Kentucky Derby 140 Selections

By J. Keeler Johnson (“Keelerman”)

It is with a degree of confusion and uncertainty that I sit down to write my analysis of the Kentucky Derby. As of yesterday—actually, make that early this morning—the 2014 Derby seemed to be one of the most clear-cut in recent memory. My confidence in the combined chances of California Chrome and Hoppertunity was supreme. I felt almost certain that one or the other would win the Run for the Roses, and thought there was an excellent chance that the pair would sweep the Derby exacta.

Then came the saddening news that Hoppertunity had scratched from the Derby with a foot issue. Needless to say, I was very disappointed by the news. It’s a sad day, not only for the colt’s connections—to whom I offer my sympathies—but for the readers of this blog as well, for I know many of you were as confident as I in the chances of Hoppertunity.

But as they say, the show must go on, and the Derby is the Derby. So I’m going to put the injury of Hoppertunity aside and concentrate on trying to hit the Derby superfecta—the holy grail of handicapping!

For the top spot in my superfecta, I have decided to single California Chrome. I am fully aware of the risk involved, especially now that California Chrome will start from post position six. (He originally drew post five, but following the scratches of Hoppertunity and Pablo Del Monte, the horses in gates 1-10 have shifted outward one slot each, leaving the rail position open.) Should he break slowly, as he did in the Santa Anita Derby, his race could potentially end right there. But at the same time, he towers over his rivals on paper, and I honestly believe that if this Derby were run ten times, he would win at least five of them. Assuming he breaks cleanly, I envision him working out a stalking trip just off of a moderately quick early pace, then accelerating around the turn and putting the race away at the top of the homestretch.

For the second place, things get a bit tricky. After giving it some thought, the horses I’ve settled on using—much to my own surprise!—are Medal Count and Candy Boy, both of which I discussed as potential live longshots in my last blog post. According to reports, Medal Count has made a very positive impression while training at Churchill Downs, and seems to be handling the track very, very well—which is important, given that his record on dirt is only so-so. Some may be concerned by the fact that the Derby will be his third race in four weeks, but he seems to be thriving on his busy schedule, and is bred to run all day. Candy Boy has also trained strongly at Churchill, and as I mentioned in my last post, he should get a much better pace setup this Saturday than he did in the Santa Anita Derby. I wasn’t thrilled by his post position assignment (he will break from gate eighteen), but hopefully, jockey Gary Stevens will be able to guide Candy Boy into a ground-saving position about eight or ten lengths off the early lead. From there, I think Candy Boy has a great shot to finish up strongly and secure a top-three finish.

For the third position in my superfecta, I will be adding Intense Holiday, Wicked Strong, and Danza. I debated back and forth whether to use one or two of these colts for second place as well, but in the end, I had enough doubts about each colt to relegate them to the third spot. Intense Holiday has trained very well at Churchill, but his runner-up effort in the Louisiana Derby—in which he started cross-firing at the top of the stretch and subsequently ran into the inner rail—has me a bit worried, because if he does that on Saturday, his chances are pretty much over. Furthermore, the final three furlongs of the Louisiana Derby were run in a slow :38.63 seconds, during which Intense Holiday actually lost ground on the winner. His inclusion in the third spot on my ticket is due to his good training, excellent post position (16), and the memory of his strong victory in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) two starts back.

It’s hard to ignore the abilities of Wicked Strong, who ran the final three furlongs of the Wood Memorial in around :37 2/5 to win going away by 3 ½ lengths. But as impressive as his performances looks on paper, I wasn’t stunned from a visual perspective. Wicked Strong appeared to be in deep trouble rounding the far turn, as did eventual runner-up Samraat, and the fact that they both rallied to sweep the exacta suggests to me that Wood Memorial was a race that fell apart late, regardless of what the clock says. Throw in the fact that Wicked Strong will be breaking from post twenty, along with my belief that the Derby pace will not be nearly as fast as it was last year, and I think Wicked Strong has his work cut out for him.

Danza was very impressive winning the Arkansas Derby by nearly five lengths in a sharp time, clocking the final furlong in a strong :12.30 seconds. A repeat of that performance would make him dangerous in the Derby, but he’ll need racing luck while breaking from post five, and he’s unlikely to get the same dream trip that he did in Arkansas. The talent is there, but this is a tough task for a horse making just his second start around two turns.

So this brings us to the final spot in my superfecta ticket, where after much deliberation, I have decided to include four additional horses: Ride On Curlin, Tapiture, General a Rod, and Chitu. I had planned on using Ride On Curlin higher up in my ticket, but that was back when there was a strong possibility of a wet track on Derby Day. In addition, jockey Calvin Borel will most likely do everything possible to guide Ride On Curlin to the rail—even from post nineteen—and when the track is fast at Churchill, the rail can become a bit dull. As a result, I have downgraded Ride On Curlin to fourth place, although I could potentially change my mind if the rail looks all right on Friday and early Saturday.

I outlined my thoughts on Tapiture in my "Live Longshots” blog post, so I won’t rehash them here. General a Rod failed to finish as strongly as I would have hoped in the Florida Derby, but the pace scenario conspired against him that day. He could be better coming from further off-the-pace, which is the plan for the Derby. Lastly, I view Chitu as the best of the speed horses in this year’s Derby, and if the early pace isn’t too quick, I can envision him hanging around for a piece of the purse.

One horse I had intended to use but decided to drop is Commanding Curve. I like the similarities between this colt and Golden Soul, who finished second in last year’s Derby at odds of 34-1, but one important similarity seems to be missing: Golden Soul ran a decent fourth in a strongly-run renewal of the Louisiana Derby, finishing very well into the teeth of a quickly run final three-furlongs. In contrast, Commanding Curve ran a decent third in a slowly-run renewal of the Louisiana Derby, closing only mildly into slow final fractions. I won’t be shocked if Commanding Curve finishes in the Derby superfecta, but if he does, I’m afraid I won’t be on the bandwagon.

So in conclusion, here is my superfecta ticket:

5/14-18/4-14-16-18-20/4-8-13-14-15-16-18-19-20

Good luck to all!

283 Comments

Leave a Comment:

ROBBIEJOE25

www.youtube.com/watch      

hint: its the chance of a lifetime ine a lifetime of chance............its high time u joined in the dance

goodluck everybody

01 May 2014 7:13 PM
GoldenGiven

Keelerman, I can't believe what I'm reading here, your selections are exactly what I have been thinking the last 24 hours. I was very, very confident that the top 3 from the SA Derby would fill out the tri one way or another. Im replacing Hoppertunity with Medal Count(based on his dosage profile, not because I think he is a top-tier 3yr old - he isn't). Danza and Wicked Strong just beat winners for the first time last month and I'm just not sold on them. Thank you, and enjoy the Derby!

01 May 2014 7:19 PM
AnneM

Samraat is clearly better than many of these selections -He will be my 2nd choice behind California Chrome.

01 May 2014 7:23 PM
Brontexx

I am opening nominations for wise guy horse I nominate Medal Count who will run his 3rd race in 30 days anyone second the nomination or want to nominate another colt,be my guest.

01 May 2014 7:37 PM
Brontexx

Keelerman $56 on the $1 bet,will you cover this bet with other bets?

01 May 2014 7:52 PM
TnT

Still work in progress, Danza, Dance with Fate, Wicked strong,and IH, in the 1-2 slots.......24 hours to much time to think.

Chome has just lost his vibe. I don't trust him or victor inside.

01 May 2014 8:04 PM
TnT

Still work in progress, Danza, Dance with Fate, Wicked strong,and IH, in the 1-2 slots.......24 hours to much time to think.

Chome has just lost his vibe. I don't trust him or victor inside.

01 May 2014 8:04 PM
Ranagulzion

Keelerman: California Chrome is a very good colt, he's run an amazing series of prep races and deserves to be the favourite ...the one they'll all have to beat BUT contrary to your view he doesn't really tower over his rivals. I like him a lot to win in the absence/exclusion of Social Inclusion but would hasten to add that Wicked Strong, Wildcat Red, General a Rod and Danza are his equals and way superior to anything he's hitherto faced out west. Therefore don't be surprised if his stocks are lowered by one of these. A strong case could also be made for including Tapiture among his equals and especially at Churchill Downs and even moreso if it rains. Peace.

ROBBIEJOE25: Very good post and good luck to you too Pal.

01 May 2014 8:48 PM
UncleStosh

Throw away what the clock says? Why would you throw away the only objective fact? Your visual impression was obviously wrong as they come home pretty fast in REALITY.

What is the point of pointing out that a horse cross ford and slammed into the rail if your next thought is that the horse that basically stopped lost ground to a slow final  3f? Noooooooo, really? Heck, if he made up even one length after that incident, he would need to be crowned a super horse. After the cross fire body slam, nothing afterwards has relevance.

01 May 2014 9:02 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

Chitu? Candy Boy? Nooooo!  

We had the same picks yesterday.  Until Hoppertunity was pulled out and the whole superfecta edifice came down like a house of cards.  I got nuthin' for the Derby right now.  But lots of singles I wanted to bounce off you and others for feedback.  See other thread.  

I'd love California Chrome except for two things:

1. I'm afraid he'll break badly: like in the Santa Anita Derby.

2. Per Coldfacts, Art Sherman has had California Chrome posters made up.  

01 May 2014 9:22 PM
PickingTheDerbyWinnerSomeday

You have listed every wise guy horse.....nothing good here. Move along.

01 May 2014 9:23 PM
Rusty Weisner

Brontexx,

Yes, Medal Count is the wiseguy horse.

01 May 2014 9:23 PM
-Keelerman

Brontexx;

Yes, I'm looking at a trifecta to cover the possibility of California Chrome finishing second, third, or off-the-board, but I'm not quite finished with it yet. The scratch of Hoppertunity really threw things off for me!

01 May 2014 9:34 PM
-Keelerman

Ranagulzion;

Thanks for your thoughts! I'm glad to see you like Tapiture as well. I've really come to respect his chances during the last week, but I hope he goes off at higher than his 12-1 morning line price. In my opinion, that's a bit too low.

01 May 2014 9:37 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

"...and the whole superfecta edifice came down like a house of cards..."

That's a perfect description of what happened! :) As of this morning, I had a perfectly satisfying superfecta ticket worked out that keyed California Chrome on top with Hoppertunity and Medal Count in second. For third, I was planning on adding Candy Boy, Intense Holiday, and Wicked Strong, and for fourth, I was going to add Danza, Ride On Curlin, Tapiture, and General a Rod -- no Chitu. Our selections were similar enough that if California Chrome and Hoppertunity went 1-2, I figured there was a legitimate shot that we might both hit the superfecta. But after the scratch of Hoppertunity, I had to rework things, and Candy Boy ended up being promoted to the second position.

The reason I added Chitu was because I had a slot open for one more horse, and since I don't think the Derby pace will be ridiculously fast, I decided to take a shot with the colt I feel is the best of the front-runners. If the pace is reasonable enough, I think he could be in contention turning for home, and maybe hang on for fourth place. It's definitely a longshot, but he should be a fair price.

Now that this new blog post is up, I'll take a much closer look at the other Derby Day races, and share my thoughts on each. But for the moment, I look at the past performances for the thirteenth race, and I think you're on to something in singling Party Time. He has a large Beyer speed figure edge over his rivals (the par for the race is 80, and he is the only horse in the field to have surpassed that number), and he worked very well in company with Chitu on April 27th. He looks like a standout to me.

01 May 2014 10:17 PM
-Keelerman

Brontexx;

Yes, I'm afraid Medal Count is definitely looking like this year's wise guy horse. Hopefully it won't hurt his price too much!

01 May 2014 10:33 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Keelerman -

I believe you may have inadvertently credited Rusty with the interest in Party Time - think it was 'Matt, Fan of Monarchos'.

01 May 2014 10:39 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Is there a 'Wise Guy Horse' checklist ?

01 May 2014 10:40 PM
-Keelerman

GoldenGiven;

Thanks, and good luck! I hope you hit the trifecta!

01 May 2014 10:42 PM
-Keelerman

Plod Boy Phil;

Thanks! I went back and looked, and it was Rusty Weisner who liked Party Time, but it's always good to double-check.

I'm on board the She's a Tiger bandwagon for the Eight Belles Stakes, and I agree that she could be sitting on a very big season. Hopefully, her six-month absence from the races will keep her price from dropping too low!

01 May 2014 10:54 PM
-Keelerman

In case anyone wants to review, here's the link to my last blog post, which featured some terrific conversations in the comments section. In particular, there are some excellent thoughts, analysis, and selections for the undercard races on Derby Day, and also for the Kentucky Oaks.

cs.bloodhorse.com/.../three-derby-longshots-to-consider.aspx

I'm signing off for the day, but I'll be back tomorrow morning with thoughts on the Kentucky Oaks, as well as the many other graded stakes races being run at Churchill Downs over the next two days. Good luck to all!

01 May 2014 10:54 PM
Monarchos Matt

BETS:

Win, Place, Show- Wicked Strong

Show- Ride on Curlin

Exacta Box- Wicked Strong, California Chrome, Ride On Curlin, Medal Count

Trifecta Key-

Wicked Strong/

California Chrome, Ride On Curlin, Medal Count, Danza, Intense Holiday/

California Chrome, Ride On Curlin, Medal Count, Danza, Intense Holiday, Candy Boy, General A Rod

Trifecta Wheel-

California Chrome, Ride on Curlin/

California Chrome, Ride on Curlin, Wicked Strong, Medal Count/

California Chrome, Ride on Curlin, Wicked Strong, Medal Count, Danza, Intense Holiday

01 May 2014 11:24 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Right you are KJ - this scanner not what it used to be: Rusty to MMM

01 May 2014 11:27 PM
Prepster

I finally got my bets together, it sounds like I'm on the same page with most of you.  I'm doing two bets, a trifecta with Cal Chrome keyed on top and an exacta without him in it.  I'm not quite brave enough to try for the super :)

Trifecta with Cal Chrome in 1st, Wicked Strong, General a Rod, Medal Count, Candy Boy, Intense Holiday and Danza in the 2nd/3rd sports.

Exacta will all the horses in the 2nd/3rd spots above. I feel like Cal Chrome will either win or finish well back.

I am also going to place a win bet on one of the horses above not named Chrome - I'm just going to watch the odds on Saturday to see who looks the most attractive.  As of right now, I'm thinking it will be between Candy Boy and General a Rod.

For the Oaks tomorrow, I'm going to try the pick 4 vs. spending a lot trying to figure out the 2nd/3rd place finishers.  I will bet a few big prices to win but I haven't paid enough attention to the girls to narrow it down.

Good luck everyone!

01 May 2014 11:57 PM
Monarchos Matt

Rusty-

Just finished my Derby analysis, moving on to the undercard. Agree, when Sahara Sky is on the right side of his form like he appears to be now, he's one of the very best. 4-1 would be a gift there.

I'm not totally against Delaunay, but do give mental notes to the fact that the track last year was sloppy and catered to his front running style at that distance, and against a less talented field. And, he's been inconsisent since then, but has bounced back recently...maybe he's just better in the winter/ spring? There seems to be some more pace here with Falling Sky and even Broadway Empire, so he'll have a tougher test up front here for sure.

Clearly Now is always there and must be included, although he was absolutely no match of Sahara Sky in his last. This race looks like a ripe one for a bomber closer to ruin the trifecta, but I don't look towards Capo Bastone...his King's Bishop surprise looks every bit as flukey today as it did then. Shakin' It Up certainly fits the description but let's look for more value. What about the claimers, River Bear and Quiet Force, or the on/off Laugh Track, 2nd in the crazy BC Sprint from off the pace and completely worthless since?

Might just make this a win bet on Sahara Sky and not get cute on exotics. Seems anything could happen here underneath him. But pace should set up for him on a dry track.

02 May 2014 12:18 AM
Householder

Time to face up to the facts.  There is a lot of crap in here.  Load 10 and race 10.  With that being said, the only question I have is over/under 46 for the half?  I hope Chitu goes with his bad toe and Samratt will be screaming in California Chrome's right ear the whole way round.  As much as I hate to admit it, it may be Pletcher 2 for 37 with a closer like Intense Holiday.  Now I need to find a Giacomo and pray for a 45.99 half.

02 May 2014 1:46 AM
Ranagulzion

These days handicappers consider it near impossible for a front runner to wire the Derby field and this is understandale given that the last two horses to wire the field were Spend a Buck in 1985 and War Emblem fourteen years later in 1999. Its been 15 years since War Emblem and with no "crazy speed" expected this year, handicapping for a wire to wire victory is an angle that could yield a small fortune. The horses capable of such a feat are not many: Wildcat Red, Chitu and Vicar's in Trouble. California Chrome is more than capable but it is highly unlikely that such a brazen strategy will be employed. Good luck.

02 May 2014 1:55 AM
Householder

Medal Count looks interesting.  Roman's horses typically look bad on paper and then show up to kill the exotics.  He fits my Giacomo angle with a sub 46 half.  

02 May 2014 2:11 AM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

There's no checklist.  It's just one of those clubs you're either a member of or not.  If you have to ask, you're not.

Count yourself lucky.

02 May 2014 6:51 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I mentioned on the other thread I don't like Delauney because the only graded stakes he's won was a weak edition of this same race, in slop.

I like Sahara Sky/Clearly Now, but, yes, maybe just stick with the one.  He won't be 4-1, but you get palatable odds by virtue of how he lost last out, which was flukey.  

I don't know if I'll bet a wide ticket on this race, but Capo Bastone has a good day in a big field with lively pace he can win; I had him on a (losing) P4 ticket that King's Bishop.  His last race was against his elders and he got bumped and did nothing; try again.  His penultimate race was the failed experiment of the turf sprint.  Big odds, and I know some people here always like this horse (JayJay, I think).

I have feelings I have a handle on R7, R8, R9, R12, with potential singles.  I might play a lot less on the Derby itself and play the R8-R10 P3 for a lot; I'll definitely play the P5, singling on both ends.  I'm trying to narrow down winners of the Derby for a horizontal alternative to a CC single.  I just don't know who I like to win; there's no peanut butter to CC's jelly for me.  I'll try Wicked Strong, per your recommendation.  I'll also try Intense Holiday, despite my better judgment, and certainly yours; I "like" the horse, and he had two episodes, not one, of trouble in the La Derby, which I predicted as his off race, anyway.  

Exotics in the Derby are tough, and I may not play:  I would prefer to be live to a nice P4 or P5 ticket with CC singled and have an alternate late P4 ticket where I go against.  The thing that gets me is that I don't see the fast, pedigreed stalker I want -- I felt like Hoppertunity was just going to zero in on CC and pass him this time.  Where is that horse?  I like to have at least one fast horse on my tickets, and I have no idea which of these fast ones, if any, can hold on for a piece, other than hopefully CC.  Of all those fast types, the one I like best is Wildcat Red, and I don't like him off his specially-tailored home court. In fact, I'm starting to think Uncle Sigh and VIT are going to guarantee a too-hot pace, one that could singe the 4 & 5.  I am willing to go against Danza because he got the perfect trip.  So I may just restrict bets to three horses: CC, WS, IH - in horizontals and not going beyond the exacta.

Phil mentioned Pablo Del Monte on the last thread.  If he hits the board, I will impute godlike powers to him.  If this horse is entered he'll be over 50-1, maybe 100-1.  I agree that his was the noteworthy performance in the Bluegrass (my comment was that I almost prefer him to Medal Count & Dance With Fate), but on a moment's reflection, there's no way I'll bet a dime on him: this horse has never won on dirt, or beyond 6.5f. I am actually playing a horse that had a similar Keeneland race in the Oaks, though, Thank You Marylou.  I'm almost sad Keeneland is losing its synthetic: it was becoming a perfect negative predictor, plus I'm a lifetime winner there.  I'm now against Medal Count and Dance With Fate, by the way.    

The second biggest question of the day is, of course, what to do with Wise Dan.  I'll try beating him, just by virtue of the crazy amount of money that'll be on the table.  As I mentioned, there are three G1 winners besides him in this race.  Last year I tried to beat him because of the surface, spent like $300 on five or six P3s to win $130. I will never learn.

02 May 2014 7:34 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I have no idea why Shakin' It Up is the ML favorite in that race.  Sahara Sky just beat him in his first against older.

Oaks: Ria Antonia/Untapable.  I took a strong stand against Rosalind vs. Ria Antonia in a "side bet" with Coldfacts.  Keelerman noted two crazy longshots (the one who was DQ'd at Oaklawn and the one out of Keeneland I just mentioned) and I kind of liked both enough to take a stab underneath in tris with my top two on top.  Those two will be on my P4.  Oaks/Derby double will be Ria Antonia/CC for like $10.  Plod Boy Phil strongly endorsed She's a Tiger on the last thread in the Eight Belles. She is the only other one I would consider other than my pick, Fiftyshadesofgold; these two are the only ones to have beaten any Oaks horses. The factors that tipped me in her favor were current form and the fact that she was originally entered in the Oaks.

02 May 2014 7:47 AM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

This is kind of embarrassing, but what are these blogs if not places to embarrass myself -- how do you actually say the superfecta ticket you wrote up to the teller?  I've never actually bet a super of this complexity.

If I feel any confidence about CC I could consider him on top, with WS, IH, Danza boxed in two slots underneath, and then my non-eliminated horses (six to eight of them) in the last slot.  But this would be like $200.  Unlikely, unless I win a lot elsewhere early.

Any word on CC, by the way?

02 May 2014 7:51 AM
Rusty Weisner

You'll notice I'm up early.  I have problems sleeping Derby week.

02 May 2014 7:53 AM
Coldfacts

Keelerman,

“One horse I had intended to use but decided to drop is Commanding Curve.”

Your rational to drop Commanding Curve is interesting. His comparison to Golden Soul was based on one race i.e., the LA Derby. I do believe a broader comparison would reveal he has better credentials than Golden Soul going into the Derby.

The LA Derby comparison ignores some pertinent facts despite the highlighting of the quickly run final three-furlongs. Both colts closed from last. However, CC was  bumped badly at the off losing valuable lengths and subjected to the possibility of the wind being knocked out of him. GS experienced no such incident. GS flattened out in the last furlong of his LA Derby whereas CC was full of run even after a 2nd incident that caused some hesitation between horses in the stretch.

Both Horses contested the Risen Star as well and interestingly both finished 6th. The time for the 2013 Risen Star was 1:44.52 and 1:43.86 for 2014 renewal. Golden Soul made no impression in the stretch, whereas CC was closing with interest and would have finished a clear 4th possibly 3rd if not for interference from Gold Hawk.

With a clear trip, Commanding Curve would have finished a clear 4th in the Risen Star ahead of the highly touted Hopportunity. With an incident free trip in the LA Derby, he would have finished a clear 2nd ahead of current buzz horse Intense Holiday.

Commanding Curve has made 3 starts at CD. He lost by a NK & 3/4L over 8F and 8.5F. He won over 8.5F by 1 1/2L. Golden Soul had no such record heading into the Derby. Although CC closed from far back in his two most recent starts, he is no slouch. In his 1st start at CD he was beaten by a NK over 8F in a time of 1:36 4/5. He pressed the pace, led briefly and was caught. The fractions were 22 4/5, 46,1 :11 1/5, 1:36 4/5.

It is obvious Commanding Curve relishes the surface at CD as denoted by his 3 positive efforts there. His last effort at the location was 5 months ago as a 2YO. He must be bigger and stronger now and the possibility of a Jamaican exacta should not be discounted.

02 May 2014 8:48 AM
Kevin

Have a couple of small tri's with Chrome and Wicked Strong on top.  Like Danza and Intense Holiday.  Hard to separate the rest.  

My best bet for Oaks day is JoJo Warrior (#5) in the 8th.  Rarely do this but have a win only bet.  

02 May 2014 9:02 AM
-Keelerman

Happy Kentucky Oaks Day, everyone! I hope we all unlock some winners!

It was announced this morning that Pablo Del Monte will not run in the Kentucky Derby, leaving the race with nineteen starters. As a result, it has been determined that the horses from posts 12-20 will remain in their original post positions, while the horses from 1-10 will move outward one slot, leaving the rail position open.

02 May 2014 9:26 AM
Coldfacts

A P Indy secured the best finish by one of his progenies when Aptitude finished 2nd to Fusaichi Pegasus. He would subsequently sire a Preakness and Belmont winner but no subsequent progeny came as close as Aptitude to winning the Derby. He was retire one Derby win away from joining a select group of stallions that have sired a winner of each leg of the TC.

The progenies of his sons have featured in three of last four Derbies. See below:

2010 – Ice Box sired by Pulpit – 2nd Derby

2011 – Nehro sired by Mineshaft - 2nd Derby

2013 – Orb sired by Malibu Moon – 1st Derby

The 2014 Derby has 3 colt sired by tail descendant of A P Indy i.e., California Chrome, Tapiture and Commanding Curve.

California Chrome:

Sired by a Lucky Pulpit a grandsons of A P Indy (22-3-5-5, $209,928)

Tapiture:

Sired by a Tapit a grandsons of A P Indy (6-3-0-0, $557,300)

Commanding Curve:

Sired by a Master Of Command a son of A P Indy (17-8-2-2, $1,137,188)

Although the sons of A P Indy have the superior Derby record, Commanding Curve is significant underdog when compared to California Chrome and Tapiture. Although CC’s sire Master Of Command was not a major player in the breeder shed similar to Lucky Pulpit prior to California Chrome, he has the best racing record of the three stallions.

A well bred son of A P Indy with a progeny at 50-1 is always worth a wager base on the results in the last 4 years.

02 May 2014 9:36 AM
Mike from Michigan

does anybody ever remember a 'wise-guy' horse ever winning the derby?

02 May 2014 9:38 AM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

Don't worry -- I had to look in a book to see how to describe a superfecta ticket to the teller!

Here's what I came up with for my ticket:

"$1 superfecta part-wheel 5, with 14, 18, with 4, 14, 16, 18, 20, with 4, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20."

The latest word on California Chrome is that he looked a lot better galloping yesterday than he did on Wednesday. Still not fantastic, but a major improvement.

02 May 2014 9:49 AM
Rusty Weisner

Coldfacts,

I agree with you about Commanding Curve for the reasons you describe; you don't always get the lucky break of a longshot with a good excuse.  He's all the more haveable because his ML is 50-1.  I said he "should" be 50-1, but really expected the oddsmaker to wimp out and make him 30-1.  He has the earmarks of slow, outmatched horse, but then so did Golden Soul.  In any case, there's a reason they're longshots.  But with the same track, same trainer, I wouldn't be surprised to see him go off at that 30-1.

02 May 2014 9:52 AM
-Keelerman

Coldfacts;

You made a very strong case for sticking with Commanding Curve! His solid performances at Churchill are definitely a positive, and the A.P. Indy blood in his pedigree is appealing. Thanks for your thoughts!

02 May 2014 9:55 AM
Coldfacts

The eight horse below will be used in my wagers

Wicked Strong

Medal Count

California Chrome

General A Rod

Vinceremos

Commanding Curve

Uncle Sigh

We Miss Artie

02 May 2014 9:56 AM
Rusty Weisner

Kevin,

You sound just like me:  same horses, same lack of enthusiasm.  Last year's were also the same, only a different level of enthusiasm.

Jojo Warrior?  You'll get kudos from me if this one wins.  I gave her a chance, then felt I was being suckered by the trip problems.

02 May 2014 9:56 AM
-Keelerman

Mike from Michigan;

I believe Super Saver qualified as a wiseguy horse, although I'm not sure he would match everyone's definition of the term. A lot of people liked Super Saver because of his experience in the mud, his jockey Calvin Borel, and his sharp training leading up to the race. I believe he was 15-1 on the morning line, but he ended up going off as the 8-1 second choice behind 6.30-1 Lookin at Lucky.

02 May 2014 10:00 AM
Rusty Weisner

I mentioned the negatives for CC.  The main positive is that he is very fast, faster than the others, in fact. One additional positive is that you can sing, "The sun shines bright on my Californa Chrome...."  Credit to trackjack on the Haskin thread; I had to share that.

02 May 2014 10:03 AM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

I was also surprised to see Shakin It Up as the morning line favorite for the Churchill Downs. Sahara Sky beat him fair and square in the San Carlos, even if Shakin It Up didn't have the best of trips, and Sahara Sky has since come back to finish a strong second in a grade I. I would be surprised if Shakin It Up is still the favorite by post time, but if Sahara Sky somehow stays at 4-1, that could be the best value of the whole day.

02 May 2014 10:09 AM
Rusty Weisner

Thanks, Keelerman.  I wasn't sure how to handle the duplication of the numbers.  I've actually never done that in a tri or super; I've always had singles underneath.

02 May 2014 10:14 AM
-Keelerman

Householder;

I believe the half-mile fraction will be over :46 seconds, perhaps right around 46 1/5 or :46 2/5. What do you think?

02 May 2014 10:18 AM
Rusty Weisner

Hoppertunity, Normandy Invasion...to quote Tessio in "The Godfather": "That messes up all my plans."

I considered NI an appealing alternative to WTC in the Alysheba.  I still will probably go against WTC of the weak last outing.  I like Granny Mc's Kitten in R9, but don't expect the ML 15-1.

02 May 2014 10:23 AM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

Thanks for your comments on Sahara Sky.  Mike Battaglia is phoning it in.  A prank call with this one.

02 May 2014 10:28 AM
Monarchos Matt

Rusty,

I imagine that Shakin' It Up was made ML favorite based on his field high 106 Beyer in the 7f Malibu last December, and his running style fits if there is a hot pace, which I think there will be. Still, his figures have been in a steady descent since then (101-96), so I'm inclined to beat him as well, especially considering the most recent head to head result.

02 May 2014 10:39 AM
-Keelerman

Ranagulzion;

Maybe this is the year that someone finally wires the Derby again! I know that the connections of Vicar's in Trouble and Wildcat Red have expressed an interest in trying to rate just off the lead, and unless Uncle Sigh pulls a "Palace Malice," I'm sure he won't rush too hard for the early lead either. If this all comes to fruition -- and it may not -- the resulting pace could be surprisingly slow, perhaps more than :47 seconds for the half-mile. Personally, I think the pace will be quicker, since Vicar's in Trouble will probably have to go to the lead from the inside post position, but I don't think it will be nearly as fast the last two years.

02 May 2014 10:44 AM
Monarchos Matt

Rusty,

I won't talk you out of Intense Holiday for the win. I'm only using him underneath as you see, but he certainly fits the closer profile if he can duplicate his Risen Star, and he's looked great all week on the track.

My main knock on him is his 3/8 come home time in the La Derby. Sure, he was closer to the pace than he should have been, but the pace was slow. He doesn't meet my :38 cutoff criteria for a win contender. Then again, neither did Animal Kingdom in his Spiral win...

02 May 2014 10:46 AM
Coldfacts

Kentucky Oaks:

Dancethruthedawn is certainly not in the 2014 Kentucky Oaks field but a pedigree comparison is worthwhile appears in order. The Canadian HOF inductee was sired by Mr. Prospector and out of a Danzig mare. She won several G1 races including the Go For Wand and the Queen’s Plate over the boys.

Oaks entrant Aurelia’s Belle was sire by a Belmont winning grandson of Mr. Prospector and out of a Danzig mare. Her 5 race resume is interesting. She won on debut at Keeneland and was then shipped to GP. She contested 3 races at GP with a (3-0-1-2) record. She failed to find extra in the final furlong of all 3 races. She obviously like many found the Conveyor Belt at GP unfavorable. She returned to synthetic in the TWP Oaks where she won handily. She has never been worse than 3rd in 5 starts.

This filly has been training well at CD that has proven to be very friendly to turf/synthetic types. Not many in the field have as good a pedigree as Aurelia’s Belle. If you are a fan of tail descendants of Danzig as I am, at a ML of 30-1 she is a must wager.

The Dam sire of 2000 KD winner Fusaichi Pegasus was sired by Danzig. Where is the KD contested?

02 May 2014 10:48 AM
Coldfacts

"The main positive is that he is very fast, faster than the others"

That is to be proven. Speed in CA and GP can be compared.

02 May 2014 10:51 AM
-Keelerman

Coldfacts;

Good thoughts on Aurelia's Belle! She should appreciate the extra distance of the Kentucky Oaks, and the speed-favoring nature of Gulfstream Park may have indeed had an impact on her performances there this winter. I like the fact that she breezed a solid seven furlongs at Churchill on April 24th, and I think she could be coming at the finish of the Oaks. Good luck!

02 May 2014 10:57 AM
-Keelerman

The first race of the day at Churchill Downs is in the history books! 9-5 favorite Brazen Persuasion proved best by a large margin in the six-furlong allowance optional claiming race, dueling with Jamaican Smoke through blazing fractions of :21.66 and :44.74 before putting her rival away and drawing clear to score by four or five lengths. Elusive Fate rallied from just off the pace to edge Jamaican Smoke by a neck for second place. The final time was 1:09.31.

02 May 2014 11:00 AM
Monarchos Matt

The Golden Soul vs Commanding Curve comparisons are interesting. With the extreme benefit of hindsight, I believe Golden Soul had the better chance entering last year's race. I say this because his 3/8 come home time was the fastest on dirt in the entire field. Commanding Curve's allegedly similar move was visually appealing but nowhere near as inspiring relative to the rest of the field (:38.38, which is still faster than Intense Holiday, but middling overall).

02 May 2014 11:00 AM
Monarchos Matt

Keelerman,

I agree with you almost exactly in terms of pace. I'm calling for a :46.2 opening 1/8. So, not as fast as last year, but still hot enough to favor closers.

Rusty,

I'm gonna play the Pick 3 9-11 for sure, and I'm in on singling Sahara Sky and trying to beat Wise Dan in the middle. With who? Going to start looking at that shortly. Will use Wicked Strong, CC and ROC in the Derby.

02 May 2014 11:15 AM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

I just took a look at Churchill's second race on Derby Day, and while I think Chas's Legacy looks like a contender, No Surrender has really caught my eye. The 92 Beyer speed figure he earned for his maiden win at Hawthorne is the best in the field, and he did it by closing into slow early fractions. His final five-sixteenths time of around :31.12 was very respectable, and now he's making his debut for trainer Todd Pletcher. Best of all, he's 5-1 on the morning line!

The other colt that has caught my eye is Demander, who closed from nearly eight lengths back to break his maiden going a mile at Gulfstream Park on March 8th. In his only start since then, he was beaten 13 1/2 lengths in a 8.5-furlong allowance race on the Keeneland Polytrack, but I'm willing to throw that race out and hope he returns to form on traditional dirt.

02 May 2014 11:19 AM
Rusty Weisner

My bets for today:

R7 P3:  1,2,7,10,12/Fiftyshadesofgold/1,3,4,5,6,7,10

R8 P4: Fiftyshadesofgold/1,3,4,5,6,7,10/2,3,7,8/Ria Antonia, Untapable

R8 P3: Fiftyshadesofgold,She's a Tiger/3/2,3,7,8

Oaks:  If no live ticket, $10 Oaks/Derby double Ria Antonia/CC.  I'll try tris, Ria Antonia and Untapable on top, Please Explain & Thank You Marylou underneath.  For kicks.

02 May 2014 11:24 AM
Little Bill

Good morning all and good luck. I'll pitch in some thoughts.

Race 6) boxing what i think are the closers, 5 6 9.

Race 8) Keying Jojo and throwing in D Legs to get a piece at a price.

Race 9) I like the 5. That Euro circuit is not the strongest over there, but he was solid. FTL, Chad Brown, I'm in.

Race 10) Tough heat. My price pick is  Bradester. If it wasn't for the 8 he'd be alone on the lead.

Race 11) I like Unbridled Forever. Kinda sentimental as I had Lemons that year. Should be right off the first flight, we'll see if she's good enough. Price picks, Kiss Moon and Please Explain. I can't explain it.

Again, good luck to all.

02 May 2014 11:26 AM
-Keelerman

I think Saturday's Humana Distaff is a two-horse race between Midnight Lucky and Judy the Beauty, although determining which will triumph is not as easy. Judy the Beauty has the benefit of recent races, and seems to be in career-best form right now. Her victory last time out in the Madison Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland was eye-catching. Midnight Lucky hasn't run since winning the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont last May, but in that race, she crushed the very good filly Close Hatches by 6 1/4 lengths despite stumbling at the start. This is a tough spot for her to make her first start in nearly a year, but she has been training tremendously in recent weeks, and her bullet :59 1/5 five-furlong breeze at Churchill on April 26th suggests she's ready to roll. It's a tough call, but I'm going to side with Midnight Lucky.

02 May 2014 11:28 AM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

I tossed No Surrender as getting a high figure in what was basically a three-horse field.  I'm willing to be beat by that one.

02 May 2014 11:33 AM
Pedigree Ann

Well, the Beyer kiss of death has come in and he has awarded it to Wicked Strong. He usually picks the horse with the top Beyer figure, but he couldn't bring himself to pick a California horse, so he went with

the second best.  Too bad, I thought WS had a shot.

We have just under 2 weeks before we leave for our sabbatical in Ireland and my mind is in fifteen places at once, so my handicapping is unlikely to be my best and I have it given up. I'll just say, I WANT 'Junior' (California Chrome) to win because he has the best form, an old-school trainer (racehorses are for racing), and he is a fellow Cal-bred. I was actually born in Missouri (Dad was at UMo on the GI bill from WWII) but after I worked at the CTBA part-time, I was given a certificate by the registrar as an official Calbred, embossed, signed, and numbered.

02 May 2014 11:36 AM
Little Bill

I agree with Matt's comparison of G Soul and C Curve. There's a lot of that going on because of the trainer connection but really I don't see it. G Soul moved up on the off track. He hasn't hit the board since. He's a turf horse but the breeder is desperately trying to get a high grade dirt win. I'm hoping C Curve can hit the board. It might be interesting to see where he breaks.

02 May 2014 11:36 AM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

I took close look at Demander, too.  Sure. And my guess is he should get a plus for closing to win at Gulfstream.  But he's got no early speed and I'll hope he misses.  

02 May 2014 11:45 AM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

I like your strategy of trying to beat Will Take Charge in the Alysheba Stakes. If he loses as a 3-5 or 4-5 favorite, that pick four or pick three could pay nicely!

Like you, I'm inclined to pass on Moonshine Mullin despite the impressiveness of his last victory, given that his performance that day was substantially better than any race had had ever run in the past. I really want to like Appealing Tale at 15-1, but the long homestretch and deeper track makes me think he's up against it today. My gut feeling is that Will Take Charge will win this race, but Mylute and Golden Ticket look like valid upset contenders. Good luck!

02 May 2014 11:55 AM
Rusty Weisner

Anyone like Kyriaki in R4 Saturday?  Respectable at G3, couldn't clear N1X at SA downhill, back at an ordinary course and distance.

02 May 2014 11:55 AM
Pedigree Ann

2nd race at CD, MSWs going 1 1/16 went in 24.32, 48.90, 1:13.77, 1:38.25, and the pace still collapsed with a mid-pack closer winning in 1:44.52. Even money favorite, who contended for the lead, was 3rd, 5 lengths back. Did they harrow after the first??

02 May 2014 11:58 AM
Carlos in Cali

California Chrome and Untapable in a romp!

02 May 2014 12:03 PM
TnT

Keleerlan, I also noticed No Surrender and plan on betting him, would be nice to see Joe Bravo get a winner early Saturday, as Danza and CC are my 2 KD key horses. ( Finally case closed)

Today maybe just oaks - Some show on Thank you Mary Lou, maybe Key Untapable on top of Antonia, Mary Lou, and Coldfacts horse. Cant play Roslind without lasix.

That said, In race 4,I have been waiting for Hesinfront to get back to turf, surprised to see him thrown in against older horses, will take a closer look.

and yeah, I am a Golden Ticket serial bettor…….need help.

02 May 2014 12:03 PM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

Thanks for the track report.  Everyone chime in.

02 May 2014 12:21 PM
Rusty Weisner

Saturday's R5 is inscrutable.  I can only toss two or three.

02 May 2014 12:22 PM
-Keelerman

In Saturday's American Turf Stakes, I think the Irish-bred import Chief Barker looks like a major contender. As a two-year-old, he was trained by Richard Hannon, and beat Chriselliam in the Ascendant Stakes at Haydock. Chriselliam, of course, went on to win the group I Shadwell Fillies Mile Stakes at Newmarket and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. I) at Santa Anita last fall.

Chief Barker hasn't run since finishing sixth in the group I Racing Post Trophy Stakes behind Kingston Hill, but he has trained well at Keeneland since being transferred to the barn of Larry Rivelli. At 5-1 on the morning line, I think he's worth a serious look.

02 May 2014 12:23 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

Ask your bosses not to bump your threads.  You get literally hundreds of times more postings than the others here (probably even excluding my posts).  That last thread where we all had our Derby picks - that was priceless!

02 May 2014 12:26 PM
-Keelerman

In today's third race at Churchill Downs, She's Justified and Saturday Storms opened up a four-length lead early on while setting fractions of :24.06 and :47.76, but both were swallowed up following three-quarters of a mile in a slow 1:13.30. The top two finishers ended up being Tiz Windy and Handmade, both of which raced along the rail for the majority of the race before shifting out and rallying in the stretch. The final time for a mile and a sixteenth was a slow 1:45.49 seconds.

Despite the quick clocking for the first race, the main track at Churchill Downs appears deep and tiring today. We'll get another chance to see how the track is playing in fifteen minutes, when the La Troinne Stakes (gr. I) is run.

02 May 2014 12:30 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

I cover Appealing Tale as the likely horse on the lead.

02 May 2014 12:31 PM
Rusty Weisner

Saturday R6:  Centre Court is the only G1 or G2 winner in this G2 race.  The best any others have done is G3.  I don't really see who I'd go against her with.

02 May 2014 12:40 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

I like Storming Inti in that race, but I don't know if I'll single.  Chief Barker is my second choice, and after that I think it's a bit wide open, with three or four others I could put on a ticket.

02 May 2014 12:44 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

I'm glad you enjoyed that last thread as much as I did! If there's ever a particular thread that you would like to revisit, there's a blog post archive a little ways below the list of recent posts. All of the Unlocking Winners blog posts are contained there, sorted by month. Sometimes, I go back and re-read the conversations in the comments sections, and review my thoughts on Triple Crown races of the past. It can be very interesting!

02 May 2014 12:49 PM
Monarchos Matt

Looking at the Woodford, and the defection of Little Mike really changes the setup here. Skyring is really only playable when he is lone speed, which he may be close to here...only Bright Thought seems poised to go with him.

Lots of closers in here if I'm wrong, the most interesting of which may be Kaigun at 8-1. He was closing hard on Wise Dan at 8f and figures seem comparable with Skyring's recent efforts...

02 May 2014 12:55 PM
-Keelerman

The main track at Churchill still seems pretty tiring. It was nice to see On Fire Baby pick up another grade I victory in the La Troinne Stakes, and her nearly three-length margin of victory was decisive. But pace-setting Devil's Cave had little left at the finish after posting moderate fractions of :24.27, :47.57, and 1:11.32 seconds, and was beaten for second by longshot Molly Morgan, a decent allowance-level filly that rallied from well back to secure her first-ever placing in a graded stakes. The final time for a mile and a sixteenth was 1:43.48 seconds.

02 May 2014 1:21 PM
Little Bill

Sat. race 9 Falling Sky has not worked since 3/22. What the............

02 May 2014 1:25 PM
-Keelerman

In case anyone missed this amid the Derby excitement, Champagne Stakes winner Havana is scheduled to make his seasonal debut in Sunday's six-furlong Gold Fever Stakes at Aqueduct: www.equibase.com/.../BEL050414USA-EQB.html

If he runs well, it wouldn't surprise me to see him come back in the Woody Stephens Stakes on Belmont day.

02 May 2014 1:29 PM
-Keelerman

Little Bill;

That is odd, but perhaps a few of Falling Sky's workouts have been missed. He trains at Palm Beach Downs, and from what I've read, his workouts there have gone unrecorded in the past. So perhaps he has breezed once or twice since then, and they just aren't listed on his record.

02 May 2014 1:52 PM
Plod Boy Phil

re: Falling Sky not working since late March

And I thought I had a good gig...

02 May 2014 2:05 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I actually cover those two and the three G1 winners.  Kaigun was 37-1 and will be dismissed again, but maybe this horse has just improved greatly as a 4-yo.  Skyring is a strange horse that's won me money both times I had him:  on the 2012 Preakness card and in last year's Dixie.

02 May 2014 2:16 PM
Rusty Weisner

I just got crummy chalk in R7.  Didn't see anyone close suspiciously.  I have a theory that humid overcast weather makes for a dull track based on a couple days at the track where there was a closer's bias, including the 2011 Derby.  

02 May 2014 2:18 PM
Rusty Weisner

I actually did two 50-cent P4's above, one with Fiftyshadesofgold singled, for a total of $24, the other with both Fiftyshadesofgold and She's a Tiger, for $48.  

02 May 2014 2:27 PM
Little Bill

Keelerman, I went back and looked and they really didn't work F Sky that hard anyway. Typically one work between races. Unrecorded works I'm not hip to, or like.

Phil, you do.

02 May 2014 2:36 PM
Monarchos Matt

Laugh Track looks interesting underneath in the Cd Downs. He seems to be a forgotten horse after his BC Sprint runner up and seems to have excuses in his last three:

- Bobbled start and bumped hard and was immediately out of Clark.

- Closing style didn't translate to GP.

- Didn't like the KEE poly either, although that was a better effort (3rd by a length). Interestingly, he used a KEE prep (2nd place finish) ahead of the BC...

02 May 2014 2:36 PM
Rusty Weisner

She's a Tiger was also entered in the Oaks.

02 May 2014 2:47 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

Good luck with your pick fours! I'll be cheering for you!

02 May 2014 2:52 PM
-Keelerman

The early wagering on the Kentucky Oaks has Untapable as the favorite at 3-2, followed by Ria Antonia at 5-1, My Miss Sophia at 6-1, Rosalind at 7-1, and Sugar Shock at 9-1. Thank You Marylou has been bet surprisingly hard and is currently 16-1. Of course, a lot could change as post time draws nearer -- there's not much money in the win pool yet.

02 May 2014 2:58 PM
Plod Boy Phil

re:  She used to be a Tiger

Always a concern when it takes this long to return (Havana).  Disappointing.  Breeding shed next ?

02 May 2014 3:07 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman, Plod Boy Phil --

That's the last time I listen to either of you.  Just kidding, just kidding!  Two finer handicappers I've never encountered.  

I half chickened out, but now I have two live 50-cent P4 tickets where I would have only had one.  That was exciting.  Good signs of a fair track, though the closer friendly one would help with Ria Antonia.

02 May 2014 3:10 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

Great job with Fiftyshadesofgold! That must have been a hard race to watch. I thought Milam was going to win at the eighth pole, but Fiftyshadesofgold dug in gamely and wouldn't let her by. Looks like both of your pick fours and both of your pick threes are still live! Good luck!

02 May 2014 3:12 PM
-Keelerman

Plod Boy Phil;

It was hard to tell from the camera angle of the simulcast, but it looked to me like She's a Tiger hopped at the start and broke at least a length, perhaps more, behind the field. After that, I think the combination of the change in running style, the wide trip, and her lack of recent races proved too much to overcome. I think this was a performance she can build off of, although I have to admit, it was a bit of a shock to see her finish off-the-board.

02 May 2014 3:19 PM
Rusty Weisner

Someone make me the track oddsmaker.  What'd I tell you about the 15-1 Granny Mc's Kitten?  6-1.  I ended up not playing that extra single ticket with her, which is good.

02 May 2014 3:26 PM
Plod Boy Phil

She did not look at all what I expected - in fact,  the appeared to have little to no interest in the proceedings.  Yes, there was a slight hop at the start, but not enough to excuse being thoroughly trounced while never trying a lick.  If they lose the desire to compete,  it's over.  That BC may have emptied her.

02 May 2014 3:28 PM
Rusty Weisner

I was surprised to see Mike Watchmaker show some interest in Unbridled Forever in the Oaks.  I will give this horse a second look after the race we just saw (a close third behind Fiftyshadesofgold in the FG Oaks).

02 May 2014 3:29 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Pedigree Ann says Beyer has picked Wicked Strong.  Who'd he pick last year?  Someone logical but nevertheless doomed; it wasn't Verrazano, though.  Buck up, though: I'm betting him!  Your four categories post was very persuasive.

Let me know what you think about Kyriaki in Saturday's R4 (see above).  Singling this one would make the early P4 playable for me.

02 May 2014 3:46 PM
Rusty Weisner

A Little Bit Sassy.  $86, lmost 3-1 on my bet of $30.  Not as bad as I feared.  Two favorites and a second or third favorite, totally chalky.  By the way, they have 50-cent P3's tomorrow.

02 May 2014 4:10 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

Great job! Two down, two to go in your picks fours, and a pick three already hit! Perhaps Appealing Tale will steal the upcoming Alysheba Stakes at his present odds of 17-1. That would set up some nice payoffs heading into the Oaks!

02 May 2014 4:16 PM
Pedigree Ann

Huzzah for On Fire Baby! A board buddy of mine is a cousin of Reddog Hartlage, so I was able to be with them in the walking ring at Keeneland a couple of times, once with the Baby's dam Ornate for a turf stakes. Ornate has become quite a producer, with High Heels, French Kiss, and On Fire Baby on her produce record.

02 May 2014 4:27 PM
Rusty Weisner

I am going to play Unbridled Forever now.  I liked this horse on the Lecomte card a lot.  In the FG Oaks she was extremely wide on both turns, and that race now looks like an impressive one.  Not sure what kind of ticket to construct.  Maybe I'll just do Ria Antonia,  Untapable, UF in a tri, but I would like to make some room for my two crazy longshots.  I also entertain the possibility of Fashion Plate and My Miss Sophia holding on to hit the board.  

02 May 2014 4:34 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

How are you betting the Oaks?  If I lose the next race I'll still only be down $16 and will be willing to bet $50 or $60.  You just saw my thoughts.  UF, who I hadn't really looked at, has been elevated.  

02 May 2014 4:36 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

I just took a look at the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes, and I agree that Centre Court looks like a standout. The only other horse that interests me at first glance is Effie Trinket, since she looks like the best of the few speed horses and might be able to work out an easy lead. Then again, if Joel Rosario sends Tapicat from the rail, that might not be the case.

02 May 2014 4:38 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty -

Cash is a cash,  though it's actually less than 2-1 on the P3 wager ($3 win on a 2-1 shot nets $9).

Roll on.

02 May 2014 4:40 PM
Monarchos Matt

Rusty,

Beyer picked Goldencents last year,which was obviously just terrible. And Bodemeister the year before that, which I thought was terrible at the time but turned out not to be so bad. I didn't understand Pedigree Ann's comment that he didn't want to pick a West Coast horse considering he's done so the last two years, but maybe that is not the norm for him historically.

I'm actually shocked that he didn't pick California Chrome, I figured that was automatic this year. But I saw the article this morning. I actually respect Beyer and don't consider him a jinx at all, just kind of a slave to his figures, but he kind of has to be right? Anyway I give him credit for going against them to some extent and landing on the horse that I also believe is the most likely winner. It's unfortunate that his doing so will drive my price down, but I still anticipate getting at least 6-1.

I'm not playing tomorrow until Race 6 when the Stakes start, but I'll take a look at your Race 4 Horse at some point tonight. Going to be a late one.

02 May 2014 4:50 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

I like Unbridled Forever quite a lot in the Kentucky Oaks. I thought she was a bit short in the Fair Grounds Oaks, and her trainer has said the same in recent interviews. I'm not going to do much on the Oaks, but I'm looking at keying Untapable on top of a trifecta, with Unbridled Forever and Sugar Shock for second, followed by Unbridled Forever, Sugar Shock, Please Explain, Ria Antonia, Rosalind, Thank You Marylou, and Got Lucky in third. I think that Sugar Shock can run Fashion Plate and My Miss Sophia off their feet early on and still hang on for a spot in the trifecta.

I might also try an Oaks/Derby double using Unbridled Forever with California Chrome, Medal Count, and Candy Boy, depending on what the probable payoffs look like. Will you be trying the Oaks/Derby double or the Oaks/Woodford/Derby pick three?

02 May 2014 4:53 PM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

True.  Excited gamblers are subject to all kinds of fallacies.

Oaks thoughts?  I'm going to guess you like Ria Antonia, too.

02 May 2014 4:53 PM
Rusty Weisner

Yikes.  I though Golden Ticket had it for sure.  

02 May 2014 4:57 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner, I don't know what to say...that was one tough beat. I was on the edge of my seat cheering on Golden Ticket for you, and I really thought you had it. If it's any consolation, I'm a fan of Beyer speed figures, but I would never have touched Moonshine Mullin under the circumstances.

I hope things go better in the Oaks! Good luck!

02 May 2014 5:07 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty-

Lone to the 'Ticket' as well.

No, Ria has never impressed,  unless sheer size matters.

02 May 2014 5:13 PM
Rusty Weisner

I'm going to bet $84 on the Oaks, with Untapable, Ria Antonia and Unbridled Forever as my top three, four others underneath:  Fashion Plate, My Miss Sophia, Thank You Marylou, Please Explain.

$2 tri box: 2,13,9

$2 boxed exactas: 2,13,9

$1 part wheels:

2 over 13 and 9,7,11,1,5

2 over 9 and 13,7,11,1,5

13 over 2 and 9,7,11,1,5

13 over 9 and 2,7,11,1,5

9 over 13 and 2,7,11,1,5

9 over 2 and 13,7,11,1,5

I lose, that'll be a cool hundred for the day.

02 May 2014 5:13 PM
Rusty Weisner

Actually, I'll do the tris for 50 cents.

02 May 2014 5:15 PM
Brontexx

Weisner thats 54 where is the other 30 bet

02 May 2014 5:34 PM
Rusty Weisner

Make it $1.  I can live with losing $100.  I have more confidence in the Oaks than the Derby this year.

02 May 2014 5:39 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Oaks

9 Unbridled Forever from a bit further off the pace than expected.

9-13-4

02 May 2014 5:45 PM
Rusty Weisner

We're almost close to wrapping up this week's edition of "Rusty Weisner, the bum, loses $100 at the track"...

02 May 2014 5:50 PM
Brontexx

13-11-9 gents no potatoes Weisner

02 May 2014 6:02 PM
Rusty Weisner

I basically tried to beat Untapable, got a miserable $72 on my trifecta.  That was a pretty dramatic way to spend the day losing $13.  One has to laugh.  In fact, I'll go off and cackle insanely, please excuse me.

02 May 2014 6:07 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty -

It's not like you're eating all the shrimp...

02 May 2014 6:08 PM
Rusty Weisner

Brontexx,

Whatchou talkin bout, Willis? I got the tri.  I miss the P4 I bet, I can live with breaking even, almost.  $13.  Say, who's the 13 tomorrow?

02 May 2014 6:11 PM
-Keelerman

Well, at least you tried, Rusty Weisner! If Golden Ticket hadn't hung in the stretch of the Alysheba, you'd have finished up the day in great shape.

I was very surprised by how well My Miss Sophia ran in the Oaks, but the poor start for Fashion Plate definitely changed the pace scenario, and Javier Castellano did a great job taking advantage of the situation. But Untapable was simply much too good for these fillies, and I have to wonder if she will be pointed toward a major race against the colts in the future.

I ended up placing some Oaks/Derby doubles and Oaks/Woodford/Derby pick threes with Untapable, Wise Dan, Medal Count, and Candy Boy, so at least I have something to root for as we head into Derby Day.

02 May 2014 6:17 PM
Rusty Weisner

Learn to add, Brontexx!  That was $78 in bets.  I'm not that proud of it, but it was right there.

02 May 2014 6:19 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

Thanks for the sympathy on Moonshine Mullin.  Exciting, anyway.  That's why we play!

02 May 2014 6:22 PM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

I'm sorry, I don't get the shrimp reference.

People,

What is this, am I the only one playing?  Why am I out here making a spectacle of myself.  Not that I didn't enjoy it.  

And I did give people a good tip on Unbridled Forever at 15-1.  Anyone cash?

02 May 2014 6:26 PM
Rusty Weisner

Good night, all.  I might check in later, but tomorrow during the card I'll be offline.  Betting at the simulcast joint at Laurel.

Still no Derby picks.  

02 May 2014 6:28 PM
-Keelerman

Untapable's winning time of 1:48.68 seconds is the second-fastest time since the Oaks was moved to nine furlongs in 1982. The stakes record is 1:48.64, set in 2003 by Bird Town.

According to my charts, Untapable ran seven Beyer speed figure points better than Moonshine Mullin did in winning the Alysheba Stakes one race earlier. If you assume that Moonshine Mullin and Golden Ticket both ran a 103 -- a logical number, based on their past performances -- then Untapable's Beyer figure would be a 110. I'm starting to think that Untapable may be more than just a very good filly!

02 May 2014 6:30 PM
-Keelerman

It has been reported that all seems to be fine with Empress of Midway, who was scratched just before the start of the Kentucky Oaks after flipping over in the starting gate.

02 May 2014 6:35 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

That was indeed a very good tip on Unbridled Forever! And congratulations on hitting the trifecta! I hope you have a good time watching the simulcast at Laurel Park tomorrow. Good luck!

02 May 2014 6:39 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty-

Got the sense you were sheepish about using up all the internet space....which may have been a better, albeit still limp, joke

02 May 2014 6:43 PM
Pedigree Ann

From today's TDN:

With training hours now winding down, a proud

passenger aboard a stable pony pointed out to a group

of photographers just exactly who she was aboard.

"Hey, Perfect Drift," she beamed. Great to see that the 2002 Kentucky Derby third-place finisher is doing well in his second career.

02 May 2014 6:51 PM
Brontexx

RW here are the bets and the prices explain how you got $78

$2 tri box: 2,13,9 =$12

$2 boxed exactas: 2,13,9=$12

$1 part wheels:

2 over 13 and 9,7,11,1,5=$5

2 over 9 and 13,7,11,1,5=$5

13 over 2 and 9,7,11,1,5=$5

13 over 9 and 2,7,11,1,5=$5

9 over 13 and 2,7,11,1,5=$5

9 over 2 and 13,7,11,1=$4

29plus 24=53 I think maybe you are in over your head

02 May 2014 6:58 PM
derbygal

Keelerman; My guess for the Derby final time contest is 2:01.90.

02 May 2014 6:59 PM
Brontexx

Keelerman where do you see he won he lost here is his post the tri was 13-11-9 he aint got it and he dosent even know how much the bet cost

$2 tri box: 2,13,9

$2 boxed exactas: 2,13,9

$1 part wheels:

2 over 13 and 9,7,11,1,5

2 over 9 and 13,7,11,1,5

13 over 2 and 9,7,11,1,5

13 over 9 and 2,7,11,1,5

9 over 13 and 2,7,11,1,5

9 over 2 and 13,7,11,1,5

02 May 2014 7:01 PM
Brontexx

What a bunch of BS

02 May 2014 7:02 PM
Rusty Weisner

Brontexx,

How about:

"13 over 9 and 2,7,11,1,5"

Illiterate schmuck.

02 May 2014 8:49 PM
Householder

Keelerman--

I think your spot on about the half.  I looked at the form and over a route of ground, the fastest horses with the fastest 1/2 mile times are:

California Chrome 45-2

General A Rod     46-1

WildCat Red       46-1

Chitu             46-2

So unless California Chrome decides to run off "Winning Colors" like, which I doubt, the remaining speed horses are probably enough to keep him honest so no one needs to press him and he may even tuck in behind a Wildcat Red-10 or more likely General A Rod-8 like he has the last few.  

I think any slower than 46-2 you would see California Chome go to the lead after the half.  Any faster than 46-2 at the half it would have to be coming from CC.  

02 May 2014 9:14 PM
Rusty Weisner

Brontexx,

"2 over 13 and 9,7,11,1,5=$5"

Wrong. $10.  Think about it...thinking...

02 May 2014 10:24 PM
-Keelerman

Householder;

That's an interesting comparison of fractional times! I think you're right that if the pace is much slower than :46 2/5, we'll see California Chrome take over heading down the backstretch. In many ways, seeing how the first half-mile of the Derby unfolds could be as exciting as the stretch run itself!

Derbygal;

My guess is that the final time for the Derby will be 2:01.50 seconds. Thanks for playing! Would anyone else like to take a guess?

I suppose I'll be signing off for the night. Good luck to all! Derby Day awaits! Post time is just twenty hours away! :)

02 May 2014 10:24 PM
KY VET

YOU PEOPLE PICK ALOT OF HORSES!  Really? This is handicapping?  I've won more money on the derby than any other race......so i'm due to lose......but i'll just post one horse.................duh! DANZA!!!!!!!!

02 May 2014 10:33 PM
predict

Kentucky Derby 140, predicted order of finish of top ten, now top nine that Hopp is out:

1. Danza

2. California Chrome

3. Dance with Fate

4. Chitu

5. Wildcat Red

6. General A Rod

7. Ride on Curlin

8. Medal Count

9. Tapiture

will play using these exact positions for win ,place and show, also exacta, trifecta and superfecta.

03 May 2014 12:09 AM
Monarchos Matt

Keelerman,

Working on the undercard at this late hour, have had a crazy week. Looking over some of your ideas. Regarding this Chief Barker from Europe, don't you worry that he would prefer a turf course with some give? I see four career starts, with two over soft courses and two over good courses...has he been training to indicate otherwise?

I agree with you in the Distaff Turf Mile, Effie Trinket looks like lone speed and I think she stands a good chance to get the better of Centre Court this time around, and that one has really been off form since last summer, let's face it. I'll probably stick to those two in my Pick 3, I don't think Tapicat will go early.

03 May 2014 12:25 AM
Householder

Brontexx--

I would even give BS a shot of hitting the board at this point.

This is a real head scratcher.  Danza looks like bounce and Chrome looks like crap and Vicar's now has a better post and Candy Boy looks great in the morning...

Good luck everyone as I not only smell roses but a six figure super to capper who can hit this.

03 May 2014 12:30 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Andrew Beyer picked Wicked Strong by the same persuasive logic you do.  I'll keep him as one of four possible winners: CC, Danza, WS and Intense Holiday, who, like I said, is a bit suspect: you've made a good case that Intense Holiday and Commanding Curve are no Revolutionary/Golden Soul.  

I escaped yesterday by the hair of my chinny chin chin.  Had a well-devised P4 ticket, singling (mostly) Fiftyshadesofgold and going against WTC, but Moonshine  Mullin knocked me out of it and then I went and made the mistake of giving Ria Antonia and Unbridled Forever too much of a chance of beating Untapable, though I recouped most of my money.  A good lesson in how getting knocked out of a P4 can make for a very bad day, so I'll count myself lucky.

I don't feel lucky today, but I'll give it a go.

R1: 6 Prosecution

R2: 6 Chas's Legacy

R3: 1,2,3,4,8,9,10

R4: 2,4,7,8,10 with a preference for 10 Kyriaki

R5: absolutely no idea; I'll only throw out the 6,10

R6: 9 Centre Court (form looks fine to me; she's dropping from a G1 and none of these others has even won a G2)

R7: 3 Judy the Beauty - single in P5 with CC on the tail end. I'll give consideration to Keelerman's pick, Midnight Lucky

R8: I like 8 Storming Inti and 2 Chief Barker second, but I think this may be wide open, with only 1,4,6,9 throwouts right now

R9: 4 Sahara Sky.  P3's and P4 with this one.

R10: Wise Dan, the three G1 winners, and three others, the new one and the two who should want the lead: 1,2,4,5,7,9,10.  I may play a ticket with Wise Dan and all my Derby non-throwouts, with a single in the last race. Last year I tried against him on the soggy turf.  This year I'm doing it for no good reason other than the potential money.

R11: Top four favorites, with a preference for the top two; like getting even money or less on the race in any horizontal exotic. Not much appetite for vertical exotics, though in the heat of gambling I'll probably toss $50-100 on exactas and tris.

R12: ALL (I'll give it another look)

R13: 1 Party Time

I'm up $575 for the year.  Hopefully I won't be down by the same amount come tonight.

Good luck!

03 May 2014 6:40 AM
Rusty Weisner

KY VET:

That is a sensible bet, you are right.  But how are you going to win $25,000 on him?

I have a bad feeling about what could happen inside to him and CC.

03 May 2014 6:42 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Forget "betting all my non-throwouts" in conjunction with Wise Dan.  That would be the lamest thing ever.  I've got to get a grip on myself.  Without visions of a Derby super it's just another day at the races; I'll try to stick with four sensible picks and hopefully be alive to a ticket where I have only CC.  It might not be his day, but he's the best.  

I've got a nice single in the last race, should content myself with the final P3, just skip the Wise Dan race there and hope for a longshot in R12; I can try to beat him in the R8-11 P4, or keep him in that and beat him in a P3; I've got three strong contenders in races 7-9.  Given that I like Judy the Beauty (R7), Sahara Sky (R9), possibly Storming Inti (R8) and have to consider Wise Dan a legitimate favorite, I might even play multiple inexpensive P5 tickets.  

03 May 2014 6:57 AM
Rusty Weisner

Ranagulzion,

(wherever you are) I think you're going with a lot of speed.  That is a bold approach, a little contrarian after last year's Derby, and I can easily see you the day's big winner.  I just don't like any of them better than the others with a chance to hold on.  Good luck.

03 May 2014 7:02 AM
Rusty Weisner

Brontexx,

My apologies for the rude comment.  I think you thought I was doing 50-cent tris, but I stuck to $1.  If I ever start doing 50-cent tris it's the start of a slippery slope to dime superfectas, then to picking up tickets on the ground.

03 May 2014 7:09 AM
Rusty Weisner

Good luck Keelerman, Plod Boy Phil, Kevin, El Kabong and everyone else!

03 May 2014 7:23 AM
Brontexx

Weisner "13 over 9 and 2,7,11,1,5"

Illiterate schmuck. thats a 5 dollar bet DS

13-9-1,2,5,7,11 it means you lost schumckenstein

03 May 2014 7:24 AM
Brontexx

I suggest you bet your ENTIRE BUDGET TODAY so when you lose you wont have to write all this BS on here.

03 May 2014 7:28 AM
Rusty Weisner

KY VET,

The $25,000 comment was facetious.  Good luck with Danza.

03 May 2014 7:31 AM
Rusty Weisner

Brontexx,

Okay, I retract the apology.  The order of finish was 13,11,9.  Do you see that I won?  Admittedly not a lot, but it was a winning saver ticket.  Do you know what a "key" is?  It means the horses underneath are boxed. Or do you play trifectas cold?  

03 May 2014 7:50 AM
Rusty Weisner

Brontexx,

Further clarification, doubtless necessary:

13/9/2,7,11,1,5 = $5

13/2,7,11,1,5/9 = $5

Less sniping and accusations, more picks.  

03 May 2014 8:03 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Good luck to you as well Rusty - will miss the banter sitting here in Living Room Downs.

03 May 2014 8:37 AM
-Keelerman

Happy Kentucky Derby Day, everyone! It's just thirty-nine minutes until post time for the first race of the day at Churchill Downs!

It was on Derby Day in 2010 that a lightly-raced three-year-old gelding named Wise Dan, coming off of a maiden victory at Turfway Park, romped to victory in a six-furlong allowance race at Churchill Downs. Finishing behind him that day were future five-time graded stakes winner Havelock and six-time stakes winner Good Lord. Who would have guessed how big an impact that race would eventually have!

03 May 2014 9:53 AM
-Keelerman

Good luck to you too, Rusty Weisner! I hope you hit the pick four today!

Good luck to everyone else as well! Let's unlock some winners!

03 May 2014 10:06 AM
Monarchos Matt

Rusty,

Sure, Centre Court looks best on class. But, she's been off the board in four of her last five starts. Regardless of who she's been racing against, I wouldn't call that good form.

I won't leave her out of the Pick 3 but I'm not sure this is a race where I feel comfortable singling...and even if I did I would probably go two deep simply because she doesn't provide value at even money. Effie Trinket shows improving figures, and ran well at CD last fall when 2nd in the Grade 2 Mrs Revere. She lost the lead in the stretch to Centre Court in their last meeting, but may get away with an easier than a :47.0 opening half this time. She's also bested Tapicat in their last two meetings. Worth a look for inclusion at 6-1 odds.

I hear you though, Judy The Beauty at 3-1 is a pretty solid single, and there are enough reasonable singles in the sequence for a Pick 5 that won't break the bank... Still working on the exotics for the Humana and the Woodford, both look pretty deep.

03 May 2014 10:19 AM
Plod Boy Phil

CD R1  WP 1 Trace Creek,  Exb with 6, 7

03 May 2014 10:24 AM
-Keelerman

Good luck, El Kabong! I'll be sure to check out your selections! Have fun at the track!

03 May 2014 10:57 AM
-Keelerman

It's much, much too early to be drawing any conclusions about a track bias at Churchill Downs, but after watching the first two races on the card, I would say there's nothing wrong with having early speed. The first race was won by Doctor Peter, who came from just off the lead to edge front-running Prosecution by a head. The second race was claimed in gate-to-wire fashion by No Surrender, who held off a challenge from pace-tracking Sheikinator to win by a neck.

03 May 2014 11:16 AM
Coldfacts

Below in a extract from a post on the previous Longshot Blog:

"Dance With Fate’s sire Two Step Salsa is a grandson of Seeking The Gold. Surprisingly, Seeking The Gold who was produced from a Buckpasser mare sired only one winner of a TC i.e., Jazil. His tail descendants have not been very productive a sires. However, his European based grandson Dubawi is a very good sire. He is son of the great Dubai Millennium. Two Step Salsa previously owned by Godolphin could be another of Seeking The Gold's grandson with potential to a classic winning sire."

The power of the Mr. Prospector sire line was on display in the 2000 Guineas. The Dubawi sired Night Of Thunder lit up the board at 40-1 defeating favorite Kingman. Of the 14 horses in the field the Mr. P sire line was represented by one.

Can another grandson of Seeking the Gold strike on the this side of the pond?

Dance With Fate is the only horse in the field that has defeated anticipated Derby favorite California Chrome. He has also defeated buzz horse Medal Count twice.

He is from the Mr. Prospector sire line that has dominated the Derby. He was sire by a grandson of Mr. Prospector and they are amongst the best Derby winning sires with five wins in the last 17 years.

The fans of this colt should be very confident.

03 May 2014 11:42 AM
Pedigree Ann

Matt - In Euro-speak, 'good' means the normal condition of a non-rain-affected turf course, what we call 'firm'. For them, 'firm' is what we call 'hard.' I know, inconvenient of foreigners to use the same words to mean different things. Why can't those English learn to speak American? <grin>

03 May 2014 11:55 AM
Mary Zinke

No big personal favorite of mine made the Derby this year, but I narrowed my top contenders to these: 4,5,13,16,20.  I guess Danza would be the most fun winner.  Good luck to all!  I like the first four in the Churchill Downs Stakes. Broadway Empire is my locally stabled speedball fav, lovie Clearly Now, TBG's Sky, way closer Capo.  In the girl sprint, I like Scherzinger. Not sure why she didn't go in the SA race last month, but she seems like a 7 furlonger.

03 May 2014 12:31 PM
Plod Boy Phil

CD R5  Win 3, 5  ExB 3-5

03 May 2014 12:35 PM
Monarchos Matt

Pedigree Ann-

Thanks for the clarification. Well, in that case I suppose I don't really have an angle against Chief Barker as he looks like the classiest. I agree with Rusty that the most likely winner is probably Storming Inti, but shall we dig a bit deeper here and look for some value?

An intriguing option is Big Bazinga. His last two starts have been on synthetic, but I'm looking back at his 7.5f turf race before that, where he closed well and put up a respectable figure in OC company. In a race that appears like a total crapshoot, could he be one to pick up the pieces late?

03 May 2014 12:40 PM
Monarchos Matt

Big Bazinga scratched. Never mind....

03 May 2014 12:46 PM
Monarchos Matt

Early Pick 3:

Centre Court, Effie Trinket/ Judy The Beauty, Iotapa, Midnight Lucky/ Storming Inti, Chief Barker

03 May 2014 12:52 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Sunday's Santa Anita card has me chopping at the bit.  Putting down my pencil at this time,  with just P3s in CD 9th:

2, 4, 9 / 1, 7 / 4, 5, 8, 13, 16, 20

2, 4 / 1, 7 / same

4 / 1, 7 / same

Until the Preakness.....

03 May 2014 12:55 PM
Plod Boy Phil

between chops I'm also chomping

03 May 2014 1:08 PM
Householder

I think the super will involve these four.  

Danza-4, Samratt-6, Wildcat Red-10, Candy Boy-18

I may replace Samratt-6 with California Chrome-5 on a few.  

03 May 2014 1:42 PM
Monarchos Matt

Rough start, as I tried to beat Midnight Lucky altogether on the top line off the layoff (oops). And completely whiffed on the Distaff Mile, didn't see I'm Already Sexy playing rabbit and completely ruining the race, although my girl Effie ran well near the pace, unfortunately my hedge bet was on her to place, not show.

With no live multi-race wagers I may take it a bit easier on this one and try to regroup for later...

03 May 2014 2:21 PM
Monarchos Matt

Threw in Global View with my initial key horses Chief Barker and Storming Inti in an exacta box for my lone play in the American Turf, sorry for not posting before I did it, but excited to get back to even. Not a big enough payoff to be lying about it haha.

Onward:

Pick 3: Sahara Sky/ Kaigun, Skyring/ Wicked Strong, Cali Chrome, Ride On Curlin

Exacta: Sahara Sky, Clearly Now/ Sahara Sky, Clearly Now, Laugh Track

Place Bet on Clearly Now.

03 May 2014 3:23 PM
-Keelerman

Monarchos Matt;

Great job on the American Turf Stakes exacta! Good luck with your pick threes!

Given that the track seems to be playing in favor of speed, I think Delaunay is going to give a good account of himself in the Churchill Downs Stakes.. But I find his odds a bit surprising -- I wouldn't have guessed that he would be bet down to 3-1. Really, Capo Bastone looks appealing at 17-1, given that he had legitimate excuses in his last two starts.

03 May 2014 3:47 PM
-Keelerman

Plod Boy Phil;

Good job with Central Banker! That's a nice way to start off the pick three!

03 May 2014 3:54 PM
TnT

Just got back from work.......hows the track playing guys ?

03 May 2014 3:58 PM
Monarchos Matt

Place bet hedges keep missing by one horse, Ugh. Didn't see Central Banker coming at all. I'd say based on that result, that the track is playing fairly.

Pick 3 is done but will stick with Kaigun and Skyring here at super long odds. Goodness gracious....

03 May 2014 4:01 PM
-Keelerman

TnT;

The track seems to be playing fair for the most part, but there's definitely nothing wrong with early speed. Have you settled on your Derby selection yet?

03 May 2014 4:19 PM
Monarchos Matt

I'm at a complete loss as to how to play this next one. Seems wide open outside of the obvious favorite.

Going with weighted place bets on Kaigun and Skyring (double on Kaigun) and a low probability trifecta of:

Kaigun/ Wise Dan, Skyring/ Wise Dan, Skyring.

Worst case I'm down small on the day. But these are the warm up races!

03 May 2014 4:36 PM
TnT

Thanks Keelerman, no bets yesterday or today so far, saw i missed no surrender, good call.

Derby superfecta keyed Danza to come first and second with a load of closers, plus, arod and chitu, samratt in 3rd and 4th.

Like the 10 to give wise dan a fight, and unbridled ocean at belmont.....but spent bankroll on d holy grail

03 May 2014 4:44 PM
Plod Boy Phil

P3 wagering strategy simply dreadful. Who with a clue presses chalk in the first leg ?  

03 May 2014 4:58 PM
Plod Boy Phil

TnT-

Good call on Seek Again. That surely qualifies a as a fight.

03 May 2014 5:00 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Derby:  The Last 3 trifecta box

2-14-15

03 May 2014 5:34 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Thanks Keelerman

Happy to be alive, in retrospect.

03 May 2014 5:54 PM
Monarchos Matt

Plod Boy Phil,

Is that directed to me? Ya, wish I had it to do over again...but felt Sahara Sky was a lock and tried to beat Wise Dan in a vulnerable spot. Wrong on both counts, I'll own it. Would do it again in a heartbeat though, not sure what happened to Sahara Sky, it wasn't like the speed held so well, and will again the next time Wise Dan runs. He has to lose someday, right? Right? Haha.

Wagering strategy for the Derby staying the same.

03 May 2014 5:58 PM
-Keelerman

Fifteen minutes until post time for the Kentucky Derby! I ended up expanding my superfecta bet, adding Medal Count on top, California Chrome for the second, third, and fourth positions, and Samraat for the fourth position.

Plod Boy Phil, looks like you're live to some nice payoffs in your pick three! Good luck to you, and good luck to all!

03 May 2014 6:15 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Monarchos Matt -

No, no no, no...gosh no. Just moments ago had a feeling that anyone who posted a P3 with the same favorite in the 9th may think it was directed at them.  It was all at me,  and really poorly done considering I was 'alive'.  

Fact is, I'm annoyed I did not stay true to my opinion of Central Banker as a horse - my post on Keelerman's Blog before the Carter was pretty clear. Him failing behind a perfect trip w-w winner in a subsequent start was not cause for a demotion,  especially as the price play of the group.

Central Banker is the one a good gambler presses, especially with WD in the middle leg.

Best.

03 May 2014 6:15 PM
Monarchos Matt

Plod Boy Phil,

No worries, I'm overly defensive and kicking myself! I know that isn't your style. Good luck in the big one!

03 May 2014 6:28 PM
Plod Boy Phil

that's 1 to 2 on the investment, for those counting

03 May 2014 6:59 PM
Householder

Congratulations to all of those who did not waver on their support of what turned out to be the best 3 year old in the county period end of story! He has left everyone in his wake 5 times now.  He looked great in the paddock, loading, breaking...like a true professional.

Who would let such a great horse sit 2-3 behind a 47-1 half?  I was way off about the pace and paid dearly.

Let's hear it for Cal-breds and once again Santa Anita.  

My only solace is I'm not looking forward to Draynay's post race analysis.

03 May 2014 7:13 PM
Pedigree Ann

I saw it looking at Steve Haskin's photos and again in the post parade - California Chrome looks like a bronze sculpture of a racehorse and there is not an ounce of fat on him. Fast AND fit. Once the blinkers went on, he was all business, the advantage of an extensive pre-Derby career; he is a pro.

Wicked Strong looked rather hot and bothered in the pp. Ran decently enough even so. Didn't see Commanding Curve coming; looks like the ComCrv=Golden Soul gang had it right. Wouldn't have caught 'Junior' unless Gary S had fallen off when he started grandstanding, but a good run. Wonder if he will be fined for standing up before the wire - happened to a World Cup winning writer (I think - or was it in the Arc?).

03 May 2014 9:00 PM
Pedigree Ann

Reviewed your Superfecta, Keelerman, and you were so close! California Chrome singled in win - check. Wicked Strong and Danza in for third spot, check. Same for fourth spot, check - didn't need to add those also rans. All you missed was Commanding Curve and you knew that it was a questionable move to toss him. Well done.

I tried to warn you folks about the Arkansas-based contingent - below par this year, beaten by shippers. And the Baffert third string with the fungal foot. (Or was than on another board?)

03 May 2014 9:18 PM
Monarchos Matt

Certainly not a surprising result at all, except for the place finisher, for the second year in a row. My top two picks finished #4 and #1 respectively and once again, a bomber gets in the way.

Well, I was wrong, Commanding Curve apparently was Golden Soul. His second place finish to me is even more perplexing because the pace was as slow up front as anyone could have imagined and he still closed into it. This wasn't a flukey result, that horse ran extremely well, but I can't point to his Louisiana Derby as a reason to have played him as the closing fractions there simply weren't competitive with the best...notice that the top two 3/8 come home time horses on the list I posted, Cali Chrome and Danza, finished 1st and 3rd respectively. Wicked Strong, who owned the 3rd best 3/8 come home time, was 4th. This is not a coincidence! It happens every year. But it's finding that one bomber that bucks the trend, and this year I couldn't bring myself to land on Commanding Curve. Pretty sure I am not alone.

Wicked Strong ran quite well given the circumstances, although I need to dig into the chart. I was focused on him though the first half and just couldn't believe how wide he was running. I don't think he could have won the race anyway, but my gut says he was probably the second best horse with a decent trip, which would have at least scratched my day. Need to review the chart.

I will say this- I'm glad that Cali Chrome won instead of Commanding Curve or some outlier of a result. And the roar of the crowd when CC came around the homestretch and inhaled the leaders was pretty special. I can live with it, the best horse won, I just didn't want him at 2-1, and I lost because of it.

03 May 2014 9:22 PM
-Keelerman

Well, congratulations to the connections of California Chrome! That was a very special victory by a very special colt, and it was great to see him live up to expectations. On to the Preakness!

Pedigree Ann;

Thanks! I was pretty happy to have come as close as I did to hitting the superfecta. You were right about the Oaklawn-based three-year-olds -- they didn't run as well as I had hoped, although Ride On Curlin was rallying decently at the finish. It was kind of odd to see Calvin Borel on the extreme outside in the homestretch! :)

Plod Boy Phil;

Good job hitting that pick three! Congratulations!

Coldfacts;

You were right about Commanding Curve! He ran great at a terrific price. Did you have the exacta?

Brontexx;

If I'm remembering correctly, I believe you hit a California Chrome/"All Others" exacta from one of the future wager pools! Congratulations!

I'll be back tomorrow with some thoughts on the Derby, but for the moment, I'm signing off. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, everyone! I had a great time today, and I hope all of you did as well!

03 May 2014 11:05 PM
Brontexx

Keelerman thanx but I only had CC with Hop in the futures, and this is what I played in my CC 50 cent trifecta

5/4,6,8,16,18,19,20

/4,6,8,16,18,19,20 just like last year a Dallas Stewart colt beat me by coming in 2nd I also played a tri keying Samaraat over CC and a small super with Samaraat over Chrome over General A -Rod and a lot in 4th.

I dont have to lie I lost 91.50 this year and 66 dollars on the futures.I win enough that I dont need to lie on this blog to impress anyone.All time I am ahead in the futures.I had two scratches CP and Hop that basically killed my chances.But there are still two more races in the series and as long as the players are mostly the same, I will be able to play the way I prefer(no Paper info in head) by what I already know, just adding the circumstances like weather, track condition, post positions and possible strategic changes for the human connections etc.

I was right about the race shape,the track was a big clue as well as all the speed on paper that was not brilliant speed although on paper one might have forecast a speed duel.I learned something new by looking at the all the Brisnet PPS from 2000-2013 that I got from these blogs. Commanding Curve must of really had a good trip, lets see if he does more after this race or turns out to be a one good grade one race wonder like Golden Soul.The wise guy horse never wins, Medal Count goes into the graveyard of wise guy horses in Kentucky Derby history.If Stewart has a colt in next years race he might either be the wise guy colt or bet down, but these last two years could be it for years as he is a trainer that dosent get that many good 2yos to start with.Romans over runs his horses, and his completing the tris and supers streak might also be over for years, but he gets a lot more good stock than Stewart does.Anything Baffert or Lucas runs in the TC should be played if possible as they have done it over and over and years apart in different eras.Pletcher continues his miserable record in the KD in retrospect dont know how I won with him and Super Saver at least he got third this year and you know he will het many many more chances.

04 May 2014 3:49 AM
Coldfacts

Keelerman,

Below is an extract from a post I made on Steve Haskin's blog on Saturday:

I am going to be making some normal and crazy wagers:

The Jamaican exacta: Wicked Strong/Commanding Curve.

The CC exacta: California Chrome/Commanding Curve.

The Overbred Stallion exacta: Intense Holiday/Tapiture/Harry’s Holiday

The 9F Prep exacta: WS/CC/Danza/We Miss Artie/Chitu/VIT/DWF

The Mr. P sire line exacta: Danza/DWF/GAR/ROC/CB/Vinceremos

The ND sire line exacta: IH/WMA/WS/WR/VIT/HH/Samaart/Chitu

Main horse to comprise my normal wagers:

Wicked Strong

Medal Count

California Chrome

General A Rod

Vinceremos

Commanding Curve

Uncle Sigh

We Miss Artie

I missed the Tri as I though Danza would bounce. In fact I was partially correct as he did get bounced around. The $340 exacta was my savior as I had good wager on same.

Three of the horses from my main wager made the board but not in the order in had imagined. In retrospect Danza was Pletcher' best horse and I should have included him.

04 May 2014 5:28 AM
TnT

Congratulations winners and Phil hitting the pick 3.

Note to self next time key your horse to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

Forth year missed the super by one horse......ah well i will get it one day

04 May 2014 7:01 AM
-Keelerman

Congratulations, Coldfacts!! Great job!

04 May 2014 11:42 AM
-Keelerman

Was anyone else surprised to see Intense Holiday so close to the early lead in the Derby? I know the pace was slow, but I never would have imagined he would be less than two lengths behind the leaders. Given that he wasn't badly beaten -- just 9 1/4 lengths for everything, and just 3 1/2 lengths for fourth -- I think he might have fared better had he come from further off the pace. Does anyone else agree?

04 May 2014 11:48 AM
Brontexx

Keelerman if I can visulize the race Im sure Johnny V and his agent Cordero did also, and the way they ran the race with Intense Holiday was to win not gather minor awards.The track and pace wasnt as condusive to closers as last year when it was one two three

for them.

BTW I still think a wet Churchill Downs that was not sealed in time or continues to receive rain throughout the race day helps closers.Orb won last years Derby by 2.5 lengths but wasnt as effective once he tried that style at Pimlico and Belmont on better tracks.CC has the right style to win the TC but the way the so-called series is set-up anyone can jump in at any leg while if their is a winner in the first two legs there is no way he will contest the 10 furlongs of the Belmont at 100% peak form.These days their is a lot more competition in regards to speed bred colts, and shipping from anywhere to assume that their will be a TC winner this year.

04 May 2014 12:43 PM
Pedigree Ann

The great thing for 'Junior' is that he is so fit already that he doesn't need a lot of work to be ready for the Preakness in 2 weeks. Don't expect to see any more than maintenance works. This is the magic that frequent racing and foundation produces: fitness.

And the "Curse of Apollo" is alive and well. None of the 'unraced at 2' crowd could take the accelerated time-table required in order to make the Derby and fell to injuries, especially on the Stronach Speedways.

And did you notice? Another homebred, never went through a sale. Some of what they do to young horses in sales prep, and particularly in the speed-crazy 2yo sales, is bad for their future racing careers. Sales horses turned out better (in general) when they just brought them in from the field the week before, brushed the dirt off, and gave them some lessons about standing. And no one expected them to look like anything but the gangly teen-agers they are.

04 May 2014 1:26 PM
predict

Coldfacts,

Excellent analysis on Commanding Curve, congratulations.

What a race by California Chrome. He is truly exceptional. Track must have been extremely tiring, judging by how the speed tired so early, yet California Chrome still had another gear, very impressive. I hope he is well, I think I saw a bit of a stumble by him in the stretch. The others filling in the top four were true stamina horses. Commanding Curve could be very dangerous in the Belmont, especially if he skips the Preakness.

It was a truly tough race to handicap, it drove me nuts for days; the super payout was the smallest it has been in recent years, which was surprising, considering Commanding Curve was second. I guess Coldfacts has a large following of bettors, who take his analysis to the window.

Yesterday, Haskin left a last minute note on Tapiture, that he was thriving at Churchill. I took it to heart and took a stab, after I had earlier dismissed him. Oh well, it was not a godd day for me at all. Hope others were more successful. Doubt we'll see 5-2 on California Chrome next time.

04 May 2014 2:02 PM
Secreteriat

The day started slow but I was live with $ 50, bets in the Oaks Double and Pick 3 with CC and W S. My strategy was to focus on the sure winners and bet them heavy. Did another $200 double with Wise Dan with Chrome and W/S. Hit the P/4  starting in race 8 and the super in a 4 way partnership. Hit them all and As Happy as we were the 25% IRS withholding stung hard. It sucks that we work for our money and then take out 1900 +$ in taxes. It is hard enough to cash a ticket. Anyway after trying to hit the super for 20 years we finally hit one.Point is when a horse is better than every one else don't try to beat him find value in other races to key him two. The horse in the ninth race paid 26.00 and change and we had four horses with payoff from low of 798.00 ta a high off 3950 CC WS Samrat Intense Holiday and Candy Boy

04 May 2014 5:45 PM
Rusty Weisner

"Maybe I'll play some chalky trifectas with the favorites and my non-throwouts."  That would have been cheap using CC, my top pick.  Didn't do it.  

Brontexx,

You're a piece of work. I posted my exact picks in real time while betting the Oaks card and you accuse me of lying in face of the actual numbers, and then harp on it the next day.  All the while not making a single Derby pick before the race.  

And then you tell us you like Samraat.  You should have let me talk you off that one.

04 May 2014 6:11 PM
JayJay

Rusty : Just curious, what would've been your arguments to "talk" someone off of Samraat ?

04 May 2014 8:03 PM
derbygal

Keelerman; I had heard on tv that there was a $1 million bet placed in Vegas on Candy Boy to win, bringing his win odds a little over 9-1. I had noticed California Chrome's win odds were at 2-1 close to post time, but ended up at 5/2.

JayJay; After watching the Wood Memorial, I thought that would have trouble with 1 1/4 mile distance because the jockey was pushing him real hard to just barely get by Social Inclusion for the place posistion at the 1 1/8 mile distance in the Wood.

04 May 2014 9:11 PM
derbygal

JayJay; Sorry, was speaking about Samraat.

04 May 2014 9:40 PM
JayJay

derbygal : Thanks for your comments, after the Derby, I've accepted that he seems to be a miler with 9Fs as his very top limit.  The Wood wasn't the race that showed me that, it was the Derby.   The Wood showed he has fight in him and changing leads late got him up.   I think he learned to change leads (there's a youtube video of his workout where he changed leads on que) and that's what got me to put him on top.  Didn't really worry about the distance, I thought with this field, he would get it but obviously he's short.  It was fun to see Chrome prove me wrong and every other doubters out there with regards to his "cheap" pedigree...

I'm sold on Chrome, if he continues to improve (that doesn't seem fair against the Florida horses), he's just going to be a monster.  He is "THE" freak...

05 May 2014 12:17 AM
Brontexx

Rusty Weisner here is the bet that I made

5/4,6,8,16,18,19,20

/4,6,8,16,18,19,20

05 May 2014 8:45 AM
Brontexx

derbygal Samaraat was the ONLY colt in position after a mile to beat CC he just wasnt good enough thats why I played both of them as well as saver place and show bets are you reading this RUSTY WEISNER.

05 May 2014 8:48 AM
Rusty Weisner

JayJay,

How many times did I comment about Samraat:  Consistent, tough, not good enough.  He had an easy pace and position, no excuse, he missed hitting the board and wasn't near the tri.  

Brontexx,

Why didn't you listen to me about the 37-1 Commanding Curve?  I mean, we're here to help each other out.  Here's an example:

"Coldfacts,

I agree with you about Commanding Curve for the reasons you describe; you don't always get the lucky break of a longshot with a good excuse.  He's all the more haveable because his ML is 50-1.  I said he "should" be 50-1, but really expected the oddsmaker to wimp out and make him 30-1.  He has the earmarks of slow, outmatched horse, but then so did Golden Soul.  In any case, there's a reason they're longshots.  But with the same track, same trainer, I wouldn't be surprised to see him go off at that 30-1."

I'm not trying to boast about my Derby handicapping (which was actually pretty good) when I made lousy picks the rest of the card.  But it does ease my pain a little to rub it in that you failed with your bets (the bets you claimed to have made; once again, you never posted any picks) and your fifteen or sixteen futures horses and that yours was a total lack of contribution to any insight on the Derby, plus rudeness and insults, first to Coldfacts, then to me.  Don't tell me you are a professional.  Keelerman is a professional; he is employed by bloodhorse.  Plod Boy Phil is a professional; he runs a subscription service (I think it's called "In-flo-enza").  KY VET is a professional; he has claimed horses.  I'm pretty sure the rest of us are recreational bettors; I'm not sure how to characterize what you are.

05 May 2014 11:00 AM
Rusty Weisner

Brontexx,

Those are the bets you made?  At 8:48 on May 5?  I know you love the futures bets, but I didn't know there were "past" tickets.

And here's a tip from an expert: if you're going to lie, lie smart:  lie about making winning tickets.

Actually, just kidding. I believe you made these bets.  Close, no cigar; perfectly respectable picks.  But please just don't come back here in the future with winning picks here the day after the races unless you have some credibility on the blog first; it can rub people the wrong way.  

Finally, I'm just still amazed with the illiteracy or innumeracy of someone who reads "$1 part wheels...13 over 9 and 2,7,11,1,5"  at May 2 5:13 pm and insists on saying I'm a liar about having the Oaks ticket.  I mean, what possibly ambiguity about that pick is there?  Even if you didn't want to believe me, there's not even any room for dispute about whether it's a winning ticket.  Do you have some form of vertical dyslexia, where 9 is 6?  Do you have trouble with double-digit numbers, big ones like 11 and 13?  I mean, look at the post and explain in your semi-coherent English exactly where the lie was.  

05 May 2014 11:13 AM
Rusty Weisner

Coldfacts,

I loved your "CC exacta".  It wasn't crazy at all.  I hope it made up for your other, truly crazy ones ;-)

05 May 2014 11:19 AM
Rusty Weisner

Brontexx,

Actually, now I understand what your gripe is:  "part wheel".  That doesn't cover the 2 and 3 spots in either order.

The thing is, I was online punching the numbers myself, and my bets added up to the $78 I stated.  I didn't say "part wheel" to any teller, because I was not at a simulcast place.  I've always avoid this terminology -- (see my question to Keelerman about his super bet at the top of my thread); I usually say it to a teller as a "keyed trifecta".  In any case, my described bets added up right, and everyone else here knows I've always stated I would never play a straight trifecta, that I think it's crazy and doesn't make sense, and that I always box up the order of the 2 and 3 spot.  So, I'll issue a part-apology for the wrong terminology in the post, but you were still way out of line with the accusation.

05 May 2014 12:05 PM
JayJay

Rusty : With regards to Samraat, Ok, I didn't see those posts hence the question.  Congrats on hitting the exacta, and maybe the trifecta, not sure if you played WS on the bottom since he nipped Samraat for 4th...looks like it was a good day for you.

05 May 2014 12:05 PM
Rusty Weisner

JayJay,

What are you talking about?  It was a horrible day.  The fact that I'm arguing with Brontexx shows that I can't get it out of my system.

05 May 2014 12:21 PM
Rusty Weisner

JayJay,

Danza had a very troubled race, and people are going to get cute trying to beat CC with him in the Preakness.  CC's time was very slow (1:03 plus), but he was not tested or used up, and losing a half furlong at Pimlico is hardly going to hurt him.  I would think "the other CC" and Wicked Strong would skip the Preakness.

05 May 2014 12:48 PM
Brontexx

Rusty Weisner Im not going to continue with the same issue, case closed.I know I have credibility on this blog, but since I play exotics sometimes my last bets will not be made in time to make them on my ADW accounts and post them on this blog.The bet I wrote about on here was my first one,but I think its time to move on to the next one.

05 May 2014 1:09 PM
Brontexx

BTW I still dont like Commanding Curve even in the Belmont a lot of times in the Belmont at 12 furlongs if you get too far behind its harder to hit the board than in the KD at 10 furlongs,it will depend on the race circumstances.

Congradulations to Coldfacts for the CC exacta in the KD.

05 May 2014 1:15 PM
Rusty Weisner

For future reference, just in case there are any disgruntled lurkers waiting around hoping to cheer if some one loses (see Brontexx's "no potatoes" comment thirty seconds after the Oaks was run for a sample of his charm), here is how I say and bet trifectas:

"1 WITH 2 and 3,4,5" means:

1/2/3,4,5

1/3,4,5/2

Or, I will say, "1 keyed over 2 with 3,4,5".  That's the way I've always said it on this blog.

When I play tris will either simply box a tri or take a key where one of the bottom slots is a single horse, as a kind of modified exacta.  The only exception will be the 20-horse Derby.  If I every depart from this habit I will put it in big, bold letters.

I will never use the "part-wheel" term.  I can't stand it; it's confusing - sounds like the bottom slots are in any order to my ear.  I've used it once in my life, and I now feel like I'm in an eternal, inimical embrace with Brontexx.

Thus endeth the pissing match.

It's no fun to have your hard-earned reputation impugned (you know who I'm addressing that to).

05 May 2014 1:37 PM
Rusty Weisner

Brontexx,

Okay, I agree.  Let's bury the hatchet (in the ground, in the ground).  I can live with that.

I didn't say Commanding Curve would win the Belmont (I don't like the "closer" angle there, either); I'm just predicting that's where they'll be run (I always bet against Derby "closers" in the Preakness).

05 May 2014 1:42 PM
Rusty Weisner

I think everyone missed the boat on Commanding Curve and will try to recoup some of what they missed in the Belmont, but it'll be just like his alter ego, Golden Soul.  The closer closing even better at Belmont's 10f is a betting fallacy (though not among contributors here).

05 May 2014 1:44 PM
Rusty Weisner

JayJay,

"...losing a quarter furlong".

05 May 2014 1:48 PM
Rusty Weisner

JayJay,

Half furlong.  Jeez.

05 May 2014 1:49 PM
Rusty Weisner

"Belmont's 12f".  Jeez.

05 May 2014 1:56 PM
Brontexx

Dallas Stewart has the formula for coming in 2nd in the Kentucky Derby or so it seems, like I commented to Keelerman thats what a lot of bettors thought about Dale Romans propensity for hitting the board.Alas the wise guy horse Medal Count this year, who ran three races in 29 days.The horses nowadays cant run at 100% on short rest,I think it might have something to do with lasix use as well as other meds and the breeding industry in the US in 2014.

If anyone cares to argue that CC will do just fine in 14 days, I would agree with you if the field is the same as in the KD, but lets see who will line up in two weeks first.

05 May 2014 2:51 PM
Householder

Take 3 winners of their last prep race all grade 1s who have ran Beyers above 100 and add a Superfecta bomb!

My recipe for the Kentucky Derby.  

CC looks even better for the Belmont.  Stalk, stalk, pounce.

05 May 2014 3:10 PM
Rusty Weisner

In the past 15 years the only ones who don't do fine at the Preakness are closers, who generally had the benefit of pace and/or the pedigree deficiencies of the speed in the Derby.  These horses were: Orb, Animal Kingdom, Mine that Bird, Giacomo, Street Sense, Monarchos (not sure how to categorize Super Saver; lucky ride on sloppy track?).

All of the Preakness winners who had won the Derby and had good speed or stalking styles finished first: IHA, Big Brown, Smarty Jones, Funny Cide, War Emblem.  Most of the rest of the other Preakness winners had come out of game or unlucky efforts in the Derby: Oxbow, Shackleford, Lookin at Lucky, Curlin, Afleet Alex.

The only two "new shooters" to win have been Rachel Alexandra and Bernardini.

So, the lessons are: 1. stay away from new shooters and take Derby form. 2. Deprecate closers.  

Horses hold their form from the Derby.  The ones who didn't actually turned out to be the more mediocre ones (Super Saver, Giacomo) in the long run.

I had Oxbow/Orb on top last year, but got burned trying Departing as my third choice.

05 May 2014 3:15 PM
-Keelerman

Derbygal;

I've heard of people placing substantial show bets on heavy favorites in small fields, but I've never heard of anything quite like that million-dollar wager on Candy Boy! For him to drop from 16-1 to 9-1 as a result was amazing.

It looks like you won our "Guess the Derby Final Time" contest! Nice job! After seeing how quickly the Oaks was run on Friday, I figured there was a good chance that the Derby would be run in under 2:02, but that wasn't the case.

Secretariat;

Great job hitting the superfecta!! Sounds like you had a very fun day! Congratulations!

05 May 2014 3:52 PM
-Keelerman

Brontexx & Rusty Weisner;

You've made some terrific points about the kinds of horses that succeed or don't succeed in the Preakness and the Belmont! With Commanding Curve skipping the middle jewel of the Triple Crown to await the Belmont, he's definitely starting to look like another Golden Soul/Make Music for Me/Ice Box type.

That said, it could prove important to note that Commanding Curve rallied well despite the slow early fractions of this year's Derby -- in fact, this year's Derby reminds me to an extent of the 2009 Derby, in which Mine That Bird and Summer Bird rallied off of moderate fractions (:47.23, 1:12.09) to finish first and sixth. They, of course, went on to finish third and first in the Belmont Stakes.

Along similar lines, it's interesting to examine the final half-mile fractions of the 2009, 2013, and 2014 Derbies. In 2009, the last four furlongs were clocked in a respectable :50.57 seconds, and the horses that rallied into it did well in the Belmont Stakes. In 2013, the final half-mile was timed in :53.09 seconds, and the horses that rallied into it fared poorly in the Belmont. This year, the final half-mile was timed in 51.86, almost exactly halfway between the 2009 and 2013 fractions. So although I will most likely take a stand against Commanding Curve five weeks from now, it's possible that his rally was a legitimate one, and I'll be watching closely for any clues on what kind of influence the fractional splits of this year's Derby may have had on the outcome of the race.

05 May 2014 4:17 PM
-Keelerman

To expound a bit further on my last comment, the final half-mile of the 2010 Derby was clocked in a very slow :53.87 seconds, and the horses that rallied into it -- Ice Box and Make Music for Me being the most prominent -- came back to run poorly in the Belmont Stakes.

05 May 2014 4:20 PM
Brontexx

RE Preakness from the preliminary possible entrants the only threat on paper is Social Inclusion and if he can run a faster half mile and mile than the one posted in the KD then that COULD soften up CC but who will be the beneficiary of that speed I dont know.

05 May 2014 6:42 PM
Brontexx

To continue on my last post re Preakness I know Bayern is also being considered but I think Social Inclusion ran better early in the Wood than Bayern ran in the Arkansas Derby,plus he ran in the trial.Bafferts best TC coly was Hoppertunity the key word is WAS because he is out for the series.

The raw time for Bayern in the Arkansas Derby for the half mile and the mile were 47.71 137.38  the same splits for Social Inclusion in the Wood were 47.47 136.39.

05 May 2014 7:06 PM
JayJay

Rusty : I'm confused, you commented to Brontexx about "not listening" to you about Commanding Curve and since you had Chrome pretty much singled on top, I just assume that you hit the exacta...my bad if you didn't.

05 May 2014 10:20 PM
Householder

Rusty Weisner

I agree.  I think we can put the "fresh horse" theory to bed.  Most of these will need nothing going into the Preakness.  They are all tuned, conditioned, and ready to roll.  

"He can go in forty six like breakin sticks"-Art Sherman.

06 May 2014 1:40 AM
Brontexx

JayJay I dont recall any mention of Commanding Curve by Rusty Weisner directed at me.If I would have believed he had a shot it probably would have been that I thought he could complete the tri and thus would have played him in one of my saver bets to show like I did others.I didnt play Danza to show because he was one of only three single digit odds horses(didnt catch the Candy Boy drop)and I wouldnt save that much betting him in third.

06 May 2014 2:42 AM
Brontexx

My saver bets are also made so if my main bets are off because the race falls apart or so in my view I have a chance to get two in the money at good odds.When two come in the money at good odds in the KD(19) everything pays better including place an show.

06 May 2014 2:49 AM
Coldfacts

Rusty Weisner,

"Agree with you about Commanding Curve for the reasons you describe; you don't always get the lucky break of a longshot with a good excuse."

Kindly confirm you had at least a ticket on the exacta. It was the only wager I collected on as I tossed Danza. In retrospect was stupid as I had dedicated a post to winners on the AK Derby citing how well the normally performs in the KD.  My Bad.

06 May 2014 10:08 AM
Brontexx

One of the unseen factors in any race but it is magnified in a 19 horse field is the trip the entrant has.I am sure Golden Soul was the recipient of this factor because he didnt do anything after his 2nd in the 2013 KD.Commanding Curve I think also received a great unobstructed trip.The thing about this is that next year if Dallas Stewart has an entrant in the KD, I would bet he preps him in the same way and he will probably be a closer.He will have a good chance to be the WISE GUY HORSE or at least be bet down.But in a twenty horse field depending on a good trip for a plodder is not a reliable reoccurence.

06 May 2014 10:17 AM
Coldfacts

Golden Soul has a turf pedigree. His best races have been at CD which is friendly to turf/synthetic sorts. He was never expected to produce positive results at other venues.

Commanding Curve has a dirt pedigree. Although he ran well at CD, his best efforts were recorded at another venue although his record does not reflect same.

Although they each backed into the Derby due defections I contend their post Derby result will be significantly different. The Derby was Commanding Curve's 3rd start for the year. He can only move forwards.

06 May 2014 10:48 AM
-Keelerman

It has been reported that Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Ria Antonia, most recently sixth in the Kentucky Oaks, has been transferred to the barn of Tom Amoss and is being pointed toward the Preakness Stakes: www.drf.com/.../preakness-ria-antonia-take-boys

06 May 2014 11:37 AM
Rusty Weisner

JayJay,

After I abandoned the superfecta I wasn't real enthusiastic about the trifecta, which was stupid:  It was basically an easy trifecta, because I never threw out "the other CC" (I only threw out ten horses).  I didn't bet the trifecta, having lost money and hoping some multi-race bets would come through; I never would have bet Commanding Curve in an exacta, but would have had him to hit the board on any tri or super ticket.  My regret comes from the fact was that my last note on departing was that I'd maybe "box up the favorites" in tris, and my thinking was not to only box the favorites, but to leave a slot for non-throwouts. Then again, I did prefer Wicked Strong/IH to Danza, wrongly.  Still, in retrospect, a lot of us should have had this tri; maybe not the super, but the tri.  It wouldn't have been a life-altering score, but it's still eating me alive - it's just nice to finish the Derby with a wad of cash.  Even if a person didn't "like" Commanding Curve, the angle was obvious (bad bump, good closing and pedigree, trainer precedent -- Coldfacts' summation hit every point) and the odds were big.  Regrets. I felt that way after last year's Preakness.  I'll get another chance!

Coldfacts,

You may be in the zone about this horse and that's maybe a persuasive point about Golden Soul's pedigree.  I didn't give Golden Soul any chance as a Belmont winner last year but I did give him an underneath shot, solely based on his Derby form; I would treat Commanding Curve the same way this year:  not on top, but underneath.

06 May 2014 12:03 PM
Rusty Weisner

The only new shooter Preakness I would consider here is Social Inclusion.  I think Baffert is reaching with Bayern.  My thinking now, though, is to follow my own advice and go against Social Inclusion by going against him in the 2nd or 3rd spots and hoping for a longshot to fill out the tri.  I wouldn't go against California Chrome or Danza, like in 2012 I didn't go against the top two.  It wasn't much money, but it beat losing, and was a memorable race.

06 May 2014 12:08 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman --

Ria Antonia?!  I wasted money on that horse in the Oaks.  Not only is the horse not very good, she's got the wrong style for the Preakness.  An absolute toss.  Any idea about whether Untapable in the Belmont is a possibility?

06 May 2014 12:15 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

It sounds like Untapable is being pointed toward a start in the Acorn Stakes, rather than the Belmont, but Steve Asmussen has expressed an interest in running her against colts sometime in the future, so perhaps we'll see her in the Haskell or the Travers.

06 May 2014 12:23 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

Haskell because of the distance, right?

06 May 2014 12:50 PM
Coldfacts

Rusty Weisner

I am in no zone regarding Commanding Curve. I just happen to think he has a better dirt pedigree than Golden Soul who was unplaced in the Belmont. In fact I thin he is the better of the two. If you are of the opinion that they are similar it would be unwise to use him your wagers.

Commanding Curve's running style suggest longer is better.

06 May 2014 12:55 PM
Coldfacts

Congratulations are in order for the connections and supporters of California Chrome. He distinguished himself from the others in an emphatic manner. He was never my choice to win but was never discounted. I wish the connections, supporters and the big chestnut continued success in the remaining legs of the TC.

I was disappointed particularly in how the race unfolded and with the race in general. Now, this is taking nothing away from CC’s victory as he was much the best. With so much speed in the race I expected a faster pace. That did not unfold and consequently based on the track that was on display on Friday that was also the same on Saturday, no closer had a chance.

When the winner of the biggest 3YO race in the country geared down to win in 2:03.66, many questions must be asked. The primary question has to be – Was there no colt/gelding in the field capable of recording a time of 2:03.66 over 10F fully extended? Even with a trouble trip there should have been at least one horse that could have broken 2:04. That is sad aspect of the race.

My selection Wicked Strong was very unsettled and was not in receipt of the best ride but did well to finish fourth.

06 May 2014 12:57 PM
Rusty Weisner

Keelerman,

You had a very good observation about Borel and post position: that his little tricks only work when he has an inside post.  I was glad to see ROC's trainer confirm my dislike of Borel's joke of a ride taking him perpendicular right to the rail and out of the race; it looked just like what the jockey did with Java's War last year.

06 May 2014 2:24 PM
Brontexx

IMO Commanding Curves pedigree dosent suggest 12 furlongs and if he dosent get the same tepid pace in the Belmont and gets too far behind he might become an underlay that dosent hit the board.If you had him in the KD congradulation.

06 May 2014 2:29 PM
Brontexx

BTW if I would have had Commanding Curve in the KD and hit the exacta and made money with him I probably would play him in the Belmont and convince myself that he will do it again.I wouldnt play all that I had won on him though,Its called objectivity or biased opinion,auto suggestion etc or just plain human nature

06 May 2014 2:39 PM
Secreteriat

I have been to many Belmont since 1964 and here is what I learned from all these years.

19 horses won the Derby and Preakness and failed to win The Triple Crown.

There has been 7 longshots since 2000

I was lucky to have five of them.

A Woody Stephens helper who I knew back then thought me what to look for. By the way Woody won 5 Belmonts in a row.

Look for a fresh horse who did not run in the Derby or Preakness. Look for the horse who is bred for the 12 furlong race and had his prep usually in the Peter Pan or another graded race at Belmont.

Rags to Riches beat Curlin in the Belmont. Todd Pletcher was not planning to run her in the Blemont but after seeing how hard Curlin ran in the Derby he knew he was vulnerable and Rags was fresh and had the breeding to win this race . He entered the mare when the race came up light and won it.

I had Temperence Hill @ 53-1

Zarava who beat War Emblem @70 to 1

Birdstone who beat Smarty Jones @ 36-1

Da Tara who beat Big Brown.

Jazil was another I do not remember the odds.

These were all WPS bets as backups to the top DERBY and Preakness winners.

Look at the Preps at Belmont these next 2 week for that horse that may be looking to the Belmont.

Coldfacts may be you can tell us who has the breeding to

get the distance this year.CC had an easy race in the Derby and if he is not pressed hard in the Preakness he could win the Triple Crown. This horse is trained the old fashioned way and has the foundation and knows how to win preserving himself. The other crucial key is Espinosa lost the Belmont on War Emblem to Zarava  and knows when to push the go button this year.

I have a strong feeling that CC could do it this year.

Lets hope he stays sound and Do IT.

I plan to make reservations to the Belmont after the Preakness hopefully to see my fourth TRIPLE CROWN

Secreteriat Affirmed Seatle Slew

????? CALIFORNIA CHROME

07 May 2014 10:26 AM
Rusty Weisner

Secretariat,

I like your advice (congratulations on Derby super?).  

I had two of those, and only cashed on one.  The Sarava Belmont I attended, and I had him as one of four horses in a multi-race wager after attending the Preakness and getting a close-up view of his move to win the Sir Barton Stakes.  The P4 paid either $200,000-1 or $100,000-1, and that was the bet I made, so at least I had a bit of a thrill for a couple legs before I was knocked out.  I liked Jazil best on all tickets as a pedigreed plodder, but he was only 6-1, though the fourth favorite. I also attended Smarty Jones's Belmont (the last TC race I've been to) and tried to beat him with Eddington and Rock Hard Ten in the P4.  Because I knew even less then than I do now I didn't recognize the significance of the name Zito in that race or Birdstone's pedigree, unfortunately.

I think I may be betting on the party to be spoiled again come Belmont time.  

07 May 2014 11:02 AM
Secreteriat

Thank you Rusty

Hedge whatever you do with some kind of bet with the Chrome . It's been more 40 yrs since the Triple Crown

This year's crop is weak and Bayern and Social Inclusion will run themselves into the ground.

I like CC over Kid CruZ as of now for the Preakness but waiting for the PP's to see if there are any Maryland horses that may be looking for a placing at a juicy price.

07 May 2014 12:39 PM
Brontexx

Secreteriat CC has a good chance to win the Preakness but I bet he will get a tougher test at Baltimore on two weeks rest with Social Inclusion and Bayern.His breeding is American breeding that has been lasix infused for a long time and his training method dosent matter its still two weeks rest and he is a lasix user.

07 May 2014 12:44 PM
-Keelerman

Rusty Weisner;

Yes, I thought the Haskell might be a nice fit because of the distance, given that she is a daughter of Tapit. But it's just speculation -- Steve Asmussen hasn't specifically mentioned the Haskell and the Travers, and given that he has also talked about wanting to keep Untapable around for a long time, it wouldn't surprise me if she doesn't face males until next year.

07 May 2014 1:11 PM
TnT

Is Danza in or out the preakness, have not seen any updates on him. Maybe chalk exacta.

Dont mind Kid Cruz running out, better odds at belmont.

Peter Pan may have Tonalist and Mexikoma 2 horses that fit the bill. I'll go with the Birdstone.

07 May 2014 1:28 PM
Brontexx

Bay of Plenty 6 belmont

07 May 2014 4:03 PM
Secreteriat

Brontexx,

It looks like the speed will be Social Inclusion and Pablo. I think Bayern and CC will stalk this time and make their run at the 3/8 pole. Espinosa concerns a bit because he shut him down before the wire. I hope he does not do that in the Preakness. We donot want CC to think the race is over too soon in the Belmont with 5/16 more to run. Rusty Keep an eye on Tonalist in the Peter Pan. He may be the Fresh horse in the Belmont that could peak that day.

07 May 2014 7:20 PM
Brontexx

I dont know if Pablo wants try SI,KD pacesetter Uncle Sigh tried to hang with SI and he was smoked in the Wood.In the KD it was Uncle Sigh and Chitu setting the pace, I think you dont know the Wood was the toughest 9 panel prep this season, if you didnt know that refer to whats on paper on Brisnet for the first two figs even Wicked Strong was close enuff that he would not be considered a plodder by most.Even if CC gets the W he wont be running 12 furlongs at 100% peak ability especially after the Preakness.

07 May 2014 9:37 PM
derbygal

Keelerman; DRF; Showing where Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable will run next in either the Acorn or the Mother Goose at Belmont Park.

08 May 2014 12:47 AM
Rusty Weisner

Secretariat,

Yes, "try to beat" means also including the one I'm trying to beat.  

I will keep an eye on Tonalist, thanks.

I was curious how many new shooters have even hit the board in the Preakness since 2001:

2001: none

2002: 2nd

2003: 2nd

2004: 2nd, 3rd

2005: 2nd

2006: 1st, 3rd

2007: none

2008: 3rd

2009: 1st

2010: 2nd

2011: 3rd

2012: none

2013: none

I guess the last couple years gave me a stronger bias against new ones than they warrant; still, they don't win this leg.

08 May 2014 9:44 AM
Coldfacts

Only three from the Derby are probable in the Preakness. Wow! The Derby must have taken its toll on many. I am surprised Lukas did not enter Strong Mandate. I am sure he will race next with blinkers off.

Dynamic Impact: An interesting probable. This big powerful son of Tiznow won his last two starts and gave every indication longer is better. He has tactical speed to say close to the leader and is blessed with stamina. His dam sire Smart Strike has a positive Preakness history. Curlin and Lookin At Lucky who were sired by Smart Strike won the Preakness. The dam of Mine That who finished 2nd in the Preakness was sired by Smart Strike.  The Belmont seems ideal for DI but he should be a worthy Preakness opponent for CC and others.

Social Inclusion: I cannot get over the comments of his trainer after the Wood. “He will Kill them next time” What the hell does that mean? What prevented him from killing them in the Wood? That’s not a serious trainer and he gets my vote of no confidence. It was obvious SI was a short horse in the Wood. He came to the top of the stretch in hand and had to battle when asked. Clearly he was not trained to effectively run 9F.

His trainer needs to remove the blinkers. What purpose do they serve? The colt had natural speed and their removal will help him to relax. One has to question his preparation for the Preakness. Reported works of 3F in 34 and 4F in 46 for a 9 1/2F race are impressive but concerning. The colt labored in the last furlong of the Wood. He needs more stamina building repetitions as he already has exceptional speed. Nice colt in the wrong hands.

Bayern: The most dangerous horse in the field. Why? Speedy Bob! He owns the Preakness with 5 victories in the last 16 renewals. He also recorded a 2nd place with Bodemeister and a 3rd  place finish with Congaree. It is safe to state that Speedy Bod knows how to win the Preakness. Bayern should enjoy the speed favoring strip at Pimlico and 9 1/2F should be in his reach.

Ride ON Curlin: It was not surprising he ran so baldy in the Derby. He has a poor record at CD. He set a NTR on the only speed favoring track he has raced. He will simply love speed favoring Pimlico. His sire won the Preakness and his connections are hoping he can emulate Charismatic’s victory who was likewise sired by a Preakness winner i.e., Summer Squall. This colt has ability and is capable of striking when eyes are off.

08 May 2014 10:29 AM
Secreteriat

Coldfacts,

Baffert;s 5 wins are very impressive,

Espinoza won with War Emblem and has a 2nd and 3rd so he knows Pimlico well. Ride on Curlin will finally get a clear trip and should finish in the money.

My super will be CC and Bayern in 2 top spots over same+ ROC, SI,KC over All on the bottom.

08 May 2014 11:09 AM
Rusty Weisner

Coldfacts,

I like your comments about Social Inclusion.  My comment above was that I the only betting angle I see is keeping SI out of the tri.  You give me a little more strength of conviction.  I didn't like the comments, either, and the way SI quit suddenly in the stretch made an impression on me.

I think with ROC you can blame the ride, as the trainer did, not the track:  Run to rail and drop to dead last, then come 8-wide into the stretch.

08 May 2014 11:54 AM
-Keelerman

TnT;

It sounds like Danza is unlikely to run in the Preakness Stakes, although no definite decision has been made. However, the Belmont Stakes is still a possibility.

Derbygal;

Thanks for sharing that! I've got my fingers crossed that Untapable runs in the Acorn Stakes, which would add another major name to the already incredible list of stars scheduled to compete at Belmont on Belmont Stakes day.

08 May 2014 1:42 PM
TnT

Thanks Keerlman.

Glad to hear Danza is out preakness, There is no doubt I will be taking him fresh to WIN the Belmont, despite his fatigued finish in the KD, I believe he can get a mile and a half at big sandy.

Noticed 2 new 3 year old invitational turf derbies at belmont on July 5th, both over 1M in purses. Hoping big feilds and Euros, will be good betting races.

Looking at Matterhorn in the Peter Pan. Mexikoma out till Travers.

08 May 2014 2:07 PM
-Keelerman

TnT;

What happened to Mexikoma? I figured something must have gone wrong since he wasn't entered in the Peter Pan, but I hadn't heard anything about waiting for the Travers. Did he come down with an illness, or minor injury?

08 May 2014 2:13 PM
-Keelerman

TnT;

I heard that there's been some interest from Japan in those two invitational turf races, so I'm hopeful that both races will draw terrific international fields! One probable starter from the U.S. is Medal Count, as Dale Romans has said he will point the colt toward the Belmont Derby.

08 May 2014 2:18 PM
Coldfacts

Rusty Weisner,

The Derby was such a disappointment and I only just watched the video. Calvin must have had a senior moment of ROC. The rider on Wicked Strong must have though he was in a demolition Derby.

Even if CC was ridden out to the line I doubt he would broken 2:03 and if he did it would not have been by much. If 1n 2014 a 3YO colt cannot record at least 2:02 for 10F on a fast CD track, I just do not know what to think. I guess those finishing behind him are need to improve significantly.

I cannot believe after modest fractions most in the leading group had nothing left after a mile. Amazing!

It is a good think other major racing jurisdiction race mainly on turf.

08 May 2014 2:30 PM
Brontexx

SI drew the farthest outside post(11) in a tough Wood I would like to see him draw the one hole like he did in his first two and keep the blinkers on.He is a Pioneer of the Nile offspring and his dam side is not too shabby.If Bayern changes his style too much in a grade one race he will probably finish off the board.

To reiterate Bafferts best hope was Hoppertunity dont be fooled by his second stringers.

08 May 2014 2:31 PM
Brontexx

Borel tried to change tactics with ROC and was fired after the race.Baffert will probably get Smith or Stevens to ride Bayern and I doubt he goes off at higher odds than SI.Bayern will be the 2nd choice I dunno about you but I dont play 1-2 in exactas unless its obvious like Ill Have Another and Bodemeister.

08 May 2014 2:36 PM
TnT

MEXIKOMA is coming along nicely at Fair Hill. Barry Irwin told HRTV today that the colt needed a lot of time to bounce back from his illness this winter, but he is now a few weeks away from a race and will have the Travers Stakes as his goal this summer. His 3yo debut continues to look like a key race after the horse who finished one spot behind him, Wicked Strong, finished fourth with trouble in the Kentucky Derby.

PER HTRV

08 May 2014 2:38 PM
-Keelerman

Looking over the entries for this weekend, it looks like there are some really nice races on the agenda! I'm really looking forward to the return of Grace Hall in the Ruffian Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont this Sunday.

Here's the link to my latest blog post, which includes my thoughts on Saturday's Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park: cs.bloodhorse.com/.../tonalist-can-make-a-statement-in-peter-pan-stakes.aspx

08 May 2014 2:40 PM
-Keelerman

Thanks, TnT!

08 May 2014 2:41 PM
TnT

Will be looking for coldfacts boy Outstrip, and any of O'brien's war front's.

08 May 2014 2:44 PM
Coldfacts

Rusty Weisner,

The Derby was such a disappointment I only just watched the video. Calvin must have had a senior moment of ROC. The rider on Wicked Strong must have though he was in a demolition Derby.

Even if CC was ridden out to the line I doubt he would broken 2:03 and if he did it would not have been by much. If in 2014 a 3YO colt cannot record at least 2:02 for 10F on a fast CD track, I just do not know what to think. I guess those finishing behind him need to improve significantly.

I cannot believe after modest fractions most in the leading group had nothing left after a mile. Amazing!

It is a good thing other major racing jurisdictions race mainly on turf.

08 May 2014 3:10 PM
Coldfacts

“Social Inclusion is a good horse," he said. "I don't know how far he can go. He will have to improve a lot. He's getting mature now because he's a May foal. I believe he's going to improve a lot from now on."

Cited above are statements from Social Inclusion’s trainer. The statement that troubles me is "I don't know how far he can go” OK! He set a NTR at 8 1/2F. He battled to a 3rd place finish in the 9F Wood. What would an experience trainer that has won 3500 races in Venezuela and 950 in the US deduce from those two races?

He was full of run at 8.5F and ran out of energy at 9F. Does 1/2F make much a difference to a classy horse? I contend no. The Wood revealed a stamina weakness. This is where specialized training for stamina building comes into play. In the five weeks since his last race his trainer is in no position to specify if the distance of 9.5F will be a problem. What adjustments were made to his training to build his stamina?

He was sired by a horse that finished 2nd in the Derby and his grand sire won the Belmont. His dam sire also sired the winner of the BCC and is from a stamina line. The colt has a stamina pedigree and just need to be trained properly to carry its speed. Instead of stating “I don't know how far he can go” state that he has been prepared to give his best at the Preakness and the distance should not be a problem. There is a difference between running for a piece of a $1.5M purse and running to win.

08 May 2014 3:12 PM

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