04/03/2008 4:17PM

DERBY, OAKS, 3yo talk


Hi Dan give me your thoughts on Harlem Rocker .

Some people are saying he's Pletcher's best three-year-old right now, and while I won't go that far, I have been impressed with the way he's won both of his races.  In his career debut at Gulfstream, he completely missed the break, but showed some agility by advancing on the rail late on the backstretch.  He angled four wide on the turn, and put in a sustained run to win despite perhaps idling just a bit once he made the front in the stretch.  Last time out, he again put in a prolonged wide run, and was being eased up under the wire.  The gray lacks seasoning, and hasn't really been tested, but he goes about his work well, and has no problem with passing horses.  I'll be interested to see where he goes next.  The Stronach homebred earned a 95 Beyer in his one mile allowance race at Gulfstream.  He's by Macho Uno, and is the first foal from the multiple stakes-placed Freedom Come (9-4-3-0, $218,401), a half-sister to Grade 3 route winner Boomzeeboom.  The second dam, Zee Lady (by Unreal Zeal), was a stakes-winning sprinter at two in New York.


I would love to know your anaylsis on Salute the Sarge. (unfortunately, Georgie Boy is out) but how about this other West Coast prospect?
SR Vegas

I have to admit that I wasn't much of a fan of him at two.  He may have been aided by a closer's bias in his career debut at Del Mar, then won a slow edition of the Best Pal.  I also wonder if he's more a late-running sprinter than a true route horse.  That being said, I think that Eric Guillot did a great job nursing Salute the Sarge back to the races after he was sidelined with a sore ankle.  He enjoyed a favorable setup to win the San Miguel, however, and Guillot may be rushing this horse a bit to get him into the Derby.   I'm going to be cautiously pessimistic about his Derby chances for now. 
Salute the Sarge is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Chelokee, and stakes-winner Mymich by Forest Wildcat.  His dam, Dixie Ghost (by Silver Ghost), was Grade 2-placed going long on the turf.  The second dam, Mississippi Dixie (by Dixieland Band), is an unraced half-sister to Grade 1 turf winner Dismasted.  The third dam, Nashima (by Nashua), won four of eight races, and is a half-sister to French Group 2 turf winner Kilmona.  The fourth dam (by Tulyar) was a stakes-winner on grass.    
He has an intriguing grass pedigree if his connections opt for that route later down the road.


How many times Swaps and Nashua race against each other and what the the score?
Calvin Carter

The two champions battled each other twice, but their rivalry was never settled by a rubber match.  The California flash bested favored Nashua in the 1955 Kentucky Derby.  Swaps, sent off at 5-2 under Willie Shoemaker, went gate-to-wire to post a 1 1/2 length victory over Nashua.  The two faced each other again on August 31, 1955 in a $100,000 Match Race at Washington Park.  That race was also at ten furlongs, but this time it was Nashua who grabbed the early lead.  After motoring a half mile in :46 flat, and three-quarters in 1:10 2/5, Nashua drew off under Eddie Arcaro to post a 6 1/2 length triumph over Swaps, the 3-10 favorite under Shoemaker.


Let's look at some of the big stakes races in tomorrow's blog.

Take care,


Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Dan- Hope your father is doing well. All- Thanks for the tips and support at the NHC contest yesterday. Ended up 13th (good for $500) and considering it was my 4th contest ever I was extatic. The key was Super Blitz in the SA 2nd (cap horse!) Steve-had it down to Super Blitz and Exude but price was better on Super Blitz (even though I wasn't chasing anyone just yet) and the clincher was Drysdale 29% 1st lasix. Justin and Riley- good effort from Z Humour yesterday. (talked to a local trainer Thursday, and he confirmed what I already had suspected, the way the track would play the front was the place to be-When a horse gets loose on the lead like that at Hawthorne, the party's usually over! so the best you could have hoped for is 2nd-I'll be at CD on Derby Day and right now Z Humour is on my short list on the gimmix. (I've already got $10 in pool one and $20 on all others in this pool, so I've got him well covered in the win bets) and remember 4 of the last 15 Derby winners hadn't won at age 3 going into the Derby) Will be interesting to see where Larry Jones takes Proud Spell. While she isn't as good as Street Sense, when you think about it-2nd on Poly race prior to the "big one" (be it the Derby or Oaks) and with Country Star very disappointing, Larry Jones has two of the top contenders-wonder if either Proud Spell or Eight Belles end up in the Derby? (Kinda hoping so-got on the all others yesterday-last time I looked it was 14/1 and for the large number of horses I think I'll get, I think there's definite value-but either one of the Fillies would sure add to it. Just hope Jones doesn't announce he's sending one until after the pools close!
johnnyz More than 1 year ago
larryk, Thanks for the insight on Colnel John's namesake. I really like this horse, from many aspects. Starting in Jan. of each year, I not only track the contenders, I REALLY STUDY them. I'm not one to brag, but the money I have made on the Derby the last few years is insane. I will brag on the fact that it hasn't been luck but, keeping astute records, and tracking every variable known to mankind in the horse racing world. SA Derby, Colonel John, & El Gato Malo, over Yankee Bravo exacta bet. Will box those three in a Tri. Apple Blossom, Zenyatta, W/P, I feel this one is ready to make a statement. OP's quirky surface is the ideal place for it to happen. The Wood, I think the real Court Vision shows up and nips War Pass for the win. Will play these two with Texas Wildcatter in a tri-box. Ill. Derby, probably won't bet this one. Denis of Cork will win IMO. I like Atoned alot, but he has become a wise-guy bet, so there will be no odds there. Will play a win bet on Atoned if 3/1 at post time. The Ashland, Proud Spell, and Country Star are probably two of the better three yr. olds period. Bsharpsonta has made me some serious bucks so I will do a W/P/S on her. Number wise it looks like she is up against it, but the gal just keeps getting it done. Best of luck to all!
cayman01 More than 1 year ago
Okay, we'll put today's near miss behind us a move to Saturday's Pick 4 at Keeneland. Race 7: Wide open affair.ROYAL DIANA and GLORIOUSLY will duel for the early lead and get pressed by SPOKEN. This should set things up nicely for stalkers AND A CHERRY TREE and LATEST SCOOP ( who should really benefit from distance turnback.LADY ON HOLIDAY will be flying late.Lanerie had his choice in this one and he went with SPOKEN who has a synth win and sassy workout to boot. Put her up, and add a little LATEST SCOOP and LADY ON HOLIDAY. Race 8: EMBOSSED and CHATTAHOOCHEE WAR look best on the soft going. I'll go with them and throw in TRUE DANCER at a price. Race 9: NOt much pac ehere, so look for Camacho to put BSHARPSONATA on the lead and try to steal it. She can do it. PROUD SPELL will stalk and COUNTRY STAR and ABSOLUTEY Cindy will try to close but be too far back. Going with BSHARP and PS. Race 10:Riley? Are you there? Tell Kent D. to set a nice leisurely pace up front and he'll win. LE DAUOHIN should win this easily on the front if the jock is in the game.If KD goes down in flames, again, then COMMODOR BOB and DON"TWAIT TOOLONG seem to be the best of the soft goers.
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Thanks fellow Boxers for the well wishes and tips for the contest tommorrow. (It's 5am and I'm putting the finishing touches on my preparations) Steve T-The 2nd at Santa Anita is mandatory and while it's too early to need a bomb, I do like Exuma. The other price shot is Super Blitz who gets lasix and blinks and has every right to improve off that debacle in his first start. Hyperbalic is actually going to be my pick in the Arcadia. The last was a nice comeback, and the 6 weeks off after that layoff is a positive in my opinion since it may help us to avoid a bounce off the big effort. Appreciate the bomb in the SA Derby but since I'm going to save a few optionals for the last hour or two (I will probably be making 10 of my 15 plays the last 2 hours of the contest) I'm guessing I'll get an acceptable (5/1 or more) price on Bob's Blackjack who I like so much here that I'm going to actually bet real money on him. In the Il. Derby, I have a feeling that Atoned will bounce which leaves Z Humour and Golden Spikes, depending on price, or Real Appeal (who seems to be the "wise guy horse" with the "experts" The Wood belongs to War Pass I think, problem is that most other people feel that way. With the slop, I guess it would be hard to use Giant Moon (even if he runs) and Texas Wildcatter will probably get enough support at the windows to make him unplayable in a contest, same goes for Court Vision-That leaves Roman Emperor at a nice price-if you throw out the last (which might be a good idea since with the fog it was almost impossible to even see the race)you're looking at a horse who, if War Pass is on his game, will run second, and if he's not could be close enough to the pace to win at a square price. Well, back to the "finishing touches" and thanks again for all your support. Hope to meet lots of you in Vegas (the tourney season is just starting!)
Nick Briglia More than 1 year ago
Best case scenario the next couple of weeks. War Pass wins the Wood and people jump back on the bandwagon only to lose it all on Derby day when he runs up the track. Pyro gets beat on Keeneland's goofy track just like Street Sense last year. Helps his price on Derby day and he also gets the advantage of synthetic to dirt which seems to really help horses stamina.
cayman01 More than 1 year ago
Opening day at Keeneland!!! Let's take a look at the $200k late Pick 4. Race 7:COMMUNIQUE ran well off the bench in her last and should move forward against these. She also ran well here on the soft ground in October. BRANTLEY will be forwardly placed and have first shot at the frontrunner.Also very good on the less than firm footing.PRIMA UNA DAMA will be that frontrunner and has a shot at a wire job if a) she goes slow on the front and b) can handle the softer turf. ****************************** If we go off the turf in this one, I'll use PRIMA UNA DAMA and MADAME BRILLON. ****************************** Race 8:YOU GO WEST GIRL broke her maiden here and should get a nice pace setup to close into. KINDLING also will be closing fast and is 7 for 9 ITM on poly. and for a price horse give me DARING JULIE who is 8 for 17 on the funny stuff with a nice second in her only start here. Race 9: If it's firm PRUSSIAN walks away with it. If it's not....toss him. I like RILEY TUCKER in here.He'll get first go at PRUSSIAN when he falters and looks like he'll handle turf just fine ( good synth win and workout). I'm going to chuck BARRIER REEF. He's going from the speedy hard inner track surface of the Big A to soft turf. I do not care for that angle. I'll look for a price in FREE FIGHTER. Nice win in last out, and two back wasn't too bad on the soft as he was steadied in first turn. ***************************** If we go off the turf then I'll look for RILEY TUCKER to do a wire job, and BARRIER REEF to try and catch him. ****************************** Race 10: I'm going off the reservation in this one. ST. JOE had a lifetime best here in October and flattered that with a near bullet work here on 3/29. NOBLE HERO also freaked here in October and will be a fat price as he's done nothing since. TALK OF A CAT and THE DARP should show nice closing kicks as the speed wears down. 3x3x3x4 for $108, I don't think they have a .50 Pick 4, but they do have............. drum roll please.............. the Super High Five.It will be interesting to see how that plays on the east coast. If I were to single? YOU GO WEST GIRL is the best candidate. Win plays will be ST. JOE, and NOBLE HERO in the 10th. DARING JULIE in the 8th, and PRIMA UNA DAMA in the 7th. As for the BSF Debate I say just use it to your advantage. If you are sure a number is too high or low make a note of it and use it when the horse runs next. If you're right it gives you an advantage nobody else will probably have. I'm confident that Andy Beyer and Co. do their best to give us the most accurate figures they can. Are mistakes made? Sure, but I don't think it's very often.Do adjustments need to be made? Maybe in California. We'll see when the three year olds come east. One thing to remember is that Beyer and Co. have only their credibility to trade on. They stand to lose a big chunk of change if they LOSE that credibility. So I think it's safe to say they do the best they possibly can.
C More than 1 year ago
CaliBob, For a while, I was doing the same thing with black tape. Now, believe it or not, my eyes don't even go there anymore. Dan from Albany, I agree all the way. Ray, Jason, RE: Aqueduct. To be perfectly honest, it's the patrons, not the facility itself, that make Aqueduct dumpy. Still, for simulcasting, Aqueduct is 1000 times better than Belmont (freeze in the Fall, sweat like crazy in the summer) if you're willing to pay a few bucks and go into the Kelso room. I like Belmont for live racing, but in the offseason, I'll gladly drive further into Long Island and go to the Race Palace and actually be comfortable while still getting track prices.
Alan More than 1 year ago
Blue Horseshoe, The only interest my son has in racing is ogling the girls on the Preakness infield with his frat&rugby buddies. This year (the Preakness is a week before his college graduation) he wants to bring a "dozen of his closest friends" down here for the experience (to stay in the house we're still trying to sell) - we are currently in negotiations over the final # of visitors! larryk, KEE has had 50cent P4 in the past but do they still have it this year?? They have been historically one of the low takeout tracks and the 50cent P4 was just another reason I loved them... Here are Laura's photos - thank you so much once again for the great pictures!! Our group is Formblog Photographer and this is our 1st of hopefully many future sets (I've never done this before, so hopefully it works - just click on the slideshow): http://www.flickr.com/photos/25328935@N04/sets/72157604380373170/ When I have a little time, I'll also go back and add the NHC pictures. Also please send me Formblog reunion pictures for inclusion as well. Good luck today!!!
johnnyz More than 1 year ago
I thought I posted my Derby picks last night, but for some reason they didn't show up. So I will do it again. Tom, kind of defending Dan and, myself when you see my rankings. There is more to ranking Derby hopefulls than BSF's. Colonel John has alot going for him besides being out of Tiznow and, a Turkoman Dam. His late Bris Spd. fig in the Sham S. was 115, only 3 yr old with a better late bris spd fig was El GAto Malo in the same race, 117. A more important factor was CJ raw time in the last 1/8 was 11.9 seconds. Is a huge factor in considering Derby contenders IMO. Big Browns last 1/8 in the Fla. Derby was 13 seconds flat, which with the fast early fractions was still outstanding. For reference, Adriano in the Lanes End's last 1/8 was 12.7, Cool Coal Man's in the Fla. Derby was 13.9. Using those two examples as they were both 9F races. Will leave it with this, the horse I bet on to win the Derby will have a last 1/8 in a 9F race under 12.5 seconds. This weeks rankings: #1 (1) Pyro, has showed improvement from 2 to 3. Has won on real dirt, and I like the fact he layed closer to the pace in the LA. Derby. #2 (2) Denis of Cork, Don't like his prepartion for the Derby at all. Just feel of all the "top tier" contenders his running style, the maturity he has shown on the track, along with his closing kick, makes him a possible winner. #3 (3) Colonel John, really feel he will like 10F better than 9F. With his pedigree I feel the syn. to dirt will be a plus. Can't help but have some thoughts as to why Gomez jumped ship to ride Court Vision. #4 (4)El Gato Malo, has probably already out ran his pedigree. Is talented in a way that can't be trained or inherited from blood-lines. Has a fighters tenacity that might earn him the roses. #5 (nr)Big Brown, Very fast & gifted runner. His 3 races spooks me. While impressive, I don't feel he is any more of a natural talent than Curlin. A real positive IMO is he has won on turf, the slop, and a speed favoring GP Track. I place versatility in a 3yr in high regard. #6 (6) Court Vision, Was my #1 early this year. Tough as nails horse has the pedigree, the trainer, and now Gomez as his pilot. Needs a good effort in the Wood. #7 (8)Atoned, PLETCHER, his last was pretty darn good. Also has one of the best 10F pedigree's of all the contending 3 yr. olds. #8 (10)Cool Coal Man, I will take notice of his effort in the Bluegrass. A win in that one will move him up. #9 (nr)War Pass, I think he will run big in the Wood. Still feel he is a world class miler. #10 (11)Tomcito, no doubt this one will like 10F better than 9F. Actually looked pretty darn good in the Fla. Derby. #11 (nr)Smooth Air, really feal his Fla. Derby run was good. Has a running style that could shine in the large Derby field. #12 (nr)Kings Silver Son, The Asmussen trained colt's performance in the Rebel really went unnoticed. He will be known after the Ark. Derby IMO. Talk about bad ROI, had 2 tickets for $384 in the $1 p-9 @ Hawthorne today. Hit 8of 9 on one, missed in the first with #2, got the show. Returned 16.80. Would like to play again tomorrow, was lots of fun. Any of you Hawthorne regulars playing? Would love to see your picks, $7402K carry-over. Laura, thanks for the link to the Kee. contest. Almost forgot about it. Also, from your post last night, I am not familar with G1Goldmire at all. I have played around with TesioPower. They have a free download demo. Is a real push button program that is very user friendly. Steve V., Best of luck in the Carter H with Bustin Stones. I think he fits well, will put a decent W/P bet on him Best of luck to all at the Keeneland opener tomorrow. Hope the weather Gods are kind to all Doesn't look real promising right now.
larryk More than 1 year ago
Cayman01, Kland, does have .50pk 4's. Lots of rain last nite yr as the storm was still rolling KY at 4AM.