Verrazano Looks to Make History in the Kentucky Derby

Verrazano

Verrazano

The year was 1882, and the Kentucky Derby was only eight years old.  That year a horse by the name of Apollo won the Kentucky Derby.  At the time, he was the only horse to win the Derby without racing at the age of two.  Now, 131 years later, Apollo is still the only horse to win the Kentucky Derby without racing at the age of two.  If you are like me, it’s hard to imagine that being possible.  We’ve had several horses come to the Louisville with a chance to break this streak, but none of them could get it done.  So the question is…will this year be any different?  Can Verrazano finally break this 131 year old curse?

Verrazano enters this years Derby off a huge performance in the Tampa Bay Derby, as well as a solid effort in the Wood Memorial.  He made his debut on January first against Maiden Special Weight company, and the competition was no match.  Soon after he dominated a field of allowance runners, which then propelled him to the before mentioned stakes races.  His natural speed is a dangerous and effortless weapon, and if he breaks well he shouldn’t have much problem getting clear of the majority of the field and staying out of traffic trouble.  That factor is huge when trying to maneuver through a twenty horse field.  The horse certainly doesn’t know or care that he didn’t race at age two, and he only missed it by a day!  Still, the doubt looms…131 years of history says he won’t win on the first Saturday in May.

Bodemeister

Bodemeister

I can’t help but think back to 2007, as well as last year, when I look at Verrazano.  In April of 2007  Curlin rolled to a double-digit length win in the Arkansas Derby and stamped himself as the Kentucky Derby favorite.  Curlin did not race at age two, but he left little doubt that this was the horse to break the curse.  He had looked unbeatable in his three starts prior to the Derby.  While Curlin went on to win horse of the year in 2007 and 2008, and retired as the all time leading money winner, he was a well beaten third in the Kentucky Derby.  Curlin drew post two, broke poor, was shuffled back, ran greenly, and had nowhere to run until late in the race.

Last year, it was Bodemeister that looked primed to break the curse.  Bodemeister drew a much better post than Curlin did, and also broke much sharper.  It was blistering early fractions that did him in.  After setting fractions that were astronomical, Bode actually began widening a five length lead in the stretch, before finally tiring and finishing second.  It was one of the bravest efforts we’ve ever seen in the Kentucky Derby, but it wasn’t a win.  Another year, another heart-break.  Whether it was lack of experience or bad trips that beat these great horses will always be unknown.  What is not unknown is the fact that they were both solid horses that were defeated in the Kentucky Derby. Continue reading

Kentucky Derby 101: A Beginners Guide

General Facts About The Race:

imagesThe Kentucky Derby is a the biggest race in America.  It is for three-year-old horses only, and held annually in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May.  The race is one and a quarter-mile long and open to both males and females.  Males carry 126 pounds while females carry 121. The race is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” or you will also hear it called ”The Run for the Roses.”  It is the first leg of the Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.  The race is considered an American Classic.  It out draws all other races held in the United States each year.  This years Derby will mark the 138th time the race has been ran.  The race stands as one of the longest continuous sporting events in the United States.  Simply put: this is the race every jockey, trainer, and owner dreams of winning.

How Do You Qualify?

untitledThe first thing you must do is nominate your horse for the race.  Hundreds of horses nominate to the Kentucky Derby every year, and there are only twenty spots open for the race.  To earn one of the coveted twenty spots, you must acquire ”Kentucky Derby Points.”  This is the first year Churchill Downs has used a points system, and it’s worked with various degrees of success.  There are several chances to acquire Kentucky Derby points throughout the year as almost every track across the United States run at least one Derby “prep race.”  Oaklawn Park, Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, Santa Anita, Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, Sunland, and Turfway Park all are known for producing several Kentucky Derby starters.  Each of these track major focus centers around prepping horses for the Kentucky Derby.  For a list of Kentucky Derby point races you can click HERE Continue reading

Get Your First Racehorse at SIMHorseRacing.com

Promoted

LogoRacingDudesSIMHorseRacing.com is a free game offering the most realistic horse racing experience on the internet. Hundreds of players of all ages from all over the globe  compete against each other, enjoying an entire year of racing in just 16 weeks time. The SIM, which ran its first season in 1998, offers not only Thoroughbred racing on all three conventional surfaces – dirt, turf and synthetic – but also steeplechasing, harness racing, Quarter Horses, Paints, Arabians and more.

Breed, train and race your own homebreds, or claim your way into the sport. Distance, surface, pedigree and equipment all factor in to the race result, as does jockey ability and weather conditions. The SIM is technologically ahead of the curve; if desired, race results can come by text message! Regular podcasts are posted, and the new and specially designed race viewer shows color-correct horses of all breeds.

Manage your stable wisely; as the player, you have to budget shipping expenses and entry fees while jogging, galloping or working your horses to racing fitness before their debuts. Comprehensive trainer and breeder statistics are offered to track your progress.

For those inclined to handicap, place win wagers on many of the races, and a generous Pick 6 pool is offered three days a week and usually carries over. Player and game-run handicapping contests often pop up, thanks to a tight-knit community of dedicated racing fans.

We are only four weeks away from the prestigious, week-long Steward’s Cup event, the game’s Breeders’ Cup. Special contests with prizes will be offered, with enough game money and bonus points to really get your foot in the door! Sign up now to get your first racehorse.

Sign up now to get your first racehorse! Happy Racing!

TwinSpires Million Road to Derby Showdown

Blinkers Off 018: Stakes Previews and Mailbag Podcast Released

Blinkers Off Logo2Blinkers Off has released a new episode!

Blinkers Off provides weekly insights into the world of horse racing including race selections and previews, handicapping methods and exclusive stories.

You can view all episodes of Blinkers Off by visiting our podcast page, blogtalkradio or Blinkers Off | Blog Talk Radio Feed.

Episode

Blinkers Off 018: Stakes Previews and Mailbag – April 25, 2013

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes preview the notable stakes races for the weekend, including the final scoring race in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby, the Derby Trial, and open the mailbag to answer some listeners questions. Play   Blinkers Off | Blog Talk Radio Feed

TwinSpires Million Road to Derby Showdown

Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects

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1. Revolutionary

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Calvin Borel

Breakdown: Winner of the Louisiana Derby has shown two things from day one: determination and heart.  He’s the most seasoned horse out of the bunch, and has overcome bad trips to win in both of his Kentucky Derby preps.  The one to beat.

2. Goldencents

Trainer: Doug O’Neill

Jockey: Kevin Krigger

Breakdown: He ran the most impressive race of all the preps, winning the Santa Anita Derby and earning a beyer speed figure of 105.  The way he’s learned to sit just off the pace will help him in the Derby tremendously.  Very dangerous if the mile and one-quarter is to his liking.

3. Orb

Trainer: Shug McGaughey

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Breakdown: Distance shouldn’t be any problem at all, and top jock Joel Rosario grabbing the mount is a definite positive.  The key will be if he has enough tactical speed to sit a decent trip.  Decent turn of foot, but won’t be able to come from way out of it and win.

4. Verrazano

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

Breakdown: Undefeated and most likely the favorite.  His form going a mile and sixteenth or less is flawless, but he did slow down a little when running a mile and one eighth.  Breeding for distance is in question, plus he had zero races as a two-year old so 100+ years of history is against him.

5. Itsmyluckyday

Trainer: Ed Plesa

Jockey: Elvis Trujillo

Breakdown: It’s interesting with one average race how far this guy has fallen off the radar.  Supporters have to love the price they could get on him, as well as the bounce back potential this he has.  You’d probably be wise to pay attention to his works at CD leading up to the race, he could be live on the first Saturday in May.

Continue reading

Cali Swag: Santa Anita Recap

Here are just a few more pictures from Santa Anita!  All photo credits go to Mike Sekulic.

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Cali Swag: Photo’s From Closing Weekend and More

Here are a few photo’s from closing weekend, as well as some shots of Paynter and Game On Dude.  As always, all photo credits go to the very talented Mike Sekulic.  Hope you enjoy!

banner-long1

Get Your First Racehorse at SIMHorseRacing.com

Promoted

LogoRacingDudesSIMHorseRacing.com is a free game offering the most realistic horse racing experience on the internet. Hundreds of players of all ages from all over the globe  compete against each other, enjoying an entire year of racing in just 16 weeks time. The SIM, which ran its first season in 1998, offers not only Thoroughbred racing on all three conventional surfaces – dirt, turf and synthetic – but also steeplechasing, harness racing, Quarter Horses, Paints, Arabians and more.

Breed, train and race your own homebreds, or claim your way into the sport. Distance, surface, pedigree and equipment all factor in to the race result, as does jockey ability and weather conditions. The SIM is technologically ahead of the curve; if desired, race results can come by text message! Regular podcasts are posted, and the new and specially designed race viewer shows color-correct horses of all breeds.

Manage your stable wisely; as the player, you have to budget shipping expenses and entry fees while jogging, galloping or working your horses to racing fitness before their debuts. Comprehensive trainer and breeder statistics are offered to track your progress.

For those inclined to handicap, place win wagers on many of the races, and a generous Pick 6 pool is offered three days a week and usually carries over. Player and game-run handicapping contests often pop up, thanks to a tight-knit community of dedicated racing fans.

We are only five weeks away from the prestigious, week-long Steward’s Cup event, the game’s Breeders’ Cup. Special contests with prizes will be offered, with enough game money and bonus points to really get your foot in the door! Sign up now to get your first racehorse.

Sign up now to get your first racehorse! Happy Racing!

TwinSpires Million Road to Derby Showdown

Blinkers Off 017: Stakes Previews and Mailbag Podcast Released

Blinkers Off Logo2Blinkers Off has released a new episode!

Blinkers Off provides weekly insights into the world of horse racing including race selections and previews, handicapping methods and exclusive stories.

You can view all episodes of Blinkers Off by visiting our podcast page, blogtalkradio or Blinkers Off | Blog Talk Radio Feed.

Episode

Blinkers Off 017: Stakes Previews and Mailbag – April 19, 2013

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes preview the notable stakes races for the weekend, including the Charles Town Classic, Lexington Stakes and Illinois Derby, and reopen the mailbag to answer some listeners questions. Play   Blinkers Off | Blog Talk Radio Feed

TwinSpires Million Road to Derby Showdown