Thursday, June 9, 2011

2011 Belmont Stakes: The Blind Handicap

This will be our 2nd blind handicap as the first was the Preakness and it seemed to work rather well. Though, it's still in the experimental stages. So, we'll take another shot at it and see if we can hit the tri and/or super. This will help to lessen the bias that we have when looking at the contenders because the first thing we look at is their name and our minds automatically, whether you know it or not, develop preconceived notions about that particular horse. It's not a perfect concept, but it should help in determining the best horses. And together with our own biases, there should be a high probability of us having the top horses. Now, where and how to place these horses in the exotic bets is another thing.

Here are the contenders in random order:

An asterisk (*) after the AWD indicates an AWD sample size of less than five, which are the progeny of that sire or bms. The asterisk after the TDR also indicates a small sample size.

Horse A
Race Record: 8-1-3-1
DP: 12-2-30-12-0, DI: 1.07, CD: 0.25
Graded Stakes RR: 4-0-1-1, 9.5f (2nd), 8f (3rd, 6th), 10f (5th)
Figs: BSFs in last 2 races - 99 (March), 95 (May)
        PFs -48, -33
        Rag #s - 8 3/4, 7, 8 3/4
TDR rating: 341
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS only): 8.73f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.50f
Best BSF and PF: 99, -48

Horse B
Race Record: 13-2-0-1
DP: 1-10-13-0-2, DI: 2.06, CD: 0.31
Graded Stakes RR: 4-0-0-0, 8.5f (6th), 9f (5th), 8f (5th), 9.5f (9th)
Figs: BSFs - 80 (April), 87 (May)
        PFs -8, -19
        Rag #s - 12 1/2, 13, 7 3/4
TDR rating: 420
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.50f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): N/A
Best BSF and PF: 87, -23

Horse C
Race Record: 10-2-3-3
DP: 5-1-5-1-0, DI: 2.43, CD: 0.83
Graded Stakes RR: 7-1-2-2, 8f (2nd, 4th), 9f (2nd, 3rd), 8.5f (1st), 10f (3rd), 9.5f (6th)
Figs: BSFs - 99 (May), 92 (May)
        PFs -41, -34
        Rag #s - 9 3/4, 5 3/4, 6 1/2
TDR rating: 188* (small sample size)
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.05f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.50f*
Best BSF and PF: 99 (twice), -63

Horse D
Race Record: 7-3-1-0
DP: 6-13-9-0-2, DI: 3.62, CD: 0.70
Graded Stakes RR: 4-1-1-0, 9f (2nd, 5th), 10f (4th), 9.5f (1st)
Figs: BSFs - 97 (May), 104 (May)
        PFs -39, -64
        Rag #s - 7, 7 3/4, 7 3/4
TDR rating: 298
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.09f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.97f
Best BSF and PF: 104, -64

Horse E
Race Record: 6-1-3-0
DP: 12-8-12-0-0, DI: 4.33, CD: 1.00
Graded Stakes RR: 3-0-3-0, 9f, 9f, 10f
Figs: BSFs - 98 (May), 99 (May)
        PFs -52, -42
        Rag #s - 5, 6, 8
TDR rating: 305
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.38f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.02f
Best BSF and PF: 99, -56

Horse F
Race Record: 6-3-3-0
DP: 2-0-6-0-0, DI: 1.67, CD: 0.50
Graded Stakes RR: 3-2-1-0, 9f, 10f, 9.5f (2nd)
Figs: BSFs - 103 (May), 103 (May)
        PFs -52, -62
        Rag #s - 6 3/4, 3 1/4, 8 3/4
TDR rating: 365* (small sample size)
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 9.00f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 9.50f*
Best BSF and PF: 103, -62

Horse G
Race Record: 7-1-3-1
DP: 4-3-21-0-0, DI: 1.67, CD: 0.39
Graded Stakes RR: 5-1-2-0, 8.5f (1st, two 2nds), 9f (9th), 10f (6th)
Figs: BSFs - 82 (April), 95 (May)
        PFs -19, -33
        Rag #s - 8, 11 3/4, 6 1/4
TDR rating: 340
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.96f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.88f
Best BSF and PF: 95, -47

Horse H
Race Record: 9-2-2-2
DP: 7-3-23-0-1, DI: 1.72, CD: 0.44
Graded Stakes RR: 2-1-0-0, 9f (1st), 10f (7th)
Figs: BSFs - 93 (April), 95 (May)
        PFs -45, -33
        Rag #s - 7, 6, n/a
TDR rating: 337
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.85f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.47f
Best BSF and PF: 95, -55

Horse I
Race Record: 6-2-2-1
DP: 6-1-9-0-0, DI: 2.56, CD: 0.81
Graded Stakes RR: 1-0-0-1, 9f
Figs: BSFs - 86 (March), 83 (May)
        PFs -12, -31
        Rag #s - 10 1/4, 9 1/4, 15
TDR rating: 207*
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.25f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.30f
Best BSF and PF: 86, -31

Horse J
Race Record: 8-3-0-1
DP: 10-2-10-0-0, DI: 3.40, CD: 1.00
Graded Stakes RR: 3-0-0-0, 8.5f (two 5ths), 9f (6th)
Figs: BSFs - 72 (Feb.), 81 (May)
        PFs +10, -6
        Rag #s - Has only one figure better than an 11 (an 8)
TDR rating: 290
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.70f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.03f
Best BSF and PF: 90, -41

Horse K
Race Record: 7-2-2-2
DP: 7-1-10-4-0, DI: 1.44, CD: 0.50
Graded Stakes RR: 2-0-1-1, 8.5f (2nd), 9f
Figs: BSFs - 89 (April), 86 (May)
        PFs -46, -19
        Rag #s - 10 1/2, 8, 8
TDR rating: 269
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.20f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): N/A
Best BSF and PF: 91, -46

Horse L
Race Record: 7-2-2-0
DP: 4-6-16-0-0, DI: 2.25, CD: 0.54
Graded Stakes RR: 5-1-1-0, 7f (2nd), 8.5f (1st, 5th), 9f (7th), 10f (12th)
Figs: BSFs - 66 (April), 86 (May)
        PFs +12, -13
        Rag #s - Just a 12 1/2 and a 15 1/2 after a top of 6 3/4
TDR rating: 326*
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.38f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.85f
Best BSF and PF: 89, -49




A - Master of Hounds
B - Isn't He Perfect
C - Mucho Macho Man
D - Shackleford
E - Nehro
F - Animal Kingdom
G - Santiva
H - Brilliant Speed
I - Ruler On Ice
J - Monzon
K - Prime Cut
L - Stay Thirsty

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2011 Belmont Stakes: Preview

The third leg of the Triple Crown is this Saturday and looks to be a good one. The top 7 finishers of the KY Derby are probables along with a few new shooters. And to me, it looks like the winner will come from one of the horses that ran in the Derby which includes Animal Kingdom, Nehro, Mucho Macho Man, Shackleford, Master of Hounds, Santiva and Brilliant Speed. AK should be very tough with his strong late kick and will most certainly be coming hard in the lane nearing the wire. Master of Hounds has the pedigree to excel at this distance as well with his sire producing a Belmont winner in LDK and his bms, Sadler's Wells, is a chef-de-race producing winners at 10-12f hence the Classic/Solid designation. MoH also has Lyphard, another cdr with a Classic designation, in his immediate pedigree and sire of MoH's 2nd dam. So, there's plenty of stamina in MoH's pedigree. Nehro, even though he's by Mineshaft who provides stamina, seems to be best at or around 10f, but he is very talented and classy. MMM is also a horse that seems like he's best at 10f and less, but he's a grinder and doesn't get tired. 12f is definitely too far for Shackleford as he barely hung on for 4th at 10f in the Derby. Santiva is most certainly a dirt horse as his past 2 races on said surface have been his highest BSFs to date. He gets plenty of stamina from his sire and could be a factor at this distance. And lastly, BS arguably has the best pedigree for this distance and has a slew of Belmont winners and producers in his immediate family. And according to drf and BS's past performances, he was only 5.5 lengths from AK in the Derby. This guy could be dangerous in this spot!

My top 5 horses are:

1. Animal Kingdom
2. Nehro
3. Master of Hounds
4. Mucho Macho Man
5. Brilliant Speed

Stay tuned for the 'Belmont Blind Handicap'

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 Preakness Stakes: Blind Handicapping

Blind handicapping the Preakness should give us a better understanding of how each contender matches up against the rest of the field without being biased or partial because of the name of the horse. However, since we know the horses rather well it might not help as much as we'd like, but we have all their info in one spot so I can go back in and add their names later on.

An asterisk (*) after the AWD indicates an AWD sample size of less than five. And the AWD is for dirt and All Weather Surfaces only.

The Field (in random order)

Horse A
Race Record: 7-2-3-2
DP: 7-16-19-0-0, DI: 3.42, CD: 0.71
Graded Stakes RR: 4-1-3-0, 8f (1st), 8.5f, 9f, 8f
Figs: BSFs in last 2 races - 87 (March), 93 (April)
        PFs -12, -41
TDR rating: 338
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.70f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.76f
Best BSF and PF: 93, -43

Horse B
Race Record: 4-2-1-1
DP: 13-12-12-0-1, DI: 4.43, CD: 0.95
Graded Stakes RR: 1-0-0-1, 9f
Figs: BSFs - 85 (March), 95 (April)
        PFs -46 (April)
TDR rating: 395
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.32f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.48f
Best BSF and PF: 95, -46

Horse C
Race Record: 5-2-1-1
DP: 6-5-15-0-0, DI: 2.47, CD: 0.65
Graded Stakes RR: 2-1-0-0, 9f (1st), 10f
Figs: BSFs - 97 (April), 77 (May)
        PFs -36, +10
TDR rating: 301
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.45f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 9.00f*
Best BSF and PF: 97, -36

Horse D
Race Record: 5-1-2-0
DP: 6-0-8-0-0, DI: 2.50, CD: 0.86
Graded Stakes RR: 4-0-2-0, 6.5f (2nd), 7f (2nd), 8.5f (6th), 9f (4th)
Figs: BSFs - 87 (March), 93 (April)
        PFs -20, -40
TDR rating: 285
Sires's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.98f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.97f
Best BSF and PF: 101s, -64s

Horse E
Race Record: 7-2-1-0
DP: 5-4-5-0-0, DI: 4.60, CD: 1.00
Graded Stakes RR: 2-0-1-0, 8.5f (2nd), 9f (4th)
Figs: BSFs - 83 (March), 87 (April)
        PFs -36, -22
TDR rating: 359
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.93f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.63f
Best BSF and PF: 87, -36

Horse F
Race Record: 6-2-0-2
DP: 2-0-4-0-0, DI: 2.00, CD: 0.67
Graded Stakes RR: 1-0-0-1, 9f (3rd)
Figs: BSFs - 88 (Feb.), 93 (April)
        PFs -39, -45
TDR rating: 306
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 9.00f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.83f*
Best BSF and PF: 93, -45

Horse G
Race Record: 3-2-0-0
DP: 8-7-9-0-0, DI: 4.33, CD: 0.96
Graded Stakes RR: 2-1-0-0, 7f (1st), 9f (4th)
Figs: BSFs - 102 (Feb.), 80 (April)
        PFs -48, -22
TDR rating: 305
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.80f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 6.84f
Best BSF and PF: 102s, -48s

Horse H
Race Record: 4-2-0-1
DP: 9-2-4-7-0, DI: 1.44, CD: 0.59
Graded Stakes RR: 1-0-0-1, 9f (3rd)
Figs: BSFs - 89 (Feb.), 93 (April)
        PFs -27 (April)
TDR rating: 334
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.00f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.25f
Best BSF and PF: 93, -27

Horse I
Race Record: 12-2-0-1
DP: 1-10-13-0-2, DI: 2.06, CD: 0.31
Graded Stakes RR: 3-0-0-0, 8.5f (6th), 9f (5th), 8f (5th)
Figs: BSFs - 84 (April), 80 (April)
        PFs -15, -8
TDR rating: 420
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.50f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): N/A
Best BSF and PF: 84, -23

Horse J
Race Record: 6-2-1-0
DP: 6-13-9-0-2, DI: 3.62, CD: 0.70
Graded Stakes RR: 3-0-1-0, 9f (5th), 9f (2nd), 10f
Figs: BSFs - 93 (April), 97 (May)
        PFs -54, -39
TDR rating: 298
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 6.99f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.90f
Best BSF and PF: 97, -54

Horse K
Race Record: 9-2-3-3
DP: 5-1-5-1-0, DI: 2.43, CD: 0.83
Graded Stakes RR: 6-1-2-2, 8f (2nd), 9f (2nd), 8f (4th), 8.5f (1st), 9f (3rd), 10f
Figs: BSFs - 93 (March), 99 (May)
        PFs -54, -41
TDR rating: 188* (small sample size)
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.05f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.50f*
Best BSF and PF: 99 (twice), -63

Horse L
Race Record: 5-3-1-0
DP: 9-8-13-0-0, DI: 3.62, CD: 0.87
Graded Stakes RR: 3-2-0-0, 8f (1st), 9f (1st), 10f
Figs: BSFs - 93 (April), 92 (May)
        PFs -54, -26
TDR rating: 318
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 8.38f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.41f
Best BSF and PF: 97, -54

Horse M
Race Record: 5-3-2-0
DP: 2-0-6-0-0, DI: 1.67, CD: 0.50
Graded Stakes RR: 2-2-0-0, 9f, 10f
Figs: BSFs - 93 (March), 103 (May)
        PFs -9, -52
TDR rating: 365* (small sample size)
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 9.00f
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 9.50f*
Best BSF and PF: 103, -52

Horse N
Race Record: 8-4-0-0
DP: 5-2-9-0-0, DI: 2.56, CD: 0.75
Graded Stakes RR: 0 starts
Figs: BSFs - 83 (April), 86 (May)
        PFs -7, -39
TDR rating: 381
Sire's AWD (dirt/AWS): 6.63f*
BMS's AWD (dirt/AWS): 7.56f
Best BSF and PF: 86, -39


Don't look below this line if you don't want the names of each entry!


**Here are the names for each "lettered" horse**

A - #1 Astrology
B - #8 Dance City
C - #7 Midnight Interlude
D - #6 Sway Away
E - #2 Norman Asbjornson
F - #3 King Congie
G - #4 Flashpoint
H - #14 Mr. Commons
I - #12 Isn't He Perfect
J - #5 Shackleford
K - #9 Mucho Macho Man
L - #10 Dialed In
M - #11 Animal Kingdom
N - #13 Concealed Identity

Monday, May 9, 2011

2011 Preakness Stakes (Updated on 05/19)

2011 Preakness Field

#1 Astrology, 15-1
#2 Norman Asbjornson, 30-1
#3 King Congie, 20-1
#4 Flashpoint, 20-1
#5 Shackleford, 12-1
#6 Sway Away, 15-1
#7 Midnight Interlude, 15-1
#8 Dance City, 12-1
#9 Mucho Macho Man, 6-1
#10 Dialed In, 9-2
#11 Animal Kingdom, 2-1
#12 Isn't He Perfect, 30-1
#13 Concealed Identity, 30-1
#14 Mr. Commons, 20-1

The pace in the Derby pretty much set up perfectly for AK and did not set up for Dialed In who finished 8th, but had a nice stretch run and had the fastest last 1/4m split considering he didn't get the fast pace he needed. With Flashpoint, DC and Shack in the Preakness there should be a faster pace than the Derby. And with fewer horses to navigate through/around, I think it could set up nicely for DI. My top 6 horses are DI, MMM, AK, MI, DC and King Congie.

Monday, May 2, 2011

2011 KY Derby Contenders: Final Analyses

2011 KY Derby Contenders
Detailed Analyses by Brent A. Neikirk

#19 - Nehro
     ML 6-1

Pedigree: Mineshaft – The Administrator by Afleet
Nehro has the pedigree to excel at the Classic distances. His dam has 6 foals to race, 5 are winners. Here are some pedigree analyses for him:,,
Nehro's Truenicks rating: A  (
X-factor: Nehro has a good chance of being a recipient of the LH gene. Princequillo is in the X-passing position which comes down through Venice-Venetian Jester-Polite Lady-Afleet-The Administrator. And also through Nehro’s 3rd dam, Persian Delight, from Damascus-Kerala, who are carriers.
I believe Nehro will be at his best at or around 10f looking at his Derby preps and the fact that he has the pedigree and running style.
Figs/Preps: Nehro’s figs are improving with every start and increased distance.
                Arkansas Derby (2nd): BSF – 98, Bris – 99 (Late Pace – 109), PF -52
                  LA Derby (2nd): BSF – 94, Bris – 96 (Late Pace – 100), PF -56
Works: 05/02 – CD, sloppy, 4f - :51.20, Breezing
04/25 - CD, sloppy, 5f – 1:02.80, Breezing
If you look at Nehro’s works before the Arkansas and LA Derbies, he has always had slower times than his rivals and has not been a morning worker. So, these 2 pre-Derby works are nothing to worry about.
Final Analysis: A lightly raced colt with only 5 races under his belt, I believe Nehro is coming into his own and will be in peak form come Derby day. He’s had 2 very close 2nd place finishes after charging home late and it looks as though the added distance in the Derby will only help. He ranks near the top in performance/speed figures and has the pedigree and running style to excel in the Classics. Grade going into the KY Derby: 93

#15 - Midnight Interlude
             ML 10-1

Pedigree: War Chant – Midnight Kiss by Groom Dancer
 MI has the pedigree to excel at the Classic distances and has that same quick turn of foot that his sire and bms both had. His sire has 296 starters of which 200 are winners and 26 are black type winners ( Here are the pedigree analyses for him:,,
MI's Truenicks rating: A++ 
X-factor: MI has a chance of having the LH gene through his 3rd dam, Secorissa, whose sire is the great Secretariat. His 4th dam, Orissa, is out of 2-yo Champ, First Landing, who sired ’72 KY Derby and Belmont Stakes winner, Riva Ridge. Orissa has many Reine-de-course mares in her immediate family, those of note being Hildene and Knight’s Daughter.
Figs/Preps: MI’s best was his last outing in the SA Derby at 9f. His last 2 races have been very impressive!
                Santa Anita Derby (1st): BSF – 97, Bris – 98 (Late Pace – 108), PF -36
                Maiden SpWt (1st): BSF – 82, Bris – 92 (LP – 86), PF ?, won by 8.5 lengths, so figs are a little misleading as he was geared down in the stretch. Ran on a wet fast track.
Works: 05/02 – CD, sloppy, 5f – 1:00.80, Breezing
                04/26 – CD, good, 6f – 1:13.60, Breezing
                MI has had some solid works since his win in the SA Derby. Baffert will have this bruising colt ready to run on Derby day.
Final Analysis: Another lightly raced colt is improving at the right time with two solid wins in his last two outings. Many will dismiss this colt because of not having the foundation others have. Didn’t race at 2, but has come on strong in only 4 starts and never being off the board with a race record of 4-2-1-1. He has a good a chance as anyone in this rather weak KY Derby field. Not sure about the win, but I like him passing tired rivals in the stretch getting up to finish in the top 4. Grade going into the KY Derby: 85

#1 - Archarcharch
         ML 10-1

Pedigree: Arch – Woodman’s Dancer by Woodman
Archx3 has the pedigree to last the grueling 10f Derby distance. His sire has many winners at 10f and beyond. Sire, Arch, has 380 starters of which 260 are winners with 26 black type winners. Dam has 4 winners from 5 foals ( Here are the pedigree analyses:,,
Archx3's Truenicks rating: A
X-factor: Archx3 has a great chance of inheriting the LH gene through his bms, Woodman, who’s by Playmate and she by Buckpasser-Intriguing. He also gets a boost from his 2nd dam, Pattern Step, through Nureyev and his dam, Special, an influential Reine-de-course mare.
Figs/Preps: Archx3 has been pretty consistent in his career with a race record of 6-3-1-1 and his figures are increasing with every start and added distance. He also won what is arguably the best Derby prep, the Arkansas Derby.
                Arkansas Derby (1st): BSF – 98, Bris – 99 (Late Pace – 103), PF -53
                The Rebel (3rd): BSF – 92, Bris – 98 (LP – 92), PF -31
Works: 04/29 – CD, fast, 5f - :59.40, Breezing
                Other works -
Final Analysis: Archx3 looks the part with his pedigree which is stamina over speed and his running style which is well suited for the KY Derby. He hasn’t put together 2 great races, or wins, back to back. So, does he break that routine here? He has everything that it takes to become a Derby winner with excellent figures compared to the field and put in a very nice 5f work last Friday. This horse is going to either improve and step up another level or just be a mediocre, ok horse. His pps say he won’t win, but will run a respectable race! Grade going into the KY Derby: 96

#8 - Dialed In
      ML 4-1
Pedigree: Mineshaft – Miss Doolittle by Storm Cat
Dialed In should be able to get the 10f Derby distance being by Mineshaft and having the running style that is suitable for route races. However, his dam side is suspect because Storm Cat tends to produce sprinter type daughters as is Miss Doolittle. She has 5 foals to race and all are winners ( DI’s 2nd dam, Eliza, was a 2-yo Champion. DI’s pedigree is stamina over speed. DI does get a boost of stamina on the bottom by having the great Secretariat in the X-passing position, which will also account for the LH gene. Here are the pedigree analyses for DI:,,
DI's Truenicks rating: B 
X-factor: The aforementioned LH gene through Secretariat by way of Terlingua-Storm Cat-Miss Doolittle, has a great chance of being inherited by Dialed In. DI also has a chance of inheriting the LH gene through Princequillo by way of Stepping Stone-High Bid-Bold Bidder-Daring Bidder-Eliza-Miss Doolittle.
Figs/Preps: DI’s figs are near the top of the Derby field. His BSF and Rag # (7) in the Florida Derby weren’t all that great, but his PF of a -54 puts him into the top 5. I would go more with the Bris and the PF because of the track’s bias that day and not being friendly to closers.
                Florida Derby (1st): BSF – 93, Bris – 101 (Late Pace – 99), PF -54
                OC at 9f (2nd): BSF – 90, Bris – 98 (LP – 112), PF ?
Works: 04/28 - PMM, fast, 4f - :48.40, Breezing
                04/12 – PMM, fast, 4f - :49.90, Breezing
                Other works -
Final Analysis: Dialed In is lightly raced with only 4 career starts, but has come a long way since his maiden win at CD back in November. He has the right running style for the Derby as he will be closing very fast in the stretch and passing many tired rivals. If he gets a hot pace and the right trip, he will be VERY dangerous. And as of right now, it looks as though there will be an honest pace with the likely leaders being Shackleford and CTTT. Must not leave off any tickets! Grade going into the Derby: 97

#13 - Mucho Macho Man
                ML 12-1
Pedigree: Macho Uno – Ponche de Leona by Ponche
MMM doesn’t have the best pedigree of the bunch, but this guy has a lot of heart and determination. I don’t think he’s a 10f horse, but probably at his best at 9f or less. Though, if he gets a good trip he’ll be right there in the mix. MMM is the only foal to race out of his dam. ( Here are the pedigree analyses for him:,,
MMM's Truenicks rating: B
X-factor: MMM has one of the four main LH gene contributors with Blue Larkspur in the X-passing position by way of Our Page-Bull Page-Flaming Page-Nijinsky-Street Ballet-Ponche-Ponche de Leona. Flaming Page is a very influential mare and Reine-de-course. This line also gives MMM a boost of stamina as Nijinsky is a Chef-de-race, designated Classic/Solid, which, for those that don’t know, means that the average winning distance of his progeny is at 10-12f.
Figs/Preps: MMM has been pretty consistent in his early career, especially as of late. His race record is 8-2-3-2 with a 4th place finish in the Holy Bull, the race DI won. His figs have improved with just about every race, though he only received a 93 BSF in his last outing, the LA Derby.
                Louisiana Derby (3rd): BSF – 93, Bris – 96 (Late Pace – 98), PF -54
                Risen Star (1st): BSF – 94, Bris – 97 (LP – 107), PF -52
Works: 04/30 – CD, fast, 5f – 1:00.40, Breezing
                04/24 – CD, sloppy, 7f – 1:29.20, Breezing
                Other Works -   
 Final Analysis: MMM is a great runner. Though, I’m not so sure he’s a Classic-type horse and this is why you see two 7f pre-Derby works. They’re trying to get him stretched out and conditioned for the grueling 10f KY Derby. I think he falls a bit short here, but it’s hard not to like this big, strapping colt. Would definitely put him in the bottom of the exotics, though, as he’s good enough to possibly get a piece of the super. I like others much better at the Classic distances. Grade going into the KY Derby: 88

#18 - Uncle Mo
        ML 9-2
Pedigree: Indian Charlie – Playa Maya by Arch
Uncle Mo is confusing a lot of us! I don’t think he’s at his best at 10f or beyond, but more of a 9f or less type horse. Though, he does get some much needed stamina from his bms, Arch. I think he takes after his daddy in that he can dominate all the way up to 9f, but that extra furlong in the Derby is a bit much for this guy. However, a weak field like the one we have this year gives Mo a better chance. His dam has 3 foals to race and all are winners ( Here are the pedigree analyses for Mo:,,
UM's Truenicks rating: A++ 
X-factor: Mo has a great family in the X-passing position which goes back to Danzig. And splitting off of Aurora, Arch’s dam, is her dam, Althea, whose sire is Alydar. So, there’s a ton of black type winners shooting off from Mo’s bms, Arch. If Mo has inherited the LH gene, it would likely come from this line. Though, this genetic mutation is still being studied and is not perfect by any means. Why is this, because I’ve seen horses that have had a 99.99% of inheriting the LH gene (why 99.99%, because it’s strictly scientific and you can’t have a 100% probability in genetics.) through double copy mares and the horse was anything but good…a flop. So, it’s not something to “put your money into”, although some people will swear by it and I wonder why?? Maybe…money!!
Figs/Preps: Uncle Mo has had a disappointing start to his 3-yo year. His figs haven’t been great like we thought they would be, though I guess he’s had a legitimate excuse.
                Wood Memorial (3rd): BSF – 92, Bris – 96 (Late Pace – 91), PF -35
                Timely Writer (1st): BSF – 89, Bris – 95 (LP – 125!!!), PF -32
Works: 05/01 – CD, sloppy, 5f – 1:01.60, Breezing
                04/26 – CD, sloppy, 5f – 1:01.80, B
                Other works -
Final Analysis: Uncle Mo has the ability to blow away this entire field! But…he hasn’t shown anything close to what he did at the end of last year. His TW win was just ok, mainly because he didn’t face anyone that could challenge him. I totally understand trying to make the perfect path to the TC, but I think they babied him a little too much. So now, he doesn’t have the conditioning he needs for the grueling 10f KY Derby. He does, however, have a good foundation and the trainer to be ready for this Saturday’s big race. I will probably use him in the bottom of my exotics, but I really don’t think he wins here. Grade going into the KY Derby: 90

#7 - Pants on Fire
         ML 20-1
Pedigree: Jump Start – Cabo de Noche by Cape Town
PoF has a very nice pedigree with a balance of speed and stamina. His sire produced Rail Trip who has won at 10f and his bms, Carson City, mainly produces sprinter types, so that bodes well for PoF whose bms is Cape Town, the sire of 2003 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner and champion three-year-old filly Bird Town as well as four other graded stakes winners – all at two turns. He also has Bates Motel in the same exact position as Curlin. And having Seattle Slew in the X-passing position is great, not only for his pedigree, but for the LH gene ( Here are the pedigree analyses for PoF:,,
PoF's Truenicks rating: A+ 
X-factor: PoF has a great chance inheriting the LH gene from the aforementioned Seattle Slew, who’s in the X-passing position and dam, My Charmer, a double copy mare, down through Seaside Attraction-Cape Town-Cabo de Noche. PoF can also inherit the LH gene from Princequillo through his 3rd dam, Key To Flight, who has him and both top and bottom of her pedigree.
Figs/Preps: PoF had a hiccup in the Risen Star, but has a legitimate excuse with ring-worm and a lung infection and otherwise has been pretty consistent. What’s even more impressive is that after the Risen and him trying to get over his sickness, he had one 4f work and a 5-week layoff before he won the LA Derby in which he beat the Risen winner, MMM, and up and coming Nehro.
                Louisiana Derby (1st): BSF – 94, Bris – 97 (Late Pace – 93), PF -57
                Risen Star (ring-worm and lung infection, 6th): BSF – 81, Bris – 89 (LP – 95), PF -23
                Lecomte (2nd): BSF – 82, Bris – 92 (LP – 97), PF -48
I put the Lecomte on here to get a better feel for what he’s all about without the sickness that he had in the Risen.
Works: 05/01 – CD, sloppy, 4f - :47.80, Breezing
                04/23 – PMM, fast, 5f – 1:00.80, B
                Other works -
Final Analysis: PoF has the pedigree to excel at the Classic distances, but his running style could be his undoing. I don’t like him for the win, but I would definitely use him in the bottom of my exotics and stay the 10f. Since his win in the LA Derby, he’s had 3 very nice works. His one work at 4f and getting over his sickness with a 5-week layoff and then winning the LA Derby was VERY IMPRESSIVE, especially when he comes back and beats the horse, MMM, that took him down in the Risen and a horse in Nehro who was on the improve! So, he beat 2 very good horses. If everything goes right for him in terms of post and trip, then he will be very dangerous! Grade going into the KY Derby: 95

#2 - Brilliant Speed
           ML 30-1
Pedigree: Dynaformer – Speed Succeeds by Gone West
BS has one of the best pedigrees in the field that’s suited for the 10f Derby distance. As we all know, Dynaformer has already sired a Derby winner in Barbaro. BS’s dam is new on the breeding scene, but her sire, Gone West, has produced many great runners and his daughters are starting to produce some good runners as well, like Awesome Feather and Rob Roy ( BS’s 2nd dam, Daijin, is a full sister to ’97 Belmont Stakes winner, Touch Gold, and has 5 foals to race, all are winners. BS has a top-notch tail-female line and he also has the great “Big Red” in the X-passing position. Here are the pedigree analyses for BS:,,
BS's Truenicks rating: A++ 
X-factor: BS has a great chance of inheriting the LH gene from the aforementioned Secretariat being in the X-passing position. He also has a good chance of inheriting it down through his tail-female line with influences from Buckpasser (bms, War Admiral) and Mahmoud (through BS’s 5th dam, Happy Mood).
Figs/Preps: BS’s figs have been improving with every start and he has a very nice late kick, as shown in his last outing, the BGS. His BGS win was impressive in that he went from last to first within a couple of furlongs and considering the slow pace, that’s really hard to do no matter the horse.
                BGS (1st): BSF – 93, Bris – 97 (Late Pace – 109), PF -45
                Hallandale Beach (3rd): BSF – 84, Bris – 91 (LP – 96), PF -37
                Note – His PF in the race before the HB, the Dania Beach, was -55!
Works: 05/02 – CD, sloppy, 5f – 1:01.20, Breezing
                Other works -
Final Analysis: BS is very intriguing for the Derby. He has an excellent pedigree and it looks as though he’s improving with every start and could have his peak performance in the Derby. He has a strong, late kick which will serve him well in the Derby. BS had a good work over the sloppy CD track and should excel over a wet track, which is looking more and more possible for this Saturday. I don’t necessarily like him for the win or maybe even place, but I love him for the bottom of the exotic bets and should give a big boost to the payouts if he shows up there. However, the BGS’s winners in recent years, save for Street Sense, have not managed well in the Derby, but it’s worth taking a shot with this guy! Grade going into the KY Derby: 84  

#11 - Master of Hounds
               ML 30-1
Pedigree: Kingmambo – Silk and Scarlet by Sadler’s Wells
MoH has a very solid pedigree with a good balance of speed and stamina. It’s geared towards the grass, but his sire has been known to produce winners on dirt as well, like Belmont Stakes winner, Lemon Drop Kid. The RAN/ND line has produced some great runners over the years and 2 that come to mind are Street Sense and Curlin. The RAN line has also been very successful in the Derby ( Here are the pedigree analyses for MoH:,,
MoH's Truenicks rating: C+ 
X-factor: MoH has a chance of inheriting the LH gene from influential mare, Special, through Fairy Bridge-Sadler’s Wells-Silk and Scarlet. He also has a chance of it coming down through his tail-female line, though the probability is less and less the further back you go in his pedigree.
Figs/Preps: It’s hard to get a grasp of MoH’s figures and he’s had only one race since last November which doesn’t bode well for him.
                UAE Derby (2nd): BSF - ?, Bris - ?, RPR – 115 which is equivalent to a -48 PF
                BC Juvy Turf (6th): BSF – 80, Bris – 96 (LP – 89), PF -30
Works: ???
Final analysis: MoH is coming into the Derby with just one race and that was over in Dubai on a synthetic surface. He looks like a pretty decent runner, but this is a tough spot for him. I will probably pass in favor of others, but he’s a beautiful horse and has a pretty good pedigree. Grade going into the KY Derby: ? (not enough info)

#17 – Soldat
ML 12-1
Pedigree: War Front – Le Relais by Coronado’s Quest
Soldat’s pedigree suggests he’ll have trouble with the 10f Derby distance and probably at his best at 9f and less. He does get some much needed stamina from his bms, but his sire and the tail-female line were sprinter types. So, Soldat has outrun his pedigree already with two 9f wins. His dam is unraced and Soldat is her only runner to date. ( Here are the pedigree analyses for him:,,
X-factor: Soldat has a chance of inheriting the LH gene from Damascus who’s in the X-passing position. Damascus’ tail-female line goes back to one of the four LH gene contributors in Blue Larkspur.
Figs/Preps: Soldat has some very solid figs, especially at the 9f distance. His Fla. Derby was disappointing, but he could very possibly bounce back in the Derby. Though, it will be very tough against 19 others and from post #17.
               FL Derby (5th): BSF – 76, Bris – 89 (Late Pace – 70), PF -13
               Fountain of Youth (1st): BSF – 96, Bris – 104 (LP – 104), PF -48
Works: 04/29 – PMM, fast, 5f – 1:01.40, Breezing
               04/21 – PMM, fast, 5f - :59.00, B
               Other works -
Final Analysis: Soldat is a very good runner and has excellent speed. However, I don’t think he has the pedigree or running style for the Derby. Yes, he has won twice at 9f, but he got lose on the lead setting moderate fractions. So, when faced with a hot pace like that of the FL Derby, he faltered. The Derby should have a hot pace with CTTT and Shackleford in there, plus Soldat has a wide post, so it looks as though everything is working against him for the big race. Grade going into the KY Derby: 86

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Handicapping the KY Derby

   Here's what I do to handicap the Derby and what I look for in a Derby horse. One of the first things I do is narrow down the field  to somewhere around 8 horses depending on the quality of the field. I really don't do anything final until I see how every horse takes to the CD track, obviously, it would be stupid not to, so really it comes down to the pp draw and then I make my final choices which is about 6 horses give or take depending on the field, same as you. But in terms of what I look for in a Derby horse, it is their pedigree, running style, their preps and my favorite thing to look for is who has a quick turn of foot with a nice, late kick (e.g. Afleet Alex and Street Sense).
   I have found that those PFs and pace parameters are pretty accurate, too, no matter what people say about them. However, I dismiss horses who have a high PF in a sprint and then come out with a lower one in a route and that don't have the pedigree/running style like The Factor (even though he has the highest PF, he doesn't fit my profile - I didn't like him in the AD if you look at my comments on him before the AD), although he might not run anyway, but that's an example. The other horses with high PFs - Pants on Fire, Nehro, Dialed In, MMM, Shackleford and Archarcharch are fine because of either having the pedigree, running style and/or nice preps.
   Another important thing I look at is a horse that is improving at the right time and who's figs go up with every start and added distance like Nehro and Midnight Interlude. Many will dismiss MI and in any other year I might do it to, but in this field he has a chance. But they will dismiss him because he just broke his maiden in March, but he is improving at the right time, his figs go up with every start and added distance, he has the pedigree (plenty of stamina from the bottom half with his dam winning at 9.5f and 11f and his bms at his best at or around 10f) and running style for the Derby, has Baffert as his trainer (a big plus with such a lightly raced horse!) and has a quick turn of foot which his sire and bms both had. Just watch the SA Derby again. He went 4w the 1st turn and then like 6w into the stretch. And most horses that would have to check up like he did, and so lightly raced, when coming to the wire would not come back that quick and pass up the horse they almost ran into and who had the momentum. It was very impressive and he should only improve off the 95 BSF and being so lightly raced. He is one to watch out for, trust me! My top 8 horses as of right now are: 1. Dialed In 2. Nehro 3. Mucho Macho Man 4. Midnight Interlude 5. Uncle Mo 6. Archarcharch 7. Pants On Fire and 8. Toby's Corner. But that could change depending on the works and post positions. Hopefully that helped a bit! I will get more detailed about each horse and the preps as we get closer and closer to the Derby! GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Two more 3-yos to look out for on the TC Trail

Bowman's Causeway (Giant's Causeway - Victory Encounter by Victory Speech) - recently won a 1 1/8m race at GP.

Nacho Business (Rahy - Palaestra by Atticus) - beat Bowman's Causeway back on Jan. 30th in a one mile race at GP.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Three more big Derby preps next weekend!!

On Saturday (02/19) we have the Risen which will be a good one featuring Rogue Romance and Machen, two of my top 10 Derby contenders along with Santiva and Wilkinson.

On Sunday we have the San Vicente which should also be a good race with horses like Sway Away (in my top 10), Jaycito, Premier Pegasus and possibly The Factor.

And on Monday, a week from today, we have the Southwest which will have some very good horses in it like JP's Gusto, Alternation, Caleb's Posse, Awesome Patriot and one of my top 5 Derby contenders, Elite Alex. I think EA is going to be VERY GOOD!! He has a very nice pedigree and his daddy is one of my all-time favs. And his tail-female line is very nice with Reine-de-course mares like Gay Hostess, Your Hostess and Boudoir. And along the way getting stamina influences from chef-de-races like Nureyev (C), Secretariat (I/C), Prince John (C), Alibahi (C), Mahmoud (I/C) and Clarissimus (C). And also from Le Fabuleux (P) who is in the X-passing position. So, EA is getting plenty of stamina through his dam.

So, 6 of my top 15 Derby contenders run next weekend. Elite Alex, Sway Away, Awesome Patriot, Alternation, Rogue Romance and Machen. I'm really high on EA and I'm eager to see how SA does in his first race since last August in the Best Pal when he was 2nd to JP's Gusto. SA was coming on very strong down the stretch. I love this guy's pedigree, too, and not just 'cuz I loved Afleet Alex when he ran, but I love that his BMS is Slew and his 2nd dam's sire is Summer Squall and her BMS is Mr. Prospector. Very strong pedigree! I'm also excited to see RR 'cuz he's been training very well. And I like Machen, too. I loved his strong late kick in his last outing. Should be 3 very good Derby preps! Can't wait!!

Uncle Mo gets more serious in preparation for 3-year-old debut

Uncle Mo gets more serious in preparation for 3-year-old debut

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My "Derby Dozen" as of 02/13

Here are my top 12 KY Derby contenders/prospects:

1) To Honor And Serve - Has been my top one since last October. Love this guy's pedigree and tail-female line that comes out of the great Family 4 (4-r, Cub Mare), which has produced the most Preakness and Belmont winners. THAS has 2 very nice Reine-de-course mares Java Moon and her dam Golden Trail in his tail-female line as well. So, this guy is stacked with stamina influences starting with his BMS, Deputy Minister, who has produced some great daughters (like Better Than Honour) that have themselves produced Belmont winners Rags To Riches, Jazil and Sarava and the great Curlin. THAS also has stamina influences from Nijinsky and Graustark who are both designated Classic/Solid Chef-de-races. Had a very nice work last Sunday getting 5f in 1:00.80.

2) Elite Alex - His daddy is one of my favorite horses of all time and I picked him out as a 2-yo when I saw his awesome late kick in the BC Juvy. EA has a great pedigree with a tail-female line that includes some great Chef-de-race Classic influences like Nureyev, Secretariat, Prince John, Alibhai, Mahmoud and Clarissimus. EA also has some great Reine-de-course mares like Gay Hostess, Your Hostess and Boudoir. So, this guy has the pedigree/bloodlines to excel at the classic distances.

3) Brethren - Was spectacular in the SFD yesterday. Will be very dangerous as he improves and stretches out. Has a great pedigree and one of the best tail-female lines of all the Derby contenders.

4) Dialed In - How good can this guy be? And how far can he go? He's a great runner and could get even better. Dangerous!

5) Rogue Romance - I love this guy. He's training very well. Has a great tail-female line that goes back to the great broodmare, Plucky Liege. He's going to be a very good runner no matter the surface or distance.

6) Machen - He's my sleeper pick even though he's getting some attention. Though, most people are focused on Mo, THAS, Brethren and Dialed In. I loved his last race with that strong late kick. My favorite kind of horse is one with a very strong late kick like Afleet Alex and Street Sense had. How far can he go though?

7) Casper's Touch - Will have no problem getting the Classic distances as he has tons of stamina influences. I think he's going to be very good come April/May. Watch out for this guy!!

8) Sway Away - Love this guy's pedigree. Has a very nice tail-female line that includes Reine-de-course mares Late Date, Herd Girl and Torpenhow and some great horses like BMS Seattle Slew, Summer Squall, Mr. Prospector, Nashua, Whirlaway and Colin. Will be one to watch!!

9) Bench Points - Had a nice score Friday in a 6f AlowOC race at SA crossing the wire in a fast 1:08 and change. Is 4 for 4 and will be another one to watch on the trail.

10) Wilkinson - I like this little guy, but how good is he? We'll find out in his next Derby prep against better competition.

11) Manicero - This guy is another sleeper! I like his pedigree a lot! Comes out of the great Family 8 (8-c, Woodbine). Family 8 has produced the great broodmare, Better Than Honour. This guy has plenty of stamina influences with Princequillo in the X-passing position and many European influences like Assert who was a champion in France as a 3-yo and his BMS and Chef-de-race, Sea-Bird.

12) Awesome Patriot - How good can this guy be? Has the pedigree to excel against this talented 3-yo class. Dam is full-sister to the great Tiznow. Eager to see his next start which should be The Southwest at Oaklawn.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Top 20 KY Derby Prospects (as of 02/12)

Here are my 'Top 20 KY Derby Prospects' as of today, 02/12 (before today's races).
And save for the obvious, Uncle Mo.

1) To Honor And Serve
2) Elite Alex
3) Tapizar
4) Brethren
5) Dialed In
6) Casper's Touch
7) Rogue Romance
8) Machen
9) Sway Away
10) Bench Points
11) Manicero
12) Wilkinson
13) Cal Nation
14) Awesome Patriot
15) Jaycito
16) Santiva
17) Astrology
18) Crossbow
19) Travelin Man
20) Heron Lake

Kentucky Derby Contenders: Derby Watch Top 20 Horses

Kentucky Derby Contenders: Derby Watch Top 20 Horses

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bench Points a winner at 6f

One of my top 12 Derby prospects, Bench Points, won a 6f AlowOC race at SA today (02/11). He crossed the wire in 1:08 and 1. Watch out for this guy!!

3 Key Derby Preps on Saturday (02/12)

Here are the 3 key Derby preps this Saturday:

Robert B. Lewis (G2), 1 1/8m (dirt), Santa Anita
Purse: $250,000

1 Wegner R. Bejarano
118 Lbs
B. Baffert   - L
2 Anthony's Cross J. Rosario
118 Lbs
E. Harty   Blk-On L
3 Comma to the Top C. Nakatani
123 Lbs
P. Miller   - L
4 Tapizar G. Gomez
120 Lbs
S. Asmussen   - L
5 Ten Devils J. Talamo
118 Lbs
R. Mandella   - L
6 Riveting Reason V. Espinoza
118 Lbs
M. Cho   Blk-Off L
7 Quail Hill M. Pedroza
118 Lbs
D. Hofmans   - L
8 Thirtyfirststreet P. Valenzuela
118 Lbs
D. O'Neill   - L

Picks: #4 Tapizar, #1 Wegner, #8 Thirtyfirststreet
Scratches: CTTT will run in the ECRD at GG, Quail Hill might scratch

Sam F. Davis (G3), 1 1/16m (dirt), Tampa Bay Downs
Purse: $225,000
1 1 Reprized Halo
ML: 20-1
F. Maysonett
120 Lbs
M. Azpurua   -
 2 Adulare
ML: 12-1
A. Solis
116 Lbs
G. Arnold, II   - L
3 3 Washington's Rules
ML: 9-2
K. Desormeaux
116 Lbs
K. McPeek   - L
 4 Too Experience
ML: 12-1
D. Centeno
120 Lbs
M. Passley   - L
5 5 Watch Me Go
ML: 8-1
L. Garcia
116 Lbs
K. O'Connell   - L
6 6 Litigate
ML: 15-1
J. Valdivia, Jr.
116 Lbs
D. Duggan   Blk-Off L
 7 Beamer
ML: 5-1
L. Goncalves
116 Lbs
C. Nafzger   - L
 8 Monzon
ML: 3-1
E. Prado
116 Lbs
I. Correas, IV   - L
 9 Ribo Bobo
ML: 20-1
D. Coa
116 Lbs
M. Azpurua   Blk-On
10 10 Brethren
ML: 5-2
R. Dominguez
116 Lbs
T. Pletcher   - L

Picks: #10 Brethren, #3 Washington's Rules, #7 Beamer

El Camino Real Derby (G3), 1 1/8m (synthetic), Golden Gate
Purse: $200,000

1 Comma to the Top C. Nakatani
121 Lbs
P. Miller   - L
2 Bluegrass Reward J. Hernandez
121 Lbs
S. Miyadi   - L
3 Formula Gold H. Romero
121 Lbs
L. Mason   - L
4 Silver Medallion R. Baze
121 Lbs
S. Asmussen   - L
5 Positive Response J. Couton
121 Lbs
W. Morey   - L
6 Anthony's Cross A. Gryder
121 Lbs
E. Harty   Blk-On L
7 Jakesam F. Alvarado
121 Lbs
J. Hollendorfer   - L

Picks: #1 Comma To The Top, #5 Positive Response, #2 Bluegrass Reward

I'm excited to see how good Tapizar and Brethren really are. I do have both of them in my top 10 as of today, 02/11. I also want to see how good Baffert's Wegner is 'cuz I like his pedigree and the first time he tried real dirt he won.