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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.

Pletcher looks to continue monopoly of Sam Davis with Brethren

Pletcher looks to continue monopoly of Sam Davis with Brethren

Tapizar looks too good for competition in Robert Lewis

Tapizar looks too good for competition in Robert Lewis

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Awesome Feather may return to training by month's end

Awesome Feather may return to training by month's end

McPeek sees benefit in Casper's Touch's loss

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - One day after watching one of his top Kentucky Derby prospects, Casper’s Touch, suffer through a horrendous trip in his 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, trainer Ken McPeek was calm and composed discussing the unfortunate circumstances that led to the colt’s second-place finish as the even-money favorite in the nine-furlong, entry-level allowance event
With Julien Leparoux aboard, Casper’s Touch steadied back off the leader entering the clubhouse turn, raced very rankly while lacking racing room in the run down the backstretch, then was bumped soundly by Shadow Warrior near midstretch before finishing gamely to be second behind Shackleford.
KENTUCKY DERBY NEWS: Track all the 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail
“It was a terrible trip – what are you going to do,” said McPeek. “The race was really a prep for the Fountain of Youth, and he did show how tough he is to come on and finish second when having every right to be fourth after getting hit as hard as he did in the stretch. Fortunately he came back without a nick on him and cleaned up his feed tub in an hour. The race was a stepping-stone, and even though we did not win, I was pleased with it.”
If all goes according to plan, Casper’s Touch will get a chance to avenge that setback, as trainer Dale Romans said Shackleford is also being pointed for the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 26.

Brethren to start year with Sam Davis at Tampa Bay

Brethren to start year with Sam Davis at Tampa Bay

Monday, February 7, 2011

2 more Pletcher 3-yos to look out for on the TC trail

1) Travelin Man (Trippi - West Side Dancer by Gone West) - Very nice pedigree and great tail-female line. Next Start: Feb. 26th G2 Hutcheson (7f)

2) Cal Nation (Distorted Humor - She's A Winner by AP Indy) - half to Bluegrass Cat and same family cross as Brethren (Distorted Humor - Supercharger by AP Indy), Supercharger is full sister to She's A Winner. Next Start: Hutcheson, FOY, Gotham???

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Female Families and the KY Derby

Family 4, possibly dating back to the Layton Violet Barb mare, is one of the more prolific lines in thoroughbred history. Seventeen horses from this group, dating from 1895 (Halma) to 2001 (Monarchos), have won the Kentucky Derby. Five members each from the branches of 4-m (Magnolia) and 4-r (Cub Mare) have been successful, with two representatives from 4-d (Manganese) and 4-n (St. Marguerite), and one each from 4, 4-c (Maniac) and 4-e (Fair Helen).

My #1 horse right now, To Honor And Serve, comes out of family 4-r (Cub Mare) who also produced Monarchos. Here's your Derby winner!! LOL! I hope so 'cuz I've been on this guy since last October and I love his pedigree. His sire, Bernardini, also comes out of family 4 (4-m, Magnolia).

My #2 horse right now is Elite Alex and he comes out of the 4-d family (Manganese).

A strong branch in modern times is Family 8 (Bustler Mare). Four members each from 8-c (Woodbine) and 8-f (Remembrancer Mare) and three from 8-h (Atalanta) have taken the Belmont Trophy. The earliest member was Vito in 1928 and continues through to 2007 with Rages to Riches. Additionally, Better Than Honour, the only mare to have produced two Belmont Stakes winners is included in the 8-f group.

My #4 horse, Tapizar, comes from family 8-c (Woodbine).

So, as of today (02/06/11) my top 10 horses are as follows:

1) To Honor And Serve
2) Elite Alex
3) Sway Away
4) Tapizar
5) Dialed In
6) Casper's Touch
7) Machen
8) Rogue Romance
9) Brethren
10) Wilkinson/Bench Points

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Important Allowance Race at Gulfstream for KY Derby Prospects

One of my top KY Derby prospects races in an allowance today at Gulfstream, Casper's Touch. I like this guy a lot! I love his pedigree (Touch Gold - Lizzy Cool by Saint Ballado) and I've always like his trainer, Ken McPeek. There are also a few others that are TC trail prospects in this 1 1/8m race. El Grayling, Shadow Warrior and Shackleford all have a good possibility to win this one and go on to a very important Derby prep. But watch out for Casper's Touch! He's a good one!

Today's Whirlaway and Next Week's 2 Big Ones

  Today we have the 1 1/16m Whirlaway at Aqueduct. Rescind The Trade and JJ's Lucky Train are the favorites in this one and rightfully so. However, I'm liking Preachintothedevil to pull the upset.
  Next week we have a couple of good ones in the Robert B. Lewis and the Sam F. Davis. Here are some probables for these 2:

Feb. 12th
Robert B. Lewis (G2), 1 1/8m, Santa Anita
- Tapizar - He's in my top 10. Has had 2 very nice wins in his last 2 outings.
- Jaycito
- Comma To The Top
- Riveting Reason
- Thirtyfirststreet
- Anthony's Cross
- Wegner - I'm keeping an eye on this Baffert horse. Love his pedigree!

Feb. 12th
Sam F. Davis (G3), 1 1/16m, Tampa Bay
- Manicero - He's in my top 10 as of right now
- Brethren - He's also another one that's in my top 10
- Monzon

My favorite horses right now are:
- To Honor And Serve
- Elite Alex
- Sway Away
- Casper's Touch
- Dialed In

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Top 10 TC Trail Prospects

Here are my 'Top 10 TC Trail Prospects' that I'm really high on and will be watching their every move:

1) To Honor And Serve
2) Dialed In
3) Tapizar
4) Brethren
5) Sway Away
6) Elite Alex
7) Casper's Touch
8) Machen
9) Bench Points
10) Manicero

Pretty good group! I've been following these horses very closely and I really do think that the Derby winner will come from one of these 10. BOLD, I know! But I think a few of these guys are going to be special horses. I think this is one of the deepest class of 3-yos that I've seen since '07 with Curlin, Street Sense, Rags To Riches, Any Given Saturday, Hard Spun, Nobiz Like Shobiz, Tiago, Ravel, Zanjero, etc. You heard it here first, though!! The Derby winner will come from one of these 10 horses.

Another 3-yo to Consider

Trainer John Sadler has a promising 3-yo in Runflatout who posted a 96 BSF after taking a 6f MSW at Santa Anita on 01/29/11. He covered the 6f in a speedy 1:07.70. Here's the race:

Here's a look at his pedigree:

So, keep an eye on this guy! He could possibly go in the 7f San Vicente at SA for his next start which would be a 3-week turnaround or just run in an allowance in Feb. then move on to a Derby prep in March. We'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cali's 2010 2-yo Champion

   A horse that I really liked last year, Bench Points, was recently named the 2010 Cal-bred 2-yo champion. I was high on this guy last year and then he got injured with a bone chip in his knee and so I put him on the backburner. He was undefeated in 3 starts last year. Now, he's back and training very well and I'm picking him back up and will follow him as he navigates through the 2011 TC trail. Here are some of his latest works:

01/27/11 - Worked 6f at Santa Anita in 1:12.00 (dirt, fast, handily)
01/21/11 - Worked 6f at SA in 1:12.80 (d,f,h)
01/15/11 - Worked 5f at SA in 1:00.20 (d,f,h)
01/08/11 - Worked 5f at SA in 1:01.40 (d,f,h)

   I have always liked Benchmark colts although there haven't been that many successful runners as of late. However, one that comes to mind that was a very good runner is Brother Derek. So anyway, BP has a nice pedigree especially through his dam. BP's bms is Free House. He was a very good runner throughout his career! He won the Norfolk Stakes as a 2-yo and went on to finish 2nd in the Preakness, 3rd in the KY Derby, Belmont and Haskell as a 3-yo. He also won the SA Derby and went on to win G1 races as a 4 and 5-yo. Through Bench Points' 2nd dam, Visible Gold, he gets plenty of stamina. His 3rd dam is by Vaguely Noble whom has produced distance runners and is a chef-de-race with a Classic/Professional designation. So, BP has the pedigree to go longer. The farthest he went as a 2-yo was 6f.

   Bench Points is being pointed towards the G2 San Vicente on 02/20, a 7f race. This will be a big test for BP to begin his 3-yo year. There are some very good horses that are also pointed towards the SV. JP's Gusto, Premier Pegasus, Sway Away (another one that I'm high on), The Factor and Indian Winter. That's some tough competition! We'll see how good some of these horses are as well. The Factor set a NTR for 6f on dirt at SA (1:06.98). So, whomever emerges from this race as the winner, they'll be in very good position as to where they stand against this year's 3-yo class. Though, as long as BP and Sway Away have a good race and don't get blown away, then they will be in good shape considering it will be not only their 1st starts of the year, but their 1st starts in 5+ months. I can't wait to watch this one! All I gotta say is watch out for Bench Points and Sway Away through the 2011 TC trail!