Handicapping the Belmont Pedigrees

The 1 ½-mile distance of the Belmont Stakes is the biggest wildcard of the American Triple Crown. These three-year-olds have never gone this far before, and most never will again.

Very few American horses are bred to go 1 ½ miles, so a horse with 1 ½-mile blood in its family could hold a significant edge. In the absence of 1 ½-mile form, look for top class 1 ¼ –mile performances.

There have been a lot of differing opinions expressed about the pedigrees in this year’s Belmont. Here is what I have found:


I’ll Have Another (Flower Alley-Arch’s Gal Edith, by Arch)

Sire: Flower Alley’s best race cames at 1 ¼ miles, the distance at which he finished a game second to Saint Liam in the 2005 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) and (earlier that year) beat Bellamy Road and Roman Ruler in the Travers Stakes (G1). Flower Alley did not attempt any races further than 1 ¼ miles.

I’ll Have Another is a member of Flower Alley’s second crop, so Flower Alley’s progeny profile is still developing. So far they have an average winning distance of 7.25 furlongs. It looks like 1 ¼ miles is well within their scope. Flower Alleys run faster routing than sprinting, according to Thorograph.

Flower Alley’s other notable progeny include:  Bouquet Booth and Lilacs and Lace.

Female side: I’ll Have Another’s dam Arch’s Edith Gal, by Arch, won her only career start at six furlongs. Arch’s Edith Gal got hurt and did not have a chance to try longer races, but she definitely had the pedigree to go long. Three of her four foals are multiple winners (at least four wins each).

I’ll Have Another’s second dam Force Five Gal, by Pleasant Tap, was a stakes placed allowance type who ran well at 1 ¼ miles and 1 ½ miles on the turf.

Conclusion:  I’ll Have Another has nice stamina genes on both sides and arguably, the best Belmont pedigree in this field. 


Paynter (Awesome Again-Tizso, by Cee’s Tizzy)

Sire: Awesome Again won four times going 1 ¼ miles, including the ’98 Breeders’ Cup Classic. He never tried longer but I wouldn’t be surprised if this steady mover could have handled 1 ½ miles.

At stud Awesome Again has produced a ton of quality horses, many of whom have excelled going two turns including Ghostzapper, Ginger Punch, Awesome Gem, Game on Dude, Round Pond, and many more. Awesome Again’s progeny have an average winning distance of 7.43 furlongs.

Female side: Paynter is out of Tizso, a full sister to two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Tiznow! Tiznow was best at 1 ¼ miles and is one of the better stamina sires in the U.S. In addition to Paynter, Tizso produced Tiz West (by Gone West), a Grade 3 winner going 1 1/8 miles on the turf, and Tizakitty (by Distinctive Cat), a stakes winning sprinter.

Conclusion: Paynter’s pedigree is American classic distance (1 ¼ miles on dirt) gold, and he has a decent chance to get 1 ½ miles.


Dullahan (Even the Score-Mining My Own, by Smart Strike)

Sire: Even the Score was a multiple Grade 2 winner who did his best running between 1 mile and 1 1/8 miles. He finished 3rd in a 1 3/8-mile allowance race on turf at Churchill Downs and his chart comment says “4-wide bid, empty late.” Even the Score finished third in the 1 ¼-mile Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) on dirt, where he pressed the pace and was outkicked by Total Impact and Olmodavor.

At stud, Even the Score has not had much success, but he has produced a handful of good horses, including a couple stamina types. His son Take the Points won the 1 ¼-mile Secretariat Stakes (G1) and rallied for second in the United Nations Handicap (G1) going 1 3/8 miles on the Monmouth Park turf. Even the Score also produced Sir Von, who was voted champion stayer in Jamaica last year, for whatever that is worth. Even the Score’s average winning distance at stud is just 6.68 furlongs, and Thorograph’s data shows Even the Scores run about the same speed whether sprinting or routing.

Female side: Dullahan’s unraced dam Mining My Own produced 2009 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mine That Bird, who finished third in the Belmont Stakes (G1). Mine That Bird, by Belmont winner Birdstone, made a big wide move to hit the lead turning for home in the Belmont but he got passed late by stretch-running Summer Bird and re-rallying pacesetter Dunkirk.

Dullahan’s second dam Aspenelle, by Vice Regent, only raced four times but she showed some talent and stamina, finishing second in the Canadian Oaks at Woodbine going 1 1/8 miles. That was her last race, and she did not get a chance to try longer.

Conclusion: Dullahan’s pedigree is rock solid between 1 1/8 miles and 1 ¼ miles, and he is not too big a stretch trying the Belmont distance.


Union Rags (Dixie Union –Tempo, by Gone West)

Sire: Dixie Union was a brilliant horse who won up to 1 1/8 miles. He won multiple graded stakes at ages two and three. The list of (fast) horses he beat impressed me:  Caller One, Exchange Rate, High Yield, Captain Steve, Forest Camp, Anees, Swept Overboard, and Milwaukee Brew (!)

Based in Southern Cal, Dixie Union finished fourth in his only try at 1 ¼ miles when he shipped to New York for the 2000 Travers Stakes (G1). He was in tight early in that race and faded behind Unshaded, Albert the Great, and Commendable.

Dixie Union, who died in 2010, has nine crops of racing age. His progeny often develop early, and they are fast.  Dixie Unions almost always peak at ages two or three. Their average winning distance is 6.91 furlongs. Dixie Unions are a little faster sprinting than routing, according to Thorograph.

Dixie Union’s notable progeny include Gone Astray, Grasshopper (who was second behind Street Sense in the Travers), Dixie Chatter, High Cotton, Nothing But Fun, Just Whistle Dixie, Hot Dixie Chick, Bold Union, Reunited, and Most Distinguished.

Female side: Union Rag’s dam Tempo, by Gone West, won her debut sprinting at Calder at age three. She went to the sidelines for two years and returned to win a sprint allowance at Gulfstream Park and then finished second going a mile in a NW2 at Aqueduct. She retired with two wins from three starts. She had speed, and she was bred to be able handle longer distances, but obviously there were soundness problems.

Union Rags’ second dam Terpsichorist was by English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky II. Terpsichorist was a Grade 3 winner going 1 ½ miles on the turf.
Union Rags’ third dam Glad Rags II was Ireland’s champion two-year-old filly of 1966, and she returned to win the English One Thousand Guineas at age three.

Conclusion: 1 ¼ miles is the projected distance ceiling for progeny of Dixie Union, and many of them are best as sprinter/milers. Union Rags will need significant help from the female side of his pedigree to get the Belmont distance, and he definitely gets some.  This is a high quality, deep female family.


Street Life (Street Sense-Stone Hope, by Grindstone)

Sire: Street Sense was America’s champion two-year-old male of 2006. He won the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1) the following year. This dynamic stretch runner never tried longer than 1 ¼ miles. Street Life is a member of Street Sense’s first crop.

Female side:  There is some quality and a lot of stamina influences in the sires on Street Life’s female side, but that stamina has not expressed all that well in their race and production records.

Third dam Whirl Series, by Roberto, was a two-time winner at seven furlongs. Whirl Series produced the fast Grade 1 winner Furiously, by Danzig, who won from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, and a pair of G3-placed full brothers in Fiercely and Ferociously. Whirl Series also produced Scoot Yer Boots, a stakes placed sprinter by Seeking the Gold.

Street Life’s unraced second dam Fairest, by English champion miler Known Fact, produced Brilliant, a two-time graded winner going 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Street Life’s dam Stone Hope, by 1996 Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone, won only once, going 6 ½ furlongs. Stone Hope also produced Hope Chant (by War Chant), who won two claiming sprints and a starter allowance going one mile on the turf at Atlantic City.

Conclusion: As good as “Street Sense over a Grindstone mare” looks on the surface, the race records in the last three generations of Street Life’s female family do not inspire that much confidence going 1 ½ miles.

This blog entry is too long already, so I will just say I do not like the chances of Atigun, Five Sixteen, Guyana Star Dweej, Optimizer, or Ravelo’s Boy on any handicapping angles, including pedigree (though there is some black type in Optimizer’s family tree).  It sounds like Unstoppable U might not run.


Leave a Comment:

Paula Higgins

This was excellent and is a big help to people like me who do not have a background in horses/horse racing per se. Easy to understand the way you wrote it. Thank you Pete. So, having said that. My top three picks in this order are: IHA, Union Rags, and Dullahan. Rangaluzion, I have made up my mind and I am being consistent LOL.

05 Jun 2012 3:48 PM
El Kabong

There, that wasn't so hard, was it Pete? Now, who will run it the fastest?

Anyone out there with a twinspires account should check it. I just got a $60 kick back from NYRA's sticky finger take out adjustment. There is a Santa Claus and he does work miracles on 34th Street.

05 Jun 2012 4:30 PM

How many of the horses have pedigrees tied to Mr. Prospector?

I read something last year and chose Ruler on Ice. Nice $4,000 trifecta.

05 Jun 2012 4:35 PM

There was something I read where it singled out last year's superfecta, the superfecta for 2010, the 1st-2nd-4th runners in 2009, did not win in 2008, won in  2007, and finished 2nd in 2006. I think it may have already peaked the last two times. I don't know if it's just coincidence, but it has had a strong showing as of recent. If it holds true, we will have to wait next year for a TC champion.

05 Jun 2012 5:32 PM
Pete Denk

Atigun, Dullahan, G-Star Dweej, I'll Have Another and Street Life all hail from the Mr. Prospector sire line.

05 Jun 2012 5:33 PM

Very good job done here Pete on the top five competitors. I have to agree that I'll Have Another has the most solid 12 furlongs pedigree of all the Belmont starters and we all know by now of his class and will to win. Assuming that he runs true to form without the nasal strip etc. it will certainly take a stellar performance from his rivals to lower his colours.

My view of the likely outcome of the race is that Union Rags has the goods to subdue IHA and to do it with authority. Analysing his pedigree is not as simple a read as IHA's given the more complex mix of top class sprinters and routers that comprise the matrix. Therefore pedigree analysts need to look a little deeper and more carefully, as well as factor in the colts genotype and running style to avoid a hasty misguided conclusion that he is a miler simply because Dixie Union has thrown mostly those types so far. Big mistake IMO. U/Rags' female family has stamina up close but also has sprinter/miler's speed runing through Glad Rags and her dam Dryad.

To my reading of U/Rags' pedigree, the staying power is coming from the stamina filled blood of the all time great patriarchal sire, Hyperion and his outstanding sons Alibhai, Heliopolis, Owen Tudor, High Hat, grandson Swaps and blue-hen daughter Lady Angela, flowing through five chanells in Dixie Union: Lady Angela, Traffic Judge, Warfare, Egyptian and Changing Waters. On the Dam side (Tempo), Hyperion's blood flows through three channels: Mixed Marriage, Lady Angela(paternal grand dam of Northern Dancer) and High Hat. Bearing in mind that Hyperion and his sire Gainsborough won both the Epsom Derby and St Leger, that's a lot of foundational stamina in the pedigree of Union Rags, not to mention other sources (not quite as dominant) such as Princequillo, War Admiral and Count Fleet.

I feel compelled to dismiss the notions of stamina limitations in this horse, hense my treatise above. It is not without significance that Union Rags carries the identical temperament of Hyperion therfore let the detractors beware. He is going to relish every sandy furlong of the Belmont Stakes and break (regretably) a few hearts ...sorry Paula, Karen in Texas, Pedigree Ann and ... Footlicks?

05 Jun 2012 6:08 PM

Most of the opinions I've heard have already stated that I'll Have Another and Dullahan are bred to run all day.  

Paynter is super fast, but lacks experience.  Breeding is one thing...actual racing experience or lack of it is what weighs most heavily on his chances.

Union Rags gets himself into more trouble at 9f than any other horse I've seen.  I simply don't see a Dixie Union getting 12f.  I think he could be a champion miler, if he can learn to be brave enough to split horses....but his best has always come from the outside, the only place he seems comfortable.

05 Jun 2012 6:13 PM

thanks pete for breeding info. i did a study of my favorite sire of sires and sire of broodmares (bull lea)i came up with iha(2 parts-female),union rags(2 parts-female),street life(2 parts-female),5/16(1 part female) and atigun(i part male,2 parts female). i think i will use your analysis and mine to arrive at iha,dull,street and atigun. note that atigun has the most reference to bull lea with 3 parts and both sides covered. also when atigun runs at a new distance he never attends the pace early and comes from the clouds with one run. with unstoppable u maybe out now, atigun will probably pull the trigger entering the far turn and hope for the best. hope iha wins triple crown and atigun hits the board. thanks again.

05 Jun 2012 6:31 PM

I would disagree and say that Flower Alley's best race at 1 1/4 was the Travers.  His second to Saint Liam in the '05 Breeder's Cup Classic where he finish in front of Perfect Drife (G1 winner) Borrego (G1 winner) , Suave (G1 stakes placed) and Choctaw Nation (G2 winner).

05 Jun 2012 8:17 PM
Criminal Type

I am still with Union Rag's and think Johnny Velazquez makes a huge difference. This guy is number one on my list. He had wonderful things to say about Union Rag's and his work. I do not think John Velazquez describes many horses as "freightrains" or says "omg, what IS this thing".

I was never crazy about Julien getting on the horse in the first place, but thought they must know what they were doing. He is just not the kind of rider who gets aggressive early and once Rag's got squeezed, the game plan was toast. He is however an awesome turf rider because he knows how to get them rolling at the end.

People discount Union Rag's because of his Florida derby lose and the KY Derby debacle. First of all, the Florida Derby was not that bad of a race for Union Rag's. He was flying once he got clear of race riding Javier Castellano. He made a similar move in the Champagne. Second, the Derby, that was a horror show for any Union Rag's fan. I bet his detractors were cheering their heads off. I knew almost immediately he had no shot after the squeeze play out of the gate. But, I knew he would be back and when he came back it would be guns blazing, take no prisoners. It would sure suck if he got a crappy draw tomorrow, but, the field is only going to be 10 or 11 horses. I would love to see him in 7 hole, lot's of winners from that post position. Oh yea, I hope it rains too.  Union Rag's loves the mud.

Iceman, If Atigun, as you say, pulls the trigger in the far turn, he moved to soon. Remember it's a longer track. Someone on HRTV was saying the other day, I think it was the MIG, that at most tracks when you are in the far turn, you only have 3 furlongs to run, but at Belmont it's 4. The stalker's and closer's who have a shot won't be moving until they are topping the lane.

05 Jun 2012 8:28 PM

In response to My adonis' owner who cited her horses eating really well and looking the part as reasons to enter the Belmont after is sizzling third place effort in a low graded stakes race, "With summer upon us, my hair is soft and silky, a shining golden rod reflecting in the sun. I also have been cleaning my plate morning,noon and night...I propose I should start in Centerfield this evening for my beloved Phillies. I sure look the part."

05 Jun 2012 9:31 PM
Pete Denk

JamesB I agree re: Flower Alley's best race. He ran great when 2nd in the 2005 Breeders' Cup Classic. Made a nice move at the tiring leaders and fought back gamely vs. Saint Liam. www.youtube.com/watch

05 Jun 2012 10:39 PM
El Kabong

I keep watching Victory Gallop and Real Quiet's Belmont. I just can't help but think it could happen again here, though I really don't want that at all.  Regardless, what a race that was and what a call by Tom Derkin, my favorite, by a Longacres Mile.

06 Jun 2012 12:05 AM

"Unstoppable U" ; "Five Sizteen" ; (if in) also & of course  "My Adonis"  all  look bred for this distance too...  but like many still, I will just plain be routing for that 'along comes Mary' "cookie" with "Curlin Kick" that has that swagger and moves like Jaggar !!!

06 Jun 2012 6:14 AM

I never question the training methods employed by a trainer because I take it for granted that the trainer is taking the best course. However, it looks odd the way Union Rags has been brought up to the Belmont.

He last raced in the Kentucky Derby, May 5. Since then his listed works, taken from Equibase, are the following:

At Fair Hills:

6/3/12--5 in 59.00 breezing.

5/24/12-5 in 1:01.00 breezing.

It looks like the work pattern of a horse preparing for a 6-furlong race.

No wonder he looks so good.

06 Jun 2012 7:14 AM

Well, since every single horse with any relation to my favorite AP Indy is now long gone from the series, I'm rooting for Union Rags (sorry IHA).

06 Jun 2012 9:08 AM

I would not dismiss Optimizer. Lukas used the Preakness as a 'prep' for the Belmont.

06 Jun 2012 9:17 AM
Criminal Type

Jersey, Really? Do you think that's all Union Rag's has done? He has only been to the track twice in 5 weeks ? His condition suggests otherwise. He is spectacularly fit. If in fact, he only had those two trips to the track and not the disciplined training ragime Michael Matz has been using with this colt, he would be off the muscle, soft and perhaps a bit chubby. I don't see that, Do you ? He looks like a horse who has been galloping two miles a day at Fair Hill with paddock turn out daily. Fair Hill is a gorgeous training facility with everything a horseman could possible want in relation to training facilities and aids. Overland gallops like in Europe that most of the trainers there use on a regular basis. It's a natural environment, not like the strict environment of the racetrack where they are lucky to be out of their stalls a couple hours a day. They have a swimming pool and three tracks. Rag's is eating good, getting lots of fresh grass and looks fabulous. Don't you agree ?

06 Jun 2012 9:42 AM
Pedigree Ann

Rinzler, Optimizer is not up to the classic standard. He's already proven it twice. Heck, he's proven it 3 times, since he was unable to get close to Bodemeister in Arkansas. He may like 12f better than 9f, but most likely on turf, not dirt. He has NEVER won on dirt.

Optimiser had had 5 starts this year before the Preakness so was in no need of a 'prep' at this stage.

06 Jun 2012 9:53 AM
Rusty Weisner


I'll take the racetrack horse over the pool horse, even on a sloppy track.

06 Jun 2012 10:32 AM
Rusty Weisner


Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like this horse owes you money.  

If it wasn't Optimizer that kicked Lukas in the head, it should have been.

06 Jun 2012 10:34 AM
Rusty Weisner


I like Paynter but have reservations about his racing experience.  The only recent precedent for a lightly raced horse winning the Belmont I can think of offhand is Summer Bird.  But it can be done.  I like that he ran the easy allowance race at Pimlico recently.  

06 Jun 2012 10:43 AM
Karen in Texas

DanC----AP Indy is the broodmare sire of Optimizer. Good luck with that.

06 Jun 2012 10:46 AM

Criminal Type

I am not challenging anything. I am simply making an observation. It looks odd. I do not know the details.

Union Rags shows only 5 published workouts since 4/12/12.

As far as I know, trainers are not supposed to train horses in secret in America.

See URL:

equibase.com/.../Results.cfm Type

06 Jun 2012 1:15 PM
Ted from LA

Is this Dr. Drunkinbum's blog or the new person's?  11-5-3-9 and 11 over the 2-3-4-5-9.  It's going to be SUPER.  11-7 longshot exacta.  11-5 logical exacta.  This is the word of the Ted.

06 Jun 2012 2:05 PM

Criminal Type, Union Rags is ready to go.  He has the pedigree on the tail side, to go this distance.  He is one fantastic looking colt.  He won the Champagne on the Belmont track, he has Johnny on his back, who we all know rode Rags to Riches in the Belmont in 2007.

I didn't feel this way about Union Rags in the Kentucky Derby; somehow I had a feeling that he was with the wrong jockey, nothing against Leparoux, just not a good fit.  Union Rags is a monster of a horse; this is his race.

You know, Johnny V. talked about Union Rags and his terrible trip in the Kentucky Derby.  He said that Leparoux put Union Rags right in the middle of traffic, and at the same time JV took his horse to the outside, away from the traffic.  Johnny said forget the Kentucky Derby, throw out that race.

I feel so good about the Belmont.

06 Jun 2012 7:15 PM
JJs Rocket

Final order of finish: 5-9-11-10-3-12-4-2-1-7-6-8, hope that I'll have another can run better but have a bad feeling about this. Win or lose he is still the best 3 year old this year.

Will also play tickets with the top three in all positions. I know its a little chalky but thats the way it looks to me. Hope they all come home safe and happy.

06 Jun 2012 7:22 PM

This (Belmont Day)song is dedicated some of my favourites on this blog: Karen in Texas, Paula Higgins, Footlick, Pedigree Ann

Un-break my heart

Say you'll love me again

Undo this hurt you caused


Un-cry these tears

I cried so many nights

Un-break my heart

My heart

06 Jun 2012 7:31 PM
Criminal Type

Rusty, It was Hamazing Destiny who nailed Lukas.

06 Jun 2012 7:46 PM

My Superfecta play (assuming no rain). IHA over paynter over Union Rags and Dullahan over UR, D, My Adonis, Street Life and Optimizer.

06 Jun 2012 9:52 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

  Pete Denk is getting very high marks from what I'm reading so far. If he keeps up these standards this is going to be a very successful blog for all of the right reasons. Kindergarten is over. We're in Grad School now. So get your knickers on and get a notebook. Class is in session, recess is over.

06 Jun 2012 10:00 PM
Paula Higgins

Ranagulzion, I love any man that sings to me (you are a man, right?). Also, love that song, the real one I mean. O.k. my friend, we shall see. I still think IHA has the goods. If a Triple Crown wasn't on the line, I would be rooting for Union Rags to win one, but can't now. I just don't know that he can win at that distance.

06 Jun 2012 10:16 PM
Paula Higgins

Ranagulzion, I love any man that sings to me (you are a man, right?). Also, love that song, the real one I mean. O.k. my friend, we shall see. I still think IHA has the goods. If a Triple Crown wasn't on the line, I would be rooting for Union Rags to win one, but can't now. I just don't know that he can win at that distance.

06 Jun 2012 10:17 PM
Karen in Texas

Ranagul----Thanks for the lovely lyrics, but I think you're getting a bit ahead of yourself. Perhaps you should have an appropriate Triple Crown anthem as back-up--something akin to the Hallelujah Chorus?!

06 Jun 2012 11:30 PM

sorry about the typos and grammar on my last post.  Thanks for cleaning it up.

If Saint Liam had not been in the '05 Classic and Flower Alley had two wins at 1 1/4 what do we say then?

And you're right, he fought Saint Liam gamely.

Dr. D, Pete has big shoes to fill following the legend that was Jason Shandler.  Actually, Jason's shoes aren't all that big.  lol

07 Jun 2012 12:11 AM

Breeding? You people handicap using breeding? Why not use asstrology? I'm a professional horseplayer......good luck with that.....if the fav loses, it wont be his breeding....if union or dullahan wins, it wont be the breeding.........it wont be the jockey either...im sure people will blame the jockey for losing.....plain and simple, if IHA runs that last race, he wins...............which is why im playing big win place on DULLAHAN..................watch how a pro makes money!

07 Jun 2012 1:10 AM


Wow, Belmont should contract you to do the song when the horses come to the track for the Belmont, I think it would be better than the rap I think they used last  year.

Just some other thoughts:

Optimizer never lost a length from the first call to the finish in the Derby, if he lays close early he could be dangerous.

Union Rags certainly looks good, but will a jockey change help or just add to the confusion that this poor guy keeps demonstrating?

I think Street Life is certainly bred to run a distance, just don't like Ran on both the the sire's and dam's sire direct lineage, just a personal preference.

I think IHA wins this, I believe he has the heart, the ability and is ready for the race of his life. His jockey is not a question mark for me, this guy is the real deal.

Dullahan and Paynter are definite threats if IHA is not up to the task, so can't leave them off any tickets. Not so sure Dullahan will like this track, and didn't he actually get beat by Optimizer in a race last year at Saratoga?

Wouldn't it be really great, I mean really, really great if we had a Triple Crown winner?

07 Jun 2012 2:32 AM
Pedigree Ann

Ranagulzion - I would not depend on Hyperion in remote generations to indicate staying ability.

Amazombie has 10 crosses of Hyperion in his pedigree - Lady Angela, Owen Tudor, and Khaled twice each, plus one each of Aristophanes (grandsire of Forli), Alibhai, Heliopolis, and Admiral's Walk. None of it has helped him stay beyond 6.5f.

Hyperion is part of the basic background of the entire breed these days. Cheap horses, great horses, stayers, sprinters - all over the world you will find horses in these categories that have multiple Hyperion crosses. You have to look at nearer generations to determine things like distance preferences.

07 Jun 2012 10:39 AM
Rusty Weisner


Optimizer beat him on turf (where he belongs).  

Another reason, by the way, not to favor Dullahan too strongly:  still hasn't won on dirt!

07 Jun 2012 11:38 AM
Rusty Weisner

Is Bisnath Parboo allowed to say this?

“I’m very happy to see him go back to the (seven-furlong) distance,” Parboo told New York Racing Association media officials. “The plan going into the Derby was, when we made it to the quarter pole, if there was no horse left to just ease him up. If he couldn’t finish one-two-three-four, don’t push it. We went into the race hoping he could get the distance, and he could not.

07 Jun 2012 11:51 AM
Rusty Weisner

Is Bisnath Parboo allowed to say this?

“I’m very happy to see him go back to the (seven-furlong) distance,” Parboo told New York Racing Association media officials. “The plan going into the Derby was, when we made it to the quarter pole, if there was no horse left to just ease him up. If he couldn’t finish one-two-three-four, don’t push it. We went into the race hoping he could get the distance, and he could not.

07 Jun 2012 11:51 AM
Rusty Weisner

Is Bisnath Parboo allowed to say this?

“I’m very happy to see him go back to the (seven-furlong) distance,” Parboo told New York Racing Association media officials. “The plan going into the Derby was, when we made it to the quarter pole, if there was no horse left to just ease him up. If he couldn’t finish one-two-three-four, don’t push it. We went into the race hoping he could get the distance, and he could not.

07 Jun 2012 11:51 AM
Pete Denk


Breeding is a small part of my handicapping, but I think it can be useful when horses are trying something for the first time, such as a new distance or surface.

Good luck with Dullahan. He sure looks good in his workout videos from Belmont. Maybe he can run a breakthrough race on Saturday.

07 Jun 2012 11:52 AM
Rusty Weisner

The fields are a little short, but I'm going to try the Pick 4 with IHA, Paynter and Dullahan in the last leg; hopefully I will thereby have a live hedge going into the Belmont and can bet IHA on top there to my heart's, and wallet's, content.  I'll try three tickets, each with a different single.


In the Just A Game I'm only throwing out the 2, 6 & 7 and I'll single Winter Memories on a ticket.  It's her second start of her 4yo campaign and she should have room in this short field.

In the Woody Stephens I don't like Hierro; I think the slop flattered him, while the opposite is true of Bourbon Courage.  I'll take the three speediest, Trinniberg, Il Villano and Bourbon Courage.   I believe Parboo and think Trinniberg could just smoke the field, so he'll be one of my singles.

In the Manhattan I really like Boisterous and Brilliant Speed, but can't decide between the two, so they'll be my "single".  I think they both want this distance.  For Boisterous, it's his second back, while for Brilliant Speed you can throw out the last race, where he had no chance against Little Mike that day.  For my other tickets I'll toss in Desert Blanc, Omayad and, reluctantly, Hudson Steele (maybe I'll have the guts to toss him; he's stretching out here and moving up in class).

I'll play a single, cheap late Pick 4 ticket where I single the favorite in the 12th, Deerslayer, hoping he just wires the field from the rail.  

07 Jun 2012 12:04 PM
Rusty Weisner

I don't know why my comment showed up three times.

07 Jun 2012 12:05 PM

Dullhan ran a 22 second first quarter in his last work, not the way you want a horse prepping for the Belmont. Maybe they were trying to get some tactical speed into him, but I did not like the work.

IHA has done nothing wrong. He just wins, but I have to bet against the rookie jock and go with the man Johnny V. He thinks rags is working great and feels great, so he is my Empire Maker this year. My top two are going to be Rags and IHA, and then in third I will use Street Life, Atigun, Paynter and Dullahan. Dull is the only horse to really close on IHA, but again, I did not like that last work.

The races leading up to the Belmont are as usual top notch, and there is some money to be made playing the P4. I will try to get some picks in tomorrow. Good Luck to all, hope we can all cash some tickets.

Pete, thanks for taking over for our midget friend Jason.

get me 4-1 or better on Rags, I will be a happy camper

07 Jun 2012 12:08 PM
Rusty Weisner

Billy's Empire,

Mine will probably be the first of a hail of retorts after your comparison of UR to Empire Maker.  Empire Maker had a real excuse in the Derby (sore foot) and still finished second.  Meanwhile, no one questioned his pedigree going into the Belmont.

His trainer's confusing him with Barbaro while his fans are confusing him with Empire Maker.  UR has run two bad races in a row.  You will definitely get 6-1 on him.

07 Jun 2012 12:18 PM
El Kabong

BIlly E,

Disagree with that analysis of Dullahan's work. The last time he worked like that, he cooked Hansen going 9F's. Some very good horses leading up to the Belmont have done the same. It builds stamina and he has shown no tendency to run those fractions in any of his races if that's what you were thinking. There are many who believe that the best way to train for long distance running is to run much shorter distances as quickly as you can. You get the cardio stress, build the muscle mass, and do it without the damage to joints and tendons that can come from longer works. What you saw was a very fit horse. It's not too late bud, do not join the wagon of clowns on UR. I've seen Shriner scooters in parades move faster for events going over a mile and 1/16th.

UR and Empire Maker?  hmmmm

07 Jun 2012 12:48 PM


I'm twice the man that Bob from Boston is ...and I don't know that he can sing (LOL).

Karen in Texas,

How can I not take advice from a true favourite ...IHA or U/Rags victorious and the Hallelujah corous will be good enough for me. Just keep a hankerchief handy. Okay?

Pedigree Ann,

Your response regarding Hyperion and reference to Amazombie is very plausible. I guess that my conclusion may be somewhat subjective but it is bolstered by the fact that Union Rags is reliably reported to be very similar in temperament to the late great patriarchal sire (suggesting there's a lot more Hyperion qualities coming through to him) and he has the phenotype, strides and running style to match.

07 Jun 2012 1:22 PM
Minnesota Kid

KY Vet,

You seem to have no problem insulting people, over and over again. Maybe, just maybe, it's time for you to receive a big dose of your own medicine.

Where to begin? We probably should start with your ridiculous future wagers this year for the Derby. You picked three horses, I believe, wagering four or five hundred in total. Each respective payout was approx. 2k.

If you cannot understand why this is a stunningly bad wagering strategy, then you are truly hopeless. Believe me, I would say the same thing even if you hit on one of them. (You did not, of course.)

Now, you attempt to insult handicappers that use pedigree in their respective handicapping?  Absolutely unbelievable.

Speaking of unbelievable, where did you develop that writing style? What is with all the CAPS and exclamation points?

I would say that you write like a nine-year-old girl, but that would be an insult to nine-year-old girls everywhere.

Anyone reading this blog knows you could not possibly be a professional player, so please stop insisting you are.

I could go on, but that would be risking a rejection by the mediator, so let me just say welcome to Pete Denk.

07 Jun 2012 2:21 PM

I will say thanks, Minnesota Kid, and leave it at that.

Regarding Union Rags, whether or not he has potential to be a classic horse, Michael Matz, with his background as an Olympic rider, knows how to get a horse fit.

I would certainly, along with many other people, like to see I'll Have Another become the next Triple Crown winner. He seems to have been a "sleeper" for most of his career despite his successes. He also is obviously a fighter and likes to win. Other than the fact that the Belmont is an unknown at a new distance for 3-yr-olds, I think I'll Have Another is a reasonable choice for a win.

07 Jun 2012 3:01 PM

I meant more of the fact that he will win the Belmont, and upset the triple crown bid, just like my namesake did to Funny Cide. Nothing more, nothing less. My biggest bet ever was on Empire Maker, I was that sure he would win. I am not betting a buttload on Rags, I just think he could pull it off, just like Empire Maker did. Get all of your panties out of a wad and chill.

Now, if Dullahan went out in 36, and came home in 22, that would impress me, but it was the other way around. Every horse can run fast for a furlong, look at the sales, they want those 2yo's running in 10, and anything under 9 is exceptional. Look where that got the green monkey. I am not doubting at all he is a good horse, but no wins on dirt, crazy fast work etc, I dont see him winning. If he does, good for Dale. He is a class act.

07 Jun 2012 4:56 PM

I could of said the horse that beat Smarty Jones, but I forget his name, Birdstone? or the one that beat war Emblem. Or Da Tara, you get my point, the horse to beat the TC Contender. I was not comparing at all, and if I were to compare, Empire Maker was a freak. My 2 favorite colts in the TC races last decade were Empire Maker and Afleet Alex, b/c they both won my a lot of money, and they were monsters!!

07 Jun 2012 5:03 PM

Look.......there isnt hardly any races at 1 1/2 miles....did seattle slew have the breeding? did all the other winners have it? what happens when a great horse comes around, wins the belmont with questionable breeding?  answer.....it changes the breeding to distance breeding....it takes 1 or 2 good horses to skew the numbers.....of course no one ever mentions this do they?  

07 Jun 2012 5:20 PM
Your Only Friend

Ken is right...the barn issue is nothing....some just want too piss and moan......who is going to win and who is going to run last.....I do not know ....only thing I know for sure....Horses cannot read the tote board.

07 Jun 2012 7:24 PM
El Kabong

Billy, Rusty

I know there was no name on that last Reply, but I think that part about the panties was directed at you Rusty. You got our pal Billy worked up and now he's got you in bunched panties on the eve of the big race.

Look Billy, if Rusty and I  were saying anything, it was that we both have a much higher regard for your namesake and I don't think either of us was half as emotional about it as you were. Now, I think you owe rusty an apology.

07 Jun 2012 8:22 PM

  I imagine that few of us were alive in ’45 when it took a 2nd bomb to fall on Japan to convince the Japanese Emperor to submit, or that we even if alive remember in ’48 “Citation”. Many, I imagine also, weren’t heavy horse bettors in ’73 when “Big Red”, aka “Secretariat” won the coveted ‘Triple Crown’. Afterwards, all horse racing enthusiasts by then knew of ’73 “Seattle Slew” and ’78 “Affirmed”, where I imagine many were taken into the sport. More recently 11 have tried to retake the “Triple Crown”:-- in ’79 Spectacular Bid”; ’81 “Pleasant Colony”; ’87 “Alysheba”; ’89 Sunday Silence”; ’97 “silver Charm”; ’98 “Real Quiet; ’99 Charismatic”; ’02 “War Emblem”; ’09 “Funny Cide”; ’04 “Smarty Jones”; ’08 Big Brown”… --

 Well its 2012, and in this the 12th try in 34 years of trying the stars seem right, so I predict, that we’ll have a new “Triple Crown Winner” in “I’ll Have Another”. If not, I for one will be pulling for that horse ‘with the swagger’ that has ‘the moves like Jaggar’ and that ‘5th gear kick like Curlin’.

 YES SIR !!! Go baby Go baby GO !!!

07 Jun 2012 8:44 PM
Pedigree Ann

Hyperion was 15 hands when he went into training and 15 hands 1 1/2 inches at maturity (as a 5yo), with short legs and a long body. Remind you of anybody? Yes, great-grandson Northern Dancer had a build similar to Hyperion's. Now, does Union Rags resemble either of those two? I seem to recall everyone saying what a big horse Union Rags is, and he looks a long-legged fellow in his photos...,

07 Jun 2012 11:45 PM

LOL, he's still going on with UR.  He even had Billy suckered to bet UR.  Here's a tip about UR, WATCH HIS RACES, it should tell you what you need to know whether he can get the distance or not.    This horse has not shown any signs that he can get 10F, let alone 12.  I will let him beat me in the Belmont, but he will not take a dime out of me lol.  

If he loses, there'll be a billion excuses both from Matz and Ranagulzion.  I have a feeling this will be a repeat of the Derby, he'll be slow to get out of the gate... he'll get bumped and that will be the reason he didn't win by a rout.

I'm glad Pedigree Ann commented on Hyperion... this horse is 6 or 7 generations back.

As for the Belmont, I posted in the most recent blog who I like.  I just wanted to comment on the first two blogs LOL.

08 Jun 2012 3:44 AM

El Kabong,  HA! You made me laugh a little before I went to try to sleep last night. I say try b/c I have a 3 week old!!

I am in a much more jovial friendly mood today, mostly b/c I went nuts and had 5 winners at CD yesterday. I will try to get on the live blog at noon! Peace

08 Jun 2012 8:36 AM

Pete : I'm surprise to see your comments about Street Life, your last comments were he doesn't inspire getting 12F, does that mean he won't hit the board ? :)

KY Vet : How did you handicap the Belmont ??  Favorite / 2nd favorite ?  Man, that takes a lot of knowledge.  You sure are the pro.  

09 Jun 2012 2:44 AM
Pete Denk

Street Life can hit the board, Jay Jay. With IHA out, he's now the 4th fastest horse in the field.

09 Jun 2012 8:47 AM

Criminal Type and Mary,

You both did great, sticking to your guns about Union Rags.  Kudos to you. Now its on to the Travers, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeder's Cup.

What a difference a great jockey change makes.

10 Jun 2012 1:32 PM

EL Kabong, you still disagree with me? Dullahan was Dull. He did not run a good race at all. Johnny V was what Rags needed. I am a little mad I did not bet the Super, but that was an easy tri to hit. I wish it paid more...

11 Jun 2012 8:52 AM

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