Final Kentucky Derby Rankings

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1. California Chrome – There is no questioning the talent this horse has…can he take his show on the road is the only question mark left to answer for this Kentucky Derby Favorite. He brings a huge fan following with him, and also a bit of mystery as he won’t arrive to Churchill Downs until the week of the race. One of the more unlikely and entertaining favorites in Kentucky Derby history!

2. Hoppertunity – Just keeps getting better and better with each race and workout. He’s been clearly defeated by California Chrome, but if Chrome doesn’t show up with his best effort this is the horse that can take him down. His work on Wednesday morning was very strong.

3. Wicked Strong – Can he give his best effort outside of the state of New York? Wicked Strong is one of the few horses to win from off the pace which is great news in this field that should have a fast pace, but he’s ran a few duds outside of New York. Will Churchill suit him?

4. Intense Holiday – He’s been forgotten about since finishing second in the Louisiana Derby, but I look for him to rebound with a nice race. The long Churchill Downs stretch will be to his liking.

5. Samraat – This might be the toughest horse out of them all. He’s yet to run a bad race, and in the only loss of his career he was still a game second to Wicked Strong. Has a little bit of pedigree problems, but you can’t underestimate him.

6. Tapiture – Fairly disappointing effort in the Arkansas Derby, but perhaps he can rebound at the right time. Pedigree has always been in question…looked flat going a mile and one eighth.

7. Candy Boy – The Santa Anita Derby was not a good effort at all, but I do believe he’ll improve in this one. The extra distance should be right up his alley, and hopefully they can get him to settle early and make one big run at the end.

8. Wildcat Red – He’s outrunning his pedigree distance wise so you can’t discredit this ones heart. Most likely will be close to the lead the whole way, and also will most likely be the one fighting to stay around at the end.

9. Danza – Is he for real…or is he a one hit wonder? The first Saturday in May will give us an indication, but as of now this one has me puzzled.

10. Ride On Curlin – His level of improvement throughout the prep season has been great, and many are raving about his workouts leading up to this race. Can he make those workouts translate into a big time victory? Maybe…you also have to like that Calvin Borel has jumped aboard.

11. Uncle Sigh – Pedigree wise this one is shaky, but he’s another that has a lot of heart. I don’t look at him as a horse that can win, but he might keep trying while others will quit.

12. General A Rod – I’ve wanted to like this horse for awhile now, but he just has kind of developed into a hanger. In both his last two races at Gulfstream it looked like he was going to win during the stretch, and both times he’s come up short.

13. Dance With Fate – Really great performance in the Bluegrass, but his connections even hinted that this one is a poly track specialist. Will make him beat me.

14. Commanding Curve – Definitely a logical longshot pick here. Had a pretty nice closing kick last time out, and this trainer proved to us last year that you can’t leave him off any tickets.

15. Vicar’s In Trouble – I love the talent this one has…his natural turn of foot and early speed is something to be respected. However, I just have zero confidence that he can get the mile and one quarter Derby distance. If by some chance he can he could become very dangerous.

16. Vinceremos – Forget about his performance last time out in the Bluegrass Stakes as it was obviously he didn’t care for the surface. His races on dirt have been ok, but I’m not sure he’s quite good enough to make an impact in a tough spot like the Derby. You could find worse longshots though…

17. Medal Count – Certainly looks like a poly track specialist to me. He’s had a few chances on the dirt and none have turned out to be very pretty.

18. Ring Weekend – Usually horses don’t lose the Calder Derby and then come back to win the Kentucky Derby. He was able to win the Tampa Bay Derby by getting the right trip, but that most likely won’t happen again.

19. We Miss Artie – Got into the Derby by winning the Spiral Stakes, but that race wasn’t all the impressive. It’s also worth mentioning…he’s been terrible on dirt.

20. Harry’s Holiday – Complete toss for me as even if he brought his poly track form to this one he still wouldn’t be fast enough to compete.

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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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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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Weekend SimplePlays™, Free PPs and Pick 4 Selections Now Available

California Chrome (top) and Candy Boy (bottom) lead a group of 8 in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on Saturday.

California Chrome (top) and Candy Boy (bottom) lead a group of 8 in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on Saturday.

Another big weekend has arrived! Whether it’s the Wood Memorial or Santa Anita Derby, we’ve got you covered with FREE picks at Aqueduct and Santa Anita Park!

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Blinkers Off 067: Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby 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.

COMING SOON: Stayed tuned next week for our brand new website and logo update! It will be a major upgrade across the board and we hope you all will enjoy it!

Blinkers Off 067: Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby – April 4, 2014

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes preview the Grade I Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct and Grade I Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park, as well the Grade III Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park and Grade I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

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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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