03/27/2009 5:40PM

Derby stuff


The Derby fever is really heating up with the big prep in South Florida on Saturday so here are some facts and figures to consider.

I am pretty sure no one has won the Derby since the late 1800's without a start as a 2yo, a la DUNKIRK.

The last Derby winner without juvenile racing experience was Apollo in 1882. 


Dan, can you list the fields as you know them for the Wood and the Fla Derby - realize nothing is official yet.

Florida Derby:

1.  Toby the Coal Man - J. Leparoux/N. Zito (10-1)
2.  Quality Road - J. Velazquez/J. Jerkens (2-1)
3.  Casey's On Call - E. Baird/A. Fehr (15-1)
4.  Dunkirk - G. Gomez/T. Pletcher (9-5)
5.  Sincero - E. Trujillo/M. Azpurua (20-1)
6.  Theregoesjojo - K. Desormeaux/K. McPeek (5-1)
7.  Danger to Society - M. Madrid/R. Dutrow Jr. (6-1)
8.  Europe - C. Decarlo/T. Pletcher (20-1)
9.  Stately Character - R. Douglas/G. Procino (20-1)

Wood Memorial (possible entrants):

Atomic Rain
Danger to Society (if scratch from Florida Derby)
I Want Revenge
Imperial Council
Just a  Coincidence
Lime Rickey
West Side Bernie


Just for funs can you provide some Kentucky Derby stat info.  How has the highest beyer horse in the Derby faired? Can you give 15 years worth.  I still have nightmares of War Emblems 114 beyer and dismissing it because of the quality of the race.  In retrospect it was right there in bold print in the DRF.
Joe Private

Top three lifetime Beyers prior to Kentucky Derby:

Holy Bull (115 - Florida Derby)
Holy Bull (113 - Blue Grass
Smilin Singin Sam (112 - Remington Park Derby)

If you meant best last Beyer, then it's:

Holy Bull (113 - Blue Grass)
Smilin Singin Sam
Blumin Affair (109 - Arkansas Derby)

Go for Gin (107 - Wood Memorial) finished first at 9-1.  Holy Bull finished 12th as the 2-1 favorite.  Smilin Singin Sam finished 10th at 16-1.  Blumin Affair finished tird at 14-1.

Serena's Song (114 - Jim Beam)
Afternoon Deelites (111 - Hollywood Futurity)
Talkin Man (110 - Gotham)

Best last:
Serena's Song
Wild Syn (109 - Blue Grass)
Talkin Man (106 - Wood Memorial)
Afternoon Deelites (106 - Santa Anita Derby)

Thunder Gulch (105 - Fountain of Youth, 101 - Blue Grass) finished first at 24-1.  Serena's Song finished 16th as part of the 3-1 favored entry.  Afternoon Deelites finished 8th at 8-1.  Talkin Man finished 12th at 4-1.  Wild Syn finished 19th at 18-1.

Unbridled's Song (114 - Florida Derby)
Skip Away (113 - Blue Grass)
Halo Sunshine (106 - Golden State Derby)

Last three:
Skip Away
Cavonnier (104 - Santa Anita Derby)
Louis Quatorze (103 - Blue Grass)
Unbridled's Song (103 - Wood Memorial)

Grindstone (102 - Louisiana Derby, 100 - Arkansas Derby) finished first as part of an entry at 5-1.  Unbridled's Song finished 5th as the 7-2 favorite.  Skip Away finished 12th at 7-1.  Halo Sunshine finished 4th at 28-1.  Cavonnier finished second as part of a 5-1 entry.  Louis Quatorze finished 16th as part of a 13-1 entry.

Silver Charm (110 - Santa Anita Derby)
Free House (110 - Santa Anita Derby)
Pulpit (108 - 'n1x' allowance)
Crypto Star (108 - Arkansas Derby)

Last three:
Silver Charm
Free House
Crypto Star

Silver Charm finished first at 4-1 odds.  Free House finished third at 10-1.  Pulpit finished fourth at 5-1.  Crypto Star finished fifth at 9-2.

Indian Charlie (112 - allowance)
Halory Hunter (111 - Blue Grass)
Chilito (110 - Flamingo)

Last three:
Indian Charlie (111 - Santa Anita Derby)
Halory Hunter

Real Quiet (108 - San Felipe, 107 - Santa Anita Derby) finished first at 8-1.  Indian Charlie finished third as the 5-2 favorite.  Halory Hunter finished fourth at 6-1.  Chilito finished 11th at 34-1.

Charismatic (108 - Lexington)
Excellent Meeting (108 - Las Virgenes)
General Challenge (108 - Santa Anita Derby)

Best last:
Charismatic (108 - Lexington)
General Challenge (108 - Santa Anita Derby)
Menifee (107 - Blue Grass)

Charismatic won at 31-1.  Excellent Meeting and General Challenge finished 5th and 11th, respectively, as the 9-2 favored entry.  Menifee finished second at 7-1.

Fusaichi Pegasus (111 - Wood Memorial)
The Deputy (109 - Santa Anita Derby)
War Chant (107 - Santa Anita Derby)

Last three:
Fusaichi Pegasus
The Deputy
War Chant

Fusaichi Pegasus finished first as the 2-1 favorite.  The Deputy finished 14th at 9-2.  War Chant finished 9th at 9-1.

Millennium Wind (114 - Blue Grass)
Balto Star (112 - Spiral)
Keats (110 - Lexington)
Point Given (110 - Santa Anita Derby)

Last three:
Millennium Wind
Point Given

Monarchos (105 - Florida Derby, 103 Wood Memorial) finished first at 10-1.  Millennium Wind finished 11th at 9-1.  Balto Star finished 14th at 8-1.  Point Given finished fifth as the 9-5 favorite.  Keats finished 16th at 95-1.

War Emblem (112 - Illinois Derby)
Came Home (111 - San Vicente)
Medaglia d'Oro (107 - San Felipe)

Last three:
War Emblem
Medaglia d'Oro (105 - Wood Memorial)
Perfect Drift (103 - Lane's End)

War Emblem finished first at 20-1.  Came Home finished 6th at 8-1.  Medaglia d'Oro finished 4th at 6-1.  Perfect Drift finished third at 7-1.

Empire Maker (111 - Wood Memorial)
Funny Cide (110 - Wood Memorial)
Ten Most Wanted (110 - Illinois Derby)

Last three:
Empire Maker
Funny Cide
Ten Most Wanted

Funny Cide finished first at 12-1. Empire Maker finished 2nd as the 5-2 favorite. Ten Most Wanted finished 9th at 6-1.

Read the Footnotes (113 - Fountain of Youth)
Smarty Jones (112 - Rebel)
The Cliff's Edge (111 - Blue Grass)

Last three:
The Cliff's Edge
Lion Heart (110 - Blue Grass)
Smarty Jones (109 - Arkansas Derby)

Smarty Jones finished first as the 4-1 favorite.  Lion Heart finished second at 5-1.  The Cliff's Edge finished 5th at 8-1.  Read the Footnotes finished 7th at 22-1

Bellamy Road (120 - Wood Memorial)
Afleet Alex (108 - Arkansas Derby)
Greeley's Galaxy (106 - Illinois Derby)

Last three:
Bellamy Road
Afleet Alex
Greeley's Galaxy

Giacomo (98 - Sham, 95 - Santa Anita Derby) finished first at 50-1.  Bellamy Road finished 7th as the 5-2 favorite.  Afleet Alex finished 3rd at 9-2.  Greeley's Galaxy finished 11th at 21-1.

Sinister Minister (116 - Blue Grass)
Keyed Entry (110 - Hutcheson)
Sweetnorthernsaint (109 - Illinois Derby)

Last three:
Sinister Minister
Brother Derek (108 - Santa Anita Derby)

Barbaro (103 - Florida Derby) finished first at 6-1.  Sinister Minister finished 16th at 9-1.  Keyed Entry finished 20th at 28-1.  Sweetnorthernsaint finished 7th as the 5-1 favorite.  Brother Derek finished in a dead-heat for fourth at 7-1.

Street Sense (108 - Breeders' Cup Juvenile)
Curlin (105 - Arkansas Derby)
Circular Quay (102 - Louisiana Derby)
Any Given Saturday (102 - Tampa Bay Derby)
Liquidity (102 - Sham)
Teuflesberg (102 - Southwest)

Last three:
Circular Quay
Hard Spun (101 - Lane's End)

Street Sense finished first as the 9-2 favorite.  Hard Spun finished second at 10-1.  Curlin finished third at 5-1.  Any Given Saturday finished 8th at 13-1.  Circular Quay finished 6th at 11-1.  Liquidity finished 14th at 40-1.  Teuflesberg finished 17th at 51-1.

Bob Black Jack (109 - Sunshine Millions Dash)
Big Brown (106 - 'n1x' allowance, 106 - Florida Derby)
Pyro (105 - Breeders' Cup Juvenile)

Last three:
Big Brown (106 - Florida Derby)
Gayego (103 - Arkansas Derby)
Recapturetheglory (102 - Illinois Derby)
Z Fortune (102 - Arkansas Derby)

Big Brown finished first as the 2-1 favorite.  Recapturetheglory finished 5th at 49-1.  Pyro finished 8th at 5-1.  Z Fortune finished 10th at 19-1.  Bob Black Jack finished 16th at 29-1.  Gayego finished 17th at 18-1.


Another thing. Shouldn't we wait for Dunkirk to actually have some graded earnings before we crown him the Derby fave? If he doesn't run first or second in the Florida Derby, does he even get in? What does third in the FD pay?
jim tully

If Dunkirk finishes third in the Florida Derby, he'll earn $75,000 in graded stakes cash.


Alan Garcia anytime on the turf at the Gulf.
He even pulled it off on the weekend, with the turf race in doubt, could have been pulled to dirt.
This all started last year when he won at long odds (think it was Gulf.) Second horse behind him on backstretch was pulled up or broke down.
He was in his usual position up front, safely out of harm's way.
He is easily a flat bet profit on the turf, and usually pays a good price.
Flip Dawson

The numbers back up Flip's confidence in Garcia's ability.  In 2009, he is 21-118 (17%, $2.23 ROI) in grass races.  Since January 1, 2007, Garcia is 150-925 (16%, $2.02 ROI) on grass.


Thanks for link, and I did read the article.  But it all seemed a bit too tidy, a bit too neat, so I went back and looked at my Breeder's Cup files, and it appears that Raven's Pass ran with first-time Lasix that day.  At least, that's what my DRF PP's show, and I even highlighted this on my paper.  I wonder what else he was running on (e.g. Bute)?
Van Savant

All of the horses that ran in the 2008 Breeders' Cup Classic raced with Bute.  Only Casino Drive raced without Lasix. 


 Is there any correlation to the age of 3yr.old  in the Derby and Derby winners ?  I would think that those 3 yr. olds that are older would be more developed and mature.

Probably nothing more than an interesting coincidence, but every Derby winner since Charismatic (March foal, won Derby in 1999) was foaled in either February or April.


Dan, How many times has Jones given a mount to Thompson this year and how many times to Dominguez. I am willing to bet Thompson over 40 and Dominguez less than 5. The other time Jones went to a big name jockey we all know what happened the worst race of Hard Spun's career

Jones and Thompson are 12-46 (26%, $3.01 ROI) in 2009.  Dominguez and Jones have only teamed up with Old Fashioned this year (1-2, 50%, $1.50 ROI).


Question: How much attention does everyone pay to the movements of the tote board? I don't pay much heed. If I like a horse then I bet it. It doesn't matter much to me that my horse is "dead" on the board but I have a few friends who like to see their picks getting play, especially late money. That doesn't make much sense to me. Why would I want my odds to click down.  So to those who do pay attention to the board, what are you looking for (early money? Late money?) and how do you recognize it when you see it.
jim tully

Jim asks an excellent question.  I've spoken to many handicappers about the subject, and they all seem to look at tote action a bit differently.  I can only tell you that I follow the board more in maiden races than any other condition, and I'm intrigued when a horse with low-profile connections takes a huge chunk of the early action (at tracks where the pools are large enough that it actually matters).  I don't care if a Pletcher firster opens up getting bet hard, but if a barn that doesn't win very often gets the kind of early play that makes you wonder, then my interest is piqued.  Usually, those horses drift up as horseplayers are drawn to the perceived "value" of the more obvious contenders.  I usually don't try to compare the first few flashes with the morning line as I prefer to make my own line, but if there is a fairly great discrepancy between my line and the tote, I'll pay some attention.


I know that Rosario lad can ride at Santa Anita, but what about Churchill Downs? What are his credentials? Has he ever ridden in the Kentucky Derby?

Rosario has yet to ride at Churchill Downs.


Hi Dan,
I was watching race replays of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe to look at Youmzain for Dubai this weekend. I was wondering if you could post the retired Zarkava's past performances. Really an amazing filly. Thanks

Here they are:

Download Zarkava


Gonna go with Quality Road in the Florida Derby.


Congrats to Joe for his narrow win in HandiGambling 126.  He gets to pick the next exercise.


Have a wonderful weekend.


mike m More than 1 year ago
dan the other day i overheard that ieah might still consider stardom bound for the derby and not the oaks,have you heard anything of this sort?
Stephen L. Taylor More than 1 year ago
I tried to post $100 on 10-Flaming Arrows for the contest tomorrow but someone else grabbed the same thing so I'll go with a $100 exacta 10-3 straight. Flaming Arrows should get a great trip sitting behind the speed and off a nice closing 3rd at 6f, he should really like the extra 1/2 furlong. (He'll be my "real money" bet) 2-Forest Crusier is prime power pick (by alot) and probably the logical play among a dismal group. (Won't be spending any money in the gimmix, but to avoid a tie, I'll just make it an exacta)
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
Gunbow, excellent posts on Beyer accuracy, I have been using that little check system for quite some time (going down the order of finish to determine if the Beyers make sense for all of the runners). Your point about Stately Character is powerful, and if this game were easy, your job would end there, but now a horseplayer has to analyze what it means, and how to profit from the knowledge, no easy task. Great post, I hope everyone reads it.
chicago gerry More than 1 year ago
Alan, One other thing on the Chart: The Win and Place horse came out of the same Post Position in their prior race.
Alan More than 1 year ago
Chicago Gerry, All interesting findings...but that's not it. A new record was set in this race... vicstu, Since every so often you might be getting homesick, you may want to try to catch this show (it's being shown in Maryland on public television tonight): http://wbal.com/apps/news/?a=24145&z=3
johnnyz More than 1 year ago
Hey all, Haven't checked in for a week or so, what a mountain of thoughts to read tonight. I just have to comment on Dukirk. I didn't bet him, actually all my money in the Fla. Derby was on Quality Road. With that said I think so many aren't seeing the overall picture here. Dunkirk for just his third race ran very well, especially considering all things against him that many have already pointed out. For me, evaluating Dunkirk's ability, especially evaluating his chances in the Derby if he gets in won't lie just with his performance in the Fla. Derby. While many bashed his Mdn. win because of the low BSF, it was a performance that appeared more like a seasoned runner. His Alw. win was even more impressive considering his wide trip that never wins at GP. So in my perspective, with his performance yesterday in just his third race and his impressive gallop out he is not one to throw out yet IF he gets in the Derby. Go back and watch replays of his first two as IMO they are just as important as his last when trying to anaylize the true ability of this colt. It WAS JUST his third race and, no foundation as a TWO yr. old. Pretty impressive run IMO considering pace and track conditions. Also, an UB'Song out of an AP Indy Mare with 2nd dam out of Alydar, won't get 10F??? Give me a break, what in the hell does it take for some of you to think that a horse can run classic distances? Happy Birthday Steve T. if you are reading. Posted by: johnnyz
BigEasyBigChok More than 1 year ago
Jim Tully, Sorry for a tardy response to your question. When I handicap I pay almost zero attention to odds and if they move one way or another unless a horse I strongly favor is too short to play. Example: Was playing Gulfstream yesterday (sunday) and really favored a horse but used 3 others underneath and made small ex savers with those 3 over my top choice. 1 of the horses I used was 15-1 morning line and drifted up to 50-1 by post. Did not affect my wagering at all. Hate to post this after race but my favored horse won, 50-1 ran second and 1 of the other 2 I used hung on for third for a nice ex and tri score. My advice is if you like a horse and you believe in your handicapping stay with it. We are all wrong more often than we are right in this game anyway, correct? BigEasyBigChok
BigEasyBigChok More than 1 year ago
C, Must agree with you concerning comments about Dunkirk. Although I hope he is a starter in Derby as IMO he is a huge play aginst for the win spot. One of the last few if not only historical bias left to be broken is no horse who has not run at 2 will win derby as last horse to do so was in 1800's. Matt, am feeling you on FF even though we have a few more prpeps to run. Currently he is at top of my derby list and again hope Dunkirk makes the gate as that will help blow up odds on FF. BigEasyBigChok
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
Chocalate Candy's last 5 works, he has not raced since Valentines Day, when he was a little "too fresh" according to baze (I wouldn't put TOO much into anything he says of this nature) and was closer to the pace than usual and went to the lead sooner rather than later. Here's what Hollendorfer said a few days ago: "I didn’t want to dance every dance with this horse,” Hollendorfer said about the upcoming Santa Anita Derby. “He should run very well fresh. We’re not going to worry about it [the layoff]. He’ll have one breeze here, and then a blowout.” This horse could, once again, lay closer than usual, if that same "freshness" materializes as it did for the Valentines Day (Slaughter? Massacre?) umm Shootout, which came 28 days after the Cal Derby. This being a longer layoff, will he find himself closer to the pace again? He said he was going to finish his work with a blowout, so maybe he wants to be closer? This could work to his favor if the Moose gets company up front and he finds the garden spot in 3rd. In any case, CC came back to work only 8 DAYS after the Valentines Day score. Later on, he worked 7 furlongs and two flat miles over a 12 day period (March 13 to the 25th). What do you guys think about his works? On Feb. 22, CHOCOLATE CANDY worked four in :48.20 (5/37) at GG. On March 2, CHOCOLATE CANDY worked five in :59.80 (1/6) at GG. On March 8, CHOCOLATE CANDY worked six in 1:12.60 (1/13) at GG. On March 13, CHOCOLATE CANDY worked seven in 1:25.80 (1/1) at GG. On March 19, CHOCOLATE CANDY worked a mile in 1:41.20 (1/1) at GG. On March 25, CHOCOLATE CANDY worked a mile in 1:38.60 (1/1) at SA.
DiscreetPicks More than 1 year ago
Some years ago, I remember Baffert entered-and-scratched a horse. I can't remember who, but I know he was a longshot and it appeared to be a ploy to keep another horse out (can't remember who that was either).