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


  1. Let me know if you like this, guys. I will do this with all of the horses that we are considering. This gives us all the info we need in one spot with links to other analyses provided. I am doing this on Word, so I can go in and tweak some things if you think I should add some more info. But this is pretty much a preview or draft of what I'm working on. If you want to help, then let me know and we can figure something out cuz it is a lot of work, but it's worth it! And the "Grade going into the KY Derby" at the end in the "Final Analysis" is based on a scale from 60-120 with a 60 being the worst and 120 the best. It's basically my ratings system that I came up with last year, but with a few tweaks. Comparing other grades/ratings, Uncle Mo received a 96 going into the BC Juvy, afterwards he had a 104. Super Saver had a 92 going into the Derby last year, afterwards he had a 101. Eskendereya had a 103 going into the Derby last year before he was out. It's not perfect by any means, but it helps to indentify the best horses. So, bear with me on this.

  2. Looks great Brent! Thank you!!!

    I'm particularly interested in those late pace figures, as I think that can seperate this group.

  3. Cool! Hope it helps some!

  4. Keep checking back, guys, cuz I'll keep adding horses to this same post. Just added MI. It's looking good, so far!

  5. This is great Brent. I wish I could help but I'm not very learned in pedigrees. One thing that caught my eye is POF has Key To The Mint on the dam side. I think I've read that Key To The Mint was a "big hearted" guy.

    You're doing a great job!

  6. I'll help you with whatever I can. If there's some basic grunt work that doesn't take alot of in-depth knowledge I'm glad to pitch in.

  7. Just added Archx3, guys.
    Thanks, Howy! You know what, it's not that bad. I think I'll be alright. I put up 3 horses today and I'll do that all the way up to Friday give or take a few horses. Mainly just the ones we've been touting, but I can add a few if you all want me to do so. I don't mind! It's fun to do and it only comes once a year! Plus, it's helping me to learn the horses even better, if that's possible! We've been pretty hard at it and I think we know them pretty well! It's just handy having all or most of their info in one place. Hope it helps as much as possible! I'm determined to hit the super, again! HAHA!

  8. Brent- Awesome job with this, and again thanks so much! I've been thinking about some other factors that maybe should be considered. I already mentioned the late pace figures, but how about : Who handles the slop well historically? or Who has raced well over Churchill in the past? Are these valid criteria? If so, we could probably just provide seperate lists for those items. I know Dialed In, Mo, MMM, Santiva, and Shackleford have either broken their maiden or run a great race at CD. Should that weigh in? Are the variances between the different dirt tracks really that great that a horse would know the diffrence?

  9. Brian, that sounds great! If you or someone else wants to find these things out and just post them by comment, I'll incorporate them into each horse's analysis. I, too, thought about something else that we can add. I think we should put their "Final 1/8 and/or 1/4 times" from at least their last prep, but maybe their last 2 preps. I think this will help us to gauge those "Late Pace" figures even better. So, if you or someone else, maybe you Howy, want to findout those times and out them on here, I'll then do the same as with Brian's suggestions and put them into each horse's analysis. Thanks, guys!!

  10. And for the person getting the final 1/8 and/or 1/4 times, if you can't find them anywhere this is how I calculate them. I take the drf pps because it has lengths back from the leader and take those (1 length is aprrox. 1/5 sec. or 0.20s) and add them to the times provided which are the leader's times. So, you know, a half a length would be 0.10s. You guys may already know this, but this is how I figure out how to calculate a horse's internal splits, which is not exact, but an approximation. Thanks again, guys! That would help me out a lot!

  11. Just added Dialed In and I'm now working on MMM.

  12. Toby's Corner is out of the Derby... moving Derby Kitten into the 20 slot...

  13. Just posted MMM, guys! Next up...Uncle Mo!

    That sucks, I liked TC for the Derby! Oh well, that's one horse we don't have to worry about cuz he was in our top 8!
    No thanks on DK!

  14. Since it looks more and more like Saturday will be "mudder's day", I'm mining data to post here for a potential alternate setup in the event of a sloppy track. One item of note; for what it's worth, Calvin's probably doing a cajun rain dance and TTA has some experience with moisture. More later.

  15. Sounds good, Howy! Uncle Mo is now up, guys! Thanks again for the help!

  16. The forecast that The Weather Channel currently has up for Louisville is:
    Wednesday - Partly cloudy
    Thursday - Mostly sunny
    Friday - Partly cloudy
    Saturday - Scattered Thunderstorms, 50%




    1) NRO All races have been run on dry dirt.
    Works: 5-2/CD/4f/51.20/Sloppy/34 of 38
    Works: 4-25/CD/5f/1:02.80/Sloppy/18 of 25

    2) MI 3-20/MSW/SA/1M/Wet Fast/1st/82
    Works: 5-2/CD/5f/1:00.80/Sloppy/1 of 7
    Works: 4-26/CD/6f/1:13.60/Good/1 of 9

    3) AAA 1-17/LS/OP/1M/Good/4th/63
    Works: 5-3/CD/4f/52.20/Sloppy/24 of 30

    4) DI All races have been run on dry dirt.
    Works:Last 2 works @ Palm Meadows on fast track.

    5) POF 10-4/MSW/Del/1M/Sloppy(Sealed)/1st/68
    Works: 5-1/CD/4f/47.80/Sloppy/7 of 37

    6) UM All races have been run on dry dirt.
    Works: 5-1/CD/5f/1:01.60/Sloppy/8 of 20
    Works: 4-26/CD/5f/1:01.80/Sloppy/11 of 26

    7) MMM All races have been run on dry dirt.
    Works: 4-24/CD/7f/1:29.20/Sloppy/1 of 1

    8) BS 4-16/GR/Kee/1.125M/(Rainy)Fast Syn/1st/93
    10-17/MSW/Bel/1.0625M/Yielding Turf/3rd/69
    9-18/MSW/Bel/1.0625M/Yielding Turf/3rd/65

    9) MOH Career 7:1-3-1
    4 Maidens on Good Turf=1-2-0 No BSF's
    2 GR's on Good Turf=0-0-1
    incl. 11-6/GR/CD/1M/Firm Turf/5th/80
    Works: None recorded/found

    10) ST 7-15/MSW/Bel/5.5f/Good/2nd/88
    Works: 5-1/CD/5f/1:01.80/Sloppy/9 of 20
    Works: 4-24/CD/5f/1:00.00/Sloppy/1 of 19

    11)Sant 8-21/MSW/Sar/1.0625M/Firm Turf/2nd/68
    Works: 5-2/CD/4f/50.20/Sloppy/20 of 38
    Works: 4-26/CD/4f/49.20/Good/18 of 41

    12) AK 3-3/AllowOC/GP/1M/Firm Turf/2nd/80
    Works: 4-30 work was on fast track.

    13)WMG 8-7/LS/CRC/6f/Sloppy(Sealed)/5th/62
    Works: 5-2/CD/5f/1:02.00/Sloppy/4 of 7

    14)Shack All races have been run on dry dirt.
    Works: 4-30 work was on fast track.

    15) TTA 12-29/MCL/SA/7f/Wet Fast/1st/74
    11-18/MSW/GG/1M/Firm Turf/3rd/63
    Works: 4-30 work was on a fast track.

    16) TS 1-16/LS/GP/1M/Firm Turf/6th/77
    11-7/Alw/CD/1M/Firm Turf/4th/74
    Works: 4-30 work was on a fast track.

    17)SD 1-21/Alw/GP/1.0625M/Sloppy(Sealed)/1st/103
    11-6/GR/CD/1M/Firm Turf/2nd/84
    10-3/GR/Bel/1.0625M/Yielding Turf/2nd/71
    Works: 4-29 work was on a fast track.

    18)CTTT 12-18/GR/HP/1.0625M/Wet Fast Syn/1st/95
    11-27/GR/HP/1M/Firm Turf/1st/86
    Works: Last two works on fast synthetic track.

    19) DM 8-7/LO/CRC/6f/Sloppy(Sealed)/3rd/65
    Works: 4-29 work was on a fast track.

    20) DK 2-5/Ovrnt/Tam/1M/Good Turf/2nd/77
    10-17/MSW/Bel/1.0625M/Yielding Turf/2nd/70
    Works:Last recorded work 4/19 on ? track=4f@52.40, 7 of 7.

  18. CORRECTION: #17 Soldat's 1-21 race was at 1 1/18 miles, not 1 1/16. This is the race that stands out to me.

  19. Brent, did you have anybody on the bubble for the ten spot or do we now have a top 9?

  20. Brent, if you can correct my error re Soldat's 1/21 win in the slop to 1 1/8 miles please do. Thanks.

  21. I went over the past performances of all 20 contenders looking for races that an any way involved moisture, be it on the dirt or the lawn and then threw in any recent works that involved an off track. I used Equibase and DRF.

    If anyone has anything to add or point out it can only help because it looks increasingly like we'll have a wet track on Saturday.

    It appears that of the top 9, five have demonstrated ability on an off track albeit at shorter distances and/or shown an ability to handle the CD mud.

    Those are: Midnight Interlude, Archarcharch, Pants On Fire, Brilliant Speed and presumably Master Of Hounds. Of course, "first time mud" doesn't necessarily rule out the other 4.

    The others not on our list who have shown ability are Stay Thirsty, Santiva, Twice The Appeal, Decisive Moment, Derby Kitten and finally Soldat who probably has the best performance on slop at 1 1/8 miles.

    Please feel free to comment on or correct the above. Any thoughts?

  22. Looks good, Howy! As of right now, I don't have anyone to replace TC, so it looks like we have a top 9 (and I REALLY like our top 9!!), but I'll look over them again and see what we can come up with especially after the post position draws later today.

    For some reason, I keep coming back to Nehro as my pick for the Derby winner. I guess that's a good thing considering I picked him right after I saw his performance in the Ark. Derby and we've gone over tons of info in the last few weeks. I also really like MI, but not for the win simply because of his inexperience and what I've heard from Baffert (see Barn Notes for May 2nd at And Archx3 is really starting to grow on me as well. Such a beautiful horse! He looks like Sunday Silence to me. Maybe he will run like him on Saturday!
    But yeah guys, if you're not already, I recommend reading the barn notes.

    Today, I'll be posting Pants on Fire, Brilliant Speed and Master of Hounds. Again, thanks for helping out, guys! Right now, I'm loving our chances and have a good feeling about our handicapping of the Derby.

  23. Wow. Looks like Uncle Mo is still a quesion mark. IMO, Mike Repole has uneccessarily painted himself into a corner with his own remarks. Interesting.

    So, do we want Mo to be withdrawn or scratched so we don't have to worry about him or do we want him to run so we get a better price on our other contenders. I don't see him winning but I'll have him in the bottom if he runs.

  24. Brent, I agree with your observations regarding Uncle Mo. I think he has been babied too much and now he's probably short.

    My question is why?

    I think there may be issues with his health or fitness that have not been made public. Rumors of surgery, pinfire marks, etc..

    It struck me as kind of weird that rather than running him in the Tampa Bay Derby or Florida Derby as planned, they instead convinced GP to create a race just for Uncle Mo in which he faced token opposition rather than face the real contenders, particularly in the Fl Dby.

    Not only that, they took him back to a one turn mile after blowing the field away at 1 1/16 in the BC Juv. I thought the objective was to stretch the horse out in preparation for 1 1/4.

    Then he turns in a clunker in the Wood.

    Perhaps Mike Repole's ego compelled him to try to replicate what Slew's connections and/or Jerry and Anne Moss did: come into the big race with a perfect record.

    Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it doesn't look like poor Uncle Mo is going to be able to come through according to Repole's expectations. We'll see. I won't be surprised if he gets yanked.

  25. Yeah, I'm not so big on Mo anymore. It doesn't look like he has the conditioning he needs for the Derby, especially when his pedigree is already suspect for the Classics.

    Also, I went back and added everyone's Truenicks ratings which is under their 'Pedigree' and added the link to their Truenicks report, although I only put it under Nehro's analysis, but you can get to everyone's report from that link.

  26. I think we're going to have to add Soldat to the list! I was just looking at his pps again and it looks like he's on form to bounce back with a strong performance. However, I don't think he's suited for the Classics, but is just as good as anyone in the field and had a solid win at 9f. So, we might want to use him in the bottom of the super if it's sloppy and/or he gets a good post. Thoughts??

  27. I agree 100%.

    Like I said, I also have questions about his ability to get the distance but if he can do it he's definitely got a shot. With him collecting a 103 @ 1 1/8 in the slop in that Jan 21 Allowance, I don't see how we can ignore him, especially if it's going to be wet.

    I would tentatively add him to the list for now. Then come 5:00 we can maybe fine tune after the post position draw.

  28. If we were to consider an alternate setup for slop, he's definitely a mudder.

  29. For what it's worth, Jarrod on HRN likes him to win.

    Per Scott Dick's pedigree spotlight on HRN:

    "Soldat has been very impressive so far in his career, but the pedigree leaves doubt, with possible distance limitations. Being out of a sprinter, you would think he'd have trouble getting the 10 furlong distance. But with the dam's influence (Coronado's Quest) he might be able to run all day."

  30. I think he's a Hard Spun/Peace Rules type horse, who both lead I'm pretty sure and stayed on for 3rd, but I don't see him winning at 10f with other speed pressing him up front.

  31. I don't see him winning either but he could possibly come in 3rd or 4th if it's muddy. If we drew a line through his clunker in the Fl Dby would he look any better?

  32. I think he got away on the lead setting some pretty easy fractions and when faced with a hot pace he faltered. And if you look at my comments on him b4 the Fla Derby I said the same thing. So, I think the hot pace hurts him, especially at 10f. But he might bounce back and stay for 3rd or 4th.
    They're showing the '04 Derby on Versus with the pp draw next!

  33. What do we do with Archx3? Do you think he can still come in the top four coming from the post one?

  34. Nehro didn't fare much better.

  35. You know what, I actually think he might be alright and get a ground saving trip on the rail and he has enough speed to get out of trouble and not get pushed back too far nearing the first turn. I like him much less than I did this morning because of the post, but he might be ok and Nehro will be fine. I think we're ok for now.

  36. Well, looking at the post position history since 1906, the one hole has more wins with 12 than any other spot so I feel better about that. On the hand, the 19 has zero wins but with Nehro being a closer I don't think that's all that big of a deal. Besides, this seems like a year for the rules to be broken just like when you had Big Brown in the 20 spot which until that point also had zero wins.

    1 12 Archarcharch
    2 9 Brilliant Speed
    3 8
    4 10
    5 12
    6 6
    7 7 Pants On Fire
    8 8 Dialed In
    9 4
    10 10
    11 3 Master Of Hounds
    12 3
    13 4 Mucho Macho Man
    14 2
    15 3 Midnight Interlude
    16 3
    17 0 Soldat
    18 1 Uncle Mo
    19 0 Nehro
    20 1

  37. Ammend: Looks like I got some old numbers and mistated the "since". The "since" is from 1900 with 11 wins for the 4 post, 8 wins for the 7 post and 10 wins for the 8 post.

    With that the total is 110 for 1900-2010.

  38. Gents outstanding job! Brent your passion for the best sport on the planet comes through in your labor & you are selfless to pass it on. The first Saturday in May has always been Xmas for me & over the years I devised my own system to handicap the Derby. You covered many angles. The last of which is how the horses perform over the track once they arrive at the Downs. This track surface is tricky & not all horses take to it. Nehro's works were pause for concern regardless of how his trainer brings them up to a race because this is "The Kentucky Derby". Loved Arch's move. I devised my own points system that I apply to the Art & Science of handicapping. You must apply both to enjoy long term success in this game & you must have the strategy & execution because one without the other will leave you looking at the Tote Board with all your numbers in the money but without a ticket to cash.

    I'm not telling you something you don't already know.

    Last night my top 3 were Archx3, Midnite & Nehro. However, the prospects of an off track & the PP draw pretty much eliminated my contenders. I saw Midnite putting in a formidable effort & hitting the board like Curlin did a few years back. The race may still fall in his lap. The Derby is a very difficult race to hit but add an off track & you get winners like MTBird & SS that end up being one hit wonders.
    I wish you guys all the best & really enjoyed your dialogue. It seems to me that the race has become a grab bag. Having said that, I will find a way to work CTTT on my tickets because now I am starting to view the race upside down.

    Looking at Lucky was my horse last year so I had to patiently wait for the Preakness to key him on top with all & all in the Trifecta. I always play back my key horse when I really believe that I was on the right horse like Point Given too. Playing the horses has taught me to remember valuable lessons. Looking at Lucky in the one hole & a very good race horse in Brother Derek from PP 18 who floated wide every step of the way & managed to dead heat for 4th a few years back. There are no Big Browns in this race.
    I'm guessing Arch gets buried on the rail by a wall of horses. Sure, Nehro is a stone closer but he still has to start in the parking lot before he is able to get the ground saving trip on the rail, then he will need a parting of the Red Sea & some racing luck.

    PVAl is going to make CTTT a very dangerous horse & he will probably ruin the party for more than one horse. Soldat, Shack & Uncle MO got the worst of it because PVal is going to float Pants wide which will cause a domino affect. My guess is that Pat will be riding about 4 horses in this race! When the gates open CTTT will simply walk out of the gate in a straight line and by my account will get the easiest ground saving trip. Will he have enough horse? On a fast track & with a few changes in the PP draw & I would have said not a snow balls chance. Now, I am not so sure. By no means am I trying to influence anyone's picks or get someone off a horse. You guys provided valuable insight all week & I just wanted to add a penny or two to the conversations. Go to the windows with authority & win lots of money! Good luck to all you guys and again, great job!

  39. Thanks for the compliments! I've loved horse racing ever since I attended my first race/track which was Keeneland when I was like 5 yrs old. Living in KY my whole life has given me the opportunity to see some great horses. And many people never get the chance to even make the trip to KY to go to Churchill or Keeneland, so for that I'm very grateful and blessed.

    Now, back to the Derby! Most of the horses in our top 10, well, I like their post positions. And I think Archx3 has enough speed to get out of trouble, plus, the horses to his inside, BS and TTA, won't be going to the lead, so Archx3 shouldn't have to worry about getting pushed back by them. However, Archx3 is at his best when he settles back and makes one big run coming into the stretch and I am worried a bit that Court will have to use up too much horse in the get-go and won't have enough at the end. Watch Archx3's Rebel Stakes when he had the 1-post and Court had to use some of Archx3's speed in the get-go and didn't take him back, settle and make one big run like he did in the Arkansas Derby, so watch both races and you'll see what I mean. Derby could be similar, but maybe even worse with 19 others to worry about! Fires even said, after the post draw, that they might have to go and use up some horse in the get-go. "Fires said drawing the rail could force jockey Jon Court to have to use his horse early."...“We’d like to lay just off the pace and with the one-hole if you don’t go with them a ways you’ll get shuffled way back,” Fires said.
    So, we might have to dump him, now! Thoughts??
    Though, he could very possibly stay for 4th, but I don't see him winning it from there.

    I don't like Uncle Mo's #18 post, cuz that just means he has to run that much farther and he's already suspect in his conditioning and pedigree.

    I don't have a problem with Nehro's post cuz Nakatani can take him over and back to stay out of trouble and make that one big run nearing the stretch.

    I like PoF's post as he's right outside of CTTT and can sit right off of him the whole way and then make his move nearing the stretch, just like he did when he won the LA Derby.

    Obviously, DI is fine in the #8 post.
    MMM should be ok in post #13. And I really like MI's #15 post...Smarty Jones' post!! And he won in the slop that year.
    I'm not big on Soldat's post either, cuz he too is suspect in his pedigree for the 10f and he'll just have to run even farther with that wide post. Yes, he could stay out of trouble out there, but if they want to go and sit just off of CTTT and the speed, then they'll have to use up some horse to the first turn and I just don't think he's a 10f horse. Now, he could stay to get 3rd or 4th, but I just don't think he has what it takes to win, especially from that wide post. That's just me, though.
    And finally, MoH is ok in post #11. Though, I don't think he has enough conditioning/experience with only one race since last November. And never running on dirt could hurt him as well with not only the surface, but the dirt/mud getting kicked up in his face for the 1st time.

    So, if I had to throw out some horses right now, it would probably be MoH, Mo and Soldat with a question mark on Archx3. So, that would leave us with Nehro, MI, DI, PoF, BS and MMM. What do ya'll think??

  40. Brent, at this point I'm OK with tossing Mo.

    Like I said before, I won't be surprised if he's scratched because "he's not 100% due to the GI infection" or some other reason.

    Repole has put himself between a rock and a hard place by stating that if Mo was not the favorite he will make him the favorite. He either follows through and faces the proposition of losing alot of money on a horse with a bad PP and lingering health issues who has only had two unspectacular works since the Wood or he doesn't follow through and loses face.

    I think the circumstances are such that the colt has too much to do and the owner has too much to do financially. Even a billionaire is hesitant to put $1M or two on the line under these conditions.

    Rather than put up or shut up, the easy way out is to scratch him for health reasons and point toward the Preakness.

    I know more about politics than horse racing. I would expect they have discussed what needs to be stated publicly in order to extricate Mr. Repole from having to drop a load of cash. Just my opinion.

    On the other hand, if the ML holds up they'll be fine leaving him in because it won't cost that much to make him the favorite. At any rate, I think he's a toss.

    MOH is an enigma from a handicapping standpoint because he runs in Europe where apparently they don't record works. My roommate from Transy went over there and worked as a lad at Newmarket after graduation. He says the business is totally different over there in just about every respect. I personally find it frustrating that they bring a horse over here that can't be analysed like all the others. I had him in my wheel for the BC Juv Turf, not because I was so impressed with him because I couldn't find anything on him, but because he was so heavily touted and I was afraid to leave him out. So I put him in and he came in fifth. As to his chances, it's been pointed out, I think at Iron Maidens? that O'Brian has a dismal record bringing shippers over here. But that doesn't mean he can't come is third or fourth.

    Anyway, he's a total wildcard and since they like it damp across the pond and he got a halfway decent spot, I'd be hesitant to toss him at this point. No recorded works, only one BSF on turf, first time dirt. I just don't know.

    He could really like an off track or he may really take to first time dirt (see Mineshaft). He's just a total mystery but I wouldn't toss him yet.

    Same thing for Soldat. If we have rain, he probably won't win but he could mess up our tickets if he's tossed. If it's a fast track he's a toss. He's got alot to do though, that's for sure.

    I really feel for AAA. He is one of the most capable contenders and to draw the one hole is just bad luck so putting a question mark on him is appropriate.

  41. That's pretty much how I see it, too. I was just trying to get it down from ten, mainly for financial reasons, but I would leave all of them in if I could because of how wide open it is and we don't know what the track conditions will be as of yet. So, if I absolutely had to toss some horses right now, those would be the 3 or 4. I mean, anything can happen now. We have handicapped this race pretty well, we just need the "horse racing gods" to shine upon us this Saturday! LOL!

  42. Did you see this article?

  43. Going into the clubhouse turn, perhaps it would help if we consider our contenders' running style with that of their neighbors, particularly in the case of AAA. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of these because I think this is significant.

    #1 Archarcharch is a stalker/presser.
    #2 Brilliant Speed is a closer so he may fall back and get out of the way.
    #3 Twice the appeal is another closer so he may fall back with Brilliant Speed and not be a problem for AAA.
    #4 Stay Thirsty is a stalker so he may be the first neighbor to run with AAA going around turn one.
    #5 Decisive Moment is a speed horse so he'll be gone and not in the way.
    #6 Comma To the Top will go with Decisive Moment.
    #7 Pants On Fire will go with DM and Comma.
    #8 Dialed In will be back there with the other closers.
    #9 Derby Kitten ?????
    #10 Twinspired is a stalker
    #11 Master Of Hounds is a presser/speed
    #12 Santiva is a presser
    #13 Mucho Macho Man is a presser
    #14 Shackleford is speed
    #15 Midnight Interlude is a stalker
    #16 Animal Kingdom is a closer?
    #17 Soldat is early speed.
    #18 Uncle Mo is a presser/stalker
    #19 Nehro is a closer.
    #20 Watch Me Go ?????

    Please correct or clarify any of the above, but if it's accurate in regards to posts 1-8, it's concievable that AAA might not have as much trouble as he might otherwise have given the running styles of his neighbors. What do you think?

  44. Here's some good info:

  45. Yeah, that's what I was saying about AAA. I think he has enough speed to stay out of trouble in terms of who's around him going to the 1st turn, but he's best when he takes back a bit and makes one big run nearing the stretch which they still might do after he gets out of possible trouble into the 1st turn, so he might end up being ok with a ground saving trip on the rail right behind the speed. And then take off nearing the stretch and pass up all that speed, so yeah, he will be hard to leave out.
    On the other hand, Court might use up too much horse in the get-go and not have enough left to have that nice kick that he showed in the Arkansas Derby. He did get a perfect trip in that race, too. And he didn't finish up well nearing the wire at 9f. So, that's why I say he's a question mark right now.

  46. You're absolutely right, we need some tosses for ticket construction purposes. Until we know if it's going to be wet or dry though, its really difficult for me to toss many runners.

    If it's wet, while I don't see Soldat winning, I have a creepy feeling about Twice The Appeal who may like a sloppy track with Bo-Rail.

    It just seems to me that this race is difficult enough to handicap if it were a fast track. Rain just throws another twist into it and sets up for a free for all.

  47. Does anyone have all of the rag #s for the field. I have some of their numbers like the winners of each prep and a few others, but I would like to have them all. Thanks!

  48. I don't have any rag #s.

    Zipse has a good column on this subject at HRN re AAA and Nehro post positions.

  49. I think AAA will have to jump out there so he can swerve over away from the rail because he'll be starting out in the far turn. Provided the above scenario plays out, he might be OK. Given the distance between the chute and the top of the stretch, hopefully he won't have to turn on the after burners at the get go.

  50. Aside from the handicapping, this thing is getting more apprehensive and dramatic, like the plot in a movie. Hopefully we'll have an exciting climax with a dramatic conclusion. I'd like to see a Cinderella story where the small business scrap yard guy from Arkansas with the family horse gets the roses while the big business tycoon from New York with the fancy trainer is out of the money.

  51. Re ticket construction, in a key/wheel I'd have DI on top but I think that's a pretty dicey proposition. Like Anonymous said, "there are no Big Browns in this race." So, a part wheel is probably more in order at this point but we could sure use some tosses. To me, a great deal hinges on the weather.

  52. AAA will either need to hope the above scenario falls into place or jump out there like Cool Coal Man did and then run his own race.

  53. All that stuff I wrote about Mo was my own conjecture without having read anything this morning. I just now read that article in TT. Proves my point. We'll find out tomorrow but I think we can stick a fork in him. They're looking for a justification to scratch him.

    If I could just predict the horses' behavior as well as I do the peoples'......

    I'm also coming around to your thinking about tossing MOH and Soldat.

  54. Honestly, I dumped Mo before I read that article. Actually, I think I dumped him when he got post #18 because he was already on the fence with me and that just did it. And then I read the article saying he might be 80%,, I think we could dump him if we really need to. That is if he doesn't scratch first.
    I think I will dump MoH, mainly because I don't like him in this spot, but I do like the horse. And Soldat and AAA are still question marks for me, so I'll probably decide on Saturday what to do with them. I'm REALLY liking these 5, I think they are solid right now: MI, Nehro, DI, PoF and MMM. And I think these 3 are question marks with me right now: BS, Soldat and AAA.
    BS is just one of those horses that will jump up and bite you in the ass if you leave him out. I think he's a good horse to put on the bottom, cuz he has a good late kick and would complete a BIG super payout! He's improving with every start and I LOVE his pedigree!

  55. If you see something else that I don't, let me know, please! But I do think we have it down pretty good! Now, we just have to wait and see what the track conditions will be like.

    The Weather Channel has the following forecast for Louisville:

    Tonight - Showers late 50%, 67/51 (hi/lo)
    Fri. - AM Showers 50%, 70/53
    Sat. - T-showers 40%, 68/60
    Sun. - Iso T-storms 30%, 75/61

    So, it looks like it will more than likely be wet, but it could either be a wet fast track or a sloppy track. We'll see!!

  56. Here's another article and reason to dump Mo:

    They'll probably end up scratching him and point him to the Preakness. His appetite and energy has dwindled this week! Not what you want to hear in the most grueling race of his career!! I don't think Repole and Pletcher are telling us everything about Mo!

  57. I'm good with giving MOH the heave-ho and I'm thinking Soldat just has too much to do, rain or shine. His pedigree is suspect for the distance and while I tend to view the post position angle as more of an historical curiosity, he's starting from a post that has produced 0 winners. What I mean by that is that if Secretariat came out of post 17, it might not reflect 0 wins at this point.

  58. OK, I just read that other TT article. At this point I'm hoping he is good enough to run so we can get a better price on the others. He'll still get alot of fan money even if they have to take him to the gate in a wheelchair.

  59. One last thought on Mo. I read that Repole says Pletcher has the final say. I'm doubtful Pletcher wants to risk another Life At Ten fiasco.

  60. Brent, this analysis is somewhat encouraging and seems to pretty much concur with our discussion earlier today.

  61. Like I said, I think we have it down pretty good. I don't think anything or anyone will change my mind at this point. I always say, go with your first instinct (after handicapping) because if you don't and change your mind/picks and your first choices come in, you'll kick yourself for it!
    But yeah, that's weird about the Super Screener cuz I was working on the Derby trip and I had something very similar to what they have. I have those speed horses in the same positions with a few exceptions. I'll post it on here today when I have what I think the entire trip will look like coming down the stretch.

  62. Well, Uncle Mo is out! But I think we knew that was coming.

  63. TCI pace scenario

  64. Yeah, Mo's old news.

  65. How weird is that!?! That's pretty much what we have come up with! So, I think we go with DI, MI, Nehro, MMM, BS, Soldat, AAA and PoF.

  66. Of course, I disagree with him on Soldat hanging on for 2nd, but more like 3rd or 4th, and I think Nehro runs much better cuz he has speed directly to his inside, so Soldat will be out of there along with MI,, I think Nakatani will be able to move him over and get a good relaxing trip, then comes with his big run in the stretch, but everything else is almost exactly what we've been saying. I REALLY like our chances with what we have! I also think PoF will get a good trip sitting just off the speed. MI will be tough, too, which I've been saying for a while now. I think we just might hit the big one! All we can do now is construct a good ticket and hope for the best!

  67. You know how on Jarrod's HRN Pick 6 Blog, he often times busts his tickets out according to primary and secondary picks in order to save money on the total amount at risk and the difference is usually pretty substantial.

    Do you think this is something worth considering?

    I've been working on ticket construction and it's difficult getting everybody where I want them affordably.

    I really hate to toss AAA because I think he can still come in the top 4.

    Plus, so many of these handicappers (Jarrod, 3 out of 4 on BH's That Handicapping Show) like Soldat. Apparently, they're not too concerned about his pedigree. One thing about those guys, they're usually wrong. I'm good with tossing him but if Mike Beer has him in the top 4 later today I might have to reconsider, hence, the primary/secondary ticket approach.

    What do you think?

  68. DERBY DAY - SATURDAY, MAY 07, 2011

    Race Post Time Wagering

    1 10:30AM WPS EX DD P3
    2 11:00AM WPS EX DD P3 P4
    3 11:30AM WPS EX DD P3
    4 12:04PM WPS EX DD P3 P4
    5 12:38PM WPS EX DD P3
    6 1:19PM WPS EX DD P3 P6
    7 2:08PM WPS EX DD P3 P5
    8 2:59PM WPS EX DD P3 P4
    9 3:51PM WPS EX DD P3
    10 4:46PM WPS EX DD P3 P4 (Woodford Reserve)
    11 6:24PM WPS EX DD P3 SH5 (Kentucky Derby)
    12 7:20PM WPS EX DD
    13 7:50PM WPS EX

    NOTE: Trifecta and Superfecta wagering on all races that qualify under Kentucky statutes. Daily Double and Super High-5 wagers are $1 minimum straight bets. On Oaks Day and Derby Day the Superfecta is a $1.00 minimum wager. Trifecta, Pick-3, Pick-4 and Pick-5 wagers are $.50 minimum straight bets. The Pick-6 is a $2 minimum wager. The Exacta is a $2.00 minimum straight bet with $1.00 boxes and wheels.

  69. Are you gonna take a shot at the Super High 5? I think the superfecta pools are usually much larger aren't they?

  70. I think that's a pretty good idea because I'm not big on Soldat, but I do think he bounces back and could be there at the end and the 'probable' wet track will only help his chances. But like I said, if I HAD to knock out 2 horses out of the top 8 that we now have, it would be AAA because of his post and Soldat because of his pedigree/running style in which he could get burned up in a possible speed duel with Shack, CTTT, or DM if they send him hard for the lead...OR...he could get behind horses, get caught wide or Garcia uses up too much horse through the 1st turn and has nothing left when rivals that settled just off the pace and closers start passing him in the stretch. So yeah, that's how I see it!

  71. I doubt I'll play the super high 5. I have before, but I like playing the supers/tris/exactas on the Derby.

  72. Interesting aside, of the 19 runners, 4 of them (21%) are A.P. Indy descendants and we've got three of them.

  73. Yeah, I think it's about time for the AP Indy line to have a winner! We haven't had one yet, have we?? I can't think of one.

    When I won the super in '08, this is how I constructed my super:
    Keyed BB in the top spot, so...


    Now, I know we don't have a BB to key this year, unless, you want to take a shot with DI.

    Right now, I like these 4 horses, out of our top 8, the best: DI, Nehro, MI and MMM. But don't get me wrong, I still like the other 4, but I can find easier reasons to dump them and maybe leave them off of a ticket.
    AAA - post
    Soldat - already said why
    BS - post, not quite as good as the top 4
    PoF - distance? burned up by the other speed

    I'm just trying to get it down any way I can because 8 horses is expensive no matter how you do it, even in a part wheel, it's really tough. I wish I had enough money to play all 8 somehow cuz I REALLY do think we have an EXCELLENT chance of hitting the super!!!

  74. Well, like I stated earlier, if I were to go with a key wheel I'd key DI but I think that's a dicey proposition. I'm more inclined at this point to have the A.P.s in all four spots and have the rest in the third and fourth spot. That would cost $180 on a $1.

    Another approach is to box the three A.P.s with one of each of the others on five seperate $1 tickets totalling $120.

    Just thinking out loud here. Any thoughts?

  75. I'd ideally get everybody on one ticket. Of the speed, I think POF has the pedigree to slug it out and hang in there.

  76. Just out of curiosity, that BB bet looks like it cost $36. Was that your only one or did you have him keyed with others on other tickets?

  77. Yeah, I would have a hard time throwing out POF cuz I think he'll get a very good trip and be one of the first ones to pounce on the leaders.

    Yeah, it was $36 and that was my only super believe it or not. I was very lucky, but I thought I handicapped that race almost to perfection cuz I loved Eight Belles to get 2nd or 3rd, though I had her in all 3 spots, and I really liked Denis of Cork and Tale of Ekati. I also had Colonel John and Pyro who finished 6th and 8th, respectively.

  78. For what it's worth, here's my take on the pace scenario as it affects our picks (best case scenario):

    POF will be sent and go into the clubhouse turn outside of CTTT and DM with Shack and Soldat to his outside.

    Hopefully AAA will stay out of trouble and be up there with MMM pressing the pace while MI is a little farther back in the pack.

    DI, NRO and BS will be bringing up the rears.

    On the backstretch, AAA & MMM will settle in behind CTTT, DM, Shack and perhaps Soldat provided he was able to get up there and does a better job of dealing with the kickback (if it's dry).

    In the far turn, AAA will start making his move and as they enter the stretch, CTTT and DM will start backing up. Soldat will start to tire and it may take Shack just a little bit longer to start running out of gas. MMM will continue grinding and MI will shift gears as they are joined by AAA and go around the speed, save for POF, who will still be there at the top of the stretch as DI, NRO and BS start their run.

  79. All POF has to do is rate and not get in a speed duel and I think he'll be OK.

  80. I kind of like this one:

    Nehro,DI/Nehro,DI,MI,MMM/Nehro, DI, MI,MMM,Soldat,AAA,POF/same as show spot, but without DI and Nehro but add BS

    I also try to look at it like comparing two I think MI will beat AAA or POF,will he get the better trip? I think that helps configure your super a bit, but it is hard to leave horses out of certain spots. Like I said, if I could wheel all 8 I would!

  81. I like it!!! That sounds good to me!!! Of course, it is horse racing and anything can happen, so no matter how long we spend trying to figure it out, they could do something completely different! You know?
    I think we have it down, though. So, all we need now is a lil racing luck and it sets up anywhere close to what we said and I think we're in business!!

  82. That looks pretty good. That would cost $110. Here's what I mentioned earlier @ $180:


  83. That looks good, too! I think we're on the right track for sure, if not dead on!!

  84. Updated at 2:25pm today - Forecast for Louisville

    Fri - Cloudy, 66/53
    Sat - PM T-storms (afternoon), 60%, 70/59
    Sun - Partly Cloudy, 74/59 (just to see what's behind it)

    So, it might end up being ok, maybe wet fast. We'll see. I'm sure it will change, again!

  85. I think I like yours better. It seems to make more sense and it covers more runners starting in the two spot.

    For an extra $72 I could go with that and still have POF all the way across. I know that's going the wrong way on the outlay but this is a once a year thing for me and the pool will be huge and the more covers there are the better the chances.

    So it would be:

  86. That looks promising to me! Regardless the outcome, I think it's going to be a pretty good race! I gotta feeling somebody is gonna step up big time in this Triple Crown, be it Nehro, DI or another. There are plenty of horses that still have room to improve and get much better, like DI (only 4 career starts), Nehro (4), MI (5), MMM doesn't officially turn 3 until next month and I'm sure there's some others, too.

    I don't have that kind of cash to spend on one super, but I like it and I would probably bet that if I did. I'll probably have to go with what I had, maybe. I do like our chances though. I was looking at the PFs and what rag #s I do have and the top horses are PoF (-57,7), Nehro (-56, don't have his rag, but AAA got a 4 in the Arkansas Derby, so I'm sure it's close to that, maybe a 5 or 4.5), MMM (-54, 6.5), DI (-54, 7), AAA (-53, 4), MI (-36, 5), Soldat (bad FL Derby, but great figs before that) and BS (-49, 6). That's awesome! I feel REALLY good about our handicapping/picks!!

  87. MI's PF was low, but his BSF of 97 and rag# of 5 is excellent compared to the rest of the field! RE Soldat's figs, -48 in FOY and 7 rag#.

  88. My bad BS had a -45 in the BGS, but before that he had a -37 (Hallandale) and -55 (Dania). I know you already have this, but I thought I'd post it anyway.

  89. Oh yeah, I forgot about that, AAA will be in post 2, not that that makes a huge difference, but it only helps him get off the rail some more.

  90. Amongst other things, I tried to blend the PF's with your grades and then adjust for post position and pedigree.

    If AAA had gotten a better post I'd have him higher in the tier because he got the second highest PF and the second highest grade plus I think he's a real hard scrabble contender with alot of class. He's literally a "junk yard" horse.

    Let's just hope he does good but not too good.

  91. Wow, I thought the 19 & 20 were going to be moved over one spot and AAA would still be stuck in the one hole. Somebody posted the rules on a chat board yesterday but now I can't find it.

  92. Yeah, AAA is a tough and consistent horse. I really like him a lot, but his pp made me knock him down a notch because if they use too much horse into the 1st turn, I'm just not sure if he has enough at the end and if they don't, well, he could get shuffled back and probably be out of it. But now, I'm thinking he'll be alright all the way around, but then, does he get a hole and does it open up for him coming into the stretch...that's the question.

  93. I'm watching on Versus right now which is going to show the Oaks and they just replayed the '09 Derby and the super paid $557k!! I forgot it was that big, MTB boosted that up BIG TIME!!

  94. You know, the irony of all this is that while the one is supposed to be such a bad draw, if you look at it historically, it has the most wins along with the five hole @ 12 each. Plus, like I indicated before, I put more stock in a horse's ability than I do in a post position draw.

    I think he's perfectly capable of overcoming his post position draw.

  95. He most certainly is, but I just think back to Lookin at Lucky last year when he got the one post and had bad luck and finished, what, 6th. BUT, I think AAA has more speed than he did, so he'll be alright, I think.
    They just showed updated Derby odds and TTA and Bo-rail are 8-1!!! We called that one!!

  96. ???

    Here's that chat board posting:

  97. I'm kinda spooked by TTA, a mudder and a closer with Bo-Rail on him. I just hope that 4 out of 5 is a bridge too far.

  98. Obviously these will change, but here are the current odds for our top 8:

    AAA 13-1
    BS 30-1
    POF 9-1
    DI 9/2
    MMM 11-1
    MI 10-1
    Soldat 17-1
    Nehro 8-1

  99. I don't think he does it again. I went back and looked at TTA and you can't really like him compared to what we have, but you never know in the Derby and a 19-horse field. Plus, he beat Astrology by 1.5 who came back out and didn't do crap. He'll be bet way down tomorrow and he's not worth taking a shot at compared to a 17-1 Soldat or 13-1 AAA. I'll take them before I take him.

  100. I don't care about the Oaks that much and haven't really looked at it, but for what it's worth, I'll take Joyful Victory, Zazu, Her Smile and St John's River (POF's jock, Rosie!). That's just looking at it really quick.

  101. Well, I had 3 of 4. Plum Pretty is a nice filly! There's Baffert! And Rosie got 2nd. So, we got MI and POF for tomorrow!

  102. I was going to play the Oaks if I went but couldn't get tickets at a decent price, so, I thought I'd devote my attention to the Derby.

    Btw, I don't have an online account so I have to drive to the track, either River Downs or Turfway depending on whichever is closer to wherever I am.

    When I read postings about hitting the "ALL" button I guess they have that for online accounts but I've never found a calculator that goes up to twenty horses if I ever wanted to play ALL in a race like tomorrow.

    I use the calculator which goes up to ten horses and the Breeders' Cup calculator which will do a field of 14 but never found one that goes any higher than that.

    Do you know of one?

  103. HRN: Shutty says the track is presently "playing kind to those off the rail and off the pace."

    I hope that condition lasts through tomorrow.

  104. From TT Mo scratch article:

    Uncle Mo had drawn post position 18, so Nehro and Watch Me Go, formerly in posts 19 and 20, respectively, will move inside one spot each in the auxiliary starting gate.

  105. Well, call me Polly Anna but the way I see it, AAA is OK even if he is stuck in the one hole and Nehro just went from a post with zero wins to a post with one win. Percentage-wise, Nehro's chances just went up ad infinitum.

  106. Some rags:

  107. It looked to me that the track was playing pretty fair because St John's River (a deep closer) saved ground on the inside and used the rail coming home and was 2nd in the Oaks by a nose and the winner, Plum Pretty (a presser with good speed), stalked the pace and was in the 2 or 3-path almost the entire trip. And that is about the time the Derby will run, so the track should play similar, although it's suppose to rain, but I saw that it might go around Louisville come Derby post time. So, if it does rain, it looks like it could be a wet fast track. We'll see!

    So, Nehro moves down? Why would that guy say AAA moves to post 2? That kind of pisses me off...misinformation! Oh well, like you said, I don't think AAA will be hurt. He has some speed to get out of trouble and the 2 horses to his inside are closers and won't go, so he should be fine. Now, does he get the hole he needs and does it open up for him, cuz he will no doubt be stuck on the inside. You know what, he might get a really good trip if he sits 4-5 lengths behind the speed near the rail and then coming into the stretch, a hole opens up on or near the rail and he goes on from there with a nice ground saving trip. Who knows? You just never know what 19 horses will do all bunched together with a lot of them lightly raced and with little experience.

    And the thing about Soldat, most people just see that he ran very well on a sloppy track, but what they don't look at is that he was on the lead setting moderate fractions (:12+ sec. furlongs) and he didn't run against any noteworthy horses. He won't get that here! If he can rate behind the speed, then I think he has a good chance, but he will more than likely get caught wide on both turns. He's just been a question mark for me. Though, I do think he bounces back from the FL Derby and runs a decent race. Who knows!?!

  108. Thanks for the rag article! So, if you take that article and then look at this one
    (, you can get a feel for what might happen in the Derby. I think BS will probably regress/bounce a bit from that 6 on polytrack which was a 5-pt new top, so he probably runs back to an 8 or 9. AAA's rag line of 4 1/4, 7 1/4 and 9 1/4 is very nice, but does he improve off of that 4 1/4 which would probably win it. I don't think he does, though. The 6 horses that look very good to me are DI, Nehro, MMM, MI, POF and Soldat.

    MI - 5, 9 1/2, 7 3/4
    Nehro - 6, 8, 11 1/4 - it looks like he could improve again and run between a 3-4.
    DI - 6 3/4, 9 1/2, 4 1/2 - looks nice, too!!
    MMM - 6 1/2, 7 3/4, 7 3/4 - NICE!!
    PoF - 7 1/4, 10 1/4 - could improve and run a 4-6.
    Soldat - 6 3/4, 7? - runs a 4-5?

    I like these 6 for sure!! BS and AAA are my question marks as of right now.

  109. With those rags does it change your opinion of the order on the ticket or would you move Soldat up for example or make any other changes or are we good to go?

  110. I would probably keep it the same. I think that's a pretty good ticket.

  111. However, I think I will play a seperate ticket with those 6. Something like this:


  112. I just wish AAA had a better post, cuz I really like that horse! I don't think it will hurt him as bad as people think, but I still don't like him as much as I would if he had, you know, post 10 or something like that.

  113. I think I'll adjust my ticket then and have Soldat in 2nd, 3rd & 4th just to be safe. Last night I watched DRF Mike and Dan and Mike likes him too, so, while I don't see him winning he could very well come in second.

  114. Bobby Flay said Soldat is going to win the Triple Crown!?! I'll give him the Derby and Preakness, but Soldat is definitely not a 12f horse. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see a TC winner!! I don't care who it is!! I just like a few other horses better, at least for the win. I could be totally wrong, though! I'm not saying he's a bad horse. He's a great horse! I just think DI and Nehro are a little better and the 10f suits them. But you can make a case for and against for any of them. It's all about who gets the better trip in a 19-horse field!

  115. Do you lend much credence to the fact that post 17 has produced no winners in the history of the Derby or do you tend to regard that as more of an historical oddity?

    Like I pointed out earlier, as you know, the twenty hole had no winners until Big Brown. I think it's more about the horse than the post position.

  116. The 5 horses that look like they're peaking for the Derby, to me, are DI, Nehro, MMM, MI and POF. I think AAA peaked a race too soon and so did BS, but obviously, that doesn't mean they won't run well today. And Soldat could run back to his pre-FL Derby form. So, that's my assessment of our top 8. I think we're looking good! But, of course, anything can happen. All we need now is some LUCK!

  117. Yeah, post numbers don't mean a thing. Now, what type of horse in that post does, like their running style and such. It's just a historical oddity, like you said.

  118. I really think it's between Nehro and DI and what was impressive about Nehro is that he was running down a closer-type horse in AAA in the Ark. Derby. It's not like he was catching a speed horse that just ran out of gas nearing the wire. I really think Nehro is peaking for the Derby the best out of all of them and he wins it!!

  119. Let me ask you this. If you had $100,000 to bet on one horse to win, who would you take? I just told you who I'd take.

  120. Nakatani is HOTT! He has 2 wins today, so far!!

  121. Dialed In.

    While I like Nehro too and have them both, I think Dialed In is perhaps a little more consistent.

    Certainly, Nehro is on the improve and if one of them comes in, whichever one it is, it is a testament to the bloodline.

    And when it comes to the bloodline, here's the significant distinction for me; Dialed In has Big Red top and bottom.

  122. He is very tough and I can certainly see him winning it! 2 Mineshaft colts! I like both of their pedigrees, a lot!

  123. I admit, I was wrong about AK! Oh well, we had 2nd and 3rd. It's pretty much a crapshoot in a 19 horse field!

  124. I was wrong about MI, too. Even Gary Stevens liked him. Maybe next year!!

  125. Just got back and watched it on the DVR.

    Oh well, that's horseracing.

    On to the Preakness!

  126. Yep! Even if we had taken AK, would we have put him in the win spot?? I highly doubt it! Some experts liked him and some didn't. His PF in the Spiral was a -9.

  127. Previous Churchill Downs attendance record: 163,628 in 1974.

    Today's attendance: 164,858.

    If I had to speculate as to why those records were set, I would say it was because of the extraordinary horses in each year prior that sparked the public's interest in the sport, so I'd credit Secretariat in 1973 and Zenyatta in 2010.

  128. You know, I saw in an HRN posting that Mike Shutty liked AK. I'll be interested to see how the Super Screener worked out this year.

    As for me, I had CTTT nailed!

  129. Yeah, AK was bucking history, though. So, if you would of had him winning it people would call you crazy. He was the 1st horse to win off a 6-week layoff since Needles in '56 and the first horse EVER to win without a prior dirt start. I mean, I can see if we had him, you know, 3rd or 4th or something like that, but winning it after no horse has ever won it without a prior start on dirt!?! And the 6-week layoff, I never liked that either. So, I can't see why anyone would have him to win based on handicapping...maybe on just a hunch and luck. Plus, he was lightly raced with only 4 starts and tons of people were not picking DI,MI and some others because of that fact.
    So, now we know, you can pretty much throw histroy out the door because in the past decade there have been many records broken and history bucked!!
    If you look at the total finish, though, we didn't do that bad from the 10 horses that we started out with on here:
    2nd - Nehro
    3rd - MMM
    5th - MOH
    7th - BS
    8th - DI
    9th - POF
    11th - Soldat
    and then AAA was hurt, but still finished 15th and MI was very disappointing and was 16th.
    So, I think we did ok. You can't win 'em all!

  130. You did a great job.

  131. Thanks! I kind of feel bad for not helping you out that much. We'll have to get 'em next year! We'll hit one of them!

    If you want, we can do some Preakness stuff on here and later, the Belmont.

  132. Yeah, let's do that. Don't feel bad though. Anything can happen.

    The Preakness won't be such a free-for-all in terms of the field size.

  133. I added a new post, "2011 Preakness Stakes", so we can start conversing on that one. I just put up a list of some possible starters. That gives us a starting point, so we can begin scouting the possible horses. It looks like we'll have a faster pace than what we had in the Derby with some speedsters in there. That pace set up perfectly for AK, being a turf/synthetic specialist and able to adapt to any pace, and DI didn't get the fast pace that he needed. I think we might be able to nail the Preakness!

  134. Up and going again this year! Check it out!