02/24/2008 11:52AM

When Juve Champs Return


While few of them faced as dismal a field as War Pass does Sunday at Gulfstream, 16 of the last 25 champion 2-year-old males have lost their first start as 3-year-olds, 11 of them as odds-on favorites.

In all fairness, four of the losing champions (Macho Uno, Maria's Mon, Gilded Time, Roving Boy) returned in late summer or fall after being knocked off the Derby trail by injuries, and Gilded Time's close third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint was a Herculean effort. Still, the overall results for returning juvenile champions is suprisingly poor: A $2 wager on each of them would have cost $50 and returned just $27.30, a 45 percent loss on investment. It's gotten even worse recently: Since 1992, the returning champs are just 3 for 14, returning $10.60 for each $28 invested.

War Pass, however, should add a dime or two of profit to those results unless something goes hideously wrong Sunday. This is some group of five four (Ultimate Authority is scratched) that's been rounded up to face him -- a barnmate and four three horses who have run for claiming tags, including a last-out $8k maiden-claiming winner at Tampa. On speed figures, it's one of the biggest mismatches in the history of the turf. War Pass's last two Beyer figures are a 113 and a 103. The career-best efforts of his five opponents are a 72, 70, 81, 84 and 53.

Obviously, the G2 $350k Fountain of Youth half an hour earlier is a much better wagering event, with a full and contentious field of 12. I wish I had a clever idea, but I've been most impressed to date by Court Vision and Monba and they're the favorites at 3-1 and 4-1 on the ML. One horse who might get lost in the shuffle is Halo Najib at 12-1. If you draw a line through his beaten-favorite performances in the Kentucky Jockey Club (dueld through fast fractions) and Hutcheson (slop), he hasn't done anything wrong and was beaten just half a length by Court Vision in the Iroquois.

Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
Note to micclay.Yes, I will buy your advance tickets on Court Vision. Let me know how we will process the transaction. Email me at-- pjdawson@sympatico.ca. or 905-579-1116 after noon hour Canada Time.We are 3 hours in front of SA in the time zones. --------------------------- Re SA going back to dirt, the sooner the better. I am missing the sloppy tracks at this major race track.Love the shoe changes, also.(Martha's Gift $54.40 on the Friday undercard in the past Breeder's Cup last October at Monmouth.) The shoe change was on my monitor at Picov Downs in Canada for at least 10 minutes before the race.
Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
To Lane--in my opinion, it would make the offspring that much better, than just having run of the mill sire and mare. Best to ask Stevie Wonder or Lauren Stich who lives in Vegas. She is a breeding expert. (for horses, of course.) By the way, there is only one horse with this breeding in the Derby. I just had to play him in the first Futures Pool.
raceway park More than 1 year ago
Steve: Why would Gulfstream even card a race like Sunday's 10th? There could not have been much betting interest. It detracts from its own product in two ways: it make the FOY less meaningful because the best horse (3yo anyway) on the premises is not in the premier race; and War P is set to run his big prep at Tampa Bay not GS detracting from the FL Derby. Curious.
george quinn More than 1 year ago
I have been following this game for some time now. 31 year to be exact. I am not sure yet if War Pass is Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. And if anyone out there thinks they know in the last week of February. Then their credibility is 0. Wait and see people. It is February not August Geez! George in Lexington Ky. P.S Brandon, It is very possible that Pyro could turn the tables on War Pass. Remember what Wayne Lukas said. Horses are like strawberries, they go bad overnite.
the bya More than 1 year ago
Please look at the 2 DQ's in Sat. Magna 5 and give an opinion. One of the takedowns probably cost me $60k. (copies of tickets available upon request)There was a time when a roughly run race would cost a rider a fine or days and the result was left to stand, if the infraction would not have caused a change in finish order. That does not seem to be the present standard, if there is such a thing as a standard. That information was for years noted in the DRF under the category of "Official Rulings" a subject that carried such import that it was noted in the Table of Contents. So, if I may ask, why are "Official Rulings" no longer printed?
Lane More than 1 year ago
Pedigree Question....? If a horse is high in classic points does that help make it a strong DI and CD candidate for the derby and if the sire and mare are both high in classic points does that help make it a stronger DI and Cd for the Triple crown?
C.Rich More than 1 year ago
I just watch the DQ of the 10th at Laurel on Saturday and there really needs to be an investigation for possible corruption. Was Luis Garcia caught with one of the Steward's wives the night before. The public should be allowed to sue the track for negligence with a ruling like this. It has to be one of the 3 worst calls that I have ever seen in any sport. And I promise I did not have a wager on this race and am completely unbiased.
todd saunders More than 1 year ago
hey steve. just wanted to share a few thoughts on the 3 yr olds, at least through yesterday's racing. i think CCM was very professional, and while not "sexy" like other names out there, he did what he was supposed to do, acccelerated nicely, and won like a good horse wins. the runnerup, EF, was also very game, rated nicely, and proved once again that when Barclay Tagg comes to the party, he must be respected. unlike other trainers with 10 and 20 horses in their arsenal, he only shows up with the goods, and i think his colt will really go forward. i think the PYRO return race neds to be re-examined, as his beyer still seems incredibly low. that said, the way he finished, in a race that had a dawdling pace, makes me believe that is very much the real deal. after watching other preps, where slow races did not neccesarily translate to fast finishes, his turn of foot, and ability to stay inside and then move when asked, was awesome, and he won under a hand ride. his beyer does not do his race justice. finally, after watching WP yesterday, i am convinced he is also the real deal. he is just faster than his peers right now, and moves and acts like a horse who will do whatever is asked of him. his action is great, changes lead when he is supposed to, and simply moves over the ground like most great horses do. if i were his trainer, and i saw hwat i have seen to date, i would be giddy.
Lane More than 1 year ago
It's early, but how can Pyro and War Pass not reamin the A and B choices or just two A's in every exotic and multi race play out there. Hell, put those two in one and two and tinker with three and four for a price in the tri and super. Play it back with a couple of "Derby-bred" prices on top of them in the 2nd and 3rd rungs then use the two of them in every multi race and look for value in the races "surrounding" the derby. After that, second guess yourself on Indian Blessing and her "distance breeding", look for a price in the Oaks, and bet the Oaks/Derby double with Pyro and War Pass and every filly with a name, number, and color you like. Not exactly strategy and after looking at breeding for the Derby since November, somewhat unaffected by War Pass and Pyro's 2yo campaign, here I am ashamed to be driving their float in the damn Derby parade 67 days in adavance. I'll watch the Sham in person this week-end and wonder if it is a "Sham" this year with the surface. Then I'll come home and hope a horse like Tale of Ekati can save my hope in "breeding for the Derby." At least I got him in Pool one at 33-1(that could make for a fun two minutes on 5/3) if he does beat me in every other wager the other two seem to dominate in my early planning. Mr.Crist, I need another chapter in "Exotic Betting". One in which you want to bet everything but what your gut is telling you to truly bet. There is already the "caveman ticket". How about the "village idiot ticket" or "heart on my sleeve ticket"? How about a ticket structured with horses who have never lost and/or have only lost to a horse in the race who has never lost? A shelf full of books from the DRF library and my early analysis of the derby is take the two favorites. Someone throw me a horse to grab onto, a worthy longshot, or third choice? Good luck everyone. If Czeckers goes sat. @ Santa Anita he could be a good one to go with, I think. :)
Micclay More than 1 year ago
Let's wait a little bit before we enshrine War Pass. He won the BC Juv on a sea of mud sealed track and just beat a "please fill for Nicky" allowance race against cheap claimers and a Nicky stable horse to help make the race go. I want to see a race where he gets looked in the eye, or sees a horse's rear end and gets some dirt in his face. Then when the real running starts we will know. Anyone want to offer me something on my future book tickets on CCM @ 75-1 or Court Vision @ 25-1. I could be a seller at the right price.