04/27/2009 5:12PM

Derby thoughts, Beyers


*Friesan Fire's bullet workout of 57.80 for five furlongs this morning was very fast, but also extremely predictable.  It's just the Cowboy's way.  Jones was criticized for working Hard Spun five panels in 57.60 just five mornings prior to the 2007 Derby.  Hard Spun, by the way, ran just fine. 

Here's Jay Privman's piece regarding Hard Spun's quick Derby drill:


The Hard Spun workout isn't the only example of a Jones-trained Derby hopeful working quickly before the big dance.  The ill-fated Eight Belles breezed five furlongs in a spritely 58.20 before her runner-up effort last year.

Clockers caught Friesan Fire's fractions at 11.20, 22.20, 33.60, 45.20, 57.80, and out six furlongs in 1:14.00.

*According to a press release from Churchill Downs, I Want Revenge has some abrasions on his left knee. 

"He got cast in his stall the night before his first work here," said Jeff Mullins in the press release."  You can see the scrapes on his head and everywhere else.

*It's a shame that Quality Road won't be competing in the Derby, but it's the best thing for the horse to get a break.  When one as good as Quality Road tells you it's time to take a step back, you do so.  More often than not, the horse will reward the patient connections in the long run.

*The "hype" horse this year was supposed to be the lightly-raced phenom Dunkirk, but he has yet to arrive at Churchill Downs for trainer Todd Pletcher.  Anyone else get the feeling he's going to swoop down on these hallowed Twin Spires with a big run on Saturday?

*Clockers caught Rachel Alexandra's work in fractions of 11.60, 23.20, 34.80, 46.40, and out five furlongs in 58.40, and six panels in 1:10.60.  The Kentucky Oaks favorite continues to impress onlookers at Churchill Downs, and has scared many a filly away from the historic race.

"Man, she just looks fantastic," said rival trainer Bob Baffert in a Churchill Downs press release.  "What a racemare.  She's a superstar."


Here are the winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's stakes races:

*Richland Hills (LS):  Kays and Jays (M. Mitchell/J. Lezcano) - 105
*Irving Distaff (LS):  Hotlantic (D. Keen/J. Figueroa) - 103
*Withers (Aqu):  Mr. Fantasy (K. McLaughlin/R. Migliore) - 102
*Fifth Third Elkhorn (Kee):  Spice Route - GB (R. Attfield/R. Douglas) - 101
*Miami Mile (Crc):  Wesley (M. Hennig/J. Castellano) - 101
*Vincent A. Moscarelli Memorial (Del):  Acting Zippy (W. Bennett/D. Cohen) - 100

*San Francisco Mile (GG):  Mr Napper Tandy (J. Carava/J. Garcia) - 99
*Jacques Cartier (WO):  Disfunction (J. Carey/E. Ramsammy) - 98
*Texas Mile (LS):  Jonesboro (R. Morse/M. Berry) - 97
*Sumter (Crc):  Motovato (M. Wolfson/E. Trujillo) - 97
*Inglewood (Hol):  Madeo (J. Shirreffs/M. Smith) - 96
*La Prevoyante (Crc):  Criticism - GB (T. Albertrani/J. Castellano) - 95
*King's Point (Aqu):  Wishful Tomcat (R. Dutrow Jr./R. Dominguez) - 95
*Milwaukee Avenue (Haw):  Stonehouse (J. Broussard/P. Compton) - 94
*B. Thoughtful (Hol):  Waveline (B. Cecil/R. Bejarano) - 94
*Woodstock (WO):  Bearcatt (R. Baker/E. Wilson) - 92
*Goldfinch (PrM):  Don'ttalktome (J. Hicklin/T. Thompson) - 92
*Derby Trial (CD):  Hull (D. Romans/M. Mena) - 92
*Snow Chief (Hol):  Compari (M. Jones/G. Gomez) - 91
*Tiznow (Hol):  Liberian Freighter (N. Drysdale/R. Bejarano) - 91
*TVG Khaled (Hol):  Unusual Smoke (A. Avila/M. Garcia) - 91

*Harry Henson (Hol):  Backbackbackgone (P. Miller/R. Bejarano) - 89
*Fran's Valentine (Hol):  Bootleg Annie (K. Walsh/R. Bejarano) - 89
*Bosselman/Gus Fonner (Fon):  Budge Man (K. Gorder/J. Ponce) - 89
*Sandra Hall Grand Canyon (TuP):  Hidden Character (W. Rarick/M. Hernandez) - 89
*Grey Memo (Hol):  Tribal Justice (J. Sadler/R. Bejarano) - 89
*Grey Goose Bewitch (Kee):  Winter View (J. Sheppard/J. Leparoux) _ 88
*Emergency Nurse (Crc):  Annabill (Mi. Wolfson/J. Sanchez) - 87
*Governor's Lady (Haw):  Nicks (C. Janks/L. Wade) - 87
*Henry S. Clark (Pim):  Brickell (E. Maher/H. Vega) - 86
*Dwight D. Patterson (TuP): Instantly (R. Diodoro/M. Hernandez) - 86
*Peach of It (Haw):  Home's the Best (B. Williamson/L. Wade) - 84
*Daylight Sprint Thoroughbred (Sun):  Dos and Don'ts (J. Nall/C. Lambert) - 82
*Robert S. Molaro (Haw):  Mighty Rule (C. Janks/J. Campbell) - 82
*Melair (Hol):  Pretty Unusual (B. Abrams/R. Bejarano) - 82
*Wando (WO):  Awesome Rhythm (J. Ross/J. McAleney) - 80
*Joanne Dye (TuP):  Racetrack Barbie (J. Guerra/V. Guerra) - 80

*Land of Lincoln (Haw):  Agnostic (B. Williamson/L. Wade) - 79
*Ann Owens Distaff (TuP):  Beacon Falls (S. Gann/A. Morales) - 79
*Tony Sanchez Memorial Mile (Man):  Mr. Grumpy Stripes (J. Lara/J. Collier) - 79
*Auburn (EmD):  Noosa Beach (D. Harwood/J. Gutierrez) - 79
*Warren's Thoroughbreds (Hol):  Rule the Storm (G. Vallejo/V. Espinoza) - 77
*Grand Prairie Turf Challenge (LS):  Southern Region (S. Asmussen/C. Landeros) - 77
*White Rino (TuP):  Capt. Joe Blow (L. Sharp/M. Hernandez) - 72
*Pretty Jenny (Haw):  Bow Tie Pasta (T. Dorris/E. Razo Jr.) - 71
*Russell and Hellen Foutz Distaff (SRP):  Let the Musicbegin (C. Greenwood/M. Perez) - 71

*Inaugural (EmD):  Ladyledue (B. Jenne/R. Frazier) - 66

*Arizona Breeders' Derby (TuP):  French Hit (R. Owens/J. Barton) - 54
*Manor Downs Thoroughbred Futurity (Man):  Man Chester Man (C. Asmussen/D. Pettinger) - 52

Here are the lifetime past performances for the highest and lowest Beyer stakes horses of the week:

Download Highlow


Dan (or anybody else),
This might take some time to figure out, but how many horses have even ran in the Kentucky Derby off a layoff of more than 5 weeks in the last 15 years? Other than HARD SPUN, i can't think of any other horse that did.

I went back 14 years, and found these names:

Adriano ran off a 42 day layoff in last year's Derby. 
Hard Spun ran off a 42 day layoff in 2007.
Circular Quay ran off a 55 day layoff in 2007.
Read the Footnotes ran off a 49 day layoff in 2004.
Friends Lake ran off a 49-day layoff in 2004.
Birdstone ran off a 42 day layoff in 2004.
Perfect Drift ran off a 42 day layoff in 2002.
Request for Parole ran off a 42 day layoff in 2002.
Essence of Dubai ran off a 42 day layoff in 2002.
Express Tour ran off a 42 day layoff in 2001.
China Visit ran off a 42 day layoff in 2000.
Curule ran off a 42 day layoff in 2000.
Worldly Manner ran off a 233 day layoff in 1999.
Rock and Roll ran off a 41 day layoff in 1998


Given Touch Gold won the 1997 Belmont with a patched foot from a quarter crack, any chance we can see the past performances for him before the big dance next Saturday? 
Touch Gold

Here they are:

Download TouchGold


Hi All-
Can someone please help me find the come home times of the last set of derby preps.  I used to be able to find them the the Courier-Journal website but I don't see the C-J Derby Track feature this year.  Papa Clem seems like a horse one the improve, but he was being gained on by Summer Bird and Win Willy.  Based on this I'm thinking his come home time was subpar??  Thanks
Joey D

Here are some come-home times according to Formulator Web:

Arkansas Derby:
Papa Clem - final eighth 12.26, final three-eighths 37.16
Summer Bird - 11.86, 36.97
Win Willy

Blue Grass:
General Quarters - 11.94, 35.87
Hold Me Back - 11.77, 35.97
Join in the Dance - 12.09, 36.80

Advice - final 2 1/2 furlongs in 29.53.
Square Eddie - 30.55


Back later.

Take care,


Rodis B More than 1 year ago
My hat to Mind That Bird and Trainer Chip W who was D-rail of the triple crown by money supplement which is good for anyone who has it. Mind That Bird you are a true winner.
jon More than 1 year ago
vicstu Regarding RA beyers, She hasn't run the last 16th of a mile in any of her starts this year. Her beyers are still far in away better than the rest of the field anyway. You watch the races and there is no denying she could have gone much much faster in any of her starts this year. Watch the footage before you doubt the pundits. She is the best three year old in the country, and she will prove it tomorrow.
jim tully More than 1 year ago
Thanks everyone for the encouragement about my cold streak. My shoddy handicapping must have something to do with the start of the golf season in Chi. A slave can only serve one master. For the Chi. bloggers, I will be at the Mud Bug on Weed St. both Fri and Sat.
jim tully More than 1 year ago
Zenyatta is vulnerable for 3 reasons: the prediction of a sloppy racetrack. Yes, I have seen numerous horses who have run and trained in south Cali ship east to dominate on the dirt, but a sloppy track is another story. There is no reason she wouldn't handle it but how to be sure, especially if it is a speed favoring surface? Secondly, this is her longest layoff ever. Is she fully cranked? There is another undefeated freak in this race who is in racing form and runs on the lead. Thirdly, this race was Plan B. Connections had a Hollywood stakes in mind but it was canceled. That said, she'll probably win and I will probably skip the race. The second choice probably won't be meaty enough of a price to entice me to take the shot. ----------------------------- Chi Bulls let another get away tonight. I wish Derek Rose would be more aggressive on offense and learn to play defense. The next screen he fights through will be his first. And how is Paul Pierce allowed to make three straight shots from the same exact spot on the floor without a change in the way he was defended. Force him left, for cryin' out loud.
C More than 1 year ago
This might be an OK crop of 3YOs, but the defections have made this a rather weak Derby. Dunkirk has only raced 3 times, once in a stakes which he did not win; he's going to be (at least) the 4th betting choice. That says something. This field is not that much better than last year's, imo. The overall crop, I think so, the actual Derby field, I'm not so sure.
Matt M. More than 1 year ago
With the early lick expected in the Oaks, I think GG is a must use with Flying Spur....I would love to be able to get 8/1 underneath with her. It'll be very interesting to see where Espinoza feels Gabby should be ....I think it will be a better race than people think....rachel will have her hands full.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Danny B, Picky, picky, picky. :) I do firmly believe that if CC hadn't run well in the SA Derby, Jerry wouldn't have sent him to CD. I guess you can't prove me wrong either. Lol Annie
Steve T. More than 1 year ago
DRS, You are right, the scenario I see for MHS winning could indeed be his undoing. If he loses momentum he will finish like the Sham or SAD. But that is true for any other horse - a frontrunner who breaks poorly or a closer that finds himself close to the front. As with everything in horse racing I am taking a calculated risk - if the favorite is 4/1 and MHS is 40/1, do I have ten times the risk with MHS? I don't think so; I estimate that I am probably 4x less likely, BUT my return is 10x. Plus, in a 20 horse field every one of the runners runs a much higher risk of problems. There is also the issue of getting 10F, and on that count I am not concerned at all with MHS, plus he has never been passed by anyone. Taking a flyer that your horse is going to progress is always risky, but I think I have enough positive variables (surface switch, rider switch, longer stretch, etc.) to warrant a big move. I know if he wins there will be howls aplenty, "just another Giacomo" - which is pretty accurate because Giacomo had the same style as MHS. Several years ago (actually 15) I had a set up just like this in a BC race with a horse by the name of Tikkanen - I had tracked him for six months before the race and was confident I had an opening and I took it hard. Tikkanen won and paid $35. One of my advantages (and disadvantages) as a handicapper is my willingness to wade in there with a horse that others think has no chance, and I publicly state what I am going to do. Yes, most of the times others can laugh and point after the race, but sometimes they have to say "where the hell did he pull that one from".
blackstone More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas Heard Dan being interviewed live last Saturday morning for a half an hour. Although he asked "not to be held to it", he was picking-------Dunkirk. I'm sure he'll come out with that, and obviously the reasons for it, soon.
dk More than 1 year ago
I've narrowed my picks down to a top 3 with a few underneath prop longshots: Musket Man - confident he will be ready to run well Saturday, great style and will to win will overcome pedigree concerns. To me he appears to be full of himself and hope that price will continue to improve as more people get off his bandwagon. Freisan Fire - Think he may be the most talented horse in the field and pedigree cries out for the Derby distance. Pioneer of The Nile: Baffert has him ready, likes to win and looks to me like he will settle in mid pack and make his run. Good 2 yold foundation and another who just keeps winning. Can easily see these three battling down the stretch for the Roses. Live Longshots: Hold Me Back/Desert Party/General Quarters Not keen on I Want Revenge or Dunkirk as I think they may encounter some traffic woes and their price/win probability ratio will be too low to consider. The new Oaks/Woodford/Derby Pick 3 is a nice opportunity to spread in the derby a bit and maybe enjoy overlaid payouts. Good luck to all!