cnotes Posts:24282 Followers:32
On 04/30/2014 03:54 PM in Other Sports

The Triple Crown of Horse Racing all you need to know !

Five live long-shot bets for the 2014 Kentucky Derby

This Saturday marks the start of horse racing’s Triple Crown season for three-year-old thoroughbreds with the running of the 140th Kentucky Derby at fabled Churchill Downs in Louisville.

This is the sport’s biggest race in terms of both popularity and size, with a full 20-horse field expected for this year’s event. While the actual field, along with each horse’s post position will not be decided until this Wednesday, this year’s Kentucky Derby is expected to be more wide open than any in recent memory.

We’ve studied the potential field at length to come up with five 2014 Kentucky Derby live long shots that may not have the best odds to win on Saturday, but they’re all more than capable of winning this year’s “Run for the Roses”:

Uncle Sigh (+3,500)

The immense popularity alone of Duck Dynasty will attract attention from the betting public to this three year old, but he’s a legitimate contender after placing second in a pair of Kentucky Derby prep races earlier this year. He finished second in the Grade III Withers Stakes on Feb. 1 at Aqueduct and then followed that with another second-place finish in the Grade III Gotham Stakes at the same track on March 1. He’s trained by Gary Contessa and expected to be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.

Ride On Curlin (+2,400)

This three year old has run a heavy prep race schedule in his career, starting with a third-place finish in the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park last October as a juvenile. Trained by Billy Gowan, he made his debut as a three year old by taking third in the Grade III Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park in mid-February. He also finished in the money in two additional prep races, including the Grade I Arkansas Derby his last time out on April 12.

Vicar’s in Trouble (+2,400)

This three year old is ranked second in total points from the Kentucky Derby prep race season. Look for him to go off with only the fifth or sixth-best odds on the board come post time at Churchill this Saturday, depending on how he fares in the post-position draw. This is where all the value lies in this horse. His claim to fame is a victory in the Grade II Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on March 29. He also won the Grade III Lecomte Stakes back in January at the same race track. This horse is trained by Mike Maker and expected to be ridden by Rosie Napravnik.

Danza (+1,500)

Todd Pletcher trains this horse through Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and he has brought Danza along very slowly by keeping him off the race track for much of the Kentucky Derby prep race season. The one race he did run in was the Grade I Arkansas Derby on April 12 at Oaklawn with Joe Bravo aboard for the ride. The result was a first-place finish in a very strong field after going off as a 41/1 long shot in that race. The big question the betting public will be asking is if that was a fluke or if he can upset the field again this Saturday.

Samraat (+1,200)

This three year old is trained by Rick Violette Jr. and ridden by Jose Ortiz, he went undefeated as a two year old in three races, including the Damon Runyon Stakes last December at Aqueduct. He made his debut as a three year old in the Withers Stakes and outran Uncle Sigh in what quickly became a two-horse race. Samraat also won his next time out with a first-place finish in the Gotham Stakes after once again edging out a familiar foe. Despite seeing his impressive five-race winning streak come to an end, he caught everyone’s eye with a second-place run in the Grade I Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 5.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24282 Followers:32
04/30/2014 03:55 PM

Three live long-shot bets for the 2014 Kentucky Derby

It’s Kentucky Derby time. That means it’s time to shop for a few long shots worth backing. They might not hit the board, but if they do you will be rewarded for it.

In a field as wide open and generally undistinguished as the one racing bettors are faced with this year, the longer shots are the place to look. Here are three potential Kentucky Derby long shots that should go off at better than 20/1:

Ride On Curlin (+2,400)

If Hollywood wrote a story about this horse you would dismiss it as unbelievable.

The trainer, nicknamed Bronco, toils at the lowest levels of the game and has fewer starts per year than Todd Pletcher has most weeks. He convinced an owner to buy a yearling - the first for either of them - and that was this horse. He’s a son of the great Curlin, so he is bred to run all day.

Calvin Borel is in the saddle - the magician who has hugged the rail to three Kentucky Derby wins. Borel is riding pretty horribly these days, but that doesn’t matter on Derby day. He has been racing well this spring despite not having a stakes win and he has a very versatile running style that should suit the situation. Stranger things have happened.

Candy Boy (+2,500)

California Chrome is likely going to be the most overwhelming favorite since Big Brown in 2008. Hoppertunity is likely to be no worse than the third choice. Those two finished atop the Santa Anita Derby. In third was this forgotten horse.

He was clearly not as good as the top two that day, but he had also been off for two months and was shaking off a lot of rust. The time before that, he had a very professional and convincing win. Gary Stevens is in the irons and there’s no better guy to manage a horse - or to win a big race right now.

There are a lot of horses that will look to be on or near the pace early on and will be in trouble if they can’t get there. This horse would rather be just off the pace, but has shown that he can deal with having to move up later. He’s ready for a big effort.

Wildcat Red (+2,500)

When a horse has been in the lead and is passed in the stretch, you almost always see it change. They sense they are beaten, retreat into themselves a little, and let the race happen around them. It’s in their nature, and especially common in younger horses like these.

In the Florida Derby, this horse set the pace the whole way before being passed at the top of the stretch by Constitution. Instead of giving up, though, he got mad and dug in.

It became a truly epic stretch duel. He wound up losing by a little more than a neck, but I saw more heart and determination in that horse than I ever expect from three year olds in the spring. Bettors aren’t in love with the breeding, the trainer, or the constant jockey changes, but when a horse is that tough in a race this wide open, he’s worth a look.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24282 Followers:32
04/30/2014 03:59 PM

Non-Kentucky-breds among top 2014 Derby contenders


Uncle Sigh will try to become the first New York-bred to win the Kentucky Derby since Funny Cide in 2003.

This year’s Kentucky Derby field is among the most regionally diverse in recent memory, with horses bred in five different states and one Canadian province likely to run.

As of Tuesday – one day before post positions were to be drawn for the 140th running of the Derby – the projected 20-horse field was set to include runners bred in Kentucky, New York, California, Louisiana, Florida, and Ontario. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the last horse bred outside of Kentucky to win the race, when Pennsylvania-bred Smarty Jones took his first step toward what would become a Triple Crown near-miss in 2004.

Four of the top five horses in the 2014 field, as measured by Derby qualifying points, were foaled outside of Kentucky, with the only exception being Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong.

The points leader and probable favorite in this year’s race is Santa Anita Derby winner California Chrome, who will attempt to become the first California-bred to win the Derby since Decidedly in 1962. Homebred by Martin Perry and Steve Coburn, California Chrome, a son of Lucky Pulpit, is the first California-bred to run in the Kentucky Derby since Rousing Sermon, another son of Lucky Pulpit, finished eighth in 2012.

California Chrome developed a strong local following in his home state as he trained up to the Derby. Trainer Art Sherman bases his operation at Los Alamitos, which recently expanded its track and plans to run a full-fledged Thoroughbred meet later this year. Sherman said the track’s staff and horsemen have been welcoming.

“The people at Los Alamitos are just great,” Sherman said following California Chrome’s victory in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes in March. “The Quarter Horse people, I have more rooters over there today. You cannot believe it. Every Quarter Horse trainer came over and shook my hand and said, ‘Go get ‘em, Art.’ It made me feel good.”

A pair of New York-breds are scheduled to compete in this year’s Derby after spending much of the prep season going head-to-head at Aqueduct. Samraat and Uncle Sigh finished a battling one-two in the Grade 3 Withers and Gotham stakes.

Samraat, a son of Noble Causeway, was homebred in the Empire State by Len Riggio’s My Meadowview Farm. Dr. Jon Davis’s Milfer Farm in upstate New York bred Uncle Sigh, an Indian Charlie colt owned by Wounded Warrior Stable.

Both horses will attempt to duplicate the success of dual classic winner Funny Cide, who became the first New York-bred to win the Kentucky Derby in 2003.

Gary Contessa, the trainer of Uncle Sigh, said he was well aware of what it means to have a New York-bred on the Derby trail and discussed it prior to the colt’s fifth-place finish in the Wood Memorial.

“It’s not the norm to see a horse win a New York-bred maiden race, then go to the Withers, then go to the Gotham, and then be talked about being one of the favorites in the Wood,” he said. “As far as learning experience, [he] kind of went from kindergarten to fifth grade to high school to college.”

Vicar’s in Trouble will attempt to become the first Louisiana-bred Kentucky Derby winner. An Into Mischief colt bred by B. Wayne Hughes’s Spendthrift Farm, Vicar’s in Trouble will be the first Louisiana-bred to run in the Derby since Zarb’s Magic finished 13th in 1996.

Regardless of his finish, Vicar’s in Trouble will break new ground as the first graduate of the fledgling Equine Sales Co. of Louisiana to race in the Derby. He commanded $8,000 at the auction company’s inaugural yearling sale in September 2012.

There are two Florida-breds among this year’s Derby contenders: Blue Grass Stakes winner Dance With Fate (bred by Best A Luck Farm) and Fountain of Youth winner Wildcat Red (bred by Moreau Bloodstock International and Winter Racing Enterprise).

They will be the first Florida-breds to race in the Derby since 2011, when five Sunshine State horses left the starting gate, led by third-place finisher Mucho Macho Man. Florida is the second-most prolific producer of Derby winners behind Kentucky with six, most recently Silver Charm in 1997.

Rounding out the list of contenders bred outside of Kentucky is We Miss Artie, bred in Ontario by Richard Lister. The Spiral Stakes-winning son of Artie Schiller will be the first Canadian-bred to run in the Derby since eventual Belmont winner Victory Gallop finished second in 1998. Two Canadian-breds have won the Kentucky Derby: Sunny’s Halo in 1983 and Northern Dancer in 1964.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24282 Followers:32
04/30/2014 04:05 PM

POST HORSE/SIRE TRACK ODDS WATCHMAKER ODDS BEST BEYER JAY PRIVMAN AND MIKE WATCHMAKER COMMENTS

x California Chrome x-1 3-1 108 JP: Deserving favorite based on strong performances during four-race win streak. Can stalk if pace is hot.

by Lucky Pulpit MW: His romps in the San Felipe, SA Derby were both better than any pair of races anyone else here has.

Owner: Steven Coburn and Perry Martin; Trainer: Art Sherman; Jockey: Victor Espinoza



x Wicked Strong x-1 8-1 104 JP: Back in best form with Wood win, should get pace he needs to help his late run, and wants 10 furlongs.

by Hard Spun MW: Definitely one of the most dangerous stretch runners, but like all of them, he'll need some racing luck.

Owner: Centennial Farms; Trainer: Jimmy Jerkens; Jockey: Rajiv Maragh



x Hoppertunity x-1 10-1 100 JP: Excellent chance to erase Apollo from the record books. Battle-tested in Rebel, super prep in SA Derby.

by Any Given Saturday MW: Was only prepping at SA, but was walloped by Cali Chrome, who wasn't all out, either; still a contender.

Owner: Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, et al; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Mike Smith



x Danza x-1 12-1 102 JP: One of more impressive-looking horses here all week. Maybe Ark. Derby a preview of coming attractions.

by Street Boss MW: At face value, his surprising score OP was very good, but he did capitalize on an unobstructed rail trip.

Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Joe Bravo



x Candy Boy x-1 20-1 96 JP: Think he was hindered by pace in SA Derby and laid too close. Prefer to see him sit and make one run.

by Candy Ride MW: In addition, he can improve second start off the planned layoff; just wish his Beyers were a tad higher.

Owner: C R K Stable; Trainer; John Sadler; Jockey: Gary Stevens



x Dance With Fate x-1 15-1 97 JP: Best on turf, synthetic. Smartly managed to point for, and win, the Blue Grass, earning free lotto play.

by Two Step Salsa MW: Beyond surface questions, he prefers more time between starts than the three weeks he is getting.

Owner: Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable, Ciaglia Racing; Trainer: Peter Eurton; Jockey: Corey Nakatani



x Intense Holiday x-1 12-1 97 JP: Didn't have clean trip in La. Derby, wasn't going to catch loose leader. Will appreciate a contested pace.

by Harlan's Holiday MW: Works have earned raves. Might improve, but he'll have to. He hasn't run a race yet than can win this.

Owner: Starlight Racing; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: John Velazquez



x Samraat x-1 15-1 98 JP: Thoroughly admirable Wood performance, fighting between rivals, getting up for second in lone loss.

by Noble Causeway MW: In some respects, his Wood loss was better than his five prior wins. Have my doubts this is his distance.

Owner: My Meadowview Farm; Trainer: Rick Violette Jr.; Jockey: Jose Ortiz



x Tapiture x-1 15-1 99 JP: Was high on him going into Ark. Derby, didn't fire after being grabbed early. Big chance if he rebounds.

by Tapit MW: Seeemed to resent early rating, but I wish there was a bigger excuse because he was surprisingly flat.

Owner: Ron Winchell; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.



x Vicar's in Trouble x-1 15-1 98s JP: Capitalized in La. Derby when other speed horse broke poorly. Can't envision a similar scenario here.

by Into Mischief MW: A nice colt, but can't see him making the lead without paying a price, can't see him effectively closing.

Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey; Trainer: Mike Maker; Jockey: Rosie Napravnik



x Wildcat Red x-1 20-1 101 JP: Admire how he always battles, but after work this week, wonder if he's still sharp after gruelling preps.

by D'wildcat MW: Jury is still out on him. Set a slow pace when edged in Fla. Derby, rode speed bias in Fountain of Youth.

Owner: Honors Stable Corp.; Trainer: Jose Garoffalo; Jockey: Luis Saez



x General a Rod x-1 20-1 101 JP: Never really has run a bad race. Probably a tad inferior to the elite at this point, but he's consistent.

by Roman Ruler MW: Was unable to really stay 9 furlongs after tracking a slow pace. Not sure how he gets 10 furlongs here.

Owner: Starlight Racing and Skychai Racing; Trainer: Mike Maker; Jockey: Joel Rosario



x Medal Count x-1 20-1 94 JP: Give him a legit chance as longshot bomber in exotics. Had excuses in prior dirt races, worked well.

by Dynaformer MW: His dirt form is wildly open to interpretation, but he has improved, and his closing style is a good fit.

Owner: Spendthrift Farm; Trainer: Dale Romans; Jockey: Robby Albarado



x Ride On Curlin x-1 20-1 98 JP: No match for Danza in Arkansas Derby, likely to be an underlay owing to having Calvin. Prefer others.

by Curlin MW: Merely picked up the pieces in last. Good point on the betting. The Derby always has crazy underlays.

Owner: Daniel Dougherty; Trainer: William Gowan; Jockey: Calvin Borel



x Chitu x-1 30-1 102 JP: Won 3 of 4, only Candy Boy has finished in front of him, but think the distance will be beyond his range.

by Henny Hughes MW: He likes to be involved in the pace, and for him, being pace-involved here won't help him get the trip.

Owner: Tanma Corporation; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Martin Garcia



x Uncle Sigh x-1 30-1 96 JP: Raced wide in Wood, but never really got into the race. Seems like water is getting too deep for him.

by Indian Charlie MW: I can toss his Wood; he had no trip after a slow start. He can run, but skeptical he wants 10 furlongs.

Owner: Wounded Warrior Stables and Anthony Robertson; Trainer: Gary Contessa; Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.



x We Miss Artie x-1 30-1 89t JP: Far superior on synthetic to dirt, and even though he usually works well on dirt, he didn't this week.

by Artie Schiller MW: Owner said that someone has to finish 20th, and if it's him, it's him. Wow. That's encouraging.

Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Javier Castellano



x Harry's Holiday x-1 50-1 85 JP: Ran a good race in Spiral, was dreadful in Blue Grass. This seems like an awfully high hurdle for him.

by Harlan's Holiday MW: Maybe he should consider the Grand National because his "good" Spiral was a painfully slow race.

Owner: Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable; Trainer: Mike Maker; Jockey: Corey Lanerie



x Commanding Curve x-1 30-1 89 JP: Mixed feelings on him. Had a nightmarish trip in La. Derby, but didn't like his final workout this week.

by Master Command MW: His last effort was his best so far, but question if he can improve enough to get into the mix here.

Owner: West Point Thoroughbreds; Trainer: Dallas Stewart; Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan



x Vinceremos x-1 50*1 90 JP: Willing to dismiss poor Blue Grass, his first on synthetic, but was previously a cut below best on dirt.

by Pioneerof the Nile MW: Was competitive on dirt in Tampa, but against moderate company, and that form has not held up.

Owner: WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Joe Rocco Jr.



Also Eligible:

x Pablo Del Monte x-1 30-1 91 JP: Would add some pace pressure. Ran best race of life on synthetic in Blue Grass. Ambitious assignment.

by Giant's Causeway MW: All of his best efforts have been on synthetic. Don't understand the desire to get him into this race.

Owner: Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor; Trainer: Wesley Ward; Jockey: Jeffrey Sanchez

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24282 Followers:32
04/30/2014 04:06 PM

Hovdey: Meet the man who polishes the Chrome


Art Sherman was seeing to a few last-minute items around the barn late Sunday morning before sending California Chrome to Kentucky. He was outwardly calm, if by calm one means checking his phone every 30 seconds to see who’s calling now, or glancing furtively at the computer screen images from the closed-circuit cameras in California Chrome’s stall. He made sure the colt’s bag of horse treats were by the door, ready to ship, then picked up a bundle of clothes.

“Alan’s – can you believe that?” Sherman said. “At his age, sending laundry home for his mom. And she’ll do it, too!”

This was a trainer on the verge of a life-changing event, if indeed your life can be changed significantly by anything at the age of 77. Art and Faye Sherman, who renewed their vows on their 50th anniversary two years ago aboard a ship off the coast of Spain, would be leaving the next day for Kentucky and their first Derby together. California Chrome was scheduled to depart a few hours earlier, in the wee hours of Monday morning.

“Probably just as well I won’t be here when he loads,” Sherman said. “The guys say I always make them nervous, fretting over everything. But I’m a detail kind of guy. You can never go wrong worrying about details.”

True enough. But even the most dedicated hands-on trainer must at some point let loose of the reins and trust somebody. Sherman has assembled around California Chrome a troupe of low-profile talent that has taken the colt from modest little statebred stakes to the brink of everlasting fame, led by his son and assistant, Alan Sherman, exercise rider Willie Delgado, and the colt’s groom, Raul Rodriguez.

That was Rodriguez at California’s Chrome’s shank Monday afternoon at Churchill Downs, as the Santa Anita Derby winner backed off the van from the airport and made himself at home in Tom Proctor’s barn, where his stall will be equipped with the same bright green tetherball that keeps him busy back home at Los Alamitos.

“Sometimes he plays,” said Rodriguez, who wears a Tom Selleck moustache and his cap pulled low. “He likes to bite. You have to be careful around his mouth, and with his back end. He gets a little nervous when you are back there.”

Rodriguez, 57, has handled California Chrome from the minute he came into Sherman’s care, more than a year ago at Hollywood Park. On Sunday he recalled those first impressions as he packed his supplies.

“The patrón watched him close and said to me, ‘Raul, I think this might be a good horse, a stakes horse,’ ” Rodriguez said. The patrón was right.

Rodriguez is from the state of Jalisco, to the west of Mexico City. It is horse country, and the American racetrackers who have come from Jalisco are too numerous to count, among them trainer Paco Gonzalez of Free House fame and his brother, jockey Miguel Yanez.

“I came here in 1982,” Rodriguez said. “Worked for Richard Mandella about three months, for Alan Severinson, and for Jerry Fanning, at the track and at his ranch. The ranch was good. I could raise a family.”

All three of his sons now work at the track, including Raul Jr., who rubs horses for Sherman. Rodriguez himself has been with the stable about a dozen years. His best horse for Sherman was the Grade 1 sprinter Siren Lure.

Although his image will be plastered far and wide this week, Rodriguez inevitably will be the face in the photos that ends up slipping through the cracks of time, even if California Chrome wins. Such is the nature of his job, both anonymous and indispensible. And yet, in the recorded history of the sport, there is a special place reserved for those men who have spent untold hours tending to the most intimate needs of the game’s greatest performers, horses who were stars when they arrived at the Derby and demigods by the time they left.

There was the entertaining Eddie Sweat, always dressed for success, at home in the stall with the imposing Secretariat. John Polston, Seattle Slew’s main man, helped keep the fiery colt grounded. Courtly Juan Alaniz treated Affirmed like a pampered warrior prince, while Charles Clay played the role of stern father figure in the saga of Sunday Silence.

If Rodriguez is to join the list, he will get there with a colt of such modest origins that every leap up the class ladder has been accompanied by gasps of wonder. Rodriguez, the doting caretaker, knew him when.

“When he was a baby, I was doing the snaps of the webbing when he turned around too fast and kicked,” he said. “It scraped all the skin off the back of my hand, but I got lucky. I told the patr ó n, I almost lose the fingers.”

Someone pointed to the colt’s four white feet, a feature that can set off warning alarms in old-time horsemen as a possible concern. Rodriguez made a sound that scoffed at the idea.

“No problem,” he said, as California Chrome came to the front of his stall to nibble his hay rack. “And his legs, never sore. His hair you see is very short. We never clip him, and I put a blanket on him every night. I will take three blankets to Kentucky, a special one for the mosquitos.”

Tending to such details are second nature, part of how horse races are won. Even a Kentucky Derby. Rodriguez, the consummate pro on a lifetime ride, allowed himself to think about what might happen next.

“I want to take a little time off and go back to Mexico for one week,” he said. “I asked the patrón when that might be. He said he doesn’t know. Maybe two weeks, maybe three, maybe two months! It depends.”

On a lot of things – including how well Rodriguez does his job.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24282 Followers:32
04/30/2014 04:08 PM

Maragh hoping for better Triple Crown experience this time around

Wicked Strong will be Rajiv Maragh's first Kentucky Derby mount since Mucho Macho Man in 2011.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Approaching the top of the stretch in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, jockey Rajiv Maragh thought he had a chance to win the race on Mucho Macho Man. Turning for home, however, Mucho Macho Man could not match strides with Animal Kingdom and ended up finishing third.

The remainder of that year’s Triple Crown did not go well for Maragh. He finished eighth on Mucho Macho Man in the Preakness and was subsequently removed from the horse for the Belmont Stakes.

In the Belmont, Maragh rode longshot Isn’t He Perfect. Coming out of the starting gate, Maragh allowed Isn’t He Perfect to come over on Mucho Macho Man, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, who in turn came over on Animal Kingdom, squeezing him back at the start.

Isn’t He Perfect finished last. Mucho Macho Man was seventh, one spot behind Animal Kingdom, who came out of the race with an injury.

For the incident at the start, the New York stewards suspended Maragh seven days for careless riding. Maragh did not appeal the decision.

“I think being suspended is a penalty to make you realize if you make a mistake and what to do better and make yourself better,” Maragh said recently, reflecting on the incident. “Even though you’re trying hard to do the best you can, it’s really a game of inches. You got to be really careful – try your best, try your hardest every time – but also there’s a line you have to make sure you don’t cross. I really tried to work on being more careful but keep doing my job.”

On Saturday, Maragh’s job will be trying to get Wicked Strong to the wire first in the 140th Kentucky Derby. Wicked Strong figures to be the second or third choice in the wagering behind California Chrome.

Though Maragh spent the winter riding at Aqueduct in New York while Wicked Strong was in south Florida, Maragh was aboard the colt when he dominated the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 5. Prior to that, Maragh had ridden Wicked Strong to a third-place finish in the Remsen.

“He has a great style for the Derby. He seems like a horse that can overcome some adversity. He can fit into any kind of race flow,” Maragh said. “If they go slow, he can be closer. If they go fast, he can be behind. He gives you a lot of options, which you need in the Derby with 20 horses. He doesn’t seem to have any problem being in and amongst horses. There’s a lot in his favor.”

This will be Maragh’s fourth Derby mount, having most recently finished 12th aboard Alpha in 2012. A native of Jamaica, Maragh said the Derby is the race he most covets.

“I’ve been in this country about 14 years,” Maragh said. “If you’re a jockey and if you don’t want to win the Derby, then you’re in the wrong sport. It’s definitely the No. 1 race in the world in my opinion, for the prestige and everything. The whole racing world is watching. It’s a great opportunity.”

◗ As usual, the Kentucky Oaks will be the first leg for both the Oaks-Derby double ($1 minimum) and Oaks-Woodford-Derby pick three (50-cent minimum).

◗ A 50-cent pick four, 50-cent pick five, and $2 pick six will conclude with both the Oaks and Derby. There will be three pick fours on Oaks Day (12 races) and four pick-fours on Derby Day (13 races).

◗ A $1 super high five will be offered on both the Oaks and Derby and on the last race each day. There is a carryover provision.

◗ The minimum wager for superfectas on both days is $1, as opposed to the dime supers that are offered all other days.

◗ As a means of enticing larger fields on its biggest days – and spurring greater handle, theoretically – Churchill once again is “supercharging” the purses for undercard races on Friday and Saturday. For example, a first-level allowance normally worth $52,000 will offer a purse of $65,000, and some maiden special weight events go from $50,000 to $60,000.

◗ New Churchill race caller Larry Collmus will be attending to other duties that will keep him out of the announcer’s booth on occasion this week. The voice that fans will hear during those times is that of Bill Downes, who otherwise calls races at the newly named Indiana Grand in suburban Indianapolis.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24282 Followers:32
04/30/2014 04:09 PM

Sherman's Derby role far more prominent than in 1955


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The first time Art Sherman came to the Kentucky Derby, in 1955, it was as a stable hand for trainer Mesh Tenney, and he traveled from California by railcar, sleeping on straw, next to the horse who brought him here, Swaps.

Sherman was a bit player in the story of Swaps, who won that Derby. But when he left California on Monday, Sherman did so as the trainer of the horse acknowledged as the favorite for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, California Chrome.

And his friend, trainer Tom Proctor, wanted everyone – at least everyone on their flight Monday – to know about it.

They took separate flights from different Southern California airports before connecting in Phoenix along with jockeys Mike Smith and Gary Stevens. Proctor, who has an outsized frame and personality, convinced the gate attendants to let Sherman on the plane first and convinced the flight attendants to announce who Sherman was and why he was on that flight to Louisville.Barbara D. LivingstonCalifornia Chrome jogged over the Churchill Downs main track for the first time on Tuesday.

“I just wanted to embarrass him,” Proctor said Tuesday at Churchill Downs. “All the people on the flight were nice. They were getting photos taken with Art and Gary and Mike.”

Like Sherman, California Chrome also flew here Monday. It was his first plane ride and his first trip outside California. He arrived safely and will spend the week in a stall in Proctor’s barn at Churchill Downs. On Tuesday, he made his first visit to the track for a routine jog, and Sherman liked the way everything had unfolded so far.

“It was a great trip, the horse arrived just perfect, and he went perfect this morning,” Sherman said. “The exercise rider said it was the best he’s felt in a long time. He said he felt different, more aggressive. He was full of himself. That made me feel good.”

California Chrome went without the yellow training towel Churchill Downs gives to all Derby runners. Sherman wasn’t being coy. The original towel that was provided misspelled the colt’s name as “Califorina Chrome.” A new towel was being produced for use the rest of the week.

California Chrome and Dance With Fate, who traveled with California Chrome, were the last two Derby horses to arrive in Kentucky. Neither will have a work here, nor will Samraat, and perhaps Uncle Sigh.

A generation ago, trainers hustled to get to Churchill Downs to work early and often. But several recent Derby winners – Funny Cide, Giacomo, and I’ll Have Another – have shipped in late and merely galloped over the track, a strong percentage considering how few do it. Bottom line: Different circumstances demand different approaches, and Sherman, who has been on the racetrack for almost 60 years, thinks California Chrome has the proper temperament to handle the new surroundings.

“He’s got the best demeanor of any horse I’ve ever been around,” he said. “He loves people. He’s a people horse.

“He had a lot of attention in California before he left,” Sherman said, referring to large crowds for the Santa Anita Derby and his final workout at Los Alamitos on Saturday. “It was wall-to-wall people, and he never turned a hair.”

Sherman said California Chrome would school in the paddock one morning this week and school at the gate another.

Sherman himself was in demand. He did a press briefing at his barn, was to attend a dinner honoring this year’s Derby trainers Tuesday night, and had official press conferences slated for Wednesday and Thursday mornings. All that followed a late night of reverie Monday at a local restaurant with many of his old friends, like Churchill track announcer Larry Collmus, whom Sherman first met when Collmus called races in Northern California 20 years ago.

“I’ve got to pace myself better,” Sherman said. “I’m enjoying this, at this stage of my life. I probably thought I’d never get here with this type of horse. I’d be a real feather in my hat if we could get lucky. I’ve been on the racetrack my whole life. The game’s been very good to me.”

Sherman said when he first came here in 1955, sleeping next to Swaps on straw in the railcar was “like being with a friend.”

Asked what he found different from his first Derby experience all those years ago, Sherman looked at the paved road between barns and said, “It used to be all grass in between.”

“I’d take Swaps out and do figure eights bareback,” he said.

Tuesday morning, for his press briefing, Sherman – a former jockey – was on a step stool. But, like 59 years ago, he still had the best view around.

In other Derby developments Tuesday:

◗ Owner Ron Sanchez said Social Inclusion, who was 22nd on the points list, would not be sent from Florida in the hope of drawing into the Derby, whose starting field is capped at 20.

◗ General a Rod worked a half-mile in 49.50 seconds under his Derby jockey, Joel Rosario.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24282 Followers:32
04/30/2014 04:13 PM

Kentucky Derby 2014 point standings

Leader board for qualifying points to the 2014 Kentucky Derby, which will be run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Points are earned by the top four finishers in designated Kentucky Derby prep races. Earnings in non-restricted stakes races serve as a tie-breaker.

Rank Horse Trainer Points Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1 California Chrome Art Sherman 150 $782,250

2 Vicar's in Trouble Mike Maker 120 $760,000

3 Dance With Fate Peter Eurton 108 $600,000

4 Wicked Strong Jimmy Jerkens 102 $630,000

5 Samraat Rick Violette Jr. 100 $640,000

6 Danza Todd Pletcher 100 $620,000

7 Hoppertunity Bob Baffert 95 $576,000

8 Intense Holiday Todd Pletcher 93 $527,500

9 Wildcat Red Jose Garrofalo 90 $610,000

10 We Miss Artie Todd Pletcher 60 $544,000

11 Ride on Curlin Billy Gowan 55 $354,387

12 Chitu Bob Baffert 54 $440,000

13 Tapiture Steve Asmussen 52 $470,378

14 General a Rod Mike Maker 40 $240,000

15 Medal Count Dale Romans 40 $226,500

16 Candy Boy John Sadler 30 $380,000

17 Uncle Sigh Gary Contessa 24 $180,000

18 Vinceremos Todd Pletcher 20 $191,666

19 Harry's Holiday Mike Maker 20 $152,622

20 Commanding Curve Dallas Stewart 20 $140,000

21 Pablo Del Monte Wesley Ward 20 $102,000

22 Big Bazinga Katerina Vassilieva 14 $92,149

23 Coastline Mark Casse 13 $131,346

24 Strong Mandate D. Wayne Lukas 11 $479,166

25 In Trouble Tony Dutrow 10 $190,000

26 Noble Moon Leah Gyarmati 10 $170,000

27 Cleburne Dale Romans 10 $127,044

28 Commissioner Todd Pletcher 10 $110,667

29 Schiverelli Eddie Kenneally 10 $40,000

30 Conquest Titan Mark Casse 9 $210,945

31 Casiguapo Mario Morales 5 $272,717

32 Asserting Bear Reade Baker 5 $33,099

Sidelined/Inactive/No Longer Under Derby Consideration/Not Triple Crown Nominated: Toast of New York (100, $1,200,000), Constitution (100, $600,000), Ring Weekend (50, $260,000), Asmar-IRE(40, $557,500), Albano (34, $190,000), Emirates

Flyer-GB (20, $381,691), Bayern (20, $134,280) Cairo Prince, (19, $520,000), Havana (14, $660,000), Honor Code (14, $300,000), Kristo (14, $76,000), Tamarando (12, $495,000), Bond Holder (11, $333,000), Ami's Holiday (11, $146,145), New Year's

Day (10, $1,100,000), Rise Up (10, $786,633), Giovanni Boldini (10, $345,678), Mr Speaker (10, $210,000), Tanzanite Cat (10, $111,000), Top Billing (10, $40,000), Surfing USA (10, $35,000), Dublin Up (10, $60,000), Rebranded (5,), Financial Mogul

(5, $95,000), East Hall (5, $77,550), Classic Giacnroll (5, $62,500), Schoolofhardrocks (5, $18,250), Smarty's Echo (4, $82,000), Walt (4, $45,857), Laddie Boy (4, $45,599), Scotland (4, $45,000), Divine Oath (4, $40,000), Smart Cover (4, $38,418),

Go Greeley (2, $220,601), Enterprising (2, $138,000), Roman Unbridled (2, $113,000), Rankhasprivileges (2, $100,250), Ontology (2, $77,250), Artic Slope (2, $42,252), Gold Hawk (2, $38,000), Supermonic (2, $20,000), Awesome Sky (2, $16,819),

Can the Man (1, $111,000), Diamond Bachelor (1, $97,020), Matuszak (1, $42,667), Rum Point (1,$30,250), Almost Famous (1, $28,579), Puppy Manners (1, $18,000), Son of a Preacher (1, $11,500), Buck Magic (1, $8,410), and I'll Wrap it Up (1, $6,000).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24282 Followers:32
04/30/2014 04:16 PM

Kentucky Derby Contender Workouts


HORSE / TRAINER DATE TRACK DISTANCE TIME COMMENT

General a Rod
Mike Maker 4/29 Churchill 4f 49.50 General a Rod looking better

Hoppertunity
Bob Baffert 4/28 Churchill 5f 1:01.25 Hoppertunity impresses in slop

Tapiture
Steve Asmussen 4/28 Churchill 4f 50.16 Tapiture eager in midst of storm

Chitu
Bob Baffert 4/27 Churchill 6f 1:13.11 Chitu works from the gate

Danza
Todd Pletcher 4/27 Churchill 4f 49.07 Danza makes a good appearance

Intense Holiday
Todd Pletcher 4/27 Churchill 4f 48.65 Standout work for Intense Holiday

Ride on Curlin
William Gowan 4/27 Churchill 7f 1:28.98 Ride on Curlin goes willingly

Vinceremos
Todd Pletcher 4/27 Churchill 4f 49.27 Vinceremos holds his own

Wildcat Red
Jose Garoffalo 4/27 Churchill 5f 1:04.39 Wildcat Red slow to handle surface

We Miss Artie
Todd Pletcher 4/27 Churchill 4f 49.45 Disappointing work for We Miss Artie

California Chrome
Art Sherman 4/26 Los Alamitos 4f 48.20 California Chrome looks strong

Candy Boy
James Jerkens 4/26 Churchill 5f 1:00.64 Candy Boy the best of Saturday's tab

Commanding Curve
Dallas Stewart 4/26 Churchill 5f 1:02.45 Little left for gallop out

Dance with Fate
Peter Eurton 4/26 Santa Anita 4f 47.00 Scheduled turf work washed out

Harry's Holiday
Mike Maker 4/26 Churchill 5f 1:02.60 Average breeze from longshot

Medal Count
Dale Romans 4/26 Churchill 6f 1:13.26 Medal Count comfortable on Saturday

Vicar's in Trouble
Mike Maker 4/26 Churchill 5f 1:03.39 Not much to recommend on Saturday's work

Wicked Strong
James Jerkens 4/25 Belmont training 7f 1:27.11 Wood winner has final work

Uncle Sigh
Gary Contessa 4/25 Belmont training 5f 1:00.18 Uncle Sigh works for Derby

Samraat
Rick Violette 4/25 Aqueduct 1m 1:45.91 Samraat works a mile

Ring Weekend
H. Graham Motion 4/25 Fair Hill 6f 1:12.80 Ring Weekend works in Maryland

Hoppertunity
Bob Baffert 4/23 Churchill 6f 1:13.27 Hoppertunity likes track

General a Rod
Mike Maker 4/23 Churchill 5f 1:03.32 General a Rod posts slow time

Bayern
Bob Baffert 4/21 Churchill 4f 47.60 Bayern impresses in drill with Chitu

Chitu
Bob Baffert 4/21 Churchill 4f 47.60 Chitu unenthusiastic in gallop-out

We Miss Artie
Todd Pletcher 4/20 Palm Meadows 5f 1:01.19 We Miss Artie finishes well

Intense Holiday
Todd Pletcher 4/20 Palm Meadows 4f 48.74 Intense Holiday works with Micromanage

Wildcat Red
Jose Garoffalo 4/20 Gulfstream 4f 48.69 Wildcat Red works under Luis Saez

Vicar’s in Trouble
Mike Maker 4/19 Trackside training center 5f 1:00.40 Vicar's in Trouble gets serious

California Chrome
Art Sherman 4/19 Los Alamitos 4f 47.80 California Chrome cruises

Candy Boy
John Sadler 4/19 Santa Anita 5f 59.80 Candy Boy finishes local preparation

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24282 Followers:32
04/30/2014 04:32 PM

Road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby


Date Race Distance Track Winner Beyer 1st 2nd 3rd 4th


9/7/13 Iroquois 1 1/16M
Churchill Downs
Cleburne 69 10 4 2 1 Chart


9/28/13 FrontRunner 1 1/16M
Santa Anita
Bond Holder 78 10 4 2 1 Chart


10/5/13 Breeders' Futurity 1 1/16M (S)
Keeneland
We Miss Artie 70 10 4 2 1 Chart


10/5/13 Champagne 1M
Belmont
Havana 93 10 4 2 1 Chart


10/6/13 Grey 1 1/16M (S)
Woodbine
Ami's Holiday 80 10 4 2 1 Chart


11/2/13 BC Juvenile 1 1/16M
Santa Anita
New Year's Day 88 10 4 2 1 Chart


11/23/13 Delta Downs Jackpot 1 1/16M
Delta Downs
Rise Up 88 10 4 2 1 Chart


11/30/13 Remsen 1 1/8M
Aqueduct
Honor Code 88 10 4 2 1 Chart


11/30/13 Kentucky Jockey Club 1 1/16M
Churchill Downs
Tapiture 83 10 4 2 1 Chart


1/4/14 Jerome 1 mile 70 yds
Aqueduct
Noble Moon 85 10 4 2 1 Chart / Analysis


1/11/14 Sham 1M
Santa Anita
Midnight Hawk 95 10 4 2 1 Chart / Analysis


1/18/14 Lecomte 1M 70 yds
Fair Grounds
Vicar's in Trouble 97 10 4 2 1 Chart / Analysis


1/20/14 Smarty Jones 1M
Oaklawn Park
Tanzanite Cat 83 10 4 2 1 Chart / Analysis


1/25/14 Holy Bull 1 1/16M
Gulfstream
Cairo Prince 95 10 4 2 1 Chart / Analysis


2/1/14 Withers 1 1/16M
Aqueduct
Samraat 94 10 4 2 1 Chart / Analysis


2/8/14 Robert B. Lewis 1 1/16M
Santa Anita Park
Candy Boy 96 10 4 2 1 Chart / Analysis


2/15/14 El Camino Real Derby 1 1/8M (S)
Golden Gate
Tamarando 91 10 4 2 1 Chart / Analysis


2/17/14 Southwest 1 1/16M
Oaklawn Park
Tapiture 98 10 4 2 1 Chart / Analysis

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: