Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kentucky Oaks and Louisville Distaff preview

Well only one more day till the big dance of the Derby. But first tomorrow we have the Kentucky Oaks with Rachel Alexandra and Justwhistledixie along with undefeated Breeder's cup Distaff winner Zenyatta coming back to match up with One Caroline an undefeated 4 year old grey mare. Let's start it off with the Louisville.

Louisville Stakes at Churchill Downs
Grade 2
$350,000 1 1/16 miles

1.Swift Temper 15/1
2.Zenyatta 4/5
3.Miss Isella 15/1
4.One Caroline 3/1
5.Unforgotten 20/1
6.Modification 20/1
7.French Kiss 30/1
8.Unbridled Belle 3/1

I had a hard time picking a favorite here. I loved One Caroline's romp last time out at Gulfstream(see picture above) but Zenyatta is also undefeated and won the Distaff last year and Older female of year honors. Sorry Caroline but Zenyatta, on paper, is the better horse here. I pick Zenyatta to win, One Caroline to place and I'll throw French Kiss to show. Now onto the major race for tomorrow.

The Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs
Grade 1
$500,000 1 1/8 miles 121 lbs. all

1.Tweeter 30/1
2.Be Fair 15/1
3.Stone Legacy 30/1
4.Gabby's Golden Gal 10/1
5.Justwhistledixie 5/2
6.Rachel Alexandra 3/5
7.Nan 20/1
8.Flying Spur 8/1

Of course I'll be picking RACHEL ALEXANDRA to romp here. I'll take Gabby's Golden Gal to place and Nan to show. Go Rachel!

Tomorrow is lady's day at the Downs so grab your hat and purchase yourself an Oak's Lily and tune in to the Kentucky Oaks. I'll have a recap tomorrow along with a preview of the Derby. Have a great evening!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Win Willy out and Derby positions

Well this morning Win Willy was not one of the names placed in the Kentucky Derby starting gate. His trainer had his leg X-rayed where they found a suspicious looking line through this ankle. So in his best interest they didn't enter him. So now Nowhere to Hide takes his spot. Too bad. He was the hometown favorite for me because of his owner. Oh well, I am impressed on how many trainers and owners have passed on the Derby in favor of the horse's best interest. A big step up since last year.

The gate positions were secured this morning and I Want Revenge was secured favortism in the Derby at 3-1.

The 135th running of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands
Grade 1 at Churchill Downs
1 1/4 miles
First jewel of the Triple Crown

1.West Side Bernie
2.Musket Man
3.Mr. Hot Stuff
5.Hold Me Back
6.Friesan Fire
7.Papa Clem
8.Mine that Bird
9.Join in the Dance
10.Regal Ransom
11.Chocolate Candy
12.General Quarters
13.I Want Revenge
14.Atomic Rain
17.Summer Bird
18.Nowhere to Hide
19.Desert Party
20.Flying Private

Everyone is pretty much in a great spot for themselves and nobody should have any excuses about post position affecting their horse's running in the race. No one. I won't announce my picks yet. I'm having tough time to sorting through this competitive field. No on really sticks out for me yet. Also, how funny is it that WinStar Farm's entrys are 3, 4 and 5 in the gate right next to each other?

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

3 days till Derby

Well lots of stuff has been happening since my last post over a week ago. Quality Road has dropped out of the Derby because of his second quarter crack. Square Eddie has dropped out because of some heat in his shin that he injured. Along with many of the Derby horses arrivals.

Okay let's start with a recap of what I think of how they are all working. Pioneerofthenile has impressed me with his workouts and liking to Churchill's surface. He definitely will not have the "he just didn't like the surface" excuse if he loses. I Want Revenge has also been doing very well over the track posting a bullet final work for today. Man he did it easily too. He might be the favorite come Derby day. Friesan Fire also posted a bullet work yesterday and he did gallop out a bit slow but when he went five furlongs in 57 4/5 you should be galloping out slower.

The rest of the contenders seem to be doing okay on the track but nothing real special compared to the three I mentioned. General Quarters looks a bit uncomfortable, especially when the track was wet and it's supposed to rain through Derby Saturday so not looking good. He has a weird way of running. Just check out the workouts on and you'll see what I mean.

Now onto the dropouts. Quality Road was taken out of consideration Monday when he was sore in his right front hoof from the recent quarter crack. It's not life threatening or career threatening at all and he will probably be pointing toward the other Triple Crown races. Now I applaud Jerkens for doing this. I was worried he would push him to run but Thank God he didn't. I'm also relieved Square Eddie was taken out of the Run for the Roses today when his trainer Doug O'Neill discovered heat in his recently healed shin. Hopefully he'll point now for the Queen's Plate and not the Derby.

Here's the list now for the Derby in no particular order. The post draw will be tomorrow and if you go to you can watch them post the gate positions during the draw.

Musket Man
West Side Bernie
Chocolate Candy
General Quarters
Papa Clem
Mine that Bird
Flying Private
Mr. Hot Stuff
Summer Bird
Join in the Dance
Hold me Back
Regal Ransom
Friesan Fire
Desert Party
I Want Revenge
Win Willy
Atomic Rain

So far I like I Want Revenge, Win Willy, Friesan Fire, Dunkirk and Pioneerofthenile. Win Willy and Friesan Fire will like the track better if it rains which it is supposed to. But rain would not suit General Quarters whatsoever. I Want Revenge has the way more experience from his last race and has exploded onto the scene since his Gotham win. Pioneerofthenile is a win machine and has taken to Churchill quite well. Dunkirk also garnered some experience and was very impressive in that allowance win. All in all the Derby is going to to interesting.

Now in Oaks news Rachel Alexandra scared off many of her competitors and only seven fillies has stepped up to try to defeat her. It's almost a one horse field. They drew post positions today and here is the lineup.
2.Be Far
3.Stone Legacy
4.Gabby's Golden Gal
6.Rachel Alexandra
8.Flying Spur

The only horses in this race that I think could possibly beat this freak is either Justwhistledixie or Nan.

Thought this was funny so I thought I would post it.

It wasn't Derby Fever that had the attention of FRIESAN FIRE (A.P. Indy) on Tuesday morning at Barn 45."He was on his toes before he knew Zenyatta (Street Cry [Ire]) was here," trainer Larry Jones said referring to the arrival of the undefeated champion mare who is housed seven stalls down from Friesan Fire. "He is quite taken with her."

How funny is that? Little ladies man. I guess he's into older mares.
Have a great evening!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pioneer & Rachel looking good

Just a short little post here. Pioneerofthenile is sure looking good going over Churchill. What a great workout he had earlier this week. Any doubt in my mind about his ability to handle the dirt is thrown out the window now. I'm still worried about him being able to calm himself at the beginning of the race. This quote from Bob Baffert especially has me worried.

"I didn't want to work him in company this morning, because we weren't looking to light up the board. He's already ready, and if I'd have put another horse with him, he'd have gone too fast. He's that competitive."

Yes it is a good thing for him to be competitive but not so competitive that when he sees a horse in front of him he bolts and tires himself out before the race has even ended. I'm probably overanalyzing this but it does worry me a bit.

Meanwhile in Oaks news, if Rachel Alexandra was going into the Derby she would be my pick! She has been doing amazing things in her works at Churchill. Energetic, constantly pulling at her reins, and just looking like she doesn't want to do anything but run. She is going to be hard to beat come Oaks day. I'm really excited to see her blow them all away. She is a FREAK. Yep I said the F word.

Have a nice evening!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Contenders work out

With only 12 days till the Derby and 11 Derby hopefuls currently at Churchill, things are getting exciting. I have to say that in the last four years of watching horse racing up to the Derby, this is the most competitive, deep field I've ever seen. This is going to be an amazing race and whoever wins is going to be even more heavily favored at Pimlico then usual.

Contenders that worked out today

Papa clem breezed a very easy five furlongs work over Churchill Down's surface. He was timed at 1:04 3/5. His breeze ranked 25 out of 28.

Chocolate Candy galloped 1 1/2 miles at Churchill. He is scheduled to have a work Tuesday with jockey Mike Smith aboard.

Desert Party and Regal Ransom rested and walked the shedrow after both turning in five furlongs works yesterday. Monday they are scheduled to jog.

Flying Private galloped this morning for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. He is being considered for the Derby at this point.

I Want Revenge jogged a mile and galloped a mile under exercise rider Joe Deegan. I Want Revenge is scheduled for his second work over Churchill Tuesday.

Musket Man walked the shedrow after recording a six furlongs work in 1:13.

Pioneerofthenile galloped under exercise rider George Alverez.

West Side Bernie galloped 1 7/8 miles with his trainer Kelly Breen up for the ride. Breen has yet ot finalize a workout schedule for his Derby hopeful.

In other news, Gomez picked Pioneerofthenile for his Derby mount Sunday. Ron Anderson, his agent, said it was the toughest decision he and Garrett ever had to make. I knew he would choose Pioneer. And why not? He has one two Grade 1's aboard him and a total of four races altogether aboard out of the four times he's ridden him. Also in Oaks news, Stardom Bound will not be racing in the Oaks. Her owners IEAH will rest her during the summer then bring her back for a fall campaign. I think this is kinda weird considering they just changed her jockey for the Oaks. But, I think it's a great idea to allow her to rest a bit. She just hasn't been herself lately. My favorite for the Oaks is RACHEL ALEXANDRA.

I'm so pumped. The waiting is going to suck but once it comes, oh it's going to be the best Derby I've ever watched.

Have a great evening!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Review of the Lexington Stakes

The Lexington was had a very surprising outcome. A seemingly easy walkover for Square Eddie was turned into a race where he was floundering near the end. Which wasn't so surprising considering that long layoff and lack of conditioning.

The Lexington Stakes

3.Square Eddie
5.Pitched Perfectly
7.Brave Victory
8.Parade Clown
10.El Crespo
11.His Greatness
Hull scratched

Well I struck out on this race. Square Eddie's connections were pleased by his performance and with him being #3 in graded earnings it wouldn't be a problem. I still don't think they should run him in such a big race this close to an injury such as a hairline fracture. Advice closed like a freight train in this race. I don't think he deserves a Derby shot but he's one to look out for other Triple Crown races or just later in other stakes. Garrett Gomez....(shakes head) he just is loaded isn't he?
Updated Derby top ten

1.I Want Revenge
2.Friesan Fire
5.Quality Road
6.Musket Man
7.Desert Party
8.Win Willy
9.General Quarters
10.West Side Bernie

Okay I have to admit I have relooked over General Quarters race and I have started to like him a bit more than I did. So I thought I would give some support so to say. Tomorrow I'll update on some more Derby news but for now I'm exhausted from riding today.

Have a nice evening!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Preview of Coolmoore Lexington

Now that the Derby is fast approaching there is only one real serious prep race that awaits. This is going to be the final chance for anyone to jump onto the Derby wagon. There isn't much in this field except for Square Eddie but, he suffered a hairline fracture in February and I have a feeling his connections are rushing him to just get into the Derby.

Coolmoore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland
Grade 2
1 1/16 miles 117 lbs all except Square Eddie and El Crespo, 123 lbs.

1.Jeranimo 12/1
2.Omniscient 6/1
3.Pitched Perfectly 15/1
4.Brave Victory 8/1
5.His Greatness 20/1
6.Masalo 6/1
7.Conservative 15/1
8.Square Eddie 9/5
9.El Crespo 10/1
10.Parade Clown 15/1
11.Advice 10/1
12.Hull 12/1

Even though I don't agree with what Square Eddie's connections are doing, I'm picking him to win. I'll pick El Crespo to place and Omniscient to show.

Derby news

  • Garrett Gomez, the rider of both Pioneerofthenile winner of Santa Anita Derby, and Dunkirk runner up to Quality Road in the Florida Derby, will be announcing his choice for the Kentucky Derby mount on Sunday. (If you ask me I already know what horse he will be choosing by what each horse has accomplished.)
  • Quality Road breezed at Belmont and showed no ill effects from the quarter crack that was found after the Florida Derby. He worked six furlongs in 1:12.03 the fastest of the six moves at that distance.
  • Eibar Coa decided to ride Musket Man over General Quarters which left Julien Leparoux to take the ride on General Quarters for the Derby.
  • Friesan Fire breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Keeneland on Tuesday and was rated the fourth fastest work that day out of 23 moves. Friesan Fire will be shipping to Churchill one week before the Derby.
  • Mafaaz after his disappointing effort in the Bluegrass will be skipping the Derby. He was recently moved to Kiaran McLaughlin's barn and will possibly stay in the U.S. and point for turf races here. His connections are also considering gelding him. (THANK GOD!!!! I knew this horse wasn't good enough to be in the Derby. I hated the idea of giving a European horse an automatic berth into our most prestigious race by winning a turf race in England. I mean, they don't give us an automatic berth into the Epsom Derby! Okay rant over.)
  • Pioneerofthenile posted a bullet work by drilling a half mile in :46.20 handily. On Thursday he, along with Chocolate Candy, arrived at Churchill Downs.
  • I Want Revenge breezed an effortless half mile at Churchill in :50.

Oaks News

  • Garrett Gomez picks up the mount from Mike Smith on Stardom Bound in the Oaks. IEAH's Mike Iavarone says it's not a firing of Mike Smith but a way for Stardom Bound to get used to a new jockey for he knows Mike Smith is committed to older female champ Zenyatta. (B.S, I think this is totally ridiculous that they are doing this. I think there is more to this than just the Zenyatta thing that Iavarone isn't telling.)
  • Thursday probable Oaks favorite Rachel Alexandra completed a six furlong work in 1:11.60 with "ease and without urging." says Calvin Borel her jockey.

Well enjoy that prep this weekend! It's on ESPN2 tomorrow.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Old Fashioned injured out of Derby

Well I found out Saturday afternoon that Old Fashioned was injured during the running of the Arkansas Derby. He developed a non-displaced slab fracture to his front right knee. Though it isn't life threatening it is career threatening. Although many horses tend to come back to races fine after such an injury many don't compete at the level they had once competed at. He will be shipped to Lexington's Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital for treatment today. Larry Jones, his trainer had this to say.

"It's not life-threatening -- it should be okay," Jones said. "Career-ending is a possibility just because of the type of horse he is. But we'll see. We'll let them make that call."

Very sad indeed. Now with The Pamplemousse and Old Fashioned out of the Derby the Derby has lost most of it's pace. This is going to hurt Pioneerofthenile if he can't learn how to relax in the early stages of the Derby. It's also now up in air on who will be going to the lead. Amazing how in a couple days the whole complexion of one race can change like that.


Square Eddie, April 11
Six furlongs
1.12:20 Breezing

Thought I should also post the updated graded earnings for the Derby.

Regal Ransom
Saeed bin Suroor
Pioneerof the Nile
Bob Baffert
Square Eddie
Doug O'Neill
I Want Revenge
Jeff Mullins
Papa Clem
Gary Stute
Desert Party
Saeed bin Suroor
Quality Road
James Jerkens
General Quarters
Tom McCarthy
Friesan Fire
J. Larry Jones
Musket Man
Derek Ryan
Albert Stall Jr.
Hold Me Back
Bill Mott
West Side Bernie
Kelly Breen
Chocolate Candy
Jerry Hollendorfer
Win Willy
McLean Robertson
Bittel Road
Todd Pletcher
Giant Oak
Chris Block
Todd Pletcher
Mine That Bird
Bennie Woolley
Ken McPeek
Flying Private
D. Wayne Lukas
Mr. Hot Stuff
Eoin Harty
Summer Bird
Tim Ice
This Ones for Phil
Richard Dutrow Jr.
Take the Points
Todd Pletcher
Have a great evening!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bluegrass & Arkanasas Review

Well the races were really interesting today. Here is the results.

Bluegrass Stakes
1:49.26, 1 1/8 miles, Track Fast

1.General Quarters
2.Hold Me Back
5.Join in the Dance
6.Loch Dubh
7.Charitable Man
11.Cliffy's Future

Good effort from General Quarters to win. Hold me back did farely well though I wouldn't think of him as a horse with a spot in the gate. Mafaaz was disappointing but, with that automatic in he will probably continue on to the Derby. I really irks me that they did that whole automatic in to the Derby in Europe. Mafaaz does not deserve a spot in that gate in the Kentucky Derby and will now be knocking a more deserving American horse out of the race like Dunkirk.

Arkansas Derby
1:49, 1 1/8 miles, Track Fast

1.Papa Clem
2.Old Fashioned
3.Summer Bird
4.Win Willy
5.Flying Private
6.Flat out
8.Captain Cherokee
9.Danger to Society

Papa Clem really battled Old fashioned and was able to win by a close margin. I don't think I'll be adding the Clem anywhere on my top 10 but it was a gutsy win. Old fashioned meanwhile might just be dropping like a stone in water. He just doesn't seem to want to relax and I was nervous two strides after the gates opened. He isn't going to win the Derby with that kind of running style. Sorry Old Fashioned but I have to agree with everyone else that you just are not the horse to win the Derby.

Updated top ten

1.I Want Revenge
2.Friesan Fire
5.Quality Road
6.Musket Man
7.Desert Party
8.Old Fashioned
9.Win Willy
10.West Side Bernie

No major changes here. Well only three weeks till the Derby! It's closing in.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bluegrass Stakes and Arkansas Derby

More preps coming to you this weekend. Mafaaz, who won the automatic in to the Derby, will be running in the Bluegrass. Old Fashioned meanwhile, hooks up with Win Willy in the Arkansas Derby. Don't forget to catch this action on ESPN2 tomorrow!

Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland
Grade 1
1 1/8 miles 123 lbs all

1.Patena 10/1
2.Join in the dance 10/1
3.Theregoesjojo 7/2
4.Cliffy's Future 20/1
5.Mafaaz 12/1
6.Terrain 6/1
7.Loch Dubh 50/1
8.General Quarters 15/1
9.Charitable Man 4/1
10.Hold Me Back 3/1
11.Massone 12/1

I'll be picking Hold me Back to win, Theregoesjojo to place and Cliffy's Future to show.

The Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn
Grade 2
1 1/8 miles

1.Captain Cherokee 118 lbs 20/1
2.Papa Clem 118 lbs 6/1
3.Flat out 122 lbs 10/1
4.Poltergeist 118 lbs 20/1
5.Ziegfeld 118 lbs 12/1
6.Flying Private 118 lbs 6/1
7.Summer Bird 118 lbs 30/1
8.Old Fashioned 122 lbs 9/5
9.Win Willy 122 lbs 7/2
10.Danger to Society 118 lbs 6/1

I'll be picking Old Fashioned to win and be able to come back from his loss, Win Willy to place gamely and Papa Clem to show. I would have picked Win Willy to win but, even though he's a hometown favorite for me I promised myself I would give Old Fashioned one last chance before I wrote him off.

Have a great evening everyone and enjoy the preps!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Quality Road succumbs to quarter crack

Quality Road the winner of this years Florida Derby has a quarter crack in his right hind leg.

Well this is a very interesting development. If I was Jerkens I would be doing exactly what he is doing. Waiting to see and if he can't get two works into him before the Derby then he's out. It does seem like a glimmer of hope for Dunkirk though. With The Pamplemousse out and now possibly Quality Road he could comfortably make the Derby. It all depends on the future preps now on the next Saturdays. A couple of longshots place really well and he could be out of it. Well that's horse racing or the Derby for that matter.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

SA Derby review/The Mousse off trail

What exciting racing we had yesterday! Amazing, though the Pamplemousse and two others were scratched from the Santa Anita Derby yesterday morning it still was nice to watch.

Santa Anita Derby

2.Chocolate Candy
3.Mr. Hot Stuff
4.Take the Points
5.Feisty Suances
6.Unbridled Roman
7.Gallant Son

Very impressive race for Pioneerofthenile. Again he had to face a paceless race and Gomez had to press the pace. He definitely won't have trouble with a paceless race at the Derby though, he will have to deal with the dirt for the first time and I just don't think he can handle it.

Wood Memorial Stakes

1.I Want Revenge
2.West Side Bernie
3.Just a Coincidence
4.Atomic Rain
5.Imperial Council
6.Cellar Dweller
7.Lord Justic
8.Lime Rickey

An even more impressive race from I Want Revenge, stumbling at the start and being able to overcome that and win. Impressive ride from Talamo as well being able to sit chilly till the end. He just might make my number one with the Mousse now off the trail. The Pamplemousse was scratched from the Santa Anita Derby yesterday morning and now that they have x-rayed his legs it was found he had a lesion in his tendon. What a shame. I was so looking forward to seeing him win the Santa Anita Derby then go on and run in the Kentucky Derby. Oh well, I'd rather have him safe and sound then breaking down in a race.

In Oaks news, today Rachel Alexandra won the Fantasy at Oaklawn. Nice win for the filly and now it's on to Churchill Downs! Meanwhile Stardom Bound lost yesterday at Keeneland and finished third to Hooh Why, the winner. I'm beginning to get scared about this filly. She seems to have peaked too soon. She definitely won't be going into the Oaks as the favorite now.


Flat out , April 4
Oaklawn Park
One mile
1.43:40 Breezing

Square Eddie , April 5
Hollywood Park
Six furlongs
1.13:00 Breezing

Updated Derby top ten

1.Friesan Fire
2.I Want Revenge
4.Old Fashioned
6.Quality Road
7.Musket Man
8.Desert Party
9.Win Willy
10.West Side Bernie

There is my updated top ten. I have to give POTN his props. He will be carrying SoCal's Derby hopes. Though I utterly dislike Baffert I think he has a real shot to win.
Have a nice evening!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Santa anita Derby

Big races this Saturday and I'm so pumped. It's going to be an awesome weekend. Remember to watch the Santa Anita Derby on NBC tomorrow!

Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita
Grade 1
$750,000 1 1/8 miles 122 lbs all

1.Chocolate Candy 6/1
2.Z Day 15/1
3.Unbridled Roman 30/1
4.Pioneerofthenile 2/1
5.Mr. Hot stuff 8/1
6.Feisty Suances 15/1
7.Take the Points 10/1
8.Cape Truth 30/1
9.Gallant Son 15/1
10.The Pamplemousse 9/5

I will be picking The Pamplemousse to win, Take the Points to place and Pioneerofthenile to show. The Pamplemousse is going to romp!

Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct
Grade 1
$750,00 1 1/8 miles 123 lbs all

1.I Want Revenge 4/5
2.Lord Justice 15/1
3.Cellar Dweller 30/1
4.Atomic Rain 6/1
5.West Side Bernie 6/1
6.Imperial Council 2/1
7.Just a Coincidence 12/1
8.Lime Rickey 20/1

I will be picking I Want Revenge to romp again and win, Imperial Council to place and West Side Bernie to show.

Enjoy those preps!