All About the Gotham

This week's Triple Crown trail takes us to New York for the grade III Gotham Stakes, which is the only Kentucky Derby prep of the weekend. The feeling here is that the outcome of this race will probably not produce major contenders come the first Saturday in May, but one never knows. At the very least, the $240,000 winner's share will guarantee the winner a spot in the starting gate.

Withers winner and New York's top-ranked 3-year-old, Alpha, is not in the Gotham (The connections are taking a calculated gamble on deciding to go straight to the Wood Memorial), so the standout here is Eclipse Award winner Hansen, who ships up from Florida after running a distant second in the Jan. 29 Holy Bull for his first career loss. The Breeders' Cup' Juvenile winner showed the first chink in his armor by easily giving way to Algorithms in the stretch, forcing trainer Mike Maker to change his path to the Derby.

On paper, it was probably a wise move by Maker. He gets his star out of Florida, where the competition is tougher, and will experiment a bit by removing blinkers. This is the place to experiment, as there are no standouts in this field and Hansen will get the services of Ramon Dominguez, who wins at an almost 30% clip at Aqueduct and probably feels as comfortable there as he does in his own home. Hansen will probably go on to the Spiral Stakes three weeks from now at Turfway.

Maker's goal is to try to harness Hansen's electrifying speed, but he didn't bank on having to break from post 12 in a 13-horse field. With a short run into the first turn at Aqueduct and little speed in this race, don't expect a major change of tactics from Hansen. He should be able to get over and make the lead. If he does, there is little reason to think he can't wire this field. He's already proved he can go 1 1/16 miles, but I believe this is just about at the limit he wants to go. With his running style, I am not banking on him being a factor in the Derby, other than being a pacesetter.

Hansen will probably be right about at his morning-line odds of 6-5, or maybe a tad higher, so there won't be much value. I think the way to play the race is to put him on top in exotics, and in case he falters for one reason or another, throw him out altogether in other bets. He either wins or runs off the board.

In this scenario, I'll be using four horses--Raconteur, Dan and Sheila, King and Crusader, and Stealcase. Raconteur and Dan and Sheila are both from the barn of Todd Pletcher. I like Raconteur better but I'm always obliged to use both horses from a trainer in an uncoupled entry. Raconteur was a $240,000 2-year-old buy for Dogwood, and after taking a while to find his way, has won two in a row-both at two turns over this inner track. The son of A.P. Indy is more of a grinder type, but he does have tactical speed and therefore should be able to carve out a good stalking trip behind Hansen and maybe King and Crusader. We know he likes two turns and he's been training well at Belmont. He's 15-1 on the morning line. I will at least place a small win bet on him as well.

King and Crusader will route for the first time, but he is two-for-two over the inner track for Dutrow, who is winning at 41% clip this meet. I don't know how far the horse wants to go, but he won pretty easily going a mile in a restricted optional claimer Jan. 13 and came back three days later to win the Jimmy Winkfield. So I have to think he's a fit horse. He' should get a good stalking trip as well.

Stealcase just broke his maiden on Jan. 19 at Gulfstream in his third try, but he did it impressively against a horse that won his next out. That was also at 1 1/16 miles, which was his first try at two turns. A bullet four-furlong work Feb. 25 at Palm Meadows--the best of 46 that day--tells me he is sharp.  He should also be a pretty nice price. At 10-1 or more, maybe a small win bet on him as well.

The two Romans horses intrigue me a bit (see my previous blog) and My Adonis has some class that makes him a factor on paper, but you can't use them all. I'll play Hansen on top of the four aforementioned horses and then use those four in exotics without the favorite.

Good luck this weekend. Who do you like?


Leave a Comment:

Tiz Herself

It is unfortunate the injury to Consortium who would have been my choice for the Gotham. The Darley connections putting Side Road instead will be interesting to see.

Would love to see Hansen back in the winner's circle. Although I also like Raconteur, Pretension, Tiger Walk, and Finnegans Wake.

02 Mar 2012 11:21 AM
Mike Relva

Hansen for the win.

02 Mar 2012 11:29 AM

just curious who you heard that the spiral was settled upon--in his blog, dr. hansen has said repeatedly that that's what he would like to do for sentimental reasons but that maker doesn't think it's a good idea and that hansen will most likely go into the wood, especially since alpha is likely going to the FL derby now, not the wood.

02 Mar 2012 11:30 AM
Age of Reason

Good analysis, Jason! My ears perked up when you said the Spiral (G3A) is next in the cards,of which I was not aware--though of course, being at Turfway, it does make perfect sense. Any idea where Hansen might go after that, or have his connections yet begun to think that far ahead? The Bluegrass, maybe?

02 Mar 2012 11:38 AM
Jason Shandler

For the record, I don't know for sure that Hansen will go to the Spiral, but it's my best guess. He certainly likes the track.

Papillion: The Florida Derby is not definite for Alpha by any means. Still a decent chance he will go to the Wood.

Age of Reason: The Spiral is on March 24. That would be his last race before Derby. The Wood is two weeks later if they feel he needs more time.

02 Mar 2012 11:44 AM
Karen in Texas

I would like to see Hansen back in the winner's circle this weekend, and am hoping the blinkers off experiment turns out to be a positive one. A blogger on another site thinks that his bit is being changed as well. Anyone know more about that?

Dr. Hansen blogs that M. Maker is in charge of plans for the horse, but he (Dr. Hansen) definitely leans toward the Spiral. Both he and Dr. Diamond express some interesting, unusual thoughts/ideas in their blogging exploits.

02 Mar 2012 12:42 PM
Carlos in Cali

Jason, you better use Hansen underneath the exotics too.If he finshes in the money you'll be kicking yourself in the head...

I think Hansen relaxes a bit w/out the blinkers and wins comfortably. I'll use Raconteur,My Adonis and Side Road underneath then box all 4 for back-up. I'll probably play Maan in some form or another just because I think he'll take to the stretchout in distance. Won't use Dan and Sheila because the Lecomte was weak evidence by how the first 3 finishers ran in the La.Derby. Done Talking will need a race and King and Crusader will tire after chasing the speed.

02 Mar 2012 1:08 PM

I like Stealcase in an upset.

02 Mar 2012 1:10 PM

Hansen has not shown he can rate on the front end this year and he has proven he can be beat in the Slop.  I won't be betting a dime on this horse and he is facing a very weak field.

02 Mar 2012 1:14 PM
Tiz Herself

Also like for the weekend It's Tricky, Delightful Mary in the Top Flight @ Aqueduct

Look forward to Caleb's Posse's return (hope he can end winless streak that the Breeders Cup are on as they are 0 for 8 at the moment in their first starts back)

Killer Graces in the Las Virgenes

Setsuko in the Big Cap

and Mr. Commons in the Kilroe Mile, though Jeranimo should give him a fight.

And like State of Play, Phantom Fury in the John Battaglia.

Good luck this weekend everyone!

02 Mar 2012 1:30 PM
Pedigree Ann

No love for Done Talking? Horse was a head behind El Padrino in the Remsen last fall, won two previous races, both 2 turns. This is his 3yo debut and likely is only a 'tune up' race, but if King and Crusader ding-dongs with Hansen, he will be running in the stretch.

02 Mar 2012 1:34 PM

I fancy Hansen to go wire to wire with King & Crusader and My Adonis chasing him home

02 Mar 2012 1:38 PM
El Kabong

Going for an upset with two that I like so much for potential improvement that I will have to have both on the top end of my ticket.  First, My Adonis. He's bred to like further and if he doesn't spot the field 20 lengths by the first call as he did in the HB, he has the ability to track and wear on Hansen's fractions better than any of these. He is also bred to run in the off track top and bottom. Perhaps a 1/4 bend will give him the sneaker traction he needs :0 Then, I like the potential that lies in Done Talking.  Last seen chasing El Padrino and finishing a hd behind in the Remsen, this may be his ideal distance and he should like the mud.  Garcia leaves him but Garcia is Mclaughlin's main man. I like the choice of Cohen. He knows the track well and if you can't bring a little luck along with a kid named David Cohen in Gotham CIty, then you needed alot more than luck so fahgetaboutit.

My Adonis, Done Talking

My Adonis, Done Talking, Hansen,

My Adonis, Done Talking, Hansen, Stealcase, Side Road, Racontour, Dan and Sheila.

Only A Jackson but it could pay Benjamins.

02 Mar 2012 2:00 PM
El Kabong

Pedigree Ann,

I'm with you on Done Talking. If he's tightened up, and I don't know why he wouldn't be, he should be dangerous here.

02 Mar 2012 2:04 PM

Pedigree Ann,

I am surprised as you that no one has mentioned Done Talking. He might need a race, and I'm not sure who is going to like the slop. I wouldn't leave him off any tickets.

02 Mar 2012 2:12 PM
Betty S

Well, Dray, its your dime and you are entitled to your opinion---personally I have loved Hansen since the BC juv and believe they've been working hard on some of his spirited quirks and that he will do it.

02 Mar 2012 2:17 PM

Since I gave the blog a perfect expert analysis of the 3rd race at Gulfstream today I thought I would do everyone a favor and give them the winner at Santa Anita Saturday the 8th race.  Please don't thank me now send flowers later.  The 8th race is a turf race going 1 mile and everyone will be looking at Smug with Talamo jumping off Ten Devils.  There is plenty of speed in the race and Twin Six will try to go wire to wire with Rosario grabbing the deadly 10 post.  But there is plenty of speed near the rail and he will have to work to clear all these horses.  I am going with back class and Slammer Time.  His brilliant work on Feb. 18th tells me he is ready to go and should get a perfect trip sitting behind all the speed.  I also like the fact that he broke his Maiden at this distance on the turf.  50 WP  Good luck and you're welcome.

02 Mar 2012 3:28 PM

Hansen looks too good for these and is probably going to win, but at 6/5 or even less, he is a play against for me. Three things change for Hansen in this race, from his last race. First they remove blinkers, which have been his trademark from his beginnings. This horse couldn't even focus enough to train well so he has always worn blinkers. Secondly, they switch up the track from his last race, which I feel is a smart move, let him forget his losing surroundings. Thirdly, they put him back on a ring bit and toss the snaffle bit which was too confining for this horse, he can't be easily controlled. So there is alot of hope going on here with Hansen, that all these changes will be positive. On pure talent alone he looks like he is heads and tails above these and should he get an easy lead could go wire to wire. I think too many things are changing and when he shoots out of the gate he is going to be at first confused and will not relax and could just blast through such fast early fractions that he will falter in the stretch and runs third, right behind My Adonis and Stealcase. I will be boxing these two in an exacta.

02 Mar 2012 5:08 PM
Forbidden Apple

I'm playing an exacta box with Side Road and My Adonis. A double with It's Tricky and Al Aqsa is also a must play for me.

Tom Fool: Emcee

Big Cap: Ultimate Eagle in straight exactas over Ron the Greek and Holladay Road

02 Mar 2012 5:23 PM
Tiz Herself

Welcome back to Soldat as well! 2012 is the best year ever!

02 Mar 2012 7:10 PM

I'm hoping Hansen redeems himself in the Gotham.  He's a favorite of mine, but I need to see what he can do besides run off.

02 Mar 2012 7:13 PM

I agree with 2:24 regarding Stealcase. I got a very close look at Hansen in the paddock at CD during the BC.  He's a visually striking and charismatic horse but he's the equine equivalent of Robin Williams. He acted like he had just drank 10 gallons of Red Bull. A hyperactive horse with his mindset cannot be taught to rate.  I see his future in mile races where he likely can be a top contender.  His connections need to forget about the Triple Crown and place their focus there.  

02 Mar 2012 8:38 PM

lookin for Side Rd. to make the jump, works say this colt is ready. Maan my Eddie K., and had the pedigree if it turns up "sealed". Can't see Hansen in this spot...just too many ?'s at such a short number...good luck to all

02 Mar 2012 8:49 PM
Bob from Boston

Slammer Time?  30-1?  Dray, what are you drinking tonight?  I like Slammer Time too, but have a $20 5-7 exacta box.  Congrats on picking that 3rd choice in a 5 horse race to get second.  How do you get your pants on with courage like that?  I was one stumble at the break from teaching you a lesson today.  Beg as much money as you can at the track tomorrow.  I want to see you make a killing on that 30-1 shot.  It could make up for many missed 1-1 losers.

02 Mar 2012 10:01 PM
Bob from Boston

Hansen wins jogging backwards and carrying Dr. Drunkinbum's luggage across the wire.

02 Mar 2012 10:03 PM

I guess the only horse that looks like could possibly beat Hansen in this HORRIBLE field is MY ADONIS.. But even with the outside post I would think if Hansen can't beat these he needs to head back to Turfway for the rest of the spring. Dale Roman's maiden in here looks interesting to me so I will use him for the Ex and Tri's at a big price. $10 Tri PW 12/ 1-7 / 1-7 and $10 Ex PW 1/ 7-12 Modest $40 total in bets. This horrible prep isnt worth more then that... Good luck at the windows everyone.

02 Mar 2012 11:35 PM

Give them the winner at Santa Anita Saturday the 8th race.

I am going with back class and Slammer Time.  His brilliant work on Feb. 18th tells me he is ready to go and should get a perfect trip sitting behind all the speed.  I also like the fact that he broke his Maiden at this distance on the turf.  50 WP  Good luck and you're welcome.

Draynay 02 Mar 2012 3:28 PM.

LOOK AT this, Slammer Time is at 30-1 morning line odds. Who can believe this, the horse isn't the chalk. WOW!

02 Mar 2012 11:45 PM
Paula Higgins


02 Mar 2012 11:47 PM
Matthew W

Like Hansen tom, think he is a very good horse....horses just were not winning on the front end during the Breeders Cup, and Hansen turned back Creative Cause then held sway vs Union Rags, and that's two good horses, so it was no fluke! At the Great Race Place, I love Uh Oh Bango in the Big Cap, I think he's the now horse, that is, he is at the top of his game. I don't think I'll get the 6-1 odds, more like 9-2...and I think Ultimate Eagle will go off under the 5-2 morning line, probably 9-5 maybe the way they close out the card with three Gr 1's--Mr Commons is tough, but Compari can make him work, that's a robust miler in his own right, don't count out the Cal bred, and in the other Gr 1, The Las Virgines, Cal Bred Willa B Awesome is a quality filly, guess I'm  rooting for the little guy, tom, Uh Oh Bango is an Arizona bred....

03 Mar 2012 12:38 AM


This colt was my pick in the Withers despite Alpha being the #2 ranked horse in my top 12 list. He finished an encouraging 3rd but ran what I considered to be a disappointing race. From observation his rider took him out of his preferred racing style and it appeared he was struggling with the track. I expected him to be closer to the pace and he would have if not for the fact that his rider took a very strong hold of him when he wanted make an early move.  Tiger Walk was sired by Tale of The Cat a son Storm Cat with the best record as a Derby sire. He sired Derby 2nd place finisher Lion Heart and 4th place finisher Tale Of Ekati. Interestingly Tiger Walk was bred along the same cross as Tale Of Ekati. The Sunday Silence mare Silent Beauty produced Tale Of Ekati. Sunday Silence was son of Halo who in turn was son of Hail To Reason. Majestic Trail the unraced Kris S mare produced Tiger Walk. Kris S was a son of Roberto who in turn was son of Hail To Reason. Tale Of Ekati won the Wood Memorial and Cigar Mile. Tiger Walk unraced dam was sired by Kris S dam sire of the great Zenyatta. His unraced second dam was sired by Danzig dam sire of Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. His third was sired by His Majesty dam sire of Preakness & Belmont winner Risen Star. This colt is well bred and has shown enough ability to give me confidence that when the Gotham is being decided he will be right there. The change to a regular Big A jockey is a big plus.


How can a rapidly improving son of Street Cry not be considered a top contender in the Gotham? This colt’s last race reflects the significant improvement he has made. In his previous race he finished 4th beaten 81/4L over a mile completed in 1:38 3/5. Approximately a month later he won at a mile in 1:37 3/5. His winning time was a full second faster than the time that beat him by him 81/4L. Now, I am aware of the likely differences in track conditions on the different days. However, if these likely variables are ignored, his improvement between races is approximately 13 1/4L. His reported exercise works have shown significant improvements as well. The fact that Side Road was sired by Street Cry a grandson Mr. Prospector makes him a very dangerous colt. The Mr. Prospector sire line stallions are the best in the world. The Grandsons’ of Mr. Prospector belong to an elite group having sired a record 5 Derby winners. Street Cry has sired a Derby, Breeder Cup Classic and Melbourne Cup winner in his short stud career. Pulpit is not known as a significant broodmare sire and this might be the colt’s major negative. However, based on  a published photo of his dam Calla Lily, she is big and powerful mare and this must account for his large frame. This colt is being ridden by a jockey who has a proven reputation of winning at attractive prices. If Side Road makes another big improvement between races he will be the winner of the Gotham and not only earn a place in the Derby but also the Godolphin Blue.  


This is another colt from the Mr. Prospector sire line that has to be respected. I tried to land a coup with him in the Remsen at 20-1. It might have occurred if not for his #2 post. He was last down the back stretch and had to negotiate his way through traffic in the stretch but finished willingly for his 4th palce finish just behind third place grinder El Padrino. He disappeared after the Remsen and recent reports reflect that he got sick after the race. I have been eagerly awaiting his return. His pedigree is excellent.  His sire Broken Vow has been disappointing but is exceptionally well-bred. Broken Vow’s sire Unbridled has a couple of other sons with horse on the Derby trail i.e., Empire Maker and Eddington. Broken Vow’s dam was sire by Nijinsky and therefore he should be capable of producing an exception route horse. Done Talking dam sire Dixieland Band has been the best Derby broodmare sire in the last 11 years. His broodmares have produce two Derby winners Monarchos & Street Sense and a Derby runner up Eight Belles. This colt has a ton of ability and it has been reported that he has been working sharply for his return. He will be closing rapidly for his share of the $400K.  


In my last post about Hansen I suggested that the blinkers should be removed. His trainer has done just that. I also expressed my concern that the Breeder Cup Juvenile might have damage this colt. He was given a tough spot to make his graded stakes debut. He ran brilliantly but it was by no means an easy race. He bit his tongue during the races and it could have been a result of the immense pressure he was under to repel the challenges of the two top colts at the time. His race in the Holly Bull was good but he will have another 16th to travel in the Gotham against some improving colts. He is undoubtedly the class of the field. However, the last time a highly regarded Breeder Cup Juvenile winner visited the Big A he was beaten. Will Hansen handle the Big A surface? I have my doubt. I do not like the switch to the Big A as Hansen appears to have some structural issues. It is not surprising as he is a Tapit and they are very soft. Why do I think Hansen has structural issues? Well, he has scrambled out of the gates on two occasions including the Holly Bull. This is not a good sign. The inner track at Aqueduct is not a place for horses with structural issues as it has accounted for a number of excellent Derby prospect. The last three winners of the Wood Memorial i.e., I want Revenge, Eskendereya and Toby’s Corner exited the race with injuries. I hope my assessment regarding  structural issues are incorrect. With the blinkers removed and the wide post, Hansen could have some company upfront and this could make the Gotham a cliff hanger of a race.

03 Mar 2012 1:07 AM

I found my longshot for the Gotham, I'm gonna go all out on Pretension.  Unknown jockey and trainer (at least to me) but I like his win at this track in good time.  With Hansen needing to gun it early from the 12th hole, I think Pretension will get a nice spot and get a jump on Hansen ( just like he did agains Swag Daddy) and hopefully try to hold him off.  If not, I won't be betting on Sunday because I'll be broke lol.  I'm still playing My Adonis, Maan and Raconteur but most my money will be on Pretension boxed with Hansen for the exacta, tri and superfecta.

$1 Trifecta

4/12 with 4/12 with All

1-5-8 box

12 with 1/5/8 with 1/5/8

.50 superfecta :

4/12 with 4/12 with All with All

Good luck everyone !

03 Mar 2012 2:50 AM

Big Cap $500k P4

R8-Tiz a Trip

R9-Open Water, Reneesgotzip, Killer Graces, Eden's Moon, Charm the Maker

R10-Jimmy Simms, Jeranimo, Mr.Commons

R11-Setsuko, Gladding, Norvsky

Tiz a Trip didn't take a deep breath in his last.

20/1 on Open Water? Yeah, she's blown doors in her last two but they were at the Anti Santa Anita, Turfway Park, right? Check out the replays. She looked great in both (particularly her last) and we may have a BBQ between Renee, Eden, and Willa B.

Jimmy Simms goes first out for Asmussen off great works and may be left alone too long. Mr Commons will be way over bet and is not as good as his press clippings.

I like Ultimate Eagle but he got a dream setup last out when Tapizar broke slowly in the Strub and went directly into Electro Shock Therapy   (and the required Vet's list) after the race. The 2 hole mandates he sends hard or sits and tries to close for the first time. Gladding, with Rosario, WILL send hard. Sadler was crowing about his last work in 1:36. Setsuko looked great in his 1:23 final spin. Norvsky is the X factor.

So that's it. As Champ says, your welcome.

Speaking of champs, there's lots of confusion on this blog as to who truly wears the crown. Lots of bluster, bragging, and bravado. Who's the true hero here? Don't get mixed up like these guys.

You guys can carry on in your high- falutin fashion all you want, but there is only one here who furtively cashed repeated show wagers on Zenyatta and he is now prepared to step forward.


03 Mar 2012 3:09 AM
The Deacon

Hansen is such a beautiful colt and he should win here but the road to the winners circle in the Kentucky Derby does not travel through Aqueduct...........

03 Mar 2012 3:29 AM

Hansen for the win. He's been my pick since I first saw him, and is still tops for me. Beauty of a horse.

03 Mar 2012 5:01 AM

In reference to Hansen, let's be fair, his last trip was anything but smooth sailing. He didn't have anything left to fend off Algorithms at the finish. That being said, the latter is a talented horse, so Hansen wasn't beat by a fluke. Algorithms is good, really good. It's too bad he was injured. I don't know why I like Hansen, but for some reason I do. His style drives me crazy and comes with such limitations, but I'm hoping he will settle in and that his connections will be dilligent and choose his races wisely. If he were mine, I'd probably skip the derby and enter the Preakness fresh and at an advantage. Hansen would stand a good chance of taking the second jewel of the crown. I would then let him rest and wouldn't even consider the Belmont with his style, but then again he's not my horse, so I guess we'll see him in the derby.

03 Mar 2012 6:17 AM

would someone explain the weight of Mr.Adonis[120#]...the conditions the way I read them would mean 116#...what am I missing..thankx

03 Mar 2012 7:51 AM
detroit jean

i think hansen would better off pointing for the bay shore at seven furlongs and then the met mile he is not a derby horse and will not get the mile and quarter distance ....i'll go with done talking in gotham two dollars to show is about my speed

03 Mar 2012 8:17 AM
detroit jean

empire way is my current derby pick he's 50 to 1 in the future pool this is subject to change of course    

03 Mar 2012 8:55 AM
detroit jean

union rags will be the heavy derby favorite but i will toss him because of pedigree try to beat him with a horse at better odds the derby is one of the better betting opportunities of the year favorites come and go every day  

03 Mar 2012 9:25 AM
Point Given

Maan & Tiger Walk my Gotham Exacta.

03 Mar 2012 11:08 AM
Age of Reason

Off-topic, but I just read on another racing site that Frankel resumed training Wednesday on the synthetic gallop at Newmarket; interestingly, the article reports, "[Frankel's] long term goal [is] stretching out to 1 1/4 miles later in the season." Please, oh please let that be a reference to the Classic!

03 Mar 2012 12:19 PM
Bob from Boston

Correction: I meant Dr. Drunkinbum's "baggage," not "luggage."  Luggage would imply Hansen would be carrying extra weight.  We all know Dr. D has no baggage.

03 Mar 2012 12:30 PM
El Kabong

Big Cap,

Ex Box    Setsuko, Holladay, Boxeur Des Rues, Ron TG.


Setsuko over

UE,Holladay, Ron TG,Uh Oh, Boxeur DR

UE,Holladay, Ron TG,Uh OH B, Boxeur DR.

If I hit on the Gotham, I might extend this out to include a super.

03 Mar 2012 1:01 PM

Jason:  Great article, thanks and good luck this weekend.  I like your take on Hanson, especially the 'chink in his armor' description of his run in the Holy Bull.  Go Knicks!

ROBBIEJOE25/jayjay:  from the previous blog.  RTTR has only two ungraded stakes on their menu,the Battaglia and the Rushaway.  I agree they want to include the local horses, after all the Derby is run just down the road.  But who knows, maybe there's another Animal Kingdom in this group?  

Battaglia:  Mr. Prankster

Tom Fool:  Capt. Candyman to win.  Looking forward to Caleb's Posse getting back but this is too short.

Gotham:  Tough to pick a winner, will go with My Adonis on the off track and ex box My Adonis, Hansen, Stealcase.

Las Virgenes:  Killer Graces

Kilroe Mile:  Mr. Commons

Big 'Cap:  Setsuko to win and ex box him with Uh Oh Bango and Ultimate Eagle.

Good Luck to everyone.  

03 Mar 2012 1:07 PM

Just starting off with good luck to Algorithms,Consortium and Junebugred.hope they all make it back..can't wait for Musketier,Soldat n Caleb's P. As far as Hansen Hmm if its muddy don't think he will fare well..I like My Adonis Done T and maan..AND i can't wait to see if MR PRANKSTER is the real Deal in the JBM..good luck to all n safe trip..anyone heard any news on ArchArchArch ? I keep asking but no answers...thanks all

03 Mar 2012 1:11 PM

One thing i hate , is when people try to pass themselves as some kinda expert on here.....therefore, as a professional handicapper, i am calling out DRAYNAY to a challenge....You pick one card, i pick one card, we bet both....loser leaves blog for 2 weeks!  Some contests use number of winners, some use payoffs....we will use , if we split.....we both stay.......READY TO HERE FROM MR CHALK

03 Mar 2012 5:06 PM
Criminal Type

Looks like all the changes in equipment did the trick for Hansen, Really nice ride and easy win. Congrats to his connections.

03 Mar 2012 5:10 PM

Though victor, but Hansen did not look as impressive as he should have against this kind of a field. I am still mad how they announced him a 2yr old champion over UR.

And boy, I wish Algorithms was around.

03 Mar 2012 5:24 PM


That is to funny. I guess Hansen delivered the goods no one thought he would. I just have to laugh I never had any doubts.

03 Mar 2012 5:41 PM
Mike Relva


Last I checked Hansen won today. I'm certain connections would be thrilled to have your expert advice.

03 Mar 2012 6:05 PM

Dray - excellent analysis of the Canadian at Gulfstream.  Well done.

03 Mar 2012 6:09 PM
Strike the Gold

Wow, did Hansen rate beautifully and just crush that field!!!  I hope that will put to rest the above arguments that he cannot rate.  He has earned the rigth to be considered a real Derby contender.

03 Mar 2012 6:23 PM


first horse to win the gotham carrying more than 116lbs, since 2003.

was a full second faster than stay thirsty's time last year.

first horse to win the gotham carrying 123lbs (or more) since easy goer carried 123lbs in 1989!!!

rated well just off the lead.

went 5 wide into the first turn.

broke from a far outside gate.

hansen's splits 23.88, 23.83, 24.08, 25.21, 6.84.  

final time was just over second slower than rag's, but he was also carrying more weight than rags.

he's not secretariat, but neither is rags--secretariat was running 1.33 miles as a 3 yo.

03 Mar 2012 6:27 PM
Karen in Texas

I really liked your post race article, Jason. Every element was very well-stated. What I most enjoyed though, was seeing Hansen speak for himself in such a definitive and eloquent manner. I hope he stays in New York for the Wood Memorial.

03 Mar 2012 7:03 PM

Hanson was awesome today!  Maker did a great job!  

Nice to see Doubles Partner in the winners circle.

03 Mar 2012 8:20 PM

What do some people Hansen to do before they give him at least some credit, win by twenty lengths?  Hansen ran like a poised extremely professional horse today, especially for one who has a reputation for being head strong.  He allowed Ramon to keep him in check and tuck him in around the club house turn when he was four wide; was very patient during the entire back stretch when still three wide and didn’t try to pull Ramon into the lead; was still patient when My Adonis was right behind him on the turn, and then swooped into the lead and drew off with urging, not physical abuse.  I know the field wasn’t exactly stellar, but it would have taken a tremendous run for any three year old to get by him today.  It’s interesting to see where Ramon is going to go from here.

03 Mar 2012 8:23 PM

At 18-1, I'll take my chances with Gladding in today's Santa Anita Handicap!

03 Mar 2012 8:29 PM
Karen in Texas

yeager055----What news are you looking for in regard to Archarcharch? He's standing at stud at Spendthrift Farm unless something has changed.

Coldfacts----The removal of Hansen's blinkers for his next race was announced by Dr. Hansen in a blog on 1/31, immediately after the Holy Bull.

03 Mar 2012 8:35 PM

Thank you 2:24.  Now you know why I am considered the greatest.  How many people on here give you perfect race analysis AND a 9 dollar winner ?  Doubles Partner made my day !

03 Mar 2012 8:37 PM


I remember you stating in  another post how you'd like to see Hansen face some "adversity" if you will.  He had an outside post, and from where I am sitting looked like he rated beautifully.  Would like your take on Hansen's run today?  (Taking off the blinkers seemed to help - could they have been part of the problem i.e. the Holy Bull where he took off like a speed demon?)

03 Mar 2012 8:59 PM

I thought Hansen did a great job today. I felt he did relax and he ran a good race. I'm still not optimistic about the derby, but I am optimistic about Hansen. If he continues to relax and improve and finds a distance he's comfortable at, he can be a dominant champion. I hope he can do all that without being gelded, because he is such a raving beauty. I still love this horse. That being said, LUCK will determine the derby winner as much as talent, so expect anyone to win in what probably will be another field of 20. I still say, Hansen should skip Churchill Downs and steal the Preakness. In any case, I wish him luck with his career.

03 Mar 2012 9:36 PM

Hold the races! I think the best match up is about to happen :  KY VET vs DRAYNAY!  Head to head handicapping challenged.  KY VET calling out Draynay.  I got my money on.. on... a lot of trash talking between the two.  This could be fun.

Pretension did all he can, and took all my money.  A measly $2 exacta is all I got from that Gotham race.  

Tiz Herself was the only one that mentioned Finnegans Wake - hope you put some big SHW money on the 3 horse and hit the trifecta.

Hansen dominated as expected, I think he just moved up to #2 spot for me, behind El Padrino.  Having to gun it out from the 12th hole and still win by 3 lengths in hand is pretty impressive.

Good to see Bill Mott winning a big G1 race!

03 Mar 2012 10:13 PM
The Deacon

Hey Draynay good call on Hansen, some things never change..........

03 Mar 2012 10:32 PM

I dont have to talk trash....i make a living betting horses....just another day......WHERE IS THE DRAYNAY......? 2 weeks!!! I see no reason for him to not take challenge! Then ill take on anyone else who claims to be an EXPERT!

03 Mar 2012 11:18 PM

Sorry Deacon didn't bet a dime on Hansen or the race itself.  KY Vet I hope your handicapping is better than your English skills.  It's hear not here.  And I choose the opening day at Keeneland.  Remember it may not be wise to take on the greatest right away.  You may want to start with a rank amateur like jayjay or The Deacon.

03 Mar 2012 11:31 PM

Good to see the 2 year old champ win a prep impressively.  I'm starting to like how this crop is shaking down.

Note that Hansen ran about 7 lengths faster than gr.1 winner It's Tricky did earlier.  It's possible, however, the track sped up as it dried out.  But still, Hansen ran an absolutely legit race.  The Gulfstream horses dominated the NY horses much like the Cali horses dominated the Rebel.

Bill Mott and Ron the Greek exposed what most local observers had realized beforehand, that after Game on Dude, the Cali handicap division was extremely weak.  My only question, is why other Eastern shippers didn't make the trip?  Mucho Macho Man could have won his grade 1.  

No surprise for me that it's Mott who had the courage to ship out for a race that was begging for an outside horse.  That's what sportsmen do, and Mott has always been a true sportsman.  I remember in the early 90s Mott bringing Paradise Creek and Fraise out for the Hollywood Turf Festival, and he shipped Cigar to Cali twice, winning the 95' Hollywood Gold Cup and then running 2nd in that historic 96' Pacific Classic.  

There's not enough sportsmen in the game.  By the small number of shippers in any major race out in Cali, Mott is among a small group of true sportsmen back East.  Yet, it's not any better out here, where there's Baffert and maybe Hollendorfer.

The pace for the Big Cap was crazy.  I didn't like Ultimate Eage at all, but he had no shot after a 44 and 2.  Even Setsuko, in 5th early, was probably too close to a pace that proved toxic, eliminating any horse near contact.  

How bad are the local horses when Ron the Greek wins easily even though he took 26 and 1 to run that final quarter?  I expect a sub-100 Beyer.  We're still waiting for a horse to run really fast out here around 2 turns.  The track is clearly fast, but the times at 2 turns haven't approached any records while sprint marks are constantly being threatened.  Are there just alot of sprinters out here or does the track play differently around 2 turns?  I don't know.

Willyconker, razor sharp, exposed Mr. Commons as a nice turf miler but far from being world class.  Mr. Commons is now 1 for 5 against open company(all at his preffered mile distance) and is 0 for 3 in gr.1 races.  He's just simply not a superstar, and I personally never thought he was.

Eden's Moon looks like a legit Oaks contender.  She's a tall, lanky Baffert runner that has been a revelation since running 2 turns. Her pedigree suggests 9 furlongs should be fine.  Her performance in the Las Virgenes was more solid than spectacular(91 Beyer?), but she can still get better.  Her speed makes her dangerous.

03 Mar 2012 11:41 PM

To the Deacon: Yes, sometimes the road to the Derby does lead through Aqueduct just in case you've forgotten a couple of pretty good horses named Riva Ridge and Secretariat.

03 Mar 2012 11:51 PM

I'll Have Another worked 6 furlongs in 1:10 flat after the 7th race today.  He looked super.  He could be the real deal.

Great to see that his pony was none other than Lava Man.  This might sound weird, but a person could make a good case that Lava Man was the most dominant/successful handicap horse California has ever seen.  Not the best, just most accomplished.  Think about his resume:

3 Hollywood Gold Cups. 3!

2 Big Caps

1 Pacific Classic

1 Goodwood

1 Charlie Whittingham(gr.1 turf race)

1 Californian

1 Sunshine Millions Classic(when a million dollar race)

1 Sunshine Millions Turf

TWICE swept the Big Cap and Gold Cup the same year.

Won gr.1s on dirt, turf, and synth

His achilles heel? Shipping.  He couldn't ship at all.

03 Mar 2012 11:54 PM

Detroit Jean, A lot of people "tossed" Secretariat because his sire (the great Bold Ruler) was considered a sire of sprinters & they felt he couldn't sire a "Classic" distance horse. (No, I'm not comparing Union Rags with Secretariat.) After Big Red won the Triple Crown, Bold Ruler was in the tail-male line of at least 4 more Derby winners in the 70's, including another Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew.

04 Mar 2012 12:00 AM

Melanie: I could not be happier.  Hansen not only relaxed and rated beautifully, he did get stopped halfway around a turn, and effortlessly restarted again.  That's everything I was looking for in a TC horse.  And don't forget his great grandsire is a Triple Crown winner, and had a temperment to crush everyone around him.  

I like Little Mike, but was thrilled for Doubles Partner.  Anyone notice the times in that turf mile?  They scorched that track.

So happy to see Pants On Fire back in the winners' circle.

Was looking for Ultimate Eagle to shine, but my old time favorite Ron The Greek has blossomed under Mott.  I couldn't be happier with the Big 'Cap.

It's Tricky is back..nice.

Was hoping Mr. Commons would win, but it was an exciting finish.

Loved Ten Devils return to the winner's circle.  I've been waiting.  I have a keen fondness for Slew, Bernardini, Rock Hard Ten, Point Given, Congaree and Chief Seattle progeny.

Was happy to see Prince Robear (Chirf Seattle) take one at the Fair Grounds.

And why can I not find it in myself  to not cheer for a horse named "Mr Fuzzy Bottoms".  Like Lily Fa Pootz, and Gitchee Goomie, I just can't resist those names.

Lastly, when you have a contender like I'll Have Another, sending him out to work being led by the magnificent Lava Man just points out his deficiences. eyes were glued to THE MAN.  It was great to see him again.

04 Mar 2012 7:19 AM

Heavy Breathing won nice yesterday and he has the Derby Pedigree with Bluegrass Cat and Super Saver in his pedigree.  Florida Derby next?

04 Mar 2012 9:04 AM

I thought Hansen still looked green, running down the stretch looking around. Maybe they should have left the blinkers on??

Exciting race but I really thought it would be My Adonis running Hansen down in the stretch and taking it by a nose at the wire.

Y'all got some trash talkers here. (Kinda fun to watch) Which one of you won the RTTR last year?

04 Mar 2012 9:41 AM

True to form Mike Relva comes on here AFTER the race and starts talking smack like he's the supreme knowledge on the ponies.  Hanson surprised me yesterday.  I was shocked he didn't bolt to the lead like a bat out of hell and he rated and actually relaxed.  I still don't see him getting 10 furlongs but maybe, just maybe he's your Preakness champion.

04 Mar 2012 10:25 AM

Very happy for Hansen and his connections.  Some changes in his training and equipment did pay off.  And it was done by a trainer not necessarily a household name in the business but soon will be. Hopefully they can keep the jockey too.  Wood Memorial looks like a possibility but could go safe like Animal Kingdom last year in Spiral.

04 Mar 2012 10:37 AM

I thought My Adonis put in a game effort today.  Coupled with his finish in the Holy Bull, I still give him a shot to make some noise on the remainder of the Derby trail.

Hansen?  He is who we thought he was.

04 Mar 2012 10:52 AM
Betty S

Laz, enjoyed your comments on Hansen as well as some others on him. I was not there but from what I could see on the videos it looked to me like he could have just kept going.  I was at the BC and felt he was all out there but yesterday it looked to me like he could run all day.  How do you feel about how he came out of it? Since he did 1 and steenth at 2 in November, I have no reason to think 1 1/4 is going to be too long at 3 if his attitude is working.

04 Mar 2012 11:57 AM

pappilon, it was Union Rags first race after a long layoff, so he wasn't in the FOY to win, but he did.  Hansen was tiring at the end of the Gotham, pretty slow. Union Rags has late speed and Hansen has early speed.  If Hansen goes to the derby, you will see a very tired horse after a mile, and Union Rags will go into his closing mode.

I think that Hansen would make a great miler, but unfortunately his connections are trying to make a long distance runner out of him.  Hansen had no competition in this race, and those late fractions were mighty slow.  I love both horses.  

Uncle Mo had good early speed, and the trainer ruined him; Uncle Mo was a miler.  Putting him in the classic was a cruel thing to do to such a wonderful horse.  I don't want to see that happen to Hansen.

04 Mar 2012 12:19 PM

sharjyl, I so agree with you.  He ws running against nothing.  I just think a horse like Union Rags, who can be placed anywhere on the track,  will become a closer in the derby.  Hansen is a miler IMO.  I hope they don't ruin him.

04 Mar 2012 12:24 PM
Linda in Texas

jayjay, you are correct. Those 2 going at each other will be fun.

"Those people" phrase KY VET uses still even after he was advised it insulted us people when he uses it

has not left his vocabulary.Some things never change.

Hansen of course looked great. HRTV

folks wondered why now they would take off his blinkers. I guess they now know. Love the hosts, but they are like me, not always correct. Hansen

And in Race 8, i have down that Ten Devils won that one at Santa Anita and i watched him do it, Draynay.

And good for an East Coast horse to

fly over the mountains and into the race in California and come out the victor.

I looked at Ron The Greek and thought he looked in sleek shape.

I liked his halter! As good a reason as any for him to win.

Ultimate Eagle was out of steam with the 'out of the gate' pace too fast. He wanted to be in front but his tank was empty. I still like him and his trainer who is not

boastful at all but very thankful he is where he is and i appreciate that.

Good for O'Neill, he is on a roll and Willyconker, you have to like his name. I bet that celebration is still going on!!!!

Loved the fact that the powers that be brought out my special friend LAVA MAN to pony I'LL HAVE ANOTHER in between races for an afternoon run at Santa Anita. Lava Man looked like he thought he was going to the gates himself. Bless him. What spirit he has, still.

Calibrachoa won at Aqueduct, Race 9 and i am glad. I watched the race in 2010 when he was claimed so i have followed him and happy for both him and Mike Repole.

And Pants on Fire, great guns for him, and Kelly Breen trainer, Gulf Stream Race 7. Though it was hard for me to watch Dialed In get 4th, because i like Dialed In and Zito.

I like to watch Zito when he wins a race. Refreshing.

Nicest sight i saw was the beautiful black spotted white horse that ponied Horse No. 6 in Gulf Stream Race 5, Need You Tonight came in second.

And It's Tricky won, his name makes me smile and when he wins

i keep smiling, just like Dr. D and Bob from Boston.

Jason your question was who do you like. Well i answered who i liked instead, hope that was acceptable.

Thanks Jason, as usual great article.

04 Mar 2012 12:25 PM
Linda in Texas

Whoops, i think i typed he instead of she when referring to It's Tricky.

Please excuse me It's Tricky, i know you are one of us females.

I do plead guilty though to not being an expert as KY VET keeps reminding some of us.

04 Mar 2012 12:37 PM
Matthew W

I'll Have Another came home in 11 flat yesterday in his public workout at Santa Anita between races! He looked like the real thing, his ears were saying "when do you want me to go?" I think he's gonna be a force to be reckoned with come first Sat in April, then first Sat in May!

04 Mar 2012 1:39 PM
Matthew W

If an East Coaster has to come out here and grab The Big Cap--at least it's a class-act like Bill Mott--well done!

04 Mar 2012 1:42 PM
Paula Higgins

ksweatman9, exactly right about the Derby being as much about luck in a field of 20. LOL JayJay, I would love to see Dray and KY VET go head to head. Trash talk away. Hansen was great. I was a little disappointed Mr.Commons didn't  win.

04 Mar 2012 3:02 PM

KY Vet I will be at Keeneland for opening day.  I will have interviews to do and autograph signings but should have enough time to get my winners to Jason.  I take on rookies like you across the country for charity all the time so doing one more won't hamper my schedule.  Remember pick 1 horse in each race.  Only winning counts.  Most winners wins.  Relax no one expects you to win just do your best.  

04 Mar 2012 7:05 PM

Linda...At Gulfstream, every other weekend they use a gorgeous leopard appaloosa as a lead pony.  You can contact GSP.  I did.  They didn't give the pony's name, but explained he was privately owned, and did invite me to the paddock to meet him when I go there.  Since I can't really get there, if you do, I'm certain they'll be more than gracious if you ask.

Calibrachoa gets a 111 Beyer for a sprint, but Hansen just rates a 95?  Something not right there.

Gun Bow...Thanks for the updates.  Did seeing Lava Man once again give you as much of a thrill as it did me?  He looked fantastic.  Tried to give you a heads-up in another column but it didn't post in time.

Jason: Were you affected by the wrath of those tornadoes that hit KY?  I hope you and your family are all right.

04 Mar 2012 7:05 PM

Matthew W-

I'm curious, were did you get I'll Have Another's final 1/8th from? Trevor announced his 5F's in 58 flat and his final in 1:10. He also distinctly said his first 1/4 was 24. The time alone, even though the track speeds up in the afternoon over the morning, is fantastic but kicker is the way he did it. That stride was fluid and easy. It looked like a 1:13 move, not three seconds faster.

Hopefully Baffert will go two or three deep in the SA Derby to boost  IHA's price. The San Felipe's gonna have to produce a sublime performance for a better West Coast  Derby candidate.

04 Mar 2012 7:15 PM

Draynay : I already posted my winnings so far this year.  When you hit close to 10% of my winnings, then I'll pay attention to your 4.40 and 9.00 wins.  I have to say KY VET is the professional handicapper and you're the greatest handicapper.  During the warm up phase (in the past week)  you both made a combined 4.40 (Red Ace place) / 9.00 (Doubles Partner win) and 3.60 (Hansen win).  I'm in total awe, that's a total of $17.00!!!!  

Let the handicapping challengED tournament begin!!!  Rules are umber of winning picks AND amount of winnings will determine the winner.  One exception, borrowing picks from other bloggers is prohibited and the penalty is typing with one hand (let's see if either of you can type fast with one hand).  Also, no claiming of winnning picks AFTER the race (Draynay, we'll be watching you for this rule.)

If it's a TIE, you both take a couple of weeks off from the blog.  It's a win / win situation for everyone.  I'm hoping for a TIE all the way!!

Bloggers : Who's your pick ??

Early Picks :

San Felipe :  I'm gonna go with Fed Biz, I have to go with Baffert but I wouldn't be surprised if Out Of Bounds inhale Fed Biz at the top of the stretch.

Tampa Bay Downs : I'm going with Spring Hill Farm if he goes, Gemologist is also nominated to this race but I think he'll go in the Rebel.  If Gemologist goes here, I'll probably have to key both SHF and Gemologist.

04 Mar 2012 7:52 PM

Slew if you only knew how close Jason already is to the ground you would never ask if he is ok from a tornado.  

04 Mar 2012 8:26 PM
Linda in Texas

Mathieu i believe that what happened  was Trevor was announcing a different time in the background as the HRTV guys gave theirs and heard Trevor giving the different time and acknowledged it. That was confusing but i wrote down 1:10 as the final.

Slew - there we go again with the same admiration of these beauties. I don't know if the black spotted one is the same one about which you speak, but he was so big and gorgeous he took my breath away and i thought his spots were brown at first but they were black. If i had about 6 of those i would have a lovely carriage built and show them all over the country and take them to fairs and affairs. Whomever that horse owns they are lucky!

Thank you for letting me know about GS, used to live in Florida as a child and i don't get to Florida but i will remember your comment if i ever do.

Doug O'Neill had another wonderful win today at Santa Anita, Race 7 with a fine looking horse named The Black. And Pender's horse Baby Blake came in second.

Jason, ditto on the hopes your family is all right. Those tornadoes have been brutal, touched down where i have a family member in Ohio but they are o.k. Usually Texas has the tornadoes and i am in what is called Tornado Alley.  

04 Mar 2012 8:32 PM
Paula Higgins

Mary, I get your point about Uncle Mo possibly being more of a miler. I don't think you are wrong on that at all. But I think his illness was the deal breaker here. I don't think Pletcher ruined him. He was sick. If he had recovered, I think Pletcher would have come to that conclusion too (that he was a miler).

Slew, I don't think Jason lives in our neck of the woods. We had a very small tornado in Georgia hit a few miles down the road but no one was hurt. Georgia got very lucky. Much the midwest and part of the south did not escape as easily. Very sad. I was very worried abut all the horses in Kentucky too.

04 Mar 2012 8:41 PM
Jason Shandler

Thanks Slew and Linda. Luckily, Lexington was not affected. Our hearts go out to those around the rest of the country that were devastated by the tornadoes. Just a terrible thing.

Dray: Nice one. Bald and broke is no way to go through life.

04 Mar 2012 8:54 PM

Those TORNADOES...were caused by the ICY COLDFACTS hitting all tha HOT AIR coming from DRAYNAYS MOUTH!!!!

04 Mar 2012 9:03 PM


           150 CREATIVE CAUSE-17

            50 NEWS PENDING -45

over 2 grand if any win

04 Mar 2012 9:15 PM

Draynay! lets battle this week! Dont be afraid, its only 2 about wed?

04 Mar 2012 9:19 PM

How long was Uncle Mo feeling ill from his disease? How long did he run before it was clear to everyone that something was amiss? Perhaps he was a miler because his stamina left him a little piece at a time. That's how most diseases process through the body. Why would a horse be much different than a human being? All I know is  Uncle Mo was a good horse with tremendous potential who lost his final race to an illness. It's quite unfair for anyone to judge Uncle Mo on his last performances without looking at the big picture.

04 Mar 2012 9:35 PM

Linda in Texas-

I can see where the confusion arose from now. I was in the grandstand for the work so Trevor was my source. As I said, visually it was remarkable only in that it was unremarkable. To ring up a 34 split after a 24 quarter with Guiterriz sitting like a statue was truly impressive.

As impressive as it was, I'm not buying the 11 flat finish reported by the HRTV crew. If it was, IHA would be 3/1 to take down the Triple Crown. And that would be a overlay.  

04 Mar 2012 9:36 PM
Bob from Boston

There is a potential Derby horse named Heavy Breathing?  I will sell my farm and put every penny Ted from LA and I own on his nose.  I will also borrow money from Draynay just to insure the victory.  I will also pay Draynay $1000 to not bet on him.  I haven't been this excited since this morning.

04 Mar 2012 9:40 PM

mary, both hansen and rags have more than enough money to get to the starting gate on may 5th, so neither had to win.

but if you don't think that a loss by rags in the foy against nothing but maiden and allowance level horses wouldn't have been as jarring and as unsettling as hansen's loss to algorithms was in the holy bull (if not more so), then you are delusional. and in rags' case, given the soft fractions, the beautiful weather, and the clean start, he wouldn't even have had an excuse. plus, such a loss would have followed his loss in the BCJ--and would have reinforced both hansen's eclipse award and his win over him.  had rags lost in the foy, it wouldn't have been tragic, but it would have been very troubling.

luckily, given all the misguided people insisting that just because hansen is fast and a front runner that he must be sprinter or a miler, mike maker understands his charge and understands that he is not sprinter or a miler.

in his 5 lifetime starts, hansen has won 3 times at a 1 1/16 now, at 3 different tracks, on 2 different surfaces, and has never done so carrying LESS than 122lbs--compare that with el padrino who has won at 1 1/16th twice, but has never carried more than 116lbs in his life, and rags, who has only won over a mile once in his life.

you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. according to the facts--the fact is that despite fathering 720 foals, NO dixie union has ever won over 9 furlongs.  the fact is that with only 430 foals, tapit has fathered several horse that have won at 10 furlongs. and it is a fact that until these horses try for a 1 1/4--you can't say that any of them will get it.

that you like rags more than hansen, doesn't give rags any more of a right to try for the ky derby than hansen, nor doesn't give him any edge over hansen in doing so.

hansen isn't the horse that has to prove he can beat rags, he's already done that. and he doesn't have to prove he can win over a mile, he's already doesn't that too.

hansen's gotham was 2 seconds faster than it's tricky's 1 1/16 th race earlier in the day--and he earned exactly the same beyer as rags's foy--so if you think hansen was slow, then rags must have been pretty slow too. if you think rags was fast, then hansen had to have been pretty fast too. logic and consistency are tough task masters, i know.

finally hansen wasn't tired at the end of the gotham. he galloped out like a "freight train." ramon domiguez has his pick of horses for the derby, but the horse he features on his facebook page is hansen--the little white horse that could.

ps: hansen and uncle mo have nothing in common--not pedigree, not appearance, not running style, and not palmares. your comparison was completely spurious. please stop comparing them.

04 Mar 2012 11:13 PM

Betty S………Hansen looked sensational during and after his win in the Gotham.  Some say the field was weak and for sure it wasn’t the strongest, but many of those detractors are high on Mark Valeski because he battled El Padrino to the wire in the Risen Star, and also commend El Padrino for holding him off, and yet Mark V. was only an optional claiming winner going into that race.

The key to Hansen was the way he won, totally relaxed and well within himself.  He allowed Ramon to tuck him in and rate him in the clubhouse turn when it was clearly evident after breaking from the 12 post that he wanted to run.  That’s a sign of maturity IMO.  For a horse that showed he could really gut it out in the BC Juvenile, he had absolutely no fight when Union Rags ran by him in the Holy Bull.  However, if you look at the start of the race he really did have a noticeable stumble and he swerved left into or at least brushed the horse beside him and those types of stumbles are difficult for any horse to overcome.  To me that alone makes that race a throw-out.

8.5F is a long way from 10F in horse racing, especially at the highest levels.  I think that if Hansen continues to work on being relaxed during his races and conserves valuable energy, there is no telling what he can do.  If he runs well in his next race, the 9F Wood Memorial, and if Ramon Dominquez commits to him for the Derby (Ramon has several great possibilities) then I would think that should tell us that a key individual thinks that winning at 10F’s is possible.

Hansen is not the only one with distance concerns, but I think he has a chance to overcome them.  His Dosage Index of 3.50 is deemed too high for a Derby winner, and yet, since 2005, two Derby winners had a D.I. of 4.33, Mine That Bird and Giacomo.  His sire, Tapit, won the Wood at 9F and in decent time, but ran well back in the Derby itself.  However, he has sired 10F G1 winners.  His daughter, Careless Jewel won the 10F Alabama, and his son, Testa Manta, a $3.8M earner in Japan, won the Grade one 10F Japan Derby on dirt in 2009.  The key now is if he moves off this race and shows even more professionalism in the Wood.

04 Mar 2012 11:31 PM

And one for the Esclante Files...

Anybody notice who was the only horse paying out in Big Cap P6 on Saturday?  Not the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choices but the 4th favorite, Holladay Road. It was a single live ticket for ~$430k. Who had it? Julio himself, and he was showing it off to another trainer after saddling HR when a crony of mine was standing within eyeshot and saw the ticket.  

05 Mar 2012 12:20 AM

@ Linda in Texas- please don't feel guilty over not being an expert in ky vet's eyes.  According to his past year of rantings and delusions of his grandeur on the BH blogs, we are all in that category. His opinions rank right up there with issues like cleaning my cat's litterbox.

05 Mar 2012 7:39 AM

Jason: Very happy to hear you are safe and sound.  I'm devastated over the loss of life.  We've had our own spates of tornadoes, and I have been too close to them for comfort; they are usually so hit and miss..with little warning. (We don't have a siren system because they thought tonadoes didn't hit in the mountains...boy were they wrong!)

Linda, striking lead ponies always grab my attention.

KY Vet and Draynay: Any contest between you would be null and void.  Dray does chalk, and Vet never gives his picks until after the race.  I'll stick with the more precise observations and logic of Gun Bow any day.

05 Mar 2012 8:35 AM
Forbidden Apple

I missed Soldat at Gulfstream yesterday. Could someone please post a link to his allowance win.

What was Martin Pedroza thinking when he sent Ultimate Eagle out to a 44 2/5 half mile? Pender stated before the race that his horse has the endurance of a marathoner. I knew the horse could not win after the first 1/4 mile. It's time to regroup and maybe find a new jockey. Gladding wanted the front end, they should have given it to him.

I'm looking forward to watching Out of Bounds race again. Fed Biz is going to be in a battle down the stretch, good luck.

05 Mar 2012 9:46 AM
Pedigree Ann

To expand on Jason's report: the storm tracks for the worst cells passed by north of and south of Lexington.  No serious damage done in the Bluegrass generally. Just luck. Glued to WKYT the whole time, but never had to dive for the basement. Worst part that is a lot of the same places had had some tornado damage from the storm system that had gone through on Wednesday. And now Lexington has 4 inches of wet, heavy snow, and some places in SW Ky that were hit have gotten more.

05 Mar 2012 11:42 AM
El Kabong


Jack Shiner wrote up a great article, its on the bloodhorse home page and has the video link. He looked very good. He seemed happy to be back and ran in his typical style. Stalked pace then hit the accelerator at the top of the lane and excused himself from  company. Kiaran has done right by this horse and hopefully we will see him improve on this win.

05 Mar 2012 12:29 PM

Slew ?  I just gave you a great race analysis and a 9 dollar winner and you are still talking trash ?  Hey Jason did you notice a very average EAST COAST horse goes to California and wins a G1 race.  Ron the Greek a G1 winner ?  Lol.  All you have to do is go to California I guess to pick up easy G1 wins.  Ron the Greek couldn't win a G3 out East.  California racing is a joke.

05 Mar 2012 12:32 PM
El Kabong


Well said about Hansen and like you I did the research on Dixie Union and came up with the same conclusion and he has only a handfull who were successful at 9F. 10F's are going to be statistically difficult for Rags to get. Not impossible, but very unlikely.

05 Mar 2012 12:43 PM

Laz and papillon : Thanks for your insights on Hansen.  I'm pretty sure he'll be a force to be reckoned with come Derby day.  I still think El Padrino is a better horse, although Hansen has the experience.  The Gotham was the perfect prep race for Hansen, MM found out a lot about him in that race and it was all positive.

I think El Padrino will just get better, the Risen Star was a pretty good tightener and he'll probably be more professional in the Rebel.  I'm excited to see him run against Baffert's horse Castaway.

I think it's a good year of prep races.  At least the connections of the top/potential contenders are not avoiding each other, maybe because there's a lot more horses this year with potential but it's good to see them going at it early instead of just waiting for the Derby.

There's one horse I'm waiting for to see if he'll make the Derby trail, a turf horse named Exothermic.  Anyone have any news on him ? I only get info from DowneyProfile and last time he worked out was 2/24.  Won maiden last year in 1:36 for the mile then this year won 1 1/8 in 1:48.  I think this is a horse that can make noise if he makes the trail.  I also like Manoel Cruz as a longshot jockey.

05 Mar 2012 12:48 PM

KY Vet v. Draynay - awesome stuff.  I'll take Draynay.

KY Vet - if you really are a professional handicapper that makes his living betting horses, you certainly wouldn't tell everyone.  Every professional handicapper I've ever known would not post their picks on a blog.  They would keep them to themselves for fear of any information lowering the odds on their bets.  Also, I have never known a true "professional handicapper" to bet as many races as you seem to on multiple cards.  Professionals typically try to get 1 -3 good bets in (if they are not playing exotics).

You may very well be a professional but if you are, you seem to exhibit characteristics dissimilar from many other professionals.  If so, good luck to you.

I am not a professional handicapper.  I lose far more than I win.  

05 Mar 2012 12:55 PM


Between you and I...

The public bet down Princess Arabella to the 6-1 in the Kentucky Oaks future pool and she is not even going to make the race.

She has ailments right now...

05 Mar 2012 1:12 PM
Carlos in Cali

papillon, you're correct on all fronts.

Mary kept insisting that Hansen was a sprinter,now she says he's a miler.. blah,blah,blah. I have a feeling should he win the Derby she'll say he's a 8.5f-9f type horse.Dominguez also struggled to pull him up in the gallop-out.. yeah,I'm sure he was tired. The 2yo Champ is no chump this year.He's a freak and Maker will have him peaking as we get closer to the Derby.

05 Mar 2012 1:18 PM

39 people died in Indiana and KY from the tornadoes. I work with a lady from henryville, the entire town is practically gone. Kids were in the highschool when it hit, and the school is toast. My co-workers son and husband were home and the twister came 1/4 miles from their house. They watched it from the basement window. needless to say, it was a stressful day in KY on Friday. The story about the entire family that was killed is just awful. The little girl that was found in the field passed away yesterday...

Hansen looked good. Loved the way he relaxed and rated. needed to see that out of him this race, and he came thru nicely.

BTW, the Big Cap, that was a terrible field of horses. California should be emabrrased that was a G1 race.

05 Mar 2012 1:29 PM
Smoking Baby

PomDe Terre, off subject I know but you know you've got horse racing on the brain when you refer (as I do) to cleaning your catbox as "The Morning Renovation Break."

05 Mar 2012 2:38 PM
Smoking Baby

 Mathieu, any word on Saturday's attendance at Santa Anita?  I haven't been able to find it anywhere. WAY jealous you were there.

05 Mar 2012 2:40 PM
Betty S

Thanks for your reply, Laz, everything I could see showed a horse that was not tired and could run longer had it been necessary.  Good Luck to you and to Hansen too. I see Hansen has a big supporter on these blogs in Papillon.  Isn't he breathtaking in appearance?  And very very fast.

05 Mar 2012 2:55 PM

"I thought I would do everyone a favor and give them the winner at Santa Anita Saturday the 8th race.  Please don't thank me now send flowers later.  The 8th race is a turf race going 1 mile and everyone will be looking at Smug with Talamo jumping off Ten Devils.  There is plenty of speed in the race and Twin Six will try to go wire to wire with Rosario grabbing the deadly 10 post.  But there is plenty of speed near the rail and he will have to work to clear all these horses.  I am going with back class and Slammer Time."

Draynay 02 Mar 2012 3:28 PM

@@}--'---,---- You get a dead black rose for that pick. Stick to your chalk selections, at least they win sometimes.

05 Mar 2012 3:18 PM
Forbidden Apple

Well, horse racing just suffered another loss. It' just my luck that Out of Bounds is off the KY Derby trail. At least I still have Alpha to follow.

05 Mar 2012 3:36 PM

WOW, Out of Bounds is off the derby trail.  That's a shame.

05 Mar 2012 3:48 PM

Out of Bounds= Out of DERBY!!

son of a .....

just put a future wager on him.

05 Mar 2012 4:03 PM

Draynay if you only play to win,you are falling into the hype that is ingrained in the act of what is called handicapping.All the companies that sell past performances want you to believe that only picking the winner allows you passage to the holy grail of persons that enjoy betting on the horses.Any serious horseplayer knows that if you only play to win,not across the board you will tear up a lot of tickets and make too many losing bets.If you pick a horse at lets say 5-2 odds, and higher you would be a fool if he losses a photo finish and you didnt have him in at least 2nd.If you only play to win you are probably playing favorites and ones priced less that 2-1,which will lead to a losing season or meet as you must win at a higher than 33% win rate to make money.

05 Mar 2012 4:19 PM

Forbidden Apple.  Out of Bounds is off the Derby trail after being injured during a work.  

Martin Pedroza was thinking the last time he won a race it was at the Fairplex.  

05 Mar 2012 4:26 PM

The more important question is what was Bob Baffert thinking?  Game on Dude would have had nothing to prove against the likes of Ultimate Eagle.  Baffert is looking pretty smart right about now after skipping that one.

05 Mar 2012 4:29 PM

California had until today avoided losing a big horse off the Derby trail, but it was just a matter of time.  And attrition will take more, including some of the elite favorites.  That's how it always is, and there's no reason why this year should be different.

The Out of Bounds injury is why I could never be a trainer.  But, if I somehow HAD to be a trainer, my philosophy would be to run my horses if they are healthy.  No skipping graded stakes races if they are healthy, because best laid plans are just plans; I would want to win races while I could.  I would have big races in the back of my mind, but I wouldn't let the HOPE of making that race DICTATE what I did in the present.  If my horse was still healthy for the big race, that much the better.

05 Mar 2012 4:30 PM

Betty S    I meant Algorithms ran by Hansen in the Holy Bull.

05 Mar 2012 5:41 PM
Jason Shandler

A shame about Out of Bounds but I wouldnt bet a Harty horse with your money.

05 Mar 2012 7:35 PM
It aint easy being good!

Dont sleep on Alpha people he has a smooth motion to him. He is built for distance and is the last bernadini standing if he makes it to May 5th look out! With about a month away we should know the contenders versus pretenders. I will give you one pretender off the bat El Padrino has no chance! I also like how Hansen gets no love and that peopel say he is distance challenged he is the 2 year old champ people! Maybe he didnt like the slop last time out dont sell him to short due to his running style......he has blazing speed!

05 Mar 2012 7:57 PM
Age of Reason

Billy's Empire:

Ditto. Thoughts and prayers with all the tornado victims in Indiana/Ohio and the Southeast. Jason, I was also glad to hear none of your family was affected.


Everyone knew as soon as the race was official that you would gloat with girlish glee over the fact that the Big 'Cap has now been won a total of once this century by an "East Coast" horse. How typical. Only you could twist such an un-spectacular non-statistic into a talking point for your dog-eared "California racing is a joke" mantra. Wake me up when you have something original to say.

05 Mar 2012 8:29 PM
Forbidden Apple


The last I checked Pletcher just lost Algorithms, it happens with all trainers. Harty is a fine trainer, he just suffered a huge loss to his stable. His horse Arm Force has a bright future. And it sounds like Out of Bounds will be back to fight another day.

El Kabong,

This morning when I read the article on Soldat it did not have the video attached. I really liked how Soldat exploded and lengthened his stride the last 1/8 mile. This horse is full of class and he is extremely intelligent too. I was fortunate enough to meet him and be around him for a few weeks this past September. He shipped to Saratoga Springs and trained on the Oklahoma track before leaving for FL.


I know how tough and dangerous a job it is to be a jockey and I hate to be the first to blame a jockey after a race. In this case Pedroza deserves some backlash, his ride was poor at best. It would be nice if Garrett Gomez or Mike Smith picked up the mount. Ultimate Eagle is a serious horse, Pedroza had no reason to waste a race like that.

05 Mar 2012 8:32 PM

Smoking Baby-

The Santa Anita attendance was 26k which was surprisingly low considering it was a gorgeous 83 degrees. I'm of the belief that the Breeders Cup should have a three year permanent rotation of SA, Churchill or Belmont, a wild card, SA, CD or Belmont, a wild card, and so on. Considering the track quagmires of 2007 and 2011 and the historical southern California aridity of late October/early November, I look at as a natural linchpin of the series, even though it is 3k miles away from the center of the industry.


Speaking of numbers, anybody see the total P4 pool for Big Cap day.

Was it:

A. Below the guarantee of 500k

B. Just above the guarantee

C. The annual TVG contract clause for Nick Hines' required consumption of altoids.

D. 979,000


The Big Cap unfolded like I thought it would but both Setsuko and Norvsky were overwhelmed by the chronically underwhelming Ron the Greek, who was hammered to almost favoritism in the double. Someone, or better yet, some faction, correctly diagnosed that he was stronger than this field and bet accordingly. He broke slowly, which  worked out for him considering the white hot pace, or else Lezcano might have compromised him chasing too early, which he did in his only other mount, Tiz a Trip.


Hansen will have to overcome his break issues if he is to beat top competition. I'm partial for him trying the Met Mile after a crash and burn Derby attempt.



I'm with you on Harty. Each year he underachieves with his So Cal stock yet his win% still hovers around 18. Five-six years ago I cashed a $100 show wager vs his Dubai Escapade on D Keen/David Flores filly on Summit Of Speed day that paid $32. Is he a kingpin at Portland Meadows?


Speaking of bridge jumpers, SA just reinstated betting on Oaklawn after investigation involving a patron from Arcadia who placed a $100k show wager and then cancelled it with ten MTP on Longview Drive in the Southwest. Officials interviewed him and his explanation was he didn't like how the track was playing for his style.

We need more like him in the game.

05 Mar 2012 9:33 PM
El Kabong


You're not fooling me or the IRS. Keep your losing tickets and ask Dray to keep some for you. You'll be fine come audit time.

05 Mar 2012 10:38 PM
El Kabong


You have to give Maker credit on that win. He mastered his domain and gave that colt the guidance he needed to rebound. Very impressive tinkering as Steve points out in Dozen. Speed is so dangerous but it must be harnessed to win the big races. Hansen took a big step forward.

05 Mar 2012 10:45 PM

Too bad for Out of Bounds, hope he recovers well. San Felipe still shaping up to be an exciting race. Loved, loved, loved seeing Hansen's win on Saturday. So proud of him that he was able to rate! I guess only negative out of that was that he got bet down in the future pools from 30-1 before the race to 9-1 at closing. Ah well, no surprise, that always happens, still he closed at 27-1 in pool 1.

05 Mar 2012 11:17 PM

Age of Reason the mighty Ron the Greek winner of the prestigious Queens County and Sunny and Mild and the loser of every Allowance OC he entered last year went to California and entered big bad California G1 race and went out and won by a mile.  Ron the @$%#ing Greek an average horse at best on the East Coast went out and whipped the daylights out of every California horse they could stick in the gate.  I am 2000 miles away and I could still here Mott laughing out loud saying over and over again "They call this G1 racing?"  Rumor has it Mott will bring Zippy Chippy out of retirement to train and take to California to win the next G1 race held at Santa Anita.  Stay tuned for more workout info on Zippy Chippy and his California G1 training.

06 Mar 2012 1:03 AM


Yes, with Game on Dude going to Dubai for a while, the California handicap division is terrible.  

What makes it worse is that all the promising returns, like Animal Kingdom, Nehro, Pants on Fire, Soldat, Mucho Macho Man, and Caleb's Posse, have come from Eastern based horses, and there's still To Honor and Serve to come as well as 2nd starts from the Preakness and Belmont winners.  

Outside of Setsuko's allowance race, there hasn't been a non-stakes race out here showcasing an older male of national-level talent.

So, yes, races like the Hollywood Gold Cup could be ripe for an invader, just like the Big Cap was.  However, will anyone still have the brass to ship out here?  As weak as that Big Cap field was, there was only ONE shipper.  ONE!  What was the excuse for the connections of the other top Eastern/Midwestern horses for not shipping?  We're talking about the Big Cap here, a 10 furlong grade 1 race worth $750k.  And defenders of those scared to ship can't use a synthetic surface to deflect.  The Big Cap was run on dirt.  But still just ONE shipper.

The truth is that the lack of shippers for the Big Cap' shows that most trainers are leery of shipping across the country.  So, for those that like to be critical of Cali trainers for not shipping back East, just remember to be equally critical of Easterners who don't ship out West.  

Let's see if anyone comes out for the gr.1 Santa Margarita.  The older female division out in Cali might be even weaker than the older males.  Unless Baffert can get Plum Pretty ready in time, the local Santa Margarita contenders feature not one runner of elite talent.  

The Santa Margarita is one of the great races for older females(look at its past winners), a grade 1 at the classic female distance of 9 furlongs.  The Santa Margarita falls nicely on the calender, allowing horsemen to make both it and the biggest early season grade 1 race, the Apple Blossom.  As far as I know, there is not another grade 1 on the schedule that conflicts with the Santa Margarita timing-wise.  So, there's not alot of good excuses for not shipping.

As for the other divisions in California, the 3 year old fillies are also weak.  Eden's Moon is for real, but that's about it.  Will anyone ship out for the gr.1 Santa Anita Oaks(a race that has featured the likes of Rags to Riches and Blind Luck the last 5 years)?

The female turf division is also quite moderate.  However, I can understand not shipping out for races like the $150k Santa Ana or Santa Barbara.

The male turf divison is ok.  No one shipped out for the gr.1 Kilroe; I guess they were too scared of Mr. Commons.  The mile division will also have Caracortado.  The marathon turf horses should have Acclamation and Champ Pegasus back for the grade 1 races this summer.

The strongest divsions out here are the 3 year old males and the sprinters.  I won't be expecting anyone to ship here to run in the Santa Anita Derby.  In contrast, plenty of Cali based horses will be shipping out for Derby preps, and Cali horses did sweep both divisions of the Southwest.

The return to dirt at Santa Anita has made California once again the capitol of speed.  The Factor and Frumious are going to make the international shippers really pick up their feet in the Dubai Golden Shaheen.  Those two horses will educate the rest of the world on early speed.  Keeping down the fort back at home will be Eclipse and Breeder's Cup champ Amazombie.

06 Mar 2012 1:14 AM

Pool 2 of the future wager is history just a reminder all the colts that are running in the Wood and Santa Anita Derby will not have a prep before the final pool closes so their was no urgency to ad any new ones to your bets until the last installment,dont forget the free spot(field)

06 Mar 2012 1:30 AM

Baffert had 5 entries in pool two 3 of them were covered by the field(24)in pool 1.

06 Mar 2012 1:36 AM

El Kabong, I give him a ton of credit. He trains a lot of horses for friends of mine in Louisville. He is really starting to make a name for himself.

Morgans Guerilla (3yo) just won over the weekend, was 2nd race before. Horse is a runner....

06 Mar 2012 10:00 AM

EL KABONG AND PAPILLON, did you two do any research at all on Union Rags' dam.   I'm tired of people talking about Dixie Union, without any mention of Union Rags' dam, crazy.  I'm not getting caught up in this nonsense again.  If you want people to respect your opinions, please thoroughly research the top and bottom of the pedigree.  If studying horse pedigree was your career, you would be fired for only giving 50% instead of 100%.  

06 Mar 2012 10:41 AM

Papillon, Union Rags is the better horse IMO.  Hansen, I do like him, but that last furlong was so slow that a horse like UR would have flown right by him, just like Algorithms did in the Holy Bull. The fact is Hansen was running against nothing, so he should have won this race by a much larger margin.  

By the way Union Rags beat Alpha and Mark Valeski, both of whom are up there on Haskin's derby list.  Hansen beat UR, the only great horse that he has run against, by a whisker, and it won't happen again.  

06 Mar 2012 10:55 AM

I find it that although everyone is hoping for a Triple Crown winner, they keep quibbling about who can get 10f.  Better to ask who can get 12f.  

Ron The Greek is a great horse.  Always a deep closer, under Mott's guidance he has learned to rate mid pack, and has improved with every race.  And he can run all day.  As far as running against nothing...are you kidding?  Setsuko has done nothing but improve after being gelded, and he proved he's a true router.  Ultimate Eagle ran himself into the ground because he's a miler, and it showed....but I still think he's fantastic.  And those were not 2nd rate horses in the big 'Cap.

And before people start knocking Cal-breds, consider Native Diver, Tiznow, Lava Man, Acclamation, Bold Chieftain, Amazombie, Snow Chief, the list goes on.  Then, there are those who moved to and represented Cali...Sham, Unusual Heat, Sunday Silence, Einstein, Zenyatta, Seabiscuit, John Henry, Game On Dude, Rock Hard Ten..etc.

The East draws on horses bred in KY, NY, PA, MD, and FL. Once in a while they draw on IN, IL, and LA.  The West relies on CA.  By the way..AR, OK, TX, and NM breed horses too...and they're in the West. This East/West battle is simply ridiculous.  

And to all who keep insisting Hansen is a sprinter...don't forget...his great grand sires include Seattle Slew AND Secretariat.  

06 Mar 2012 11:43 AM

KHATinAround:  I won the RTTR in 2010 and went to the 2011 Oaks and Derby on CD.  Are you in the contest this year?  I already have Algorithms and Out of Bounds out with injuries.

Since KY VET and Draynay are on a challenge, here's a suggestion for all of us.  Back on 12-15-11 Jason gave us all a mythical $100.00 to bet on future books.  I suggest that for the Kentucky Derby Jason transfers a mythical $100.00 from his mythical PlayMoneyPal Account to every blogger who wants to get in.  

Conditions:  $100.00 on the Derby;

1.  Must make a minimum $20 win bet.

2.  Balance must be bet in any combination of WPS, Ex, Tri.

3. Picks have to be posted by noon on Derby Day (so we all have time to agonize over our real bets.)

The winner would be the blogger picking the winner AND have the highest total payout of the $100 bet.  The winner would have the bragging rights of being the best KD handicapper on the blog, notwithstanding Draynay's pronouncements.  If there is a tie, great, the more the merrier.

This way everyone can get in on a level playing field and put their playmoney where their mouth is, including Linda from Texas and any others who don't bet.

Thoughts anyone?  

06 Mar 2012 12:11 PM

Billy's Empire : That is indeed sad about the tornadoes, didn't realize it was that bad.  I don't watch news anymore but my prayers and thoughts to those that were lost, hurt and to their families.

It's just frustrating with all these injuries...and not to be pessimistic but I think it'll just get worse.  We have high priced horses that runs a few races, wins a graded stakes or two then retires to stud.  

Draynay : You don't have to be bitter just because you lost all your money on the chalk in the Big Cap.  You've always trashed california racing, if you were smart and areal handicapper, you would've bet the farm on an east coast horse in that race knowing that horses in cali are weak but I realized that's too much for you considering your handicapping abilities.  Just goes to show that you know nothing about handicapping.  Anytime you get all excited about your pick winning, more than half of the betting public got it right as well and they didn't have to read the form or do any analysis. FYI, Chalk means that EVERYONE including their cousins and distant relatives bet on the horse.   The one time you picked a longshot, you picked a 30-1 MORNING LINE and it was in cali race!!  LOL, you're the joke.

San Felipe winner is most likely Fed Biz, at least I hope so.   He's probably going to be the one representing the West Coast in the derby.  I don't know what Baffert plans to do with Bodemeister, I hope he doesn't run him in the San Felipe.  He could be the next coming of Big Brown, who knows.  I like American Act and Rousing Sermon for the exotics and Creative Cause might be tough if he runs unless there's something wrong with him too.

06 Mar 2012 1:23 PM

DRAYNAY IS NOT TAKING THE CHALLENGE? where are you? lets do this! wed/thurs/fri...picks in before midnight....what track you want? ARE YOU ALL TALK?

06 Mar 2012 2:18 PM

ZORRO! you are totally wrong! place and show are bad bets.....224...why not give my picks? its just a few pretty sure people here are not smart or rich enough to lower my odds.....

06 Mar 2012 2:22 PM

Jayjay you're a chimp.  There is a reason I don't bet a lot of long shots.  They don't come in.  From time to time I see something I like and take a chance.  Saturday 5th race I took a chance on Sheerflakesgold with Cruz on board.  I liked his first race on turf with Leparoux and now he was coming in 3rd off a layoff which I love.  Everyone at my table laughed and called him a mule because Leparoux got off him.  I bet him 100 WP and bet on house money the rest of the day.  I take a few chances here and there but rarely do I pick a horse over 15 to 1.  KY VET I don't live with my mommy and don't have the time you do.  Opening day Keeneland.  But you are welcome to handicap a race for us on Friday and post your thoughts on who will win and why and that way we can all see if you know anything.

06 Mar 2012 2:44 PM

KY VET... 9th race at Gulfstream.  A nice little turf race.  Let us know who is going to win and why.  It's not a real tough race.  Show us your stuff.

06 Mar 2012 3:01 PM

Draynay! DONT BE A CHICKEN! PICK THE GULF CARD ON FRIDAY , post picks of gulf and my track on thurs. before midnight...20 races.....dont make excuses!

06 Mar 2012 3:22 PM

Dray, I will meet you on opening day at Keeneland. I will have Jason on my shoulders so he can see the track...

06 Mar 2012 3:32 PM

Billy !!! You have a deal.  Keeneland it is. (lol)  We did it a few years back and had a blast.  Dinner after the races is on me !  Jason can order from the kids menu.  KY VET Friday 9th race Gulfstream show us what you got.  Don't be scared just show us your stuff.

06 Mar 2012 3:43 PM

20 races to handicap? that would take some time. Not worth it for fake money and message board bragging rights. maybe pick 3 each day, an allowance, a claiming, and a maiden.... that would be more reasonable.

06 Mar 2012 3:50 PM
Carlos in Cali

Jason, don't take that crap from those sorry-@$$ handicappers.Defend your son's honor..

06 Mar 2012 4:40 PM

Geez KY just handicap one race.  Tell us the winner Friday in the 9th at Gulfstream.  No excuses step up and do it or just go away.  Show some guts.

06 Mar 2012 5:49 PM

Draynay : This chimp can handicap big payouts.  And it's actually spelled chAmp, learn how to spell :)  Oh and yeah, of course you picked Sheekamajig, you're posting this pick 3 DAYS AFTER the race, not a mention of it on Friday or even Saturday morning.  Yeah, sure you did, keep imagining things.

You don't pick anything 15-1 because all you know is bet on chalk.  Everyone at your table was laughing at you, not the horse you picked.  It's probably time to buy new friends, those folks are now onto you.  They realized you're a clown.

Stick with KY VET, I might actually think you're a winner considering who you're playing against.  Between the two of you trash talking each other, I'm having a great time reading this blog LOL.  It was too easy to get you two to go at it.  Stop dodging him already, you spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME blogging on multiple blog sites to make not having time to handicap an excuse.  He just called you a chicken! Now step up!!   Chicken. LOL

07 Mar 2012 3:23 AM

Jayjay I have handicapped a few races on this blog.  Until you handicap one on the BLOG you have no Street Cred sorry but put up or shut up.  Handicap a race and post it or just move along.

07 Mar 2012 12:10 PM

Slew it is funny you mentioned Hansen's pedigree.  I was thinking he kind of looked like a grey version of Seattle Slew coming down the stretch.  

I hope they go somewhere other than the Wood.  The Wood Memorial is so cursed.  

07 Mar 2012 12:28 PM


07 Mar 2012 1:20 PM


I too was looking for Dray's mystical bet.  I'm really ticked that he didn't share it with us BEFORE THE RACE but I guess that's Dray.  I also remember him saying after the Derby that Animal Kingdom should enjoy his 15 minutes of fame.  Now he's touting Ak so I hope his prophecy doesn't hold true.

07 Mar 2012 5:51 PM

Geez Lazmannick I was right.  What did Animal Kingdom do after the Derby ?  NOTHING.  But this is a new year.  I saw Animal Kingdom run this year and he looked really good.  Will I bet him over Nehro this year ? No.  But he still looks good THIS YEAR.  Lazmannick you like many talk but I never see you handicapping a race on here.  Step up or shut up.

07 Mar 2012 9:01 PM

Here you go Draynay, this post was way BEFORE the Southwest Stakes was run:

Going for the .50cent P4 at Oaklawn ($48) :

1,4 with 6,2,11,8 with 9,2,10 with 7,11,3,2

Good luck everyone!

Trackjack : any tips on picking jockeys / trainer for RTTR ?

jayjay 20 Feb 2012 1:56 PM

Here's the link to the blog :

Happy now ?? LOL

08 Mar 2012 5:25 AM

You don't get it do you Jayjay.  Handicap a race.  Tell us who is going to win and why.  How did you get to your pick.  Do you understand now ?

08 Mar 2012 10:45 AM

jayjay:  I, like Draynay, have to go for the chalk in trainers and jocks for RTTR; Baffert, Pletcher with Bejarano, Castellano=quantity.

Good Luck with the new stable.  Gotta go and catch a plane for Tampa, will be at the TBD.

08 Mar 2012 12:13 PM

Draynay : It's the green silks but it has to be dark green plus the number combinations and also the number of letters on the jockey's names.  I sometimes also use the number of letters in the horses name.  Why do you care how I picked the horses ??  I can say the same bullcrap you spew on here on how my picks will run but that's not how I handicap.  You do all your analysis on a chalk and you still can't hit the winner and most often than not, you're wrong.   All you do is make yourself look dumb, and have no knowledge on how to bet horses.

Considering I don't use beyers or read forms, I'm way way ahead of you so far.  Let me know if you catch up to my P4 payout from Southwest.  Otherwise, stick with your nonsense analysis on CHALKS.  Seriously man, you're a clown LOL.

trackjack : Thanks for the reminder on the new stable.  Good luck to you too and have a great time at TBD!

08 Mar 2012 8:05 PM

Ramon Dominguez was riding Hansen, not Michael Maker.

It is the rider who communicates with the horse and the rider who settles the horse. It is also the rider who analyses the horse's behaviour; watching doesn't tell you much.

I've seen only a few brief words of acknowledgement for Dominguez' contribution to the equipment changes, and nothing that equals the contribution he must have made to Hansen's continuing education.

16 Mar 2012 10:30 PM

@papillon – I wonder if Hansen would bring us the same spirit Uncle Mo was expected to deliver

last year. Thankfully the color issue is resolved and Hansen’s connections are focussing more on the

races. Sometimes I just get sceptical if too much attention ruins the show.

@Tiz Herself – Consortium is a trainer’s favourite and I doubt he would make any mistakes if made

to run in the big purse races. He seems very composed as a contender. Will he target Woods? You

got any news on that? And btw, try <a href="http://Horse Racing Fantasy">Horse Racing Fantasy</a>, I’m sure you’d love the attention Hansen

will gather!

12 Apr 2012 6:29 AM

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