Derby Betting: Plenty of Parity at the Top

In a way, it was nice to see a little bit of order restored to the Kentucky Derby picture last weekend after a couple of major upsets the previous week. With the favorites in the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby running one-two, at least we have some semblance of who the top betting choices will be going into the first Saturday in May.

Of course, Hansen has to do his part in the Blue Grass this weekend to keep things status quo, and if he does, we could be looking at another very evenly-matched Derby, in terms of betting, perhaps even more so than last year when five horses went off at single-digit odds. But Dialed in was the 5-1 favorite in 2011; I can't see the favorite being that low this year.

I don't think it will happen, but the last time as many as six horses went off at single-digit odds was back in 2003 when Funny Cide won at 12-1 while six favorites went off between 5-2 and 9-1. But that was with a 16-horse field. The year could resemble 2002 when War Emblem (20-1) won in an 18-horse field. The favorite was Harlan’s Holiday at 6-1, Medaglia d’Oro and Saarland were both 7-1, and Perfect Drift, Came Home, and Johannesburg were all about 8-1.

Assuming Hansen wins the Blue Grass and the other favorites all make the race, here is an educated guess on how the betting might look at the top come post time:

Gemologist: 6-1

Union Rags: 6-1

Hansen: 7-1

Creative Cause: 8-1

I’ll Have Another: 9-1

Alpha: 12-1

Take Charge Indy 12-1

If Bodemeister wins the Arkansas Derby this weekend, he might also be in that 12-1 range, but if he gets beat I don’t see any of the horses coming out of that race being major factors in the betting.

Also, assuming Hansen wins this weekend, it will be a difficult task separating him and the other two likely top choices—Gemologist and Union Rags. Who would go off as the favorite? You’d have the 2-year-old champ coming off two straight wins in major preps and back at a place where he won the Breeders’ Cup; an undefeated horse with two wins at Churchill; and a horse coming off a loss in his final prep but that has been the Derby favorite since last fall. Some of it will depend on how the horses look that week and who is getting the buzz, and also post positions, but my guess is Gemologist will be the slight favorite when all is said and done. The Pletcher/Castellano factor, his undefeated record, and the two wins at Churchill should put him over the top.

The good news is that the parity amongst this year’s potential field is not because of injuries to favorites (knock on wood), rather because the class seems to be pretty deep at this point in the season. If you’re a longshot player, there are going to be plenty of options for you. Consistent horses like Daddy Nose Best, Prospective, and El Padrino (if he gets in) will be big odds, while the two European-based colts will be mostly overlooked.

It’s shaping up to be a great betting race. Let’s see how these final preps play out.


Leave a Comment:


If Borel is riding Take Charge Indy, I see his odds being lower than 12/1. He drove Twice the Appeal down to 11/1 last year, and this is a better horse.

10 Apr 2012 12:56 PM

I think your analysis is spot on Jason.  I do think Bodemeister will be single digits if he wins Arkansas and runs well as he may be the only horse in the field with three straight Beyers of 100+.  I also think Hanson can be the favorite if he wins the Blue Grass impressively.

10 Apr 2012 12:57 PM


Why the apparent discrepancy in your logic? Why does Hansen have to win to maintain his status. Clearly Union Rags lost his last and yet he remains favored over Hansen even if he wins?  I think if Hansen wins he will clearly be the publics betting choice come the Derby, and not Union Rags with his already tarnished and jeopardize coat of armor. There is no way a horse that has already loss to Hansen and could not win his last prep is going to be blindly accepted anymore as the next coming. If Union Rags even makes the gate come Derby day, and I won't be surpised if he doesn't( I just don't feel it), will the public make a horse that has failed to produce a 100 Beyer this year, still be glorified at the betting windows.

10 Apr 2012 1:51 PM
Jason Shandler

Predict: You might very well be right that Hansen goes off favored over Union Rags if he wins the Blue Grass, but dont think the Beyers have anything to do with that. The Derby betting has less to do with numbers than it does other factors. Union Rags has been more hyped from the start of the year and he has a big name trainer in his corner. That will sway the novice bettors more than Beyers.

10 Apr 2012 1:59 PM

1) Animal Kingdon 20-1

2) Nehro  10-1

3) Mucho Macho Man  9-1

4) Shackleford 24-1

It you managed to pick the first four in the correct order your Super paid $48,126!

Where else could you find a betting race like this?

That's what makes this race so great!  99% of the time the paramutual (public) and early line maker is wrong.

10 Apr 2012 2:09 PM

Borel on TCI will make him about 9/1.

If Bodemeister wins the Ark Derby, he'll be 10/1 or less.

I do think the odds will be lower than you stated, however, I think you have the correct order.

Here's what I think...

Union rags 4/1 or 7/2

Gemologist 9/2

Hansen 5/1 or 9/2(Assuming he wins)

Creative Cause 8/1

I'll Have another 8/1

Take Charge Indy 9/1

Bidemeister 10/1 or 9/1

Alpha 12/1

Daddy Nose Best 15/1

Went The Day Well 15/1

In all seriousness though, a lot depends on works, post positions and the wise guy horse.

10 Apr 2012 2:09 PM

Hansen does not need to win this weekend.

How hard would you run a derby horse 3 weeks out when he is all ready in?

10 Apr 2012 2:29 PM

I hope I can get 9-2 on Gemologist come derby day!  I have a feeling he will be bet down to 7-2, UR at 9-2, Creative Cause around 7-1, and if Hansen wins 5-1, if he gets nicked at the wire 10-1, if he goes Pyro on the bit and doesn't show up, 15-1 or worse.  All other recent contenders will be in the 10-15-1 range (IHA, TCI, Alpha, Secret Circle (or Bodemeister)).  This is shaping up to be a fantastically deep field as shown by the Graded Earnings list and the fact that $300,000 may barely get the horse in the race!

10 Apr 2012 2:35 PM

None of these will light up the board.

10 Apr 2012 2:40 PM
It aint easy being good!

What happens if sercret cirlce wins the arnkansas derby dont you think he will be right there? I just dont understand how a horse like secret circle and hansen get no love and all they do is win!

Hey Jason quick question do you think Julien L doesnt know Keelands track very well he has been getting his butt kicked with the odds on favorite every time on Saturday it was a joke!

10 Apr 2012 2:44 PM
El Kabong

I agree with most of what you noted. I was thinking the same about the favorite being around 8 to one and drooling a bit about a high paying tri but take a look at the tri in the very year you mentioned. Ugly. But 5-2 ran second. Still, with so many good horses splitting up the top, trifectas will be very good but not crazy unless we get a 20-1 in their. Supers are always bigger than imagined though, so I will take a healthy stab at one this year.

I think Dullahan will knock off Hansen and Howe Great in the Bluegrass. In fact, I am very sure he will. As was mentioned, how hard do you need to run a horse thats in. Well, Both Dullahan and Hansen are in, but I don't think it will hurt either one to run hard this weekend, especially for Dullahan. I side with those who think the synthetic tracks take less out of a horse so I say go for it and blow out those lungs boys. 3 weeks to eat up and primp is plenty.  

10 Apr 2012 3:03 PM

I am not sure that Hansen won't have enough time to recover for the Derby, 3 weeks and him being a young strong horse, he probably would be ready to go in two weeks. He will probably try to stalk the pace if there is any and then engage anyone in the stretch who is still around to go with him. Don't let him learn for a minute that he isn't in it to win it. I expect we will see a dominating if not humbling performance from Hansen, enough so that there will be little doubt he is your Derby favorite. But, what do I know, I'm usually wrong.

10 Apr 2012 3:22 PM

It aint Easy, Julien has won the riding title at Keenleand on multiple occasions. I mentioned earlier today to Jason that I was quite shocked at how poor a meet Julien and Catalano are having. They typically do very well at Keeneland. Maybe he will turn it around with Turralure.

As far as the odds, I am thinking the lowest price horse will be 5-1, 9/2 will be pushing it. Just no real standouts to take all of that money.

Householder, when I see that super, I still get mad, b/c I had to throw a horse out, and I threw out Nehro. Killed my tri and super. I had AK to win, but that did not make up for my dumbness last year... Hopefully I will spot the winner in the morning again like last year.

What is up with that 57 FLAT this morning?? the work notation said handily too? that is flying

10 Apr 2012 3:54 PM

It seemed to me that Gemologist got bored after he cleared the field, and as soon as Alpha got back in his field of vision he opened back up and in 4 strides he was back to gaining ground and shortly after the wire he was over a length ahead.  He was TOYING with that group.  If they can get him to stay focused when he hits the front, he can be any kind of horse!

Union Rags reminds me a bit of where Lookin at Lucky was coming into the derby.  Hard luck in his trips but always gaining at the end.  As long as he doesn't get trapped on the rail or stuck in the 19 or 20 post he will be competing with the leaders at the 1/8th pole.

10 Apr 2012 3:59 PM

I think "hype" and t.v. commentary, some good, some bad is what drives the prices.  I still remember someone asking Mine That Bird's owner if the horse would be retired "like so many others" after the Triple Crown.  I thought retired to what...He was a gelding!!!  1/2 the people on t.v. know nothing about racing.

10 Apr 2012 4:08 PM
Bob from Boston


You must be mistaken about being wrong.  I've been following this blog since March 11, 1952 and nobody has ever been wrong.

Does anyone know if Wrote is coming to Louisville?  Does anyone know which horse so far has handled the distance from 1 1/16 to a 1:1/8 in the fastest closing time?  Being the class clown apparently doesn't help me when I have a serious question.  Please somebody (Coldfacts, Dray, Paula, Single in LA, Ted from LA, Dr. D, mz, Megan with an h, 2:24, It Ain't Easy, Dr. Freud, Thelma, Louise, trackjack, Ron Turcotte, Rick Santorum), help a fool part with his money.

10 Apr 2012 4:10 PM

Keeneland so far this meet has been SPEED if that doesn't tell you why he hasn't been winning many races so far then you need to watch him ride a little more.

10 Apr 2012 4:39 PM

I think Borel "owns Churchill Downs" and he probably could get a mule to the finish line first in the Derby. Take Charge Indy could do no better, Borel's the best. That being said, I never got over him dumping Mine that Bird in the Preakness after the little gelding ran his heart out for him in the Derby. Borel displayed a lack of loyalty that left a bad taste in my mouth. Yeah, this is now and it's all about individual interests, but I'm old school. So, as good as Borel is, I'm hoping Hansen won't let him get to the winner's circle this year.

10 Apr 2012 4:42 PM

The Arkansas Derby is coming up and I think Optimizer will finally get a chance to shine.  He has been waiting for more distance and now he gets it.  Mr. Lukas knows how to get a long runner ready and he needs a win or place to get in and I think he will get it here.  The longer they go the better this horse will be.  I think he will shine in the Arkansas !!!  Secret Circle wants no part of 9 furlongs.  Optimizer 100 WP.  You can thank me later for giving you winner after winner.  Now excuse me but its time for my pedicure.

10 Apr 2012 6:44 PM

I can't handicap worth a darn, but I do pretty well identifying favorites.  I think Take Charge Indy and Hansen will be 6-1 or less (no matter what happens this weekend).  The novice bettors who only bet the Derby will pick anything Borel is riding (especially given his mount beat UR in the last) and pick by the pretty horse; and who stands out more than Hansen in the Derby field (who also beat UR last time they faced)?  I'm not saying either angle is right; but those horses will take a majority of the novice money....which is bigger on Derby than any other day.  

10 Apr 2012 6:48 PM

And to show I can't handicap; Howe Great in a romp in the Bluegrass. Speed bias (as usual) at Keeneland (Sinister Minister memories anyone?).  Dullahan will finish no better than 4th but is still a horse to keep an eye on at the Derby.  

10 Apr 2012 6:50 PM

And then you have the "Holy Bull" and "Point Givens" who run the worst race of their stellar careers in the Kentucky Derby.  We know they are great because they won many before and many after.  I'm mean didn't Holy Bull win both the Florida Derby and the Blue Grass or something?  2 major Derby preps.  This is unheard of.  And Point Given reals off the Preakness, a faster Belmont than Seattle Slew or Affirmed, the Travers and another Grade 1 Million dollar race all in a row!

But yet both failed to win the Kentucky Derby.  This is really, really had to handicap.  

10 Apr 2012 6:55 PM

B from B: O'Brien said at Meydan, it's a definite for Daddy Long Legs but Wrote may come too.  Both are nominated.  After the BC last year, a lot of people had Wrote as their top Derby choice.  Now they seem to have forgotten what a powerhouse he is.

There have been so many excuses made this year for non-winners, I couldn't tell you their closing times...I'll Have Another did well with a 1:35:36 mile, closing the final f in 1:47:88.  On the Other hand, Lady of Shamrock ran 9f on the turf the same day in 1:46:80.  And she had one of the best runs on the day.

10 Apr 2012 7:07 PM
Betty S

Ksweatman9, I definitely hear you but did you know that Calvin was Rachel's regular rider?  In the Oaks and many others?  The poor guy, he had to let 1 of them down.  I do think had he ridden MTB that he might have won.  It had to be a super tough choice.  As for this year I want Hansen very very much to win and for others to stop making excuses.  I adore Hansen, he is beautiful, gorgeous  etc.=======

10 Apr 2012 7:12 PM
Old Timer

Jason, I believe that you are right on with your figures. It is simple math. With 20 horses there are simply a lot to choose from. With that many entries, a favorite at 3 to 1 is strong and anything below 2-1 would be like odds on in a normal race with 9 or 10 horse field.

There is no strong favorite here.

10 Apr 2012 8:24 PM

Bodemeister would kind of upset the apple cart a bit.  He's bred with enough class and me he screams Belmont with those freaky even splits.  Didn't he pop a 99 Beyer breaking his maiden?

10 Apr 2012 8:28 PM

I'm thinking Hansen with be the favorite if he wins this week.  Otherwise I think it will be Gemologist.    On another note Jason, still nothing to say about Grace?  You assured me after the non graded race that she would be in the Apple Blossom.  Now they duck 123 pounds...?!  The great Zen carried 129 twice.  You always said it wasn't her you had a problem with but the connections.  No problem with these connections?

10 Apr 2012 8:29 PM

I have been high on Gemologist since last year. His breeding says Classic races here I come but  still believe I would watch out for Union Rags. Gemologist showed how tough he is by digging in and shifting into another gear when Alpha came ranging up along side of him. His daddy is Tiznow who had the heart of a lion when racing. I am crossing my fingers that he can pull off a Triple Crown victory. Go Gemologist! Also I don't think he will be the favorite on Derby day which suits me just fine.

10 Apr 2012 8:38 PM
It aint easy being good!

Damn Dray you are back with your head on straight finally you must have been smoking weed last year with uncle slow. Good to have you back doing analysis and picking good horses. I love Optimizer too and think he is an awesome bet in the derby I think the Arkansas derby is where you will find your derby winner. Optimizer is finally getting it together.

10 Apr 2012 8:45 PM

I feel just like everyone the favorite will not be under 5-1. If Hansen wins the top 4 will be:

Hansen 5-1

Union Rags 6-1

Gemologist 6-1

Take Charge Indy 8-1

In my estimations, that means you are getting Alpha at 15-1 Bodemeister at 8-1 Daddy Nose Best at 15-20 to 1 and I'll have Another and Creative Cause around 10 to 1. Throw in a couple of closer bombs and the end of super like sabertooth, optimizer and done talking/ You can making a ton of cash without find a diamond in the rough

10 Apr 2012 11:00 PM
Paula Higgins

Bob/Ted, Rick Santorum can't help you. He will be busy trying to payoff his campaign debt. I am afraid I can't help either my friend, but your questions are good ones. Anyone know the answers?

10 Apr 2012 11:22 PM
Jason Shandler

Id rather see HDG race at CD anyway. Im glad they went this route. Who wants to watch 6 horses run on Friday? By the time her season is through, she will have raced at 5 or 6 different tracks in a strong campaign. The last time a HOY lost in the BC she retired. These connections actually came back to race another year. They didn't like the OP weights, their choice. On to CD. Nothing was lost by this decision. I get to see her live now. The second half is what matters anyway for older horses.

10 Apr 2012 11:32 PM
Mike Monarchos

Hey Draynay reference your pedicure, are ya getting the glue on shoes or the nail ons? LOL!!!

A white horse like Hansen will get alot of bets from the women. If he runs well in the Bluegrass and works well at C.D. he might go off at 4 or 5-1.

The undefeated Gemologist should be 5-1 or so along with Union Rags. Take Charge Indy with Borail should be about 6 or 7-1. I think Creative Cause will be about the same. I'll Have Another and Daddy Nose Best should both be in the 8 to 10-1 range. Alpha should be 8-1, but he'll probably be 10-1 since he lost the Wood.

If El Padrino gets in he'll have juicy odds of 15-1. They may be higher depending on which jock gets the mount. Prospective should run well on the poly (or whatever ya call that fake stuff) in the Bluegrass since he's won on it before. If he wins his odds could be 10-1.

I'm sure I've left out alot of good horses because it's late and I'm tired. Can't afford a pedicure so I'll rub my own feet and go to bed.

10 Apr 2012 11:52 PM

Yes Betty, I know Borel was Rachel's regular rider, but the triple crown run carries unspoken rules, one being, if you get over the first hurdle, you try to jump the second with the same horse. The goal is to win the triple crown before hell freezes over, and no, a jockey triple win without the pony doesn't count. That was Borel's goal. I'm just saying, that's how I feel. Bird could've won the Preakness, he came close, but he missed the Belmont. It wasn't meant to be, but it's the principle. I respect Calvin for his riding. You know, it's funny but Mike Smith would've done the same if it were Zenyatta. Thing is, if big Z could've run in the triple crown races as a 3 year old, she would've probably won the crown. That's how special I believe the giant mare is, she has no equal.

10 Apr 2012 11:57 PM
Carlos in Cali

Jason,I think you're the only turf writer left who is still "ok" with HDG's connections and their constant weight assignment bitching. The rest have finally had enough of the shenanigans..

11 Apr 2012 12:10 AM

People on this blog still think GEM and HANSEN are real Derby threats.  How cute.

11 Apr 2012 12:16 AM

Mr. Shandler,

Mr. Haskin’s Derby Dozen contains the seven betting interest highlighted in your post. Of the seven, only Union Rags’ sire belongs to a group that has been successful in the Derby. His sire Dixie Union is a grandson of the great Northern Dancer. Three grandsons of the great sire have sired Derby winners i.e., Boundary (Big Brown); Summer Squall (Charismatic) and Polish Navy (Sea Hero). The Northern Dancer sire line is second to the Mr. Prospector sire with Derby wins over the last 25 years. Union Rags therefore is the most appealing from your group.

I have noted no mention of Went the Way Well. He was sired by Proud Citizen a grandson of Mr. Prospector. The grandsons of Mr. Prospector have been the most successful group in the Derby. They have sired five Derby winners i.e., Unbridled(Grindstone); Quiet American ( Real Quiet); Distorted Humor( Funny Cide); Elusive Quality ( Smarty Jones); Street Cry (Street Sense). Based on Derby history Went the Way Well should be amongst the best betting interests. If Animal Kingdom’s performance in the 2011 Spiral is used as a measure, Went the Way Well has to be the most appealing contender. He won the 2012 Spiral in a full second faster than AK and has a better dirt pedigree.

NB: Gemologist defeated Alpha by a neck and Alpha’s projected odds is twice his. Alpha has the better pedigree for 10F. If Mr. McLaughlin almost stole the Derby with the 78-1 Closing Argument, what is he likely to do with the better bred and far classier Alpha?

11 Apr 2012 12:55 AM

El Kabong,

Done Talking was not a difficult call. He finished 1L behind Remsen winner O’Prado Again and was a NK to 1/2L behind third place finisher El Padrino. Finishing behind him were Our Entourage, Stephanoatee and Speightscity. The latter two colts finished second to Alpha in the Count Fleet and Withers respectively. With a better trip Done Talking would have illuminated the tote board at 25-1.

I know he only got an 86 Beyer for his IL Derby victory but I consider his performance tob e the most impressive prep of the week end. In his second race in almost 41/2 months, he draws post 13 and closed from 3rd to last through traffic for a decisive victory. He has many Derby positives:

Sire:  Broken Vow (Unbridled by Nijinsky dam)is a grandson of Mr. Prospector. This group has sired five Derby winners.

Dam Sire: Dixieland Band is dam sire of Monarchos, Street Sense and Eight Bells. Melbourne Cup winner: Delta Blues.

Home Bred: He is a home bred and this group has won 6 of the last 8 Derbies

Derby Distance: No problem based on running style

What’s not to like about this colt who will be closing hands over fist in the last 100 meter of the CD stretch. Live long shot!

11 Apr 2012 1:30 AM
Matthew W

I don't think Gemologist will be anything near 7-2! He probably won't be under 8-1, and he may creep up to 10-1! I like the chances, as well as the probable odds, of Daddy Nose Best at 15-1, as well as I'll Have Another, at 8-1. Daddy has won two roadies, both 1 1/8, both over surfaces he had never run over, Tapeta and dirt, and I'll Have Another has won two fast races! The favorite could be Hansen, if he runs well in Blue Grass, Union Rags has yet to win a two turn race of any kind, so I doubt they'll make him the Derby Fave, interesting though, who will be this year's Sweetnorthernsaint, that is, the suprise Derby Fave....

11 Apr 2012 1:38 AM

Ya got the steeds pretty much in

order, but prices wrong...gem 3-1

both CA colts about 4..most

others too high

11 Apr 2012 2:10 AM

El Kabong


It was stated in my post regarding Don Talking that his sire Broken Vow was grandson of Mr. Prospector and that was incorrect. Broken Vow is in fact a grandson of the stamina influence Fappiano. Unbridled, Quite American and Cryptoclearance were sired by Fappiano and they all sired winners of TC races. Don Talking is therefore a great grandson of Mr. P and this category has produced one Derby winner..

11 Apr 2012 7:42 AM

You guys can watch HDG all you want.  I'll watch others. Racing secretaries have never weighted her unfairly.  It's a joke.  

11 Apr 2012 9:02 AM

Dray - I too love a good pedicure.

Been on board with alot of your picks this season but definitely staying away from Optimizer.  Lukas, for all of his greatness, seems more apt to ruin a horse at this part of his career so he can get back in the spotlight.  I don't have trust in him anymore.

Play Bodemeister to win.

11 Apr 2012 10:34 AM
Age of Reason


Agree with you on the criticisms of HDG but please, find a way to do it without invoking a certain other mare. You're playing into their hands and I don't want to get into another 500-comments' worth of argument on that topic.

On the other hand, though, Jason, I keep hearing reports (rumors?) that Baffert wants Plum Pretty to go from the Apple Blossom to the La Troienne, so you may get to have your cake and eat it too. Heard anything about this? (and as an aside, surely you didn't really want Shirreffs to bring Zenyatta back at 7 years old...) Also, I think it's rather presumptous to defend HDG's 2012 campaign (or lack thereof, as of yet) based on mere speculation that she will do this or that. I wish her all the best, though. We shall see! :)

11 Apr 2012 10:50 AM
Pedigree Ann

Householder - how old are you? Because in my lifetime, it has been quite usual for an outstanding Derby candidate to win 2 or more major preps.

We can start with My Dad George, who won the Flamingo and Florida Derby (As a youngster, you may not know that the Flamingo was Hialeah's major Derby prep and a bigger race than the Fla Derby in its day.)

Snow Chief won the Santa Anita Derby, then shipped east to win the Florida Derby.

Spectacular Bid won the Flamingo, Florida Derby and Blue Grass (plus the Hutcheson and Fountain of Youth! The Bid ruled).

Chief's Crown won the Flamingo and Blue Grass. And so on.

11 Apr 2012 10:56 AM

By the way, I really have to wonder about times.  Good horses are trained to run splits of 12.  That puts an extremely good Ky Derby at 2 minutes.  10f x 12 secs.

Only 3 horses have ever run it in less (Secretariat, Sham, and Monarchos).  And yet, after it's all over, the "fans" get hypercritical of a horse who runs 2 hundreths of a second more than 2 minutes.  Why? And heaven forbid the horse runs 4/100ths of a second more.  I have to wonder exactly what we are expecting of these colts who are still babies.  Can't we just enjoy a race, and enjoy all of the runners?  Do we always have to pinpoint every flaw.  No one is perfect.  Why would we expect these young colts to be exactly that?

11 Apr 2012 11:07 AM

Daddy Long Legs was awfull in the BCJ. IMO he needs to get here in time to have at least 2 works over the CD surface. Thats not going to happen so I think he will be up against it in the Derby.

11 Apr 2012 11:12 AM
Aaron McC

Jason - I agree with your assessment of the Apple Blossom. Do you think the weights were a secondary consideration? Even a bit of a ruse?

Given that the Apple Blossom is an important race for older mares, maybe the weights were a little bit of an excuse to keep her 1st half of the season easier, and to help her maintain an even progression toward a peak later in the year ... while keeping her in the public's mind through the first half of the season ... or something like that ....

11 Apr 2012 12:46 PM

What matters is finishing 4th in the BCC.  Apparently that is the new key for HOY.

11 Apr 2012 1:53 PM

Pedigree Ann:  Didn't Empire Maker also win the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial as recently as 2003?

11 Apr 2012 2:18 PM

Like many, I too am sick of the games that seem to be being played by HDG's connections.  But I also understand Jason's point.  Who really cares, let's see her run on Derby or Oaks day.  Let's just hope they don't scratch her on Oaks day.  Will never really get over Zenyatta scratching on Oaks Day when I was live at CD.  Did get to see a sublime performance by Rachel that day at least.

11 Apr 2012 2:25 PM

The last male horse that competed in the Triple Crown races that really got me excited was Afleet Alex.  He was an excellent colt who had an absolutely electrifying turn of foot.  I was certain he was going to win the Triple Crown.  Alas, thanks alot Spanish Chestnut and connections for ruining that and the normally trustworthy Jeremy Rose using his horse too many times.

This year seems to me to be a good group of horses competing but there is no Afleet Alex in the bunch.  We can always hope for a crop like 2007 with Street Sense, Hard Spun and Curlin but like that year, the competition may be too even for a TC winner.  

11 Apr 2012 2:29 PM

The Apple Blossom is a G1 race.  The La Troienne is a G2. Of course they can always re-think their Phipps plans and defend their G3 Obeah title.

11 Apr 2012 2:50 PM

I am starting to like Alpha more and more, but I have to wonder who will ride if Dominguez stays on Hansen. He is a top 5 contender in my book after the Wood. He will be there in the end of the race.

11 Apr 2012 2:53 PM

I'll take Union Rags at 6-1 on betting day any day. Special talent

11 Apr 2012 3:37 PM

I have been saying it for a while now and the fact is Baffert doesn't have a Derby horse.  Bodemeister is no Derby horse either.  Holding your speed at Oaklawn is much tougher than holding it on the speedway called SA.  Bodemeister has no starts as a 2 year old so even talking about him in the Derby just seems silly.  Optimizer should be set up very nicely with all the speed in the race.  Pass on Bodemeister.  You have better odds of hitting the lottery than you do getting paid on a win ticket for Bodemeister in the A. Derby.  Please remember I know everything.

11 Apr 2012 3:52 PM
Pedigree Ann

You are correct, 2:24. I went back to 1971, because that was the first year I could follow the races closely, since I went to college in So Cal where one could actually buy a DRF. And when one gets to my age, long-term memory is better than short-term memory.

Anyway, the point is that it is by no means unheard of for a horse to win two major Derby preps. Or more. A few years of light preparations (2-3 races over 4 months) and people forget.

11 Apr 2012 4:16 PM

Laz-how can you think otherwise.

11 Apr 2012 4:27 PM

The problem with the crown, is that to win it, you either need a total "superhorse", the kind legends are made of, or you need a combination of talent, speed, and LUCK. Nothing less will do, that's why we haven't had a triple crown winner in over 3 decades. The Derby is as much about luck as anything else, and the Belmont is a true test of endurance as much as talent and ability. It's like a lottery, all the correct numbers have to line up, and we all know the odds of that happening. I don't see a triple crown sweep this year, but I always hope for it. Maybe, just maybe, the stars will line up and the racing Gods will smile on a special horse. It could be a white pony for the very first time in history. What would the odds of that be?

11 Apr 2012 4:34 PM

Manicure! I never needed one in my life! Never had the bad handicapping problem of betting a "can't lose" horse at 2/5 and having to bite my nails the entire trip. Now, we see Optimizer at 30-1, as we chase our huge losing mistake. "Chalk" up another loss with Optimizer. Thanks for supporting my way of life in your small way.

11 Apr 2012 4:50 PM

Ksweatman9 made a joke!  And a good one too.  Triple Crown?  LOL!!  Draynay is correct, Hansen has very little chance of winning the KY Derby. There's better probability that Lazmannick is a Mensa member than Hansen winning the KY Derby.  His connections should skip the Derby and go to the Preakness where he has a very good chance.  You all will get a good price on Daddy Nose Best.  Thank me later.

11 Apr 2012 5:18 PM

Pedigree Ann: Seattle Slew won the Flamingo Stakes and the Wood.

Dray: "Holding your speed at Oaklawn is much tougher than holding it on the speedway called SA."    Really????  Did you bother to tell that to Secret Circle?  The winner of the SW and the Rebel?  And didn't Castaway take a SW stakes too?  

11 Apr 2012 5:25 PM


Thanks for giving us Off Limits.  

11 Apr 2012 6:31 PM

Dray: Add Mama Kimbo to the Baffert list of Cali-trained horses wiping up the Oaklawn track.  She just won the Fantasy Stakes with Mike Smith aboard.

11 Apr 2012 6:36 PM

Laz- don't be silly.  Think of the weight spread.  

11 Apr 2012 7:17 PM

in 1980 Plugged Nickle won the Hutchinson, the FL Derby and the Wood.  Ended up being champion sprinter that year.

11 Apr 2012 7:27 PM

Yes today was speed speed and more speed at Oaklawn.  If you were not out front you didn't have a chance.  Nothing was closing on the speed today.

11 Apr 2012 7:32 PM

Slew I saw it!  It only took the first 2 races to figure out Oaklawn was playing like a speedway.  Believe me it is my FAVORITE type of track.  I bet 2 races and tripled my Twinspires account.  I hope it is playing that way tomorrow too.

11 Apr 2012 7:36 PM

Tough race on Friday but you have to love the name ithinkisawapudycat.  Go with the speed !!!  100 wp

11 Apr 2012 7:42 PM
Bob from Boston

I had four bowls of chilli and a large burrito last night and have been full of gas all day today.  It is the first time I have been able to really show empathy with how Draynay must feel each time he opens the Racing Form.

11 Apr 2012 8:12 PM

Optimizer? you cannot be serious! good thing draynay doesnt bet what he posts.....bad bad horrible choice! funny, he posts that the track is playing for speed.....but picks that mule......embarassing.....

11 Apr 2012 9:04 PM

Jason, you are the only horse racing writer on all the different forums that I read who has proven to be a complete hypocrite! It is very disappointing because you do have knowledge to share but you have to be so rude and sarcastic!  Few top horses today even run at  6 and yet you make a comment like that...? Sure bring back a 7 year old.....  You have gotten to be just ridiculous!

11 Apr 2012 9:24 PM

KY VET I don't think on Saturday it will be playing like a speedway like it was today.  If it is Optimizer won't have a chance but I think it will be playing a little more fair on Saturday.  We will see.  If it is still playing all speed I will put it all on Isn't he clever for the win.

11 Apr 2012 9:42 PM
Jason Shandler

She lost. Get over it.

11 Apr 2012 10:36 PM
Ted from LA

Heeeeeeeeeeeeee's back.

Wendy, I'm home.

I spent the evening with the radio, regret the moment that I let you go.

He's full of gas.  Get over it.

11 Apr 2012 11:44 PM

You are so right, Jason.  HDG lost both her BC appearances.  Non threatening both times.  Thanks for bringing it up.  

11 Apr 2012 11:45 PM

In the beginning I said if Hansen were mine, I'd skip the Derby and go for the Preakness. HOWEVER, judging from his run in the Gotham, the colt could very well be improving his style. Believing that this could be the year for a triple crown winner is quite a pipe dream within itself, but Hansen has just as much chance of pulling it off as does any of his rivals. This is horse racing, anything is possible and I'm pulling for Hansen. Besides, I sort of like his eccentric owner. Color the colt's tail, why not? Pastels, he could look like an Easter bunny. Oh, the stewards won't allow that, too bad. I bet he can't wear a derby hat either. Oh well, Dr. Hansen, the roses will have to do for a little dress up.

11 Apr 2012 11:49 PM
Bob from Boston

Welcome back, Ted from LA.  Who's your Derby horse?  Favorite color?  Favorite Kardashian sister?  Favorite right wing lunatic fringe candidate to attempt to run for president?  Thanks in advance.

11 Apr 2012 11:50 PM


The new rule this year is that if you win three G3 races anbd finish 5th in the BCC you get a unanimous vote for HOY.

12 Apr 2012 12:18 AM

Racing fan.....We love the fact that jason is not PC! He is being real, not afraid to give his opinion of the comments....good or bad....i'm sure if he ever picked a winner, wouldnt say "i told you so"......he knows more than 99 percent of the half on here that understand this game......

12 Apr 2012 12:53 AM

Draynay.....try selected a mule, then a horse that has been squeezed like a lemon....too many races plus his best race ever.......get it right this time................3rd choice?

12 Apr 2012 12:57 AM

Hansen is 6-5 and 2nd choice is 6-1 ??  What ??  Hansen is 4th on my list but I don't know if I can pass up trying to beat him in the Bluegrass.  I don't think he'll be putting much effort winning it either.  750K is 750K, that's a lot of money but I think winning the Kentucky Derby is much much more important.   I'm looking at PoliticallyCorrect, Ever So Lucky, Scatman and Dullahan as potential big payout trifecta.  I know Hansen outclasses these horses and I'll have him on top of them as well but I'm not going to single him.

I'm a little confused why Bodemeister is the favorite for the Arkansas but I'm not opposed to it.  I'd like to see how Secret Circle does tracking a true speedball and see how he closes.  Regardless of what happens in the Arkansas Derby, I hope he stays healthy and makes it to the Derby.  He will be on top of my tickets together with Gemologist.  He'll either make me rich or take Draynay and KY Vet's money.

Draynay : Yeah, you know everything about nothing.  How did Off Limits do ??  I think she's still "closing"!  You know how to pick 'em.  How did you triple your money ?  The first 2 races you lost, races 3-5 were all even money favorites that won on the front.  Races 6-8 were won by closers at long odds.  Race 9 was won by a frontrunner as the favorite.  I'm guessing your Twinspires acct had $10 in it and that's how you're able to claim that you tripled it.  LOL

I heard a rumor that Ron The Greek might scratch out of the Oaklawn Handicap (Gr11) because they are spotting Nehro (who won the Kentucky Derby last year according to Draynay) and will try his luck shipping across states and awaiting the fair races at Fairplex this summer.  I'm sure it's just a rumor, he'll probably run.

12 Apr 2012 4:14 AM

I just can't believe that a horse with Calvin Borel on his back (aka Take Charge Indy) will have 12/1 odds. He's the favorite jock at Churchill at the big dance. And even if the morning odds start at 12/1, by the time the gate opens up it will be much lower. Probably, he will have 3/1 odds; but that's still a chance to win some money.

12 Apr 2012 8:52 AM
steve from st louis

Oaklawn has always been a speed favoring track.Always. It's one of the few tracks whose homestretch is actually downhill. That's a fact. Picking closers there is a fool's game. Who would do that? Oh, never mind.

12 Apr 2012 9:03 AM

Laz- there was a great column about it at

very funny.

12 Apr 2012 9:08 AM

If you haven't shown UNION RAGS respect, reconsider, because you know he's going to be screaming down the stretch and ruin your TRI & SPF if you don't.

12 Apr 2012 10:46 AM
Pedigree Ann

Steve - even heard of Sir Cherokee? Watched the 2003 Arky Derby? All those fools got 55/1.

12 Apr 2012 11:16 AM
It aint easy being good!

You guys that are hating on optimizer have no clue what your talking about. You talk bad about a horse but dont give any insight on a horse you like aka KT VET who is your horse for saturday at Oaklawn if you are going to bash horses then man up and say who you like please say the favorite since you are obsessed with beyers. Bodemiester has no chance you heard it  hear first. BTW what local horse won the arkansas derby last year ooo thats right arch arch arch at 25-1 odds dont be a fool optimizer will be right there.

12 Apr 2012 11:16 AM
It aint easy being good!

Ugh oh union rags has been cranking up his works check out his work today. Time for the haters to shut it and the supporters get your wallets out and your popcorn ready he is a BEAST!

12 Apr 2012 11:18 AM

Union Rags 48 2/5  2/16  a very nice work look for a very sharp work next week at Churchill.  Barbaro was working lights out before the Derby and I expect Union Rags to be doing the same thing heading into the Derby.

12 Apr 2012 11:33 AM
Age of Reason


I don't remember Sterling Madam's connections whining when their allowance filly had to give the default HOY 2 pounds last time. I'm sure this has also been pointed out elsewhere, but worth repeating IMO. What a joke 2011 was!

12 Apr 2012 1:03 PM
Rolling Thundar

Hello Everyone.......Was on a little Hiatus, and really missed all of the gravaling.

Jason:..Let me just say, that no matter what anyone say's on here, I respect You for being a person of character, and stand up guy. You state your opinion....Bravo.

Ok, on to business.

Bluegrass......Hansen / Prospective / Ever So Lucky Boxen Em Ex,Tri.

Arkansas......Bodemister / Secret Circle Ex Bx.

Draynay:..I gotta give ya credit man. I know ya can't pick every winner every time. But you have given some, and You always stand behind your Picks.

KY Vet:..You are a disgraceful Coward...You NEVER EVEN give a Pick,....What a Wuss....

And Good Luck to all the Others on here, who do give their Picks. Whether We are right or wrong.

12 Apr 2012 1:04 PM
Carlos in Cali

Bodemeister is the horse to beat in the AK Derby but I'm not sure he should be favored over SC. I guess his upside and the bang-up 2nd to CC trumps SC's 2 victories @ OP.

Mike Smith should've waited until after the race before committing to DNB.. what if Bode' airs like I think he will? Maybe he jumped on the opportunity to ride a confirmed closer thinking the Derby will have plenty of speed?..

12 Apr 2012 1:25 PM
steve from st louis

Ann: I have in the past bet a closer or two on the old Keeneland dirt surface, a track with probably the biggest front-running bias back in the day of all the U.S. tracks. But there was a definite long-term angle of supporting speed horses at Keeneland as well as at Oaklawn.

I didn't infer that a closer has never won at the Hot Springs Spa.  I'm sure Sir Cherokee would have been up the track if the front-runners hadn't gone in :21 4/5, :45 2/5 and 1:09 4/5. Of course he beat those noted classic stayers Man Among Men (?), the 5-2 favorite, Eugene's Third Son and Christine's Outlaw. Any of those names ring a bell? I didn't think so.

12 Apr 2012 1:32 PM

Secret Circle will win the Arkansas Derby.  If they are to go on to CD, where Secret Circle already has a Peanut Butter win, Baffert and Bejerano will have to lay behind the early speed which he is more than capable of doing and get the first jump on them in the stretch.  I'm still not convinced he's a 10F horse even though his breeding says so.  But his class and guts will get him the 9F Arkansas Derby.    

12 Apr 2012 1:37 PM

Laz : LOL at the requirements for HOTY this year.  You forgot that you have to travel all over the place as well, finding the right weights for you.   I'm looking forward to the next G3 race.

Footlick : Whats the title of the column ?  I'd like to read the article.

KY Vet : Here you go again, blasting Draynay's pick.  All you do is blast someone's pick and calls it a bad pick, a stupid /dumb pick.  Asks everyone if they even know horse racing.  You were whining about Draynay not accepting your Keeneland challenge but you still can't post your picks.  POST YOUR PICK AND THEN WAIT UNTIL THE RACE RUNS TO SEE WHO WON.  IF YOUR HORSE WINS, THEN YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU DO BEST, CALL PEOPLE STUPID.  IF YOUR HORSE LOSES, DON'T HIDE.  As for your #$# kissing comments about Jason, you really don't know him.  Are you worried he'll ban you cause you haven't posted your pick BEFORE a race ?

Draynay : Does this mean no more 5 horse superfecta box ??  You'll single him on top just like Ranagulzion ??  Come on, that's some scary workout, and next week... lights out works!!!  How can you not single him, he's the best 3 yr old out there!!  Just like Barbaro you said.    Let's see how you'll play your super with Union Rags singled on top, who would you put underneath ?  The other 4 horses.

12 Apr 2012 1:40 PM

Carlos : I think he just jumped on the opportunity.  At least he has secured a horse for the Derby.  If Bode runs like a monster, I'm pretty sure he can tell Asmussen that he changed his mind.  He doesn't ride much for him anyway so it wouldn't be a big loss.  I don't know what to think of DNB now, Mike Smith has been one of my favorite jockeys, he knows how to ride a closer.  Oh well, something to think about.  I was pretty confident DNB will not hit the board in the derby, I was so sure of it until I read Haskin's article about the jockeys.  The last paragraph actually surprised me.

IAEBG : I don't think there's many haters of Union Rags, I think there's a lot that doesn't think he'll make 10F (including me) but no, I don't think they hate him.  I don't hate UR.  He'll be on some of my tickets but not on top.  I'll throw a few on him just in case he gets a clean trip and manages to get up for superfecta.  I think people post comments that may seem like they hate him but no, they're just comments to enlighten Draynay about horse racing, he needs to learn a lot and I mean A LOT.  The first rule is IMO, do NOT proclaim a derby winner before the posts are drawn.

12 Apr 2012 1:56 PM

Age of Reason- I'm sure they were honored.

12 Apr 2012 1:57 PM



12 Apr 2012 2:19 PM

Mike Smith on DNP !  My exacta box is looking better and better.  Julien/Mike !  This is a great pick up for Mike Smith no one has more experience getting a big slow moving closer to the wire than Mike Smith.

12 Apr 2012 2:22 PM
Carlos in Cali

Arkansas Derby:

Bodemeister needs $$-Baffert has him tightened. His #'s tower over his opponents,so he should win on talent alone.

I'll play Bode' on top w/SC,Optimizer & Raconteur underneath the exotics.

Isn't He Clever gets clobbered- DNB's stock plummets faster than Draynay's reputation.

Bluegrass Stakes:

Hansen is the best horse in the field and like Barry Irwin said,possibly the best of his crop.I know one thing; he's an "Alpha-type" who doesn't like to be headed,so I'm pretty sure Maker & Co. want to see him settle off the abundance of speed lined-up.His Gotham showed he's capable of doing it- I'd like to see him covered up then make his move turning for home with a sustained run.If Dominguez feels the pace isn't too fast,I'm sure he'll give him his head and let him roll on the lead.

I'll wheel-box Hansen,Dullahan on top w/Prospective & Howe Great underneath the exotics.

12 Apr 2012 2:23 PM

So Optimizer is a great bet, but he might lose. WOW. UNion Rags might win the derby, but.....Hansen may win the Derby but.....Let me guess Draynay. You are a gardner and specialize in HEDGES. Too many years of reading your insights that are more like insults to any real horseplayer...... Here is how i grew up. you say it - you live with it. The End

12 Apr 2012 2:38 PM

JayJay.....No matter how they run, Draynay will have it. I remember the days on "ABOU*.com" when he would state that he changed his mind because of some fluky reason and had the winner anyway. If you knew his history, you would know that he is WAAAAAAAAAy in the hole as a horseplayer.

12 Apr 2012 2:41 PM

jayjay- it is by Gary West and called "Weight, this is ridicuous".

12 Apr 2012 2:48 PM

MATTHEW W, you are wrong, Union Rags won the Fountain of Youth, a two turn race.  

12 Apr 2012 2:49 PM


NAJJAAR: This colt owes me some funds and I have no alternative but to use him as a long shot in my exotics wagers. His last race was the Rebel where he finished 6th beaten 41/2L. He closed from easily 20L last after being slowly out of the gates. His Rebel effort came 14 days after defeating older horses. To be only beaten by 41/2L on short rest and closing from so far back suggests that with 28 days between races this deep closer will be in the mix. NB: He worked a previously not seen 1:00 for 5F and galloped out in 1:12.20 in preparation for his Derby effort.

RACONTEUR: He finished 7th in the Gotham and 14 day later captured the Private Term at Laurel. It is unlike Mr. Pletcher to start back a horse 14 days after a poor effort. This A P Indy colt appears to be very tough. He was produced from a Storm Cat mare like race favorite Bodemiester. The A P Indy sire like has won 7 Derby preps so far and is obviously the hot line right now. Mr. Pletcher finished second with the 25-1 Holiday Promise in the Spiral indicating he is capable of striking with long shots. This tough hard knocking one pace colt has to be used.

ISN’T HE CLEVER: This colt is dangerous! He is the only one on the Derby trail that has a stakes record on is résumé. He is bred to go long but started his career with a pair of fast 51/2F victories. He won the Borderland Derby after his promoted 4th place finish in the Bob Lewis. It should be noted that the mile split in the Borderland Derby was 1:36 plus. In his 2nd place finish in the Sunland Derby he was on the lead at the mile marker when the clock reflect 1:35 plus. This colt was produced from a Deputy Minister mare and should have no problems with 9F despite his exceptional speed. NB: When was the last time a rider was seen looking through his legs in a 1:10 split?

Bodemeister and Secret Circle will round out the five that will comprise my wagers

I do not trust Optimizer. However if he looks as good as he did in the Rebel I will use hi instead of Secret Circle.

12 Apr 2012 2:58 PM


PROSPECTIVE: This has to be the colt to beat. He is undefeated on synthetic and if his BCJ effort can be forgiven, he has not done anything wrong in his five other starts. His winning time in the TB Derby is only bettered by the NTR set by Street Sense in the 2007 renewal of the race. He was fitted with blinkers in his last start and showed significant improvement. His sire Malibu Moon gave of the brilliant Coco Beach and his dam sire Awesome Again was BCC winner. This is a nice genuine colt that is much improved and will be a key horse in all my wagers.

HEAVY BREATHING: It appears everybody including Mr. Shandler has jumped ship. This colt led the Spiral in runaway splits and paid the price in deep stretch. In the 2011 Spiral the leaders went 45.51 and Animal Kingdom passed them like they were glued to the ground. The TWP surface is very tiring and it is difficult to go gate to wire. Heavy Breathing 46.98 and 1:11.86 ranks second for the distance since the synthetic surface was installed at TWP. The Spiral was his third start and second 9F race in 21 days. Two 9F gallops 21 days apart can transform a talented horse in significant way. I love his dam line and I am banking on the fact that he is much improved off his Spiral effort. He is therefore my long shot of choice and will be wagered in my exotics and across the board.

How Great, Holy Candy and Dullahan round out the five that will comprise my wagers

I do not like Hansen as this is the best field he will be facing on a synthetic surface. He will not be capable of getting an uncontested lead and he will not out close How Great, Holy Candy and Dullahan.

12 Apr 2012 3:48 PM
Mike Monarchos

jayjay and Billy's Empire,

Jason's other blog isn't up anymore. We'll have to continue planning "The Great Match Race" on this one. That stuff was pretty funny.

By the way I went to Tampa Bay Downs today and there was no live racing so I had no problem working 2 furlongs. I did it 1:10 and 3/5 breezing over a fast track. I used to run 1/4 miles in 52-53 seconds over a cinder track, but those days are long gone. I was going to get Rosie to ride me, but she went to Keeneland. So I did it with a fifty lb pack on my back as there were no midgets available. LOL! Has Dray worked yet?

12 Apr 2012 4:10 PM


Smith is a good jock but prepare for a wide and troubled trip. :)

12 Apr 2012 4:23 PM
Union Buster

Let him go off at 6/1,4/1,8/1 it don't matter, union on the rags will not win the KY Derby!! I see even draygoof isn't so sure about him anymore either. Haven't heard the incessant babbling about him being a lock lately. He must be busy touting other powerhouses like Off Limits and Cal Nation.

12 Apr 2012 4:24 PM
It aint easy being good!

Carlos in Cali I disagree with everything you say and Bodemiester is not a monster I just laugh when I hear these comments save your money and bet on najjar or optimizer. Did you see Bodemidsters last race he wanted a timeout so he could find an inhaler! Also Mike smith on DNB what else can you ask for. Mike smith knows churchill very well go to the last to breeders cup classics and you will see how great he is this will round out his hall of fame career. Dray your on point his year keep it up! Jason looks like you lost some weight must be the stress of your losing picks still love the blogs and the videos keep it up!  My picks optimizer, Najjar

Bluegrass I will throw a dart on the board and take prospective he is very underrated dont sleep on him.

I agree with Jay jay though you really cant call out a derby horse until the post are drawn. Also important is how the track it playing that day.

12 Apr 2012 4:36 PM

Spot on, Racingfan!

12 Apr 2012 4:58 PM

Has Dray worked yet?

Mike Monarchos 12 Apr 2012 4:10 PM

Mike; Draynay is probably just too plain exhausted and tired out from watching Union Rags Workout at a 48 2/5, to workout himself!

12 Apr 2012 5:22 PM

It aint easy being good Bodemeister has no chance? I will take him you make your pick.

12 Apr 2012 5:27 PM

Carlos in Cali I think Baffert removes blinkers and gets Smith to ride, that tells me he would rather the colt get a stalking trip.As far as the Derby mount if he makes it in the Derby, Baffert will probably use one of his go to riders depending on who will run.  Baffert still has three in the running Bode,Liaison,Secret Circle.

12 Apr 2012 5:35 PM

Mike Monarchos:

Go to the top of this page and click on 'A Tell-Tale Weekend' under Triple Crown Talk.  I spent a lot of time and research analyzing the race and I don't even know where it will be run yet.

Nice workout, was that a 'bullit'.  lol

12 Apr 2012 5:36 PM

Bodemeister should be much the best in the Arkansas Derby at the weight allotment. Isn't He Clever and Cozetti should follow him home. Secret Circle will have shot his bolt in this one. If he wins this I'm a believer.

In the Bluegrass, I'm jumping off Howe Great unto Ever so Lucky for the win, with Dullahan, Hansen and Gung Ho filling out the minor placings. Howe Great may perform to the expectation of his connections that's why I'm jumping ship.

12 Apr 2012 5:47 PM

Draynay, KY VET and Jylvester:

I have my Derby winner pegged.  It took some great handicapping on my part, but I finally doped out a can't miss winner, and at odds too.  I would like to give you the horse’s name at this time as I know you guys are waiting with baited breath, but if I do it will knock the odds down so what I’m going to do instead is wait until just after the race is run and then I’ll disclose it.  But I promise you I'll give it to you and I'll also let you know how much money I won.

12 Apr 2012 6:22 PM

Box Optimizer with Isn't He Clever and call it a day.  DNP is a real threat in the Derby so IHC will be tough to beat.

12 Apr 2012 7:43 PM
Carlos in Cali

"......he knows more than 99 percent of the half on here that understand this game......

KY VET 12 Apr 2012 12:53 AM

Huh?..  Yogi Berra,is that you?..

12 Apr 2012 7:43 PM
Mike Monarchos

All right. I need some picks for the Bluegrass and the Arkansas Derby. I want to key one horse over five in tri keys in both races. Any suggestions? I'm torn between Hansen, Dullahan, and Prospestive for first in the Bluegrass.

In the Ark. Derby I like Bodemeister or Secret Circle on top of Sabercat, Optimizer, Najjaar, and Stat. Feel free to help me out.

12 Apr 2012 8:04 PM
Carlos in Cali

OK,it aint easy

We'll see who gets it right,no problem. Let me remind you that it was Bode's 1st 2-turn race and he almost beat CC who would've whupped this field by open lengths.Bode serves-up nothing but 100+ beyers,he towers over the field on paper.

All of your "beasts" turn out to be nothing more than gnats on a horses behind,like Street Life & others. Now watch Najjar get knuckeld-up too... lol.Good times!

12 Apr 2012 8:45 PM
Carlos in Cali


There's not much speed in the Arkansas Derby so Bode should get a nice,easy pace to work with either on or right behind the lead.

12 Apr 2012 8:54 PM
Betty S

Mike M, pick Hansen!  Coldfacts, always regard your opinions but this one should be all Hansen.

12 Apr 2012 9:22 PM

Prospective is the only horse in the race that will love the surface and the distance.  I am going to box him with Ever So Lucky for the exacta.  If you like GEM you have to believe ESL will do well here.  Remember I am always right, and I am really really smart.

12 Apr 2012 10:00 PM

Thanks for the article Footlick, that was hilarious.  The little blurb about the jockeys weigh in was interesting.  

12 Apr 2012 10:12 PM

I'm a little skeptical of Optimizer. Everyone always says, "if the race was a sixteenth longer, he'd have won", but that's not aways the case. His seemingly fast closing kick in the Rebel was flattered by a tiring Secret Circle, who was carrying 7 lbs more. I see Bodemeister running a big race, but at 9/5 I'll take my chances elsewhere. Maybe Jake Mo.

13 Apr 2012 12:00 AM
Mike Monarchos

Carlos in Cali,

You're right about Bodemeister. He's the only Derby prospect with two 101 Beyers this year. I'll key him in a try over Secret Circle, Sabercat, Optimizer , Isn't He Clever, and Najjaar.

13 Apr 2012 12:30 AM
Rusty Weisner

I've never bet Keeneland, though I always make sure to watch the Bluegrass.  I'm going to put Dullahan on top and, if the odds are still long, put Hero of Order underneath in trifectas.  Horses that win at long odds are often not a fluke, still less horses that have run competetively at long odds twice in a row (79-1 and 109-1); see Shackleford last year. The horse ran okay in the 7f grass tuneup (and off the pace, I think?) and maybe can run on this surface.  Nothing much can have changed about this durable horse in three weeks.

13 Apr 2012 3:17 AM
Rusty Weisner

Najjaar looked awful, just slow.  There's a reason he was 20 lengths off the pace.  All due respect to Coldfacts, but the pedigree doesn't seem to be the main "Factor" in these Arkansas races dominated lately by Baffert.  I'm thinking of taking Bodemeister over Secret Circle and either of two more likely closers, Cozzetti and Optimizer, unless someone make a good case for a longshot, though I think the speed and class of the favorites will wipe out most of the field.

13 Apr 2012 3:34 AM
Rusty Weisner

I've only bet Oaklawn twice.  The first time was the day of last year's Rebel Stakes, and it was distinctly biased for speed, even leaving aside the Factor (I remember I won some money on a 7-1 horse in the last race putting on blinkers).  So, unless a regular tells me otherwise, I figure this track tends to be kind to speed, and it will be hard to overcome the faster, classier favorites in the Arkansas Derby this year; it's not like last year's in that respect.

13 Apr 2012 4:03 AM
Don from PA/DE

Jason or anyone, can you articulate

what a "streaming horse" is? Recent

KD top 20 one of the DRF notes that

"Gemologist" likely be a "streaming

horse" at KD, in his brief side note, "Gem" is rated #3...I have attempted to get some feedback from

MW and others on blog, but no response so far? Thanks, Don

13 Apr 2012 5:43 AM

Lazmannick I see you've reduced yourself to name calling.  How childish.

13 Apr 2012 8:39 AM

Not going out on any sort of limb here but will be boxing Prospective, Hanson and Dullahan in Blue Grass.  Think Hanson will either win by open lengths or lose a tough stretch battle with Prospective.

Love Bodemeister in Arkansas Derby.  Race will tell whether we are looking at a Curlin-esque horse or an overhyped also-ran.

13 Apr 2012 10:21 AM
steve from st louis

A Secret Circle-Hansen parlay for me. All or nothing when betting chalk like this, even as "the OTHER Baffert angle" may provide value.

Did I just say "value"? I hate when people say they're "looking for value." The only ticket that EVER provides "value" is a winning ticket no matter the price.

13 Apr 2012 10:26 AM

Unless Hanson is winning by a lot or pulling a way, I just think there are too many wanting the mile and a quarter...CC, UR and Gem among others. Though it has nothing to do with the horse, I'm not too keen on his owner... seems arrogant, then again there aren't too many down to earth doctors or multi-millionaires are there? Would be happy to see Winstar and Tiznow get a derby winner and how appropriate if Tiz could get us the first triple crown winner in over 3 decades...

13 Apr 2012 10:52 AM

Rusty Weisner;

Interesting thoughts on Hero of Order; I've felt the same way about him.

As for the Arkansas Derby, I would take a look at Stat, a Todd Pletcher-trainee that will be ridden by John Velazquez. 10-1 on the morning line, Stat is coming off of an eye-catching victory in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park on March 17th, in which he tracked a decent pace before drawing off in the stretch to win by 6 1/4 lengths, stopping the clock in 1:35.90. He seems to be training well, as his breezes have been faster following his allowance victory, and I can certainly see him working out a decent trip from gate two. The lone concern would be him getting trapped along the rail while rating off the pace, something he has never done before, but at 10-1, he might be worth considering.


13 Apr 2012 11:24 AM
It aint easy being good!

Bodemiester has no chance coming out of the 11 post getting off the SA speedway to oaklawn no thanks. Jockey already jumping off him to ride DNB no thanks. I will take Optimizer and laugh all the way to the bank Carlos and Cali Optimizer is no beast but he is def. better than the overrated bodemiester. Again watch bodemiester after the wire he was dead tired going over a longer distance on a deeper track 11 post from a jockey that doesnt know oaklawn that well no thanks!

13 Apr 2012 11:31 AM

dangit Keelerman, SHH on Stat!!

13 Apr 2012 12:01 PM

Ain't said " has no chance coming out of the 11 post getting off the SA speedway to oaklawn no thanks."  Where did Castaway(#11) and Secret Circle(#9) come from in the SW?  ..far outside.

But, as much as I like Bodemeister and Mike Smith, I think Secret Circle has the experience, and the day, even with a fast closing Najjar.  Sentimentally, I'm all for Absinthe Minded in the AB and Ron The Greek in the Oaklawn 'Cap.

The favorite is Hansen...but put a speedy dirt horse on poly...and you take away his best weapon.  (Ask Game On Dude about that.)  I think the poly will also hinder Scatman.  As much as I like Dullahan, I'm just not certain of his soundness.  He's missed a lot of training over minor physical issues.  Sooo..Prospective and Howe Great are my leaders.

Now I'm going to go sit in a corner, cross my fingers, and hope I didn't jinx anyone.

By the way, it appears Frankel will be undergoing further scans to determine the extent of his recent injury.  That's a bummer!

13 Apr 2012 1:42 PM


Maybe I take exception to your making fun of my Mensa status.  I know I only scored 98% in the series of IQ tests, but it was still high enough for me to qualify.

13 Apr 2012 3:04 PM
Karen in Texas

Slew----I have concerns about Hansen on Poly as well, but he did begin his career on that surface (Turfway) and then managed to transfer to dirt. Maybe he can revert back to that original ability in the Blue Grass. Some people seem to think it won't be a problem at all.

13 Apr 2012 3:08 PM

No problem.  I liked the comment about little Ta Wee carrying 140 also.

13 Apr 2012 5:24 PM

Laz, I have been a member of Mensa since I scored 1280 on my SAT as a Junior in HS 1981.  I have never heard of a "series of IQ test" to establish qualifications into Mensa.  Maybe you can educate me and name the test or tests that "scored" you at 98%.

13 Apr 2012 5:30 PM


Really?  How did you score on the Binet Intelligence Scales?

13 Apr 2012 6:24 PM


13 Apr 2012 9:00 PM
Mike Monarchos

BODEMEISTER IS A LOCK in the Arkansas Derby. Baffert's taking off the blinkers and wins at 38% when he does. Bode has back-to-back 101 Beyers and no other Derby prospect has done that this year.

He's by Empire Maker and out of a Storm Cat mare so distance shouldn't be a problem. He has a 411 Tomlinson rating for the distance, and a 440 wet rating. He also has Mike Smith which is much better than Jason or a dwarf. LOL!!!! I'll key him on top of Secret Circle, Isn't He Clever, Optimizer, Sabercat, and either Stat or Najjaar. Remember, I'm almost never right!

13 Apr 2012 10:16 PM

If I remember correctly the LAST Horse of the Year to LOSE in The Breeders Cup is STILL racing Jason...

14 Apr 2012 12:22 AM


Scoring 138 doesn’t mean much when dealing with superior minds.  You need to exceed 140 to reach a level to brag.  

14 Apr 2012 1:37 AM

I never brag about it and I rarely talk about it because over the years I have discovered it makes people uncomfortable.  I was merely commenting on the FACT that your 98% on a "series of IQ test" is bogus BS and you should try to sell that garbage somewhere else where people may not know better.

14 Apr 2012 10:48 AM

Laz : Don't fall for it, I doubt very much that he scored 138.  He probably knows someone that knows someone that's a friend of someone who scored 138.  LOL

14 Apr 2012 1:30 PM


If you never brag about it (this isn't the first time you've brought it up) then what do you think you're trying to do now.  Its well known that you are the master of BS.

14 Apr 2012 1:33 PM

It is easy being dead wrong.  Let me know what your pick is in the Derby as I will certainly bet against it.

14 Apr 2012 8:14 PM

Nice hit Mike M on Bodemeister.  Way to stick to your guns!!!

14 Apr 2012 8:15 PM

HEy Draynay the fake mensa man:  Boxes and W/P bets on Prospective-Ever So Lucky and Optimizer-Isn't He Clever........they sure weren't talking about you.  Rookie!

14 Apr 2012 8:48 PM
Mike Monarchos

Bodemeister did pretty well for a cokt breaking from the 11 post. You couldn't overlook those Beyers of his. I didn't make that much on the race though, because I bet a dollar tri with Bode, Secret  Circle/Bode, Secret Circle/ Cozzetti, Stat, Najjaar, Isn't He Clever, Optimizer, & Sabercat. The tri didn't pay well with Sabercat third. I should have put some money on Bode to win, since I said he was a lock! That's why I don't win much. I make stupid bets. Thebn again, I'm not a member of mensa or minstral or what ever Draynay's a member of????

In the Bluegrass I keyed Hansen and Prospective over most of the other horses in a tri. I also played an exacta box with Prospective, Hanson, & Dullahan, but it didn't pay much. I still did better than the guy who's "never wrong" though!

14 Apr 2012 10:39 PM

Laz nice try but I caught you lying so get lost.  98% on a IQ what BS.  If you are going to lie on here lie about something you know about.

15 Apr 2012 12:44 AM
Old Timer

Okay. Morning after and Bodemeister did not just win the Arkansas Derby. Bode WINS the AD.

I guess that puts him in the mix with single digit odds.

Nice call on Dullahan, Jason. I guess that puts Hansen a bit longer odds and Dullahan at lower odds. Is Dullahan just a horse for Keeneland? I still have to respect Romans, who also almost pulled it off with Paddy O'Prado.

I see Take Charge Indy at lower odds due to Calvin, but I sure can't like him to win.

Then did I read correctly that Mike Smith rides that smashing Arkanasas Derby but now will ride Daddy Nose Best in Louisville? It gets more complex every day!

15 Apr 2012 8:03 AM

It aint easy being good! aka DRAYNAY,

Nice call on Bode being over rated! Did Wayne Lucas call you and give you that info?

Congrats nice call on Bedemeister Mike... The 11 post scared me away totally  and I worried about him bouncing a little after a hard race vs CC but man he ran them off their feet!Wonder when Draynay is going to jump off Union Rags and Daddy Nose Best? Should be any day now...

15 Apr 2012 10:28 AM

I actually like Went the Day Well. It looks like he has been the one training for a race that requires stamina over speed. He doesn't seem to have that explosive turn of foot, but he does appear to get the steam going when he turns for home. He might be able to grind out a win on that last furlong. And I like his stride/motion.

On another note: Creative Cause - he does have the correct running style; I looked over the videos from all his races and found something peculiar about him - except for the Del Mar Futurity where he was checked at the wire, he seems to 'win' on the gallop out as he ends up first by the time they reach halfway around the turn after the wire; he may be screaming for more ground.

15 Apr 2012 4:46 PM

Union Rags.



Creative Cause


Am I good or what !!!  Now you know why I am the Derby Master.

15 Apr 2012 7:28 PM
Mike Monarchos

Thanks furlongs,

Even a blind squrril gets a nut once in awhile. Bodemeister got a 105 Beyer for his Arkansas Derby romp. He now has Beyers of 101, 101, and 105 in his last 3 races. He could win the Derby wire to wire.

Dullahan only  got a 98 for the Bluegrass, so that track was fast on Sat. Hansen got a 96. It's strange that the top two in the 2011 B.C. Juvenile have not progressed Beyer-wise as 3 yr. olds. The only colts with 100+ Beyers this year are Bode, Secret Circle, Creative Cause, Scatman, El Padrino, and Daddy Nose Best. Those are horses that are still on the Derby trail in races of a mile or more. That might be a good 6 horse box for the Derby. Although I don't know if Secret Circle can get the distance?

15 Apr 2012 9:09 PM
Mary Zinke

Not the only measurement some of these guys lie about, I bet.

15 Apr 2012 9:14 PM

I don't lie Draynay.  That's one thing I've never done.  You on the other hand leave a lot to be desired.  Anytime you want to have a go on the intelligence scale let me know.

16 Apr 2012 12:33 AM
Mike Monarchos

That 5 horse box wouldn't include Scatman cauz he won't get in.

I read that Wrote won't be coming to Louisville. And Trinnenburg is unlikely to according to his owner. That would jump El Padrino up to number 21 on the graded earnings list. Looks like he might get in.

16 Apr 2012 10:22 AM

El PAdrino will get in, Drill is out. He flew back to Cali...

17 Apr 2012 9:51 AM
Ted from LA

The last word.

23 May 2012 5:45 PM

Recent Posts


Recommended Links



More Blogs