Sunday, April 27, 2014

Deeper Look Number Seven

19. Vinceremos
Pioneerof The Nile- Kettle's Sister by More Than Ready
Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $225,266

Connections: 
Jockey: Julien R. Leparoux
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC

Derby Points: 20 

Class: Worries abot class here as the Tampa Bay Derby field hasn't really proven themselves elsewhere. He looks like another Derby flopper and the only chance he has is if some of the others get horrendous trips or don't show up. He will probably be around 40-1 post time, and he probably deserves those odds. He hasn't shown anything that would make me even consider him a live long shot here. 

Pedigree: By red hot sire Pioneerof The Nile that gives him a dose of speed and stamina. He's out of a Maryland bred mare who never won a race, and competed at the claiming level. His broodmare sire More Than Ready was a horse who did his best running in sprints and tends to pass that on to all of his foals. This is another pedigree geared strongly towards distances up to a mile. 

Overall Opinion: Vinceremos is a horse that hasn't shown he seriously belongs in this group and is probably going to be a complete toss in the Derby. 

Final Decision: Vinceremos is a pretender. 

20. Harry's Holiday 
Harlan's Holiday- Daisy Mason by Orientate 
Career Statistics:
Starts: 8
Firsts: 3
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $186,882

Connections: 
Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
Trainer: Michael J. Maker
Owner: Skychai Racing LLC, Sand Dollar Stable LLC, Raymond, T. and Wagner, J. 

Derby Points: 20 

Class: Worries about his class, he is another who hasn't shown he really belongs in this group. He also hasn't really shown much on dirt that would warrant a serious look. He is probably one that will be better on synthetics in the future. He is not much to look at and doesn't run like he belongs. Another complete toss come Derby day. 

Pedigree: By Harlan's Holiday which gives a major dose of miler speed. Harry's Holiday is out of a Orientate mare which is another major dose of sprinter speed. This is yet another pedigree geared towards sprinting or mile distances. This one will probably do better sprinting on either the turf or synthetics in the future. 

Overall Opinion: Another that has no serious chance here and will do better at shorter distances in the future. 

Final Decision: Harry's Holiday is a pretender. 

21. Commanding Curve 
Master Command- Mother by Lion Hearted 
Career Statistics:
Starts: 6
Firsts: 1
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $142,434 

Connections: 
Jockey: Robby Albarado
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Owner: West Point Thoroughbreds 

Derby Points: 20 

Class: Took a major step forward in the Louisiana Derby and I look for him to take another step forward in the Derby. I like his deep closing style and with all the speed in this years Derby he could be a serious threat to fill out the bottom of the exotics like his stablemate Golden Soul did last year. He is a improving colt and at this time that's exactly what you want to be. 

Pedigree: Master Command on top gives him a good dose of stamina. His Mother was primarily a sprinter and she was by Lion Hearted who also did his best running in sprints. There is some concern about his distance capabilities, but the way he runs I think he will be just fine here in the Derby. 

Overall Opinion: He's an improving colt and with time he could be a serious threat later in the year if he holds together. 

Final Decision: Commanding Curve is a contender. 

How They Shake Out 

Pretenders: 

(In Order of least preference) 

1.Harry's Holiday 

2. Vinceremos 

3.Vicar's In Trouble 

4.We Miss Artie 

5.Chitu  

6. Tapiture 

7.Intense Holiday  

8.Samraat 

9. Uncle Sigh

10.Dance With Fate

Contenders: 

(In order of highest preference) 

1.Hoppertunity 

2.Candy Boy 

3.Commanding Curve  

4.California Chrome

5.Ride On Curlin  

6.Danza

7. Wicked Strong

8.General A Rod

9. Wildcat Red

10.Medal Count 












Friday, April 25, 2014

Deeper Look Number Six

16. Medal Count
Dynaformer- Brisquette by Unbridled's Song
Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Firsts: 3
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $261,600

Connections: 
Jockey: Robby Albarado
Trainer: Dale L. Romans
Owner: Spendthrift Farm LLC

Derby Points: 40 

Class: I really love the way he ran in the Bluegrass for him to come back eight days after the Transylvania Stakes, and run that huge second in the Bluegrass was pretty spectacular to say the least. He showed his ability that day, but there are some serious worries about his ability on dirt. His synthetic and turf form is remarkable, but his dirt form is less than spectacular. Needless to say he did break his maiden on dirt at Ellis Park so he at least can run on it. 

Pedigree: He gets a good dose of stamina from his sire Dynaformer. His mother Brisquette was a sprinter who preformed on both dirt, and turf which gives him speed on the bottom. That kind of cross kind of scares me I like to have speed on top not on the bottom as most of those types like to carry their speed, where as horses with speed on bottom tends to make mainly a miler type.

Overall Opinion: He is a seriously talented individual, but with less than spectacular dirt form and a sort of questionable pedigree I think he wont win the derby, but I think that you certainly cannot count him out in the exotics.

Final Decision: Medal Count is a contender.

17. Candy Boy
Candy Ride- She's An Eleven by In Excess
Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $425,600 

Connections: 
Jockey: Gary L. Stevens
Trainer: John W. Sadler
Owner: C R K Stable

Derby Points: 30 

Class: I don't worry about his ability he is one of the most talented in this field and you should not toss him. He may have run a bit of a clunker last out but I strongly feel this one will be making waves Derby day and at a price. He needed the race last out and with his quick closing move he should be able to find a way out of traffic, and make up ground quicker than some of the others. Another thing about him is he can make an amazing middle move which could very easily win this race. 

Pedigree: With Candy Ride on top he doesn't get to much of a dose of speed, but he's got a decent amount of stamina on his bottom side to make up for it. His mother was a moderate stakes performer at a route distance and his broodmare sire was primarily a grass horse that liked middle distances. His pedigree may be suited to shorter distances, but this one looks like he wants to out run his pedigree. 

Overall Opinion: Candy Boy is quality athlete and with the right trip he could very well win this race. 

Final Decision: Candy Boy is a contender. 

18. Uncle Sigh 
Indian Charlie- Cradlesong by Pine Bluff 
Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 1
Seconds: 3
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $231,000 

Connections: 
Jockey: Corey S. Nakatani
Trainer: Gary C. Contessa
Owner: Wounded Warrior Stables and Robertson, Anthony C.

Derby Points: 24 

Class: The New York contingent seemed to be a little light this year, and they were shown just how weak they were with pretty poor performances in the Wood Memorial. I thought this one had a huge chance in the Wood, but when he got off to a tardy start in the race I knew it wasn't his day he did make a huge move around the far turn and made up some decent ground to get fifth. He is a nice individual, but he may be another that has some distance issues. 

Pedigree: Indian Charlie on top gives him a dose of speed. He does get a decent injection of stamina from Pine Bluff his broodmare sire. His mother was also out of an A.P. Indy mare which also gives him a lot of boosts in the stamina department. His mother and her mother were both unraced which doesn't really give me any form to draw off of so it's really up in the air if this one will get the distance or not. 

Overall Opinion: Uncle Sigh is a nice individual, but I think he may be biting off more than he can chew here. 

Final Decision: Uncle Sigh is a pretender. 

Tune in next time as I review Vinceremos, Harry's Holiday, and Commanding Curve.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Deeper Look Number Five

13. Tapiture
Tapit- Free Spin by Olympio
Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Wins: 2
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $490,838

Connections:
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: Steven M. Asmussen
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC

Derby Points: 52 

Class: He's a talented horse, but I feel like many before him he may be restricted in distance. His pedigree doesn't pack much of a punch when it comes to stamina. Not to mention the fact that this horse is incredibly difficult to rate off the pace which is what he would have to do come Derby day. The pace is to hot for him to not come from way out of it or mid pack. Every time they have tried to rate him he always throws his head up in protest. There's no question about his talent it's whether or not he will be able to get the distance and with his rating problems I would bet that he won't get the distance.

Pedigree: Another colt with Tapit on the top. Tapit's influence on Tapiture's pedigree is that he gives the colt miler speed, and not mile and a quarter stamina. Tapiture's mother Free Spin never really performed beyond six and a half furlongs, and was a moderate racehorse. Tapiture  does get a dose of stamina from his broodmare sire Olympio, only issue is Olympio only won once at the mile a quarter distance, and the good majority of his foals are distance challenged.

Overall Opinion: Tapiture is a nice colt, but I think this one will be better suited to a dirt mile distance in the future.

Final Decision: Tapiture is a pretender.

14. Ring Weekend
Tapit- Free The Magic by Cryptoclearance
Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Wins: 2
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $305,660

Connections:
Jockey: Alan Garica
Trainer: Graham Motion
Owner: St. Elias Stable and West Points Thoroughbreds

Derby Points: 50 

Class: His performance in the Calder Derby was a little puzzling, but he rated from slightly off of it, and if he can do that in the Derby he could have a serious chance at a price. He is a quality individual who just needs to get everything figured out which will come with time. If he doesn't perform here look out for him in the future he is a seriously talented individual who with time could really blossom into something nice. I also like how he has run on some pretty tiring racing surfaces, and still seems to finish well which should translate well to Churchill Downs.

Pedigree: Another talented colt by Tapit who also gives this one miler speed. On the bottom side though his broodmare sire Cryptoclearance could run all day. His mother Free the Magic was a primarily a grass horse but her best races were at a mile or more which gives me strong hope for his distance ability.

Overall Opinion: Ring Weekend is a very talented individual who hasn't realized his full potential quite yet. With more racing experience he will just get better and better.

Final Decision: Ring Weekend is a contender.

15. General A Rod
Roman Ruler- Dynamite Eyes by Dynaformer
Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Wins: 2
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $282,200

Connections:
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: Michael Maker
Owner: J. Armando Rodriguez

Derby Points: 40 

Class: He needs to go back to his old style of coming from way off the pace. They have been tinkering with his blinkers which have made him pretty speed oriented, and seemingly unable to pass horses. If they take them off or make them just cheaters he may relax, and come from off of it. He is a very nice animal, but so far I haven't seen enough from him running on the pace, and if the Derby pace is as hot as it's supposed to be the only chance this one has is from off of it.

Pedigree: Bred to run all day with Dynaformer on bottom. Roman Ruler on top gives him a decent amount of speed but also the ability to carry it. His dam only won one race and it was at six and a half furlongs though on the surface his pedigree looks loaded he may actually have some distance issues.

Overall Opinion: If General A Rod goes back to his old tactics of coming from off of it he may have a serious shot at the Derby title. His pedigree looks loaded but it also has a lot of speed in it which may hint at distance limitations.

Final Decision: General A Rod is a contender.

Tune in next time as I review Medal Count, Candy Boy, and Uncle Sigh. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Deeper Look Number 4



10. We Miss Artie 
Artie Schiller- Athena's Gift by Fusaichi Pegasus 
Career Statistics: 
Starts:8 
Firsts: 3 
Seconds: 2 
Thirds: 0 
Earnings: $609,000 

Connections: 
Jockey: John R. Velazquez 
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher 
Owner: Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K. 

Derby Points: 60 

Class: Worries here about his class on dirt. He hasn't shown much on dirt as he shouldn't his pedigree screams turf. Churchill does tend to play like a synthetic track, and lots of synthetic type horses do take to the track well. This horse on the other hand doesn't seem like much on synthetic or dirt. His effort in the Spiral was less than spectacular, and it has proven to be a pretty unsatisfactory prep as the horses he was struggling to get by all ran up the track in the Bluegrass Stakes. Though there is no doubt he is talented his best running will be done on the grass and at distances up to a mile and an eighth. 

Pedigree: His pedigree screams turf his sire Artie Schiller was a very talented Breeders Cup Mile winner, and his mother was also a pretty talented mile type grass mare. His mother was fifth in the 2008 Virgina Oaks on the turf. Though there are facets in his pedigree that have some dirt influence with Fusaichi Pegasus on his bottom side I still feel that's not enough dirt influence, and this one will be much better suited on the turf in the future. 

Overall Opinion: Another with a pedigree geared towards a mile, and this one screams grass. He is still a talented colt, but I don't think he is a Derby quality animal and I'm sure after the Derby he will return to synthetics and turf like he should be doing. 

Final Decision: We Miss Artie is a pretender. 

11. Ride On Curlin 
Curlin- Magical Ride by Storm Cat 
Career Statistics: 
Starts: 9 
Firsts: 2 
Seconds: 2 
Thirds: 4 
Earnings: $414,687 

Connections: 
Jockey: John Kenton Court 
Trainer: William G. Gowan 
Owner: Daniel J. Dougherty 

Derby Points: 55 

Class: If he uses his closing style in the Derby this one could be seriously dangerous at a price. He certainly fits in here, and is a pretty consistent animal and one with lots of ability. I do worry just a little about distance as his last couple races have shown he's been a little tired towards the end of his races. Though in the Arkansas Derby he showed that old come from behind ability and if he comes from behind he could be eating them all up come Derby day. 

Pedigree: Curlin on top gives him a good dose of stamina. His mother Magical Ride on the other hand was primarily a sprinter, and if you go back to her mother before her she was also a very talented sprinter. With Storm Cat on bottom you never really know how far they actually want to go, but with Curlin on top I think it will give him the ability to stretch out farther and maybe get the mile and a quarter. 

Overall Opinion: Very talented horse, but he absolutely needs to close in the Derby if he is to have any chance at all at the roses. Could be a nice Preakness bet if he doesn't like the Derby distance. 

Final Decision: Ride On Curlin is a contender. 

12. Chitu 
Henny Hughes- Sea Gift by A.P. Indy 
Career Statistics: 
Starts: 4 
Wins: 3 
Seconds: 1 
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $501,800 

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

Derby Points: 54 

Class: Worries about ability here. He really struggled to get by Midnight Hawk in the Sunland Derby and Midnight Hawk has shown he may have distance limitations. Chitu is a nice individual, but I think this one may be suited towards shorter distances in the future and could be headed that way after the Derby. He is a nice individual though he just needs shorter distances probably could be a decent Dirt Mile horse in the future. 

Pedigree: Henny Hughes his sire was a very talented Breeders Cup level sprinter and tends to pass that speed onto his offspring. His mother was by A.P. Indy, but she wasn't much of a distance horse and her mother before her wasn't much racehorse either. His pedigree is geared towards short distance races like most of the pedigrees in this years Derby field. 

Overall Opinion: He's going to be a nice sprinter/ dirt miler in the future. He has some ability, but he is not Derby quality. 

Final Decision: Chitu is a pretender. 

Tune in next time as I review Tapiture, Ring Weekend, and General A Rod. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Taking a Deeper Look Part Three

Deeper Look Number Three 


7. Hoppertunity 
Any Given Saturday- Refugee by Unaccounted For 
Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $610,720 

Connections: 
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Watson, Karl, Pegram, Michael E. and Weitman, Paul

Derby Points: 95 

Class: Some question his class, but I don't have any doubt in my mind about his ability. His race in the Santa Anita Derby was nothing more than a paid workout which is just what he needed. Remember Baffert took a similar approach in 1998 with Real Quiet who also ran into a freaky speed horse named Indian Charlie in the Santa Anita Derby a couple weeks later Real Quiet was a Derby winner and Indian Charlie wasn't. Hoppertunity wasn't asked for much in the stretch run yet he still managed to draw away from Candy Boy and gain ground on California Chrome in a hand ride not to mention he steam rolled past California Chrome in the gallop out. It was the perfect final prep, and it should set him up well come Derby day. One other thing is the Apollo Curse yes Hoppertunity didn't race as a two year old, but unlike others before him he has managed to fit in five races before the Derby, and those five races have all insured his professionalism and fitness. He's a serious racehorse and one you shouldn't look down on come Derby day. 

Pedigree: His sire Any Given Saturday was suspect at a mile and a quarter but he had plenty of stamina influence to his pedigree with A.P. Indy on the bottom side of his pedigree. Since Any Given Saturday is a relatively new sire there's no telling how far his offspring want to go as Hoppertunity so far has been the class of his offspring. Hoppertunity's mother was a stakes placed long distance grass mare which gives Hoppertunity a nice dose of stamina to his pedigree, and gives me confidence that this one will run all day. 

Overall Opinion: Hoppertunity is a very talented individual, and with his pedigree he will run all day. Only worries here are Baffert hasn't won the Derby since 2002, and there's the Apollo Curse, but since trends have gone down in recent years it's not going to be long before the Apollo Curse is broken, and something tells me Hoppertunity will be the one to break it. 

Final Decision: Hoppertunity is a contender. 

8. Intense Holiday 
Harlan's Holiday- Intensify by Unbridled's Song 
Career Statistics 
Starts: 8
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $551,900 

Connections: 
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Starlight Racing

Derby Points: 93 

Class: I do question his class especially after the Louisiana Derby where just in the blink of an eye he went totally south and seemed to lose interest in what he was doing. Though the Derby pace figures to be hot this year, and he seems to be one of two quality closers I just don't like what he did in the Louisiana Derby, and worry that he may have just gotten lucky once. Though he is young and still on the improve I feel he still may have a lot of maturing to do, and at this stage that's certainly not a good thing. 

Pedigree: Harlan's Holiday has been a solid sire as of late but he himself never won at a mile and quarter and most of his offspring seem to be geared towards the mile to a mile and an eighth distance races. Intense Holiday's broodmare sire is Unbridled's Song who also was suspect at a mile and quarter making me question whether or not Intense Holiday will be able to handle a mile and a quarter. 

Overall Opinion: He's a nice horse but he still has some maturing to do, and he may be suspect at a route of ground. 

Final Decision: Intense Holiday is a pretender. 

9. Wildcat Red 
D'Wildcat- Racene by Miner's Mark 
Career Statistics: 
Starts: 7
Firsts: 4
Seconds: 3
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $690,850 

Connections: 
Jockey: John R. Velazquez
Trainer: Jose Garoffalo
Owner: Honors Stable Corp. 

Derby Points: 90 

Class: No questioning his heart or his talent he has proven time and time again that if you doubt him he will make you pay. He's got so much heart it's hard not to root for him, though I feel he may be suspect at a distance of ground and with the Derby pace as hot as it looks like it's going to be he may be struggling come that final eighth of a mile. One thing though do not doubt this horse he's got loads of talent and though he may not win the Derby he definitely has a huge shot at the Preakness, and he's going to be awfully dangerous down the road maybe in the Dirt Mile or Sprint at the Breeders Cup. 

Pedigree: Though his top side is very speed oriented his bottom side actually has a good influence of stamina. His broodmare sire is Miner's Mark who was breed to run all day and traces his lineage back to Personal Ensign and the Phipps family's dynasty of horses. Though his top side screams sprinter his bottom side might just be what gets him home come Derby day. I can't say this enough DO NOT DOUBT THIS HORSE. 

Overall Opinion: Gutsiest horse on the Derby trail so far this year, and though many think he may not be a distance horse I think his pedigree actually has a decent amount of stamina on the bottom that may just be able to get him the win come Derby Day this year. 

Final Decision: Wildcat Red is a contender.

 Tune in next time as I cover We Miss Artie, Ride On Curlin, and Chitu! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Deeper Look Part Two

Deeper Look Part Two 


4. Wicked Strong 
Hard Spun- Moyne Abbey by Charismatic 
Career Statistics:
Starts: 6
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $704,610
Connections: 
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
Trainer: James A. Jerkens
Owner: Centennial Farms

Derby Points: 102 

Class: Though I don't question his class I do question his ability outside of New York, as his only two good stakes performances were around two turns at Aqueduct. He had real trouble shipping into Florida, and didn't seem to like it there one bit as he put in dismal efforts in both his starts there. Blame it on the surface or the ability of the horse, but I can attest for him that the surface was incredibly speed favoring this year, and that could of played an important role in his dismal efforts down at Gulfstream Park. 

Pedigree: Hard Spun was a classy, and tough individual at any distance, and he seems to pass that quality on to his foals. Wicked Strong's mother was a claimer who took four tries to break her maiden and when she did it was for a $62,500 tag. She would never win another race but with Charismatic as the broodmare sire Wicked Strong should be able to run all day; he also has With Approval a Canadian Triple Crown winner in his pedigree which adds to his route pedigree. If this one doesn't perform in the Derby look out for him in the Belmont of all the Triple Crown races that is his best shot. 

Overall Opinion: Nice quality closer who has a pedigree that doesn't stop. If he can find the right holes come Derby day he is a serious threat to win. If he doesn't win the Derby look out for this one at Belmont he's already proven he loves it there as he broke his maiden there. 

Final Decision: Wicked Strong is a contender. 

5. Samraat 
Noble Causeway- Little Indian Girl by Indian Charlie 
Career Statistics:
Starts: 6
Firsts: 5
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $773,200 

Connections: 
Jockey: Jose L. Ortiz
Trainer: Richard A. Violette, Jr.
Owner: My Meadowview Farm

Derby Points: 100 

Class: I started to strongly question his class after he barely got by Social Inclusion in the Wood Memorial. I feel if he has a shot at any of the Triple Crown races it will be the Preakness as he seems to have some major distance issues. Make no mistake though this horse is a fighter and could still be right there at the finish though he may be a little bit easier to get by. His previously undefeated record can attest that he is a real hard competitor but I think the Derby distance may be a bit farther than he wants to go. He also has to get his leads figured out, as he tends to finish on the wrong lead which doesn't help him in the stretch run.  

Pedigree: Samraat's sire Noble Causeway was never really effective at a mile and a quarter which is concerning even though he had loads of stamina in his pedigree including Giant's Causeway and Seeking The Gold. Samraat's mother Little Indian Girl took six tries to break her maiden, and when she did it was for a $62,500 tag; she ran primarily at mile and a sixteenth or shorter. Samraat's broodmare sire Indian Charlie was a brilliantly fast horse who seemed to be suspect at a mile and quarter, and hasn't been able to pass his stamina on to his foals which is quite concerning for Samraat. 

Overall Opinion: This horse is a fighter, but his pedigree doesn't exactly scream a mile and a quarter. He also needs to get his leads figured out before the Derby or he may have to pay for the consequences. He may be one of the ones wilting turning for home at the top of that long Churchill stretch.  

Final Decision: Samraat is a pretender. 

6. Danza  
Street Boss- Champagne Royal by French Deputy  
Career Statistics: 
Starts: 4
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $666,428  

Connections 
Jockey: Joe Bravo
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners

Derby Points: 100 

Class: He only recently jumped onto the Derby scene with a majorly impressive performance in the Arkansas Derby. What he lacks in experience he makes up for in sheer ability and professionalism, he burst through that hole in the stretch of the Arkansas Derby like a seasoned professional, and not like a horse that had had only three previous starts. He may be peaking at just the right time, and he seems to be very tactical, and the way he strode out in the Arkansas Derby makes me think he will handle a distance of ground without question. Make no mistake this is not a one hit wonder this is a serious racehorse. 

Pedigree: His top side is pure speed and not much else. His bottom side is highly leaning towards long distances and route races. He certainly has an intriguing pedigree and he shows he's got a lot of speed question now can he carry it. 

Overall Opinion: Very talented racehorse some things that could beat him Derby day would be his lack of experience and his trainer has a 1 for 38 record or so in the Derby which is also quite concerning. 

Final Decision: Danza is a contender.  

Tune in next time as I review Hoppertunity, Intense Holiday and Wildcat Red. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Taking a Deeper Look Part One

Taking a Deeper Look Part One 

In these installments I'll be looking at the derby canidates, and giving an opinion on thier class, pedigree and whether or not they are a pretender or a contender; when it comes to the Derby.  


1. California Chrome 
Lucky Pulpit- Love the Chase by Not For Love  
Career Statistics: 
Starts: 10
Firsts: 6
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $1,134,850

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

Derby Points: 150 

Class: No questions here at all about his class he is one of the most talented horses of this three year old crop by far. Only worries I have for this one is how hot the pace looks like it will be this year. He may not be able to rate off the pace as the only time he took dirt he ran sixth against average California bred stakes company. He usually breaks well though so if he gets off good he may be able to find a good stalking trip instead of being on the lead which he has shown he doesn't need just as long as he is just off of it. 

Pedigree: His sire has produced a Kentucky Derby contender before in Rousing Sermon, but Rousing Sermon has never performed well at a mile and quarter, and he was out of an Awesome Again mare; which would make you think he could handle a distance of ground. His broodmare sire was a pretty average racehorse, and didn't seem to want distance which is very concerning. California Chrome's mother was a cheap claimer, and really doesn't seem like much on the surface. Though you have to love underdog types like California Chrome you also have to be realistic here as well. His pedigree doesn't exactly scream a mile and a quarter which could be his major red flag come Derby day. 

Overall Opinion: California Chrome is a very serious racehorse, and one who could make major waves in the Derby, but I do worry about his pedigree, and ability to get a mile and quarter. Overall I still feel that he has a strong chance to outrun his pedigree. 

Final Decision: California Chrome is a contender. 

2. Vicar's In Trouble 
Into Mischief - Vibrant by Vicar 
Career Statistics: 
Starts: 5
Firsts: 3
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $788,900

Connections: 
Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
Trainer: Michael J. Maker
Owner: Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K

Derby Points: 120 

Class: I do question his class a bit, and worry very strongly that if this one doesn't get things his way he won't run his race. You have to be able to be tactical when it comes to the Derby, because almost always nothing goes the way you want it to unless you're standing in the Derby winner's circle. He tends to do his best running as the lone leader, and in this field that just isn't going to happen. He seemed to really struggle home that last quarter of a mile in the Louisiana Derby, and that really worries me because he's going to have to go an eighth of a mile longer in the Kentucky Derby. 

Pedigree: His sire Into Mischief is the sire of last year's Derby contenders Goldencents, and Vyjack who both have so far shown they want no part of the Derby distance. His mother is by Vicar who was primarily a sprinter and not much else. Making his pedigree highly geared towards one mile, and not much farther than that. 

Overall Opinion: Though he has shown some ability, and looks like a nice dirt mile horse I strongly feel this is one who will be wilting come the homestretch of the Derby. 

Final Decision: Vicar's In Trouble is a pretender 

3. Dance With Fate 
Two Step Salsa- Flirting With Fate by Saint Ballado 
Career Statistics: 
Starts: 8
Firsts: 3
Seconds: 3
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $680,050

Connections: 
Jockey: Corey S. Nakatani
Trainer: Peter Eurton
Owner: Alesia, Sharon, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing LLC

Derby Points: 108

Class: He has never run faster than a 99 Beyer which is a little concerning. I'm not usually a big numbers person, and like to look at the horse visually, but I like to see at least one triple digit performance before the Derby to at least show the horse has serious ability. I also feel this one is best on turf, and synthetic though he has two okay efforts on dirt I don't think he really likes it. He ran a pretty good race in the Bluegrass, but the race was handed to him on a silver platter, and I think he was starting to get tired nearing the wire. Though a final decision on his derby status hasn't been announced I think they are leaning towards running, and who wouldn't you usually only get one shot at the Derby why not fire it. 

Pedigree: His sire Two Step Salsa was a pretty good racehorse who was able to win on both dirt, and synthetics though primarily at distances no longer than a mile. Dance With Fate's mother Flirting With Fate ran primarily at Charles Town, and took several tries to break her maiden. Dance With Fate's broodmare sire Saint Ballado was able to win on dirt though not farther than a mile and an eighth. His pedigree leans towards the short side which is also a major concern. 

Overall Opinion: His dirt form is questionable and his ability to get a distance of ground is concerning. 

Final Decision: Dance With Fate is a pretender. 

Tune in next time as I review Wicked Strong, Samraat, and Danza. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Derby Six for 4/12/14

Derby Six for 4/12/14 


1. Hoppertunity 
Any Given Saturday- Refugee by Unaccounted For
Career Statistics
Starts: 5
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $610,720 

Connections:
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Watson, Karl, Pegram, Michael E. and Weitman, Paul

Derby Points: 95  

He got exactly what he needed out of the Santa Anita Derby he didn't need the win. His solid second was very easy and he was hand ridden the entire stretch and yet still drew off and made ground on California Chrome in the gallop out. That kind of performance should set him up really well for a winning performance come Derby day I'm starting to get flashbacks of Real Quiet with this one. Even though Bayern didn't exactly boost his reputation I feel this one is breed more for distance than Bayern and strictly breeding and experience was Bayern's problem in the Arkansas Derby. I strongly feel this is one of the better three year olds in training and if the pace is as hot as I suspect it will be in the Derby this one is tactical and can pick up the pieces late if need be. All he has to do is stay in one piece till Derby day and get a little racing luck in the Derby.

Race Shown: 2014 Santa Anita Derby 
Race Finish: 2nd 
Race Link: http://youtu.be/a10u6V_Ldus 

2.Wicked Strong 
Hard Spun- Moyne Abbey by Charismatic 
Career Statistics
Starts: 6
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $704,610

Connections 
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
Trainer: James A. Jerkens
Owner: Centennial Farms

Derby Points: 102  

His race in the Wood was very impressive, and he will be one of maybe four closers come Derby day that will be making up ground, thing is with a fast pace its hard to weave your way past tired horses, and there will be nineteen of them he will have to get by come Derby day. I love his pedigree he strongly reminds me of Pleasant Colony who won the Derby after taking the Wood maybe this one will follow in those big hoof prints. If he doesn't take the Derby watch out for this one in the Belmont something tells me a mile and a half will be no problem for this very special son of Hard Spun.

Race Shown: 2014 Wood Memorial 
Race Finish: 1st 


Race Link: http://youtu.be/a4jwGXrXETc  

3. California Chrome 
Lucky Pulpit- Love The Chase by Not For Love 
Career Statistics:
Starts: 10
Firsts: 6
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $1,134,850 

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

Derby Points: 150 

I still don't quite know what to make of this colt he is either the one of the best horses I've seen or just another brilliant miler. I base my views on Derby horses with whether or not I think they can get the distance with this one if he can get the distance he is simply the best horse I have ever seen. That distance question is the only thing keeping him from being number one on my Derby list yes he is brilliant but how many times do I have to reiterate brilliant doesn't always win the Derby actually more often than not it doesn't. He needs to prove he can get the distance before I will call him anything other than brilliant. My worries about distance are not unfounded his pedigree is not exactly top tier with distance and I really didn't like the way he galloped out in the Santa Anita Derby which would warrant distance issues, guess we will have to wait till May.

Race Shown: 2014 Santa Anita Derby 
Race Finish: 1st 
Race Link: http://youtu.be/a10u6V_Ldus  

4.Ring Weekend 
Tapit- Free The Magic by Cryptoclearance 
Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $305,660 

Connections: 
Jockey: Alan Garcia
Trainer: H. Graham Motion
Owner: St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds 

Derby Points: 50 

Still not ready to give up on this one even if he doesn't win the Derby I feel this is one that once he figures everything out he could be one of the top three year olds around. Though he is green he showed an ability to rate last out which gives me confidence that he will be okay in the Derby hes only ranked this low due to his greenness which will only go away with racing experience.

Race Shown: 2014 Calder Derby 
Race Finish: 2nd 


Race Link: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/USA/CRC/2014/4/5/7/calder-derby  

5. Ride On Curlin 
Curlin- Magical Ride by Storm Cat 
Career Statistics: 
Starts: 9
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 4
Earnings: $414,687

Connections:  
Jockey: Jon Kenton Court
Trainer: William G. Gowan
Owner: Daniel J. Dougherty 

Derby Points: 55

Everyone who knows me knows I love my Curlin's and this one is no exception. I was waiting to put him on here after the Arkansas Derby hoping he would revert back to his come from behind tactics and he did and ran on very impressively. If this colt pulls that same tactic in the Derby he could very well win he is one that seems to keep getting better and learning which is exactly the horse you need on the Triple Crown trail. 

Race Shown: 2014 Arkansas Derby 
Race Finish: 2nd 
Race Link:http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/USA/OP/2014/4/12/11/arkansas-derby-gr-i 

6. Danza 
Street Boss- Champagne Royal by French Deputy  
Career Statistics: 
Starts: 4
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $666,428  

Connections 
Jockey: Joe Bravo
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners 

Derby Points: 100

Being by Street Boss we don't really know how far this colt really wants to go but the way he strode out it looks like he may only get better with distance. He is also very tactical and runs very professional for a horse with only four starts he could be a serious challenge come may. He is also incredibly consistent and very workmanlike he made the very talented Bayern look like a cheap horse which is enough for him to join my list. I feel he does get a strong enough stamina influence from his dam so though he may be border line for a mile and a quarter I think he will be just fine come May. 

Race Shown: 2014 Arkansas Derby 
Race Finish: 1st 
Race Link: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/USA/OP/2014/4/12/11/arkansas-derby-gr-i

Monday, April 7, 2014

Derby Six for 4/7/14

Derby Six for 4/7/14 


1. Hoppertunity 
Any Given Saturday- Refugee by Unaccounted For
Career Statistics
Starts: 5
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $610,720 

Connections:
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Watson, Karl, Pegram, Michael E. and Weitman, Paul

Derby Points: 95 

He ran a very credible race in the Santa Anita Derby he was really moving coming for home and possibly if the hole at the top of the stretch had opened sooner he may have been able to collar California Chrome and possibly could have won the race. He galloped out really well which only makes me believe he really be able to handle a mile and a quarter and seeing as he seems to be the most tactical horse on he Derby trail up to this point he remains my number one pick for the Derby.
Race Shown: 2014 Santa Anita Derby 
Race Finish: 2nd 
Race Link: http://youtu.be/a10u6V_Ldus 

2. Wicked Strong 
Hard Spun- Moyne Abbey by Charismatic 
Career Statistics
Starts: 6
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $704,610 

Connections 
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
Trainer: James A. Jerkens
Owner: Centennial Farms

Derby Points: 102 

Finally a horse that can close ground on the Derby Trail! After all these front running and stalking horses I was finding it hard to pick a horse that could legitimately close and well now I have found one. His race in the Wood Memorial showed he can pick up the pieces late. Since the pace will undoubtedly collapse with so many speed horses in this years derby it looks like whenever you find a closer you better latch on tight especially when they have the type of pedigree this one has. With Charismatic on bottom he should be able to run all day and his father Hard Spun was no slouch either at a mile and a quarter and longer. Wicked Strong will run all day and he will be able to pick up the pieces late just the style you need in this years derby. Only worry is with a collapsing pace will all those tired horses get in his way or will he be able to find the right holes at the right times? 

Race Shown: 2014 Wood Memorial 
Race Finish: 1st 
Race Link: http://youtu.be/a4jwGXrXETc 

3. California Chrome 
Lucky Pulpit- Love The Chase by Not For Love 
Career Statistics:
Starts: 10
Firsts: 6
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $1,134,850 

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

Derby Points: 150 

He certainly asserted himself in the Santa Anita Derby and made himself look very good. I worry about distance with him and after the way he galloped out I can't help but worry more he didn't have an all together nice gallop out as both Hoppertunity and Candy Boy galloped out past him without a problem. Though his pedigree does have some mile and a quarter influences they aren't that strong and though he is brilliant there is an abundance of speed in this years Derby and his running style doesn't exactly put him in a favorable position. 

Race Shown: 2014 Santa Anita Derby 
Race Finish: 1st 
Race Link: http://youtu.be/a10u6V_Ldus  

4. Tapiture 
Tapit- Free Spin by Olympio 
Career Statistics
Starts: 6
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $440,838

Connections 
Jockey:Ricardo Santana, Jr. 
Trainer:Steven M. Asmussen 
Owner:Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC 

Derby Points: 42 

He runs next weekend in the Arkansas Derby and he really needs to show he can run farther than a mile and an eighth what I'm looking for is a dominat but reasonably workman like victory with a strong gallop out that could indicate a progression but also an ability to get a mile and a quarter. He showed he is tough now he needs to prove he has what it takes to get a mile and quarter. He will also need to prove he can handle taking dirt he hasn't taken any dirt in either of his victories which poses the question on whether or not he will be able to win while taking dirt.

Race Shown: 2014 Rebel Stakes
Race Finish: 2nd
Race Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYpR0HOC59E

5. Ring Weekend 
Tapit- Free The Magic by Cryptoclearance 
Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $305,660 

Connections: 
Jockey: Alan Garcia
Trainer: H. Graham Motion
Owner: St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds 

Derby Points: 50 

He ran incredibly green last out and though he still seems to be a bit headstrong I still like the move he made until he got a little lost at the top of the stretch in the Calder Derby. Though once he got everything figured out again he seemed to kick back in a make up a little ground so I'm not giving up hope just yet on this talented son of Tapit. I feel that though he may be green he seems like he can adjust to things and may be able to come from off the pace if asked to do so and with an already automatic Derby bid he has nothing to worry about points wise. 

Race Shown: 2014 Calder Derby 
Race Finish: 2nd 
Race Link: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/USA/CRC/2014/4/5/7/calder-derby 

6. Wildcat Red 
D'Wildcat- Racene by Miner's Mark
Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Firsts: 4
Seconds: 3
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $690,850 

Connections: 
Jockey: John R. Velazquez
Trainer: Jose Garoffalo
Owner: Honors Stable Corp.  

Derby Points: 90

Though his pedigree doesn't exactly scream a mile and a quarter he has a dosage index of 5.67 which isn't altogether to bad I mean Real Quiet had a dosage index of 5.33 so this one could just get the job done. With the heart he showed in the Florida Derby he stole my heart and coming home down that Churchill stretch he will put up a big fight. He may have to change running styles in the Kentucky Derby as there seems to be a large presence of speed but he certainly seems a lot more tactical than the speed horses I've seen so far this year. I put him on here instead of Constitution because this one has more experience and isn't running against the Apollo curse which hasn't been broken in over a hundred years. Another thing about this colt is his bottom side actually has a pretty decent amount of stamina to it Miner's Mark his broodmare sire was a really nice son of Personal Ensign and he was bred to run all day and his great dam sire was Flying Paster who was a very nice mile and a quarter racehorse. All in all I think his pedigree may be boarder line but I feel it actually somewhat leans towards a mile and quarter and he may have his doubters eating their words come May. 

Race Shown: Florida Derby 2014 
Race Finish: 2nd 
Race link: http://youtu.be/-w0-KD61e8c

Derby Points Leaderboard 

1. California Chrome 
Points: 150 
Next Start: Kentucky Derby 

2.Vicar's In Trouble 
Derby Points: 120 
Next Start: Kentucky Derby

3. Wicked Strong
Derby Points: 102
Next Start: (Probable) Kentucky Derby

4. Samraat
Derby Points: 100
Next Start: Kentucky Derby

5. Constitution
Derby Points: 100
Next Start: Kentucky Derby

6. Hoppertunity
Derby Points: 95
Next Start: (Probable) Kentucky Derby

7. Intense Holiday
Derby Points: 93
Next Start: (Probable) Kentucky Derby

8. Wildcat Red
Derby Points: 90
Next Start: Kentucky Derby

9. We Miss Artie
Derby Points: 60 
Next Start: Kentucky Derby  

10. Chitu
Derby Points: 54 
Next Start: (Probable) Kentucky Derby

11. Midnight Hawk
Derby Points: 52 
Next Start: (Probable) Kentucky Derby

12. Ring Weekend
Derby Points: 50
Next Start: (Probable) Kentucky Derby

13. Tapiture
Derby Points: 42
Next Start: Arkansas Derby

14. General A Rod
Derby Points: 40 
Next Start: Kentucky Derby 

15. Albano
Derby Points: 34 
Next Start: (Probable) Kentucky Derby

16. Candy Boy
Derby Points: 30
Next Start: (Probable) Kentucky Derby

17. Cairo Prince
Derby Points: 24 
Next Start: Undeclared

18. Uncle Sigh
Derby Points: 24 
Next Start: Undeclared

19. Vinceremos
Derby Points: 20 
Next Start: (Probable) Bluegrass Stakes

20. Harry's Holiday
Derby Points: 20 
Next Start: Bluegrass Stakes

21. Commanding Curve
Derby Points: 20 
Next Start: Undeclared