cnotes Posts:32109 Followers:37
04/30/2014 04:35 PM

Kentucky Derby Championship Series

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

2/22/14 Risen Star 1 1/16M
Fair Grounds
Intense Holiday 97 50 20 10 5 Chart / Analysis

2/22/14 Fountain of Youth 1 1/16M
Wildcat Red 101 50 20 10 5 Chart / Analysis

3/1/14 Gotham 1 1/16M
Samraat 96 50 20 10 5 Chart / Analysis

3/8/14 Tampa Bay Derby 1 1/16M
Tampa Bay Downs
Ring Weekend 94 50 20 10 5 Chart / Analysis

3/8/14 San Felipe 1 1/16M
Santa Anita
California Chrome 107 50 20 10 5 Chart / Analysis

3/15/14 Rebel 1 1/16M
Hoppertunity 100 50 20 10 5 Chart / Analysis

3/22/13 Spiral 1 1/8M (S)
We Miss Artie 85 50 20 10 Chart / Analysis

3/23/14 Sunland Derby 1 1/8M
Sunland Park
Chitu 102 50 20 10 5 Chart / Analysis

3/29/14 Florida Derby 1 1/8M
Gulfstream Park
Constitution 99 100 40 20 10 Chart / Analysis

3/29/14 UAE Derby 1 3/16M (S)
Toast of New York N/A 100 40 20 10 Analysis

3/29/14 Louisiana Derby 1 1/8M
Fair Grounds
Vicar's In Trouble 97 100 40 20 10 Chart / Analysis

4/5/14 Wood Memorial 1 1/8M
Wicked Strong 104 100 40 20 10 Chart / Analysis

4/5/14 Santa Anita Derby 1 1/8M
Santa Anita
California Chrome 107 100 40 20 10 Chart / Analysis

4/12/14 Arkansas Derby 1 1/8M
Oaklawn Park
Danza 102 100 40 20 10 Chart / Analysis

4/12/14 Blue Grass 1 1/8M (S)
Dance With Fate 97 100 40 20 10 Chart / Analysis

4/19/14 Lexington 1 1/16M (S)
Mr Speaker 90 10 4 2 1 Chart

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32109 Followers:37
04/30/2014 06:21 PM



1 Vicar's in Trouble 30-1 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

2 Harry's Holiday 50-1 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

3 Uncle Sigh 30-1 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.

4 Danza 10-1 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

5 California Chrome 5-2 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

6 Samraat 15-1 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

7 We Miss Artie 50-1 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

8 General a Rod 15-1 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

9 Vinceremos 30-1 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.

10 Wildcat Red 15-1 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

11 Hoppertunity 6-1 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

12 Dance With Fate 20-1 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

13 Chitu 20-1 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

14 Medal Count 20-1 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

15 Tapiture 15-1 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.

16 Intense Holiday 12-1 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

17 Commanding Curve 50-1 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

18 Candy Boy 20-1 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

19 Ride On Curlin 15-1 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

20 Wicked Strong 8-1 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

Also Eligible:
AE Pablo Del Monte 50-1 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:32109 Followers:37
05/01/2014 03:47 PM

Kentucky Oaks: Asmussen likes his chances with Untapable

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Steve Asmussen was a mere spectator five years ago at Churchill Downs when Rachel Alexandra set a Kentucky Oaks record by winning the filly classic by 20 lengths.

“That’s the day she made the transition from a horse with a lot of ability to a true superstar,” Asmussen said. “That was her coming-out party.”

Shortly after the Oaks and a private sale, Asmussen was hired on as the trainer of Rachel Alexandra, who would go on to become the Horse of the Year for 2009. This history lesson has some similarities to what might unfold here Friday, when Asmussen puts a saddle on the heavily favored Untapable for the 140th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Oaks.

Untapable, bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, is an odds-on morning-line favorite for the 1 1/8-mile Oaks, the anchor event on a sensational 12-race card that starts at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. Untapable is held in such high regard mostly because of recent performances in New Orleans, where she easily won the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra and Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks.

“Obviously, she’s not at the same level Rachel made it to,” Asmussen said, “but you’d have to say the stage is set for something good to happen.”

With Rosie Napravnik riding, Untapable will break from the outside gate in a field of 13 3-year-old fillies in the Oaks, and Asmussen said the post might be more of an advantage than not.

“There’s enough of a run to the first turn for Rosie to use the filly’s speed to get position,” Asmussen said. “Plus, there’s less of a chance to find trouble with another horse pressuring you from the outside. I’m more than good with that post.”

Napravnik, a 26-year-old New Jersey native who has been a leading jockey in Maryland, Louisiana, and Kentucky, made history two years ago aboard Believe You Can when she became the first woman jockey to win the Oaks. She has been aboard Untapable in all but one of the filly’s six career starts, with the Fair Grounds Oaks being most noteworthy for this compelling reason: Five of the last 10 Kentucky Oaks winners have exited that race, a remarkable span that also includes one year (2006) when Fair Grounds was shuttered.

Beyond Untapable, the balance of the Oaks field appears very well matched, with Ria Antonia, Rosalind, Fashion Plate, and My Miss Sophia being the secondary favorites.

Ria Antonia (post 2, Mike Smith), the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies by disqualification six months ago, rebounded from a disappointing effort in the Rachel Alexandra to finish a good second as the favorite in her most recent race, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks.

Rosalind (post 4, Joel Rosario), a dead-heat winner of the Grade 1 Ashland last out, has been a consistent and versatile filly and is “coming into this about as good as I can get her,” trainer Ken McPeek said.

Fashion Plate (post 7, Gary Stevens) figures to have her name called quite a bit by new Churchill announcer Larry Collmus, given her penchant for flashing big speed, which she used in sweeping back-to-back Grade 1 races, the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks.

My Miss Sophia (post 11, Javier Castellano) also has a terrific turn of foot and will be trying to give Todd Pletcher his fourth Oaks victory. Pletcher also will send out longshot Got Lucky (post 12, John Velazquez).

The rest of the Oaks lineup is Please Explain, Sugar Shock, Thank You Marylou, Kiss Moon, Aurelia’s Belle, Unbridled Forever, and Empress of Midway.

The Oaks goes as the 11th of 12 races and follows five other stakes: the Grade 1 La Troienne (race 5), the Grade 3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (race 6), the Grade 3 Eight Belles (race 8), the Edgewood (race 9), and the Grade 2 Alysheba (race 10).

The Oaks is part of a three-hour broadcast on NBC Sports Network that starts at 3 p.m., with post time set for 5:49. The race starts a pair of two-day wagers, the $1 Oaks-Derby double and the 50-cent Oaks-Woodford-Derby pick three.

An ontrack crowd of more than 100,000 is expected to enjoy Oaks Day under partly cloudy skies and a high temperature of 63.

The Oaks is as old as the Kentucky Derby, having first been run in 1875, when Vinaigrette was the winner. The race is a perennial factor in divisional honors, with recent champions Ashado (2004), Rags to Riches (2007), Proud Spell (2008), and Rachel Alexandra having won this race.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32109 Followers:37
05/01/2014 03:53 PM

Jerkens concerned about No. 20 post for Wicked Strong

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trainer Jimmy Jerkens was enjoying his first Kentucky Derby experience until Wednesday’s post-position draw, where his Wood Memorial winner, Wicked Strong, was assigned post 20 for Saturday’s 140th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.

“I didn’t like it,” Jerkens said afterward. “At least you got a long run to the first turn.”

Since 1930, there have been 14 horses to break from post 20 in the Derby, with Big Brown in 2008 the only one to win from there. Caveat, in 1983, was the only other horse to finish in the top three.

On television, the retired Hall of Fame jockey and current racing analyst Jerry Bailey said the post might not be so bad considering that Wicked Strong comes from well off the pace.

“Like Jerry was saying, if the speed is quick and they might get to rolling in a clump, he can draft in behind them, and it will work out okay,” Jerkens said.

The one positive for Wicked Strong is that he, along with Wildcat Red, who drew post 10, will be the last of the 20 horses to load, so he won’t have to stand in the gate very long. However, in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Wicked Strong had issues behind the gate prior to that race and ultimately finished ninth.

[DRF Live: Get live reports and handicapping insights from Churchill Downs on Saturday]

“That’s a concern,” Jerkens said. “He’ll be behind the gate a long time, but for a 20-horse field, they usually get ‘em loaded pretty quick. I don’t know, I’m trying to convince myself it’s not a bad post, but I don’t know if I can.”

Rajiv Maragh will ride Wicked Strong.

During the one-hour draw telecast, jockey Edgar Prado texted Jerkens with the word “perfect” to describe his reaction to the draw. Prado, who is sidelined with a neck injury, rode Wicked Strong to a maiden victory at Belmont Park last October.

“I said, ‘Are you kidding me,’ ” Jerkens said. “He said, ‘Absolutely perfect.’ I said, ‘Okay, I hope you’re right.’ ”

Due to the draw, Mike Battaglia, the oddsmaker at Churchill Downs, dropped Wicked Strong from second choice to third choice at 8-1 behind Hoppertunity, who drew post 10 and was made the 6-1 second choice behind California Chrome (5-2).

:: KENTUCKY DERBY: Posts, odds, and comments

Mike Watchmaker, the national handicapper for Daily Racing Form, kept Wicked Strong as the second choice at 8-1, ahead of Hoppertunity (10-1).

Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert said the No. 20 post for Wicked Strong might not be so bad.

“Sometimes it can help you because you can be in the middle, and it could be a complete wreck in the middle, and at least he’s going to be free of a lot of stuff if it happens,” Baffert said.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32109 Followers:37
05/01/2014 03:55 PM

Hoppertunity scratched from Kentucky Derby due to foot issue

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Hoppertunity, runner-up to California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby and winner of the Rebel Stakes, was scratched from the Kentucky Derby on Thursday morning because of an issue with his left front foot, trainer Bob Baffert said.

Baffert said he suspects that Hoppertunity merely has a foot bruise, but, for precautionary reasons, he is sending Hoppertunity to the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., for a full evaluation with noted veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage.

Baffert said that if Hoppertunity’s problem is limited to the foot bruise, and the bruise heals quickly, he could be ready to run in the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, on May 17 at Pimlico.

“He had to be 100 percent. I don’t feel good about it,” Baffert said. “I’m pretty sure it’s the foot. It needs a couple of days to soak in hot water and Epsom salts. We ran out of time. We have to get him right. He’s not 100 percent this morning. It’s too close to the race, so I pulled the plug.”

:: KENTUCKY DERBY: Posts, odds, and comments

Hoppertunity had his final work for the Derby on Monday, on a morning when heavy rain hit the area and left the track very sloppy. Hoppertunity walked on Tuesday, then jogged on Wednesday, at which time Baffert said he first noticed Hoppertunity was slightly off on the inside quarter of the left front foot. The portion of the shoe covering that area was cut away, or “three-quartered,” after training on Wednesday, Baffert said.

Baffert said when Hoppertunity schooled in the paddock on Wednesday, and returned to the barn for a brief jog, he seemed fine.

But on Thursday morning, Hoppertunity was again slightly off during his pre-training jog at the barn. And even though Baffert said Hoppertunity seemed to be “warming out of it,” Baffert said he did not feel comfortable pressing on. So, Baffert kept Hoppertunity off the track Thursday morning, then announced the scratch.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32109 Followers:37
05/01/2014 04:10 PM

Kentucky Derby: Little guys have big shot with California Chrome

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Horse racing long has been known as the Sport of Kings, but it truly is one of the few places where some of the wealthiest people in the world routinely mingle with an income strata far below, where a billionaire will think nothing of asking a destitute tout who he likes in the fifth.

The Kentucky Derby has proven to be a great equalizer over the years. Old money won last year, when Orb brought the Phipps family its first Derby victory. That came on the 10-year anniversary of Funny Cide, who was owned by 10 friends from upstate New York who arrived at Churchill Downs in a yellow school bus.

This year’s Derby, run for 140th time on Saturday, is proof that no matter how much money you spend, or how many horses you have, fate can reward anyone.

[DRF Live: Get live reports and handicapping insights from Churchill Downs on Saturday]

Ride On Curlin is trained by Billy Gowan, who has exactly three horses in his care, one fewer than the four high-powered Todd Pletcher will run the Derby alone.

Medal Count is owned by B. Wayne Hughes, a regular resident in the Fortune 400 owing to the success of his well-known company, Public Storage. He has an estimated net worth of $2.2 billion, according to Forbes.

Samraat is owned by Len Riggio, the founder and chairman of chain booksellers Barnes and Noble, a Fortune 500 company.

:: KENTUCKY DERBY: Posts, odds, and comments

But the horse to beat in this Derby is from a one-horse stable of a couple of working folks – Steve Coburn and Perry Martin – who live on either side of the California-Nevada border near Reno. They bred their $8,000 mare to a $2,500 stallion – a decision that prompted a friend to call them “dumb asses,” and which they used as inspiration for their silks, on which there is the abbreviation “DAP,” for Dumb-Ass Partners.

That mating produced a colt, and before that colt ever ran, they sent an e-mail to trainer Art Sherman that was headlined “Road to the Derby,” which Sherman said he found a bit ambitious.

Yet here they all are, having passed every mile marker on that road, with the morning-line favorite for the Derby in California Chrome.

“It’s like a storybook kind of thing,” Sherman said the other morning. “It gives everyone the idea that they’ve got a chance.”

California Chrome’s backstory undoubtedly has fueled his popularity, but it’s his race record that will make him the betting favorite. He has won four straight races, all in concert with jockey Victor Espinoza, most recently a runaway in the Santa Anita Derby.

For this storybook to have the happiest ending, though, California Chrome will have to outrun as many as 19 rivals, and will have to negotiate 1 1/4 miles for the first time in his first start outside his native state of California.

The potholes that can cause a Derby travelogue to end prematurely claimed a horse on Thursday, when Hoppertunity, runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby, was scratched from the race with an issue to his left front foot, which trainer Bob Baffert believes to be merely a foot bruise.

There were 21 horses entered in the Derby on Wednesday, but the starting field is limited to 20. So, Pablo Del Monte was placed on the also-eligible list, and the scratch of Hoppertunity allows Pablo Del Monte to move into the field. He would start from the outside post.

Hoppertunity drew post 11, so if Pablo Del Monte runs, those originally in posts 12 through 20 would move in one stall in the starting gate. However, if the connections of Pablo Del Monte decide to pass, and 19 run, the inside stall in the gate would be left open, and the 19 runners would go from posts 2 through 20.

Hoppertunity was the original second choice on the morning line of Mike Battaglia of Churchill Downs, who now has Wicked Strong as his second choice. Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form ’s national handicapper, had Wicked Strong as the second choice in his original line, with Hoppertunity as his third choice. Both have California Chrome as the favorite.

California Chrome’s saga is one of several compelling story lines in this Derby.

Wicked Strong was named by his Boston-based ownership group, Centennial Farms, to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Some survivors of that attack are scheduled to be at this Derby, as guests of the owners.

Vinceremos is named after a therapeutic riding center in Florida that works with children and adults with physical and emotional disabilities. A young child who attends the center, and who has become a fan of the horse Vinceremos, will attend the Derby as guests of his owners, WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing.

We Miss Artie was named by owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey in honor of a family member in Michigan who died two years ago.

Uncle Sigh is owned by Chip McEwen, who named his racing stable Wounded Warrior Stables and donates 10 percent of his earnings to wounded vets.

Irad Ortiz Jr., the rider of Uncle Sigh, and his brother Jose, who rides Samraat, will become the first brothers to ride in the Derby since Eddie and Sam Maple in 1984.

Joel Rosario, the jockey on General a Rod, won last year’s Derby on Orb and is seeking to become the first jockey to win consecutive Derbies since Calvin Borel in 2009-10.

There’s a bit of mirth to this Derby. Danza was named in honor of the actor Tony Danza, who has embraced the sudden celebrity of the horse and cheerfully accepted an offer from the colt’s owners, Eclipse Thoroughbreds, to attend the Derby. There is no truth to the rumor that if Danza wins, the new giant video board on the backstretch here will play episodes of “Who’s the Boss” on a loop.

And there’s a bit of tension in this Derby regarding Tapiture, and his trainer Steve Asmussen, who was accused by The New York Times, and an accompanying video by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, of not caring properly for his horses. Asmussen has become a lightning rod in the sport, with camps as varied as the chairman of the Jockey Club insisting he not even show up this week, to those who believe Asmussen deserves due process and has done nothing illegal.

That is the background under which this Derby will be contested. It might not be the strongest or deepest field, but it is a part of the great American fabric, a spectacle as much as a race. Only a dumb ass would miss it.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32109 Followers:37
05/01/2014 04:12 PM

Hovdey: California Chrome carrying state's hopes and dreams

In his preview of the 1958 Kentucky Derby for Sports Illustrated, Whitney Tower took a step back from the hoopla surrounding the exciting California favorite to shed a little calm on the proceedings.

“Silky’s accomplishments, belittled in some quarters, exaggerated in others, have placed him in the unique position of being a full-fledged hero before his supreme trial,” Tower wrote. “As a California phenomenon – in a land where phenomena are not uncommon – Silky Sullivan is more popular than the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants and even, as one Santa Anita regular dared to suggest recently, ‘more popular than Swaps ever was.’ ”

In a way, it is comforting to realize that all things pertaining to the Kentucky Derby were just as insanely exaggerated 56 years ago as they are in 2014. The social media of that bygone era – better known then as newspapers, corner bars and a smattering of network TV – were captivated heart and soul by the stretch-running chestnut from the West. Silky Sullivan was the California Chrome of his day, saddled with expectations of nothing less than a triumphant flight down the stretch at Churchill Downs.

This reporter was a budding fan at the time, glued to his grandfather’s side as the images of the 84th Kentucky Derby flickered in black and white on the set in our living room in a St. Louis suburb. We were hidebound Californians, temporarily displaced by a father’s job opportunity, and the sight of a Thoroughbred hero from back home must have addled my 7-year-old brain. I couldn’t wait to watch Silky mow them down, but my grandfather, who knew the score, patiently explained that there was a horse in the field named Tim Tam who was every bit the equal of my California flash.

Tim Tam walked his beat, handling Lincoln Road by a half-length, while Silky Sullivan floundered in the Kentucky mud and finished up the track. So began my slow descent into dark cynicism and disappointment, tempered only by our return the following year to Southern California and a Dodgers victory in the ’59 World Series. The things you don’t forget.

Like Silky Sullivan, California Chrome has come to mean more than he ever should. Think he’s carrying only 126 pounds and Victor Espinoza on Saturday against Wicked Strong, Danza, Tapiture, and Candy Boy? Think again.

His picture hangs in the state capitol building. His birthplace has become a shrine. Santa Anita management is turning the track into a Chrome Zone on Saturday to take advantage of its favorite son, while Los Alamitos, where California Chrome trains, has done everything but paint the grandstand red.

There are delegations of Californians in Louisville this week, hoping against hope that California Chrome can single-handedly jump-start a racing renaissance in the West. Racing elsewhere might be troubled with issues like medication, takeout, and undercover videos. In California, they’re basically trying to figure out where racing will be presented from one week to the next, and if anyone will show up.

Still, California Chrome has no one to blame but himself. In a racing scene now shrunken to fit every iPad and cellphone, his record this year speaks loudly to all constituencies.

“If California Chrome runs 90 percent of the race he ran in the Santa Anita Derby, he’ll win,” said Chris McCarron, who won the Kentucky Derby twice. “Victor never told the horse to run. All he did was ask him to run. When he pushed the button at the five-sixteenths pole, he put those horses away. I could tell by Victor’s movements that he felt a tremendous turn of foot. He went the last eighth of a mile in 12 and 2, geared down. It was without a doubt the most impressive Derby prep race I saw this year.”

In the eye of this storm of expectations stands Art Sherman, California Chrome’s trainer and protector. Now 36 years removed from his life as a jockey, Sherman still can’t watch one of his horses run without imagining what it’s like to be perched in the saddle, racing hell-bent down the stretch, the wind and sand lashing his face as the Thoroughbred beneath him pounds out a beat that shakes a rider to his very soul.

“I wish everyone could have that feeling, just once,” Sherman said.

On Saturday at Churchill Downs, as California Chrome does his thing, Sherman will be somewhere in the stands, his eyes glued to a television screen. His guts will be churning, his hands busy, his brain on fire – a helpless witness to events suddenly far beyond his control.

“I love this colt, and I love where he’s taken us,” Sherman said before he left for Kentucky. “But the most important thing to me is keeping him sound and healthy. If the Derby is meant to be, it will be.”

This is hardly the message horseplayers want to hear before they leap into the Derby pools. But maybe it is the perfect spirit necessary to rise above the “Hunger Games” atmosphere that has come to surround the Derby, with its thirst for loud spectacle, its corporate calculation, its video board you can see from Alaska. Surviving the Derby has become an accomplishment every bit as significant as winning it.

“If, in reality, he is a hobo masquerading at Churchill Downs with false credentials, he will be quickly put in his place by the likes of Tim Tam and Jewel’s Reward,” Tower wrote of Silky Sullivan. “But, even should this happen, the Silky fans will probably not take to swigging hemlock. For the Silk Man has already made the first part of the 1958 racing season – and win or lose next Saturday, this one will always go down as Silky’s Derby. It can be no other way.”

Win or lose, this one will always go down as Chrome’s Derby. It can be no other way.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32109 Followers:37
05/01/2014 04:15 PM

Andrew Beyer: Wicked Strong coming to hand at right time

Since 20-horse fields have become the norm in the Kentucky Derby, America’s most famous race also is its most inscrutable race. It has produced many surprising winners and some who defy comprehension, such as 50-1 shots Mine That Bird in 2009 and Giacomo in 2005. It is so contentious that no horse in the last four years has gone to the post at odds of less than 4-1.

But the 140th Derby appears to be different. It will have a clear-cut favorite in California Chrome, the winner of four straight stakes by a total of 24 1/4 lengths. In my opinion, it’s basically a two-horse race between California Chrome and Wicked Strong.

The field lacks depth because so many talented colts have been sidelined or retired due to injury or illness. The top three 2-year-olds in last year’s Eclipse Award voting – Shared Belief, New Year’s Day, and Havana – have not raced in 2014.

Other outstanding 3-year-olds – including Honor Code, Cairo Prince, and the undefeated Constitution – have been knocked out of action in the last few weeks. In their absence, many horses with little chance to win have qualified for a spot in the starting gate.

In an era when Thoroughbreds are more fragile than their forebears and trainers campaign them sparingly, California Chrome is a throwback. His 77-year-old trainer, Art Sherman, remembers the old days – in 1955, he was the exercise rider for the great horse Swaps and traveled with him in a railroad boxcar to Louisville.

He has managed California Chrome as if this were 1955, running him 10 times coming into the Derby, more than any other starter. There are no doubts about California Chrome’s seasoning and fitness.

The humbly bred colt was no prodigy, but he has developed into a full-fledged star in the last two months, running away with the San Felipe Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby. He dominated a strong crop of California 3-year-olds who confirmed their merit when they raced outside of their home state. The Bob Baffert-trained Hoppertunity beat the best Arkansas-based 3-year-olds in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, but California Chrome trounced him in the Santa Anita Derby.

California Chrome is quick. He’s not a one-dimensional front-runner, but in his last two victories he was on or near the lead over a racetrack that favored horses with his style. (On the day of the Santa Anita Derby, six of the seven dirt races were won by horses who took a clear lead or dueled for the lead.)

In the Kentucky Derby, however, horses racing at the front of the pack are often at a disadvantage. As jockeys on speedsters hustle from the gate to secure a good position, the early pace of the Derby can be so fast that every horse near the lead weakens. (That’s what happened in 2013, when Orb rallied from 17th place to win.)

The pace scenario is hard to predict this year, but there are plenty of quick horses besides California Chrome – notably Chitu, General a Rod, Wildcat Red, and Uncle Sigh – who could produce a suicidal pace.

The favorite’s prospects at 1 1/4 miles also are uncertain. For much of Derby history, pedigree was a crucial factor; horses needed the right genes to succeed at 10 furlongs. In recent years, this requirement has diminished in importance. Nevertheless, California Chrome’s bloodlines are unusually weak. His sire, Lucky Pulpit, never won a race longer than 5 1/2 furlongs.

Wicked Strong has a solid distance-running pedigree and an ideal style for the Derby. He rallied from sixth place to win his most recent start, the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, by 3 1/2 lengths.

That effort came after two poor performances in Florida, and some handicappers might dismiss it as a fluke. But last fall in the Remsen Stakes, Wicked Strong showed that he was among the best of his generation. The Remsen was run with a ridiculously slow pace – the leaders crawled through the first six furlongs in 1:17.56. It’s difficult for any horse to rally under such circumstances, but Wicked Strong was gaining on Honor Code and Cairo Prince in the stretch and lost to them by only a half-length. Both of those colts would have been leading Derby contenders if they had stayed healthy.

In the Wood Memorial, Wicked Strong belatedly lived up to the promise he showed as a 2-year-old. His Beyer Speed Figure of 104 wasn’t quite as good as California Chrome’s last two performances (107 and 108), but it was superior to other contenders who will be coming from behind – Danza, Intense Holiday, and Candy Boy. He drew post No. 20, but outside posts have not been a disadvantage in 20-horse fields. With the pace and the distance of the Derby likely to work against the favorite, Wicked Strong is the horse to bet.

My selections: 1) Wicked Strong; 2) California Chrome; 3) Candy Boy.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32109 Followers:37
05/02/2014 02:20 AM

Derby Contenders - Part I

April 29, 2014

Welcome to “Anthony’s Eleven,” your source for anything and everything leading up to Kentucky Derby 140 on May 3rd at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. In the coming weeks, Anthony Stabile, best known for picking 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide at odds of over 12-1, will break down the top contenders for this years Run for the Roses on, culminating on Friday, May 2nd with an extensive analysis of every runner that steps into the gate for the most exciting two minutes in sports. On both May 2nd and May 3rd, Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day, you’ll be able to purchase Stabile’s Pick Packs, full of selections and plays for two of racings’ most exciting days of the year.

Part II


TRAINER: Art Sherman (Debut)
JOCKEY: Victor Espinoza (1 for 5)

RUNNING STYLE: On or close to the lead.

AS A JUVENILE: It’s pretty safe to say you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that would have thought he’d be your 2014 Kentucky Derby favorite at the end of 2013. He did win three of seven starts but all of his wins came against California breds over synthetic surfaces and he was off the board in both of his starts against open company as well as his lone start going two turns, which was his conventional dirt debut. He closed out the season on a high note, winning a Cal-bred stakes in his first start with Victor Espinoza in the saddle

THIS YEAR: In a word, perfection. He’s been unmatched and undefeated in three starts, winning by a combined 18 lengths. He led all sophomores with 150 Derby points.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Santa Anita Derby-G1 at SA 1st by 5 ¼ 106 107
1 1/16m, dirt, San Felipe-G2 at SA 1st by 7 ¼ 102 108
1 1/16m, dirt, Cal Cup Derby at SA 1st by 5 ½ 94 88

CONNECTIONS: The now 77-year-old Sherman was the exercise rider and rode the train from California with 1955 Derby winner Swaps, coincidentally your last Cal-bred winner of the roses. Espinoza won the 2002 renewal with War Emblem.

WORTH NOTING: It’s been said he’s not the best shipper. This will be his first start outside of CA and he isn’t scheduled to arrive in Louisville until Monday or Tuesday of Derby week.

FAIR PRICE: He’ll be the overwhelming favorite…..easily half the price of the second choice. If you’re a fan, I wouldn’t bet him to win at anything less than 3-1


TRAINER: Peter Eurton (Debut)
JOCKEY: Corey Nakatani (0 for 16)

RUNNING STYLE: Closes from mid-pack

AS A JUVENILE: A winner of just one of five starts, he did finish second in consecutive grade 1 races, the Del Futurity on synthetic and Front Runner at Santa Anita on dirt, before closing out the season with a dull try in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after getting bothered at the start of the race.

THIS YEAR: In a word, non-conforming. He’s run three times this year, twice over synthetics, including a hard charging win in the Blue Grass last out and once on turf, hardly a traditional way to get to Louisville on the first Saturday in May.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, synth, Blue Grass-G1 at KEE 1st by 1 ¾ 99 97
1 1/8m, synth, El Camino Real Dby-G3 at GG 2nd by ½ 89 90
1 mile, turf, opt cl/alw at SA 1st by 1 ¾ 88 83

CONNECTIONS: Considered by some to be the best active rider to have never won a Derby, this will be Nakatani’s 17th try while Eurton is taking his first crack at it. Speaking of Eurton, he’s a solid if not spectacular trainer on the West Coast that usually hits at around 17%

WORTH NOTING: Winless in his two starts over conventional dirt, connections were non-committal as to running after the Blue Grass score stating that was indeed the race they had circled on their calendar this spring.

FAIR PRICE: I know those 108 Derby points look great on paper but don’t let them fool you as they were almost exclusively earned in the Blue Grass last out over the Polytrack. If you like this guy anyway, you shouldn’t accept anything less than 18-1


TRAINER: Mike Maker (0 for 5)
JOCKEY: Rosie Napravnik (0 for 2)

RUNNING STYLE: On or close to the lead.

AS A JUVENILE: Third in his debut over the Keeneland Polytrack in a sprint, he broke his maiden emphatically by 13 lengths off of a two month break in mid-December going six furlongs over a course labeled good in 1:10 3/5.

THIS YEAR: In a word, consistent. A couple of convincing scores in the LeComte and most recently in the Louisiana Derby sandwich a troubled trip third as the tepid favorite in the Risen Star in which he was caught extremely wide the entire way from post 13.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Louisiana Derby-G2 at FG 1st by 3 ½ 104 97
1 1/16m, dirt, Risen Star-G2 at FG 3rd by 5 ½ 92 87
1m70yds, dirt, LeComte at FG 1st by 6 ¾ 88 97

CONNECTIONS: One of three that trainer Maker has pointed to the race. One of two that owner Ken Ramsey has pointed to the race. Since the beginning of 2013, Maker and Napravnik have teamed up to win at a solid 26%.

WORTH NOTING: Napravnik is married to one of Maker’s top assistants, Joe Sharp and is looking to become the first female rider to win the Derby.

FAIR PRICE: Wouldn’t be surprised to see this one vying for second favoritism based on his consistency and daylight score last out. He’ll also take money due to the presence of Rosie. With that said, I still think you’ll get and should demand 8-1.


TRAINER: Rick Violette, Jr. (0 for 1)
JOCKEY: Jose Ortiz (Debut)

RUNNING STYLE: Stalking to just off the pace

AS A JUVENILE: A perfect three for three with all of his wins coming against fellow New York breds, Samraat won by a combined 25 ¾ lengths, including a 16 ¾ length thrashing of the Damon Runyon.

THIS YEAR: In a word, consistent, one of the, if not THE best word when it comes to the Derby Trail. Had trouble shaking fellow statebred Uncle Sigh in his two stakes wins this year but followed them up with arguably his best effort when rerallying to grab the place money in the G1 Wood Memorial in his latest.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Wood Memorial-G1 at AQU 2nd by 3 ½ 99 98
1 1/16m, dirt, Gotham-G3 at AQU 1st by nk 99 96
1 1/16m, dirt, Withers-G3 at AQU 1st by 1 99 94

CONNECTIONS: Violette has been an important part of the training landscape in both New York and Florida for many years while Ortiz has quickly established himself as one of the top riders in New York, the toughest jocks colony in the country.

WORTH NOTING: Jose’s brother Irad Jr. is scheduled to ride Samraat’s rival and fellow New York bred Uncle Sigh in the Derby. They’ll be the first brothers to ride against each other for the roses since Sam and Eddie Maple did so 30 years ago in 1984.

FAIR PRICE: It’s amazing what a single loss can do. If he’d have won the Wood Memorial he would have been unbeaten in six starts and easily the second choice. Now, you hardly hear a word about him, which is a good thing if you’re a fan because you’re likely looking at a juicy 15-1 or so now.


TRAINER: Jimmy Jerkens (Debut)
JOCKEY: Rajiv Maragh (0 for 3)

RUNNING STYLE: Closes from mid-pack

AS A JUVENILE: A second place finish in the slop in his debut was followed up by an impressive maiden score when stretching out to a mile against a highly regarded field. He closed out the season with a tenacious third place finish in the G2 Remsen behind a couple of Derby Trail casualties in Honor Code and Cairo Prince.

THIS YEAR: In a word, surprising. A buzz horse coming into the season, he was quickly dismissed by many after an abysmal run in the G2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream. A fourth place finish in an ultra-tough allowance contest that yielded G1 Florida Derby winner Constitution restored his connections’ faith a little bit. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens convinced the owners to go on to the G1 Wood Memorial and they were rewarded with a rousing score over a pair of undefeated colts in Samraat and Social Inclusion.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Wood Memorial-G1 at AQU 1st by 3 ½ 103 104
1 1/16m, dirt, opt cl/alw at GP 4th by 6 ½ 89 87
1 1/16m, dirt, Holy Bull-G2 at GP 9th by 15 ¾ 80 67

CONNECTIONS: Back in 2009, Jerkens had the favorite going into Derby week with Quality Road but was forced to withdraw early on in the week due to a quarter crack problem that plagued him throughout his career. Maragh has ridden in the event three times and is arguably riding in the best shape of his career.

WORTH NOTING: Named after the city of Boston and the thousands of men and women who responded to and survived the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013.

FAIR PRICE: Another who very well could vie for second favoritism based on his big run in the Wood Memorial I’d say 7-1 is about what you should expect on him.


TRAINER: Todd Pletcher (1 for 36)
JOCKEY: Joe Bravo (0 for 2)

RUNNING STYLE: Just off the pace

AS A JUVENILE: A hard fought debut score after dueling throughout at Saratoga followed by a third place finish in the G2 Saratoga Special in which he changed tactics and came running late from the back of the pack.

THIS YEAR: In a word, meteoric. He finished third off of a six and half month layoff behind more heralded stablemate Anchor Down before his connections decided on the G1 Arkansas Derby over the G1 Blue Grass because he probably wouldn’t have made the field in what was an already overfilled Blue Grass. The result: a monstrous score in the crown jewel of the Oaklawn Park meeting.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Arkansas Derby-G1 at OP 1st by 4 ¾ 104 102
7 fur, dirt, opt cl/alw at GP 3rd by 7 ½ 87 79
6 ½ fur, dirt, Saratoga Special-G2 at SAR 3rd by ½ 96 81

CONNECTIONS: Pletcher of course is famously battling his 1 for 36 mark in America’s greatest race while Bravo has had very little experience here. Throughout the year Pletcher will use Bravo as a second tier guy behind Velazquez and Castellano and to go out of town for stakes, hence Bravo riding Danza last out.

WORTH NOTING: Connections are trying to get actor/comedian Tony Danza to the Derby.

FAIR PRICE: A tricky question to answer since you just got Pletcher at $84!!! I can see him taking money simply because of that and the fact that he was running late in the game. You still need to get 20-1 on this colt.


TRAINER: Bob Baffert (3 for 23)
JOCKEY: Mike Smith (1 for 20)

RUNNING STYLE: Just off the pace

AS A JUVENILE: He was unraced, which means he will be looking to become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without running as a juvenile.

THIS YEAR: In a word, spotty. When he wins, he looks like a solid racehorse, like he did in his maiden tally and through the stretch of a roughly run Rebel which he gutted out. But when he doesn’t win, he looks ordinary at best, as evident by his fourth place finish in the Risen Star. Last out looked like a quintessential prep as I don’t believe he was persevered with whatsoever.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Santa Anita Dby-G1 at SA 2nd by 5 ¼ 100 98
1 1/16m, dirt, Rebel-G2 at OP 1st by ½ 99 100
1 1/16m, dirt, Risen Star-G2 at FG 4th by 7 90 85

CONNECTIONS: Both know what it’s like to wear the roses and almost pulled it off as a team in 2012 with Bodemeister who finished a tough luck second. Baffert won this in ’97 with Silver Charm, ’98 with Real Quiet and ’02 with War Emblem while Smith shocked the world with 50-1 Giacomo in ’05. Together they win plenty of races out in California and across the country, most famously with Game On Dude.

WORTH NOTING: Perhaps trying to play catch-up for lack of a juvenile campaign, this will be Hoppertunity’s sixth start of the year and third trip out of California.

FAIR PRICE: If it wasn’t for the aforementioned “Curse of Apollo” I’m pretty sure he’d be your clear cut second choice. But with that looming over his head as well as a long sophomore campaign just to get into the Derby I’m thinking you need 8-1 on him.


TRAINER: Todd Pletcher (1 for 36)
JOCKEY: John Velazquez (1 for 15)

RUNNING STYLE: Closes from the back of the pack

AS A JUVENILE: After breaking his maiden at second asking in his first start around two turns, Intense Holiday ran off the board in a series of stakes – G1 Champagne, G2 Nashua and G2 Remsen – while always putting in somewhat of a menacing run.

THIS YEAR: It looked like we were going to be seeing more of the 2013 version of this colt when he finished third, complete with a “sneaky good” move in the G2 Holy Bull. But that long stretch at the Fair Grounds brought the best out of him as he qualified for the Derby with an exciting rally from far back to win the G2 Risen Star in the last strides. He appeared tired when he hit the rail in mid-stretch last out in the G1 Louisiana Derby but still managed to hold the place.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Louisiana Derby-G2 at FG 2nd by 3 ½ 100 91
1 1/16m, dirt, Risen Star-G2 at FG 1st by no 99 97
1 1/16m, dirt, Holy Bull-G2 at GP 3rd by 6 ¼ 91 84

CONNECTIONS: Arguably the most prolific trainer/jockey combo of the past 20 years, they’ve each won the roses but haven’t done it together. Pletcher won it in 2010 with Super Saver while Velazquez grabbed the money the following year with Animal Kingdom. Though Javier Castellano rides his share of the barn, Johnny V. is still one of the main guys in Pletcher’s barn.

WORTH NOTING: Owner Starlight Racing is enjoying this springtime as they not only have this guy in the Derby but their first “big horse,” Ashado, was just announced as an inductee into the National Museum and Hall of Fame this summer at Saratoga. Ashado was trained and ridden by Pletcher and Velazquez.

FAIR PRICE: I can’t put my finger on it but we really haven’t heard much buzz from the Fair Grounds Derby contingent this season. With that said, you’ll probably be able to get anywhere from 15-1 to 20-1 on him.


TRAINER: Jose Garoffalo (Debut)
JOCKEY: Luis Saez (0 for 1)

RUNNING STYLE: On or close to the lead.

AS A JUVENILE: He hit the wire first in all three of his starts but was disqualified from his third and final win of the year in a Florida bred stakes race for bearing out in the stretch.

THIS YEAR: In a word, consistent. He lost the Gulfstream Park Derby by a head, galloped home clear in the G3 Hutcheson, won the G2 Fountain of Youth by a desperate head over rival General a Rod then just missed by a neck last out when his rider John Velazquez let the winner, Constitution, up the rail for the neck victory.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Florida Derby-G1 at GP 2nd by nk 97 99
1 1/16m, dirt, Fountain of Youth G2 at GP 1st by hd 100 101
7 fur, dirt, Hutcheson-G3 at G P 1st by 4 ¾ 97 96

CONNECTIONS: Garoffalo is new to the big stage but has done a fine job in Florida while Saez winds up here after losing his Derby horse, Cairo Prince, to an ankle chip. The two did team up to win the Fountain of Youth.

WORTH NOTING: For a horse as consistent as he is, he’s four for seven in his career with three seconds, he’s had a tough time keeping a rider on his back. In fact, this will be the first time in five starts this year that he’ll be ridden by a jockey who’s already been aboard.

FAIR PRICE: I haven’t seen too many horses this year, or ever frankly, that love getting into a dogfight as much as this guy. And he gets into plenty of them. While that’s a great quality, especially in a race like this, you’re still going to need to command value on a horse like him. 18-1 is the least you can take.


TRAINER: Billy Gowan (Debut)
JOCKEY: Calvin Borel (3 for 11)

RUNNING STYLE: Settles in mid-pack and makes one run.

AS A JUVENILE: After breaking his record in track record time second out at Ellis Park, it was strictly stakes competition in his final three starts of the year. A fourth place finish in the G3 Iroquois at Churchill was followed up by a fantastic effort in the G1 Champagne where he was third behind Havana and Honor Code and a third place finish in the Street Sense at Churchill.

THIS YEAR: In a word, frustrating. He started the year with an easy allowance score but then had a strange strip in the G3 Southwest when he was 8 wide, wasn’t ridden as aggressively as he should have been when third in a roughly run G2 Rebel then finally was able to work out a decent trip and make a solid run for the place money, and more importantly, place Derby points, last out in the G1 Arkansas Derby.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Arkansas Derby-G1 at OP 2nd by 4 ¾ 99 94
1 1/16m, dirt, Rebel-G2 at OP 3 by 1 98 98
1 1/16m, dirt, Southwest-G3 at OP 3 by 10 ¼ 87 80

CONNECTIONS: Local boy Billy Gowan is looking to fulfill every Kentucky trainers’ lifelong dream in his debut and we all know about Borel’s exploits in the race, winning three of these in four years with Street Sense in ’07, Mine That Bird in ’09 and Super Saver in 2010.

WORTH NOTING: His owner, Dan Dougherty, is a Louisville native and local furniture store owner. A Louisville resident hasn’t won the Derby in over 100 years.

FAIR PRICE: The words “fair price” and “Calvin Borel” will never be compatible in a sentence regarding the Kentucky Derby ever again. Still, I think he’ll get lost in the shuffle enough where you’ll get the 20-1 you should get on him. He’d be 5-10 points higher with another jock.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32109 Followers:37
05/02/2014 02:23 AM

Derby Contenders - Part II

April 29, 2014

Welcome to “Anthony’s Eleven,” your source for anything and everything leading up to Kentucky Derby 140 on May 3rd at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. In the coming weeks, Anthony Stabile, best known for picking 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide at odds of over 12-1, will break down the top contenders for this years Run for the Roses on, culminating on Friday, May 2nd with an extensive analysis of every runner that steps into the gate for the most exciting two minutes in sports. On both May 2nd and May 3rd, Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day, you’ll be able to purchase Stabile’s Pick Packs, full of selections and plays for two of racings’ most exciting days of the year.

Part I


TRAINER: Todd Pletcher (1 for 36)
JOCKEY: Javier Castellano (0 for 7)

RUNNING STYLE: He’s a one run closer.

AS A JUVENILE: In five starts, he tried every surface with his best effort coming over the Keeneland Polytrack when he scored in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity in a driving rainstorm. Second in his debut on dirt, he ended the year with an off the board finish in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He also went one for two on the turf.

THIS YEAR: In a word, boggling, as in its boggling to think he is running in the Derby. He’s run three times: a bang up second in the Kitten’s Joy on the turf to start the year, an abysmal performance in the G2 Fountain of Youth on dirt and a last to first score in his latest, the G3 Spiral at Turfway over their synthetic surface. The dirt race is the lone blemish.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, synth, Spiral-G3 at TP 1st by ns 93 85
1 1/16m, dirt, Fountain of Youth G2 at GP 8th by 17 ½ 80 70
1 1/16m, turf, Kitten’s Joy at GP 2nd by hd 94 89

CONNECTIONS: Pletcher has to hear about his record in here continuously for three months each time this year while Castellano, for all he’s accomplished, hasn’t really come close. Together they’re winning at OVER 35% this year alone.

WORTH NOTING: After his workout on the dirt at Churchill on Sunday, April 27. Pletcher said it was his worst dirt work ever and that he’d talk with the owner, Ken Ramsey, before going forward with running in the Derby. Ramsey later said the horse would run as long as there wasn’t anything physically wrong with him.

FAIR PRICE: He’s never missed being in the exacta on turf or synthetics, he’s 0 for 3 on the dirt. Combine that with events of this past weekend and you have to get at least 30-1 on him despite his high profile trainer/jockey combo.


TRAINER: Bob Baffert (3 for 23)
JOCKEY: Martin Garcia (0 for 2)

RUNNING STYLE: On or close to the lead.

AS A JUVENILE: On December 7, Chitu broke his maiden at first asking over the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park by 1 ¼ lengths going 6 furlongs. Less than three week later, he came back to grind out an optional claimer/allowance contest by half a length going the same six furlongs.

THIS YEAR: In a word, under-raced. He raced fairly evenly despite making the lead briefly in the stretch when second in the G2 Robert Lewis then sat just off the early leader in the G3 Sunland Park Derby en route to a 2 ¼ length score over stablemate Midnight Hawk.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Sunland Park Derby-G3 at SP 1 by 2 ¼ 103 102
1 1/16m, dirt, Robert Lewis-G2 at SA 2 by ½ 96 95
6 fur, dirt, opt cl/alw at SA 1 by ½ 89 92

CONNECTIONS: Baffert has won three with Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem in 1997, 1998 and 2002 respectively and though Garcia hasn’t had much Derby experience, he is one of Baffert’s go-to guys and they did team up to win, amongst other big races, the 2010 Preakness with Lookin at Lucky.

WORTH NOTING: Chitu lost a protective shoe he’s been wearing to battle a minor foot problem during his last work this past weekend at Churchill.

FAIR PRICE: Baffert is another “trigger” name for the bettors that only wager on big days so it’s almost always impossible to get the right price on his horses. He SHOULD be 25-1 but don’t expect it.


TRAINER: Steve Asmussen (0 for 12)
JOCKEY: Ricardo Santana, Jr. (Debut)

RUNNING STYLE: Stalks from just off the pace.

AS A JUVENILE: It took him four tries to break his maiden but when he did he did it in fine fashion with a 4 ¼ length romp in the G2 KJC at Churchill. Earlier in the season he was third in the G3 Iroquois and hit th board in a pair of maiden special weight races.

THIS YEAR: In a word, underachieving. Sure, he started the season with a daylight score in the G3 Southwest, immediately stamping himself a major player in the division. But since, he got bullied around in the stretch of the G2 Rebel and barely raised his hooves in the G1 Arkansas Derby in one of the more mind-boggling performances of the prep season.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Arkansas Derby-G1 at OP 4th by 7 ½ 96 90
1 1/16m, dirt, Rebel-G2 at OP 2nd by ½ 99 99
1 1/16m, dirt, Southwest-G3 at OP 1st by 4 ½ 99 98

CONNECTIONS: Asmussen has been here before with some big chances, namely Curlin, but hasn’t been able to get the job done while Santana is new to this big scene. Throughout the year, the duo team up regularly and after a failed attempt when switching to Joel Rosario for his last start, Asmussen reached back out for Santana immediately.

WORTH NOTING: His owner Winchell Thoroughbreds could be going for a rare Oaks/Derby sweep when he loads into the gate as they also own the filly Untapable who should be the overwhelming favorite in the Oaks on Friday.

FAIR PRICE: Three weeks ago, you’d have been happy as a clam to get 10-1 on him but with that black eye that is the Arkansas Derby on his resume now you have a better chance at seeing double that price.


TRAINER: Mike Maker (0 for 5)
JOCKEY: Joel Rosario (1 for 4)

RUNNING STYLE: On or close to the lead.

AS A JUVENILE: A Polytrack win in a sprint at Keeneland in his debut followed up by a solid place finish to Conquest Titan going a mile at Churchill on conventional dirt.

THIS YEAR: In a word, reliable. Not only does he always show up, he’s responsible for one of the best rivalries, along with Wildcat Red, on the Derby Trail this season. A gutsy win by a head bob in the Gulfstream Park Derby is the highlight of his year thus far as he took a nasty beat in the G2 Fountain of Youth when he was never more than a half-length away from Wildcat Red before failing to make up any ground late when finishing third in the G1 Florida Derby.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Florida Derby-G1 at GP 3rd by 1 ½ 95 97
1 1/16m, dirt, Fountain of Youth-G2 at GP 2nd by hd 100 101
1 mile, dirt, Gulfstream Park Derby at GP 1st by hd 96 92

CONNECTIONS: Together, they set records in 2013 at Keeneland for wins in a meet and always seem to do damage when they team up. Maker hasn’t had any success here yet but Rosario of course piloted Orb to win the roses just last year.

WORTH NOTING: He’ll be staying with Maker but General a Rod was actually sold during Derby week, in part to the connections of Intense Holiday.

FAIR PRICE: Since Florida Derby winner Constitution and, to a lesser degree, Cairo Prince were declared from the Derby, you’ve hear ZERO about the rest of the Florida contingent. With that said, I’m sure you’ll be able to get 30-1 on him.


TRAINER: Gary Contessa (Debut)
JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz, Jr. (Debut)

RUNNING STYLE: On or close to the lead.

AS A JUVENILE: Missed by just a head in his debut after a bit of a flat-footed start in a sprint then romped by over 14 lengths less than three weeks later.

THIS YEAR: In a word, gritty. Lost a pair of toughies to fellow New York bred Samraat. First he was rundown in the final stages of the G3 Withers after setting the pace most of the way then was forced to do the dirty work when chasing between horses in the G3 Gotham. H broke a bit poorly in the G1 Wood Memorial last out, was taken completely out of his element and raced four wide throughout in what amounts to a toss out effort.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Wood Memorial-G1 at AQU 5th by 8 94 91
1 1/16m, dirt, Gotham-G3 at AQU 2nd by nk 99 96
1 1/16m, dirt, Withers-G3 at AQU 2nd by 1 98 92

CONNECTIONS: Contessa has won over 2000 races and has been a New York regular for what seems like forever while Ortiz has quickly become one of the top guys on the NYRA circuit year-round.

WORTH NOTING: After tinkering with the idea for a while, Contessa is going to equip Uncle Sigh with blinkers for the Derby. And, yes, he’s named after the Duck Dynasty guy.

FAIR PRICE: When all is said and done, he’s won once in just five starts and is eligible for an entry level allowance contest. 30-1 is about right.


TRAINER: Todd Pletcher (1 for 36)
JOCKEY: Joe Rocco, Jr. (Debut)

RUNNING STYLE: He makes one run, from just off the pace.

AS A JUVENILE: In his lone two-year-old try, he finished second at Gulfstream in a sprint over a sloppy track.

THIS YEAR: In a word, questionable. His maiden race was far from flashy, he was probably second or third best when he held off Harpoon by a nose in the G3 Davis, he raced evenly in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby then was completely abysmal last out when trailing the G1 Blue Grass.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, synth, Blue Grass-G1 at KEE 14th by 28 ½ 67 40
1 1/16m, dirt, Tampa Bay Derby-G2 at TB 2nd by 3 93 90
1 1/16m, dirt, Sam F Davis-G3 at TB 1st by ns 92 82

CONNECTIONS: Pletcher reaches out to the under-the-radar Joe Rocco, Jr. who’ll be making his Derby debut.

WORTH NOTING: Wasn’t “officially” in the Derby until a satisfactory workout this past weekend.

FAIR PRICE: Surprisingly, there is a chance a Todd Pletcher entrant could be the longest shot on the board in the Derby and it’s this guy. 35-1 is the right price.


TRAINER: Dallas Stewart (0 for 3)
JOCKEY: Shaun Bridgmohan (0 for 5)

RUNNING STYLE: Your prototypical one run closer.

AS A JUVENILE: It took him four starts to do so but when he finally broke his maiden it was going tow turns at Churchill Downs.

THIS YEAR: In a word, unlucky. Got shuffled back terribly then was forced five deep in the G2 Risen Star then he get bothered at the break of the G2 Louisiana Derby before making up a ton of ground to get the show dough on a day where speed reigned supreme in route races.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Louisiana Derby-G2 at FG 3rd by 5 98 89
1 1/16m, dirt, Risen Star-G2 at FG 6th by 8 ¼ 89 83
1 1/16m, dirt, mdn spcl wt at CD 1st by 1 ½ 91 80

CONNECTIONS: Stewart was running around last year telling people he hoped his charge Golden Soul would draw into the field. He did and finished a hard-charging second to Orb at a huge price. He’s doing the same thing with this guy. Bridgmohan broke this colts’ maiden.

WORTH NOTING: Owners West Point Thoroughbreds were forced to withdraw Ring Weekend on Sunday due to fever and infection. The beneficiary of the scratch: Commanding Curve.

FAIR PRICE: He’s the last one in right now but he figures to take some action based on the fact that he always seem to be closing ground at the end of his races. 25-1 is fair.


TRAINER: Mike Maker (0 for 5)
JOCKEY: Corey Lanerie (Debut)

RUNNING STYLE: He makes one run, from the middle or back of the pack.

AS A JUVENILE: Claimed from Steve Asmussen out of his debut win for $30K, he subsequently finished second and won against starter allowance competition.

THIS YEAR: In a word, sporadic. Off the board to start the year in the Pasco at Tampa, he’s made his last four starts with blinkers over synthetic surfaces with mixed results.He romped in a minor sprint stakes at Turfway, got real tired in the Battaglia when he faded to third then ran the race of his life when a gutsy second by a nose in the G3 Spiral You tell me what happened last out in the G1 Blue Grass and we’ll both know.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, synth, Blue Grass-G1 at KEE 13th by 28 ¼ 67 48
1 1/8m, synth, Spiral-G3 at TP 2nd by ns 93 85
1 1/16m, synth, Battaglia at TP 3rd by 9 ¾ 81 66

CONNECTIONS: Surprisingly, Lanerie, for all the winning he’s done in the Midwest, has never ridden in the Run for the Roses. Maker hasn’t really had much luck here.

WORTH NOTING: He’ll look to follow in the footsteps of former claimer Charismatic, who rose to Derby fame with an upset score in 1999.

FAIR PRICE: Arguably the slowest horse in the race, you need to get at least 40-1.


TRAINER: John Sadler (0 for 3)
JOCKEY: Gary Stevens (3 for 19)

RUNNING STYLE: He makes one run, from the middle or back of the pack.

AS A JUVENILE: Just one for five last year, he kept some interesting company in the form of G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day, the precocious Tap It Rich and finished second to end the year after breaking his maiden against the undefeated Eclipse champ Shared Belief in the G1 CashCall Futurity.

THIS YEAR: In a word, enigmatic, as he’s run just twice after an extensive two-year-old season. Impressed many with his late rally to win the G2 Robert Lewis over eventual G3 Sunland Derby winner Chitu and the multiple graded stakes placed Midnight Hawk, didn’t run by design for two months and didn’t really lift a hoof when third in the G1 Santa Anita Derby.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, dirt, Santa Anita Derby-G1 at SA 3rd by 8 ¾ 96 92
1 1/16m, dirt, Robert Lewis-G2 at SA 1st by ½ 97 96
1 1/16m, synth, CashCall Futurity-G1 at HOL 2nd by 5 ¾ 94 95

CONNECTIONS: Sadler is still looking for his first Derby while Stevens is searching for number four and first since his return from a seven year hiatus. He won the 1988 Derby with Winning Colors, with Thunder Gulch in 1995 and with Silver Charm in 1997.

WORTH NOTING: Stevens declared him his “number one draft pick” after the Lewis victory with some 83 days left until the Derby at the time.

FAIR PRICE: He’s another I’m not sure about how the public is going to react to. He had a tremendous amount of buzz for a while but California Chrome has garnered all the attention out west and he really didn’t inspire many with that effort last out. I don’t think you’ll get it but he should be 25-1


TRAINER: Dale Romans (0 for 4)
JOCKEY: Robby Albarado (0 for 13)

RUNNING STYLE: He’s a one run closer.

AS A JUVENILE: He broke his maiden around two turns at Ellis Park in an off the turf race, was a troubled trip fifth in the G3 Bourbon over the Polytrack at Keeneland then didn’t run a step in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.

THIS YEAR: In a word, resilient. He closed into dawdling fractions to dead heat for the win in a turf allowance race to start the year at Gulfstream then had trouble making up ground on a speed biased course in the G2 Fountain of Youth. In his last two, he won the off the turf Transylvania from the rail then flew home to be second in the G1 Blue Grass from post 13, both at Keeneland.

Last 3 Starts Finish Brisnet Beyer
1 1/8m, synth, Blue Grass-G1 at KEE 2nd by 1 ¾ 97 94
1 1/16m, synth, Transylvania-G3 at KEE 1st by 1 ¼ 94 94
1 1/16m, dirt, Fountain of Youth-G2 at GP 5th by 9 ¼ 89 84

CONNECTIONS: Both make their home on the Midwest circuit and win their fair share of races, exclusively and together. They just can’t seem to win the REALLY big ones.

WORTH NOTING: He’ll be making his third start in 30 days in the Derby and his last two races were just eight days apart.

FAIR PRICE: His synthetic and turf form is good while his conventional dirt form can appears to be a bit puzzling. Not sure how the public is going to react to all of this racing in such a short period of time. 20-1 is the least you could ask for on him.

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