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Author: [Horse Racing] Topic: Derby Group 2012
handikapper1
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#1
Posted: 5/2/2012 5:29:20 PM

  thx so far to all who is entered.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. --Twenty-one horses have been entered for Saturday's Kentucky Derby, one more than the maximum allowed field of 20.

The entry box closed this morning, with the draw to determine post positions set for later in the afternoon. The field is limited to the top 20 horses based on earnings in graded stakes races.

The 21st horse on the earnings list is Monmouth-trained My Adonis, an also eligible who would need a defection to get into the 1-1/4-mile race. My Adonis is in Kelly Breen's barn and owned by George and Lori Hall, Rumson residents, and owners of Ruler On Ice who won last year's Belmont Stakes and ran Pants On Fire in the 2011 Derby.

Leading the way in this years' Derby draw is Bodemeister, the dominant winner of the Arkansas Derby and one of two horses in the field trained by Bob Baffert.

Todd Pletcher also will saddle two -- Wood Memorial winner Gemologist and El Padrino.
Optimizer will be the record 45th Derby starter for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, a four-time winner of the race. The colt got into the field when Mark Valeski was withdrawn from consideration on Tuesday.

The draw will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, starting at 5 p.m

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#2
Posted: 5/2/2012 5:43:22 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky – No official workouts to report but still plenty to see on a balmy Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs, where 18 of the 21 horses entered for the Kentucky Derby visited the racetrack.

Most of the activity, as usual, came after the renovation break and featured the first local appearances of trainer Todd Pletcher’s Gemologist and El Padrino, along with the undefeated Take Charge Indy, all three of whom shipped in from Florida the previous day. My Adonis, the first horse ever to become an also-eligible entrant for the Derby, also went to the track for the first time, doing so well before dawn.

Union Rags was the center of attention for many observers who felt he just did not look comfortable on the racetrack when equipped with a tongue tie for the first time the previous morning. Trainer Michael Matz removed the tongue tie for today’s session and the difference in his demeanor and performance became evident almost immediately.

Union Rags paid a visit to the starting gate before breaking off into a very strong gallop, giving exercise rider Peter Brette all he could handle while sustaining nearly a two-minute clip for the final mile of an excellent training session. Union Rags got a little hot, as he’s prone to do, but overall made a re-assuring appearance to his legion of supporters.

Afterwards, Brette explained the decision to first try and then quickly abandon the tongue tie.

Gemologist made an extremely favorable impression galloping an easy 1 1/4 miles in his first local appearance, travelling smoothly but effortlessly over a racetrack he has already proven to handle well. The undefeated Wood Memorial winner may have been flying a little under the radar, having been out of sight and out of mind, by getting in the majority of his Derby preparations in south Florida, but after this morning’s outstanding session he’s certainly out of mind no more

El Padrino also looks well and appeared to handle the track nicely enough while now clearly training in the shadow of his more fancied stablemate.

It’s extremely rare for a jockey to also gallop his Derby mount in the morning but not so for Calvin Borel, who put Take Charge Indy through his paces after the break. Take Charge Indy also made a great appearance while turning in a very easy morning’s work, Borel standing straight up in the saddle as he passed by the grandstand just for show. Take Charge Indy remained on his left lead through the stretch but trainer Pat Byrne said that was merely a function of him traveling at such a relatively slow pace.

“I asked Calvin if he wanted to get on the horse this morning and he said yes,” said Byrne. “He’ll probably gallop him right into the race. We’ll do a little more with him tomorrow.”

Dullahan did a little more than most of his fellow Derby hopefuls, open galloping through the stretch and around the clubhouse turn to conclude his morning’s work. Dullahan covered his final quarter-mile, from the wire around to the six-furlong pole, in 26.13 seconds before easing up three-eighths midway down the backstretch in 39 and change.

Trinniberg went out earlier than usual, at 6:30 a.m., and made his best appearance by far since arriving from Calder last week, galloping a strong two miles while really picking up the pace ala Dullahan down the stretch.

Creative Cause was conspicuous by his absence, walking the shed row for the second consecutive morning after breezing a relatively easy half-mile on Monday.

 

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#3
Posted: 5/2/2012 5:45:18 PM

Final Kentucky Oaks observations

On Fire Baby has trained hard over the past couple of weeks, punctuating several strong open gallops with a good-looking seven-furlong drill on April 27, during which she finished willingly without undue pressure. Talented, loves the track, but wonder about her missing important final prep in the Fantasy.

Grace Hall has continued to train forwardly since her big win in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. She couldn’t have looked better in her easy half-mile breeze at Palm Meadows on April 12, made a nice appearance galloping over the track here Wednesday and already proved her affinity for the local surface with her second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup. The one to beat.

Summer Applause bypassed a scheduled work here a week ago following a bullet five-eighths on April 20. She has the right running style to fit the profile of this race.

Eden’s Moon looked sharp in recent black-letter breeze here last weekend, bounced out of that work with a couple of nice looking gallops but is one of several speed types in this field.

Broadway’s Alibi is a fast and talented filly who has continued to train fabulously in south Florida but up to this point is a one-dimensional, front-runner whose ability to stay nine-furlongs under pressure a major question.

Sacristy tired badly at the end of her recent seven-furlong drill. She may have a say in the early pace but looks to be in way over her head in this spot.

Jemima’s Pearl was the work partner of stablemate Bodemeister twice within a five-day span and more than held her own with the potential Derby favorite, completing her final quarter in 23.20 seconds while under just mild encouragement, during the pair’s impressive drill on April 29. Should come running late if able to hold up to her recent training regime.

Believe You Can looked very good breezing a bullet five-eighths under jockey Rosie Napravnik on April 23, then came back with a swifter but not quite as appealing bullet five-eighths drill six days later. Appear to be coming into the Oaks in peak form but another who has been at her best when on the lead around two turns.

And Why Not showed big and somewhat uncharacteristic speed, shading 47 without undue pressure from Brette in bullet April 28 work, could be a sleeper if able to rate that new-found speed off potentially hot pace.

Karlovy Vary may be overlooked a bit considering her best races have come on grass and synthetic surfaces even though she appeared to handle the local strip quite nicely in recent five-furlong breeze when finishing with interest without undue urging on Saturday. Grade 1 winner is obviously on top of her game.

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#4
Posted: 5/2/2012 5:53:32 PM

When Mike Harrington, who trains highly regarded Creative Cause, was asked on Tuesday about his chances of winning this Saturday Harrington replied “if Bodemeister isn’t a freak, we should be ok”

Several weeks ago Doug O’Neil, who trains the very impressive Santa Anita Derby winner I’ll Have Another, was watching the Arkansas Derby and when the race was over O’Neil said “Ut oh…the (Kentucky Derby) race is wide open but if Bodemeister were to repeat that performance…everyone else is running for second place”.

“That was Big Brown-like,” Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin, who has Dullahan ripped and ready to go, said of Bodemeister’s Arkansas Derby performance. “From a pure talent point of view, he looks like he’s the one.”

After hearing those three comments, I started wondering what the other 16 trainers are thinking. That, in turn, got me looking at the speed figures of all the contenders a little earlier than usual. (I usually use the speed figure tool on race day).

In case you don’t know, The Speed Figure is a system for rating the performance of a racehorse designed in the early 1970s by Andrew Beyer, a horse racing columnist for The Washington Post.

By 1992 the Daily Racing Form began using Beyer Speed Figures in a horse’s past performances and the system has evolved over the years to where each performance by every horse is given a Beyer number which reflects a “score” or “grade” by using the time of the race and the inherent speed of the track over which it was run.

Simply put, horses are “graded” like a test from 0 to 100. That being said, it doesn’t stop at 100. In fact, it generally takes a 115 BSF to win the Kentucky Derby and over my 32 years of watching and working in the sport I’ve seen some amazing “grades”. Like say the wickedly fast Ghostzapper ran a 128 in 2004, back in 1987 Sprint Champion Groovy ran a 134 and, in case you are curious, Secretariat’s tour de force Belmont Stakes was the highest rated speed figure ever recorded with an eye popping 139.

I listed the (as of Tuesday night) 20 horses heading to the starting gate on Saturday afternoon with their top speed figure next to it…..and, after looking at it for a while, I realized Harrington, O’Neil and Irwin were right.

1) Bodemeister -108 and actually has three straight “triple digit” speed figures. No one in the Kentucky Derby field has more than one. Want more? How about the winners of the four biggest Kentucky Derby prep races Dullahan (the Blue Grass-98), Gemologist (Wood Memorial- 98), Take Charge Indy (Florida Derby -95) and I’ll Have Another (Santa Anita Derby-94) were not even close

2) Creative Cause- 102 in the San Felipe Stakes in February but dropped eight points (to a 94) in his next start the Santa Anita Derby.

3) Tie: Daddy Nose Best- El Padrino- 100. El Padrino dropped twice since while running a 94 in his next start after that 100 and a 90 after the 94.

Daddy Nose Best, on the other hand, has been climbing as he scored a 78 and a 93 before his 100. Obviously, you have to like the rising figures as opposed the falling figures.

4) Trinniberg-99- albeit his 99 is an excellent score, he did it in a sprint race. Can he do it in a distance race?

5) Tie: Mark Valeski—Alpha—Dullahan—Gemologist— 98- I’ve been saying all along that this years crop of three year old is deep and closely matched. The statistic of four top flight horses scoring exactly four 98’s only strengthens the argument.

6) Tie: Take Charge Indy—I’ll Have Another—Hansen—96- make that seven top flight horses within two points of one another, which equates to approximately two lengths of each other. So seven horses all within about two lengths of one another according to the scale? Wow…that’s close

7) Union Rags- 95- ok, for such a talented, good looking animal…..what the hell is he doing so far down the list? Moreover, in his last five starts (dating back to August 2011) he’s been no higher that 95 but no lower than 92. So does that mean he is just consistent, a notch below several others or both?

8 ) Tie: Went the Day Well—Sabercat—Liaison 92- I was surprised to see the first horse this far down too..and don’t forget, his 92 was over the synthetics. So does he go up or down when he runs at Churchill…Which is a traditional dirt durface?

9) Rousing Sermon- 91

10) Prospective- 90

11) Done Talking- 85

12) Daddy Long Legs-60- But in all fairness, he’s only run one race in theUS and that was the Breeders Cup Juvenile last fall.

So the answer to the question in the title of this piece is Bodemeister by a long way. That being said it doesn’t mean you should run out and bet your money Bodemeister (although I wouldn’t argue with you if you did) because remember, horse racing is like many other sports where the best team or, in this case, the fastest horse doesn’t always win.

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#5
Posted: 5/2/2012 5:56:02 PM
The derby winners prep race, performance figures form (chef-de-race) and placing.



1999 CHARISMATIC -64 1ST 04/18/99 COOLMORE LEXINGTON S
2000 FUSAICHI PEGASUS -80 1ST 04/15/00 WOOD MEMORIAL
2001 MONARCHOS -65 2ND 04/14/01 WOOD MEMORIAL
2002 WAR EMBLEM -62 1ST 04/06/02 ILLINOIS DERBY
2003 FUNNY CIDE -56 2ND 04/12/03 WOOD MEMORIAL
2004 SMARTY JONES -74 1ST 04/10/04 ARKANSAS DERBY

2005 BARBARO -54 1ST 04/01/06 FLORIDA DERBY
2006 STREET SENSE -54 2ND 04/14/07 TOYOTA BLUE GRASS S
2007 GIACOMO -23 2ND 03/19/05 SAN FELIPE S
2008 BIG BROWN -89 1ST 03/29/08 FLORIDA DERBY
2009 MINE THAT BIRD -42 1ST 05/02/09 KENTUCKY DERBY/Sunland
2010 SUPER SAVER -51 2ND 04/10/10 ARKANSAS DERBY
2011 ANIMAL KINGDOM -20 1ST 03/26/11 SPIRAL S
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#6
Posted: 5/2/2012 5:58:56 PM
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#7
Posted: 5/2/2012 5:59:32 PM
WTF6 hours ago
super saver came in second in the arkansas derby.
last 12 years, many who came in 2nd won the derby


1999 CHARISMATIC -64 1ST 04/18/99 COOLMORE LEXINGTON S
2000 FUSAICHI PEGASUS -80 1ST 04/15/00 WOOD MEMORIAL
2001 MONARCHOS -65 2ND 04/14/01 WOOD MEMORIAL
2002 WAR EMBLEM -62 1ST 04/06/02 ILLINOIS DERBY
2003 FUNNY CIDE -56 2ND 04/12/03 WOOD MEMORIAL
2004 SMARTY JONES -74 1ST 04/10/04 ARKANSAS DERBY

2005 BARBARO -54 1ST 04/01/06 FLORIDA DERBY
2006 STREET SENSE -54 2ND 04/14/07 TOYOTA BLUE GRASS S
2007 GIACOMO -23 2ND 03/19/05 SAN FELIPE S
2008 BIG BROWN -89 1ST 03/29/08 FLORIDA DERBY
2009 MINE THAT BIRD -42 1ST 05/02/09 KENTUCKY DERBY/Sunland
2010 SUPER SAVER -51 2ND 04/10/10 ARKANSAS DERBY
2011 ANIMAL KINGDOM -20 1ST 03/26/11 SPIRAL S
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#8
Posted: 5/2/2012 6:12:01 PM

Post - Horse / Trainer / Jockey / Odds

1 -- Daddy Long Legs / O'Brien / O'Donoghue / 30-1
2 -- Optimizer / Lukas / Court / 50-1
3 -- Take Charge Indy / Byrne / Borel / 15-1
4 -- Union Rags / Matz / Leparoux / 9-2
5 -- Dullahan / Romans / Desormeaux / 8-1
6 -- Bodemeister / Baffert / Smith / 4-1
7 -- Rousing Sermon / Hollendorfer / Lezcano / 50-1
8 -- Creative Cause / Harrington / Rosario / 12-1
9 -- Trinniberg / Parboo / Martinez / 50-1
10 -- Daddy Nose Best / Asmussen / Gomez / 15-1
11 -- Alpha / McLaughlin / Maragh / 15-1
12 -- Prospective / Casse / Contreras / 30-1
13 -- Went the Day Well / Motion / J. Velazquez / 20-1
14 -- Hansen / Maker / Dominguez / 10-1
15 -- Gemologist / Pletcher / Castellano / 6-1
16 -- El Padrino / Pletcher /Bejarano / 20-1
17 -- Done Talking / Smith / Russell / 50-1
18 -- Sabercat / Asmussen / Nakatani / 30-1
19 -- I'll Have Another / O'Neill / Gutierrez / 12-1
20 -- Liasion / Baffert / Garcia / 50-1

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#9
Posted: 5/2/2012 7:23:34 PM

We are closing in on Saturday and I am looking forward to a fabulous and fun race. 

I think weather may play a small part in this before it is over.  Throw in a slightly sloppy track and a few more horses have a chance.

I feel a slightly sloppy track moves Alpha up the charts quite a bit.

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#10
Posted: 5/2/2012 9:05:36 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by ShotClock:

We are closing in on Saturday and I am looking forward to a fabulous and fun race. 

I think weather may play a small part in this before it is over.  Throw in a slightly sloppy track and a few more horses have a chance.

I feel a slightly sloppy track moves Alpha up the charts quite a bit.

 one of my hidden gems
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#11
Posted: 5/2/2012 9:09:21 PM

from DRF;

Here's the one thing we know for sure, the post positions.

1. Daddy Long Legs, 30-1: Been nice knowing you.

2. Optimizer, 50-1: Mr. Lukas deserves better.

3. Take Charge Indy, 15-1: Locally adjusted odds for wood worker Borel.

4. Union Rags, 9-2: Start will determine finish. Owes me money.

5. Dullahan, 8-1: With three sorry Churchill finishes, why so short?

6. Bodemeister, 4-1: A chief element in determining what to do with your money in the Derby is deciding what to do with this one. One of the best trainers wouldn't want his son named for a cheap claimer, so this one has figured since birth. No horse since about 1492 has won this after grazing through his second year. None has been this good. Since you can't play them all, one plan here would be to play Bode with a bunch in the overnight Oaks double, then forget him Saturday.

7. Rousing Sermon, 50-1: Pass the hat.

8. Creative Cause, 12-1: Here's something interesting. Creative Cause, at 12-1, beat Bodemeister, at 4-1, and made him apologize for thinking he could win as he pulled away at the end.

9. Trinniberg, 50-1: Get the oxygen.

10. Daddy Nose Best, 15-1: Victory in the sticks impressed somebody.

11. Alpha, 15-1: Wasn't quite quick enough to get away from a first-turn mob scene in New York.

12. Prospective, 30-1: Covered the owners with great seats.

13. Went the Day Well, 20-1: Note the language, obviously from England.

14. Hansen, 10-1: No painted tail games this time. Pin the tail on the owner wouldn't be a bad one.

15. Gemologist, 6-1: Has been criticized for not winning them all by enough lengths or speed points.

16. El Padrino, 20-1: Rare triple-figure Beyer.

17. Done Talking, 50-1: Not as lousy as the odds suggest.

18. Sabercat, 30-1: Owners have closer parking.

19. I'll Have Another, 12-1: Make it a double.

20. Liason, 50-1: Where has everybody gone?

Picks

1. Union Rags
2. Creative Cause
3. Gemologist
4. El Padrino

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#12
Posted: 5/2/2012 9:12:44 PM

With an eye on the first Saturday in May, Alpha worked over the Belmont Park training track Saturday morning, turning in a :59 2/5 five-furlong breeze with Rajiv Maragh aboard.

Going in company with stablemate Steele Road, Alpha was caught by NYRA clockers traveling the opening eighth of a mile in :11 3/5, a quarter in :23 1/5, and a half in :47. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.

The breeze was Alpha's first since his second-place finish to Gemologist in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial on April 7. Alpha is scheduled to fly to Louisville on Monday for an expected start in next Saturday's Grade 1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

"That was a little bit faster than most of our horses work," said Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains the son of Bernardini for Godolphin Racing. "He's only having this one work in between (the Wood and the Derby), so we wanted a good, solid half-out-five-eighths. He got a good, solid half-out-five-eighths in 59 and change, so it was a great work."

"The horse went really well. He started off nice and comfortable, and finished up really good and galloped out strong. It seems like he's right on target," Maragh added.

McLaughlin said Maragh could ride Alpha in the Derby but isn't ready to make a commitment to any particular rider.

"This week I'm talking to (Godolphin Racing Manager) Simon Crisford in England to firm up the jockey, but that's why we wanted him to work (with Maragh). If we entered this morning, he would be riding, but we just want to see if any other jockeys come open over the weekend and we would talk about it. He still might ride him if jockeys come open, but that's why we haven't named a rider. But (Maragh) liked him, and he said he galloped out great and did everything right, worked very well."

McLaughlin acknowledged that a fast pace could provide an ideal set up for Alpha, but also realizes that it takes more than having a talented horse and favorable pace scenario to win the Derby.

"We're happy there's a lot of pace, and we just hope we behave in the gate," McLaughlin said. "I feel like that's behind us. He schools all the time, he's great. You have to have a good trip and not get behind one (that's) stopping late."

Video of Alpha's work can be seen here.

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#13
Posted: 5/2/2012 9:13:30 PM

Video of Alpha's work can be seen here.

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#14
Posted: 5/2/2012 9:15:51 PM
Like chalk much!
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#15
Posted: 5/2/2012 9:21:30 PM
Yo...the format of this thread is completely messed up.  You should start another.  I think it is from cutting and pasting.
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#16
Posted: 5/2/2012 9:57:35 PM
Gemologist,will win...
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