Poll: Who is Your Preliminary Derby Pick?

Going into the final two major preps last weekend, there were arguably five top Kentucky Derby contenders (Creative Cause, Gemologist, Hansen, I’ll Have Another, and Union Rags) with similar credentials. Had nothing major happened in the Arkansas Derby or Blue Grass, the picture at the top was going to be fairly clear on May 5.

But, oh boy, did things take a major turn on Saturday. With Dullahan’s powerful come-from-behind performance over Hansen, and Bodemeister’s dominating, front-running romp in the Arkansas Derby, the landscape of the Derby became even fuzzier and more intriguing. What was shaping up to wide-open Derby has now become a roll of the dice.

Even though Hansen was defeated and disappointed his backers by going too quick early on I think his effort was solid enough that he can still be considered a major threat. If you put him in that category, there are now seven top horses that are going to be difficult to separate, and if you include Alpha, who was narrowly beaten by Gemologist, and Take Charge Indy, who beat Union Rags, you could argue that nearly half the field has a legitimate chance to win the race. And that doesn’t even include horses that could be live longshots like Daddy Nose Best and Went the Day Well.

As I said in a previous blog, the parity in this Derby is unlike that of recent years. Injuries to key horses have not defined this potential field, rather an impressive set of preps from what looks to be one of the deepest classes of 3-year-olds in a long time. We have a fun two and a half weeks ahead of us.

One quick observation before I put out a preliminary Derby poll. There is no doubt that Bodemeister looked like a monster in the Arkansas Derby and the sheer dominance of his victory automatically makes him a major contender. And with Baffert in his corner and his 108 Beyer being so much higher than any of the any other contenders, it looks as though he may actually be the morning-line favorite.

But with all those positives on his side, I think people may need to analyze the Arkansas Derby a little closer. It’s so easy to embrace a horse that wins as easily as he did and by as many lengths as he did, but I’m here to say, let’s not be so quick to hand him the roses just yet. Let’s be honest, the Arkansas Derby was not the strongest field. Take out stablemate Secret Circle, who everyone knows was going to be distance challenged, and there was only one other graded stakes winner in there. More importantly, there there was very little speed in it.

Bodemeister was allowed to run unpressured on the front end, with a second-tier horse like Stat pressing him very mildly. Everyone is talking about his final eighth in :11 4/5, but he had things so easy on the front end, especially during the third quarter, that by the time he reached the stretch nobody was within striking distance. In essence, he was the fastest horse in the race by far and even though he proved he is ultra-talented, I’m not so sure how much he learned in the race. Can his sheer talent overcome his lack of experience? That is the major question.

I know time-tested Derby rules are meant to be broken, as we saw with Animal Kingdom last year and Barbaro in 2006. These are new times we’re in. I get it. But let’s not forget that this colt didn’t make his debut until Jan. 16 and no horse has won the Derby without a start at 2 since Apollo in 1882; that’s a lot to overcome. There is no way he will get the kind of trip in the Kentucky Derby that he did in the Arkansas Derby. Not with Hansen, I’ll Have Another, and Take Charge Indy in there. With such a lightly-raced horse, how will he handle traffic, a bad post, a less than ideal start, quicker internal fractions? I’m just playing devil’s advocate here; as good as he looked last weekend, there are a lot of unanswered questions for the likely morning-line favorite.

With all that being said and with almost two weeks to go, who do you like right now?


Leave a Comment:


Look for battle tested horses to be there at the end like Alpha, DNB, Union Rags, Creative Cause, and Dullahan.  Betting on Bode or Gem is a waste of money.  Listen to the ultimate Derby Expert.

18 Apr 2012 12:59 PM

Bodemeister is the horse to beat.

18 Apr 2012 1:40 PM
Smarty Jones Jr.


Your first columnist to give a unbiased account of AK Derby.  Everyone else is buying Belmont tickets to witness Bodemeister make history June 9th.  

18 Apr 2012 1:41 PM
Age of Reason

Draynay's comments on Bloodhorse remind me of Lady Gaga's bosom: both are displayed in public far too often, and in both cases, very little of what you're seeing is real or original...

18 Apr 2012 1:52 PM

im leaning towards take charge indy, but i still like ill have another, secret circle and alpha. Ill have another i think watchmaker said it best that there's a good chance he'll bounce in the derby anything can happen. Secret Circle I think he might be past his distance limits in the derby but he earned himself a spot with a gutsy second. Alpha i feel he's getting better with each race that trip in the wood said it all but he most likely wont get Dominguez. Take charge indy's got Calvin Borel but will he be able to set off the pace or if he gets the lead will he go 23 47 instead of 23 46. Its still early ill have a clear choice come the week of the race. Its all about there post positions.

18 Apr 2012 2:03 PM

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... THANK YOU Draynay for not being on the Gemologist bandwagon!  Please stay off!  

The way the voting is going looks like Union Rags will be bet down to 3-1, and maybe I can get 6-1 on Gemologist!  I'll take Union Rags, Went the Day Well, Bodemeister and Creative Cause to complete my tri box.

18 Apr 2012 2:05 PM

I'm going with I'll Have Another because I like the breeding, like the trainer, and love his last two races.  I also think his name is a good mantra to live by in life.

I also like Bodemeister and Creative Cause but if I have to choose one at this point, I'll Have Another.

18 Apr 2012 2:11 PM


I do agree on Hansen I think he'll benefit off this race. I think they might get him to relax in the derby after. The loss shouldn't hurt him, Street sense lost the bluegrass and went on to win.

18 Apr 2012 2:35 PM
Carlos in Cali

There will be speed in the Derby,but I don't see a suicidal pace.The 2 speedy horses will be tough to overhaul. Hansen will be on the lead with Bode' tracking him.Bode' can rate,like he did when finishing 2nd to CC and Hansen will go as fast as he needs to.

You'll likely have a logjam in the mid-pack consisting of: TCI,Alpha,Gemo',CC,El Padrino,IHA,UR & Valeski.

:23 2/5 - :46 4/5 - 1:10 4/5 - 1:35 3/5 mile is how I see the splits. IMO, Hansen & Bode' will have the best chance turning for home-(too much quality speed for the rest),it's the mid-pack horses who will have a hard time keeping-up w/the pace. That's how I see it- now,it all depends on the draw,track condition and how they break.If it's an off-track.. unload on El Padrino/TCI.

That's my preliminary pace/race scenario.I won't be surprised if Hansen & Bode' go 1-2 all the way.

18 Apr 2012 2:37 PM
Mary Zinke

Creative Cause

18 Apr 2012 2:45 PM

As of right now, Union Rags, but I can change my mind anytime before the derby.

18 Apr 2012 2:46 PM

At this pointl I like the horses who come from off the pace, have top  2 year old form, and have run well at Churchill:  Union Rags, and Creative Cause.  Gem and TCI will be right there.

18 Apr 2012 2:47 PM
Sam Santschi

See where Castaway may sneak in after Coolmore.  Adds to pace at a minimum.  Good thing we have works and visuals to look at as we get closer.  Right now, I'm paralyzed with a high fever.  What if you wheeled all the RAN horses?? (Kind of chalky, I guess.)  Just don't know what to do with "anything but, Dull-a-han".  Like the owner, but not a Jabba fan so he'll probably win.

18 Apr 2012 3:06 PM

i'll have another=this years derby horse of destiny.

18 Apr 2012 3:14 PM

Jason: "We have a fun two and a half weeks ahead of us."  Well said and I'm going to keep it fun.  Everyone of these contenders is possibly facing traffic, a bad post, a less than ideal start and possibly quicker internal fractions.

At this point, subject to change, I'm on the Bode' bandwagon.  With three triple digit Beyers including the overall best and best last out of 108, Bodemeister is a stickout.  If he bounces, he bounces. I don't think he will. He did not leave his Derby race on the dirt at Oaklawn.  

Underneath would be Gemologist, Union Rags, Alpha, I'll Have Another and I could make a case for each one, that's how competitive this field is shaping up to be.

Draynay:  C'mon give us your pick.  You listed five horses.  

18 Apr 2012 3:16 PM
Carlos in Cali

Secret Circle,Castaway,Liaison and Rousing Sermon(Hollenderfer) have no business running in the Derby.It'll be a shame if El Padrino doesn't make the field because of them.Baffert has done this before...

I see some people still touting DNB- even after the horse he was all-out to catch in the Sunland Park Derby was trounced by Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby.Unbelievable!

Dullahan is not fast enough on dirt.Fact.He loves Keeneland,the Derby is @ Churchill Downs.Pass.

Of the mid-pack type horses,I like TCI the most: Borel will give him every chance to win and with his quick turn-of-foot,he'll get first jump on the rest of the field with the exception of Hansen & Bode' of course.I think TCI will run a huge race,of the horses who ran in last yr's BCJ,I feel he's the one who has improved the most.

18 Apr 2012 3:24 PM

One of the better races I've seen was Alpha overcoming a lot of misfortune to catch up to Gem.  I think he's a sleeper in the Derby, but could pull it off.

18 Apr 2012 3:28 PM

Leave it to draynay to choose 25% of the field when asked who is your prliminary favorite. Are you finally going to live up to your word and wear your pink prom dress to the Derby this year draynay?

18 Apr 2012 3:29 PM

I have seen nothing to change my mind draynot.  Union Rags is the horse to beat in the Derby.  He is a monster and should have no problem winning the first 2 legs of the Triple Crown.

18 Apr 2012 3:57 PM
Monarchos Matt

Leaning towards Creative Cause for the time being, but this is as confused as I've been about a Derby in as long as I can remember. I just like way too many horses. Probably will be using Union Rags and Dullahan underneath him, although I really like Gemologist next best and feel he has a lot of upside and a ton of fight. He appeared to be simply toying with Alpha in the Wood and I just don't think we've seen his best yet. Sure would be something to see a Creative Cause-Gemologist stretch duel to rival that amazing 2000 BC Classic finish between their daddies!

Bodemeister is awfully tough to dismiss based on figs but I generally avoid the pace in this race, especially in the case of a colt so short on seasoning. He will be hard to leave completely off my tickets but may be worth trying to beat for the win; Jason makes some excellent points above.

The rapidly improving Alpha and honest I'll Have Another further complicate things for me but I have them just outside of my top 5 at the moment. I see a bit of separation after those seven I mentioned but Take Charge Indy and Daddy Nose Best certainly deserve a long look as well. What a great crop of 3 year olds, can't wait to see how this unfolds and start getting some workout reports next week!

18 Apr 2012 4:11 PM
It aint easy being good!

Carlos in Cali you were right and I was wrong about the arkansas derby but I have finally figured it out. I agree that this year is different in the sense that the speed might not be backing up this year! You dont want to go with stone closers but midpack closers or horses that can run around the track twice! There are four good horses GEM, Union rags, Ill have another and creative cause. The last three have carried top weight and are battle tested and should be at the wire. Ill have another has the breeding to go the distance go back and watch the santa anita derby once Ill have another had the lead he was not letting up visually he looked like a bullet coming home. Both CC and IHA looked explosive turning for home. CC waxed Bodemiester and he was running left right and sideways!

18 Apr 2012 4:37 PM

THE HORSE runs a 108 beyer, runs fast early, wins by over 9L......and people knock that race? what does it take to impress you?  20 L? 119 beyer?

18 Apr 2012 4:40 PM
Monarchos Matt

Carlos In Cali:

I generally avoid the Blue Grass winner for the same reason and it has obviously been a good move in recent years with the likes of Monba, Dominican and Stately Victor making huge closing moves over the poly and then not showing up at all on Derby Day. This year, however, I am not so sure.

Looking at the chart from the BC Juvenile over this very dirt surface (what a stacked race that was!), you'll notice that Dullahan made up the most ground of any horse from the top of the stretch to the finish. It actually isn't even close, as he picked off five horses coming from 9th to finish 4th.

Union Rags- behind Hansen 1/2 length at the top of the stretch, finished behind by a head (+0.25 lengths made up)

Creative Cause- behind Hansen 1 length at the top of the stretch, finished behind by 1 length ( 0 lengths made up)

Dullahan- behind Hansen 9.5 lengths at the top of the stretch, finished behind by 6 lengths (3.5 lengths made up)

Take Charge Indy- behind Hansen 4.5 lengths at the top of the stretch, finished behind by 6 lengths (1.5 lengths lost).

It's true that this race was run awhile ago and these horses have changed a lot sense then, but I don't see a strong reason to believe that Dullahan won't relish the dirt and be picking off horses down the stretch again, especially with a likely hotter pace and added distance.

18 Apr 2012 4:40 PM

Dray keeps talking about a bottom....someone tell him how many races his horse has run in 6 months! and how many races those horses he named have had in 6 months..........this guy is weird!

18 Apr 2012 4:48 PM

KY VET do me a favor and bet BODE BIG.  108 Beyer tells you all you need to know he is faster than everyone.  He is clearly in your mind the Derby winner so bet him early and often and then come back here and tell us about your winnings.

18 Apr 2012 4:55 PM

Yap rules are made to be broken...


18 Apr 2012 5:10 PM
Smarty Jones Jr.

KY Vet

Are u describing Bellamy Road??  Because THAT did impress me.  But I was equally UNIMPRESSED with a 7th place finish in the Derby.

Just hope more $$$$ flows to Bodemeister. Triple 100+ Beyers, almost as FAST as a CAR, how can he not win?!?!

I pray for 10-1 on Union Rags May 5th.

18 Apr 2012 5:17 PM
Monarchos Matt

Random question- does anyone know where to find the Tomlinson distance figures for the Derby contenders? It is worth noting that the last two winners of the race were also the horses that boasted the highest Tomlinson Figure in the field. DRF used to have them posted in their contender section but they don't appear to have updated it this year. Who has the highest figure- is it Alpha?

18 Apr 2012 5:38 PM

If Creative Cause can keep his mind on business for one full race he will be awfully tough to beat. He seems to lose focus and start looking around at inopportune times. At this moment in time I feel like he will put it all together and run his best race.

18 Apr 2012 5:46 PM

Although I would love to have Hansen in my backyard, I see the forgotten horse as Secret Circle. Forgotten , as in 55-1 or higher. If the mid-pack horses get into a bumping melodrama,that leaves Hansen, Secret Circle and TCI on the lead with a 1/4 mile to go and plenty left in the tank. Do you want Hansen at 12-1 or Secret Circle at 55-1?

I'm sorry,this probably won't happen but it's something to think about!

18 Apr 2012 6:04 PM


I agree with a reassessment of the Arkansas Derby winner's chances in Louisville. There should be no doubt that Bodemeister is a special one on the rise.  However he has a lot to overcome:

1) he'll carry 8lbs more 2) He'll be going an extra furlong with the added weight 3) He'll have to cope with a stronger early pace 4)mid-race challengers will not give hima breather 5) quality closers will be coming relentlessly down the stretch 6) 3 weeks is a short respite after a huge effort in Arkansas 7)lack of foundation could catch up with him as it did with Curlin and other outstanding 3YO that didn't race as 2YOs since Apollo.

If Bodemeister can win inspite of all these factors, i guess that we have the second coming of "Ghostzapper" (his running style looks very much like that one).

Carlos in Cali,

I like your pace scenario, with some modifications of course. I think that Take Charge Indy will join Bode and Hansen as a threesome on the lead. Secret Circle could start as a "rabbit" to kill the challenge of Hansen and TCI since that Baffert trainee has no shot of hitting the board in the Derby by being rated.

Union Rags, Gemologist and El Padrino will be very forwardly placed in case of a false pace and I expect that the tempo will be turned up from about the half way mark (five furlongs out) to expose those lacking in stamina. It should be a very good race but I think that Union Rags and Gemologist have the most upside in terms of a spectacular break-out performance looming.

Carlos you made a gross omission of Union Rags from you muddy track scenario. None will revel in the mud more than he, if it rains my friend (revisit the Saratoga Special).

18 Apr 2012 6:20 PM
Rusty Weisner

I just wanted to note that I thought the weeks’ best posts came on Jason’s last thread from papillon, regarding Hansen.  Very persuasive, well-researched, well-written stuff.

18 Apr 2012 6:34 PM
Rolling Thundar

Preliminary Pick is I'll Have Another...and If He Wins....Another,and Another, and Another........

Draynay:...I am looking forward to reading the comments that will be directed towards you. I think you really opened yourself up.

Jason:...But You didn't give us Your Preliminary Pick...With two weeks to Go, We can Always change our Minds........

18 Apr 2012 6:35 PM
Rusty Weisner

Should I care what the post-time odds on these horses are in terms of exotic and multi-race pools, particularly superfectas and Pick-4s?  Novice bettors might like the white horse or the horse with the funny name and the female jockey, but does this matter to me?  If I’m missing something obvious, please apprise me (please).

18 Apr 2012 6:35 PM
White Plains Eric

Bellamy Road won the Wood w/ a huge Beyer by daylight having the race go entirely his way.  He was off the board at Churchill in the Derby.  I don't think he was knocking the effort/race, just pointing out gifted horses can look like the second coming when everything goes their way.  

18 Apr 2012 6:41 PM
Rusty Weisner

I don't think I can come down to a single winner, so I’m thinking of the following kind of superfecta ticket, based on a series of propositions.

1. One of only four horses can win:  CC, IHA, UR, Gem

2. BOTH Hansen and Alpha will hit the board, but not win.  I like Hansen best to stay, though I don't visualize him winning, while I like Alpha best at best to pick up the pieces, though I don't see him a winner.

3. Nine other horses can hit the board, plus the three other potential win horses, making 12 others that can hit the board.

The ticket allows room for only one longshot underneath but covers a lot of them.

Staking on one winner on top this combination of $1 bets costs $72.  If I tried all four potential winning horses (hope to eliminate one or two possibilities) it would be $288.

It’s a bit Rube Goldberg, but what the heck.

I looked up analogous recent Derby superfectas, that is, a little chalky: a favorite on top, with maybe one real longshot underneath:

Smarty Jones paid about $20,000-1.  The favorite at 4-1 with the second favorite second and one longshot underneath in an 18-horse field.

Street Sense paid $15,000-1 with the favorite and first and second-tier picks underneath, with no longshots in a 20-horse field.

Big Brown paid about $29,000-1.  He was a heavy (2-1) favorite, but with two longshots underneath in a 20-horse field.

A couple of Derbies where the favorite didn't win are worth comparing, too:

Funny Cide only paid $1400-1.  He was obviously not the favorite, but it was a 16-horse field with all top-tier favorites underneath and no longshots (strange – it suggests a lot of boxed tickets to me, but maybe someone has another explanation).

Super Saver, $101,000-1.  He was the second betting favorite at 8-1, not the first, but there was only one longshot underneath.  

I am expecting this year’s Derby to “formful”, like the Funny Cide, Street Sense, Smarty Jones Derbies, not like the Monarchos or Giacomo Derbies, which were infamies and injustices.

18 Apr 2012 6:41 PM

At least with this year there are 4-5 consistent graded stakes winners (some have never been off the board) with some nice pedigrees to boot.  Go graded stakes winner who ran 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, in the final prep, with a Beyer over 100 and that field shrinks. I don't see a Mine that Bird this year.

18 Apr 2012 7:15 PM

I agree with Iceman92. I'll Have Another seems to be improving very rapidly and his running style, imo, makes him a major threat. I don't even care for this horse i just feel he will be the biggest overlay. Alpha is my favorite 3yo but he's just too slow.

18 Apr 2012 7:24 PM

Bode-Bode-Bode, they say numbers don't lie and right now Bodes numbers are head and shoulders above the field, and if i recall bode wasn't even trained up to the San Felipe because Fed Biz was Bobs ace but he was sidelined and Bode were inserted and he ran a game second to Mr Haskins number one. Don't know if he will bounce in the derby, don't know if bode and Hanson run eachother in the ground but if bode has got anything going in his favor its Baffert and maybe they can overcome the Apollo Curse.

 TrackJack: we are definatly on the same page..............  

JayJay: Not sure SC will get the distance but he has the blood and baffert Goodluck

RTTR Goodluck Terrepin Trails you got a shot a the whole thing    

18 Apr 2012 7:42 PM
Admiral Harriman Nelson's lady

My pick is ALPHA. He ran a bang-up race in the Wood, despite a foot injury accrued when he was squeezed early in the race. He had to overcome traffic. He lost nothing in defeat. If he is sound, I like him. His pedigree has Derby all over it--by Bernardini out of Nijinsky II mare, his second dam, Hiaam, is by Alydar, and he comes from the female family of Seaside Attraction (Kentucky Oaks winner), Gorgeous, Cape Town, Golden Attraction, Stellarette, Love Smitten, Kamar, and Square Angel. He is trained by a trainer with classic success. He has the right mix of speed and stamina.

Dullahan was also impressive in the Blue Grass. He is bigger and scopier than his half-brother Mine That Bird, and possesses more tactical speed. He has the class, a Grade I winner at both 2 and 3, and connections who have done well in the Derby before, and another trainer who has enjoyed classic success.

18 Apr 2012 7:52 PM

I need to go back and re-watch some of the preps.  Particularly the Creative Cause/Bodemeister race and both of I'll have another races.

Beyond the obvious, "Doesnt' matter until they draw posts" argument, i really think there is going to be a three horse rush to the front.  Bode, Hansen and I'll have another I think all have the speed to take the lead.  I think Hansen and Bode beat each other up for the first 6f in 1:09 and 4 which opens the door for the next bunch to come at them.  Of that group, I really like Take Charge Indy and Creative Cause.

The fast fractions open up the door for dullahan to finish out the super.

top four in no particular order, Creative Cause, TCI, Bode, Dullahan.

18 Apr 2012 7:52 PM

Ky Vet: A better time...like the Bluegrass with Dullahan and Hansen, and a deep competitive field.  I mean...just who did Bodemeister beat?  Even Secret Circle was staggering home 10 lengths later.

Can't help enjoying Bodemeister's romp.  It was electrifying...just not as fast as it seemed because he had nothing behind him.

18 Apr 2012 7:56 PM

Other than Bode who went unraced at 2, you also have some horses that have been consistent for a long time.  The first 5 Breeder's Cup Juvenile finishers have won the Gotham, Fountain of Youth, San Felipe, Florida Derby, and Blue Grass Stakes.  That's a pretty good 2 year old foundation.  

18 Apr 2012 7:59 PM
Silver Arm

Dullahan and Gemologist are my top two.  Bodemiester and Hansen will fade for sure.

18 Apr 2012 8:02 PM

I guess I don't know what the term monster means. I have never seen it applied to a horse with losses on a short resume. I would say it would be prudent to watch the workouts at CD closely. I like a derby horse that can win the race by the 1/8th pole since it is almost always over by then so I'll take my chances with a horse that races on or near the lead. Bodemeister's race was the best race so far regardless of what your Derby opinion is. There was a high quality Grade 1 filled race at the same distance one race before. Bode did everything better. If you don't respect that, you are just fish food in the mutual pond. Betting is about wining big bucks so I will casting some nets with horses that get no love. IHA ran TWO races that were better than CC. His Lewis was far superior to the San Felipe at the same distance and then he beat CC head to head at 9f.

18 Apr 2012 8:26 PM

I change my mind every 20 minutes.  Right now, I think Hansen will try to rate behind Bode and never catch up.

18 Apr 2012 9:02 PM

Not knocking Bode, but he may have left his race in AR.  I really wish Mike had eased him up a little.  I wish Draynay weren't on Rags, because Draynay, while I find you amusing, your pick is often the "kiss of death".  Are you for real?

I don't see a dead closer winning this year, which leaves out Dullahan.  Unless Hansen gets to sneak away with relatively slow fractions, the winner should come from mid-pack.  I reserve the right to change my mind depending on how the horses look on the track at CD, and depending on the PP draw, but for now (even with Draynay making me shudder), I'll take Rags.

18 Apr 2012 10:07 PM
Smarty Jones Jr.

I am just tired of this "Beyer" madness, I mean the term "Beyer Associates" remind me of group creepy guys holed up in basement.  

I get speed figs, ok, but to say its a definite harbor of things to come is ridiculous.  Just as recent as last year, they must of forgot to tell Shackleford he never ran 100+ beyer when he won Preakness, or Ruler on Ice when he won Belmont.  Uncle Mo's main stallion advertisement quotes his Beyer #'s as 3yo?!  For what? the Timely Writer and Kelso?  Mike Repole main reason for running in Classic was Mo's HUGE Beyer. (should of did Dirt Mile, but oh well)

How many horses NEVER duplicate a top Beyer?  I look at Beyer's of horse for purchase, but it is a very small % of decision process.  

Every article, every talking head is Beyer this, Beyer that.  And as for the Bellamy Road/Bodemeister comparisons, I do not want to hear if this or if that, facts are facts, and  Bodemeister not winning Derby. 9L for Bode in prep, 17L Bellamy Road, speed horses (Beyer hero's), zero cashed Derby tickets.

Beyer's are a "tool", but to listen to everyone, it seems as if it is the FIRST THING THEY QUOTE.....

18 Apr 2012 10:14 PM
Mike Monarchos

Hey Draynay,

You aren't voting for Union Rags more than once are ya?

Listen people! Draynay the "Ultimate Derby Master has spoken. He said that Bodemeister and Gemologist have no chance. Put everything you own on them. It's like a gift from the Derby blog gods! Bodemeister and Gemologist are locks to finish in the top two!

Bode got a 108 Beyer in the Arkansas Derby. I don't care who he ran against. Mike Smith (a pretty fair jockey) said that Bode had plenty left in the tank after the Arkansas Derby. Gemologist is the only undefeated colt who will be in the Derby. This looks pretty simple to me. But, then again, I'm not the "Derby Master" and I'm almost never right.

18 Apr 2012 10:34 PM
Paula Higgins

I am with Jason on Bodemeister. The Kentucky Derby is a whole other can of worms. My picks right now are Gemologist and Creative Cause. Like alot of people I would love to see Union Rags pull it off, but I don't think that will happen either. Also, I'll Have Another is up there too. But I agree with people who thinktThis is a wide open race.

18 Apr 2012 10:48 PM

TO, LUKAS and HOLLENDORFER....Both understand their horse doesnt belong....but only one will do the right thing.......jerry will do the right thing by the horse, and not run rousing sermon!

18 Apr 2012 10:54 PM

My top derby pick at this moment is Bodemeister. He has been a monster the last three starts. He dominated his maiden win by 9 and then Baffert makes an audible in the San Felipe when Fed Biz could not go and had an impressive 2nd place to Creative Cause. Then he goes to Arkansas and dominates. The field he raced against might not have been up to par that had  a second stand out like the Santa Anita, Bluegrass and Wood, but he crushed them just like the others in their preps. There are plenty of days until the derby, so many things can happen. I just hope the major contenders all have positions between 5 and 15 so the horses and jockeys dictate the race.

18 Apr 2012 11:00 PM

The 2-3 finishers from the BC Juvenile will finish 1-2 in the Derby.  I can't recall the last time I've seen this many horses who were in the BC Juvenile still in contention to even race in the Derby let alone be considered  amongst the favorites.  Anyway, play my favorite number, "all", for the 3rd spot to round out the trifecta and hope a horse like Daddy Nose Best gets up for 3rd at a nice price.

18 Apr 2012 11:14 PM

It aint easy being good,

    Watch the SA Derby again.  Once Creative Cause cleared the horse to his inside, he started inching closer to I'll Have Another and passed him very shortly after the wire before the gallop out really began.  I love Creative Cause's foundation.  He is all grit and maybe I'm one of the only ones, but I loved how he raced down the lane between horses and never backed out of it in the SA Derby.  Some people were knocking his SA Derby effort.  I thought it was great.  He's as game as they come.  If he's in the thick of things turning for home and he can be on the outside, nobody will stop him from going by them or catch him once he does.

18 Apr 2012 11:20 PM
Matthew W

No horse broke their mdn like Bodemiester...then he ran big vs Creative Cause in San Felipe, then no horse has run like Bodemiester did in Arkansas, from the eleven and making it look easy, carving out live fractions/finishing like Zenyatta--of course will have to run faster in Kentucky, but it has been done--Spend A Buck ran them off their feet--War Emblem sat a soft pace, but Spend A Buck wired them with ease, carving out torrid fractions--no horse this year has run like Bodemiester has--and yet I like, no love, another: I'll Have Another, to wait, from four or five back, then draft in around the far turn, then look for the lanes! Bodemiester underneath, along with Creative Cause, Daddy Nose Best, Hansen and Dullahen--am leaving Union Rags completely out just because I like so many others and will try to beat the price on Union, maybe favotite, having never won around two turns, he is best looking horse, no doubt, like Easy Goer--but Easy Goer didn't lay back in Florida Derby, either! Easy won his preps! Yeah, maybe use Union for an exacta saver but, really, I may just play, wps, on I'll Have Another, a smaller wps bet on Daddy Nose Best, and ex box 'Nuther/Daddy/Bodemiester/Creative!) And I hope all are peaking on first Sat--they'll have to be if they want to finish close to 'Nuther!

18 Apr 2012 11:22 PM
John from Seattle

When everything seems so equal-go with the jockey whom has been very successful with winning the Derby recently (with apologies to Kent Desormeux)which is Calvin Borel.

Borel and his Florida Derby Champion, Take Charge Indy, will get the job done.

And for those interested Accuweather is forcasting rain on May 5.

18 Apr 2012 11:36 PM

Just remember I know more than any of you when it comes to the Derby.  The work Union Rags puts in this weekend will tell you all you need to know.

18 Apr 2012 11:46 PM

Funny thing...i dont even like bode! But i know the horse ran way better than anyone....im just laughing at the ignorant people that dont know it.....

19 Apr 2012 12:04 AM
Bob from Boston

I am going to wait until 20 minutes before post, walk up to the window, put out my Cuban cigar, take a deep breath, and box the 5 horses Dray does not pick.

19 Apr 2012 12:52 AM

I've been reading this forum for awhile and decided to chime in...I can't get past Dullahan in the most most competitive Derby in a decade or two.  I watched him when he was trying break his maiden on the grass at Saratoga & then he really got my attention when he beat Take Charge Indy (whom I backed) in the Breeder's Futurity.  I thought that he ran a credible race in the BC Juvenile, as did the first 5 finishers.  But as the spring has unfolded, I think he has the most upswing out of all of the top contenders.  He has a fast turn of foot and he trains well over Churchill.  If I were to place my Derby bet today, I would toss Hansen and play the Dullahan over the other three BC Juvenile horses - Union Rags, Creative Cause, Take Charge Indy.  This is a consistent bunch of colts.  My saver would be wheeling Creative Cause in 2nd & 3rd in exotics with the above-mentioned three plus Alpha & Went The Day Well.  We'll see how I feel about this betting strategy after I start seeing everyone else work over the CD surface.

19 Apr 2012 1:11 AM

I went with Went the Day Well. Everyone seems to be stuck on that subjective number of 108. We have seen 9F monsters wilt bt the time that last extra furlong arrives. This horse was placed in stamina contests early in his career and has already carried 126 and 129 as a 2 year old in which he finished a close 2nd in both races. He has a decent kick and some tactical speed. He has a run well on all three surfaces.

My other choice is Creative Cause. He has "won" all the gallop outs in all his races - sans one when he had to check hard at the wire at Del Mar.

19 Apr 2012 2:31 AM

Don't you love when all the "experts" say there is a ton of speed in a race and it never develops? Lots of people were saying man there is a ton of speed in the Bluegrass and what happened?? There is speed and then there is cheap speed and Hansen who I always thought was a ok horse when it comes down to it, proved he is more then cheap speed at Keeneland. He is one nice race horse and I think his Bluegrass was the best race he ever had in his lifetime. He set a torrid pace and only got beat a length to a horse that LOVES Keeneland and was ultra sharp going into the Bluegrass. All I know is until the works are over and the posts are drawn its hard to really like someone I mean everyone who loves Union Rags what if he gets the #1 spot then what?? As a change of pace here are few I do not like to win the roses... Union Rags - hasn't improved one step from his 2 year old season. If his 2 year old form is good enough to beat these then he deserves to win and he may do just that, but not with my money. Alpha - he looks like a horse that has to run a big race right first Sat in May, right? Well between all the skipping around where to run him dodging horses as well as the foot issues right now its enough for me to say pass. Secret Circle - I know the horse deserves to be there because of his toughness and heart but really the longer he runs the slower he gets. Sabercat is running in the Derby because he won the Delta Jackpot. I think enough said about Sabercat. Dullahan - I know its crazy to be saying this about a Dale Romans horse but something just tells me other then him being a poly/turf horse I think he just ran the race of his life when he ran down Hansen and it may be asking to much to run back in 3 weeks off that effort. I think he has a better shot at getting the place or show money at Churchill with his running style. Good luck at the windows everyone...

19 Apr 2012 3:28 AM

I agree with Paula; right now, I'm thinking IHA, Gem and CC.  Throw in the unmentioned/forgotten/overlooked Mark V as the bomb on the board (if red-hot Rosie is riding).  But wouldn't be surprised if UR pulls a Dennis Green "they are who we thought they were...and we let em off the hook!".

So many horses, so many scenarios...

19 Apr 2012 5:25 AM

Secret Circle.  I'm glad that Jason  will not bet on Secret Circle or have him in any of his tickets because he is distance challenged.  I can breathe now.

I don't understand why Gemologist is not shipping to CD until May 1st.  That's a big concern for me now.  I'd like to see him have at least one workout on the track before the Derby.  Baffert's from across the mountains and he ships 3 horses to CD.  I just don't get it.

Jerome : Stirred Up and Term Loan boxed

Lexington : Golden Ticket over Castaway, Morgan's Guerilla and News Pending.

19 Apr 2012 5:31 AM
Mike from Michigan

Gosh, TCI not getting much support here,  I really like the way this horse is coming in fresh to the derby.  Pat Byrne is his trainer, Calvin rides him, wow, doesn't get much beter than that!  I think that TCI will run his best race and would love it if he goes off at 15-1.  Hope the Sanford's bag their first derby (pun intended)!  Good luck to all and safe journey's for horses and jocks.

19 Apr 2012 6:17 AM
Rusty Weisner

White Plains Erio,

Bellamy Road was in field of four or six, I believe.  He actually ran decently in the Derby, too, coming in something like seventh, though it seems it ruined his career.  He was near the hot pace that gave it to Giacomo, moving prematurely on the turn, I think.

19 Apr 2012 7:38 AM
Bret Stossel

Racing is in desperate need of an undefeated champion. I'm hoping Gemologist fills the bill...but I'm not holding my breath.

19 Apr 2012 8:00 AM

If Curlin couldn't win the Derby with no races at 2 I don't see how Bodemeister can.  And Curlin's running style was much more suited.

That being said, if it is a "nobody wants the lead" type scenario, he might get an easier than we think 1/2 mile.  Then, who knows?

I still think Union Rags is the best horse in the race.  I'll reserve judgement until the draw though.

What i do know is this...  I'm tossing the horse that draws the rail, Pearl Jam is overrated, the Penguins are winning this series.

19 Apr 2012 8:06 AM

If a horse can go gate to wire, no matter where he starts, then as the leader, the only traffic he has to worry about is behind him.  He stays out of trouble and he makes his own pace.  Bode looks like he can run all day...why would he have left his race in AK?  Horses have to get up for the Derby, then the Preakness, then the Belmont....otherwise no horse ever again will win the TC (which some think is the case).  Some horses love to run, and run, and run...Bode looks to be one of those. Sometimes, a horse makes his own competition.  Last Saturday, we saw a horse that went out and "did his thing". He didn't do "just enough" to win, he ran "his way". No question he is peaking "at the right time"! Let's face it...what we saw last Saturday we all hope we see in the Derby!  No matter who we are pulling for, and he hasn't been my favorite, I would be ecstatic to see that same performance duplicated 3 more times! What is it that has to come together to produce an exceptional result:  Man, Motion, and Machine?  We have the Horse, the Trainer, and the Jockey! They all three have been on a roll lately. To heck with records....they are made to be broken!  And if the Apollo shadow is ever to be erased, this could be the year that record falls.

19 Apr 2012 9:08 AM
mr pibb

What are the preliminary post positions? I'm tossing anyone who goes off from the 1,18,19,and 20 holes. That'll eliminate 20% of the field and leave me with about the same number of horses draynay will choose by the time the race goes off to choose from. The only time I have ever bet a horse from one of these posts was big brown and I only bet him to win using the superfecta which I hit. He was so much the better horse it was ridiculous to think any of those plodders could beat him at that point. Once they took him off the juice and it wore off he proved to be nothing special getting whipped by a mere maiden and allowance horses in the belmont making me a ton of money betting against him.

19 Apr 2012 9:16 AM

@jamesb - Pearl Jam is overrated, as is Bodemeister.

19 Apr 2012 9:27 AM
Your Only Friend

Its going to be a horse race and any number can win......pick a number....at the last minute and go for it.....Cannot pick at this time.....too many days and hours left for my final decision.

19 Apr 2012 9:48 AM
Jason Shandler

As I said a few times on this blog, I will tolerate just about anything on here except Pearl Jam bashing. Be careful James B and FugPeg.

BTW, James is feeling a little cocky today because his heavily favored Pens actually won a game. That series is over. Flyers will wrap it up Friday or Sunday.

19 Apr 2012 9:54 AM

If being the second best band of your generation (behind Nirvana) makes Pearl Jam overrated, then so it goes.  Pearl Jam is excellent.  The song Yellow Ledbetter is one of the finest of its time.

If Risen Star can only finish third while in the 1 post, I can agree with jamesb's assessment that such post position is almost always a toss.

19 Apr 2012 10:08 AM
Mike Monarchos

I'd like to know why Churchill Downs doesn't do something about the positioning of the starting gates for the Kentucky Derby? It seem to me that whoever gets the #1 post has to run straight into the rail of the second turn. At the very least the 1 horse gets squeezed against the rail or pinched back to last. I have pictures of that happening to Anees at the 2000 Derby. He ran straight at the rail and had to mske a sharp turn to his right to avoid a wreck. He was then last and his chance of winning was done!

19 Apr 2012 10:08 AM

Pearl Jam's rendition of Crazy Mary is also something to be reckoned with.

While an advocate of free speech, I would certainly support the banning of any Pearl Jam bashers.

19 Apr 2012 10:10 AM

California horses don't show up in the Derby and if they do it's one horse.  That horse this year is Creative Cause and I think many of you need to watch him run right by Bode like he is standing still.  Bode beat a very average group in the Arkansas.  When he faced top competition like Creative Cause he got whipped even after Creative Cause swung out 4 wide coming home.  Bode has run on nothing but speedways.  Churchill is not a speedway.  Gem makes more sense than Bode.  Let's not forget that many California horses have problems winning East of the Mississippi.  If you have more than 1 California horse on your ticket it's a loser.

19 Apr 2012 10:10 AM

Didn't Bellamy Road come out of the Derby with an injury?  If he did, maybe that is why he didn't run to expectations...........

19 Apr 2012 10:20 AM
John from Seattle

Pearl Jam?  That group started out in a  little logging town (Aberdeen) about 90 miles southwest of here (Seattle).  They showed up to their first gig wearing old tattered red plaid jackets that loggers wore and said they were kinda 'grunge' looking. The name stuck.

19 Apr 2012 10:53 AM

If it comes up wet is there anyone on the planet that WILL NOT be betting on Union Rags for the win ?

19 Apr 2012 11:01 AM

Fact: Human beings love to predict the future.

Fact: Human beings are not very good at predicting the future.

So take Jason's Pens/Flyers prediction with a grain of salt.

It seems to me that people should be more impressed with Hansen's effort than they are though.  He set fast early fractions and was still 2 1/2 lengths clear of the third place finisher.  He just got caught at the end by a good turf horse on Polytrack.  

If they can get back to rating, I wouldn't count him out.

19 Apr 2012 11:11 AM
Jason Shandler

2:24: You are one of my favorite people on this blog but c'mon with that Nirvana comment. They put out exactly two studio albums. PJ is working on No. 12 now and have played thousands of shows. It's like comparing a good horse that retired at 3 (Big Brown) to a horse that did it with excellence over many years (Citation).

I do appreciate your favorable comments of PJ. I know you like them, you are just a little misguided on the Nirvana thing :)

19 Apr 2012 11:26 AM
It aint easy being good!

In a steriod free era now there has no horse that has wired the field. Every horse that wins the derby comes from off the pace. Bode is an instant toss and so is hansen. Take mid pack closers like Gem, union and creative cause. Can some one throw in a dark horse this year not named daddys nose best. It seems as though everyone is on the same 7 horses. Does anyone like Mark V after throwing a shoe or how about done talking?  I know his times were slow but who cares he won the race the right way.

19 Apr 2012 11:51 AM

Dray: you said.."California horses don't show up in the Derby and if they do it's one horse."  Last I heard, there can be only one winner of the Derby (haven't really seen a dead heat yet).  So Sunday Silence, Giacomo, Affirmed,

War Emblem, Real Quiet, Silver Charm, Ferdinand, etc..don't mean a thing?  

19 Apr 2012 12:04 PM
Smoking Baby

Footlick.  You're absolutely right.  Bellamy Road got hurt in the Derby.  People tend to omit that little tidbit of information when using his bad finish to support their own position.

19 Apr 2012 12:12 PM

Any horse that gets the 1 and 2 hole is a automatic scratch for me..

Its the most unfair advantage in any sport..

I believe Curlin had the 2 hole maybe the 3.

I believe that was the main reason he did not win..

Question for all,why is C.C so much more appeling than I'll Have Another??

CC is a easier horse to eliminate than I.H.A.

C.C hates the whip and will feel it Derby day, also he likes to play his head is not their yet.

My opinion of course.

19 Apr 2012 12:17 PM
Smoking Baby

 As much as I like Pearl Jam I do believe the best band Eddie Vedder was ever in was Citizen Dick.  Obviously I say this with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

19 Apr 2012 12:20 PM

pearl jam? what?! how did i wake up in 1991...?


the 5 horses that will get the tear-jerker biopics before the race (thus ending all hope of winning the derby) are--

1.bodemeister--with his unbeatable trifecta of baffert's bad heart--the curse of apollo--and a horse named for baffert's son who was named after an olympic gold medlaist--he's doomed!

poor bodemeitset will now come in dead last for sure! nothing will be able to counter the bad juju of the most power pre-race derby biopic in the history of pre-race derby biopics. it's sad, he's  nice horse and baffert is a cool guy.

2. union rags--he was the odds on favorite for the most powerful chance-killing pre-race derby biopic in this year's running, until bode mode him down in the final furlong.

be prepared for rags's legion of supporters to claim after the race that he was just unlucky to have been so good as to deserve a chance-kiling, pre-race biopic, but that he was closing at the end was clearly the best horse in the race, despite having backed all the way up to cincinnati in the stretch, while waving at QR and UM as he flew backwards past them (as they were still trying to finish their respective BCC races).

who would have thought that the seemingly invincible combination of matz, the famed child rescuer, and the tragic story of barbaro, and the fact that a dixie union colt out of gone west mare, was crowned king of the world after only a 6 furlong sprint at saratoga on of the only days that normal sports casters were watching racing, could have been dethroned?--esp. since the matz and barbaro footage has been sitting in a storage room waiting desperately for a chance to be aired again? not I! that's why i love this sport!

3. dullahan--mine that bird's little brother, the hansen-of the almost blue tail-slayer. both angles will played up to the max--as will the wholesome mid-west connections of dullahan's 900 million owners.

since dr. hansen has been badly burned by his little project with NBC, he will likely not speak with them on derby day, nor them allow access to his horse again (yes it's true, NBC was instrumental in the whole tailgate fiasco at the bluegrass), but since romans needs as much publicity for dullahan as he can get (since dullahan will likely never race again after the derby), and as romans has nothing to loose because the odds that dullahan would have won were slim to none to begin with--he'll give them free reign--shackleford will probably also get little a  mention too, as will paddy o'prado, and who doesn't love to hear about paddy and shack? it'll be grand! expect them to bring up how dullahan demolished the champ 27 times. and the blue tail thing 876 times.

this will make dullahan's no-chancer status impenetrable, while blessing hansen with super-horse abilities--fate likes nothing more than to make fools of tv announcers.

4. gemologist--it was guaranteed that pletcher would get one, but it was looking a little dicey there for while tbh!

since gem is undefeated and from the same connections as super saver, it'll be on him--however, his story is so boring, his biopic will be pretty weak tea, strong enough to keep him out of the winner's circle but not strong enough to keep him out of the money.

5. mark valeski (surprised aren't you?)--mark valeski will squeak into the derby by a whisker, and the press will be ecstatic because it will give them yet another chance to show their larry jones-eight belles footage.  they will play up HDG and 8 belles--mark will be an after thought. as with gem, his biopic will be weak tea--enough to keep him from winning but not enough to keep out of the money. however, it will likely keep HDG out of the money in the la troienne...biopics are cruel masters!

ps: it didn't get posted (jason only posts about 1 out of 10 of my comments!), but last week in the blog about who would be the betting favorites-- BEFORE THE BLUEGRASS, i said hansen would be no better than fifth...smug.. =)

the best comment i've ever read on these blogs was the paperback book comment by KY VET. that has to be an all time classic!

thanks for the kind words rusty!

19 Apr 2012 12:20 PM
Mike Monarchos


I agree with you about your Gemologist comment. Pletcher is keeping Gem and El Padrino at Palm Meadows. Why? I think owners of Derby horses should be required to have their horses at Churchill at least a week before the race. That way they can be seen by fans and evaluated better by guys like Jason and Steve Haskins.

19 Apr 2012 12:22 PM

I like a superfecta box of:

1/2 all/, 1/2 all/, 1/2 all/, 1/2 all

just not sure which half to play yet

this is just to tough this year, might just follow bfb's pick

19 Apr 2012 12:31 PM
Age of Reason

Whatever the Flyers do won't matter, Predators will take it all--never mind the fact that, at best, they're only the 3rd-most popular sports team in the state. Sad news about Pat Summitt, btw. And Nirvana is to Pearl Jam what Adam Lambert is to Katy Perry in terms of raw popularity. That is to say, not much. And let's not even mention Justin Bieber; his singing career was over when he hit puberty harder than Chris Brown hit Rihanna.

19 Apr 2012 12:33 PM

I'll Have Another... he'll be able to do the distance and he's proven that when headed, he'll dig deep to get the win.

19 Apr 2012 12:36 PM

Jason, perhaps I am swayed by Cobain's early death.  When you have a short body of great work, it's harder to criticize.  But we can both agree that Pearl Jam is amongst the pantheon of great bands.

19 Apr 2012 12:53 PM

Footlick - Bellamy Road also was fried by Spanish Chestnut, as was Afleet Alex.  I am almost at the point where I refuse to believe the the 2005 Derby ever happened.  Was very impressed when Bellamy Road came back for one race (in the Travers I believe) and finsihed second.  He was a serious racehorse who deserved a better career.

19 Apr 2012 12:56 PM

How about this for a scenario....because this has become such an unconventional horse race let us imagine the following.  Daddy Long Legs overheats in the parade ring, bucks his jockey and falls in the parade ring, connections scratch him from the race.  Union Rags draws post #1 gets boxed in early and never makes a run.  Bodemeister in #18 bobbles at the start falling behind the pack, gets a face full of dirt and decides he does not feel like running today.  Hansen and Castaway get locked into a duel for the early lead and are spent after a mile and fade.  Creative Cause and Dullahan get boxed in mid pack, cannot find any racing room, both make a run at the finishcoming from 14th & 15th around the final turn to finish 6th and 7th.  Alpha gets bumped by the tiring I'll have another around the final turn and checks behind a wall of horses to fade at the finish.  Gemologist is stalking the leaders all along, and goes wide on the final turn making his run down the middle and passes tiring horses to take 2nd.  As the field fans out coming home Take Charge Indy finds a little racing room and bursts forth between horses, and Mark Valeski sees daylight on the rail and makes a charge down the homestretch passing Take Charge Indy in the final furlong and winning by a length over Gemologist in the middle of the track with Take Charge Indy taking 3rd.  

Unlikely?? Why??  Possible??  Unlikely.  But in the end it will just be a horse race.  

19 Apr 2012 1:13 PM
Pedigree Ann

Rusty - Going into the 2001 Derby, there were only two horses I thought could win - Point Given and Monarchos. I didn't mind that Monarchos hadn't won the Wood; I expected Congaree to spit the bit in upper stretch, which he did. Monarchos was not some sort of major upset like Mine That Bird.

Matthew H. - In 1985, Spend a Buck was expected to be challenged on the lead by Eternal Prince, however the latter broke poorly and could never get near the front, leaving SaB on a lonesome lead. I remember thinking "Well, that kills it for Proud Truth." (a deep closer, had won the Florida Derby). Totally changed the race dynamics.

19 Apr 2012 1:23 PM

Curlin.  The jockey claims that if he was on the outside Creative Cause would have won the Santa Anita Derby.  

If you watch the San Felipe, it looks like he is taking a shower out there, wiggling, jiggling, throwing his head.  He still handled Bodemeister with ease once I think he saw him.

Hence, the blinks came off for the Santa Anita Derby.

CC is a lock for a top 3 finish the way he ran on Churchill last go around.

19 Apr 2012 1:39 PM
steve from st louis

Because I'm a devotee of Dr. Roman's Dosage profile for thoroughbreds going 10 furlongs on the first Saturday in May (because it has a proven winning record of the past 30 Kentucky Derbies other than Giacomo and Mine That Bird, two rank outsiders) the three horses with the best chef-de-race profiles indicative of being able to carry speed at the distance this year are Creative Cause, Alpha and Bodemeister.

The latter is the only top 3-year-old with representation in the stoutest  class of chef-de races. The two  historical disqulifiers are  the fact the Empire Maker colt did not race as a two-year-old and thus was not racted on the Experimental Handicap for juveniles. But he has a Dosage Index of 3.0 and a center of distribution of less than 1.0 (.67).

So there's my exacta box--Alpha (D.I. of 1.67 and CD of .44 and experimental weight of 116), Creative Cause (D.I. of 1.43, CD of .29 and experimental weight of 124) and Bodemeister. If pressed for a superfecta pick, throw in Gemologist and Union Rags underneath.

Please feel free to vehemently disagree so as to improve my prices.

19 Apr 2012 1:41 PM

Slew how often do 2 California horses hit the board in the Derby ?  Do your homework rookie.  Learn from a expert and just do what I tell you to do.

19 Apr 2012 1:57 PM

If the track comes out wet, I'll put my bets on El Padrino!

19 Apr 2012 2:32 PM

I wouldn't say Afleet Alex was "fried" in the 2005 Derby.  He kept running and finished a strong 3rd.  Of course, he was much the best and proved it in the Preakness and Belmont.  But if you mean he didn't win because of being on the hot pace, that is correct.

19 Apr 2012 2:33 PM


19 Apr 2012 2:40 PM
Mary Zinke

Kevin, I think you're right about Hansen and Bodemeister and that they will burn out. Creative Cause is my Derby fav, which I've stated many times, but I also find something to like about Chucky's pick, Daddy Long Legs. He looked great winning the UAE Derby, and so strong in the gallop out. Hope he likes dirt this time.

What is it exactly, besides "all there is to know" that the master can tell me about the Derby? Or is it expected to just blindly follow?

Don't know what to make of the domestic violence reference by another. Oh well, my humor is way sicker than that.

19 Apr 2012 3:12 PM
Union Buster

I'll start by restating rain or shine union on the rags will not win the Ky Derby!! He's lost 2 of his last 3 and is a fading star. Other than that until the entries are made and post positions are drawn it's useless to pick now. Secret Circle can't win either, he's packing his bags and taking a vacation after the whipping Bode gave him.

19 Apr 2012 3:15 PM

One rule of thumb that almost always seems to apply to the Derby is look for an improving horse especially from age 2 to 3. That rules out top contenders such as Union Rags, Gemologist, and Hansen, who haven't run much if any faster than they did at 2. Each has run at least twice this year and I would have expected marked improvement over last year but it didn't happen. Those who have stepped it up include Dullahan, I'll Have Another, Alpha, Daddy Nose Best, Bodemeister (who may have had his "bounce" in the San Felipe and now be poised to run another high), and to a lesser extent maybe Creative Cause. It's still a long way to May 5th, I'll be watching works, post draws, etc. before I make my final choice. One thing for sure, Post 1 is a automatic toss no matter who.  

19 Apr 2012 3:40 PM
Mike Monarchos

You're right Union Buster Secret Circle can't win because he's hurt and off the trail. That means El Padrino will make the Derby.

19 Apr 2012 4:04 PM

First of all yes Afleet Alex got fried.  2nd Summer Front wins on Saturday.  I am on fire baby !

19 Apr 2012 4:32 PM
Smoking Baby

Pedigree Ann.  Good job remembering the 1985 Derby.  If Eternal Prince doesn't get left in the gate I believe Chief's Crown wins that Derby.

19 Apr 2012 4:46 PM

Thanks Smoking Baby for confirming that for me.

2:24- what I was trying to infer is that the horse had a legitimate excuse for running the way he did.  People always say what a "bust" he was in the Derby.  And, we don't really know that without the injury he would have been fried by Spanish Chestnut.  He might have kept going.

Pedigree Ann- Nobody was beating Spend A Buck that day.  Eternal Prince would have fallen back while Spend A Buck would have just kept going.  In his next 10 furlong race he ran the first 6 furlongs in 1:09, and still held off Creme Fraiche.  

19 Apr 2012 4:54 PM

Boy...Secret Circle was injured! How did you know that was coming ky vet? Great call! you posted he would be on the shelf soon, and wouldnt make the derby....oh good call on the factor going off form too.......

19 Apr 2012 5:14 PM
El Kabong


Hold your ground on Pearl Jam Pal.

John from Seattle,

Nirvana's core(Cobain, Novoselic) is from Aberdeen.

Pearl Jam is from Seattle, with the exception of chicago import, via San Diego-Eddie V-The core used to be part of Mother Love Bone until lead singer Andy Woods OD'

19 Apr 2012 5:16 PM

The word "bounce" is an overrated term that means nothing.

Another thing that doesn't matter is the horses in the Breeders Cup Juvinile........who cares, doesn't matter and has nothing to do with their present form.

The horse everybody has to figure out is Bodemeister. This horse is the "standard of reference" for the most of this 3-year-old crop.

Was his 9-length win in the Ark. Derby against a poor field?...or an "average" field? I believe that field wasn't "terrible"....but I would need at least 6-1 to consider him with the win price.

You can also compare his effort to the west coast horses (Creative Cause and I'll Have Another)........let the comparisons begin!

19 Apr 2012 5:37 PM

With Secret Circle out, that gaurantees one thing.....Hansen will be hugging the rails on both turns (something to think about in terms of a ground saving trip and another "suspect" crop of three-year-olds.)

19 Apr 2012 5:49 PM


Your arrogance is almost as steep as your ignorance...  Where has your Mark Valeski tout gone?  Your hypocrisy for blaming your losses last weekend on the chalk coming in when your biggest touts (Rachel Alexandra, Quality Road, Uncle Mo, Big Brown), are all chalk all the time, and your 2012 tout of Union Rags is the CHALK!  

You are claiming that having two California horses on your ticket is a loser... Pretty sure two of your five horses ran in California this year... (Daddy Nose Best and Creative Cause).

As for Alpha, there has been more reliance on the Santa Anita Derby winner succeeding in the KD than the Withers over the last 25 years.

You make no sense... keep telling yourself you know more about the derby than everyone else, but until you stop cursing the horses at the top of their game with your touts, stop acting like you are Mr. Prognosticator!

Horses to succomb to the Draynay Curse:

Rachel Alexandra

Union Rags

Quality Road

Uncle Mo  

19 Apr 2012 5:52 PM

Who's the forgotten horse?

Went the Day Well

He's hardly getting a mention. He could find himself quietly in striking distance with 100 yds. to go.

I'll play him at 21-1 or higher

19 Apr 2012 5:55 PM

The Apollo rule and all the other tidbits related(foundation) if Bode wins will be left in the dust like an old wives tale.I agree that experience is helpful in a 20 horse field.When backers are claiming foundation as an advantage for horses such as Creative Cause,Dullahan,Hansen and Union Rags when they took how long of a break between the Breeders Cup Juvenile, and their 1st start as a 3yo.In Hansens 1st race he ran like a maiden in the Holy Bull rushing up to take the lead and running like he was having a panic attack(Where was his foundation)he left it in 2011.Talent trumps experience if deployed properly.In Bodes case his inexperience will not even come into play unless he gets a bad start and or a bad trip,which in the Derby means getting stopped.Losing ground is not so significant in a 20 horse field unless the jockey decides to press the pace 5 or more wide on the 1st turn.If he gets a clear run towards the front and can get into his high cruising speed his 4 race career and lack of experience wont mean much,either he will be good enough or he wont.Who has run as many races in 2012 as Bode 4 only 2 Prospective and Daddy Long Legs.I know what your thinking he cant possibly run back to his same figure on 3 weeks rest.Just like many of you on here I thought as fast as he ran he had an easy race,but one which has him in top condition.Lets see the post position he draws, this could greatly effect him because of his inexperience, because getting stopped for him is how he wont be able to replicate his trip in the Arkansas Derby.Of the colts that I have seen run in the US there arent many that can run with him and probably wont unless they draw close to him or well inside of him.

19 Apr 2012 5:57 PM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

Point Given is a painful one for me because that was the first year I really followed and bet the races and I saw him at the Preakness, in which he beat Monarchos easily and the Belmont, which he won by twelve lengths.  That was the best horse I've seen in the flesh, but I never saw Afleet Alex.

As someone who likes to crib notes, I'm curious if you have pedigree ranking, or any pedigree tossouts.

19 Apr 2012 5:58 PM
Rusty Weisner

I watched the BCJ again with an eye on the contenders and was a little suprised that Dullahan raced inside pretty close to the pace.

19 Apr 2012 5:59 PM
Rusty Weisner

Weren't the pedigrees of War Emblem and Funny Cide suspect?

19 Apr 2012 6:09 PM

My bad only Prospective has run 4 races in 2012 DLL has not, if I have ommitted any colt in the top  20 that has run 4 races in 2012 feel free.

19 Apr 2012 6:23 PM

Robinm - Afleet Alex was used for position on three occasions prior to the stretch.  If he hadn't been used as hard, he would have blown that race open.  And if the derby was limited to 14 then he wouldn't have had to be used early.  Listen, I know these are excuses.  But if that race was truly run and wasn't blown by a ridiculous pace by a ridiculous horse, there is no way Alex loses.

19 Apr 2012 6:56 PM

More bagging on the west...I took the million dollar in earnings colt POTN at 6.30 over Friesan Fire (3.80, 18th) and Dunkirk (5.20, 11th).  

Knowing what is hyped and what is legitimate is the key.  

If you think Union Rags is for real bet him.  I think it is press hype.  He's simply too slow.  

19 Apr 2012 6:56 PM
Tiz Herself

Gemologist was my poll selection, however is really hard to choose. I love Union Rags and will not be shocked, especially if it is a wet track.. (especially if I hear the words like peanut butter as per last year's Juvenile). Have followed Gemologist since day one pretty much so would be awesome to follow a horse through.

Love the two grays in Hansen and Creative Cause.

Dullahan, Bodemeister, I'll Have Another

longshots Went the Day Well, Daddy Long Legs, Take Charge Indy... I am stoked for this Derby.

19 Apr 2012 7:14 PM
Tiz Herself

Jason, who do you like in the Oaks? It's a sting to see Princess Arabella not in it as I really liked her.

On Fire Baby, Broadway's Alibi or Believe You Can...

Derby week should have some talent horses as well

In the La Troienne of course will root for Havre de Grace.

Alysheba = Mucho Macho Man if he runs

American Turf = Howe Great, Gung Ho and Finnegans Wake

Twin Spires Turf Sprint - Chamberlain Bridge

Humana - Musical Romance

Churchill Distaff Turf Mile - Tapitsfly

Churchill Downs presented by Navistar = Shackleford if he runs

Woodford Reserve = Doubles Partner, Get Stormy and Turallure

2012 is the best year ever for the horses. The names recognized from last and the three year olds... can't top that.

19 Apr 2012 7:17 PM

Mark Valeski: Won't get alot of respect at the betting windows, but if you like this horse, you will be getting a fresh horse that has been galloping at Churchill with Larry Jones in the saddle(looks like John Wayne in the saddle), so 126lbs, no problem. He seems to run 2nd alot, and his sire was 2nd in the Kentucky Derby and 3rd in the Belmont(so there is some distance in this pedigree)  and he is out of a multiple stakes winning dam. He could be ripe to peek on Derby day, so he just might be the bomb in the gimmicks. I actually think he has a chance to win, wouldn't that be the biggest surprise of the year? Oh, and don't forget Rosie will be riding, makes for a great story, no?

19 Apr 2012 7:30 PM

Sabercat: was his 3rd in the Arkansas Derby just enough to have him ready on Derby day? He could be another bomb in the gimmicks. You get a great trainer in Asmussen, an extremely good jockey that knows big races in Nakatani. He didn't need to win any races at 3 to get into the Derby, so are we looking for him to surprise everyone when he closes like a runaway freight train in the

Derby? I think so, can't possibly leave this guy out. he is a brilliant horse, bred to love the mile and a quarter.

19 Apr 2012 7:40 PM

Bodemeister: the best horse that will be in the starting gate on Derby day, no doubt about it. He will go wire to wire if he can get out front, now that he knows that, that is how he wins races. No one will be able to hang with him, which is why Union Rags and  Hansen, will fade badly in the stretch and be out of the money.

19 Apr 2012 7:48 PM

can't wait for post draws. posts 1,5,10 and 20 have high percentage wins. i think only post never to have a winner is 17. good luck to all.

19 Apr 2012 7:50 PM

I always say the Derby is not to the best horse, but the one that can get out of the traffic - too may horses in the race makes it a crap shoot.  But this year I am just going to go with my heart, and my heart belongs to Hansen. <3 <3 <3

19 Apr 2012 7:55 PM

Creative Cause- don't like Rosario, who will ruin this horse's chances, too bad, but will leave in possible 4th, along with the following, Gemologist, I'll Have Another, Take Charge Indy, Dullahan, Daddy Nose Best, and Alpha. So that's what I like at this point, having to take some kind of stand in what is possibly the toughest race I have ever seen.

19 Apr 2012 7:57 PM

First of all, I don't handicap races, and if I did, this one would be tough. All the horses above mentioned are legitimate contenders. Any one of them could win the roses. That being said, I'm rooting for Hansen, but feel in my gut that Bodemeister or Dullahan will merge victorious if they have good trips. As tradition, I always play the longest shot on the board. You never know, this is the Derby. In any case, I'm flabbergasted that the majority of voters feel Union Rags will prevail as the Derby winner. He's certainly a talented pony, but I was beginning to think fans were pushing him aside lately. As I said, this is a hard call, no bums in the bunch. It will come down to luck and ability. Since they all seem to possess the ability, guess we'll see who gets lucky. I'd still love to see Hansen win the Derby, but being a Bird fan I won't mind too much if Dullahan wins the roses. Hope they all have a safe trip, that's most important.

19 Apr 2012 8:03 PM

UNION RAGS,enough said.  If it is a muddy track, UNION RAGS, look at the Saratoga Special.  Some of you need to do some research.  Dullahan, turf. Bodemeister, no competition. Gemologist, Alpha almost caught him.  Union Rags beat Alpha many lengths. TCI got lucky on the lead; that won't happen in the derby.  

Julien Leparoux excels at Churchill Downs.  Next to Borel, he's the leading jockey there.  

I hope that many of you bet on Bodemeister, Gemoligist, TCI, and Hansen, so that I can get good odds on UNION RAGS.

19 Apr 2012 9:39 PM

Union Buster, unfortunately Secret Circle is out.  I hope he is okay.

19 Apr 2012 9:41 PM

Creative Cause, no.

19 Apr 2012 9:42 PM

steve from St. Louis, you need to bet on the baseball games, I love the St. Louis Cardinals.  You are wrong about Alpha, Creative Cause, and Bodemeister.  Union Rags beat Alpha going away.  Bodemeister ran against allowance horses. Creative Cause, California horses don't win the derby.  UNION RAGS is a lovely horse, and has won races in a spectacular fashion.  I love them all, but Union Rags has the class, IMO.  

19 Apr 2012 9:49 PM

Shame on hollendolfer and lukas.......your mules dont belong.......i expect it from lukas, but thought jerry was smarter than this......oh well....

19 Apr 2012 9:56 PM

DRAYNAY keeps saying he is on FIRE..................is that why ALL his picks go up in SMOKE?

19 Apr 2012 10:03 PM

THIS IS HANDICAPPING? DRAG NAG says he is playing a 6 horse trifecta box? 120 combinations? What happened to the best horse since secretariat?

19 Apr 2012 10:09 PM

If you guys want to see another triple crown winner, Union Rags IMO is the only horse that can give you that.  It has been 34 years; I just want to see it happen one more time.

Any one of these horse can win the derby, but I want more.

19 Apr 2012 10:11 PM

If one more person says "California horses don't win the Derby"...I'm seriously going to open a vein.

19 Apr 2012 10:23 PM

My #1 pic is Union Rags,than Gemologist,Bodemeister,Dullahan and finally Prospective.  After that, anyone of the other 15 will be ok with me.  MM is a great trainer and deserves another shot at maybe a TC winner.  We missed out in 2006. I hope that everyone else on the KD trail stays sound. I'm glad that there's so little time left, cause I'm getting stir crazy.

19 Apr 2012 10:24 PM

IMO this is not a tough field or call.  Union Rags, Take Charge Indy, and whatever horses come after these two.  If Mark Valeski gets in, I will go with him behind UR and TCI.

19 Apr 2012 10:25 PM
Paula Higgins

Thank you Stones! Speaking of Stones, the greatest rock band ever may be The Rolling Stones. My top 4: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

19 Apr 2012 10:32 PM

As mentioned, the field is so balanced you could easily work 7 or 8 horses into your exotic picks. I think drawing a favorable post will be key and if the track comes up wet on race day then most of the scenarios we might expect go right out the window.

19 Apr 2012 10:44 PM

TJLuvstizs you know nothing.  The fact that DNB ran a couple of races in California does NOT make him a California horse.  Most races were in Kentucky or New York.  2 out of 10 races doesn't make him a California horse but nice try.  Look, as one of the top Derby experts all I can do is lead you to water.  I can't make you drink.

19 Apr 2012 10:48 PM
Splits of 12

I'm sticking to my guns, Union Rags will be the one who captures the garland of roses. Here's why. Union Rags has yet to run his biggest race. Michael Matz has been training him up, to peak on Derby day. I'm not concerned that he hasn't had a triple digit speed figure, like some critics keep harping about. What this horse has that you need to win the Derby is heart, and he's all that and more. If you watch the Florida Derby closely, you'll see that once he got out from the rail he started gobbling up ground rapidly. If that race had been the classic distance, he would have blown by Take Charge Indy for the win. Don't be surprised if the Derby exacta is these two again with The Rags running down TCI in deep stretch, to win the Derby. I could see some longshot getting up for the show and Creative Cause filling out the superfecta. I have this gut feeling we are going to have a Triple Crown winner this year, my heart tells me it 's going to be Union Rags, but if that scenario doesn't pan out then I'll Have Another just might.

19 Apr 2012 10:50 PM

Smoking Baby- watch Spend A Buck's Jersey Derby.  He gets pushed by sprinter Huddle Up, who was supposed to push him so Badger Land could win, to a ridiculous 6 furlong split.  He didn't collapse in the stretch.  Creme Fraiche's jockey said he expected Spend A Buck to give it up, but he was surprised when he dug in and held off Creme Fraiche.  Spend A Buck would have shook off Eternal Prince and just kept going.  Nobody was going to beat him in that Derby. JMHO, but...........

19 Apr 2012 11:19 PM
Ted from LA

I just want to make $1,000,000 on Derby Day.  I will bet Jason's nuggets to do so.  I have no plan right now.  Bode with that horrible name and those high Beyers worry me, the next 5 are all equal. Done Talking is my long shot of the year.  He is slow, but perhaps he will grow into a Dr. D in the next month and a half.  Is it just me or does Nora Jones have a great voice?

20 Apr 2012 12:15 AM

Spirited blog.  Why all the nay-sayers on the Draynay subscriber.  Seems like some legitimate insight to me.  I like DNB.  Third off the layoff, improving horse on route of ground, nice mix in the breeding with MRP influence.  Patient Asmussen campaign.  Pace of race in his favor.  Gomez in the irons.  Looks like Real Quiet to me when reading the figs line.  Love that someone noted as Carlos in Cali discounts him because the horse that swings back in 3 weeks losses at OP to Bodie by a bunch.  Hmm.  that's not the measure of this horse dude.  That's the measure of the runner, 3 weeks pushed, boucing, etc.  Not a good idea to link the two.  At the start of this Blog, I thought the Draynay subscriber pegged those to look out for.  Jason, awesome blog!

20 Apr 2012 1:07 AM

Take charge Indy, if he draws anywhere near the rail, or not!

20 Apr 2012 1:56 AM

Bret Stossel writes: < "Racing is in desperate need of an undefeated champion. .." >

Can't think why...

The 35 years+ reigning Triple Crown champion, AFFIRMED might be undefeated, had Laffit Pincay not elected to stay on the West Coast, whereupon Steve Cauthen inherited the mount, but then ulitmately accounted for too many of Affirmed's *blemish* finishes, in my opinion. Either during record South California rains, or while mired in his unfortunate 110-race losing streak, whichever (along with the 2 finishes behind Seattle Slew, which I doubt would have occured had Pincay been aboard to counter Cordero's clever pace tactics). ...minus the Travers DQ, of course.

The point being, that it's the 3-crown accomplishment, itself (and perhaps the Grade One stakes race victories that FOLLOW, at age four and beyond (by which to garner back-to-back Horse-Of-The-Year titles and such honors), that are determinative of thoroughbred greatness.

Not a runner's *undefeated* status, per se.

In this connection, Spectacular Bid's impressive win skein might be dotted with TWOS, instead of ones, had Affirmed raced on, at age five.


20 Apr 2012 4:03 AM
Criminal Type

This should surprise no one since I've been on him since last July....Union Rag's, Union Rag's Union Rag's. I would love to see it come up muddy as hell too. He LOVED it in Saratoga. I have not bet the Derby since 2007 when I had the trifacta of Street Sense, Hard Spun and Curlin. Although I won since I boxed my ticket, I was so dissapointed that Hard Spun did not win it. (still say Mario should have lodged an objection since Street Sense came right across Hard Spuns nose) causing Hard Spun take up a bit. Clearly HS stumbled in the stretch.

There are so many good horses this year, Ive found it easier to throw out the NO CHANCE at all horses (I've got 14 of those) and analyze whats left. Hansen will be done by the eigth pole and Bode with him (I do not see him duplicating that Arkansas Derby performance on May 5th) Went the Day well, I'll have Another will be coming late. I have no confidence in Dullahan on dirt. For the record, I did not have Animal Kingdom last year, but my husband, the novice, DID.(he saw him on tv, in his stall and said, wow he is pretty, I bet he wins)<duh!> You can bet I will be dragging him to Pimlico on Derby morning to place our bets.

No doubt, it's going to be a great day of racing. I am having my First KD party. Ive got family coming in from all over that week and we have 2 bushels of Crab's ordered for Derby Day.

Sure can tell by most of these posts where people are from. I admire the faith the west coasters put in their locally based horses. It is admirable, although maybe misguided just to put your money on a horse because he races on the left coast when there are better horses in the race. Just my opinion.

20 Apr 2012 5:21 AM

Tiz Herself...

If only they would move The Churchill Downs (GII) to Friday and run the La Troienne on Saturday.  It doesn't look like the reigning HOY's race will even be televised.  

If it is on NBC, coverage doesn't start until 4.  Unbelievable.  Way to showcase the stars.  Who does the marketing at Churchill?

20 Apr 2012 7:49 AM
Mike from Michigan

Jason, what do you think of 'Eden's Moon' chances in the Oaks?

20 Apr 2012 8:24 AM

A P Indy and his battalion of sons and grandsons have so far failed to sire a Derby winner.  The great stallion has sired a Preakness and Belmont winner. However, his sons and grandsons are on zero in Triple Crown races.  How can sons and grandsons of this regally bred stallion be unsuccessful in these races?  It should not be forgotten that A P Indy’s sire was a TC winner and his dam was sire by a TC winner as well. He therefore should be a major stamina influence in TC races. The sire line is likely to have six starters in the 2012 Derby i.e., Alpha, Rousing Sermon, Hansen, El Padrino, Prospective and Take Charge Indy.

This sire line has been knocking at the door for some time and has had its fair share of bad luck in the Derby. Example: Bernardini had set backs and did not have the time to secure the requisite earning to make the Derby. Ice Box was blocked about a dozen times and still finished a willing second. Nehro had to contest his final prep three weeks before the Derby because of his late start. He entered the Derby with only a maiden win his credit and finished a creditable second.

Best Derby finishes for the A P Indy sire line:

2011 - Nehro by Mineshaft - 2nd

2010 - Ice Box by Pulpit - 2nd

2000 - Aptitude by A P Indy - 2nd

Derby 138 could be the one in which the door is opened.

20 Apr 2012 8:32 AM

Bodemeister is not Big Brown BB had his first race on December 23 Bodemeister had his on January 3,he got an 11 day foundation head start on him.Union Rags is not Barbaro, Barbaro could press the pace in the Florida derby and he could work like a front runner, the week of the Derby April 29 2006.I dont care who is the favorite is,its not like he will be 2-1 or anything.I care more about the exacta odds.

20 Apr 2012 9:10 AM

Another very nice 5f work in 1:00 flat shows me Union is training well and sitting on his best race as a 3 year old.  One more work at Churchill until he wears the Roses in 2 weeks.  Face it, he is a monster !  Union Rags your 2012 Kentucky Derby winner !

20 Apr 2012 9:53 AM

Dray is going to love Union Rags' work from this morning.

20 Apr 2012 9:57 AM
Pedigree Ann

Rusty, thank you for your confidence.

First question, I would have said Secret Circle and Hansen were easy tosses. SC's sire is a dud, so his abilities are not on offer, and the damside is all miler. Hansen's sire is mainly a miler sire and his damside is pathetic - not only void of SWs, but even light on the solid, professional racehorses that one found in Silver Charm's damside.

Funny Cide and War Emblem were short on fashionable names in the pedigree, but both had quite strong damsides for staying.

Funny Cide came from a Darby Dan family (he shared a 5th dam with Empire Maker) with Little Current and Graustark on the damline.

Similarly, War Emblem's dam was by Santa Anita H winner Lord at War, next dam by distance turfer The Pruner, and the next by Aussie stayer Sky High II. Enough 2-turn horses produced by the family to think the staying portion was still there.

I put a lot of stock in the strength and quality of the female side; it can make up for lacks in the sire side in many cases. Very rarely, Ghostzapper being the major example, the sire overpowers a short female side; but I'll stick with looking for a bred-for-distance, performing female side in my 10f horses.

20 Apr 2012 10:09 AM

Secret circle, that stinks, but he was a toss for me anyway. Just hate to see these horses get hurt. Now Reveron is in.... Longshot pick

Rags worked great today, Gem had a nice work, they all need to pick it up and start firing 59's and 111's.

If Alpha did not have this damn issue, he is my pick. Starting to like Went the Day Well, I'll Have another, and Take Charge Indy the more I look at it, but I can't get past GEM, Rags, and Cause. This is a clusterf***

Summer Applause is looking real good for the Oaks!!

20 Apr 2012 10:15 AM
Jason Shandler

Mike: I need to watch all of her races but without handicapping the race in full, I know I am going to have a hard time backing off of Grace Hall. She is a special filly. I think In Lingerie may be the wild card with her electric speed.

Like Billy, I have always been high on Summer Applause too. I like her better than Believe You Can.

20 Apr 2012 10:22 AM
Jason Shandler

This poll has had over 2,000 votes. If it is any indication of how betting will go on Derby Day, Union Rags will be favored.

20 Apr 2012 10:23 AM
steve from st louis

Mary, I'm just applying the dosage formula to the prospects and those three runners mentioned have the best numbers.

It has nothing to do with what HAS happened except for the preferred weighting on last year's Experimental Handicap.

I don't care about previous performance one bit. Union Rags could be undefeated, winning by double digits in each start but his bloodlines preclude him from getting 10 furlongs on the first Saturday in May. Well, he'll get the 10 furlongs if you give him enough time.

It has nothing to do with Bodemeister and who he ran against. Dosage figures are available hypothetically before the foal is even dropped.

Dosage is all about bloodlines-- Creative Cause could have run everyone of his races in Florida and his Dosage wouldn't change.

As far as the individuals, I made my winter book wagers on two horses based on their dosage--Out of Bounds and Alpha. I'll keep my fingers crossed that Alpha makes the starting gate. I'm down at 22-1. If he's higher than that in the starting gate, I'll bet some more.

As far as the Cardinals, last year was as magical a run as any sports team could possibly have. And betting baseball is the best wager available at the sports book because you can never lose because time ran out. Most big gamblers play baseball before football. One guy I used to work with at the Daily Racing Form moved to Las Vegas and he makes one bet a week, $2,000 on one sporting event per week, either pro baseball, pro football or pro basketball. He moved from Chicago and still lives in Henderson, spending his days studying and smoking Cuban cigars. It could get worse.

20 Apr 2012 10:38 AM

I smell a surprise winner:  Daddy Long Legs.

20 Apr 2012 10:54 AM

I am not a fan of the Derby Future Pools wagers. I have stated in the pass that it’s a sucker wager. Because of the attractive odds, gamblers are sucked despite the overwhelming rick. Against my better judgment I placed a small future wage in the final pool on Alpha. Baring misfortune he should provide an opportunity for a return on investment. The A P Indy line has been knocking at the door and if a door is knocked often enough someone or something on the other side will cause it to open.

I now find myself in a dilemma. A number of extremely appealing colts have emerged since my wager. Do I ignore my future win wager on Alpha and evaluate others for the top of my ticket? Well, I committed to Alpha early and obviously it would defy wisdom to switch to another colt if he is fit and well. Wisdom aside, if  based on his body of work he does not warrant being retained at the top of my ticket, it is wiser to replace him with one perceived to be more worthy.

The option I chose to address my dilemma involved asking and answering a series of questions. They are cited below:

Can Godolphin Stables ever win a Derby? Yes!

Their best finish has been 6th. Their best hope Street Cry sustained an injury leading up to the Derby. They are having a brilliant year so far.

Can K McLaughlin go one better with Alpha than 78-1 runner up Closing Argument? Yes!

Alpha is significantly better bred and has more ability. Mr. McLaughlin was diagnosed with a serious ailment preceding the 2005 Derby. His father recently passed. A bad development before a Derby yet again! His BCC winner Invasor got sick before his prep in the JCGC. This delayed his hipping plans to CD. He trained up to the race in NY. Alpha was recently diagnosed with an infection that has delayed his shipment to CD. He will train up to the race in NY. Is history repeating itself? You neve know.

Is a son of A P Indy overdue to be a Derby winning sire ? Yes!

They sired the runner ups in last two Derbies.

Can Nijinsky become the latest son of Northern Dancer to be Derby winning broodmare sire? Yes!

Four sons of Northern Dancer’s sons have been Derby winning broodmare sires. Nijinsky was dam sire of Belmont winners Colonial Affair and grand dam sire of Belmont and Breeder Cup Classic winner Drosselmeyer.

Have Derby wining sires ever doubled as Derby winning broodmare sires? Yes!

Hyperion, Native Dancer, Count Fleet, Bull Lea, Sir Gallahad, Reigh Count, Blenhiem.

Can a horse win on a track on which it recorded it worst performance? Yes!

His sire and dam sire either performed or produced performers at the track. Bernardini was 2nd in the BCC at CD; Ferdinand sired by Nijinsky won the Derby.

Will Alpha be effective at the Derby distance? Yes!

If horse that was sired by A P Indy’s best son and whose dam was sired by 1970 British Triple Crown winner Nijinsky cannot effectively stay 10F, all faith will be lost in pedigree.

We are all familiar with the Idiom ‘That's my story and I'm sticking to it.’ Well,  Alpha is my selection and I am sticking with him.

20 Apr 2012 11:11 AM


If hitting 1 of the last 3 Derbys means you know everything about the derby then I bow to you.  You hit the tri in 2010 by boxing the 6 chalkiest horses and it paid off, I salute you.

With your support for Union Rags ever growing he is doomed for a quarter crack or drawing the rail on derby day.

20 Apr 2012 11:43 AM

best betting strategy. Just use birthdays. your birthday is march 12, 1979, 3,7,9,12.

Your kid was born on april 4 2008, 2,4,8.

I am betting my kids due date, 5-14-12, or 1,4,5,12, or 1,2,5,12,14

Bet and Hope...

20 Apr 2012 11:59 AM
Carlos in Cali

I hope they make UR the favorite,it'll be nice if the hype continues on the horse who has promised more than he's delivered.

Pine_Bluff_987: My point was,with IHC getting trounced @ OP & Santa Anita, DNB's all-out performance to catch him doesn't look good.IHC is simply not that much horse.

20 Apr 2012 12:01 PM

Is Bigger Better?

I am of the opinion that none of the big colts in the class of 2012 will win the Derby. Who do I consider to be the big colt? Well those that appear to be 17 hands i.e., Union Rags, Creative Cause, Gemologist, Dulluhan, El padrino. I might have left out a couple but the aforementioned all appear to be much bigger than the others. Horses that stand at 17 hands have to be dead fit or very athletic to carry their mass 10F on the Churchill Downs strip. These are all  far striding colts and their prep races have highlighted that once they get up to full speed there are no more gears to found.

Union Rags: In the BCJ he displayed some of the most powerful strides seen on a 2YO in long time.  He could not catch Hansen who had a faster stride turn over. This pattern was on display again in the FL Union Rags closed with long powerful stride but his stride turnover was just too slow to clear his deficits on the smaller Reveron and TCI.

Creative Cause: This is another colt that is another powerful far striding sort. He was the closest to Hansen in the BCJ turning into the stretch and could not quicken when fully extended. His last two preps he collared the short of seasoning Bode and inched by. In the SA Derby he could not dismiss the 42-1 leader and could not get away from the late challenge of I’ll have Another.

Gemologist: This colt is probably the biggest of them all. This colt big and is slow and if he win the Derby they a can rename the Walk for the Roses. I cannot see this colt dragging his large frame with 126 around the CD oval. He had to be fully extended to defeat what appeared to be a short Alpha and a suspect rider. Won an extremely slow KJC staked by a small margin against a bunched moderates.

Dulluhan: This big one was very moderate in his dirt attempts. He is not very smooth when closing and will have no chance of catching leaders who are not backing up on dirt. He also has a rather large head that is an added handicap going 10F.

El padrino: He could be renamed Mr. One Pace. A big far striding colt that possess a nice grinding stride pattern; he will not get by quality quick turnover horses with his style.

The above colts have to be dead fit to win the Derby as it takes a lot of energy to move their big frames. Smaller horses that have quick stride turnover and the capacity to stay 10F can get away with not being dead fit. Mine That Bird was possibly the smallest horse in the 2009 Derby. He passed the big far striding PoineerOf Nile like he was glued to the ground. There is a Mine That Bird type colt in the Derby field. The difference between the is the fact that he won prep. Done Talking!

20 Apr 2012 12:31 PM

Carlos in Cali,

Keep knocking Union Rags pal...but it will not help your favourites.

I think that your are dead wrong in your estimation of Daddy Nose Best. Your analysis is based upon Isn't He Clever's flop in the Arkansas Derby but you fail to realise that his performance at Sunland Park fits the "horses for courses" pattern that some thoroughbreds display. His performance moved way up on that track thus DNB 100 Beyer in that event should not be discounted. Think again Buddy. The Northern Dancer line colts are much better suited to the May schedule of the Derby than your favoured AP Indys.

20 Apr 2012 2:17 PM


There should be nothing humbling about your opinions.  I find you one of the most knowledgeable and consistently correct bloggers on any blog that I have followed.  Your opinions are always sensible and never biased.

20 Apr 2012 2:19 PM

Carlos in CA - I understand your point.  I'm just taking a different position and really not paying much attn. to IHC.  IHC's performance is not a barometer for me --- for DNB's progress/performance trajectory.

Slew - War Emblem would better be characterized as a Louisiana/Illinois horse.  Connections sold him to Baffert's Client close to the Derby.

In any event, I do not really buy any of the regional bashing.  Each year stands on its own.  With the stakes inflation; their are many paths to choose from.

There are a lot of things to like about DNB.  He's been at CD for a while now, he'll show at least one bullet, he's third off the layoff for Steve A. (and Blasi), he'll have the ability to sit off the pace, he'll show a turn of foot, he's got MRP, love the breeding on the dam side (class, stamina).  No matter what figs you use he's pyramiding on May 5.

20 Apr 2012 2:28 PM

  I like Take Charge Indy.  I loved his sire and loved his dam.  So, he's my pick.  

  I still rather like Hansen but am concerned his trainer won't be able to control the owner.  Messing with the horse's tail before a race???  Good grief.  I know he is a successful, intelligent man but that was STUPID!

20 Apr 2012 2:51 PM
It aint easy being good!

Coldfacts I always listen to you on your post and most of the time you help me with my handicapping but you have simply lost your mind when it comes to this years derby. Done talking are you serious that horse is slowwwwwwwww! THE SPEED WONT BE BACKING UP THIS YEAR! Also think about this dont you think its a huge advantage for larger horses to carry more weight especially if they are used to it. Mind that bird won because of a supspect field and had borel and it was in the mud. Also horses like zenyatta need a long strip and more ground to get their momentum going. You are way off this year my friend you have been saying Gem cant win and all he does is win. You keep betting Najjaar and he is faster then Done talking. Can you please be done talking about your horse and give me some insight on the beast in cali which is Ill have another!

20 Apr 2012 2:51 PM
Melissa P

Can't get off the white charger. He's been my pre-Derby horse since he exploded on the scene last year and we know he loves the Churchill strip. Now if only the Doc will leave his durned tail alone...

20 Apr 2012 2:53 PM
Age of Reason

Why is Draynay swooning over Union Rags' workout? (grasping at straws, perhaps?) So he posted good splits at Keeneland--I thought synthetics were an unreliable indicator of dirt form? Where has the old Draynay gone, sneering at "poly horses"?

20 Apr 2012 2:56 PM

Ummm thanks Coldfacts that last post was about as helpful as a anchor on a lifeboat.

20 Apr 2012 3:04 PM
Shoe Board Sal

Afleet Alex had no excuses whatsoever in the 2005 Derby. He was nowhere near the early pace; the chart is easily located via google if there's any confusion on the matter.  They staggered home the final quarter in 26.87, and despite that fact, Afleet Alex simply could not hold off Giacomo and Closing Argument.  

Obviously Afleet Alex subsequently proved to be a far superior horse to Giacomo and Closing Argument, but on the day, with no rhyme or reason, he wasn't good enough.  He's one of those horses that people want to retrofit into a TC winner, and I can see the temptation based on his Preakness and Belmont. Of course AA *should* have been able to grind out that last quarter in a merely blindingly slow 26.75 or so and avoid being run down by Giacomo, but he could not do it.  In fact, Closing Argument was much, much closer to the hot early pace than Afleet Alex was, and Closing Argument still outgamed him for 2nd. Go figure.    

20 Apr 2012 3:12 PM
Mary Zinke

No kidding, B.E.?  If so, what a lovely thought. That is my first baby's b'day. 5/14.  

20 Apr 2012 3:14 PM

Here is something I have been thinking about today. What do you guys think? We have never had a Derby with this many horses still on path for the race coming out of the BC Juv. from last year. Is there a possibility that the top 3 horses in the BC Juv are just the best three horses still today running as 3 year olds? I mean would it suprise anyone to see the same three horses that finished 1,2,3 in the Juvenile run 1,2,3 again in this years running of the Ky Derby? I mean outside of Bodemeister running the way he has run who else has truly impressed us?? Just something I have been thinking about is all. I mean how many people will be sitting there after the race saying can you believe the same horses run 1,2,3 again and the Tri pays $1200.00. Sometimes a race is really that easy and only in the Ky Derby could you take the three classiest horses in the race and get a $1200 Tri out of it because all the focus was on a Baffert horse that never ran a race at age 2... What do you guys think?? Good luck at the windows everyone.

20 Apr 2012 3:47 PM


I'm enjoying reading your posts!!!  Keep up the good work.

20 Apr 2012 4:12 PM

Absolutely no one is postings any positive about Done Talking. Is he chopped liver?  Mr. Shandler thinks he will finish 11th or worst. I just watched the 2009 Derby won by Mine That Bird. I then went to my spreadsheets to check the time of the major Derby preps. The mile time recorded in the IL Derby was 1:39.85 the next slowest was the 1:38.61 recorded by Alpha in the Count Fleet. Every race that Done Talking has contested at a mile and further with the exception of the Gotham where never raised a gallop, he had no pace to run at. The mile splits have been on average 1:39. What does this indicate? Well he is a deep closer and he is always closing on leaders that have basically easy leads. When horses with tactical speed get easy leads they are normally far more resolute in the back end of races. Done Talking closed from last to be beaten by 1L in the Remsen. El Padrino who will be fancied was much closer to the pace and only finished 1/2L ahead of him. The fraction of the Remsen were 24.38, 49.97, 1:15.05,1:39.41, 1:52.07. How does a quality colt like El Padrino allow a colt closing from last in those slow fractions to come within a 1/2L of him at the finish?  

Folks it takes a horse with great ability to close form that far back in those types of fractions. Done Talking is a serious Derby contender and do not be fooled by the like Mr. Shandler by the IL Derby final time of 1:53.88. The IL track was very loose and it was the colt’s 2nd start in almost 5 months. That race will bring him on a ton. He is well bred and there is going to be a speed fest in the 2012 Derby. The top five will not out run this colt to the line. He has very long front legs and a short broad hind end and he leaps forwards like a grey hound. He will be comming at them in the last 2F. Be warned!

20 Apr 2012 4:29 PM
Monarchos Matt

Answering my own question here, for those interested in Tomlinson Distance figures...two years in a row the horse with the highest figure in the field has won the race- Animal Kingdom (365) and Super Saver (368)- so it is worth at least a look I believe:

Top 5 Figures:

Alpha 384

Bodemeister 342

I'll Have Another 342

Done Talking 339

Hansen 307 (interesting...)

5 Lowest Figures:

Went The Day Well 155

Mark Valeski 162

Daddy Long Legs 236

Daddy Nose Best 242

Union Rags 246 (interesting...)

For what it's worth...But certainly the fact that Alpha's number towers over the field, as well as the numbers of the past two Derby winners, merits a long hard look at that one.

20 Apr 2012 4:35 PM

Consider this across the board payout on Gemologist:

$11.80 $9.20 $4.60

Shhhhh.....Don't tell Draynay!

20 Apr 2012 4:51 PM
El Kabong

Billy E,

Congrats. I hope that colt or philly stays put until then. That's too darned close to the big day for you to be thinking clearly about ponies :) I will have to take your suggestions with a grain of salt this year pops. You must have a Mom or Mother in law to lean on to be off the leash at all pal. Keep us posted.

20 Apr 2012 5:06 PM

Race Alert! Hansen has just hit the 3/4 in 1:11 3/5.......see what happens next at Go Daddy dot com!

20 Apr 2012 5:11 PM

Baffert and Pegram (Secret Circle's owner) are on record with the following quote (...after the Arkansas Derby):

"If Bodemeister runs like that again, nobody is going to beat him. We just got to get him to run that race again".

Will he bounce or will he leave this Derby field in his wake? That's the question...

20 Apr 2012 5:25 PM

I like the work at Keeneland because he did it with such little effort.  His trainer is feeling really good about Union.  Expect a 46 flat work next weekend and then a lot of prayers that he gets in the gate safe and sound in 2 weeks so he can win the Derby !!!

20 Apr 2012 5:27 PM


   I love it when you talk about the absolute "studs" of yesteryear!

Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Ruffian, Spectacular Bid,Alydar, Forego(What a stud he was!!!!Nyuk! Nyuk!)

Dr. Fager, Nijinsky II, Kelso, Round Table,Buckpasser..etc. .......Any one of these horses would have kicked the s@#t out of today's horses.....The three best fillies of all time were Ruffian, Zenyatta, Ta Wee (Winning Colors, Lady's Secret and Personal Ensign were as awesome as could be as well!)

20 Apr 2012 5:46 PM
Smarty Jones Jr.


Agree, sometimes it is just that easy or obvious.  This BCJ form is holding great, and it would not shock me.

Also, looks like the fine instrument was "tuned" a little more today at Keenland, any horseman knows what is going om with a colt like Union Rags, and what he "goal" is, not the Fl Derby or prep as some may have suggested.  These are Union Rags. FASTEST WORKS OF THE YEAR.

*Dray-  ur comment on chat, "how only way Bodemeister hits board, is if he runs into it" had all us rolling!

20 Apr 2012 6:22 PM
Tiz Herself

Jamesb, totally agree with you re: HDG, it is too bad that her race won't be televised. Was hoping her connections would consider the Humana on the Derby Day instead.

Union Rags went well today

20 Apr 2012 6:45 PM


“It should be a very good race but I think that Union Rags and Gemologist have the most upside in terms of a spectacular break-out performance looming”.

I have repeated cautioned you to be more measured id your statements and projections. The above projection cannot be justified. Union Rage was defeated by Take Charge Indy in the FL Derby whom he defeated in the BCJ. Union Rags has one running style. He tracks slower inferior competition and then sprints away from them. The two occasions on which he faced top class competition he was beaten. He had ever chance to catch the leader/s in both of his losses and could not produce a spectacular performance to secure victory. Why should anyone believe he is capable of this going a furlong longer.

Gemologist defeated an obviously short Alpha and a not fully fit Ramon Dominguez by a neck fully extended. He had a workman like victory over a moderate group in the KJC Stakes. His good victory on the Gulfstream Park speedway is being used to somehow suggest he is not a big slow colt. What exactly will constitute a breakout performance for this colt? His two races at CD were very slow. He is therefore expected to improve 3 seconds upon his return to that track. Good luck with that!

There is no breakout performance pending from either of these colts. Why not focus on a colt that is likely to provide a such a performance? Take Charge Indy was making his second start on dirt in the FL Derby. Those he convincingly defeated had significantly more starts on the surface.  He has shown that he has improved more from two to three far more than both Union Rags and Gemologist. He ran well in the BCJ to finish 5th. He is a much better horse heading back. The sane cannot be said about your two pretenders.

20 Apr 2012 6:46 PM

Tough task picking a preliminary Derby favorite here.  There are about 7 or 8 of them that could do it.  I would like to see the Tomlinsin #'s listed as well, if Churchill's dirt gets sticky again that could change things.  I question Dullahan having enough dirt experience, I would like to see it played out on the Timeform oval, I would like to imagine Hansen and Bodemeister are going to duke it out to the wire in a thriller, and I think with all this talent it makes it even tougher for one to excel above it and become a TC winner, but I have hope.  The mid pack closers may be the ticket, Rags, CC, Gem, or Flower Alley's kid IHA.  Man, I don't know but if I have to pick one now subject to change after the workouts and pp draw, I'll go with White Lightning, handsome Hansen for now.

20 Apr 2012 6:57 PM

Laz- thanks.

20 Apr 2012 7:18 PM
It aint easy being good!

Haha draynay my thoughts exactly on coldfacts posts! Coldfacts I know you love bombs but come on done talking will still be running when union rags is in the winner circle celebrating. Also how can anyone not think Gemologist wont hit the board he has never lost has one twice at churchill has red hot jockey what else do you want in a horse. I never was a zenyatta fan but to think that she wasnt going to hit the board in the classic is dumb. GEM will be there I promise!

20 Apr 2012 7:25 PM

Glad to see we are all traditionalists here regarding Hansen's tail.  Agreed, although I applaud the Doc's marketing efforts and like the other stuff he did, I truly wish he would stop the tail dying obsession.  The horses must go through a set schedule and routine on race day which sets that day apart from the rest, therefore they must know they are racing that day and are probably more on edge than other days.  Not to mention how much they have to pee prior to the race after the Lasix.  My dog can't stand having her tail touched so how does an on edge horse stand still for someone dying the strands of his tail on a day when he knows what's coming next, like the paddock and starting gate.  I like the rule "a thoroughbred's appearance cannot be altered."  So hopefully the good Doc will abandon the idea and leave Hansen the beautiful color he is.

20 Apr 2012 7:32 PM

Ok Dray, this horse may buck the curse. Rags worked 47 and 2 and galloped out in 1:00...and Matz said it wasn't real sharp compared to what he'll ask him to do at Churchill. I think he is sitting on a monster race...too bad he doesn't have a more experienced KD winner riding him. Going to be so great if Bode is for real...

20 Apr 2012 8:00 PM

No way Baffert puts Bodemeister on the lead.  Go back and watch the San Felipe.  He sits off the cheap speed.  The Kentucky Derby is won at the 1/8 pole.  Baffert sends him out with Creative Cause and he sits tight.  The speed dies, CC and Bode pick up the pieces, and some grass synthetic type flys in for show.  I'll have another may be hanging around for 4th.  

Hansen will be about 10th, Union Rags 8th, Gemologist 15th.  

20 Apr 2012 8:03 PM

Afleet Alex's momentum was stopped twice when the running began. First time was at the far turn on the rail when a front runner was backing up into him and then again in mid-stretch when another straggler was tiring. To stop and restart twice takes a lot of up energy. You can see it in the replay.

Nothing negates breeding or talent quicker than a 20-horse field.

20 Apr 2012 8:09 PM

My heart is heavy. We just buried our family companion of 12 years. Half lab, half collie and the smartest dog I ever met. The youngest was just three when she gave him the imaginative name of Black Dog.

I hope it's a fantastic Derby, one for the ages, and I hope everyone comes home safe and sound.

20 Apr 2012 8:48 PM
Matthew Martini

I like Went The Day Well, Gemologist, and Daddy Nose Best.

Went The Day Well is particularly intriguing to me. He looked a little green down the stretch in the Spiral, but won impressively. If the front-end pace melts down a little, and he is at least mid-pack at the second turn, I think he could win the race. I think there is more upside to this horse than we have yet seen.

Horses that I'll include below in the exotics? Bodemeister, Hansen, Union Rags, and I'll Have Another.

Basically, I like too many horses in this field, but Went The Day Well will be on all of my tickets.

If Bodemeister wins, after that stellar performance at Oaklawn, I'll send him more roses myself and acknowledge that our great sport has a bonafide (or "bodefied"?) superstar.

This will be a great race.

20 Apr 2012 9:30 PM

2:24, agreed - Afleet Alex much the best of his crop, although Shoe Board Sal is partially correct in his comments re: no excuse for AA.  However, saying he was no way near the hot pace set by Spanish Chestnut is incorrect.  At first call Alex was 11th but only 7 lgths off the lead after enduring some bumping.  He was less than 4 lghts off the lead at the 1/2 mile pole. Closing Argument also was fairly close throughout but had a cleaner trip than Alex.

predict; Hansen may go with Bode (or vice-versa) but not Union Rags. Rags will settle off of the pace and blow by both Bode and Hansen in the stretch after those two cook each other on the lead.  I expect there will be a couple of closers making nice runs too, but unless I don't like Rags pre-race work at CD, I'll stick with him and Leparoux.

20 Apr 2012 9:34 PM

Prospective, Dullahan, Alpha, Union Rags ... and The Beatles.  

20 Apr 2012 10:28 PM
Mister Frisky

Keying Union Rags over as many horses as I can afford in the super.TCI is the wild card for me.For the exception of Empire Maker most these colts bred in the purple don't fire a lick in the derby.I.e. Saarland and Friends Lake.

20 Apr 2012 10:41 PM

Lets make some money.....sat keenland.7th race- FONT will run good...200wp

20 Apr 2012 11:29 PM


So sorry to hear of your loss of Black Dog.  He sounds like he was a great dog.  It is so hard.  Ours is a lab/shepherd mix and is battling bladder cancer.  The vet gave her a purple heart to wear on her collar, she is a fighter and is about 15.  I hope after the pain eases in several months you can get another dog. Enjoy the Derby and I too hope all come home safely.  Thoughts are with you as you grieve Black Dog.

20 Apr 2012 11:34 PM
Paula Higgins

Tiznowbaby, I am so sorry about the loss of your beloved dog. There are very few things in life  sadder than losing a pet you love. Again, I am sorry.

20 Apr 2012 11:38 PM

Julien is on FIRE !  Union Rags and Julien = roses in May.  It's easy being good when you're me !

20 Apr 2012 11:41 PM

Hansen, hasn't just been my preliminary Derby pick, he will be my pick come post time. Him on top, and haven't figured out who below, but I like Gemologist, I'll Have Another and Creative Cause.

21 Apr 2012 12:07 AM


    46 flat workout for Union Rags in his next work huh?  Yeah, I read that article as well about the comparisons b/w Barbaro and Union Rags and Barbaro working his last before the Derby in somewhere around 46.  Same pattern as well, 1 work at Keeneland then the last work at Churchill.

Shoe Board Sal,

    You couldn't be more wrong about Afleet Alex.  Don't look at the chart of the KY Derby, look at the replay.  At the 3/4 split time, you see that horse about 3 to 4 lengths off fractions of 1:09 2/5 in the green silks and red cap?  That's Afleet Alex.  Which pretty much means he ran 3/4 in around 1:10 to 1:10 2/5.  That's smoking for a 1 1/4 mile race.  The fact he only finished a couple of lengths back at that pace for that distance is actually pretty amazing.

21 Apr 2012 12:09 AM

Tiznowbaby: Rainbow Bridge.

(when our time comes, a bunch of us are going to be piled up with our animal family members!)

21 Apr 2012 12:31 AM
Bob from Boston

I am Done Talking.

21 Apr 2012 12:37 AM

Pedigree Ann, Smoking Baby:

I agree with Footlick, there is no way anyone was going to beat Spend a Buck in the '85 Derby.  Chief's Crown topped him in the BCJ but Spend a Buck progressed far better from 2 to 3 to become an aggressive, controlled frontrunner who was not going to let anyone get in front of him.

KY VET: Are you now posting to yourself?

Rusty Weisner:  You went back and looked at the BCJ and said "Dullahan raced inside pretty close to the pace."  Dullahan was last, 15 lengths back as they straightened into the backstretch.  He made up some ground, inside, around the final turn but still had a lot of work to do at the top of the stretch as he came out and made a late gain to finish fourth, 6 back.  Maybe you were watching someone else.

Householder:  Agree with your take on Bodemeister.  He does not need the lead, but he will be cruising just off.  Gary Stevens said after the Arkansas Derby, "if somebody's in front of Bodemeister early on, they're (the frontrunner) going too fast. If he's there, he's probably going pretty comfortably." If Hansen is as head strong and edgy as he was Saturday and goes to the lead in the Derby, or anyone else, Mike and Bode will sit just off them, ready to strike and strike they will.  


Bodemeister, Union Rags, Alpha, Gemologist, I'll Have Another...and The Doors.  If its pouring down rain, scratch I'll Have Another, insert El Padrino and we'll have 2:00.23 of 'Riders On The Storm.'

Billy E:

Congrats and I hope all goes well.  There are more important things in life at this time of the year, other than picking the Derby winner, I just don't know what they may be.  Please keep us updated and, by the way, how does Bodemeister look?


Sorry for your loss. It's never easy.  Remember the good times.

21 Apr 2012 2:09 AM

It's entertaining to read how all 32 of these racing experts know exactly how the Kentucky Derby will unfold, stride by stride. The truth is, if you take a bag of rocks, put a horse's name on each, and spill them out, you can just as easily predict the outcome of the most unpredictible race in America. We all have favorites, ponies we'd like to see win, even hunches or gut feelings, but to actually believe you KNOW how these horses will run the first Saturday in May, that's too funny, the ponies always get the last laugh, so be careful what you say.

21 Apr 2012 2:21 AM

Draynay :  Union Rags = Noble's Promise.  If he wins, I'll let him beat me.  But if i'm right and he doesn't win, I can anticipate yours and Ranagulzion's excuses:

"He got trapped"

"Julien's ride was horrendous"

"They put sugar in his tank"

"They spiked his drink"

"Why did he go to the lead ??"

"Javier was pulling on his tail"

"El Padrino mugged him!!"

"Matz sucks as a trainer"

"There's 15 too many horses in that race"

"KY Vet is a pro and didn't bet him!"

(If it's sunny) : "It was too hot for him, and he forgot his sunscreen"

(If it rains) : "Julien was wearing speedo (he's french) which made him feel uneasy having him bounce up and down on his back.  He'll lose focus because all he can think about was "I'm a colt, not a filly!!  Stop riding me!""

See a pattern there ??  It will never be Union Rag's fault, because he's a superhorse.

I anticipate the others who picked him to have just two excuses for not wining :

"There was a guy wearing a pink dress in the crowd that distracted him"

"Draynay's CURSE"

21 Apr 2012 3:08 AM
jean thomas

lexington stakes picks 1st holiday promise 2nd morgan's guerilla 3rd johannesbourbon 4th summer front is  my superfecta.

21 Apr 2012 4:13 AM
jean thomas

i voted for alpha he's my pick as of now but i could change my mind later.

21 Apr 2012 4:18 AM
jean thomas

i didn't know the beatle's were entered in the derby their real old! and haven't run in any prep races that i know of?

21 Apr 2012 4:27 AM
Mike from Michigan

@Tiznowbaby....so sorry to hear of 'Black Dog's' passing.  I felt similar pain myself in 2000.  I live near Alpena, Michigan and our local animal rescue shelter is called the 'Huron Humane Society'.  I will make a donation to them in 'Black Dog's' name to honor him.  RIP 'Black Dog'.

21 Apr 2012 7:11 AM
Rusty Weisner


First, congratulations on picking Done Talking in the Illinois Derby.  Depeding on how you bet it that's the kind of pick that can make a horseplayer's year.

I think you're going to the well once too often on him, though, if you're talking about him being a winner (I like him as a bomb underneath largely on the basis of your pointing him out; something about the "look" of his long, straight run through weaving horses down the Hawthorne stretch reminded me of the Derby).  The Giacomo type race is really not the typical Derby.  Deep closers are at a natural disadvantage in any race, even the Derby.  He faced horses of poor class.  

You tend towards monomania in focusing on pedigree and often miss more obvious handicapping factors.  You liked Najjaar, for example, despite the fact that the horse was embarrassingly slow (he separated himself from the field very early in the Rebel) and was running against a high-class horse on a speed-friendly track with a short stretch. You also picked some awful Japanese horse in the Breeder's Cup classic a couple years back.

That's the beauty of this game, though.  A successful player is necessarily wrong most of the time and even someone who loses (me, in fact) can have epiphanies and insights.

Good luck, in any case.  I always wish Maryland connections the best.

21 Apr 2012 8:00 AM
Rusty Weisner

I liked Alpha as my underneath horse.  He has some bad ju-ju, though.  I'm rethinking that.  And missing a workout is not a negligible setback, either.  

21 Apr 2012 8:03 AM
Rusty Weisner

The Churchill Downs site has pedigree thumbnails up about all the entries.

The only throwouts they make are Liaison and Reveron, which makes them double throwouts now.

The pedigree on Rousing Sermon was not up.  It's probably moot, though, unless you like another deep closer underneath.

As other commenters have mentioned, Union Rags' and Hansen's pedigrees are suspect.

21 Apr 2012 8:06 AM
Rusty Weisner

I'm making a list of requirements for winners.

- the horse has fast times

- the horse has faced repeatedly faced top competition

- the horse has a front-running or midpack style

- the horse has a 2-year old foundation

- the horse has the pedigree

- the horse has run well at CD

I think only one horse satisfies all these criteria.

21 Apr 2012 8:11 AM
Rusty Weisner

Does anyone have a good explanation/speculation for why the trainer removed the blinkers on Creative Cause last out?  Was it tinkering?  Or did the trainer anticipate putting them back on for the Derby all along? Have there, and will there be, any interviews of Harrington on this?

21 Apr 2012 8:13 AM
Rusty Weisner


Horses like Saarland just weren't fast in their preps, if I recall right.  People didn't know who to pick and were reaching out to pedigree exclusively as an angle.

I really, really don't want it to rain, but with that in mind, there's another angle people will often overplay:  wet track form.  Remember Sweetnorthernsaint and Friesan Fire?  The California horses, which are the best this year, have never run on wet tracks.  Is one to take El Padrino over them?  For me, off weather would just make what's already a crap shoot a runny crap shoot.

21 Apr 2012 8:21 AM
Rusty Weisner

The second race on the card I'll look forward to handicapping is the Woodford Reserve.  Get Stormy will be trying to do the same thing as last year -- stepping up from a mile on the second race after a freshening.  He was 7-1 last year and an obvious pick to wire the field after Little Mike scratched.  I was going to key him in the Pick 4.  So here, for all of you, is a perfect illustration of how one becomes losing player:  I abandoned my insight and went and made my worst pick of the day, a horse running at the wrong distance, Prince Will I Am.

Always follow your intuition!  Sooner or later, and more often than you think, you will be right and everyone else will be wrong!

21 Apr 2012 8:50 AM

Hey folks,

Just got back from a nice visit in Lexington.  

TCI and Union Rags will go off as co-favorites.  

Bode ran his KY Derby in the Ark Derby.  

Would love to see Castaway find his way into the Derby.  

21 Apr 2012 8:51 AM
Union Buster

union on the rags will not win the Derby!! I'd offer a side bet with draynay but he's never proven to be a man of his word and would never pay up. I'll settle for his "excuses" when on the rags gets whipped.

21 Apr 2012 10:20 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Re high Tomlinson figures last two Derbies:  sloppy track one year and deep, tiring track that favored closers off the pace down the middle of the stretch last year (every dirt race ran that way Derby Day).

21 Apr 2012 10:24 AM

Read one expert's opinion that I'LL HAVE ANOTHER will bounce in the Derby.  Aything is possible.  I think this horse is quality and will be wearing the rose blanket on 5/5.  For those older horse players who remember Hansel, doesn't this colt remind you of him?

21 Apr 2012 10:30 AM

Zeppelin, Stones, Sabbath

21 Apr 2012 11:24 AM

It aint easy being good!,

If you are in agreement with Draynay regarding my post on Done Talking it must be pretty ridiculous. Let me take this opportunity to enlighten you. When Mr. Shandler previewed the 2012 IL Derby, he highlighted 8 colts as the top contenders. Done Talking was not even given a passing mention. The 2012 IL Derby was considered to be wide open. If I am not mistaking the same thing is being said about the  2012 Kentucky Derby. Why did Mr. Shandler disregard Done Talking?  The simple answer is, he did not do his home work on the horses that were excluded from his highlighted eight. If El Padrino was entered in the IL Derby he would have been the 1-5 ML favorite. Done Talking at 25-1 and closing from last finished 1/2L behind El Padrino who was one of the favorites in the Gll 9F Remsen. Why would the IL Derby be wide open when the said El Padrino exited the Remsen to beat Take Charge Indy, Mark Veleski and finished 4th in third FL Derby?  There is no man blinder than he refuses to see. When I saw a ML of 20-1 I called a friend and told him that my ship will sailing in later that afternoon. Someone else saw what I did and the colt’s final odds were 12-1.

Is El Padrino in the 2012 Derby field? Yes! If I had made a post about him would I be deemed ridiculous? No! El Padrino will not finish ahead of Done Talking because he is a close to the pace grinder and will be consumed by the expected fast pace. However, many think he has a shot at winning as he ran very flat in the FL Derby. If he has shot so does DT. The obvious rebuttal will be El Padrino has improved significantly. A reasonable point to advance! Has Done Talking improved as well?  Well he ran the best Derby prep. I can hear the laughter. He close from 3rd to last tracking a snail’s pace and passed 11 horses on his way to victory. It was his 2nd race in almost 5 months.

Who is Currency Swap? A Gl winner at two; finished second to the undefeated Gemologist. Well he was beaten further by Done Talking.

Who is Gaicomo? Winner of only a maiden race heading into the Derby. He finished 2nd to Consolidator in the San Fepile run in stakes record time. He finished 2nd in the Cash Call Futurity to Declan Moon the eventual champion 2YO. Bellamy Road Afleet Alex, Bandidni, High Fly and other high profile speeders were the ones fancied. Dismissed in the Derby at 50-1! (Closer)

Who is Animal Kingdom? Never race on dirt; won the slowest 2011, 9F prep . Dismissed at 20-1 in the Derby! (Closer)

Who is Mine That Bird? Champion Canadian 2YO; never won a race on dirt prior to the derby; never won a Derby prep. Dismissed in the Derby at 50-1! (Closer)

Who is Brokers Tip? Not a fair question! His only victory came in the 1933 Kentucky Derby. Do you think he was more fancied than DT who has three victories?

The Kentucky Derby is race that any horse that can effectively stay 10F and makes the starting gates can win. I am banking on the fact that Done Talking is likely to improve immensely from his 2nd race in 5 months. He is a well bred ferocious closer. There are not too many of those in the field and most will be chasing the pace. Broodmares sired by Bixieland Band have produced two KD winners and a runner up. A Melbourne Cup winner was also produced from one of his mares. These mares put a lot of stamina in their foals. Secret Circle is a sprinter and carries his speed because he is a product of a  Bixieland Band mare. If El Padrino can make the board so can this Done Talking.

21 Apr 2012 11:39 AM

Trinniberg has been confirmed as a Derby starter, further adding to the already large list of front runners/pace pressers pointing to the Derby.

Reveron, however, has suffered an ankle chip and will miss the Derby. With the way the graded earnings list has been changing during the last few days, don't be surprised if Isn't He Clever or Optimizer make the cutoff.

Who does everyone like in the Lexington Stakes? I am intrigued by the maiden winner Johannesbourbon, as well as Summer Front and Holiday Promise.

Obviously, the fact that Johannesbourbon will be stretching out and facing winners for the first time is major concern, but I think he's the speed of the race, and he breezed a blazing five furlongs in :58 2/5 here at Keeneland on April 13th.

As for Holiday Promise, I liked the strong move he made on the far turn of the Spiral Stakes (gr. III), where he ended up finishing second behind Went the Day Well. Given the fact that he showed such drastic improvement in his first start on Polytrack, he could be set for another step forward today.


21 Apr 2012 12:31 PM

Looks like Ranagulzion's dream has come true.

21 Apr 2012 12:57 PM
Saratoga AJ

Now that Trinniberg is also being entered, it looks like the pace of this years Derby will be that much more devastating. This race is full of speed and will cook the front runners. Horses like Bodemeister will not get the 10 furlongs and a closer should prevail. I like closers Rags, Alpha and just off the pace Gemologist...and will use them in my wagers. May look for an overlay or two to add in the exotics.  

21 Apr 2012 1:45 PM


these will be the winning Derby numbers

21 Apr 2012 1:49 PM
Carlos in Cali

Trinniberg is going to the Derby!

Now,Hansen & Bode can track the cheap-speed for about 6f then take over the race.. catch them to cash. This is exactly what they both needed- a rabbit to do all the 'dirty work' for them.Perfect.

21 Apr 2012 2:09 PM

Dranay: You pick 5 horses and say you are the greatest Derby Picker? Then you hype Union Rags and after the Derby you point to the post that suits your "story". I've seen this every year when I come around. As soon as I mention MY horse, (Alpha) you add it to your ticket. Here it is in a nutshell.....Anyone who posts about the Derby without the word "pace" in the comments, hasn't a clue. Welcome to the clueless club, Draynay. You aren't just a member, your the President.

Remember... You "hit" longshots. I HANDICAP them. There is a huge difference, my 5-horse touting friend. I know that ANY REAL HORSEPLAYER who makes your comments, wouldn't hit a ticket if Union Rags lost. So why do have the 5-horse disclaimer post???????????????????????? Notice the number of question marks. By the way - Optimizer just crossed the finish line on Thursday at 4:32pm. Search crew sent home. LOL

21 Apr 2012 2:19 PM

TJLuvsTizs: Draynay takes the horse with the best Beyer early in the year, because he all about the chalk. He wrote on the sidewalks with it as a kid. He clapped out the erasers that were full of it in grade school, he ran out of bounds from it when scared on the playing fields in high school and now plays and touts it as an (ahem) adult. They invented chalk for one reason only. It is EASY TO ERASE! I handicap in ink!!!!!

21 Apr 2012 2:54 PM
Rusty Weisner

I'm torn about Reveron.  On one hand it was another horse to toss easily, on the other, that's less needless speed in the race.

21 Apr 2012 3:47 PM
Tiz Herself

Jason, what do you think of Trinniberg being in the Derby? His speed will surely help to benefit those that will be closing, no? It surely changes how the Derby will be. There should be no issue of speed in the Derby anyways.

21 Apr 2012 3:54 PM
Jason Shandler

Trinniberg being in the Derby changes the whole complexion of the race. It will surely help closers. Anyone remember Spanish Chestnut? He cost Afleet Alex the Triple Crown.

21 Apr 2012 4:02 PM

2 mins before race...font washed out! bad! canceled tickets

21 Apr 2012 4:10 PM

Trinni is faster ! No... Bode is faster ! No... Hansen is faster.. Trinni, Bode, Bode, Hansen, Trinni..... hahahahahahaha !!!  Union Rags goes right by the speed for the win.  LOVE IT !!!

21 Apr 2012 4:13 PM


Trinniberg in the Derby makes life easier for one horse, Creative Cause. He will not need to press the pace.

It becomes an even greater test of stamina. The milers will fold inside the final furlong. I hope he gets a good draw.

21 Apr 2012 4:17 PM
Age of Reason

Notice to all Union Rags fans: I'm trying to be open-minded, I really am. So try to convince me. I've just never been able to look at Union Rags and think,"Derby winner!" In particular I'd love for y'all to answer this question: "Why do you believe the same things which caused Union Rags to lose before, or the same things Union Rags/Leparoux did before to cause him to lose, will not occur again in the Derby?" Not hot-air statements like, "because he is so awesome", but actual hard logical reason (I kinda like reason--hence the screen name). I look forward to hearing your responses, put Age of Reason in the first line so I won't miss it.

Ranagulzion: Congrats on Trinniberg. Apparently dreams still come true.

Carlos in Cali: Agreed on your assessment of Trinniberg's role in the race. The notion that Trinniberg will cause a Spanish Chestnut-like stampede of true contenders trying to keep up with him is illogical, as no one else in the race will take him seriously. He will be used as a rabbit by the others, but if Ranag is even half right, letting him loose on the lead might not be smart; if it turns out that he can run even a step beyond a mile, you're going to see some panicked jockey faces at the top of the stretch!

21 Apr 2012 4:42 PM

I don't know how fast Trinniberg is, but for Hansen's sake I hope he isn't a bullet, because if he is, Hansen won't have anything left to hold off the closers. That's why I feel that the white pony's charge to the front style is his undoing. He can lose too much energy rushing to the front. In a field of 20, that rush to the front can be costly, the finish line may not come soon enough for him. Hope I'm wrong, but it don't look good from my prospective. Sorry to hear about your dog, TIZNOWBABY. I lost my 18 year old German Shepherd in 2009. Vet said he was living on borrowed time for years, as they usually don't live past 15. He was a good dog, put up with all my cats, 3 of them were as old as he was, and 2 of them died shortly after he did. They were family.

21 Apr 2012 5:09 PM
Rusty Weisner

No sooner...Trinniberg.

21 Apr 2012 5:10 PM


Trinniberg is only one part of the dream. Stay tuned baby.

21 Apr 2012 5:10 PM

Irrespective of post positions, the 2012 Kentucky Derby winner is coming form this elite group of five horses:

1) Union Rags

2) Gemologist

3) Daddy Nose Best

4) Trinniberg

5) El Padrino

Watch developments and enjoy. More anon.

21 Apr 2012 5:15 PM
Rusty Weisner

...or Songandaprayer in 2001.

21 Apr 2012 5:18 PM
Rusty Weisner

Carlos in Cali,

I hope it's the case.  I can't recall which of the recent Derbies resembled that scenario, though.

21 Apr 2012 5:20 PM
Rusty Weisner


Thanks. You're right:  I wasn't watching him.  I was watching the first three and happened to notice him always in contention on the turn.

21 Apr 2012 5:35 PM

Carlos in Cali,

Keep on wishing about cheap speed. Hansen, Bodemeister and Take Charge Indy are about to be "southern fried" Kentucky style, compliments of Yum Brands (LOL).

Trinniberg can canter through a half mile in 45 and change on cruise control, then play "catch me if you can" when Willie martinez gives him his head.

This year's Run for the roses is setting up like a fantasy Derby. Can you immagine a Union Rags Trinniberg exacta? Your worst nightmare ... Carlos?

21 Apr 2012 5:39 PM
Rusty Weisner

There's often some pretender who goes to the front but it doesn't necessarily overheat the race - Brancusi, Bob's Blackjack...Someone has to set the pace.

21 Apr 2012 5:47 PM

plodderman I thought I went through this before but let me spell it out for you.  IF Union Rags makes it in the Derby gates he is my pick to win and dominate.  However, like many I will be betting the Super and I need 5 or 6 horses.  Other than Union I am on Alpha, DNB, Creative Cause, Dullahan, and maybe Gem.  The other 14 or 15 won't be on my tickets.  Step back and watch the leading Derby expert work his magic.

21 Apr 2012 6:09 PM
Rusty Weisner

Stirred Up and Castaway didn't make Daddy Nose Best look any better today.  That Sunland was a very weak race.

21 Apr 2012 6:14 PM
Tiz Herself

Envision the start of the race with all those speed horses duking it out early and trying to vie for that lead and hope that the horses that are behind that do not get cooked or fall too far back.

If it is a Spanish Chestnut deja vu, I wonder who is the Giacomo is in the field? That was one that got away... first year I was of eligible age to bet and liked Giacomo only because of Holy Bull and my father talked me out of betting him. I bet Bandini in that race instead and we all know how that race played out for everyone... lol.

Nothing's changed in that still like Gemologist, Union Rags, Creative Cause,  Went the Day Well, Daddy Long Legs, Dullahan and I'll Have Another.

21 Apr 2012 6:18 PM

DRAYNAY is at least on a horse this year (Union Rags) that is healthy going into the Derby lol unlike last year! Or is he?????

21 Apr 2012 6:22 PM

Subscriber Draynay(as a previous poster coined)I know UR has a chance, and I have read about Matz theory on how he will train him.But he also said he learned a lot by how he trained Barbaro.I bet you dont know the extent of his screw tightening on Barbo and that he worked lights out the week of the derby,check it out since you say he is by far the best.I will monitor the tightening performed by messer Matz in the coming weeks to see if it will be so drastic as in Barbos case.

21 Apr 2012 6:55 PM
Age of Reason

Just in case you needed any reminding of how abysmal Draynay's predictions typically pan out in real life (as opposed to his own hyper-inflated-ego world): "Summer Front wins on Saturday. I am on fire baby!" (--Draynay on 19 Apr 4:32 PM). As someone else already suggested, he is only "on fire" in the sense that another ticket went up in smoke. Nice job, genius. Your pick couldn't even catch a pony who went off at 70-1 in both his last starts. Now what were you saying about the Derby and never being wrong?...

21 Apr 2012 6:57 PM

Age or Reason I had 100 WP on Summer and won money thank you very much how about you?  I can't help Summer was more interested in running behind a horse instead of by him.   A very tough race and I cashed.  That is why I am the Master.  Chief expect a 46 next weekend from Union.

21 Apr 2012 8:22 PM
Mary Zinke

My,my, you guys bet big and sometimes lose big. 200 win place on Font? I would never be able to look at that filly again.  Anyway, better luck next time. I also posted my picks pre-race and in the Lexington had Summer Front to win. Congrats to whoever had that winner. I love seeing the selections and suggestions by those brave enough to post them before the races and the comic relief of the eunuchs that don't.

21 Apr 2012 9:12 PM
Reesie Girl

Aww Tiznowbaby-so sorry to hear about your loss. I have 4 Akitas and the eldest is 11, and 4 horses with the oldest one being 31. Hate to see them in their final year/years and knowing soon I'll have to say good-bye :(  They're all family to me.

Have too many favorites for the Derby-but REALLY hope Union Rags and Creative Cause do not draw the 1 hole.

21 Apr 2012 9:19 PM

Off topic of the Triple Crown. Had to give a shout out to California Flag. Just love watching a horse that is given their head and allowed to run. Come catch me if you can, none of them could today. Also love the fact that he is 8 years old and they still couldn't catch him.

21 Apr 2012 9:32 PM
Monarchos Matt


Point taken, but the fact is that those numbers have been worth looking over at the very least the past two years regardless of the track condition.

I actually bet a 5 horse exacta box every year just for fun, and I was torn between Master of Hounds and Animal Kingdom for the 5th spot last year (Nehro was my pick to win). I went with Master of Hounds and wanted to kill myself after I realized that for the second straight year I had the runner up but not the winner in my exacta, and that both years it had been the horse with the best Tomlinson figure in the field that I left out (used Ice Box the year before but not Super Saver). Both pretty decent exacta payouts, so I promised myself at that moment,  especially since I'm using 5 horses anyway, that I'd use that as the tiebreaker in future years until it stopped working. So Alpha has to be in my box this year if only for my own sanity.

Having said that, I'm still liking Creative Cause for the win for my outright bets and on top of trifectas. Very torn on the other three I'll use in my exacta, but for now it's Dullahan, Union Rags and Bodemeister...but I'm having a tough time keeping Gemologist out, his Daddy is probably my favorite racehorse of my lifetime. We'll see how the draw goes. Deep field, can't bet all of them, but I can't remember a year that I've liked this many horses.

21 Apr 2012 10:08 PM

Age of Reason,

I enjoy reading your posts. Let me try to clear your vision of the soon-to-be Triple Crown winner, Union Rags with the following reasons:

1) The colt is bred-in-the-purple i.e. royally bred, numerous triple crown champions of both continents, America and Europe in the pedigree.

2) In 6 starts he has never been passed or outclosed by any of his rivals

3) In his forgiveable losses he was finishing fastest, lengthening his strides at the end, suggesting that he'll relish a greater distance of ground.

4) He has shown remarkable versatility winning on the lead, from off the pace, stopping and starting and changing course several times due to traffic in a race, also romping in the mud at Saratoga

5) Of all the 2YO Futurity races, the Champaigne has produced the most Classic winners, therefore the Champaigne winner of 2011 is a very potent derby contender

6) Union Rags has the aura and attitude on the track of a very special colt (this might not meet your criterion of reason since it is intangible and could be subjective but if he were a presidential candidate, he'd have the charm and charisma of President Barack Obama)

7) His jockey Julien Leparoux is a master of the pigskin and will not make the same mistake twice as he did in the Florida derby. Leparoux has homecourt advantage at Churchil Downs

8) His trainer Michael Matz has been there and done that in prsenting a top class colt tuned-to-the-minute for the Kentucky Derby

9) Union Rags is potentially as good or better than Barbaro (he's at least in the same class at this stage) so winning the Derby shouldn't be farfetched

10) Of the competition only Bodemeister's Beyer figures present a challenge but when other factor are taken into consideration such as pace, weight, distance, foundation and upside interms of timing of the race, 'Bode' seems nuetralised.

More could be said but i hope that the above clears the clouds from your vision.


21 Apr 2012 10:15 PM

jay jay my friend,

I have neither flinched nor wavered in my confidence that Union Rags, the imposing son of Dixie Union, will break the 34 years Triple Crown drought this year.

Ranagulzion 18 Apr 2012 10:21 PM.

Irrespective of post positions, the 2012 Kentucky Derby winner is coming form this elite group of five horses:

1) Union Rags

2) Gemologist

3) Daddy Nose Best

4) Trinniberg

5) El Padrino

Watch developments and enjoy. More anon.

Ranagulzion 21 Apr 2012 5:15 PM.

In one post its Union Rags that's going to be the Triple Crown winner, in another post its any one of 5 horses that will be the Kentucky Derby winner????

21 Apr 2012 10:43 PM
Mike Monarchos


You're so vain. I bet you think this blog is about you. Don't you? Don't you? Damn ,  that was a good song and I ruined it! Sorry  Stevie Nicks.

Tell us "Derby Master" exactly how you're going to play that Derby super. Will it be Union Rags/all/all/all. Naw, that would put too much pressure on raga to win and you couldn't afford it anyway.

Let's see, how about Union Rags/Alpha, Creative Cause/Alpha, Creative Cause, Daddy Nose Best/Dullahan, Gemologist? Naw,  that still puts too much pressure on Rags and costs too much unless your super is a ten cent one. None of those bets will cash anyway without Bode or Gem in the #1 position. Please tell us because you are the all seeing, all knowing Carnack the Magnificent of the blogisphere!

21 Apr 2012 11:24 PM


Thought no way a horse as slow as Gem would be on any of your tickets?? IS it true every time you look at the race you change your mind again? I mean here is a solution just wait until the post draw and then make up your mind after seeing how the track has been playing... you know what real handicappers do! If Union Rags I mean last year you said who ever BOREL is on has to be used beacuase he is the greatest Ky Derby Jockey of all time! LOL LOL LOL so where is TCI?? You change your mind so many times I bet it takes you longer to get dressed and ready then your wife does! Man up and either single a horse on top of all those Tri's and Super's or just run along...

21 Apr 2012 11:56 PM

correction.....FONT was really washed out in 60 degree weather...so bet was canceled...as posted before race......and yes i bet that much.....im a professional..

22 Apr 2012 12:12 AM
Matthew W

TJConway Gemologist won't be 9-2, he'll be 9-1! There are more than a few runners in this year's field! The favorite will likely be 6-1 at the lowest, and I believe it'll be the longest priced fave ever! Probably Bodemiester, but it could also be Union Rags, Creative Cause or Dullahan--I think Gemologist and I'll Have Another will creep up, maybe 10-1--don't be suprised! And Pedigree Ann maybe some other horse broke poorly against Spend A Buck--that's exactly his name, "some other horse", who didn't show up with his top game on the first Saturday--Spend A Buck ran them all off their horseshoes! Five in front, whole way around, like some other horse would've made any difference that day! Those were torrid fractions, I remember 1:09 and change, if any--my point was maybe Bodemiester is one of those rare horses that can handle a hot pace on the lead--I like one that will stalk, I'll Have Another, and I hope he lays back several lengths, I hope he's not rank--I've a feeling there will be many backing up at the 1/2 mile pole--Bodemiester will run all of the leaders into spaghetti legs, I hope they don't lay too close, like they did with Snow Chief, in 86, I think it was 45 2/5 and he was four or five back, and he was toast at the 1/8 pole! Give that horse every chance to win that race, settle him back off of the pace, which "promises" to be very hot, not like War Emblum's easy pace, this year it looks like the field will be well strung out--let 'Nuther lay back, head down, eight back, then at 1/2 pole get first run on them, and by head of stretch it'll be Bodemiester and Gemologist and 'Nuther--game over, he goes by the pace inside the 1/8 pole then he outlasts the closers, 8-1 and will make it look easy!

22 Apr 2012 12:41 AM


There is no such thing as a racing certainty therefore if something unexpected were to develop, preventing a U/Rags victory the other four are most likely winners IMO.  How's that?

22 Apr 2012 1:12 AM

For your information, The Beatles have been training  Eight Days A Week  for the Derby but you haven't  heard anything about it because they have been out at the Norweigen Wood and Strawberry Fields.  However, when they hit The Long and Winding Road to Churchill, you better have a Ticket to Ride on them because they have so much class that they won!t finish Nowhere, Man!

And All You Need is Love.  Yeah, Yeah yeah!

(they THAT with your Pearl Jam songbook, Jason!)

22 Apr 2012 1:19 AM

Last year the California 3 year olds that made it to this point were awful, and I advised everyone not to waste money on them.

This year is different.  What the preps have told us is that the 3 year olds based at Santa Anita this winter may be the single best group out there.  This is not an East-West thing because of course there are more good horses back East because the "East" includes horses that have run at Gulfstream, Aqueduct, Tampa, and for some Keeneland/Turfway and Fairgrounds while the "West" is southern California(with only one track operating at a time) and a few stray horses from Golden Gate.

When just comparing the 3 year olds that have run and trained at Santa Anita, they match up well with all the other circuits.  This if reflected in a number of solid performances out of town.

Cali horses(Baffert horses) swept the 3 graded stakes preps at Oaklawn, including both divisions of the Southwest.  The cherry on top of this domination was running 1-2 in the Arkansas Derby, with Bodemeister winning off by himself.  

The Sunland Derby featured a dud by Castaway(who ran another dud today), but recent Santa Aniita maiden winner Stirred Up ran 3rd and the winner, Daddy Nose Best, had wintered out at Santa Anita, made his first start of the winter at the track, and won the El Camino Real up at Golden Gate.  As an Asmussen horse, Daddy will likely be based outside of Cali the rest of the year, but Santa Anita had been his home in the prep season.  It should also be noted that runner-up, Isn't He Clever, had made a foray into California where he was easily handled by I'll Have Another in the Lewis.

In other "road" performances Rousing Sermon, well beaten in the Lewis and San Felipe, was able to rally to be a close 3rd in the Louisiana Derby, and Holy Candy, an overrated recent maiden winner, was able to finish a decent 4th in the Blue Grass.

Then, today, Baffert runs 2-3 in the grade 2 Jerome at Aqueduct with Brigand and Stirred Up, horses that were, at best, 3rd tier prospects out in California.  Frankly, Brigand wasn't even on my radar as a horse that could ship and place in graded stakes given he was beaten handily by Senor Rain in his last.  Senor Rain is not a bad horse, but I have always considered him more of a listed stakes/allowance horse, and he has been repeatedly drubbed in his graded stakes attempts out here.  Stirred Up was the better regarded of the two, but he had been crushed when matched against a top horse, Bodemeister, a few months back in a maiden and was best known for beating Holy Candy in a slow maiden race last month.  I saw nothing to suggest that Stirred Up could compete against horses like Creative Cause and I'll Have Another, which is probably why Baffert took him out of town.  

I also think one is perfectly justified reading into Baffert's decision to run Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby rather than the Santa Anita Derby; with Bodemeister desperate for graded earnings and needing a 1-2 finish to keep Derby hopes alive, in my opinion Baffert didn't want to take any chances running against Creative Cause and IHA and saw Arkansas as the easier spot.

In addition to the 2-3 Jerome finish, a horse that until recently had been based in soCal, All Squared Away, won the Lexington today.  This was a 3 year old that had created absolutely no buzz and was well off the radar as a horse that could compete with the elite out here.

While I do believe the Cali horses to be perfectly competitive with horses from other regions, the top runners from each region, representing the top 10-12 contenders, are very evenly matched.  Where California was really strong was in its depth.  

Not worried about how the top horses out here stack up, my inclination is to go with the horse that has been rated #1 out West all along, Creative Cause.  What makes me lean to Creative Cause over IHA is that Creative Cause has himslef already proven that he can run with the very best of his generation on a neutral track, the same track over which the Derby will be run.  Creative Cause's foundation, his record of being able to reproduce solid efforts over a limited time frame, and the fact he has been able to run a 100+ Beyer make him my choice over IHA among the Cali horses.  

Overall, I am far from settled on one horse.  So much ultimately will depend on how they train, post positions, weather, and track conditions.  Then, once the gates open, we bettors have no control over the kind of trip our pick will get.

If I'm forced to rank them now:

1. Creative Cause

2. Union Rags

3. Gemologist

4. Dullahan

5. Bodemeister

6. I'll Have Another

7. Hansen

8. Alpha

9. Take Charge Indy

10. Daddy Nose Best

11. Went the day Well

I would have put Secret Circle, out of respect for the horse's record and class, 12th prior to the injury reported by Jason.  Instead, I will go with El Padrino for 12th.

22 Apr 2012 1:19 AM


My colleague I have taken note of your 10 points presentation  in support of Union Rags. Your unwavering loyalty must be admired. There is no point my telling you to save your money and energy. Union Rage will not effectively stay 10F based on his pedigree. That’s a cold fact I know you will again dismiss. Revisit the FL Derby and it will support my point. Despite the fact that Take Charge Indy and Reveron  were tiring he could not catch them. Do you know why? He just did not have the stamina.

The only colt that can complete the Triple Crown in 2012 is Alpha. If ever there was a horse bred to win the Triple Crown its Alpha. I have one concern with Alpha and that happens to be his trainer. Mr. McLaughlin’s horses have a tendency run stinkers. Henny Hughes was the favorite in the Breeder Cup Sprint and neither left the gates nor raised a gallop. Alpha ran for four furlongs in the BCJ before disappearing. If he can manage Alpha the way managed Invasor, then that will make me less skeptical.

At your earliest convenience revisited the videos of Alpha’s dam sire Nijinsky. If his dam got 25% the of the great race horse ability, the Derby is over. Revisit the videos of multiple Gl winner Colonial Affair (Whitney, Belmont & JCGC) He was produced from a Nijinsky mare. I assume you know the $8M earner Fantastic Light. His Irish Championship Stakes with Galileo is one for the ages. He was produced from a Nijinsky mare as well. I was searching for the video of the major champions that Gone West mares have produced. Maybe you can give me some guidance as to where they can be found.

In the 5th quarter of Derby you will see 10F pedigree on display in the form an Alpha male and not Rags.

22 Apr 2012 1:35 AM


I'll let my picks continue  to destroy your arguments on the track. Apart from selecting Done Talking in the insignificant Illinois Derby your much touted Tiger Walk, Najaar and Alpha have failed you dismally yet you continue to knock horses like Bodemeister and Gemologist that have defied your projections. Your analysis is definitely off this season and as I've posted before the RAN sire line will not succeed in the Derby this year (check the historical trends). Done Talking is class deficient and will be among the also ran in the Derby. Is he your winning selection?  Name your top five.

22 Apr 2012 1:38 AM

With so much focus on who will win the Derby, another good question is who will end up being the Eclipse champion 3 year old male?

Obviously, winning the Derby can go a long way into earning the Ecplise, but a win at Churchill the first Saturday in May certainly doesn't guarantee a horse the Eclipse.  Last year Animal Kingdom won both, but he was the first to have done so since Big Brown.

In 2010 Lookin at Lucky was my Derby horse.  The champion at 2, Lucky had foundation, oozed class, and was very tractable.  Although I was somewhat concerned by  a lack of big speed numbers and his inexperience on dirt(just one start, a win in the Rebel), I was relatively confident going into the Derby.  Then, he drew the rail and the track came up sloppy.

But Lucky's Derby debacle was avenged in the Preakness, and he went on to later win the Haskell, Indiana Derby, and run a good 4th in the BC Classic.  In the end, it was Lookin at Lucky and not Super Saver that was voted Eclipse champion.  When Lucky retired at the end of 2010, he was a 5-time grade 1 winner and first male to be Eclipse champion at 2 and 3 since Spectacular Bid.

While I am not super keen on Bodemeister in the Derby, he has shown himself to be the fastest horse of his generation and should be a bear in races with smaller fields(and less pace pressure).  On that note, I think Hansen is going to be an absolute handful the rest of the year after the Derby.  

Creative Cause, Union Rags, and Gemologist are horses I like for the Derby, and I think all should be tough in races down the road.  Of the 3, Gemologist's development trajectory indicates he might have another big move forward in him.  The Derby may be a little much for him, but I can see him being really tough in a race like the Haskell.

On the other side, Dullahan is a horse I can see doing really well in the Derby but then struggling in later dirt races at shorter distances with smaller fields.  Alpha and Daddy Nose Best also fit in this category, at least in my opinion.  Of course, injuries will play a role. Predicting durability is not easy.

22 Apr 2012 1:42 AM
Paula Higgins

I am still sticking with Gemologist, Creative Cause and IHA. Ksweatman9, you are so right. We can sit here talking about our pick but the bottom line is it's a crap shoot.

22 Apr 2012 1:43 AM

Another Chalk win for Draynay let me put $100 WP on the 2-1 favorite... "I am the greatest handicapper in the world!!"

22 Apr 2012 2:03 AM

The Best Horse doesn't always win The Derby!

22 Apr 2012 2:33 AM

LOL tcc, I'm not sure exactly what to make of Ranagulzion.  He actually believes Trinniberg will make 10Fs. He was all over Secret Circle as being a sprinter and touts Trinniberg who is a TRUE sprinter, even his trainer admitted Trinniberg's wall is probably at a mile.  Somehow I think Rana would tout a horse just to be able to say he said it "first".  It's a scary thought but he's actually starting to sound like Draynay.

When I read the article that Parbhoo said he was thinking of the horse by not running in the Derby, I was pretty impressed.  I guess the derby fever is just too much.  They've earned the right to run, they deserve to run.  I just hope they don't ruin the horse just because they want to be in the Derby. I just thought Trinniberg would actually have a lot better shot at the Preakness than the Derby.  El Padrino is in so I'm not going to complain about not letting anyone else run that has a chance.  Isn't He Clever is at 21 and he has no shot in the Derby anyway.  At least Trinniberg has some impact on the race.  He'll be a rabbit for the stalkers and closers.  All the connections of those horses are having a party after hearing this news.  If Parbhoo thinks he can take the lead uncontested, he is dreaming.  Hansen will now have a horse to rate on, and these two will probably be at least 3 to 4 lengths  in front when they get to the backstretch.  Question now is, who can stalk what will probably be a :22 :45 1:10 splits.  

KY Vet : Glad you finally posted some picks, unfortunately, it didn't work out.  At least we know you actually have the cajones to pick a horse in a race BEFORE they run.  See it wasn't that bad, better luck next time.  I didn't do too well in the day racing but got my money back and then some at Cal Expo and Remington.  Check out my new pics, share it with Draynay :)


22 Apr 2012 2:39 AM

Trinni is a sprinter that is a good bet for last place.Bode and Hansen have run credible 9 furlong preps,apples to oranges.

22 Apr 2012 3:17 AM

"Carlos in Cali,

I hope it's the case.  I can't recall which of the recent Derbies resembled that scenario, though." Rusty W.

In 2006, Barbaro (who was a speed horse who was never further back than 2nd in ANY of his prior races) tracked Keyed Entry and Sinister Minister who everyone swore would set a wicked pace. The pace was solid, but hardly hot...

Barbaro tracked in 4th or 5th and got the first jump and beat the closer Blue Grass Cat by 6 lengths because BGC was too far back. BGS ran a similar final 3/8th, but Barbaro got the jump and was gone.

In 2008, Big Brown tracked in 5th then 4th after Bob Black Jack and everyone swore that pace would be wicked (after all BBJ set a world record for 6.5f on poly). Eight Belles was in 3rd all along the backstretch and had to swerve to get through a tiring BBJ on the turn...

BY that time BB had circled them on the turn. Too fast? WRONG...Big Brown and Eight Belles were forwardly placed and got the jump and BB won with ease. The closer Denis of Cork up for show...Once again, the pace was NOT TOO FAST for the horse who could get 10f

In 2010, the speed horse Super Saver tracked in 5th or 6th off a solid pace, got the jump before the 8th pole and won pretty easily. The closer Ice Box sat off the pace and had way too much to do by the 8th pole and had to settle for 2nd.

Horses like MTB and Monarchos are the perfect storm, but rarely happen. Looking back, only Musket Man was able to consistently compete over 9f from that entire group besides MTB. Street Sense would not have won but for the rail opening up...otherwise he is steadied. HS ran the front tier off their feet to the back of the pack and was pulling away.

Ditto Giacomo and Spanish Chestnut. A perfect storm.  Trinniberg is a miler like his sire but has a little stamina underneath. He will ration his speed better than SC IMO. I am still trying to figure out why a P or S closer like Afleet Alex was more forwardly placed than many of the alleged speed that race...

Last year's pace was super slow-- do not expect that. However, I see a Barbaro-Big Brown scenario unfolding. The winner will be the horse who gets first jump and can get 10f. As usual, it will be won by the 8th pole.

22 Apr 2012 3:21 AM


You did not comment on the brilliance involved in saying the winner will come from one of 5 starters. It gives the writer a quarter of the field. You can get similar results by picking numbers out of a hat.

22 Apr 2012 6:50 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I wasn't necessarily arguing with you -- the dirt played a bit like "turf" last year, with a turf-liking runner winner.  There's nothing to say it won't play the same way this year (I only played CD for the Derby and Breeder's Cup, and at the latter the condition was still described as "peanut butter", even if a bias was less clear cut).  I hope not.  I'll be assiduously handicapping and betting the first part of the card to get a sense.

I made a couple of comments regarding CC up above.  He's my tepid favorite, but one I'll be willing to bet at the expected good odds -- he meets all of the criteria I'm looking at, and he's the only one to meet them all.  I also asked a question about the removal of blinkers - what that was supposed to accomplish or confirm in the Santa Anita Derby.

22 Apr 2012 8:12 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I want to bet the superfecta this year, something I've never done.  I looked at payoffs where favorites won and they are nevertheless huge; and this year the favorite will have long odds.

I liked Alpha for a definite slot underneath, but too much is going wrong right now:  an infection, a missed workout, jockey issues and personal loss for the trainer.  I am hesistant about that.

22 Apr 2012 8:17 AM
Rusty Weisner


Another race in which there was no pace meltdown was Barbaro's Derby, where Sinister Minister and Keyed Entry set the fractions through three quarters.  Sinister Minister had wired the field in the Bluegrass and I think had gotten a 116 Beyer (for what that's worth) but the old Keeneland surface was so commonly known to be biased for speed that he was discounted in the betting.  On the other hand, one dimensional closers Jazil and Steppenwolfer did hit the board underneath.

22 Apr 2012 10:01 AM

Between 2000 and 2003 the Wood Memorial produced three Derby winners i.e., Fusaichi Pegasus, Monarchos and Funny Cide.  Monarchos and Funny Cide were both runner ups in their respect Woods. It is worth noting that the winner and runner up in the 2001 and 2003 Wood finished one, two in the Derby in reversed positions.  Between 2004 and 2008 Wood winners Bellamy Road, Tapit and Nobiz  Like Showbiz  finished off the board. The 2008 winner Tale of Ekati and 2006 runner-up Jazil finished 4th in their respective Derbies. In the nine years between 2000 and 2008 the Wood Memorial produced 8 top four finishers the most by any Derby prep during this period.

Between 2009 and 2011 the winners of the Wood i.e., I Want Revenge, Eskendereya and Toby’s Corner never contested the Derby due to injuries. Both I Want Revenge and Eskendereya rocketed to ML favoritism off their Wood Performances. It would not be unreasonable conclude that the Wood Memorial has been under attack by misfortune. Based on the recent history of the race, fingers and toes are being kept crossed that the winner and runner up in the 2012 Wood will enter the Derby starting gates. Both colts are live contenders and deserve their shots to wear the roses.

Episode V, of the popular Star Wars series/sequel was tilted: ‘The Empire Strikes Back”. Can the 2012 Derby be the one in which the Wood Memorial Strikes Back? I think yes.

22 Apr 2012 10:13 AM

Ranagulzion- I just know you wanted them to run Trinniberg in the Derby.  For the horse's sake I hope you are right and he fits.  Althea had much better credentials and everyone knew she didn't want 10 furlongs even after her dominating AK Derby win.  Groovy is another example of a very good horse who didn't belong in the Derby.  Groovy went on to be champion sprinter, so his Derby fold was not damaging luckily.  Althea was never the same after having the whole field pass her in the stretch.  I just don't want to see a horse ruined because it's owners want to run their horse in the Derby.  But I know you believe in the horse, so I hope you are right.

22 Apr 2012 10:19 AM


Congratulations on your winning play of Summer Front, I also had him picked, which kind of scares me that we liked the  same horse, maybe I'm not always clueless. i had him with an increasing WPS but really nailed it with a first and second wheel exacta. Hooorahhh!

Can't wait for the actual entries in the Derby and the post position draws, so I can see who the

7-2-5-11 or 12 will be.

22 Apr 2012 11:36 AM


Here is a scenario. The Bernardini colt Alpha wins the Derby;  the Bernardini colt Le Bernardin wins the Preakness and Alpha returns to win the Belmont. This will once and for all put to rest the Late Development Syndrome theory for the A P Indy sire line. Could it happen?

Wood/Gemologist/Alpha: 23.04, 47.57, 1:12.54, 1:37.74, 1:50.96

Awl NW2/Le Bernardin:  23.49, 46.88, 1:11.41, 1:36.49

Le Bernardin tracked the leader to the top of the stretch and assumed the lead and held it to the line. This is a very nice colt that will do some serious damage going forwards. His dam the Gll winner La Rosa was sired by Breeder Cup Classic winner Wild Again via Twilight Ridge who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. This colt’s pedigree reflects no inbreeding in the 1st five generations. He has tactical speed and is bred to run all day. Look out another A P Indy is coming at you.

22 Apr 2012 12:30 PM

So Baffert's Bodemeister ducks Creative Cause after already losing to him spotting him weight and goes to Ark Derby for a so called needed "slam dunk win" to get in the Ky Derby. Then in the SA Derby I'll Have Another beats Creative Cause off the shelf after CC gets the jump on him in the lane. There is only ONE horse from CA that has improved from age 2 to age 3 and it looks like its as easy as 2+2=4 to me... If a horse from CA is to win the Ky Derby this year I think there will be a whole lot of drunk people saying, "I'll Have Another" after the run for the roses in 2012.

22 Apr 2012 2:06 PM
Matthew W

Union Rags must be the nuts--"too many" persons that I respect a great deal have opined about his undisputed brilliance--he's done just enough to be favored in The Derby--which is shaping up as the greatest betting proposition in horse racing history, and that is not overstating it! If the favorites finish one-two-three-four, the super will be a signer!

22 Apr 2012 5:05 PM

For all those predicting a Triple Crown winner this year, you are correct.  It'll be I'LL HAVE ANOTHER!  He had his injury last year, but before that he was holding his own against the best. No way he shoudl have been 43-1 in the San Felipe (although I was glad for it). And his breeding is stellar.  ANYBODY WITH ME?

22 Apr 2012 5:45 PM
Matthew W

Oaks/Derby Weekend to feature, under the canopy of Kentucky Spring, before the Twin Towers of Churchill Downs, a quality laden Kentucky Derby, with several 47 and change-toten 1 1/8 preps in toe---plus Horse Of The Year Harve De Grace, #1 rated older horse Mucho Macho Man, and top rated Cal-bred sprinter, Amazombe, to bring his nails-tough act into the Bluegrass State, the whole world watching and they won't be disapointed!

22 Apr 2012 6:00 PM

I actually bet a 5 horse exacta box every year just for fun, and I was torn between Master of Hounds and Animal Kingdom for the 5th spot last year (Nehro was my pick to win). I went with Master of Hounds and wanted to kill myself after I realized that for the second straight year I had the runner up but not the winner in my exacta,

Monarchos Matt 21 Apr 2012 10:08 PM

You clearly aren't related to draynay. When he does that he acts like he actually won a bet and tells everyone how great he is. At least you are real.

22 Apr 2012 6:03 PM

Draynay / KY Vet : Posted a couple more tickets to motivate you guys.  Today's early P4 and P5 at Santa Anita.  It's awesome to play $4 tickets and get a big payout :)

22 Apr 2012 6:25 PM
Carlos in Cali


The jockeys for Hansen & Bode will pay Trinniberg no mind.They'll both run their race as if he's not there,he's cheap speed and nothing more,never having gone further than 7f.

And both can rate-they won't get suckered-in.So please don't compare Big-Time money riders like Dominguez & Smith with the Jeremy Roses'(Afleet Alex)et al.. that's SO disrespectful!

22 Apr 2012 6:46 PM

Trinniberg in, hot pace....I may need to reconsider Rousing Sermon; could be this year's Giacomo.

22 Apr 2012 7:15 PM

Aw, geez, draynay picking Union Rags.  The kiss of defeat.  And, Rags is/was my pick.  Just think Eddie Mush in The Bronx Tale.

Must rethink.

22 Apr 2012 7:16 PM
Old Timer

Some interesting comments and as of now the votes are running 22% for Union Rags. As one would expect this distinguished group has the winners of the big 4 preps 1-2-3-4.

That is, UR, Dullahan, Gemologist, and Bodemeister. Take Charge Indy is only at 5% more/less. That implies maybe an overlay on Florida Derby winner but it also depends on how much money Calvin Borel will draw.

I'll Have Another with only half the votes of Creative Cause also has the look of an overlay.

Yet as Jason says, there are about 10 good horses in  there who all appear to have a legitimate shot.

I voted Gemologist just for his two wins at Churchill.

22 Apr 2012 8:39 PM
Old Timer

Predict, I hope that you are right. I still have fond memories of cashing a nice exacta back in the day, when Unbridled and Summer Squall ran 1-2 in KD. Being the dice player, it was a natural... 7-11.

22 Apr 2012 8:48 PM

Alex'sBigFan, best of luck with your dog.

Paula Higgins, thank you

mz, I too am hoping to see lots of animal family members

trackajack, thank you

Mike from Michigan, that is really kind of you. The family and I appreciate that.

ksweatman9, sounds like he was a great dog.

Reesie Girl, thank you.

Thank you all for your kind words. The kids and our other lab are taking it hard, but the price was worthwhile for the 12 years we got.

22 Apr 2012 8:57 PM
steve from st louis

Mike M: You're So Vain was written and sung by Carly Simon. Obviously, the song has NOTHING whatsoever to do with Draynay as the words tell: "You went up to Saratoga and your horse naturally won."

If the words had been "I made fun of the winless-ever-after Mine That Bird, yet a year later tried to convince everyone I ALWAYS bet Calvin Borel so I actually won on Mine That Bird before saying, when exposed as the fraud I am, that NO ONE actually bet Mine That Bird, thus you can never believe a liar because once I lie, I lie."

I feel sorry for Union Rags. The horse is an honest horse, about to be run into  a Draynay cursed horse.

22 Apr 2012 9:16 PM

Tiznowbaby, I am so sorry to hear about your loss.  Animals are family.  I lost my angel Golden, Beau, after 16 and 1/2 years. Each day was a blessing and,though he's been gone just over a year, I still miss him every day.

22 Apr 2012 9:35 PM


I started out with Out of Bounds the colt you disrespected. You will note that I always cite the four or five horses that comprise my usual exotic wagers. The only time I mention one horse was the Sham, IL Derby and Withers. They all won. My preference for the Holy Bull was the winner.  I seek not the glory of selecting chalks. I will include chalks with horse you are incapable of finding and walk away with lucrative exactas.  

“Apart from selecting Done Talking in the insignificant Illinois Derby your much touted Tiger Walk, Najaar and Alpha have failed you dismally”

Alpha won two preps and was a neck second in a third. Is that your definition of failing dismally?

Tiger Walk obviously was not good enough to win but finished on the board in all three preps he contested. If you consider that of failing dismally, then the off the board finishes for Mr. Pletcher’s horses must disaster.

Najjaar’s action suggest he belong on turf and I was hoping he would make the transition to dirt. He failed dismally.

“Yet you continue to knock horses like Bodemeister and Gemologist that have defied your projections”

Let me reiterate Gemologist is a big slow colt who will not win the Derby. I am prepared to eat a big plate of crow if this mountain of a horse via a Mr. Prospector mare wins. If Bodemeister is so great why did his connection avoid the SA Derby? His 42-1 stable companion was beaten less that a length. Am I to assume he is the better of the two? The only negative I have posted about Bodemeister is the fact that he was produced from a Storm Cat broodmare and I have no confidence in SC as Derby broodmare sire.

“Done Talking is class deficient and will be among the also ran in the Derby. Is he your winning selection?”

You might have missed my post about my future wager and resulting dilemma. Revisit same and you will see my selection to win the Derby. Done Talking is class deficient as he won the insignificant Illinois Derby. If I recall correctly Mr. Pletcher entered a colt in the $500,000 race. Musket Man won the IL Derby and finished 3rd in the KD and Preakness. The previously ungraded and insignificant Sunland Derby produced the 2009 Derby winner. Are you aware that the Mine That Bird’s winning margin was the largest in the last 50 year? If Done Talking is class deficient, your class horse Trinniberg should finish ahead of him in the Derby. Is El Padrino class deficient? DT finished 1/2L behind him in the Remsen.  You are so busy salivating over Union Rags and Gemologist that you have not spent the time to watch the races of other contenders. Done Talking is an unknown quantity and based on his running style will be closing  when the stamina deficient colts start to tire. No one knows how good this colt is. He is too well bred to be ignored.  

22 Apr 2012 10:56 PM


As usual I welcome your measured analysis. I have a few comments on your #1 ranked colt:

Creative Cause: His two biggest races were the BCJ and SA Derby. He had every opportunity to win both but failed to find extra when it mattered most. How can he be expected to do so in the Derby?

I got ridiculed for citing the fact that he is a product of an over bred stallion and has no hope of winning the Derby. Giant’s Causeway bred 194 mares in 2008 and he is being represented by one starter. I am not surprised by this number. From the 1382 mares bred up to the 2011 Derby he was represented by 4 starters and none hit the board. There were several Giant’s Causeway 3YOs that were trying to get into the Derby i.e., Fed Biz, Battle Hardened, Russian Greek, Heavy Breathing and others. They either had problems or were just not good enough. Obviously this is not unique to GC. However, I stand by my assessment that no stallion that has been bred to approximately 200 mares per year will produce a Kentucky Derby winner. I will be surprise if this colt hits the board.

NB: Flower Ally the sire of I’ll have Another that defeated CC in the SA Derby bred only 66 mares in 2008. You have rankled I’ll have Another below Creative Cause. However, should both colts stay healthy, it is unlikely that Creative Cause will finish ahead of his SA Derby victor.    

22 Apr 2012 11:43 PM

Draynay : Here's how you play favorites - last one of the day for me.  Late P4 at Los Alamitos, $8 ticket returns $105.   Check out my new pics and let me know what you think hahahaha.

22 Apr 2012 11:50 PM

Tiznowbaby - so sorry for your loss.  It's a terrible heart pain.  I know how it feels.  We lost our 11-year old Ridgeback, Roy, last month.  

"I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance."  Garth Brooks

In spite of Draynay, my head and my heart remains with Union Rags.

23 Apr 2012 12:48 AM

Did All Squared Away's (6th in Spiral) win flatter Went The Day Well?

23 Apr 2012 9:09 AM

Shivananda Parbhoo has a serious case of Derby Fever and is in dire need of advice from Dr. Drunkinbum before he ruins his charge.  Remember those straight on newspaper photos of the Derby finish with all the horses names in little boxes as they were strung out behind the winner?  Trinniberg will be one of those waaaaaaay up the track, eased. I hope, for the horse's sake they reconsider.

IMO, the head strong Hansen will have a hard time laying off this rabbit and will try to go out after him with the jock trying to restrain him, thus wasting needed energy.  Bodemeister will run his own forward pace, relaxed, and let the pace develop in front of him, on cruise control and have first jump around the final turn, cruise to the lead, put daylight between he and the field as they straighten for home and hold off Alpha, Gemologist, Union Rags and I'll Have Another( if dry).

Of course much can change depending on pp's and weather and I may change my mind just like I hope Shivananda Parbhoo does with Trinniberg.  

23 Apr 2012 9:29 AM

" tcc,

There is no such thing as a racing certainty therefore if something unexpected were to develop, preventing a U/Rags victory the other four are most likely winners IMO.  How's that?

Ranagulzion 22 Apr 2012 1:12 AM "

Really ?  So you stating "there's your 2012 Triple Crown winner" was what ?  That sounded like you were pretty certain he would be the 2012 TC winner.  Are you wavering now ??

"something unexpected were to develop"... like Union Rags hitting the wall at the mile ?

23 Apr 2012 10:42 AM

Whats all the excitment about BODI he didnt beat anyone that was a Powerhouse?  I think Dullahan, I'll have another have more guts then him!  And Union Rags is the ony horse that i seen with Gears like a corvett! He's a Gamer!!!

23 Apr 2012 11:30 AM
Ida Lee

Union Rags has been my Derby horse since the day he was born and that has not changed for one second since. My betting is going this way: Union Rags, Hansen, Bodemeister; and the 3 longest odds will get $2 a piece from my rather limited betting funds.

23 Apr 2012 11:38 AM

i agree with carlos in cali's assessment of hansen and bode and the trinniberg effect.

when i first posted on here two years ago, one of the regulars made fun of my paying attention to raw times--"time only counts in jail yadda yadda yadda."

but one thing about horses and times, is that unless a track is playing very oddly, or a horse is injured, horses run roughly the same fractional times in every race on every track up to a mile (the differences for track variant and surface are very slight, fractions of a second, not whole seconds). after a mile, their times can deviate a little more (by whole seconds, and the longer the race, the greater the deviation for track variant and surface can be--like game on dude's BCC vs his big cap), but it's final fractions where you see the deviation, not the first 3-4 internal fractions.  

brisnet has the pps for the probables of for ky derby up already (for free) and looking over them, what strikes me is that bode and hansen are equally the two fastest horses in the race (and neither is faster than the other).

trinniberg's last 2 races have been run about the same speed as all of their races.  trinni hasn't run a sub 22 first quarter all year, he has slowed considerably from last year.

as for all the other horses in the race--they are all about 5 lengths slower than bode and hansen up to 3 quarters--and all but creative cause,, i'll have another, and dullahan remain 5 lengths slower at the mile; and at the mile and an eighth only creative cause, i'll have another, and dullahan have been equal or better than hansen--by the mile.

i believe dullahan is done (and even if he's not, a horse that has only twice in his life and only on one track, isn';t a good bet in my book--unless the race is at that trck), and am skeptical of i'll have another--the two horses that have consistently shown they can carry weight and maintain their speed are creative cause and hansen, and with CC close to him to keep him focused, hansen won't be slowing down.

23 Apr 2012 12:17 PM
Mike Monarchos

Steve from St. Louis,

I stand corrected. I just think the words fit regardless of who wrote and sang the song. It just proves that I'm almost never right!

23 Apr 2012 12:48 PM
It aint easy being good!

Coldfacts now your are starting to make sense. I dont know what the heck you were talking about 2 days ago I will excuse you though since it was 4/20 you must have been enjoying the holiday activities. Now when you getting back to business Alpha has and always was your pick to win since last year no reason to back off him now. I agree that the wood memorial is the race people need to watch again. I am not a Todd Pletcher fan but the fact is his jockey is red hot and Gem hasnt lost all year. He has a rock star pedigree and has 2 wins at churchill hasnt lost I just dont know what else you want from a horse. You guys are thinking too much. Take Gem to win and thank me later. The only horses that scares me is dullhan if he can track hansen like that he can blow past anyone. Dale Romans is gidding like a school girl about him that has to count for something.

23 Apr 2012 1:54 PM


Very interesting angle.

I also believe the speed is going to melt away here.

Im on the other closer Daddy Nose Best what don't you like about him?

Also I disagree with you on Gemoligist.

Only thing I don't like about him is training at palm beach.

He rebroke at the Wood and did it on his own with ears up.

Last time a horse went into the Derby Undefeated was Barabaro.

Those 2 horse are my top 2 subject to change.

Ill have another and Take Charge Indy, Im having problems tossing

When a trainer says a horse will run 12s all day long that is a word to the wise.

23 Apr 2012 2:09 PM
Age of Reason

As much as I've ragged on Havre de Grace and her connections, I would be devoid of all class and good taste if I didn't express my regrets and condolences to her owner, trainer, and all other connections at her untimely retirement. Some might say that the news came in a rather odd manner, coming out of the blue as it did since we didn't hear any rumors or tales of catastrophic injury beforehand; but of course, if it were at all recoverable I'm sure Mr. Porter would not have declared her retired so quickly and decisively.

Like it or not, she was the official face of North American horse racing in 2011 and as such I wished her all good success. Sincere well-wishes to Havre de Grace in her retirement!

23 Apr 2012 2:54 PM
no_mo _mo

Toss whoever gets the one hole, toss whoever gets the far 3 outside poles, toss this years unca schmoe (union rags), toss hansen,daddy long legs,creative cause, gemologist, sabercat, liaison, prospective, trinniberg, done talking, went the day well, rousing sermon, mark valeski, and if they get in isn't he clever, optimizer, or anyone below them in earnings, and play who's left, you got the winner.  

23 Apr 2012 3:06 PM

Rusty Weisner.  Take a look at Creative Cause's San Felipe and you'll understand why the blinkers came off.  CC looked like he was taking a shower in the stretch run.  His head was bobbing, he was jerking around.  Once he saw Bodemeister out in front of him he caught him.  My fear for CC is not being able to catch the front runners, it's getting nailed from behind by some grass/synthetic type that he can't see with blinks on.  If you watch the Breeder's Cup, Union Rags is catching him but because Union Rags is all over the track, he also pushes CC in behind Hansen.  The race was kind of over at that point unless he jumps over Hansen.

The jockey said that if CC was on the outside he would have won the Santa Anita Derby.  He may not have liked I'll Have Another laying on him.  

Positioning is key.  This horse may just be too quirky to pull it off.  But going an additional 1/8th there should be less traffic to contend with.  

Just bring him the traditional 5 wide and let him grind it out.  He'll be in the mix just based on how he breaks and sits.

23 Apr 2012 3:14 PM

Sorry to hear about Havre de Grace.

Wise Dan is the best older male in training.  He's going to be tough to beat at his home track in the Foster.

Bourbon Bay is a cool horse.  Good elsewhere, he is an absolute terror over the Santa Anita turf.  After yesterday, he has now won 2 runnings of the San Juan Capistrano, 2 runnings of the San Luis Rey, a San Marcos, and a San Luis Obispo.  In both 2010 and 2012 he swept the San Luis Rey and San Juan Capistrano.  This side of John Henry, there's not alot of horses that have been as successful in Santa Anita's marathon turf races.

23 Apr 2012 3:19 PM

Thanks For the Memories Havre De Grace!!

23 Apr 2012 3:43 PM

Question answered

Union Rags will go off favorite Bodi will be second choice---Now depending on track condition and who makes the gate, but right now neither is my choice. That will be the favorite and second choice.

Neither would not be shocking if they won but not my choices. This is a very good bunch of 3yr olds. this year.

Long time absent but Dray is still got chalk all over him and Ky Vet still just about as strange. Discussing bands???? MKB singing is the only thing that should be noted that way on a Derby blog but of course that is only my opinion.

Jumping ahead to post Derby comments-

Maybe there be a fortune to be made cashing a place ticket like Nehro (Was there ever a lamer comment to explain being wrong and taking a plugged straw to a half full cup)

Thought came to mind while reading ????

Do you wonder if ever Dray and Ky Vets parents say they were born with special needs so they could explain or have an ready made excuse for them?

23 Apr 2012 3:54 PM

 Jason i am starting to believe you made up this supposed handicapper Draynay as it is becoming increasingly hard to believe that this is a real person. Anyway if he is real he should know that betting to win and place you always bet more to place than to win so as to maximize your winnings as an example 100w 200p. Aso wasting too much time on the Derby as post position and track condition and late injuries change the dynamics of the race up until post time.

23 Apr 2012 4:46 PM

JAY.........i didnt bet on FONT...i cancelled because he was washed out on cold day.....see post....COLDCUTS you are  a wack job...picking races off breeding.(you should tell people the truth, you dont bet)...good thing.....JAY JAY..you dont even look at a form, you guess! you dont know anything.who cares what you say?

23 Apr 2012 6:17 PM

HI PEOPLE.....there is 1 horse that is on most peoples' top list that is a big throw out! i will post this horse next week...as draynay knows, the horses that ive told him were bad bets, have all lost....so draynay, take this horse off your 6 horse box! yes its one of his top 6...any guesses?

23 Apr 2012 6:20 PM

Too bad about Havre de Grace, so many horses fall to injury. The quality or "greatness" of a thoroughbred has several facets, one being soundness, as well as accomplishments on the track and in the breeding shed. Few horses score well in all 3 areas. The ones that do, usually end up being mentioned with the word great before their name. A few exceptions ofcoarse, Secretariat never lived up to his name as far as passing it through the bloodline. Man O' War was the perfect thoroughbred, perfect on the track, perfect sire, and lived to be an "old man". That's why he was named horse of the century, and all the fans who want to argue the point are not looking at the big picture. As for modern day greats, Zenyatta has one hurdle yet to jump. Good luck to you, Havre de Grace, pass your talent on to your foals.

23 Apr 2012 6:59 PM

Subscriber Vet thats KY Vet make your PICA,dont be a winer pick yerself a WINNA. The competition is Keeneland Wednesdays card pick a race and who you like.Once you have posted I will make my pick.PS none of this hogwash about cancellation of wagers.To me you sound like a neophyte.If you dont know look up in dicktionary.

23 Apr 2012 7:53 PM

One bit of artifice practiced on these blogs is someone saying a certain horse will not or cannot win the Kentucky Derby because of some reason.

One can give any reason for saying that a certain horse will not win. No matter how ridiculous the reason might be, at the end of the day the author is likely to be in a position to say “I told you so”, because there will be 1 winner and 19 losers.

What takes skill and courage is predicting who the winner will be, not who will not win.

Right now, I will predict that horse X will not win the Kentucky Derby because his sire’s stud fee is too high.

Who will win? I predict Creative Cause, if he is drawn 1-8 and the track is dry.

23 Apr 2012 8:11 PM
Paula Higgins

ksweatman9 we totally agree about how a horse is ranked in the Pantheon of the Greats. Whether they were great as a sire and brood mare is also relevant. I have always had a hard time with the Man O'War vs Secretariat scenario. Secretariat set so many records that still stand today and yet Man O' War was a great sire, along with being great on the track. But I think Bloodhorse got it right.

Tiznowbaby, there is only one bad thing about dogs and that is that they don't live long enough. Losing one is like losing a family member and part of yourself.

Still like Gemologist, Creative Cause and I'll Have Another.That's my story and I am sticking to it.

23 Apr 2012 10:11 PM

Daddy Nose Best is your KY Derby winner.  Bet on it now Bloodhorse peeps.  Too bad about Havre De Grace.  At least Porter and Jones can feel good that she was responsible for the untimely retirement of Blind Luck.  

23 Apr 2012 10:28 PM
Paula Higgins

Is it me, or does anyone else think it's not right to dump Havre de Grace now that she has issues? I am disappointed in Porter. She was special. I wish he would just retire her. Hopefully, someone who appreciates her will

buy her and take care of her.

23 Apr 2012 11:03 PM
Matthew W

Harve De Grace was all class! Her battles with Blind Luck were epic! Her Woodward was strong, and she was a player, the whole way around, in The Breeders Cup Classic--a race I believe to be the hardest race to win in the world!' Excepting for this year's Derby, por favor! Yes, Coldfacts, I'll Have Another is likely to beat Creative Cause, he had lost all of his position in the SA Derby, when CC pulled Rosario to the lead up the rail--he won, anyway, although I'll admit, CC looked like he was going by at the wire, I don't think he'll have that edge in The Derby--'Nuther, if he can rate (and he does, like an obedient dog!) and stay (like a mother in law! Tons of stayers on female side--incl Caucasus--"here comes Caucasus!~", at 7-1, was flying 3rd to Crystal Water,Cascapedia (filly)) in 77 Hollywood Gold Cup (Ancient Title 4th)--'Nuther looks like Affirmed, quiet speed, head low, waiting for jockey's prompt--watch this guy over there--let me know, all of ya, por favor! I hope, if all goes well, to perform a cashecktomy on First Sat, hopin to see Doug O'Neil hoist the colors--all he needed was the horse, and he got one! I wish I had 200K, would go to Barretts with Ron MacInally, 2yo in training, a Tizbud for Cal Bred races and a horse we think would get two turns with some speed--and spend the money--all he needs is the horse! Not much money, for a hall of fame trainer, who will be with your horses everyday, someone needs to send Big Mac a Derby Horse, been a long time since Sea Cadet....

24 Apr 2012 12:06 AM
Ted from LA


I was the the poster that said, "Time only counts in prison."  Thank you for remmembering it.  I can't even remember what I had for lunch today.  I like your posts so I must have gotten smarter over the past two years.  I cannot believe that the Union Rags connections switched riders to Jared Fogel.  I had to Google him to even figure out who he was.  The Draynay curse continues.  There is no way Union Rags get to the winner's circle with Fogel riding him.

24 Apr 2012 12:06 AM
Ted from LA


See.  I didn't even know how to spell his name.  

24 Apr 2012 12:07 AM

A few more surprising facts about Bourbon Bay(with the recognition that these races no longer carry the importance, the purse, nor the gr.1 status of the past).  But still....

Since 1989, the most weight carried to victory in the San Juan Capistrano Handicap is 122 lbs.  Bien Bien did it in 1994, and his son Bienamado did it in 2001.  Bourbon Bay joined the 122 lbs list in 2010, and when he won yesterday he again carried 122 lbs.  So, Bourbon Bay, twice, is tied for the highest weighted winner since 89'.

Second, Boubon Bay is now the only horse to ever sweep the San Luis Rey and San Juan Capistrano twice.  He did it in 2010 and this year.

On a side note, thanks to the connections of Eagle Poise and Harrods Creek, and their trainers, Motion and Mott, for shipping their horses out for the San Juan.  Without those two horses the race would have been a far cry from the thriller I witnessed yesterday.  Motion and Mott for years have displayed great sportsmanship in their willingness to ship to California.  I for one appreciate them for this.

24 Apr 2012 12:08 AM
Bob from Boston

Why would Matz take Julien Leparoux off Union Rags and put Jared Fogle on him?  It defies reason.

24 Apr 2012 12:13 AM
Matthew W

Coldfacts I know you love Done Talking, he won that race in Illinois, remember "every race has a winner", doesn't mean a winner won the race, they crawled home, you'll get a huge price--but so would I (I'll Have Another), tested v Creative Cause/will fetch 10-1 and can see him winning big---Your analysis betrays you: The breeding for the tenth furlong? Vs the likes of this deep of a field, you are hoping his ability to get the tenth furlong will trump a large batch of horses who look much better? Good luck with that! I am setting you up for that home run swing, you'll get 25-1 at least, and bragging rights for--ever?!

24 Apr 2012 12:26 AM

What has Hansen, Hard Spun, Big Brown and other recent Derby speed horse done that Bodemeister has yet to do?

Answer: Rate and win--Win other than in wire to wire fashion. Bode is yet to rate and win. He has been passed twice in the stretch when rating just off the lead. The other horse above, while dangerous on the lead, all showed the ability to relax and rate just off the lead and draw off powerfully at 1 mile or above.

Considering the fact that Bode's E1 and E2 pace figures are dwarfed by Hansen and Trinniberg (Bode's figs are much lower than Hansen) what is going to happen if Bode needs the lead but cannot get it, or rates and once again fails to draw away when assuming the lead?

Its an awful lot to ask of such a lightly seasoned colt. He will have to do something he has never done before to win the Derby: Rate and Hold off the stalkers and closers.

24 Apr 2012 12:45 AM

KY Vet : HAHAHA, you sound a little bitter.  My "guess" handicapping netted me over 2grand this weekend, how did you do ?  You're always commenting on "knowing" who is NOT going to win, how about you get some cajones this time and actually pick a horse that WILL win.  You're so worried about being wrong and losing your PRO status, I say don't worry, NO ONE here actually thinks you're a PRO.

This is pretty evident because 2 MINUTES to post time, the first thing you thought about was to POST here that you cancelled your ticket.  How did you even post on the blog 2 minutes before post time ?  Were you racing the clock to make sure your post make it before they ran ??

24 Apr 2012 4:13 AM

Draynay : Read the very first post on blog, it was you saying betting on Bode and Gem is a waste of money.  Your recent posts says now you're thinking Gemologist is your 5th horse.  By the start of next week, you'll be proclaiming him the Triple Crown winner and on May 4th, you will declare him the HOTY.  LOL

So what do you think of Bejarano picking El Padrino who's been on the shelf for awhile over Alpha.  It had to hurt your feelings right ?  One of the top jockeys in the country and he picked El Padrino over your 2nd pick behind UR.  Ouch!

24 Apr 2012 4:38 AM

My $360 Super is ready and I am boxing 6.

Union Rags, DNB, Alpha, Dullahan, Creative Cause and Gemologist.  Exacta box will be Union, DNB and Dullahan ... I will also do a Exacta Box with Alpha replacing DNB.  Union Rags WP ... Rags is head and shoulders the best in here.

24 Apr 2012 12:02 PM

Union is clearly the best horse in here boys wake up.

24 Apr 2012 12:09 PM

All are really great horses and it will be a race! but....I am rooting for Bode, mostly because he is a VA bred at the home of Sir Barton (thanks for the great article on him) Sir Barton is one of my favorite horses and I like seeing another VA horse in the running, maybe there are others but I like his style, his looks and his birth place.

Y'know though, Mr. Borel could run away with the whole thing again!!

Everyone be safe on the trip.....

24 Apr 2012 1:16 PM

Is there any reason why they are not running the Kentucky Oaks on a Saturday (a week before the Derby) ?  Why do they run it on Fridays?  It's suppose to showcase the best fillies in the country.  There'll be more people betting the race, and more people watching it.  It doesn't make sense, unless it's "history" and "it's always been that way".

I'm rooting for the locals in the RTTR contest :  TRIPLE MMM STABLES and Proctor Stables I.  Hope they got the right horses for the Derby.  There's less than 25 points separating the top 20.  Wish I was one of them lol.

24 Apr 2012 1:59 PM

I say if DONE TALKING wins the KY Derby we all need to bow to our knees to COLDFACTS becuase that is the greatest pick of all time... I mean in an off year anyone can win (mine that bird)but this years crop is way to solid I think for a horse that is that slow to win the roses... Good luck Coldfacts

24 Apr 2012 2:32 PM

Jayjay, it is called money. They get 100k people to the track on Friday, 150-170k to the track on Saturday. The Oaks is great. The lines are not as long, a lot of the locals can afford to go to the oaks and sit in a box, and you can pad your bankroll going into Saturday. The schools are out, no one works, and it is a celebration, that will never change. If you ever came here, you would know why it is on Friday. There is a huge party the week leading up to the Oaks/Derby, including the Great Steamboat Race (wed), the Ballon race, the Derby Parade (Thursday) the Chow wagon, the Run for the Rose, I could go on. Best time of the year in KY, hands down. Plus, the people watching for 2 days is insane. Just show up and see for yourself...

24 Apr 2012 3:37 PM

you just won 2 g's Jayjay, book a flight and buy some tickets, you can afford it, right.... see you in 10 days

24 Apr 2012 5:00 PM

Unfortunate for Havre de Grace and I hope her injury heals fast.  Why is Mr. Porter selling her and not keeping her as a broodmare?  Everything changes for her now.  And the article said she could be bred at any time?  Well I would wait until the injury is healed and would not chance putting the excess weight of pregnancy on any limbs until she is healed.  Why risk uneven weight distrubution with an injury?

My two cents on the Afleet Alex comment by Sal, for after all, I am Alex's biggest fan.  If I recall trainer Tim Ritchey said Alex got bumped pretty good a couple times in the '05 Derby.  He still got up to catch the front runner in spite of it.  And Jeremy was a young rather inexperienced rider at that time.  They went on to do miraculous things in the next two legs of the TC.  And Alex was voted in SI as one of the most amazing animals EVER.  Yes, to say he was a near TC winner I think is correct, and it was a length in that Derby between him and Giacomo, not several lengths.  Alex "passed Giacomo like he was standing still" in the Belmont to quote Durkin and won by 7 lengths.  But I say Alex had the 2 yr. old foundation under him to know how to get himself out of the Derby traffic jam, something the other Arkansas Derby winner Bode may not have enough of (the 2 yr. old foundation).

Still saying Hansen and Bode to the end or one of the mid packs closers gets it like CC, IHA, or Gem.  Would not surprise me if Valeski or Went The Day Well shows in the money.

Now gotta go to the Derby site to see if they have video of any arrivals or paddock school!!!!!

24 Apr 2012 6:45 PM
Matthew W

Geronimo Bodemiester did rate last time

24 Apr 2012 7:22 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

The comments and perspectives in this blog are very interesting and analytical.  However, I am feeling like keeping it simple.  Bodemeister is the fastest horse.

24 Apr 2012 11:00 PM

Billy : Damn, I didn't know it was that big of a deal there.  I didn't realize they get that many people in on Fridays, that's great to hear then.  It's in my bucket list, to watch both the Oaks, the Derby and basically visit Churchill Downs.  Thanks for the info.

Yeah, that money goes to the piggy bank, once it goes in there it's no longer mine.  It's the kid's college fund.  I'll probably go next year, this year, I plan to spend a week at Del Mar when it's live racing.  I will make it to Churchill Downs sooner or later.  I'll need more than a weekend if I go there, and I need to make sure I see the greatest mare ever, .  I have no idea who to contact to make that kind of arrangement.

25 Apr 2012 3:42 AM

RAGS - Head and shoulders the best!! Yet draynay BOXES 6 horses. He even handicaps them before the entires and PP's come out. I for one am glad that I have a tax free income form guys like Draynay who have a horse that IS HEAD AND SHOULDERS above the rest, yet he BOXES 6 of them. WARNING WILL ROBINSON: The great Draynay went 0-5 last week. He may very well hit the Derby super, or even have the winner, but I suspect a close miss and him still cashing a ticket for "just enough" to show a profit. I LOVE Alpha, but am sane enough to realize that the draw plays a big part of the equation. After all - I take part of the 18%-25% take they get from Draynay's wagers EVERY TIME I MAKE A BET. Thanks Dray. Keep on "GAMBLING".  6 horse box...LOL

25 Apr 2012 9:21 AM
Pedigree Ann

" Why is Mr. Porter selling her and not keeping her as a broodmare?"

Many racing stables do not breed their own horses, preferring to buy at the the sales. Breeding is a very different business from racing. Moreover, to buy more racing prospects, Mr. Porter needs the proceeds he will realize when he sells Grace. Had she been a colt, he would have syndicated him (sell him in shares).

Does it matter what stud she goes to? She is a valuable property that can only be bought by a high-end breeder; she will be treated well and sent to top-end stallions, because her foals will be worth mega-$ at the sales.

25 Apr 2012 11:56 AM

i believe hansen's last race was nothing more than a public workout.

1st. gemologist....2nd. hansen....3rd. union rags.

25 Apr 2012 3:51 PM

Im playing alotta horse exacta box,with a twist, I actually played mostly partial exacta wheels and did so in installments.Derby Future pools 1,2,3.This year I waited to make my largest purchase in pool 3,because I lost the bet last year after my runners started dropping like flies that I bet in pools 1 and 2.I hope to win it this year to increase my win percentage to .750 3 out of 4 years that I have played it.I even had Mine that Bird but only in the futures.Pioneer Of The Nile I had in everything,he came in 2nd but I made a lot more than I bet,which is my goal as a horseplayer.I dont get caught up in what the industry would like and that is to only pick 1 horse and 1 outcome.To me that is how the 2012 Derby should be bet if you want to wait 2 weeks and try to cash in an easier leg 2 of the triple crown.

25 Apr 2012 7:33 PM

Yes a 6 horse box.  Cost 360 bucks.  Have you ever bet on the Derby before ?  You think a 6 horse box is unheard of in the Derby ?  Rookie.

25 Apr 2012 9:44 PM

JayJay so you are going to see Rachel in Kentucky. Draynay if you are not going to key UR then you need to stop with the insanity of saying how great this horse is.You would save a ton of money but i guess because you are the greatest(LOL)then if you could give out a winner that would be great. Have been doing this for 30 yrs. and you are the guy who claims that he never loses but won't give out a winner.

26 Apr 2012 11:45 AM
Ted from LA

The last word.

23 May 2012 5:35 PM

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