A Tell-Tale Weekend

Before handicapping each of the three Derby preps this weekend, let’s ask ourselves a hypothetical question: If Creative Cause wins the Santa Anita Derby, and/or Gemologist wins the Wood and carries an undefeated record to Louisville, will either or both of these be favored over Union Rags in the Kentucky Derby?

It will be interesting to see how it plays out and I guess it would depend on how each of them wins (if they do), but it might be a moot point anyway because if Hansen airs in the Blue Grass next weekend he will be favored over all three anyway, in my opinion. Anyway, it’s interesting to ponder as we get ready for a huge weekend of preps.

Wood Memorial

The pace could be swift in here with speedy sprinter The Lumber Guy likely to gun it from the outside under Cornelio and Teeth of the Dog probably showing speed as well. People are talking about how the race could set up for a mid-pack runner like Alpha or a closer Street Life—and it very well might—but Gemologist should also sit an ideal stalking trip just behind the front runners. Expect Castellano to let The Lumber Guy go from the outside and follow him around for three-quarters before taking over. From there, let the race begin.

I can’t say I was in the Gemologist corner last year even though he was undefeated in three starts. And even as recently as a few weeks ago I would have ranked him as Pletcher’s third or fourth top Derby contender (he might have too). But the Tiznow colt has really blossomed in the last few weeks and seems to be peaking . He couldn’t be coming into the race any better, so I will use him in all exotics. You have to take a stand against one of the favorites here and I’ll take mine against Alpha.

Street Life’s last two races were very impressive and he’s clearly an improving colt. He could be the one making that huge, late run (and I’ll probably use him in smaller tickets), but I think the biggest threat to Gemologist is My Adonis. If you throw out the Delta Jackpot at the Delta Downs bull ring, this colt has been very steady—finishing on the board in all of his other eight starts. He closed well in the Holy Bull, but a one-turn mile is not what he wants. In the Gotham he was beaten by Hansen (nothing to be ashamed of there), but was still running on in the stretch and finished six lengths clear of the third-place horse. If you take out the Delta Jackpot he has improved his Bris speed numbers in each of his last three races. He also trains at Aqueduct (bullet work on March 30) and just looks like a horse ready to fire his best effort. He’ll probably be the fourth choice on the board, so he’s going to be a fair price. I’ll play win/place on My Adonis and box him with Gemologist.

Santa Anita Derby

Creative Cause is the deserving favorite, though I think 6-5 is a little bit too heavy. He breaks from the rail, probably won’t be fully cranked since he doesn’t need earnings, and is removing blinkers after his San Felipe win. Because of all those factors I’m inclined to take a stand against him.

I’ll Have Another is the wild card in here. If he runs back to his Lewis off a layoff, everyone else is running for second. There is some speed in here, but not a ton, so he could get a nice, comfortable trip near the pace and have things his own way turning for home. There is the element of unknown with this colt though, since he is so lightly-raced and he comes off such a big effort. The possibility is certainly there that he regresses. Or, he might be the real deal. You’ll have to make a decision either way. I’m going to use him in my exotics.

For some reason I’ve been on the Liaison bandwagon in his last two races and he has disappointed both times. Maybe it’s because Baffert likes him so much, but either way I’ll give him one more chance. This is certainly the place to take a chance on him, since he is 8-1 on the morning-line and will probably be every bit of that by post time. I like that Bejarano gets back aboard; he’s the one that rode him in his three wins as a juvenile. I liked his six-furlong work at Santa Anita on Monday, and I like that Baffert has won this race six times (including last year with Liaison’s owner Arnold Zetcher—Midnight Interlude). Win/place on Liaison for me.

Baffert has three in here and I’m inclined to use Blueskiesnrainbows in exotics instead of Paynter, who I think is in too tough of a spot in his second start. Blueskiesnrainbows has some tactical speed too and distance should be no problem with his pedigree.

Illinois Derby

I really have no idea what to make of this race. Currency Swap is the 4-1 morning line favorite and the only graded stakes winner in the field; and just got drilled by seven lengths by Gemologist. I was impressed by Our Entourage’s turf allowance and he has been working very competitively against Pletcher’s top horses on dirt, so I think he’ll run a decent race. I just not sure he’ll have the same closing kick on dirt.

I do like Hakama a bit even though he got drilled in the Gotham two back. His last race on March 17 at Laurel was pretty good and he came back to work a bullet for Michael Trombetta at Fair Hill since then. He’s gone a route of a ground a couple different times and won both of them and has tactical speed. He has a chance to run a winning race here, so I’ll have some win/place money on him.

As a longshot how about Morgan’s Guerrilla? He’s also got speed and stretched out successfully in his last start. With Rosie aboard for Mike Maker, and at 20-1 on the morning-line, he looks interesting. I’ll be watching the tote board.

Good luck this weekend. Who do you like?


Leave a Comment:

Smoking Baby

 Good morning Jason and Jasonites.  If Creative Cause, Gemologist or both romp this weekend I believe both probably SHOULD be favored over Union Rags in the Derby just off form alone.  But here's the thing...Charisma is a funny thing and like him or not Union Rags has it in spades.  You could be in the paddock and not know a thing about horses and once they lead this colt in you'd be saying to yourself "Wow...there's a good one."  There's just something about him.  With this in mind assuming Creative Cause or Gemologist wins impressively this weekend, should they be favored over Union Rags?  Probably.  WILL they be favored over Union Rags?  Anyone's guess.  God I love this sport.

06 Apr 2012 11:24 AM

nooooooo! there goes my adonis's chances...sigh...grrr....


06 Apr 2012 11:32 AM
Carlos in Cali

The Wood sets up pefectly for Alpha, he should be tracking the speed from the rail ready to pounce. Watch him as he gets clear sailing and wears down his opposition,like a good horse should.

06 Apr 2012 11:58 AM

SA Derby:

I'll Have Another

Creative Cause

Midnight Transfer

Liason is too slow for me, Paynter is untested and has one start at 5 1/2F.

Wood Memorial:


My Adonis


Teeth of the Dog

Good luck to all!

06 Apr 2012 2:29 PM
Matthew W

Just caught Dr Diamonds Prize, Mark Hubley, trainer--18-1, had only one race at Keeneland, and it was her career best! Now, in the verty next race, I see another ark Hubley horse, (Hubley only had one win going into today), and THIS horse, Codoy, has had only one race over Keeneland's turf, and it was his best race, also! Same angle, same trainer, and even longer odds--he's boxcar odds, 30-1 right now....I love Keeneland! I don't even mind the poly track--after all, the old Keeneland was dirt, but it played to inside speed like no other track I have ever seen, Keeneland has always had a special feeling to it...

06 Apr 2012 3:03 PM

lol@papillon.  That's not very nice to infer that Jason is a "moosh"!

Odd thing is, I landed on the same 3 horses: My Adonis, Blueskies and the Guerilla; albeit for less logical reasons.

I've liked My Adonis for quite some time.  Tough spot for him to be, needing earnings against this group.

I just don't see the "favorites" in these 3 races as standouts.  So I'll be taking a stand against in all 3 races.

06 Apr 2012 3:18 PM


 I think you pegged the Wood perfectly. I'm going with Gemologist for the w/p and boxing him and My Adonis for the exacta. Like you, I am going to take a stand against Alpha. I'll have Stree Life on my tickets also.

 I think your wrong on the SA. I am tossing Laison and think that I'll Have Another is the real deal and will play him on top of CC and Blueskies.

06 Apr 2012 5:05 PM

I'm shocked by the relatively short fields in the Aqueduct guaranteed pick 4.  Don't see much beyond the top 3 in each race.  

06 Apr 2012 5:41 PM

When I look at the paper(pps)I can see My Adonis being on or tracking the pacesetter from post 3 in the Wood.Look at his body of work he usually breaks well except in the Holy Bull where he was bumped,and his speed figures are near the top.He also had a bullet work.His conections had Pants on Fire,and Ruler on Ice in the triple crown last year, which had races where they ran close to the front.Ruler on Ice seemed to relax more after his Belmont win and in the Derby at Parx he ran from the back as well as in the Classic.Before the Belmont he had at least one fast work.I think The Lumber Guy will try to cross in front but My Adonis could find himself in the garden spot.

06 Apr 2012 6:43 PM

Wood:  The Lumber Guy gets loose on the lead and wins

Santa Anita Derby:  Creative Cause wins in a laugher

Illinois:  Our Entourage will win easy.

06 Apr 2012 7:34 PM
Don from PA/DE

Jason, I agree with your analysis of "The Wood", I have been so high

on "Gem" since he beat me in his G-2 win at CD in Nov, I learned, he was battle tested there, and since then have been so high on him and expect him to win big with ANY other horse second,third, etc. Believe Alpha will dud maybe 4th. I like Creative Cause and he is my second KD choice now, he should win.  Illinois...Grade-1 winner Currency Swap, I hope wins, he was sedcond to "Gem" in his return at GS and should improve big time.Don

06 Apr 2012 7:51 PM

In the Wood, I am going with The Lumber Guy, he does have a quarter crack, but if they think he is ok to run he is good enough to take this race.  I like Gemologist to run second.

In the Santa Anita Derby I will play a straight win on Paynter. This year we have seen so many surprises so far, why think they won't continue.

The Illinois Derby has a group of beautifully bred horses, I have been a fan of Currency Swap, and believe he will run first or second here with Our Entourage.

06 Apr 2012 8:49 PM

Wow, if Gemologist emerges still undefeated after the Wood and Creative Cause wins in SA we've got ourselves a great top Derby 4 with Rags and Hansen.  Whew, if Gem and CC win does it mean they have already peaked and Rags has not yet?  Don't know but what a weekend of racing it is going to be.  

Santa Anita Derby picks:

Paynter ('cause Martin Garcia's up)

Creative Cause

Midnight Transfer (just giving the little Hard Spun a chance)

The Wood:

Gemologist (shows consistency)

Street Life

My Adonis (finishes in the $ most times out)

I have no idea either what to make of the Illinois Derby.  I'll go with Mike Repole's Our Entourage for the win.  Good luck to all betting and safe trips to all horses.

06 Apr 2012 8:51 PM
Paula Higgins

Yes if Creative Cause and Gemologist win, I would definitely place them above Union Rags. If they come in second, I still might place them above Union Rags. But I still hope Union Rags wins the Derby for Michael Matz. I would LOVE to be wrong about this one but my gut tells me he has distance limitations. BUT having said that I do think his ride wasn't great last time out. I think Pltcher has done a great job with Gemologist and picking his races.

06 Apr 2012 11:30 PM

I like Creative Cause a whole lot, ditto Gemologist. However I dislike their odds tomorrow - Cause 6/5, Gemologist 8/5. That being said, my picks are looking similar to yours. I've been a fan of Liaison since his HollyPark wins, yeah he's disappointed lately, but I'm in a good mood this weekend to give him another shot at redemption. I'll pair him with Creative Cause on top, hope for some value out of that, bottom I'll Have Another, drastically lower odds this time, and Midnight Transfer. The rest I can't really get a read on them.

I like My Adonis in the Wood a lot, and Hansen isn't in here so I like his chances even more. Him and Gemologist for me, I'm uneasy on Alpha, awful lot of excuses without running from his connections, but I may toss him in, the rest again I can't really get a read on.

Didn't look too hard at the Illinois Derby but the Maker trainee you mention sounds sort of appealing, perhaps I'll give it a look.

These races look to be exciting, but still eagerly awaiting Hansen's run in the Blue Grass next week. And yes if Creative Cause wins he should be favorite for the time being over Union Rags. Been a while since I've seen a horse get that many excuses for him.

Best of luck to everyone.

06 Apr 2012 11:41 PM

Bay Shore

Hardened Wildcat


How do I Win

Wood Memorial

My Adonis



07 Apr 2012 12:24 AM

Draynay / KY Vet :  Here's 3 new additions to my album.  P5 and P4 at Santa Anita.  Check out how much the ticket cost LOL.  I hit the P4 cause I copied my P5 ticket after I got through the first leg.  I stayed and played the night races.  The G1 at Australia A track, 3.6 Million purse.  The guy at the track told me that the 9 horse was undefeated and has an explosive kick, then he told me that the 1 horse was also undefeated.  I asked him what post the 9 horse has and he told me 11th.  I saw that the 1 horse has the 1 hole and it's a 6F race so I bet pretty much the 1 and the 9.  I threw in some longshots and I got lucky with the 30-1 beating the 9.  All together a $12 investment.  I'll let you check how much the payout was HAHAHA.  This is why I try to beat the favorites.  I'll be honest though, I had about $60 invested with some favorites in the P5 at Santa Anita but it's the $4 ticket that paid HUGE :)


07 Apr 2012 2:50 AM

KY Vet : I think Draynay beat you by default since you failed yet again to post your picks.  I'm sure tomorrow you'll have a lot to say about the races and tell us yet again that you knew who won AFTER the race.  He didn't pick a winner either but at least he made a pick.

You two need to go head to head and see who the king of the village is.  Post your picks for Keeneland races on Sunday and let's see who should be crowned the village idi.... err king.

07 Apr 2012 4:58 AM

The one major drawback about Alpha and is the main reason I'm not too confident that he'll win is that I don't know if Ramon has his full strength back after his injury.  I have to think that it's too soon for him and he may actually cause Alpha the win.  Throw in the fact that Alpha has not run for 2 months, it's just a lot of question marks for me to put a lot of money on him.  He may just be all class and be too much for this field but I'll let him beat me for the win.  

Of all the preps, I'll probably play the Illinois Derby the most.  Even if the favorite wins (whoever that might be), the payout will be big.  It's a great betting race, specially for a "guess" bettor like me ;)

07 Apr 2012 5:18 AM

Santa Anita Derby:

I'll Have Another, a rising star with a big upside, needs to score and will fire.

Creative Cause, just needs to have a good workout, do not see him being used, needs to peak on Derby Day.

 Will play WP on I'll Have Another.

Wood Memorial:

 Will box the three heavies, Alpha, Gemologist and My Adonis for the exacta.  WP on Gemologist and hope he's the real deal.

Illinois Derby:

Will W bet only on Our Entourage.

Good Luck to everyone!

07 Apr 2012 9:54 AM

Wood Memorial:

ALPHA: The A P Indy sire lis has so far won 7 Derby preps. It is undoubtedly the hottest sire line this season. Alpha is bred for 2 mile and the 9F of the Wood will suit him the most.  It should not be forgotten that his dam won Oaks Trial S. (Eng-LR,11F) and was 3rd in the Pretty Polly S. (Eng-LR,10F) His dams staying potential coupled with Bernardini’s stamina make him a genuine route horse.  He must be the colt to beat.

TIGER WALK: He owes me money and I am prepared to give him a final chance to repay. His action on the inner track does not compare to the action he displayed at Laurel Park. This leads me to believe he was not enjoying the inner track. This colt’s sire Teal Of The Cat was also the sire of Wood winner Tale Of Akati. His unraced dam was sire by the incomparable Kris S. This colt is bred to some damage and I think the outer /main tack will provide him an opportunity to display those powerful strides seen at Laurel Park.

GEMOLOGIST: He has suddenly become everybody’s #1 Derby choice by virtue of his impressive 3YO debut victory. I was not impressed with his slow KJC victory and I am still not impressed with his 3YO effort. This is a big colt with a flaring front left who is expected to take on one of the best bred router in the US at 9F off one start. He running style is similar to that of Alpha. However, Alpha has two start in G1 race and was beaten by Union Rags coming off a maiden effort. Gemologist was not considered fast enough or good enough to contest the BCJ and now he has emerged the colt to beat in the Derby. Thing do not unfold this way in thoroughbred racing. Why is has improvement considered superior to those that were obviously better than him a 2YOs? A victory by this colt will be very surprising.

THE LUMBER GUY: Very fast colts from the Mr. Prospector sire line. His dam was sire by Unbridled Song who was broodmare sire of winners of the Lanes End, Bluegrass and Bob Lewis. This colt has a really nice stride on him and I think he will be effective at 9F. He was sires by the recently departed Grand Slam who belong to the elite group of grandsons of Mr. Prospector. A victory for this colt could provide a a good day for the Mr. P sire line as  I expect Holy Candy and Done Talking to figure seriously in the SA & IL Derbies.

07 Apr 2012 10:15 AM
El Kabong


If they win, they have to be favored above Rags if one is using a reasonable basis for ranking and not ranking based on some dreamy hope that Matz has landed another Barbaro that deserves a rank based on nothing more than a Barbaro complex....... the resurrection of Barbaro & Matz via Union Rags. Stop it.  

Cards on the table, I do not get what so many claim is great about this horse. Good, yes, but deserving a rank without the performance, no way. He handled News Pending and Discreet Cat but what do you  think of those two now? FInished 3rd, for whatever reason floats your boat, in the Florida Derby. How can anyone say this is your favorite? Here's a little test for Union Rags zealots. Imagine this horse is trained by Rick Dutrow and tell me what you honestly think of him? Just a little test.

Hansen has outperformed Union Rags to date and so have others. Lets see how Gemologist handles My Adonis and Alpha. Hansen chewed My Adonis in the stretch and I expect that Gemologist will do the same but that will play into the ranking for sure. Alpha gives me the impression that he will be more effective at Belmont, but too slow for today's test.

In all fairness to Creative Cause, his team is playing around with strategy this weekend so we may not get his best. I like the idea using this race to answer some of the questions we all have about Creative Cause. Don't touch him, don't blind him, just ride him and see what happens. I'll Have Another is for real and these two should leave the rest rubbing their open wounds if the CC experiment works. If not, look for the bearded O'Neil to make his presence felt in Louisville and look for Harrington to begin his search for a magic hood.

That all I got Jason, good luck at the tote.  

07 Apr 2012 10:18 AM
Mike Monarchos

I think Gemologist is ready to win the Wood. I'll key him over The Lumber Guy, My Adonis, and Alpha in exactas, tris, and supers.  I might box those four.

I guess I'll go with Our Entourage and Morgan's Guerrilla in the Illinois Derby.

In the Santa Anita Derby I'll box Creative Cause, I'll Have Another, and Paynter. The latter could be the

(Marilyn) "dream horse"!

07 Apr 2012 10:19 AM

SA Derby: Holy Candy appears to be a colt that requires 9F to be at his best. His maiden victory has convinced me that he has the class to win the SA Derby. His long powerful strides will be too much for the likes of Creative Cause and I’ll Have Another. His sire Candy Ride needs no introduction as he is one of the most brilliant horses that have been brought to this country from South America. No other colt in the lineup was sired by a World Record holder. Any colt produced from a Deputy Minister mare that shows exceptional ability is not to be taken lightly in spite of limited experience. Curlin stands as a reminder. This colt will be the key horse in my wagers. Assuming he is allowed to run! Did I mention he is from the Mr. P sire line?

IL Derby:  Done Talking has to be the colt to beat. He finished a NK/1/2L behind El Pradrino in the Remsen. In the process he ran by Our Entourage who was stopping rapidly. His trip in the Remsen was similar to that of Union Rags in the FL Derby. He has drawn an outside post In the IN Derby and this is a positive as his two victories were achieved while being wide on the final turn. He had no chance in the Gotham as that track was not playing to closers. If this colt is fit and ready he will be doing his best work in the last 50 meters and I think he is good enough to catch them.  He will be ithe key colt n all my wagers. Did I mention he is from the Mr. P sire line?

07 Apr 2012 10:40 AM
Pedigree Ann

The RB Lewis (ex Santa Catalina)S. hasn't been all that good as a predictor of future success this year. The second horse Empire Way bombed in the San Felipe, as did the actual third Groovin' Solo and official third Rousing Sermon. The latter was again third in the lacklustre Louisiana Derby (a slow race on a fast track), verifying that the RBL wasn't that great a field. I'll Have Another is a nice horse, but he wasn't beating much. This is a big step up for him.

Back in 1969, when Majestic Prince, Arts and Letters, Top Knight, and Dike were winning most of the more important preps among them, the Derby ended up with an 8-horse field. Reason took hold; owners and trainers saw no reason to watch their horses get distanced again.

Grades of races are not based on the current field assembled. They are based on the history of the event, money in the pot, and a few intangibles. A G2 or even a G1 can be barely of G3 quality in any given year, only to bring together a stellar group the next. You have to look at the horses, not the grade, when comparing performances.

And I don't care who wins they Illinois Derby; they aren't going to be worth looking at on Derby day.

Alex's Fan. Paynter? Really? No matter how talented, he's not ready to tackle this field in his first 2-turn race. Baffert is not a magician.

07 Apr 2012 10:55 AM

Wood:  I love Chad Brown's preparation of Street Life; he will catch Gem, who will be a close second.

SA:  don't think Creative Cause will win today, like Rags, I don't think he is cranked; look for Brother Francis and Midnight Transfer for long shots.  Throw in Hollendorfer's horse, Longview Drive,  for exotics.

Illinois: Pretension, Z Rock Star, Currency Swap.  No Derby winner here IMO.

07 Apr 2012 1:08 PM

Aqueduct (Program numbers from equibase.com)

.50 P4 :

2 with 8,1 with  6,3,5 with All ($15.00)

3 with 3,8 with  6,3,5 with All ($15.00)

$1 P4

1 with 8,2 with 3,6 with All ($20.00)

If it hits, the payout should be decent.  If none of it wins, I only lose $50.00 :)  I think it's a good investment.  Hopefully it pays out!  Good luck to all betting wisely this weekend.  May you all hit the big one!

07 Apr 2012 1:46 PM
Paula Higgins

Creative Cause

Gemologist, Alpha 1 and 2 not sure which first. But hope Gemologist comes out on top.

Lumber Guy

07 Apr 2012 2:05 PM

Bay Shore………….Hardened Wildcat loves the Aqueduct inner and now has to adjust to the outer.  I like his determined come from behind style and the fact that his final individually timed quarter in the Caposella was in a swift 22.97 seconds.  Trinniberg was a bearcat in his last and beat several Derby contenders in the Swale when he ran away from Ever So Lucky, which in the Kentucky Cup was 2nd to Gemologist and in that race finished ahead of several Derby contenders.  I’m betting that a switch to the north from Florida and picking up 5 lbs. will have an adverse affect.  Both horses have had workmanlike works leading up to this race.  How Do I Win for third.  He should make Trinniberg work, but has a tendency to throw in the towel late.

Hardened Wildcat


How Do I Win

Wood Memorial…………Gemologist is logical here and why not.  He’s done everything right to this point in his career and regardless of how he does today he will still be a Derby threat (provided he gets the necessary graded earnings).  I have two concerns, (A) the bounce factor in running his second race off a layoff, and (B) his running style.  I would prefer him to talk the pace and not try and set it.  I think that he’s a tremendous talent, but his running style must be changed from what it was in the past.  My Adonis is also an intriguing horse (at least to me).  If he tries to run on the pace then I say forget about him.  But if he is rated and runs like he did in the Holly Bull when he made up seven lengths on Algorithms and Hansen in the stretch run then he is a threat.  He needs to win this race and it will take his best running style to win it.  I’m gambling that they bring him from behind today and think that if they do he can actually win this race.  Alpha for third.  He hasn’t run all that fast so far in his career, but to me that isn’t a concern.  Class is the most important element in racing (IMO) and if he has the class to compete with the top two he has a chance.  I think he’ll be a close up third.

My Adonis



Illinois Derby………Currency Swap is so logical in this race that it’s difficult to see him going down to defeat.  I think he will.  He has the bounce factor to deal with but he also has not been all that impressive IMO.  His G1 was basically against nobodies and he is too lightly raced.  He still has to show that he can run a distance.  I think he’ll lead into the stretch and then get run down by Pretension.  In the Gotham this guy was stuck on the rail and the field was much tougher than this one today.  He was also 35-1, which speaks to the quality of the field.  However, in the race before, the Sweet Envoy he out gutted Swag Daddy and Swag Daddy, IMO, would be a strong candidate to win this race.  Hakama for the place with Currency Swap hanging on for the show.



Currency Swap

Santa Anita Derby…………A no brainer for the win IMO.  Creative Cause is easily top two for the Derby at this point though he still has to win at 9F.  I think we’ll see that today.  Brother Francis for the place.  His money races have been on synthetics and turf.  However, I believe that possibly his best race might have been his maiden on dirt at SA when he closed 8 ¾ lengths in the stretch and ran his final 16th in something like 5.56 seconds.  His breeding says that he can get the 9F and if he’s taken back at the start, the 10 post will not be a problem.  Show is a toughie but I’m going to take a flyer on Holy Candy who just might be a wake up horse sitting on a big race.

Creative Cause

Brother Francis

Holy Candy

07 Apr 2012 2:24 PM

Midnight Transfer over Creative Cause and Baffert's Paynter in the SA Derby

Currency Swap to romp in the Illinois Derby

Trinniberg to trample Bay Shore competition

Gemologist in a no contest Wood romp

07 Apr 2012 2:50 PM

Only horse I'm really rooting for is Gemologist. I'll be happy if he either wins or places and manages to get into the Derby.

07 Apr 2012 3:44 PM
Carlos in Cali

Broadway's Alibi romps... on to the Oaks.

Alpha silences all the critics by taking down Pletcher's flavor-of-the-week,with My Adonis for third.

07 Apr 2012 4:06 PM
Carlos in Cali

Box- Maan,Trinni,HDIW in the Bay Shore.

I won't be surprised if Casual Trick runs big after having corrective throat surgery.He battled with Reveron down the stretch in the GP Derby and was nipped at the wire,then flipped his palate in his next 2 starts.Zito loves the way he's coming-up to the Wood.I'll use him in exotics somehow.

Street Life won't get my money vs. these type.They won't be shortening stride like the horses he's faced in his last races.

07 Apr 2012 4:32 PM
Mike Relva


Interested to read your response when GODS horse doesn't win today. Think Street Life will take it. Also, Midnight Transfer winning.

07 Apr 2012 4:56 PM

poor my adonis--the bad juju of me and jason picking the same horse is the kiss of death. happens everytime...

it kind of looked to me like creative cause hung at the end--he kind of seemed to do the same thing last time out, but this time wasn't running against a horse that was already cooked before the wire.

good race by gem and alpha...have a feeling gem becomes the hype horse now

07 Apr 2012 7:01 PM

Higgins: you couldn't handicap a 12 year old little league tournament.  I want to go on record that I've stated all along a horse on nobody's radar would win the KY Derby. After Union Rags and Creative Cause proved they can't win at 9 furlongs against just average horses, it is apparent that once again I am right.  I'm going on record:  Daddy Nose Best is the best 3 year old colt in training.  Will he win?  Absolutely....bet on it simpletons.    

07 Apr 2012 7:27 PM
Don from PA/DE

Hey Coldfacts, I believe they named you right, cold facts gone wrong as far as "Gemologist" rating, hopefully he know has proven to you that what you thought was knowledge, is not fact.

His JVC victory was awesome as fast as UR ,etc....time to move on and embrace this champ and recognize his value and champstatus

07 Apr 2012 8:05 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.

Draynay 04 Apr 2012 9:30 PM

This is why I am the greatest handicapper in the world.  

07 Apr 2012 8:52 PM
Paula Higgins

Sylvester, you horse's rear end, I picked Gemologist. He won. I said Union Rags probably isn't going to get the distance. Creative Cause ran a good race and lost by a nose. He is still on the Derby radar for me. Speaking of the Little League Sylvester, I bet you never made the cut. Gemologist, Alpha and Creative Cause are rising to the top of the list so far. As for Daddy Nose Best, lets hope you didn't put the curse on him Sylvester.

07 Apr 2012 10:13 PM

Nailed a $20 tri in the wood memorial. I think I'll Have Another is a talented horse, he is in my top 3 now. CC lost nothing in defeat, he lost to a fresh horse. Gemologist isn't the monster that everyone thought he was going to be, Alpha could have been hindered by Ramon's injury. The Illinois Derby was a crap shoot like it is every year now.

On to the last major preps next week!

07 Apr 2012 10:44 PM
El Kabong

You have to like the response Gemologist  gave to Alpha when he caught Alpha sneaking up on him. As the youngest of 4 brothers, I know that look and Alpha was being played.

Oh hey little bro,

you want a piece of this ?

you want a piece of this ?

Oh, too late, there goes the camera.

07 Apr 2012 11:04 PM
Matthew W

Off a 5 1/2 fur mdn race, Paynter ran on well in the stretch--out of full to Tiznow means he has a huge nick on his immediate female side--he'll be a good one, like the Wood winner, you could see the Tiznow inside the shadow of the wire--Paynter is a horse to watch in Preakness, as for the Kentucky Derby, I think you may have the winner today, in the Santa Anita Derby, and I think his name is I'll Have Another!

07 Apr 2012 11:05 PM
Matthew W

Great ride by Nakatani in Carter! He moved early, while he had distance on Caleb's Posse, and that early move is what got his pic taken! All he does is fire, as does Amazombie--he wouldn't be denied, as California has a top-rated Cal-bred sprinter again! Thought Lady Of Shamrock looked solid again, but the horse that blew me away the most today at Great Race Place was Belle Royale, who finished her final 1/4 in unbelievable manner! Over in New York, Gemologist was  tough and showed heart--over a dullish track--he may not have run as fast as they did at Santa Anita, but he looked good in his own right....

07 Apr 2012 11:15 PM


Nice job on a what $22 Ex in the SA Derby! As if anyone would look at that field and could come up with more then 2 possible combinations that looked to cash a ticket. lol Tell us how much you lost at Keeneland cause the Frenchman didn't win a race on Saturday and J Cast. won 3 races at Aqu and we know one of the winners you didn't bet (Gemologist) so the others paid $7 and $4... So basically we are waiting for you to tell us how much you took a bath on this weekend so far. Thank god you can stop the bleeding with Easter on Sunday huh?I mean it was you that said when J Cast and the Frenchman win races you clean up! LOL your a complete joke. I played golf with a guy once and beat him by 12 strokes and when we get in the clubhouse all he is doing is running his mouth about an Eagle he made on 16. I mean please. When you get your clock cleaned the very least thing you should do is keep your mouth shut! Every time you post on these blogs all you do is show how bad you really are at picking bad low prices horses on a very consistent basis. Now with that out of the way...Can't wait till next Saturday will be in the Phoenix  Room at Keeneland for the Bluegrass Stakes, and also looking forward to seeing how Bodemeister comes out of his last race and runs for the first time outside of CA.

Good luck at the windows everyone!

07 Apr 2012 11:20 PM

Sylvester I have to say Daddy Nose Best is on my radar for sure with 10 races under his belt and wins on all 3 surfaces.  Scat Daddy has been breeding gold and the mare is out of Thunder Gulch.  He has back to back wins at 1 1/8th and should love the added distance.  5 weeks rest doesn't hurt either.  He is in my top 3.  The only negative is Julien HAS BEEN riding him and seems to prefer Union Rags.

07 Apr 2012 11:28 PM
Mister Frisky

El Kabong,Hope you made it to the windows today.Your pre- race analysis was spot on.At this point Creative Cause still could win the derby in spite of his trainer.Don't know why he would even bother with blinkers off.Mike Harrington is a good horseman.But,until this point most of his success has been in so cal with cal-breds.I think come Kentucky the moment might be too big for him.Advantage Matz and Pletcher.

08 Apr 2012 12:32 AM

Draynay, you're a genius! You boxed the favorite AND the second choice!? No way! You're probably the only handicapper in the world who thought I'll Have Another and Creative Cause would finish 1-2! Well done!

08 Apr 2012 12:34 AM

Meanwhile, the rest of us are actually taking our chances with horses who aren't favorites!

08 Apr 2012 12:35 AM

Furlongs I bet 25 races on Friday and had a GREAT TIME opening day at Keeneland.   When the dust settled I won 103 bucks.  Didn't get rich but had a wonderful time with some great people.  I had a couple of place wins at Keeneland and had the winner in the last thanks to Kent.  It was enough to pay for a nice dinner at Chops, rent a couple of movies and then enjoy Krispy Kreme in the morning.  What a great weekend !  Furlongs stick with me and you won't get stuck with a horse like Dialed In.  Because deep down inside, in places you don't talk about you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.

08 Apr 2012 12:35 AM

Coldfacts:  Good call and analysis on Done Talking($27.20) in the Illinois Derby.  Do you have a crystal ball?

Sylvester:  I've had Daddy Nose Best in my top 5 for a while.  He's a dead closer with a big chance in the Derby, but your name calling is getting old.  Try a happy meal at Micky D's or go see the new Stooges movie on Friday and come up with some new names to call people like, puddin' head, lamebrain or porcupine.  Better yet get a good belly laugh, you might feel better about yourself.

Gemologist per Javier Castellano was waiting and lollygagging a little in the stretch, then re-engaged when Alpha came to him.  He's still learning and Pletcher has kept a lot in the tank.  He's got the Tiznow fight in him and going into the Derby undefeated is going to create a lot of buzz.  He won't back down in the stretch.

I'll Have Another is another one with a lot left in the tank and showed his grit against a very accomplished Creative Cause who needs his blinkers back on to keep him focused; he was all over the track in the stretch.

Two promising performances by the winners without taking anything away from CC and Alpha.  Depending on the Bluegrass and Arkansas Derby, I belive we are going to see another Derby with a handful of good horses with big chances and very attractive odds.    

08 Apr 2012 12:54 AM

More races to go but right now my top 4 is Union Rags, Daddy Nose Best, Creative Cause and Alpha.  Alpha may seem like a strange pick but Gemologist had to give it everything to beat a horse that was off for 3 months.  Any move forward and Alpha is the better horse.  Alpha lost the race in the first turn when he was checked hard and had to be used a little to get back in the race.  Post positions could change my top 4 but these are the best coming into Derby workouts.

08 Apr 2012 1:07 AM

trackjack : Nice pick on I'll Have Another, you've been touting this horse for as long as I can remember, nice job.

I like Gemologist's win today.  It reminded me of his Daddy's race against Giant's Causeway in the 2000 Breeder's Cup Classic where Tiznow after going toe to toe with Albert The Great for most of the race was resilient.  Watch the stretch run of that race and you can see how similar Gemologist's race in the Wood today was to his Daddy.  I had to watch it again :


This is the kind of race I was hoping to see from Gemologist.  It showed he has his Dad's genes (1st generation pedigree handicapping!! lol) He needed a good battle and the Wood gave him that.  I can only see him getting tougher as the race gets longer.  Right near the wire, he was actually starting to pull away again from Alpha.  That's what I wanted to see from him and what I expected.  Now, I have to wait for the post draw.

I was pretty impressed with Alpha as well, off for two months and he didn't miss a beat.  As I mentioned before, I don't know if Ramon has his full strength back and I wonder if that caused Alpha the win.  I didn't see Ramon working too hard.  I guess getting 2nd is enough to make the Derby since he already has 180K in earnings.

Unless Exothermic shows up in the last preps and wins convicingly like I've been hoping he would,  I think I'm set with my Derby picks.  Who I put all my money on still depends on the post position draws:


Secret Circle

Creative Cause


So Todd Pletcher won his very first Ky Derby last year with a horse that they never expected to win the Derby.  Super Saver is also owned by Winstar.  Could Gemologist actually start Todd's string of KY Derby wins year after year since he got the monkey off his back ?

For those that said Javier made a stupid decision about jumping off Union Rags should be hiding now.  I think Jason nailed it in his article, it was a business decision but mostly because Todd had a lot of horses.  Now he has the favorite, and I think the one with the best chance at winning the Derby.

Ranagulzion : You still think Union Rags is the 2012 Triple Crown winner ??

08 Apr 2012 1:19 AM

This is why I am the greatest handicapper in the world.  

Draynay 07 Apr 2012 8:52 PM

I guess most of the betting public are also the greatest handicappers in the world.  If I remember correctly, the winner was the 2nd favorite at 4-1 and the favorite ran second at 4-5, that's pretty hard to handicap.  I may have to go back to reading the form and study it for hours to be able to pick these types of winners. LOL

08 Apr 2012 1:34 AM

Sylvester I have to say Daddy Nose Best is on my radar for sure with 10 races under his belt and wins on all 3 surfaces.  Scat Daddy has been breeding gold and the mare is out of Thunder Gulch.  He has back to back wins at 1 1/8th and should love the added distance.  5 weeks rest doesn't hurt either.  He is in my top 3.  The only negative is Julien HAS BEEN riding him and seems to prefer Union Rags.

Draynay 07 Apr 2012 11:28 PM

Look at this guy, prior to the FL Derby, he's all Union Rags is a monster.  I said he'll be jumping off UR days before the Derby but it's pretty evident he's already on his way.  He's not even thinking about UR anymore lol.  His last statement pretty much says a lot.  I bet he deleted the rest of that statement but if I were to guess :

" The only negative is Julien HAS BEEN riding him and seems to prefer Union Rags who doesn't stand a chance at winning the KY Derby, the Florida derby exposed his distance limitation. "  LOL

08 Apr 2012 2:21 AM
Carlos in Cali

PgDn key the best thing since...?

08 Apr 2012 2:21 AM

Todd Pletcher just announced that he has consulted with Draynay and will indeed be sending Gemologist to the Preakness.

08 Apr 2012 5:46 AM

Great races yesterday!  Really loved the determination shown by the top 2 in both the SA and Wood.  How that will translate at 1 1/4 at Churchill is difficult to gauge.  We'll have to see how they look in their works in the weeks before the Derby.

Really interested to see what kind of works I'll Have Another gets.  Will they stretch him again or will they take it a bit easier on him to keep him fresh?

I cannot separate the top 6 or so horses right now.

08 Apr 2012 6:46 AM

Anyone notice how DRAYNAY has like 6-7 horses in his Top 3 for this years KY Derby?? LOL Every blog outside of Union Rags he adds two different names... Just thought it was kinda funny how he is slowly making comments on every horse so he can cover all the bases and then go back and show the quote where he was stating a horse was in his top 3. See Draynay you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all the people all of the time. Totally on to you and what your trying to slowly accomplish. I will go on record to say whoever wins the Derby (unless someone like a Mine that Bird) Draynay will be posting how great he is with a you can "thank me" comment attached and some date where he quoted how the horse that won was in his top 3. Once again a complete JOKE! I will have a top 3 listed in this blog alone with a couple more pics hopefully that look live at a price on Derby eve after I see how the track is playing the weather conditions and the post draw. These things are vital before anyone can seriously tell you who they think will win the Ky Derby. Good luck at the windows everyone...

08 Apr 2012 7:25 AM

Don from PA/DE,

If you choose to engage me there are two requirements; reference the section of my particular post on which your post is based and post in a language that all can understand. I have made several post about Gemologist and most contained opinions and some cold facts. It appears you have a problem with when it is appropriate to use the words Know and Now. The difficulty you have differentiating between the two words is also apparent in the difficulty you have differentiating facts from opinions. Cold facts can be verified from various third party sources while opinion are view we all fomulate. I a sport of glorious uncertainties it is likely that we will be more wrong than right. Have I changed my opinion about Gemologist? No! He is a nice colt but nothing special.

If Gemologist was your selection in the Wood, you are to be congratulated. My selection Alpha was beaten by a fitter jockey and not a better horse

08 Apr 2012 7:38 AM


Your 07 Apr 2012 4:58 AM post was spot on. Mr. Dominguez did not appear to have the energy when it mattered most. He appeared to be more tired than the two colts. He should have been honest about the status of his fitness and recovery and allow Johnny V the opportunity. Alpha was beaten by a fitter jockey and not a better horse.

08 Apr 2012 7:39 AM


Below are examples of passion gone wild. In fairness, you got the trample right but all your romps were wrong.

“Midnight Transfer over Creative Cause and Baffert's Paynter in the SA Derby”

Midnight Transfer appeared to have hit a brick wall in his previous attempt at  8 1/2F. The SA Derby distance was always going to challenging for thiscolt. The colt I liked was scratched from the race. I wonder how Mr. Sadler felt when saw Speedy Bob’s 42-1 long shot hanging tough. I considered it a bad decision to withdraw Holy Candy.

“Currency Swap to romp in the Illinois Derby”

I went wild urging on Done Talking in the stretch. I was reprimanded for vulgarity by many of my colleagues who had previously told me I was crazy to confident a colt that was beaten 20L in the Gotham. I got back into their good graces when I purchased round of drinks. I made the large quantity of bills received from the cahier blatantly obvious to further infuriate them. The Remsen was the key to selecting this colt. With a better trip he would have landed my coup at 25-1. You are a fan of Dixieland Band and should have made the connection. Done Talking sire Broken Vow was sire Unbridled and produced from a Nijinsky mare. This colt will get 10F easily and with Dixieland Band’s record in the Derby i.e., Monarchos, Street Sense and Eight Bells, he should not for a moment be taken lightly.

Another contender from the most powerful force in Triple Crown history has made the cut. He joints Went The Day Well, Secret Circle, I’ll Have Another, Dullahan, Mark Valeski. I am not sure if Derby fever will catch the connections of the winner of the LA Derby as has the graded earnings. The likes of Bodemeister,  Najjaar and Holy Candy  can still get in. In the case of Bodemeister a second place finish is likely to assure him a place with projected defection pending. In the case of  Najjaar and Holy Candy they need to win.

“Trinniberg to trample Bay Shore competition”

Projection correct.

“Gemologist in a no contest Wood romp”

Won by a neck and was aided and abetted by the obviously unfit jockey on Alpha. I cannot see how you forecasted that his colt would romp the Wood with a colt the quality of Alpha in the field. As I have posted on numerous occasions, you loyalty to Mr. Pletcher’s stable knows no bounds. My dear colleague your are again being advised again to keep it real.

08 Apr 2012 8:28 AM

Draynay if you are so good why are you quitting keep picking.

08 Apr 2012 9:01 AM
Pedigree Ann

Hey Furlongs:

My son is getting married in the Phoenix Room in December! Reception in the Lexington Room.

I don't go to Keeneland on weekends because of crowd anxiety. Will be there for the on-track handicapping contest on Wednesday, however. One of benefits being an almost 'empty-nested' faculty wife. (Daughter is UK senior and can take care of herself!)

08 Apr 2012 9:12 AM

C'mon..you have to admit it.  As great as the duels in the Wood and the Santa Anita Derby were, the performance of the day came from a lead pony, so full of himself, he kept taking bows all around the track.  Thank you Lava Man for being best in show!  (Did you really think you were going to run yesterday?)

08 Apr 2012 9:23 AM

This is fabulous could not get better had 20 on illhave a nother .expect the unexpected ! Great job to all who put on such great  racing thanks NBC.

08 Apr 2012 9:50 AM
El Kabong

Paula H,

:):):):) nice call on the Mayor of Simpleton. There are certainly some LL issues lurking under that paper crown. How could anyone claim that he has seen the KD winner without seeing the Arkansas Derby or Bluegrass run?

08 Apr 2012 10:21 AM
Don from PA/DE

Hi Again Coldfacts, nothing against you, but you sure could use a chill. I have no requirements quite open minded infact, and learned from it bigtime when "Gem" beat me in CDJ, one of your requirements should include "logic" and knowledge-based information, "Alpha" was beat

and as of yet is not a "better horse" real cold fact. Excuses or not, "Gem" was playing with him, look at the finish, Alpha, who I admit did better than I projected, but still lost and came in second to a better horse, with all the exotics after that, so he was second best in "TheWood" and if you watch the finish, "Gem" was in second gear, and could have run another mile, Alpha and all others were all out and exhausted after race, take a look at "Gem", stroll in the park, glad he got challenged a bit at end, but he was going to win and did. I am sure

Steve will comment within the next week of some of the facts and impressions that are quite obvious before, during and after "The Wood"

I just keep on singing.....

"Over the (East) River and through

"THE WOOD", Gemologist will go on to CD & KD, like the wind young and strong, UNDEFEATED, that sounds pretty "perfect" to me, fact.  I also choose to overlook grammer issues on a confined blog space, so try and enjoy the journey and keep an open mind, fitter jockey sure, fitter horse for sure...Don

08 Apr 2012 11:27 AM

furlongs you see how the track is playing ?  How was the track playing for Dialed In ?  You don't pick anything on the way to the Derby.  You just crack on me because I was nice enough between plane rides and modeling shoots to give average people like you a few winners.  Like the Super in the Florida Derby and the Exacta in the SA Derby.  Again, I am nice enough to post my top 4 to help the sophomoric public and you ridicule me ?  I have seen nothing to this point to get me off Union Rags as my number 1 choice for the Derby.  However, even I need to see some improved works to keep him number 1.  Knowing a little bit on how the trainer prepared Barbaro I still remain confident.  On Derby Day I will box 5 horses for the Super and as usual it will be a winner.  But I have to like a few OTHER horse in order to bet the Super don't I ?  I may be great but even I can't bet just 1 horse and win the Super !

08 Apr 2012 11:32 AM

Alpha didn't win because his jockey wasn't fit enough? Are you serious?

08 Apr 2012 11:45 AM

1. Went The Day Well  

2. Gemologist

3. Creative Cause

08 Apr 2012 12:36 PM

Yesterday was a much better set of preps than last week. This week we saw 4 horses separate themselves from the rest of the fields for the derby. As of right now three of those four horses are in my thoughts of winning the derby. I think Creative Cause, Gemologist, and Alpha have legit shots to win the derby. Right now, I have not put I'll have another because of two reasons. First, I am worried about having a young jockey who is very inexperienced in a huge race. Second, I think he might bounce and not have enough in the derby. In my opinion, I think seven horses can win the derby. The three I mentioned and then Daddy Nose Best, Take Charge Indy, Prospective and Bodemeister.

Daddy Nose Best because he is a closer and he can come late if the race is hot. Take Charge Indy because of controlling the race and Calvin Borel. Prospective, he is a stayer and if everything falls apart he might hit at a huge price. Bodemeister is a monster and I hope he takes first to solidify my thoughts.

I am not locked for these horses because the derby picture changes weekly with defections,post positions, workouts and weather. I hope the Bluegrass and Arkansas are as exciting as the Santa Anita and Wood.

08 Apr 2012 1:05 PM

Beyer figures for the Derby preps yesterday were very average at best.  I think a Union Rags and Daddy Knows Best exacta is looking better and better.  Alpha got taken off stride yesterday and lost a few lengths because of it.  And I don't think Ramon was 100% so I still have Alpha ahead of Gemologist.

08 Apr 2012 1:27 PM
Carlos in Cali

Alpha was mugged by Nakatani on Casual Trick going into the 1st-turn,having to steady he lost about 3L to the leaders.Considering he only lost by a neck,.. do the math.Alpha was best.He'll be tough to beat in the Derby.

I'll Have Another is the real deal,legit.So is CC but he tends to hang a bit down the stretch.They both were all-out down the lane,so I don't understand why Harrington thinks his horse has something left and IHA doesn't. His comments after the fact sound like sour grapes to me.In fact,judging by some of his on-air interviews- he seems pretty sour.

08 Apr 2012 2:06 PM

To say that Ramon wasn’t fit and this compromised Alpha in the late stages of the Wood is a little too much IMO.  Anyone can see that Gemologist was waiting for a challenge and when one came he dug in and found more and without the whip from at lest the 8th pole home.  In other words, he responded because he is competitive.  Even Ramon said that Gemologist seemed to be waiting and had lots left and the way he said it confirms to me that Alpha wouldn't have passed Gemologist if they had gone around three more times.  That was Gem’s second off a layoff.  Better is still to come.

The proof to how good Alpha really is will be determined when Ramon  makes his choice as to which horse he rides in the Derby.  

08 Apr 2012 2:15 PM

Draynay : You know nothing lol, that comment about having to like others to play super ??  You can spin it all you want, everyone can tell you can't wait to jump off the UR wagon.  Boxing five horses means you are thinking that UR will not even get 4th place so you have to have 4 other horses in there to make the super bet.   If UR is still your number one, you can box him with 3 other horses just like in the Florida Derby.  So stop it with your crap, at least be a man and admit that you no longer think UR is going to win the derby, even get 4th place.  You have been EXPOSED, I'll take credit for it :)  I just know how much of a joke you are.  EXPOSED!!!  Man, I'm gewd!   HAHAHAHA

Watch, next week, he'll start talking about how great Gemologist is, and how he knew for a long time now that he's the best 3 yr old this year.  He'll claim and act like he's been on his bandwagon for a long time... and then calls himself the greatest handicapper in the world.  LOL

08 Apr 2012 2:20 PM


I read where you wrote the following in reference to the Wood memorial: "Alpha was beaten by a fitter jockey and not a better horse".  I can't believe that you actually believe such nonsense. There is no way that Alpha gets pass Gemologist even if they went around the track a second time with Billy Shoemaker, Braulio Baeza, Bill Hartack, Lester Piggot or Jerry Bailey on his back.

You cite the tangential issues of my forcast, chiding what you perceive as loyalty to Pletcher but ignore the cold fact that I said that Gemologist would toy with Aplha. I was very emphatic that he was superior to Alpha and the race showed that I was right. Even Ramon Dominguez, aboard the vanquished Alpha, commented that Gemologist was "waiting" on Alpha's challenge. Pletcher's colt got bored once he hit the front, paddling the left foreleg and all while much the best. Find another Derby horse my buddy because Alpha may not hit the board in Louisville.

I admit being wrong about Midnight Transfer in the SA Derby: that one doesn't stay. Currency Swap apparently hasn't yet overcome his issues and has not trained on from 2 to 3YO. No problem there.

The connections of Trinniberg appear to be keeping a cool head about the colts rising star status and being calculated about entering the Derby fray. I'll be watching developments because if they decide to run on the first Saturday in May it will not be merely to participate as the pace-setter.

jay jay,

You asked whether I still believe that Union Rags will win the Triple Crown. My answer is an emphatic yes.  So far the results of the preps at Aqueduct and Santa Anita tell me that he is still the top colt of this crop.  I haven't seen where Creative Cause has improved enough to overcome the results of the BCJ or where Gemologists' superiority over Alpha exceeds Union Rags' superiority over the latter, demonstrated in both the Champigne and the BCJ and attested to by Alpha's connection wanting to duck U/Rags in preps this season. The conclusion that many of Union Rags detractors have drawn about stamina defiency is plain unadulterated non-sense, both from a pedigree standpoint and from performances to date. His two loss are excusable and neither Hansen nor Take Charge Indy has any shot at defeating him in the Kentucky Derby.  I can't wait for the action to begin. Reserve your "All I can say is wow" for after the Belmont Stakes.

08 Apr 2012 4:18 PM

There is a monster key race that almost half the field for the KD will come out of.Dont fight the key race,there is a good chance out of this key 2 or maybe 3 colts will be in the super.The question is out of the ones not on the invited list, who can upset the apple cart, and finish in the top two.There are two maybe three new shooters not on the list.I would appreciate it if next weekend their were 4 more new shooters to make exotic betting a more profitable proposition.This will be the last 20 horse field until the KD Derby in 2012.If the top two choices come in first and second in the Derby it will pay at least 50% more than the exacta in the 9 horse Santa Anita Derby Draynay,but the chances of the top two in order in the 20 horse field of the Derby is such that unless it pays at least $40 it is not worth the bet.

08 Apr 2012 4:48 PM
Paula Higgins

Thank you El Kabong! Yes, ITA. Until we see the Arkansas Derby and Bluegrass I am not sure who I am placing as No. 1 going in.

08 Apr 2012 7:04 PM

Speaking of long shots, oh we're not? Anyway, how about that little Jackson Bend? He thinks he's big stuff now that he nosed out Caleb's Posse. I love him, he wins on sheer grit and determination. Congratulations JB, I'll bet Caleb's Posse moves up a bit quicker next time if you're on the lead. Never underestimate a horse with heart.

08 Apr 2012 7:19 PM
Mike Monarchos

Draynay, Alpha can move forward and Gemologist can't? I know he can. Yeah Alpha checked briefly in the first turn, but he's not a front runner anywy. In case you didn't notice Gem was forced about 5 wide in the first turn. And he was wide all the way around until he took the lead at the top of the stretch like I said he would. So he had an excuse just like you said Rags did in the B.C. Juvenile and the Florida Derby. The difference between Rags and Gem is that Rags lost both of those races and Gem has won all of his! I figure that Gem must have run at least 50 feet further than Alpha and he still won. He's like his dad Tiznow, because when he sees another horse coming he digs in! Gem galloped out strong too. I didn't see Alpha in the picture after the wire.

I think Alpha's a nice colt, but he's not better than Gem. They both should move forward off the Wood. And have ya noticed that Gem's Beyers have improved in each race. This year he has a 95 in the G.P. race and a 98 in the Wood. That's consistant progression. How can you argue against that? YOU CAN'T! I rest my case.

08 Apr 2012 8:30 PM
Matthew W

I think Gemologist bounced and still won on Sat, and the second horse couldn't pass him--Gem didn't show the high cruising speed--he sort of grinded it out--then re-engaged inside the 1 1/16, when the real racing starts for Gr 1-ers! They won't top Santa Anita Derby--likely one of the two wins in Louisville....will include Gemologist and Daddy Nose Best, Union Rags as well, but I'll Have Another is my #1 horse, O'Neil has trained him to get the best trip, masterfull! He has done it twice so far, we'll see about Louisville. I have a feeling, a strong one, that he'll be in the Derby Win Photo, either winning or a photo 2nd-- Creative Cause a close #2, the rest, including Union Rags, have some catching up to do....

08 Apr 2012 8:36 PM

Draynay I give out pics on big days all the time such at Turfway big race when I cleaned up few weeks back... I didnt bet the FL Derby and didnt even go to the track or bet that day was not interested one bit in wagering when I thought Union Rags would be no worse then second. If you would have listened to my picks on BC Saturday you would have cleaned up int he BC Sprint when I gave out the Ex and Tri such as I did. It made me a winner of more then $400 for the BC Weekend and I am willing to bet that is way more then you made cause I remember your pics were TOTALLY SAD! $2000 to win on Uncle Mo in the Classic which by the way is still one of the dumbest bets I have ever seen in my entire life! I mean you had maybe 3 winners between the 2 days of racing if I recall and they were total favorites... Encase you havent caught on if you stop picking horses that pay under 2-1 you can afford to be wrong a little more and still come out a nice winner on the day. Something you should consider since your wrong posting picks on these blogs at about a 20% clip at best... But anyway all of it doesnt matter. You keep running your mouth how good you are and I will keep knocking how wrong you were again and the world will keep on moving right along. Draynay good luck at the windows it looks like you need it more then most... And by the way still waiting on that $2000 win ticket on Uncle Slow to prove that you really bet that much on him... but its not like I knew I was getting it even though you said I would.

08 Apr 2012 8:50 PM

Still a couple preps to go. Focused on the old master, the legend, he who knows how to prep a Derby winner - D. Wayne Lukas. I think he's known since last fall he had the horse. One last shot at Derby fame. I've seen this pattern before from Lukas. Teaching the horse to relax, wait and explode down the long stretch at CD, building fitness, testing surfaces, truly prepping the horse. Go back and watch the replays of the Southwest Stakes and The Risen Star Stakes and then the Rebel. Patiently ridden, push button response, but not until they hit the stretch. Watch the move and gallop out in the two races he finished out of sight then see the results in the Rebel. Blistering workouts. Horses with a slant to turf in their pedigree tend to thrive at Churchill Downs. Optimizer's in the hands of the master, and the goal is the Derby - the bomb!  

08 Apr 2012 8:53 PM

You do what you do best: blow hot air and I will do what I do best: tell you how horrible you really are. And to be honest what makes you think I would give you picks on these blogs your doing fine yourself according to you so why would you listen anyway? Or even read my blog post for that matter? You have all the winners already Mr. Perfect... Same old Draynay bats 10-15% when he posts picks. Bats 100% when he doesn't. Good luck in the Derby your already starting to get off Union Rags and you know it. To bad you didn't get off Uncle Mo before the BC Classic cause that was as bad pick as I ever seen in my life!

08 Apr 2012 9:02 PM

I don't have a Derby Dozen I only have 4 that I like.  

1. Union Rags

2. Sabercat

3. Creative Cause

4. Gemologist

Draynay 22 Feb 2012 9:49 AM

I posted this back in February.  I just don't think Gem has enough bottom in him to do well in the Derby.  I believe he would be better suited for the Preakness.  Why the rush into the Derby ?  Man o War is known as the greatest ever and he passed on the Derby.  He didn't run that fast and Alpha almost beat him and he hasn't raced in 2 months and GOT CREAMED coming out of the first turn. He is undefeated yes but his path has been a easy one and that does not win the Kentucky Derby.  

08 Apr 2012 9:12 PM

i actually think the best performance of the weekend was horse not going to KY and not being talked about by anyone and that was hakama's getting up for 3rd in the IL.  

hakama is a front runner who was squeezed hard at the break from both sides and was trailing the field for most of the race, yet went wide was coming fast in the stretch to get up for third. it was the most impressive run i saw all weekend.

the wood looked good and got decent beyer but the time was on the slow side...but with no other races on the main track at the distance it is hard to evaluate it

08 Apr 2012 9:30 PM

time to re-figure pace for the derby. if trinniburg goes in derby that gives rags, hansen and i'll have another a good chance to rate and close nicely in the derby. hansen has learned to rate and i"ll have another looks like a horse blessed with talent and great luck(destiny). rags might not get the distance. rags is no spectacular bid and should have won in florida . great horses find a way.s. bid did it in 1979 rags didn't do it this year. if hansen loses but hits the board in next race he will be my derby pick.

08 Apr 2012 10:17 PM

furlongs pick a horse ALREADY.  Make a stand.  You're a empty basket.  You bring nothing to the table.  I am this I am that but I PICK HORSE AND WINNERS.  You do nothing but talk about me.  I understand you are a fan but dude.... get a life.

08 Apr 2012 10:33 PM


“I read where you wrote the following in reference to the Wood memorial: "Alpha was beaten by a fitter jockey and not a better horse".  I can't believe that you actually believe such nonsense.”

My opinion is nonsense and your opinion is colt facts. Kindly forgive my stupidity I am clearly not very bright. I was unaware that horses waited on others in a race. I guess there are those that wait on other and allow them goby. Your disagreement with my assessment does not make it nonsense. I disagree with many of your opinions and conclusions but I have never regarded them as nonsense. I merely called it as I saw it. You are at liberty to disagree with my conclusion but it is unwise to regard an opinion as nonsense based on your own opinion. Below is a pre-race assessment posted by Jayjay:

“The one major drawback about Alpha and is the main reason I'm not too confident that he'll win is that I don't know if Ramon has his full strength back after his injury.  I have to think that it's too soon for him and he may actually cause Alpha the win.  Throw in the fact that Alpha has not run for 2 months, it's just a lot of question marks for me to put a lot of money on him.  He may just be all class and be too much for this field but I'll let him beat me for the win.”

Do you regard his assessment as nonsense? His concern materialized big time.

Gemologist’s victory has enhanced your run away passion to the point of blindness. Revisit the video and focus on Ramón’s right hand motion and it will be apparent that he was spent force and was not helping his charge. If that is not convincing, visit the video of Mr. Nakatani’s finishing effort on Jackson Bend and an example of a fit jockey will be on full on display. I am not looking for an excuse for Alpha’s loss. In your book he is chopped liver and Gemologist just has to turn up in Louisville and the Derby is his for the taking.  

Do you remember Funny Cide? He was runner up in the 2003 Wood Memorial to the highly regarded Empire Maker who exited that race as the horse to be in the Derby. Funny Cide won the Derby. Do you remember Funny Cide?  Monarchos? He was runner up in the 2001 Wood Memorial to the highly regarded Congaree. He won the Derby ahead of Congaree. I know at this time history is insignificant to you as you are busy filing papers to divorce Union Rags your projected Triple Crown. It is worth noting that both Empire Maker and Congaree Wood victories were far more impressive than that of Gemologist and they were defeated in the Derby. I caution you to be measured in you assessment of the views of others and try to address your out of control passion. It appears you are still suffering the from the Uncle Mo syndrome.

08 Apr 2012 10:37 PM

Gemologist hasn't played in the deep end enough to win the Derby.  Alpha has and nearly beat him off a 2 month layoff and after getting checked hard and losing a couple of lengths.  They simply didn't run fast enough to both be considered for the Derby finishing top 4.  I can only take 1 and I am going with Alpha.  I think we saw the best of Gemologist and it just didn't set the world on fire did it.

08 Apr 2012 10:47 PM

jayjay: Thanks for the link on the BC 2000 Classic, looks like the Wood was almost a rerun.  Here's another side of the coin to the 'Tiznow Toughness' in the stretch:


If Gemologist has inherited this toughness, he's a gem.  

Coldfacts:  Gemoligist's ability to re-engage when challenged by Alpha and begin to pull away again had nothing to do with the jockey on the other horse.  Face the fact.

08 Apr 2012 11:21 PM

What a strange horse CREATIVE CAUSE is.....good horse, does so many strange things....consistant. Changing to wrong leads....most of these things are caused by unsoundness, but somehow in this case, i just think he is a goofball......What he did this time(only visable to a pro), is crossfire coming out of the gate....(left,right front legs/ right left hind legs) hard to run that way........weird.....!

08 Apr 2012 11:25 PM

Gemologist was given a 98 Beyer for his Wood run in 1.50.96.

I'll Have Another received a 94 Beyer for the SA Derby run in 1.47.88.

Done Talking won the Illinois Derby in 1.53.88 and was assigned an 86 Beyer.

08 Apr 2012 11:50 PM


I heard through the grapevine that KY VET was rushed to a local hospital suffering from a severe case of Foot In Mouth, the same disease that they had to treat Draynay for last fall.  Apparently it is caused by a severe lack of horse sense.

08 Apr 2012 11:54 PM

I won't get into a debate about who's best between Alpha and Gemologist - both showed me something. Alpha broke well for a change and was pressed to the rail all the way to the turn and checked hard, recovered while on inside of horses taking dirt in his face, nice turn of foot and battled to wire. Jock wasn't at best and off 2 month break stretching out. Gemologist was wide all the way around, pounced on them when asked, appeared to be on cruise control and took off when Alpha came to him. Only 2nd start this year and stretching out - love the Tiznow breeding. He's a big boy compared to Alpha who's a little smaller. Two fighters here who don't appear to have distance limitations and both are improving at the right time. Does Castellano choose Gemologist or El Padrino? Sounds like Dominguez prefers Hansen to Alpha....hmm.

09 Apr 2012 1:30 AM

I think anyone taking a hard stance on the derby right now is dreaming.  There is very little separating the top 5 (in my opinion).  Union Rags, Gemologist, Creative Cause, I'll Take ANother, Alpha, Hansen.  With some up and comers not far behind; Daddy Nose Best, Bodemeister, and Dullahan.  And with the all important trip, Prospective and Reveron can easily sneak in a superfecta. Have to wait on the odds, post positions, and track conditions.  All I "know" is that Dullahan will have no chance in the Bluegrass (after watching speed bias at Keeneland) so will be huge odds in the Derby, but he's going in my Super.  

09 Apr 2012 4:34 AM

Draynay I will make a stand when the posts are drawn and the race is set. Why should make a stand now when I dont know who gets post #1 much less who will be running... I mean things change overnight in horse racing with horses getting hurt and when I see some works going into the race and see who is in the gate then I will be more then happy to make my picks. I think that is a whole lot better then changing your mind 15 different times from Feb-Derby... I mean until you look at the pace of the race it doesn't matter who you like. The Derby is a race just like any other and should be handicapped that way. Anything more then you are doing to much work on one race and in the end that usually does two things: 1) gets you confused because in the end you can make a real case for about 80% of the horses in the gate winning the race. and 2) you end up over analyzing the entire race and seeing things that are not there. In the end it is the hardest race in the world to win for a horseman and a trainer, but its not impossible to handicap. Although I must say 2 of the last 3 years we have gotten a result that I looked at and said no I couldn't EVER bet that horse to win the Ky Derby! Last year I didnt even make a win bet just pick 3's around the derby and Ex, Tri bets because no one looked to really stand out enough and they all had huge flaws. LOL The point being DRAYNAY when the post are drawn and I come home from the Oaks that night after seeing how the track was playing all day I will make my picks and be more then happy to post them on these blogs. Until then I am more then happy to just pick on you and your horrible justification on why a horse must win the Ky Derby! LOL I mean after all it is allot of fun seeing you respond to me ragging on you and watching you spin how good you are when we all know how truly horrible you weed out some of the worse favorites Thoroughbred horse racing had seen over the past years! Good luck at the windows everyone...

09 Apr 2012 9:45 AM

KY VET- When I saw the race for the first time I thought Creative Cause actually stumbled coming out of the gate even! lol

09 Apr 2012 9:49 AM

Draynay one last thing... you said something about the trouble Alpha was in. Here is the deal you may be right to think Gemologist ran his lifetime best and can not move forward off that in the Derby but lets get something straight... Alpha would not and could not have past Gemologist on Saturday if they ran around the track another time. Gemologist was ultra game on Saturday and after the wire he broke free by about 2 more lengths from Alpha like it was nothing. No way Alpha was beating Gemologist on Saturday. Gem was without a doubt the best horse in the Wood Memorial. But him running a lifetime best and not being able to move forward off it is a valid point, and I must say its not often you make valid points so please by all means congrats and take your applause!!  

09 Apr 2012 9:59 AM

Coldfacts - great call on Done Talking.  Would not be surprised if that one filled out the exotics on May 5th.

Dray - boxed your exactas for Wood and Santa Anita, $30 total on each.  Think I made $15.60.  Better than losing.  Well done.

Hope Baffert shelves Liasion for the Derby.  Think that colt is more apt to be a factor in listed, ungraded stakes.

As of right now, my top 5 is Creative Cause, I'll Have Another, Gemologist, Alpha, and Union Rags.  Also looking at Daddy Nose Best, Prospective and Take Charge Indy.  Bodemeister will jump to top of my list if he prevails in Arkansas.

09 Apr 2012 10:14 AM

You guys are joking right? There is no way you can be serious,  blaming Alpha's loss on an unfit jockey? That made me laugh. Todd was right, GEM is one of the top 4 contenders.

VET, CC changing leads is big concern. He needs to get on stride, or he will not win the Derby.

Trinniberg and Paynter both ran good races like I expected. I don't think Trinniberg goes to the Derby, he may not go to the Preakness either, his owner expressed that he will have distance limitations, so why ruin him trying to go 1 3/16? Paynter had all kinds of trouble, and still got a good 4th.

Hansen: now this a cool horse. He is like a big puppy. At trackside, they have a sandpit. Hansen was digging in the sand like a dog, then he started rolling around on his back and his side. He did this for about 10 minutes. He was loving it. He is a very happy horse. He would not of blown out a candle after his work on Saturday. He is fit and ready to go. If he can rate, he will be tough in the Bluegrass and Derby.

09 Apr 2012 10:33 AM

Coldfacts: you said " I was unaware that horses waited on others in a race."

Horses are pack animals.  They like to run within a group.  When some get to the lead, and have no more competition, they idle, waiting for others to catch up.  That's why a jockey's timing is critical.  If you watched enough racing you might have noticed that.  Gem was idling when he got to the front.  Only when Alpha came alongside, did he re-engage.

09 Apr 2012 11:50 AM
Mike Monarchos


Thanks for that link on Tiznow's win in the 2001 B.C. Classic. I was at that race and it brings back memories. Tiz was a great champion!

09 Apr 2012 11:51 AM
Mike Monarchos

Trackjack or jayjay,

Can you please post the link for the video of Tiznow beating Giant's Causeway in the 2000 B.C. Classic? Thanks!  Mike Monarchos

09 Apr 2012 12:00 PM

With regards to the Wood, watch the race from youtube (bigger resolution).  What I noticed was that Ramon's right hand was never really pushing in the stretch, it was mostly "riding" on Alpha's head.  He was hitting Alpha with the whip but that was pretty much all I saw from Ramon.  I don't think Ramon will say publicly he wasn't 100% because he would probably lose the mount on Alpha for the Derby and have to face fines for lying about his health.

The way Javier rode Gemo, when he got a little lazy, you can see how much he was pushing and it was a push instead of just holding the reigns and whipping...that's what I would expect from Ramon.  When he's that close to passing Gemo, I would imagine he would be pushing hard and whipping all the way to the wire.  I just didn't think there was much effort from Ramon.

Having said that though, Gemologist was clearly the best horse that day.  Watching the race again, I don't believe Alpha would've passed Gemo even if Ramon was 100%.   If it was a 10F race, he would've won by at least 2 lengths judging by the way he was starting to pull away again near the wire.   If Ramon himself said that Gemologist was just waiting then how can you argue with that ?  He could be playing the "I'll let you think you're better" game but I doubt it.

Laz : LOL, you know what, I think KY Vet and Draynay were twins separated at birth.  I seriously think so.

Mike Monarchos : Here it is www.youtube.com/watch

09 Apr 2012 1:28 PM
Carlos in Cali

Has Street Life crossed the finish line yet?... LOL. I told you he'd be "exposed".  

They might as well retire the reigning SOY and breed her.. what a ridiculous sham!

09 Apr 2012 2:19 PM
El Kabong


Thanks for sharing the report on Hansen. Love those kind of notes on a horse. He is a sight to behold and I think he will rate just fine. Didn't do to bad last out. He's certainly going to be on my tickets come May 5th and I'm curious to see how the Bluegrass plays out. Would love to see Hansen and Dullahan chasing down Howe Great to the wire for a 3 horse bobbing contest. Keep up the good work, love to hear the notes from the track. Thanks.

09 Apr 2012 2:30 PM

I told you Baffert would throw everything he has at Creative Cause and still come up short.  I watched CC up close in the paddock.  He looks like he was sleep walking he was so calm and cool.  You have to like his consistency.  I don't think he has ever thrown in a bad race.

Looks like we have plenty speed in this year's Derby with the Florida Derby winner, the Wood winner,  Hansen, and perhaps a Bodemeister.  

Not sure if CC can hold off a deep closer turf/synthetic type.  

The highlight of the day.  Amazombie!

09 Apr 2012 2:37 PM
El Kabong


Exactly on the Done Talking call. He will be in the last pack, make a casual move in the turn, wait for the gasping wannabees to cough up a lung, then split and slide on through for a piece of the action....maybe.  

Coldfacts, well done on Done Talking. That was not an easy race to call. But you will have to reconsider on Gemologist. He's better than you think. Alpha, as much as I like him, does not seem to have the Killer instinct necessary to succeed in a 20 horse field nor the continuous momentum you see in closers who build acceleration. but I do like his chances in the Belmont. We know he is bred to keep on going.

09 Apr 2012 2:47 PM

Another highlight of the weekend was watching the old Santa Anita Derbies.  I watched 1988 Winning Color's Santa Anita Derby.  I forgot she squared off against Ruhlmann, who I think still holds the dirt mile record and later beat Bayakoa in the Santa Anita Handicap, and Lively One.  

Here's what some other trainers had to say about her Santa Anita Derby score.

"The filly will not win," (The Kentucky Derby) said Woody Stephens, who will saddle Eclipse Award winner Forty Niner and Tampa Bay Derby winner Cefis.  "Do you know what kind of filly it would take to get loose about five lengths on this field?"

"I don't doubt her ability, but I wonder if she's more a product of California than she is an outstanding individual" said John Veitch, trainer of Florida Derby winner Brian's Time.

"The tracks in California, as always, are very fast."  "They accomodate front-runners, and those conditions suited her well,  We're really not certain about the quality of horses in California this year, either, while the quality on the East Coast is damn good."  (John Veitch).

09 Apr 2012 3:11 PM

It looks like Creative Cause is heading to the Derby without blinkers.  They stay off.  Rosario said if he were on the outside he would have won.  

09 Apr 2012 3:18 PM

CC's problem in the stretch was the left handed whip which caused him to veer sharply right in upper stretch.  When the jock put the whip away he ran pretty straight.  Watch for a big improvement off this race in the Derby.

09 Apr 2012 3:18 PM

Mike Monarchos

Just type in you tube 2000 Breeders Cup Classic and you'll get several replays of the race.

09 Apr 2012 3:20 PM

Trackjack I seriously doubt you've had DNB on your list.  You're like Lazmannick, Stevebisquick, Higgins, Furlongs, and KY Vet.  You all come on AFTER the race and talk about what great handicappers you are.  Silly.  

09 Apr 2012 3:36 PM

Look it's hard to say anything bad about a horse that is undefeated in 5 races.  But LOOK AT THE TIME he came home in over 38 seconds and over 13.  Was he running in quicksand ?  112.54 and 150.96 ?  38.42 seconds ?  That is a horse you think is ready for the Derby ?  112.09 and 148.79 in the Florida Derby 36.70  As slow as the fractions were in the Wood Gem should have been flying coming home.  He wasn't.  The rail is dead at Aqueduct and Alpha had a tough trip having to check so hard in the first turn.  I  will never bet a horse to win the Derby that can't break 150 going a 1 1/8th.  What is he going to run in the Derby 204 ?  No thanks.  Everyone is making a big deal that Gem had a little left at the end, well after those splits don't you think he should ?  Gem is no Union Rags and he isn't even as good as Daddy Nose Best.  I will take him over Gem any day at 1 1/4.

09 Apr 2012 3:37 PM


My apologies re the "nonsense" bit. Really I was stunned by your way of spinning Alpha's defeat but having read your defense I'll retrack.

Make no mistake about my Triple Crown prediction please.

09 Apr 2012 3:43 PM

Hot Rocket, looks to me that Castellano will ride Gemologist, Ramon will ride Hansen, and then the other big race jockey to look for is Johnny V. Will he stay on Went the Day Well, or will he jump on Alpha. He only got on Animal Kingdom late last year after Uncle Mo scratched... I would think that if Johnny V stays on Went the Day well, Alpha could go after Go Go or Bejarano, who may not have a mount b/c Secret Cirle may not go to the Derby, and GOGO is not listed on any horses b/c he was injured. Also, Garcia is listed on Drill and Liason, so Bob will have to make a decision on whether to send both horses, and if he does, who is his other jockey. The cali riders will jump to ride for Bob in the Derby. The last adventure in Jockey Change 2012 will come with Daddy Nose Best and Asmussen, since Julien is on Union Rags. That one is a head scratcher. First thought was Desormeaux or Nakatani, but they have mounts with Sabercat and Dullahan. I guess we will all know a lot more after Saturday.

Speaking of Saturday, did Dullahan leave his race on the track in his work, like Liason did? Dullahan works in 57 and 1, Liason worked in 110 and 4, pretty quick works leading up to a race.... Liason didn't do jack. Folks are high on Dullahan, I think they are running for 2nd behind the Great White Hope!

09 Apr 2012 3:47 PM

BTW, thanks Larry Jones and Mr Porter. Now we all get to watch the mare race at Churchill Downs!! let's hope she does not pull a Rachel and lose.

Will Plum Pretty wire the field in the Apple Blossom, or will Tiz Miz Sue keep mowing em down now that she relaxed a little bit. She does own the highest Beyer of the year for a filly or mare, 102. Too bad I won't get 8-1 on her again.

09 Apr 2012 3:51 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Billy's Empire

  Dominguez is fat as hell- he must be 2 or 3 ounces overweight. Alpha's loss had nothing to do with the jockey, who is one of the best. Gemologist was not going to lose no matter what. Thanks for the insight on Hansen. I love that horse. He's going to rate unless the pace is too slow. He's smart, I think he's got it now.


    Good synopsis of their herd mentality. Can you wait to see Hansen again? Did you like I'll Have Another's stride? After the race he said, "Give me a Scotch on the rocks then let's go do it again." Even with the loss of Algorithms I believe there are some Triple Crown capables.

09 Apr 2012 4:28 PM
Bob from Boston


My apologies re the "nonsense" bit. Really I was stunned by your way of spinning Alpha's defeat but having read your defense I'll retrack.

Ranagulzion 09 Apr 2012 3:43 PM

Ted from LA thinks you've been spending too much time at the track.

09 Apr 2012 5:00 PM
Bob from Boston

Dr. D.,

I was hoping you'd get out for good behavior before the Derby. Congrats.

09 Apr 2012 5:05 PM
Smoking Baby

 I'm glad the good Doctor (Dr. Drunkinbum) is back in the house.

09 Apr 2012 5:14 PM
Mike Monarchos

Jayjay and lazmanick,

Thanks for the link to the 2000 B.C. Classic. I don't really understand how the same link gives me the 2000 Classic one time and the 2001 Classic the next? But then again I'm a moron when it comes to computer stuff. And typing on a cell phone is DRIVING ME NUTS!

09 Apr 2012 5:23 PM
El Kabong


I'm on board with Dullahan too, but please, pretty please, do not mention his name in the same breath as Liason. Big difference working out on that synthetic in comparison to the freeway. He'll bounce back fine, but I do like the fact that he is comfortable with that surface. I'll save a space on the wagon for you on Sunday when you wake up to the sound of sweet Donegal fiddles   calling you to join the Dullahan Dozen.

09 Apr 2012 5:39 PM
Mike Monarchos


Ya think Gem's Wood time was slow, huh? So did I, until I saw his Beyer was a 98 compared to Take Charge Indy's 95 in the Florida Derby. One would think that an expert handicapper (who's never wrong) like you would be aware of something called "track variant". I'd say (and this is just a guess on my part since I'm not an expert and I'm almost never right) that Aqueduct was running slower the day of the Wood as compared to how the track at G.P. was playing the day the Florida Derby was run. Then again I very well could be wrong since I'm a "handicapped handicapper" who is obviously outclassed by Draynay. And if that's the case I should get a weight allowance. I'm 5'11" and 188 lbs Draynay. How much weight are you carrying? Be honest even if the truth hurts. I also should get an age allowance since I'm 63. Maybe you and I could run a match race. Are ya game?

09 Apr 2012 5:48 PM
Karen in Texas

Billy----Thanks for the trackside note on Hansen in the "sandbox"!

Dr. D---LOL on the Dominguez remark.

09 Apr 2012 5:54 PM

Sylvester:  FYI, on 04 Apr. 4:26PM on Jason's blog and on 03 Apr. 8:48PM on Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen blog, my top 5 at that time were:

I'll Have Another

Creative Cause


Daddy Nose Best

Union Rags

I don't post a list until we are well into the preps, only 5 deep, and this list will change.

I'm not into predicting the KD winner until the PP's are drawn and there is some kind of clarity on the weather.

I was agreeing with your thoughts on Daddy Nose Best and would not be shocked if he upped and won it all.

If you need to continue to name-call, fine, I can take it and if you want to single me out, so that you feel better about yourself, bring it on.  I feel honored to be included on your list with the others.  

Have a nice day and Good Luck with your Derby picks

09 Apr 2012 6:10 PM

Billy's Empire:  Thanks for the updates on Hansen, can't wait for this weekend's races.

09 Apr 2012 6:11 PM

You have to like CC going another 1/8th mile.  He is always forwardly placed staying out of trouble. He just can't be whipped. I think his best race was the Breeder's Cup.  He ran pretty straight while Union Rags looked like a drunken sailor.  It did not seem to bother him. This is pretty much how the Derby-Rodeo looks every year.  After Lookin at Lucky was bounced off the rail he was pretty  much done racing.

I seem to recall Mr. Friskey and Indian Charlie going into the Kentucky Derby undefeated as well.  Gem has some tough horses to deal with this year.  I'm sure he will take money.  

09 Apr 2012 6:24 PM

Billy's Empire.  Paynter's troubles began in the paddock. They had to saddle him "on the run" kicking dirt out into the audience.  He then goes behind the blind where I hear this big thud where he either kicked the wall or bounced off of it.  His 3-4 handlers had this "Where the hell is Bob?" look on their faces.

09 Apr 2012 6:37 PM
It aint easy being good!

Carlos in Cali you were right Street life got worked out there on Saturday what a shame. Draynay is right the clock never lies adn Gem's times are slow. Look for a midpack closer to get it done. Horses to watch are Dulluhan, daddy nose best and dont sleep on optimizer on Saturday. His trainer is old school and have a feeling that he will win the arkansas derby just like the local horse arch arch arch did last year. Should be a great race. Also the best race of the day was from Trinninberg did you see the times for that race he is a freak of nature!

09 Apr 2012 6:47 PM

Track variant huh.  3rd slowest Wood in the last 25 years.  Only Tale of Ekati and Bob and John were slower and I don't even remember Bob and John.  I guess the people that like Gemologist to win the Derby are the same ones telling me how great El Overrated was a couple of weeks ago.  Funny, no one talks about that horse anymore.

09 Apr 2012 6:54 PM

Maybe Baffert will reroute Plum Pretty too.  Won't she be getting more weight under the conditions of the La Troienne?

09 Apr 2012 6:57 PM


Just like Draynay's inability to understand that on some days a track’s surface is slower than on other days even though the track is rated fast, your jumping on other blogger's bandwagons because of your inability to pick a horse that is anything other than a top two favorite or one that others have to point out for you is becoming legendary.

Go back to sleep.  I’m sure one of us will give you the Derby winner and then you can do what you always do, come in after the fact and say that you won a ton of money on the race and then finish your dumble-mumble by slighting probably the greatest horse you ever saw.

I’m waiting patiently for the day (have been for a couple of years now), for you to make a sensible comment and add something of value.  Joke!

09 Apr 2012 7:19 PM

First..in the Wood, There was a strong headwind in the backside that slowed everybody down when it kicked up.  I understand Jackson Bend, the little guy with the big heart,scored a 109 beyer with his trip.

Dr. D: Although I'm anxious to see Hansen, putting a speed dirt horse on poly is like kicking him in the shins and taking his best weapon away.  I thought he should have stayed in the Wood.

As far as knocking Alpha...did you folks see the kind of trip he got.  He was slammed into a rail, and had to check as the horse in front of him slowed down.  For him to overcame a terrible trip as he had, and catch up to Gemologist, simply amazed me.  I'm more confident in his speed and adaptability than ever.  However, the Gem was just hanging when he made the lead. (He was checking out those lovely hats in the crowd). Only when Alpha caught up to him, did he remember he was in a race...and took off.

As good as the races this past weekend were, my personal highlight was Lava Man, acting as though he was saying, "Oh Yeah! Who the man? I'm the man, and don't forget it!"  Good golly, think of the mayhem when he travels to Kentucky with I'll Have Another.  I mean, honestly, how many lead ponies have you seen that need a lead pony of their own?

09 Apr 2012 7:36 PM
Paula Higgins

sylvester, you horse's patoot, if you had been following the last several blogs, you would know I make my picks before the races, not after. If you are going to criticize me, at least get your facts right.

On another note, if any of you are going to the Ferdinand Ball on May 3rd as part of the Kentucky Derby celebrations, I am donating an antique/vintage purse and my book for the silent auction. All the proceeds go to Old Friends in Kentucky/Michael Blowen.

09 Apr 2012 7:53 PM
Paula Higgins

Thank you trackjack!

09 Apr 2012 7:54 PM

You guys and gals can do what you want.....the odds can just keep goin up on Alpha and Gemologist. The final time in this Ky. Derby will be about 2:03. The Wood time doesn't matter...they carried 123 lbs.

The Illinois Derby was garbage. Why did he send Our Entourage to the lead? Big Mistake.

My top three are 1) Alpha 2) Gemologist 3)Bodemeister Good luck folks!

P.S. Secret Circle rocks but won't last 1 1/4 Mi.

09 Apr 2012 7:57 PM

I would consider O' Brien's horse(s).. but only at very sizable odds.

09 Apr 2012 8:00 PM

Bob from Boston,

LOL!!! After sending there was no retracting. You're the best Buddy.

09 Apr 2012 8:03 PM


“Horses are pack animals.  They like to run within a group.  When some get to the lead, and have no more competition, they idle, waiting for others to catch up.”

As a longtime thoroughbred enthusiast I am aware that horses like canines belong to a group that runs in packs. I am also familiar with the assessment that horses tend to wait on others during races because of this packs instinct. I decided not to detail my reasons for none acceptance this concept for racing purposes as it was not appropriate and as usual it would only open another of my many cans of worms. Since you have kindly taken the time to enlighten I will give my view of this concept.

I have never accepted this assessment as it is only used when a particular challenge is repelled. A horse that is on the lead and is passed by another is never deemed to be waiting on that horse. The loosing horse is normally assessed as: out run, one pace or weakened.  It is never specified that the horse was waiting on those that eventually ran by.  Therefore this selective assessment makes this theory  unsubstantiated. Horses are pack animals and therefore they all prefer to run in a group whether they are wining, loosing or repelling challenges. The fact that the assessment is widely used and accepted does not make it correct.

If it was specified that Gemologist showed grit and determination in repelling Alpha’s challenge, I would find that more acceptable than the notion that he was waiting on him. If only those that repel challenges wait on others, then this theory means that only a select few reflect the pack running nature of the breed.

I do not expect my views to be accepted. However, we cannot accurately determining when a particular horse is waiting on others and therefore this assessment must be avoided. There are certainly better way to describe such events.

09 Apr 2012 9:01 PM

The fantasy at Oaklawn is on Wednesday.  I will help you win some money because I am in a good mood.  There is no shortage of speed in here so what you need is someone who can close into the speed.  Off Limits has been working sharp and looks ready for a peak performance.  I think the addition of Blinkers is all she needs to stay focused in stretch.  100 WP you can thank me later.

09 Apr 2012 9:43 PM

Draynay, for once in a while, I agree with you! Gemologist will not be a factor in the Derby. Aside from the obvious disadvantage of having Todd Pletcher as his trainer, Gemologist's performance in the Wood Memorial was hardly one to get excited about. He faced a pathetic field in comparison to the Santa Anita Derby and his come home time was so slow they needed a calendar instead of a stopwatch(38.42 seconds for the final 3/8ths). People will cite his apparent grit, where he quickened to shrug off Alpha, a grade 3 winner. When you're final eighth is 13.22 after moderate early fractions, it's actually quite easy to quicken. I'll Have Another or Creative Cause would've opened up by 8 lengths in that race, easily. He doesn't have the class, the turn of foot, or the trainer to win the Kentucky Derby. Luckily Union Rags along with the California contingent will make up for any lack of quality in this year's Derby.

09 Apr 2012 9:44 PM
Mike Monarchos

Steve Haskins said in his latest Derby Dozen blog said that Aqueduct was running slow on Wood day.

Gem still got a 98 Beyer and Rags got what? A 93?

El Padrino will be a factor in the Derby if he makes the field. He's a good colt. There will be horses above him in graded earnings that won't run in the Derby. And some will get hurt, unfortunately.

09 Apr 2012 10:06 PM

Gemologist had a GALE WIND at his back and STILL came home in over 38 seconds.  WAKE UP.

09 Apr 2012 11:27 PM

I went 0 for three this weekend, but on the bright side I still don't feel bad about my choices. Paynter will eventually pan out to be the best horse from this race, afterall he was 4th to 2 of the best horses on the Derby trail, and he was running for only his second time, first time 2 turns, watchout for this guy to win the Preakness, assuming he doesn't run in the Kentucky derby.

In the Wood I picked The Lumber Guy, and for the way this horse was beat, I have to admire and respect those that beat him for I still feel he is a very good horse, and for what looks like a slow race time, I have to respect it just for the way The Lumber Guy was beat. Gemologist is the real deal.

I complement those that picked the Illinois Derby winner, Done Talking, this was not an easy race to pick. I'm not sure if Currency

Swap is just racing into shape with no intention of trying to get into the Kentucky Derby or is he really not that good. I will watch what happens down the road with him, I believe he is better than has been shown. Our Entourage should stick to the grass, he will shine on it.

Besides Union Rags, Hansen, I'll Have Another, Creative Cause, Gemologist, the horses I most respect as having a chance to win the Kentucky Derby would be Prospective, Dullahan, Take Charge Indy, and Optimizer.

10 Apr 2012 12:44 AM

Mike, Haskins also said the Easter Bunny is real and Santa is on a diet so I am sure he is right about the Wood.

10 Apr 2012 1:01 AM

Draynay :  Remember Rachel Alexandra's first 2 races in 2010 ?  You were ALL over her works coming up to the NO Ladies stakes.  She ran a very very fast 1:43 in that race.  She then came back and ran a BLAZING 1:42 in the G2 La Troinne.  There was only one problem with those two races... she LOST.

I'm not a big fan of splits and final times.  I can't figure out how the splits and final times of a horse's PREVIOUS race has anything to do with their next race.  They face different horses, the pace will be different, the track could be fast or slow or a different track altogether.  Gemologist could've won in 1:47 or 1:55, it wouldn't matter and it has nothing to do with how he'll race in the Derby.  So how can you use the Wood's splits and final times as a gauge to handicap his performance in the Derby ?  Will he win the Derby ?? I hope so, but I know he's not a sure win.  I really believe he has the best chance to win it though.

Here's a tip for you, you should actually watch the HORSE, how the horse ran instead of focusing on the splits and final times.  Actually, don't listen to me, put all your money on how you do your handicapping, more for me to take LOL.

One last thing, if there's any human left in you, please please do NOT get on Gemologist's bandwagon at the last minute.  I'll give you $20.00 if you continue to trash Gemologist.  I'm serious, it's free $20.00 and you could actually be right with Gemologist not winning the derby.  Deal ?

KY Vet : Where are you hiding ??  Seems to me the only way you pick a winner is when you pick one watching the video replays.  You start posting after the races and tell us how dumb we are.  Are you still watching the Wood Memorial to see who your pick is to win it ?  Youtube has a nice video of the race.  I think you don't post your picks because you're more worried about being wrong (and losing the "Pro" status) than actually focusing on picking a winner.

For Triple Crown hopes, I think Gemologist is probably the next one that will give us some hope, a little hope of seeing a Triple Crown winner.  He has the pedigree, the right jockey, he's lightly raced and with some luck hopefully a good post position.   My hope is for him to gemolish the Derby field and win without much effort as he will need it for the next 2 jewels.

10 Apr 2012 4:12 AM
Smoking Baby

Coldfacts.  I love your posts (although they can be a bit longwinded at times, sorry).  I agree that it is all too easy to use the "he was waiting on horses" excuse everytime a horse gets outrun or isn't as impressive as some would've liked.  No disrespect in this question but I've got to ask if you've ever been on a horse.  Ask a few people who have and they'll all tell you that NOT ALL OF THEM, but certainly some of them will disengage and begin to noticeably coast when they get out front.  I'm not saying this is what happened Saturday with Gemologist.  I'm just saying that waiting on other horses is certainly not unheard of.

10 Apr 2012 7:50 AM

If anyone is booking that race bet between DRAYNAY and Mike Monarchos I want in on some of that...

I will take Mike Monarchos all day long to go wire to wire. No way DRAYNAY can haul that ego around and win a race longer then 40-50 feet! Hope Draynay properly switches leads cause he is going to need it!

10 Apr 2012 8:15 AM

The use of the time a colt ran,last three furlongs, last eigth,final time in comparing the SA Derby to the Wood is like comparing apples to oranges.Times and speed figures are not as scientific as human track athletes that use a staggered start and do not have their momentum impeded,because they run in one lane.Speed figures are supposed to be albe to be used to compare horses running on different tracks,but imo they should be used in combination with the odds to find overbet and underbet horses.Beyer made a killing using his figures when only he had them because he was the only one betting on the overlays.Everyone can see the times that they ran if people think these comparisons are realistic as a stand alone circumstance they will never uncover the true overlays.

10 Apr 2012 9:35 AM
Bob from Boston

Which of the faster colts had the fastest added 16th to finish a race from a 1 1/16 to 1 1/8?  If anyone can answer that bizarre poorly worded question, you should be awarded an Eclipse Award for Blog Reading and go back to school.

10 Apr 2012 9:36 AM

Householder, thanks for that info on Paynter. I have been following him for a while, and was skeptical on his running in the Santa Anita, but I know he has a ton of ability, so I was hopeful he would show it, and he did.

These next few weeks are going to be interesting. Let's see if we get Jason's blog to the 500 hit mark, half of what it was when everyone was talking about 2 mares I will not mention. I will try to do my part with any updates I can give from the workouts.

Oh, if you are at Keeneland, get near the rail or winners circle this Saturday before or after the Bluegrass. You may very well get a suprise.

10 Apr 2012 9:51 AM

If Gemologist and Alpha ran in the Sa Derby on THAT track I would bet ANYONE that they wouldnt have run the same times as they did in the Wood and vice versa with the top two in the SA Derby.Whatever method you use for picking the contenders and dropping the pretenders it ALL is reconcilled with THE ODDS.If a horse is an even money or less horse is he that much better than his opponents in THIS RACE or is it mostly a circumstance of what he did in his previous races.Handicapping is a misnomer IMO I like to think of it as Horseplayer because betting is more than 50% of this endeavor.

10 Apr 2012 10:05 AM
Pedigree Ann


El Padrino's only stakes win this spring was in Louisiana, and the horse he beat a nose couldn't get by a modest-at-best longshot next out. Moreover, both races were slowly run on very fast tracks. (Nate's Mineshaft won the New Orleans H in a time almost 2 seconds faster than the La Derby.) He ran about the same race as he did in NO in Florida Derby, but the horses in front of him weren't stopping. Couldn't quicken. Don't seem him as a contender.

10 Apr 2012 11:23 AM

Coldfacts:  I love how you keep the word "facts" in your name, but when you are presented with the facts of biological imperatives and herd mentality (which has been researched and confirmed) you choose to ignore those facts because you don't want to believe them.  Well, I don't wish to believe you would voluntarily opt to remain as ignorant of the facts as you tend to do, but I have no choice except to ignore your long winded rationalizations as mere rantings rather than keen observations.  Don't forget...Gemologist was not the horse that lost, so why would I make excuses for him? (and your spelling turns atrocious when you get stirred up).

Simply, when a horse gets the lead, if he lifts up his head, twitches his ears, and starts looking around....HE IS IDLING.  Gemologist did not get busy again until Alpha came alongside of him, and Alpha never got to pass him then because Gem got his focus back.  (I think Alpha had a terrible trip and did well in spite of it.)  Why do you think jockeys wait to make that final lunge to the wire?  It's because many horses simply stop once they've made the lead.  The jockey's timing is essential.  Affirmed was always pushed by Alydar.  Secretariat and Seattle Slew are different critters from another planet.  They were true alpha horses who preferred the lead.  Most horses do not, but they will re-engage when the competition re-appears.  While it may be a horse race to us, to the horses...it's a game.

10 Apr 2012 11:34 AM

I will not be placing Gemologist in my top 5 for the Derby.  He is lightly raced and improving but is not a 105 Beyer horse.  THE FACT is he had a GALE at his back and finished very slow.  How do you finish THAT slow with a 30mph wind at your back ?  If he hits the board my Super will be ruined but I am not too worried.  I don't see him doing it.  Gemologist = Bellamy Road.  Jayjay don't worry you can have GEM all for yourself just like you had Dialed In.  I see no closing speed on him so keep him and let me know how it works out for you.  I still haven't seen a horse better than Union Rags.

10 Apr 2012 11:55 AM

predict you need to change your name to ... always wrong.

10 Apr 2012 11:56 AM

3rd slowest Wood in 25 years !!!

10 Apr 2012 12:00 PM

Draynay :  THANK YOU for sticking with Union Rags.  There's a $20.00 for you if you want it.  I think you need it, with all your $100 WP bets, I'm surprise you have money left to bet the Fantasy.  I'll take my chances on Gemologist, if he gets beat, it will not be by UR.

I quote you :

"  I still haven't seen a horse better than Union Rags. "

REALLY ??  That's why you're boxing a 5 horse superfecta ??  If you really believe that, you wouldn't need 5 horses to box.  You can say you're singling UR on top and wheeling 4 horses under.  There's your problem with your early predictions "He's the best horse in the world" nonsense, towards the end, you can't backpedal without making yourself look like a fool.

I'm willing to bet you won't even have any WIN money on Union Rags come Derby day.  You should take a pic of your WIN bet on UR to prove it.  You'll somehow find an excuse (" I thought my wife already placed the bet on him!! ")  and claim after the race that you had a $2 win bet on the winner.  LOL

10 Apr 2012 1:12 PM


Really, hit em' when they're down. LOL

As far as the Wood times, you have to realize that if you are wind aided in the stretch, then you were wind deprived and even hampered down the backstretch. That is why this race was so slow and tough on horses, and should make one appreciate even more the tremendous performance by Gemologist.

10 Apr 2012 1:37 PM

Other than Fu-Peg when was the last time the Wood winner actually won the Derby?  And there have been some pretty great performances (Bellamy Road).  It more recently seems to be a better predictor of who won't run in the Derby (only 67% winners find the starting gate the first saturday in May).  Not quiet sure what to make of the Wood.  It's probably best used like the Santa Anita Derby...you have to look 3-4 deep for the Kentucky Derby winner some times.  

10 Apr 2012 1:59 PM

Jayjay grow up.  I am betting on the horse I don't own him.  I always box and always have.  From a betting standpoint it will not break my heart if Daddy Nose Best beats him at the wire.  I will have the exacta BOXED.  One thing I can guarantee.  Gem will not hit the board.

10 Apr 2012 2:04 PM

Billy : Where did you hear/read that Secret Circle is not going to the Derby ?  As far as I know, he's still on target for the Arkansas Derby.  He probably won't win it as Bodemeister needs earnings but I haven't seen or read anywhere that Secret Circle is not going to the Derby.

We jabber a lot but I do look forward to your on track reports.  At least you don't put any spin on anything and just report what you see.

10 Apr 2012 2:10 PM

predict, coming home in over 38 seconds with a 30mph wind at your back ???  Sorry not buying it.  The horse won a allowance race and then struggled to beat Alpha coming off a 2 month layoff.  All of you need to take the blinders off.  Pletcher believes El Padrino is a better horse.... get the picture ?

10 Apr 2012 2:12 PM

Draynay :  LOL @ grow up.  You get exposed year in and year out.  How did your handicapping pan out when you were betting the farm on RA in the La Troinne, you were all over her final times right?  HOTY you said.  You have no idea how to handicap a race, and even worse, you have no idea how to bet your money but that's good for me.  Keep at it.

Householder : I was hoping no one would mention the Wood curse but it is what it is.  If Gemologist does not make the Derby then so be it.  I still think he's going into the Derby as a fresh horse, only 2 races and the Derby will be his third off a layoff.  He also has one of the best jockeys and there's no issues whatsoever with his pedigree.  I hope all the top contenders do make it to the Derby safe and sound.

10 Apr 2012 3:18 PM

Jayjay, I am just guessing that it may play out that way since, in my opinion, he may stop in the Ark Derby once he hits the 1/8 pole. I hope he proves me wrong. A lot of people like him, and it may show trainers that going the route of the BC Juvenile Sprint could be a very good race to set horses up for a 3yo campaign. Most years, all except 1, the BCJ winner does not win the Derby, and many that race in the BCJ do not even make it to the gate in May. So, take that as you wish. I was just using hypotheticals. I know you think highly of him.

10 Apr 2012 4:05 PM

For real anyone taking bets on that race Draynay vs Mike Monarchos?? I want in on that! I want $200 to win on Mike and another $200 that Draynay doesn't finish the race but after that comes on these blogs and brags that he bet on Mike Monarchos and cleaned up... LOL Good luck at the windows everyone

10 Apr 2012 4:26 PM

Dray, if Pletcher believed he was the better horse ( el padrino), then why did pletcher list Gemologist as one of the top 4, along with Hansen Creative Cause, and Union Rags? El padrino will be lucky to make the race.

10 Apr 2012 4:52 PM

Draynay……..Easy Goer, Broad Brush, Quadrangle, Nashua, Slew o’ Gold and Native Dancer, just to name a few, all won the Wood with times that were greater than 1.50.  The first clue as to the track surface should have been the fact that the Wood Beyer was 98 and the SA Derby Beyer was 94 even though it was slightly more than three seconds faster.  Whether you believe in Beyers or not does not change the fact that they are an indication of how true a track is playing.  As for running with the wind in their back in the stretch, they ran the entire length of the backstretch into that same wind.

Go have a pow wow with your buddy Jylvester and see what else you two can spin.

10 Apr 2012 6:07 PM

Bodemeister is a nice colt but come on.  Is he the one that will finally break the not having raced at 2 Kentucky Derby curse?  I doubt he even makes it in the starting gate.  I have not looked close at his pedigree but if he runs those even splits he may be better suited down the road, like in the Belmont.  

10 Apr 2012 8:06 PM

Bodemeister...ah yes Empire Maker...seem to recall he did something in the Belmont.  

10 Apr 2012 8:18 PM


I will try to keep my response short. It is clear you have missed the point I tried to make. I agree with the fact that horses are accustomed to running in packs in their natural habitats.  I take exception with the assessment that one can accurately state that a particular horse is waiting on others in a particular race. Some horses as you have rightly stated tend to idle when they make the lead and regain focus when engaged. Some horses make the lead and are passed by others. Do horses that surrender their leads wait on those that finished ahead? I fully understand the pack concept in spite of my ignorance and stupidity. As stated, there are far more appropriate assessments that can be advanced than one that cannot be accurately proven.

I am aware that I need to establish an editing system for my post as they contain far too many errors. Many thanks for pointing this out.

You seem to be always so angry and have not spared an opportunity to attack me. There are other contributors that make lengthy posts. I cannot recall you regarding them as being long winded.  Mr. Sandler’s supporters have the option to read and post views on the submissions that they do not find provocative

I was merely responding to some points you directed at me. I try to avoid these types of exchanges but they always seem to find me.

NB: Do not read too much into a posting names.

10 Apr 2012 9:56 PM

Lazmannick, spin it any way you want finishing in over 38 seconds with a gale behind you is terrible.  Like I said, I guarantee GEM does not hit the board.  Billy's Empire GEM is not a fast horse.  I don't know what else to tell you.  You don't have to tell me ANYTHING about El P  I told everyone who would listen he was overrated.  Focus on Union and DNB and save yourself some time.

10 Apr 2012 9:57 PM

Smoking Baby,

You are indeed brave to read some of the stuff that I post. My views anger a lot of folks and I am regarded as crazy and stupid my many. My wife told me that I have perfected the art of making enemies and I am on her short list. Going forwards I will make my posts more reader friendly by using bullet points. I owned and raced thoroughbreds in another life but have never been on the back of the one. I asked where the brakes were located on the animals and was directed the reigns. The idea of controlling and stopping a 1000lb animal with strings did not sit well with me. I am aware of the points made by you and the gentleman that hate me. I am of the opinion that it cannot be accurately determined that a particular horse is waiting on another. It is speculation based purely on the fact these animals are accustomed to running in packs. I think it would be more appropriate to state that a challenge was repelled. Horses on the lead that are passed by others are deemed to be waiting on those that finished ahead of them. The concept is therefore not applied evenly and should be avoided.

10 Apr 2012 10:13 PM

The last time a Wood winner won the Derby was when a Wood winner and bridemaid came in reverse order in the exacta of 2003.Pop quiz Bob from Boston what were their nomenclatures.

10 Apr 2012 11:54 PM

Question number two when was the last time a Santa Anita derby winner won the roses and who came in 2nd and 3rd.Clue its almost been as long.

11 Apr 2012 12:04 AM

Correction its been longer since 1989

11 Apr 2012 12:07 AM
Mike Monarchos


Thanks for having confidence in me in my upcoming match race with Draynay. I actually have more class than Dray since I'm a USF grad. I think Dray went to Lenore Wine and played flag football there. LOL! Correct me if I'm wrong Dray, because I'm almost never right! We're having a hard time deciding where to run the race though, because Dray doesn't want to have to run against the wind!

Any suggestions bloggers?

11 Apr 2012 12:12 AM

Mike 1 furlong race, Trackside Louisville (easy access) the week before the Derby. I will take the action. Since this is a handicap race, (you are 2x Dray's age), Dray will have to tote a midget.

11 Apr 2012 3:55 PM

Dray...the only horse with a 105 Beyer is off the Derby Trail, and named Algorithms.  Daddy Nose Best got a 102.  Your hero, Union Rags has not gotten a number above 95.

ColdfaCTS:  You're the one who chose your tag.  You keep calling your opinions "facts". You mislead too many people by presenting half truths and spinning them into faulty conclusions.

You were trying to demean Gemologist's win when compared to Alpha, but you failed to realize Gem was idling when Alpha came up to him.  Gem kicked back into gear, and Alpha didn't get past him.  But you seem to try to go out on a limb to rationalize Alpha's loss.  If you had bothered to read my entire post, you would have noticed that I explained all of the trouble Alpha had overcome just to get out in the clear and catch up to Gem.  I actually considered Alpha to be the better horse because of all the work he had to do.

Some horses make the lead too early, wear out, and are simply passed by better horses.  That's not idling...that's racing.  But Gem idled...no matter what you care to believe.

As to other lengthy posters,(I'll pick on) notably Gun Bow, who has excellent factual on-site reports of the races themselves, is objective, and doesn't constantly criticize anyone else's choices. He makes intriguing reading, well worth the time.  You, on the other hand, keep telling people they're wrong, you keep telling them you're right, and then you offer misleading information to support your claims.

You consider anyone pointing out your errors as a personal affront as though you are the only one on this blog with integrity. (Isn't that why you quit posting in Haskin's blog). There are a lot of people on this blog who know a lot more than you or I. Sometimes listening and learning elude you, but listening and learning are key in educating yourself. You do a lot of research, but you have tunnel vision when you do.  You are looking for one facet, and never quite get the whole picture.

How many years did you rant on about breeding before you ever considered the dam's side of a colt?

I'm off to watch the Fantasy...hope you learn something instead of just trying to impress what you seem to think is just a herd eager for your "insight".

11 Apr 2012 6:08 PM

By the way, Coldfacts, I thought I already explained how to tell if a horse is idling.  Their head comes up, their ears twitch, and they start looking around.  It's a loss of focus because the competition has disappeared.  And that's exactly what Gem did on the lead.

11 Apr 2012 6:48 PM

Draynay is in his 40's and trust me he doesn't need to tote a midget, he has no shot to win the race. All Mike Monarchos has to do is out sprint Dray the first 50 feet and the race is over Dray doesn't have the class or heart to get his nose up on the wire. He is totally cheap speed like Uncle Mo! lol

11 Apr 2012 7:33 PM


 Couldn't have said it better myself. Alpha ran a really good race it just wasn't good enough. Gemologist lost interest and almost paid dearly for it. It was obvious to me that once he sensed Alpha was closing in he kicked it in another gear and the race was over. I don't really know what to think of Gemologist right now. He could be any kind of horse in my opinion. Might end up a being a superstar. He has the breeding, he has improved in each race and he hasn't lost. I will wait and see how he works and where he draws before declaring him the winner of this years Derby but right now he is in my top two.


If you would have paid attention to my picks last weekend you could have added Blueskys to your chalky exacta and had a 500.00 tri. Might have been a little too risky for you but it tasted alot better than chalk.

11 Apr 2012 7:40 PM

Slew someone needs to tell you Gem isn't that fast.  If you are stuck on this IDLE thing watch the Fountain of "Youth and tell me if needed Union could have posted a 100+ Beyer.  Billy I am not putting Jason on my back.  I outweigh Mike by 40 lbs.

11 Apr 2012 7:48 PM
Mike Monarchos

Billy' Empire,

1 furlong race, which is 220 yards sounds good. And Dray has to tote a midget? That's funny as hell man!!!! ILMAO!!!


If Dray's in his 40's I still should get a handicap there. If he doesn't have to tote a midget he should at least have to carry a small pig! Dray said he out weighs me by 40 lbs. If that's true he weighs 228 and should have no trouble carrying a midget, or at least a Munchkin.LOL!

Billy's Empire,

Since Dray weighs 228 lets change the distance to 8 furlongs! I ran a 4:40 mile in high school, but that was in 1966. Make it a slow track and into a 30 mph wind. Set it up.

11 Apr 2012 10:44 PM
Mike Monarchos


I just got your comment about not putting Jason on your back. Not bad man. LOL! But seriously, at your weight you should be able to carry Jason!

12 Apr 2012 12:04 AM

Mike Monarchos : The funny thing is, when you two race, he'll put his $100WP bet on you because you'll be the chalk.  He'll finish up the track but he'll win $20 on his WP bet. HAHAHAHA I crack myself up!

12 Apr 2012 5:12 AM

Dang, 4:40 is moving. Might as well call you Prefontaine, not Mike Monarchos.

Dray, too damn funny! I was hoping you would make the connection....

12 Apr 2012 8:58 AM

Mike Monarchos vs. Draynay:


Draynay will sprint to the lead, yelling back at Mike and all who care to listen, "I'm the greatest, I'm the greatest."  Mike will be looking down, losing focus, trying to type on his phone, finally, frustrated, throwing the thing into the crowd, looking ahead and begin to re-engage in the race, saying to himself, "remember Tiznow, remember Tiznow."

Someone in the crowd, waving their ticket, shouts to Dray,"hey, I have a $1000.00 win bet on Uncle Mo in the Breeders Cup."  Draynay slams on the breaks, goes over to the fan and announces, "Really?, I have a $2000.00 win bet on Uncle Mo in the Breeders Cup right here and for 10 bucks you can take a picture of it."  Meanwhile, Mike, having downshifted to another gear, cruises by Draynay for the easy win.  

$20.00 to win on Mike Monarchos

$10.00 cold exacta Mike over Dray (how's that for chalk?)

Oh, do I love this time of the year!

12 Apr 2012 11:14 AM
Mike Monarchos


That's funny stuff man!!  The funny part is Dray would actually bet the race that way. After the race he'd say he had a bad start, I got away with a big lead on a slow track that he couldn't close into because of the strong wind in his face. LOL!

Billy's Empire,

That 4:40 mile was was 46 years and about 50 lbs ago. I think I could still burn him out at 8 furlongs with Jason on his back though. I'm fired up about the race man!  I'm going up to Tampa Bay Downs today for a 2 furlong breeze. I'll keep you guys posted.

12 Apr 2012 11:15 AM

Dray: Since I was discussing the Wood, and Gem wasn't in the Fountain of Youth, I have no idea what gear you're stuck in.

I never said Gem was fastest...but then, unlike Rags, Gem has never lost a race.

Now what happened to the intelligent Dray, and where have you hidden him? If you hurt him, I'll sic Monarchos on you!

12 Apr 2012 11:46 AM

Still, Kudos to you. I never ran track, but had to run a lot for soccer, best I could do was about 5:20. I hate running. I would much rather do something fun while running, like Beer Olympics, chasing lions, or running from my girlfriends dad when he found me in his basement with his daughter... (I got away, but my mom was pissed I snuck out)

12 Apr 2012 12:10 PM
Mike Monarchos

Billy's Empire,

I don't like running either. I didn't really like it in high school, but I was too small for football, and not tall enough for basketball in Indiana. Now when I run it's mostly short sprints. But I do think I could beat Dray at 8 furlongs, especially with a midget or Jason on his back. That still cracks me up!!!!

12 Apr 2012 10:24 PM
Mike Monarchos


You got that right man. He'll bet 200.00 on the chalk and win 20.00! LOL


Great analysis! You have one hell of an imagination. Funny stuff! As my hero Larry the Cable guy says: "If ya don't think at's funny get the hell outa here!" Draynay makes me maddern a prostitute tryin ta put a rubber on an epileptic! An at's documented right dere! This is a fun time of the year.

13 Apr 2012 12:18 AM
Ted from LA

The last word.

23 May 2012 5:48 PM

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