The Final Round: Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby


The final round of the Kentucky Derby preps are upon us. After Saturday, let the games, and the hype, begin.

Blue Grass Stakes

This is the race where we find out what Hansen is all about. With so much early speed in here, he will get the perfect opportunity to rate, not just off of one pacesetter but possibly several. If he can, and then prove he can go nine furlongs, there is a good chance he goes into the Derby as the favorite—and probably deservedly so.

It’s a tough call. Hansen is the most talented horse in the race, but he’ll also be close to even money. From a handicapping perspective he’s worth trying to beat, in my opinion. Whether you agree with me or not, he’s probably a must use in all trifectas and supers.

I’m taking Dullahan for the win. He’s be the second choice—probably somewhere around 5-1—which is pretty good value on a horse that won a grade I over this track last year and had a very good tune-up for the Blue Grass in the Palm Beach. He had a very sharp work at Keeneland on Sunday and is ready to fire a big race. With all the early speed in here, he should sit mid-pack and be in a perfect position to make a winning move around the turn.

If the track seems to be playing toward speed on Saturday, I’ll probably use Politicallycorrect and Ever So Lucky. Prospective is also a horse I’ve liked all along, and so I’ll make sure to include him in my wagers.

Wesley Ward is already off to a great start at Keeneland; his horses seem to always fire and Politicallycorrect ran a big optional claimer last out at Gulfstream with a career best speed figure. His work on Saturday was the best of 70 at the distance.

Ever So Lucky might be stretching his limits here but I think he is well meant. Jonathan Sheppard already said he’s unlikely for the Derby—even if he wins—so I don’t think they are taking any kind of last gasp stab in here. They feel like he belongs.

Prospective might not be fast enough to beat these, but he’s as consistent as they come and deserves to be in all exotics.

Arkansas Derby

Bodemeister from post 11 as the favorite in just his fourth start doesn’t do it for me. Stat should put enough pressure on him up front that he doesn’t get an easy trip (and I actually like Stat better in this spot). I would think Secret Circle would be in the mix again; he already has two wins over the track and there is no reason to think he won’t run well again. I’ll use him, but not to win.

I’m staying with Isn’t He Clever, who I picked in the Sunland Derby. He ran huge that day, but was caught late by Daddy Nose Best in the late stages. He’s tactical and should be able to sit a good trip just off the leaders. He already has a good nine-furlong test under his belt and has a sharp work since that last race. Blinkers come off.

Closers seem to have a tough time at Oaklawn and I think the best horses in this race are the ones that can stay fairly close to the pace. That said, I’ll use Optimizer and Sabercat in the bottom half of exotics, and probably Cozetti.

Sabercat is going to the Derby regardless of his finish on Saturday, but I think you’ll see an improved effort from him in his second start off his layoff. Optimizer’s late Rebel run might have been a fluke, but maybe Lukas has another run in him. Cozetti is one that Romans has liked all along. He’ll probably race mid-pack and try to make a late move.

They will all have trouble running down Secret Circle and Isn’t he Clever, in my opinion. Pletcher’s Stat is the wild card in here. He ran a big number last time in his allowance romp at Gulfstream. If he can carry his speed, he could pop at a big price.

Good luck this weekend. Who do you like?



Leave a Comment:


Like most accomplished betters, I refuse to wager on races ran on poly.  Very rarely does the surface allow the best horse to win. Bet on Hansen to show.  In the Arkansas Derby Isn't He Clever will place and the winner will be Stat.  His works have been sharp and he should improve from his last effort which was a win at a mile.  On a side note I hope Lazamannick, Higgins, KY Vet, Steve, JayJay and the others will keep their comments on an adult level for a change.  I would appreciate it as would Jason I'm sure.

13 Apr 2012 12:41 PM
Age of Reason

Nice catty remark about "keeping comments on an adult level", Sylvester. The phrase "pot's calling the kettle black" springs to mind. At least you can play the name-calling card next time they get the best of you in an argument, which I'm sure won't be long.

13 Apr 2012 1:38 PM
Smoking Baby

 I must've missed it.  I don't recall Paula Higgins ever having a bad word to say about anyone.  I'll take Hansen/Prospective in the Bluegrass exacta (I know...really going out on a limb).  I'm not sold on Dullahan but so many people I respect like him I'm nervous that I'm missing something.  I just think Secret Circle is a nice hard knocking horse and will get the job done at Oaklawn once again.  I think if they are wise in choosing his spots this year (which may include blowing off the triple crown races)he will bank a bunch of money which would not be too shabby.

13 Apr 2012 1:50 PM

Ark. Derby: Tribox

Secret Circle



Isn't He Clever

I'm not using cozetti and Sabercat, but I will put some place and show money on both of them. Sabercat should improve, and I think Cozetti is sitting on a good performance.

Bluegrass: Tribox

Gung Ho




I will use Hansen underneath and I will put WPS money on Howe Great, Politicallycorrect and Gung Ho.

Good Luck to All!

PS. I'm really looking forward to the Oaklawn Hdcp. anyone else? I like Nehro, Ron the Greek, Hymn Book and in Willy.  

13 Apr 2012 1:59 PM

In the Bluegrass I'll play Dullahan and Russian Greek, expecting the pace to very fast and hope these two can close on the track this day. Hansen and Prospective to round out the exotics.

In the Arkansas Derby I like Sabercat, Isn't He Clever along with Secret Circle and Bodemeister , but I would not be surprised to see Najjaar and Cozzetti run big if the pace is very fast.

13 Apr 2012 2:14 PM

Isn't Bodemeister bred to go long?  I just don't think Baffert had him fully cranked against CC and there is nothing in here with that kind of skill.  He may have used the Santa Anita "drag strip" to his advantage but he is at least interesting.  Think about the Kentucky Derby picture if he blows them out.  Things could get very interesting. He scored a higher Beyer breaking his maiden than most have ran all year.  

13 Apr 2012 3:22 PM
El Kabong

Smoking Baby, Age of Reason, Mayor of Simpleton

You missed it alright SB, But Paula referring to the Mayor of Simpleton as the back end of horse was the sweetest remark he deserved. Age of Reason nailed it with the pot and kettle idiom. And as for not wagering on poly, that's what betters who take themselves to seriously use as an excuse so they can retreat to their comfort zone. Put on your big boy pants Mayor and come play. I would think you'd feel at home among all those used chunks of synthetics.

13 Apr 2012 3:34 PM

if optimizer starts to close approaching the far turn he can win. hansen just needs to practice rating so a second or third from him would be ok. his final sixteenth should be taken seriously. dullahan will inherit the win, he's the best of the rest. here in upstate ny, dullahan is receiving a lot of talk of late from people that follow the horses as much as i do. i might do a triple wheel of dullahan with all with hansen.

13 Apr 2012 3:36 PM

I don't know whether to cry or shame-shame myself.  I don't know when Sylvester took on such a level of maturity.  It must have been this morning sometime.  In the meantime my long shot pick for the Blue Grass is Holy Candy.

13 Apr 2012 3:50 PM
El Kabong


I think the Bluegrass is going to be a thriller. Hansen and Dullahan have been in my top 5 for a long time, and Howe Great is just dangerous if he takes to the poly. I have no doubt that Dullahan's breeding is for longer so a sharper Dullahan than the one accounted for at the Palm should be tearing up the sod in the last eighth. Hansen is going to be their and will have the jump on Dullahan but the finish should be where the action is. Howe Great is better than a miler, my only question about him is the surface. Not all turfers take to synthetic. Prospective and Holy Candy look good enough for a piece below top two.

13 Apr 2012 3:55 PM

Reason: your childish name calling is not germane.  Everyone can attest that I've always conducted myself with maturity on Jason's blog.  Ask Higgins. I'm curious to see how Plum Pretty runs in the AB.  Was it really necessary to remove HDG?  We'll all find out in about an hour.  None of them could beat Awesome Maria however.    

13 Apr 2012 5:32 PM
Ted from LA

Hansen and Isn't He Clever.

I love Fridays.  I am going to make me a big ol' pink slime burger and wash it down with a Blatz.  Who's in?

13 Apr 2012 5:55 PM

So....i'd rather post my picks in a handicapping challenge...but i guess i have to start giving my picks anyway huh?  How about the easiest winner in any prep this year? HANSEN! against alw horses.....ark derby will be a weak race i think alot will go off even money! boring huh?

13 Apr 2012 6:00 PM

Data Link!!!  Shug comes through for me again.

13 Apr 2012 6:04 PM
Ted from LA

Off Topic: Does anyone have a good pink slime recipe?  TIA.

13 Apr 2012 6:38 PM

Posting my guess on the Derby wise guy horse; Daddy Nose Best.  Even though he won the Sunland, think he'll still be 20-1 on morning line, until all the talk starts.  

13 Apr 2012 7:13 PM

Im taking Dullahan because of the odds and the odds and results will indicate to me if a box is a good bet between those two.In the Arkansas Derby Im taking Bode and hoping that he dosent run like the Factor but more like his sire Empire Maker.I think Baffert is hoping that removing the blinkers and using Smith will help him ration his speed or rate.I think most are expecting him to be a need the lead type but then again everyone thought that of Secret Circle also.

13 Apr 2012 7:19 PM

Maker's got two Gung Ho 30/1, Hansen 6/5 works very similar...your move

13 Apr 2012 7:22 PM

Plum Pretty was beautiful today =  I like Baffert to continue his Oaklawn run:  1st and 2nd tomorrow:  Secret Circle and Bode.

Dullahan, Hansen, Sabercat, and Howe Great in Blue Grass.

13 Apr 2012 7:51 PM
Point Given

BLUEGRASS-Midnight Crooner/Holy Candy.



13 Apr 2012 7:58 PM

Alot of OVER THINKING going on....hype! Everybody jumped ship off hansen after he lost to algorythims...but it was exactly a perfect prep! did hansen run his best(a race that is too good) last time? look people, youre fooling yourself if you dont think this horse is not gonna fire big....he will likely be the fav for the derby after this race....

13 Apr 2012 8:39 PM

Whoa!!  Meant Secret Circle, Bode, Sabercat.

BG:  Dullahan, Hansen, Howe Great!

Good luck, folks!!  This is the best time of the year!

13 Apr 2012 8:54 PM

Optimizer/Isn't He Clever  exacta box

Prospective/Ever So Lucky  exacta box

Optimizer WP

Prospective WP

These are clearly the best horses in the races.

13 Apr 2012 9:04 PM

Take Dullahan in the Bluegrass just looks like to much speed up front for Hansen to win... Keying him over some horses and hoping Hansen doesn't hold on for second. Isn't He Clever sheds the blinkers after moving way to soon on a very fast pace in the Sunland Derby and I think he is the play at 6-1. I mean anyone who thinks Daddy Nose Best can run a big race in the KY Derby has to think this horse is live on Saturday.... with Secret Circle in second and take some horse coming from way back in the third spot and there is your Tri... Good luck at the windows everyone, should be a great day at Keeneland tomorrow I can't wait!!

13 Apr 2012 9:12 PM

Part of being a pro, is knowing your how the public will bet....just so you are not surprised, DULLAHAN will be bet way down from 6 to 1 odds.....just thought i would let you know early

13 Apr 2012 9:22 PM

This is the last major week for derby preps. If I were to make some predictions for this week.

In the Arkansas Derby: My selections are 1. secret circle 2 bodemeister 3. isn't he clever

I see slow fractions and this will allow these three horses to outshine everyone else. The closers will not get close because of the pace.

In the Bluegrass Stakes: it will chalky, 1 Dullahan 2 Prospective and 3 Hansen.

I think the blue grass will be a tough trip for Hansen with all that speed up front. His third place finish will still be impressive because he will be caught late by the other two horses.

I can't wait for Saturday!

13 Apr 2012 10:17 PM

I can't help myself, but I must comment on Hansen's color. He is gray, but he is kind of an unusual gray. I havn't seen very many tb horses that race at a high level the same color that he is. I have noticed that most are dark then lighten up as they get older. I read in an article somewhere he was born like this, is this rare at all? He also looks a grayish pink especially when he gets wet. I wish him the best and I think he is a fantastic horse. Is there anything special about his color, I understand there are many variations of gray, which is he?

13 Apr 2012 10:23 PM

Blue Grass:

Hansen--will be tested with the pace, but he was a monster on Poly at Turfway last year.

Dullahan--the pace and Poly should set up for him.

Arkansas Derby:

Optimizer--loved the way he came at Secret Circle in the Rebel.

Secret Circle--too consistent and figs too high to leave out.

13 Apr 2012 11:19 PM

I think the Blue Grass is infamous for "upsets". I sure hope tomorrow won't prove it to be true. When folks start to get too positive that a horse will wipe out the rest of the field, I start to thinking "maybe not". I've always felt that when too much is expected, it's harder. When nothing is expected of you, pressure is off and you can very well end up as the long shot in the winner's circle. I believe Mine that Bird's connections can tell that story, as many others can as well. As always, may lady luck be with you ponies tomorrow.

14 Apr 2012 12:03 AM
Paula Higgins

Thank you all for sticking up for me. Love you guys. Sylvester, I will say this, I would miss it if you didn't mention me at least once. As they say, better to be villifed then ignored. O.k. these are my bets and Sylvester take note, these are before the races are run. So win or lose, here they are:



Good luck to all of you.

By the way, what is going on with Frankel? I hope nothing serious.

14 Apr 2012 12:26 AM

Man....draynay gonna take a bath.....good luck with those mules................................btw..100wp(a dray bet) 4th race keenland MONARCHIC!

14 Apr 2012 12:35 AM
Paula Higgins

Ted/Bob for good pink slimeburgers or better yet real beef burgers, add 3/4 shredded gouda cheese, 1 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 2 pieces of crumbled cooked bacon, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 egg and 1/4 cup bread crumbs to ground beef and cook or grill. Yummy.

14 Apr 2012 12:37 AM
El Kabong

Ark- LIke Bodemeister, Optimizer, Stat, Cozettie tri box

14 Apr 2012 12:45 AM

KY Vet : You're full of crap.  Stop talking about how dumb folks are on this blog if you can't even decide who your pick is.  Stop making excuses and just pick a horse.  You're not betting your money, so why are you so scared to post your pick ???  You made one pick and it's the favorite.  You can't even put an exacta or trifecta picks.  Man you're a joke.

I'm not going to post who I'll bet, everytime I do, Jason copies it lol.  I'll make my bets tomorrow and if I win, I'll post my tickets.

Good luck tomorrow, may someone hit a big payout!!

14 Apr 2012 12:45 AM



Jan 29 2012: In his 3YO debut in the Holy Bull he was defeated by Alogrithms by 5L. He barely held off My Adonis for second who had spotted him 20L due to interference at the start.

Mar 3, 2012; He won the Gotham by 3-4L. My Adonis was again the horse immediately behind him.

His projected time in the HB 1:37 plus; his final time in the Gotham 1:43.84.

My Adonis was the colt that was immediately behind Hansen in both his 3YO starts. What is My Adonis’ claim to fame? Two victories from nine starts; how many graded horse/s did he defeat? None! Who were the runners up in his two victories? Tiz Moe and Tritap

Let me see if I understand. The horse that has finished immediately behind Hansen in his two 3YO stats has not won a 3YO race. He has never won a graded race and was destroyed in the Wood.

Based on his 3YO resume Hansen is 6-5 against seven colts that have won races in 2012. Some of his opponents have won multiple races including stake races. How many of the colts lined up in the Bluegrass could My Adonis defeat? If the odds of 6-5 is based on Hansen’s 3YO efforts, he is a big false anti-post favorite. If it’s based on his 2YO record, the defeats of Union Rags and Creative Cause in the FL and SA Derbies indicate that past performance is no guarantee for future success. Hansen 6-5! What am I missing?  

14 Apr 2012 1:31 AM


Hansen is unusual in that he lightened so quickly. Apparently he was born very light colored and he had a red mane. He is a heterozygous gray (meaning he has one gray parent) and he is unusual in that they usually don't lighten as quickly as homozygous grays (both parents gray).

Either way, he's a lovely racehorse.

14 Apr 2012 1:50 AM

I really would like Hansen to come through in the Bluegrass I even have a tee shirt to route him on.

Secret Circle in the Arkansas a good hard knocking horse I love these type horses.

14 Apr 2012 6:28 AM

far be it for me to ? one of the most successful trainers in the Country, but he will be going to the winners circle without me. 6/5 Bodemeister, not when Atigun is 30/1...second off layoff, gets lasix, has trained lites out since, and connections would be more than happy to run big in here.All aboard!

14 Apr 2012 8:42 AM

Arkansas Derby:

Secret Circle has the class, guts and ability to rate behind the speed and make first run to the wire. Bodemeister to bounce off of two trying races but still be in the money.

Secret Circle: WP

Ex box Secret Circle, Bodemeister, Sabercat.

Blue Grass, agree with others, this race was and is a handicapper's nightmare since Keeneland went poly.  But I will take a stab.

Prospective has 2 wins on poly, is more focused with blinkers and came back on when headed last time out.  He was also the best looking horse in the paddock on Tampa Bay Derby Day although I didn't play him to win.  Look for him to set off today's abundant speed, split horses and get there first.  Hansen is the class of the field but feel he will have to take back and make a run late.  He doesn't need a big run today, just needs to be running late to set him up for CD. Howe Great could take it all but have concerns of taking to poly from the turf.  Dullahan is the big buzz but his numbers require a big improvement today.

Prospective: WP

ex box, Prospective, Hansen, Howe Great.

Would not be surprised to see 8-10 horses spread out across the track

at the 3/16 pole.

Good Luck to everyone!  

14 Apr 2012 9:02 AM

Mr. Shandler,

I saw the following comments during your live blog session:

“I can’t wait to see Done Talking in the Derby. He was really flying in the Illinois Derby. The 1:53.88 has every one else shaking”

I made a small fortune from Done Talking’s Illinois Derby win. It appears you are suggesting that this colt should be ignored because of the final time of the race.  I concede the time was poor. In fact, it is actually the slowest in the history of the race. However, DT finished 4th in the Remsen 1L behind  O’ Prado Again and 1/2L behind 3rd place finisher El Pradrino. El Padrino subsequently defeated the eventual winner of the FL Derby TCI and went on win the G11 Risen Star before finishing 4th in the G1 FL Derby. With a better trip in the Remsen DT would have won. His back form suggests he will be formidable in the Derby if El Pradrino is used as a measure. Your dismissal suggests you are evaluating the colt’s chances based on his last race. He can certainty run much faster as the Remsen was approximately 2 second faster than The IL Derby.(1:52.07/1:53.88) It is unlikely that 4 1/2 month after his encouraging effort in the Remsen that he isn’t a stronger colt. Many of the colts that finished behind him including Our Entourage have ran much faster in races preceding the IL Derby.

Done Talking is an extremely well bred colt who will have no problems getting the Derby distance. He has far more Derby positives than most in the top 10. His sire Broken Vow was bred to run two miles being by a Derby/BCC winner Bridled out of a Nijinsky mare. His Dam won 3 of 4 starts and is daughter of the 2000 Maryland Champion 3YO Filly & Maryland Horse of the Year. His dam sire Dixieland Band needs no introduction.

The Mr. Prospector stallion line has produced winners of 35 TC races and the Northern Dancer dam line has produce 20. The Colt Facts suggest this colt is live in the Derby. Any attempt to ridicule him is grossly unwise. Your dismissal of Drosselmeyer in the BCC has obviously not been a learning experience.

14 Apr 2012 9:13 AM

Even with a lot of talk about Dullahan he wont go off at less than 4-1.Wake up its a 13 horse field.

14 Apr 2012 9:29 AM
Rusty Weisner

I took Jason's and Keelerman's advice and included Stat with the two favorites and Cozzetti in trifectas.  Pletcher had a horse called Dance City last year that placed third in the Arkansas Derby off an allowance race.

14 Apr 2012 10:22 AM

Jason, how come every time people talk to you the word grossly comes up ?

14 Apr 2012 10:41 AM


Below are some Cold Facts that could influence you to include Najjaar in your Ex Box in the AK Derby.

In the Rebel Najjjaar had to overcome a 14 day turnaround; being slowly out of the gates; a 20L deficit; seven wide at the top of the stretch. To only beaten 41/2L is indeed remarkable.

Below are two of his works that have captured by attention:

March30, 2012: Worked 5F in 1:01 3/5 gallop out in 1:14

April 6, 2012: Worked 24.40, 36.60, 1:00 gallop out in 1:12.20

Najaar is notoriously slow worker. The March 30th works is normal. The April 6th work suggests the all the horses returning from the Rebel are in serious trouble if he gets out of the gates in good order..A runner up finish will not get Najjaar into the Derby and consequently he has to go one better than Steppenwolfer for trainer Peitz.

Bodemeister is making his first ship and fist attempt at 9F. Isn’t He Clever has not won outside of New Mexico. Mr. Pletcher’s colt is a grinder. The aforementioned colts are the ones Najjaar has to beat and I think he can.

NB: Secret Circle does not want an inch over 8 1/2F

14 Apr 2012 11:19 AM
JJs Rocket

Another day at the races. In the Blue Grass im going with Hansen. In his two poly races he just blew away the competition. I know the speed ratings werent great. Underneith I will play Prospective and Midnight Crooner. Always liked Prospective and Midnight Crooner might just be a poly horse. He moved up 27 speed points going from dirt to poly.

Also do like Dullahan but he has become the wise guy horse and he has never ran a race fast enough to win this. Hope they all run safe and come home happy.

14 Apr 2012 11:21 AM
Forbidden Apple

I am taking Dullahan for the win, he should be 4-1 or 9/2 in this spot. It will be a battle down the lane between Hansen and Howe Great. It's the closing kick that I like with Dullahan. Since the synthetic surface switch at Keeneland, closers seem to win everything.

I'm going with Isn't He Clever in the Arkansas Derby. I expect further improvement from him, he will have to step it up if he wants to run down Bodemeister. Sabercat is a longshot play for me, even though he showed nothing first time out this year.

Izzy Rules can beat males today in the Count Fleet at Oaklawn race 8. This mare has gotten scary good, look out! She runs fast and then at the top of the stretch she just kicks into another gear and laughs at her competition. She could be the next coming of Xtra Heat.

Why is Larry Jones complaining about 123 pounds for a HOY in a Handicap race? She would have won for fun in the Apple Blossom. And I can not understand why It's Tricky did not ship in, she could have won too.

Any news on where Arm Force will race next?


I got a good laugh out of your first post. Your comments about one of the greatest race mares in history have always been childish.

14 Apr 2012 11:28 AM

Thanks Tiznowbaby.

I read on an article that maybe they were thinking about painting or dying Hansen. That would be interesting if they did, lol. However, I doubt that will be allowed. Hansen doesn't need to win this race, and I wish him well in the Kentucky Derby. Wouldn't be surprised if one of the other horses step up and snatch a win.  

14 Apr 2012 11:32 AM

In the Arkansas Derby I am inclined to go with Najjaar and Borel...  With the heavy early speed, (and to me that speed won't carry the distance) I believe Borel will have a better timed ride and hopefully won't be widest of all as he was in the Rebel.  Will hit a huge price if all goes well.  I like the Baffert Duo but I don't like Bode's post, and I anticipate Secret Circle to be a Mile or less specialist later this year.  He may just have the most class of the bunch and get away with it.  Seems like a good spot for an upset...

In the Bluegrass it is hard not to like Hansen.  But Jason I am with you, this is the place to try and beat him at a short price.  Dullahan is not a bad choice, but I am more interested in the horse that beat him Howe Great.  May be the overlooked horse in this race.  I would probably box those three in the exacta.  

Good luck to all, and Dray, your Blue Grass picks are terrible... Prospective is a waste of money in this race.  He should stick to dirt.

14 Apr 2012 11:36 AM

If Hansen were mine i would not want him to run hard here 3 weeks out.When the preps are done i'll be looking at my pics and going for the closers as this Derby will have many speed horses who cannot get 10 furlongs.Far more stayers win the derby.

14 Apr 2012 11:49 AM

Bluegrass I'm taking a 3 horse boxed exacta trying to beat the short priced favorite. Dullahan, holy candy & scatman. Race should set up perfectly for Dullahans style and his recent bullet workout demonstrates his conditioning. As for Holy Candy & Scatman both look like live horses with nice prices. Holy Candy anywhere near the 30-1 ml would be a steal and Scatman has a win over the surface, strong finishing pace figures and one of the highest Trackmaster Power rankings! We'll see.....good luck to all

14 Apr 2012 1:08 PM

I'm not ashamed to admit I can't handicap a synthetic track race for beans. Just when you think it's gonna play out like a grass race (which, hey, I can't handicap for beans either!) the speed holds up and a horse goes wire-to-wire.  Guess I'm just a dirt-girl at heart; and not ashamed of that either.  I see absolutely no reason to critisize someone for having a track preference.

In regards to the Blue Grass, all I want to see from Hansen is that he can rate and that he's running at the end.  I sure don't want to see a tough race for him 3 weeks from the Derby.  Because of all the speed, I would expect a closer to win, but, hey, it's synthetic! At least the Arkansas Derby is on dirt which, based on my previous statements should at least give me a shot at it.  I'd like to see Bodemeister do well since he needs the graded earnings to get into the Derby field, but I'm a little concerned that Mike Smith confirmed he'll ride Daddy Nose Best in THE Derby before his ride on Bode in the AK Derby.  I just can't get excited about Secret Circle; yes, he is bred to go long, but he doesn't finish like a horse that wants to.  Sabercat finally got to running late in his first start this year, so I'm expecting a big run from him second off the layoff.  I think Stat will run well also.

14 Apr 2012 1:11 PM

Go Nehro !

14 Apr 2012 1:28 PM

Forbidden Apple;

Arm Force is being considered for a start in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland on April 21st. Other horses tentatively pointing toward the race are Reveron, Golden Ticket, Holiday Promise, Stirred Up, and Summer Front.


14 Apr 2012 1:44 PM

Sylvester : With regards to your first post which I've been meaning to address but keep forgetting.  I remember you posting some not so mature comments many times in the past, not so much name calling but mean so for you to "pretend" to be the mature one here is a little bit on the hypocritical side.  Jason likes you just like he loves Draynay because you tend to praise his thoughts regardless, don't know if you believe it or not but you do anyway.  So let's just try and keep the status quo - instead of you acting like you're above "us".  For all the mean things you say to others here, I'm surprised that "Jylvester" hit the button for you.  Did it remind you of high school ?

Anyway,  it's 11AM.  I've been reading the "form" for the last 5 days and I think I'm going to go with Hansen and Secret Circle lol.  Nah, I'm going to try and beat Hansen in the race, like I said, he may just be too much class for this field and be 3 lengths ahead at the top of the stretch jogging but I can't pass up on the opportunity to make a big payout.

I've been watching the keeneland races recently and i'm not sure it's not a speed track.   The closers seems to have a hard time gaining ground in the stretch but maybe I'm not paying too much attention.  The races there runs with other tracks that I do play so it's hard for me to pay attention to it.  I'll be looking at Scatman to "scoot" into the lead from the outside - I think this horse will have the staying power over this field.  I'll have him with Hansen on top with PoliticallyCorrect, Ever So Lucky and Dullahan on the bottom.  I'll also put a few .50ers on PoliticallyCorrect and Scatman on top.

For the Arkansas Derby, I'm going with Bodemeister and Raconteur on top with SC, Cozzetti, Jake Mo and Atigun on the bottom to make it a huge superfecta play.  I'm going to see how Sabercat looks but he's one that has been waiting for a race and he needs a real tightener.  This is that race so I'm expecting him to put a huge effort trying to win this race, just not sure if he's good enough but if he is, he'll probably be at 22 to 25-1 when the gates open.

Good luck to all!  May you all win big and for those not betting, may your pick win and make you proud!

14 Apr 2012 2:16 PM

Arkansas Derby:  Bodemeister – Stat – Cozzetti

It’s now or never for Bodemeister who should still be Baffert’s best shot at the Kentucky Derby.  The distance shouldn’t be a problem and he has been working lights out.  Mike Smith won’t hurt either and he should be able to overcome the outside post.

For second I’m taking a stab on Stat.  This guy was meant to be a Derby horse.  In his last, an optional claimer at a mile he was an easy winner and no quarters were greater that 24.87 (the last one when he was geared down).  In his race before he broke in the air and lost all chance.  Last summer he was favored over Union Rags in the Hopeful, but went too fast too early and finished 2nd.  A positive is that John Velazquez has retained his mount on him and this is also his third off a layoff.

Third IMO is a crap shoot.  Optimizer closed fast in the Rebel in a race that had a final full quarter in a slow 26.25 and a final 16th in an ultra slow 6.88, which extrapolates out to a quarter in 27.52 seconds.  Not good enough IMO.  For third I’ll go with long-shot Cozzetti who has two life time races on dirt, the Tampa Bay Derby when he was third to Prospective and an off the turf 8.5F maiden race at CD which he won by 5 lengths.

Blue Grass:  Hansen – Dullahan – Holy Candy

Maybe the most difficult of all the Derby preps to handicap.  Hansen is my pick.  Class, his ability on synthetics, his ability to rate and the fact that he’s won big races in the past and knows what it takes to win.

Dullahan has an exciting mystique about him.  He is a half brother to a Derby winner, is already a G1 winner at a distance on this track, and has as good a come-from-behind kick as any Derby horse.  Soundness might be an issue, but I believe that he’ll be ready to make top three today and will be primed on Derby Day.

Holy Candy for third.  This guy skipped the SA Derby for this and I believe that his best surface might be on synthetics.  He has already finished second to good horses Empire way and Castaway and is coming off a win on dirt with the final race quarter run in 24.07 and with his final individual quarter run in 22.87.  Joel Rosario is retaining the mount on him which in another positive.

14 Apr 2012 2:40 PM
steve from st louis

I get a kick out of people saying the Blue Grass three weeks before the Derby is too close together for a serious Derby candidate in juvenile champion Hansen. For many years, it used to be run on closing day Thursday at Keeneland, 10 days before the Derby and the Derby Trial, run exactly a week before the Derby used to be relevent.

Now, we've weakened the breed so much that trainers are afraid to race their Derby prospects more than six times before the first Saturday in May.

It wasn't that long ago that D. Wayne Lukas took the July 4 (1978) $100,000 American Handicap over turf with Effervescing and then came back five days later to win the $100,000 Citation with Albert Yank's runner over dirt.

Or how about Woody Stephens winning the 1982 Metropolitan Mile with 3-year-old Conquistador Cielo, breaking a 10-year-old track record in 1:33 by seven lengths and then coming back five days later to win the mile and one-half Belmont by 14 lengths over Kentucky Derby winner Gato del Sol. Were those horses completely different animals than the ones we watch today? Or were those two trainers so good in that they knew their horses so well and knew what they could and couldn't do? I don't know the answer to that.

14 Apr 2012 3:45 PM
Pedigree Ann

Happyticket, back in the days when I was newby (1970s), there was a handicap horse in SoCal named Vigors who was nicknamed "The White Tornado" (it was from an Ajax cleanser TV ad - "cleans like a...."). He closed fast from behind, hence the tornado comparison, winning the Big 'Cap and Turf Invitational, among other races. At 4, he was as white as Hansen is today.

14 Apr 2012 3:48 PM

El Kabong I find your comments very off putting, especially for a lady. Perhaps you should try a few months at charm school.  Forbidden Apple what race were you watching????  Plum Pretty has matured into a VERY good horse.  Porter and Jones were justified to chicken out.  HDG would beat her at equal weights but with a 6 lb spread, Plum Pretty would win. She's turned into a legitimate contender.  I just hope Baffert doesn't hide in CA like Shirreff and Zenyatta.    

14 Apr 2012 3:52 PM
Rolling Thundar

KY Vet:..I owe you an Apology. You made a Pick and posted it. It doesn't matter whether it is chalk or a longshot. People just respect others for posting picks.

And right, theres no reason for any Name calling.

So I do Apologize Dude.....

Ok, I posted on the last blog but will give my picks again.

BG:..Hansen/Prospective/Ever So Lucky. Ex & Tri Bx.

Ark:.. Bodemister/Secret Circle Ex Bx.

It's just good that there is a forum that we can express ourselfs in. Thanks Jason:..

14 Apr 2012 4:05 PM

in the BlueGrass i'm going to use Gung Ho and Politically Correct. kittens joy love the synthetic. Also midnight crooner gomez is on nuff said.

the Ark Derby i'm using Jake Mo and Secret Circle. Jake Mo is bound for a big race.

14 Apr 2012 6:10 PM

Alternation's trouncing of Ron The Greek aptly signifies the level of CA racing compared to the East Coast.  California racing is Tiddly Winks compared to the East Coast.    

14 Apr 2012 6:15 PM

Alpha outsprints them all to the wire in Louisville. Shhhhhh! Don't tell anybody!

14 Apr 2012 6:33 PM

I don't think you'll be getting 12-1 on Bodemeister in the Derby.

14 Apr 2012 6:58 PM

Ladies and gentlemen your derby favorite Bodemeister. He ran a sub 12 furlong that's insane. Optimizer too many people didn't realize he got 7 pds last race. secret circle distance killed him but hey kings bishop winner. i think Drill will go instead of Secret Circle.

14 Apr 2012 6:59 PM
Smoking Baby

 It's official.  Hansen's owner totally bugs.

14 Apr 2012 7:03 PM

Without a doubt the 2 most impressive prep races going into the Ky Derby were ran today Bodemeister comes home in 12 flat after running every step of the way. and Dulluhan runs down lone speed of the 2 year old Champion. We may have found a horse that can win the Ky Derby with no starts at age 2. I am not one to hype a horse  such as Draynay does but the horse racing industry needs a Triple Crown Winner and we may finally have one in Bodemeister... Just how long will it take for Draynay to jump off Union Rags now?? Mike Smith has already started to backtrack off of Daddy Nose Best.

14 Apr 2012 7:11 PM
Criminal Type

Well, Two interesting races that make a cloudy Derby picture even more so in my opinion.  I wonder who snitched out Hansen and his blue tail before the race ? Dr Hansen was called to the stewards office and told if the tail was its natural color in the paddock before the Blue Grass "no harm, no foul". He should have known that was going to happen. While Dr Hansens enthusiasm is commendable, I hope he knows now that his attempts to turn the horse into a side show freak are not going to be tolerated. I can't say if I would want to sensationalize the horse were he mine, but I would hope to mantain some semblance of sanity. Hansen is not a parade horse, FFS. What I saw of him today, makes me think my judgement of his distance limitations might be correct. His performance was mediocre at best, while Dullahan came on like a freight train after a bad start and will be given legitimate props now because he beat the 2 yr old champion.

Mike Smith should be applauded for the ride he gave Bodemeister. That was a thing of beauty. He rode it perfectly and put them away in the final 8th mile. It appears as though Bodemeister is in fact, a legitimate mile and quarter horse. If you notice, the others were not catching him.

One thing for sure, with the results of the last two weekends of racing, I am more then ever in Union Rag's corner.

14 Apr 2012 7:18 PM

DRAYNAY this is why you don't pick a horse to win the Derby in Feb... You were ragging me cause I wouldn't take a stand and after seeing the two preps today I am glad I didn't fall in love with anyone because toady we saw the two most impressive preps on the road to the 2012 Ky Derby...

14 Apr 2012 7:18 PM

My results


Threw out politicallycorrect and Howe Great bets (it was too much money). Still landed the Tribox, liked Gung Ho a lot and used him, with dullahan, Hansen and Prospective. Made money on Gung Ho's 3rd place finish.

Arkansas Derby:

Didn't land the tri, but got some of money back with sabercat running 3rd.

Bodemeister was overlooked, I had a feeling this horse was going to run well, but everyone kept shying away from him.

Dullahan look very good too, like the way he is coming into the derby.

As of now, but I can change my mind come derby day I like...

Union Rags



Daddy Nose Best

This is temporary, it all depends on how they  train up to the race at this point.

Hope everyone had a productive and successful day!

14 Apr 2012 7:26 PM

I think we just witnessed a future Kentucky Derby winner! Bodemeister was simply amazing today! Despite his inexperience, he ran solid fractions on the lead and still came home in under 12 seconds! Curlin did the same thing in 2007 except he was allowed even softer fractions than Bodemeister. California definitely holds the strongest hand in this year's Kentucky Derby!

14 Apr 2012 7:38 PM
Smoking Baby

 Dullahan in a nice time.  I guess some of you were right.  I got too caught up in the slow figures coming in.  Apparently he's a nicer colt than I thought.  I'd say Hansen's a toss in the Derby now off today's race.  I'm liking Creative Cause, Gemologist, Daddy Nose Best & Bodemeister now.  Still not on Dullahan in a dirt race but he's already prove me wrong once.  I have a grudging respect for him now.

14 Apr 2012 7:43 PM

Now it's looking pretty interesting.  Just when you count Baffert out...Bam  Bodemeister.  Good grief does he have a little Seattle Slew in him as well.  I saw him break his maiden at a mile. I thought he was just a track  freak.  Then he rates behind a 46 and change San Felipe which now is looking like a legitimate race after today. With his daddy, I was saving him for the Belmont.  Now I'm not quite sure what to do.  The West has some serious, consistent runners this time around.

14 Apr 2012 8:11 PM
Paula Higgins

Well, some really good racing today. One out of 2 and Sabercat showed up, so not too shabby a pick either. Happy for Baffert that Bodemeister did so well. Interesting the way this field is shaping up.

14 Apr 2012 8:20 PM

Impaired at the moment but pretty sure Bodemeister just romped by 9 lengths in Arkansas more than a full second faster than a fine older horse in Alternation the race earlier

14 Apr 2012 8:27 PM

Very impressive wins by both.  I was worried about Dullahan being pulled up so quickly after the race; he looked very uncomfortable.  Bodemeister also looked really tired. Yes, he ran quick fractions and came home fast. But will he bounce?  

14 Apr 2012 9:43 PM

It was a crappy day with the favorites winning.  I should've had the superfecta in the Arkansas, as I knew this is Bodemeister's race.  I still went for the longshot and put Cozzeti on top of my tickets.  I had the trifecta but missed the super as I didn't put Cozzetti on the 4th spot.  I knew Sabercat would run his race today as well but I didn't really think he could win.   Baffert owns Oaklawn when it comes to stakes.  I said it before, a dejavu ala The Factor.  Take the lead and play "catch me if you can".

Now that the preps are over, it's a waiting game for the posts draw.  I need to watch the races again but I'm pretty much set on Gemologist and Secret Circle for the Derby.  I'll see what posts they get.

Draynay :  I think Optimizer is still running, you and your curse.  He backed off even before the final turn.  Who was your pick in the Bluegrass ?  Oh yeah, Prospective, I think he's still running as well.  How about the Oaklwan Handicap ??  Oops, the great Nehro!!  Again, he's still running.  Man you sure can pick 'em.  How's that Twinspires account looking now ??  Let me guess, you quadrupled it ?? LOL

14 Apr 2012 9:48 PM
El Kabong


"El Kabong I find your comments very off putting, especially for a lady."

Most of the ladies I've met don't call other folks simpletons and don't go by Sylvester. I think the Mayor of Simpleton is more appropriate for you, more androgynous and far more suitable.

As far as my remarks being "off putting," you'll have to ignore my effort to hand you a winning ticket and cure your poly track fears. You know Dullahan set a stakes track record my dear.  I do hope you weren't offended by my advise on this talented colt.

14 Apr 2012 9:52 PM
Aaron McC

I'm disappointed in Hansen, mainly because he didn't get to practice rating off of speed. However, I don't think he's a toss, Smoking Baby.  He went way too fast too early, mainly because he had no inside speed to track.  For him, I think it just depends on post position.  If he draws outside of 8 in the Derby with a couple speedsters on the inside, I think he's worth using.  After, all, it took a stakes record to beat him (the track was a kinda fast today, but not as lightning as it was last fall at times).  

14 Apr 2012 9:54 PM
Pedigree Ann

"Secret Circle: WP"

"Ex box Secret Circle, Bodemeister, Sabercat."

Hope you had the tri, too, Trackjack.

2:24, Alternation set quite modest fractions for the way the track was playing. 6f in nearly 1:13, workout time. His last furlong was in 12.47 seconds, since he had plenty left after not having to run hard early. Pace makes the race and you can't compare final times without looking at the splits.

Astrology fans - your boy won his n2x earlier on the card at OP. Stalked the pace and drew off late.

14 Apr 2012 10:12 PM

The preps today help to clarify the Derby picture somewhat.  First, Bodemeister is in and looks legit.  Though, Criminal Type, I don't think Mike Smith is responsible for the win.  He was definitely on the best horse today but it may have been a case of "too much".  He didn't need to win by 9 lengths, but hey, he's not Mike's Derby horse so he really didn't have much incentive to leave something in the tank.

It seems Secret Circle proved me right; he doesn't want a distance of ground but I grudgingly have a little more respect for Hansen.  Despite not winning AND not rating, he was still running at the end, and Ramon D. didn't use him up; he wasn't going to win and he was way ahead of the third place horse, so he basically hand-rode him to the wire.  I didn't like the way Kent D. pulled Dullahan up after the race, but he looked ok jogging back.  Still, the race doesn't move him way up in my estimation.

I'll be watching the workouts leading up to the Derby before I make my final picks; especially workouts at Churchill.  But for now, here is my Top 10:

1)  Union Rags

2)  Bodemeister

3)  Alpha

4)  Creative Cause

5)  Gemologist

6)  I'll Have Another

7)  Hansen

8)  Sabercat

9)  Take Charge Indy

10) Mark Valeski (if he makes it into the gate)

14 Apr 2012 10:24 PM
Smarty Jones Jr.

Whoa........  Everyone needs to slow their roll.  Did anyone have any doubt Bodiemeister was not gonna win??  Baffert almost died in Dubui, it is telling that a horse named after his son, needed a win to make Derby.  I was pulling for the horse more so, for Barrett/Son connection.  Secret Circle.looked more like a Formula 1 driver under " team orders" swerving around like a hockey goalie in stretch.......

Before we proclaim Bodiemeister the next Affirmed, or Secretariat, let's just relax.  It was a desperate horse, and a desperate barn in need of earnings to make May 5th reality.......

My opinion, he peaked today, 3 weeks too soon

14 Apr 2012 10:25 PM


I forgot to add Creative cause and I'll Have Another to my list.

14 Apr 2012 10:30 PM

Criminal type said, "What I saw of him today, makes me think my judgement of his distance limitations might be correct. His performance was mediocre at best, while Dullahan came on like a freight train after a bad start and will be given legitimate props now because he beat the 2 yr old champion."

hansen's performance today was far from mediocre. these are his fractions:




24.10 (this is were he sped up to repulse gung ho's bid)


here's bodemeister's fractions today, carrying 5 lbs less than hansen:






hansen comes in second in 1:48.24 carrying 123lbs, only 3 less than he'll carry on may 5; bode wins in 1:48.71 (or about the same time as gung ho came in 3rd) carrying 118lbs, 8 lbs less then he will on may 5).

look at scatman if you want to see what a jump up of 5 lbs can do to a speed horse; now add 3 more to that.

everyone said hansen would be tested today--but he wasn't even pressed.

i actually think that hansen got beat today simply because he never saw dullanhan until it was too late, and if you go back to the holy bull, i think the same thing happened with algo.

but when he knows a horse is there, he never stops, like in the BCJ.

ramon needs to swing him to the middle in the stretch just like gomez did with blame in the BCC so that hansen can see the closers coming.

why do i think this--because he galloped out like a freight train after the holy bull  and wasn't blowing after the race; and he galloped out like a freight train today and wasn't blowing after the race. this race took nothing out of him.

unlike poor dullahan--dullahan pulled up immediately after the wire and could barely walk. his leg action after the wire was really odd looking. i hope they do right by him and keep him out of the derby--he already popped a splint this spring, and chances are he wasn't fully healed and repopped it today.

BTW here are hansen's times for each mile and sixteenth he's ever run from the first until to today (and yeah i know today was 1 1/8, but he still had to get the 1 1/16 first)




1:41.85 (today--definitely not mediocre)

hansen is on track to run a 1:40 mile and 16th in the derby.

i hear all this talk about regressing and progressing based on how visually appealing or not an effort is, but there is no other 3 yo who has gotten consistently faster in every race, as demonstrated by his times, other than hansen

14 Apr 2012 10:35 PM
Mike Monarchos

Bodemeister is the real deal. He won from the 11 hole and made it look easy! He might be able to wire em in the Derby. I'm not sure Hansen can go 1 1/4?  Question is: Who will ride him if Smith is really commited to Daddy Nose Best. Maybe the guy with the 138 IQ can tell us. LOL!!

I have to eat some crow after Dullahan won the Bluegrass. I said I couldn't see how a horse with a top Beyer of 86 could win that race. I still can't? Obviously Beyers meant nothing in the Bluegrass.

They definitely did in the Arkansas Derby though. Oh well, one outta two aint too bad.

14 Apr 2012 10:56 PM


How much you drop on that pig Nehro today? LOL Hope you didn't bet all those winnings from the Derby last year you made on him today! N2X Allowance here I come at 3/5 second Saturday of May at Churchill Downs...

14 Apr 2012 11:04 PM
El Kabong

Smoking Baby, Billy's EEEEE

No need to begrudge the respect for Dullahan. He did what he does best. Run. And I'm sure some part of you enjoyed his effortless run past Hansen. Myself, I heard the fiddles calling him home as he maneuvered his way to an opening at the top of the lane and from there it was over. He's only going to get better with distance. Dirt is not an issue. His BC run was respectable. He dug himself a hole that day but he finished up fine. More importantly, he is a different athlete. He hangs closer to the pace and gets in to the bit much earlier. He's hungry now from the start and that is what you want. He'll be in a position at the top of the lane to execute his will. That's all he needs. 10F's are right up his alley. I'll save a seat for you and Billy as promised. Billy, you keep an eye on him when he gets to CD. Weight, coat, demeanor.

14 Apr 2012 11:20 PM
Age of Reason

Ah, back to the real Sylvester. What would these blogs be like without the hacks to slam everything in disguise of the fact that they can't handicap %^&*@#....And for the record, you numbskull, Ron the Greek is as East Coast as they get. He's trained by Bill Mott, for heaven's sake, bred in Florida, and in no way represents California racing. Oh, and HDG scratched. Get over it. That race was one by one of those darned California horses, by the way...

14 Apr 2012 11:39 PM
El Kabong

Ok MIke Smith,

You just blasted the competition out of the water on Bodemeister. Tell us again who you're going to ride at Churchill? Some jockey's carry the lunch pail and some ride big when it counts. Mike rides big when it counts. If Bode keeps Mike, I like him more.

14 Apr 2012 11:56 PM

I love how Sylvester uses the Oaklawn Handicap to pronounce the horror of California racing, a day after a California horse, Plum Pretty, won the Apple Blossom, and 30 minutes before another Califonia horse, Bodemeister, crushed the Arkansas Derby.  Oh, and the other California horse ran 2nd in the Arkansas Derby.

And I think Ron the Greek ran decently in the Oaklawn Cap'.  Alternation got a soft pace and had way too much left.  But Ron outfinished the Donn winner, Hymn Book.  So, I guess the Big Cap was a stronger race than the Donn.  Right Sly?

15 Apr 2012 12:05 AM

Bode looked good in a race with average horses.  There was simply no speed in the race and Bode had everything his way.  He won't in the Derby.  My top 3 is still Union, DNB and Alpha.  Maybe Gem and Bode can fight it out for 4th or 5th.  Bode won on a speedway good for him.  Don't get sucked in with horses with little or no foundation.

15 Apr 2012 12:41 AM

After the surprises of the Louisiana and Florida derbies, the last 2 weeks were very formful.

The SA Derby was a solid race.  The 94 Beyer was simply the result of the moderate pace set by Blueskiesnrainbows.  For whatever reason, the other jockeys rode as if Blueskies was a Euro-type pacestetter that was going to stop after 6 furlongs.  They almost made a big mistake dismissing the horse.

But in truth, Rosario on Creative Cause and Gutierrez on I'll Have Another had Blueskies measured the entire way, although they cut it very close.  Both horses came with good runs when called upon, and both displayed gameness battling to the wire.  I'll Have Another ran his final 3 furlongs in about 36.3 while Creative Cause ran his in about 36 flat.  Had the pace been quicker, these final fractions might have been slower, but the final time, and the Beyer, would have been stronger.  We already know Creative Cause can produce a 102 if needed.

I'll Have Another and Creative Cause both have solid shots in Kentucky.  Both are clearly talented and possess excellent tactical speed, and both have distance breeding.  Of the two, I still prefer Creative Cause because he is more proven at the highest level and has had success shipping and, more importantly, running at Chuchill.  

My big concern with IHA is that clearly his connections have had concerns about his ability to reproduce big efforts in a condensed time frame.  Even though his winning effort in the Lewis back in February was IHA'a first start in 6 months, they believed it prudent to give the horse extra time and they skipped the San Felipe.  The plan worked because they won the SA Derby, but now to win the Kentucky Derby IHA is going to have to do the very thing they avoided after the Lewis, running two hard races within a month.

I thought the Wood was similar to the SA Derby in that the 1-2 finishers ran quite well and have legit shots in Louisville.  Gemologist showed me alot in the Wood; I hadn't been particularly impressed with the horse before, and thought his allowance win was a glorified workout.  But I liked his performance last week.  He rated kindly, settling a few lengths back to the outside, and then came with a sharp run when called upon.  It looked like in mid-stretch he would win easily, but then he seemed to idle, allowing Alpha to storm up to his flank.  But Gemologist had Alpha measured, and turned that rival back confidently before galloping out clear after the wire.

It's hard to know how much Gemologist had through the stretch or how much he was just playing around.  But one thing is clear, when he had to find more he did.  Gemologist is a nice, big horse; he has tactical speed, but I liked how he settled in behind leaders in the Wood before seizing command at the top of the stretch.  The breeding is there, and I have to admit I saw alot of Tiznow's 01' BC Classic in Gemologist's Wood triumph.

Alpha lost little in defeat and actually improved in the Beyer department.  Alpha wasn't quite as brilliant as Gemologist and lost contact with that one at the top of the lane, but he kept plugging away and looked a winner for a few seconds late in the race.  I do have some concerns that he wasn't able to go ahead and run by Gemologist and that the winner galloped out so far ahead of him.  As with the other 3, Alpha is bred for 10 furlongs, so distance should not be a concern.

Of these 4. my preference is:

1. Creative Cause

2. Gemologist

3. Alpha

4. I'll Have Another

15 Apr 2012 12:41 AM

Bodemeister, wow!!! After watching his debut performance I thought that he reminded me of Curlin but in the Arkansas Derby he looks every bit like a "Ghostzapper" in the making ...this is one smart cookie.  I'm already on record here as predicting that in a short time he will become the "big horse" in California.  And what about jockey Mike Smith?  He brought back memories of his rides aboard Lure and Holy Bull respectyively ...simply awesome.

Oh, and what about the genius of trainer Bob Baffert?  I mean, this guy knows how to get a horse to the Derby better than any of his contemporaries.  With due respect, Todd Pletcher should study Bob's approach to the Derby because, in my view right now, Baffert's strategy would've ensured that El Padrino's spot in the Derby be a formality and posibly Discreet Dancer's position might have been comparible to Bodemeister (I think that both horses have comparible raw talent).  Todd's approach is not as aggressive as Baffert's when it comes to aiming for the Derby, as such he might have backed off Bodemeister after the San Felipe loss to Creative Cause, like he did with Discreet Dancer after the FOY if "Bode" was his charge.

Now may the top colts continue to progress in good health and we shall be treated to the one of best Kentucky Derbies in living memory.  

I cannot fault anyone who now places Bodemeister as the #1 contender.  There will be speculations of a bounce in the Derby but I think that the genius of Baffert will take care of that.  Mike Smith is entitled to change his mind regarding a switch in mount from the quality closer Daddy Nose Best.  However my firm selection continues to be Union Rags. Confidence is running real high for a spectacular performance at Churchill downs on the first Saturday in May from the son of Dixie Union and descendant of the great Hyperion.

The Bluegrass results simply confirm Dullahan's and Hansen's credentials as top Derby prospects and make that race relevant for the first time in many years, however it is no real indicator of how they will perform relative to each other on the Churchill Downs surface. The fact is that Hansen was much the best over Dullahan on dirt but the added distance in the Derby could be to the latter's advantage.  All this make for a tremendous build up to this years run for the roses.

My top ten presently are:

1) Union Rags  2) Bodemeister 3) Gemologist  4) Daddy Nose Best  5) Creative Cause  6) I'll Have Another  7) El Padrino (if somehow he gets in) 8) Dullahan  9)  Take Charge Indy, and 10) Hansen (assuming that Trinniberg opts for the Preakness instead).  The winner should definitely come from this group.  

15 Apr 2012 1:35 AM

The Blue Grass, like the SA Derby and Wood, featued solid performances by the 1-2 finishers.

Hansen lost nothing in my eyes.  He set a pace that was simply too fast for synthetic; when horses go wire-to-wire on synth they do so setting very slow fractions.  The fractions set by Hansen were more appropriate for a dirt race.  The fact he held on for even 2nd is a testament to his quality.  

I suppose I am a little troubled that Hansen went so fast early in the Blue Grass and that Dominguez had no option to rate.  It sounds like Hansen wasn't headstrong, per se, just that he was full of run and that his early speed was razor sharp.  Clearly, he will need to be kinder in Louisville or he has little shot of going 10 furlongs against a solid field.  At least there is the Gotham to inspire confidence that Hansen does have the capacity to settle.  Like with Union Rags and especially Creative Cause, Hansen lost little in this defeat, and he has never run a poor race.

I believe the Blue Grass made Dullahan the first two-time grade 1 winning male of this crop.  At 3-1, Dullahan didn't sneak up on anyone and given his prior success over the surface, it's hard to call his win over Hansen an upset.  Dullahan is clearly a horse with class, a tall and long-striding colt with a style quite successful in past runnings of the Derby and breeding for 10 furlongs(especially on the dam side).  The big concern has to be with surface.  

Dullahan's two big wins have come over Keeneland's Polytrack.  While he has run well on turf, the fact is both of his wins have come at Keeneland.  As for his dirt record, he's 0 for 3, with all of those losses coming at Chuchill.  Maybe those first two dirt losses were more the result of distance(as in too short) rather than surface, but rallying or not he was a well beaten 4th in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile.  Dullahan is not without a shot in the Derby, but the evidence, at least how I read it, is that he's elite on synth and turf and a step below on dirt.

Finally we got a "Wow Performance" among the final round of preps with Bodemeister's Arkansas Derby.  With 3 triple digit Beyers in a row, Bodemeister will be the figures horse in the Derby.  And certainly he deserves praise delivering an awesome effort in just his 4th career start.  This is most definitely a seriously talented horse, and he has the breeding to get 10 furlongs and more.

No question there is much to like about Bodemeister's Arkansas romp.  He sped out through a legit first half of 46 and change, and then was still able to turn in a final eighth in under 12 seconds for a final time about 6 lengths faster than the Oaklawn Cap'.  That type of final fraction is rare for dirt races, and it is something he also did in his maiden race.

However, it's my opinon that the Bodemeister we saw in the Arkansas Derby is Bodemeister running under optimal conditions.  While his early pace was strong, Bodemeister was not challenged, and thus was able to fully relax.  Then, after that first half, Mike Smith was really able to moderate the pace, running the next half in about 50 seconds.  

Bodemeister is unlikely to get such a soft internal half in the Derby; in fact, from 4 furlongs to the mile is typically where the Derby reaches peak contention, with the over matched speed horses dropping back and the stalkers and closers making their move.  Most likely, in the Derby Bodemeister will have to follow a fist half in 46 and 3 with a 3rd quarter in 24, before the pace then starts to fall off(most Derbys have slow 4th quarters and relatively slow final quarters) where he could then open up on the field.

The Arkansas Derby very much reminded me of Bodemeister's maiden score at Santa Anita.  In both races he set solid but uncontested leads and then he just kept rattling off 12s before spread-eagling the fields with brilliant final fractions.  

The San Felipe was different for Bodemeister.  In that race he conceded the early lead, instead stalking in 2nd on the outside.  Having to get by a decent frontrunner forced Bodemeister to work a little, and he never was able to separate from the field.  Rather, right after taking command, Bodemeister was challenged by the qulaity mid-pack stalker, Creative Cause.  Never given a breather at any point while unable to separate, Bodemeister could not out-kick Creative Cause in the lane.  Bodemeister still ran well in the San Felipe, and his final fractions were quite good, but they weren't good enough to win.

Bodemeister just might be the most talented horse in this crop given his brilliant times and figures and his rapid development.  It's hard to believe this is the same horse I saw run 2nd in his debut at 5.5 furlongs earlier in the Santa Anita meet.  But the pace for the Derby is going to be faster and more contentious, and it will be more difficult for Bodemeister to open up on the field.  Maybe he runs like Hard Spun and goes on to win because there is no Street Sense running this year or maybe he is taken back a few lengths off the pace and asked to make the first run.  Because frontrunners have not been dominating the prep season, perhaps the pace in the Derby will be moderate like last year, allowing Bodemeister to settle into his high cruising speed.  Bodemeister's a big talent, but the Derby will be far more challenging.

As for the Arkansas Derby also-rans, Secret Circle ran his heart out for 2nd and he always fires, but I didn't see anything to suggest he has a shot at 10 furlongs.  I say cut him back in distance and be happy with a top miler.  

I guess Sabercat did well enough to go on to Kentucky where the pace setup should be better.  Still, he will need to run much, much faster.  

The Oaklawn horses appear to be a step below most other regions as Calli horses swept the 3 graded preps.  

15 Apr 2012 1:47 AM

Great racing this weekend. I thought Hansen and Dullahan both ran terrific races. I saw the :23 flat opening split and was really concerned, but Hansen fought and hung in there til the end. Dullahan's win was an exact copy of his Breeders' Futurity win in October. Perhaps he's a KEE horse for course on the side. $23 for the exacta wasn't bad, considering how much of a given that one was. Bodemeister was quite impressive, proved me wrong, I thought they were pushing him too soon, but he looked terrific. The Derby is shaping up to be a great race this year.

Looking over these comments I feel sorry for Draynay, all those horses finished up the track. And Sylvester, don't forget about Hymn Book. He won a G1 too, the Donn, in the east, and was "thrashed" even more than Ron The Greek, who placed.

15 Apr 2012 2:06 AM

Top 5 before works and pp.  Union, DNB, Alpha, Creative Cause and Dullahan.  I am not on Bodemeister because he will never see a 25 second split like he did today. 46 to 111 ?  Don't get suckered. Remember I am a Derby expert.

15 Apr 2012 2:08 AM

trackjack : nice hit with the Arkansas derby tri!  That's your 2nd nice trifecta pick (SA derby being the other one).

Baffert now has two Derby horses (just like Draynay predicted!!).  One that's going to be on or near the lead and one that will stalk midpack.  You have to like his chances, a clean break and trip could mean Baffert's return to the winning cirle in the KY Derby.  I'm still sticking with Secret Circle for the Derby, unless he gets posts 1-5 or 16-20, he'll be on top of my tickets together with Gemologist.   I don't think SC or Gemologist will have any problems carrying their form to the derby and carry 126 lbs.  There's no way to really tell if they will or not but base on their pedigrees, I think they'll handle it.  I don't know how many others can do the same but it will be a factor.  Creative Cause will be the forgotten horse because of Gemologist and Bodemeister but I'm not dumb enough to forget him.  Did Bode peak too early though ?  The other good angle on Bode for the Derby... the jockey change, he'll get Martin Garcia who's a very very smart jockey and doesn't get rattled.

Looks like Draynay might get his 4th horse for his superfecta :  Mark Valeski.  I think Trinniberg and Drill will not run in the Derby so Rousing Sermon and MV makes it in.  El Padrino might still make it if Baffert doesn't run Liaison or O'Brien doesn't run Wrote.  I can tell Draynay is praying that El Padrino doesn't make it because if he does, he'll mug Mark Valeski and ruin his superfecta LOL.

Here's more from Mr  "I know everything" LOL :

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.

Draynay 11 Apr 2012 3:52 PM

15 Apr 2012 2:29 AM

Just read the Live Blog and saw someone (GUEST) reminding Jason about me writing a blog with regards to Secret Circle... I had forgotten about it and had to search the old blogs but I finally found it :) :

Remember this Jason ?  It's under the "Five Under the Radar Derby Hopefuls" blog :)

" As I said on Twitter last weeek, if Secret Circle wins the Derby I'll become a Jehovah's Witness. If he even makes the Derby field, I'll let Jayjay write a blog. The thought of the latter is even worse.

This horse is a sprinter/miler. Baffert knows it.

Jason Shandler 06 Mar 2012 2:36 PM "

I don't know the process for becoming a Jehova's Witness but I'd suggest you start looking it up, just in case.  As for Secret Circle making the field... LOL.  

I'm Z still E deciding N what Y to A blog T about T since A I've never done a blog before.   I'll write it after the KY Derby.  I'm going to sleep now, finding this made me feel a LOT better after my horrible play in the Arkansas Derby.   THANKS GUEST whoever you are! :)

15 Apr 2012 4:28 AM

Bodemeister, wow!  Made me a believer, as that was the most impressive prep win I've seen.  If he doesn't bounce in the Derby, he could be tough to beat.

Hansen ran well considering how worked up he got, but I have to toss him.  Questions of rating weren't answered due to getting so keyed up before the race.

Right now, I'd add I'll Have Another and Daddy Nose Best to my tri ticket, but will be watching the workouts of Alpha, Gem and Rags closely.

Creative Cause looks like he has a world of talent that just needs to be harnessed.

15 Apr 2012 7:02 AM

Well, my intuition about the Blue grass came to be. Trouble is, I just love the undisciplined white pony, and he appeared to be making such progress in the Gotham, however, I thought he looked like a child with ADD in his final workout. He's probably naughty and head strong, and if he's not careful he may end up a gelding. I don't see how he'll win the roses trying to be the front runner, unless the rest of the field should happen to keel over. Perhaps skipping the Derby and running in the Preakness isn't such a bad idea. A wire to wire win at Pimlico is quite possible. However, I know Dr. Hansen would NEVER pass on the Kentucky Derby, so, good news. "Favorites" haven't been winning the roses, and after the Blue Grass, Hansen probably won't be going in as a favorite. So lovely pony, maybe you WILL win! The odds seem to favor long shots the first Saturday in May. Surprise us.

15 Apr 2012 8:01 AM


California racing sucks? Are you saying that you are going to toss Bodemeister, Creative Cause and I'll Have Another from all your tickets? Good luck with that.

15 Apr 2012 8:12 AM

Paula- I'm sure by now someone has answered you about Frankel, but he hit himself during a workout and they already took on e scan, but they must not like how he is walking on the leg because they are going to do another this week and go from there.  An announcer on British TV said they had retired him, so Juddmonte had to come out with a statement saying he isn't retired and  nothing will be done until the results of the second scan.  That is basically what is happening in a nutshell.

15 Apr 2012 8:56 AM
El Kabong

Billy E,

Two questions because I know you were there.

First, how long after Dullahan cruised by Hansen did it take for your Jaw to bounce back up into place?

Are you ready to get on board the fastest moving train headed to Louisville. Allllllll Abooooaaarrrrdd!

15 Apr 2012 10:20 AM

Optimizer/Isn't He Clever  exacta box

Prospective/Ever So Lucky  exacta box

Optimizer WP

Prospective WP

These are clearly the best horses in the race.

Draynay 13 Apr 2012 9:04 PM

Some of your finest work to date my friend! Nice job once again Mr. Perfect posting his picks before the race 10-15% win rate... Mr. Perfect telling us who he bet after the race, of course 100% win rate. I mean to get the races wrong is one thing but to think Johnathon Sheppard is going to win a Derby prep os just plain CRAZY!!! And even worse to even act as if Wayne Lucas has the best horse in a Grade 1 race is just plain DUMB. This guy hasn't had a Grade 1 looking horse in his barn in 5 years!!! But nice job you never seem to disappoint Draynay.

15 Apr 2012 10:20 AM
Cyd Beevers

Out of curiosity everybody talking about Bodemeister being a California we not go by the state the horse is foaled in??? If so he is a VA bred.

Swaps was a true CA bred.

15 Apr 2012 11:13 AM

ABSOLUTELY TREMENDOUS!   bode, the fastest PREP race since Sinister minister and bellamy road!

15 Apr 2012 11:21 AM
Ted from LA

Impaired at the moment, but pretty sure I just read a really funny post from 2:24.

What happens to Bodemeister on May 5?  I hate that name, so he should be in the winner's circle.

15 Apr 2012 12:48 PM

Bodemeister and Mike Smith were amazing....but...does anyone realize the Bluegrass was run in a faster time?

And my picks had a severe case of seconditis, but the winners were all superb.  

I didn't like the way Desormeaux pulled up Dullahan after the race, and I'm still worried about his soundness...and I don't trust KD to not pull Dullahan up short in the Derby...Never liked when he yanked up Big Brown in the Belmont.

And heaven save us and the horses from owners who are total jerks.  That fiasco with Dr. Hansen before the Bluegrass trying to dye Hansen's tail...The idiocy is so outlandish, it goes way beyond eccentricity and borders on total insanity.

15 Apr 2012 1:31 PM
Linda in Texas

Jason is not wrong again, Dullahan over Hansen. Good for you both. Like him but don't bet but i do write my thoughts beside them and beside Bodemeister's name i wrote, (after i saw him from the rear in the post parade with Smith aboard who really looked a natural as Bode was calm as a cucumber) "hope they have EMS near Baffert, he is going to need some oxygen." Nice to know i can at least recognize a winner before the race. Same for Daisy Devine, she has part of my nickname so i always want her to win and she did wire to wire in the Jenny Wiley at Keeneland. Ever since she won 43-1 in October, i have rooted for her.

Later on i watched Charles Town and a 7 year old last minute entrant win the 1 million $$ race nicely, his name: Caixa Electronica. Remember him? Had enough gas in his tank to run on. Pants on Fire, Tackleberry, Tres Borachos and Uh Oh Bango were also running. He beat the lot. And Repole was elsewhere. I love to watch Mike and his son walk his winners to the paddock and Caixa had his ears pricked looking for him all the way back to the winner's circle. He will no doubt make it up to Caixa later! :)

All in all really intriguing and great day of racing but not the pulling up of Dullahan, what was that all about? Hope he is okay today. I had him over Hansen and  Hero of Order to come in third instead of Gung Ho who did.

Now that is what a non handicapper experienced.

Thanks Jason, how did the rest of your picks go?

15 Apr 2012 2:55 PM

I just heard Mike Smith has jumped shipped and will ride Bodemeister in the Derby.  I apologize for my critisism of Mike, suggesting that since he was riding another horse in the Derby, he had no incentive to "leave something in the tank" for Bodemeister going forward to Kentucky the 1st Sat. in May.   Since he has decided to switch mounts, clearly he is not worried about any negative affects of Bode's strong effort at Oaklawn.

15 Apr 2012 3:56 PM

Yes Bodemeister came home in 11.97 seconds, but Dullahan’s individually timed final 8th was faster at 11.68 seconds.

15 Apr 2012 6:16 PM

if you like another runner other than Bode, it certainly helps your cause. We will see what Bafferts runner does when someone looks him in the eye. Cudos to Baffert et al,.."star in the making"?,  I won't boar Mr. Maramotti[sp?] with a list, other than I recall some "well regarded" TVG race afficianados[hows that Gary & Frank] calling Big Brown the next Secretariat after the Preakness, so as one of my favs[Bette Davis] once said, "hold onto your hats, it's going to be a bumpy ride"!

15 Apr 2012 7:03 PM

Kudos to Brad Pegram for getting the mount on Bodemeister for Mike Smith.  Bodemeister will have to be Apollo to win and Smith will have to be Prince Charming to ever ride again for Assmussen.  Still hard to believe that Martin Garcia or Bejarano won't be riding Baffert's best chance to win the Derby.  Kudos to you Mr. Pegram for pulling this one out of your hat!!!

15 Apr 2012 7:07 PM

Well, the major preps are over and now we can now focus in on who is in and who is out. These are my top horses to win the derby. I do not believe in one horse because it is a 20 horse field and too many factors that can affect the derby.

Up front: Gemologist, bodemeister, take charge Indy

Stalker: Creative Cause, Alpha

Closer: Dullahan and Daddy Nose Best

Rounding out my top 10

I'll have another, El Padrino(if he gets in) and Sabercat.

I know that Union Rags and Hansen are not in my top 10 but I feel they will not get the mile and quarter. It can pay off big if this holds true.

15 Apr 2012 7:12 PM
Karen in Texas

Hansen did well for having taken the lead on Polytrack at that distance, and Ramon said he was not rank. I hope Ramon does not opt off him at this late date for the sake of the horse and for Mike Maker.

I'm really unclear as to the reasons for Dr. Hansen's antics. At first he wanted to raise money for New Vocations, but things seem to be getting increasingly grandiose....

ksweatman9----I can't imagine that Hansen's owners would geld a champion colt. He appears to be a horse that loves to run and enjoys competition, and he is progressing. As pointed out above, he is just "full of run" and his times are steadily improving. If he were mine, I would retire him rather than geld him if all else failed.

15 Apr 2012 7:26 PM

I guess I should have just bet the chalk on Saturday and taken the heat for it.  Who knew the horse in the Arkansas were THAT bad.  Chalk Bode and Dullahan won and good for them but only Dullahan will be on my ticket.  I have seen great horses with little foundation run in the Derby and FADE in the Derby.  Dullahan and DNB and ALPHA will not Fade.  They will be Coming after Union Rags.  Throw Creative Cause in there and you have horses with real racing in them.  Bode had it his way Saturday but in the Derby Hansen will be right there with him and if Bode runs a 46 you better believe he will need to run a 110 to stay in the lead.  Union Rags is still the horse to beat and DNB getting Gomez is not a bad trade.  I can lead you to Derby riches all you have to do is exactly what I tell you to do.   I know everything.

15 Apr 2012 7:26 PM
Criminal Type

Daddy Long Legs and Wrote are both staying in Europe to race and will NOT be in Louisville. Which means Mark Veleski and Rousing Sermon are in. One more defection and ElPadrino gets in and as someone else said I think it likely Liason or Drill will not run.

15 Apr 2012 7:26 PM

As a prep race, the Arkansas Derby certainly didn’t have the deepest of fields.  IMO, Isn’t He Clever was totally overrated winning most of his races and money at Sunland and Zia.  Optimizer is only a maiden winner and that was 8 races ago, and though he closed nicely in the Rebel, his final 5/16ths in that race was still in a very slow 32.28 seconds.  Sabercat won the rich Delta Futurity, which is enough to qualify him for the Derby, but he has done little else.  Secret Circle to me is a miler and has been beating up on mediocre talent at Oaklawn this year.  And other than Secret Circle, the combined Arkansas field, including Bodemeister, had won a total of two G3 races out of 21 graded races that they ran in.

This doesn’t detract from Bodemeister’s performance.  He was much the best, running with professional ease when setting the pace with nice workmanlike fractions, and yet not pulling Mike Smith to go faster.  He easily controlled the pace early and then pulled away in the end with something left, getting his final 3/8ths in 37.35 and his final 8th in 11.97 (which extrapolates to a final quarter in 23.94 seconds).  He is definitely a top five Derby contender.

The Blue Grass was an interesting race and this is why I believe that Dullahan was ultra impressive yesterday.  His fractional numbers were extremely impressive for a horse going into the Derby.  He ran his individual final 3/8ths in 35.47 seconds (almost two full seconds faster than Bodemeister) and his final individual 8th in 11.68 seconds (which extrapolates to a final quarter of 23.36 seconds).  I know that Bodemeister set the pace and Dullahan lagged behind, but Bodemeister ran a controlled pace without being pushed enabling him to have lots left.

Dullahan still has to answer the question of whether he can he duplicate his effort on dirt.  I think that his 4th place finish in the BC Juvenile, when he closed from far back and was beaten 6 lengths for the money, shows that he’ll be coming hard at the end.  At this point I believe he has every bit a chance to win the Derby as any other horse particularly because we know that he saves the best for last.  He also has a jockey that knows how to win this race.  Kent Desormeaux continues to have his detractors, but his presence on Dullahan in a huge plus IMO.

I definitely wouldn’t throw Hansen out of Derby consideration either.  It’s interesting to note that he ran the first mile of his race in 1.35.2 while Bodemeister ran his in 1.36.3, which is a 6 length difference.   Where Bodemesiter got a break with the 4th quarter run in 25.38 in the Arkansas Derby, Hansen didn’t get a similar break as his 4th quarter in the Blue Grass was run in 24.14 seconds (6 lengths faster).  The other thing is that other than Dullahan, and to a smaller degree Holy Candy, no other horses in the field were closing on Hansen from the 8th pole home and only Prospective and Holy Candy, both small insignificant gains, and Dullahan managed to gain ground on him from the 6F marker on.  It shows that Dullahan really is a big time player and that Hansen still has to be strongly considered.  He wasn’t weakening as some might think.  Without Dullahan, Hansen would have won the Blue Grass by 2 ½ lengths in a time of 1.48.19, still one of the faster 9F prep races.

I still think that the difference in the two races was that 4th quarter.  Even so Hansen slips out of my top five and to be truthful never really was in my top five to begin with.  I know I picked him to win the Blue Grass even though I’ve been a fan of Dullahan since the BC Juvenile when I bet him, but I wanted Hansen to win out of respect for the horse and trainer and for our class of two year olds of 2011.  I always rooted for him and would love to see him win, but I never saw him as the second coming of Seattle Slew.  I do see him as possibly the second coming of Lure (a two time BC Turf Mile winner) and I believe he would be an exceptional miler on turf and might even be good enough to put us back on the world stage at that distance.

My top five for the Derby in no particular order:  Gemologist, Creative  Cause, Dullahan, Bodemeister and Union Rags.

15 Apr 2012 7:35 PM
Matthew W

Gomez a huge fit on Daddy Nose Best! In a race full of quality contenders, there will be plenty of speed to set them up--I will use him, he just won his first dirt race--love that Bodemiester and Dullahan won so well, I am on I'll Have Another--bigtime! I'm looking at perhaps 10-1 odds, in a race in which the favorite will likely be the highest price fave since at least I have been viewing the Derby (1971), I look for the fave to be either Creative Cause, Bodemiester or Union Rags, and it's likely the fave will be 7-1 or higher--my bet is Creative Cause is 7-1 and favored to win this year's Run For The Roses! Factor in the quality of this year's field, with the intangibles: distance, field size, faster than any race of their lives' pace--and you have the greatest betting proposition in the history of this Sport Of Kings!

15 Apr 2012 7:55 PM

My friend Draynay their is no such thing as foundation for winning the KD in 2012.I have been betting on this race for maybe a generation, and I know it is a lot different than even a decade ago.I would like to see Bode win to put the last unwritten Apollo rule to bed.If you stick to old ways you get left behind.Adapt or face the consequences of relying on outdated data.

15 Apr 2012 8:00 PM


I get your drift but please note that Bode has consistently run fast, is lightly raced and due to his raw talent, might not have peaked in th Arkansas Derby but merely towered over moderate rivals while yet to show us his best.  Beware of underating and miscalculating.

15 Apr 2012 8:20 PM

What will occur first?

1) A triple crown winner.

2) Draynay picking the Derby winner.

15 Apr 2012 8:53 PM
Paula Higgins

Thank you Footlick for your response about Frankel. I hope this is nothing serious. He is a great horse.

15 Apr 2012 9:11 PM

I was watching the Blue Grass at Pimlico and never did see Hansen acting up.  What and when?  I was pretty impressed with his race and felt like he never saw Dullahan  coming. Also, very impressed with Dullahan, who looked like a freight train. Wonderful racing this weekend!

15 Apr 2012 9:33 PM

Romans gives Dullahan his nod as favorite for Kentucky Derby. Romans said he believes three horses deserve consideration for favorite in this wide-open Derby: Dullahan, Gemologist, and Bodemeister.

“I give my horse the slight edge,” he said.

15 Apr 2012 10:15 PM

GUN BOW AND LAZMANNICK's posts avaliable next week in paperback.....

15 Apr 2012 11:22 PM

Chief let me tell you what I know for sure.  Bode and Gem are not going to win the Derby.  Having bottom to you is more important than ever.  The 5 horses I have selected should be running hard towards the end.  Union Rags is the horse to beat without a doubt.  Daddy Nose Best has back to back wins at 1 1/8th and no horse will like the distance better.  Alpha has guts and experience and will be tough off his last.  Dullahan has that explosive kick and seems to love distance and more of it.  Creative Cause is my 5th pick and the only pick I may change depending on works and pp.  But he is the best coming out of California.  Listen to the Derby MASTER.

15 Apr 2012 11:36 PM
El Kabong


Not only did Dullahan come home faster, and finish with a faster time, he did it on poly. Poly times are slower than dirt. Some have commented on Kent pulling up Dullahan and I don't know why. This horse can and would keep running all day because he is bred to do so. I like this horse obviously, and yes I have a vested interest with future wagers, but Kent is a 3 time winner of the Derby. He knows a thing or two and so does Romans. It may have been the plan to save his energy. Nice call on the numbers Laz, I totally agree and believe he will not only enjoy Churchill's surface, but he will be faster on it. good luck. Alot of Bode fans, and I like him too, just not as much. Bode will have to contend with alot of horses trying to do the same thing up front. Dullahan needs to have a good trip. Gemologist needs to rate better as does Take Charge Indy but I'm sold on Dullahan as my key because I like his style and breeding better.

15 Apr 2012 11:37 PM

Paula- I hope the same.  He is a very exciting horse.

15 Apr 2012 11:40 PM


15 Apr 2012 11:42 PM

Obviously, I'm not making my bet until about one hour before the Derby...Close enough to post time to get the realistic odds....Far enough before post time so I don't have to stand in line waiting for idiots to try to conquer mathematics with their 124 super & tri combinations! I already know what horses I like. I'm just waiting to see what their odds and post positions are going to be. Of course, if the track comes up sloppy or muddy, it becomes a real crap shoot.

15 Apr 2012 11:47 PM

Romans knows his horse and I don't, but from what I've seen Dullahan's best form is on synthetic and to my mind his soundness is still questionable.  Popping a splint is no minor injury; true the splint bone is not weight bearing but it is part of the structure of the leg and when damaged can cause a lot of discomfort. I did not like the way the horse pulled up after the Blue Grass.

15 Apr 2012 11:47 PM
Karen in Texas

We've mentioned on this blog before that Hansen is one of the younger foals of this crop--DOB 4/23/09, but has anyone noticed that Bodemeister is even younger--DOB 4/28/09?

16 Apr 2012 12:13 AM

yea dullahan broke skip away's  track record. he crack him 2-4 times and he didn't even need to ride him in the final 8th cause he had so much horse.

16 Apr 2012 12:51 AM

There are quite a few great champion thoroughbreds who were geldings. I don't know the circumstances of all of them, but at times an owner has to choose between future bloodlines or having a champion. Many have chosen the latter. If the horse has talent, ability and speed, but is just too head strong to work with, it does happen. Seems a shame, but what do you do? Hansen is gorgeous, but beauty and blue tails don't win races. Hansen is always game, he wants to win, but he has to improve his form and learn to use his speed and energy to his advantage. Dr. Hansen said after the Blue Grass that the Derby would be a different story. It sure will be, not only will Bird's brother be waiting to mow Hansen down at the finish, but 18 other horses will be gunning for him as well. Under those circumstances, it looks really grim for a front runner like Hansen. If the white pony comes out of the Derby sound and in one piece, it will be a successful day. If he hits the board, lady luck was with him. Should he actually win, the racing gods surely carried him to the finish line, and I will die with a big smile on my face.

16 Apr 2012 12:57 AM

Pedigree Ann : If you don't mind, can I get your opinion on Union Rag's pedigree.  I consider you one of the experts on Pedigree (and not because of your nick here), your posts shows you do know about pedigrees.  I haven't seen anything that would suggest he can actually get the 10F distance.  Footlick mentioned Terpsichorist and I tend to believe him over Ranagulzion's arguments that Hyperion (6 generations back) is the main influence that will get UR 10F.  If you do mind, that's okay lol.

16 Apr 2012 3:33 AM

TCC; Now thats funny..

Alot of speed on the front end in the Derby..

Hansen,Bodi,Take Charge Indy..

I see a 46 half as of now I am staying away from the speed.

Daddy Nose Best will be the wise guy horse..

Union Rags could go off as the 4th choice..

Dullhalen will finish in the $$$ I don't think he will win though..

Gemoligist sitting 5th and of the pace is very appealing to me.

Last time a horse went into the Derby undefeated was Barbaro at 8-1..

Lets see who gets the dreaded 1/2 hole.

16 Apr 2012 8:39 AM

Hansen was agitated in the post parade. He was not himself at all. Ramon was trying to calm him down, but nothing was working. I knew well before the race started he was going to go straight to the lead, and tire. He was pissed about something, and I am willing to bet it was all of the pre race B.S that was going on with his tail...

I felt bad for the horse, but you can't take anything away from the winner. He looked tremendous before the race, and I knew he was going to run well. I was quite suspicious about Kent just stopping him after the race,  but thinking about it, he may have been trying to save the horse for the Derby. Romans said he was fine, and he did not look too tired.

In the Ark Derby, Bode was impressive. So was Secret Circle. He suprised me fighting for 2nd.

Trinniberg not running in Derby either, does that mean the Godfather is in?

16 Apr 2012 8:44 AM

El Kabong, too funny. It took a few minutes. I am not on board 100% yet. Dullahan has not won on dirt, but I will keep an eye on him at CD, see how he is moving and working over the track. He was motoring down the lane, and he looked tremendous. Too bad I don't think we will get 20-1 like last year. I am hoping we can get close to that on Alpha though...

16 Apr 2012 9:00 AM

Optimizer/Isn't He Clever  exacta box

Prospective/Ever So Lucky  exacta box

Optimizer WP

Prospective WP

These are clearly the best horses in the races.

Draynay 13 Apr 2012 9:04 PM

LMAO!! Nice picks "expert"

16 Apr 2012 9:47 AM
Pedigree Ann

TerriV, didn't you see Hansen throwing his head around and jibing during the time they were being led to the post? Very much on edge. Donna Brothers on TVG pointed it out particularly. Don't know if it was the events of the morning ('Tail-gate') or just the way he is, but it makes one wonder how he will react to the zoo that CD is on Derby Day.

Dr. Hansen really needs a clue. Dying the hair of race horses has a long and well-chronicled history in TB racing and it was never for any legal purpose. Usually used to create a ringer. This instance was clearly not for an illegal purpose, but I feel the stewards were right to put their foot down; if allowed in this case, it would set a precedent. Certain identification at the in-gate is tough enough without people 'customizing' their horses so that they don't match their official descriptions.

16 Apr 2012 9:53 AM

Union Who?

How things change...

Bodemeister: 108 Beyer

Bodemeister will probably bounce like a rubber ball in the Derby. Could win it if he receives no pressure.

Bodemeister looked quite tired when he returned to be unsaddled. He had a right too. He closed his last 1/8 in a 11 and change.

Baffert horses need lots of pressure on the front end, before they collapse. Baffert puts a lot of cardio in his racing operation. If you don't look a Baffert horse "in the eye" around the whole oval. he's going to leave you in his wake. Baffert makes you suffer, because if you go with him then you just ruined your chance at winning the Kentucky Derby.

Hansen can ruin Bodemeister's chances. If someone doesn't go "eyeball to eyeball" with Bodemeister (from flag fall to that's all), then the Derby will be a repeat of 2002.

16 Apr 2012 10:11 AM

As always, I've made my comments with decorum but reciprocating with the same seems to be lost on many of you.  Gunbow and longwaytomay if you're using Plum Pretty as an example of how great CA racing is then you're arguing a losing battle.  As soon as she lines up against HDG or Awesome Maria at no more than a 3 lb spread she will lose.  Sure she can beat up on CA fillies including Zazu but she better stay away from those two.  I will admit Creative Cause is a halfway decent colt.  

16 Apr 2012 10:17 AM

Criminal Type - where does the info on O'Brien's horses not running in the Derby come from?

16 Apr 2012 10:57 AM
Carlos in Cali

"Mike Smith should've waited until after the race before committing to DNB.. what if Bode' airs like I think he will?"

Carlos in Cali 12 Apr 2012 1:25 PM                                

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

Carlos in Cali 12 Apr 2012 2:23 PM                                  Don't listen to Draynay,he'll lead you to a point of no return.The guy can't spot the winning horse even when he's looking at the race results.He knows nothing.He and KY Vet are the worst,with Jason right behind them.And they do this for a living?...  lol.    

16 Apr 2012 11:49 AM

i never really know what to make of all the people i read on horse racing forums.  

everyone claims to be about 870 years old, and to remember clearly watching the darly stallion break his maiden, but then they say things like hansen was acting up so badly in the post parade that he should be gelded.

holy cow!?! i was only a few months old when secretariat won the TC, but i have seen enough footage of past greats and read enough reports to know that there are almost no horses running today who act like the mean SOBs of old--dr. fager liked to bite chunks of flesh out of his opponents and hard tack was lucky to not have killed his human handlers (and maybe he did kill a few, who knows?). and even the great saint secretariat was known to act up in the post parade and in the winner's circle. it's function of stallion psychology. you want them to be like that.

hansen is a true alpha stallion, who will not turn 3 until april 22, he is feisty and spirited, but gelding him because he was on the muscle in the post parade is ridiculous.

his spitit is his second best weapon, his speed is his first--i spent almost 15 hours handicapping the blues grass and no matter how i did it, the furthest back i could figure hansen to be at the first 1/4, barring a nightmare break like hakama had in the IL, was a head off of heavy breathing. and to ensure that a nightmare break didn't happen, i figured ramon would gun him from the start.

i'm totally prepared for the "he can't rate" brigade, who have iron clad rules that ignore how the race that actually occurred. you take the race set up your deal, and you give your horse the best chance to win based on it, not some arbitrary rules.

as soon as i saw how fresh he was in the post parade, i knew hansen was going to break super sharp and that he'd have to take the lead because no other horse in the race was faster than him, and he was breaking from he inside. what i only hoped but didn't know for sure before saturday was that hansen has absolutely no problems with the 1 1/8  at all. he closed far better at the longer distance than he did at a mile! projecting a final furlong, he was on pace for a 2:01 mile and a quarter--no distance challenged sprinter/miler will ever get a mile in a quarter in that time.  

what kills me, is that people are still clinging to hansen is a sprinter, hansen is a miler--drill is a sprinter, look what happens to drill after 7 furlongs. that doesn't happen to hansen uncle mo was a miler--look what happened to him after a mile and 1/16. that doesn't happen to hansen. hasnen is  a fast stayer--yes, virginia they really do exist.

on another note, i don't know how anyone can feel confident backing dullahan after the way he pulled up and after dale romans' total BS explanation as to why.  

i hope more than anyone that the horse is fine, but romans saying that ken pulled him up like that because he was a afriad he had too much horse that would never stop running is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard in my life--had romans said ken thought he felt something amiss and didn't want to take chance but that the horse was completely fine--just a false alarm--i'd say, ok sure. but to tell me you pulled him up from full run to dead stop in 70 yards or less because you feared he gallop out super strong...nah-unh, no dice.

you don't pull up a horse with his pulse in the red like that without a reason, esp. if you think the horse is still going gangbusters--doing so can cause serious problems all by its self. the gallup out is necessary for the the horse to cool down properly and safely.

finally, i was uper happy to hear baffert say that he has no intention of rating bode in the derby--the best thing for hansen is to have company for as long as possible--he'll run as fast as he has too as long as he has to, so long as he knows the other guy is there. a stretch duel between bode and hansen will be a thing a of beauty--no more of these 2:05 super  slow saver derbys, won by the mr. mosey pants horse.

but if hansen gets an open lengths lead in the stretch on may 5, ramon needs to swing him to the middle of the track, so he can see daddy nose best coming for him.

if you watch the final 70 yards of the blue grass, it looks like both hansen and ramon were taken by surprise by dullahan--horses can feel the change in tension in their rider--ramon's body language probably told hansen as much as anything--we got this buddy.

16 Apr 2012 11:55 AM
Saratoga AJ

I made money with Dullahan Saturday but will not bet him in the Derby. He has yet to run a good race on dirt, and has run poorly in all 3 of his starts at Churchill...a very bias track. Some horse just never ran well on that surface.

Bodemeister looked great, but did not run as a 2 yr old. Only one horse ever won the Derby without running at least one race as a two year old, and that was in 1882 I believe.

This looks to be one of the strongest Derby fields in many years. This Derby will have lot's of speed…and the type of speed that can stretch out like Bodemeister, Gemologist, Hansen, and Take Charge Lady. Then you have the off the pace stalkers/closers/deep closers like I’ll Have Another, Creative Cause, Alpha, Daddy Nose Best, Union Rags, Went The Day Well and Dullahan. Many of those 11 could have been favored in many past KD's. What a great betting race this will be. On many of the above horses, you may never again see odds as high as you will get on them in this year's KD.

If I was forced to name my top 3 now, I'd pick Union Rags, Alpha, and Gemologist.

16 Apr 2012 12:06 PM

Draynay Alpha is the same as Gemologist (a horse I like btw but do not think has a shot to win the KY Derby) when you look at there splits they just are to slow. You cant like Alpha and not like Gemologist. You either think both them are going to run big or you look at the Wood Memorial turn times and say no thanks to slow... and move on. I think your on to something about Gemologist being to slow but in turn you have to think the same when it comes to Alpha as well. Just saying is all...

16 Apr 2012 12:06 PM
Carlos in Cali

"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 an inhaler. Dray your on point this year keep it up! My picks optimizer, Najjar".

It aint easy being good! 12 Apr 2012 4:36 PM  

I will take Optimizer and laugh all the way to the bank Carlos in 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!

It aint easy being good! 13 Apr 2012 11:31 AM                                

"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."

Draynay 12 Apr 2012 7:43 PM                                 It looks like it's too late for some.

"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 Optimizer and Najjar get knuckeld-up too... lol.Good times!"

Carlos in Cali 12 Apr 2012 8:45 PM                                  

"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."

Mike Monarchos 13 Apr 2012 12:30 AM                                  I hope you cashed on that tri Mike.

16 Apr 2012 12:19 PM

I'm still not sold on Dullahan.  Kent really had to push him to finally kick into gear.  Hansen set the fractions...but..I noticed his stride shorten in the final furlong.  Then I have to consider everything that erupted around Hansen on the morning of the race.  Dyed his tail blue, undyed his tail blue, stewards coming to the barn to take away the dyes, an argument between the idiot Doctor and the trainer...isn't morning a time when you want your colt to relax before the big race?  For all the colt had to endure, he still managed to run his race.

As far as Dullahan, I thought that once he was reminded of what he was there for, he had a great late kick.  But I really, really don't like the way he was handled by Desormeaux, especially with that abrupt stop.  Kent said if he didn't pull him up, he would have kept running.  So?  He needed to work off the adrenalin.  Mr. Excuses always has one...and I've grown weary of the constant flow of excuses.  He whines when he doesn't win, and hasn't learned how to win graciously.  I thought the Bluegrass field was deep.

Bodemeister and Mike Smith will make for a potent duo.  He's bred so well, and Mike is on top of his game, and one of the best horsemen I've seen.  Secret Circle is bred to go long, but still doesn't seem to know it.  Those erratic moves just tell he he was a very tired colt.  The rest of the Arkansas field was non-descript.

According to HRTV last night, only Wrote will not be coming to the Ky. Derby, but Daddy Long Legs is still aiming for it.

My pick for the Derby?  Lava Man...who will be the best looking horse there, although probably not the calmest.  (Oh to be 3 again! Ain't he something? )      

16 Apr 2012 12:42 PM
Aaron McC

As I posted earlier, I don't think that this was that bad of a race for Hansen, except he didn't get to practice rating. I wonder if all the speed coming at him on the outside into the first turn was a deciding factor in Dominguez letting him go on.  And looking at how the pack bunched up behind, that was probably a good decision, to avoid traffic problems.  

What I do question, though, is how much the race took out of him.  Some of you have said, not much.  And I know he was hand ridden the last sixteenth. But if I'm not mistaken, Dominguez hit him a few times at the top of the stretch (though my video quality isn't the best, and maybe he just fanned him ....) But I wonder if they asked him for more run than they should have, honestly, three weeks out ....

To me, though, the difference may be enough to take him from third to fourth in the bottom of exotics.  I do think Dullahan is a better horse, if there's a good pace up front and though I love the local boy made good (I'm stabled up the road from Turfway) I'm glad to see Dullahan run to some high expectations.

16 Apr 2012 1:11 PM

Daddy Long Legs and Wrote are both staying in Europe to race and will NOT be in Louisville. Which means Mark Veleski and Rousing Sermon are in. One more defection and ElPadrino gets in and as someone else said I think it likely Liason or Drill will not run.

Criminal Type 15 Apr 2012 7:26 PM.


10:35 am.

Updated 11;06 a.m. ET.

While trainer Aidan O'Brien will send Daddy Long Legs to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, stable mate Wrote will stay at home.

This according to HRTV's Millie Ball, who tweeted the information Sunday evening.

16 Apr 2012 1:23 PM

Drill, Wrote are out, Trinniberg is almost out, Prospective is 50/50, Daddy Long Legs is on the plane from the UK. that is news for now

16 Apr 2012 1:48 PM
Point Given


I believe Drayno will pick this year's Derby winner before the triple crown winner.Reason? He will pick all 20 of them.

16 Apr 2012 1:49 PM

Lasix being phased out ?  I use this as a handicapping angle, I look at horses who are running on first time lasix but to be honest, this is where my "stupidity" comes out.  I honestly don't know if Lasix is good or bad for the horse.  I understand that lasix is used to prevent bleeding.   Things like this I rely on other smart people on these blogs to tell me, and yes, you can call me stupid but only if you're one of the smart ones lol.

I do agree with the decision though, horses don't get medications in the wild so I think they'll survive without it.  If they can't, they shouldn't be racing the horse.

Draynay : Watch the Sunland Derby again.  Castaway and Ender K set fractions of 22:  46: and 1:10.  The race was set up for DNB and IHC.  The only horse that DNB beat in that race was Isn't He Clever and he was all out to beat IHC.  Even if they run that fast in the KY Derby, I doubt DNB will be able to close at 10F.  Watch the Arkansas Derby and see where IHC ended up at.  You're saying Bode beat average horses ?  That means DNB beat even less.

KY Vet will downplay any horse out there except Creative Cause because he's the only one left alive on his KDFW bet.  He's very nervous that CC might not win and his status of PRO will be tarnished.  El Padrino has a shot to get in.  As much as I like EP, I think Todd should save him for the Belmont and try to play the spoiler for Union Rags' guaranteed Triple Crown win.

16 Apr 2012 1:55 PM


16 Apr 2012 2:11 PM

If Secret Circle wins the Derby the Breeders Cup Juvenile will be everyone's second choice to the Breeders Cup Juvenile Sprint.

16 Apr 2012 2:24 PM

This is going to be another Ky Derby with good betting possibilties for the astute or lucky handicapper. Sorry draynay that means you are poop outta luck again.

Gotta love the way Dullahan has finished in both of his last two. Unless he draws the 1 hole or gets stuck way outside he's going to be a factor on his best. Traffic and his ability to avoid trouble will play a big role.

Hansen ran a big race on Saturday as well. A more sensible pace in the Derby would make him likely to hang around for a long time.

Bodemeister won like he should have in the Ark. Derby. He was one of the easiest ones to single in 3 yr old prep race all year. Anyone who bet against him, thank you for your donations to my retirement fund. I avoided the short win, exacta, and trifecta payoffs and nailed it in the super. Bode's got his work cut out for him in 3 weeks but i don't count him out either.

Going back to the Wood my impression is that Gemologist didn't finish very fast and has never run particularly fast anyway and that Alpha had some trouble on the first turn that cost him the race. Coming with a gap of 2 months since his last race I think he's more likely to move further forward on May 5th.  

Between i'll Have Another and Creative Cause I give the nod to the former. Here is another who racing after over 2 months since his last proved beat on SA Derby Day. If Creative Cause was from the Baffert or Romans barn I'd be all over him. Since he's from the Mike Harrington barn I have to discount his chances.n They have fooled around too much with him, blinkers on, blinkers off, not sure but leaning to off in the Derby it's tough to have confidence that they are capable of training him to be at his peak at the right time. Gutty horse, iffy trainer in perspective. I feel bad for the owner who gets his once in a lifetime horse and has to settle for possibly the worst trainer in this years Derby. I know it worked for MTB but I most likely won't be betting on it again.

Daddy Nose Best. After playing musical Jockeys I still think he's a legit closer and dangerous.

draynays Mark Valeski don't look so good especially after Hero Of Order finished last against some pretty weak horses outside of the top 2 in the Blue Grass. I don't recall ever seeing a horse win a Million Dollar G2 race and next out against a field of 13 mostly untested 3 yr olds end up the 3rd longest shot at over 42/1 on the board. That was comical and I didn't really consider it an overlay.

Take Charge Indy will be overbet on Derby Day so that makes him much less attractive. Union Rags still intrigues me but has never been the slam dunk draynay believes, but that's nothing new.

Something to ponder for anyone who considers trends in betting. I believe that 17 of the last 20 Derby exacta finishers have NOT included horses who finished 1-2 in the same final prep before the Derby. In the 3 Derby exactas that did include 1-2 finishers from the same final prep, the horse finishing lower in the prep turned the tables and won the Derby.

Also 16 of the last 20 horses (80%)who placed in the Derby have been bet at 14/1 or less. That might include up to 7 or 8 horses but if you like a long shot or one of those to win it eliminates a whole lot of wasted bets if you use a partial wheel instead of a full wheel and you can double your bets and still pay less. Over the years it pays off extremely well.

I'm really wondering about the two Europeans, Daddy Long Legs and Wrote. What's the talk about them Jason? Perhaps an informative update about them before Haskins beats you to the punch.    

16 Apr 2012 3:30 PM
Rusty Weisner

That is wonderful news, CriminalType.  Where'd you read that?  That's two more horses I don't have to agonize about, replaced by two horses much easier to throw out.

16 Apr 2012 3:48 PM
Rusty Weisner

This final week made some choices easier in devising how to play the Derby on pick-5, -4 and -3 tickets.(standard disclaimer: workouts, weather, track condition, post positions tbd).  I can throw out Hansen;  I didn't expect him to win, but I didn't expect him to be blown by like that; his odds are better, anyway, for those who like him; I would have liked him at decent odds but now prefer Bode and IHA as potential winners on the pace.  Daddy Nose Best now sounds like the wise guy horse around here, but I'm pushing him off my tickets because Isn't He Clever's non-performance further reveals that field as a weak one, and he benefited from a duel there, too.  Not to mention it was Sunland Park; maybe Borel will switch to him and it will rain, though.  

I'm probably going to go with a couple of broad generalities in winnowing the field.  If the track doesn't have last year's quicksand quality I'm going to take a stand against closers and bet that a leader of stalking type will win.  I'll deprecate the closers.  I'll also face the fact that the California horses are dominant.  So, I'll have a ticket where I key a horse in the Derby -- probably either Creative Cause or I'll Have Another, but not sure.  On tickets where I key another race I'll probably have CC, IHA, Bode, Gem and UR on the ticket; I wouldn't have included Bodemeister if anyone had been catching up to him to make a race of it.  I prefer this better-pedigreed front-runner to Hansen now, as well as TCI, a victor over a biased track against...Reveron.  Not a very imaginative top five, but I'm also foreclosing on the option of late speed.  I'll probably play pick-3's as a hedge and include Dullahan and Alpha there.  But I don't think Dullahan will necessarily replicate that Bluegrass move at Churchill (will watch the BCJ again), and in any case I'll be betting he'll have too much catching up to do. Notwithstanding, I think Done Talking will hit the board; his workmanlike haul down that long stretch amid all the weaving, staggering horses reminded me of Derby replays (I find Coldfacts convincing on his score).  Horses I'll more serenely toss include Padrino (victor over Mark Valeski, who lost to Hero of Order), Prospective, many others.  I'll include Union Rags solely by virtue of the fact that reasonable people are telling me he could be the next Triple Crown winner ;-).  He hasn't hit a 100 Beyer and his fields this year have looked little better than the Arkansas Derby field; but he's beaten most of the big names except the white one.

Anyway, I feel good about it!  I didn't cash any tickets on the two big races this weekend, but I only bet $40, and who says it's all about winning money anyway, hardy har.  I put Dullahan over 40-1 Hero of Order/all in the Bluegrass (no shame in losing, as long as you're not losing on chalk), while I got a dose of confidence from my take on the Arkansas Derby, the way the class and speed would rule with the surface and dimensions at Oaklawn (I had keyed trifectas with Bodemeister over Cozzetti and Secret Circle/Stat, and boxed trifectas with the same variations -- I couldn't believe, by the way, how many people liked the wretched Najjaar; I guess they were confusing him with Nehro).  Anyway, I won't be playing those silly, alluring, money-burning trifectas on Derby Day. I'll forgive myself for Saturday, though -- there's nothing like a little casual betting interest to focus your thoughts, whet your appetite for more, and keep in practice for the big day.

I have a bad feeling we'll have downpours though.  The East is enduring drought that will have to break sooner or later.  

16 Apr 2012 4:42 PM

Posted Feb 14th 7:30

Speaking of "even splits" how about Baffert/Zayat stable's Bodemeister?  Nice maiden win by finishing up the mile in 134 and change.  Flying under the radar.


16 Apr 2012 6:42 PM

Time changes very little.  The trainers endorsement means nothing and the public is wrong (as evident by the para-mutual) 90% of the time.

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).

So the quality on the East Coast is damn good Sylvester?  

16 Apr 2012 6:53 PM

Draynay your looking at about 10-1 on Union Rags.  It was the "perfect storm" of preps if you still have faith in that one. You will become very rich.  Too rich to be giving out all your free wagering advice to people on some blog.  

16 Apr 2012 7:00 PM

So is Hansen's blue tail in or out for the Derby?  The "tail" and Baffert's little kid will be soaking up all the press.  I feel bad for the little guy.  He looks like he just wants a hot dog and a few rounds in the bouncy house.  

16 Apr 2012 7:03 PM
Rusty Weisner

Some of the long comments on this thread are really erudite and esoteric (not mine!) -- LAZMANNICK, the_wiz, papillon, others.

I really get good information at this site that I might otherwise miss.  Notably, I left the screen after the Bluegrass and never saw Dullahan pulled up.  Likewise, I caught a glance of Bodemeister kind of panting after an abbreviated gallop out, but wasn't quite sure (I watched this one on network tv and didn't catch a long shot of it); someone here confirmed that, thanks.

I don't think I'm going to consider Hansen a possible winner, but I like papillon's post above.

16 Apr 2012 7:06 PM
Matthew W

Mike Harrington has fine tuned Creative Cause as good as you can--including Baffert! The blinkers off before SA Derby was because he wanted them off for Kentucky, and he didn't care as much to win SA Derby as he is The Ky Derby--he wants to be off the pace more in The Derby--a strategy I agree with! I like his chances! I like I'll Have Another even more! Two giant races so far--the Feb 4th race, when you compare times/splits of other races run that day--races like The Strub, and an allowance race featuring Setsuko--and he looks like something very special! Watching him train, like a smart horse who "gets it", as far as TRUSTING his handlers--he waits, ears telepathing eagerness but patience--seeing that made me confident he would run well in SA Derby--I also thought, with Creative Cause removing the blinks--he would have a big lead over the favorite at top of the stretch--but Creative came up the rail and was drawn abreast of him, and I'll Have Another had to show me what else he had--the ability to outrun/hang with a more seasoned horse of quality--I'll Have Another is in good hands--Doug O'Neil has developed alw milers like Sky Jack and Lava Man--two Cal-bred speed horses--and he taught them how to relax, how to better use their talents, and that is a special skill! How many two-turn, Gr1, 1 1/4 races have Baffert, Pletcher, Zito and Lukas won with Cal-bred alw/high priced claimers?! I think O'Neil has won seven with those two alone! I love it when I have a horse that I really like going into The Derby, and I really like I'll Have Another!

16 Apr 2012 7:08 PM

A key race is the San Felipe.  Go back and look at Bodemeister sitting off the cheap speed, a 46 and change half.  There is no reason Baffert would have him up front ding donging it out with Hansen.  I can hear Baffert's instructions now.  Ride out to Creative Cause and don't let him pass you.  Everything else will quit.

16 Apr 2012 7:16 PM

Creative Cause looks like he was taking a shower or something out there before he caught Bodemeister in the San Felipe.  Hence, the blinks off for the Santa Anita Derby.  Giant's Causway and Empire Maker with lots of stamina on CC and Bode's female line. What could be better? I think CC's line was running 1 3/4 on the turf way back when.  Ready, set, match.

16 Apr 2012 7:22 PM

If you're betting on Bode or Gem you are going to lose.  They have no depth and the Derby requires it.

Union Rags is the horse to beat and the work put in by DNB tells me he will be ready to roll in 3 weeks.  Lightly raced horses are not for me in the Derby and if you are talent will win it won't.  Experience is what matters.

16 Apr 2012 7:27 PM

Optimizer/Isn't He Clever/  Prospective/Ever So Lucky/Nehro

0-5 Derby Master. So, what did you win this weekend? $5,000???

I notice you are starting to sprinkle my bets into "your picks". I guess it is what it is..... Different site. Same results. Alpha... MY PICK!!! You have Union Rags as the monster, can't lose, guaranteed Ky Derby winner. Don't start backing up with MY PICKS now.

16 Apr 2012 7:37 PM
Karen in Texas

ksweatman9----They are not going to geld Hansen because they are going to stand him at stud! Dr. Hansen has already subscribed the horse to Truenicks. Please review the Truenicks blogs for further information.

jayjay----A couple of months ago both El Kabong and I brought up the idea of Terpsichorist on one of Jason's blogs. I know footlick has mentioned her more recently, but I linked an Alan Porter analysis of UR's pedigree back then and will link it again now. Terpsichorist set records at 11 and 13 furlongs if I remember correctly.

thomas----I don't believe Dullahan broke the Blue Grass record shared by Skip Away and Round Table. Their  times were ~1:47.4 on the dirt surface. Dullahan's time of 1:47.9 is certainly the fastest since the Polytrack was installed in 2006 though.

16 Apr 2012 7:58 PM

Even after his impressive finish in the Blue Grass Dullahan still has a large number of doubters – he hasn’t won on dirt – many don’t like the way he pulled up – it took a lot of effort on Kent’s behalf to get him going.  

In the Palm Beach Dullahan wasn’t ridden out either.  After the wire he lopped along to the club house turn and then Kent took him to the outside fence.  In the Blue Grass he ran up the inside around the turn, made his way out a bit off the rail turning into the stretch, split horses in early stretch and then Kent got into him with the whip a few times to get him rolling and he was an easy winner.

As for Kent pulling him up, I thought it was kind of strange when I first saw it, like maybe he suffered some type of an injury, but obviously he’s okay or else Romans wouldn’t be talking like he is.  It’s interesting to note that from what I could see Ramon didn’t ride Hansen out after the wire either.

As for the dirt worries, and the fact that he ran on dirt three times at CD at the beginning of his career without a win, I say so what.  Many people are on Daddy Nose Best’s bandwagon and yet in Dullahan’s first two races at CD on dirt, Daddy Nose best was also in those races and they took turns finishing ahead of each other without either of them winning.  And in the BC Juvenile itself, he outran the field from the half mile pole home and in the stretch run when they were all, all out, he outran Hansen, Union Rags, Creative Cause and Take Charge Indy.  This at least shows that he can handle the dirt track.

This is going to be a competitive Derby with many legitimate challengers.  This is one colt I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss.

16 Apr 2012 8:52 PM

Karen in Texas,

You're right, that youngster (late April foal) called "Bode" is a beast in the making.  I just wonder if the Kentucky Derby comes up a little too soon after his big effort in the Arkansas Derby. I hope Bob Baffert figures it out because if he'll be better waiting on the Preakness for another monster effort, that would be the right thing to do knowing what quality of horse he is. Anyway Derby fever is very hard to overcome.

The last Derby field that looked as competitive with as much quality as this one was in 2001 when Monarchos almost equalled Secretariat's track record in defeating Invisible Ink, Congaree, Point Given and company. I still rate Union Rags as the best of the crop and I believe that trainer Michael Matz has him on a similar build up as Barbaro ...and he (UR) could be better.  Can't wait.

16 Apr 2012 9:19 PM


You made a few excellent points about Hansen.

I remember hearing Billy Turner, the trainer of Seattle Slew, talking once about the need to get a speed horse off of the rail in the stretch in a 2 turn race. There is a habit for the horse to lock in on the rail and his outside becomes a blind spot. Jocks keep them there to save ground.

The same thing happened to Hard Spun in the Ky Derby. They were concerned with SS riding the rail home but HS was a midtrack runner who waited for horses to come to him in the stretch. He never saw Street Sense coming. And after they clicked heels when SS passed him and went to the rail (which caused HS to bobble)HS actually closed ground on SS going to the wire.

They used to make a big deal about staying off the rail against a stone cold closer and ALWAYS watch to your outside or force the closer to the rail. It got Seabiscuit beat in the movie and in real life and it is something no one really talks about any more...

You move the horse AWAY from the rail so he can see horses coming over his shoulder. In the stretch there is too much noise for the horse to hear footsteps, and the LAST place a good racehorse should be looking is to his outside or his is gawking at the crowd.

I am not saying Hansen would have won due to that insane 3rd split, but it would have been closer and Hansen would have quickened. Maybe it is for the best because that may have starched the colt for the Derby. That is a tiring track that is hard to wire at 9f.

16 Apr 2012 9:47 PM

Lazmannick and GunBow,

Good posts. And don't forget, Hansen actually ran a faster final 3/8s than Bodemeister, most likely because he flew through that 3rd quarter split in 24.14 with his stablemate pressing him.

Regardless, it is important to keep things in perspective. I think if Dullahan takes to dirt he is a major threat. Remember, however, that horses always fly home off the pace in the BGS and look great doing it in great come home times. See: Monba, Brilliant Speed, Stately Victor, General Quarters, and don't forget Dominican ran down Street Sense.

How did those horses do in the Derby? And BTW, Bloodhorse's own Steve Haskin usually picks the BGS winner in his top 3 every year. He even had Monba to win (who finished dead last). Proceed with caution...

Lets hope Dullahan does better on dirt than in the BC Juvenile. If he does, he is to be feared and will be bucking the trend that the winner of the BGS is not relevant.

16 Apr 2012 10:11 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Hansen the horse doesn't need to be and won't be gelded but gelding Hansen the owner could help Hansen the horse to relax. Hansen very well could have been upset with the Beauty Salon antics, and just wanted to run off steam as quickly as possible. Leave the kid alone !!!!!!!

16 Apr 2012 10:53 PM
Bob from Boston

GUN BOW AND LAZMANNICK's posts avaliable next week in paperback.....

KY VET 15 Apr 2012 11:22 PM

Post of the Month.  Congratulations, KY VET.  Jason will be sending you a set of 2 Derby glasses from 1998.  Again, congratulations.

16 Apr 2012 10:55 PM
El Kabong

Billy EEEE,

Fair enough. But the dirt thing does not concern me one bit and here's why. In the BCJ, he had a bad start and in a 1 1/16 race with that much talent, he didn't stand a chance. Heck, even with a good start I don't think he wins or places but would if he finishes better than 4th? Not a big leap considering his pace at the end of that race and that was at a distance that compromises his talent. This guy is a classic and Romans know it. Why do you think he came back off his layoff and ran two 9F's ?  That's right, not worth running 1 1/16 th, you won't see his value. Now as for dirt itself, he would not have finished 4th against that crowd if he wasn't capable of running well on dirt. That crowd was suited well for that distance. Besides, with his earnings, they would have run him on dirt this campaign if it was a question. It's not. He needed two 9F's and turf and poly are less taxing on the frame. Romans may look like a bearded Fred Flintstone, but he's going to be worshiped for this campaign. Just a thought. I'm still saving you a seat cuz I know you're not racing with cups. Can't wait to get your reports, even if I don't like what I hear. All good.  Onward and upwards!

16 Apr 2012 11:00 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

   I thought maybe you were Bob but Bob wears glasses so you can't be the same person.

16 Apr 2012 11:07 PM

Can Bodemeister overcome the dismal record of Storm Cat broodmares in the Derby? Why pose this question after such a dominating performance by the colt? What do the Colt Facts reflect about talented horses from Storm Cat broodmares that have made the Derby cut? Well, there have not been a lot and my records are limited to the few below:

Dialed In: Derby Preps won -

Florida Derby (150.07), Holy Bull (1:35.19) finished 8th in Derby

Sidney’s Candy: Derby Preps won -

Santa Anita Derby: (1:48.00), San Felipe: (1:42.30), San Vincent (1:20.91) finished 17th in Derby

Nobiz like Showbiz: Derby Preps won -

Holy Bull (1:35.47) 3rd Fountain Of Youth) finished 10th in Derby

The above sampling is small but is loaded with quality. Dialed In was sired by HOY Mineshaft; Sidney’s Candy was sired by record setting and undefeated Candy Ride; Nobiz like Showbiz was sired  by Albert The Great who finished 4th& 3rd in consecutive BCC.

Bodemeister is a nice colt but he is the product of a Storm Cat mare and that’s a big negative for me. Storm Cat has a broodmare band of about 300. They have produced some excellent horses but these horses seem to have a strained relationship with the Derby. In spite of the success of the Northern Dancer broodmare line in the Derby and TC, the Storm Cat arm has not made a contribution in the win department.  Bodemeister therefore has an additional Derby negative to overcome.  His impressive performance is not dissimilar to those of Dialed In and Sidney’s Candy. I fully expect Bodemeister’s supporters to state he is better than Dialed In and Sidney’s Candy. Well, Sidney’s Candy was not shipped out of CA in order to get graded earning to make the Derby cut. I cannot see this colt leading home this field.

16 Apr 2012 11:21 PM
El Kabong

KY Vet,

Paperback writer comment was a damn funny.

You are the saltiest poster I've ever known. Please, pretty please with cheese on the bottom and sauce on top, don't change.

16 Apr 2012 11:31 PM

El Kabong

I really like this guy and think that many are continuing to underestimate him .  But then, this promises to be the most competitve Derby in a long time and with such a big field and the expected traffic problems that many wiill have to deal with I think that anyone of ten or so could win this, it is that deep.

17 Apr 2012 12:25 AM
Mike Monarchos


Do you know what I know? I know that you don't know half of what you think you know. And even Daddy Nose best knows that. And he's one of the horses that you know is going to run well in the Derby. What you don't know though is that Gemologist and Bodemeister will both be in the top four at the finish line of the Kentucky Derby!

Here's something else you didn't know Mr. Know-It-All: Gemologist won the Wood when you said he couldn't. And Bodemeister won the Arkansas Derby when you said he would wouldn't. As a member of mensa I would think that you would know that you don't know half as much about picking horses in these Derby preps as you think you know. This may sound redundant, but that's common KNOWledge on  Jason's blogs.

Jason, you are not hated, but we all KNOW who is!

I think I just set a track record for the use of th


17 Apr 2012 12:28 AM
Mike Monarchos

Draynay, a/k/a "Derby Master,

I try, I REALLY try not to let your comments bother me (that was in my best Billy Jack voice). But when I see how utterly stupid they are I just go beserk! That was more Billy Jack.

I know that you must know that you don't actually know anything about horse racing. Even one of the horses that you like, Daddy Nose Best, knows that.

You posted above that you know, or at least think you know that there's no way that either Gemologist or Bodemeister will win the Kentucky Derby. Is it because you're a member of mensa that makes you know that? Here's something that you didn't know though about those two colts "Derby Master": You said that neither Gem or Bodemeister would win their last Grade 1 Derby preps. We all now know that you didn't know that Mr. Know-It-All! One thing I do know though is that this post is waxing somewhat poetic.

Here's something else I know Mr. Know-It-All Derby Master: Gem and Bodemeister will will both hit the board in the Kentucky Derby.

Jason, you're not hated on your blogs. We all know who is though, don't we? Here's something else I know: I  have, no doubt, set a record on these blogs for the  use of the word KNOW!

17 Apr 2012 1:23 AM

No one gelds a pony because they are anxious in the post parades. They geld them when it becomes impossible to train and work with them which results in problems on the track, problems that keep the horse out of the winner's circle. You know, I'm curious. We idolize European horses who are milers, like Goldikova, Frankel, but when it is suggested that an American bred thoroughbred is a miler, people act like the pony has leprosy. Seriously, what's up with that attitude? It doesn't make sense to me. Am I the only one who sees problems for a colt who runs as fast as he can for as long as he can? If this is the only way Hansen is going to run, they have to consider distance for the sake of keeping him sound.

17 Apr 2012 9:43 AM

Hey El Kabong! I saw on Haskin's blog you talked about the horses not running in the Derby b/c of injury, Fed Biz, Algorithms, and Out of Bounds. The one we all need to watch out for this summer is Overdriven. He has been working steadily at Palm meadows, with works every 7 days, each a second faster than the previous work, and the distance increasing every 2 -3 works.(worked 5 panels Saturday in 101 and 2)I don't know what they have planned for him, but I am anticipating his return.

17 Apr 2012 9:48 AM

Jason - would love to get your take on Bodemeister's Arkansas Derby.

17 Apr 2012 9:52 AM

Can someone with more knowledge of the breeding industry than me please explain how the powers that be allow Empire Maker to be sold to Japan?  Seems to me he has produced a ton on good runners.

I guess I must not know something.  Same reason I'm confused as to why horses like Afleet Alex, Birdstone and Point Given don't get better mares/higher fees when they all seemed to come out of the gate firing so to speak.

17 Apr 2012 10:09 AM

Pedigree analysis typically confuses me.  I took a look at pedigrees, however, and in my simple mind it appears as if this group of horses are long in Derby pedigrees.  None moreso than I'll Have Another.  Am I right on this?  Pedigree experts Pedigree Ann, Coldfacts, Ranagulzion, give me some help here.  We basically know the field of 20.  Top 3 pedigrees?

17 Apr 2012 10:21 AM

Pedigree Ann, JayJay:

I only played the ex box in the Arkansas Derby, it still kept me ahead for both of the preps.  I'll try the tri in the Derby after settling on my top 5.


So Union Rags is a guaranteed Triple Crown winner?  I hope you're right.  We have our tickets and will be at the Belmont and I hope the 34 year old jinx is broken this year.  I think Bodemeister would have to be included in Triple Crown talk off that performance in the AD but it's all fun speculation at this point.  How are you doing in the RTTR?

Dullahan: I have no problem with Kent pulling him up the way he did.  He had a freight train underneath him and closed better and ran down Hansen a lot easier than even the rider expected,IMO,  and he wanted to conserve that steam for the Derby, smart move. I went back and looked at the BCJ and Dullahan came from way back at CD and gained steadily to be 4th by 6.  I have concerns that Dullahan will transfer that same explosive kick to the dirt at CD since his only two wins have been at Keeneland.  Will keep an eye on him.  But Dullahan was the best looking individual in the post parade.  Prospective looked too relaxed, not his bouncy, ready to run look before the Tampa Bay Derby.

Hansen: is a headstrong horse who has shown he can rate,if need be, but Ramon was given the gift of the lead and was not going to back off. All the juvenile pre-race antics did not help Hansen.  Would like to have been a fly on the shoulder during the conversation between the good Doctor and his trainer.  Having the Juvenile champ and the favorite for the Blue Grass in your barn and having all that go on apparently without your knowledge makes me question the security and control Mike Maker has over his charge.  This fiasco should never have made it to that point.  Having said all that, I don't belive Hansen will last at 10F, especially with the pace pressure setting up for the Derby.

Bodemeister:  Will he bounce after 3 triple Beyers?, or is he a monster who is just coming to hand?  Stay tuned.

Coldfacts: thanks for your input on Najjaar but I could not see him competing with these.  But you are spot on about Secret Circle.  As much as I have liked him and followed him, he is not a 10F horse and for his sake I hope Baffert and the owners do not put him in the Derby.

My top 5 for now and subject to change:


Union Rags



I'll Have Another.  My concern about IHA will be his ability to maintain his edge, shipping to CD and a new track, especilly if the Derby is an off track.  He has not shipped well in the past.

This is as well-matched a Derby field as I have seen in a long time.  An exciting few weeks ahead.  

Dr. Drunkinbum:  I may need a new prescription soon for this Derby Fever.  I know your advice in the past has been that the fever cannot be cured but only treat the symptons, but my bottle of Woodford Reserve is almost on empty, may have to go to Templeton Rye until a refill.  

Linda in Texas: good to see you back.  

17 Apr 2012 11:30 AM
Ted from LA

The only time a jockey or trainer is telling the truth is when they are calling another jockey or trainer a liar.

17 Apr 2012 11:30 AM
Age of Reason

"As always, I've made my comments on here with decorum, but reciprocating seems to be lost on many of you." (--Sylvester, 16 Apr 10:17 AM) So referring to Lazmannick, Higgins, Steve, Jayjay et al as childish and not on the adult level is tactful and appropriate, is it? And of course, referring as you did to America's biggest international stage for horse racing (California) as "tiddlywinks" is perfect "decorum", I'm sure. California horses ran 1-2 in the Arkansas Derby (G1), swept both divisions of the Southwest (G3)together with the Apple Blossom (G1) and Fantasy (G2). Yet the best you can do is pick out one horse with only one start (out of 17) coming in California and pass judgment that all California horses are trash, because of one runner who ran second in the Oaklawn 'Cap to a classic horse-for-the-course whom nobody was beating that day? Did anybody ever tell you not to "paint with a broad brush"? Did it never occur to you that the only East Coast older male to win a G1 this year was up the track? Excuse me while I spit and gag. I could go on all day and point out many other examples of your willing ignorance, but I don't want to be perceived as shooting fish in a barrel. More like shooting guppies in a teacup. As an aside, though, I noticed your statement, "As soon as Plum Pretty lines up against HDG or Awesome Maria at no more than a 3 lb. spread, she will lose. She can beat up on California fillies like Zazu [who turned the tables on PP in the Hollywood Oaks, btw] but she better stay away from those two." You are defending HDG's 2012 campaign (or glaring lack thereof, as of yet) with mere subjective speculation on races that've never been run; and how convenient that you just happened to pick out the actual 3 lb. spread. After the New Orleans Ladies (apparently HDG can only run where she gives weight to allowance horses), everybody was saying "Havre de Grace will run in the Apple Blossom. Trust me." Now we're getting the spin that the La Troienne is a much better spot (lesser grade, less, save her for later, etc.--and it will continue no matter what she does, no matter many more G3 Obeahs she runs in or how many more times she gets beat by daylight in the Breeders Cup. Since you're all about maturity and adult-level, factually-based discussion, I would love to hear you give an intelligent rebuttal of what I've said; no arrogance or hubris or playing the he's-name-calling card, or refusing to respond as if we are peasants somehow beneath you. Thoughts?

17 Apr 2012 1:20 PM
Pedigree Ann

Rusty - Kentucky is not 'The East!' In fact, for the first couple of decades of this country's history, it was 'The West!' Being south of the Ohio, it is not a part of the Mid-West (a term that came into circulation after the western boundary moved beyond the Mississippi.) Nor it a piece of the Old South (Atlantic coastal states) nor the Deep South (Gulf Coast states). Mid-South is probably the best term.

17 Apr 2012 1:54 PM

Mike Battaglia was quoted as saying the morning line favorite won't be lower than 5-1 or 6-1.  That sounds delicious!

I think either Gemologist or Union Rags will take the favorite role.  I'll guess that Dullahan and Bodemeister will probably go off at around 8-1 or higher.  There's a lot of UR fans out there that's currently in hiding because of his performance in the Florida Derby but they'll come out in full force and bet the farm on Union Rags.  Good luck to them! :)  Betting public might actually forget about Creative Cause and let him go off at 12-1 or higher.  I wonder what Daddy Long Legs odds will be.  Been awhile since he raced, so he's definitely a forgotten horse.  If luck finds me and SC wins, I'll have to thank Bodemeister for getting him out of the spotlight.  SC's loss in the Arkansas Derby will pretty much ensure that he gets off at no less than 15-1.

17 Apr 2012 3:13 PM

Mike Monarchos - fantastic Billy Jack references.  I'm a big fan of Born Losers and Billy Jack.  Even caught Billy Jack Goes to Washington the other day.

17 Apr 2012 4:15 PM


You continue to surprise me in a negative way this derby season. Bodemeister is obviously your best chance of a Raise a Native line Kentucky derby winner this year and you are shunning him? Unbelievable.

Unless of course you have finally begun to accept my prediction that the RAN line will be shut out of the winner's circle for the second year running, and a Northern Dancer line colt will take home the bacon. Come on Bro "fess up" and agree with me for a change.

17 Apr 2012 4:28 PM

I must have been out watching a live race and missed some of the footage before the Bluegrass.  But, I still think Hansen didn't run a bad race at all.  He needs to relax a bit and we know he can.

It's just impossible now to pick from these horses there are so many to like.  And, even more important, even more who have a real chance to win the Derby.  I'll have to watch their workouts before any decisions.  One really important factor this year will be the jockey.  I have great reservations about Kent D and absolutely love Mike Smith. I love the way he handles his horses with such respect.  That will be a big factor in my choices.

17 Apr 2012 4:31 PM
Karen in Texas

Ranagul----Yes, 2001 looked to be strong, but so did 2007. Street Sense, Hard Spun, and Curlin all had shown lots of promise prior to May.

Dr.Drunkinbum----I had precisely the same thought about Hansen's owner, but didn't quite know how to express it politely. You did well! Mike Maker and Dr. Hansen appear to be polar opposites in personality, and I suspect Maker could be more effective in the horse's training regimen if Dr.H let both horse and trainer do their respective jobs. Maker seems to have handled an increasingly "manic" scenario okay up to this point.

17 Apr 2012 5:14 PM
Bob from Boston

I think they should geld Hansen for sure (the owner).  Then paint them blue, and auction them off at a fundraiser.

17 Apr 2012 5:31 PM

Draynay The colts dont race enough and have a lot of time off I hope you dont base your picks on foundation, if you do then you will leave out the late developer, like Animal Kingdom and Nero were last year the 2011 Derby Exacta.

17 Apr 2012 6:15 PM


Very good insights in your post 16,April 2012, 10:11pm

17 Apr 2012 6:29 PM


How many Kentucky Derby wins does Mike Smith have?  How many Kentucky Derby wins does Kent D have?

17 Apr 2012 6:35 PM
Mike Monarchos


Those were great movies. I loved Billy Jack! It would be nice to stand right next to a punk with his pants down below his crotch and say, I'm going to take my right foot and kick you in the left side of your face! But maybe it's just me that goes nuts when I see punks and grown men drdssed that way.  It's disrespectful!

Wow, that was a little off the topic of horse racing!

So here's my top five:

1. Bodemeister - a freak who could wire em in the Derby. Baffert knew what he had when he named the colt after his son.

2. Gemologist - the only undefeated colt left on the Derby trail. He's big, tough and determined like his dad Tiznow.

3. Creative Cause - He should like the Derby distance.

4. Union Rags -  because I like Michael Matz, not because Draynay picked him.

5. Dullahan- His trainer said he likes the dirt at CD.

17 Apr 2012 6:47 PM
El Kabong


Correction Ranag, Coldfacts best chance at a Raise A Native line is Dullahan. Combined with the fact that Dullahans mommy is an unraced mare who's first foal was indeed a Derby winner, it is astounding to me that he has not been beating his proverbial blood line drum for this guy since day one. Luckily he has plenty of time to wake up and smell the roses that will lay on Dullahans back, with or without his approval.

17 Apr 2012 7:07 PM

Bob from Boston,

I'm betting they are already blue.

17 Apr 2012 7:10 PM


Apparently Juddmonte sold Empire Maker because they didn't have quick success with him.  He didn't nick well with their bloodlines.

I am sure they regret that now.

17 Apr 2012 7:50 PM

2:24- usually it is because the sire wasn't being supported as well as the connections would have liked and the money was too good to pass up.

17 Apr 2012 8:13 PM

Age of Reason - well said!!!  Thank you!!!

17 Apr 2012 8:23 PM

Mike, please don't think for a moment you know what I know.  Because I know that you know that I know more than you.  You know ?  I realize you're new at this so I started a site for people like you that need help and my expert analysis.  I did it to help those like you that actually believe horses like Gem and Bode have any shot at all.  May I remind you before the Arkansas Bode was nothing but a Maiden winner.  Gem and Bode will not be able to handle the pressure up front.  Keep looking at Union and DNB.

17 Apr 2012 8:39 PM

Papillion, I love your post!

17 Apr 2012 9:02 PM
Bob from Boston

longwaytomay, I was going to say the same thing, but didn't want to get censored by you know who.

What Hansen's owner does:

17 Apr 2012 9:05 PM
Ted from LA

What Hansen the owner should be doing:

17 Apr 2012 9:09 PM

Snow, you have a point about Kent and his numbers but, that doesn't mean he treats the horses with respect.  He is a rough rider and the way he pulled Dullahan up was dangerous and could have caused an injury very easily. I just prefer riders like Johnny V, Martin Garcia, Mike Smith, Shantal and Rosie and Calvin Borel. They always acknowledge the contribution of the horses they ride.

17 Apr 2012 9:13 PM

Bode doesn't impress me running a 111+ on a track that has been loving speed.  He will have to run faster in the Derby and I will be betting he can't.  I am the Derby Master so listen to everything I say.

17 Apr 2012 10:01 PM


“You continue to surprise me in a negative way this derby season. Bodemeister is obviously your best chance of a Raise a Native line Kentucky derby winner this year and you are shunning him? Unbelievable.”

My dear colleague you have not done your home work. The Mr. Prospector sire line is likely to have seven starters in the Derby. As bad as my Arithmetic might be, that equates to 35%. Likely Starters

Secret Circle, Dullahan, Done Talking, Ill Have Another, Bodemeister, Mark Valeski, Went The Day Well. If the connections of the LA Derby winner get the Derby fever that figure increases to eight. This quantity spells trouble for the rest of the field.

You know I have a lot of respect for the sire line and have compiled a lot of data on its past performance in the Derby in particular and Triple Crown in general. Bodemeister’s sire Empire Maker falls into category that is least productive for Mr. Prospector. Empire Maker is a great grandson of Mr. Prospector. Of the 35 victories recorded by Mr. Prospector sire line, only one grandson was involved i.e., Grindstone sire of Belmont winner Birdstone.

Bodemeister is combination of the least productive category for Mr. Prospector and the least productive arm of the prolific Northern Dancer broodmare line i.e., Storm Cat.

Mark Valeski and Went The Day have better chances of winning the Derby than Bodemeister. They were sired by grandsons of Mr. P and they represent his most productive category in TC race.

The Cold Facts reflect these negatives. I just report them and should not be labeled as being negative.

17 Apr 2012 10:16 PM

El Kabong,

Like he did in the BCJ, I think that Dullahan will be vying for a minor placing in the closing stages of the Derby. I cant see any colt closing pass Union Rags or Gemologist.  Only a colt that may be in front of this duo when turning for home, and blessed with a sustained finishing kick, has a chance of bettering these two IMO. Candidates could be Hansen, Bodemeister, I'll Have Another or a much improved Take Charge Indy. Others coming from behind like Creative Cause, Daddy Nose Best and Dullahan, or even Alpha will remain behind these two. I'm done talking (LOL).

17 Apr 2012 10:19 PM
El Kabong

Billy E,

Did he run after the Sanford?

17 Apr 2012 10:28 PM


“Unless of course you have finally begun to accept my prediction that the RAN line will be shut out of the winner's circle for the second year running”

My dear colleague those that under estimate the RAN/Mr. Prospector sire line do so at their own peril. Below are some Cold Facts:

In the 2011 Derby, the RAN sire line was represented by two starters. One finished 5th.

In the 2010 Derby, the RAN sire line was represented by nine starters. One finished 1st.

In the 2009 Derby, the RAN sire line was represented by ten starters. One finished 1st. Of the other 3 slots on the board two were occupied by RAN sire line. In fact Of the first eight to past the post in that Derby, six were from the RAN sire line.

In the 2003 Derby, the RAN sire line was represented by 6 starters. One finished 1st. The first three to past the post were from the RAN sire line.

In Derbies were the RAN/Mr. Prospector sire line is heavily represented the other sire line have no chance. I am now Done Talking and I’ll Have Another.

17 Apr 2012 11:01 PM

I hate to say it but Juddmonte is so deep in bloodstock and future bloodstock that I doubt they are regretting their decision.  I'm sure the Japanese paid a good price for him.  They usually do.

17 Apr 2012 11:05 PM
Mike Monarchos

Good try Dray!

You still don't know what you think you know though. I' m flattered that you would start a site just for me. You didn't have to do that though because I've been betting on horses for about 45 years now. The difference between the two of us is that I don't claim to be an expert handicapper. You do it on a daily basis Dray. Even that wouldn't be so bad if you were right at least 25 % of the time, but you're not. And you know your not! And I know that you know your not.  And Jason and everyone else on these blogs know that your not. YA KNOW?

Dray who's going to be running faster than Bode up front? Hansen? I don't think Dominguez will try to take the lead. Gemologist can rate just off the pace so he won't be there. Creative Cause and Union Rags will be stalking the leaders. I'll have another should be close. Bode might have to run a 23 second first quarter to get the lead, but he'll then slow down to 24 + quarters the rest of the way. I'm confident that he can do that, and if he does I don't think anybody can catch him. He's a freak and Baffert knows it. You'd better put him in your tri boxes or you'll lose. But you're used to that aren't ya Dray? I know that you know that it's true. Remember Dray, I'm not the Derby Master and I'm almost never right. Or am I? That's something that you don't really KNOW!

18 Apr 2012 12:57 AM


Thanks. I enjoyed your posts as well.

This just in:

Battaglia was quoted as saying that he is not sure he can give the favorite M/L to Bodemeister because he has only won 1 stakes race, and it was a race he had to win, and the only other race he has won in 4 starts is a maiden.

Big Brown had only 1 stakes victory, but he had won all 3 of his starts by a combined 27 lengths! So, maybe that is why he was Battaglia's M/L favorite. Either way, I predict Bodemeister goes of as post time favorite if he makes it to post.

The value lies elsewhere given his lack of racing experience. If you think he is the next Big Brown, despite being beaten twice in races Big Brown would have dominated, then you have to put him on top and find value underneath...(and Bode ran well in his losses, but no way BB would be beat at that distance--he was running Dutrow's grade 1 older horses into the ground or carrying them around the track) or take a stand against him.

Just my opinion. And, for the record, there is a big difference between Bob Black Jack and Hansen, although both are very fast.

I just heard Gary Stevens saying during the 2008 Kentucky Derby replay that when you have a speed horse that is used to working on a track in the AM (see Hansen)you want to guide the horse as far away from the rail as possible and try to get the horse to relax and save energy. He said a horse will not relax down on the rail in the late afternoon on the lead, and they will pull. I went back and watched the Gotham and the BGS and Hansen was close to that rail the entire race. They actually showed a ground shot on the backstretch and Hansen was closer to the rail than any other horse. In the Gotham he was outside and relaxed right off the pace. Even in the Preakness Kent D said it was important to keep BB off of the rail. He actually pulled him off the rail and put him outside on the backstretch.

I am not an equine trainer, but what Stevens said makes a ton of sense and he has enough big race victories to warrant a listen in my book. The best thing that can happen to Hansen is to be in the 8 post outwards. If you are fast enough you can have a nice midtrack trip on the lead regardless of the pace from post 8 (see Hard Spun) and then stay off the rail in the stretch (Unlike HS).

That is my advice for Ramon if he rides Hansen. Bodemeister would be similarly well served to be 8 outwards.

None of these horse, including Bode, are freaks (unlike HS or Big Brown). HS set a 22-4/5 opening quarter and almost wired the Derby. That takes FREAKISH STAMINA. Big Brown ran further, faster, (from post 20)than any horse in Derby history, and he has the lowest Sheets and Thoroform in history to prove it. I don't know if Bode or Hansen have what it takes to win from post 20, but I think if Bode can be relaxed and occupied far outside like that he may just surprise some people.

They need to bring the Derby draw back...they don't get to choose their posts anymore. Its a random pill draw.

18 Apr 2012 1:14 AM

Dr. Hansen evidently wants to add his horse to this group:

18 Apr 2012 3:13 AM

Karen In Texas : Thanks for the link, I got the info I needed about Union Rags, it helped a lot!  I was getting a little bit excited reading the Terpsichorist bit but then I got to the last paragraph and pretty much sealed it for me.  Needless to say, I don't think he will hit the board so I won't use him on any of my tickets but I'll keep an eye on how he looks come derby day and maybe add him on the bottom for my superfecta...maybe.  If he does hit the board, I'll let him beat me.  Nothing against the horse but there's at least 10 others that I think has a better chance.  Here's a quote from that last paragraph :

" Union Rags’ immediate future, and perhaps his potential stud career, is going to depend on how well he handles distances in excess of the 6½ furlongs of the Saratoga Special. The messages are somewhat mixed in this regard. His brother Geefour was placed second over a mile and 70 yards in a claimer at Presque Isle downs, but proved better sprinting, and never attempted a distance beyond 6 ½ furlongs afterwards. On pedigree, however, there is a good chance that Union Rags will at least stretch out to be effective around a mile. Dixie Union was a graded stakes winner from six furlongs to a mile at 2, and at 3 defeated Captain Steve, Milwaukee Brew   and More Than Ready   in the nine-furlong Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) before shortening up to take the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) over seven furlongs. "

I still wish his supporters good luck though.

trackjack : I'm sorry but you had me confused with Ranagulzion.  He's the one that proclaimed that Union Rags is the 2012 Triple Crow winner.  I'm not that crazy to make that kind of prediction with any of the horses running in this year's Kentucky Derby.  It's a very competitive field and it'll take a real superhorse to win the Triple Crown this year.  If UR does win the triple crown, I'd be cheering him on, it'll be great for the industry but not for my betting tickets lol.

Sylvester : Name the top horses from the east coast for Older Horses, 3 yr old Males, 3 yr old Females, Turf Males and Turf Females.  Let's see which of the east coast horses you can come up with.

18 Apr 2012 4:56 AM

Does anyone know where I can get the actual birthday of the top twenty on the graded earnings list?

18 Apr 2012 8:36 AM

El Kabong, No, he ran the Sanford, won by 4, and then went to the sideline. Ran a 100 in his maiden race, then a 94 in the Sanford.

18 Apr 2012 8:40 AM

BTW, on Sunday at Keeneland, Kent D did the same thing to about 4 other mounts, pulling them up right after the wire, so does not look like there is anything to worry about with Dullahan. I can't wait to watch his work on the 28th. Anyone hear the interview with Romans yesterday??? Very interesting what he had to say.

18 Apr 2012 8:43 AM
Mary Zinke

Their foaling dates are on their equibase stats, C.P.  Do you want me to do the work for you?  

18 Apr 2012 10:57 AM
Mike Monarchos

Chief Picawinna,

Here are some of the DOB's:

Alpha (Mar.)

Bodemeister (Apr.)

Creative Cause (Apr)

Dullahan (Feb.)

El Padrino (Jan.)

18 Apr 2012 11:02 AM

Anyone who thinks Bode will be the favorite on Derby Day needs their head examined.  The betting public is not that dumb.  Winning a Maiden race and a weak Arkansas Derby does not make Bode the Derby favorite.  Union Rags is still the monster in the race and the one everyone fears.  What happened in the Florida Derby just helped you get 9 to 2.  Had he won he would be 8 to 5.

18 Apr 2012 11:05 AM

As of now, and this will obviously change in the weeks leading up to the Derby, but I think one could do worse than boxing the three top California horses.

Creative Cause - never off the board.  Three derby preps, 8 lifetime races.  Always in it.  Think trainer will have him jacked for the Derby.

I'll Have Another - only bad race came in the slop (which may be a factor come Derby Day).  Nevertheless, love the breeding, like the trainer, always seems to fire.  Also seems battle tested despite layoffs between starts this year.

Bodemeister - obviously has shown the capacity to perhaps be the most brilliant of his generation.

Right now, those are my top 3.  Also, kicking around Alpha, Gemologist, and Union Rags.

18 Apr 2012 11:09 AM

Also like Dullahan.

18 Apr 2012 11:09 AM
Pedigree Ann

In regard to Union Rags and the Derby distance....,

A straight reading of the pedigree - miler sire, on track and in the stud, dam won 2 sprints and second in a mile race in 3 starts - doesn't look promising. Second generation is where there is some help; both grandsire Dixieland Band and damsire Gone West have sired stayers (actually, both have sired top runners at all sorts of distances), and the second dam Terpsichorist was a turf distance SW. So the question is, did enough of the grandparents 'leak through' via parents who didn't stay beyond 9f, if that?

Most people think of genetics as creating an average of the parents, but it doesn't always work that way. Second dam Terpsichorist was by the stayer sire Nijinsky out of the miler dam Glad Rags, a champion 2yo in Ireland. Terpsichorist seems to have taken largely after her sire, while a half-sister SW Mirthful Flirt took after mum (2yo SW, sprinter/miler).

This is a case where you have to be ambivalent. If he actually stays 10f, you can see where it came from; but if he doesn't, you can also see why (lookin' at you, Dixie Union and your female family).

18 Apr 2012 11:17 AM
Karen in Texas

Chief Pica----I'm sure there are some lists of DOB's somewhere, but you can just use the BH search site and go to the horse's profile. Click on pedigree, then click for the 5x analysis. The actual DOB is always on the 5x view.

18 Apr 2012 11:17 AM
Mike Monarchos

Sorry Chief,

I hit the send button by mistake. Here are more DOB's:

Gemologist (Jan.)

Hansen (Apr.)

I'll Have Another (Apr.)

Liaison (Mar.)

Prospective (Feb.)

Sabercat (Apr.)

Secret Circle (Apr.)

Take Charge Indy (Mar.)

Union Rags (Mar.)

That's all I can find for now.

18 Apr 2012 11:19 AM
Carlos in Cali

Dullahan is better on synthetics/turf... check his record.If the Bluegrass was on conventional dirt,Hansen would've been cruising down the stretch.

BTW: since Keeneland switched to synthetics- the Bluegrass victors are 0-19 on dirt.I'll pass on Dullahan for obvious reasons,might use him underneath though..

18 Apr 2012 11:28 AM
El Kabong

Ranag, Coldfacts,

Dully noted. lol.

18 Apr 2012 11:29 AM


I have to ask you something... early in these blogs you are knocking people or someone who likes Bodemeister and your saying... "before the Ark Derby he was nothing more then a maiden winner" ARE YOU SERIOUS!!?? You bet nothing more then a Maiden winner in last years Derby! Bodemeister has accomplished more then the horse you bet last year and your knocking people for liking a G1 winner. I mean look here is the deal you want to take a stand against Bodemeister that is more then fine I don't blame you in some ways but do not come on these blogs and hammer someone because of "Before the Ark Derby he was nothing more then a Maiden winner" I mean you brag about Nehro and outside of a crap Allow he is STILL nothing more then a maiden winner, and that is the LOSING horse you bet in last years KY Derby... You really need your head examined dude. I thought mt brother-in law had issues, WOW

18 Apr 2012 11:51 AM


Check Equibase.


18 Apr 2012 12:55 PM

Furlongs I don't expect you to understand but I will give more details on my new site next week.  But I will say this much.  Anyone who believes Bode has a shot in the Derby is a rank rookie.  Horse that don't race at 2 don't win end of story.  Would I be SHOCKED if he got 4th no... but it would ruin my Super ticket.  I believe there are 5 horses better than him.  I saw the Arkansas for what it was.  If 25.38 doesn't stick out to you then you have bigger problems than I thought.  He will not see a split like that in the Derby.  My guess right now is you will see a split in the Derby of 110.50 anything much slower will surprise me.  Please remember I am a Derby expert so I suggest strongly that you listen to everything I say because I do know more than you do.

18 Apr 2012 1:09 PM
Mary Zinke

1/22 El Padrino

1/28 Gemologist

1/30 Prospective

2/4 Castaway-awaiting Lexington results

2/8 Dullahan

2/8 Optimizer

2/12 Daddy Long Legs

2/21 Went The Day Well

2/22 Prospective

2/27 Rousing Sermon

3/3 Union Rags

3/3 Daddy Nose Best

3/5 Reveron

3/11 Alpha

3/18 Liaison

3/27 Take Charge Indy

4/1 I'll Have Another

4/6 Creative Cause*

4/8 Sabercat

4/12 Mark Valeski

4/13 Secret Circle

4/23 Hansen

4/28 Bodemeister

Includes some "on the bubble"

Done with my dog barking in my ear; hope it's accurate, chief.

18 Apr 2012 2:04 PM

furlongs : LOL, that's just funny and very typical Draynay.  This is what he does, he picks 5, 6 or 7 horses to box, then he picks whoever Borel is riding and box him with 3 others.  He then "picks" 2 other horses that his wife "bets" for him.  So if any of those 13 horses wins, he "picked" the derby winner!  If none of the 13 horses wins, but hits the board, he'll magically have a $200 PLACE bet on that horse.  This is why he is the mastur.

KY Vet has been very quiet.  I don't think he can make or pick any horses other than Creative Cause and El Padrino.  He's afraid if he comments or think about other horses, he may jinx himself.  CC and EP are his only shot lol.

Pedigree Ann : Thanks for the info on UR's pedigree.  Alan Porter's article was pretty informative as well.  I guess I'll see how he looks on race day.  I know Haskin is pretty high on him as well so I'll check his reports on his workouts.  I'm sure Billy will post his reports as well.  I just wish it was already May 2nd, and find out the post positions draw.

I don't know why Baffert's running Castaway in the Lexington, owner's derby fever I guess.  If he makes it, that's 4 for Baffert in the Derby.  He must really want to win the derby but some thing tells me it's either Secret Circle or whoever Garcia rides in the Derby (Liaison or Castaway) that gives him the win.  Just call it derby craziness.

18 Apr 2012 2:23 PM

DRAYNAY....from the latin words DRAGipsin and NAGopsis meaning annoying bettor of nags......

18 Apr 2012 2:32 PM


Contains the pedigree, birth dates, and some wins

18 Apr 2012 3:21 PM

Glad to know Dr. Hansen won't be gelding his namesake. I didn't really expect him to. A different owner might have a different view. In any case, Hansen will win races, even with his "do or die" style of running. He may not win the Derby and stands as much chance at the Belmont as nailing jello to a tree, but he will still win races. I think they are foolish if they don't start looking at him as a miler, but that's not my decision. Hopefully he won't end up on injury leave trying to sprint a mile and a quarter or mile and a half. We shall see how it all unfolds for the beautiful colt. There's always life after the triple crown races.

18 Apr 2012 8:55 PM
Mike Monarchos


I'd like to know how you got to be the "Derby Master"? Did you go to handicapping school? Did the fact (?) that you are a member of mensa help you attain that label? Just curious because I'm one of the dumb people on these blogs that thinks Bode can win. In fact, I know he can! And I think you know he can.

Here's a five horse Derby box that you might want to bet:  Bodemeister, Creative Cause,  Gemologist,

Union Rags and Dullahan (if he isn't too far behind). I left Alpha out because he got an infection caused by cuts he received in the Wood.

I may throw I'll Have another and El Padrino in depending on workouts.

18 Apr 2012 11:01 PM

Mike my greatness is explained at

It is easy being great because I am me and I have always been great.

18 Apr 2012 11:42 PM

Draynay, The only info I will be using coming from you is who for sure wont win. You are right about something though I do not understand you and your logic at all. But then again I will have a couple horses on top of all my Exacta and Tri Bets and that will be that no boxing ex and tri here if you have to box 7 horses in ANY race then you dont have a clue about the race and your just drawing straws as far as I am concerned. The last time I bet WIN money in the Ky Derby was when I really really liked a horse and felt like he was the best in the race. It was Street Sense before that it was Smarty Jones and before that it was Monarchos. This tells you I dont fall in love with a horse often when it comes to the Ky Derby. All I know is ANYONE who thought Uncle Mo was going to gallop and win the BC Classic last year has NO respect from me a as handicapper that's the bottom line. Here's to you and your 7 horse box... maybe you should start betting horses based on who has the cutest nose, never know you might cash!

19 Apr 2012 2:49 AM

Draynay : Why don't you tell us the other thing that surprises you.  Posting your picks here and then looking at your tickets after the race.  "How did that happen ?!?! I was so sure the speed will die and my horse wins from off the pace!"

19 Apr 2012 5:54 AM

Yes, I will be boxing 5 or 6 horses in the Derby.  Is that rare ?  I know many who box 8.  I really only like 5 or 6 my main fear is Gem getting 3 or 4th.  Bode will not be on my ticket.  My top 5 are still Union, DNB, Dullahan, Creative Cause and Alpha in that order.  I am on the fence with Gem.  Need to see works and pp.

19 Apr 2012 10:17 AM


On the fence!! Are you serious! Last week the horse was to slow to win the roses and now your on the fence, lol... your sad man that is all that is to it. What happened to any horse that cant run faster the 1:51 cant win the Ky Derby... always hedging your bets just like I said so you can come back and show the quote where you included a certain horse when you are done you will have between 10 and 12 horses listed somewhere thoughout these blogs and you will tell us how much you cashed for. Whatever dude you wouldnt last 10 mins around the guys I hang with at Churchill and get any respect as a handicapper. STOP HEDGING YOUR BETS or STOP TALKING either one would please a bunch of us!

19 Apr 2012 4:28 PM
Mary Zinke

Why the Secretariat reference in the website name if he supposedly beat sub-par 3yos? might be an alternative.

19 Apr 2012 6:49 PM
Mike Monarchos


You stole that saying, which is the name of your website, from the race announcer that called Secretariat's Triple Crown races. Can you name him? He lived on Kratzville Road in my old home town of Evansville, Indiana.

By the way I'm a pretty good painter. And since you're so great maybe I should paint a portrait of ya. The problem will be finding a canvas big enough to accommadate that huge, inflated head of yours! LMAO!!!! SERIOUSLY though Dray, is your head that big because of vanity, or just a limitless volume of hot air? Remember this: Be humble and your reputation won't crumble. Feel free to use that phrase when you open your next website.

19 Apr 2012 7:58 PM

I thought was a perfect choice because it was a perfect race and I have been perfect my whole life.  So it is something we have in common.  Furlongs maybe you haven't figured it out yet but I often cash in on the Derby due to my sheer brilliance.  My top 5 is my top 5 I will wait to see if I add in GEM not because he can win LIKE I SAID but because he could get 3rd or 4th.  Just follow and do as I say and you will be fine.

19 Apr 2012 11:33 PM
Carlos in Cali

Draynay= Snake-oil salesman= Broke.

20 Apr 2012 3:10 AM
Criminal Type

in the immortal words of Kid Rock, Mary, It aint cocky if you can back it up...LOL

20 Apr 2012 5:31 AM

I don't follow a tip sheet and I don't follow broke people like yourself that claim to have all the winners but never produce them before the race. I bet my own horses on my own handicapping ability and my win % is good enough it keeps me in the game and I never go home mad cause I bet or in your case LOSE to much. I kinda pity you to be honest Draynay, I mean for you to act the way you act you have allot of issues in your past that never were resolved. I kinda hope you hit the Superfecta at Derby maybe you and your woman can get the consulting you both need and work things out. Everyone deserves to be happy in life even you Draynay. I mean some people were not taught right and how to act vs others when they were children maybe you were abused and felt you were never good enough. I am sure your parents did love you in some capacity and you did do things in your past to make them proud. I know with some professional help you can and will one day think your worth living even with all the mistakes you made in the past... Take care Draynay and good luck you deserve it. You deserve to find the answers your looking for...

20 Apr 2012 12:17 PM

Draynay : Need I remind that you have been blasting Gemologist as having no foundation to go 10F ??  What makes you think now that he will get 3rd or 4th for your superfecta ??  I don't know why you're looking at Gemologist when Mark Valeski is already in.  Isn't he your "tough" horse ??  

20 Apr 2012 1:48 PM
Mary Zinke

Not just something in common with Secretariat. What can I say, the most perfect people are born on the ides of October. I would know.  Good luck with the launch of your new website.  I'll check out your winners.

20 Apr 2012 2:57 PM
Mary Zinke

Just need to see IT to believe it, C.M.  in the mortal words of me

20 Apr 2012 3:28 PM
Mary Zinke

Don't know why that was C.M.(maybe for criminal man?) Should be C.T.

20 Apr 2012 6:01 PM

Draynay : Boxing 5 or 6 horses is not rare, I myself have never done it but this year's KD, it might require that to hit the super.  Having said that though, you boxing 6 horses and then claiming you picked the winner of the KY Derby is garbage.  We all know that you know that you know nothing about horseracing.  It makes you gambler, not an expert.

furlongs : While I enjoy your posts when it comes to Draynay and you know how much I enjoy making fun of his handicapping abilities or lack thereof.  Your last post seems to me is bordering on personal stuff, if I may suggest, let's keep this competitive and fun and not get too personal.  Draynay knows he can't handicap if his life depended on it but it's still fun to point how bad his picks are.  I think DNB was his longest shot pick of the year. LOL

20 Apr 2012 6:36 PM

Vajayjay, what you don't understand is I picked my Derby horse a long time ago.  Union Rags is the best horse in the race.  With a decent trip he wins and wins big.  This is a very average crop this year and he is a man playing with boys.  Just stand back and watch a MASTER at work.  Do as I say or lose.

20 Apr 2012 11:39 PM
Mike Monarchos


"He is moving like a tremendous machine." Those were the words of track announcer Chick Anderson, who used to announce at Dade Park (now Ellis Park). Chick lived in Evansville, Indiana during parts of the 60's and 70's. I was born in Evansville, but left for service in the Air Force in 1969. When I came back from Vietnam I was stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa and have lived in the Tampa Bay Area since then. And now ya know part of my history.

20 Apr 2012 11:53 PM

Hell Mike you had me at "When I came back from Vietnam"

21 Apr 2012 4:15 PM

What is foundation ? it is a word still used by persons that think it makes them sound like experts in the sport of horseracing in the 21st century.It was valid in the 20th century as 2 and 3yo colts ran more races in their two and three year old campaigns and did not take a long time resting on a farm somwhere between races.When they got back to racing all that fitness that was gained(which is actually what foundation is)was mostly lost and they would have to be slowly trained back to fitness.Do you think Big Brown knew he had it(foundation)when he got a race in at the end of his 2 year old campaign, December 23 8 days before his foundation membership card would have expired.

22 Apr 2012 9:54 AM

BTW if Big Brown didnt get that 2yo race in on December 23,8 days later the racing gods would have instigated the Apollo rules to any hope he would have to win the kentucky Derby.

22 Apr 2012 10:12 AM
Mike Monarchos

Yeah Dray, Vietnam was a good place to come back  from. 58,000+ didn't. Nice to see a comment like that from ya Dray! Shows you're human. Thanks.

22 Apr 2012 12:30 PM

Please stop comparing horses to Big Brown.  He never lost a race under 1 1/2 and was undefeated on turf.

24 Apr 2012 12:13 PM

Subscriber Draynay Barbaro never lost a race period he was injured while running in one.

24 Apr 2012 12:57 PM
Ted from LA

The last word.

23 May 2012 5:43 PM

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