05/07/2008 4:26PM

Manila, Derby angles, etc.


Not to mention, when was the last time the third place finisher in the Santa Anita Derby wasn't p...ointed to the Derby? David Hofmans never had any intention of running Coast Guard in the Derby...
Stephen Cedroni

You have to go way back...all the way back to 2004...when Rock Hard Ten was placed third in the Santa Anita Derby.  Like Coast Guard, he didn't have enough earnings to get into the Kentucky Derby field.  Kafwain (third, 2003) and I Love Silver (2001) also didn't race in the  Derby. 


...Horseracing needs Big Brown to be the real deal, but wasn't his beyer only about par for the last 7-8 runnings? Not exactly super-horse time. Hopefully, Dutrow knew what was in front of him & only needed him to be 90-95%, with room to improve or at least not regress in the 2 weeks 'til the Preakness...

Big Brown earned a 109 Beyer for his Derby win.  It's about par for the Derby since 1992, but faster than Giacomo (100), Smarty Jones (107), Fusaichi Pegasus (108), Charismatic (108), Real Quiet (107), Thunder Gulch (108), Lil E. Tee (107), and Sea Hero (105), and equal to Funny Cide (109).  Faster Derby winners since 1992 include Go for Gin (112), Grindstone (112), Silver Charm (115), Monarchos (116), War Emblem (114), Barbaro (111), and Street Sense (110). 

People ask me who Big Brown has beaten.  The answer is simple.  It's everyone that's lined up in the gate against him.


I've come up with a brand new angle for helping pick a Derby winner.  It's winning at a 17% clip now over the 134 year history.  It involves leaning with the horses that have only made 3 career starts up until the Derby :) 

(smile).  That's a good one, Afi.  I, myself, prefer the "bullet work in the final prep" angle.  Adding in Big Brown (3F - 35.40, best of 19), eight of the last 13 Derby winners showed a bullet as the final workout before the race.



It's probably not going to happen.


I don't blame Saez for the injury, don't get me wrong. I just don't see the purpose in his using the whip in the final strides with no chance to catch Big Brown and no chance of being caught...What did Rags to Riches do after running in the Belmont?  When they run these races at that age they are done.  Let them duke it out with the boys when they get older like Ouija Board instead.

Ouija Board, like most females in Europe, mostly raced against males.  Two of her three races at age two (third in 23-horse field, and maiden win) were against the boys.  She finished third in the Arc against males as a three-year-old, and beat the boys in the Hong Kong Vase at four.  She beat Dubai World Cup winner Electrocutionist in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at five, and finished second that year in the Irish Champion Stakes as well as third in the Japan Cup.
Rags to Riches only ran once after the Belmont, and she was only beaten a half-length in the Grade 1 Gazelle. 
Eight Belles had a tendency to lug in during the stretch drive.  Saez may have been using the whip to keep her from bumping into the rail.


Please be quiet...
The similarities to 2006 are striking!!  The one potential negative to Harlem Rocker is his pedigree - Bernardini had a classic pedigree but can Harlem Rocker also go two-turns??...

Harlem Rocker is a son of Macho Uno, the juvenile champion of 2000.  Macho Uno won at distances ranging between 5.5 furlongs (maiden win at Saratoga) to nine furlongs (Pennsylvania Derby, Massachusetts Handicap), and is a half-brother to Awesome Again, a multiple Grade 1 winner at 10 furlongs. 
Harlem Rocker is the first foal of Freedom Come, a multiple stakes-placed sprinter on both turf and dirt by Lit de Justice.  Freedom Come never raced beyond seven furlongs, but her half-brother, Boomzeeboom (by Explosive Red), won the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. 
The second dam, Zee Lady (by Unreal Zeal), was a listed stakes-winning sprinter at two in New York. 
There seems to be enough stamina in this pedigree to go long, but Harlem Rocker is still a bit green (note how he hopped back to his wrong lead when perhaps bored late in the Withers), and he may be pointed towards races like the Canadian Triple Crown series.


...But, If I know him like I think I do - He hates having to bring back his real good horses w/ short rest. Look at all his great ones that he has campaigned: Saint Liam, Kip Deville, Sis City, Benny the Bull, Diamond Stripes, The Silver's (Wagon & Train)- He has given all these ample time in between races, and always had them prepared to fire their best shot in the big spots.
Steve V

Steve V. makes a great point, and the statistics from Formulator 4.1 back him up.  Over the last five years, Dutrow has only raced three horses off two weeks or less rest in Grade 1 races. 

Love of Money finished fifth in the 2005 Met Mile, Kazoo finished sixth in the 2007 Carter, and Ice Cool Kitty finished seventh in last year's Beldame.

Dutrow is 0-8 in all graded races with horses wheeling back in two weeks or less.  With those horses, he has three seconds (Dark Cheetah in 2006 Bold Ruler, K. D.'s Shady Lady in 2004 Tempted, Mr. Umphrey in 2008 Skip Away).

In non-graded stakes over the past five years, Dutrow is 1-14 with horses returning in two weeks or less.  The winner was Herecomeshollywood in the 2007 Mr. Prospector at Monmouth. 

Adding in all of his horses, Dutrow is 93-421 (22%, $1.80 ROI) over the past five years with horses returning within two weeks.


I recall that Congaree raced surprisingly late into his career (compared to his peers) without the administration of Lasix.  Because of this, I respected him more for his accomplishments, and always wondered if he might sire more durable runners.  I don't recall a more versatile multiple G1 winner since Precisionist. 


Here are Congaree's lifetime past performances.  You'll note he raced with medication in every race.  You're probably thinking of another runner.

Download Congaree.pdf


I find the prospect's of Curlin skipping the B.C. Classic to run in the Arc or Japan Dirt intersting to say the least. Do you think it has to do with running on a synthetic surface? I know Jess Jackson wants to showcase him to the rest of the world but I'm skepticle that the thought of him running poorly over S.A.'s rubbish are scary. What are your thoughts?

This has the potential to be a huge story.  After the trials and travails that Asmussen went through with Pyro over the Keeneland polytrack, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if he skips the BC with Curlin because of the synthetic track. I'm not sure either international race is a better option as we all know that Asmussen likes shipping Curlin in ahead of time to get acclimated to his surroundings.  That probably wouldn't happen if Curlin goes to Paris or Japan.  It's too early to speculate, but the synthetic stuff is scary to some trainers.


Let's try to find a "sound" sire line tomorrow as well as discuss the interesting foreign imports for races like the Peter Pan and Belmont.