04/09/2009 5:04PM

Final Preps


Wrote the Saturday newspaper column about Saturday's Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass and got lost in old pp's and charts seeing where Derby winners and favorites have made their final preps in recent years. Here are the last 15, color-coded by race:

Not surprisingly, there's a lot of blue and yellow in there for the Wood and Santa Anita Derby. More surprisingly, the winners of those two races are a combined 2-for-33 in the last 20 Derbies; the last five winners of both races all missed the trifecta at Churchill; and 10 straight Santa Anita Derby winners have finished worse than third in Kentucky. A $2 win bet on all Wood and SA Derby winners in the last 20 years would have cost $66 and returned $14.80 -- $8.20 on Sunday Silence in 1989 and $6.60 on Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000.

defmike More than 1 year ago
It is very hard for me to get excited about the classics when i see the direction that a sport i have loved since a child is headed towards. I wish that the handicappers and bettors of this wonderful sport could get united in a meaningful way so we could help turn this around. I mainly bet the southern ca. circuit and most of the races have become unbettable due to small fields. I could use some feedback.
Dan MacKenzie More than 1 year ago
In the 2008 Kentucky Derby, the 20 starters ran in 8 prep races. The average finish is where the horse finished in the Kentucky Derby divided by the number of starters from that prep race. An example: The average finish out of the Florida Derby was 6th. Big Brown 1st and Smooth Air 11th divided by 2. I was surprised by the average finish for horses out of the Blue Grass. Fantasy (1 / 2) Eight Belles 2nd Florida Derby (2 / 6) Big Brown 1st, Smooth Air 11th Illinois Derby (3 / 7.3) Denis of Cork 3rd, Recapturetheglory 5th, Z Humor 14th Wood Memorial (3 / 8) Tale of Ekati 4th, Anak Nakal 7th, Court Vision 13th Santa Anita Derby (2 / 11) Colonel John 6th, Bob Black Jack 16th Arkansas Derby (2 / 13.5) Z Fortune 10th, Gayego 17th Blue Grass (6 / 13.6) Pyro 8th, Cowboy Cal 9th, Visionaire 12th, Cool Coal Man 15th, Big Truck 18th, Monba 20th Lanes End (1 / 19) Adriano 19th
race More than 1 year ago
To "Prozackjack"---I agree hold heartely with your comments with Desormeaux---He's a head case, and cannot be trusted. My wife keeps telling me to let it go, but after he blew the Belmont with Big Brown with enough room for a Tracker Trailer to go through on the rail, I swore off him--and yes, he had to leave California go to another Country, and now he's riding high--Believe me---he'll show his color's soon in a big race, he already does every other day and it's head scratching, but not a big enough race to get any ink, and those in California will say "I told you so"----race
bochalls More than 1 year ago
It is my opinion that General Quarters will run well in the Ark Derby today...would offer ya'll my Blue Grass opinion but i am helpless at Kee...NYRA doesn't run on Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday (religious reasons?) and judging by their Good Friday card they shoulda taken yesterday off too (MdnClm,MdnClm,MdnClm...see a pattern developing?)
Unitas More than 1 year ago
Steve, I have a question for you...Are there any interactive chats scheduled this year regarding the Kentucky Derby as you have had in years past? I really liked these chats, with the likes of Andy Beyer, Mike Watchmaker, and of course, yourself. Was interesting to see all the different angles horseplayers used, and the answers that were given by the pros. Thank you, and thanks for the continuance of this blog.
gk_in wisc More than 1 year ago
bochalls: I too liked Gen'l quarters I noticed the 100 + beyer and he HAD run on synthetic... but as you posted AT KEENE NOT at Ark !!! hope you saw your mistake !! he ran a great race and keyed a 1400 TRI! also liked papa clem as PONYMAN pointed out and he won! Hope both of you had your winners. Bring on the Derby it is gonna be a GREAT puzzle again this yr wow lots to "study" and disect in the next few weeks! Steve I like your info and trends and I have seen many of these you listed here in the past. A columnist out of Chicago had pointed out a few of these a couple of yrs ago and he was very accurate too. These can be very helpful.
Scott More than 1 year ago
check that, it was Monarchos. Won the Fla Derby with a huge Beyer, then finished 3rd in the Wood. Losing that last prep led to great prices on both Thunder Gulch and Monarchos on Derby day...
Scott More than 1 year ago
fashion_slipper, the last one I can remember was Thunder Gulch in 1995. He won the Fla Derby before finishing 4th in the Blue Grass 3 weeks later.
beerbelly More than 1 year ago
Sherpaguide: it makes the blood boil watching a subhuman like Ernie P be in a position to do what he did. In the spring/summer of 1995 he destroyed the racing career of Unbridled's Song by racing him against Cigar after a injury suffered during the Kentucky Derby. The majority of owners in this great sport are probably equine-lovers. Use the word "probably" because this is the age of skepticism.
$BILL More than 1 year ago
just in time for the triple crown we give them more ammo to use against us in the form of the classless ernie paragallo doing what his type do best making the rest of us look so bad,nyra &the jockey club should get together & ban him for life, have an emergency sale to disperse the horses stabled @ aqueduct & get together with old friends rescue & let them handle the whole mess @ the farm, to quote evil ernie "ive got to take care of the farm" excuse me ?????????????? do not let this imbecile near these horses ever again as a matter of fact how bout 25 to life for this #&^%$$#@*&!!!!!!