Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Breeders Cup World Thoroughbred Championships

Every year the best horses from around the world line up in the starting gate for the Breeders Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. This year is highlighted by three races in particular, the Breeders Cup Ladies Classic, the Breeders Cup Mile, and lastly the Breeders Cup Classic. All three races are filled with phenomenal talent. Below are selections for the fifteen Breeders Cup races starting with Friday, each race with have my three selections, followed by one longer priced horse who I believe will be a factor in each race. I have provided in-depth analysis on the Breeders Cup Ladies Classic, Turf, Mile, and Classic, along with picks. I hope you enjoy the Breeders Cup!!

Breeders Cup Saturday

Race 4 GI Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf $1,000,000
1. Fantastic Moon (12-1) *Longshot
2. Joha (6-1)
3. Artigiano (8-1)

Race 5 GI Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint $1,000,000
1. Groupie Doll (1-1) Best bet of the Breeders Cup
2. Switch (12-1) *Longshot
3. Turbulent Descent (5-1)

Race 6 GI Breeders Cup Dirt Mile $1,000,000
1. Jersey Town (4-1) *Love him!
2. Shackleford (2-1)
5. Fed Biz (6-1)
Longshot- Delegation (12-1)

Race 7 GI Breeders Cup Turf Sprint $1,000,000
1. Unbridled's Note (5-1)
2. Reneesgotzip (8-1)
3. California Flag (6-1)
Longshot- Tale of a Champion (30-1)

Race 8 GI Breeders Cup Juvenile $2,000,000
1. Shanghai Bobby (2-1)
2. Power Broker (5-2)
3. He's Had Enough (20-1) *Longshot

Race 9 GI Breeders Cup Turf $3,000,000
1. Point of Entry (3-1)
2. Trailblazer (6-1)
3. Shareta (7-2)
Longshot- Cogito (30-1)

Point of Entry is a beast. He loves the firm ground that Santa Anita will offer. Point of Entry is the best American chance to win a route on the grass on the Breeders Cup program. Point of Entry is tactical and will be right in behind the hot pace. He will get first jump on the deep closers and will hold off the classy Europeans, and the well prepared Japanese invader Trailblazer.

Race 10 G1 Breeders Cup Sprint $1,500,000
1. Poseidon's Warrior (15-1) *Longshot
2. The Lumber Guy (6-1)
3. Amazombie (4-1)

Race 11 GI Breeders Cup Mile $2,000,000
1. Wise Dan (9-5)
2. Excelebration (2-1)
3. Animal Kingdom (8-1)
Longshot- Suggestive Boy (15-1)

The Breeders Cup Mile is in my opinion the best race of the 2012 Breeders Cup. Wise Dan, who is the best horse in the United States, clashes with Excelebration the second best miler in Europe, only behind the mighty Frankel. The race also features the long awaited return of 2011 Kentucky Derby hero Animal Kingdom. I believe Wise Dan is in impeccable form right now, and will not lose. Excelebration is a star, but nobody is beating Wise Dan right now. I look for Animal Kingdom to run a huge race first off the layoff, but he just may need one more race before he is beating the likes of Wise Dan.

Race 12 GI Breeders Cup Classic $5,000,000
1. Game on Dude (9-5)
2. Fort Larned (5-1)
3. To Honor and Serve (8-1)
Longshot- Pool Play (30-1)

The Breeders Cup Classic begins and ends with Game on Dude. He is the obvious choice in the race, and I love him. He is five for five at Santa Anita, and has speed in a race that lacks speed. Game on Dude will be sitting right off of expected pace setter Fort Larned, and I believe will run him down on his way to a Breeders Cup Classic victory. Fort Larned is going to set the pace, and I believe he will get the 1 1/4 miles distance of the Classic in his second start off of a brief freshening. His victory in the Whitney Stakes was very impressive and I look for him to duplicate that, but Game on Dude is just too good. To Honor and Serve will likely not receive a lot of attention based on his lackluster performance in the Kelso Handicap, but contrary to popular belief, I think To Honor and Serve is a distance horse who lacked conditioning in last years Breeders Cup Classic. I believe he is a major threat here. The race has many horses who figure to be long prices, but one horse who will be a short price, Flat Out, is a major throwout for me. Flat Out has been nothing but a dud away from New York, I believe he will hate the Santa Anita surface and for this reason I hate him in the Classic. Alpha is not good enough to beat these horses. Pool Play is not getting very much respect, but in two career starts on conventional dirt, he is two for two with a GI win. I think Pool Play could hit the board if the pace is hotter than expected. Mucho Macho Man will get a lot of play, but I am not sure he will get the distance, and for that reason he is a throw out for me. Ron the Greek and Richard's Kid are both GI winners over the track, but on Saturday I believe they are just not good enough. I just do not see Brilliant Speed, Nonios, or Handsome Mike having an impact on the race. Game on Dude is too good, he has been too good this year, and at Santa Anita, and for that reason I LOVE the favorite to win this years Breeders Cup Classic.

Breeders Cup Friday

Race 4 Breeders Cup Juvenile Sprint $500,000
1. Merit Man (8-5)
2. Sweet Shirley Mae (4-1)
3. Super Ninety Nine (5-2)
Longshot- Ceiling Kitty (12-1)

Race 5 GII Breeders Cup Marathon $500,000
1.  Eldaafer (8-1)
2. Worth Repeating (5-1)
3. Atigun (9-2)
Longshot- Grassy (30-1)

Race 6 GI Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf $1,000,000
1. Sky Lantern (3-1)
2. Flashy Ways (10-1)
3. Watsdachances (4-1)
Longshot- Kitten's Point (12-1)

Race 7 GI Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies $2,000,000
1.Kauai Katie (3-1)
2. Executiveprivilege
3.  Beholder
Longshot- Spring in the Air

Race 8 GI Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf $2,000,000
1. Ridasiyana (4-1)
2. The Fugue (7-2)
3. Marketing Mix (9-2)
Longshot- In Lingerie (12-1)

Race 9 GI Breeders Cup Ladies Classic $2,000,000
1. Awesome Feather (3-1)
2. Royal Delta (9-5)
3. Questing (4-1)
The Ladies Classic is loaded with speed horses, the speed includes My Miss Aurelia, Questing, Awesome Feather, and Love and Pride. I expect Awesome Feather to let Questing, My Miss Aurelia, and Love and Pride to duel it out. Awesome Feather will sit right off of the hot pace and get separation on the superstar mare Royal Delta turning for home. Awesome Feather will go to 11-11 and Royal Delta will run a valiant second in this years Breeders Cup Ladies Classic.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekend Stakes Races 9/29-30/12

This weekend in horse racing has major implications for this years Breeders Cup. Belmont Park hosts "Super Saturday". Belmont's card could not be higher quality. The purses are high, the fields are big, and the feature The GI Jockey Club Gold Cup features six Grade I winners. On the other coast Santa Anita hosts its huge pre- Breeders Cup day. Between Santa Anita and Belmont Park there will be a total of 14 graded stakes races. My selections for Belmont, Santa Anita, and Remington Park which hosts the Oklahoma Derby are below.

Belmont Park

Race 5 GI Beldame Invitational $400,000
1. It's Tricky
2. Royal Delta
3. Cash for Clunkers

Race 6 GII Kelso Handicap $400,000
1. Tapizar
2. To Honor and Serve
3. Shackleford

Race 7 GI  Vosburgh Invitational $400,000
1. Sean Avery
2. Rothko
3. Fort Loudon

Race 8 GI Flower Bowl Invitational $600,000
1. Nahrain
2. Hessonite
3. Zagora

Race 9 GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational $600,000
1. Point of Entry
2. Finnegans Wake
3. Little Mike

Race 10 GI Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational Stakes $1,000,000
1. Hymm Book
2. Ron the Greek
3. Fort Larned

Race 7 GII Matron Stakes $200,000
1. Kauai Kate
2. Unabashed
3. Seasoned Warrior

Race 9 GII Futurity Stakes $200,000
1. Carried Interest
2. Overanalyze
3. Handsome Jack

Santa Anita

Race 6 GI Chandelier Stakes $250,000
1. Executiveprivilege
2. Beholder
3. Scarlet Strike

Race 7 GI FrontRunner Stakes $250,000
1. Know More
2. Power Broker
3. Capo Bastone

Race 8 GI Zenyatta Stakes $250,000
1. Include Me Out
2. Via Villagio
3. Amani

Race 9 GI Rodeo Drive Stakes $250,000
1. Marketing Mix
2. Nereid
3. City to City

Race 10 GI Awesome Again Stakes $250,000
1. Game on Dude
2. Suggestive Boy
3. Richard's Kid

Race 9 GII John Henry Turf Championship $150,000
1. Slim Shadey
2. Turbo Compressor
3. Bourbon Bay

Remington Park

Race 9 Oklahoma Derby $400,000
1. Daddy Nose Best
2. Called to Serve
3. Speightscity

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Weekend Stakes Selections 8-25-12 and 8-26-12

This weekend belongs to Saratoga and Del Mar. On Saturday Saratoga hosts The Travers Stakes. The Mid-Summer Derby is the marquee race of the Saratoga meet every year.  The Travers which is for three year olds going  a 1 1/4 miles features Alpha, who won the prep race for the Travers, The Jim Dandy Stakes. The other major contenders are Nonios, Neck N' Neck, Street Life, and Liason. Leading up to the Travers which runs as race 12 are three other major stakes races.
On Sunday at Del Mar they run the biggest race of their season in the Pacific Classic. The million dollar race for three year olds and upward features the top older male in training right now Game On Dude, as well as Richard's Kid, Dullahan, Rail Trip, and the filly Amani. The Pacific Classic also has a great undercard. My selections for the Travers Stakes, the Pacific Classic, and much more are below.


Race 9 Grade II Ballston Spa Stakes $250,000
1. Hungry Island
2. Zagora
3. Summer Soiree

Race 10 Grade I Test Stakes $500,000
1. Book Review
2. Contested
3. Amie's Dini

Race 11 Grade I Foxwoods King's Bishop Stakes $500,000
1. Ever So Lucky
2. Trinniberg
3. Currency Swap

Race 12  Grade I Travers Stakes $1,000,000
1. Alpha
2. Stealcase
3. Nonios

I tried to beat Alpha in the Travers, but no matter where I looked Alpha looked too good. Alpha is the class of the field. Alpha's Jim Dandy victory was very impressive. In a race with little speed Alpha took advantage and never looked back. His main challenger in the race was Neck n' Neck, who is a very good horse but in the last 70 yards Alpha was pulling away from Neck n' Neck suggesting that Alpha will enjoy the added distance, and Neck n' Neck may not. Alpha is just too good for this field and I look for him to win this years Travers Stakes from right off the pace. While I picked the favorite to win, I believe a horse that may not get that much attention is a major player to hit the board, Stealcase. Stealcase is improving with each and every start. He seems to be enjoying the added distance, and he may get a decent set up in the race. While there are a few deep closers in the race I look for Stealcase to be a little closer and get the jump on horses like Street Life. I am taking a shot by putting Stealcase in my top 3 but I believe he is really improving and should love the 1 1/4 miles distance so he is worth a shot at 15-1. Nonios ran very well in the Haskell Invitational last time out, and while I believe that was a strong race to finish second, he will get a real class test today, I look for him to hit the board, but I do not think he will beat Alpha. Alpha will be the favorite and in this years edition of the Travers Stakes, Alpha will be the winner.


Race 10 Grade I Personal Ensign Handicap $600,000
1. Royal Delta
2. Brushed by a Star
3. It's Tricky

Del Mar

Race 5 Grade I Pat O' Brien Stakes $250,000
1. Camp Victory
2. Capital Account
3. Coil

Race 7 Grade II Del Mar Mile $200,000
1. Mr. Commons
2. Jeranimo
3. Calimonco

Race 9 Grade I TVG Pacific Classic Stakes $1,000,000
1. Suggestive Boy
2. Dullahan
3. Richard's Kid

Game On Dude is  undoubtedly the horse to beat in this years Pacific Classic. He is undefeated in the United States this year, his only loss coming in the Dubai World Cup. Last time out he won the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup defeating Richard's Kid, but that was on the cushion track, and his win at Santa Anita earlier in the year was on dirt, Del Mar has a different type of synthetic surface, Polytrack. Game on Dude finished fourth in the 2011 edition of the Pacific Classic, and he really had no excuse. Game on Dude is better than every horse in this field but I believe he does not care for the Del Mar surface and I will take a stand against him. I believe he will finish fourth again. My pick is Suggestive Boy. Suggestive Boy will be making his third start in this country since being imported from Argentina. His last start in the Wickerr on the turf was very impressive. He will be making his first start on the Polytrack, but I do not believe that will be an issue. I believe he will love the distance and will get the first jump on the other major closers. I look for Suggestive Boy to pass Game on Dude in the last eighth of a mile and then hold off the other late closers like Dullahan, Richard's Kid, and Amani. Dullahan loves polytrack, he is 2 for 2 over the surface with two Grade I wins. I believe he is talented enough to compete with this field, and he loves the distance and the surface. Dullahan is not a dirt horse, he is a synthetic/turf horse and this race fits him perfectly. Dullahan does not have to be that far off the pace and I look for him to be mid-pack. He will get first run on Richard's Kid and thats why I like Dullahan to finish second. He also gets the services of Joel Rosario one of the best riders in the country. Richard's Kid loves Del Mar, he has won two Pacific Classic's. He won the race in 2009 and 2010 and did not compete last year. He loves the distance and the surface and should be flying late but with really good closers getting the jump on him I look for Richard's Kid to come up short this year. The Pacific Classic will be a very exciting race, and Game on Dude may get it done this year, but if they are going to beat him Sunday may just be the day.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Weekend Stakes Races 8/18-19/2012

This weekend features major racing from Arlington Park, Del Mar, Saratoga, Monmouth, and Woodbine. The spotlight will be on Arlington Park which hosts the GI Arlington Million  as well as two other Grade I's and the new American St. Leger Stakes. Saratoga has two Grade I's on Saturday the Sword Dancer Invitational as well as the Alabama Stakes, and both are loaded with talent. Del Mar has graded stakes action on Saturday and Sunday including the GI Del Mar Oaks. Last but not least, Woodbine and Monmouth host very competitive grade II's.

Arlington Park


American St. Leger Stakes $400,000
1. Jakkalberry
2. Lake Drop
3. Suntracer

GI Secretariat Stakes $500,000
1. Daddy Long Legs
2. Silver Max
3. Bayrir

Daddy Long Legs is my selection to dethrone Silver Max Saturday. Daddy Long Legs showed in the UAE Derby he runs well fresh. He should not have an issue with the distance and will put pace pressure on Silver Max, leading me to believe he wears Silver Max down in the final eighth of a mile.

GI Beverly D. Stakes $750,000
1. Aruna
2. I'm A Dreamer
3. Mystical Star

I believe Aruna was better than Mystical Star last time out as she was very wide. With a better trip and staying a little closer to the pace Aruna will not allow Mystical Star to get the jump. The distance is perfect for Aruna. I'm A Dreamer is the biggest threat she seems to fire every time and that gives her a great chance to hit the board.  

GI Arlington Million Stakes $1,000,000
1. Crackerjack King
2. Boisterous
3. Afsare

Crackerjack King ran into some of the best horses Europe has to offer last time out at Sandown. He ran into Nathaniel, and Farhh. Farhh returned to run second to the best horse in the world, Frankel. Prior to that effort Crackerjack King was a Grade I winner in Italy. The Arlington Million provides class relief for Crackerjack King as Nathaniel, Farhh, amd Twice Over would be odds on in this race if they were to run. Crackerjack King gets the relief on Saturday and will establish his dominance in his American debut. Boisterous is the best of the American horses. He will not be good enough to win but he always fires, and I look for him to hit the board.

Del Mar

GI Del Mar Oaks $300,000
1. Lady of Shamrock
2. My Gi Gi
3. Eden's Moon


GIII Rancho Bernardo Handicap $150,000
1. Winding Way
2. Sugarinthemorning
3. Rumor



GI Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes $600,000
1. Point of Entry
2. Brilliant Speed
3. Center Divider

GI Alabama Stakes $600,000
2. Grace Hall
3. Sea Island

This was the hardest race of the weekend to handicap. Many of the fillies in this race are evenly matched, but the major difference is no can put pressure on Questing early. Questing is 2 for 2 since Kiaran Mclaughin has put her on dirt. She went gate to wire last time out in the Coaching Club American Oaks and I look for her to repeat that effort. Based on their prior races the rest of the field does not have the speed to put pressure on Questing. Grace Hall is very talented and I look her for to chase Questing all the way around and run a very solid second. Sea Island could improve the most with the stretch out in distance and I look for her to be a factor late.

GII Woodford Reserve Lake Placid Stakes $200,000
1. Stephanie's Kitten
2. Better Lucky
3. Somali Lemonade

Monmouth Park
GIII Phillip Iselin Stakes $150,000
1. Toby's Corner
2. San Pablo
3. Gourmet Dinner


GII Sky Classic Stakes $250,000
1. Pender Harbour
2. Smart Bid
3. Forte Dei Marmi

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Weekend Stakes Races 8-4-12 and 8-5-12

          This is just one of many summer weekends that features Grade I racing coast to coast thanks to Del Mar and Saratoga. Del Mar host's the Grade I Clement L. Hirsch for fillies and mares on Saturday and the Grade II Best Pal Stakes for 2yo colts as well as two fillies on Sunday. Saratoga has a weekend full of top class racing. On Saturday three stakes races headline the card. The Whitney Invitational Handicap is the race of the weekend. $750,000 and a trip to the Breeders Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is on the line in this Grade 1 event. The card also features the Grade I Prioress Stakes for sprinting 3yo fillies, and the ungraded but very deep De La Rose Stakes. On Sunday the Grade I Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes is the feature, the race for older male sprinters is shaping up as a good one.  Last but not least Mountaineer Racetrack in West Virginia has its biggest day of the year on Saturday. Headlined by the West Virginia Derby, the entire card is made up of stakes races making for a wonderful day out there. Lastly the talented filly Stopshoppingmaria, who finished second in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last November makes her seasonal debut in the first race at Saratoga on Saturday a race to certainly keep an eye on. My selections for the major races of the weekend are below.

Del Mar


GI Clement L. Hirsch Stakes $300,000
1. Amani
2. Include Me Out
3. Switch


GII Best Pal Stakes $150,000
1. Scherer Magic
2. Know More
3. Heir of Storm


GI Whitney Invitational Handicap $750,000 *Race of the Weekend

The Whitney is loaded with speed. Rule, Endorsement, Trickmeister, and Fort Larned are all horses who need to be on the lead, if not, right off it. The pace will likely be too hot for any of these four horses to hold on and hit the board. Rule is a solid horse and I look for him to put in a big effort. He may be the slowest of these four horses which may put him in a decent spot, but I do not think he is good enough.  Endorsement will not run as poorly as he did last time out in the Suburban. The issue for Endorsement is that he is inside of Trickmeister who will apply constant pressure. I look for these two horses to get in a speed duel early. Trickmeister is 1 for 1 at Saratoga, but this race reminds me a lot of the Donn Handicap and Trickmeister was just not good enough that day, I see a similar outcome on Saturday. Fort Larned has a developed into a very good racehorse, but not a Grade I racehorse, I think he will chase the pace, but in the end is simply not good enough to hit the board against these horses.
I believe the race sets up for a closer, this leaves Hunters Bay, Caixa Electronica,  Ron the Greek, Flat Out, and Hymm Book. Ron the Greek will be the post time favorite based off of his two Grade I wins this year. He has every opportunity in the Whitney to cement himself as the favorite for the Breeders Cup Classic, and Horse of the Year. I do not believe in Ron the Greek though. He got a perfect trip in the Stephen Foster last time out to nip Wise Dan by a nose. Although the pace scenario is in his favor again I am still not sold on Ron the Greek, so I will take a stand against him on Saturday. Hymm Book has been disappointing since his victory in the Donn Handicap. He has a similar closing kick to Ron the Greek, they both grind away late, neither possessing a devastating late closing kick. I liked his last race in the Suburban, He ran into Mucho Macho Man who demolished the field. I think he will enjoy the return to two turns, and hopefully the one turn race sharpened him up a bit. I look for Hymm Book to hit the board and out finish Ron the Greek, but I do not think Hymm Book is your winner. Flat Out returned off a layoff in the Monmouth Cup and his race was encouraging. He chased the pace came out late and could not run down Rule. He should improve in his second start off the layoff and he loves Saratoga which was proven by his two seconds here last year. I look for Flat Out to have first run on the horses running from deeper back in the field, but I think he will be second best. This leaves two big prices, Hunters Bay and Caixa Electronica. My selection is Hunters Bay. Hunters Bay has gotten good, he was won 4 out of his last 5 and comes into the Whitney off his first graded stakes score in the Dominion Day Handicap. Trained by Reade Baker, who is going to have a giant day (Tu Endie Wei) Hunters Bay to me provides the most upside in a race that has horses who are very similar. Hunters Bay faces a lot of adversity, he comes off a win on the Polytrack at Woodbine, now he comes to the dirt at Saratoga, and is running against the best horses he has ever faced. He is versatile and I look for him to sit a good trip in behind horses and get first run on the horses coming late. He is also a big price, which enhances the pick. I am taking a shot in here because I am not sold on the Older Male division and I am looking for a new player, and I believe Hunters Bay is that player.
1. Hunters Bay
2. Flat Out
3. Hymm Book

GI Prioress Stakes $300,000
1. Tu Endie Wei
2. Judy the Beauty
3. Jamaican Smoke

De La Rose Stakes $100,000
1. Julie's Love
2. Dealbata
3. Dancinginherdreams


GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes $400,000
1. Hamazing Destiny
2. Shackleford
3. Emcee


GII West Virginia Derby $750,000
1. Hansen
2. Penn's Grant
3. Le Bernadin

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Weekend Stakes Races July 21 and July 22

This huge weekend is headlined by opening weekends at both Del Mar and Saratoga, and Virginia Derby day at Colonial Downs, as well as the phenomenal renewal of the Delaware Handicap. My selections for the weekend's major races are below.

GI TVG Coaching Club American Oaks $300,000
1. Disposablepleasure
2. In Lingerine
3. Zo Impressive

Willard Straight Staks $100,000
1. Fiddler's Patriot
2. Bridgetown
3. Great Mills

GII Sanford Stakes $200,000
1. Rose Junction
2. Good Tickled
3. Onetwentyeight

Duluth Stakes $100,00
1. Summer Front
1. Our Entourage
2. Gold Megillah

Del Mar

G1 Eddie Read Stakes $300,000
1. Acclamation
2. Casino Host
3. Slim Shadey

GII San Clemente Handicap $150,000
1. Killer Graces
2. Eden's Moon
3. Oblivion

Delaware Park
GII Delaware Handicap $750,000
1. Royal Delta
2. Pachattack
3. Awesome Maria

*This is the race of the day, separating the top three was tough especially because Royal Delta can be dominant, but does not always run her best race, Awesome Maria did not run well last time out which was surprising but dismantled Royal Delta earlier this year, and Pachattack is extremely logical back on the dirt at 1 1/4 miles and will have a serious chance to make an impact on the Delaware Handicap.

Colonial Downs
GIII The Virginia Oaks $150,000
1. Ski Holiday
2. Zultanite
3. Volcat

GII Virginia Derby $600,000
1.  Silver Max
2. Lucky Chappy

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stakes Races 6-28-2012

This weekend is headlined by graded stakes races at Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Prairie Meadows, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, and a major stakes race at Charles Town.

Belmont Park

GII New York Stakes $200,000
1. Aruna
2. Banimpire
3. Hit it Rich

GII Dwyer Stakes $200,000
1. Unstoppable U
2. Teeth of the Dog
3. Fast Falcon

Betfair Hollywood Park $250,000

GI Triple Bend Handicap
1. Smiling Tiger
2. Comma to the Top
3. Mobilized

GI Shoemaker Mile Stakes $250,000
1. Mr. Commons
2. Jeranimo
3. Liberian Freighter

Prairie Meadows

GIII Iowa Oaks $200,000
1. Tapajo
2. Uptown Bertie
3. Ice Cream Silence

GIII Iowa Derby $200,000
1. Hansen
2. Truetap
3. Alsvid

GIII Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap $300,000
1. Succesful Dan
2. Awesome Gem
3. Headache

Churchill Downs

GIII Bashford Manor Stakes $100,000
1. Positively
2. Roman's Avenue
3. Special Jo

Monmouth Park

GIII Eatontown Handicap $100,000
1. Unbridled Humor
2. Vivo Per Lei
3. Ruthenia

Charles Town

Red Legend Stakes $400,000
1. Il Villano
2. Innocent Man
3. Flashy Dresser

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Weekend Stakes Races 6-16-12 6-17

The Weekend is headlined by an incredible rendition of the G1 Stephen Foster H. as well as the Vanity Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park, as well as good cards at Belmont, Colonial, and a graded stake at Delaware.

Churchill Downs

Grade  III Matt Winn Stakes $100,000
1. Neck 'n Neck
2. Mucho Macho
3. Right to Vote

Grade III Regret Stakes $100,000
1. Coup
2. Heart of Destiny
3. Colonial Flag

Grade II Fleur De Lis. Handicap $150,000
1. St. John's River
2. Royal Delta
3. Afleeting Lady

Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap $400,000
1. Wise Dan
2. Nehro
3. Ron the Greek

Belmont Park

Grade III Hill Price Stakes $150,000
1. Howe Great
2. Our Entourage
3. Summer Front

Betfair Hollywood Park

GI Vanity Handicap $250,000
1. Ellafitz
2. Include Me Out
3. Atlantic Swing

Colonial Downs

GIII Edward P. Evans All Along Stakes $100,000
1. Snow Top Mountain
2. La Pernelle
3. Speak Easy Gal
Pachattack would be my pick but I expect her to run in the Obeah at Delaware.

Colonial Turf Cup $500,000
1. Casino Host
2. Humble and Hungry
3. Smart Bid

Delaware Park

GIII Obeah Stakes $150,000
1. Pachattack
2. Love and Pride
3. She Be Classy

Friday, June 8, 2012

I'll Have Another out

With the defection of I'll Have Another the Belmont stakes loses the excitement of having a Triple Crown on the line. The race still goes on though. My selections will not change significantly but there are two longshot that I find very interesting. Unstoppable U could be dangerous. He is very talented and could either have the lead or sit right off of Paynter. He is lightly raced but I think has a chance to run better than his odds suggest. The other horse I think is very dangerous is Optimizer. Optimizer is bred for a mile and a half and everyonce in a while he runs his race. I think he will hit the board on Saturday at a big price and will replace I'll Have Another in my trifecta.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The 144th Running of the Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. Run over a 1 ½ miles at Belmont Park. The Belmont Stakes is known as the "Test of Champions", and is  the longest and most grueling of the three Triple Crown races.  In this year's 144th running of the Belmont Stakes all eyes will be on a single horse, I'll Have Another. I'll Have Another will attempt to become the 12th Triple Crown Winner and first since 1978 when Affirmed accomplished the task. I'll Have Another breaks from post number 11 and is 4-5 odds on the morning line. His main competitors in the race will come from Dullahan (#5) who was a stong third in the Kentucky Derby, Union Rags (#3), a troubled 7th in the Kentucky Derby, and Paynter, a talented runner hailing from the barn of Bob Baffert. Below will be my horse by horse analysis of the Belmont Stakes followed by my selections. Happy Belmont week, and hopefully on Monday I will be blogging about the 12th Triple Crown winner!

PP  Name  (Odds)   [My Odds] 
1  Street Life (12-1)   [10-1] -  Street Life is trained by the young, but proven Chad Brown, owned in part by Houston Texans owner Robert McNair and is ridden by the always capable Jose Lezcano. Street Life will be a factor in this year’s Belmont Stakes. Street Life will be off of the television screen early in the race because he is a very deep closer. Street Life likes to drop way behind and make one big kick towards the end of the race. Street Life comes into the Belmont Stakes off of a respectable third place effort in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park four weeks ago. Prior to the Peter Pan he had a poor showing in the Wood Memorial, a Kentucky Derby prep race. Street Life will have no problem with the Belmont distance. There is a common misperception that to win the Belmont Stakes a horse needs to be far back. This is not true. Street Life will be running late, is bred for the distance, and is fond of the Belmont Park surface, making him a factor in the Belmont Stakes. 

2. Unstoppable U (30-1) [40-1]- Unstoppable U is undefeated for trainer Ken McPeek, and jockey Junior Alvarado. Unstoppable U is taking a major step up in class. He won a maiden special weight at Aqueduct followed by an allowance win going a mile at Belmont Park. Following that wire to wire win at Belmont Park Unstoppable U is being thrown into deep water in the Belmont Stakes. Unstoppable U is going to be a factor though because he is going to go to the lead. I believe he is talented, but this race is too long for him. Unstoppable U is going to see pace pressure from Union Rags among others. Unstoppable U will have the lead for about a mile but will not be a factor when the winner crosses the finish line.

3. Union Rags (6-1) [9-2]- Union Rags has gotten himself into trouble. In his Kentucky Derby prep, the Florida Derby he never really had a chance to run and the Kentucky Derby was a complete debacle as he ended up finish seventh. Trained by Michael Matz and ridden for the first time by John Velasquez, Union Rags is in the perfect spot to get the perfect trip he has desired all year. Ideally, Union Rags will sit in a comfortable spot in second right off of Unstoppable U. This makes Union Rags the most dangerous threat to I'll Have Another's Triple Crown attempt. Union Rags has run at Belmont Park once and romped in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes as a 2 year old. Union Rags gets the services of John Velasquez who will put him in a position to win the race. Union Rags should not have a problem with the 1 1/2 distance and when they turn for home he will be the horse the rest of the field will have to catch. 

4. Atigun (30-1) [25-1]- Atigun also comes from the barn of Ken McPeek. Atigun may be the more fancied of the two. Atigun was on the Kentucky Derby trail earlier this year by way of Arkansas. Atigun was a non factor in the Rebel Stakes or the Arkansas Derby. Atigun was successful in his last start, an allowance race at Churchill Downs. The problem with Atigun is that he has struggled in high quality races, and the Belmont is certainly a high quality horse race. Atigun will be towards the back of the pack, and does not have the kick to win the race. He should be able to handle the 1 1/2 which will put him in the top half of the running order, but Atigun is not good enough to hit the board. 

5. Dullahan (5-1) [7-2]- Dullahan is widely regarded as the most likely Belmont Stakes winner if I'll Have Another falters. Dullahan seemed to prove in the Kentucky Derby that he handles dirt. Dullahan is trained by Dale Romans and will be ridden for the first time by Javier Castellano. Dullahan is a closer as well, but I expect him to be closer to I'll Have Another in the Belmont Stakes. Dullahan will have to pass both Union Rags and I'll Have Another in the Belmont, a task I do not think that he will be able to accomplish. Dullahan is fresh, and Castellano is riding better than anyone in the country, but I think Dullahan still has to prove he is a capable dirt horse away from Churchill Downs, and for this reason I will look elsewhere in the Belmont Stakes. 

6.  Ravelo's Boy (50-1) [75-1]- Ravelo's Boy comes into the Belmont Stakes off a layoff. In his last race he was a non-factor in the Tampa Bay Derby a race that has produced very little. Ravelo's Boy has been over matched in his stakes appearances and will be over matched in the Belmont Stakes. Some horses have won the Belmont Stakes unexpectedly ,but this horse would be an absolute shock. He will have the services of the veteran Alex Solis but that will not be enough to make Ravelo's Boy a factor in the third leg of the Triple Crown.

7. Five Sixteen (50-1) [50-1]- Five Sixteen will be bet below his morning line for one reason, his jockey, Rosie Napravnik, the popular female jockey. Rosie became the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Oaks five weeks ago and will attempt to become the second female jockey to win the Belmont Stakes, but it will not happen. Five Sixteen was a non-factor last time out in an Aqueduct allowance race. This race is a major step up in class, and Five Sixteen will not be up to the task. 

8. Guyana Star Dweej (50-1) [60-1]- Guyana Star Dweej is simply over matched. Guyana Star Dweej is coming out of the same allowance race Unstoppable U was victorious in. Guyana Star Dweej was not finishing particularly well when he finished second in that race. I believe the 1 ½ miles will not suit him well. The class of the race will also get in the way of Guyana Star Dweej big to win the Belmont, who is not good enough to win this race.  Guyana Star Dweej gets the services of Belmont Stakes winning jockey Kent Desormeaux, but it will not matter. 

9. Paynter (8-1) [10-1]- Paynter is trained by Bob Baffert, ridden by Mike Smith, and owned by Ahmad Zayat, the same exact connections as Bodemeister. These connections will take their third crack at I'll Have Another but this time with a different horse. Paynter comes off an easy win at Pimlico on Preakness Day. The race was visually impressive, as Paynter was too good for that field. Paynter has been unsuccessful in his two stakes tries but for good reason. Paynter stepped into the Santa Anita Derby off a maiden win and ran very well to finish fourth. Paynter then ran in the Derby Trial and ran a good second at one turn. Back to two turns at Pimlico he was dominant. Paynter is a very dangerous horse to I'll Have Another's quest simply because of his connections and the fact that he is improving every single race. Watch Out.

10. Optimizer (20-1) [15-1]- Optimizer is trained by legendary D. Wayne Lukas and will be ridden by Corey Nakatani. Optimizer has run in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and has been a relative non-factor. Optimizer is bred to run a 1 ½  miles but the problem is he is bred to run 1 ½  on the turf. Optimizer has been relatively ineffective on the dirt and has been better on turf and synthetic. He is by English Channel who won the Breeders Cup Turf at the Belmont Distance but it was on the lawn. Optimizer will relish the distance so he will be in the top half of the race but is simply not good enough to win or even hit the board in the Belmont Stakes 

11. I'll Have Another (4-5) [1-1]-  I'll Have Another has the opportunity to make history in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Following thrilling victories in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, I'll Have Another is on the cusp of becoming the 12th  horse to win the Triple Crown,  and the first since 1978. I'll Have Another is trained by Doug O'Neil and ridden by the young and inexperienced Mario Gutierrez. I'll Have Another could not have drawn better in the 11 post. Gutierrez will be able to watch the race unfold to his inside and will be able to stay outside of all of the traffic. He should get a good stalking trip and turning for home will have no excuses. The question will be, can I'll Have Another catch Union Rags and Paynter, and then hold off Dullahan and Street Life? I'll Have Another will be the focal point of the nation’s attention on Saturday. He has been perfect this year, but I have yet to pick I'll Have Another in the Triple Crown and that will not change Saturday. 

12. My Adonis (20-1) [30-1]- My Adonis is an up and down sort of horse. Trained by Kelly Breen and owned by George and Lori Hall who owned Ruler on Ice the winner of the Belmont Stakes last year. My Adonis began the year by running strong races in both the Holy Bull and the Gotham Stakes, but followed that up by two disappointing efforts. My Adonis will follow I'll Have Another into position and should have a good opportunity to run. My Adonis could very well jump up and run a big race but he is too unpredictable to put my trust in. 

1. Union Rags
2. I'll Have Another
3. Street Life

I hope I'll Have Another wins on Saturday. I will be rooting for him, but based on my knowledge I believe Union Rags will win the Belmont Stakes. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Breeders Cup needs Black Caviar and Frankel

Horse Racing is a global sport and unbelievably does not revolve around the United States. Black Caviar and Frankel are the best horses in the world. Both are undefeated and dominate in their divisions in their respective countries. The great thing for the United States is that the Breeders Cup World Thoroughbred Championships already has the divisions in place for these horse. The Breeders Cup Mile or Classic would suit Frankel perfectly and the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint would more than suit Black Caviar. The Breeders Cup is a long way away but they need to recruit these two horses now because, yes bringing I'll Have Another to the Classic would be exciting, but what horse racing thrives off of is global stars. Black Caviar must be the first priority. The mare has Zenyatta status in Australia and is gaining notoriety in the United States. I think the Breeders Cup must do whatever they need to do to get this mare to the United States. If I were in charge of the Breeders Cup here is what I would do. I would raise the purse of the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint to $3,000,000 this would attract turf sprinters from all over the world as well as being more intriguing for Black Caviar. I would also provide a prep race at Santa Anita with a significant purse to attract Black Caviar to the United States for two races. This would also allow the super-mare to be on her game come Breeders Cup day. Lastly I would move the Turf sprint back in the race order so that it would be aired on the same broadcast as the Breeders Cup Classic. This mare has is at all. She is really fast. She would bring an audience from all over the world including her massive following in Australia. The Turf Sprint with the addition of Black Caviar would share the spotlight with the Breeders Cup Classic. Frankel is the most electrifying horse in the world. His talent and grace  makes him a superstar. He is, like Black Caviar, undefeated, and would provide a spark to the Breeders Cup Classic or the Mile. Another horse to watch would be Camelot, Camelot is undefeated following his Investec Darby win this morning. This is hypothetical and a long way away but the Breeders Cup Classic could contain two Triple Crown winners, I'll Have Another and Camelot which would make the Breeders Cup Classic the best race in decades. Simply put the Breeders Cup is a World Thoroughbred Championships and to fulfill that name they need to bring the best horses from around the world and right now some of the best horses in the world are running outside of the United States.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekend Stakes Races (Not including Monday)

Saturday and Sunday of this week feature great racing from Belmont, Woodbine, and Hollywood. This weekend has great turf stakes races. Woodbine has two graded stakes race, Belmont has the Sheepshead Bay Stakes and Hollywood Park runs the American Handicap which features the very talented Mr. Commons.

Belmont Park

The Sheepshead Bay Stakes GII $200,000
1. Aruna
2. Hit it Rich
3. Hasay
The Sheepshead Bay features Aruna, who was a dull last in her return to the races this year but there was no pace in the race and she never had an opportunity to run. Aruna is the best horse in the race and she runs much better second off the layoff. Hit it Rich is in good form but if Aruna runs her race she is not as good. Hasay ran really well at Keeneland last time out and will be under the radar, I think she will be a factor.

Betfair Hollywood Park
American Handicap GII $150,000
 1. Mr. Commons
2. Wilkinson
3. Liberian Freighter

The American Handicap starts and end with Mr. Commons, Mr. Commons is the best horse in the race and could be the one of the best turf horses in the country. I was perplexed by his second last time out because he did not have an excuse, but he is head and shoulders better than this field.


Eclipse Stakes GIII $200,000
1. Mister Marti Gras
2. James Street
3. Hunter's Bay

Connaught Cup

1. Mutual Trust
2. Stormy Lord
3. Riding the River

Monday Blog upcoming when entries come out! Good Luck this weekend!
Connaught Cup S. (Grade II)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Preakness Wrap up

I think it is time to get on the I'll Have Another band wagon. He ran the best race of his career in the Preakness and that was off short rest. Bodemeister again ran too good too lose, but those two asserted themselves as the best 3yo's in the crop. They were nine lengths clear of Creative Cause, who is clearly the third best. Union Rags and Dullahan will come back in the Belmont and try to prove they belong in the same breath as I'll Have Another as they will attempt to thwart his Triple Crown Bid. Union Rags will get a lot of attention because he has had miserable trips in his last two starts but there is an argument he might be a one turn horse, and the Belmont might be the wrong race all together for him. Dullahan is very scary, he could very well be the horse that will stop I'll Have Another from winning the Triple Crown, but there is a constant theory that to win the Belmont a horse must be far back, this is not true. I believe it is to a horses advantage to be close to a normally slow pace in the Belmont so I'll Have Another will have a jump on Dullahan. I'll Have Another proved to me his four for four record this year is legit, I hope in two weeks he will make that record five for five and run his way into history.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Preakness Stakes

This Saturday's Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown includes four out of the first five finishers of the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another headlines the race but the runner up Bodemeister will be the post time favorite. Went the Day Well fourth in the Derby will garner attention as will Creative Cause, and do not forget about the five newcomers in the years Preakness. I will do a horse-by-horse analysis followed by my selections at the bottom. A new feature in this blog will be "My odds" these are the odds I believe will be acceptable come post time. Happy Preakness!

PP Horse       M.L. Odds  My Odds
1 Tiger Walk  30-1            40-1- Tiger Walk is owned by Kevin Plank, who started Under Armour. Kevin Plank is a Maryland guy, his farm is in Maryland his horses are trained in Maryland and he himself went to the University of Maryland. Plank is great for racing in Maryland but I believe Tiger Walk is in this year’s Preakness to provide the Maryland boys a thrill, but not to pose a real threat in winning the race.  Tiger Walk has knocked on the door of hitting the board in New York graded stakes races this year but has not had that final gear to get him there, and I do not think it will be there on Saturday. Tiger Walk will make a late move but it will not be enough to hit the board. 

2. Teeth of the Dog 15-1   20-1- Teeth of the Dog is trained by Michael Matz and is his backup to the unlucky Union Rags. Teeth of the Dog comes off a decent third place effort in the Wood Memorial but the problem with the Wood Memorial, Gemologist the winner was 16th in the Kentucky Derby and Alpha the runner up was 12th. The Wood Memorial did not stack up against the best three year olds in the country two weeks ago, and I do not think Teeth of the Dog will change that on the third Saturday in May.  

3. Pretension 30-1       50-1- Pretension comes off a win in a the Canonero II stakes at Pimlico two weeks ago. In that race he defeated once highly regarded My Adonis. The problem I have with Pretension, in his start prior to the Canoreo II he was a non-factor in the Illinois Derby, the Preakness is a much tougher race than the Illinois Derby.  Pretension has little to no chance on Saturday. 

4. Zetterholm 20-1   15-1- Zetterholm is the most interesting "new shooter" having not raced in the Kentucky Derby; Zetterholm comes into the Preakness fresh. Zetterholm is taking a massive step up in class in the Preakness, after losing his debut he has reeled up three straight including a stakes win last time out. The problem is that stakes win was an overnight at Aqueduct for New York breds. This is a huge step up but Zetterholm is obviously talented, I look for him to be slightly overmatched but certainly he has a chance to be a factor. 

5. Went the Day Well 6-1  9-2- Describing Went the Day Well's Kentucky Derby trip in words is almost impossible. Went the Day Well should never have made a run, he was cut off early was way too far back, had trouble on the first turn and was as far back as he could be turning for home and yet he still rallied to finish fourth. Went the Day Well does not need to be far back, in fact he was fourth the whole way around before pouncing to the lead and winning the Vinery Racing Spiral. Went the Day Well will have no problem with the two-week turn around because of his light-seasoning prior. He has looked great at Fair Hill coming up to the race and is primed to run a monster race. 

6. Creative Cause 6-1  8-1- Creative Cause's trip in the Kentucky Derby might have been the only trip worse than Went the Day Well's and Union Rags. He ran further than any horse ran in the Derby and still managed to make a big run to finish fifth. I think the Derby took an immense amount of energy out of Creative Cause, and add the cross-country trip and back I think Creative Cause has undergone way too much to run his race on Saturday, 

7. Bodemeister 8-5  1-1- The race Bodemeister ran in the Kentucky Derby was impressive. He set torrid fractions was pressed the whole way and still managed to hold on for second. He ran the 5th fastest half-mile in the history of the Derby and still managed to hit the board, not to mention every horse around him became a non-factor in the stretch. Bodemeister will be tough to pass on Saturday. He comes into a race that does not have an abundance of speed unlike the Derby and will be doctored along by Mike Smith. Bodemeister has yet to bounce but this is his third race in five weeks, a extremely tough task for a lightly raced horse like Bodemeister. I think he will be very tough and will hit the board but I will try and beat him on Saturday.

8. Daddy Nose Best 12-1  20-1- I was quite high on Daddy Nose Best going into the Kentucky Derby but he proved in the Derby he was not good enough to win at this level. He ran an even race but never made a major run. I look for him to run a similar race on Saturday. I do think Daddy Nose Best is better than a significant amount of horse in this race and I believe he will finish in the upper half of this race but he will not be good enough to hit the board.

9. I'll Have Another- 5-2  2-1- I'll Have Another ran a perfect race in the Kentucky Derby, he had a perfect trip and Bodemeister faded just in time. I admire the race he ran and I admire Doug O' Neil for sending I'll Have Another to Baltimore so quickly after the Derby, but I think I'll Have Another's undefeated season and Triple Crown run will come to an end on Saturday. I'll Have Another runs well fresh; he won the Robert Lewis off a massive layoff, followed by the Santa Anita Derby off a long layoff. He had four weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby, but this time he only gets two. The brightside is he did not have a grueling campaign coming into the Triple Crown; the downside is he may not run well without any freshening. He really should get a perfect trip again right off the pace but I just do not see him finishing as well on Saturday, but hopefully he will prove me wrong so the Triple Crown run can continue. 

10. Optimizer 30-1  30-1- A lot like Daddy Nose Best, Optimizer ran a very average race in the Kentucky Derby, he finished right in the middle of the field and never made much of an impact and finished 11th. A believe Optimizer will not be much of a factor on Saturday because he is just not good enough to win the race. He may make a run for the coach D. Wayne Lukas but I am fairly confident he will not hit the board. 

11. Cozetti- 30-1  40-1- Cozetti ran a decent race in the Arkansas Derby, the problem was he was really far behind Bodemeister. Cozetti is improving and the gray son of Cozzene will be easy to spot in the field, but I simply believe he is Dale Romans replacement to Dullahan in this race. I do not think he is good enough to get a share of the pot. 

1. Went the Day Well
2. Bodemeister
3. I'll Have Another
4. Zetterholm 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kentucky Derby Analysis (Horse by Horse)

The 138th running of the Kentucky Derby features morning line favorite Bodemeister, talented Union Rags, and the flashy Hansen. The Derby is always one of the hardest races of the year to predict, as the 20 three year olds cavalry charge makes traffic problems imminent. Here is a horse-by-horse analysis to hopefully improve your knowledge of every horse so that you can make a pick in this years Kentucky Derby! I ranked each horse in brackets of 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, and 16-20. At the very bottom are my final selections. 
PP  Horse Name        Odds
1. Daddy Long Legs (30-1)- Daddy Long Legs is trained by the legendary Irish trainer Aidan O' Brien, who sent the Irish horse across the pond to run in last Breeders Cup Juvenile. The race was a disaster; seeming like he never took to the dirt, Daddy Long Legs was never a factor. This year he was sent over to Dubai in his seasonal debut for the UAE Derby. This time over a synthetic surface similar to a grass racecourse Daddy Long Legs relished the ground winning the 2 million dollar race. In the Derby I will look past Daddy Long Legs due to his horrid post and dislike of the dirt surface. I will place him in my final quarter which is 16-20

2. Optimizer (50-1)- Optimizer is trained by four-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Optimizer is an inconsistent horse. Last year as a two year old he ran a very impressive second in the Breeders Futurity, but he followed that effort up with a dull performance in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. This year the pattern was similar as he ran an impressive second in the Rebel Stakes, only to follow it up with a dull 9th in the Arkansas Derby. I look for Optimizer to run better than that but I still consider him not good enough to get the job done. I will place him in the 11-15 bracket.

3. Take Charge Indy (15-1)- Take Charge Indy comes off an impressive gate to wire win in the Florida Derby defeating Union Rags. In what was only his second start of the year, Take Charge Indy took advantage of the speed bias and led all the way around the track holding off Reveron and Union Rags. Take Charge Indy benefits from a long time in between races as he showed between his seasonal bow and the Florida Derby. Calvin Borel stays aboard Take Charge Indy and because Calvin Borel is a three time Derby winner his odds will be shorter than what he should be. I believe he is peaking at the right time, but the speed bias that got him home at Gulfstream. In the Derby he will simply not be good enough to hit the board, I will put him in the 6-10 bracket.

4. Union Rags (9-2)- Union Rags is the second choice on the morning line and deservingly so. Trained by Micheal Matz of Barbaro fame, Unions Rags returned to the races this year with a smashing score in the Fountain of Youth but followed that performance up with a traffic filled dull third in the Florida Derby. Based on what he has shown in his workouts leading up to the Derby, Union Rags should be a main threat in the Derby. I love him, I think he will about 5-1 which is a great price for such a good horse. I think Union Rags certainly belongs in the 1-5 bracket.

5. Dullahan (8-1)- Dullahan comes off a win the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland last time out, but i was on a synthetic surface and the Kentucky Derby is on the dirt. Dullahan has two career wins, both Grade 1 wins on the Keeneland polytrack. His race on dirt in the Juvenile last year was just ok, as he finished fourth. He possesses a very strong closing kick and will be coming late, but I am willing to bet that his closing kick is not as powerful on dirt as it is on turf or synthetic. I am not a huge Dullahan fan and I have him in the 6-10 bracket.

6. Bodemeister (4-1)- Bodemeister is the morning line favorite coming off his dominating 9 length win in the Arkansas Derby. Trained by the red hot Bob Baffert, Bodemeister is the deserving favorite, but I see too many flaws in Bodemeister to pick him. In Bodemeister's last win in the Arkansas Derby, only two horses are coming back to run in the Kentucky Derby and both will be major longshots. I do not believe Bodemeister beat a whole lot in the Arkansas Derby. My second problem with Bodemeister is the pace scenario. Bodemeister will be part of a hot pace that will be contested by Trinniberg and Hansen. I am not convinced Bodemeister can handle this hot pace and I think the quality of the field and the pace will catch up to Bodemeister in the Derby I have him in a shock in the 11-15 bracket.

7. Rousing Sermon (50-1)- Rousing Sermon is coming off a solid third place finish in the Lousiana Derby, but the quality of the field in the Lousiana Derby is in question. Rousing Sermon ran on late to pass tired horses in the Lousiana Derby. I do not think he is good enough to be a true factor in the Kentucky Derby. He will be at the back and will make a run late but I don't think he will be good enough. I have him in the 16-20 bracket.

8. Creative Cause (12-1)- Creative Cause is the most consistent horse in the race. He has never been beaten more than a length and he has been competing at the highest level. Last time out in the Santa Anita Derby he lost to I'll Have Another (19) by just a nose. He ran extremely well at Churchill last year finishing third in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. Creative Cause will hit the board in the Derby, he always does. I think 12-1 presents great value and so I have Creative Cause in the 1-5 bracket.

9. Trinniberg (50-1)- Trinniberg comes into the Kentucky Derby off two fantastic wins, the problem is both of those wins come at the sprinters distance of 7 furlongs. The Kentucky Derby is 1 1/4 miles or 10 furlongs. Trinniberg has never gone a route distance or gone two turns. Trinniberg is fast, for a sprinter, which means he will be very fast for the route distance. Trinniberg will be on the lead and could present a problem for horse likes Hansen and Bodemeister. Trinniberg will be on the lead for a long time but I believe the distance will catch up to him, so I have Trinniberg in the 16-20 bracket.

10. Daddy Nose Best (15-1)- Daddy Nose Best comes off two good wins. He took the El Camino Real Derby followed by a win on conventional dirt in the Sunland Park Derby. Daddy Nose Best has been training really well and presents a major threat coming from mid-pack and closing into the fast pace. He will be ridden by Garrett Gomez who rides best when the big moment presents itself. I think the quality of the Derby might be a little too much for him though, but I do think he will fire his best shot. I have him in the 6-10 bracket.

11. Alpha (15-1)- Alpha has done nothing wrong this year, he ran a very impressive second to Gemologist (15) in the Wood Memorial. My problem with Alpha was his dismal effort last year in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. I know there were excuses but I don't think Alpha will prove to be good enough to hit the board. He will improve from last year, but the fact that Ramon Dominguez is riding Hansen (14) over him and his bumpy road to the Derby I will put him in the 6-10 bracket.

12. Prospective (30-1) Prospective comes off a dissapointing effort in the Bluegrass Stakes but prior he won the Tampa Bay Derby. The problem with Prospective is that he did not beat much in the Tampa Bay Derby, and when he has been placed in top compettion he has not been a factor. He ran a horrid race last year in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. I believe Prospective will be a non-factor so I will place him in the 16-20 bracket.

13. Went the Day Well (20-1)- Went the Day Well shares the exact same connections as last years Kentucky Derby Winner, Animal Kingdom. Owned by Team Valor International, trained by Graham Motion, and ridden by John Velasquez Went the Day Well will be a major player in this years Kentucky Derby. Purchased by Barry Irwin after two races in England it did not take Went the Day Well long to make an impact in the United States. After a fourth in his U.S. debut, he won a maiden race and followed it up with a smashing victory in the Vinery Racing Spiral, the same race Animal Kingdom won prior to the Derby. Went the Day Well is improving and has already won on dirt something Animal Kingdom had not yet done. I think Went the Day Well is in a position to get a perfect trip in mid pack and could be right there at the end, so I will put Went the Day Well in the 1-5 bracket.

14. Hansen (12-1)- Hansen, last year's two year old champion has one win and two seconds this year. After a loss in his seasonal debut, he rebounded with an impressive win in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct which he followed up with a second to Dullahan in the Bluegrass. Hansen is a free running colt who will be part of the pace early on. I do not think Hansen wants a mile and a quarter, the pace will be too hot with the likes of Trinniberg and Bodemeister for Hansen to stretch his speed to this distance. I think Hansen will be overbet and will end up being a non-factor so I will put him in the 11-15 bracket. 

15. Gemologist (6-1)- Gemologist is an undefeated 5 for 5. His body of work includes being undefeated at Churchill Downs and a Grade 1 win last time out in the Wood Memorial. He was only started twice this year and figures to improve again. He got a stern test last time out when Alpha tested him in mid stretch. Gemologist responded to win the Wood. Gemologist should get a really good trip sitting outside of the main speed as well as being able to see Union Rags to his inside. Gemologist's connections are the lethal combination of Javier Castellano and Todd Pletcher, which only help his cause. Gemologist’s records lands him in the 1-5 bracket. 

16. El Padrino (20-1)- El Padrino had all the hype following his gutsy Risen Star victory on the heels of his solid allowance score, but that was followed up by a dull effort in the Florida Derby. The Florida Derby fourth place effort cannot be ignored, but I still think El Padrino offers a lot of upside.  El Padrino is tough as he showed when he prevailed in the Risen Star stretch duel. He is the "Other Pletcher" which is always dangerous because Gemologist will get most of the play and El Padrino could be in a position to make a splash. I think he is a major factor and he is in the 1-5 bracket. 

17. Done Talking (50-1)- Done Talking comes off an upset win in the Illinois Derby, but he will still not gain a lot of respect as his morning line shows. He will be coming from behind like he did in the Illinois Derby. His dissapointing effort in the Gotham does not reflect on this horse who ran a very good fourth in the Remsen in his last start as a two year old. Done Talking will make a run late but I think it will be too little too late and he will finish in the 11-15 bracket. 

18. Sabercat (30-1)- Sabercat improved off his lackluster seasonal debut in the Arkansas Derby running a decent third. Sabercat won the Delta Jackpot in his two year old finale, a race that really played into his hand. I do not see him being enough of a factor to hit the board because of the quality of this race in which he might find himself over his head. I think Sabercat fits in the 11-15 bracket. 

19. I'll Have Another (12-1)- I'll Have Another has had a perfect year and has run only one bad race in his career. I'll Have Another has run well fresh in both of his starts this year, and comes into this race off only a four week rest. I'll Have Another ran a gutsy race to get up and win the Santa Anita Derby by a nose. The horse has clearly improved around two turns but I do not think he will be enough of a factor Saturday. I'll Have Another's post position does not set up well for him. I do not think he wants to drop to the back or be rushed to the front leaving him in a place where he could get caught very wide. He is a talented colt but I do not think the Derby will be his day so I will put him in the 6-10 bracket. 

20. Liaison (50-1)- Liaison has had a lackluster year. After losing his rider in the first race of the year he has continued to perform poorly in his next starts. His performance could be attributed to the Santa Anita dirt, which he did not seem to like. Liaison is scary because if he takes to the Churchill dirt he could be a factor, but based on his current form I do not think Liason will be. Liason will finish in the 16-20 bracket. 

Selections for the Kentucky Derby (Grade 1) $2,000,000
1. Union Rags
2. Went the Day Well
3. Gemologist

Creative Cause and El Padrino will not be far behind either. 

1-5 In Alphabetical Order
1. Creative Cause
2. El Padrino
3. Gemologist
4. Union Rags
5. Went the Day Well
6. Alpha 
7. Daddy Nose Best 
8. Dullahan 
9. I'll Have Another
10. Take Charge Indy 
11. Bodemeister
12. Done Talking
13. Hansen 
14. Optimizier
15. Sabercat
16. Daddy Long Legs 
17. Liason
18. Prospective
19. Rousing Sermon 
20. Trinniberg 

Kentucky Oaks Day Picks 5/4/2012

The Kentucky Oaks is the feature on the Friday card at Churchill downs. The undercard is headlined by a fantastic race in the American Turf and the Alysheba for older males, as wel last the La Troienne featuring Plum Pretty. My selections for the stakes race on Kentucky Oaks day are below!!

Race 6 The La Troienne (Grade II) $300,000
1. Plum Pretty
2. Absinthe Minded
3. Juanita

In the La Troienne the first graded stakes races on the friday card will have the shortest priced favorite in Plum Pretty. Plum Pretty won her first race of the year in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn and the going does not get much tougher today. She will be an overwhelming and deservingly so. She is 1 for 1 over the Churchill surface with that win coming in the Kentucky Oaks. I will be shocked if she losesm and I am making Plum Pretty my top selection. Absinthe Minded can always jump up and give a big effort and I will look for a good effort on Friday but not good enough to beat Plum Pretty.

Race 7 The Eight Belles (Grade III) $100,000
1. Small Kitchen
2. Contested
3. Good Deed

The Eight Belles is an interesting race becasue Small Kitchen is cutting back to one turn following a lackluster effort around two turns. I think she is the most talented runner in the field and I look for her to rebound. Bob Baffert could not be hotter and I think Contested will be right there at the wire.

Race 8 The Edgewood $150,000
1. Disposablepleasure  (12-1) ML
2. Stephanie's Kitten
3.  More than Love

The Edgewood for three year old fillies on the turf features Stephanie's Kitten who was a dissapointing third last time out in the Ashland at Keeneland. This race for her serves as a prep for the Coronation at Royal Ascot in June. She is the class of the race but I believe the riders will target her in the race based on her Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf win last year. Disposablepleasure tries turf on friday and I will believe she will take to the grass and defeat Stephanie's Kitten who I think could run into traffic.

Race 9 The Alysheba Stakes (Grade II) $300,000
1. Mucho Macho Man
2. Boxeur De Reus (30-1)
3. Succesful Dan

The Alysheba is a very compettive race and features Mucho Macho Man who is one of the top older males in training this year and Succesful Dan who returend at Keeneland with an impressive win. I think it will take Succesful Dan one more start to return to this level of compettion and Mucho Macho Man is the horse to beat. Mucho Macho Man ran a very solid third last year in the Kentucky Derby showing his affinity for the Churchill surface. He has run two impressive races this year and I think he will continue his roll in the Alysheba. Boxeur de Reus ran a decent race last time out in the Santa Anita Handicap and I think he could hit the board at a big price for O'Neil and Guttierez a preview of the Derby. I think Succesful Dan will run his race but this is a quick turnaround and might need this race.

Race 10 The American Turf (Grade II) $200,000
1. Howe Great
2. Gung Ho
3. Star Channel

The American Turf is for three year old males on the turf and for me the race starts with Howe Great. Even though he is in the 14 post position he has never lost on grass and until he does I am not going to pick against him. The race is filled with speed which does not set up for Silver Max who won the Transylvania last time out gate to wire. I like Gung Ho to come running late but I think Howe Great will have the jump turning for home.

Race 11 The Kentucky Oaks (Grade 1) $1,000,000
1. Hard Not To Like (20-1)
2. Grace Hall
3. On Fire Baby
This year I beleive the Kentucky Oaks is a wide open race and for that reason I like the three year old filly named Hard Not To Like. I was very encouraged by her last race which was her first race off a decent layoff.  I am willing to take the risk that she will take to the dirt because if she does she will be right there at the wire. I love her at what should be a price well over 15-1. Grace Hall is as consistent as they come, she has has never run a bad race and I look for that to continue on Friday, but I do not know if she will get a great trip. I think she is too good to not hit the board but I will pick against her. On Fire Baby has done nothing wrong on conventional dirt but I think the compettion might catch up to her a bit on Friday, she will be close but I think she will get caught late. The Oaks is a strong deep field and really any of them could win it, but I love the canadian filly to make a splash in the Oaks its Hard Not to Like her.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Derby Top 20 Final List 4/26/12

1. Gemologist- This horse knows how to win, should get a great trip
2. Bodemeister- Addition of Trinniberg does not help him but he might just be the best horse
3. Daddy Nose Best- Derby is a step up but do not overlook him
4. Union Rags- He needs to run faster than he has to win the Derby and he also seems to get himself in trouble
5. Creative Cause- I am not sure why they are so reluctant for him to wear blinkers
6. I'll Have Another- He runs well fresh, but he ran big in the Santa Anita Derby and only gets a month
7. Alpha- Was never going to get by Gemologist, might be overlooked though
8. Dullahan- I am not confident in his dirt ability but I am in his 1 1/4 abiliy.
9. Went the Day Well- His dirt win was good at Gulfstream needs to step up
10. Take Charge Indy- Will need to sit right off the lead, might not be good enough
11. El Padrino- I look for him to rebound in the Derby might not be good enough to win though
12. Sabercat- Third off the layoff needs to get significantly better though
13. Hansen- I do not think he is capable of 1 1/4 and there is a lot of speed
14. Mark Valeski- Lost shoe in Louisiana Derby, needs to be better though
15. Done Talking- There is a lot of speed and he will be running late, just saying
16. Daddy Long Legs- He was never a factor in the Juvenile back on the Churchill Dirt
17. Liason- Might like the Churchill Dirt and in that case he becomes a factor but he has been bad
18. Rousing Sermon- He needs to step up will also be running late
19. Trinniberg- Will be on the gas early never been two turns won't be there at the end
20. Prospective- No Way

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weekend Stakes Races 4/21/12

This weekend features the Doubledogdare on Friday at Keeneland and the Coolmore Lexington on Saturday as well as two graded stakes races on the grass at Santa Anita and one stakes race at Pimlico.


The Doubledogdare S. (G3)
1. Pachattack
2. Principal Role
3. La Gran Bailadora

The Doubledogdare features the return of Pachattack who finished a really good third in last years Breeders Cup Ladies Classic, I think she will get the job done on Friday. Principal Role is making her first start in the United States, she has been very consistent in Europe so I look for her to continue that trend on Friday. La Gran Bailadora should enjoy the added distance but is probably not good enough to get there. I think Joyful Victory has regressed from last year will be too short of a price. Kathmanblu makes her first start of the year she got off track last year and has the oppurtunity to get back on track on friday.

The Coolmore Lexington (G2)
1. Holliday Road
2. News Pending
3. Gold Megillah

The Coolmore Lexington is the last race on the Derby Trail. The favorites will be Morgan's Guerilla and Castaway, I do not like either. I love Holliday Road who took a huge step forward on the poly track last time in the Spiral. I think News Pending will rebound as well, I think the polytrack will suit him. Gold Megillah can't seem to get a good trip I think he will on saturday and should run a good race.

Santa Anita

The San Simeon (G3)
1. Compari
2. Irish Art
3. California Flag

Santa Barbara (G2)
1. Vamos a Galupiar
2. Cambina
3. Capital Plan

The Dahlia
1. Master Shade
2. Idle Talk
3. Coco Ecolo

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Derby Top 20 4/18/2012

1. Gemologist- The horse fights hard, he is a winner, and has won at churchill
2. Bodemeister- If he runs anything like that on Derby day he will be tough
3. Daddy Nose Best- There is a lot of speed and he has Gomez
4. Union Rags- He needs to step up but the race sets up for him
5. Creative Cause- I am not sure why they are so apprehensive to put blinkers on him
6. I'll Have Another- He is 2 for 2 this year, can't blame him for that
7. Alpha- He earned my respect in the Wood but was never getting by Gemologist
8. Dullahan- He is built for the Derby Distance but I question his dirt ability
9. Went the Day Well- Flying Under the radar should love Derby Distance
10. Take Charge Indy- Improving will be off the pace in the Derby
11. Sabercat- Third off the layoff at churchill watchout
12. Hansen- If he gets 1 1/4 I will be shocked, there is a lot of speed in the race as well
13. Secret Circle- He always fires will be right off the pace
14. Daddy Long Legs- I don't particulary get it his dirt race was horrid
15. El Padrino- He is better 15 but I am not sure he will get in
16. Mark Valeski- Also on the border whether he gets in or not could be a factor though
17. Done Talking- Ran well in the Illinois Derby third off the layoff he has a chance from off the pace
18. Wrote- He has some upside if he likes the dirt.
19. Liason- He disliked the Santa Anita dirt, but does he like dirt at all
20. Prospective- Not good enough

I think Rousing Sermon will run in Snow Chief, if he chooses Derby I would put him at 18 and move Liason and Wrote back, and move Prospective out of the top 20.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekend Selections 4/14/12

This weekend features huge race cards from Keeneland, Oaklawn, and Charles Town.

The Vinery Madison (Thursday)
1. Sugarinthemorning
2. Musical Romace
3. Groupie Doll
The Vinery Madison is a phenomenal Grade 1 on Thursday at Keeneland, I love Sugarinthemorning, she is extremely consistent, and very versatile, Musical Romance will fire but I do not think she will get there today.

Maker's 46 Mile (Friday)
1. Get Stormy
2. Big Blue Kitten
3. Turallure

The Maker's 46 mile is another great race on friday at Keeneland, I think Get Stormy could get an easy lead and repeat in this race, I think Turallure will need this race, but watch out next time.

Keeneland Saturday

The Jenny Wiley
1. Aruna
2. Zagora
3. Tapitsfly

Aruna has been plauged by some awful trips in the Diana and the Breeders Cup with a good trip I think she will have Zagora's number who has been firing lately, the race is between these two in my mind but Tapitsfly is always dangerous if she fires.

The Commonwealth

1. Right One
2. Comedero
3. Bergerac

Right One is the class of the race, polytrack is the question but I believe he will take to it, Comedero is as good of an Arkansas bred as I have seen and he should run his race on Saturday.

The Shakertown
1. Havelock
2. Chamberlin Bridge
3. Great Attack

I love Havelock in this race, he likes Keeneland, and needed that race in Tampa, Chambelin Bridge will be right there but seems to have lost a step, Great Attack will be on the gas early on and we will see if he can hold on.

The Bluegrass Stakes
1. Howe Great
2. Hansen
3. Holy Candy

I love Howe Great here, I think he will get a perfect trip right off Hansen and may be able to run him down, he is so consistent I really think he has a chance to win, Holy Candy has a masssive amount of talent watch out for him.

The Apple Blossom
1. Absinthe Minded
2. Plum Pretty
3. Tiz Miz Sue
I think Plum Pretty is vulnerable first back in a grade 1, I think Absinthe Minded will rebound today and get first grade 1 today.

The Count Fleet
1. Hamazing Destiny
2. Izzy Rules
3. Apriority
I keep waiting for Hamazing Destiny to break through I like him though because Izzy Rules and Apriority will garner most of the attention he might be overlooked a good time for him to get the job done.

The Oaklawn Handicap
2. Win Willy
3. Ron the Greek
I like Alternation because he has showed an afinity for Oaklawn, his last race was really impressive, he is versatile showing he can be on or off the lead. Win Willy is the darkhorse he needed that race but absolutley loves Oaklawn so I think he could rebound tomorrow.

The Arkansas Derby
1. Stat
2. Secret Circle
3. Bodemeister

Todd Pletcher is on fire and I think Stat will break through in the Arkansas Derby and I think the Arkansas three year olds are not necessarily the strongest group and a newcomer like Stat is the play.

 The Charles Town Classic
1. Uh Oh Bango
2. Duke Of Mischeif
3. Pants On Fire

I love Uh Oh Bango here, I do not think there is one standout in this race and he is very consistent I think he will get an ok trip. Duke of Mischief has been succesful at Charles Town and I think that is a key attribute for a horse in this race, but I do not love his form so I think the race goes to Uh Oh Bango.