Preakness 137 Picks

OK, we’re here—my final blog and Preakness picks. Two years ago I gave out the winning superfecta; last year I picked the horse that finished dead last. No promises here, just my best educated guess and a fond farewell.

On paper, this looks like a chalky Preakness; hopefully not as chalky as 2007 when the exacta paid $23.20 and the trifecta brought home a whopping $50. But the top three horses in here are all standouts to me—Bodemeister, I’ll Have Another, and Went the Day Well. If you don’t like all three, try to find a price horse or two to include in case things don’t go according to script.

Bodemeister is either the easiest Preakness favorite to play since Big Brown, or he’s the ultimate sucker bet. He has everything going in his favor—he’s coming off a monster Derby effort, he will control the pace with little pressure chasing him, he has a trainer that’s won this race five times, and he’s a freakishly fast horse that can carry his speed. He’s my top choice.

As the week has gone on I’ve started to like Went the Day Well more and more. All I had to do is go back and watch the Derby a couple more times and see how big he actually ran. With a smaller field and a favorable post, he’ll almost certainly break better and put himself in a much better position. He’s a horse that has just kept getting better and better since he broke his maiden in March and with any luck at all he could have been the Derby winner. He’s looked the part all week here at Pimlico, and I would be surprised if he wasn’t coming hard at the end.

It’s hard to knock anything I’ll Have Another has done, and he looks every bit as good this week as he did Derby week. He’s ready to run another big race, no doubt, the only question is what kind of trip will he sit. Without much speed in here, will he sit right off of Bode, and will that compromise him? Or will he race in fourth or fifth and make his big move on the final turn? Hard to say. 

If you’re playing tris and supers it’s hard to use all three favorites, so by default he is the odd horse out for me in my major ticket. I like Bode and Went the Day Well just a bit more and so my main bet will be as follows:

Superfecta: Bodemeister, Went the Day/Bodemeister, Went the Day Well/All/All

I’ll also play a backup ticket that includes two price horses—Daddy Nose Best and Zetterholm.

I won’t go into why I like Daddy Nose Best. I laid out my case for him in the Derby and he really didn’t have much of an excuse. I’m going to include him in a couple backup tickets this time just because I think he deserves another chance. I like that Asmussen had the confidence to bring him back and that Leparoux jumps back aboard. I’ll leave it at that.

Zetterholm is a stab play. He is a New York-bred stepping way up in class, and is probably in over his head. But he’s a horse that has been getting better every start and likes to do his best running at the end of races. Dutrow horses tend to run pretty well at Pimlico and he’s a horse that I think has enough ability to fill out tris and supers with a good trip. He’s training really well.

With all that said, here’s a secondary trifecta box I’ll play in case Bode decides to pack it in early: I’ll Have Another, Went the Day Well, Daddy Nose Best, Zetterholm.

Creative Cause is obviously a consistent horse that could ruin my tickets, but you can’t play them all. It was a risk to send him back to California after the Derby and now he ships in after another long trip. Maybe he’ll handle it just fine; maybe not.

Whatever happens, best of luck to everyone this weekend and beyond. The weather in Baltimore is perfect this weekend and it’s a great way for me to go out. I’ll be posting comments through May 22, which is my final day at Blood-Horse.

In the words of the immortal Eddie Vedder: I’ll ride the wave…where it takes me.

Best to all,

Jason

185 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Mary Zinke

Creative Cause

followed by I'll Have Another, Went The Day Well, Bode.

6,9,5,7

18 May 2012 11:09 AM
Draynay

Good bye Jason !  Good bye blog it's been a lot of fun being the best on here.  The sucker bet is Bode for sure.  This horse is coming back in just 2 weeks and has no foundation to do so.  He finishes 4th fading badly coming for home.  The winner is Creative Cause and I will box him with Went the Day Well.  Creative Cause has the foundation to run off 2 weeks rest and has won back to back races after 3 weeks rest.  A bet on Bode in the Preakness is like a bet on The State Restricted Poly Champion when taking on males on dirt.  Bad bet.  Bet heavy on Creative Cause and get rich with me.  Union Rags wins the Belmont by 10.  See you all at the Florida Derby next year !  Bye !

18 May 2012 11:32 AM
Aluminaut

I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, Creative Cause, Went the Day Well.

Chalk and the Super won't pay either because of the All factor.  Looking for a couple longshots.  I tossed CC in the Derby.  Since he ran well despite his acting up during schooling and not having much time on the track, he may be the spoiler here. I'm still undecided.  

18 May 2012 11:35 AM
Aluminaut

Draynay give Bode the green light.

18 May 2012 12:14 PM
Tiz Herself

Super with IHA, Bode, CC, and WTDW. Can't wait to see tomorrow if we're going to be on the I'll Have Another bandwagon for the Triple Crown, or if like last year we have a different winner in each of the races and the Crown has eluded yet another generation (hope not!)

Best of luck everyone!

Jason, are you sure you have to go? kidding - all the best.

18 May 2012 12:15 PM
Toro On Turf

Thanks for everything, Jason and best of luck!  Enjoyed you for many years on Bloodhorse.

WTDW-Bode-IHA-ALL

18 May 2012 12:37 PM
bohemiastable

This is really not exciting as as it is all chalk but cashing is cashing

Box

5. Went the Day Well (NY), J R Velazquez, 126, H G Motion, 6/1

6. Creative Cause (KY), J Rosario, 126, M Harrington, 6/1

7. Bodemeister (VA), M E Smith, 126, B Baffert, 8/5

9. I'll Have Another (KY), M Gutierrez, 126, D F O'Neill, 5/2

If any split is available I would have to say it would be Jamie Ness Oh! I mean Dutrow's horse

IHA is my top pick

To my buddy "Skip" the girl who posts with a man's name--Must be the "Gravitas" one would get I guess from taking a masculine persona--can't be wanting to be "Incognito" as there are thousands of horse/stable names to use.

Comments I noticed in today's racing form: They seem to have been reading my posts if I was to be that vain to think so---Hopefully Jason they were though---but more like the same wonder and asking why I have been making since prior to the Derby and especially now in the Preakness ---paste

10 Optimizer

by English Channel 30-1 30-1 92 Cathy and Bob Zollars

D. Lukas/C. Nakatani 11th

83

JP: Definition of insanity is doing same thing over and over, expecting new result. Put him on turf.

MW: But Jay, the Hill Prince Stakes isn't on a big enough stage, or on network tv, so here he is.  

You can dance on my grave (and theirs) if he wins.

MV is now a Grade 2 Winner and his stock as a sire has got up

Opt is a non-winner of 2 lifetime--enough said.

Good Luck Jason

18 May 2012 12:39 PM
Sylvester

Let me start out by wishing Jason the best and I'm really going to miss this blog.  I've had some spirited exchanges with many on here but it was all in fun.  That's not to say my opinions of certain horses are not what I projected here because they are but in the spirit of debate, I enjoyed riling a few of you.  I agree with Draynay.  Creative Cause should run big.  Higgins: you're the best!!

18 May 2012 12:53 PM
El Kabong

Jason,

Again, what a fun ride it has been. Your blog served a valuable need here at Bloodhorse. We all thank you.

Now lets get down to business. The smaller field, the knowledge of who is capable of doing what at 10F's, pace included. Some of the classy competitors gone. That would direct one to the horses who will benefit from this situation and run a better race given the absence of those factors. While most will point to the shorter distance being a factor to help Bodemeister,  I think the above factors will benefit the stalkers to a greater degree. That said, I expect to see a better effort from Went The Day Well, Creative Cause and I'll Have another. If I thought it wise to shorten up my bet, I would key Went The Day Well and I'll Have Another on top but I am going to switch up my strategy so Bode doesn't make me eat my ticket. I am going to Box the returning 4 with one new kid, Teeth of the Dog. Let them run their race it's going to be a good one and I just want to let the chips fall and still cash. $120 5 horse super box will allow me to sit back and just enjoy the finish. If Bode does bounce, I hope I'm right about the Dawg! I do love dogs and this one looks like he'll stretch out well.

Good luck Jayyyysahn(cajun version of Jason). Don't forget to take a ukulele with you as you ride that wave. Stay in touch.

18 May 2012 12:57 PM
JJs Rocket

First I would like to thank Draynay as he is my hero. I bet on Bode wps for the derby and was lucky he didnt end up 5th. If he is to regress a little here he will be 5th. Was ready to load up the truck on CC but now Draynay has killed that idea. Sorry Dray but you usually pick the chalk and then end up the track. Bode is now a sure bet and I will bet the house on him tomorrow. Win only for this horse. Will use 7 w 6,9 w 4 w 6,9,5,3..

Hope you all win big and good luck Jason.

18 May 2012 1:02 PM
Ranagulzion

This year's derby winner is the genuine article. I'll Have Another is the horse to beat but I'm sticking with Daddy Nose Best to rebound from the clunker he threw in at Churchill Downs and win the Preakness with his regular rider Julien Leparoux on board.

I think that Bodemeister will fade again in deep stretch (too much tough racing in a short time span. Also I pray that he doesn't get injured because he's a colt in the mold of Ghostzapper).

18 May 2012 1:27 PM
Ranagulzion

Goodbye Jason. You're a jolly good fellow. Your overall blog work was "a thing of beauty" and a "beast" at times.

Whatever you do, keep the standard high. You'll be missed.

Draynay,

Fare ye well my friend. You do have an eye for the classy ones and you're gung ho over your favourites. There's no doubt that every one on here will miss you ...although for different reasons. Keep on faking it 'til you're making it at handicapping (lol). I'm happy to say that we can part in agreeing on the outcome of the Belmont Stakes ...an absolute romp for Union Rags ...way to go out Pal, with a strike against jay jay et al.

18 May 2012 1:40 PM
Esther Marr

Hey Jason remember when you told me to bet the superfecta in the Oaks and I didn't, and then it came through and I would have won more than $900? That was pretty awesome. Well, if I place any bets for the Preakness this time, it will be a super with I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, Went the Day Well, and Cozzetti, for what it's worth.

18 May 2012 1:45 PM
tjconway

I'm thinking about a Cozetti/Pretension exacta.....and a $7,000 payout. Think big my friends!

18 May 2012 1:47 PM
Tiara Terces

IHA's best chance is to challenge Bodemeister on the lead.  Bodemeister cannot handle a head-and-head duel because of his lack of seasoning.  Baffert knew this, that's why he didn't let Trinni lead for the first part of the Derby.  IHA has proven he can fight it out when he headed CC at SA.  The question, how much will it take out of him to hold off the closers who are happy he'll have to do the dirty work?  Daddy has more seasoning but less talent than WTDW.  CC will be there at the end, but probably will not be able to get to IHA.  Five horse favorite Super Box will only break even. What do do?  Be creative cause, it will bode Master Bob to say "Daddy knows best" or Mario to insist "I'll have another and win the Triple Crown." Or will some long shot hot shot say: the day went well.

18 May 2012 1:50 PM
2:24

I'll Have Another wins for fun, followed by Went the Day Well, Creative Cause, and Bodemeister.  Book it.

18 May 2012 1:56 PM
Rusty Weisner

Everything's relative.  Sometimes $23.20 can be a good exacta.  I don't think anwyone can or will beat the top two.  I like Bodemeister, but I can't figure out an exacta other than Bode-IHA with him, and I won't touch that.  If I preferred IHA, I'd bet for the best alternative to pass Bodemeister, a straight IHA-WthDW exacta.  

Name the last longshot to win the Preakness (no, Shackleford wasn't a longshot, and Bernardini doesn't count).

Anybody heard about how Bodemeister's galloping/looking?  I think (hope) the post-time odds on him and IHA will even out more rather than tilting towards Bodemeister:  9/5 and 2-1 versus the current line.

How about the other races?  I will take a stab at the Preakness Pick 4, though I really don't see any singles I'm enthusiastic about.  I might have to single Air Support in a race I really see as wide open.  In the 10th race I think Absinthe Minded is a very beatable favorite, as are the other two horses that like the lead (I think Canadian Mistress, in particular, will ruin it for the other two).  I will bet against them with Baffert's horse and three off-the-pace horses at medium to long odds, Check Point, Daring Reality and Pinch Pie.  The 9th is a very hard race.  I would have singled Achilles, but he's in the disadvantageous 12 post, while I'm less enthusiastic about Clement's other horse in the 1.  Shakespeare Shaliyah is enigmatic and not sharp, and I don't know which of the others will take to turf.  Maybe Hammer's Terror.  

I'll play two cheap Pick 4 tickets, one where I single Air Support & Bodemeister, one with Awesomemundo & Bodemeister.  I'll also play the Pick 3 ending in the last race, where I'll take the favorite and two longshots, Unbroken and Spinnaker Bay.

In the 8th, another race with a beatable ML favorite, Hamazing Destiny, I think Immortal Eyes will be an overlay --he prefers CharlesTown.  I almost liked Diski Dancer a lot here, but he seems to prefer 5 and a half furlongs.  So I can't decide and won't play the Pick5.

18 May 2012 2:08 PM
Rusty Weisner

There's a reason Bodemeister isn't a true sucker's bet.  He'll be mostly splitting the money with IHA and will be well above even money, not 2-5.  To bet against him is nothing more than to bet he'll bounce.  

18 May 2012 2:19 PM
Matthew W

I don't think O'Neil will let Bode float along alone--they're not going to let The Preakness slip away--I think they will engage the favorite early--I think that will make it hard for 'Nuther, and harder for Bode--I think I'll Have Another will finish first or second, and I think Bodemeister will wilt, I like a four horse box of 'Nuther/Creative/Daddy/Went Well, I also like, no--LOVE: Yawanna Twist in the Special! By Oliver Twist, who nearly rang the bell at boxcars in The Preakness--heck, Yawanna was close as well in the second jewell--I have always liked this horse, I have a soft spot for Cal breds and NY breds--Yawanna Twist will creep up in odds and, class wise he fits! Two others I like today at Pimlico--in the 9th, I like Ju Jitsu Jax at 8-1-- in the 13th, I think Theatricality will outrun her odds, maybe not win, but will run well--the other horse that I love today is Carona City, at 8-1, running in the 8th race at Los Alamitos tonight---sharing my longshots with you in appreciation of your blog, which was always lively! I also liked the fact you could dish it out yet could also take it--best wishes to you and yours, sincerely, Matthew.

18 May 2012 2:22 PM
predict

First, just let me say what a pleasure it has been, for I have thoroughly enjoyed all your articles and Blogs, Jason, and you will be surely missed. Good luck in your next chapter, I'm sure you will be a success at whatever you do.

I think the two best horses from the Derby were Went the Day Well and I'll Have Another. I will pick these two in an exacta box in the Preakness. I'm leaving Bodemeister out of the top two, as I think he will fade on the deeper Pimlico surface, mostly because he is not ready, in my opinion to run another big race.

For a trifecta I'll use my top two again in 1st and 2nd and will play Creative Cause( don't think traveling is an issue), Bodemeister, Daddy Nose Best( I like Julien taking the ride), Optimizer( I like Nakatani getting on- and he had to steady early in the Derby, but never gave up a length after the first call), and I'll throw in Cozzetti on the chance he is sitting on a big race.

And for the superfecta I will repeat my Trifecta and use the horses in third, again for fourth. I don't think any of the other horses will appreciate any distance after the first mile and an eighth. I won't play alot on this Preakness as I feel it will not be paying out big. Then again you never know.

18 May 2012 2:22 PM
Rusty Weisner

As far as how the race will run, O'Neill said he'll sit right on Bodemeister and I believe him.

18 May 2012 2:26 PM
Rusty Weisner

Draynay,

I beg you to reconsider.  You're being commendably bold, but way too contrarian throwing out BOTH Bodemeister and IHA.

18 May 2012 2:30 PM
JayJay

Pimlico Special / Preakness Double :

$2 Double

Toby's Corner with Creative Cause, Bode, Pretension and Cozzetti

$5 Double :

Toby's Corner with WTDW and IHA

Pimlico Special :

$1 Tri

1,8 with 1,8,5 with 1,8,5,6,3

$.50 Super

1,8 with 1,8,5 with 1,8,5,6,3 with 1,8,5,6,3,2

18 May 2012 3:06 PM
longwaytomay

Jason,

I think I will miss your smart a$$ retorts to some of the people that regularly posted on this blog the most. I'll also miss your insight on how a race is going to unfold. You are a pretty good handicapper, don't kid yourself. I know that some people think that a guy who has his own blog on Bloodhorse should pick winners at a 75% clip. I understand that's not being realistic. I'm sure you wish you hit more often, but you are no amatuer.

I do have to say that I think you're making a mistake leaving CC off your tickets. I know Draynay has put his legendary curse on him, but sometime even a blind squirel finds an acorn.

Enjoyed your blog Jason, good luck with your new adventure.

Sincerely,

T. Long

18 May 2012 3:30 PM
Ted from LA

5-7-6-4 super.  9 with the 5-7-6-4 just in case.  Good luck to you Jason.  Did you ever know that you're my hero?

18 May 2012 3:41 PM
Rusty Weisner

Oh, irony.  They have the dime superfecta for this race but didn't have it for the Derby.  As "Aliminaut" noted up above, there'll be lots of ALL bets.

18 May 2012 4:05 PM
Rusty Weisner

bohemiastable:

Lukas is putting an English Channel horse called Skyring on turf in the 9th tomorrow.  What do you think?

18 May 2012 4:25 PM
Monarchos Matt

Best of luck Jason in your future endeavors. I, like many, will truly miss this blog. Thanks so much for your contributions over the years. Please continue to relay your horse racing insights via Twitter!

In the Preakness, I have to stick with my Derby pick Creative Cause. He ran a better Derby race than he is getting credit for, made a sweeping move eight wide from the rail to improve his position considerably but simply didn't have the kick he needed after having to cover so much extra ground. His seasoning leads me to believe that recovery won't be as much of an issue as it could be for Bode and IHA and he is the clear value play for me, having beaten both of those horses at previous points in his career and only missing by three lengths in the Derby after a wide trip.

I'm not as impressed by Went the Day Well's Derby as some are, although admittedly I've been against the horse from the beginning because I absolutely despise his name. Still, his closing fractions seem a bit misleading as the horse didn't run a step for the first mile. He was picking off tired horses down the stretch and will need to be placed much more tactically to have any shot here. Could be wrong but I can't bet em all.

WPS bet on Creative Cause, and I'll try to beat the Derby exacta and use boxes with Creative Cause/ Bodemeister and Creative Cause/ IHA instead. Decided Tris and Supers look too chalky to make going very deep worthwhile, I really can't get behind any of these newcomers.

18 May 2012 4:29 PM
Rusty Weisner

When people credit WthDW and CC with making up ground in the Derby they're not giving IHA enough credit for being forwardly placed.  Every other horse anywhere within seven lengths of the pace finished up the track, with the exception of IHA and, much further back, Liaison.  No one's going to be making up ground that way at Pimlico.  CC is going to lose ground on the turn again.  WthDW could spring a tactical surprise and stick close, but it looks like a two horse race.

18 May 2012 4:47 PM
Rusty Weisner

Good luck everyone!  And I mean that -- I won't be in your pools.

I think I'll toss that "Skyring" in after the quick turnaround.  So, my 50-cent Pick 4 tickets:

6 x 1 x 8 x 1 (Awesomemundo & Bodemeister singles)

6 x 7 x 1 x 1 (Air Support & Bodemeister singles)

18 May 2012 4:54 PM
Age of Reason

Wow, Jason, it's been a lot of fun. Too bad all things must come to an end. *sniff*

I'm expecting Bodemeister to win (as much as I hate it), but his odds are far to low in my opinion. The chances of Bodemeister "bouncing" or running a clunker seem far higher than those of I'll Have Another. For that reason I'm gonna have to go with I'll Have Another over Bodemeister; the rest is too murky.

Draynay: Smell you later. Thus far you've picked as many classic winners as Blame has won HOY awards; better luck down the road. It's because of the perceived Draynay Curse that I hesitated to name Creative Cause for 3rd.

Sylvester: Of course; all in good fun. We aren't solving the world's problems or anything, so why not at least try to have fun? :) And if a person isn't having fun, why are they here? (there's always DRF to suck the joy right out of them. hehe)

Farewell, Jason. Come back soon for a visit!!

18 May 2012 5:25 PM
Householder

The rules for the Preakness don't change from year to year.  One has to play a horse from the Derby.  "Fresh horses" never win.  

With that being said, you really have to look at the Derby winner.  Just his 4th start since last September and no works since the Derby.  Is it possible to have a horse any more fit for a Triple Crown?  Meanwhile others like CC have raced 8 times since September and 5 times since the New Year.  CC is consistent and will be in the mix and I will use him as I don't think he gets nailed from behind killing the super this time.  The blinks on and off, can't take a whip, can't run inside of horses...he's his own worst nightmare.

Baffert pretty much owns the modern Preakness.  I would have liked to have seen a rider switch so staying with Smith is a positive.  Baffert must think he has a chance as I saw this one as an even bigger threat in the Belmont so he would have had every right to skip this one and rest.  One simply can't toss him.  

18 May 2012 6:19 PM
2:24

Love Alternation.  Put $100 on him to win and alive to IHA, Creative Cause, and WTDW for $10 Special/Preakness double.  

18 May 2012 6:47 PM
Runfast159

After this year's Derby, and a history of not picking Preakness winners, I'm not putting my money out there this time.

Obviously IHA and Bode will be most players top picks.  But lets just say IHA pushes Bode into some crazy fractions and it sets it up for a closer.  I'll take Went the Day Well to win with Creative Cause, Bode and I'll Have Another following.

A horse I *might* put a small win/place/show bet on is Cozetti.  I can't knock what Romans has been doing.  

There I go, saying I'm going to put money on this.  I'm not.  I'm NOT!! Really, I'm not....

18 May 2012 7:55 PM
Runfast159

And one last time, Good Luck with your future career Jason!  You will be missed!

BWAAAAAAH!!!

18 May 2012 7:56 PM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

Thanks wizard now I have a contarian indicator to  play off of.

18 May 2012 8:03 PM
KY VET

DOES ANYONE REALIZE THAT CREATIVE CAUSE RAN 3 1/2 feet FASTER on TRAKKUS? than the winner? that means he ran just as good if not better....betting big! not because trakkus, like his form coming into the derby.......trakkus triple crown?

18 May 2012 8:17 PM
Racingfan

Sticking with I'll Have Another, Bodemeister and Creative Cause.  They were my Derby horses and I still like em.  Really hoping for a triple crown!!!  Best of luck to you Jason.  Sorry to see you go!  Thrilled Draynay is leaving though - I won't have to read the posters name before deciding whether or not to read the post anymore!!!!

18 May 2012 9:38 PM
trackjack

Jason,

Thanks again for your hard work and this blog.  The best to you.  Along with 2:24 and Mike Monarchos, we're inviting you to next year's Tampa Bay Derby--Legends Bar.  Be there or.......

2:24, agree with you, I'll Have Another to W/P and will tri box him with:

Bodemeister

Creative Cause

Went the Day Well.  

Chalky?, yes but the Preakness is usually the best run Derby and these horses tower over the others, besides, we need a TCW.

Draynay,

You had some good observations at times but will not miss your BS boasting.  A neat schtick that gets old quickly.  You never were the best Derby handicapper on this blog since I came on, I was.  I won the RTTR.com contest in 2010, including the exacta.  Also hit the exacta and trifecta this year--results.

Good Luck to you.  May the horse be with you (especially in the 2013 Derby, you need it.)  

18 May 2012 10:20 PM
Footlick

I hope Kent decides to get the help that can get his life back on track.  Dominguez may be a blessing in disguise for Tiger Walk though.

I can't bet this race as it is too chalky for me and the horse I would eventually end up on would be Creative Cause.  Since he is Dray's pick, I don't want to burden him with being mine as well since American racing really isn't my strongest suit.  And I don;t need the wrath of Mary Z-lol.  But, you really have a hard time getting past the 3 Cal horses in this race.  My key to betting a race like this would be if I decided there was one stand-out and a couple of key longshots.  The problem is with the longshots in this race.  They don't inspire alot of confidence.

Jason- enjoy your Preakness Day!  Thanks for the blogs.   Drink lots of beer and enjoy.

18 May 2012 11:35 PM
GoGoldfinder

i am 8.5 for 9.5 on sure bets of the year (the exception came when UK wildcat finished third in his sencond start off layoff). Bodemeister WILL win. he is a new racer and still improving. despite rediculous fractions, he recorded a higher beyer than all of his previous. Baffert is the man. He'll go into the lane up a length and win by 2 1/2. ive got a strait superfecta box-- WtDW-CC-Bode-IHA-Cozzetti

19 May 2012 1:34 AM
The Deacon

Much luck and success in the future Jason.......

Draynay please just go away......

19 May 2012 2:16 AM
GunBow

Jason:

Good luck on the Preakness.  I don't care what a few other may say, you know your horses and you are quite a good handicapper.

19 May 2012 2:37 AM
GunBow

The Preakness was looking easy, until I watched the Friday races.

Alert!  Pimlico was REALLY heavy on Friday.  The Black Eyed Susans in 1:52 and change, the Special in 1:57 and change; we're talking 4-5 seconds off the track records!

Pimlico on Friday was nothing like Churchill for the Derby.  More like Churchill was for the Breeder's Cup.  

If the track plays like that tomorrow, Bodemeister has no shot of winning running anything quicker than 46, 1:10, uncontested or not.

Like with Churchill for the BC, the 2-turn stakes races at Pimlico Friday played out like wars of attrition.  Both the Susans and Special were stagger fests in the stretch.

While Churchill on Derby day played to speed and brilliance, Pimlico played to the ability to make sustained, long, even drives.  That plays to the strengths of Creative Cause, who also ran well on BC weekend over just such a track.

I'll Have Another's style should also be suited to the surface, although he has never run over anything like it.  However, except for a wet and heavy Saratoga, he's handled every track he's run over, including the more tiring Cushion Track at Hollywood.  The same is true for Went the Day Well, who seems oblivious to surface.

Again, unless the track changes over the next 24 hours, I think it could really affect Bodemeister.  These heavy, slow surfaces are not "Baffert surfaces".  He trains his atheletes for speed more so than endurance attritions.  

If Pimlico is the speedway it so often is on Preakness days, Bodemeister is gone.  But if it stays like it was on Friday, he's a poor play at low odds.

19 May 2012 2:51 AM
GunBow

As a fan of the Cali horses, Went the Day Well certainly scares me.  Without question, he was moving best of all the final eighth.  However, that isn't necessarilly a harbinger of success.

What do the following horses have in common?

Video Ranger, Green Alligator, Conte Di Savoya, Jumron, Halory Hunter, Prime Timber, Thunder Blitz, Atswhatimtalknbout, Don't Get Mad, Jazil, Imawildandcrazyguy, and Make Music for Me?

Answer-

They were all late runners that got up to be 4th in the Kentucky Derby(and all those closers finished 4th since just 1990).  Often in the Derby, with traditionally fast paces, the stretch is full of horses stopping.  Horses that were conserved early and that can get the 10 furlongs end up passing many of these tired rivals, creating the illusion of a fast finish.  For this reason and others, the 4th spot in the Derby has been reserved of late for these closers.

What's striking is that of the 12 closers to have run 4th in the Derby since 1990, only Jazil had any success in the later 2 Triple Crown races, and his success came in the Belmont(skipped the Preakness).  Traditionally, those late running Derby superfecta horses don't fair as well at Pimlico with a typically more pro-speed track, and a more moderate pace.

Having brought this up, what any of these horses did in the past has nothing directly to do with how Went the Day Well will do in the Preakness.  However, for me, it does temper my enthusiasm for his late run because it reminds me that the pace set-up in Derbys often flatters late runners like him; this year, as in many Derbys of the past, the final quarter was by far the slowest part of the race.  So, Went the Day Well was making his visually impressive late charge into an absolutely collapsing pace.  His late gain was to a large extent an optical illusion, placed in the context of a nearly 27 second final quarter.  In comparison, Bodemeister was running much, much faster his first quarter than Went the Day Well ran through the final one.

For the above reasons, I view Bodemeister and Went the Day Well the enigmas of the race.  They are, at the same time, both sucker bets and logical winners.  I could see one of them winning or both running off the board.  

19 May 2012 3:17 AM
GunBow

On the topic of non-Triple Crown developments, Alternation should definitely be ranked near the top of anyone's list of older males.  

A promising runner last year at 3, Alternation has really matured into a true pro; he's proven he can win on the pace, stalking, and closing, and in the Pimlico Special he put to rest any horse for course(Oaklawn) talk.  Alternation is now 4 for 4 on the year, all stakes, with 3 of them graded.

However, on an individual race level, I remain completely uninspired by Alternation.  In the Special, Alternation looked done on the far turn.  I give him credit for continuing to plug away, but I really believe he was able to remain in contention mainly because his rivals were staggering as bad as he was; had an elite older horse been in the field, he would have put Alternation away, easily.  

Alternation certainly benefitted from being in a stretch duel with notorious bridesmaids Nehro and Mission Impazible.  Endorsement, who might have been running a little beyond his best, arguably ran the strongest race after setting what was, for the track, really fast opening fractions.  Simply, Alternation has yet to run fast this year(remember that Bodemeister ran about a second faster than him back on Arkansas Derby-Oaklawn Cap' day).

The recently renamed Marje Everett Handicap(formerly the Milady) has brought together the strongest field of maintrack females in California this year.  The field is led my multiple grade 1 winning comebacker, Zazu, recent grade 1 winner Include Me Out, and multiple graded stakes winner Ellafitz.  

However, it didn't take much for this to be the strongest female race in California.  As I have mentioned before, the 3 year old filly division out here was atrocious, something supported again Friday by the run of Mama Kimbo.  The older females at Santa Anita weren't much better, but Include Me Out was a nice revelation, and now Zazu is back.  With Plum Pretty likely to make at least one start back here before the BC, this division should get better as the year goes on.

19 May 2012 3:37 AM
Rusty Weisner

Thank you GunBow!

19 May 2012 9:40 AM
2:24

Wow Frankel is an impressive beast

19 May 2012 10:43 AM
Sam Not Spam

Never mind the Preakness, I hope you all took note of the mighty Frankel, who just pulverised the field here in the G1 Lockinge Stakes despite missing 10 days work.  When he's fully fit and steps up to 10f he's coming over to kick all your arses in the BC Classic.

19 May 2012 10:47 AM
Footlick

one work...... Frankel!

19 May 2012 11:24 AM
Rusty Weisner

GunBow,

I'm sold.  It's a limited sample, but I just watched the replay of R2 (Preakness day).  All the earmarks of what you're talking about:  track caller noted "slow pace" (25 and change first quarter), yet the chalk off the pace, along with a 10-1 shot in his wake, easily passed the tiring leaders in the stretch.

I have to make my bets early.  It's nice not to be going in blind.

19 May 2012 11:30 AM
Rusty Weisner

I multiplied my pick 4 tickets by four to include all of the top 4 in the Preakness.  No singling Bodemeister today.

19 May 2012 11:36 AM
Rusty Weisner

Now playing tri boxes with the top four and keying IHA over the rest in trifectas, as well as playing an IHA-WthDW exacta.  Wasn't going to do it.  If I end up wrong, I won't blame you, Gunbow, because at least I'm now passing up the favorite for a chance at something bigger, and you're right about the track.

19 May 2012 11:38 AM
Anne in SC

Jason,you WILL be missed!  Hoping all goes well in your new venture...

Am still trying to decide how to "put" my 4 (Went the Day Well - Bodemeister - I'll Have Another - Cozzetti). And do I really leave out Cretive Cause? Recon I'll just try ALL combos!!

19 May 2012 12:19 PM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

Now that BOTH of the BLOGS WIZARDS have made their pick it makes my bet a lot easier.Guess what their BOTH picking the same nag something has to give the TITANIC is already on the bottom WHO else will go down.

19 May 2012 1:15 PM
Karen in Texas

Tuned in to HRTV early and caught Frankel's race by accident. He was most impressive and has grown physically as well!

Again, hasta luego, Jason! Are you going to reveal your new occupation to us? I think you'd be good at PR for some lucky company...just an opinion.

19 May 2012 3:16 PM
Ranagulzion

Just assume that Daddy Nose Best had an off day or didn't like the going at Churchill Downs and you're on the Preakness winner. Easy.  

19 May 2012 3:19 PM
Dee

I hope my Preakness luck continues from last year's trifecta win. I didn't fair so well in the Derby, but I did learn some things that will affect my betting today.

-I left out Creative Cause in the Derby, rightly so apparently for hitting the board there. But in the Preakness, I don't see many other horses better than him. He showed up better than *Daddy Nose Best who disappointed me and I will now leave him out of my bets.

-I had Bode in a few of my Derby bets, but no Dullahan. I am only going to place 2 bets and will tack him on to the end of the super hoping that my instincts have been right since before the Derby and that he isn't as super of a super horse with no foundation at 2 and being able to run 3 monster races.

-Went the Day Well, I was happy to see him run so well in the Derby as he was included in all my bets and is looking even better for this one.

-Still kicking myself for taking off one of my top 3 horses off my derby list after the post position draw... the derby winner of course. He could be something special, and it would be great for racing for us to bring the TC hopes back to Belmont.

I'll Have Another/Creative Cause/Went the Day Well, $2 tri box

and then the same box for the $2 super, but add Bodemeister to come in 4th.

19 May 2012 3:53 PM
Mike from Michigan

Is it me or has anyone else noticed Bafferts interviews this week?  Kinda strange to me, he is not real confident in his horse.  Maybe just his mood this week, but I am not going to play Bodemeister.  I am going with a real longshot...Cozzetti.  Good luck to all and hope everybody has a safe trip.

19 May 2012 5:19 PM
Runfast159

Wow just want to say congrats to the connections of both IHA and Bodemeister for putting on a great show today.  Cal horses running 1-2-3!!  They put the distance between them and the rest of the 3 year olds. On to Belmont and now Union Rags.

19 May 2012 6:30 PM
Matthew W

If they go inside and split them they win by three--but the jock knew he had horse enough to go around--what a horse it took to get Bode today---he'll win the Triple Crown, and he'll win big!

19 May 2012 6:41 PM
CHIEF PICAWINNA

Thanx Wizards easy cash in this one but lousy mutual.Want to see 12 run at Belmont,this time IHA will go off at a fraction which is what he should of gone off here along with Bode.

19 May 2012 7:33 PM
Draynay

Even I hit that tri.  Had a great day.  Mr. Baffert please take your distance challenged horse to California and wait until the Haskell.  Looks like a great battle between Union Rags and Dullahan for the Belmont.  I will be betting the house on Union.  Thanks for a great time Bloodhorse and Jason be careful heading to Florida!  See you guys in Florida real soon !

19 May 2012 8:10 PM
Rusty Weisner

WOW!!!  Hit the Pick 4, a Pick 3, the trifecta, the late Daily Double!

Netted $110.

19 May 2012 9:10 PM
Rusty Weisner

Gunbow,

Thanks again.  You didn't win me a lot of money, but you saved me from losing about $200.  That's why I come to this blog.

19 May 2012 9:11 PM
Rusty Weisner

bohemia_stable,

Thanks to you, too.  Your comment about Lukas and Optimizer made me look twice at Skyring, who I threw in my Pick 4 and who won at $17.90.

19 May 2012 9:12 PM
Rusty Weisner

Another year, same result.  Lost big on the Derby, hit the Pick 4 (and other bets) at the Preakness and made nothing.  Now the Breeder's Cup, where the last two years I've netted $100 and $50.

I'll be playing Belmont and Saratoga in July, though.  And, of course, the Belmont in three weeks for a little bit of money, just to keep a lively interest in the race.  I loved I'll Have Another.  Now where's Najjaar (ha, ha)?

19 May 2012 9:15 PM
trackjack

Wow! What a gutsy win.

A preliminary 109 beyer for both.  

No excuses for anyone.  Super Mario is cool as a cucumber but it took all he had to get I'll Have Another straightened out in the stretch after the colt kept gawking at the crowd.  When he finally steered IHA over to pick up on Bodemeister, IHA did his thing just like in the Derby.

When asked about the race afterward, I'll Have Another reportedly said in his best Mr. Ed impersonation voice; "Aw shucks, it was nothin'.  It was just like I do in the morning, gallop around and then he asks me to lay it down the last few posts, except there was a lot more folks screamin' n yellin' today.  What's the big deal?"

Congrats to all who won.

2:24: Good day with the double and IHA.

Ted from LA: Did you hit the super?

Jason: It would have been nice to go out a winner but you're always a winner in my book.

19 May 2012 10:10 PM
Rusty Weisner

Ranagulzion,

With that last comment you sound like you-know-who.  DNB was an awful pick in the KD, never mind the Preakness.  Get him back on the turf.

19 May 2012 10:47 PM
Rusty Weisner

I didn't win much money, but it was a great joy for me to be rooting for I'll Have Another today over Bodemeister.  That was the best Preakness I've ever seen, really scintillating.  Saw IHA go a little wide and kind of bobble there at the top of the stretch, and was all the more impressed to see him do whatever it took.  Maybe Bodemeister wins on a kinder track, but, I don't know:  IHA would have just stuck a little closer and passed him anyway.  I wish Bodemeister were in condition to contest the Belmont, because these two are something else.

19 May 2012 11:11 PM
GunBow

Well there can be no doubt now that the strength of the 3 year old male division lies in California.  That was a thorough domination.

It's also clear what the pecking order of these Cali horses is:

#3 Creative Cause

#2 Bodemeister

#1 I'll Have Another

I'll Have Another has defeated Creative Cause their last 3 races and has now beaten Bode twice, once in a fast paced raced and the second when Bode was able to slow things down more.  I'll Have Another is a little kinder and more versatile than Bodemeister, and just simply the better horse.  

But kudos to Bodemiester who absolutely ran HUGE again.  He's a stud; what he's doing with so little foundation is amazing.  And still no bounce.

But I'll Have Another is just looking more and more like a special horse.  He has the tactical speed that allows him to work out good trips, he is able to relax to perfection and wait for Mario's cues, he has the ability to keep plugging away over a distance, and he has the heart and will of a fighter.  He's 4 for 4 this year, all graded stakes wins, with 3 grade 1 wins; he does this last year and it would have already been enough for HoY the way things played out.

20 May 2012 12:20 AM
GunBow

The Derby and Preakness are interesting studies in track profile/bias and pace.

The Churchill surface on Derby day was fast, real fast.  While it would be an exaggeration to label it speed biased, it certainly seemed to advantage speed.  Some tried to dismiss the performances of Bodemeister and the other Californians because of this speed advantage.  

However, whatever advantage Bodemeister and the other speed had in the Derby was nullified by the pace.  I don't care how speed biased a track is, and Churchill wasn't THAT biased, but you're not going to win the Derby or any other grade 1 race at 10 furlongs going 22 and 1, 45 and change, and 109 and change.  So, all those that pointed to the pace and then spoke with amazement that Bodemeister still ran 2nd were correct to praise the horse.  However, Bodemeister's task of hanging after going so fast was certainly made easier by the track profile.

What's interesting is that the combination of the speed friendly surface and brutal pace is that the Derby played fair.  I'll Have Another won stalking, Bode ran 2nd setting the pace, Dullahan ran 3rd from midpack, Went the Day Well closed to 4th from the back of the pack, and Creative Cause ran 5th from midpack.  The race definitely didn't play to speed because the horses closest to Bode early finished at the back of the pack.

The Preakness played out, to a certain extent, opposite to the Derby.  Unlike Churchill, Pimlico had been playing slow and tiring; like Churchill, it wasn't overtly biased and the best horses were able to win most races, but it did seem to advantage rally-wide closers.  But whatever advaantage the closers had from the track profile(and disadvantage for the speed like Bode), it was offset by what turned out to be a moderate pace.  Bode ran like he had in his maiden and Arkansas Derby, not in Kentucky; he went 23 and change, 23 and change, 24(where the others lost contact), 24 and 4, with a final 3/16th in a little over 19.  The end result is that the race was fair and the two best horses dominated.

20 May 2012 12:22 AM
GunBow

Prelim Preakness Beyer = 109.

Bode ran back to his Arkansas Derby, but I'll Have Another was just a little better today.

As for Belmont challengers for I'll Have Another, with all respect to Dullahan and Union Rags, the fastest one might end up being Baffert and Zayat's "other" horse, Paynter.  His 8.5 furlongs time of 142 and 4 was much faster than any other stakes the last 2 days except the Preakness.

20 May 2012 12:23 AM
Ranagulzion

Awesome performance by I'll Have Another in the Preakness ...no surprises there (see my post above 18 May 2012, 1:27PM). This colt is a crackerjack and pays a great compliment to the quality of the crop.

This year the Belmont Stakes promises great things. The winner has got to be a very special one.

Let the build-up begin. It will take a brave punter to oppose IHA now so here's to bravery: It will be Union Rags in a romp, blowing the "Dixie Union stamina limitations myth" to smitherines and breaking the hearts of IHA fans while re-asserting his challenge for championship honors in what should be a vintage year of top quality racing (after last year's mediocrity). Hows that?

20 May 2012 2:41 AM
Bob from Boston

5-7-6-4 super.  9 with the 5-7-6-4 just in case.  Good luck to you Jason.  Did you ever know that you're my hero?

Ted from LA 18 May 2012 3:41 PM

Ted from LA really knows his horses.  You all must go to NY for the Belmont.  When the triple crown is on the line it is the best.

20 May 2012 10:12 AM
Bob from Boston

Belmont trifecta:  Stone Cold

I'll Have Another, Dullahan, Union Rags (Bodemeister 4th if he goes).  You're welcome.  Thank you all for playing along.  Jason, Ted from LA and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your kind words.  It means a lot to us.  We may all be moving to south Florida, but our hearts will always be here.  I am heading over to Steve Haskin's blog.  He is a better writer than Jason, but doesn't work people as well.  Jason, we'll be down soon.  Tell Jaxson he is sleeping on the couch for a few months.  Jason, you looked good on TV yesterday.  Much better than on that low budget TV show you do on here.  Your clothes weren't even that embarrassing.  I sent you an e-mail.  Respond to it or I'll stop posting here. A blee a blee a blee, that's all folks.

20 May 2012 10:41 AM
Rinzler

Ugh. Went the Day Well became the wiseguy horse. Totally ignored at the Derby. Until he made noise. But I am glad I'll Have Another has won the 2nd leg. It makes for a more interesting Belmont.

What happens if it rains like last year? Hmmmmm.....

20 May 2012 2:22 PM
Jason Shandler

I had a great time in Baltimore all weekend. It was a great way to say goodbye to everyone. Pimlico always puts on a good show.

I'll be rooting for I'll Have Another take the TC home. I've really grown to like these connections over the last three weeks. Great to see a trainer really enjoy the moment. Dennis O'Neill is a super guy as well, and Mr. Reddam is a classy guy. The jock seems like a good kid.

For my magazine story I wrote about the farm that foaled and raised IHA, Brookdale. Fred Seitz and his two sons are all solid guys. Good to see them do this well at a relatively small operation.

Truly enjoyed my final weekend. Got to hang out with Lava Man and IHA at the post-race party. I'll be posting comments on this blog until Tuesday night. Thanks everyone.

20 May 2012 6:44 PM
GunBow

Jason:

Sounds like you had an awesome Saturday night.

I second what you said about the connections of I'll Have Another.  

Reddam bused  employees and guests of his Cash Call company on private party buses to Santa Anita for SA Derby day.  I have a friend working at Cash Call and was able to go.  The buses were stocked with liquor, all free, and when we got to Santa Anita we were given a $25 voucher to bet or cah in, as well as wristbamds for more drinks and food.  Then, we got to go into the winner circle when I'll Have Another won.  

I know Doug O'Neil has had some history with violations, but he's a cool, easy-going dude and fun to hang out with.  When Santa Anita held a party in the paddock after the final race on the meet's final day, O'Neil was out amongst the public, sippin on some drinks, talking with any person who came up to him(including me and my friend), posing for pictures, the whole works.  

It's great to see Lava Man getting attention again.  Out here in California, he was 2nd in popularity to only Zenyatta the past decade.  And not to downplay the big girl's accomplishments, but Lava Man won big unrestricted race after unrestricted race- 3 Hollywood Gold Cups, 2 Big Caps, a Pacific Classic, a Goodwood, a Whittingham on turf, as well as the restricted Sunshine Millions Classic and Turf.  He was the richest claim in history, and won grade 1s on dirt, turf, and synth.

Lava Man just couldn't ship, so others around the country never got to see Lava Man at his best.  And given how pumped Lava Man has looked on the track with I'll Have Another, I can see why he didn't ship well; he probably got so keyed up he left his race on the plane.

I'll Have Another, on the other hand, is as cool as a horse could be.  He's such a mentally solid horse, does whatever is asked of him, never seems to get upset, and has alot of heart.

Completing the Triple Crown will not be easy.  First, I'll Have Another must stay healthy and make it into the Belmont starting gate.  After that, there are dozens of variables.  But I'll Have Another is most certainly a deserving Triple Crown candidate, and he has many of the tools shared by the legends of the past.  

20 May 2012 8:24 PM
Racingfan

WOW what a race!  I was worried nobody was gonna catch Bode after those fractions but I'll Have Another showed his stuff! I am still predicting a triple crown.  My picks made up the trifecta - which I posted before the race.  What tri did you hit Dray?  Couldn't have been the Preakness since you didn't like Bode....

20 May 2012 9:19 PM
JayJay

2:24 :  Nice job on hitting the Preakness double as well as having picked IHA to win easily.  You called it, he did win easily! You were the quiet one that picked IHA on the first two jewels, if he wins the Belmont, you can celebrate having picked the TC winner and HOTY, one race at a time.

Ranagulzion :  Sigh... that's not bravery at all.  UR's trainer will ruin this horse.  He's not Barbaro, not even close.  I don't know what else UR has to do to show his trainer that he can't get the distance.  A very very minute "trouble" in the Derby is his reason for putting UR in the 12F race.  Matz wants to redeem himself, why ?  I don't know.  I think Matz and you and Draynay are the only ones left that still believes UR can get the distance.  If UR was competivite at all in his last 2 races, then maybe it's justfiied to run him in the Belmont but it was pretty obvious that he's not going to get the distance.  Put the horse in the Met Mile, less weight and shorter distance will give a much better chance at winning.

BUT... go ahead and bet big on him in the Belmont :)

I don't know if IHA will win the TC, I sure hope that they do, all of them are very deserving of this win.  The owner for taking care of his crew, the trainer for staying true to his ways and the jockey, hard working and really knows this horse well.  Last but not the least, IHA, this horse still doesn't get the respect and probably will go off as 2nd choice to UR in the Belmont which is great.  I hope he wins easily.  Have to see who's going to rabbit for him in the Belmont.

Jason : You lucky buggah, you got to hang out at the after party !  What did you think of Doug O'Neill, is he the down-to-earth type ?  Also, what happens after Tuesday night ?  Will this blog cease to exist ?

21 May 2012 1:40 AM
Ranagulzion

Gun Bow,

Your post race analyses of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness performances in relation to track conditions are first class. Very insightful. Kudos to you Pal.

Now unto the build-up for the Belmont Stakles.

I have to say that I'll Have Another IS the centre of the North American Thoroughbred universe right now. Everything revolves around him. Consequently, this Belmont Stakes will be the most significant race of the year and one that will be worth going miles to witness, for the following reasons:

1) If I'll Have Another wins the Triple Crown, breaking the 34 years old drought, he essentially locks up 3YO championship honours and Horse of the Year 2012. If he can do it he'll be worthy of the immortal honour IMO.

2) If he loses but finishes in the frame, it will take a "Holy Bull-like" 3YO season by one of his rivals to dislodge his championship grip on the 3YO season and a "Ghostzapper-like" older-horse season from the 4YO and upwards group to topple his HOTY bid.

3) No 3YO that has been beaten at least twice by IHA and skips the Belmont has any shot at eclipsing his championship bid. Therefore Bodemeister's 3YO championship bid is doomed unless Bob Baffert and the owner Zyatt have a change of heart.

4) Oh the Belmont challengers, Union Rags and Dullahan are the most formidable both in terms of their class and ability, as well as their potential as the only rivals of IHA capable of upsetting his championship season. Evidently both will have to run the race of their lives to re-enter the championship fray and I believe that their respective connections are aware of this fact.

I foresee a Belmont to remember. It will be interesting to see which jockey Michael Matz asks to partner Union Rags. I wished that Edgar Prado had been given the mount back in Florida after Castellano deserted him but hindsight is 20/20 vision. Prado, having broken the hearts of Smarty Jones fans on Birdstone back in 2004 might relish the assignment once more, however I wouldn't argue with Matz giving either Castellano or Leparoux a second chance at redemption, since forgiveness is always a good thing.

Kent Desormeaux will also be the recepient of grace it seems, to retain the mount on Dullahan after his drinking infractions.

Dullahan already has a grade one victory under his belt this season and is capable of big performances on all surfaces, therefore he has the credentials to really challenge IHA for championship honours if he can win the Belmont Stakes. Personally I dont like that the dosage index of his pedigree is 4.0+ (not bred to get the distance).

The last two furlongs of a truly run 12 furlongs Belmont Stakes will expose chincks in the armour of a good ten furlongs horse as happened to Sunday Silence, Smarty Jones, Real Quiet and Silver Charm. This year's renewal promises to be one of the great Belmont Stakes, test of champions and I believe that the winner will have the likliest shot at being champion at the end of the season (assuming health and soundness, of course).

My well reasoned fancy for Union Rags is well documented on here. I still believe that potentially he's top of the crop. If he fails in the Belmont I'll admit to being wrong about him but so far his his excuses are legitimate and his fortune should change around those sweeping turns of "big sandy" in New York. I also look forward to the shattering of the stamina-limitation myths that have been dogging him and his deceased sire Dixie Union.

As the late Marvin Gaye sang "Lets get it on."    

21 May 2012 2:21 AM
Point Given

Rangulzion

You are running out of horses just to defeat the Cali based horses for the TC.My suggestion is to add Lava Man to your list.

21 May 2012 2:22 AM
GunBow

Ranagulzion:

Assuming I'll Have Another makes it to the Belmont Stakes healthy and runs his race, and I acknowledge this is an assumption, but if he does it will take a special effort to beat him.  Does Union Rags or anyone else have the capacity to do so?  Maybe, but they will have to run much faster than they have ever run to do so. If one of these challengers is able to win the Belmont, fair and square, I will simply tip my cap to him and look forward to what should be an exciting 2nd half of the year.

21 May 2012 6:03 AM
Rusty Weisner

Union Rags is no Empire Maker.  

I might be betting against Dullahan here, but not I'll Have Another; everyone expects to make up more ground with added distance.  I think Mark Valeski helps I'll Have another here, while posing no real threat.

21 May 2012 8:30 AM
Rusty Weisner

GunBow,

I actually changed my bets based on your description of Friday's races and the surface.  I couldn't play the whole card and had to make my bets five hours before post (I wanted to have a lively betting interest on the line while watching the race), so that was a big help.  So now you know you're not a voice crying in the wilderness.

21 May 2012 8:40 AM
Rusty Weisner

Bodemeister is an obvious candidate for the Haskell, but he is not distance-challenged.  If rested, and in the absence of IHA, he would easily win the Belmont.

21 May 2012 8:42 AM
Rusty Weisner

I have to look into it, but if Paynter is pedigreed for it, I like someone like him, too, underneath.  I think Dullahan will be an underlay because of some fallacies.  UR and his trainer not not only have emotional problems and bad karma right now, but his pedigree was already suspect for the Derby.

21 May 2012 8:48 AM
Union Buster

The $5 super on the Preakness went so well with the $10 tri I hit on the Black Eyed Susan. Just over

$3100. Thanks to all the draynay's who bet on the losers, you made my payouts higher.

The ultimate sucker bet for the Belmont will be union on the rags. He just hasn't gotten any better from 2 to 3 and has too far to go in three weeks to catch up to those who have. He will not win. Please bet him though, I love taking your money.

21 May 2012 9:35 AM
Weekend

Jason, it has been fun. The blog was always something I looked forward to, and I will miss it. Good luck with the future business. I know you and the business will do well. Next time I am in South Florida, I will hit you up for a Mojito and a Cuban Sandwich!!

On a racing note, what a stretch duel. Bode is a tough horse, but IHA is a monster. He has the pedigree and running style to be a factor in the Belmont, with his main competition being Rags and Dullahan, and Dullahan just got a new rider. This will be an exciting 3 weeks. I hope Mario gets some races in at Big Sandy to get used to the stretch so he does not pull a Stewart Elliott!!

21 May 2012 11:43 AM
ksweatman9

I can't believe Bode isn't going to go to Belmont. Guess Baffert isn't a good sport afterall. We could've had a one-two punch like Alyder and Affirmed for all 3 legs of the triple crown. Either Bodemeister's connections are unsure if the colt can get the long haul or they feel like I do, that being, Bode is pushing IHA into the winner's circle. He's got the right style and sets the pace for IHA to move in for the kill. They seem to have a chemistry much like Alydar and Affirmed had. I read somewhere that when Affirmed would go to Calumet, Alydar would act up. He knew he was there and didn't like it. Alydar was sharp, many loved him, and no one thought of him as a second rate horse. Alydar was second to none in my book. Perhaps Bodemeister wouldn't have been victorious at Belmont, but then again, we'll never know, will we? I'm very disappointed that the great rivalry has ended. It was a beautiful thing to watch, very sad.

21 May 2012 11:54 AM
Slew

GunBow: The best part of watching I'll Have Another win again, is being able to see more and more of Lava Man pretending to be a lead pony!  Ain't it grand?

21 May 2012 12:14 PM
Jason Shandler

Jayjay: Doug really couldn't be any more down to earth. He enjoys his cocktails and enjoys people. He's a fun guy.

I believe this blog will continue under a new writer's directions, so don't fear people, you will still have a place to come to handicap, vent, fight, and crack jokes. Of course, you won't have me to stoke the fire :)

21 May 2012 12:44 PM
Karen in Texas

Ranagul----Another site is reporting Castellano will be on Dullahan for the Belmont. Apparently KD is not keeping the mount.

21 May 2012 1:25 PM
2:24

jayjay - thanks for the props.  I have to celebrate my wins where I can get them and I'll Have Another just paid for a condo on the beach for a week.

I like IHA's chances in the Belmont.  The biggest reason is the horse's demeanor and what I perceive to be the horse's intelligence.  This horse is much more suited to win the Belmont than other recent Derby/Preakness winners.

Jason - I have enjoyed the blog immensely.  Please keep in touch via Twitter and please let me know if/when you make it to the Tampa Bay area for some racing at the Downs.  Good luck on your future endeavors.

21 May 2012 1:32 PM
2:24

I also love seeing Lava Man with IHA.  What a great story.

21 May 2012 1:33 PM
Rusty Weisner

Mark Valeski is doubtful for the Belmont.  I like it that this trainer works within his horse's limitations.

21 May 2012 1:42 PM
Footlick

Bode has run alot in a short amount of time.  I'd rather see him healthy.  I always remember Majestic Prince being a shadow of himself struggling in the Belmont.  His trainer told the owner no, do not run. The owner decided to "be a sport".  The horse never ran again.

21 May 2012 1:50 PM
JayJay

Jason: That's great to hear about Doug, I kinda thought he was based on what I've seen on TV.  He just seems like the guy that works hard and enjoys his job and then got a great horse like IHA and not hiding his enthusiasm for what he and his team has accomplished so far.  It's great to hear (or read) that he's down-to-earth, guys like that deserves success.

ksweatman9 : I think Bob knows when he's facing a monster and he tried..twice.  He tried stealing the race and almost did, he then tried slowing it down and still couldn't beat IHA.  There's nothing else Bode can do against IHA, he's not a rateable horse.  I think Bob did the right thing by Bode, while it is sad to see the rivalry end, it was the right thing to do.  Bode will win a lot of races.  I'm hoping to see Bode win the Haskell and the Woodward.  Between Bode and IHA, I don't see any other horse competing for the championship unless Gemologist comes back healthy and races again.  I would love to see an IHA and Frankel matchup in the BC Classic which could start a rivalry of UK vs US horses next year!!

21 May 2012 2:22 PM
Draynay

I will be betting so much on Union Rags that if he were to somehow lose I would have to move in with Jason.  Bode is distance challenged and he has proven twice.  He is a 1 1/8th horse end of story.  Union loves Belmont and cannot be beat there.  Union will dominate and expose IHA.  If you wonder why Union is going off as the favorite, you should know it's because of my bet on Union to win.  I am the best for a reason !

21 May 2012 2:47 PM
Paula Higgins

Dear Jason,

I am at laguardia airport in new York. I have been at an antique purse society meeting.  I just want to say one more time how much I am going to miss you. You have been a blast to argue with. You better join the new blog(please). On another note, I am so excited about I'll have another. With any luck we will have a triple crown winner. Iam typing this on an iPad that delta provides so my letters aren't capitalized and my punctuation is atrocious. Plus I have had a glass of wine(i am a cheap date). So you can stiil stoke the fire as a fellow blogger. One of the men who came with his wife to tha antique purse society was talking about the Preakness. So I joined in and I thoug the guy's teeth were going to fall out. I kind of knew what I was talking about thanks to you and all the people who blog. Good luck and all the best jason

21 May 2012 3:50 PM
Carlos in Cali

Though your handicapping was HORRENDOUS to say the least,the blogs were fun to read.. most of the time.

So,as you begin a new chapter in your life and we all wish you the best,let me quote something from the immortal Michael Jackson: "Beat It! LOL.Good Luck.

21 May 2012 4:29 PM
Ted from LA

Jayjay: Doug really couldn't be any more down to earth. He enjoys his cocktails and enjoys people. He's a fun guy.

Jason Shandler 21 May 2012 12:44 PM

I have a friend who thinks he's a mushroom.  He's a fungi too.

21 May 2012 4:59 PM
Weekend

or if you are like me, you prefer the weird al version, "Eat it". I also fancy "Rice Rice Baby"

"Alright stop, grab a table and a menu"

21 May 2012 5:05 PM
Rusty Weisner

Draynay,

That is a perfect inversion of logic.  

Bodemeister just beat Creative Cause and the rest of the field (along with other fashionable also-ran DNB).  Creative Cause beat UR in the Derby, with no less of a bad trip.  That's just to take one piece of evidence.

It's worth responding to this, though, just to address a couple of common fallacies, a sucker's fallacy:  UR was sort of catching up in the Derby so he'll "relish" the 1 1/2 miles.  The other, subtler, fallacy, is that if horses like CC or UR just get a good "trip" the next time they'll win.  Horses like this often lack athleticism or have physical problems (going really wide, for example), or even mental ones.  IHA will never get into this kind of bad situation.  Neither will Bodemeister, for that matter, because he'll always be out of a lead.  

21 May 2012 5:19 PM
mz

I was at the cottage all weekend (for the Victoria Day holiday) and I only got to see the race after the fact on my IPad -- thankgawd I didn't have to try and see it on my phone!

Anyways, I finally watched the telecast today and wow!  It looks like Lava Man thought HE was in the race.  Did you notice that in the post parade, he needed his own lead pony?  Go Lava Man!  Go I'll Have Another.  Too bad we won't have another Affirmed/Alydar Triple Crown though.

Jeez Jason, aren't you going to miss this?

21 May 2012 5:28 PM
predict

draynay

The only thing I want to see more than a triple crown winner is the look on your face when Union Rags fails to deliver on your bet. Union Rags will fold like a piece of parchment at a Japanese origami party. They will probably have to delay the race after the Belmont, just to allow him to finish. I have a friend named Louie who I could send your way in case you want to borrow some extra money to put on Rags, he's an old family acquaintance who never fails to collect on a debt, goes by the neighborhood name of Louie the Leg. Of course you wouldn't have anthing to worry about since your so sure Rags is going to win. Don't you just love the Belmont? I bet Kent would love to have a drink with you after the race, as long as you're buying. Good luck my fellow blogger, for you truly are the best piece of work I could ever imagine.

21 May 2012 5:34 PM
Footlick

I just read that Bodemeister is distance challenged and that he is not a rateable horse.  Do any of you realize that without IHA, Bodemeister would have won 2/3rds of the TC?  He doesn't rate because he is a free running horse and the key is to get him to relax on the lead and in his zone.  I agree he is not as good as Spend a Buck, another free running horse, but he is the same type of horse.  They tried once to rate Spend a Buck (his first race back as a three yr old, I think) and he didn't run well.  From that race on they let him run his own race and set whatever pace he wanted to set.  Bodemeister's Preakness was a huge race coming off his Derby.  IHA is running huge races also.  He has to if he is going to beat Bodemeister.  It really blows my mind sometimes.  No wonder I concentrate on Euro racing.

Jason- I second Paula's sentiments.  It will be strange without you heading up this blog.  

21 May 2012 6:13 PM
Footlick

Ted from LA- I have lots of friends like that from the 60's

21 May 2012 6:15 PM
Footlick

Ranagulzion- glad you are back.

21 May 2012 6:16 PM
Householder

Draynay I have done nothing but listen to your wisdom and now I live in a van down by the river.  

I hit the Super

1).  I'll Have Another

2).  Bodemeister

3).  Creative Cause

4).  Lava Man

I thought is was great that the Cali contingent ran 1,2,3,4!  Should make for a great Breeder's Cup.  I'll Have Another vs. a sub 2:00 Game on Dude over the Santa Anita course. Throw in others who like the track like The Factor.

"Denial" stories of the Triple Crown so far.

(1).  The rider caused Union Rags to lose the Derby as asserted by the owner.

(2).  Creative Cause allowed I'll Have Another's win in the Preakness by being used up too soon as asserted by the trainer.  

(3).  Bodemeister ran a better race than I'll Have Another in the Derby as asserted by Beyer, who by the way got beat yet again by the SAME horse.  

People we should have listened to.

Jason.  He nailed the RB Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita as the best Kentucky Derby prep race on a 43-1 long shot.  

21 May 2012 7:05 PM
Ranagulzion

Karen in Texas,

Thanks for the heads up on Castellano and Dullahan. The Belmont is going to be a very tactical race in which jockeyship will be very important.

Union Rags is certainly not a boy's ride therefore I wish to see the seasoned veteran Edgar Prado who also knows "big sandy" like the back of his hand, get the mount. Otherwise there are other strong and intelligent jocks like Johnny V, Rajiv Maragh and Fernando Jara that would not be overawed by the big occassion that this year's Belmont is going to be.

A very fascinating three weeks lies ahead. Enjoy, dear Karen.

21 May 2012 7:05 PM
Householder

Bode did not run as a two year old which means his legs are pretty weary right about now.  The Belmont would be shear disaster.  I would have like to have seen him skip the Preakness for the Belmont based on his pedigree but it now looks like he is only good up to about 1 1/8th.  Baffert certainly asserts that Bode needs to run.  He may try the classic but CC has beat him at shorter and IHA at

1 1/4 so his options would be pretty limited to the mile as I don't think he runs against The Factor.

21 May 2012 7:10 PM
Householder

The Trifecta still managed to pay $35 or so.  Not bad considering ALL came out of the Derby and they were the only horses with a Grade 1 win.  3-4 had only Maiden wins to their credit and come on Lukas...now your starting to look like Muhammed Alli coming back from retirement to fight one more time in Vegas.  It's sad.  

Since I hit the Tri, I can buy 4 gallons of gas and at least start my van down by the river for some heat.  

21 May 2012 7:19 PM
Rusty Weisner

Householder,

This idea that Bodemeister, introduced on this thread by Draynay, is crazy.  He beat Creative Cause and the rest of the field by nine lengths in the Preakness.  He's not Shackleford; he has a distance pedigree.  I hope everyone thinks this way about him and that he gets into a race without IHA some time later in the year so I can bet him.  IHA is a superior horse and he's the only one who can beat him, this time by a neck on a deep and tiring track.

21 May 2012 9:15 PM
Draynay

For my last post I just want to say it's been a real pleasure being smarter than the rest of you.  The only thing that has been tough is to read many of your posts and pretend to care.  Nearly all the time I was right and most of the time all of you were wrong.  My final thoughts are simple.  Union wins Belmont because he loves Belmont and Nehro pulls off the upset in the Breeders Cup over Wise Dan.  It's been great Jason your blog has been the best.  Good bye to all and good night, parting is such sweet sorrow.

21 May 2012 9:28 PM
Ted from LA

"Union Rags will fold like a piece of parchment at a Japanese origami party."  Predict, May 21, 2012.

I haven't banned anyone from this blog in a long time...

21 May 2012 10:20 PM
Ranagulzion

Footlick,

Glad you're glad I'm back (LOL).

Its impossible to lay low with so much pulsating action going on in this year's Triple Crown races.

Both I'll Have Another and Bodemeister are superstars but they aren't the only ones in this crop of 3YOs.

I would really like to be quiet until after the Belmont Stakes but can't as I envision the possible outcomes of what promises to be the most anticipated Belmont Stakes since Birdstone with Edgar Prado on board broke the hearts of Smarty Jones' fans which included yours truly back in 2004. This time around I wish for Michael Matz to secure the service of the wily veteran jock to give us an encore heartbreaker-Belmont ride on Union Rags (sparing my heart this time around). What do you think? Edgar Prado again?

This will be the defining race of the year. Either I'll Have Another locks up the championship honours and HOTY with an monumental victory or Union Rags or Dullahan, say "not so fast my friend!" and break open the championship race for the second half of the season. I respect the Californian IHA greatly and will become an adoring fan, should he get the job done BUT I'm yet to be convinced that U/Rags isn't the real head oncho of this crop. This Belmont stakes will settle the question once and for all and confirm who knows what they are talking about with respect to assessment of Union Rags pedigree, in terms of stamina. It will be a set-up or get-up result, or if you prefer, put-up or shut-up. I'll shut up if U/Rags loses. Oh so exciting. This is thoroughbred racing at its best. Don't you think?  

21 May 2012 10:31 PM
rorschach1992

Sounds like it was a terrific day at Pimlico. Very exciting Preakness, especially the finish, and thrilled to see a Triple Crown is possible, first time in four years. The way I'll Have Another is reported as acting seems like he'll be a handful for his opponents in the Belmont. I think he stands a terrific chance. Great final entry to read, although I think Draynay's comments just became flat out sad 20 or so blogs ago, I'll never forget his claim that Uncle Mo would win the BC Classic by 5 lengths, I haven't laughed that hard since. Again thanks for the great work and best of luck Mr. Shandler.

21 May 2012 11:10 PM
Footlick

Thanks Rusty.  Suddenly there is this anti-Bodemeister sentiment on here.  I don't know why.  The horse ran better than all horses except for one.  I'm glad someone else noticed the distance between Bodemeister and the third place horse in the Preakness.  

21 May 2012 11:16 PM
trackjack

Jason,

Thanks, for the memories. What a way to go out partying with team O'Neill after the Preakness and buddying up to Lava Man and the next Triple Crown Winner.  Memories that will last a lifetime.  Good Luck in all you do!

The Preakness has to be the Race of the Year.  The only race that could top it would be a dominating win by I'll Have Another in the Belmont.

We have tickets in section 3U for the Belmont.  I got caught up in the Smarty Party hype in '04 but that experience standing at the rail at the 1/16th pole watching Edgar Prado on Birdstone catch Smarty has tempered me a bit.  I'll Have Another is much more suited to win this than Smarty was.  Of course anything can happen such as a muddy/sloppy track.  But if it's dry, the only thing that could affect I'll Have Another will be the other jocks.   Mario is well aware of those antics and will be ready and this horse will not be intimidated.

I thought Derby Fever was bad but this Belmont/Triple Crown Fever may require a new prescription.  Yes, Ranagulzion, this is thoroughbred racing at its best.  

21 May 2012 11:40 PM
GunBow

Ranagulzion:

You do know that even should Union Rags win the Belmont he will still be way behind I'll Have Another for the 3 year old championship.  Not only has I'll Have Another won the first 2 legs of the Crown, he won the gr.1 SA Derby and gr.2 Lewis.  That's 3 grade 1s and a grade 2 compared to Union Rags' one grade 2.  To win the Eclipse, Union Rags will have to do exactly what you mentioned earlier, win the Belmont, win the Travers, and then win the BC Classic.

Since Affirmed in 78', all 11 of the horses that won the Derby and Preakness(but then failed in the Belmont) ended up winning the Eclipse.

22 May 2012 2:02 AM
GunBow

I agree with Rusty completely that Bodemeister can be successful beyond 9 furlongs.  In my book, he HAS already been successful; his Derby and Preakness efforts were huge, all from a horse that didn't break his maiden until February.  Bodemeister is a very, very good horse.  He's run Beyers of 109, 108, 101, 101, and 99 in his 6 race career.  

22 May 2012 2:06 AM
GunBow

For those lamenting Bodemeister's absence from the Belmont, Baffert and Zayat will be represented by Paynter in the race.

I'm not sure Paynter has the foundation, class, or mindset(evidently he'a kind of a basketcase) to win the Belmont, but he very easily could be the 3rd most brilliant horse in this crop, already.

Clearly Baffert has thought highly of Paynter because he ran him in the SA Derby off just one 5.5 furlong race.  Paynter ran a decent 4th in the SA Derby, then shipped to Churchill and ran well over a muddy track when 2nd in the Derby Trial with a 100+ Beyer.  On the Preakness undercard, Paynter beat up on questionable competition, but he did it in style, winning off by himself in a fast time that earned a 106 Beyer. 106 in his 4th career race, and 2 figs of 100+ in his last 2 races!  He's not a huge horse, but his pedigree suggest he has a shot at 12 furlongs.

With the strength of the division so clearly in California, I certainly wouldn't be shocked if Paynter ends up being every bit the Belmont threat to I'll Have Another as Union Rags and Dullahan.

22 May 2012 2:13 AM
JayJay

Footlick :  That's exactly my point about Bodemeister, I think that Bob knows there's no way he can rate Bode against IHA and win.  The only way he can beat IHA, he already tried, twice.  I think he will win his races if IHA is not in it.  I think IHA will target the Travers, the JCGC and finally the Classic.  I would like to see Bode win the Haskell, the Woodward and then try IHA again in the Classic.  If Frankel flies over and joins the party, I might just pass out from excitement.. watching those 3 in the Classic will almost be better than sex.  A UR, Hansen and Trinniberg match up in the BC Mile would be a nice one to watch.  UR might actually be a good price if that happens.

Funniest blog of ALL time:  "Union wins Belmont because he loves Belmont and Nehro pulls off the upset in the Breeders Cup over Wise Dan."  HAHAHA

Jason : Now I really really hope your business takes off, you'll have Draynay moving in with you.  Look at the bright side, at least he already tipped you off way before you moved.  Just post here if you need the bloggers to chip in to buy a storage shack for him.  I'm sure the bloggers wouldn't mind.  You have to buy the leash though.

Ranagulzion : Are you still thinking that UR has a chance for a championship season ?  If Dullahan wins the Belmont, then maybe the championship isn't a lock for IHA as Dullahan won the G1 Bluegrass but UR ??  He's only got a G2 win this year and finished 3rd behind Reveron and TCI... how would you map his 2nd half to win the Championship?  The only way UR wins the Championship is to win the Travers, Woodward or JCGC and the Classic, and would also mean that IHA never wins a race again after the Belmont.  I just don't see it but who knows, maybe he's a late bloomer.

2:24 : Damn, that's harsh... a condo on the beach.  I don't know how you can survive living there for a week lol.  I'm taking my kid to the Big Island in July then I'm going on my own to Del Mar for a week after.  My daughter drives a hard bargain.  I can't go on vacation unless she gets hers lol.

Draynay / KY Vet : Added 3 new photos from May 18th - had the tri in the Pimlico Special, plus a couple of races (Churchill and Calder).  Got me some of my Derby money back.

www.facebook.com/.../set

PLEASE PLEASE bet big on UR in the Belmont! LOL

22 May 2012 5:26 AM
steve from st louis

After reading Draynay's BS on this site for years and then checking out his living on a shoestring website where he says he picked I'll Have Another to win the Derby (when there was absolutely no prior evidence of that anywhere), I've come to the conclusion that this poster or poser--man, woman or child-- actually believes what it posts to be fact. Just back away from it and no one will get hurt. That's it, retreat to your little cave with your Rookie of the Year trophy, your Mensa certification and your hordes of losing tickets and no one will chase after you. Promise.

Jason on the other hand, will be hunted out on South Beach until he surfaces. People want to know what will happen to Shandler; Draynay not at all.

22 May 2012 10:10 AM
Draynay

Hey Jason, did you notice Bode and The State Restricted Poly Champion have something in common.  Neither one can beat males on dirt over 1 1/8th.

22 May 2012 10:58 AM
MonicaV

We are all going to witness I'll Have Another becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner.

22 May 2012 11:18 AM
Rusty Weisner

Footlick,

It's bizarre.  Not referring to Householder (whose comments I've found instructive), but it's strange to me that people claim these strange loyalties/antipathies to horses.  I thought bettors were supposed to be coldblooded (maybe not all of them are betting?).  I loved Bodemeister after the Arkansas Derby, bet him very modestly in the Derby with reservations, was excited at the prospect of betting him in the Preakness, then was convincingly warned off him (by a commenter here) and bet IHA instead.  You're supposed to be able to change your mind in the face of new facts when you do this, and some of the serious people here do great analysis and number-crunching that has really helped me in spots over the past couple seasons.  

A last comment about Bodemeister:  he wasn't a tiring horse -- he made a winning move in the Preakness at the top of the stretch!  He "got away", per Rodman's call.  It was a phenomenal effort on IHA's part.  It was even harder for me to believe watching the replay.

I don't know anything about pedigree, by the way.  In the absence of race evidence, my analysis consists of given a thumbs up if there's a consensus about the pedigree and a thumbs down if there's dispute (as with UR).  I'm eager to know about Paynter -- solely based on the fact that he exits the SA Derby he's bettable, and his last out served as a nice workout.  As I mentioned about, I think Dullahan will be an underlay because of misconceptions about the Belmont, while Optimizer and Alpha are more playable than UR, as far as I'm concerned.

22 May 2012 12:00 PM
draynot

How many times are you going to say "for my last post" draynay? You are like a mosquito who won't go away, bzzzzz, bzzzzz, bzzzzz.  Will somebody hand me a can of Deep Woods Off?

22 May 2012 12:02 PM
gw bushwacker

I'll Have Another is going to win the Triple Crown. Take it to the bank. Union Rags will make like Big Brown and be nowhere to be seen when IHA crosses the finish line. Dullahan will run on for the place.

22 May 2012 12:06 PM
Rusty Weisner

Jason,

Obligatory fond farewells from me, too.  Thanks for the space and for collecting a (pretty) good set of handicappers.

If I have one quibble with you it's that you betrayed an East Coast bias, and this was a bad year for that.

Good luck!

22 May 2012 12:12 PM
Rusty Weisner

JayJay:

Baffert quote:  "I've Had Enough."

22 May 2012 12:29 PM
Footlick

JayJay- Bodemeister is still immature, having broken his maiden this year.  Let's wait until the end of the year.  If he matures and improves at all, he could be formidable.  People act like this horse cannot improve and I feel he can.  But we all have opinions.

22 May 2012 12:56 PM
Jason Shandler

I have no east coast bias. I was not fond of one horse's connections; that doesn't make me biased. If you knew me, you'd know I love California and actually distance myself from the northeast whenever possible. I have lived all over the country and prefer the west and south much more. California racing, in some respects, has had an inferior product over the past few years, but racing goes in cycles and this year's Triple Crown has certainly given it a boost. I have nothing but fondness for the west coast, and Santa Anita especially.

22 May 2012 1:05 PM
Ranagulzion

Gun Bow,

Lets take it one race at a time. If Union Rags wins the Belmont, defeating I'll Have Another it will become easier for you to see him challenging strongly for championship honours in the Travers etc. Certainly, the Jockey Club Gold Cup, again at Belmont Park against older horses would see him well on his way but lets not get ahead of ourselves. This build up to the Belmont is enough right now Bro.

22 May 2012 1:06 PM
Rusty Weisner

Jason,

Forgot the emoticon ;-)

22 May 2012 1:15 PM
Ranagulzion

gw bushwacker,

Union Rags season is only just getting started in the Belmont. He only ran a couple of furlongs in his last two races so beware and speak easy.

22 May 2012 1:30 PM
mz

Jason: you can always come to Toronto.....until the slots money goes.

Damn

22 May 2012 1:31 PM
Ranagulzion

Jason,

Although today is your last day I hope that this blog will linger on the website for awhile. Lively exchanges are on here to enjoy. Please comment on this.

22 May 2012 1:32 PM
plodderman

I got to tell you, Draynay. You are the WORST handioapper I've ever seen. Not only did i cruch IHA in the Preakness, i will crush Bodemeister in the Belmont. Your OVERRATED Union Rags won't even finish in the top 5. no check for Union Rags unless tyhey pay checks for everyone who finishes. Yes, GOODBYE to you. You pretty much hounded everyone here except me, who you know too well and absolutely know that I am the best handicapper you've ever seen. Time and time and time and time I out wit your picks. Bode in a gallop at 1 1/2 miles. But alas, you wouldn't understand because "WHO BEAT WHO" never worked as a handicapping tool and never will. Again, I thank you all for supporting my way of life. Bet heavy everyone, as i LOVE getting your 18% of the pools.

22 May 2012 1:45 PM
Footlick

Jason- Good luck again and best wishes, since this is the last day for you, I believe.  We can't say enough about how much you will be missed.  Best of luck for you and your family in all that you do.  Thanks again!

22 May 2012 1:54 PM
Jason Shandler

Thanks again my fellow loyal bloggers and friends. I will miss you guys. All the kind words you've written over the last week are very much appreciated; you are the ones that made this blog what it was. It's been a fun 4 1/2 years.

I'm pretty sure this blog post will linger for a few days and then it will be taken over by another writer after that. I'll try to post your comments at least through tonight, but I'll make this my final comment. I'm wrapping things up at the office very soon.

I wish everyone all the best and I hope you guys enjoy the three weeks of Triple Crown mania. I'll be rooting for I'll Have Another. I won't offer a prediction on who will win the race, but I'll be hoping for the best.

Feel free to keep in touch anytime, especially if you find yourself in South Florida. My personal email is j_shandler@yahoo.com.

All the best,

Jason

22 May 2012 2:14 PM
Rusty Weisner

I think Alpha might finally be useful here, and will be a good price.  He had an excuse for not running better in the Derby.  Optimizer has been ill-used over a long campaign and I'll toss him.  Not Rousing Sermon, either; I much prefer Alpha.  I think I'll probably end up with these these four:  IHA to win, with Alpha, Dullahan, Paynter preferred underneath in trifectas.  I'll be happy to take a brilliant newcomer like Paynter over a hexed horse like UR.  I will pick IHA in multirace bets, but also hedge against him on a couple tickets if I can find singles elsewhere.  Are we almost there yet?

By the way, where's Coldfacts when you need him?  

22 May 2012 2:28 PM
JayJay

Thanks again Jason, enjoy the trip to your new home, be safe with the family and good luck again on your new venture.  Adios...

22 May 2012 2:31 PM
LAZMANICK

Thanks Jason.  All the best to you and your family and I hope that we see you show up as a blogger.  

22 May 2012 3:05 PM
JayJay

Footlick : You're right, I totally forgot that he never ran as a 2 yr old.   Now it even makes more sense to skip the Belmont.  I have a feeling Baffert might try the Met Mile.

Rusty : Yep, read that about Baffert when asked about the Belmont for Bode and that's why I responded to ksweatman9 about it.  I wasn't on the Bode wagon prior to the Derby but that horse really impressed me with his Derby run.  In this day and age, to see a horse go that fast and still hang on for 2nd is amazing to me.  I've been a long time Baffert fan as well, I think it's the white hair, not sure but even more after he took on Martin Garcia and they just started winning pretty much everything together and still do.  I'm going to follow Bode's races the rest of the year.

As Jason would say, for the Belmont Stakes...

"Who do you like?"

22 May 2012 4:04 PM
Stevebiscuit

Correct me if I'm wrong Draynay, but didn't your two favorites, Uncle Mo and Union Rags, never beat males beyond a mile and a sixteenth? Get a clue.

22 May 2012 6:46 PM
Linda in Texas

Jason, it is the 22nd of May. Florida is on your mind!  

Be well, live long, love hard and make a pot full of money! Then come back and show us all how you did it:) (made a pot full of money)

Happy Trails To You and your beautiful family.

Linda

22 May 2012 7:35 PM
Householder

Call it like it is.  I saw Bodemeister break his maiden.  The even splits were freaky.  However, since that time he has managed only one additional win over a hoplessly over matched Arkansas group.

He has been beaten by both IHA and CC.  

In the meantime, IHA was rested 5 out of 7 months between the NY mud fest in September and the April 7th Santa Anita Derby.  He just won his third straight Grade 1 race.  He is certainly much fresher than Bodemeister and thank goodness that Baffert has nothing more to prove by running him into the ground.

It's time for people like Beyer to admit that the Preakness proved that the Derby had more to do with IHA and not Bodemeister period!  

From the trainer that took a 6,500 claimer from the Stockton Fair to three time Hollywood Gold Cup Winner.  

What O'neal has done with IHA is nothing short of spectacular.

Job well done team IHA.

22 May 2012 8:37 PM
Bob from Boston

It seems only right that Ted from LA would get the last word.

22 May 2012 10:40 PM
Ted from LA

Word.

22 May 2012 10:44 PM
Footlick

Householder- you call it as you see it, as you say, but give Bodemeister no credit, downplaying two very good runs in the Derby and Preakness just to glorify IHA.  And just so you know, Bodemeister has now finished ahead of CC twice, the last time by 9 lengths.  IHA has beaten him twice now, but he has not been embarrassed by him at all.  That you have something against the horse is evident.  That is too bad because both horses are exciting and it is too bad you cannot appreciate both.

22 May 2012 11:10 PM
Ted from LA

Word.

23 May 2012 10:04 AM
Rusty Weisner

JayJay,

I was on his bandwagon after the San Felipe.  Saying CC beat him there is missing the point, as he was still immature.

I think people are looking a gift horse in the mouth when they cavil about Bodemeister.  We had the pleasure of watching two exceptional horses in one year, something we haven't had for a long time.

Thought I heard something about Bafffert taking Garcia off his mounts.

I don't remember a year so good for Baffert in the TC campaign.  And we still don't know what Paynter can do.

23 May 2012 11:03 AM
Rusty Weisner

No, not Garcia.  Someone else? Gomez?

23 May 2012 11:11 AM
Householder

Footlick I have nothing against Bodemeister.  It's a horse.  I just say IHA is better and seems to get no respect.  Bode had 2 terrific runs in the first 2 legs.  Outstanding runs.  My point is he won't be beating this group by 9 lengths anymore.  

23 May 2012 11:26 AM
Linda in Texas

Ted from LA - Checked to see if someone over blogged you.

Yep, Footlick did.

But you handled it, funny.

So now you have to blog one more time. Frankly i had a twinge of Shandler Withdrawals this morning.

Usually i would check in to see who got thumped and trumped by making a stupid comment. Going to

miss him. But i wrote down his email address,i will be checking to make sure it is for real.

I am not very good at good byes.

So never say those 2 words.

Talk later. Linda

23 May 2012 1:02 PM
Union Buster

"word" of advice, play union on the rags at your own peril.

"word"

23 May 2012 1:27 PM
draynot

Some last words about draynay. Checking his college playing days it appears he shows up as the passing leader his freshman year. Less than 900 yards on the year so a measley 50-60 per game. No mention of him ever again. That tells me he flunked out of school after his first fall semester or he was kicked off the team. Not surprising at all. I guess he moved on to Handicapping U for dummies where he has flunked out again over and over.  

23 May 2012 1:37 PM
Weekend

Jayjay, you mean the MET Mile they are running this weekend? HA!!

To honor and Serve, Jackson Bend, Caleb Posse to name a few. Bode is off unitl Aug....

23 May 2012 3:34 PM
Ted from LA

So long Linda.  If you look carefully, you'll see that Ted from LA ALWAYS gets the last word.  Check the record on all of Jason's blogs.  Jason would never give a false address.  The last word.

23 May 2012 6:12 PM
Karen in Texas

Rusty Weisner----Yes, I read Baffert is no longer using Martin Garcia because Garcia would not or could not work horses for him in the A.M.'s.

23 May 2012 6:52 PM
JayJay

Rusty : Yeah that was Gomez but that was awhile back when Gomez had Looking at Lucky and they were just getting into trouble pretty much every race, I don't think he'll take Garcia off his mounts.  They work so well together, if I have to guess, he probably was thinking about replacing Mike with Martin on Bode, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Martin gets the mount next time.  

Billy : Yeah, it was wishful thinking.  I think Bode can run Jackson Bend to the ground well rested and not carrying 126 lbs and I don't think CP or THaS can catch him.  I'm not demeaning the older horses but speed kills.

Ranagulzion : I mentioned awhile back that they needed a change of jockey on UR and said that Matz should've bribed JV with a car to get him to ride UR in the Derby as I thought JV is a good fit for him.  Now that it has happened, I'm going to have a look at UR when betting the Belmont.  I don't know how much difference JV will make as I believe UR's pedigree will not make him competitive in the 12F race but I like the change, JV committing to a multi-race agreement is also good.  I wish him luck in the Belmont, with not much competition except Dullahan, UR will have a chance to hit the board.  I will still let him beat me though lol.  I think JV is a much much better choice than Edgar Prado.  Prado beat Smarty Jones with a legitimate distance horse in Birdstone, JV will have to find and use up UR's tank to the last drop to get him to the wire first.

24 May 2012 3:25 AM
JerseyBoy

In explaining the “The science behind Beyer Figures“ in the DRF, Dick Jerardi wrote:

“ The “eureka!" moment for Beyer was when Harvard classmate Sheldon Kovitz explained what now seems obvious – a fraction of a second is more significant in a shorter race than a longer race”.

If that was indeed a eureka moment for Beyer, it gives me the final reason to proclaim that this man is simply not too bright, nor is the writer.

Simple arithmetic tells us the following.

Let us say that the standard for a 6-furlong race is 70 seconds and the standard for a 9-furlong race is 107 seconds.

If a horse runs a 6-furlong in 71 seconds, that horse takes 1/70 or 1.428% more time than the standard to complete the distance.

If a horse runs a 9-furlong race in 108 seconds, that horse takes 1/107 or 0.934% more time than the standard to complete the distance.

The above was a revelation to Beyer? Any child who can do simple arithmetic can see this.

Did Beyer actually graduate from Harvard?

24 May 2012 8:09 AM
mr pibb

draynot,

Not surprising about draynay. He certainly has flunked out here time after time. I wonder when Union Rags is going to finish his Ky Derby so he can get on to the NY and the Belmont.

24 May 2012 12:10 PM
Ted from LA

Welcome back Jason!  How was Florida?

The last word.

24 May 2012 3:38 PM
Rusty Weisner

Union Rags worked today and, maybe it's just me, but I don't take it as a good sign that the trainer is talking about Ragozin figures.

JayJay:

In the Belmont itself I won't bet against IHA (I'll do that in a multi-race hedge).  I am looking at UR the same way you are, pedigree-wise, and consider him an overlay and see both Alpha and Dullahan beating him, with maybe Paynter holding on, too.  Alpha wasn't fully trained up to the Derby and I'll watch to see what he looks like.  He seems like the best chance for a plodding, pedigreed horse to, while hopefully not ruining things for IHA, at least get up ahead of UR at good odds.  Among the other Derby also-rans, Rousing Sermon also apparently has a questionable pedigree, while many others have noted that Optimizer has been misused.  I'll try IHA-Alpha-Dullahan-Paynter in a one and a half mile replay of the Derby.  I'll restrict myself to the trifecta and probably forego the super -- I don't want to have to think about including those NY allowance horses.

24 May 2012 4:24 PM
Karen in Texas

JayJay and Rusty---It is Garcia who has been dropped by Baffert--like last week. I posted a link to the story, but whoever is putting up these comments did not include it. Just Google their names and at least two publications will have it.

24 May 2012 4:31 PM
Householder

Harrington is contemplating putting Creative Cause on the grass.  This is what I've been saying all along.  He looks like he would enjoy the turf.

24 May 2012 7:06 PM
Ranagulzion

jay jay,

With due respect for the Derby/Preakness victor I'll Have Another, I think that Union Rags will be much the best when the Belmont Stakes is over. Johnny V is one of my faourite jockeys so I have confidence in the assistance that U/Rags will receive from the saddle. The race may not even be much of a contest. Enjoy yourself now my friend ...before the race is run.

24 May 2012 10:21 PM
Ted from LA

Last call.  Last call for alcohol.  Does this bar ever close?  THE LAST WORD.

24 May 2012 11:09 PM
JayJay

Karen in Texas :  Wow, that's interesting.  I can't say I blame Baffert or Garcia.  I just think it's sad that they can't work it out.  Garcia has every right to do what he wants, but I feel out of loyalty for what Baffert has done for him, working his horses in the morning doesn't sound like it's a big issue - he rides for him and wins on his horses.  I can't imagine anyone else in SA/HP or DelMar having and getting good horses like Baffert does.  I can't blame Bob at all, he has earned the right to ask for commitments, he races winning horses.  I just hope that Garcia realizes what he just lost, a mount on potentially a multiple G1 horse in the making in both Bodemeister and also Paynter.

25 May 2012 3:10 AM
the_wiz

Fare thee well Jason, you were an ok egg. I'd really have liked you if you hadn't put up with so much nonsense. Too bad there was so much crap in the room to step around, I could have offered alot of useful insight to the "real" horse lovers who came here.

Good riddance to draynay. You are like a spoiled child that never grew up and could never take no for an answer. Whine and cry when things don't go your way and always trying to be the loudest in the room so someone might notice you and change your diaper. I could go down to the local daycare and find 15-20 draynays hanging out there.

25 May 2012 9:11 AM
Rusty Weisner

O'Neill's suspension reminded me of a story I read last weekend, the obituary of Peter Fuller, the owner of Dancer's Image, DQ'd for a drug violation in the 1968 Kentucky Derby.  The story had a political dimension:

www.nytimes.com/.../peter-d-fuller-dies-at-89-had-to-return-derby-purse.html

25 May 2012 9:57 AM
Ted from LA

I just figured it out.  You're not going anywhere, are you, Jason.  the_wiz, why the hate at the end of the blog?  Jason is a good egg, not an ok egg.  Who is attending the Belmont aside from Ted from LA?  The last word.

26 May 2012 12:04 PM
JayJay

Ranagulzion : LOL, if you say so.  The truth is, you will not stop touting this horse as the best 3 yr old because your poured all your handicapping knowledge on him, you chose him last year and you can't accept the fact that you were wrong about him.  You'll always find an excuse.  He could lose all of his races this year and you'll still say he's the best horse, you've lost touch with reality.  It's like an obsession about not being right on UR, we all make bad picks, get over it.  There's a big difference between being a fan and being obsessed on being the one to pick the TC winner and 3yr old champion (specially when you're WAY OFF).  But yeah, I'll enjoy myself now before the race is run and I have a feeling I'll probably enjoy myself AFTER the race is over.

Also, the ONLY chance UR has at winning the Belmont IS Johnny V.  I'm glad that Matz listened to what I have to say about this horse lol.  Johnny V is the smartest thing he's done for the horse this year... so far.  I just know that Johnny V will probably flick the kill switch and gear him down after 8.5Fs because Johnny V knows when the horse has had enough and he will ride him healthy in future shorter races.  This is why JV is a GOOD FIT for the horse, he knows how to take care of the horse.  Remember Quality Road in the Classic ??  He pushed him and then stopped him to finish up the track because he couldn't get the distance...he had to save him for his breeding career.

FYI : The next triple crown winner will not be running until 2014/2015, a zentapit or zenardini colt. :)

Rusty :  I'm going to be rooting hard for IHA to win the Triple Crown, they have a really good chance at making history with this field but I also have to consider the fact that this IS horse racing and anything can happen so I'll bet :

$1 Trifecta :

IHA, Street Life with

IHA, Atigun, Dullahan, Street Life with

IHA, Atigun, Dullahan, Paynter, Street Life, Guyana and Optimizer

.50 Superfecta :

IHA, Street Life with

IHA, Atigun, Dullahan, Street Life with

IHA, Atigun, Dullahan, Guyana, Paynter, Street Life and Optimizer with

IHA, Atigun, Dullahan, Guyana, Paynter, Street Life, Optimizer and Union Rags

For P4s, I'll play with IHA, Dullahan and Street Life to end with.  Not sure how much my P4 ticket will cost but I'll have those 3 to end with.

Street Life is the intriguing horse for me.  He looked like a monster running in Aqueduct's inner track but ran like pig on the main track.  He then came back in the Peter Pan and he looked liked a horse that took a liking of the belmont surface.  He was finishing fast to get 3rd in the PP.  I'm looking for him to be a major contender in the Belmont and I think he is the closer that IHA should be looking out for.  SL looks like he could use the extra furlong or two.

27 May 2012 2:57 PM
JayJay

To the person that's continuing to post our comments here... THANK YOU.  When are you going to reveal yourself to us ? :) and what's the plan going forward ?

29 May 2012 1:26 AM
gw bushwacker

Wow look at Contested!! This is by far the best 3 yr old Filly we've seen in years!! She is amazing. I hope when they run her against the boys they don't look for the weakest race they can find like others did.

29 May 2012 10:51 AM
Ted from LA

This blog is starting to remind me of the Rocky movies (without the charm).  Just DIE.

The final word.

31 May 2012 3:27 PM
Aluminaut

Aluminaut is attending the Belmont.

31 May 2012 10:38 PM
TruckDriver

Yay Aluminaut!  Have a Triple Crown for me!

02 Jun 2012 7:39 PM
Aluminaut

See you at the Belmont.  Are you wearing a blue tail?

03 Jun 2012 2:49 AM
Union Buster

ur ain't a gonna win nuttin saturday. too slow, too weak.

ted from la you are making yourself look mighty desperate, it's not becoming.

04 Jun 2012 9:28 AM
Householder

I thought Game On Dude looked pretty good the other day.  Can't wait for IHA and G.O.D. to hook up over the Santa Anita course in the Breeder's Cup Classic.

04 Jun 2012 7:45 PM

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