Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings

All Eyes will be on California Chrome

All Eyes will be on California Chrome

Older Males

1. Game On Dude – He holds a head to head match up win over Will Take Charge and Mucho Macho Man so he assumes the top spot for now.  Most people are down on him for his second place effort in the Charles Town Classic, but I still think he ran well.

2. Will Take Charge – From a consistency standpoint he is well clear of the others so far this year.  He’s ran two winning type races when finishing second, and was able to redeem himself with a home track win last time out at Oaklawn.  Looks like he is on his way to another big year.

3. Wise Dan – Most of his big races are still to come so he’s third for now, but what a nice comeback race he had last time out at Keeneland.

4. Palace Malice – Already has two wins under his belt, with the last one being a monster effort in New Orleans.  Came back looking better than ever.

5. Mucho Macho Man – Dull performance at Santa Anita last time out, but he stays ranked out of respect.  Needs to pick it up if he wants to move past the monsters ahead of him.

Sleeper: Normandy Invasion – Obviously he’s come back strong, but he was beaten decisively by Palace Malice last time out.  Wouldn’t toss him out yet though…

Older Females

1. Beholder – Freak of nature!  Not sure if anyone can beat her in this division.

2. Close Hatches – Two very workman like performances at Oaklawn has me thinking she has progressed even further since last year.

3. Princess of Sylmar – Easy winner in her return race.  She’s one that is easy to root for considering she could have easily won the eclipse award last year.

4. Groupie Doll – I put her on here out of respect, and because some of the stars of last year haven’t started yet.  What a great career for this champion.

5. On Fire Baby – Ran two decent races to start the year, no disrespect in losing to Close Hatches…lets see if she can keep improving and stay healthy.

Sleeper: Dreaming of Julia – If she ever makes it back in good form we don’t know how good she could end up being…

3 Year Old Males

1. California Chrome – There is no doubting he’s the top horse in this bunch as of now…can he take his show on the road?

2. Hoppertunity – He’s improving at a rapid rate.  With one more progression he could be the best of the bunch.

3. Wicked Strong – He’s the “now” horse, but like California Chrome he also must prove he can take his show on the road.  Hasn’t ran well outside of New York.

4. Samraat – Yet to run a bad race.  Horse is talented and as steady as they come…pedigree in question for the Derby though.

5. Tapiture – Took a step backwards in the Arkansas Derby, but could see him rebounding.  The talent is there.

Sleeper: Kid Cruz – Quietly winning the smaller races for three-year olds, but could sneak up on a lot of people come Preakness time.

3 Year Old Females

1. Untapable – Cleary above and beyond anyone in this group by a wide margin.

2. My Miss Sophia – Her blowout wins of late make her the intriguing challenger to Untapable in the Oaks

3. Awesome Baby – Declared that she is not running in the Oaks, but still like her talent.

4. In Tune – Has progressed extremely well at Gulfstream, but can she run that well away from her home track?

5. Sugar Shock – Another that has gotten better with each race.  She’s a cut below the best at this point though.

Sleeper: She’s a Tiger – Never ran a bad race as a two-year old, but yet to see her this year.

Sprinters

1. Secret Circle – This division hasn’t heated up yet, but when it does he’ll be the top dog.

2. Goldencents – Haven’t seen him yet this year, but has already proven to be a monster at a mile.

3. Gentleman’s Bet – Another that is training forward for his 2014 debut.

4. Sahara Sky – Has found his stride after a slow start to 2013.

5. Wild Dude – This is a rising star in the division who has run three strong races in a row at Santa Anita.

Sleeper: Vicar’s In Trouble – He may be pointed to the Derby, but when they shorten him up he could really be something special.

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The 3rd Annual Racing Dudes Oaklawn Awards

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Will Take Charge Winning the Oaklawn Handicap was the Moment of the Year

Horse of the Meet: Close Hatches – This was a tough award to decide on this year, but in the end it had to be Close Hatches who won based on the fact that she was the only horse to win more than one Graded Stakes race this meet.  With no standout three-year old, and Will Take Charge only running atOaklawn once, Close Hatches is the most worthy of the group.

Older Male of the Meet: Will Take Charge – He was our three-year old horse of the meet last year, and now he is our older horse of the meet this year!  Even though he only ran once at Oaklawn, he proved much the best out of the other horses in the Handicap Division.  He also put on a show for the locals every morning during training hours, as he was the first horse to hit the track each morning.  Many thanks to Willis Horton and D Wayne Lukas for running the horse once at his home track.

Older Female of the Meet: Close Hatches – Obvious choice here as she won both the Azeri and Apple Blossom.  The last horse to accomplish this feat was Havre De Grace, who went on to win horse of the year.

3 Year Old Male of the Meet: Tapiture – Another tough award to decide on, but in the end Tapiture got the nod over Ride On Curlin and Danza.  Tapiture wo nthe Southwest Stakes, nearly won the Rebel, and finished a decent fourth in the Arkansas Derby.  He now has lost some hype heading to Kentucky, but still made his presence felt in Hot Springs.

3 Year Old Female of the Meet: Sugar Shock – She was a courageous winner of the Fantasy Stakes, and crossed the line first in the Honeybee before being disqualified.  She’ll go up against much tougher next time out in the Kentucky Oaks, but there is no doubting that she was the best of the bunch at Oaklawn Park.

Sprinter of the Meet: Alsvid – Even though he didn’t win any of the sprint stakes at Oaklawn this meet, his consistent performances land him this award.  He was a solid second in the King Cotton, Hot Springs, and Count Fleet while others in the division had up and down moments.  You can bet this horse is due for a win soon.

Owner of the Meet: Danny Caldwell – An absolutely dominating performance by Caldwell as he won the owners title by nine races.  We had the privilege to get to know Danny early on in the season, and after meeting him it’s easy to see why he’s so good at what he does.  He’s one of the best claimers in the game, and puts in the time and effort it takes to be successful.  The award couldn’t have been won by a nicer guy.  Caldwell will be heading to Prairie Meadows next!

Trainer of the Meet: Steve Asmussen – Amongst all the controversy, Asmussen just kept on winning.  As usual he took the last two weeks by storm and crushed his competition once again.  This is Asmussen’s second straight Racing Dudes Award.  Also Asmussen’s assistant Darren Fleming deserves a mention as well as he looked over the stable for most of the year and always does a great job.

Jockey of the Meet: Ricardo Santana Jr. – Another guy who is receiving his second straight Racing Dudes Award.  Santana proved that last year was no fluke as he easily won the jockey’s title for the second straight year.  This is a guy who is getting better and better with every mount, and is a rising star in the game.

Flop of the Meet: Strong Mandate – It’s painful for us to admit it…but Strong Mandate never lived up to the expectations we had for him.  After running decent in the Southwest and Rebel, he was last in the Arkansas Derby and now sits on the outside looking in as far as the Kentucky Derby is concerned.  Hopefully he can regroup and regain his form.

Favorite Moment of the Meet: Will Take Charge Wins the Oaklawn Handicap – He pretty much stole the show on Derby day.  It was a thrill to see the home town horse win in front of all his fans.  Major shout out to Brady Lukas for allowing us get in the winners circle with one of our favorite horses of all time!

Restaurant of the Meet: TIE – Hawgs and Jahna’s – That’s right…we like to eat. The Dudes have been to many places in Hot Springs over the years, but Hawgs Pizza and Jahna’s Italian easily are the two best.  We highly recommend them to anyone who visit’s the Hot Springs area.

Race of the Meet: The Rebel Stakes –

 

Oaklawn Report #14

Will Take Charge Wins the Oaklawn Handicap

Will Take Charge Wins the Oaklawn Handicap

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Will Take Charge (KY) – The home town horse didn’t disappoint his 63,000+ fans when he won the Oaklawn Handicap in typical heart stopping Will Take Charge fashion!  Up the back stretch there were some anxious moments as at one point he fell to last place, but at the top of the stretch he made his signature move and passed them all while holding off a late run from Revolutionary to win by a length.  He also survived a lengthy inquiry for interference in the stretch, which is a topic that is still being debated today.  Never the less the Oaklawn Handicap was the moment of the meet, as this horse will go down as one of the most popular horses to ever run at Oaklawn Park.

– 2nd Star: Danza (KY) – What a shocker!!  Danza went off at 41-1 in the Arkansas Derby, and romped to a four and a half-length victory.  Jockey Joe Bravo was able to give Danza a flawless rail skimming ride, and when asked the question he simply left the others in the dust.  It’s hard to say whether he can bring that kind of effort next time out in the Kentucky Derby, but if he does he could be a real threat.  Trainer Todd Pletcher doesn’t have the best of records in the Derby, but this colt could be peaking for him at the right time.

– 3rd Star: Close Hatches (KY) – This champion returned to Oaklawn after taking the Azeri last month, and basically ran the same exact type of race in the Apple Blossom, winning once again.  There is no questioning this is one of the star older female in the group, and should be able to compete successfully against heavy hitters Princes of Sylmar and Beholder as the season goes along.  Close Hatches will be pointed towards the bigger races in New York over the summer, perhaps starting off on Belmont Day.

Flop of the Week

Tapiture (KY) – Considering that almost everyone thought at the very least this horse would run respectable, it was quite the surprise when Taptiure ran a flat fourth in the Arkansas Derby.  He made a decent move on the turn, but was just unable to make any kind of late run down the stretch.  Perhaps the added distance hurt him which is something we’ve seen with Tapit colts in the past.  He’s still qualified for the Kentucky Derby, but this loss was troubling.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Steven M. Asmussen 157 35 32 18 $1,859,450 22% 85 54%
2 Federico Villafranco 82 25 18 8 $590,127 30% 51 62%
3 Chris Richard 89 23 11 12 $607,695 26% 46 52%
4 Brad H. Cox 70 18 11 13 $683,976 26% 42 60%
4 Cody Autrey 112 18 22 19 $564,877 16% 59 53%
6 Chris A. Hartman 91 17 18 11 $621,412 19% 46 51%
7 Joseph R. Martin 87 13 9 15 $278,958 15% 37 43%
8 Ron Moquett 109 12 10 8 $479,032 11% 30 28%
9 D. Wayne Lukas 91 11 9 10 $939,788 12% 30 33%
9 Randy L. Morse 86 11 10 10 $412,414 13% 31 36%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. 292 59 49 30 $2,561,193 20% 138 47%
2 David Mello 216 35 31 26 $896,278 16% 92 43%
3 Ramon A. Vazquez 181 32 24 22 $912,786 18% 78 43%
4 Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 235 31 33 35 $1,169,595 13% 99 42%
5 Jon Kenton Court 178 26 19 18 $999,460 15% 63 35%
5 Terry J. Thompson 202 26 22 24 $942,814 13% 72 36%
7 Luis S. Quinonez 173 22 19 17 $837,749 13% 58 34%
8 Ken S. Tohill 172 22 31 19 $819,373 13% 72 42%
9 M. Clifton Berry 149 21 13 18 $793,547 14% 52 35%
10 Jareth Loveberry 197 19 23 19 $559,735 10% 61 31%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 80 24 18 8 $579,267 30% 50 63%
2 Maggi Moss 53 15 8 8 $298,260 28% 31 58%
3 Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 55 13 9 4 $351,710 24% 26 47%
4 Steve Landers 68 11 12 12 $221,335 16% 35 51%
5 Steven M. Asmussen 39 9 10 5 $163,041 23% 24 62%
6 Ulwelling, Al and Bill 35 8 5 3 $185,314 23% 16 46%
7 Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC 20 7 5 1 $623,626 35% 13 65%
7 Zayat Stables, LLC 34 7 4 3 $378,337 21% 14 41%
7 Martin Brothers, Inc. 35 7 4 2 $105,391 20% 13 37%
10 William Stiritz 47 6 3 1 $206,856 13% 10 21%

Arkansas Derby Race Replay

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Arkansas Derby (Grade 1) Preview

1. Danza

DanzaRace Record:(3) 1-0-2

Earnings:$66,428

Jockey: Joe Bravo

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:One of two Pletcher entries kicks us off as we move through this competitive field of nine!  Pletcher won this race last year with Overanalyze, but Danza comes in lightly race and needs to step up big time to compete.  He’s had just one race since August of last year.  In his lone start this year he was third in an allowance at Gulfstream, so it’s hard seeing him beating this talented group.

2. Knock Em Flat

Oaklawn 2011Race Record: (5) 1-2-0

Earnings:$63,800

Jockey:Luis Quinonez

Trainer:Donnie K Von Hemel

Graded Stakes Victories: 0

The Verdict:Tough to see how this one can match up class wise with most of these.  I think the light bulb finally came on last time out in his crushing maiden win, but this will be asking too much.  He is cross entered in a smaller stakes earlier on the card, and that should probably be where he ends up

3. Tapiture

tapRace Record: (6) 2-2-2

Earnings:$440,838

Jockey:Joel Rosario

Trainer:Steve Asmussen

Graded Stakes Victories:2

The Verdict:He was the clear-cut winner of the Southwest Stakes, and with a clean trip he probably would have won the Rebel Stakes as well.  He currently sits at number two on our Kentucky Derby rankings list, and deserves favoritism in this race.  The son of Tapit has gotten a mile and one-sixteenth without any problems at all, and I think he’ll stretch out to this distance fine.  Likely winner with the right trip.

4. Ride On Curlin

ROCRace Record:(8) 2-1-4

Earnings: $214,687

Jockey:Jon Court

Trainer:William Gowan

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:We saw a major progression from him last time out in the Rebel Stakes, as he battled with Strong Mandate all the way around the track before finishing a close third.  The workouts since that race have been huge, and many locals are picking this horse to pull off the upset.  We know the breeding is there, and we’ve seen flashes of brilliance talent wise, but can this “wise guy” horse get it done on the big stage?

5. Thundergram

Oaklawn 2011Race Record:(6) 1-3-1

Earnings:$65,600

Jockey: Norberto Arroyo Jr.

Trainer:Mark Casse

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:Curious spot for him to land…especially since trainer Mark Casse has a much more worthy competitor in Conquest Titan.  You can’t see much in the past performances that gives Thundergram any kind of a chance against this tough bunch of runners.

6. Commissioner

Commissioner_Top-Billing_Coglianese-684x533Race Record: (5) 2-1-1

Earnings:$189,100

Jockey:Mike Smith

Trainer:Todd Pletcher

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:I’m not ready to give up on him just yet!  Commissioner will finally get off of a track that favors speed when he runs in this one, and should benefit greatly from it.  He’ll need a little pace to run at, which he should get, and I love the mile and one-eighth distance for him.  Many people think the horse is too slow, but I believe the tracks he’s been running on made him look that way.  He’s my long shot pick!

7. Conquest Titan

ConquestTitanSwynfordStakes2013MB298Race Record:(7) 2-1-0

Earnings:$208,995

Jockey:Calvin Borel

Trainer:Mark Casse

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:While most have jumped off he Commissioner bandwagon, I’ve jumped off the Conquest Titan bandwagon.  Actually I was never on it to begin with.  I’ve never seen why this one had all the hype that he’s had, and I’ll make him beat me before I believe.  It is a little scary that so many still believe in him though…if you are one of those people maybe you can comment on this preview and explain why.

8. Bayern

bayern1Race Record:(2) 2-0-0

Earnings:$68,400

Jockey:Gary Stevens

Trainer:Bob Baffert

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:File this one under the “wouldn’t be surprise with anything” category.  He’s a wild card in every sense of the word.  Lightly raced, been off for a while, but he’s showed a tremendous amount of talent.  I’ve heard lots of comparisons to Bodemeister this week, but Bode came to Hot Springs off a second place effort against a tough stakes field.  Bayern comes in off an easy allowance victory.  That lack of seasoning might keep him from winning.

9. Strong Mandate

Strong MandateRace Record:(7) 2-1-1

Earnings:$522,900

Jockey:Luis Saez

Trainer:D Wayne Lukas

Graded Stakes Victories:1

The Verdict:It’s put up or shut up time for Strong Mandate.  There is no question he had legit excuses when finishing third in the Breeders Cup Juvenile and second in the Southwest Stakes, but his fourth place effort in the Rebel with a perfect trip was concerning.  His breeding suggests he can run all day, but his races suggests one turn races are best of him.  He truly is a question mark.

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The Apple Blossom Handicap (Grade 1) Preview

1. Close Hatches

Close Hatches

Race Record: (9) 6-2-0

Earnings: $1,487,300

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Bill Mott

Graded Stakes Victories: 4

The Verdict: Have to love the way Mott came to Oaklawn Park last time for the Azeri to test the waters before committing to this race.  He was rewared for the decision as Close Hatches was a decisive winner of the Azeri, and now you have to love her chances in this one.  The field has come up a bit short, and there is absolutely no doubting who the class of this race is.  If she shows up with here “A” game…they are all running for second.

2. Rose to Gold

Rose to GoldRace Record: (12) 6-1-0

Earnings: $963,509

Jockey: Calvin Borel

Trainer: Sal Santoro

Graded Stakes Victories: 3

The Verdict: Against ungraded or Grade 3 company Rose to Gold has been very impressive, but she is yet to tackle tougher competition with much luck.  Her race two back in the Houston Ladies Classic had me thinking she had taken a big leap forward, but she went backwards next time out finishing seventh in the Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream.  She does hold two victories at Oaklawn Park, but I don’t look for her to make it three.

3. Stanwyck

Stanwyck_NYRARace Record: (13) 3-2-5

Earnings: $304,250

Jockey: Gary Stevens

Trainer: John Shirreffs

Graded Stakes Victories: 1

The Verdict:Trainer John Shirreffs thrilled the masses at Oaklawn twice by bringing the great Zenyatta to the Apple Blossom, but make no mistake…this is not Zenyatta.  Stanwyck has just one graded stakes win to her credit, however she has run decent in her last couple of races against graded company; finishing third in both the Santa Maria and Santa Margarita Stakes.  Maybe she is a late developing horse, but she won’t be good enough here.

4. On Fire Baby

On Fire Baby Oaklawn 2012Race Record: (13) 5-1-1

Earnings: $761,974

Jockey: Joe Johnson

Trainer: Gary “Red Dog” Hartlage

Graded Stakes Victories: 4

The Verdict:The defending Apple Blossom champion is back again this year, and should be ready to fire a big race!  Last time out Close Hatches soundly defeated On Fire Baby in the Azeri Stakes, but it was clear On Fire Baby needed that race.  Now she should be fit and ready to roll, and with the home track on her side I give her a small chance to pull off the upset.  She’s clearly the logical alternative if you don’t want to play Close Hatches at low odds

5. Let Faith Arise

LetFaithAriseSantaMargarita2014BEN298Race Record: (10) 5-2-1

Earnings: $380,284

Jockey: Corey Nakatani

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

Graded Stakes Victories: 1

The Verdict:She’s coming into this race off a Grade 1 victory, but you have to question the toughness of the field she faced last time out.  This one has always ran solid races, but not until recently has she moved up to Graded Stakes company at bigger tracks.  Perhaps another that is a late bloomer, but I just can’t see her matching up well with a horse like Close Hatches.

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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #9

Ky

COMING SOON: In the coming weeks stayed tuned for our brand new website and logo update!!  It should be a major upgrade across the board, and we hope you all will enjoy it!
New to the Top 20: Wicked Strong
Dropped Out: Ride On Curlin

1. California Chrome – We didn’t believe for the longest time…but now we do!  He’s now the favorite to win this one with the only question being how well he’ll run over the Churchill Downs surface.  From now on I’ll refer to him as “The Freak.”

2. Tapiture – It’s finally Arkansas Derby week, and Tapiture will have a tough task in front of him.  He’ll have the services of Joel Rosario, and with a clean trip I don’t think he can be beat this week.

3. Wicked Strong – Will the real Wicked Strong please stand up?  If the Kentucky Derby was ran at Aqueduct he’d be looking really good right now.  This proves how terrible a fit the Gulfstream track was for him, and now he’s stamped himself as a legit player.  One thing that is so important to note: He’s the only horse that has won one of these preps from off the pace.

4. Hoppertunity – California Chrome may have crushed him, but I really like what I saw out of Hoppertunity in the Santa Anita Derby.  He’ll have no problem with the Kentucky Derby distance, and if he can just continue to progress he’ll have a big shot.  Ran to my expectations, just not good enough to beat the freak.

5. Constitution – Huge victory in the Florida Derby!  I liked his willingness to go through a small hole along the rail, and you had to admire how gamely he fought off the pesky Wildcat Red.  Of course zero starts at two is scary, and he also still doesn’t seem to good about sitting behind horses.  He might have the most raw talent, but his lack of experience could be his downfall.

6. Samraat – My respect for him grows with each and every race.  He may have been defeated for the first time, but it took a giant effort to do it.  His game finish to out-nose Social Inclusion at the wire was respectable, and shows me he will fight all the way to the wire.  Win or lose in Kentucky…this horse is so likable.

7. Intense Holiday – It was a wild stretch run for Intense Holiday in the Louisiana Derby as he banged into the rail and had trouble switching leads.  Still, he managed to finish second and still is one that will have a shot in Kentucky.

8. Candy Boy  – Much like Cairo Prince, Candy Boy did not run his best race after a long layoff in the Santa Anita Derby.  He still is sitting in a good spot as far as making the field, and hopefully for his sake he’ll rebound with a better effort if he makes it into the race.

9. Cairo Prince – Talk about your all time back fire…Cairo Prince now sits on the bubble of even making it to the Kentucky Derby.  It was obvious that the Florida Derby was not his best effort, but I do think he’ll bounce back and run better next time out.  Not completely writing him off…

10. Strong Mandate – Still believe this one has a big race left in him somewhere…maybe we’ll see it in the Arkansas Derby.  If not, he may not even make the race.

11. Bobby’s Kitten – It’s now or never in the Blue Grass Stakes this weekend.  He’ll most likely be the post time favorite, but can he live up to the expectations?

12. Wildcat Red – My hat goes off to this horse, he’s not supposed to be running this far but he just keeps on fighting.  I thought for sure General A Rod and Constitution would leave him in the dust in the Florida Derby, but this guy has a big heart.  He’s earned his shot in the Derby.

13. Vicar’s In Trouble – Ran a terrific race when winning the Louisiana Derby, but still can’t see him getting the mile and one-quarter distance.  Nice story to have a Louisiana bred making the race though.

14. Toast of New York – Dubai winner has a ton of things going against him, but also has an abundance of talent.  Might be classier than all of these, but can he run on dirt and will he handle the trip well?

15. General A Rod – His third place effort in the Florida Derby was a tad disappointing considering it looked like he had every chance to go by for most of the stretch run.  He’ll have a small chance in Kentucky, but might not be good enough.

16. Uncle Sigh – Picked the wrong time to run a bad race, but I still think he’ll end up running in the Kentucky Derby.  Nice horse, but the distance will likely wear him down.

17. Ring Weekend – Second place efforts in the Calder Derby usually don’t lead to wins in the Kentucky Derby.  I’ll leave him on the list based on the number of points he’s earned.

18. We Miss Artie – We’ve already seen him falter on dirt.  Nice synthetic horse, will be tough for him to win the Derby though.

19. Chitu –Not liking his chances at all at a mile and one-quarter.

20. Social Inclusion – I’ll keep him on the list for now because he might still get into the field with a lot of luck.  I actually thought his third place performance in the Wood was impressive, especially since his ride was curious to say the least.  The jock basically thought they were going to cruise home to an easy win, then the water got real deep real fast and he panicked.  Don’t forget about this one…

Free Brisnet past performances from Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager available here.

More information on the KDFW is available at www.KentuckyDerby.com.

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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #8

Ky

COMING SOON: In the coming weeks stayed tuned for our brand new website and logo update!!  It should be a major upgrade across the board, and we hope you all will enjoy it!
New to the Top 20: Vicar’s In Trouble, Toast of New York
Dropped Out: Albano, Midnight Hawk

1. Candy Boy  – This has turned into an impossible task!  This Kentucky Derby is as wide open as ever, but somebody has to be number one so it’s Candy Boy that assumes the spot.  He runs this Saturday in the Santa Anita Derby, which is starting to look like a loaded race.

2. Tapiture – He’s probably ran the two most consistent prep races, and will be favored in the Arkansas Derby in two weeks.  I’m still not sold on him getting a mile and one-quarter, but if he can he has a real shot to win.  Remember…he has a victory at Chruchill Downs.

3. Samraat – Looks to make it three Kentucky Derby prep races in a row this weekend in the Wood Memorial!  What a story this horse has been, and it would be great if he stay undefeated heading into the Kentucky Derby.  This weekend will be his toughest challenge yet…

4. California Chrome – Speaking of great stories, how about this California bred who might become the number one prospect for the Kentucky Derby after this weekend?  He’s proven to be faster (at least speed figure wise) that Candy Boy, but can he beat him head to head as the distances get longer?

5. Hoppertunity – Wow, did everyone see the workout he put in last weekend?  This could be the horse to look out for, as he’s definitely improving at the right time.  Baffert indicated that the Santa Anita Derby this weekend will be next for Hoppertunity, as the horse looks ready to roll.

6. Constitution – Huge victory in the Florida Derby!  I liked his willingness to go through a small hole along the rail, and you had to admire how gamely he fought off the pesky Wildcat Red.  Of course zero starts at two is scary, and he also still doesn’t seem to good about sitting behind horses.  He might have the most raw talent, but his lack of experience could be his downfall.

7. Intense Holiday – It was a wild stretch run for Intense Holiday in the Louisiana Derby as he banged into the rail and had trouble switching leads.  Still, he managed to finish second and still is one that will have a shot in Kentucky.

8 Ring Weekend – It’s amazing that this horse has moved up eighth.  He’ll have the oddest final Derby prep race of all time…The Calder Derby.

9. Social Inclusion – Time to find out what this horse is all about in the Wood Memorial this weekend.  He’s pretty much the only true wildcard left out of the bunch.  He could be a total freak, or he could flop when up against stakes company.  It will be fascinating to watch.

10. Uncle Sigh – He’ll get one more swing at Samraat this weekend, but I think the added distance will probably hurt him.  I do expect him to give us another gutsy performance, and one that might be good enough to propel him into the Kentucky Derby.

11. Cairo Prince – Talk about your all time back fire…Cairo Prince now sits on the bubble of even making it to the Kentucky Derby.  It was obvious that Saturday was not his best effort, but I do think he’ll bounce back and run better next time out.  Not completely writing him off…

12. Strong Mandate – Still believe this one has a big race left in him somewhere…maybe we’ll see it in the Arkansas Derby.

13. Bobby’s Kitten – If this horse can handle the dirt it’s looking more and more like he can really be a player.  Personally I think he’s classier than almost anyone on this list.  The plan is to run in the Bluegrass Stakes in two weeks…if he wins that one I’ll start believing.

14. Wildcat Red – My hat goes off to this horse, he’s not supposed to be running this far but he just keeps on fighting.  I thought for sure General A Rod and Constitution would leave him in the dust in the Florida Derby, but this guy has a big heart.  He’s earned his shot in the Derby.

15. Vicar’s In Trouble – Ran a terrific race when winning the Louisiana Derby, but still can’t see him getting the mile and one-quarter distance.  Nice story to have a Louisiana bred making the race though.

16. Toast of New York – Dubai winner has a ton of things going against him, but also has an abundance of talent.  Might be classier than all of these, but can he run on dirt and will he handle the trip well?

17. General A Rod – His third place effort in the Florida Derby was a tad disappointing considering it looked like he had every chance to go by for most of the stretch run.  He’ll have a small chance in Kentucky, but might not be good enough.

18. We Miss Artie – We’ve already seen him falter on dirt.  Nice synthetic horse, will be tough for him to win the Derby though.

19. Chitu –Not liking his chances at all at a mile and one-quarter.

20. Ride On Curlin – Showed his class in the Rebel Stakes last time in a big way, and with another solid effort in the Arkansas Derby he could be a nice “under the radar” prospect.  He’s had trouble putting two in a row together though.

Free Brisnet past performances from Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager available here.

More information on the KDFW is available at www.KentuckyDerby.com.

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Oaklawn Report #12

Delta Flower is our First Star of the Week

Delta Flower is our First Star of the Week

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Sea N Suds (AR) – It was Arkansas Bred Stakes week at Oaklawn, and Sea N Suds stole the show on Sunday winning the Rainbow Stakes by a nose.  After a tough trip from the rail, Sea N Suds was able to get to the outside down the stretch and wear down Devilishly Clever and He Is a Roadster.  For the third straight race the horse demonstrated toughness and heart, two qualities that are great to have no matter what state you were bred in!  With Kelly Von Hemel as trainer, you would think Prairie Meadows will be the next time we see this one.

– 2nd Star:  Delta Flower (AR) – She was the easiest of winners Saturday in the Rainbow Miss Stakes, as she broke sharp and never looked back winning wire to wire by almost four lengths.  The race just confirmed her talents, as the race before was a blowout maiden score.  This one might have enough talent to try out-of-state company next time out if they can find the right spot.

– 3rd Star: Mallard’s Bro (AR) – He may be our third star, but there is no doubt his win was the most dramatic of the week!  After hanging out toward the back of the back the entire race, Mallard’s Bro gained momentum in the stretch, and was just able to nose past Devil and a Half at the wire.  The win was his first in three tries this year, and it was his first win ever at Oaklawn.  He’s now earned over 100k for his career, and will most likely resurface at Louisiana Downs next time out.

Flop of the Week

Trace Creek (AR) – He ended up being the favorite in the Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes on Friday after a ton of hype, but in the ended he was a well beaten 9th.  Considering you don’t get many chances to run against Arkansas breds once Oaklawn closes, this one has to be disappointing to the connections.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Federico Villafranco 68 22 16 7 $485,977 32% 45 66%
2 Steven M. Asmussen 114 21 26 11 $1,201,073 18% 58 51%
2 Chris Richard 73 21 11 8 $541,046 29% 40 55%
4 Cody Autrey 98 18 19 16 $538,449 18% 53 54%
5 Chris A. Hartman 71 16 13 10 $483,040 23% 39 55%
6 Brad H. Cox 57 14 9 9 $491,636 25% 32 56%
7 Joseph R. Martin 70 12 8 13 $247,560 17% 33 47%
8 Ron Moquett 93 11 10 6 $434,332 12% 27 29%
9 Randy L. Morse 66 10 9 4 $351,636 15% 23 35%
10 D. Wayne Lukas 82 9 8 10 $484,433 11% 27 33%
10 W. Bret Calhoun 41 9 3 6 $397,106 22% 18 44%
10 Roger A. Brueggemann 43 9 7 5 $268,497 21% 21 49%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. 234 43 40 20 $1,934,943 18% 103 44%
2 David Mello 187 32 30 22 $795,855 17% 84 45%
3 Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 217 31 30 32 $1,095,486 14% 93 43%
4 Ramon A. Vazquez 135 24 18 18 $630,021 18% 60 44%
5 Terry J. Thompson 168 23 13 19 $733,526 14% 55 33%
6 Ken S. Tohill 130 20 22 16 $615,428 15% 58 45%
7 M. Clifton Berry 114 18 9 12 $671,071 16% 39 34%
7 Jon Kenton Court 142 18 15 18 $587,884 13% 51 36%
9 Luis S. Quinonez 144 17 15 15 $644,302 12% 47 33%
10 Channing Hill 110 15 14 13 $744,895 14% 42 38%
10 Jareth Loveberry 146 15 18 14 $398,067 10% 47 32%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 66 21 16 7 $475,117 32% 44 67%
2 Maggi Moss 41 13 8 5 $263,775 32% 26 63%
3 Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 53 12 9 4 $327,050 23% 25 47%
4 Steve Landers 59 11 10 10 $206,147 19% 31 53%
5 Ulwelling, Al and Bill 30 7 4 2 $165,570 23% 13 43%
6 Zayat Stables, LLC 26 6 1 3 $236,934 23% 10 38%
6 William Stiritz 46 6 3 1 $205,026 13% 10 22%
6 Martin Brothers, Inc. 28 6 3 2 $89,373 21% 11 39%
9 Driver, James L. and Ywachetta H. 19 5 6 3 $260,437 26% 14 74%
9 Craig Drago 18 5 1 4 $168,795 28% 10 56%
9 Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC 28 5 3 5 $134,984 18% 13 46%
9 N P H Stable 11 5 1 2 $73,407 45% 8 73%

Preview to Next Week

– Saturday: The Fantasy Stakes (Grade 3) – 3 Year Old Fillies – 1 1/16th Miles – Purse: $400,000

– Sunday: The Carousel Stakes – 4 Year Old Fillies and Mares – 6 Furlongs – Purse: $100,000

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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #7

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COMING SOON: In the coming weeks stayed tuned for our brand new website and logo update!!  It should be a major upgrade across the board, and we hope you all will enjoy it!
New to the Top 20: We Miss Artie, Chitu, Midnight Hawk
Dropped Out: Honor Code, Commissioner, Tamarando

We’ve also thrown in the 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) Pool 4 Morning Line odds and current Kentucky Derby 2014 point standings.

1. Cairo Prince (6-1 KDFW Morning Line) – It’s Florida Derby week and basically the moment of truth for our top ranked horse.  With his lack of Derby points, he must finish in the top three here to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

2. Candy Boy (12-1) – It looks like he’ll have a legit threat in the Santa Anita Derby as California Chrome looks pretty impressive.  Still liking this one a bit more, especially with the added distance.

3. Tapiture (15-1) – There is no question in my mind he was the best horse in the Rebel.  He got mugged in the stretch, but still battle through it all to finish second.  Not sure how he’ll be with added distance, but he hasn’t shown signs of slowing up yet.

4. Samraat (15-1) – Quietly moving up the ranks!  The colt has done nothing wrong, but will be tested with the extra distance of the Wood Memorial next time out.  That seems to be the only question mark on him.

5. California Chrome (5-1) – Welcome to the Kentucky Derby picture California Chrome!  You can never quite trust a state bred until you see them against open company, but just like Samraat this guy proved he’s for real in a big way as he crushed open company in the San Felipe.  His beyer number is the highest of any horse in the crop.  Will he travel well?

6. Intense Holiday (20-1) – To me this is the horse that has the most to gain this weekend.  He was a narrow winner in the Risen Star, but you would think the added distance of the Louisiana Derby could move him up even more.

7. Hoppertunity (12-1) – The horse showed he’s legit, although his trip was better than Tapiture’s.  With them both getting fair trips Tapiture is probably better, but Hoppertunity is on the improve and moving up the ranks.

8. Constitution (30-1) – He’ll be one of Cairo Prince’s main challengers in the Florida Derby.  Much like Cairo Prince, Constitution needs to hit the board in this one to have any chance of qualifying.

9. Ring Weekend (50-1) – Absolute runaway winner of the Tampa Bay Derby came out of nowhere!!  The trip and set up were perfect for him, but I still like that he drew away from this field nicely.  It may have not been the strongest group, but this runner proved he has to be taken seriously.

10. Social Inclusion (20-1) – From super allowance win to Wood Memorial winner??  That’s what Social Inclusion will be trying to do next Saturday at Aqueduct.  If he wins…we could be looking at the top rated three-year old in the country.

11. Uncle Sigh (30-1) – The Kentucky Derby distance is a serious question mark, but you can’t underestimate this ones heart.  The rivalry with him and Samraat has been a bright spot during the early prep races.

12. Strong Mandate (20-1) – No question the Rebel was a disappointing effort.  Will we ever see the real Strong Mandate, or have we already seen him?  Still think the potential is there…

13. Bobby’s Kitten (30-1) – He’s back, and he looked as good as ever!  We all are skeptical as to if he can run a step on the dirt, and if he makes the Kentucky Derby it will be his first start on something other than turf of poly track.  He has an all or nothing shot at the Derby as he’s scheduled for the Bluegrass Stakes in April.

14. Wildcat Red (30-1) – Will he stretch out to a mile and an eighth??  We’ll found out this week in the Florida Derby!

15. General A Rod (30-1) – He’s quietly flying under the radar, but I think the added distance of the Florida Derby will help him turn the tables on Wildcat Red.  However, is he good enough to beat Cairo Prince and Constitution?

16. Albano (50-1) – Rematch time for Albano in the Louisiana Derby vs. Intense Holiday!  He’s definitely on the improve, but can he stretch his speed out going even longer and hold off all challengers?

17. We Miss Artie (30-1) – I don’t give him much of a shot in Kentucky, but he won the Spiral last weekend so I have to rank him because he has qualified for the race.

18. Chitu (10-1) – Another that I give zero shot at winning, but like We Miss Artie, Chitu has qualified by staggering home to finish first in the Sunland Derby.

19. Ride On Curlin (30-1) – This one ran a big race in the Rebel to finish third, and probably surprised more than a few people with that effort.  Maybe he’s not a “miler” like many have said.  The Arkansas Derby is next for him, and it should tell the story of where he’ll go one way or another.

20. Midnight Hawk (20-1) – I put him here for my own amusement more than anything else.  He has 34 points which makes him a lock for the Kentucky Derby if they want to run him there, but the horse can barely stand up after a mile.  Definitely should not be pointing towards this race.

Free Brisnet past performances from Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager available here.

More information on the KDFW is available at www.KentuckyDerby.com.

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Wednesday 3/26/14 Late Pick Four Selections

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Tampa Bay Ticket

Race 6: 3,4,5,6

Race 7: 1,2,5,9

Race 8: 3,6,7

Race 9: 4,8

Ticket Cost: $48 (.50 cent)

gulfstream park logo.phpGulfstream Ticket

Race 7: 5,8,2,3

Race 8: 4,1,2,3

Race 9: 6,2,3

Race 10: 4,7,1

Ticket Cost: $72 (.50 cent)

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Laurel Ticket

Race 5: 2,1,6,7

Race 6: 6,5

Race 7: 2,1,3

Race 8: 4,1,6,5

Ticket Cost: $48 (.50 cent)

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Fair Grounds Ticket

Race 6: 1,3,5,7

Race 7: 2,1,5,7

Race 8: 2,4,8,10

Race 9: 5,1

Ticket Cost: $64 (.50 cent)

hawthorne_racecourse_logo

Hawthorne Ticket

Race 5: 4,1,3

Race 6: 5,1,7

Race 7: 10,7,3,4

Race 8: 6,8,1

Ticket Cost: $54 (.50 cent)

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