13 races to one that involves 4?  No! However, it is fair to compare the 2010 and 2011 Breeders’ Cup Mile Gl as this is the only race in which Sidneys Candy started for both trainers. Ironically, he finished 6th for both.

To infer that Sidneys Candy performance will improve as a result of the barn change is to infer that Mr. Sadler training and conditioning program is inferior to that of Mr. Pletcher’s.

The expected improvement and dominance forecasted for Sidneys Candy was indeed bold as it has failed to materialize. In fact, he appears to have regressed. Does Mr. Pletcher need more that 4 starts with this horse?  Unlikely as his program is far superior to that of Mr. Sadler’s and consequently the colt’s transformation should be immediate.

Such bold predictions carry consequences if they do not materialize.  The prediction made regarding Sidneys Candy second half performance have not occurred. Consequently, for undermining Mr. Salder’s program you are obligated to put him on your list, to be given an apology. It’s right thing to do as it is the season for giving.

10 Dec 2011 10:30 AM

Forbidden Apple,

Thanks for the alert. I will be placing a small wager as I think he want further and 7F to be seen at his best. He could have raced a bit green on his debut as he displayed very little early speed. However, he moved beautifully when he got going and reminded me of his dam former the BC Distaff winner. If he has the class I think he does he should win but he is in the speed capital of the world and that synthetic surface at Hollywood can be very unkind to closers.  I think he will be much better on dirt.

I noticed there is a Rockport Harbor colt by the name Where’s Henry in the race. He was produced from an unraced Miswaki mare. I will be watching this colt with interest. I love broodmares who were that were unraced or lightly raced. Time T Blossom the dam of Where’s Henry was unraced.  I have tremendous respect for Miswaki as a broodmare sire. Why shouldn’t I?  He was the leading broodmare sire in Great Britain & Ireland in 1999 & 2001 His dam sire of Sea The Stars, Galileo, Daylami, Talking man etc.  An unraced mare from this broodmare sire should be capable of producing excellent  Turf/Synthetic caliber horses as his line is dominant of turf. This colt could hit the board. By the way The Factor was produced from a Miswaki mare.

10 Dec 2011 12:23 PM

Another coment on breeding of former Kentucky Derby winners.Barbaro was out of a Carson City mare La Ville Rouge.I am posting this because one of his half brothers Margano won the 7th msw on turf at Gulfstream today very easily.But the horse that might have run the best race was 3rd place finisher Godard.

10 Dec 2011 7:08 PM

Good pick F Apple,he won and Wheres Henry finished 3rd.Another winner out of Discreet Cat.Btw Out of Bounds seems to have been working up a storm before his race,which for two year olds is something you look at especially for maiden races.What I dont understand is where you got 8-1 morning line odds on him,Equibase has him at 7/2.

10 Dec 2011 7:26 PM
Paula Higgins

Linda in Texas. loved your comments about Stay Thirsty and Uncle Mo. Glad Stay Thirsty will be back and my man Mo is doing well. I hope he has a wonderful retirement. I hope Mike Repole has much success this coming year. Gunbow, I agree with your about Quality Road.

10 Dec 2011 10:25 PM
Tiz Herself

I stand corrected - Killer Graces ran a great race. That stumble at the start was unfortunate for Frankie. Good race.

Can't wait to see Barbaro's baby brother Margano go forward, whether it be to the Derby or not. Dynaformer x La Ville Rouge worked before as he is a full sibling to Barbaro. Will be fun to watch.

10 Dec 2011 10:44 PM
Mike Relva


10 Dec 2011 10:46 PM
Karen in Texas

who----Regarding the comment on breeding of former Kentucky Derby winners--Barbaro and Margano are full brothers.

11 Dec 2011 12:19 AM
Forbidden Apple


The Hollywood cushion surface is talked about as being the synthetic surface that is most like dirt. Out Of Bounds handled the surface okay, but I agree that he will be better on dirt. He looks just like Etched, only he might be a bit bigger and stronger. Bejarano did not even press on him much, the future looks bright for this classy juvenile. When I saw that Where's Henry was out of an unraced mare, I knew that you would be using him.

There are so many good Darley juveniles, but I just remembered another one. His name is Steele Road, by street Cry and out of Ashado. I can't wait to see the 2012 juveniles in April at the Greentree training facility.


Out Of Bounds was Coldfacts pick, I just listened to him after reading the DRF. The DRF is up to $7, yet they always fail to list the odds for CA tracks on the past performance pages. The front cover of the Hollywood entries had him listed at 8-1. When I sam the 2-1 opening odds, I was a bit unhappy.


I hope you made a huge score on Killer Graces, nice pick.

11 Dec 2011 9:23 AM

Mr. Wilkes two colts will have very little chance of derby success even with further improvement.

Motor City: The Raise A Native sire lines crossed with the Northern Dancer broodmare line has been the most successful in Derby and Triple Crown history. The cross has produced 5 of the last 17 Derby winners. The Mr. Prospector arm of Raise A Native is proving to be the most potent in the mix. Motor City’s sire Street Sense was bred along the same cross. Street Sense’s sire Street Cry is a grandson of Mr. Prospector and his dam Bedazzle is a granddaughter of Northern Dancer.  Motor City’s pedigree reflects an additional generation in the cross. He is the product of a great grandson of Mr. P and a great granddaughter of Northern Dancer.

What is the level of success of the cross between Mr. P and Northern Dancer’s great-grandsons and great granddaughters? I have no data on the numbers that have attempted Triple Crown glory. However, the record available reflect no success in the derby for great-grandsons of Mr. P. Likewise no success in the derby for great-daughters of Northern Dancer.  The Mr. Prospector arm of Raise A Native has dominated the Derby with 10 of the last 22 winners. None of these winners were sired by great grandsons of the great stallion. It is the only category for which there has been no success during this period of dominance. The dismal success of Derby winners as Derby winning sires creates another negative for Motor City. In the last 50 years only four horses that wore the roses were sired by Derby winners; the last being 1996 winner Grindstone. The competition Motor City has defeated does not rank with the top ten colts seen so far.  Seven Lively Sins ( Love The Name)was fancied in the Delta Jackpot and was soundly defeated.

In summation, Motor City pedigree profile is not that of a derby winner. His performances to date do not indicate he has the requisite class to be a serious Derby contender. The horses he has defeated and those that have defeated him are either second or third stringer at best.  Nice colt but not a potential Derby.

Timely Tally: The Raise A Native sire lines crossed with the Seattle Slew broodmare line has produced two Derby winners to date i.e., Super Saver and Funny Cide. Mr. Greeley’s best offspring’s are better on turf.  Is it surprising that Timely Tally sole victory came on a synthetic track?  He was destroyed by Alpha in his second start  at Saratoga and struggled to break his maiden against moderate bunch of colt. He was defeated in two slowly run 8 1/2F races at CD. Gemologist won the KJC Stakes in the pedestrian time of 1:44.46 and he could no run faster to defeat him. I do not regard the trip he had in KJC as the reason for his defeat. This colt is slow for a 2YO who is being considered as a derby prospect. He has to improve significantly in the speed department to pose any danger as a derby prospect. I am of the opinion he belongs on turf as he is too slow on dirt. He is average at best on dirt so far.

11 Dec 2011 10:36 AM

My mistake Margano is a FULL brother to Barbaro.I have followed other brothers of Barbaro.If breeding is so exact as those that post on this blog claim then why are not full brothers of champions at least close to their siblings.The reason is that there will never be another Barbaro he combined the physical talent with the intangibles to become a champion.I hope we can get a talented AP Indy colt this year to put that myth to rest.

11 Dec 2011 10:59 AM

Mike Relva- I second that!

11 Dec 2011 11:03 AM
Tiz Herself

Pomeroys Pistol looked great today also, like her very much.

Any idea where the colt Wrote will end up? If he's in Europe or stateside?


He's definitely got the grass pedigree, but he's got enough in him that dirt shouldn't be a problem. He's going to be a neat three year old no matter where he runs.

11 Dec 2011 11:23 AM
Tiz Herself

Coolmore has another nice colt named Da Vinci.


He was a $600,000 2010 Keeneland September purchase if I remember correct.

11 Dec 2011 11:29 AM
Tiz Herself

Read that Frankie came out of the Starlet with a leg fracture :( Poor girl. Hope she recovers. Not sure her chances to race, but to be a broodmare or something :(

11 Dec 2011 5:29 PM

Forbidden Apple,

I was hoping for a better price but it appears that everybody saw what I saw in his debut race. I did not have the luxury of seeing the race live.  However, I found it on the Bloodhorse web site.  I agree that his rider did not press on him and his margin of victory is deceptive. The announcer stated that he was cheating and still won so it was obvious to him and by virtue of his announcement the secret is out. I do not know if you watched the gallop out? His rider had an extremely difficult time pulling him up and returning to the winner enclosure he appeared to be returning from a jog and not a 7F race completed in 1:23.17 . He is a very big colt with a beautiful head. His action is very fluent for a big horse and this makes his speed deceptive. A big, classy horse with energy efficient strides is a danger to all. Unlike Etched he will have no problems staying the derby distance. His works leading up to the race reflected a 59. He does not appear to be a 59 colt as he has the running style of his dam. The race appears to have taken nothing out of him and I hope he will be tried against the big boys next at a distance in excess of 8F.

I know So Brilliant, Secret Circle and Creative Cause are highly thought of in CA. I am of the opinion that barring injury he will be the top colt in CA. He certainly has all the assets of a top class router. I know this statement will gain me much laughter. I was able to get a close up view of this colt from the video and he appears to be carrying a lot of is weight. He therefore does not appear to be in top racing shape. When he achieves full racing shape he will be taking no prisoner.

I have one problem with this colt and that is his trainer.  For reasons unknown his horses are very inconsistent. I predicted that Anthony’s Cross would be a flop after his 2011 Robert Lewis Gll victory. He started next in the SA Derby and did not make the board. He has disappeared since. I have no confidence in his program because of the inconsistency of his runners. I hope he does not go out of bounds with this colt.

12 Dec 2011 8:58 AM
Zen's Auntie

"4th on 3 legs"... The spirit and grit of the Thoroughbred is why they can capture our hearts, just  so much courage, too much sometimes it seems. I hope shes ok.

12 Dec 2011 9:01 AM

I thought Comma To The Top looked pretty good sprinting yesterday.  He put away Indian Firewater pretty easily in an allowance.  Nice to see the gelding able to race after injury.  Thank goodness they won't have to race him at Hollywood Park anymore which has been very hard on horses this meet.

12 Dec 2011 12:48 PM

Forbidden Apple + Coldfacts;

I was at Hollywood Park for Out of Bounds' maiden victory.

He was a physical standout.  He looked super before, during, and after the race.  I loved how he looked walking out of the winners circle and up the stretch when heading back to the barn.  I turned to my friend and said "the West Coast has a new 'it' horse".

Physically, Out of Bounds looks very much like Etched, but might end up being taller and bigger if not so already.  Out of Bounds is tall and leggy, but has strong, square shoulders that give him the look of a horse that can get a distance.  The breeding suggests at least 9 furlongs against elite competition.

The actual race was so-so.  I liked that he showed enough speed to remain within striking distance from where he could then wear down the leaders.  He raced greeenly down the stretch, lugging his head in and not going by the leaders with as much authority as I think he could have.  The final time of 123 and final eighth of 12 and 4 were tepid, so I wouldn't expect a big figure(Comma to the Top ran 121 and change Sunday).

My concern is the Harty, categorizing Out of Bounds as a late-running distance horse, instructs the jockey to take the horse well off the pace in his route debut.  Especially on the Santa Anita dirt speedway, I don't see Out of Bounds as a late-runner.  To me, Out of Bounds seems more of a grinder, a horse that really doesn't have brilliant acceleration but one that can gallop his competition into the ground.  I don't see him having the turn of foot to be able to make up alot of ground in a short period of time, something necessary as a closer.

Hopefully, when Out of Bounds stretches out, which should be in his next start, he is hustled a little out of the gate and given a stalking trip, either pressing the leaders or at the front of the 2nd(middle) pack.

Hopefully, Anthony's Cross provided a good learning experience.  I never saw Anthony's Cross as a horse with much acceleration of brilliance.  His strength, in my opinion, was his ability to press a solid pace and then grind his way through the stretch.  The style proved successful to Anthony's Cross in winning the Bob Lewis, but then in the Santa Anita Derby he was taken back, at one point along the backstretch he was next to last, and asked to make one run.  Maybe Harty believed that the horse couldn't win in Kentucky as a pace presser, but Anthony's Cross simply didn't have the acceleration needed to make up a large deficit quickly.

I guess if there is a horse to model Out of Bounds style on it is Etched.  Maybe OoB shouldn't be asked for quite so much speed, but like Etched I see him best when able to combine grinding speed and endurance.

12 Dec 2011 5:02 PM

The Hollywood Starlet was yet another major stakes at Hollywood Park that proved to be bitter sweet.

After all the tragedy at the track from Thanksgiving weekend, I was really hoping for an uplifting running of the Starlet.

While I did not feel Wemissfrankie should have been such a heavy favorite and didn't expect her to win, I did expect more than a non-threatening 4th place finish.  Of course, after the race we learned why she ran such a moderate race; she was running with a fracture.  Her 4th place finish certainly looks alot more impressive in this light.  But whatever the result of the Starlet, it's sad to see her forced to the sidelines.

I thought Killer Graces was really live in the Starlet.  I was on track for her win in an overnight stakes over the summer, and really liked her professionalism and grit.  And, given she is trained by Hollendorfer and has a similar appearance, I tagged her "Little Blind Luck".

My enthusiasm for Killer Graces certainly waned after mediocre efforts at Del Mar and Fresno, but her runner-up effort in the Sharp Cat suggested she was rounding up to her best form at her favorite track.  Given a target in the Starlet, Little Blind Luck was able to keep plugging away through the stretch and win at a distance some thought she couldn't get.

While Killer Graces made for a good personal result, my overall impression of the Starlet is muted.  I just don't think this was a strong rendition of the race, and have trouble seeing any of the Starlet horses being competitive at the national stage.  With Wemissfrankie out for an extended period, my gut tells me Charm the Maker will end up being best from this group, but I an dubious that she can repeat the success of recent Starlet horses like Blind Luck, Turbulent Descent, and Zazu.

12 Dec 2011 5:17 PM


Even though I'm a SoCal homer, I tried telling Jason and Ranagulzion that Sideny's Candy was simply not an elite horse.

Over the last two years, I had seen Sidney's Candy run in person a number of times.  Basically, Sidney's Candy beat up on a crop of Cali horses that, with the exception of Lookin at Lucky who was running mainly out-of-state, was mediocre at best.  

For me, the Mervyn LeRoy cemented my impression of Sidney's Candy.  After that race I declared that Sidney was unlikely to be successful in elite competition mainly because he didn't offer  much resistance in the stretch when challenged.  If a horse was able to remain within striking distance of Sidney entering the far turn, Sidney would come back to that horse in the stretch.

The first signs of Sidney's proclivity for surrendering leads in the stretch was last year's Swaps when Skipshot, of all horses, was able to nail him on the wire.  Then this year, Crown of Thorns, by no means a win-machine, was able to stalk Sidney in the Mervyn LeRoy and then reel him in the stretch.  By the time of the American Cap', I was confident betting Sidney to cough up a lead, and when Ryehill Dreamer came up to his flank in the stretch, I knew Ryehill would go on to win.

Switching to Pletcher was not going to make Sidney any gamer.  This was clear in the Shadwell when Sidney appeared to be going well into the stretch only to give up the lead meekly to both Get Stormy and Gio Ponti.

Listen, against the likes of Indian Firewater and Macias, Sidney's Candy could look absolutely brilliant(or the Santa Anita Derby when Lookin at Lucky has a disasterous trip), but put an elite horse on his flank, and he was almost certain to lose the lead late.    

I know this reads like a brutal indictment of Sideny, but it comes from someone that rooted for him everytime I saw him run.  

12 Dec 2011 5:37 PM

Thanks for the heads up on these two Jason, they sound like good ones.  I hope Timely Tally doesn't go for the TKO in the Timely Writer prep this year though!!!

Toby Keith had I believe a two yr. old that came in second in a race this weekend, Reckless Jerry.  A spotted gray son of Flashy Bull was in the race too I believe.  Toby was at the race as well, go Toby!!!!!

Nice to see a lot of the crop returning for next year, it's about time they all don't run off to the breeding shed.  We need stars with staying power.  A few more weeks and it's Jan. 1 and all the 2 yr. olds will turn 3.  Bring on the Triple Crown!!!!!!!!!

12 Dec 2011 5:39 PM

Cold Facts Im not laughing but am still wondering WHO,your talking about to Forbidden Apple or is it a secret.

12 Dec 2011 6:11 PM

Looks like Royal Delta's full brother Empire Way will be back in the Cash Call.  

12 Dec 2011 7:03 PM

Cold Facts Im not laughing but am still wondering WHO,your talking about to Forbidden Apple or is it a secret.

who 12 Dec 2011 6:11 PM.

I hope he does not go out of bounds with this colt.

Coldfacts 12 Dec 2011 8:58 AM.

12 Dec 2011 7:59 PM

Wow, Gun Bow; guess you are not booking a mare to Sidney any time soon!!!  

Seriously, I look forward to reading your posts because you are so thoughtful and detailed in what you think...who do you like as a newly retired sire, and how do you compare Twirling to Sidney?

12 Dec 2011 8:00 PM

Mo & Thirsty:

Stay Thirsty:  "This is the end of the road Mo, we gotta part ways." choking back tears.

Uncle Mo:  "Gee Thirsty it's been a swell run with you this year.  You are the best stablemate a guy could have."

Thirsty:  "I'm worried about Uncle Mikey, he's gonna miss you a lot.  You go make some nice babies for us Mo at the farm."

Mo:  "Don't worry Thirsty, you go on.  You've still got a lot of running to do and a legacy to build.  After all, you are Bernie's son, you are a blueblood."

Thirsty: "Aw, shucks.  Bye big fella.  Stay well."

Mo:  "You mind Uncle Toddy, Thirsty and I will try to understand Uncle Mike and english when he visits to hear how you are doing.  Go on, my best buddy."

They give each other a "high hoof."

And so ends the 2011 saga of Mo and Thirsty.  I thank Mike Repole for giving us both of them and hope for good things from both of them in the future.  

12 Dec 2011 10:30 PM

IS THIS THE FICTION SECTION? I read this STUFF, and i shake my head.......Too many GENIUS statements to mention....LIKE..SYDNEYS CANDY ISNT GAME? ITS called being a speed horse!! He runs like 46 for 4 furlongs. You people keep slamming QUALITY ROAD! You dont know this game , if you dont understand that horse was great..You think horses that go off form,means they were not great! COLDCUTS think he knows todd pletcher's PROGRAM? It sets records...It should be obvious to everyone, that COLDCUTS is just a CONTRARIAN.......he tears down the top everything......LOOK PEOPLE, the fact that holy bull didnt win the derby, or bellamy road, or quality road lost the classic .or sidneys candy lost...DOESNT MEAN THEY WERE NOT GREAT!! HORSES GET WORSE!! RACING DOES THAT!! Sidneys candy isnt the same horse! quality road ran beyers over 120! you cant figure out that if you run a 120, that even if you tire badly, a 110 is great? You BREEDING PEOPLE SEE WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE! If a horse loses, YOU SAY IT WAS because he can go 1 1/4 or some bull......You people ACTUALLY cant figure out DROSSELMEYER ran a104 beyer in the classic....thats good alw horse time! Everybody ran bad!!! thats how most upsets happen...alot of tired horses ran bad.....COLDCUTS cant figure out the horse that ran a 111 beyer same day, should not even be considered top 3 yr old....And by the way...everybody keeps talking about the big heart SHACKELFORD has! he loses like every time, wins a very slow preakness, why not save the HUGE heart award for a horse that loves to win?  OK..... now go back to hyping the 75 to 80 beyer derby PROSPECTS!!!!!!!

12 Dec 2011 11:20 PM
Tiz Herself

It will be neat for sure to see how Twirling Candy and Sidney's Candy in their first few years when their kids race. Look forward to seeing how Candy Ride does as a sire of sires.

Have their 2009 siblings on my stable watch, too.

Sweet Swap is full brother to Sidney's Candy and has won.

Treasure Ride has not started but he is full to Twirling Candy.

13 Dec 2011 12:01 AM

OK its Out of Bounds the one that has the potential to be no 1 of the colts in California according to Coldfacts.Lets see how it plays out.This prediction is more believable then the bold ones made on this blog by more than one poster on UM.

13 Dec 2011 8:45 AM
Smoking Baby


I'm sure Coldfacts is talking about Eoin Harty.  Harty had Anthony's Cross and yes, he did go south after February or March.  Aside from a few summer breezes at Churchill he's been AWOL.

13 Dec 2011 8:54 AM
Bob from Boston

Did anyone watch New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's press conference regarding killing the sport in NJ?  Is it true that he was eating a Big Mac and fries during it?

13 Dec 2011 9:42 AM
Smoking Baby

Alex's Big Fan:

"High Hoof"  YOU KILL ME!!!  Thank you.  Laughing is always a good way to begin one's day.

13 Dec 2011 10:18 AM

Alex's Big Fan:

Great take on UM and ST. We do need to lighten up on this blog at times. A "High Hoof" is a great way to part.  If they have a contest to name Mo's first foal, I would submit "Hoof Hearted".

13 Dec 2011 1:03 PM
Forbidden Apple

Am I the only person who finds KYVet to be obnoxious and hurtful? On the last blog you called everyone stupid for not recognizing Quality Road as a 1 1/4 mile horse. Sure Quality Road might have been able to win at 10 furlongs, but only if he was running against the Green Monkey and a handful of other 50k claimers. Open your eyes man and please stop drinking the Pletcher punch.

14 Dec 2011 9:58 AM

LOOK APPLE......people  are talking alot of nonsense on here.....and people just let it go..pletcher cant train? come on! do you know his training methods? He sets records but cant train....why do you say that? Or ap indy is bad breeding...or quality road was a bad horse....or uncle mo was an avg horse.......People on here are so IGNORANT, someone has to point these things out....dont get me wrong, these are the people who i earn my living betting against. im glad they dont know what they are talking about....i mean what can you say when a breeding guy(coldfacts) loves DAMS that were not good enough to race, over great racemares....no logic! Someone should tell facts man that unraced mares usually dont race because they have problems...most problems conformation based....

14 Dec 2011 9:29 PM
Carlos in Cali


I don't think anyone believes QR or UM weren't good horses,they simply were not as dominant when going 10f or in UM's case 8.5f+.

QR was unbeatable @ speed favoring Gulfstream Park up to 9f vs average horses and he proved it as 3 & 4yo.As a 3yo I said he wouldn't win both the Travers/JCGC because of the level playing field,better competition and the 10f distance.As a 4yo I warned people to open their eyes and see that Blame catching him @ 9f did not look good for him going into the BC Classic where he would get serious pace pressure from other front runners.He finished up the track like I said he would.

I had serious doubts about UM getting 9f+ right after he won the BCJ mainly because of his sire Indian Charlie.In both of his races going 9f+ he tired badly and finished up the track in the BC Classic like I said he would.

Both of these horses had the highest speed figures in their class.But,some people get too caught-up in #'s while ignoring the obvious AND that's how I make money betting against folks who don't pay attention. It's called handicapping 101.

15 Dec 2011 3:22 PM


Handicapping 101? (LOL) Perhaps back in 2010 you could boast but over the last year or so the signs are that you need a refreshers course my friend.

17 Dec 2011 10:13 PM
Tiz Herself

Sidney's Candy's race record 17-7-4-1 $1,104,810, average distance winning 7.85f (5.5F-9F), dosage index 1.86 and Center of Distribution 0.50. NTR Setter. Stud fee $15k

Twirling Candy's race record 10-7-5-0-1 $744,900. Average winning distance was 7.92F (6.5F - 9F) and dosage index 2.64 and Center of Distribution 0.80. Record setter in the Malibu Stakes. Stud fee $15k

Misremembered 13-6-5-0 $1,306,709. Average winning distance 8.75F (8f - 10f) dosage index 2.43 and COD 0.50. Track record setter. Stud fee $7500

Add Chocolate Candy to that, even though he is not standing in Kentucky, his race record 21-4-3-1 $632,205. Winning between 8 and 9F. Dosage Index 2.08 CD 0.70. Fee $2500 CDN...

I can't wait to see how these four do.

18 Dec 2011 2:46 PM

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