03/03/2009 5:24PM

Quality Road, head-ons, gallop-outs, pp's


With all due respect Dan (and i do consider you to be one of the sharper DRF guys), how does Quality Road "skyrocket to the top of Kentucky Derby lists" after his FOY win? Impressive as he was (and he did look great), the Derby is two months away and Quality Road has not even ATTEMPTED two turns yet. That doesn't bode well for his chances, not at all. In my opinion, you guys in the media (DRF and elsewhere) are far too quick to annoint these horses as legit Derby threats.

...Conversely, if you go back and look, you'll see that The Pamplemousse shut it down very quickly after his one-mile San Rafael win. Virtually no gallop-out at all. Did that mean he wouldn't like extra distance? Well, judging by the Sham, absolutely not. He also shut it down very quickly after the Sham, so i guess that's simply the way he is. I don't think it means much in his case... 

You make a good point.  The media does get overly-excited about the "flavor of the week" when it comes to Derby preps.  And why not?  We're fans, and we can't wait for the world's most famous horse race.  Throw up a 113 Beyer Speed Figure while doing it the right way, and it's easy to get excited.  I think that Quality Road is going to move up on a lot of lists because there are question marks all over the place.  Pioneerof the Nile and The Pamplemousse are very good horses, but will they handle dirt?  Dunkirk, as you pointed out later in your post, is behind the eight ball in terms of seasoning and graded earnings.  Friesan Fire is as honest as the day is long, but he hasn't shown that "wow" factor just yet.  Desert Party is in Dubai, and that's been a huge jinx.  General Quarters must prove he isn't a fluke.  Will Hello Broadway go two turns?  How sound is Big Drama?  How good are New York-breds Mr. Fantasy and Haynesfield?  Is Stardom Bound even the best three-year-old filly in the country, let alone the best of both sexes?  Right now, Old Fashioned is the measuring stick.  He's also the chalk.  The only thing the media likes more than jumping on the latest bandwagon colt is to latch onto a wiseguy horse for their Derby lists.  It's part of the contract we sign, and it's also what all horseplayers look for:   Potential value at an early stage of the game.  Should we label Quality Road the next Secretariat?  Of course not.  Yesterday, while lauding his Fountain of Youth, I wrote, "How good is he?  Let's not anoint him the Derby winner until we've seen him go two turns, but he is a very promising prospect."  I agree with you.  Until they go two turns successfully, the jury is always out on a potential Derby contender.  But he's fast, and that's a good starting point.

I'm also with you concerning The Pamplemousse and his gallop-outs.  I'll admit that I was a bit concerned about his gallop-out after the San Rafael, but it wasn't so horribly bad that you could simply draw a line through him when he stretched out.  Was he tired?  Sure. He deserved to be tired.  He was on the Bill Daly, and had to work pretty hard.
I don't know why people are giving the horse a hard time for his Sham gallop-out.  I couldn't see anything wrong with it.  Want to see an example of a horse with a poor gallop-out.  Try Take the Points after the Sham.  This looked like a horse that put up a 110% effort, and was simply exhausted after a game race.  I'm not sure I want him next time. 


Where do you get head on replays? I usually watch the stakes replays on Bloodhorse and they don't have alternative angles. Most paddlers are crooked and that is not a good thing for soundness.

Calracing.com used to have head-on replays for races from California, Gulfstream, Keeneland, and New York, but it's kind of hit or miss now (they have the replay for the San Vicente, for example, but not the Sham).  racereplays.com has the head-on replays for most races.


Congrats to joecem for his first-place finish in last week's HandiGambling challenge.  His pick for this week's exercise is the sixth race from Santa Anita on Wednesday.   Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan."  Here are the past performances:

Download HandiGambling123

Talk to you tomorrow.