Is Bobby's Kitten Ready to Roar in the Blue Grass?

By J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman")

After months of anticipation and excitement, we are nearing the end of the road to the Kentucky Derby. In approximately 60 hours, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland and the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park will have been run and the field for the Kentucky Derby will be more-or-less established. Will Ken and Sarah Ramsey have a third Derby starter in Bobby’s Kitten? Will Strong Mandate and Ride On Curlin have secured enough Derby qualification points to make the field? These questions and more will be answered on Saturday. Let’s take a quick look at the two races!

Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I)

I have been hoping since before last year’s Breeders’ Cup that Bobby’s Kitten would run in a major Kentucky Derby prep race, because I believe he is one of the most talented horses in this crop. I loved the acceleration he showcased when winning the Pilgrim Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park last October, and his third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) after setting fractions of :45 3/5 and 1:09 2/5 was nothing to be ashamed of. He tuned up for the Blue Grass with an easy victory in a one-mile turf allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs, and has turned in three solid workouts since then, including a five-furlong breeze over the Keeneland Polytrack. If he can transfer his turf form to synthetic, I believe he will not only win this race, but stamp himself as a legitimate contender for the Kentucky Derby. My hope is that we’ll see him rate just off the lead on Saturday, as he has shown a tendency to be a bit headstrong in the past.

Two longshots I like are Pablo Del Monte and Extrasexyhippzster. The former is 2-for-2 over the Keeneland Polytrack, breaking his maiden sprinting 4 ½ furlongs during the 2013 spring meet and subsequently romping in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race during the fall meet. Since that victory, Pablo Del Monte has lost three starts on dirt and turf, but a return to Keeneland could be just what he needs to turn things around. Expect him to flash speed while breaking from post three.

As for Extrasexyhippzster, he flashed talent winning the Don Rickles Stakes and Miracle Wood Stakes during the winter, but endured a dreadful trip when eighth as a 7-1 shot in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) last time out. He has never run on synthetic, which is a major question mark, but at a morning line price of 15-1, he might be worth a look.

Selection: Bobby’s Kitten

Arkansas Derby (gr. I)

Of all the Kentucky Derby prep races held thus far, this one could be the most exciting in terms of seeing which colts pick up enough points to qualify to the Kentucky Derby. Five of the entrants—Ride On Curlin, Commissioner, Conquest Titan, Bayern, and Strong Mandate—have been highly regarded Derby candidates for a long time, yet none of them have earned enough points to make the Derby field at this time.

 

Making things even more interesting is the fact that Tapiture—who has already earned enough points to start in the Derby—is also entered in the Arkansas Derby, and he has already beaten Ride On Curlin and Strong Mandate twice this year. Last time out, he was beaten just a neck in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) after lacking room at the top of the stretch and having to force his way in between horses to find racing room. Overall, he has been a picture of consistency since breaking his maiden in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) last fall, and beating him won’t be an easy task. If he wins, it’s bad news for the five colts in need of points.

Ride On Curlin and Strong Mandate both demonstrated great potential as two-year-olds, the former finishing third in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and the latter winning the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), but while they ran well in the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) and Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn, they proved a cut below Tapiture on both occasions. I’m hoping to see them both attempt a change in running style, coming from off-the-pace rather than racing on the lead. Perhaps it could help them finish up a bit stronger in the homestretch.

The wild card is Bayern, who is unbeaten in two starts for trainer Bob Baffert. A son of Offlee Wild, Bayern was extremely impressive winning a one-mile allowance race at Santa Anita two months ago, scoring by fifteen lengths while running his final two quarter-mile fractions in :24 flat. This is a tough spot for him to make his stakes debut, but remember, Baffert’s record at Oaklawn is extraordinary, and he won this race with another lightly-raced colt named Bodemeister two years ago. This is a tough race to handicap, but I’m going to side with Bayern in hopes that Ride On Curlin and Strong Mandate both attempt to rate off the lead, leaving Bayern to capitalize on a moderate pace. Under those circumstances, I think he can steal this race in gate-to-wire fashion.

Selection: Bayern

Who do you like this weekend?

136 Comments

Leave a Comment:

poormansracehorse

Lately every time I read something about the Bluegrass, like the infographic with it's list of past winners, or a discussion of the current entries and their past performances, I can't help but wonder if the elephant in the room isn't "why is the Bluegrass still a Grade 1?"

10 Apr 2014 12:10 PM
-Keelerman

Poormansracehorse;

I believe that's one of the reason that Keeneland is switching back to dirt -- they want to try and resurrect the Blue Grass Stakes as a top-notch prep for the Kentucky Derby. It could also help restore the Breeders' Futurity, which has lost some prestige in recent years and could be in danger of losing its grade I status.

10 Apr 2014 12:23 PM
-Keelerman

It has been announced that Knock Em Flat will scratch from the Arkansas Derby and instead run in the one-mile Northern Spur Stakes earlier on Oaklawn's Saturday card.

10 Apr 2014 12:24 PM
Rusty Weisner

poormansracehorse,

This one is particularly bad.  Forgive me for repeating what I said on the previous thread, but there are only two horses here with qualifying points in double digits:  Vinceremos, who faced mostly suspect competition in TB, and Harry's Holiday, who got most of his points in the Spiral, another race for non-dirt runners. But wait! - Harry's Holiday has won at CD on dirt!....in a maiden claiming race.

Terrible field.  It's clear they're either not interested in the Derby or dodging the real competition by running here.  Yet three horses could realistically qualify.

10 Apr 2014 12:29 PM
Rusty Weisner

I forgot Coastline, with 13 points.  But that just underlines the point.

10 Apr 2014 12:31 PM
poormansracehorse

Well I'm glad I'm not the only one a bit dismayed with the Bluegrass. I'm sure it will still be good horse race but it's  a struggle to see it as relevant in terms of the Kentucky Derby or identifying the emerging top three year olds.   Who would ever have thought there would be such a thing as a 'cheap Grade 1'?  It hurts just to write those words.

10 Apr 2014 12:53 PM
Little Bill

90% of all participants in these preps are eligible for NW2 other than. Kinda hard to judge class at this point. If your using the stipulations as a guide, good luck. They're just a bunch of 3yos getting together for a race.

10 Apr 2014 3:33 PM
Little Bill

I agree Pablo should run his race. It looks like he ran pretty even with them at GP after the break. They really didn't back up down there at all. Causeways love syn.

10 Apr 2014 3:40 PM
Rusty Weisner

Interesting stat:  it's been eleven years since the favorite won the Bluegrass.

10 Apr 2014 4:19 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

I like Pablo Del Monte for the Keeneland form, I don't like Extrasexyhippzster for the same reason, and for the name.

Why the two months off for Dance With Fate?  Lots of works.  Is that why this one's 12-1?

10 Apr 2014 4:32 PM
Monarchos Matt

Like many have indicated, I am really hoping that the connections of Ride On Curlin decide to give instruction to keep the horse a few lengths off the lead early...I have a feeling we will see a different horse in the stretch if they do. Just like his Daddy, I expect him to win this race if that is the case, and for him to be a late-blooming threat to win the Derby with this tactical change.

The other horse that interests me here is Conquest Titan. His presence here is enough for me to give him a pass for that Tampa Bay Derby dud. With some pace to run at, he could make an impact, even with the short stretch. I'm planning to use these two on top of each other and the battle-tested, gutsy Tapiture in exactas.

Bayern may indeed be a monster, but coming off such a long layoff and only two career starts, I don't see how you don't try to beat him at 2-1 odds, at least for the top two spots. If he beats me, I can live with it. I can't live with using him and then watching more seasoned colts run 1-2 at longer odds.

Keep in mind that the performance that everyone is so enamored by came on a speed favoring track against very suspect competition, and was only awarded a 98 Beyer to begin with. Then he had some physical issues and as a result hasn't raced since February. And he's going to be 2-1 against arguably the toughest field of the entire prep season, full of colts who are far more experienced, seasoned and fit? Like I said, I'll let him beat me and if he does, he's a monster.

10 Apr 2014 4:55 PM
Monarchos Matt

Regarding the Blue Grass...I think I'll pretend that it isn't even happening.

As far as the pace in the Arkansas Derby is concerned Keelerman, I have a tough time imagining that Bayern will be allowed to steal this race on the lead, he's way too under the microscope right now and every jockey in the race will be aware of that exact possibility. With Strong Mandate to his outside, that one will be forced to go with him early and will give him some real speed to contend with; I don't think his mind is strong enough to do otherwise and he may have no choice from a tactical standpoint anyway. I don't think Tapiture can afford to let Bayern get away either, but then again he doesn't need the points, so maybe he doesn't care. (Again I remind myself that the horse has no idea about the points)....

10 Apr 2014 5:16 PM
Brontexx

I will take Conquest Titan in Arkansas and Dance With Fate in Kentucky.Two longshots morning line double digits 10-1 and 12-1.If I bet real money on either of these it will be in Arkansas so if CT comes in 2nd he helps me make money and comes back from the dead in the futures.

10 Apr 2014 5:16 PM
Brontexx

On the topic of Derby Futures last chance for someone from pool 1 to make it in by racing for

Bobbys Kitten

Pablo del Monte

Commissioner

Ride on Curlin

Strong Mandate

Cairo Prince still has an outside chance while sitting on the sidelines, but I think it will require one colt to decide not to run after this weekend.

10 Apr 2014 5:21 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

Let me know what you think of Dance With Fate.

Monarchos Matt,

Maybe I'll let you put some spine in me and play against.

10 Apr 2014 7:05 PM
Ranagulzion

Blue Grass Stakes: Asserting Bear to win from Gala Award and Bobby's Kitten. The winner of this race has to produce a big performance to enter the Kentucky Derby conversation at this stage, with the dirt question still to be answered. This however is the most likely prep race to yield a big upset.

Arkansas Derby: Tapiture from Strong Mandate and Bayern. Lets see if Bayern is anything like Bodemeister was in 2011 ...he'll need to be of that calibre in order to beat Tapiture IMO.

10 Apr 2014 7:31 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

I wouldn't worry about the two-month rest between races for Dance With Fate -- he's been pointing toward the Blue Grass ever since his runner-up effort in the El Camino Real Derby, and as far as I know, the rest is by design. I am a little worried about his ability to handle the nine-furlong distance, but given his proven affinity for synthetic tracks, I expect him to turn in a sharp performance.

10 Apr 2014 7:56 PM
-Keelerman

Monarchos Matt & Brontexx;

I've also got my fingers crossed that Conquest Titan runs will in the Arkansas Derby. Every time I start to think that maybe he isn't as good as I've hoped, I think back to his allowance victory at Churchill Downs last fall, which remains one of the most impressive performances I've seen from any of the 2014 Derby contenders. With Oaklawn having a relatively short homestretch, I'm a bit concerned that Conquest Titan's deep-closing style won't lend itself to securing a top-two finish. But I'm hoping that he will do just that, because if he makes it to Louisville, I'd be tempted to pick him to win the Derby, especially if the track comes up wet.

10 Apr 2014 8:08 PM
predict

Pablo del Monte, sure looks like the horse for course, looks to be able to run with these. I like Victor Espinoza taking the mount for Wesley Ward, and think this is probably the best bet in the race, ML at 12-1, hardly a standout off last races, but this is at Keeneland now, and that might be all difference this guy needs.

10 Apr 2014 8:43 PM
Weekend

I think its time for my Derby horse to step up and show us why Bridgmohan loved him as a 2yo! Conquest Titan has the pedigree and will love more ground. I chose correctly with Wicked Strong last week and made some good money, now its time to pad my Derby bankroll

10 Apr 2014 9:27 PM
El Kabong

Keelerman,

I don't need film on the Ark so I'll weigh in tonight. This is a motley group of hard luck brawlers. The danger in the race is Strong Mandate. He has no chance unless he tries to steal it on the front end, but I do not like him to hit the board, only to disturb the peace. I think his connections will send him and send him for an all out front end charge.  Bayern looks like speed but I think he has more talent and can lay off anything too crazy, especially with Gary on board. Tapiture is feisty and athletic. He proved he's good in the lane even with his ass knocked out from underneath him. That was impressive. My hat is off to a fighter who can keep running under those conditions. I don't like Tapiture in the Derby but I think his connections realize that this may be his big stage and that's not a can of cream corn for the winner.  Ride on Curlin I think is bound to improve with distance and time and he's had both since last out. I hope he steps up but in the end, I like Tapiture to give us his best. Tap, Conquest, Curlin and Bayern in a tri and super box. Will try to get a Bluegrass in soon.

11 Apr 2014 12:02 AM
Brontexx

Keelerman RE CT actually a 3rd will get him in if Tap is 1st or 2nd ROC&SM are out of money and Viceremos and Harrys Holiday DONT BOTH come in top 3 in BG.20+9=29

11 Apr 2014 7:45 AM
Rusty Weisner

I'm finding the Arkansas Derby really hard to figure. I don't feel strongly against either of the two favorites, and ROC and Strong Mandate are perfectly plausible, but I'm done betting them.  Since I'm rooting for Conquest Titan to get in the Derby and his odds should be okay (though not 10-1), I'll take him WPS, let's say for a total of $18.

I'm surprised Dance With Fate is 12-1, having run well at a high class on synthetics; I'd be happy with 8-1.  I'll take this one over some others to win, and boxed: Pablo Del Monte, Green Giant, Birdseye, Bobby's Kitten, maybe Medal Count.  I'll look it over a little more.  Gotta bet, just to make my interest in the telecast a little more lively.

11 Apr 2014 10:15 AM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

I don't feel real good about Conquest Titan winning for the same reason.  I'm actually hoping for something like a very close third, enough to get him in but keep his odds high.

11 Apr 2014 10:18 AM
Rusty Weisner

El Kabong,

You did a nice analysis of Turfway's dimensions.  How do you play Keeneland differently.  It's got a long stretch?

11 Apr 2014 10:42 AM
Rusty Weisner

Ranagulzion,

I don't like Asserting Bear with the inexperienced jockey from the 1 post.

11 Apr 2014 11:07 AM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

I actually like your Pablo Del Monte a lot.  I think the competitiveness on the wrong surface at Gulfstream at a pretty high class is a good indicator and he has the right trainer for this circuit.  I'm taking him with Dance With Fate and the favorite in exactas.  

I will bet Harry's Holiday is run off his feet by Bobby's Kitten and tires late, I don't like the surface and the bad Gotham by the #2, while Medal Count, Gala Award and Coastline seem plausible and maybe I'll play them in trifectas with the others.

11 Apr 2014 11:21 AM
-Keelerman

A bit of rain hit Keeneland this morning, and Reload has scratched from the Maker's 46 Mile. DRF.com has reported that Za Approval will also scratch if the turf gets too wet, which is a real possibility with thunderstorms being predicted for later today.

Also, Edgar Prado suffered a fractured vertebrae in a training accident at Keeneland yesterday, and will be about for about a month. :( Julien Leparoux has picked up the mount on Vinceremos in the Blue Grass Stakes.

11 Apr 2014 12:04 PM
-Keelerman

Brontexx;

Good point! A third-place finish by Conquest Titan could secure him enough points under the right circumstances. And even if he isn't quite in the top twenty after Saturday's races -- say, he's in 22nd, or 23rd place -- there might still be enough defections during the next three weeks to get him into the Derby.

11 Apr 2014 12:06 PM
-Keelerman

As I mentioned in the comments of my previous blog post, there are a couple of intriguing races being run this afternoon on the undercard of the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn. One is the six-furlong Bachelor Stakes for three-year-olds, which has attracted Bob Baffert's promising allowance winner Pimpernel. Gary Stevens has the mount on the son of Elusive Quality, who will break from post eight in an eleven-horse field.

The other race of interest is an 8.5-furlong allowance optional claiming race that has attracted a very deep field of older horses, including graded stakes winners Called to Serve, Sabercat, and Guilt Trip, as well as the multiple graded stakes-placed colt Frac Daddy.

At Keeneland, the highlight of this afternoon is without question the $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile Stakes (gr. I), in which Wise Dan will make his seven-year-old debut, but there are a number of other races that I'll be interested to see. In particular, there is the fifth race, in which Juddmonte Farm's talented filly Riposte takes on eleven rivals in a nine-furlong turf allowance race; the sixth race, an 8.5-furlong main-track maiden special weight in which Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. I) third-place finisher Colonel Joan will attempt to secure her first victory; and the eighth race, where Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf also-ran Granny Mc's Kitten makes her seasonal debut against eleven rivals in an 8.5-furlong main-track allowance race. It looks like a great card!

11 Apr 2014 12:26 PM
-Keelerman

Speaking of the Apple Blossom, it looks like a very evenly matched race on paper, and one can make a solid case for any one of the five entrants. I have to think that Close Hatches will be sent to the lead by Joel Rosario, which could make things tricky for fellow pace horses Rose to Gold and On Fire Baby, and most likely ensure a lively pace.

I like the chances of Let Faith Arise, who has demonstrated great versatility in running style during her last three starts. No matter what pace scenario presents itself this afternoon, she should be able to adapt. But I have to respect the fact that John Shirreffs has shipped Stanwyck in for this race, and given that Stanwyck has been compromised as of late by slow paces, I think she has a legitimate shot to run down Close Hatches and Let Faith Arise deep in the Apple Blossom homestretch.

11 Apr 2014 12:42 PM
Rusty Weisner

Knock Em Flat is going to be a single for me in R8 tomorrow.  

I'm curious if anyone likes Golden Lad or Moreno to beat WTC in the Oaklawn Handicap.  Short field of seven, maybe one of them steals it.

In R9 I kind of want to beat this Baffert horse.  Anyone know anything about her or the 5?  I would like to beat her with that one.

11 Apr 2014 1:38 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

I really like Golden Lad in general, but I think Will Take Charge is just too talented and too versatile to be beaten in this spot. If the pace is fast, he can sit back and come from behind, and if the pace is slow, he can sit just off the lead and take command turning for home.

As for Moreno, I really want to like him in this spot -- especially with Joel Rosario in the saddle -- but since he hasn't run since the Breeders' Cup, and was beaten three times last year by Will Take Charge, I can't see him turning the tables today.

11 Apr 2014 2:05 PM
El Kabong

Rusty,

Thanks for kind words. I do like closers at this track. The long stretch and surface seem to help them. Looking back to recent  history(poly) closers dominate but the General and Monba were near the pace, so it's not impossible. Right now, I really like two horses for sure. Medal Count and Asserting Bear. There seems to be several horses who want the lead and Bobby's Kitten(and Gala) need to be on or close to the pace. They're  turf horses so we don't know how they'll react to the kick back. I also have questions about BK's ability to excel at 9F's. Medal Count and the Bear look terrific. I watched The Spiral and thought Rocco really lost control of the Bear. I then noticed the switch to Emma. That was a good move. The Bear has tactical speed so he may able to force the speed wide in the first turn and then lay off them 4th or 5th and get a good jump at the leaders. I like the one hole for this horse, it didn't hurt Medal Count in the Transylvania. Robby is sitting on a horse who I think is just coming into to this sharp. The Transylvania was a walk for him and apparently it took nothing out of him. He had an outside post in the Bourbon so Robby has experience with what to do in this situation. I think he will be further back initially and make a middle move up the back and into the far turn for a swing wide move in the lane. I love the look of this race. Some value under these two should include Big B and Dance with Fate. I'll use Bobby as far up on my ticket as 2nd but not the win. Coastline and Vince tossed in at the bottom of tri's and supers. That's as clear as I can be on this one. It's a tough race but I like The Bear and Medal Count the most. One of them should get the trip and the win. I hope they both get a chance to show us their quality.

11 Apr 2014 2:46 PM
Brontexx

If CT gets 3rd with 29 points and those ahead of him now that are running this weekend dont ALL finish ahead of him and Tap who is already ahead of him does he will be in 20th spot with 29 points.That will be the leaderboard without Albano but with Ring Weekend.

11 Apr 2014 2:53 PM
Rusty Weisner

El Kabong,

Thanks for the response.  I'll pass on Assertive Bear, but I will consider putting more on Medal Count.  I am a sucker for the quick turnaround.  Dance With Fate, Bobby's Kitten, Medal Count, Pablo Del Monte.  

Good luck all.

11 Apr 2014 3:06 PM
-Keelerman

Does anyone like the chances of Commissioner in the Arkansas Derby? I thought his third-place finish in the Sunland Derby was respectable, given that he lost a shoe at the start and was attempting to come from behind over a speed-favoring track. Having earned ten Kentucky Derby qualification points for that performance, a third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby could be enough to get him to Churchill Downs. Any thoughts?

11 Apr 2014 4:40 PM
-Keelerman

We are now just twenty-one minutes away from the Maker's 46 Mile (gr. I) at Keeneland, where two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan will make his seasonal debut! He is currently the overwhelming favorite at 1-5, with Za Approval at 6-1 and Lochte at 8-1.

11 Apr 2014 4:54 PM
Brontexx

Keelerman Commissioner has 10pts if he gets 3rd or better he has a good chance to make the field, and it wouldnt bother me because I have he and CT in a box with all others in a Derby future wager.

11 Apr 2014 5:06 PM
-Keelerman

Wise Dan has done it again! The remarkable gelding proved a comfortable winner of the Maker's 46 Mile this afternoon at Keeneland, holding off a late run from Kaigun to triumph by three-quarters of a length. The victory was his ninth in a grade I race, and boosted his career earnings to $6,473,610. For those who are watching the records, Wise Dan is now ranked #20 on the list of all-time leading money earners that have raced in the United States, his win today moving him ahead of Ouija Board and Tiznow on the list.

11 Apr 2014 6:49 PM
Pedigree Ann

Keelerman - I don't share your assurance that Bobby's Kitten will reproduce his form on dirt, even if he wins the Blue Grass tomorrow. His pedigree is, with exception of his damsire, pretty strongly turfy. The best recent horses in his female family have been Theatrical, Forbidden Apple, Wild Event, and Paradise Creek, all turfers. His dam won on all 3 surfaces, but her best win (in terms of BRIS speed figures) was on turf. His sire was a turf specialist, by an Irish (turf) champion out of a turf winner by a top turf miler. Most of the time, you get what you breed for.

11 Apr 2014 6:52 PM
-Keelerman

Pedigree Ann;

Thanks for your thoughts! I agree that Bobby's Kitten is bred for the turf, but following the recent top-three finishes in the Derby by turf/synthetic horses such as Animal Kingdom, Dullahan, and Paddy O'Prado, I'm willing to give him a chance if he makes the Derby field. But first, I'd better see if he can handle the switch to synthetic in the Blue Grass... :)

11 Apr 2014 7:38 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

There was an interesting piece about Moreno in this Bloodhorse.com article, discussing a splint injury that the colt suffered during the Breeders' Cup Classic: www.bloodhorse.com/.../will-take-charge-moreno-rematch-at-oaklawn

11 Apr 2014 7:42 PM
Plod Boy Phil

What do Room Service, Dauphine Russe,  and Greengrassofyoming have in common ?

Good Grades

11 Apr 2014 8:07 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Keelerman -

You are crushing....well done,  this.

11 Apr 2014 8:07 PM
Plod Boy Phil

re: Bobby's Kitten.

Can you say 'none chance' against the best of his generation on dirt ?

I can.

11 Apr 2014 8:11 PM
Plod Boy Phil

re: Bayern

I have softened on my stance with this one,  promoting him to 'neutral'.  I failed to originally note that Bayern was not at least a length clear at the first,  or second call, in his last win - this is an important distinction for us.  

11 Apr 2014 9:01 PM
TnT

Wow, what a lovely betting race, going to take a shot at the superfecta, keying Pablo to win ( i"m a sucker for St. Nicholas Abby's silks) with quite a few behind him. Some horses love keeland, he looks like one.

However the track is closer friendly  tomorrow, i'll switch to dancing with faith, as he seems the only closer in a race full of speed.

Will just watch the Ark. , hoping CT makes it to the big dance, he's my long shot horse if it rains.

Good Luck.

11 Apr 2014 10:14 PM
TnT

Have some serious distance questions with Pablo, but strange things happen on the poly at keeneland.

12 Apr 2014 6:48 AM
Plod Boy Phil

re: OP Friday

An unusual number of sub :22 first Q's yesterday. Not sure of it was wind, or if there were just a lot of riders in a hurry - it's not the sharpest room.

12 Apr 2014 10:15 AM
Rammer

Tapiture is the BEST BET of the weekend! I was calling for them to put Rosario up after his last race. And now that he is I'll be rolling the wheelbarrow up to the window! And I love the DD bet of Golden Lad & Tapiture! Golden Lad gets 7 lbs. from Will Take Charge. He's 2-2 this year and he'll be very hard to catch...

12 Apr 2014 10:35 AM
the_wiz

Let's not forget about Animal Kingdom who ran this race on poly and went on to win the big one. I had him and made a killing off people who dismissed this race as a quality prep.

12 Apr 2014 10:58 AM
-Keelerman

Thanks, Plod Boy Phil! And good job on Room Service, Dauphine Russe, and Greengrassofyoming!

12 Apr 2014 11:39 AM
-Keelerman

Another exceptional Saturday of racing has arrived! All told, there are four grade I races on the schedule for today, in addition to a deep renewal of the grade II Oaklawn Handicap.

Thus far, there have been no scratches from the Blue Grass Stakes, outside of also-eligible Divine Oath. In the Arkansas Derby, Knock Em Flat is the lone scratch.

In the Oaklawn Handicap, it has been announced that Moreno will scratch, leaving just five horses to challenge heavily favored Will Take Charge.

12 Apr 2014 11:51 AM
-Keelerman

This morning, Vicar's in Trouble recorded his first workout since winning the Louisiana Derby two weeks ago, breezing a half-mile in :48 1/5 at the Churchill Downs Training Track. The work was the third-fastest of twelve at that distance.

12 Apr 2014 11:58 AM
Plod Boy Phil

OP  R4  12 Covert Ops - wrong level, wrong distance,  great 'paper'.  The four scratches help bring him into the race.

12 Apr 2014 12:43 PM
-Keelerman

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rammer! I would think that a Golden Lad/Tapiture daily double could pay very nicely, since a substantial portion of the daily double pool will be riding on Will Take Charge. Good luck!

12 Apr 2014 1:55 PM
Brontexx

Keelerman are you a Vicars in Trouble backer Im not he has run well at Fairgrounds only after his 1st race at Aqueduct in which he lost.He wins being on or close to the pace.For me to include him in my bets  will depend on all the circumstances yet to be determined,weather,post position draw,workouts etc.

12 Apr 2014 2:01 PM
Brontexx

Keelerman since you provided info on Vicar what about Gen A Rod he has run well on 3 tracks including Churchill Downs.As far as I know he has been at Churchill since the Florida Derby.

12 Apr 2014 2:11 PM
Brontexx

Thanks you just gave me a good idea self-serve.Put my picks in my virtual stable so I can momitor their workouts and maybe more importantly their progression so I can put the stopwatch reading in proper context.

12 Apr 2014 2:16 PM
predict

The Bluegrass has so many possibilities that I won't be surprised if as many as 1 of nine horses wins this race.

So, even though exotics could and should be enticing, I will watch with making just one bet WPS on Coltimus Prime, taking the hot jockey, and think he willl improve on synthetic, over last, and might just return to last years "Display" performance , which makes him playable.

12 Apr 2014 2:25 PM
-Keelerman

Brontexx;

General a Rod has not recorded a workout since the Florida Derby, but he is indeed at Churchill with Vicar's in Trouble.

I'm still debating whether to consider Vicar's in Trouble a legitimate Derby contender or not. I think he can improve off of his Louisiana Derby performance, given that he missed some training time prior to that race, but I'm having trouble envision him winning the Derby in gate-to-wire fashion. I'll be keeping a close eye on his training during the next three weeks, to see if he appears to be thriving leading up to the Derby. If he is, then I would like to see him draw an outside post position in the Derby, in hopes that he could work out a stalking trip in the clear on the outside. If he could get that kind of a trip, then I think he'd have a shot to pounce on the leaders turning for home and hold off the closers in the final quarter mile. We'll see!

12 Apr 2014 2:42 PM
Plod Boy Phil

KJ -

What is up with all the construction overhead ?  Yours is the most interactive Blog in this Unlocking Winners  stack and now it doesn't even appear on the list.

Poorly done,  that.

12 Apr 2014 3:36 PM
Little Bill

That Laugh Track fella again, I'll try the 4.

12 Apr 2014 3:38 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Never liked Laugh Track a little bit.....live by the sword.

12 Apr 2014 3:57 PM
-Keelerman

The first of today's graded stakes races has been run, that being the $175,000 Commonwealth Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland. Dimension -- who led the way early through fractions of :22.91 and :45.95 -- looked like a winner turning for home, but Occasional View put in a solid late run to win by a length in the time of 1:22.77 for seven furlongs. It was the second win of the day for both jockey Alan Garcia and trainer Kenny McPeek, who teamed up to win the fifth race at Keeneland with 9-1 shot Sultry Cat. Alan Garcia will be aboard Coltimus Prime in the Blue Grass Stakes later this afternoon.

12 Apr 2014 3:59 PM
-Keelerman

In the upcoming Shakertown Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland, I like the chances of longshots Animal Style (currently 16-1) and Positive Side (currently 24-1). The former won a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race on the Keeneland turf last April, and may not have cared for Polytrack when sixth last time out at Turfway Park. Positive Side showcased a strong late run when second to Gantry in the Colonel Power Stakes on March 15th, and since Gantry has drawn the far outside post position in the Shakertown, perhaps Positive Side can turn the tables today at a respectable price.

12 Apr 2014 4:09 PM
-Keelerman

Positive Side ran well in the Shakertown, putting in a solid run up the rail at odds of 33-1, but couldn't quite get up in time to edge fellow longshot Marchman (23-1). With Robby Albarado in the saddle, Marchman led the way through fractions of :22.37 and :45.07, turned back a challenge from Something Extra at the top of the stretch, and proved very game holding off Positive Side in the final strides. The final time for 5 1/2 furlongs was a quick 1:02.36 seconds.

Next up on the Keeneland card is the Madison Stakes (gr. I), where Judy the Beauty is currently 1-2 to win her first grade I race. The second choices are Eden Prairie and Byrama, both at odds of 10-1!

12 Apr 2014 4:28 PM
Plod Boy Phil

nicely done with the 10 there Kellerman

12 Apr 2014 4:32 PM
-Keelerman

Thanks, Plod Boy Phil!

12 Apr 2014 4:34 PM
-Keelerman

While Judy the Beauty is a deserving favorite in the Madison Stakes, I think Eden Prairie has a chance to pull off an upset. I like the fact that she's shortening up after three route races on turf, and returning to the track and distance at which she finished second by a neck in the Lexus Raven Run Stakes (gr. II) last fall.

12 Apr 2014 4:40 PM
-Keelerman

Judy the Beauty is finally a grade I winner! After finishing second in all four of her previous attempts at grade I company, Judy the Beauty drew off strongly in the homestretch of the Madison Stakes to win in decisive fashion over Better Lucky. The final time for seven furlongs was 1:22.86 seconds, slightly slower than Occasional View clocked in winning the Commonwealth two races earlier.

12 Apr 2014 4:50 PM
-Keelerman

The Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland looks like a very competitive race, thanks to the presence of three "Kittens" (Kitten's Point, Stephanie's Kitten, and Emotional Kitten), as well as Centre Court, Discreet Marq, Abaco, Fitful Skies, and others. I was very impressed by Kitten's Point's late rally when beaten a nose in the Honey Fox Stakes (gr. II) last time out, and I'm hoping that she can work out a nice ground-saving trip today while breaking from post one. She is currently 7-1, with Stephanie's Kitten and Centre Court the co-favorites at 3-1.

12 Apr 2014 5:09 PM
-Keelerman

13-1 shot Hard Not to Like, benefitting from a great ride by Javier Castellano, surged up the rail to win the Jenny Wiley Stakes by a half-length, while Discreet Marq edged Abaco, Emotional Kitten, and Centre Court in a four-horse photo for second place. Stephanie's Kitten, making her first start since a third-place finish in the Diana Stakes (gr. I) last July, came home eighth of ten, but was not beaten by much and should improve considerably next time out.

12 Apr 2014 5:26 PM
-Keelerman

The form of the Sunland Derby was just flattered a bit as Bourbonize, who finished fifth by 17 1/2 lengths in that race, rallied to edge Knock Em Flat and Fabulous Kid in the one-mile Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The final time of 1:38.09 was not particularly quick, but fractions -- :23.06, :46.77, and 1:11.44 -- were respectable.

12 Apr 2014 5:29 PM
Little Bill

Bazinga!

12 Apr 2014 5:32 PM
-Keelerman

With thirteen minutes until post time for the Blue Grass Stakes, Bobby's Kitten is a narrow favorite at odds of 7-2. Dance With Fate and Vinceremos are the co-second choices at 6-1, while Pablo Del Monte, Medal Count, and Gala Award are all 8-1. Asserting Bear, who has received a good deal of support in the comments section of this blog, is currently 19-1. Coltimus Prime is the longest shot on the board at 54-1. Good luck, Predict! That would be quite a score if he can finish in the top three!

12 Apr 2014 5:36 PM
-Keelerman

Congratulations to Brontexx and Rusty Weisner on selecting Dance With Fate to win the Blue Grass Stakes! Rusty Weisner, I hope you had the trifecta!

12 Apr 2014 5:51 PM
El Kabong

What a race. Those are good horses and I hope to see both of them run in the Derby, they'll make great additions to exotics. Speaking of which, how about that Superfecta. Looked more like a Derby hit. I hit with a .10 cent ticket that ran 33 bucks but I was floored by the 1333.54 pay out. My bro looked at me and asked, how about a cigar. Yes, yes indeed.

12 Apr 2014 6:02 PM
El Kabong

Rusty, I hope you got that tri

12 Apr 2014 6:08 PM
-Keelerman

Great job, El Kabong!! That was a spectacular score! Congratulations!

12 Apr 2014 6:10 PM
Brontexx

Keelerman still nobody from the 1st futures wager has raced their way into the KD starting gate.In the Arkansas Derby we have Commissioner,Ride on Curlin and Strong Mandate that can do it.If they cant race their way in, the last hope from pool 1 will be Cairo Prince inactive.

12 Apr 2014 6:11 PM
Pedigree Ann

Okay, I am redboarding. In the Derby Dollars contest, I picked Dance with Fate in the Blue Grass. The question now is, what happened to Tamarando at Turfway? He beat DWF fair and square in the El Camino Real, who has now made the Spiral runners look pathetic at Keeneland. Oh, and will Dance with Fate take his chance at Churchill? He actually has some decent dirt form (2nd in the Norfolk S-I reject the new Stronach names).

12 Apr 2014 6:14 PM
-Keelerman

The complete order of finish in the Blue Grass was as follows:

1 Dance With Fate

2 Medal Count

3 Pablo Del Monte

4 Big Bazinga

5 Coltimus Prime

6 Gala Award

7 So Lonesome

8 Asserting Bear

9 Casiguapo

10 Coastline

11 Extrasexyhippzster

12 Bobby's Kitten

13 Harry's Holiday

14 Vinceremos

The final time was 1:50.06, with a final furlong time of :12.23.

12 Apr 2014 6:19 PM
-Keelerman

Here are the Kentucky Derby point standings following the Blue Grass Stakes:

Ranking/Horse/Points/Non-restricted Stakes Earnings

1 California Chrome 150 $782,250

2 Vicar's in Trouble 120 $760,000

3 Dance With Fate 108 $600,000

4 Wicked Strong 102 $630,000

5 Samraat 100 $640,000

6 Constitution 100 $600,000

7 Hoppertunity 95 $576,000

8 Intense Holiday 93 $527,500

9 Wildcat Red 90 $665,500

10 We Miss Artie 60 $544,000

11 Chitu 54 $440,000

12 Midnight Hawk 52 $320,500

13 Ring Weekend 50 $260,000

14 Tapiture 42 $420,738

15 General a Rod 40 $240,000

16 Medal Count 40 $226,500

17 Candy Boy 30 $380,000

18 Cairo Prince 24 $520,000

19 Uncle Sigh 24 $280,000

20 Vinceremos 20 $190,000

21 Harry's Holiday 20 $150,956

22 Commanding Curve 20 $140,000

23 Pablo Del Monte 20 $102,000

24 Social Inclusion 20 $90,000

25 Ride On Curlin 15 $154,387

26 Big Bazinga 14 $92,149

27 Kristo 14 $56,000

28 Coastline 13 $129,679

29 Tamarando 12 $495,000

30 Strong Mandate 11 $472,500

12 Apr 2014 6:23 PM
-Keelerman

Pedigree Ann;

I was thinking the same thing about Tamarando. His performance in the Spiral seemed too poor to be true at the time, and I think that Dance With Fate's victory today further demonstrates that something went very wrong with Tamarando three weeks ago.

12 Apr 2014 6:52 PM
-Keelerman

Brontexx;

I think Cairo Prince will end up making the Derby field, and it wouldn't surprise me if Commissioner, Strong Mandate, or Ride On Curlin pick up enough points in the Arkansas Derby to proceed to Churchill Downs, but that would still be only two Pool #1 horses in the Derby field. With that in mind, I'll be curious to see if the November future wager pool remains in place for the 2015 Kentucky Derby.

12 Apr 2014 7:12 PM
-Keelerman

Danza just pulled off a 41-1 shocker in the Arkansas Derby, squeezing through along the rail and drawing off in the homestretch to win by five lengths in the sharp time of 1:49.68 seconds. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Danza's time was just 0.13 slower than Will Take Charge ran in winning the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) one race prior.

Ride On Curlin successfully rated off-the-pace and rallied well to be second over Bayern, who tired a bit after setting the pace and finished third. Conquest Titan loomed a threat along the rail on the far turn, but failed to sustain his bid and finished out of the top four.

So following today's two Derby preps, Dance With Fate, Medal Count, Danza, and Ride On Curlin have all guaranteed their spots in the Derby, while Cairo Prince has successfully clung to the twentieth position on the points list and will almost certainly make the field. Uncle Sigh is the current bubble horse with 24 points.

12 Apr 2014 7:42 PM
El Kabong

Keelerman, thanks for the points update. This is getting fun. Pletcher pulled off a stunner. Great for the exotics. Hope Kiarin gets in with Cairo, it will add to the confusion for sure.

12 Apr 2014 9:15 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Congrats to the winners.

13 Apr 2014 9:03 AM
TnT

woop woop hit the super, ending up key Dance with Fate on top as the only closer. was a rough night celebrating.......ouch

Once dry will be doing the same thing with CC come derby day, a few in second, maybe a couple more third, an the max i can afford in forth.

I just have a gut feeling CC won't like a wet track, things get much harder then. I'll play CC to miss the board all together if sloppy.

Great to see cario price back in the mix......i say he hits the board. The other 18 are a real pickle, i'll use the 10f horses/closers , Hop, WS, Intense Holiday, Ride on Curlin, maybe we miss artie and dance with fate for 4th, ......then the guess work starts as to which speed hangs around if any.

I can't get a read on constitution, not sure about him, will also we an eye if Gary Stevens stays on candy boy, I think they are hiding an injury.

Would be great if commanding curve gets in somehow.

Great couple of weeks ahead.

13 Apr 2014 11:12 AM
Brontexx

Keelerman here is the count for each Derby future wager and how many of the top 23 made it as of today,it would be good if you can check because I could have made a mistake when I counted Im not that concerned about exactness in this case.

Pool 1=2

Pool 2=8

Pool 3=10

Pool 4=15

13 Apr 2014 11:32 AM
El Kabong

Cairo will be 18. Midnight Hawks connections are not going to Louisville per my sources. Good ones.

13 Apr 2014 12:06 PM
Pedigree Ann

Well, I took the wrong out-of-towner in the AK Derby in Derby Dollars contest. I didn't have much respect for the Arkansas based group, but didn't expect a horse who hadn't even gone 2-turns yet would run them down. If the owners of Ride on Curlin, et. al. who might eventually be points-eligible have any sense, they will put any thoughts of winning the Derby out of their heads. Sense? Derby dreams? My mistake - these two never meet.

13 Apr 2014 12:44 PM
Sam Santschi

Lazy way to do this. Box all the horses beginning with C except candy boy and add Sam to that or we miss Artie if its wet instead. Good call Monarchos Matt on SM.  A "mental midget" for sure. It's funny how sometimes they just don't like racing anymore.  Actually, that might make him a real intelligent horse. Frustrating day yesterday.  Had DWF and mentioned him during the online blog Friday but I have a bias against DR's horses,  but if Pablo had hung on for second...

Red boarding I know but had Danza courtesy of Jay Frederich on twitter WPS but Bayern could not hold on for second so I lost out on exotics. Or needed CT to sustain his move. Oh well. More excited this year. Can't wait to get to KY in a couple weeks!  Snow tonight in WI. Unbelievable!

13 Apr 2014 12:56 PM
TnT

El Kabong, thanks for re enforcing the the closers angle at Keeneland.

Midnite hawk, ring weekend, and dancing with fate, are still on the fence, we know winstar and uncle sigh won't pass.............hoping harry's holiday deflects, and my best case scenario no happens with commanding curve gets in.

Thanks guys.

13 Apr 2014 1:00 PM
-Keelerman

Thanks for compiling those numbers, Brontexx! Looking over pool #4, there might be as many as sixteen horses that end up running in the Derby, but it's hard to say for certain. It will be interesting to see how things progress during the next three weeks!

13 Apr 2014 1:10 PM
-Keelerman

Great job, TnT! Congratulations!!

13 Apr 2014 1:12 PM
TnT

exclude that no

Harry's holiday was a late TC nomination, so doubt he defects, then again so was dance with fate.

13 Apr 2014 1:19 PM
El Kabong

TNT,

Very Nice, did you smack a $2 dollar, gotta hollah! I was happy with my .10c but that was a beauty of a super.

13 Apr 2014 1:27 PM
-Keelerman

El Kabong;

Thanks for sharing that Midnight Hawk information! I'd been wondering whether his connections might decide to pass on the Derby. Things could get very interesting if Midnight Hawk, Dance With Fate, and Ring Weekend all drop out . . . at that point, Commanding Curve might very well get in, and Bayern and Social Inclusion could have an outside chance as well.

Does anyone have a guess on how many points it will take to get into the Derby? My guess is 20, but it wouldn't shock me if there are enough defections to drop the cutoff below that number.

13 Apr 2014 1:38 PM
-Keelerman

The Beyer speed figures for the winners of yesterday's stakes races have been released, and here are a few of the most notable numbers:

Will Take Charge (Oaklawn Handicap) - 103

Danza (Arkansas Derby) - 102

Dance With Fate (Blue Grass Stakes) - 97

Bourbonize (Northern Spur Stakes) - 87

13 Apr 2014 1:42 PM
-Keelerman

Out of curiosity, I went through an American Racing Manual yesterday and compiled a list of the homestretch lengths of various racetracks. I found the results to be quite fascinating, so I thought I'd share the list in case anyone else would like to see it:

Racetrack/Length of homestretch (in feet)

Fair Grounds - 1,346

Keeneland - 1,236

Churchill Downs - 1,234.5

Aqueduct - 1,155.6

Oaklawn - 1,155

Sunland Park - 990

Tampa Bay Downs - 976

Turfway Park - 970

Santa Anita - 900

The American Racing Manual did not list a homestretch length for Gulfstream Park. If anyone knows the number, I'd love to hear it!

13 Apr 2014 1:51 PM
Brontexx

Keelerman are those stretch distances in 9 furlong races to finish line or what?

13 Apr 2014 2:29 PM
Brontexx

I posted somewhere that Romans wouldnt get the results he expected by running Medal Count back in 8 days.He actually ran better than what I thought he would, he got 2nd,but Dance with Fate passed him easily to win he left his best race at the track 8 days before.Maybe the field for the BG wasnt that strong.

I wonder whos directing the schedule Romans or the owner because now he is running again in 3 weeks in the Derby.Hes a toss for the tri maybe Romans can get a 4th outta him he has gotten 3rds and 4ths in recent KDs with his horses.

13 Apr 2014 2:40 PM
-Keelerman

Brontexx;

Thanks for asking! I should have clarified a bit better -- the distances measure the length of a given track's homestretch from the end of the final turn to the finish line, so they aren't affected by the distance of the race.

Another way to look at it is to divide each number by 660 (the length of a furlong in feet), which gives us the distance of each track's homestretch in terms of furlongs. If we do that, then the numbers look like this:

Racetrack/Length of homestretch (in furlongs)

Fair Grounds - 2.039 furlongs

Keeneland - 1.873 furlongs

Churchill Downs - 1.870 furlongs

Aqueduct - 1.751 furlongs

Oaklawn - 1.750 furlongs

Sunland Park - 1.500 furlongs

Tampa Bay Downs - 1.479 furlongs

Turfway Park - 1.470 furlongs

Santa Anita - 1.364 furlongs

I hope that helps!

13 Apr 2014 3:07 PM
Brontexx

RE Arkansas Derby the best performer of the series at Oaklawn Tap didnt have the screws tightened as Asmussen, is probably better than Romans in getting a peak performance in the right race IMO.

The others including Strong Mandate,Conquest Titan,and Commish wernt good enuff.Ride on Curlin looks like he wants more ground but I read another blogger state the same thing be aware of two points nothing is usually that obvious when a horse dosent win, and maybe the others wernt good enuff for this level or like Tap were not running at 100%.

This weekends races only reinforces my opinion of the TB Derby with Ring Weekend,Vinceramos,Surfing USA,and Conquest Titan being the top 4 finishers.

I think the top 4 of the Florida Derby could prove best as a group with the SA group 2nd and Wicked Strong and Sam good in the Wood.This is for the entire 3yo season and not only for the KD win CC is best on paper but he will be a low priced favorite.Will he run like Big Brown or Point Given.

13 Apr 2014 3:08 PM
Brontexx

I remember last year reading more than once about Will Take Charge and how he looked in the stretch run of the KD and look how much time and how many workouts and races it took for HOFamer Lucas to get him right to reach his potential.This is in reference to my previous post and Ride On Curlins run yesterday.

13 Apr 2014 3:20 PM
-Keelerman

A number of Kentucky Derby contenders turned in workouts this morning, and here are a few details of each breeze:

Cairo Prince: 4f in :48.60 at Palm Meadows

Chitu: 5f in 1:00.80 at Santa Anita Park

Constitution: 4f in :50.60 at Palm Meadows

Intense Holiday: 4f in :48.90 at Palm Meadows

Midnight Hawk: 6f in 1:13.60 at Santa Anita Park

We Miss Artie: 4f in :48.90 at Palm Meadows

Further details on the Palm Meadows workouts can be found in these articles:

www.bloodhorse.com/.../pletcher-trio-back-to-work-for-kentucky-derby

www.bloodhorse.com/.../mclaughlin-relieved-cairo-prince-qualifies

13 Apr 2014 3:29 PM
TnT

nah just .10 cents, but happy with that.

13 Apr 2014 4:29 PM
Little Bill

DRF has GP stretch listed at 898 ft. Lotsa turn I guess.

13 Apr 2014 5:26 PM
-Keelerman

Thanks, Little Bill! I appreciate it!

13 Apr 2014 6:34 PM
-Keelerman

Two-time Eclipse champion Beholder is scheduled to make her 2014 debut in the Santa Lucia Stakes on April 20th at Santa Anita Park. Eblouissante, Zenyatta's half-sister, has also been entered.

Here are the entries:

www.equibase.com/.../SA042014USA-EQB.html

13 Apr 2014 6:39 PM
-Keelerman

Everyone;

Rusty Weisner said last night on the TimeformUS blog post that he won $1,600 on the Blue Grass Stakes -- be sure to head over and check it out!

14 Apr 2014 9:31 AM
Brontexx

-Keelerman you give out numbers in feet EXACTLY from where to where at each track are those measurements?

14 Apr 2014 4:12 PM
Little Bill

The stretch distance is measured from last turn to finish line. "Last turn", kinda nominal. Right? Don't forget added distance goes at the beginning of the race.

14 Apr 2014 6:10 PM
Brontexx

Little Bill are you another screen name for Keelerman How many screen names can I have?

14 Apr 2014 9:50 PM
Little Bill

The answer is one as far as I know.

15 Apr 2014 12:11 AM
-Keelerman

Sorry I'm a bit late in re-joining this conversation! It's been a busy couple of days!

Brontexx, I think I've come up with a clearer explanation of where the distances are measured from, so I hope this helps!

Let's say we're at Keeneland, standing at the finish line and facing up the homestretch. We start walking up the homestretch, the opposite of the direction that the horses run, and eventually we reach a point where the inner rail begins to curve -- we have reached the final turn. It's not necessarily a point marked by a pole. If we measure the distance from the finish line to where we are standing now, we would find that the distance is 1,236 feet.

On the other hand, if we were at Santa Anita and did the same thing -- if we started at the finish line, and walked up the homestretch to the point where the inner rail starts to curve -- we would find that the distance between those two points is just 900 feet. If we went ahead and walked 1,236 feet, like we did at Keeneland, we would find ourselves part way around Santa Anita's far turn.

While Keeneland and Santa Anita are both one-mile ovals, the shape of each oval is slightly different. Keeneland's oval is a bit longer, with longer straights and shorter turns. Santa Anita's oval is more rounded, with longer turns and shorter straights.

If you have any more questions, just let me know!

16 Apr 2014 11:07 PM
TnT

Hi Keelerman,

Any idea where I can find the Tomlinson wet track figures for the derby contenders ?

I have found them very helpful in the past.

Thanks

17 Apr 2014 7:26 AM
-Keelerman

TnT;

I went back through old Daily Racing Form past performances searching for the Tomlinson wet-track figures, and I was able to find them for all of the Derby contenders except California Chrome and Hoppertunity. I'll keep searching for those figures, but for the moment, here are the wet-track figures for the rest of the potential Derby starters:

Chitu - 426

Candy Boy - 415

Tapiture - 411

Uncle Sigh - 402

Ride On Curlin - 401

Danza - 398

Social Inclusion - 397*

Intense Holiday - 396

General a Rod - 396

Vinceremos - 394*

Cairo Prince - 391*

Ring Weekend - 386

Harry's Holiday - 384

Wildcat Red - 373

Pablo Del Monte - 368

Bayern - 368

Medal Count - 366

Commanding Curve - 363

Vicar's in Trouble - 351

Samraat - 349

Dance With Fate - 339*

Wicked Strong - 336

Midnight Hawk - 330

We Miss Artie - 319

One thing I noticed while compiling these figures is that Tomlinson wet-track figures tend to change a bit from one race to the next. It's never by much -- a few points at most -- but it wouldn't surprise me if the figures that appear in the DRF Derby past performances are slightly different from the ones listed above.

17 Apr 2014 10:27 AM
TnT

Thanks

17 Apr 2014 11:45 AM
-Keelerman

Just in case anyone is still reading these comments, I've got a new weekend post up covering the Charles Town Classic and Lexington Stakes. You can find it here: cs.bloodhorse.com/.../the-dude-returns-to-charles-town.aspx

18 Apr 2014 12:44 PM
Brontexx

-Keelerman do you have the last three Ragozin figures for the top twenty three?

19 Apr 2014 10:07 AM
-Keelerman

Brontexx;

I'm afraid I don't have any Ragozin numbers for the Derby contenders, but you might ask Steve Haskin -- he includes Ragozin numbers in his Derby Dozen from time to time, and perhaps he could point you in the right direction.

19 Apr 2014 11:20 AM
Brontexx

Keelerman how about thorograph figs last 3.I have asked Steve Haskin on Derby Dozen no answer

19 Apr 2014 1:41 PM
-Keelerman

Brontexx;

I'm afraid I don't have the Thoro-Graph figures either. But I recall that someone recently asked Dan Illman of DRF.com for the Thoro-Graph figures of the Derby contenders, and he referenced them to Thoro-Graph's website, so you might be able to find them there.

Here's a link to Dan Illman's blog post: www.drf.com/.../baker-cooks-calder

19 Apr 2014 1:54 PM
Brontexx

Keelerman now that I know you dont have the sheet figures getting back to the distance from where the track turn begins to the finish line on each oval,you provided the fact that SA and Keen are one mile ovals what about the rest of the tracks that you provided the stretch distances do you know the basic oval for each.I dont get the racing manual.

20 Apr 2014 1:46 PM
Brontexx

Keelerman btw congrats on picking Dynamic Impact in the derby yesterday I had him underneath Midnight Hawk but I didnt bet because of his odds(MH) and lack of payoff for him in 2nd.

20 Apr 2014 1:49 PM
Little Bill
20 Apr 2014 10:26 PM
Brontexx

Little Bill TY thats twice you have replied to a question for Keelerman,if you are not his assistant maybe you should be.

21 Apr 2014 7:40 AM
Brontexx

Little Bill do you have the last 3 sheets figures for the top twenty KD contenders?

21 Apr 2014 7:41 AM
Brontexx

Little Bill Aqueduct,SA,and Sunland are not active links in the list you provided.

21 Apr 2014 7:45 AM
Little Bill

It's an open forum. I figured a response from anybody would be better than none. The inactive tracks is a DRF thing, a stupid one. SA is a mile oval.

21 Apr 2014 12:02 PM
Little Bill

Aq outer 1 1/8.

21 Apr 2014 1:28 PM
-Keelerman

Thanks for the congratulations, Brontexx! I see Little Bill answered most of your questions about the size of each track, but as for Sunland Park, it's also a one-mile oval.

23 Apr 2014 9:05 AM

Recent Posts

More Blogs

Archives