04/22/2012 2:35PM

Trinniberg and the Derby Pace


There has already been a lot of talk that the addition of Trinniberg to the Kentucky Derby field has pretty much ruined the chances of Bodemeister and Hansen. I think that’s a serious overreaction.

Right here, I have to admit that I think that the Derby is about the worst spot anyone could think of for Trinniberg. Trinniberg has made seven starts in his career, and not one has been in a race a step beyond seven furlongs. His history fits his profile, which is that of a stone-cold sprinter. Everything about Trinniberg shouts that the only way he can get the Derby’s 10 furlongs is with the assistance of a ride in a Sallee horse van.

But this is America, and thanks primarily to his victories this year in the Grade 3 Swale and Grade 3 Bay Shore – both after establishing easy early leads – Trinniberg has enough graded earnings to crack the Derby field – does anyone still think graded earnings in sprints should count as much as graded earnings in routes? – and crack the Derby field he will.

Trinniberg does have high early speed. He has been on the lead at the first call in six of his seven career starts, and the one time he wasn’t, it appeared he intentionally conceded the early lead. I’m not even considering the possibility that Trinniberg won’t be on the lead in the Derby (no matter what his connections suggest), because after all, he has sub-21 second quarter mile speed and sub-44 half mile speed at his reserves. He demonstrated that last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Churchill Downs, a race in which he finished a badly beaten seventh, and a race, notably, won by the colt Trinniberg battled early with, Secret Circle.

Trinniberg’s speed is why there is now an even greater focus on the Derby pace. But just because Trinniberg can reel off a 45 half like breaking sticks, it doesn’t mean he will in the Derby, or that the pace he does set will be ruinous, or destructive. For one, I’m sure Trinniberg’s jockey will want to take it as slow early as he can in the Derby, if for no other reason than to conserve as much of his mount’s energy as possible.

But a huge determinant in the character of the Derby pace will be in how the riders of Bodemeister and Hansen react. I think it needs to be emphasized that while both Bodemeister and Hansen are also blessed with excellent early speed, they both have also proven that they can be effective when they don’t have the early lead. Hansen rated off the lead beautifully in the Gotham Stakes before scoring in dominating fashion. Bodemeister did not have the early lead in the San Felipe, the race that was Bodemeister’s first start after his maiden victory, and which was the fastest Derby prep this year until Bodemeister’s Arkansas Derby, and yet performed valiantly to bow to the heavily stakes-seasoned Creative Cause by less than length.

Bodemeister and Hansen are elite candidates for the Kentucky Derby, yet they could lose in Louisville for any number of reasons other than pace. But as top contenders, they should be ridden with the confidence that befits them. Just let Trinniberg go out and do his thing on the lead. If he wants to open up a quick eight lengths, let him. Don’t worry about it. But Bodemeister and Hansen might well find that they won’t be that far behind at all, because the jock on Trinniberg will want to slow it down, too. In other words, Bodemeister and Hansen should just focus on themselves, and pretend that Trinniberg isn’t even in the race.

Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
I like that Trinniberg is going to the Derby. Its one less horse that can ruin my Superfecta.
Suzanne Thomas More than 1 year ago
The experience last year of Comma to the Top may be instructive and illustrative. He got his big wad of graded cash as a 2 yo in the Cash Call (Hollywood) Futurity. His connections at first had a level head, saying that he was a sprinter and did not belong in the Derby field. Then when he almost won the Santa Anita Derby, Derby fever kicked in, and off the poor horse went to Churchill. He led most of the way, finish stone cold last, and had a injury to top it all off that took him out of contention for over 6 months. The difference between CTTT and Trinniberg is that Comma actually won races at over a mile.
Steve Pollack More than 1 year ago
john, a proffesional player will toss Bodemeister and Hanson. Niether one will be able to sit enough and rate . History has proven in years with top sprinters (see Snow Chief and Point Given) in the race, the pressors are at a very big dissadvantage. Bode will regress of huge lifetime top race, they will blame it on pace and he may win the PreaknePreakness. Hanson didn't want to rate in the Gotham, he was forced to after a slow break. He will be on the muscle. Both of those horses are very good and big plusses for them include incredible early speed. Take that away from them and they are just ordinary. Play the deep closers for best results.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Also reference Spend-A-Buck while youre at it. 1985 Kentucky Derby.
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
Point Given a sprinter, are we talking about the same horse that won the last two legs of the triple crown. Point Given lost the derby because he made a move to soon on a hot pace. Look at the race again buddy. That was probably the one of a few mistakes by the great hall of fame jockey Gary Stevens. Should have won the triple crown. Sorry just read your comment again yeah those sprinters in that race killed him but it was the jockey mistake that cost him
Cookie Smith More than 1 year ago
this race can be won on or near the lead..not every derby is won from the race falling apart with a deep closer running by them all...seattle slew , spectacualr bid, spend a buck , swale , go for gin, war emblem , winning colors , funny cide ,smarty jones, barbaro and big brown were all forwardly placed.. i think hansen had the perfect prep on synthetic and has already proved in the gothem he'll rate off the lead...i think he's going to run huge and will be the horse to get buy in deep stretch..that said , he could melt down in post pararde, if he does , i like alpha and daddy nose best to be right there..
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Bold Forbes was not s'posed to get the distance and neither was Conquistador Cielo. Yes, he caught a sloppy race track but got there first. Trinniberg made all of his starts last year on off-tracks except at Calder which is cuppy at best. He was a speed nut by the time of his BC start on a drying out track and spit the bit. He's had two one mile works in the last few weeks and is bouncing. He is one of two contenders in here with two in the win column and with I'll Have Another you gotta wonder about the S.A. Churchill transition. I said earlier that if Rags is allowed to run before the 1/16 pole he'll win. I just wish he had other than the Headless Horseman on him. If need be, you might try your cracker jacks with milk over them... moves 'em way up.
Rick Zimmerman More than 1 year ago
Cookie, no matter what else I've seen in the prep races. I remember one thing. Hansen was the ONLY front end horse that held on on BC Saturday. If Ramon can settle him, he'll be there.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
For a story about a horse with 'no shot' this one just keeps hanging in there don't it Mike? I'm glad you did not s-can it and bet you are too. I gotta tell you I'm a sucker for underdogs and am always happy when the good guys win one. Did I say Win? Well, I'm reaching there but for folks like Cookie who notice things, there is a difference in this Colt and I believe the rider change makes for alot of it. These two are one. Will that alone be enough? Ego, arrogance, exposure, pride, just to ruin it for others... I've seen all these things put out there about Trinni's peeps. There's one word that I have not heard, Faith. Later if I may share it, I got a story from the Press Box at Old Garden State.
Robert More than 1 year ago
Dullahan blew by Hansen in the Blue Grass like he was standing still and is a stone cold closer peaking at the right time! Hes one of few in the Derby field that can get the distance. Why cant people see this???? Dullahan will win the Derby!!
John Bowman More than 1 year ago
He did not pull up all that well and also drifted out once he made the lead.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Im not going to say that Dullahan WILL win, but I can certainly make an argument for him.
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
If the pace is hot like it should be, Dullahan will be 15+ lengths off the front end horse and may be dead last. Its very hard for a horse to close in the derby being 15+ lengths off the lead and close to last. Dullahan has a good chance but he hasnt shown that turn if foot he has on coventional dirt as he has on poly at Keeneland where his only wins are. Dont think he will win but he will be in the range of 4th-10th place.
John Gabriel More than 1 year ago
Winning a mile and quarter race contested on the lead or very near the lead against quality opponents of a similar grade, takes a special horse...will only happen once every blue moon...( I know..it does happen) but it should not affect one's handicapping or betting strategy. Hansen is not winning this, Trinny is not winning this, and Bode is intriguing, as he may be peaking at the right time. If he can adjust his style he can be a winner...I cannot omit him from my exotic tickets. Union Rags is a good horse. Dullahan? Use him only on the bottom of my tickets..not a winner. As with every year, a horse from the dark side could arise and get it done.
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
Using beyers to handicap races is inconsistent. I have been handicapping horse races since I was 7 I'm 23 now and I still don't understand how they give these horses the beyers they receive. I understand why Bodemeister got a triple digit beyer for his Ark win but why doesn't the Santa Anita Derby get a triple digit beyer when the race was run a full second faster with better horses. Union Rags tracks a slow pace in FOY a runs one of the fastest 1 1/16 races of three year old preps and wins by 4 in hand and doesn't hit triple digits. I just don't get it and this is only a couple discrepancies with the beyers I can go on forever. That's why I can never use beyers as a consistent means of handicapping a horse race
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
You obviously do not understand how Beyers are achieved. Wait until you are 33, or 43. Maybe you will get it then. It has nothing to do with the ease of victory or the raw time of victory or who he beat. By your way of thinking, they can scrape a track and after the first race on Derby day, the $5000 claimer who runs a 1:42 1/5, should have entered himself in the Derby, right?
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
My age has nothing to do with it because like I said I don't understand beyers. They are not consistent and you keep relying on them to pick winners and I guarantee you will lose in the end. But your not understanding what I'm saying because I didn't compare times of a $5000 claimed with graded stakes winner, I compared times of graded stakes winners in contention to win the derby. You can compare a cheap horse like that with a derby contender whose won multiple graded stakes because they're different class of horses. A $5000 claimer will get trounced trying to run in the derby because the horses he's facing are far superior. You misread what I meant man. I know how to handicap horse racing I've been on the track and met these DRF handicappers and they always ask me who I like simply because I know my stuff. I just don't understand beyers and never will when I get 60.
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
Sorry Akhiym but you DO NOT GET IT. You stated.... " I understand why Bodemeister got a triple digit beyer for his Ark win but why doesn't the Santa Anita Derby get a triple digit beyer when the race was run a full second faster with better horses." No, you don't understand. by your thinking, time is everything. you are comparing the SA Derby to the Ark Derby. TWO DIFFERENT TRACKS. Two different sets of circumstances. And YES, you might as well be comparing a $5,000 claimer. You stated that the SA Derby was FASTER and got a lower Beyer Fig. Same with a $5000 claimer. I would try to explain it again, but do not get it. As for me, I use Beyers for what they are best used. Giving a number to a horse in regard to his performance, HOW they got that number is a far cry from how hard or easy the horse ran. As for knowing the use of Berey Figs, I've probably forgotten more than you and everyone you know about the subject. Contact me at philsvssox2011@gmail.com and I will try to get in touch with you to explain. Good luck on Derby Day. For the record. MORE THAN HALF the last 20 Derby winners had a top Beyer coming into the race. The Derby is not a handicapping race, as much as who is maturing along the way. It is easy for horses to run 5 lengths faster than they ever have and also see a pace that they never did before and quit.
Saul More than 1 year ago
one thing is certain and that is that the so called professional handicappers change favoritism in the derby by what bob baffert sends to the post. bodemeister will finish up the track as well as all the speed horses and all the horses that sit just off the speed. if one logical person looks at the derby races they can easily see that front and on the pace speed does not win the derby. it will take horses that close from the back of mid pack to win and that lets all the favorites out. i still think the race is between alpha and daddy nose best.
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
watch replays of some previous Kentucky Derbies and you will see what you said is completely wrong.
Matthew Sanchez More than 1 year ago
bode is a contender but one thing you gotta realize guys is that he is a west coast based horse which not many continue their form on an east coast track unless he is a freak of nature... its been years since a top west coast horse won the derby!!!! oaklawn n churchill are totataly 2 different tracks