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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! 

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