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Author: [Horse Racing] Topic: KY DERBY PREPS DISSECTED
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#1
Posted: 4/23/2012 4:16:32 PM

OK, so my personal mission is to try and dissect every single Derby prep to try and narrow this field to a much more manageable number.  As of right now it's "all" "all" "all" for me!

I'll take as many as I can each day until I get through all of them on the DRF page.

Your critiques, opinions and views are all welcome!  Hopefully this helps sniff a winner out (for someone).

HB

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#2
Posted: 4/23/2012 4:27:15 PM

The Grade III Sham had five participants on 1/7/12 none of which will stuff the gate on 5/5/12.  So we move on to the Grade III Lecomte on 1/21/12 at Farigrounds.  Thirteen entrants going 1mile & 70 yds.   The only possible starter for May 5th appears to be Hero of Order and he is likely doubtful because he would have to be supplemented to the race.

If he makes the gate it's significant because he's more confirmed speed.  He's an improbability to hit the board, but he would asure what appears to be an already fast pace.

Hero of Order is the 1A in this video clip:

http://www.drf.com/events/lecomte-stakes-fair-grounds

Regardless whether or not Hero races on 5/5, this prep would be a non-factor in your handicapping. 

HB

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#3
Posted: 4/23/2012 4:33:02 PM
HB, have you strictly ever played a horse in the derby just on their derby workouts & if so, how have they done?
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#4
Posted: 4/23/2012 4:43:57 PM

Next up is the Gr III Holy Bull Stakes.  Contested at one mile on the Gulfstream main track.

Hansen used this as his first race of 2012.  He stumbled very badly at the start of the race and rushed up to run away and lead by as many as four or five, before being engulfed by Algorithms at the top of stretch.  It appears in the replay Dominguez is able to get Hansen to relax a bit in the middle of the race, but the second fraction of 22.03 doesn't tell a similar story.

All in all not a horrific first race back over a sloppy and sealed track for Hansen.  It appears as though he wouldn't be opposed to having a surface with some moisture in it on Derby Day (Gotham was listed as "good").  Somehting to keep an eye on.

Third place finisher My Adonis (not a Derby entrant) who appears to be flying at the end of this race was a most unimpressive seventh while recently contesting the pace in the Wood.

http://www.drf.com/events/holy-bull-stakes-gulfstream

HB

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#5
Posted: 4/23/2012 7:59:23 PM
QUOTE

Originally Posted by PrimeTimeBoys:

HB, have you strictly ever played a horse in the derby just on their derby workouts & if so, how have they done?

Never have.

If they don't work great, I would rule them "out" if they were on the fence anyway.  I'm just not adept at understanding trainer intention and patterns to be able to rule a horse in based on how they work.

A great example of this is AK last year.  He was working great, but there was no way I was playing a horse bred for turf who never raced on dirt.  Live & learn, right?

HB

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#6
Posted: 4/23/2012 8:28:30 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by HolyBull:

Never have.

If they don't work great, I would rule them "out" if they were on the fence anyway.  I'm just not adept at understanding trainer intention and patterns to be able to rule a horse in based on how they work.

A great example of this is AK last year.  He was working great, but there was no way I was playing a horse bred for turf who never raced on dirt.  Live & learn, right?

HB



I loved how AK closed in every race before the derby & I toldd my cousin 2 weeks before the derby that he had a shot at winning & I got off of him as well when derby day came along......I played Much Macho Man.....WPS 
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#7
Posted: 4/23/2012 8:29:41 PM

On to the Grade III Withers Stakes going 1 1/16th on the Aqueduct Inner Dirt.  A six horse field which will only produce one contender for the Derby in Godolphin Stable's Alpha.

This was a "much the best" type of effort, as he was parked wide on both turns but easily swept to the front and professionally buried these overmatched 3yos.  Not a lot to learn from this performance other than this guy is certainly a contender.

If I didn't read that Dominguez chose Hansen five minutes before typing this I would have upgraded Alpha off this effort.  Regardless, nothing wrong with this performance and I think it's a great step in the right direction, especially considering the price will be fat on this son of Bernardini.

http://www.drf.com/events/withers-stakes-aqueduct

HB 

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#8
Posted: 4/23/2012 8:31:07 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by PrimeTimeBoys:



I loved how AK closed in every race before the derby & I toldd my cousin 2 weeks before the derby that he had a shot at winning & I got off of him as well when derby day came along......I played Much Macho Man.....WPS 

You'll have a chance for redemption with Went the Day Well. 

 

HB

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#9
Posted: 4/23/2012 8:44:42 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by HolyBull:

You'll have a chance for redemption with Went the Day Well. 

 

HB



Imo, the derby winner will be 10-1 or lower this year........so it wont be Motions horse, at least imo.
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#10
Posted: 4/23/2012 8:47:37 PM

How many do you think will be < 10-1?

 

HB

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#11
Posted: 4/23/2012 8:56:13 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by HolyBull:

How many do you think will be < 10-1?

 

HB




(Bode, CC, UR, Hansen, Gemologist) the 1st four definitely, (maybe Alpha) & possibly Dullahan.............
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#12
Posted: 4/23/2012 9:02:10 PM
Nice thread Bull

Little worried about Alpha.
Workout somewhat sketchy.

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#13
Posted: 4/23/2012 9:11:04 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by PrimeTimeBoys:




(Bode, CC, UR, Hansen, Gemologist) the 1st four definitely, (maybe Alpha) & possibly Dullahan.............


Meant to say the 1st five.......I cant count!
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#14
Posted: 4/23/2012 9:23:45 PM

Agree on Bode, UR/Gem, CC.  Those four should all be less than 10-1.

I'm not so sure about Hansen.  "I think" the public will dismiss him due to his running style and the way Dullahan went by him.  Although there's a part of me that thinks Hansen didn't see him coming up the outside.

What about I'll Have Another?

Vet, I'm worried too, but I'm going to put some faith in McLaughlin there.

HB

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#15
Posted: 4/23/2012 9:27:55 PM
great thread, I will definitely follow and add any valuable input.  I have watched all races and it the best place to start.  Worse thing we can do is read espn/drf articles, they know less than us. 
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#16
Posted: 4/23/2012 9:28:39 PM

The Dominguez defection, workout and infection all has Alpha sliding in the 12-1+ category.  What a price!

HB

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#17
Posted: 4/23/2012 9:46:03 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by HolyBull:

The Dominguez defection, workout and infection all has Alpha sliding in the 12-1+ category.  What a price!

HB



I believe you're right about Alpha...........as for I'll Have Another, he may be the wiseguy pick, I dont know but he may be 10-1 or less as well after rating & winning his last two races.........
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#18
Posted: 4/24/2012 9:58:53 AM
18 of the past 20 derby winners had at least 1 workout over the Churchill track going into the derby..............

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#19
Posted: 4/24/2012 11:44:07 AM

Very excited about our next prep review, because finally we have a race with some substance!  The Grade II Robert B Lewis run at 1 1/16th on the Santa Anita Main Track 2/4/12.

There were four possible Derby starters who ran including the intriguing I'll Have Another, Rousing Sermon and horses still under consideration Liaison & Isn't He Clever.

Let's take the winner first.  I'll Have Another "looked" amazing in his first race back after a five month layoff and a disappointing  performance after shipping to Saratoga for the Hopeful.  He's 3/4 wide on the first turn, runs sub 24 splits around the track and looks professional changing leads / drawing off in the lane.  He showed an ability to rate in his first try at two turns and couldn't have been more impressive/ professional the way he drew away from the field.  A great prep race for a KY Derby resume! A+

Rousing Sermon.  Here's why I watch prep races.  This guy did nothing to embarass himself in this prep.  He was parked four and five wide on turns and continued to close "mildly" in the lane.  He certainly passed horses. Was he close to I'll Have Another on this day? No way!  Did he show ability to be part of the picture with a decent closing kick down the road?  Sure he did.  This horse is a potential longshot if you are of the school that the West Coast favorites are the horses to beat.  Beyer came up light at 84 first off the bench in 2012.  Off this race alone he should be given some consideration for bottom of exotics at a HUGE HUGE price.

Isn't He Clever was unrateable from the rail and semi blew the first turn.  He maintained the lead to the top of the stretch at which point he hit the wall, stopping badly, causing Liaison to spill.  Considering this was his first try at two turns, and he has shown some rating ability, I would completely toss this performance.  Especially considering Assmussen has taken over the training.  He gets a pass from me in this one.

Liaison seemed to rate comfortably just off the hot pace but lacked running room when turning for home.  He appeared to clip heels off the front runner who was quitting and lost the jock.  Note he was pounded to $1.50 and this wasn't a terrible effort first off the bench.  I need to see if there was a closing kick before I dismiss this one.  He's a closer who should get 1 1/4.

I was originally very dismissive of the West Coasters.  No longer after watching this replay from the perspective of all four 3yos.  This has the potential of a key race and I wouldn't criticize anyone for keying I'll Have Another on top (Mario G and all).

http://www.drf.com/events/robert-b-lewis-stakes-santa-anita

HB

 

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#20
Posted: 4/24/2012 4:53:59 PM

Up next is the Grade III Sam F Davis Stakes at Tampa.  Distance is 1 1/16th on the main track.

The only contender in the field was John Oxley's Prospective.  However, recent defector Reveron was also a part of the field and finished second in the FLA Derby, so I think his presence is significant.

Prospective was 2nd off a layoff and 2nd time 2012.  In this race he got stuck in the 11 post and was parked wide heading into the first turn.  He was wide most of the way around the track and seemed to just run one speed all the way around the track......until he started closing like a freight train in the final 16th.  This is where the significance of Reveron comes in.  We know Reveron was classy enough to hold off the likes of UR & EP in the FL Derby, so I think his presence makes this qualifies the race as a bonafide prep for Prospective.

One thing I'm quickly finding out is that there are more quality closers in this race than just Dullahan.

http://www.drf.com/events/sam-f-davis-stakes-tampa-bay-downs

http://static.drf.com/horse/charts/tam2012020411.pdf

HB

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#21
Posted: 4/25/2012 2:04:52 PM

Our next prep is the Grade II Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream which produced no starter with any kind of impact on the 2012 KY Derby.

So we will pass and move on to the next race.

HB

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#22
Posted: 4/25/2012 2:18:54 PM

The next prep up for review is the Grade III El Camino Real @ Golden Gate Fields.  Run at 1 1/8th over the Poly.

The winner of this race was Steve Assmussen's Daddy Nose Best.

A rail skimming trip most of the way for the son of Scat Daddy and Grand Dam was Thunder Gulch.  Leparoux had a ground saving trip around the first two turns and then tipped outside turning for home.  This guy locked up with the classy Lucky Chappy in the lane and had pretty good stretch duel to the wire with that one.

Up to this point he had yet to answer the dirt question against this level of competition, but that was adresses in a prep we will get to down the road.

With Gomez picking up the mount and his closing style he must get consideration for just about anywhere on your ticket. 

Basically another good looking contender who has shown an ability to rate and close.

http://www.drf.com/events/el-camino-real-derby-golden-gate-fields

HB

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#23
Posted: 4/26/2012 10:32:49 AM

The Grade II San Vicente Stakes, 7F @ Santa Anita on 2/19/12.

Creative Cause was the only Derby Contender in the field and basically just checked the box in his first start of 2012.  This was one of those races (handicappers dream) where it didn't matter if he won or not, they were just looking for a good effort.  If the race was one more furlong he probably gets there or it's three noses on the wire.  Nothing special, just "checking the box" for first time out in 2012.

http://www.drf.com/events/san-vicente-stakes-santa-anita

HB

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#24
Posted: 4/26/2012 10:37:03 AM

Unfortunately neither the 1st or 2nd divisions of the Southwest Stakes  produced any potential Derby starters.

I thought originally Castaway had the goods.  It just wasn't meant to be.

HB

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#25
Posted: 4/26/2012 10:58:01 AM

The Grade II Risen Star, 2/25/12, 1 1/16th @ Fair Grounds.

Certainly an important prep race with at least two serious contenders and the mix as well as a few outsiders.

The winner El Padrino, sat a perfect stalking trip around the track and fought Mark Valeski down to the wire, finally getting up by a nose.  Mark Valeski sat just off the eary leader Hero of Order, took that one at will entering the top of the lane and dueled inside of El Padrino right down to the wire.  MV appeared to be veering out a bit in the lane and bumped a few times with EP.  This was MV's first time going long, but he did not appear to want to go long.  Both EP & MV earned 98 Beyers for their efforts.

Optimizer, bumped at the start, was rank entering the first and final turns, also very wide around the track.  He gave nothing turning for home, but I would toss this effort considering he was very hard to handle for the first 7f+.  Lukas must have choked Marquez after this race.

I thought the stretch duel was good experience for the top two finishers, other than that it appeared to be a pretty easy race for all participants.

http://www.drf.com/events/risen-star-stakes-fair-grounds

HB

 

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