04/08/2008 5:01PM

Three-year-olds, 'cappers, etc.


Oh and lest I forget my favorite of all time the most amazing magic I have ever seen (oh and boy I can't wait for the reverb for those who know this fella and what his exposed magic trick was) Mr. Frank Passero.   Hot hot hot...anyone know whatever happened to him?  banned for life?

Passero is currently 0-5 with his horses in 2008.  Last year, he went 6-57, and he won 19 races in 2006.  He trains in Florida during the winter time, and in Canada for the remainder of the year.


Anyone know the status of Chris DeCarlo these days --  perhaps injured or retired? I haven't seen his name in ages.
terry f

He suffered a fractured collarbone in November at Calder.  Hopefully, he'll be back soon.


Presumably, you believe that no horses which pass the tests currently administered by the Thoroughbred industry are under the influence of non-approved medications. And that, I am sorry to say, is naive to the extreme.

With all the discussion concerning illegal medication in racing, I was wondering what's worse:

A)  The fact that trainers are cheating.


B)  The racing commissions/NTRA etc. aren't doing anything about it.

We've talked at long length on the blog about harsh penalties for the cheaters.  But it's possible that the real people to blame are the local racing authorities.  Unless there are national testing levels, and advanced tests for just about everything (there's no reason there can't be a top-flight testing program in place), there are going to be serious integrity issues as well as the perception of impropriety when horses drastically improve.
As for the case we talked about specifically, I think it's unfair to sully the horse's accomplishments by accusing the trainer of cheating.  Yes, the trainer has been caught in the past, but I certainly don't have any proof that this particular horse, on this particular day, was juiced.  I just can't throw the connections under the bus on an assumption.  Sorry if we disagree on this.


if dan would give permission, i'd do the calculations and post the results.

I'm up for any contest if everyone else wants to participate.


Major props on Tale of Ekati winning the Wood. Your faith in him was rewarded and now you can put him atop your Derby list without any criticism from me. The final time in the Wood was awfully slow. I don't yet know what the Beyer was or the track variant but to my eyes, War Pass looked like he was lugging a piano in the stretch. I can tell a gassed horse when I see one. I kept waiting for all the closers to gobble him up but only TOE could catch him. Was it just a weak field, was there a huge headwind, what's your take?
jim tully

Thanks, jim, but to be honest with you, I don't know what to make of the Derby picture.  Tale of Ekati has gone from #1 on my Derby list to #10, and I have no idea where I'll put him now.  You're right in that the Wood was a slow race, and Tale of Ekati was aided by the hot pace as well as War Pass' stretch fatigue.  But he didn't do anything wrong, and he at least answered the distance question (albeit in slow time).  It's probably too early to say if the field was weak although it's safe to say that it wasn't the strongest Wood Memorial in history.  I guess we have to remember that the race was a prep.  Tale of Ekati has only had two races this year so while the Wood was grueling, it is feasible to assume that he has at least one more big race in him.  War Pass didn't get much out of his first two races this year, and needed a hard race.  Court Vision may be rounding into his best form with only two races this year. 
I had recently put Colonel John up to #1 on the list, and while he won the Santa Anita Derby, I didn't like how he was drifting from the whip in the stretch.  It's possible that he needed the race as well as he only ran for about a 1/4 mile in his first start of the year. 
If Pyro runs big in the Blue Grass, he may be put up to number one next time.

Although some may question the quality of this year's three-year-old crop, you have to admit that they have provided some excitement as well as some interesting handicapping puzzles.


Race 8:YOU GO WEST GIRL broke her maiden here and should get a nice pace setup to close into.
Race 10: I'm going off the reservation in this one. ST. JOE had a lifetime best here in October and flattered that with a near bullet work here on 3/29.

Great work!  You Go West Girl got it done at $4.40, and St. Joe lit up the toteboard to the tune of a $31.40 mutuel.  Bustin Stones paid $7.50 in the Carter.

In the 2nd at Santa Anita I'm down to Power Blitz and Exuma
Stephen Taylor

Please tell me you played Power Blitz!  He paid $42.20 in the second at Santa Anita on Saturday.

Santa Anita Derby: I think that Colonel John (5) will win. But I also like Yankee Bravo (1) and Bob Black Jack (4). Exacta box (1-4-5);
Illinois Derby: at 8-1 morning line I like Recapturetheglory (1) as my longshot pick.
Calvin Carter

The Colonel John - Bob Black Jack exacta paid $24.60 for each dollar wagered.  Recapturetheglory led the Illinois Derby field on a merry chase at $33.80.  Nice pick.

Wood Memorial...
Tepid selection of Tale of Ekati. I know his two route starts weren't good but the BC was bad for basically all but two horses and in the Louisiana Derby, ToE missed the break and started last, plus it was his first start of the year. Also that day he made a move to get within 3 lengths while 5 wide on the turn before fading. It wasn't great but it wasn't dreadful. 

Wood   Tale OF Ekati

I'm glad, Dan, that you're still a big Tale of Ekati fan.  I was feeling like I was the only one left, and a little crazy for feeling that way, too.  Well, I'll be cheering him on today. 

Tale of Ekati and Edgar Prado never quit in the Wood.  Behind by several lengths, and under the whip turning for home, they gutted out the win at $19.00.

John B. Connally Turf Handicap (Sam Houston, Race 7) --> 1. Scrappy Roo 2. Going Ballistic
Race 10, Carter Handicap --> 1. Bustin Stones
Race 6, Santa Anita Derby --> 1. Colonel John

The cold exacta in the Connally returned $72.00 for each two dollars wagered.

Steve V., Best of luck in the Carter H with Bustin Stones. I think he fits well, will put a decent W/P bet on him
Apple Blossom,  Zenyatta, W/P, I feel this one is ready to make a statement. OP's quirky surface is the ideal place for it to happen.
johnny z

Also, Steve V, good luck with Bustin Stones in the Big Apple! I think he will run big (again).

Carter- Bustin Stones(3-1) Congradulations on just getting to a G1 race Steve V., and best of luck today.

You got a solid price on Bustin Stones as Spring at Last was waaaay overbet off his Donn win.    Zenyatta sure did make a statement with an authoritative performance.  johnnyz also gave out Colonel John in the SA Derby.

There is a horse running here at Sunland saturday who is going to run very well.  He is in on Saturday in the 6th race.  His name is Hot Tug Tonni.  He might be worth a win bet, if his odds are decent

Not a bad little spot play at all.  Hot Tug Tonni paid $5.80 for the win at Sunland.

Race 6 is the feature race, the Santa Anita Derby. It’s no big secret that I like COLONEL JOHN for the Derby. Nothing has changed, I think he has learned the running style of his Daddy – a high speed stalker.
DAYTONA is the obvious choice, with his last being the only losing effort in a long time. The cutback to a mile, the overall class advantages and the nice works make him the deserved favorite.
TANGLED TANGO made an incredible run in his first from the 11 post, getting caught at the wire in a very good field. Connections hit at 44%.
ZENYATTA always seems to be in over her head, this time she is up against the Grand Mama, Ginger Punch. But Z-Girl somehow finds a way to win.
Steve T

6:Most likely CJ

The Colonel came with a rush to overtake Bob Black Jack in the final strides.  He returned $7.20 to win.  The game Daytona went gate-to-wire at $3.60 in the Arcadia.  Tangled Tango paid $7.40 in the eighth for the natural pick three of $30.50 for a dollar.  Zenyatta was super impressive winning the Apple Blossom at $5.60.

AplBlsmH-G1: #6 Zenyatta (ML:7/2) -> You disbelievers...you don't deserve this next filly star!
I gotta go with your horse in the Carter - it is obviously a major class test for Bustin but IMO (a completely "non-professional" opinion!!!) horses are like boxers - some just don't know how to lose.  I keep betting the "undefeated ones" each race...

If Zenyatta gets a fast track there will be a new queen bee. And if she breaks with the field she might be facing the boys next.

Think Zenyatta will step up, despite the unfavorable pace scenario.  She's run her races on her own courage thus far and she hasn't really been tested.

I believe!  I believe!

i really like... j be k
Matt Smith

Race 6: Lucky Island
Race 7: J BE K
Race 10: Bustin Stones
Race 11: Motor Patrol

Best Bet:Motor Patrol (11th)

The "real" J Be K was back with a vengeance on Saturday at the Big A. 
jlove had a good day at Aqueduct.  Lucky Island paid $5.00 in the sixth.  Bustin Stones scored, and the best bet won the 11th at $4.90.

Bonfante looks like a lock in the little turf stakes

You know, $5.20 isn't bad at all for a "lock."  Bonfante is in very, very good form right now.

As usual, our crack FormBlog handicappers picked lots of winners over the weekend.  Excellent picks and analysis by all.


I'm still catching up on everything so along with the Past Champions Retrospective tomorrow, we'll answer a plethora of poster questions and comments. 

Oh, and before I forget, the first FormBlog Across America begins next Friday at Keeneland.  I'll be at the historic track on Friday, April 18 through Sunday, April 20.  If anyone is going to be at the track for those dates, I'd love to meet and get to know you, and talk about the races.

Thanks again, folks.

Take care,