Oaklawn Swag Part 2: The Arkansas Derby

Here are some of the pictures we captured from the paddock area right before the running of the Arkansas Derby!  Enjoy!

Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #7

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: 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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Midnight Hawk looks to bounce back in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) on Sunday

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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #6

Ky

New to the Top 20: Hoppertunity, Social Inclusion, Ride On Curlin
Dropped Out: Kobe’s Back, In Trouble, Vinceremos

1. Cairo Prince – With Top Billing now off the Derby trail, Cairo Prince assumes the top spot for the first time this year.  He’s ran the best and most consistent races out of any of the others in the crop, and his competition in the Holy Bull that he beat have come back to run well.  The Florida Derby is up next for him.

2. Candy Boy – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – It’s odd that you still don’t hear much buzz about Intense Holiday, but he’s looking better and better everyday.  The horse is scheduled to run in the Louisiana Derby next, and you can bet his running style will fit in quite well once he gets to Kentucky.

7. Hoppertunity – New to the list after upsetting in the Rebel Stakes over the weekend.  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 – He’s a perfect two for two, but he has not faced stakes company yet.  His last victory at Gulfstream was against a super group of allowance horses which might project that he will be able to handle the jump up in class that is sure to happen next time out.

9. Ring Weekend – 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 – Talk about coming out of nowhere!!  Social Inclusion was a runaway winner over Honor Code in an allowance on Wednesday, and will look to a Derby points stakes race next time out.  He’ll have one opportunity to qualify, so he must make the most of it.

11. Uncle Sigh – 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 – 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 – 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 – Believe he’s more of a miler, but he has run very fast races and deserves to be ranked for now.  The Florida Derby will tell us if he stays in the rankings.

15. General A Rod – Recently defeated by Wildcat Red, but the added distance of the Florida Derby will most likely help him turn the tables next time out.  He’s probably the better of the two prospects when projecting who will run well in the Kentucky Derby.

16. Commissioner – Very curious to see where he ends up next, and how well he runs.  I was very high on him in the Fountain of Youth, but that track did him no favors.  Still think he could be something special…

17. Honor Code – He really looked off when getting smoked by Social Inclusion in that Wednesday allowance race that was basically made for him.  His connections claim he came out of the race in good order and could point for the Florida Derby next.  Still, the signs all point to this not turning out well.

18. Albano – Narrowly defeated by Intense Holiday in the Risen Star, and will look to turn the tables on him next time out in the Louisiana Derby.  Trainer Larry Jones knows how to get them ready so you can’t count Albano out.

19. Tamarando – Runs this weekend in the Turfway Spiral Stakes, and should have a decent chance over a surface that he likes.  Like I’ve said from day one, he’s very respectable.

20. Ride On Curlin – 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.

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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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #5

Ky

New to the Top 20: California Chrome, Ring Weekend, Vinceremos, Kobe’s Back
Dropped Out: Top Billing, Shared Belief, Bayern, Midnight Hawk

With the Kentucky Derby fast approaching, you can find odds information by clicking here: 2014 Kentucky Derby Odds

1. Cairo Prince – With Top Billing now off the Derby trail, Cairo Prince assumes the top spot for the first time this year.  He’s ran the best and most consistent races out of any of the others in the crop, and his competition in the Holy Bull that he beat have come back to run well.  The Florida Derby is up next for him.

2. Tapiture – It’s Rebel week, which means round two of the showdown between Tapiture and Strong Mandate.  Tapiture is plenty talented, but whether or not he can get the mile and one-quarter is still in question.  That question won’t have to be answered this weekend, but they only get longer after the Rebel.

3. Strong Mandate – The tough luck Strong Mandate gets another shot this week at Tapiture in the Rebel Stakes, and hopefully he can finally get a half way decent trip.  The talent and ability are there, now we’ll see if the maturity level can rise to match that ability.  If it does, he can become the number one horse in the crop.

4. Candy Boy – It looks like he’ll have a legit threat in the Santa Anita Derby as California Chrome was impressive last weekend.  Still liking this one a bit more, especially with the added distance.

5. Samraat – Quietly moving up the ranks!  The colt has don’t 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.

6. California Chrome – 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?

7. Intense Holiday – It’s odd that you still don’t hear much buzz about Intense Holiday, but he’s looking better and better everyday.  The horse is scheduled to run in the Louisiana Derby next, and you can bet his running style will fit in quite well once he gets to Kentucky.

8. Honor Code – Skipping the Rebel and running in an allowance Wednesday at Gulfstream.  Seems like a curious move, and one that will make his only Derby prep race an all or nothing shot.  The move makes me skeptical…

9. Constitution – He’s a perfect two for two, but he has not faced stakes company yet.  His last victory at Gulfstream was against a super group of allowance horses which might project that he will be able to handle the jump up in class that is sure to happen next time out.

10. Ring Weekend – 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.

11. Uncle Sigh – 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. Bobby’s Kitten – 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.

13. Wildcat Red – Believe he’s more of a miler, but he has run very fast races and deserves to be ranked for now.  The Florida Derby will tell us if he stays in the rankings.

14. General A Rod – Recently defeated by Wildcat Red, but the added distance of the Florida Derby will most likely help him turn the tables next time out.  He’s probably the better of the two prospects when projecting who will run well in the Kentucky Derby.

15. Commissioner – Very curious to see where he ends up next, and how well he runs.  I was very high on him in the Fountain of Youth, but that track did him no favors.  Still think he could be something special…

16. Vinceremos – New to the list and very deserving off two consistent Tampa Bay efforts.  He’s not going to blow you away with his talent, but he’s the kind of horse that will find his way into the Derby field just by being an honest effort kind of horse.

17. Albano – Narrowly defeated by Intense Holiday in the Risen Star, and will look to turn the tables on him next time out in the Louisiana Derby.  Trainer Larry Jones knows how to get them ready so you can’t count Albano out.

18. In Trouble – Was very impressed with his effort in the Gotham last time out off a long layoff.  Now the question is whether he can repeat that again, and find himself a spot in the Derby

19. Tamarando – Hard knocking and honest horse, but perhaps a little short on talent.  He’s got a great shot to make the Derby, but perhaps not a great shot at winning it.  Could see him passing tired horse late though…maybe a superfecta crasher. 

20. Kobe’s Back – We’ll find out how he does going two turns this weekend in a tough Rebel Stakes.  If he can carry his speed going longer, he could be especially dangerous.

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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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #4

Ky

New to the Top 20: In Trouble
Dropped Out: Mexicoma

1. Top Billing – A loss over a speed favoring Gulfstream track doesn’t have me wavering on him much at all.  He got another race under his belt, and the mile and one-eighth Florida Derby should be in his favor.  Maybe he’s not a super horse, but as of now the Kentucky Derby sets up best for him.

2. Cairo Prince – He’s without question the best horse in the crop at this current time.  Can he get the mile and one-quarter distance of the Derby…I’m still not sure, but the horses he’s beaten have went on to run extremely well.  Top Billing vs. Cairo Prince in the Florida Derby would be rather interesting!

3. Tapiture – Strong workout last weekend as he prepares for the Rebel Stakes next week.  Questions loom about him wanting the mile and one-quarter distance, but he’s obviously very talented.

4. Strong Mandate – Also came in with a big workout in preparing for the Rebel Stakes.  Needs a better trip than what he got in the Southwest as the Rebel looks to be coming up tough.  Still think if/when he puts it all together he could be scary good.

5. Candy Boy – Skipping the San Felipe and waiting for the Santa Anita Derby.  Risky move perhaps, but who in California can beat him right now?

6. Samraat – I really expected this one to kind fizzle out, but I don’t have that opinion anymore.  His Gotham win was very impressive, and he looks to have Uncle Sigh measured.  Can he do it outside of Aqueduct?  Can he get ten furlongs?  Questions that still need to be answered…but it’s clear that this is a talented horse.

7. Shared Belief – The world is still waiting for something….anything…a sign…anybody have a clue what’s going on?

8. Honor Code – He’s like Shared Belief in the injury department, but unlike Shared Belief in other ways as we at least know he’s making steady progress for a return in the Rebel Stakes.  That race will likely have a tremendous impact on things.

9. Intense Holiday – It was a brilliant move to by Todd Pletcher to send Intense Holiday to Fair Grounds, as he benefited from the long stretch run to win the Risen Star.  The win throws his name into the mix, and Churchill Downs should be kind to Intense Holiday as it has a long stretch as well.  All along this has been a sneaky good horse for Pletcher…the mile and one-quarter could make him even more dangerous.

10. Constitution – He was the winner of the “super allowance” race on Fountain of Youth day, and earned a 98 beyer in the process.  The lightly race colt is now 2 for 2 so lets see if he can pick up some derby points next time out.  His chances will be limited.

11. Bayern – Takes his first swing at a Stakes this Saturday in the San Felipe at Santa Anita, and judging by the looks of the field he should be the post time favorite.  Really good spot for his first try against tougher.

12. Uncle Sigh – This guy is a fighter!  Twice he’s ran winning races only to finish second to the talented Samraat.  Of course ten furlongs still is in question, but there is no doubt this horse will give it his best effort.

13. Bobby’s Kitten – Loads of talent…but can he run on the dirt?  The plan is to try the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland, and then move on to Churchill if he runs well in that race.  He’s as classy as they come, and if they can get him qualified he might have a say in things.  In the past turf horses have actually ran well over the Churchill Downs dirt track.

14. Wildcat Red – The track helped Wildcat Red win the Fountain of Youth, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an impressive victory.  The horse has shown a tremendous amount of heart, and his early speed will always make him dangerous.  I don’t think the mile and one-quarter is up his alley, but he’s earned the right to take a chance at it.

15. General A Rod – He beat Wildcat Red the first time they met, but lost when it counted most in the Fountain of Youth.  However, it was by a narrow margin, and he the two will probably be pointing towards the same race again next time out.

16. Commissioner – Not ready to close the door on Commissioner yet as the track was playing too fast, and the mile and one sixteenth distance of the Fountain of Youth was too sharp for him under those conditions.  He’ll make his next start away from Gulfstream Park which will be good, and I expect him to run much better.

17. Midnight Hawk – He’ll be looking for a bit of redemption this weekend in the San Felipe after finishing third last time out.  He matches up favorably against a field that has come up short; it could come down to him and his stable mate Bayern.

18. Albano – Larry Jones is back in derby contention once again.  If the Risen Star were run at any other race track in the country Albano would have probably won the race, but he just couldn’t hold off the late run from Intense Holiday on that long Fair Grounds stretch.  Still, this horse showed a lot of progression, and could be the real sleeper of the bunch.

19. In Trouble – He’s our only new addition to the list this week as he finished a solid third in the Gotham Stakes off a layoff.  If he improves off that effort he could really shoot up the standings, but would it be asking too much of him to get involved this late in the game?

20. Tamarando – I’ll keep him on the list just because of his consistency.  Other horses may be better at times, but this one just shows up and runs his race every time they ask him to do so.

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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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #3

Ky

New to the Top 20: Wildcat Red, General A Rod, Intense Holiday, Albano
Dropped Out: Gold Hawk, Vicar’s In Trouble, Chitu, Bond Holder

We’ve also thrown in the 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) Pool 3 Morning Line odds.

1. Top Billing (8-1 KDFW Morning Line) – A loss over a speed favoring Gulfstream track doesn’t have me wavering on him much at all.  He got another race under his belt, and the mile and one-eighth Florida Derby should be in his favor.  Maybe he’s not a super horse, but as of now the Kentucky Derby sets up best for him.

2. Cairo Prince (8-1) – He’s without question the best horse in the crop at this current time.  Can he get the mile and one quarter distance of the Derby…I’m still not sure, but the horses he’s beaten have went on to run extremely well.  Top Billing vs. Cairo Prince in the Florida Derby would be rather interesting!

3. Tapiture (15-1) – His dominating Southwest win lands him in this spot, and also stamps him as a major player from here on out.  He did get a perfect trip, but you have to give the horse credit for taking advantage of it, and crushing most of the field.  His rematch in the Rebel with Strong Mandate will be fun…

4. Strong Mandate (20-1) – This horse is becoming famous for brutal trips.  Pretty much everything that could possibly go wrong did in the Southwest, but he still battled gamely and finished a well clear second in that race.  You have to like the education he’s gotten so far.  Eventually he’s going to get the trip, and then we’ll find out just how talented he might be.

5. Candy Boy (20-1) – Had to like his race in the Robert Lewis, and like I suspected it looks like he’s going to like the extra distance that is sure to come next time out.  I didn’t think he could beat Midnight Hawk at the Lewis distance, but he did.

6. Shared Belief (12-1) – The news has been more positive lately for Shared Belief fans as he’s back in training and seems to be somewhat back on the Derby Trail.  However, we are all still on hold with him to see what happens and where he runs.

7. Honor Code (10-1) – It’s looks like the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn could be his return race which would be entertaining to say the least considering he’d likely face Tapiture and Strong Mandate.  How he and Shared Belief progress off their respective set backs still are a major story line.

8. Samraat (30-1) – Now it looks like he will be running in this weekend’s Gotham Stakes, so we’ll see if he can remain unbeaten.  Nobody is really talking about this horse much, but he’s sneaking up the list.  Another big win this weekend would progress him even further.

9. Intense Holiday (15-1) – It was a brilliant move to by Todd Pletcher to send Intense Holiday to Fair Grounds, as he benefited from the long stretch run to win the Risen Star.  The win throws his name into the mix, and Churchill Downs should be kind to Intense Holiday as it has a long stretch as well.  All along this has been a sneaky good horse for Pletcher…the mile and one-quarter could make him even more dangerous.

10. Constitution (20-1) – He was the winner of the “super allowance” race on Fountain of Youth day, and earned a 98 beyer in the process.  The lightly race colt is now 2 for 2 so lets see if he can pick up some derby points next time out.  His chances will be limited.

11. Bayern (15-1) – I’m not ready to be over the moon about him yet, but that allowance win at Santa Anita was eye-catching.  He’ll have to prove it against the top California competition next, but you would think if he can bring that race again he can win.

12. Bobby’s Kitten (6-1 “All Others”) – Loads of talent…but can he run on the dirt?  The plan is to try the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland, and then move on to Churchill if he runs well in that race.  He’s as classy as they come, and if they can get him qualified he might have a say in things.  In the past turf horses have actually ran well over the Churchill Downs dirt track.

13. Wildcat Red (20-1) – The track helped Wildcat Red win the Fountain of Youth, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an impressive victory.  The horse has shown a tremendous amount of heart, and his early speed will always make him dangerous.  I don’t think the mile and one-quarter is up his alley, but he’s earned the right to take a chance at it.

14. General A Rod (20-1) – He beat Wildcat Red the first time they met, but lost when it counted most in the Fountain of Youth.  However, it was by a narrow margin, and he the two will probably be pointing towards the same race again next time out.

15. Commissioner (6-1 “All Others”) – Not ready to close the door on Commissioner yet as the track was playing too fast, and the mile and one sixteenth distance of the Fountain of Youth was too sharp for him under those conditions.  He’ll make his next start away from Gulfstream Park which will be good, and I expect him to run much better.

16. Uncle Sigh (50-1) – I’ll be honest in saying I wasn’t totally sold on him going into the Withers, but he showed a ton of heart and more importantly talent in that race.  The distance of the Derby could be questionable, but he’s worth a solid mention at this point.  We’ll see if he can turn the tables on Samraat this weekend in the Gotham.

17. Mexicoma (6-1 “All Others”) – Finished third in the allowance race with Constitution, but much like Top Billing that track just didn’t fit Mexicoma’s running style.  We’ll give him one more chance before he falls off the list.

18. Midnight Hawk (6-1 “All Others”) – I’m not ready to jump completely off his bandwagon, but as I said last week I don’t think this is a distance horse.  He stays on the list because I still think he’ll make some noise on the Derby Trail in California.

19. Albano (30-1) – Larry Jones is back in derby contention once again.  If the Risen Star were run at any other race track in the country Albano would have probably won the race, but he just couldn’t hold off the late run from Intense Holiday on that long Fair Grounds stretch.  Still, this horse showed a lot of progression, and could be the real sleeper of the bunch.

20. Tamarando (30-1) – I’ll keep him on the list just because of his consistency.  Other horses may be better at times, but this one just shows up and runs his race every time they ask him to do so.

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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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #3

Ky

New to the Top 20: Bayern, Tamarando
Dropped Out: Louies Flower, Indianapolis

1. Top Billing – The next step towards Kentucky is this weekend in the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Saturday.  He drew post twelve in a field of thirteen, but the outside post shouldn’t bother him much as he usually drops towards the back right away.  Lets see if he can turn the tables on Commissioner this time.

2. Tapiture – His dominating Southwest win lands him in this spot, and also stamps him as a major player from here on out.  He did get a perfect trip, but you have to give the horse credit for taking advantage of it, and crushing most of the field.  His rematch in the Rebel with Strong Mandate will be interesting…

3. Strong Mandate – This horse is becoming famous for brutal trips.  Pretty much everything that could possibly go wrong did in the Southwest, but he still battled gamely and finished a well clear second in that race.  You have to like the education he’s gotten so far.  Eventually he’s going to get the trip, and then we’ll find out just how talented he might be.

4. Candy Boy – Had to like his race in the Robert Lewis, and like I suspected it looks like he’s going to like the extra distance that is sure to come next time out.  I didn’t think he could beat Midnight Hawk at the Lewis distance, but he did.

5. Commissioner – With a win in the Fountain of Youth this Saturday he could move up to number one on the list.  We know distance won’t be any sort of issue with him, but can he overcome the rail and what will likely be a fast closing Top Billing?

6. Cairo Prince – The Holy Bull was an eye-opening race!  The field looked somewhat evenly matched, but Cairo Prince blew away the competition.  He might be the most talented horse in the entire crop.  All systems are go for him except one little issue that keeps creeping up in my mind…will he be completely effective at a mile and a quarter?

7. Shared Belief – The news has been more positive lately for Shared Belief fans as he’s back in training and seems to be somewhat back on the Derby Trail.  However, we are all still on hold with him to see what happens and where he runs.

8. Honor Code – It’s looks like the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn could be his return race which would be entertaining to say the least considering he’d likely face Tapiture and Strong Mandate.  How he and Shared Belief progress off their respective set backs still are a major story line.

9. Gold Hawk – Entered in a deep Risen Star field this weekend, and will look to redeem him self for a third place effort last time out in the Lecomte.  I’ve stuck by his side through that race, and hopefully re rewards me for that on Saturday.

10. Samraat  – After that performance in the Withers, this one is now a player.  I can’t remember being so surprised by a race, but it’s always nice when that happens!  They are talking like one more prep race is in order before a trip to Kentucky.

11. Mexicoma – Makes his 2013 debut in an ULTRA tough allowance field at Gulfstream this weekend.  Obviously a stakes could be next as long as the horse runs well.

12. Bayern – I’m not ready to be over the moon about him yet, but that allowance win at Santa Anita was eye-catching.  He’ll have to prove it against the top California competition next, but you would think if he can bring that race again he can win.

13. Bobby’s Kitten – Loads of talent…but can he run on the dirt?  The plan is to try the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland, and then move on to Churchill if he runs well in that race.  He’s as classy as they come, and if they can get him qualified he might have a say in things.  In the past turf horses have actually ran well over the Churchill Downs dirt track.

14. Vicar’s In Trouble – Draws the far outside for a competitive Risen Star Stakes this Saturday.  Will the post and the added distance do him in, or will he move up the list and become a major player?

15. Uncle Sigh – I’ll be honest in saying I wasn’t totally sold on him going into the Withers, but he showed a ton of heart and more importantly talent in that race.  The distance of the Derby could be questionable, but he’s worth a solid mention at this point.

16 Constitution – He runs in the same race as Mexicoma this Saturday at Gulfstream so you can see just how strong that race is going to be.  His progression will have to be fairly fast for him to make a huge impact on the Derby Trail, but we’ve seen it done before.

17 Midnight Hawk – I’m not ready to jump completely off his bandwagon, but as I said last week I don’t think this is a distance horse.  He stays on the list because I still think he’ll make some noise on the Derby Trail in California.

18 Chitu – Pretty impressive race by him in his first Stakes action, and to be honest I think him and Midnight Hawk about pretty much the same sort of horse.  With California looking a little thin right now with the question mark of Shared Belief, Chitu can make some noise.

19. Bond Holder – Scratching from the Risen Star which is concerning…now pointing towards the San Felipe.

20. Tamarando – I don’t think he can win the Derby, but he’s got a decent chance to get there now.  He’s a respectable horse that continues to be solid, and has been beaten by very good horses each time he’s lost.

Free Brisnet past performances from Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager available at http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/14KDFW2PPs.pdf.

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

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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #2

Ky

New to the Top 20: Chitu
Dropped Out: Havana

1. Top Billing – I’ll probably get burned with this…but its been awhile since I’ve been this confident about a Kentucky Derby prospect.  Everything about him I really like.  He’s shown he will run through horses, he does everything with ease, and his running style has proven to be successful on the first Saturday in May.  His last race was just a freakish performance as he beat a nice allowance group in hand.  Fingers crossed this one stays healthy!

2. Strong Mandate – The time has come…2014 debut coming Monday in the Southwest Stakes.

3. Candy Boy – Had to like his race in the Robert Lewis, and like I suspected it looks like he’s going to like the extra distance that is sure to come next time out.  I didn’t think he could beat Midnight Hawk at the Lewis distance, but he did.

4. Commissioner – I’ve already expressed how much I like Top Billing, and this horse actually beat him when they went head to head.  He already has two wins going a mile and one eighth, and considering his breeding distance is not going to be a problem.  So why do I not have him number one?  I’ve been burned by Pletcher too many times…he’ll have to continue to prove it to me before I move him up any higher than this spot.

5. Cairo Prince – The Holy Bull was an eye-opening race!  The field looked somewhat evenly matched, but Cairo Prince blew away the competition.  He might be the most talented horse in the entire crop.  All systems are go for him except one little issue that keeps creeping up in my mind…will he be completely effective at a mile and a quarter?

6. Shared Belief – There is no question he was the best two-year old of his crop, but the foot issues have me seriously worried.  This is not the time of year you want to have injuries.  Time is critical now…any minor set back will cost him.  Hollendorfer will not rush this horse just to make the Derby, which is the right thing to do.  Also, there is still the lingering question of whether the horse will run on the dirt as well as he ran on synthetics.

7. Honor Code – Put him in the same category as Shared Belief.  If not for the injury problems I’d have both horses ranked higher, but I can’t do it right now.  Just like Shared Belief, any minor set back and the Triple Crown could be done for him.

8. Tapiture – Just like Strong Mandate…it’s time to see what he’s made of in the Southwest Stakes this Monday.

9. Gold Hawk – Call me crazy but that last clunker doesn’t have me scared off just yet.  There is no escaping the fact the Lecomte Stakes was a disaster, but it was a learning experience for a still young and developing horse.  I expect him to come back strong in his next race.

10. Samraat  – After that performance in the Withers, this one is now a player.  I can’t remember being so surprised by a race, but it’s always nice when that happens!  They are talking like one more prep race is in order before a trip to Kentucky.

11. Mexicoma – I could see this one going either way.  He’s doing everything the right way right now, but I do believe the Fountain of Youth will be a big time class test for him.

12. Indianapolis – Recent illness has me very skeptical.  I’ll leave him on the list for now, but would not be surprised if I have to leave him off next time.

13. Louies Flower – He is quietly working out extremely well at Oaklawn Park.  Strong Mandate is getting the majority of attention, but you better not forget about this one.  He’ll get a chance to prove his worth in the Southwest Stakes on President’s Day.

14. Bobby’s Kitten – Loads of talent…but can he run on the dirt?  The plan is to try the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland, and then move on to Churchill if he runs well in that race.  He’s as classy as they come, and if they can get him qualified he might have a say in things.  In the past turf horses have actually ran well over the Churchill Downs dirt track.

15. Vicar’s In Trouble – Make no mistake that Lecomte Stakes performance was HUGE, but he’s another that just might not like the Derby distance.  At a mile or mile and one sixteenth this one will be extremely hard to beat, but I could see him getting a little short if he goes much longer than that.

16. Uncle Sigh – I’ll be honest in saying I wasn’t totally sold on him going into the Withers, but he showed a ton of heart and more importantly talent in that race.  The distance of the Derby could be questionable, but he’s worth a solid mention at this point.

17. Constitution – He’s only ran once, but that maiden breaking win was impressive.  He broke terribly out of the gate, rushed up on the inside rail, and still was able to win the race.  Haven’t heard where he might run next, but he looks like a nice one to keep an eye on.

18. Midnight Hawk – I’m not ready to jump completely off his bandwagon, but as I said last week I don’t think this is a distance horse.  He stays on the list because I still think he’ll make some noise on the Derby Trail in California.

19. Chitu – Pretty impressive race by him in his first Stakes action, and to be honest I think him and Midnight Hawk about pretty much the same sort of horse.  With California looking a little thin right now with the question mark of Shared Belief, Chitu can make some noise.

20. Bond Holder – He’s a Grade 1 winner who really has never ran an awful race so that has to count for something.  He reminds me a little bit of Den’s Legacy from last year, which is both good and bad.  The Risen Star is next for him.

Free Brisnet past performances from Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager available at http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/14KDFW2PPs.pdf.

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

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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #1

Ky

And so it begins…the nominations are in and the future pools are alive and well.  I’ve waited long enough, it’s time for my first Kentucky Derby list of the year.  As some of you know we’ll update the list weekly as things will absolutely change from week to week.  Unlike many years, this year I have a very solid feeling about one particular horse which I have ranked number one.  Remember…this is not a “what have you done in the past” list, it’s a “who has the best chance to win the Kentucky Derby” list.  We’ve also thrown in the 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) Pool 2 Morning Line odds.  Enough rambling…here we go!

1. Top Billing (15-1 KDFW Morning Line) – I’ll probably get burned with this…but its been awhile since I’ve been this confident about a Kentucky Derby prospect.  Everything about him I really like.  He’s shown he will run through horses, he does everything with ease, and his running style has proven to be successful on the first Saturday in May.  His last race was just a freakish performance as he beat a nice allowance group in hand.  Fingers crossed this one stays healthy!

2. Strong Mandate (20-1) – He showed tremendous talent as a two-year, and is working LIGHTS OUT at Oaklawn Park.  I felt he was best in the Breeders Cup Juvenile, as he was caught very wide and ran into the teeth of an extremely hot pace.  He’s in capable hands with Lukas…I think he’s a potential monster.

3. Commissioner (20-1) – I’ve already expressed how much I like Top Billing, and this horse actually beat him when they went head to head.  He already has two wins going a mile and one eighth, and considering his breeding distance is not going to be a problem.  So why do I not have him number one?  I’ve been burned by Pletcher too many times…he’ll have to continue to prove it to me before I move him up any higher than this spot.

4. Cairo Prince (8-1) – The Holy Bull was an eye-opening race!  The field looked somewhat evenly matched, but Cairo Prince blew away the competition.  He might be the most talented horse in the entire crop.  All systems are go for him except one little issue that keeps creeping up in my mind…will he be completely effective at a mile and a quarter?

5. Candy Boy (50-1) – His race against Shared Belief in the CashCall Futurity was better than most people think, and he’s another horse that has really been training well for his 2014 debut.  Gary Stevens has the mount for him in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes this weekend.

6. Shared Belief (10-1) – There is no question he was the best two-year old of his crop, but the foot issues have me seriously worried.  This is not the time of year you want to have injuries.  Time is critical now…any minor set back will cost him.  Hollendorfer will not rush this horse just to make the Derby, which is the right thing to do.  Also, there is still the lingering question of whether the horse will run on the dirt as well as he ran on synthetics.

7. Honor Code (10-1) – Put him in the same category as Shared Belief.  If not for the injury problems I’d have both horses ranked higher, but I can’t do it right now.  Just like Shared Belief, any minor set back and the Triple Crown could be done for him.

8. Tapiture (20-1) – Not completely sold on him, but no doubt he’s heading in the right direction.  His Stakes win at Churchill was really impressive, but I don’t think he beat much.  He’s aiming for the Southwest, where the waters will get much deeper.

9. Gold Hawk (7-5 “All Others”) – Call me crazy but that last clunker doesn’t have me scared off just yet.  There is no escaping the fact the Lecomte Stakes was a disaster, but it was a learning experience for a still young and developing horse.  I expect him to come back strong in his next race.

10. Midnight Hawk (20-1) – Not sure he wants the distance of the Derby, but he’s been strong in two straight races.  Could see him continuing a strong run out in California, but still on the fence about his chances in Kentucky.

11. Samraat (30-1) – After that performance in the Withers, this one is now a player.  I can’t remember being so surprised by a race, but it’s always nice when that happens!  They are talking like one more prep race is in order before a trip to Kentucky.

12. Mexicoma (7-5) – I could see this one going either way.  He’s doing everything the right way right now, but I do believe the Fountain of Youth will be a big time class test for him.

13. Indianapolis (20-1) – His stakes win was only six furlongs, but I think he’s going to be able to stretch out.  Going short he had a big turn of foot, but can he have that same quickness going long is the main question.  This could be a dumb one to put on the list, but I just liked way he moved in his last race.

14. Louies Flower (7-5) – He is quietly working out extremely well at Oaklawn Park.  Strong Mandate is getting the majority of attention, but you better not forget about this one.  He’ll get a chance to prove his worth in the Southwest Stakes on President’s Day.

15. Bobby’s Kitten (30-1) – Loads of talent…but can he run on the dirt?  The plan is to try the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland, and then move on to Churchill if he runs well in that race.  He’s as classy as they come, and if they can get him qualified he might have a say in things.  In the past turf horses have actually ran well over the Churchill Downs dirt track.

16. Vicar’s In Trouble (20-1) – Make no mistake that Lecomte Stakes performance was HUGE, but he’s another that just might not like the Derby distance.  At a mile or mile and one sixteenth this one will be extremely hard to beat, but I could see him getting a little short if he goes much longer than that.

17. Uncle Sigh (50-1) – I’ll be honest in saying I wasn’t totally sold on him going into the Withers, but he showed a ton of heart and more importantly talent in that race.  The distance of the Derby could be questionable, but he’s worth a solid mention at this point.

18. Constitution (7-5) – He’s only ran once, but that maiden breaking win was impressive.  He broke terribly out of the gate, rushed up on the inside rail, and still was able to win the race.  Haven’t heard where he might run next, but he looks like a nice one to keep an eye on.

19. Havana (30-1) – Really love this horse, but really don’t like him at all at the Kentucky Derby distance.  I put him on this list out of respect, and I do believe he has a chance to qualify for the race because he is a very classy.  Still, don’t think he has much of a chance even if he does make the starting gate.

20. Bond Holder (7-5) – He’s a Grade 1 winner who really has never ran an awful race so that has to count for something.  He reminds me a little bit of Den’s Legacy from last year, which is both good and bad.  The Risen Star is next for him.

Free Brisnet past performances for Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager available at http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/14KDFW2PPs.pdf.

Real-time odds and other information on the KDFW are available at www.KentuckyDerby.com.

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