04/10/2011 9:11AM

Comma to the Top

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Date Track Race Finish Chart Distance Time BSF Video
4/9/11 SA Santa Anita Derby 2nd 1 1/8 mile 1:48.60 97 Video
3/12/11 SA San Felipe 4th 1 1/16 mile 1:41.20 80 Video
2/12/11 GG El Camino Real Derby 4th 1 1/8 mile 1:50.40 87 Video
12/18/10 HOL CashCall Futurity 1st 1 1/16 mile 1:44.60 95 Video
11/27/10 HOL Generous 1st 1 mile 1:10.20 86 Video
8/8/10 DMR Best Pal 4th 6 1/2 Furlongs 1:16.60 75 Video

Comma to the Top

Owner: Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, and Kevin Tsujihara
Trainer: Peter Miller
Record: 13-6-2-0
Best Beyer: 97
Breeder: Richard & Linda Thompson
Tomlinson Distance Rating: 252

Auction: $5,000 weanling (OBS Fall, October 2008); $22,000 juvenile (OBS Spring, April 2010)
Dosage Profile: 3-0-5-0-0 (8)
Dosage Index: 2.20
Center of Distribution: 0.75

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PROFILE

By Mike Beer

Strengths
This battle-tested gelding has already started 13 times, making him the most experienced runner in this crop heading to the Derby. He won both of his two-turn starts on the main track last year, including a dominant performance in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity, which earned him the distinction of being the only 2-year-old to earn a Beyer Speed Figure of 95 or higher around two-turns more than once in 2010. He is 0 for 3 so far this year, but ran a deceptively strong race in the San Felipe when he contested an exceptionally fast pace, and he improved to a new Beyer top when just he just missed last out in the Santa Anita Derby.

Weaknesses
Distance. He was removed from the final round of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager with his own connections expressing concern about his ability to handle 10 furlongs and reporting that he would not be pointed for the Kentucky Derby. A nice effort in the Santa Anita Derby coupled with some recent disappointing runs from the leaders of the division has them reconsidering, but this horse has drifted through the stretch in all three of his starts this year, which suggests that he’s already pushing the limit of his stamina.

Betting Value
After flopping in his 3-year-old debut as a heavy favorite, Comma to the Top seems to have been quickly dismissed as a major player in this division and was sent off at 9-1 and 6-1 in his final two prep races. Distance is going to remain a major hurdle, but he has the positional speed to secure a spot away from traffic trouble in a bulky Derby field, and with the right trip and ride he could be a dangerous horse, and one to consider if he is let go in the 20-1 range, which seems likely.


PEDIGREE ANALYSIS

By Dan Illman

Sire:
Bwana Charlie's big victory came in the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes going six furlongs at Saratoga with a 106 Beyer. He also won the Grade 3 Lafayette Stakes at seven furlongs at Keeneland. Bwana Charlie won at distances ranging from six furlongs to a mile, but never ran longer than eight furlongs in his career.

Comma to the Top is easily Bwana Charlie's best runner from his first two crops.

Dam:
The sprint-placed dam is a half-sister to Yes He's a Pistol, the winner of the Santana Mile at Santa Anita with a 102 Beyer. Another one of her half-brothers, Dumaani of Course, finished second in the nine-furlong Prairie Bayou Stakes on dirt at Turfway Park.

The second dam, Maggies Pistol, won the Grade 3 Virginia Handicap at seven furlongs. This is the female family of Grade 3 sprint winner Good Potential.

Outlook:
Comma to the Top may be best at distances up to nine furlongs. The Derby may be a tad too long for him.


THE WIZARD'S PACE ANALYSIS:

Will force the tempo right from the start. The question is how much pressure he will take, and the fractions he will encounter.