Preakness 139: Can 'Chrome Overcome Post Draw?

By J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman")

We got trouble! Right here at Pimlico! With a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Post Position!

After going over the post positions for the 139th Preakness Stakes (gr. I), I couldn’t resist quoting—in slightly modified fashion—the lyrics to a song from The Music Man. If you’ve never heard the song, then I offer my apologies for digressing. If you are familiar with it, then I hope it made you laugh. :)

Leaving Professor Harold Hill behind, I would like to take a moment to discuss yesterday’s Preakness post position draw, during which Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome was assigned post three. At first glance, I thought it was a pretty decent draw—a bit close to the rail, perhaps, but not too close. All in all, California Chrome seemed to be in the perfect position to score a convincing victory at Pimlico this Saturday, and thus continue on his way to Belmont Park to seek the glory of the Triple Crown.

Then I took a closer look at the post draws for the rest of the horses, and suddenly—there was trouble.

Drawn directly outside of California Chrome in post four is Ring Weekend, a talented colt with a great deal of early speed. Winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) in gate-to-wire fashion, Ring Weekend didn’t seem to care for the change in running style when asked to come from off the pace in the Calder Derby, where he finished a distant second as the heavy favorite. A return to his front-running style is expected for the Preakness, which means that Ring Weekend will likely clear California Chrome early and drop in front of the favorite.

Drawn directly inside of California Chrome in post two is General a Rod, runner-up in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and most recently eleventh in the Kentucky Derby. Like Ring Weekend, General a Rod possesses excellent tactical speed, and the plan is to use that speed to get out near the lead and avoid getting trapped along the inside. This means that he, too, may find himself ahead of California Chrome in the early stages of the Preakness.

In gate five we find Bayern, who has led at the first, second, and third calls in each of his last three starts. After leading gate-to-wire last time out in the Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III), only to be disqualified for interfering with the runner-up, the blinkers are coming off, and the plan is for Bayern to stalk the pace. This means that if Ring Weekend and General a Rod both beat California Chrome to the lead, Bayern will likely find himself racing outside of the Derby winner, with the option of keeping the favorite boxed in along the rail.

As if this weren’t bad enough, I haven’t even mentioned Social Inclusion, Pablo Del Monte, and Ride On Curlin, who drew posts eight, nine, and ten. All three of them have demonstrated tremendous early speed, and while Ride On Curlin is more likely to take back a few lengths off the lead and make a late run, the connections of Social Inclusion would like to see their colt on the lead, and Pablo Del Monte won’t be too far back either.

So in essence, my point is that unless California Chrome breaks like a rocket and is urged aggressively to secure good position, he is likely to find himself boxed in along the rail—which has not been the place to be at Pimlico as of late—with no racing room to be found.

Up until the post position draw, I had no intentions of picking a horse other than California Chrome to win the Preakness. I believed he was the best horse in the Derby, and I believe he is the best horse in the Preakness. Assuming he works out a good trip, I think he will romp on Saturday.

But as we all know, the best horse doesn’t always win, and with a troubled trip a possibility for the Derby winner, I have decided to take a shot against him with Ride On Curlin. I have liked this colt since his very first start way back in June 2013, and I have remained a supporter despite his tendency to turn in an occasional sub-par performance. He had little chance to win the Kentucky Derby after sitting in last place for much of the race behind slow fractions, and while jockey Calvin Borel did his best to find room along the rail, an opening didn’t appear in time, which forced Borel to guide the colt some nine or ten paths wide at the top of the stretch. Once in the clear, Ride On Curlin put in an eye-catching late run to finish seventh, beaten just a length for fourth place. What intrigues me the most about Ride On Curlin is that he actually has a ton of tactical speed, and can put in a good run from just about anywhere in a given race. Having drawn gate ten, I expect to see him drop off the early pace—but not too far back!—and come running on the outside in the homestretch, hopefully taking advantage of a fast early pace. All reports are that he has thrived since the Derby, and his :49 3/5 half-mile breeze on Wednesday was exceptional. I think he’s sitting on a career-best performance on Saturday.

Another horse I have my eye on is Social Inclusion, who missed the Derby after finishing third in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and failing to garner enough qualification points to secure a spot in the race. In the Wood Memorial, I thought Social Inclusion had the field at his mercy on the far turn, as he seemed to be running easily while his rivals were being pushed to keep up. That he faded in the homestretch to finish third was a shock, but I think that race—his third in six weeks—was a great foundation for future success, and he has trained as well as anyone else in the lead-up to the Preakness. I expect to see him on the lead this Saturday, and regardless of whether the pace is fast or slow, I think he can has the talent to remain a factor down the homestretch.

A couple days ago, I explained in a blog post why Bayern might be sitting on an improved performance in the Preakness, but for various reasons—potential pace scenario and post position draw among them—I’m going to generally side against him in this spot. I still think he could be a force later this summer, in races like the Haskell Invitational, but the Preakness may prove a tough spot for him.

Another colt I want to like, but am leaning against, is Dynamic Impact. His victory in the Illinois Derby (gr. III) was solid, and if the early pace is quick, he can definitely sit back and take advantage. But drawing post one was far from ideal, as he will now have to drop back and try to circle the field to avoid racing along the rail. In a better position from that perspective is Kid Cruz, a deep-closer that has drawn gate seven. He will most likely be in last place early on, but he has demonstrated an impressive stretch kick in his last couple of races, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets up to crack the superfecta.

In conclusion, the 139th Preakness Stakes presents an interesting quandary for racing fans and handicappers. The racing fan in me will be cheering hard for California Chrome to overcome his poor post draw and take another major step toward winning the Triple Crown. But the handicapper in me will try to beat him with Ride On Curlin and Social Inclusion.

How about you?


Leave a Comment:


Thanks, "Keelerman". Always a pleasure to read what you have to say.

15 May 2014 5:43 PM

"Keelerman"... I'll be watching to see if any slang-words like "Swell" pop up in your articles (ie: The Music Man).

15 May 2014 5:46 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Floridabred! I'm really looking forward to seeing how the Preakness unfolds -- it ought to be a "swell" race! :)

15 May 2014 6:18 PM

Good article, Keelerman.  I too have supported ROC and have been frustrated by his bad luck, jockey issues, etc (sounds a bit like Palace Malice's 3yo season).  Go ROC!  And thank you, Keelerman, for your blogging efforts, enthusiasm and graciousness.

15 May 2014 6:21 PM

If SI is not in the lead in the first part of the race I will be surprised.The only other colt I will mention in regards TO SPEED is Pablo and I know Ward is a speed trainer but the last speedy colt he sent in the Preakness that I recall was in 2011 and that colt lead for little more than a quarter mile.I am getting the impression that the forecast for a SPEED DUEL is becomming infectious as Mr Beyer has written about the MYTHICAL SPEED DUEL that 7 or 8 times OUTTA 10 its subscribed to, it leaves the BETTORS with SUBSCRIPTION CANCELLED NOTICES.

15 May 2014 7:25 PM

This blog has  tendency to call Baffert speedy Bob but is he bluffing when he says he is taking the blinkers off Bayern so he will rate or will Bayern over rule him and Rosie and you guessed it set up THE SPEED DUEL.

15 May 2014 7:30 PM


15 May 2014 7:31 PM


“Assuming he works out a good trip, I think he will romp on Saturday.”

Louis Quatorze set the stakes record of 1:53.40 for the Preakness in 1995. Curlin was the next horse to get close to his mark with his 1:53.46 clocking in 2007. Apart from those two times the avenger winning time for the Preakness is 1:55 plus.

Assuming the Stakes record is not in paly, are you of the opinion that California Chrome is the only horse in the field capable of record a time of 1:55 or less for the distance?

15 May 2014 8:23 PM

California Chrome has awesome tactical speed to be well positioned in this race, assuming he breaks well/with the field. I don't see his post position putting him at any disadvantage and he should be stalking the leaders within striking distance. Peolple are making too much of the slow Derby time ...his San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby performances stamped him as an exceptional 3YO colt and definitely the one to beat in the Preakness.

I fancy Social Inclusion to be the one to lower "Chrome's" colours. He's very fast, classy, has trained well coming into this race, is an ultra talented May foal on the rise and once he takes charge of the race on the front end he'll have to be caught. Only California Chrome has the turn of foot (supported by Beyer speed figures)to challenge him but I'll give the nod to Social Inclusion to win decisively in what could be a very fast race.

Of the others, General a Rod could rebound with a finish in the top three/four. Bayern from off the pace is interesting. Ride On Curlin lacks the class and possibly stamina to trouble the principals. Pablo Del Monte is a pace factor but sould fade on the far turn and Kids Cruz will be coming too late for this (better shot for him lies in the Belmont).

15 May 2014 8:57 PM

Why I am not worried about the post position: a fast pace usually means a more strung out field so you usually don't see horses getting completely boxed in early, and most of the pace horses are falling apart and blowing the final turn so a horse with a good turn of hoof can usually get through somehow. It is the slow pace that bunches everyone up early and still has the speed relatively strong through the final turn.

One thing that I think will really help CC here is that in watching his past races, he is very good at negotiating the turns at top speed. He really carves that final turn.

15 May 2014 9:14 PM
El Kabong

Thank goodness for Social Inclusion. Not a race to make any coin but with a dollar magnet in the field who won't hit the board, it might be worth figuring out second and third. Leaning toward ROC and Dynamic, Bayern and General A Rod. SI was Baked and Left Trailing, BLT for those of you scoring points at home, in a 9 Furlong race.  I hope his backers ignore the Wood and try to recoup that dough they left behind at AQ. :) SI is a toss for the top 3 rings as this field is better than the one he faced at AQ. He'll be in the sand box grasping at monkey bars while photos are being snapped.

15 May 2014 10:09 PM

You outline one of many equally possible scenarios. Way too much wrapped up in a guess. You bet the best horses not try to guess one of many possible pace scenarios and pick a horse who can win in that narrow window. CC has the best tactical speed on the field and minus a poor start will be anywhere his jockey wants. Ride on Curlin has proved he can pass tiring horses in the middle of the field. I believe the race will be run in  sub 1:55 and think only CC or Bayern are capable of doing that at this distance. In my opinion, SI didn't look short in his last race, he looked distance challenged.

15 May 2014 11:32 PM

1st-California Chrome- simply the best

2nd-Social Inclusion-  runs everyone else off their feet

3rd-Ride on Curlin-    will be coming late, too late

4th-Bayern-            right behind ROC

not the best betting race, but will try this superfecta straight, also trifecta and exacta straight, not worth boxing, not a big loss if it doesnt come in.

15 May 2014 11:55 PM

Throw out SI. He was exposed in the wood. He had jelly legs in the stretch. He's distance limited.

16 May 2014 12:02 AM
Lise from Maine


Post 3 for California Chrome is not the ideal place to be but since he is the best, he can manage it.

Thank you!

Lise from Maine

16 May 2014 12:44 AM

Keelerman : I hope it works out for you, that was exactly my angle in the Derby when I tried to beat Chrome.   I expected US and ViT to gun it from the inside and WR and Chitu, GAR and Samraat on his outside.  I was so sure that he would get shuffled, will be forced to run behind more horses than he's had all year.   Guess what, only US went for it, allowing CC to get out clean and get up close.  When Chitu went up to the lead, it allowed him to stalk the pace and I knew the race was over.   Samraat had to go at him earlier than they were probably planning because CC has been pulling away from the field at the top of the stretch.

With less horses, it's quite possible that your scenario might pan out and maybe he does get shuffled but I'm betting that Victor will find the right spot for him sitting behind 2 or 3 horses.  I just think that he's the best against this field....speed or no speed.

I too was surprised with Social Inclusion given the morning line of 5-1.   My angle on this horse is that his trainer’s wants to build up the booster rocket with these short workouts.  I’m betting that the plan is to separate himself early, build a huge lead (like at least 10 lengths) and try and hold it on the stretch…”catch me if you can”.   It's a cheap way to win but I can’t see him winning any other way.  If that happens, Chrome will have to try and get close because I don’t think any of the other horse will go with SI, GAR would probably the only one that will try and I think GAR is a lot better horse than SI.   If GAR doesn't go, and SI is able to separate himself, then CC will have to work hard this time to catch him.  I still think he'll be able to catch him in the stretch but will probably have to use his 4th gear, which we haven't seen yet.

16 May 2014 1:12 AM

Coldfacts :  What is it about Chrome comments that eats you up ?  Why do you care if someone thinks he's the best ?  

Chrome reminds of Point Given the way he runs, his wins are effortless and authoritative.

16 May 2014 1:44 AM
Pedigree Ann

The problem with listing all of these horses as 'early speed' is that, even though they have those 'ones' in the PPs, some of them have not been going that fast when they get that lead. A 24 first quarter is not going to set it up for any closers, nor is a 48 second half. Just like in the Derby, none these is an Olympia or Bold Forbes who habitually goes out there blazing away 22&2 first quarters, taking no prisoners.

As an aside, have you ever seen the running of the 2009 Ormonde S from Chester? Scratches cut a field of 7 down to 3, none of whom usually ran on the lead. They walked out of the gate in usual Euro-style, but then continued for about a half-furlong at a hand-canter, as nobody wanted their horse in front without cover. Finally one jock seized the initiative and set off at an actual racing pace. Won it, too.

16 May 2014 4:21 AM
Pedigree Ann

jayjay - Chromey is nothing like that huge, galumping moose of a horse Point Given - he has a particularly neat and efficient stride. Oh, were you talking about **style** of running? That's another kettle of fish.

16 May 2014 4:28 AM
Rusty Weisner


Linda Rice's comments on Kid Cruz were that she preferred to aim him for the Belmont but thinks "he needs a race."


Got a link to the previous thread?  Got an opinion on the "throat blister"?

16 May 2014 7:39 AM
Rusty Weisner

I agree with skepticism about speed duels.  A lot of these speedy horses are inevitably out of their depth and just run off their feet.  I'm sure people said there would be a speed duel last year, too, and when Titletown Five wasn't an early factor there was no one left to challenge Oxbow.

16 May 2014 7:41 AM
Rusty Weisner

Uncle Stosh,

"You bet the best horses not try to guess one of many possible pace scenarios..."

These are very wise words.

El Kabong,

My original "angle" was try to beat SI, not CC, so thanks for giving me courage.  I tepidly like a CC/ROC exacta, though I would like to play a tri or super with Kid Cruz underneath -- he reminds me of of my namesake.  Congratulations on the Derby -- I was happy to see all your "visualization" come to fruition.

16 May 2014 7:47 AM
Rusty Weisner


Your handicapping of the Preakness calls to mind one of those schemes where they say, "It's so crazy it just might work...".  You certainly visualize everything vividly.  There's no shame in trying to beat a 3-5 horse in a big race, so kudos for boldness.  I can't say I wish you luck, though.

16 May 2014 8:00 AM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

Not even on style.  Point Given just circled the field (and it was a good one) in the Preakness.  In the Belmont he already passed the early pretenders leaving the backstretch.

16 May 2014 8:06 AM


“What is it about Chrome comments that eat you up?’

I have no problems with the talented colt. It’s the comments submitted by his supporters that I find over the top.

The 2014 Derby was strange to state the least and I have not seen enough to justify these claims. You should understand why I am still on the fence about the colt.

The colt received a 97 Beyer for his Derby victory. Of the 19 starters 15 received lower Beyers than they did in their previous starts. There were only three horses that received higher Beyers over the prior races i.e., Commanding Curve, Harry’s Holiday and Vinceremos. We Miss Artie received an 85 similar to his number in the Spiral. The colt that finished second had only a MSW victory and never won Derby prep. The 3rd place finisher was making his 5th start and his 3rd in 8 months. The 4th place finishers had a bad trip. The 7th place finisher was given an impossible task by his rider but closed a tremendous amount of ground.

I am not a Beyer person but the above revelations about the numbers in addition to the other cold fact, leaves me on the fence about CC. Many will dismiss my assessment and I can appreciate that but at least I have basis for my position.

“Why do you care if someone thinks he's the best?”  

A very oddly worded question. I have absolutely no care what people think about CC as he is just another talented racehorse. However, I find it ridiculous that likely reasons are being advanced should he be defeated. If he is the best, he should be able to overcome the adversities that confront him. The greats of the past weathered every storm en route to victory. They left no room for excuses.

You cannot state the he is the best and then give reason for a possible defeat. What is even more ridiculous is the fact that you dismissed any possibility of defeat at the hooves of any of his opponents. I have never seen abbreviations in a Racing Form that denotes “Dislike Track or Unfit. These are the two likely reasons for defeat you have advanced.  

16 May 2014 8:15 AM


Thank you for the kind words! Your comparison of Ride On Curlin to Palace Malice is a good one. Perhaps things will work out just as well in the end for Ride On Curlin!

16 May 2014 8:38 AM


Assuming the Preakness Stakes record isn't going to be challenged, and that the track isn't playing overly fast on Saturday, I do believe that California Chrome is capable of winning by daylight in around 1:55 flat. If he gets bottled up in traffic and fails to make a run, I believe the winner will run closer to 1:56. That's not to say that some of the other Preakness contenders couldn't run in 1:55 under the right circumstances -- given another furlong, General a Rod may have very well recorded such a time in the Fountain of Youth. But I believe California Chrome is the only colt likely to approach the 1:55 mark on Saturday.

16 May 2014 8:50 AM


Social Inclusion appears to be ahead case. Any horse that has to trains in blinkers and wears them along with F8 will always struggle over a distance of ground. I saw a video clip of the colt and he looked very agitated and on the muscle. He is coming to the race to sprint and will in no way relax. He could not out run Wicked Strong and Sammart and he was the primary speed in the field. He will now be facing faster horses and his one dimensional style is a formula for defeat.

I have not seen the blinker off in training and the aminal being taught to rate behind another horse. The horse has not been trained to run any other way except on the lead. How many races will he win against the best of his peers going from gate to wire if he has stamina limitations?

The owners of the colt wanted it to remain with its original trainer as one of the conditions of sale.

Crazy is what crazy does.

16 May 2014 8:53 AM


Terrific thoughts! You've got a great point -- if California Chrome does wind up in traffic, a slow pace is going to be much harder to overcome than a fast one.

One thing is for certain -- the first two or three furlongs of this Preakness are going to be among the most interesting in recent memory!

16 May 2014 8:57 AM


The opening furlongs of the Derby are one of the reasons why I decided to take a chance against California Chrome. Although he did get into the clear and worked out a winning trip, I didn't like the way he looked when Chitu cleared him passing the stands for the first time -- he seemed to throw his head up and drop back a bit. Perhaps it was simply the result of Victor Espinoza asking California Chrome to bide his time, but I can't help but wonder if it was actually a negative reaction to kickback.

Anyway, I had those opening furlongs of the Derby in mind when I went over the post positions for the Preakness, and with horses likely to cut in front of California Chrome again this Saturday, I got to thinking that 'Chrome could be in deep trouble if he does react poorly to kickback.

Of course, this is all just speculation on my part, and I would really like to see California Chrome overcome his post draw and win the Preakness decisively. But under the circumstances, I couldn't see picking him to win at 3-5.

16 May 2014 9:17 AM

Rusty Weisner;

Here you go:

As for the throat blister, my gut feeling is that it's nothing to worry about, but it's always a bit concerning to hear of things like this two days before a Triple Crown race. I guess if I can forgive Social Inclusion for missing a race and a workout with a foot bruise, than I can forgive California Chrome for having a little throat blister, so I probably won't let it change my opinion of him. What's your take?

16 May 2014 9:27 AM
Rusty Weisner


You're the pro.  My take means nothing: I only know what I read in the papers.  If there's a change in routine accompanying this pimple, let us know.

16 May 2014 9:44 AM
Rusty Weisner

I don't think SI is going to be as high as 5-1.  I think he is everyone's second choice.

16 May 2014 10:11 AM
Plod Boy Phil

re:  Miss Preakness Stakes

4 Miss Behaviour (8-1) prepped for this in a speed favoring turf sprint. Returns to a dirt sprint today having posted three straight upgrades sprinting prior to the route failure at DeD.

7 Sweetmary's Success (10-1) was much too close to a very Closer favoring Flow following her 10 month break. Owns a 'vs Zip Win' at Calder.

16 May 2014 10:16 AM

Due to the rain-soaked conditions at Pimlico, all of today's turf races will be run on the main track, including the Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes. I'll post the scratches from the stakes races as soon as they become available.

There was an update on this morning regarding California Chrome's throat blister. Sounds like it's still not an issue:

16 May 2014 10:19 AM
JJs Rocket

I will be rooting the CC to run them all off there feet. I will be playing CC with SI with GAR,KC with ROC. As is my betting style I will play two saver tickets not using CC on one and not using SI on the other. On those two saver tickets I will add RW to the third and fourth spots.

Bayern and Pablo Del Monte will be to close to the lead and tire. Ria Antonia is just over matched. ROC reminds me of a horse that wont ever win graded stakes races but is great to use in 3rd and 4th place in them. He has been beaten by Strong Mandate, Coastline and Tapiture twice in his last 6 races. Too many excuses for me but cant fault anyone that is convinced on him. SI may fold coming down the stretch but im thinking he got a lot out of the wood. That was a tiring tough race that he only got beat by a nose to Samraat on his home track. GAD should run a much improved race here. Also cant fault anyone that wants to use DI in 3rd or 4th. Hope that everyone finds a winner.  

16 May 2014 10:29 AM


I was wondering if anyone had picked up the fact that SI seems to be a headcase and you did.  Watching the Wood, he was agitated and sweating heavily.  I think it may have been the crowd.  The other day going to the track he was antsy and nervous.  There will be a huge crowd tomorrow and I don't think he will handle it well.  As for the race, almost anything can happen.  I am a CC fan but I do love ROC.  That being said, CC is a very intelligent horse and has a lot of experience and has matured in the last few months and doesn't seem to get nervous when those blinkers go on, it is time for business and he knows it.  Victor is a perfect fit for him but anything can happen.  I think if CC wins it will put to rest some of the doubts that remain about him.  As far as a triple crown, I'm not sure that will ever happen again unless they change it to make it easier.  I hope they don't as it will separate those 11 horses who did win it from the horses of today.  When you keep letting horses skip the Preakness to go to the Belmont or skip the Derby to go to the Preakness you are putting fresh horses in that are running against horses that have had long campaigns.  I also understand that winning a classic race is important to breeders.  36 years is a long time.  It was 25 years without a TC when Secretariat won.  That certainly says a lot about the 3 who won in the '70's. I know you only go by the "cold facts" but I go with emotion and I do think that Chrome will win this race and he will win it easily.  I could be wrong but I do have a gut feeling he will.  Good luck to all and may they all come home safe and sound.

16 May 2014 10:41 AM
Plod Boy Phil

re: Random thoughts

Churchill's Derby day main track played Severely Biased towards Speed. Off the pace stalkers and closers all deserve extra credit when next seen.  

The Wood was essentially fair for all running styles.

The Blue Grass came back favorable enough towards closers to make it modestly noteworthy.

As I see it, if Cali Chrome runs his opening half in a trouble free :47+,  he'll be nearly unbeatable, regardless of what the others do.

I have read a few comparisons of this year's also rans General a Rod and Ride On Curlin to Louis Q. For what it's worth, the latter fired a 5f bullet Preakness week before running lights out.


16 May 2014 11:37 AM

If the track is dry, Social Inclusion and Dynamic Impact, exacta.

16 May 2014 11:45 AM

Unfortunately, there have been a total of forty-eight scratches from today's races at Pimlico, including five from the Hilltop Stakes, which has been left with only three runners. There were also four scratches from the Jim McKay Turf Stakes, among them Bold Thunder, Wicked Tune, and Spring to the Sky.

Here are today's entries, along with all of the scratches:

16 May 2014 11:59 AM

Plod Boy Phil;

Welcome back! I'm glad to hear that you also believe the main track on Derby Day was speed-favoring -- that gives me a little extra confidence in Ride On Curlin. Thanks for sharing!

16 May 2014 12:07 PM

In today's opening race at Pimlico, 3-5 favorite Love Heart secured the early lead, set moderate fractions, and cruised home to win by double-digit lengths in the time of 1:46.91 for 8.5 furlongs. La Reine's Wager, who tracked Love Heart throughout, was passed by Wild n' Pat in the final strides and finished third. Needless to say, the track -- presently labeled sloppy -- seems to be very slow.

16 May 2014 12:17 PM

Pedigree Ann : Yes, the running style.   Point Given is a much much better looking horse :)   He's almost like a red chestnut, very unique.

Keelerman :  I don't think it was any reaction by Chrome, I think it's Victor pulling back a bit when he saw Chitu coming up on his outside wanting the lead, and that's when I thought the race was over.   Dynamic Impact is also one I was looking at, possibly to add on the bottom of my super...DI is faster than KC and will be chasing the pace, he might be able to get 4th and he'll be at a good price.  I thought GAR ran a better race than ROC after watching the race again.

Coldfacts :  I think he's the best, that means I don't think the other 9 horses have a shot against him based on what he has shown me so far IF he runs his race.  I said those two reasons because I believe they are the only things that can prevent him from running the race he has been running.   Does that make sense to you ?

You don't need a reason or defend your reason for not liking Chrome, no one is trying to make you like him.  I don't like his odds at all and it's very very very rare that I play a 3-5 (and that's ML!)... but sometimes, the best horse does win...believe it or not.   If he doesn't win, then I would be surprised if you don't hit the exact, tri, and superfecta seeing you're betting 50% of the field.   Hopefully you make a decent profit.   You didn't answer my question in the last blog, maybe you reply here, curious how you're structuring your tickets with 5 horses.

16 May 2014 12:47 PM
Rusty Weisner


If you like Dynamic Impact, keep an eye on the Sir Barton Stakes.  The fourth-place finisher from the Illinois Derby, Class Leader, is the ML favorite there.

16 May 2014 12:49 PM

Rusty :   I said effortless and authoritative, doesn't that describe what you said about his Preakness and Belmont wins ?

16 May 2014 12:57 PM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

CD did look speed biased for most of the undercard, but there was a dirt race that had an "honest" look about it, the last dirt race before the Derby, the Churchill Downs.  I'm curious how you accounted for this race.  It had comparable fraction to another 7f race, the Humana Distaff, but three horses closed for the top three slots.  I realize that one race doesn't disprove the trend, but it was a long day (in every sense).  

16 May 2014 1:00 PM
Rusty Weisner

To me the Derby was just too formful for me to consider the surface a factor.

16 May 2014 1:34 PM
Rusty Weisner

Okay, here goes.  Only betting the Preakness, $60.

CC to win with ROC, SI & Kid Cruz boxed up underneath in tris and one super.

$10 straight exactas, CC/ROC & CC/Kid Cruz.

$2 win on Kid Cruz, $10 show and place.

I'm not usually a sucker for closers, but this one reminds me of the 46-1 runner-up in the 2002 Preakness, right down to having a female trainer.  Except I think he's better.

16 May 2014 1:44 PM

Good luck, Rusty Weisner! I hope you make a big score!

16 May 2014 3:00 PM
Rusty Weisner


I just hope CC wins and I make my money back.  

16 May 2014 3:08 PM

Rusty Weisner:

Thank you Rusty, but Class Leader has a bad post going 8.5 furlongs. Plus, he was beaten over 9 lengths last out.

I won't touch him.

16 May 2014 3:16 PM
Rusty Weisner


That's not what I meant.  If he does well it reflects well on the other horse.

16 May 2014 3:27 PM

Rusty Weisner :

That's right!

16 May 2014 3:45 PM

Looks like there's been some support for Ria Antonia in the early wagering on the Preakness, as the filly is currently the sixth choice of the ten horses at 14-1. If you like General a Rod, it looks like you might get a nice price -- he's currently 23-1!

Here are the current odds for all of the horses, subject to substantial change as the race draws closer:

1 Dynamic Impact 25-1

2 General a Rod 23-1

3 California Chrome 2-5

4 Ring Weekend 24-1

5 Bayern 11-1

6 Ria Antonia 14-1

7 Kid Cruz 12-1

8 Social Inclusion 8-1

9 Pablo Del Monte 50-1

10 Ride On Curlin 11-1

16 May 2014 3:58 PM

With Spring to the Sky out of the Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes, and with the race being run over a wet main track, I have decided to take a try against Ben's Cat with Great Attack and Agonistic, boxing them in the exacta while adding Ben's Cat and Smash and Grab for the second position. If Ben's Cat misses the exacta, it could pay nicely!

16 May 2014 4:18 PM

Well, at the top of the stretch, I thought Great Attack had a chance to hold off Ben's Cat, but the heavy favorite was simply too good and won by two lengths. Turf, dirt -- it doesn't matter to the Cat. What a horse!

16 May 2014 4:22 PM

$20 Special/Preakness Dbl 1-2-3-6 w 3

$10     same               1-2-3-6 w 8

Spec/Dixie/Preak P3  $10  1236 w 38 w38

16 May 2014 4:30 PM

Keelerman, do you buckle your knickerbockers below the knee and chew SenSen?  Sorry, the mind is now in River City…you really ought to give Iowa a try; Iowa could try to beat the Chrome Comet, but talk is cheep cheep cheep (talk a lot pick a little more)

16 May 2014 4:38 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty -

The G2 CD was one of nine dirt race that as a group showed significantly less closing by the board finishers than we'd expect to see when taking the impact of individual race Flows into account. All dirt races on a card are (almost) always treated equally and 'result's do not take into account public perception at post time.

It's likely that neither of the 7f races you mentioned will result in grades, except in a supporting role - bias alone is rarely strong enough to justify the grading of runners without help from a favorable Flow.

16 May 2014 4:41 PM

Plod Boy Phil;

Nice call on Miss Behaviour in the Miss Preakness Stakes! Great job!

16 May 2014 6:05 PM
lawrence vaccarelli

49 3/5 half-mile breeze on Wednesday was exceptional....for 5k claimers it is :(  im sorry ROC is a nice horse but your counting on if...if...if..if...more than likely your going to see a good old fashion  horse butt kicking

16 May 2014 8:03 PM
lawrence vaccarelli

El Kabong

Thank goodness for Social Inclusion.....I couldn't agree more  ! the name alone is going to get every touchy feely leftist to plunk there $ 2.00 on ! he's deader than driftwood.

16 May 2014 8:06 PM
Carlos in Cali

California Chrome will romp in the Preakness similar to his facile victories before the Derby and his "doubters"(you know who you are) will still continue to be non-believers of this immensely talented colt. Their loss- more egg on the face(s) of the stubborn mules out there. Ha!

Ride On Curlin a distant 2nd- the rest is up for grabs.

Coldfacts- who's your pick so I can laugh at it. J/K.. sort of.

Ranagulzion- I believe you're in for a rude "awakening" by following the "false wonder-horse".

El Kabong- that was funny!

16 May 2014 8:27 PM


“I do believe that California Chrome is capable of winning by daylight in around 1:55 flat.”

I have used the splits from the IL Derby and did some extrapolation of the figures and came up with a extrapolated time for a 1 3/16 of 1:55.29 for Dynamic Impact. The formula has its imperfection but it give some guidance as to the time Dynamic Impact is capable of recording for the distance with expected improvement.

I have not paid a lot of attention to Dynamic Impact. However, now that I am identifying the horse that will comprise my exotics, he appears to be the horse most likely to defeat California Chrome. Below are some cold facts:

He contested his last race as 2YO on 16th Nov. He returned for his 3YO debut on 30th January (10.7 weeks) He finished 2nd by 6 1/2L over a mile completed in 1:42.05. Approximately a month later he broke his maiden over 8F by a NK in 1:38.40. His winning time on an obviously faster track was 3.60 seconds faster than his previous effort at the distance.

He then contested the IL Derby and won by a nose. It should be noted that the 8F time in the IL Derby was 1:36.63. This time was 1.77 seconds faster than the time in his maiden breaker over a mile. The final time of 1:49.07 was the 2nd fastest in the last 15 renewals of race. The final time for the IL Derby faster than those recoded in the Wood, AK Derby, FL Derby, LA Derby and Bluegrass.

As a next out MSW winner Dynamic Impact defeated the very fast Midnight Hawk who was contesting his 5th graded stakes. Midnight Hawk previously finished 2nd to CC and chitu two very fast horses.

A next out MSW winner defeats a seasoned graded stakes horse in its graded stakes debut. The final time for the IL Derby was faster than those recorded in the final Derby preps for the horses that finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the K/Derby.

Dynamic Impact won the IL Derby off 7 weeks between races and will contest the Preakness in approximately 4 week between races. This big, powerful and fast son of Tiznow is quite capable of recording a time of 1:55 for 1 3/16F and has to be California Chrome’s most formidable opponent.

After careful review he is my pick to take down the Chrome.

17 May 2014 1:08 AM

Carlos in Cali,

"Coldfacts who's your pick so I can laugh at it."

After a careful review of all the contenders I have settled on Dynamic Impact. Laugh away!

17 May 2014 1:11 AM

Horse that will to comprise my exotic wagers:

California Chrome

Dynamic Impact

General A Rod

Kid Cruz

Ring Weekend

Social Inclusion with his blinkers and F8 is a carrying too much equipment for my liking. If he makes either the tri/sup I lose. A nice colt that could not out run the hard ridden Samaart in the Wood. What has change since? He only needs a shadow roll to resemble the usually over dressed Comma To The Top.

17 May 2014 1:47 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Thanks Keelerman.

Good luck today.

17 May 2014 6:58 AM
Rusty Weisner

Lawrence vacarelli,

I didn't realize that many of them played the Preakness.  How about we avoid the gratuitous insertion of politics here?  I get enough of it elsewhere.  

17 May 2014 7:40 AM
Rusty Weisner

The kiss of death for supporters of Dynamic Impact: Andrew Beyer alludes to his Beyer being higher than CC's.

I should take more of a stand against SI but I give likely speed a chance to hold on for a piece; I'll try to beat him in the exacta, though.

17 May 2014 7:42 AM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

Good $12.00 pick.  You've got to get back up to $20.00 or $40.00 picks.

I'm discounting any bias in the Derby. I didn't see anything unexpected in the results, and two expected closers even closed:  "the other CC" and Wicked Strong, whose effort seemed more hampered by traffic than the surface.  The only surprising thing about the race was the time.

17 May 2014 7:47 AM

No 7+ K supers today so I must put my whole bankroll on 1 race and hope for the best.

$50 straight super Chrome ROC Social Inclusion Kid Cruz

$40 straight super Chrome Social Inclusion ROC Kid Cruz

$30 super Chrome w SI ROC w SI ROC KC w KC Genearal Arod

Good Luck everyone

17 May 2014 8:50 AM
Rusty Weisner


We've got the same super.  I'll take it as a good omen?  Didn't you hit the Derby super?

17 May 2014 10:29 AM
Drinks from a glass !!

I will watch the sir Barton 10 horse class leader for info re dynamic impact.    Impressed with the Iillinois derby finish of the winner.  Mark cases has this one right at the right time.  First race at pimlico finished .track looks fast .winner cruised home . No challengers in sight . Time 1.45 msw 1/16 th.    Track has been favoring closers on the dirt.             Kid Cruz over chrome and dynamic impact.      Good luck to all.    

17 May 2014 11:02 AM
Drinks from a glass !!

Looking for huge upset in race 5.    The 5.      I said it out loud when he won at 69-1.        Galiana.      Heart of gold.    Stalk pounce Win.....     This horse and trainer my kind of story .......met Romero rudolfo at parx. Super hard knocking team

17 May 2014 11:11 AM
Drinks from a glass !!

Race 6.   Galiana.  

17 May 2014 11:11 AM
Drinks from a glass !!

Race 2in books.   Pimlico similar pace and time 1.45 for 1 I/16 ...winner held sway for final quarter.   We might have a real contested fast pace later in day .

17 May 2014 11:27 AM
Drinks from a glass !!

Race 3in books.   Almost identical fractions ....1.44  times heating up.   Winner was up front final 1/4 .wasnt denied.      

17 May 2014 11:59 AM
Rusty Weisner


I like your stand against SI.  Good luck to us with CC and Kid Cruz and to you on everything else on the card.

17 May 2014 12:19 PM
Rusty Weisner


Re: splits for Dynamic Impact.  You're going to find the splits very slow for both Maryland tracks.  The horses aren't great, admittedly, but they're not that bad.  The splits for one of Kid Cruz's race were :50, 1:16.  So I don't know about the comparisons.  IHA had 1:55:94, Oxbow 1:57:54, for points of comparison.  

17 May 2014 12:28 PM
Rusty Weisner

I'll Have Another's was my favorite Preakness performance.  Bodemeister had actually gotten away from him at the top of the stretch and it still amazes me that IHA caught him.  War Emblem's was another I liked, as he fended off three separate challenges.  Unfortunately I only saw Afleet Alex on replays, not in real time.

17 May 2014 12:32 PM
Rusty Weisner

Nobody has a take on the Dixie?  Heavy turf, anyone like it?  I might make a little play on Keelerman's Nutello, who ran on like surfaces in Europe.  Otherwise it seems even more wide open than before because of the surface.

17 May 2014 2:01 PM

Coldfacts : Are you boxing all 5 horses in exacta, trifecta and superfecta ?   or have DI and KC on top ?

17 May 2014 2:04 PM


Yes I did hopefully we will hit this one too!

Good Luck

17 May 2014 2:09 PM

The first and 2nd betting choice has won every race after 6,at Pimlico.When your playing style is using vertical exotics you follow payoff patterns and they occur long term in the same manner at almost all US horsetracks.This could be a favorites day, or one or more longshots(double figure odds)are coming up.

17 May 2014 2:12 PM
Rusty Weisner

I actually like the Illinois Derby horse in the 10th and the post is no longer prohibitive with the two scratches.  It's run fast and gets class relief coming out of the last race.  I bet a 50-cent p3 with him/ALL/CC.  Lame, I know.  Then I played Nutello in the double, an ALL/Nutello/CC p3 and the late P3 with my three preferred Preakness choices and the 5 in the last.  I'll be watching the network telecast, which is long and will at least show the Dixie, and I can't watch without having a couple bucks down, at least.  

Good luck all!

17 May 2014 2:33 PM

Hello, everyone! Happy Preakness Day! Sorry for my lack of comments thus far today, but I had a very busy morning!

Upon reviewing a few of the day's replays, it looks like the track is playing fairly -- does anyone else have an opinion? Also, the turf course seems to be drying out reasonably well, so the ground shouldn't be too wet for Nutello in the Dixie Stakes.

Here's an update on the odds for the Preakness Stakes:

1 Dynamic Impact 25-1

2 General a Rod 16-1

3 California Chrome 2-5

4 Ring Weekend 25-1

5 Bayern 11-1

6 Ria Antonia 17-1

7 Kid Cruz 12-1

8 Social Inclusion 10-1

9 Pablo Del Monte 60-1

10 Ride On Curlin 13-1

17 May 2014 2:48 PM


I do not have a place to wager at today, if I did I would try a super using.

3 CC,2 GAR, 4 RW, 8 SI with 3,2,4,8 with all, with all.

17 May 2014 3:15 PM

Love this game hit the TRi in  8th at Pimlico and the Tri at Belmont with juicy payoffs. And the best is yet to come.

17 May 2014 3:57 PM

Great job, Secretariat! Good luck in the Preakness!

I'm still not certain if I will be playing any trifectas and/or superfectas on the Preakness Stakes, but if I do, I'll be sure to post them beforehand. Good luck to all!

17 May 2014 4:00 PM

No one mentions.......that cali chrome doesnt like dirt in his face......or he moves around alot in position leads to the possibility that a couple horses get in front of him......this can lead to him throwing his head in the air.......not something good for 2/5 shot..........300w ride on curlin....180 w general a-rod.............

17 May 2014 4:03 PM
Sam Santschi

Thanks Keelerman...3/1,7,10 for me.  But will box them on one of my tickets.  Standing against 5 and 8.  Seeing the odds on Dynamic (25-1) and my bias against Casse 3 year olds has me confused.  Wanted to place a large show bet on Kid Cruz but 12-1 only?  Will be examining the show pools closely for value there. Good luck all. Hope CC does it though.

17 May 2014 4:06 PM

KY VET No one mentions.......that cali chrome doesnt like dirt in his face.

Which bully colt do you think will kick dirt in his face?

Dont be silly his trainer knows that, but he is not spilling the beans.

17 May 2014 4:11 PM

Secreteriat your catching up to Rusty Weisner in the soups won.

17 May 2014 4:14 PM
Rusty Weisner


What's that supposed to mean?  Unlike you, I remember what people post.  Secretariat posted that he hit the super; it wasn't that improbable this year.  He's been around a while, I have no reason to believe he's lying.  I don't get the mentality -- emphasis on "mental" -- who lurks around rooting for people to lose and then denies them credit when they win.  Who are your picks, anyway?  

17 May 2014 4:45 PM
Pedigree Ann

Well, here I am, over in Northern Ireland, staying up late to watch the Preakness via streaming on my computer. We don't have a TV yet nor have we purchased our TV license (yes, you have to buy a license to use a TV in the UK! It's to support the BBC, which has no commercials and no call-in 'festivals', like PBS). But I digress.

So I see that Bayern (officially), Social Inclusion, Pablo del Monte, and Ride on Curlin are all eligible for the upcoming Sir Barton S (non-winners of a sweepstakes). It is interesting that Ride on Curlin has yet to win a race longer than 6f and it does look like the longer the race, the farther back he finishes (unless it is a wet track. Not today, worse luck for him).

I guess I have to like Class Leader, since my favorite jock James Graham is aboard. He won me $3000 and a trip to Phoenix. I'll tell you all about it after the race, if you like.

17 May 2014 4:46 PM
Rusty Weisner

Jersey Boy,

I may be reconsidering Dynamic Impact after that Sir Barton result.  I don't care if the horse lost by nine lengths, he was up close enough to the pace of race that on paper was strong.

17 May 2014 4:50 PM
Rusty Weisner


"No one mentions"?  Everyone worried about his gate problems before the Derby, and Keelerman mentioned he was shying from dirt.  So did QuinnBit over at Haskin.  You're the last to mention either factor.

17 May 2014 4:54 PM

Pedigree Ann;

I'd love to hear about it!

17 May 2014 4:58 PM
Rusty Weisner


I wasn't going to comment on this post of yours, but you've made me do it:

"The first and 2nd betting choice has won every race after 6,at Pimlico.When your playing style is using vertical exotics you follow payoff patterns and they occur long term in the same manner at almost all US horsetracks.This could be a favorites day, or one or more longshots(double figure odds)are coming up."

I don't even know what it means, but unless I'm mistaken you're saying lots of favorites have won, so they'll keep on winning.  Brilliant!  All I have to do is keep doubling down on the favorites.  It's foolproof.  It's just one of those "days"!

Or maybe it's the opposite, so you cover both angles:

"This could be a favorites day, or one or more longshots(double figure odds)are coming up."

Brilliant!  All I have to do is either 1. pick favorites or 2. pick longshots.  


17 May 2014 5:02 PM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

Good pick, and do tell.

17 May 2014 5:04 PM
Rusty Weisner


What I do remember you saying is that you didn't think CC could run even the second leg of the TC campaign -- in fact, I think you even said he WOULDN'T run.  So I thought of you when they mentioned the "pimples" and when Art Sherman started talking about the surface.  Good to see you stick to your guns, though I can't wish you luck.  ROC is a little bit of the "wiseguy" horse, and I have him, but I just won't try A Rod; he seems on a downward trajectory.  But last year you had luck with another Gulfstream horse coming off a bad two races.

17 May 2014 5:08 PM
Rusty Weisner

Sam Santschi,

My surprise exactly on Kid Cruz.  I put PS money on him and think I'll back those bets out and put them into including Dynamic Impact underneath in my tris and in an exacta.  I think the race we saw just put the seal of approval on him.

17 May 2014 5:15 PM

Mr. wishy washy! Rusty.....i said if cali chrome loses derby, he wont run.......and he wouldnt........just like he wont run in belmont if he loses today....

17 May 2014 5:42 PM


Live in the P5

I will let you check the WILL Pays and the amount of bet.

Good Luck


Weel done! on your score

17 May 2014 5:53 PM

Rusty Weisner I don't even know what it means, but unless I'm mistaken you're saying lots of favorites have won, so they'll keep on winning.  Brilliant!  All I have to do is

Thats your interpretation of what I posted it dosent mean bet favorites.

Here is my straight soup for the freak oh meany Preak

3-2-7-8 Im using Thorographs free bottom line for this one good luck on your soup Secreteriat

17 May 2014 5:56 PM
Rusty Weisner


Hmmm.  That's what you said?  What kind of insight is that?  How uncommon is it for a horse to be rested when it doesn't win or get in the money in a TC rest?  There are only three horses running back from the Derby today.  

This passes for superior knowledge?

17 May 2014 5:56 PM
Rusty Weisner

I cannot believe Kid Cruz has shorter odds than ROC.  This was a horse I was shy about betting at 20-1.  

I wish I liked Dynamic Impact better, because this is the only one with odds.

SI at 6-1 surprises me.  That's "dead on the board", as far as I'm concerned.  I just saw his Hugo Chavez lookalike owner interviewed and he didn't inspire confidence in me.

17 May 2014 6:03 PM
Pedigree Ann

It was about 10 years ago. Keeneland used to have an online win-place contest for each meet, with the largest bankroll winning. Well, this particular April, I missed the first day of the contest on Friday because we were flying back from a Spring Break trip with the kids. I didn't really have time to handicap for the weekend races, so I just picked Graham's horses and if he didn't have one in the race, I took the Amoss horse (they'd had a great Fair Grounds meet together) or another from a local trainer. Beating the big name ship-ins is the way to make money at Kee, IMHO.

Since I thought I hadn't any shot because of my late start, I continued the same strategy for the first week and was shocked to find myself in the lead by Saturday! Jamie-me-boy had brought in a couple of longshots during the week when I wasn't looking.

Well, say I, I'd best get to work and to work I did get. I still used Graham and/or Amoss when I hadn't a good grasp of a race, but the rest of the way out it was my handicapping that kept me on top. I had a spectacular day on Blue Grass Day, which was key, because they doubled the return from the Blue Grass. From there on out, I did nothing especially noteworthy, just kept my lead to the end and collected my $3000.

There is a coda to this story, but the big race is nearing and I want to watch.

17 May 2014 6:06 PM

Eight minutes to go! I ended up putting together a few little superfectas and trifectas, so as promised, here they are:

$0.30 superfecta 3/1, 8, 10/1, 5, 8, 10/1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10

$0.50 superfect 3/8/10/1, 5, 7

$0.50 trifecta 10/1, 3, 5, 8/1, 3, 5, 8

$0.50 trifecta 8/3, 10/1, 3, 5, 10

$0.50 trifecta 3/1, 8, 10/1, 5, 8, 10

Good luck to all!

17 May 2014 6:14 PM
Rusty Weisner


No score.  Need CC.  Just betting to have a rooting interest in this fine horse in this historic race.  I had originally intended to bet CC/ROC for $20 to have that "rooting interest", but I seemed to have gone and bet over $80.  Oops.  I actually bet a second super, 3 over 1,7,10 along with 8,7,10.

17 May 2014 6:15 PM
Rusty Weisner

SI looks awful.

17 May 2014 6:20 PM
Rusty Weisner

Not too bad.  I netted $113.  

I gave everyone the exacta a week ago!  

Unfortunately, I only had it for $10.  I ended up throwing a lot more money at the race than I should have.  And I regret not just going against a horse I originally discounted, Dynamic Impact.  But the odds in combination with the Sir Barton made me take a stab.  Wasted $20 on tickets that included him.  I also really got suckered by Kid Cruz.  

17 May 2014 6:34 PM
Rusty Weisner

Pathetic 5-cent P3, $10 exacta, $2 trifecta, but ended up betting too much, $91 for the day.  For those misanthropes keeping count.

17 May 2014 6:39 PM

Secreteriat  Ill let Rusty check all that so how did your soup bets turn out did you include the GENERAL

17 May 2014 6:40 PM

Great job, Secretariat!! It looks like you hit not only the Pimlico Special/Preakness double, but also the Preakness superfecta! Congratulations!

17 May 2014 6:42 PM
Rusty Weisner


Your picks were not good, but you did make some very persuasive and, in hindsight, correct, arguments about SI, the best expressed on this blog, along with MonicaV.

17 May 2014 6:42 PM
Pedigree Ann

No problem, in River City or Pimlico. Victor got him out where he could stalk kindly and pounce when the time came. Game, set, next is for the match.

17 May 2014 6:53 PM
Rusty Weisner


What is with you?  When did I say I liked General A Rod?  I had a super ticket that matched at least one of Secretariat's.  And why am I wasting time talking to you, who got neither "soup" nor potatoes, when I should be congratulating Secretariat (again)?

17 May 2014 6:54 PM
Rusty Weisner


You won another bet with me.  Ring Weekend was fifth.

17 May 2014 6:56 PM
Rusty Weisner


I don't get it.  I didn't say I liked General A Rod anwywhere, so why ask.  I had one of the same super tickets as Secretariat.  And why am I answering to you, who had neither "soup" nor potatoes today?

17 May 2014 7:03 PM
Rusty Weisner


You beat me in another bet:  Ring Weekend was fifth.

17 May 2014 7:03 PM
Rusty Weisner


Congratulations, again, though not much dough.  You are good at this!

17 May 2014 7:04 PM
Rusty Weisner

Sorry for the repeat comments!  I thought the ether ate them the first time.

There's rarely money in the Preakness, but it's always a consolation for me to win it after getting murdered in the Derby.

Wicked Strong, anyone?

Where was Bayern, by the way?  

I loved the ride by Espinoza, pulling him three wide so early.  Where was this dirt, anyway?

17 May 2014 7:06 PM

Rusty Weisner;

Great job nailing the exacta last week! I'm glad to hear you had a nice day today!

I had a pretty good day as well. General a Rod finishing fourth spoiled my superfecta, but I had a small winning trifecta on the Preakness, and I liked Utley well enough in the Dixie to win a $0.50 pick four.

All told, it was a great day! Let the countdown to the Belmont Stakes begin!

17 May 2014 7:07 PM

Rusty Weisner;

Bayern finished ninth, beaten about twenty lengths. I thought maybe he was making a run as the field entered the far turn, but he had nothing left to offer when the real running began. Oh well. Maybe he'll have better luck in the Haskell! :)

17 May 2014 7:09 PM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

The network coverage of races is beautiful, you so rarely get to see it.  In the shots NBC had you got such a nice view of what Espinoza did.

17 May 2014 7:14 PM
Rusty Weisner


It's funny about Utley.  He was a near toss for me, then I hit ALL, just to be sure to have a live ticket.  Last year the horse was entered in the Dixie and scratched.  Today when he won I was cheering, thinking he must've been at least 20-1.  How'd you pick him?

17 May 2014 7:34 PM
Rusty Weisner


I have to ask:  why the hell aren't you there, live?  What does it take?  It's like a $120 plane fare on Southwest from Minnesota.  Get bloodhorse to send you!  As far as accomodations go, I'm sure there are extra stables on the backstretch.  And I live in Northern Virginia, if that doesn't work out.  

I keep thinking you're there at the track the way you report on it!

17 May 2014 7:38 PM

Forgive me for sharing my excitement.

What a day and this is not bragging.

I just want to share my ideas as well your thoughts so we all can win.

Anyway 4 pick3, 1 pick 4, 2 10c pick 5 Pim SPEC Dble Pim spcl P3 Preakness Super Tri and Exacta.

The dollar amount is not important. I posted my bets earlier and the best part is I did not have witholdings this time.

CC ran as fast as Curlin and Big Brown did in the Preakness. So much for the slow Derby.

The Belmont will not be easy facing Tonelist Wicked Strong and Danza. I think CC has another big race in him and even if he regresses slightly he could still do it. God Speed California Chrome

17 May 2014 7:57 PM

Carlos in Cali:

Kudos to you my friend ...California Chrome is absolutely sparkling. It will take a good stayer with a turn of foot to stop him in the Belmont. The record of horses that compete in all three legs of the Triple Crown series is pretty good therefore being battle tested, he should have nothing to fear from the new shooters. Having put away my pick, Social Inclusion with aplomb when challenged on the far turn and at the head of the stretch, much to my surprise, I can't see any other 3YO capable of matching strides, much less running him down in the Belmont. Although 12 furlongs on "big sandy" is no walk in the park even for a good horse like California Chrome the others will have to step up their game big time, to be competitive. So far "Chrome" has shown no stamina limitations (the AP Indy stamina influence on top coupled with the Rasmussen factor inbreeding to Numbered Account on the Dam side has served him well). Those who continue to falsify/knock down the strength of his pedigree need to start eating their diet of crow.

BTW Carlos, I still believe that Social Inclusion is a potential super star, although blinde by the aura of "Chrome" for the time being ...he's still green and will continue to improve as the season wears on. He's one of only three 3YOs right now that look capable of challenge Chrome later in the summer, the others being last season's 2YO champ Shared Belief and the starry-eyed filly Untappable. Some great racing is still ahead in spite of the current dominance of California Chrome.

17 May 2014 8:09 PM
Rusty Weisner


I love the excitement.  

I am sensing blood.  This one did not have the air of killer authority for me.  I'm thinking I try to beat him in Elmont, NY.  I will take a closer look, though.  I'm very happy, though, today.  The moral victory is nice, and getting a little something extra is gravy.

17 May 2014 8:17 PM
Rusty Weisner


In current hands Social Inclusion has a brief career ahead of him.  The horse was visibly disturbed.

17 May 2014 9:30 PM
Rusty Weisner

Carlos in Cali had the exacta, too.

17 May 2014 9:39 PM

Whoever you all are and however many of you there are, on to the next one I never played a cent on 3-2-7-8 but SI is the best colt that didnt make it to the KD and if I was Hugo Chavez I would run in the next one.

The easiest bet was the double with CC and thats what I played no need to throw money at a soup that payed 173 for the 1 dollar I have won 5 soups for ten cents that paid more than this one for 1 dollar.The top three choices came in 1st 2nd and 3rd so IM not surprised a screen name posted it on here congradulations to you who ever you really are.

17 May 2014 9:40 PM
Rusty Weisner


You know the horse Finnegan's Wake?  That's what your posts read like.  Only without the erudition.

17 May 2014 10:01 PM
JJs Rocket

Great hit for Secretariat, good call for Rusty Weisner sticking with ROC for the second spot. SI is a head case. I did hit a $5 exacta and a $5 tri along with the pick 4... Made a little money but certainly not getting rich. Spend almost $200 and cashed $330 so at least it is a plus.

I really want a triple crown but im with Rusty and going to bet all tickets against CC. Hopefully I will be wrong and the horse can pull it off. My heart wants the triple crown but I think CC will be subject to the same thing all other horses have been for the last 35 years. That's why the last 11 horses have won the first two and just come up a little short. I will be rooting for CC to pull it off.

17 May 2014 10:45 PM

Rusty Weisner;

I guess you could say Utley and I are old friends... :) I picked him to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in 2010, where he finished seventh by three lengths, and I've kept an eye on him ever since. I really liked his runner-up effort at Churchill Downs last time out, in which he made up three lengths in the final furlong despite quick closing fractions, and I thought he would appreciate the wet going. I ended up going with just him an Nutello in my pick four, and while Nutello failed to fire the way I thought he would, I was happy to see Utley get up in time to save the day.

It would definitely be fun to attend a Triple Crown race someday, but the Blood-Horse has a terrific team of people covering the races, and their video updates and interviews make one feel as if one is really there. :) I'm glad you enjoyed my reports! They're fun to post, and sometimes, they help me organize my thoughts on the races and notice things that I might otherwise miss.

Now -- we have three weeks to plan our strategies for the Belmont Stakes, so we'd better get started! I remember you really nailed the Belmont last year, so here's hoping that you can do it again! My first thought is that Ride On Curlin and Danza will prove to be California Chrome's primary opposition, but there are plenty of others that deserve a close look, and I'm not counting out Commanding Curve. It sounds like Intense Holiday will be back for the Belmont -- any early thoughts on his chances?

I'll be back tomorrow with more thoughts on the Preakness and Belmont, but for now, I'm signing off. Good night all!

17 May 2014 10:48 PM


You are assuming that I won 173.00

I won more than 10 times that if you must know.

My super on derby day was for 7600.00.

How many of those have you hit?

End of story.

17 May 2014 10:53 PM

He certainly can!!!!!,

17 May 2014 11:37 PM
Sam Santschi

Yeah Rusty I fell in love with DI's odds and bet way  too much money spread way around so I only had the exacta 3 times and a .50 super. Great job secretariat! Figured I had to use GAR in the 3rd and 4th spots so I lucked out. But too many silly bets cutting into the profit. Sure wish I would have hit that CC Roc a lot harder instead. Happens too often.  Very happy for Chrome though.

18 May 2014 12:08 AM

Keelerman :  Good call on ROC, no doubt you had the trifecta and possibly the superfecta.   I didn't bet much except what I posted before but GAR just had a horrible trip which ruin my trifecta.  I did hit the DD for $10 and was pleasantly surprised that it paid $40!   Did you see what happened to GAR and how he fnished the race?  Unbelievable...

I thought he is a monster in California but I didn't believe he was going to be able to do the same at Churchill.  I was wrong, and I was smart enough to get on the bandwagon and believe that this horse is something special.   I posted that if he's fit and he takes to the track, I can't see him losing and Alan Sherman said he's fit and he likes the track...he won convincingly.    Victor showed a veteran move by staying just enough outside to keep Social Inclusion from going to the lead although SI looked slow coming out of the gate.  I have no idea what Luis or Manny was thinking trying to rate the horse after giving him short workouts.   I said the only chance he had was to separate himself and try and steal the race.   General A Rod had the worst trip of all when Ria Antonia blocked him and shuffled him all the way to the back of the pack, he was motoring home and almost got 3rd.   I hope to see him back in the Haskell and Travers and he should be again at a juicy price.

Coldfacts :  I hope now you understand what I mean by other than not being fit or taking to the track, he's the best.   He looked fit and he liked the track, the only horse that closed on him was ROC.  I don't think that was his 4th gear, I think that's him getting extended a little bit.   His turn of foot at the top of the stretch is just a killer.   He recorded 1:54 ...

Ranagulzion :  Congratulations!!  Once again, you managed to pick a miler as the Triple Crown winner lol.    I hope you will be man enough to say you were wrong (again.)  I have no idea what you saw in this horse to guarantee him the Triple Crown winner.   I wasn't a believer of CC until after the Derby, you had touted him horse since the San Felipe and then tried to beat him in the first two jewels of the triple crown lol, he toyed with SI, he was the man against the boy.   I'm sure you'll root for CC in the Belmont and claim you picked the triple crown winner.   I just hope SI’s trainer / owner accepts what kind of horse SI is and puts him in sprint/mile races.   He has a great shot at winning the BC Mile, that should be their goal I think.   Looking forward to your Triple Crown prediction next year…hopefully you finally learned your lesson, but if not, I’ll be here to remind you again.

It's hard not to get excited about the possibility that I might see the next winner of the TC but I can't help it.   Fresh horses or not, I feel the only threat are Tonalist  and Danza who I expect to join the spoiler party.  Danza is a huge horse and I think 12Fs will suit him really well, Tonalist has a great turn of foot.   I have no doubt that Chrome will get 12Fs but he will definitely need his 4th and 5th gear...everything that Victor has been saving in the homestretch, they will need it.   I mentioned that he reminds me of Point Given the way he runs, he just owns the track and he runs like he is the best horse, very professional.  I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I’m very hopeful that he will run like PG in the Belmont.   This is going to be the longest 3 weeks...

18 May 2014 2:26 AM

I saw Secretariat post his bet and saw this and thought ... wow, if he hits that, he'll be filthy rich ... and he DID!!!

$30 super Chrome w SI ROC w SI ROC KC w KC Genearal Arod =  about $5200 shamoolas!

Awesome bet Secretariat, never see anyone bet that much on a superfecta...I feel like Wayne blogging on the same blog with you... "I'm not worthy...I'm not worthy!" lol   CONGRATS!

18 May 2014 2:32 AM

Secreteriat 7600 hundred I hit one that is  multiple of 7600 and I did it playing less than 50 bucks, that is the end of my story on here.

Rusty Weisner your screen name has gone from being a meek little s to an ah.

18 May 2014 6:02 AM

Congratulation are in order for the supporters of CC for his very impressive Preakness performance. The Preakness was a much better race than the debacle we saw in the Derby. I was never convinced that some of the also ran were as bad as the race depicted.

I had several pieces of the exacta but I did not include SI in my tris as I firmly believed he would not hit the board. SI badly needs a trainer that can get him to perform to the best of its ability. The clown show that is currently in progress is sad to watch.

Can CC be beaten in the Belmont? Those pointing to the final leg on the TC must be encouraged by ROC's performance as they will have the benefit of two additional weeks of recovery time.


"He looked fit and he liked the track, the only horse that closed on him was ROC."

My issue was not with your statement that he was the best in the field. You gave two possible reasons for his likely defeat which were not plausible. The connections of Derby winners that have been defeated in the Preakness have never cited a lack of fitness and a dislike for the racing surface. Based on your conclusion he should have won in a romp with none of his opponents getting close as he would be racing the clock.

He was not the only one in the Preakness that exited the Derby. Consequently the same reasons advance for CC's likely defeat would also be applicable to RON and GAR. All the Derby participants hit the board.  

18 May 2014 8:13 AM
Rusty Weisner


SI is not the only head case.  This is the first person I've ever seen here not only taunts losers but complains about people's clearly posted winning picks.  I may eat all the shrimp, but at least I don't take a dump in the bowl.  

18 May 2014 8:18 AM
Rusty Weisner

"Secreteriat 7600 hundred I hit one that is  multiple of 7600 and I did it playing less than 50 bucks, that is the end of my story on here."

Please let it be the end!  But, alas, I fear your story is just like Finnegan's Wake, which circles right back to the point at which it started.

Actually, you didn't give us the numbers for that big score.  Give 'em to us.  Any numbers will do.

18 May 2014 8:21 AM
Rusty Weisner


Great job by both CC & ROC!

18 May 2014 8:41 AM

Rusty Weisner

Actually, you didn't give us the numbers for that big score.  Give 'em to us.  Any numbers will do.

Thats my point exactly

Who cares what the numbers were and how much I won am I going to donate money to your favorite charity.

18 May 2014 8:42 AM
Rusty Weisner


You are right about A Rod.  He was also running down on the rail most of the race.  I'm not sure how the rail was playing, but it was a bad place to be last year.

18 May 2014 8:45 AM

Does this blog and its contributors think that screen names have so much credibility that what YOU POST will be taken as brilliance and thus someone will copy the plays. I know not, grow up this is gambling do you actually think I am going to play using someone elses opinion.

Keep the replies coming they get funnier as we go along.

18 May 2014 8:46 AM
Rusty Weisner


Definitely a clown show.  You could see a big spot of lather on SI through the whole race.

The other clown show was the connections of Ria Antonia, who backed up into other horses and finished last.

18 May 2014 8:49 AM
Rusty Weisner


I feel pretty strongly about Wicked Strong.  Seems to fit the profile of the spoiler.  I like him better than Commanding Curve as a win candidate.  Intense Holiday?  I don't see anything to like, something's probably wrong with him, and I'd be surprised if he runs.  I don't expect ROC will run, will he?    

18 May 2014 8:57 AM
Rusty Weisner


Why come at all if not to post picks, or at least exchange opinions?  It's a social forum, where congratulations and consolation are considered appropriate, though I think congratulations are reserved for people who post picks before the race unless they're known for being decent handicappers.  I really don't get it.  I'll stop the insults, though (especially the insults of James Joyce).      

18 May 2014 9:14 AM
Rusty Weisner

I'll be surprised if ROC comes back in the Belmont off his lifetime performance, but the horse does run a lot.

18 May 2014 10:48 AM


I just got back from SHRP collecting my winnings,

Yesterday there were more than 12,000 people  at the  track and over the years I learned never to cash big tickets in with 20 people behind you knowing how much you won and the teller counting a bunch of hundreds Aloud. When I lived in NY I heard of people being followed to the parking lot and mugged after big scores.

Anyway yesterday I was so mesmerized after hitting races 8 thru 12  with multiple bets I did not realize how much I really won.

Let's just say it was much more than the Derby and probably positive for the last 10 years. Now if I could recoup all the losses since 1967 I would be thrilled. That was the tuition I paid to have this year's success.

As to the Belmont California Chrome will have his work cut out for him. The horses most likely to be most competitive are Ride on Curlin, Danza, Wicked Strong Tonelist and Commissioner.

The Belmont is usually won by a fresh horse who prepped at Belmont. Horse who prepped in the Peter Pan have not won recently and we have to see if there is any horse on the improve that we have not seen yet. As of this writing Calif Chrome is the fastest he ran a 105 Beyer figure. Ride on Curlin is my 2nd pick. He has the foundation like CC and being by Curlin who finished 2nd in the Belmont after winning the Preakness and a 3rd in the Derby by a fresh Rags to Riches. Danza and Wicked Strong come next. I am not high on Commanding Curve but I may use him in 3rd or fourth. By now the rest of the connections and non believers are now convinced the. C C is for real and want no part of him! Obviously he has to stay healthy. Social Inclusion leaves his race at the gate and if they can get him to relax (new Jock like  Rosy who has a calming effect on horses)he could last longer. He moved too soon in the Preakness which made CC also move a bit early which helped R O C get 2nd and make C C work harder. If CC is 100% he will take the lead at some point and no one will catch him.

Let's hope all challengers are healthy for a Spectacular Belmont.

Looking forward for the final entries .

18 May 2014 11:32 AM
Pedigree Ann

Keelerman - are you indeed in Minnesota? I was St. Louis Park H.S. Class of 1970! Still have some good friends and an "adopted brother" (BF of my second brother) back there. Go Vikings, you betcha.

18 May 2014 11:32 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Congratulations to all that had good Preakness opinions and turned them into winning tickets.

18 May 2014 12:23 PM

Coldfacts : You're just being ridiculous now lol, how can they be not plausible ???  They are MY opinions, MY opinions are ALL and ALWAYS plausible!!  Okay, I'm kidding because I thought your last comments were just ridiculous but I'm not going to try and explain it to you any further, it's quite obvious you don't get it lol.   It's a moot point, I don't have to explain it... he WON just like I predicted :)

I kind of get how you end up with 5 horses to beat him, I think it's because you were committed to beating him so you handicap and handicap and handicap and looked for anything and everything from any horse that would help you feel Chrome is beatable.  Getting blinded by what you want to see happen rather than accepting the obvious.  I'm sure it's happened to many of us.

I'm curious who your picks will be in the Belmont.

18 May 2014 12:58 PM


I rarely make win wagers as I am into exotics. I therefore specify the horses that I intend to use in my wagers. Not all the horses I horses I cited were selected to beat CC although if one of the longshot ran a freakish race the exotic would be have been bigger.

The exacta in the Derby returned $349. I doubt a $2 win wager on any runner would have returned $349. I was of the opinion that you would not have concluded that I picked 5 horses to defeat one. But with you I have to clarify everything.

18 May 2014 1:32 PM

Coldfacts :  Did you tout Chrome at all before the Preakness ?   Or is it "well, everyone knows he's the horse to beat" so I don’t need to excuse.   I was under the impression that you were trying to beat him at all cost for the big payout and that's understandable.  I asked you about how you structured your bets prior to the Preakness but you never replied.   I’m also wondering how you had a few exacta tickets when ROC was not on your list of 5 horses, sounds like you played 6 horses when it was all said and done ?   I don't recall you saying you were going to play CC on top of any of your tickets.

And no, I didn’t assume you used 5 horses on top, here’s my question from the previous blog.   I reminded you of the question in my 05/16 12:47PM post in this blog  :

” So you use SI to try and soften CC, are you singling KC on top with GAR and ROC on the bottom ?  Where does Ring Weekend fit in ?   Are you putting SI on top at all ?   Just trying to imagine how you’re putting your tickets together, out of curiosity. “

18 May 2014 2:03 PM

I dont mind reading other opinions but when I bet my money I use what I know to play.Afterall whatever you read is the writers opinion or an interpretation of the facts or their research,and that is not only here on this blog, but is universal.Sometimes editors can become overbearing in their critique and their corrections but it is still an opinion.It is universal unlike Beyers or anyone elses speed figures.A figure on one surface will not translate to a completely different surface but the figures are only a tool and shouldnt be subscribed to religiously.

The numbers I posted for the Preakness super were taken from thorographs bottom line 3-2-7-8.My bottom line is the reason I dont buy any sheets or PPs.I know where to get the PPs for the trainers I follow for free,but every now and then a race will come along where I cant even get them using the free PPs for sires.

My every day play is more like following a sports team for every game than trying to pick random games by using the history that is provided on PPs which are nothing more than recorded stats.

18 May 2014 2:33 PM

Pedigree Ann :  Did you move to Ireland ?  Are you from there originally ?   Also, very interested in your opinion of Chrome in the Belmont and whoever else decides to try him.   Only horse I'm truly worried about is Danza.   I just think the distance will suit his big strides, he's looks the same size as WTC but he looks much much quicker and I think he's the one that can track CC and go with him all the way to the line....unlike SI in the Preakness.

18 May 2014 2:58 PM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

I'm sorry, I mixed up Minnesota and Wisconsin.  I'm sure you can see how that's easy to do.

I'd like to know if Keelerman meant that he's never been to any TC race.  If he hasn't, he has to remedy that.  

18 May 2014 3:50 PM

I can understand why my sign in name may have bloggers wonder. A brief bio may help but be prepared its 50 yrs of horseracing

1964 introduced to horseracing in Toronto. Highlights/ / Northern Dancer  Lucien Lauren Ron Turcotte

1967 moved to Bayside NY met my neighbor who was a horse trainer. I workwith Steve Haskin at a brokerage firm before he went into horseracing.

1967 thru 1970 watched in person or on  

T V every feature race at Aqueduct and Belmont

1970 saw 3 Triple Crowns in Person as well Spectacular Bid and Riva Ridge miss Triple Crown because of a sloppy track and a Safetey Pin. Saw Forego win all those races. Saw the Match race between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure in person sadestday life I took my son to all these races and he grew up and got hooked to racing just like me.

1981 movedto Houston. My son got an MBA and became a CPA. He was hired by a Racing outfit to be the racing manager handling all operations including sales and breeding. This outfit was the partnership that got Todd Pletcher and Steve Asmusen to go on their own with Valid Expectations and Jersey Girl. in the last 15 years I've been to KY Derbies, Preakness and Breeder' CUP and spent many hours at 5 AM watching these horses prepping and training with the trainers at Fairgrounds/Oaklawn/Churchill/Belmont/Sam Houston and Lonestar. So there you are I know first hand how these horses are prepared for these grueling and tough races.We were very high in the 2000 Preakness until Red Bullett and Fusaichi Pegasus went by us like we were standing still.That is why I believe CC is special. I was standing 10 feet away from RED Bullet as he call for Rider's up was made. I hope this clear things up a bit

18 May 2014 7:59 PM
Sam Santschi

Keelerman:  you live in WI?  Sure are a lot of Johnson's in WI, lol.   I'm in Middleton. Only 7 hours to Louisville. You have to go!  This year was my 11th derby. Lucky to make the last five in a row.

Pedigree Ann:  James Graham is a good guy. Try to make cases for his long shots all the time. He had a placing at a breeders cup turf race a few years back. Signed and gave some goggles to my daughter at Arlington a couple of summers ago. Would like to see him get a big horse some day. Him and Jon Court.

19 May 2014 12:14 AM
Pedigree Ann

Jayjay - My husband is a professor and this is the beginning of his sabbatical year. He is spending it at Queen's University Belfast. We will be here for 10 months, then 6 weeks at the University of Durham in

northern England, then 6 weeks at the Copernicus Institute in Warsaw, Poland. And then back in time for next year's Preakness. Had to stay up late to watch it - the sun is 5 hours ahead here, compared to EDT.

Rusty - confused Minnesota with Wisconsin?!? Just because we both have a lot of Scandinavian-descended dairy farmers, lakes and forests. They are CHEESE-HEADS over there; we like horns on our headgear.

19 May 2014 6:18 AM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

I have strong connections to Poland and usually spend part of the summer in beautiful Krakow and elsewhere in Galicia.  I recommend you try to see it if you haven't already.  Warsaw has a sorrowful history and its appearance reflects that, imho.

Back on topic, what do you think the chances are CC starts in the Belmont?  My first impression of the Preakness was that I "smelled blood in the water" and I last night I saw the feeling echoed exactly by Mike Watchmaker in his column.

19 May 2014 7:42 AM

Pedigree Ann :  That's awesome, although I'm still amazed with the "license" for the TV...thank God for the internet.  I have stopped watching TV, it's all about streaming online.  I will visit Ireland someday though, another one in my bucket list.  In any case, have a great time over there and as always, looking forward to your posts.

19 May 2014 10:10 AM
Rusty Weisner


My only question is why your screen name is a misspelling.

I really enjoy your comments and picks, and we need someone other than me to take up space around here, so come back often before the Belmont.

19 May 2014 10:11 AM
Sam Santschi

JayJay:  Could be way wrong or not remembering correctly but I don't like Danza. My recollection of watching him gallop at Churchill two mornings before the Derby was that he really pounds into the dirt.  It was really loud.  Like gliders or skippers more...just saying.

19 May 2014 10:19 AM
Carlos in Cali

Rusty Weisner,

Mike Watchmaker is all over the place in his latest post. First, he says Cali Chrome won the Ky Derby with something left, then he says Cali Chrome is really an 8.5-9f type of horse. Really?..

19 May 2014 12:17 PM

Sam Satchi : Thanks for that insight on Danza, I just thought he ran really well in the Derby and had the looks of one who wants more distance and another 2 furlongs would probably suit him well.  I believe Pedigree Ann said the same thing about big horses, that they pound on the ground because of their size.  Belmont having a sandy surface would probably be good for him.   I'm not clear on why pounding hard on the ground is not good though, is it because he's more prone to hurting himself or does it make him more tired, work more to run ?  Having said that, I'm no longer in it for the money, I'll be rooting for Chrome all the way and I'm hoping that he can do what no one else has done in the last 3 1/2 decades.   I want him to win the Triple Crown so bad it hurts lol.   Like I said, it'll be a very long 3 weeks...hoping everyone going to the Belmont stays healthy and fit and ready to topple Chrome.  I want Chrome to win the TC with a decisive win against healthy and fresh excuses.

I still think that the extra weight in the triple crown races has to be looked as a handicapping angle.  I just don't know how it translates other than literally some horses are big enough to handle the added weight vs the smaller horses, I've heard some bloggers say they all carry the same weight so it doesn't matter but I think it does.   Belmont being 12Fs I think would probably have the most impact specially for closers but again, it's an angle I don't know how to use.  Maybe I'm just bored and need something to think about lol.

Anyone have any suggestions for cheap motels near the Belmont racetrack ?  I’m paying more for the airfare (business) as I hate flying, a 6 hour flight cramped in a small seat with people snoring beside me.

19 May 2014 12:37 PM

Watchmaker is the worst handicapper I've ever read...his DRF "weekend warriors" is nothing but who's the flavor of the month.  I have no idea how he got that job.

19 May 2014 12:45 PM
Rusty Weisner

Carlos in Cali,

Nice Preakness exacta, by the way.  

I think his point was that not all winners of TC races go on to careers at the classic distance.  Too soon to know.  The point I agree with is I felt that this Preakness was more of a test than he's had before, that it had to take something out of him and that even great horses can be vulnerable in Belmont. I'm crossing my fingers that he runs.

19 May 2014 1:02 PM


There is another person who uses the name so I spelled it with an E instead of the A. My horseracing experiences have been wonderful and it was so traumatic when I moved  to Houston leaving the beautiful Saratoga and Belmont and having to drive 110 miles to Delta Downs which was the lowest of the lows. What a culture shock. 3 years after that a dog track open near Galveston so at least I could bet over there when they simulcast the big races. Later Sam Houston opened up and I was so excited as I am only 7 miles away from it and its a beautiful facility. To be honest with you I do not miss the crowds at Belmont. You will love this story. My son and I were at SHRP betting races. Across from our table there were these 2 gentleman also betting and watching the races. My son was wearing an Arthur Anderson shirt and one of them asked him if he was a CPA. John sad yes and they asked him if he would be interested in interviewing with them for running their racing operation because they had many but none of them like horseracing. Well he went four the interview and after four hours of telling them all the big races and how we used to sit next to the CBS cameraman on the third floor and we always used to know the result before anyone else in photo finishes cause he used to freeze the frame .They told him that they lived in Elmont and used to sneak in at Belmont thru the chain link fence and used to pay the ambulance man to make their bets. Long story short they hired him and it was the best thing that ever happened to us.

That is were the name Snuck In came from.IN 2000 He won the Rebel, finished 2nd in the Arkansas Derby and ran in The Preakness which we attended.  Imagine being in the saddling area in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

What a ride from $2 bettors to the lowliest of tracks to The Preakness, winning the Spinster at Keenland and running in the 2001 B/C Distaff.

There are a lot more stories but lets focus on the Belmont for now,.

19 May 2014 2:04 PM

Jay Jay,

Nothing is cheap in NY

19 May 2014 2:10 PM
Rusty Weisner


Okay, you don't like Mike Watchmaker.  Take it from me, then ;-)

19 May 2014 2:32 PM
Rusty Weisner

Did NYRA reshuffle their stakes schedule this year? Belmont day has six G1's, 2 G2's and a G3. It looks like they took a few of the traditional Friday races and put them on the Saturday card. It's a monster day.  

19 May 2014 2:56 PM


NYRA hired a new General Manager from California and he wanted to have a day similar to the Breeders Cup so he made Belmont Day the B/C of the East with over 7 million in purses. Not sure how moving the MET mile to Belmont day is going to work out because that used to be another huge day but we will see. I am so looking forward to that day There will be many P3 and P4 opportunities. I think Ride on Curlin could regress in the Belmont. He's will have 4 very hard races in 8 weeks, ARK Derby Preakness and Belmont. Joel Rosario will give us an indication when he chooses between Tonalist and ROC. I prefer Tonalist and Commanding Curve to ROC. Will wait to see how he trains.

19 May 2014 5:35 PM

Secreteriat : Yes, but I managed to book my flight, hotel and car for under 1,000.   Now I just need to sell my house and car so I have cash to bet with otherwise, I'll be stuck in the hotel the whole weekend doing nothing.   I think half of that will go to the ticket to get in to the track.   I'm hoping Keelerman can get me a press pass lol.

19 May 2014 6:36 PM

Jay Jay,

I was going  to suggest staying in Manhattan and taking the Long Island Railroad to Belmont racetrack. It is easy and quick. Take your time parking and dress comfortable. Be prepared to walk a long way from wherever you park and make your bets early. I would not be surprised if they 100K+ It used to When I was at th about  3 triple crowns it took me  about 2 1/2 hours to get home and I lived in Bayside which is only 12 miles away. You will be amazed by how big the place. I used to Park so far that I had to take a bus to the entrance and most of the time we walked it because the buses would fill so quick. I was in my twenties then and was full energy then. I will never forget He is moving like a Tremendous Machine. Later I was able to get the Derby photo that was on Sports Illustrated autographed by Lucian Lauren and Ron Turcotte. I have since given the photo to my son for his 40 birthday. Anyway you have a ball in New York. $1,000.00 is cheap for an experience of a Lifetime. Have fun my friend. Wish I was there to show you around.

19 May 2014 9:55 PM

Hello all! After a couple of busy days, I'm back with a few thoughts on the Preakness and Belmont Stakes...

First off -- Secreteriat, congratulations on your spectacular Preakness day score! That's two hit superfectas (plus several other nice bets!) from two Triple Crown races! Good luck in the Belmont!

Secondly, I would like to applaud the exceptional tactical decision made by Victor Espinoza in the first furlong of the Preakness. Moving to the outside in the opening seconds of the race was exactly what needed to be done, and in doing so, Espinoza was able to eliminate within moments any chance of California Chrome getting bottled up on the inside. That was a tremendous ride!

Also, I watched the replay of the Preakness to see what happened to General a Rod on the far turn, and I really couldn't believe how much ground he lost while waiting for room behind Ria Antonia. That was a really unfortunate turn of events, because General a Rod seemed to be moving well up until that moment. That he rallied well enough after all that to just miss third place was very, very impressive.

Now for a few quick thoughts on the Belmont Stakes. First off, here's the current list of possible starters:

California Chrome

Commanding Curve



Intense Holiday

Kid Cruz

Ride On Curlin

Ring Weekend


Social Inclusion


Wicked Strong

As a general rule, I prefer speed horses and stalkers to deep closers in the Belmont, so my first impression is that California Chrome, Ride On Curlin, and Danza loom as primary contenders. In particular, I think Ride On Curlin is thriving on his busy schedule, and may be even sharper on June 7th than he was for the Preakness. I'll be keeping an eye on his training to see if that seems to be the case.

As a result of my tendency to favor speed horses, I'm also thinking of leaning against Wicked Strong and Commanding Curve, but I admire the fact that they closed very well in the Derby despite the moderate early pace, and I think either of them could win the Belmont under the right circumstances.

Commissioner is starting to remind me a lot of 2010 Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer, right down to his distant runner-up finish in the Peter Pan Stakes. As a son of A.P. Indy, Commissioner should handle the distance of the Belmont better than most, and if the pace is slow -- like in 2010, 2011, and 2012 -- he could be able to stay in contention during the first mile of the race, and out-grind the majority of his opponents in the final four furlongs. Does anyone else like his chances?

Lastly, I should mention that Social Inclusion is only "50-50" for the Belmont -- he might run instead in the Woody Stephens or the Metropolitan Handicap. Wouldn't it be interesting to see him run against Palace Malice?

19 May 2014 10:35 PM

Secreteriat :  Thanks for the information !  I had rented a car for the weekend but knowing that, I might actually just cab it from the hotel, it's only 12 miles.   I'm there Friday and Saturday, going to spend Friday getting used to (as much as I can) the track and find my spot.  This was a very spontaneous decision for me, I thought about how great it would be if Chrome wins the Triple Crown and was thinking I wish I'm there to see it in person... then boom, next thing I know I have it all booked lol.   First time going to the Belmont track, and super excited about it, I get to see the Met Mile and the Ogden Phipps, hopefully, I'll get a good spot to get a video of the races.

19 May 2014 11:16 PM

I was not expecting to see Samraat in that list of possible starters, I said I may have given up on him too early but I was thinking more of the Jim Dandy and/or Haskell for him...not the Belmont!

20 May 2014 2:15 AM
Pedigree Ann

Any horse who pounds the ground is wasting energy; the ideal stride just touches the ground enough to propel the animal onward. The bigger the horse, the more force they hit the ground with (F=ma) and if they pound as well, that puts unnecessary stress on the slender underpinnings. If a 1200 lbs. horse's leg-bones were 33% bigger or stronger than a 900 lbs. horse's leg-bones, one might say it was a wash; but unless they inherit the Hail to Reason gene that Bold Reason passed on so often, one doesn't see that kind of bone very often. So, yes, injuries in the ankles, lower legs area are more common on big horses, especially those who pound the ground.

This was the reason 17-handers like Forego were gelded in the past - they would not then put on stallion weight on the neck and shoulders as they matured, reducing the m=mass in the force equation. Even so, Forego battled ankle issues his entire career; another 17-hander, Point Given, was left entire and his ankle issues required retirement after the Travers in his 3yo year. 40 years ago, Point Given would have been gelded as a youngster and, considering his record at stud, it would have been no loss and considerable gain to racing if he had been.

20 May 2014 4:08 AM

Jay Jay

Make sure to visit the saddling area on the right hand side of the grandstand when you walk in. There is a beautiful statue of Secretariat. Maybe you can have someone take a picture next to it. It would make a great souvenir. You may have a hard time doing that Saturday. have fun and then some! Go Chrome. Do it for Jay Jay and for the world. It's Overdue!

20 May 2014 9:25 AM

Food for thought in WINNING THE BELMONT

Horses must not be worse than 5th early on and in the clear. Jockey must have ridden at Belmont in the past. Jocks who have not ridden there often misjudge the 1/4 pole for the 3/8 a la Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott and Borel with Mine That Bird moved too soon.

Horses that finish 1/2 in the Peter Pan do very well.

Horses that ran in the Derby that had bad trips or bad PP and skip the Preakness are fresh and can win at juicy prices.

Overall 8 out of 14 winners had the lead after 1 1/4

Favorites do not do very well in the Belmont especially those that are going for the Triple Crown. Fresh horses or newcomers pointing for the Belmont are usually the ones that beat them at good prices.

Horses that finish worse tan 2nd in The Preakness never hit the board so throw out social Inclusion and Kid Cruz

So  who are the contenders?

Commissioner, Tonelist/Samrat,Wicked Strong Danza, and Candy Boy

Pletcher has 3 horses in here and he's won the Belmont last year with Palace Malace and Rags to Riches beating Curlin.

Of his 3 I like Commissioner the best

So what does this all Mean?

Calif/Crome has his work cut out for him bu he has a Jockey from new York who won a Derby and Preakness before loosing the Belmont.

He has a horse that has tactical speed to take the lead at the 1/4 pole and hold on for dear life at the wire.

However out of the last 14 derby winnersfive never made it to the Belmont and 8 and of the remaining 9, the best finish was by Smart Jones who finished 2nd. That means we have to have an alternate plan if CC fails to finish in the money.

IF I had to rate them today it would be

CC Commmissioner, Tonalist/Wicked Strong, ROC,Commanding Curve/Danza, Candy Boy,Intense Holiday/

Kid Cruz

These are prelims and we have to wait to see how they train and final entries and post positions.

What are your thoughts?

20 May 2014 10:33 AM
Rusty Weisner


Grandstand tickets for the Belmont used to only cost $15-20 dollars a decade ago.  I used to buy extras every year and sell a couple when the Derby winner won the Preakness (three straight years 2002-2004; I attended 2001 through 2004, my last visit there).  I attended the Smarty Jones Belmont with three guests and sold two tickets for $500...which made up for not having Birdstone...grrr.

Been to Belmont?  If you haven't, be prepare to be awed.  Try to get to the beautiful paddock, too.  Bring binoculars if you have them.

20 May 2014 10:45 AM
Rusty Weisner


I don't like ROC here, either, for the same reason.  I think that was his best race for a long time.  I'm hoping for good signs from Wicked Strong -- my initial gut instinct about who and how to bet has been good for me in the TC races for a few years in a row.  If Wicked Strong is in and looking good I don't see appetizing verticals, because I wouldn't be confident about tossing CC out of them not even the exacta.  I kind of visualize a Smarty Jones outcome: I see CC leading with a furlong to go.

20 May 2014 10:48 AM
Rusty Weisner


I am really against certain "contenders" you list.  Kid Cruz just has more distance to fall behind than in the Preakness.  This was a truly a sucker pick that burned me badly: instead of the original $20 CC/ROC straight exacta I split it $10 CC/KC,ROC.  What happened is what you'd expect:  he "his his race", but 1:50 doesn't cut it.

I am not getting on board Commissioner now.  He is a second-stringer of Pletcher's, as is anyone who ran at Sunland.  

Samraat had no excuse in the Derby.  The extra distance is not going to help him.

Candy Boy had an excuse, but he was one of my tosses in the Derby.

Danza ran a great race and had some tough luck and I would find it hard to go against him, but I already like Wicked Strong.

Commanding Curve should be too far behind.

I think Wicked Strong will be close enough early.  He had a hard time getting into position in the Derby after the stumble from a wide post, and he was never able to get a full head of steam in the stretch.  Belmont's stretch is the Sahara Desert; he won't have that problem there.  It's also his and his trainer's home ground, and he broke his maiden on this track.

I am inclined to take the Derby-Belmont horses before anyone new (last time I bet against this angle with Paynter it didn't work out):  Empire Maker, Birdstone, Union Rags, Palace Malice.  

20 May 2014 11:06 AM
Rusty Weisner


I'm with Secreteriat on recommending the train.  Check if you're a station.  It actually runs right to Belmont park, and you don't want to be in the traffic after the races.

20 May 2014 11:09 AM
Rusty Weisner


Oops, I hadn't realized Commissioner was 2nd in the Peter Pan, and the time was legit.  Maybe underneath.  Who knows, maybe I'll follow the siren call of the A.P. Indy patrimony and play some "all spoilers" ticket.  Still hoping for signs about WS, though.

20 May 2014 11:22 AM
Rusty Weisner


"Wouldn't it be interesting to see him run against Palace Malice?"

"Interesting" is one way of putting it.

So is it the case that you've never been to a TC race, or did you mean never been on assignment to one?

20 May 2014 11:32 AM
Rusty Weisner

A historical fact gravitating against ROC:  in this century no horse that has contested and lost the first two legs has won the Belmont, though of course Point Given and Afleet Alex contested all three legs and both won the second two.

20 May 2014 11:39 AM
Rusty Weisner

Jazil was another Derby-Belmont winner, so that's five in the past decade or so.

20 May 2014 11:41 AM

Some previous Belmont Stks.

Winners         Previous Start  Finished

Palice Malice    Derby           12th

Union Rags       Derby            7th

Ruler On Ice     Federico Tesio   2nd

Drosselmeyer     Dwyer Stks.      2nd

Summer Bird      Derby            6th

Da'Tara          Barbaro Stks.    2nd

Rags To Riches   Ky. Oaks         1st

Jazil            Derby            4th

Afleet Alex      Preakness        1st

Birdstone        Derby            8th

Empire Maker     Derby            2nd

Sarava           Sir Barton Stks. 1st    

Point Given      Preakness        1st

Commendable      Derby            17th

20 May 2014 11:45 AM
Little Bill

I think Commanding Curve might break better than most people think.  My reasoning is that-

A)It's a mile and a half, that should put him closer immediately, unless someone gets silly.

B) The only race he had a chance to break and not get hung wide he got pinched back. In the Star and the Derby his best shot was to take back.

Of course post position is in play and of course I could be wrong.

20 May 2014 11:52 AM

This is personal for me and I believe its redemption time after all the close beats I took trying to cash the super on Derby day. For the last 10 years I had a syndicate, 12 people each betting $100 to go for the super and we would always have 3 of four.They all depended on me to make the picks  for a huge payoff. The toughest beat was was I had when I had the top 3 finishers and 17 horses in the fourth spot. At the finish we were  all screaming and cheering because we had the top 3 and 10 horses in in a photo finish. After the posted the result our hearts went down to our feet when they showed I Am  A Wild And Crazy Guy went by our horses at the wire. The payoff $47 plus thousand. After that the syndicate was terminated and I switched to P 3 and P4. This year I cashed on every race California Chrome won and I kind have my own Triple Pick. Pick 4 in the Derby Pick 4 in the Preakness and Pick 4 in the Belmont

Pedigree Ann I believe Commissioner is the best bred for the 1 1/2 followed by Wicked Strong on the Dam side and California Chrome. My name is Tony so Tonelist has to be on my ticket.

Counting the days!!!!!

20 May 2014 1:24 PM
Rusty Weisner

Thanks, derbygal.  Make that six with Summer Bird.

20 May 2014 2:20 PM

Someone had reported to TVG that John V. would ride Ride on Curlin ,and Joel Rosario would ride Tonalist.

20 May 2014 3:52 PM

John Valezquez rides Ride  On Curlin in the Belmont.

Joel Rosario rides Tonalist,

That is a sign for me to pick Tonalist ahead of ROC

Downgrading ROC to the bottom of the Super

20 May 2014 5:14 PM

Danza out of Belmont being refreshed.

It's getting easier for CC one horse at a time

20 May 2014 5:17 PM

This is where CC can lose,the Preakness was a tougher race for him and I think a dry Belmont track dosent suit him.I dont believe that a good horse will run on anything, they all have preferences its up to the competition.I have seen many great colts starting with Silver Charm back in 97, win the first two and lose the Belmont.I believe the connections of his contenders will go ALL IN and I wont be surprised if the pace is faster than par for the first part of the race.Any colt that beats CC and denies him the TC automatically is more valuable as a stud, it dosent matter what else he accomplishes it will make history, unless of course he turns out to be a one trick pony like Zitos Da Tara who only beat Big Brown and didnt do much else .

20 May 2014 6:23 PM

To continue when I mean a dry Belmont dosent suit him I mean a deep tiring track which he hasnt encounterd yet.He was able to skip across the surface in the first two legs but if he gets a deeper sandy track after his tough campaign it will lead to him losing.

20 May 2014 6:27 PM

Alas, Danza is out , so I will sit this one out as well.

Good luck Chrome, but I,ll be rooting for commanding curve, and wicked strong.


20 May 2014 8:33 PM
Sam Santschi

Danza out for "freshening".  "I'm shocked, shocked!"

20 May 2014 8:34 PM

With Danza now out of the Belmont, and with Social Inclusion only a 50-50 possibility, it's starting to look like this Belmont may not have a lot of early pace -- it could very well end up like 2010, 2011, and 2012, with a 1:14-and-change six-furlong fraction. However, as Brontexx mentioned, the presence of a horse with a shot at winning the Triple Crown could ensure at least a moderately fast early tempo, since it's possible that some of the other jockeys could get aggressive in challenging California Chrome from the outset. I will be very interested to see if Ride On Curlin races closer to the pace than usual in the Belmont -- remember, he has flashed tremendous early speed at various points in his career, and his versatility could prove useful in adapting to whatever pace scenario presents itself. If the pace is slow, he could be right near the lead; if it's fast, he could come from a few lengths back.

Two horses that I have mixed feelings about are Tonalist and Candy Boy. The former was certainly impressive winning the Peter Pan Stakes, but that was in the slop, and he's a son of Tapit, which leaves me wondering if twelve furlongs is really what he wants. In ways, he's starting to remind me of Charitable Man.

I really liked Candy Boy in the Kentucky Derby, and thought he lost all chance on the first turn when he clipped heels. However, he really didn't do much running after that, and like Tonalist, I'm not sure twelve furlongs is ideal for him. But at least we know he has enough tactical speed to secure good position in the Belmont, and -- assuming he draws a decent post position -- trip shouldn't prove much of an issue.

Rusty Weisner;

Nope, I haven't made it to a Triple Crown race yet, but it's on my  to-do list! :)


I hope you have a great time at the Belmont! We're overdue for a Triple Crown winner, and maybe this will be the year!


Great "food for thought" on winning the Belmont Stakes! One trend I have noticed is that many of the recent Belmont winners had never won a stakes race prior to their victory in the "Test of Champions." Examples include Jazil (2006), Da' Tara (2008), Summer Bird (2009), Drosselmeyer (2010), Ruler On Ice (2011), and Palace Malice (2013).

On a side note, I could be wrong, but it sounded to me as if Joel Rosario had already committed to ride Tonalist in the Belmont before he rode Ride On Curlin in the Preakness, so he may not have had a choice of mounts.

Now for an open question to all -- who do you think will be the second and third wagering choices in the Belmont Stakes? And what will their odds be?

20 May 2014 10:45 PM

Secreteriat :  Thanks, I hope he does too!  I can't even imagine how crazy the crowd will be.   I'll be taking videos of people's reaction throughout the race and will watch the replay.   I don't know if I'll be able to actually watch the live race...I'll be freakin' out.

Rusty : Thanks, I'll check out taking the train as another option although I'm pretty much set with taking the cab.   I will definitely check out the paddock as well as the whole track on Friday.

Keelerman :   Thanks!  I'll try my best to have fun hehe.   Regarding your question, I think Tonalist will be ML at 9/2 and Commissioner at 8-1.   After that, it's all probably 15-1 and up.   Wicked Strong might be 12-1 just cause he's probably who the people will bet the most out of all the longshots.

I'm looking at Tonalist, Commissioner and Intense Holiday who should be at 15-1 and up.  I'm curious who's riding Intense Holiday who's the one longshot that I'm really intrigued in this race.   He is the forgotten horse and he does have a little bit of tactical speed.  I see him midpack but maybe about 6 or 7 lengths at the half mile.   If he gets Bejarano, he could be the threat.  Ring Weekend looks like the lone speed and his connections also has a Commanding Curve which makes me believe they might use him as a rabbit for Commanding Curve.   Still 2 1/2 weeks....

21 May 2014 12:04 AM
Pedigree Ann

Somehow, my most recent post has not shown up. The gist was that no horse who has finished first or second in the Peter Pan had won the Belmont in the last 10 years. Two third-place runners in the Belmonts have come out of the Peter Pan, Ready's Echo and Sunriver. The last time a Belmont winner came out of the Peter Pan was 1999, when Lemon Drop Kid ran third in the PP beforehand. First and second-place runners have done nada. You can look it up.

With the way that trainers train (and don't race) these days, the Peter Pan has become irrelevant, unless you are betting trifectas or supers.

P.S. Commissioner may have a good pedigree for a distance of ground, but his class is suspect. He was beaten off by Chitu and Midnight Hawk at El Paso at 9f, a distance at which one might have expected some life and which doesn't suit the first two well.

21 May 2014 7:11 AM
Rusty Weisner


I often joke about how I should do the ML for the major tracks.  I have the dubious distinction of usually thinking just like the betting crowd.

No way Wicked Strong is 12-1.  In fact, I think it's possible he'll be the second favorite over Commanding Curve.  If he's 12-1 I'm betting him with two fists.

Pedigree Ann,

I thought that about the Peter Pan, too -- thanks for chasing that down and putting some spine into me and my stand against certain horses.

21 May 2014 8:00 AM
Rusty Weisner


I can't get over how you lucked into it with the tickets this year.  See my note about the undercard and take a look at the NYRA website.  It is insane.  Early in the day the paddock shouldn't be crazy packed and you'll see a lot of star horses.  I hope you get good weather.  

21 May 2014 8:09 AM
Rusty Weisner

Sam Santschi,

That was a good call on Danza.


That's an interesting point on Ring Weekend.


I'm going to go against Tonalist (and Commissioner), too.  I think CC is 4-5 and Wicked Strong 4-1, believe it or not.  If he's better than that I'll be very happy.

21 May 2014 8:19 AM

Pedigree Ann

Thank you for the Peter Pan info. You are right Freedom Child won on the slop last year and finished 2nd to last in last year's Belmont. I will only use them on the bottom of the Tri and Super. I think Intense Holiday is a miler and will be used sort of a rabbit, I/E one more horse CC have to worry about and will quit after a mile. I think R O C will be 2nd choice. I like Rusty's approach of using horses that already run at Belmont mainly Wicked Strong/ Commisioner/Samrat/Tonalist underneath. I think Wicked Strong has the best chance of beating CC and he will be the only I will use as my hedge on top. Ann do you thing Samrat can get the distance?

21 May 2014 8:42 AM

Too early to project odds because there could be additions and subtractions to the field.If SI dosent go and there isnt a lot of speed on paper, I wouldn't be surprised if another colt takes the initiative and goes to the front, the two that come to mind are Tonalist in a repeat of his last and ROC who has run close up in the past.

On the same note if there is no speed on paper there might be one or more speedy colts added to the field,Im sure the list of nominations to the Belmont Stakes is long.

21 May 2014 8:47 AM
JJs Rocket

Early thoughts are I will be using Wicked Strong a lot with CC. Also will use the likely other ones in Commanding Curve, ROC and will be looking into a couple of longer shots like Samraat ( Indian Charlie on dam side concerns me ) but the horse runs his guts out every time. Also will look at Intense Holiday but only if he gets Mike back on him. I think he gets the best out of him and he will be overlooked. SI will run in my opinion with a new jockey, he might also need a new trainer - just saying...

After the field firms up so we get a better picture of the pace maybe we can narrow it down some. Still have a long time to figure out this puzzle.. Good luck to everyone...

21 May 2014 10:53 AM

Rusty : You're right, I forgot he finished 4th in the Derby.  For some reason I keep mixing him up with Wildcat Red.  There's no way he'll be the 2nd favorite, not with Tonalist and Commissioner there....Samraat might take more money than him actually.  

I'm tossing Samraat in this race, I feel like it's a bad move but I can't see him lasting past 9Fs...but then again, if no one else runs, he can stay for 4th.

21 May 2014 11:03 AM
Rusty Weisner

What's nice, if you like Wicked Strong, is that the money will be split up pretty evenly among him, "the other CC" and ROC, plus Tonalist will be a likely not too-distant fifth favorite.

21 May 2014 11:42 AM

If I was Espinoza I would go to Belmont the week before and ride every race to get comfortable with the track.

There is none other like Belmont.

He is riding a Freak and all other Jocks will try to take away his edge. He needs to ride another "brilliant race" like he did in the Preakness and get himself in the clear to do what he needs to do. The sandy bit does not bother me. This horse can run on Broadway and win!

21 May 2014 11:49 AM
Plod Boy Phil

First,  allow me to pre-empt any negativism that may be perceived from this post by stating that I understand the excitement fans have about this exceptional horse. However,  I think it wise to both read,  and to take a tighter hold of,  the headline from the DRF:  "Chrome tired but healthy."

As I see it,  three weeks is no way near enough time to get 'un-tired'.  

21 May 2014 12:22 PM

Mexikoma, who finished third behind Constitution and Tonalist in a Gulfstream allowance race earlier this year, is scheduled to return to the races on Friday in an allowance race at Pimlico:

21 May 2014 3:08 PM


I had the same reservations about Tonalist being a Tapit however Untappit and Tapiture both look like they could get more distance.

What I like about Tonalist besides my namesake he is by Pleasant Colony on the dam side who I saw win the Belmont so he is my longshot play in all positions. I mad enough money to use him in the top 3 places with the horses I mentioned previously and hope my luck extends to Belmont Day.

21 May 2014 4:35 PM

With all the Tapits that were involved in the TC this year one of them is bound to at least hit the board, and if its Tonalist at 12 furlongs, Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC will be very happy,plus all the punters that backed any of them will say I told you so.BTW on the same note many out there are planning on mating Lucky Pulpit with blue blooded mares and I would think the price has gone up.

IMO lightning only strikes once, and CC is a complete package physically,mentally and intangilbly, and there will NEVER be another EXACTLY like him.If they go wild in mating to LP there is bound to be some good offspring but NEVER quite the same as the ORIGINAL.

21 May 2014 5:39 PM
Little Bill

If your looking for a challenge Saturday, find the winner of the Hanshin Cup, AP 9.

21 May 2014 11:03 PM

Secreteriat :  With regards to your thoughts that Victor should ride at Belmont for a week, I have to disagree.  I say that because just like Chrome, Victor needs to stay healthy.   It would be a shame if Victor goes to Belmont to get used to the track and end up getting hurt trying to familiarize himself with the track.   I don't know if Chrome will respond to just any jockey.   Victor has ridden at the track and he just needs to familiarize himself again by riding in the earlier races of the day (or maybe even one day earlier).   At this point, I don't think they need to change any of their routine, everything has worked well so far and I don't think they need to do anything to make things any better.   I just read the article about Chrome's first trip around the track and saw the video and he looked good.

Imma go watch some Samraat races now...

22 May 2014 12:40 AM
Pedigree Ann

Phil -

Yet the Blood-Horse writers quote Alan Sherman as saying yesterday, "It's amazing how quick[ly] this horse is bouncing back off these big races he's running. He was dragging me around the shed row, he dragged Willie around the track today. He was really feeling good."


"He's usually (strong on the bit) the first day back (on the track) after a race, but today he was much (stronger) than normal," said Delgado of his early impression.

The DRF writers seem to have been against California Chrome from the start of the classic series, ridiculing his pedigree and his training at a formerly QH track (it's expanding to become a full mile oval and has TB-only dates coming up). Sure, a horse will be tired the first day or so after a race, just like a human elite athlete is. But they come out of it quickly because they are fit.

22 May 2014 9:35 AM

Victor will work CC on May 31,

Would love to see him ride a 1 1/2 race while his there.

Sherman said that will be all he needs and is confident CC will get the distance.

22 May 2014 11:21 AM

Rusty Weisner,

“In this century no horse that has contested and lost the first two legs has won the Belmont”


In this century no horse that has won the first two legs of the TC has won the Belmont. The historic negative that impacts ROC also impacts CC.

I the last 30 renewals of the Belmont, only two have been won by a Derby winner. Subject to correction, during this same period, two horses that contested and lost the first two, legs of the TC have won the Belmont two times as well i.e., Easy Goer and Victory Gallop.

While the historic negatives relating to ROC and CC might be equal, ROC has a better chance of winning. The number of horses falling in to his category that have contested the Belmont is significantly less than Derby winners that have.

22 May 2014 11:50 AM

From DRF;

Latest probable field for Belmont Stakes


California Chrome Art Sherman Victor Espinoza Preakness, 1st

Candy Boy John Sadler Gary Stevens Ky Derby, 13th

Commanding Curve Dallas Stewart Shaun Bridgmohan Ky Derby, 2nd

Commissioner Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano Peter Pan, 2nd

Intense Holiday Todd Pletcher undecided Ky Derby, 12th

Kid Cruz Linda Rice undecided Preakness, 8th

Matuszak Bill Mott Mike Smith Tesio, 2nd

Ride On Curlin Billy Gowan John Velazquez Preakness, 2nd

Ring Weekend Graham Motion Alan Garcia Preakness, 5th

Samraat Rick Violette Jose Ortiz Ky Derby, 5th

Social Inclusion Manny Azpurua undecided Preakness, 3rd

Tonalist Christophe Clement Joel Rosario Peter Pan, 1st

Wicked Strong Jimmy Jerkens Rajiv Maragh Ky Derby, 4th

22 May 2014 12:04 PM

“If they go wild in mating to LP there is bound to be some good offspring but NEVER quite the same as the ORIGINAL.”

Every foal that is born is an original. It’s therefore obvious that no likely duplication will ever occur. Whereas the performances of two horses can be compared, they will always remain different equines.

“CC is a complete package physically, mentally and intangilbly, and there will NEVER be another EXACTLY like him.”

Can you identify a horse that has been exactly like any of the greats of the past? What’s the relevance of the statement if it is stating the obvious? How many of the past greats could be similarly classified?

In 2015 there will be another dominant 3YO on whom the same accolades will be bestowed. How CC rank with past KD & Preakness winners would be a better evaluation as opposed to his physical and mental attributes as all the past greats possessed them in differing degrees.  

22 May 2014 12:28 PM

Can you identify a horse that has been exactly like any of the greats of the past? What’s the relevance of the statement if it is stating the obvious? How many of the past greats could be similarly classified?

In 2015 there will be another dominant 3YO on whom the same accolades will be bestowed. How CC rank with past KD & Preakness winners would be a better evaluation as opposed to his physical and mental attributes as all the past greats possessed them in differing degrees.  

The gist for you non active out of shape contributors is that great athletes are so great because of the intangibles that they have, not physical attributes I hope that clears it up without more reason to continue to argue something that you cant overcome someone elses opinion.

22 May 2014 1:42 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Ann -

I'm talking about racing hard for 12f, not eating breakfast, bouncing around shed row, or galloping.

Good luck.

23 May 2014 10:13 AM

Recent Posts

More Blogs