They're off in the Hawthorne Derby

The $300,000 Hawthorne Derby (G3) on Saturday drew a field of 12, plus two also-eligibles to the south side of Chicago.

Carded as Hawthorne's 8th race, post time is 6:40 ET.

1 Film Shot is out of the great turf mare Film Maker. Grade 3-placed, he doesn't quite have his dam's class...He came through on the inside in his latest but got run down by unheralded Miami Cat, who came back and finished 9th, beaten 20 lengths behind Optimizer in the Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware. New distance and tricky post for a horse who likes to be forwardly placed. Not buying him at 6-1 on the morning line.

2 Finale was a very good two-year-old. He won the Summer Stakes (G3) at Woodbine and was bet to 4-to-1 favoritism in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. A wide post really hurt his chances that day at Churchill, but he ran prety well to finish 7th, beaten 4 lengths. He returned from an 8-month layoff in the Equalize Stakes at Saratoga and was checked hard on the first turn and came home last of 10. Three fast works since and he stretches out to 9 furlongs. Looking to rebound and recapture his 2yo form.

3 All Stormy beat older horses when winning a NW2 at Arlington in his last. His second to Cozetti in the American Derby (G3) was pretty good, but the winner won despite trouble. He's knocking on the door of 3yo graded stakes material. Foresee an inside stalking trip.

4 All Squared Away won the Lexington Stakes (G3) on polytrack earlier this year and tried turf out at Del Mar in his last two. He was uncharacteristicaly far back in the Del Mar Derby (G2) and did well to get seventh, beaten just 2 3/4 lengths. The winner went wire to wire on a course that favors speed types. All Squared Away got the 9f no problem, and he's clearly a win contender here on the class drop, but he must adapt to a very different type of course (Hawthorne is definitely not a SoCal pool table). Also, he carries high weight of 122, spotting most of these 6-8 pounds. That is a significant weight disadvantage.

5 Francois has been a great $7,500 claim. He's won three of four, and really turned into a runner. His speed figures vs. lesser fit here, and he showed he likes turf last time. He'll need to relax and finish strongly while stretching out to 1 1/8 miles on the class rise. That's a lot of new variables.

6 Two Months Rent most recently finished third, beaten six lengths by Optimizer, in the Kent (G3). Looks like he has things turned around after the disastrous saddle-slipping incident in the Va Derby (G2). Could maybe see him rallying for a small piece here with the right trip.

7 Aldous Snow has reacted favorably to blinkers, with three consecutive sharp runs on the turf. He beat a good field of older horses in the NW1 three back at Woodbine. The third-place finisher Miami Deco retruned to win a NW2x allowance race at Keeneland, and the 4th-place runner won a NW1x allowance at Woodbine. Aldous finished second to the filly Irish Mission in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders Stakes, a Canadian-bred classic going 1 1/2 miles. His late run going a mile last time was strong, as he was the only horse closing any ground, and that's not always easy to do out in the middle of that big Woodbine oval. I think he fits at the Grade 3 level here against 3yos, but will need some pace up front.

8 Control Tower has blossomed since arriving at Arlington this summer. His three wins vs. much cheaper were of the tour de force variety. There is a some serious horse power here. He has good stalking speed and a strong late move. Love how he looked on video in his last three races (regardless of surface, he even looked great on the poly). Interesting on the class rise, and note his most recent speed figure fits here.

9 North of Never hadn't run a bad one until the 6th-place finish at Canterbury, and he went to the sidelines afterward. That was a pretty weak field he beat in the NW1 at Churchill. His best effort might be able to land a minor share.

10 Lea shows a nice progression, having run a wide 2nd in his career debut at Churchill Downs, then taking a MSW and NW1x at Saratoga, each race a litle faster than the one before. He beat older horses last time and this steady mover was gradually pulling away in the stretch. He has tactical speed and is proven at the distance. Joel Rosario off is not a good angle, but as long as Rosie gets him out of the gate, Lea should get a decent trip stalking one of the inside trio (posts 1-2-3 all are going to want to break fairly well).

11 Pleasant Closing has never been on turf and is listed at 50-1 on the morning line. He has some early speed and could inject a little pace into the race, but this doesn't look like a very logical spot for him. Not sure if he is a sprinter or a router. He's a wildcard.

12 Quick Wit won the off-the-turf Hall of Fame S. (G2) in the slop at Saratoga. He has a good late move, but he was too far back in the American Derby (G3) and the Saranac S. (G3). Tricky post, but he does land the best local turf rider Francisco Torres. Will need to work out a trip from out here, and the co-highweight impost of 122 is an issue.

13AE SCRATCHED XXX   The Pizza Man somewhat surprisingly lands on the also-eligible lost, because four of his five wins came in statebred company. Still, I think he would rightfully take some money if he draws in, as his victory over older horses in the llinois-bred restricted Tex' Zing Stakes was pretty good. The horse he beat by a nose last time (Tazz) came back and finished third, beaten 3/4 of a length, in the open co. $100,000 Carey Memorial Stakes. The Pizza Man disappointed when he finished 5th in the American Derby (G3), but he has moved forward since then. Could see him closing for a piece if he draws in.

14 AE Defiant Flyer SCRATCHED XXX     would be in tough he draws in. Both of his career wins came on dirt in maiden claiming company and in a Texas-bred stake.

Track/Weather Report: Current Saturday Forecast for Stickney, Illinois is for a high of 69 with a chance of severe thunderstorms.

Hawthorne turf was fast and firm Thursday. No rain in the forecast Friday.

 Pete's Pick: Taking the big price on All Stormy. W/P/S


Leave a Comment:

lunar spook

1 like lea , this race seems taylor made for the horse and he seems to be sitting on a big race , also keep an eye on all stormy

12 Oct 2012 11:35 AM

Good analysis Pete, thanks! Also, thanks for pointing out the forecast has a chance of severe thunderstorms.

I just checked an update on the forecast for Cicero, IL and the forecast is a 70% chance of rain/thunderstorms.

I handicapped for a yielding turf course and a sloppy main track.  In both instances, I came up with All Stormy (fitting on a rainy day).

If the race stays on the turf, I also like lunar spook's pick of Lea. I will also include Control Tower after reading Pete's analysis and watching the race replays. I will also include Film Shot and Aldous Snot if race stays on turf.

If the race gets washed off , I'm going to stick with All Stormy on top, but use Quick Wit and Francois underneath.

12 Oct 2012 2:42 PM

Further to the above, if the Pizza Man draws in on an off turf course, I will also be using him.

12 Oct 2012 2:45 PM
Mary Zinke

Going with a combination of which horses I like that are improving, and  trying to use the classiest for the placings.

QEII: Somali Lemonade--hoping the slow work was to have her come from way back which is what I think the Irish bred, Tannery, will be doing. 1st Somali Lemonade,2nd Tannery, 3rd Centre Court. Still deciding between Stephanie's Kitten(like) and Samitar(big effort last race).

Hawthorne Derby:

I like Two Months Rent--have been liking him for a few races now. I had him wps when his saddle slipped. Made a little off of his last race. Two Months Rent, Aldous Snow, All Stormy, Film Shot. I can't trust Finale yet. I know he had some excuse for his bad return race, but still, not this time. All Squared Away ? Not far back in the fast Del Mar race, but he just seems like a grade 3 or maybe 2 turf miler to me. Hit or miss on synthetics. Of the rest which have no class, I'd give the 8 a shot.

12 Oct 2012 3:22 PM
Mary Zinke

Rousing Sermon gets 10lbs less than Holladay Road in the Lava Man. As long as Rousing Sermon doesn't tick off Woodman's Luck, this is a good spot for him to get the win.

12 Oct 2012 3:27 PM
Pete Denk

It is becoming abundantly clear that the 8-1 morning line on Control Tower is too high. Anyone who watches the horse's race videos is falling in love with him. I still like him, but I don't think he is going to be a big price.

I am however feeling some value on Aldous Snow.

12 Oct 2012 7:48 PM
Pete Denk

Mary I will be rooting Rousing Sermon too. Always liked the horse, and very glad to see the blinkers coming off.

12 Oct 2012 8:45 PM

I just checked the weather for Hawthorne... it hasn't started raining yet, but huge system coming from the SW should hit by noon central time.

The QEII looks like a very competitive race.  Any 8 of the fillies look like she could win.  I will probably side with Dayatthespa to wire the field.

13 Oct 2012 10:17 AM
Pete Denk

The forecast in Chicago is not pretty. Expect something less than firm turf. Not raining in Stickney right now, but there are storms rolling through Western Illinois.

13 Oct 2012 10:19 AM
Pete Denk

Hawthorne's Jim Miller just tweeted that the HAW DERBY will remain on the grass regardless of weather.

13 Oct 2012 10:38 AM

Wide open races at Keeneland.  Don't know how I'll bet until I see the odds.  But here are my top horses for each race.

1) 1, 2, 5

2) 5, 8, 9

3) 1, 2, 4

4) 8, 10, 12

5) 1, 4, 5

6) 2, 5, 6

7) 9, 11, 12

8) 3, 8

9) 2, 6, 8

10) 3, 9

Best long shots I see are the 6 in the 6th, 3 in the 8th, 2 in the 9th and 9 in the 10th. Might just play rolling pick 3s and show bets on my long shots.  

13 Oct 2012 11:03 AM


Early $1 P4  ($12.00)

02:   2,5

03:   2,1,5

04:   8

05:   1,9

Late .50 P4 ($12.00)

07:   9, 4, 2

08:   1

09:   4, 6, 8, 5

10:   3, 6


Late .50 P4 ($12.00)

07:   2, 8

08:   2, 7, 8, 9

09:   3

10:   2, 8, 10

I'm going to keep playing Keeneland and Belmont P4s until I hit a decent one lol.    Good luck to all playing with real money today !

Pete : Who are your picks for the Hawthorne Derby ?

13 Oct 2012 12:50 PM

That is why I hate playing Pick 3s.  My choices hit the tri in race 1, a big exacta in Race 2, but miss race 3 so I cash nothing.

13 Oct 2012 2:15 PM
Pete Denk

It's raining at HAW, trying to find out if anyone is SCR...

13 Oct 2012 3:05 PM

North of Never, should be all systems go today, will take to a soft turf, looks like the winner today, IMHO.

13 Oct 2012 3:11 PM
Pete Denk

I was 0-for-5 at Keeneland on the day til the QE II. Win bet and tri...

Soft turf at HAW.

13 Oct 2012 5:37 PM
Pete Denk

Ok, The Pizza Man is out. Main body of 12 go.

13 Oct 2012 5:59 PM

Congrats on QEII.  I finished down $60 at Keeneland.  

Moved to Santa Anita.  

5) Pick 3; 2,3,4/1,10,11/9

5) WPS 9

6) Pick 3; 1,10,11/7,8,9/6,9,10

6) Big show bet 10

7) Pick 4; 7,8,9/6,9,10/1,3,7/10

10) WPS 10

13 Oct 2012 6:15 PM
Pete Denk

Hawthorne Derby odds are up.

The 3 All Stormy at 22-1 and the 9 North of Never at 33-1 are the bombs that could have an impact here.

I like All Stormy a little better, so he will be my key. Will play him across the board and in exotics with 4-7-8-10-12.

13 Oct 2012 6:25 PM
Pete Denk

Great call by Mary Zinke in the HAW Derby.

Two Months Rent. 20-1

13 Oct 2012 6:52 PM
Mary Zinke

omg! Two Months Rent just made my day !

13 Oct 2012 7:11 PM

Better put Mary Zinke and Claire on THS with you. Because Lamarra is just terrible at handicapping. He needs to just keep writing.

13 Oct 2012 7:19 PM

I"ve been 2 of 3 on all my Pick 3s today. But should have seen the #1 in the 7th at SA.  Horse for course and comparable beyers.

Oh well.  At least got to see how track is playing for the Breeders Cup.  

13 Oct 2012 7:20 PM
Mary Zinke

The downhill was blazing fast today. Hope it stays that way for a record in the BC Turf Sprint, by California Flag.

13 Oct 2012 9:06 PM
El Kabong

Pete, Mary,

Indeed. That was a pick to be sure. I didn't catch the race but I do remember her call. When I saw the result pop up from Jack Shinar I couldn't believe the payout. Nice going Mary.

13 Oct 2012 10:58 PM
Pete Denk

If any of you are playing Keeneland on Sunday, the turf course has been inner path/speed biased the last couple days. Very hard to close from far back, wide.

13 Oct 2012 11:15 PM
Pete Denk

And the Poly is playing really quirky.

13 Oct 2012 11:16 PM

Didn't get to post my picks.  Just as well.  At least Bella Viaggia got most of what I bet back.  Vascilated with La Cloche and Law of the Range, and finally decided to pick Law of the Range.

Congrats Mary Zinke!  Great call on Two Months Rent.

Also congrats to THE KEYMASTER for Daytthespa.  

Pete- could have used that info before picking Tannery, lol.

14 Oct 2012 12:08 AM
Mary Zinke

I had to watch him lose three times, with money on him, before that nice payout on Two Months Rent, but thanks, guys. It's nice to have a longer shot come in. Just 5 across--big for me.

14 Oct 2012 12:15 AM
Mary Zinke

Yes, good call by Keymaster on Dayatthespa wiring. Great steal by her.

14 Oct 2012 12:26 AM

Nice call on that 20-1 Mary, 5 across is lots of moola!

14 Oct 2012 1:54 AM

The Cal Cap was created right as I started following thoroughbred racing, so I have a soft spot in my heart for it.  

The Cal Cup isn't what it used to be, and doesn't draw near the crowds it did when it was one of the big days of racing all year in California, but I found today's racing entertaining.  

There weren't any great horses(except for Lava Man leading the post parade for the Classic, and looking near racing condition), nor were there any great performances(Tiz Flirtatious came closest), but the 6 winners constitute a group of real pros.

Tiz Flirtatious(4 for 5), Tilde(4 for 5), Monument(3 for 4), and Bella Viaggia(3 for 4), each only have 1 loss in their careers.  Maui Mark is now 10 for 26 in his career, and an even better 5 for 7 on the year while bouncing between SoCal and New York.  Lucky Primo has been out of the money only once in his last 10 starts, that a very troubled and unlucky 4th in his race before the Cal Cup Classic, has won 3 of his last 6, and 2 of his 3 starts this year.

The Santa Anita program highlights horses' records in their last 5 starts.  If you take the last 5 starts of the Cal Cup winners(fewer than 5 for those with less than 5 career starts), and add in today's result, the 6 horses are a combined 21 for their last 30 starts.  22 for 31 if you include Maui Mark's first start of the year.

Again, these 6 winners are a few steps below the horses we'll see at the Breeder's Cup, but they are a very game and consistent lot. I salute them for representing California breds so well.

14 Oct 2012 2:50 AM

Mary Z. - Congrats on a great pick of Two Months Rent! 20-1 is certainly a day maker.

I wish I could have got that price on Dayatthespa, because that is about all I cashed on yesterday, although the day wasn't a bloodbath since I played a limited amout of races because I just wasn't feeling it yesterday.

Went to Kee yesterday and after the races, happened to be watching the Haw Derby on simulcast next to one of the co-breeders of Two Months Rent.  He was obviously presently surprised.  The mare of Two Months Rent is a foal of 1988 and so isn't breeding anymore, but he mentioned that he still has some siblings from the family. He was a super nice guy so congrats to him and best of luck in the future.

Onto the races at Kee and WO today...

14 Oct 2012 8:51 AM
Mary Zinke

Keymaster, Two Months Rent has what I call ancient old pedigree on the bottom. His damsire was foaled in 1969, and he has War Admiral, 1934, in the 5th. gen. I'm not a pedigree expert whatsoever, but the years between generations interested me.

14 Oct 2012 11:48 AM

Mary Zinke;

20-1! Congratulations on Two Months Rent's victory!

14 Oct 2012 12:25 PM
Mary Zinke

Trying 8,7,4,3 in the Pattison Canadian International.  Now we'll see what I don't know, which is a lot, lol.

14 Oct 2012 1:26 PM
By a long nose

Boy, this was an exciting blog. Now I don't have to take my ambien tonight.

15 Oct 2012 1:07 AM
Mary Zinke

If your hand wouldn't refuse, long nose, you could try that. Thought it was lunesta for you, though.  Try for stardom next time, lol.

15 Oct 2012 1:59 AM
Mary Zinke

Don't worry, guys. I'm just joking with an old pal, probably.

15 Oct 2012 12:38 PM

Pete : You got any preliminary picks for the BC races ?  I'm starting to get the BC fever.

17 Oct 2012 11:58 PM

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