All Eyes on Union Rags

Fair or not, the Florida Derby is generally considered the most important prep of the season, and has been so for about a decade. Over the last 11 years its winner has produced three Kentucky Derby winners (Monarchos, Barbaro, and Big Brown) and a pair of runner-ups (Empire Maker and Ice Box). Harlan's Holiday went off as the favorite in 2002 after romping in the Florida Derby, Quality Road would have been the favorite had he not suffered untimely quarter cracks a week before the 2009 edition, and Dialed In somehow went off as the public's choice last year (I will never understand that one) after his victory at Gulfstream.

This year, there is no doubt that the Florida Derby is the most anticipated prep. Time will tell how important it as far as the Kentucky Derby is concerned, but the presence of Union Rags makes it the race of the season. If he wins--and does so convincingly--he will go on to Louisville as one of lowest-priced favorites in recent history. Big Brown went off just shy of 5-2 in the 2008 Derby, and Union Rags would certainly be lower than that, perhaps closer to the 9-5 price that Point Given was in the 2001 Derby.

With all the recent negative publicity surrounding horse racing, we need a star 3-year-old in the worst way and for that reason I'm hoping Union Rags is as good as we all think he is. I hope he wins the Florida Derby by 8 lengths and the Triple Crown hype begins at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday. Bring it on.

I'm not sure he is going to win by 8, but I do think he will win with something left. From what I saw in the Fountain of Youth, how he is currently training at Palm Meadows, and what people in the know are saying, he should be sitting on an even bigger race this weekend. I'm surprised they got eight horses to face him, but he will still go off at about 3-5.

As far as a betting strategy, I'm just going to take small stabs at straight exactas. I'll take a gamble that El Padrino finishes out of the top two and instead use Take Charge Indy and Neck ‘n Neck to fill out my exacta. Take Charge Indy bypassed the Tampa Bay Derby (somewhat surprisingly) in favor of running in this tough spot. He finished two lengths behind El Padrino in a Jan. 29 allowance race over this strip, so he needs to improve a bit.

I hadn't looked that closely at Neck ‘n Neck until someone brought him to my attention yesterday. He was an average fourth in the Fountain of Youth but had a bad start and was steadied on the first turn. In the Sam Davis one race earlier he had an even worse start and was forced seven-wide into the stretch, still losing by only three lengths. In his first start of the year the Flower Alley colt was second to Discreet Dancer in an optional claimer. I'll take a chance that he finally gets a good trip. At big odds, he may be worth a place/show bet as well.

Louisiana Derby

This race does not look nearly as strong, but it is worth $1 million and should be a decent betting race with 13 horses (12 betting interests). The coupled entry of Mark Valeski and Mr. Bowling will be heavy favorite, mostly because of Mark Valeski, who seems like he is on his way to stardom. I hate picking chalk in both weekend preps, but I think this colt is sitting on another big effort. He's training even better since the Risen Star and could get a nice trip sitting off of wise guy speedster Cigar Street. As Rosie Napravnik said earlier in the week, I think this colt is the "real deal."

I want to also mention that although Mark Valeski is my pick, I am happy to be getting Mr. Bowling along with him. He ran a clunker in the Risen Star but I look for a much-improved effort in this one. He's been training like a horse that will revert back to his form from the Lecomte.

The horses I'll use in my exotics, in order of preference, are Shared Property, Rousing Sermon, Z Dager, and Windsurfer. Shared Property finally draws a decent post after being wide in the last two preps. He ran lights out in the Lecomte and like Mr. Bowling, was not a factor in the Risen Star. I'm predicting an improved effort this time at what will probably be a square price. He will race with blinkers on.

Rousing Sermon was off the board in both California preps but Santa Anita Speedway was not right for him so the dead closer should appreciate the long stretch at Fair Grounds. He should be coming at the end.

Z Dager has hit the board in the other two Fair Grounds preps and for that reason I'll stick with him. Todd Pletcher's Windsurfer broke his maiden impressively at Gulfstream going two turns last month and will be part of the pace. Maybe he hangs on for a piece.

Good luck this weekend. Who do you like?


Leave a Comment:


It does look like a weekend for favorites and I am going with Mark V. for the win with Rousing Serman right behind him.  In the Florida I will box 4 horses for the Super and Tri.  Union, Take Charge, Reveron, and El Overrated.  Union will crush this field.  The Fairgrounds will have great racing and I like Nehro, Slow Pace, and Mark V.  how is that for a Pick 3 !!!  Not many experts will give you 3 straight winners.  Remember I am never wrong so bet big.  

29 Mar 2012 11:22 AM

Union Rags is a monster (I hope for racing's sake), he'll win in hand. Horses I will use neck 'n neck and news pending under rags.

In the Louisiana Derby I'll take the paired entry Mark V. and Mr. Bowling, with Z Dager, Rousing Sermon, Finnegan's Wake and Windsurfer.

Looks like a great weekend of racing!

29 Mar 2012 11:51 AM
Bob from Boston


Don't make me come in the double-wide and smack you.  You know the rules around here. I hate the Mark Valeski name, so bet big on it.  Union Rags over Take Charge Indy.

29 Mar 2012 12:07 PM

Without a 2nd place finish by Take Charge Indy he will have to wait for the Preakness.  I think they are focused 2nd place and getting in the Derby.  Big race on Saturday the Fairgrounds Oaks.  Should be a tough race but I am going against the favorite.  Disposablepleasure has been working sharp for this race and can win it on the front or sit back if there is a lot of speed and win it from mid pack.  Her 6th track in 6 starts look for her to win big.  Pletcher on fire.

29 Mar 2012 1:35 PM
Linda in Texas

Draynay, you did not wait for Bob from Boston to post first. So expect a little issue there, you will need a 4 wheel drive vehicle to remove yourself from the deep  stuff you are stuck in for usurping authority and pecking order here. He is the moderator! After Jason of course.

And josh, i hope for racing's sake also, that Union Rags wins. There are many who think those of us betting on him are crazy or whatever KY VET calls us people.

I hope you are correct Jason. You are rarely incorrect in your picks.

Here i thought Draynay and myself and josh were the only ones who like UR.

And i will be pulling for his trainer and especially his owner

who thought enough to buy him back at twice the price. Check out his dam side, no slacker.

Thanks Jason.

29 Mar 2012 1:47 PM
Carlos in Cali

Jason,I hope you're not seriously thinking about leaving El Padrino off your tickets.. seriously,what's wrong with you?

It looks like Take Charge Indy will control the moderate pace with UR and El Padrino giving chase down the stretch. Take Charge Indy hangs-in for 2nd with El Padrino pulling-away at the end. UR hits the wall inside the last furlong like UM did in the Wood last year and finishes 3rd. News Pending hangs around for 4th.

29 Mar 2012 2:13 PM

I'm going with News Pending in the Fla. Derby.  I think Union Rags is awesome but News Pending already has good experience against him.

It's difficult to not go with Mark Valeski since Rosie is his jockey.  But I hear Cigar Street is ready to shine in his first stakes.

29 Mar 2012 2:14 PM
Carlos in Cali

Captivating Lass will like the 9f distance of the GP Oaks while the rest of the field will not. Grace Hall for 2nd in an ice-cold exacta,box'em just in case.

29 Mar 2012 2:32 PM

Draynay: I work.  Do you?  Just wondering because while I was working on POST NO. 1, I actually had to talk to a client and got sidetracked.

I wanted to derail the Union Rags discussion into the Prospective discussion, just like you did on the Prospective blog.  Too bad.  

Still and all, at least Union Rags descends from the greatest Canadian of the 20th Century and as such, should be expected to do well.  (Also, I like his entourage, despite the fact that he is the current Band-Dray-Wagon horse.)  Hope he does well.

(As I am also not certain that Bob does anything to support himself except what some jurisdictions decry as morally unacceptable, I will not make any comments about him.)(Luv u anyways, Bob)

29 Mar 2012 3:03 PM

Just have a feeling that we really are looking at a star and a special horse in Union Rags.  Like Jason, I think he wins with something left.  Still think the Beyer will be in the 105 range.

29 Mar 2012 3:14 PM

The Florida Derby has the make up of a real humdinger.  It should produce another awe-inspiring display by "Beauty & the Beast" himself, aka Union Rags (never seen a more photogenic powerhouse of a horse since Secretariat).

I'll give Fort Loudon one more chance to cop a whopping exacta with U/Rags. Reveron from the wide post could also upset the exacta applecart at astronomical odds. Expect another big mid-race move from Take Charge Indy but I'm not convinced that he is ready to go all the way against this bunch. The bridesmaid might be demoted to a pageboy or flowergirl.  He's certainly coming to prove all the doubters wrong. Good luck to Brother Chuck.

Once it becomes clear that El Padrino can't win the race (on the far turn) I think that Castellano will save him for the Kentucky Derby. If he turns for home with a good shot and runs all out up the lane in a futile attempt to topple the "Big horse", you can toss him from calculations for the first Saturday in May IMO.

I think that News Pending will contest the lead and be outrun in the stretch. Neck and Neck is outclassed all the way around the track. Lets enjoy this one.

29 Mar 2012 4:06 PM

I've liked union rags since his saratoga special win. I just keep it down unlike draynay, where he is up in everyone's face about it. I think a lot of people like him, but he is bad to bet on, because he will go off at low odds no matter where he is running.

29 Mar 2012 4:27 PM
Aaron McC

I'm tempted to think of Take Charge Indy as legitimate here.  But the owner, if I remember correctly, signalled they were pointing for the Belmont as their ultimate goal .... Might mean that they won't be looking hard for Derby graded earnings and the horse wont be fully cranked this weekend especially given that his trainer doesn't have the best 1st off of a layoff record .... And given that El Padrino has already had his tough prep this spring (is that why you're backing off of him, Jason?), it might be worth taking a bigger gamble on the exacta ....

29 Mar 2012 4:35 PM
Mister Frisky

Union Rags does what he wants in Fla.Derby.No betting value in that race.New Orleans Handicap race of the weekend.Tobys Corner 6 to 1 on the ML.Give me that all day long.

29 Mar 2012 4:49 PM
It aint easy being good!

Union rags is the winner but 9 days until your jaws will drop with street life get your popcorn ready!

29 Mar 2012 4:53 PM
Union Buster

no matter what happens saturday union on the rags will not win the KY Derby!! I keep telling you this but nobody seems to listen. oh well, bet him big then, i'll make more when he loses.

29 Mar 2012 5:01 PM
Bob from Boston


Doesn't that make that a luke warm exacta rather than an ice-cold one?  At Dr. Drunkinbum's request, Ted from LA said he is coming back before the Derby.  He has a pick of a life-time.

29 Mar 2012 5:10 PM
Criminal Type

Linda in TX, NOOO, Happily, You're wrong about Union Rag's fan's. Check his Facebook page, He has legions. I love this horse. I have loved him since he broke his maiden at Delaware Park last July. I love his trainer, I love his jockey and the best part is he is based here at Fair Hill, in Maryland. YAY !  LoL. Incidently, Union Rags was on the cover of the last issue of Maryland Horse.

I am really glad to see Jason is also on The Union Rag's wagon. It validates everything I have been thinking and saying about this colt since last summer. I think he wins big on Saturday and put's the doubters in their places.

29 Mar 2012 5:25 PM
Matthew W

Hansen, Union Rags, Creative Cause, one-two-three in Breeders Cup (best race of the Cup), are still one-two-three, in that order, my opinion....I know Union Rags looks great, so does Creative Cause--but it is Hansen who is top dog, coming up to First Sat...I didn't see any other horse turn back an early move, (Creative Cause), then hold off another good horse,(Union Rags), over that track? (Breeders Cup)-- Standout, and deserving #1 ranking right now...

29 Mar 2012 5:32 PM

The better Union Rags performs, the better price I will get on Gemologist on the future wager!  Go ahead and win by open lengths, I'll take Gemologist over him on the Churchill Downs track all day!  

Florida Derby : Union Rags/ 4 horses for the Superfecta (TCI, El Padrino, News Pending, Reveron)

Louisiana Derby:  The Draynay curse will shine its ugly head in this and Mark V will go down.  With the faster pace, Shared Property will prevail.  Watch out for Arm Force to fight for 2nd and earn his way into the derby!

29 Mar 2012 5:39 PM

Jason, you stated it perfectly.  A 3 year old star needs to emerge NOW

to save the industry, even a TC winner. In light of that scorching NY Times piece and the cancellation of Luck, and the breakdowns at Aqueduct etc. Union Rags has a big job to do in the Florida Derby and I hope he can do it too. I place a lot of stock in the Florida Derby and think it is a key prep.  Agree with you 100%, bring it on.

As for Mark Valeski, I mentioned I saw something in him,........something I cannot pinpoint back on Steve's blog.  I like him and we'll find out how good he really is.  A horse with Cigar and Street in his name, interestng if he lives up to it.  I'll pick him for 2nd and Mark Valeski for first.  Rags for 1st in the Fla. Derby.  Good luck to all.  But I sincerely hope Jason is right and this star emerges this weekend.

29 Mar 2012 5:54 PM

I'll take a Union Rags/TCI exacta.  Anyone else get the feeling that maybe TCI scratched out of the TB Derby to take a shot at Union Rags for 15k instead of 50k?  Second place in FL Derby is almost first place cash at TB.  If Union Rags wins by open lengths, the owner just saved 35k by finding out if he had enough horse in this spot.

29 Mar 2012 6:29 PM
Linda in Texas

Criminal Type - i love to be wrong at the right times! Just had not heard many touting him. And thanks for the mention of Union Rag's Facebook page. He at Two Days old, did you notice those long legs?

He is a handsome fellow. I wish him so much luck and a safe trip to all racing this week end because there are a plethora of races and important ones to boot

(and bet).

29 Mar 2012 6:35 PM

No love for The Godfather here???

I'll provide it.

El Padrino wins the FD, News Pending passes a tiring Rags for 2nd.

Cigar Street in a romp in La.

29 Mar 2012 6:53 PM
Mike Monarchos

Wow! Seems like everyone has already given the Florida Derby to Union Rags. He may hit the wall before the wire. El Padrino already has run a mile and an eighth in the Remson as a 2 year old. He ran third and was beaten by less than a length.

He's also won at GP and got a 100 Beyer!

Onion Rags hasn't gotten  a triple digit Beyer yet. By the way I misspelled Rags' name for Draynay. He calls El Padrino "El Overrated". Union Rags' Tomlinsen rating for the Kentucky Derby distance is 253, and El Padrino's is 309. Rags might get second if Take Charge Indy doesn't beat him. REMEMBER I'm wrong most of the time, except for 2001 when I picked Monarchos to win the Kentucky derby in February.

29 Mar 2012 7:03 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Bob from Boston

  I just got a postcard with a young lady with a bikini top and a grass skirt on it. It read- "How do you like my Honululu Lulu? Drinking Pina Coladas and Mai Tais all day and Scotch all night and having the time of my life but I shall return !!!" It was signed Ted from LA. I hope you're right Bob.

29 Mar 2012 7:35 PM
Don from PA/DE

I am with you TJ, "Gemologist" is the horse to beat so far, if he wins the Wood, "bam zoom to the moon Alice"....I will keep on buying futures on him the guy is special, it is so obvious, if he stays main hope.Don

29 Mar 2012 9:21 PM

Union will crush this field.  In the Florida I will box 4 horses for the Super and Tri.  Union, Take Charge, Reveron, and El Overrated.

Draynay 29 Mar 2012 11:22 AM.

After you posting that Union will crush this field, why are you boxing these 4 horses???

29 Mar 2012 9:39 PM

I like El Padrino in FL Derby but  think Union Rags will be the horse to beat in the KY Derby.  If El Padrino pulls out the win it'll be a taxing effort.  Hansen will be your Preakness winner if he relaxes.  Hansen's temperament reminds me of Fire Marshall Bill.

29 Mar 2012 9:55 PM

Time for the "beginners" to get schooled! MARK V  is a bad choice! CHALK eaters BEWARE! SAVE YOUR MONEY! Do you not know horses run great when they get their own way? Can you not see he went slow early, nice and relaxed? ran his best race ever? now what do you thinks gonna happen when all these quicker horses suround him? BIG MISTAKE!! rookie move! WATCH AND LEARN!

29 Mar 2012 10:28 PM
Paula Higgins

I like Union Rags too, but it remains to be seen if he is the equal of Barbaro or Big Brown. Not so sure. But I do like him and expect him to win the Florida Derby. Would love to see him win lights out for the sake of racing and Michael Matz, one of the good guys. Public relations couldn't be much worse right now for the sport thanks to "Luck" and the NYT's article. I am also impressed with Gemologist in a big way. He is special I think. Bob/Ted who would name their horse Mark Valeski and why???? Would like to know the story behind that one.

29 Mar 2012 10:40 PM
Bob from Boston

Dr. D,

Ted from LA has seldom lied to me in the past except when he looks in a mirror.  Are you going to the Derby this year?  I want to ask this question of all the bloggers.  Who is attending the Derby?  Ted from LA has a box in the 3rd floor clubhouse for us.  We might be able to squeeze in a lawyer from Canada or a Paula or Linda from southern Higgins/Texas.

29 Mar 2012 10:58 PM

Good luck to all playing the Derby tomorrow.  Hope all horses get out of the gate safe and cross the finish line with no injuries.  Looking forward to finally seeing the best horse out of this evenly matched field.  I don't think it's the worst crop of 3 yr olds but they all have yet to show they can dominate.  I think DI will do that tomorrow and if he can survive the fresh horses in the Preakness, we're looking at the next TC winner.  I really believe that!

jayjay 07 May 2011 5:35 AM

That is you jayjay trying to convince us last year that Dialed In was on his way to the Triple Crown. Please keep your Derby thoughts to yourself this year.  You don't have a clue.  Remember I give lessons for free to those with disabilities.

29 Mar 2012 10:58 PM

Union Rags will win this weekend, the only question is by how many lengths; I hope he is as special as many believe, and hope he goes on to be a Triple Crown winner. The only problem is I just don't feel it, and believe he won't even be in the gate come the Kentucky Derby. I hope I'm wrong.

29 Mar 2012 11:45 PM

I'm going with El Padrino over UR and throwing in some longshots :  Neck n Neck, News Pending and Take Charge Indy.

For LA Derby : I'll probably go with Rousing Sermon, Shared Property and Windsurfer over Mark Valeski and Cigar Street.  Obviously, this is the better race to bet vs. the FL Derby.  Just need some good racing luck and hopefully a longshot wins :)  Good luck all!

jayjay 28 Mar 2012 9:26 PM

This could be Pletcher's big weekend.  He's got serious contenders in both big races.  It won't be a shock for him to take both races.  If UR wins this 9F race in hand, then I'll jump on the wagon cheering him on to the big dance.  If he's done at the top of the stretch, I hope they change their plans and target the BC Mile as his goal this year instead.

29 Mar 2012 11:55 PM
Mike Monarchos

Don, I love Gemologist too, but I'm a little worried about him since people have posted about him having a tendacy to paddle with his left front leg. I'm not sure if that's a serious problem or not. he is undefeated though and you can't say that about any of the other Derby contenders. I wish he was running in the Florida Derby instead of having to ship to NY. He has already won at Turfway, Churchill, and Gulfstream though, so it shouldn't be a problem.

30 Mar 2012 12:15 AM

Just read the article Secret Circle's work today.  Looks like he's going to use Bodemeister as a rabbit for Secret Circle in the Arkansas Derby lol.   I'm starting to really like Secret Circle, I'm starting to think he's going to win the KY Derby.  After the Southwest, and the Rebel, this horse is just starting to get his act together.  I think he'll do really well in the Derby.  Well, unless Bodemeister has become a monster since and runs away with the Arkansas Derby lol.  Seriously though, the more I watch the SW and the Rebel, the more I'm liking him.  He doesn't really start running until late - Churchill's long stretch will be perfect for him.

Interesting that Baffert's got Drill running in the Bluegrass but I guess with Keeneland being a speed track, Drill might just be able to run away and hang on for the win.  Remember Sinister Minister ?  Took the lead and never looked back, won going away, I don't know the splits but he was going fast - it's probably the only track you can do that.  Baffert's a genius!

30 Mar 2012 1:13 AM
Pedigree Ann

Mike Monarchos wrote:

"El Padrino already has run a mile and an eighth in the Remson as a 2 year old. He ran third and was beaten by less than a length."

And the horse who was a nose behind, catching him, was slammed by Hansen in the Gotham. The Remsen is by no means a key race. Have O'Prado Again and Souper Speedy done anything worth noting? Before or since? When a bunch of moderate horses finish in a scrum...,

30 Mar 2012 9:50 AM

KY VET Mark V. is not a bad choice.  Mark V. is going to crush this field.  El Overrated had to mug Mark all the way down the stretch to beat him and Mark V. was trying 2 turns for the FIRST TIME.  He basically tied the horse everyone has in their top 3 !!!  Is it possible he is going to improve being better fit and a little more experienced now ?  Are you new at this ?  You will be another on screaming CHALK as he wins by a mile ripping up your tickets claiming you were looking for value.

30 Mar 2012 11:30 AM
Aaron McC

Not a lot of confidence in this one, but just for kicks.  Exacta: Union Rags over News Pending and the probably distance challenged Reveron. Super: Union Rags and Take Charge Indy, over News Pending, over El Padrino, over Reveron.  EH.

30 Mar 2012 12:05 PM

Draynay : LOL, what's the point of you posting that ?  I never denied I had Dialed In.  I posted last year, I'll stick with Dialed In and I did.  I believed in the horse, I thought he was the best horse, and if you watch the race, I think he might just be the best horse in that race.  Dialed In lost, Nehro lost.  I don't know what you're babbling about.  Oh wait, your horse came in 2nd so you're a better handicapper.  You really are a joke, that's called desperation, desperate to prove you can pick a winner, except Nehro LOST.  LOL

Why don't you post how much you put on Nehro to place and how much WIN money you put on him, as well as the WP money on Calvin Borel.   Let's see the math and see how much you actually made in that race.

30 Mar 2012 12:28 PM
Jason Shandler

In talking with Pat Byrne, he is very confident that Take Charge Indy will run well and fits with the top two. Just an FYI.

30 Mar 2012 12:31 PM
Karen in Texas

jayjay----Sinister Minister won the Bluegrass in April, 2006, and the synthetic Polytrack surface debuted there in October, 2006. I don't believe the track surface plays that fast anymore, does it?

30 Mar 2012 12:34 PM

Bob/Ted: You have a Box.  An actual Box?  I have to reconsider my resolution to never go to the DerbY AGAIN*.

*when you get to sit where the starting gate is and you never actually see a race and you have to use your binoculars to see across to the infield to find out your gut bet WON YOU ACROSS THE BOARD and only by knowing what "silks" are

30 Mar 2012 1:40 PM

Karen in Texas : I still think Keeneland is a speed track, I don't bet at that track too much but maybe you're right.

Anyone betting the KDFW ?  I told myself I wouldn't play it but I'm really tempted to put some money on Secret Circle.  He's at 35-1 right now, maybe put $40 on him.  i'm starting to sound obssessed lol.

KY VET : Post your picks for this weekend, knowing you, you'll start posting comments after the races are over and telling us how great you are.

30 Mar 2012 1:59 PM
Carlos in Cali

I agree that Take Charge Indy will be tough to beat. If they allow him to set a slow pace like I think he will and Byrne is hoping for,he'll be tough to run-down. TCI wasn't slowing down when El Padrino came and got him back in January,hence the big #'s they both recieved.

It will not be a cakewalk for UR like some may think.. can't wait!

30 Mar 2012 2:59 PM

@Jason Shandler - Nice article on Take Charge Indy.  In the article the trainer states that the horse is "small".  In the blog that Chuck Sanford replied to stated TCI was 17 hands, which I wouldn't call small.  Do you happen to know how big the colt is?

30 Mar 2012 5:12 PM

I went to the track today to get a program for Saturday. While sitting talking to friends I noticed a 3 horse race at Aqueduct.  I looked at the program and they had a Maiden winner at 1 to 2 from California.  The 4 horse was 9 to 5 and had been in much much tougher races.  I raced to the window and just got my 200 bucks to win on in time.  The 4 horse wore him down with ease and won by 5.  I cashed my ticket laughing all the way back to my seat and continued my conversation when my buddy said hey are you going to bet GP.  The 3rd race was going off in seconds so I decided to look at the next race and couldn't believe my eyes.  Leparoux was on the lone speed in the 4th and he had a morning line of 6 to 1.  I thought surely his odds will drop but they didn't and 1 minute before post I walked up and bet the lone speed 100 WP.  They let him jog around posting modest fractions and won with ease.  I laughed again all the way to the ticket counter cashed for over a grand, paid for a round a drinks and left with my program.  I should go just to buy a program more often.  Saturday here I come !

30 Mar 2012 5:15 PM

I will give you my $10 late pick 4 at Gulfstream.  Speed seems to be carrying at the track today so in the 10th I will go 3 deep with 2,5,7 in the 11th I will single Union Rags who should have his own way with little real speed in here.  The 12th looks like a 2 horse race.  The 8 and 9 both like the distance and they have the 2 top jocks in the nation.  Keertana is coming in 3rd off a layoff and will be tough to stop. The 13th again looks like a 2 horse race the 4 Markelovenotwar could go wire to wire but i will be against this taking the 2 and 11.  I am wonderful aren't I ?

30 Mar 2012 5:36 PM

Carlos, I don't think TCI will get away with setting a slow pace in this race.

30 Mar 2012 6:59 PM

I'm on the "Borel" express, Take Charge will improve off last as Borel had a fresh horse who he let run way too early....he needs to sit behing, wait till the 3/8's and make his run. Ft. Loudon can make your ticket, Mr.Gold has paid his dues, and it's about time he's gotten some love...race looks like a lotta presses,will see if 'Rags can follow up,price too short for me

30 Mar 2012 7:51 PM
Mike Monarchos


Will ya stop crying about El Padrino mugging Mark

Valeski all the way down the stretch in the Risen Star?! They had a slight bump and that was all. That's horse racing. Did ya cry when ya got sacked in football? Are ya gonna cry when Big El beats "Onion Rags" tomorrow?LOL!

It will be a good race tomorrow if Rags doesn't hit the wall. It should be a 6,8/6,8/2,3,9 tri. REMEMBER, I'm almost never right!

30 Mar 2012 8:52 PM

DRAYNAY.......MARK V IS A BAD CHOICE>watch and learn!!!.......................JASON......oh no! an owner likes his horse? that changes everything!!!! This is the guy who scratched out of a grade 2 92 beyer winner? idiot owners!!

30 Mar 2012 9:08 PM


 Keenland is a speed track? Are you kidding me? Do you really watch races? I used to make a fortune at Keenland betting lone speed, back when Keenland was a dirt, speed favoring track. Now it's like watching horses on a turf course pretending they are on a dirt track.

30 Mar 2012 9:20 PM
Jason Shandler

KY Vet: I give you your say on this blog and dont say much most times even though most of what you write is nonsense. But I think everyone on here is getting tired of you sorry act. All you do is say how much you know and what we dont know but you NEVER give your picks. Who do you like in the two preps this weekend? Step up snd give your picks wise guy. Otherwise, go away.

BTW, Pat Byrne is a trainer not an owner--expert.

30 Mar 2012 9:23 PM


I believe that Mark Valeski is named after a man who works in a hotel in Florida that the owner took a liking to over the years.  I think the story is somewhere on Bloodhorse.  So there really is a human Mark Valeski walking around and a horse by his namesake runs in the Louisiana Derby.  Cool.

30 Mar 2012 10:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Bob from Boston

  Not this year. I can't figure out why people keep saying that Daddy Nose Best is a weird, odd, strange, or goofy name. Didn't anyone watch Father Nose Best growing up?

30 Mar 2012 10:11 PM

I'm going to take a flyer on Take Charge Indy.  For a horse that has obviously been pointing towards the Derby all his life, he is in dire straights because of his low graded earnings.  He needs to run big in this race to get into the Derby and with multiple other options available, including being scratched out of the Tampa Bay Derby, his connections obviously feel that he can reach his graded earnings goal by tackling Union Rags and El Padrino.  His works have been steady and I believe he’ll be fit enough.  What they need to do is get him to rate back a little and not make a premature move like he did in his last.  

This will not be a big bet on my part even though I have a wheel barrow filled with money after going to the off-track this afternoon to pick up a form for Saturday.  Just by accident I looked up at the screen and there was a minute to post for the sixth at Aqueduct.  As luck would have it I noticed that Percussion was running.  I bet him in his last, a MSW, when he broke his maiden at 7-2 and today he was 60-1in an optional claimer.  Of course I threw a hundred on him.  Dammed if he didn’t score, just getting up by a half length.  I made a $6,275 profit and all because I wanted to get a form for Saturday.  

30 Mar 2012 10:13 PM

oh.. ok about r sermon in the la race..w/p?....and i wasnt rude, i was saying mark v was bad bet.....a closer will win....maybe sermon maybe another....fl derby i have my 2 future bets running...ill watch that one....rags is one to pick

30 Mar 2012 10:24 PM

All I have to say is that TCI may make a valiant effort to set the pace and run away, but Union Rags won't let that happen.  If the pace is slow Union Rags will press it.

30 Mar 2012 10:39 PM

Lets just say if rousing sermon or z dagger win, im keying both in exotics.....upset race.....

30 Mar 2012 10:44 PM

dont need to pick florida derby.  

200 future el padrino 12-1

150 future creative cause 17-1

50 future news pending 45-1.......2 and a half grand coming my way

30 Mar 2012 11:03 PM

Yes, Byrne is a trainer and a really good one at that.  Thanks for the comments Jason.  

Thank you Karen in Texas RE Keeneland.  I go there every Spring.  Speed track at one mile and 1/8, Jayjay - "no."  

See Brilliant Speed, See Dominican...

Sitting out this weekend

Jason with exception of Dubai, UAE, Balada Sale.

Look for Midnight Transfer to run big in SA.

Thanks for the Blog, best out there.

30 Mar 2012 11:03 PM
Paula Higgins

Bob/Ted wish I was going to the Derby this year but I think I will be in New York then. Too bad. I think mz is seriously interested however. Cannot wait for tomorrow's races and maybe things will be clearer. Safe racing to all. Union Rags and Mark Valeski for me (I really hate that name). But I think it was gutsy of them to put El Padrino in the race with Union Rags.

31 Mar 2012 12:13 AM

longwaytomay : As I said to Karen, I don't bet that track because it used to be a speed track, but maybe now it's not.  Either way, I hardly bet the races at that track.  Yes I do watch races, a lot, just not races at Keeneland since I don't bet it.

Draynay :  If you don't think UR will get beat, why waste your money boxing your bets ?  Let me guess, to save face?  I bet if EP wins tomorrow, you'll claim you had him since he's a Todd Pletcher horse and he's on fire huh.  You'll save $36 if you just single UR with the other 3 horses for your tri and super, after all, you've been saying he's not going to get beat, he'll win easily.

Oh yeah, your post about your winning bets, how did you feel when you woke up ?  Did it hurt ?

So after posting that I was starting to really like Secret Circle, I see an article from Alan Porter saying he's most likely going to be a sprinter!  Why couldn't he post that article before today! I feel like I just wasted $40 on him lol.


31 Mar 2012 12:30 AM

I predict another horse with synth and turf experience to win the Kentucky Derby..

31 Mar 2012 12:41 AM

Well the FL Derby is finally here.  Union Rage is expected to have a paid work out. I have seen terms such as “Monster” and "Beauty & the Beast” One can tell that passion has gone wild when a description such as “Never seen a more photogenic powerhouse of a horse since Secretariat” is posted. A photogenic horse! It appears from all comments that UR just has to turn up and the race is over. I regard this as gross disrespect for the other horses and their connections. I recall the 2011 Wood Memorial and a cannot lose colt that was regarded as the next Secretariat. Well, we all know how that turned out. Below are the horses that will comprise my usual box wagers.

El Padrino: I expect this colt to win. His trainer rules Gulfstream Park. In the 2009 FL Derby it took a track record to defeat Dunkirk who had only a maiden and allowance wins to his credit. Is Union Rags another Quality Road? El Padrino is much more seasoned than Dunkirk and Union Rags is neither Quality Road in looks nor ability. This colt has good tactical speed and good acceleration. He ran by Take Charge Indy who ran 3/8 run in 10:95. UR ran by Discreet Dancer and News Pending who jointly ran 3/8 in 1:12.05.  His tactical speed and acceleration is complemented by stamina from both sire and dam sire. His fluent energy efficient strides are ideal for longer distances.

Union Rags: I am convinced this colt will be vulnerable at 9F. I could be wrong but I doubt. The colt that was runner up to him in the FOY was contesting his second 9F race in 21 days. By American racing standard that was a short turn around. Discreet Dancer surrendered the lead easily and Neck N Neck had his problems that took him out of the race early. Union Rags will not tracking fractions of 24, 48, 1:12 as the likes of Reveron and Take Charge Indy will provide plenty of pace. He will therefore have to run faster to keep in touch and this will compromise his explosive kick. He will be doing his usual in the stretch run when he locks up with El Padrino.    

News Pending: His second place finish must be considered impressive it was his stakes debut and he was contesting his second 9F race in 21 days. He entered the FOY with only a maiden victory to his credit and was switching from turf to dirt. He ran what could be regarded a confused race. If this far striding colt can be encouraged to runs an even race he will be right there when it is being decided. The turnaround time the between the FOY and FL Derby is 33 days and this colt be more competitive.

Z Camelot: This colt was bred for dirt but after one poor start on the surface was switched to turf. His last three starts on turf were at the FL Derby distance. He ran creditably in each finishing 4th on two occasions and 5th on the other. He was beaten by an average of 2L in each effort. He was unfortunate in the maiden race won stable companion New Pending. He was in tight in the stretch and had to be taken up sharply to get clear passage and rallied to be 1L behind eventual winner New Pending. He was clearly the best that day.   This colt does not appear to be a turf horse as he tends to be one pace in deep stretch. His three 9F were completed in an average of 1:48 2/5. He was 1L behind News Pending when he broke his maiden. News Pending has more a turf pedigree than Z Camelot. If News Pending performance on dirt he is used to evaluate Z Camelot chances, then they must be good. This 500K maiden will be at gigantic odds and could be a good horse for exotic wagers.

I am not convinced Take Charge Indy will effective at 9F. His tendency to be one pace in deep stretch will not suite this race.

31 Mar 2012 2:50 AM

The Louisina Derby:

Mark Valeski/Rousing Sermon/Windsurfer/Cigar Street, box them for tri and super. The race angle of course would be to play Rousing Sermon who gets Mike Smith first time, and though he has never won the Louisiana Derby he is riding the best named horse for a race scheduled on the Lord's Day, Palm Sunday. Mark Valeski will be tough to beat in here, the mile and 1/8th might be his undoing but if anyone can get him ready it's his trainer, Larry Jones. He has won this race before with Friesan Fire, so he knows how to get his horse ready for this race. The rest of the horses are all looking to improve, so I'm going with two that show some promise, Windsurfer, who is Todd's substitute for El Padrino. And Cigar Street,who boasts a big beyer but will have to be special to step up and win at this level. He is hard not to like with a name like Cigar Street, brings back fond memories for me of Cigar, so I'll get on the bandwagon early and hope he takes me for a long ride like his namesake did.

31 Mar 2012 4:21 AM
Criminal Type

I don't recall who posted it, oh wait, yes I do, it was Mike Monarcos. The "onion" rags comment was pretty funny, especially when you consider what horse the other Onion took down.

Ky Vet, Seriously, you say Union Rag's is the horse to beat in the Fl derby in one post then back El Padrino in another.  If you don't think El Padrino can beat Union Rags today, then what makes you think he will beat Union Rags in Kentucky ? Your future bet on him makes no sense at all if thats what you think.  It's hard to take someone seriously when they can't form complete sentences.

This is exactly what Horse Racing needs. A SuperStar horse. He has it all, Popular trainer, great rider, well respected owners and looks...The only other horse in recent years to come close to his physical beauty and muscular development was Eskendereya. One thing is for sure, Union Rag's has attracted a huge fan base and if he wins as easily as I think he will today, he will have a lot more going into Louisville.

31 Mar 2012 7:58 AM

For the heavy hitters, this weekend's racing begins the semi-finals of the Kentucky Derby Trail.  With the final on the first Saturday in May, only a few needing more graded earnings may need to sandwich in another race.

Jason, I agree with your take on the Florida Derby and I'm hoping Union Rags is the one to bring back the spotlight on this sport.  However, I am not throwing out El Padrino.  He has a better bottom to him in distance races and better figures.  I see a two horse race in the stretch and will box UR and EP for the exacta.  I know it will not pay much but these two are standouts.

Mark Valeski to dominate in the Louisiana Derby.

Speaking of semi-finals The Ohio State University Buckeyes to turn the jayhawks into chickenhawks tonight and will face the thoroughbreds from Kentucky in the finals Monday night.  As much as I love my Buckeyes, it will take a momentous game to take down UK.  GO BUCKS!

Good luck to everyone.  

31 Mar 2012 8:54 AM

I am very high on Captivating Lass and I think with marginal improvement this A P Indy filly will win the Gulfstream Oaks. She has a fluent stride pattern but is a bit of a grinder. I think she requires 9F and longer to be competitive in graded company. She now gets 9F and Johnny V has chosen to retain the ride. She has tactical speed and will be close to the pace. I am of the opinion the leaders will be back pedaling in the last 100 meters and she will be close enough to take advantage. I expect A P Indy to feature in the exacta as And Why Not should be closing best from the back.  And Why Not’s dam was sired by A P Indy.

31 Mar 2012 10:20 AM
Carlos in Cali

FL.Derby> El Padrino-TCI-UR-News Pending

LA.Derby> Keying Rousing Sermon,Valeski on top with Cigar Street,Finnegans Wake on bottoms

SA Oaks> Eden's Moon romps with Bella's Fantasy-Reneesgotzip-Willa B Awesome-Conjure the Spirit

GP Oaks> Captivating Lass,Grace Hall with Yara,Zo Impressive

31 Mar 2012 10:50 AM

Zo Impressive, El Padrino double today at GP.  (Daddy Long Legs coming over for KD.)  Have to respect Pletcher 3rd off the layoff here and over a surface the horse appears to like better.  Look for EP to win today, but not in the KD.  Zo Impressive, a star in the to convert in the OAKS, which looks to have a stellar field.

31 Mar 2012 11:16 AM

I really like "And Why Not", another Matz trained horse.  I am really happy to see Julien aboard,

31 Mar 2012 11:40 AM

I think Jason scared KY VET that the stuttered.

Post time for the Dubai World Cup.  Good luck to G.o.D and Royal Delta!  If I was betting the race, I'd probably bet against them though lol.  

1,4 with 1,4,5,7 with 1,4,5,7,8.

4,1with 4,1,14,10 with 4,1,14,10

31 Mar 2012 1:39 PM

I bet the Late P3 in Dubai yesterday and forgot all about it.  I remember it as soon as the 8 won. I singled Murtagh (16) in the first leg.  I had 4,8,9 on the 2nd leg and 2,4,8,11 on the third leg.  I should've bet the exacta yesterday too when I bet my P3.  I didn't think the 8 would go off at 35-1 !!

31 Mar 2012 1:57 PM

The LA Derby is a good betting race. There are some interesting colts that are not well fancied and if the hit he board the pay out on the exotics will be lucrative. My exotics will include the following colts:

Fire Alarm: I have started with my Long shot for a change. This Fusaichi Pegasus colt is sneakily talented and I expect him to run a bi g race. His last 2 races were at the Fair Grounds where he finished 1st and 3rd at 1m 70yds. He closed from off the pace and was full of run at the line. Fusaichi Pegasus is one of possibly only three active sons of Mr. Prospector at stud the moment. Horses sired by Mr. P’s sons are always dangerous and Fusaichi Pegasus is amongst the best. Fire Alarm dam sire is two times BCC winner Tiznow. This makes Fire Alarm’s pedigree similar to that of Spiral winner Went The Day Well who was sire by a grandson of Mr. P out of a Tiznow mare. Whereas the majority of the colts in the race including the anti post favorite are all stamina challenged, Fire Alarm has this product in abundance via his sire and dam sire. He has enough speed to say in touch and I am expecting him to finish powerfully for his shareo.

Mark Valeski: Another classy prospect sired by Proud Citizen a grandson Mr. P. If he wins he will join Spiral winner Went The Day Well as prep winners for the stallion. In spite of this colt’s class he must be vulnerable at 9F off two 6F and tough 8 1/2F race. His dam sire Fortunate Prospect is also dam sire of graded stakes winners the Musket Man and Ron The Greek. He is therefore is in good company. He tracked very slow fractions in the Risen Star i.e., 24.44, 48.72, 1:13.88. This allowed him to accelerate away from the pack with the exception of the classy El Padrino.  The fractions will be much faster in the LA Derby and he will be exerting more energy early and this could adversely affect him in the last 50 meters because of his lack of seasoning. I think he will be beaten but should make the board.

Cigar Street: Another colt produced from an unraced Deputy Minister mare. Is he good enough to emulate Preakness and Belmont winners Curlin and Sarava who were produced from unraced Deputy Minister Mares? He is off to a very good start.  He got beat by 15 1/4L on debut and won his next start by 13 3/4L. This represents a 29L reversal in fortunes. His sire Street Sense is a favorite of many and is from the powerful and Mr. P sire line. His dam is a daughter of Solar Slew who was the dam of the great Cigar. He can be considered the total package. He is returning to the races in 21 day and that by American standard is a short turn around. With anticipated improvement off his last race he should be a major factor at 9F.

Afford: Another colt sired by Street Sense that is out of an Unbridled mare. He was beaten 101/4L in the Risen Star after being bumped and ranked. Both sire and dam sire won the Kentucky Derby and this colt should have the stamina to be effective at 9F. His last race was his worst and is not reflective of his ability. He has worked well since and deserves another chance.

Eight of the colts in the LA Derby are from the Mr. Prospector sire line. We could be in for a sweep of the exocits.

31 Mar 2012 1:58 PM
It aint easy being good!

I really think this is the year the euro invader will come in and win. Master of hounds was 5th last year and daddy long legs looked like he was just jogging today. He scares me this derby will be impossible to handicap. I think you have to go with a super closer this year.... ON a side note 8 days until street life runs get ready!

31 Mar 2012 2:34 PM

Union Rags may have the goods, but track conditions, post position and LUCK will determine the horse who takes the roses as much as anything does. I'm actually starting to enjoy the Derby surprises each year. On the first Saturday in May "the favorite" is just another pony holding a lottery ticket. Safe trip to all, and hope you are the big surprise this year Hansen!

31 Mar 2012 4:50 PM

I dont need to bet the fl. derby.... im invested already with derby i said in earlier post, THE FACTOR will go off form.....done! on dude a good alw horse....overmatched....done! Mark v....will regress tomorrow! we will see huh?

31 Mar 2012 4:52 PM

WHEN did MATZ become a great trainer?....Because he trained BARBARO? I could have trained him to a derby win with that group...people on here talk like he is a great trainer......why?

31 Mar 2012 4:57 PM
Mike Relva

Union Rags will prevail today.

31 Mar 2012 5:00 PM
Jason Shandler

Mike: Thanks for that brilliant analysis, as always.

31 Mar 2012 5:17 PM
Bob from Boston


What did that Pick 3 pay?  Nice hit.  The Kentucky Oaks is shaping up to be an interesting race.  Union Rags, Take Charge Indy, El P (he is getting no respect at the window), and Neck and Neck.

31 Mar 2012 5:33 PM
El Kabong

Take Charge Indy

El Padrino/Union Rags

El Padrino/Union Rags/Neck & Neck/News Pending

News Pending/Neck & Neck


31 Mar 2012 5:41 PM
El Kabong

Union Rags has the neck of a middle linebacker. What do we know about Pedigree fans?  Anyone?

31 Mar 2012 5:46 PM
Criminal Type

Well, I was wrong and I own it. Congrats to Take Charge Indy and his connections, great job. For what it's worth, Union Rags was blocked in and had to take back on the far turn because Javier and El Padrino had him blocked in. I think Rags got the gut wrencher everyone said he needed and will improve off of it. I still like him for the Kentucky Derby and he will certainly learn from this experience. At least Rags finished in front of El Padrino who had a clean trip the whole way with no excuses.

31 Mar 2012 5:55 PM
Smoking Baby

 Ky Vet.  I tend to agree.  I do have mucho respect for Michael Matz but I keep hearing how he knows how to get a horse to the Derby.  Really?  Because he's got there with one horse who was much the best?  It just sort of bugs me sort of like every time some 2 year old wins a race at Churchill Downs we have to hear "he LOVES Churchill."  Take Charge Indy just went wire to wire in the Florida Derby.  Didn't see that one coming.  Union Rags might not be the super horse everyone keeps saying he is. No knock on Matz though.  All I'm saying is calling him GREAT might be a stretch.  Another two horses from the Breeders Cup Juvenile win big this weekend.  That race is proving to be much stronger than the bunch of bums that Uncle Mo beat while convincing everyone that he LOVED Churchill Downs.

31 Mar 2012 6:03 PM

The Florida Derby - more proof that I don't know what I'm talking about.

31 Mar 2012 6:24 PM

Union Rags is just too slow to win the Kentucky Derby.  That Florida Derby had 6 horses including the winner with just a maiden win and no Beyers including Union Rags above 95-96.  Unfortunately the Florida Derby will not produce the Kentucky Derby winner this year.  

31 Mar 2012 6:27 PM

I could hear Draynay screaming at the tv clear over at my house, and I had the windows closed! Now that was a mugging. Not the ride you would expect from Julien.

31 Mar 2012 6:32 PM
Bob from Boston

Bad trip for Union Rags, but he was fyling at the end.  He is not the monster Draynay was yapping about all month.  What a cluster muck this Derby is shaping up to be.  I wonder if Wrote will make the trip to Kentucky.

31 Mar 2012 6:34 PM

Nice handicapping Carlos in Cali...What did you get back on Take Charge Indy?  Union Rags 1-9?  You have to be kidding me. It happens every year.  That's why its called Derby Fever.  There is no way Union Rags finishes ahead of Creative Cause.  No just keep reapeating Union Rags, Union Rags, Union Rags and allow your hypnotic trance to take you to the big bet window.  

31 Mar 2012 6:40 PM
Mike Monarchos

Man, what a crappy Florida Derby! The only thing I got right was the race time. I said they would run it in 1:49. They ran 1:48.79. That was slow since the track was supposed to be blazing fast.

El Padrino didn't fire. All he managed to do was keep Union Rags pinned in the whole backstretch.

If Rags was good enough he should have found a way out. Alot of that was Leparoux's fault though.

I guess the Risen Star stretch battle took alot out of El Padrino? If that's the case, maybe Mark Valeski will have trouble too.

Prospective is looking good to me now in Derby Futures at about 70-1. Daddy Nose Best looks better now too.

Maybe Gemologist will turn out to be a super horse? We need a Triple Crown winner bad!

31 Mar 2012 6:46 PM

Bad trip, good trip, this is horse racing. All is fair in love, war, and the sport of kings. As I've been saying all along, the Derby is anybody's. No one can outsmart the ponies in this game. You can not predict the unpredictable.

31 Mar 2012 6:56 PM

Hats off to the connections of Take Charge Indy.  I guess they knew more then the rest of us. :)  

I should have bet on him, since my wife was wearing her yellow "Take Charge Lady" baseball cap today.  

31 Mar 2012 7:10 PM

On a side note, my wife better wear her "street sense" hat tomorrow!

31 Mar 2012 7:11 PM


I predict another horse with synth and turf experience to win the Kentucky Derby..

Chucky probably has it right this year.

31 Mar 2012 7:15 PM
Paula Higgins

Well, as clear as mud or as Bob calls it "a cluster muck." Thanks Alex'sBigFan for the information on Mark Valeski. It was very nice of them to name it after a guy who works in a hotel. You are right, it is cool. Disappointed for Michael Matz but not terribly surprised. It's another "sleeper" year. Congrats to everyone who picked Take Charge Indy. Jason, leave Mike alone. KY Vet you don't have to be a great trainer to win. But you have to  be a good trainer and have a really good horse, and oh yes, luck. Michale Matz is a good trainer with a good horse. He is a GREAT horseman. Just didn't have the luck today.

31 Mar 2012 7:21 PM

It does look like a weekend for favorites and I am going with Mark V. for the win with Rousing Serman right behind him.  In the Florida I will box 4 horses for the Super and Tri.  Union, Take Charge, Reveron, and El Overrated.  Union will crush this field.  The Fairgrounds will have great racing and I like Nehro, Slow Pace, and Mark V.  how is that for a Pick 3 !!!  Not many experts will give you 3 straight winners.  Remember I am never wrong so bet big.  

Draynay 29 Mar 2012 11:22 AM

Now you know why I am the greatest.  I hope you all made $ like me !!!  

31 Mar 2012 7:28 PM

For the record I want the blog to know Jason sent me a text 5 minutes before the Florida Derby saying he didn't like the shoe change and he was going with Take Charge Indy for the win.  Good call Jason.  For the record El Overrated was what I thought he was... Overraated.

31 Mar 2012 7:49 PM

For the record I am still on Union Rags.  His works coming in were a bit on the slow side and I think it was on purpose. I am looking for much better works heading into the Derby.  He got beat by 2 Gulfstream specialist that had forward speed on a track that was playing towards that all day.  Union was full of run at the end and will need a better ride to win it all but he is still the horse to beat.

31 Mar 2012 7:55 PM

I'm very happy for Chuck with Take Charge Indy (gotta eat crow over this one). My good friend Coldfacts will certainly not spare me over this one as he rightly pointed out the dominance of A P Indy line colts in the Florida Derby in recent years (Ice Box 2010, Dialed In 2011 and now Take Charge Indy). I'm speechless for now ...The Kentucky Derby? ...a different kettle of fish, I think.

The "big horse" had a poor trip after getting a good break (Leparoux's fault) but should get enough out of the race to pull a "Barbaro" in Louisville. Skeptics like Carlos in Cali who've been predicting that he'd hit a brick wall at nine furlongs should now be backpedalling after seeing how strongly he closed and galloped out. Thats your 2012 Triple Crown winner folks. Think I'm silly uh? Reflect on history and remember "Big Red": he lost The Wood Memorial but rebounded beyond belief. "Beauty & the Beast" will do the same and eventually make him a fading memory.

Does anybody think that Take Charge Indy is a better colt than El Padrino?  Think again. Castellano rode him intelligently with The run for the roses in mind ...gotta congratulate him.  "The Godfather" will be a serious force to reckon with in Louisville.  

As of now, here are my top eight "no doubt about them" Kentucky Derby colts:

1) Union Rags 2) Gemologist 3) El Padrino 4) Creative Cause 5) Daddy Nose Best 6) Bodemeister 7) Exothermic and 8) Hansen.

Exciting days ahead.

31 Mar 2012 7:59 PM
Linda in Texas

I know Carlos in Cali is happy.

And I know i am not. But i admit defeat and will take it gracefully, just as i am at getting older! *^*(%$#)*(&^ Dang it!

Now who is in ???? Did they tell the crowd he had pitched his shoe?

And i kept wondering why he was kept back so far so long?

At least i got to see my favorite brown and white Appie ponying at Gulfstream, and his rider!

Thanks Jason, looks like you are having to work this week end. So thanks again.

31 Mar 2012 8:08 PM
Bob from Boston


Union Rags fastest Beyer is 95?  And you think he is fast?  What the?  Who the?  How the?  Why the?

31 Mar 2012 8:30 PM

The HORSE that poops GOLD lost? Will his quest for a 96 beyer be accomplished? I can hear the excuses already! Does it bother any of his backers that he is a closer that doesnt really close? should have past hansen in the cup, and today? cant wait to hear the...."he got bad trip" people saying that Now in derby , he really will fire!

31 Mar 2012 8:38 PM
Jason Shandler

KY Vet: Go back and look at your comments on TCI yesterday and then climb back in your hole.

31 Mar 2012 8:44 PM
Carlos in Cali


Rarely do I play horses straight-up,I usually play the exotics,but I really liked TCI's chances today.Like I mentioned earlier,I thought he would be tough to catch if able to set a soft/slow pace and he was.Kudos to Borel & Byrne for also doing their homework..

BTW: I played $50 W/P on TCI as a saver-bet,and boy did I need it after having a bad day at the windows today.

31 Mar 2012 8:48 PM

Calvin with a live one in the Derby.  Best estimate of post time odds?

31 Mar 2012 8:54 PM

Draynay: Nice hit on the tri and super.  Let's see them tickets posted.  Too bad UR had to get 3rd, the super would've paid twice as it did if EP got 3rd.  It's still a $250 payout for me and I'm not complaining.  A $2 P4 would have gotten you a payout but like I said before, you have to learn how make your bets.  You should've gone with your first bet and put all 4 horses in the 3rd leg instead of singling UR. LOL

I guess Pat is a genius, wow, talk about knowing his horse and getting the right decision.  I'm really happy for him!  

I'm surprised at Julien's ride with UR, but I think considering how the race unfolded, he may have been right to pull him back but not that far back.  If he is to win the Derby, Julien will need to find him a spot and just go with the pace.  He can't pull him back like today, he'll need a lot of LUCK to get through traffic if he does that in the Derby.

I'm disappointed with El Padrino's race, no excuses for him.  I don't know if it's TP's derby curse or what but all his horses seems to falter getting closer to the Derby.  Whether it'd be injuries or they get exposed.  I'll see how he looks come Derby day if I'm going to put him in any of my bets.  He still has Gemologist, I'm hoping he turns out to be a monster and get his graded earnings in the Wood.  A 2nd would be sufficient, save the best for last.

KY VET : How's your future wager bets feeling now ?  You still think you have 2K coming your way ?  Funny how you go off saying no one else knows anything, yet you bet KDFW with so many preps still to run.  How are you liking UR and EP's chances in the Derby now ??

Bob : LOL, I didn't hit the triple - I thought I would get consolation pay but I guess they don't do that in Dubai.  They scratched my horse in the first leg and I got the damn favorite!!  I was saying I should've played the exacta as well when I bet the P3 since I had the 8 and 11 in the last leg.

My Derby Horses :

Creative Cause, Hansen, Secret Circle and the MUTUEL FIELD lol.

31 Mar 2012 9:04 PM

Once again Mike Relva is wrong.  That was probably why Jason switched to Take Charge Indy.  Good thing Mike has Higgins to take up for him. Union Rags is still be the best 3 y/o but this is a competitive group and they're going to take turns beating each other. After watching the Rampart it was obvious why Chad Brown took his ball home and wouldn't play. Awesome Maria is a freakin' beast!

31 Mar 2012 9:06 PM

As I pointed out in an earlier post when I said I would take a flyer on Take Charge Indy, it was strictly because I think that the connections knew what their horse was capable of and appeared to me to be fearless.  It’s obvious that big things were expected from this horse and though his desired results have taken their time in coming, for sure he hit a peak today.  The original plan was to run in the Tampa Bay Derby and then on to the owner’s home town and run in the Illinois Derby and if he had enough graded earnings, the Kentucky Derby.  Then, quite unexpectantly, the plan changed.  He was declared from the Tampa Bay Derby and the Illinois plans were scuttled, but not to worry.  There were 5, $1M preps staring him in the face, but then again unexpectantly, the connections chose the toughest of the five, the Florida Derby, this race possibly their final chance at getting those desired graded earnings.  It’s like they knew he was going to get the job done.

Sooner or later as handicappers we have to look beyond the Racing Form and Beyers and give the owners and trainers credit for knowing what their horse is capable of and also what they’re doing.  Take Charge Indy was bred to be a champion, by AP Indy out of the good mare Take Charge Lady, herself an 8 time graded stakes winner including 3 G1’s.  She probably should have been champion 3 y-o filly in 2002 when she was 6-3-0 in 10 starts, but lost out to Farda Amiga who beat her in the Kentucky oaks.  Take Charge Lady also sold at auction in 2004 for $4.2M when in foal to Seeking the Gold.  Take Charge Indy is her 4th foal and first stakes winner.

Now the big question……will TCI get 10F needed to win the Derby?  At this point I would say not likely, not if they go to the front like they did today.  There will be too much to deal with and that final 8th is always tough when you have to run under pressure in every quarter leading up to it.  But if Calvin takes TCI back and gets him to relax then I think that it is quite possible.

When dissecting the Florida Detrby, TCI closed his last 3F in 36.70 today, not the fastest, but certainly acceptable, especially for a horse that wired the field and stepped up when he had to and ran his key 4th quarter in (23.87), which was faster than the previous two quarters, and his final 8th in a workmanlike 12.83.  He might have staggered a bit in that final 8th, but it was the preceding 4th quarter when he put the others away when he went for it and gained ground on every other horse in the race including Rags.   That was where he won the race IMO as only Rags and El Padrino closed ground in the final 8th.

As for Rags, I believe that distance will not be an issue.  Possibly racing luck might be, but not the distance.  His final 3/8ths were in 36.20 and his final 8th in 12.38 and when he passed the 8th pole it looked like he was finally catching his stride.  I know he has detractors, but IMO he is still the one to beat at this point.  They will take the loss in stride and enter the Derby knowing they have a fit horse and most importantly one who has experience over the CD surface.

31 Mar 2012 9:07 PM

I was wrong about TCI... Congrats to him on winning the FL Derby as well as all the connections of the horse. Then again did he steal the race on the front end? Yep. Is that the way races are won at Gulfstream? Yep. Calvin did a masterful job on the front end I must say. I didnt think TCI really wanted 2 turns but today he proved he could win a GI over a distance of ground. Will he be a factor in the KY Derby? Not with my money... Congrats once again to the 2012 FL Derby winner Take Charge Indy.

31 Mar 2012 9:09 PM

Ranagulzion : WOW... did I read that right ??  You're saying UR is the TC winner ??  Not just the KY Derby but the TC winner ??  Have you forgotten about the Belmont distance ?  You're basing this on how Secretariat won ??  So because Secretariat lost the Wood, and won the TC, it means that UR will win the TC because he lost the Florida Derby ?  For all the knowledge you have, I think the simple fact of the horses of the past are much much much much much much more "tough" that the colts we've had in the past decade.  Come on now... unless we start getting foundation on these horses on the breeding side, I think it's an insult to the great horses of the past to even compare them.  I will guarantee you that UR will NOT win the triple crown.  I doubt he will win the KY Derby.  I'll bet you $1000 that UR doesn't win the TC.  Sorry, but I think it's just really easy money.  If you're so sure, let's see that $1000 :)

31 Mar 2012 9:13 PM

Hay, Jason, can you find out why TCi, an AP Indy, fell through the cracks and sold for $80,000 as a yearling at Keeneland?  

Getting to the Derby is a process; as when Creative Cause and Hansen lost, it is the first Sat. in May that counts, and don't jump the  ship.  It will be fun to see how UR trains in Kentucky.

31 Mar 2012 9:16 PM

All I have to say is that TCI may make a valiant effort to set the pace and run away, but Union Rags won't let that happen.  If the pace is slow Union Rags will press it.

Mary 30 Mar 2012 10:39 PM.

What was that you were saying about TCI setting the pace and run away and Union Rags not letting that happen? Reveron also finished in front of him.

In talking with Pat Byrne, he is very confident that Take Charge Indy will run well and fits with the top two. Just an FYI.

Jason Shandler 30 Mar 2012 12:31 PM.

It will not be a cakewalk for UR like some may think.. can't wait!

Carlos in Cali 30 Mar 2012 2:59 PM.

31 Mar 2012 9:19 PM
Carlos in Cali

People,stop making excuses for UR who had a nice trip sitting right behind the soft pace saving ground throughout. Did he have to steady at any point during the race?! Was he bumped?! Did he stumble leaving the gate?! So where was the troubled-trip?..

If you're talking about him being "supposedly" boxed-in in an 8-horse field good luck in the KY Derby with their 20-horse fields.He's a big horse who takes awhile to get going.

If anybody had a bad trip it was El Padrino who ran 4-5 wide throughout.Obviously,he was flat doen the lane...

Take Charge Indy is for real. He doesn't need the lead and he's sharpened his skills since last year.Expect him to keep improving for the Derby being by AP Indy.

31 Mar 2012 9:20 PM

Draynay makes fun of people betting Dialed In with beyers in the mid 90's as his best last year but LOVES Union Rags with the same type numbers?? That's about right I would say... I always liked Union Rags but never thought he was a world beater like some. To me he did absolutely nothing today to prove to me he should be the KY Derby favorite and I predict Draynay will be off him by Derby week. Couple more weeks of real preps to figure out before we have a true feeling of what the field looks like but something tells me Creative Cause is your Ky Derby Favorite after he wins the SA Derby. And to me he probably deserves it. No horse has looked more deserving and more focused on progressing slowly to peek the first Saturday in May. Good luck at the windows everyone...

31 Mar 2012 9:20 PM
El Kabong


I had Take Charge Indy singled up top, late pick yes..

Take Charge Indy

El Padrino/Union Rags

El Padrino/Union Rags/Neck & Neck/News Pending

News Pending/Neck & Neck


El Kabong 31 Mar 2012 5:41 PM

but you have to take into consideration the track condition and the fact that the top 2 did not have to be ready to run for this event.  The track was geared for speed. Track record in the 5th was your clue. I got burned not calculating two speed horses being around. Anyone who thinks Reveron is better than Rags or El Padrino is nuts. I don't want to sound like some of the "I know betters" on this site but that was a set  up for speed. Take Charge Indy is a very good horse, but he had alot of help today. He won't get it at CD but I'm sure Mr. Byrne and Calvin know that too. They will work to rate this guy in his works. It can be done, Super Saver is proof.

On to the big easy. Take note of the track tomorrow.

Good luck all.  

31 Mar 2012 9:33 PM
Jason Shandler

Skyfire: Youre exactly right, TCI did fall through the cracks. A well-bred horse like that should have sold for much more than $80k. I'll ask Pat next time I talk to him.

31 Mar 2012 9:39 PM

After watching the Florida Derby, I had to open a Labatt Blue to watch UK beat Louisville. Now watching the Buckeyes beat Kansas all I can say is "I'll Have Another."

31 Mar 2012 9:42 PM

Jason, can you please explain why you had concerns about UR's shoe coming off, I got the impression from HRTV that it just fell off, and that it was not a big deal is there more to the story.



31 Mar 2012 9:48 PM

I like El Padrino in FL Derby but  think Union Rags will be the horse to beat in the KY Derby.  If El Padrino pulls out the win it'll be a taxing effort.  Hansen will be your Preakness winner if he relaxes.  Hansen's temperament reminds me of Fire Marshall Bill.

Sylvester 29 Mar 2012 9:55 PM

Nice pick as usual genius.  Mike Relva picks Rags and you call him an idiot.  You didn’t seem to be anything different yourself.  What’s that 50 losses in a row now.

31 Mar 2012 10:05 PM

I told you I told you I told you about El Overrated and now watch how far he falls.  Some of you need to listen to the expert.  Now you know why you box your 4 horses you never know what can happen and often does.  Yes I ate a lot of chalk today and it made me big money.  I hope all of you that bet 10 to 1 and over all day enjoyed losing on every ticket.  Some value huh.

31 Mar 2012 10:08 PM

today was not julien's fault.

today rags was exposed and so was matz, who has babied this horse to prepare him for the toughest race he'll ever run.  if rags can't handle traffic in a 9 horse field, there is no way he's going to handle traffic in a 20 horse field.

and hey, face facts, when bad luck is the norm and not the exception, it isn't luck, it's just the truth.

rags didn't have a bad trip, julien just had no horse.  every race that rags has had to work in, he has lost fair and square--but he is given excuses up the wazoo, while the legitimate winners are denied the glory they earned on the track.

just like in the bcj--instead of talking to the winner first, the press talked to matz first again. that is just poor sportsmaniship, and for all the class everyone says matz has, if that had been me, i would have said, "congratulations to TCI and you should be talking to his connections not me."

rags lost the bcj fair and square--and to this day, hansen has never been given his due for that win.  rags had the whole stretch to pass hansen, who had done all the work on that speed killing, cuppy surface, but rags couldn't do it.

and today, he couldn't even pass poor reveron who was staggering home (reveron is today's true hero imo--let's hear it for sofla's hometown hero!).

union rags has three major flaws--first he wilts in a fight--he had  horses eyeing him all the way around the track today and he raced like a coward. racehorses with grit and heart impose themselves on the race, they don't hide until they get a good spot, they make the spot.

secondly, rags completely lacks race fitness and is just not that fast--he beat news pending in this race by the same amount he beat him last time, and you saw how badly his 3 FOY alums performed today--this race did not flatter rags's "oohlala" FOY--those of us who called the FOY a nothing special, slow race over a weak field, got it right.

and just like in the FOY, today rags beat the inferior horses easily, but couldn't do a thing against street fighters like reveron and TCI.  

the FOY was slow, the FL derby was slow, the KY derby won't be slow.

jason in your article you said the fractions were honest--what?! 1.12 for 6f on fast GP track?! you gotta be kidding me! rule and shack ran that same 6f in what, 1.10 and change? rags wasn't flying late, he was simply passing nothing much horses like news pending, who were backing up to the parking lot after tracking hohum fractions.  

and third, rags's a dixie union--he had nothing going into the turn, and was already hitting the wall as they turned for home. 720, that is the number to keep in mind, not 1 out 720 dixie unions, has ever won past 9f, and most can't win past 8.5f--as they say, class will out--it always does. and it did today.

like carlos, i agreed that 9f today was rags's limit, i was willing to say he might get 9, but since he couldn't get 9f today, there is no way he is getting 10f in race with honest pace--and with hansen in the ky derby, the pace will be honest.

ps--i wish you had posted the post i submitted before the race, i tried to warn people that the 6lb jump in weight for el p was too great and he was likely to run poorly because of it--now we just have to pray that el p doesn't end up another horse ruined by the fl derby's sudden 6 lb weight increase.

in the LA derby, bet mark v at your own risk, he's another one taking a 6lb jump in weight...special horses can handle that, but most horse can't...

31 Mar 2012 10:10 PM
Paula Higgins

I like Gemologist alot. So far I think he and Creative Cause are the best bets for the Derby. Gee Sylvester, I've missed you. You're right, Awesome Maria is a "freakin beast." You on the other hand, are just a plain old beast. Mike Relva supports retired race horses. More than good enough for me.  Jason/Draynay, please explain to me what the significance is of changing shoes. Did they change Union Rag's shoes just before the race, which meant he had a lesser shot at winning??? Makes sense if that is the case. Kind of like a figure skater who has to work into new skates or a runner with new track shoes.

31 Mar 2012 10:18 PM

El Padrino bounced and Mark Valeski will bounce. I think the derby winner hasn't even ran in a stakes yet.

31 Mar 2012 11:12 PM

TCI, falling through the cracks, especially considering Take Charge Lady, the mom, a tremendous runner herself.  Good call Jason on TCI.  Knew I should have taken the weekend off instead of losing $ on El P.  Midnight Transfer with the bullet 1:11.80 in his holster, son of Hard Spun, with broodmare sire French Deputy (of 119 Beyer) and international stud will give Cause all he can handle in the SA Derby.  Nice pick up mount for Mike Smith.  

31 Mar 2012 11:13 PM
Jason Shandler

JR: They minimized the shoe and maybe it had no effect, but when I see something like that so close to post its always a red flag for me, be it bad karma or whatever.

31 Mar 2012 11:44 PM

Ranagulzion : Also, with regards to El Padrino, I'm not sure what race you were watching.  This is a million dollar race.  He needed the earnings.  I watched the race over and over, El Padrino was NOT moving forward, i'm not sure if he wasn't cranked up, which would be a nice excuse, he did not have any excuse to come in fourth in that field.  Javier did not ride him intelligently, he rode him like it was the Derby because if he couldn't get 3rd, he risks not getting in.

You probably know that EP has been on top of my list well before the Risen Star stakes, I'm eating crow with my coffee right now because EP did not perform as I expected.  I'm not even sure if he's going to make the derby.

Have you heard anything about Exothermic ?  Last I heard he's going to the Bluegrass, he's one I've been waiting for.  I think it's either Bluegrass or Lecomte for him to get his graded earnings.

31 Mar 2012 11:45 PM

First of all...i didnt bet the fl. derby......why? i didnt like anybody...if i loved el padrino, wouldnt i have bet him? figure it out....i didnt love the way he was coming into the race....and the answer to the guy that said do i like my future bets now?? YES I DO! Having RAGS not be a superhorse was very big for me! Creative cause is now on top huh? and i DO like el padrino to fire next out! I BET THE DERBY! the real one......AND someone actually said rags was flying at the end? lol! thought so!

01 Apr 2012 12:00 AM

JASON.......just because indy won, doesnt make scratching out of the tampa race a good move.  I still think it was a bad move. Youll find out derby day! What, you like him now for the derby? Im not even worried about him..........everybody seems to hype whoever indy the best since secretariat?   And draynay is trying to say he was right? and won money?  ANYONE on here believe that? Wait till im wrong before you get on me ok? like tomorrow saying mark v will not win.....or derby day!

01 Apr 2012 12:06 AM

I just watched the FL Derby.  I was occupied with Dubai and then work.  I didn't see a bad trip for Union Rags at all.  I saw a horse who couldn't accelerate quickly enough once he ducked to the rail.  Unless I hear that he had soft tissue damage, the re-shodding is a non-issue.  Not the best position that the jock could have put him in but I have seen much worse.  If Union Rags was going to throw an off race, this was the time to do it.  I haven't picked a Derby Horse yet and when I do I suspect Union Rags would have not been it regardless of his FL Derby performance.  Looking at Rousing Sermon tomorrow just for the LA Derby.  Like the jock change and will give him another chance away from Santa Anita.  Is it true that Mike is going to ride Midnight Transfer?  Sorry if I am a little scattered.  Laphroaig has that effect on me.  Cheers and congrats on all those who had success today.  Saluting the horses who lost their lives in Dubai today and the amazing performances, expected and unexpected.  Cheers.

01 Apr 2012 12:45 AM

Also, Go Cats!  It is scary but a K-K final is way too Kardashian somehow.  At least the two teams have class........

01 Apr 2012 12:47 AM
Matthew W

So far the #1 rated three year old is 0 for 2 around two turns....not my kinda Derby Horse....the form read "one paced final 200 yards"...for Monterosso in last year's 3/4 length loss in Dubai World Cup--but he was boxed inside the whole length of the stretch, and when he finally got room, it took him a few strides to get back going, but he blew by them right after the wire--he was best LAST YEAR--turned my $45 into $101 yesterday, Today I came home from work to find $452 in my account, thanks to my $9 w/p on Monty, at 35-1, thank you very much! Strong fields, but glad to see less of USA horses going over there--they can have their tiring (hot!) synthetic track--it wasn't made for hot weather, and it plays looser when heated--it's freaking rubber! At any rate, Monterosso is the real deal over there, he ran his career best last year and repeated that effort this year--and at 35-1! Thought Willa B Awesome, by son of  Coronado's Quest, one of my favorite all-time horses, N Y bred (I believe?), just a grinder, she looked lights out on the track, her graded record is first rate, thought she got away on the board, she looks like a legit Oaks Filly! AM kickin myself for not unloading on her, but handsight is 20-20...No, Union Rags is cut like Tiznow, he looks head and shoulders above the rest, and he may very well be, but he's not #1 in my book, simply for the two turn record, but this year is one heckuva good looking year for three year olds! Some very nice races at Fair Grounds tom, The New Orleans Handicap came up solid! Toby's Corner and Redeemed are my two--I love their patterns--both in their 2nd race back, both Beyered well in latest and both worked 1:12, not to mention they both have done well at 1 1/8, and I was learned a long time ago, that 1 1/8 is a specialty distance--Toby is 1 for 1, Redeemed is 2 for 3---I like Toby the most, though! Love him in fact! Great race! Thanks to Monterosso, I'll be laying a fifty in each son's hand tom, (three), and have plenty of ammo for Santa Anita Derby Day--on which I plan to attend! Think Baffert was ducking I'll Have Another, think he'll be very tough to collar and I don't think Creative Cause will--if they both run strong races, it wouldn't suprise me if they both hit the board in The Kentucky Derby--but there are so many intriguing horses this year! So many late bloomers, The Travers looks real good about now! Mark Valeski/Rousing Sermon ex box tom in Louisiana Derby--Smith will get pace for Rousing Sermon, a deep closer who passed  a few in San Felipe, which had a soft pace down the backstretch--Lucky Pulpit a nice sire, this horse looked real nice at Hollywood, maybe Fairgrounds is what he needs, beware of the Santa Anita closers, finally, Monterosso was my flower horse today, and he ran lights out, at very long odds, when you review his effort in last year's running of the same race, you could say he was very overlooked!---but the overall most impressive race of the day was run by the 7 year old mare, Ortensia, in race five, over five furlongs on turf---The Aussie bred weaved her way from 16th and last, making up seven in the final 1/4! At 5 furlongs!                                                                                                                                                                                                        

01 Apr 2012 12:52 AM
Matthew W

Boat Trip coming back in eight days, 5-2 second choice, race four tom, Santa Anita, I think he will eventually win graded stakes in turf sprints, odd that they bring him back so soon, think that is a sign of confidence, Think he wins for fun....

01 Apr 2012 1:25 AM


Listed below are extracts from two of my previous posts

“It appears from most comments that UR just has to turn up and the race is over. I regard this as gross disrespect for the other horses and their connections”

“Union Rage is expected to have a paid work out. I have seen terms such as “Monster” and "Beauty & the Beast” One can tell that passion has gone wild when a description such as “Never seen a more photogenic powerhouse of a horse since Secretariat” is posted”

“You have conceded the FL Derby to Union Rags before the race is contested. This is a rather dangerous policy in a sport of glorious uncertainties, where past performances are no guarantee for future success. Have you not learnt anything from Uncle Mo and Secretariat’s Wood Memorial defeats?

It appears my learned friend that your passion has gone wild and your Late Development Syndrome theory has been totally debunked; The Cold Facts are below:

HOLY BULL (Glll)  - Algorithms by Bernardini - A P Indy

TAMPA BAY DERBY - Prospective by Malibu Moon - A P Indy

WHITERS - Alpha by Bernardini - A P Indy

RISEN STAR - El Padrino - Pulpit - A P Indy

COUNT FLEET- Alpha by Bernardini - A P Indy

GOTHAM - Hansen  by Tapit - Pulpit by A P Indy

FLORIDA DERBY - Take Charge Indy by A P Indy

The above colts affected by Late Development Syndrome have combined to win (7) Derby Preps. Alpha and Hansen will contest the Wood and Bluegrass in the next couple of weeks and therefore the above list has a chance of being expanded. I hope the 2012 success of the A P Indy sire line will finally put to rest this unsubstantiated theory.

As for Union Rags, the exceptional ones normally find ways to win. He had every chance and could not close fast enough. In fairness to him, the track was not being kind to closers. That said, he looked a beaten horse before the stretch. The Derby distance of 10F and 126lbs is going to be very challenging for him. He is a very big colt with a powerful energy sapping stride pattern. He does not move fluently over ground and tend to pound the track. He will not find the 5th quarter of the KD very friendly.

01 Apr 2012 1:30 AM
Matthew W

Not too bad of a race by Union Rags--He never looked like a winner though--not at any point in the race--maybe he's not all that? Maybe there's something to Castellano getting off him? Going into The Kentucky Derby--having yet to win a two-turn race....I cannot remember a season with so many avenues of contention! Union Rags will go up in odds but he is by no means out of the picture!

01 Apr 2012 1:37 AM

Draynay, I hold you and you alone responsible for Union Rag's loss today. Quit jinxing these nice horses! Of course, I did have a few bucks on Take Charge Indy today so I guess I should be thanking you!

01 Apr 2012 2:02 AM

furlongs : I agree, this guy will probably find his "Nehro" the day before the derby and jump off Union Rags.  Either that or he'll say he's on Union Rags BEFORE the race and when UR loses, he'll claim he has the winner or if TCI wins, that he had money on Borel....AFTER the race.  Same story every year.

KY VET : Post your LA Derby picks.  You're not making any money just analyzing who WILL NOT win.  You should be telling us who will win since you're the expert.  It's easy to guess who will NOT win. For someone who reads form and is an expert, you can't seem to post any picks of your own.  It's all "this horse is done, this horse is a bad bet, this horse is that, blah blah blah"...  post who you think will WIN.  Otherwise, just keep quiet (and climb back to your hole lol).

I know, I have to make a correction, you did not have UR in your KDFW, still, looks like 2 out of 3 of your bets are out.

LA Derby : I really don't like Mark V in this race specially after watching EP's performance in the FD.... but man, Rosie is the alpha dog at this track.  It's so hard to beat her regardless of what horse she's riding.  Knowing that, this is a big race though so I'll try to beat her with Rousing Sermon and Shared Property.  Shared Property is my sleeper in this race.  His trainer said he's back, and after TCI's story, I'll just go with that and put money on Shared Property.  I hope the blinkers is the key to this horse.  He'll be at a nice price with Mark V/Mr. B taking all the money.  He's also the class of the field, I think he's a cut above this bunch but we'll see.  7-11 take me to heaven!!  7-1 buy me some naan!!

01 Apr 2012 2:13 AM

I'll start this off by saying I think Union Rags is a good horse.  I played a straight exacta 6/3 today hoping to get something off the chalk.  Oops.

That being said, I see a lot of press stating that UR had a troubled trip.  The last time UR lost, it was also said that he had a troubled trip.  At what point does the blame stop being laid at the feet of said troubled trip?  I heard he reared up getting off the trailer.  I heard he threw a shoe before the race.  I heard he was "race-ridden" by EP.  In the Juvy I heard he ran 78 extra feet and was pushed out wide.  At some point, credit has to be given to the horses that won.  

In an eight horse field, Union Rags didn't have enough tactical speed to keep himself out of trouble.  If he can't keep from getting boxed in an eight horse field, how is he going to manage 20?  What is he going to do when there are 19 other jockey's trying to control position?

Hansen ran the race he needed to run to win the Juvy.  In the Florida Derby, Take Charge Indy ran the race he needed to run and he won.  Both horses beat Union Rags by staying out of trouble using their tactical speed to distance themselves from the pack.  

If we look back at UR races this is what we find:

Maiden @ Delaware:

10 horse field.  turn for home was on the rail with no one in front.  romped.

Saratoga Stake:

6 horses.  took the lead at the 1/4 mark and never looked back.


8 horses: was boxed, steadied and then picked up when the lead horse drove to the rail.  romped


13 horses: Didn't have enough speed to overcome the 10 post and was trapped 3,4,or 5 lengths wide the entire trip.  Although Hansen won on the rail, the bias didn't favor the rail that day.  Finished second.


6 horses: was three wide (again speed) but was clear.  romped.

So the splits in the FOY were the following:

24.5, 48.11, 1:12.05,1:36.28

I heard wow - what a race!  UR dominated!

The splits on the Florida Derby were:

23.6, 47.71, 1:12.09,1:35.96 out in 1:48.79.

I hear Take Charge Indy stole the race according to several headlines tonight. Huh?

The 1.48.79 was almost 2 full seconds faster than Dialed In's win in last years race.  It was faster than Barbaro's race and 3/5 slower than Big Brown's. It was actually the 3rd fastest time since the track was redone!

The other stakes at 1 1/8 so far:

El Camino Real - 1:50.46

Howe Great (Turf) - 1:46.56

Went the Day Well - 1:51.33

Daddy Nose Best - 1:48.59

So enough with the bad trip talks.  Maybe - just maybe Union Rags isn't quite the horse everyone thinks he is.  Is he dangerous in the KY Derby?  Absolutely.  Can he keep himself out of trouble?  I am going to say no - especially if he draws outside of the 10 post.  I just don't think he has enough starting speed to set himself up for a successful run for the roses.

That being said Take Charge Indy went out and ran 12's in the Florida Derby.  12's gets a 2:00 Derby.  Is he going to get the trip he got in the Florida Derby?  Absolutely not.  I do believe he has enough gitty up to get into good position to stalk the leaders though.  I don't know if he can win the Derby, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him hit the board.

Also, a completely useless piece of data I found researching this post.  Take Charge Indy lost to Shared Property in the Arlington Washington Futurity.  He came back and beat Shared Property in the Dixiana (losing to Dullahan by 4 or 5).  He lost to Union Rags in the Juvy by 5 and El Padrino in the Allowance by 2.  He beat Union Rages by 1 1/4 and El Padrino by 3 in the Florida Derby. He has come back to beat every horse that had previously finished in front of him with the exception of Dullahan who caught Take Charge Indy on the wire at the Breeders Cup.  That stat isn't worth anything, but I did find that it showed improvement from each race.  

01 Apr 2012 2:38 AM
Paula Higgins

O.k. so the shoe fell off. Thank you JR.

01 Apr 2012 2:43 AM
Paula Higgins

I think the Derby winner may come out of the Wood. Pletcher is timing/spacing Gemologist's races well. If he beats Hansen, that will be an important step forward. Just hope he stays healthy.

01 Apr 2012 2:57 AM

Papillon, cut the crap. UR ran a good race, not upto his standards, but it wasnt bad. He closed very nicely which is the best part..TCI is for real, but UR is still the one to beat

01 Apr 2012 3:04 AM

.....Will crush this field

.....Will win by a mile.

.....You'll be ripping up tickets

.....Much the best.

Remember everyone. If yuo walk into the trach and bet a 3 horse race with 30 seconds of handicapping and then the next race which is going off in seconds, it stands to reason you don't have the "will power" to learn the inside aspects of handicapping and end up with the "flashiest" horse each Derby season, only to lose. As I said many times....Alpha. Runs those last 1/4 miles in 24 and change. Gets a nice prep race and wins the Derby. Handicapping lesson - Call for rates Draynay.

01 Apr 2012 9:00 AM

All you Union Rags people can always take up thr unicycle. I understand you need a great deal of back-peddling in that sport too. I'm just sorry that Alpha's odds will drop today. Watch the Future Book. A HUGE bet will tilt the odds today.

01 Apr 2012 9:04 AM

pappilon did you watch race?  Union Rags was boxed in and had to deal with crazy Castellano who was right on top of him Union Rags did not tire at all; how you came to that conclusion I have no idea.  He was charging near the end and if it had been a 1 1/4 mile race Union Rags would have won.

Also get over the Dixie Union in UR's pedigree.  If you know anything about pedigree you would be talking about his tail side.

Your comments are simply mind boggling IMO.  

01 Apr 2012 9:40 AM
Mike Monarchos

I'm hoping El Padrino just bounced. If he's El Overated as Draynay says, then "Onion Rags" is "Fried Onion Rags"! I said that there would be a 1 length difference between El Padrino and "Onion Rags" one way or the other, and it was 1 and 3/4.

El Padrino made 50,000. from the race. That gives him 250,000., which should be enough to make the Derby field. I'm sure his owners want him in the greatest race of all. I'd send to CD ASAP,but Pletcher probably won't. He might need a new jock

though if Gemologist runs huge in the Wood.

Speaking of Gemologist, has he had a recent work?

I bet his odds will drop in Derby Futures today. We need a Kentucky Derby winner by Tiznow.

01 Apr 2012 9:43 AM

News Pending...champagne tastes; beer pockets doesn't have enough money to go on.

TCI ran just like his daddy, lowering his head, and stretching his neck.  But he's still a grinder...a fast and beautiful one, but a grinder none-the-less.

Reveron was the big surprise; he really stepped up his game...and he has the earnings.

El Padrino...bounced...pure and simple.

Union all honesty, got a terrible ride.  Leparoux is better than that. Will there be a jockey change?  Also...the distance limitations are beginning to show.

Looking at the earnings...a lot of good horses are in trouble.  With Daddy Long Legs and possibly Wrote coming into the Ky. Derby, the cut-off might by $250k or higher.  I'll Have Another and Bodemeister, Howe Great and Castaway are all in jeopardy.

I'm just wondering if Mark Valeski will bounce after his tiring run against EP. But his jockey is Rosie, and that's a giant plus. They said Cigar Street broke his maiden by 13 lengths at the Fair Grounds...but I don't know whom he ran against.  Afford is a long shot in the outside gate, but we've seen him run well before.  I think he has a chance.

I think I'm just as confused as I was in January.  Time for a Mimosa brunch to get the ponies out of my head.  12 hours of racing?  No wonder my kids think I've flipped my beanie.

By the way, have you noticed that the winners at Dubai were horses who have had time to acclimate to the desert, and have had races in during the previous month or two.  When will American trainers get the message?  It's too difficult to ship in a few days before a big race, then take away your horses speed on dirt by running them on tapeta. No common sense there.  Cigar and Curlin and the other US winners ran on a dirt Nad Al Sheba. Meydan was just completed in 2010, and we can't do it on tapeta.

01 Apr 2012 10:20 AM

Congrats to Chuck and his trainer for running against UR in the GRADE ONE Florida Derby and a purse of ONE MILLION and not running in the GRADE THREE Tampa Bay Derby and $350,000.To all those on here that ranted about what a bad decision it was,like I told you then stick to studying past performances because you are obviously TERRIBLE stable managers.The races are not won on Paper and NEVER will be.Having said that Take Charge Indy could improve off this race, but IMO he got a Soldat type of trip on the Gulfstream surface.I will include him in my wagers because he was in the monster of all the key races.

01 Apr 2012 10:56 AM

This is why Union Rags was beaten.

Union Rags had to stand in the starting gate next to El Padrino. During that time he became contaminated with Late Development Syndrome. This means that the descendants of AP Indy have now lost this characteristic to the big mule. They are now forever free of it.

However, this fact alone does not explain why this supposed wonder horse has now lost 2 of his last 3 starts.  He finished just 3 lengths ahead of Neck‘n Neck!

01 Apr 2012 11:04 AM

 Let me tell you about a jockey who only won one Derby because he would not take chances and always let the horse take him and did not push the horses limit. His name is patient Pat Day. Leparoux is exactly that same type of rider who is not aggressive enough as i watched him ride UR and Keertana in the filly turf stake the next race. So papillon you better get used to seeing this type of ride as i believe Castellano would have been a better fit for this horse and he should make the change right now. Castellano was very aggressive in the B.C. juvenile he just got beat by a bad trip. I know Castellano chose to get off but he should get him back right away.

01 Apr 2012 11:18 AM


 I have watched the replay of the Florida Derby several times now and am not sure how much UR got out of the race. I know that as a handicapper I got nothing out of it. I really wanted to see him press the pace and then turn it up coming home. I wanted to see if he still had anything left in the tank the last sixteenth. Once he did get clear he picked it up nicely, but by then it was way too late. He did gallop out well after the finish line but I have never been a big believer in the gallop out. Really don't know what to make of it. Are you still impressed?

I see the connections of Nehro saw that Draynay was all over him today. They scratched as soon as they heard. Makes sense to me.

01 Apr 2012 11:50 AM
Pedigree Ann

El Kabong, I'm with you.

There was light rain at the track earlier and major thunderstorm cells in the area (I checked at the Weather Channel site; red circles aplenty) so they sealed the track as a precaution. Calvin took advantage of track condition and set a modest pace so that his horse could last. Well done.

And it is possible to get into traffic trouble in a FIVE horse race; I've seen it. Eight horses? If you have a wall of 4 or 5 of them in front of you, spread across the track, and another one outside of you, sure thing. That's how Einstein lost the Stephen Foster - didn't find a hole out of the box until much too late. He was so covered up most of the stretch, you couldn't even see the jock's silks from my angle.

01 Apr 2012 12:27 PM

Two times now Union Rags loses in a big race, and both times he is the best horse? What are people thinking? I thought the best horse yesterday was the winner. Two big losses going into the Kentucky Derby and still no 100 Beyer, I would have a hard time buying this guy as the Derby favorite now. Sure it is possible that they wanted to give him the experience of being coverd up and didn't really try to win this race, but that is probably a stretch and I just don't see him winning the Kentucky Derby. Many serious hadicappers will say in a Grade 1 race you play the best horse for they will find a way to win with their superior talent, and you don't have to figure out things like pace and weight carried or good works, etc..But I still look at each race and the things that may contribute to who will win, regardless of who might be the best horse. Rags at this point hasn't earned a "best horse" label going forward, and I believe is totally beatable come May 5th. My hat is off to those here who had already taken this stance towards Rags, and have continually tried to tell the rest of us that we were wrong about how good this guy is and we should look at his breeding and see that he has no chance of winning the Derby. At this point I'm really liking Daddy Nose Best and Creative Cause, but there are some others I think will still have a say come the big dance.

01 Apr 2012 12:36 PM

Before everyone starts going crazy and jumping off the wagon let me try to provide you with some off the track information you could use. Barbaro came into the 2006 Florida Derby undefeated.  He faced an average bunch at best and had to go all out to beat a average horse at the wire finishing in 149.01.  Yesterday Gulfstream was playing to speed all day and 2 speed horses got loose on front and Union got caught behind a wall of horses but remember at the wire Union was only a length behind.  Union never got a chance to run at them until very late but when he did he was closing fast.  Take a look at the works for Union Rags coming into the race.  March 10th 50.3 48/51, March 17th 104.1 22/22, March 24th 49.0 13/41   These are hardly the works of a horse getting ready to fire his best.  It seems Mr. Matz is getting a horse ready for the KENTUCKY DERBY not the Florida Derby.  Granted everyone wants to win a million dollar race but it appears to me Mr. Matz has his eyes on the Derby not the Florida Derby.  Union had a disaster of a trip and few would deny that but it doesn't change the plan and the plan is to win the Derby.

Look for much quicker works and for Matz to start turning the screws over the next few weeks.  I expect he will have Union ready for a peak performance the first Saturday in May.  2 bad trips have cost him dearly but the talent is still there and with even a decent trip in the Derby he is still the one to beat.

01 Apr 2012 12:58 PM

rags did not get a bad ride or have a troubled trip--he just didn't fire--he just got beat, fair and square. that's what happens when you are slower than the horses in front of you at every call.

go back and watch the race--rags broke very well. heading into the first turn he was briefly between 2 horses, but then raced along the entire the back stretch in a good position on the rail with a horse in front and horse behind but no horses on either side.

el p was not beside him at all in the race, boxing him in, he was in front of him the whole freaking race, until the home stretch--look at the chart.

turning for home, el p made his move 4-5 wide and left rags all together. at this point rags had no horses beside him, or within a length of him in front or behind. he didn't make a move because he had nothing, not because he was boxed in.  

in the home stretch, he was along the rail with another horse, neck and neck, between himself and el p--who was still 3-4 wide.  

plus rags's dart from the rail to the center of the track in the home stretch doesn't look planned to me--it looks exactly like the weird left-darting he has done in every single race in which he has had a true stretch to finish in (unlike the FOY)--he was just lucky that the two horses to his left were fading badly, or he would have certainly been relegated to fifth for interfering with one or both of them.

finally, he did not kick in the end, he ran his last 1/16th in 12.58--after never having run faster than a 24 second furlong in the entire race. closers and horses with late kicks run the last 1/16 faster than any other split, not slower than any other split.

rags might have looked like he was accelerating but it was an optical illusion--reveron was clearly done and was slowing badly (all credit to him for hanging on for 2nd), and el p and the neck and neck were also done and already backing up when rags "passed" them.

last but not least--rags lost this race in almost identical fractions as he "dominated" the fountain of youth in--and the results of his FOY alums in this race did not flatter his FOY win at all--yet they ran about the same as they did yesterday in that race, just as rags did.

this was slow FOY and while I honestly congratulate TCI and reveron, reveron was clearly at his limit--the 4 extra pounds and the extra 1/16th of the derby aren't going to help him, and hansen, who can easily run 23.5 fractions all day long, will run TCI into the ground if he tries to go with him--all the people saying TCI and Hansen will burn each other out are kidding themselves.  hansen may loose the derby but it won't be to TCI or rags.

01 Apr 2012 1:17 PM


Nice super.  Of course you got the good price because you didn’t have the balls (or did you) to put your Monster on top and go from there.  You unbeatable Monster couldn’t even outrun a 30-1 shot.  Is that a cloud of hot air I see floating off into the sunset?

Here’s an idea.  With all that money you made you should go shopping.  There’s bound to be a Hot Air Shop somewhere in your area.  Go in and spend some of that money and load up.  Then when you’re done go and find out the true meaning in what is meant by Monster.  There’s bound to be a Zenyatta Photo Shop probably not too far from you.  Go in and buy her photo and see what a true Monster looks like.

01 Apr 2012 1:18 PM
It aint easy being good!

Finally all the Union rags lovers will go away overated just like uncle shmo! 7 Days to get on the street life bandwagon. Union rags has no heart. You want a horse that will fight to the end those two horses are hansen and street life. Expect the pace to be blazing hot in the derby. It would be nice to see the gandolf the white take the derby. The real 2 year old champ is hansen and the voters got it correct.

01 Apr 2012 3:20 PM

Laz- she lost.  Get over it.  Havre de Grace and Royal Delta proved that.  Their results against males at 10 furlongs are so much better...... lol

01 Apr 2012 3:43 PM

Get over it people.  Union Rags moved to the inside and should have fired.  He didn't.  He took forever to hit his stride.  The traffic will be more brutal in the Derby, so what is he going to do then? Maybe Leparoux learned something from this race.

01 Apr 2012 3:48 PM

longwaytomay- lol about Dray's curse

01 Apr 2012 3:49 PM

Mary- crazy Castellano was race riding.  Not many jocks know how to do that anymore. If Union Rags was the horse everyone was touting, he had plenty of time to recover.  He didn't.  On to the Derby with more race riding.  Hopefully, Leparoux learned a lesson.  Read Matz's comments on the race.

01 Apr 2012 3:52 PM

LOL to Jersey Boy also

01 Apr 2012 3:53 PM

Stevebiscuit you and Plodderman need to look at the very first post on this blog.  I did GREAT yesterday because all my chalk came in AND I had the Tri and Super in the Derby COLD.  I had owned Gulfstream yesterday.  When the Frenchman and Castellano have a good day so do I.  Remember this, no horse ran a faster last 1/16th than Union Rags.  After 3 sharp works Union will be ready for 10 panels.

01 Apr 2012 3:57 PM

predict, Union lost 2 G1 races by a COMBINED margin of about a length and had problems in both.  Relax he is a young colt who will learn and improve from this last race.

01 Apr 2012 4:00 PM

Slew- Americans will never get the message.  They still act like it is dirt.  It is sticky, tiring Tapeta which does not react like it does in the mornings.  You are right, they need a race over there and they need the right horses.  Game On Dude didn't run well at Del Mar and I feel that is the track that is most similar to Dubai.  The Factor just wasn't sharp.  Game On Dude was never good enough for the turf horses who take to Tapeta.  It is clear that So You Think is a pure turf horse, plain and simple.  But he never embarrasses himself no matter what surface because of his class.

I hope to hell someone stands him to stud here because with the right breeding he will be able to sire horses who can run on any surface.

01 Apr 2012 4:01 PM

FG la derby...closer will win .mark v dissapoints...3 horses with chance CIGAR STREET. ROUSING SERMON. Z DAGGAR.....i already posted i go with rousing sermon....z daggar..on top of exotics..pick 4s 3s tri,

01 Apr 2012 5:08 PM
El Kabong

Here we go again kids!!!!

Did you see that track record for a front runner at the Fair Grounds? Damnitalltohellsky. I have to reconsider everything now. Looking good for Rosie on Mark V. and Arm Force too!

01 Apr 2012 5:12 PM
El Kabong

nevermind arm force...bad scratch.

01 Apr 2012 5:34 PM
El Kabong

Mark V, Cigar Street, Fire Alarm, Windsurfer... Tri Box.

01 Apr 2012 5:40 PM

You know i gotta say Hero Of Order kinda figured here,he ran 4th beaten 6 lengths to Mark V and El Padrino came back 2 weeks later ran second beaten 3/4 of a length but was DQ for drifting. he should have been 10-1 goes to show how much was bet on Mark V and cigar street and you knew Mr Bowling was going to run well. Rousing Sermon might not be good enough all though he ran well I consider him a big "?"  cause you don't know what you'll get out of him.

01 Apr 2012 6:13 PM


Too funny, LMAO.  

01 Apr 2012 6:13 PM


They just ran the LA Derby.  What happened?

01 Apr 2012 6:15 PM

Union Rags clipped his right rear shoe in the saddling stall on the wall and only loosened a couple of nails, he did not lose the whole shoe. He was not re-shod, they just replaced a couple of nails. This is not what you want to happen just before a big race and I believe this may have put some caution in how UR was ridden in the race. I look for a better effort in the Derby.

01 Apr 2012 6:34 PM
Karen in Texas

LOL, Jersey Boy, big mule?!

01 Apr 2012 6:40 PM

Holy! Hero of Order! Batman!

Where did that come from! I looked at this guy ten times trying to put him in my top four or five, but couldn't see it with one win in 13 races. I loved his breeding but never saw this coming. I wonder if Gun Bow had him, since the damside traced back to Gun Bow.

01 Apr 2012 6:44 PM

Nate's Mineshaft smashed the track record in the New Orleans Handicap two races earlier on the card.  The LA Derby goes in 1.50.13, almost two and a half seconds slower.  I wonder how many of these are going to be spending their careers in optional claimers and claimers.

The fact that Rousing Sermon ran in the LA Derby instead of staying home for the SA Derby maybe does say that there is a monster or two in Cali right about now.

01 Apr 2012 6:47 PM

Draynay telling everyone how Rags had to win the FL Derby as well as the KY Derby and then posting how you boxed 4 horses in a 7 horse field to score in the FL Derby! That's a bet my Grandmother would have made! Boxing half the field! Now if that doesn't just tell everyone on here you can't win getting into an argument with this guy nothing will. He is MR. Perfect like I said before, you cant win against this guy so why try. Just learn to ignore what he says and do not respond is the only way to treat someone like him on a blog. I mean can you imagine this poor guys wife what she has to go through living with this ego maniac? We know Draynay 5 inches looks every bit of 9 inches!! Get over yourself your AVERAGE at best when it comes to handicapping and on some other things your less then average I am willing to bet! Nice job btw guess you had the Ex in Lou Derby as well by back wheeling your HORRIBLE favorite. You know you think EL Padrino is over rated but yet you love a horse he beat shipping into his home track! WOW you beat everything... Box your 10 horses in the KY Derby as well! Good luck at the windows everyone.

01 Apr 2012 6:48 PM

Hero of Order is not even nominated to the Kentucky Derby. Can he still buy his way in?

01 Apr 2012 6:52 PM

When I write the MONSTER of ALL key races on the trail I hope youall dont think its the Florida Derby.

01 Apr 2012 6:52 PM

Paula Higgins dont tell me Hansen has caught Alphamitis and is switching to the Wood from the Blue Grass.

01 Apr 2012 6:59 PM
Criminal Type

WoW, some of you guys are getting downright nasty. Relax, It's horse racing....&%$# happens ! This is an unpredictable sport. ANYTHING can happen. For the record, I am a fan, not a gambler. I seldom place bets on races and when I do, it's because I "feel it" like Street Sense, Hard Spun and Curlin in 2007. Having a financial investment in the outcome of these races might make me feel differently, but I would hope I could maintain my sanity.

Was UR coming in third yesterday enough to get me off of him ?...Not even close...I think Julien will be very careful where he places Union Rag's on the track in Kentucky. Union Rag's ran into the same scenario in the Champagne and was fortunate enough to get out and run on to win. Granted he has a more aggressive rider that day. I find it interesting that for all his "race riding" yesterday, Javier still finished behind Union Rags. Yesterday just was not his day. He WILL have others.

I must say the explainations and rational put forth in some of the posts are very creative, why they will win, why they didnt win, why they will never win, why the horse they like is better even though they havent won a single stakes race. Apparently it aint easy being good, but it's very easy to be an idiot. Having a passion for something is great, until it turns into obsession. Some of your comments are dilusional at best and borderline psychotic at worst.

Ky Vet, Once again, your superior knowledge of horse racing reared its ugly head in the Louisiana derby, didn't it ?  Brilliant !

01 Apr 2012 7:09 PM

Paula Higgins,

I addressed my question to Jason because I was interested in what he had to say which he kindly responded too. I find your post to me uncalled for and sarcastic.


01 Apr 2012 7:26 PM

Criminal Type

I like your post, especially when you were talking about Draynay.....

"""Apparently it aint easy being good, but it's very easy to be an idiot."""

01 Apr 2012 7:35 PM

CRIMINAL....what do you mean? I said it was an upset race...mark v would regressed....he was weak slow race...someone asked me who i liked, i said sermon...he got 3rd....i didnt like either derby....didnt get hurt. It was good day. EXCEPT for draynay! stunk up the blog with his picks....congrats to jason, who text me mark v had a booger in his nose, and switched to the 99-1 shot late.......

01 Apr 2012 7:38 PM

Darren Rogers said Hero Of Order probably cannot buy his way in, because the nominated horses are considered first.  So even paying the $200k entrance fee will be no guarantee.

I'd say that Hero of Order just showed that the Risen Star combatants were not as hot as some thought.

Star Guitar won again!

01 Apr 2012 7:38 PM

Furlongs ?  Really ?  I post a perfect 4 horse box worth 580 and you're trashing me?  Let me know when you post a 4 box Super.  Mark V. looked good after a tough race a few weeks back.  He is in the Derby and he has a very good trainer that will know how to get him ready.  Only 5 races in him gives him room to improve.  He is one to watch.

01 Apr 2012 8:06 PM

What happened ?  I boxed the 1 and 11 for the exacta and I had 100 WP on the 1 so I got back some money.  Seems no one had the 12 to win.  I got beat by a 109 to 1 shot...   first time for everything.

01 Apr 2012 8:16 PM
Paula Higgins

Chief Pickawinna, you are right. Hansen is now going to the Blue Grass. I am still a Gemologist fan.  I would like for just one horse that is headed to the Derby this year to show some consistency.

01 Apr 2012 8:16 PM

Hero of Order is not even nominated to the Kentucky Derby. Can he still buy his way in?

predict 01 Apr 2012 6:52 PM.

Owners have one more opportunity to make their horses eligible to compete in the Kentucky Derby. Supplemental nominations can be made at the time of entry on Wednesday, May 2 at a cost of $200,000. Preference will be given in the Derby to horses made eligible during the early and late nomination phases over supplemental nominees.

01 Apr 2012 8:39 PM

oops i said mr bowling ran well. sorry hrtv had the wrong horse on there cause he was an entry with mark v.

01 Apr 2012 8:42 PM

The Draynay Curse LIVES ON!!!  I cannot say I had the winner in the LA Derby, however I did predict the Draynay curse would take down Mark V., I didn't think it would have taken down Union Rags too.  I didn't have the guts to box my five on the super bet for the FL derby, however I really liked Reveron going in, and still like him coming out of it!

Gemologist is on track to take the Wood handily and come into the Derby fresh!  Can't wait!

01 Apr 2012 9:22 PM

Laz-some people will never learn regardless of the facts.  A huge LOL.  The fillies who are "better" are so much worse.  Another LOL.

01 Apr 2012 9:37 PM

Had Nate's Mineshaft.  What happened Dray???

01 Apr 2012 9:38 PM

Karen in Texas:

Ok. He is not really a mule. He is a Clydesdale.

01 Apr 2012 10:05 PM


I grant you that the AP Indys are doing unusually well in the Preps so far this year however quite a few of them have succombed to injury and the big exam in May is still ahead. Make your point after the Kentucky Derby my friend.

There's no doubt in my mind that with a more tactical ride Union Rags would have won the Florida Derby but I don't want to knock Julien Leparoux too much: he is a good jockey.  

I'll give credit where it is due by saying that Take Charge Indy was given masterful assistance by Calvin Borel, making good use of the speed favoring track and duly obliged for his connections.  I wish that TCI continues to improve and brings his A-game to Louisville on May 5, 2012 but I'd be a hypocrite if I included him in my top eight because I don't believe that he'll make the frame in the Derby. Thats not ill-will its just that I've been around this game observing and learning stuff a long time and am pretty confident in my analysis.  Provided that these graduates from the Florida Derby continue to thrive heading into Louisville, I can't see TCI beating U/Rags, Gemologist, El Padrino, Creative Cause or Daddy Nose Best going ten Furlongs at this stage. The best strategy will be for Borel to give him a "Super Saver-kind of ride" rather than try another wire to wire exploit but I just can't see him succeeding either way.  I maintain that Take Charge Indy is a top colt for the summer races due to the late development syndrome and I'm waiting to be proven wrong. You see Coldfacts, although the colt won on debut as a 2YO and has now won the Florida Derby it doesn't mean that he's fully developed.  my belief is based upon observation over many years Pal.  Late development is relative to two things: 1) the competition (Northern Dancers and Raise A Natives) and 2) the horse' ability now vis a vis its potential when he/she is fully matured.  

As for the loss by "Beauty & the Beast" in the Florida Derby, it might be a good thing to shed the waggonists and doubting thomases until after the Derby and Preakness.  I'll be monitoring the comments of many on here (LOL). Can't wait for the build up to the Belmont ...its been 34 years. More anon.

01 Apr 2012 10:22 PM

pappilon did you watch race?

Also get over the Dixie Union in UR's pedigree.  If you know anything about pedigree you would be talking about his tail side.

Mary 01 Apr 2012 9:40 AM.

Union Rags- tail side Tempo out of Gone West.

Discreet Dancer- tail side West Side Dancer out of Gone West.

The tail side on these 2 horses looks somewhat similar? Both being out of a (Gone West) mare. Discrete Dancer was taken off the Derby trail.  

01 Apr 2012 10:39 PM
It aint easy being good!

criminal type 7 days until street life runs dont be mad because you dont have any money to bet on horses maybe you should try dog racing or blackjack instead.

01 Apr 2012 10:45 PM

Footlick : LOL at "get over it..."

I wonder what's the "acceptable" weight assignment for Larry Jones.  I see they have decided on the Apple Blossom.  The only way this horse will get a break is if she runs against the boys the rest of the year.  Isn't that the norm now for the top female horse, the HOTY ?  What happens if he doesn't like the weight he's given, will he scratch her again and find another race ?

KY VET : You're just full of it, wait until you're wrong before we get on your case ??  You never post ANY picks, all you do is comment after the race.  Everyone KNOWS what happened AFTER the race.  Man, you're a joke.

01 Apr 2012 11:43 PM

FIVE DAYS TILL THE BATTLE!!!! DRAYNAY AND KY VET!!! KEENLAND AND ANOTHER TRACK CHOSEN BY ME........2 CARDS....most wins/most money...chance for a tie...loser cant blog for 2 weeks!!!! unless draynay chickens out!  which i see coming!!!!!!!

02 Apr 2012 12:02 AM
Mike Monarchos

Well until Gemologist hopefully comes to my rescue in the Wood this coming weekend, I'm helplessly floundering around on this blog attempting to look like I know anything about handicapping! In fact, I am an official handicapped handicapper with an official blue sticker to prove it. Bet ya can't top that Draynay.

To prove just how handicapped I am in handicapping these Derby prep races I placed the following Kentucky Derby Futures bet today at my home track (Tampa Bay Downs): 1.00 exacta part wheel with Prospective over Alpha, Bodemeister, Creative Cause, Daddy Nose Best, El Padrino (a/k/a El Overrated), Gemologist, Hansen, I'll Have Another (or two!), Mark Valeski, Secret Circle,Take Charge Indy, Union Rags (a/k/a Fried Onion Rags), and all other three year olds. In my case, and for all the rest of you handicapped handicappers out there (and you know who you are). Sorry, I had to steal a line from my hero "Nando" there. Churchill Downs should create a bet for we less fortunate (to be more politically correct. And who wouldn't want to be? ) handicappers which includes "all Kentucky Derby nominated three year olds". Then some of us (myself not included) would, at least, have a reasonable chance of cashing a Derby Futures ticket.

02 Apr 2012 12:24 AM

Ranag : Did you miss my post about the $1000 bet that UR will NOT win the Triple Crown ?  Or did you conveniently ignore it.  I'll take back the offer just to save you face by not accepting it.  The bet will be there though if you change your mind and you really feel confident that UR will win the TC, just let me know.

I'm starting to wonder if you got infected with draynayitis.  You must really know something about UR to make that kind of prediction. Even Draynay is not that confident, he posted that UR will need a better ride to win the Derby.  That's right, Draynay himself has one foot off the saddle already, ready to jump off.  No more "UR is a beast!" or "UR is a monster!" comments from him...isn't that right Draynay ?  Tell Ranag how crazy that prediction is.

02 Apr 2012 12:33 AM

Was gone and got back today, so no racing for me this weekend.  Just watched the replays.  

Writing as a fan and not as someone with any money on the races.....

A disappointing weekend.  While this weekend captured the unpredictability of the sport, an unpredictability that makes it so interesting, I'm still finding it difficult to get excited about what I just watched.

Dubai was a complete disaster for the North Americans.  With the switch to Tapeta, North American horses have become as irrelevant on the maintrack as they had been on turf.  Hopefully, North Amercian trainers and owners can now realize how futile a trip to Dubai will probably be.  Sure, the purses are eye-popping, and I bet it's nice to be wined and dined by royalty, but from now on point your horses to races they can actually win.

I certainly feel for Bob Baffert and wish him the speediest of recoveries.  The California training colony would be little without him.  However, I was against sending Game on Dude to Dubai from the moment I heard it as a possiblity.  They pulled a true dirt horse undefeated at Santa Anita out to Dubai to run on a synthetic surface even though Baffert declared after the Pacific Classic last year that the horse doesn't like synth. The decision was rewarded with a next to last finish.  Hopefully, the horse can bounce back.

Take Charge Indy won the Florida Derby with a 95 Beyer.  I think the Beyer acurately captures the mediocrity of the race.  This is not necessarilly an indictment on the individual horses that ran in the race.  No, the mediocrity was largely the result of pace and trip.

Take Charge Indy is a solid horse that received a perfect trip setting a slow(for that surface) pace.  Reveron also benefitted from the pace scenario.  I give both credit for hanging around to complete the exacta, but their supporters should not expect such favorable circumstances down the road.  

Union Rags won the Fountain of Youth with an absolutely perfect set up.  In that race he was able to stalk overmatched speed horses on a slow pace, and then burried a field of dubious quality.  Without such an ideal set-up and against better, Union Rags didn't fare as well yesterday.  

Union Rags was given a ride by Leparoux that was, at best, curious.  Although Union Rags does have tactical speed and the pace was slow, Leparoux had the horse nowhere near the lead.  Then, he was indecisive; instead of holding his position ahead of El Padrino and moving sooner when that horse began his run(probably the correct choice given the pace) or just dropping back off inside of El Padrino earlier to avoid getting boxed(concede position for racing room and getting to the outside), Leparoux did neither, instead keeping Union Rags inside of El Padrino but then allowing that horse to go by when it made an early run.  Well, right after El Padrinopassed, there were 2 more horses to the outside ready to keep Union Rags boxed longer.

So, Union Rags most certainly was affected by a poor trip.  Thus, I agree with the Rags' apologists on that account.  But I agree with some of the points made by the critics.  Union Rags did get out in time to still win, if he was good enough.  It wasn't going to be easy for him to win because the leaders still had a lot left after such a slow pace, and were able to reel off a 4th quarter in under 24 seconds.  

Yet, if Union Rags was really the superstar some had suggested, doesn't he at least get by Reveron through a final eighth in 12 and 4?  I think Union Rags has a solid chance at Churchill, but I see nothing to suggest he's a Triple Crown winner and the savior of the sport.  And please, I don't want to hear in the lead up to the Derby how 1) Secretariat also ran 3rd in his final prep(you know who else ran 3rd in his final prep, Mr. Hot Stuff), and 2) Union Rags would be undefeated if only blank, blank, and blank.

El Padrino was an even bigger disappointment than Union Rags because his 4th place finish came with absolutely no excuses.  And this was a horse in a number of Top 5s.

Running poorly doesn't eliminate a horse from winning the Derby.  And since there really doesn't appear to be any superstar, a horse only needs to make up a few lengths over the next 5 weeks to get back into contention.  When you have a relatively evenly matched group of 20-30 contenders of average talent, then things like final preparation, recent physcial condition, last-second development, pace and trip become decisive.

My gut reaction to the Louisiana Derby is that the winner in Kentucky won't be coming from this race.  It was not an impressive race.  Yet, with the last 3 Kentucky Derby winners coming from modest renditions of the Sunland Derby, Arkansas Derby and Spiral Stakes, I am not going to speak in terms of absolutes about any prep.

With so much empahsis on the Knetucky Derby, often we forgot how prestigious these "prep" races are.  For the connections of Hero of Order, winning the Louisiana Derby must be incredibly special.  Because he's not likely to get into the Derby field even if they make him a late nominee, it will be easy to forget Hero of Order over the next month or so.  But he will always have the Louisiana Derby to his name.

Apparently Mark v. ran without a shoe during the La Derby.  I'm sure his supporters will point to this as the reason why he couldn't get by a 100-1 shot even though he had the entire stretch to do so.  But doesn't every loser in every race have some excuse?  Mark V. could still run well in Louisville, but I would have difficulty pointing to this performance as the reason for confidence.

The fact Rousing Sermon ran a close 3rd furthers my belief that this wasn't a strong race.  Rousing Sermon had been decisively beaten in his two races in California this year; frankly, he had become uncompetitive against the top prospects out West.  Some used the Santa Anita surface to explain these disappointments, and I'm sure they will point to the surface change to explain his "improved" effort at the Fair Grounds.  However, I'm not sure Rousing Sermon ran any better in the La Derby than he had in his last 2; I won't be surprised if his Beyer for the La Derby is actually lower.  

The fact is Rousing Sermon had run just fine over the Santa Anita dirt when he won the Cal Cup Juvenile, and he earned basically the same fig in the San Felipe as he had in his 2nd place finish in the Cash Call Futurity.  The difference was that the horses he met in the San Felipe were simply superior to the horses he ran against in the Cash Call.  Basically, the Cash Call horses have fizzled this year(Liaison, Rousing Sermon, Brother Francis, Sky Kingdom, Empire Way, Blingo).  In Creative Cause and Bodemeister, Rousing Sermon faced horses in the San Felipe superior to the horses in either the Cash Call or today's La Derby.

The Santa Anita Oaks was another disappointing race.  Eden's Moon looked like the real deal winning the Las Virgenes, but she didn't look like the same horse when denied the early lead by Reneesgotzip.  The latter tried to win the race on the far turn, but she was betrayed by her pedigree the final sixteenth.  Willa B Awesome is a tough and durable horse, but she won the Oaks because Eden's Moon bombed and Reneesgotzip slowed to a walk that final sixteenth(7 second split).

The best performances of the weekend were by Fort Larned in the Skip Away and Nate's Mineshaft in the New Orleans Cap.  Nate's Mineshaft ran almost 3 seconds faster than the La Derby.  And the best story was Star Guitar setting the all-time Louisiana bred earnings mark.  What a pro!  

02 Apr 2012 1:20 AM

My top 2 colts all along have been Alpha and Gemologist. They're both capable of carrying 126 lbs. and each have stellar bottom bloodlines. I could easily see both of these colts starting in all 3 triple crown races. It wouldn't be that shocking if one of these even won the triple crown!!!!!!!!!!OK, that might be a slight stretch. The "Wood" is,by far,the strongest prep race.

02 Apr 2012 2:15 AM

As for what happened in Dubai over the weekend, I believe is just a coincidence. One-hundred and some horses started throughout the day and it was sad to see the breakdowns.......but it can happpen at any track at any time. Too bad it seems to be happening on the "world" stage. Maybe we need to breed more "iron horses"....but who are they and are they all gone?

02 Apr 2012 2:27 AM

Come on guys, Draynay annoys me too at times but you have to give credit where credit is due.  Boxing the four horse super and tri for the Florida Derby is impressive, even in a 7 horse race.  And in the LA Derby, he picked the 2nd and 3rd finishers but got beat by a horse that nobody except the horses owner had bet on.

02 Apr 2012 7:08 AM

Hero Of Order $3,000.00

Nate's Mineshaft $8,000.00


What an April Fools Day!

02 Apr 2012 7:37 AM

Wrote AND Daddy Long Legs were both nominated early, and O'brien said it's a definite DLL will enter, and possible that Wrote will also enter the Derby picture.

The Scat Daddy's are really stepping up this year.

Gemologist has to win the Wood to have enough earnings...same with Bodemeister and Arkansas.  Last chance for both.

UR still had his great late kick, it was just a bit too late to be effective.  I keep wondering if Matz instructed Julien NOT to go outside so he wouldn't use up the horse.  I still doubt his distance ability, however.

I thought Borel rode TCI perfectly.  With no real late kick, he needed to jump out early because TCI can run all day at a high cruising speed.

And Hero Of Order simply pointed out just how weak the fields have been at the Fair Grounds.

02 Apr 2012 7:59 AM

Florida Derby:  Union Rags and Julien were clearly bothered by El Padrino and Javier.  Javier did not have to be lapped right next to Julien to keep him from getting out.  Julien did not want to go up between horses on the backstretch even though his colt obviously wanted to, and as Julien tried to ease him back and get out on the backstretch, Javier ever so slightly was relaxing El Padrino to keep that from happening.  All the while, Union Rags was exerting more energy than need be, anxious, looking for a place to run freely. He finally hit his stride well in the last few hundred yards but way too late.  Does not bode well for a 20 horse field at CD.  Good race riding from Javier and Julien hopefully learned that if the horse breaks well as he did on Saturday, to put him into the race and let him role.

Louisiana Derby:  Big longshot win with Mark Valeski having every opportunity to go by him but couldn't.

As we keep looking for the standout horse, the possible big one, we instead see the results of so many huge purse semi's to the Derby spreading the talent around with no one at this point dominating and it well may be the same thing this weekend.

I will look west, young man (or woman.) I like I'll Have Another.

Draynay: Congrats on your Tri and Super wins in the Florida Derby.  Anyone who criticizes anyone else for winning bets has got more problems than trying to pick winners on this Triple Crown Trail.      

02 Apr 2012 9:23 AM
Age of Reason

It aint easy:

Street Life breezed 4f. yesterday in :48.10, second-fastest of 43; galloped out in 1:00 and change. Not bad for a dead closer!... All three of the top contenders in the Wood are from typically late-developing bloodlines (Alpha/Bernardini, Gemologist/Tiznow, Street Life/Street Sense), so the horses who do well in this race should be in a position to make lots of noise in the Triple Crown and throughout the rest of the year. Our beloved Street Sense at one time had 3 highly-regarded Derby contenders--Castaway, Cigar Street, and Street Life--and is now down to only one. Hopefully he's saving the best for last! (Although Cigar Street ran a good race in the Louisiana Derby, IMHO; if you're a maiden winner running in a $1,000,000 race, getting beat just two lengths by three seasoned stakes horses is no disgrace.)

02 Apr 2012 10:06 AM

Mark V. looked good but a 4 wide trip was a bit much and losing a shoe didn't help.  Still a very good effort and now off to Churchill.

02 Apr 2012 11:07 AM

thanks tcc!

mary--if union rags's female tail line is the socerer's stone of pedigree analysis, then why can't rags's FULL brother, geefour, win past 6f?

here's another number for you mary--only 1 out of the 2400 foals out of gone west mares has been able to win past 9f (and that foal's papa wasn't dixie union but giant's causeway).  

before this year, you never heard all this "female tail line" bs, like you do these days--so why now? well, because everybody jumped on to yet another middle distance 2 year old as their IT horse, but had a little problem--the same problem that the mo-brigade had--a pedigree that has been proven to have no ability to stay...but instead of facing facts and saying, "well, he may not be a legit TCC horse, but he'll make some serious noise and could be great in most of the races run these days," they resurrected this female tail line, flim-flam theory that has nothing to support it--it's the hail mary play of horse racing.  

last fall, jeff seigel's original analysis of rags was, "he's a dixie union, meh, i don't know how long he want's to go?" then he got caught up in the hype, but after saturday, he's back to, "he's a dixie union, meh, i don't know how long he want's to go." and steve haskin has never put dixie union as number one, primarily because he can't get over the proven limitations of his pedigree...

finally, i did watch the race, live and several times on tape--union rags was never boxed in at any crucial point in the race, nor for any meaningful length of time. and when he was boxed in it wasn't by el p, but neck and neck...if you watch with your eyes and not with your heart, you'd  see it too.

i knew, as did those watching the race around me, that his race was lost by the top of the turn for home when every horse that could make a move on the turn tried to, but rags had nothing--he ran in one gear the entire race.

rags lucked out for third because el p and neck and neck hit the wall in mid-stretch and started backing up considerably, and rags looked to be flying late, past the wire, because poor reveron was hanging on for dear life.

rags didn't speed up at all, he just kept just keep moseying along, and darting left in the stretch as per usual.

and as the rags "he ran farther crowd" know, trackus doesn't lie. and according to trackus, rags didn't close faster, he closed slower--his final 8th was in 12.58--his slowest of the race.  at no point in the race did rags ever run out of his comfort zone--his slowest fraction was 24. if you run fast early, you have an excuse to run slow late, if you run slow such such luxury...

i'm curious where all the "he ran farther crowd" is in regards to el p, tbh--according to trackus, el p ran a much better race than rags did, not only farther but faster fact the "he ran farther crowd" should be declaring el p the de facto winner of the fl derby just like they did with rags in the bcj, because el p ran farther than TCI too--actually, i will declare reveron the de facto winner of the FL derby because he ran farther than TCI too. congrats on winning the fl derby reveron!!!

sherylj--the truth can hurt, but it is never crap. here's the truth--rags has never won a two turn race. he's tried twice now, and lost both times, and in both instances he had every opportunity to get past the winner, but couldn't.

02 Apr 2012 11:15 AM

For the record if I could not handicap more confidently then boxing half the field I do not play the race.. I sure wouldn't brag about it after the fact. But then again nothing is below some. The guys I sit with out at Churchill would ask you what color panties your wearing betting like that no matter what the outcome. For someone to say they are handicapping experts and then box 4 of 7 horses after saying the 2/5 horse looks like he should gallop vs these is a joke. Bottom line is when the weekend was complete you were in the red once again. You will be off Union Rags by Derby week and we all know it. Just let us know which 10-12 horses you plan on boxing for your $1 before the race so we all can smile. Nice job as always...

02 Apr 2012 11:52 AM

I am against TCI to win the Ky Derby because I am a horse racing fan that wants to see the possibility of a Triple Crown Champion and the trainer has gone on record saying this horse needs 5 -6 weeks rest between races... well there goes a chance of him winning 2 weeks back then in the Preakness, huh... heck according to the owner they are pointing for the Belmont so the Derby must be a prep. lol

02 Apr 2012 11:59 AM
It aint easy being good!

Age of reason great post. Street Life is a beast in the making. The wood is by far the most important prep of the year. I am nervous due to the fact that last year the top 3 didnt even make the derby last year hopefully all the superstars in the wood come out of the race ok. Alpha, street life and Gemologist are the top horses right now. The santa anita derby will be a factor too. If I were a trainer I would def. point my horse to the illinois derby to pick up some easy cash!

02 Apr 2012 12:26 PM
Age of Reason


Brilliant post on your last. In horseracing, as in anything else, people will basically believe exactly what they want to believe (how convenient). The typical approach is to decide what one wants to believe and then search for facts to spin to support that belief. Great rebuttal. Who are your top 5 right now, by the way?

02 Apr 2012 12:50 PM

Karen in Texas,

You're a sweet heart but shame on you for encouraging Jersey Boy's dissing of the 'big horse'. JB doesn't have a solid argument to support his posts and often resorts to red herring charges about 'typecasting' and lame attempts at ridicule to save face.

jay jay,

I saw your post but would feel really bad about taking your money for teaching you a thing or two about the special thoroughbred (LOL), and I'd rather donate to charity than lose a gamble on the vagaries of jockeys tactics, track conditions or a 20 horse field if the 'Big horse' came up short. Thats my honest position but its not for lack of confidence in him. I insist that Union Rags stays healthy and wins the Triple Crown and I'll be watching carefully for all the current bandwaggon jumpers and naysayers that return as 'waggonistas'. You dont have to risk your money against a blog-pal to enjoy the ride jay jay.

Gun Bow,

Let me get you straight, are you comparing Union Rags to Mr hot Stuff at this stage of their respective careers? That was a pretty cynical statement bordering on resentment for those who are bold enough to forcast Union Rags as the next Triple Crown winner could turn out to be right.

02 Apr 2012 1:11 PM

I can't say I was all that impressed with Mark Valeski's performance yesterday. Hero Of Order was tiring in the stretch, but MV still was only gaining inches. Both horses came home slow despite a moderate pace. He's a nice horse, but my feeling is that the Kentucky Derby may be too much too soon.

02 Apr 2012 1:31 PM

Pursuit of the Cup last night mentioned not only did Mark V. lose a shoe, he came back lame.  I have, however, seen no other confirmation.

tjconway: At Dubai, there was ONE fatal breakdown..Fox Hunt in the Gold Cup.

Gun Bow, while TCI got a 95 Beyer, Union Rags has never been higher than a 95 in any race, and rec'd a 93 Beyer for the Fla Derby.

The highest beyer has been for Algorithms at 105.

Secret Circle and Creative Cause each scored 102

Daddy Nose Best rated 100.

All others have been below 100.

And Beyers aren't really fair to turf, synthetic, or female runners.

Best race of the weekend...2012 New Orleans HC...Nate's Mineshaft stole the day!

02 Apr 2012 1:41 PM

Lazmannick is dead on about looking beyond the racing form. People gave the trainer and Take Charge Indy's owner's a lashing but they knew exactly what they were doing when they pulled TCI out of the Tampa Derby. There were posts on the owners from people that have no idea of their knowledge of horses and racing.

KY Vet posts that he still thinks taking TCI out of the Tampa Derby was a mistake. Based of what? You know nothing about TCI daily development or training. You are all talk.

As Aquaracer points out: TCI has come back and beat every horse that has previously finished in front of him except Dullahan. This is a fact. Take Charge Indy is breed to win, can run the distance and is a horse to watch.

Everyone is going to have their favorites come May 5th, and rightly so. The reality is when those gates open and 20 horses break out of the gate, there are all kinds of things that will determine the horse crossing the finish line. It may not be Take Charge Indy but to say he will not be in the mix is a mistake.

Ranagulzion, you are correct, TCI is still developing, but with 5 weeks to go, fresh and ready, you sure you don't want him in your top 8?

02 Apr 2012 1:53 PM

You guys crack me up.  Union ran the fastest last 1/16th in the race.  Like I said before Barbaro struggled to beat a very average horse in the FD and then dominated in the Derby.  Union got a bad trip by a timid jockey that now knows he has more horse and can use him a little to get a stalking position.  The screws will be tightened and you will see a move forward and any move forward will make him tough to beat in May.

02 Apr 2012 1:58 PM

By the way I was 100% right about El Overrated.  Does anyone still have him in their top 5 ?  lol.

02 Apr 2012 2:25 PM


Check the broodmare sire of these 2 horses-Motivator,Macarthur.

It is Gone West.

02 Apr 2012 2:49 PM

Dray, we still on for Friday at Keeneland?

What a weekend! This weekend proved that it does not matter how much you handicap, study, research, anything can happen. Let's see if the next 2 weeks can show us some nice consistent horses.

BTW, Dray is right about Rags runnning the fastest 1/16 in the FLA. Once he got out, he leveled off but it was too late. He galloped out past all of them, so maybe he can turn the tables next out. You know he will probably be 3rd or 4th favorite at 8-1 or higher now b/c the favorites will run this weekend and next...

02 Apr 2012 4:03 PM


Nice post. However you distorted the truth somewhat in the very paragraph in which you said it hurt. That might hurt you buddy 'cause the FOY is a two turn race and it was won by the horse you said has never won a two turn race. Sorry to expose you but if you claim fallibility as your defense I'll understand.

Also you say that U/Rags was slowing down but I would say that his slowing down is comparitively pretty fast compared to the competition and my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. People see what they want sometimes but believe me i didn't want to see 'Rags' boxed in the way he was after breaking so well and knowing that the horse has excellent tactical speed. I say that your analysis is off but we'll see, come May 5. I really enjoyed your post though.

02 Apr 2012 4:10 PM
Smoking Baby

Slew.  After Fox Hunt broke down they ran the Dubai Gold Cup for the second time and another horse broke down (broke down bad, I saw the leg dangling)and two more were eased.  Major bummer.

02 Apr 2012 4:16 PM

just 3 simple reasons why Jayjay is a boob.

1. He thinks Keeneland is a speed track... HA

2. He thinks Secret Circle can go 10 furlongs

3. He thinks that the Lecomte is a reasonable spot for exothermic to get earnings. Do you mean the Lecomte that Mr Bowling won at Fairgrounds?

02 Apr 2012 4:29 PM

In the Florida I will box 4 horses for the Super and Tri.  Union, Take Charge, Reveron, and El Overrated.  Union will crush this field.

Draynay 31 Mar 2012 7:28 PM

I told you I told you I told you about El Overrated and now watch how far he falls.

Draynay 31 Mar 2012 10:08 PM

By the way I was 100% right about El Overrated.  Does anyone still have him in their top 5 ?  lol.

Draynay 02 Apr 2012 2:25 PM

You bet him to win you fool!! Stop with your nonsense, You didn't even believe yourself and the proof is in your actions. If you truly believed you knew what you were doing you never would have "boxed" with EP and you would have singled UR on top. It's amazing how you say things both ways so you can claim you were right no matter how it turns out.

El Padrino is overated, Union Rags will crush, oooops I better make sure I bet against that so I can cash a ticket. I've seen a few "draynay" handicappers who plans their bets then toss them all and bet what they didn't think would happen. That's you in a "nutshell". The only way you win.

By the way i'm glad you finally picked up a couple of bucks so flopsy, mopsy, and the other wiener dog can eat again. That is unless you lost it betting the chalk on your next bet.

02 Apr 2012 4:43 PM

hahahahahahhahah Jayjay, you do realize the only reason you hit that pick 3 in Dubai is b/c your 16 you singled scratched, and you got the favorite, correct? The 11 Cityscape won that race, the horse you picked scratched, so you lucked right into that one too... Don't believe the hype people.... This is comical.

02 Apr 2012 4:46 PM

JerseyBoy- also check out their sire.  Huge difference between Dixie Union and Montjeu as to what kind of horse they sire.  Montjeu can overcome Gone West's limitations in distance as a damsire.  Not sure Dixie Union can.

02 Apr 2012 4:53 PM
mr pibb

What happened ?  I boxed the 1 and 11 for the exacta and I had 100 WP on the 1 so I got back some money.  Seems no one had the 12 to win.  I got beat by a 109 to 1 shot...   first time for everything.

Draynay 01 Apr 2012 8:16 PM

You are the only person I know who loses money and tries to spin it like you won. A 100 WP bet that returns a measley 3.40 to place is a loser no matter how you spin it. To top it off you lost more on your 1/11 exactas. I can hear it now when you walk in the door after another losing day at the track. Well you are finally home you bum, how much did you lose this time? Your answer would be I won 170 on a place bet, I'm the greatest.

02 Apr 2012 5:05 PM

A few things...lady luck, i said i still think it was a mistake becausehe was a cinch to win the grade 2 92 beyer tampa worked out luckily for them....but the tampa race would have been easier on him....tougher race takes more out of him...we will see huh?.......and draynay, el padrino is still in my top 5...he ran just as good as rags....and has run a 100 beyer....mark v is done......secret circle prob. wont run in derby.....street life is an alw horse......dray lost hundereds on all those races he posted..about 6 or 7 all lost...

02 Apr 2012 5:12 PM

Ranagulzion : You original post did not say anything about the other aspects of horseracing, in fact, your post is very Draynay like.  Believing in a horse is one thing, proclaiming him the winner when the evidence is not there, is something else.  I'm not sure if you just want the recognition for saying something first on this blog, something Draynay is well known for.  Comments like UR will make history and make Secretariat a fading memory is just a little on the crazy side.  Don't get me wrong, I like it when people stick with their horses because they believe in them.  But for someone like you, who claims you have years of knowledge, it makes me question it when you post something outrageous like UR wins the TC.

Tell you what, let's change the bet.  If UR wins the TC, I'll donate $1000 to your favorite charity.  If UR doesn't win the TC, you donate $1000 to my favorite charity.  I don't think you can pass on that, it meets your requirement.  Just let me know, after all, you said he's got the TC in the bag.  I still haven't seen any "solid arguments" from you as to why you think UR will win the TC, let alone the Derby.   How is UR so superior over the current top contenders.  A "special thoroughbred" would beat a TCI or Reveron in a $1million race.  No excuses.

Also, your post to Gun Bow, you didn't "forecast" UR as the TC winner, you proclaimed him the TC winner, big difference.  It's probably wise to look back to what you originally said and maybe take a step back.  I'll forgive you.

I'm not jumping in the wagon until the posts have been drawn and even after that, until the post parade (if I do jump in).

Draynay : You can enjoy your 15 minutes of fame with your bet in the Florida Derby.  Back to earth.  You wouldn't have TCI in any of your bets if not for Jason, so enjoy the 800.00 you won less 120.00 for your $10 P4 and your $1000 WIN bet on UR.  Don't even lie about it.  If you had $100 WP on Mark V, you surely would have at least $1000 on UR being he ran as the heavy favorite.  LOL

02 Apr 2012 5:20 PM
Karen in Texas

Ranagulzion---I didn't realize I was encouraging anything. Several posters found JB's comment amusing. This blog allows/supports a wide variety of opinions and styles of expression for those opinions. I'm sorry if you were offended. However, I do not share your feelings on the 'big horse'; my thoughts are very similar to papillon's on the subject. Union Rags is probably distance limited by his pedigree, and yes, I have looked at both sides. (Could one look at a 'pedigree' per se without looking at both male and female side ancestry?) Maybe he will win the TC--no one really knows at this point. It just seems to me that there is a bit of magical thinking going on with many of the supporters of this horse. I have a background in biology/clinical science and tend to try to correlate objective data with subjective data. So far, I have not seen that UR is going to be able to outrun his pedigree to the extent some of you are predicting.

02 Apr 2012 5:22 PM
gw bushwacker

Congrats on your long awaited win draynay. Wow that must have greatly increased your win percentage per bet. Doing the math a 4 horse tri box is 24 seperate bets and a 4 horse super box is also 24 seperate bets. You hit at 4 percent!! You were wrong 96 percent of the time losing 46 of 48 bets but those 2 wins out of 48 bets is double your usual 2 percent win ratio!! No wonder you call yourself a genius, it only takes 24 tries to get one right!!

02 Apr 2012 5:29 PM
Criminal Type

Lazmannick, Sorry to ruin your day but, I wasn't talking about Dray. I was talking about It aint easy being good.

Ky, you posted your picks and they stunk up the joint.

Sadly, It aint easy has to resort to being ignorant because he lacks the intellect to create a whitty response. That's right, I dont bet as a rule. I am a fan because I love the horses. You make it sound like I have some sort of deviant sexual preference or something equally disturbing.....LOL, You know nothing about me but I AM willing to BET I could buy and sell your sorry ass.

02 Apr 2012 6:00 PM

On these blogs who is the person who asks people whether they believe A or B?. Who uses terms such as "waggonists and doubting thomases" to describe others? Funny. But the user does not even realize that what he is engaged in is typecasting. Very sad.

Everyone on this blog can read the posts and decide which ones are based on reason and which are based on fantasy.  Also they know who has picked winners in the past.

They also know that I can spell  Ranagulzion

02 Apr 2012 6:11 PM
Criminal Type

Papillon, your asking why Union Rag's full brother is nothing like him??  Really ?  That's like asking how come Northern Dancer had 4 full siblings who never made over 20K. Or how come Nicanor and Lenternor were not the second comings of big brother Barbaro. Then there is Giants Causeway (won over 2 million pounds)who has 6 full siblings, the best of which won less then 100K. Everyone know's breeding is as much about hitting the genetic lottery as it is about pairing up of physical attributes and pedigrees. Obviously, you can repeat the same breeding over and over and not get the same horse twice. Just because one offspring only went 3/4 of a mile, does not necessarily mean another offspring can't run further or in the reverse, not as far. It's always gonna be a crapshoot. There are, of course, exceptions. The most recent and prolific example I can think of is the Danehill/Hasili pairing which produced...Banks Hill, Intercontinental, Casique and Champs Elysee. The cross also produced Dansili who although a successful sire now, was far far below his full brothers and sisters in earnings. Hasili also produced half sister to these, Heat Haze, by another Danzig stallion, Green Desert. So, when you get right down to it, Papillon, your dog won't hunt.

02 Apr 2012 6:28 PM
Jason Shandler

What a great week ahead of us--UK in national championship tonight (they will win), baseball starts Wednesday, Masters Thursday, Keeneland Friday. Wow.

02 Apr 2012 6:28 PM
Mike Monarchos

Draynay, I've still got El Padrino im my top 5! Castellano didn't ride him that well. He should have had him closer to the lead and not so wide all the way around. He probably ran at least 50-100 feet further than "Onion Rags" did!  Where have I heard that excuse before? Does the 2011 Breeders Cup Juvenile ring a bell? It's also strange that the horses that you had on top for the Florida and Louisiana Derbies both lost a shoe before or during their respective race. Maybe you are a jinx as several bloggers have suggested.

I will give El Padrino another chance because of the wide trip and the probable bounce off of the Risen Star. Castellano also might have been afraid to get too close to Calvin Borail for fear that Borail might attack him after the race. LOL!

02 Apr 2012 6:31 PM
El Kabong


Bode and Gemologist need only run second to get in. 200K for second added to their current earnings puts them past El Padrino who is at 250. I see both of them getting that done at this point. Padrino could end up on the bubble after the Preps are all run. Hopefully not. I'd like to see him get in.

02 Apr 2012 6:53 PM

Billynay : It's funny how you're so obssessed with me LOL.  For one, I replied to Bob and said that I didn't have the P3, pay attention.  I told him that I should have played the exacta in the World Cup because I HAD the 8 and the 11.  BOOB.  

But let's just say the favorite did win the first leg and I had hit the P3, I would always take LUCK if it means I win.  You try so hard to prove you can handicap, I think my win percentage this year thrashes yours specially the ROI (return on investment.)  I'd like to see you post some CHEAP winning tickets.  I don't spend HUNDREDS to bet on WIN money to make a couple of bucks.  THAT is a waste of time.  BOOB

I also replied to Karen, that she may be right, that Keeneland may not be a speed track anymore from way back in 2006 when Sinister Minister won on the lead and just kept going faster but since I don't bet that track, I really don't know. BOOB.

Don't worry, I'm enjoying your obssession.  I always come back and make you look like a fool.  All that talk about reading the form and you bet on a horse because you know the owner.  BOOB.

Secret Circle has a much much better chance at getting 10 furlongs than Union Rags IMO.  We'll see on the first saturday of May.  BOOB

I bet you spend hours searching for my posts and hours more trying to figure out how you'll respond to it LOL.  You're such a loser, I'd suggest getting a life outside of internet blogs.  I heard you go to multiple blog sites, I guess that makes you a sociable person. "I don't only go to Jason's blog, I go to other blogs too and have many many friends there" HAHAHA!  BOOB

02 Apr 2012 7:12 PM

Billynay : You're right, I got confused there.  I meant the Coolmore, not the Lecomte.  If you're really smart, you'd have guess I was talking about the Coolmore but as I said, you're more worried about making me look bad than actually posting anything worthwhile.

So far, I've posted my winning tickets, you haven't.  My tickets shows how much I've won this year.  Even if I don't win anymore bets this year, I'd still make a lot more than you.  If you can get to 10% of my winnings this year so far, I might even take you seriously...but right now, I read your post and laugh so hard because I know I own you LOL.   You posted 3 comments, one to ask Draynay out on a date, the other two was for me HAHAHA.

02 Apr 2012 7:23 PM

Smoking Baby..Thanks.  I was tied up, and missed the 2nd running of the Gold Cup.  However, it makes me feel a bit worse, as though the race was fated to begin with.

Now, will someone please untie me?

02 Apr 2012 7:40 PM

you know Draynay just saying but since you bet all this money on these  horses you should be buying racehorses of your own with all the winnings. just saying

02 Apr 2012 7:56 PM


I am aware of the sire being Montjeu.

The entry about Motivator and Macarthur was given to correct a numerical error someone had made.

02 Apr 2012 8:03 PM
Mary Zinke

I just think he likes to talk about himself. A lot.

02 Apr 2012 10:13 PM

jay jay,

Call me crazy after the Kentucky Derby or even after the Preakness and if I dont hear from you in this regard by Belmont Stakes day only an apology will be accepted from you with the title "Sir" appendaged to my moniker when you reply.

I consider my declaration a forecast since there is no such thing as a racing certainty and nobody knows the future absolutely.

Be careful about the tendency to gambling over debatable points ...not a good sign Bro. I'll opt out of that one jay jay.

One more thing, You have apparently joined the Triple Crown debate belatedly but I've argued at length over the past months about the credentials of Union Rags as the top colt of this current crop.  I've also explained my perspective on his pedigree which is loaded with Triple Crown winners, stamina influences and most of all, multiple crosses, top and bottom, of the great Epsom Derby and St Leger winner Hyperion, to which Union Rags bears uncanny resemblance in temperament since he was a foal (this is incontrovertable). Without boring you with such matters that apparently dont interest you much, I'll just say again that U/Rags has no stamina issues to prevent him from copping the three legs of the American Triple Crown. He is as bred-in-the-purple as any colt and will make an awesome Stallion prospect later on. His detractors continue to point to Dixie Union as passing on stamina difficiency but their pedigree analysis is juvenile to say the least.  Watch and see jay jay.  If I'm proven wrong on these issues I wont run and hide, spin red herrings or try to ridicule anybody views.  Trust me on that.

Karen in Texas,

Your postings are among those that I look out for, so pardon me if I was a bit surprised that you found the mocking of Union Rags amusing ..."the big mule"?. In context, that was not funny my dear.  I respect everyone's right to an opinion and do enjoy a little tangle over a difference of viewpoint but I am not impressed with the habitually use of fallacious debating tactics, red herrings and diversioary ridicule by that poster who fails to substantiate his arguments in our debates. Karen, nobody has to agree me, for me to enjoy their post but I do like honest and fair debating of an issue. I would think that you also share that value.

02 Apr 2012 10:18 PM

 As i wrote in a previous post Draynay Leparoux will not be aggressive as he is a clone of Pat Day and matz better get Castellano back or a more aggressive rider or UR will not get the ROSES. Leparoux will get him beat as he will not get to the bottom of this horse.

02 Apr 2012 10:42 PM
Bob from Boston

All this boob talk is making me thirsty.

02 Apr 2012 10:56 PM
Bob from Boston

You make it sound like I have some sort of deviant sexual preference or something equally disturbing.....LOL, You know nothing about me but I AM willing to BET I could buy and sell your sorry ass.

Criminal Type 02 Apr 2012 6:00 PM

Criminal Type, I have no dog in this fight, but if you go to the races and don't bet, I have to believe you are some sort of sexual deviant.  How do you feel about sheep?  If your answer is that they are not that baaaaad, I'm concerned about you.  Sheep?  Criminal Type?  Coincidence?  I think not.

02 Apr 2012 11:07 PM
Bob from Boston

Now, will someone please untie me?

Slew 02 Apr 2012 7:40 PM


Did someone George Costanza you?  Sorry to hear that.

02 Apr 2012 11:11 PM


My point is that comparing Union Rags to Mr. Hot Stuff is not much more ridiculous than comparing him to Secretariat.  

You justify your continued confidence that a Union Rags Triple Crown sweep is fated by pointing to the fact that Secretariat also ran 3rd in his final prep.  My point was that Mr. Hot Stuff also ran 3rd in his final prep.  You say Union Rags is following the Secretariat path.  But how do you know?  A bunch of horses have run 3rd in their final prep.  

People can reach back into the past and find evidence to support whatever claim they are making.  You look at Union Rags' 3rd and associate it with Secretariat.  Someone else can take that 3rd and connect it to Mr. Hot Stuff.  

Personally, my opinion is Union Rags is probably somewhere between Secretariat and Mr. Hot Stuff.  Maybe he's closer to the former given he's already accomplished a good deal, but no way I'm going to put him in Secretariat's league right now.

In any event, what Secretariat and Mr. Hot Stuff did is unrelated to what Union Rags is going to do.

Ranagulzion, you've stuck your neck way out there.  Sure, Union Rags can still win the Kentucky Derby, but you're talking about the Triple Crown, and you're making it seem like he's already won it.  And you're getting upset at others because they're not treating Union Rags like a Triple Crown winner.  Just hold on.  He needs to go out and actually win the races.

Honestly, I think the only way you don't end up with a little egg on your face is if Union Rags gets injured.  In that case you can maintain that you were actually correct, but that fate simply didn't allow it to be proven(like with Esky).  I take a different perspective.  

In predicting a horse is going to win the Triple Crown, there is the inference that the horse is not only talented enough but that it is durable enough to survive the demands of 3 races in 5 weeks.  As we all saw with Big Brown, durability and soundness are almost as vital as talent in sweeping the Crown.  So, any prediction about winning the Triple Crown must have taken into account the likelihood of remaining healthy.  I assume you believe that Union Rags has the constitution to stand up to the stress of the Crown.  Therefore, if Union Rags does, unfortunately, suffer an injury, you should not act as if it does not disprove your prediction.  No, if Union Rags is injured at any point before the Belmont, your prediction will have been disproven.  

And this is not something personal towards you.  I'm just not a big fan of people predicting with certainty that Horse X will sweep the Triple Crown.  It's something that happens every year, and multiple times within a year.  On this blog alone, how many horses are being touted as locks to win the Derby, the Triple Crown?  Last year I had to read on this and other blogs how an Uncle Mo sweep was certain and that I and other skeptics were blasphemous for doubting it.  Then, when the prediction fails to materialize, few have the gumption to come back and admit they were wrong.

Without a mechanism to hold people accountable, the internet is full of grand predictions.  Of course, when the prediction is born out, the person is quick to point attention to it.  Yet, if wrong, they hope others have enough of a life not to spend too much time taking them to task.

With you, Ranagulzion, I don't think this is a matter of you trying to draw attention to yourself.  I believe your prediction concerning Union Rags comes from a place of hope and positivity.  Although I believe it to be unlikely, if Union Rags( or any horse) does go on to win the Triple Crown, I will be ecstatic and praise the horse endlessly.  And I won't feel I will have to apologize for having doubts along the way.

03 Apr 2012 2:32 AM


Illinois Derby; Trinniberg, runaway winner of the Grade III Swale Stakes for trainer Bisnath Parboo, was being considered but will now go to the Bay Shore and then maybe the Preakness.

03 Apr 2012 4:50 AM

Where do I start? Lets go with the if I was really smart? You try to insult me b/c you clearly were wrong about the name of the race, primarily b/c Keeneland is a speed track and you don't play it, so how could anyone expect you to know the name of the Coolmoore Lexington Stakes. What was I thinking. Oh, that's right, I am not that smart, b/c I can't read minds.

Next, you have not picked a winner on this blog all year. You post pictures of winning tickets after the fact. Who does that? Again, a little self serving. Do you expect people to care? Wow, great job Jayjay. Let me give you a reach around b/c you won a pick 3 at Los alamitos...

BTW, I would never post a winning ticket, I am not that vain.

I don't know what you own, except the title of the blogger with the biggest head. I post 3 times, you post 15-20, yet you call me the loser? That makes sense.

On to the prior post. No one forced you to post your pick 3 ticket on the blog, but you did anyway, and until someone asked you what you won, you backtracked.

"I bet the Late P3 in Dubai yesterday and forgot all about it.  I remember it as soon as the 8 won. I singled Murtagh (16) in the first leg.  I had 4,8,9 on the 2nd leg and 2,4,8,11 on the third leg.  I should've bet the exacta yesterday too when I bet my P3.  I didn't think the 8 would go off at 35-1 !!"

Nothing about that post says that you did not win BTW. Even funnier, the post prior to this one has you rooting and betting on all different horses. You write one thing, and then bet completely different??  

Now this is the best thing you posted. I got the best chuckle out of this.

 "I heard you go to multiple blog sites, I guess that makes you a sociable person. "I don't only go to Jason's blog, I go to other blogs too and have many many friends there" HAHAHA!  BOOB"

First, if you heard I go to other sites, you were asking about me. Ahh, I feel the love. You seem to have a lot of free time on your hands seeing how many posts you make. Use that free time and try to find me on any other blog on the internet. When it comes to being a hypocrite, you and your soul mate Mike take the cake.

Thanks for playing.

Stay Classy. Keep posting all of your picks. We are all very impressed.

03 Apr 2012 8:58 AM

Sorry JerseyBoy.  I thought that it was trying to support Gone West mares ability to throw distance horses.  I just wanted to point out to people reading that there is a difference in the type of progeny that Montjeu sired as compared to that of Dixie Union.  

03 Apr 2012 10:09 AM
Jason Shandler

One day rule: No fighting on the blog today--Kentucky is national champs! It's a good day (except for the hangover)!

03 Apr 2012 10:49 AM

Big win last night for BBN Jason! I hope your couches are still in their rightful place among other furniture in your house.... what a bunch of knuckleheads! The lexington police scanner was trending last night on twitter. I don't know if that is sad, embarrasing, or both.

03 Apr 2012 11:14 AM
Jason Shandler

Everyone was pretty well behaved downtown last night; no major incidents. A few students burning a couple couches isn't a big deal. Nobody was hurt.

03 Apr 2012 11:31 AM
Smoking Baby

 Gun Bow.  Excellent post.  And please Ranagulzion, know this is no disrespect to you.  I enjoy reading opinions from both you and Gun Bow.  

03 Apr 2012 11:32 AM
Smoking Baby

 Criminal Type.  Don't feel bad.  I also have been known to attend the races and bet nothing or next to nothing as I'm just a fan.  My point?  If you you have to take some good natured ribbing from the gamblers because of it I'm betting you can live with that.  Love your posts.  Keep them coming.

03 Apr 2012 11:42 AM

It was a great win for Kentucky!

03 Apr 2012 11:47 AM
Smoking Baby

 Jason, I've seen a couch or two at college.  Trust me...Sometimes burning them is exactly what's needed.

03 Apr 2012 12:41 PM
Bob from Boston

Let he or she among us who has not burned a couch in celebration, cast the first stone.

03 Apr 2012 1:13 PM
Criminal Type

Bob in Boston, HAHAHAHA..Very is some Important information for you, First of all I am Female so I have no interest in sheep beyond a nice leg of lamb and wool sweaters. Second, I posted that I don't bet as a rule. There are times when I do, but not often. The last bet I placed was last April on Hard Spun's first starter. She came in third, but I called the winner in the paddock. (Bluegrass Atatude, a daughter of Two Punch) I just enjoy the horses. Third, How can someone not be a Criminal Type when their Mother is a Klepto ? Just kidding. He was one of Alydar's best son's. And lastly, As far as being sexually deviant, My husband would be very surprised to hear that and probably a little excited ..LOL, thanks for making me laugh.

03 Apr 2012 1:34 PM
Criminal Type

Smokin, thanks for the kind words. It's nice to know someone has my back around here.

Congrats to Kentucky on their championship. It's ok for fans to get a little rabid after a big win like that. I am all for fan support for their local sports teams. We know all about team support in Baltimore. The Baltimore Ravens have some of the loudest,enthusiastic, most dedicated fans in sports, but for god's sake, Have you people ever smelled a burning couch ??

It smells like a turd wrapped in cabbage covered with hair !

And BoB, No, Ive never wrapped turds in cabbage and covered them with hair, so don't get any wild idea's.  

03 Apr 2012 1:50 PM
Jason Shandler

Oops, spoke too soon. I see someone was shot last night. You're right Billy, idiots.

03 Apr 2012 2:00 PM

“I am not impressed with the habitually use of fallacious debating tactics, red herrings and diversioary ridicule by that poster who fails to substantiate his arguments in our debates”.

I love the above entry, writing style and all.

I wonder who is the unnamed person being referred to. Could it really be the unnamed person is the one  who has the most attachments to support his arguments, the only person who uses the acronym URL?. Could it?

Surely not, because the author of the statement has never cited a source.

03 Apr 2012 2:01 PM

I'll hold off my reply to Billy until tomorrow (that's for you Jason lol).  Stay tuned Billy :)

Ranagulzion : I quote you :

"  Thats your 2012 Triple Crown winner folks. "

That's a not forecasting, that's you stating that UR is the 2012 Triple Crown winner.

I'm glad at least you finally said NO to the bet.  I wouldn't put that much money on UR either.  I will not call you sir or apologize for questioning your proclamation unless you accept the challenge.   I did see some of your posts about UR, mostly about pedigree going back... way back to find any stamina and the rest are pretty much you hyping him up leading up to the Florida Derby.  After the race, the only one comment I saw from you wrt to UR losing is that it's a good thing to get the waggonists and doubting thomases off or something like that.  I myself will be watching for your posts after the derby :)

I've been high on Gemologist even before he ran in that allowance race.  I've been waiting a long time to see him run against contenders and see how he does with 9F.  He's a Tiznow horse so it shouldn't be an issue, just want to see how easy he does it.  Unless he runs poorly in the Wood, he'll be going to the Derby rd off a layoff.   It'll be a scramble getting in his bandwagon if he wins the wood lol.

I've not given up on El Padrino but it looks like he is not even going to make the cut, he's already at 18.  Regardless of who wins the Wood, he'll drop 2 spots or maybe 3.  Unless he tries another prep (the "lecomte" :) is probably the only one he can try to get more earnings) and wins, I don't know how he'll make it to the derby.  I would rather they wait for the Belmont than try and get in to the Derby.  

03 Apr 2012 2:40 PM


The answer is both.

03 Apr 2012 4:23 PM

Gemologist has not faced tough horses and has had everything his own way.  I think he is a Preakness horse and not a Derby horse.  You need more tough competition in more races to be ready to win the Derby and Gem doesn't have it.

03 Apr 2012 5:07 PM
It aint easy being good!

Criminal type must be that time of the month again. You shouldnt use bet in your sentences since you are too scared to do so! Jason congrats on the kentucky wildcats they owned everyone this year but I think Anthony Davis is going to be a bust in the NBA. He is only 6 foot 10 he reminds me alot of marcus camby should have a good career but not great!

03 Apr 2012 6:05 PM
Pedigree Ann

For you who thought that Kansas was going to make a comeback in the second half...., 'Cats love to toy with their prey, especially with birds, like cardinals and jayhawks.

Here in South Lexington, all we heard were firecrackers and a few cherry bombs. The dog tried to hide behind the toilet, like on the 4th of July. My daughter, a senior, said campus was pretty empty today.  

03 Apr 2012 6:52 PM

Bob, must have missed that episode, but it's great that I have long flexible toes because you didn't bother to untie me while you dropped by.  Next time, bring tequila.

It's just too early to call anyone a Triple Crown winner, least of all UR, whose sire was Dixie Union.

But I want to see a TC winner THIS year.  For that I'm leaning more to Hansen...but not depending on it. There are alot of well-bred, stamina-loaded pedigrees in the race, and you don't have to go back 5 generations to find it.  Look for AP Indy, Unbridled, Tiznow, Sunday Silence, and now even Sadler's Wells among others.

Didn't we hear all this Triple Crown talk last year with Uncle Mo?  So what did he do?  And the year before with Quality Road? ??? SOS, different year.

03 Apr 2012 6:55 PM

Union Rags got a bad trip!  So and so was leaning on me!  Good grief have you ever seen the Derby? It's the Florida Derby times 2.  Ask Ferdinand or Alysheba what kind of trip they got in the Kentucky Derby.  Better yet ask Pat V what Pat Day was doing to him aboard Easy Goer during the Preakness.  You wanna talk about leaning. If Union Rags can't overcome a little adversity he won't cut it.  He managed to finish ahead of a bunch of horses that couldn't fill the 4th race (non winners of two lifetime except Maiden or Claiming).  He is simply too slow, he hangs, sometimes he's all over the track.  

03 Apr 2012 7:17 PM


Gemologist has had everything his own way because he made it his own way. It's called tactical speed with a pedigree that allows for a sustained run. Are you saying you think he is going to skip the Derby and run in the Preakness instead?

03 Apr 2012 7:28 PM

Look at the pace of the race.  I was very slow and will not be that way in the Derby.  Notice the 3 work times of Union Rags before the FD.  Come on people wake up.

03 Apr 2012 8:06 PM
Carlos in Cali

Householder, what's also pretty funny is some people swear he was "pinned on the rail" when in fact he was on the 2-3 path all the way around,he never had to take-up or was touched by another horse. Unreal!

His supporters have all kinds of excuses when he loses. El Padrino ran 4-5 wide the whole race and ran 68ft/20yds further than the winner. I don't hear anyone complain about that....

03 Apr 2012 8:07 PM

Jason, Congrats on UK winning it all.  They are head and shoulders (literally) above everyone else.

Did you say "I'll Have Another" one too many times last night?

03 Apr 2012 8:08 PM

I have been so high on Gemologist from the begining that I have multiple Programs, win uncashed win tickets and results tickets from all his races (no results or win ticket from maiden at turfway) I expect him to earn his way into the Derby this weekend. I just hope he is as good as I think he may be cause in order to beat Creative Cause he will need to step it up and show it this weekend. Not to mention a underrated Alpha, I believe. If Hansen, Union Rags or TCI wins the Derby I have no shot at cashing any tickets. I just do not seeing those horses winning even though its really to early to tell allot still can happen in 3 weeks as we all know...

03 Apr 2012 8:21 PM
Criminal Type

Scared...hahaha. RIIIGHT. Like I said Easy, You know nothing about me and I am certainly not scared of words. Trust me when I say, not much scares a parent who has buried their only child.

You regress to insults and inuendo's that make You come across as bitter and resentful. Do you talk to all women like that? I am pretty sure that's a yes. I am wondering if they make a tampon big enough to fit your extremely large mouth. Bring it on at your own risk but be forwarned, I am fluent in three languages...English, Sarcasm and Profanity. I see you are only fluent in two, ridicule and bull&hit.

03 Apr 2012 8:28 PM

DRAYNAY.....tell me if the handicapping challenge is on! keenland and a track picked by by tomorrow!picks must be in by 3am friday ...eastern....

03 Apr 2012 8:53 PM
Paula Higgins

JR, you took that COMPLETELY the wrong way. I was thanking you for answering my question because Jason didn't. It was meant sincerely. I was not being sarcastic. Geesh, what is going on in this blog?! Way too much tesosterone and paranoia. The Kansas-Ohio game was good. the Kentucky-Kansas game was pre-ordained. Not nearly as good even when they got within 5.

03 Apr 2012 10:12 PM

The reason i posted "who is matz" when did he become a great trainer...was in response to the nit wit that posted mike harrington wasnt a good trainer.....but matz was...

03 Apr 2012 10:21 PM

I don't think Gem can beat Alpha.  Alpha has been in some tough races.  He has depth.  Gem will find the Wood to be a little tougher and I think a 2nd place finish does him no good and should wait for the Preakness.  Alpha is just too tough at Aqueduct.

03 Apr 2012 10:48 PM

I'm leaning towards Draynay's assessment of Gemologist.

I certainly don't think we can extrapolate much from that allowance race.  

The fact Gemologist is so high on so many lists demonstrates that a great way to maintain a high ranking is to either not run or run only in spots where you can't lose.  Since most of the horses that have run in 2 or more preps have lost one of those preps, a horse undefeated on the season looks better, even if it was an allowance race.

In my opinion, the strongest evidence for Gemologist going forward is his win in the KJC, his pedigree, and his athleticism.  He certainly could be the real deal, but there's not much evidence to go on at this point.

03 Apr 2012 10:54 PM
Mike Monarchos

Pedigree Ann, The Cats didn't toy with Indiana in Bloomington this year, did they? If they wouldn't have hit 35 of 37 free throws in the regional they probably would have lost to the Hoosiers again. I don't think any team has ever hit 35 of 37 free throws in an NCAA tournament game before. That was unreal! Anyway, congrats to you, Jason, and all the other Kentucky fans!

Draynay, you seem to knock any horse I like. I'd take Gemologist over "Onion Rags" right now in a match race. Set it up. Use your unlimited influence you have with the horse racing world. Oh and by the way, Gemologist is a beautiful bay colt that is 17 hands just like Rags. And he has a 95 Beyer at G.P. just like rags. But Gemologist has won twice around two turns, and Rags hasn't won once. After the Wood he'll have three two turn wins to Rags' zero. But, then again, I'm almost never right.

03 Apr 2012 11:25 PM
Mike Monarchos

Draynay, I mispoke in my previous post. Rags has a two turn win in the Fountain Of Youth. But Gemologist still has him beat in two turn wins. And he's undefeated, and "Onion Rags is not. At least I admit when I'm wrong. Do you?

04 Apr 2012 12:03 AM

Trainer Todd Pletcher was asked to name the figurative four number one seeds on the Kentucky Derby Trail.

Pletcher didn't hesitate in answering. "Union Rags, Gemologist, Hansen and Creative Cause.," he said.

04 Apr 2012 1:10 AM

As a postmortem for Jason's column, all eyes are no longer on Union Rags. The horizon has necessarily broadened. Though the response was mild once Leparoux finally escaped Castellano's riding tactics and shook Union Rags free, at least the horse did not give it up as many said a Dixie Union colt would over distance limitations. He was running on a speed favoring track trying to catch horses who'd escaped with easy fractions and little pressure - something unlikely to happen in the Derby - so uncertainty about the performance lingers. A mild response under urging is not finishing "full of run" as one of his boosters on this blog described it, but the effort gave hope he can go farther as Mary maintains in her insistence on considering the tail end of his pedigree.

04 Apr 2012 8:58 AM
It aint easy being good!

Criminal no I am just talking to you like this because you dont know anything about horses. You might know three languages but you couldnt pick a winner if he hit you in the face doesnt matter if the program was written in spanish!

Draynay how can you dislike a horse that has never lost? I agree with you that alpha is a underrated horse! Also I havent hear you bash west coast horses this year do you think this is the year that they will finally hit the board? I have been on the west coast bashing in years past due to the fact that they were racing on fake dirt but what are your thoughts this year?

04 Apr 2012 10:49 AM

Paula- people do get very defensive here.  You have been around this blog long enough to realize that.  Even the most innocuous statement can trigger something.  That's just the way it is.

04 Apr 2012 11:37 AM

It aint easy, I have said for a long time I like Creative Cause he is the only thing worth talking about from Cali.  Baffert has nothing and I have said it for over a month.  Gem is a good looking horse but has faced no one and I believe Alpha has more Depth and being a Bernadini horse I believe he is coming into his own around now.  Mike, I will admit I am wrong if it ever happens.  The fact that you think Gem is as good Union is kinda cute.  Are you new at this ?

04 Apr 2012 12:12 PM

KY VET I am going to Keeneland to enjoy opening day. You have proven that you know nothing about handicapping and until you pick a winner on this blog I will not be wasting my time.  Pick a winner and then we will talk.

04 Apr 2012 12:23 PM
Mary Zinke

She had some of it coming to her, but the one guy is obviously afraid of per-(No need to say more; he already covered his eyes.)

04 Apr 2012 12:44 PM

Gun Bow,

So you think that my forcast of Union Rags as Triple Crown winner 2012 is pure hope and positivity? You're only partially right. Thanks for the kind thoughts though.

Actually my views are based on hard core assessment of the colts performances, pedigree, imposing physical attributes and connections including the trainer. I spotted this horse as a special 2YO that should've won the Eclipse award and I have seen nothing so far that dampens my enthusiasm about his chances of being the "Big horse" of 2012 and 3YO wonder. The biggest negative so far has been the relatively low Beyer speed figures but that has its pluses, in that he hasn't had to run himself ragged before the triple crown gets started and he's been winning with good excuses for the two losses.

There are a few other very talented colts on the Triple Crown trail that could challenge him but I have seen enough of his explosive stretch kick to believe quite firmly that when michael matz has him tuned-to-the-minute, he'll crush the opposition and register the Beyer figures corresponding to his huhe talent.

I don't think that Secretariat was that far ahead of this colt at this stage of his career. People tend to compare the up and coming super stars unfairly against the past ones that were the finished product. Union Rags is only just beginning to rise my friend.

Smoking Baby,

Thanks. I don't think that being thin-skinned is one of my traits. I kinda enjoy the rough and tumble of opposing viewpoints but I do value honest and principled debaiting of the issues.  

04 Apr 2012 12:51 PM

Billy Joe Bob Jim : With regards to the Dubai ticket, I mentioned that I totally forgot about my P3, you need to actually read my comments.  I'm not gonna lie, my bets in the Dubai races were all guesses, there's nothing in the program for the Dubai races that would help me pick a winner.  I pick those horses based on jockeys and owners.  The first leg, I just picked Murtagh, no other info, just thought if a longshot comes in, it could be Murtagh.  The 2nd leg, I picked the 2 favorites and another longshot, nothing else.  The last leg, the 8 horse is owned by Godolphin and was 10-1 morning line.  The 11 horse I picked because of Ajtebi, it was a $12 investment and I almost got it.   As for my "pick" at the time of the race, I picked those horses near the post time and again, I made picks based on the odds.  You know why I didn't pick the 8 then, I saw he was 10-1 morning line and was at 35-1 at post time.  I just gave you one of my basic handicapping angles, it's called watching the odds.  I forgot about my P3 ticket as I bet it the day before (around 5PM).  Like I said in my post, I only remembered my P3 ticket after the 8 won, Monterosso, it rang a bell and it's because i had him on my P3.

The funny thing is, YOU are the only one complaining about me posting tickets.   You know why, I post my winning tickets TO Draynay and KY VET, just to them. I'm sure other people could care less.  You on the other hand, are so jealous that you can't stop commenting about it lol.  You are vain, the proof is your never ending attempt to get noticed on this blog, I mean dude, Draynay doesn't even pay attention to you.  I can't remember the last time he replied to you.  For all the things you say about me, you pay way too much attention to me.  What does that say about you?  Desperate, that's what.

LOL at "stay classy"… this coming from you.  I challenge you to stop thinking about me for 15 minutes, let's see if you can do it :)  I know you can't.  So once again, I made you look like a fool.   Like I said, you posted 3 comments the other day, one to ask Draynay out on a date and two were for me and Draynay ignored you.  You posted one long comment yesterday and it was all for me.   I think anyone reading this blog would actually agree that you're obsessed with me.  It's okay, keep 'em coming, it's hilarious.  Now…. we know you can pick a winner by picking on me :), let's see if you can pick a winner in the upcoming prep races.

The only people that I would expect to respond to my winning tickets are Draynay and KY VET, to show both that one can win without using the form.  That's it, nothing else.   If you weren't jealous, you wouldn't spend this much blog space on me lol.  Pathetic.

04 Apr 2012 1:16 PM

Ranagulzion :   You calling people who disagreed with your analysis of UR's pedigree "juvenile" seems a little harsh don't you think ?  You go 5 generations back to justify your argument for his stamina and keep ignoring Dixie Union.  He ran one time at 9F, how can you tell that he doesn't have any distance limitations from watching that one race ?  I don't know if he can actually run 10F but I'll wait and see how he looks in the post parade and what post he draws.  All of that will help me decide whether I put money on him.  I may drop him altogether because Julien is riding him.

My list of horses for the derby will keep changing as the preps are run, that's what the preps are for.  I'm high on Gemologist, he's by Tiznow so I think 9 and 10F suits him just fine but I'm not crowning him the derby winner because I haven't seen him run 9F.  I don't even know if he'll win the Wood.  I felt the same way about Spring Hill Farm and look what happened in the TBD.  My point is, you can like UR all you want, tout him, but at least be realistic.  The title of "TC proclaimer" is already taken, Draynay has own it for the last decade.  Stop trying to take it away from him.  He worked hard for it, he's earned it.

04 Apr 2012 1:17 PM
Smarty Jones Jr.

Ok, Love reading the blogs from afar, everyweek.  I feel inclined to comment to the entertaining analysis of Florida Derby.

Any true horseman or handicapper knows a 1:12.09 will NOT cut it in Derby, race basically "stole" by Borel.  It was over for Union Rags in first turn, unfortunately. If the horse was 12:1 shot and had same race as Union Rags, he would be the "wise guy" derby choice coming out of Florida.  Hence, no whip in stretch, no speed shown early from jock, Florida Derby NOT the goal, all that was needed was STAY OUTTA TROUBLE.

Union Rags did all he needed to do, get the bottom up under him for May 5th peak performance, and more experience with Leparoux.  The fractions were horribly slow, and Castellano should have sensed it and pressed pace,instead of "riding" UR.  He selfishly and unfair to El Padrino's connections put him on Derby bubble.

Union Rags should be tight like a drum for Derby day, and his works will reflex it pre-derby (notice pre Florida Derby works, anyone?)

Also, the "Beyer" madness is crazy, who really believes Rags FOY under hand ride just shy of track record, was less "speed fig" than Mark V, El Padrino, Bodeimeister 2x??(still love how they changed his to triple digits 2 weeks after race, to give him two 100+beyers) while getting whipped like stepchildren coming down stretch.

So when betting MY money, which is "the name of the game" Union Rags is the most proven, with the most upside to "pop" on May 5th.

*Draynay, I also agree with your analysis on this subject

04 Apr 2012 1:26 PM

Gemologist will trounce the Wood Memorial field. It will be a romp.

04 Apr 2012 1:38 PM

Mary Higgins:  It was Kansas-Ohio State.  Ohio had previously lost to North Carolina.  I'm sure it was just a slip-up, unlike the Michigan football coach and more recently their basketball coach who refer to Ohio State as Ohio.  I wonder if the Michigan basketball coach knew which 'Ohio' he lost to in the first round by a score of 65-60.

04 Apr 2012 3:06 PM

jay jay,

I thought that I was being generous, calling the quality/standard of the pedigree analysis juvenile, that was based only on the perception of Dixie Union as passing on stamina deficiency. Actually I felt that infantile was a more accurate description but applied restraint.

You've got to go deeper than that to get a fair grasp of the quality in a really good thoroughbred. If the first three generations (which are generally most influential) were all that mattered, breeders and connoisseurs of the sport wouldn't be looking for inbreeding to the likes of Blue hen mare La Troinne, Almahmoud, Princequillo, Count Fleet, Nasrullah and all time great sire Hyperion which are to be found usually beyond the five-cross pedigree matrix. Superficial pedigree inquiry will not show the presence of five triple crown winners from England and America in Union Rags' pedigree, namely Gainsborough, Nijinsky, War Admiral, Secretariat and Seattle Slew. My findings show that Gainsborough's son, Epsom Derby and St Leger winner Hyperion as the most influential presence in Union Rags. Therefore there is no doubt here about his stamina.

04 Apr 2012 4:10 PM
Slew said "I don't think that Secretariat was that far ahead of this colt(Union Rags) at this stage of his career"

What?  Are you bananas?

Secretariat was Horse of the Year at 2, having had 9 races at age 2, and winning 7 of them.  

Maybe you should climb down from your spaceship and check out things here on earth more closely.

04 Apr 2012 7:28 PM

Ranagulzion : So your pedigree analysis of going deeper than the 1st 3 generations is specific to UR ?  I'm not clear because Gemologist is by Tiznow, so we believe he'll get the 9 and 10Fs.  You just posted he'll romp without any mention of his pedigree.  I'm just trying to understand your logic.  If a horses 1st 3 generations shows they may have distance limitation, you dig deeper until you find the ones that would give him stamina and make him a superhorse ? otherwise, the 1st 3 generations would suffice.  Did I get that right ?

04 Apr 2012 8:05 PM

LOL Ranagulzion, you mentioned Hyperion as the most influential on UR's pedigree ??  Hyperion's from the thirties!!!  You think his genes still has an affect in today's horses ??  Seriously ??   I think you're just pulling my leg with all this nonsense.  You're making me look these things up and then you'll go "Gotcha!!"  You can't be serious about Hyperion are you?!?  I also found Gainsborough who is SIX generations back.  Oh my goodness, I think I'll stop trying to understand pedigree handicapping and stick to mini mini miney mo.  I'll take my chances.  

Anyone else here know anything about pedigree??  Can someone let me know if Ranagulzion is being serious or not ?

I see Madonna 5 generations back on UR, does that mean he can't sing either ??  LOL

04 Apr 2012 8:26 PM

jay jay,

You gave me a good laugh with that Madonna quip. Not bad (LOL)

But seriously, it doesn'y matter if Hyperion is from the thirties, thats how genetic traits are preserved, by being passed on from generation to generation. Hyperion appears 6X7X8 on top (Dixie Union's half) of the Pedigree matrix and 8X7X5 on the bottom (Tempo half) of the pedigree. Hyperion is recorded as being a very lazy/sleepy horse from birth, so much so that they didn't think that he was much of a runner, but he won the Epsom Derby in record time and the St Leger as well.  Union Rags has turned out the very same way. His owners/breeders didn't think that with his lazy, slumbering ways he would turn out to be a good race horse and that was part of the reason that he was put up for sale inspite of his good looks.  He carries the 1930s classy traits of Hyperion into the 21st century my friend. Watch and enjoy.

04 Apr 2012 9:48 PM

Ranagulzion : All I can say is "WOW", and I mean "WOW!!"... like "WOW!!!!!"

04 Apr 2012 10:52 PM

Approximate Percent Blood Influence per Generation

In pedigrees, the first generation is an individual’s parents.

If the ancestor appears in the ____ generation, then it contributes ____ blood to an individual

first generation = 50.00 percent

second generation = 25.00 percent

third generation = 12.50 percent

fourth generation = 6.25 percent

fifth generation = 3.125 percent

sixth generation = 1.5625 percent

seventh generation = 0.78125 percent

eighth generation = 0.390625 percent

just saying............

05 Apr 2012 10:42 AM

Thank you Footlick, I knew I wasn't crazy.  Three percent probably will take him to 8.5 furlongs, maybe 9 but pushing it.  BC Mile should be his target this year IMO.

Ranagulzion : Seriously man, I think you're reaching, like deep, for something to prove that UR doesn't have distance limitations.  He may not, he may have the trip of his life.  The flood of horses part ways like the red sea and starts backing up to give him a clear path and win the Derby easily.  Weird things can happen in the Kentucky Derby.  I just don't think you have to make up some crazy stuff to prove something.  

If we all go back 5 gens deep, anyone can find what they want to find to justify their arguments.  How about you go back 3 gens, and base on his races THIS year, do you still think he's the best horse out there and that he will win the Triple Crown ?  Believe it or not, I'm trying to save you money here and save face because proclaiming him the 2012 TC winner when he hasn't even won the Derby is ridiculous.  I know you know this, you're not dumb.  It was probably the heat of the moment after he lost the Florida Derby.

05 Apr 2012 1:16 PM


Let my analysis and conclusion be tested on the track. I rest my case.

05 Apr 2012 4:33 PM


From my spaceship? (LOL) I'm having a birds eye view from way up here ...gotta escape the parochial mind set and tunnel vision of many on here.

Okay Slew, Secretariat was much ahead with seven victories out of nine starts but the crop he raced against wasn't really deep. From my viewpoint, had U/Rags won the BCJ he might have been voted HOTY in view of the kind of year that was 2011 you follow me?

Just watch and see if I know what i'm talking about on May 5. One thing I ask, recerve judgment until then. Okay?

05 Apr 2012 4:49 PM


Didnt Gemologist win the Timely Writer this year at Gulfstream??Thought you liked that prep going into the Derby last year!! I mean looking at Gemologist in that race it reminded me of Uncle Mo's win! just thought you might want to remember that so dont know someone for liking Gemologist because of the horses he faced. Willing to bet he finishes better then your Uncle Mo did in last years Wood!

05 Apr 2012 8:53 PM

If Union Rags wins at 10 furlongs, he can thank Terpsichorist and Nijinsky II before Hyperion.

05 Apr 2012 11:21 PM

Ranagul...even if UR won the BCJ, he wouldn't have topped HDG for HOY.  Only Game On Dude could have come close.  You just don't get HOY based on 3 races.

Whiiirrrrr...I think that spaceship took you farther out into the galaxy, and you're facing an extreme oxygen deficit.

Watch the 4-5-12 9th race from Gulfstream, and see how easily Revenue does everything UR should have been able to the same position.  

06 Apr 2012 10:56 AM

Slew : You're right, that was an excellent win by Revenue.  Credit the jockey as well for being smart, and patient.  Finding spots for his horse to run at without losing momentum.  That was a great run, and that's a 5F race.

06 Apr 2012 1:04 PM


both Nijinsky and Terpsichorist are products of inbreeding to the great Hyperion. Dixie Union adds more to Union Rags. Like the breeding connoisseurs say of La Troinne blood, "the more the better", same holds true for Hyperion. Talk to me after the Belmont Stakes.

07 Apr 2012 4:14 AM

Ranagulzion- believe whatever you want.  Terpsichorist and Nijinsky II will be the reasons.  

07 Apr 2012 3:34 PM

Footlick my friend,

Perhaps we're splitting hairs here. Credit whichever of his ancestors you choose but one thing for sure, U/Rags will not be beaten by the Derby distance IMO.

I'm so looking forward to May 5.

08 Apr 2012 12:34 AM

All eyes off Union Rags ...for the time being ...could be a blessing in disguise ...especially for the trainer.  There is a buzz developing around this year's Kentucky Derby that's a bit different from the recent past. The race appears to be wide open and not because of the absence of quality in the field.  the winner will be something special, I feel, and so will the entire series be. I hope that Zarvona wont mind if I borrow GO BABY GO BABY GO BABY GO!!!

09 Apr 2012 8:31 PM

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