Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Official Picks!

Kentucky Oaks Picks  

This years Oaks is much like this years Derby with four or five fillies that have a real chance at taking the race. You have some classy speed fillies and two quality closing fillies. It's going to be a very good race, and I cannot wait to see who wears the Lillies. 

Win Plays : 

Birdatthewire-  Classy, classy, filly that has one of the best closing punches of this group of three year old fillies. She will move forward after some tough races over the Gulfstream Park oval, and will likely be a nice overlay at 7-1 or higher.  

Stellar Wind- This very nice California filly is simply to good to ignore very impressive victory last out in the Santa Anita Oaks should set her up well for a top effort in here. 

Place Plays: 

I'm A Chatterbox-  This filly really blossomed out at the Fairgrounds this winter and deserves a long look in here. I don't think she will be able to hold off the late charges of either Stellar Wind or Birdatthewire, but I do fully expect this one to fight to the finish.

Show Plays: 

Condo Commando- Can't ignore this very talented filly, but I'm not quite sure how good she really is definitely not one to leave out of the exotics, but I feel she won't be the winner come Friday. 

Longs Shots To Watch: 

Puca- Deserves a long look, and really hasn't hit her best stride quite yet.  

Angela Renee- Classy filly that though she has had a rough winter always throws a big race when it matters. 


Kentucky Derby Picks 

This years Derby is one of the hardest to handicap, and is probably one of the best Derby fields we have seen in a long time. You could make a case for ten horses, and I wouldn't question your decision. This years Triple Crown trail looks like it's going to be one for the ages! 

Win Plays: 

Dortmund- With the amount of heart, and natural ability this one has I just don't really see anyone getting by him during that long Churchill stretch run. He's got the heart he has the speed all he needs is some luck and a good trip. 

American Pharoah- Though I have said I don't think he will win, if this colt gets the distance he could very well steal this one, but again he has to get the distance which is a major question mark. 

Place Plays: 

Mubtaahij- Strongest runner we have ever seen from Dubai hands down. I worry about the travel he has had to go through in the last couple months, and the fact that he had a change in feed those are the only reasons I wouldn't play him to win. 

Keen Ice- Love this colts closing style, and the fact that he has Kent Desormeaux in the irons only helps. He will be a huge long shot Derby day, but will definitely get you the returns if he hits the board. 

Show Plays: 

Far Right- Another with a lot of closing ability that will be a nice price Derby day. He may be far behind turning for home, but he has a monster stretch kick that can carry him past anyone. He is one that is crying for a mile and a quarter and should improve second off the layoff. 

Itsaknockout- Pletcher sends at least five every year and I've found that his least talked about runner always runs the best. Loved his work with Materiality, and think he is handling the Churchill surface a lot better than he was Gulfstream. 

Long Shots To Look Out For 

Bolo- Though he will probably be better on grass in the near future. I can't ignore the fact that Churchill plays kindly to grass and synthetic horses, and with this colts very explosive turn of foot he deserves a long look in here. 





Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Winners and Losers of the Post Draw

Winners 


Dortmund drew inside of of the speed, but he has the shortest distance to the rail without actually being on the rail. If he breaks good this is a perfect spot for this big horse. 

Firing Line another that got just the right post as he will be breaking from post ten which puts him smack in the middle right where you want to be. 

Mubtaahij the six post is really going to help this horse it will put him right behind the speed and give him a solid spot to stalk. 

Bob Baffert for once Bob didn't draw the rail in the Derby looks like things are finally going to play out the way he wants. 


Losers 

Ocho Ocho Ocho is an obvious loser here and he will need to drop back and settle which actually may help this colt. 

Carpe Diem not a good spot for this colt he will be one of the first horses to load and with his previous gate issues this wont be a good spot for this colt. 

Materiality he will have to send from post three which is not ideal for this colt. 

Todd Pletcher I'm sure if he had the choice he would swap his posts around as his lesser two drew excellent and his top two drew terrible.  


Post Positions with Morning Line Odds 


1. Ocho Ocho Ocho 50-1 
2. Carpe Diem 8-1 
3. Materiality 12-1  
4. Tencendur 30-1 
5. Danzig Moon 30-1 
6. Mubtaahij 20-1 
7. El Kabeir 30-1 
8. Dortmund 3-1 
9. Bolo 30-1 
10. Firing Line 12-1 
11. Stanford 30-1 
12. International Star 20-1 
13. Itsaknockout 30-1 
14. Keen Ice 50-1 
15. Frosted 15-1 
16. War Story 50-1 
17. Mr. Z 50-1 
18. American Pharoah 5-2 
19. Upstart 15-1 
20. Far Right 30-1 

Deeper Look Part Five

13. Danzig Moon 
Malibu Moon- Leaveminthedust by Danzig

Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 1
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $251,120

Connections: 
Jockey: Julien R. Leparoux
Trainer: Mark E. Casse
Owner: John C. Oxley

Derby Points: 45 

Last Race: Bluegrass Stakes
Last Race Finish: 2nd


Class: Steadily improving colt that is going to get better with more racing experience. He has a lot of ability, but he probably isn't quite ready for the type of competition he will be facing Saturday. He will get there with time, but this is one who is probably a cut below some of the top horses in here.

Pedigree: His sire has sired a Derby winner in Orb, and will probably sire another one before his stallion career is over. That being said I don't think Danzig Moon will be that horse. His pedigree does have some distance elements to it, but has a relatively high dosage index of 3.44, and from what I visually see from this colt I don't think he really wants to go this far.

Overall Opinion: Nice colt that's on the improve, but fear he may have distance limitations, and he may not be quite ready for this type of competition.

Final Decision: Danzig Moon is a pretender.



14. War Story 
Northern Afleet- Belle Watling by Pulpit

Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $243,600 

Connections: 
Jockey: Joseph Talamo
Trainer: Thomas M. Amoss
Owner: Loooch Racing Stables, Inc., Ellis, Glenn K. and Dunn, Christopher T. 

Derby Points: 44 

Last Race: Louisiana Derby 
Last Race Finish: 3rd 


Class: Another that has some ability, but another that is probably a cut below the others in here though he may have a shot at running in the top five if he gets the right trip and some others run poor races. He will get better with time, and proper management. Right now I can't see him winning the Kentucky Derby, and think his best chance will be in the later two legs of the Triple Crown. 

Pedigree: His dosage index is relatively low at a 2.73, but his sire and broodmare sire don't really produce horses that want to run farther than six furlongs so though it may seem like a stamina pedigree it really is not. 

Overall Opinion: Solid deep closer, but fear he may have issues getting the distance. 

Final Decision: War Story is a pretender. 


15. Tencendur 
Warrior's Reward- Still Secret by Hennessy 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 1
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $253,500

Connections: 
Jockey: Jose L. Ortiz
Trainer: George Weaver
Owner: Philip S. Birsh 

Derby Points: 41 

Last Race: Wood Memorial 
Last Race Finish: 2nd 



Class: Got everything his own way last out was allowed to set slow fractions, and he still couldn't hold onto the lead. Granted Frosted is a nice colt, but Tencendur was all out to try and win, and really didn't seem to handle the distance one bit. He will probably be better suited to a mile, and shorter in the future. 

Pedigree: He has a dosage index of a flat 3 which doesn't help. His sire and broodmare sire tend to produce horses that want to run shorter, and visually he doesn't look like a horse that wants to run this long. 

Overall Opinion: Classy for a New York bred, but doesn't have the pedigree power or the ability to get the distance. 

Final Decision: Tencendur is a pretender.  


16. Stanford 
Malibu Moon- Rosy Humor by Distorted Humor 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $199,400 

Connections: 
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Stonestreet Stables LLC, Magnier, M., Tabor, M. and Smith, D. 

Derby Points: 40 

Last Race: Louisiana Derby 
Last Race Finish: 2nd 

Class: Has ability, but was not impressed with his two efforts at a mile and eighth. He was able to control the pace last out and set moderate fractions and still was not able to hold on which does not bode well for him here.

Pedigree: He is bred to get the distance, but visually it looks like he doesn't want any part of it. His sire and broodmare sire have both produce Derby winners, but visually that were much better horses than Stanford is. He has a dosage index of a 3.44 which strongly leans towards shorter distances. 

Overall Opinion: Nice colt, but seems to be biting off more than he can chew here. 

Final Decision: Stanford is a pretender. 


17. Mr. Z 
Malibu Moon- Stormy Bear by Storm Cat 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 12
Firsts: 1
Seconds: 4
Thirds: 4
Earnings: $652,226 

Connections: 
Jockey: Ramon A. Vazquez
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: Zayat Stables, LLC 

Derby Points: 34 

Last Race: Arkansas Derby 
Last Race Finish: 3rd 


Class: You certainly can't say this colt doesn't try, he's one of the toughest horses to get by when he wants to be, and gave Dortmund a run for his money at the end of his two year old year. This is one colt who has no quit in him. If he could revert back to his old style of coming of the pace he actually would have a huge chance in here, but I just don't see him winning if he is on the pace.  

Pedigree: Has a flat dosage index of 3. His sire has produced a Derby winner before in Orb, but Mr.Z probably isn't on the same level as Orb was at this time of year. He could get the distance as both his broodmare sire and sire both have average offspring winning distances of 7.05 which does bode well for his chances at getting the distance. Visually though the only chance he has at getting the distance is off the pace. 

Overall Opinion: Classy hard trying colt, but needs to revert back to his old style to have a shot at getting the distance in here. 

Final Decision: Mr. Z is a pretender. 


18. Ocho Ocho Ocho 
Street Sense- Winner by Horse Chestnut 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 3
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $793,850 

Connections: 
Jockey: Santiago Gonzalez
Trainer: James M. Cassidy
Owner: DP Racing, LLC 

Derby Points: 30 

Last Race: Bluegrass Stakes 
Last Race Finish: 3rd 

Class: Has ability and he gets the distance could be a threat at a nice price. This being his third start of the lay off I expect to see some huge improvement from this colt. He will probably need to be mid pack in here to have a serious chance as there is to much speed to press the pace. 

Pedigree: His sire won the Kentucky Derby, but the majority of his offspring seem to be better suited to shorter distances so far. His broodmare sire was a very talented individual, but hasn't been able to produce anything special. His dosage index is a strong 2.11 which is one of the lower ones in this field. His sire and broodmare sire's average winning distance is above seven furlongs which also bodes well for his chances at getting the distance. 

Overall Opinion: Classy individual that is going to improve third off the layoff, but probably wont hit his peak till the Preakness. 

Final Decision: Ocho Ocho Ocho is a Contender. 


19. Bolo 
Temple City- Aspen Mountain by Chief Seattle 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $249,700

Connections: 
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Trainer: Carla Gaines
Owner: Golden Pegasus Racing, Inc. and Mack, Earle I. 

Derby Points: 30 

Last Race: Santa Anita Derby 
Last Race Finish: 3rd 


Class: Probably better suited to turf, but the Churchill dirt tends to play kindly to grass horses so his closing charge could be more effective over this strip. Was wide throughout the Santa Anita Derby and still managed to make a strong run. Loads of ability, has a huge chance here, but only because the surface plays kindly to his type. 

Pedigree: Has a flat dosage index of 2 which is one of the lower ones in this field. Visually looks like he wants the distance. His sire was primarily a marathoner which bodes well for his chances at this distance. His broodmare sire is a little more speed oriented which doesn't help, but with his sire being such a distance oriented horse that also tends to produce distance oriented horses I don't think the distance is going to be an issue. 

Overall Opinion: May be better suited to grass, but deserves a huge look in here at a price. 

Final Decision: Bolo is a contender. 


20. Keen Ice
Curlin- Medomak by Awesome Again

Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Firsts: 1
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $160,395

Connections: 
Jockey: James Graham
Trainer: Dale L. Romans
Owner: Donegal Racing 

Derby Points: 22 

Last Race: Louisiana Derby 
Last Race Finish: 4th 

Class: Many feel this one is too slow, but what I see is a horse that is crying for a mile and a quarter. This one could very easily pull a Giacomo, and spoil the whole party if he gets a clean trip. He will be a huge price Derby day which only adds to the reasons to like him. Add in the fact that he has been thriving since he got to Churchill Downs, and you have a horse with a huge shot. Not to mention the fact that his rider in the Derby will be Kent Desormeaux who knows a few things about how to win the Derby and you have yourself a prime candidate to steal the roses. 

Pedigree: His sire was one of the greatest horses of modern times, and could run all day and on any surface. His broodmare sire won the Breeders Cup Classic and was another who could run all day. He has a dosage index of 2.73, but his sire and broodmare sire tend to produce individuals that want to run all day. 

Overall Opinion: Deep closer with a monster kick. Has the pedigree to get the distance, and the right connections to get him to the winners circle on Saturday. 

Final Decision: Keen Ice is a contender. 




Contender and Pretender Shake Out 


Contenders: (In Order of most preference) 

1. Dortmund 

2. Keen Ice
 
3. Mubtaahij 

4. Far Right 

5. Itsaknockout 

6. American Pharoah 

7. Carpe Diem 

8. Materiality 

9. Bolo 

10. Ocho Ocho Ocho 


Pretenders: (In Order of most preference) 

1. International Star 

2. Frosted 

3. Mr.Z 

4. Upstart 

5. Firing Line 

6. El Kabeir 

7. Danzig Moon 

8. War Story 

9. Stanford 

10. Tencendur 

Tune in next time when I review the winners and losers of the post draw! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Deeper Look Part Four

10. Far Right 
Notional - Zindi by Vindication

Career Statistics:
Starts: 9
Firsts: 3
Seconds: 3
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $625,766


Connections:
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Trainer: Ron Moquett
Owner: LaPenta, Robert V. and Rosenblum, Harry T. 

Derby Points: 62 

Last Race: Arkansas Derby 
Last Race Finish: 2nd 



Class: Despite the drubbing he received last out courtesy of American Pharoah I strongly feel this one actually may have a better chance at taking the roses than American Pharoah does. Far Right posses one of the best closing kicks of this crop and will really appreciate the added distance of the Derby. You have to remember in the Arkansas Derby he was coming off a short lay off with only two works so, he was definitely not 100% cranked for the Arkansas Derby. Strongly expect him to move forward off that effort, and you could very possibly get some good odds on him on Derby day. 

Pedigree: He is bred to run all day, and with his closing style I have no doubts that he will handle the distance of the Kentucky Derby. He has a strong dosage index of 1.50 so there really is no question he will handle the distance. 

Overall Opinion: Strong closing kick is a very good asset in the Derby and this colt has it in spades this is one to look out for on Derby day. 

Final Decision: Far Right is a contender 



11. Itsaknockout 
Lemon Drop Kid- Stormy B by Cherokee Run 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 4
Firsts: 3
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $335,360

Connections: 
Jockey: Luis Saez
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Starlight Racing 

Derby Points: 60 

Last Race: Florida Derby 
Last Race Finish: 4th 


Class: Threw a clunker last out, but I think that he just didn't really seem to be handling the track that day. He is a classy individual and there's no telling what he can do on a track he actually likes. I like what I saw from him in the Fountain of Youth how he refused to give up against Upstart. He seems like a horse that wants to run all day, also love the fact that he can beat you from anywhere on the racetrack that gives him a strong advantage on Derby day. 

Pedigree: His sire Lemon Drop Kid was a Belmont winner and tends to produce horses that want to go long. His broodmare sire Cherokee Run was primarily a sprinter, but has produced some horses that like to go long. Itsaknockout also has a strong dosage index of 1.29 which gives off the impression that he would want to run all day. 

Overall Opinion: Itsaknockout has a very versatile style that will really make him dangerous in the Derby, and his pedigree suggests that he wants to run all day. 

Final Decision: Itsaknockout is a contender. 



12. Firing Line 
Line Of David- Sister Girl Blues by Hold For Gold 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 3
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $574,800

Connections: 
Jockey: Gary L. Stevens
Trainer: Simon Callaghan
Owner: Arnold Zetcher LLC 

Derby Points: 58 

Last Race: Sunland Derby 
Last Race Finish: 1st 


Class: He is talented, but this is one colt I strongly feel does not want the Derby distance. He got what he needed out of his last race which was a confidence builder and a chance to get away from Dortmund. He runs like a good horse should, but feel he is better suited to shorter races. He might be a good Dirt Mile contender come Breeders Cup time. 

Pedigree: His pedigree really leans toward six furlongs and shorter so he has already out ran his pedigree. He also has a dosage index of a flat 3 which does not bode well for his chances at the Derby distance. 

Overall Opinion: Talented colt, but will most likely have distance limitations moving forward. 

Final Decision: Firing Line is a pretender. 

Tune in next time as I review Danzig Moon, War Story, and Tencendur!  


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Deeper Look Part Three

7. Materiality 
Afleet Alex- Wildwood Flower by Langfuhr

Career Statistics:
Starts: 3
Firsts: 3
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $656,028

Connections: 
Jockey: John R. Velazquez
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Alto Racing, LLC  

Derby Points: 100

Last Race: Florida Derby 
Last Race Finish: 1st 



Class: Very talented individual that has loads of potential. We don't really know how good this colt really is as  he has had only three career starts and seems to get better every time he steps foot on the track. He never started as a two year old so he has the Apollo curse to deal with, but like all records the curse will fall one day just a question of whether or not this is the colt to do it. He doesn't look like he wants to run very far, but he does have the pedigree to get a mile and a quarter. 

Pedigree: With Afleet Alex on top it gives Materiality a good dose of stamina, and a good dose of heart. He has a decent dosage index of 2.33 which is not the worst of this crop. His broodmare sire tends to produce horses that want to run six furlongs and shorter so there is a worry that he won't get the distance. 

Overall Opinion: Materiality is a nice colt, and another interesting shot at the Apollo curse though there is a worry that he won't get the Derby distance. 

Final Decision: Materiality is a contender. 




8. El Kabeir  
Scat Daddy- Great Venue by Unbridled's Song 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 9
Firsts: 4
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 2
Earnings: $768,892

Connections: 
Jockey: Charles C. Lopez
Trainer: John P. Terranova, II
Owner: Zayat Stables, LLC 


Derby Points: 95 

Last Race: Wood Memorial 
Last Race Finish: 3rd 



Class: Spent the whole winter beating up on what a was a questionable crop of New York three year olds. He is a nice throwback horse who seems to always run his race and can beat you anywhere on the race track which is a good trait to have heading into the Derby. Strong worries about whether or not he will handle the Derby distance, but with his new found closing style he may be able to just make the distance. 

Pedigree: His sire Scat Daddy was a non threat in the Derby when he ran and didn't seem to want any part of the distance. His sire also has an average offspring winning distance of 6.9 furlongs which does not bode well for his chances at the Derby distance. His broodmare sire Unbridled's Song also does not have a great track record of producing horses that want a route of ground. Overall his pedigree does not really scream a mile and a quarter he also has a dosage index of 3.57 which also shows he probably will not get the Derby distance. 

Overall Opinion: Nice hard knocking horse, but will probably be best suited to a mile and an eighth and shorter. 

Final Decision: El Kabeir is a pretender. 



9. Upstart 
Flatter- Party Silks by Touch Gold 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Firsts: 3
Seconds: 3
Thirds: 1
Earnings: $971,480 

Connections:  
Jockey: Jose L. Ortiz
Trainer: Richard A. Violette, Jr.
Owner: Ralph M. Evans


Derby Points: 76 

Last Race: Florida Derby 
Last Race Finish: 2nd 


Class: He is a very talented individual, but he seems to be on a regressive form cycle which is a bit of a worry. He also ran like a tired horse in both the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby which has me thinking he doesn't want to run that far. Some blame the track at Gulfstream which was extremely quirky this winter, I on the other hand feel this colt is not up to par with some of the others this year. He wasn't able to get past some of the best as a two year old, and he hasn't made any jumps forward that make me think he could possibly beat American Pharoah or Dortmund. 

Pedigree: Many think his pedigree is loaded with stamina, but it actually is a false pretense. His sire was only really able to produce one horse that could get a mile and a quarter and that was Flat Out. His broodmare sire Touch Gold could get a route of ground, but hasn't really produced anything that wanted to run that far. Upstart also has a dosage index of a flat three so that also does not bode well for his chances at  the Derby Distance. 

Overall Opinion: Upstart is on a regressive form cycle, and doesn't seem to want to run a distance farther than a mile and an eighth. 

Final Decision: Upstart is a pretender. 

Tune in next time as I take a deeper look into; Far Right, Itsaknockout, and Firing Line! 


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Deeper Look Part Two

4. American Pharoah 
Pioneerof The Nile- Littleprincessemma by Yankee Gentleman

Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 4
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $1,411,500 

Connections: 
Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Zayat Stables, LLC 

Derby Points: 160 

Last Race: Arkansas Derby 
Last Race Finish: 1st 



Class: No question he has some serious talent, but there is a strong worry that he won't get the distance. He has no flaws except he needs to be on or right off the lead which if a quick pace develops he will have no chance. He does everything like a good horse should, but I really think he will have some issues with the distance of the Derby. 

Pedigree: He has a dosage index of 4 which does not bode well for his chances at getting a mile and a quarter. His sire did run second in the Kentucky Derby, but he was never a challenge to the winner that year who happened to be Mine That Bird. His dam side is straight sprinter speed his broodmare sire is Yankee Gentleman who was primarily a sprinter. Overall his pedigree does not really fit for a mile and a quarter horse, but stranger things have happened, and this looks like a seriously talented individual. 

Overall Opinion: Very classy colt that has loads of ability. Strongly worry about ability to handle a mile and a quarter. 

Final Decision: American Pharoah is a contender. 



5. Frosted 
Tapit- Fast Cookie by Deputy Minister  

Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Firsts: 2
Seconds: 4
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $836,800

Connections: 
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: Kiaran P. McLaughlin
Owner: Godolphin Racing LLC  


Derby Points: 113


Last Race: Wood Memorial 
Last Race Finish: 1st 



Class: Seems like Kiaran McLaughlin finally got this colt all figured out after he put together a strong performance in the Wood. Frosted fully exposed the New York crop as a weak bunch which I fully expected him to do. He does have some physical issues as he had to have tie back surgery in between his starts in the Fountain of Youth and the Wood Memorial which is very concerning. Seems like he's over his issues, but I don't really see this horse winning the derby as he seemed to have trouble getting by Tencenduer who is not really quite as classy as some of the other horses this year. 

Pedigree: Bred to run all day with Tapit on top and out of a Deputy Minister mare he should be able to handle the distance no problem. He has a strong dosage index of 2.75 which bodes well for his chances at getting the distance. 

Overall Opinion: Frosted is a nice colt, but worry he may not be as classy as some of the others in here. 

Final Decision: Frosted is a pretender. 



6. Mubtaahij 
Dubawi- Pennegale by Pennekamp 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 7
Firsts: 4
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $1,461,332

Connections: 
Jockey: Christophe Soumillon
Trainer: Michael F. de Kock
Owner: Sheikh Mohd bin Khalifa al Maktoum 

Derby Points: 100 

Last Race: UAE Derby 
Last Race Finish: 1st 



Class: We have no clue how good this colt is as his competition was totally questionable in the UAE Derby. All we do know is that this colt seems to be very very talented, and has a very explosive turn of foot. He also will be incredibly fit on Derby day as he has already run farther than every horse in the Derby field. Only question is will he handle the ship over. 

Pedigree: Has a dosage index of 1 which means he will absolutely run all day. No worries about distance with this one. 

Overall Opinion: Very serious colt, and is probably the best horse that has ever come over from the UAE Derby. 

Final Decision: Mubtaahij is a contender.  



Tune in next time as I take a deeper look into Materiality, El Kabeir, and Upstart. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Deeper Look Part One

1. International Star 
Fusaichi Pegasus- Parlez by French Deputy

Career Statistics:
Starts: 9
Firsts: 5
Seconds: 2
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $1,010,979

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

Derby Points: 171  

Last Race: Louisiana Derby 
Last Race Finish: 1st 



Class: Major questions about his ability as it doesn't look like he beat much in any of his races so far this year. He will have to make a major leap forward in the Derby to even have a chance to hit the board. He is one of the few stone cold closers this year, but being a closer is not usually a good thing in the Derby unless there is a major pace meltdown. He is a very brave individual though and doesn't seem to be afraid to go through the tiniest of holes which can only help him come Derby day. He also has an issue with his leads which he will need to get figured out before Derby day.

Pedigree: He is by a Kentucky Derby winner in Fusaichi Pegasus which gives him a little dose of stamina. His bottom side is strictly speed laden as his broodmare sire French Deputy tends to only produce horses that want to go six furlongs and shorter. Major questions about how far he really wants to go. He also has a dosage index of four with doesn't really bode well for his chances at a mile and a quarter. 

Overall Opinion: International Star is a nice closer, but may be best suited to a mile and an eighth and shorter. 

Final Decision: International Star is a Pretender 




2. Dortmund 
Big Brown- Our Josephina by Tale Of The Cat 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 6
Firsts: 6
Seconds: 0
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $1,289,400 

Connections: 
Jockey: Martin Garcia
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.  

Last Race: Santa Anita Derby 
Last Race Finish: 1st 




Class: No question this is one classy individual, and could very well be the best horse in this crop. In order for him to win the Derby he is going to need an absolutely trouble free trip as he is a huge horse with a huge stride. He can't get out of rhythm because he will lose to much ground for him to make up in time. I also worry about his ability to get a mile and a quarter. I must repeat he needs a trouble free trip to win and if he gets just an ounce of trouble he will have no shot. 

Pedigree: His sire Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2008 which gives him a shot of stamina. His sire also has an average offspring winning distance of seven furlongs which also shows that Big Brown can produce horses that want to go long. His broodmare sire Tale Of The Cat has and average offspring winning distance of six and a half furlongs which gives Dortmund a dose of Speed in his pedigree. His dam was out of a mare by Danzig which gives him some stamina, and helps his chances to get a mile and a quarter. 

Overall Opinion: Dortmund is a class individual he just can't get into any trouble on Derby day otherwise he will have no chance. 

Final Decision: Dortmund is a contender.  




3. Carpe Diem 
Giants Causeway- Rebridled Dreams by Unbridled's Song 

Career Statistics:
Starts: 5
Firsts: 4
Seconds: 1
Thirds: 0
Earnings: $1,519,800

Connections: 
Jockey: John R. Velazquez
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: WinStar Farm LLC and Stonestreet Stables LLC  

Last Race: Bluegrass Stakes 
Last Race Finish: 1st 



Class: No question about his class or his potential to get a mile and a quarter. This is one smooth mover and looks like he wants to run all day. He has a very explosive turn of foot, and has shown he can beat you from anywhere on the racetrack. Only worry here is he tends to be a basket case before his races if he can hold himself together through the Derby craziness there's no telling what he can accomplish on Derby day. 

Pedigree: His sire Giants Causeway has shown that he can produce horses that want to run all day his offspring average winning distance is eight furlongs which bodes well for Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem's broodmare sire has an offspring average winning distance of 6.8 furlong which also bodes well for Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem also has a dosage index of one which is another indicator of how far a horse wants to go. Based on this pedigree he will run all day and night no problem. 

Overall Opinion: Carpe Diem is a well bred individual who looks like he wants to run all day. He is one of the few that I have no question will get a mile and a quarter. 

Final Decision: Carpe Diem is a contender. 




Tune in tomorrow as I review; American Pharoah, Frosted, and Mubtaahij! 


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Derby Six for 3/12/15

1. Dortmund 
Big Brown- Our  by Tale Of The Cat
Jockey: Martin Garcia
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.



Derby Points: 170 

Still feel that he is the cream of this crop, and has the best pedigree to get the distance though there is still a question of whether or not he will handle a mile and a quarter. With his size he cannot afford any trouble in the derby which could be his only fatal flaw. This is one seriously talented individual and as he is undefeated you cannot discount what he has achieved so far in a short, but stellar career.


Last Race: Santa Anita Derby
Last Race Finish: 1st





2. Carpe Diem 
Giant's Causeway- Rebridled Dreams by Unbridled's Song
Jockey: John Velazquez
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: WinStar Farm and Stonestreet Farm


Derby Points: 164 


This is another that has loads of ability. He also has the pedigree to get a mile and a quarter which makes him super dangerous come May. His pedigree does lean towards unsoundness though which is a major concern. If he stays healthy, and makes it in he has a huge shot to win the roses. Another major issue for this one is he tends to be a basket case in the paddock, and while loading into the gate. If he can hold himself together, and act professional and not run his race before the gates open he will have a major shot at taking the roses. This is one seriously talented individual that can beat you from anywhere on the racetrack.


Last Race: Bluegrass Stakes
Last Race Finish: 1st




3. Mubtaahij 
Dubawi- Pennegale by Pennekamp
Jockey: Christophe Soumillon
Trainer: Michael F. de Kock
Owner: Sheikh Mohd bin Khalifa al Maktoum 

Derby Points: 100   


All to worry about here is if he can handle the ship and the surface. There is no question this colt is fit enough to win the Kentucky Derby, and there is no question about how talented he really is. This is one individual that actually has a legitimate chance at taking the roses for a foreign country. I do worry about the class he really beat, but I haven't seen the kind of acceleration he showed in the UAE Derby from any other horse prepping for the Kentucky Derby.


Last Race: UAE Derby
Last Race Finish: 1st





4. Far Right 
Notional- Zindi by Vindication 
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Trainer: Ron Moquett
Owner: LaPenta, Robert V. and Rosenblum, Harry T. 

Derby Points: 62 

Loved the way he closed from way out of it in the Arkansas Derby. He is probably the only American I have seen that has a very good closing acceleration, and with all the money going to American Pharoah, Dortmund or Carpe Diem he should be at a nice price come derby day. He also has the pedigree to get the distance and is only going to get better as the distances get longer. 

Last Race: Arkansas Derby 
Last Race Finish: 2nd 




5.  Itsaknockout  
Lemon Drop Kid- Stormy B by Cherokee Run 
Jockey: Luis Saez
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Starlight Racing 

Derby Points: 60  


His last work was perfect and looks like he rebounded out of the Florida Derby well. He will move forward coming from Gulfstream and that extremely quirky surface. He has the pedigree to run all day and with his limited experience he is only going to get better with more racing experience and time.

Last Race: Florida Derby
Last Race Finish: 4th





6. American Pharoah
Pioneer Ofthe Nile- Littleprincessemma by Yankeee Gentleman
Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Zayat Stables, LLC 


Derby Points: 160 

Loved his Arkansas Derby victory, but still strongly worry about his ability to get the distance. There is no question he has loads of ability and talent, and he is very obviously a special horse. I just strongly worry about his bottom side of his pedigree which leans very heavily towards one turn. His top side does have a decent amount of stamina, but that is only going to carry him so far. He also will need to show a different running style in the Kentucky Derby if he is going to have a chance at taking the roses. There is so much speed in this years Derby that anyone on or close to the lead is going to get burnt out fast. 

Last Race: Arkansas Derby 
Last Race Finish: 1st 


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Derby Six for April 7th 2015

1. Dortmund 
Big Brown- Our Josephina by Tale Of The Cat 
Jockey: Martin Garcia
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Derby Points: 170 

Very impressed with his victory in the Santa Anita Derby this weekend. He fought off all challenges, and managed to have another gear after running a 22 opening quarter not many horses can do that at a mile and an eighth. That was just the performance I was looking for from this horse. He is starting to remind me a lot of his sire except for the fact that his sire had an incredibly explosive turn of foot. Dortmund doesn't quite have that acceleration, but he does have quite the high cruising speed. Still feel he is heads and shoulders above everyone else in this crop. Only question is can he get a mile and a quarter, but many of the horses in this crop look to have the same question to answer.

Last Race: Santa Anita Derby
Last Race Finish: 1st






2. Carpe Diem 
Giant's Causeway- Rebridled Dreams by Unbridled's Song
Jockey: John Velazquez
Trainer: Todd Pletcher


Owner: WinStar Farm and Stonestreet Farm 

Derby Points: 164 

Loved what I saw from him in the Bluegrass, and love the fact that he doesn't need to lead. He's the type of horse that no matter what you throw at him he is going to run his race. He's such a smooth mover and looks like he will love every part of a mile and a quarter. I do worry about what he beat in the Bluegrass as Ocho Ocho Ocho was no match for Dortmund in the San Felipe. Other concerns for this colt though are the fact that his pedigree has a tendency to lean towards unsoundness which makes me worry if he can stay sound for the entirety of the Triple Crown Trail. 

Last Race: Bluegrass Stakes 
Last Race Finish: 1st 


 


3. Mubtaahij 
Dubawi- Pennegale by Pennekamp
Jockey: Christophe Soumillon
Trainer: Michael F. de Kock
Owner: Sheikh Mohd bin Khalifa al Maktoum 

Derby Points: 100  

Loved his UAE Derby and I am not afraid to admit it. This colt could very well be a serious threat to the derby picture. Though the quality of opponents he's faced is questionable he did make them look like cheap claimers which makes me believe this colt is very talented.  The turn of foot he showed was the most explosive I have seen from this three year old crop. Only worry here is how he will handle the ship over, and if he can handle the Churchill Downs dirt which may be quite different from the Meydan dirt. 

Last Race: UAE Derby 
Last Race Finish: 1st 





4. Materiality 
Afleet Alex- Wildwood Flower by Langfuhr 
Jockey: John R. Velazquez
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Alto Racing, LLC 

Derby Points: 100   


Loved his Florida Derby victory and think he is a very serious threat to the Apollo curse. He has jumped through so many hoops in such a short amount of time that it makes me believe he is a very special individual. He's only going to get better with more racing and experience. He could very well be a special special talent. 

Last Race: Florida Derby 
Last Race Finish: 1st 





5. Far Right 
Notional- Zindi by Vindication 
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Trainer: Ron Moquett
Owner: LaPenta, Robert V. and Rosenblum, Harry T. 

Derby Points: 22 

I think this colt is only going to get better as the distances get longer and strongly feel he is going to give American Pharoah a run for his money this Saturday. I am a little concerned that he has had only three works since his last start which was the Southwest Stakes. There might be something a miss or I might be reading to far into things. In any case this colt has major ability now it's just time for him to showcase just how good he may be. 

Last Race: Southwest Stakes 
Last Race Finish: 1st 




6. Itsaknockout  
Lemon Drop Kid- Stormy B by Cherokee Run 
Jockey: Luis Saez
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Starlight Racing 

Derby Points: 60 

The thinking here is that he didn't run his "A" race in the Florida Derby, and that maybe he didn't handle the surface which is highly likely. This colt is another that will only get better with more races. He is also another that is only going to get better as the distances get longer. With such a hot pace developing for this years derby field this colt could very well be picking up the pieces late and rolling home at a decent price. 

Last Race: Florida Derby 
Last Race Finish: 4th