Heavy Breathing Enters Derby Picture

We all know how quickly things can change on the Derby trail, nobody better than Todd Pletcher. Only a couple short months ago he was loaded with five or six top Derby prospects, many of them with some of the best pedigrees he's had in years. But even during those promising times, Pletcher knew not to get overly excited with Derby fever; he's been around too long to know how this thing works.

Beginning the day of the Fountain of Youth, Pletcher suffered his biggest setback with Algorithms, who sustained a fractured splint bone and had to undergo surgery. Hansen's subsequent win in the Gotham solidified just how much promise Algorithms had. Later that day in the Fountain of Youth, Discreet Dancer tired badly, proving that he is probably best suited for shorter distances.

Last Saturday, Pletcher went into the Tampa Bay Derby with a horse that may have been training better than any 3-year-old in his barn--Spring Hill Farm. He came out of it with a fourth-place finish and a colt that suffered a fractured knee. The injury was likely suffered after Spring Hill farm fell at the break. As his co-owner George Bolton said, "He was a serious horse...we just got really unlucky."

Pletcher's top remaining gun is El Padrino, who will get his biggest test in the Florida Derby against Union Rags. He also has Gemologist, who will make his comeback in an allowance race today at Gulfstream. The undefeated son of Tiznow got started late this year, so we'll see how he bounces back from the layoff. He will face a short but tough group, including Currency Swap.

On Pletcher's decision to run him in an allowance race instead of Saturday's Rebel, he said: "This race came up late; it wasn't really an allowance race in the (condition) book, but I inquired about it and it became a viable option. The biggest consideration was the ship to Oaklawn was very complicated. We would have had to van to Ocala, then fly to Hot Springs, and there was no return flight. So with a 14-horse field and the potential to draw a bad post, it sort of put a lot of potentially negative variables into the equation. So when this became an option we decided to stay home."

Pletcher also has Our Entourage, who will go in either the Wood Memorial or Illinois Derby. But he's better on turf and is only getting a shot in one of those races because...well, because it's Derby time and why not?

So just when it looked like the vaunted Todd Squad was dwindling, up pops another one that bears watching. The colt is named Heavy Breathing, owned by Jack Wolf's Starlight Racing, who is also owns Algorithms. By Giant's Causeway and out of the Gone West mare Takesmybreathaway, Heavy Breathing is a late-bloomer who was on his way to getting his career started on the turf. Only thing is, his Feb. 8 maiden race was rained off the turf, and so Pletcher ran him on the main track. He wound up winning by 7 3/4 lengths against a short field.

"He handled the dirt better than we anticipated he would," Pletcher said. "In his training in the mornings he did better on the turf. But because he did so well we decided to try him back on the dirt again in an allowance on dirt. It seemed like that went pretty well also."

It did go pretty well. Heavy Breathing won by 4 1/4 lengths in a first-level allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on March 3. And just like that, he is on the Derby trail.

"He's by Giant's Causeway, so we think a synthetic race is the most viable option for him--the Spiral, the Blue Grass, and the Lexington are all races we'll look at.

"We had some unfortunate setbacks with Algorithms and Spring Hill Farm. They are part of the game. But we've had some nice ones come around too. The Derby is all about timing."

It remains to be seen if Heavy Breathing is a Derby horse--history says he would have to overcome a lot considering his late development. But like Pletcher said, it's all about timing. Maybe this one is quickly blossoming into something special.


Secret Circle is the deserving favorite based on his Southwest win and consistent record. Baffert said he bounced out of the race in good shape and keeps improving. He's the one to beat, and should be somewhere in the mix. I still think he has distance limitations and is not a legitimate Derby contender, but an extra sixteenth and a second turn probably won't bother him too much here. He's a must-use in exotics

All that being said, I'm still going to try to beat him, simply because he's going to be the favorite in a large field. I'm intrigued by three horses--Atigun, Najjaar and Jake Mo--in that order. All of them should be coming from off the pace, which could be a good thing since Secret Circle and Scatman should ensure a decent pace.

Atigun enters off an allowance win at the track and distance on Jan. 15. He was supposed to be in the Southwest but missed it because of a slight quarter crack. Ken McPeek said he only missed one work and has turned in two solid works since. He has the looks of an improving colt, as he's won two of his last three. He made a big middle move in his latest win and fought off Ring It Up gamely in the stretch. McPeek thinks Atigun is a Derby-type horse, but he'll need to prove it here.

Like Atigun, Najjaar enters off an allowance win at the track and distance. The only difference is, his came on March 2, so he may be a little sharper right now. Najjaar came from the clouds in that one. He has little tactical speed, so the 12 post should not hinder him. The son of 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil, Najjaar also broke his maiden at Oaklawn on Jan. 14 after four failed attempts elsewhere, so he obviously likes the track and is getting good.

I liked how Jake Mo was running at the end of the Southwest. He was beaten nearly four lengths by a much-the-best Castaway, but was too far back early on to be a factor. He showed a little bit more tactical speed in the Smarty Jones, where he was beaten only 1 3/4 lengths, and won on the front end in both of his wins as a juvenile at Prairie Meadows, so I'm expecting him to be a little bit closer this time. His trainer, Allen Milligan, is the leading trainer by wins at the current Oaklawn meet with 19.

I've been on the record as saying I like Sabercat as a potential Derby horse, but Asmussen is going to have him sharper for the Arkansas Derby, and even sharper for the Kentucky Derby. I don't think he'll win this one, but I'm going to include him because he just might be that good off the layoff.

Trifecta box--Atigun, Jake Mo, Najjaar, Sabercat, Secret Circle

Who do you like?


Leave a Comment:


If Secret Circle doesn't win the Rebel and Baffert keeps him on the Derby Trail you should be able to guess why.

16 Mar 2012 1:12 PM

I think Optimizer will improve considerably from the Risen performance, I like a 4,5,6,&7 box for the exacta and trifecta.

Secret Circle can run a mile and a sixteenth, but that may the limit,will be watching for his gallop out. If he is used as a rabbit in the Derby, he might help other's horses more than Bob's.

 Anxious to see Currency Swap, I think he is more than a sprinter, and added distance won't hurt. I love his determination.

16 Mar 2012 1:50 PM
Carlos in Cali

If Heavy Breathing is doing so well on dirt why are they thinking about running him on synthetics?.. makes no sense to me. If it aint broke...

16 Mar 2012 1:57 PM

Baffert said secret circle is doing better than ever and really coming into his own, if the factor won this race last year secret circle shouldn't have a problem.

16 Mar 2012 2:11 PM
El Kabong

Very impressive. Gemologist looked ready for alot more than that. I heard from the locals he came back to the winner's circle taunting the crowd...

"Floatin like a butterfly, stinging like a bee,

Union Nag and Hansen ain't never catching me!"

Can't confirm the exact words, but something like that. We have another contender.

16 Mar 2012 2:26 PM

Algorithms was probably his best shot for the Derby. Now he's left with a bunch of so-so contenders. I still like Baffert's Liaison, despite his performance in the San Felipe, which I actually thought was impressive given what he had to overcome. There's little doubt in my mind that as of now, Union Rags is the best three year old of this crop. But I have a feeling things will swing towards Liaison come Derby day. I'm not sure what to make of Bodemeister yet. We'll see how he runs in the Santa Anita Derby.

16 Mar 2012 2:42 PM

I hope you all picked up the other speed (the 1) when Storm Clouds Ahead dropped out in the 5th at Gulfstream.  If you did and followed my picks you hit the pick 4 for 69.00 bucks.  Don't say thank you just send 20% to Jason and he will forward it to me.  I am having a hard time understanding how no one is talking about Scatman and the fact Secret Circle had to STRUGGLE to get by him.  Scatman will improve going 2 turns 2nd time out and any improvement puts him in front of the CIRCLE.

16 Mar 2012 3:49 PM

Gemologist is no so-so contender. Unlike Liaison and Union Rags, he is actualy bred to get the Derby distance.

16 Mar 2012 4:06 PM

Heavy Breathing is bred for the distance.  From the same family as Bluegrass Cat and Super Saver.  

16 Mar 2012 4:46 PM

To say Union Rags is not bred to go 1 1/4 is just plain silly and wrong.  Baffert doesn't have a Derby horse.

16 Mar 2012 5:20 PM

Gemologist was very impressive today.  Todd Pletcher is definitely back in the hunt with this one. This colt is all class and looks more of a threat to Union Rags than any other. He should move way up on everybody's list including Coldfacts who dissed his chances, saying he was too slow.


Come out of hiding and face the music buddy. Its time to get over the disappointment of Out of Bounds. Since you refuse to get on the Union Rags bandwaggon, there is plenty of room right now on Gemologist. Forbidden Apple was spot on touting this one ...joining the "Pletcher groupies" for a change (LOL).

16 Mar 2012 5:40 PM

Gemologist was pretty impressive.  At least I'm getting my wish for a Tiznow horse to be on the trail.  He'll most likely go to the Arkansas Derby which is going to be a really good test.  He's on schedule for the KY Derby being his 3rd start back off a layoff.

I have to remind myself though that this is an allowance race, so I'll have to wait and see what he does in the Arkansas Derby before I jump on him with both legs hehe.

16 Mar 2012 5:45 PM

Nice run by Gemologist today, looked like he should be Pletcher's Derby horse. What has held him back to this point? Or was this the plan all along? I can't believe Pletcher wouldn't have known what he had in this horse. Gemologist was certainly no secret at 3/5 and he made it look awfully easy beating a grade 1 winning horse, that probably was a short horse today, but, this was Gemologist's first race back too, watch out this could be the horse for which we have all been waiting 33+ years or so, as he displayed the kind of talent today that can compete with anyone on the trail so far.

16 Mar 2012 6:06 PM
Mike Monarchos

Gemologist was spectacular today and he wasn't "heavy breathing" after the race. It was like a mile work breezing in 1:35.95 on a track rated good. He galloped out really well too. LOOKOUT Union Rags! Here comes Tiznow's big kid.

16 Mar 2012 6:08 PM

secret circle could be loaded into the gate backwards and still win the rebel. i am leaning towards hansen for the derby. he reminds me of a nearly white horse called fio rito who raced years ago at saratoga and won the whitney stakes on the front end.

16 Mar 2012 8:01 PM
Carlos in Cali

Calm down people,Gemologist did what any good horse will do when allowed to set a slow pace.. look like Secreteriat coming down the stretch. He beat nothing in the race including Currency Swap who is a slow sprinter.Relax. He won't have the luxury of seeing those type of splits from here on.

El Padrino is Pletcher's best and only shot at taking home the Roses.

16 Mar 2012 8:55 PM

Draynay / KY VET  : Here's another ticket to motivate you two :


The key to this ticket was E Maldonado in the first leg, I thought if he can get away and beat the 4, I would get a pretty good payout.  I put the heavy favorites on the 2nd and 3rd leg but I also threw in some longshots which I thought had a chance to beat them.  I knew I had the P4 when the 8 won on the 3rd leg.   Draynage, see the difference in the payouts between your $1 P4 and my .50 P4 ?   $69 and $1885.

Oh wait, nm, you didn't hit the P4, you had the 9 which means when the 5 was scratched, you doubled your ticket on the 9 but then the 1 horse won :)

Anyway, just thought I'd show you my newest pic LOL.

16 Mar 2012 9:13 PM

Gemologist is a very nice horse but he is a candidate for the Preakness not the Derby.  But I can tell you this, on the way back to the stalls Gemologist went over to the No.1 stall and through El Padrino out and told him to find a new stall.  Pletcher stood there and didn't do anything.  Gemologist turned to Pletcher and said, "hey if you don't mind shut the door behind you."  'Oh by the way tell El if he wants the No.1 stall back he better beat Union Rags in the Florida Derby. Ha ha ha ha."

16 Mar 2012 10:05 PM
Forbidden Apple

Heavy Breathing, isn't that what happens every time Ranagulzion watches a Pletcher horse run?

Gemologist in my opinion is Pletcher's only serious horse on the KY Derby trail. What's not to like about an undefeated Tiznow colt out of a Mr. Prospector mare? Please people, do not start calling him a triple crown winner. His performance today was steady and powerful. If they take it slow with him, he might actually stick around for the entire year.

El Padrino is no threat to Union Rags, second place is his ceiling.

Sabercat is just too good for the Rebel field. Secret Circle will be tough to run down, but Sabercat can do it.


Your Scatman just went from a 69 to an 87, and last time he ran a 101 beyer. Do you honestly believe that he has more gas in the tank?Why are they even mentioning the LA Derby for Alpha? Stick with the original plan and ship back to NY and knock out Hansen!

16 Mar 2012 10:18 PM

HATE TO BREAK IT TO YOU!.....BUT ITS TOO LATE!!!......ONLY 5 HORSES HAVE A CHANCE IN THE DERBY!.....there is 1 race left! Alot of you are talking about these horses that dont have a shot at winning the derby....only possible winners are UNION RAGS/EL PADRINO/CREATIVE CAUSE/HANSEN/ALPHA....im sorry to tell you the truth! btw i dont like 2 of them.....

16 Mar 2012 10:34 PM

Pletcher said back in December that Gemologist would only have two preps before the Derby.  His race times were not fast and he has been giving him time to mature and develop.  His score today was eye catching but he needs to do much more.  At #25 on the graded stakes earning list with just under $104,000, team Pletcher cannot afford any hiccups with this guy.  He'll have to run at least 2nd, if the Blue Grass or 3rd, if the Arkansas Derby to get in.  With this impressive win today, his hat's in the ring.  Would love to see a Tiznow do well in the Derby.

Rebel:  Would love to see Secret Circle continue to stretch out but not confident of a win.  Will box, Secret Circle,Scatman, Najjaar and Sabercat for the tri.  Good Luck to all.  

16 Mar 2012 11:19 PM
Matthew W

Gemolgist enters Derby Picture! That was impressive, to run from the inside with company, that long straightaway then the quickening--by Tiznow, and it makes you think he's Derby Timber--This is a good crop! Out here, I'll Have Another, Bodemiester and Creative Cause remind me a bit of Dinard, Best Pal and Sea Cadet in 1991, a big three! It's been a long time since I've really looked forward to the preps, but this is a good crop.  

17 Mar 2012 1:43 AM

The Kentucky Derby is a crap shoot and the triple crown seems more like a pipe dream with each passing year. Any horse that makes it into the starting gate has a chance to take home the roses. Favorites are coming up short  more often than not. In this sport the "best" horse doesn't always win. That's why it's the toughest game to call. Luck plays a role in the Derby as much as talent, or so it seems, and then there is always the "not so great" pony who just happens to have a great day on the first Saturday in May. If it were predictable, it wouldn't be horse racing.

17 Mar 2012 6:53 AM


With all due respect, 20 horses will set foot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.

Odds might be in favor of your 5, but on that day, at that moment... all will be equal.

That's why they call it horse racing...


17 Mar 2012 8:21 AM

Based on numerous posts it appears there is overwhelming consensus that Bodemeister is Mr. Baffert’s best Derby prospect. I do not share these opinions as I think his best prospect is Stirred Up. He has zero graded earnings with 6 to 7 weeks before the big dance. If  fellow posters are of the opinion that I need to have my head examined, I would consider those opinions valid.

I am of the opinion that Stirred Up has the best pedigree to succeed at the Derby distance. If he is entered in the either the Sunland or SA Derby he will easily secure the requisite earning to make the Derby cut. He won his last race at a distance similar to that of the San Felipe. He recorded a time of 1:43 compared to the San Felipe’s time of 1:41.84. His time suggests he would be 5 to 6 lengths off Creative Cause and Bodemeister. However, if the very small and stamina deficient Midnight Transfer could close within striking distance of the big two at 81/2F, then Stirred Up should have them measure at 9F. He is a deep closer who seems to be improving rapidly at this time and his pedigree begs for a distance of ground.

Based on the history of Triple Crown races, Stirred Up has an advantage over the other members of Speedy Bob’s Derby contingent. He was sired by a grandson of Mr. Prospector. This group has sired the winners of 16 Triple Crown races including 5 Derbies. Bodemeister was sired by a great grandson of Mr. Prospector. This group has sired the winner of one Triple Crown race and that was Belmont winner Birdstone who was sire by Grindstone. The sires of Stirred Up’s first and second dams i.e., Quiet American and Summer Squall have been Derby winning sired and broodmare sire of a winner of the Preakness and Belmont. Bodemeister’s first and second dam sires i.e., Storm Cat and A P Indy have both sired Preakness and Belmont winners. Storm Cat has never been the broodmare sire of a winner of a Triple Crown race. A P Indy was dam sire of Super Saver.

Stirred Up running style is going to be ideal in a Derby that is likely to see the top colts being part of the leading group. I expect the pace to be contentious and this should suit a classy closer like Stirred Up. The Mr. La Penta owned Dialed In was the off time favorite in the 2011 Derby and did not deliver. He has an excellent chance with a colt that is not as classy but has the perfect pedigree profile and trainer to easily win the 2012 Derby.

I know the fans of Union Rags, Creative Cause and Hansen are convinced that the winner of the 2012 Derby will emerge from the aforementioned trio. However, they are reminded that the Mr. Prospector sire line should never be discounted as four generations  of sires from this line have sired the winners of 35 Triple Crown races including 10 Derbies. Ignore the talented colts from this  line at your own risk.

17 Mar 2012 9:47 AM

I am eagerly awaiting Najjaar’s next start. The Rebel will possibly be the first time in Najjaar’s racing career that he will have some pace to run at.  If Secret Circle and Scatman reproduce the speed battle they waged in the Southwest there will be plenty of pace upfront. This will set up the race nicely for deep closer Najjaar. Is he good enough at this point to defeat the likes of Secret Circle, Scatman and Sabercat? The internal fractions and final times for the two races he won at the distance were very slow. He has never contested a race in which a 1:37 mile was recorded. He is likely to encounter such a mile pace in the rebel and might be trailing by more than his usual 15 lengths. However, he has a couple of things in his favor. The Rebel will be his 6th start at 81/2F and his record in the five previous attempts is 2-2-1. Secret Circle and Scatman will be making their debut at the distance; Saberca will be making his third start at the distance but his last start was November 19th and he might need a race. Najjaar is steadily improving in the speed department and should be able to stay closer than his usual 15 lengths off the pace. He like the majority of the field will be in receipt of 5lbs from top weight Secret Circle. He has the most stamina in the field and when most are hitting reverse he will be rolling. I am of the opinion Secret Circle and Scatman will falter in the last 50 meters. Sabercat who will be ahead of Najjaar will not have the race sharpness to sustain his gallop. Najjaar will therefore be mowing them down in the last 50 meters and he might just get up in time. He has the best 81/2F record in the field.

All of this is contingent on each colt reporting with its "A’ games

17 Mar 2012 10:07 AM


My learned colleague, at your request I will emerge from my undisclosed location to respond to your invitation to join the Gemologist bandwagon. I have revaluated the aforementioned colt after his very impressive Gulfstream win. You will recall I classified him as a pretender when I evaluated your initial Derby Dozen. Has my conclusion changed in light of his recent victory?  Well let’s examine the Cold Facts. My records reflect that two colt with his pedigree profile have contested the Derby in the last 4 years. They are profiled below:

AWESOME ACT: Awesome Again - Houdini’s Holiday by Mr. Prospector.

1st Gotham Stakes; 3rd Wood Memorial (19Th Kentucky Derby)

SCAT DADDY: Johannesburge - Love Style by Mr. Prospector

1st Champagne, Fountain Of Youth and Florida Derby (18Th Kentucky Derby)

Rock Hard Ten, Setsuko, Pulpit, Mineshaft Aragorn and Malibu Moon are few from an extensive list of talented horses produced from Mr. Prospector mares.

You will note that Awesome Act and Scat Daddy were sired by the winner of a Breeders Cup race. Setsuko who was sired by BCC winner Pleasant Colony was on the Derby trail and did not make it. Stallions that have won Breeder Cup races are jinxed. They have very poor Derby records. If not for Unbridled they would still be on zero. Tizwow won the BCC twice and has a double dose of the Jinx. Mr. Prospector sired 490 mares that have produced over 2000 runners and none of these runner have won TC race.

Gemologist profile is similar Awesome Act and Scat Daddy. Why should I believe his result in the Derby will be any different?  Add the poor Derby record of his trainer (3.44%) to his profile and he has far too many negatives for me to like him purely on his performances. Is he more impressive than Scat Daddy who was a G1 winner at two?

17 Mar 2012 11:09 AM
Pedigree Ann

Heads up, people. It is getting to be 'way too late for horses who have only just made it past their n1x condition with no stakes experience, the way they race horses these days. Especially those that didn't race until after their third birthday. (Even Curlin couldn't overcome that disability in the Kentucky Derby and these horses we are discussing are no Curlins.) If there are any horses who will jump up and surprise us this late, they will come likely from the turf ranks; also, watch for any closing horse from the Risen Star or other preps with slow early paces or that were on speed-favoring surfaces. Those horses got some exercise and with more pace, may be able to 'surprise' later on.

17 Mar 2012 11:24 AM

Draynay Alpha was amused when he heard from his horse buddies that the Godfather had been kicked out by a jeweler.Alphas telling his inner circle of horse buddies that he hopes that UR the Godfather and Chuck's horse run each other into the ground in the Florida Derby its too hot here anyway.Alpha said"After I head back up to the big Apple and school Hansen I will be waiting for the lot in Louville"

17 Mar 2012 11:37 AM


You posted:

Gemologist went over to the No.1 stall and through El Padrino out and told him to find a new stall.  Pletcher stood there and didn't do anything.  Gemologist turned to Pletcher and said, "hey if you don't mind shut the door behind you."  'Oh by the way tell El if he wants the No.1 stall back he better beat Union Rags in the Florida Derby. Ha ha ha ha."

WOW! Gemologist can talk too!


17 Mar 2012 1:00 PM


Let me share this with you. Reflect on the last ten Kentucky Derbies and you should be able to see that its too early, even with one round of Preps to go, to narrow the contenders down to five. The final Prep races tell a lot because Trainers are tightening the screws and the horses are improving leaps and bound each month.

I believe that you've grossly underrated the undefeated Todd Pleatcher colt Gemologist. My thinking is that he could be better than El Padrino. He's come back late but has foundation and is a fighter with plenty of class and stamina in his pedigree. Reconsider my friend.  

17 Mar 2012 1:46 PM

Forbidden Apple

“Sabercat is just too good for the Rebel field. Secret Circle will be tough to run down, but Sabercat can do it.”

I would add Najjaar and Unbridled’s Note to the mix. Unbridled Note missed the break in the Southwest and was last after a furlong. It was the first time he had dirt kicked at him. On debut he drew post #10 and broke sharply to be within a length of the leaders. He took up the lead at the top of the stretch and drew clear to win in 10 2/5 in hand. The internal fractions were 21, 44, and 57.  If he breaks he has an excellent chance to track Scatman and Secret Circle and when they soften up each other he will be first to pounce with Sabercat and Najjaar chasing him home. Unbridled’s Note pedigree reflects inbreeding in the 3rd generation to Caro. Caro was sire of Derby winner Winning Colors and dam sire of Champion 2YO Unbridled Song. He also finished 4th in the Arc. He should have some stamina influence.  Unbridled’s Note has displayed speed and should have stamina to complement.

17 Mar 2012 3:12 PM

I mean really....Do you people understand this game? Horses run great when they get to relax....especially on the front end.....does anyone get this? And those 5 are pretty much the only horses that can win....what is secret circle, hansen, bode, gemologist,on and on etc. gonna do when 5th in a fast pace in traffic? the derby is THE WORST race in the world for a speed horse! Any horse other than those 5 is gonna have to improve too much...you dont want anyone that jumps up off a career best race.....WATCH AND LEARN!

17 Mar 2012 6:13 PM


I didn't hear one PRO in the house mention Optimizer............. but Lordy did you see that run???

Wow! He certainly wasn't in my top 25 but I need to rethink it. Impressive.


17 Mar 2012 8:06 PM
El Kabong


Najja, najrrra, najjaaarrrr,

Not gonna race here anymore. Fired by the Bobs. Next!

17 Mar 2012 8:11 PM


Glad to have you back from your hiding place. Do you feel safer now since your terrorizer may be in Dubai ...lucky chappy you (LOL).

Concerning Gemologist, you are very mistaken in comparing his pedigree profile to hte likes of Awesome Act, Scat Daddy, Rock Hard ten etc. the mere fact that their broodmare sire is Mr Prospector doesn't make them have similar profile. You've got to compare the five cross pedigree and the in-breeding configuration. Gemologist is bred to stay and he is showing good pace and has already demonstrated that heart of a potential special colt by refusing to quit in a stretch duel. To my mind he must be very dangerous going into the Derby because he is not lacking in foundation.

You will recall that I told you to beware of being betrayed like Judas by Naajar. Well, I'll tell you right now, that colt has no shot in the Derby (if he can make the field). The connection might as well point him to the Belmont Stakes.

Sorry Pal but unless you jump on one of the bandwaggons I've suggested you'll be out of luck in the Derby this year.  

17 Mar 2012 9:01 PM

I would never bet Secret Circle in the KY Derby but he is a game racehorse... This years crop looks to be the best we have seen in several long years I think... Looking forward to this years Derby and Triple Crown so much and I really think we are in for a great ride as horse racing fans!! I just hope the top 6-8 horses stay healthy and all make the starting gate. I mean if Hansen as well as Union Rags and Creative Cause was to loose there last prep and run second can you imagine the favortie in the Derby could be 6-1... I mean think about from a gambling point of view 6-1 on Union Rags, Hansen, El Padrino, or Creative Cause just to name a few at the top. I would not blame ANYONE for taking a stand at those odds!! It is good to be a horse racing fan this time of the year.

17 Mar 2012 10:36 PM

KY VET : Do you know what Animal Kingdom's record was prior to the Derby ??   He was a G3 (Spiral ) winner and prior to that, was a maiden winner.  We all make our picks of who we think will win the Derby but to say that there's only 5 horses that has a chance of winning the derby, shows you truly do not know anything about horseracing.  You can babble all you want, you haven't proven anything, you haven't even picked any winners.  At least Draynay can hit a chalk, so far you're all talk.  Something tells me though, you're Draynay's doppelganger. LOL

Secret Circle was just too much for that field.  He was the only legitimate contender in that race and he proved it.  Having said that though, I don't know how far SC can go.  He might be a ringer come derby day.  At this time, I'm sticking with my picks :

El Padrino



Creative Cause

17 Mar 2012 11:52 PM

Wow... that rebel really changed the derby picture! now, there are the same 5 horses that can win the big race!  yawn..............

18 Mar 2012 12:46 AM

I thought Scatman had it coming home but he just doesn't have that home stretch kick that is needed.  I wasn't impressed with Secret Circle coming home so slow.  I am looking forward to the real preps like the Florida derby and the Wood.  Secret Circle is done at 1 1/16th he doesn't look like a horse that wants more ground.  Bring on the MONSTER UNION RAGS !!!

18 Mar 2012 1:42 AM

Ranagulzion : Are you picking Gemologist for the Derby off of that allowance race ?  I'm a fan of Gemologist as well because I would love to see a Tiznow horse win the derby but I know that just because they have good breeding doesn't mean they will have the staying power needed in the derby.  He still has to finish (at least 3rd) in the Arkansas Derby to even make the field.  I suggest waiting until after the Arkansas before even putting him on  your list.  He might be something special but unless he hits the board, he'll be waiting for the Preakness.

18 Mar 2012 7:03 AM


When did you get so funny?  :)

18 Mar 2012 7:40 AM
jorge batiz

Is easier to analyze than to win the Derby no longer need bloodlines, being a champion or have a certain number of races before the Derby. With past events, even be a DIRT HORSE is doesnt be the big factor. Big Brown, Animal Kingdom,Barbaro prove that. During the race, lucky factor play a major role. The derby is often a race of tactics and luck. IF the best horse in the position draw gets the # 1 hole lucky factor carrying a big weight in the development of the race.  This crop has tremendous prospects, I think even many remain even. So far only Alpha and Secret Circle has been repeated victories on Stake competition and the strong contenders have run only once or not have been able to Back to Back victories. Example Hansen, Union Rags, Creative Cause, etc.

FOr me this is one of the even Derby Trails on past years. Union Rags can be the one to beat, but for me he needs yet to make some BArbaro, Big Brown, Eskendereya, I want Revenge performance to seen as the big one to catch. The FOY tell us a lot but how many horse RUN AWESOME after a layoff and after that bounce.  

18 Mar 2012 10:24 AM
Forbidden Apple

Sabercat was just plain slow yesterday, i'm not sure if he even got anything out of the race. Scatman ran another big race, that surprised me. Optimizer did close well, but that was against tiring horses. He should go back to the turf. Secret Circle is no KY Derby horse, he wants no part of a 1 1/4 mile race.

Gemologist needs graded earnings and he needs to improve if he is to be taken seriously in the KY Derby. I would love to hear COLDFACTS explain the action of Gemologist. Watch his front left leg down the stretch and in the gallop out. It has a weird way of scooping to the outside, maybe he was just tiring at the end.

18 Mar 2012 10:41 AM
Forbidden Apple

When are horse racing fans going to protest against PETA? If PETA is so ethical, then why do they euthanize more than 90% of the animals that they help to rescue? A friend of mine contacted me recently about rescuing/fostering a pit bull. The shelter was giving up on the dog because it pulled on the leash while out for a walk. What a joke, of course the dog would pull because the pathetic previous owner never took the dog out for a walk. PETA acts like the creators of LUCK were abusing horses on purpose. I also remember when they lined up in front of Belmont Park to protest the day of Big Brown's Belmont debacle. They try to humiliate horse racing every chance they get. It's time PETA looks in the mirror and changes their own practices. The only thing they are good at is getting models to strip off their clothing to raise money. Athletes get fatally injured in every sport. And yes horses can not talk and do not choose to enter the starting gate. I know first hand that many horses love what they do and take great pleasure in racing. The ones that are not sound repeatedly should be sent to the farm or retired.

18 Mar 2012 10:55 AM


“Glad to have you back from your hiding place”

I had no hiding place as I was not in hiding.  When time permits I try to post some views that I think will not result in controversy. If this equate to hiding then I am guilty as charged.  

“The mere fact that their broodmare sire is Mr. Prospector doesn't make them have similar profile.”

My comparison was actually based on two colts that contested Derbies i.e., Awesome Act, Scat Daddy. It is clear you missed the nucleus of my point. Both colts were sired by Breeder Cup winner and produced from mares sired by Mr. Prospector. Both colts five cross pedigree and in-breeding configuration would be significantly different. This is meaningless to my point. The history I presented does relate to five cross pedigree. It focused on sires and broodmares that have been producing and not producing Derby winners. Winner of World Thoroughbred Championship races have mostly been very well bred talented horses. Since it inauguration only one winner form these championship has sired the winner of Derby. While A P Indy and Tiznow have sired winners of Triple Crown races, this blog is about Derby and potential Derby contenders. Gemologist sire Tiznow is therefore in a category that does have a good record of producing Derby winners. Mr. Prospector mares are on zero. Does this mean Gemologist cannot win the Derby? No! However, he has Derby negatives that cannot be ignored. In addition to his negatives I still think he carries his front left like a horse that has issue in that area. He has defeated Currency Swap and others that have not distinguished themselves and suddenly he is a top class Derby contender. Gulfstream Park is renowned for servicing up fast times. Bandini finished 19th in the 2005 Kentucky Derby and returned to Gulfstream Park after a10 months layoff to set a track record of 1:34.25. Do not get too carries away by performances on this track.

18 Mar 2012 11:28 AM

khatinaround, i'd be careful giving to much credit to optimizer--he was only carrying 115lbs (lowest in the race), and got 7lbs from secret circle--his best bet to beat secret circle was yesterday and he couldn't do it.  

plus, when carrying 122lbs, going 1 1/16th at churchill, optimizer was 4th and 8th, and lost to hansen by 11 lengths. and at equal weight of 116lbs, going 1 1/16 at fairgrounds, he was 9th, 11 lengths behind el padrino...and he hasn't won a race since his madien on turf back in august...

sabercat was a disappointment, didn't run at all...lost by 5 1/2 lenths...but wasn't the high weight...didn't see any excuses...but the race fractions weren't that fast so maybe he just had nothing to close into? i dunno, i'm off him till he redeems himself...

secret circle showed his class and that he belongs in the mix--he's joined  hansen, rags, and creative cause by beating the field while giving it between 5-7lbs. he's won carrying weight before, but that was under a mile, so we'll have to see if he can back it up in the ark derby.

18 Mar 2012 12:52 PM
Matthew W

Stamina has nothing to do with size--that's a cold fact!

18 Mar 2012 3:41 PM

The Rebel after watching the race it would surprise me if the winner is assigned a high speed figure.The horses were very compact from front to back and there was 12 of them.IMO that means when they ran the race, for the  class and distance they were going slow upfront, thats why the whole field was compact for a 12 horse field.I dont know what to make of Optimizer as he really didnt close from that far back visually,on the charts it could paint a different picture.I really didnt learn that much from the Rebel.

18 Mar 2012 4:00 PM

I don't see Secret Circle winning at 1 1/8 in the Ark Derby. They couldn't have crawled home much slower including Optimizer who just looked quicker at the end because the others were screaming for the finish line. Unless they move up bigtime there is no horse from that race who will hit the board on May 5th.

Nice to see Havre De Grace return in great fashion. The last two winners of HOY brought back the luster to the award by coming out strong first out the next year unlike the winner 3 back, who showed her true limitations by getting beat right out of the box facing and understudy to the horse who should have won the award instead.

18 Mar 2012 5:08 PM

Jay Jay,

Union Rags is my pick for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Punto final!!! Amen hallelujah!!! thats it.

I'm almost as confident about UR as I was about Eskendereya and we all know what happened in 2010 therefore one has to have contingencies. My contingencies at the moment include Summer Front, Gemologist, Exothermic, Hansen, El Padrino, Creative Cause, Bodemeister, Discreet Dancer and Lucky Chappy. These colts round out my top ten Derby aspirants but there is room for adjustment after the last round of Prep races. Six of my top ten horses are from the Northern Dancer line and thats because I have a hunch that one of them will prevail this year. Based upon historical trends, a Raise A Native line colt WILL NOT win the Derby this year, as in the past whenever a new sire line breaks through as Animal Kingdom did for the Blushing Groom line last year, the RAN line is denied for at least two consecutive years. There is no scientific reasoning here, just that its not easy to buck historic trends.

Other colts that are still on my radar are Trinniberg, Currency Swap, Optimizer and the Californian, I'll Have Another. If Trinniberg gets confirmed as bound for Louisville, the complexion of the Derby changes significantly. Notable omissions from my list are Alpha and Take Charge Indy, not because these aren't talented colts but I just don't fancy their chances this time of year against the abovementioned.


I understand you observations about the lack of success of Breeder's Cup winners as sires and Mr Prospector broodmares regarding producing Derby winners. My point is that yours is merely an observation without hypothesis.  Unless there is some scientific explanation, it is just a matter of time before a horse like Gemologist upsets your applecart.  Now don't get me wrong, there is no stopping Union Rags this year, but Gemologist has to be a serious contender. He is no pretender.

BTW I think that Discreet Dancer is going to rebound in the Louisana Derby in  big way. His FOY performance was well below his capability.

18 Mar 2012 5:15 PM
Mike Monarchos

Ky Vet, I've got all 5 of your horses in Derby Futures exacta bets. 4 of them are on top. I also have Bodemeister and Gemologist keyed in exactas.

Does anyone know what Beyer Gemologist got for Friday's race? I haven't seen any unusual front leg motion that he has, but I'll watch the race again.

18 Mar 2012 6:12 PM

Mike...i dont like 2 of those 5.....what i am saying, is there are only 5 horses that really have a chance to win the derby....everyone is too slow....it takes at least a 105 beyer to win the derby! people think you can just show up with an alw. horse and win.....unlike jason who thinks i have no shot, i think im sitting with a strong hand....200 on el padrino at 12-1...150 on creative cause at 17-1......50 at 45-1 news pending......i win about only 2 grand if any win.......

18 Mar 2012 8:12 PM

jayjay...you just said 3 of your 4 were in the 5 i said has a chance......so youre saying what? lol

18 Mar 2012 8:16 PM

Yes i bet on an 18 to 1 shot in rebel.......and i thought secret circle was best.......read what i posted......sometimes you go with a longshot! im a pro......i had pick 3s with circle....big whoop....find a better putdown......i dont make my living betting 4-5 shots......learn the game........

18 Mar 2012 8:20 PM

SECRET CIRCLE......running again......ark derby..........sure why not.....drifting out in the stretch means nothing huh? look for this one to be on the shelf soon!

18 Mar 2012 8:31 PM


“You will recall that I told you to beware of being betrayed like Judas by Naajar.”

I was not betrayed by Najjaar. In fact, I was very pleased with his performance. If the race was at 9F he would have won easily. He was easily 20 lengths behind the leaders and only got beat about 6 lengths. The OK Park track is difficult to close on because of its dept. I had expected him to be closer but that was not the case. His best closing performance came at CD and I am hoping he will get the requisite earnings in either the Bluegrass or OK Derby to make the Derby cut as 10F will be ideal for him. Revisit the race and focus on the top of the stretch and you will see just how far back he turned in. Then view the finish and you will see how close he was to the winner and it appears he passed him in the gallop out. Naajar is on my list but not at the top. He is just one of about six colts that I am monitoring. Alpha replaced Out Of Bounds at the top. I am currently monitoring Stirred Up, Tiger Walk, The Lumber Guy, Neck 'N Neck, Done Talking and Tizanexpense. They are outside my top six. You will note only Tiger Walk and Tizanexpense do not belong to the Mr., Prospector sire line.

“Well, I'll tell you right now, that colt has no shot in the Derby (if he can make the field)”

I recall you saying the same thing about Drosselmeyer when he was heading into the BCC. Naajar has the pedigree for 2 miles. He badly lacks tactical speed. In spite of this he has been competitive against much faster opponents. We will know if he is a Derby horse after the OK Derby or Bluegrass. He improves after ever start and he will be improved in the speed department. Will it be in time for the Derby?  You never know!  Churchill Downs has a way of transforming the DNA of horses. Bellamy Road won the Wood in track record time pulling a bus. Giacomo had only a maiden win to his credit. Bellamy Road finished off the board and Giacomo closed from the rear of the field for stunning victory.

“Now don't get me wrong, there is no stopping Union Rags this year, but Gemologist has to be a serious contender. He is no pretender.”

Union Rags will next tackle the 9F Florida Derby. He has never tackled this distance and the member of the Todd Squad he will meet was 3rd in the 9F Remsen. In addition, the 2010 & 2011 renewals of the FL Derby were won by grandsons on the great A P Indy. El Padrino has far more tactical speed than Ice Box and Dialed In and more stamina via iron horse Giant’s Causeway. Union Rags will meet a colt that has a 1:36 mile pace. It is therefore likely both will be level at with a furlong to go and I expect the horse trained by the king of Gulfstream to prevail.

“BTW I think that Discreet Dancer is going to rebound in the Louisiana Derby in big way”

Let me see if I understand. A colt with suspect stamina; that tired badly at 81/2F on speed favoring track; will win the 9F Louisiana Derby. Are you aware that Mark Valeski will be in the race? I also expect Tizanexpense to be entered. Let me reiterate Todd P has a good operation and while it produces a lot of winners it does not produce miracles.

18 Mar 2012 9:55 PM

LOL Ranagulzion, no need to explain to me the pedigree stuff.  I believe you, it's just that after Gemologist's race, you seemed a little too thrilled talking about him to Coldfacts.  I'm excited for this horse as well, not so much for the KY Derby but I think he'll make some noise throughout the rest of the year and by the time he's done, he might actually be in the championship race.  If he stays healthy that is.

18 Mar 2012 11:48 PM

Draynay / KY VET : Here's another P4 ticket to motivate you again :)


This is actually a pick 3 winners type of P4 since the 1 horse on the 3rd leg is a gimme - singled him and played some decent odds in the other 3 legs.  Come on you guys, you both have not pick ANY winners at all.

There's also a couple of Tri and Super bets there from Gulfstream Park (Overseas races).  Just so you'll see what a cheap winning ticket looks like.  :)

19 Mar 2012 12:08 AM

Well as of today and the new mention of Gemologist looking at the Wood next,this looks like a tougher race as in number of contenders running.Now poised to start in the Wood are Alpha,Gemologist,Hansen and a colt that should get a piece with an honest pace Street Life.I hope Alpha runs and dosent ship to Fairgrounds.

19 Mar 2012 9:19 AM

I hope there are some visually and numerically impressive preps at Turfway and New Mexico next weeked and then see who they put in the top 23 of Derby futures.There will definitely be value in the last pool,remember the only two other preps we will see will be the Florida and Louisiana Derbies before the betting closes.

19 Mar 2012 9:28 AM
Union Buster


When did you get so funny?  :)

Trebloc 18 Mar 2012 7:40 AM


draynay's been hearing voices in his head for years. On occasion he blurts it out here.

union on the rags will not win the Ky. Derby!!

19 Mar 2012 11:56 AM

KY VET : There's a big difference between you saying the winner of the derby is from the 5 horses you listed vs. me putting a list of who I believe has the best chance of winning the Derby.  Anyone who's been following racing should know that anything can happen between now and when the gates open.  Just goes to show how much you know.  Why don't you start with picking winners of the prep races ?  You haven't picked any winners yet.  Nice try with Adirondack King for the Rebel.

If you were truly making a living off of your bets, then at this point, you're probably close to getting evicted.  Need to start picking them winners...

Anyone know who's riding Alpha or Hansen now that Dominguez will be out indefinitely ?  

19 Mar 2012 12:25 PM
Pedigree Ann

I still say that the title of this blog is a mistake. No horse that makes it debut in February, even if it wins, can possibly be ready to win the Kentucky Derby and it is a disservice to the horse to put that burden on it. Even a horse as good as Curlin could not win the Derby off of a Florida winter debut. It is just too late. Save him for the Preakness or even later.

19 Mar 2012 12:32 PM


I'll be surprised if Mark Valeski or any other colt in the Louisianna Derby gets within two lengths of Discreet dancer at the finish. Similarly, I expect Union Rags to humble El Padrino, finishing at least three lengths to the good at the wire in the Florida Derby.

19 Mar 2012 12:57 PM
Mike Monarchos

Pedigree Ann,

    How have ya been? You're an expert on pedigrees. Please tell me what you think about El Padrino and Gemologist. Thanks!

19 Mar 2012 1:05 PM
El Kabong


Stay excited about Optimizer. He made that same move in the With Anticipation and Dixiana and fell just short while carrying just as much weight as everyone else. What will help him is more ground. He will improve in Arkansas Derby or the Bluegrass. Like you, I was impressed by his effort and with 100 more feet, he would have blown past Secret Circle. He's a horse on the improve who will love more Distance. Papillon carefully selected races to bolster his argument that I would draw a line right through as they do not represent his potential talent. Looking forward to Optimizers next out, regardless of his weight assignment.  

19 Mar 2012 2:05 PM
El Kabong


Why so bleak an image of Optimizer? Look at this way. In the KYJ at Churchill, he carried 122, as did the winner, Gemologist, and he closed well losing by only 2 lengths to a very talented horse while traveling 4-5 wide at a distance that is too short for his best. Draw a line through the risen star and he is obviously a better horse today than he was in the Smarty Jones. I haven't seen the feet traveled by Optimizer in the Rebel in comparison to Secret Circle but I'm sure it was 2 or 3 times more than his margin of defeat. You may under estimate Optimizer all you like but he will hit the board when he stretches out to 9F and I like him better at 10F not matter what weight he carries.  

19 Mar 2012 2:43 PM

i like union rags and any horse that has larry jones as his trainer.my pick for the la derby is mr.bowling if he is committed to run,i will throw out his last

19 Mar 2012 3:37 PM

JAYJAY.....lets do this! You pick a track and i will...DRAY doesnt want to battle me.......YOUR TURN......you can even take a picture of your losing tickets! lol you take pictures of winning tickets.....what a fool!

19 Mar 2012 4:44 PM
Bob from Boston

Mike Monarchos,

I am an expert on Heavy Breathing, but I don't feel this is the right blog to expound on that.  I can clearly and confidently state that I really like Heavy Breathing.  I hope he wins the Derby.  If he wins, it will be nothing but double entendres for a month.

19 Mar 2012 5:25 PM

Pedigree Ann I remember when you could rely on all those unwritten rules of what you couldnt do and win the Derby.I think with a 20 horse field the norm EVERY year the trainers and owners have realized that if they are in the gate with the right trip they have a chance.Having said that as bettors you still have to make a decision as to who to throw out.BTW Curlin had a terrible starting post and terrible trip,but if you made a saver bet Street Sense was a logical choice along with the probable pacestter Hard Spun especially after working 4 furlongs in 46 and change the week of the race.To pick one horse and have it win is difficult because of the un predictable race scenarios that can happen in a field of 20 3yo colts running a distance that most will never run again in the US on dirt.

19 Mar 2012 5:28 PM
Forbidden Apple

Dominguez should be back in time to ride Hansen. And that would leave Alpha to be ridden by Castellano if he races in the Wood. I can't see Gemologist coming back on short rest and running with Hansen eye to eye. After that battle, Alpha will run past both horses to the wire.

no comments on PETA?


Am I just seeing things with Gemologist's front left leg? Down the stretch and during the gallop out I noticed his front left kicking out to the side. Does he have a funny way of going or is he holding a nagging injury up front?

19 Mar 2012 7:33 PM
El Kabong


I would believe that if that was a motion Gemologist exhibited before, we would have talked about it already. For that reason, I don't suspect a conformation issue as much as maybe a bad trim or shoeing. I hope. I'm sure  we will get the answer but I don't suspect the worst right now, not without word from his keepers.

19 Mar 2012 11:19 PM

I see there is an expert on “Heavy Breathing” on the blog. LOL! I was of the opinion the post related to the subject colt but with only two starts I quickly realized the poster was referring to his personal respiratory problems. My views on Giant’s Causeway horses are well known. Any stallion that has bred 1,382 mares between 2002 and 2009 and has only been represented by 4 unplaced Derby starters does not inspire confidence as a Derby sire.  Giant’s Causeway was excellent on the track but has been over bred as a stallion. He has probably his largest contingent on Derby aspirants this year i.e.. Creative Cause, Russian Greek, Battle Hardened, Fed Biz, Ciao Bella and Heavy Breathing. Russian Greek and Battle Hardened were flops in their last starts and cannot be considered serious Derby contenders. Fed Biz and Ciao Bella have issue and are out of training. Creative Cause does not appear to be sound as his swerving antics in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and San Felipe have not gone unnoticed. Heavy Breathing is the latest addition to the Giant’s Causeway crew. He is the third colt on the Derby trail that was produced from a Gone West mare. He joints Union Rags and Discreet Dancer. What are the prospects of a dam sire having three serious Derby contenders? Remote at best! In spite of my dislike for Giant's causeway horses, Heavy Breathing 2nd, 3rd and 4th dam sires i.e., Seattle Slew, Northern Dancer and Buckpasser provide a lot of quality and stamina and this should not be ignored. He is chestnut and his dam was unplaced in two starts and these are major positives in my book. Giant’s Causeway best offspring’s are chestnuts and broodmare that were unraced or lightly raced are excellent producers. This colt has a better Derby pedigree than Creative Cause who was produced from a millionaire dam. The offspring’s of such high profile broodmares are never a factor in Triple Crown races if and when they make the races. Heavy Breathing is behind the eight ball for the Derby. However, if this colt does make the cut, I will wager him as he could land another 50-1 coup like another chestnut colt sire by Giant Causeway that goes by the named Red Giant.

I guess a lot of poster do not know that Todd P trained Red Gaint won at odds of 50-1

19 Mar 2012 11:57 PM
Mike Monarchos

Bob from Boston,

    So are ya saying that watching Heavy Breathing causes heavy breathing?

20 Mar 2012 12:49 AM

KY VET : So far, in the last year, all you do is talk.  How about you post anything close to a winning pick then we can start talking about my picks.  I take pics of my winning tickets because it proves I can handicap.  So far, you've done nothing but babble on and on and on and on....   Remember Adirondack King ??  Show me you can actually pick a winner then maybe I'll consider your challenge otherwise, you're just a waste of blog space.  Like I said, with the rate you're going with your picks, you'll get evicted soon.  Need to start picking winners for rent money.

I don't read the form or use beyers or look at the race times, those are all nonsense to me (just my opinion).  I've been betting races based on how the horse looks and playing the odds.  So far, I'm about $15K ahead of you this year so I say my handicapping is working.  When you hit something close to 10% of that, then we'll talk.

20 Mar 2012 2:55 AM

KY VET : One more thing... LOL at your "battle me" comment.  Seriously, how old are you?

20 Mar 2012 3:07 AM

Forbidden Apple- I have plenty of comments on Peta, most just wouldn't be allowed on the blog.

20 Mar 2012 8:46 AM
Pedigree Ann

Forbidden Apple:

As I recall, Gemologist's return was delayed because of illness, not injury. Also, since he is a Tiznow, giving him plenty of time to grow up could be a reason.

Dr. Fager is said to have paddled like a duck. A less-than-perfect stride is not a problem if the horse is able to deal with it. Maybe not the most efficient way of going, but it need not indicate injury. A horse with a perfectly straight stride isn't necessarily faster or sounder.

Now when you see a horse who hits the ground as hard as The Pamplemousse did, you know that he has an injury waiting to happen. A little bit of paddling isn't at all in the league with this sort of faulty stride.

And if you want to sound like a real horse person, call it the 'near-side' foreleg. Left is 'near,' because that's the side you approach to mount, and right is 'off'. Like measuring in hands, a part of horse-lore.

20 Mar 2012 9:11 AM

Everyone remember Dublin? The horse that had potential but the trainer pretty much ruined him. Optimizer is in the same boat. Good Luck pulling for that horse and trainer. I would not bet him in the Derby with Dray's money.

20 Mar 2012 9:30 AM

Jayjay, you say you dont use Beyers, look at race times, or use a program, but you look at the horses and the odds. So basically, when you are hitting p4's, you are just looking at odds and hoping that the law of averages works in your favor. They made a show about that, called LUCK. It was cancelled....

20 Mar 2012 11:20 AM

Mark V. won his last race but got mugged by El Overrated.  I am glad to hear Mark is doing so well and I look forward to him winning the Louisiana and watching El get crushed by Union Rags in the FD.  On to Kentucky !

20 Mar 2012 12:40 PM
Smoking Baby

Pedigree Ann.  I agree that a funny action is not necessarily the kiss of death.  Do you remember a colt named Tap Shoes?  He was a Riva Ridge colt and I believe Howie Tesher had him.  He was all over the place with his stride yet was a real nice two and three year old with some big wins.

20 Mar 2012 12:47 PM
Bob from Boston

Nice article on Havre de Grace Jason.  Why don't they just have Mr. T ride her?  I pity the fool who has to make weight assignments in the the Apple Blossom.

20 Mar 2012 2:44 PM

SO..... another is afraid to battle? really? come on, im ready to prove to all the nay sayers.....by the way, jay....im ahead 3 times your 15 grand this year.....want me to take a pic of a big pile of money? lets do the challenge...youre so good, and i know nothing....so what ya worried about?

20 Mar 2012 3:13 PM
Carlos in Cali

Random thoughts:

Maybe the connections for the reigning "SOY" should consider running her against males from here on,that way she could carry less weight or heaven forbid made to carry a few lbs. more vs. heavy-hitters like Win Willy and the likes.... pathetic!

Peyton Manning should've went to Arizona instead of Denver for 2 reasons: 1)Arizona has better talent on Offense. 2)He sucks in bad weather.

20 Mar 2012 3:31 PM
Carlos in Cali

Billy, I can hear your buddy Tim G.'s loud,sharp and shrill cry from here after he read your last post.. or was it my neighbor's 3yo daughter?..

20 Mar 2012 3:42 PM
Carlos in Cali

Alpha in the La.Derby just because they got Lepareaux to ride him and the timing is right?.. hmm.

If Dominguez can't ride Hansen in the Wood Memorial do/should they give the mount back to Victor Lebron?..

20 Mar 2012 4:12 PM

Pedigree Ann,

 I have followed Gemologist closely and don't recall him ever being sick. Pletcher said he would race in just two races before the Derby just like Super Saver. I read that one of the assistant trainers to Pletcher said that Gemologist needed time off to mature, not physically but mentally.

20 Mar 2012 4:25 PM

From Tebow Time to Peyton Maynia:  crazy here in Denver!  

Agree with Carlos and Bob about weight whining on behalf of HDG.  Really?  Bring her to New York against the 2 classy Awesome mares, and quit the manipulating.

20 Mar 2012 8:52 PM

Billy's Empire : Tell me, when you spend hours or days reading forms and beyers up your gazoo, when you make you're bet, you're still guessing.  Horse racing is all about luck, these are animals, you can't possibly figure out what they'll do when they start running.  So not reading forms and playing odds is pretty much the same.  I'm just better at it than you are.

KY VET : Let's see the pic of the big pile of money.  The Rebel was an easy pick, you already had the winner and you changed your mind.  Picking Adirondack King just to prove something.  In the end, you just looked like a fool.   Adirondack King...LOL

Why don't you just post your picks and edumacate us, what are you so scared about ??  Everyone here already thinks you're a loser, you can't do any worse than that... can you ??

20 Mar 2012 9:21 PM

BE :  Also, what did Lukas do to you ??  I mean, talk about being bitter.. it must've been really bad when all you think about is posting negative about him every chance you get lol.

20 Mar 2012 9:59 PM

Jayjay, you are in desperate need of attention and a sense of accomplishment if you go out of your way to take pictures and brag about what races you won a message board or facebook page. Who does that? You need a hug buddy. No one cares.

When I do bet, I feel fairly confident in my picks, or else I would not be betting, so no, I am not guessing. Rag sheets, tomlinson numbers, bris speed and pace ratings go a long way to helping me make very eduacated bets. I won a butt load of money this weekend betting, but I am not shallow enough nor starving for attention, so I dont need to be a message board hero.

Good Luck to you Jayjay! I hope you continue to hit those tickets that you guess on.

21 Mar 2012 8:56 AM

I just checked the result chart for the Breeders cup juvenile and I had forgotten Optimizer was in that race.There are 8 colts that ran in the juvy still on the KD trail.Here is a list you might want to know on race day,for betting.





5.Chuck,s horse(Take Charge Indy)




21 Mar 2012 6:30 PM

Me thinks something is up with Alpha,someone get on the horn to the sheik and tell him to instruct the stable manager to stop going back and forth on where he is running 1st Wood then Florida Derby,then back to the Wood now going to Fairgrounds.Forget it Dude just have the sheik pull some strings and the Timely Writer purse will receive grade 3 status and the purse will increase to $350,000.

21 Mar 2012 6:36 PM

On the subject of Qbs Montana was the best Field general(won all 4 of his wars),but he didnt have the physical talent of Elway or Marino.

21 Mar 2012 6:41 PM

Billy : Thanks for giving me all the attention, I know you're jealous but hey, you'll hit something big.  My posting of winning tickets was directed to Draynay and the other professional handicapper.  You're so in need of attention from me, you sound bitter at seeing my winning tickets.  For you to pay that much attention to someone you think is shallow says a lot about you.  If I didn't know better, you're jealous and want the attention to yourself :)

Good luck on your picks using bris, brush, whatever it is you use.  Hope you hit something worth posting.

Oh, and let it go with the Lukas thing, you can't win every trainer.  If I have to guess, he told you to go away when you asked him to train one of your horses.  Your horse probably wasn't worth training, get over it.

22 Mar 2012 1:37 AM

Just realized why you're so bitter, because I was showing my winning tickets to your favorite hero Draynay.  I see you're still suckin up and grabbing on to his coattails.  Draynay must be a good master for you to follow him year after year lol.

22 Mar 2012 2:00 AM


I believe your picks.  These others that always say they won, never back it up before hand, and then dump on people that do back it up on a blog that is used by many to brag about their accomplishments or what they think will happen is kind of shallow IMO.  They constantly display a need to be one of the In-People which, of course, alls them membership in the Goody Tow Shoes group, those that find fault with any of those that don’t agree with what they think is gospel.  As for Dray, he brags about a $69 Pick Four and yet doesn’t say a word about back-to-back $100 W/P bets that didn’t cash.

22 Mar 2012 3:04 PM

You got me pegged! Hilarious. Again, I call it like I see it. You are full of it. The last thing I will ever be is bitter about some hack wannabe gambler. Jealous?? GMAFB

22 Mar 2012 4:25 PM

Jayjay what Billy is trying to say is simple.  Handicap one race for us.  SHOW us how you are getting to your pick.  Tell us why you are picking a horse to win.  If you can't just say so.  Billy and the rest of us will understand.

22 Mar 2012 8:13 PM

You members of the Goody Two Shoes Club are hilarious.

Dray.  Please explain your consecutive $100 W/P bets that didn’t cash.  For someone that can tell us how a race is going to play out………..WHAT HAPPENED?

23 Mar 2012 12:05 AM

Billy's Empire : I really do have you pegged, seriously.  That's why you couldn't say anything back lol.  You need my attention so much I bet you search for my posts as the first thing you do when you go to Jason's blogs.  Come on, be honest.  I bet you dream about what you're going to type to me on these blogs lol.

I can deal with it, just don't get too stalky.  I don't mind having people admire me once in awhile.  Draynay is a closet admirer of mine and it's no surprise that you are too since you sniff his coattail every chance you get LOL.

Draynage : I handicapped a lot of races already, multiple P4 winning tickets.  I don't know what's your fascination is about posting handicapping analysis.  It's been proven that it's pure nonsense, by YOUR POSTINGS.  You've posted your handicapping analysis and what did it prove ??  It proved you have NO IDEA about how to pick a horse, you can put nice words around your picks but in the end, they lose and they're chalks even.  I really would prefer to post my winning tickets because it's after the fact.  I don't have to babble on like you do.

23 Mar 2012 4:51 AM

That is obsurd Dray. We all know Jayjay can't pick a horse until he see's it on the track. He is a horse whisperer.

My magic 8 ball would handicap a race better than Jayjay.

23 Mar 2012 9:24 AM

LMFAO !!!  Jayjay thanks for PROVING what I already knew.  You have no idea how to handicap a race.  Just what I thought.  Rookie.  lol.

23 Mar 2012 12:25 PM

Jayjay, how is the weather up in the clouds. You better get some ankle weights before you float away spewing all that hot air.

23 Mar 2012 1:49 PM

LOL at both of you.  Draynay proving what he already knew... you haven't picked a winner.  The one P4 you claim you didn't even have the last leg and it paid a WHOPPING $69.  What a nice P4 that was.   You handicapped a P4 with Gemologist as the 2nd leg, WOW, that was a tough P4 and you couldn't even get it right.

Billy, the weather up over is sunny with a lot of benjamins floating around.  What about you ?  What's the color of the sky in your world aka draynay's world ?? LOL  Man, you're a sad case.  

23 Mar 2012 3:40 PM

LOL Laz, he won't be able to explain it because he's still trying to figure out how he's going to pay the people at the track whom he borrowed money from.  He analyzed and studied the race for 2 days and told his friends at the track he was 100% sure his pick would win.  Now he's on the run until Billy's  next paycheck ...

You know what's funny too is Billy's obsession with forms.  He thinks NO ONE at the track can win unless they read the form.  I posted my winning tickets and he thinks I'm lying about not using the forms, for him, there's just  no way I can hit P4s without reading the forms.  I would bet $100, this guy hasn't hit anything over 200 in a long long time.  He's a tad bitter...lol.

23 Mar 2012 4:15 PM

Jayjay you have been discovered a fraud move on please.

23 Mar 2012 5:21 PM

Draynage : If you want to borrow some of my winnings to pay off your "friends" just say so.  I'll even throw in $100 for your win bet - and when I say throw in - it really means throw away because with all your handicapping abilities, anything you bet loses.  In California, we have a term for people who can't pick a winner - specially a P4 with a single (Gemologist) and still can't pick 3 out of 4 races.  I think you can guess what the term is LOL.  That P4 bet was hilarious, it was all favorites and you still can't hit it.  Man, it was pathetic.

24 Mar 2012 3:49 AM


24 Mar 2012 2:25 PM

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