Expect the Unexpected

Before last weekend the 2012 Kentucky Derby trail was pretty easy to figure out: Union Rags was at the top of the mountain, and then there was everyone else.

A win by Union Rags in the Florida Derby would have sent him to Louisville as the undisputed favorite, no matter what happened in the other final preps. It was shaping up to be a straightforward Derby to handicap. Either you liked the consensus favorite, or you were going to try to beat him with an outsider on May 5.

And then they ran the race.

How naïve we were in believing that it was going to be that simple. After what has happened over the past few years (do the names Quality Road, I Want Revenge, Eskendreya, and Uncle Mo ring a bell?), we should have known there was going to be a major hiccup in the road. Luckily, this one did not come in form of injury; it was just that the favorite didn’t run to our expectations.

My take on the Florida Derby is pretty simple. First, give Pat Byrne, Calvin Borel, and Take Charge Indy a lot of credit. Byrne made the right decision to run him in the race (no matter what happens in the Kentucky Derby), Borel took advantage of a race that had little speed, and the colt ran huge off a layoff.

As for Union Rags, Julien Leparoux certainly deserves some criticism for getting him caught inside and not being close enough to the pace on a speed-favoring track. There’s no getting around that. He’s one of the best riders in the sport and I would take him any day of the week, but he didn’t ride the horse the way he needed to be ridden in that race. I think he learned a valuable lesson, Michael Matz said about as much himself.

Leparoux is known for being a patient rider, one that rarely panics and has an uncanny feel for timing his move. That’s why he is so good in turf races. But unlike Javier Castellano, Union Rags’ previous rider, he’s less likely to press the button early or take chances. As talented as Union Rags is, he’s not the kind that can win from anywhere on the track. He has to be near the pace and more importantly, given room to operate. As we saw in the Breeders’ Cup and the Florida Derby, he’s just not fast enough to run by multiple horses in the stretch. He’s probably going to need to have the lead turning for home to win the Derby.

The good news for Leparoux is that he’s going to get another chance. And as good as he is, he probably won’t make the same mistake twice. The question handicappers have to now ask themselves is simple, is Union Rags fast enough to win this race? If you believe in speed numbers, he’s probably going to have a tough time.

I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I am leaning toward staying in his corner and just chalking the Florida Derby up to a learning experience. It’s not as if he got nothing out of the race; he only lost by 1 1/4 lengths and he was gaining ground late. With a good trip, he probably would have won. Plus, he took a lot of dirt and ran a professional race. It’s not as easy to keep him at the top of the pack as it was before Saturday, but for now he’s staying there for me.

As for the Louisiana Derby, I was hoping that Mark Valeski would have his breakout race that day but it didn’t happen. Larry Jones said he thinks the colt pulled a shoe in the post parade and had his heel stepped on at some point in the race, and that could have affected his performance. Not that he ran poorly, but the bottom line is he couldn’t catch a 109-1 shot that ran  1 1/8 miles in 1:50. I’m not sure what to make of him now, though he is still staying on the Derby trail.

We’ll see what happens this weekend with three big preps ahead of us. Depending on the results of the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby, we’ll probably have a new favorite—at least until something else happens on this unpredictable Derby trail. See you on Friday.


Leave a Comment:


Seems to me that maybe this group isn't as good as some of us thought.  

04 Apr 2012 11:51 AM

All the "studs" race this weekend. All the pretenders already raced!

04 Apr 2012 12:03 PM

The Florida Derby was a prep and like you said Julien made a big mistake not stalking a slow pace.  112 is a joke and the Derby will be different.  Union had very average works going into the FD and you will see much quicker works and a horse ready to perform his best AT THE DERBY.  Alpaha is a Bernadini horse so he should be getting good right about now.  Look out Gem.

04 Apr 2012 12:03 PM

Is it worth a three-hour drive to go see the Illinois Derby this weekend?.........hell yeah!

04 Apr 2012 12:06 PM

I would love to see Gemologist, Alpha and My Adonis hook up in a battle royale down the stretch this Saturday.....that is the place to be this weekend.........Aqueduct....not Agusta!

04 Apr 2012 12:12 PM

I agree Jason, I think Union Rags will improve and JL won't make that mistake again, he really criticized himself. Matz didn't have UR close to peak performance, look at his last 3 works before the Florida Derby. The works were purposely slow, as Matz did with Barbaro in 2006. Peak time is on the first Saturday in May not Florida derby day. Also, it's not like UR hit a wall the last 1/16, he kept running when he was able to stretch his legs and get enough room to do so. UR galloped out right past TCI right after the wire. In all, I'm still in UR's corner, but without being a little hesitant though.

Mark Valeski is a miler IMO. Yes, MV did have problems, but its hard to imagine him winning, and the time was awfully slow considering it was heavily speed bias. I think I am off his bandwagon for Kentucky Derby. BUT until Derby day, I have the right to jump on and jump off any bandwagon.  

04 Apr 2012 1:32 PM

The chart read that the winner was fully extended to prevail, which means he'd have a difficult time in the Derby. Union Rags got trapped behind a wall of horses, similar to Secretariat in his first start as a maiden in 1972, and found his best stride too late. The chart read, and the race showed that, Union Rags would have caught the winner in a longer race, which is what the Derby will be. I am also reminded of Upset, who beat Man O' War in the Sanford. Again, Man O'War was going fastest at the end. Upset was all out to prevail.

Union Rags clearly wanted more distance, and was up against a colt similar to Angle Light, who stole the race. I don't see how the Florida Derby changed anything, except to establish that the sprinter who won the race will lose badly in a longer race.

Union Rags is a good horse, just possibly not as good as Hansen. In any case, I don't see the big deal with the loss, other than a sprinter won.

04 Apr 2012 1:39 PM

Why is Mark V still on the derby trail when according to reports, he came up lame after the race ?  Are there different types of lameness in horses ?  I only know one type of lameness :  Billy.  LOL

Here's a list of horses that are running in the last preps that can still make the big dance (from the KY derby site)  and does not include horses who does not have any graded earnings yet.  I see some really good ones from this list so call me crazy but the winner of the Kentucky Derby may have yet to run.  At this stage with no definitive favorite...  it's going to be a GREAT betting race.  I just hope I get lucky lol :

Raconteur   $1,000

Todd Pletcher

Najjaar    $1,429

Dan Peitz

Pretension    $12,000

Chris Grove

Our Entourage   $18,000

Todd Pletcher

Adirondack King    $26,429

John Servis

Midnight Transfer    $36,000

Carla Gaines

Bodemeister    $60,000

Bob Baffert

Howe Great    $90,000

Graham Motion

Longview Drive    $102,834

Jerry Hollendorfer

Gemologist   $103,855

Todd Pletcher

Brother Francis    $120,000

Jim Cassidy

My Adonis   $130,000

Kelly Breen

Currency Swap   $150,000

Teresa Pompay

I’ll Have Another    $151,000

Doug O’Neill

Alpha    $180,000

Kiaran McLaughlin

Optimizer    $181,375

D. Wayne Lukas

04 Apr 2012 1:45 PM

Ok, Friday Keeneland card is out. let's see what Dray and the Vet come up with. I looked over the races, there are some really nice horse's running Friday, including Successful Dan, Capt Candyman Can, Nobles Promise, Honey Chile, Bouquet Booth, and a bunch of others I can't remember now. Should be a fun day. Too bad I am going to Keeneland on saturday now...

04 Apr 2012 1:46 PM

I'm still in favor of Union Rags, minus the fact that it is more evident that he doesn't have a quick enough turn of foot to catch really good horses who have too much advantage on the lead in the stretch. I was very happy to see another of my top 5 make a big move and grab the $$ to get in the Derby- Take Charge Indy. I wasn't too surprised to see El Pardino bounce after his last two big races, so I wouldn't doubt he has a chance to hit the board in the Derby. I will probably do a UR, EP, and TCI derby trifecta if I had to pick at this moment. Mark Valeski confirmed some of my doubts- I think he is just a good horse long, but would be a great horse if he cut back in distance just a little, so I don't see the Derby turning out in his favor. We will see about Hansen, depending on how speed plays, 'Indy can press him on the lead to make sure he doesn't kick home free like in the Juvenille. I would also like to see how Sabrecat and Howe Great do in their next races. Nothing surprising this weekend too much.

04 Apr 2012 2:09 PM
Carlos in Cali

Let's not get too down on this group of 3yo's just because Union Rags is not the standout some may have thought.And with some horses improving off their form from last year, coupled with the classy ones who have stayed at the forefront,it's a pretty good sophomore bunch with very few surprising wins in the preps.Granted,the horses based in Illinois,Arkansas & Louisianna aren't much.

I don't see any upsets for the remaining preps:

Wood Memorial- Alpha. I disagree with Pletcher,Gemologist is not the #1 seed in NY and he shouldn't be. He has to answer to Kiaran's charge who is proven on that circuit and track.The scrappy Prospective will be tough if he goes here.Street Life will get exposed.My Adonis will grab a piece.

Arkansas Derby- If Bode' goes there he should win with Secret Circle giving BBaffert the exacta.I'm not buying into Optimizer's Rebel run yet.He wasn't much last year and has had too many excuses coming from Lukas who has obviously lost his golden touch.Or,maybe the big colt is finally getting it together and will be tough to deny with a swift pace?.If he's closing like a freight train in here he'll be in my tickets come Derby Day.

Santa Anita Derby> If Bode' stays here I think he gives CC and I'll Have Another some serious competiton.Baffert is throwing Paynter to the wolves after only a 5 1/2f maiden win,think he fits better in the Il.Derby where the competition will be scarce.

Bluegrass Stakes- The 2yo Champ Hansen is clearly the one to beat.Dullahan will be tough in here as well as Prospective if he goes.Howe Great will likely set the pace,he must improve a lot to take this.Don't see it happening.

Illinois Derby will not factor into the equation,I don't see any horse of significance heading there.

04 Apr 2012 2:11 PM

I agree with you Jason and josh....regardless, I'm still on UNION RAGS' bandwagon!  We'll see how the other prep races go.  I noticed Creative Cause got the rail for the SA Derby...not sure how that will work out.  Best of LUCK to all of your favorites!

04 Apr 2012 2:21 PM
Carlos in Cali


Alpha will win the Wood Memorial.Gemologist will not have a paid work-out this time,look for Alpha to wear him down.

BTW: All of your "romp" picks haven't come to fruition my overly-enthusiastic Pletcher-prone friend.

04 Apr 2012 2:40 PM

TCI legitmately won the FD, although no doubt UR did not have the best of trips (and it may be alot worse in the 20 horse KD!).  To refer to TCI as a "sprinter" who won the race by chance or luck however is without reasonable support.

04 Apr 2012 2:58 PM
Mary Zinke

Shouldn't U.R. have closed more ground on TCI once he got clear? Certainly he should have passed Reveron. Be honest. Were the excuses that valid? I like him, but I have doubts about his ability to get 10f.,now even 9f., not just because of his pedigree, but because of what he's shown on the track. Creative Cause is my pick to win the Derby.

Anyone going less chalky than 6,1,5 in the Transylvania?

Only for use in a  superfecta, but out of the Louisiana Derby horses, probably the only one I would consider is the closer Rousing Sermon. Just because you know he'll eventually be rolling along. He was looking promising this winter, now maybe a plodder to pick up the pieces. And "he's a friend's horse." lol

Alpha likes to win, but must speed it up. Secret Circle keeps going through those walls he's supposed to hit. Shows true grit.

04 Apr 2012 3:04 PM

Mark Valeski appears to have distance limitations and his pedigree indicates the same thing. Additionally, if he came up lame, he is going to miss a lot of training.  Jones has Derby fever.  Union Rags isn't the world beater everyone thought him to be.  Yes, he was closing at the end of the FL Derby but he wasn't closing quickly enough and there will be others in the Derby with a quicker turn-of-foot in the lane.  If he presses what I think will be a very quick pace in the Derby he'll be toast at the eighth pole.  I think the race will set up for a closer coming from mid-pack or farther back.  In fact the top three might all have that running style.

04 Apr 2012 3:08 PM

I watched the race again and just can't figure out where the "trouble" is that UR got in that race.  Mid backstretch, he had a ton of room to move forward right behind Reveron, EP was outside him 4th and there's a huge gap between EP and Reveron that Julien could've pushed UR in but didn't.  If I have to guess, JL was trying to save his horse.  It's probably because he knows if he pushes UR early, he'll be done by the stretch so he just kept waiting.  He broke so well and was 3rd going to the first turn.  How he ended up 5th is the question.

I didn't see Javier "race riding" UR, if someone can watch the replay again (from bloodhorse site) and point to the time of the race where Javier was actually trying to pin JL inside, I'd appreciate it.  JL is purely the one to blame in that race, but who knows, maybe he believed that the only way UR will get 9F is to save the horse until the last 100 yards.    Watch the replay again and from 00:40 to 1:10, there was a ton of room for Julien to get behind Reveron, he could've bullied his way in between NnN and EP during that time but you can tell that Julien was trying to save horse.  He was pulling so hard on UR that they were actually backing up.  The only time it got a little tight for UR was when the 1 horse Fort Loudon made his move outside of EP and trapped JL but there wasn't any bumping at all, just no place for Julien to go.  Julien was saving the horse the whole time.  

It may have been the only reason UR got third, I guess we'll see how he does in the Derby.

04 Apr 2012 3:25 PM
Don from PA/DE

Jason, no mention of "Gemologist", wait til Saturday @ 6:00PM, many eyes will be on this "budding" champ..I respect UR and he will be capable, but right now, "Gem" is peaking and no telling how good he may be....Creative Cause also is in my top two....seasoned and ready

04 Apr 2012 3:30 PM

I am looking for Paynter and trinniberg to have nice races this weekend. May set them both up nicely for the Preakness if they decide to go that route.

04 Apr 2012 3:31 PM

eskendreya = real deal would have been coming to derby as a monster

uncle mo - overhyped and overrated and tried to wiggle out of criticism with "mystery" injury claims

i want revenge & quality road - where did you come up with these nobody cared about them back then and nobody cares now

like the poster above said the talent runs this week and next week. hoping for big things from alpha and BODEMEISTER.

04 Apr 2012 3:38 PM

For betting purposes, I agree that Alpha is the one to beat in the Wood since he has ran against more seasoned horses but I think Gemologist will give him a good fight.  If those two battle in the stretch, I think My Adonis has a shot to pick up the pieces at the wire.  I'm looking at My Adonis to run at 4-1 or 9-2.  Juicy price for this field.

For the Derby : I really really would like to see Gemologist do well, I hope he's a star in the making.  It would be great to finally see a horse that shows potential of being a star to actually become one, no injuries or any setbacks, just do well and make it to the Derby and win it.  I'd like to see him battle Alpha at the top of the stretch and put him away at the 1/8th pole with not too much effort.  That's how I envisioned Gemologist taking the Wood but then again, it was how I envisioned Spring Hill Farm taking the TBD and we all know how he performed.

04 Apr 2012 3:39 PM
It aint easy being good!

Carlos in Cali 4 days until street life wows you he is a superfreak you heard it hear first with that said I am a big fan of Alpha and I am a big supporter of grinder kind of like dross in the classic he just keeps coming at you and alpha is a similar type of horse. Only problem is Alpha will be grinding away while street life will be closing from a differnt zip code!

04 Apr 2012 4:11 PM

tjconway:  Enjoy your trip to Hawthorne for the Illinois Derby.  It's always better to be at the track, if you can, win or lose.  Still waiting to see if they put My Entourage in.

Pending these next two weekends, my top 5 are:

I'll Have Another

Creative Cause


Daddy Nose Best

Union Rags

Unless the next two weekends produce a bang out, dominant performance, the Derby is shaping up to be another handicapper's bonanza of juicy odds and big prices.  Can't wait.

04 Apr 2012 4:26 PM

Carlos in Cali,

Todd Pletcher usually gives realistic assessment of his horse' chances. You'd better pay attention to his comments regarding Gemologist. I think that this colt is a beast in the making and will become U/Rags arch rival. He can run in the pace or just off it, finish strongly and fight if necessary. It is always best to follow a horse like this until his colours are lowered. He could become the new favourite for the Derby after the Wood. He'll toy with Alpha. Its a no contest.

BTW which romp predictions are you referring to?  I'm usually careful about which winners will romp. So far it is only Gemologist for which I forcasted a romp. Discreet Dancer was withdrawn from the Louisiana Derby (which he could've won running backways).

Your new bulldog Alpha should've gone to the Louisiana Derby. Now he'll be like the greedy dog that lost his bone, looking at his reflection in the watery Wood Memorial.  The bigger bone in the Wood is an illusion, its not a bone it GEMOLOGIST!!!(LOL)    

04 Apr 2012 5:00 PM
El Kabong

As far as the Florida Derby is concerned, I am more perplexed by El Padrino than Rags. Rags did not have to get much out of this and from the looks of his pre race trains, not much was put into his tank(times not important but his effort compared to others is- 48/51, 22/22, 13/41). El Padrino on the other hand mathematically needed coin and he didn't get much. In fact, he will ride the bubble into the Derby and I can't imagine that was the objective of Mr. Pletcher. Take Charge Indy took advantage of a track condition that seriously gave the advantage to the front end(track record in the 5th by a front end runner was your clue-that colt won't come close to another track record as long as he lives. Oh and guess who piloted that 12-1 shot to victory? Why it was none other than Julien "what kinda ride did you imagine would win" Leparoux of course. So I think he knew all to well what he was up against if he was really riding to win. Look for faster training times out of Rags in his lead up to the Roses. That said, I'm still not convinced that he will be able to outrun his pedigree. Hit the board, yes, but he will not win.  I would give TCI a better chance. This guy is starting to remind me Bernardini.

Really looking forward to both the races this weekend. Like I'll Have Another out west and Gemologist at the big A-but I'll be watching the track conditions out East like a hawk. Alpha runs a closing second that gets everyone excited about his ability to go 10F's and My Adonis should hold on for 3rd. This will be the race as all 3 need the coin to move forward. We know that Freeway out west probably won't change an ounce, but I won't completely ignore that either.

04 Apr 2012 5:01 PM
Mike Monarchos

It should be a Gem of a weekend as Pletcher's big gun takes the Wood to remain unbeaten. Alpha should get second even though he's been off two months. Tiznow will watch his son from his stall in the stallion barn at Winstar. He'll probably celibrate by downing a bag of peppermints. Tiz is one big boy!

The Santa Anita Derby should be between I'll Have Another (or two!) and Creative Cause. I'm going to put some win money on Paynter because of the blogger that dreamed he'd win. She didn't know which derby, but he pretty much has to win the S.A. Derby to have enough for the Kentucky Derby.

04 Apr 2012 6:41 PM
Carlos in Cali


Every trainer 'talks-up' their horses.Unless they're Drysdale or the late Whittingham and Frankel,I wouldn't get too caught-up in their assesment of said horse.

Don't forget,Pletcher said Discreet Dancer and UM were this and that-couldn't get to the bottom of him in his training-had no distance limitations-yada,yada,yada. What happened?.. after setting soft splits in the FOY DD caved-in to News Pending and UR then was immedietly yanked from the TC Trail because they knew he had no shot going forward.

Granted,Gemologist has the better route pedigree and is more proven than DD was,his Allowance score was an illusion.After setting a soft pace he had every right to clear that weak field.Also,remember his KJC score was one of the slowest and weakest ever...  Alpha is the more proven horse in the Wood and I predict he'll wear down Gemologist and do it convincingly.

BTW: your "romps" were Spring Hill Farm(injured),Discreet Dancer(yanked-sprinter)) and UR(not the beast you said he was)if I'm correct.You get a pass with SHF but only because he's injured.I didn't notice anything special in his prior races.

04 Apr 2012 7:09 PM

Union Rags is going to have a heck of a time finding elbow room in the Derby in a field of 20 horses.  If he doesn't like being squeezed in the FL Derby field, then what's he gonna do on May 5? huh? My money is on Calvin "Bo-Rail" Borel and Take Charge Indy. No distance issues there, that's for sure.  You need the nerves of a second story burglar to ride the rail in the Derby, and it just may be that Man, Moment, and Machine have come together to give A.P. the only race his progeny haven't added to his trophy wall. There are several in the Derby field I can root for, though.  I'm just hoping for a good, well-run, uneventful race and that they all come home safe.

04 Apr 2012 7:32 PM

A horse not being mentioned here is the third place finisher Rousing Sermon. I have been watching this colt and though never my first pick for the Kentucky Derby I believe this colt might surprise us. He is usually always closing well and if not watched for he could maybe upset in the Derby if his connections send him there. Don't be so quick to toss him out just because he is a Calbred from a first crop sire.

04 Apr 2012 7:39 PM

I like the way Alpha has won his two races this year. I know, inner-dirt at the Big A and what not. The fashion in which he has won caught my eye while pouring over the replays. He needs to improve dont get me wrong. My name is Kevin, and i'm on the Alpha bandwagon.

04 Apr 2012 7:41 PM

Wahoo!!!  Draynay is on Alpha and not Gemologist!!!  Can't wait to watch the races this weekend!  Was bummed out to see that Arm Force is just an AE for the Illinois Derby.  May just need to beat up on allowance company to grow his confidence and maybe come out for the Preakness.

04 Apr 2012 7:47 PM

Jayjay.....Stop it! UR didn't have a bad trip??? You just didn't see it. Really??? UR can't get 10f or even 9f....Really?

UR had a bad trip and a bad ride and quit honestly looked like a man amongst boys when he finally got a chance to run in the final 100 yards.

If that race was a mile and a quarter he would have Lapped them!

Come on Jayjay shake yourself!!!

04 Apr 2012 8:38 PM

Wood : Gemologist, My Adonis and Alpha.  I'll play  Casual Trick and Tiger Walk for the exotics.  Although Alpha looks like the one to beat, I can't get over the fact that his connections were going back and forth where to run him.  I do think this is the best prep for him, just not sure if he's fit enough to actually run his race.  I'm giving Casual Trick another shot, this is a different track.  Somehow I don't think he liked Gulfstream Park.  He'll be at a nice price, I'll spread my bets around him and hopefully the payout is big.

Santa Anita Derby : Midnight Transfer and Longview Drive.  I'll have CC under those two and will throw in Senor Rain and Liaison on the bottom to make it even juicier.  Paynter's workout of 1:25 for 7F looks like he might be a good one, still though, coming off a 5 1/2 maiden win to a G1 at 9F...  I'll have to see the post parade lol.  I don't expect CC to win this race, which makes it my type of betting race hehe.  I'm guessing he'll run a good race but I don't see the connections pushing him to win.  He may just be too much and still win without a big effort.  Still saving the best for the big dance.

Illinois Derby : I'm going with Pretension and singling him.  I think he ran a decent race in the Gotham and I think he'll be at a good price here again and with a better shot.  Todd's horse will probably take all the money with Currency Swap as the 2nd favorite.  I'll play Pretension with OE, Z Rockstar, Hakama and Morgan's Guerilla.  Can't leave out Rosie/Maker combo, I know it's not Fairgrounds but heck, she's one of the top jockeys in the nation.  Arm Force is in the AE list.

04 Apr 2012 8:42 PM

The Lumber Guy is going to be all over Gemologist going eye to eye with him for a mile.  Gem has never had to do that before but Lumber is every bit as fast.  This is a dangerous race for Gem and should set up nicely for Alpha who has had 2 more months to mature and a good Bernadini horse in Feb should be a great one in April or May.  Gem needs a 2nd place finish or there will be no Derby for Pletcher and with speed outside pushing Gem all the way he is in danger of not even hitting the board.  I think you should box Alpha with Street Life and call it a day.

04 Apr 2012 8:50 PM

DontHateMe : I posted the times in the video (from bloodhorse), watch the replay again.  I can understand that his fans only see what they want to see because they need to find an excuse.  It's okay, put ALL your money on him come Derby day, I DARE YOU.  Sell the house, sell the farm, sell whatever you can and put it all on UR, PLEASE!

04 Apr 2012 9:01 PM

The trip was not that bad.  The horse wasn't interfered with, wasn't sideswiped or pushed into the rail or severely pulled up at any point.  Those are bad trips. The ride was cautious.  The horse needed to accelerate when the rail opened up at the top of the stretch.  He didn't accelerate fast enough.  Period.  By the time he got running it was too late.  Jason pegged it.  Whether Leparoux was too cautious or the horse doesn't like being inside, or a combination of both, the result was the same.  As far as winning at 10 furlongs is concerned, we will find out.  I'm not overly optimistic, but I've seen worse breeding win at 10 furlongs.

04 Apr 2012 9:27 PM

Plenty of speed in the SA.  I'll Have Another has to win to get in the Derby and should have first shot at all the speed at the top of the stretch.  Creative Cause will have no problem picking off the speed but will have no real benefit in trying to run down I'll Have Another.  Box them and call it a day and thank me later.

04 Apr 2012 9:30 PM

Donthateme, please don't listen to jayjay regarding the Derby.  He was ALL OVER Dialed In last year although it was OBVIOUS he was slower than mud.  But if you ask him he hit the Derby Super last year because he "guessed right"  Don't listen to anyone that spends a month bragging about a horse like Dialed In before a Derby.  Ask me I know everything.

04 Apr 2012 10:07 PM
Paula Higgins

I like Gemologist and have for awhile. I think he is a really good horse.

04 Apr 2012 11:04 PM

jayjay and footlick--i agree completely with how you guys saw rags's race in fl derby.

i actually think the whole "boxed-in-gate" was trackus's fault because they screwed up on the color of the silks in their little cartoon aerial presentation--the yellow silked trakus horse, with the awful ride, boxed in the whole way, wasn't rags (who had the yellow silks in real life)-- it was neck and neck, rags's was the 6 horse, and was in the clear, with plenty of room to maneuver for almost all of the race.

where i disagree with you two is with blaming julien--rags was fully extended in the turn for home and he got left--when a jockey is holding a horse back, the horse's head is high, not low...i think julien was biding his time, because, like jason pointed out, few jocks are as intuitive as to how much horse they have left as he is--i think julian realized pretty quickly that he didn't have much horse, and actually should be congratulated for allowing rags to not be embarrassed more than he was...but anyway--i don't care about rags, its just like with mo last year, the true believers can't be reasoned with, so i'm not going to try any more.

i mean even if his pedigree wasn't a huge liability, he's slow--and if another slow horse wins the KY derby, it'll be from classic slow-stayer line...probably alpha of the pokey-bernadini-only win in ny-plodders

my pick for the wood is my adonis in the upset. jason please don't pick my adonis for anything. every time we have the same horse, it looses--pick anybody but my adonis. you can have the whole field, just leave me my adonis.

i'm sticking with mindnight transfer and creative cause in the SA derby and am leaning towards longview drive too.  i think the one hole will be hard for CC, but i still think he wins. he's a ton of horse.

i was also leaning towards pretension in the IL too--which is too weird cuz jayjay and i have such similar picks.

and considering that they were carrying 6 more lbs than they ever had before and going n extra 16th, i think both mark v and el p did ok--but i won't be surprised if one or both are sidelined till next fall or even next spring. el p ran a better race than rags--according to the data...

rousing sermon sucks--i'm done with him--he had even less excuse than rags.

04 Apr 2012 11:28 PM

WHO TAUGHT alot of you people this "not cranked" stuff? They dont need to win? REALITY CHECK! This is the DERBY! Again..RACES are what makes them faster or slower, not workouts....You want your horse to be as good as you can ...NOW!

04 Apr 2012 11:30 PM

OBVIOUSLY there will be no challenge by draynay......good luck at keenland!

04 Apr 2012 11:32 PM

Funny how the article for the aqu sprint stakes talks about the 4 tough horses in there, but the writer doesnt understand the "monster" awaiting those 4.......EMCEE!!!!!

04 Apr 2012 11:38 PM


“I think that this colt is a beast in the making and will become U/Rags arch rival.”

I gather Hansen and Creative Cause have suddenly become chopped liver. My dear colleague you need to temper your emotions. Alpha will be formidable and Tiger Walk is being given a last chance to show his true worth. I do not like the idea of choosing the Wood for Gemologist. The colt has a funny way of carrying his front left and the Big ‘A ‘track has reputation of destroying horse. I hope he exits the race in good order.

“He could become the new favorite for the Derby after the Wood. He'll toy with Alpha. It’s a no contest.”

Gemologist won his debut race at Turf Way Park while Alpha’s won his debut at Saratoga. Gemologist next start was a NW2 Allowance while Alpha’s next start was in the G1 Champagne. Do you see where I am going with this comparison? Who should be toying with whom? Keep it real!

The 9F of the Wood will not be kind to Gemologist; I cannot see how his funny action will not come into play going that long against top class competition. Do not forget he was produced from a Mr. Prospector mare. I think he will be 3rd or 4th; Uncle Mo won a specially written race for his 3YO debut and went to the Wood as the 1-5 favorite. He finished 3rd. Uncle Mo was certainly a better colt than Gemologist and Alpha is certainly better than the two colts that defeated him.

04 Apr 2012 11:54 PM
200 lb. Jockey

TCI got the right ride from Borel, no doubt. I was at the FL Derby and the track was playing really fast that day, back markers were not making up much ground. Another thing to consider is the short distance to the first turn, that played into the hands of the speed horses even more. I won't be keying any horses in the Derby, but UR will definitely be on a few boxed tickets. After watching the video replay at home, I could see that UR could have won the race with a more aggressive ride from JL. One thing is for sure, there is no Big Brown in this years field. I will be looking for nothing but juicy exotics. I think we'll all have a better idea after this weekend.

05 Apr 2012 12:43 AM

I will give you 1 winner on Friday at Keeneland.  4th Race go with the speed and the horse that is 2 for 2 on the track.  Zermatt runs well fresh and is coming in here on a 4 month rest.  100 WP.  Tell me thanks later.

05 Apr 2012 12:44 AM

I understand that Union Rags had a bad trip and he could improve, but we forget the two other horses can improve as well. For example Take Charge Indy had a long layoff between the derby and allowance race and ran a great race. He could be like Shackleford and maybe wire the field. El Padrino flattened out in the derby. He had a tough race against Mark Valeski. He reminds me of Bluegrass Cat. Great at the beginning of the season then flattened in the Bluegrass. I think too many people forget that everyone is going to make adjustments.

This week ,the wood is going to be a dogfight which could leave out a quality horse out of the derby. Santa Anita could very well have the derby favorite, Creative Cause. The Illinois Derby is going to have some horse that is going to just take a spot in the derby.

05 Apr 2012 1:11 AM

1) Gemologist - bred to carry 126 lbs. a long way

2) Alpha - bred to carry 126 lbs. a long way

3) Our Entourage - bred to carry 126 lbs. a long way

I realize not all 3 colts will qualify because of graded earnings(what a shame)........but look out if they do!

05 Apr 2012 2:18 AM

With all due disrespect jblues, Man of War lost to Upset due to something else. Both jockeys were pulled in, around Christmas time I believe, and suspended. No reason was given publicly but everyone new why. Your point is well taken though. Iike UR as well & have a great of respect for MM. I don't think UR has the turn of foot to be a great one. The great ones will accelerate through a hole when the opportunity presents itself. I don't think UR trips have been that troubled. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after BC when CD changed the racing surface but now  it has happened again. Great ones have to be able to overcome. I will still be rooting for him on 1st Saturday in May.

05 Apr 2012 6:48 AM

The charts accurately described the race: the winner was "fully extended" and UR "found his best stride late." The swerving from the rail to the outside of Reveron in the stretch just delayed the finding of his best stride and cost UR ground. From his finishing kick there doesn't  appear to be any distance limitations - up to a 1 1/4 - to this Dixie Union colt as Mary has argued in Jason's earlier blogs, looking at the tail side of his pedigree. Times in his works coming up to the race weren't impressive, but then Matz wants him cranked for the KY not the FL Derby as he did Barbaro. If the race had been a 1 1/4, it looks like Union Rags finding his best stride late against a fully extended pacemaker would have won the race. He certainly galloped out better than the winner who is not likely to get so slow a fractions and uncontested a pace in Louisville. Not a bad performance for a horse victimized by race riding on a speed favoring track. After mentioning the bad trip too far off the pace and Leparoux's riding mistakes, Jason offers the judgment that, barring these factors, UR probably wins the race and I have to agree. Pointing to his speed numbers and questioning if the colt is fast enough to win the KY Derby, Jason goes on to argue that the horse must be near the pace - even in the lead - to win the Run for the Roses. At the minimum,  UR's lack of speed seems to indicate he needs to be near the pace. In a wall of twenty horses, I'd agree with Jason that he would have trouble passing a number of horses in the stretch with his speed figures. And, if he goes to swerving delaying finding his best stride, it gets even worse. Last time he was at Churchill in the stretch UR did just that. I'd feel considerably better about UR's chances in a 10-12 horse Derby field, but with the colt's limitations in a 20 horse field - I want to see where he draws - it really gets iffy.

05 Apr 2012 10:45 AM
Pedigree Ann

Carlos, Alpha has never raced on the Aquedect main track; both of his wins this winter were on the winterized Inner track, which is an different animal. This is also a question mark for Street Life, both of whose lifetime wins were on the Inner.

Gemologist has won on Poly, on muddy dirt, and twice at CD. And if one looks at his KyJC S, one would see he doesn't need the lead to win. Not saying he is a shoo-in, but he has a few strengths in his corner, too.

05 Apr 2012 12:03 PM
Pedigree Ann

I don't think the horses who raced in Louisiana this year are all that much, El Padrino included. TCI won because Calvin has a clock in his head and many of these younger jockeys don't. And the "No Passing Zone" stretch at GP was there in spades.

If Union Rags is more of a grinder than an explosive move-maker, he will have to be carefully ridden at Churchill, as others have noted. Good thing JL has ridden the Ky circuit before - he has been leading rider in number of wins at the last 3 meetings at CD.

05 Apr 2012 12:23 PM

Draynay (aka DontHateMe) : Stop talking to yourself.  You picked UM last year to win the Triple Crown... in JANUARY.  You know nothing LOL

papillon :  I said I put the blame on Julien for pulling on UR so hard but I did say that Julien was probably trying to save horse, like you said, I think JL knew he would need it in the end.  I think it was pretty evident in the back stretch that he didn't want to go, he was just holding him back and saving him for one run in the stretch.  You're right, it did make UR look good.

05 Apr 2012 12:30 PM

Coldfacts :  I keep hearing about Gemologist's front leg action - is this the same "crab leg" that St. Trinians have ?  I remember seeing her get beat by the great legendary horse Zenyatta.  I thought she was trying to swim, it didn't look funny, it actually looked dangerous.

05 Apr 2012 12:58 PM

Jason : You said you're leaning towards staying at UR's corner, if you decided not to, who would be your choice to win the Derby ?  I don't remember seeing your top three anywhere.  I know you don't like doing the derby dozen anymore but who's your top 3 or top 5 below Union Rags.  Just curious who your picks are, I'll have to guess TCI is probably high up on that list.

05 Apr 2012 1:19 PM
Pedigree Ann

Look who is selling in the Texas 2yo in training sale!

Hip #120, DRAYDRAY’S OFFICER, chestnut filly, by Officer—Eyes On Molly, by Malagra. She is a half-sister to Delta Downs SW Captain Buddy and four other winners. Her original name was Under the Radar, which I think was actually a bit clever. Is that your nickname - Dray-dray? <grin>

05 Apr 2012 2:03 PM

I was shocked today when I saw Take Control on the worktab at Santa Anita. Maybe he can make some noise before the Breeders Cup...

05 Apr 2012 2:15 PM

"If the race had been a 1 1/4, it looks like Union Rags finding his best stride late against a fully extended pacemaker would have won the race. He certainly galloped out better than the winner who is not likely to get so slow a fractions and uncontested a pace in Louisville."

Of course Union Rags galloped out better than Take Charge Indy.  Take a look at Calvin, standing in his stirrups and celebrating right after the wire - Take Charge Indy had no gallop out, not with his jockey waving his arms around and bouncing on the horse like a lunatic.  Calvin is a fine jockey but his "look ma, I won," antics after a race are ridiculous.  I don't remember any of the past great jockeys indulging in such endzone celebrations.  (And the spectacle of Mickael Barzalona's pre-wire grandstanding haunts me.  Suppose his horse had stumbled or abruptly swerved... Mr Barzalona deserved more than the approximately 850pound fine he received.)

05 Apr 2012 2:46 PM
El Kabong


Calvin's enthusiasm was justified. That was a win or stay home scenario for that horse and his connections as far as the Derby is concerned and maybe for Calvin too. I think it was Kentucky fever more than Florida Yahoo. Just a thought.  

05 Apr 2012 5:30 PM

merlinmerry- he did that at Epsom too when Pour Moi won, only he had just hit the lead when he did it there.  Someone has to teach the boy not to do it.  If he had lost the Derby because of it, M. Fabre probably would have taken a riding crop to him himself.

05 Apr 2012 5:30 PM

The first thing I thought after the Florida Derby was "Union Rags is no Barbaro."  I don't think the trip was so bad that a quick, shifty horse couldn't have overcome it. I agree that UR will have to be well placed on the final turn, and when running in a field of 20 horses, he is going to need a lot of luck to be where he needs to be on that final turn.  Yes, any horse needs plenty of luck in the Derby, but the quicker, shiftier ones will have a much better chance of being where they need to be for the stretch drive.  And of creating their own luck.  We'll see.

05 Apr 2012 6:04 PM
Criminal Type

JayJay, Gemologists head on view reminds me a little of The Pamplemousse. High and outside. If you don't recall The Pamplemousse's action, there is video of him on Youtube from OBS that show's it pretty well, although from the side.

05 Apr 2012 6:41 PM


Great post as usual.  St Trinians apparently always ran with that side leg kick and she did quite well though she couldn't beat the legend.

05 Apr 2012 6:46 PM
Carlos in Cali

Pedigree Ann: I realize Alpha's wins this year were in the inner track,but he handled Saratoga's surface pretty good last year,which is somewhat similar to Aqueduct's main track.

Re: El Padrino, he regressed a bit off the tough battle with Valeski,it happens.I wouldn't sell him short if he's in the Derby though. Don't forget the way he ran-down a loose on the lead new and improved TCI,and if Valeski hadn't run a surprising bang-up race in the Risen Star he would've aired.He fits with the top tier of his crop,IMO.

05 Apr 2012 6:56 PM
Criminal Type

Just read I Want Revenge has finally been retired. All I can say is thank god they did it before he was injured again. He never was the same after the ankle thing, and it's surrounding bruhaha, that caused his scratch from the Derby. Iaverone is saying no plans have been made to stand him at stud at this time. I hope he has a safe and happy life wherever he ends up.

05 Apr 2012 6:57 PM
Carlos in Cali

Glad to know that Take Control is still in traing as a 5yo.Being by AP Indy out of Azeri,it's probably a blessing in disguise?...

It's about time Broadway's Alibi hits the track again,I've been waiting for her next race.Velasquez jumps off of her and rides Amillionreasonswhy?.. I've noticed he's been dumping some of Pletcher's horses more often.

Jason,is there anything more to it? Castellano has been riding more for Pletcher lately..

Any news on Thunder Moccasin?.. someone mentioned he was pointing to the Bay Shore but he's not in the field.

05 Apr 2012 7:19 PM

Draynay Im still up 2-0,nobody chose a winner or place horse in the last race.Make your pick in another race.

05 Apr 2012 7:39 PM

If you want to know how Union Rags should have run in the Florida Derby, watch a replay of the 9th race from Gulfstream today.  Revenue was trailing the field, went around horses on the inside, scraped a bit of rail while boxed in, then surged forward splitting 2 horses and got to the wire first.  When you watch her moves, you'll recognize what you expected from Rags, and then ask yourself why he couldn't deliver what Revenue did.

05 Apr 2012 7:54 PM

Jayjay.....let me know your Derby pick so I can pick the opposite.  What Florida Derby were you watching! !!!! You stick with TCI and see where that gets you. You would have a better chance if Borel was running!  

05 Apr 2012 8:15 PM


You are fixated on Gemologists' galloping action but fail to recognize that the colt has thrived over the winter.  You could be right about his vulnerability to injury but until his colours are lowered he has to be followed as a star on the rise.  

So far Alpha has beaten nothing and by less than flattering margins, and his connections have not shown the type of confidence in him that suggests he's an elite among this crop. It appears to me that they are more concerned with engineering a resume for stud purposes with this horse. He'll run his usual race in the Wood but Gemologist will pack too many guns for him. In fact Alpha might not even fill the exacta spot, which could go to Street life. However I predict a facile victory for the son of Tiznow that could make him the new favourite for the Kentucky Derby next week. Gemologist is a soup in the Wood. I cannot be more emphatic than that.

05 Apr 2012 8:29 PM
Rusty Weisner

Hi.  I've been lurking here for the past couple Triple Crown seasons and would love to participate in the run-up to the Derby.

05 Apr 2012 8:49 PM

If Alpha beat nothings, then who are the "somethings"? Truth be told, we ain't seen nothin' yet!

05 Apr 2012 9:34 PM

Something to think about: If there's a triple crown winner this year, who is it? Probably Gemologist, maybe Alpha or Our Entourage (if he gets in).

05 Apr 2012 9:45 PM

DontHateMe : I never said I was on TCI, the only reason I was rooting for him was because of Pat Byrne.  He's not my derby horse.  There are 4 more preps to go, I won't know who my derby horse is until after the post parade.  The horses I'm looking at right now that I believe has the best chance of winning based on how they have performed so far are :

Creative Cause


Secret Circle

I told you before, bet the house, bet the farm, bet all of it on UR.  Just like you bet $1000 on him in the Florida Derby.  LOL

06 Apr 2012 1:44 AM


Mr. Pletcher has a starter in the Bluegrass that I will be wagering heavily. I suggest you save your funs and joint me. Gemologist will not finish ahead of Alpha. If Alpha cannot finish ahead of Gemologist he does not deserve to be in the Derby. If a colt sired by the brilliant Bernardini who was joint world champion 3YO and HOY runner;  out of a mare sired by the 1970 British Triple Crown winner cannot win the Wood and Derby, Godolphin has no hopes of winning this elusive race. What you do not realize is the fact that Alpha is bred to get stronger the further a race goes.  He is a 2 mile horse. If he finally decides to run to his pedigree he will win the Wood easily and the Derby will be his for the taking. Tiger Walk should prefer the main track as he seemed to struggle on the inner track. The best finish projected for Gemologist is 3rd.

The A P Indy sire line has dominated the preps and the Wood will just be another to add to the collection. The bluegrass with serve up another victory by the sire line but it will not be Hansen

06 Apr 2012 1:46 AM

My worst fear has come, I have been working undercover and tasked with closely monitoring a very very dangerous situation for the last year.  I'm deeply saddened to inform you people that it has now been confirmed.  There is now definitive proof that Draynay is able to take over humans without their knowledge, control their mind and their thoughts and act like him using a complex virus called Draynite.   Our first case has been identified as Patient 0 (also known as Ranagulzion).  We are working hard with CDC to find an antidumb for this virus and are currently identifying other humans who are high candidates to become infected with this virus (we have a list but it is classified.)  Symptoms of this dreaded mind control includes eating chalks, bashing horses who are running against their picks, proclaiming a horse to win the triple crown before they even race the first jewel.  At this point we believe that the point of no return, the point where it will be impossible to revive the real person is when they have pick a horse that loses and finds a way to spin it so that they make it seem like the horse won.   These are dangerous times my friends, please make sure not to inhale any draynay comments, read it but don't go near it.  Reply to it but never get close to it.  Wipe your screen after  reading his comments.  We will provide an update on May 6th on patient 0 as well as if there are anyone else who have been infected.  Please be careful, you are all at risk.  Good luck Earth.

06 Apr 2012 1:47 AM

It aint easy : I can see why you're all excited about  Street Life.  I just watched his maiden and broad brush races and man, that horse has some kick.  I watched both races 3 times and I'm still not sure how he got up to win on both races specially the maiden race.  The Broad Brush was even more impressive in that I thought he was finished at the turn to the homestretch and I watched him and still can't believe how he made up that much ground on Copy My Swagger.  Unbelievable.

I see folks commenting about the inner vs the main track at Aqueduct, what's the difference ?  There must be a difference otherwise, whoever watches those two races will be in awe.  I'll hold off until after the Wood to jump on the bandwagon but this horse is looking like the real deal so far.  I can see why IAEBG is all bonkers over this horse.

06 Apr 2012 4:22 AM
Matthew W

It wouldn't surprise me if the big three all lose their final Derby preps--Mike Harrington is taking blinkers off Creative Cause for Santa Anita Derby--changing equipment after a win, he's looking at The Kentucky Derby as his real goal--and Hansen can lose on the lead over the Keeneland Poly, not to worry, all three look pretty solid to me--I have said Union Rags  is cut like Tiznow, with the massive muscles--he even ran like Tiz did in the Goodwood, before his final race, the 9/11 Classic, they both kinda ran in place up until right near the wire at 1 1/8, finally starting to close in but too late....I think he looks tons better now--he won't be overbet/overhyped like he had been, after all, he hasn't exactly Beyered like a standout! I don't think Bob Baffert was ducking Creative Cause, when he sent Bodemiester over to Arkansas--no,  it was a combo of not-thinking his Secret Circle can/will get the trip at 1 1/8--and I think he doesn't want to hook I'll Have Another--he will probably hook him Sat, with Paynter--I hope O'Neil gets it through to his jock about that--Baffert will attend the pace/shadow I'll Have Another, so I hope they adjust, or that they can--he has trained like he'll sit off of it, and he did just that in the Lewis--but I think Baffert will throw Paynter out there, so to speak--he has only a 5 1/2 fur race--it was impressive, I noted that--still, the lack of seasoning portends to the rabbit role looking likely for him,if I'm O'Neil, it would be hard for me to not get Bejarano for I'll Have Another, since he is such a good waiting jock, you want a jock who can use his speed for position but get him back--it takes strength and skilled hands, I like a guy like David Flores, Joe Talamo, Bejarano and of course Rosario, and if I had a horse like I'll Have Another I would be gettin' ready for picture taking on Sat, as well as in Kentucky, I think he's that good--at least he looks like a Derby Winner! 5-2 and I'll take it! Loved the Hovdey column, about five notable SA Derbies, my fave was Dinard/Best Pal/Sea Cadet, where there were three good (very!) horses, and the lead changed from Sea Cadet to Best Pal to the flying Dinard, whom I thought would've won  in Kentucky for fun...not a great card for Derby Day at Great Race Place, but I'll Have Another and Creative Cause are certainly worth the price of admission, The Potrero Grande is a nice field, The Carter looks as tough as I have ever seen it! Gonna unload on Shackelford! and box him with Jackson Bend and Caleb's Posse, watch out for a rail run from Nakatani--his specialty! Gemologist rushing it but he's a Tiznow, and it seems like the good Tiznow's run like pops, high cruising speed and strong in stretch---I like Street Life to keep on improving and run in the exacta with Gemologist...Sway Away looks tough at Santa Anita, and he has a huge kick, I'll box him with Amazombie...in Providencia, not sure Indigo River wins, but you will get a good price, what with the pace and fade at a mile in last, as well as losing Rosario--but she was sent from inside in latest, was caught in a fast pace battle, she actually hung tough the whole stretch, I would box her with Lady Of Shamrock and Byrama...In The American Beauty Belle Royale shows wins at 16-1, 40-1, 18-1, 6-1 and a neck loss at 10-1---she probably is facing/beating better than these, I'll box her with another comebacker, Go Forth North,who will probably creep up in odds from her outside post, she is a classy sort, herself, and all three of her career wins are at this distance--David Flores a very good turf/trip jock--this exacta, Belle Royale/Go Forth North, looks very live on Sat! As for tom, I love turf races, so I'm playing two on tom, trying to work out a trip with both, Race 5, rails out 24 feet to protect course for Sat, that can favor speed, I like the comebacker, He's A Dance Star, 6-1, to wire them...Race 7 at a mile, even though I just said the rails out favor speed, in this particular field there is plenty of speed, and I'll play two closers, the blinkers off Accelerant (10-1), and Mr Drysdale's comebacking Spring Forth (10-1), both to win/and boxed!

06 Apr 2012 6:17 AM

"The great ones will accelerate through a hole when the opportunity presents itself."  No, a truly GREAT horse will make a hole.

06 Apr 2012 6:32 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Rusty Weisner

  Just send $19.95 !!!! But wait, if you send it in the next ten minutes you get Bob from Boston's bonus book, "Who's Who of Bloggers" and a handy kitchen gadget all for only $9.95 instead of the normal $19.95. Welcome.

06 Apr 2012 6:39 AM
Smoking Baby

Mathew W.  Yes, good call on the memorable Santa Anita Derbies article.  LOVED that year with Best Pal, Sea Cadet (looked like a manx kitty with that tail) and Dinard.  I want to say 1992 but don't hold me to that.  I still love the Free House/Silver Charm Santa Anita Derby as well as Hill Rise by eight under Don Pierce in 1964.

06 Apr 2012 10:06 AM
It aint easy being good!

Jayjay finally someone has joined me on the street life bandwagon. The most impressive part of both his races was that fact the fractions were slow and he closed anyways. He is stepping way up in class but he is bred by street sense has a great trainer and will be fully cranked for this race. Is street life good enough I think so! Alpha has the one hole and hasnt raced in 2 months. Gemologist is good but he hasnt raced at aquaduct. The horse that scares me is my adonis mr. secondist!

06 Apr 2012 11:39 AM

There are great colts and fillies on the move!  The triple crown should be great this year!  I can hardly wait!  Rags, you will do fine Hansen, you are unreal and the others, like I said, what a great race stirring up!!!!  Mr. Calvin B., your race was the best! what a colt Indy is and what a jock! Wow....I bow to your wisdom sir!!!!

06 Apr 2012 11:51 AM

Rusty Weisner;

Welcome aboard!

06 Apr 2012 2:01 PM

Watch out everyone DRAYNAY will be on here bragging about the $30 bucks he made on his pig that couldnt get up in the 4th race at Keeneland today because he ran second and paid 4.60. Nice job giving the blog your "one winner on the day at keeneland" By the way who doubted it would be of course a Todd Pletcher horse... just wonder when Draynay dreams about Todd at night if the dream is something a sicko would be watching on the net at 3 am when his wife is in bed sleeping!! LOL After seeing his picks on a weekly basis doesn't make you just wish you had like 10-15% of what he loses year in and year out at the track... feed a starving nation if you wanted to! Good luck at the windows everyone...

06 Apr 2012 6:09 PM

These horses aren't machines. They have good days and bad days. Speed figures tell us what they can do, but not what they will do, workouts tell us absolutely nothing. Each race will be a different story. If you bet the "favorites" the first Saturday in May, you will probably go home broke. Long shots seem to be a safer bet in the Derby. I usually have a horse I'm pulling for, but I'm not vain enough to make predictions with any degree of certainty. You can't outsmart the ponies in this game. That must come as a shock to many fans, I apologize for the brief reality check. With that being said, don't be too hard on these horses, and expect too much, then you will not find yourself disappointed. Always hope for all to have a safe trip, and may the best horse win.

07 Apr 2012 2:45 AM

furlongs : I can never understand his betting strategy.  He bets hundreds to win $30.00, after spending hours and hours and hours reading the form.  I would rather watch a lame movie than spend a day reading the form to win $30.00.  It's a waste of time.  You're right though, he'll claim he won a lot of money.  I guess if one is used to losing, $30 is a LOT.  LOL

07 Apr 2012 4:58 AM

Draynay since you have not posted your pick for any new races,Ill have to take that to mean you are throwing in the towel(quitting)

07 Apr 2012 11:03 AM

furlongs I gave you the exacta for the Santa Anita Derby.  How much did it pay ? You are still waiting for Dialed In to come in aren't you....lol

07 Apr 2012 11:39 PM

Funny how the article for the aqu sprint stakes talks about the 4 tough horses in there, but the writer doesnt understand the "monster" awaiting those 4.......EMCEE!!!!!

KY VET 04 Apr 2012 11:38 PM

Monster ??  For someone who claims to be an expert, you STILL haven't picked a winner.  I can understand now why you don't like to post your picks, you have no idea how to pick a winner.  You just like to post your "I'm an expert" babble AFTER the race.

08 Apr 2012 1:34 AM

AngelalnAbilene: A truly GREAT horse doesn't need a "a hole", he or she just goes to the outside and passes all the others, like Zenyatta did, time and time again.

08 Apr 2012 2:59 AM


Thanks a whole $22 wow like Stevie Wonder wouldn't boxed those two horses! ANYWAY... I didnt bet dialed in in the derby so maybe you should look up your facts I boxed 4 horses in the race and ran 2nd 3rd and up the track with the other two... your the only one still taking about the KY Derby from last  year you know the race you lost as well!! But thanks for the Ex in the SA Derby lol, by the way I had the tri as well in both the SA Derby and Wood.. so now what do you have to say?

08 Apr 2012 9:14 AM

furlongs you have not picked a 22$ winner on this or any other blog ever.  Until you do move along.  

08 Apr 2012 11:40 AM

Draynay check out Saturdays BC Sprint picks I gave... you would have cashed the ex and tri which was WAY more then you cashed for the entire two days of BC Racing last year... Check out my picks from Turfway's Spiral Stakes you would have cashed... so have real facts or you move along.

08 Apr 2012 8:53 PM

BC picks ?  WHAT ?  last year ?  Dude it's April 2012 wake up.  Geez.

08 Apr 2012 10:50 PM


Really?? Your talking about your second place finish in last years Ky Derby and bragging about it and your telling me what year it is! lol I mean really! I am surprised your not still bragging about your last Ky Derby winner Big Brown!! The point being do I post picks every day like you? No... But then again I don't bet the horses everyday like you as well!! I mean really if I had your win % on these blogs I would have started over years ago with a new screen name out of pure embarrassment!!

09 Apr 2012 9:54 AM


09 Apr 2012 1:43 PM

I know its tiring keeping to pretend like you are something more then what you are isn't it? Draynay you will have my Derby bets at your disposal if you check the blogs on Friday night before Derby. I will have a couple horses I will key on top of Ex and Tri's and those same horses will be used in Pick 3's as well.

10 Apr 2012 4:29 PM
Ted from LA

The last word.

23 May 2012 5:49 PM

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