04/02/2009 5:30PM

Lotsa questions


Just curious???  what's the story with charitable man?
fashion slipper

Charitable Man was my Derby horse after he broke his maiden at Saratoga, but he came down with a saucer fracture after winning the Futurity at Belmont.  Despite not have raced since then, Kiaran McLaughlin has indicated that he would like to try and make the Derby with Charitable Man, and is pointing for the Blue Grass.  Charitable Man has been working regularly at Palm Meadows, and you can follow his progress on our Disabled List.


Where do you think we’ll see Dunkirk pop up next?
A. Lexington (KEE) 4/18
B. Derby Trial (CD) 4/25
C. Kentucky Derby (CD) 5/2
D. Someplace else

The way things stand right now, I'd say (D) with a wild guess being the Peter Pan at Belmont.  But let's not count him out of the Derby just yet.  Let's say Mafaaz throws in a stinker in the Blue Grass and pulls out.  That leaves us with 20 spots with Dunkirk in twentieth position as it stands right now.  I realize that horses are going to earn lots of cash this weekend, but poor performances and/or injuries may knock some of the horses with higher earnings out of the picture.  The picture looks bleak, but let's not turn off the lights as the party isn't over just yet.


Dan, can you answer this question.  If a horse sets a track record and gets disqualified to second is he still recognized as the track record holder.
Randy J. Perez

In a word, yes.


My friends and I were wondering about something on Saturday. Ahmed Ajtebi and Mubarak bin Shafya won 2 $5 million races within a half hour. Has anything even close to this ever been pulled off? Japan doesn't count.

Not that many five million dollar races have been run on the same day.  I'm guessing this is a first without counting the inflated purses in Japan.


PGM, thanks a bunch for the Alysheba video, a little surprised by the lack of "interest" shall we say, in his passing. Oh well. He deserved to a be a triple crown winner, a poor ride by mccaron cost him. Ask Vic, he'll tell you exactly why he didn't win.

Check out these stories and memories:




Joe asked about the status of Haka.  She's been taken out of training with a minor setback, and should be back in serious training by the end of June.  You can follow her status on the Disabled List on the right hand side of the blog.


I don't get it with all of the Dunkirk talk and getting into the Derby. Here is a potential special horse- he could win the Preakness; fill in next race; Haskell; and The Travers. I, personally, don't think he is 'that' special. But why rush a lightly raced horse who didn't run at 2, and put him in the Derby where he'll have to pass 19 horses. I think people let the Derby fever get to them. I really hope he doesn't get in- except to bet against.

I agree with you that Dunkirk obviously has some historical obstacles to overcome, but his races thus far show that he belongs with the best of the crop, and I don't think Pletcher has really rushed him.  Dunkirk supposedly had some shins last year, and the connections rightly backed off his training.  He had 26 days between his debut and his second start, and 37 days between the second start and the Florida Derby. He's passed all of his tests thus far, and I believe Pletcher when he says he won't run until the Derby.  He belongs if he gets in.  It's not like a Deeds Not Words scenario where Lukas ran the horse just to run him.  If he doesn't run in the Derby, and stays sound, you're going to hear a lot from him down the road.  I actually like Pletcher's position.  The pressure is off.  You train him up to the Derby, a race in which he fits.  If he doesn't make it, you have a ready-to-race colt that can go in a number of spots.


Dan, I agree with your assesment of Coa's ride on BD. However, after stating that you feel the DQ was justified, you indicated that Phil wasn't going to get by Big Drama at the point of the second bump (by the wire)...
Isn't that kind of turning the rule on its head?

Is there a hard-and-fast rule concerning disqualifications, or are they merely judgement calls from the stewards?  That's one of the problems with the game.  There can't be consistency regarding disqualifications.  Would Phil have won if he wasn't bumped?  I don't think so.  That doesn't mean that he wouldn't have won.  Was Coa extremely reckless and careless?  I think he was.  Should he have been punished?  I think he should be.  Perhaps the best way to have adjudicated this matter would have been to keep Big Drama up, and give Coa days for careless riding.  That would make everyone happy (except This Ones for Phil fans).  Personally, I think that sends the wrong message to the public.  If it's egregious enough to give a rider days, then the horse should come down.  Just my two cents.


Can I suggest that your criticism of Frankie Dettori in Dubai is over the top.  It wasn't his best ever ride but, generally, over here in England our jockeys expect Group 1 horses to quicken naturally without the need for the whip until later in a race.  At worst he underestimated Regal Ransom, but other people have also done that.
Bernard Downes

Thanks for your comments and welcome to FormBlog.  You may be right but Frankie has ridden Desert Party before and he knows that DP is more of a grinder than an explosive finisher.  In both the Ford Flex Trophy and the UAE 2000 Guineas, Desert Party was right on top of Regal Ransom when they both began their finishes, and Desert Party was able to reel him in on both occasions.  Here, Frankie allowed Regal Ransom to steal this thing and simply gave Desert Party too much to do.  I think that Dettori is one of the best of all-time, and his ride on Raven's Pass in the Breeders' Cup Classic was brilliant.  This ride wasn't Swain-esque, but I do wonder what would have happened had he asked Desert Party for his run at the two and one-half.  I think the result may have been different.


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?
mike m

I would doubt it now that they have I Want Revenge in their care.  Of course, if I Want Revenge tanks in the Wood and Stardom Bound runs off the screen in the Ashland, things could change.  I think the plan is to still run her in the Oaks, and go for the Oaks/Derby double.


The sire was Vronsky, a son of Danzig. He won 3 times, a maiden and two allowances from 11 starts and he won over 100 grand. Any breeding experts care to do a little homework and backtrack his breeding a few generations to see what we got here? Maybe we can uncover the next Unusual Heat.
jim tully

Dan, could we see the PP’s for Vronsky and Redattore please. And just for giggles Pohave too.

Vronsky was a million dollar yearling purchase that won a mile maiden race on the grass at Santa Anita as well as a pair of sprints going down the hill at The Great Race Place. He earned a 100 Beyer finishing third in his final start against 'n3x' optional claimers, and was notorious for misbehavior such as jumping shadows and lugging during his races.  He is a half-brother to Del Mar Oaks (Grade 1T) winner No Matter What (the dam of all-world filly Rainbow View), and multiple Grade 2 winner E Dubai.  Vronsky's dam is Words of War (by Lord At War), a multiple stakes-winner of over 680K from the family of Grade 3 turf winner Ascutney (the dam of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Raven's Pass) and Belmont Stakes winner Phalanx.

Here are the past performances for Vronsky, Redattore, and Pohave:

Download Vronsky


tencent, umm what did I say? Regal Classic? Sorry, Dan, Regal Ransom.

You can find out some more info here:



According to Dick Downey of the Downey Profile, the connections of Justwhistledixie, Bet on Victor, Hull and Summer Bird are paying the $6,000 late nomination fee to have their horses nominated to the Triple Crown Trail.
Calvin Carter

Justwhistledixie will likely be pointed to the Kentucky Oaks.  Summer Bird may go in the Arkansas Derby.  The other two are talented, but light on seasoning.  Here are their past performances:

Download Late noms


 Blackberry Road is running on grass tomorrow at Keenland.
This horse seems to have alot of ability but cant seem to get over the hump.Do you like his chances tomorrow ?

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the horse.  He just hasn't shown that will to win since returning to the sidelines.  I think he'll do okay on turf (his previous effort on grass against tougher over yielding ground was sneaky-good), and he's not meeting the toughest field in the world, but he may be best played on the bottom of exotic wagers.


Hey Dan,
On your dvd you say that you are reluctant to play horses with a paddling motion. Friesan Fire has this paddling stride, do you think that this will affect his derby chances?

I wouldn't characterize Friesan Fire's action as paddling.  It may not be perfect, but his action is certainly smoother than that of The Pamplemousse. I won't downgrade him because of the way he moves.  In regards to paddling or poor action, I prefer to downgrade these kind of horses when they are overbet in cheaper races, especially off layoffs. Classy horses can sometimes overcome these conformational defects to win big pots.  In the case of The Pamplemousse, I will be somewhat put off when he switches to a dirt surface, but have no problems backing him on synthetics as he's proven capable on that kind of track. Perhaps the best way to try and beat horses with poor action is to get them when they're overbet over a surface that they've never tried before (dirt, wet, etc.).

I'll be honored to join Steve Byk on his "At the Races" radio program tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. on Sirius satellite channel 126.  Check it out if you get the chance

Back next time with some weekend opinions.

Take care,