01/02/2013 2:21PM

Dick Jerardi: Kentucky Derby prognosticating requires more guesswork

Email
Tom Keyser
Shanghai Bobby is the exemplar of 2-year-old form for the 2013 Derby, with a clean slate in five starts.

I feel far differently about the 3-year-old possibilities than I did this time last year. It was clear to me that the division was strong in 2012, that the racing would be competitive, that the 3-year-olds would improve all year and be major factors in the fall.

I want to get enthusiastic about this 2013 group, but when you were so wrong about everything, it is difficult to be confident about anything.

Even as the racing got serious in 2012, I was still certain it was going to be a wonderful group. The stars of 2011 were winning many of the Kentucky Derby prep races, confirming their 2-year-old form.

Then, Hansen and Union Rags got beat. That was the first sign that the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was not really the race I thought it was. Then, the good 2-year-olds did not get faster as the Derby approached. That was the second sign that the 2-year-old form was not going to hold up. By late summer, the entire crop had disappeared into the witness protection program.

So I am not ready to make any pronouncements about the Class of 2013. Given that the 2012 Derby and Preakness were dominated by I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister, two horses whose names I did not know a year ago, even basic assumptions are perilous.

The Derby is becoming a bit like the NFL playoffs, with far more than 12 possibilities. The hot team, not necessarily the best team, has won the Super Bowl in recent years.

Who liked Mine That Bird when 2009 began or Super Saver in 2010? Same with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and I’ll Have Another in 2012.

Mine That Bird and Super Saver were mostly forgettable after the Derby. Animal Kingdom and I’ll Have Another turned out to be legit.

Horse racing, like just about everything else, is cyclical.

It was not that long ago when a 2-year-old champion (Street Sense) could win the Derby (2007). Or a horse with great early 2-year-old form (Afleet Alex) could dominate the Preakness and Belmont Stakes (2005).

Recently, it has been about the late developers. That could change as quickly as it began. But that is where it is as we begin 2013.

Does that mean Shanghai Bobby could not turn out to be a superstar, sweep the Triple Crown, and get on the cover of Time, Sports Illustrated and Newsweek? Well, no Newsweek. Hard to get on a cover that no longer exists, in print, anyway. The Shanghai Bobby scenario is possible, just not very likely.

What’s not to like about Shanghai Bobby, the unbeaten winner of the Juvenile, a colt who held his form from April to November, won at five different distances and four different tracks? Other than the slow time of the Juvenile, there really is nothing not to like, except for the way the sport has evolved.

It is not about a specific horse any longer. It is about the sport and how it has changed so dramatically. Form lasts weeks not years. The way horses are trained (or not trained) has been altered completely. It is really hard to depend on anything over the long term, much less the short term.

I have certainly been impressed with Violence (can they please change the name?), another talented and unbeaten Todd Pletcher 2-year-old. He’s fast, versatile, and certainly looks to have the right bloodlines.

But what happens to all those Pletcher 2-year-olds between November/December and May? America’s dominant trainer seems to be able to do anything but win those May races they run in Louisville and Maryland. How do you explain that? I really can’t.

Visually, I really liked the one-two finishers in the Kentucky Jockey Club, Uncaptured and Frac Daddy. I am especially hoping Frac Daddy becomes a contender as his trainer Ken McPeek can then give national testimony to that Northeast Philly delicacy that is the Chink’s Cheesesteak. (When he was in town for Pennsylvania Derby last September, McPeek got a first taste. He will be making special trips just to get back there). Before I got too excited about that November race at Churchill, however, I noted the dreadful time that equated to a bizarre 76 Beyer and led to even more confusion.

So, as we begin the prep race season, my advice is to keep an open mind, a very open mind.

I always used to laugh at those people who bet the field in craps or Derby futures. Well, I know somebody who just spent hours betting the field at a hot craps table in Atlantic City and went from nearly broke to getting out of town with hundreds falling out of his pockets. At this stage, the only bet I like is the unknown. Sadly, I will take the Field.

JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Very good article, Dick. You made some excellent observations in it as well. With the exception of Royal Delta and Groupie Doll, a majority of the horses considered the best horses in thoroughbred racing were late bloomers, a factor in why they are racing in their fourth and fifth years and beyond. They were not 2 year old "wonder horses". It also true that Mr. Pletcher always has a leading contingent of talented 2 year olds, and his horses always dominate competition in their 2 year old seasons, but when it's time for Triple Crown competition they don't live up to their expectations, other less-known horses mature and come to the forefront. To me, this "not knowing what to expect" in 3 year olds makes racing exciting and more fun to pick and prognosticate. I look forward to 2013 being just as fun as 2012 to pick in the Triple Crown race. I hope so, 2012's race was a very exciting one.
Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
Joy, it is a known fact that horse run their berst at age 5 and up if allowed to grow. If you want a real project, look at how many 3yo also-rans turned into Monsters. Let's start with Awesome Again. Image if he ran at the age of 5. ( I don't think he did.) My point being that had they retired him after his pretty good 3yo season, they would never had known that the horse could reel off 5-6 race to end his career. As a 3yo he got beat bad at the Derby distance, except for a Canadian win (does that count?) At the end of his career, Awesome Again was strong, more mature and would have been UNBEATABLE had he run an entire 5yo compaign, as he figured out the 1 1/4 mi distance pretty well when they retired him.
Laura State Spoelstra More than 1 year ago
And of course Zenyatta - who didn't even run until November of her 3 year old year. Luckily she had owners and a trainer who know how to wait. If she had been pushed at two we likely never would have heard of her.
jttf More than 1 year ago
if you want a healthy kentucky derby contender. dont have the horse run a serious campaign on lasix as a 2 year old. this will stunt the growth of the 3 year olds. good 2 year olds do not improve much if any, when running regularly on lasix. keep an eye out on the shock wave therapy horses. should be a good price.
Laura State Spoelstra More than 1 year ago
And that’s another sore point. Just because a race has two turns doesn’t make it a route! A route is 10f minimum and in Europe routes start at 12f and the horses are celebrated and financially rewarded. A mile is NOT a route and neither is 9f – those are middle-distance races. We don’t card routes anymore so why breed or train for them? The Belmont Stakes is the ONLY Grade I race at 12f on dirt in the US. The only one - nothing for the older horses. And we have a limited number of 10f races too. Until we reward routers over sprinter/milers by offering them a place to shine and the $$ to make them alluring we won’t have a Triple Crown winner. Period. First of all, the horses that can actually get the distances haven’t been able qualify for the Derby these last few years as the money requirement rewarded two-year-old sprinters instead of true routers who generally mature later. Maybe the new system will help, I don’t know. I do know that I for one was not in the least surprised when Drosselmeyer won the BC Classic because he was the only horse in the race that had shown consistent ability at 10f or longer (his record was 6-3-2-0 ). Yet he was dismissed as a “plodder” in favor of the miler “beast” Uncle Mo. The problem was there weren’t enough races at Drosselmeyer’s best distances. The “problem” is system-wide in the US and until we look at it system-wide we won’t solve it. Stop the bullet breezes under tack before the yearling sales – this emphasizes sprinters to the exclusion of routers and pushes young horses before their bones can handle it. Card more races for more money at 10f and longer for older horses. Maybe we’ll see fewer horses given up on because they can’t sprint and find a few superstars along the way – like Kelso and his five wins in the then 2-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup. Horses like Dr Fager and Forego, who really could do it all, are few and far between. What kind of Thoroughbred do we want in America? The kind that can win the Triple Crown and stay sound enough to thrill us for two or three or even four years? Or a Quarter Horse wannabe, who flames out as a young three year-old? It’s up to us.
Richard More than 1 year ago
Great analysis on Drosselmeyer. The only two times I wagered on the horse were the Belmont and the BC Classic. He was a horse bred for those long distance races. I hope that he shines as a stallion and infuses some of that stamina back into the breed. At Winstar they seem to appreciate a horse who can run long. More breeding outfits should follow their lead instead of snapping up milers. It was also nice, sad for NY, that Winstar stationed Dross in KY after his win rather than there pland to stand him in NY. Unfortunately races such as the Met Mile have become known as "Stallion Makers". The horses who can run long get snapped up by Japanese, Australian, and even European breeders. Those countries appreciate a races that goes a distance of ground and breed accordingly, and as pointed out, pay nice sums to the winners of distance raises. In the U.S. rather than funding the distance raises the purses are lowered, the graded stakes comittee disregards them and they sink further and further into the background of racing. Races like the Brooklyn Handicap, The San Juan Capistrano, and Hollywood Turf Cup should be encouraged not discouraged. Rarely ever do we hear a horse referred to a "Stayer", where as in Europe, they look for that in horse. The US bloodstock is losing its grip as a world player as well. It has been 3 years since a US based horse won the Dubai World Cup. Albeit a short time, it is the longest streak since the inception of the race where a US horse has not won it. Hopefully Animal Kingdom snaps the streak, but alas, his days as an American horse are numbered anyhow.
Richard More than 1 year ago
*Races not raises, darn autotype.
Laura State Spoelstra More than 1 year ago
What I really think will happen with Drosselmeyer is that when his first yearlings don't blaze those :10 furlongs before the sales US breeders will give up on him and before you can say "I'll Have Another" he'll be off to Japan. Hopefully his revenge will be to have one of his sons (or daughters) win the Derby or Belmont or Classic.
Richard More than 1 year ago
Agreed, they likely will give up on him after his offspring take a while to develop. The BC Classic got him a ticket to KY but it did not ensure he will stay there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You stop those breezes and everyone is left watching Wayne Lucas left foot
Laura State Spoelstra More than 1 year ago
And just maybe they'll have to look at conformation, breeding, etc. and not simply at the stopwatch. We don't race TBs at one or two furlongs - yet.
Richard More than 1 year ago
At SA they do card 2 year old races at 2F, or at least have the past few years. A mistake if you ask me. Even the 4 1/2 furlong races at Hollywood come up a bit too soon. But hey you have to give the idiots who buy these 1f blazers a chance to maker their money back before the real horses start running in August and beyond.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Rich, Don't leave out the 4 1/2 events at Keeneland. Typically, the fields are composed of some regally-bred 2YOs. The 50000 purses are the big draw. Usually the horses that win these races are rarely seen again.
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
As long ad the Classic is 10f you won't find many horses running farther than that. The days of Easy Goer or Slew o'Gold prepping for a 10f race in a 12f race. I think they screwed up by making the Classic 10f. I think it should be 13f. The most prominent sire of the 20th century, Northern Dancer, was know to have distance limitations and had hoof issues. So now we have a bunch of horses with bad feet and distance limits. ND was also only 15 hands tall and his racing career lasted only 10 months with half his races coming as a two year old and none as a
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
...four year old. Here's what Bill Hartack said about ND after the Belmont, "he fought on gallantly but just couldn't handle that mile and a half. In fact, I think the most unusual thing about Northern Dancer was that he got a mile and a quarter." ND was also retired do to injury as a three year old (sound familiar?). Mr. Prospector and Storm Cat have similar stories yet their names are everywhere in US racing. Drosslemeyer's daddy Distorted Humor even had major distance limits. As did Smart Strike. Maria's Mon's only wins came as a 2 year old.
Laura State Spoelstra More than 1 year ago
Part of the problem is the emphasis on Beyer figures etc and their expectations of :22 and change speed. That kind of speed works maybe up to 8f but can't carry to 10f. A horse that “plods” five consecutive :24 quarters runs 10f in 2:00! We're training horses to be sprinter/milers these days. When was the last time you saw a horse being prepped for a 10f race actually WORK 10f? No, they work 5 or 6f bullets and everyone is hyped into thinking they can carry that another half-mile. That just doesn't happen. My daughter ran cross-country in high school and college and her coaches (i.e. trainers) had them work TWICE the distance they were to race - so their training runs were six miles for three mile races. The drop in distance then seemed a piece of cake because they were so fit. Back in the day, Secretariat had timed works of 8 to 10 furlongs early in the week he raced, and his "bullet" work was a 3f blowout either the day before or the morning of the race. Todays’s former QH trainers are so wedded to the speed workouts they don't even think of just maybe finding out if their "routers" can actually run that far. (Continued on next post)
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
As you and I have discussed, "back in the day", they didn't race two year olds on lasix, or at 3 or older for that matter. I find it amazing that people can't see that the coming of age of lasix as a "must" on race day coincides precisely with the dramatic decline in the number of annual as well as lifetime starts for our Thoroughbreds (see Jockey Club web site for the statistics). Also, to justify using lasix on all horses, the definition of a "bleeder" was changed in the U.S. to finding evidence as a result of scoping. Elsewhere in the rest of the civilized world, the definition of a bleeder has not changed, it is a horse that bleeds through the nose. BTW, no one is questioning whether lasix does as advertised, but at what cost and side effects! Either condition horses properly so they don't need it, or in the case of the fractional percentage of horses that would bleed without it, don't send them to the track. Duh!
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Laura, You are correct in your assumption regarding that we are "training horses to be sprinters/milers". However, look at where the bulk of the purses and the number of races in North America exist. The 6 furlong race probably makes up the bulk of all races. There are not many "marathons" (which I will have to inexecusably refer to as distances exceeding 10 furlongs) being carded and therefore there is not a whole lot of purse money being attributed to these types of races. Breeding is only reacting to this situation. As for "plodding 5 consecutive quarters"...this is an interesting concept. I have an Excel workbook that I have developed that parses races from 5 furlongs to 12 furlongs and have made certain discoveries. What I can share with you is that horses exhibiting a pretty fair amount of speed without wavering in velocity for at least 4 furlongs is a very good bet in their next start. I deal in Feet Per Second. I don't add 1/5 second for each length; I subtract 8 feet for each length to determine the amount of feet traveled and then use the time reported at that point of call. (Note: Reported times and points of call don't not always coincide. That's why I have all of this in Excel in order to make the proper interpolations.) Beyer speed figures...and BRIS speed figures...are useful only indetermining the final time of the race where the 100 Point Score would be awarded; the 100 Point Score is the common denominator between distances. When referring to a "standard parallel time chart", one can easily calculate the "variant" (which does exist). Calculations based in terms of "feet per second" allow the variant to be used as a ratio in parsing each segment of the race. Don't forget: The final time is actually a result of the pace. In getting back to looking for the looking for that sweet 4 furlong segment, I rate "pace" as the actual amount of "work" occurring in the first part of the race. (This is the distance in furlongs from the beginning of the race to the point where the speed degrades beyond 1 FPS per quarter mile; multiply this distance times the average speed and you can come up with a very workable number.) I am not going to share all my secrets, as the will start costing me money. HINT: I shave off the total FPS by a certain number, as horses don't start expending racing energy until they exceed a certain velocity...which is the number I shave off before I multiply things out to achieve my "work" figure. However this will get you...and anyone else that reads this passage, the opportunity to think in a different paradigm about pace calculation....because the name of the game is cashing tickets. Honestly...just as I think you do too...I appreciate watching a good race. I love to see at least 2 foes with ears pinned back in deep stretch in a battle to the wire. Having a good method to make some accurate calculations and a sensible wager prior, make watching that race even more enjoyable as hopefully one's opinion is one of those warriors engaged in that final run to the wire. Regardless, breeding seems to react to the races being carded. It is just tragic that inbreeding and drugs have taken their toll on a sport that was once followed as closely by the public as much as major league baseball.
Laura State Spoelstra More than 1 year ago
Charles, I don't think it's a coincidence that the drop in average distance of American races from 1m 70 yds in 1970 to 6-1/2f today started with the influx of the former quarter horse trainers into the TB ranks. They didn't know how to train for distance races but were very good at preparing sprinters AND two year-olds who all start as sprinters. As they gained more success with those short-distance horses, they became "fashionable" for the new owners who came into the sport during the 80s economic boom. Add to that the pinhookers and those who saw horses as an "investment" to make quick profits on (or to depreciate on their taxes) and you have sales breeders catering to that desire for the quick-maturing sprinter who'll make a quick return on investment. So, we have trainers who don't know how to train for over a mile demanding racing secretaries card more sprints because they "don't have the horses" for longer races (they might - if they knew how to condition them, but they usually dump them as useless long before they can find out), owners who are looking for that two year old sensation they can sell for big bucks for stud early at three, the sales breeders who want to please those buyers, and pretty soon we're a nation who only races sprinters. So here we are.
Laura State Spoelstra More than 1 year ago
"Final time is a result of the pace" is so true. Just look at the difference in the times for Zenyatta's races, comparing those of her four year old year to years five and six: her fastest times (excluding the 2009 BCC) were at four. As her devastating kick became well-known, the pace of her races slowed way down - the traditional way of negating such a kick. Of course, that worked out so well! If you look at videos of her races, she always ran EXACTLY the same way, from way back, regardless of the pace. Even in her 6-1/2f maiden win (1:15.22) she gave the leaders 10 lengths and still won going away and no one would ever consider Z a sprinter. She didn't need a specific pace scenario: when they hit the far turn it was time to fly - and she did. IMO, only poor racing luck in 2010 kept her from retiring perfect. But l don't want to rehash that race here.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, we don't live in the days of Secretariat when it was typical to see everyday platers running 7 to 10 days when they were inside their form cycles. Due to drugs and inbreeding, the breed itself can no longer withstand the rigors of what used to be considered normal racing. Each of these preps in themselves are demanding, as graded stakes earnings become the gateway into the Derby. Every one of these preps demand a level of exertion that may not allow the winner...or possibly entrants in close combat with the eventual winner...to exit the race unscathed. What I used to find ironic, is that baseball players were pulled in front of congressional panels to testify on whether they used steroids or other performance enhancing drugs when at the same time these were being used in horseracing. Restrictions have only been implemented in the last couple of years. I hope that eventually we will be able to see racing return to what it once was, but I highly doubt it.
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
Charles, my mantra is, "it never is just one thing" that has brought us to the sorry state of a sport where 4 or 5 races a year, and 10-12 races lifetime is acceptable! There is a whole list of differences in "the way things used to be." A conversation with Allen Jerkens, John Nerud, or Bill McAnally will quickly give you a very long list of how they used to train and condition horses for the rigors of racing every few days without incident. Horses were sent out totally fit and prepared without the crutch trainers use nowadays of the lasix and bute. Also, they didn't use to breeze babies at sales....and, we can get back to better times...the rest of the world lives without raceday meds...it will happen here this time, I believe. Just watch how strident the rhetoric gets among the trainers who don't want things to change....it will get very loud and very strident, and trainers (and some owners, like Repole) will go kicking and screaming into learning a whole new way of conditioning without raceday meds, or they will learn to do something else. Tough toenails!
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Being a racing fan for about 35 years, I remember these trainers. I recall when 2 year olds...regardless of where they raced...were not allowed medication. I also recall when New York racing...harness or thoroughbred...also banned medication. The ugliness of what has happened to this sport was never more apparent when my wife and I visited Beulah Park in October 2006. She noted that the gate crew came in after route races to have a beer. I noted a very 4 horse field that featured a 3 year old filly named Angela Jane (trained by William Cowans) that should have been scratched. As I stood next to the paddock where the horses were being led to the track, Angela Jane had a look on her face like a dog that has been beaten by its owner to the point of not trusting humans anymore. She just looked so sad and depressed. (In her past performances, it looked as if she was actually someone's "pet" running in NW1 allowances but nothing coming of it. So she was entered in a 7500 claimer and Cowans grabbed her. She won her next start...then she was entered a 25000 and won again...the only thing that I could think of Mr. Cowans is that all of his ability came out of a syringe. The rest of her races following that 25000 claiming victory were dismal.) When the gate opened, she went to her knees but the jockey was able to pull her up and get her running. However, the other 3 horses already had 100 yards on her...and if you don't finish the race you don't get the 4th place money. My wife and I were standing by the wire. Angela Jane was coming out of the turn as the others were finishing. When she almost got to the wire, I heard a "snap" and she tumbled. The jockey flew about 40 feet like a bag of potatoes. I knew what had happened. As the track crew surrounded her with vehicles so that she could be euthanized, my wife was already crying. When I had to explain to her what was happening, she was so distraught she went to the ladies room and bawled her eyes out for a half hour before she could compose herself. As a result, she hates racing. I wrote a letter to several officials at Beulah about the incident. They didn't like to hear about the beer-drinking gate crew. They stuck up for Mr. Cowans, citing him as one of their best trainers and a man of integrity. Yeah right...whatever...Meanwhile a once beautiful filly...someone's pet probably...is put down because the syringe wouldn't work anymore. That's the thing: A syringe only works for awhile. If we could weed out these undesirables things will change. However, it seems that the motivation is to stay ahead of the testing by discovering something new to put in the syringe.
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
Charles your account brought me to tears....I'm so sorry about yours and your wife's experience. As a fan for 35 years, you must have some hope of better times, or you wouldn't still be around. I haven't been around that long, but my love for the sport is strong, and I care enough to try to educate myself on the issues and to try to be a part of the solution. One thing I know for sure: we cannot turn our backs because our equine heroes are counting on us to bear witness for them. I'm not some peta nut, but there are some common sense issues at play and we all need to pay attention and do what we can. Best wishes...
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Thanks Ann. It is reassuring when someone that feels the same way I do about these magnificent animals. I am no peta nut either. I love animals in general. Having been around dogs and cats all my life (and a skunk and a rabbit at one time), I do know when they behave in a mistrusting way to humans due to mistreatment. It was easy to see this on the face of Angela Jane as she looked directly at me before walking onto the track. She won the race after she was claimed by 11 1/2 lengths. This is a complete form reversal with no explanation other than a needle. She followed this with a win at 25000 claimng, just barely. After that, dismal. What gets me are people like Cowans think they are "good" trainers even if they get their results from a needle. To this day, I will not bet on race where he has a horse entered. I pray that one day this all changes.
djdustmon More than 1 year ago
Chinks! :)
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
You have touched a nerve, Dick! I kept track of the 2012 sophomores, and over 30 who were on the Derby Trail in January 2012 were on the shelf by June! Heartbreaking! And, it continued to literally devastate the 3 yr old ranks, as more 3 year olds retired prematurely due to "issues". Thank goodness we were spared a Barbaro or an Eight Belles, but there were some catastrophic injuries, as well, just not the headliners. A handful did make it back, but for the most part, they have disappeared into the breeding shed to do what? Breed more of the same? Of course, this doesn't take into account those juveniles you talked about who aren't able to carry their form into their sophomore season. I particularly like your advice to keep an open mind. My advice is, it's too early to fall in love! I'm planning to watch things unfold, but with a jaundiced eye, so I won't be too disappointed when the object of my affections doesn't make it to the starting gate the first Saturday in May!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Ann Maree, sadly you are right on the mark. One prominent 'trainer' announced at Saratoga that he expected 145 more babies...
Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
Yet, when I said the breed was weak, you disagreed. LOL
Steve Brown More than 1 year ago
Mine That Bird and Super Saver are now trained by Baffert. Should be running soon for $12.5 once he finds the perfect spot for them for a confidence builder.
Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
Here's a little side note to Mine That Bird. When I handicapped the Ky Derby, he jumped off the page at me! He had one of the best handicapping angles in the history of handicapping to back him up....Horses that make a move from the back of the pack to take the lead at the top of the stretch and then tire to finish out generally improve 5-10 lengths in their next start. I just couldn't see him improving 10 lengths and winning that race. I figured he needed 15 to win. He improved 17. Lesson learned on my side of the story. Oh, ....where did I run? SECOND. Ouch.
greg More than 1 year ago
that is exactly the type of angle i look for and bet just about all the time. that big middle move then fade is one of the only angle that i truely feel confident in besides the obvious one of lone speed.
john deksnis More than 1 year ago
Mr. Jerardi: You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I found your objection to Violence's name to be absurd. Would you also have every other horse's name filtered through "political correctness," too? And once started, where does that end? Would horse racing have to go back and, say, change the name of every horse that had "gun" or "pistol" in its name? Anyway, in this particular instance, we're just talking about a horse's name, for God's sake. And I, for one, like it.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Careful what you wish for...
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
Where was I'll Have Another this time last year? He was a huge longshot in his first race of the year. Bodemeister hadn't even started yet. Went the Day Well? Where was Animal Kingdom, Nehro or Shackleford? What about Paddy O'Prado or Ice Box? The safest bet is that the new comers overtake the horses with good two year old form. I think that's one of the reasons Churchill deemphasized 2 year old races when it comes to the Derby and put more emphasis on races closer to the Derby.