Ky Oaks and Derby Picks

I’m going to my make picks blog very simple this year:

Kentucky Oaks: Summer Applause

Kentucky Derby: Union Rags

Kentucky Oaks

I have a strong feeling on Summer Applause. Of course, I was alive in the late pick 4 going into the final leg last year singed to Joyful Victory and was counting my money before they got in the gate. We all know how that turned out.

Anyway, Summer Applause has impressed me all year. And when I went back and watched her Fair Grounds Oaks a couple times I was sold. She was about five lengths back of Believe You Can (who she beat in her previous start) and closed a ton of ground in deep stretch to lose by a neck. That track was very speed-favoring and the extra distance will only help her here. I think she will get a very favorable pace set up too, as On Fire Baby, Broadway’s Alibi, Eden’s Moon, and Believe You Can will all be gunning it pretty good. Garrett should save ground the whole way and make his late charge.

Summer Applause is 15-1 on the morning-line but I expect her to be more like 7-1 by post time. I spent time with her and the assistant trainer earlier in the week. She looks great and she is getting over the Churchill track even better than Fair Grounds. He work on April 20 was so strong they decided she didn’t even need a final work, so they just galloped her up to the race. I’m all in on Summer Applause.

Grace Hall will be on all my exotic tickets. She is definitely the one to beat. You can’t argue with anything she’s done and should be right in the mix. Ramon will give her a good stalking trip.

And Why Not, Broadway’s Alibi, and Eden’s Moon will fill out my tickets.

For the record, I’m playing a late pick 4 that will look like this: All/2 (Successful Dan)/All/3 (Summer Applause).

Kentucky Derby

Union Rags will win the Kentucky Derby. I gave my reasoning in previous blogs and on That Handicapping Show, but here is a quick recap.

Union Rags obviously did not get an ideal trip in the Florida Derby; we all saw that. But beyond his trip, he wasn’t cranked for the race. Look at his two works leading up to it: He went five furlongs in 1:04 on March 17—the slowest of 22 that day—and four furlongs in :49 the week prior to the race. Do you think Matz had him primed for the Florida Derby? No way. The horse is dead fit and has been since last year. His two works leading up to the Derby have been sensational, and he looks like a million bucks at Churchill this week.

I keep hearing people questioning Leparoux’s ability to win a big race and I’m dumbfounded by it. He’s won plenty of big races in his career and he knows Churchill better than anyone, save Calvin Borel. If Union Rags doesn’t win it won’t because of the trip—it will because he isn’t good enough. But he will be.

If I told you that you were going to get 9-2 or 4-1 on Union Rags after the Fountain of Youth you would have jumped on it. That’s what you’re going to get on Saturday, so take advantage of the generous odds. He’s going to run a big race. He’s the most physically impressive horse in the race, he’s as classy as anyone, he’s ready for a peak performance, and he should sit a good trip—somewhere mid-pack with a lot of speed in front of him.

Underneath Union Rags is where things get complicated. I’m going to use Daddy Nose Best and Hansen for sure, and probably Alpha, Gemologist, Dullahan, and Sabercat. I’ll Have Another and Take Charge Indy will be the horses I’ll be most worried about leaving off. I give both of them decent chances to hit the board.

If Union Rags doesn’t win, my backup selection is Daddy Nose Best. I’ve explained my reasons for liking this colt several times—lots of bottom, two straight wins at nine furlongs, Asmussen has been very confident this week, he has worked at Churchill all month and has looked great, he drew well and should sit a stalking trip, he is battled tested and game, and I like the switch to Garrett. Is he fast enough? I don’t know. But he is peaking and coming into the race as well as anyone. I’ll take 15-1 or 20-1 on a horse like that.

The horse that worries me the most? Dullahan. I’ve gone back and forth on him over the last two weeks. I loved his run in the Blue Grass and the quick expected pace should suit him very well. Romans said he’s is dead fit and ready for this race. The backstretch buzz earlier in the week was that he’s wasn’t getting over the track all that well, but I think that might be off the mark. When I saw him he looked good. The connections are very confident. If someone is flying from off the pace, it will be Dullahan, or Sabercat.

Good luck everyone. Let us know your picks and, as always, I will look forward to the post race analysis on Sunday or Monday.


Leave a Comment:

steve from st louis

Likely wet track is so hard to handicap. Will it be wet-fast and favor the "daisy skipping" front runners Hansen and Bodemeister as it did with Smarty Jones or will it resemble peanut butter and favor stout closers Optimizer or Daddy Nose Best as it did Mine That Bird? Sane response appears to ignore  the condition  and stick with Dosage picks "ABC"--Alpha, Bodemeister and Creative Cause in exacta box. Safe trip to all.

04 May 2012 12:14 PM

I'll never understand why some people can't just walk away from each other when they obviously can't get along. If I hear "it's for the kids" one more time, I'll scream. Constant fighting is NOT in any child's best interest. Take a hint Albarado, before you do something unconscionable that you'll regret for the rest of your life, start walking and don't look back. Do your kids a favor, LEAVE. I also don't think someone with serious anger issues should be working with horses, better get some professional help. Good luck.

04 May 2012 1:38 PM

Already did a Prospective/Alpha/Union Rags/Dullahan triactor (trifecta?  what is it in Kentucky?

And, because last year my gut bet did much, much better than my "scientific" bet: Optimizer across the board.

Good luck to all.

Safe race to all.

04 May 2012 1:43 PM
Point Given

OAKS: Eden's Moon/Jemima's Pearl

DERBY: Bodemeister/IHA

04 May 2012 1:45 PM

Forgot: Hard Not to Like

04 May 2012 1:46 PM

Where's Dray i need to hear from him before i make my bet just in case he has'nt jumped off UR sinse he's riding that one i'll take CC.

04 May 2012 3:05 PM
Smoking Baby

ksweatman9.  I couldn't agree more.  Staying with someone you can't stand (and who probably can't stand you) isn't doing your kids any favors.  Not to make excuses because spousal abuse is TOTALLY UNCOOL but part of this may be due to the pressures of making weight.  Not to disclose too much but this is something I know a little about.  Sucking weight, flipping, etc., being hungry and miserable all of the time can turn a good person into a total jerk.  I have no idea whether this is the case for Robbie Albarado or not.  I'm  just saying.

04 May 2012 3:10 PM
Criminal Type

Jason, I would like to thank you for validating the belief I have had in Union Rags since last summer.

04 May 2012 3:20 PM

Beyer picked a Bode / DNB exacta... he knows nothing

Union wins the Derby and Grace wins the Oaks.... write it in stone.

I am never wrong...

04 May 2012 3:21 PM

Many of you are making a mistake on DADDY KNOWS BEST.......please follow my advice, throw this horse out of your top 3.....also...Coldcuts...dont waste your time on done talking! go with your daddy long legs instead..

04 May 2012 3:22 PM

Of course i have my 2.500 tickets futures on cc and el the race day pick for the derby....i like 12 horses....obviously a tough race to handicap! if bode runs that last race he wins.....but i say no....too many hard races.....ZENYATTA was great, but only went as fast as needed to win...I see alot of that with GEMOLOGIST.....a horse that never has been running hard at he end of his to improve! Unlike all the 6 horse box rookies, ill pick just 1 horse 300w200p........enjoy people!

04 May 2012 3:30 PM

BREAKING NEWS!!!! Late entry to the new westminster dog show......the beautiful union rags! Look at that coat! look at those muscles!  Give him a ribbon!!!

04 May 2012 3:33 PM

4 horse box triple-i"ll have another,gemologist, rousing sermon and bodemeister.

04 May 2012 3:48 PM

Oaks:  Jemima's Pearl

Derby:  Union Rags

04 May 2012 4:21 PM

Daddy Nose Best certainly improved after drawing post 10.  Very good post which has produced the most winners in recent years.  

I think you can box the first 4-5 finishers of the Breeder's Cup Juv and do alright here.  With the exception of Bodemeister, nothing really has done much.

1.  Creative Cause

2.  Union Rags

3.  Dullahan

4.  Hansen

and then play around a bit with Bodemeister and I'll Have Another as well as Take Charge Indy in the 3-4 spots.

04 May 2012 4:58 PM


Comment From draynay

Are you guys nuts ? You think MMM is going to beat Dan ? Nuts....

Say thank you when I give you a 10.20 horse !!!  I am a legend !

04 May 2012 5:12 PM


Union Rags - top choice

Went the Day Well, Daddy Nose Best, I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, Creative Cause, and Prospective on bottom.

I will put these horses in EX, TRI and SUP. WPS money on all the horses I listed.

I am trying to beat Gemologist, Hansen and Dullahan.

If it is a wet track, I'll include TCI, and El Padrino and take out 2 horses from my list

Good luck to all, and thanks to Jason for all of his hard work!

04 May 2012 5:30 PM

Broadway's Alibi/Jemima's Pearl.  Haven't solidified the Derby yet.

04 May 2012 5:41 PM
Criminal Type

Make that a HUGE cup of what I suggested on previous blog yesterday.

04 May 2012 6:34 PM
It aint easy being good!

Rain, sleet or hail take union rags with Dulluhan. Dulluhan is an absolute BEAST! They say h cant run on dirt he fricken trains on it. They say he got 4th in the juvy and cant win he is one of the only horses that has been in large fields and has had experience with mud thrown in his face. He has Kent D and romans and has the best turn of foot. Everyone take dulluhan at 9-1 and lets throw are hundreds in the air!

04 May 2012 6:45 PM

Decided to take it easy in the Oaks and play a $10 exacta box with Believe You Can and Summer Applause.   Ouch.

04 May 2012 6:48 PM

I hate when jockeys stop riding when they cant win, and ignore some of the betting public that sometimes bet to show. Summer Applause easily could have come in 3d.

04 May 2012 6:56 PM

Beyer picked a Bode / DNB exacta... he knows nothing

Union wins the Derby and Grace wins the Oaks.... write it in stone.

I am never wrong...

Draynay 04 May 2012 3:21 PM.

Already 50% Wrong with Grace Hall. The other 50% is up for Grabs on Saturday!!! Question, will you be all (100%) wrong or just half (50%) wrong???

04 May 2012 7:04 PM

Rosie is becoming a must bet in most big races and/or if she has anything at all under her.  

04 May 2012 7:11 PM
Jason Shandler

Congrats to the connections of Believe You Can, especially Rosie.

Kevin: I agree with you. Garrett cost me the tri too by not getting up for third.

Had a decent day all around, thanks to Successful Dan. What a beast. On to Saturday!!

04 May 2012 7:24 PM

The Draynay curse is alive and well!  On the live blog this morning I had pegged Believe You Can and was shut down by Jason saying she will be sucking wind at the end...  I was stuck on a golf course and couldn't make it to the track in time to get my bet in... wish I had!  Hopefully I can prognosticate well enough tomorrow for a win in my pick 3 bet!  My six horse Draynay boxes will be:

Union Rags



Went the Day Well


Take Charge Indy

Good luck to all!

04 May 2012 7:41 PM

Congrats Rosie!!!!  Great ride!!!  

04 May 2012 8:04 PM

Played two advance tri;s for derby today.  Tri Wheel: UR, Bode/IHA DNB/TCI, Dull, CC, Alpha, Gem. Other tri is boxed TCI, UR, Dull, Bode. With how the track played today, and especially if there is rain, I will play an all speed tri.  I have futures on UR to win, so my big bet will be IHA to show ($100).    

04 May 2012 8:10 PM

Oaks was a conyeyor belt result start to finish same two only the one that rated had a little more at the finish.UR is the favorite in the early betting.

04 May 2012 8:25 PM

Broadway's Alibi ran a nice race.  Interesting comment by Velasquez after, about her always paddling first time on a track.  

04 May 2012 8:43 PM
Paula Higgins

My three are the same:


Creative Cause


But, Dullahan has the potential to run a huge race imo.

Now, the bottom line, would LOVE to see Union Rags win. Michael Matz deserves it as much as anyone in the business. After Barbaro, and then when the Jacksons left him, I have wanted something really good to happen for him.

Congratulations to the connections of Believe You Can and Rosie. The horse girls and the human girls continue to impress.

04 May 2012 9:13 PM

Daddy Nose Best training at Churchill for a month reminds me of Summer Bird before the Belmont: great preparation.

That said, I love UR followed by Daddy Nose Best, Take Charge Indy, and Went The Day Well.

What happened to Baffert's horses today?

04 May 2012 9:13 PM


What's your take on the Creative Cause rumors?.  He was my key horse, and I loved the 12-1.  But the rumors have me CONCERNED.  Might just pass the race entirely.

04 May 2012 9:36 PM
Tiz Herself

Wow for Friday - Successful Dan was incredible. How awesome would it be to have Wise Dan and Successful Dan in the same barn together?

Love Believe You Can her name rings true. Happy that Proud Citizen has his second Oaks winner - and for Rosie. Love watching her ride.

Pray for a safe weekend in the Derby - riders and horses.

04 May 2012 9:46 PM

I thought all along the Fair Grounds fillies were best.  But like many, I thought Summer Applause to be better than Believe You Can.  Hated the Cali fillies.  Eden's Moon HAS to have the lead and can't pass horses.  Like Castaway.  Note that the two races Bodemeister did not have the early lead, both when tracking Awesome Act, he lost.

The "Dans"(Successful and Wise) are darn good horses, and are especially tough in Kentucky.  If the BC was back at Churchill, I could easily see them running 1-2; they might just do that in the Foster.  

Fort Larned is for real as a serious handicap horse.  He set a track record at Gulfstream last out and it took a track record to beat him today.

Nate's Minshaft appears to be a horse for the Fair Grounds course.

Plum Pretty continues to be one of the more baffling horses in North America.  Except for the Sunland and Kentucky Oaks, she seems to alternate good and poor efforts. End result, she shouldn't be compared with the more consistent older females as best in the division.

The times suggest the Alysheba was a really strong race, the La Trionne ok, with an incredibly slow final sixteenth of 8 seconds, and the Kentucky Oaks was ok.  However, with the rain storm it's possible the track variant changed for the Oaks.

The track was very fast today, and speed dominated.  But with rain in the forecast, who knows?

Out at Hollywood tomorrow in the gr.2 Mervyn LeRoy, Awesome Gem makes his 9 year old graded stakes debut(after winning a San Fran allowance) and gr.1 winner Morning Line makes his first start since the Whitney and first start for John Sherriffs(and first start on synth).  Baffert sends out 2 including multiple graded stakes winner Prayer for Relief(who likes Hollywood MUCH more than Santa Anita) and gr.1 winner Jaycito, while Sadler also saddles 2 in horse for course Kettle Corn and the sharp Gladding.  Should be a good race, arguably the best race for older horses this year among the Cali based horses(not counting the class Ron the Greek added as a shipper in the Big Cap).

04 May 2012 9:50 PM

The oaks was well ridden by rosie -kudos to her .


i think,this is the year -sheikh muhammad can win it , if not then the front man for hosni mubarik,s son gamal(ahmed zayat) can win it .

the derby 138 will be won by middle east owners ,as, its been too too long since prince fahd salman won it with bob baffert . so,its dubai,s goldolphin to win and egyptian,s to come second - their horses are dubai,s ALPHA and egyptians is BODEMIESTER .

04 May 2012 10:26 PM

I am beginning to think the speed horses will slow it down leaving the closers without a chance,problem is there's so many good ones i don't know which one to pick,can't see trainers of Bode Hansen Trinniberg etc wanting thier horse to run a half mile in 47 and expect to win.

04 May 2012 11:26 PM


The Beautiful one is a beast and he'll show you who's top dog of this 3YO crop when he is garlanded with the roses.

BTW I don't follow your logic concerning U/Rags. You're always knocking horses that run too hard or put in best performance before their big engagement, yet you can't seem to understand that Thrainer Matz has been preparing this horse to peak in the Derby and not before. The horse has impressed in his preparation, is sitting on the race of his life, meets your primaary requirement for a big effort, yet you are still cynical?  

I can guess why. You didn't heed my warning about that sucker's futures wager and can't find the humility to acknowledge that Union Rags is about to burn your wager on Creative Cause and El Padrino. You should've heed my wisdom and donate to charity instead of fattening the bookmaker's pocket. At least we wont have to read any more bragging about your Pro status and about how much you won in futures on Street Sense way back in 2007 (LOL).

04 May 2012 11:40 PM

Went The Day Well and Gem are the 2 horses I will be using in the first and second spots of my gimmicks even though I have Bode, Union, WTDW, Gem, and I'll Have Another in my Oaks/Derby Double... I used both horses coming from the Fairground Oaks so looks like it should be a nice score if I get home in the Derby with one of those five... Didn't use Grace Hall at all 2 reasons 1) never been a fan to be honest. 2) DRAYNAY said she couldn't lose!!! Good luck at the windows everyone...

05 May 2012 1:22 AM
Matthew W

It suprises me on how so many go with the figures--Bodemeister goes over a second faster than the Oaklawn Hcp--he gets a high Beyer--another triple-digit, case closed! Except.....this is The Derby, where the pace is unlike any you'll ever (again) encounter, with the middle/early moves and the multiple  good horses vying for the lead--I'll Have Another lays four back, blows right by The Meister, opens up--big--then holds off Daddy Nose Best, Dullahan, Ragsy, Gemologist and Take Charge Indy, cuz Bo-Rail drew inside with a good horse, a horse who missed a work before the Fla Derby and still won--I see it as a complete pace collapse--I'll Have Another is a really good horse and Doug O'Neil is a really good trainer, I just hope they can lay back for the first 1/2, then get first run....everyone on here, have fun! This is what it's all about!

05 May 2012 1:24 AM

Jason, thanks for your info and input along the Trail.  Good Luck today.

Believe You Can knocked me out of the Oaks, Derby Double and Tri, so here goes with the Derby.

Caveat:  Other than Trinniberg melting like Ice Cream in a hot car, the rest of the pace will hold today.  Anyone of Take Charge Indy, Creative Cause, Daddy Nose Best, Alpha, Hansen(along with my picks) could win this and I would not be shocked, that's how close this field is, but I like:

#15 Gemologist to win.  He has the running style to stay closer to the pace and finish well, he is primed.  Will do WP.

Will box Gemologist with

#4 Union Rags

#5 Dullahan

#6 Bodemeister

#19 I'll Have Another in Ex and Tri boxes.  That's it, I'm Done Talking.

Good Luck to everyone!

05 May 2012 6:44 AM

And a shout out to Bob from Boston:

Thanks for the darts Bob, I closed my eyes and other than a few holes in the wall, they did the job.

05 May 2012 6:46 AM

Good Luck to Terrepin Trails in the RTTR contest.  You've got a shouting chance.  Two years ago I was tied for third, 28 points behind the leader and thanks to Super Saver(Pletcher), Ice Box and Paddy O'Prado, I ended up winning by 21. Good Luck today!

05 May 2012 7:04 AM
Mike Monarchos

My top two are Gemologist and Bodemeister. I also like El Padrino, Take Charge Indy, and Union Rags. They all should run well on an off track. I might also throw in Hansen, because I was at the 2004 Derby when Smarty Jones and Lion Heart ran 1st and 2nd.

I'm not sure what to think about Creative Cause with the foot problem.

05 May 2012 7:51 AM
Forbidden Apple

1)Alpha- double digit odds, bred for the distance, lacking a top jockey bet:WP & key in all exotics

2)Dullahan- double digit odds, the most explosive kick in the race, peaking at the right time bet:WP & key in all exotics

3)Gemologist- undefeated colt, sits off the pace and pounces, my only knock is a late start to his 2012 debut & distance? bet:must use in all exotics

4)Bodemeister- impressive,but must run another huge race with only 3 weeks rest bet:must use in all exotics

5)Union Rags- gorgeous horse, explosive at times, could not get past Reveron bet:must use in all exotics

7th/8th Daily Double: Amazombie/Daisy Devine

10th/11th Daily Double: Turralure/ Alpha,Dullahan, and Gemologist

05 May 2012 7:53 AM
Pedigree Ann

BREAKING NEWS!!!! Late entry to the new westminster dog show......the beautiful union rags! Look at that coat! look at those muscles!  Give him a ribbon!!!

I don't usually agree with KY VET, but this made me laugh. A lot of what I see about Union Rags is about he looks and acts, not his form. How he LOOKS like you want a Kentucky Derby winner to look. As though that mattered.

05 May 2012 9:21 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

I've had a hard time deciding on this year's Derby picks.  Woke up this morning feeling a Super D--Dale, Desormeaux, Donegal, and Dullahan.  Show bet on El Padrino and doing a little with Bodemeister.  Thank you, Jason, for your insights and thanks to you and Tom for your weekly programs which I enjoy very much.

05 May 2012 9:46 AM

My picks are Bodemeister, Creative Cause and I'll Have Another although I still can't decide which order!  Way to go on the Oaks Dray--3rd place is the same as a win, right?  LOL

05 May 2012 9:50 AM

So far I picked Broadway's Alibi and that was wrong, but did get Place.

For the Derby I will bet:

1st: Rousing Sermon

2nd: Optimizer

3rd: Dullahan

4th: DH Prospective, Alpha

I am expecting this race to fall apart and a Giacomo like finish.

05 May 2012 10:17 AM

I had to wait until Derby morning to make a decision, but I am still high on UNION RAGS.  My Derby picks will center around him winning and these 4 picking up the pieces: GEMOLOGIST, TAKE CHARGE INDY, DULLAHAN and DADDY NOSE BEST.

Good luck and a safe trip to all!

05 May 2012 10:56 AM

Not even betting this Derby, so good luck to all who are!  I will put a token bet on DLL as Aiden just won the 2000!

05 May 2012 10:59 AM

Well I back door'd the Oaks winner ---as posted Grace Hall was my top choice the winner my second--Yes I posted it ----so not doing a Dray   said thought Oaks between 2 horse (not 6 )-still leaves me with 6 horses alive on the 2 day double.

Final thoughts see the track dry

Speed favoring very glib

Still my pick Dullahan--no cinch

Keying him with 6 and boxing (only $.50 tickets as I am not a genius like some this is a very tough race)



Union Rags


I Have Another

I have all these in Doubles from a low of $2 to a high of $6 plus Gem for $2

Good luck

By the way who corrected me and said there would be two 2-1 shots---I do not have to eat my computer screen.

05 May 2012 11:19 AM

Just one more thing about Camelot.  Montjeu out of a Kingmambo mare.  This horse should improve as the distances get longer.  Hope he keeps progressing.

05 May 2012 11:38 AM
Minnesota Kid

How about Sabercat to place?

Just like Bluegrass Cat and Forty Niner, his sire and damsire.

05 May 2012 12:55 PM

Derby Picks:





05 May 2012 3:07 PM

Tiz Herself,

It would be a Wise and Successful barn.  Good Luck today!

05 May 2012 3:19 PM

Interesting story.  I awoke this morning to more money in my tvg account than I thought.  Apparently when I bet the Oaks, impaired, I actually bet $10 to win on Believe You Can and Summer Applause rather than the $10 exacta box I intended to bet.

05 May 2012 5:09 PM

Derby Bets:

$1 tri and super boxes 6, 10, 11, 15, 19

$5 Ausmussen exacta box 10, 18

$10 Wood Memorial exacta box 11, 15

$20 Andy Beyer Straight exacta 6, 10

$2 tri box 3, 4, 14, 15

$100 to win 3, 11, 19

$50 to win 15

$20 to win 16

05 May 2012 5:13 PM
Carlos in Cali

1)Daddy Long Legs- Toss.

2)Optimizer- Toss.Isn't good enough.

3)Take Charge Indy- Great post for him,will be first to the rail w/Borel.One of the few to have progressed as a 3yo and is peaking at the right time.Should get a Super Saver type of trip with less traffic in front of him.

4)Union Rags- Bad post for a horse who needs a clean trip according to his backers.The speed to his outside will funnel in front of him causing him to steady going into the first turn-kiss of death! He'll take alot of dirt to his face(something new to him) and Julien will be looking to bail-out of the traffic jam.. good luck w/that.If he's asked to go a little quicker than he's accustomed to he'll be looking for a place to lie-down like he did in the BCJ stretch run.The Dixie Union will show up.Plus,he peaked last year and he's not the beast many think he is.

5)Dullahan- Will be picking up the faders but I'm still not convinced he's as good on dirt as on synth/turf.

6)Bodemeister- Will be stalking the cheap speed from the rail in front of TCI.Should get a nice clean trip and if he runs anything close to his last he wins for fun.

7)Rousing Sermon- Pass.Too slow,didn't progress.

8)Creative Cause- Steady & Battle tested,has the turn-of-foot to make a big move coming into the stretch if he's healthy enough.You can't knock his consistency though.

9)Trinniberg- The cheap speed.Toss.

10)Daddy Nose Best- The wise-guy horse who ducked serious competition while hiding at 3rd tier tracks.Pass.

11)Alpha- Has improved off his 2yo form and his Wood Memorial was the perfect tightener.Kiaran will have him as ready as he can be,just needs the right trip.He's agile enough to get out of trouble if need be.Toss last yr's BCJ disaster,he lost it in the gate and he bled.He's a different animal this year.

12)Prospective- Didn't like him in the Bluegrass at all.After going 2for3 @ Tampa why the switch-back to synthetics?.. either he performs like Pyro or Street Sense in here.I'll go for the former.

13)Went The Day Well- Not for me.The Spiral was a weak race all around.

14)Hansen- Got the perfect post for his style,outside all of the other speed.This is the only way he'll be able to settle,IMO.Should also get a clean trip alongside Bode' until Ramon says "go" turning for home.

15)Gemologist- If you like him you better have Alpha too.Will be further back than what he's used to so we'll see if he tolerates it.He might get a wide trip though.

16)El Padrino- The forgotten one.He was a little flat in the FL Derby after having to ship back-and-forth from FL and La.His tough,gutsy Risen Star victory likley dulled him a bit too.5wks from his last race seems about right for him to run back to his previous form which ranks up there with the 2nd/3rd best figs of the year.

17)Done Talking- Pass.They will have to be crawling down the stretch for him to win.

18)Sabercat- Pass. He was slow last year too.

19)I'll Have Another- Not sure about the post,but he has good tactical speed to place him in a good spot.Has shown he can sit and pounce if need be.. he'll have to in here.Will most likely have a wide trip throughout which is fine if he'd be up closer to the pace like Big Brown was.Tough task vs. this saltier group.

20)Liaison- See Rousing Sermon.Plus he's an Indian Charlie so he'll probably finish just ahead of Trinniberg.

My Picks:  I'm wheel-boxing Hansen,Bode',Alpha,TCI,El Padrino and will use CC,Gem,UR on bottom 2-spots of exotics.

I will also play a ticket consisting of a dream/vision I had about 2months ago: 1st.The White Horse- 2nd.A dark bay- 3rd.A grey horse.  Hmmm?..

Good Luck and remember Speed has been holding-up the last few days.

05 May 2012 5:42 PM

Bob Baffert is always so cool and funny. It's weird and touching to see how his heart attack has brought out his emotional side.  Gosh, makes me want to root for bodemeister now!

05 May 2012 6:00 PM

Hit the exacta box this year for $306.00 and made money on IHA and Bode in my WPS show wagers. Dullahan screwed me over with him running 3rd.

A word on UR, he had another TERRIBLE ride, Julian should have gone after him the 1st 1/16th, instead he got squeezed out and was next to last for the majority of the race and ran on for 7th.  

I'll Have Another, what a great performance! I hope he wins the TC, Bode ran a great race as well. All in all, I can't complain expect for UR ride.

05 May 2012 6:57 PM

Wow, all I can say is that Bodemeister lived up to the hype and I can't believe I ditched IHA after liking him all week.

Union Rags was game despite a horrible trip but you do have to question the lack of tactical speed. Not sure Lepareaux fits this horse. Dullahan ran about how I thought he would but after that all my betting interests fell apart.

On to Maryland!

05 May 2012 6:59 PM

Almost got the tri, but cashed well with IHA.  

05 May 2012 7:05 PM

What a race by Bodemeister!  Took it to the speed, ran them into the ground and just didn't quite hang on.  Major talent.  Hope this race doesn't ruin him.  Reminds me of Congaree.

05 May 2012 7:33 PM
steve from st louis

Great race for Doug O'Neil, coming to get Bodemeister, my dosage pick, who did everything but win. Baffert's horse ran his eyeballs out, beating every speed horse to the front and staying there until 70 yards to go. Congrats to the two California horses. I don't have to mention our particular  jerk, who couldn't have been more wrong or more condesending. Draynay, you must have been in the infield today because that was the only way YOU were hitting the board. Beyer loved Bode and HE doesn't know anything?? Jason, why do you allow this charleton to post and trash your blog?

05 May 2012 7:39 PM

well...i was wrong about hansen...sigh...think i'm going to impose a rule for myself: never, never bet on a horse if you are emotionally invested in him.

i know everyone will say it was the distance--but i actually think his biggest problem today, besides being totally washed out, was the weight--i'd say hansen's high weight limit is 123lbs--he might have also needed more than 3 weeks from his effort in the BG--thorograph was predicting a bounce...but then again, they got every other horse in the race wrong...i pray they don't try to rebound with him in the preakness, let him come back as a light weight for the the late summer/fall races...

for all the people who felt ramon should have gone with alpha--alpha finished 10 behind hansen.

was wrong about dullahan too--he was sound, though if they keep pulling him up so sharply, he won't stay sound.

at least i was right about union rags, hopefully we'll at least get some relief from hearing about how he has secretariat's used socks and the all that nonsense about female tail lines. if i never have to hear "female tail line"'ll be well worth the $500 i lost today on hansen...

i'm happy for i'll have another but not for doug o'neil...never good for the sport to have trainers like him win the biggest races...

the only bright spot for me today was shack--he'll always be my true love...

05 May 2012 8:21 PM

Congrats to those who had I'll have another -- had a good day other than Derby thanks to Dale Romans.  Gotta believe in the Draynay curse -- poor Union Rags, Uncle Mo, etc.

05 May 2012 8:25 PM

Cashed the exacta IHA deserving winner but Bode ran just as well if not better softened by his early fractions.UR dosent do well inside he needs to be  running in the clear,he did close well in the end as did Dullahan.Romans has come in 3rd twice and 4th last year with  Shack last few years.Well the Appolo rule is still there but it is meaningless nowadays.

05 May 2012 8:27 PM

One of these days the last 70 yards of a derby will go my way.  I can;t complain, I had IHA WPS and a big show bet.  But had IHA with Dullahan 2d and Bode 3d.  Also two tri;s with Bode winning, IHA 2d and Dullahan 3d.  Bode ran the best race, setting those fractions and still holding on for 2d.  Lesson learned, stay away from the wise guy horse (DNB).  Could have gone deeper on my tickets if I stick to my own handicapping.  Thought C/C also ran a good race.  He could still be a horse for the Classic in the fall.  

05 May 2012 9:04 PM

The Cali horses proved they were indeed superior.  I'll Have Another and Bodemeister sweep the exacta, Creative Cause his usual solid self in 5th, Liaison picks it up outside of Santa Anita and beats Union Rags out for 6th, while Liaison's old rival, Rousing Sermon, is close to him again in 8th.  

Scoreboard:  Cali horses top 2, 3 of top 5, 5 of top 8.  The 6th horse to winter in Cali, Daddy Nose Best, ran 10th.  So, 6 of the top 10.  

I think the Cali horses were helped by a dry track that remained fast all weekend, but it wasn't like Cali horses were lighting it up in the other races at Churchill.  I've said it all winter, Cali has two divisions that can compete nationally, 3 year old males and sprinters.  Amazombie ran another solid race, with 7 furlongs not his best and carrying 5 lbs more than Shack.

Out at Hollywood, Morning Line is nice new face out here and his win in the Mervyn LeRoy signals him a major contender in a weak handicap division here in the West.

05 May 2012 9:45 PM

Hit the $1 ex box and the $.50 tri box.  Was surprised to see Bodemeister outrun Trinniberg and last as long as he did. He's a racehorse.  Not surprised at IHA, Dullahan was ready for a big effort.  Thank goodness for $.50 cent tri's.

What happened to Gemologist, did he come back ok?

The BCJ gang finished 5th., 7th., 9th., 10th., 11th., 12., 18,19,20.

Congrats to all who cashed tickets.  

Matthew W:  IHA to win.

2:24 with 100 to win on IHA, looks like you made a profit.

I'll Have Another is now on top.  Can he remain there?  Is he capable of the Preakness and maybe a Triple Crown?  Will be at the Belmont and want to see a TCW.  I enjoyed watching the Derby so much today that in two weeks, "I'll Have Another."

05 May 2012 9:50 PM

Oh well no good on my Ex's and Tri's but did cash for $730 on my Oaks/Derby Double so was totally happy!! Was a great day at the races but really humid out. Hey Draynay still counting your money "DERBY MASTER" LOL or are you looking for change in the couch to get you some taco bell tonight?? Thinking the latter fits ROOKIE!

05 May 2012 9:55 PM

UR ran the same race as Dialed In.  Interesting

05 May 2012 9:58 PM

Went The Day Well ran hard in the lane and galloped out STRONG!!! He looks to be talented as well. (as I thought) Bode showed how fast he really is. And I'll Have Another just shows that RAN in the sire side still means so much in the Ky Derby. In fact RAN sire horses ran 1,2,4 in the race, pretty strong if you ask me!!! Hope no one is on here complaining about the ride Union Rags got. The horse never once showed improvement from age two to three simple as that. Still think he is a good horse though just not a world beater...Good luck everyone. Should be an interesting Preakness.

05 May 2012 10:00 PM
Karen in Texas

Congratulations to the California horses! Bode almost made it on the front, even with fast early fractions--happy for I'll Have Another! I thought Hansen did okay for having been washy, fighting Ramon early, and then tracking the leaders fairly closely. He has this milestone behind him now, and they have many options for his future races. Maybe really learning to rate is still possible for him. I, too, hope the talk of Union Rags being the 'third coming' is now finished.

Shack looked wonderful in his win over Amazombie--great to see him back in the winner's circle!

05 May 2012 10:04 PM

There's a kind of hush over the blog ...the Derby winner, I'll Have Another is not a surprise (congratulations are in order for the connections and that young jockey) but the performances of many of the fancied colts fell below expectations. I'm hugely disappointed with Union Rags breaking from the gate (not offering any excuse here, just some reflections). I'm not convinced that he isn't good enough therefore I'll quietly observe The Preakness and Belmont as my lofty Triple Crown forcast go down the tube.

Bodemeister could have won the Derby if Mike Smith had shown more respect to the "pace police" Trinniberg and yielded the lead but thankfully the race was truly run from start to finish. I wonder if some of the others were too afraid of Bodemeister's and Trinniberg's pace and ran too far off of it, unable to recover, in that the speed was holding on the track.

The Preakness usually corrects some of the Derby anomalies so we'll have to wait and see which ones are the real deal and which one are over-rated.

Having said all that, the build up was pretty enjoyable.

I guess that I'll escape eating crow because hardly any of my adversaries touted the winner. The RAN sire line prevailed again, but Coldfacts was not impressed with any of the four RAN colts that filled the first four spots, having been almost totally blinded by Done Talking. As for the A P Indy son and grandsons, the Derby is always going to be a toss but they'll rebound at Saratoga and later in the year.

My silence begins here.

05 May 2012 10:11 PM

Beyer picked a Bode / DNB exacta... he knows nothing

Union wins the Derby and Grace wins the Oaks.... write it in stone.

I am never wrong...

Draynay 04 May 2012 3:21 PM.

Already 50% Wrong with Grace Hall. The other 50% is up for Grabs on Saturday!!! Question, will you be all (100%) wrong or just half (50%) wrong???

tcc 04 May 2012 7:04 PM

Congratulations Draynay you are now 100% wrong.  How does it taste to swallow your own words?

05 May 2012 10:34 PM

What a race by Bodemeister.  When I saw he went :22, :45 and 1:09, I thought for sure he's toast.  I think Mike was a little too worried about Trinniberg, but that's a race horse right there.  Having said that, I'll have another's jockey Super Mario deserves this win more than anyone and kudos to Doug O'Neill for not changing jockeys for the big dance.  Mario did everything right with this horse.  No excuses for any of the horses who didn't hit the board.

I'm still perplexed at how Gemologist ran, Javier (or whoever rode him) was already on him before the turn for the homestretch.  I don't know if he didn't like the track today or what.

Draynay :  Congrats on our bet, Union Rags was able to pick up the tiring horses.  I hit the exacta so I guess you get that payout lol.  I should've stayed with my initial pick who was Went the Day Well but couldn't get off Gemologist.  I'll send the money to Jason tomorrow.    I'm sure you could use it with all your failed guaranteed picks.

Ranagulzion :  I guess I won't have to wait until the Belmont eh ??  ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW, I TOLD YOU SO!  Union Rags should be pointed for the BC mile.  I still can't believe you thought he can get 12Fs.  He had enough stamina left to go back to the barn.  They should do what's best for the horse and keep him at shorter races.  A lot of money got suckered on him going off as the favorite.  He moved up because all the other horses were backing up.

Trackjack : Hope you changed your mind and went back on IHA, I know he's been your horse for awhile and you posted you were going to box him on exactas and tris.

2:24 : Nice $100 win bet on IHA, congrats!

05 May 2012 11:40 PM

steve from st louis- Jason is one of the most tolerant blog hosts who allows all of us to vent from time to time without much censorship.  You have to appreciate that because I'm sure he rolls his eyes constantly.

05 May 2012 11:51 PM

My picks were 1st, 2nd and 5th but I had decided I really wanted Bodemeister to win!  What a race he ran but you gotta love I'll Have Another.  Interesting that the first and second place horses were being trained "old school" which is what swayed me to pick them.  So much for "California horses" being weak...and Dray, I guess we really don't need to say anything do we?  LOL

06 May 2012 1:02 AM

How many tout a $3000 tri? and give you the Oaks Derby double--check another post

Well I back door'd the Oaks winner ---as posted Grace Hall was my top choice the winner my second--Yes I posted it ----so not doing a Dray   said thought Oaks between 2 horse (not 6 )-still leaves me with 6 horses alive on the 2 day double.

Final thoughts see the track dry

Speed favoring very glib

Still my pick Dullahan--no cinch

Keying him with 6 and boxing (only $.50 tickets as I am not a genius like some this is a very tough race)



Union Rags


I Have Another

I have all these in Doubles from a low of $2 to a high of $6 plus Gem for $2

Good luck

By the way who corrected me and said there would be two 2-1 shots---I do not have to eat my computer screen.

bohemiastable 05 May 2012 11:19 AM

06 May 2012 3:45 AM

Should Dray doubt

This is what I bet before I went to the track in case I got shut out

Submitted Wagers For Account 1184011 Showing Page 1 of 1

Date Time Track Race Stake Pool Selections Debit Credit

May 5 11:34 AM Churchill Downs 11 $0.50 TR (PWHL) 8 / 4, 5, 6, 19 / 4, 5, 6, 19 $6.00 $0.00  

May 5 11:32 AM Churchill Downs 11 $0.50 TR (PWHL) 4, 5, 6, 19 / 4, 5, 6, 8, 19 / 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 18, 19 $40.00 $766.40  

May 5 11:30 AM Churchill Downs 11 $0.50 TR (PWHL) 5 / 3, 4, 6, 8, 15, 19 / 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 15, 18, 19 $21.00 $0.00  

May 5 11:28 AM Churchill Downs 11 $25.00 WN 5 $25.00 $0.00  

May 5 11:27 AM Churchill Downs 7 $0.50 TR (PWHL) 6 / 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 / 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 $10.00 $0.00  

May 5 11:26 AM Churchill Downs 7 $0.50 TR (PWHL) 1, 6 / 1, 4, 6, 7 / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 $18.00 $0.00  

May 5 11:24 AM Churchill Downs 7 $0.50 TR (BOX ) 1, 4, 6, 7 $12.00 $43.55  

May 5 11:20 AM Churchill Downs 8 $0.50 P3 (PWHL) 3 / 3, 6, 7, 8 / 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 $14.00 $0.00  

May 5 11:19 AM Churchill Downs 8 $0.50 TR (PWHL) 3 / 1, 4, 5, 8, 9 / 10 $2.50 $0.00  

May 5 11:19 AM Churchill Downs 8 $0.50 TR (PWHL) 3 / 1, 4, 5, 8, 9 / 10 $2.50 $0.00  

May 5 11:18 AM Churchill Downs 8 $0.50 TR (PWHL) 3 / 10 / 1, 4, 5, 8, 9 $2.50 $0.00  

May 5 10:57 AM Churchill Downs 6 $0.50 TR (PWHL) 2, 4, 10 / 2, 4, 10 / 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 $9.00 $104.20  

May 5 10:56 AM Churchill Downs 6 $2.00 WS 2 $4.00 $14.40  

May 5 10:56 AM Churchill Downs 6 $2.00 WS 2 $4.00 $14.40  

May 5 10:56 AM Churchill Downs 6 $2.00 WS 2 $4.00 $14.40  

May 5 10:55 AM Churchill Downs 4 $1.00 P3 (PWHL) 3, 6, 7 / 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 / 2 $15.00 $0.00  

May 5 10:51 AM Churchill Downs 4 $1.00 EX (BOX ) 3, 6, 7 $6.00 $0.00  

May 5 10:50 AM Churchill Downs 4 $5.00 WS 6 $10.00 $10.00  

May 5 10:50 AM Churchill Downs 4 $5.00 WS 6 $10.00 $10.00  

May 5 10:49 AM Churchill Downs 4 $1.00 EX (PWHL) 3, 6 / 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12 $14.00 $0.00  

May 5 10:48 AM Churchill Downs 4 $0.50 TR (PWHL) 3, 6 / 2, 3, 6, 7, 12 / 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12 $24.00 $0.00

06 May 2012 3:53 AM
El Kabong


I missed all the blogging on Saturday to go to my local track to place my bets and all the bets for the boys at the local barber shop where I had planned to watch the race on saturday so we could all have live tickets. Although I was very confident Dullahan would run a big race, I did have the good fortune to see that the pace might hold and keep bode and stalker in front of my horse. I placed 10 back up supers to my preferred to accommodate that pace scenario and low and behold, when they finally posted who finished fourth, and we had to wait an eternity on national television, the 13 did pop up 4th. I had a golden ticket. After another long wait for the payouts, the barber shop irrupted into loud cheers when we saw the payout on the 1$ ticket for 48,046.40=36,035.40 after taxes.

I'll be making arrangements on Monday for my Brother and I  to be at Santa Anita for the Breeders cup this fall. Hope to see some of you there.

thanks for indulging my glee,

06 May 2012 7:59 AM

Anyone know the speed figures for the Derby yet?

06 May 2012 8:39 AM

JayJay- you have to be fair.  Union Rags did have a legitimately bad trip this time, unlike the pretend bad trip in the FL Derby.  He didn't have much of a chance after the break he had, getting squeezed and then taking up behind Daddy Long Legs (has anyone heard if he is ok?).  But, at the moment, the Superhorse monicker will have to go.

For those criticizing Mike's ride, this is the way Bodemeister wants to run, I believe.  He is a free-wheeling horse.  Mike said he didn't want to try and hold him back and have the horse fight him.  He just tried to keep him relaxed on the lead and let him run the race he wanted to run.  Some said he reminds them of Holy Bull, but he reminds me of Congaree more.

Ranagulzion- no reason for silence.  I enjoy your enthusiasm and banter.  You stuck by your horses and it didn't work.  If Union rags is ok, maybe he will rebound in the Preakness.  But, his stamina is still suspect, for now.

06 May 2012 9:47 AM

I had the pick 3 live with 6 horses... I take solace knowing that my picks finished 2,3,4.  With any other post I would have had I'll Have Another.  Never again will I leave a good horse off my derby ticket because of a post position (unless it is the 1).  Saw TCI starting to make his run on the rail around the 3/8 pole and just stopped...  Saw Gemologist broke slow and trailed the field throughout the first 6f...  Saw UR get mugged out of the gate...  

Hey Draynay, thank you for putting your hex on Union Rags and Gemologist, I really didn't need the $300 I would have taken on my pick 3 from UR or the $570 for Gemologist.  You are a curse to every horse you shout from the roof tops!

06 May 2012 11:32 AM
Linda in Texas

Matthew W - hope more people pay a lot more attention to your predictions from now on. Well done.

He blew past Bodemeister and won.

Not to pat myself on the back, but on Steve's blog i wrote re: post position, i didn't think Post 19 was bad at all for I'll Have Another, i mentioned he could sit back and wait for the stampede to even out then be placed appropriately 'to win.' Did not realize no horse had ever won from that post. Now they have and it goes to A Kentucky Bred, California based runner and winner of The Santa Anita Derby on the Left Coast and The Kentucky Derby on the sorta Right Coast.


Alex'sBigFan - be sure to watch Winter Memories win The Beaugay yesterday, her acceleration was awesome. But so was I'll Have Another's. And Little Mike is a true trooper. Love them all and i would have been just as happy had any single one of them won. My Union Rags got way too deep in traffic. I wanted so badly for his owner to be in the winner's circle.

Thanks Jason, your articles have been great. Now to see who is going on to Maryland and we can start kibitzing all over.

06 May 2012 11:38 AM
Linda in Texas

Just Read El Kabong's post.

Congratulations to you sir.

That is fantastic. Not a bad day at all for you.

No apologies for being gleeful either, that is awesome.

06 May 2012 11:43 AM

I've tried watching the Derby again as many times as possible, and my conclusion is that the supposed "horrible" trips have been overblown.

Dullahan and Went the Day Well have been cited by some as having poor trips.  Sorry, didn't see it.  Other than having to go 7-wide into the stretch, they both had clear runs the entire length of the stretch.  If we're going to point to a horse going wide, how about the horse that went widest on the 2nd turn, Creative Cause(8 wide)?

Union Rags' trip is again the subject of debate.  To be sure, the horse didn't look comfortable at numerous points during the race, and the trip was less than ideal.  But I didn't see a disasterous trip, and I thought much of his trouble was of his own or Julien's doing.  

First, Union Rags broke slowly, after being bumped very slightly by Dullahan.  My problem is that after the slow start and before Rousing Sermon dropped over, there was plenty of space and time for Union Rags to move up along the inside to secure a better spot; right after the break there had to be at least 3 lengths of space between Union Rags and the horse directly in front of him.  But either the horse was lethargic or Julien didn't want to force things.  The end result is that Union Rags ended up behind Rousing Sermon coming under the wire the first time.

As they approached the first turn, it was then that Union Rags started to want to move up a little, but again he(or Julien) had waited until Rousing Sermon had crossed down in front of him.  It was hard to see if Rousing Sermon was directly on the rail and, if not, whether Union Rags could have shot up through the rail.  What was clear is that Union Rags didn't like being close to other horses, and he was throwing his head around and climbing with his front legs making it appear like he was in trouble although he never did have to really check and was never close to clipping heels(Prospective actually almost lost his jock a few strides after the start after clipping Hansen's heels).

However much space there was between Rousing Sermon and the rail and between Rousing Sermon and Union Rags, it was immaterial shortly after the clubhouse turn because Rousing Sermon scooted away for a middle move, leaving about 3-4 lengths of space for Union Rags to move up into.  But he didn't progress.  Although there was again space and time to improve his position, either Union Rags was uncomfortable moving up on the inside of horses, or Julien was being extra patient.  But the key point is that Union Rags could have followed Rousing Sermon and reached a much more threatening position earlier in the race, but he didn't.  

Union Rags finally started moving up as the field rounded the far turn.  The NBC announcer made much to do about Union Rags' troubles then, but in my opinion these troubles were greatly overblown, mainly by the horse's own reaction.  Yes, Union Rags had to move one space to his outside when he ran up behind a stopping Daddy Long Legs.  However, again Union Rags was never close to clipping heels; the situation appeared much worse because of the way Union Rags threw his head around and climbed, but he never really lost much if any of his momentum.  Union Rags wasn't being helped by the fact that another horse, Done Talking I believe, then became lapped on his outside, but in the Derby there's nothing that unusual about such a scenario.  In any event, Union Rags was able to shed Done Talking in a few strides.

At the top of the stretch, Union Rags was clear and on the outside.  He was about 2 lengths behind Went the Day Well.  As well as it appeared Union Rags finished, he basically just passed tired horses.  Compared to another horse that was actually finishing, Went the Day Well, Union Rags actually lost 3 lengths through the stretch.

In my opinion, Union Rags didn't have that bad of a trip; this wasn't Lookin at Lucky getting body slammed TWICE along the rail in the first quarter of a mile.  No, what I saw in Union Rags was a horse that was very uncomfortable in tight spaces and moving up anywhere close behind other horses.  I think there are a number of horses that could have handled Union Rags' trip and done just fine with it.  But clearly, a trip that included tight spaces didn't work for Union Rags.

Thus, Union Rags' trip was only "poor" in so far as that it required him to run in tight spaces and he's clearly a horse that is uncomfortable doing so.  There really wasn't anything dramatic that happened to Union Rags, he just wasn't able to get the straight-line run in open space that it looks like he needs to run well.

The good news for Union Rags fans is that he won't be running against 19 horses ever again, and there's always the chance he can draw outside in other big races.  But it's now my opinion that Union Rags needs a very specific set-up to win major races, and that's not the characteristic of a truly great horse.  

Union Rags is now 1 for 4 in grade 1 races.

I'm having to swallow some equally tough facts about my Derby horse, Creative Cause, who didn't get his typical perfect trip in the Derby and is now 1 for 5 in grade 1s.

06 May 2012 11:51 AM

Draynay :  Congrats on our bet, Union Rags was able to pick up the tiring horses.  I hit the exacta so I guess you get that payout lol.  I should've stayed with my initial pick who was Went the Day Well but couldn't get off Gemologist.  I'll send the money to Jason tomorrow.    I'm sure you could use it with all your failed guaranteed picks.

JayJay 05 May 2012 11:40 PM

JayJay,maybe Draynay was thinking you would use LIAISON,(56.2-1) who he thought would no way finish in front of Union Rags, (WOW) look, he did finish in front of him!!!!

06 May 2012 12:05 PM

El Kabong,

Congratulations!! Great idea on how you are going to spend some of the money. Have fun at the BC.


I told you in the live blog that the Draynay jinx has a life of its own.

06 May 2012 12:56 PM
Matthew W

Linda thank you, I'm glad that I listened to myself! He ran liked I had hoped, and Bodemeister is the real deal! Fast fractions yes--but when a horse is running free, without another along side, he can keep going--I knew 'Nuther was coming, but I did not think he would get there until Bode shortened stride--I'll have Another is a grinder with stamina, if he gets by the Preakness, and that's a big if--he will win The Belmont, cuz that is one race made for grinders! On Sept 5th of last year, 'Nuther was floundering in the Saratoga Slop, while Mario was saddling up at Hastings Park, in Vancouver, BC...Now the racing world will take notice of Doug O'Neil, and how lucky is that for horse racing! Cali horses finished six in the top eight, take notice! What a contrast in temperments were the winners circle comments, from last year's to this--Doug's like "on to Maryland"!  

06 May 2012 1:16 PM

Footlick : I believe I was being fair.  Union Rags is a nice horse, contrary to what some people think I don't hate this horse.  I like him a lot but not for classic distances.  It's the same feeling I had for Quality Road and Uncle Mo.  The derby field was filled with horses who has the pedigree to go 10Fs and you know that.  Even if UR didn't have trouble from his post, I still don't believe he would've been competitive going 10Fs.  Even on the stretch, he wasn't gaining on the horses except for the ones that were tiring and backing up.  He was too slow to get out of the 4th hole, there were two many horses to his outside that were much much faster than him.  The only trouble I saw was he was briefly squeezed when they went off but it wasn't anything that would've affected his race.  He was too slow and it looked like Julien didn't even have any plans for the race.  He just stayed in the rail pretty much the whole time.  The very same thing Garrett did with LaL, I have no idea why he didn't swing him outside early on.

I mentioned awhile back, UR does not like being crowded.  He stops running.  If Julien had swung him wide outside he probably would've ran better but I don't know if he would've flattened out in the stretch.  I'm surprised at the attention that UR is getting from the media.  The same thing happened with Uncle Mo last year, and Quality Road.  It's like it takes the BC Classic for the media to fully accept that the horse cannot get the distance.  UR will be hyped for the rest of the year and we're seeing QR and UM all over again.

I'm not going to back down on Ranagulzion.  There's a difference between being enthusiastic about your pick and arrogance.  He wasn't as graceful with his words before UR ran in the Derby.  It's as if his words are the only ones that mattered, and what he says is set in stone and everyone else who disagreed are dumb or stupid for not thinking UR can win the triple crown.  I'm laughing out loud.  For the TC trail, I think he has turned into a semi-draynay.  I'm looking forward to seeing the old Ranagulzion bantering with Coldfacts about pedigrees.

During the post parade, the track looked wet and hard, and I thought the speed may hold up.  I ended up putting a lot more bets on Bodemeister and Hansen, I had one .50 trifecta with IHA on the 3rd spot and an exacta box with Bode and Hansen, that's all the money I bet on IHA.  and the only reason I hit the exacta is because I boxed Bodemeister and Hansen with the closers.   Gemologist on top of my tickets though, had a $50 to win on him and P3s, P4s and P6.  I don't know what happened to Gem but I hope he's okay.

Is IHA unbeatable ?  Is it possible that the next TC winner is from the connections of first timers ?  Who are the new shooters for the next 2 legs ?  

I think he's beatable, I will try and beat him in the Preakness but not in the Belmont.  I think Bode will take the Preakness ala Shackleford last year.  The Belmont is going to be between IHA and WTDW I think.  

06 May 2012 1:37 PM

Congrats to El Kabong - that's a huge win.

Thanks to jayjay and trackjack for the props, I did have the winner and cleared about 1 grand profit (which only makes up from all the money I lost in the prep races).  I'll Have Another will go on a short list of Derby winners I have picked since 1985 (with Spend a Buck, Unbridled, Fu Peg, Smarty and Barbaro).  Unlike Draynay, I am not a handicapping God and only pick the Derby winner about 20% of the time).

06 May 2012 1:47 PM

We all need to understand that Union Rags is a nice horse but has not progressed at all from 2 to 3.  Right now, his connections should concentrate on Grade III and maybe Grade II races.  

06 May 2012 1:49 PM

Thanks, Gun Bow, for your analysis.  I just went by what I read.  It is interesting to hear another perspective.  Creative Cause had to come 8 wide in the stretch.  Ran well and looked like he just ran out of steam.  But he always shows up, which is what I like about him!

06 May 2012 1:49 PM

gunbow--creative cause ran a solid race, there's no shame in 5th.

i've rewatched the race a dozen times too and looked at the eclipse sportswire stills (which are great for really seeing what was happening)--and i agree about rags's trip--he's no lookin at lucky and i wish people would quit insulting lucky by saying so.

hansen did better than i thought at first.  given how badly washed out he was, and tracking a 1:09 6f pace while being strangled for the first 3/4 of the race and forced to eat a ton of dirt for the first time in his life--it wasn't an awful effort--he was still 3rd at the 1/8th pole and wasn't swept up completely till the 1/16th pole.

mike smith and baffert were dead right about what how to ride bode--i only wish that ramon maker had let hansen run on a free reign too--he might have still lost but he would have been better than 9th. bode ran a great race and lost nothing in defeat. those dissing mike smith should look at the stills of ramon choking the life out of hansen--bode wouldn't have won had he been choked back either, but more importantly, he would likely have finished as badly as hansen had he been--better to loose valiantly than to be just another also ran.

here' what i hope hansen's connections do for him:

--start putting cotton in his ears to help muffle the noise of the crowd and help to keep him calmer.

--skip the preakness and the belmont, and point toward the met mile; if hansen were to win or finish strongly in the met mile against older horses, it would go a long way toward redeeming his 9th place finish in the derby.

the met mile has several benefits over the preakness--hansen will get a significant break in weight (he'll likely carry less than 120lbs for the first time since his 2nd race); he'll have a nice break to re-cooperate from two very big back to back efforts; and finally, he is significantly faster on paper than the any of the horses pointing toward the met mile.

--skip the late summer/early fall 3 year old races, and point instead to the whitney and the woodward--they are at 1 1/8, a better distance for hansen's pedigree, than the 1 1/4 travers--and he is significantly faster then the likely horses pointing towards these two races, plus he'll get a weight for age break and won't have to carry more than 123lbs, and again--beating older or finishing well will do a lot for his reputation.

then ship to california early--point toward the goodwood at 1 1/8, again he'll get a weight break, the distance is better for his pedigree, and he'll get a race over santa anita to prep for the breeders cup (as well as a chance to see if his speed can compete with the best speed in the US before trying the breeder's cup).

--then i'd give him a second shot at 1 1/4 in the breeder's cup--he'll get the weight for age break and only carry 123 (which he has proven he can do easily), and SA is the best track for speed trying to stay a route of ground.

finally and most importantly--i hope they tell ramon to stop strangling him--he's a front runner--let him run.

i know people scoff at my preoccupation with weight, but all of the top 10 horses were the horses that have consistently been carrying over 120 lbs in their races--except for bode.  and the bottom 10 were the horses that have been the light weights--except for daddy long legs. weight matters--it isn't everything but it isn't nothing either.

congrats to all who cashed and to i'll have another, bode, and dullahan for great efforts.

06 May 2012 2:38 PM

Some observations on Creative Cause's Kentucky Derby:  Rosario was not his usual cocky self in the post parade, and gave the Derby contender an atypical timid ride, turning a perfect post position (#8) into a wide trip -- whereas Super Mario turned a disadvantageous outside post (#19) into the perfect ground-saving stocking position.  Rosario made a crucial error coming out of the clubhouse turn when he chose to abandon the perfect position sitting just behind eventual winner Ill Have Another, where he should have remainged SAVING GROUND until it was time to move.  As a result this horse had the widest trip of all throughout, sometimes as much as 5 horses wide.  It would not surprise me if Rosario was taken out of his normally aggressive game plan by all the talk about how Creative Cause shys away from contact with other horses due to his early experience at Del Mar, in fact he may have been instructed by the trainer to keep him outside other horses.  Crucial mistake, since amazingly this time there was very little congestion in this 20 horse field (although what minor congestion there was, Union Rags managed to find).  I'm not saying Creative Cause would have won, but he was only beaten 3 lengths and surely all that ground he lost going 5 wide throughout in a 10 furlong race cost him several lengths, otherwise he is right there at the finish and we have a California trifecta.  Also, it looked to me that once again Creative Cause changed leads belatedly coming out of the far turn, costing him even more time, space, and momentum.  

That being said, I'll Have Another and Bodemeister proved themselves to be formidable, and I'm proud of ALL FIVE  California Derby contenders who finished in the top EIGHT!

06 May 2012 4:31 PM


It’s not that I was not impressed with the RAN sire lines colts. The A P Indy sire line was on fire in the preps and I just thought this would be the year in it would get off the mark. In a previous post I citied that the RAN/Mr. Prospector sire line had seven members contesting the Derby and the rest of the field was in big trouble based on this number. It has turned out to be a profound statement as all the colts that made the board were from the RAN sire line. I was not toughing Done Talking, I was merely defending the colt from unfair remarks. He finished ahead of six colts including The Wood and FL Derby winners. I stated repeatedly that my selection was Alpha who finished 12th. RAN sire lines achieved its 15the Derby win and 39th victory in TC races.


I repeatedly cautioned you to be measured with your predictions. The colt never impressed other and me that he was effective at the Derby distance. It has turned out that he is not a 10F horse.


I posted that if he ended up winning the Derby is should be renamed that ‘The Walk for the Roses’ I classified this colt as big and slow with no hope of winning the Derby. I posted his times fully extended for all to see. I also cited his flopping rail side front leg and the fact that the he was produced from a Mr. Prospector mare made his derby winning prospect more that remote. Well, he finished in the last five just like Scat Daddy and Awesome Act who were also produced from Mr. Prospector mares. I couldn’t understand why he was in the top five on any derby list. I told you alpha was the better colt and the Derby finishing positions justified my claim.

06 May 2012 5:03 PM


I rarely entertain exchanges with you because I have concluded that your default is set to rudeness. You are only superseded by Mr. Stupider the Kentucky Klown. The example below should provide a foundation for you to grow up and communicate like normal person.

“Tom, they can all get 10F. However, can they cover the distance in 2:02 plus? Union Rags will not hit the board.”

“Coldfacts you are nuts... Union won't hit the board and you are talking all day about a silly Done Talking.... please go back to the basement”

Well, Mr. Expert Union Rags did not hit the board. He finished ahead of 13 colts and Done Talking finished ahead of 6. I never stated that Done Talking was a monster and was the best horse in the field. I merely defended him as not being as slow being assessed.

06 May 2012 5:04 PM

I have taken a lot of ridicule for stating that a stallion that is bred to approximately 200 mares per year is unlikely to sire a Derby winner. Giant’s Causeway is one such stallion. He has bred about 1600 mare since entering the breeding shed. Creative Cause was his 5th Derby starter and like those before him he did not make the board. This stallion is over bred each year and I will remain cynical about the prospect of any of his offspring’s wining a Derby.

I also took a lot of heat for specifying that both Zenyatta and RA were unlikely to produce champions as high profile mares have poor records as broodmares. Well two colts from the 2012 Derby field were products of G1 wining millionaires i.e., Creative Cause and Take Charge Indy.  Both colts finished off the board. I am somewhat disappointed that neither won as I was hoping to put this to rest. The dam of the winner of the 2012 Derby made one start and falls into the category of the lightly raced.

I hope Bodemeister does not suffer any ill effects from his Derby effort. The foundation was not there but the effort was super. It is the type of effort that knocks out the best of them. He should be rested.

06 May 2012 5:21 PM
The Rock

The trainer of Trinniberg should be suspended for entering any horses in the KY Derby for the next 5 years. Here's his post race quote for his entrant. "He couldn't get the distance". Really??????? He costed Bodemeister the KY Derby. Everyone knew this horse would play a factor with regards to the speed horses, but its just sick to think what the finish actually could've been if Trinniberg was not entered.

06 May 2012 6:41 PM
El Kabong

Linda In Texas,

Thank you. Mr. O'Neal's surreal remark took the words out of my mouth as far as winning goes. For some damn reason I'm more exhausted now than I've ever been after the Derby:) Our local track has a program on the local sports radio show and they had me on this morning right after Jon White. It was too funny to get phone calls and emails from folks that were listening. On to Baltimore.

06 May 2012 6:52 PM

The derby was a great race for west coast horses. Congrats to Don O'Neil, Paul Reddam and Mario Gutierrez for a great run.I had a good day yesterday but not great. I hit the dollar trifecta but I missed the super by only having I'll have another for second and not first. The derby is the only race I play. I save up for it because it is a gamblers paradise. Where else do you get 15-1/4-1/12-1 and get twice of what it should pay. And if I would have hit the super 13-1/4-1/12-1/30 that paid twice what it normally pays.

I play this day big! I save up for this all year so I can make a huge profit. Last yeat I hit the tri and the super and it allows me to free roll for a couple of years, pay for renovations to my house and a disney world trip for the family. Since I got money back this year with the tri I have more funds for the following years. My only thing I have learned from the derby is not to be stuck on one horse. Think about all the scenarios and hope you get them right. I hope we can all rebound for the Preakness.

06 May 2012 7:10 PM

That was a great race!  I am thrilled with the results except I wish Creative Cause could have got up for third.  The wide trip surely didn't help him.  I agree with you Cold Facts that Union Rags has not progressed from 2-3 although I think he is a really nice horse.  Getting shut off early was not an excuse - Street Sense and Mine That Bird came from that far back. And Lookin At Lucky was coming in the stretch but watching the overhead of that race you could see he got stopped and had to alter course like 3 times in the stretch which is what cost him a better placing.  Only thing I wish is that we would stop referring to the RAN sire line and call it like it is:  THE NATIVE DANCER sire line.  And the winner traces back to the GREAT Dancer NINE times!  WOW!

06 May 2012 7:40 PM

Jayjay is correct that it appears Union Rags simply doesn't like being in tight spaces.

Going back and watching his maiden, Saratoga Special, and Champagne, Union Rags can pass inside of horses.  But he doesn't like being in tight spots.

Go back and watch the Champagne again.  in the first half mile, Rags was between two other horses and this trio then ran up behind the frontrunners.  Union Rags was in a small space, he threw his head, started climbing, and he backed right out of the spot.  He was good enough against that field to re-rally and win for fun, but Alpha was the toughest opponent there.

I aslo agree that Union Rags' trips in the Florida and Kentucky Derbys aren't nearly as bad as Lookin at Lucky's trips in the SA and Kentucky Derbys.  In the 2010 SA Derby, Lucky was checked completely out of the race.  Maybe Garrett overreacted, maybe he didn't, but the horse had no control over the fact his rider abruptly pulled him back.

With all this said about Union Rags, I can still see him running well if given an outside post and more aggressive ride.  On the other hand, I could also see him failing to win even under favorable conditions.  Just not sure how good he really is.

06 May 2012 8:16 PM

Congrats to El Kabong as he made a nice score I had a $4 double and $.50 tri both online and at track again. I bet $25 for a customer on line on Dullahan because I had a $6 DD going so no value betting more.

WHAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND we all know Dray boasts but no one takes him seriously 6-5 gets him hot and bothered, what happens at 3-5 I can't post. That said Coldfacts and Rags still??????????? You guys do research and I think love the game---but why still after the race?

Sorry I gave both winners OAKS/DERRY and POSTED THEM --before the Oaks/Derby---and you are boasting about horses that didn't win????? I told you so----Really? Yes you study the game but if you can't handicap or put up the money to back it--don't do a Dray and copy his famous "I made a fortune betting Nehro to place" to save face.

I like reading both (Cold/Rag) of your posts and respect the details and effort to them, but it is like the guy down the hall in the smaller office from me at work--he knows everything (honestly he is technology more advanced than me as I have been in this career 12 yrs. and him 25 in the business ) but the fact remains I make 4 times his income and am his boss although you would never guess it if you came to our offices. He speaks and I have known many that speak with such gravitas ---but it is just talk if you can’t apply it to making money.

Try admitting you both were off and will do better on the Preakness---don’t join Dray.

Because I a have an ego--and did something I dont thin anyone has ever done-One more to blow my own horn -----when has anyone on a blog POSTED—this one-- before the races and can be checked given a $365 double Oaks/Derby and $3000 plus tri---thank you very much ---beat that one

06 May 2012 9:00 PM


I stayed with Gemologist for WP.  It was hard enough trying to find the winner, so I put the money into the $1 ex box & and $.50 tri box, got lucky and hit both.  This will cover our trip to the Belmont.

El Kabong:

Congrats! Enjoy!

Footlick, I Like Candy:

Creative Cause was also carried VERY wide coming to the top of the stretch by Super Mario on I'll Have Another, CC's nemesis from the SAD.  With both of these way out in the middle of the track and Bodemeister shooting to a 5 length lead, it took a big performance for I'll Have Another to run down Bode.    

06 May 2012 9:12 PM

The Rock,

Trinniberg did not cost Bodemeister the victory.  Breaking the horse on the bit as though it was a sprint race was the reason for the fast fractions. Trinniberg did not go neck and neck with Bodemeister.  If you look at the head on view of the race you will see that Trinniberg is 3 paths away from Bodemeister.  The Jockey of Trinniberg did not engage Bodemeister at all.  Btw, Trinniberg wasn't the only horse in that race that "couldn't get the distance."   The owner put up his 50k to run so he had the right to run in this race just like the others who qualified.

06 May 2012 9:15 PM
Bob from Boston

I went to Churchill with Ted from LA.  He placed a big win bet on Take Charge Indy and I placed a big win bet on Done Talking (is he done running?).  Take Charge would have won if he didn't fracture an ankle.  Oh those racing gods.  We need a triple crown winner.  Does anyone know El Padrino's majority owner?  We met him.  Great character.

06 May 2012 10:46 PM

OH--PS my comments on the Vet's list thing and not to worry at all about I'll Have Another--- also right on.

06 May 2012 10:56 PM

Ranagulzion : Oh you do have to eat crow, this was never about who picked who.  It was about you making that bold prediction, wait, no... it was a proclamation that Union Rags will win the Triple Crown, that he will end the drought.  He was going to be remembered and he was going to make people forget Secretariat.  It wasn't a wish, a hope, it was set in stone.  It wasn't derby fever, it was a draynay fever and I hope you got over it.  

Sorry, I can't let you off the hook that easily.  I have no doubt that if UR had won, you'll be all over me eating my crow and firmly believe that you'd be on Haskin's case for not putting UR as his #1 in his Derby Dozen.  I've seen your posts on his derby dozen blogs and it was quite irritating reading your constant nag about him not putting UR as number 1.  First of all, it was HIS derby dozen so I don't understand why you kept hassling him about it.

Anyway, enjoy the 5 course crow meal :)  I hope the next time we talk about UR, it'll be after he demolishes the older horses in the Met mile.

06 May 2012 10:58 PM

BOHEMIASTABLE.......Youre a winner! Expect an invitation to the WHITE HOUSE soon!

06 May 2012 11:39 PM

WORST DAY OF YEAR FOR KY VET! i lost 1400 on sat. Hard it to my total from 21,860 to 20,460......OUCH!!! won a whpping 84 dollars goes on.....

06 May 2012 11:46 PM

Draynay where art thou.  You must be in the kitchen cooking up your latest batch of crows.  You can always get some extra cash by hiring yourself out as a crow exterminator.  Was it you that said man there ain't nothing like a good crow meal and that you can never get enough?

07 May 2012 2:18 AM
Union Buster

I TOLD YOU SO!! union on the rags was never good enough to even contend. Next time draynay listen to a real expert.

07 May 2012 8:55 AM

JayJay- I'm not a fan of Union Rags.   But, I have been reading many accounts on many different sites and many more feel he had legitimate excuses than those who don't.  I never thought he would have won, but he certainly might have done better with the trip they wanted.  Leparoux needed to be more aggressive with him and he wasn't.  We will see if he is replaced after the last two rides.  We all have opinions on how a trip compromises a horse and they can differ.  Anyway, it was just an observation.

As far as Ranagulzion, you have the right to feel however you want to feel.  There is only one blogger that bothers me to the point that I want to say "Shut up" to, but instead I just don't respond.  All blogs are full of egos and banter and bravado.  I think that Ranagulzion's bravado is meant to be fun, not insulting.  But, to each his own.  Comments that rub one person the wrong way don't necessarily bother another.  Anyway have a good day.

07 May 2012 9:02 AM
steve from st louis

If Draynay had any back class, he wouldn't show his weak face here until Quality Road, Uncle Mo or  his other Triple Crown winner, Union Rags, wins another race. Any race. A monkey throwing darts has a better record than our Div. III Rookie of the Year QB. I've got a suggestion for Draynay: roulette.

07 May 2012 10:08 AM


Congrats and great job on posting the Oaks/Derby Double and the Derby tri box before they were run.  You deserve respect for those picks.

I also posted the Derby ex box and tri box before the races.  They will pay for our trip to the Belmont.  

07 May 2012 10:43 AM

Looks like on replay I had mixed Gemologist with El Padrino... Gemologist broke sharply but to the right.  He was in good stalking position with about a half mile remaining but faded.  Hopefully with some rest he will be back for the mid summer classics.

I can only go back 12 derbys, but this is the first time out of those 12 that the superfecta was completed all by winners of their last race.  First time since '02 the trifecta was filled by winners of their last race.  Last time the exacta had winners in their last race was '08.

07 May 2012 11:45 AM

Jason you had I'll Have Another as a "Live Longshot" with the best prep race being the RB Lewis! I hope you overcame your Santa Anita Derby bias and cashed in.  Toss the first 4 finishers of the Santa Anita Derby at your own risk.  Silver Charm, Real Quiet, Giacomo all ran and lost in this prep.

It appears to me that the form held and that 5 of the 8 top finishers were from California.  They were all racing each other and Union Rags would have done well by shipping west.  I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, Creative Cause, Liason, all had grade 1 wins and out of the top 9 finishers, 7 of the 9 had Grade 1 wins.   Went the Day Well had a Grade 3, and Rousing Sermon a NK off of Liason in the Cash Call Grade 1.  

This is as close as I got.

$1 superfecta


Creative Cause


I'll Have Another.

07 May 2012 11:58 AM

If anything, Bodemeister lost because of his jockey.  Churchill has not been kind to Mke Smith.  Why would you go out ALONE in 45 seconds and change?  

07 May 2012 12:36 PM

union rags finished better than more then half the horses in the race, he was just too far back but he still a good horse. and i don't know why some people expecte him to blow the field away when he's only won 1 grade 1 race as a 2 year old. just because he has the same trainer doesn't make him barbaro. but he is good and will probably win something big.

07 May 2012 1:30 PM

Footlick : I agree with you about the "Shut up" part but he's the blog owner so .. okay okay, I'm kidding lol.   :)  As for Ranagulzion, If the situation were reversed, I would probably get if not more "crow meal" comments from him.  I told him, I appreciate his passion for UR but I think at some point he contracted the draynay disease and just wasn't making any sense with his justification for UR getting the distance.  This is from a guy that posts good debates with Coldfacts, deep pedigree analysis.  I think he knows this is coming (from me), as I knew I would have to take it from him if UR had won but I wasn't really worried specially UR getting the 4 hole.  I think he also understands the bragging game and it's all for fun.

I don't take it personally.  I don't take anything personally on this blog.  The only time I take things personally with regards to horse racing is Zenyatta, Lost in the Fog (he was my Dad's favorite horse of all time) and Rosie Napravnik.  I think I'm in love with that woman.

I've been meaning to ask you, do you bet Aussie races ?  Aussie racing is fun, they have 3 different tracks that runs every 10 minutes it seems.  The odds are great and the payouts are huge.  Their post position is different from their program numbers and their track has different conditions "Dead", "Good", "Drunk" and "On the Barbie".  Okay, the last two are my condition when I bet and the condition of the money I bet.  You can never tell where your horse is when they run even if you know the horse's name because the announcer talks so fast and with accent.  It's really funny because EVERYONE at the track yells their number when the horses hit the finish line and after they post the winner they all yell the F word at the same time. LOL

Laz : I think Draynay moved to Russia trying to avoid the people he borrowed money from to bet on UR to place (ala Nehro.)  OR maybe he's out shopping with the $100 he won from our bet, window shopping that is.

For the record, I'm not off Gemologist's wagon.  I still think he's a horse to be reckoned with the rest of the year.  I don't think he'll be running in the Belmont, he's been sent back home for a "brief rest" but I'm really hoping he didn't get hurt.  The only thing I can think of is that maybe 126 was a little too much for him to carry although he's a big giant horse so I really don't know.  He broke really sharp from the 15th hole but for some reason he just didn't fire, it was as if he just ran a big race and he had nothing in the tank after 6Fs.  There has to be an explanation.  I NEED a $200.00 explanation!!! lol

07 May 2012 1:49 PM

Does anyone in retrospect realize the Tri which paid $3000 was completed by 3 horses that won 3 of the 4 major preps for the Derby? The other the LA Derby horse did not run. It diminishes my genius somewhat (and should) ---it wasn't rocket science to say they all figured.

The more crafty pick was the Oaks winner who trained fantastic at Churchill and actually was my second choice in the Oaks but I said she was the only one to beat Grace Hall if anyone did and narrowed it to a 2 horse race. She again, won a major prep, and the horse she beat Summer Applause had very chance to beat her in LA. yet was preferred more than the former. People see what they want to see.

All said, very early lookout has the first two finishers in the Derby looking like the exactor in the Preakness if they run and come out of the Derby well. They will be chalk, so look for someone well known to this blog jump on. Of course that person blogs how great a mare (World's greatest horse) that has never won outside Australia is (How many Aussie horses have been all World in history--Phar Lap maybe?) but knocks a mare that won 19 straight 2 BC races and is a closing head from being perfect lifetime in her career as a CA/Snyth Wonder.

Maybe Lukas has a maiden that is coming up to the race well to split it. One of the greatest trainers ever and certainly the greatest handicapper of trainer talent ever and teaching continuing to tarnish his wonderful accomplishments to try to be relevant and in the press at his horses expense.

So is the wonders of the internet blog world. Everyone is right until proven wrong.

Do they still have that segment on SNL called "Deep Thoughts"?

07 May 2012 2:01 PM

I think someone wanted to know what Beyer was for the race, it was a 101. See Andy's column at for his explanation. My explanation is below his column. This is a ridiculous number, should be higher.

07 May 2012 2:02 PM

Omitted FL Derby my bad

07 May 2012 2:12 PM

And Wood--it's Monday---on the other hand on was a merry go round race and the other Alpha was just beaten---enough said!

Neither was quick as well.

07 May 2012 2:16 PM

Not doing may real job---but a note---my almost bigger win had nothing to do with handicapping ---I bet at a dog track because it is close--never on dogs

On Derby day they gave away a Ford Mustang---I was drawn with 7 others and we blindly picked lots for a dog in the 15th race I drew the 3 dog--he finished 2nd or I win a new car as the person drawing one dog won the car he beat the 3 dog handily---(I offered $500 to each person to drop out but only 1 person was willing to take the offer--so I passed)

Now that would have been the ultimate lucky no skill score.

07 May 2012 2:37 PM

Anyone else read Andy Beyer's column today basically saying that behind Bodemeister this crop of 3 year olds is worse than 2011 and basically saying I'll Have Another's Derby win was weak just because of his speed figures?  Article kind of pissed me off.

07 May 2012 2:41 PM

What a great race, and it was great to see the best horses able to run to their ability, I don't think there was any bias or such that caused an "unusual" finish, just an excellent track with good weather(even though it was very warm) and a well run race. Too bad about TCI, if he hadn't of been injured he might have been right there.

My predictions were poop, but I must admit they were totally based on a dream I had, where I vivdly saw the numbers I posted in this blog. I think the problem was I watched the TV show TOUCH the night I had the numbers in my dream and think it was probably that show that produced those numbers, not anything of an actual premonition. I just couldn't not play the numbers and then watch it happen as I dreamed, I would have needed an armored car to take home the winnings. Oh crud....

07 May 2012 2:50 PM
It aint easy being good!

I cant believe dulluhan couldnt pass Bodemiester at the end. Dulluhan ran a great race. WTDW should be right there in the preakness. I think Bode ran an amazing race considered the fast fractions he peeled off. He needs to rest and not race in the preakness. IHA will face new shooters but should still win since he is lightly raced. Should be fun hope UR comes back in the preakness since he is obviously overrated.

07 May 2012 2:53 PM
Bob from Boston

Ted Bob made a big mistake.  If you recall (and I am sure most of your don't_, I said I was going to bet whatever one poster bet.  trackjack was my choice.  Unfortunately, I didn't see his May 5 post because I was at the Derby and off-line.  Bob Ted could have made a lot of money.  I am a boxin' fool.

07 May 2012 3:04 PM


Thanks for the moral support're a generous soul.

jay jay,

I hear you ...and I'll quietly eat my crow and be silent until Union Rags responds on the track ...probably in the Belmont. Okay Bro?

07 May 2012 3:14 PM
Rusty Weisner

I played the 50-cent Pick5 on Oaks day before I saw how the track was playing:  singled Stephanie's Kitten, and had Grace Hall and two long-odds closers (Summer Applause and And Why Not) in the last leg.  Silver Max knocked me out (I had Gung Ho, Howe Great...and Travel Advisory!), but knew my longshots in the Oaks could never come in after seeing two track records set on the souped-up track.

I had a suspicion they would do something to the track after last year.

On Derby Day I said to myself:  with this track I'd better hang it up if I can't win.  It wasn't the dirt that did me in, as I was able to single Shackleford in the Pick5(I thought he was likeliest to grab the lead and hold 7 furlongs).  It was the turf that did me in:  the two races in the Derby Pick 4 played the opposite of what I expected.  In the 8th race, with a short field, I expected someone to steal the race or be on the lead, singling Marketing Mix, while in the Woodford I thought either Turallure or Doubles Partner were a lock, figuring the three horses who like the lead would set it up for them.  It's a shame, because in the Derby the six horses I played, who I thought could be on or near the lead and hold it, or stalk, were: Bodemeister, Gemologist, Union Rags, Creative Cause, I'll Have Another and Take Charge Indy.

My biggest play of the day was the late Pick 4, where I hedged with ALL in the Woodford and singled Dynamical in the 13th, sure that on this track he would grab and hold it.  I left the track after the Derby with this live ticket and got home just in time to get online and see him lose by a nose.  My wife laughed at that deflated noise I made, little knowing that it meant, I don't know, $5000.

07 May 2012 3:29 PM
Rusty Weisner


Did you change that Summer Applause ticket after you saw how the track was playing Friday?

That was a nice call on Successful Dan.

07 May 2012 3:37 PM
Rusty Weisner

On the Derby itself, after seeing how the track was, I put Bodemeister on top in about $50 worth of trifectas, but needed either Creative Cause or Union Rags to show.

07 May 2012 3:41 PM
Rusty Weisner

I don't see how Bodemeister can lose the Preakness, whether the track is fast or sloppy.  I'm already planning on singling him in the Pick 5 and playing the preceding races like a Pick 4.  I think he'll be the favorite, but at least he'll split the money with I'll Have Another.  

07 May 2012 3:49 PM
El Kabong


It should piss you off. Lately I've been thinking Andy is one medication shy from a white jacket ride to the cuckoos nest. Most inconsistent and nonsensical ratings I have ever seen. Only time will tell, but I have been questioning his work all season. He probably had a boat load of dough on the wrong horse leaving his boxers in a knotted bunch. There, back at him. I disagree 110% with Andy on this years crop.

07 May 2012 3:57 PM
Rusty Weisner

it ain't easy:

The track was not easy to close on, but Dullahan always seems to be late anyway on the dirt.  The narrow-turned, shorter Preakness won't be any easier.

I don't think he'll rest him.  This is one of Baffert's best horses ever and he wants a Triple Crown race under his belt for him.  He often brings horses ready to run the whole Triple Crown series, or at least the first two races.  I hope so in this case.  His Derby was electrifying.

07 May 2012 4:12 PM

Josh - very much enjoyed your response to the Beyer article and agree 100%.

07 May 2012 4:12 PM

that was a great race I had ill have another but I was rooting for bodemeister because I got him in a derby pool. I cant wait for the preakness. looks to be a tough race i hope they run bode in the belmont only be cause he's bred to go long and the fact that he doesn't have to worry about running a fast pace of everything goes well. Beyer is mad because he picked the wrong california horse. bode wins he gets a 110 dullahan wins he'll get a 106 lol idk it just my opinion.

07 May 2012 4:17 PM
Rusty Weisner

it ain't easy:

I'll Have Another might be lightly raced for the wrong reasons.  Then again maybe his trainer was being coy when he said he needs a lot of time between races.  

07 May 2012 4:25 PM

JayJay- I don't usually bet Australian racing.  I have bet the Melbourne Cup, though.  It is fun and I like the accent.  Watch enough of it and you get used to it and then you can understand the call.  Everything seems to be a party in Australia.  One day I'll visit and find out.

Ranagulzion-no problem.

07 May 2012 4:30 PM
Monarchos Matt

Josh and 2:24-

Beyer is scrambling trying to defend his most egregiously low number of the year, the 94 he gave IHA for the Santa Anita Derby win. I don't care how fast the track is playing, the horse ran the race in 1:47.4. How much faster can you expect him to go? Anyway, he's backtracking on that incorrect number, is too stubborn to revise it to the higher figure it should have been, and refuses to give the horse a proper increase upon that number even after an impressive performance. The article is annoying at best, and there is no way that this crop is weaker than any of the last three. They will prove it later in the year.

Rusty- I agree with you on the Woodford. I think that blew out a lot of Pick 3 and Pick 4 tickets. Almost a case of a race that appeared too easy to handicap on paper to even be real, obviously it was going to set up for the closers right? I actually singled Turallure. Not sure where Get Stormy and Turbo Compressor were to challenge that lead. Strange race.

07 May 2012 4:38 PM
Rusty Weisner


People make fun of Beyer because he can't pick Derby winners, but at least he put his pick on the line, and it wasn't an eight-horse boxed super.  He said Bodemeister-DNB, "cold".  Not much worse than most other people's picks (a ray of light on an otherwise dark day for me was seeing DNB do nothing, thereby preserving a shred of my sanity).

He's right to be disappointed to some extent, particularly in UR.  For my part I was more surprised and disappointed in Gemologist's effort after the good setup of a nice post and a track that rewarded early speed.  It looks like you almost have to toss Pletcher horses in the Derby.

Beyer's "Picking Winners" was my introduction to handicapping and for that alone I'll always regard him fondly.  Nothing captures the vaguely illicit ecstasies of betting horses like that book, nothing gets at that feeling you've stumbled onto the world's best kept secret.

07 May 2012 4:43 PM

Vet--Met Reagan as my (now deceased) brother wrote speeches for him at different times.

You were close (as Dray)on the Derby

07 May 2012 4:54 PM
Rusty Weisner

California horses took four of the top six spots.  Some people have to eat crow here.  I'm from the East Coast, but I've never understood the weird regional prejudices some people toss around.  Admittedly, the track played like Santa Anita, but the results of the preps pointed towards who the best horses were.

07 May 2012 5:06 PM
Age of Reason

Mixed results for yours truly at the Derby. I did have I'll Have Another to win, but Gemologist and Take Charge Indy 2nd and 3rd respectively (my picks before the race posted on Haskin's last blog). Oh well; but this looked like such a well-matched race I was happy to get one of the top three in any order, congratulations to all who also scored.

If anyone needs some comic relief, go to a certain other site and read an article whose title reads something along the lines of "Bodemeister's Derby performance greatest in history". Obviously I'm using exaggeration for rhetorical effect, and I mean no disrespect to that tremendous horse. Also I can't name the site or the author for fear of lawsuits from the wonderful folks at DRF and Andy Beyer. It was both pathetic and hysterical to watch the senile old man griping over sour grapes, and decrying this year's crop as incredibly weak after saying it was a very deep field pre-Derby, just because his horse didn't win (guess who must've had a huge bet on Bode? Draynay has more credibility!). I've never seen such pettiness from a so-called "professional journalist". Many thanks to the writers at Blood-Horse, who at least have the class to celebrate a deserving winner of America's greatest race!

07 May 2012 5:26 PM
Rolling Thundar

Hey, What about Me. ( The Rookie ) handicapper. I was posting my pick on the other blogs, yall can look it up. And Yep....I'm still Having Another........

What a fantastic Sport.

07 May 2012 6:00 PM

Man I love reading all these post on these boards without DRAYNAY!! Life is good!

07 May 2012 6:15 PM
Jason Shandler

Rusty: Most of my tickets were tied up with Summer Applause because I bet her in p3 and 4s early in the day. So that hurt. But I still made good $ on Friday. Saturday was a different story.

07 May 2012 7:10 PM

Andy Beyers discounted Seattle Slew's prefect record coming into the Derby as a fluke.

Other than the slop (and subsequent 5 month something went wrong) show me a bad race the winner has ran.  He broke his maiden and then went straight into a stakes (Best Pal) on synthetics and was a length and a half away from Creative Cause.  He then beats Creative Cause after the later disposes of Bodemeister in the San Felipe.  Put Liason (In front of Union Rags at 6th) and Rousing Sermon, behind (Union Rags at 8)in the Santa Anita Derby and you have a pretty classy horse in I'll Have Another.  

He was on the vet list in California, did most of his morning works before shipping...certainly some variables driving the price up.  

Just hope you had him at Future Book 200-1 before the RB Lewis 43-1 shocker.  

07 May 2012 7:51 PM

I like Candy.  Creative Cause...I knew he would get nailed by some turf/synthetic type.  The blinks on, the blinks off, he has some issues.  He may be better suited for the turf.  His female line way back ran 1 3/4 turf marathons.  

07 May 2012 8:01 PM

Bode ran awesome, and I agree with Bob Baffert: Mike Smith rode a great race.  I think he is like Bold Ruler or Dr. Fager:  let him run free.  I don't see how he loses the Preakness if Baffert enters him.

07 May 2012 8:17 PM

The top 6 Derby finishers were Cali, Cali, Kentucky synth, Kentucky synth, Cali, Cali.  Then in 7th it was the conventional dirt Easterner, Union Rags, and in 8th another Cali.

And of the 5 Cali horses in the top 8, 4 of them had won on synth.  I'll Have Another broke his maiden at Hollywood, Creative Cause also broke his maiden at Hollywood and won a gr.2 at Del Mar(with IHA 2nd), Liaison won the CashCall Futurity and Real Quiet at Hollywood, and Rousing Sermon broke his maiden at Hollywood.  Only Bodemeister from the Cali contingent had never won (or even run) on synth.

Add it up, and that's 6 of the top 8 that had won on synth.  Maybe trainers are doing better jobs preparing their horses for the different surfaces, perhaps trainers are more knowledgable about which of their dirt horses can run on synth(and vice versa), and/or maybe the fact certain horses can run well on both dirt and synth signals a certain level of quality that translates to big races.

I think the balance of synth and dirt races we have right now is fairly good.  I think California went overboard mandating every track go synth, and I like that we now have dirt at Santa Anita, Poly at Del Mar, and the "bridge" Cushion surface at Hollywood(note that all 4 Cali horses in the top 8 at the Derby that had won on synth won at Hollywood).  There is also the Fairplex meet run on dirt.  Now, soCal more closely resembles Kentucky, which has the Churchill dirt, Keeneland and Turfway synth, and Ellis Park dirt.  

It seems like the anger at synths has faded some, and that players are more comfortable playing circuits with synth races as long as ALL the maintrack races on the circuit aren't synth.  

07 May 2012 9:10 PM

My premilinary Beyer for the Derby was 103.  

Rusty is likely correct that Beyer assigned the 101 partly to defend the 95 he gave the SA Derby.  Although many criticized that SA Derby fig, for Team Beyer the SA Derby was a test case why their figs hold value over simply looking at final times.  The final time indicated the SA Derby was the best prep, but because the figs take into account track variant, the fig reflected the fact SA was blazing on the day of the Derby.

In my opinion, the SA Derby fig of 95 was correct.  But it's correct not because I'll Have Another and Creative Cause aren't fast or could not have run faster that day.  No, the final time and 95 Beyer were largely the results of Mario on IHA and Rosario on Creative Cause allowing the longshot Blueskiesnrainbows to absolutely waltz on the lead; the race was a virtual matchrace, and both Mario and Rosarion reserved their horses for a 3 furlong burst, knowing they could reel in Blueskies whenever they wanted and that no closer was going to be able to make up enough ground to pass them in the stretch.  Like with many turf and synth races, Mario and Rosario rode their horses to win the race, not run a big fig(in contrast to Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby who was basically ridden to win by running big from the start).

So, going into th Kentucky Derby, I knew IHA and CC could run faster, and wasn't going to hold that 95 as a key factor in devising the Derby fig; thus, it wouldn't have been a stretch if IHA won by running a fig 10 points higher than the SA Derby.  Ultimately, I concluded he improved at least 8 points for a 103.  It seems like Beyer is more attached to that 95 fig and doesn't feel as comfortable in hypothesizing that the 95 fig was largely the result of a moderate early pace and that IHA has the ability of running considerable faster.  

Without reading Beyer's article and his justification, my guess is that the 101 figure also relied heavily on the finishing positions of Liaiason and Rousing Sermon.  Team Beyer has basically concluded that Liaison and Rousing Sermon are incapable of running higher than a 92.  

If, when making the Derby fig, you can assume that Liaison and RS ran the same race in the Derby that they have run repeatedly in the past(when running their best), then you're well on your way to making the winning fig for IHA.  

In the 3 previous races that Liaison completed in which he ran against RS, he finished ahead of him each time, with the margin usually fairly close.  Well, in the Derby Liaison finished 6th, a little in front of RS in 8th.  The result can lead one to conclude that those 2 horses ran their typical "good" race, which for Liaison is a 91, and a few points lower for RS.

If Liaison ran a 91, and he was beaten 7 lengths by IHA, and 7 lengths at 10 furlongs translates into 10 Beyer points, then I'll Have Another gets a 101.

But given that Baffert swore that Liaison did not like Santa Anita(just like he swore Prayer for Relief didn't like SA and that horse just ran a sharp 2nd in the Mervyn LeRoy when moved over to Hollywood), isn't it more likely that Liaison actually ran faster in the Derby than he would at a track he didn't like(Santa Anita) or when he was a 2 year old(at Hollywood)?

07 May 2012 9:50 PM

Ted Bob:

You are certainly not a fool.  Anyone who goes to the Derby every year is quite smart in my book and smart people usually have a smart phone.  But I hope you had a great time.  Did sherpa carry your stuff?  

07 May 2012 10:12 PM


I think that Draynay borrowed a lot of money from the Greek Govenment to bet on the Derby and Oaks.  Not only does he jinx horse, he puts govenments in financial peril.

07 May 2012 10:47 PM


Here's a thought.  If you would have played a $2 super box on the winners of the most import prep races IMO……the SA Derby, Arkansas Derby, Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, Blue Grass and Spiral Stakes, a $720 ticket, you would have won $96K.  A $1 box ($360 bet), was good for a paltry 48K.

07 May 2012 10:54 PM

"If anything, Bodemeister lost because of his jockey.  Churchill has not been kind to Mke Smith.  Why would you go out ALONE in 45 seconds and change?" - Householder.

Amen to that. I applaud the decision BY BAFFERT and Smith pre-race to try and wire the field if Bode broke well, and basically short circuit any serious pace threat, but the horse went too fast and was left with nothing in the tank. Instead of resting the horse when he was 2-3 lengths ahead before the 6f mark, Smith was tapping Bode on the shoulder and asking for more! WHY? Trinni was coming back no matter how slow Bode went at that point. Why try and put him away at 6f when he is coming back at 7f anyhow? It was absurd, and even more absurd that people are defending the "HOF ride."

If you are going to go 22-1/5 for the opening quarter, at least get the horse to relax on the backstretch. The last horse to almost wire the Derby was Hard Spun, who went 22-3/5 in his 1st split but came home in 25-1/5 for the final 2 furlongs because they slowed the pace down in the middle of the race--with Stormello, Trinni's dad, and Cowtown Cat on HS' heels. If they did it then they could do it with what was on Bode's rear... That is almost 2 seconds FASTER for the final 2 furlongs than Bode...who received no rest at all. The race was over at 6f...someone was getting up at that point. I was amazed the horse went as far as he did. But guess what people? When you are that amazed its because the horse overcame a bad ride and too fast pace. And rather than blame Smith "experts" are still trying to blame Trinniberg! Are you kidding me? Is Bode so in need of space that he has to run that fast? If so, he will never win a 10f race.

Jockeys that are good on speed and going wire to wire like Angel Codero used to say if there is other speed in the race you go fast early, rest in the middle and pick it up late. And, the field will normally bunch up going into the second turn and expand again once the speed is asked to run like an accordion. What was Smith afraid of, that Trinni might stick a nose ahead at 7f? The horse was dead tired at that point...he was backing up regardless.

Bode ran as good as a horse could run these days off of those fractions...Hansen was washed out and had clipped heels with Prospective and had to waste energy getting up. Bode had it made...why the rush? Spend a Buck was a thing of the past in this 20 horse field and breeding for speed. If Bode settled he may have won. Instead, considering the ride, the horse that deserved to win won. Great ride on IHA...

BTW, if this was anyone else other than Baffert and Smith they would be calling for the jockey's head, like they did when Mario Pino took HS to 6f in 1:09 and change at the Preakness in 2007. Pino was OFF the next race (which was a bad move)...but the same people who were lambasting Pino for his "boneheaded" decision to let HS have the lead through 1:09 and change are praising HOFer Smith saying it was a great and "bold ride" and they had to run that fast because Trinni was 3 lengths behind. What a JOKE!

And Andy Beyer is conflating people criticizing Smith for going too fast on the lead with the decision to go wire to wire. C'mon, Andy! Apples to oranges...wiring the field is fine, its THE MANNER he did it that was so patently absurd. Nice try...

What a bunch of hypocritical sycophants. Bode went too fast! Admit it. The ride stunk; it was a strategic blunder. Even Spend a Buck had a slower 23 flat opening quarter. Bode had NO REST. Not for a second. And he was not pressed, he did this to himself! Terrible ride!

08 May 2012 5:50 AM

"For those criticizing Mike's ride, this is the way Bodemeister wants to run, I believe.  He is a free-wheeling horse.  Mike said he didn't want to try and hold him back and have the horse fight him.  He just tried to keep him relaxed on the lead and let him run the race he wanted to run.  Some said he reminds them of Holy Bull, but he reminds me of Congaree more." -Footlick

Fair enough. If that is the case Bodemeister is his own worse enemy at classic distances and needs to relax or he is a one dimensional speed ball who will not win classic races.

Personally, I think the horse has loads of talent but if he cannot relax on the lead he will keep falling short at classic distances. Which is a shame.

08 May 2012 6:02 AM

"Finally and most importantly--i hope they tell ramon to stop strangling him (Hansen)--he's a front runner--let him run." - Pap.

I agree. What did that accomplish? Better to "lose valiantly" than choked off the lead and be an also ran...that is brilliant! I agree. I thought the ride on Bode was too fast but I have a ton of respect for that HORSE now. As for Hansen, they are heading to the Preakness. If they do not heed your advice they are wasting their time IMO. I went back and watched every one of Hansen's races and he had a tight hold on for half of every race! Even his maiden he was not allowed to really run off until after 4f. At that point the jock lowered the reins and Hansen just took off and left the field in the dust.

Let the darn horse run! If they can do it for Bode, do it for Hansen for crying out loud. Let's see what the horse can do!

BTW, don't you love how every Tom, Dick and Harry in the racing world was saying the only chance Bode and Hansen had was to rate behind Trinni and not go too fast pre-Derby? Then, Smith and Baffert decide to wire the field and Smith goes flat out for 10f setting a torrid pace and now, suddenly, it is GENIUS! Suddenly, the horse that "could rate" before the Derby is the speedball from Hades! "It was the only thing Mike could do." Fine. Let's let ALL the speed run. If it is good enough for Bode...Hansen sure as heck wants to run! I think Hansen might have finished 3rd if he had his head and broke better and did not clip heels with Prospective. The way speed was staying. Even in his washed out form.

And everyone is praising the move on Bode! It shows you how Baffert is a leader, not a follower, and everyone else now is saying yes, Bob and Mike, and following his lead. Amazing...

08 May 2012 6:21 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I think my single lessoned learned from this weekend is:  never, never throw out the horse you know will try to steal a turf race.  I should have learned that lesson Friday from Silver Max instead of Saturday.  Don't get cute and overconfident in how the race will be run.  That's the second year in a row the Woodford has destroyed me in the Pick4...last year I handicapped it correctly but didn't pull the trigger in singling Get Stormy; this year...meh. Then again, you learn a different lesson every day doing this; cute and overconfident would have worked swell last time.

Other singles I had:  the 10-1 longshot in the 2nd, Kingwood, the Baffert horse in the 5th (already had a bad feeling when it was like 5-2), Great Mills in the 6th.

08 May 2012 7:39 AM

Slyder had his best day ever at the track on Friday and Saturday. The 25 futures bet on Believe You Can at 36/1 along with my 60 futures bets (20 in each pool) for I'll Have Another went nicely with my 2.50 tri in the Derby and my $1 super!! Don't say I didn't try and help you all, here's my early predictions from an earlier blog:

"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."  

slyder 19 Apr 2012 3:40 PM

Your welcome to those who listened.

08 May 2012 9:36 AM
Rusty Weisner


I see you stayed loyal to CC.  I did, too, enough to play him strongly him underneath.  I had a trifecta similar to your superfecta.  I didn't feel I had the money to at the super (which is good, as I wouldn't have hit, either), but that is the way to go every year:  it was $48,000-1, and perfectly logical, especially if you played Bodemeister as a lock to hit the board on that surface.  The super always pays way out of proportion to the trifecta; it is a much better pick.  The other way, freaky payoff-wise, is any multi-race bet (they're only this way on KD and Breeder's Cup day).  Another example:  the fifty-cent Groupie Doll/Little Mike/IHA pick-3 paid $800.

That goes to show you that "handicapping" is one thing...but betting is what separates men from boys.

You were very perceptive about UR.  On the basis of the workouts (and the hype, curse me) I kept him in my top six, and even played him underneath in a trifecta the same way I played CC, but, like you said, he probably washed out before the race and in the four post he was inevitably going to be folded into traffic and miserable.

08 May 2012 10:18 AM

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.

Draynay 19 Apr 2012 1:57 PM

California horses dominated the Derby with 5 of the top 8 finishers.

When was the last time a SA Derby winner won the KY Derby? Answer 3 days ago!! At least we don't have to listen to that draynay B.S. anymore.

I'm wondering when you are going to eat your crow and admit Bodemeister is the real thing draynay. He set the pace with the fastest first 4 fractions ever recorded in 138 Kentucky Derby's and nearly pulled it off!! Be a man and admit you were wrong when you claimed this horse wasn't good enough to finish in the top 8.

Let's take a trip down memory lane and go back 2 years just after the 2010 Preakness when First Dude set all the fractions and nearly won. Here's what you had to say about First Dude:

"Pace does not set up well for Ice Box this is two horse race between Fly Down and the new SUPERSTAR First Dude.... First Dude wins in a walk over."

Draynay aka handicapping LEGEND. 23 May 2010 8:19 PM

Bodemeister set faster fractions than First Dude in a longer race and you called First Dude a superstar, if it had been a horse you touted you'd be telling us how great you were to have picked him and he finished second ala Nehro.

You certainly are a legend but it's at picking losers and being wrong. How did your "Borel Factor" play this year on Derby day?

08 May 2012 10:22 AM
Rusty Weisner


"hypocritical sycophants"

I'm laughing.  I'm laughing because I think you're right.  In my enthusiasm for the horse I, too, almost whipped out that Baffert quote in defense of Smith, but I'm glad I thought better of it.

A word of defense of Smith:  the fractions were exaggerated by the surface.

I still like Bodemeister for the Preakness.  I singled Shackleford last year and this horse is all the more appealing.  I'll Have Another is not going to blow him away on the turn with a Funny Cide/Smarty Jones/Afleet Alex move and no closing type is going to catch him, either.

08 May 2012 11:55 AM

Why? Bodi was 5 to the good turning for home and still there at the 1/16--you either show his greatness or not---Smith did nothing wrong--he ran great and just lost. Dullahan went super wide---it was Kent's call---I don't challenge Mike or Kent they have been the elite for years for a reason. Winner got a perfect trip---great ride---maybe this kid is the star on the rise-----but next week and say your "life" depended on winning a race and you had a pick of the three---who do you pick---the Hall of Famer's or the new kid on the block? Trainers find this riders for a reason--their talent and decision making.

Johnny V's horse was flying---he got in trouble---his fault?

Anyone watching Super Saver's Derby knows the race set up perfectly for a closer and the place horse Ice Box THE WAY THE RACE WAS RUN----should have won--- not Super Saver---- giving Nick another Derby --what if's don't count---Neither horse proved anything after that race----what you guys/and sometimes girls should complain that the Derby is often filled with horses that don't belong that get in the way or change the dynamic of the race.

Yes this is why I think it is sad to see a genuinely nice horse like Optimizer (I shouldn't really single Lukas out but he is a legend and should know better) run and a maiden in the Oaks---they are not going to win going into the gate. Yes we all saw Mine That Bird and one of a thousand will surprise, but this is far from the norm. (Don't give me the LA Derby as an example he really had a chance on paper--not that I bet him but there were far worse looking). I just see so many great pots all over the country for 1st AND 2nd tier horses that are available when a horse is 3. Why invest serious money on lottery tickets at millions to one---trust me racing a TB is serious money.

Instead of complaining about bad rides, what about calling out trainers/owners that get into way of horses that can win. If a mother/father uses bad judgement--(tanning comes to mind) we are all over them in the press. Why would you put a average person who loses against local competition in the ring with Mayweather to get his brains knocked out?

Also if you want to call me out on this I will put you in touch with my old trainer(I have no horses now for 3 yrs)--Quote Me- Drop him into 5K's--Trainer but he just run 3rd for 10K Me---He ran 3rd 3 times and is running his guts out and not winning, let him win and get some confidence--Trainer-we'll lose him--Me--so?-----End of story he won for 5K--wasn't claimed jumped up back to 10K after getting his confidence back and won then jumped to 12K where he ran second and I lost him to a claim. Notice all high % stables do the same. Horses have ego's and confidence problems as well as people. I beef about too much---but in racing this is my biggest WHY?????????????? I would kill for a nice horse like Optimizer that could win nice pot allowances and maybe some minor stakes, more than pay his training bills, and would be fun to watch with friends and take to the winner's circle instead of watching him bath in the stable mud from the race that was thrown in his eyes and body and breathing hard his veins popping out---a horse lover.

Complain about this--not riders trying to win the best they can given the challenges in a 20 field that should be 10.

08 May 2012 12:19 PM

I have been reading a plethora of over-exaggerated statements about Bodemeister in the last few days.

Sure, Bodemeister ran an impressive 6 furlongs in 1:09 and change in the Kentucky Derby, but he also ran his last half mile in a "pathetic" 52 and change.

If this race doesn't tell our breeding industry what we are producing, then I don't know what will...

Our breeding industry can't produce fast 1 1/4 mile horses anymore.

They produce fast milers.

Is that we want?

Most of these breeders want horses that can run 10 second eighths at these auctions. They could care a less about a mile and a quarter horse... once the hammer falls.

The breeding industry would like you to believe that the term "brilliance" equals the following:

"A horse that can go 1:09 and change in the Kentucky Derby and fall apart at the 1/4 pole.

The best colt won the 2012 Kentucky Derby and his name is: "I'll Have Another". Sore losers and the breeding industry will tell you different.

08 May 2012 12:24 PM
Monarchos Matt


I'd agree with you except that last year Get Stormy was the lone speed after Little Mike scratched. This year if you wanted to use Little Mike, wouldn't you had to have used Get Stormy and Turbo Compressor as well? I agree if I had known Little Mike would be able to get loose on the lead I would have used him, but on paper it was tough to differentiate him from the other two speed horses and I, like you, decided to beat all of them and play the closer. In retrospect it wouldn't have mattered as I didn't have IHA on my ticket anyway.

08 May 2012 5:10 PM
Ted from LA

The final word.

23 May 2012 5:30 PM

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