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Weekend thoughts, some questions, etc.
It's a shame that Old Fashioned is out indefintely with a serious knee injury, but the former Winter Book favorite ran a gutsy race in Saturday's Arkansas Derby. No excuses for the Jones-trained colt as he was loosey-goosey on the front end, but he fought all the way to the wire. Kudos to Papa Clem as he followed in the hoofprints of fellow California transplant I Want Revenge as runners that have moved forward switching to dirt. These California horses have surely flattered Pioneerof the Nile, and if that one runs as well or better on dirt than he has on synthetics, then his three-year-old peers could be in for a long day at Churchill Downs...Of course, there is no hard and fast rule that says he will. Laragh, a Grade 1 winner over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track, didn't pick up her feet in her 2009, and dirt, debut at Aqueduct. The logical excuses are the layoff, the wet racetrack, and the pace scenario, but it's also possible that Laragh is better on turf and synthetic surfaces than dirt...General Quarters pulled off the upset in the Blue Grass, but one has to wonder what to make of the result. General Quarters has now won on both dirt and synthetic surfaces, but the Blue Grass field had serious question marks concerning its quality going into the gate...Jonathan Sheppard showed off a pair of classy ladies at Keeneland last week. Forever Together looked exceptional winning her seasonal debut in the Jenny Wiley, and the champion looks to be in line for another stellar season. Informed Decision gamely ran down Ventura earlier in the week in the Vinery Madison. Ventura has a bad habit of waiting on horses when she makes the front, but let's not take anything away from Informed Decision, arguably the "now" horse in the female sprint division...Mr. Sidney, once a $3.9 Million yearling purchase, finally reached the winner's circle after a major stakes race, but the Maker's Mark Mile field was weak, and the course was wet.
When was the last time a jockey won two Kentucky Derby's in a row?
Eddie Delahoussaye won the 1982 Kentucky Derby with Gato Del Sol, and came right back the following year with Sunny's Halo.
BTW, any truth to the Mike Smith on CC for the Derby rumors?
Re: CC, did he switch jockeys for the KD? Or was that a rumor? If so, why? Not the greatest of signs, by itself, imo.
From Steve Andersen's article posted on April 10:
"Jockey Mike Smith will ride Chocolate Candy in the Kentucky Derby, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Friday. Hollendorfer cited Smith's experience as a big-race rider, including a win in the 2005 Kentucky Derby aboard Giacomo, as a major factor in the decision.
"No disrespect to the other riders that wanted to ride, but we decided to go with Mike considering the big races that he's been in," Hollendorfer said.
Owned by Jenny Craig, Chocolate Candy has won 4 of 9 starts and $532,500. He has won two stakes this year - the California Derby and Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields - and was second by a length to top Kentucky Derby contender Pioneerof the Nile in the Santa Anita Derby on April 4. Russell Baze rode Chocolate Candy at Golden Gate Fields. Joel Rosario was aboard in the Santa Anita Derby.
Chocolate Candy is a closer, and Hollendorfer is hopeful that the Kentucky Derby will have a fast pace to help Chocolate Candy's style.
"I think there are a lot of good horses in there and a lot of horses with chances to win the Derby," he said. "I think he's one of those. Hopefully, we'll get a better pace."
Smith is scheduled to work Chocolate Candy at Santa Anita on Sunday. The colt will leave for Churchill Downs on Thursday, Hollendorfer said.
Smith said the workout will give him a feel for Chocolate Candy's running habits.
"I'd like to see if he is a horse that turns off on his own," he said. "He looks pretty jockey-friendly. He seems like he's not very difficult to ride.
"Every time he runs, he shows up. I think he's been hurt by a slow pace in some of his races. It's a matter of a getting a little pace for him.""
Could you please tell me Mike Smith's record in the Kentucky Derby? Now that it has been confirmed that he will ride CC, I would like to know his credentials. Thank you.
Smith is 1-15 in the Derby. He won the 2005 running with Giacomo, finished second in 1993 with Prairie Bayou, finished second in 2002 with Proud Citizen, and finished second in 2004 with Lion Heart. He finished third in 1999 with Cat Thief.
after having my single upset at SA yesterday, I wondered if you could please post Cambiocorsa's pps. She was one of the great "horses for courses" and I just can't remember whether she actually finished her career undefeated down the hill. thanks.
Here they are:
I suppose HB can improve off this, maybe the turf will move him up, but it's hard to take him seriously against the best of his generation based on the last. Not a bad colt, though, and who knows what might come in the future? He's got a nice way of moving, bu he doesn't seem to want to push it very far (mentally) - I didn't get the feeling it would have taken much to break his spirit there.
What bothered me the most about the race was that he seemed to be lugging out badly down the backstretch. Watching the head-on replay, Hello Broadway ended up in Ussery's Alley entering the turn. He showed some heart to defeat an inferior runner in the stretch, but he didn't seem comfortable in the early part of the race. I'm bearish on him if he shows up in a stakes race next time out.
Here are the winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's stakes races:
*Vinery Madison (Kee): Informed Decision (J. Sheppard/J. Velazquez) - 102
*Maker's Mark Mile (Kee): Mr. Sidney (W. Mott/K. Desormeaux) - 100
*Bonasera (Haw): Shadowbdancing (T. Gore/R. Meier) - 100
*Arkansas Derby (OP): Papa Clem (G. Stute/R. Bejarano) _ 99
*Jenny Wiley (Kee): Forever Together (J. Sheppard/J. Leparoux) - 98
*Fort Harrod (Kee): Gangbuster (J. Desormeaux/K. Desormeaux) - 98
*Las Cienagas (SA): Gotta Have Her (J. Sahadi/T. Baze) - 98
*Commonwealth (Kee): Eternal Star (M. Trombetta/E. Coa) - 97
*Shakertown (Kee): Heros Reward (D. Capuano/J. Castellano) - 96
*South Beach (GP): Raw Silk (T. Albertrani/P. Lopez) - 96
*Toyota Blue Grass (FG): General Quarters (T. McCarthy/E. Coa) - 95
*Fifth Season (OP): Stonehouse (J. Broussard/P. Compton) - 95
*Count Fleet Sprint (OP): Semaphore Man (K. Von Hemel/M. Berry) - 94
*La Puente (SA): Battle of Hastings - GB (J. Mullins/T. Baze) - 90
*Beaumont (Kee): War Kill (K. McPeek/J. Leparoux) - 90
*Comely (Aqu): Dream Play (K. McLaughlin/E. Castro) - 89
*Hallowed Dreams (EvD): Southern Yankee (O. Inirio/D. Saenz) - 89
*Czaria (Sun): Cape of Bradford (C. Hartman/K. Tohill) _ 87
*Santa Lucia (SA): Champagne Eyes (D. O'Neill/M. Baze) - 87
*Inaugural (EvD): Code of Honour (W. Bennett/D. Saenz) - 87
*Bayakoa (OP): Euphony (D. Von Hemel/M. Berry) - 87
*Northern Spur (OP): Dance Caller (R. Holthus/L. Sterling Jr.) - 84
*Answer Do (TuP): Nordic Wind (M. Pearson/A. Morales) - 84
*Premiere (LS): Upstream (A. Milligan/M. Escobar) - 83
*Instant Racing (OP): Payton d'Oro (J. Jones/T. Thompson) - 82
*Dahlia (Lrl): All Smiles (F. Campitelli/J. Rose) - 78
*Howard B. Noonan (Beu): Brother Terry (D. Rowe/E. Paucar) - 73
*Runza (Fon): Slewpy Girl (R. Riggs/J. Olesiak) - 71
*Lucky Lavender Gal (Aqu): Bold Union (K. Breen/S. Elliott) - 64
*Dorothy Adams Buttons and Bows (SuD): Selina's Mask (B. Kent/J. Torres) - N/A
Here are the lifetime past performances for the highest and lowest Beyer Stakes performers of the week:
Congrats to Jim for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise. He chooses race seven from Aqueduct for this Wednesday's event. 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."
I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but let's remember why we began the HandiGambling races in the first place. The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses, and why we're betting them the way we are. I'm not asking for a novel, but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles, and thought process about wagering, it would be appreciated.
Here are the past performances:
Talk to you soon,
#8 MINE THAT BIRD is simply too slow with a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 81. He has never won on dirt, and is overmatched in this spot. ALTHOUGH IT MAY HAVE BEEN TRUE WHAT YOU SAID ABOVE, NOBODY WOULD HAVE PICKED THAT HORSE EITHER. CALVIN IS ON A DEATH WISH AND PROBABLY WILL KILL HIMSELF ONE OF THESE RACES. NO OTHER JOCKEY WOULD RISK DEATH LIKE CALVIN DOES. $9,500 TO PURCHASE, 82 BEYER FIGURE, NO GRADED STAKES WINS, BUT HOW DID THIS HORSE QUALIFY? DAN YOU MAY WANT TO ASK A SENIOR CITIZEN NEXT YEAR WHO SHE MAY LIKE, BECAUSE THERE IS NO LOGIC ANYMORE/ OR HANDICAPPING.
Boy, go off the blog for a couple of days and there is lots to catch up on.... First, Chicago Gerry, I know I told you it was easy to take public transportation into NYC from EWR but I did not think it would be in the wee hours!!! I shudder to think of a gentleman like you in those circumstances. When I was but 22, I moved to NYC and never once took a cab in the 3 years I lived there, I am amazed I lived to tell this tale!!! Vicstu, Being a big guy with dog experience, I have no doubt you are the alpha! That is a big reason I like MM as my bomber. He exhibits "Alpha" characteristics and your story about the filly clinched it. Although I did not get to study all his angles and his gait to my satisfaction, I liked his big burly build and attitude. Nothing light weight about MM! Lemon Soup, I was the lone Blue Thong at Hawthorne. Annie, Losing PM was a bummer. Just like real ownership....but no vet bills! This blog rocks with KD excitement......I don't know about you, but I am rooting for an Uncle Steve return and analysis with a couple of days to go.......Think good thoughts here......
COA OPTED FOR MUSKET MAN OVER GENERAL QUARTERS. Annie
HG 129 Motor Patrol (#6) has the top Tomlinson for off tracks and has speed in a race that appears to be light on pace. Maragh gets off the morning line favorite to ride longshot Dr. Decter (#1) for a trainer he rarely rides for. Neither has failed on a wet track and neither have been in for a tag. Please Impress (#8) will likely draw attention because of the 88 BSF on an off track, but that race was at the Meadowlands and was a beaten claimer. Little Wise Guy (#2) has run best on the inner track, has lost both times on an off track and loses Maragh. The rest appear to be overmatched. I'll keep it simple and box the first two mentioned in an exacta. $50 Ex Box 1+6 Lenny
HG 129 on sloppy AQ track. With scratch of #3 + #10, there are eight in the field. Only five can be used on top. The #4 is a low % horse (2/23), #7 has a "never win" trainer, #9 has low % tainer and is too slow. Make it: $2.00 Trifecta # 1,2,5 WT # 1,2,4,5,6,8 WT # 1,2,4,5,8 $96.00 Since I, as a math genius, went $10 over last week. I'll go $4 under this week. Hoping all 8 of these potential equine champions return to the barn safely.
Glad I waited to see scratches, because I really liked the 3. I was hoping to narrow it down to 4, so I could play a nice big Super, but I ended up with 5. Throwing out: 1 - Dr. Dextor - Turf horse trying dirt (although may like sloppy), but don't like that the jock who rode him in 4 of 5 races (with 2 wins) opted for another. 4 - Baxter - Hasn't shown much. Low percent jock. 7- Golden Caesar - Pass That leaves: 2 - Little Wise Guy - Must be included in a super. Always thereabouts. 5 - Wolfson - Some success on off tracks. Only qualifies for this race because in for claim, as has already won NW2X. 6 - Motor Patrol - Has never run on off track but is bred for it. Ran against better last time after 9 mos. layoff, but steadied twice in race. Been running against tougher. 8 - Please Impress - Nice win on sloppy track in past. C Velasquez rides well for Dutrow. 9 - That's Rich - Lightly race three year old may have some upside. 80 Cent Super Box - 2,5,6,8,9 = $96 $4 Win #6 Good luck all! Annie
Here are my plays for the handigamblin $2 tri wheels: 2w/5,8w/1,5,6,8,9 ($16) 5w/2,8w/1,2,6,8,9 ($16) 8w/2,5w/1,2,5,6,9 ($16) $52 Win 8 Total $100 I think the 8 is the speed of the race and also feel like the 2 and 5 can get a share closing in the slop.
HG 129: The scratch of Mr. Bourbon Street leaves the race without a true pacesetter. Motor Patrol could assume that role as a horse who's won on the lead in the past. He was troubled in his last, but if he can get loose he'll have a shot. Also think Dr. Decter has a decent shot returning to statebreds, if he can handle the dirt. $3 Trifecta (96): 1,6 w/1,2,5,6,8 w/1,2,4,5,6,8 $2 Exacta (4): 1,6 w/4
Dan, handicapping129 $100 Win-#10 Raffies Dear I think he is ready for a big race.Ran 2nd to one of the favorites a few races back.
HG129: No time for commentary today.. $60 Win #6 $10 Ex 6,8/2,6,8 (40) Good luck to all.....